A list of lists…

In an effort to save you some time I have decoded a handful headlines for you. This will apply to a lot of “lists” and/or headlines that clog your news-feed. You don’t actually have to read “the lists” just listen to me and bypass them. Seriously, I’m onto something.

Example of Crap Headline: “If Your Guy Has These 21 Habits, Marry Him Right Now”

My thoughts when I read the above headline: Holy hell, let me count the things that are wrong with this headline and the content. How about I find 21 reasons this list is complete bullshit. While I feel like I’m stating the obvious, we see too many lists that either affirm some form of “you’ve got the guy”, “you’re happy”, “your life is perfect” or maybe “he’s not the one”, “your life sucks”, “these are the things you should change”, or some variation of the above examples.

A few more of my “favorites”: (eye roll)

“If you’re feeling these 15 things you’re in a dead-end relationship”

“6 Compliments your man wants to hear way, WAY more often”

“6 Twisted, Confusing Thing ALL Master Emotional Manipulators Do”

“16 Things Couples in STRONG, Enduring Relationships Do Differently”

“10 Signs You Are MADLY, Crazily Obsessing Over Him (and how to stop)”

“8 Ways to Know (FOR SURE) You’re in Love with a good man”

“10 Unmistakable ways to tell if a man is in love with you”

For starters, I really need to evaluate who I’m following on Facebook/Twitter if this is the garbage showing up in my feed. While I don’t have a numbered list to submit, I do have some suggestions, suggestions I think are a little more one size fits all than these lists imply to be.

Let’s be honest, we probably already know whether or not our beau is a catch or a douche before we read these lists, they are simply pushing us further towards one direction or the other. Are we really using these as evidence to confirm our own feelings? Why do we need that? Why do we have so much hesitation/uncertainty when we really know “this just isn’t working for me”. I have been there, I think we all have, but what I’d like to see, what I think would help, is a culture that stops putting so much pressure on people to pair up, and to stop setting these one size fits all expectations.

I had what I thought I needed, what I thought I wanted, a relationship that was “normal”. Normal by societal standards and one that looked good on Facebook, I had found my happy. At first I even had myself fooled, but once the newness wore off, once I realized this was really my life, and it would continue to be my life if I didn’t make a change, I was miserable. Rather than just acknowledging the fact that I wasn’t happy, that this life I was living wasn’t for me, I beat myself up. For months I felt guilty for not being happy. I felt like something was wrong with me for having this “perfect relationship” and not appreciating it, not really wanting it. Of course nothing is ever perfect, that relationship certainly wasn’t, but it did fit a mold and our society values that. I learned so much through that process, a part of that journey was letting go of what people might think.

Even when things weren’t good, being paired up seemed to be better than being alone. I was pulled in a million different directions, all of these lists, expectations and societal ideas (pressures) kept me from really knowing whether or not I was happy. I felt like I should be happy, I felt like I should love this person but I wasn’t and I didn’t. When I got honest with myself and blocked out what other people might think, or say, once I stopped being afraid of being alone (because society makes you feel like this is the worst thing to be), I was free to put down something that really wasn’t meant for me. I set it down, walked away from it and best of all, never looked back. While I had some guilt for not looking back, it truly only served as confirmation that I made the right decision.

We get to make our own rules about what our happy looks like. We get to make our own rules about what love is for us; how we give it, how we receive it, how we say it and who we give it to. Don’t let society make you feel like you’re not where you’re supposed to be in life or love, that X always equals Y, because it doesn’t. The people who are going to judge you or talk, will, regardless of what you do. You’re never going to win with people who always talk, because nothing they say will ever really have anything to do with you.  How miserable these people must be? That’s sad for them, not you. Silence their noise, they don’t affect your day-to-day life, unless you let them. Please don’t.

So, here is my list:

1.) Don’t let anyone tell you what your happy should look like.
2.) Don’t let anyone define love for you.
3.) Make your own rules.

Okay, so maybe my list is just 1.

1.) Make your own rules. The view isn’t so bad.




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