Via @jaclyngenovese on Instagram

Why I Stopped Comparing Myself To Others

4 Min Read

I'm 34 years old. I have been in a relationship for the past six years. I am also unmarried, and I have no kids. Too often, I scroll through Instagram and look at the endless women who are pregnant or who already have beautiful families. After trying to conceive for over two years, seeing other people's "haves" on the internet often makes me feel my "have nots" to an extreme. Every time I see a pregnancy announcement, or even an engagement—even though I am in no rush to get married—it makes me feel lesser. I get suck in a "Why not me?" mentality.

The Grass Is Always Greener

With this being said, it is important for me, and for all of us, to realize that many of the same people we are envious of may scroll through our own accounts and feel the same way. As though they are "not enough" because of things we do or have in our lives right now.

Purple face wearing glasses with moving images. Giphy

I have had many of those same women that I have been envious of, who are married with kids and/or pregnant, message me and tell me how they aspire to be like me. They wish they had more time to pursue their own dreams, as I have mine. Or better yet, they message me after I announced my battle with infertility and told me how long and how hard they struggled with infertility, too. Had I not shared my own struggles, I would have never known.People often paint a facade and a life of perfection on their social media. but I have found that gone are the days of people wanting to see a perfectly poised Instagram post—a contrived photo of woman sitting at a cafe in Paris sipping her latte accompanied by some vapid quote. These accounts ooze a lack of authenticity, and we can all see right through them. We've seen it a thousand times over and we are bored of it.

Life Is Messy

Real life is hard, and people are gravitating more towards the type of authentic accounts that show the good, the bad, and the ugly of it all—accounts where we can truly learn from and be inspired by.

This is why I have chosen to be more vulnerable in my posts over the last couple of years. Bringing vulnerability into my everyday life has helped me to create the most beautiful connections and the most incredible friendships. When I open up, my friends and followers end up sharing similar situations they have gone through. Opening myself up has helped me to realize that we all have something we are dealing with. We are not alone.

Being vulnerable can be scary. But at the end of the day, everyone wants to feel connected. At first, it might make us feel like we are going to be judged, but if you push past that vulnerability can bring a real connection to others and a love for ourselves. Being vulnerable is ridding yourself of who you should be and simply being who you are. Isn't that what we are all aiming for in life? To confidently be our true selves?

Instead of concentrating on the negatives, those unmet goals, in my life, I have made a decision to celebrate what I do have and work on moving forward with the things that I want.

I was never the problem; it's comparison that is the true thief of joy!

This article was originally published February 2, 2020.

3 Min Read

Tempted To Dial Your Ex: 5 Ways To Know Whether Or Not You Should Contact An Old Flame

Thinking of ringing up your ex during these uncertain times? Maybe you want an excuse to contact your ex, or maybe you genuinely feel the need to connect with someone on an emotional level. As a matchmaker and relationship expert, I was surprised at the start of the coronavirus quarantine when friends were telling me that they were contacting their exes! But as social distancing has grown to be more than a short-term situation, we must avoid seeking short-term solutions—and resist the urge to dial an ex.

It stands to reason that you would contact an ex for support. After all, who knows you and your fears better than an ex? This all translates into someone who you think can provide comfort and support. As a matchmaker, I already know that people can spark and ignite relationships virtually that can lead to offline love, but lonely singles didn't necessarily believe this or understand this initially, which drives them straight back to a familiar ex. You only need to tune into Love Is Blind to test this theory or look to Dina Lohan and her virtual boyfriend.

At the start of lockdown, singles were already feeling lonely. There were studies that said as much as 3 out of 4 people were lonely, and that was before lockdown. Singles were worried that dating someone was going to be off limits for a very long time. Now when you factor in a widespread pandemic and the psychological impact that hits when you have to be in isolation and can't see anyone but your takeout delivery person, we end up understanding this urge to contact an ex.

So, what should you do if you are tempted to ring up an old flame? How do you know if it's the wrong thing or the right thing to do in a time like this? Check out a few of my points before deciding on picking up that phone to text, much less call an ex.

Before You Dial The Ex...

First, you need to phone a friend! It's the person that got you through this breakup to begin with. Let them remind you of the good, the bad and the ugly before taking this first step and risk getting sucked back in.

What was the reason for your breakup? As I mentioned before, you could get sucked back in… but that might not be a bad thing. It depends; when you phoned that friend to remind you, did she remind you of good or bad things during the breakup? It's possible that you both just had to take jobs in different cities, and the breakup wasn't due to a problem in the relationship. Have these problems resolved if there were issues?

You want to come from a good place of reflection and not let bad habits make the choice for you.

Depending on the reason for the breakup, set your boundaries for how much contact beforehand. If there was abuse or toxic behaviors in the relationship, don't even go there. You can't afford to repeat this relationship again.

If you know you shouldn't be contacting this ex but feel lonely, set up a support system ahead of time. Set up activities or things to fall back on to resist the urge. Maybe you phone a different friend, join a virtual happy hour for singles, or binge watch Netflix. Anything else is acceptable, but don't phone that ex.

Write down your reasons for wanting to contact the ex. Ask yourself if this is worth the pain. Are you flea-bagging again, or is there a friendship to be had, which will provide you with genuine comfort? If it's the latter, it's okay to go there. If it's an excuse to go back together and make contact, don't.

Decide how far you are willing to take the relationship this time, without it being a rinse and repeat. If you broke up for reasons beyond your control, it's okay. If your ex was a serial cheater, phone a friend instead.

If there was abuse or toxic behaviors in the relationship, don't even go there. You can't afford to repeat this relationship again.

As life returns to a more normal state and you adjust to the new normal, we will slowly begin to notice more balance in our lives. You want to come from a good place of reflection and not let bad habits make the choice for you. Some do's and don'ts for this time would be:

  • Do: exercise ⁠— taking care of you is important during this time. It's self-care and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  • Do: shower, brush your teeth, and get out of your sweats.
  • Don't: be a couch potato.
  • Don't: drink or eat excessively during this time. Again, remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Do: think positive thoughts everyday and write down the 3 things you are grateful for. Look at the impact of John Krasinksi's SGN. It's uplifting and when you feel good, you won't want to slide backwards.
  • Don't: contact a toxic ex. It's a backward move in a moment of uncertainty that could have a long term impact. Why continue flea bagging yourself?