Liv Mello

It’s a mindset, not a game.

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Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

I could see my cousin Lauren’s phone blowing up as we shared a bottle of wine. There were too many notifications to fit the lock screen. She dismissed countless Instagram DMs, text messages, missed calls, Bumble notifications, and Facebook requests as we searched the Internet for the best bars in San Diego. When we used her phone for GPS, I swiped thirteen more notifications.

“How do you do it?” I finally asked her.

“Do what?”

“Get all these people to chase after you like this?”

“I don’t know,” she hesitated, “I’ve never really thought about it before.”

And that, my…

Ditching sadness for self-discovery and opportunity

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Photo by Letícia Pelissari on Unsplash

Breaking up sucks, whether you’ve dumped or been dumped. A swell of insecurity and lack of direction inevitably follows. Painful breakups can spiral us into a dark place where, in the most severe cases, the loss is all-consuming. You can’t focus on anything but heartache.

Last year, a friend of mine endured a nasty breakup. Her boyfriend of nine months dumped her over a text message just hours before changing his Facebook relationship status to dating somebody else. …

How an insult from a reader liberated me as a writer.

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Photo by Ian Stauffer on Unsplash

I recently received a pretty insulting comment on one of my articles. But instead of feeling offended, I felt liberated.

Without getting into specifics, this reader essentially told me that my opinion is irrelevant. I found this both ironic and flattering considering the fact that, until recent years, I never had an opinion at all.

To suddenly have an opinion, whether it was one that mattered or not, felt like an accomplishment!

I used to think my easygoing nature was a personality strength. That’s what the quizzes in Seventeen Magazine always said. It wasn’t until college that I realized I…

It’s not as glamorous as you think.

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Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

I may not be an expert when it comes to successful relationships, but I know a dysfunctional one when I see it. I’ve suffered my fair share of dating fails. My high school sweetheart was hardly sweet. He dumped me at prom after stealing my virginity and self-esteem for years to come, which led me to my second boyfriend…

A certified pathological liar who told different versions of a similar story depending upon his target audience, and my third? Ah yes, he was a keeper, until he knocked up his best friend’s girlfriend. Need I continue?

Assuming that I’ve earned…

Don’t let your relationship with money stunt your lifestyle.

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Photo by Killian Pham on Unsplash

I know what people say about me. My nomadic lifestyle must be funded by rich parents. I don’t live in the real world. I’ve wasted a year and a half without a steady income, booking flights to “find myself.”

But I found myself a long time ago.

I found myself sending “Thank You” cards to family members who gave me ten or twenty bucks for my birthday, as my parents put most of it into a “magical” savings account that felt more like a sick joke. …

God willing

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Photo by chase.wilson.photo on Unsplash

I am the man.

I am the man who sets the TV volume on even numbers only. Now, crank it up a notch because you chose 21 and it’s not sitting well.

I’m the man who races against the microwave and wins every time.

I’m the man with eyes destined to see 11:11, twice a day, seven days a week.

I am the man in the rain, restarting his car to send the windshield wipers safely home. I am the storm.

I roll the toothpaste tube. I organize the cash in my wallet. I check a locked door after I’ve…

A personification

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Photo by Gabriel on Unsplash

The show must go on
The crowd and the curtain have been drawn
We bowed holding hands if just for once
We knew the end would surely come

And this house, it ain't no home
You’re sulking around but I’m alone
The flowers they wilt
you know, death blooms in guilt
the way life stems from hope

I poured our love into a glass
To me, it’s half full
To you, it’s gone fast
We get drunk off the wine
the spirit of our past
We get drunk all the time
but cheap liquor don’t last

He said, walk a…

When did going out get so scary?

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Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

“Well,” the counselor interrupted, “you’re clearly codependent.”

Her condescending, jack o’lantern smile almost tricked me into thinking it was a compliment. Why is she nodding so furiously? Larry put his hand on my knee and urged me to continue but I forgot what I was saying, or maybe I didn’t feel like saying it anymore.

“She’s full of shit,” our brazen Romanian friend said on our walk home from the workshop. “She’s not even qualified to make a diagnosis like that, and in a room full of people? She’s a counselor, not a psychiatrist, not a therapist, not even a…

Humor

A quick and facetious way to diagnose dating fatigue

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Photo by Mel Elías on Unsplash

Eating too much makes us sick and sleeping too much makes us lethargic. Drinking too much can induce horrific hangovers and smoking too much can cause lung cancer. Most good things should be done in moderation, or else you pay the consequences.

But, what about dating? Is it possible to date around too much? And how do you know when you’ve hit your limit?

There’s no scale to determine you’ve been out with too many Joe Shmoes in the past couple of weeks. There’s no Breathalyzer test to say you’ve had one too many Shirley Temples. And you’re never going…

If you want to fix your problems, own them.

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Photo by Andrey Zvyagintsev on Unsplash

I have this friend who’s been in a failing relationship for six years. I’ve been her shoulder to cry on since day one. While I admire her commitment to this person, I resent the fact that she’s been miserable for most of her twenties. I’ll always be here for her, but my tune has definitely changed over the years.

You can only feel sorry for someone for so long.

No one’s forcing her to stay in this relationship. She’s not married. She doesn’t have kids or a house with her partner. …

Liv Mello

Writing at the intersection of travel, psychology, and relationships through personal narrative. Advocate of spontaneous vulnerability.

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