In a few days I will be 36 years old, which is insane. Instead of a boring post where I complain about getting older and how I kept grabbing at a piece of lint in my hair, but it wasn’t a piece of lint, it was a gray hair, I thought I’d keep it all fun and positive. Besides, I have learned a lot of love and life lessons along the way, you know, since my dating type is usually: douchebag. Love is the most amazing emotion in the world and we all want it, have it to give and need it, so here are 36 Love/Life Lessons I have learned through many doses of trial and error, blatant foolery, refusing to acknowledge the red flags, and by just saying, “screw it” and having fun. Enjoy!
1) No, I Do Not Want To “Hang Out” With You: Listen bro, you’re going to have to actually ask me on a date, or just go away. I can “hang out” by myself, gorging on cookies and watching Netfilix on my own. Our first date, needs to be an actual date.
2) He Doesn’t Want You: He has not been in an accident. Nor has he been captured by aliens. He has not been hit while riding his bike and is trapped in a ditch, or too busy at work or school for you…he is just not into you. Let it go.
3) Put Down Your Phone & Talk, Face-To-Face: Remember when you’d meet someone and talk to them? Or, go for a drink, and actually not put your phone out on the table next to your dinnerware? Let’s bring that back yo.
4) Stop Talking Sh*t About Your Body, You’re Stunning: You know that having fat on your body is totally normal right? So are stretch marks, cellulite, and a regular sized ass. Stop putting yourself down! There is someone out there right now wishing for what you have. And if you’re like me and obsess way too much about making sure you always fit into your skinny jeans…then, workout, eat right, throw lots of cheat days in there, and be happy.
5) It Is Your Absolute Right to Have Wine & Chocolate for Dinner: This rule pretty much piggy backs on rule number 4. There is no reason to live life on a perpetual diet. Seriously, I am an actor and yes, looks play a big part in things, but so does my happiness, emotional and mental well being, and dammit, if I don’t have my wine, chocolate and pizza…momma ain’t happy yo. Everything in moderation of course, but I have my “Fu*k It” days when I forgo any cares and literally drink wine and eat chocolate for dinner. Try it, I swear you’ll be happier.
6) My Life is Dope, and I Do Dope Shi*t: Okay, listen up…I mean, read this, and pay attention because this is a huge lesson we all have to learn: WE ARE DOPE. Seriously, there is no one else in the world who is you, but you. Your life matters and even though it may not be exactly all that you want or hoped for…do what you can with what you have. Live your dreams and if you can’t live them right now to their fullest capacity, that’s fine, make moves to get yourself there. You are dope and capable of doing dope sh*t.
7) You Deserve To Be Loved Fully: Do you know what it means to be loved fully? When you are loved fully, you don’t have to question whether or not he/she loves you. This does not mean the relationship is perfect, because there’s not such thing. What it means is that you are deserving of love, phone calls, flowers just because, date nights, spooning, incredible sex, laughter, comfortable silences and all that love brings. You are deserving of a love that does not leave you wondering.
8) Absolutely No Complaining: This one is so hard, but changing this aspect of your life will literally change your mindset. Now I’m not saying that there are never valid reasons to complain because when I saw those gray hairs I cursed the hair gods, but keeping ourselves in a constant state of complaining will keep our lives stagnant. Stop complaining about dumb sh*t.
9) It’s Okay To Say No: Why do we always say yes to things we either don’t want to do, or know we have absolutely no intention of doing. For example, I don’t want to go to your kids birthday party because I hate kids birthday parties, so why am I telling you that I’ll try to make it? Because of a weird fear of telling you no, and looking like the bad guy. Well, I’m not going, and don’t want to go. That doesn’t make me a bad guy, it makes me honest. Just say no…you don’t have to show up to every function, respond to that person who’s interested in you, or go on another bad date out of fear of looking like a jerk.
10) Stop Giving Your Energy To People Who Don’t Value You: Stop wasting so much of your precious energy on people that don’t care about you or your well being. Why are you even discussing these people and thinking about them at night, ruining your sleep patterns and nights? This girl posted something about me on Facebook a few years ago, and at one point I was her friend, so I was upset by it, and literally let it consume me. I thought about whether everyone else from the high school crowd would believe her BS. You guys, I have lived life this way, constantly focusing my energy on people and circumstances that don’t matter. When you stop giving your valuable energy away to people whether they be an ex, current boyfriend/girlfriend, friend, co-worker, that does not value you, your life will change. Give your energy to those that cherish and encourage you, not tear you down.
11) Rid Your Life of Negative People: Here’s why this is hard. Negativity surrounds us in some form right? So, how then do we rid our lives of negative people and maintain relationships at the same time. First, figure out who the negative people in your life are. Is it your boyfriend, wife, family member etc. We can’t just get rid of our spouses or kids, but we can rid ourselves of their negativity by not taking it on and/or not feeding it. Let them vent, but help them to solve the issue, let it go, or steer their thought process to focus on the positives instead. Alternatively, if it’s a friend/spouse abusing you…rid yourself of them…now.
12) Pick up a book: Whether its about a culture unknown to you, a language, new yoga poses, or a cookbook, just pick up a book! I know everyone is all about asking Siri or Google, but there is something so beautiful, mesmerizing and all encompassing about reading a book. From the beautiful black letters that run across the page, to the way it smells, and the bend of its spine, books are exquisite, and an art form of storytelling that cannot be matched by an other medium.
13) Stop Chasing Love: There’s a huge difference between chasing and looking. Open your heart and mind to those around you and new experiences. Stop chasing that douchebag who never returns your calls, doesn’t text you back, or is “too busy” for you.
14) Be Yourself: This seems like a no-brainer, but think about it. How many times have you pretended to be into something to impress someone else? If you meet a guy that loves football, and you don’t, why are you pretending that you love football? Stop. If you meet a girl that’s really into hiking and you hate to hike, then keep your ass off the mountain.
15) Stop Ghosting People: Ghosting someone means you literally just disappear on them without any explanation because you are not interested them. This has happened to me and just about every girl I know. Seriously guys, stop this! it’s immature and cowardly. If you’re not interested in us then let us know, or if the girl is crazy, take out a restraining order, that way you’re ghosting her legally.
16) Travel: Get out of your house and go somewhere…anywhere. Just do it. There are always going to be one million reasons why you shouldn’t do it: not enough money, no babysitter, can’t take time off work. Work will survive without you. Take your freeloader kids with you. Or, start a travel fund right now and put money into it every single week for the next six months, and plan accordingly. Just do it. Don’t think about why you can’t and focus your mind on why you should.
17) Stop Living in Fear: What are you afraid of? No, not just snakes, spiders, and gray hairs. I mean what have you been holding yourself back from out of fear whether it be conscious or subconscious. And, what excuses are you telling yourself to prevent you from trying that thing you’ve always wanted to do? Fear kills more dreams then lack of opportunity ever will.
18) Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone: Is it really so hard to not go to the same bar every weekend, and venture into a new neighborhood instead? Will the world stop spinning if you decided to go up to that guy, buy him a drink and ask him out on a date? Are we in danger of the apocalypse taking place if you decided to date that girl outside of your race? And will the zombie invasion flood our streets if you eat a food you’ve never tried before? Nope.
19) Get on Your Grind: Stop waiting to be famous from Instagram, and get on your grind. Want a nice house? Grind. Want to vacay six months out of the year? Grind. Want to be famous? Grind. Nothing is instantaneous and if it is, it usually does not last very long. Work for what you want and it will last forever.
20) Go out…Alone: I went to the movies by myself for the first time last year-yup, at 35-and I really liked it. I also went to a speaking engagement I was asked to be on a panel for, alone. I grabbed a drink and walked around the room feeling so self conscious at first, but then, I started mingling and asking people random questions, and it was fun! So, go to the party, bar, concert, restaurant or movie by yourself and enjoy.
21) Stop Buying Lunch/Coffee Everyday: Pack your lunch instead of buying one at work everyday. Purchase a reusable thermos and fill it up with coffee or tea every morning before you head to work. Every Sunday, cook a few meals and pack them into five days worth of food containers. Buy a crockpot and cook in bulk, and if you have leftovers, freeze them and pull them out for dinner any time. I crockpot like crazy and eat that meal for days because I love leftovers.
Think about how much money you’d save if you didn’t buy lunch/coffee everyday:
* Average Coffee Cost: $3.25 x 5 Days Per Week = $16.25 x 52 Weeks Per Year = $845
* You could be saving over $800 per year in coffee money alone! Imagine how much extra money you’d save by cooking in bulk and freezing meals, meal planning on the weekend and packing your lunches for the week? Need travel money? There it is guys!
22) Save For Retirement: Saving for retirement is crucial for yourself and your relationship. Social security will not sustain us in our later years, so we have to save now. This is hard for me, not because I’m a big spender, but I don’t make a lot of money, and I live in LA, which is hell-a expensive! So, I live within my means and splurge here and there on a trip, or a night out. But, I’m frugal and if I cannot afford it, then I just don’t go.
A Few Ways You Can Save:
*Order appetizers when you go out: You don’t always need those huge portions anyway.
Share your meal: Order a full sized dinner or lunch and split it with your date, or friends, then splurge on dessert!
*Cancel your cable: Forgo cable for one year and you’d save over $900. You and your boo can have Netflix and Chill nights or make your own movie…I’m just saying!
*Buy wardrobe staples: When shopping buy items that are staples i.e. button down shirts, slacks, jeans, t-shirts, in several colors and mix-match those items. Also shop at the outlets!
*Cook dinner at home: How sexy is it to cook with your date? You’re picturing it now aren’t you…I just got you laid. You’re welcome.
23) Be Upfront About Your Wants & Needs: Let’s stop entering into relationships thinking our needs will be met without vocalizing them. Tell your partner what you want and need from them and your relationship, and be clear about it i.e. I want a relationship. I need alone time. I want to get married. I need to be a mother. I want to have sex 3 times per week. I need to be listened to. I need turkey bacon.
24) Live For Today: Geez, that is such a cliche, right? Well, that cliched statement is very true to life. Today is important and you are alive for a reason.
25) Compliment & Thank Your Partner: When we get into relationships the honeymoon phase is everything! We love all the things our partner does and says, and we have no problem telling them that. Cut to a year or so later and we very rarely take the time to compliment them, and its something we should never stop doing.
26) Stop Looking to Be Rescued: You are not a Princess, and there is no Prince coming to save you. Save yourself. Change your own life and realize that no one else is going to do that for you. Having a boyfriend/husband will not make all of your other problems go away.
27) Don’t Wait For Him to Call: You are way too damn dope to sit around waiting for him to call you. Period.
28) Stop Saying, “I’m Fine”: It’s okay to not be fine. Sometimes you’re sad, mad, depressed, lonely, and all of those feelings are completely natural. The next time he asks you if you’re okay, stop saying you’re fine, and tell him how you really feel.
29) Never Fake Your Orgasm: Faking your orgasm is not only doing him disservice, but you as well. Do you really want to keep pretending you’re satisfied, and even worse allowing him to believe he’s satisfying you? Stop it. Speak up and let him know what gets you off.
30) Don’t Forget Your Friends: When we get into a relationship, sometimes we are so wrapped up in our new partner that we neglect our friends. Don’t do that. It’s not cool. They were there before him/her, and if it doesn’t work out, will be there after him/her.
31) Pamper Yourself & Your Partner: Pick a day in the week, and make it a day of pampering for you and your boo. Massages, baths, laying in bed all day, reading together on the couch, cooking comfort food…do it. It will improve your emotional/mental well-being, and your relationship.
32) Keep Your Relationship Drama Off Social Media: Why does anyone think this is a good idea? It’s one thing to vent about something in your relationship that may be going on, but to have an all out back-and-forth argument with your partner on social media is ridiculous. Make it stop. Also, remember there is someone reading everything you are posting and waiting to make their move on your man/girl.
33) Praise Your Partner Publicly: Telling your partner how wonderful they are when you are at home is great and necessary, but let’s take it up a notch and brag about their greatness to others every once in a while. Put that on social media.
34) Be Who You Want To Attract: I you want a well read man, then read. If you want a woman with an amazing body, then start working out. If you want a man that’s romantic, then you must also give him romantic gestures. If you want a girl that can cook, then make sure you know how to make more than just nachos.
35) Use Protection: Stop having sex with people without wearing a condom. Seriously, stop. Ladies, use birth control if you’re not ready to have a baby, and carry condoms on you just incase he doesn’t have one. If he says he doesn’t wear them…leave.
36) Get Tested: I’ve been celibate for close to four years now, but I still get an STD screening yearly. There is literally no reason why you should not be doing this. You owe it to yourself, and to your partner. You can go to Planned Parenthood for free if you do not have insurance, there are also home HIV kits sold at pharmacies. Get tested…NOW.
What life & love lessons have you learned? Leave your comments below & thanks for reading!