Stages of a Relationship

Stages of a Relationship

Everyone who’s happily attached goes through stages of a relationship, but you might mistake those stages as being linear. You find someone with whom you share incredible chemistry, but then who he really is starts to shine through and you enter into a more uncertain stage. Some relationships end here, others don’t.

If you make it through the uncertainty stage (we’ll give them more formal names shortly), you enter into an adjustment phase when the differences between you seem to stand out and you feel like you’re constantly negotiating something.

If you can survive the adjustment stage, you’ll find yourself ready to commit. You’re accepting one another for who you are and willing to hang in there. The next stage is acceptance. You’ve gone through a lot to get where you are, and you feel closer than ever.

The challenge is that you won’t stay in that acceptance stage because you’re both always growing and changing. You’ll cycle through these stages multiple times throughout a long-term relationship, regardless of what Hollywood tries to tell us.

stages of a relationship

Stages of a Relationship: Stage 1 – Early Dating

This stage is called the infatuation stage, the euphoria stage, the merge stage, and probably a dozen other names, but they all mean the same thing. It’s that first phase of a relationship when you feel the chemistry and you’re drawn to one another so strongly that common sense and reason often fly out the door. During this stage, your emotions are strong, often overriding any rational thinking you might normally do. You feel he’s your perfect match, a guy who’s very similar to you and someone you want to spend all your time with. According to scientific research, during this phase of a relationship, your brain shows decreased activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is the part responsible for the negative judgment of people. This means your brain has just handed you a pair of rose-colored glasses. While this can feel like a bad thing, research also says that couples in the study who stayed together for three or more years had the most decreased activity in this part of their brains. While you each have faults and you see them, they don’t matter enough to cause you to end the relationship. In other words, you look past them.

The Dangers of Stage 1

While this is all well and good, there are some pitfalls to this chemical reaction your brain is having.

Ignoring Red Flags

First, you may ignore true red flags. You’re so in love with him that you see the red flags, but you don’t pay attention to them. Some flaws are no big deal and the ability to overlook them is fine, but sometimes there are bigger red flags that you should notice. He may be financially irresponsible, physically or emotionally abusive, controlling, or have any of a host of other negative behaviors. One or both of you explain these poor behaviors away and move forward. Of course, all of those I just listed are not good for a healthy relationship, so ignoring them is leading you down a bad path. To avoid this, ask your friends to meet him and give you their honest assessment. Listen to them because they have one goal – to protect you from yourself. They want you to be happy, so when they tell you something you don’t want to hear, remember that! Take off those rose-colored glasses for a few moments and ask yourself if what they’re seeing is true. Date with your head, not with your heart

Giving Up Your Outside Live

Another problem that can occur in stage one is that you spend more time with this new love instead of on your hobbies and outside friendships. You begin to spend so much time together that your friends finally just give up on you coming to girls’ night ever again. While this seems okay, it’s not. He fell for a woman who was active and engaged with the outside world. He fell for you because you were busy and confident. A guy will enjoy this for a little while, but then he’ll begin to feel smothered. He wants to spend time with his friends, alone, but you’re always there. He can’t catch an evening to himself, and he may begin to feel smothered. A relationship can’t survive with the two of you slobbering all over one another all the time. The two of you need time apart so you can appreciate your time together. He needs to be away from you sometimes in order to be excited to be with you again. Avoid this by maintaining the activities you had before you met him. If you had Yoga on Tuesday nights, keep going. He’ll be okay, I promise. If you and your girlfriends did a girls’ night twice a month, keep going. Keep working on your hobbies and volunteering or doing other things that occupied your time before you met him. Of course, don’t spend every evening doing something. Make time for a date night with him too, but don’t plan to spend every day, from the end of work one day until you wake up to go to work the next together.

Not Being Fully Honest with One Another

I often equate dating, especially early on, as a marketing activity. You’re putting your best foot forward so you can impress this guy. If you met through an online dating site, you put up your best photos, maybe photos that were a year or five old. You only listed your good qualities because who wants to put up the bad ones? But this isn’t really you. We’re all flawed, and we all have baggage. We’re all afraid of being too vulnerable with someone we don’t really know, so we keep those parts of ourselves hidden. Of course, if you feel you’ve hidden your true self for too long, you wage a war with yourself over when is a good time to bring up some of those vulnerabilities and pieces of baggage. So, here’s what you do. Try to be as close to your true self as you can be on your first date. Don’t wear an outfit that doesn’t represent your taste just because you think it makes you look sexier. Wear something you feel comfortable in that doesn’t show off too much of your body but still leaves him appreciating you. Instead of hiding your baggage, unpack it slowly, in little pieces first. Always remember that just because you think something is negative in your life doesn’t mean he will. Baggage is different for everyone. You may have dated a few men who bolted and ran when they found out you have a three-year-old son, but that doesn’t mean the next guy will.

Having Unreasonable Expectations

When you have low confidence and self-esteem, you may set unreasonable expectations in the early phase of a relationship. For example, you may seek a commitment from him way before he’s ready to make one. Guys take longer to fall in love In reality, you’re probably scared to death that he might see through you to your pain and vulnerability, so you make sure to dump him first. That’ll teach him for being too perfect! Some women meet a new guy and within a few weeks, they’re reading The Knot and dreaming about wedding dresses. Every time he does something that they feel is a milestone, they add to this vision of a lifetime relationship with him. If you find yourself doing this, it’s time to stop dating for a while. Take a relationship break and work on yourself. If your confidence is low, you’re attracting a type of man you don’t want and who may not be able to commit to you in the way you envision. Confident men don’t date women who lack confidence. They date confident women, so to attract a great man, you must first build your own confidence and self-esteem. I want to change my life!
stages of a relationship

You Have Sex With Him Too Soon

Sex too early in a relationship can kill whatever you have between you. Yes, a guy will ask to have sex, but that doesn’t mean you must say yes.

Have a boundary that says you won’t have sex with a guy until he’s proven himself worthy of you. Of course, if your beliefs say not to have sex until you’re married, let him know that. If he respects you and likes you enough at this stage, he’ll respect your boundaries.

How many dates before we have sex?

Sex and a new relationship | When is the right time?

When you have sex too soon, it is a low-confidence signal. It’s your way of saying you think you can’t keep him if you don’t have sex. That sex is all you have to offer.

This is not true. You are a wonderful woman, whether you see it or not. A good man will respect your boundaries and not try to crash through them.

We slept together. Now what?

How Long Does This First of the Stages of a Relationship Last?

Most believe that this first stage lasts about six months, some estimate it could last up to two years, but I don’t think that’s true. Really, it depends on the two of you. Nobody can predict how long any couple experiences one stage or another.

Your relationship is different from any other because you’re at different stages of your life than other couples. Another factor is how your relationship started, your personality traits, and how long it took you to fall in love.

I have neighbors who began dating during COVID. The man lives next door to me, and his girlfriend lives across the street from me. To add to the situation, his ex-wife lives about five doors down from his girlfriend. They all get along well, thankfully, so it all works.

When the man and his wife were married, they lived in the same school district as his current girlfriend. They knew one another. Their kids went to school together, so when they ended up being neighbors, they weren’t strangers. I would estimate it was about a year after she moved in that they started formally dating.

I don’t honestly know how long they stayed in this stage. They were very quiet about their relationship for quite some time, for obvious reasons. We have a close-knit neighborhood with quite a few busybodies. My point is that for them, this stage may have lasted a shorter period of time because they knew one another already. Some of the secrets were already out.

If you’re in this stage of a relationship, enjoy it. This is the fun stage when you’re learning about one another. Do fun things together. Enjoy getting to know one another. Don’t put the pressure of commitment on yourselves just yet. It’s too soon.

How to Get This Phase Back Later

Remember above, I said you’ll cycle through these stages of a relationship. How can you bring back this phase?

Continue to Show One Another Your Love

Never stop giving compliments or appreciating one another. Keep surprising him with his favorite coffee once in a while. Put a note in his laptop bag to remind him of something special you have planned.

Keep making deposits in the emotional bank every day. Just because you may move out of this phase doesn’t mean you get to stop being nice to one another. In fact, as the challenges of the other phases kick in, it will be even more important to do these things.

Keep a Regular Date Night Routine

Date nights are crucial to happy relationships. I’m convinced of this. They provide you with an opportunity to reconnect after a busy week of other stuff.

They also give you the chance to discuss your relationship and your shared vision for where it’s going. How do you see your relationship advancing? What kinds of things do you want to do together? How do you see this playing out in the future?

Date night also gives you time to just be a couple. If you both have outside responsibilities, like kids, it helps you reconnect as a couple without those outside distractions.

I recommend a technology-free rule for date nights unless you have a job that requires you to be on call or you have kids with a babysitter. But you don’t sit there and read emails, look to see who liked your latest Facebook post or how many new followers you have on Instagram. Save that for later. This is your time to be together.

Spend Time Apart

I mentioned this before. It’s important for you both to have time apart, as well as time together. If you stay glued to one another all the time, it will get old fast and one or both of you will feel smothered.

This time apart allows you to maintain friendships, hobbies, and other activities you were doing before you met him. It also allows you to be apart so you can miss one another, which helps you remember why you’re together in the first place.

Practice Partner-Based Gratitude

There are reasons why you love having him in your life. Share them with him. This doesn’t need to be a daily practice, but you should strive for a few times a week. You can do it in different ways. You could write him a love letter and mail it to him, or you could write it in lipstick or dry-erase marker on the bathroom mirror. I suggested earlier sticking a note in his computer bag or in his lunch.

All of these pieces of appreciation are important and help maintain the bond between you.

Become an Active Listener

Many people think communication is all about how you speak to one another, but one person can’t be heard if the other isn’t listening.

Listening is perhaps more important than speaking because then your partner feels appreciated and heard. Many problems in relationships arise when someone feels unheard. He’s been trying to tell you for weeks that he needs more time to himself, but you just keep scheduling things to do together, ignoring his request.

Listening involves sitting quietly while your partner speaks. Don’t work on what your response will be. Ask questions where they fit. Nod your head to show you’re paying attention. Keep your eyes focused on him, although not to the point of being creepy.

Only after he’s done speaking do you consider what you’ll say. Don’t try to make it something to top his story. Maybe all you say is, “Wow, Gregg! That’s amazing,” or “Gee Joe, I’m so sorry about your dog.” It shows you were paying attention and that what he said mattered.

Don’t Let Your Sex Life Fall Off

The kids are young, and you have a puppy. You just got a promotion and he’s just started his own business. You’re both so exhausted by the end of the day that you just want to drop into bed and fall asleep.

Instead, I encourage you to relight the fire. Buy some new sexy lingerie or his favorite perfume. Find some couples’ games and have some fun. I know your life is exhausting, but sex is a powerful thing in a relationship. When it slows down, it’s a red flag.

Touch alone is a very powerful tool in a loving relationship. Just lying together in bed and caressing one another is a very deep and caring activity.

Do Things Together

There are many ways to do things together. You can do something as basic as preparing a meal together, or you can do something riskier like rock climbing, bungee jumping, and so on. You can also plan a vacation together or even go grocery shopping. Some couples find a hobby to share or they’re able to combine their individual hobbies into one they can do together.

These activities are outside of your regular date nights. They can be planned or impromptu. The point is to do something together.


The most effective way to deepen your relationship is to communicate. Ask your partner what he would like out of your relationship at this point. Does he want to experience something with you, or without you? Are there things he’s always wanted to do? Is there something he feels is missing from your relationship?

Relationship failure can often be traced back to poor communication skills for both partners. You don’t really know how to ask for what you want or need, either because you’re afraid to be vulnerable or because you’re afraid of being told no.

If you care for one another, you’ll work hard to make sure you’re both happy and your needs are being met.

stages of a relationship

Stages of a Relationship: Stage 2 – The Love Hangover

This is a difficult stage for many couples, and some divorces and breakups occur in this second of the five stages of a relationship.

The Dangers of Stage 2

You Focus on the Differences Now

During this stage, the rose-colored glasses come off. You finally see the differences between you, instead of just the things that make you great together. It can feel like it’s hitting you hard, like an ugly wake-up call. Those same qualities that he has that you once thought were cute are now just annoying you. Maybe he’s an adventurous type, and that attracted you to him early on, but now it feels like he’s taking too many risks. Perhaps he first came off as generous, but now you feel he’s a spendthrift.

You May Engage in Power Struggles

As these differences come to light, there’s more friction in the relationship. You may experience power struggles and feel dismayed at the differences you’re now observing. Sometimes you feel like you love him and at other times, you feel so irritated that you can’t stand to be around him. You must be careful during this stage not to fall into that my way or the highway mindset. Relationships are about compromise. There’s give and take, and the same person can’t always be the one giving or taking. The conflicts you’re experiencing aren’t about huge issues because you don’t yet have that deep commitment or know that much about one another, but they’re disagreements, nonetheless.

Life Becomes Too Stressful – Fight or Flee?

If this becomes too stressful for you, your fight-or-flight instincts might kick in, causing you to either engage in arguments or want to flee the relationship. You might want to fight to defend your values or your point of view, which may translate into wanting everything to be your way.

Are You in Stage 2?

One way to know for sure that you’re in this second stage is that you’re able to sleep easier. You aren’t thinking about him 24/7. You feel more comfortable doing your outside activities and hanging out with your friends now. Another signal is that while one of you is withdrawing from the relationship, seemingly shutting down your heart and pulling away so you can get some space, the other is pursuing harder. The pursuing partner wants more attention because she feels the growing distance. This partner might feel emotionally abandoned by the other partner.

How to Survive Stage 2

Stage two is certainly survivable, or there wouldn’t be three more stages to follow. The challenge, of course, is to get the person who’s withdrawing to recognize the emotional abandonment their partner is feeling. And for the partner who’s ramped up their pursuit, to recognize that they need to pull back and give their partner some space.

Realize You Can’t Change Him – Accept Him Where He Is

It’s also important to recognize that you can’t change him. Just because he isn’t the person you thought he was doesn’t mean you aren’t compatible. If you love someone, you learn to love them where they are, not where you want them to be. James and Kira have been together for a couple of years now, but James just retired from military service and is battling some post-concussion issues. The doctors are saying he may have what they’re now calling a traumatic brain injury. James isn’t the guy he was when he left, and while they communicated during his time away, they were able to avoid many of the pitfalls of Stage 2. Now that they’re together, Kira is frustrated, partly because she doesn’t understand the changes in James, and partly because their differences seem to be coming to light now that he’s back. But Kira realizes that she loves James and is willing to do what it takes to understand what he’s going through, even though it’s difficult at times.

Learn How to Fight Fair

An unfair fight is one where you yell and carry on without listening or giving the other person a chance to say their peace. When you see a discussion escalating into an argument, it’s time to step back from it. You can say something like, “I think we both need to take a few minutes to calm down so we can talk about this rationally. When you’re emotional, like when you’re angry, it’s very difficult to think logically or rationally. Your mind just can’t do it, so any argument comes from an emotional place, not a rational one. By giving you both time to calm down, you’re allowing for your rational or logical mind to come back into the picture. You’re also more likely to be ready to listen now that you’ve calmed down. During this calming down time, take some deep breaths to send a signal to your system that the danger is over. Alleviate that fight or flight response that kicked in. You may also consider taking a walk or going to the gym to work out. This also releases those fight-or-flight chemicals and allows you to burn off the angry energy. When you come back together, stick to the ONE topic you were arguing about. Don’t bring up something that happened between you six weeks ago. Also, avoid hurling insults and using foul language. Be calm and come prepared to listen as much as, if not more than you speak.

Remember, this is Normal

What you’re going through is normal. It’s a stage of your relationship. It isn’t permanent. Nor is it a sign that there’s nothing between you. Your relationship isn’t ending just because you’re in the middle of a disagreement. Throughout your entire relationship, you will disagree. It’s how you manage those disagreements that make the difference between whether your relationship will survive.

Learn the Difference Between Healthy Disagreements and Control Issues

You can work through any healthy disagreement, but if you find yourself in a constant battle for control, that might not be a relationship worth saving. What to do if your boyfriend is controlling             Is my relationship over? Surviving Stage 2 is all about acceptance and tolerance of the issues that now rise up between you. Neither of you is perfect, nor is one of you always right and the other wrong. If you can learn to compromise, you’ll be more likely to succeed!

How Long Does Stage 2 Last?

Stage two can last anywhere from a few months to years, depending on the couple. How long it lasts for you depends on a few factors:
  • Your willingness to embrace change
  • Your own childhood history and any attachment issues
  • The quality of the advice you receive
  • How willing you are to compromise and forgive
This is a stage where selfishness will be your demise. There are, of course, only two possible outcomes from going through Stage 2. Either you break up or you power through. Couples who break up are often serial daters who are always looking for love but finding disappointment. They’re more likely individuals who lack confidence and/or are battling some attachment issues from their childhood. Couples who power through are usually more confident individuals who are able to forgive and survive the pain and frustration this stage can bring. These are individuals who believe that being in a relationship means making sacrifices and compromises for your partner or the relationship.

How do You Know When Stage 2 is Over?

You’re ending Stage 2 when:
  • You can communicate effectively about difficult topics
  • You’re able to quickly repair the damaging effects of your disagreements
  • You can heal old wounds and restore any broken trust
  • You’re able to share the power, instead of struggling for it
  • You can accept one another for who you are, instead of trying to change one another
This stage can feel like it’s just not worth it, that it’s too much work to survive it, but sometimes the harder the struggle, the stronger you are if you make it to the other side! Unlike stage one, this isn’t a stage you want to revisit. If you find yourself arguing over small differences, it’s a kick in the behind to remember to compromise and listen. If you find yourselves returning to this stage over and over, or if you seem to get stuck here, it means you lack the skills to navigate your power struggle and resolve your differences. You need to develop these skills in order to move on successfully past this stage.
stages of a relationship

Stages of a Relationship: Stage 3  – The Adjustment Stage

If stage two didn’t kill your relationship, stage three might. Sometimes, this stage is defined by what some call the seven-year itch. This is another stage of challenging moments, which arise as your commitment deepens and you continue to learn about one another. The differences at this stage may have more to do with external factors like family differences, cultural discrepancies, religious beliefs, values, or morals. Those things are all starting to make a difference in how your relationship functions from one day to the next, so they’re rising to the surface. At this stage, you’re at a point of deciding whether these deeper differences are surmountable. Since many of these differences often dictate how you live your life, they can be a big deal. Up until now, you may not be living together or spending a lot of time together, at least not enough for these issues to surface, but you’re getting closer and they matter now. Sometimes, during this phase, you drift apart. Just like in stage two, however, this doesn’t mean the relationship is over. It simply means you need to communicate. What’s driving you apart? Can you resolve the differences or are they too important or too big to overcome? If you’ve learned how to resolve your differences well in stage two, you may find this to be a time of peace. You know how to work through issues and you’re carrying those skills forward to manage the new potential conflicts. During this stage, you realize that you can’t change one another, so you either accept each other for who you are or you split up. You develop mutual respect for one another that overrides the differences and helps you set and maintain your boundaries.

The Dangers of Stage 3


You can lull yourself into boredom during this stage if you aren’t careful. Finding that peace is nice, but if you settle into too much peace, it’s no longer fun and challenging. Grow together and push one another to stretch your comfort zones. These types of activities help you build intimacy and make your relationship stronger. While many people mistake sex for intimacy, intimacy is actually about spending bonding moments together, building memories, and growing deeper in your affection for one another. When things get tough, it may be those memories that draw you back to one another.

Unhealthy Relationship Habits

If you’re experiencing a lot of conflict during this stage, you can develop unhealthy relationship habits, like giving one another the silent treatment after an argument or completely ignoring your problems altogether. Exhaustion and frustration at the constant bickering can weigh on you, making you not even want to try. If you get to this point, you need to have a conversation about whether this relationship has what it takes. You’ve gone through a lot already and you’ve spent a good amount of time together, probably a couple of years at this point, so be careful about giving up too easily.

Becoming “I” Instead of “We”

It’s easy to feel alone when there’s a growing distance between you. In this stage, you might feel as if you’re alone again, except with someone still sort of there in the periphery. The solution, again, is communication. At this point, it’s the solution to everything. If you haven’t yet developed healthy communication skills, it’s time to do so. Instead of both of you hanging out with mutual friends, you may find yourself spending more time with your friends and less time with him. Even if this relationship doesn’t work out, you need those communication skills for the next time. In that instance, evaluate what went wrong and how you can do your part better the next time.

How to Survive Stage 3

Again, stage three is survivable or there wouldn’t be four and five. There are things you can do to help yourselves make it through.

Stop Avoiding Your Problems

Problems don’t go away just because you ignore them. Especially when they’re problems between two people. They just get bigger and bigger until they’re too big to ignore, and often by then, they can be insurmountable. When a problem comes up, wait until a time when you’re getting along and then bring it up. Don’t choose another fight to solve this problem. If you sit down when you’re both already calm, it opens you up to logical and rational thought processes instead of emotionally charged yelling matches where nothing is solved. If something is too challenging but you want to work it out, consider couples counseling. An unbiased mediator can often see things you’re missing and is trained to look for cues in the things you say and your actions.

Remember to Show Affection Toward One Another

When things are rough, it’s easy to forget to show your partner that you still love them, but it’s also more important than ever. You can have an argument that leaves one or both of you wondering how the other feels. Without any affection, that unknown can really weigh on you and cause more harm. Some people go by a never go to bed angry rule, and it’s a good one to use. That way you can still come together at night and comfort one another, have sex, or just cuddle. Even spending time watching a movie together can be intimate.

Be sure to Notice the Positives

In stage one, it’s all about the positives of the relationship and failing to see the negatives. Stages two and three can focus more on the negatives, so be sure to remember the positives. Be appreciative of the things he does for you. This is how he shows his love for you. Also, try to do things for him. Even small gestures like baking his favorite cookies or cooking his favorite meal can go a long way to showing appreciation. When you feel like all of your focus is on negativity, make a mental shift and work through some positivity instead.

How Long Does Stage 3 Last?

There’s no predicting how long this stage will last. If you developed good communication and problem-solving skills during stage two, it might not be a contentious stage at all. You may find that peace I mentioned earlier, but remember that peace comes at a price too if you aren’t careful.
stages of a relationship

Stages of a Relationship: Stage 4 – The Commitment Stage

The commitment stage isn’t about marriage per se. In fact, you could already be married by this point. The commitment is more about knowing that you’ve overcome your differences and learned how to communicate well enough to solve problems and avoid massive arguments. Commitment is about making a choice every day to be with your partner. You feel like you don’t need one another, but you want one another, for better or worse, as they say. Now, you experience a balance of love, power, fun, belonging, and freedom. You’ve decided that the bad is outweighed by the good. While you have differences, you’ve learned how to live with them or you’ve made conscious choices to change yourselves to accommodate your partner.

The Dangers of Stage 4

Sex and Intimacy Fade Away

If you continue to nurture and place importance on your sexual relationship, this won’t happen. Keep things exciting in the bedroom. Share a fantasy or yours or his and act it out. Explore sex toys and games to keep things exciting. Passion doesn’t just happen after stage one. It takes effort to keep that attraction alive. Bring back sexual tension in your relationship

Staying Together for the Wrong Reasons

Be objective about why you’re still together. It’s very easy to stay together because of the kids or because it’s easier than starting over. Don’t allow guilt over splitting up outweigh the common sense of ending something that just isn’t working. It’s easy to settle into a routine of complacency, but that’s not engaging, fun, or fair to either of you.

Believing That Your Work is Done

Now that the relationship has settled in, it’s easy to think you can coast now. Wrong! A good relationship is one that you’re always working on. You’re always doing things together to build intimacy. You’re challenging one another, maintaining an air of mystery, and you’re doing things together. At the same time, you’re giving one another space and pursuing a few interests of your own outside of the relationship. Just don’t think you’ve reached a point when your relationship doesn’t require any more effort. You never reach that point!

Forgetting to Maintain Your Emotional Connection

An emotional connection isn’t sex. Emotional connection is, in part, about trusting one another. By now you should have a high level of trust in one another. It’s when you both feel this trust that you feel safe sharing more baggage and vulnerabilities if you haven’t done so yet. If your partner shares something like that with you, be careful with it. Think of it like an egg. You should hold it carefully and give it great consideration. He’s given you something and he temporarily feels as breakable as that eggshell. Don’t belittle him or laugh at what he shares. If he shares something like that with you, it’s a good idea to reciprocate. Show that you trust him with your deep dark secrets too.


This is the stage where affairs can happen. They’re more likely to occur if you haven’t navigated stages two and three very well. Your intimacy and trust have already fallen off and you don’t feel connected. You may be staying together out of convenience or for the kids. One of you has pulled away and the other is now seeking either sex or the emotional connection you just read about. Women will seek an emotional connection. Men will seek sex. You can avoid this, again, by being good communicators and by recognizing that a good relationship takes work. Understand the natural rhythms your relationship goes through. It ebbs and flows, just like anything else. When it ebbs, that’s when you need to be a little more vigilant, paying attention, showing appreciation, and communicating so both of your needs are met.
stages of a relationship

Stages of a Relationship: Stage 5 – Best Friends

By now, you’ve gone to hell and back and you’re still together. At this stage, you’re happy together and recognize the struggle you’ve gone through to get here. You’re closer than ever, probably considering one another to be best friends. The closeness you share now feels irreplaceable and your relationship feels like it’s on solid ground.

Characteristics of Stage 5

You Take on a Big Project Together

You may decide to start a business together or to build your dream home. You might share a hobby or be passionate about a cause you give your time and money to. You’re a cohesive unit now and you show that by working together on things. The world now sees you as one, instead of two.

Your Communication Skills are Excellent

You’ve learned how to communicate, and this is part of why your relationship is where it is today. Both of you understand that talking things through before they get out of hand is a much better plan than letting things sit. You may even be one of those couples now who doesn’t always need to communicate. You go into a coffee shop and you just know what he likes. You decide to stop on the way home to pick up dinner and you don’t have to ask him what he wants because you already know.

You Rely on One Another

Because you’re best friends, you can share the ups and downs of daily life. You get the promotion or you don’t; regardless, the first person you want to tell is your partner. If you don’t get it, he’s there to comfort you. If you do, he’s there waiting to celebrate. You’ve built an unshakable friendship, trust, commitment, and joy in being together.

The Dangers of Stage 5

Of course, there are pitfalls to any stage, but not as many as there were.

You Shift into Autopilot

The worst thing you can do to a relationship is put it on autopilot. Each day looks exactly like the last. You’re cycling through the same twelve meals, getting up and going to bed at the same time. Even sex has become routine. This is not the way to keep your relationship healthy. Routine is easier on your brain for sure, but you want to challenge your brain. Change things up. Try new meals. Watch some sex videos or get some sex fantasy books to read together. Don’t allow each day to be just like the last. Do something to keep things lively and fun.

You Live Parallel Lives

Instead of being a unit, you drift into being two people who live under the same roof. You’re driving kids to gymnastics and dance class while he’s coaching soccer and baseball. You go to work all day, come home, and throw something in the microwave. He eats on the road between work and practice. You might come together in the evening and fall into bed beside one another, but the distance isn’t inches, it’s a canyon. When conflict arises, instead of using those communication skills, you avoid one another. You’re both busy anyway and you use that business as an excuse to stay away from one another. You can become depressed if this happens, and it’s a prime landscape for an affair or two.

You Invest Too Much in Outside Lives

Balance is key in your relationship. It’s great to have those outside activities, as long as you aren’t using them to live those parallel lives. You can get so invested in outside activities that you never spend time together, one-on-one. To avoid this, maintain your weekly date night schedule. Be sure to put some sort of rules in place for how much time you’ll each commit to outside activities. You can also do some of them together, which increases your time together. The goal is to continue to nurture the great relationship you’ve spent years building.

Stages of a Relationship: Final Thoughts

As I said in the beginning, these aren’t linear stages, meaning once you get to stage five, you can cycle back to one of the other stages. Ideally, you’ll cycle between five and one, because those are the two stages when you’re the most excited and energized by each other. Your ultimate success relies really on one or two things:
  • Your communication skills
  • Your desire to work through things together
If you can look past his flaws and he can look past yours, you can build something great together. A good relationship requires work from day one until the day one of you passes on. As long as you keep putting in the work, you’ll have a very satisfying relationship.
Should I Breakup with My Boyfriend?

Should I Breakup with My Boyfriend?

Just by asking the question, should I breakup with my boyfriend, you must already be clued in that something is wrong. Your intuition is pinging.

The obvious reasons for breaking up with someone include drug and alcohol addiction, as well as an addiction to pornography, infidelity, or abuse.

But what are some less obvious answers to the question, should I breakup with my boyfriend? Let’s look at a few.

You Aren’t Growing Together

We grow in maturity and intellectual abilities throughout our lives, but we don’t all do it at the same rate.

As a couple, you can grow by trying new things together. Try new types of ethnic food, working out together or traveling to new places. Choose a hobby to work on together or read books together.

You try together and you learn what works and what doesn’t. Have fun and build deeper intimacy. You’re a team who can take on the world! Building memories together helps your relationship stay fresh and fun.

Grow as an individual by exploring new things on your own. Try a new hairstyle or color. Perhaps you decide your old wardrobe doesn’t reflect who you are any longer. You might explore a new hobby or a passion you have. Reading is a great way to grow and there are millions of self-help books available if that’s what you want.

You’ll know you aren’t growing together in a couple ways. One of you may feel bored. Sex is non-existent, and you find yourselves arguing more than doing things together.

You may feel as if one of you is being left behind. You’re out there trying new things and he’s sitting at home playing video games with his friends all night.

You ask, “Should I breakup with my boyfriend?” The answer depends.

Your gut is already telling you to consider breaking up, but this is also fixable. If you think you can talk to him about it, invite him to explore something new with you and see if he’s agreeable. You might be able to fix it if you can find your way back to growth that supports one another instead of leaves one behind.

You’re Two Very Different People Now

This feels like the last one, but it isn’t the same. Sometimes, people get together, and the chemistry is so hot that you just launch yourselves into a relationship. The sex is great, and that chemistry keeps you together, but not forever. Chemistry only gets you so far. Great sex doesn’t make a relationship and it isn’t the same as intimacy.

Intimacy comes from doing things you both enjoy, together. It’s those afternoons picking apples or painting the living room that pull you closer together. It’s the time when he was sick and you brought him some chicken soup, then stayed to help clean up and maybe watch a little Netflix.

You may discover that he’s not an animal person, but you love your Great Dane and can’t imagine parting with her. He could be very outdoorsy while you prefer to stay in. One of you could be very social while the other prefers to stay at home.

These aren’t things you discover when all you’re working with is hot chemistry. They’re the day-to-day things that start to pile up. It keeps you both from living the life you enjoy because you feel an obligation to do everything together.

None of this makes either of you bad people, it just means you need to work through it or find someone new. You ask me, “Gregg, should I breakup with my boyfriend?”

My answer is this. Have you even discussed what’s bothering you yet? It’s possible he too is feeling the problem but is afraid to approach you.

Talking will solve this one way or the other. You’ll either find a way to work through your differences or you’ll decide it’s better to find someone else.

should I breakup with my boyfriend

Should I Breakup with My Boyfriend if One or Both of Us Has Changed?

Sometimes you go into a relationship thinking you know what you want, only to find out later that you’re wrong. This happens to both men and women, and it doesn’t make either of you wrong or bad. It just means you’ve figured some stuff out about yourself and you aren’t the same person.

Many things happen to cause change in either direction – for the better or for the worse.

One of you may experience the loss of a loved one and you’re having trouble finding your way out of the sadness. You may have decided you want to start a family soon, but he doesn’t want kids. It’s something you discussed peripherally before but now, you’re serious and so is he.

For men, the loss of a job or financial status can be a very hard blow, one women don’t often understand. It can send a guy into a tailspin.

Whatever the cause and whichever of you has changed isn’t the issue. The issue is that you don’t feel compatible any longer and there’s nothing wrong with that. What would be wrong is to continue as if nothing problematic was happening.

Instead of asking, should I breakup with my boyfriend, sit down and discuss your differences. If it seems that a breakup is in order, then do it. There’s nothing wrong with ending a relationship if it isn’t the right one for you.

Are You Ready to End it?

Not all breakups are initiated by a man. If you're ready to end this relationship, go for it. Only you know whether you're happy and if the relationship is fulfilling your needs. It's possible that he feels the same way but you're both afraid to take that step. It's okay. Read some of the other articles on the subject by clicking below. They're here to help.

The Dreaded Mid-Life Crisis

Everyone talks about men wanting convertibles, younger women, and a full head of hair but women have mid-life crises as well.

You feel as if there’s something in your life you can’t fulfill in your current relationship. Your fight or flight has kicked in and flight seems the proper response.

Fight or flight is a result of anxious thinking. You’re worried about something that will or won’t happen in the future and you’re afraid that if you don’t exit the relationship right now, you won’t be able to either make something happen or avoid something else.

You might feel as if you missed out on part of your youth because you started getting into serious relationships at a young age and have stayed in them since. Now, you find yourself wanting to go back and experience those things.

Instead of asking, should I breakup with my boyfriend, the question to ask is if you need to explore and experience alone or can your boyfriend tag along? If you really think you need to do this alone, explain it to him and maybe you can come to some sort of arrangement.

You never know until you try!

What I encourage you not to do is ignore this feeling, while at the same time helping you understand that you can’t recapture your youth and there are some experiences that are better left behind you, whether you got to enjoy them or not.

should I breakup with my boyfriend

Should I Breakup with My Boyfriend over Outside Influences?

In this category you find things like religion and politics. As you age and mature, you might find that you’ve grown apart in an important area of life. You might have shifted your beliefs in one direction or another and he went the other way.

It’s okay to be different in these areas of life. The question is can you live with your boyfriend being a Democrat if you’re a staunch Republican? Can you date someone who doesn’t believe in God if you have strong Christian beliefs? Couples do live together in these circumstances. They agree to disagree and leave those topics of discussion off the table.

Another outside influence can be an ex, especially if shared custody of children, or even animals, is involved. Often when two different families are parenting children, there are vast differences. Children come home from one home to the other and must adjust to different rules and parenting styles.

This can really do a number on any relationship and it’s not good for the kids either. Here, the best path forward, if possible, would be to work with the ex you’re sharing custody with and see if you can work out those parenting issues, for the kids, not for your relationship. Your relationship is a side problem.

Should I Breakup with My Boyfriend?

As you’ve read, there are several different situations which can place a strain on a relationship, but most of them are things you can work through if you can talk to one another.

On the other hand, your gut might be telling you it’s time to get out and you can’t find the reason in any of these situations.

In that case, it’s probably best to sit down and agree to a split. There’s no reason to be ugly or unkind to one another. You’ve just come to a point where your relationship doesn’t work any longer. The mature adult thing to do is end it well and keep a friend, or at least avoid making an enemy.

How to Get Over a Breakup

If you decide to breakup, I recommend He’s Gone, Now What? This a breakup book specifically written to help you overcome the unexpected repercussions of a breakup. You’ll discover the nine stages of grieving a relationship as well as the impact a breakup has on your body and mind. Even if the breakup is your idea, you will experience all these things.

The book also helps you sort things out and prepare yourself for a new relationship! You can read more about it here, or buy it by clicking the buy button below.

Are you living like you're dying, or are you plugging along on autopilot, waiting for something great to happen but not really pursuing it? Is your life as fulfilling as it can be? Do you dream of a different life? Do you sometimes feel as if you're walking through life, half asleep?

If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, you need to Live Like You're Dying. Learn to embrace life, take chances and life the life you want to live, free of fear and anxiety, full of experiences and exploration! Learn more about the book here or buy it by clicking on one of the buttons below.

What True Love Is

What True Love Is

Do you know what true love is? Is true love what you see in the movies, or is it defined by what you witnessed growing up?

If you can’t define what true love is, you’ll probably have a hard time finding it.

Many define true love by the stuff – white picket fence, fancy car, dog and so on. But that’s a load of crap!

Instead, I like this one:

“True love is not how you forgive, but how you forget, not what you see but what you feel, not how you listen but how you understand, and not how you let go but how you hold on.” – Anonymous

True love, to me, is an imperfect relationship where both partners are trying their very best to stay to together, forgive and forget, and grow together.

It’s when each person takes a turn being there for the other in times of need. There is no “I”, there is just us. There is no scorekeeping. When one of you needs something, the other is just there. Period.

And yes, it can be nasty at times.  But, in the end, respect for the other is always king and problems are easily resolved.

What True Love is: Acting as a Team

In the past, I’ve seen the difference between true love and what I thought was true love. That difference can be summed up by an us against the world mentality.

True love is teamwork in grocery shopping, cleaning, child rearing and love making. It’s a give and take where love balances out. You discuss major decisions and power might vary but balances out in the end.

When you work as a team, there’s a feeling of unity and security. You know he has your back and he knows you have his. You’re a we, not two me’s. Your identity includes each other. While you remain an individual, you still identify as part of a couple.

The Good Times Outweigh the Bad

All relationships experience bad times. When there are more bad times than great times, you’re not experiencing what true love is.

True love is about building great memories together. It’s being there for one another when times are tough and being supportive when it matters. During the tough times, there is no question that you’re there for one another. During the good times, you appreciate what you have and enjoy your time together. You build intimacy through shared experiences and use that intimacy to carry you through the bad.

You Know One Another’s Flaws and Choose One Other Anyway

The key word here is choose. He snores, his eye for fashion sucks, and he can’t even hang a picture on a wall. But he tries and that’s what you love about him.

Nobody is perfect, so discovering those flaws and loving them shows that you know what true love is! If you’ve already found someone, great, but if you’re still looking, recognize that you don’t need to find a perfect man, you need to find a man who’s perfect for you, flaws and all.

What True Love Is: There’s No Justice Trap

I dated someone once who looked at the relationship like an exchange of services. If she rubbed my feet, I owed her a foot massage. If I spent time with my friends, I owed her something in return. And, if she cooked, I had to clean up and take her out the next time.

I’ve heard couples with kids talk about whose turn it is to babysit the kids while the other does something away from home. If you feel you’re babysitting your own kids, I’m not sure why you had them to begin with.

When a relationship feels more like a scorecard or tally sheet, you don’t have love. In the case of my relationship, it reached a point when I didn’t want to accept anything from her because I knew I’d owe her something in return.

This takes any special meaning out of any gesture I wanted to make and any gesture she made wasn’t special, but her chance to make me owe her something.

True love balances out. If I do five nice things for my girlfriend, then I did five nice things! I wanted to. She’s worth it. She’ll do nice things back and I don’t want or need to keep score.

True Love Gets Better Later

You don’t hear this definition much, but I find it to be true. True love comes after the early relationship butterflies have flown away and after you’re over wanting to have sex multiple times a day. It comes when you settle into a life where you accept one another for who you are.

You enjoy your time spent together and don’t feel nervous or like you need sex every five minutes. You want to do things together like going hiking in the woods or spending an afternoon at the beach.

True love brings security and protection to the relationship. You can be yourself. There is nothing to hide and only great times to be had. You can plan your future together because there is a future.

You Feel Free to Share Your Vulnerabilities

It is very difficult to share your vulnerabilities. This requires a high level of trust for both of you and the first time you share a vulnerability will be the hardest. How you each respond is crucial to whether there will be more sharing in the future.

The first time your guy shares something that makes him feel vulnerable, respond with caring and acceptance. He needs to know that you still accept him, now that you have seen his weak underbelly. If he shares first, it’s important that you reciprocate, but not immediately. It will seem fake. Do it soon, though because he will be waiting.

What True Love Is: Summary

While these are my definitions of what true love is, the truth is that you won’t tick your way down some list. You’ll know because there’s a feeling that is unmistakable. It isn’t about the things like a house or car. It’s about feeling you get. True love is when he walks into a room and you feel happy. It’s when you read a text from him, you smile, inside and out. True love is when he remembers that you like rosemary garlic bread and he brings you a loaf for dinner.

The important thing to remember, early on in a relationship, is that love isn’t chemistry. Chemistry is essential, but lust isn’t love. Don’t be confused by lust but wait for these other signs to develop. It takes time to build it but it’s worth the wait.

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.

The Ideal Alpha Female Relationships with Men

The Ideal Alpha Female Relationships with Men

Successful alpha female relationships can feel elusive, especially if you’ve dated for any length of time.

You’re strong. You know what you want and how to get it. You’re confident, outspoken and people gravitate to you because they want to be on the same ride you’re on. Your power and energy are contagious.

These very traits that make friends and coworkers want to be near you are the same ones that make it difficult for you to find a man who appreciates you for who you are, without trying to change you.

Chances are, you’ve tried dating alpha men because they’re most like you. They’re powerful, confident, outspoken and strong. Likes attract likes, right? Yes, but that doesn’t always indicate that that type of relationship will work out best.

There are essentially two types of men that will work best for alpha female relationships. The first, of course, is an alpha male. I know, I just said that might not work, but there are instances when it can. The other type of man who’s truly perfect for the alpha woman is the beta man.

Often misunderstood, beta men seek alpha female relationships because they want a take-charge type of woman to love. Below are some dating tips that will help you find the right guy who will adore you for who you are.

Alpha Female Relationships | Slow Down

You go one-hundred miles per hour all day and well into the evening, but when you’re out looking for a guy, slow down. Take off that leadership hat and let your hair down, maybe literally.

Slow and take the edge off your speech. You’re now out to have fun, not be in control, so take a kinder, gentler approach. An alpha man will be attracted to an alpha woman if she shows her feminine side and a kinder, gentler you will be more feminine.

Don’t make an attempt to look low confidence, meaning continue making eye contact and walking confidently, but instead of striding with purpose, slow down and glide. Save your strut for the office.

And finally, if an alpha man offers to buy you a drink, accept it gratefully and show your appreciation, “Thank you. It was so kind of you.” This allows more of your feminine energy to shine through and you top it off with a dose of manners. He’s definitely interested.

Challenge Him

 Challenge is important in alpha female relationships – well, all relationships actually. Men need to feel challenged in a relationship to keep from becoming bored, therefore, it’s important for him to feel challenged by you. But what does that mean?

An alpha man doesn’t value something that comes too easily. He’s accustomed to working for what he has. When he calls for a date that day or even the next day, don’t drop your plans to go with him.

Instead, let him know that he’ll need to work harder to get on your calendar, “Gee, Gregg. I’d love to go to dinner with you, but we’ll have to make it Tuesday.” He won’t be put off. He’ll feel challenged! If he’s truly interested in you, he’ll figure out how to become important enough to get on your calendar.

If he text you but you’re busy and can’t really get into a conversation, give him a time when you can talk to him.

Him: Hi Beautiful. I hope your day was productive!

You: Hey Handsome! So far, so good, but I have more dragons to slay. Let’s talk later – say 8:00?

Him: Sounds great! Talk then.

This tells him you want to talk to him and he now knows when. It takes the anxiety out of the situation for both of you and lets him know when to expect to talk to you.

Challenge is also required for the beta man, whose main goal is to serve you and make sure you’re happy. You can challenge him in the same way you’d challenge an alpha. Don’t always be readily available. Be kind but firm with a beta.

Are You an Alpha Female Who Can't Find a Happy Relationship?

For alpha women, finding a relationship that isn’t challenging or frustrating can be a real problem. You’re drawn to alpha men, but science tells us that alpha men don’t want to marry alpha women, they only want to date them. Then there’s the beta man, often misunderstood by both alpha men and women, but often a great choice for the alpha woman. Learn more about how you can develop a happy relationship with either type of man by checking out The Alpha Female: Who is She? Who Should She Date? How do You Become One?

alpha female relationships

Let Him Be Your Protector

All men, alpha, beta or otherwise, have a need to be your protector. I know you can do this for yourself, but this hero instinct is something you want to cultivate. Men were raised to be your hero and if you don’t allow them to, they feel as if they aren’t doing their job.

Men basically need three things in a relationship:

  • To live a meaningful life and feel appreciated for their efforts
  • To provide for those who are important to them
  • To be respected by those around them

I know you can provide for yourself, and maybe even him, but if you’re with an alpha, don’t make a big deal about this. A beta will care less if you make more money than he does, but an alpha might feel emasculated if you bring it up a lot. Don’t let who earns more money determine the power dynamic in your relationship.

Alpha Female Relationships: Act Like the Prize You Are

When women make bad dating choices, it’s often for one of two reasons. Either they feel desperate to find a guy for some reason, like all their friends have boyfriends and they don’t, or they don’t understand that they have the power to be the choose, and not feel grateful to be chosen.

This puts you in a negative position for relationships. Instead, recognize that you are the prize. When you feel grateful to be chosen or desperate and find a guy, your instinct might be to be over-enthusiastic about the relationship.

You stop going out with your girlfriends, stop pursuing your hobbies and spend too much time doting on him. No guy, whether he’s an alpha, beta or omega, wants this from you. This behavior makes a man feel smothered and you aren’t challenging to him. He will question your value in his life.

Instead, come into a relationship with strong dating confidence. If you don’t feel you have strong dating confidence now, there are many options you can pursue here.

I want to change my life!

Meanwhile, allow a guy to chase you. Yes, even though you’re an alpha woman, let a guy pursue you. Inspire his hero instinct and encourage his masculine side by remaining feminine. Never give up your hobbies for a man and continue to enjoy girls’ night with your friends.

Remember, You Are Not Your Title

Your identity isn’t the title of the job you hold. It’s who you are from the inside out. It’s your kindness and generosity. It’s your desire to help others and your ability to be tough and stern one minute and a kind mentor the next.

Commit to or stay committed to your health and well-being. Get to know yourself and connect with that feminine woman who’s lurking inside. This makes you the feminine counterpart an alpha man desires.

When it comes to a beta man, he needs your strength and direction, but he also wants to see your feminine side and he needs you to know who you are from the inside out. Your strength is what attracted him to you, but some of that strength is your inner strength.

alpha female relationships

Alpha Female Relationships: Communication is Key

Regardless of what type of man you date, communication is everything. With the beta, you will have many conversations around control – who is in control of what. He wants you to take control, probably more than you know. Talking through it helps you both realize your roles in the relationship. Just because he’s a beta doesn’t mean he doesn’t have feelings, ambitions, and thoughts about your relationship.

Communication in any relationship is one of the most important things and a lack of communication is what ends many relationships. Regardless of whether your guy is an alpha or a beta, opening up the lines of communication may be the strongest asst in your alpha female relationships.

It allows you each to voice your wants, needs and desires. It allows you to feel safe exposing your vulnerabilities, something a beta will do much faster than an alpha. Without communication, any relationship will eventually wither and die.

And Finally, You’re a Team

Whether alpha female relationships are with beta men or alpha men, you’re a team. Learn how to work together and know when your teammate needs you to rally and be a little more supportive than usual.

Situations like job loss or loss of income, health issues, the loss of a loved one and similar events are difficult for men. Most men require time to retreat, lick their wounds and find a solution. As natural problem solvers, this is key for him. While you’re there to support him, you’re not overbearing or over-nurturing.

Let him know he has your support and allow him time to deal with the emotions of what happened. If your relationship is strong and you’ve established great communication, he will come to you when he’s ready.

How to Get Rid of an Ex

How to Get Rid of an Ex

So you’re interested in learning how to get rid of an ex. There are two easy steps that will help you rid yourself of him for good!

It’s the same old story. You spend months, or even years in a crappy relationship until you finally summon the courage to get out. You dump him and enjoy your newfound freedom, but he just won’t go away.

He’s lonely and he wants you back. It’s an interesting twist of fate for most men who are usually the ones to break up. Still, there he is looking all pitiful and you actually give some consideration to taking him back.


Before you cave in and add a few more months or years of misery to your life, read these tips on how to get rid of an ex.

What Made Him Want You Back?

Most likely, your ex saw you re-engaging with life. You may be working out, changing your hair or wardrobe, and generally making positive changes in your life. He’s intrigued and even challenged by this new you.

Without realizing it, you took the steps I often recommend for women who want their ex back. I’m not saying what you did was wrong, because it wasn’t. It was exactly right, but it had a positive impact on your ex. So now, what can you do?

How to Get Rid of an Ex: Make a List

Sit down and review your relationship with this guy. What was it that made you want to break up with him in the first place? What are the chances that he’s changed and those reasons would no longer exist?

People break up because something, or most often, someone is broken, usually both people. Your confidence has dipped. He’s a misogynist or a narcissist. Your communication was poor. One of you gained more confidence while the other stayed stuck with low confidence. The list is miles long.

Do you see any evidence of positive change? Sure, you’ve changed, but has he? A misogynist or a narcissist isn’t likely to change so you can forget it if that’s your ex.

Now, review the men you’ve dated and make a list of their positive traits. You can include your most recent ex in your evaluation. When you review these positive traits, how many does your ex have right now? Not when you started dating but when you broke up. Be honest.

Knowing how to get rid of an ex requires honesty with yourself about him and your relationship with him. Just because he came back and stirred some old chemistry doesn’t mean the two of you will work this time.

how to get rid of an ex

Talk to Your Friends and Family

These folks were with you during the difficult time you and your ex experienced. They helped you think through your decision to break up with him. While you may be feeling that chemistry and focusing on only the good memories, they recall the tears and anguish he put you through before you finally decided to get out.

When you want to know how to get rid of an ex, you need to be prepared for your friends and family to take a tough stance. They don’t want to see you get hurt and they’ll be there to support you now as you try to stand strong with your decision.

How to Get Rid of an Ex | Stay Away From Mutual Friends

The friends you shared are usually the ones who are telling your ex how great you look and all the details of your new, confident life. They don’t intend harm, it’s just casual conversation. In fact, he may overhear it and not directly be part of the conversation.

If some of those friends were your friends to begin with, you can kindly remind them that you’re looking into how to get rid of an ex, not how to bring him back. They probably don’t even realize what they’re doing.

If those friends were his friends, it’s time to extricate yourself from the group. They might think they’re helping when they aren’t. They see how miserable he is and they don’t realize you don’t want him back, so they share news of your new life with him.

Block Him from Your New Life

Depending on how involved the two of you were, you may now share some aspects of your life, like bank accounts or other memberships.

It’s time to separate those accounts. If he added any money to the account, ask for a cashier’s check and mail it to him. Remove his name from the account or close it all together and open a new one.

For any other memberships, your best move is probably the same, close the account you share and open one that’s just yours. Let him know things are closed and if he wants to rejoin, he’ll need to do so on his own.

While you’re removing him from your life, block him on your social media and other accounts. If he’s bugging you by text or phone calls, you can block him. While he can still find out what you’re doing through friends, at least you’re making it more of a challenge for him to do so.

Are You Ready to End it?

Not all breakups are initiated by a man. If you're ready to end this relationship, go for it. Only you know whether you're happy and if the relationship is fulfilling your needs. It's possible that he feels the same way but you're both afraid to take that step. It's okay. Read some of the other articles on the subject by clicking below. They're here to help.

how to get rid of an ex

How to Get Rid of an Ex | Be Blunt

I know you don’t want to hurt him, even if he’s being a pain right now, but you’ve probably heard the saying, nice guys, or in your case, nice gals finish last.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a time for being nice. If all other attempts have failed, it’s time to be direct. This is the language he understands best. “I’m sorry Bill, but I really am not interested in getting back together. Please stop trying to win me back.”

Shake Things Up

He knows your routines, so it’s time to change them. I know this is an annoying thing to do, but it reduces your chances of running into him. For example, if you both went to the same gym before, start a new membership somewhere else. Get your coffee somewhere else. Drive a different route to work. Shop for groceries someplace else. Move to a new home.

All these things help make you more difficult to find.

Of course, if you have a stalker on your hands, you need to take even more drastic measures, like moving to a new town, not just a new home, changing your phone number and other information he knows.

The Nuclear Option: Contacting His Family

In your quest for knowledge on how to get rid of an ex, you probably didn’t consider this one and the success of it will depend on not only his relationship with his family, but yours too.

If you had a good relationship with them, you might be able to go to them now and ask them to intervene on your behalf. Mothers are especially effective in these efforts, although if he’s closer to his father and you’re comfortable speaking with him, start there.

Without accusation or speaking anything negative about their son or loved one, share with them that you’ve been trying to get your ex to leave you alone. Ask them if they can help you by speaking with him and asking him to stop.

It’s possible they will be more effective than you’ve been.

How to Get Rid of an Ex

Exes have a way of noticing the positive changes you’re making in your life and it intrigues them, whether you want it to or not. They suddenly feel challenged by this new you. You’re mysterious to them again and their interest is piqued, especially if they’ve had little luck in moving forward themselves.

Try the steps above on how to get rid of an ex and hopefully, he will see the light and go away. Be kind and encourage him to move on without you.

Stay positive, but stand firm in your resolution to keep him out of your life and don’t offer up being friends as an alternative. He will only view this as another way to win you back. Tell him instead that if he can stop pursuing you for a relationship, maybe some day the two of you can be friends again.

If you're ready to move on from this relationship, you're ready for He's Gone, Now What? This book walks you through the many aspects of dealing with a breakup, even if you're the one who initiated the breakup. Regardless of who started it, as they say, your body becomes addicted to the chemicals associated with being in love. The withdrawal process is as daunting as the withdrawal from cocaine.

You'll also learn about the stages of grieving a relationship and how to begin moving forward. You'll walk through the steps of preparing yourself for dating again and gain an understanding of how you can do so in a healthy, happy relationship.

You can learn more about the book here or you can purchase it by clicking one of the buttons below.

How to Save a Relationship That’s on the Edge

How to Save a Relationship That’s on the Edge

You once had a great relationship, but now it’s flittering on the edge and you want to know how to save a relationship that’s about to fall apart.

Gone are the days when he would call and you’d talk into the wee hours of the morning. Also gone are the moments when you see him and you get that fluttery feeling in your stomach.

He feels distant now and you’re afraid you’re losing him. What can you do? Before we dive into that, let’s first determine if your relationship is worth saving.

Is This Relationship Worth Saving?

Not every relationship has what it takes to succeed. Some are just too unhealthy to be rescued. How do you know which you have?

When Not to Save a Relationship | There is Abuse

I don’t care what someone tells you, you never deserve to be physically, sexually, or emotionally abused. Not ever. Period.

If you’re in a relationship where you’re being hurt in one of those ways, you need to find a safe and sure way to extract yourself.

One or Both of You Are Addicts

If one or both of you are battling an addiction, that should be your focus, not rescuing your relationship. Right now, you’re not good for each other. You might be again someday, but recovery is a long and difficult road, often taking a year or more.

All your time and attention should go toward being well. Even if you aren’t the one battling an addiction, you’re being negatively impacted and you should seek professional assistance to work on being whole again.

You Probably Can’t Save a Relationship if It’s too Young

A young relationship that feels like it’s in trouble probably can’t be rescued. Since you’re the one researching the topic, I’ll assume he’s the one pulling away.

Why do Men Pull Away?

The reason a young relationship can’t often be rescued is that you probably don’t have enough history and wonderful moments together to bond you. You haven’t had time to build enough intimacy to make the glue you need.

He’s Not There for You

In the times when you needed him most, was he there for you? And by there I mean emotionally there. Your childhood dog died and he went off to play soccer with his friends instead of staying with you.

The company you’ve worked at for ten years is shutting its doors and you’re suddenly unemployed. Is he there with encouraging words or does he ignore your texts and calls?

Sometimes there is a bigger load to carry and you want your partner to help shoulder that load. At times, he may need the support, but when it’s you, is he there?

Don’t Save a Relationship Where He’s the King of Poor Hygiene

I’m sorry but if someone doesn’t value themselves enough to do basic things like brush their teeth and take a shower, they aren’t going to value you much either.

You’re in their life for a different reason and it has nothing to do with love or mutual respect. It’s more likely that you’re cooking for him and cleaning up his Cheeto crumbs while he plays video games.

Is Your Relationship Over?

Do you think your relationship is teetering on the edge of disaster? Has he aleady left? This is a great article for sure, but there are others! Just click the button to read them.

He’s High Maintenance

We all hear about high-maintenance women, but men can be high-maintenance too.

Kim and Reggie had a good relationship until Reggie’s dad came to visit. His dad was a sweet man whose wife of forty years had just passed away after a long battle with cancer. Joe needed a distraction and Kim was happy to play hostess.

Instead, what she got was a clear view of what her future resembled. Joe’s wife had done everything for him. And I mean everything. While he was as sweet as he could be, he was also very high-maintenance. Reggie had exhibited behaviors that got on her nerves but she couldn’t put a label on them until Joe came to visit.

Reggie was every bit as high-maintenance as his dad, perhaps more so and Kim didn’t do high maintenance.

Unfortunately, after that, it was all downhill and Kim got out of the relationship.

The problem with some high-maintenance people is that they put a high value on things that often don’t matter. In that instance, you’re providing him with something that makes him feel better about himself. You’re beautiful or you make a lot of money are usually the two biggies.

For others who are high maintenance, they’re looking for a mommy. Not a mother, a mommy. Someone who will do everything for them. Cook, clean, do laundry, and so on. This guy didn’t learn how to take care of himself for one reason or another and now he’s on a quest to find that woman.

Neither relationship is based on love but on need.

A Relationship Isn’t Worth Saving if You Want or Believe in Different Things

When you first get into a relationship, you don’t discuss things like whether you want children or if you want to travel the world, live on a boat, or become the video game champion of the world.

Then, you get closer, and the relationship continues. Now, you discover that he never wants to have kids or he wants a Housefull while your desires are the opposite.

Sometimes, people change their minds, but it’s not a good idea to gamble on that happening.

If you want different things, you probably need different partners who want those things.

Values present a similar problem. You might not share all the same values, but you need to agree on the big ones, like finances, lifestyles, and family.

You’re Financially Incompatible

When one of you is a spendthrift and the other is financially responsible, things can become frustrating for both of you in a hurry.

Of course, it pays to be financially responsible, but not everyone was brought up that way. Some folks just don’t know how to do it.

You might be able to come together on this one, but it will take patience and a willingness to make big changes.

Never Save a Relationship When You’re a Secret

When a guy is in love, he wants his friends and family to meet you. Not right away, but eventually. He’s sometimes willing to share your relationship on social media.

When he keeps you a secret from those people after you’ve been together for a while, he’s most likely hiding a bigger secret, like he’s married or embarrassed by you in some way.

It’s also possible he has commitment issues, but the first is most often the case.

Your Gut Says So

You didn’t search for how to save a relationship today for no reason. Your gut is telling you something’s up.

What you’re hoping for is what you’ll find in the latter half of this article – how to save a relationship.

Meanwhile, you’ve read some of the dealbreakers above and you almost feel nauseated. That’s your sign, your gut telling you what your heart doesn’t want to hear.

Your intuition is very nearly always right, so don’t ignore it.

Do Not Save a Relationship Like This

If you experience any of these feelings, do not save a relationship:

  • You’re not being the best person you can be in the relationship
  • You don’t do things together, but instead of owning it to friends and family, you make excuses for why he’s not there
  • One or both of you don’t feel good enough or worthy of the other
  • You don’t like who you are when you’re together
  • You feel as if you’ve lost who you are in the relationship
  • The two of you no longer do things that you once enjoyed
  • You’d rather stick a needle in your eye than spend time with him
  • You give up who you are to keep him happy and avoid conflict
  • One or both of you no longer spend time with friends – they might see what’s wrong and ask questions
save a relationship

Save a Relationship by Pulling Back a Little

Yes, sometimes to get something, you must give something up. Your guy might be feeling a little smothered. Men tend to get a little spooked if the relationship is too constricting or if they feel like it’s moving too fast.

Instead, busy yourself by spending time with your friends or pursuing a hobby. I feel like a broken record when I say that because I feel like I say it all the time. Maybe I do, but it’s a true gem in the save a relationship toolbox.

Too often, people overcommit to a relationship. Attraction is exciting and you both feel this pull to one another that seems inescapable.

He’s having fun learning about you and you’re head-over-heels for him too.

The problem is that it can become smothering, especially for a guy. Guys fear losing their friendships when they’re in a relationship. It’s a cliché I suppose, but men are always afraid that once they commit to a woman, she’ll want to spend all her time with him.

This isn’t a healthy relationship. Healthy is when you both spend time with your outside interests as well as with one another. Even when you’re married, you should maintain outside friendships and hobbies that pull you away from one another. It helps you appreciate your time together that much more.

Focus on the Positive

It’s easy to get bogged down in the negatives of any situation, and negativity breeds, so once you find one negative thing, others seem to stand out. The next thing you know, your whole life is full of negativity, and you can’t see the positive.

Instead, try focusing on the positive things. Appreciate one another. If he does something nice, instead of finding the one tiny thing wrong with what he did, find something nice to say, “Wow, Bob! The lawn looks great and I appreciate how you trimmed up to the flower gardens without ruining the flowers.” Don’t mention the 1” wide, 6” strip of the lawn he missed. It won’t be noticeable in a couple of days.

Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Both positivity and negativity breed themselves, so if you switch from negative to positive, it will help shift the general mood of your relationship.

If you struggle to find the positive, try keeping a gratitude journal. Find things to be grateful for. During COVID, maybe it was toilet paper. Now, I’m grateful if I find gasoline that’s under $3.50 a gallon!

Save a Relationship by Working on Yourselves Individually

To be great partners, you must maintain your individuality and be strong as individuals. To do so, spend some time getting back in touch with who you are. We’re constantly changing as individuals, but sometimes, we don’t take the time to note those changes and how they might impact our lives.

You don’t need to separate to do this, but you do need to be honest with one another. When you’re both happy, or at least not arguing and throwing things at one another, sit down and talk about your relationship and your need to reconnect with yourself.

Let him know you want to spend some time on yourself and ask him if he’d like to do so as well. Things to do during this time might include:

  • Evaluating your core values and evaluating whether you’re living by them
  • Reviewing your boundaries and establishing new ones where necessary
  • Examining how much time you spend on self-care and perhaps adding more
  • Looking at how your friendships outside your relationship are faring and where you might find new friends
  • Excavating old hobbies or finding new ones to keep you busy; perhaps finding a hobby you can blend in with one of his
save a relationship

Save a Relationship by Learning How to Disagree

There’s fighting and there’s bickering. The difference is in how dirty you play.

When you fight, you play dirty. You’re name-calling and pulling out the most hurtful criticisms you can find. You’re intentionally trying to hurt the other person.

Bickering is different. Bickering means you don’t agree with something and you go back and forth on it, but you don’t allow the disagreement to dissolve into petty old hurts.

The challenge with a disagreement isn’t in the disagreement itself but in whether you resolve it. Leaving issues unresolved means they’ll come up again, and each time they rear their ugly heads, it’s a little worse because it’s like a festering wound. It just sits there and goes from bad to worse without any attention.

A little bickering is healthy. You aren’t always going to agree on everything, and if you are, someone isn’t being genuine.

Once you realize you have a disagreement brewing, stop. It might be helpful to create a funny sound or establish a funny word you use when you find yourself bickering.

This helps to quickly diffuse the situation. From there, sit down and listen to one another. Allow him to speak without forming your own statement until he’s done. Once he’s done, you state your position. Speak without malice or meanness. Your goal is to resolve the issue, not make things worse.

Most of the time, people just want to be heard. You want him to know where you’re coming from and he wants the same. It’s in the calm of the discussion that you find a resolution, and that’s the important thing.

Plan a Regular Date Night

This is one of the best things you can do for your relationship. Life gets crazy and you may find yourselves being pulled in different directions. If you have a weekly date night already penciled in on your calendar, you automatically have time for one another.

Many people put this on their calendar and it’s an immovable object. Nothing can supersede date night, except possibly a medical emergency.

When you’re enjoying date night, you have a few goals:

  • Avoid technology as much as possible unless one of you is on call or there are babysitters involved
  • No discussion of hot-point topics is allowed
  • Try to stay away from heavy-duty work stuff as much as possible
  • You each choose where you go or what you do on alternating weeks
  • Your focus is on your relationship and one another

Date night is a chance to check in and make sure things are bumping along as smoothly as possible. If you have something serious or heavy to discuss, maybe save it for when your “date” is over. This can be a time to address potential problems and deal with them before they get worse.

Save a Relationship by Celebrating the Wins

Your guy got a promotion. That’s worth at least his favorite cookies, if not his favorite meal or dinner out at his favorite place. There are plenty of opportunities to celebrate one another and any accomplishments you might enjoy.

If it’s been a dull week, celebrate not turning anything pink while doing the laundry or the fact that the dog did all her business outside.

Make this something fun you do together. It’s not a daily thing, or it becomes routine or boring, but maybe once a week or at the least, once every couple of weeks.

This goes along with focusing on the positives. Sometimes, there are just crappy weeks, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something you can celebrate.

This helps both partners feel heard and validated instead of ignored and dismissed. Stay tuned in to what’s going on in his life so you can plan for these little celebratory moments. Not every celebration needs a special meal, but they all require acknowledgment and a tiny celebration dance if nothing else.

save a relationship

Learn One Another’s Love Languages

Gary Chapman did the world of love a big favor when he wrote The Five Love Languages. Essentially, what he defined are five ways in which we all best receive love.

If you each take a few moments to take the quiz on his website, you can discover your love languages.

This enables you to speak to your partner and show love to one another in the way you best receive it. For example, if your partner’s love language is touch, you can show your love for him by holding his hand or providing a gentle touch on his arm. They’re small things that mean so much.

Knowing how you each best receive love helps you show one another in meaningful ways just how much you care.

Save a Relationship by Keeping the Attraction Alive

When was the last time you just gave your guy a peck on the cheek for no reason? When did you last hold hands?

Affection is something that’s all hot and heavy in the early stages of a relationship but tends to fall off as the relationship ages.

But it doesn’t need to. Let him know you’re still attracted to him. Sometimes I hear from women who think they have the market cornered on not feeling as if their partner is still attracted to them.

Men feel this too. Smack him gently on the behind from time to time. Whisper something sexy in his ear when you’re out with his friends. Wear that sexy black number that he loves so much.

He needs to feel that you’re as attracted to him as he is to you.

Dig Up Something Fun You Did Together Previously

Dating is all about finding out more about one another. The more you date, the more you discover. There are some activities you did together that were tons of fun and you still remember them months or years later.

Dig up one of those activities. Go hiking in the woods or rock climbing. Rent a canoe and spend an afternoon on the water. Go watch a cheesy horror flick or revisit that milkshake shop you both loved.

These activities help you focus on one another and your relationship, if only for a little while. They also conjure up fond memories of something you shared previously. Those memories are valuable. I like to call them pennies in the jar. The more of them you have, the better your relationship.

Those types of moments build intimacy. Many believe, and even say someone was intimate as another word for sex but think about it. Hookups aren’t intimate. Moments you share with your guy where you both end up laughing hard, or tender moments shared doing something together are intimacy.

Save a Relationship by Trying Something New Together

While resurrecting an old activity is a great way to build intimacy, so is trying something new. Exploring something new or trying something one or both of you are fearful of is another way to bring you closer.

These activities put you in a similar place of feeling adventurous and sometimes a little nervous. You share those feelings and you overcome them together.

You can extend this into trying a new hobby together or combining one of your hobbies with one of his. One of you cooks and the other likes to blog and voila, you have a cooking blog. He might love old cars and you love photography so now you can go to antique car shows and museums and take photos.

These activities also put pennies in that jar for you and are great for relationship-building.

Take Mini-Vacations – Separately

You know what they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. In this instance, absence gives you both time to move past whatever is bothering you. One or both of you are harboring negative feelings about your relationship right now and the distance will help you in a few ways.

First, it gives you time to assess the situation without living through it 24/7. With distance, you often gain clarity. You can see how your own actions and his are negatively impacting the situation.

Next, it allows you both to cool off. Don’t leave out of anger or leave abruptly. Agree to take a short break from one another with the understanding that you want to work on yourselves. During that time, whatever anger was lingering is likely to fade and a clearer head can prevail.

Additionally, once you cool off, your rational mind can kick in, which is an impossibility if you’re both angry, or otherwise emotional. Your mind can’t function rationally when you’re feeling overly emotional, so this gives you a chance to gain that clarity.

And finally, once you’ve both cooled off, assessed the situation, and done some thinking about one another, you’ll likely miss each other again. That’s when you know you’re ready to rediscover one another.

Save a Relationship by Seeing a Counselor or Therapist

Not everyone is open to seeing someone, but if you’ve tried the steps above and nothing good has come of it, and you both are invested in saving the relationship, then your next bet is professional help.

Professionals are objective. They’re not friends and family who have an emotional investment in one or both of you. Counselors also have experience and a whole lot of college under their belts. They’ve seen this before and they know just how to help.

If your guy refuses to seek professional help, you can go by yourself. We can always benefit from the advice of someone in the know. They can help point out things that we don’t see in ourselves and that our friends are too afraid to point out.

How Can You Save a Relationship?

Just like it takes two of you to make a great relationship, it will take both of you to save a relationship.

Never try to discuss something while one or both of you are angry. No good will come from that. Ever. Instead, give one another distance to cool down. Go for a run or head out for a window-shopping excursion with a friend. When you come back together, calmly discuss the problem.

I never suggest sitting down to discuss something when emotions are high. As I just said above, your mind can’t work with rational thought processes if you’re too emotional. The emotions overrun those logical thoughts.

You both must want to save the relationship and if one of you doesn’t, it’s time to consider splitting up, at least for a while.

You can’t force him to want to be with you. All you can do is show him how much you care. If he leaves, it’s time to change gears and work through the Five Step Process to Get Him Back, assuming you want him back that is.

*Note* There are a couple of books linked below. Pennies in the Jar is the first and is for couples who want to stay together. It provides strategies to strengthen your relationship and make it withstand the test of time.

He’s Gone Now What is the book for you if you’ve decided to end it and you want to move forward in a healthy way.

If you're ready to move on from this relationship, you're ready for He's Gone, Now What? This book walks you through the many aspects of dealing with a breakup, even if you're the one who initiated the breakup. Regardless of who started it, as they say, your body becomes addicted to the chemicals associated with being in love. The withdrawal process is as daunting as the withdrawal from cocaine.

You'll also learn about the stages of grieving a relationship and how to begin moving forward. You'll walk through the steps of preparing yourself for dating again and gain an understanding of how you can do so in a healthy, happy relationship.

You can learn more about the book here or you can purchase it by clicking one of the buttons below.

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.

Why Can’t I Find Love? Eleven Changes That Might Help You

Why Can’t I Find Love? Eleven Changes That Might Help You

Love. We all want it. So Why Can’t I Find Love you ask!

Sure, many say they’ve given up, but deep down they’re just frustrated because everything they’ve tried so far hasn’t worked.

I get it. I hear the frustration. I even have readers who get angry at me!

“All men suck.”

“I’m happy just being alone.”

“I’ve given up.”

“Every time I get close to a man, I get dumped.”

But what if you’re simply going about it the wrong way?

What if you opened yourself up to a totally new way of finding love?

Why Cant I Find Love

Why Can’t I Find Love? Eleven Changes to Consider

End the Misery – or at Least the Miserable Feeling

Is this you?

Heck, through the pandemic I was miserable at times too. Our worlds were upside down and nothing made sense. Nothing was normal.

Attempted relationships failed. This led to low self-esteem, potential weight gain and frustration. Ice cream put me in my happy place.

Everything sucked!

So why not accept this and decide to change your attitude starting right now?

Forget men and start working on you!

You’ll be amazed at how your world and relationships will begin to turn around.

How do you do it?

Start with plenty of self-care and self-love. Pamper yourself for a couple of weeks. Then, continue once or twice per week – a regular schedule.

You’re worth it. You might feel guilty at first and that’s okay but keep doing it.

The Little Self-Care Handbook is a great self-care resource to help you get your self-care routine started.

How to stop liking someone

Why Can’t I Find Love? Decide to Do the Work

Many women say they want to find love but they don’t want to put in the work required.

When I ask where they’ve gone and what they’ve tried, I get crickets.

It’s like they expect a man to knock on their front door.

He won’t.

Instead of wallowing in self-pity and complaining about nothing working out how you wish it would, brainstorm 50 ideas for hobbies and adventures. Narrow your list to your top 10 and then, pick 1 or 2, sign up and go.

Get exposure to new people and join groups where you’re likely to have something in common with the members. This takes the pressure off meeting a man while you are having fun!

Work? What work?

Commit to the Work of Finding Love

This leads to my next change. If finding love is work, you’re doing it wrong! Get out there and do the things you love.

Take your list and modify it to include coed pursuits. You probably won’t find many men doing yoga or horseback riding, but you might find them in other places like cooking classes or a ski club. Kick boxing and hiking are also great choices if you like those activities or are willing to try something new.

New choices get you out of your comfort zone which builds confidence. This is a win-win.

Expand Your Search Zone

I have spoken with readers who live in small towns with few choices. Everyone knows everyone else’s business. This forces them to pursue long distance relationships. LDR’s make finding love difficult. This leads to more frustration.

Others live in big cities and look for men in all the wrong places.

If you live in a small town, maybe it’s time to consider moving. Online jobs are abundant today. The kids might be all grown-up or might even enjoy a new adventure.

Big cities can be overwhelming. I have readers in NYC that feel alone. In that instance, maybe it’s time for a change of scenery or a change of venues.

City dwellers do better when they join groups of mutual interest so they can make friends and network to meet more people. Hitting a bar in NYC probably isn’t the best bet. But hitting a new micro-brewery with friends can be a welcome change.

Don’t just stay in your hometown or city because it feels comfortable. You can always visit. Change can be empowering!

Why Can’t I Find Love? Expand Your Friend Zone

Finding love rarely works when your social network is all married women.

It also doesn’t work when family members are breathing down your neck to find love.

Communicate to these groups. Ask them to help, not hurt your effort. Tell them you may be spending a few less hours with them in pursuit of new opportunities and new friendships.

They might get angry and that’s okay. It’s time you set new boundaries.

This will be empowering.

Why Can’t I Find Love? – Try Setting Firm Boundaries

That’s leads us to our next change to finding love. Setting boundaries.

You’re done with guys who don’t text back or text back days later. If they delay, they’re not interested. Period.

Get my best seller – Weed Out The Users, the Couch Potatoes and the Losers for less than a cup of coffee and fix the problem!

Boundaries mean you’re done hooking up with guys on the first date because that’s what they want. You now date with your head and not your heart. That means no sex until a man proves his worth.

Boundaries empower! They attract guys because boundaries are a sure sign of confidence, and guys love confident women because they are a challenge. Nothing worth having comes without a fight.

Try it. Make a list of boundaries that will not get crossed again. Do this not only with men, but also with your friends and family.

Stick to your boundaries and you’ll feel like you have new super-powers.

Get Over Your Ex

This can be a big problem! If you’re still daydreaming about your ex, you’ll waste a lot of time comparing your new guy to him and the new guy won’t stack up.


This puts your new relationship in jeopardy right from the start.

One way to get over your ex is to write a letter to him telling him all the things you don’t like about him and your past relationship. Then read it and burn it, safely of course!

It works. It sends a message to your brain that says, “I will no longer let this guy control my future.”

If you need more help, check out this great book, He’s Gone Now What.

Stop Trying to Find the Perfect Guy

Your list may read something like this: I want a guy who is tall, dark and handsome, preferably a doctor earning over $200K a year and living in San Diego.

The truth is that those types of lists prevent you from exploring a new type of guy who might not fit that mold but might be the perfect fit for you.

So far, you’ve sought that type of guy and maybe even dated a few men who fit at least some of that criteria, but how’s that working for you?

Instead, throw out that superficial list and get real! Women have this guy in mind from watching some rom-com movie full of idealistic relationships that aren’t real.

The perfect man doesn’t exist. He’s part of your imagination and truth be told, using tight criteria is a way of protecting your heart and avoiding dating anyone who might challenge you.

Look for the type of man you never thought you would want to date.

Try the shy, geeky guy sitting with a group of rowdy men. He’s probably had his eye on you since you walked in but he’s a little wary of approaching. Give him a couple of smiles and hold his attention with a couple of quick glances now and then. This sends him a message that if he approaches, he won’t get shot down.

If you can’t find the geeky guy, go for the guy who looks like he just crawled off his Harley. He just might be a doctor or lawyer and he’s likely to be more down to earth than the tall, dark and handsome guy with skinny dress pants and six-inch points on the ends of his shoes.

By limiting the type of man think you want to date, you’re limiting your possibilities.

Once you get to know the geeky guy and determine he’s not your speed, move on to another type of guy. Keep your options open.

A couple years back, I wrote a book that will help you understand different types of men.It’s called Manimals, Understanding the Different Types of Men and How to Date Them. I let my readers at that time choose the title and it was a perfect fit!

Why Can’t I Find Love? Shake off Your Past

My parents divorced when I was 16. My nights were interrupted by breaking dishes. This affected my view of relationships in a very negative way. I didn’t see love as a good thing, so I avoided it.

I dated and dated and dated. I was looking for someone who would accept me.

Or so I thought.

In fact, I was the problem. I couldn’t accept love, so I didn’t accept them. This hurt them and me. I was an expert in short-term relationships.

Little did I know I was sabotaging my own quest for love.

I took a step back and dug into my childhood for answers.

Seek help from a qualified therapist if you know you’ve been hurt from events in your past. Maybe it’s abandonment issues or something like my experience. Either way, recognize it and get help before you attempt to find love again.

Figure Out Who You Are

You can’t find the right man if you don’t know your true self. You will seek the wrong type of man.

Ask yourself, what is your vision in life? What do you want tomorrow? Next year? In 5 years?

What morals guide you? Do you live by them?

Answer these questions and you’ll start to live the life you create instead of a life that others create for you.

Women love my best-seller, To Date a Man You Must Understand Yourself because it helps you see the mistakes you might be making without realizing it. It’s a compare and contrast story of two young women who make different life choices that guide their relationship outcomes.

Learn How Men Think

Ahh, now we’re in my wheelhouse!

I saved the best for last. This is my flagship operation.

The best and most entertaining way to build confidence is to discover how men think.

This prevents you from blaming yourself when things go wrong and it gives you powerful insight into how to best communicate with a man and get him to do what you want.

Learn not only what he is thinking but how to react based on his actions.

You zig when he zags. This keeps him hooked on you through his desire for challenge and mystery.

Understanding how men think is the missing link to finding true love. They don’t teach this stuff in school!

Get the book that changed dating forever! To Date a Man You Must Understand a Man  

Why Can’t I Find Love – Wrapping Up

Change happens in seconds if you allow it too.

Look over these 11 items and address each one. Spend some time evaluating:

  • Who are you and what you do you truly want from life
  • Your past and how it affects you and your opinions about relationships
  • Whether you have boundaries and how to set some that will positively impact your relationships
  • If your relationship with your ex is affecting you
  • If you’re searching in the wrong places
  • Whether people close to you are helping or holding you back
  • If you know how men think
  • Your own mindset and how to shake the feeling of being miserable

If you begin making these eleven changes, you will begin to see a positive turnaround in the quality of your relationships, and not just your relationships with men.

So ask yourself again. Why can’t I find love? Now you can!

Knowing how to not date a jerk includes embracing your single life and taking the time to become a confident, independent woman. Riding Solo, a book written specifically for women who want to do just that, walks you through overcoming the stigma of being single on to becoming that independent, confident woman. This places you in the best possible position to find and date wonderful, great men who are not jerks.

How to Apologize to Your Boyfriend

How to Apologize to Your Boyfriend

The Do’s and Don’ts of Apologizing to Your Boyfriend

You know I’m not a big fan of apologies unless you purposely ran over your boyfriend’s dog – which I know you would never do.  I prefer acknowledging the mistake, fixing it and moving forward.

But, there are times when you mess up big-time. Maybe you had too much to drink and you flirted with the waiter, or you called out your mother-in-law’s bitchy behavior.

I get it. So what are some tactics to apologize to your boyfriend?

It’s as much about what you do say as what you don’t. Check these out.

How can I make it up to you?

Acknowledge that you were wrong and do something good to make your boyfriend happy. Maybe it’s under the sheets, or it could be making his favorite chili.

While executing something nice, make it clear you were wrong, and that it won’t happen again.

Put yourself in his shoes

This can really help. Say, “If you were flirting with a hot waitress I would have reacted just like you did. I understand and now I see where I was wrong.”

This type of language diffuses the situation quickly.

How to apologize to your boyfriend: Don’t explain away your behavior

This gets dangerous. The very moment you start to justify your actions, you’re preparing to start an even bigger argument.

“Somebody had to tell her that her chili sucks”
“You were flirting with the bartender earlier, remember?”

These will never work. Apologizing to your boyfriend by putting it back on him will backfire. Swallow your pride, own your mistake and move on.

Leave it be

Once you apologize let it go. Do not keep apologizing! This just reminds him of the incident and puts him back into his bad mood towards you. Now, he will get jittery the next time you are out drinking in public.
I see this often – a woman will feel so bad that she keeps apologizing over and over. Her apology becomes meaningless, and it’s a signal of low confidence. Show your strength by saying it once and letting it go.

Be your best

Get back to being the woman he loves. Laugh, have fun and do the things he likes to do. Get his mind off his anger. Displacement works very well in these apologetic times!

But, don’t go overboard or be fake about it. Overdoing it won’t help either. It just becomes an empty gesture.

Fix the issue

Many people apologize the right way but do the very same thing again and wonder why the relationship ends abruptly. If you drink again and overtly flirt with another waiter, I’m gone!
Instead, handle the apology and then have a talk with yourself. Do I have a drinking problem? Do I need help? Am I flirting because I am not happy with him? Am I a hot, jealous mess and therefore I feel I need to flirt? Is my confidence in the dumpster?
He doesn’t need to know this part, but you do – and you need to fix it before it bites you in the ass again!

How to Apologize to Your Boyfriend Conclusion

These are very simple but powerful tactics! Don’t underestimate the damage you may have caused to the long-term health of your relationship.

Take time to own what happened, put in the energy to fix what might be broken inside and move forward to a healthy, happy relationship.

Ultimately, the success of any relationship is excellent communication. Without it, you have nothing. Learning to control the pace of a relationship is all about using your communication skills.

In The Power to Communicate, you learn these skills! This book isn't written as a relationship building book, and yet, without great communication, no relationship can survive.

Improving your communication skills benefits all your relationships, at work, at home, with friends and family. If you're going to read one book this month, make it this one!

Is He Right For Me?

Is He Right For Me?

Ming Asked, Is He Right For Me?

Gregg, I have a great 2 ½ year relationship going but I am worried, and I am hoping you can guide me and help me decide if he is right for me.  I am 33 years old and he the same. My guy is awesome in many ways – he treats me well, he showers me with love and he has the same family goals and timing as I do. The sex is great and my family loves him too.

So what’s wrong, you ask?

I just don’t feel that he is my soulmate. We don’t “click” quite as well as I think we should. I have dated crappy men that were more compatible with me it seems. Our highs were higher, if you will, then they are with my current guy. Of course, our lows were terrible.

Am I making any sense? Is he right for me? Am I just getting cold feet? Is there a way that I can get him to work on this and “get me” more?

Your avid follower,

Hi Ming, thanks for your question. It’s a dandy!

As a dating coach who concentrates on women and their dealings with men, I have come to learn one thing: A woman needs to trust her intuition!

How to Know if you Found the Right Guy?

If he takes care of you when you are sick – he is the right guy!

If you are asking me this question, then something is wrong. Granted you told me very little in those 150 words but they screamed that this is the wrong guy to spend the rest of your life with. If you are worried now, then how will you feel after 2 more years?

Probably not the answer you wanted to hear but I must be honest. Compatibility is super important. Chemistry arrives on day one, and a woman should know that her guy is the right man to spend the rest of her life with soon thereafter.

How to Know if you Found the Right Guy?

I find many women just don’t want to let a guy go because they feel their man is such a great catch and they might not be able to find a better man. They don’t want some other woman to have him.

That’s not good enough.

That leads to a divorce and misery in, say, three years. Chemistry comes naturally and can’t be “fixed.” Sure, he could grow on you, but don’t you think he should have by now?

I would prefer that the sex be just fair – that is something that can be improved upon, compatibility less so.

Dig deep Ming. Really think things through and ask yourself, “Is he right for me?” before you walk down the aisle. There is no rush. I would highly recommend that you take some time out from this relationship and seek clarity from the outside looking in. If you do, I bet your situation will become clearer.

Is He Right for Me? Ask Yourself these 4 Questions:

Do You Share Core Beliefs?

Opposites do attract – but not too opposite. A guy is right for you if the important stuff aligns. If you believe that giving back to society is important and you spend hours per week doing it, then volunteering is something you strongly believe in.

Just met him and you think he could be the one? Learn How to Ask a Guy Out HERE!

I highly doubt you would consider dating a man who thinks your volunteer time is money, that could be spent on the two of you purchasing material items.

Are You a Team?

A team is synchronized. For example, you say something, and he finishes your statement. Or you may say the same things or do similar actions at the exact same time.

My girlfriend and I camp a lot. We both love it and you can see it from the moment we start to pack. She handles the food and all the sleeping stuff. I handle the gear and loading the truck. We are a fine-tuned machine.

We are a team.

No communication is necessary while we get ready. Yes, we laugh and have fun while packing but there is never any arguing over what needs to be done.

Are Disagreements Handled with Respect?

Is He Right For Me?

He is not right for you if this is how you argue!

You know he is right for you by how you handle disagreements. Each side listens to the other and realizes that they could be wrong. They want to hear the other’s opinion and come to a compromise.

Do You Call Each Other Out in Public?

I remember being out with my buddy Glen and his wife. Glen was a bit upset at our waiter for delivering our food cold. Glen’s wife ripped Glen in front of everyone. Even other patrons heard her.

Although Glen could have handled the situation better, Glen’s wife was totally out of line for shaming him in front of everyone. That should have been handled privately.

They are divorced today.

Is He Right for Me? Wrapping Up

Hopefully, Ming’s letter, my answer, and the 4 questions I asked you will answer your question, Is He Right for Me?

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