When You Know, You Know

We’re a few days past Valentine’s Day now, and there’s been a fair distribution of love on my social media timelines between couples, but there has also been some single friends out there posting about how they’re ‘#ForeverAlone’ or how online dating will never lead to anything etc.

So here I am, the happily married mother of one, to tell you that you’re wrong. I kid. But, seriously, you might just be.

I’m a strong believer in everything happening for a reason. I guess in a sense, I’ve had to be. There’s been some seriously low points in my life that at the time I couldn’t see a way out of, but now I look back on them and can’t see how I never saw the way out sooner. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, after all.

Whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye

Is an auld Scots saying that I’ve come to live my life by. It simply means that what is meant to be will be, and you won’t miss anything that’s meant for you. Now, call it fate, call it hard work, call it dumb luck. Whatever you call it, what’s meant to happen will always happen.

I’ve been in my fair share of pretty tough relationships, I’ve been in relationships that were toxic and relationships that were simply convenient. At the time, I would think that this was what was meant for me, but again, looking back I can see that it wasn’t. Well, not in the “forever and ever” sense, but they were definitely there to teach me life lessons. To teach me that I can be bold and travel to different countries solo. To teach me about other people’s friendships. To teach me that rebounds never work. To teach me to never feel pressured into things that you’re not comfortable with – whether that’s pressure coming from your partner or from your social group. To teach me that, no matter what, no matter the mistake, I will always have people there who have my back. The main thing that these relationships taught me though, is to never give up on the hope of sheer blissful happiness.

After I broke up with a previous boyfriend, I joined Plenty of Fish (POF), a fairly popular dating site. After sieving through your typical amount of dick pics and “hey sexy” (yuck) messages, I happened to find my husband and father of my child.

Andrew and I started chatting, and quickly we were messaging constantly. It felt like I’d started reconnecting with an old friend who I hadn’t spoken to for years. There was nothing creepy or strange or unnatural about our messages, and most importantly our connection. We found out we had a tonne in common and just the right amount of differences to keep things interesting. We met a few days later for dinner, and the rest as they say, is history.

We went from dating to in a relationship pretty quickly, and we simply knew that we loved each other and wanted this to be a forever kinda thing. We joke proposed to each other regularly in those early days, talked about how we’d always want two kids, and how we’d build a Lego collection together as well as a family.

He was the first person, never mind boyfriend, to make me feel loved for every single aspect of me. I was always able to be open about my mental health with him, always able to turn to him and always able to count on him. And that’s when I realised that this was the first time I’d been in love. Not your roses and fancy dinners love, but your weekly shop and Saturday morning cartoons kinda love.

Now, I’m not naive. I know that this doesn’t happen for everyone, heck, it was the first time it had happened for me. I guess, what I’m saying is that dating apps and online dating can work. There are real success stories there, and I don’t think that’s completely down to algorithms and luck. It also takes courage and work, just like meeting any type of life partner does and should take.

So, if you’re wondering if the right person is out there for you, or you’re struggling to have online dating work for you, please feel free to read the below tips:

Five Tips for Online Dating

  1. Stay away from cliches – now, I say this even though my tag line on my POF profile was “hello, is it me you’re looking for?” ‘Cause I love a bad pun as much as the bad person, but what I mean by this is the bad online dating cliches. The creeper who wants photos sent to them constantly, the person who constantly hounds you to meet irl, the person who just constantly messages you with “hey x” etc. Stay away from cliches and be yourself. The people you’re trying to talk to are people. Ask them about themselves, be more bold than a simple greeting.
  2. Have a conversation starter in your profile – my username was a quote from my favourite Doctor Who episode, Vincent and The Doctor. I had put on my profile that if someone knew where the quote was from, then I was already planning our wedding. The first message Andrew sent me was simply “Vincent and The Doctor episode of Doctor Who”, and that got me chatting straight away. (I later found out he’d googled it, but let’s ignore that fact just now). The point is, have something on your profile that people can converse with you about, instead of just your love life.
  3. Have patience and read the other person – now, you may be super keen on someone and want to talk to them all the time, but the thing is some people have busy lives and aren’t able to be on their phone constantly. Just because someone doesn’t reply to you straight away doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t like you. Be patient. Don’t rush from chatting to dating if one party isn’t completely ready. I had a guy who bought us tickets to a gig, despite us not having met in person yet, and is not having any real chemistry. He then got really pissed when I said I was in a relationship, saying how he was going to have to sell the tickets. The tickets that I did not ask him to buy. Reading the other person is super important. As much as it would be wonderful if everyone we liked, liked us back, the world isn’t perfect and it doesn’t always happen. When it does happen don’t be disheartened. Just remember that there’s no point poking a fire after the flame has gone out, and that whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye.
  4. Be yourself – it’s the most cliche piece of advice that anyone could ever give another live being, but it’s the truth. There is no point pretending to be something or someone (helloooo Catfish), that you’re not. At the end of the day the end goal of online dating is a relationship, how are you going to be in a relationship with someone if they don’t know the real you?
  5. Do not send unsolicited sexts – this should be seen as common sense. Don’t send dick pics or nudes that haven’t been asked for. Don’t send sexually explicit messages that haven’t been led to or asked for and for GODS sake don’t get pissed when someone calls you out for it.

Now, it’s up to you. You can take this entire blog entry with a pinch of salt, or you can give it a bash. Let me know if you do take any of this advice and definitely let me know if it works for you!

Please don’t be disheartened if your efforts aren’t bringing what you want, just take this time to focus on you and your well being. Your well being should come first. It’s the whole ‘positivity breeds positivity’ thing.

Be positive. Be patient. Be you.

X

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Hello strangers!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?! I’ve been so busy with life in the real world that I’ve been struggling to keep my poor little blog updated. But here I am two days before Christmas holed up in my boyfriend’s bedroom and making sure that I have some time to up date you all as we come to the end of another roller coaster of a year!

2013 has definitely been a roller coaster, but thankfully with more ups than downs. This is the first year where I have felt that I’ve definitely figured out who I am and where I want to go in life, and that is honestly the best feeling in the world. I know who I am and for once I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be in life. I’ve never had that before, I’ve never felt so settled and comfortable in my own skin, and I guess you could say that is down to a few factors. Let’s see what those factors are, shall we?

1. Confidence – This year I made a resolution to myself that I was going to try and be more confident in my appearance and start wearing clothes that I would normally lust after but never actually purchase. I’ve always hidden behind the fact that I’m not really a girly girl in order to get away with not wearing pretty dresses or short skirts, but this year I promised myself that I was going to start wearing whatever the hell I liked, and if people had an issue with that then that was there problem. It’s been a year of bright colours, short skirts, dresses and no shame. It has been such a liberating feeling to go out wearing clothes that I like and not feel bad for wearing them. Sure, now and then I’ll get a comment or a stare, but I don’t care about those anymore. They would have destroyed me a while ago, but now I know that it’s their issue; not mine. I’m comfortable in my skin, I’m happy in my life and what I wear does not define me as a person.

2. People – Being surrounded by loving and supportive people has helped greatly in my journey to self acceptance. I’ve got great friends, a wonderful close family who support me no matter what, a fantastic college class full of a mixture of the most talented and odd people that I’ve ever met – they’ve definitely got me through the first term of college, but more on that later!- and of course, last but not least, I have the love of a good man to get me through even my darkest moments. He makes everything seem safe and that is a wonderful feeling. He’s been in my life for six months now, but it feels like he’s always been there. We’re just two matching pieces of a puzzle, and it feels absolutely lovely to share that bond with someone.

3. Belief – As you all know, I’m not the religious type. But that does not mean that I don’t have a belief system, it simply means that I believe in something a little different from the majority of today’s society. I believe in people, and I think that if more people did then the world would be a much nicer place. I believe that no matter how anxious I feel about something, it will no be the end of the world. I believe that every little thing that happens in our lives happens for a reason. I believe that what is for us will not pass us by, and I believe that it is our duty to grab those things with both hands and make the moments perfect instead of waiting for the perfect moments.

So there, the three things that have made this year my most self-confident year yet. I’m so content with life right now that there are only a few things that could knock me off of this cloud; but I’m not going to discuss them in this post. This post is a yearly roundup and I’m hoping to leave it on a positive note!

So, top ten things that happened this year?

  •  Deciding that life isn’t about what other people think
  • Interviewing one of my idols, Rae Earl
  • Being given my own column in the Konect Directory
  • Landing a job as a photography intern
  • Starting college and learning more and more about photography
  • Meeting Andrew and finding the wonderful love that we share
  • Coffee mornings for DLYG
  • Hitting 5,000 followers on the Don’t Lose Your Grip twitter account!
  • Reconnecting with my oldest niece, Chloe
  • Being proud of the person that I am today

It may not be the longest list in the world, but if I were to go through every great thing that happened this year then I would be here all day.

Over the years I’ve learned that life isn’t about physical things, but in the moments that surround you every day. This year has been full of wonderful moments that I will never forget, and the majority of those would not have happened had it not been for the people that are in my life. The people who are by my side no matter what.

As we come close to the end of the year, my head is full of ideas and hope for 2014. There are a lot of people out there who can’t wait for this year to be over, but to be honest I’m sitting here daring next year to try and be better than this year, and I’m sure it will be.

I want to wish all of you a magical Christmas and wonderful new year when it comes. Keep your eyes peeled for a more in depth update in the new year that will include a run-down of our hopes for Don’t Lose Your Grip and Chrisselle.com in 2014. Things are getting exciting, and I’m so glad that I get to share this journey with you all.

Much love,

Chrisselle xox

Family of The Twenty-First Century

Society changes every generation it seems, and it would look like not only our society, but also our needs and wants as humans are changing. Family used to be what the world revolved around, but with more and more families breaking up and us becoming more and more reliant on our friends – be them best friends from school, family friends or even friends we have met online, there is definitely substance to the saying.

“The family of the 21st century is made up of friends, and not relatives.”

In my case, this is extremely true. Although I may come from a large family, we aren’t the closest bunch in the world. This does not mean that I care for them any less than anyone else cares for their family, it simply means that to me, family simply means that you’re related and share some traits and genes. I, however, am a firm believer in nurture over nature.

I share very few personality traits with my family – and that isn’t a bad thing. It means that I’ve always been known for my individuality and for my ability to think independently, even from a young age. If it wasn’t for my ability to do this, then I wouldn’t have the courage to pursue the things that I do, and always have done. I’ve always thought differently from the rest of my family, and I’d say that this is a sign of nurture over nature.

I was brought up to believe in myself and supported to do what I wanted to do with my life. Whether it was my dreams of being a teacher up until I turned 11, my urge to move to America as soon as I turned 16 or my hopes and dreams of being a writer and a photographer – the dreams that I’m living just now – then I knew that I could always count on my immediate family to back me up.

But, as I grew up and started taking full control of my own life, and the people that I share it with, then that ‘immediate’ family has grown – and not because my parents had more children, but simply because I had this beautiful ability to choose the people that I got to share my life with. I think the best example of this is my relationship with my oldest best friend, Danielle.

Danielle and I have been best friends since we (ironically) met at a youth group for people who couldn’t make friends easily. We hit it off straight away with a day full of laughing and general loveliness and ten years down the line I’m extremely proud to be able to call her my best friend.

The thing is, she’s more than a best friend – she’s a sister. Now, I’m not one for clichés but there is genuinely no better way to describe our relationship. No matter how bad things have got in my life, she’s been one of the constant things there to pick me up and dust me off when I’ve needed it, and she’s not afraid to point out when I’m wrong or being simply ridiculous either, because she knows that I appreciate her honesty and more importantly, the fact that she cares enough to be honest with me, no matter how lovely or brutal that honesty may be.

She’s never once got fed up of my dreaming, and if anything she’s been the biggest support of it. If at any point I start to doubt myself, then she is right by my side to remind me why I’m doing this and the things I have already accomplished. She’s my right arm, and I would be lost without her. She isn’t just my family though, she’s part of my family. She’s been accepted as part of my family by my immediate family, and that makes it even better.

“Blood makes you related. Loyality makes you family.”

Sharing genes does not necessarily make you family; the ability to love and support each other is the thing that makes you family.

I’m lucky enough to be blessed with an immediate family who I love to pieces, but I know that it’s not just because we share the same DNA; it’s because as well as being related, we are friends and we choose to be loyal to each other. My mother and big sister will always be my two biggest inspirations, and that isn’t because I happen to have the same blood as them. No, that’s completely irrelevant. The reason they inspire me is because they are both strong women who have overcome hardship and came out on the brighter side. And, they’re my friends.

Life is too short to spend it waiting on people accepting you for whom you are, or for trying to get on with people that you simply don’t get on with. Spend your life with the people you love, and the people who love you for being who you are.

Nobody should ever feel the need to change any part of themselves for the happiness of other people, the only thing you can do is be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be, and the most important part about being that, is that you make sure you’re being the best version of yourself for you and not anyone else.

Thanks for reading,
C xo

Stand A Little Taller

Life has a its own special way of chewing us up and spitting us out, doesn’t it? 

The past seven months of my life has been some of the toughest of my life. Maybe that’s why I’ve took such a long break from blogging– I find it hard to share the tough things with people. I guess I’ve just grown up in an environment where I’ve had to be strong for others and find it scary to drop that wall enough to allow myself to rely on other people being strong for me.

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What It Means To Be Living

Hey guys! I know that it’s been a while since I blogged, but that’s mainly due to the fact that the past month or so has probably been one of the hardest, and oddest months I’ve faced in a long time. My relationship ended, two of my uncles became life threateningly ill, and pretty much everything has been against me. But, somehow in all of this negativity; I’ve managed to find myself. And although that sounds too odd for words, it’s true.

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Happiness Is The Road

It’s less than a month until my twentieth birthday, and throughout my (almost) twenty years I’ve met some incredible people who have completely changed my life.

I remember when I was a kid, after a birthday party my mom and dad would sit me down with some paper and help me write thank you letters to the people that had given me birthday gifts, and this has given me an idea; for the next month I’m going to write thank you letters to some of the incredible people I’ve met, these may be posted daily or weekly, I’m not sure. But all I know is that it’s something I feel that I need to do.

Continue reading “Happiness Is The Road”

Shiny Happy People

Hey guys! I realise that it’s been forever since I last updated you all, and for those that are interested a proper update will be coming in the next few days! But for now, I think that I’m just going to spread some positivity by following the #50thingsilove trending topic on Twitter, and converting my fifty things into a blog post. I hope you guys enjoy it, and can maybe even relate to a few of them!

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Show Your Scars, That’s Who You Are

Everytime I walk past a fashion store, or open a fashion magazine.. I’m bored. And I’m not just talking about because it’s the same models, the same poses, I’m bored because every thing that is shown in these stores or magazines is being worn by every other single person walking around that very store or buying that very magazine. When did humans start relying on a piece of paper or a piece of plastic molded into a mannequin to tell them how to dress?

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Tell Me Something Good

Hey there guys! First of all I want to apologize for the lack of recent content lately, but life has just been pretty hectic. Whether it’s dealing with business, personal dramas or family duties, it’s all been happening! But I thought it was time to share some thoughts with you guys, and to give you all something to think about.

Friendships, family and relationships all have two things in common; Love and respect. But the thing that the majority of society seems to forget is that these two things shouldn’t just be limited to the people we care about, or those that care about us, they should be something that we treat every day with, and the people that we encounter in those days.

I can understand that everyone has different views of the world and everything that goes on in it, but the majority of people also seem to have the same negative view on the things that are wrong with the world, instead of a positive view of the things that are right.

I’m lucky, and I’ve been pretty lucky the majority of my life when it comes to friendship. I’ve encountered some of the loveliest people and they’ve all had an impact on my life in one way or another. Sure, things don’t always work out the way they were supposed to, and friendships end for one reason or another, but that doesn’t take anything away from the friendship that at one point did exist.

I’ve been blessed with some really incredible friends over the years, and I’m proud to say that the majority of them are still strong to this day. These people have been with me through everything, or they’ve came into my life at just the right time and supported me since that very day. Friendship is about believing in each other, it’s about supporting whatever crazy idea your friends come up with. It’s about the simple things like sharing a bag of Doritos while you pour your heart out to someone you know will understand exactly what you’re going through, and even if they don’t understand it completely, they’ll loan you their shoulder to cry on.

Family is like a life long friendship, where you just happen to share the same genes. It’s about supporting each other through the good and bad times, and no matter how that person may have upset you in the past, knowing that you would hand someones ass to them on a plate if they were to hurt a member of your family. It’s sticking up for someone even if you don’t quite think they’re in the right. It’s about being so pissed off at them that you just laugh and forget about it because they mess up the words they were trying to say.

Relationships? They’re the ones that take all of the above and mold it into something wonderful. There’s not a feeling like sharing so much of yourself with just one other person and knowing that you would lay down your life for them if the moment ever called for it. It’s about waking up and them being your first thought, unintentionally. It’s about them invading your dreams, even if it’s the weirdest dream you’ve ever had. It’s about spending an hour in a store picking dessert because you’re too busy enjoying the time together. It’s about respecting each other so much, that even if you don’t agree on something, it doesn’t matter.

At the end of the day, the three things above boil down to the two things I mentioned before; Love and respect. These two things are what defines the rich and the poor. Because if you have love and respect, you can have the best life possible, even if you don’t have much of anything else.

So what if half of the world doesn’t agree with your views? Have you ever thought that the amount of hate and angst you feel towards them is a mutual feeling? Instead of everyone forcing their views down other peoples throats, maybe they should take a second to think about how it has no effect on their life if someone else doesn’t agree with them.

You live your own life, you make your own rules, and you define the person you are. Never let anyone take that away from you.

Many thanks for reading and much love,
Chrisselle