Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash

When Susan (not her real name) complains to me for the umpteenth time that she really wants more friends in her life, I point out to her that she isn’t exactly doing anything

She agrees with me very distractedly and just from the expression on her face, I can tell she’s not gonna do anything about her lack of a social network and I’d probably be hearing this complaint again quite soon.

Susan is not alone.

There are many of us out there who crave having more friends, more dates, more love, more socialising and more relationships but… aren’t lifting…

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Online dating.

It’s the new way of falling in love.

But how

I remember striking up a conversation with him on Okcupid! and then deciding to meet up in person.

What was I feeling before we met? A mix of nerves, anticipation, fear, reluctance and excitement.

It was unchartered territory, something I had never done before and would have never dreamed of doing. But since everyone was jumping on the online dating bandwagon, I decided to give it a shot myself.

He asked to meet somewhere near my office and said he had this amazing fusion place to take me…

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A couple of years ago — when the concept of “self-care” started to become popular on the interwebs, I decided to incorporate some of these practices into my life.

I trawled Pinterest and read blogs about how the bloggers and coaches and self-care gurus were looking after themselves.

These often elaborate routines involved getting up before sunrise, taking walks, writing in my morning journals, deep-breathing for 30 mins and making a healthy breakfast.

All before I headed out of the house for work.

I did some of these for awhile and whilst I was gung-ho and enthusiastic at the beginning…

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Sometimes I really regret not chancing upon research articles like this back when I was a student in college. 😉

I loved studying but was a very lazy student and was always consistently on the hunt for the most efficient study techniques — so that I could study less and party more! Haha

I constantly resorted to procrastinating on my studies — particularly if I was mugging for exams. And I also resorted to very “easy” study techniques — I simply reread textbook notes, highlighted whatever I read (which was almost 90% of the page) and attempted to write summaries.

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I used to be a pretty melancholic and emotionally volatile person in the past, prone to dark, depressing negative thoughts.

I’d think the worst of a person or situation which resulted in me either not taking any action or jumping to the wrong conclusions about someone.

Having negative thought cycles also meant that I tended to talk myself into staying in crappy situations with toxic people. I just didn’t have the barometer to tell when something or someone was right for me or not.

Back then, I also had little to no clue what I should do with the negative…

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If you’ve been on a couple of dates in your life, you’ve probably come up against people who displayed behaviour that made you feel uncomfortable and uneasy, but they weren’t in-your-face enough to actually trouble you.

Our subsconscious/intuition/gut/ whatever you wanna call it sometimes pick up on warning signals or red flags way earlier and faster than our conscious mind.

At times, when we are so emotionally invested and engaged with a person on a date, it can be really difficult to stand back from the situation and evaluate our feelings clearly.

Another thing that can make things tricky is…

Photo by Mikael Seegen on Unsplash

Have you ever been on a date where there was something kinda off about the person in front of you, but you just couldn’t put your finger on why that is?

Could it be the way he keeps eyeing other women who pass your table? (yes). Or could it be the condescending tone he speaks to you in — “Oh God (eyeroll), how could you not know that?!” (also yes).

Or perhaps, you are in the middle of a job interview, and the way the interviewer (your potential boss) is dodging your question about the culture and workload is kinda…

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It was painful. I was wiped out from the 3 hour discussion we had, completely drained, emotionally exhausted — yet I still had to debrief the team.

In spite of all that, you barely get a thank you or an appreciation of the hard work that you’ve done. But well, it’s the culture where you are.

No thank yous and on top of that — having to listen to someone drone on and on about how your performance wasn’t good enough, you didn’t ask question 36, you didn’t probe deep enough.

You should have. You didn’t. …

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Has the past 9 months been such a whirlwind of stuff or what? I can hardly remember what I was doing before Covid-19 hit us all.

One minute we were celebrating the New Year’s, the next minute we were reading about rising community numbers about this strange virus. And very soon, it had spread all over the world.

And here we all are now. Surviving. Thriving.

So many things have changed for us — some good stuff, some bad stuff. …

Sara | AbstractedCollective

I write about relationships, personal growth and mental health. Dreamer. Tea addict. Researcher.

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