Spanning the 20th and 21st Centuries, classic to contemporary

Photo by Ohmky on Unsplash

I read a lot — about 50 books a year, give or take — and this includes authors of different genders, age, and race, incl. black women. And in light of everything, it seemed like as good of time as any (and let’s be real: there’s no bad time!) to celebrate them.

I know that this is very small in the grand scheme of where we need to go — as individuals, and as society; that “reading more writers of color” is scratching the surface of the sort of effort we should all put in.

But at the same time…

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By now most of us know what love languages are, but for those who don’t: Gary Chapman introduced five “languages” of love — the way we interpret and understand it: physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, and acts of service.

I’ve written about love languages before, and most of my pieces have revolved around love languages in the conventional sense, which is: interpersonal.

But there’s self-love as well, and we can use our love language on that front, too.

Physical Touch

This is one of the simplest love languages and, tbh, one of my favorite to give — because it’s…

And why we usually make mistakes in knowing

camila waz, unsplash

You’ve probably Googled it and if you haven’t Googled it, you’ve certainly still wondered it. Because we all have.

“Are they into me or not?”

But when we do, we run into a slew of problems, because:

Most information out there is really, really stupid.

Signs like: which direction their feet are pointing, whether or not they make eye contact or ask questions or giggle and twirl their hair or whatever.

The problem with “signs” comes down to these two errors:

1. False Positives

Also known as “type I” errors in statistical hypothesis, this is an error in which a result improperly indicates…

In short: because I like it

Chris Barbalis via unsplash

The fact that many writers have day jobs is not new — most aspiring writers do (and many of the successful ones did, too, before they made it big.)

So to say I have a job isn’t all that interesting. Where people get hung up is when I clarify:

I’m not trying to leave it.

Because “escaping a job” isn’t every writer’s primary motivation.

I know that it is the main goal for a lot of aspiring writers, especially bloggers and freelancers, but for a lot of us (myself included) it’s not.

Dan Gold via unsplash

If you ask people what “the key to making a relationship last” is, some of the most common answers you’ll get are:


But the thing is…

Those are not the secret

Many people struggle with emotional boundaries — what’s theirs, what’s their partner’s — and think “sharing” is the same as “solving,” as though “talking about it” means it’ll be “fixed.” They then struggle with anxiety and passive-aggressiveness — especially when, shocker, “communication” alone doesn’t work. So, I know many say that “communication” is the solution, but it’s not.

“Communication” gets you statements like:

“I loathe you sometimes”
“I sometimes regret marrying you”

So, what will you do?

Jean-Philippe Delberghe via unsplash

What’s emotional infidelity?


“Intimacy with someone besides our partner that’s emotional, not physical.”

It happens to many people, and in a world of hyper-communication and connectivity, it’s becoming an increasingly big topic. So, what do we do?

Let’s take this in two parts…

  • Part I: Attraction
  • Part II: What To Do With It


What it is, its power, and limitations.

Attraction sneaks up on us

Love is a choice, but attraction may not be.

It’s just there to navigate, leaving many flailing and trying to deny our basic humanness, like “I didn’t ask for this!”, at a loss as to how to safely indulge…

Attraction feels really good

Like most people, I have enjoyed the sweet, sodden…

Because most of “the signs” they tell you are garbage

Jon Tyson via unsplash

If you try to Google “how to know you’re in love,” you’re gonna have a bad time

Because it’s mostly shit advice.

Here’s a small sampling:

“They’re always on your mind”

This is infatuation.

If someone’s “always” on your mind, you’re not focused on other Really Important Things. And that’s a problem.

Real love fits into real life, rather than usurping it. It’s calm, not overwhelming.

“You crave them” or “can’t get enough of them”

See above.

“They’re your ‘everything’”


“You see them in your future”

“When I imagined my future job/location/adopted dog, they were always in the background of my imagination helping me out with whatever I was doing. My future just didn’t really make sense without them around.”

Well, I mean, damn. You fantasize long and hard enough, you can see anything in your future — like…

We’re bad at being able to tell

Stathis Tsavalias (“Insane51”)

“Love” is hard. Not complex —but hard. Especially when it comes to knowing if you really have it.

I talk a lot about signs it is love, but here’s a list of common signs — especially feelings — we attribute to “love” that actually aren’t.

TL;DR — it’s most of them.

You’re Flying High

Love is not about highs and “peaks.”

Everyone experiences the elation of emotional peaks with their partners, especially early on, and a lot of people misidentify these feelings as “love.”

Love is not in “upside.”

Love is reality. It has peaks, sure — it shouldn’t be ugly — but…

“I could go either way”

People are increasingly unsure about kids, and the US and European fertility rate is at an all-time low. According to Pew Research Center study, 1 in 5 people will remain childless. That’s doubled since the 1970s.

You’re not alone — and uncertainty is higher among women than men

Women are not just delaying babies; they’re debating them altogether.

Leigh Weingus wrote,

“Having kids was once considered a necessity for every woman, but the last few years have shown shifting trends surrounding settling down.”

As Bryce Covert wrote: men want kids — and women aren’t so sure.

“In a nationally-representative survey of single, childless people in 2011, more men than women said they…

#1: Reading isn’t a secret to success

I’ve read over 300 books since the beginning of 2011, not counting the many I started but didn’t finish and the endless content we all read online.

I’ve read about topics ranging from Buddhism to business, philosophy to physics, and writers ranging from feminists to pick-up artists (and even Trump’s “Art of The Deal.”) I’ve read old books, new books, books with illustrations and fancy charts, a lot of books from which I got nothing and a handful of books I still love. 90% of this was non-fiction.

Here’s what I’ve learned in all that reading time — and some…

Kris Gage

Writer — reach me at krisgagemedium (at) gmail (dot) com

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