The Disconnect – Letter to My Body Part Three

There’s this thing John Green has spoken about quite a few times: how he used to conceptualize himself as a brain that had to be carried around by his body rather than the body being an intrinsic part of his being to begin with.

That’s how I used to think, And – in all honesty – it’s still how I feel, deep down.

But I can understand why John ultimately found the thinking unhelpful. For if the body was just a physical means to an end – to get him from A to B – its wellbeing didn’t matter so much. He didn’t have to really care about it, so long as his mind was fine.

Except doctors have known for a long time that physical health can and does affect mental health.

When John began to think about his body, and its needs, and embrace it and them as part of himself, he started to make changes than benefitted him as a whole. He began to exercise. He started to eat right, take better care of his teeth, and quit smoking.

For John, this has been a journey, and he’s not at the end of it, yet.

But, dear Body, I am trying – by the means of these letters if nothing else – to walk that same path.

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Tips for Meeting the Love of Your Life

So, it’s coming up to Valentine’s Day and you might be wanting to have a little romance in your life. As a follow up to my last post, talking about my own potted relationship history complete with Happy Ever After, I thought I’d share my top tips to finding that special person for yourself.

These are specific to online dating, as that’s the method that ultimately worked for me.

1. Play the Long Game/Take Your Time

If you’re serious about wanting to commit to a long term relationship, you might need more than a few days lead-in time. Signing up for an online dating profile tonight, with four days to go until Valentine’s, might score you a date for the big day and you could be lucky enough to have said date with someone super right for you but, realistically, it’ll probably take more than that. More time, more energy, more searching.

I’m sorry if this bursts your bubble. It’s probably not what you want to hear, but you’ve waited all of your life so far already, right? What’s a little longer? If you want lasting results, it’s gonna take some time, but it will be worth it. (That’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with just wanting a date and nothing more. If that’s your jam, go for it, but this advice isn’t really targetted at you.)

I was on (and off) online dating sites for years, not taking it very seriously at all, before I found one that worked for me. The one I stuck with was OkCupid, but you may find a different one that suits you better (bonus tip: do your research!). Even once I’d finally selected my dating site of choice, I was on there for so long that they actually made me on of their moderators.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Those years of being on the site were not entirely devoid of options. I would get messages fairly regularly, it was just that none of the message-ees suited me. This might also be your experience, but do not despair. Continue reading

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Five, Four, Three – A Love Story

Ten years ago, I had a string of disastrous not-quite relationships. In the space of nine months there was the guy who tried to take over my life, the guy who scared me off because he fell so hard, so fast, and I was too broken; the other guy who wanted more than I was willing or ready to give, the guy who I put on a pedestal and damn near lost my mind over, and there was the guy who raped me.

I was in such a messed up place, but I took a year away from all that – moved back in with my parents (an entirely different kind of toxic situation) – and more or less got back on my feet.

Nine years ago, I got caught up with someone who was even more damaged than me and I got torn up all over again.

Then there were three years of being alone and becoming comfortable with things that way. There was a two-month-long relationship at the end of those that wasn’t great but at least didn’t leave me deeply psychologically traumatised.

Then… five years ago, this very day, I got an email.

Three days and fifty-five messages each way later, I was going on a date. Two days after that, date number two; and two days after that, it was official. We changed our Facebook statuses, deleted our online dating profiles, and Steve told me he loved me.

I believed him, and let him show me that love – no matter how terrified I was. (And I was terrified, let me tell you.) It wasn’t long before I fully let go and was saying those three magic words myself. In under six months, we were engaged.

Four years ago, we moved in together.

Three years ago, we exchanged vows.

And I’m even more in love now than I was then, which is saying something.

Happy anniversary, baby. Here’s to the next half-decade x

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