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Dating used to be something out of the movies. You would pick up a girl at her house with flowers, drive her to a restaurant and a movie, give her a goodnight kiss, and then talk on the phone for hours until seeing each other once again. Nowadays if you have a date like this it’s probably because you woke up and realized it was just a dream. When the Internet was invented, and companies started coming out left and right to exploit its power, Netflix was one of those companies. Nobody realized how big and convenient it would become, but it has.
In the age of millenials, when two people are dating, a typical night together is watching movies on Netflix (or scrolling through choices endlessly), and ordering takeout. This seems to be the norm nowadays because it’s easy, relaxing, cheap, and you get to know someone without too many distractions. Women seem to think that a “Netflix and Chill” date means the guy is looking for sex. Well that’s just plain ridiculous. Guys are looking for sex regardless of what you are doing, whether at a restaurant, a movie, a show, or a bar. Guys think about sex quite often no matter what ladies, so just get the Netflix/takeout sex thoughts out of your head.
The cool thing about watching Netflix and ordering takeout is how comfortable you can both feel knowing that you don’t have a waiter in your face every two seconds, you won’t be uncomfortable in a movie theater (most seats suck!) with noisy people around you (chomping popcorn or texting on their phones), you don’t have to deal with traffic and parking, and you can talk to each other without people overhearing your conversations. Don’t forget you can drink whatever alcohol you want, listen to whatever music you want, watch whatever movie you want, in the privacy of your own home (with your pet), use your clean bathroom (unless you’re a slob), and have access to everything that is convenient.
At this point I don’t really know anybody who doesn’t watch Netflix and Chill, it’s so rare nowadays. The truth is, if I add up all the times that I watched Netflix and ordered takeout with a girl where we just hung out and didn’t have sex versus the times that we did have sex: The “no sex nights” would win hands down. So therefore that theory is completely crushed. Game over!
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One of the reasons I dread having a first date is because typically they are like job interviews. You have to get to know someone, just like you do in a job interview, so you ask them 21 questions about themselves. After thousands of dates, you can imagine how boring this can be, both asking the questions, and answering them repeatedly without an end in sight.
One of the things I tried recently to shake things up a bit and make a first date more interesting was to switch up my questions. Here are some examples of questions you may have asked or have been asked, and what I think you could ask instead to make a first date more enjoyable:
Generic Question: How many brothers or sisters do you have?
Better Question: If you have any siblings, tell me about one of the funniest moments you remember with them?
Generic Question: What do you do for a living?
Better Question: What’s the favorite part of your job?
Generic Question: Where did you go to college?
Better Question: What did you major in college, and if you could have changed your major and done something else, what would it be and why?
Generic Question: What are some of your hobbies?
Better Question: Which hobby do you prefer the most, and why do you like it so much?
Generic Question: Do you have any pets?
Better Question: If your pet could talk, what are some of the things you think it would say to you?
Generic Question: What’s your favorite food?
Better Question: What was the last thing you cooked, and why did you enjoy preparing it?
Generic Question: What’s your favorite movie?
Better Question: What were some of the last few movies you watched, and did any of them move you at all?
Generic Question: What’s your favorite band?
Better Question: If you could listen to any band dead or alive right now, which would it be and why?
Generic Question: Where are some of the places you’ve traveled to?
Better Question: Tell me about the most memorable moment you’ve ever had in a foreign country.
Generic Question: Are you close to your parents?
Better Question: Tell me about something about growing up with your parents that you remember vividly, funny, sad, or just a cool moment.
Generic Question: What do you do in your free time?
Better Question: When you have free time, what do you usually do more: relax, read, listen to music, watch movies, engage in culture, seek out adventure, or all of the above?
I can go on and on with these generic questions that don’t get to the core of what will show if there is a match. Personality and chemistry reign supreme, but these generic questions don’t target those characteristics. So hopefully my “Better questions” will help those of you who are going on yet another first date. When you ask someone these questions, take extra care to look at their facial expressions, so you can see how they got surprised and/or intrigued by your question.
I think these questions will give you more of where the person is coming from. Whether or not they are creative, funny, or if they can think on the spot. Plus, based on the answers, you might find that their personality is a lot like yours if they choose some of the same answers you would choose. Of course it’s only fair that you answer them also, so make sure you thought your answers through. In the end, this would be a much better way to get to know someone in my opinion while walking in a park with a coffee or an ice cream in hand.
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I’m sure that if you’re single, you will agree that you’re sick of hearing “When you find the one, you will just know. You won’t question it anymore, you will just stop asking yourself if this is who you are supposed to be with.” I’m not going to lie, I was one of the single people out there who thought that this saying might be B.S.! Yet even I was skeptical that I would ever meet anyone online. It seemed like it was an endless pool of sharks and I was just a starfish sinking to the bottomless sea of the unknown. Just a mysterious, endless, lonely ocean of nothing.
I read a long time ago that in Christian symbolism, the starfish represents the Virgin Mary (Stella Maris which means Star of the Sea), who creates safe travel over troubled waters and is also seen as an emblem of salvation during trying times. The star as well as the starfish are seen as celestial symbols and as such, they represent infinite divine love. In addition to love, the starfish also holds characteristics such as guidance, vigilance, inspiration, brilliance and intuition. If a starfish is injured and its tentacles are removed, they grow back making them immortal. They have fascinated me since the first time my mother gave me one as a pet for my birthday.
At first, during my search for love I was oblivious like anyone else. I would see an attractive picture and email back and forth with men that were obviously nothing like me and had nothing in common with me. I was being shallow. I usually went for someone who was emotionally unavailable or someone who lived far away, or who was mysterious, or showed signs of being taken. I was avoiding commitment and I didn’t even know I was doing it. I was making mistakes and learning the hard way. Each day that went by I lost more and more hope. Did I even deserve to have someone special in my life? I was in seven weddings and watched my girlfriends go on honeymoons, have babies, and buy houses. Meanwhile, I was going to bed alone night after night, and each day my job (I was a matchmaker) was to tell people how to be patient and that love does exist.
One thing my job did teach me during this journey was a lot about research and statistics on singles and online dating. So I started to learn trends and what drove people to choose one person over another users profile. I learned online lingo, how to choose the best profile pictures, and how to make an appealing first impression by video. I read and watched thousands of profiles, looked at probably a million people that sounded exactly the same. But how could everyone be the same?! I was becoming an expert on online dating profiles and platforms. I even sat on panels and had shows about the topics. Then I went on a hundred bad dates. I really started using what I learned and my dates actually started to get better and started lasting past two or three dates. But I was still alone and not feeling the ultimate connection. I was getting no sort of real commitment.
The truth is, no matter what expert data you have and learn or analytics on dating trends and skills its still up to timing, fate, luck, and the universe. So long story short I actually found him and I just knew like people said I would! He is the most amazing, kindhearted man I have ever met. He is just like me and we could have fun throwing rocks, or talking for hours. We have a lot in common and I feel like he was made just for me. Like I created him in my mind or something. Sometimes I wonder if he’s even human. Well here is what I did:
1. Pray – I’m not super religious but on those lonely nights when I was lying in bed with tears in my eyes I would pray that God would help me or lead me in the right direction to find someone who had a heart like mine.
2.Clean out the closet – I got rid of my past just a couple days before I met him. I said my final goodbyes to people who had wasted my time or had been unemotionally available. I wanted a game free environment for anyone coming in.
3. Stop going on dates/research – I used to go on a date if someone asked me and they looked decent or had an interesting job. But now before I went on any date I took it more serious. I would review their profiles then text as many important vital questions. I did my research. I would check out their LinkedIn, Facebook, and any online presence, have video chats, etc. Its amazing what you can learn about a person when they are not putting on a facade to lure you in to go on a date with them.
4. I did the picking and choosing – Usually a man would approach me online, ask me out and that’s how the courtship began. But this time I refused to talk to anyone that emailed me or sent me a wink. I wanted the men that were not interested and I wanted to find out why. So I was now the one sending the first emails and my decision was based on how they responded back. What I found during my investigation was the most unusual finding. I found my guy on the first try using my new approach. I didn’t know it would happen that fast but it did and I’m ecstatic. I found ten things I liked about him and listed them kind of like I would list on a PowerPoint for investors and sent it to him. Here is what I like about you, here is what I want, here is what I offer, do you want to meet? At first he wanted to meet for a drink like any other date but then he texted me back and said he would rather play miniature golf. I knew this was going to be different.
5.Vulnerable/Honesty – I went into this wholeheartedly. Yes I was hurt in the past, but I had nothing to lose. I was already alone. I was honest with him like I would be with any of my best friends or family members. I was very vulnerable. I always go for the unavailable guys. He was different. He was showing that he was available. I gave him my trust. I remember one of our first few dates he told me to get dressed up and I had no clue where we were going but I let him surprise me. I didn’t have to know everything. I didn’t have to know all the answers or where we were going as long as it was together. This was new to me.
I wasn’t alone anymore, I found another starfish in the sea to float through the great big ocean. Maybe it’s not about what you think is supposed to happen but it’s about taking what’s missing in your heart more serious. After you do this then you will let timing, fate, karma, and serendipity come into play. Don’t ever give up hope. There is absolutely someone for everyone.
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I know you’re sitting there asking yourself (or asking me) Um, doesn’t 1+1=2? And before I answer, no I didn’t fail math, I promise. But in some cases, 1 simply is a greater number. Let’s get this right out in the open, I am not opposed to playing the field or casual dating/open relationships. As long as honesty is involved. But, in the case of what I call, partner hoarding, I’m completely opposed.
If you are starting to date someone, and it’s becoming serious, the question becomes, when and how do you tell your other suitors goodbye. Or more importantly, when in your new romances, do you stop looking for eligible bachelor’s? There isn’t an exact science for when it’s time to delete those dating apps or tell those Snapchat buddies no more sexting (is that still a thing?)
I came upon this type of predicament recently, when my recent paramour, we’ll call him The Magician, disappeared, like smoke, without a word, and I had to ask myself, am I supposed to date again? Do I wait? And how honest is too honest for a new potential suitor before it sends them packing? Do I verbal vomit that my most recent eligible bachelor just up and vanished? What the hell does that say about me?!
In my experience, for my own self preservation, I play things pretty close to the chest, I always have, I don’t show my hand till I think I found someone worthy of knowing more in general. Not everyone feels this way, it’s simply a matter of choice. But recently, having just had a very short lived, whirlwind roller-coaster romance, which seemed to be headed towards disaster, I flirted with someone else, very casually without any intentions. I wasn’t up front with them about what else I had going on, given I wasn’t even sure what ground I stood on, if it was on or off (turns out it was both on and off again! Dizzy yet?) I wasn’t up front because I wasn’t sure there was a point to opening a book about something that seemed closed, and I didn’t want to start a fire when there wasn’t any need to burn the forest down.
My best friend warned me “this guy is flirting with you, he’s interested and you need to pay attention” and I brushed it off, thinking, “it’s not that serious, he won’t care that I have an on again off again thing and besides…we’re just flirting.” But what if that was reversed? How do I feel when someone isn’t honest with me? The answer is hurt. And pissed. So pissed. When my Magician again showed back up, I thought “See, OK, this is why I waited and I can explain this at some point to Mr. Flirty because well, we’re really just friends who say somewhat colored things to each other once in a while with no intentions.” Until once again, The Magician disappeared, and I thought, who’s the fool here? Me for playing with fire by stringing someone along and being dishonest, while I wait for someone to show up and stay committed, who clearly can’t. Or blowing off the chance with someone who wants to spend time with me.
Don’t be me. I thought about why I had never said a word to Mr. Flirty, maybe because I liked the attention, maybe because I sort of knew Mr. Magician would vanish again and there would be no point. Maybe because I didn’t want to lose either one just yet. But no answer is acceptable. Don’t hoard lovers out of fear of losing one, because in the end you’ll lose them all. Hold onto the one who will treat you well, even if it doesn’t work out, and if neither is that, then 1 still is the greater number. You.
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A guy I have known only a few weeks told me he loves me. While we were on the phone, he told his friend that he was talking to the woman who might be his wife. Whoa… I just spent 6 years in divorce court. Marriage talk… Not exactly a winning strategy with me.
He talks about how we will make a great team and offered me housing. He says he has spent the past 15 years looking for someone like me. We haven’t even kissed. He is a really nice person. I enjoy talking to him. He’d make a kick ass business partner. But, he needs a dating coach. He is going about finding love all wrong.
In theory you should be able to stop the game playing and tell someone you like, that you like them right away. In reality, however, you need to follow the following rules…
1. Play hard to get.
2. Never put all your eggs in one basket… Do not focus on one person. Date lots of people. Don’t stop dating lots of people until someone you want to be in a relationship with is falling in love with you.
3. Exercise. If you are a guy, do not assume money alone will get you laid. Both sexes care a lot about how you look naked. The better you look, the easier dating becomes.
4. Do not tell someone you are attracted to them. Keep them guessing about whether or not you have the hots for them.
5. Do not call a new person often. We are back to Rule number 1. Do not call too often because you need to play hard to get.
Sorry I did not make this funny. I have a migraine. But, while it isn’t funny, it is the best advice anyone could give you. Memorize those rules.
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If you are like me and have been single for a while and are in the dating world I’m sure you have met many unavailable, unemotional types. Your feelings were all over the place numerous times over and over again. This can become very disappointing when you’re a relationship person and can’t find one person to be consistent with. You probably stayed friends with a few because you were romantically not compatible but they weren’t terrible human beings and actually tolerable as acquaintances. But the truth is, are they worth keeping around or could they mess up new potential possibilities?
The best part about dating all the wrong people is that you learn something new each time about what you are really looking for and willing to actually put up with. Once you are ready to let someone in and you are ready to be serious for a long-term commitment I think it’s a must that you get rid of any past influences or potential failed mates that are still lingering around.
Maybe you have some of these characters texting you or messaging you on Facebook . They tell you their feelings randomly on Friday nights at 2 am. If you have more than one of these guys/gals on your list it’s time for some serious Spring cleaning. The reason why it’s so important to re-evaluate the people you have lingering around is because they drain your energy that you can be sharing with someone new and deserving who is actually worth keeping on your speed dial. Do you want to end up alone because you couldn’t say goodbye to yesterdays news. Here’s a list for you to review in order to start taking a hard look at yourself and the company you have been keeping.
1. The high school/college Ex – Everyone has one or two, and they were with these guys/gals during the best years of their life. School was fun and you both looked your best. You enjoyed the time, it was a part of growing up and your first real relationship…your main stepping stone to adulthood. You will always have those memories, but seriously it was years ago. If your old school flame was going to make a move again or you wanted to it would have happened at this point. You guys are actually in a friend zone for life!! It’s over, sorry to ruin everyone’s fantasies of marrying their high school sweetheart. Honestly it ends up being you only see them as a good friend and you are not even on the same page anymore. You have experienced new things, it will always be a part of you but now you are a more evolved, complicated being.
2. The crush – This one is a hard one because this is someone you desired but, the liking was unrequited. She/he may be with someone or not ready to be in a relationship with you. You know the crush, the one that is hard to get so you chase, chase, chase. But then one day you’re just like, well this isn’t fun anymore. Then all of a sudden they are texting you like: “Where have you been I miss you blah blah blah.” Listen Mister Or Miss Crush, no one should have to try that hard to be happy with anyone…Real love comes naturally and is mutual. The crush is a tease, an illusion like gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s fun to think about, but try getting to that gold. It’s not happening, so let it go before a tornado comes through.
3.The random people you dated over the years in person or online – The flakes, the duds, the waste of time guys and gals who played numerous games. They are out there serial dating, but when they get lonely, they try to hang out with you and tell you they were wrong. Guess what? They are all talk! Do you want these people ruining your new relationship? They are selfish, narcissistic beings that think emotions and love are just a joke. They are a waste of your precious energy and will only lead you down a path of waking up alone.
4.The social media instagram / facebook friends that like all your stuff – Ok so these guys/girls are harmless, but every time you post a picture or status update, they like it and always comment how pretty/handsome you are. They fill your inbox up with invites to parties and nonsensical small talk. Yes they are attracted to you but you are most likely not attracted to them. Best advice here is when you do get a new boyfriend or girlfriend be very open about it. Post a picture with an update saying, “This is my guy or gal and I’m very happy!” If they continue to contact you let them know you are seeing someone and that they take up a lot of your extra time. So if you’re not writing back it’s because you are pursuing the relationship and committed to it. They will most likely respect your wishes. If not…block them.
Well I hope this helps anyone looking to take a more serious approach to dating and are just tired of the random stragglers and left overs that keep coming in as they please. Take control and take positive steps towards the trusting relationship you want to have or are just starting. Make sure it is steady and mature and worth the effort. Your new partner will be thankful for your cleanse and this will show them you want to start fresh and get rid of the interference. This way, you can give them your full focus and wake up next to someone, instead of being alone. Have a real relationship, not a wired one.
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It’s human nature to think you will beat the odds. That is why so many people buy lottery tickets. It is also why people sign up for The Bachelor. Every contestant thinks they have a good chance of ending up on a mountain top with The Bachelor on his knee offering a lifetime of connubial bliss.
The 24/25 (I think those are the odds) chance of being rejected on TV while millions watch doesn’t seem to register. Every time the person who doesn’t get the rose seems shocked they got rejected, I want to knock some sense into their head. When you give yourself a 96% chance of getting rejected, expect rejection. Why are you crying in the back seat of some car? I feel no sympathy. Of course, I also have a hard time feeling sorry for gorgeous singles in their twenties.
While I think The Bachelor contestants are moronic for expecting to beat the overwhelming odds against them, I made a similar mistake in my last relationship. A mistake you can learn from. This boyfriend had never been dumped. He’d been in plenty of long term relationships and even a 9 year marriage, but he was always the one who bailed.
While we were together, I had that same “magical” thinking that you see on The Bachelor. I knew he’d dumped lots of women. Statistically my chances of getting rejected are astronomical. But I’m special. I have something those other girls lacked. That was my moronic thinking. Needless to say, I got dumped. By that time, I didn’t care that much. I had a crush on someone else. This boyfriend had been awful to deal with. There was no communication, but what I think happened was that he sensed my roving eye and got out before I could hurt him. In hindsight, I can say that was his MO. He’d never gotten rejected because he bailed first to avoid the heart break and humiliation.
The lessons to be learned are that if you don’t learn from your paramour’s history, it repeats itself. If a guy has a track record of dumping lots of people, you are setting yourself up for a dumping. Hit the road and stay far, far away. You are special, but that does not mean when a person’s past proves they suck at relationships that your relationship with them won’t suck too. It will.
I got no closure from my last relationship, until last week. It ended with no warning. I knew he had never been dumped. He’d left every relationship he’d ever been in. That should have made me wary. An important clue to where your relationship is going is where your ex’s relationships have gone.
But, I learned something about gambling that applies. It is human nature to think you will beat the odds. That is why people buy lottery tickets. While chances of winning are next to nothing, people buy the tickets because they think might win.
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There’s a big game going around the internet, and if you’re innocent like me you may have been played once or twice. Half the people you meet online have other people on the side or a slew of others on the back burner. I never used the internet to meet people until I started researching different websites for my own app. There were a few apps I just stayed away from because I knew they were bad news and I wasn’t looking for a one night stand. I was looking for a serious relationship and I made this very clear in my profiles. But after one failure after another I realized online profiles don’t work, they are just a bunch of the words that paint a picture to lure you in. Marketing yourself at your best. Is dating really a job interview?
I was once approached online by a very confident man who boasted about his prestigious job and how much money his family had. He was not only boasting but he was telling me how great I was and blowing up my head and my phone for days on end. The problem was that I was not attracted to him at all. So after his constant emails, texts, and compliments galore…I gave in. After our date, he was really acting like he was all about me to the point I thought it was a little too much.
But some signs were showing, his words were just words and when I called his bluff he turned the situation around on me, calling me insecure and needy. He made me feel like I was the problem. I don’t want this happening to others. The game is nasty and will have you feeling defeated. So here are some signs these guys/gals are all talk and just professional serial daters:
1.They are eager to talk about the future: house, kids, wedding , they seem in a rush and make all these great romantic plans yet they don’t even know your middle name.
2.They tell you to take your online profile down: yet they don’t take their’s down. They get weird about adding you to facebook or social media feeds. They get upset if you tag them in pictures without their permission. This is because they have something to hide. And I think every fifth person you know, knows someone you know so they might get caught.
3.They want to talk to you all the time at first and they are so comfortable: Honestly that kind of comfort is a professional online dater. When you really like someone there’s always a little shyness at first until you warm up.
4.When you finally show interest they back off so quick: You won’t know where they went. Poof – gone! My best friend always said,”If they are hot and heavy that means they are never ready.”
5.They are usually fast talkers: They always have something going on. They either get back to you right that second or hours later with excuses why it took them so long. Top three excuses: (1)Something with Work (2) Their phone battery was dead. (3)With friends or family. Funny part is you know they are lying because most dating apps show when you were last logged in. So if you were so busy, how did you have time to search for other girl/guys?
6.They never say anything imperfect about themselves: A man or a woman who doesn’t make mistakes or doesn’t have any flaws cannot be trusted.
7. Call them out: On their BS, and watch what happens. That sweet guy/gal gets nasty real fast. You interrupted the game and they don’t like losing a turn. As quick as they wanted to sweep you off your feet they will pull that rug from under you and won’t help you back up.
Hope this helps if you are online and see any of these signs welcome to the game.
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I don’t believe in second chances. The old me used to give second chances and it was nothing but a waste of time. Listen, the truth is people don’t really change situations do. People just adapt to the new situation they are put in. If your pondering whether or not you should give an ex or an old friend who has hurt you a second chance…think again. There is an old saying: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein
I’m going to give you an example. I had an ex, and we were doing great; But when he went out with his friends he would act immature, and get wasted like he was a college frat guy. When he was with his buddies he would pick up his phone and laugh at me while lying about the places he was at so we couldn’t meet up. I wouldn’t hear from him for days when this would occur. Then I would see him add a bunch of trashy bar girls on Facebook after his Houdini act. He eventually broke up with me because he won a trip to the Miami Winter Music Conference. He was an ignorant, immature, turd who acted like he was better than me. Now I step on men like him.
When an opportunity for a second chance came along, he apologized and said he had changed. He was in a different place now, rarely drinks and he was so sorry he treated me poorly. When it came time to hang out he gave me the run around once again. Surprise…he was out drinking with his buddies at 1 PM on a Saturday. His immaturity was shinning through, Déjà vu at its’ best. I actually wanted to cry after getting hung up on by him . I felt like a joke once again, but I knew what I had to do. I told him I was over it and that there was no room for second chances. The truth is this guy is not going to change. Maybe his situation will and he will find someone that will do the same to him or put up with him and his binge drinking, but I don’t have time for it. He lacks respect for women and at 34 years old there is no changing that.
He wasn’t the only one I gave second chances to. My ex who I was engaged to and have a son with cheated on me for 9 years the entire time. I left him for over a year when he begged for me back and proposed. He made a promise when he asked me to marry him. Then he broke that promise when we were only engaged for a week and he slept with his ex girlfriend. He told me he was working late that day, and the only reason I found out was because she called me to tell me what they had done that afternoon. I was devastated. I remember the tears pouring down our faces as I took the ring off and gave him my final goodbye. I said, “Second chances don’t work because people don’t change. Maybe one day you will not cheat on a person. But not with me. You will always cheat on me.” I lost him as a friend/lover and as the father of my son I would have to see him again, but the kind of pain he introduced to me over and over was unbearable.
When people ask me why I’m single I should say: Because I don’t believe in second chances. When making the decision whether or not to take an ex back and rekindle your old flame remember this quote by Joan Crawford: “Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.” Think about how that flame burned you once, do you want to get burned again? You probably separated because they lacked respect for you and by giving them another opportunity to do it again you are saying what your self worth really is to you. I guess I compare second chances to the book of Genesis. If you look behind you it’s an impending disaster. You have already been warned, if you do so you will turn to stone, a pillar of salt. Just keep moving forward and don’t look behind you. A safe haven is nearby and so is a better kind of love.
Until next time, one foot in front of the other, and stay on your path.