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Important Relationship Lessons Toy Story Taught Us

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So, I had a Toy Story marathon which quickly taught me a very important lesson: When going through a break-up the Toy Story movies are perhaps one of the best things to watch, seriously not only did it make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (which it did… so lovely and warm) but I had many positive epiphanies throughout about relationships (both romantic and platonic). Here are some of those important lessons that Pixar subtly teach us.

Warning: Spoilers for all 3 Toy Story’s are in this article.

Don’t let Jealously ruin potential friendships- This point is mainly emphasized in the first movie when Andy receives a new Buzz Lightyear, a high tech toy with flashing lights and wings. Woody immediately begins to feel threatened and let’s face it, starts to act like a bit of a dick. Woody became sad, anxious and bitter as Buzz became the new “spotlight” toy. Instead of embracing the new toy as an equal, he treated him with resentment and tried to knock him behind thee desk (resulting in him accidentally being flung out the window). By the end of the movie they were best friends and Woody accepted sharing the spotlight. I know sometimes I have let my own personal jealousy of someone I hardly know effect potential friendships with amazing people. Maybe your jealously is stopping you finding the Buzz to your Woody (that sounds way more sexual then it was intended to be)

Look at dem cuties

Sometimes a reality check is in order, and although difficult it is definitely worth it- In Toy Story 1 there’s a beautiful sequence in which Buzz realizes he is, in fact a child’s toy. It’s a very touching scene that made me cry as a child. Now… initially he doesn’t handle the news that he is a toy very well, but can you really blame him? His entire world has just been shattered! We next see him dressed as “Mrs. Nesbitt” in the mist of a mental breakdown. Woody slaps him some sense into him but he is still in a deep set sorrow. Not caring about his fate (he’s meant to be exploded by a rocket in a few hours) But eventually he realizes to accept who he is and realize that although he may not be a real space ranger there is still a little boy who cares deeply about him just the was he is, and let’s face it, he becomes a way better character once he realizes this. So, message? Sometimes we believe things that aren’t true because it makes us feel better about ourselves, be it denial of a failed relationship, how we act or whatever, the point is a reality check is sometimes in order and it’s painful and difficult but it ultimately leads us to becoming better people.

“One minute you’re defending the whole galaxy, and, suddenly, you find yourself sucking down darjeeling with Marie Antoinette… and her little sister.”

Just because you’ve been hurt before, doesn’t mean you should close yourself off to future relationships- In yet another Toy Story scene that has made me cry, we learn how hurt Jessie was to be forgotten about and eventually donated. To me I viewed this as a metaphor for romantic relationships. Jessie was so hurt and wanted to go live in a museum where she will never be forgotten about, but she would also never be loved in the same way. Eventually she opens her heart up again and goes to be Andy’s toy, which we know from the rest of the movie and Toy Story 3 was definitely the right decision.

When somebody loves you…..

When it comes to love, don’t worry about the future just enjoy the present- This point kind of ties in with the last one, in Toy Story 2 Woody basically needs to decide to spend eternity in a museum or a few years to be loved by a boy. The latter is uncertain and short lived, but Woody knows the importance of love, even if it’s short lived. Again, romantic relationships, don’t back out of one because you’re scared of it eventually ending. The joy is worth the sorrow (something I’m learning to accept myself).

“I can’t stop Andy from growing up… but I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

Although they may be dreamy, don’t settle for someone who’s horrible to your friends- Let’s face it, Barbie in Toy Story 3 is KICK-ASS although her and Ken seem “Made for each other” when she realizes how horrible he is to her friends does she still stay with them in the dream house? NO, she joins her friends. That’s an important lesson right there.

Just look at that bad-ass glare

Just because a couple may seem right for each other, doesn’t mean they are- Although Woody and Jessie appear to be made for each other, they aren’t. Opposites attract and Jessie’s heart belongs to Buzz and poor Woody will never get over the tragic loss of Bo Peep (what ever happened to her?)

Buzz: I, uh, I have no idea what came over me. Jessie: Just go with it, Buzz.

Sometimes people appear nice, but they’re actually dicks- Lotso, ‘nuff said.

He smells like strawberries and blood

If you’ve been hurt in the past, don’t use it as an excuse to be a dick- Again, Lotso. He was replaced. If you have ever seen someone you once loved with someone else you may sympathize with Lotso, but he changed and became hard and distant. When hurt use the experience to change for the better, not the worst.

Sometimes, those really annoying people you hate, actually are really important, don’t underestimate them- OK, during that VERY stressful moment when all the toys were almost BURNED TO DEATH (How could you do that to my emotions Pixar… HOW?!?!) Thanks to Lotso-dick-face who rescued them? That’s right, those 3 alien dudes. My Potato head thought they were annoying and stupid but these are the same people who saved his life! I feel there’s a huge lesson in that.

these guys are FUCKING AWESOME

Just because someone parts with you, doesn’t mean they don’t still love you- In my opinion this is the most important lesson of the Toy Story trilogy and the one I personally found the most helpful. Sometimes people outgrown each other. Just because Andy doesn’t play with his toys anymore, doesn’t mean he doesn’t care about them deeply, just because someone doesn’t want to be in a relationship with you anymore, doesn’t mean they don’t still care. Sometimes only one person changes (Andy) and the other doesn’t, the other stays loyal (the toys) but eventually have to accept that if the other person has moved on, maybe they should too. Not in a sad way, but in a way that acknowledges that the relationship was very important to both, but now must end even though the other is still willing. Andy was going to take Woody to College, but eventually realized he’d have a better life where he would be played with, it was difficult but for the best.

“Now Woody, he’s been my pal for as long as I can remember. He’s brave, like a cowboy should be. And kind, and smart. But the thing that makes Woody special, is he’ll never give up on you… ever. He’ll be there for you, no matter what.”

And would you look at that I’m crying.

Basically, Pixar is awesome.

How to Win at Having Your Heart Broken.

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You can’t, sorry.

The Second Time Your Heart Gets Broken.

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There are some lucky people in the world who have not yet endured the very human experience that is giving another human being your whole heart and watching them not fully accept it, and then eventually throw it on the ground… This of course is the joy of being heartbroken.

Then there are others who experience this pain… possibly enter a state of depression but grow from it and then their next relationship is one that sticks, never having to experience that gut wrenching pain of unrequited love ever again.

And then there are those who get heartbroken another time after that, and again after that… and again and again and again.

I once saw a beautiful article about the second time you fall in love.   I know it’s silly but when I was going through my first serious break-up it was one of the few things that gave me hope. There’s loads of articles about the first time you fall in love, about your first heartache, about falling in love for a second time… But not much about the second time your heart get’s ripped out of your chest, so let me write one.

The second time you get your heart broken… To put it blunty.. is shit. I mean, all break-ups are shit… But it’s shit, so we all agree; suddenly stopping a close connection with someone is shit.

It will feel strangely close to the first time, that deep sick sensation in your stomach, and the fiery pain in your lungs as you try to breath. When the pain kicks in that’s when there will be a quick succession of anger wrapped in denial. I mean… this is not happening.. Not after last time. You are so angry at yourself for putting yourself in a vulnerable position again, for being so quick to jump into love after months (and in some cases years) of getting over the initial heart ache. You’re angry at yourself because you thought you learned… when obviously you didn’t.. and now you’re here.. again… in pain.

After your body settles down, you realize you have to go through all the pain of getting over someone…again. Only, the odd thing is.. you know you will, you’re not left in the same sense of lost despair that you were the first time. You’ve done it before sure, you can do it again. It’s more, you’re not looking  forward to it. You’re not looking forward to being used to being alone again, to finding ways to fill your spare time until the loneliness doesn’t kill you anymore, of having to yet again leave a comfort zone you only just found.

The first time your heart is broken, it’s a shock to your system, you’ve never dealt with this sort of pain, the second time is a shock as well, but it feels way more unfair. You know you’ll get over it though, which is nice, instead of entering a dark depression like last time, it’s more a brief while of painful agony. You know that you’ll be able to move on much quicker than you did the first time.

It hurts. It hurts like crazy. You wonder if you will every actually find a love that won’t leave you feeling the way you do.. and you start to question whether its worth it or not. There are a few different types of people in regards to relationships, some people have no bother being single and having one night stands and being content, and if they happen to fall in love, well that’s great too.

Me? I’m not one of those people, I wish I was BELIEVE me I wish I was. The truth is I am a relationship junkie, I give my heart away too easy to any beautiful person I feel a connection with, and then I end up hurt multiple times, back in a pathetic wailing state where my heart and tear ducts are just far too fatigued. I’m a hopeless romantic and maybe I view life as some big fantastic movie (being a drama student will do that to you) when it’s not. Life is just life, sometimes people stay together forever, sometimes you don’t.

The second time your heart get’s broken leaves you questioning fate. You’re scared… But hey, you got over it and fell in love again. So, it will be all right, at least, I sure do hope it will be.

How to Win at Being Single

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I’m single and I’m actually feeling pretty good about it. You see, two broken halves don’t make a whole, I am sick, sick sick sick and, guess what? SICK of people wanting a relationship with the swift conclusion that by finally entering one this new person will magically fix them. Only you can fix yourself and it is just plain unfair to put that pressure onto someone else.

Being single, although fun, can sometimes make you feel so alone, so frustrated that you are surrounded by all these people, but that none “fit” you. Sometimes it feels like you are just this absolute freak, no one makes you happy, you’re sick of singlehood, but you just can’t find that person, it’s very frustrating! But when you’re out, and you just catch eyes with that hot boy/girl and it’s like this agreement electrifies through the air and sends the mutual signal “You are hot” it restores your faith, your faith that chemistry like that exists, and you know what? It’s just plain fun.

Oh… It get’s better though, you start talking to them and realize “Hold on… This person finds me interesting?” and then you realize “Hold on… I think this person is fascinating.”  Sometimes the chemistry or “spark” isn’t as obvious, sometimes it’s a gradual build up, but you know it’s always there. And I love that.

There’s a Japanese expression “Koi No Yokan” which means the sense upon first meeting a person that the two of you are going to fall into love. Note, however, that this is not love at first sight. When you feel that spark with someone it’s not you falling in love, in fact there’s a high likely hood that it won’t work out. I say I have only felt this three times, and only one of those times did it turn into a proper relationship. Am I bitter that the other two didn’t work out as planned? The weird thing is, no, not at all. If anything I’m grateful!

That type of chemistry (although rarely experienced) is the only thing that get’s me exited about the romantic future. I can’t wait until the next time I experience it, even if it takes years (which sometimes it can) I know that it’s possible, and I know that it’s what I should wait out for. So the next time you’re flirting with some beautiful individual and it doesn’t work out, it shouldn’t make you sad, it should make you the opposite!

You win at being single by not taking any bullshit; I’d rather be me without the cuddles than not me but with cuddles (Although I get plenty of cuddles from friends, family, cats… but it’s not the same… we all know that)

That “Koi No Yokan” fills me with peace and sheer giddiness. The guys I have experienced this with have made such an impression on me, not a sad one because it wasn’t a breakup, but one that to this day makes me effervescent with joy at the thought. I look back on these brief moments of sheer chemistry and smile with excitement.

You win at being single by getting to know yourself and  love yourself, by enjoying the solitude while at the same time being open to new experiences. A lot of people want their prince/princess but are too lazy to go out and kiss any frogs (although the frog kissing certainly speeds things along) but it’s not necessary. Be the single person you want to be, be it the overly flirtatious disco diva or the pizza eating Breaking Bad sloth, just never second guess yourself and do what you enjoy. Most importantly, be proud of who you are because well, you’re fantastic.

There was a while where I was worried, worried If I didn’t go out “clubbing” I’d never meet a guy, but than I realized, the type of guy I would want wouldn’t hang out in a nightclub, but maybe yours would! You see, it’s all relative. But what is important is to take risks when needed and just generally roll with the punches, realize there’s no age limit with love and nothing is standardized.

Flirting’s fun too, I love flirting. I mean I’m shit at it (with way too obvious or too horribly subtle to the point where even I don’t know if I’m flirting or not) but I love it. It gives a thrill and makes me fell attractive on the few times I succeed, no matter how much of a recluse you may be, try flirting. Flirting works kind of like exercise in that the more you do it the less you’ll go all red and sweaty while doing it.

I always feel silly writing about relationship topics like this, mainly because I’m kind of frightened by how insane it makes me appear (which I’m guessing is a lot), and I’m not entirely sure who exactly reads this blog, so I’ll leave by saying something small that hopefully makes me seem (even if it’s only slightly) less insane. At the moment I am single, with not a single crush, and I feel more confident in myself than I ever did when I was in a relationship. I’m willing to accept love should it happen to fall onto my lap, but there’s no way in hell I’m going to force it and it seems like a good place to be.

How to Win at Kissing

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Kissing is perhaps one of the most important aspects of a relationship and why? Because you can tell so much from one kiss; the chemistry between two people becomes so abundantly clear. Would a bad kisser be a deal-breaker for me? Probably, I know that may sound awful but let me explain; would I break up with someone because the first kiss was lousy do to nerves? No, but I have to feel something there. It’s like this: Kissing is fun, I at least want the other person to enjoy going about this playful game with me, I want them to be wiling to make playful compromises between our varying kissing styles, I want us to break away with a smile after each kiss. I think everyone deserves that in a relationship. It’s chemistry; you got it or you don’t, and if you don’t, trying to force it will get you nowhere. You don’t need experience to feel those tingles.

In regards to the actual kissing technique (putting mental and physical attraction aside) I’ve always felt it’s actually far more difficult to be a bad kisser than a good kisser (and extremely easy to be a mediocre one). Kissing is completely natural, so it’s when you over think it is when you are in danger. Following a technique won’t work, you just need to do what feels right. Being an OK kisser mainly means following the other persons lead, you may not enjoy the kiss but at least the other person won’t not enjoy it. But simply being ‘okay’ isn’t ‘winning’ now is it?

You win at kissing by enjoying it. Not by over thinking it. You know what you like; do that. Maybe you don’t know what you like, then experiment, it’s all fun and with the right person the occasional little hic-up really means nothing so relax, if you are afraid of being shit let them teach you, if they’re shit teach them (either subtly or bluntly) I find by holding their face you can generally control the kiss to your liking. Personally, I feel people focus too much on the tongue. Kissing is all about the lips, the varying pressure, the playful tugs, the little nibbles, and the light suction; use your tongue as an added joyful accessory. In short, use your tongue as an aphrodisiac, not a weapon. (By “Not a weapon” I mean don’t use your tongue as a knife by stabbing your “Victim” to death in the mouth). Also, please, please- keep your eyes closed (although it is ok to open them just for a second  to make sure the other person is enjoying the kiss, then right back down them eyes go), I feel I shouldn’t even have to say that.

The only time you should kiss a drunk person is if you are also drunk. Drunk people will enjoy kissing no matter what so generally tend to kiss more aggressively and sloppily. If you’re drunk too, that’s grand go for it! You’ll probably enjoy it, but if you’re not drunk, you’ll just be pissed off your significant other (or some lad/lass) is trying to eat your face when you’re trying to discuss the latest episode of ‘Breaking Bad’ (or whatever it is you young crazy kids are watching these days). Drunk = “RAWR I’MA DOG AND I’M GONNA TRY AND LICK YOUR TONSILS SO YOU’LL SLEEP WITH ME” (Pro tip: Some people are like this sober too… Don’t be that person. Ever.)

A good little  ”game” I like to play is to see who can last the longest without kissing. It’s a great boost to your confidence knowing someone can’t resist you, they won’t always pick up it’s a game, but when they do it can be even more fun! It’s good because even when you lose, you still win. That being said I always win. I did, however, come across a man who was just as competitive as me. “I know what you’re doing, and it won’t work” he said to me “I’m very competitive” it took a good half-hour of teasing before I got that bloody kiss but after I did it was amazing because of the build up, also the fact that I won. (Putting that out there, I did win) Admittedly, it was the first time I had to be properly strategic and use mind games as opposed to straight up playful teasing, but I couldn’t let him beat me now could I?

“When life gives you lemons make lemonade”, there’s another expression similar to that but far useful “When life gives you the perfect cinematic kiss setting, for the love of god take it or you will regret it for at least ten years” so, if you by any chance find yourself on a beach at sunset with someone you like and who likes you back: Kiss. If sitting on a bench late at night after staying up talking and flirting when suddenly that firework display that you forgot was happening starts: kiss. If slow dancing for any sort of occasion and it feels right: just kiss. If on a row boat gently being moved across a river and some smooth red crap named Sebastian is singing romantic music: KISS! Get the picture? You should, it’s a fairly simple picture. As far as schooling goes, it’s a pretty basic lesson.

Put your hands up if you’ve seen the ever-so charismatic Will Smith film ‘Hitch’. Is your hand up? Those who’ve seen it may recall the famous scene in which our Hitch states that you go in 90% of the way for the kiss, and allow her (or him) to go the other 10%. That’s a good rule, catching someone by surprise will give you the shock factor, but it may also give you a few bruises, be it physically or on your ego. Of course, when it comes to initiating the kiss all you need is eye contact. Really don’t want to kiss someone? Don’t look them in the eye. Simple. If they kiss you anyway, well then they are obviously shit at picking up signals and don’t respect your personal space and you’re going to have to be as blunt as possible about your feelings towards them.

From a young age I’ve always been paranoid about bad breath, perhaps it’s because I’ve always personally been a little OCD with my own oral hygiene habits. When I first got a boyfriend I managed to convince him that I simply “Always have mints” the same way I “Always carry round a bottle of water” so when our first kiss (and all the kisses after that) came I could be safe in the knowledge that we both had minty fresh breath. To this day I still don’t know if he realizes that habit only started because of him (and ceased soon after our demise), as our relationship matured I was simply too embarrassed to tell him. Always having mints or some gum handy is a pretty good thing to do to ensure you are always kiss prepared. Of course just masking your stinky-ass breath isn’t good enough; drink lots of water too! (see  https://saoirseo.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/how-to-win-at-drinking/ in which I discuss the amazing element that is water) And if you can, eat an apple, it neutralizes bad breath. Of course, mints don’t always work, for example: If you’ve both been drinking orange juice then there really is no need for a mint and it will just create a problem that wasn’t there before, just make sure that whatever you two have had  to eat and drink matches (e.g. if you both have coffee breath, it’s fine).

I suppose I’ve been quite lucky, I’ve had few genuinely ‘bad’ kisses. Excluding a few from my younger years (I suppose I should be fair, no one really had a clue what they were doing back then) and a few sloppy kisses from a drunk boyfriend, I’ve been quite lucky. Not that all my kisses have been amazing, most have been forgettable, but the good ones, the ones where each second is implanted into my brain, the ones where, no matter my history with this particular individual, still cause a smile to spill over my face, the ones where my brain was emptied and washed over with this clean sensation of tingling joy; those were purely magical.

I love kissing. I love playing off of the other person’s reaction. I love feeling the shocked filled joy sensation off the other person when I gently suck (or even nibble) someone’s lower lip. Personally I feel I win at kissing simply because I enjoy it. It is funny though isn’t it? How enjoyable us humans find kissing because when you think about it, it’s quite a disgusting thing. I’m a fussy eater and freak out at the idea of sharing an ice cream with someone but have absolutely no qualms in mushing my face with a cute boy and exchanging saliva manually. I read somewhere that in the dark you can sense and therefore find the other persons lips, like some magnetic pull. So there’s no need to worry, it doesn’t take Katniss Everdeen-esce aim to make sure you lock your target (look another pop-culture reference, I’m flying with these today). I will leave by saying this: kissing is amazing and seriously under-rated; kiss with joy, kiss with effort and most importantly, kiss like you mean it.

How to Win the Break-up

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If day time television has taught us anything it’s that when a relationship crumbles there is almost always a definite winner and a definite loser. This isn’t a thing where it’s all a matter of opinion, in a common break-up there is a winner and a loser, and no one wants to be the loser; trust me.

So, the winner: Usually (but not always) the person who initiated the break-up, The one who gets on with their life, the one who somehow managed to get sexier.

The loser: The person who breaks down crying, the one who seems “Obsessive”, the one who tries desperately to get the other person to love them again, the one who gets pity looks by everyone.

But how do you win? It’s not that complicated once you gather a level head and think things through. Many people seem to think that the opinion of their Ex helps them win or lose. That’s incorrect, it’s the opinion of others and most importantly your own opinions that help you get through. You’re broken up, their opinion doesn’t (or shouldn’t) matter anymore, and if it does that’s what leads to the obsession mentioned above.

It may sound shallow, but look good. Strike that, don’t look good, look like the orgasmic sex-beast you are! Get a hair-cut. Guys, wear shirts. And girls, don’t be afraid to wear that push up bra. Most importantly, posture posture posture – I can not stress that enough. You want to walk past people with that confident stride and have them think “Day-um, *Insert name here* was really holding them back!”

Getting another boyfriend/girlfriend does not help you win the break-up faster, in fact sometimes it does just the opposite. Kissing strangers will seem “petty” and any relationship entered will be swiftly cast aside as a simple rebound. That being said, flirt to your pretty hearts content. Just be sure not to accidentally crush someone while doing it, make sure you make it well know you have no intention of pursuing a relationship (or even getting laid, it won’t help you in the long run) basically don’t be a dick and you should be fine. Harmless flirting is a way to boost your confidence while simultaneously giving you the time you need to heal, because ultimately getting a boyfriend/girlfriend right away is never good, It may help you win the initial break-up, but not the over all one… but I’ll get to that.

If you must see them, act civil. If you are one of those insane people who think ex’s can be friends, be friends, no trying to make them jealous you hear? I think the most important rule here is to try your best to not have them affect your daily life, and if you must talk, to avoid talking about relationships as a general rule. You may think “So, are you seeing anyone?” or “I’m in a happy relationship now” is just normal, polite conversation but you’ll just seem petty.

Embarrassing personal time (YAY!): I lost the break-up. I was a mess, in tears constantly, alienated myself from my friends by a plastic bubble of my own sadness. I lost a third of my body weight (Which people were complementing me for and it’s like, seriously? I weighed 6 stone, that’s not healthy! This is how people with eating disorders are allowed to continue on so long, they lose all their fat and get bloody compliments! Sorry, it just bothers me, luckily for me it was nothing like that) and I just did stupid things.

Fast-forward a couple of years onwards and I have people saying how as a person I’m so much better now, but it doesn’t matter. I still lost the break-up. You can’t win after you’ve lost, especially when you lost as badly as I did….. but not all hope is lost, you can win the second battle (Yes I know I just contradicted myself there), hear me out. Winning the second battle (and over all, the whole break-up) can only be done if you haven’t seen the person in years, a lot of people don’t get this opportunity. The difference is, it’s a lot easier to fake to the world you have won the first break-up, but to win the over all break up I think you generally need to be in a better place. You can’t fake having beautiful kids and a high paying job; well, you can, but it’s certainly not worth the risk, if you got caught out there’s no chance in hell you could win then.

So, there we go. Win the break-up. You’ll feel so much better for it by making this your goal when going through one yourself. No “Getting him/her back”, no “Getting laid”, no “Begging to not be rejected again”, just say to yourself “I’m going to win this thing, I’m going to prove to myself and others that I can”. You can be losing inside maybe, but if you try your best and hold you head up high- You will be the real winner. The one who didn’t send that crazy drunken text, the one who will get through. If you keep telling yourself “I will win this” odds are, you probably will.

Of course, if you’re not going through a break-up now all that was probably irrelevant, but at least now you know my views on the matter; Feel free to agree/disagree with me all you want.