An Open Letter To The Aching Heart Of Mine

An Open Letter To The Aching Heart Of Mine

What this situation is going to do to a girl like me is help me live to my fullest and grow into the best version of myself.

I'm never one to usually share my feelings on such a raw occasion as this, and I'm not one to really open up to an experience such as this. But when I'm no songwriter, I can't really pull a Taylor Swift and draft a number one hit about my sad, not-very-pleasant ending, so I turn to other methods, such as this, to give the world a rare and enticing version of myself and my story.

No, I won't give you a sob story and give you detail by detail of my fallout, because really that's no one's business but my own. But, what I will give you is a story of what this will do to a girl like me.

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A girl like me, one with very few close friends, a crazy family who I love more than anything, a lover of dogs, shopping, writing, and reading. One who hates science more than anything and can't workout unless it's my last duty on this Earth. One who loves Taylor Swift too much but isn't ashamed of my ultimate fan-girlism. One who eats literally anything and loves food more than most. A girl like me, a homebody but actually now enjoys going to school. One who prefers to stay in instead of going out each night on the weekend. One who can put an outfit together in a matter of seconds. One who writes about how I feel, because it's really one of the only ways I know how to express it. One who doesn't know where this new found chapter in my life will take me, but am hoping it leads to endless opportunities and creativity.

So, what is a girl like me going to do with my life now that my relationship of almost two and a half years failed and any other girl would say it's "the end of their lives" or "the end of the world." Well, thankful to say, it certainly isn't the end of my life or the end of the world, and I'm certainly not going to let it ruin me. What a girl like me is going to do from now on is to live and grow. Live to my fullest and grow to be the best version of myself that I can be.

I'm by no means throwing any "shade" or "throwing him under the bus," because that's not what any of this is about. I'm by no means demeaning this relationship or talking down upon it. In fact, I'm rather glad it happened and thankful I got to spend the last two years of my life with someone. It taught me a lot of things and I wouldn't ever take it back. Maybe tweak a few things here and there, but if I could go back in time and take something back, this certainly would not be it.

I loved to my fullest. Sure, many of you may say, "oh, you can't love, you're too young. You don't know what love even is at 18." And, maybe you're right. I'll probably look back on this article in a few years and feel like a fool because I was so fearless and naive when it came to this love. Because a few years from now, my perspective will have changed and I'll either be on my own, happy, or I'll be with someone new, happy. Either way, down the road my perspective will change and so yes, to many of you older people, maybe I don't know what your version of love is at the moment, but I for sure do know mine.

I experienced my version of love when I realized I had my best friend. One of my only best friends. A best friend who I never got sick of and was there for me when I needed it the most and one who I could literally tell anything and everything to. I experienced it when we were in the car and one hand was in mine, the other on the wheel. I experienced it when I would laugh so hard I would cry. Or when my heart would ache so bad because college put distance between us and all I wanted to do was see my best friend. I experienced it when I could look at him and just think of how truly happy I was. In those moments, nothing else really mattered.

I experienced it on Valentine's Day at the zoo when it was -11 degrees out, but that's all I wanted to do that day and so we did just that. I experienced it when we would watch "Frozen" day after day, multiple times, because it was my favorite movie at the time and I just loved it, despite how much he could care less to watch it again. I experienced it the countless numbers of times we went to go get ice cream or Chipotle. Honestly, really just any place to get food. I experienced it every time he asked "what do you want to eat?" and I could never decide for the life of me but we didn't go until I was the one who had decided, because according to him I was always in the mood for something, which was very true but I'd never admit it.

I experienced it when I got 199/200 on my first college paper and he was the first person I told and he told me how proud he was of me. I experienced it when I wanted to tell him everything, even if it was stuff that was meant to keep secret, but I just had to tell him. I experienced it when we would go shopping and he'd talk me out of buying those shoes I didn't need or that shirt that really wasn't that cute but was only like $6. Everyone needs that kind of person in their life.

I experienced it when he would tell me straight how it is instead of sugar coating a situation because he cared enough about me at the time to be up front with me and to be brutally honest, even if I'd oppose sometimes. I experienced it watching "The Office" and just being able to laugh over the dumbest scenes with him. I experienced it on the three-hour drive to his college and trying to drive faster the closer I got because it was itching at me that soon enough I'd be able to see him. I experienced it when we were away from each other weeks at a time, but once we were together, it was like we were never away. I experienced it the first time he came back after moving from college and I was so, so nervous to see him because it had been a month. I hadn't known what to expect because it was the longest we'd ever gone without seeing each other at the time. I experienced it when, even though I was the worst at sleepovers and hogged the bed, he still didn't bother and let me get my beauty sleep even if it was keeping him up. I experienced it in many ways. More than I could even tell you. And, of course, you can say "that's not love at all, you know nothing." But to me, that was my love for the past two years and it was a great enough love for me, I'll tell you that.

So, enough of the sappiness and enough about me experiencing my version of love. I've found there's one of two roads I can take from here on out. I can blame myself, or even blame him, for the rough fallout and make it harder on myself to get through this. Or, instead of taking the blame or being the one to blame, I can learn to find the good from the situation and build myself up from that good. For me, it's going to be the ladder. It has to be.

I want to experience new things and experience new factors. I want to work on myself and put myself first for a while, and I'm going to do just that. What this situation is going to do to a girl like me is help me live to my fullest and grow into the best version of myself.

I want to eat healthier and work out more. I want to become a better person to people. I want to learn my boundaries, which I'm starting to already, knowing when enough is enough. I want to become a stronger me. I want to read more. I want to start my day off, my every day off, with happy upbeat music, so my day will get off to a good start. I want to meet new people and make new friends. I want to spend more time with my family and friends. I want to have days where I wake up and plan my day as it goes, spontaneous and in the moment. I want to keep a healthy mindset and become more positive. I want to find new hobbies and discover new interests of mine. Heck, I want to go to the Humane Society and look at dogs once a week. I want to be a better version of me, the best version I can be. I want to do many things, and I've found the only way I can actually stick to them is if I find out who I really am and what my purpose really is. I need to build myself up and learn from my mistakes. I'll need to forgive myself, forgive him, forgive the situation, and just move on. Perhaps it'll take weeks to months, but time is all we have now and this time is going to help me grow.

Of course, there will be days where I turn to doubtfulness and wonder where the hell I went wrong, replaying countless numbers of conversations in my head, wondering what I could've done differently. If maybe just this one thing changed, I wouldn't even be writing this article at 1:31 a.m. on a Tuesday morning and I'd be asleep, not worrying or caring what was to come because everything would be the way it should be. I'll wonder why I wasn't good enough and what was so wrong with me. When really, I was good enough and nothing was wrong with me. And, I'll think that maybe it was me. Or maybe it was him. Or maybe it was just the two of us. But whatever it may be, it happened.

Sometimes things burn down in flames and that's just the way life works. The very sad truth, but it's just the way life turns on its carousel. We can't go back and change what we thought was the cause of it spiraling, though sometimes I wish it was possible. Sure, we can imagine different outcomes in our mind and live off of the wishful thinking and the endless daydreams, but that's just not reality and it's not the truth. The truth and reality is that it did happen and it was a chapter in my life. What happened can't be change. We can turn the page forward, but it's really hard to go back. So there will be my bad days and there will be my good days, but that's just the way it's always going to go.

I'll learn eventually that instead of doubting myself, doubting the roots of the problems, to look at it differently. I'll learn to look at the memories and instead of being sad about them. I'll hopefully end up cherishing them and look at the friendship that had been made out of it. Being the hopeful person I am, that will be good enough for me. So maybe it was me, or maybe it wasn't. But I know damn well that whomever it may be, that blaming can't be an option and it realistically isn't plausible. It'll only dig the root deeper and nobody wants that.

I know day by day I'm going to continue to experience that love. No matter how much I'll try to push it aside, it'll still be there--it will be for a very long time. I'll experience it in my every day routine, when a smell, sound, or sight reminds me of those years. It'll cross my mind at the most random times when I least expect it, and my heart will begin to ache. I'll experience it when a friend accidentally mentions his name and memories flood into my mind. I'll experience it in the car when I'm listening to a song that relates so much to my situation. I'll experience it when I've had a bad day and want more than anything to turn to him, but he's not there anymore, so I turn to someone new. I'll experience when I watch "The Office," because it's just that show. I'll experience it when in a few weeks, or even months I'll be wondering how he is but know it's best if I don't ask. I'll experience it at school when I meet new people and they're just not him. I'll experience it for the longest of times, and I know I will, so I just need to learn to accept the fact that it'll be there, hanging out, waiting to come at the most random times.

The thing about experiencing love is just that: an experience. Eventually, I won't feel it anymore. Eventually, it'll just be the chapter it was supposed to be. But day by day, what a raw outcome is going to do to a girl like me is help me grow from those experiences. So, maybe the feeling will end or maybe I'll always feel it in some way. But at least I'll be able to experience it instead of resent it. God only knows where I'd be if I chose to resent it.

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Cover Image Credit: Evolution Writers

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20 Dates That Every Couple Should Go On At Least Once

These date ideas are timeless classics

No matter how long you and your sweetheart have been dating, if you haven't gone on at least half of these classic dates, you are hereby revoked of your "relationship goals" status. Every couple MUST enjoy these activities at least once:

1. The "dinner and a movie" date

Every successful couple has most likely gone on more than one of these timeless dates! It's a staple of the American romantic relationship, really.

2. The "rock out at the concert" date

Dance and sing along with your lover to your favorite artist's best hits (with thousands of people to back you up, of course).

3. The "out and about in nature" date

Drag your darling out into the sunshine to wander aimlessly among the forest or to splash in the ocean waves. Or hike a mountain together and capture proof of your victory with an adorable selfie taken at the top.

4. The "sunrise on the beach" date

Pack plenty of blankets and dress in layers for a late-night campout on the sand. Fall asleep in each other's arms to the sounds of the ocean, but don't forget to wake up in time for the beautiful sunrise!

5. The "dinner at the diner" date

Share an old-fashioned milkshake and a basket of French fries with your sweetheart for a picturesque, memorable meal.

6. The "smile at each other over coffee" date

Give your babe a tour of your favorite café in town, and introduce them to the pure heaven that is your favorite coffee drink.

7. The "big city adventure" date

Find the closest big city to you both and plan a day trip to visit its greatest attractions. Or just go on an improvised adventure and take the streets by storm!

8. The "run around the library" date

Read each other passages from Shakespearean love poem anthologies or mess around and find your favorite picture books in the children's section.

9. The "not-so-candid photoshoot" date

Go somewhere photogenic and have your darling model for you as you snap all of the portraits and candids on your camera.

10. The "picnic in the park" date

Pack a homemade lunch or bring some takeout food to the park for a lovely outdoor lunch. Spread a blanket out on the grass and just enjoy experiencing nature's beauty with your love.

11. The "best friend double-date" date

Get one of your best friends and their bae to join you and yours on your next romantic adventure! The more, the merrier.

12. The "run around the carnival" date

Steal a kiss (or two, or three) at the top of the Ferris wheel. Laugh at how loudly your boyfriend screams on the rollercoaster and hold hands on the carousel, stuffing yourselves with funnel cake after you're good and dizzy.

13. The "hang out at home" date

It could be "Netflix and chill" or even as simple as hanging around in your pajamas with a delivery pizza and some board games to pass the time with. Or you could play with (or against) each other in his favorite video game.

14. The "go out to a party together" date

Let everyone know that you're together with protective arms around each other's waists and strut around like you own the place. You'll be the talk of the party.

15. The "go out for ice cream" date

Because there's never a bad time for ice cream and it's even sweeter when it's enjoyed with someone you adore.

16. The "Applebee's 2-for-$20" date

Put only a small dent in your savings with a dinner date that WON'T empty your pockets, but also won't disappoint!

17. The "at least attempt to study" date

Study together for an exam you both have coming up or work on your own homework in each other's company. At least TRY to focus without taking too many "study breaks"...

18. The "sneak into the playground at night" date

Relive your childhood and wreak havoc in the elementary school playground when no one's around to judge the two of you as you push each other on the swings and slide down the slide.

19. The "ice skating (and sliding)" date

Watch each other try to impress one another with your ability to remain upright on the ice for longer than twenty consecutive seconds. It'll be comforting to know that your sweetie's arm is right there for you to grab onto.

20. The "4th of July fireworks" date

Kiss your lover right there under the exploding night sky for a magical moment that neither of you will ever forget.

Call up your boo and tell them to scrap whatever plans they had for tonight; you've got quite a long list to get started on.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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If Your Man Isn't Obsessed With You, Find You A New Man

Know your worth and move on.

OK, so maybe "obsessed isn't the right word," because personally, I am not trying to deal with some Edward Cullen, Mr. Grey or stalker shit (in real life, not as romantic as it sounds I'm sure). It is important to spend quality alone time, and not have a controlling, together 24/7 relationship because, trust me, I too am trying to lay on my bed, wrapped in a towel in solitude, after a shower, and watch three hours worth of baby sloth YouTube videos.

However, in a dating world full of swipe rights and double taps as flirting, it's hard not to settle for less than we should be receiving. Myself included, and my most beautiful, golden, "the-sunshines-follows-them-when-they-walk" friends, have settled for guys that treat them way less than mediocre. Perhaps we don't even apprehend what we are doing. Like in "Perks of Being a Wallflower," they say "we accept the love we think we deserve."

For example, you and your new guy hit it off pretty well at your first lunch date, and now you've entered an exciting, yet slightly anxious "talking stage." Now you're grabbing froyo with your gal pal and you're filling her in on your new guy. You tell her about your date, how great, funny, smart he is and how well things are going.

Two or maybe three weeks later, you and your friend catch up again. She hears all about the same guy, and but there's a sticky situation, a little doubt in your mind present: "Do you think he likes me?" When the initial nerve-racking, yet giddy talking stage is over, you and your new guy may be more comfortable with each other. Maybe you're both trying to establish if this is going to go any further or if it ends here.

However, by this point, the two paths should be clear and concise. "Maybe he is bad at texting?" Sure, no one has to be up each other's butts all day and ending the millennials' phone addiction isn't a bad thing, but if he isn't responding to your plans or seeing how your day was at all — he just isn't that into you. "He told me he is really spontaneous, he hates sticking to plans.."

Yeah, I love getting vanilla ice cream cones down by the beach at 2 a.m. too, but if he bails on your date 30 minutes before to hang with his friends — he just doesn't care. The harsh truth, believe me, I know, but if you're wondering if he likes you, time to ditch. If he likes you, you'll know. If you're worth his time, he will make the effort. If he cares, he will wish you Merry Christmas, or good luck on your exam. And if not, don't ask yourself the question, "does he like me" but instead ask, "what's not to like?" His loss, move on and accept you deserve better.

The first step to finding genuine, true love is knowing your worth.

Don't settle for 3 a.m. texts.

Don't go over to his apartment when he hasn't answered you all day. Tell him to take the 10-minute drive to yours, instead of going to his place every night. If he doesn't want to? I guess he didn't want to see you that much.

Don't settle for a someone who keeps calling it on and off just because they "aren't sure" if you're the one — instead, realize they aren't the one for you.

I am not concurring that we all need to be demanding, interrogating, bossy, narcissistic or high maintenance at all. In fact, this goes both ways, guys should know their worth too.

Don't accept any guy that will play with your feelings, hurt you in a vicious, endless cycle, or treat you anything less than how you would want to be treated. A relationship goes both ways. You are equals. If your man is obsessed with you, he will want to make you smile. He will know the value of spending time together, but also giving you your space and time apart.

Love is patient and love is kind. Love should energize you and make you feel alive, not drain you of who you are. Love is understanding of mistakes and knows we are only human. Love is sacrifice and knowing there is any other person out there whose happiness is just as important as there own.

So if you're second-guessing if he's into you, if he is genuine, if he is putting in the effort, then tell that boy "bye," and as Beyoncé would say, "Partner, let me upgrade you."

Cover Image Credit: Olivia DeLucia

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