When she is sad:

Ask her to dance. Take her hands and pull her up off the ground. She is fluid like water, like the wind and rain. Watch her twirl, round and round, as though she were a tornado.

Sing her a song. She will rest her head on your chest and laugh. ‘You can’t even sing’ she will say, but do not stop. Do not stop until she is begging for your silence with her lips on yours in muffled gasps.

Tell her a story: that time when you were five and fell into a pond and almost drowned. Tell her you are so glad a passerby dived in and saved your life because otherwise you would never have met her.

Sit in silence and trace the veins in her neck with your tongue until she sighs and whispers ‘you are keeping me alive.’ Say that she is doing just fine on her own but hold her a little closer and tighter anyway; she needs it.

"It’s okay. It’s okay to be sad." Sometimes these are the only words you need. Pepper her tear stained cheeks with kisses and say " it’s okay. I’ll be here. I’ll always be here."

—  Excerpt from a book I’ll never write #46 -5 things to do when she is sad”
We get caught in the middle of a rainstorm, which is how every romance either begins or ends. I speak your name like it’s my native language. We fishtail braid our bodies together. Sometimes I leave my tongue inside you. Sometimes the anger takes claim of my being and starts slamming doors and silent-treating you or yelling about your ex-girlfriend. It’s soft and then it’s a little bit harder. It’s easy and then I get uncomfortable when you kiss my shoulder. You play possum when you hear my key in the door. We get bored of each other. We get un-bored. I hate you and then you wear socks to bed. I hate you and then I’m desperate to touch you. I stop you half way down the stairs, hook myself around your waist, rock ever so slowly until we’re happy again. Until there is laughter again. It should be like this. Laughter. Forget serious looks, forget my wannabe sexy sashay out of my blue jeans. Smile with all your teeth. All your crooked, beautiful teeth. Keep smiling. Except for when you really can’t summon the energy. Then you can wear your grumpy face and I’ll make you scrambled eggs with milk. I know it’s your comfort food. I know your mother makes it better. It’s okay, I won’t get upset about it. I’ll call her up and tell her she raised you extraordinary. Tell her I’ve sent a bouquet of lilies to her house, addressed to the C-section scar that got you here. I do strange things like this and it bothers you sometimes. You stop inviting me out with your friends. You apologize for my behaviour at parties. Take me home early. Feel ashamed of yourself when I cry in the bathroom. Play a Jack Johnson CD ‘til I come out puffy-eyed and childlike. Hug me bear-tight. Stroke my hair for half an hour. It’s okay. It’s okay that I slam doors sometimes. It’s okay that we get bored. It’s okay that you get embarrassed of me. I’m still going to touch you lightning hot. We’re still going to make the same bad jokes. You’re learning to say sorry without making excuses. Sure, I love you. Sure, it gets hard. And then it gets softer. Then there’s your mouth at my nape again. Then my skin melts at the splash of your tongue. Oh, is it raining? Only we make the choice. We begin. We begin. We begin.
—  Donna-Marie Riley
Too many women waste their lives grieving because they do not have something other people tell them they should want. Whether you are happy or not depends to some degree upon outward circumstances, but mostly it depends how you choose to look at things yourself, whether you measure what you have or what you have not.
—  Anne Perry
How to tell if you're being a Nice Guy

I was just thinking about the Nice Guys in my life who wound up hurting me, and I wanted to make a post to help men avoid doing that. Nice Guys are not actually nice. They’re the type who become friends to women they are romantically and/or sexually interested in under false pretenses and expect their feelings to eventually be returned in payment for their friendship or niceness. Not every dude who has or develops feelings for a female friend is a nice guy, but I’d like men and boys to ask themselves these questions to avoid hurting women in their lives. If you answer yes to any of these questions, you are likely a Nice Guy.

  1. Are you/did you only become her friend as a means to eventually get with the her sexually and/or romantically?

    This is a big one. If the friendship is only a tool for you to eventually get with this person, that’s dishonest. Friendship has its own value and creating a false friendship that is only a means to an end will NOT help you get a new girlfriend. In fact, it will result in frustration and pain for both of you. Instead, try being honest with your feelings and simply asking the woman out.

  2. Do you expect the relationship to automatically lead to a romantic and/or sexual relationship?

    Having this expectation is unfair. No one should automatically get with you. To hope it could happen is one thing. To expect it as an automatic outcome of befriending a woman you are interested in is another.

  3. Have you/will you punish her for not returning your feelings or showing feelings for other men?

    This one may be difficult to answer honestly. But you may notice you treat her coldly or curtly when she gives attention to other men or speaks about her boyfriend. You may in more subtle ways punish her by refusing to hang out as much or rebuff her or say sarcastic or cruel things when the relationship doesn’t go your way. You may continually bellyache about your feelings and how unfair she is to you after she turns you down. That’s not cool. Either be a real friend or end your fake friendship and move on.

  4. Do you value the friendship you have with this person? Will you automatically end the friendship if she doesn’t reciprocate your feelings?

    It’s fine if, after confessing, you realize it hurts too much to be someone’s friend later. But if you already don’t have any stake in the friendship except what you think it “should” become and already know that there’s no way you’d continue the friendship if it doesn’t lead to romance or sex, chances are you’re being a Nice Guy.

  5. Do you think you are owed your feelings being returned and that this person is ungrateful or bad if she doesn’t return them?

    If you think that being nice or a friend to a woman and liking her romantically entitles you to a relationship with her, you are definitely being a Nice Guy.

  6. Do you expect her to be considerate of your feelings despite keeping them to yourself and not sharing them with her?

    One unfair aspect of being a Nice Guy is how it puts all the pressure on the woman to be considerate of feelings that she may not even know about, which, instead of being revealed from the beginning, are concealed in order to enter a deceptive friendship. This behavior is often Step 1 to becoming a Nice Guy before you’ve even done anything else Nice Guy-ish. Be self-aware. Remind yourself that your feelings are YOUR responsibility.

  7. Have you done anything/do you plan on doing anything to guilt, pressure, force, coerce or manipulate this person into entering a romantic and/or sexual relationship with you?

    This will put you into definite Asshole and Abusive territory. A woman has a right to say no. You might think to yourself you’d never do that, but be honest with yourself because this can be subtle. One time in high school a male friend of mine asked me out, and I turned him down. Later that year, he got the whole school to get him and me on the ballot for Prom King and Queen, even though he hadn’t asked me to prom yet. I said no to going with him. He was voted king and someone else was voted queen. I was unpopular already and didn’t care at all about high school politics, so I barely even noticed at all and had a blast at prom anyway. But if I was a different kind of person, or had status at my high school, this could have cornered me into going out with him or really humiliated me or resulted in being bullied for saying no. Subtle things like this can be coercive. So avoid putting pressure on people.

What should you do if any of these points describe you in a friendship you’re in right now? You have a choice. If you don’t value the friendship, then you should confess your romantic/sexual feelings, and if she turns you down, take it kindly and end the friendship (I would also apologize for being dishonest if she is hurt by the friendship ending). If you truly value the friendship, I would either confess your feelings and see what happens OR just continue being friends and don’t confess—but only do the latter if you can AVOID the behaviors on this list. I would only stay friends if you genuinely want to be friends. Otherwise, it’s a dishonest friendship. Be honest: ask her out if that’s all your interested in, there’s nothing wrong with that.

Turns out that thing I kept mistaking for love
was just an old Victorian when the lease ran out.
All chipped paint and peeling wallpaper.
Empty as the day it was built,
just older.
Turns out,
I only called the creaking stairs a symphony
so there would be something there
to sing me to sleep, at night.
Desperation flayed the skin from my bones;
And somehow,
I thought squatting in a place with no bed,
no heat,
might still be enough to keep me warm.
I never saw your arms for what they were:
skeleton rafters that couldn’t hold me right.
I put out pots to catch the water dripping
from the patchwork roof
and convinced myself that it was just something
everyone had to do.
Four in the morning, and I am made of nothing
but text messages I wish I’d never sent.
You looked like home when my apartment didn’t.
You opened my chest and I swear, I couldn’t feel the draft.
Okay, so I didn’t delete your number,
but that doesn’t mean I still love you.
I still love you.
I still love you.
I still love you.
Call me back.

The “For Sale” sign in the yard was the best thing I ever did.
And for once, I didn’t look behind me.
I don’t know who will love you next
but I hope she fixes the roof
and pays the electric.
I hope she stops trying to call you
when you, inevitably, stop calling her back.
—  Halfway House, by Ashe Vernon
How to Come Across as being Friendly

1. Smile and laugh (to try to put others as ease)
2. Avoid distractions (like constantly checking your phone)
3. Keep your body language open (so you seem approachable)
4. Ask open questions about the other person
5. Listen properly, and show an interest in what’s said
6. Maintain a comfortable level of eye contact
7. Practice making small talk (and stick to positive topics)
8. Compliment others and comment on their strengths.

“When was the biggest crisis in your relationship?”
“(Man) I’m always failing at keeping my word. I keep telling her I will quit smoking but never do.” 
“(Woman) My boyfriend doesn’t drink alcohol, but he can’t quit smoking. On the contrary, I often drink and get drunk; thus, my boyfriend wants me to quit drinking. However, I can’t quit drinking, so we keep arguing, telling each other quit drinking and quit smoking.”

“사귀면서 가장 큰 위기의 순간이 언제였나요?”
“(남자) 제가 금연하겠다는 약속을 항상 못 지켰어요.”
“(여자) 남자친구는 술은 안 마시는 데, 담배를 못 끊어요. 제가 계속 끊으라고 하는데도요. 근데 저는 술을 자주 마시고 취하는 편이라, 남자친구가 술을 못 마시게 하는데, 안 마실 수가 없더라고요. 그래서 서로 술 끊으라고, 담배 끊으라고 하면서 계속 싸워요.” 

What makes me sad about it is that the Women Against Feminism purport to be against feminism because they love men so much, and yet like so many avowed anti-feminists, they seem to appreciate men for the functional roles they fulfill for the WAFs – as providers of paychecks, openers of jars, lifters of heavy shit – and not for the actual human beings they are.

A big part of the reason why I am a feminist is because I don’t want to relate to Brian simply as a provider of paychecks, an opener of jars, a lifter of heavy shit. I want to be able to help provide the paychecks. I want to be able to open my own jars, and open them for him too. I want to be able to help move the heavy sofa instead of sitting around watching him struggle on his own. I want to be his partner in our relationship, and for me that means pitching in and helping with everything, not just the tasks that don’t require a lot of muscle.

If you asked me to list the top million things I like about Brian, his ability to open jars and lift heavy things might show up somewhere in the 990,000s. Here are things that would show up long before: because he makes me laugh, because we have the best conversations over Sunday morning coffee, because I like the way he smells and the way the skin around his eyes crinkles when he smiles at me and the hair on the back of his hands, because he decided to read War and Peace this summer, because he picked out “The Punk Singer” for us to watch one night, because he does funny dances just to make me smile, because he has a way about him that makes people want to open up to him within hours of meeting him. There are so many things I love about my husband, and almost none of them have to do with his grip strength.