A stranger’s advice to a guy whose girlfriend cheated on him a week before their engagement is going viral.

We’ve all experienced heartbreak on some level. But imagine you’re just days from your engagement. Everything is going great in your relationship. You’ve been with your partner for nearly three years and both have agreed it’s time to take your status to the next level.

So, you plan a romantic trip to Spain where you’ll pop the big question. Instead, everything goes horribly wrong. On Reddit, one man shared his personal pain, explaining how his girlfriend came forward to admit that the week before their big trip she went to a wedding, had a little too much to drink and ended up kissing her ex-boyfriend. It only gets worse from there:

My girlfriend (24f) of the past 3.5 years told me that when she went to her sister’s wedding without me over the weekend that she kissed her ex. We had a trip planned for this upcoming week to go to Spain and I was going to ask her to marry me - she was well aware this was going to happen. She always told me there was nothing she wanted more. She tells me she was drunk and it “just happened”. I’m so hurt right now. She’s said how sorry she is many times, and I believe her, but I feel so betrayed. We’ve had a great relationship up to this point, I’ve loved every minute of it. To add to it she tells me before that how she confided in him that she was scared of spending the rest of her life with someone and how she was unsure about our relationship. This hurts me to my core to think that someone I wanted to spend forever with could do this to me. Out of all the women I’ve ever dated she was the one I was least worried about this happening with. She tells me that it was the biggest mistake she’s ever made and how she regrets it, I just don’t know if I can move on. We live together, have a dog, have built a life together which makes a breakup even more difficult. I just don’t know what to do. I still love her to pieces but idk if I can get past this. Do I still go on the trip with her? Do I try and make this work? I’m certainly holding off on the proposal for now.

Edit: singing out for a bit guys. Need to take some time and think things through and let my emotions stabilize. Get in the right mindset. We talked when I got home and drove home some additional points you guys pointed out. Thank you all for your comments, it’s nice to see another point of view.

Needless to say, the post drew all kinds of advice. Some suggested a brutal approach - leave the girlfriend and the shared life they’ve built together and move on. Meanwhile, others suggesting letting the transgression so. After all, she was big enough to admit her mistake, apologize and ask for forgiveness.

However, it was one comment that topped them all, with its emphasis on self-care, patience and self-reflection in the face of personal pain:


As you say, definitely don't propose. It's up to you whether you go on the trip with her or not, but I'd hear what she's telling you - both with her words and her behavior: that the commitment she is getting ready to make is scary to her. It sounds like she's responding to that with self-sabotage: she's engaging in behaviors that undermine her relationship because she's afraid of this next step.

It did not "just happen." She is scared of the next step.

We live together, have a dog, have built a life together which makes a breakup even more difficult.

Here's what you need to do: sit with this feeling for a bit. Ask yourself why you aren't breaking up with her.

Is it because of the amazing relationship you've had to date and it sucks to throw that away?

OR

Do you know you'll never really be able to trust her again, and this is really because it's logistically complicated? One of you has to move out, you have to decide who gets the dog, what do you say to your parents, etc.

The latter is a really shitty reason to stay in a relationship.

The former is something you could potentially work with and build upon.

Here's the thing: you actually don't need to know the answer to that right now. In fact, it would be fucking astonishingif you knew the answer right now. You've got to be absolutely reeling.

Tell her you need some time to decide whether you can trust her again and make this work, and instead of going together to Spain, you're going to [go there solo, hike a mountain, go hang out with one of your buddies, spend some time alone, etc.]

Then, do that. Give yourself permission to take some time and space to make this decision. Put yourself in an environment where you can reflect on it and really weigh it. Maybe spend some time (on the phone or in person) with friends or family or people you really trust to give you good advice. Reconnect with friends that are YOUR friends, not your couple friends. Some distance from the relationship will remind you both of what was good about it and might be worth salvaging...and also that if you choose not to, you'll build a life on your own just fine. You had one three and a half years ago, you could have one again.

Don't "take a break from the relationship" [and make that clear to her - this isn't a "break." No additional trips down to Texas guilt-free...] but do take a beat for yourself, to take stock. If that bothers her, well - screw her, this is what you NEED to process a mistake she made. If she tries to say that both of you should go to Spain or that if you aren't going to go, she's still going to go, screw her. This is a moment where she needs to let you set the agenda and the priorities. If she won't move on that, well, that makes your decision a hell of a lot easier, doesn't it? She made a big fucking mistake and it's not unfair of you to want time to process and adjust.

If she's not willing to give you space to do that, this was never going to work.

Good luck, my man. You're gonna be strong AF once you work through this.

Pushing through disappointment is what life is all about in some ways.

When we sit back and reflect on things with our friends and family, we almost never talk about that time we sat on the couch, watched some TV and cracked open a beer. Why? Because while those moments are necessary in the hustle and bustle of modern life, they are not the things profound memories and learned experiences are made from.

Our meaningful experiences most often come from pain. And they can lead to greater happiness and acceptance of our lives if we’re willing to learn from them.

As the commenter said: “You’re gonna be strong AF once you work through this.

And that’s what growing as a human being is all about. No matter what happens with this couple’s relationship, it’s likely the time he spends reflecting, growing and learning more about himself that will define his life for years to come. Powerful advice for anyone. And you don’t have to go through a painful breakup to learn it.

Images courtesy of Letters of Love
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When Grace Berbig was 7 years old, her mom was diagnosed with leukemia, a cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues. Being so young, Grace didn’t know what cancer was or why her mother was suddenly living in the hospital. But she did know this: that while her mom was in the hospital, she would always be assured that her family was thinking of her, supporting her and loving her every step of her journey.

Nearly every day, Grace and her two younger sisters would hand-make cards and fill them with drawings and messages of love, which their mother would hang all over the walls of her hospital room. These cherished letters brought immeasurable peace and joy to their mom during her sickness. Sadly, when Grace was just 10 years old, her mother lost her battle with cancer.“

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Losing my mom put the world in a completely different perspective for me,” Grace says. “I realized that you never know when someone could leave you, so you have to love the people you love with your whole heart, every day.”

Grace’s father was instrumental in helping in the healing process of his daughters. “I distinctly remember my dad constantly reminding my two little sisters, Bella and Sophie, and I that happiness is a choice, and it was now our job to turn this heartbreaking event in our life into something positive.”

When she got to high school, Grace became involved in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and a handful of other organizations. But she never felt like she was doing enough.

“I wanted to create an opportunity for people to help beyond donating money, and one that anyone could be a part of, no matter their financial status.”

In October 2018, Grace started Letters of Love, a club at her high school in Long Lake, Minnesota, to emotionally support children battling cancer and other serious illnesses through letter-writing and craft-making.


Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Much to her surprise, more than 100 students showed up for the first club meeting. From then on, Letters of Love grew so fast that during her senior year in high school, Grace had to start a GoFundMe to help cover the cost of card-making materials.

Speaking about her nonprofit today, Grace says, “I can’t find enough words to explain how blessed I feel to have this organization. Beyond the amount of kids and families we are able to support, it allows me to feel so much closer and more connected to my mom.”

Since its inception, Letters of Love has grown to more than 25 clubs with more than 1,000 members providing emotional support to more than 60,000 patients in children’s hospitals around the world. And in the process it has become a full-time job for Grace.

“I do everything from training volunteers and club ambassadors, paying bills, designing merchandise, preparing financial predictions and overviews, applying for grants, to going through each and every card ensuring they are appropriate to send out to hospitals.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

In addition to running Letters of Love, Grace and her small team must also contend with the emotions inherent in their line of work.

“There have been many, many tears cried,” she says. “Working to support children who are battling cancer and other serious and sometimes chronic illnesses can absolutely be extremely difficult mentally. I feel so blessed to be an organization that focuses solely on bringing joy to these children, though. We do everything we can to simply put a smile on their face, and ensure they know that they are so loved, so strong, and so supported by people all around the world.”

Image courtesy of Letters of Love

Letters of Love has been particularly instrumental in offering emotional support to children who have been unable to see friends and family due to COVID-19. A video campaign in the summer of 2021 even saw members of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild offer short videos of hope and encouragement to affected children.

Grace is currently taking a gap year before she starts college so she can focus on growing Letters of Love as well as to work on various related projects, including the publication of a children’s book.

“The goal of the book is to teach children the immense impact that small acts of kindness can have, how to treat their peers who may be diagnosed with disabilities or illness, and how they are never too young to change the world,” she says.

Since she was 10, Grace has kept memories of her mother close to her, as a source of love and inspiration in her life and in the work she does with Letters of Love.

Image courtesy of Grace Berbig

“When I lost my mom, I felt like a section of my heart went with her, so ever since, I have been filling that piece with love and compassion towards others. Her smile and joy were infectious, and I try to mirror that in myself and touch people’s hearts as she did.”

For more information visit Letters of Love.

Please donate to Grace’s GoFundMe and help Letters of Love to expand, publish a children’s book and continue to reach more children in hospitals around the world.

What you look like in a selfie camera isn't really what you look like in real life.

We've all done it: You snap a selfie, look at it, say, "OMG is my nose swollen?" then try again from a different angle. "Wait, now my forehead looks weird. And what's up with my chin?" You keep trying various angles and distances, trying to get a picture that looks like how you remember yourself looking. Whether you finally land on one or not, you walk away from the experience wondering which photo actually looks like the "real" you.

I do this, even as a 40-something-year-old who is quite comfortable with the face I see in the mirror. So, it makes me cringe imagining a tween or teen, who likely take a lot more selfies than I do, questioning their facial features based on those snapshots. When I'm wondering why my facial features look weird in selfies it's because I know my face well enough to know that's not what it looks like. However, when a young person whose face is changing rapidly sees their facial features distorted in a photo, they may come to all kinds of wrong conclusions about what they actually look like.

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Images courtesy of AFutureSuperhero and Friends and Balance Dance Project
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The day was scorching hot, but the weather wasn’t going to stop a Star Wars Stormtrooper from handing out school supplies to a long line of eager children. “You guys don’t have anything illegal back there - any droids or anything?” the Stormtrooper asks, making sure he was safe from enemies before handing over a colorful backpack to a smiling boy.

The man inside the costume is Yuri Williams, founder of AFutureSuperhero And Friends, a Los Angeles nonprofit that uplifts and inspires marginalized people with small acts of kindness.

Yuri’s organization is one of four inaugural grant winners from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, a joint initiative between Upworthy and GoFundMe that celebrates kindness and everyday actions inspired by the best of humanity. This year, the Upworthy Kindness Fund is giving $100,000 to grassroots changemakers across the world.

To apply, campaign organizers simply tell Upworthy how their kindness project is making a difference. Between now and the end of 2021, each accepted individual or organization will receive $500 towards an existing GoFundMe and a shout-out on Upworthy.

Meet the first four winners:

1: Balance Dance Project: This studio aims to bring accessible dance to all in the Sacramento, CA area. Lead fundraiser Miranda Macias says many dancers spend hours a day at Balance practicing contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, and ballet. Balance started a GoFundMe to raise money to cover tuition for dancers from low-income communities, buy dance team uniforms, and update its facility. The $500 contribution from the Kindness Fund nudged Balance closer to its $5,000 goal.

2: Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team: In Los Angeles, middle school teacher James Pike is introducing his students to the field of robotics via a Lego-building team dedicated to solving real-world problems.

James started a GoFundMe to crowdfund supplies for his students’ team ahead of the First Lego League, a school-against-school matchup that includes robotics competitions. The team, James explained, needed help to cover half the cost of the pricey $4,000 robotics kit. Thanks to help from the Upworthy Kindness Fund and the generosity of the Citizens of the World Middle School community, the team exceeded its initial fundraising goal.

Citizens of the World Mar Vista Robotics Team video update youtu.be

3: Black Fluidity Tattoo Club: Kiara Mills and Tann Parker want to fix a big problem in the tattoo industry: there are too few Black tattoo artists. To tackle the issue, the duo founded the Black Fluidity Tattoo Club to inspire and support Black tattooers. While the Brooklyn organization is open to any Black person, Kiara and Tann specifically want to encourage dark-skinned artists to train in an affirming space among people with similar identities.

To make room for newcomers, the club recently moved into a larger studio with a third station for apprentices or guest artists. Unlike a traditional fundraiser that supports the organization exclusively, Black Fluidity Tattoo Club will distribute proceeds from GoFundMe directly to emerging Black tattoo artists who are starting their own businesses. The small grants, supported in part with a $500 contribution from the Upworthy Kindness Fund, will go towards artists’ equipment, supplies, furnishings, and other start-up costs.

4: AFutureSuperhero And Friends’ “Hope For The Holidays”: Founder Yuri Williams is fundraising for a holiday trip to spread cheer to people in need across all fifty states.

Along with collaborator Rodney Smith Jr., Yuri will be handing out gifts to children, adults, and animals dressed as a Star Wars’ Stormtrooper, Spiderman, Deadpool, and other movie or comic book characters. Starting this month, the crew will be visiting children with disabilities or serious illnesses, bringing leashes and toys to animal shelters for people taking home a new pet, and spreading blessings to unhoused people—all while in superhero costume. This will be the third time Yuri and his nonprofit have taken this journey.

AFutureSuperhero started a GoFundMe in July to cover the cost of gifts as well as travel expenses like hotels and rental cars. To help the nonprofit reach its $15,000 goal, the Upworthy Kindness Fund contributed $500 towards this good cause.

Think you qualify for the fund? Tell us how you’re bringing kindness to your community. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis from now through the end of 2021. For questions and more information, please check out our FAQ's and the Kindness Toolkit for resources on how to start your own kindness fundraiser.

Dan Fischer takes people's lost loved ones out surfing for "one last wave."

Dan Fischer understands grief. He also has some idea of how to cope with it—and how to help others through it as well.

Fischer has experienced tremendous loss in the past few years, losing both his father and his best friend. As a surfer, he's a believer in what he calls "the transformative power of the ocean." Originally from Montreal, Canada, Fischer has found healing riding the waves off Newport, Rhode Island, where he's lived for the past seven years.

Now he wants to share that healing power of the waves with others.

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The airplane graveyard that 3 families call home is the subject of a stunning photo series.

From the skies to the ground, these airplanes continue to serve a purpose.

This article originally appeared on 09.18.15


What happens to airplanes after they're no longer fit to roam the skies?


An abandoned 747 rests in a Bangkok lot. Photo by Taylor Weidman/Getty Images.

Decommissioned planes are often stripped and sold for parts, with the remains finding a new home in what is sometimes referred to as an "airplane boneyard" or "graveyard." Around the world, these graveyards exist; they're made up of large, empty lots and tons of scrap metal.

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