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Relationships

  • Articles, Relationships, TV

    Relationships on “The Bachelor” = Bogus

    the bachelor

    The country is currently in a craze over this season of “The Bachelor” on ABC. Will Colton find a wife at the end of this season? Will he have to forget about Cassie, his one true love, and choose one of the other two girls? Will he ever find his way back after jumping over the fence?

    It’s hard to escape all of the hype over this season, and over the show in general; you have to admit, even if it’s cheesy and mindless, “The Bachelor” is contagious. It’s inescapable. One of my favorite days of the week is Monday, because it means I can curl up with my friends on the couch, turn on the TV and become enveloped in the inevitably dramatic episode.

    Admittedly, I’m obsessed with this show, similar to most girls around my age– but that doesn’t mean I’m not aware of its unrealistic, unhealthy aspects. I grew up watching “The Bachelor,” and after a few real relationships of my own, I can confirm the show is a hoax.

    It’s impossible to establish a meaningful, loving relationship in six weeks. It just can’t be done. “The Bachelor” teaches young girls that love comes easily and effortlessly, when in reality, most of the girls on the show are exaggerating their emotions, believing their efforts will result in a marriage.

    It’s Reality TV, Not Real Life

    You can’t truly understand everything about a person in six weeks. The bachelor or bachelorette is forced to make decisions based on the little information they have, which, unfortunately, usually only consists of physical appearances. Theoretically, in this show, the love of someone’s life could be sent home on the first episode; the connection is never made, teaching viewers that all relationships are based on looks. Real life isn’t like that.

    The extravagant dates, international travel and seemingly natural “connections” aren’t part of a real relationship. Regardless of being called a reality TV show, “The Bachelor” isn’t real. It’s entertaining, but fake.

    If you find yourself watching this show, wondering when your picture perfect guy is going to pick you up in a helicopter, fly you across the country and propose to you… stop. Don’t base expectations of your love life on this show.

    It’s okay to admit you like watching “The Bachelor.” We all do. But it’s not okay to believe the authenticity of those relationships, believing that’s how love is supposed to look. Real relationships don’t need a script.

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Relationships, Sexual Health

    10 Signs of a Toxic Relationship

    toxic relationship

    It takes some women years to get out of a toxic relationship. You can be a smart girl and still be completely blind-sided by new emotions that come with your first serious relationship. Red flags and completely obvious signs of infidelity can be sitting there, right in front of your face, and you could still come up with ways to rationalize everything your partner is doing so obviously wrong.

    So, here are ten pieces of advice that I have come up with while reflecting on my past relationships:

    1. Don’t fall for the “players.”

    You might be “special” and a player might actually be really into you, but those types of people like to have their cake and eat it too. Even if you end up dating them, players almost never grow out of it. They will most likely either cheat on you or move on to the next shiny new thing as soon as you’re comfortable. That may sound like a bit of a generalization, but it’s one of the few that I will maintain as facts for the rest of my life.

    2. If your family and friends don’t like your S.O., then it’s probably time to move on.

    The people you are close to and trust usually have your best interests in mind. If you are telling them details about your relationship and they have hung out with you and your boyfriend/girlfriend multiple times, then they probably know what they’re talking about. Because you are too busy being lovestruck by your new beau, your family and friends are seeing firsthand how your S.O. treats you. When they finally tell you how they feel about your S.O., try not to get defensive and just listen to what they have to say. Your loved ones know you better than anyone else.

    3. Don’t let them tell you how to dress. They are not your boss or mama.

    If your S.O. is telling you what to wear as a plus one to their event or to maybe dress a little more conservatively in front of their parents, that is fine. You should respect their wishes when it comes to their family. However, if your S.O. is starting fights or ignoring you over something that you choose to wear. That’s a problem. This means that your S.O. believes they “own” you in some way and are entitled to make you feel bad about yourself for embarrassing them or asking for attention. Wear what you want.

    4. Be mindful of how much time you spend with them.

    Make time for other priorities in your life. Nothing annoys me more than the couple that has to constantly be with each other because I used to be one of those people. Why are you basically living with them? Stop settling down like an old married couple and go have fun with your friends and family. Don’t just make your loved ones a backup plan just because plans failed to go through with your S.O. They know that you only want to get dinner tonight because Billy is out of town. You’re not slick.

    5. If y’all have broken up more than once… it ain’t workin’

    You know what I’m talking about. There is always that one couple that breaks up and gets back together so many times that you lost track and stopped caring a long time ago. Sorry, but if you can’t decide if you want to be with someone and have gone on multiple “breaks”, it’s time to move on. Yes, you probably still are attracted to them or care about them, but that doesn’t mean you work as a couple. Stop wasting your time.

    6. Abuse is not always physical

    Be aware of the manipulative types. If you see them manipulating and lying to their family and friends, then they are 100% doing the same thing to you. This is where it becomes dangerous in relationships because you don’t know what is true and what is not. A manipulative person will do everything in their power to spin the story to their advantage and turn the problems on you.

    They will call you crazy and victimize themselves. Or they will ask you why you would ever accuse them of such a thing. They will come up with so many explanations and lies for things that you will start to question your own sanity and worth. This is called “gaslighting” and it is officially classified as a form of abuse in psychology. It is a strategy that people use to break you and make you trust them so they can continue doing whatever they want while knowing that they can convince you of anything.

    7. You don’t have to give into their “needs”.

    If your S.O. gets mad at you for not wanting to engage in a sexual activity-red flag. They should be respectful of your boundaries from the beginning to the end of your relationship. You are not responsible for their satisfaction. Just because you are in a relationship does not mean that they own your body.

    8. They have a superiority complex…

    People who are critical of everyone else but themselves are the worst. Don’t waste your time on someone who can’t admit their own fault in a situation. Both members of a relationship should not only communicate but also feel comfortable with recognizing
    their own mistakes.

    9. You never receive anything in return…

    Your S.O. just takes and uses, but you’ve come to the realization that whenever you need something from them- it’s an ordeal? Yes, when you help someone it should be from the heart and not a part of an agenda. However, if you are constantly putting your all into the relationship and it’s unrequited when you’re finally the sick one this time… then you are probably just being used.

    10. They call the shots.

    One day things between y’all are going great, and the next day they’ve decided it’s over. Don’t let them just break up with you whenever they please so they can have a “break”, then come running back in a week when they decide that they want you back. You are not a doormat. “Breaks” are just for people who are too scared to actually tell their S.O. that they no longer want to be with them.

    Healthy relationships are key to being happy, take a look at our list and see if some of the things that your boo, your friends, or even you do are unhealthy.

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Lifestyle, Relationships

    When Things Don’t Go as Planned, Make New Plans

    friendship

    Planning doesn’t always guarantee your preparedness, as you never know what the future holds. However, your ability to adapt and stay positive can guarantee your success. Sometimes undesirable things happen, but we must learn to use our negative feelings to push us forward, and never let them hold us back.

    I didn’t know I’d be meeting my best friend

    Every summer, I am fortunate enough to attend some sort of camp. A few years ago, I went to medical science camp at my dream high school. South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Math, a residential high school I have been daydreaming about for years. I was obviously so excited, but I was also nervous. This was to be expected, as I didn’t know anyone going into it.

    On the first day, I was trying to meet people and make friends, but it seemed as if everyone had already created their groups. Then I heard someone say “hey, you are welcome to come over here with us! I’m Sriya by the way.”, and that was it. She introduced herself and opened her arms to me. I immediately felt a weight lifted off of my shoulders and a light surrounded me. She had the most beautiful and welcoming energy that radiated to everyone.

    Something between us just clicked. We instantly felt comfortable with each other, so we decided to be roommates the next week we were at camp. During our second week, we were in different classes, so we looked forward to the evening when we could discuss our days. That week was filled with conversations, both silly and serious….and plenty of Harry Styles sing alongs. We started to talk about our futures. We both knew we were going to apply to the residential program. We knew it would be extremely challenging, but we could get through anything together. About halfway through our residential application process, Sriya found out that her family is moving.

    Here are GirlSpring's thoughts on True Friendship
    Sriya and me

    Okay, not a big deal. We will be away at school and she will just go home to a different city. They won’t be that far away, right? Wrong.

    Pursuing our dream… solo

    A few months later, I got a call from the president of the school congratulating me on my acceptance! It was one of the most exciting days of my life! After I finished my crying tears of joy and shock, Sriya was the first person I wanted to call. Then it hit me. My best friend, the first one I always turn to, is moving 8635 miles away. We live in different cities, but I can get in the car for about an hour and be at her front door. That obviously isn’t going to work anymore.

    How am I supposed to do it? How am I going to live our dream without her by my side? I felt guilty. I felt guilty about being excited. I felt guilty about being selfish. Why do I get this and she doesn’t? I don’t deserve this. Can I do this? How can I go back to Governor’s School all alone, knowing that there will never be someone like Sriya waiting with open arms?

    Eventually, after a wake-up call from my best friend, I realized a few things: I did this on my own. I got in on my own, with the support from her. Sriya will never leave my side. She will always be there, even if she’s thousands of miles away, she will always be there. She’ll still be the first one I turn to, the last one I tell goodnight, and the one I always express my love for.

    I can do this. I have to do this. I will go away to Governor’s School and I will be successful. I am doing this for us. I will use the distance as motivation to be the best I can be.

    Plans change, but that just means doing things differently

    Everyone knows that things don’t always go as planned, but the only thing we can do is make new plans. Whether your best friend is moving across the world, or you just had a bad day, it will all be okay. There is always a way to modify your situation, or just your attitude, for improvement. It is going to be hard, and it might seem inconvenient and unfortunate at first, but distance, or any other factors, cannot destroy things that are meant to be.

    We make our long distance friendship work

    To my Sriya-

    Thank you for everything – for welcoming me, for being my best friend. I love you more than words can describe, my angel. Please remember that I am always right beside you, even if we are on different continents. You will always be my rock, my #1, and the love of my life. When I held you in my arms for the last time (for now!), my heart broke. My heart broke, so I could give you a piece to take with you. I’ll come see you soon. Pinky promise.

    Our last time together before Sriya moves

  • Articles, Relationships, Tough Questions, TRENDING, Woman's History

    How To Be an LGBT+ Ally

    LGBTQ Ally


    If you’ve been on the internet lately, you might have noticed that June is LGBT+ Pride month. It’s a time of empowerment for queer people and a time to shed light on issues within the  LGBT+ community. If you’re straight, you may feel like you have no place talking about these issues. However, this is definitely not the case. Straight and cisgender people have a place in the LGBT+ community as allies.

    What is an ally?

    According to Wikipedia an ally is “a heterosexual or cisgender person who supports equal civil rights, gender equality, LGBT social movements, and challenges homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.”

    How can I be an ally?

    1. Educate Yourself

    LGBT+ communities differ from straight communities in a lot of ways and, as an ally, it’s your job to be aware of these differences. For example, in LGBT+ communities, it’s probably more appropriate to use non-gendered language and ask for a person’s pronouns before assuming their gender identity. In addition to educating yourself on how to navigate LGBT+ social interactions, you should also make an effort to learn about current issues surrounding LGBT+ rights. Without knowing policies to fight against, it’s impossible to be an effective ally. Another very important thing to educate yourself on is the history of queer people in America (or whatever country you live in). Learning the history behind the issues that queer people deal with today will not only deepen your knowledge of the issues themselves, but enrich your understanding of LGBT+ people and their struggles.

    2. Stand up

    Allies should always be willing to stand up in defense LGBT+ rights. This doesn’t mean that every ally needs to be an activist. Standing up could be as simple as calling out a friend who makes a transphobic joke or choosing not to support businesses owned by people who are homophobic. If you see someone being bullied for their sexual orientation, don’t be afraid to intervene. You should always be outspoken in your support of LGBT+ rights.

    3. Listen

    Remember that you don’t know everything. Even the best ally makes mistakes or says the wrong thing sometimes. The difference between a good ally and a bad ally is the ability to listen. When someone criticizes you or calls you out for something, be open and ready to change. Don’t be proud and stubborn. A good ally also realizes their place. Even if you are a great ally, you can never truly understand the experience of a queer person. Always listen to what they have to say and make sure not to silence them. Allies should understand that it’s important for LGBT+ voices to be heard. There is a time for allies to speak up and there is a time for allies to listen. Be aware of this and stay mindful of how much space you’re taking up.

    The steps to being a good ally are straightforward but not easy. It takes a lot of effort to become an ally; it’s not just something that you can do for a month. Being an ally is something that you have to do 24/7. LGBT+ rights are human rights, and it’s important for everyone to do their part in defending them.

  • Articles, Dating, Mental Health, Relationships, Sexual Health, Tough Questions

    Nightmares for Memories

    CONTENT WARNING: This article contains information about sexual assault, which may be triggering. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. 

    Nightmares for Memories

    An Ugly Truth

    Some things are just engraved in your mind. No matter how hard you try to forget, you never will. Everyone has memories they can’t diminish. These memories feel more like nightmares. For some, the word “rape” and “sexual assault” are just sad things that happen if you’re not careful. They know it happens but don’t pay much attention to it – it’s one of those things you think will never happen to you.

    Hopefully, it won’t, but if it does, it will change your perspective on everything. At that moment it was like I had lost all control of my limbs, my entire body completely shut down. I went from saying stop and yelling no at the top of my lungs to just staring dead off into space. You can’t do anything, you just are helpless to the situation.

    After, you see everything in a different light.

    You question everything you did – from what you said, to what you were wearing. You feel as if it was your fault. It is not. But for me, the worst part was the way I felt after. I felt used and powerless. You jump anytime someone touches you and cry if someone hugs you. You can’t breathe when you hear their name and have a panic attack if you’re in the same room as them. To put it bluntly, it sucks.

    Although it was one of the worst experiences of my life, it taught me a lot of things.

    One, it is not okay for me to let people take advantage of me. Not all guys have good intentions, do not choose to see only good in people and be blind to the bad. Take both into account when choosing who you let into your life.

    Two, pick and choose your “friends” wisely. I was sexually assaulted by one of the people closest to me.

    Three, know how to say stop. Don’t let people overpower you just because you don’t want to be rude. If you’re uncomfortable with someone hugging you – tell them. Because a hug can quickly turn into something worse.

    Four, don’t be afraid to talk about it, it helps. They won’t think you are overreacting. In fact, they’ll most likely tell you the opposite. They’ll help.

    Five, it gets easier, time helps. In the end, you’ll be a stronger person than you were before. Like the song says “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

    If you feel you’ve been a victim of sexual assault, please visit one of the following organizations for help. 

    Visit online.rainn.org to chat one-on-one with a trained RAINN support specialist, any time 24/7 or call 1-800-656-HOPE

    National Sexual Assault Hotline, 1-800-656-4673

    Crisis Center Birmingham, Alabama, https://crisiscenterbham.org/sexual-assault-services/sexual-assault-services.htm

    24-HOUR HOTLINE: 205-323-7273

  • Articles, Relationships

    Getting Over A Breakup Is Hard

    Getting Over A Breakup Is Hard

    Getting Over a Breakup Is Hard

    How I dealt with mine – 

     

    My first breakup was shocking to me. Although it was my decision, it affected me more than I expected. Two years with someone and now they are out of your life. For good. It is a weird feeling and your emotions are out of whack. So many things remind you of them, almost everything in the beginning. You feel like things are going to be life-changing and dramatic when you break up with someone. In a way it is, but only because it is change. It still hurt, but it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. After all, I had lived without this person most of my life what made me think I wouldn’t be okay without them? So anyway here are some things I learned that made the experience overall a little better.

    It’s okay to not be okay

    Cry if you need to cry. Lay in bed and sulk and be upset. Be mad and angry and feel all the things. If you don’t let yourself be sad it is bound to come up later, so save yourself and get closure at the beginning so that you’re not still thinking about all the unanswered question you could have. Eat your chocolate and watch your sad movies, it doesn’t make you pathetic. Losing someone you love and your best friend is hard so you’re allowed to be upset.

    Time is Essential

    When it is still fresh, you are not going to magically wake up and feel like it didn’t happen. You will go thru a lot of ups and downs. One day you’ll be side, the next day you may be distracted and shove it in the back of your mind. You may even think you’ve gotten over it and then the next day you see a movie you always watched together and the sadness rushes in. Things will be different for a while, don’t rush it.

    Treat Yourself

    Get your nails done, go to Target and buy things you don’t need (Target is therapy, don’t argue me on that one), or go on a run to clear your mind. Taking care of yourself and your body will make you feel so much better. So put on your charcoal mask and binge-watch your favorite Netflix show, you deserve it.

    Do Some Organizing!

    One thing I did was purging my junk. I cleaned out my closet, organized my junk drawer, and decluttered my room. Being upset urges me to clean for some reason, but it honestly helps so much and makes everything feel cleansed. Maybe it’s in my head, but it really distracts me, eases my mind, and makes me feel like I have my life together, somewhat.

    Find You

    It is easy to lean on someone for your identity, especially in a relationship. Go out and don’t be afraid to try new hobbies, make new playlists, do what you like to do because you don’t have anyone else telling you to change the song. Start a journal or go get that book that’s been sitting on your book list for months now. There is always room to learn and grow so view this as more time to get to know who you are. Express yourself in new ways and learn to love you because there is so much freedom in being confident in who you are.

    Find Comfort in Being Alone

    It’s easy to rely on your friends during times like this and it’s okay to surround yourself with people you love but learn to also do things by yourself. If you are afraid to be alone this is a perfect time to get out of your comfort zone. If you learn to enjoy your own company, you’ll always be okay. Go to the grocery store, go get food, or go read a book in a coffee shop. I used to hate being alone I would never go to Target or TJ Maxx without a friend because it made me uncomfortable. After my breakup, I moved to a new city and was forced to learn this the hard way. So enjoy yourself, it is okay to do things alone…it is very enjoyable for me now and now I don’t have this need to constantly rely on people.

    All in all, breakups are hard and everyone copes differently. Just know, that you will be okay and there are better things to come. You have so much to look forward to!

  • Articles, Holiday, Relationships

    A Guide to A Happy Valentine’s Day

    Guide to Valentine's day

    A Guide to A Happy Valentine’s Day

     

    Celebrate Love that Matters

    As much as we hate to admit it, Valentine’s Day is a significant holiday in each person’s life – regardless of relationship status.

    Because let’s admit it, any day involving vast amounts of chocolate resonates with everyone. Whether you’re celebrating with your significant other over a candlelit dinner, having a movie night with your best friends, or indulging in some self-care, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to spread love – and we should all partake.

    While it’s easy to treat the fourteenth of February as a negative day, don’t fall victim to that mindset. Sure, all the red and pink hearts might be cliché, but pretending to be heartless is ever more so.

    This day doesn’t have to be about the stereotypical, romantic comedy kind of love. It should be about the love you have for your mom, who accepts you at your best and your worst (seriously, she had to deal with you during your pre-teen years. That’s love). It should be about the love you have for your friends, who have the ability to make you laugh during the most mundane moments. Even the love you have for your dog!

    Valentine’s Day isn’t just about flowers, chocolates and teddy bears – no matter how much we love those things (or pretend not to). It’s about love, in every shape and form. Love shouldn’t be defined by a date on the calendar. We should acknowledge it every day, hour, and second.

    So this Valentine’s Day, and each day leading up to and following it, embrace the love. Give your partner the appreciation they deserve, but don’t reserve it for those specific 24 hours. Give your current friends a hug, and give your old friends a call. Convey your love for candy by purchasing extensive amounts the day after, because it’ll all be on sale. It’s called self-love. 

    Valentine’s Day celebrates love, so don’t restrict the celebration to only those in relationships, and don’t restrict the emotion to one particular day.

    The negative stigma around this holiday is played out. Spread love!