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How to Break Up with Someone You Love

How to Break Up with Someone You Love

You are researching the best way to do one of the most difficult things we face as humans – how to break up with someone you love.

As you’ve probably discovered already, love isn’t always enough to make a good relationship. In fact, it’s never enough. Many other things go into happy relationships.

Today, I want to walk you through the process of knowing if this is the right decision and navigating your new post-breakup world. I’m ready if you are!

break up with someone you love

What are the signs that it’s time to break up with someone you love?

One of the strongest signs that it’s time for a breakup is a persistent feeling of unhappiness. If you find yourself consistently unhappy, and no amount of communication or effort seems to change that, it could mean it’s time to move on. Relationships should inherently bring joy and fulfillment. If it’s the opposite, it may be time to reevaluate. 

Another indicator is when the relationship becomes overly draining. Emotionally, mentally, or even physically – if the relationship is consuming more energy than it’s worth, causing you stress or angst, these are signs worth looking into. A healthy relationship should equally provide support and rejuvenation, not constant exhaustion. 

Love is about growth and evolution, together. If your personal growth is being hindered or you’re evolving in different directions, it could form irreconcilable differences. Having different life paths is completely normal, but if you’re unable to find a satisfying middle ground, it can lead to discomfort and resentment, painting a picture that it might be time to break up. 

Lastly, pay close attention to your gut feelings. Intuition is powerful and it often knows the truth before you’re ready to accept it. If deep down you feel something is off, it may be worthwhile to explore those feelings further, either alone or with a professional counselor. 

Remember, making the decision to break up does not mean you’ve failed. It means you value your happiness, wellbeing and ultimately your future. Trying to hold onto a relationship that has expired its course could potentially become toxic. It’s much healthier to recognize when it’s time to let go and yield to new beginnings.

What are the steps to navigate a break up with someone you love?

The whole process of breaking up with someone you love can often feel like navigating through a tumultuous sea. It requires thought, tact, and care. To help you navigate this journey, follow these steps: 

1. Make Sure You’re Certain 

Before making a decision with the potential to affect both your life and his profoundly, you need to be sure. Love can sometimes blind us to the point where we may overlook major problems within the relationship. Reflect, journal, or even talk to a trusted friend or therapist about your feelings. Understand that this decision will push forward irreversible changes. 

2. Establish a Calm and Private Environment 

The setting plays a significant role in how the conversation pans out. Choose a quiet, private place, which will allow both of you to express your feelings without restraint. Avoid places that hold emotional significance – they might add an extra layer of difficulty to the process. 

3. Be Honest- Yet Kind 

When communicating, be honest about your feelings but do it in a kind and caring way. Let him know you still care about him, but need to prioritize your own happiness at this time. Avoid pointing fingers or assigning blame. 

4. Respect His Feelings 

His reaction may vary drastically. From shock and disbelief to sadness or anger. Emotions will run high, and that’s perfectly normal. Respect his feelings and give him space to express himself. It’s okay to comfort him, but be careful not to give false hope. 

5. Look Forward to the Future 

Even though it’s sad and difficult now, remember that time heals all wounds. Look forward to discovering yourself again and getting back to who you were before this relationship. Eventually, you will move on and find new love. 

Going through a break up with someone you love is heart-wrenching, but necessary at times. Look within, act with kindness, prepare for the aftermath, and keep trust in the future.

What are some tips for communicating effectively during a breakup?

Communicating effectively during a breakup allows both parties to express their feelings and thoughts honestly and openly, which in turn enables a degree of closure. Here are several tips to help you communicate effectively during this difficult time: 

1. Plan What You’re Going to Say 

It’s important not to rush into this conversation without any prior preparation. Consider practicing what you want to say in advance. This will help you deliver your message more smoothly and ensure you cover all critical points. 

2. Use ‘I’ Statements Rather Than ‘You’ Statements 

Using ‘I’ statements rather than ‘You’ statements can help you express how you’re feeling without blaming or accusing your partner. For instance, say “I feel like we’re moving in different directions,” rather than “You’re not committed to this relationship.” 

3. Stay Focused on the Conversation 

Ensure the conversation remains focused on the breakup and not on past fault-finding or blaming each other. It’s easy to let the conversation stray off-course, so remember the purpose of this discussion is to convey your intentions clearly. 

4. Listen to His Perspective 

It’s crucial to give your partner space to voice his thoughts and feelings. Even if you’re ending the relationship, it is important to let him express his side of the story. It might even give you a better understanding of the situation, and it shows respect towards his feelings.

5. Be Patient and Understanding 

Keep in mind that he might not react or process the situation in a way you expect. Be patient with his responses and show understanding to his feelings. It’s essential to uphold his dignity during this challenging time.

Remember, every breakup is different, and your approach should reflect your unique relationship dynamic. But effective communication through the process can smooth the path towards healing and moving on.

break up with someone you love

How to maintain self-respect while ending a relationship

Decisions involving the heart are never easy. Empowering yourself to face the pain and make the necessary tough calls is the epitome of self-respect. Nurturing your self-esteem during this emotionally-charged process requires some thoughtful action. 

1. Reflect on Your Reasoning 

Before you take any action, take some time to reflect on the reasons leading to your decision. Start by being honest with yourself. This may be a bitter pill to swallow, but acknowledging your own needs and regrets validates your decision, which in turn reinforces your self-respect. 

2. Avoid Blame Games 

Blame may provide a short-term relief, but rarely fosters a healthy breakup. Shifting blame on your partner or even yourself only creates resentment and disharmony. Keep the focus on differing life goals or compatibility issues rather than pinpointing faults. 

3. Show Empathy and Compassion 

Few things are more respectful than sincere empathy and compassion. Recognize the pain he must be feeling and honor it. Your gentleness could aid in the healing process for both of you, and sincerity can help ensure that the breakup doesn’t turn bitter. 

4. Keep Boundaries Defined 

Post-breakup, establishing clear boundaries is pivotal for mutual respect. Do not let your ex tamper with your peace of mind. This could mean limiting contact or even blocking his number, if necessary. Ensure your decision is stated clearly and respected. 

5. Seek Support 

The end of a relationship, even one that’s not functioning, often brings a wave of grief. Don’t isolate yourself; instead, surround yourself with a support group. This could be friends, family, or a professional counselor. Let them remind you of your worth when you feel low. 

Breakups are a part of life, albeit a difficult one. Remember to love and respect yourself through this journey. Your relationship status doesn’t define you – your actions and responses do. Practice self-care, seek support when necessary, and above all, know that it’s okay to prioritize your own happiness.

What are some strategies for coping with heartbreak?

The aftermath of a break-up can be a whirlwind of emotions. But remember, heartbreak is also a path for personal growth and self recovery. Start by giving yourself the time to heal. Everyone’s journey is different, and it takes time to work through these feelings. The following are some core strategies you can use to help cope with heartbreak:

1. Accept the Pain

Embrace the pain instead of pretending it doesn’t exist. Acceptance creates a foundation for healing. This pain is evidence of your ability to feel deeply, and it’s okay to grieve a break up with someone you love. 

2. Surround Yourself with Positive Influences

A strong support system is essential during this transition. Spend time with friends or loved ones who can offer a comforting presence and a listening ear. Positive influences can help lift your spirits and remind you that you’re not alone. 

3. Practice Self-Care

Take care of your emotional, physical, and mental health. This could mean taking a long walk, participating in a favorite hobby, reading a good book, or enjoying a calming bath. Simple self-care activities can contribute to an overall sense of well-being during this challenging time. 

4. Seek Therapy if Needed 

There’s no shame in seeking external help when coping becomes too challenging. Professional therapists can provide you with a means to navigate your feelings and provide you with effective coping strategies. 

5. Use Reflection as a Tool 

Reflect on what you’ve learned from the relationship and the breakup. This can help you gain closure and foster personal growth. While it may be hard, eventually this heartbreak will lead to a stronger version of you.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when breaking up with someone you love?

Breaking up is arduous and daunting, however, certain inadvertencies during this phase can spiral the situation out of control. Let’s dwell on five common mistakes to evade while ending a relationship with someone you love.

1. Utilizing Cliches  

Despite good intentions, resorting to clichés such as “It’s not you, it’s me” can leave your partner confused and frustrated. Such statements are often seen as insincere and vague, obscuring the real reasons behind the breakup. Be honest yet considerate while articulating your feelings and thoughts. Don’t obscure the truth, but express it gently. 

2. Bad Mouthing Your Ex 

Plunging into negativity after the break up fuels hurt feelings and may damage both your reputations. Keep the details of your relationship and breakup private. This preserves respect, prevents additional hurt, and aids in the healing process. 

3. Giving False Hopes 

Avoid giving misguided hopes of reconciliation during a breakup. If the separation is final, ensure your partner comprehends the situation to avoid prolonging the pain. 

4. Engaging in a Blame Game 

Pointing fingers and blaming your partner entirely for the break-up will merely intensify negativity. Accept your part in the relationship’s end. Not every breakup occurs due to one person’s fault; sometimes relationships simply don’t work out. 

5. Promptly Moving On 

Rushing to start a new relationship post breakup often signifies disrespect towards your ex-partner and might be seen as an attempt to provoke jealousy. Allow yourself to heal and reflect on what you learned from the past relationship before hopping into a one.

break up with someone you love

How to deal with the loneliness after a breakup

Post-breakup loneliness can be a tough hill to climb. The emptiness can feel overwhelming, reminiscent of a quiet room where the only voice you hear is your own echo. However, this isolation is not a permanent state, and can actually function as a period of self-reflection and growth. Let’s now dig into the practical steps you can take to deal with loneliness after a break up with someone you love. 

1. Allow Yourself to Grieve 

First and foremost, you must acknowledge your feelings. Stifling your emotions will only prolong the healing process. It’s normal to feel a whirlwind of emotions – sadness, anger, and confusion, among others – so let yourself grieve. Write your feelings down in a journal or express them through creative outlets such as art or music. 

2. Establish a Support Network 

Human connection is a potent remedy for loneliness. Reach out to friends, family, or even support groups where you can share your feelings and experiences. Spending time around the warmth of others can provide the comfort and perspective needed to alleviate loneliness. 

3. Nurture your Personal Interests 

Embrace solitude as a chance to explore your interests and hobbies, the ones potentially cast aside during the relationship. Whether it’s reading that book you never got around to, picking up the guitar, or hiking on a nearby trail, use this time to focus on activities that excite you and reignite your passion. 

4. Practice Mindful Self-Compassion 

Be kind and patient with yourself. It’s easy to wallow in self-criticism; however, remind yourself that everyone experiences heartbreak and loneliness. Practice mindfulness, the act of staying present and releasing judgment of your thoughts and feelings. This can be achieved through meditation, yoga, or other mindfulness practices. 

5. Seek Professional Help if Necessary 

You’ll find this to be a runninig theme in all of these tips on how to break up with someone you love, so I’ll mention it one last time here.

There is no stigma in seeking professional help to deal with the difficult things in your life, in fact, it shows great self-awareness and respect. If this situation feels like it’s too much to handle, don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

How to handle your ex-partner’s response during a breakup

1. Keep Your Emotions in Check 

It’s quite natural for a breakup to provoke emotional responses from both parties involved. Your ex-partner’s reaction to the news may range from sadness to anger, disbelief to disappointment. Despite the turbulence of emotions, maintaining an element of emotional control can be crucial. Try to control your reactions and stay calm, even if the other person is becoming emotional or angry. Responding to hostility with kindness and patience can help to diffuse the situation. 

2. Be Firm yet Considerate 

Once you’ve made your decision, stick to it. That’s not to say that you should be cold or harsh; rather, exercise discernment, care, and respect throughout the process. Be clear on why you’ve made the decision to end the relationship. If your ex-partner seeks answers, you should be prepared to talk about your feelings without transgressing the boundaries of respect and courtesy. 

3. Don’t Feed into Arguments 

While it’s important to address concerns and answer reasonable questions, be careful not to get drawn into heated arguments. Breaking up is an emotional process, which can stir up all sorts of emotions and trigger arguments. If situations get tense, remember the importance of keeping the discourse civil and respectful. It’s okay to step away and take a break if you feel an argument brewing. 

4. Allow Him to Express His feelings 

Allow him the opportunity to express his emotion and voice his thoughts. Naturally, his reaction might be bundled up with disappointment, sadness, or anger. But accepting his feelings and giving him the space to express can help him start his healing process. It’s crucial you remain understanding and supportive. 

What are the tips for setting boundaries after a break up with someone you love?

Ending a relationship with someone you love embodies a significant life transition. To aid in the healing process and protect your emotional wellbeing, establishing clear boundaries with your ex-partner is crucial. Here are some effective strategies: 

1. Define your Personal Space 

Give yourself plenty of space for introspection and personal growth. This means limiting interactions with your ex and setting clear emotional and physical space boundaries. While you might be used to his presence in your life, taking time apart can be a benefit to both of you, helping each individual transition into a new chapter. 

2. Assert Your Needs Clearly 

Communicate your requirements post-breakup and let your ex know what you’re comfortable with. Whether it’s limited contact, or no contact at all, express these boundaries concisely and assertively. Remember, safeguarding your mental health should be your topmost priority. 

3. Respect Mutual Friends 

It’s common to have overlapping social circles in long-term relationships. Respect your mutual friends and avoid forcing them to take sides or engage in unnecessary gossip. Urge them to understand and respect your chosen post-relationship boundaries as well. 

4. Limit Social Media Interactions 

In the modern age, social media often complicates the aftermath of a breakup. Consider limiting, or even eliminating, social media interactions with your ex. Unfollow, mute, or block their profiles if you feel necessary- your digital peace is paramount in the healing process. 

5. Prioritize Self-Care 

While setting boundaries, never forget to prioritize your own well-being. This period of post-breakup recovery should also involve self-care and self-love. Spend time nurturing your own needs and developing your identity outside of the relationship.

Having an effective self-care routine is crucial to your daily peace and happiness, but many people falsely believe that self-care is simply taking a hot bath with a glass of wine and some candles.

There are so many other ways to enjoy a self-care routing and this workbook walks you through them, providing you with many choices on how you can implement self-care into your daily, weekly, or monthly routine.

It costs less than that cup of coffee you picked up on your way to work! Who can argue with that?!

What are the tips for setting boundaries after you break up with someone you love?

Setting boundaries after a breakup can be a challenge. There may be lingering attachments and emotions, making it difficult to establish an effective boundary line. However, boundaries are essential in maintaining your mental and emotional health. To help, we’ve listed a few tips below:

1. Be Clear About Your Expectations

It’s crucial to be clear about what you will and won’t accept post-breakup. Communicate your boundaries effectively and assertively. This might seem challenging, but your well-being must be a priority.

2. Avoid Unnecessary Physical Contact

Avoiding physical contact can help keep boundaries defined. This might mean not hugging or staying in other intimate scenarios while you both come to terms with the breakup. It’s crucial not to confuse comfort with the rekindling of feelings and emotions.

3. Limit Communication

Limiting communication is often essential in establishing boundaries. While completely cutting off may not always be possible or desirable, reducing contact can give you the space to heal and build your independent identity.

4. Keep Your Distance

Though remaining friends may be idyllic, it’s advantageous to maintain a certain degree of distance. This might involve avoiding familiar shared spaces to minimize awkward encounters or not attending mutual social events until you both are fully healed.

5. Be Firm With Your Decisions

While it’s crucial to be considerate of your ex’s feelings, don’t waver from your decisions when it comes to your boundaries. Remember, you set these boundaries for your well-being and peace of mind.

Setting boundaries after a breakup is a journey that requires time and patience. So, be gentle with yourself as you navigate through this phase.

How to deal with guilt after a break up with someone you love

Dealing with guilt following a break-up can be one of the most challenging aspects of ending a relationship you once held dear. However, it’s crucial to remember that guilt, like other emotions, is a normal part of the human experience and is especially likely to surface during periods of significant change. It doesn’t make your decision to end the relationship wrong.

1. Acceptance is the first step

Acceptance is the first step towards dealing with guilt after breaking up with someone you love. It’s okay to feel guilty—it means you empathize and realize that your actions have implications on others. Accepting your guilt doesn’t mean you endorse it. Instead, it’s about acknowledging it as part of your emotional spectrum and understanding it’s a natural response to a significant emotional event.

2. Understand Your Reasons for Ending the Relationship

Ensure you’re clear on why the relationship had to end. You made this decision for a reason, and it’s important that you reaffirm those reasons to yourself. Remember, making the best decision for your wellbeing may sometimes mean hurting someone else and that doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s not about creating an exhaustive list of faults, but rather, about understanding the circumstances and realizing that staying wouldn’t have been healthy or fair for either of you.

3. Practice Self-Compassion

Forgive yourself and practice self-compassion. The fact that you feel guilty after the breakup shows your humanity, but it shouldn’t chain you in perpetual self-condemnation. Accept your flaws, grow from your mistakes, and recognize that you’re a human being capable of experiencing a range of complex emotions. The guilt you’re feeling may be painful, but it can also be a tool for growth and emotional maturity.

4. Allow Time to Heal

Time can be your strongest ally when it comes to dealing with guilt after a breakup. You’ll need time to process your emotions, come to terms with the end of a significant relationship, and begin to heal. There’s no rush, and it’s completely okay to take all the time you need. The pain won’t go away overnight, but rest assured, it will lessen as the days turn into weeks and months.

Wrapping Up: How to Break up with Someone You Love

Ending a relationship is difficult – no matter how much you care for him. You’re dealing with your own emotions and his potential hurt and disappointment. This process can be grueling, but by following the suggestions we’ve discussed, it can be respectful and compassionate.

Deciding to break up with someone you love shouldn’t be taken lightly so find a calm and private environment to have this conversation. Be honest and kind about your reasons for wanting to end the relationship, and respect his feelings throughout the process. Focus on the future, and understand this is a step towards personal growth and happiness for you both.

Communication is crucial during a breakup and preparing what you’re going to say can save you from stumbling over your words or saying something you’d regret. Using ‘I’ statements rather than blaming makes it a healthier conversation. It’s equally important to listen to his perspective and be patient and understanding.

Breakups often bring loneliness, guilt, and heartbreak so allow yourself to grieve and feel these emotions. Surrounding yourself with positive influences, practicing self-care, or seeking therapy can help your healing process. Refrain from engaging in behaviors like bad mouthing your ex or giving him false hopes to maintain a friendly atmosphere post-breakup.

Come to terms with your guilt through acceptance. Understand your reasons for ending the relationship and practice self-compassion. Allow and give yourself, time to heal.

Setting boundaries after the breakup gives you time and space to deal with your emotions. Defining your personal space, limiting communication, and keeping your distance all contribute towards a healthier recovery.

Breaking up with someone you love is a highly personal and individual choice. There are ways to navigate it so it’s more respectful and compassionate. Remember to take care of yourself during and after the process. 

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How to Start the New Year Right

How to Start the New Year Right

Everyone wants to start the New Year right and many do that with resolutions, but statistics tell us that 91% of New Year’s resolutions fail within forty-eight hours of the New Year.

WOW! That’s huge and it might feel a little discouraging, but that’s why you have me! I’m here to give you a few great tips on how to start the New Year right!

So why do 91% of resolutions fail within forty-eight hours? Let’s dig in!

start the new year right

Obstacles People Come Up Against in the New Year

One common obstacle that people often face when starting the New Year is setting unrealistic goals or resolutions. While it’s great to aim high, setting goals that are too ambitious can lead to disappointment and a sense of failure if they are not met. This can quickly derail other efforts to make positive changes.

Another common barrier is the lack of a clear plan or strategy. Many people start the New Year with a vague idea of wanting to improve certain aspects of their lives, but without a clear plan of action, it’s easy to lose focus and motivation. This lack of direction can make it difficult to achieve desired outcomes.

Procrastination is another significant obstacle that many people encounter. The start of a new year often brings a sense of renewed energy and motivation, but this can quickly fade as the reality of daily life sets in. Procrastination can lead to missed opportunities and a lack of progress towards goals.

Many people also struggle with maintaining consistency. Whether it’s sticking to a new diet, exercise routine, or other lifestyle changes, maintaining these new habits consistently can be challenging. It’s easy to revert back to old habits, especially when faced with stress or unexpected changes.

Finally, a lack of self-confidence or belief in your ability to make changes can be a major obstacle. This can stem from past failures or a fear of failure. Without a strong belief in your ability to make positive changes, it can be difficult to stay motivated and committed to new goals.

Setting Powerful Goals: Your Foundation for the New Year

It’s the dawn of a fresh year! A fantastic opportunity to re-evaluate last year’s happenings, decide on what lessons were valuable, and outline resolutions to enhance your prospects over the next 365 days. Setting achievable, powerful goals for the coming year doesn’t just happen though—it requires thoughtful reflection, purposeful planning, and accountability mechanisms in place. Let’s dive into it. 

First and foremost, reflection is critical. Ask yourself what worked and what didn’t for you in the past months? This introspection helps stimulate a clear idea of where you stand, the space for growth, and the direction you should take to make this year a fulfilling one. Be honest—Growth lies in authenticity. 

  • Analyze last year’s goals: Go back to the goals you set last year. Did you achieve them? If not, identify why, and use that intel to inform your future goals.
  • Consider success: Think about the instances where you felt triumphant and true. What sparked these feelings and how can it be integrated into future objectives?
  • Assess your values and vision: People change, and so do their values and vision. It’s important to ensure your goals align with your evolving personal ethos.

Thoughtful reflection leads us to the next step—planning. Once you have a clear sense of what matters to you, carve out landmarks that will guide your journey this year. 

  1. Measurable outcomes: Break down your aspirations into quantifiable targets. Instead of setting a vague goal like “getting healthier”, you might decide to “Run 3 times a week for 30 minutes.”
  2. Prioritizing goals: Rank your goals in relation to their importance and urgency. This can help prevent burnout and keep the focus on what genuinely matters to each individual tree rather than the whole forest.
  3. Consistent commitment: Consistency in the pursuit of goals works wonders. Set daily, weekly, or monthly tasks that lead to your ultimate goal.

Now that you’ve reflected and planned, don’t forget about accountability. Having someone or something that holds you responsible for your goals significantly enhances the chance of you sticking to them. 

  • Find a mentor or coach: A mentor can offer guidance, encouragement, and constructive feedback throughout your journey.
  • Engage a support group: Having a group of individuals with similar aspirations can be a source of motivation and mutual learning. Their victories will inspire you, and possibly, your story might inspire them!
  • Journaling: Build a habit of jotting down your daily accomplishments. Over time, these entries will serve as your visual scorecard, reminding you of your capabilities and progress.

Remember, a New Year is a fresh canvas, and you’re the artist. Paint your dreams onto this canvas and extend their reach far beyond the boundary of just “resolutions”.

Setting powerful goals is essential, but most importantly, remember to take care of yourself throughout the process. Be patient, acknowledge your achievements however small they may seem, and celebrate your efforts. After all, the journey to a thousand miles begins with a single step!

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This workbook will walk you through setting goals that are meaningful to you and will help you improve your life in ways you never imagined!

Stop sitting by, watching others achieve their goals. In fact, forget about them! This is about you and your new-found ability to have the life you want. 

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Start the New Year Right with a Self-Care Routine

Starting the New Year right takes more than just setting goals and working towards them; it involves a holistic approach that includes practicing self-care. What exactly does self-care mean to you? Let’s explore this together. 

Self-care is about taking time to focus on your well-being and nurturing yourself, both physically and mentally. It’s about establishing routines and habits that promote health, happiness, and restorative balance in your life. And guess what? There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Self-care looks different for everyone, and what’s most important is finding practices that resonate with you. 

Now, why is this important as you start your New Year? Well, maintaining a dedicated self-care routine can have a significant impact on your ability to achieve your goals. 

See, goal achievement is often seen as a marathon, not a sprint. Imagine trying to run this marathon while you’re exhausted, burnt out, or feeling unwell. It’s practically impossible, right? That’s where self-care shines – it’s your vital fueling station for this long race called life. 

So, how do you go about implementing a successful self-care routine for the New Year? Here are a few tips: 

  1. Set aside time for relaxation and reflection each day: This could be anything from meditation to journaling or simply reading a book. The key is to have some ‘me’ time where you can unwind and focus on your inner self.
  2. Prioritize physical health: Regular exercise and healthy eating habits should be a non-negotiable part of your day. Even a 20-minute walk can do wonders for your mood and energy levels.
  3. Surround yourself with positivity: Whether that’s with positive people, inspiration-filled environments or uplifting music, positivity can significantly influence your mental well-being.
  4. Keep learning and growing: Constant growth and learning can give you a sense of achievement, sprinkling joy and satisfaction in your life.

Remember, the goal isn’t perfection here; small consistent changes often lead to massive outcomes. So start small, make gradual changes, and most importantly, be consistent with your self-care routine.

Ultimately, weaving self-care into the fabric of your life will not only aid in the successful attainment of your New Year resolutions but also ensure you’re in the best condition to face whatever challenges the New Year may bring. So, as you strive to start this New Year right, don’t forget to take care of the most crucial player in this game – You!

Having an effective self-care routine is crucial to your daily peace and happiness, but many people falsely believe that self-care is simply taking a hot bath with a glass of wine and some candles.

There are so many other ways to enjoy a self-care routing and this workbook walks you through them, providing you with many choices on how you can implement self-care into your daily, weekly, or monthly routine.

It costs less than that cup of coffee you picked up on your way to work! Who can argue with that?!

Positive Mindset: Your Secret Weapon to Conquer New Year Challenges

Now that you know how to set goals and you understand the importance of self-care, it’s time to get the right mindset behind your effort!

Building a positive mindset isn’t instant—it’s a gradual and consistent process. The most vital part is to maintain this mindset throughout the year, not just the first few days or weeks. So, how can you build such a resilient mindset? Well, let’s dive into that. 

Tips to Cultivate a Resilient Mindset and Start the New Year Right 

The first step is awareness. You must recognize that your thoughts heavily influence your actions. If you continually believe you cannot achieve something, this becomes your reality. So, be aware of what you tell yourself. The idea is to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. 

The next step involves the consistent practice of positive thinking. Positive affirmations are a brilliant tool. When you start your day with positive affirmations like “I can accomplish anything I set my mind to” or “I’m continually bettering myself,” you’re feeding your mind optimism, resulting in an incredible shift in your perspective and actions. 

“Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.”

Mindfulness is also an effective strategy for cultivating a positive mindset. It involves staying connected with the present moment, thereby reducing anxieties about the future or resentments about the past. There are various ways to practice mindfulness, including meditation, yoga, or simply taking a moment to appreciate the beauty of life around you. 

Lastly, remember that a positive mindset doesn’t mean ignoring the challenges that come your way. Rather, it means facing these challenges with optimism, confidence, and the firm belief that you are more than capable of overcoming them. 

As you step into the New Year, bear in mind these simple yet powerful tips to help you nurture a resilient mindset—it will be your driving force in achieving your goals and navigating any obstacles in your path.

Embrace a Morning Routine: The First Step to a Successful Day

Imagine starting your day in harmony, feeling relaxed, and filled with positivity. Yes, this can be your reality if you embrace a consistent morning routine. Now, you may be thinking, “I’m just not a morning person”. But, the truth is, you don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn to maintain a beneficial morning routine. You just need to create a sequence of activities that resonates with you, boosts your mood, and prepares you for a successful day. 

The magic of a morning routine 

A structured morning routine can be a game changer for your productivity and well-being. It sets the tone for the day, reduces stress levels by eliminating rushing and decision-making stress, fuels your focus on your goals, and promotes a better work-life balance. No wonder many successful people swear by their morning routine! 

  • Establish consistency: Wake up and start your routine at the same time every day. This consistency helps regulate your body’s internal clock and can improve sleep quality.
  • Personalize your routine: There’s no ‘one size fits all’ routine. Tailor your routine to suit your needs and preferences. Whether that’s meditation, a vigorous workout, visualizing your goals, or a combination of all, the choice is yours.
  • Focus on positivity: Include affirmations or gratitude reflections in your routine to cultivate a positive mindset. Remember, a better day starts with a cheerful you.

Creating a morning routine that works doesn’t happen overnight. It requires patience, commitment, and constant re-evaluation. But the payoff is an enhanced sense of control, increased productivity, and better health – making it one of the best ways to start the New Year right. 

Sample morning routine 

To help you get started, here’s a sample morning routine you might consider: 

Time Activity
6:30 am Wake up and hydrate
6:40 am 10-minute meditation
7:00 am Light workout (Yoga, Stretching or Jogging)
7:30 am Healthy breakfast and day planning

Remember, this is just a suggestion, and it’s crucial to adapt the routine to your unique needs, preferences, and lifestyle. The objective is to design a morning routine that you look forward to, not one that feels like a chore. 

“The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.” – Mike Murdock

So there it is; start your New Year off with a powerful morning routine and set the stage for a productive, fulfilling, and successful year. It all starts with a commitment to making a change. Are you ready?

start the new year right

Start the New Year Right by Adopting Healthy Habits

Adopting healthy habits often seems like daunting task, but with the right direction and some perseverance, you can cultivate these habits and lay a strong foundation for your New Year. Each habit you adopt gradually refines your lifestyle, creating a positive cycle that fuels your success throughout the year. So, how should you start? Here is a guide: 

  1. Set achievable habits: Instead of focusing on grand and often unreachable goals, aim for smaller, more achievable habits. For instance, if improving your health is a goal, start by adding more vegetables to your diet or taking a 15-minute walk every day.

  2. Consistency is key: Maintaining consistency is more valuable than the occasional intensive effort. Set a schedule for your new habits and stick to it. Progress might be slow, but it is sure.

  3. Adapt and adjust: Don’t be discouraged if a habit doesn’t stick right away, or if it becomes overwhelming. It’s okay to adapt and adjust based on your experience. Remember, flexibility can be your ally.

Moving on, let’s look at some key areas where adopting healthy habits can make a significant impact on your life. 

Area Healthy Habit Examples
Physical Health Regular exercise, balanced diet, adequate sleep
Mental Health Meditation, yoga, engaging in hobbies
Relationships Open communication, regular check-ins with loved ones, expressing gratitude
Financial Health Monthly budgeting, regular savings, investing wisely

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

It’s absolutely normal if progress seems slow. The key is to start small and stay consistent. And while it is important to be disciplined, don’t forget to be kind to yourself in the process. Every step you take towards adopting just one healthy habit is a victory worth celebrating. 

Adopting healthy habits is an ongoing journey, rather than a destination. It is all about learning and growing. As the stunning sunrise heralds a brand new year, it also brings with it the promise of countless opportunities for healthy changes. Harness those opportunities and make this New Year a productive odyssey filled with achievements and happiness.

Master the Art of Time Management: A Crucial Step for Success

Time, as it’s often said, waits for no one. It is an equal-opportunity resource; each of us, no matter who we are or what we do, gets the same 24 hours in a day. 

When the new year begins, we are handed a brand new set of 365 days. How we use each of these days can directly impact the success of our goals for the year. That’s where mastering time management comes into play. 

Time management isn’t about squeezing as many tasks into your day as possible. It’s about simplifying how you work, doing things faster, and relieving stress. It enables you to take control of your life rather than following the flow of others. As you achieve more each day, make more sound decisions, and feel more in control, people notice. 

“Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life depends.” – Brian Tracy

Let’s consider some effective ways to master the art of time management: 

  1. Start Your Day with a To-Do List: The simple act of writing down your tasks for the day helps you focus.
  2. Prioritize Your Tasks: Not every task holds the same level of significance. Prioritize your tasks based on their relevance and deadline.
  3. Set Realistic Goals and Deadlines: Setting realistic goals within your timeline allows for more accurate planning and less stress—does this sound familiar?
  4. Quit Multitasking: Doing many tasks simultaneously often results in decreased productivity. Focus on one task at a time to improve accuracy and efficiency.
  5. Take Regular Breaks: Taking regular breaks between tasks can help increase productivity and creative thinking.

Everyone has the same amount of time in a day, but some people can accomplish many times more than others. This achievement is not due to superhuman abilities, but a question of how they manage their time. 

So, as the new year approaches, pledge to master the art of time management. It’s a powerful step forward in starting the year off right and set you on a path of success.

It’s Not Enough to START the New Year Right, You Must Also Stay Motivated

Indeed, I understand that keeping the New Year’s momentum going can sometimes be a challenge. You start the year off with high energy, vibrant goals, and a clear vision of what you want to achieve. However, as weeks and months pass, your focus might start to dwindle, and the motivation begins to wane. So here are a few tactics that can turn things around for you. 

First, maintaining motivation is all about striking a balance and seizing the precious moments of personal time you have. There’s nothing like celebrating small wins; it can electrify your spirit, boost your confidence and provide the motivation to aim for the next target. 

  • Quick Walks: Taking short walks can uplift your mood. The fresh air can help clear your mind, providing a new perspective on your goals.
  • Active Breaks: Incorporating short workouts or quick stretches into your break schedule can keep you energized and focussed throughout the day. Plus, exercise is known to boost serotonin, the feel-good hormone that keeps you happy and motivated.
  • Self-Congratulation: Treat yourself to something nice when you achieve a smaller target on the way to your big goal. This not only gives you something to look forward to but can also serve as a reminder of your progress.

If you think of your life as a symphony, this next strategy could be the perfect melody line. Ever thought of embracing the power of Collaborative Goals? We often forget the electrifying power of collective energy towards achieving a common goal. Be it a workout buddy, a study group, or a business partner; shared goals can motivate you to keep pushing even when your energy levels are low. It creates a space of accountability and encouragement, lightening the challenges along the way. 

Another invaluable technique in your motivation arsenal is the Art of Visualization. When you visualize your goals and the process of achieving them, your subconscious begins to work towards this reality, making it easier to remain motivated. 

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” – Albert Einstein

Lastly, don’t forget to be patient. Keep your eye on the long-term goal, and remember that progress, no matter how small, is still progress. Stay motivated, stay on track, and welcome the New Year with a resilient spirit and heart full of hope. Encourage yourself to pursue your dreams, and remember, nothing worthwhile was ever achieved without effort and persistence.

start the new year right

Tracking Your Progress: Making Your New Year Goals Tangible

Every goal, no matter how colossal or minuscule, becomes manageable when you break it down into measurable steps. Recognizing and tracking your progress is an essential strategy that helps turn your New Year’s resolutions from mere wishes to tangible realities. But where should you start in tracking your progress? How do you decide what to measure and what not to? 

Start by Identifying Trackable Elements 

First off, think about what success looks like for your goal. Then, consider which elements of that success you can measure. If your New Year’s resolution is to improve your fitness, measurable elements could be minutes spent exercising, calories burned, or improvements in weight, body fat percentage, or overall general wellness. 

Choose a Tracking Method That Makes Sense For You 

Once you’ve identified what to track, decide on a system for tracking and recording your progress. This could be as low-tech as a paper journal, or as high-tech as a dedicated app or tool. The critical point is that your method fits into your daily life naturally, increasing the chances that you’ll stick with it throughout the year. 

Making Improvements Along The Way 

It’s also important to note that tracking isn’t just about recording- it’s about evaluating and adapting. Every so often, take some time to reflect on your progress, see what’s working and what’s not, and make adjustments accordingly. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint—be patient and kind to yourself along the way. 

Last but not least, don’t forget to celebrate your wins—both big and small. Rewarding yourself for the progress you’ve made along the way can keep your motivation high and your eye on the prize! 

In conclusion, tracking your progress can be a powerful tool in making your New Year’s resolutions stick. So start early, stay consistent, and watch your progress soar!

Overcoming Obstacles: Strategies to Break through New Year Resolution Barriers

As we march into the New Year, it’s only natural that we’ll face challenges and encounters with obstacles. When these barriers arise, don’t allow them to knock you off course. Instead, use practical strategies to overcome, learning and growing as a result. 

Strategy 1. Create Flexible Plans 

While it’s wonderful to have a solid plan, it’s equally important to accept that life is unpredictable. Establish your goals with room for flexibility. If something doesn’t go as planned, don’t see it as a failure. Instead, adapt your plan and continue moving forward. 

Strategy 2. Reframe Your Thinking 

Many obstacles are merely a matter of perception. The way you frame problems can directly influence how you cope with them. Instead of seeing obstacles as a negative, view them as opportunities to learn, grow, and improve. 

Strategy 3. Develop a Support Network 

Who said you have to do everything alone? Develop a network of friends, family, or likeminded individuals who can offer encouragement, advice, and support. This kind of social reinforcement can be a powerful motivator and can provide necessary perspectives or solutions when obstacles emerge. 

Remember, it’s not about perfection; it’s about progress. Each day, each week, each month brings new opportunities to move closer to your goals. Stay positive, focused, and ready to overcome any barriers you may face.

Strategy 4. Practice Self-Care 

Your physical and mental health should always be a top priority. Taking care of yourself will give you the energy and clarity you need to face any challenges that come your way. This could involve daily physical exercise, healthy eating habits, mindfulness techniques, or simply ensuring you get enough rest. 

Strategy 5. Be Patient 

Real change and overcoming big obstacles doesn’t happen overnight. Give yourself the grace of patience. Understand that progress might be slower than anticipated, but keep going. Every small step forward is a victory worth celebrating. 

All these strategies work symbiotically to help you navigate and overcome obstacles. The New Year will certainly serve up challenges, but with these strategies in your toolkit, you have everything you need to conquer them and flourish.

Step into Success: Create the Environment to Start the New Year Right

Crafting a conducive environment is one of the key steps in steering your year towards success. A winning environment not only fosters your determination and endurance but also provides an optimal setting for developing and refining your skills towards accomplishing your New Year’s resolutions. 

To start with, evaluate your surroundings. Your environment plays an unmatched role in shaping your behaviours, habits and attitudes. Whether it’s your home, workplace or any other place where you spend a significant amount of your time, ensure that it supports your purpose. 

  • At home, create a peaceful and inspiring setting to start your day right. Designate a corner for meditation or daily planning. Install motivational posters or notes to keep your goals in sight.
  • At work, organize your workspace to enhance productivity. A clutter-free space promotes focus and efficiency, while personalized elements can boost your mood and creativity.

Next, identify the key influencers in your life. They could be family, friends, colleagues, or mentors. These are the people whose words and actions can either fuel or derail your new year’s journey. Aim to foster relations that are positive, supportive, and growth-oriented while minimizing interactions that are unproductive or negative. 

Supplement your environment with a good learning ecosystem. Engage with stimulating materials and sources that encourage personal and professional development. Enroll in courses, read insightful books, listen to podcasts or engage in networking events. This will not only keep you informed and abreast with the latest trends but also keep you motivated along your journey. 

Lastly, embrace the power of positive reinforcement. Celebrate every progress, no matter how small, because progress is progress. This will leverage your motivation and help you stay on track. 

Remember, creating a winning environment is iterative. It allows you to fine-tune your surroundings and relationships as per your evolving needs and goals. Step into this new year with a resolution to be in control of your environment and, thus, your success.

Visualize Your Victory: The Role of Positive Imagery in Achieving Goals

Visualizing your victory is a potent tool in your New Year goals blueprint. This mental technique involves repeatedly imagining the successful completion of your goal. By consistently visualizing the desired outcome, you can prepare your mind and even your body to achieve it. 

For instance, if your goal is to run a marathon, visualize yourself crossing the finish line triumphantly, amidst cheers and applause. You’ll likely find that these images embolden you in your endeavor and make your goal feel more achievable. 

Remember, visualization is not about hoping or wishing. It’s about mentally preparing for success. It’s a way of ‘pre-experiencing’ the victory, and this can have quite a profound impact on your motivation and determination.

Let’s take a deeper dive into some notable benefits of visualization, along with straightforward ways to incorporate it into your routine as you head into the New Year. 

Benefits of Visualization 

  • Motivation Boost: Regularly visualizing success can spark and sustain your motivation, making your goals seem more tangible and within reach.
  • Increased Confidence: Visualization allows you to see yourself successfully overcoming hurdles and challenges, boosting your self-confidence and self-belief.
  • Improved Focus: Visualization techniques can enhance your ability to focus on your goal, blocking out distractions that can derail your efforts.
  • Ability to Cope with Setbacks: With positive visualization, you can mentally rehearse overcoming obstacles, which can significantly improve your ability to cope with real-life setbacks.

How to Incorporate Visualization in your Routine 

To truly harness the power of visualization, incorporate it into your daily routine. Here’s how: 

  1. Set a Regular Time: Find a quiet moment in your day, perhaps first thing in the morning or right before bed. Dedicate this time to your visual imagery practice.
  2. Detail your Imagery: When visualizing, focus on the specifics. Hear the sounds, feel the emotions and visualize the actions you’re taking. The more detailed the imagery, the more powerful the impact.
  3. Use Positive Affirmations: Accompany your visualization with positive affirmations. Reiterate your capability and commitment to achieve your goals.
  4. Repeat the Visualization: Consistency is key. Just as physical practice enhances skills over time, so does your mental rehearsal. Make it a habitual part of your routine.

So, as we head into the New Year, remember that visualization is not just daydreaming. Think of it as your mental rehearsal for success. Embrace it, trust it and watch as you flourish with an energized motivation and a firm action plan.

Say Yes to No: The Power of Rejection as You Start the New Year Right

Starting the new year with gusto is commendable, but maintaining that fiery resolve all year long can be a daunting task. A critical yet often overlooked strategy for achieving your New Year’s resolutions is learning to say “no”. Consider this an exercise in setting boundaries and prioritizing your obligations wisely. Here’s how this potent, two-letter word can transform your journey in the upcoming year. 

Understanding the Power of “No” 

Each of us has only 24 hours in a day, and precious few of those are yours alone. Constantly saying “yes” to others can drain your time and energy, leaving you depleted and unable to pursue your own goals. By learning to say “no”, you can better manage your resources and dedicate them to what truly matters: your own personal growth and achievement. 

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” ― Warren Buffett

Thus, embracing the power of “no” allows you to focus your resources on the vital few things that can make the biggest impact on your life. It’s an exercise in setting priorities, focusing solely on what aligns with your New Year’s resolutions. Remember, “No.” is a complete sentence.

The Art of Saying “No” 

While the concept of saying “no” seems straightforward, it can be challenging to put into practice. Here are key tips to help you master the art of saying “no”, enabling you to safeguard your time, preserve your energy, and stay focused on your New Year’s resolutions: 

  1. Recognize your priorities: Knowing what’s most important to you is the first step to decision-making. Ensure your “yes” aligns with your key priorities, and feel empowered to say “no” to anything that doesn’t.
  2. Be assertive, yet respectful: Saying ‘no’ doesn’t mean you have to be rude. Be assertive yet respectful in your response.
  3. Eliminate guilt: Remember, saying “no” is about preserving your energy for what truly matters; release any guilt associated with prioritizing your needs.
  4. Take time to think: If you’re unsure, consider asking for time to think before responding. This way, you avoid hasty decisions that you may later regret.

By mastering the art of tactfully saying “no”, you empower yourself to remain focused on your goals, eventually paving the way for a successful New Year.

Leap of Faith: Overcoming Fear and Embracing Change

Starting a New Year comes with its share of excitement and anticipation – a fresh start with endless possibilities. However, inevitably, it also means facing a certain amount of fear and apprehension. This fear can stem from various sources: the uncertainty of the future, the pressure to achieve set resolutions, the worry of falling back into old habits, or even the fear of trying something completely new. The key to overcoming these fears is to consider them not as obstacles but stepping stones towards embracing change and creating new opportunities. And that involves a leap of faith. 

Embracing change is an integral part of any self-growth journey and is especially important when starting a new year. Each New Year presents you with a chance to reinvent yourself, to step out of your comfort zone and explore new horizons. Embracing change means being open to new experiences, adapting to different scenarios, and making the most of ensuing opportunities. 

Is it scary? Sure, it can be. But as Nelson Mandela once said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” This essentially sums up the significance of a ‘leap of faith’ in overcoming fear and embracing change. 

Here are three key strategies to help you take that brave leap forward: 

  1. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness involves staying completely grounded in the present moment, acknowledging your fears but not letting them control your actions. And there are various ways to cultivate mindfulness, such as meditation, deep breathing, or guided imagery.
  2. Build self-confidence: Reinforce your capabilities and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. This uplifts your spirit, boosts your self-confidence, and equips you with the courage to face fears and embrace change.
  3. Surround yourself with positivity: Positive influences in the form of friends, books, or motivational videos can work wonders for your mindset. They can rekindle your spirit, inspire you to push boundaries, and make that leap of faith a little bit easier to take.

Remember, each New Year brings a wealth of opportunities and possibilities. All you need to do is take a deep breath and leap forward with an open heart and an open mind. Use this New Year to face your fears, embrace change, and script a spectacular story of personal growth. 

Good luck, and here’s to a year of courage and positive change!

Living Large: Expanding Your Comfort Zone as You Start the New Year Right

As we bid farewell to one year and welcome the next, it’s the perfect time to step out of your comfort zone. That imaginary circle of safety you’ve built around yourself? It’s high time we expanded it. Living large is all about embracing the unfamiliar and the unexpected. It’s about daring to do things differently, to rise above the everyday, and to truly realize your potential. 

Why is it important, you may ask? Well, pushing your boundaries serves as a catalyst for personal growth. It stimulates creativity, resilience, and can lead to significant accomplishments. What a marvellous way to begin a fresh year, wouldn’t you agree? 

Let’s explore a few ways to expand your comfort zone and embrace the opportunities that the new year brings: 

  • Tackle Something New: Pick up a new hobby, learn a new language, or even switch up your fitness routine. Trying new things can be exhilarating and, quite often, an exciting route to self-improvement.
  • Face A Fear: Fear is natural, but don’t let it limit you. Whether it’s a fear of public speaking or adventure sports, gently challenge yourself to confront these fears piece by piece.
  • Learn From Others: Surround yourself with people who inspire you. Their unique perspectives and experiences can nudge you towards new adventures and insights.
  • Adopt A Growth Mindset: Instead of seeing challenges as obstacles, view them as stepping stones to development. Nourish a mentality that thrives on learning, not on perfection.

Remember, the aim is not to make yourself uncomfortable, but to broaden the spectrum of what feels possible. So, as the New Year dawns, let the spirit of courage guide you towards living large. Carry this feeling with you throughout the year, and watch as you surpass what you thought were your limits. 

Exciting, isn’t it? As author Neale Donald Walsch says,

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” So why not take the leap this New Year?

That’s a Wrap! Now You Know How to Start the New Year Right!

It’s time to put a ribbon on what you’ve learned. You now have the blueprint to kick start the New Year with success, gusto, and determination. From setting practical, meaningful goals, maintaining a positive mindset, to managing your time efficiently and tracking your progress, we’ve covered all the bases. But remember, knowledge is only the first step. Now it’s time for implementation! 

Let’s revisit a few key points: 

  1. Set a strong foundation: Your journey into the New Year should begin with setting well-defined, achievable goals. Remember, your goals should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
  2. Nurture Positivity: Bolstering a positive mindset allows you to face challenges head-on and keep your focus on the endgame, no matter how big the hurdles seem.
  3. Manage time wisely: Wield the power of time management to ensure you’re utilizing every precious minute of your day effectively.
  4. Monitor progress: Regularly keeping tabs on your progress will allow you to stay motivated, make necessary tweaks, and, most importantly, celebrate the little milestones along the way.

Above all, remember: your journey into the New Year is unique. No two paths are the same, and comparisons will only lead to unnecessary roadblocks. So, embrace your journey, your speed, and your accomplishments. Your New Year success story is yours to write and yours to tell. 

As you prepare to make this New Year your year, do not forget the unyielding power of a can-do attitude, visualize your success frequently and say ‘no’ when necessary. Above all, seize the day, take a leap of faith, step out of your comfort zone and embrace change. 

Put these strategies into action, and there will be no stopping you from starting the New Year off right and making progress towards your personal and professional aspirations. The turning of a new year always brings a fresh start; it’s what you do with that start that counts. Remember, every step forward, no matter how small, is a step closer to your goals. 

You are capable. You are powerful. You have everything you need to make this New Year your best one yet. Believe in yourself, stay committed, and watch as you transform your dreams into reality.

Now, go shine. Here’s to a successful journey into the New Year!

Unveiling the Secrets of Love: Essential Advice on Love for Women

Unveiling the Secrets of Love: Essential Advice on Love for Women

Understanding the psychological aspects of love can greatly enhance a woman’s ability to navigate her relationships. One of the first things to understand is that love is not just a feeling, but a complex interplay of emotions, behaviors, and beliefs. It involves attachment, intimacy, and care, and these elements are influenced by both our personal experiences and our biological makeup.

Love often begins with attraction, which is largely influenced by physical appearance and shared interests. However, it’s important to note that attraction is not solely based on these factors. Psychological aspects such as personality traits, values, and attitudes also play a crucial role. Understanding this can help women to look beyond the surface when seeking a partner.

Attachment is another key psychological aspect of love. This is the deep bond that develops between people who spend a lot of time together. It’s influenced by factors such as the level of comfort, safety, and security that a person feels in the relationship. Women should understand that a healthy attachment involves a balance of dependence and independence.

Intimacy is a crucial component of love that involves sharing personal thoughts, feelings, and experiences with a partner. It’s important for women to understand that intimacy is not just physical, but also emotional and intellectual. It requires trust, openness, and mutual respect. Building intimacy takes time and effort, and it’s essential for a meaningful relationship.

Lastly, love involves care, which is the willingness to prioritize another person’s needs and happiness above your own. It’s important for women to understand that care should be reciprocal in a healthy relationship. It’s not about self-sacrifice, but about mutual support and understanding.

advice on love

The Science of Attraction

When it comes to the game of love, not everything is left to chance. In fact, the attraction between two people is hardly a mystery. It’s science! Your brain, hormones, and senses all play a crucial role in determining who you find attractive. So, perhaps it’s time to delve a little into this fascinating subject. 

Our Brains: Oxytocin and dopamine, two brain chemicals, largely play a role in attraction. Oxytocin, often referred to as the ‘love hormone’, is released during touch and intimacy, fostering a sense of connection and trust. Dopamine, conversely, favors the ‘reward’ system in the brain, making us feel pleasure and satisfaction. So, if you find yourself magnetically drawn to someone, you might want to thank these little participants! 

Hormones: Other than those in our brains, hormones like estrogen and testosterone are key contributors as well. Interestingly, women are seen to prefer the scent of men with high testosterone levels, especially during the most fertile period of their menstrual cycle. On the other hand, men are attracted to women with higher levels of estrogen, which suggests femininity and fertility. It appears as if nature has its subtle ways of bringing people together! 

It’s all about chemistry, literally. The secret of attraction lies in the unique combination of chemicals in our bodies.

Senses: It’s not just about seeing or talking to someone that makes them attractive – quite often it’s also about their smell! Pheromones, chemicals that are secreted in our sweat and other body fluids, are believed to play a crucial role in attraction. They are subtly carried through the air, triggering specific responses among members of the same species. So next time you find someone’s scent strangely alluring, remember it might be their pheromones working! 

Last but not least, looking attractive often extends beyond sheer physicality. The way a person thinks, their perspectives, and their sense of humor can all significantly impact perceived attractiveness. So, while understanding the science of attraction is fascinating, remember that every person is unique, and it’s that uniqueness which will ultimately make them truly irresistible.

Advice on Love and Attachment

Let’s touch on a crucial aspect of love: attachment. Attachment refers to a deep emotional bond with someone else. It’s the feeling that keeps you coming back for more, the one that triggers your heart to beat faster when you see your loved one, and gives you the shivers when you hear their voice. 

While everyone experiences attachment differently, there are several universal stages that most people pass through. Allow me to walk you through them, and help you navigate this essential part of a blossoming relationship. 

The stages of attachment 

  1. Initial attraction: This is sparked by physical attraction, shared interests, or a magnetic personality. It’s during this stage that you’ll likely feel butterflies in your stomach and an intense interest in getting to know the other person more. It’s exciting, but remember, it’s only the first step of many.
  2. Building a connection: Here, you’ll start spending time together and exploring shared experiences. You’ll get to know each other on a deeper level, revealing your true selves, and potentially even revealing your vulnerabilities. It’s when infatuation gives birth to deeper emotions.
  3. Mutual recognition of attachment: This is when it ‘clicks.’ You both acknowledge your feelings and decide you want to be in a relationship. As joyful as it can be, it should also be a period of serious discussion—about exclusivity, future plans, and shared expectations.
  4. Lasting attachment: This is the long term, the ‘through thick and thin.’ It’s when you’ve developed a genuine understanding and acceptance of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. You’re not just in love with the idea of the person; you love who they genuinely are.

Note: It’s necessary to understand these phases are a guide, not a rule. Everyone’s journey is unique; you may sail through these stages quickly, linger in others, or skip one altogether. 

How to nurture your attachment 

Attachment doesn’t remain static; instead, it grows and strengthens with time and effort. Good communication, trust, respect, and space for individuality are a few key elements that can help you nurture healthier attachments. These characteristics lay the foundation for a meaningful relationship, helping your love grow stronger and deeper over time. 

Attachment is the long-lasting bond that keeps couples together. It’s the glue that can make your relationship survive the highs and lows, the laughter, and the tears, to appreciate the beautiful shared moments and to withstand the challenging ones. Love well, and on your terms.

After all, there are no ‘perfect relationships’ – only perfectly imperfect ones, beautiful in their unique ways. Remember, love is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. 

What Intimacy is and What it is Not

Understanding intimacy’s true nature can transform your love life dramatically. Many women confuse sexual attraction and physical closeness with intimacy, but it goes much deeper. Intimacy is about a strong emotional connection, vulnerability, and about being open and comfortable in each other’s emotional space. 

Let’s clear a few misconceptions about intimacy: 

  • Intimacy isn’t solely physical: While physical closeness can help foster it, true intimacy stems from emotional bond and mutual understanding.
  • Intimacy doesn’t require sacrifice: It’s not about losing your personal boundaries and self-respect. Each party can maintain their individuality while still being intimately connected.
  • Intimacy can’t be hurried: It naturally evolves over time as trust builds within the relationship.

With that understanding, let’s talk about ways to foster genuine intimacy. 

Strategies to Foster Intimacy 

Building an authentic, profound, intimate connection requires intentional effort. Here are a few strategies to help deepen your relationships: 

  1. Communicate Openly: Share your dreams, fears, hopes and insecurities. Open communication enables you to understand and empathize with your partner’s emotional world.
  2. Show Emotional Transparency: Express your feelings sincerely, however you’re feeling. Allow your partner to see the real you, fostering a sense of trust and closeness.
  3. Actively Listen: Practice active listening, which means focusing completely on your partner when they speak, showing interest, and offering supportive feedback.
  4. Establish Boundaries: Define your limits and respect your partner’s boundaries too. Intimacy is not about losing individuality but about harmonizing two different individuals.

Remember, love and relationships are rarely a smooth journey. They come with their fair share of challenges and turbulences. However, with authenticity, mutual respect, and patience, you can cultivate the intimacy that’s both rewarding and nourishing.

advice on love

Advice on Love and Prioritizing One Another’s Needs

Love is a unique journey, not a one-size-fits-all roadmap. It means different things to different people, and similarly, everyone has unique needs, expectations, and dreams. To forge a lasting relationship, you mustn’t only understand your own needs but also those of your partner. Prioritizing each other’s needs doesn’t mean neglecting yours. Instead, it’s about creating a mutual platform where you both can thrive. 

Prioritizing each other’s needs involves paying attention, active listening, empathy, and taking deliberate actions to address those needs. In this section, I’ll dive into how you can achieve this successfully. 

Understanding Your Partner’s Needs 

Every individual is unique and so are their needs. Your partner’s needs could range from emotional support, validation, affection, space, excitement, or even shared activities. Encourage open and honest communication, giving your love the freedom to express what they really want and need from the relationship. The aim isn’t just to understand, but to respect these needs as indicative of their individuality and uniqueness. 

Empathy and Active Listening 

To prioritize your partner’s needs, you must develop empathy. This means recognizing and sharing the feelings and concerns of your partner, making sure they feel understood and valued. Active listening helps you develop empathy; it’s the art of truly hearing what your partner says and understanding their perspective. Strong communication skills will ultimately affect how well you can meet each other’s needs. 

Meeting the Needs 

Now you’ve understood the needs, it’s time to meet them. If your partner needs more quality time, reshape your routine to incorporate more shared experiences. If they need validation, be more vocal about their strengths and achievements. Simple actions, done continuously, can take even the most routine days and transform them into special memories. 

Caring for Your Own Needs 

While it’s important to prioritize your partner’s needs, you should never ignore your own. Maintain a balanced approach. Express your needs clearly and resolve problems collectively. Striking a healthy balance will maintain the validity and vitality of the relationship. 

Remember, prioritizing each other’s needs is never about sacrificing your own happiness or well-being. Instead, it’s about fostering a space where both of you can be yourselves and still feel loved, cherished, and understood.

Understanding What You Truly Want

Understanding what you truly want in a relationship is vital to finding and maintaining love. However, it can often appear challenging, especially due to societal pressures and expectations. Yet, don’t lose hope. Here are some tips and guidance to help you explore what you truly seek in love. 

Firstly, it’s necessary to identify your core values. These are the principles that guide your life and should, ideally, align with your partner’s. Do you value honesty above all? Or is it freedom, dedication, compassion? It’s essential to establish this as it can greatly influence your relationship satisfaction. 

Recognize your deal breakers. These are traits or habits that you can’t tolerate in a partner. It could be something like constant negativity, lack of ambition, or dishonesty. Don’t let the fear of ending up alone make you overlook these. A relationship that brings you more pain than joy is not worth it. 

Communication and mutual respect. It’s important to remember that love is not just about passion but also about being able to share your thoughts, ideas, fears, and hopes with your partner. Furthermore, respect is indispensable for any healthy relationship – insist on it for yourself but also ensure you offer it to your partner. 

Creating a mental image of your ideal relationship can be quite helpful too. Think about how you would like to interact with your partner, how you handle conflicts, the amount of independence you both have, etc. Once you’ve got it, ask yourself if this aligns with the reality of your current or prospective relationship. If it doesn’t, it’s perhaps time to reconsider. 

The Role of Self-Love 

When speaking of love, it’s necessary not to overlook the value of self-love. Remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup. Taking care of your mental and emotional well-being not only increases your chances of finding love but also enriches your ability to maintain it. Plus, it sets a standard for how you allow others to treat you. 

Remember, love starts within you. You have to love yourself first before you can truly give and receive love from others.

Once you understand what it is you’re truly seeking, finding the right love becomes less daunting. Remember, it’s not about finding someone who fulfills all your expectations but someone with whom you can grow, someone who can become your best friend, and someone who, by adding to your life, makes it more vibrant and joyful. Thus, knowing what you truly want is the beginning of your beautiful love journey.

Advice on Love: Defining Your Relationship Goals

Before you venture into the world of love and relationships, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of what you want out of a partnership. Defining your relationship goals not only helps direct your actions in love, but also shapes your expectations, enhancing your chances of achieving a fulfilled romantic life. Let’s delve into this. 

Firstly, ask yourself what you seek in a relationship and be brutally honest. Is it companionship, physical intimacy, friendship, or a combination of these? Every individual’s desires are unique, and what works for a close friend or a family member might not work for you. 

  • Companionship: This means wanting a partner to share life’s ups and downs.
  • Physical intimacy: Some people prioritize a strong physical connection with their partner.
  • Friendship: You might be looking for someone who can be your best friend as well as a romantic partner.

Understanding your needs and wants is only half the battle. You need to be able to communicate these desires to your potential or existing partner(s) to make sure you’re both on the same page. Otherwise, misunderstandings and unfulfilled expectations can lead to bitterness and disappointment. 

Personal growth and understanding only truly comes when we invest the time and effort to explore our desires and communicate them openly.

Another integral aspect of defining relationship goals involves considerations for the future. Do you envision marriage, children, or a life of travel and adventure? Or perhaps, you would prefer to keep things more flexible, and simply see where the relationship journey takes you.

Dating Etiquettes: Modern Rules for the Modern Woman

Being a modern woman in the dating world can feel like navigating through an exciting, yet complex labyrinth. With the evolving dynamics of relationships and the influence of digital platforms, how can you maintain your grace, confidence and authenticity in the dating scene? Let’s explore a few ground rules you can integrate into your dating life

Self-Assertiveness: 

In the world of dating, it’s essential you voice your feelings and stand up for what you believe in. It’s not about being aggressive. It’s about valuing your beliefs, expressing your needs clearly and asserting boundaries. Strong, independent women are not afraid to say what they feel or want. Remember, being you is enough. 

“A strong woman is one who feels deeply and loves fiercely. Her tears flow as abundantly as her laughter. A strong woman is both soft and powerful, she is both practical and spiritual. A strong woman in her essence is a gift to the world.” – Native American saying

Honest Communication: 

Transparency and honesty form the bedrock of any impactful conversations, more so when you’re getting to know someone. Express your thoughts, ideas, desires, and aspirations honestly. Remember to be receptive to your date’s perspective as well. Honest communication builds respect and trust, the two pillars of any successful relationship. 

Embrace Your Individuality 

Your uniqueness is your strength in the dating realm. Embrace who you are, with all your quirks, passions, and idiosyncrasies. Take pride in your independence, your hard-won achievements, and your life experiences. Cherish your interests and hobbies because they make you the person you are. Be true to yourself, because authenticity is truly magnetic. 

The Art of Listening: 

True listening goes beyond hearing. It involves understanding, empathizing, and truly grasping what another person is saying. When your date speaks, try to engage fully in their narrative. Active listening involves responding appropriately and providing feedback when needed. Not only does listening emphasize your interest, but it also promotes respect and understanding in relationships. 

Remember, Dating is a Journey 

Our modern world might convince you that you must quickly meet someone and fall in love. However, the essence of dating is about exploration, learning about new people, enjoying experiences, and having fun along this journey. More than finding the perfect partner immediately, it’s about personal growth and self-discovery. So sit back, enjoy the ride, and know that the right person will come at the right time. 

Dating Safety: 

Despite all the excitement that comes with dating, ensure that your safety is never compromised. Be careful about sharing personal details, especially on online platforms. Always choose public and safe locations for the initial dates. Remember, your comfort and security are paramount, don’t compromise them for anyone or anything.

advice on love

Advice on Love: Balancing Love and Independence

Love is a wonderful emotion, but it’s essential not to lose your individuality and independence in the process of falling in love or being in a relationship. Balancing love and independence can seem like a tightrope act, but with the right approach, you can maintain your freedom and still enjoy a beautiful, loving relationship. 

Remember, it’s absolutely okay to want ‘me’ time or pursue your own interests separate from your partner. It doesn’t mean you love them any less – it simply contributes to a healthier and more balanced relationship. 

Embrace Your Independence 

Independence isn’t about doing everything by yourself. Instead, it’s about knowing that you can handle things alone, even though you might not need to. Value your alone time, cherish your freedom, and develop your interests and hobbies. These are not only therapeutic but also allow you to grow as an individual. 

Communicate with Your Partner 

No successful relationship happens without open, honest communication. It’s not just about sharing your feelings or expressing love. You also need to communicate your need for personal space and independence. Most partners will understand and respect this if you articulate it considerately and lovingly. 

Balance Couple Time and ‘Me’ Time 

Managing time is key to balancing love and independence. Spend quality time with your partner, but also set aside enough time for yourself. It might seem challenging at first but knowing when to prioritise what, comes with practice and understanding. 

Create Shared and Individual Goals 

While shared dreams and objectives foster unity, individual goals ensure personal growth. Co-creating life goals strengthens the relationship while individual targets help retain your personal identity. Yes, it’s not just okay but important, that apart from being a pair, you also have a personal life track.  

In the quest for love, never compromise on your individuality or independence. With effective communication, understanding, and a bit of effort, there is always a way to find balance in love and independence. 

Ditching the Fairy-Tale: Real Love Vs. Ideal Love

Dreamy Hollywood romance movies might lead you to believe love is about grand gestures and breathless declarations. However, real love, the enduring kind, is often a more subdued affair, characterized by kindness, understanding, and shared moments of peace. It’s not always easy to discern this distinction. Thus, understanding and appreciating real love versus ideal love is a critical perspective to maintain for a healthy, happy relationship. 

Real Love: 

Real love, the most profound and lasting form of love, is all about true intimacy and emotional connection. It doesn’t have to be a roller-coaster of ups and downs. It finds beauty in calm and constancy. It’s more about feeling at home with someone, enjoying a sense of security and mutual respect, and continually growing together. 

  • Cultivating patience: Real love is patient. It understands that every individual has their process of development and doesn’t force growth or change.
  • Accepting flaws: Loving someone genuinely means accepting their flaws. Remember, everybody is a work in progress.
  • Deep kindness: Real love operates from a foundation of deep kindness, respect, and care towards the other person, even during conflicts or misunderstandings.
  • Shared values and goals: This does not necessarily mean having the same interests or hobbies, but rather sharing core values and future aspirations.

Ideal Love: 

Idealized love, on the other hand, is where you fall for the idea of a person or what they can become. It’s often characterized by an obsession with the other person’s perfection and can lead to unrealistic expectations. As passionately intoxicating as this love may feel, it can easily lead to heartbreak when confronted with the reality of a flawed, human partner. 

“Ideal love often sets unrealistic standards and expectations. Instead of focusing on the real person standing before you, you fixate on a false image of perfection that no person could, or should, live up to.”

Here are some pointers to remember: 

  • Obsession with perfection: Ideal love often obsesses over the perfect sides of the person, ignoring their real, human flaws.
  • Expectation Vs. Acceptance: In idealized love, you may find yourself living in the realm of ‘should-be’ rather than ‘is,’ preferring expectations over acceptance.
  • Comparison and dissatisfaction: Ideal love can lead you to constant comparison and dissatisfaction when your partner fails to meet your lofty standards.
  • Romanticizing conflict: While real love understands conflict as something to be resolved, ideal love might romanticize it as a symbol of passion.

Communicating Real Vs. Ideal Love  

Understanding the difference between real love and ideal love is the first step. The next essential aspect is open and honest communication with your partner about these expectations and perspectives. Recognizing and discussing what you both want from the relationship can pave the way towards mutual understanding and growth. 

Above all, real love is about navigating the vulnerable moments, celebrating jointly, laughing together, supporting each other in trials, and attaining personal and mutual growth. It’s about finding joy in the ordinary, sharing a life filled with compassion, understanding, and, most importantly, affectionate love that sees, accepts, and honors the real you.

Advice on Love and Navigating the Dating Landscape: Online vs. Traditional

When it comes to finding love, there are generally two playing fields you can venture into: online and traditional. Each has its unique sets of experiences and chances, all packaged with both challenges and rewards. It’s essential to know how to navigate both landscapes to ensure a successful pursuit of love. 

Online dating has seen exponential growth in recent years, largely due to its convenience and accessibility. It offers a wide pool of potential matches right at your fingertips. You can communicate without the pressures of immediate responses and have the option to be selective, even before a meetup. Online dating can cater to all types of relationships, whether you’re looking for something short-term, long-term, or simply a lively conversation. 

Pros Cons
Wide array of potential matches Profile misrepresentation can occur
Flexibility in communication Less personable experience
Caters to all relationship types Requires careful filtering

On the other hand, traditional dating offers more intimate human interaction. It calls for the old-fashioned meet-cute, an unexpected conversation, or a blind date set up by friends. The joy in traditional dating often lies in its unpredictability and authenticity – every encounter is unique and personal. 

Pros Cons
More personal and spontaneous experiences Might involve more effort and time
Body language and chemistry are more visible Potential for awkward situations
Greater chance for authentic connections Limited options

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to dating, and you have the freedom to choose the approach that suits your personality and lifestyle. It might very well be that a mix of both what works perfectly for you! Remember, the most crucial part is to be yourself, remain patient, and positive in your pursuit of finding love.

Maintaining Passion and Intimacy Over Time

Keeping the flames of passion and intimacy alive in a relationship can be a beautiful journey, and yet quite challenging. It typically involves growth, shifts, and compromises. Thankfully, with the right strategies, you can maintain the excitement and emotional connection that marked the beginning of your relationship. 

First and foremost, frequent and open communication lies at the heart of enduring passion and intimacy. This doesn’t only pertain to talking about serious matters, but sharing snippets of your daily lives, your individual thoughts, hopes and fears. By being open, you give your partner the chance to understand and know you more deeply, thereby fostering intimacy. 

A fun, creative, and intimate way to share your feelings is through love letters. Dare to express your feelings in words. Despite being considered old-fashioned, love letters have a certain charm that can make your partner feel loved and special. They serve as tangible proof of your affection and feelings for your partner. 

Keeping the Spark Alive 

Another key factor in maintaining passion is to keep fun and spontaneity alive, which is often lost in the daily humdrum of routines. Build a sense of anticipation in your relationship by planning surprise dates and getaways, or introducing new activities you can enjoy together. 

Also, physical intimacy is important in keeping the passion alive. However, this doesn’t always mean sex. It can simply mean holding hands, cuddling in the sofa while watching a movie, giving love pecks or surprise hugs. These small gestures can significantly boost feelings of warmth, love, and intimacy towards your partner. 

Values and Shared Experiences 

More importantly, shared values and experiences can solidify your connection with your partner. Having a common understanding of what’s significant in life can lead to a deeper, more satisfying love. Engage in a hobby, volunteer for a cause, or even try a fitness goal together. This reinforces the feeling of mutual growth and alignment. 

Maintaining passion and intimacy demands continual effort and commitment from both partners. Remember that it’s not just about fanatical love but genuine affection, respect, and bond. Love isn’t just a feeling but also an act of ongoing and intentional growth. With the right efforts, your relationship can stand the test of time, becoming richer and more profound as the years roll by.

advice on love

Embracing Change and Growth in Love

Love, just like life, is a journey filled with constant growth and change. As you and your partner evolve and mature, your relationship also undergoes transformations. Many women often feel scared or overwhelmed by these changes, but remember, acceptance and adaptation are key to hitting those relationship milestones. 

So, what are these imminent changes you shall face, and how can you gracefully navigate through them? Let’s dive deeper into it. 

1. Change in Life Goals and Aspirations 

Step into the shoes of a mature individual and realize, everyone changes with time. Your goals and aspirations don’t remain the same over five or ten years. The same applies to your partner – their dreams might evolve too. The best way to handle this change is by open communication, understanding each other’s evolving desires, and finding common ground. 

2. Change in Preferences 

You enjoyed salsa during the early stages of your relationship, but now you find solace in watching Netflix with a cozy blanket. That’s completely fine. Tastes change and acknowledging that change is important. Be open about it and gently express it to your partner. The goal is to enjoy activities that bring joy to both of you. 

3. Change in Appearances 

Ah, the one everybody dreads, yet it’s inevitable! Aging is a natural process and it’s important to embrace it. Accept your changing appearance and also that of your partner’s. If there’s a lack of self-love, work on building a positive body-image and self-esteem. Remember, you’re beautiful in your own unique way. 

4. Change in Circumstances 

Life can sometimes get unpredictable throwing jobs, moves or kids your way. During these times, remember to stay a team. Support each other, be flexible, appreciate your partner’s contributions and constantly communicate. Challenges can be a bonding experience when tackled together. 

5. Growth – Personal and Relationship 

Growth is an integral part of love. Personal growth involves developing self-awareness, nurturing your desires, and refining your emotions. Relationship growth, on the other hand, is about strengthening your bond, offering mutual support, and cultivating empathy. True love means celebrating both individual and relationship growth. 

Love isn’t about being static. It’s about growing, evolving, and building something beautiful over time. Change is intimidating, yet liberating. Embrace it with open arms for the betterment of you and your relationship.

Advice on Love: Recognizing Red Flags in Relationships

Even though the journey of love can be rewarding, it’s important to realize that not every relationship will lead you towards happiness and fulfilment. In some situations, you may encounter what are often referred to as ‘red flags’ – early warning signs that something might be awry in your relationship. And while love can blur your vision, it’s critical for your well-being to stay aware and responsive to these signs. 

Red flags are behaviors or patterns that suggest potential problems or conflicts within your relationship. Like an actual flag warning you of danger ahead, these signs, when spotted early, can save you stress and heartache down the line. Let’s dive into some common examples. 

  • Neglect of your emotional needs: If your partner consistently disregards your feelings, it may well be a red flag. They should demonstrate care for your emotions, even during disagreements.
  • Excessive jealousy or controlling behavior: It’s perfectly natural to feel possessive about the one you love, but there’s a line between reasonable concern and all-consuming jealousy. If your partner is constantly inundating you with accusations, want to dictate who you can see or talk to, or expect to have a say in your personal choices, you might be dealing with a control issue.
  • Inconsistent communication: Communication can be thought of as the lifeblood of a relationship. If your partner doesn’t reply to your messages or calls in a reasonable time, or never seems available to have meaningful, depth-filled conversations, this might indicate a lack of interest or respect.

Remember, love is supposed to feel good. It’s meant to bring happiness and fulfillment, not constant stress or anxiety. If you’re continually feeling uncertain or insecure in your relationship, it’s worth giving those feelings careful consideration. Pay attention to what your intuition is telling you. 

If a relationship constantly brings you down or leaves you feeling exhausted, it might be a sign to rethink whether the relationship is right for you. Remember, being single is better than being in a toxic, draining relationship. You deserved to be loved, cherished and respected in your romantic relationships. 

Identifying and Handling Red Flags 

Acknowledging red flags can be challenging, especially when you’re emotionally invested in a relationship. It’s easy to explain away worrying behaviors, attributing them to stress or temporary circumstances. Regardless, it’s important to trust your instinct when something feels off. Here are ways to identify and navigate red flags: 

  1. Trust your intuition: That sinking feeling in your stomach? Don’t ignore it. It’s your intuition speaking to you. Even if everything appears perfect on the surface, your gut instinct often knows when something’s not right.
  2. Communicate: If something bothers you, bring it up. Have an open, honest conversation about your worries. Remember, it’s crucial to truly listen to their side of the story before jumping to conclusions.
  3. Evaluate: If the behavior continues, it’s time for an evaluation. Is this something you can tolerate in the long run? Or is it a deal breaker?

Remember: a healthy relationship is a partnership where both parties listen, respect and appreciate each other. Love is about being present, acknowledging flaws, and working towards building a happier, healthier future together.

Overcoming Fear of Rejection

Rejection is an inherent part of the human experience—it’s unavoidable, inevitable. We’ve all been there in one way or another, especially when it comes to love and relationships. Yet, even though we know it’s a universal human experience, rejection can still hurt. It’s normal to fear rejection, but when it stops you from pursuing love or holding on to it, it becomes a problem. Here’s some advice to help you overcome your fear of rejection in romantic relationships. 

Normalize rejection 

The first step in overcoming the fear of rejection is to normalize it. Understand that not everyone will be a good match for you and that’s okay. It’s no reflection on your worth or desirability. Just as you wouldn’t choose everyone you meet as a partner, not everyone will choose you. And that’s entirely normal. 

Acknowledge your fear 

It’s important to identify and acknowledge your fear rather than trying to push it away or ignore it. When you recognize your fear of rejection, you take a big step towards overcoming it. It’s okay to be afraid; what matters is not allowing that fear to control your actions. 

Grow from rejection 

Change your perception of rejection. Think of it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Every rejection provides valuable insights about ourselves and our desires. Use it to introspect, to identify what might have gone wrong, and to build a roadmap for future relationships. 

Practice Comfort Zone Challenges 

Try putting yourself in situations where you might face rejection. It could be as simple as asking a stranger for directions or as personal as expressing your feelings to someone. These “comfort zone challenges” can gradually desensitize you to the fear of rejection. 

Maintain Self- Esteem 

Never measure your self-worth by how someone else reacts to you. You are so much more than a “Yes” or “No”. Establish your self-esteem on your own terms. Deal with criticisms, but don’t internalize them. Remember, you are enough just as you are. 

Overcoming the fear of rejection involves self-love, patience, and practice. No one is immune to rejection and the best way to deal with it is by facing it head-on. Don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back. Learn to see rejection for what it often is: a redirection towards something better. And always remember, it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Lessons from Failed Relationships: Turn Heartbreaks into Strengths

Failed relationships often feel like an end, but they’re not. Think of them as an opportunity for growth and self-exploration. Each heartbreak offers valuable lessons that can strengthen your understanding of love and relationships. 

Understanding the Heartbreak 

The first step toward turning heartbreak into strength is understanding the heartbreak itself. When a relationship ends, it’s easy to dwell on negative feelings instead of seeking to understand why it didn’t work out. Was it due to a mismatch of life goals? Were there trust issues? Or perhaps, did the spark just die out? Reflecting on these questions can bring clarity and allow you to learn from your experiences. 

Reflect, Don’t Ruminate 

There’s a fine line between reflecting on a past relationship and stewing in regret. Reflecting means critically examining the events and actions, and extracting valuable lessons. It helps in recognizing patterns, identifying what went wrong, and what to avoid in the future. Ruminating, on the other hand, is obsessing over the past, with no intention or consequence of growth. It’s often self-destructive and restrains you from moving forward. Recognize this difference and practice healthy reflection. 

Becoming Resilient 

Failures can be difficult, but they also have the potential to make you resilient. Resilience is not about brushing off your emotions; it’s about confronting them, acknowledging your pain, and still finding the courage to move forward. Consider each ending as a pathway to better beginnings, to more fulfilling relationships ahead. 

The Role of Self-Compassion 

Self-compassion goes a long way in healing from failed relationships. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that it’s okay not to be okay sometimes. Give yourself the care and patience you would give a friend going through the same experience. Late-night ice cream, sappy movies, long walks, do whatever it takes to be gentle to yourself as you navigate through the pain. 

Transforming Pain into Growth 

Transformative learning occurs when deeply ingrained beliefs or assumptions change. Heartbreak has the power to foster such a transformative learning process. It forces you to challenge your assumptions, beliefs, and narratives about love. It’s an opportunity to rewrite your story, own your narrative, and transform pain into personal power. 

Failed relationships are not about losing love, but about finding love in a new light. They allow you to deeply understand our wants, needs, and priorities, fostering growth both as an individual and as a loving partner.

Wrapping Up Advice on Love

So there you have it – a comprehensive guide filled with advice on love for women. We’ve explored from the preliminary stages of understanding the science of attraction, to learning the art of balancing love and independence. Remember, every relationship is as unique as the people involved in it, and no one size fits all. With the advice provided, you’re equipped to navigate the intricate realm of love, with a sense of confidence and self-awareness. 

Key takeaways to keep in mind: Communication is a cornerstone in every successful relationship; Embrace Change and Growth as they are inevitable and also the evidence of a dynamic and healthy relationship; Recognizing Red Flags early can save you from unnecessary heartbreaks; 

And most importantly, Remember To Love Yourself First. Self-love is a crucial aspect not only for a healthy romantic relationship but also for a healthy personal life. It will be the cornerstone for your self-esteem, resilience, and overall emotional well-being. 

When everything feels too overwhelming, take a step back, and remember this line:

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”

We hope that these pieces of advice help you make the most of your relationships and lead you towards sustaining a love that’s fulfilling, empathetic, and respectful.  Make sure you revisit this advice whenever you find yourself in uncharted territories. Remember, be patient, be kind, and always choose love.

Signs That a Relationship is Over

Signs That a Relationship is Over

You know you’re unhappy and you sense that your partner might be unhappy, but what are the signs that a relationship is over? How can you know?

First, know that highs and lows in any relationship are normal. You aren’t always going to be head-over-heels in love with one another. He has traits that annoy the heck out of you and vice versa. When you’re having a bad day, those traits can be more annoying than usual.

This is how life works. None of us are perfect, so expecting perfection from your partner or your relationship is unreasonable.

Still, if a relationship is in an unrecoverable tailspin, there are indisputable signs to look for. Today, I’d like to share those with you.

signs that a relationship is over

Signs That a Relationship is Over | Emotional Distance

One big clue that things are looking bleak is when you feel a growing distance emotionally. You enjoy fewer moments of fun and spontaneity.

Josh and Kelly had been together for a couple of years when Josh started working through the night instead of during the day. He had his own home business, so he could choose his work hours. Kelly found herself waking up to Josh just going to bed. Not only did this mean they weren’t sleeping together, but their days were flipped. While she was awake, Josh was asleep and vice versa, leaving them little to no time to do things together. Soon, other things began happening, like Josh being condescending and finding reasons to avoid doing things with Kelly. She ended it and never looked back.

Clearly, Josh and Kelly had other issues, but then again, maybe not. Their problems could come from one or both of them having an anxious attachment style or having a significant lack of self-esteem and self-worth.

People create an emotional distance for many reasons. Sometimes, it’s because they don’t believe they deserve the love their partner is giving. Other times, they may begin to feel anxious as the relationship draws closer to a commitment. And there are dozens of other reasons why partners experience emotional distance.

While it’s not unrecoverable, a growing emotional distance is an indicator of a bigger problem, and a professional counselor may be your only option if you want to save the relationship.

You Fight. All. The. Time

Again, no relationship is perfect. You’re going to experience disagreements. Fighting becomes a problem when there are more moments when you’re fighting than there are moments of calm. You may fight about your fights, or you might not be fighting fair.

Fighting fair means you’re allowing both partners to speak and be heard. While he’s speaking, you’re listening. Period. You aren’t yelling back in his face to dispute what he says. That isn’t listening.

My mother always said that your ears don’t work if your mouth is open. Obviously, it’s an analogy, but a good one. You can’t listen clearly if you’re spending your time deciding what to say in response or talking over one another.

Fighting fair also means you don’t dig up old fights. If you’re arguing over him not mowing the lawn for your party tonight, don’t start fighting about the ten previous times he didn’t do something you asked him to do. A fight should be about one topic and only one.

In either case, the problems between you have grown very large. You aren’t really fighting about mowing the lawn. You’re fighting about another disappointment in a long line of disappointments. Your problem isn’t about the minor thing you’re arguing over, but something larger that you might not even be able to identify.

Again, with professional counseling, you may be able to get to the root of your arguments, but when fighting goes this far, it’s one of the signs that a relationship is over for sure.

Signs That a Relationship is Over | You Don’t Share Your Joy

You and your partner should be there for one another in the good and bad. When you get a promotion, he should be at the top of the list of people you want to tell. If he isn’t, why not?

Do you think he won’t care? Does it seem as if he’s more wrapped up in his own stuff than in what’s going on in your life? Of course you want to share this with someone you trust and who is close to you. Someone who will truly share in your elation.

If you don’t see him as that person, things have traveled down a wrong road somewhere. In some relationships, if things have really gone downhill, it might not even occur to you to share it with him, at all. You call your best friend and share it with her and others you’re close to but your partner is left in the dark.

You Find it Exhausting to be Around Him

You might not always want to be around your partner, but those moments shouldn’t be very frequent. If he’s going through something difficult, he may be difficult to be around. The amount of energy you must expend to accommodate his mood is exhausting, but you do it because you love him.

But what if those exhausting moments are too frequent? You feel as if he always needs something from you but when you need something in return, he’s absent.

Part of the problem in Josh and Kelly’s relationship is that Josh is needy. For a while, Kelly could deal with it, but the more emotionally distant he became, the less tolerant she was for his neediness. Then when his father came to visit after losing his wife, Kelly saw what her life looked like twenty years in the future. Josh’s dad was beyond needy.

Neediness is a sign of insecurity in the relationship, but it’s not your fault. It’s something within your partner that tells him he’s not worthy of you or he’s afraid you’ll leave him, so he uses his neediness to try and draw you back. Unless you’re someone who’s unbelievably patient, that level of neediness will likely push you in the opposite direction from what he’s hoping for.

Signs That a Relationship is Over | You Justify Staying for an Outside Reason

I wish I knew how many people I’ve talked to who say they’re staying together for the kids. This is the worst thing you can do for your kids. Most of the emotional trauma children experience in a divorce situation comes before the parents separate.

Kids see dishes flying across the room, fists aimed at one of their beloved parents, and they hear angry words shouted between you, even though you sent them to their rooms.

Once you’re apart and the fighting and flying objects stop, kids are relieved. Children aren’t built to handle the emotions of an adult relationship, but each time you argue in front of them, that’s what you’re asking them to do.

You’re also putting them in the middle of your conflict. “Johnny, tell your dad how much you want him to be around more. Go ahead. Tell him!” Of course, Johnny wants his dad to be around more, but what he doesn’t want is to be a pawn in your game.

Don’t stay together because you share children or a business. The people who must put up with the two of you don’t deserve that. Figure out a way to work through splitting your time spent with your children or find a workaround at the office.

You aren’t doing anyone any favors by staying together.

He’s More of a Roommate than a Partner

There comes a point in a bad relationship where you treat one another with superficial kindness. Maybe you’ve decided to stop arguing and now, you just smile at him and keep moving.

This is where you’ll feel that emotional distance. You don’t feel love toward him any longer, so all there is left to feel is some superficial friendship.

When your relationship is like this, the fighting has stopped because you just don’t care anymore. You’re all fought out and exhausted by the whole thing.

signs that a relationship is over

Signs That a Relationship is Over | There’s No Trust

Trust is one of the cornerstones of a good relationship. Without trust, you have nothing. You trust him to be there for you when you need him. He trusts you to do the same. You trust him to come home when he says he will and to do things he says he’ll do. And vice versa.

Then, of course, there’s always the dreaded affair, the ultimate trustbuster.

Regardless of why the trust has eroded, it has and now you feel as if you can’t believe anything he says. It’s an endless stream of unkept promises.

When trust has eroded the relationship, the only way to rebuild it is to seek professional counseling.

Early in a relationship, he earned your trust by showing up for dates on time and doing what he said he would. But once that trust is broken, it’s much harder to build it again. You may think you can learn to trust him again, but those underlying causes will keep rearing their ugly heads.

A professional counselor can help you work through the valid doubts you have about his ability to keep his word.

You Don’t Want to Spend Time Together

It’s Saturday morning and the two of you are assessing what to do with your weekend. He wants to go watch football with his friends, which is something you’ve also enjoyed, but this time, you’d rather be anywhere else.

And this isn’t the first weekend you’ve wanted to have your own plans. You’re finding that you want to do your own thing on most weekends.

COVID forced many couples to spend a lot of time together as we all battled through our own issues of being shut in with nothing to do but the daily crossword and solitaire on our iPads. I haven’t looked at the statistics, but if I had to guess, I’d say some couples flourished while others fell apart.

There is a midway point between too much time together and not enough. Spending every waking moment together isn’t healthy for any relationship, but neither is spending all your free time apart.

But the real question is whether you want to spend time with him. If you just want to go shopping or you’re planning a big event that’s taking up some of your weekend time, that’s not the same thing. You want to spend time with him, but you have other temporary obligations.

It’s all about why you want to be apart from him.

Signs That a Relationship is Over | You Don’t See a Future with Him

In the case of Josh and Kelly, once Kelly saw how Josh’s dad was, she knew she was seeing her future, and it was bleak.

Kelly has never done well with neediness anyway and Josh’s dad reeks of it. She knows that being in a relationship with someone that needy will sap her energy and steal her joy.

You don’t need to see a future with your romantic partner in the beginning. In fact, it’s not a good idea to go there until you’ve committed to date only each other. Entering a new relationship with wedding bells on will scare him away, as it should.

But as your relationship grows and you become exclusive, there should come a point when you do start seeing the two of you together in rocking chairs with grandchildren.

If you can’t see that future, ask yourself why you’re still there. It might be time to recognize that you’re not as compatible as you once thought and go your separate ways.

signs that a relationship is over

There is a Growing Resentment Between You

You have all those arguments, and you feel like he sucks every last drop of your energy. You resent him for making you feel this way.

Resentment is like anger. People hold onto it for their own reasons. Sometimes, there’s a payoff for holding onto it. People feel sorry for you, or you use it for leverage in other arguments.

As you’ve already read, this is unhealthy.

Like anger, you can make a choice to let go of resentment. You can’t change the past, so resenting someone for something that’s over and done with doesn’t change a thing, except it keeps you in a negative frame of mind.

Instead, you can learn to forgive things from the past. This is always a better plan forward than hanging onto the past. But it might not be as simple as that to save your relationship. If you’ve held onto anger and resentment for a while, there may be an emotional distance between you that is too great.

Signs That a Relationship is Over | Your Goals Don’t Align

This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it truly can be.

Of course, when you first meet someone, you aren’t going to share all of your lifelong goals, but over time, you learn about one another, and you start to figure things out.

If your guy has dreams of traveling the world before he’s thirty while you’re still working on your career, it might not be the best time to become an exclusive couple.

One of the biggest goals that I see causing problems is kids. Many young people, especially those who’ve gone through their parents’ divorce, will proclaim that they don’t want kids. Maybe they don’t have confidence in their ability to parent, or they don’t have confidence that they can enjoy a happy relationship.

Whatever the reason, people who want kids and people who don’t shouldn’t get into a relationship with one another. It’s like dog people and cat people trying to decide what type of pet to get. Someone is going to be unhappy.

Before you get into a deeply committed relationship, you should share your most important goals so you know if they align.

On one hand, this might seem shallow to you, but it isn’t. It’s actually very important because it’s through pursuing our goals that we find confidence and satisfaction in our lives.

Nor do Your Values

While a misalignment in goals can sometimes be worked out with a compromise, a difference in values can be tough to overcome.

Suppose you’ve always been a saver. Your parents taught you to save and you’ve done so like a champ. But your boyfriend is a spendthrift who has, at most, ten cents in his savings account. You know, just to keep the account open.

This is a misalignment of values that is probably going to come between you.

Other things that might cause a problem are your values where work, family, and even living a healthy life are concerned.

You don’t need to be aligned on every value, but there should be enough overlap that where there is a misalignment, it isn’t a big deal.

It also depends on how important that value is to you and whether there is a way to appease you both.

A couple with children should be aligned on how to discipline their children, whether to engage them in different activities and even how to manage childcare if you’re both at work.

When you’re first in love, these things can seem like they’re not important, but they can become huge mountains that stand between you if you don’t take the time to address them.

signs that a relationship is over

Signs That a Relationship is Over | Jealousy

Jealousy is really a symptom of a bigger problem – low confidence and self-esteem.

When you’re jealous, you’re really saying that you fear your partner will abandon you for someone else. Why?

Because you don’t believe one of two things:  you aren’t good enough for him or you don’t deserve him.

In either case, your self-esteem is low and it’s causing you problems.

Of course, jealousy can come from trust issues as well, but more often than not, it relates to you and your level of confidence and self-esteem.

Confidence plays a role when you don’t feel confident in your ability to either create or maintain a healthy relationship. You’ve had so many failed relationships in the past and this will be just one more. So it’s only a matter of time before he finds someone else.

Often, jealousy rips a couple apart before the person who’s jealous has time to identify and fix the low confidence problem, but once you see it, you can and should fix it before you enter into another relationship.

You may even find that you have a pattern of feeling jealous in relationships. That’s a huge red flag.

Of course, the opposite side of this is being with a guy who’s jealous, in which case, it’s his confidence and self-esteem that are low. You find him driving by when you’re having lunch with your friends. He claims he was in the area, but you know he was checking to see if you’re where you said you’d be.

Or you discover he’s tracking you through your phone or another tracking device.

Regardless of who has the jealousy problem, it’s one of those signs that a relationship is over.

You’re Building Walls, Not Bridges

Sammi and Joe had been together for many years and had a few beautiful children to show for it, but slowly, they were building walls instead of bridges.

Joe was staying at work later and when he did come home, he’d spend hours outside or in the basement, away from Sammi and the kids. After the kids went to bed, and sometimes even before if Joe was in the house, Sammi would go to their bedroom to work instead of spending time in the same space with Joe.

This is building walls. You’re segregating yourselves from one another instead of trying to build bridges or intimacy between you. When you’re building bridges, you’re sharing experiences and developing more intimacy through those experiences. When you’re building walls, you’re putting physical or emotional barriers between you.

Walls can be very difficult to tear down once they’re built. They can lead to arguments and resentment at the most extreme and at the least, emotional distance.

Signs That a Relationship is Over | You Aren’t Having Sex

Physical touch is a very strong bonding agent. When you’re in love, you want to touch your partner and you want to have sex.

Now the exception to this is if you’ve both agreed to abstain from sex until you’re married. That’s not a problem as long as you’re both on the same page.

The problem is for couples who’ve been having sex and then it drops off to nothing or close to it.

You may justify this with things like being too tired or staying at work late to avoid being there when your partner goes to bed. Some parents will use snuggling with a child and then forget to leave before they fall asleep there.

Regardless of how you’re covering it, the lack of sexual intimacy in a relationship is a big sign that a relationship is over.

That’s a Wrap!

There are probably as many signs that a relationship is over as there are couples, but these are the signs that crop up most often.

What you may notice is that in many instances, if you’re both willing to seek counseling, the relationship can be turned around.

It all depends on how much you want the relationship to succeed and whether both of you are willing to seek that counseling. If one of you isn’t, it’s yet another one of the signs.

If you recognize some of these signs in your own relationship, it’s time to evaluate what it is you want for yourself, then communicate that with your partner. It’s very likely that he feels the same things you do are wrong and you can move forward from there.

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How to Stop Being Jealous in a Relationship

Some jealousy in a relationship is normal, but when it becomes excessive, it’s time to learn how to stop being jealous in a relationship.

Jealous feelings can range anywhere from a mild feeling of jealousy to total rage and humiliation. There is no limit to how old you can be to experience jealousy, and men and women are both susceptible.

Most of the time, we feel jealous when a relationship is threatened, and that can mean friendships as well as romantic relationships and relationships with our families.

The threat can be real but is sometimes just our imagination and anxiety running amok. Before I provide you with tips on how to stop being jealous in a relationship, let’s uncover why you feel jealous.

Why do You Feel Jealous?

Jealousy is an emotion that you probably wish would just go away, but it’s an emotion that we can work with, and it’s also a signal of underlying problems.

Who Gets More Jealous? Men or Women?

Some believe men get jealous more easily, but both sexes are capable of feeling jealousy at the same level, although men and women are jealous in different ways.

Men fear that their romantic partner will have an affair, so they’re more dialed into jealousy over sexual infidelity.

For women, the fear is of emotional infidelity. They fear their guy will fall in love with someone else.

Traits Behind Jealousy

Many of the reasons behind jealousy have nothing to do with your partner, even though I get that it would be nice to blame this on him.

Your jealous feelings come from one or more of these places:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Anxiety or emotional instability
  • Feeling insecure and possessive
  • Being too dependent on your partner
  • Feeling that you aren’t good enough for him
  • A fear that your partner will leave you or won’t love you enough

These factors are all about your insecurity, not something he is doing.

how to stop being jealous in a relationship

How to Stop Being Jealous in a Relationship

Understand that Some Jealousy is Normal

This isn’t to say that how you react to feeling jealousy is normal, but that the feeling itself is a normal human emotion.

You have the ability to control how you react to your jealous feelings, but how well you respond depends on why you feel jealous and how extreme those feelings are.

How to Stop Being Jealous in a Relationship: Recognize the Anxiety

Many times, jealousy stems from imagining your partner’s future without you in it. You see him smile at a waitress and all of a sudden, your imagination stirs visuals of the two of them together.

Oh my gosh! He loves her?!?!?!?

Anxiety is our mind running ahead of life, creating scenarios for which we have no proof, then convincing you that it’s true.

We get anxious over all sorts of things. One of my favorite examples is from when I was younger. It was the first time I was called for jury duty and I was driving to the courthouse to report. My mind was racing – what if I’m late? What if I’m picked to sit for a terrible crime? What if…what if…what if…

Finally, I realized I was having some anxiety and wasn’t focusing very well on driving, so I stopped my thoughts and began taking deep breaths.

When you’re anxious, your heart rate picks up and your blood pressure increases because your fight or flight mechanism has kicked in. To mitigate the chemicals released during fight or flight, slow your breathing. This is an instant signal to your brain that everything is okay.

Since I was driving, that was about the only tool available to me, other than to tell myself that I was just feeling anxious, and that it was time to stop.

If you recognize that your mind is just running away with you, stop what you’re thinking and bring yourself back to reality. Realize that the truth isn’t what you were just thinking.

Dip Into a Mindful Moment

Mindfulness is about becoming present in the current moment. This is a follow-on to the anxiety tool you just read.

Bring yourself back to the here and now. Don’t ignore the jealous feelings but imagine them as leaves floating down a stream. They float up to you, they hang out for a second or two, then they float away. While you don’t always realize it, feelings do this anyway, but we can hold onto them too long if we fixate on them.

Stuffing them down and not acknowledging them doesn’t work either because they just keep growing, like a balloon you’re blowing up – eventually, something will pop.

Challenge Your Own Negativity

People often believe feelings or emotions just appear out of nowhere, blindsiding you, but this isn’t usually the case.

The things we feel and the emotions we have are more often a result of ongoing thoughts, which usually are based on how we feel about ourselves.

For example, if you don’t believe yourself to be physically attractive, you will feel anxious over any women he comes in contact with and perceive to be prettier than you.

If you don’t believe you’re enough to keep your guy long-term, any woman who approaches might feel threatening.

Instead of believing these thoughts, fact-check them. Has he told you he thinks you’re ugly? I’m going to guess he has not because if he didn’t find you to be attractive, he wouldn’t be with you now. This is your own insecurity, not something he’s told you.

Many of our beliefs are what is called self-limiting. We believe many wrong things about ourselves, but those thoughts can almost always be proven wrong.

how to stop being jealous in a relationship

How to Stop Being Jealous in a Relationship: Get Real

Sometimes, expectations are too high to be met, ever.

There is no such thing as a perfect person or a perfect relationship. Naturally, your eye wanders when you see a handsome man, just like your boyfriend or husband’s eye may wander.

A wandering eye when you’re out together isn’t a sign that he wants to have an affair, or that he’s having one. Someone simply caught his attention. He didn’t run off to meet her or get her number, he’s holding your hand, enjoying time with you.

This also applies to any past relationships he had that make you feel jealous. That relationship is over. He’s with you now. If he wanted to still be with her, he would be.

None of us are perfect, and everyone requires forgiveness from time to time. It’s important not to hold your guy or your relationship to a standard that can never be met.

Resist Acting on Your Initial Jealous Feelings

In today’s society, we do everything immediately. We never stop to think something through. Someone pulls out in front of us and we honk the horn and start flipping them the bird.

This is reactionary behavior, and it’s not healthy, and yet, many of us behave in this way without realizing it.

Reactionary people often start sentences with he made me. It’s a blame game. Whatever someone else does that causes you to react was their fault, not yours.

The problem with this line of thinking is that you actually have control over your reactions, you just don’t realize it.

Instead of flying off the handle when something happens, use the old count to ten rule- take a breather and count to ten. This allows you enough time to think, instead of just react.

The same is true of jealous feelings. Instead of reacting immediately when the feeling comes along, take some time to consider the truth of the evidence in front of you, if there is any.

If you don’t believe me, put yourself in this situation.

Tomorrow, you have a job interview for the dream job of your life, but your boyfriend just dumped you, out of the blue, and you feel devastated.

How are you going to go into that interview? Crying and sobbing?

Of course not, you’re going to pull yourself together and put both of your good feet forward.

This shows you that you do have control over your emotions when you want to.

The other reason to use restraint is that your negative reaction could do damage to an otherwise healthy relationship.

Work on Your Confidence and Self-Esteem

Many of the problems behind jealousy relate to low confidence and low self-esteem, so the best defense is a great offense.

Actually, most problems in relationships can be linked back to low confidence and self-esteem. If you don’t feel worthy of your partner, or you feel inferior in some way, you’ll always be afraid he’s looking for someone better.

Unfortunately, many people suffer from low confidence and there is not a lot of readily available information on how to build it, but I have an entire area of this website devoted to it, since it’s a relationship site and it’s so important to healthy relationships. You can find it here:

I want to change my life!

how to stop being jealous in a relationship

How to Stop Being Jealous in a Relationship: Don’t be Afraid to Talk About It

A great relationship is grounded in excellent communication. Being afraid to talk to your partner about something is a low-confidence play. Be sure to pay attention to how you should bring this up and discuss it.

It’s possible he doesn’t even realize that he’s doing something that concerns you. If he loves you, he doesn’t want to hurt you in that way. What you’re perceiving as a threat to your relationship might be perceived by him as no big deal.

Approach the subject when the two of you are in a good place. It’s never to begin a difficult conversation in the middle of an argument or when one or both of you are tired.

Also, use “I” language:

  • I feel a little threatened when you flirt with Felicia from work
  • I feel as if you’re paying a lot of attention to the new girl in your office

When you state something this way, you’re taking ownership of your feelings and you’re disarming any argument he may have. While he may disagree with your assessment of those situations, it’s hard to disagree with how someone is telling you they feel.

Finally, spend as much time listening as you do talking. A conversation, especially one about a difficult topic, should be equal and fair. If you’re the only one talking, you aren’t allowing him any time to say his piece.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

This is another low-confidence/low-self-worth move. Recently, I was out with a friend and a very well-dressed woman caught my eye, not because she was pretty, but because her outfit was entirely too much for where we were.

She was dressed for a funeral and we were at a flea market. So I took another glance from behind and realized that this person was bald. My buddy had seen him too and said, “dude had a beard and mustache.”

So it was a guy dressed in women’s clothing. My immediate thought was good for you pal. Be who you are!

Be you. Your guy fell for you, not some altered version of you, unless you completely misrepresented yourself to him.

If you want to wear tie-dye skirts and Birkenstocks, go for it. If you’re comfy in jeans and t-shirts, wear that. If you want to become a painter, become one. If you want to be a CEO, shoot for the stars.

Just be yourself. Don’t worry about who other people are or what they look like. It isn’t important how much money your sister makes and what size her home is. Just be you.

You’ll find a tremendous level of peace in deciding that the opinions of others don’t matter to you anymore, and you’ll find more time since you’ll spend less time on social media trying to prove yourself.

How to Stop Being Jealous in a Relationship: Use a Journal

Journaling is an excellent tool for uncovering what’s really going on in your mind. If you sit down in a quiet place and let the words flow without judgment and fear, you will discover all kinds of stuff.

I read a story once about a woman who would journal every day. On Sundays, she would go back through her journal and look for recurring themes. Was she sad, depressed, happy? What was going on during those times?

It’s very enlightening and very therapeutic.

Through journaling, you may discover the true source of your jealous feelings.

Stay Off of Social Media

I just eluded to this, but let’s talk a little more about it. When people feel the need to post about their nice new expensive car or home, what makes them think anyone else cares?

We all go along and hit the like button, doing our due diligence, but why should I care, really? I’m sorry to tell you that I don’t care what you ate for dinner or where you got it. I don’t need to see your big new house or your bright shiny new car.

If you’re my friend, I will give you a pat on the back the next time I see you to congratulate you. Sharing that stuff on social media is a way of doing a couple of things:

  • Proving that you became something
  • Feeling better about yourself because you think you became something or did something great

If I’m following you on social media, chances are I’m more interested in where you hiked last weekend so I can check it out. Truth be told, I rarely use social media personally. Professionally, of course, I have accounts, but that’s information I share for you.

Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Professional Help

Some of the roots of jealousy are buried deep and the best thing you can do for yourself and your relationship is to seek professional help.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s something more people should try. It might even be beneficial at some point to seek couple’s counseling so you can learn how to communicate effectively with one another and support one another.

How to Stop Being Jealous in a Relationship – Wrap Up

Healthy jealousy is normal, but when it threatens your relationship or sanity, it’s time to address it. Dig into the roots of your feelings and work on overcoming low confidence and low self-esteem issues.

Don’t be afraid to own what’s going on because that’s the best way to address it.

Be willing to talk to your partner about your feelings and to seek therapy if you feel like you can’t overcome this on your own.

Most of all, know that you’re a beautiful person, and comparing yourself to other women will never amount to anything good.

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What to do When Your Boyfriend is Controlling

What to do When Your Boyfriend is Controlling

Do you know what to do when your boyfriend is controlling? Are you wondering how you can make this situation better?

People act in a controlling way for several reasons, most of which have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. For today’s purposes, we’re discussing a boyfriend who is controlling on occasion, but not 100% of the time.

Every relationship dynamic has its nuances. What worked for your parents or his might not work for the two of you. Your friends might have a relationship you just can’t figure out, but it’s working for them.

Recognizing whether your relationship is healthy and needs tweaking or is unhealthy is the goal of today’s post.

boyfriend is controlling

Do You Know if Your Boyfriend is Controlling?

First, let’s look at whether the behaviors your boyfriend is exhibiting are truly controlling. It’s human nature to want to control your environment, but someone who wants to control everything all the time might have something going on.

He Seems Paranoid and Insecure

The need to be in control is almost always rooted in insecurity. Most often, these insecurities center around:

  • Physical appearance – yours or his
  • His job security or performance
  • How do others view the two of you
  • Whether you might be getting the attention of other men
  • If he’s getting enough respect

These insecurities were around long before you came on the scene, so none of this is your fault. His emotions and self-image are fragile, and those things built up over many years. You may find out he was bullied at home or in school, or he was always told he was worthless, nothing. It’s sad, but it happens.

What Does it Look Like?

If he’s doing any of these things, this might be the problem:

  • Judgmental of others
  • Jealousy of other men, constantly critiquing them
  • He tests and questions your loyalty to him
  • He’s always looking for validation
  • While he can dish out the criticism, he can’t take it…at all
  • He showers you with gifts, to make up for what he perceives to be his failings
  • He always imagines he’s being disrespected

What Can You Do?

If his insecurity is minimal, like his performance in bed, for example, you can reassure him that he’s doing a great job. Men worry a lot about this, so it’s pretty normal insecurity. He might also feel insecure about his job, especially if he’s bucking for a promotion. Assure him that you love him just as he is, promotion or not.

If he seems to be paranoid, always questioning if you’re cheating on him or if another guy looked at you with too much interest, it’s time to have a heart-to-heart chat. Choose a time when things are going well between you, not a time when tempers are already flaring. Then, sit him down and explain that you aren’t interested in another guy and his paranoia is causing a problem between you. If he can control himself and his emotions, he’ll see the light and try to fix it, but if he denies it or gets angry, this might be the time you say goodbye.

Understand that you can’t fix this. Yes, your words of reassurance might help, but he needs to fix his stuff. Many women try to step in and smother him with reassurance, affection and appeasing actions, but this won’t work. If he’s acting in the extreme, you need to establish boundaries and stick to them.

It’s not okay for him to put trackers on your phone and car. It’s not normal to allow him to read your texts and emails. If you want him to, that’s one thing, but it’s not something he can demand. It’s okay for you to say no and if he can’t accept no, it’s time to leave.

He Feels the Need to Criticize You – All the Time

It’s fine for someone to say, “I’m not sure that shade of blue is the best color for you, babe,” because it’s once in a while and, odd as it might seem coming from a guy, it’s still harmless.

When the criticisms are constant and are intended to cause you to change your behavior, it’s problematic. When someone criticizes you all the time, the goal isn’t to help you better yourself with a new shade of blue, it’s to make you feel small, dumb, incompetent, and helpless. Chances are he feels that way and he doesn’t want to be with someone who feels better about themselves than he does.

What Does it Look Like?

Again, one comment every now and then is fine, but it’s the constant criticisms that are a problem. They might include:

  • Criticizing your physical features – you’re fat, you need a nose job, your boobs are too small, that sort of thing
  • He criticizes the way you pronounce things; we all come from different places and words are pronounced differently, or we learned to pronounce them incorrectly; it’s all good and we learn from hearing others, but his need to constantly correct you is no good
  • Your cooking is a constant bone of contention; of course, it’s not that he wants to cook, but he always has criticisms for yours – too much salt, too bland, too spicy, it won’t matter what you do, it won’t be good enough
  • He forces you to question your decision-making and your intelligence; he’s doing it to himself too so why not make you feel bad as well
  • You can’t do anything right, ever

These types of criticisms are meant to pull your power away from you, but I encourage you not to give anyone power over you and how you feel about yourself. This is all on him.

What Can You Do?

There’s no way everything you do is wrong; don’t allow someone to make you think that about yourself.

When I coach women who’ve experienced a breakup, I know she needs confidence building, and this is why. Breakups bring out the worst in people; often one partner tries to make the other feel small, dumb, and incompetent. Never allow someone to have that kind of power in your life.

Don’t rationalize his bad behavior. There’s no rational explanation for it other than his insecurities. Don’t explain it away or think he’s right. Sure, you might not pronounce a word properly, but who cares? It doesn’t change who you are.

While he might say he’s trying to help you be a better person, it’s a lie. If he were truly being a loving partner, he would provide constructive criticism like, “While I love this dress on you, I think the emerald green one really brings out the color of your eyes. You should wear that one more often!”

“Don’t you ever wear that ugly red dress again. It makes you look fat!” This statement is not helpful or constructive. It’s mean and controlling.

Having an open discussion might help. The best time to discuss something difficult is when you’re both happy and things are going well. Explain that you can’t constantly change every small thing about yourself, and you feel that’s what he’s asking you to do. This discussion will probably contain a breakup discussion, so be prepared to raise that possibility.

Know that you aren’t the one who needs to change. While he might be telling you how inadequate you are, these are his feelings about himself. If you can’t do anything right as far as he’s concerned, you’re not the girl for him. Period.

boyfriend is controlling

He Uses Threats and Ultimatums to Control Your Behavior

You don’t need to be threatened or manipulated. Nobody does, but a controller may use threats and ultimatums to try to control you.

What Does it Look Like?

Often, the threats center around him breaking up with you if you don’t do something his way:

  • If you don’t stop hanging out with your work friends, I’ll break up with you
  • If you don’t agree to marry me, I’ll kill myself – it’s extreme, but I know of someone who got married for just this reason
  • You need to go out with me Saturday night or I’ll post crap about you on social media
  • If you don’t make my dinner on time, I won’t take you to work tomorrow

Some of these sound utterly ridiculous but notice that they’re all ways in which he might feel out of control of a situation. When you’re with your friends, he can’t control you because you aren’t there. If you don’t marry him, how can he keep controlling you? He doesn’t want to lose another relationship.

He wants you to go out with him so you aren’t going out with someone else. If you’re making dinner on time, he knows where you are and what you’re doing. It goes on and on.

What Can You Do?

Dealing with threats and ultimatums can be scary, depending on the thread or ultimatum being issued. Someone threatening your life should be extricated from your life immediately. For some of these other threats, there are things you can try.

First, don’t give in. If you want to hang with your friends from work, do it, and if he breaks up with you over it, see ya later pal. You might think that agreeing with him or giving in will make him stop, but he’ll just find something else since the first time worked well for him. All you’re doing is giving up power. Nothing more.

Next, and this is a hard one to read I know, understand that someone who’s issuing threats and ultimatums doesn’t love you. If he did love you, he would turn himself inside out to show his love for you. These behaviors aren’t loving. Not even a little bit.

Lastly, get out of the relationship. This isn’t a fixable situation. Find a friend, a family member, or, an authority figure who can help you safely remove yourself from this relationship. You deserve someone who truly loves you for the wonderful person you are.

Your Boyfriend is Controlling You with Social Isolation

This is a classic control move. It’s little things at first, and it seems sweet. He’ll say, “Gee Babe, I’d really appreciate it if you’d cancel your plans with Sarah and spend the evening with me.”

The next thing you know, you never have plans with any of your friends or family. He either lies to you about them to make you believe they don’t want to hang with you, or he makes sure you can’t hang out with them.

This is done to avoid other people knowing how controlling he either is now or plans to be. He doesn’t want someone telling you that he’s wrong. He wants you to hear his voice and only his. That way, he can control every single aspect of your life.

Many controllers will also keep you from working an outside job, going to church, or participating in any sort of social group. He doesn’t want anyone to see the vacant look that you have, indicating how much of you he’s already sucked away.

What Does it Look Like?

At first, he’ll just complain about how much time you’re spending away from him. Then, if that doesn’t work, he’ll move on to criticizing your friends and family members. His goal is to get you to distrust the people you should trust the most and those you’ll lean on as he gets worse.

Then, he’ll make you feel guilty if you speak to those people and may even exact punishment. He doesn’t want others to see how he’s treating you. He wants full control.

Finally, he’ll threaten to either physically hurt you or leave you if you continue to contact the people he’s deemed unacceptable. He hopes that he’s made you rely on him enough that the thread of living without him will scare you into submission.

What Can You Do?

Don’t believe what he says about your friends and family. He might say your sister doesn’t want to talk to you anymore, but that’s a lie to distance you from her.

Your only real option, aside from not believing his lies, is to leave the relationship. If he’s trying to distance yourself from the people most important to you, he doesn’t have any great plans for your life together other than for him to demand and for you to obey. Do you want to lose all the important people in your life to live with one controlling individual? No, of course not.

There is no Trust

Trust is at the root of a great relationship. It’s something you earn and then strive to keep between you. While it’s normal not to fully trust someone you just met, you should allow a partner to earn your trust and vice versa.

What happens with a controller, however, is that he can’t trust you or anyone else. If you say you’re going to have ice cream with your bestie and you see him drive by, he doesn’t trust you. Wanting your passwords to your phone and email is another sign of distrust.

The thing is you probably haven’t done anything for him to distrust you. These are his insecurities, not your actions that are driving his behavior. He knows he’s not good enough for a great woman like you. His confidence, self-worth, and self-esteem are very low, and he knows you can do better.

What Does it Look Like?

You say you’re out with your friends for a girls’ night and he calls, constantly, to check up on you. Or, he might have a friend of his happen to show up where you’re supposed to be.

He might drive by to see if you’re where you said you would be or put tracking devices or apps on your car and phone.

You might catch him eavesdropping on your phone conversations or standing over you while you text or compose emails. You may even notice cameras hidden around your home as a way for him to watch you.

What Can You Do?

While you might be able to have a conversation about this with him and get him to stop. It depends on the level of behavior he’s exhibiting.

Again, have this conversation when things are happy and good between you. Explain to him that he’s making you uncomfortable by constantly spying on you and asking him what you’ve done to make him distrust you.

If this isn’t happening often or if this is the only thing he’s doing, he might not even realize the impact it’s having. He gets anxious because he can’t see you. His insecurity about himself tells him you’re out there and other men can see how great you are. In his mind, he’s about to lose you.

He needs to work on things, but pointing out to him that every time he’s checked up on you, you were where you said you’d be might help him realize he’s distrusting you for no reason.

Also, don’t lie to him about where you are going. That just confirms what he believes. Don’t lie about who you’re going with either. If you’re going out with three of your friends, say so. Don’t say, “I’m going out with Meg” if you’re going out with Meg, Sarah, and Elle. If he’s looking for a reason to distrust you, he’ll see that as a lie.

boyfriend is controlling

Your Boyfriend is Controlling When He Wants You to Feel Indebted to Him

A relationship doesn’t involve currency. What I mean by that is that he can’t buy you flowers and expect sex in return. Just because he bought you new earrings doesn’t mean he gets to tell you what to do.

What Does it Look Like?

Currency in a relationship comes in all shapes and sizes. Usually, however, in a controlling situation, it involves him buying you something that’s either just what you’ve been wanting or uber extravagant.

Now, in his mind, you owe him something in return. This is a nifty way to make someone dependent on you. You won’t feel you can get out of the relationship because you feel too guilty. Look at all the stuff he’s gotten for you or the things he’s done for you.

Poppycock! Those are all control maneuvers meant to make you feel exactly that way!

Things you never owe another person include sex, time, and the ability to express your opinion without fear of retribution.

You control who, when, and where you have sex with him or anyone else. Always. There is never a time when you owe someone sex. Read that statement a few times so it sinks in.

Time is a precious commodity, and in a relationship, you should make time for one another, but not at the expense of your life outside the relationship. Don’t give up your relationships with friends, family, or coworkers in lieu of time with him. You both need to maintain outside relationships to be healthy together.

Finally, you have and are entitled to your own opinion, and you should be able to express it, as long as you’re being calm and reasonable, without fear of being harmed.

What Can You Do?

There isn’t a way to fix this. He’s attempting to take away your freedom and that’s not something you should ever give away to anyone.

He’s Gaslighting You

This term comes from a 1944 movie called Gaslight where a man tries to make his wife think she’s going insane so he can steal her fortune.

People do it today and it can really be harmful.

What Does it Look Like?

You won’t see gaslighting coming. Some, but not all who use this tactic are true narcissists and professionals at manipulating people to get their way.

An example of gaslighting might be if your partner agrees to meet you after work at a local hangout. You show up and wait, but he never shows. You call and text and he finally tells you that he never agreed to meet you. You know you made a date, but he’s making you second-guess yourself.

Another example is name-calling. It sounds basic, but this gets you to believe something about yourself that isn’t true. He might call you manic-depressive or crazy because you got a little moody. Since when did he get a license to diagnose?

He might question your decisions, and make you question them as well. Of course, he’ll shoot down any explanations you come up with, so don’t waste your time.

Anything a gaslighter does is meant to get you to question yourself and alter your perception of reality. In the movie, the man dims the lights, but when the woman asks if the lights just dimmed, he says no, making her believe she’s losing her mind.

What Can You Do?

Gaslighting is emotional abuse. Your only true recourse, once you realize what’s happening, is to end the relationship.

This is not a person who is invested in a relationship with you because he loves you. These aren’t loving behaviors.

Once you recognize that someone is doing this to you, and it’s probably been going on for months or even years, you stop sharing your thoughts and feelings with him. Disengage and work on getting out. He’ll continue to try and make you feel like you’re wrong and you’re crazy, but you aren’t. Sanity is beginning to emerge again for you and you’re seeing very clearly now.

He Makes Your Life Miserable when He Doesn’t Get His Way

If you stand up to a boyfriend who is controlling and go out with your girlfriends after he told you not to, expect the silent treatment or worse.

How dare you stand up to him! What on earth were you thinking?

What Does it Look Like?

It looks just like that. You did something that didn’t fit into his model for your life and he’s pouting. Other ways this might show up include:

  • Him flirting with other women if you don’t wear what he told you to on a date
  • Blaming you because he didn’t get the promotion he wanted
  • Any form of physical abuse for something he claims you did wrong

What Can You Do?

This is not a sign of a healthy and happy relationship. You can try to discuss his behavior with him by telling him that his revengeful behavior hurts you and your relationship. If this is the only thing he’s doing or if he’s just starting this behavior, he might recognize his bad behavior and try to stop.

More likely, he’ll refuse to discuss this with you because deep down, he knows he’s wrong. He’ll never admit it and therefore you won’t make any headway in having a discussion.

Your Boyfriend is Controlling When He’ll Love You – Conditionally

If a guy loves you, he loves you for who you are today and who he thinks you have the potential to become. Sometimes, when you meet someone, you can see they’re working toward something, and you can see their potential. That ambition can be sexy and attractive.

If a guy only loves you if you lose weight or if you stop going out with that one friend of yours, he doesn’t truly love you to begin with.

What Does it Look Like?

  • My friends would probably like you more if you were smarter
  • I’d love you more if you’d stop wearing your hair that way
  • I love you so much when you wear that skirt
  • If you took better care of yourself, you might be attractive

This way of trying to mold you into someone else is mean and abusive. Sure, he’s not physically hurting you, but emotional scars last longer. Someone saying this to you all the time makes it sink into your subconscious and you begin to say it to yourself.

What Can You Do?

When he says something like that to you, call him out on it. Make sure he knows that saying those things is hurtful. Be careful how you word things, though, or he’ll just have room to argue with you.

If you say, “I don’t like it when you call me fat”, he’ll just say that he doesn’t call you fat. Of course, he’s using other types of statements to call you fat, but that’s beside the point.

Instead, say, “Josh, when you tell me I look fat, it makes me feel really bad.” It’s harder to argue with a statement when you say it’s your feelings. He can’t tell you how you feel. Oh, he might try to, but it’s harder.

Hurtful statements like those aren’t loving and they aren’t meant to be. This is a direct attempt to make you feel as small and worthless as he does.

Your best option is usually to end the relationship. If you’re just there to help him feel a little bigger by making you feel small, you can do better! You deserve better!

boyfriend is controlling

His Favorite Weapon is Passive Aggressive Behavior

Ahh, an oldie but a goodie, passive-aggressive behavior is yet another way to control someone.

What Does it Look Like?

“This is my girlfriend, Stacy. She talks like a hillbilly but she’s a great gal. Heh heh heh.” Okay, so he just introduced you to his friends and injected a criticism disguised as a cute little joke. That’s passive-aggressive.

“Boy you sure can cook,” said right after you accidentally burned the rice with dinner. Sarcasm is another form of passive-aggressive behavior.

If something is followed by, “Hey, I’m just kidding,” know that he isn’t. It’s a criticism disguised as what he thought was a joke.

While this doesn’t seem to be a controlling behavior, what he’s doing is trying to make you feel badly about yourself, just like he does. He’s trying to control your self-esteem and self-worth and that’s the worst way to control someone.

What Can You Do?

This is another instance where you might be able to call him out on his behavior. “Hey Jim, when you introduced me to your friends and then said I talk like a hillbilly, I felt really embarrassed.” Again, by telling him how you felt, and not using an accusing tone, you change his ability to reply in a snide or hurtful way.

He wasn’t kidding and you both know it, as do his friends, who also probably felt embarrassed. He may come back and tell you to lighten up or learn to take a joke but keep pointing out to him how hurtful his comments are.

If he refuses to stop, he doesn’t respect or love you and it’s time to end things.

Your Boyfriend is Controlling | Why is He Acting This Way?

He’s Narcissistic

Narcissism is not a choice people make but an actual psychological diagnosis. NPD or Narcissistic Personality Disorder affects many people and hinders their ability to have healthy relationships.

Many narcissists carry a higher-than-average opinion of themselves. They believe they’re more important than everyone else, more powerful, more intelligent, more capable, and so on. To make sure you believe it, they’ll exaggerate their accomplishments and abilities.

This type of person needs to make sure you know how special and unique he is, compared to other men. Of course, since he’s so special and unique, there’s no way you can understand him. He’s too far above you and everyone else for that to happen.

He needs lots of praise and positive attention, to be sure you know how important and special he is. He feels that he deserves special treatment. For example, if you go to a restaurant, he might feel he should always get the best table.

His need for personal gain outweighs everything else, so he takes advantage of people and situations to make sure they benefit him. His goals are the only important goals. He might use tactics like telling lies about someone to make sure they don’t get what he wants, or he may treat someone very badly.

Unable to see your needs or connect with you on an emotional level, he’ll come off as lacking compassion or selfish. He also envisions himself in competition with, well, everyone. He imagines that people envy him for all his great traits and that they’re jealous of him.

Most of those are signs of what professionals call overt narcissism. Covert narcissism is a little harder to detect. Those behaviors include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insecurity
  • Being overly sensitive, unable to handle criticism
  • Feeling defensive
  • Acting withdrawn or depressed

He Has High Anxiety

Anxiety is a symptom of many other disorders, but it’s at the root of controlling behavior. There is a strong need to control their surroundings and maintain some sense of order, however harmful and ineffective their efforts truly are.

Many people experience anxiety every day and there are varying degrees and abilities to cope with it. When hurricane Ian came through Florida, I had a lot of anxiety about being able to get there and check on my mom. I managed my anxiety easily and was able to get down there to help her without issues. That’s normal anxiety. You don’t know what you’re facing, and your mind plays out scenarios.

Often, when we’re otherwise healthy, we recognize what’s happening and put a stop to it.

Still, for some, anxiety is crippling and can force them into undesirable behaviors, like being a controlling boyfriend.

He Has Low Self-Esteem

When your self-esteem is low, you don’t think good thoughts about yourself. You don’t value yourself or even like yourself.

If your boyfriend has low self-esteem, he thinks very little of himself. He believes he’s not worthy of you and is in constant fear that two things will happen.

First, you’ll figure out what a schmuck he is, and second, you’ll leave him because he’s a loser. That fear or insecurity drives him to try extra hard to keep you from discovering he’s the person he believes himself to be and leaving him.

His low self-esteem also makes him sensitive to what he might perceive as attacks. You might say something you don’t think of as mean or harmful, but due to his low self-esteem, he takes it that way. The problem is that he already thinks those things about himself, but hearing someone else verbalize them brings his insecurities to life and confirms his beliefs about himself.

He Has Difficulty Trusting

If your boyfriend is controlling, he probably has difficulty trusting people. Someone in his past broke his trust in all people so much that he finds it difficult to trust anyone now.

It doesn’t matter what you think you’ve done to earn his trust; he can’t give it so it’s never enough.

Trust issues usually stem from something that happened in childhood, although not always. Someone close to him broke his trust and did a good job of it. His trust was shattered to the point where he decided nobody can be trusted, regardless of what they said or did.

This is something he can work on and overcome, with professional guidance, but it’s not something you can fix.

He Has a Fear of Abandonment

Imagine you’re a young child and someone very important to you leaves, either by death or physical separation. A mother dies, a father leaves the home never to be seen again, or something similar.

This creates a fear that everyone important to you leaves and never comes back. It’s not logical, but your young mind can’t yet figure out the logic behind death or separation.

You grow up and your grandparents die. Your dog runs away and never returns. A favorite teacher doesn’t return the following year. These things all shore up your belief that people leave and never come back.

If your boyfriend is controlling, this might be part of the issue. He lost one or more important people or even animals in his life and he’s developed a fear of abandonment. This displays in the same way low self-esteem does. He lives in constant fear that you’ll leave, just like everyone else in his past.

Again, this is something he can work on and overcome, with professional guidance. And again, it’s not something you can fix.

Your Boyfriend is Controlling | Now What?

The bottom line is that if your boyfriend is controlling, he needs to take a relationship break and work on himself if he’s willing. Some people are and some aren’t. Some controlling individuals grew up in a similar environment to the one they’ve created, and they don’t see their own failings.

Either way, it’s time for you to exit the situation. In many instances, if he does some work with a professional counselor, he can overcome the issues. But this is like alcoholism. He must first be able to see that he has a problem that requires help.

More people than you can imagine grow up believing that mental problems are poppycock and don’t exist, therefore you’ll never get them to seek help. Other people can see that they have an issue if you bring it up during a time when you’re getting along, and things are good.

As you learned above, how you approach a conversation is mostly about the words you use. Discuss how his behavior makes you feel without using accusatory language.

Bob, it makes me feel angry when you call me names” instead of, “Stop calling me names! It’s mean and rude.” It’s hard for someone to argue with how you feel, but he for sure can argue with whether he thinks he was mean and rude.

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Codependency in a Relationship | What is It and How to Change

Codependency in a Relationship | What is It and How to Change

Codependency in a relationship is an unhealthy relationship dynamic and a phrase first coined in articles that discussed substance abuse. In those relationships, one partner’s addiction often controlled the dynamic, creating a lopsided situation.

Outside of the substance abuse definition, codependency refers most often to a relationship in which one partner sacrifices his or her needs for the sake of the other. This partner is most often giving, while the other partner usually takes. Codependent relationships aren’t all romantic and can occur between friends or family members as well.

Codependency is often defined as manipulative, compulsive behaviors that are characterized by poor boundaries, a lack of self-esteem, and obsessive control. Some say it’s an addiction to a person and it’s sometimes called relationship addiction.

Many believe it’s a learned behavior, passed down through a family full of codependent relationships. The behavior is learned as a way to survive in a family with a lot of emotional turbulence. It’s not a genetic trait.

codependency in a relationship

What Exactly is Codependency in a Relationship?

In a healthy relationship, both partners support one another and while there may be times when things are lopsided, they return to a balanced state once the crisis is over. Examples of this include experiencing a job loss, the loss of a loved one, or health issues. In those cases, one partner will put forth the extra effort to support the other, but there may be another time when the roles are reversed. People in healthy relationships don’t keep score of who did what for whom. There’s no, “I stayed home with the kids while you went out with your friends last week. You owe me.” Codependency in a relationship occurs when one partner is the constant caregiver. Jack and Kate are in a codependent relationship. Kate is almost always the one working to support herself and her husband. She did this for many years while he made various attempts to find a career, always failing. Now retired and in their seventies, their relationship continues to be lopsided. Kate did everything for Jack until Kate became ill with cancer. She was hospitalized and required emergency surgery, but Jack remained at home, unrealistically afraid of getting sick if he went to the hospital to be with her. When Kate returned home a few days after surgery, Jack still expected her to fill her role as his caregiver, barely helping her recover. In relationships where substance abuse is a problem, the caregiver partner will make excuses for the other, calling them in sick at work, providing them a place to live, or even giving them money to support their addiction.

What Causes Codependency?

There is no recipe for codependency, although some people who enter codependent relationships often have a history of codependency or a dysfunctional relationship in their past. Sometimes childhood trauma leads to anxiety and insecurity about relationships. Codependency in a relationship sometimes occurs when one partner who feels a need to rescue someone finds someone who feels they need to be rescued. Mike and Joanne met online and then dated offline for some time. Joanne had a difficult childhood which included sexual abuse by a family member. As an adult, Joanne is divorced and has a son with Autism. Mike’s childhood wasn’t as tragic, however, he was raised in a relationship where his mother was very overbearing and tyrannical. To top it off, he wasn’t her favorite child. That crown went to his older brother, whom Mike felt could do no wrong. So, when Mike met Joanne, it was kismet. Every woman from his past, from high school into his thirties, needed to be rescued. Of course, every relationship failed, but he wasn’t making that connection. A year or so into their relationship, Mike proposed. Another year passed and Mike and Joanne were still engaged but living together in a home Mike could barely afford, but that Joanne wanted because she had never owned a home before. After a few months, Mike began having doubts about the marriage, so Joanne threatened suicide and Mike acquiesced. Still married several years later, the couple is as unhappy as they were before they married, neither willing to admit that their relationship dynamic is unhealthy.

How do You Know if You’re in a Codependent Relationship?

As you read previously, codependent relationships occur not just in romantic relationships but in any relationship. Your relationship with your BFF could be codependent. The relationship your mother has with you or one of your siblings could be codependent. How do you know? What are the signs of codependency in a relationship?

You Want to Rescue Them

It’s healthy to want to help someone when they’re suffering. It’s human nature to form bonds and care for others. But this need to rescue is excessive and there is an underlying fear that if you don’t rescue them, something terrible will happen. Beth has rescued her children since they were young children. Now, even though they’ve got kids of their own, Beth still rescues her sons, especially Matt, who comes every night for dinner. Matt has an unhealthy codependent relationship with his mother. They talk every morning promptly at 9:00 and if he calls a minute late, she’s in a panic. Her happiness or lack thereof sometimes depends on whether he’s having a difficult day. Every evening, he comes for dinner, reciting every minute detail of his day back to her as if checking in. The minute something seems to be going wrong, Beth is there to rescue Matt. Matt’s older sister wonders what will happen to Matt when their mother dies because she has no plans to continue in her mother’s place.
codependency in a relationship

One Partner Enables the Other’s Behaviors

As in the case of Jack and Kate above, one partner is often hard-working and responsible while the other can be irresponsible and a slacker. The enabled partner never sees consequences for his actions because the enabler is always covering.

Intimacy and Trust are Difficult

Usually, when you’re prone to codependency in a relationship, you find intimacy and trust to be a challenge. Being open and communicating effectively is challenging because of those two issues.

Codependency in a Relationship | Sacrifice

One partner in a codependent relationship sacrifices to keep the other happy. These sacrifices include money, time, energy, values, goals, and sometimes friendship and health. The enabler spends all his or her time making sure the enabled partner is happy. Almost everything they do together is something the enabled partner wants to do, rarely what the enabler wants.

You Walk on Eggshells

Your life is consumed by making sure you don’t make the other person unhappy. You feel as if you’re constantly walking on eggshells around them. You don’t express your opinions, feelings, or desires and you always say yes to whatever he wants for fear of suffering the repercussions if you don’t.

In the instance of Mike and Joanne above, Mike fears that Joanne will have an emotional breakdown or attempt suicide if he leaves or doesn’t do everything he can to keep her happy.

Are You in a Healthy Relationship?

Is your relationship healthy or unhealthy? Sometimes, it's difficult to tell if you're in the middle of it. Things can seem fine, but there's something niggling in your mind...something doesn't feel quite right. Click the button below to read more articles that will help you figure it out.

Codependency in a Relationship | You Both Have Past Family Trauma

Few relationships have one mentally healthy person and one who’s unhealthy. If this occurs, it’s often because something changed after they got together.

A confident man or woman won’t enter a relationship with someone who lacks confidence, at least not for long. Therefore, when codependency in a relationship exists, it’s often because both individuals have past family trauma, a history of addiction, abuse, or mental illness.

It’s often easy to look back into the past of both people and see a path of unhealthy relationships in their wake. If you grew up in this environment, you may not even recognize it as unhealthy because it was your normal growing up.

The Enabler Feels Like a Martyr

While the giver often feels as if he or she is behaving how they want to, they’re often secretly resentful that they spend all their time caring for someone and nobody takes time to care for them. It’s a contradiction within themselves – a desire to be the caregiver while wanting secretly to be taken care of also.

The Relationship Continues, Even When the Problem is Obvious

The giver in a codependent relationship will be hurt by the other person, either financially, physically, or emotionally. Often, it’s all three. Even though they recognize this hurt, they remain in the relationship.

The Problems You Want to Fix are Usually Too Big for You

Many of the problems in a codependent relationship aren’t fixable by the giving partner. Addiction, for example, is a problem that requires professional intervention. A history of physical or sexual abuse can’t be fixed by someone without a mental health background either. While you may want to fix this person’s life, the truth is that the problems are bigger than you can manage, but that doesn’t stop you from trying.

Codependency in a Relationship | You Don’t Take Care of Yourself

When you’re the giver in a codependent relationship, you often spend all your time taking care of the other person. Self-care, if it ever happens, makes you feel guilty. You don’t take time to enjoy a hobby, spend time with friends or even rest appropriately.

You Feel Resentful

Even though this behavior feels normal to you, you may feel resentful or taken advantage of. This is a valid feeling because to some extent, it’s true. However, if you’re the one giving, you must take responsibility for your actions.

You Stay Because It’s Safe and Easy

Rather than face the idea of being alone, rejected, abandoned, or criticized, you stay in the relationship. Chances are good that you felt those emotions in childhood, and you don’t want to feel them again. To avoid that, you stay in the relationship.

How to Change the Codependent Relationship Dynamic

Much like any other problem, recognizing that you’re in a codependent relationship is the first step toward moving forward in a healthier dynamic. With time and work, it is possible to change codependency in a relationship into a healthier situation, but both parties must be willing to make positive changes. Of course, the trick to this is that you can only change yourself. You can’t change someone else or force them to change. Changing your relationship dynamic begins when you change yourself.

Improve Your Self-Worth

When you have low self-worth, you don’t see your true value to others. You engage in a lot of negative self-talk and are overly critical of yourself. Your focus is on your past mistakes instead of your accomplishments. You often blame yourself when things go wrong and tend to think other people are better than you. You don’t believe you deserve good people or things in your life.

Focus on Your Accomplishments

A great way to discover your value in life is to focus on your accomplishments. A great movie example of someone with low self-worth is It’s a Wonderful Life. In the movie, George Bailey constantly sacrifices his desires for others. He never pursues the life he wants because he’s too busy sacrificing for his family. As the movie advances, George becomes distraught when he faces a crisis in his business. He wishes he’d never been born at all and his guardian angel, Clarence, grants his wish. George gets to see what the lives of his loved ones would be like if he’d never been born. He discovers all the accomplishments and positive impacts he’s had in their lives. Take some time to examine your accomplishments, and don’t try to say you don’t have any. Think back through your life. You probably took difficult classes, but you got through. You may have been on sports teams or fostered a talent like music or art. Some people are great at volunteering, which always makes a positive impact on others. Your accomplishments don’t need to be grand to matter. Things you did that had a positive impact on someone else are accomplishments, but so are overcoming challenges and reaching goals. Make your list and allow it to sit. Other things will come to you, and you can add them. Seeing these accomplishments will help you understand that you do have value and you are worthy of having great people and things in your life.

Consider Your Own Needs

It’s great to want to help people, but not at the expense of your own needs. We all have some basic needs that go unmet in codependent relationships. This includes proper diet, getting enough rest, taking time for self-care, and having boundaries that protect your values. The takers in codependent relationships are often great boundary crashers, leaving you with a pile of rubble instead of healthy boundaries to protect yourself. What needs do you have that are going unmet? This can be difficult to think about because you’re accustomed to setting aside those needs, but deep down, you know what they are. For some, it’s a need to have time to yourself, quiet time just to breathe and exist without pressures or commitments. For others, it’s spending time on a hobby or reading. While a boundary crasher might want you to think you’re being selfish by tending to your own needs, it simply isn’t true.

Be Kind to Yourself

It’s time to end the stream of negativity that’s running through your head. This is a slow process because changing your thought processes doesn’t happen overnight. You didn’t develop those negative thoughts quickly and they won’t go away quickly. Consider seeking professional help if you feel you can’t do this on your own. There’s no shame in it whatsoever. To change your thought patterns, first, begin noticing all those negative things you say to yourself. They might seem harmless, but they aren’t. As you hear them, write them down and then follow up with a positive statement that reflects what is most likely the truth. I’m so stupid becomes I can do anything if I try. In the future, as you hear those negative thoughts, you can replace them with positive ones. It takes continuous effort, but the outcome is well worth it!

Replace Negative Relationships with Positive

Sometimes, you need to do a little housecleaning in your relationships. We tend to draw people to us who are most like us so there’s a great possibility that you have some negative people in your life right now. Look at your closest relationships and the individuals in them. Is this person a positive person who is supportive of you and tries to pull you up, or is this person someone who helps bring you down? If the person is someone in your family, it’s often tricky to completely extricate them from your life, but in that case, try to limit your exposure to them and begin setting and enforcing boundaries.

Establish Boundaries

Speaking of boundaries, now that you’re beginning to understand and improve your self-worth, it’s time to protect it with boundaries. Nobody, including you, can treat you like crap any longer. You aren’t going to allow anyone to take advantage of you or treat you as if you’re less worthy. To determine where you need boundaries, first examine when you’ve felt taken advantage of. For example, if someone in your family always comes to you asking for money, you can set a boundary. In this rebuilding of you, you’re hopefully working on securing your financial situation, so lending or giving money to someone would go against that value or goal. When that family member asks again for money, you either need to limit it to an amount that won’t hurt you financially or decline the request altogether. If you do loan someone money, even if it’s family, always create a written document to state their intention to repay, how, and when. That’s a boundary. People who have pushed past your boundaries before will resist and try to get you to cave in, but you must stand firm, regardless of what they say. Always remember in a situation like this that they’ve gotten themselves into whatever financial mess they’re in. It’s not your job to get them out. Just like it’s not your job to get someone out of any mess they create.

Learn to Say “No”

People with low self-worth are often “yes” people. They will say yes to any request because they fear that if they don’t, they’ll lose the relationship. Saying no after a lifetime of being a “yes” woman isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start anyway. If someone doesn’t want to be around you because you stood your ground for your own reasons, whatever they are, that’s on them. You can’t control the behavior of other people. You can only control your own. People who are accustomed to taking advantage of you in the past will try to convince you to change your mind. The question to ask yourself is what you’re saying “No” to if you say “Yes” to their request. Additionally, if you say “No” and then change it to a “Yes”, you’ll have a hard time saying “No” to that person in the future. Someone who wants to push you past your comfort zone or value and limits doesn’t have your best interest in mind, they have their own in mind.

Get to Know Yourself

What do you like to do? What do you like to eat? Where would you like to live? Have you ever considered these questions without considering someone else’s opinion? If you could spend your time doing something you truly enjoyed, what would that be? Often when you’re in a codependent relationship, you don’t know the answers to these questions because your whole life has been focused on someone else’s wants and needs. Now it’s time to learn about you, your wants and needs, and then spend time pursuing those things.

Disengage Some

It’s time to put some physical and emotional distance between you and others. This isn’t about abandoning someone or ending your relationship, it’s just about putting some space in there so you can complete these other steps. Disengaging or detaching yourself isn’t selfish, just like self-care isn’t, but it is necessary to improve your situation. What it does is allow you the space to get to know yourself and become the person you truly want to be. When you disengage, you stop:
  • Participating in arguments
  • Involving yourself in a situation that feels uncomfortable or unsafe
  • Putting the feelings, opinions, and needs of others ahead of yours
  • Trying to fix other peoples’ problems, listening instead without action
  • Nagging and criticizing others
  • Saying “Yes” all the time
  • Allowing people to crash your boundaries
  • Being reactive, instead of remaining calm and evaluating the situation to determine what your proper reaction should be

Accept Responsibility for What’s Yours Only

It becomes a bad habit to accept responsibility for your partner’s bad choices and to try to fix them, but to recover from codependency in relationships, you must stop. Additionally, you must own your responsibility for where you are in your own life. Yes, things from your childhood got you here, but now that you recognize the problem, it’s time to take charge of the situation and own your part. You can make your situation better for you. If you’re with someone who is a spendthrift, don’t allow him access to your money. If you’re sharing in the expenses, pay your half yourself. Most companies have online systems now, which makes it easy. Yes, you still might experience the electricity being shut off if he doesn’t pay his half, but you also have the option to stay with a friend or relative and not suffer the consequences of his actions. Don’t allow the words of others to continue to make you believe that you can’t take care of your own needs. You’re an adult with free will to make choices and so is your partner, friend, or family member. Stop accepting responsibility for their choices and start owning your own.

End the Victim Mentality

It’s easy to blame others for everything wrong in our lives. You’re in a codependent relationship now because of something someone did or didn’t do in your childhood. How you deal with it is up to you. It goes back to accepting responsibility but takes it one step further. Being a victim means never owning your role in anything. Life happens to you. You’re not an actor but a recipient. Instead, become a student of life who is always growing and learning. Set aside the desire to shirk responsibility and start owning your life. You are the only one who can truly make changes in your life. You’re responsible for becoming the next version of yourself, whatever that is. Set your mind in a new direction where there’s no more blaming, just becoming the best version of yourself you can be. With ditching the victim mentality comes the freedom to become whomever you want to be. You can chart your new course, set your own goals, and determine your values, then live your life to become the person who follows the course, achieves goals, and adheres to those values.

Codependency in a Relationship Doesn’t Need to be Permanent

Now that you’re aware of what codependency in a relationship looks like, you can move toward being proactive, instead of reactive in your life. You can take the steps to move away from that type of relationship, either with or without the other person in the codependency. Chances are good that if you have a codependent romantic relationship, you have other codependent relationships as well, probably within your family, but they could be hiding in your friendships too. Work toward taking those steps and nature will take care of the rest. As others see you making positive changes, one of two things will happen. Either they’ll ask to join you and learn how you’re making all those great changes, or they’ll resist and fall away. Either is acceptable if you remember that you can only control and change yourself. Whatever someone else chooses to do is on them.

Today you start taking care of you. If you don’t begin to take care of yourself, you won’t be 100% there to take care of those other important people in your life! Self-care isn’t the same as selfish. Self-care is essential for every single person, male or female, parent or not, laborer or white collar. None of that matters.

This self-love kit for women takes you through six types of self-care, providing you with essential steps toward including each type of self-care into your life.

Each type of self-care has specific steps and benefits to your overall well-being. You’ll gradually ease in to including each type of self-care in your life.

Inside the book is a link to download a free workbook and journal, featuring helpful worksheets to help you proceed through the self-care journey, as well as journal pages like yearly, monthly, weekly and daily calendars, trackers and other helpful pages. Your journey to feeling less overwhelm and more power in your life begins today!

The Idea of a Perfect Date

The idea of a perfect date varies between couples. If you’re planning a first date, you might think of something different than a couple who’s married with kids, looking to escape the madness for a few hours.

The Idea of the Perfect Date

I asked my readers for their suggestions and got some great ideas to share with you today. Many agreed that an adventure date or a date where they could talk and get to know one another was the idea of a perfect date. Some of those suggestions were:

  • Riding bikes along the trails
  • Having a picnic under a nice big tree and making love, whether the coast is clear or not
  • Enjoying an outdoor dinner at a local hangout
  • Getting my guy to join me in one of my hobbies like horseback riding
  • Coffee
  • A car ride in my boyfriend’s ’67 Mustang, preferably with the top down, if it isn’t too hot
  • Dinner and a movie where I pick dinner and he chooses the movie or vice versa
  • A scary movie so I can grab him and pull him in, then steal his popcorn
  • Sunset at the beach is the most romantic time
  • Hiking
  • Jumping in the RV and heading to a state park for the weekend so we can enjoy skinny dipping at night, making love under the stars, and grilling over an open fire
  • Meeting at the dog park to see how he treats his dog and mine, and to see if my dog approves of him
  • Kayaking and if he can keep up with me, he gets a second date, if he can’t too bad for him
  • An amusement park or a haunted house
  • Dinner and a concert
  • Go carts
the idea of a perfect date

First Date Challenges

Obviously, a few of those weren’t first-date ideas, but many of them would be. While the traditional first date is to go somewhere for dinner, this is the most awkward date you can find. If one of you is shy or very nervous, it can be a struggle to find conversational topics.

If you’re out doing something, the pressure to enjoy a conversation is gone. You’re too busy enjoying yourselves to worry about what to say next.

Additionally, when you enjoy an adventurous first date, you see more of one another’s true colors. You can see how he manages challenges and adversity, as well as how supportive he is of you if you’re trying something challenging or new.

These types of dates also take the pressure off when it comes to choosing your wardrobe for the date. If you’re going for a bike ride or a hike, you can dress appropriately in jeans or shorts and a t-shirt or sweatshirt.

Regardless of what date you choose, dress comfortably and conservatively. Dressing to show off too much skin for a first date sends the wrong signal. It says you believe your greatest asset is your body, not your mind and intellect. Great men are interested in all of them, of course, but they’ll respect you more if you leave some things to their imagination!

Subsequent Dates

Not all your dates need to be like this. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional dinner and a movie date, and it’s even mentioned above, but it isn’t a great first date. In fact, if you’re married, this might be the perfect date because you can sit and talk, which may be challenging if you have small children at home.

Still, enjoying adventures or dates where you’re doing versus sitting are more enjoyable and telling. My assistant, Kirbie, has a daughter who’s getting married in a couple of months. They recently enjoyed time with family and friends at her bridal shower. One of the activities they had was for everyone to write date night ideas on a large popsicle stick that they then put in a jar.

The next day, the couple told Kirbie that they loved this and her soon-to-be son-in-law was even writing his own ideas on sticks and adding them to the jar. They said they sometimes just look at one another and shrug their shoulders when they want to do something together and having the jar will help them enjoy some different activities.

Of course, the groom pulled out his first stick and it said candle making. He decided that if he could make a candle that smelled manly, he was on board!

the idea of a perfect date

The Idea of a Perfect Date for Date Night

I am a huge proponent of date nights for couples because it helps keep the relationship from becoming routine, stale or dead. I always encourage couples to schedule a weekly date night so they can reconnect and enjoy time together.

These nights should be as technology-free as possible and shouldn’t be about arguing or complaining. It’s a time to reconnect and recharge the couple batteries. Talk about things that happened throughout the week, like the big report you gave at work and how he might be up for a promotion. Talk about planning a vacation together or your plans for the future.

When you plan your week, put date night on first and make it a priority. It’s the one thing on your calendar you can’t cancel or reschedule. If your partner and your relationship are important to you, so is this time together.

What Most Men Prefer

Most men prefer fun dates. This is how they spend time with their friends and it’s how they want to spend time with you. While most men are okay with sitting down for dinner, if you asked, most would prefer an adventure.

If you’re an exclusive couple, make yourselves a date night jar and ask friends for ideas. Add your own ideas as well and then pull out a stick when it comes time for your date. The rule is that if you pull out the stick, you have to do the activity unless the weather is prohibitive of course.  

Below are some final tips for the idea of a perfect date for you to consider:

  • Go to a drive-in movie or set one up at home
  • Camp out in your living room with blankets and pillows, maybe even a tent, s’mores in the fireplace, or popcorn and a movie
  • Visit the local zoo, arboretum, museum, or another similar venue
  • Go dancing or take dancing lessons together
  • Visit a nearby small town and peruse the shops, finish with dinner at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant
  • Merge one of your hobbies with one of his – a car show where you take tons of photos for example
  • Take a cooking class together
  • Putt-putt golfing is always fun and men love competition
  • Visit a local festival and enjoy ethnic or international food

Regardless of what you choose, if you’re both laid back and prepared to enjoy one another, you’ll have a great time!

Once you find true love, the key is keeping it! In my best-seller, Pennies in the Jar: How to Keep a Man for Life, you'll learn many things you and your guy can do to maintain a healthy, happy relationship. The pennies you put in the jar are shared memories. You add pennies when you do things together like exploring a quaint little town nearby or relaxing in a coffee shop on a Saturday afternoon. They're added when you make a game out of grocery shopping or have a cooking contest for dinner.

Learn how to put pennies in the jar, how to communicate effectively and how to fight fair, all inside this great book!

To learn more about it, click here. To purchase the book, click one of the buttons below.

Dating vs. In a Relationship | What’s the Difference?

Dating vs. In a Relationship | What’s the Difference?

Have you ever wondered about dating vs. in a relationship? I can see how you might be confused, so I’m here to clarify.

While it might not seem like it, there are quite a few differences between just dating and being in a relationship. I think once you read through them, dating vs. in a relationship will be all cleared up for you!

The most fundamental differences between dating and being in a relationship boil down to your intention and the relationship’s trajectory.

In other words, what are your goals with this relationship? This is one of those instances where you and your guy need to be on the same page. If he’s just in it for the sex (think player), but you’re looking for your forever man, Houston, we have a problem.

Let’s see if we can’t clear this one up today!

Dating vs. In a Relationship | Definitions

First, let’s get some terminology down.

What is Dating?

Dating is where you explore a new person. You take time to get to know them before you commit to being exclusive.

Think about dating as a wine flight. You go to a bar, and you order a flight of six of their new wines. You taste each and decide which one you want to go with for the evening.

Dating is the same thing. You line up a few men and date them several times to see which one might be a good fit.

You’re exploring one another to see if the likes and dislikes match. Are your values aligned? Can you have fun together?

Dating is a time of curiosity and hope. It’s marked by uncertainty and lots of first dates. Usually, dating lasts just two to three months before you either slide into a relationship or go your separate ways.

What is a Relationship?

When you move from dating to being in a relationship, you choose to be committed to this one person. The expectation is either marriage or a long-term relationship, depending on your wants.

The exploration continues in a relationship, but it’s on a deeper level. You experience an increased romantic, emotional, and sexual attraction to one another.

In a relationship, you’re exploring the possibility of a life-long commitment.

dating vs. in a relationship

The Stages

Stages of Dating

Dating progresses through natural stages that mark whether you advance toward a relationship or ultimately find someone else.

Attraction

The first stage of dating is attraction. A man sees a woman from across the room and summons the courage to approach or vice versa.

What attracts a man to a woman?

How to make a man fall in love with you

Awkwardness

The second stage of dating is awkwardness. This happens right after one of you approaches the other. You’re unsure if your approach is welcome, and you’re nervous about making a great first impression.

First impressions matter

Once you move past awkwardness, you re-enter attraction on a deeper level.

Uncertainty

While you like this guy, you’re unsure how he feels about you. You’re dating other people, and for all you know, he’s really hot for someone else.

You’re now assessing your feelings for this guy and wondering if he could be the one. At this point, you decide whether he’s someone you want to be exclusive with.

Intimate Partnership

If you move past uncertainty and are still together, you’re beginning to form an intimate partnership. This is the prelude to your relationship, but things can still go the other way. Remember that you’re still exploring, and things can still come up to derail the whole thing.

Stages of a Relationship

You can best read about the stages of a relationship here. Although the article combines the stages of dating with the stages of a relationship, it’s still a great way to determine where you are.

Dating vs. In a Relationship | The Differences

Dating is About Finding Out if You Fit Together

When you date someone, and please read this carefully, your main goal is to determine if you fit together. Are you compatible with the big stuff? Of course, this conversation doesn’t happen immediately, and much of this fact-finding mission isn’t about having a conversation.

When you first meet someone new, one of two things usually happens. Either you have great chemistry right away, and everything seems to click, or the date falls flat, and you struggle to maintain a conversation.

This is why I never suggest dinner dates. Dinner dates are better suited for date nights when you and your guy need to spend quality time reconnecting. By then, you have plenty to talk about.

Dating is about having fun and getting to know one another. You do that by exploring the world around you. Act like you’re new to your town and set out to explore it. Go to sporting events, even if it’s high school football. Explore museums and other historical venues. Go to local events. Do things together.

That’s how you really get to know someone. That’s dating.

Dating Has a Lower Level of Commitment

Initially dating someone new, you have no commitment to them. You should be dating more than one man until you are in a committed relationship. It helps you know what you like and dislike about different men.

You aren’t sexually exclusive, although I encourage you to hold off on having sex until a man has proven that he’s worthy of you. Additionally, when dating, there’s no commitment to be there for the complicated stuff. You can be, of course, but there’s no obligation.

dating vs. in a relationship

Dating vs. In a Relationship | When Can You Be Yourself?

Please don’t be angry with me for what I’m about to say. I mean it most kindly. When people are dating, they’re essentially marketing the best version of themselves. You’re constantly worried about saying or doing the wrong thing.

Once you’re in a relationship, you’re comfortable being yourself. You’ve seen one another’s flaws, and you’re okay with them.

Relationships Require Compromise

When you’re dating, it’s easier to be a little selfish. If you don’t want to go out with him on Friday, you can call or text and make an excuse without feeling too guilty. You don’t have a commitment, so if you don’t want to go out, don’t sweat it.

But it would help if you learned how to compromise in a relationship. He went to your best friend’s baby shower, even though he still has no idea why men were invited, and now, it’s your turn to go to his buddy’s house to hang out for the evening.

And the compromise goes further than that because a relationship is all about compromise. Neither of you can expect to have things your way all the time. It’s selfish and unrealistic.

Relationships are Exclusive

When you’re considering dating vs. in a relationship, probably the easiest thing to do is define a point in time where things change from one to the other. That point is when you decide to be exclusive with one another, and no, that isn’t after your first date.

Once you’ve dated a guy for a while and the relationship feels good, the two of you can decide to become exclusive. You’ve been together and determined that you share values and goals for your future. You know he’s worthy of you, and he’s sure you’re the confident woman he thought you were when he first saw you.

The decisions you make now are for the two of you. Where will you live? Who pays the electric bill? Which one of you does the cooking?

Dating vs. In a Relationship | Introductions

When you’re in a relationship, you introduce one another as boyfriend or girlfriend, but when you’re just dating, you might introduce one another as friends or someone you’re dating.

Boyfriend or girlfriend status is reserved for that commitment stage of the relationship. That’s why it can feel uncomfortable to introduce a guy that way for the first time. It’s because you’re taking a giant leap into relationship territory.

The Communication is on a Different Level

When you’re in a relationship, you’re more likely to discuss the minute details of life, whereas when you’re dating, you stick to surface material most of the time.

As you draw closer to making a mutually exclusive commitment, conversations will deepen, but when you’re dating, it’s more about where to go the next time you go out or whether you enjoyed the movie you just saw.

Dating vs. In a Relationship | The Expectations are Different

You expect less of them when dating someone, or you should anyway. I see this causing many problems early in relationships.

Often, the woman thinks they’re more committed than they are, and she becomes frustrated when he doesn’t meet her expectations. Meanwhile, he doesn’t expect a lot yet and doesn’t feel he has any need to meet your expectations.

In a relationship, you expect your partner to be more present, and, depending on your living situation, you may also expect him to pitch in more.

Their Priority in Your Life is Greater in a Relationship

When dating someone, they are less of a priority in your life. Time with your friends and family may come before time with someone you’re just dating.

In a relationship, however, you prioritize them more. If you choose between going to a social event hosted by his work or doing an Outlander binge with your besties, you should prioritize the work event. He’s your priority now.

Dating vs. In a Relationship | Your Social Lives

Generally, unless you meet through mutual friends, you won’t introduce someone you’re just dating to your social network. Men do this to avoid hearing all the comments from their friends. The uncertainty of your future isn’t worth it.

If his friends love you, they’ll get after him if he doesn’t choose you, and if they don’t, they’ll be your demise before he’s ready to give up.

dating vs. in a relationship

The “L” Word

When dating, you shouldn’t expect to hear him say he loves you and vice versa. You’re not there yet. You’re exploring one another, and men don’t usually fall in love that quickly anyway.

Once you enter a committed relationship, the “L” word is more likely to come out, although maybe not immediately.

Dating vs. In a Relationship | You’re an “Us” in a Relationship

When dating, you don’t think of you and your guy as “us” or “we.” If your best friend invites you to her wedding, she invites you and a guest.

When you’re in a relationship, you’re part of a “we.” You’re a unit, and people think of you as one, not two individual people. That wedding invitation will have both of your names.

Walking Away is Easier When You’re Dating

Many women contact me after a man they’ve been dating for just a few weeks suddenly exits their lives. While that’s a crappy way to end things with someone, that’s sometimes how men do it.

These women are desperate to get the guy back, but there is little hope for one reason. You weren’t together long enough to build the intimacy you have in a relationship.

It’s harder to walk away from a relationship with feelings of love and commitment, but when you’re dating, it’s easier to stop seeing someone.

Women often mistake dating with being in a relationship, which makes the exit of these guys so painful.

Dating vs. In a Relationship | Action versus Label

Dating is an action. You are dating someone to learn more about them. A relationship is a label of what you have when you become committed to one another.

You’ll always date one another, but the differences above determine your overall commitment.

Why you should never stop dating your husband

Dating Vs. In a Relationship | The Final Word

Hopefully, you’ve seen the importance of understanding dating vs. in a relationship. Too often, we find someone we have great chemistry with and immediately believe we’re in a relationship with them, but that isn’t the case.

Relationships require a dedicated effort and a level of caring that isn’t present when you first date someone new.

I encourage you to slow down when you’re dating and to date more than one guy at a time. Once you’re sure things are going well and he’s proven worthy, you can move to something more committed and long-term.

Meanwhile, have fun. Date different types of men and learn what you like and dislike. Put these men to the test and allow one to rise to the top naturally.

To date a man, you must understand a man. Men and women do almost everything differently, and sometimes for different motivations. To a man, his financial status indicates how well he can take care of you and your family. It's a source of pride for him to be able to do so, even if you make your own money and can support yourself.

It's how he was raised.

Men also love differently. Many relationships breakup for the simple reason that a man is showing a woman how much he loves her, but he isn't saying the words she longs to hear. He's taking her car to get the oil changed, building the shelves she desires in her office and helping with the outside chores. You're probably missing many of these signs that he loves you.

You gain so much insight into the male mind that you'll be amazed at what you suddenly see and understand in the behavior of all men around you. Not just the man you're in a relationship with, but the men you work with and those in your family.

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