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Relationships

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Relationships

    What to do if You’ve Been Ghosted

    Do you ever meet a cute guy and his name starts constantly popping up on your phone accompanied by daily snapchats and fun gifs? Then suddenly he disappears? Your text is left on read and your snapchat streak is gone?

    You have been ghosted, my friend. So, what do you do now?

    I’ve been ghosted before and it left me asking myself what was wrong with me. I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t want to talk to me anymore. Your first instinct is to text them and get to the bottom of why exactly they vanished from your lock screen. But don’t. Most likely, you will get a harsh answer that was better left wondering about. If there is one thing I learned from boys and why they ghost you it is simply because they aren’t interested anymore.

    With guys, sometimes if they aren’t feeling it, they want to run away. They are afraid that you have feelings when they don’t want to lead you on. Although, this often happens to a lot of people, it doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do. I know you may feel like you deserve closure. Or that there is the off chance that if you reach out you will continue to talk again, but that is not true. If a guy loses interest, he has most likely moved right along. So keep your head up and move on too!

    After all, you want a guy who will pursue you and fight for you not just leave you hanging. There is nothing wrong with you if you have been ghosted and you are worth more than that. Hold out for the guy that will make you feel chosen.

    Here are some more tips on what to do after getting ghosted.

  • Articles, GirlSpring.com, Home Life, Lifestyle, Relationships

    How to Make Your Parents Proud

    parents

    Many of the parents I know, including my own, give everything for their children. My parents allow me to go on endless adventures and support me through any opportunities I have. They let me study abroad for the summer, they are allowing me to go to residential school for the next two years, and they are always positive lights in my life. The least I can do is strive to make them proud, right?

    Growing up, I had ideas of what my parents expected from me. Regardless of the amount of truth in these ideas, I agreed with some… but was extremely confused by others. I thought they wanted me to follow in my dad’s footsteps and become a lawyer. Or that my mom wanted me to stay close to home and my dad didn’t want me to ever grow up.

    Me with my dad

    I didn’t know who I wanted to be, because I wanted to be who they wanted.

    I don’t know where I got these ideas because my parents have always been supportive and encouraging in everything I do. Is it even possible to make your parents proud if you don’t grow up to be like them? I wasn’t sure at the time. But yes, it certainly is possible.

    My ideas of my parents’ expectations couldn’t be farther from the truth. My parents always wanted me to be whatever I wanted, with a few actual expectations. They taught me that I could be whoever I wanted to be, as long as I was kind, hardworking, generous, and had integrity. Honestly, I am ashamed that it took me so long to realize what they were doing. They want the best for me, but they wanted me to make mistakes. They allowed me to learn on my own, probably because they knew I wouldn’t listen if they told me directly. My parents never truly placed any expectations for my future, because they want me to be independent.

    I have to figure out my own life, with their guidance, because it is mine, after all.

    My mom and dad’s goal is for me, and my brothers, to be happy, healthy, and love what we are doing. It’s that simple. Although, it’s cliché, it’s true, all you have to do to make your parents proud is be yourself. If I would’ve spent my life trying to make my parents happy, I would’ve missed the opportunities I had to accomplish things that truly make them proud. It is important for me to fulfill my own expectations, with the help of my parents. I take everything I am given to the fullest potential and hope that I can add to their pride, through doing what I feel is right.

    Parents should let their children live their own lives, let children make decisions, and fail sometimes. I know my parents enjoy watching what I can accomplish independently, after learning from them my whole life. I experience whatever is on my own path, regardless of what is on the paths beside me. Dreams have to be fulfilled by the dreamer. You can’t live someone else’s dream for them. The only way to succeed is to follow your own dreams, and have the ones you love support you along the way.

    Spend time with your parents and family! Here are some ways that you can grow closer this summer.

  • 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, 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

    What to do if you are being bullied – by one of your parents

    Sometimes parents can be the bullies in your life.

    In our society, we are socialized to respect our elders. Therefore, the thought of standing up to one or challenging what they have taught you to better yourself is tough. No one likes to be pushed around or interrogated for their everyday life by people they do not know. Being pressured by a parent can be even more overwhelming and can result in some psychological issues if not dealt with properly.

    Up until my grandmothers passing, we had a bit of a rocky relationship.

    Because I was so expressive in my presentation, she would think that I was somehow disobeying her and disobeying God. I grew up in a conservative Baptist home. I struggled with why I was so concerned with how other people viewed me. It was because I had been raised, and based most of my life around, this idea that if I looked like I was okay, then everything was okay on the inside. But that was far from the truth. My grandmother’s inability to accept me for who I was took a toll on me in ways that I cannot explain. And on top of that, it felt as if the whole world agreed with her.

    The saying that people treat you how they treat themselves can apply to this situation, and many other things.

    According to www.kidshealth.org, “Sometimes bullies know that what they’re doing or saying hurts other people. But other bullies may not really know how hurtful their actions can be. Most bullies don’t understand or care about the feelings of others.” Some people come from backgrounds where people have abused them or mistreated them and use you as a target to project that onto. Others might come from places of insecurity or belittlement.

    In some situations, I feel as if it is important to be brave.

    Do not be afraid to stand up for yourself especially if you know there was something that you didn’t do wrong. If you are in a position where you cannot stick up for yourself and it requires someone in higher authority, like an adult, to speak up then I would suggest pulling them to the side and telling them what’s going on. Two heads are better than one. On top of having courage, the fact of having a support system will catapult you into a completely different arena. And if you also see someone being bullied, do not stand back and be a bystander. Be a voice for them and do not hesitate.

    Work on being good enough for you.

    I know a lot of teenagers and children want to do their best in order to be on their parents’ good side, but truth be told, this is impossible. If you are not giving yourself the credit to excel, then you’ll only continue to live in that docility and that dark place. And always remember if someone has the audacity to touch you, belittle you, or make you feel inferior, there is a likely chance that all of those emotions are going on inside of themselves. You have to believe that you are on the right path.

     

    Makayla Smith is a third-year student at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She completed an internship at Girlspring in fall 2018.