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  • 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, Dating, GirlSpring.com, Tips

    How to tell if your crush is into you

    Having a crush is exciting… but what are some signs that he is crushing on you?

    He pursues you

    As in pursue, I mean he actively makes an effort to be around you. He texts you every day or every other day or constantly snapchats you. Whether you are at school, church, or whatever organization you’re involved in, he seems to be around you. Not in a stalker way, but in an “I like you I want to get to know you kind of way.”

    He Investigates

    He asks about you, your favorite color, restaurant, food, or candy and he pays attention to the answers. If he is constantly asking you questions and digging to find out more about you then he likes you. One thing I learned is most guys aren’t interested in only friendship with girls.

    He talks to your friends

    Does he ask your friends about you or ask what you think about him? When he asks around about you then it means he cares and he wants to be with you or at least take you out on a date.

    He asks to go get lunch or dinner

    If he asks to go eat, especially alone, then he likes you. I used to think all guys wanted to be my friend so if they took me to eat and paid then they were just being nice. WRONG. They aren’t typically just “being nice.” Them paying is a sign that they like you and are counting this outing as a date…unless they specify otherwise.

    He introduces you to his friends

    His friends are super important. They are his bros and the guys he shares most of his information with. If he introduces you to them then you aren’t just a “friend” he wants to show you off and he is interested.

    He is excited

    If your crush is talkative and fun around you and sort of being goofy, then he likes you. Guys don’t show that side often unless they are wanting to make you laugh and impress you. Obviously, it depends heavily on their personality, but you can tell when most people are excited. If the excitement is there and the chemistry aligns then you can tell he likes you.

    He shares his favorite music with you

    Making mixtapes and burning CDs for someone has always been a huge way to express how much you care about someone. So, if he is sharing his Spotify or Apple music playlists with you and wanting you to listen to the new songs he’s found then he is into you. Guys don’t just share their music with anyone.

    It is easy to feel out whether someone is into you. Simply noticing their vibe and the way they carry themselves when they are around you is a sure way to tell. Sometimes you just need to go with your gut and feel it out, but if he is not making any moves and putting in no effort towards your relationship then he is not into you. Don’t try to make something happen that is not there. Many think because guys aren’t making a move that they need to do something and that couldn’t be further from the truth. You are beautiful and you deserve a guy and that is willing to fight for you and do everything they can to get to know you. Never settle.

    So, you and your crush are talking and what’s next? Here are some first date tips.

    It can be confusing to flirt when so much of it happens on the phone, so here is a video with tips for texting your crush

  • Articles, Bullying

    Hey Bullies, It’s not Cool to Be Cruel

    It's Not Cool to Be Cruel

    No Bullies Allowed.

    Tips on How to Handle Being Bullied

    Being the center of attention can be nerve-wracking if it is not handled properly. Some people aspire to be the most popular person in the room. Others cringe at the thought of it. Nonetheless, being the center of attention calls for a lot of people to watch your every move. With this being said, sometimes the limelight brings unpleasant people who say and do things that aren’t so nice.

    These people are called bullies.

    In some form or fashion, we have all had a childhood bully. They are never easy to deal with. One of the first bullies that I ever had was when I was in the seventh grade. She ended up stealing my iPod too. A few other times it usually had something to do with how I did my hair and people would say it was flakey and I needed to wash it. It was usually condescending and in a way. People used to make fun of how I talk since it isn’t conventionally feminine. Others used to take jabs about how I dressed or spoke. Essentially, it made me feel terrible about myself. I wouldn’t talk to anyone about how those situations made me feel because I thought that I had no one to talk to.

    Ultimately, I learned that the goal of a bully is to make you feel bad about yourself.

    As said on www.psychologytoday.com, “Bullying is repeated, aggressive behavior…that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Its purpose is to deliver physical or psychological harm to another person. [They] operate by making their victims feel alone and powerless.” When I noticed that this was their end goal, to make feel a way in which I could not understand, I had to learn to find true confidence from solitude and isolation.

    A lot of people did not understand me growing up. I was uncanny and they thought that my kindness made me an easy target. On top of being socially awkward, I was quite shy and introverted because not communicating the things that harmed me made me feel better. Plus, it was easier to not say anything and keep going with life rather than confront the issue. Again, I learned rather quickly that allowing people to walk all over you would not be a justifiable reason for letting people know when they have hurt you.

    Being assertive and confident created a path to holding others accountable for their wrongdoings. For me, it was not always easy doing so. It takes a lot of self-awareness to be able to tell people when they are wrong, but it is needed. Bullies do not have the power or authoritative order over you; they want you to feel inferior, but know and understand that you are in charge of your own life and safety. Do not fret if the end result is not what you expected. You have to stay consistent and remind these bullies of who is in charge.

    Makayla Smith is a third-year student at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She is interning at GirlSpring.
  • 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, Poem, Poems

    Love

    Love

    Hearts beating,
    Faster and faster each time.
    Sweaty hands,
    Bodies shaking,
    Can’t feel anything.
    But the safety of your hug,
    My heart skips a beat.
    As your eyes glisten
    Into mine
    Made for each other,
    but not forever.
    That’s love.

     

    Like poetry? Do you write your own? Submit a piece to be published on Girlspring at www.girlspring.com/submit.

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  • Quizzes

    How Should You Spend Valentine’s Day

    Girlspring valentines day

    How should you spend Valentine’s day?

    How You Should Spend Your Valentine’s Day

    Take this quiz and figure out how you should spend your Valentine's Day


    Check out more quizzes here!

  • 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!