Are You Still Friends?

Friendship is a two way street.

This is a lesson it took me years to learn, and to this day it can be a hard truth to swallow.

I talk to so many people who are frustrated about friendships that die when they stop putting in all the effort, and I can definitely relate. I’m love to communicate and find that keeping in touch is easy enough if you want to reach out to someone with a text or phone call every so often to see how they’re doing. Old friends tell me that they’re glad I’m good at keeping up with them, and I am happy to, as I genuinely care about how they’re doing and what’s going on in their life.

There are those friends, though, who never reach out if you don’t say something first. I don’t always think this means you need to cut them out of your life or even that they don’t care about you — some people are just incredibly busy and don’t have casual friendships as a top priority. I do think this often means they cannot still have a top space in your heart, though. You can care deeply about a friend who doesn’t put in effort to your friendship. You can still want the best for them and support them, but it’s important to make sure your heart knows what distance to keep the friendship at to realize your own worth.

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Here’s a good comparison. Would you want to date someone who never texted you first or gave any sort of affirmation that you’re an important part of their life? No! You deserve to be a priority in people’s lives, and if they can’t see how much you’re worth there will be other friends who will.

If some of your current friends don’t recognize that you are valuable enough to keep in touch with, there will be others who will. Just like the men who are waiting to date a girl like you, there are people out there in the world looking for a friend just like you, too. Keep each of your friendships as a treasure in your life, but if you feel frustrated about a lack of effort in a close relationship, spend your time on someone who will put time back into you. You are worth investing your time in people who are investing in you.

Today’s lesson: Not everyone has time to spend on a wide range of people and that’s okay. Don’t take it personally if you begin to realize some of your friends aren’t putting any effort back into your friendship. It likely has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their schedule and priorities. This is a really hard lesson to learn since it can feel so personal, but once you realize that there are other people out there who want to use quality time as their love language, finding the right friends becomes just a little bit easier. There are so many people in this world who would love to have your friendship; you just need to find the right humans to invest your time in.

Wait Up

Why are incredible people who are so ready for a relationship sometimes single for a lot longer than they’d like to be?

This is a question I don’t really have an answer to. I can tell you, though, that finding the right person is worth the wait. That you’ll never regret deciding not to settle. I know deep down to my core that being the most amazing version of yourself is the best way to continue making a difference in the world, and that your future partner in crime will absolutely love you for it.

Wait for the man who has been praying for you. He’s dated around, he knows what he wants, but he just hasn’t met you yet. I know it might sound goofy, but I have been praying for my future husband since I was a teenager. I knew whoever I was going to end up with must be pretty special if I’d eventually fall for him, so I wanted the best for him — even before I was a part of his story. I didn’t think of specifics when I thought about my future spouse, but I did think of life experiences. I hoped that before he met me he would have traveled a little, dated around, and gone on a few neat adventures that he could one day tell me about. I hoped that he was making good decisions and thinking of me on occasion, too.

There is someone, somewhere who is praying for you — or at the very least to find you. Prayers for your future spouse often include just actively looking for them, but I would like to encourage you to take it a step further and start praying for him. Pray for his well-being, for his relationships, and pray for his heart. Pray that he is learning more about himself, bettering himself, and learning how to have an empathetic heart. The way he is living his life today and what he’s doing for his future will one day be a part of your story, too.

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I know it can be difficult and frustrating when you’re still single looking for the right person to spend your life with, but remember that even though you might not be able to control when you meet him, you can still pray for him and hope that wherever he is in this world that he is building the best life he can and being respectful of your future relationship. Your future spouse is learning lessons about life, and finding out what he isn’t looking for in a relationship and getting another step closer to you. Prayer is always an action you can take when you feel helpless in a situation. At the end of the day, God has control over the things that seem uncontrollable anyway. Isn’t it comforting knowing that He is working for your best interest, even when it comes to finding the person you will one day marry?

Dating can be difficult when you’ve done it for a long time and haven’t met that special someone. Human hearts are created to love and be loved, and I believe many of us are wired to desire that one incredibly special relationship, especially as we get older. If you haven’t found your person yet remember that there is someone out there just waiting to meet you and looking for the amazing qualities you have to offer. When you feel down or frustrated about the way dating is going, try to look at the big picture and realize that your twenties will likely just be a very small part of your entire life. You might feel confused, lost, or frustrated sometimes, but one day you’ll be able to share these feelings with someone you know will be around for the long haul and look back on them as just a very normal season of life.

Big Brother Bullies

Ugh!! I don’t usually use this blog to write about entertainment, but anyone who’s talked to me the past few months knows I’ve been obsessed with the show Big Brother.

Tonight’s episode really bothered me, though, and I feel compelled to speak out about it.

I am 100% anti bullying. I don’t tolerate it on my social media, and I believe bullies are incredible cowards. That being said, I am disgusted with the way Big Brother is handling the bullying that’s going on in the house. This game is supposed to be filled with lies, deception, and manipulation — that’s how most of the contestants have won the $500,000 in the past — but to allow what is happening in the house to keep going on is really pitiful. I believe CBS is using what’s going on in the house to boost ratings, and the thing that really bugs me is that it’s the perfect opportunity to address the bullying epidemic that sweeps every corner of the Internet. Big Brother reaches hundreds of thousands of people, and many of those watching are teenagers and young adults.

When I watch reality shows I always try to remember that the cast on them are real people with normal jobs, and aren’t used to being in the spotlight, so I try to cut them some slack. That being said, I absolutely cannot believe what I’ve seen this season.

The definition of “bully” is,

“A blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.”

Jessica isn’t small or weak, but she sure is on the outside right now. I honestly don’t understand how an adult human being can feel good about themselves when they gang up on someone who is already isolated and nonthreatening.

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Credit: Big Brother CBS

The thing people don’t seem to remember is that they’re being taped 24/7, and their friends, family, and employers can see everything play out on live television. I wish one of the contestants would use this incredible platform to address the bullying that’s going on in the house and explain to others that this kind of behavior is absolutely not okay. Ever. Even in a game show when you’re playing for half a million dollars.

Big Brother, I wish I could write you a letter and tell you how wrong it is to keep airing this and acting like this behavior is acceptable. By not stepping in, you are taking an action and allowing people to live in an incredibly hostile and mean-spirted environment. I believe this is a great time to address the behavior in the house, and bring in someone to speak to the adults on the show about how they should conduct themselves with their fellow competitors.

At the end of the day, for all contestants but one, this will end up being just a game, and giving up your character for 500K still isn’t worth it in my opinion. I’ll be interested to hear how these contestants feel about their behavior after they leave the house and think about the way they treated others, and it saddens me that this isn’t being used as a teachable moment. I honestly think some of the people on the show don’t quite realize how cruel they are being — or even that they’re witnessing something that should be stopped — and ironically many of them will come back to some pretty nasty comments on their social media accounts because of the nasty things they’ve said or done. I disagree with the way Internet trolls are approaching the situation as well, and I hope something is done soon to bring more awareness to the way each and every human being deserves to be treated.

End Rant.

The “We” Mentality

I love seeing women support one another and strongly believe the more we become each other’s cheerleaders, rather than competition, the greater an impact we can make on the world.

This is why I want to encourage each and every one of you to view your friends’ hearts as your own too. Instead of criticizing the girl who is smack dab in the middle of a really messy breakup, realize that she is trying her best and probably wants to get over her ex, it just takes hearts some time to heal when they’ve been torn apart. Open your arms to the women who need your help and come to you for advice. It isn’t always easy for people to spill their hearts to friends; be proud that you are someone who people can trust with their feelings, and be gentle with their heart.

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The “We” mentality says that we’re in this thing called life together. It views someone else’s struggles as our own, and their victories as ours too.

I remember so vividly when one of my best friends and her boyfriend broke up. My heart ached alongside hers, and I shed a few tears too. Not because I thought she lost someone irreplaceable, but because I knew exactly the way she felt, and wished I could take away the sharp pain from her. I’ve always said that in a close relationship only one person has to be strong at a time, though, and this was my turn to be strong for both of us. We talked every single day and I always offered an open heart, even when I was busy, because a heart is easier to heal when you have a friend who will help you put the pieces back together again.

On the other hand, I remember when my best friend got her dream job. I got the text and literally squealed out loud and did a happy dance alone in my room. She absolutely deserves the best things this world has to offer, and her new company is so lucky to have her on their team. We went out to celebrate over dessert, and I couldn’t stop smiling when I saw how excited she was. This wasn’t just good news for her — it was great news for me, too. I got to watch my bestie live out her dream only a few years after graduating from college. This is one of the moments in life that feels so incredibly perfect.

One of the best parts about celebrating in others’ success and joys is that you have so many opportunities every week to be excited. Even just seeing my friends post about engagements, babies, puppies, and new jobs on Facebook is exciting. I feel like a tiny piece of my heart gets to celebrate even with the most distant of friends when I see something happy happen online. Regardless of who it is, someone on the other side of the computer screen is filled with joy, and that makes me really happy too.

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Today’s lesson: There is no room for competitiveness and jealousy in a beautiful friendship. Pushing each other to do better is always a great thing, but when you’re constantly competing to be better than each other you miss out on so many opportunities for joy. Stop comparing, and start rejoicing in each other’s “wins” in life. Learn to love people with your whole heart, and realize that when you celebrate others, they will want to celebrate you, too. Life is hard enough as it is with all the things we can’t control; we’re all in this together, and the world would be such an incredible place if we all could learn to lift each other up every chance we get.

Still An Innocent

Sometimes I forget the way the world is. I trust most people I meet, I don’t think that almost anyone would ever mean to hurt me, and even if someone does something not so nice, I often still think their heart is probably good — they just don’t have the empathy for a situation simply because they cannot understand it.

One of my friends and I were talking about relationships and dating  — as many of my real-life conversations totally revolve around that too — and we got on the topic of cheating. We both agreed that’s one way a guy could never get a second chance with us, as it’s one unforgivable sin in a relationship. I know some people feel differently; I just personally couldn’t be with someone who treated another girl the way he should always only treat me.

“I wonder how many people in the population cheat at some point,” I questioned aloud. I thought about my friends and family and don’t think there’s been a lot of that kind of thing, but I suppose there are people who kept their affairs quiet that I don’t know anything about. “What do you think the number is?” I asked as I went for my phone to Google it.

“Hmmm,” she thought.

“I’d say 5% of people have cheated on a partner,” I said confidently happy with my number.

“What?!” she exclaimed. “There’s no way that’s right!”

My eyes got wide with embarrassment. I had overshot my number. Of course it couldn’t be 5%. That’s 5 out of 100 people; there’s no way that many people have cheated on their partner. What a foolish guess!

“Uhh, OK, you’re right,” I backtracked. “I’ll go with 1% for my guess.” I felt good about that number. 1 in 100; that seems about right!

She looked at me like I was insane. “Krista,” she started, “It’s at least like, 30%. Are you kidding me?! Think about it for a second!”

I did. I couldn’t imagine that 30…. 30! people in 100 would cheat on their partner. Like, that’s a huge offense! It’s not something that is a little mistake you could ever accidentally make. Cheating takes some calculated measures and steps toward that action. It’s not like it “just happens.” You have to form a bond to someone — at least in some capacity. You have to let yourself think about them in a way that isn’t appropriate when you’re in a relationship with someone else. You have to actively pursue some sort of relationship with a person who isn’t your partner. That’s a pretty long string of mistakes. All of that in my opinion is already just as bad as the physical act of cheating, but it still seems like a lot of these things could be prevented.

When we looked it up, we found that my friend was right. In fact, it seems like 30 is a low estimate in most of the articles we found. The next time I’m in a room of 100 people I don’t think I’ll be able to look at it the same way. I always assume most people who are married or dating are generally faithful because in my mind it is impossible to ever even consider straying from someone you’re supposed to be loyal to. You’ve promised your heart to them, so how could you give a part of it to someone else?

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These statistics definitely shook me. I don’t like to think that anyone I know would hurt their partner in a way like this, much less such a large percentage of people.

You can’t control what other people do or how you’re treated, but you can choose how to react to things that happen in your life. People can absolutely learn to control their thoughts as adult human beings, and if they aren’t making an effort to treat you in the way you deserve, please remember your worth. I can’t speak on anyone else’s behalf, but I can say with absolute certainty that I will never stray from a committed relationship. I make a million-and-one other mistakes in my life, but this is something I take so incredibly seriously and would never even picture any part of my life with another individual when I am invested in someone. I have always been careful about what I think, what kind of media I consume, and who I look up to; all of this has played a part in making it really easy to keep my thoughts and actions all in check. I like to think most people feel the same way I do. I still somehow believe those numbers listed are high and that whoever conducted the surveys just chose people who aren’t the norm.

What do you think? Do you believe the guesstimates that were made in articles like the one above or do you think they’re incorrect, too?