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relationships

Everything You Need to Know About Platonic Love

By | Food for thought, friend, friends, friendship, relationships

There are many different types of relationships you can have over the course of your existence. All of these unique bonds bring something different to your everyday life. Your relationships with your family members, your friends and your romantic partners can all present various layers and textures to your day to day. 

Some of these people will be the ones you turn to for advice, others will be the ones who are there for you (like Phoebe and Joey from Friends) when you’re in the mood to celebrate. All of these relationships are important in your life for various reasons. 

One of the more misunderstood types of relationships are platonic friendships—also called platonic relationships or platonic love. These have been largely characterized as bonds between heterosexual people who love each other as friends but are decidedly not in love with each other romantically. The defintion should be widened to include the LGBTQ community as well.

To give a more inclusive overview, these friendships are between two people who could couple up but instead they decide to clearly maintain a non-romantic bond with each other.

Does this sound a little unrealistic? Maybe to some people. But if you’re interested in what these relationships are like and what the benefits of these bonds are, you may want to keep reading. 

Not every relationship that could potentially turn romantic automatically leads to love. Platonic relationships fill a gap in people’s lives for intimacy and friendship without all the drama of infatuation or having to wonder where a relationship is going. 

Here’s a breakdown of platonic friendship, what it looks like and why it’s an important type of relationship to explore. 

What is a platonic relationship?

​​The idea of platonic love has its roots in ancient Greek philosophy. You may have connected this already, but the word “platonic” comes from the famous philosopher, writer and speaker Plato, who outlined specific categories of love in his famous work “Symposium.” 

Although Plato didn’t actually use the word “platonic” in his work (the word itself came later as a linguistic homage to him), he did define what we would now consider purely platonic relationships. 

In “Symposium,” he said that love based on physical attraction and sexual intimacy is romantic love while love that’s more intellectually or spiritually-based—with no romantic feelings—is what we call platonic love today. 

Platonic love

Basically, platonic love happens when two people have a special bond where they deeply care for and respect each other, lean on each other in good times and in hard times and share similar interests and values, but they don’t pursue things romantically. 

With platonic love, you could even experience love at first sight if you’re drawn to someone instantly because you two share a passion for a certain activity or subject. But love in the romantic sense just isn’t part of the equation. (At least not intentionally, more on this later.) 

This concept may be hard to grasp for people who don’t have this kind of relationship in their lives—and for good reason. We constantly hear about non-sexual friendships in will they or won’t they terms, like romance is inevitable between any two people who could theoretically be attracted to each other because of their sexual preferences. There’s definitely a stigma around what types of friendships are acceptable and which ones are headed for disaster (or toward the bedroom). 

There’s no such thing as “platonic lovers”

Platonic love is not friends with benefits or hooking up. In fact, there can’t be a sexual aspect to the relationship or it will no longer be considered platonic. (Platonic lovers just aren’t a thing.) 

Since there are no romantic feelings on either side in order for a friendship to be platonic, unrequited love or feelings from one person—or both people—would also disqualify a relationship from being platonic. 

Examples of platonic love and platonic friends

To better understand the differences between platonic and romantic relationships, here are two of the most common examples of these relationships in today’s world: 

Bromance or Womance: 

These terms describe close, affectionate, non-sexual bonds between two men or two women. Think of bromances and womances like next-level friendships, these pairings are definitely in BFF territory. They love each other, but they aren’t in love with each other. 

Work spouse: 

This term is used to describe coworkers or colleagues who are super close, to the point that they might rely on each other the way they would a romantic partner, without the romance part. 

They might run errands for each other, attend events and conferences as each other’s plus one and hang out together socially outside of the office. They are also known for sticking up for each other (and covering for each other, as needed) in the office setting. 

Can you have a platonic relationship and a romantic partner?

In a word, yes. However, it’s important to understand that your romantic partner may need you to set clear boundaries with your platonic friend in order to feel comfortable. (And only you know how okay you are with this.)

Some romantic partners may feel threatened by the idea of you having someone in your life who is so close to you, even if there are no romantic or sexual feelings between you and your friend. 

Depending on the person you’re romantically involved with, they might believe that your relationship with them needs to come first, before your platonic love. Romantic relationships can be tricky—jealousy can be a factor even in the most secure of bonds. 

The rules for a healthy platonic friendship 

So what to do about this? Talk to your platonic friend and your romantic partner, separately, about their needs and fears about the other major relationship in your life. 

You might be surprised about what you discover in an honest discussion with each of these important people. Remind them that your relationships with each person are not in competition—they aren’t comparable because they are completely different from each other. 

Discuss how much time you expect to spend with each of them and what behaviors and activities won’t work moving forward. For instance, if you talked on the phone with your platonic friend every night until you went to sleep, your romantic partner may not feel comfortable with this, especially if you two decide to move in together down the road. 

Or, if you’ve shared a bed with your platonic friend every now and then in a completely non-sexual way, your partner may not feel comfortable with this happening now that you’re in a committed relationship. Talking through these habits and scenarios when things with your romantic partner start getting serious will help you avoid tricky situations, trust issues and jealousy down the road.

Finally, you have to determine how much you need or want to pull back from your platonic relationship now that you’re in a romantic relationship. While these bonds are very different, they do have some shared qualities: typically, your romantic partner is the person you’d confide in, share good news with first, lean on when you’re having a tough day and so on. 

But you may already be used to doing these things with your platonic partner. Decide how you want that relationship to shift and evolve to allow your romantic connection to grow and thrive. 

Benefits of platonic relationships

signs of platonic love
(Luis Alvarez / Getty)

Having a platonic relationship means that you have someone in your corner who you can trust, who has your back and who brings you joy, but who isn’t necessarily engaged with you in a sexual relationship. Here are just some of the benefits of fostering this kind of bond:

Feeling closeness without the pressure: 

Talk about (hashtag) relationships goals. In a platonic relationship, you don’t need to worry about where things are going or if the other person is on the same page as you. You can maintain closeness with each other in a low-stakes way. You’re not thinking about the next step or where your relationship will be in a year. You’re getting the perks of a romantic relationship as far as emotional intimacy goes and none of the drawbacks. 

Getting a unique perspective: 

If your platonic friend is of a different sex, gender or gender identity that you are, you’re able to reap the benefits of looking at a given situation (and the world) from their point of view. This can be helpful when navigating a tough situation at work, when you’re dating and trying to pinpoint red flags or whenever you just need another set of eyes and ears on your current life circumstances. 

Having someone to confide in: 

A platonic relationship comes with the major benefit of being able to spill your secrets, deepest fears and unpopular opinions without worrying about judgement, retribution or word getting out. Having a confidant is one of the most significant perks of a deep, trusting friendship. 

Maintaining a relationship with boundaries: 

Practicing setting and respecting boundaries is an essential life skill. Luckily, a platonic relationship allows you to do this all the time. Since you and your friend are committed to remaining friends, you both uphold the boundary of no romance or sex, giving each other the freedom to just be with each other without wondering what if. This is also good practice for setting boundaries with other people, from family members to acquaintances. 

Not having to keep up appearances or impress the person: 

When you’re in a romantic relationship, there’s usually a tendency, especially in the beginning, to try to impress the other person. You put on your makeup, do your hair, don the cutest outfits. You might defer to them about what to do on a date or feign enthusiasm for activities they enjoy. All of this is a little exhausting, to say the least. In a platonic relationship, you can just be you because the stakes just aren’t as high. And, in just being yourself, you will eventually feel so secure that you may not even be tempted to try to impress others. By using your platonic relationship as practice for showing off the real you, you could actually find more authentic connections with potential romantic partners as a result.

Being able to have an honest connection: 

Platonic love isn’t about setting your feelings aside and putting your friend’s feelings first. It’s not about putting up a facade. These friendships thrive on honesty and clear communication. While you never want to be so brutally honest that you come off as mean or thoughtless, not having to hold back your feelings can be a relief for many people. 

Fighting without drama: 

In a romantic relationship, conflict can be scary. (Because what if one big fight can lead to a breakup?) In a platonic relationship, you’re going to get annoyed with each other or have words about a given topic or situation. But what happens? You get mad, maybe you stop talking for a few days and then you work things out. It’s just not that big of a deal. 

Never having to wonder about the status of your relationship: 

With platonic love, your relationship is steady. Yes, you can get closer or drift apart here and there but your bond is not on some kind of trajectory with the end point being either marriage or breaking up. You don’t have to waste brain energy wondering where your relationship is going. It just is. 

What if a platonic relationship turns romantic?

Of course, there is the potential for sexual attraction to develop, and for a platonic friendship to turn into something more. These things are bound to happen between some platonic pairs. We’re all only human, right? 

Maybe something happened to make you see your friend in a new light. Maybe you were feeling lonely and decided to engage in some physical intimacy with each other. Maybe your feelings grew over time. It’s not unheard of for emotional support to turn into romantic interest from a formerly non-sexual relationship.  

Here’s what to do about it: Since you know your friend so well, clearly you’re going to feel a vibe if things are getting more than friendly between you. The best thing to do is get those feelings out in the open—ASAP!—before something physical happens because it’s harder to have a conversation if you’re in the throes of lust, or if things get weird. 

Having a talk about what you’re feeling may be a little scary since you may not totally know if your friend feels the same way but once you sense that the relationship is changing it’s hard to have things go back to the way they were before.

Working together to talk about your feelings and what they mean will inevitably bring you two even closer together. You may decide that you don’t want to pursue things romantically, even if you’re feeling some love-like feelings. Or you may choose to turn your friendship into a romance. Trying to get on the same page before feelings progress is the best way to avoid having one person feel in love and the other decidedly not feeling it.  

What if you have one-sided romantic feelings for your platonic friend? If you’re feeling something but not saying something, this puts pressure on the other person and calls into question the integrity of your platonic love for each other. If you have feelings for your platonic friend and you’re using the relationship to test the waters for romance, you’re violating the inherent ethics of this relationship. 

Either you need to cool your feelings and commit to a platonic relationship with this person or you need to come forward with your feelings and allow the other person to know what’s really going on from your perspective. This way, your relationship doesn’t become tainted with potential mistrust. 

Platonic love has no expectations

Platonic relationships can still be highly misunderstood. Unless you’ve experienced these types of bonds for yourself it can be hard to grasp the idea of completely non-romantic personal relationships between two people who could theoretically be involved.

But, honestly, that’s kind of society’s problem. The narrative many of us have been taught is that men and women can’t be friends. And, to include gay and non-binary people as well, there’s an assumption that it’s not possible to be completely platonic with anyone you would potentially identify as a love match for you. If we can unlearn these lessons about love and friendship, we can open ourselves up to some pretty wonderful relationships. 

Platonic bonds are super special because they don’t ask much of the people involved except to simply be themselves—and to be good friends to each other. There are no expectations of needing to check all the boxes on the other person’s wishlist, the way there is with romantic partners, and no need to show off the best version of yourself in order to impress the other person. 

With platonic relationships, people can be free to love deeply without all the romantic baggage. It’s time to cherish these bonds and seek them out!

https://www.goalcast.com/2021/08/31/platonic-love/

Mom Takes Sudden 4-Day Vacation, Teaches Unhelpful Husband Hard Lesson

By | equality, feminism, Food for thought, marriage, parenting, relationships, stories, uplifting news

When a mother and a wife says, “I need help,” you better listen.

Not helping around the house

Try as she might, a mother of a four-year-old couldn’t convince her husband to take on more household chores. So, she did something that might be seen as drastic.

In a post in the Reddit forum AITA, the mom explained that she’d been with her partner for eight years, including 15 months married — but he’s helping out less and less while she takes on the heavy lifting in addition to her full-time job.

“Before this he would make dinner on his days off, take care of ALL of sons needs and do basic cleaning so that I could have a breather,” she wrote. “Now he doesn’t make dinner at all, falls asleep on the couch by 7 so I have son duty 24/7 and hasn’t lifted a finger to clean in weeks. So on my 3 days off a week, I end up having to deep clean my entire house because I dont have time to do anything on my work days aside from the bare minimum.”

“It’s a struggle.”

She tried to ask for help

The mom said she recently asked for some help and he said ‘yes,’ but not for long.

“He happily obliged for all of 30 minutes before taking off to go help a buddy with his car and didn’t do jack squat after returning home because he ‘was tired.’”

The mom said she told him she needed a break, but he didn’t understand her true needs.

“His way of comforting me was by hugging me and saying ‘You’re doing such a good job.’ Didn’t offer to help or anything.”

A solo vacation to teach him a lesson

So, the woman devised a plan.

She asked her mom to take her son for four days while she took a solo trip to the cottage 58 miles away.

Her husband wasn’t impressed.

“My husband started texting me last night asking where I was. I told him the cabin. He asked where our son was so I told him. He then started going off about how this is selfish of me and that if he had realized I wasnt merely stressed out that he would have helped out more.”

The husband said that he is stressed and tired as well and could have used the vacation too. He also claimed that she communicated her needs poorly.

“But the thing is, I straight out told him I needed a break. I asked him for help. He disregarded it all. But now I’m curious if I’m an AH.”

No, she’s not the AH

In the comments, Redditors overwhelmingly supported the mom.

“Does husband not have eyes? Can he not see what needs to be cleaned, tidied or cooked? Does he not know his child’s needs? If he didn’t before maybe his “four day vacation” without a child to care for or a wife to clean up after him opened his eyes,” wrote ToTwoTooToo.

BroadElderberry supported the mom and shared their own experience: “My SO can be the same way. I’ll say ‘my back hurts from shoveling snow’ and he’ll want to go walk around the mall for hours. I’ll say ‘I’m overwhelmed from doing so much around the house’ and he’ll give me the same ‘you’re doing great.’ And then when I finally have a break down, it’s ‘I didn’t know it was so bad, you didn’t tell me!’ No. We tell you. We just don’t make a broadway production out of it, so you use that to pretend that it’s ‘not so bad.’”

Support is great. Actually helping is better.

Despite American women working just as much as men in their careers, studies show that they still take on more of the household chores. And that isn’t fair.

Child rearing, living together and being in a relationship is takes more than one persondoing the work. And while verbal support is nice, actual physical help is even better.

Hopefully, this woman’s husband has since adjusted his behavior.

More uplifting stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2021/08/27/mom-takes-four-day-vacation-teach-husband-lesson-help/

Woman Trusts Her Instincts And Delivers Her Own Baby Inside of a Car

By | Food for thought, inspiring, motherhood, mothers, pregnant, relationships, stories, uplifting news

With a baby on the way and miles from home or hospital, one remarkable mom took matters into her own hands.

Labor day

When 35-year-old opera singer Emily Geller Hardman was attending a wedding in Lancaster Pennsylvania with husband Travis Hardman, she was packing more than just a dress.

Emily was 37 weeks pregnant with their second child, but that didn’t stop her from enjoying a great night full of dancing without a hitch.

Everything was going smoothly until that night at the hotel when Hardman’s water suddenly broke. Amazingly unphased, she went back to sleep to rest up for a trip to the hospital with Travis.

It turns out the baby had other plans.

That’s because just a few hours and many intense contractions later, she was in back of the couple’s car as Travis raced to the nearest hospital. Talking with PEOPLE, he remembers the chaos clearly.

“She was like, ‘pull over,’ and I said, ‘I can’t pull over here. It’s a deathtrap.”

– Travis Hardman

DIY Delivery

Finally, Travis found a spot for them to safely pull over and Hardman to get out and stretch. She was barely hanging on.

“I remember my legs were shaking,” she says. “I was thinking, ‘I’m bearing down too early. I’m pushing too early.’ I had no control over my body at that point.”

That’s when her motherly instinct kicked in.

“But, I willed myself back into the car at that point because I just thought, ‘Well, we have to make it to the hospital.’ “

Back in the car, Harden tells GMA that she summoned all of her preparation and research on breathing and prenatal exercises to trust her body.

“This baby was coming out of me one way or another,” she said.

“I either needed to, for lack of a better word, get on board with what was happening and just allow my body to do what it was doing or I could fight it tooth and nail, which didn’t seem like it was going to be helpful.”

– Emily Geller Hardman

And then, they were two.

“I was just feeling a lot of pressure,” recounted Hardman. “So instinctually, I just put my hands down and then I felt the head and immediately after that, she flew out in the next contraction. I caught her and brought her up to my chest and I said, ‘There’s the baby.’ “

In one fell swoop, out came a beautiful and healthy Rosemary Claire. An ambulance arrived 10 minutes later to transport them to the hospital for some much-need R & R.

Preparation creates courage

Amazingly, Hardman downplays any stress from the wild birth. Instead, she credits being an opera singer and especially the work she put in to being ready for the moment.

“You have to perform at a high level under stress, so you’re used to those types of situations and having to focus on what you’re doing and not how you’re doing.”

– Emily Geller Hardman

Much of that comes from her belief that childbirth is a process a mother should own.

“I think I’m really lucky in a lot of ways, but I do view birthing babies as a natural process, and that for the most part, it doesn’t need a lot of intervention,” she says. 

Hardman’s wild story shows that however a woman chooses to give birth — and whatever unexpected bumps happen along the way — it’s a process to own and savour.

More uplifting stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2021/07/13/opera-singer-emily-geller-hardman-delivers-own-baby-car/

Woman Unceremoniously Dumps Toxic Boyfriend After Constant Body Shaming

By | body positivity, dating, Food for thought, inspiring, Inspiring Stories, relationships, stories, uplifting news

One body-shaming boyfriend learned a hard lesson about respect when he crossed the wrong girl.

Weight-watching

23-year-old Shelby Johnson has spent years struggling with her weight. 

Things got so serious that as a teen, she had to be hospitalized after dropping down to a brittle 80 lbs. After that scare she managed to put on weight, along with self-esteem, she tells People.

“I haven’t been self-conscious in years. I was when I was underweight, but when I started getting to my goal weight my entire mindset changed”

– Shelby Johnson

“I felt more confident, more whole even. I knew that I was getting where I wanted to be and strived to be”

A devastating DM

Things were going so well that Johnson would even find a boyfriend who she thought loved and accepted her for who she was. 

That was until one day, when he DM’ed her with a particular complaint.

“It’s not like I haven’t told you you’ve been gaining and needed to lose anyway. You’re definitely getting a beer gut babe.”

– Shelby Johnson’s boyfriend, per her Tweet

In that moment, all of her insecurities returned, she shared.

“His comments did make me self-conscious. I started trying to work out 24/7. A couple friends noticed and expressed concern in my sudden desire to be so fit. ”

As she began to question her own response to her boyfriend’s message, Johnson took to Twitter to ask her friends if she was overreacting for feeling hurt.

Dumping dead weight 

She received more than just a second opinion.

Her tweet went viral, gaining nearly 39,500 likes and 5,200 from people telling her to dump her boyfriend, and that she’s beautiful already.

“He doesn’t deserve you. No need to keep that negativity around. You look great,” said one.

“Girl, dump him and find you someone who loves everything about you,” urged another.

Another commenter recommended an upgrade from her boyfriend.

“Dump him and buy a dog:)”

– @ktmlowe_ on Twitter

Johnson says that the overwhelming reaction “made me realize I wasn’t crazy for being hurt.” In another tweet, she announced that she dumped her boyfriend, joking that in doing so she was “dropping a hefty 180 lbs.”

Know your worth

Johnson says that although her now-ex-boyfriend was “really unhappy” about being dumped so publicly, he’ll use it as “a learning experience to be a better person.”

She just hopes that her painful experience serves as an eye-opener for women with similar experiences.

“Be careful, notice red flags and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and leave something that is no longer making you feel happy”

– Shelby Johnson

When it comes to relationships, compromises are important. It’s part of understanding, accepting and ultimately embracing one another.

However, one thing that’s non-negotiable is mutual respect. As Johnson’s story showed, anyone who disrespects or demeans you doesn’t deserve your time of day, let alone your love.

More uplifting stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2021/04/09/woman-dumps-toxic-boyfriend-body-shaming-beer-gut/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=woman-dumps-toxic-boyfriend-body-shaming-beer-gut

Halle Berry’s Response To Troll Is An Inspiration To Anyone Who’s Gone Through A Breakup

By | dating, Food for thought, inspiring, Inspiring Celebrities, inspiring celebs, relationships, stories, uplifting news

Breaking up is hard to do, especially when it keeps happening in the public eye. Recently, when Halle Berry was shaded by a fan on Instagram, she had the perfect response.

A heated exchange

It all started when Berry posted an empowering message geared toward women.

A rude follower responded: “Says the women who can’t keep a man.”

But Berry didn’t let that rude person get her down and replied, “Who says I wanna keep the wrong man? Cuz…. I don’t.”

Great point!

Amazing Clapback

Of course, the commenting didn’t stop there, and another follower wrote “Geesh Halle, had some trouble with men in your life??”

Berry responded to that, “Nope, they had trouble with me.”

“No man has ever taken care of me… EVER!”

– Halle Berry

There’s no doubt that Berry has had some heartache in the public eye, from multiple divorces to a split with a partner just after they had a child. But her life is her business, no matter how famous she is – and that is an important message to us all.

Have faith in yourself

Relationships end, and they may end in a hard, sad, way – but that’s not a reflection on you or what you deserve, ever.

Toxic relationships and bad breakups happen very often, to many of us. It’s how you have faith in yourself and the promise of the future that you get past them.

While it’s sometimes true that it’s important to look at any unconscious patterns we may have if we keep ending up in one toxic relationship after the other, it’s no reason to victim-blame — ever. It’s simply part of the healing journey, and every human being is worthy of healthy love.

More inspiring celebs:

https://www.goalcast.com/2021/02/18/halle-berry-responds-rude-instagram-comment-cant-keep-man/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=halle-berry-responds-rude-instagram-comment-cant-keep-man

She Can’t Form New Memories, So He Shows Her Pics Of Their Wedding Every Day

By | Food for thought, heartwarming, love stories, marriage, relationships, stories, uplifting news

Some Hollywood stories were made for real life.

Filmed in Hawaii, Peter Segal’s 2004 rom-com hit 50 First Dates tells the story of Henry (played by Adam Sandler), who falls for amnesia-stricken Lucy (played by Drew Barrymore). Henry vows to win over her love anew every day.

Thousands of miles away in Spalding, Lincolnshire, lives the real-life couple — a wife who won’t give up and a husband whose patience and love have no limits.

Lost memories

I don’t know who you are, Henry… but I dream about you almost every night. Why?

Lucy to Harry in ’50 First Dates’

In the movie, we discover that Barrymore’s character, Lucy Whitmore, lost her memory from a recent car accident.

She wakes up every morning having forgotten anything about the day before. That includes her affection for Henry, a vacationing veterinarian who’s smitten with her.

Like Lucy, Michelle Philpots’ memory was also affected due to a vehicle accident. Doctors ultimately diagnosed her with anterograde amnesia.

It’s defined as “a loss of the ability to create new memories after the event that caused amnesia, leading to a partial or complete inability to recall the recent past, while long-term memories from before the event remain intact.”

For Michelle, that means waking up every day thinking it’s 1994, when Ace of Base sat atop the music charts and ‘Forest Gump’ was the year’s blockbuster film.

I wanted to be back to the normal me and not this shell of a person. I want my career back. I want to be able to say, ‘I remember when’ again — but knowing [that’s] the life you’ve lost, you can’t do it.

– Michelle Philpots on TODAY

Michelle uses hundreds of Post-It notes and keeps reminders on her phone’s calendar to avoid forgetting the small tasks most of us take for granted. She also has to log every interaction for future reference.

Even more troubling is that although Michelle met her husband Ian in 1985, they only got married in 1997. Meaning every day she wakes up with no recollection of their wedding day.

Her leading man

In the movie, Henry courts Lucy every day as if it was their first time together. His surprise “Good morning Lucy” tape reminds her of their wedding day.

And just like Sandler’s character, Ian is determined to make his wife fall in love with him every day. Each morning, he shows her pictures of their wedding day, sharing those moments to jog her memory and bring a smile to her face.

Can I have one last first kiss?

– Lucy, ’50 First Dates’

Although it can be trying at times, Ian never gets daunted, determined to rekindle their memories as a couple.

It can be very frustrating for me but I have to be patient and understand. I have to keep calm because I love her

– Ian Philpots to Daily Mail

Love is worth fighting for

Michelle works constantly to try to improve her condition. She can now recall up to six numbers by punching them into a telephone keypad.

Although it has been a struggle, her husband Ian has been by her side, recreating the moments that her accident has erased.

When Ian looks at Michelle, he sees the woman he loves. Just like Adam Sandler’s character, he’ll do anything to make sure that Michelle reconnects with the man she married.

More uplifting news:

https://www.goalcast.com/2020/12/23/michelle-philpots-amnesia-husband-real-life-50-first-dates/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=michelle-philpots-amnesia-husband-real-life-50-first-dates

Mom Fights To Adopt Abused Special Needs Teen Who Lived With 28 Other Orphans

By | adoption, family, Food for thought, heartwarming, parenting, relationships, stories, uplifting news

Most aspiring adoptive parents dream of bringing a bright-eyed baby home, someone they can nurture from infancy.

Unfortunately, older kids like Sony, a teenager from India – who also had physical and emotional scars – get overlooked. One family dared to look past that and met an incredible girl. Their story reminds us of the gift of ignoring appearances.

Indian families usually only want to adopt newborn children who are completely ‘perfect’ according to them

CARA CE0 Deepak Kumar

A difficult upbringing

Life was rough in India for 14-year-old Sony. Abandoned by her family, born with a birth defect and having suffered through years of physical abuse, she had facial differences and brain damage.

At school, teachers would force her to cover her face, saying that it scared the other children. “It made me feel sad”, she told KHOU.

Her older age made finding a family difficult. Couples dream of taking home a bright-eyed baby who they can nurture. Older kids are seen as undesirable, having too much “baggage.”

According to India’s Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), the majority of “returned” adoptive kids are older (6 years +).

Isolated and packed in a home with 28 other foster children, Sony seemed to have nothing to look forward to as her 15th birthday neared.

Hope across the globe

While Sony was praying for a family, thousands of miles away, Shannon Regan and fiancé Jay Marsh of Anne Arundel County, Maryland were growing theirs.

They had recently adopted 11-year-old Chelsea from China. During Chelsea’s adoption process, Shannon came across Sony and wanted to adopt her too.

Working closely with Reece’s Rainbow, a group that provides support for families adopting children with special needs, they fought to bring her over.

Race against a pandemic

The couple was fully prepared for the red tape and delays. What they couldn’t anticipate was a global pandemic. With the coronavirus spreading, Shannon needed to hurry to India to complete the process.

There has been a lot of trust on her part that there is a world out there here, we just need to get out there safely

Shannon Regan to ABC

Thankfully, she made it in time. They brought Sony over before the COVID-19 lockdowns started, just days before her 15th birthday on June 3rd. Shannon counts her blessings.

“If I hadn’t gone over there and got the final approval to bring her home, she definitely would still not be home”, she told ABC.

The gift of a home

Shannon truly realized her fortune when Sony returned to Maryland. In fact, she says both of her adoptive daughters have completely enriched her life and changed her for the better.

Having parents has helped me know that I’m important, loved, I have a new life. I can be my best and I am safe.

Sony Regan to ABC

No longer having to cover up, Sony is happy to finally be part of a family. She is now on a mission to help other children receive the gift of adoption. In a two-page letter she wrote encouraging adoption, Sony explains why a child is never too old.

“I know people are scared to adopt older children because they think that child might hurt the parents or family or child or won’t love them and won’t fit in. Actually, I know the adopted child can make your family life better. Adopted children do love their family even when it feels hard at first.”

I think adoption is love. I prayed for a family for a long time.

Sony Regan

Perfectly imperfect

Many saw in Sony someone too disfigured to look at, too old to change, too hurt to love.

The Regans instead saw a beautiful girl with a big heart who only needed a chance. Finally given an opportunity, she can show the world the amazing person she is.

Shannon Regan encourages parents to pursue adoption with both their “head and heart.” Wouldn’t it be nice if we brought that approach to all of our pursuits?

More uplifting news:

https://www.goalcast.com/2020/12/17/shannon-regan-adoption-teenage-sony-india/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=shannon-regan-adoption-teenage-sony-india

How To Tell If Someone Has A Truly Toxic Personality, According To Science

By | dating, family, Food for thought, friends, Motivation, narcissism, personality, relationships, self, self-development, Self-Improvement, stories, toxic people, toxic relationships, uplifting news

Your friend or someone you know has gotten fired from every job they’ve ever had. Their dates always flake on them and their friends always betray them. The common theme: it’s never their fault and if you press them on it you’re the one to blame.

According to a team of psychologists in Israel, these types of people may have a toxic personality disorder called “tendency for interpersonal victimhood” (TIV), which they describe as “an ongoing feeling that the self is a victim, which is generalized across many kinds of relationships.”

People with TIV wholly and truly believe they are never wrong and that their victimhood is a core part of their identity.

How to tell if someone ‘plays the victim?’

Not everyone who feels victimized is toxic. Bad things do happen and it’s okay to be upset about it.

Rather, TIV occurs when someone constantly feels like a victim and they bring others down with them.

Rahav Gabay and her colleagues determined that people with TIV tend to have four dimensions:

Constantly seeking recognition

Of all the allegedly horrible things that happen to someone with TIV, people never apologize to them. Worse, they don’t even acknowledge their wrongdoing.

While apologies can be hard to come by, this only becomes an issue when the person who plays the victim is in desperate search of recognition for the supposed bad things that are done to them.

A sense of moral elitism

People with TIV are never wrong. In fact, their moral compass is better than everyone else’s and they use this assumption to manipulate others into their own perspective.

This behavior may be a defense mechanism as a way to maintain a positive self-image.

Lack of empathy for others

Everything that happens to TIV people is the absolute worst and no one else’s pain or suffering matters, or so they think. This can especially be toxic in a relationship as TIV people only care about their own problems, never others’.

The route of this behavior can be that since the person believes they have suffered so much, they don’t think anyone else deserves empathy for their suffering.

This lack of empathy can also show up in a group or national level in the form of “competitive victimhood” or an “egoism of victimhood” where members of a group cannot see things from another group’s perspective.

Rumination about past victimization

Since romantic relationships never worked out in the past for TIV people, there’s no chance they’ll work in the future. This is a fallacy as the past doesn’t dictate the future, but it’s a core belief of people who always play the victim.

Always ruminating about past grievances and thinking it reflects the future is something perpetual victims tend to do.

Why TIV is toxic

People who always play the victim are extremely difficult to deal with because they’re selfish and never wrong.

They’re also obsessed with seeking revenge for those who’ve wronged them and may punish others who had nothing to do with it just because they’ve been wronged before.

Forgiving is part of growth

We all play the victim from time to time. Sometimes bad things really do happen to us and it makes us sour.

The problem is when the victimhood because constant and when the person never learns from their mistakes. It’s also problematic when they never forgive others – you don’t know what everyone is going through and nobody’s perfect.

Ultimately, the problem with playing the victim is it doesn’t allow you to learn or grow from the past. If you don’t acknowledge your faults, how can you make adjustments for the future?

If you know someone who’s always playing a victim, it might be time to reduce your relationship with them or have a frank discussion about it. Life is too short to be surrounded by toxic people.

More uplifting stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2020/12/16/toxic-personality-disorder-tendency-interpersonal-victimhood/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=toxic-personality-disorder-tendency-interpersonal-victimhood

People Who Never Find Love Make This Critical Mistake, According To Ryan Reynolds’ New Commercial

By | Celebrities, dating, Food for thought, heartwarming, relationships, ryan reynolds, stories, uplifting news

Finding love has been hard in 2020, with a global pandemic and many people never leaving their houses and all – but then again, when hasn’t finding a match been kind of difficult?

Ryan Reynolds’ new Match commercial touches on just this issue – and shows how, when it’s meant to be, love will indeed find a way.

It also subtly highlights a critical mistake many single people make when looking for the one. (Yes, this especially applies when online dating during a pandemic).

Ryan Reynolds stars in Match.com ad

The commercial follows a woman named 2-0-2-0 (get it?) who finds herself matching with a guy who goes by the name of Satan.

[embedded content]

Satan is true to folklore, red and mean-looking with big horns, presiding over hell (nothing at all like the fetching Lucifer character on Netflix), but that doesn’t stop him from wanting love. He matches with 2-0-2-0 and discovers it’s a mutual match.

 “The feelings are mutual, so what are you waiting for?” his app reads.

The devil himself was able to find someone

The first date goes like many others.  They meet under a bridge, introduce themselves and stroll off. The video continues with a montage of dates they have throughout the year, enjoying empty theaters and football stadiums as they lead the rest of the world towards a shutdown.

Of course, their dates are against the backdrop of the world around them being a mess, from stealing toilet paper to watching movies in an empty theater, but they are still in their idea of a perfect love story.

Looking for love? Avoid this critical mistake and focus on this

While this video is undeniably funny – it’s also exhibitive of a really important truth that all of us should remember in our own dating lives.

If you think there is nobody out there for you, or if you think that because we’re in the middle of a pandemic there is no chance, you are sabotaging your own chances of finding someone from the get-go.

Love is out there, and the perfect person for you is out there (cause if Satan himself can find love in this ad, you sure can despite your perceived shortcomings and imperfections) if you are willing to believe it.

If you want love, don’t make excuses, and don’t deny yourself the chance to find it. You deserve that opportunity.

The important takeaway from this funny video is not that Satan and 2020 are one in the same (though that is debatable), but that no matter what your life circumstances are, you should never stop believing in yourself and in the possibility of meeting someone.

More inspiring celebrities:

https://www.goalcast.com/2020/12/04/ryan-reynolds-match-commercial-lesson-single/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ryan-reynolds-match-commercial-lesson-single

Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen Had to Fail at Marriage to Find True Love

By | Food for thought, love stories, marriage, profile, relationships, romantic

Ted Danson has had an unbelievable career in comedy. Despite the occasional miss, his roles on Cheers and The Good Place alone have solidified his status as a Hollywood legend. Similarly, his personal life has been a smash hit for the past 20-plus years. But that wasn’t always the case.

As Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen’s bumpy love story proves, sometimes you have to deal with your fair share of drama and heartbreak before being rewarded with unconditional love. 

Here’s what we can learn from Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen’s marriage:

Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen have enjoyed over two decades of wedded bliss, but when the pair first met on the set of Pontiac Moon in 1993, the outlook was anything but promising. That’s because they had both sworn off love for good.

Steenburgen had gotten divorced in 1990 and Danson was having zero luck in the romance department. Not only was he twice divorced, but his second marriage ended in scandal and a historic $30 million settlement

Everyone changes…

Ted Danson’s first shot at love came at a young age. In 1970, at the age of 23, he married actress Randy Gosch whom he had met at Carnegie Mellon University. As their respective careers began taking off, however, they found themselves on different paths and separated in 1975. 

People change with every experience they have and don’t always remain compatible.

It’s a lesson Danson would soon learn for a second time. Unphased by his divorce, Danson said “I do” to producer Cassandra Coates just two years later. Sadly, a major health scare would soon drive a wedge between them. 

And tragedy can change your relationship

The year was 1979 and Coates was giving birth to their first child, Kate, when she suffered a stroke that paralyzed her left side. Recovery was slow and painful, but Danson remained by her side, even sleeping on the hospital room floor for the first three weeks. Unfortunately, the trauma soon took its toll. 

Speaking candidly about their experience, Coates told People in 1982:

For the first month, I did nothing but cry. I gave Ted permission to leave me. I thought I was going to be a wipe-out the rest of my life.

Cassandra Coates, People Magazine

As she noted, they were still “adjusting to the fact that we aren’t the same people we were before this happened.” 

Not only was their intimacy gone — “You don’t think about your sex life when you’re paralyzed,” she told the outlet — but as they tried to find their new “normal,” tensions grew.

As Danson admitted, “There was a huge rift between us — a massive lack of trust” accompanied by a major “sense of sacrifice” on his part.

Sometimes you have to lose everything to find joy 

Despite all of the challenges they faced, Danson and Coates remained a team for the next decade, but their foundation would crumble in the early ‘90s.

Danson was accused of having an affair with co-star Whoopi Goldberg on the set of 1993’s Made in America and the media just couldn’t get enough. That’s when the actor’s life began spiraling out of control. 

His marriage fell apart, he was hit with a history-making $30 million divorce settlement, Cheers was officially over, Made in America was a flop and, when all was said and done, his new relationship with Goldberg just couldn’t withstand the pressure. The couple called it quits after only 18 months of dating, shortly after an embarrassing comedy routine in which Danson dressed up in blackface to roast his girlfriend.

“I was a mess-and-a-half,” Danson told AARP Magazine of that time in his life.

I thought, I’m incapable of being in a relationship. But I was working on myself.

Ted Danson, AARP Magazine

And that’s when the unexpected happened. As he noted, it’s “ironic how life works in those moments. Once you throw your arms up and surrender, a lot of times things come your way.”

True love comes when you least expect it…  

Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen
3/7/99 Los Angeles, CA. Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen at the 5th Annual Screen Actors Guild Award.

When Danson met Steenburgen on the set of Pontiac Moon in 1993, she was in a similar headspace to his. She was a newly single mother of two, having divorced Malcolm McDowell in 1990, and, like her co-star, she had all but given up on love.

“I announced to all my friends — not dramatically, but very seriously — that I was done with relationships,” she told Closer

That all changed one fateful day. The actors, who were tasked with playing a married couple, spent five hours shooting a canoe scene that would alter their lives forever. As Danson told the magazine, “We went out as friends and by the time we came back, we were in love.”

The timing of their encounter, which may have seemed odd at first, was actually perfect, as the pair had similar experiences to bond over.

As Danson explained, “We found each other when I was 45 and she was 40 — we had lived a bit.”

Both of us stared down some demons within ourselves, and it was lucky that we met then.

Ted Danson, Closer Weekly

They soon restored each other’s faith in love and were married in 1995.

True love gets stronger with age 

While Danson experienced his first three relationships crumble over time, with Steenburgen he learned a valuable lesson: True love gets stronger with age.

When faced with hardships, personal growth, and changing outlooks on life, true love doesn’t dissolve. Rather, it’s able to withstand anything you throw at it.

Which explains why the couple is as crazy in love today as they were when they first met. 

“I’m madly in love with Mary,” Danson proclaimed in 2017, gushing, “She’s a remarkable human being so I’m just incredibly blessed. It feels like heaven on Earth,” he continued. “If I were to die, I can say, I know what it’s like to be loved and to love.”

The feeling is mutual. “I’m ridiculously in love with him,” Steenburgen proclaimed in 2018. “I find him endlessly fascinating. He surprises me all the time and most of all he makes me laugh.” 

Ted and Mary’s biggest lesson:

It’s easy to have regrets or second-guess your choices in life, especially when the outcome isn’t the one you’d hoped for, but consider this: If you were to change even a single element of your past, your present might look very different.

This is a truth Danson is acutely aware of. As he told AARP Magazine, “If I corrected my mistakes — which are cringers — would I take them away if it were to alter anything about where I am now? No. Life is messy. The older I get, the more I realize it’s okay to be imperfect,” he noted. “Because you can still grow and make changes in your life.” 

Rather than pondering the what-ifs, use every experience, both good and bad, as an opportunity to learn. Treat failure as a chance to grow and better yourself and remember that your present is the result of everything that came before it, so there’s no time for regret. Instead, trust that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be or, at least, that you’re headed there.

More inspiring love stories:

https://www.goalcast.com/2020/01/31/ted-danson-mary-steenburgen-marriage/