I LOVE ME: 5 Reasons Falling in Love With Yourself First is Key

Every one of us at one time or another has hoped and prayed that we would find ‘the one’, except he or she never seemed to come. Were we not looking in the right places? Was there something wrong with us? These questions may have crossed your mind at one time or another, or maybe they have been today. However, a better question to be asking yourself is if you are in a good place with yourself. Are you happy with every aspect of your life? Are you secure in your goals, wants, and needs? Are you ready to share that with another person? If the answer to these questions is a big ‘hell to the no’, then maybe it is time to make a commitment to yourself rather than a significant other. Falling in love with yourself is more important than falling in love with another person- here’s why:

Because you love yourself enough, you will not need a constant confidence booster from your significant other.

When you have insight into how intelligent, beautiful, funny, or strong you are, you’re not going to need the confidence booster from your partner. If they tell you how great you are it is a welcome compliment, rather than a needed one.

Your past will not intervene in your current relationship.

Any negative past relationships, experiences, or self-doubt you have had will rarely if ever come into play in your new relationship. If you have learned from those experiences, then you are in a positive place to form new and exciting relationships. However, if you do not learn to fall in love with yourself and still fear past mistakes or situations- don’t expect to find ‘the one’ tomorrow.

You will attract a better partner.

Because you carry the confidence and happiness of someone who loves themselves, you are going to attract someone with very similar qualities. This person won’t drag you down, but rather lift you up even higher. The negative energy you once walked around with will leave room for the right person to notice the happier and brighter you.

Your relationship will not feel like work.

You’ve figured yourself out by now. You know what you want and don’t want in a partner. You’re no longer going to settle for someone whom you need to ‘fix’, or who brings you down. Now, you’re ready for someone who just gets you and exhibits the true definition of the word ‘partner’. Aka- you aren’t paying for everything, you aren’t cleaning everything, you aren’t putting forth all of your emotion to gain nothing in return. This new partner will step up to the plate, causing your relationship to be the fun dynamic it should be and not a second 9-5 job.

Because you’ve already fallen in love with yourself- falling in love with your partner will seem much more enjoyable.

You’ve done the work. You have learned to love yourself-probably one of the hardest things to do if you’re not Kanye West. However, now that you have tossed all that self-hate out of the window, you can really and truly enjoy having a relationship with your significant other. Sure, you’ll have moments where you doubt yourself. But because you’ve really worked on the hard stuff and found a supportive partner, they will be there to kick that doubt away.

Without learning to truly love yourself, you will continue to fall for the same types of guys or girls that never work out for you. You will drag your insecurities, disappointments, failures, and past battles into your new relationships-causing them to ultimately fail. Do yourself a favor, and learn to appreciate what a great person YOU are before you jump into your next relationship. Fall in love with yourself, and the rest will fall into place. So, go turn up the volume on Hailee Steinfeld’s “Love Myself” song (my new fav), and get to work.

I Don't Have It All Figured Out, And That's Okay

This past week and even still today, I had a pretty major epiphany that I thought was worth sharing. Because when you realize something major it’s only fair to share the wealth, right? So, without writing a diary entry and spilling my deepest emotions I’ll just say that I have been the Captain of the Struggle Bus lately. Between deciding to switch career paths, losing my dog, and not knowing what the fuck to do with my life- you can say I’ve been quite a mess.

BUT today (with some help from dear old Mom) I realized that being a mess is more than okay. That’s right, I said it’s OKAY. I’ve been stuck in this box of black and white thinking. If I don’t get ‘said job’ my life is over, if I don’t get ‘said apartment’ my life is over, I have to put my dog down, my life is over. And although all of the above have been difficult, I have realized that I am completely boxing myself into this corner rather than letting great things happen and come to me in their own ways. I can’t tell you how many times I have looked at my email waiting for the perfect job to get back to me, and then let that e-mail that never showed up ruin my entire day. How ridiculous right? But I know I’m not the only one out there experiencing this same exact struggle, and am not the only 20 something who is unsure what the right next move is.

In college, I had my entire life mapped out. I knew the career I wanted, the place I wanted to live, and the experiences I wanted to have. What I’ve come to terms with now is that mapping my life out between the ages of 18-20 is such a joke. I mean yes, it’s great to have an idea of what career path you want to go down and an idea of where you would like to live, but having it planned out to a T is unrealistic. You never know what events will happen, who you will meet, what new ideas will come to you, or what experiences you’ll have that will literally change everything.

The last couple of months I have felt like the biggest failure. All of my friends and family were doing great, and I was unsure of what my next move should be. Until this moment I thought that I should have everything figured out. I should have the stable 9-5 job. I should have a huge amount of money. I should be happy with this plan that I chose at 19. But what if I don’t want any of those things (well besides a lot of money)? What if I want adventures, and to work a job that lets me be my true creative and free-spirited self? What if I don’t want to be tied down to a company or school for 5+ years, be married by 25, and have kids by 30?

So, with all of this said I am challenging you AND myself to stop boxing ourselves in, and to stop thinking in black and white. Rather, think in a multitude of colors, and break the walls that are stopping us from allowing these really exciting experiences in. I thought I was a disappointment to my family and friends. However, I’ve realized that I have a really badass support system, and as long as I’m not out stripping I know they have my back. I hope all of you have these people behind you as well, but regardless this journey is about making YOURSELF happy too. Not everything has to be about what others will think of you, how your parents will feel if you quit your job and travel Africa, or if you will disappoint your friends. If you don’t get your dream job at 25, you are only 25. There is so much room for better opportunities. Life is a crazy place, but if you’re not happy in the midst of all the craziness, then what is the point?  Maybe tomorrow the perfect job, significant other, apartment, trip, or whatever it is you want will come along. But for today, appreciate what you do have and stop wasting the days away waiting for what you want to come like I have.

Set yourself free of worry, doubt, and all insecurities (I’m working on this too) then we can watch all the beautiful experiences come twofold together. And if you have to go to some shitty office job that you hate tomorrow, embody your inner Taylor Swift (from the Bad Blood music video obviously) and you’ll be sure to get through the day. Happy hour after work always helps too.

Life Lessons I Learned From a Dog Named Buddy

When you first get a puppy everyone tells you what to expect as far as training them, what food to give them, what tricks to teach them-but no one tells you what to expect when you have to say goodbye to them. I mean why would they? You just got your best friend, you don’t want to hear how heartbroken you will be when you lose your pup. Recently I had to face that heartbreaking moment when I gave my nine year old golden retriever Buddy his last kiss goodbye. I don’t think I have felt so utterly lost in that single moment then any other time in my life. Some may say that is just nonsense, and of course there are worse things than losing your dog. But for my family and I, he wasn’t just ‘a dog’ – he was our best friend, our family.

Although I felt like my world was crumbling around me when cancer took the life of my best guy, I  realized that I had probably learned more from this 90+ pound fur ball than I had from some of the most educated people. I had PLEADED with my parents at thirteen to get me a dog. My aunt had Golden’s, and I wanted my own more than anything in the world. On June 31st, 2006 my dream came true when I got to go to the breeder and pick out the most handsome, big pawed, high energy pup of the bunch. He reminded me instantly of Air Bud from the movies, and I knew Buddy (although not very original) needed to be his name. As a puppy, he was an absolute terror. He walked me instead of me walking him, the couch was his bed not his crate, and he knew exactly how to annoy you with those awful squeaky toys. But, he was also the smartest, most protective, and loving dog I could have ever asked for.

From the time I was thirteen until now at twenty-three, Buddy was there. He was there for every single monumental moment in my life. He jumped on all of my friends as we got ready for all of our dances, he saw me come down in my prom dress, in my graduation gowns, and was always at the door to great me when I came back home. He was all of our shadows, our protector, and our lap dog (all 90+ pounds of him).

So, when the day came for me to say goodbye to him I thanked him for being this ever present, loving, snuggling guy in my life. He taught me the true meaning of love before any one person or one man in my life could. No matter what mood I was in, no matter how awful my day was, no matter who hurt me- Buddy was there. Some may laugh and say of course, you feed and walk him why wouldn’t he be there. But, until you have the relationship with this thing that no matter how broke, ugly, awkward, shy, or down you are- you can’t understand. Who knew that through our nine years together, that I would learn so much from a dog? I definitely didn’t, but I’m forever grateful for it. I learned how to care for someone other than myself, I learned how to love unconditionally (even if he ripped holes in all of my socks), I learned to put someone before myself, and I learned that dogs are not just there to learn from us but from us to learn from them as well.

We most certainly need our dogs just as much as they need us, so never take that bond for granted. I wouldn’t be the person I am today had I not spent almost ten years of my life with a dog named Buddy-my lap dog, my cookie stealer, my dance my partner, and my best best guy.

5 Things I've Learned From My Mom Over The Years

Most of us girls have been there. Thirteen years old; paranoid about ‘fitting in’ with the cool girls, trying make-up for the first time, and dealing with all of these new found emotions. Who is there through all of these whirlwind of changes? Well, for me it was Mom. However, instead of being thankful for my dear old Mom, I expressed my hatred of her. She made me clean my room, do my homework, and would ‘nag’ me to death. To thirteen year old me, she was the worst human being ever.

Fast forward a few years later to my sixteen year old high school self (aka your more emotional, bitchy, boy crazy self), and sorry Mom but to me you’re still the worst. Now, I’m just embarrassed by everything you say and do, we fight like crazy, I need the last word (but then so do you), and you just ‘don’t get me’.

Although my Mom and I have had our choice of words, and haven’t been the nicest to each other, I don’t think I would take back those times. Some may say I’m crazy for saying that. However, when I look at where my Mom and I’s relationship is now compared to what it was when I was an extra stubborn 16 year old, I feel grateful for our ups and downs. It shows me as a now independent woman in her 20’s how far we’ve come, and now I can really appreciate my Mom.

As the baby of the family there wasn’t too much I could get away with that my older brother’s hadn’t already tried (like throw parties, etc.). Because of this, my Mom set (and still does) high standards for me, and I felt a responsibility to meet those expectations. However, I still saw her as the nagging evil woman who called every second, wouldn’t let me hang out with certain kids, and made me work for everything that I waned. I can’t tell you how many times I shouted, “I HATE YOU!” my Mom’s way, not caring if it hurt her or not.

Then college came. That big transition in all of our lives. I was moving out, and would be too busy to fight with her every day (something I’m sure my Dad was excited for). I went through a lot of ups and downs through college. However, the one thing that never changed was my Mom’s unconditional love and support. She made sure that I made it to the stage on graduation day, and I think in that moment I realized how significantly our relationship had changed. We were no longer enemies, but best friends.

Now that I am finally at the age where I can appreciate my Mom, I feel that it is appropriate to share a list of the top five things that I have learned from my number one lady to share with all of you.

1. Money, success, and a fancy job is not everything. Happiness is.

My mom was a single working Mother until she met my pretty cool Dad and had me. She is the definition of a hard working person, and although she may have never had her dream job until later in life, she still made sure that we were always laughing and happy.

2. Having faith and trusting in yourself is key.

Faith is one thing that I will always try to keep in my back pocket thanks to my Mom. She has been through the worst of times and the best of times, but no matter what, she ALWAYS had faith that everything would be okay, and it has.

3. Being a clean/organizational freak is okay.

One of the many things Mom and I used to argue over was her need to have the house looking perfect. Now, I find myself freaking out over my kitchen being dirty in my own apartment. This sounds like a bad thing, however, I’m grateful that she taught me to; clean up after myself, actually do my laundry on my own, and how to use the dishwasher (because I’ve learned through one too many roommates that some people like leaving dishes to rot in the sink for weeks).

4. Never stop trying.

My mom has never given up. Not on my brothers, not on my dad, definitely not on me, and most importantly not on herself. She has taught me to do the same no matter what struggle I am faced with, no matter how hard I want to throw in the towel, she’s there to tell me to keep going after what I want.

5. Laughter is the best medicine.

Even during some of our annoying fights, my mom and I would just look at each other and burst out laughing. It always cleared the air, and even now we always have each other keeled over laughing. Laughter is important to get you through the ups and downs of life. Never forget that.

An Unapologetic Rant On Today's Fitness World

Every day, I like many, sit on Instagram and see the array of fitness pictures. I see the cross-fitters lifting heavy, the runners who just finished 10 miles, the body builders who are four weeks in, the shake cleansers with their before and afters, and half naked women who instantly make you hate yourself. Let’s be serious, social media is the place for all of these people to brag about their fitness successes, and you know what? Props to them. But what about the ‘everyday’ people who don’t look like these half naked fitness models? Can we give them some credit for trying?

As I scroll through my news feed I see the millions of before and after pictures of people who just lost a few pounds. What really sticks out to me is that almost EVERY single one of these pictures has a caption that starts a little something like, “I don’t usually post something like this but…”. NO. STOP. Own that shit. You just worked your ass off (literally). Be proud of what you’ve just done. It takes not only the physical ability to transform our bodies, but the mental ability. It takes will power to break unhealthy habits. I understand, posting these pictures takes a lot of guts. You’re showing the world a vulnerable side of yourself, but you’re also showing the world the inner and outer strength you have just gained. Throw that before and after on there, and follow that up with a caption that says- “LOOK WHAT I JUST DID”.

And for those of you out there hating on these people for their success- shaming these people doesn’t make you any better. Fine, if you want to secretly hate the girl on Twitter who thinks she’s super cool because she suddenly lifts and wants ‘#gainz’, by all means bash her in your head (hey, I’ve done it). But then take a step back and realize that, yes she needs to shut up but she’s also actively trying to better her body and health, and might need the acknowledgement from social media to feel good about it.

To further my rant, shaming the people who don’t fit our ‘social norm’ of ‘being fit’ (whatever that may be) is also not okay. They may not want to be a size zero. Maybe they just want to be healthy so they can get up and down to play with their kids. Maybe they want to be strong and muscular because lifting heavy shit makes them feel good. Maybe they just want to feel that energy after a good spin class. Whatever the reason, don’t put these people who are doing their best down. You don’t know why someone has gained 100 lbs. Stuff happens in all of our lives, and sometimes the number on the scale is out of our control. Take a step back, and focus on your own goals rather than shitting on people in the gym who are actively trying. If you see someone doing a machine or lift wrong, EDUCATE THEM. The gym can be a really intimidating place for some people. At least they are brave enough to get off the treadmill and try something new. Don’t make fun of them, teach them.

So, to conclude my tirade, congratulate the people who are able to step foot in the gym everyday, educate the ones who have no idea what they’re doing, and then get in there yourself. If you’re one of the millions posting your progress and success-own it. Don’t be ashamed of what you have accomplished. Everyone has their own fitness journey, respect that, and remember that comparison is the thief of happiness.

Don't Be Afraid to Fall in Love More Than Once

Thanks to our childhood fairy tales like Cinderella, there is a great majority of us that are prone to believing that one can only love once. Your prince charming rides up on his white horse, sweeps you off your feet, and that’s that. We watch these romantic movies where guy meets girl, guy gets girl, and they live happily ever after. Well, I’m here to break the news- life is definitely not a fairy tale or a Nicholas Sparks novel. Now hear me out, I’m not being cynical (only a little), I am simply being realistic. After my last break up I thought, well that’s it. My one and done. I’m never going to fall in love, and I’m never going to meet ‘the one’. At twenty-one these were the thoughts twisting and turning in my head. Twenty-one, and I thought I was doomed for life.

You know what movies are my favorite? The ones when the relationship doesn’t work out in the end, the two people realize they aren’t right for each other, or they find different significant others. That is real. Falling in love with more than one person in your life time is real, and more than okay. Life shifts us in crazy directions. The person that you fall for when you’re fifteen is not necessarily ‘the one’, but there are so many lessons that you can take away from each relationship. The one that didn’t work out will be there to remind you of what you don’t want, and you’ll be that much better of a person for knowing that. Just because one relationship did not end in marriage and kids, does not mean that you won’t find that in someone else, and probably someone better for you.

We all want a relationship like Allie and Noah from the Notebook, but maybe it takes falling in and out of love three to five times before we find that unwavering and timeless love. In the meantime, it is also perfectly normal to be single. Focusing on yourself, and truly finding who you are may need to come before love. The social ‘norms’ of needing to always find or be with someone is ludicrous. Maybe you’re too in love with yourself and your cat or dog right now to find time to meet ‘the one’, and that my friends is okay.

However, if you’re one of the singles out there swiping left or right on Tinder, desperate to find your knight in shining armor, maybe it’s time to give it a rest. You’re probably not going to find the love of your life when you’re desperately seeking him or her out. There’s no rule that says you cannot be single, especially in your 20’s. Enjoy the time you have to find and love yourself first. Jumping into a relationship just to say you finally have a girlfriend or boyfriend is a set up for disaster. Listen to that saying about finding the right one when you’re not even looking, and don’t settle for second best. There is someone out there for everyone. It may take that one disaster relationship for you to meet your ‘Noah’ or ‘Allie’. But don’t give up, don’t settle, and most certainly don’t shame yourself for leading that single life.

7 Ways To Embody Your Inner Beyoncé

Finding our way in this world can be a scary and draining road. Between our families, friends, society, and work we are always pulled in a different direction. Through this journey it is easy to lose our true selves, and we find ourselves doubting our decisions, bodies, and mind. However, it is important that we learn to pump the brakes on this whirlwind we call life, and evaluate where we have come and who we have become. If you’re like myself, and find that you are in a bit of a rut mentally, don’t lose faith. Being able to recognize that we are not living up to our potential is the first step of many in becoming who we are truly meant to be. Below you will find a list that can get you on the straight and narrow to becoming your baddest, strongest, and most awesome self.

Develop a positive attitude.

This alone has been the hardest part for me. Around others, I am the happy go lucky girl. However, in my own mind I can become the most negative and self-destructive person. If we think bad thoughts, how are we supposed to move past this mini crisis we have found ourselves in? I don’t care how corny it may sound or what you need to do, but STAY POSITIVE. Oh, someone just hit your car? No biggie. Things could be worse, and you have insurance for a reason. You dropped your beloved coffee on the way into work on a Monday? Maybe you need to lay off the caffeine anyways. Move on with your day, the world is not out to get you.  So, stand in front of your mirror (or whatever you have to do) and throw some positive energy your own way!

Believe

Believe in what you may ask? Yourself, of course! Believe that there is a job out there waiting for you, the perfect apartment in the best location, or a new guy that is just waiting for you to notice him. If you truly are open to accepting these things, you need to believe that they will happen to you. Kick that positive attitude up a notch, and have a little faith that the world is on your side!

Challenge Yourself.

If you’re restless, bored, or stuck in a rut- you may need a new challenge. I don’t care if this means taking on more at work, running a 5k, or learning to knit. You need something new, something fun, and something positive to challenge you. If you’re restless, remaining on your couch and waiting for Netflix to release the next season of your favorite show will not help you (Believe me, I’ve tried). So, get out there and try something new for a change!

Stop Settling.

You will never reach your potential if you remain stagnant. Leave that low paying, awful job. Leave that boyfriend who has the wandering eye. Leave the apartment where your landlord still hasn’t fixed your heat. Leave it all behind. Sitting around and waiting for these issues to fix themselves, or staying because you’re ‘comfortable’ will most definitely not earn you the title of ‘most successful’. Step out of your comfort zone, and make shit happen.

Make Peace

Holding a grudge on someone? Did your boyfriend cheat on you, and you can’t move past it? Does your boss single you out in front of everyone on a weekly basis? You cannot change these people. If you’re Mom isn’t in your life because she can’t get herself together, if your boss won’t stop breathing down your neck no matter what-these are out of your control. As long as you have done your personal best in these relationships, there may be nothing left to give. Forgive the person who caused you pain, move past the event, and make it in to a teachable moment. You may never forget the people or events that have hurt you, but you can learn lessons from them, which makes you the stronger person. Which in turn helps you become your baddest most awesome self!

Find Confidence.

Without having confidence in yourself, there is no way that others will believe in your strides to make it in this crazy world. If you’re lacking any sort of confidence, pin point what it is. Is it your resume that is lacking, do you hate looking in the mirror, do you feel ‘fat’, did you get a bad dye job and your hair is fried? Whatever it is, fix it. And I don’t mean go starve yourself or buy a wig. I mean, fix it mentally. Come to terms with who you are. We need to not only make peace with others, but with ourselves as well. (This goes back to number three, challenge yourself!). If you’re uncomfortable with the fact that you may have put on a few winter lbs., go hit it hard in the gym. Make it a challenge for yourself. However, you also need to learn to accept the body, mind, and soul you have been given for what it is. Don’t change the beauty within you because you want to look a certain way in person or on paper.

Fall in Love With Yourself (MOST IMPORTANT)

So, I have saved the best for last. Every day millions of people fall in love with their soul mates. However, what many of us forget to do is fall in love with ourselves first. If we do not believe that we are worth that pay raise, the hot guy at the bar, or that perfect apartment in the city-then why should anyone else believe we’re worth it? When you fall in love with yourself, you open yourself up to so many more possibilities. Love yourself enough to challenge yourself, not settle, believe you are the best, forgive others, and have confidence that you are worth all that the world has to offer. With this new found self-love, there is no way that you cannot become your baddest, most awesome self.

So, embody your inner Beyoncé and go after the things you want with confidence and strength. What have you really got to lose?

5 Steps to Becoming the Happiest Version of Yourself

One of the hardest things to admit is when we’re not happy. Whether it’s with ourselves, family members, our job, our significant other, friends-it doesn’t matter. Saying the words ‘I’m not happy” out loud is terrifying. But it’s even harder to get out of this state where we think everything is miserable, and we feel like nothing will get better. Despite some ups and downs, I’ve learned some tips and tricks to not only stop faking my happiness, but also how to feel and maintain the real thing (but I’m not perfect, I still struggle to put the following into practice everyday).

Admit it already, you’re not a happy person right now.

I mean seriously, how are you going to fix the problem if you can’t even admit it? The world won’t end, it will just lose one miserable person in exchange for a happier one. What do you do after admitting you’re feeling pretty terrible? Well, you’re probably going to want to go hug a dog, or eat some chocolate cause it’s about to get real emotional up in here (Tissues are also helpful as tears will be shed if you’re anything like me).

Why aren’t you happy?

Get to the root of the problem, immediately. Is it a job issue? Do you hate your school? Does your significant other suck? All of the above? Choose what makes you the most unhappy. Choose what needs fixing, changing, or removing.

Make a plan of action.

As in get your notebook and pen ready. Make a list, pros and cons, what you can do right now, what you can do in the future, etc. Think of it as a new challenge. You probably won’t feel complete and utter happiness right away, but a plan to get you on a better track is better than sitting with a tub of ice cream wallowing in your pain with Netflix. (OK, that’s fun sometimes but you catch my drift)

Take your new plan and execute it.

Job search, have a talk with your significant other (or whomever it is causing you to dread life), seek advice from those you trust most- whatever it is that you need to do, do it. Writing it on paper won’t make you happy, you need to actually do something about it.

Try to maintain a positive attitude (THIS IS KEY)

Put out positive vibes into the world, and make sure you have done all you physically can to change your circumstance. However, your mentality is equally as important. I’m guilty (super guilty actually) of putting negative vibes out there, rather than trying to change my ‘I hate everything’ attitude. Believing your happiness will come with time is important. If you don’t stay positive and believe in the process, you will be stuck in your misery.

Life is a terrifying roller coaster sometimes. There are ups and downs, twists and turns, and many unexpected events. However, having the courage to admit that you are unsatisfied with where your roller coaster has taken you is everything. Admit it, take the necessary steps, and gain back a new found happiness (As in you may never feel the happiness you did when you were 18, but we’re moving on to bigger and better things anyways). Wallowing with a nice chocolate bar and a glass of wine is necessary sometimes, but it’s just as necessary to not get caught up in the misery. Don’t forget all that you have accomplished, and all that you want to accomplish. Break free, get yourself together, and take the never ending journey to finding the best version of YOU.

 

Six Things I’ve Learned from Being a Daddy’s Girl

sunset, people, girl

Since I can remember, I’ve been a ‘daddy’s girl’. Don’t get me wrong, my mom is my best friend- but my Dad and I have always just gotten each other in this silent kind of way. We don’t need to talk about our feelings, but he’s right at my side if I need a good cry (although I’m sure he would prefer I didn’t cry at all). I have a lot to thank my Dad for, however, what I appreciate most is that he has shown me what I need to look for in a significant other. I’ve seen many of my girl friends go from bad relationship to worse, but thanks to my Dad I believe that I have a good sense (most of the time) of what type of guy I should go after (but some of those bad dates are unavoidable). I realize that not every girl out there has a role model like mine, so I decided it would be smart to create a list of the things I’ve learned over the last twenty-three years from my number one guy.

Never let a guy treat you like you are worth nothing.

My Dad tells my Mom how much he loves her every day. I’ve never heard him talk down to her (not that she would let him), and I know I never will. No one, especially the person you are supposed to love should ever make you feel like you are just another thing to them.

If your boyfriend can’t hold a job, and prefers to sit on the couch-ditch him.

I mean I as much as the next person enjoy sitting on my couch for a solid day watching House of Cards to no end, but if that’s your boyfriends every day kind of life, show him the door. My Dad sets the bar pretty high sticking at his job for about twenty-five years, but now I know exactly what hard work and determination looks like for myself and my significant other.

If your significant other isn’t willing to move from the couch to get you something when you’re sick, or to help you in general, etc. you need to reevaluate.

Obviously a relationship is 50-50, but I expect if I am willing to go out of my way for my significant other, they should hopefully want to do the same for me. I watch my Dad jump at the chance to get my Mom something (even if he doesn’t really want to), and drive me all the way to the mall when he needs to get up early the next day just because I forgot to get something.

Be with someone who you’d never want to disappoint because you have the utmost respect for them.

If I ever dropped the ball I always worried that my Dad would think differently of me. He never did, but I always wanted and still do want his approval. The way my Mom talks to me or her friends about how hard working my Dad is, just shows to me that she not only appreciates him, but respects him as well.

A sense of humor is a must.

If you can’t laugh at or with your person there is no fun in the relationship. I wish I could tape record the amount of times my Dad has my Mom (and me) laughing so hard she could cry. They make fun of each other, they banter back and forth, but at the end of the day my Mom is always laughing.

Love is unconditional.

My Dad is not perfect. However, through all of the ups and downs he always chose my Mom and I over anyone or anything else. Even when I am being a pain, I know I can always count on my Dad to be there for me. For twenty-five years he has maintained an unconditional, unwavering love for my Mom. Because of this, I know what love is, what compromise is, and what a beautiful thing marriage can be.

Is my Dad perfect? No. Does he have millions of dollars to give me? No. Does he always make the right choices? No. But here’s what he does do- he cares, he supports me every day, he makes me laugh, he listens, and he works harder than any man I know. So, shout out to all of the #1 Dad’s out there who like mine, have taught their daughters to; laugh, love, fish, drive, and never choose the wrong significant other (because then he might have to break out the shot gun. JK, sort of).

 

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