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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An Open Letter To The Boy I Never Dated

Thanks for the memories.
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Dear Boy I Never Dated,

You know who you are. I just want to get a couple things off my chest.

First, I want to say thank you. Thank you for being my friend, my ally, and at one point an important part of my life. Despite the fact that our relationship never went past the friend stage, I will never regret the time I spent with you or the memories we made. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, so we were meant to be in each other's lives. Sure, I could go on and say that you missed out, how I'm an awesome person and all that stuff but that wouldn't do anything. We're both awesome people. Us never being a couple could never take away from that.

Honestly, I still consider us to be friends no matter where life takes us. I'm only one text or Snapchat away.

I do want to make one thing clear: I've moved on. I don't care what you've thought in the past or what you've been told, I'm seriously over it. I've been over it, despite what you think. I'm over everything; the pointless drama, the rumors, the over-thinking, and the self-doubt. I no longer care that you weren't interested in me in "that way." Honestly, this all went down so long ago that I don't even remember everything that happened.

I've met new people, had new experiences, and grew as a person. You've even noticed that I've changed. I'm the not the same girl that pined for you all those years ago. I care about you, obviously, but I know where we stand. Neither one of us needs to deal with the what-ifs or maybe-some-days. We both deserve loving committed relationships where the person you're with is 100% invested in you and vice versa. So maybe I am a text away, but that doesn't mean I'm available anymore.

If there's one thing about people that can get you down is that we're always disappointing. Either we're disappointing other people or disappointing ourselves. It is way too easy to break your own heart. I was guilty of that I think. I got too optimistic and thought we were on some path to greatest when in reality we were just two young kids that enjoyed spending time together. When things didn't go in my favor, I probably placed the blame on you because I was upset.

It took time for me to reflect and finally accept that I wasn't perfect, either. Now, I don't think anyone was at fault. Whether it was bad timing, lack of compatibility, or maybe lack of maturity neither one of one did anything wrong. At the time, it seemed so horrible that we never even tried but when I look back it's not a big deal.

To be completely honest, I'm now glad we never dated. There is no more resentment, bitterness, or pettiness. I don't think there was any to begin with, but I apologize if there was. Our lives may be going toward separate paths, but they're both paths of greatest. I'm completely, absolutely happy with where I am in life and all I can say is that I wish the same for you. When our paths do cross again someday, I'll be more than happy to see you.

With (platonic) love,

The Girl You Never Dated


Cover Image Credit: freestocks.org

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11 Ways To Get Over The Guy Who Doesn't Deserve You

"I'm just sayin' you could do better." - Drake

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Ah, I just love the smell of relationships. But of course, all good things must come to an end. Recently, one of my close friends was broken up with. Instead of creating some actual damage to her ex-boyfriend's car, I thought it would be better to help her and the other ladies out there that have had their hearts broken before. Here are 11 ways to get over the asshole that won't ever get anyone as great as you!

1. Cry

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Crying is good for the soul. Don't think of it as a sign of weakness. It just your heart trying to cope. Remember: It's okay to cry!

2. Spend time with your friends 

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Ever since my friend became single, she's been spending more time hanging with the people that have cared about her all along. Since the break-up, she's seemed happier, more energetic, and most of all, herself. Your friends bring out the best in you. And even when you don't want to smile because you're sad, your friends will be there to listen and take you out of that funk with a stupid joke.

3. Delete them 

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Okay, now I know this one may be hard or it may be "too soon." But, the longer you keep them on your social media, have them in your phone or see a picture of you two together, it's going to be harder to get rid of that person you once thought could be "the one." You don't have to do this the day after, but hopefully, sometime soon after the break-up, they'll no longer have a place in your virtual life.

4. Comfort food 

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Did somebody say ice cream?

5. Slowly but surely start getting ridding of "stuff" 

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You know the stuff I'm talking about. The necklace that he gave you two years ago on Valentine's Day doesn't matter anymore. Getting rid of those little things you two shared will help you to not only part with him but move forward in your life.

6. Go for a run 

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We all know once those endorphins are released, there's no taking you out of a good mood. Get those legs going, headphones in your ears, and heart rate up. Your mood will go from zero to a hundred real quick.

7. Go out and live your best life 

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Whether that's staying in with a glass of wine or having a night out at the club with your girls, go out and live your best life. Now's the time to be free and focus on yourself! Get to know you're fun side.

8. Understand that there will be other people  

This one may be very hard to really grasp, but I know you're strong and that you can do it. One breakup is not the end of the world. Think about it this way - everything happens for a reason. Maybe your prince charming is right around the corner!

9. Listen to music 

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Plug in your headphones and just get in your feelings. It doesn't matter if you have a "Fuck You" playlist dedicated to him or an "I Still Love You" playlist. Get those feelings out. Just vibe.

10. Write out what you're feeling 

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Writing helps me clear my head so much. Just getting your thoughts out onto a piece of paper really helps to see where your mind is at. Don't think. Just write what you feel.

11. Go in the mirror and tell yourself, "I deserve better" 

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Trust me, honey. You can do better.

Break-ups are not easy to get through, but just know that a day will come when your daughter is crying about the boy who broke her heart. Tell her the story about how yours broke and how you got through it. The strongest women are the most admirable.

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