Abusive Relationships – A Cancer With Many Shapes And Sizes

It was really difficult for me to decide what to title this article. It’s been such a long time since I’ve last written, and there was so much I wanted to say in as few words as possible. I recently just ended a nine year relationship and while it wasn’t chronically abusive in itself, a mutual friend offered a healthy dose of ridicule and repeated affirmations about how interior and damaged I was. This was accompanied by disturbing images and videos sent to me over the course of 25 years. When it came time to finally stand up for myself, the reactions of my partner made me realize that not only had our time together come to an end, but how the abusive situation had been completely normalized and even expected. My feelings were no longer an issue, since I should basically know better and await our friend’s repetitive behavior. The worse part being that after every hostile interaction, my friend would emphasize, “You know I love you Mike, I’m just joking with you.” Like many abusers, the point is to gaslight your target and make them believe through repetition that something must be wrong with you… that your pain is actually your own fault.

I first met my friend… let’s call him “Javier” for sake of anonymity, almost 25 years ago on America Online. At the time I was very much attracted to “alpha” males and there was certainly little doubt that Javier considered himself to be that and so much more. He worked in Law Enforcement and as a young gay man this was definitely a plus. We dated for almost two months when I quickly realized he had issues with expressing emotions, anger, and just being plain human. He got upset easily and didn’t have any patience whatsoever. One beautiful day early in our relationship while driving, someone cut him off and he thought it would be appropriate to exit the car and approach the female driver… which didn’t sit well with her boyfriend who was also a cop. Javier realized that he actually worked with the officer, smiled and said “It’s okay you’re good…” and came back to the car. The entire time I was incredibly embarrassed and saw the moment as a kind of “light bulb” of awareness.

We continued to date for a bit until one night I decided to make dinner for Javier at his house, and he thought it best to stay upstairs and watch TV while I cooked. He turned on the downstairs tv for me before leaving and I knew then he wasn’t relationship material, but we continued to stay friends. As is the case so often with gay relationships, we often remain friends with people we’ve dated… and I still think that’s a really wonderful thing to do. As time went by, Javier and I grew our friendship, but the sudden outbursts of anger didn’t go away. One night while exiting a movie theatre with Javier, I looked at his chest and playfully pulled the time honored joke of telling something they had food on their shirt. When Javier looked down, I moved my finger up to touch his nose and playfully said “HA HA! Gotcha!” Javier immediately lost it and suddenly started yelling at me to never touch his face… his rant continued until I left to my car. I thought that would be the last time I would see him.

Eventually life found me in the first relationship since the death of my best friend, and I was head over heals for yet another Alpha acting male. It lasted only four months and the timing of the breakup couldn’t have been worse. I felt incredibly alone and broken, and Javier had once again worked his way into my awareness. When I was in the relationship his presence didn’t appear threatening to me in the least, so once again our friendship was rekindled. One particular day I was a total mess, I couldn’t stop crying and Javier thought it would be great to do lunch. We ended up at The Cheesecake Factory where I found it next to impossible to keep food down. The relationship experience itself had led me to lose over 20 pounds and I couldn’t stop crying at the restaurant. At first Javier was kind and caring, but when his words didn’t seem to have any effect, he suddenly began to scream at the top of his lungs “Shut the fuck up Mike! I’m so fucking tired of your crying!” Of course everyone turned around to look at us… my grief was temporarily suspended and replaced with the feeling of being completely mortified.

Javier started laughing hysterically, saying “Oh my god, did you see? He fucking blew his brains out! What the fuck was that?!”

By this time in my life Javier had become a fixture in my family. His outrageous words and phrases were a big hit with everyone, and he actually did often act like a hilarious stand up comedian. However the focus of his jokes started to change, and very quickly I became the punchline itself. The mocking was subtle at first, but little by little it started to get worse. The sudden bursts of anger didn’t stop either, they ranged in frequency and at times came out of nowhere. On one particular day we were roller blading in South Beach and I was talking about something as we skated down Ocean Drive. Javier suddenly started screaming at me without warning “Shut the fuck up! You don’t stop talking! It just never ends! Shut the fuck up already!!!” I just wanted to cry when the shouting was done and I was convinced Javier’s outburst would be his last in my presence. This kind of irrational outburst was just too much… and frightening.

Something else began to happen at this time with Javier, it was just as the Internet began to blossom and video was now something easily attached to email messages. So it wasn’t uncommon to get messages from people you knew, with the most unusual kind of attachments in video format. Javier made his affinity for disturbing images and video well known at this time when one day I opened one of his attachments. The video showed a very handsome young man with perfect hair and eyes, looking into a web camera… I still remember how clear the image was. Suddenly the young man pulls a gun out, sticks the barrel in his mouth, and…

I stopped the video immediately. I knew what was going to happen next. I called up Javier and was extremely upset, telling him he couldn’t send me such graphic content. Javier started laughing hysterically, saying “Oh my god, did you see? He fucking blew his brains out! What the fuck was that?!” It seemed like once Javier knew this kind of imagery was a trigger for me, it only got worse. The images were horrific… one of them showing a picture of a soldier posing with a dead man that he had literally just shot his head off, like some kind of trophy. It was absolutely disgusting and I made the decision to never open an attachment from Javier again. But then phones gained the ability to start receiving photos as well.

I am an animal lover. I have spent years of my life volunteering and educating people about animals, I have donated money to animal causes, both of my dogs are rescues and the list goes on. For Javier this was yet another weak spot he could target, and I started receiving pictures of dead animals on my phone. Mutilated animals. Kittens run over by cars, dead opossums with live young still in their pouches… and it went on and on. My complaints fell on deaf years but at least I had some support. My new boyfriend was also an animal lover and a paramedic, and he had no problem telling Javier he was sick or mental, and he needed to seriously stop. He told me on several occasions he didn’t like Javier’s influence on me, however on one faithful night Javier came to his aide and they kind of bonded.

It was New Years Eve and I got seriously drunk at a gay bar. I couldn’t find my boyfriend or Javier, and it turned out they had left me at the bar to go get something at a Seven Eleven. I could barely walk and was incapacitated, and I couldn’t believe I had been left alone. In a drunk panic I sent some nasty texts to my boyfriend on his phone… they went along the lines of “You’re just like all the other men in my life leaving me…” I can’t be certain because I was inebriated at the time, but they were deeply hurtful to my also drunk boyfriend. Finally, Javier showed up with car and my boyfriend, and of course he would not stop yelling at me in regards to the texts. He was screaming in my ear and I couldn’t even open my eyes I was so drunk. I removed the cap from the bottle of water I had in my lap, and I squeezed it hard sending water across the cabin into Javier’s face. He was beyond angry and started spinning my car in circles, making me feel like I was going to puke all over. He was determined to make me feel as horrible as possible, screaming and swerving the car back and forth all the way to the Interstate.

The routine was always the same, go for the jugular and then withdraw saying “I was only kidding, I love you.”

The yelling continued through our friendship, even when picking me up from surgery and under the effects of antiesthetic. It was not unusual for Javier to mock me in front of others, embarrass me, or event suddenly burst out with “Oh here we go again! It’s all about Michael!” in the middle of a group conversation. I finally told Javier we were done as friends after an incident where we were going to a club with friends, and he said out of the blue “So help me if you get drunk again I’m going to kick your ass.” This had become a recurring thing to say, he was always going to kick my ass for something, and I was done with being publicly ridiculed. I ended the friendship and he called up my sister crying and crying, saying I wasn’t his friend anymore and how upset that made him. I felt guilty as all hell, and he agreed to stop what had turned into outright bullying.

My friendship with Javier got better after that, but only for a while. I met Eric nine years ago and all went great at first until we had our first falling out. I hadn’t slept for four days and Eric and I got into a heated argument. He called Javier up and ended staying with him for a few nights… that of course opened the door for heightened and continued attacks on my character, and finally my Spiritual practice. The routine was always the same, go for the jugular and then withdraw saying “I was only kidding, I love you.” This disgusting repetitive display not only continued in Eric’s presence, it started to become part of a game almost. Sometimes both Eric and Javier would engage in a tag team approach teasing me about everything from my Spirituality, to my desire to help others. As the years progressed, Javier also became increasingly racist and a supporter of hateful ideologies. It was a powder keg just waiting to explode. My feelings meant absolutely nothing since it was always “It’s just Javier being Javier. That’s just the way it is.” This was like a huge flashback for me. Being repeatedly told that something offensive and violating is to be “accepted“, is something that was repeated to me a child that suffered from sexual abuse at the hands of my father.

Yesterday I made my position clear and told Javier we weren’t to be friends any longer. His response was “I forgot I can’t joke with you.” Not “I’m so sorry I hurt you.” In fact, I was told time and time again that I’m “too sensitive” and that “I need to just let it go” every time I displayed any sign of anger towards Javier. The gaslighting is incredibly intense when you’re in any kind of an abusive relationship. You’re always made to believe that something must be wrong with you, or that the very feelings you’re experiencing are your fault because you allowed them to exist. It’s fucking amazing when you look back… and that’s something I was told repeatedly also “You always dig up the past..” People that are afraid of the truth and established patterns or behaviors will always use this as an excuse. You should forget about the past because well, the past doesn’t show them in a very positive light.

The most hurtful thing regarding abuse is something I learned as a child. When I brought up the sexual abuse I had experienced with my father to people outside the family… the hands down my pants, the words “You like this don’t you?” , the pure ugliness and evil associated with this action, I was met with downright anger and hostility. My family was enraged that I chose to disclose this activity with a social worker, and I was told “He has a big mouth” in front of the family attorney. No one likes it when you point out the ugly that’s been occurring, because it points a finger at the complacency of others. And so just as my family was angry at me for talking about my dad, my husband became angry at my decision to end my friendship with Javier. His complacency was in full view of everyone else, he couldn’t say he didn’t know about it because even as recently as my wedding dinner, Javier threatened me at the table “So help me Mike if you hurt Eric, I will kick your fucking ass.” He had repeated this twice to make sure I heard him and I intentionally ignored his words. Demonstrating his alliance and support with my significant others had become standard practice for Javier, it made himself look stronger and my position extremely weak. And this worked as planned as my husband had grown particularly fond of him.

I have some ideas why Javier is the way he is… and self loathing because of his sexuality is front and center. In the 25 years I have known him I have never intentionally met a member of his family. He’s incredibly close with his mom, dad and brothers and holds them in high regard, however he’s incredibly closeted. So much so that he kept me and Eric (and my ex) tucked away in a box, and if I ever joking and said something like “Tell your mom I said hello…” he would become enraged and say something like “Why did you have to go there? It is what it is Mike… go fuck yourself.” He seldom introduces me to any of his other friends either, I’m not sure why but I have probably only met a small handful of them. However most of my friends all know Javier and they have seen what he’s capable of. One friend in particular would warn others prior to his arrival at dinner what would probably go down, while another was Javier’s target behind the scenes. Javier found him particularly annoying mostly likely because he couldn’t get under his skin, and during a group trip to Disney Javier was shouted at me “I can get him deported with a single phone call Mike, I just pick up the phone and they’ll deport him.” My friend was in the country legally, however Javier’s occupation in Law Enforcement gave him the perception of omnipotence of some kind or another.

I asked Javier once to become FaceBook friends and he warned me in advance that it would be open season on me. I literally thought he was joking since he always says “I’m kidding Mike, you know I love you…” but he wasn’t. He would insert himself into threads of personal interest to me and make antagonistic comments, even sexuality explicit ones complete with eggplant emojis… threads that my former boss and relatives were participants. I had to eventually block him and he was pretty proud that he got me to the breaking point, even boasting about it. My partner Eric mentioned to him that it wasn’t nice of him, but as always people just expected Javier to be a social deviant and my feelings weren’t really of consequence.

Abuse is like a cancer. It grows so slowly and before you know it, it’s at stage 4. Just as no one wants to acknowledge your little chances for survival, no one wants to admit that someone they love has been subjected to repeated harassment, abuse, or bullying. Not only am I proud for standing up to Javier, it was also the ideal opportunity for my husband to demonstrate his love, support, and affection. And when that didn’t happen, I knew our time was up. The fact that my husband even had to talk to Javier before a recent vacation to make sure he didn’t act up in front of people at my request, emphasizes his level of awareness. Still, the emphasis was the same… it’s my problem for feeling that way, it’s my problem for looking at the historical evidence. Yet as anyone that’s reading this is probably thinking, “What took you so long?” I can tell you that when such a toxic person invades your inner circle, they will garner support for their behavior because the end effect is similar to when they’re humiliating you in public… the want to make you look bad and elevate themselves. I am SO BLESSED however that the vast majority of people that know Javier saw this coming, and have rallied to my side for support. Sadly, I couldn’t count my husband as one of them.

The exit out of an abusive situation is never easy, and often has unseen hurdles. The gaslighting and finger pointing are intense. But the important thing is that you eventually take the steps necessary to put your own self first, and that can be the hardest decision to make ever. I don’t know what’s going to happen now… I don’t see myself ever in a serious relationship again, because I repeat painful patterns and honestly I need to respect myself more. I’m 52 now and I shouldn’t be spending anymore time on others, when it’s obvious I need to work on myself. And that’s what an abusive situation seeks to accomplish… the irrelevance of your personal feelings and emotions. Not anymore, not ever again.

Gay And Single During The Holidays

The holidays can sometimes contain nasty triggers for feelings of loneliness and despair… reminders of feelings experienced when dealing with sexual identity.

Growing up as a kid the holidays were known to be a time for family to come together and celebrate the season, and of course each other. It was “supposed” to be a special time of the year, filled with hope and happiness, where ideally, being “together” was valued highest among all other things. Of course life happens, parents get divorced or separated, relatives and good friends leave this Earth, and the dream is sometimes crushed… often with a lot of pain associated with it. Then one year, sometimes after a lengthy pause, the season becomes special again and we celebrate with great joy. Somewhere during my upbringing, the knowledge of my sexuality threw a new variable into the equation and instead of feeling like I was a part of something, I began to feel alone… even though I was surrounded by people. Not having someone to connect with… someone to share with, while the awareness of couples and family was everywhere, was a bitter pill to swallow. Since most LGBTQ+ people experience some degree of intense isolation and fear during their lifetimes while becoming aware of their sexuality, the holidays can be a nasty reminder of darker times, especially when there’s no one special to call your own.

Thanksgiving is just days away, and although I’m in a happy longterm relationship of almost eight years with my partner Eric, the memories of being gay and single during the holidays are still fresh in my mind. I thought it would be helpful to write about this from my current perspective, not only to let others know they aren’t alone, but to validate that life is constantly evolving. Your relationship situation will most likely change eventually, but even if it doesn’t, we can focus on ways to make the holidays special for person number one… yourself. I’m almost certain that my painful desire to feel unconditionally loved and to “belong” while I was discovering who I was, makes this part of the year extra difficult at times.

“Since most LGBTQ+ people experience some degree of intense isolation and fear during their lifetimes while becoming aware of their sexuality, the holidays can be a nasty reminder of darker times, especially when there’s no one special to call your own.”

I can still remember the first New Years I spent alone after ending a relationship of almost ten years. The year before I was standing on a dance floor alone at Midnight, while my partner tried unsuccessfully to acquire champagne from a bartender. The lines for drinks were super long, and I came to the realization that while his intentions were admirable, he didn’t understand how much his presence by my side meant to me, and that the champagne could have waited until after the stroke of 12. I knew our time together was wrapping up, and the following year I found myself on the couch with my dogs, bringing in 2013 alone.

You might be visualizing this scene as tragic and dark in your head, with light of the television being the only source of illumination in the room, but nothing could have been further from the truth. Every light in the place was on, I had a bottle of champagne with a cheese plate to snack on, and I was treating myself like the king… or queen, I knew I was. I made the conscious choice to celebrate the occasion as an opportunity for new hope, opportunities and abundance, and not to wallow in self defeat. I was loving myself %100 and it felt amazing, and most importantly, empowering.

Now I would be lying if I said I never experienced a dark and lonely holiday, alone in my living room with an empty wine bottle next to me… with the only light in the room coming from the television, because I have. So I get it, I know what despair feels like… all too well. But we can also choose not to let it overpower us and bring us to our knees… because I have made that choice myself and I speak from experience. Even when things seem utterly hopeless, we can choose actions that don’t reflect what we are feeling inside, as a way to keep us afloat. This applies to any holiday you may be dreading… make the choice to do something contrary to your emotions, no matter how hard it may seem.

While I’m hoping the person reading this never has to go at the holidays alone, if you are, know that others have walked this path before… more than once. As dark as things may be, as painful as they may feel, times will eventually get better and you’ll experience joy again. Nothing in life is permanent, the Universe sees to it that everything is constantly in motion. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you, just because you can’t see the light at the end of the dark tunnel, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. If at all possible, summon up the strength to throw yourself a gala of one, or at the very least, draw courage from happiness you will most certainly enjoy in the not so distant future.

Single, Gay, and Harry Potter – How I Learned To Love Myself

The year was 2001 and I had just found myself single after a brief but tumultuous relationship. Everyone has that one person in their life that fucks them up, and this was mine. The timing couldn’t have been worse as my best friend had passed away only 18 months prior, and I was still trying to adjust to life in his absence. In fact, it was one of the reasons this relationship messed me up so bad, as I was hyper aware of the void in my interpersonal circle. Weekends were just an additional reminder that I was more alone than ever… not something to look forward to in the least. That’s when I discovered another person just as alone and afraid, facing a new life much in the same way that I was. I began to look forward to our time together every Friday and Saturday evening, and in the same instance, I started to fall in love with someone I least expected…. myself.

“The Sorcerer’s Stone” introduced me to Hogwarts and to a magical and wizardly world I escaped to every weekend.

Humans are social creatures and it’s just natural instinct for most to seek out others for companionship, love and friendship. For some, being single is a worse case scenario, involving feelings such as extreme loneliness, lack of self worth and even identity issues. The idea of existing through life without a significant other is equivalent to hell on Earth. While for others it’s really not such a big deal. Either they choose a life of solitude for purposes of growth and introspection, or they’re so independent they couldn’t care much either way. If a relationship manifests, they welcome it, but if not, it’s not the end of world. Still, even some seem to just know they will find someone, and simply view being single as a stepping stone or “pause” between the next relationship. During this time in my life, I saw the prospect of a partner as a way of escaping my world as I had come to know it… empty and somewhat without any kind of direction or maybe even purpose. The relationship I had just experienced left me wishing it would miraculously and suddenly work out somehow, as if waking up from a bad dream… yet at the same time, never wanting to date again and make myself vulnerable.

I remember watching the news one day, showing kids and adults alike, being so excited regarding the release of the latest Harry Potter book. Several were already in print and this latest edition in a series of best sellers, was already flying off the shelves. I decided that I would purchase the book and see what everyone was taking about. The idea of doing something special for “me” seemed to also supplement my desire to do something different and exciting. I found myself visiting a local Barnes And Noble the next day, enthusiastic about partaking in an adventure so many on the planet were experiencing. Walking into the store, the smell of so many books combined with coffee and pastry seemed healing just by itself. My mother used to take me and my siblings to book stores often as a child, so I’ve always associated the sights, smells and sounds with warmth and comfort. It wasn’t difficult to find the Harry Potter books, they were arranged in such creative displays, stacked to attract attention and interest, which only added to my sensory buffet. I grabbed a copy of the first book in a series of four, and took it to the cashier.

Reading a good book is almost like a ritual for me, I like to be comfortable and have everything I need close by. My immediate space is configured so that refreshments and possibly snacks are within an arm’s reach, with adequate lighting and pillows being an absolute necessity. I think this is because I always saw my mom reading in bed, and she always seemed so content while in a world completely her own. Before Kindles were a thing I had to position the book so I could turn the pages without them rubbing against something, they required calculated clearance. As I’m writing this now, I’m being made aware of possible OCD behaviors in my practice, something which actually makes sense considering at the time I felt like I had little control over my own life. Needless to say, that night I locked myself away in my room and begin to read all about the life of the boy that lived in a cupboard under the stairs.

Almost immediately I began to see parallels in Harry’s life and my own… the loss of loved ones, being bullied and trying so hard yet unsuccessfully to fit in. The imagery of the text completely pulled me away from the nightmare I was experiencing and into a place filled with promise and of course, magic. The impossible became reality for Harry and that brought me the promise of great hope. That weekend I finished the first book and couldn’t wait to get the next. I was completely addicted not only to the magical world of this child, but to how I felt while reading. The pain I was experiencing did not have room to exist in this alternate reality, and I was more than happy to see it vanish. Book two came and went, and then book three and The Prisoner Of Azkaban brought in an unexpected angle… the feeling of being reunited with a long lost friend you never knew you had, something I so desperately wanted at the time.

You stop sending out the “I’m desperate to date someone” vibe and start sending out the “Are you really what I’m looking for?” vibe.

Then it happened. I’m not sure when or how, but I remember mentally acknowledging it as a huge light bulb moment. I was happy, but I was also single. I was enjoying time with myself and only me. I was learning about myself through the words and stories of J.K. Rowling… and it was awesome! I didn’t need another person to enjoy life, I just needed me. I began to look forward again to the weekends, because it was a time where I literally loved myself. I treated myself well and I enjoyed the quiet time alone, living the adventures with Harry and his friends. I stopped looking for other people to fulfill my life because I realized I could do it on my own pretty darn well. I knew that eventually I would want someone physically in my life, but I was comforted in knowing I would be good until that happened… I had become my own best friend.

Something else starts to happen when you come to this realization. You stop sending out the “I’m desperate to date someone” vibe and start sending out the “Are you really what I’m looking for?” vibe. People begin to approach you for dates without you even asking and your tolerance for bullshit and falseness is at an all time low. I clearly remember going on a couple of dates with someone extremely good looking and fit, and realizing that they were way to aloof for my taste. When he abruptly cancelled our third date I decided there wouldn’t be another one. He began to accuse me of being in another relationship, and that’s why I was calling it quits. He couldn’t understand why someone would turn him down… he was so wrapped up in his own vanity, he chose a reason he could wrap his head around. What he didn’t realize is that being with him wasn’t as fun as being with Harry and his friends… yes I’d rather be alone than with someone that didn’t make me feel good. And that’s when “the bar” was created and raised for me. Something I wouldn’t have done unless I realized how to love myself.

As I mentioned earlier, people are social creatures and I know it’s hard to be single. But it’s even harder when you haven’t learned to love yourself and don’t have a healthy level of self respect. You don’t need to be arrogant, you just need to know what it is you want and the type of person you’re looking for. And when you meet another person with those same qualities and aspirations, your relationship rises way above insecurities and jealousy that can break even the strongest of loves. Love yourself first and watch love come to you. Stop searching so hard and let it find you instead. It so pains me when I see other gay men putting themselves down, wondering why they’re still single. They’re so eager to find someone, but haven’t realized the person they need to love first, is staring back at them in the mirror.

Invalidating Affection

Cooking for someone is probably one of the most spritual and fundamental things you can do in a relationship.   That warm and fuzzy feeling you get when enjoying a meal together prepared at home probably has some serious anthropological roots.   Thousands of years ago ,when we existed as hunters and gatherers, we brought back our kill to the family or tribe and took pleasure in the consumption of an animal which would sustain us nutritionally and even possibly clothe us.   Every part of the animal was utilized for our sustained existence and so it’s no wonder that sharing a meal with someone you care for, references some pretty ancient behaviors  and feels pretty darn good.

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When Mom Gets Old

I’m getting to be that age, you hear it often around the office almost on a weekly basis, someone’s parent is ill or has suddenly passed away. I’m very blessed because my mom is still around, about to have her 81st birthday. My mom isn’t in the best of health, and I often worry about her and how’s she feeling. It’s difficult for her to catch her breath and she’s constantly connected to a variety of oxygen machines, concentrators they call them, and they sustain her life. When she walks out the door, the gentle hum of the machine she’s carrying can be heard underneath her words. She’s a talker like me, that’s where I get it from, and I often have to stop her and say “breathe through your nose” so she can get some O2. You can probably guess I love my mom very much and I don’t know what I’d do without her.

Mother’s Day With My Mom
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Why Are Gay Men So Damn Needy?

I’m sure it’s happened to you before. You get home after a nice date with a handsome guy, he looked just like his pics online, so that’s a plus right out of the gate. Sex was pretty much a slam dunk so he’s definitely getting a second try and you’re actually looking forward to it. You get the usual text message accompanied by some cute emoji…

tonight was really great, thanks for being so cool.”

You smile and drift off to sleep as you contemplate how dating really isn’t that bad after all.

The next morning you wake to the familiar routine of shutting off the alarm on your phone, oversleeping, and suddenly realizing you’re late for work. As you rush to get yourself together and out the door, you notice you have a text message on your phone which must be from the office reminding you of a meeting you’re late for. In what has become a very automatic set of movements for your fingers, you navigate immediately to your texts and retrieve the poorly timed piece of information…

“thinking of you.”

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Transactional Friendships

I was all psyched out the other day because I thought I invented a new term. I think my partner Eric’s banking career had something to do with it as I’m constantly hearing expressions and other vocabulary related to finance. I was going about my business when suddenly “transactional friendships” popped into my head along with the meaning. Before running off to tell everyone about my cool new discovery and writing a book about the topic I decided to Google it. Sure enough, the term and the meaning already exist. I was pretty bummed out but I figured I could at least write a blog post about it. A book deal would have to wait.

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