Adventure, Beauty, Bucket List, Dating, Faith, Family, Ideals, Life Lessons, Love, Relationships, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Sex, Women, Women Empowerment

Don’t Ever Take Dating Advice From Taylor Swift

If there is one person that I really think gives the worst dating advice, it is Taylor Swift. And she doesn’t even give it purposely.

She writes about it in her songs.

I cannot stand that. For one thing, it is extremely disrespectful for someone to view love as a money-making scheme. And that’s all she is proving by writing all of her hits about her ex-boyfriends. She may not think that is what she is doing, but it is. If she had any respect for the people she dated, she wouldn’t publicly bash them in her music while millions of listeners are so impressionable. It just shows young people everywhere that it’s okay to date someone and break up with them……

as long as you can write a song that people will eat up and listen to.

Now, I do not condone staying in a bad relationship by any means. In fact, if you are in a bad relationship, then get out. But, please spare us the bull and don’t write a song about it. I think it would be very interesting to see what all of her former lovers would have to say in a song about her. And I guarantee it would go along the lines of her being selfish. The first thing I notice about her is that she does not care about the other person. Let’s look back at when Harry whats-his-face won a music award and her response was “Are You Kidding Me?”

Harsh much?

I get it, she’s empowered.

But she isn’t really.

Almost three years ago I started writing blogs about females embracing their imperfections and flaws. And one of things I’ve noticed that has taken off with this subject is females not “settling” for less than they deserve. Now, I agree with this. But I also would like to point out to many females out there that men can do the same thing. Being empowered does not give you a license to be a bitch to everyone around you, or to parade around bashing men because it is the thing to do. Being empowered means that you have found an inner strength to yourself that would only be enhanced if a man walked into your life (or woman, whichever you prefer). The key here is to not become selfish along the way. Most relationships fail because of lack of communication. They also fail because the people in those relationships focus more on what they can take from the other person than what they can give.

This is why I say don’t ever take dating advice from Taylor Swift.

Because Taylor Swift never focuses on self-reflection, it’s always about what the other person did.

And that’s why her relationships failed and will continue to until she looks at what she can give to another person. And it may take the right person for her to do that. And she by no means has to be willing to give of herself at her age….she can wait. But deep down, when I see her.

I see someone that’s afraid.

You want dating advice. I’ll give you some dating advice from what I’ve learned with my fiance and what I learned watching my grandparents be together for my whole life. They were married almost 58 years before my grandpa passed away.

1) The relationship isn’t just about YOU. There are two people. There are two hearts beating. There are two sets of needs that need met. There are two sets of expectations there.
2) Don’t say, “I want you to do this.” Instead try, “What can we do make this better” or “Where can I work on making things better.” A little humility never hurts. I have news for you. I’m empowered. I’m stubborn. I’m a bad ass female…..and I can still be humble because I realize there is one another person that has the other half of my soul.
3) Learn what phrases to say to the other person. If you think the other person isn’t listening, change your approach. My fiance and I know which phrases get the other person to do what we want and which phrases will piss us off instantly. Communicate. It’s a constant learning process…but once again…this is where a little humility can come in to play. Also, if you don’t want to take their bullshit. Don’t. But address it in the correct way. Because they don’t have to put up with yours either.
4) Don’t think you can change them or their habits. This is simple. Don’t insult the other person by trying to drastically change who they are as a person. I mean, do you want to stop being that badass female? No. You don’t. So don’t expect the other person to drastically change to make you happy. It’s wrong. Either love them at the core of who they are or move on and save yourself a lot of stupid heartache.
5) Don’t talk all the time. Listen too.  The person you’re with will tell you what is wrong and what they want….you just have to listen to them. I don’t mean hear them….I mean listen.
6) Stop thinking you’re always right. I still struggle with this. But, I’m learning and he is very patient with me. Almost three years and diamond ring patient.
7) Focus on what you Give. Give to the other person. Constantly. Compromise. I love compromising. It is literally the best of both worlds. And occasionally something I didn’t want to do ends up being something I liked anyway. Don’t take from the other person and don’t let yourself be taken advantage of. But, give.
8) Real love isn’t a fairy tale. Just get over it. It’s not. There’s no white horse. There’s no castle. Just. NO. Move on from the childish version of love to the more awesome version I saw in my grandparent’s marriage. You want a sweet love story? Watch UP! Seriously, the first eight minutes of that movie was the best love story I’ve ever seen filmed. Oh, and date the beast, not the prince. People always call me and mine the Beauty and the Beast. I like it that way. People with layers are more interesting than the people without them.

Above all. Realize that anything in life worth having is something you have to fight for and work for. It’s not going to be easy. Learn to embrace your own beauty and imperfections first…..

Then, embrace someone else’s.

And Taylor, don’t be afraid to fall in love. It’s the most interesting adventure you could ever go on.

Adventure is out there.
Jump Feet First.

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Beauty, Dating, Death, Dying, Family, God, Ideals, Life Lessons, Loss, Love, Relationships, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Sex, Uncategorized, Women

The Hardest Question

“It’s the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”-Albus Dumbledore.

As I sit writing this, I know that my grandpa is fighting a battle in the Intensive Care Unit in the hospital in Florida, approximately 1100 miles or so away. That means that if God calls him home, the blog I wrote a few days ago about him and my grandma will be one of the single, most precious pieces I have ever written in my entire life. You can read it HERE.  Nestled in his hospital bed, he sleeps and fights, and this could possibly be his last showdown. At his home in Sebring, Fl., his wife lays in the twin sized bed that is in their room, the bed that was soon to be replaced with a king sized bed so they both could sleep beside each other. Out in the living room is a new set of furniture, and an empty space where a chair he purchased a few days ago to aid him in getting up and down will be going. And my grandma, through all of her thoughts, wonders if he will ever get to see or use the things he just purchased. She wonders if he will make it back home so that she can change the bandages on his legs. She wants to be able to cook him dinner and hear him call her “Buddy.”

She wants her husband, and her best friend to come home.

That’s the part that makes me so sad.

I made peace with the fact that he would be dying about four months ago when these rounds of hospital calls began. What I haven’t made peace with is the woman he is leaving behind. And it scares the crap out of me.

My grandparents have been married 57 1/2 years and the dated for two years before they got married. That means that my grandma has been staring at my grandpa’s face every morning for most of her life. She has been making him dinner every night. She has helped him run businesses. She took care of him when he was sick, to the point where he nicknamed her Florence Nightingale. She had my mom and my uncle with him and instituted Sunday dinners. The Sunday dinners are still in effect, except when they are in Florida because we reside in Pennsylvania. Her whole life has essentially been devoted to loving one man and the family she created with him.

And now, she may be on the brink of losing everything.

The hardest question I have had to ask myself throughout this whole ordeal is a simple question: Why do we fall in love when we will ultimately be separated from that person? I fell in love almost two years ago. And I will be perfectly honest and say that the idea of getting married scares me. If he asked, I would say yes. However, I’m not scared of the marriage; I’m scared of him not being there someday. I’m scared of watching him fall apart right before my very eyes. I’m scared that I will devote my whole life to this person and that old age and diseases will separate us anyway.

So why do we do it?

If you believe in soul mates, then you believe that there is someone out there with the other part of your soul. You believe that you must then find that part of your soul and make it one with yours. I believe that my grandparents are soul mates, despite the fact that they have the single most dysfunctional relationship that I have ever seen. They are polar opposites. But, I guess that is what makes them compatible. I also have learned throughout this whole ordeal that everything kids are taught about fairy tale love is mostly inaccurate. Sometimes love isn’t about thinking the other person is dreamy and getting bit by this mystical love bug. Sometimes, love is more than that. If you’re lucky, love is about respect and security.

Maybe we are only meant to have our soul whole for a little while, but I don’t think it’s very fair. I don’t think its fair that my grandma will have to go on with half of her soul missing. This will happen sooner rather than later, but it still is something I haven’t made peace with. I’m scared for her. I’m scared knowing she will have half of her soul in heaven and that she has to carry on alone. I’m not looking forward to when that happens. It makes all superficial relationships you’ve ever had seem rather stupid for crying over.

Here’s my lesson: Your stupid minor relationships won’t break your heart when you break up with that person. You want heartbreak? Date the same person for 60 years and watch them deteriorate. Date someone for 60 years, and then have to carry on without them. That’s heartbreak. Don’t let minor setbacks seem like heartbreak. You will prevail.

I don’t know if it’s going to be easy to let myself continue to be in love forever because it’s scary.

But I will probably do it anyway.

And I can only hope that when the day comes where I have to go on, that I will be able to. And that maybe, just maybe, I will understand this when I die.  Because quite frankly, I’m not sure that being alive is enough to understand the powers at be with this sort of tragedy. Love is hard and complicated.

I just hope when the time comes I can be strong, thankful and understanding.

Love, here’s to you.

Beauty, Dating, Ideals, Life Lessons, Love, New Year's Resolutions, Relationships, Self Improvement, Self-Help, Sex, Uncategorized, Women

The Secret of Life, Part Three

His eyes seemed like endless pools to his soul. What color were they? Brown, maybe hazel. They complimented his skin tone and his smile.

It was safe to say that I was completely and totally infatuated. He even seemed to be reciprocating the feelings. That was a plus, right?

Well, maybe not.

I tried making plans; hanging out, getting food. You know, the usual types of things that I thought would get me what I wanted. And he at least entertained the ideas and said they sounded awesome.

But we never did those things.

Because there was always an excuse he made. Last minute plans….they always so frequently came in right at the exact time we were supposed to be going to dinner. This scenario went on for months, and I let it go on for months. I was on the back burner and I let myself be. I was waiting for a relationship that was never going to happen. It was like a sickness I had. Yet, for some odd reason I couldn’t bring myself to swallow the pill of realization.

I was being played. It may not have been entirely intentional on his part, but I was being played.

Finally, it got to the point where I said it: “Ali, you deserve to date and be with someone who wants to show you off and isn’t keeping you in the shadows. You deserve to have someone who tries to make you happy every single day.”

And on June 10, 2011, I handed my number to this random gentleman in the bar that I had never met before. He was quiet and reserved until he got a couple of shots of Crown Royal in him. I was bartending that night so I gave him said shots, but he had a certain mystery that I could not quite figure out. I went out to the dance floor because the DJ had put on “The Edge of Glory” by Lady Gaga. I started to dance and the next thing I knew he came out to the floor to dance with me. At the end of the night I wrote my number on a napkin and handed it to him. He was waiting for it, hoping I would give it to him. Despite his friend’s plea for him to get out of the place. Then I waited for him to text me and I thought I would be waiting for a day, maybe two.

I waited ten minutes and my phone lit up with a good night text. It’s 2013 now, and we have been together ever since.

Part Three: Don’t Settle for Anything Less that You Deserve

I have blogged about my boyfriend before, but I’m not going to talk about him in this blog very much. I’m going to talk about an epidemic that is plaguing the females of the nation, and that is called settling for penny when you could have a 100 dollar bill. If you didn’t get that analogy, I mean, women settling for crappy significant others.

I know quite a few girls that let themselves make this mistake. And I can’t help but wonder what our society has become that this is allowed to happen. Women are more independent than ever it seems with their careers and their money. So why shouldn’t that be the same with love?

The epidemic was probably started because women constantly feel like they are either too fat or worthless to actually deserve a happy relationship. They settle with what they have because they are afraid to go after something bigger and better. It’s sad because all of those things that females are self-conscious about make a lot of men swoon. Then there are women that go back to their exes. Why? What exactly has changed? Because 95% of the time your ex has not changed. Again, we have the worthless factor. “I’m too worthless to actually have a meaningful relationship. So I’m settling for something I know because I am too afraid to try this again.” That’s all it is. There is no logical reason for a woman to stay with someone who treats her like a rock in the dirt when there is someone out there that will treat her like a diamond. There is no reason for a woman to go back to someone who they broke up with that treated her poorly either.

You know how men say, “Man up!” I’m calling all women to WOMAN UP!
You know you’re better, smarter and sexier than settling for a penny. A penny gets you nowhere. It takes 10,000 pennies to make a $100. Why go through that many pennies when you can go straight to the $100? It doesn’t make sense!

Women, I give you these rules:

1) Once a cheater, always a cheater: Unless God intervenes, a tiger will not change his stripes
2) If it looks like a lie and smells like a lie, it’s a lie
3) If your significant other ever, and I mean EVER calls you ugly, or makes you feel less than beautiful, away with them
4) If you break up with him and he says he has changed, you know better. Have you changed? What makes you think he’s had this radical change? His change is probably as legit as a heroin addict that says jail has changed their behavior
5) If a person strings you along, they have no intention of actually committing. Move on
6) A person in the past is meant to stay there, don’t bring them back into your present. Move Forward
7) The Ultimate Rule: You deserve to be head-over-heels ecstatically happy, DON’T SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS

The lesson here is not settle for anything less than happiness. Don’t be afraid to move on from the toxicity just because it’s familiar and you’re too afraid to try something new. Try something new. It’s good for you. It may just be the best thing you could have ever done. After months and months of being strung along, I met my boyfriend. He treats me like a princess. Just today he bought my mom a hot water tank for the house because she couldn’t pay for a new system all on her own. His cuddles are the best. Sometimes I take him for granted and I shouldn’t, but it doesn’t stop him from loving me. I have learned how to be myself a little bit better than I was before. I haven’t had to radically change who I am either. I’m still that same, independent woman I was….

I just have someone who appreciates the independence.

And ladies, you deserve the same thing.

Beauty, Dating, Life Lessons, Women

Sex and the Small Town

Carrie Bradshaw is a fictional character that is a positive role model for fierce females everywhere. She writes about love and sex without any reservations and keeps her tremendous three best friends by her side. Each of them are extremely independent and driven individuals.

Throughout the seasons of the show, the girls go through their fair share of men. Perhaps the most famous for going through men is Samantha because she went through quite a few, sometimes more than one in a given episode. However, when the show ended and the movie talk began, everyone had a pretty solid idea of where the girls lives were heading.

The land of love.

And that’s exactly what happened. By the end of both movies, Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte were married and Samantha was…. Still Samantha even though she spent most of movie one in a relationship.

Now the girls did see their ups and downs in their relationships but ultimately they did find the love they had been looking for. And that is totally awesome. Each girl manages to stay true to herself; they are still the fearless females everyone saw in the show, but they finally got love to compliment their personalities. Well, Samantha had many loves, but that’s just who Samantha is.

So where does that leave the females of this planet? Do they embrace being single? Do they seek out companionship? What is a girl to do in this world where so many people try and tell her what to do?

It’s simple: Be Fun, Be Fabulous, Be Unforgettable.

The single life has its perks. A woman can do anything she wants. She can buy herself dresses and heels. She can go get her nails done. She can go out and flirt with many guys with no commitment.

To some women, this lifestyle seems extremely desirable. Some women will forego being in a relationship just to keep that lifestyle.

However, the trick to being in a relationship like the SATC girls is quite easy: You keep the same rules as the singles, but you stay faithful to your sweetie.

Women in relationships don’t have to give up their independence or individuality to be in a healthy relationship. Life isn’t about promoting being eternally single or being eternally monogamous, it’s about promoting being human.

Realistically, it’s quite easy to be a
Sex and the City woman. A woman can easily be herself and have a relationship if she doesn’t let herself get lost along the way. Women in the world need to ban together to build each other up. Women aren’t split into singles and not singles, women are women. It’s easy to try and talk down to a woman who is happy being single. One can say she isn’t trying hard enough or that she is a prude. It’s just as easy to fault a woman for being in a relationship and being faithful to her beau. It’s also easy to say that women in relationships aren’t as strong as those that choose to be single.

A woman is strong, no matter which venture she may choose. All women should be promoting each other, single or not.

It has been said that men and women are not meant to be alone, and that is something to be taken into consideration. However, when a woman knows who she is, she knows what man or woman is perfect for her. It’s possible to know yourself at 20, it’s also possible a woman may not find herself until she is 35. People need to remember that taking the plunge for love is quite complicated and scary. In one way people see being single as scary, but a relationship is scary as well. Neither the single life or a relationship is for the fearful, both choices present an interesting set of issues and obstacles.

But either way, all women need to encourage each other on their journeys through life. Neither route is easy….

But eventually both routes are necessary.

Celebrate the independence. Celebrate your inner SATC chick.

And celebrate it with a man (or woman) that truly cares.