That we forget too often.

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…

Holding on to hope it’s admirable — until it isn’t.

Photo by Ali Pazanion Unsplash

Few myths are more pervasive in the mind of a romantic heterosexual woman than the idea the man she loves will one day realize he loves her back.

Just like that, out of nowhere.

It’s a myth fueled by the hope that the evasive man, the man who states he’s not ready for a relationship, the man who can disappear for weeks at a time and not feel the urge to reach out will suddenly realize he can’t live without her.

This is different than recognizing a spark of interest and hope for a steady development of feelings on both…

And suffered the consequences.

Photo by Ali Pazanion Unsplash

No one is born knowing how to relate to others. From the moment we take our first breath, we’re on a learning curve.

With the guide of our parents, extended family members, and friends, we learn how to interact. We learn the rules that govern our society, from unspoken rules of conduct to more formal rules of behavior we call etiquette.

What we sometimes take longer to learn is that, apart from the set of rules that teach you it’s polite to say hello to people in elevators and hold the door to strangers when coming in or out of…

Putting my anxiety into perspective with the help of Friends and Sex and the City.

Photo by Alireza Esmaeeli on Unsplash

Anxiety wasn’t invented in the 2000s, but it does seem to be a defining feature of this century.

Feeling anxious every once in a while isn’t a defect or a character flaw, it’s part of being human. But the chronic anxiety a lot of us seem to be experiencing these days is one step over the threshold of unhealthy.

There are a lot of factors that cause (or aggravate) anxiety, and there are plenty of experts out there who can enumerate them all. …

Without trying too hard.

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I’m sure you’ve met an exciting person.

Someone who simply radiates energy. Someone who cultivates knowledge in a wide variety of topics, who’s charismatic, who’s always working on a project that makes their eyes twinkle as they describe it to you.

An exciting person inspires you. They have their ups and downs, just like everybody else, but they stay grounded, even on their way up, and never allow a fall to break them beyond repair.

An exciting person is high on life, creative, and not personally affected by small things they have little to no control over.

An exciting person…

Focusing on your goals is more important now than ever.

Photo by Shwa Hallon Unsplash

When pursuing your dreams, keeping a steady course isn’t always easy.

Besides the obstacles you naturally find along the way, there are plenty of reasons to get sidetracked, plenty of distractions to veer you off course, costing you dearly in both time and energy.

These distractions tend to pop up when you’re dealing with a rough patch, trying to overcome a major obstacle, or you’re simply depleted of all energy. …

Letting go takes effort.

Photo by Andrey Zvyagintsev on Unsplash

It hurts to admit, but it turns out the person you thought you love isn’t the one for you.

Perhaps they have given up, grown cold, or done something that caused your relationship irreparable harm. Whatever the reason, they’ve proved they’re not invested, and as a result, are not the one for you.

Now, it’s on you to do the incredible work of letting go. Yes, letting go takes effort. If it were so effortless, it wouldn’t be so difficult and so painful.

If you’ve come to a point where you have to let go of the one who isn’t…

How to tell — and how to stop.

Photo by Andrey Zvyagintsev on Unsplash

We’ve been primed by years of popular television shows and rom-coms to believe that love will come knocking on our door at 2 am if we don’t answer our phone for three days.

When we storm out during a fight, part of us hopes the other person will chase after us, stop us from walking away and beg us to stay and work things out.

We somehow expect to communicate through silence. We expect our loved ones to have life-changing epiphanies over a lonely Sunday breakfast and decide to take action like they do in the movies.

We expect them…

You don’t need a partner for your life to begin.

Photo by Jason Yoder on Unsplash

How many times have you’ve been made to feel as if your single life is nothing but a waiting period until you meet your partner and your “real” life can begin?

Socially and culturally, singlehood is often constructed as a “time of waiting.” Dr. Bella DePaulo explains how that perception affects women in particular:

“In the conventional wisdom, then, single women are waiting. The wait can be particularly painful because it is not clear when — or if — it will end. The longer the single women wait, the more behind schedule they are perceived to be. …

What flies—and what doesn’t—two decades later.

Photo by Rodolfo Sanches Carvalho on Unsplash

As a 31-year-old single woman, I’m the target audience of HBO’s Sex and the City — except I’m about two decades behind schedule.

When the series came out, I was eight years old. As a teenager, I remember being vaguely aware that it was out there and it was a big success, but I was far more interested in sneaking in a few episodes of Friends or One Tree Hill than in trying to catch a glimpse of Carrie and her friends (Sex and the City was something my mom would not let me watch at that age).

In my…

Renata Gomes

Life explorer.

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