Category “love & relationships”

My Insatiable Quest for Love and How I Found It When I Stopped Looking

“I can’t say when you’ll get love or how you’ll find it or even promise that you will. I can only say you are worthy of it and that it’s never too much to ask for it and that it’s not crazy to fear you’ll never have it again, even though your fears are probably wrong. Love is our essential nutrient. Without it, life has little meaning. It’s the best thing we have to give and the most valuable thing we receive. It’s worthy of all the hullabaloo.” ~Cheryl Strayed

Like many young girls, I spent my childhood daydreaming about

20 Journaling Prompts to Help You Love Yourself

“Time spent in self-reflection is never wasted—it is an intimate date with yourself.” ~Paul TP Wong

I’ve found journaling is a polarizing activity. People love it or hate it. (If you are in the latter group, don’t worry, you’ll still get a lot out of this!) Personally, I’ve hit both ends of the spectrum at different points in my life.

I spent many years in a place of self-loathing. I truly believed I was just not blessed with being born a likable person. And this belief fueled decades of social anxiety, avoiding parties, coming up with lame excuses to …

Why Forgiving Is the Last Step in The Process and What Comes First

“True forgiveness comes when you realize there is something totally radiant inside you, that nobody could ever touch” ~Eckhart Tolle

I grew up in an emotionally abusive household.

My father was a man who diligently provided for us, but he left me with scars and shattered self-esteem.

My mother cooked me my favorite foods and let me sleep in her bed when I was scared, but she attacked my insecurities when I frustrated her. My friends played nasty pranks, but she wiped my tears as we both tried to survive my religious, cult-like school together.

As a kid, I didn’t …

How We Can Let People Go When a Relationship Runs Its Course

“Sometimes it takes relationships that don’t last forever to teach us lessons that will.” ~Unknown

I recently had to let go of a friendship I had been in for almost eight years.

In the first few years of knowing each other, we had magnetic pulls. Each time we would arrange to hang out, it was as if time stood still. We talked and shared so much of each other that sometimes five whole hours would pass by as if it had been only minutes.

We texted each other, sent long emails, and would arrange coffee dates when our lives weren’t …

The Freedom of Being Ourselves (Whether Others Like Us or Not)

“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” ~Oscar Wilde

“Cringey” is what my kids called it. Me? I was just being Sam.

After hitting “post” on my highly emotive Instagram video—one of those more-than-one-minute jobbies that winds up on Instagram TV—I closed the app and had a brief moment of panic. Maybe I said too much? Maybe I screwed myself by being too honest? Too open? Too… vulnerable?

A few hours after sharing that five-minute, tear-filled video on not giving up on our dreams, I still didn’t have the courage to log back in to see how many followers I’d …

Why I No Longer Fight for Acknowledgment When Someone Devalues Me

“People will teach you how to love by not loving you back. People will teach you how to forgive by not apologizing. People will teach you kindness by their judgment. People will teach you how to grow by remaining stagnant. Pay attention when you’re going through pain and mysterious times. Listen to the wisdom life is trying to teach you.” ~Meredith Marple

“The ad was a misprint. We can’t offer you any monetary compensation for your writing, maybe dog treats.”

This is an actual response from a successful animal-themed magazine I was going to write for. This letter went on

How to Create Happiness Outside of a Relationship and Enjoy More of Your Life

“Remember, being happy doesn’t mean you have it all. It simply means you’re thankful for all you have.” ~Unknown

For many years I was single. But I wasn’t just a regular single, I was a miserable one.

Rather than enjoying a time in my life when I didn’t have to care about anyone else but myself and using it to devote my full attention to my purpose and passions, I chose to ride the “woe is me” train.

I would complain about being single daily and covet other women’s “luck” in dating. I would blame every guy I dated …

Feel Hurt in Your Relationship? How to Get Your Needs Met and Feel Closer

“The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers.” ~Deepak Chopra

I used to handle hurtful situations in relationships the same way. I’d get angry, shut down, get irritated, or just give my partner the silent treatment. This just led to more of what I didn’t want—separation, loneliness, and frustration.

So one day I made up my mind. I was going to change my approach and try something different. Cause we’ve all heard that famous saying from Albert Einstein: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different

When You Lose a Loved One to Suicide: Healing from the Guilt and Trauma

“You will survive, and you will find purpose in the chaos. Moving on doesn’t mean letting go.” ~Mary VanHaute

I was ten years old when I discovered the truth. He didn’t fall. He wasn’t pushed. It wasn’t an accident.

He jumped.

Suicide isn’t a concept easily explained to a six-year-old, much less her younger siblings, so I grew up believing that my father’s drowning was an unfortunate freak accident. It was “just one of those things,” the cruel way of the world, and there was nothing anyone could have done about it.

This explanation more than satisfied me and, other …

How I Stopped Dismissing Praise and Started Believing Compliments

“I’ve met people who are embattled and dismissive, but when you get to know them, you find that they’re vulnerable—that hauteur or standoffishness is because they’re pedaling furiously underneath.” ~Matthew Macfadyen

It was impossible to miss the dismissive hand gesture and distasteful look on her face in response to my comment.

“You ooze empathy,” I had said in all sincerity to my therapist.

“And what’s it like if I blow off or disregard that compliment?” she countered. Then, as usual, she waited.

“Ah, it feels terrible,” I sputtered as the lights of insight began to flicker. I was acutely …

The Signs of a Strong Friendship (and an Unhealthy One)

“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” ~Oprah Winfrey

“How on earth am I supposed to survive? I have no friends whatsoever!”

These were the thoughts that ran through my mind then when I first set foot in London five years ago. I felt raw and vulnerable in the beautiful new city that I had to make my new home, alone, with my two kids, while my husband was overseas. I wondered how I was supposed to do …

My Attraction Experiment: Why I Created a Dating Profile with No Pics

“Being attracted to someone’s way of thinking is a whole different level of attraction.” ~Unknown

I have been divorced for ten years now and thought it would be fairly easy to find “the one” once I was set free from the ties of the wrong one. To my surprise, it has been harder than I thought it would be. I have found many but not “the one.”

I have been on Match, Bumble, Plenty of Fish, and blind dates, and even dated a longtime friend to only find myself single going into my fiftieth year on this planet. It …

How Singles Can Come Out Stronger After the Pandemic

“Resilience is all about being able to overcome the unexpected. Sustainability is about survival. The goal of resilience is to thrive.” ~Jamais Cascio

The pandemic has forced us to avoid people, self-isolate, and keep to ourselves.

It might seem like you’re in a position where you don’t have many options. You can’t freely hang out with your friends. You can’t have fun like you used to. Your dating and socializing opportunities are limited. These setbacks can bring to the fore feelings of loneliness, deepen the longing for relationships, and highlight your innate desire for connection.

I know how easy …

Learning to Honor My Grief When the World Has Become Desensitized to Loss

“The answer to the pain of grief is not how to get yourself out of it, but how to support yourself inside it.” ~Unknown 

Since losing my husband Matt over eight months ago to cancer at the age of just thirty-nine, I have noticed so many changes happening within me, and one of those changes is a fierce sense of protectiveness that I have over my grief.

We are living in a unique time in history. The world has turned upside down due to the coronavirus pandemic, and at the time of writing this the UK had just passed 100,000 …

How Embracing Your Sensitivity Can Benefit Your Relationship

“Today I want you to think about all that you are instead of all that you are not.” ~Unknown

If you are a sensitive person like me, you may think being sensitive is problematic. Especially when it comes to love and relationships.

Maybe you’ve been called “too sensitive” by your partner or a parent. Maybe you feel overly emotional or have strong reactions to things or take things personally that don’t bother your partner, or you are easily irritated or get cranky all too often, or you feel the urge to be alone a lot more than you …

Why Curiosity Is My Love Language and How It Makes Me Feel Seen

“Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.” ~David W. Augsburger

The five love languages—a framework for how we give and receive affection created by psychologist Gary Chapman in 1992⁠—include quality time, gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation, and physical touch.

As much as I love receiving all five demonstrations of care, I’ve always felt that my truest love language was missing from this list.

My love language is curiosity. I show others I care for them by asking questions, learning their experiences, and being hungry for the essence

The Day I Found Out from the Internet my Estranged Father Had Died

“The scars you can’t see are the hardest to heal.” ~Astrid Alauda

On a lazy Sunday morning as I lounged in bed, I picked up my phone, scrolled through my news feed on Facebook, and decided to Google my parents’ names.

I am estranged from my parents, and I have not had much of a relationship with them in over fifteen years; however, there’s a part of me that will always care about them.

I Googled my mother’s name first and found the usual articles about her dance classes, and her name on church and community bulletin boards. …

7 Things You Need to Know If You’re Going Through a Painful Breakup

Last year my uncle died shortly after someone I love went through a pretty traumatic breakup. I love all my family, but I wasn’t really close to my uncle and didn’t know him all that well, so I was more grieving for my mother and aunt than myself.

As I bore witness to the deep pain around me, I started thinking about the expectations we often hold of people when grieving a breakup, as opposed to grieving a death. We often expect them to feel sad for a while and then just get over it. Because the person didn’t die, …

What to Do If You’re Single and Feel Like You’re Missing Out


“Hope for love, pray for love, wish for love, dream for love…but don’t put your life on hold waiting for love.” ~Mandy Hale

Going to weddings alone, with no plus-one to take along with you. Watching the couples dance, thinking, “Will there ever come a time when that is me on the dance floor?” Going on holidays alone, with no partner to share memories with. Listening to stories of friends’ weekends away, as a reminder of just how solitary your own weekends are. If you are anything like me, you might recognize these signs of single life.

“Will my situation …

The Magic of Rewriting Our Most Painful Stories

“When you bring peace to your past, you can move forward to your future.” ~Unknown

It amazes me how things that happen in our childhood can greatly impact our adult lives. I learned the hard way that I was living my life with a deep wound in my heart.

My father was a very strict man with a temper when I was little, starting when I was around seven years old.

He had a way of making me feel like all my efforts were not enough. If I scored an 8 in a math exam, he would say, “Why 8