Sunday, January 12, 2014

How to manage and cope with baggage.

Baggage comes with most of your mistakes from your past. We all make mistakes, though; some were worse than others. We've all been involved in bad breakups and relationships that should have ended sooner than they did. And we've been hurt, cheated on, lied to, etc. That turns into baggage into the next relationship we delve into, and navigating through that can be a huge challenge.

Now personally, the amount of baggage I've had to carry into a new relationship was immense. I went through a tumultuous relationship prior, I did some things I probably shouldn't have, and I hurt people. No one, including me, likes that on their conscience, but it's there and I have to live with it. I came to terms that I did some things that I wasn't proud of, but it didn't define the kind of person I wanted to be or the kind of person I wanted to be with. Your mistakes do not define you, period. They are, however, a part of you because I'm sure at some point, whatever that mistake was, it was something you wanted to do.

What's important to realize is that baggage is temporary. And it's up to you whether it lingers around. You choose whether to pass on the emotional rollercoaster or to keep riding it and ruining your chances of ever having a normal relationship in the future.

So here's my point. Whatever happened in the past, whatever you did or someone else did to you; IT HAPPENED. ITS OVER. If you need to take some time to yourself to grieve, then owe it to yourself to move through those emotions or whatever it is that the baggage makes you feel. You have to move past the yucky emotions that hold you back. Let yourself feel that. Take whatever time that it takes. Once you feel all of that nasty yucky stuff, chances are you'll feel better and it won't bother you anymore. It can't bother you forever; like I said, it's temporary.

For me, I do not like the single life. I've never been good at it, and I enjoy having a partner. That probably makes me a relationship junkie and there may come a point when I have to let go of that and get used to being alone. With that said, it's probably important to take a break from trying to find the right person and get right with being alone. That's when it's best to get through that emotional gross-ness that comes with being hurt from the past. You have to fix you. Do not depend on someone else to pacify whatever pain you're feeling and expect them to make you feel better. That is totally unfair. And do not get close to someone that's been hurt as bad or worse. They will depend on you to feel that void, and when you aren't providing that gratification as they want you to, they will resent you.

So; get through your shit first. Do not depend on someone else. No one should depend on you to fix them either; it definitely goes both ways. Granted, they have to deal with themselves too, and it's okay to step away from them in order for them to figure out and come to terms with their own baggage.

Expectations are also baggage. They're indicative of some insecurities; and we can't expect everyone to behave the same way others did in the past; and by that, I mean they cannot walk the way they used to walk, or make you breakfast every day, or whatever the case may be. However, they should respect you and be honest with you; that's obviously reasonable. But I'm referring to the unreasonable side in which they are mirroring your past. That screams baggage. Don't do it.

Get through the pain. Move past it. Take some time to reflect, and figure out what it is you need to work on. It's okay to admit our flaws. We're all human. If doing this reflection means that we get to have healthy relationships, intimate or not, then it would behoove you to take some time to look within, pull it together, and make some necessary changes. During this time, surround yourself with friends and family to encourage this new you. Don't get involved with anyone during this time. This is about you. Be sure that you're ready to get involved and this baggage won't ruin your chances.

There may come a time when you will be asked about your past and certain situations. It's okay if you aren't comfortable to talk about it; especially if it's early. Keeping it locked away forever isn't healthy either, which indicates some fear and anxiety. Be honest about what has happened, and if you aren't ready for a while, that's okay. Eventually, it will need to be put on the table, and you should prepare for that by making sure it's not bothersome.

Bringing the point home; we've all been hurt, and we've carried some baggage over into a new relationship. Some of us sank and some of us swam. To avoid sinking, it's important to take time to figure out what that baggage is doing to you, get through the emotional and accept that it happened. Once all that is over and you're okay, take this new world slow. Curiosity, more than likely, will cause the past to come up, and if you're not ready to talk about it, then okay. But it needs to come out eventually, so everyone is being honest. Don't depend on others to make the past go away, because it won't. It's up to you to get through it and not let it dictate the future or define you. It happened. It's over. Hopefully, it won't happen again.

Thanks for reading!

From Linsay with Love :)


Sunday, September 22, 2013

How about not minding the gap?

I know, I know. I've been neglecting this thing. It's been a crazy year for me, and I finally have some down time to update what's going on in my pretty little mind today. This post hits close to home because, well, I've struggled with it myself. I'm hoping to shed some empowerment about women and their struggle with their value in a society that is constantly drilling us about what size we need to be, how big our breasts need to be, and how we should clothe ourselves.

I was reading Seventeen magazine a few weeks ago. Every month, it contains an article about an issue that girls are dealing with. This month--thigh gaps.

It caught my attention because I've been petite my whole life. I'm not as petite now due to my metabolism slowing down, and probably because I thought I could eat and eat and eat and never gain any weight. It eventually caught up to me, and so I may not look as petite. I still fit into a size 4; but I've never been anything more than that. Just some body fat here and there. ANYWAY--even at my smallest, I've never had the so-called thigh gap. There are very fit women out there who are curvier than some, and also do not have a thigh gap. Why this obsession?

I got to thinking. When you have sites like theChive who have weekly posts of "mind the gap" which basically worship the thigh gap, Instagram hashtags with "thinspiration" or "thigh gaps" as well, it's tough for us ladies who have never had it to now want it because it's being worshipped everywhere.

Now, don't get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing with wanting your body to be in better shape. But the misconception that fat near the inner thigh is unattractive is only adding fuel to the fire with those are already struggling with body issues.

Most of the thigh gaps you see on Instagram are the result of just being really skinny. Averaged size women normally won't have that thigh gap unless their legs are naturally thin. And it really isn't something you can get in a gym unless you are already naturally petite. For the rest of us, myself included, don't have that luxury. We could work out 24/7 365 and still never have that gap.

It's important for us girls to understand that it's biology. It's not because you're not eating right. It's not because you're not working out enough. It's not because you're ugly. It's because of how we were designed. I mean come on, do you think Beyonce' has a thigh gap? No, and I'm sure she's doing just fine.

It's the unhealthy skinny girls that have this gap that none of us really want if you really think about it. It doesn't improve your looks to have one of them. What will improve anything is keeping your body healthy, eating clean, working out, and doing your body good. You may get one from the hard work, but if you have that flat tummy that you worked your ass off for and that nice tight butt, then hey, do you really need a thigh gap to affirm what you worked for? I most certainly don't think so.

Love your body, and take care of it. Especially when you earn it; there's nothing that can bring you down. If you have a thigh gap, good for you. There's nothing wrong with it; and if you worked for it, even better. As for the rest of us, love your body no matter what.

From Linsay with Love :)


UPDATE: i'm now on wizpert! i'll share more details on a new post. new changes headed our way!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Online dating: posting your heart for everyone to see.

So here you are in front of your computer. You're single, and you've heard about how some of your friends have created online dating profiles. You get curious, so you Google it. You are amazed by how many sites there are (I think the number is at 1,700; and counting.) How do you choose one?

Well, before you decide to embark on this journey, I have some tips that will make this journey somewhat easier, as well as a little less stressful. But first, here's some data.

In 2012, it was estimated that 40 million people in the US have tried online dating (China has 140 million; WOW!). So you are definitely not alone. The amount of users is above even; 52% of males use it, while 47% of females use it. I guess that makes it a little easier for us girls; there are more to go around! Also, it is a BILLION dollar industry. Thanks to the services that charge a subscription fee; it has surpassed the porn industry. Anonymity pays, doesn't it?

There are plenty of sites, like the popular ones; match.com, eharmony.com, chemistry.com, etc. that will require a questionnaire. eharmony.com especially has the questionnaire that has a total of 400 questions. Obviously, it's sole purpose is to find that person that you will complement the best. Now, if you're looking for the person for right now and not someone you want to move in with right away, save that for when you are ready. It's a very tedious process that yes, they will do the work for you based on their algorithms and their compatibility scales. But it has to be done on your terms and if you're ready to settle down.

Now, there are THOUSANDS of free sites, for gay and straight. Okcupid.com has their own measure of compatibility, and it's free! It's not as tedious, but they do ask some questions that measure the same things as eharmony, but not as in depth. It's a great way to meet people in your area, and with social networking, you can look them up.

Okay, I know. Linsay, there's that Catfish show on MTV. What if that happens to me? I went to their Facebook, and everything seemed to make sense, blah blah blah. Yes, I've seen the show. It's entertaining nonetheless, but the "victims" did it to themselves. The problem that lies therein is their inability to question who the person on the other side is. Anyone can make a fake profile on Facebook. It's all about the signs. One way that I make sure to check out is to see if they have any mutual friends. That is also helpful if this is a situation when a friend of a friend knows someone who is single and they heard you are too. If they know someone that you know, then it gives you a chance to contact that friend and see what they say. It maybe a little stalkerish, but it's important to know who you're talking to. That way your heart isn't crushed when Nev and Max get ahold of your story, drive across country to find out that person who you were in love with for the last year weren't who they said they were. It's embarrassing.

Do the homework yourself. Don't depend on a TV show from MTV of all places to do the work you should've been doing in the first place. People LIE. All the time. If it looks and smell fishy, then it probably is. Trust those red flags and do your research. It's about your safety, and sparing you a broken heart.

I'm not saying that you should stalk the hell out of the person and not trust any word they say. What I am saying is keep your eye out for those red flags. Those red flags happen moreso in long distance relationships than those that occur in the same city. If those red flags are showing up when you guys have every opportunity to meet, then trust your gut and get out. It's not worth it.

10% of online daters are scammers. I know that's a small number, but they are out there. This occurs, I would guess, on craigslist more than anywhere else. Now, craigslist is extremely tricky. Scammers LOVE craigslist because of its anonymity, and inability to be traced. The website has a warning itself about the signs of a scammer so I won't go into detail too much, but they run rampant. It's disgusting that they'll even trick people looking for jobs by asking for credit information, address, and all sorts of information that other employers NEVER EVER ASK. If you're looking for casual encounters, or even platonic situations, they have a place for it. Scammers are hidden in there too, so just be smart about it. There have been movies about people luring others on craigslist and they end up murdered. So yeah, if that scares you, then I would look elsewhere. Be careful, cautious, and aware.

Have a complete profile. People have a tendency to avoid vagueness, so they will pass your profile right up if they don't take something from your profile. So try to fill out everything you can. Don't write novels about yourself. Keep it concise. It's a dating resume'; people don't want to have to read pages and pages if it can be summed up with one sentence.

Upload nice pictures of yourself. Do not upload pictures of your cars, trucks, or anything that involves an inanimate object unless you are in the picture with it. First impressions are A HUGE DEAL in online dating. AND GIRLS; class it up, please. The kind of pictures you upload are going to be relative to the kinds of people who want to get in touch with you. If you have gorgeous abs and you want to show them off, that's fine. I'm all about flaunting what you have. There is a way to do that without looking skanky. Fit girls are a huge hit right now, and you're almost guaranteed a response. Show that off with some dignity.

Honesty. I'm sure I preached this one already. Just be honest. The kind of people you want in your life if you are looking to settle down are the ones that stick around when you reveal those dark parts about you; which that openness should develop later in the relationship. Don't dump all that onto the person the first time you engage in conversation. White lies can snowball out of control. Clearly, as I thoroughly explained in the Catfish rant.

Politics, religion, and finances. Do not even mention anything about these. Conversation ruiner. Unless you know for a fact that you are both Christians (ChristianMingle.com anyone?), leave everything else out until a later time. This is a huge no-no for getting to know someone in the initial stage.

If things work out and you two decide to meet for the first time, meet in a public place. Or bring a friend for moral support. Do not meet them at their apartment alone. Or anywhere sketchy. Being comfortable and safe is always number one, so take appropriate steps to meeting a stranger. If they like you, they will understand. Friends make it easier as well since they can get a glimpse at who you've been talking to, and they can take part in the process. If they are coming from across the country, make travel arrangements. Only do this if everything and I mean EVERYTHING checks out. If you're one that's traveling, try to make it a friends' vacation or a road trip.

SO! I definitely went crazy on this topic. Just like anything else in this world, it can be fun as long as it's used right. To sum up my tips:


  • Be aware of the red flags. Do not ignore them. If you think someone isn't right, do your research.
  • Be succinct with your profile. It's a resume', not an autobiography.
  • Upload pictures of yourself, and make sure they're all different in some way. Flaunt what you have, but keep the rest as a mystery. 
  • Be honest. Choose topics carefully, and don't unload everything you've done wrong to the person you're talking to. They are not your therapist.
  • Do not bring up politics, religion, or how much money you make until you've developed a solid foundation. Those are things that can be talked about once you get to know each other.
  • When meeting in person, it's all about safety. Meet in a public place like a mall, and being some friends for moral support along. 
Hope this helps! Online dating is definitely funsies. It's really about your safety and what you are comfortable with. It can be a wonderful experience, and it's very possible you will meet the person you've been looking for your entire life. Or someone to just have casual sex with. Whatever your preference, be smart about it. 

From Linsay with Love :)


Sources:
http://www.statisticbrain.com/online-dating-statistics/
http://www.romancerealitycheck.com/stats.htm

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Being single does not mean being lonely.

Wow! I didn't realize how much time had gone by since my first post. I guess if I want more page views, I have to give the people what they want, yes? Yes.

This has been on my mind lately. It seems as though everyone around you has a significant other, except you. Which can, in turn, make you feel like you aren't good enough. In reality, it can mean two things. One, the right person hasn't crossed your path yet, or they might be right under your nose but you aren't ready to acknowledge it. The second one is more prone to happen to those guys that come out of what's called the "friendzone", which simply means a guy that you only see as a friend and nothing else. However, in many cases, that guy is the one that is there for you when you're crying about another guy who really isn't for you. They do almost if not all of the work that a boyfriend would do, but they're only considered a friend.

First thing. It's okay to not know what you want at this moment. It's fine to shop around, figure out what works for you, and move on to the next one. Taste in others will change as you mature and experience different types of men. So try as many as you like! The downside; it's common for others to criticize. Guess what? It is none of their cotton-pickin' business what YOU choose to do with YOUR life. End of story. You will be much happier if you see what's available rather than settling.

Next. Online dating has exponentially increased in the last decade or so. There is something about the Internet that allows us to come out of our shell and talk to guys we would NEVER approach in a public setting. There are some sites that match you based on personality, interests, location, and other factors. Common interests are always a hit, and online dating lets you kind of shop around and see those guys that are shy and looking for someone special. I will probably come out with a separate post about online dating, the numbers, and the downsides. For now, I am saying that it is a way to put yourself out there and shop around for a guy that might like Doctor Who just as much as you do.

Marriage isn't a ticking clock. Your best friend might be in a marriage that is blissful and wonderful, but that does not mean it would work the same for you. And there also isn't a rush. The wedding is often glamourized when it's just one day out of your entire life. It's merely a tradition. Marriage is every day after that. EVERY SINGLE DAY. It is something that seriously cannot be taken lightly. We are already at an alarming divorce rate, and less people are getting married for various reasons (I will get into them at a later blog.) It isn't a race to see who can get married first. If you feel that you have a successful relationship and it's a feasible next step, then go for it. Do it for the right reasons.

It all comes down to enjoying yourself and not settling for one that isn't right for you. It does not mean that you're lonely or inadequate. You're waiting for the one that will come when you're ready! Love happens when you're ready, and when you least expect it. Happiness is a state of being as opposed to being a race that you must win. Take your time, and enjoy what's in front of you.

Til next time!

From Linsay with Love :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

L is for...

Happy Tuesday. And yay for my first relevant blog post!

I want to start off with giving my own definition and opinion on love, and what it doesn't mean. It can be used as an excuse or a get a jail free card and it is SO not that.

Love obviously has different meanings, and they all are about the same. There is not one simple definition. It is most definitely multi-faceted, and is never something that should be taken lightly. I will be the first to tell you that I do not, and will not ever, believe in love at first sight. I think it's more of a "I think that person is attractive, and I could love them" situation rather than "Yes, I love them and everything about them." I mean, really. Love is something that takes time. You have to get to know someone, point blank. We are a billion different things that come together to make us whole and human, and you cannot ascertain all those things in one simple glance.

Here is what love is not:

1. Love is not an excuse to get hurt. It is a choice to make yourself vulnerable to someone else as they look into a being that not everyone gets to see. Is there a risk? Of course there is. That is part of the reason it makes it so thrilling, because there is always that chance that you might let someone in and it doesn't turn out the way you plan. But don't misunderstand what I'm saying. Everyone gets hurt at some point. It's part of the game, and you have a choice to play.

2. Love is never, ever a reason to control or restrict someone. Like I said, there is always that risk of getting hurt. That insecurity can be so powerful that it causes one to emotionally manipulate and control the one they love because simply, they can. This can lead to violence, and that is absolutely NEVER okay. It's okay to be weak and admit, but never okay to resort to violence to show your power. It doesn't work that way.

Out with negative, in with the positive.

Love yourself first. Once you're able to accept that you are you and no one can take that away from you, others will love you. This is imperative for having healthy relationships. Loving yourself is the first thing to strive for before you allow others in. Baggage is unattractive, and it's not our job to fix you. Deal with you first, accept what you cannot change, make peace and love those things. Others will find their way in.

Love is honesty. If there is something that you need to say, the sooner the better. Time that you allow to pass causes that wound to go deeper and deeper, and truth serves as the salt in that wound. Do yourself a favor, and let the truth set you free. I will touch on things that can be difficult to be honest about at a later blog. For all intents and purposes, honesty is important for both of you.

Love is respect. This is a close second. If you respect someone, you're honest with them. The least you can do for any human being that already respects you is to reciprocate it.

Love is vulnerable. It can be difficult to let someone in to everything you are insecure about, and everything you like/dislike, and those moments when you don't feel your best. That moment when you're able to walk around with no make up, yoga pants, and no bra, you probably love him. It's a good step to reach comfortable levels.

We are all capable of love, and it's a feeling like no other. Once all those things are satisfied, you get to experience the fun stuff which I get to dive deeper into as we move further.

Glad you stopped by. Subscribe!

From Linsay with Love :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Welcome, nice to have you.

Hey there. This is my first post to kind of put myself out there, and explain what my objective is in terms of how I want this blog to be perceived.

I'm not a professional just yet, but I do have the best of intentions. To help others see things in another light. Relationships are hard work, and I will touch on everything from marriage, divorce, sex, infidelity (emotional and physical), children, and relationships in general. It can be a very complex issue when other factors are brought in, and I'm here to help you work through those factors.

Each one of my blogs will explore different issues. I will explore how I view them, as well as society and how history has viewed them. History and tradition play a massive role in how we view relationships today.

Now, I am exploring the conventional and the most common. I can promise that I will do my research regarding the more extreme forms of relationships, such as homosexuality, transgender, BDSM, fetishes, and anything else I can be leaving out. I am open to questions, feedback, and suggestions. I am always learning about the world around me, and I encourage all to fill me in on what's going on and how you're feeling.

I am so excited about starting this. Please, comments are appreciated as well as your subscriptions. My first relevant post should be published here soon, so stay tuned.

From Linsay with love. :)