Can Hiding Hard Feelings Affect Your Relationship?

Can hiding hard feelings affect your relationship?

Hiding Hard Feelings & How It Affects Your Relationship

A healthy dose of self-love will enrich your relationship with your partner and yourself.

However, this is the last thing we expect to hear when we want to know how we can build an intimate, trusting, passionate and thriving relationship with our partner.

In our pursuit to feel loved and complete and to help us heal and fix our inner emotional wounds, we keep looking for the perfect partner. And in this quest to seek validation, we ultimately stop being our true self – our core vulnerable- shadow self and start hiding our hard feelings

In this article Dr Stuart Motola, talks about how hiding hard feelings might effect our relationships.

 

The effect of fear & insecurity

“Love yourself instead of abusing yourself.” – Karolina Kurkova

First, thanks to those who reached out to me last week. I shared a vulnerable post and an outpouring of support, trust, and connection came my way.

A few people asked me, “Are you ok? I am here for you.”
Others said, “Thanks for sharing. This really helped me during a hard time.”
And some said, “You’re really brave.”

It touched me. And it got me wondering, why was a simple sharing of the heart so poignant for people? Is it uncommon in daily life? Are we so disconnected from our hearts?

In my experience, the answer is yes. And most challenging of all is when we hide our heart where it matters most – in our most intimate relationship with our primary partner.

We experience disconnection, loneliness, and a hunger for intimacy in a relationship.

And yet when we open our hearts, our partner opens to us. But we must have the courage to act first. Still, often we don’t.

We fear being seen, weak, vulnerable, and scariest of all, rejected. It happens when in response to sharing, we hear…

  • You’ll be fine, honey.
  • Just get over it.
  • It will pass.

Then, we feel even more alone. Did he even hear me? Does she care? We wonder. We feel invisible in a most tender and sensitive moment. It’s too much. It really hurts.

But I want to challenge you. So what if it hurts? Will it kill you? Is it worth keeping your heart locked up?

For some people, the answer is yes, without even knowing it; it’s unconscious.

 

Closing your heart is self-betrayal

We lock our hearts away to stay safe and ironically, it makes us less safe. And over time, we lose one another.

“There are parts of our personal story that are top secret. They are off-limits; we do not dare reveal them to anyone.

All this holding back makes us believe that our partner also has no further mysteries to reveal. At this point, Eros begins to recoil.”
– Prem Baba, From Suffering to Joy: The Path of The Heart

Eros, that exotic part of us that is deeply curious about our partner. When it’s gone, we suffer. Vital parts of us die. The spark of relationship simmers out.

Simply said, the locking up of one’s heart is a form of self-betrayal and self-abandonment. It’s as if you’re saying to yourself, I’m not worthy of being loved; not worthy of being seen; not worthy of connection.

So then, how do you keep your heart open in the relationship?
Without the fear of burdening your partner?
Without the fear of being weak?

The answer has to do with you, more than your partner. And it looks like this… cultivate healthy self-relationship… experience your own heart.

Sit with the parts of you (fear, hope, loss, judgment, etc) that you resist sharing with your partner. Work with those parts. Connect with yourself.

 

Meet yourself, meet happiness

“A man who loves himself takes the first step towards real love.” – Osho

As I said in my post last week, if I’m not connected to me, I can’t be connected to you. It’s that simple.

Healthy self-relationship is the foundation for a heartfelt, energized, and fulfilling partner relationship. When we practice it, we learn to open our heart to our self and our partner – without fear of judgment.

When you commit to being in healthy self-relationship, you’re saying, Self meet the self. We’re in this for the long haul. We better get to know each other.

Why Letting Go of a Past Love Is Important for Future Happiness

Why Letting Go of a Past Love Is Important for Future Happiness

Are you really struggling with letting go of a past love? Are you sure that your ex was the only person for you and that you could never possibly be happy again?

I get it! The pain that you are in now is pain that is intense and feels like it will never end.

But it can! If you want it to.

If you are determined and ready to take the next steps and work on letting go of a past love, you will give yourself a chance at true love and happiness.

 

Is that hard to imagine that it’s possible? Let me tell you why.

1 – You will know what you want.

For many of us, the time after we have broken up with someone we loved is a time of real reflection.

Whether we did the breaking up or were broken up with, one way to manage pain is to take a good hard look at what happened and what we really want.

What have you learned from your past love?

Over the course of my post-divorce dating years, I fell in love many times. None of them lasted, for a variety of reasons. And while I was at times broken-hearted, with every break up I learned more and more about what I wanted.

I wanted someone who could make me feel special, who was smart and funny and honest, who had a great relationship with this family and who knew who he was. As I let go of each of these men, I was able to take another step towards knowing myself and what I wanted in the world – and thereby find true happiness.

 

2 – You can focus on what’s in front of you.

Have you tried dating since your break up? Has it been an unmitigated disaster because you can’t help but think about your ex and everything that you have lost?

Are you given great new career opportunities or the chance to travel and you don’t take them because you are too focused on your broken heart and maybe getting your lover back?

Are your friends there to go dancing but you can’t join them because you are wallowing?

Letting go of a past love, in spite of the pain and the lost hopes will allow you to lift your head and focus on the opportunities for happiness that are put in front of you.

If you don’t, you will be destined to be miserable. And life is too short to be miserable.

 

3 – You will stop comparing.

When we are in a new relationship and we have not yet been able to let go of an old one, it is very difficult to stop yourself from comparing the two.

If your new guy isn’t as funny as your old, you will hold that against him, even if he is funny in his own way. If the sex isn’t as good, you could shut down instead of giving it a chance to improve, as sex lives often do. If he doesn’t make as much money as your old guy you might think he isn’t good enough for you, completely ignoring that he knows who he is because he does work that feels good.

Another thing that happens with people who struggle with letting go of a past love is that we hold on to our ‘issues.’ Our ‘baggage.’

If we were lied to by our ex, we are always worried that our new person will lie to us. If your old guy ignored you when you were at parties, you will stress out if your new person leaves your side even for a minute.

Letting go of a past love allows us to also let go of the damage that they did to us. And if we can do so, we will have a much better chance of future happiness, both in love and life!

 

4 – You will no longer suffer.

Imagine if you no longer suffered from the pain that you are suffering from right now.

Imagine how good it would feel to get up in the morning and not get that stab of pain when you remember that you are alone.

    Common Relationship Problems: Never Ignore These 5 Problems In Your Relationship 

    Never Ignore These 5 Problems In Your Relationship 

    Are you ignoring these common relationship problems that start to eat away your relationship and damage your bonding with your partner one day at a time?

    Pay attention!

    Relationship problems are a fact of life and every couple goes through them.

    After the honeymoon phase is over, the problems begin. This doesn’t mean you have to give up though.

    Take a close look at your relationship. Where do you spend most of your time? Are you caught up with the children or focusing on work?

    One of the most common problems I see in my practice with couples is their inability to manage conflict.

    Dr. John Gottman, the founder of the Gottman Institute, is a premier researcher on relationships. It’s not surprising that he found all couples have conflict.

    What’s important is that you repair after the conflict and learn to manage the conflict. He found that 69 percent of problems in a relationship are unsolvable.

    What does this mean? You need to understand the problem before you can solve it. There is nothing worse than feeling like your partner doesn’t understand you. This is when you begin to feel emotionally isolated in the relationship.

    If you don’t work on understanding, this can be the beginning to the end.

     

    With that, here are 5 common relationship problems you’ll experience as a couple and how to solve them.

    1. Negative sentiment override

    When couples are stuck in the negative sentiment override, they don’t notice the positive 50 percent of the time.

    The negative sentiment override doesn’t set in overnight. This can take years to set in. But, once it sets in it’s not easy to repair.

    What does this mean?

    It means that you need to work on building a more positive relationship. Work on understanding your partner and don’t be so critical of one another.

    11 Reasons Why Trust In A Relationship Is More Important Than Love

    11 Reasons Why Trust In A Relationship Is More Important Than Love

    Why Trust In A Relationship Is More Important Than Love

    “I trust you is a better compliment than I love you because you may not always trust the person you love but you can always love the person you trust.” – Anonymous

    Love feels great. Entering a new romantic relationship can feel truly amazing with exciting dates filled with laughter, long walks at late nights, curling up together on the couch to watch horror movies and those passionate kisses. But what doesn’t feel great is being in a relationship without trust. When the love and excitement are replaced with doubt and fear, that’s when things start to turn ugly. And this is why trust in a relationship is sometimes more important than love.

    The fact is we all have baggage and whether willingly or not, we bring that baggage into our relationships. Whether you’re dealing with childhood trauma or trying to overcome infidelity in your previous relationship, our past always affects our relationships in one way or the other. That’s why trust forms the core of any relationship. Trust is crucial for relationship success and satisfaction. However, trust is also fragile. Once it breaks, it can be really really hard to rebuild it in a relationship.

     

    What do you mean by trust? 

    “Trust is letting go of needing to know all the details before you open your heart.” – Anonymous

    Trust in a relationship means you believe that your partner is reliable and has your best interests in their hearts. It means you have faith and confidence in them. And you feel emotionally and physically safe with them, just as they do with you. It means you expect respect, integrity, loyalty, and honesty in your relationship. You expect your partner to keep promises and secrets, and to support you when the tides get rough.

    However, trust also means that you understand your partner and forgive them when they break promises and agreements. You cannot have trust in a relationship if one partner is willing while the other one is unwilling.

    In a healthy relationship, both partners will express their trust in different ways, like:

    • Being compassionate
    • Having faith in them regardless of who they spend time with
    • Being considerate of their need
    • Listening, understanding and supporting them
    • Not dominating or controlling their partner
    • Being considerate and caring
    • Doing what they said they would
    • Believing that your partner knows what’s best for them
    • Trying to resolve conflicts in a mature and healthy manner
    • Respecting personal boundaries
    • Being respectful towards their partner
    • Feeling safe and making them feel safe
    • Relying on your partner without being dependant
    • Focusing on building a deep connection
    • Being reliable and available when they need you
    • Respecting their boundaries
    • Not doubting or checking up on them frequently
    • Giving them the freedom to live life their own way

    Trusting each other gives you the freedom to be your genuine self in the relationship. You and your partner can build trust in your relationship gradually and naturally by loving and caring for each other. However, you cannot force someone to trust you nor you demand it. It will take time to develop trust in your relationship.

     

    Is trust more important than love?

    “We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone – but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy.” – Walter Anderson

    Although you might be keen on saying that love is the most important part of a relationship, I would say that it is trust that is most important in any relationship, romantic or otherwise. Take a moment to truly think about it. Imagine a relationship without trust – you and your spouse/partner love each other a lot, however, you don’t necessarily trust them. Now when they tell you they will be going for a business trip over the weekend, how would you feel? Would you feel that they are working hard to give you a good life? Or would you think that they are having an affair with someone from work? Most likely you would think that your partner is cheating on you. You will lose your peace of mind. You will start doubting them. You will keep checking their laptops and phone. You will try to track them. You will ask them a lot of questions. You will have arguments and fights. And this will lead to the probable end of the relationship. Love without trust doesn’t look that good. Does it?

    A relationship can easily turn into a nightmare if there’s no trust in it. Your relationship will gradually become unhealthy, dysfunctional, chaotic and toxic. And that is a recipe for disaster. Trust is crucial for your relationship to thrive. Trust is essential to love and feel loved.

    Did you know that lack of trust is the reason why most people end their relationships? The Relationships Surveys Indicators 2011 claims that among the top 4 causes of relationship breakdowns, lack of trust is the most common. Trust is the foundation on which your relationship survives the toughest seasons of life. A relationship without trust will never sustain for a long time, regardless of how much you love each other.

    Why trust drives a relationship more than love

    “Trust is built when someone is vulnerable and not taken advantage of.” – Bob Vanourek

    In case you’re still wondering, here 11 solid reasons why trust is important and the driving factor in a healthy relationship:

    1. Trust & love go hand in hand 

    If you knew that a person would definitely cheat on you, would you still choose to love them? No. you won’t. No one wants to get their heart broken deliberately. As rational human beings, we can only love people we trust. It is the building block of a relationship. Love is born out of trust. You still may be attracted to that person, but you can’t love them. A relationship that is not based on trust will never survive the test of time.

    Twin Flames: What Happens When We Meet Ours

    Twin Flames: What Happens When We Meet Ours

    Twin flames arrive in our life like the fire arises from the earth, that is to say, unexpectedly.

    There’s a famous saying by life coach and transformational author Mimi Novic which mentions soulmates:

    “We think we meet someone with our eyes. But we actually meet them with our soul.”

    Our eyes are a mirror to our souls and when we dig deeper, we can chat with our twin flame, soul mate, or karmic partner.

    Have you ever felt a total recognition to someone new in a relationship, as if you’ve met this person earlier?

    Has the sense of belonging — and being in total harmony with that person — happened to be natural and in the flow?

    Has fallen in love, at first sight, seemed like no word was needed — as if simply being together was the final outcome?

    Then, if we ever experienced one of the above, it means we’ve encountered our twin flame.

    But what is a twin flame exactly?

    How does it differ from a soul mate?

     

    Twin Flames are Not Soul Mates

    First of all, it’s worth mentioning the differences between a twin flame and a soul mate. 

    A twin flame has deep magnetism and reflects a divine connection. The soul was once one until it gets separated into two different bodies. Upon reunion, the feeling of having known each other is prevalent. 

    A soul mate has no divine connection and has a different energy level than ours. Soul mates appear in our lives to make us evolve, change, and embrace new things in our life. 

    The beauty of the soul mate can translate into a deep friendship or romantic partnership. But in the case of twin flames, the connection is deeper, more intense, and reminds us of a forever-known and long-awaited soul from the past. 

    Second, if we find a twin flame, our mind, body, and soul are likely to be shaken up in various forms. 

    Meeting with our twin flame will leave us with the feeling of relief, emotional connection of outer energy levels, and connection that is long-lasting like it’s existed forever. 

    Upon encountering a twin flame, the eyes and soul connect instantly, the bodies are just physical forms in which our souls are trapped into. But the body sensations also feel dynamized in the case of a twin flame relationship. 

    A deep sense of “everything is good” and that the emotions, sensations, feelings, and love that prevail and install naturally within each of the two bodies (but same soul) arise. 

     

    The Soul Journey 

    As we arrive back to a new body, we meet people of different energies that will teach something for us in our life so our souls can progress. The soul journey starts from a long time ago and continues from one body to another. 

    The challenge is to recognize the symbols sent to us by the Universe. We don’t choose our body, we have one soul that permeates into this body for a limited time — the time to challenge us in order to, ultimately and inevitably, a better version of ourselves. 

    It may take ages — years, centuries, millenniums  — for the soul to progress. Upon meeting a twin flame, the sense of going back to something deep and strong that has no age happen to be true. 

    The soul journey directs us toward finding soul mates and twin flames for a reason: to challenge us, to progress, to make our soul evolve toward something new, better, and nicer. 

     

    How to meet our twin flame?

    Now, how do we meet our twin flame? Let’s say, our soul split over millenniums ago, what is the likelihood to encounter our twin flame in this lifetime? Will it ever happen?

    In fact, yes.

    The universe guides us toward meeting our twin flame and sends us signs to find the path to them.

    All we have to do is to listen to the Universe by meditating, becoming more mindful, and being a kind human.

    Love and kindness for ourselves — and compassion toward societies — open up doors to connect to the Universe to decipher key messages. We should strive to upgrade ourselves by becoming a better person — and by removing unnecessary elements in our lives such as greed, hatred, ignorance (alongside the teachings of the Buddha). 

      9 Essential Core Boundaries To Set In Relationships, Work and Life

      9 Essential Core Boundaries To Set In Relationships, Work and Life

      Are you setting the right core boundaries for yourself? 

      We will go through different phases of life, complaining about how people take advantage out of us. What we might be missing out on is our need to set a healthy personal boundary.

      Absent or vague boundaries make us walk the extra mile and tolerate everything under the sun just to feed on scraps of attention, approval, praise, and love.

      One must know that in order to be loved and appreciated, one does not need to extend one’s personal boundary. Self-respect and personal boundaries are equally important to be accepted by society.

      The good part is, setting proper, reasonable core boundaries will help you retain yourself and also get social approval you deserve.

      To distinguish what lies in your limit of tolerance and what doesn’t know these 9 core boundaries to set in relationships, work, and life.

      Here are 9 essential core boundaries that you can set in your relationships, work, and life:

      1. I will say “No” to everything which is beyond my capabilities.

      With experience, you have made a clear idea of what your potentials are. You must not pursue anything that you believe is beyond your capacity. It is not necessary to always avoid failure by trying to achieve everything, even things that are beyond your potential.

      Do not keep unrealistic expectations from yourself. This will only make you say ‘yes’ to things which you have no time for, or which are simply extra for you. Saying ‘no’ to things not only to retain self-respect but also to not let the other person down. It helps maintain a healthy relationship with oneself and with others.

       

      2. I will never emotionally influence another person for selfish needs.

      Fun flirting is okay. Especially when you both are clear about your intentions. You must make an agreement with yourself never to use someone as an emotional sponge. You are responsible for carrying your own emotional baggage.

      Taking advice and help from friends, colleagues and your partner is natural. Emotionally influencing or manipulating someone for your need fulfillment is not acceptable. It not only messes you up but also sets you as an example of an extremely mean person.

       

      3. I will not tolerate lies.

      Lies will come in many forms – distortion, twisting of the truth, hiding the truth and denial of reality, but whatever form it is, it is best avoided.

      Avoid people who base themselves on lies and feed others the bullshit. Be on a no-nonsense diet. If your guts are screaming at you to listen to the lies people are whispering to you, pay heed. Aim to interact with people who have the emotional maturity to handle reality.

       

      4. I will not allow anyone to disrespect me or treat me like an option.

      Attention is alluring! But never cross your boundaries of self-respect and jump on the other side just for the sake of love. If you are tolerating disrespect from someone else, you simply prove how much you disrespect yourself.

      You must know your worth. You deserve nothing less than the one best fit for you. You deserve love, respect, and loyalty. You must always remember that you are unique, you bring the best to the table. Why then would you take anything less than what you deserve?

       

      5. I will not pursue someone who indirectly or directly rejected me.

      Feelings should flow organically. If it has to be forced, it is surely ensuing a disaster. When you can understand that someone is half-hearted with you, confused about your position in their life, is unsure of his/her feelings about you, you must not run after these people.

      If you are being ignored by someone, he/she being unable to genuinely commit to you, repeatedly going on/off about you – it’s time to lose this someone. You have no time for that juggle. You know you have better things in your share. Look around yourself. You will find people who want to are authentic about what they feel.

       

      6. I will not date someone who controls me on his/her terms.

      You can do better than that. Trust me. If you look closely, you will realize if your partner is controlling or not. If he/she is, you should not let that control go on for long. You are equally invested in the relationship, and every decision regarding your relationship should be mutually decided upon. If you try to instigate your own opinions and they simply ignore or downplay it, you must know your partner is having an upper hand in the relationship.

      The Hidden Intimacy Killer Damaging Your Relationship

      The Hidden Intimacy Killer Damaging Your Relationship

      Relationships are fragile. You need to nurture it and care for it to make sure that intimacy remains intact long after the honeymoon phase is over. In this article we will discuss the hidden intimacy killers damaging a relationship.

      We all love being in the honeymoon stage of a relationship. We’re eager to know more about each other, blissfully happy and excited about building our future together.

      So what makes a relationship fall down? How can two people who were so in love, become verbally critical opponents who refuse to see the qualities of that person that first made them fall in love?

      Regardless of your age, in the early stages of your relationship, you tend to focus on what you like about the person. You admire their strength, their character, their tenacity, and their smile. You’re focused on treating each other well. You both uplift, inspire and encourage the potential you see in each other. You notice their quirks and at first, they’re cute.

      Then you start noticing their annoying habits, but you don’t want to rock the boat early on in the relationship so you don’t say anything in case it compromises the relationship.

      You might hint at it from time to time, but don’t clearly communicate. Over time, resentment starts to build. This is because you have not clearly communicated the problem and your need for it to be resolved.

      For most men and women, intimacy is a prerequisite for a healthy, happy and satisfying relationship. Lack of emotional intimacy leads to a lack of desire for sexual intimacy. When intimacy is lost, a relationship starts to quickly deteriorate.

      Many relationships become out of balance because one partner puts all the effort into the relationship and the other becomes complacent.

      While complacency is a definite relationship killer, inadequate communication will also do a great deal of damage because it undermines trust and the feeling of safety between two people.

       

      Communication Breakdown Destroys Intimacy

      Communication Breakdown Destroys Intimacy
      The Hidden Intimacy Killer Damaging Your Relationship

      We all have our needs and it’s up to each individual to communicate them in an empowering manner. While some conversations can be difficult, you must be sure to remove blame.

      Communication breakdowns occur when you don’t know how to clearly communicate your needs and therefore inadvertently make the other person feel blamed or accused. In the early stages of a relationship, you might kiss and make up, however, consistently placing blame or accusing your partner will incrementally undermine feelings of intimacy, trust, and connection.

      Anger, hurt and frustration result from not feeling heard. They also result from not communicating clearly, not respecting each other’s needs and not being responsible for your thoughts, feelings, and actions.

      While it may appear that your partner is responsible for triggering you, you are responsible for how you deal with that emotional trigger. To enable clear communication, you need to be able to respond rather than react. Otherwise, you will continue to regurgitate old arguments and unresolved issues and never get to the current issue which needs to be resolved.

      Difficult conversations always trigger emotional responses. When you try to ignore the intense, physical sensations of emotional response you lose your ability to communicate clearly. This is due to the mental confusion that results from an unresolved emotional response. This is also what makes you mentally and verbally reactive to what the other person is saying.

      Instead of those well-thought-out and calm observations you were going to share with your partner with regards to changes you require, you stumble over your words, appear confrontational and completely mess it up! This usually results in alienating your partner as well as increasing the emotional divide.

       

      How to Restore Intimacy and Closeness in Your Relationship

      Intimacy Killer Damaging Relationship
      The Hidden Intimacy Killer Damaging Your Relationship

      To be able to restore intimacy you need to take responsibility for how you are showing up in your relationship. It’s helpful to have a shared direction so you are both working toward what you want.

      When you’re living with another person or sharing their space there needs to be compromised. We all have our own way of doing things. These can include ‘bad’ habits, which we would be willing to rectify once we know how important it is to our partner.

      On-again off-again Relationships: What You Need To Know About It

      On-again off-again Relationships: What You Need To Know About It

      On-again off-again Relationships: What You Need To Know About It

      Romantic relationship, according to experts, goes through different trajectories of transitions.

      Some of them are in a relationship, yet disconnected, some of them get separated and completely move on, some of them are ‘not together, but also not really separated’, while the rest of the few is going on and off about a relationship. 

      You might have come across at least one person who you have seen running into their ex’s arms like nothing happened two months back. For some, break-up is not a transition at all, it is, in fact, a part of their relational pattern.

      Once they believe nothing is really working out, they break up in the hope of finding peace, only to readily find themselves drawn to their exes once again. So they patch things up, with the optimistic view that things will soon brighten up. 

      No doubt, this time too, the chemistry does not get any better and things go off again. If this scenario seems evocatively familiar to you, then you must have come across an instance of on-off relationship, which is sometimes addressed as ’cyclical relationship’ or ‘relationship churning’. 

      Most of us are of the belief that a relationship can only be either on-going or terminated. No grey areas in between. Couples, however, may go through the repeated process of relational development and dissolution with the same partner.

      On-again off-again Relationships: What You Need To Know About It

      On-again, off-again and keep looping

      Cyclical relationships are gradually coming to the attention of researchers dedicated to gathering knowledge about the nature and progression of romantic relationship. Research shows that cyclical relationship is quite frequent.

      A survey of 279 same-sex and 266 different-sex couples revealed that about one-third of lesbian, gay, and heterosexual relationships have at some point broken-up and renewed their relationship. (Monk, Ogolsky, & Oswald, 2018).

      This type of on-off relationship is typically a pattern of intimate relationships in emerging adulthood.

      It is during emerging adulthood that intimate relationships come to be one of the primary bases for emotional attachments in people’s lives, joining or even supplanting relationships with parents and friends. (1)

      Unfortunately, the risks associated with relationship cycling during emerging adulthood appears to be enduring in nature, adversely affecting commitment, relationship stability and quality during later cohabitational and marital life. ( Vennum & Johnson, 2014)

      Now, the question is, why couples whose relationship is marked by negativity would be drawn to it once again? Why did they break up in the first place? 

      Some relationships come to an end, but later leads to reconciliation but those cannot be categorised in on-off relationships. In a reconciled relationship, partners have previous knowledge of each other pattern of interaction, these are not characterized by negativity like: repeated conflicts, dissatisfaction, lack of commitment, disconnect etc, which are some salient features of cyclical relationship. 

      So, what exactly entails an on-again off-again relationship?  

       

      Distinct characteristics of on-again/off-again relationship(3):

      1. Relational uncertainty

      One of the key features of on-off relationship is uncertainty regarding the relationship and why it led to break-up. The people who engage in this type of cyclic relationship have confusion regarding the general nature of their relations. 

      They lack clarity about their relationship’s definition, norms, limits, boundaries and also its course. Research regarding on-off relationships found that on-off partners report more uncertainty about the general nature of their relationships than do non-cyclical partners. (2)

       

      2. Uncertainty about the relational status 

      The partners in such a relationship are also not always certain about when exactly their relationship ended, pertaining to their repeated break-ups. 

      Uncertainty about the situational status of the relationship can also result from partner’s ambivalent feelings regarding the dissolution of the relationship or one partner’s vague break-up interaction to leave open chances of a reunion. (Dailey, Rossetto, et al., 2009)

       

      People who had previously experienced an on-again/off-again relationship confessed: 

      “A big major stressor was the uncertainty. I wasn’t even sure myself if we were really broken up or not.” 

      “Not knowing whether we were completely not dating if it was okay to date someone else at that time.”

      “The not being in control, the unknown of what was going to happen.”

      Hence, it is understandable that the higher the indecisiveness regarding the termination of the relationship, the greater are the chances of reuniting once again.

      The Secret Is Finally Out: This Is What Women Want From Men

      The Secret Is Finally Out: This Is What Women Want From Men

      What does a woman want in a man? What do they really look for in a partner? Women are mysterious, to say the least. And this is why men have been asking what women want since time immemorial. Although it may seem like a tough question, the answer may be right in front of our eyes.

      Gentlemen, you may think that what women really want from men may be the biggest secret in the universe. But when it comes to dating and relationships, most men and women expect and want the same things from their romantic partners. But there are some gender-specific differences between men and women that can make things seem more complicated than they actually are. They do not want to ask for what they need from you nor they want to tell you what is important to them. Women expect you to figure it out. And this is what makes it so complicated.

      Well, don’t worry. You don’t need to be a prince charming to win a woman’s heart (although it doesn’t hurt to be one). 


      1. Women want you to be confident 

      This one seems like a no brainer, but you’ll be surprised at how many men lose their cool and confident demeanor while interacting with women. Women want their men to be confident, someone who can hold a conversation and keep them interested. When you believe in yourself, know what you want from life and understand yourself, they will be attracted to you. However, you need to understand that there is a difference between being confident and being an ego-maniac. Women want you to feel comfortable with who you are as a person and not become overbearing.

       

      2. Women want chemistry

      Has a woman ever turned you down because you lacked chemistry? This is something you need to consider with utmost importance. Women like a man because of attraction and it is not based on your finances or your looks. Initially, how much a woman will be drawn to you depends on the emotional and sexual attraction she feels for you. This makes them desire and invested in you. It depends on how much you can keep her interested, how deep you can converse and how energized you make her feel while interacting. Women want their men to create a deeper connection and a meaningful relationship.

       

      3. Women want you to be positive

      Are you a sad sap? Do you feel depressed and negative all the time? Are you an energy vampire? Then you can forget about attracting women unless you can develop a positive mindset. Women desire a man who can make them smile and feel good about themselves. When you feel positive about life and smile a lot yourself, making her smile will come naturally to you. Share positive thoughts and moments you experience throughout the day and she will get hooked to your positivity in no time.

       

      4. Women want you to be charming

      No, you don’t need to be a smooth talker or a prince to be charming. Although it does help. Women expect a man to be pleasing and likable. And for that, you don’t need swag. What you do need are originality and uniqueness. Being charming is about being yourself. Speak about your dreams and passions and what you actually care about. This is the secret to charm her.

       

      5. Women want you to open up

      Have you tried to be in a relationship with a woman who is closed off? It sucks. This is exactly what women feel when they date a man who loves to be in a power position and hides his vulnerable side from them. When you are willing to open up and show your emotional and vulnerable side to her, she will see you as a person who is comfortable with himself. This, in turn, will make her feel comfortable around you. Moreover, as you open your heart, she will feel more connected to you and will be able to open up herself.

      Why Lack of Respect Kills Relationship and Ways To Bring It Back

      Why Lack of Respect Kills Relationship and Ways To Bring It Back

      Do you often feel devalued by your partner? 

      If you are asked to pen down 3 important ingredients of a successful relationship, what would you include in it? Most probably, ‘love’, ‘understanding’ and ‘communication’ or maybe ‘love’, ‘acceptance’ and ‘trust’. Love will surely top the charts but how many of you would include ‘respect’ in it?

      I fear, only a few of you would. 

      Even when so much of a relationship hinges on respect, but we never really focus on its significance to change the entire chemistry of a relationship.

      There are several relationships that are spiraling down the wrong way because the partners consistently function on disrespecting each other. 

      respect-in-relationship

      Doesn’t respect come as an obvious complement in a relationship? We like to believe so. But no, love is not synonymous with respect

      Love is, “I need you. I want you to be happy.” 

      Respect is, “I look up to you. I value your words and opinions.”

      Even though respecting looks like an easy task to accomplish but you will frequently see couples eroding each other, often actively participating in disrespecting each other. 

      Disrespect has its expression in various forms:

      disrespect

      1. In the form of derogatory comments to belittle your partner like you are having a dinner date with your partner and friends, and suddenly you make a comment on your partner’s behavior like, “Please ignore his crazy antics!”

       

      1. Being inconsiderate of their opinions, like, “I have decided what to do about my future. Please don’t comment on what you have no idea about.” 

       

      1. Questioning their potential, like, “Are you sure you can do this? Think again.”

       

      1. Subtle body language which shows indifference like rolling your eyes, grimacing at something your partner said which you don’t agree with, dismissing something your partner said with a sway of your hand, breathing deeply as if you are containing your anger and contempt at your partner. 

       

      1. Constantly sticking your face into the phone, even when conversing with your partner.

       

      1. A partner who constantly compliments other people but is indifferent to all forms of positive qualities their partner has. 

      Respecting takes us the ability to look for the qualities, capabilities in our partner and adore, admire them for that. Respect in a relationship is the pedestal you put your partner on because you accept the person as they are. Respecting also means being able to look up to, get inspired and encouraged by your partner’s qualities. 

      You believe it or not when a person you love so much, admires you, lifts you up and appreciates you for who you are, rather than pulling you down for what you are not, you feel complete. Half of the attraction works when the other person honors, values and considers you more than anything else. 

      Even though disrespecting doesn’t have any immediate impact on the relationship, other than an argument or two, but over time it breeds contempt. Gradually resentments start growing into grudges and the intense passion is replaced by toxic connection. 

      Once a relationship is sabotaged, it often gets difficult to save it. You no longer have trust in your partner that you once have. There is always sheathing anger rising in you every time you face your disrespecting partner.

      The feelings are no more that of love and adoration, it turns to a cycle of finger-pointing and complaining session.

      If you don’t want your relationship to materialize into a failure, bring back the fire of romance in your relationship with the following tips to respect your partner in a relationship :  

      1. Walk the talk.

      Are you keeping all the promises you do? Or are they just hanging on as empty words? If you say something to make sure you do it or else never say it.

      Nothing screams disrespect louder than putting someone on a high pedestal of expectations and pushing them down from there in the blink of an eye.

      This means that you don’t value the presence of your partner in your life. Once your partner comes to realize that there is no value attached to him/her, they will start distancing themselves.

       

      2. Show your efforts in other aspects of your life. 

      When your partner understands that you are giving the efforts in other aspects of your life- professional, familial life and in friends circle, he/she starts respecting you. Never dodge the execution of a plan, or facing challenging situations or taking responsibilities under control. 

      Women Dating After 50: Is It Worth The Effort?

      women dating after fifty

      How often have you heard about women dating after 50? Do you know that over 50s dating can be just as fun and exciting as it is in your twenties?

      Are you part of the crowd and wondering if it’s worth the effort? Granted, it does take effort to look your best especially if you are worried about how attractive you are at this age. And, it takes effort to meet good men.

      Here’s the thing. If you like being the oddball out at a dinner party, taking yourself for a drive on a beautiful Sunday afternoon and spending Saturday night alone with a quart of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream than it is not worth the effort.

      But the reality is most divorced women don’t like the ‘live alone’ lifestyle.

      Let’s face it human beings are social animals and most women over fifty would at least like to spend their social time with a male companion and even better would be in a healthy committed relationship.

      Lucky for you in today’s world people in their 50’s are now the fastest-growing demographic in the United States, which in and of itself makes it worth your time and energy. Being in a relationship as you head toward retirement years is a very positive way to live your life. Men and women in relationship have fewer health problems than single people.

      Depression or the anxiety of dealing with today’s demands are far less if you are in a good relationship.

      Having someone that cares about your well-being and happiness as well as you caring about his is a wonderful experience to have each day.

      I realize that when you go through a divorce you often think… I’m better off alone. Or you may think I don’t want to take the risk of ending up with some jerk again. However, what you want to remember is today you are a very different woman from who you were when you met your ex 25 or 30 plus years ago.

      You’ve paid your dues so to speak and today you are a much wiser woman then you were in your 20’s. A common mistake that women after 50 often make is not to acknowledge who they are today and how far they have come.

      Remember the adYou’ve come a long way baby!”?

      Well, that’s true.

      I want to encourage you to acknowledge all the life lessons you have learned and all the experiences you have had, that make you the strong and capable woman you are today.

      You need to stop thinking about your age, or your horrible divorce or the extra 10 pounds you can’t get rid of. The only things you need to change are your negative thinking around the idea of dating again and turn it into a positive attitude about moving on in your life.

      Actually, it is very cool to be a part of the group of women after 50 in today’s world.

      In your Grandmothers or even your Mother’s time, this was not considered something a woman could do. In those days a woman was destined to live the rest of her life alone.

      To celebrate the fact that you are healthy and free to find your ideal partner to share this stage of your life with.

      So, Women dating after 50 is indeed worth the effort.


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      women dating after fifty pin

        How Repeated Conflicts Destroy Love in Relationships

        How Repeated Conflicts Destroy Love in Relationships

        You can’t find a relationship without conflict. But when arguments start occurring frequently, then it may damage the very core of your relationship …permanently. Although there may still be love deep inside, but your relationship may experience a brutal death.

        Many intimate partners erroneously believe that their love will always triumph no matter how many negative interactions they may have at the moment. They assume that, whatever harmful damage they may do while battling, they will always be able to find their way back to the love they knew.

        Sadly, for most lovers, that is not the way it happens.

        If their angry interactions increase in intensity, frequency, and duration, they may be unknowingly risking their relationship’s capability to regenerate.

        All intimate partners, no matter how deeply they are committed to harmony, are capable of saying mean-spirited, harmful things to each other when threatened or frustrated. Also, many negative interactions recur because they are not adequately resolved. Those, in particular, leave emotional entrails behind that combine with the current upset. The succeeding arguments often emerge with renewed vigor and more damage. Even if a couple is superb at reconciliation, too many of these painful conflicts can ultimately destroy even the most devoted of lovers.

        In my forty-plus years of working with the partners in committed relationships, I have witnessed literally thousands of disruptive and damaging arguments. Even those who still care deeply for one another can lash out in astonishingly hateful ways, seemingly absolutely unaware of the potentially un-healable damage they may be doing to their relationship.

        Because I am also with them when they are not arguing, I know that their love is still intact underneath their anger. Yet, I know that affection will disappear when the next disagreement emerges. Their current bond of loving attachment will be sadly replaced by animosity and adversity.

        Love that still exists underneath enemy fire can only hold for some period of time. The more time any couple spends in embattlement, the harder it will be for them to find their way back to the love they once knew and still take for granted.

        Constant negative interactions take their toll on all relationships. A loving partnership that was once heavily weighted in the direction of harmony will eventually become one that is easier to wound and harder to heal.

        I can tell how far a couple has ventured into this potentially irreversible heartbreak by stopping them in the process of an argument and then asking them, at that moment, to assess the level of love they feel towards each other.

        At first, many cannot even get in touch with those underlying attachments. They cannot calm down enough to even think or feel anything else. I tell them that their relationship depends on their knowing that love is still there, even in the midst of their current animosity.

        The amount of difficulty the couple has in letting go of their adversarial interaction when I give them that task, provides the information I need to assess how much trouble they are in and what they have to do to heal.

        Lasting and meaningful love is like a symbolic child between romantic partners. It is a representation of the innocence and resilience that exists in every new love relationship.

        When intimate partners continuously and irresponsibly hurt one another, it is the same as sacrificing that “emotional child” in order to preserve self over the other. Enough unconscious battering will ultimately destroy the chances of that initial, seemingly guaranteed healing to remain viable.

        Because of this looming danger, it is crucially important that both partners realize that they are risking that resiliency with every harsh word and gesture expressed. They must understand that any love, no matter how beautiful, will be unable to survive the consistent and continuous undermining that embattlement creates.

        To help couples accurately assess how close they are to losing their capacity to regenerate, I have developed the following test. I ask both partners to take the test and then to compare answers. That helps them to see if they are on the same page.

         

        8 Reasons Why An Alpha Woman Is The Best Partner You Can Ever Have

        Alpha Woman Best Partner

        She wasn’t looking for a knight. She was looking for a sword. – Atticus

        alpha females

        An alpha woman is the new age warrior. Her flare, her elegance, her attitude, the poised sense of self, her kindness – everything is a breathtakingly stunning thing to behold.

        While most people are not sure about their direction in life, an alpha woman clearly is a no-nonsense, hardworking, ambitious woman with a sense of purpose and direction in life. They are killing female stereotypes, ever since they have been conceptualized. If you believe that the only place a woman is supposed to be is in the kitchen, an alpha woman is not your cup of coffee! 

        Once you encounter one of these alpha women, you will either collect your triggered male ego and run to the opposite direction or be forever enraptured by her presence and stay. There’s no in-between with these absolutely wonderful creations of God.

        I will give you a luring 8 reasons why an alpha woman is the best partner you can ever have in your life (only if you are ready to accept her the way she is!). Because always remember, she is in charge of herself, knows what she wants and you are not a necessity, you are a cherry on the cake – optional.

        the type of man

        Here are the 8 reasons why an alpha woman is the best partner you can ever have:

        1. Reliability

        Can you always count on your partner? Do you believe that your partner will make up for the times you are not at your best?

        A relationship entails both the partners to be able to rely on each other, trust each other and be emotionally mature and strong enough to take matters into one’s own responsibility.

        Are you both gonna be late from office? Rely on your alpha woman to finish office chores, pick up the kids and also make snacks for you. 

        She is an extremely well-balanced individual who exudes self-integrity

        Also, stay rest assured that she will keep her promises of sticking with you through thick and thin, as her belief system is as strongly defined as her boundaries.

         

        2. Zero melodrama

        An alpha woman doesn’t take the shelter of petty melodrama to consistently fish attention out of you. They neither have the patience, nor the time for that bullshit.

        If you have some conflict with her, she would prefer to talk about it and resolve it as soon as possible, instead of dealing with the issue with passive-aggressive techniques.

        She doesn’t stoop down enough to hold on to secret grudges against you to use them as grenades in future arguments like, “2 years ago, on 1st March, at 20 hours 30 minutes 23 seconds, you asked me to shut up so we are gonna fight over it today!”

        What’s the brownie point she carries home? 

        You will forget about slamming doors, blame games, guilt trips, and other such manipulative techniques as she will always be transparent with you. Zero drama. 

         

        3. Clinginess? Forget about that

        You remember right, that she is with you because she wants to be with you, not because she needs you? If you believe that you threatening to leave her will have any effect on her, then you are thoroughly mistaken.

        Well, the bitter truth is, she will be equally happy being alone and single as she is with you. She is not desperate to be in a relationship with you hence doesn’t require your constant approval or appreciation to function in life. 

        She will respect and value your need for personal space and never whine and cry for that extra dose of attention. 

         

        4. A constant inspiration

        She gives zero F to nonsense, this includes your lame excuses of not being able to pursue your dreams. 

        If you ever find yourself procrastinating, discouraged, lagging behind, slumping and wanting to give up on yourself, she will be the kick to your demotivated self.

        This is not because she loves to exercise control, but because she is a good judge of your potential. She knows what you can achieve and will always keep influencing, challenging and inspiring you to give your best.

        Gaslighting: 7 Warning Signs He’s Psychologically Manipulating You

        7 Warning Signs He’s Psychologically Manipulating You

        Do you feel you’re going nuts? Are you repeatedly doubting yourself? Do you feel minimized all the time? If you feel you and your emotions are getting crushed by your partner, then you may be a victim of gaslighting.

        Narcissists and other manipulators can make you believe you’re crazy. Here are the warning signs.
        _____

        If you are (or were) married to a narcissist, then you may be familiar with the term, “gaslighting.” It is the narcissist’s masterful manipulation technique to gain control over you. As your relationship begins to weaken, he carefully causes you slight anxiety or confusion. But as the relationship worsens, he punitively devalues you, and you thereby question your mental sanity.

        The extreme or long term gaslighting can ultimately lead you to have a distorted sense of reality—not knowing who is right or wrong, feeling guilty for being the person you are, and losing any remaining self-confidence.

        Gaslighting is an extremely dangerous form of emotional abuse, as it causes the narcissist’s victim to question her judgment, on even the smallest issues, thereby making her dependent on him. If, for example, she is repeatedly told that she is bad with money, she will begin to believe it and think that without her narcissist by her side, she will be financially ruined.

        The term “gaslighting” comes from the 1944 film, ‘Gaslight,’ where a young woman named Paula falls madly in love with her suitor, Gregory. After an intense romance that led to marriage, Gregory begins to display pathological narcissistic behavior, leading to Paula’s insanity. In one scene, Gregory tampers with the gaslight in the attic, causing the house lights to dim. When Paula mentions hearing footsteps in the attic and the lights dimming, Gregory tells her it’s completely her imagination, making Paula question her judgment. Gaslighting is now the widely used term for when a narcissist truly messes with your head.

        Depending on the stage of your narcissistic relationship, gaslighting at first appears to be subtle, but then gradually worsens. Below are the signs you are a victim of gaslighting, in order in which they may occur.

        This list illustrates that as the relationship declines, so does your mental clarity and grasp of reality and truth.

        7 Warning Signs He’s Psychologically Manipulating You

        1) You become addicted to his grandiosity

        And because you likely had low self-esteem before you met him, the joy you feel can only occur when you are with him, thus making you dependent on him.

        When your whirlwind romance is at its peak, you have intense feelings of euphoria—you are almost in a drunken dance with his charm and abundant attention. Your brain releases endorphins, sending you in a complete state of intoxication. And because you likely had low self-esteem before you met him, the joy you feel can only occur when you are with him, thus making you dependent on him. Before you know it, you are addicted to your narcissist.

         

        2) You see red flags but you can’t pinpoint the problem

        As your narcissist becomes bored with you, his attention begins to dwindle and he searches for new supply. He may discreetly put you down, saying you’re “needy” or “overly sensitive.” His once empathetic affection for you has now turned to apathy, and this sudden change leaves you in a foggy state of confusion. You can’t pinpoint the problem, so you think something is wrong with you, and you do everything you can to fix it.

         

        3) When you no longer have his attention, you actually experience withdrawal

        Because you are addicted to him, and no longer getting your “fix,” you experience intense anxiety. Withdrawal from him may lead you to become fixated by his every action, wondering what he is doing, trying to please him, and obsessing on how to save the relationship. Your addiction, however, only causes him disgust, despite the fact that he dispensed you the enslaving elixir.

         

        4) You are ignored, then attended to, but then ignored again, so you lower the bar for yourself

        While a narcissist may emotionally discard you, he will still keep you around for when supply is low.

        Now that you no longer have your full fix, you will take what you can get. While a narcissist may emotionally discard you, he will still keep you around for when supply is low. So he may give you a glimpse of affection here and there, giving you hope that he is coming back to you. This further declines your self-esteem, however, making you think you are only worth sub-par affection.

        The Ten Fundamental Rules of Love

        The Ten Fundamental Rules of Love

        Love has no rules. But there are some fundamental guidelines that can help you to navigate through the complexities of a relationship and help you live a happier romantic life with your partner.

        In this increasingly confusing and insecure dating world, many of my patients are asking me for simple guidelines to help them better navigate the turbulent relationship sea. Relentlessly battered by media-overwhelm, online dating challenges, and a plethora of books and articles, they no longer know what or who to believe.

        I was initially reluctant to reduce the many crucial aspects of each individual’s situation into a one-size-fits-all manual. I resisted minimizing the significant efforts, disappointing outcomes, and anguishing disillusionments that so many of my patients have experienced, each in his or her unique way. I didn’t want a set of rules to ignore the significant differences that differentiate one person’s journey from another’s.

        I knew that what my people were asking for would not work if generic guidelines just echoed what already existed in abundance in most advice compilation data. In order to make a real difference, they needed to reach more deeply into the true psyche of long-lasting love. What had I learned from the literally thousands of hours I’d spent with sincere and committed daters over the years? I decided to try.

        What follows is the result of my inquiry, the “Ten Rules of Love.” Hopefully, they will tap into a different kind of quality relationship assessment that will actually help.

        Some will be more meaningful than others to those of you reading, but they may help you to better define what your own love manifesto means to you and how you can use it to better choose your next partner or to revitalize your current partnership.

        The 10 Fundamental Rules of Love

        Rule Number One

        Never invalidate or erase the personal reality of someone you love.

        Every one of us counts on our partner supporting and validating the way we see the world, even if he or she doesn’t see it the same way. Though we are hopefully open to expanding or transforming our views by comparing them with our partners, our emotional sanity depends on trusting the world as we see it. If our partner tries to undo that reality, we feel unseen and erased.

        All of us have been on the other end of statements like, “You’re crazy to think that way,” “That’s bull s**t,” or “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” They are examples of what one partner may say who is invalidating the world view of another.

         

        Rule Number Two

        True compromise can only happen when each partner begins an interaction by first supporting the other’s point of view.

        When intimate partners have conflicting opinions, they too often flare into justification and defense. Very soon, instead of talking to each other, they rapidly begin talking at each other. From those disparate vantage points, there is no possibility of achieving a resolution that can cradle the views of both partners. The barrier to that kind of regeneration lies in each partner’s fear that if he or she temporarily gives up that personal view, it will be impossible to get it back. If that ensues, one partner will win the battle, but both will lose the war.

         

        Rule Number Three

        Quality relationships are made up of two partners who treasure and uphold a set of mutual beliefs and ethics.

        I cannot underscore enough how important it is for intimate partners to be authentic and open about what they hold sacred as well as what they expect of each other when they begin a relationship. Though thoughts, feelings, and attitudes can and do change over time. The partners in successful relationships are always up-to-date in revising and recommitting to the beliefs they share. Trust can only hold when each partner willingly supports those agreements whether they are in each other’s presence or not.

         

        Rule Number Four

        Bids for connection are always honored.

        When either partner needs the attention or support of the other, that request must be responded to in some way. That doesn’t mean that what is being asked for can always be granted but the interest and support is there. Sometimes bids for connection can be presented in a demanding or self-serving manner, or at an inopportune time. But intimate partners who love each other are highly tuned to the other’s moods, needs, reflections, hopes, dreams, worries, hungers, frustrations, or sorrows. They are joined in their hearts and one cannot feel okay staying separate if the other needs to connect.

        8 Reasons Why People Ghost Out Of A Relationship

        8 Reasons Why People Ghost Out Of A Relationship

        Rejection and breakups are hard enough, but being ghosted can be traumatic. 

        It can leave you with unanswered questions that make it hard to move on. Although ghosting also occurs in friendships, it’s usually associated with dating. More devastating, but less common, is when a spouse disappears after years of marriage.

        It’s like a sudden death of the person and the marriage. But even the unexplained, unexpected end to a brief romantic relationship can feel like a betrayal and shatter your trust in yourself, in love, and in other people.

        It’s a shock to the heart whenever you care about someone who suddenly cuts you off without any explanation. If you insist on one and get a response like, “I just don’t feel it anymore,” it isn’t satisfying. You still want to know “WHY?” We are information-seeking animals. Our brain is wired to wonder and search for solutions.

        Once we pose a question, it looks for answers. This is compounded by the fact that we’re also wired to attach and to experience rejection as painful. We try to reconnect―why babies cry fiercely when they need their mother.

        Rejection can cause obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior, like stalking your ex’s social media, which fuels more pain and more questions.

         

        Ghosting a Romance

        In a romantic relationship, breakups are always harder during the early stage when ghosting usually occurs. You don’t know your partner that well and are still in a blissful haze of idealization. Your hopes for the future may be abruptly and inexplicably dashed. Normally, after a relationship progresses from the romantic “ideal” stage into the “ordeal” phase, couples struggle with ambivalence and conflicts. If that ends the relationship, at least you have an understanding of why it didn’t work and perhaps agree.

        If couples can communicate and accommodate each others’ needs and personalities, they get to the “real deal”―a real relationship based on mutual understanding and acceptance. This takes two people compatible and committed to making the relationship work. They must also have enough self-esteem and autonomy to give without feeling unappreciated or robbed and receive without feeling unworthy or smothered.

         

        Date Ghosting

        In dating, often there is less accountability, depending upon various factors: The way you met (a chat room or hook-up app), the individual’s maturity and values, length of the relationship, and frequency of face-to-face contact. Technology promotes less emotional involvement. If instead, you met through mutual friends, there’s more incentive to be on good behavior or other friends will hear about.

        Ghosting might start with an unanswered text or call, or long silences between replies until there are none. Here are eight reasons why a person might ghost instead of communicating:

        8 Reasons for Ghosting in a relationship

        8 Reasons Why People Ghost Out Of A Relationship
        Reasons for Ghosting

        1. They’re chicken:

        People who don’t handle conflict well fear confrontation. They expect drama and criticism and want to avoid a breakup conversation. They may rationalize to themselves that they’re sparing your feelings by not admitting that they no longer want to in continuing the relationship. However, leaving without a word, let alone closure, is more cruel and painful.

         

        2. They’re avoidant:

        Ghosts are more likely to have intimacy problems, which explain why they leave a relationship that’s getting close. They’re emotionally unavailable and may have an avoidant attachment style.

         

        3. They’re ashamed:

        People with low self-esteem want to avoid criticism and the shame they’ll experience if you get to know them better―one reason for avoiding intimacy. They also expect to feel shame for hurting you. Their lack of boundaries makes them feel responsible for your feelings, though the reverse is true. They’re responsible for how they communicate, but not for your reaction. If they want to end a relationship, you’re entitled to an honest explanation. Thus, in trying to avoid false responsibility, they err by not taking responsibility for their own behavior, causing you the unnecessary pain they were trying to avoid.

         

        4. They’re busy:

        When you’re not exclusive and acknowledge that dating someone else is okay, your partner may assume the relationship is casual. While dating other people, you and/or your messages might have been overlooked or forgotten. Your date may have already moved on or just not made time to respond. When later realizing this, he or she is too embarrassed to reply and rationalizes that your “thing” wasn’t serious in the first place.

         

        5. They’re game-players:

        To some daters, particularly narcissists, relationships are solely a means to satisfy their egos and sexual needs. They’re not interested in a commitment or concerned with your feelings, though they may feign that when they’re seducing you. They’re players, and to them, relationships are a game. They’re not emotionally involved and can act callously once they’re no longer interested, especially if you express needs or expectations.

         

        6. They’re depressed or overwhelmed:

        Some people can hide depression for a while. The ghost might be too depressed to continue and not want to reveal what’s really going on in his or her life. There may be other life events you don’t know about that take precedence, like a job loss or personal or family illness or emergency.

        Why Narcissism Is A Relationship Killer and How Empathy Can Stop It

        Why Narcissism Is A Relationship Killer and How Empathy Can Stop It

        Narcissists are easy to fall in love with. They are confident, charming, entertaining, agreeable or so they will have you believe. But narcissism can seriously harm your relationship and your ability to love, if you let it.

        [Note: In this article, I speak as a masculine man in relationship to feminine women. Please adjust the gender terms to suit your relationship experience.]

        In previous articles, I described narcissism as an extreme form of selfishness. But narcissism goes beyond mere self-interest. It’s more akin to egotism — an excessive or exaggerated sense of self-importance. In the extreme, a narcissist exists alone at the center of his (or her) known universe. Other people appear as instruments that serve a purpose: to satisfy the narcissist’s needs, wants and desires. If they don’t, they are considered useless (or worse) and can be easily discarded.

        If that’s extreme, where are you on the scale of narcissism? Measure yourself here.

        I have always considered myself an evolving “conscious male,” so my own narcissism was submerged, hidden in the subconscious shadows. I couldn’t see it — but the women in my life could.

        Here’s how it looked in my earlier days:

        As long as I was getting what I wanted from the woman in my life, I was happy. I felt good about my relationship. I was cooperative, kind, and loving. But if I didn’t get what I wanted, if she wasn’t showing up consistently as the perfect Love Goddess I expected, I began to shut down, withdrawing my energy and attention. I frequently became resentful. I stopped caring about her as much as I had initially. I got snappy, overly irritable, and reactive. I would hit an internal limit, then started looking for an exit, or someone else who would be more pleasing, and less of a problem.

        Looking back, I can see that this was a narcissistic demand that my woman satisfies all of my needs and appetites. If she couldn’t do so (and of course, no one could), my dissatisfaction grew. If she didn’t meet my expectations, there was clearly something wrong with her. I couldn’t see my own role in the dynamic.

        This type of narcissism has destroyed many good relationships.

        Eventually, my girlfriend would mention my withdrawal or my lack of care or attention. Or she pointed out my rude behavior. I didn’t want to hear it. I pointed back to her, informing her that the problem was how she was reacting. I said things like: “You’re too sensitive. You’re not taking responsibility for your stuff. The way you’re delivering the message isn’t clean. If you used different words or a different tone, I might be able to hear you.”

        This blame-the-victim tactic drives women bat-shit crazy — and for good reason. When your behavior has a negative impact on her, and she responds or reacts to it, and you then make her the problem, you’re doubling down on narcissism. You avoid responsibility for hurting her and blame her for responding to the problem. It’s cruel.

        This kind of narcissism tears relationships apart.

        Men are generally bigger and stronger than women, and throughout history, men have been responsible for most of the damage done to women. It’s understandable that women have a natural fear of us — especially when we get big, huffy, demanding, or angry. When confronted by a large raging male, most animals avoid being hurt by employing one of the safe strategies: flee, freeze, or fold. When men act like macho jerks, most women shrink back to become invisible.

        If you see your woman folding in on herself, collapsing, or withdrawing from conflict when you bark or yell, your narcissism is doing damage. If you see this in your children, you’re doing significant damage to them. (Get some help, now.)

        I learned from my partner that when women blame, shame or criticize men, it’s usually because the man won’t listen to them. They then have to escalate the delivery of their message. After a few frustrating attempts at telling you what you did to hurt them, their communication starts to sound and feel like emotional castration. Beneath their rising anger, women are trying to inform and inspire us to become more kind, loving and virtuous. It’s our own block-headedness that gets them so riled up. It’s as if someone is trying to hand you a gift, and you refuse to accept it, so they start pushing it in your face until you figure out that it’s good for you.

        A woman, at her best, is a beacon of the truth. If you hurt her feelings, whether by unconscious mistake or a narcissistic act, she will tell you about it, either verbally, or in non-verbal body language.

         

        How To Get Your Ex Back Using The No Contact Rule

        How To Get Your Ex Back Using The No Contact Rule

        If you want your ex to come back to you and whisper sweet nothings into ears, going no contact is your best bet. By cutting off all communication with your ex, you will find some time to manage your thoughts and emotions and give your partner some much-needed space. But will no contact make them forget you? Will it make them move on?

         

        Will no contact make a guy move on?

        If you don’t know what the no contact rule is, we’re about to talk about it and I’m going to tell you whether or not he’s going to forget about you if you use it.

        The question is, will no contact make him move on?

        The no contact rule is the concept that I published about many years ago and it’s actually widely misunderstood.

        Right upfront, I’m going to tell you that guys don’t just forget about you. I’ll just tell you that right now. Men are very heartfelt— just as much as women are. But you’re right if you’re wondering if the no contact rule might mess things up.

        So what is the no contact rule?

        Will no contact make him move on or lose interest in you?

        Simply stated, the no contact rule is used during a breakup or if you’re having a time out with your boyfriend in a relationship.

        This is where you and he have decided to take a little break from the relationship or after the things have ended. We use this no contact rule so that you don’t scare him back off again if you showed up at his house three days after you decided to take your break.

        So, why use the no contact rule in the first place?

        We use the no contact rule so that you don’t scare him back off again.

        If you show up at a guy’s house three days after you decided to take your break, he’s going to feel that you’re being a little pushy and insecure.

        You know what? He’d probably be right.

        The key to getting your ex back is that you have to give him more space than he actually wants right in this moment.

        What you’re doing with no contact is setting things up to return to the relationship later.

        The only way this guy is going to want to come back into your loving arms is if he sees that you’ve actually changed a little bit and you’re different after this no contact break than you were before.

         

        He has to see this change in you. The reasons are:

        1. You’re letting him cool off a little bit during this whole no contact session.

        If he broke up with you or if he’s the one who asked for a break, he’s feeling very activated and you need to give him a chance to chill out.

         

        2. You’re raising his response potential.

        By building up some anticipation in him, he’s going to be much more responsive to you when the time comes around.

         

        3. He has to feel your absence.

        Directly related to number two is the fact that every day that you’re not around him, his emotions and memories are going to keep nagging at him that something is missing and not quite right.

        That something, of course, is you.

        Frankly, most people don’t really understand how to use the no contact rule in the right way.

        It’s not that you are just going to cut him off and hope that he comes running or crawling back to you. You have to know how to do no contact in the right way.

        But first, let’s dive into this fear no contact will make him move on and destroy it once and for all.

        The biggest insight you’re going to gather is this one bit right here.

        Why do you think he’s going to forget about you or move on without you?

        Just ask yourself this one question.

        Why do you think he’s going to forget about you or move on without you?

        This feeling comes from a very normal place in all of us that we don’t like to admit exists. It’s a scared little kid part of us that fears being abandoned and lost.

        I also call this the “What about me?” part of our thinking and feelings.

        It’s that little kid’s voice inside of us trying to get out.

        No one likes the idea of being forgotten or ignored. It just plain sucks to think about that.

        The reality is that our fear will always make us think that we’re somehow inadequate if we listen to what it’s saying.

        Be real. Fear never tells you that you’re awesome, right?

        Can Divorce Make You Happier?

        Can Divorce Make You Happier?

        Do people become happier after they leave an unhappy marriage? There may not be an easy black or white answer here. Most people presume that they will be happier after a divorce as it will solve the core problem. However, studies show that divorced individuals experience higher psychological distress and less happiness than married people. 

        Most assume there are only two choices when faced with an unhappy marriage: stay and be miserable or divorce and be happy.

        But you have more choices than just staying or going. Staying doesn’t have to equal misery. Leaving an unhappy marriage doesn’t always lead to happiness.

        Marriages are very complicated and unique to each couple. What is the worst possible situation imaginable to one couple is merely a bump in the road to another?

        Each spouse in a marriage is unique too. You and your spouse each had different experiences before you ever met that molded each of you. Some of this shaping was helpful and some you may still be working through because it trips you up at times.

        Then there are the experiences that you’ve had together. Some have probably been good. While others haven’t. You and your spouse may even disagree on which experiences have been good and which weren’t.

        However you’ve made it to the point where you’re searching for information about leaving an unhappy marriage, you need to understand what doing so does and doesn’t mean.

        Divorce is one of the most distressing life events you can ever experience. It hurts in ways you might not be able to imagine if you’ve never been through it. And if you have previous experience leaving an unhappy marriage, each divorce hurts in a different way because no two marriages are the same.

        Divorce allows you the opportunity to live alone or with someone new. If you have kids, chances are it will give them 2 homes – one with you and one with their other parent. And if you have kids, it means that you’ll likely have a relationship with their other parent for the rest of your life.

        Divorce might give you the freedom to do the things you stopped doing when you got married. However, you have to choose to do them and for some, this is a difficult choice to make.

        Unfortunately, leaving an unhappy marriage isn’t a guarantee that you’ll be happy or even happier. That’s because it may not be just your marriage that is making you unhappy.

        Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between unhappiness about your life or a portion of it with being unhappy in your marriage. It can be so much easier to see your marriage as the problem instead of looking for other possible sources of unhappiness.

        Other possible sources of unhappiness can include work, other relationships with family or friends, parenting, an empty nest, a challenge with physical or psychological health, lack of a sense of purpose, what’s happening in the world, comparing your life to someone else’s, and so many more.

        On the other hand, it really could be your marriage that’s making you miserable. Maybe you and your spouse have become fundamentally incompatible. Maybe something unforgivable has happened. Maybe you’ve forgotten how to communicate in a kind way or at all.

        Even if it is your marriage that’s at the root of your unhappiness. Leaving now may not be the right answer. Maybe marriage therapy will help make things better. Maybe you know things will never get better and you need to begin working toward an exit plan.

        It’s only when you’ve asked yourself the hard questions about what’s causing your unhappiness that you’ll be able to make the best choice regarding your marriage. It’s with the answers you discover that you’ll be able to know if leaving an unhappy marriage or making an unhappy marriage work will ultimately bring you happiness.


        Written by Dr. Karen Finn
        Originally appeared in Dr. Karen Finn

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        Can Divorce Make You Happier?

        6 Steps To Turn A Toxic Relationship Into A Healthy One

        6 Steps To Turn A Toxic Relationship Into A Healthy One

        Can you fix a toxic relationship?

        To be honest, it depends. It depends on the level of toxicity in your relationship. It depends on you and your partner. It depends on how much you and your partner love each other. How much you want to make it work. There are no shortcuts or magic pills. Love is hard work. Relationships are complicated. And most of the time it takes a lot of care, awareness, commitment, time & effort to maintain a healthy relationship.

        So your romantic relationship has turned toxic and you don’t know what to do about it. Great! But the fact that you are here reading this and looking for ways to heal your relationship means there’s still a chance. There’s still hope. You can still try to make things better. In fact, you can make things better than before. Yes, you can. if you want to know how to fix a toxic relationship, then let me tell you there are ways that you can try. But before you get started, there are certain things you need to understand.

        Why do relationships turn toxic?

        There are a lot of reasons why a relationship can become toxic. There is no one-size-fits-all answer here. Our relationships are as unique as we are. Sometimes we attract the wrong person like falling in love with a narcissist, while other times we just fall out of love. You can feel ignored, abandoned or a lack of emotional connection or your partner may become needy and clingy or even controlling and dominating.

        Relationships are tricky. We may want to build a closer connection with our partner while they may want to become more independent. There are many differences in opinions that can make a relationship sour and toxic. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you stop loving each other. And that is where hope comes in. Whether you want to grow as a couple by facing difficulties or if you want to call it quits and part ways depends on both the partners. It is up to you to decide if you want to point fingers or hold hands.

        However, if your toxic relationship leads to physical, emotional or verbal abuse and psychological manipulation, then it is better to simply walk away and be single. Do not choose to be a victim and live a lie. There is a subtle difference between being in an unhealthy relationship and an abusive one. This is a decision you need to make and it is a very important one. If you have been abused or manipulated, simply walk away. Sometimes it’s better to let something go than to stay and suffer.

        Is it a toxic relationship or just a bad phase?

        Let’s face it, in the real world there is no ‘happily ever after’. No relationship is without turmoil. Despite what Hollywood romcoms might have you believe, sooner or later you will face challenges in your relationship that will make you wonder what the heck went wrong? But that’s natural. That’s how we grow and build stronger and more intimate bonds. We work through it and help each other become a better person.

        We all have a rough patch in our relationships. It makes us question our love, our partner and even ourselves. We feel like we are not being appreciated, wanted or loved. We feel like that it might be coming to an end. That’s when we ask ourselves the most important question: is it worth fighting for? Leaving a bad relationship is as difficult as fixing a meaningful one.

        But how do you know if you are having temporary problems or if your relationship has turned toxic? If you are arguing with each other due to external factors like work pressure and stress, then it may simply be a rough patch. But if your arguments are based on differences in values and start believing that treating each other poorly is normal, then you need to stand up and take notice. In a toxic relationship, you feel drained, helpless and suffocated. If you feel disrespected and a lack of communication, then you need to realize that toxicity has creeped in.

        Here are some warning signs that you are in a toxic relationship:

        • Either you or your partner feel contempt
        • One of the partners is obsessed with the other
        • Use of mean words and rude behavior leading to verbal abuse
        • One of the partners act overly possessive & controlling
        • Your partner acts cold and caring at the same time

        Whether it is just a rough patch or a toxic relationship, if you and your partner have given up on each other, if you have stopped caring for one another, then no amount tips on how to fix a toxic relationship will help you heal what’s broken. However, if you feel that your partner still loves you, there is a good chance that things might just workout.

        Healing a toxic relationship

        Once you have identified your relationship as a toxic relationship, you can start taking action to heal it leading to a more loving relationship.