Love and Relationships

THE C WORD OF THE YEAR: COMMITMENT

So there’s me, sitting on top of a grassy hill, sniffling and snorting like a pig whilst the guy I’ve been allegedly exclusive (but not official) with for the past three months tells me he can’t commit. Rewind to moments earlier when he asked to chat, and I beamed like a kid in a candy store at the prospect of love blossoming and the dog we’d be buying together in mere minutes. Fast forward. His face changes and I read the signs—the signs I’ve seen many times before—and my smile is replaced by me attempting to hold back the tears, knowing what’s coming next. This is different, though. There were no signs before now. No unanswered texts. No avoidance. None. And poor little me is completely blindsided. As he explains, the tears begin to flow. I realize I’m not crying because I’m losing him, ...

TICKS AND CROSSES

You’re almost a teacher now, and I think that’s awesome. I’m glad you’re sticking through the PGCE, I’m glad you’re doing what you love. It’s crazy to think about you teaching little people. I can picture you in front of a classroom, talking through the rules of algebra, showing students how a problem, like a magic trick, can be easily solved when we look a little closer, break it down into smaller parts, take it one step at a time. I can picture you telling them these things—these simple things that are either right or wrong—that we all learned and forgot, before the harder lessons came. Our lessons now are not so black and white. There are no ticks and crosses to guide us. We had to add to our lives, multiply, subtract in order to divide, never knowing whether we were right and even if w...

PRECAUTIONS WOMEN TAKE TO GET A MAN

We women are celestial beings. We are givers of life, sweet nurturers, ferocious protectors and the walking embodiments of what loyalty is and looks like. We also possess the immense power to conquer and rule nations and/or conglomerates. However, all these empowering adjectives that describe us—adjectives we proclaim to be—all go out the window when it comes to a man we are interested in. For whatever reason, we as women instantly dim down our illustrious light, as if we’re afraid to outshine a man’s. Maybe it’s because we want to ensure he feels like a man, in hopes he’ll realize that we can be all he needs and more. Why is this, though? Why do we as women make the conscious decision to not be ourselves in order to get the man we want? Our parents and society have taugh...

CAN A SEPARATION SAVE MY MARRIAGE?

“I did not sign up for this!” Does this phrase resonate as a constant voice in a person’s mind? One may even question where the marital bliss went. Marriage can be so fulfilling! However, for some, it has brought great challenges. Sometimes marriage will reach a point where the love seems to be a distant memory. The days of sitting with excitement waiting for the love of your life to call or come home so that you can greet him/her with loving arms and a passionate kiss have been replaced with anxiety and stomach cramps at the thought of having to be in the same space as the person with whom you were once in love. You cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel and divorce has become a very close reality. But, why do many skip separation and go straight to divorce? It’s because marr...

THE VOID OF LONELINESS

No one teaches you how to heal your howling void of loneliness. No one tells you how bitter it tastes, how suffocating it feels and how hopeless it looks sometimes. No one prepares you for those moments when you are completely disconnected from the rest of the world. No one teaches you how a wounded heart will always seek for a piece of affection from every stranger it meets. No one warns you that your love hunger created by the broken hands and hearts of those who gave you life, and then ungainly deprived you of affectionate moments, will sometimes push you into greedy and immature embraces of people who destroy you faster than life itself. No one tells you that not everyone would be able to see a vulnerable and fragile heart behind well-accomplished words and sentences, bright goals and ...

SAM

I met the other Sam when I was 14 years old. I say “other” because I also go by such a simple nickname as Sam. He called me Samantha, though; there couldn’t be two Sams. There were always two Sams though—the common “Sam and Sam” spread like wildfire. “Hey Sam, how’s Sam?” Back then it got old, today it’s a fond memory. He was different than all the others. We got to experience each other when we were just innocent 13- and 14-year-old children. We weren’t broken, chewed up and spit out, soulless and shitty millennials yet. We just wanted to be kids and have fun. It was 2004. Gwen Stefani had just come out with Hollaback Girl, Avril Lavigne was the poster child for what punk rock was supposed to look like, every tween needed the coolest away message on their AOL Instant Messenger...

BUILDING TRUST IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS: LESSONS FROM A CHEATER

How I Arrived to Where I Am Now I cheated on my boyfriend of five years with the man that is now my husband. My now-husband was torn when I made my first move, too good of a man to consider being the “other man.” I persisted and, in the end, we had a brief romance. It all occurred in the weeks leading up to my departure. What was meant to exist on its own, inside a hermetically-sealed bubble, was actually the undoing of my five-year relationship with my boyfriend. I was the instigator of its demise because I knew that this had been more than a fling. I knew that my would-be-husband was something far more. But I had no idea, nor model, for how one goes from being the “piece on the side” to being “the main dish.” Based on my time with my boyfriend, I swore I knew what it would all look like....

COPING WITH HOLIDAY STRESS AND ANXIETY

The holidays are in full swing and so is the stress. From holiday shopping to Christmas parties, it seems that every minute of our schedule is booked trying to make 2018 the most festive year yet. So how do we handle the madness of this season? Here are a few hard-and-fast rules to get you to the new year unscathed: Learn to say no. There are Christmas parties you have to attend and then there are Christmas parties you aspire to attend. Learn the difference between what’s a must and what’s a must not. The parties that would make you look like a better friend or co-worker, but really add no long-term value into your life? Go ahead and RSVP “no” to those events. You know which ones I am talking about—you over-stress on what to wear and who is going to be there because...

THE FRIENDSHIP BREAKUP

I remember when I first wrote this post, under the same name, when I knew our friendship was over, but before you’d ever said so. I remember writing it, without knowing the full details, accepting a future I knew was inevitable. I bet, K, you assumed that I wrote that piece after what you did—all of it. But I didn’t. I wrote it at Christmas. A Christmas I’m sure you remember well, because you spent it in America. I knew before Christmas. No one else did, and everyone else assumed we were still inseparable, the best of friends. Did you know, K, on my last day, Sophie caught me sobbing? And do you know what she said to me, K? “Don’t worry, Carla. It doesn’t matter what she did to you. You have amazing people like K in your life. You know K would never hurt you like that; you two have always ...

TIPS FOR BEING THE BEST BRIDESMAID

Having walked down the aisle nearly 15 times, I know a thing or two about proper bridesmaid etiquette. You’re probably thinking, “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.” FYI, I’ll happily wear 27 dresses if I end up with a James Marsden. Swoon. In the meantime, I’ve gathered some tips for first-timers or gals who need a refresher course. Save your Twobirds bridesmaid dress You may need it again and it can be worn 15 different ways. (All hideously unflattering.) Be careful when the bride decides she doesn’t want to be a “diva” and insists she’s the “cool, laid-back” wife-to-be. If she says you can wear whatever black dress you choose, as with any legal document, always read the fine print at the bottom of the email. (P.S. I love all my beautiful friends, please make sure the black dress is...

CWTCH ME IF YOU CAN

“Any man can cuddle, but only a Welsh man can cwtch.”   The first time I heard that was from a stranger last summer.  We had just met on a train earlier that afternoon headed up the Costa Brava from Barcelona, Spain.  I had planned to spend the weekend at a hotel on the beach but ended up losing myself in his rolling accent and bright blue eyes instead.  Before I knew it, he was convincing me to miss my stop so I could get off at his.  Fast forward a few hours later and we were wrapped around one another in a twin-sized bed. I didn’t realize it then, but I had been cwtched, and my heart had been caught.  In case you’re wondering, cwtch (pronounced “kutch”) is a Welsh word that goes beyond your hugging, snuggling, and the ever so common cuddling.  It involves an element of protection...

THE EXPERIENCE OF WOMEN

Loving You  “If you fall in love with their soul before touching their skin, it’s true love.”    Of course I was drawn by the way her eyes lit up, and how her smile played at danger. She’s got this  way about her, whether she’s arguing Chomsky or quoting Atwood, I get lost in the cosmos of her  eyes she is magnificent.  The way her voice lifts and lightens sings a summer song and though I am more at home in the  midnight, meeting her has often made me dream of the way trees grow toward sun. When she rambles  of home and reminisces the country fields, I wonder what it would be to see through her eyes.  But who decides that love must grow a certain way? Who told us to consider our worthiness likened  to that of a rose: losing petals at the touch of a lover, always left a little less. Because...

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