The Mistake You Make When You Set An Expiration Date For Your Relationship

The Mistake You Make When You Set An Expiration Date For Your Relationship

Don't pluck petals, peel layers.
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After completing half a semester of a theories-based course that I like to call Computer-Mediated Flirting, I am suddenly an expert at effing up the art of friends with benefits.

*record scratch* Wait, what?

What kind of university offers classes that prompt their students to analyze the fall-outs of their most unsuccessful dating encounters? Not my university — It’s just that I tend to interpret every lecture in this course as lessons to learn for my, indeed, personal problems.

These words, I assembled especially for you 20-somethings whose eyelashes batter so hard at the sight your more-than-one-night-stand at the bar that you waft out the scent of the perfume you obnoxiously spritzed on your wrists, underarms, hind-ears, and neck.

Whenever that happens, I suggest you control your flirty gaze because the last thing you want is for people to stomp on your $20 falsies that fell off after blinking 20 times per second.

He loves me, he loves me not. You’re a liar if you say you never picked up a flower for the sole purpose of playing that game. What game?

Pick a flower — one that's in full bloom. Each petal represents a 50 percent chance, more or less depending on how many petals the flower has, that the person you feel a little somethin'-somethin' for either would consider exploring a love interest with you or not.

For the first petal you pluck and every other after that, you must recite the phrase, "He loves me..." and for the next, "He loves me not..." and so forth. The idea is that the phrase of the last petal you pluck is the fate of your flirtationship with hypothetical bae.

Yeah, this dumb petal plucking thing is something people really do, more so confide in, when they're too stubborn and ungracious to attend to their friends' blunt advice that "he's just not that into you."

If you ever catch yourself in the act, my hope is that you just really needed something to pluck, with the reason being that you're doing everything you can to resist thinning out your freshly waxed eyebrows more than your brow lady intended to... Not because you're patience in figuring out what exactly you mean to this boy is thinning.

Computer-Mediated Flirting introduced me to the Onion Theory, which breaks down the concept of how relationships develop in stages, where both people engage in greater self-disclosure and acts of intimacy as the relationship progresses from short to long-term.

According to the Onion Theory, the outer protective layer of an onion represents the beginning of a relationship, where both partners only go as far as knowing each other's likes, dislikes, and physical attributes. The inner layers refer to the stages where both partners gain more insight about each other.

From this, I compared the peeling property of an onion to the unchallenging effort it takes to rip a flower petal from its pistil.

Cover Image Credit: @aurelius.m

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

As Much As You May Want To, You'll Never Get Over Your First Love

You never forget your first

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Your first love is just that: the first person you've ever truly loved (besides your family and friends). Maybe you've kissed a few people before, but with this person it's different. They mean something to you that no other person ever has before. Maybe you met this person when you were younger in high school or met them a little later in life as I did at the end of my first year of college. Meeting my first love transformed me, both for the good and the bad, and as much as I may want to, I'll never get over my first love and neither will you.

When we met, we didn't meet in some fantastical way, we met on Tinder right after a surprise breakup of mine. We had instant chemistry, and I didn't get to kiss him for weeks because I ended up getting mono right after the breakup (haha whoops). He was the first person I've ever kissed who I didn't want to stop kissing- ever. Yes, second semester freshman year me was super extra when it came to him, but being with him was so different than anyone else. Things progressed through the summer as we talked every single day, even though we never got to meet up because we were both busy, and at the beginning of my sophomore year, I lost my virginity to him. That was a big step for someone who thought she'd wait until she was married. He made sure I was fine and didn't push me to do anything I wasn't comfortable with. I'll treasure that forever.

He was someone I loved with all of my being, to the point where it was physically hurting me in the end because I knew what I felt wasn't going to ever be reciprocated the way I wanted it to be. That's when I had to end it, which was one of the hardest things I've ever done. To me, he was a boyfriend, but to him, I was a friend with benefits. I wanted something more and he wanted less, and I didn't want to accept that. I wasn't his first love but he was mine, which he doesn't know and probably never will. I have had moments where I thought I was over him, but then all the emotions flood right back. In hard moments of hurt is when I miss him the most, but also in moments of joy too. If I see a nice car I think of him, or of other little things, like a french bulldog or The Fast and The Furious.

Your first love leaves such a monumental effect on you as a person. They have seen parts of you others have not. You will always remember your firsts more than anything else, which is why your first love never leaves you. As roughly as things ended between he and I, he's always going to have a piece of me that no one else will ever have. The relationship we had wasn't what you'd expect from someone you call your first love, but his mark on me is what helped shape me into who I am today for better or for worse.

Don't let any negativity remain when it comes to your first love (if there is any). Let it go and remember the good. They will be a part of you forever, so you can never truly get over you.

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Why You Keep Falling In Love With People Who Don’t Love You Back In Your 20s

It's embedded in our human psychology to always desire deeper connections and meaningful relationships with the people we hold close to our heart, even if the feeling aren't necessarily mutual.

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Can love truly be both beautiful and heartbreaking?

It's a question I silently asked myself, sitting shotgun in a car next to someone I considered my friend.

A "friend" seemed to be the right label to define our relationship. To him, I was just a friend—who just happened to be a girl, a girl he texts regularly, jokes around, and can grab a drink with. And we loved each other as friends, because we both trusted each other, we had fun together and each had our own independent lives which would connect occasionally in a complete, non-questionable platonic way.

But slowly, for me, he was becoming everything I've ever wanted in a guy, standing right in front of me. But he wasn't mine to have.

And imagine being so close to someone you want except you can't have him because it might just ruin everything you've already shared together. Because what if you scare him away? What if he replies by telling you "No"?

That's the simple nature of falling in love with someone you can't be with.

In our early part of our lives—particularly in our 20s and during our college years, we all experience this type of heartbreak.

To name a few: A high school boyfriend who lives halfway across the country now. The hot guy you sit next to in lecture who already has a girlfriend. The casual hookup who you just can't manage to stop thinking about as you endlessly toss and turn at night. The platonic friend who doesn't quite see you as being something more.

We all at one point in our thoughts have imagined "coupling" or sharing a life with a guy who we can't seem to have for ourselves. We've always dreamt how things could actually work out if you actually shared your feelings with him except the closest we'll ever reach to it is in our dreams, not reality.

And to examine the logic behind why this happens, we have to first admit how we always want what we can't have.

Because it's embedded in our human psychology to always desire deeper connections and meaningful relationships with the people we hold close to our heart, even if the feeling aren't necessarily mutual.

So, it's not really this case of the whole Romeo and Juliet "star-crossed lovers" BS but rather, it's purely a one sided love which can most definitely be beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Beautiful because there's always a connection you feel which makes you all warm and bubbly inside but heartbreaking because you know this connection is merely flowing in a one way track.

So then, why do we tend to maintain our connections with these people who hurt us?

One reason is because you're afraid to lose him altogether. Perhaps you think he's going to go on full freak-out mode after you spill the beans to him. My piece of advice in this scenario would be to just suck it up and take the chance. Talk to him about how you feel because honestly, what's there to lose? Unless you're not reciting some sappy, over-the-top love story about how many kids you plan to have with him, you're fine.

But perhaps, the most common reason is because we assume he might eventually fall in love with us, too.

And if this pertains to you, gear up because I can write on for days about why this is a big no-no. Heck, I can probably teach a class or lecture to all of you about my elaborative theory of why you will definitely know whether a boy truly loves you or not. It's plain and simple—if he loves you, he'll make sure you know.

And you can't force someone to fall in love with you. Even if you pay them a million bucks, you can get them to pretend to love you or force them to be with you—but it's never going to be true love. Because true, unrequited love is effortless. It comes naturally. The fiery passion will be shared mutually and you won't ever have to question whether or not you belong with him.

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