I Used To Be The 'Relationship Girl,' But I Ditched That Toxic Mindset

I Used To Be The 'Relationship Girl,' But I Ditched That Toxic Mindset

If you rely on love to make you happy, you're mistaken.

caseydaly
caseydaly
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I used to have my entire wedding planned out. I wish I was kidding.

It would have been this quiet venue on the beach next to Lake Michigan in early June. Picture the color scheme: champagne and gold. I'd float down the aisle in an off-white mermaid-style dress to Johannes Pachelbel's "Canon in D" played by a string quartet. My mother would swoon, my father would cry, my single cousins would watch with doe-eyed hope and just the right amount of jealousy — take that for being cooler than me in high school!

It was to be a night of Pinterest-enviable mason jar centerpieces, perfectly frosted cupcakes, and bittersweet toasts to elegant glasses of sparkling wine. It would be Corinthians 13:1, a sappy slideshow with our infant bathtub pictures side by side, and vanilla cake with a little plastic bride and groom. And then, finally, at the end of the night, I'd collapse into the arms of the mystery man who would finally become the missing part to my incomplete pieces.

Sounds perfect, right?

*Record screech* Wrong.

"Damn.. who hurt you?" you may wonder. Allow me to explain.

Look, if you're reading this and you're in a committed relationship, please stop yourself before you come for me in the comments with the wrath of a thousand hellfires. Because, if you are with someone you truly love, then good for you! That's awesome. I have no problem with love. Love is great. I know it may not seem like it from the sounds of it, but I'm happy for you. Truly.

I'm not writing this to piss anyone off. I'm not writing this to raise eyebrows or get clicks nor because I'm the desperate girl that's salty about not having a boyfriend. I've dated around for a decent amount of time, and I promise I do know what I'm talking about. So how did I go from a #softboi who cries over Viagra commercials of a middle-aged couple holding hands on a park bench to the mere thought of being cuffed by another human being making me want to vomit in my own mouth, swallow it, then throw it all up again?

I've come to learn that idealizing love is a huge problem. And I think it's a huge problem that many of us, specifically girls, are taught from a young age. Take "The Little Mermaid." We were about three years old when we first watched Ariel trade her own mermaid tail and literal voice all for a man who says a total of two words in the entire movie and has a shape-shifting sea witch for a side chick. We're taught to parade around in lipgloss and princess crowns in our quest for our perfect Prince Eric, whilst our Y-chromosome peers are given gold stars for playing with Legos and eating their own boogers.

We swear to ourselves that we will raise our daughters to be strong women, yet we feed them crap like this. It just seems hypocritical.

We call our lovers our other halves, our missing pieces, as if we are not already complete by ourselves.

True love is not about completion. It is not about finding someone that makes up for an inner emptiness we think we have. And if you think finding love will be the thing that makes you happy, you are mistaken. People and our relationships with them are not tools we can use for our own happiness and gratification because happiness is a state of inner peace and acceptance. It can not be found externally, and that's where I think so many people get it wrong.

Growing up, too many of us rely on boys to tell us we're pretty and special because deep down we might not believe those things ourselves. I believe them now, though. And I can also say with confidence that in those times where too heavy of an emphasis was placed on my romantic relationships, I was in dire need of myself more than anyone. So, I say screw it. I say screw giving up our glittery mermaid tails. I say screw it to compromising any parts of ourselves for another person. Because that's not what love is. It can't be.

Maybe, someone, someday far in the future is going to come around and change my mind about all of this. Maybe, deep down I hope someone will. For now, though here's what I know:

I know that the last thing I want is to have to check in with another person any time I do anything, ever.

I simply don't need someone to be nagging me when I'm out with friends. I don't need snarky comments about my outfit choices (example: "You're wearing that out tonight? The guys are gonna be all over you."). I don't need someone to be worried about my guy friends who are just that — friends — nor to tell me that he doesn't trust the intentions of other men around me. I've picked up on these terrifying behaviors too many times, in my own relationships and in those of my closest friends. Something about it is so icky to me. Because love should be about being happy and free. Love shouldn't be about having possession or ownership over another person. I could be wrong, but I don't think that's what love is. It can't be.

Love shouldn't be about having ownership over another person.

We worry about being "too much" for our male counterparts: too loud, too moody, too honest, too sarcastic. We worry that our confidence, our intelligence, our opinions will scare them away. So we make ourselves smaller, and we curl our hair and fetch Miller Lites from the cooler for boys that wear tropical shirts to social events and smell like literal ham.

If I'm ever going to let someone love me like that again, I want them to love me for my strength rather than being threatened by it. I want him to know that I would be perfectly okay without him, and for him to not only accept that but to love me for it. Maybe that's too much to ask because I haven't met anyone who was ready to embrace those parts of me yet.

It's pretty surreal. That the thing I used to want more than anything, a relationship with a boy who made me the center of his world, now sounds worse than gouging out my own eyeballs with a spoon. It could very well be that I've simply changed over the past year or so, as well as the fact that I've discovered what I want to accomplish in life. It could also be that I'm jaded from my personal experiences. It could be that I'm just young, stupid, and completely wrong about all of this and I'll change my mind once I'm older and wiser. I don't think I'll be changing my opinions about this anytime soon, though. I'll let you know if I do.

caseydaly
caseydaly

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

5 Questions To Ask Yourself When You're On The Fence With A Guy

Is he worth it?

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Whether you're contemplating if you want to continue your fling with a guy or contemplating breaking up with your boyfriend, there are always questions we're asking ourselves. Ranging from "is this right of me?" to "is this what will make me happy?" But if you are really sitting on the fence and don't know what to do next, check out these five questions you need to ask yourself if you're torn on what to do.

1. Do I want long term or short term?

This is a huge question to ask. If you're looking to settle down for a while, your guy may not want that. And it could always be the other way around as well. Make sure to decipher this with him so you both know what you want and no one gets a broken heart.

2. Can I see myself marrying this person?

I know this is a bold question to ask, especially if you're not dating. But really thinking about if you can see yourself with them for a long time can make it or break it. But say you're dating and you're on the fence of deciding you want to break up with them or not, think about if you can see yourself saying "I do" to them, and if you can't, let him go.

3. Can I see myself living with them/how do they live?

I've seen many people get engaged and move in together and later call it quits due to the way their partner lived. If you've been getting to know your guy for a while now and notices he lives like a pig, you may have to wonder if you'd be cleaning up those messes in the future.

4. How do they make me feel?

This question in a no brainer. If they make you feel bad, why even question continuing into the relationship.

5. Are they worth it?

Is he worth it? I know I have had some experiences when I was on the fence with a couple of guys and I've had to ask myself the same question. And when I'd question if he was worth it or not, my gut feeling always came out right. If you're looking to keep him around, always ask yourself if he's worth it.

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Girls, You NEED To Understand That Fuckboy Texting You ‘wyd’ 24/7 Will Never Give You A 24 Karat Ring

I finally managed to crack the code as to why your casual hookup will never try to make you his wife.

Elle Hong
Elle Hong
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There are five unofficial steps of hookup culture: Find a guy. Get to know him a little bit, but not too much (because you have to keep "boundaries," remember?) Make a pact to keep things "casual" and promise to still be "friends" with each other. Then, hookup with him. And keep hooking up with him without any emotional attachment — just over and over again and never expect anything more.

From a birds eye view, hookup culture seems so harmless. I mean, what's more convenient than having a booty call at your doorstep with the swipe of a screen? When you want to hook up, all you have to do is shoot that 2 a.m. "U Up?" text.

Hell, I even wrote a whole article about the perfect FWB situation.

Yet suddenly—here I am, Elle Hong, resident "Uncuffed" writer on Swoon and self proclaimed fuckgirl who glorifies hookup culture above anything else, catching feelings and falling for the wrong guys just like any other girl out in the world.

Consider this blasphemy. Or maybe I'm just dying to make a confession.

A confession that I, too, have experienced the feeling of wondering why I was never enough for the guys I hooked up with. Why they never chose me over the girls they would eventually form serious relationships with and why to them I only was nothing more than a casual hookup.

So, I thought about it. I critically analyzed it. I "Aristotle-d" my way into trying to find an answer behind the impossible question of wondering why I was never considered to be anything more. Over the past few weeks, it essentially became my new research topic and now, I finally managed to crack the code as to why your casual hookup will never try to make you into wifey material. Here's why.

First and foremost: Guys usually (but not always) choose to hookup with girls who they don't see as anything more.

Now, keep in mind I'm not saying that guys will NEVER fall in love with the girls they hookup with because it can happen. It's life. Life is unpredictable. No doubt, people have fallen in love on Tinder and married a random match who just happened to become The One. But we all know what Tinder is really for. Generally speaking, guys will seek random hookups with the types of girls they think are "easy" and if they're desperate enough, it's definitely not going to be someone they view as their future wife.

If he thinks you're cute, you're within 10 miles radius and you can hold a conversation, it doesn't matter what your annual salary is or how many siblings you got—he wants one thing and it's to get you in bed. And until a guys find this girl who captures his heart and inevitably makes him want to settle, he's going to go around hooking up with random girls left and right. So in this case, it's not your fault. You're just with the wrong type of guy who only thinks of you as his sexual conquest.

See also: Guys want to settle with girls that don't go around hooking up with other people.

Ironic as hell because I just talked about why guys would never want to settle, period. But think about it—guys are humans with rational thoughts and animalistic desires. When they find their territory, they mark it. Once he finds a girl who is the one, he never wants to let her go. And he never wants to see that girl be with another guy or god forbid, go around hooking up with other guys. So here's the moral of the story to get my point across: I hate to break it to you, but bragging about how many other guys you're f*cking outside of your current FWB situationship isn't going to help develop the relationship any further.

Finally: A girl's "hoe phase" might seem empowering but for guys they see it as a threat.

Thanks to the wonderful millennial encyclopedia that we call Urban Dictionary, we have a definition behind this certain life style: A phase in life which occurs when a girl goes around social settings exploring herself, committing promiscuous acts and connecting with random people. For girls, it seems pretty damn empowering, doesn't it? For us it's a chance to let loose, to live a lil bit more and to run around as independent women. Nothing wrong with that of course.

But for guys to perceive this type of lifestyle, they see it as a threat which could arise if they form a relationship with you. It's simple logic here. A girl who's in her "hoe phase" is more likely to be unfaithful since they're always out and about with this person and that person. Put it this way: a guy doesn't care if you're a hoe—but he only wants you to be HIS hoe and not everyone else's. So you might think that it's a great way to express yourself and to enjoy your college years, but keep in mind that it could possibly be holding you back from taking the next step with your casual FWB.

Elle Hong
Elle Hong

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