That we forget too often.

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Photo by Alex Perezon Unsplash

Modern dating sometimes feels like a minefield.

It feels like exploring new territory without a map, like trying to find our way in a dark, unfamiliar house just by sense of touch.

But despite how lost we feel, there are some common landmarks that remind us we’re not treading such unfamiliar waters after all. In the end, we’re all in the same boat.

We all have exes, a history, and baggage.

We all have reasons to mistrust the opposite (or the same) sex. We can all begin sentences with “men always,” or “women never.”

If we wanted to, we could spend date after date turning our past dating woes into topics of conversation — a conversation that seems vulnerable and honest on the surface, but that’s actually empty of substance deep down. Sometimes, that’s exactly what we do. …

Every divorce is different. Every divorce is life-changing.

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Photo by Guilian Fremauxon Unsplash

I’ve recently come across an interesting piece of data: in the US, women initiate two-thirds of all divorces, and among college-educated women, that figure jumps to a mind-blowing 90%.

In an attempt to understand what brings so many women to quit their marriages, I wrote an article that went somewhat viral, Marriage Disproportionally Benefits Men — And women are quitting it in droves.

The article received a lot of responses, but one line of thinking stood up to me. It went something like this: “Why wouldn’t women ask for a divorce? …

The ugliness behind a seemingly innocent wish.

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Photo by Pietra Schwarzleron Unsplash

There’s nothing fun about a breakup.

It’s not fun to see it coming — because even when you’re not the one breaking up with someone, you do see it coming — it’s not fun to experience it, and it’s not fun to deal with the aftermath.

The two moments where we’re prone to making our worse relationship mistakes are when we’re blinded by infatuation and in the aftermath of a breakup. In those phases of the relationship, your perception of who your partner is, and what the relationship means is twisted, and the misperception causes you to make dumb decisions.

If infatuation can get you to believe someone is essentially flawless, heartbreak can throw you in a state of denial over how healthy that relationship actually was. …

The only way to focus on yourself is to stop looking at others.

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Photo by Grace Madeline on Unsplash

It took me quitting Twitter and Instagram to understand just how much these platforms were driving me crazy.

To be fair, I could see how much life Twitter had been sucking out of me before I left — and that was precisely my reason for leaving in the first place.

I knew there was something wrong with Instagram as well, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I quit and noticed how much easier it was to concentrate on a task when I no longer had the option of checking my feed every ten minutes.

At first, it feels a bit weird to reach for your phone and not find the apps there, but after about a day, you forget you even have a phone in the first place. …

An apparently simple expression that’s charged with meaning.

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Photo by Luke Southern on Unsplash

I recently wrote a piece about how I stopped looking for The One on a dating app.

The point of the story was to manage your expectations when online dating, to approach new matches with a sense of curiosity and discovery, not badger them with questions about how serious they plan to take things.

No one can be sure if they’d want a serious relationship with you until they actually meet you in person.

The story resonated with people, but a lot of comments I received focused on what it actually means to look for The One. Some people advised me on the foolishness that is to look for The One at all. There are 7 billion people on the planet, so you can’t count on something as mythical as fate to put you and your soulmate together, they said. …

3. Is your only source of emotional support

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Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

We tend to idealize romantic relationships.

We get seduced by the premises of Fairy Tales and RomComs, and we buy into the myth that there’s no limit to how high we can set our standards, after all, you only get a great relationship if you ask for it.

So you set off to ask the impossible — and you fully expect to get it.

Having standards is by no means a bad thing. You should want a partner who’s there for you, who’s able to get out of their comfort zone for you, who considers your well-being when making important life decisions that affect both of you. …

Having a dog doesn’t really count.

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Photo by Chris Nguyen on Unsplash

Living alone has its ups and downs.

More importantly, living alone teaches you its share of lessons.

It can be intimidating to admit you’re by yourself.

“Do you live alone?”

At first, the question sounds a little intimidating. It brings all sorts of images into your head, every other kind of living arrangement you could — or perhaps should — be in. Co-habiting with a boyfriend, a fiancé, happily married and sharing life (and a home) with your husband, living in a happy household bustling with children, or even sharing an apartment with your best friend.

In the beginning, “do you live alone?” sounds a bit like, “did all of your roommates hate you?” …

In case you don’t know where to start.

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Photo by Jay Wenon Unsplash

Your heart is broken, and at first, it seems like it’s beyond repair.

Until you decide to do something about it. It’s time for a bit of self-care for a broken heart.

The next day, you find it hurts a little bit less, then a little bit less, and so on until the day comes when you find it doesn’t hurt anymore. At all.

You start by getting out of bed early, or as early as you can manage. It’s a little bit later than you used to, but it will do. You’re up. You’re moving. You’re doing great.

Getting out of bed is self-care. …

She already lives in another country with her husband.

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Photo by Andrej Nihil on Unsplash

“Marry your best friend” is one of the top marital advice you’ll ever come across, whether you’re looking for it or not. It’s everywhere, and it’s packaged as the holy grail of marital success, the ultimate secret that guarantees long-lasting wedded bliss.

Supporters of this idea like to cite a famous study in which the British Household Panel Survey asked 30,000 people to quantify their life satisfaction. The study found that married participants who named their spouse as their best friend also rated higher on overall life satisfaction than those who named other people.

“There it is!” supporters exult. “Conclusive proof that a happy marriage depends on marrying your best friend.” …

Would you have taken it?

A man wearing sunglasses with his hand placed on his chin.
A man wearing sunglasses with his hand placed on his chin.
Photo by Jayson Hinrichsen on Unsplash

He that has never answered an email from his boss after hours, or logged into the company’s website to catch up on work on a Saturday evening, let him cast the first stone.”— No prophet has ever said that, but perhaps it’s time someone did.

The reality is our relationship with work has been messed up for a long time.

The advent of cellphones, email, and personal computers has given fuel to the culture of always being on the clock. …


Renata Gomes

Life explorer.

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