Though this is great advice on its face, it's also highly simplistic. Yes, love is a verb if people are ultimately right for one another. If you've found the right person, then sure, you should be doing everything in your power to keep the love alive. Because that initial infatuation will fade. Then you're just left with another human being, fit with all the flaws that we all have.

Keeping the love alive is doing your best to empathize with, uplift, support, encourage, and maintain an attraction to your partner, who at times may be annoying, smelly, in a bad…


No, but people will certainly make you feel that there is.

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Photo by Anna Shvets

I didn’t really begin to feel “weird” as a single woman until I reached thirty. That coincided with my move from Los Angeles to Spain. I went from living life as a wild and crazy party girl in L.A. to hanging out with a group of British ex-pat couples in Barcelona.

I ended up in Barcelona because an American friend of mine lived there with his British girlfriend. Through them, I plugged into the ex-pat community. Most of the new people I was meeting were couples: married or simply “in a relationship.” …


I had to get over my core issues with my father to surpass the pain this holiday used to cause me.

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Photo by Pixabay.

There was once a time when it felt like Valentine’s Day shone a very bright spotlight on everything that was wrong with me. For most of the year, I presented an aura of confidence. Look at how beautiful I was: tall, thin, stylish. I was an independent young woman! I didn’t need a man. I was out every night in the bars and clubs, partying. I was a culture-vulture, a jet-setter, living it up, traveling the world. Why settle down when you were as amazing as I was?

But then February 14th would roll around and on flashed that spotlight…


No, but the kinds of tents they inhabit are less temporary than permanent dwellings.

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Photo by Rex Whiticker from Pexels

An article from NBC News recently popped up in my feed that caught my eye because the reporter, Joel Grover, purported that some homeless people in Los Angeles are living in “McMansion”-style tents.

“One tent near downtown L.A. occupied by a homeless man had a working shower, kitchen, water heater, electricity and even a doorbell. In Hollywood, another tent installed a 15-foot slide for entertainment. And, in Venice, a tent had its own wading pool, while another had its own tiki bar to serve drinks to other homeless people.”

Grover paints a picture of the city’s unhoused living in “luxury”…


I should know: I relied on cleaning when my life was unraveling.

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Homeless tents in Los Angeles Skid Row by Russ Allison Loar.

My boyfriend lives in the Toy District of downtown Los Angeles, otherwise known as Skid Row. He has a loft there in an old industrial warehouse.

With high ceilings and tastefully decorated, his loft is a beautiful space. However, the streets around his building are occupied by homeless encampments.

The streets are filthy here, the sidewalks black from soot and grime. Garbage litters the pavement, often in large piles. Rats are common.


He suffers from panic attacks, and the pandemic has only made them worse.

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Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

I know I’m opening myself up to all kinds of criticism — so be it. My ten-year-old son sleeps in my bed with me every night. However, I can’t imagine I’m the only parent whose child does this. Am I the only parent whose child has trouble falling asleep at night and therefore wants to sleep with them?

No.

My son has always had this issue. Before he was even born, I bought him a beautiful crib. It had cute sheets with monkeys on them. A mobile dangled above the crib with more miniature monkeys. …


I refuse to crush his spirit.

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Photo by Galina K.

It’s commonly understood that stepmothers don’t always love their stepchildren. Just look at the stepmothers of many fairytales. Cinderella’s stepmother hated her.

If stepmothers are famous for disliking their stepchildren, then why should we expect them to love their step-grandchildren? My stepmother certainly doesn’t. Not only does she not like me, but she doesn’t like my twelve-year-old son either.

Why my stepmother doesn’t like my son or me.

After my mom died, my father married a new woman. I gave them my blessing and, for a while, his new wife and I got along. She called me her stepdaughter and I called her my stepmother.

However, as we got…


I never got the love I needed growing up and other women were an easy target for an attention fix.

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Photo by Ludmilla Diniz from Pexels

I’m a female who’s into men. My current partner is male. I consider myself to be straight. However, at a certain point in my life, when I was younger, I tried to date women.

The problem is I’m really just a heterosexual. So what happened when I attempted to have relationships with women? They didn’t work, obviously. I also ended up hurting a lot of women.

Though these women developed feelings for me, I could never like them back the same way.

How could I? I’m straight.

It’s not like I never felt anything for any of the lesbians I…


Neither my husband nor I got to play the victim. We had to forgive each other.

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Photo by Ketut Subiyanto.

What a pair we were. When I admitted to my husband that I’d cheated on him, he confessed to cheating on me, too.

Most would expect we’d hate each other after this. We’d embark on an acrimonious divorce, never to speak again.

Our kids would suffer from having two parents who not only succumbed ethically at the end of their marriage but who now couldn’t stand the sight of each other.

However, this wasn’t our case. Though our mutual cheating did break up our marriage, it didn’t end our friendship. …


I had no idea I could also be a jerk.

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Photo by Tamara Bellis on Unsplash

My experience with dating in my younger years was that men had the advantage. They got to ask women out and make all the moves. A guy never got called a slut if he went to bed with a woman too soon. A man could never be “used.” Only women could. So in my mind, dating was easy for men.

Sure, when I tried to ask a man out myself when I was in college and he rejected me, I did get a taste of what men went through. But still, I remained stubborn in my belief that men had…

Elle Silver

Former Playboy writer. Professional over-sharer. L.A.-based. More about me: my.bio/theformerlymrs Support: ko-fi.com/ellesilver

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