Sunday, April 28, 2013

everyone wants to feel safe

I've written a post similar to this one recently, but this one will most likely go a lot more in depth (depending on my attention span.) Watching Les Miserables, Perks of Being a Wallflower, and many conversations as of late have caused me to plunge into a great deal of thinking about perspective.

This is a post about love, but not about dating.

Someone pointed out today that everyone just wants to feel safe.

Everyone just wants to feel loved.

How often do you find yourself pointing out the faults of others, telling them what they aren't doing right, or how they can change? This next part I write at the risk of being hypocritical, but this is not vindictive, or to put him down or to sound self righteous, it's to illustrate my point. I was dating someone that at one point in our relationship told me all the things he thought I was doing wrong. When I asked him why he felt the need to tell me what my faults were (as if I wasn't already aware..) he told me he just wanted to give me the opportunity to change before they were aspects that he would break up with me over. Umm, thanks? (Side note--if you are with someone that has quirks that bother you enough that you feel the need to bring them up in attempts to change them, you probably (definitely) shouldn't be with that person..) I am well aware as much as anyone else that I am so far from perfect. That's just a fact of life--no one will achieve perfection in this life. Period. And that being the case, I know many (if not most) people do this--point out what other people are doing wrong, but how can that be justified when the person pointing it out is far from perfect themselves? It's unnecessary. Because people just want to be loved. I'm a very firm believer that all wrong doings could be stopped if people just loved each other. In Les Mis, Jean Valjean let all of the hatred he held in his heart go when he was shown compassion. Charlie--from Perks of Being a Wallflower was so unsure of who he was and was dealing with such heavy, traumatic experiences that at one (maybe more? I only saw it once) point of the movie, he took drugs because he wanted to feel peace, escape. When he is high off his butt, Sam finds him, and rather than criticising him for what he had done, she holds him. She loves him. He feels safety in this group of friends, and he finds his reason to choose happiness.

Happiness is not a choice--it is a series of choices that we must make over and over again.

Think of how much people would actually change if they wanted to because they felt love and could see the difference a change in their lived would make, because they can see it in someone else's life. I don't believe in changing people. I believe in being an example, in loving--completely, unconditionally. You don't get to choose the parts of people to love. You love people entirely, for everything they are--the good, the bad, and everything in between.

I have a dear friend that I've known for a couple years now. When I first moved to Provo, I practically lived at his apartment, I was over there so often. However, none of my other friends liked him all that much. They all thought he was rude and always asked me why I saw him so often. Now, the reality is, he can be quite rude, and has treated me poorly. So why do I go see him? Because, and I say this not to try and put myself in some kind of sainthood, but simply that I really feel like he doesn't have many people in his life that build him up and are kind to him. If I can be someone that is nice to him and makes him feel of worth, that makes him feel loved, then why wouldn't I spend time with him? I think it's hard (although definitely not impossible) to show compassion when you are never shown any.

I know some really incredible people. My family and friends are truly wonderful, always opening their hearts and doing what they can to make other people feel special, important. I owe so much of who I am and my views about myself to their kindness. My parents whom, even when I went through those really rough, awkward years (it hits some of us harder than others) always told me I was beautiful, and encouraged my testimony and spirit. My siblings who tell me I'm funny. My best friend who has never put me down, even in jokes. These people truly make me feel worthwhile, and I think its the bare minimum I can do to try and return that favor to anyone else. Because we all deserve it.

So maybe, rather than judging others that make mistakes different than you, we can all just try to understand. We all are flawed. We all mess up. But that's what makes us human. That's what makes us beautiful. Despite all the things we do wrong, I think everyone deep down is trying to do what they think is right. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said so eloquently "don't judge me because I sin differently than you." Back tracking a little to Les Mis again, although everyone in the story seemed to have different views and values and goals, they all were just trying to do what they thought was best. I don't condone selling your body for money, but Fantine was just trying to care for her daughter. And Javert was supposed to be the villain, but he believed in justice, and he was just trying to fight for that cause. But I digress. The point I'm trying to make, is that everyone views things differently, so before you try to change them, try first to understand what's truly in their heart, and just embrace them.

"You cannot save people. You can only love them." --Anaïs Nin

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

who wants a little TLC?--tinder loving care


I know I just posted about texting, but bare with me. I was chatting with my roommates a while ago, as per ush, and as women always do, we got to talking about guys and dating and such, when one of my roommates presented the idea "because people can text, they feel no need to date." I've been thinking a lot about that, and sadly, I think she's spot on.

Back in the day, if someone wanted to talk to another person, they would go see them. For all the perks today's technological advances have provided, I vehemently feel it's also the cause of a lot of lost personal contact. If I want to see how someone's day was, I just have to shoot them a text. I don't even have to leave the comfort of my own bed. And what is dating? It's getting to talk to and know people, seeing if you are compatible and if you like each other. Although I am guilty of having done this from time to time, I hate hate hate when you meet someone new, there's this spark and undeniable chemistry between you, and then you start texting, and the texts are all "what's your ambition in life, who is your role model, what's your favorite color" etc, etc. Blah. See, there is nothing wrong with these questions, but why wouldn't you want to ask them in person? I understand that because of different circumstances and distance, it's not always possible to see someone face to face every time you want to talk to them, but isn't that where the majority of your interaction should be? I like texting as much as the next girl, and I think it's a nice idea that you see someone's number pop up on your phone because they were thinking about you and wanted to say hello, but how much more romantic would it be if they just showed up in person? I just find it very impersonal to have "get to know you" conversations when you first meet someone. Once you guys know each other well enough or you want to set up a time to drop by or whatever, then it's no big deal--I just personally agree that texting has taken over what dates should be for.

Now, in relation, it's time to write about that online dating tool that has become increasingly popular among many of this generation--Tinder. There is no profile to fill out, so there's no sense of emotional or mental compatibility, it's all based on looks, (and a friend of mine mentioned that he tends to swipe girls that have mutual friends in common.) If you're attractive, you get a right swipe, plain and simple....regardless of whether or not you're even real.

Wednesday night, BYU students Bowman Bagley, and roommates Danny Gessel and Joshua Valdez conducted a little experiment. They created a fake profile for a girl they called Sammy, with a pretty face, and ended up grabbing the attention of hundreds of guys, from 19-30, being "matched" with about 250 men. The only exchange between this alleged beauty and these victims was "I’m going to yogurt shop called yogurtland tonight at 9 in orem with some girl friends if you want to meet up ;)". Then the pranskters went to Yogurtland to watch their social experiment unfold:
(photo credit: Bowman Bagely)
About six dozen men arrived to meet this fictitious woman. “The whole place, just groups of guys after groups of guys showing up in to this little yogurt place on a Thursday night to meet this girl that no one’s ever heard of, has no friends on Facebook or anything,” he said. “People were sitting there on their cars outside the shop watching with their friends to see if this girl would ever show up. A group would leave and a new wave of people would walk in, look at every single girl in the shop and stand against the wall 15 minutes by themselves waiting for this one fake person.”--Bagely told Huffington Post. Now, if you were to go into any given hot tub at any given time in Provo, Utah, you would almost certainly find it completely full of dudes, with maybe one or two girls. And even for someone who has said myself that usually 12 guys try and pick up one girl, I'm impressed. This was brilliant, and my only regret is that I didn't think of it first.
So the moral of this post? Meet people organically, and get to know them authentically, genuinely. Technology and social media has so desensitized people, from the kids I teach that are 13, to adults I know at 30, that nearly 70 men will congregate at a yogurt shop to see a pretty girl that messaged them on an app. That blows my mind. Get out and meet people, then see them face to face. Have real life, personal conversations and connections. I would absolutely prefer sitting, talking with a guy that points out over the course of a conversation that I have a crooked smile that he thinks is endearing or whatever (this is me not putting you in my blog,while indirectly still putting you in my blog) than have some stranger like some "perfect" picture I had put up, essentially as an advertisement. If you're going to sit on your phone and swipe faces instead of going out and being personable, then I'm sorry, but you deserve to have this prank pulled on you--because it was super funny. Just my thoughts.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

bst d8 evr!


In this age of advanced technology, where you have the world in your hand, it's easy to become consumed in phones, tablets, Macbooks, etc. But there's a time and place for everything. Dates are a time for personal interaction and communication--a time that I feel is increasingly diminishing in society. A time to get to know someone, real, right in front of you. So leave your phone alone. If I take my phone around with me on a date (usually I leave it in the car) I won't check/answer it. Texting someone else on your date is the rudest gesture, and easiest sign to show disinterest. Nothing says "your personality and time unimportant to me" quite like texting someone else on your date.

Of course, if you don't want your date to text while out with you, you need to be engaging. Ask her questions, laugh at his jokes, genuinely show interest in the person you are with. Both of you are there by choice. Remember that.