September 1, 2015

When They Don't Love You Back

Good morning! Hope all is well. My life has been a little on the crazy side, so it has been a little while--but we finally get to have this heart-to-heart and share our thoughts on a harder topic when it comes to romantic relationships. Today's post is a continuation of my previous post, so please go check that out if you haven't seen it already! Before Saee's guest post on the Misconceptions of Love, we talked about the simplest way to decide whether or not we love somebody. But as you guys must have realized, things aren't really that simple. And this is because, while love is an action, it is also a relationship. So although love is undoubtedly there, it will look different for everybody. Our actions must therefore be different depending on the context and the people involved.

Have you ever been "friendzoned"? In love with somebody when you know they do not love you back? I've been in this situation (on both sides!) before, and it is not easy. If it seems like nothing will happen, what do you do? While I do not have the solution since every situation is different, here are 5 important things to keep in mind:

  1. Be fair to yourself. Yes, love is an open door, and yes, love is putting them before yourself. But you know what? You need to love yourself too! If you feel like you cannot live without this person--there is something wrong with that picture. Even if they love you back and you are in a relationship with somebody, maintaining that sense of self-efficacy and knowledge of what you stand for means so much for your overall happiness. Do not let anybody get in the way of everything you're about. 
  2. Ask advice from your mentor. During a hard time, my coaches said, "We are not your peers... We have been through a lot more than you have, have a lot more experiences. What we will tell you is different from what your friends will." And this is true. Talk to somebody older than you who has more experience. If you're a freshman in high school, talk to a senior or college student. Or you could talk to a teacher that you're close to. Your parents. Somebody with more experience than you that you trust. Listen to what they say, and take it into consideration.
  3. Communicate with the other person. Yes, I know--it's terrifying being that vulnerable! If you can't say exactly how you feel, let them know that you're working through something. Be as honest as you can so that there won't be any additional strain on your current friendship with that person.
  4. Respect the other person's feelings. The "friendzone" has gotten such a bad connotation these days, but you know what? If you love that person, being his/her friend is a privilege! And the honest truth is that liking someone doesn't mean that they have an obligation to like you back. One of the most hurtful things that one of my guy friends said when I told him that I wanted to be friends after he asked me out was, "Oh, so I guess I'm not as good as your ex boyfriend." (Keep in mind that I had just gone through that breakup a week ago.) Show the other person that you are mature, respectful, and kind--that you value them. If you show that you care about your friendship, it will make a difference in his/her life and yours too.
  5. Be conscientious of your actions. Continue being yourself, but remember to be kind and gentle. Be aware that your actions will impact more people than just you as you try to decide whether to love them from afar, to try to pursue them, or to try to get over the romantic feelings for them. 
And there we have it! Five simple tips to keep in mind when they don't love you back. It was quite sobering to write about love that's missing something... The next post will be the last one in the romantic love series (unless if you would like to write a guest post!), so please stay tuned for it by following my tan social media links on the left sidebar!

Smile on,

August 4, 2015

Misconceptions About Love

Hello, Saee here! Before I say anything else, let me just say a huge THANK YOU to smilesifyXO for allowing me to guest post on her blog today. I’ve been stalking her blog for a while now and it felt so, so great to write this post. It was a huge deal for me and I learned a lot from her. Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. Hugs and kisses!

Whether you’ve been in love before or are in love right now or even want to fall in love in the future, you know what love feels like. You are familiar with that nice fuzzy feeling in your heart, warming you up from the inside.

However you are also familiar with a list of things that are supposed to happen whenever you experience this powerful and beautiful emotion. Years and years of watching romantic movies and reading love stories, has shaped and fashioned your idea of love. And when the love you feel fails to live up to these unrealistic standards, you begin to stray. You wander off from the path of happiness and end up with a not-so-good experience or after thought about love.

To avoid any of that, let’s talk about certain misconceptions that we all have about love.

1)      Love is only once and stays forever

This is the most common and disastrous misconception about love. You have to understand that love is not a once in a lifetime thing. Love is never once. You can love over and over again. A beautiful emotion like love cannot ever be limited. You can love multiple persons at the same time and your love for one cannot be compared to your love for another. Each time you  love, you love with a different ferocity. Just because you’re in a nine-year committed relationship does not mean you cannot love someone else ever again. No. This brings me to the other half of the misconception that true love stays. This is completely incorrect. Love, although the most powerful emotion of all can curb or can be curbed. It is not permanent. Just like you can suddenly stop feeling envious of someone, you can suddenly stop loving someone too. And you may try your best to answer the whys and why nots but trust me, you’re better off without the unnecessary soul-searching. Love can happen twice, thrice--even ten times--and each time it’ll be true and each time it can go away as easily as the one before.

Do not for God’s sake beat yourself up about not being in love with someone you’re supposed to love with all your heart. It usually happens when the guy you’re going out with suddenly decides he wants to get married and you’re just not ready. Or when you are in love with two people at the same time and don’t know what you should be doing. In time, you’ll figure it out. Be patient and believe in your love.

2)      Love hurts. Always.

This is another false concept that has been emphasized through novels, movies and social media all the time. In stories, there is always a difficulty or a problem that love has to conquer. Name one book or movie that was based on love and that did not show emotional and physical difficulties involving love. Are the difficulties because of love? In most cases, not. Take Romeo and Juliet, for example. Theirs was a tragedy. Why? Not because they fell in love, but because of the strife between their families. Was love responsible for the strife? No. Then how can we generalize that love is what hurts?

I get really upset when I see quotes on Tumblr or Facebook that go along the lines of “If it’s true, it’ll hurt.” It has got to stop. Love does not hurt. Love is one emotion. Hurt is another emotion. Pain, sorrow, heartbreak are different emotions. They are not caused by love. They are caused by rejections or unfulfilled expectations. “Love always hurts” is something that abusive boyfriends or girlfriends count upon to save their relationship. When in suffering blame it on love. No, honey, you have to stop doing that. Love won’t and shouldn’t hurt.

Remember that awkward conversation from Sex and the City?

Samantha Jones: Relationships aren't just about being happy. I mean, how often are you happy in your relationship? 
Charlotte York: Every day. 
Samantha Jones: Every day? 
Charlotte York: Well, not all day every day but yes, every day. 

In fact, I’d like to stretch a mile and say, “If it hurts, it ain’t love.”

3)      Love is only between a man and a woman

Many societies have for years generated the image of a man and a woman tangled in an embrace as the image of love. It has traditionally been impressed upon young minds either through the medium of social obligation or religious instruction that love is a bond between man and woman. However, love cannot be restrained. A man can love a man and a woman can love a woman in the same way a man loves a woman. One cannot put boundaries on love. The love between a lesbian couple and a gay couple is the same as the love between what the society calls a ‘normal’ couple.

4)      Love has to be equally reciprocated

Another disastrous misconception. Everyone falls prey to this one. You will not always be loved back by someone you gave your heart to. I mean, come on, it’s been years and Ryan  Higa is still unaware of my existence. Does that mean I should give up? No, I’ll keep stalking him till death do us part. Kidding, but the point is you won’t always receive the love that you give. But that’s okay. Life goes on, right? You’ll fall in love again. Hopefully with someone who lives on the same continent and is not fictional, taken or dead.

Anyway, it is common to assume that you cannot be in love if it’s not equally reciprocated by the one you love. False. You tell me, haven’t you ever loved someone who didn’t love you  back? But just because they didn’t, did it mean what you felt was not real or true? Of course not. It was real, as real as the love between couples. Even in a relationship, the love is felt individually by both parties. It is not a joint sentiment. It is mutual, not one and the same. Love is different when it’s expressed in a relationship and when it’s suppressed from a distance. But it is love all the same.

I know this girl who has loved a guy for more than three years. He is unaware of her feelings, indifferent to some extent. And yet she loves him. She wants him happy--be it with or without her. Look me in the eye and tell me her love isn’t true.

5)      Love will be like living a fairy tale

This is a misconception that has been harped on and on by Disney movies and the stories we tell our girls when they’re young and at their most vulnerable and impressionable age. We tell girls that love means a Prince Charming on a white horse, that love means a happily ever after. It’s not all true. When you view love through the fairytale filter you make basic mistakes like assuming:

·         A Prince will swoop in and kiss away your problems
·         A Prince has to court you and initiate the relationship first
·         You need a Prince to become a Princess
·         Your happily ever after will revolve around love and a Prince

Just think about it. Finding love is great and all but it’s not the only thing in the world. In fact, you don’t have to find  love. There is no The One that you have to settle with. Remember love is not once? Nor does it come with a forever guarantee. Happily ever after can totally be you sipping wine on a yacht in the Caribbean.

6)      Love is blind

This is the falsest statement about love. Love does not mean overlooking problems. It does not mean doing everything that your partner asks you to do and then covering it up with “Oh, you know, love is blind.” It’s okay to go out of your way once in a while to make your partner feel special like cooking their favorite dish, booking  movie tickets or even throwing a surprise party. You see, when you do these nice things, you do them because you want to, you do them out of love.

But when your partner throws in the classic “If you truly loved me” to make you do something you do not want to do, that’s when your blind love becomes dangerous. When your love is turning a blind eye to your own needs and feelings, that’s when you should be alarmed.

When you do crazy things with your boyfriend or girlfriend, make sure you do them cause you love him or her, not because you should do them as an obligatory gesture of love.

Love should invigorate your senses. It should sharpen your vision. A dynamic emotion like love cannot be blind. If you tell your friends proudly that you let your girlfriend or boyfriend walk all over you (in nicer words, of course) because “Love is blind," it’s about time you got your eyes and relationship checked.

7)      Love means constant display of affection and romance

Love is not just four-hour-long  phone calls that end with “Love you too”. Love is not just showering kisses or sleeping together every night. Love is definitely not just candle light dinners and weekends on the beach. That is romance. It’s a part of love, but it’s not a major one. Love is a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear to trust. Love is a patient caress and a meaningful “Take care”. Love is so many other things than just romance. It  is genuine care and affection for a person that goes beyond  the display of  love every day. A couple can still be in love if they don’t go out every evening. Even if they fight through the night but wake up and smile at each other, they are in love and their love is no different from the romantic one that you’re so used to seeing in movies.

8)      Love is happiness

Love is not happiness. It cannot be happiness. Love and happiness are two different emotions. You can love without being happy and you can be happy without being in love. One is not synonymous with the other. Neither does the onset of one guarantee the onset of the other. People, girls in particular, like to think that all their problems of insecurity, depression and loneliness can be cured once they are loved. No. Love is just an emotion. It cannot hide or rub away other emotions. It can help, yes. But not much really. Your problems, girl, are your own. Only you can handle them and solve them. Not love, not your partner.

9)      Love is a grown up emotion

I’m going to get a lot of criticism from the grown-ups for saying this, but I’m quite firm about it. Love is not restricted to age. A sixteen year old can love as fiercely as a twenty-eight year old.  However there are certain other factors at play when you consider their love. Let’s take an example:

Joey is a senior in high school. He’s madly in love with his popular best friend Alice. He thinks Alice is fun to hang out with and has really nice legs. They could be their school’s hottest item if only Alice would say yes to Joey’s advances.

Anna is in her late twenties. She likes a guy at work. Charlie is smart and is the Assistant manager at her branch. After her last relationship, Anna is looking for someone who can understand her need to make career a priority. She thinks Charlie, her hardworking senior will understand her need to achieve. He has a passion in his eyes and a certain gentleness in the way he talks. She likes how reliable and homely Charlie seems.

Did you notice the difference? Both Joey and Anna are in love. Their love may be the same, but their worlds are entirely different. While Joey is looking for a girl he can have fun with, who can make him popular in high school, Anna is looking for commitments that are much more long-term. Joey has yet to learn and understand a lot. He’s still fueled by hormones, while Anna is calm and has learnt from her previous mistakes. There is a difference in their maturity levels. Anna thought like Joey when she was younger and Joey will think like Anna when he’s older. But who’s to say their love is different?

10)  Love cannot be controlled

I honestly, truly believe that there is no such thing as “I couldn’t help falling in love with you” No. I like to think that emotions, like actions, are based  largely on choice. Just like how you can put a smile on your face on a sad, monsoon day with efforts and choice, you can  stop or start loving someone with enough efforts and firm choice. I know, not many will agree. Maybe no one will agree. But I can tell from my own experience that you can ‘choose’ to love or not love. Don’t tell me it wasn’t love if I could stop or start it of my own free will because I know it was and you cannot judge or compare it. This may sound complete BS to you if you’re in love and want to be in love for long but to the girl who’s trying her best to move on out of a difficult relationship, who thinks she can never stop loving this person who doesn’t love her back or isn’t the man she thought he was, the girl who knows she’s loving the wrong person and who just does not want to be in love anymore, this is hope. You will get over it. Trust me. 


Hello there, everyone! It's me, smilesifyXO, here! I just wanted to give a really big thank you to Saee for taking a chance to be vulnerable and sharing her thoughts about love here on Smiles No Matter. I think that society definitely has established strong ideas about what love is or isn't, but society isn't always right. I hope you guys found Saee's guest post to be extremely insightful as I did! Please share your thoughts in the comments below! 

If you'd like to see more of Saee's work, please head over to her blog, Wonderland. Saee is a very talented writer, and I myself really enjoy reading about her thoughts and experiences. 

Do you have any thoughts about love that you would like to share on this blog? Please let me know if you would be interested in writing a guest post by emailing me at! 

Smile on :)

July 27, 2015

Am I In Love?

Howdy, everyone! So the Love is In the Air series has been going quite well so far! Thank you for reading up on it and leaving your wonderful comments! And thank you so much to those of you who have followed my blog. It means the world to me that you guys take the time to read what I write--because everything I write on this blog is for you! That being said, if you have any questions or suggestions, please don't hesitate to leave them in the comments and I will always do my best!

Have any of you guys ever asked, "What is it like to be in love?" or "I love ______"? The question that I'm trying to get to is: How do we know if we love someone?

But maybe to answer this question, we must first ask, "What is love?"

I think that society tells us that love is this:

I mean, who isn't a sucker for those stories where boy meets girl, they fall in love, get married, and everything is happy?

But if I were to conjure up an image of love, it would have to be something like this:

This is a picture of my grandparents <3
We want to believe that love is this strong wildfire that sets our hearts on fire, a feeling that consumes us from the inside out. I think we want to believe love is a mutual feeling that we have with someone--a crazy, strong feeling that we act upon in our youth. We want to believe that love is a feeling because it is simple. Feelings are obvious. Feelings are only one aspect in our lives that we consider.
We know, however, that love is so much more than a feeling. It is a relationship. It is what you prioritize. But above all, love is an action.
Love involves doing. I mean, just think about it. If you love your friend, in a bromance or best friend sort of way, don't you do stuff for them? Aren't you there for them when they need help? Don't you offer comfort or advice when they're feeling down? How can you call someone your friend if you guys don't depend on each other? Well, the same goes for romantic love.
That being said, the answer to the question "Do I love _______?" can be answered if you rephrase the question into, "Am I willing to make significant sacrifices for this person?" or "Will I put this person's needs before my own?"
Answering whether you love somebody or not is a simple thing to do, but it isn't easy. But more about it in the next post ;)
In the meantime, smile on. 

July 23, 2015

10 Tips for the First Date

So you've gone with that gut feeling and are going out on a date soon. Whoa! How did that happen, right? First dates are exciting. It's hard to know what to expect, how the other person will be, how your own nerves will be, etc. But--have no fear! Here are ten things (in no particular order) that we can do to help make the experience run as smoothly as it can.

  1. Dress comfortably and nicely. Let's face it, nobody wants to go on a date with someone who doesn't look like they care. So if you have something that's nicer than, say, a T-shirt, that is always a good option. But no need to wear anything so crazy that you're thinking about how tight or loose something is the whole time! Comfort can do wonders to make you feel confident on the first date.
  2. Start off with something active. And by active, I don't mean in the sense of running a marathon. I mean to do something that requires some attention. Like taking a walk along a nice bridge or park, or listening to music, or mini golfing--an activity that will engage you a little bit. This way, if there is a pause in a conversation, it is easy to come up with something new to talk about ("This is a nice view"), and even if there is silence it's not necessarily uncomfortable or awkward because there is stuff out there to draw both people's attention. 
  3. Make eye contact. This one's just a communication tip. Making eye contact shows the other person that you're paying attention to what they're saying, and that you're interested in the conversation. It is an easy way to make a connection with people.
  4. Don't put too much pressure on this date. It is only the first date, after all! Just look at the date as a time to have fun with someone who you want to get to know better. It's only one date that you've agreed to--not a lifetime commitment to a spouse.
  5. Be on time. Show that you value the other's person's time and efforts! This tip may be coming from a Type-A personality, but I must say that a guy who meets me exactly on time--or even plans to arrive a couple minutes ahead of the date--makes a far better impression than the guy who is ten minutes late after I've gone through a whole routine to be ready for him on point. Being on time is an easy way of showing the other person that you respect them and are excited to hang out with them. Of course, things happen, so timeliness isn't a make-or-break deal, but I say it is always good to make an effort.
  6. Sit next to each other. If this date involves food, try getting a booth where you can sit next to each other. This tip sort of depends on your comfort level, but to me, I tend to feel a little self conscious when I'm eating in front of someone who I want to impress. Eating isn't the most attractive thing you could be doing, after all! (I mean, just think about eating a salad... Is there something stuck in my teeth?) So if you sit next to your date, s/he will think, "Oh, they want to sit closer to me. That's cool!" Little do they know...
  7. Have fun! I mentioned this a little bit in Tip #4, but I just wanted to reiterate the having fun part! Either you or the other person put in some effort planning this date, so make the most of the moment by living in it.
  8. Don't be afraid of conversation. And what I mean by this is, don't be afraid to direct conversation one way or another. Some people like going through small talk, others like getting into those real conversations discussing politics, interests, and emotions right away. If you feel like you've only been having small talk and haven't learned more about the other person, just ask a question that steers the conversation toward something deeper. On the other hand, if your date is talking on and on and on about something s/he really loves but you have heard enough about it, don't be afraid to (politely) shift topics and find different connections by saying something to the effect of, "That is awesome. I kind of feel the same way when I do..." or ask a question that mildly redirects, like "Why do you like doing _____?" or "When did you start doing _____?" Hopefully, this will get the conversation to get flowing naturally if it isn't already!
  9. Have confidence. Did you know that confidence is one of the most attractive qualities in a human being? You have a lot of things to be confident about, whether it's who you are, what you do, where you've been. So don't go into the date thinking, "Oh, if I mess up, they're not going to like me anymore." Think positively and smile!
  10. Be yoself! This is a really cliché one but it is absolutely true! There is a reason why you're going on a date with this person--it's because they see something attractive about you (regardless about if you were the one asking or asked).  Be happy with who you are as a person because you were wonderfully and fearfully made. Take it from somebody who's seen it happen firsthand: You will avoid many problems in the future by simply doing what comes naturally to you. So, be honest with yourself and your date.
Good luck with that first date! And as always, smile on.

July 18, 2015

Love at First Sight?

One of you guys recently asked me if I believe in love at first sight. It was kind of interesting because, well, I've never really thought about it long and hard before. Certainly not long and hard enough to write a solid post about it yet. As I let it marinate for a while, I realized that there may actually be a lot to say about this...

It's a common thing to say "Don't judge a book by its cover," but let's face it: First impressions count. Especially when I reached college and started meeting hundreds of people (as opposed to, say, my middle school that only 60 kids in the 6th-8th grades), I've found myself liking certain people due this little feeling that I get when I'm around them.

Before I transferred universities, I hung out with these two kids, named Eric and Eric. Eric W. I met through a mutual friend, and our personalities just kind of clicked. We didn't think that we'd see each other around much until our friend groups melded together, and then we eventually became best friends--close enough that he was able to tell me some of his darkest secrets. The way I met Eric T. is a more interesting story, though. Basically, he dressed up as a fairy for Halloween, and when I met him, we just instantly became best friends. (He was in my new profile picture the next day. The legitimacy of our best friendship was pretty hardcore.)

There was another instance when I decided that I liked my Organic Chemistry TA the first time we talked. The conversation went a little something like this:

     "Hey, I forgot to staple my lab report."
     "That means you're gonna fail then!"
     "..." (I was thinking: This guy is either super cool or is the biggest jerk ever!)
     "Haha, just kidding! I'd never fail someone for a silly thing like that. Here's a stapler."

Simple as it sounds, it was right then and there that I decided that my TA was cool and maybe Organic Chemistry wouldn't be as bad as I was thinking it would go.

On one hand, I could list off a whole bunch of times when a positive first impression led to a good friendship. We can gain a lot of insight into a person from the first time we meet them, especially if we ourselves are willing to be open and vulnerable about who we are too. Actually, it's a known fact that the average American decides whether s/he likes his/her date within the first 20 minutes of the date.

But on the other hand, "Oh this person seems cool" is way different from falling in love with him/her at first sight.

I guess part of it depends on what you think love means. When it comes to romantic love, I think of it as dedicating yourself to making the other person happy. It involves seeing marriage in the future. And I'm sorry if I offend you in being extremely blunt, but being willing to marry somebody and being willing to make major sacrifices for this person you've just seen/'s a little crazy.

Seeing someone across the way and feeling a connection--that's a connection, not really love. It could potentially turn into love in the future, and if you have a feeling and reason that you should pursue someone, then try it and see where it takes you. But true love takes time. It takes time to trust someone, to place your hopes in them and to share your dreams with them. It takes time to show them how much you care and to learn about their character and flaws. It takes time before you can say to another person, "I'm ready to fight with you. Through whatever life throws at us, through whatever valleys we must cross. I'm ready to fight for you, even if you hurt me. I want to rejoice with you in your joys and comfort you when you weep. I'm ready to dedicate a big part of my life to you."

Long story short: Attraction at first sight? Undoubtedly. Love at first sight? Unlikely.

What do you guys think about love at first sight? I know there are some opinions that must be different from mine--I do have much to experience, after all! Please let me know in the comments below!

Smile on :)

July 14, 2015

When Your Heart and Mind Conflict

My heart has taken me to some pretty cool places. The career I am aspiring to reach, some of the closest friends I have, starting Taekwondo despite a large amount of fear, a huge part of my personality--this blog--all exist in my life because I've followed my heart. But, my heart has gotten me into some trouble, too. Actually, it's gotten me really hurt before when I followed it foolishly. During these times, I think that if I'd thought about things just a little more, I wouldn't have had to go through as much pain as I did.

Sometimes, it seems like what our hearts want is at war with what our brains are telling us. I personally experienced this while I was thinking about gay marriage as a Christian. My heart told me to love and accept regardless of gender and sexuality, but my mind told me that Scriptures says that homosexuality and perversion of sexuality are sins. In this case, I let the thoughts and feelings marinate for a good while until I could finally formulate my overall viewpoint on the topic (which can be seen on this post #shamelessplug).

When it comes to loving another person, however, it oftentimes may not be so easy because we don't have to worry about how it'll impact us--it will impact the other person as well. Also, love is really a gamble. It is connected with your identity, sense of well-being, and happiness... Risking parts of these elements that define you is no joke. When I have a crush, and I'm wondering what I should do about my feelings, wondering if he feels the same way about me, this is how I feel:

But with a lot more violent hooks to the face.
What are we to do when the heart and mind are conflicting? Whenever I experience this inner war, it is either because I feel like I should do something, but there are many reasons against doing it. Like for example, when I was in a previous relationship, there was something that my partner did that bothered me. I wanted to speak my mind about it so that it would stop hurting me, but at the same time I didn't want him to get upset about it, make it too big of a deal, or get into a fight about it. Are the risks worth it?

The best way to deal with conflict between the mind and heart is to find a common ground between both sides. This is a very simple concept, but it's not as easy to execute most times. Here are two things to remind yourself when your mind is fighting your heart:
  1. Ask yourself what your intentions are. Do you think that entering a relationship would be better for you and the other person? Well, hopefully it would benefit both! Does a problem between you and your partner affect you or him/her negatively so that you should talk about it? Be real with yourself and try to understand your own feelings before you try explaining them to another person.
  2. Ask for advice. Sometimes, we feel like we are going through things alone. Truth is, we're never alone. It might sound a little creepy at first, but in reality, this is the greatest comfort for human beings. You could always talk to someone who knows you well, or someone who is in a relationship that understands what you're going through--or you could go to the Bible. Learning your friends' perspectives on your situation will give you an unbiased opinion that'll help you weed through all your feelings. (Just don't be offended if they happen to be brutally honest!)
And finally, here are some tips for you should you decide to go for making a change:
  1. Don't be afraid of being vulnerable! We tend to want to avoid feeling stressed, anxious, or crazy. Actually, we really want to avoid being vulnerable. It is pretty scary putting yourself out there for something or someone, especially when we could potentially be hurt or rejected (or both). But you know what? When it comes to love, it is all about being vulnerable. I look at the purest, strongest, most beautiful form of love when I see Jesus on the cross. He died for me. He died because he wanted my sins to be washed away. He didn't expect me to dedicate my life to him. He didn't even expect me to believe in him. He gave up his dignity, freedom--his life--to save you. Without requiring anything. And he conquered death as a result. If God loves us like that, sinking down to the absolute lowest level and dying a scoundrel's death, we could sum up the courage to do this one thing for this one relationship. There is something beautiful in vulnerability, after all.
  2. Be gentle, but firm. So you've decided what you want and have summed up the courage to bring it up. Be firm in your intentions. You want to make a change for the better. So hold onto that! But, don't go in hot-headed, waving your fist and screaming "I'M RIGHT!!" Be able to calmly explain how you feel, and also be ready to listen to their thoughts.
  3. Be willing to compromise. I mean, this is a relationship we're talking about and not the United States Congress. Don't think of the situation as a war.
  4. If things don't go your way, it's okay. No need to beat yourself up if things don't go the way you intended them to. You can only try your best, and it wouldn't be right if you controlled the other person. So hold your head up high if you did your best!

Smile on.
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