Despite What TV Tells Us, Love Is Not A Game

Despite What TV Tells Us, Love Is Not A Game

People’s emotions and sense of security are not toys to be played with.
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If you’re anything like me, you probably get very emotionally invested in the shows you watch. If you’re a lot like me, you have, at one point or another, found that you could strongly relate to a certain character, compared that character’s experiences and the events on the show to your real life (or vice versa), and used the important lessons they learned to navigate a similar situation of your own.

I’ll admit it: I’ve totally had those “if my life was a Netflix series, people would be so entertained by it” thoughts. I’ve always tried to tell myself that it’s not that weird—after all, the storyline is supposed to resemble real life, and well-written characters do start to feel like real people after a few seasons! And I think it’s fair to say that movies and TV shows definitely shape our expectations of reality to some extent. But one common television saga that should not be accepted in real life is that of the super-complicated relationship—the one that derives all its excitement and appeal from the drama, uncertainty, and never knowing what’s going to happen next. The idea that love is a game you’ve gotta play to win.

Buuuut…as you probably know even if you aren’t an avid Netflix-watcher, relationships like that exist, here and now in the real world, and are actually pretty common. I am able to write this article from a personal perspective because I, too, spent several years of my life involved with a “man” who treated our relationship—and my feelings—like a game.

He was hot and cold. We were on and off. It was a roller coaster. I knew he had many exes, and they were all “crazy.” There were arguments, usually bad ones, and then a breakup. And then the whole infamous “I still love you” thing. “The time just isn’t right. We can stay friends. Maybe one day we’ll be able to try again.” More talking, more texting. Then Facebook told me he was seeing someone new, someone he’d referred to as “just a friend.” He never mentioned it to me, though we continued to text pretty often. I may have been acting like I was cool with it, but my friends were not. They tried to get me to realize that he was lying by omission and it was totally not okay, and I pushed away the tiny little voice in my head telling me they were right. It must’ve meant something that we were still talking…

Well, apparently, it did, because no sooner had he changed his Facebook relationship status to “single” than he started to seem very interested in me again. When we got back together he told me he’d missed me. Then he had “too much going on in his life” to be in a relationship. Then I found out—unsurprisingly, not from him—that that same ex was back in his life. He told me some bullshit story that I, for whatever reason at the time, decided to believe. Then he loved me again. Then more fighting started and I called things off. I started seeing other people, and assumed he was too. That should’ve been the end of it, but for the sake of keeping this story short, let me just say this—it wasn’t.

I wish I could say that I stayed above the drama, but I can’t. As ashamed as I am to say it, I think that on some level, the unpredictability of it was what kept me hooked. But I now ask you this: can you really blame young girls for buying into the intrigue of those drama-filled relationships? It’s not like anybody wants to be hurt, pushed around, cheated on or lied to, or enter a situation that will inevitably cause a world of heartbreak, but in modern dating culture there is this deeply ingrained idea that predictability is boring, and any relationship that seems “too easy” will be unfulfilling.

It’s ridiculous. And the media definitely does not help. Movie and TV show plots that present love as a game do not help. People’s emotions and sense of security are not toys to be played with, and there should be no place for the roller-coaster drama that fuels entertainment in our real lives. If something’s telling you that you’re falling into this trap, trust your instincts. Love is an adventure, but don’t think you have to accept lies, games and constant second-guessing as just a normal part of the ride.

Cover Image Credit: counselinglongbeach.com

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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You've Heard Of 'How To Be Single,' But Let's Talk About 'How To Be Romantic'

For some of us, it takes work to be cutesy and romantic.

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Okay, I'm probably the least romantic person anyone has ever met. Not to say that I'm a bad girlfriend or that I'm not caring. I just find love in simple things like knowing what to order for them at restaurants, doing their laundry, planning unique dates, or cooking for them. It's not that I'm opposed to being arduous, I've just never been a chocolate and flowers kind of girl. I'm more of a Mongolian hot pot and "let's walk across the Brooklyn Bridge!" kind of girl. I appreciate some effort, tailoring something to fit a person's idiosyncratic personality or general spontaneity, not how flowery something looks. Not saying that I'm not feminine, I'm just my own entity, so to speak, and that translates into my love life. Needless to say, I thought I should learn how the other half lives, so I've challenged myself to take a course on being a classic/hopeless romantic just to understand how others think and who knows I might change some of my habits!

1. Leave notes

I think it's a really cute and simple idea that I will try to do because it makes everything very personal.

2. Write them a poem

I've had this done for me but I've never actually done it, because believe it or not, I didn't like to read or write poems up until this year.

3. Cuddling

Okay, so I'm not a cuddler, I have no idea why — it's more or less a personal space and attachment issue, I guess. I love hugs though! I guess I just have to be in the mood to cuddle and at times I can be. Other times it just makes me nervous.

4. Dedicate a song to them on the radio

It seems like the people on the radio that do this are crazy in love and honestly, to be able to have the ability to go on the radio and just declare your love for someone else is really inspiring.

5. Surprise them!

I personally cannot stand surprises, but I love to surprise other people and just be spontaneous, so I sort of do this already.

6. Carve your names into a tree

I've thought about doing this, but I've never got around to it, so I promise one day I will.

7. Go see a romantic movie

Nope, nope, I'll barf! Not happening, strictly horror movies for this girl, sorry!

8. Make them a care package

See, this makes me think a lot about what really defines romantic, because I do this all the time, but I don't consider it romantic, I just think it's sweet.

9. Take a walk on the beach together

I've done this, but I have to be doing this while looking for seashells or I feel like I'll be bored.

10. Make a CD for them

"THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER," CHARLIE IS QUAKING.

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