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The Bright Side To Being Single

27 Mar

blog_bright

Everyone has that friend who doesn’t know the right thing to say when you’re down and out. My favorite panic-mode sympathy line is, “Well, look on the bright side….” Then, they proceed to tell you a bunch of lame reasons you should be happy in a shitty situation.

Well, this blog post is not going to be that. Sure, it’s a look-on-the-bright-side theme but it’s a list of actually awesome reasons why staying single in Los Angeles really IS something to be celebrated.

I turned to two of my best single girlfriends, Chanel and Rachel, for some input on why being a 20-something single girl is flirty and fabulous!

1. You didn’t settle. Be thankful you’re alone rather than being like your girlfriend who’s miserably with her broke, rude or cheating boyfriend who she can’t seem to break up with.

2. YOU TIME. Your weekends aren’t shared with anyone unless you want them to be. You can pick and choose when you want to be around your friends, go on a date, or just take a bubble bath at home on a Friday night. No obligations.

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3. You learn independence. All women, single and taken, need to learn how to fend for themselves.

4. Ladies Night! Being single gives you ample time to spend with the people who understand you the most, your girls. When you have a boyfriend, it’s inevitable to disappear a little in your little cloud of love. As a taken woman, my occasional girls’ nights are such a breath of fresh air. I love my relationship but there’s nothing like a little girl talk over a glass of wine.

5. You don’t have to shave your legs if you don’t feel like it (the best reason, in my opinion—by Rachel).

6. You save money. Having a boyfriend can get expensive on birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Being single has you spending only on family, SOME friends, but mostly yourself.

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7. Guilt-free flirting. There’s something about not having anyone to report to. You can go out, talk to as many guys as your little heart desires and give out your number as many times as you want.

8. Nobody is judging you. I’d be lying to say I do whatever I want when I want while being in a relationship. My boyfriend gives me the evil eye when my weekly online shopping packages arrive. Whenever he comes around while I’m browsing the Hautelook iPhone app, I quickly press the button to the homepage and pretend I’m just checking my e-mails. This doesn’t happen when you’re single.

9.  You don’t have a mother-in-law.

10. You can do weird things with no one looking. Come on, girls, we all have strange rituals we like to keep to ourselves.  I purposely watch reruns of Full House while my boyfriend is at work. Shhh! #dontjudgeme

11. Your decision to go to a wild weekend in Vegas with the girls doesn’t start with, “Babe… I was wondering… if maybe… I could possibly…”

12. Giving your heart a break. The ups and down of romance are sometimes just too much to endure. Flying solo= no fights, no bickering, no heartbreak.

13. No one is counting your cocktails. During a night on the town you don’t have the constant whisper, “Is that your third Cosmo?”  You’re single and you’ll get shitfaced if you want to!

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14. It’s more fun to laugh at couples’ dramatic Facebook posts or Tweets when they’re fighting if you’re single. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s pretty entertaining regardless!

15. Finally, the most important upside to being single is learning to love yourself. I’m a firm believer that you can’t fully love someone until you truly love yourself; who you are, what you stand for, what you love to do and how you treat others. Self-love is something no man can ever fulfill.

So, while you wait for your knight in shining BMW, learn to appreciate all that single life has to offer. It’s pretty fun and fabulous!

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All That Glitters

29 Dec

champagne

I thought it was fitting to have “glitter” in the title seeing as New Year’s Eve is less than a week away! However, this week’s topic has very little to do with champagne toasts and sequin dresses, and more to do with the old saying “not all that glitters is gold.”

I hear a lot of my girlfriends whine about how they can’t find a good guy like their friend _______ did or that their man isn’t as sweet as other people’s boyfriends. It’s easy to be envious of somebody else’s relationship when you’re on the outside looking in.

Throughout my infamous relationships over the past several years, I have been known to keep mum about the intimate details with my significant others and have always been selective of who I open up to—and because of this, some assumed I had the “perfect relationship”… or at least, it seemed that way. But the truth of the matter is that NO relationship is perfect.

A great example of what I’m talking about is the roller coaster affair I had with a college football player in 2008. I won’t name names because this isn’t “Confessions of a Video Vixen” and I’m not looking to out anyone. This 6’4” star athlete seemed like the holy grail of boyfriends—tall, dark and handsome. He was a smooth-talking beautiful liar. The type of guy who closed down stadiums on Valentine’s Day to have a candlelit dinner with me on the 50-yard line… and then sleep with my friend the next day. He also went on to cheat on me another 3 times—all of which I found out about in one night. Oh, the magic of going through one’s cell phone. All the while, many girls were jealous of the glitz and glamour of being an athlete’s #1 girl. Little did they know that I was his number one… just not his only.

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There was also the Los Angeles real estate agent who, ironically on another Valentine’s Day, had me open a little box that held a set of keys to a luxury apartment in it. He dressed sharp to look the part, he faked it to play the part, while unbeknownst to me, was going through major financial woes and alcoholism. My girlfriends would always ask me if he had a brother who was just as perfect as he was. I would laugh it off modestly as I went back to our loft to find hidden bottles of brandy stashed away in the most random nooks.

Before depressing you any further, I’ll just cut to the chase– being jealous of your girlfriend’s seemingly “perfect” relationship is foolish. Every relationship, successful or not, is tough work. Getting down on yourself for not having a flawless boyfriend is dumb because HE DOESN’T EXIST.

So, here a few things to take away from this post:

-Forget what you think you know about anyone’s relationship. Unless you know firsthand by being in the relationship, you don’t know s***.
-Stop being jealous! Girls these days are insanely insecure and constantly compare themselves to others. Like my mother always tells me, there will always be someone prettier than you, smarter than you, richer than you, and with a better boyfriend. Deal with it.

-Even if your girlfriend actually does have an incredible man in her life, be happy for her! It says a lot about one’s character when they are able to celebrate a friend’s happiness regardless of their own.

BEING ENVIOUS IS THE ART OF COUNTING ANOTHER GIRL’S BLESSINGS INSTEAD OF YOUR OWN!!!

jealousy

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All Wrapped Up

22 Dec

‘Tis the season to be…. STRESSED THE EFF OUT!?!?

I apologize in advance for how undeveloped my blog post is today. I’m a HOT CHRISTMAS MESS right now! I don’t know how some girls keep it together during this time of buying thoughtful gifts, wrapping presents (not just throwing them in a gift bag with crumpled tissue), planning their cookie baking regimen, and looking fabulously put together while doing it! I wish I looked like this…

photo credit: x-ray delta one via photopin cc

photo credit: x-ray delta one via photopin cc

Instead, I am quite the opposite. I look like I’ve been beaten with an ugly stick, I have been running errands in my pajamas, skipped all holiday decorations this year and currently rushing to finish this post to catch a MUCH needed hair appointment AND work until 3:00am tonight. Ah, yes, the hair situation… I haven’t brushed my hair in the last few days. Just keepin’ it real. I’ve been bartending all week rocking the “sexy messy hair” look minus the sexy.

photo credit: Evil Erin via photopin cc

photo credit: Evil Erin via photopin cc

So, this quick post is to redirect you to another awesome blog by a girl who DOES have it all together this Christmas! 🙂 My friend, Leah, writes a very fun lifestyle blog that I love to follow and so will you. She posts great holiday treat recipes and hopefully you can pick up some yummy tips! www.freutcake.com <—- Must read! She’s a real life Martha Stewart.

photo credit: x-ray delta one via photopin cc

photo credit: x-ray delta one via photopin cc

THE ONLY SEMI-USEFUL TIP OF THE WEEK:

All that Live & Love in L.A. can tell you this week is that if you are hung up on what to get the special guy in your life who has EVERYTHING, think about giving him a little something unexpected. Dressing up in your sexy little Santa outfit or meeting him under the mistletoe should do the trick. Remember ladies, guys are simple. They like to eat, sleep and play. 😉

The Blind Date Blues

8 Dec

I was at the airport in Eugene, Oregon coming back to Los Angeles from visiting my ex-boyfriend at the University of Oregon where he went to school. We weren’t a couple during my visit but he was that one ex that I always found my way back to whenever I was single. This ex was my high school sweetheart and our on-again-off-again romance lasted many years—but we’ll save more about him and our tumultuous relationship for a later post. Anyways, while waiting to board my plane, an insanely handsome man caught my eye.

photo credit: ~Oryctes~ via photopin cc

photo credit: ~Oryctes~ via photopin cc

This guy looked as though he literally walked right out of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog, except he was fully clothed—6-foot-something, blonde, built and bright blue eyes. I caught myself staring and immediately looked away but I felt him staring back. Every time I’d look up from pretending to read my book he’d be looking right at me and smiling. As you can imagine, the second I saw in my peripheral vision that he got up and was walking towards me, I was silently freaking out. The next thing I heard was, “Excuse me, Miss?”

photo credit: André-Batista via photopin cc

photo credit: André-Batista via photopin cc

It felt like a hazy dream as the next thing to come out of his mouth was, “I apologize for interrupting your reading but I just had to tell you how beautiful you are.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! DOES THIS SHIT HAPPEN OUTSIDE OF ROMANTIC COMEDIES?? I stuttered to say thank you and babbled some nonsense and then the hazy dream snapped back to reality. He then tells me, “I have this friend back home in L.A. who would absolutely love to meet you.”

Ummmmm…. Come again!? Let me get this straight… Hot guy who caught me drooling over him came over to tell me I’m beautiful and DOESN’T want to take me out? Awesome. Not.

He sells me on this friend who is a restaurateur, young, available and looking for love. I figured super hot guys hang out with other super hot guys, right? So I gave him my number and permission to have his friend call me. His friend called and we talked and texted for a week before actually meeting up. I was so skeptical of blind dates that I tried to put it off as long as possible but the day finally came.

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My blind date, Christian, asked me to meet him at the restaurant he owns at 8pm. I arrived a little early so I went straight to the bar to liquor myself up and mentally prepare myself for this mystery man. The bartender asked if I was Joyce—apparently Christian prepped the staff for my arrival. He escorted me over to our table and made small talk to keep me company. The bartender’s first question was, “So, you’ve never seen Christian?” I thought that was odd. Should I be worried?

Too late to turn back now. Christian arrives and he is…. the… exact… opposite… of super sexy airport guy. Again, does this shit actually happen outside of chick flicks? Yes, it does– to me anyways. I was a good sport about it and enjoyed a two-hour six-course meal with him and listened to his descriptions of the bitter tannins in our Cabernet Sauvignon and the intricate preparation of the tender foie gras. It felt like I was in a bad porno that starts with the food connoisseur sexually describing the pleasure of his taste buds—except our date ended in a hug… not a tug.

photo credit: ulterior epicure via photopin cc

photo credit: ulterior epicure via photopin cc

TIPS TO AVOID A BAD BLIND DATE:
— Be careful about who is setting you up. If someone isn’t a good friend of yours, they probably don’t know the type of guys you’re interested in.
— Don’t let it be a “blind” date. With today’s social media it seems like everyone has at least one picture that is easily accessible by a touch of an iPhone. Ask whoever is setting you up or even your date to send you a photo first. Let’s face it, as much as you don’t want to admit you are shallow, NOBODY wants to go out with someone they aren’t physically attracted to.
— Don’t let them pick you up! Always meet a blind date wherever you guys are having dinner or drinks. The last thing you want is to be at the mercy of a guy you don’t like in order to get back home—or just bring cash for a cab!

photo credit: Sylvain_Latouche via photopin cc

photo credit: Sylvain_Latouche via photopin cc

My one blind date experience didn’t go exactly as planned but I don’t regret it! I’m glad to be able to say I’ve tried it once and it’s not for me. Although, I believe there is something to be said about taking a chance on the unknown. As much of a control freak as I am about knowing what’s coming next, I enjoy the thrill of the dating world’s uncertainty. Not everyone has to be Mr. Right or nothing at all. Going on dates is a good way to make new friends and have more connections. As most Los Angeles natives know, networking is key to success in this city. My blind date, Christian, and I are still acquaintances two years later. He sends me e-mails every now and then to see how I’m doing and if I have any new yummy cocktail recipes to send him. I text him whenever I plan to eat at any trendy L.A. spots since he’s a great person to name-drop if you want the 8:00pm reservation at those impossible-to-get-a-decent-time restaurants.

Blind date or not, if you’re single and looking, keep putting yourself out there and be open to meeting new people! You never know where a blind date will lead.

24 Things I Know At 24

2 Dec

I just celebrated my 24th birthday last Wednesday and I had the most incredible time! I am the typical 20-something girl who likes to stretch it out as a “birthday week”. I’ll find any excuse to go out every night of that week with a different group of friends, get all dolled up and toast to another fantastic year.

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Although, I have to say, this year felt a bit different than past birthdays. When people greet me on my birthday and jokingly ask, “So, do you feel older?” I normally laugh and respond, “Of course not. It’s just a regular ol’ day.” But turning 24 actually had me a little “emo” in the sense that I reflected upon my life and how it has drastically changed in the past years. Things that I used to feel were so important just don’t stand anymore. Certain aspects of my life I used to put in the back of my mind are now some of my biggest priorities. Heck, I really can’t believe I’m so into saving money and couponing now when I used to blow through hundreds of dollars shopping on Melrose on a weekly basis! *cringe* What a complete waste!

So, this week’s Live & Love in L.A. post is a list of 24 things I know at 24. I’m sure there are 2,400,000 things left to learn in this life but here’s a shorter version of what I’ve learned from living and loving the past 24 years of this crazy/wonderful life.

1. Don’t drink to get drunk. Enjoy the taste and experience of a great cocktail! Way more enjoyable than shooting back some dirty shot that tastes like rubbing alcohol. Plus, you won’t end up being the annoying, belligerent chick everyone wants to shut up!

2. I’m allowed to treat myself. I’m big on saving money. Let’s just say, Suze Orman is one of my idols. But sometimes it’s okay to splurge on yourself if you feel you deserve it. Drop the guilt trip and buy yourself a shiny new iPad if you can afford it. If I’m feeling burnt out from work and realize I’ve saved way more than I thought I would that month, I’ll buy myself some new M.A.C. make-up or a fancy mani/pedi and not feel bad about it. Plus, having an occasional splurge gives you incentive to keep up the momentum of working hard for your next treat!

photo credit: axelsrose via photopin cc

photo credit: axelsrose via photopin cc

3. No matter how drunk I am, I have to floss and brush my teeth before knocking out. I’m a dental hygiene addict and it’s okay. First step is admitting you have a problem.

4. Stop charging it! I can’t understand how some young women are in so much debt! Stop using plastic thinking you are buying that new handbag with the magical money tree in your backyard. If it helps you to budget your money more effectively, carry cash. You physically see and feel you’re spending. Charging it on a card can be the financial death of you. Since the day I received my first credit card at 18, I have paid off my credit cards IN FULL every single month. I never buy anything I know I can’t pay off at the end of the month. This doesn’t mean withdrawing from your Savings account to swing it. If you don’t have the money in your Checkings account, step away. You should use your card to build good credit, not bad debt.

photo credit: Stargazer95050 via photopin cc

photo credit: Stargazer95050 via photopin cc

5. Saving for a rainy day is critical. On the topic of finances, saving money at our age is serious business. Mid-twenties isn’t too young to start thinking about your future, especially in this uncertain economy. Your job is never guaranteed and tomorrow is never promised. Also think about how much a down payment on a condo or house is. Now think about it if you don’t have a roommate or significant other to share that cost with. Saving such large amounts of money takes YEARS. Start now.

6. I’m not missing anything. Staying in on a Friday night because you’re exhausted from work or school is A-OKAY in my book. From ages 18-21, I used to feel like if I stayed home on the weekends I was missing out on all the fun. But now I’m just too freakin’ tired sometimes to wash my hair, put on make-up and struggle in uncomfortable heels all night. Picking up a Redbox movie, staying in my PJs and popping a bottle of bubbly sounds like the perfect night and, not to mention, keeps you out of trouble. As my sister and I like to say, “I got shit to do tomorrow!”

photo credit: thart2009 via photopin cc

photo credit: thart2009 via photopin cc

7. Accepting things I cannot change is an ongoing battle I have with myself. This rule applies to SO many things in life I have spent years struggling with. I’m kind of a control freak in the sense that I like to make things happen and do what I can to make sure it gets done right. But there are some things in life you have to come to realization that its fate is not in your hands. Let go. Example: Being appalled or hurt when people don’t deal with situations the way you would. Accept that everyone has their own way. The faster you accept, the faster you’ll forgive.

8. Stop prolonging the inevitable. So many girls in their twenties stay in miserable relationships with guys because they are afraid of being single, they think they’ll eventually change him, or they just want to wait it out and see if the problem fixes itself. Wake up, ladies. These are your prime years and you’ll never get them back. Do you really want to look back knowing you wasted time and emotions on some jerk? I’d rather be happily single than unhappily taken.

9. It’s better to fill up my gas tank the whole way every time. Gas prices always seem to go up on my next visit anyways.

photo credit: Jason Drury via photopin cc

photo credit: Jason Drury via photopin cc

10. Throwing out or donating old clothes is better than keeping them in the closet for another 2 years hoping to one day sell them on eBay since “they were so expensive”. Get over it.

11.  What’s the woman-version of “Manscape”? Take care of yourself. I’ll be the first to admit I hate painting my nails as often as I do and having to shave my legs every couple days feels pointless in the winter, although we’re at an age where some things are just unacceptable. You shouldn’t be 24 going on job interviews with chipped nail polish and tangled hair. Put your best foot forward as much as you can. You never know when you’ll be meeting your future boss or your future fiancé.

12. My parents were right when they taught me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Sometimes my opinion isn’t solicited or wanted.

13. Constantly watching reruns of Sex & The City, Will & Grace and Friends is doing nothing for me. I did NOT say I’m stopping anytime soon. I’ve just accepted I’m wasting brain cells every time I do it.

photo credit: Jellykat via photopin cc

photo credit: Jellykat via photopin cc

14. I’m too school for cool. I am no longer ashamed of turning down a girls night invite if I have to study for midterms. I’m a typical overachieving Asian student and I’m proud of it! Getting Bs makes me cry. There, I said it.

15.  It’s okay to walk out of a store with no bags. I used to shop just for the thrill of bringing home something new that day– leaving with nothing felt like such a let-down. Now I mentally high-five myself when I step away from unnecessary purchases. Suze Orman has me brainwashed.

16. I can’t pick my family but I can pick my friends. I’ve had many girlfriends come and go into my life for one reason or another, mostly just because we lost touch if we stopped working at the same job or stopped having Anatomy class together. However, a couple girls have been dear friends of mine for several years and I really felt myself growing apart from them. Sometimes girlfriends just find themselves in completely different places in their lives and the reasons we were friends years ago just don’t relate today. There were also instances where I more dramatically had to make a decision whether the relationship was healthy anymore. If a “girlfriend” brings you down in any way, doesn’t share the same ambition or morals as you, or is no longer positive and fun to be around then it’s probably best to gradually distance yourself from them. It’s okay to grow apart, cherish the friendship you once had, and wish them well. A handful of truly great girlfriends are better than a whole lotta so-so fair-weather friends. Quality over quantity, for sure.

photo credit: Whiskeygonebad via photopin cc

photo credit: Whiskeygonebad via photopin cc

17. You are who your friends are. You can’t expect people not to group you into a generalization when you surround yourself with bad people. The few very close girlfriends I have (and a lot of them are my cousins) are women I aspire to be like— smart, college graduates, loving moms, good hearts and trendy fashionistas. They are people I’m proud to say influence me.

18. I’m in the driver’s seat—basically, I’m trying to convey that I’m in control of my own destiny while trying to use as few clichés as possible. There are countless horrible things that happen in life that you have no control over like diseases, traumatic accidents, etc. So why not take the FEW aspects you do have in your control and change them for the better? I stayed at my last bartending job for a difficult 2 ½ years. The owners were great family friends, the staff was as sweet as can be but most of the customers were awful. I won’t go into too much detail but they’d treat bartenders poorly, get pissed when you’d charge them full price for their $7 drink, expect you to “hook them up” since they’re regulars, and bad mouth you to other patrons if you didn’t. Not a normal bar establishment, to say the least. I was averaging $300/night on tips, sometimes even more, so it was a hard place to walk away from. BUT I dreaded going to work, came home crying more often than not, and would constantly complain about my job. So I finally DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT. I QUIT! IT WAS THE MOST LIBERATING FEELING EVER! I quickly found a new bartending job where the respect of the staff is #1, the money is good, and it is the most positive, friendly environment I’ve ever worked in. No one can fix your happiness but you. Boom.

19. Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything. Reflecting on your values in your twenties is important because of how fast pace life is at this age. There are so many influences everywhere you go with friends, co-workers, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc. Figure out what morals you hold dear to your heart, stick to them, and never apologize for it—no matter what anyone in your life has to say about it.

20. I’ll never look like Kate Upton in a bikini—and that’s okay. I struggled with my body image when I used to do promotional work for Hooters Restaurants in 2008. A group of us selected girls would go on television appearances, celebrity golf tournaments and swimsuit competitions to represent the brand. I’d find my 5’0” self standing next to my gorgeous 5’9” friends with long legs and fake boobs, and I’d constantly obsess over why I didn’t look quite like them and I’d torture myself by spending 6 days a week in LA Fitness. But over the years I’ve grown to kind of like my body. I no longer have super toned abs, I have slightly more curves than some of my friends, I enjoy eating healthy but allow a couple cheat days a week, and I still feel good naked! So, whatever!

photo credit: loop_oh via photopin cc

photo credit: loop_oh via photopin cc

21. I’ve got a lot to lose. I think twice now before driving my car even after I’ve only had one beer. Realizing how severe consequences are for stupid decisions scares the living crap out of me—and it should.

22. Stop and take a moment to spend time with and appreciate your parents.

23. Who cares if you’re not engaged, married, or a mom yet?! This isn’t the 1800s where 24 years old is the half-point of your life. You are young!

photo credit: foshydog via photopin cc

photo credit: foshydog via photopin cc

24. When you meet the right guy, you just know. I’ve mentioned in almost all my posts so far that I have this sort of amazingly wonderful boyfriend, Nathan. He is exactly what I always hoped my husband would be like and I really feel in my heart he’s Mr. Right. BUT there’s no way of telling for sure if this will end happily ever after. All I know is that he is so right for me at this moment in my life and I can’t imagine our feelings for one another and our future plans ever changing. The way I know he’s good for me is because he genuinely makes me want to be a better woman. Don’t get me wrong, I like to think I’m pretty awesome already and just as amazing of a girlfriend to him but I mean he makes me want to be greater than I am– for myself, not just for him. I look up to how kind, loving, driven, forgiving, considerate, present, and successful he is and it makes me feel so fortunate to wake up next to this man every day and know he is a huge influence on me. I think it’s important to feel your man doesn’t complete you but he complements you in the best ways possible.*On the other hand—you know when someone is wrong for you. Listen to your gut. Or just listen to your mom.*

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