I’m a grown up now. Kind of.

So… I realize it’s now June, and therefore a few months since I’ve posted anything that I wrote myself and didn’t drag out of my male contributor… Whose last post’s poll only got ONE response by the way. I’m looking at you. All of you. Because I know more than one person read it and I’m pretty sure that one person who responded was my BOYFRIEND who did it out of pity and not because he wants to know how to tell if a guy is a douchebag.

I’ve been crazy busy on the one hand, which isn’t much of an excuse because we all have. Graduating, moving back home, getting a job and an internship, and getting ready for (real) life. I’ve also just had really unfortunate timing. Words always come to me when I’m in inconvenient places. Like meijer. or in the shower. Then by the time I get to my laptop I’m either too tired or have forgotten the eloquent prose (ha) that so beautifully came to me.

I guess you’re just going to have to settle for the non-prose version.

I feel like I’m on a roller coaster ride of emotions- some days I am SO happy with my life: college graduate, job with awesome kiddos, awesome boyfriend who I’ll probably get engaged to within the next 2 years (PRESSURE. haha, I can’t help it… I’m in the wedding  business now with my internship- it’s hard not to start planning my own! Sorry T! I love you!), said mentioned wedding internship, back home where it just feels oh so right to be right now, loving family who accepts and supports me no matter what, etc. I am a very lucky girl. Other days I have a complete meltdown because I’m worried I made a big mistake in my career path and should’ve just gone to school to be a lawyer or nurse or something. First world problems, I realize, when you take a step back and look at it. How are you guys dealing with graduation (for those of you who have graduated)?

There was a point right after I found out I got my internship though when I got especially worried- worried that something would go very very wrong soon. Why? Because it usually has. To round up the pity party, there has been many occasions in my life growing up where things would seem to be awesome for 5 seconds until they weren’t. Super cute guy likes you? Jk he has a girlfriend. Wow, these girls are awesome and seem to get me… JK they talk about you behind your back and secretly hate you. It’s your senior year and theatre is your life and you’ve worked your butt off for four years so you think you finally have a shot at a non-chorus role in the school musical? HA. Don’t even get me started.

I came up with this theory in high school: Out of the three things I wanted/needed most in life- best friends, involvement in something I feel passionate about (whether a school play, job, or something else), and a positive relationship with a boy, I could only ever have two, at most. The two years between my junior year of high school and my freshman year of college I swiveled between the three at a sickening pace. I would say that I am the closest right now that I have ever been, and I am so grateful and thankful for that.

I am also thankful that I have got a hold on my rOCD (you can read more about what that is here: http://relationshipocd.com, if you guys want I can do a whole blog post about my experience with rOCD sometime) and am now able to see T for what he is- a wonderful, wonderful man. I am so glad you guys got to go on that journey, at least a little bit, with me and I can stand here today and say I made it. Not every day is a good day, but thanks to positive/realistic thinking, and the journey that I took to get here I can say that the bad days are few and far in between. I have confronted my demons and relationship fears, something we all have to do at some point. I have realized that a boyfriend is a person, and therefore a human, like myself, and not perfect. I have realigned my expectations for what I NEED a boyfriend/future husband to be and not what I WANT him to be and I am so excited for my future with T. 🙂

I realize this post probably wasn’t very interesting, so I will try to work on something better for the near future, but at least you have an update now. A big thanks to all of you: for reading hugs & the suburbs and for your encouraging words. Stay tuned for the future. 🙂

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The ONE thing that you need to know

The worst thing that can happen to your relationship is to follow relationship advice.

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Why?

because all of it is a lie. Including mine.

Because, guess what? All relationships are different. No one else will ever love someone like you love your family. No one else will love their children like you love yours. And no one else’s love will be the same love that you have with your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, or best friend. There is no one perfect formula: take a half cup man plus a quarter cup woman and stir. Put it in the oven and in 20 minutes you will have a relationship. Some relationships need cinnamon, some need more flour, and some may even need a heaping ton of salt. Something that we all need to realize is: no one else is in your relationship besides you and your partner.

Okay, so I’m not going to say that if your parents and friends hate them then it’s totally not a warning sign and he’s a great guy- because that probably would be a lie. But all the advice columns… all the people bitter because of a broken heart or defensive of their own choices are not going to make the right decision for you. I could drive myself crazy reading all the things from A) the people who are single and are mad because they haven’t found someone yet OR watched their relationship crash and burn, or, B) the people who married young/fast/whatever and feel the need to tell everyone else IT IS OK AND I AM SO HAPPY AHH.

if you are the above: I have no problem with you, I am happy for you either way- Yay you’re single and that is awesome- freedom and nights out and independence, oh my! and if you are married- lucky you, you found your best friend who you wanna live with and that’s fantastic. 🙂 It’s just hard when these people think “their” way is the BEST and ONLY way. I guess this should be no surprise, us as human beings do this all the time. But it’s really confusing if you’re somewhere in the middle. I look at the single people and am like “well, I’m not single.” The very, uh, passionate ones believe your 20’s and college years are for hooking up, traveling the world on a whim, and that being married or in a relationship is the worst possible thing you could do to yourself. The married ones are all “I got married to my high school sweetheart and we are super happy! Why wait?”

sooo…. one group of society tells me I’m living my life wrong and will regret it because I didn’t date a string of men (not that that’s wrong if that’s what you want- live your life girl! it’s just not the choice for me.) and the other half tells me I should be married already because if i’m not ready then it’s not right. So what are we supposed to do? is there a right choice for anyone? Should we all run around like chicken’s with our heads cut off securing our MRS. degrees or should we break off a great relationship just so we can explore? There is no one right answer for everyone. No one-size-fits-all. But there is something that IS true.

If I could tell everyone in the whole world one thing?

It would be that love is not expendable.

We’ve got to stop treating it like it is.

You cannot buy love- you can’t get it on a computer screen, late at night on a X-rated site and you can’t find it in a prostitute. It’s not love they’re selling. A man whose wife is from an arranged marriage does not necessarily have her heart- just her company.

Love can be made at any point and any time, and we’re not going to run out of it like we might for our natural resources. But it’s not something that you can plainly see. If you think too deeply about it, it becomes confusing about what it actually is. Chemicals? Friendship on fire? Hormones? Whether you call the most powerful being God, Allah, Buddha, or cosmic karma, you can not argue that the common connection between all of us is LOVE. Love is the thing that is present everywhere- seeking, searching, finding, giving, and never taking. You don’t give up on true love. Or at least, you shouldn’t.

Your family, your children, and your spouse… these are the things that we should love and cherish above all else. Because they give us love and need ours in return.

Everyone is different. There is a “right” path for everyone to choose for themselves… So don’t be afraid to defy the social norm, go after what you want, marry your best friend, chase your dreams, or marry your best friend WHILE chasing your dreams. But please.. don’t listen to me. Decide for yourself.

 

5 things you deserve

Hey everyone,

So I’ve been growing so anxious lately in anticipation of graduation and sick of the never ending winter, and I realized I haven’t written in a while. Which is sad, because two of my best friends have recently begun seeing guys and I, of course, have been living vicariously through them as I’ve been off the market for a while. I felt the butterflies when they first told us about him, I was heartbroken with them when they were disappointed, and I cheered when my friend told me things were official. This all got me to thinking about the things we DO deserve in any kind of relationship- whether it’s a boyfriend or a husband-to-be. I’ve talked so much lately about how too many people want the “perfect” man and have too high of expectations. But the real problem lies in the things that we’re willing to accept instead- the lacking commitment, the talking to other women, etc. So here’s what you DO deserve, and need:

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  1. Excitement

Every person deserves excitement. Whether it’s butterflies, joy that a friendship is turning into something more, hopefulness for the future, etc. I’m not saying you have to be over the moon every second- because sometimes things start off slower, but I once tried to make things happen with a guy who was clearly nothing more than a friend to me. I wasn’t feeling it, and therefore wasn’t excited- to see him, for the future, and to make things official.

When is it a bad sign? Your butterflies are more like ulcers. I had this happen to me with a guy before and it wasn’t pretty. I thought that was how it was supposed to be. I thought that not being able to eat when I thought about him was normal. Um… no. probably not. especially for someone who loves food as much as I do. It was anxiety and nerves because he was talking to other girls and wasn’t really mine. and it drove me crazy, for years, sadly.

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2. Laughter

I know this is such a cliche thing to say, but he needs to be able to make you laugh. I don’t care if you’re a serious type, you can’t tell me you never laugh. He doesn’t need to be a comedian or a total goofball, but you need to be able to see the humor in life. It makes things so much easier when you can laugh together. Those who laugh together love harder, feel better, and hold fewer grudges. Ok, I just made that up, but it’s probably true.

when is it a warning sign? When you are forcing your laughs. When you WANT to find him funny because you like him so darn much. When he laughs AT you when you make a mistake or do something less than bright. Seems obvious, I know, but so many people ignore this. Your partner should not be a bully. Besides, don’t you think it’ll be so much better when your future baby keeps you up all night (assuming that’s what you want) and you can both laugh about it in the morning when you fall asleep in your cheerios instead of fighting about who did more?

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3. Commitment

This is a tricky one. It may seem like I’m being captain obvious here, but if the person you like/love/whatever is willing and wanting to commit to you- whether by not seeing any other people, by becoming facebook official, giving you a promise ring, engagement, etc. there is so much more hope and security in your relationship. I have much personal experience with this. Before I met T, I never had an official boyfriend. But did I go on dates? Yup. Was I sort of kind of seeing people? Yup. (not at the same time, calm down). And every. single. time. I made the same vital flaw. I avoided having the “what are we” talks. Well, not so much avoided, but I never seemed to notice that these talks were always missing. The guys never really brought it up. My favorite (in a sarcastic, he disgusts me kind of “favorite”) is a guy who was I was seeing right before I met T. This guy had just gotten out of a long term relationship, but I thought that the rebound period was over. He promised me one night that he would “never hurt me” after an emotional moment of me telling him about the guy that broke my heart so badly. Then, ladies and gentlemen, he pinky shook. He pinky promised me he would never hurt me. So cheesy, so weird. At the time I was like “uhhh unless you marry me right now, which I don’t even want, there is no way you can promise that.” and I was right. A few weeks later he asked another girl to be his girlfriend. AND THEY ARE STILL DATING TO THIS DAY. sickening right? bleh. And the guy before him? The one I told him about? There were so many moments when I could have asked him to clarify the situation, but I didn’t. I was afraid. Afraid that he would run, afraid that the answer would be no. So instead I did a lot of high school girl cryptic facebook statues and whining to my friends. And what happened? He asked another girl to prom and ended things anyway. My life people. Proof you need to have the talk.. even if it’s hard. Please save yourself from finding stuff out like I did. I don’t care what excuse he gives, if you’ve been dating for a while, he knows where it’s going, whether he lets you in on it or not.

sorry for the rant.

moving on.

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4. Trust

A lot of good relationship books suggest you narrow your impossible mr. right list down to 3-5 things of MUST-HAVES. I think that trust must be one of those. Kailey 5 years ago would never have thought to include that on a dream man list, and that’s so naive. There are some things that are just non-negotiable. Some things that if you don’t have, the relationship will never work out, no matter what. My five things are 1. Trust  2. Wants Kids/would make a good dad  3. Financially stable (doesn’t have to be a millionaire, but I prefer he doesn’t make $7.40 an hour at mickey d’s part time)  4. Makes me laugh  5. Patient

I strongly suggest everyone (men and women) reconsider the things that truly matter to them. These are the dealbreakers and they are important to know. I never understood how people can marry someone who doesn’t want kids when they very clearly do (hello grey’s anatomy), clearly this is going to be a problem somewhere down the line.

so um. what were we talking about here? Oh yeah, trust. Make sure you know he wouldn’t lie to you. I know in the deepest part of my heart that T would never intentionally (or unintentionally actually. he really is that good of a guy) hurt me and will never cheat on me. And that means a whole heck of a lot.

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5. Effort

He doesn’t need to make you breakfast in bed every day or propose to you in a huge elaborate choreographed routine in public (in fact, he probably shouldn’t. Am I the only one who the thought of that makes me cringe? Sorry, I like privacy. A few close friends and family TOPS when my day comes. Or alone. That’s all I ask.)

So what should he do? He should make the effort to see how you are doing, ask about your day, ask questions, pay attention. He should make sure you get to your car safely, ask if you want anything to drink at his house, and maybe dress in your favorite shirt now and then. T wears the cologne I got him because he knows I like it. He asks for my opinion on date outfits. In the past he has surprised me on separate occasions with arnold palmer ice tea, popcorn and chocolate (I eat it together sometimes), and flowers. This doesn’t need to be every day and they don’t need to be store-bought things. I leave him little notes every where- from under his pillow, to the notes section on his phone, to between the pages of a book. It’s my way of reminding him that I love him. He wrote me a letter and put it on my car before to surprise me. (I though I got a ticket for a second coming out of work. yikes. haha)

Your guy (or gal) should make you feel loved and special. Even the littlest things, like holding your hand in public and offering to carry her coat mean a lot.

That’s all I have for today… Love your loved ones, pet your dogs, and stay warm as the never-ceasing winter continues.

 

When things get messy: first dates, anniversaries, and everything in between.

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I often find myself wondering about the blurred lines in modern day relationships. Back in the day, Dick and Jane dated, then were “going steady,” and then got married. But here in the 2000’s things have gotten a lot more complicated. What constitutes a date-Someone asking you to dinner? But what if it’s lunch? Does that mean you’re just friends? 

How do you know whether a get together is just “hanging out” or a real live first date? Are there requirements? T and I to this day don’t really know whether to count the time we met at Biggby’s for coffee or when we went to the zoo. When you’re hanging out in groups or with friends before things get serious  it can be hard to make the distinction. In high school, I dated, but I never had a boyfriend. I also think that half of the time I thought I was on a date when I probably wasn’t, and other times, like my junior prom, I didn’t realize it was something more until the guy started calling me “hun.” There also was the time when the guy I was head over heels for senior year asked me out to lunch and we ended up going to olive garden where he paid. Was that a date? If I experienced the same thing now I would’ve say yes, but back then I wasn’t so sure.

The rules of timing are another thing. How do you keep track of the amount of time you’ve been dating? Many couples celebrate their monthly anniversaries, but that pretty much makes me gag. Plus after you pass the 1 year mark it pretty much seems pointless. 

And then things get trickier: if you break up. This is the thing everyone wonders about but never really talks about. It’s taboo. If you break up and get back together, do you start over? Does the clock reset to day one? I used to be one of the scoffers. I had a friend who dated a guy for a year or two, then broke up with him for several months, then got back together and a month later stated that they were celebrating 2 years together. I was like “uhhh, except you broke up…..” However, once I experienced this phenomenon for myself I felt quite differently. Most of you know that T and I broke up for about a month last spring, and yet I still would say that we’ve been together 2 1/2 years next month. Is this wrong of me? There is so much history, so much that went on, that I feel we can’t just go back to zero. That and we texted each other almost the entire time we were broken up- I don’t think we really understood the concept. I’m also not giving up august 22nd because that was the day that for the first time in my life, I wasn’t single anymore. So I guess it’s up to you. People may judge, but I would feel silly after 2 years being like “we’re celebrating our 3 month.” I mean….. really. 

Maybe things would be easier if there was a universal relationship rule book… Something I could live my life by, and that would put all of us on the same page. Perhaps we’re all just navigating the dating trenches untrained and without bulletproof vests, and even though it’s scary, at least we’re not alone.

How do you know?

I hate hate HATE when people say “when you know, you know.”

I made plans to write about this wretched saying a while ago, but then all of a sudden christmas season happened and people were getting engaged left and right and this happened and I could no longer stay in my uncertain editing period. I’ve tried not to hurt anyone’s feelings, so I’m sorry if I do. But it’s just going to get kind of controversial in this post. Brace yourselves.

Also I thought I’d illustrate my feelings with gifs to make it more fun for everyone.

SOOOO this happens often:

acquaintance: “They dated for a month and now they’re engaged, but I guess when you know, you know.”

me:

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It is probably one of my biggest pet peeves ever. Especially because it is a phrase practically coined by the too-young and the too-restless and the get-engaged-far-to-fast. I don’t know if it’s my young age, or my non-existent boyfriends before T (he is my first “official” although long-term boyfriend… you can read our story here if this is your first time on my page), but there is no way I would say yes to a guy after 4 or 5 months. I was and never will be ready to make that level of commitment after such a short amount of time. After all, it’s been proven that the chemicals in our brain are what give us the happy-go-lucky feeling of being in “love.”

After reading multiple articles and learning about the process in many of my courses I have learned the following:

The extreme high we get (butterflies, giddiness, sweaty palms) can last between a few months to about 6 months. It depends on the relationship.

The “feelings” of being in love last from between 6 months to 2 years. After 2 years there is a definite drop. 

Although we’re sometimes sad when we start feeling more comfortable and less like we’re on cloud 9, it’s actually quite normal and healthy. Think of what it would be like to stay in that state the rest of your life! They’d be all “hey babe, gonna run to the store, see you later” and you’d be all

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You wouldn’t be able to focus on anything, you would always be nervous when first seeing them, probably lose sleep, and never fully have an appetite (these were my symptoms, always have been. They vary from person to person though). You also would never get the chance to grow into a deeper more fulfilling love relationship with your partner before tying yourself to them forever. Having that comfort, security, and sense of home with T is something I love and would not give up for anything.

I have also read multiple articles about how after two years the relationship becomes more “real.” You stop seeing the person as perfect and the real flaws in the other person and the relationship come out. This may be the make it or break it point in many couple’s relationships. So if according to science this is when you realize actual compatibility….

What if you are married before 2 years of dating?

If you embrace it, work hard at it, etc, you can save your marriage and become stronger. But what if you realize that hey, this person isn’t actually right for me… we were just really attracted to each other. Then what? What if, at the deepest parts of you- you aren’t compatible or don’t have the same goals?

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That’s all I wanna know. But anyway. The point of this was to stand up for those of us in the 5% (*made up statistic) of 20-23 year olds who are simply dating. Because we actually end up feeling pressured, being judged , or feeling left out for both not being engaged AND not being single. My best friends are all single, and so much of college culture nowadays is about how being single rocks. And it does! and there is nothing wrong with it- I am all for strong independent women (and men). We don’t need a man (or woman). I don’t need a man- but I want one. I want T because he’s my best friend and my boyfriend. Can I still be a strong woman and date him? Yes, I believe I can.

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Somehow in between my high school classmates getting ready to go down the aisle and my friends who are out looking for guys I don’t quite know where I fit in. I don’t know who started the pact that said “everyone! quick! get engaged!” but it was made. I would have never known senior year of high school who would be a) engaged, b) married, or c) parents by now.

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I guess the objection I have is when people treat marriage like a passing fancy instead of something that is meant to last. I am SO for the institution of marriage, I think the idea of tying yourself to another person for life is a journey that will have many ups and downs but will be incredibly rewarding. In a culture where Kim Kardashian can get married and divorced in little over a two month period, I think people are far too quick to jump into the festivities. (another example of this)

So in conclusion, I hate when these people defend their hasty engagement by saying “when you know you know!” …It’s like they are implying that they somehow hold the secret to all dating mysteries and are simply superior to the rest of us. How do they “know”? What does that even mean? That a magical dating fairy flew down and told them? Because I know for the rest of us it’s not always easy. Especially if you are paranoid, anxiety prone, and neurotic like I am. So, just because I’m not engaged it means I don’t love my boyfriend or he isn’t the one? because I do love him, and I can see us spending the rest of our lives together. So, in the grand scheme of things, are a few more years going to hurt? NO. I’d argue it’s helping- helping us conquer our issues, grow as a couple, and ready ourselves to become a couple forever.

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I knew T was perfect for me when he held me down to pull a glass splinter out of my foot. I kicked and whined but he held me down and pulled it out. Because he cares about me. I don’t know very many people that would get that up close and personal with my feet. I know that’s silly, and seemingly not a big deal, but it is- it really is. Would you rather your husband buy you flashy things or be willing to take care of you, even when you’re not at your most glamorous? Bling is pretty, but it won’t keep you from losing your foot.

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and neither will ring pops. Sorry.

There’s little things, all the time, that make me know how much I love him. Most of them aren’t even romantic at all in the sense that they don’t look like what we think of when we think of romance, but they are. They are sweet sweet moments where I want to cling to him like a adorable spider monkey and yell “MINE!” (ok, I actually do this. Sorry T.)

Maybe it’s ok if you don’t awaken in the night and gaze at their sleeping face and realize they will be yours forever. And it’s ok if by the second date you don’t hear wedding bells. Maybe we never know for sure (besides you magical unicorns)… We just love the people we love and life happens. Perhaps it’s not one big defining moment when you “know,” but a lot of little things.

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5 second rule

You and your friend are eating pretzels while standing at the kitchen counter when you accidentally drop one on the floor. “five second rule!” you blab and reach down to pick it up.

When people claim this piece of folklore it’s not because they actually believe it, it’s to prevent other people from judging them. If you drop a pretzel on the floor you might continue to eat it, despite the fact that it’s now potentially contaminated. So what about dating?

If we’re not sure where someone else’s heart has been- should we take the risk of biting into the relationship? 

We know the risk of germs, that the dog licked the floor, and there’s dirt from our shoes- but I guess we think that if you can’t see it, it’s not there. Or maybe we don’t want to think about it. Is it the same with people? People don’t literally walk around with their hearts on their sleeves- “dated Jenny, broke up with Karly, has a crush on Lucy.” 

But what if they did? Would we still take the chance? If reminded of the lurking germs right before… Would it stop you? Probably. But it would only be to save face… to keep to social standards. So often we ignore people’s pasts in hopes of becoming part of their future. We want to believe that somehow their germs aren’t going to hurt us and that if we pretend it’s ok it will be. Maybe we’re too scared to know the truth, or maybe we know that if we really knew the dirt on everyone there’d be no one left to date. Maybe it’s ok to have rules, rules to make us feel safe. After all, most of us are the dropped pretzels of the world to other people. 

Maybe we’re all just waiting for the right person to pick us up out of the grimy backgrounds we came from. Find someone who cares enough and isn’t going to throw us away, despite the baggage that comes with us. That’s all anybody wants, isn’t it? 

 

Teaser

So before I start:

a) redoing the art project I did wrong

b) studying for an exam tomorrow

c) typing up the summary of the guest lecture I had to go to tonight

d) crying

I wanted to post an update, because yes, I realize I haven’t posted all freakin’ semester. I wanted to, I really did. In fact, I have about 5 or 6 half written posts saved on my desktop because I would start one and then think it wasn’t good enough or not have time to finish it. This semester I haven’t really had time to do the things that I love and help de-stress me like:

a) blogging

b) running/exercising

c) reading for fun

because I’ve been too busy working (I got a job working with infants at a development center. I love it- LOVE it. I love babies), going to class, doing homework, trying to graduate in the spring, pretending the amount of sleep I get is enough, consuming mass quantities of caffeine, seeing my boyfriend, joining a club, and job hunting for the days when I finally can hold that sweet sweet diploma.

Seeing as I (finally) only have a few weeks left of my fall semester, I thought I’d actually post and let you guys know the dealio. Over christmas break I plan on having spare time (YAY) because I recently quit my summer job that was supposed to carry on as seasonal  because I knew I would hate it, and I thought I deserved one last break before I have to become an adult. Here are some things you can look forward too:

a) a list of the top 5 and worst 5 leading men in rom coms

b) why Mr. Big was Mr. Big Mistake (remember when I said I was going to do that? yeah.)

c) The 10 second rule of love

d) The moment you knew he was the “one”

e) and more that I have yet to come up with.

So, in conclusion, (remember in middle school when the teachers would lecture us about not starting our conclusion with “In conclusion”? I always thought that was crap. They were all “I KNOW it’s your conclusion, you don’t need to say it”and I was all “YOU’RE REQUIRING A CONCLUSION PARAGRAPH, LET ME START IT HOW I WANT.”)

I just realized you can create polls on wordpress… so that’s kinda cool. Please vote to help me improve in the future. 🙂

Anyway, I’m sorry this was boring and merely informative. I send you all my virtual love. Here’s a link to a hilarious live tweet of a random couple breaking up. Most/some of you have probably already seen it.. but I thought it was funny and it brightened my day!

cheers!

Don’t care how, I want it noooooow

Our generation is addicted to “fast.” We crave it, we initiative it, and we keep it going. Without speed, many things in our lives would indeed change, but it shouldn’t bother us as much as it would. Jimmy john’s delivers freaky fast, internet is “high speed,” and you can even say “I love you” after a few weeks. Why are we so caught up in doing everything as fast as possible? Are we afraid of what might happen if we slow down? 

Is it because, deep down, we’re all afraid of time?

Americans are living longer and the average lifespan is getting older- modern medicine has advanced drastically, and technology increases every day. We have so much more time than our ancestors and yet we insist on cramming as much into it as possible. We drive instead of walk, eat at fast food restaurants, and put on makeup, drink coffee, and talk on the phone while answering e-mails. While we no longer rush to get down the aisle everything between is pressurized. Moving in, physical relationships, and calling them our “boyfriends” are things that the modern women leaps into faster than our Grandmothers did, but with no sure prospect of marriage. We rush our feelings, then second guess ourselves if we don’t think we’re feeling “right.” We are fast to break up with a guy if he doesn’t completely match our expectations because we fear the time, work, and effort that a real relationship entails. So, instead, we move from man to man, moving so fast as if to guard our hearts, and our fast paced lives. 

I just got back from spending a week up north for my annual vacation with my family. I did something I hadn’t done in a while- I stopped. I read a book, ran, and lay out by the water and simply watched the clouds. I just… existed. After I got over the initial shock and panic of not having an immediate project to tackle, I liked it. My thoughts settled, my mind cleared, and I remembered what it was like to be still. To appreciate nature. I think if more people did this more often the world be a more peaceful place. 

Have modern day young adults lost their sense of peace? Have we sacrificed it in exchange for the “fast”? Our generation has grown up with the creation of the internet, ipods, and touch screens and it’s no secret that we’re very different from generations before us. I can’t help but wonder- why can’t we wait? Why must everything be right now? We know making a home cooked meal is better for us than that processed stuff that comes ready made… But we aren’t willing to put the effort in, even if it is worth it. 

Which brings to me pose this question: When it comes to young love, are we settling for the pop-tarts of relationships? 

love should come with a road map & relationships with a travel guide

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The other day I made T a friendship bracelet. I’d made him a similar one at work last summer and he wore it until it broke. As I sat there tying the little blue and green strings into knots I couldn’t help but remember when I’d made one for a different boy. Remembering how naive and hopeful I’d been, so inexperienced when it came to dating. I remember I’d made it his favorite color and he’d “forgotten” it in my basement. That should’ve been a sign. Especially when I ran out to his car to give it to him and he just shrugged and gave me a look. At the time I hadn’t thought twice about that moment, but now it lives in my memory as a missed indicator that something was wrong.

I couldn’t help but wonder… do we accept and ignore things in our dating relationships that we would never put up with in our platonic friendships? Do we push little tell-tale signs aside because we have a crush? And is that really good for us? What about our intuition, our gut, our instincts… where do those go? There’s times when a girl really needs a little red blinking sign in her head that says something like “danger, entering rocky relationship ahead” or “caution. sketchy dude.” When you are in deep infatuation with a person, those little signals all seem to hit the high road. But why? Isn’t that when we need it most? It isn’t until we’re flat on our butts with the air knocked out of us that we realize we’ve missed all the signs. Is it part of the experience of having a crush… or do we do it to ourselves? If it’s inevitable that your crush is going to crush you, is it possible that we don’t really want to know?

It may be true that things aren’t always so black and white. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what the problem is, because the problem isn’t visible. And perhaps there doesn’t appear to be one to an outsider, but you know it’s there. Throughout my life there’s been times when I’ve been seeing a guy or talking to a guy and all of a sudden something changes and I can’t shake the feeling that somehow we’ve reached a fork in the road and he went one way and I went another and we can’t go back. But this often occurred when there wasn’t even a relationship to break in the first place: When there was never really anything to begin with, it’s even easier to fall apart. It got me thinking that maybe in these scenarios you and your crush aren’t even compatible at all… Just two people wanting so desperately to find love, companionship, and someone to hold their hand, that we try so hard to fall for the wrong person. I could dream up an ideal world in my head where so many of the men I’ve liked became the perfect boyfriends and we always had stuff to talk about and went on all these fun dates… but in reality, it simply never happened. Even if the guy hadn’t done anything “wrong…”  he hadn’t necessarily done anything “right” either. Sometimes nothing’s wrong, but everything is.

Sometimes our warning signals and wariness finally come out only when we meet a nice guy- as if we don’t believe he could actually be nice, and that somewhere lurking deep down, he’s hoping to make us cry. I was like that with T. After so many years of pining after the bad boys that broke my heart and the too nice guys (you can read my thoughts on too nice guys here) that I had lukewarm feelings for, I had finally met a guy who was the complete package. So what did I do? completely and utterly panicked. Naturally.

If we had met at 15 it would have been a completely different story. All it would’ve taken was a meeting of eyes across a crowded room. But I wasn’t 15 anymore. I carried years of distrust- and finally there it was. My wariness that someone might hurt me. Coming out at the completely wrong time. It was only after I took some time to myself one day to think of all that he had done, all that he was, and all that I knew he could never be that I realized BAM, I had somehow gone through the dating trenches and ended up with a really great guy. How did I do it? I have no effing idea. But that’s the thing that keeps us going, isn’t it? What keeps us believing the lies and the bullshit- we’re hoping against all else, that he’s the one.

Walking Back to the Castle

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I wasn’t sure what and when and if I would say anything about this anytime soon, but here we go…

T and I broke up.

I’m pretty sure those of you who read of my newly single status on facebook were trying to figure out what went wrong because my blog views shot WAY up right afterwards, and I’m not sure how i feel about that. In case you were wondering, my previous post- “the cycle of violence” has nothing to do with this or T. I wrote it a couple of years ago. 

I initiated the break up and it was really really hard. I love him, but haven’t been as happy as I should be in the relationship lately. I already feel like a hypocrite because of my major and my blog and all that I believe about relationships… but I needed to do this right now. We’re both so young and have so many things to experience and people to meet before I can get to the point in my life where I’m ready for that level of commitment. I can still see us ending up together someday, but I don’t know the future. One of us could fall for someone else. I am being selfish, but I strongly believe in being in a good relationship with yourself before you bring someone else into your life. All I ask is that you please try not to make assumptions or judge us because you don’t know the whole story.

I want to take the time now to give a shout out to my best friend B (what is this, gossip girl?) for inspiring the title of this post. She told me the following: “A man and a woman are riding on a horse together, and then they break up. One of them is still on the horse and the other person gets off. Their only option is to walk back to the castle and start over.”

What does this mean for my blog?

I’m not quite sure yet. I still have some pieces that I’d like to share with you soon but I also have a really busy week so I’m not sure when that’ll happen. I also have considered taking a little hiatus from this so I can gather my thoughts privately. We’ll just have to see what’ll happen when I figure stuff out.

Thank you…

To my facebook friends/people who found out through other ways who messaged me or texted me. I felt an overwhelming amount of support and for that I am so grateful. ❤

Ending with cute animals

because adorable pets always make me feel better… here’s some pictures of golden retrievers:

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What Women Actually Want

 

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Hello men!

I told you I was going to devote a post to you, and here it is!

first, I thought we’d start with a picture of jennifer lawrence. 

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 Do I have your attention? 

Good.

So I got the idea of creating a list of helpful hints for men compiled by the real women in my life. I had seen a list on stumbleupon or something of things women wish men knew, and wanted to make my own. So I asked 15 or so of my friends- all college age ladies, of various grades, the things that they look for in a man and the things that are an immediate turn off. They responded generously, and I loved their answers and wording so much that I left them as is for the most part. So without further ado, here they are: 

 

What is something that wins you over immediately? 

  1. I like when guys make engaging eye contact with me, compliment me, and come up with fun original dates.
  2. Nice smile, green eyes
  3. When a guy comes up to me and starts the conversation, and makes me laugh
  4. I love someone who is outgoing and not afraid to be funny or themselves in front of me. In terms of looks I like tall, dark and handsome… preferably military men 😉
  5. I really love if they can keep an engaging conversation on the first date, awkward silences are such a turn off and make me really nervous. I also like guys who are active and do cool things (i.e. roller skates, has a lot of hobbies). Couch potatoes are unattractive.
  6. I really like when the guys actually listen to what I am saying and seemed interested, care about my life and my day, etc.
  7. having a strong religion and faith.
  8. I like when guys find creative ways to have fun on dates, it makes me feel special. Being tall also helps 🙂
  9. a good singer! It’s also important that they have interesting things to say, if they are motivated and intelligent, if they share my political beliefs and some of my hobbies, and if they are interested in things that i’ve never been overly exposed to (like outdoorsy things or something)
  10. A sense of adventure! I get bored super easily so I really appreciate a guy who can think out of the box and always come up with new and exciting places to explore and things to do. Willingness to try anything–doesn’t have to like it, just has to be willing to try it. 
  11. A man who loves to cook and is comfortable enough with his manliness to be romantic.
  12. They must be open-minded, caring, have a sense of humor, creative, and make you a priority. I’m also impressed with intelligence, a man who likes to read, someone who cares about their health but can live too, and someone who is well spoken and can carry a great conversation. 
  13. A guy who is caring and not afraid to have deep talks. Who makes an effort to get to know my friends and introduces me to his friends. A guy who has good goals for his life.
  14. A guy who is not afraid to laugh at himself, and If he can make me laugh that’s great too
  15. a guy who can clean up nice and that will take me out to dinner and even pay for it
  16. I like when guys have blue eyes and a nice smile, for looks. But I like when a guy will come up to me and start the conversation and it helps if they are funny
  17. perfect teeth. Nothing more needs to be said. 

 

What is a thing that guys do that turns you off immediately or puts him in the friend zone?

  1. I really don’t like when guys flirt with other girls in front if me, or completely ignore me when they are with guy friends. I also don’t like when guys say things to make me feel bad about myself purposely.
  2. acting differently in groups of people vs. one on one
  3. Someone who brags constantly and thinks too highly of themselves… confidence can be sexy but cocky is a turn off.
  4. The instant turn off for me is cockiness and super strong opinions with no ability to listen to other opinions.
  5. an instant turn off is being rude, especially if they are not rude around me but then change themselves to be rude and more “manly” around their guy friends
  6. no sense of humor or silliness.
  7. Not noticing when I am feeling down, acting different with different groups of people
  8. if they’re a pothead, really like videogames, if they complain constantly about things that don’t matter, if they believe in a lot of weird conspiracy theories, if they completely cannot dress themselves, if they smell bad, if they just don’t grasp life and all of its wonderful opportunities, if they treat other people unkindly, or if they’re that person at parties who gets embarrassingly drunk and everyone has to watch out for him
  9. If they’re just obsessed with getting laid.
  10. Over-confident/cocky, selfish, close-minded–I also hate guys who treat every interpersonal interaction like a business deal, like “How can I personally benefit from this/what do I get from hanging out with you?” Boys who act like you don’t exist when they’re around their bro friends are also jerks.
  11. not giving you the time of day, rudeness, ignorance, too needy, and just in general being a “jerk”.
  12. A guy who is way too clingy/controlling and guys who smoke and have a reputation of hooking up with a lot of girls
  13. I hate conceded guys. Another big turn off is if he is checking out other girls while with me.
  14. guys who are nerdy and not confident.
  15. Someone who is cocky or is rude, someone who acts differently around their friends, and someone who is not doing anything with their lives.

    _______________________________

    You know what this means, right? I’m going to do one for the women now. So men, I’d love it if you’d message me, comment, text me, or some other form of communication and answer these questions. I have several of you in mind that I’m going to hunt down and ask, so you might as well assume that it’s going to be you, and tell me anyway. It probably won’t be my next post as I already have a few I’ve been working on- late night studying does that to me, but look for it in the near future girls!

Taylor Swift Addicts Anonymous

The senses play a strange role in our emotions and day to day life. The smell of oranges makes me happy because it reminds me florida, I remember exactly what I wore on a date, and when people play with my hair I feel comforted and relaxed. Music, is perhaps the biggest manipulator of my emotions. 

Sometimes all you get out of a relationship, at the end, is a song. One of the guys I dated in the past kept playing a certain song whenever I was around him. That song was so simple, so bittersweet, and in the end.. so horribly sad, that I had to keep it with me.. forever. Listen to it when I needed it most. Turn it on after having a particularly bad night. It would bring me back. Bring me back to my teenage years of innocence and no responsibilities. To being 18, to stolen kisses, and to being reckless with my heart. Songs like that.. they change a person. You’re never quite the same again. 

So for a random turn of pace, I’m going to tell you guys my ultimate relationship playlists- from the beginning to end, and everywhere in between. So before we begin, I want to apologize ahead of time for my extremely main stream tastes, that it’s almost entirely female oriented, and the fact that like 50% of it is Taylor Swift. She’s my go-to. 

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You just met someone new and are falling for him

emotions: happy, elated, in love

Animal – Neon Trees

Begin Again – Taylor Swift

Brighter than the Sun – Colbie Caillat

Enchanted – Taylor Swift

Everything – Michael Buble

Fallin’ for You – Colbie Caillat

Faster – Matt Nathanson

Hey Stephen – Taylor Swift

Honey Bee- Blake Shelton

I Do – Colbie Caillat

I’m yours – Jason Mraz

If you’re wondering if I want you to (I want you to) – Weezer

It Won’t Be Long – Evan Rachel Wood (from across the universe)

Jump then Fall – T Swift

Lucky (feat. colbie caillat) – Jason Mraz

Mine – Taylor Swift

Smile – Uncle Kracker

Stuck Like Glue – Sugarland

Tailor Made – Colbie Caillat

Today was a Fairytale – Taylor Swift

The Way you Love me – Faith Hill
Yellow – Coldplay

You and I – Ingrid Michaelson

You Got Me – Colbie Caillat

1, 2, 3, 4 – Plain White T’s

 

He took someone else to prom, so now you’re pissed

(or other dating mishaps)

emotions: anger, confusion, retaliation

Forever & Always – Taylor Swift

Gives you Hell – The All-American Rejects

Good Riddance (Time of your life) – Green Day

Haunted – Taylor Swift

King of Anything – Sara Bareilles

Never Again – Kelly Clarkson

Picture to Burn – Taylor Swift 

R.I.P. – 3OH!3

So What – Pink

The Story of Us – Taylor Swift (Yes. Again.)

Pray For You – Jaron and the Long Road to Love

Best Days of Your Life – Kellie Pickler

Forget You – Cee Lo Green

I Knew You Were Trouble – Taylor

If I were a boy – Beyonce

Impossible – Shontelle

Thinking of You – Ke$ha

Undo it – Carrie Underwood

 

Sad because you know things will never work, he broke up with you, your heart is breaking

emotions: depression, hopelessness, feeling alone

Half of My Heart – John Mayer

Beautiful Disaster – Kelly Clarkson

Between the Lines – Sara Bereilles

Breakin’ at the Cracks – Colbie Caillat

Bed 42 – Lady Danville 

Jar of Hearts – Cristina Perry

Breathe – Taylor Swift

Cold as You – Taylor Swift

Dreaming with a Broken Heart – John Mayer

A Drop in the Ocean – Ron Pope

Fifteen – Taylor Swift

Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley

Like We Used To – A Rocket to the Moon

Never Say Never – The Fray

The Scientist – Coldplay

This is the Thing – Fink

 

Missing him.

emotions: obvious

I Almost Do – Taylor Swift

Holy Ground – Taylor Swift 

I never told you – Colbie Caillat

I Will Let You Go – Daniel Ahearn

Last Kiss – Taylor Swift

A Little Too Not Over You – David Archuleta 

My Life Would Suck Without You – Kelly Clarkson

One More for Love – Five for Fighting

The One that Got Away – Katy Perry ( feat. B.o.B)

Red – Taylor Swift

Sad Beautiful Tragic – Taylorrrr (duh)

Seasons of Love – Rent

Someone Like You – Adele

Think of Me – Phantom of the Opera

Thinking of You – Katy Perry

Tim Mcgraw – Taylor Swift

The way I loved you – Taylor Swift

Without you – Rent

 

You love being single, love who you are, you realized the past is ok, are an independent woman! (or man?)

emotions: confidence, self-love, enjoying life

I Look So Good (Without You) – Jessie James

Brand New Day – Joshua Radin

Crazy Beautiful Life – Ke$ha

Girls Just Want to Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper (get some 80’s music up in HERE)

Good Life – OneRepublic

I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas

I Like it Like That – Hot Chelle Rae

Little Too Much – Natasha Bedingfield

My Strongest Suit – Aida (don’t judge me. We sang this song in choir.)

New Soul – Yael Naim

Over the Rainbow – Isreal kamakawiwo’ole (my favorite version of this song)

pocketful of sunshine – Natasha Bedingfield (I like to pretend I’m emma stone in Easy A)

Say (All I Need) – OneRepublic

Shadow – Colbie Caillat 

Some Nights – Fun.

Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) – Kelly Clarkson

Take Me Or Leave Me – Rent 

Tomorrow – Annie

Tonight, Tonight – Hot Chelle Rae

Uncharted – Sara Bareilles

Unwritten – Natasha Bedingfield 

Walking on Sunshine – Jump 5

What the Hell – Avril Lavigne 

1000 Ships – Rachel Platten

22 – Taylor Swift

Hope some of these songs help you like they’ve helped me, and that the happy ones make you even more happy. 🙂 I’m not sure what my next post will be about, but I’m thinking it’ll probably be more heavy then what I’ve been posted lately, and also I’m going to try to aim  to my gentlemen readers more since I’ve been neglecting them lately.

Until then, stay clam & study on, because midterms are coming!

Here’s some ryan reynolds to motivate you (sorry men, I’ll find some pretty lady for you sometime): 

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And so it begins….

Photo on 2013-12-31 at 19

Hiya! I’m Kailey!

I’m a junior in college who loves lake michigan, painting, How I met your mother, little kids, musical theatre, and dogs. I’d rather stay home and watch a movie than party, am in a sorority, and am absolutely terrified of spiders, driving on the highway, and Samara from the ring. I have a boyfriend of a year and a half (I’ll refer to him as “T”) who makes me re-fall in love with him every day and puts up with my whiny nonsense more than any boy really should.

So that’s me.

First of all I never realized how confusing the blogging world really is. All I wanted was to start a simple little blog with a cute font or background or something. It’s an understatement to say that I was overwhelmed by the amount of blogging sites, themes, and so forth that I had to pick from. It’s intense out there, I’m not lying.

But anyway.

-Why I’m here: aka “Why I want to be Carrie Bradshaw”-

Sometime during my freshman year at college I developed a love for the television series sex & the city. I watched the movies, TV show, and read the books. People would sometimes make fun of me if I mentioned it because they said the show is all about sex. And I’m not saying it’s not in there in incredibly awkward amounts… but I think they’re missing the point. The show is about relationships. A woman living on her own in New York city forging a way for herself in the world of journalism, while having the time of her life with her best friends, and dating wayyyy too many guys to count. While I can in no way relate to the dating life of a 30 to 40 year old woman living in a metropolitan area, I find her various experiences with love and the way she writes about it fascinating. I also am intrigued by “mr. big”…The guy that carrie lusts after, wants, loves, and deeply cares about but can never seem to make things happen with… until they get married. BOOM. Didn’t see that one coming did you? (Or maybe you did, because you’ve seen the series, or you haven’t and are mad at me for spoiling it. So sorry lovelies!) But I’ll talk more about Mr. Big and all that he represents later, if you stick with me. (did that motivate you? how else shall I bribe you? chocolate? puppies? One of those Japanese chefs who can throw the egg in their hat or the shrimp in their pockets?)

So something else you should know is that I’ve been writing little carrie-like snippets in diaries/on my computer since I was 15 or 16 and didn’t even know about the show. I’ll admit the earlier ones are bad. So bad, I hope no one but me EVER sees them and finds out just how dramatic and pathetic my little midteen self was. However… some of the more recent ones I’m pretty proud of. Writing calms me down, helps me work through things, and completes who I am. This is why the title “hugs and the suburbs” is a play on “sex and the city.” I’m far from being some kind of relationship guru as Ms. Bradshaw appears to be. Quite the opposite. But at times I’ve felt so alone in relationship situations/dynamics and it was hard because I didn’t always have people that understood what I was going through at the time. So the first reason as to why I’m starting this blog is for you… whoever you are. Whether you just want to laugh at me because you think blogs are dumb, or if you are genuinely looking for relationship advice/perspectives, I’m your girl. I can’t tell you the amount of hours I’ve spent on google researching relationships, but I always felt like everything I found was lacking. I have experienced a lot of growth in the relationship I’m in right now, and know that I’m not alone in the problems I sometimes experience. Every couple has ruts, arguments, and so on, but communication can solve just about anything and it’s something T and I are pretty good at if you don’t mind me bragging. And yes, I have been dating him for a decent amount of time, but that doesn’t mean I won’t ever talk about things that those of you who are single might experience. He’s my first official boyfriend and I had various relationship mishaps over the years before him so if nothing else, I want to be able to say that I learned from my mistakes and maybe even helped others from making the same ones.

Oh, and if you’re wondering my second reason for starting this… I’m being kinda selfish. I think I would really love to blog. So yes, I’m also doing this for me.

-Still there?-

So now that that extremely long winded explanation is done… stay tuned for future posts. I promise they’ll be less boring than this and MUCH shorter. I also will probably vary in writing styles/tones/voices because I’m not used to this and because some days I’m feeling really funny and whitty and others I just want to write while crying and eating my weight in cookie dough (kidding. usually).

until then, stay awesome blog-readers! 🙂