Tag Archives: Lesbian Affairs

Why Do We Stay in Abusive Relationships?

It’s a scary fact: One in four women will likely be involved in an abusive relationship at some point in their lives, with women between 16 and 24 being particularly susceptible.

For those who have never been a victim, it can be difficult to understand why the woman doesn’t “just leave” when violence (or the threat of violence) becomes present. As someone who has personally been victimised by previous partners, I would like to shed a little light on the subject.

This is not to be considered advice to remain in a relationship that is not safe – if you are being abused, please seek help.

I understand that it can be difficult, but these problems often get much worse over time – not better.


The victim may need the perpetrator.

In scenarios where the victim is not able to support herself financially, she may stay with her violent partner out of fear of becoming homeless if she leaves.

In other cases, there may be children involved – the victim may feel obligated to “stay together for the children”, or they may stay out of fear of retaliation and/or fear for the safety of her children, if the violent partner were to gain partial or full custody.


Many are not aware of the warning signs of abuse.

Even though 82% of parents feel that they would be able to tell if their child was being abused, statistically, 58% were unable to identify all the warning signs.

Even victims of domestic abuse are often unaware of the many factors that can be considered abuse.


Many perpetrators of violence “disarm” their victim through emotional abuse.

Since the perpetrator is someone who the victim loves, they trust their partner when told “you made me do that” or “that wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t ____.”

In my personal experience, the abusive partner had previously disclosed an issue of domestic abuse with the partner before me, but immediately wrote it off by saying “–but she made me do it, and I would never do that to you.” And, for three years, this was true – until the day it wasn’t.


Most instances of abuse progress gradually over an extended period of time.

There is a quote by Richard Beckham II that states, “If a frog is placed into a pot of boiling water it will immediately try to jump out; but if it’s placed into a pot of cool water that’s gradually heated until boiling, it will stay put and never try to jump out.”

This is a perfect analogy, as abuse is rarely immediate – in the beginning, the relationship will likely be ideal, and gradually become abusive over time.


In my situation, my abusive ex started off as my first love – I pined after her for years before we ended up together, and by that time I already had this idyllic image in my head of what she was.

Over the years, she began to abuse me – verbally and emotionally at first, and more violently as time went on. I forgave the instances she berated me in public, as well as the times she threw things at me or pushed me down, because “at least she’s not physically hurting me”.

Once this exploded and turned into her strangling me while telling me that she wished I would just die, all the signs clicked and I was able to get out – with the assistance of a roommate who distracted her long enough for me to run to a neighbour’s house for help.

However, not all women are able to get away, and unless you have been in the situation, you can’t understand how difficult it can be to get out.

If you suspect that you or someone you know may be the victim of domestic abuse (regardless of whether or not it has reached physical violence), it is important that you seek help. There are numerous resources available to victims and their concerned loved ones, although these resources will not reach out to you.

You must seek help to receive it. KitschMix urges their readers to seek out further information from the resources listed if there is any question.

If you feel that you might be a victim, you probably are – this intuition is rarely without just cause.

Would You Date a Woman Twice Your Age?

Love knows no age limit.

Maybe you and your girlfriend are young and in love. Maybe you and your polyamorous partners are all pushing sixty. Maybe you’re one of the growing number of lesbians entering into “cougar” relationships.

If you’ve ever watched Cougar Town or heard someone marvel at an older woman dating a younger man, then you know that a cougar is a woman who partners with someone ten years her junior.

This isn’t a typical sugar daddy/sugar mama situation – the younger partner doesn’t expect gifts, and the older partner is genuinely looking for love. In other words, these relationships are exactly like any other relationship, except that one partner is a more mature.

The new website Lesbian Cougar Dating caters to lesbians looking for a May-December romance. This site is for older women who “enjoy being in the company of lesbian cubs who are willing to experiment and let go,” and for younger women who are “attracted to lesbian cougar women who are poised, experienced, independent and assertive.”

There is a glamor to dating an older woman. She ostensibly has her life together. She knows what she wants. She’s sexually experienced. And she’s way past drama. While young adult relationships are often rocked by the uncertainties of entry-level employment, school, economic instability and identity crises, relationships with older women feel more stable.The downside? People may question your relationship and assume the cougar is your sugar mama.

The downside? People may question your relationship and assume the cougar is your sugar mama.

So how do you get started? It’s free to set up a profile, although you do have to apply – the site describes itself as an “exclusive community” on the forefront of “this new lesbian dating phenomenon, where fantasy can become reality.”

There is an emphasis on fantasy. This website envisions a world in which “the taboo of age-gap romance does not exist.” A world where people are free to love without judgment.

The site is relatively new so the community is not overwhelming. Instead of being inundated with potential matches like Tinder, you’ll choose from a carefully curated selection of women both mature and young.

Your next dating adventure starts here.

Seven Perfect Ways to Propose

It’s almost the holiday season, and love is in the air!

You’ve been dating your girlfriend for a while, and you’re absolutely sure that she’s the one. All that’s left is to pop the question.


Treasure Hunt

Take her to the spot where you first met, and guide her step by step on a treasure hunt for items based on your memories together. For example, bury a copy of the first letter you ever left on her doorstep, or hide a box of your favorite photographs.

For the last step of the treasure hunt, lead her somewhere where all of your friends and family are waiting. Then get down on one knee.

Surprise Proposal – Lesbian


Musical Number

Using her favorite song, a song that has a lot of significance to your relationship, or an original composition, create a musical slideshow of photographs.

In the final photo, ask her to be your wife.

Best same sex proposal !!! (warning will make you cry)


Graduation Day

Graduation isn’t just about finishing college, it’s also about starting a new life, and graduation proposals are becoming increasingly popular. With the permission from the party organizers, plan a graduation party proposal that your girlfriend will remember – present her with a ring as her friends and family members cheer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP_JDU2Wm08

Commencement and emotional (Lesbian) Proposal 2015


Love Languages

Compose a song, poem or story for your girlfriend, incorporating inside jokes or words that only you two understand. Similarly, if you’ve traveled the world together or if you each come from different cultures, incorporate words, phrases and idioms from different languages. After all, is one language really enough to express how much you love her?

Lesbians Travel World: The Big Marriage Proposal in the Philippines


High on Love

Push her out of a plane. Not maliciously – do it during a skydiving trip. While you’re both twirling through the clouds, your friends will write “Will you marry me?” on the ground in large cutout letters so that your girlfriend can read it from the sky. When she lands, the question will knock her off her feet again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVoPrcalH40

Lesbian Marriage Proposal – Andie & Lucy 10-18-14


Rose Ceremony

Different colors of the same flower have different meanings. For example, pink roses mean gratitude while lavender roses signify enchantment.

Arrange an intimate rose ceremony with your closest friends and family. Each guest will read the meaning of the flower – “A pink rose for the gratitude your girlfriend feels for having you in her life” – and then hand it to your girlfriend. At the end of the ceremony, she’ll have a bouquet of roses, a heart full of love and a girlfriend who’s dropping down to one knee.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYOOvhpnACg

Kisha’s Surprise Proposal (The Lesbian Edition)


BONUS: The couple in this video isn’t lesbian, but it’s still a wonderful idea.

If your girlfriend is a Disney enthusiast or a musical theatre nerd, enlist her friends to dress up as her favorite characters and sing. How can your girlfriend say no to a soulful rendition of “Kiss the Girl”?

A Disney Surprise Proposal (Stephanie and Casey)

 

Early Intimacy Vs Long Term Relationships Goals

Deciding when to have sex with the girl you’ve just started dating can be quite difficult.

How many dates should we have before we have sex? The first date, the third date, the sixth date?

The simplest answer is when you both feel ready, but if you and your new boo are the type of gals to have sex very early on then it’s a given you will both do it, but having sex too early on can actually be a bad thing.


Real Intimacy is not just sex

Having sex with someone is not the same as having an intimate relationship. Women often confuse these points. Real intimacy is having a close and deep relationship with someone and this takes more than a few dates. Sometimes it can be better to get to know someone first before having sex as the sex then cements your relationship and your closeness.


Good sex makes us think our relationship will last forever

Let’s say you have sex after the third date. And it’s amazing. Our minds then think we are onto something perfect. We ignore other ‘niggles’ if we are having multiple orgasms between the sheets. But what happens if you have nothing in common accept the good sex and you only discover that as the weeks or months go on? If you had waited and get to know her better first before the sex, you would have realised a lot quicker that you don’t really have a lot in common with her.


Sexual Chemistry at the start of a relationship can wear off

When we have good sex with someone we are really attracted to, we feel great and we go a bit gaga as our hormones start to release feel good chemicals into our bodies, you know, that so called ‘honeymoon period’?  But these chemicals wear off over time and that’s when the closeness you have with someone outside of the bedroom comes into play. The true depth of your relationship. But what if there isn’t any depth there at all? You both fancy each other like mad in the beginning and can’t get enough of each other, but when that starts to die down and wear off you might realise that without the physical attraction there isn’t much else about her that attracts you.


You think having sex means you are in a relationship.

Thinking like this is quite common. Sometimes us lesbians are in a bit of a rush to be in a relationship and so therefore will have sex quickly in order to feel they now have a partner. But a relationship is not just about sex. There has to be so much more. Similar interests, the same humour, enjoying the same activities to mention just a few things that are important. Sex doesn’t automatically mean you are in a relationship. Far from it. It just means you have an attraction to someone. There are also lots of women that just want sex and not a relationship as you will see in the next point.


Deep down you just want sex and not a relationship

This can be a problem. A big problem if the other woman thinks having sex means you want a relationship with her. All you are after is her body but she’s after something a bit deeper and meaningful. Not only can this cause someone unnecessary hurt it can also make you feel like a bit of a bitch. If you are only after sex, that’s fine, many women are happy just to have sex and nothing else, but make sure before you have sex with her she knows the score and she’s happy enough to be ‘a friend with benefits.’

If you look at the bigger picture, there are so many reasons to wait before having sex. At best, having sex early on can mean a few weeks or perhaps months of fun and passion but it’s very unlikely to lead to something deeper. Waiting and getting to know someone first, even if that takes a month or so, can save a lot of heartache and means that when you do eventually have sex there is a lot more substance to your relationship other than just having a good time between the sheets.


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18 Signs You’re In A Healthy Sexual Relationship

Are you and your girlfriend sexually compatible?

I know there might be a lot of debate on this topic, since no two people really have the same sexual needs and desires. There might be some overlap, but your specific interests are bound to differ. That’s just how things work.

But just because you and your partner don’t want the exact same things, doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have a healthy sex life. After all, compatibility is a lot more about compromising than it is about agreeing.

If you happen to notice these 18 things in your relationship(s), though, congratulations – you guys are doing it right.

1. Spending a few nights apart doesn’t mean your sex life is on pause.

Not when you’ve got dirty talking, naughty e-mails, and phone sex to hold you over. You two are comfortable enough with each other that you can talk each other through to an orgasm without the need to be face to face.

2. You know how to fix those boring spells.

I know, I know – no one wants to admit that their sex life gets a bit stale sometimes. But it does. For everyone. You know that doesn’t mean it’s over, though, and you quickly find a way to bring the spark back in – even if that just means opening the curtains while you’re getting busy.

3. You’re adventurous in life, too.

The two of you enjoy spending time together and sharing new experiences. You know that the more exciting your life outside of the bedroom is, the closer and more passionate you can be inside the bedroom. After all, sex is such a small part of our lives – why give it more credit than it deserves?

4. You have sex with the lights on, too.

Sure, not every time. But who can really be bothered to shut the lights off every single time? It’s much simpler for you two to just leave them on and follow your passions wherever they may go.

5. You tell her when you touch yourself.

Not only that, but you tell her how, and what you were thinking of when you did it (because, most likely, you were thinking of her anyway). You don’t share those stories with anyone else, because they’re sacred.

6. You talk about your past sexual experiences.

The two of you sit down and talk about the things you’ve done together in the past, and compare notes about what was most satisfying to whom. You love sharing your favorites, and you know they increase the chances of a repeat occurrence.

7. You make sure she’s satisfied.

You know that orgasming every time isn’t very likely, but you do check in periodically to make sure that your partner is satisfied, overall. You’d never judge each other for what is said during these talks, either.

8. You occasionally take one for the team.

Even if you’re not in the mood, you offer to pleasure your girlfriend instead. After all, giving her pleasure makes you happy – even if you’re not really feeling it. (But, of course, you’ve got to do it with enthusiasm, or it doesn’t count.)

9. You check out other people together.

You’re not threatened by who your partner looks at, and she’s not threatened by who you look at, because you both know where you’re going in the end. You can look all you want to, as long as you don’t touch (without asking).

10. You aren’t worried about her exes.

You know that what you have now is stronger than what they have now – and it doesn’t matter what they used to be. You are more current, and besides – you’re not in competition with this other woman. You know what you bring to the table and you’re confident you’ll keep bringing it.

11. You aren’t worried about her friends.

You’re not going to waste your time telling her she “can’t” be friends with certain people, unless they’re genuinely bad for her. You don’t care if they think she’s attractive because of course she is, but you know she’s not going to fall for their flattery.

12. If you do slip up and act jealous, your partner is flattered.

Hey, not all jealousy is based in insecurity, and your partner knows that it’s a good thing you got concerned. That means that you care about her and the instinct to protect your bond kicked in. Afterwards, she reassures you that you have nothing to worry about, and you two can laugh it off.

13. She brings you feelings of comfort.

When you watch a scary movie together, or you hear a creepy noise at night (anyone else live out on the countryside, or just me?), you reach for her, because she makes you feel safe. Even if she’s not exactly your knight in shining armor, she’s always there for you, and you trust her.

14. You can watch dirty movies together.

Whether you shot them yourselves or you rented them from the back room at the adult store, you can watch those movies together and picture each other in the positions on the screen. (And, of course, you know you’ll be trying those out later.)

15. You aren’t worried about how you look for sex.

You’re well aware that you’re not always a ten, but that doesn’t matter, because your partner likes having sex with you anyway. Whether you’re in a sexy costume or just sweat pants, your partner thinks you look incredible. (Besides, those clothes are about to come off anyway.)

16. You have pet names for each other in the bedroom.

Some people opt for the cutesy nicknames. Others like the hardcore humiliation names associated with bondage culture. Yet more people fall somewhere in between the two, with their own secret sex lingo. Maybe you’ve even come up with code words for your sexual activities that literally no one else understands. It doesn’t matter, though – it’s your own secret love language.

17. You’ve tried out some really weird positions.

In the spirit of expanding your horizons, you two have tried out some strange positions – either ones you read about here, or ones you tried to figure out from a porn, or maybe even something you made up yourself. Either way, your sex life isn’t complete until you’ve had one utterly failed sexual experiment – trust me.

18. You don’t mind the occasional fight.

You won’t run away from your problems, because what you have is too important to throw away. Maybe you even look forward to the fighting, because you know that there’s a solution right around the corner. No matter which it is for you, you know that make-up sex is basically the best thing ever, and it’s all yours just as soon as you work this out.

Couples Meditation For You And Your Girlfriend

Meditating by yourself teaches you how to be one with the universe. Meditating with your girlfriend teaches you how to be one with each other.


1. Select your soundscape.

Choose a track without words. I recommend either classical music or music made specifically for meditation. You can also choose silence.


2. Set a minimum time limit.

Together, decide how long you’d like to meditate for: maybe five minutes, maybe ten, maybe half an hour. Start small and work your way up.

Put a clock where one of you can see it. But don’t set an alarm – that will jolt you out of your reverie.


3. Sit with your back straight and face your partner.

When you think of meditation, you probably think of someone sitting on the floor in lotus position with their legs crossed and their middle fingers pressed to their thumbs.

You don’t have to meditate like this. You can sit in a chair with your feet on the ground, or you can sit on the ground with your legs folded. The important thing is that 1) you’re comfortable and 2) your back is straight to facilitate easier breathing.


4. Place your hands on your partner’s hands.

Place one hand face up on your knee and the other face down. Have your girlfriend do the same, so that you’re touching palm-to-palm.

Placing your hands palm-to-palm in front of you with your arms outstretched isn’t recommended, because your arms may get tired.


5. Look at each other.

Make eye contact with your partner, and fight the urge to laugh – eye contact can be tricky, but it’s important. (You’re allowed to blink.)

Look at your partner. Look at her looking back at you. It’s a cliché to “get lost in someone’s eyes,” but if you do this exercise right, you will.


6. Breathe at the same pace.

Inhale deeply for three counts, then exhale deeply for three counts. Make sure you and your partner are inhaling and exhaling at the same time. Get into a rhythm.


7. Release your mind.

Empty your mind. Stop consciously thinking of anything.

If thoughts pop up, don’t stress about them. Don’t follow them. Let them enter and exit on their own. Having thoughts doesn’t mean you’re “failing” meditation.

Allow yourself to relax. Release your muscles so that all you feel is the weight of your girlfriend’s palms on yours. Feel her heartbeat in your hand. Keep looking in her eyes.

Let the world melt away until you’re the only two people left.


8. Transition back to the real world slowly.

When your time ends, don’t immediately jolt back down to earth. Take a moment to appreciate the peace that you two cultivated, and pick a time to do it again – say, tomorrow morning?


If the meditation didn’t help you relax, don’t stress; it will come with time. The important thing is that you and your girlfriend keep practicing, cultivating a safe and quiet place where you can enjoy each other’s company.

The Keys To Making A Tough Lesbian Relationship Work

Let’s be really honest with each other for a second. Relationships can be pretty hard. When you’re a member of the LGBT community, things can be even harder, because you’ve got to deal with extra pressure from society (and maybe even your own family). Coming out isn’t even an option for everyone, which adds its own issues, on top of everything else out there. Yet, amazingly, lesbians still end up in these tough relationships – the work is worth it. Humans are inherently social creatures, after all.

Looking to make your tough relationship just a little bit easier? Follow these 5 rules and you’ll find yourself well on your way.


Embrace your disagreements.

When things start to get rough, we may find ourselves tempted to just go straight into denial. Put the problem out of your mind, and it can’t bug you, right? But, realistically, that’s a poor way to handle your relationships. Denial is rarely the appropriate response to a stressful situation, at least in the long-term.

You are different people with different opinions and different histories. It’s completely understandable that you’re not going to agree all the time. You just need to know how to channel those disagreements into a better understanding of one another, instead of letting them tear you apart.


Learn about the past.

Any time it seems like the woman you’re dating is crazy, clingy, or needy, take a minute to think about what led her to that point. Sure, sometimes it’s just her personality – but most of the time, you’ll find that there were experiences that molded her into the person she is today. Take care not to repeat her ex’s mistakes, and your relationship is going to have a much more solid foundation.

You need to understand your own past, also – so make sure you’ve learned the lessons your past relationships were meant to teach you. No one is magically perfect in relationships, but you can make sure you get better every time.


Be a team.

Too many people take their relationships way too seriously. It’s good to have feelings for your partner and be attracted to her, but that’s not what your relationship is all about. You need to be conscious of each other, and you need to work together.

You can’t expect her to make unreasonable changes, either, especially if you aren’t willing to make changes for her. Relationships need balance and compromise – they don’t run on ideals and miracles. And it would be completely unfair for you to expect her to change just because you asked her to.


Slow things down.

There’s a stereotype that lesbians move way too fast (you know, the whole U-haul joke), but it’s actually recently been backed up by science. Chances are, your relationship is moving a lot faster than it needs to. Rushing into things is rarely sustainable, and things are going to fizzle out a bit eventually. Make sure you take the time to work on things even after the shine is gone.

This happens at a different point for everyone, but the sooner you recognize it and adjust your gameplan, the better off you’ll be. Just because there are some lulls in the relationship doesn’t mean that the relationship is over – it just means that things are a little harder for a while.


Talk more, listen more.

Now, time for some hard truth: Communication is more important than everything else put together. It makes the good things even better, and it makes the bad things a little easier to take. Your sex life will be much more fulfilling, and you’ll have the tools to keep minor frustrations from turning into major resentment.

It’s not just about talking, though – you and your partner need to be actively listening to one another, too. Honesty is an important part of the communication process, and you’ll need to make sure your talks are a safe space, free from judgment. That way, you feel more comfortable expressing the things you need and want, and she has time to explain her needs and wants, too. You’re not mind readers, so stop trying to pretend you are!


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Sixteen Signs You’re The Side Chick

The new girl you’ve been seeing is perfect! She sends you sweet text messages, she cooks dinner at your apartment, and she says that you two have something special – she’s the best girlfriend you could ever ask for.

Okay, maybe she’s not your “girlfriend”…and she doesn’t want to meet your friends…and she never sleeps over…but that doesn’t mean you’re her dirty little secret. That doesn’t mean she already has a girlfriend.

Right?


The warning signs:


1. She always comes to your dorm or apartment, but you’ve never seen the inside of hers.


2. If you have gone to her place, something seems off. Maybe the closet door is always closed (to hide her girlfriend’s clothing), or there are two types of shampoo in the shower, or the shoes by the door come in multiple sizes.


3. You always meet up at odd, very specific hours, usually during the day (when her girlfriend is at work) or late at night (when her girlfriend is asleep).


4. She never sleeps over. If she does sleep over, it’s very rare and it’s usually on weekends (when her girlfriend is out of town).


5. When you ask her about her relationship status, she’s shady. You don’t want to push it because you don’t want to seem clingy, but she never quite clarifies whether is or isn’t seeing someone else.


6. You’ve been seeing each other for a long time, but you’ve never met her friends. And she has never asked to meet yours.


7. She doesn’t take photos of you two together, not even on Snapchat. In fact, when you try to take photos, she hides her face or asks you to stop.


8. If you post something about the two of you to social media, she asks you to take it down.


9. You can’t follow her social media accounts. You’ve been hooking up for three months, but she still hasn’t accepted your Instagram request.


10. Most of your dates take place inside. In fact, most of your dates are Netflix and Chill.


11. When you two do go out in public, you go somewhere removed. She doesn’t take you to the popular café where most people your age hang out – she takes you somewhere across town, or outside the city limits. She says it’s because she doesn’t want anywhere too “crowded.”


12. She still hasn’t saved your phone number. Like, really?


13. She’s saved your phone number, but she’s saved it under a different name, such as your initials, a series of emojis, or “Pizza Hut.”


14. You don’t even have her phone number. You still do most of your communication through WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger or Tumblr Chat (which her girlfriend will never think to check).


15. She texts someone frequently when you’re together, but she strategically hides the screen or texts only when she thinks you’re not looking.

And finally:


16. Messages on her phone pop up from someone named “Bae” or “Wifey” or “Girlfriend.”


Just because your hookup does one or more of the above doesn’t mean that she’s cheating on someone with you – it could mean she’s a private person. But if you have a gut feeling that something is off, then you should ask about it. Life is too short to spend time with shady people.


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How To Live With Your Girlfriend (Without Losing Your Mind)

Moving in with your girlfriend is exciting. For some couples, the Big Move happens at three years, for some, three days and – let’s be honest – some couples sign a lease on the third date.

But cohabitation is not without complications. These three tips can make the transition as harmonious as possible.


Cleanliness is next to godliness.

What is the definition of “chores”?

It may seem like a basic question, but everyone interprets that word differently, so you and your partner need to make sure you’re on the same page. For example, maybe you used to sweep every once in a while, but your partner wants the apartment swept, mopped and dusted twice a week.

Then, decide ahead of time how you’ll split the chores. It doesn’t necessarily have to be 50/50. Maybe you work longer hours, so she’ll do the dishes on the nights you come home late. Maybe she is out of town a lot, so you’ll handle all the chores when she’s gone and she’ll do the same when she’s back.


A happy medium.

You and your girlfriend are going to fight. Some fights will be warranted, and others won’t – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you both know your conflict resolution styles and determine, in advance, what you’ll do when conflicts arise.

For example, maybe your girlfriend needs to silently contemplate every disagreement until she reaches a rational conclusion, while you would rather fight fast and then forget about it. To accommodate both your needs, instate a mandatory thirty-minute Time Out where you both think about what you want to say; that way, she has enough time to process her emotions, and you only have to wait thirty minutes.

Try a lot of tactics to figure out the best way to resolve conflicts. Whenever a conflict arises, try writing letters to each other, taking a walk together or even meditating. Make sure neither of you goes to bed angry.


It must be the money.

Because we live in a capitalist society, money can be stressful, especially for young couples. You and your girlfriend already have enough to worry about – your jobs, your health, all those chores – so work out the big money questions in advance.

  1. How much rent will each person pay? If you’re moving into your girlfriend’s apartment, you might not have to pay anything, or she might ask you to contribute. If you’re signing a lease together, you can choose to split the rent equally or based on how much money each person is making.
  2. Who will pay for groceries and household items, and how much will you spend on that per week? If you can only budget $60 per week for groceries, but she wants to spend $120 on manchego from Whole Foods, you need to have a long talk.
  3. How will the bills be divided in an emergency? An emergency could include an unexpected hospital bill, a massive utility charge or one partner losing her job. You need to decide a backup plan in advance, and have some sort of rainy day fund, even if that “fund” is a credit card (last resort, but effective).

Living together is stressful, but at the end of the day it’s worth it – there’s nothing better than waking up next to your girlfriend every morning.

Congratulations on the Big Move, and good luck!


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10 Things You Should NEVER Apologize For

Up until a few years ago, I was an obsessive over-apologizer. Whether I thought I was really at fault or not, I’d say “sorry”, just to avoid the guilt that went along with it. Over time, I realized that there were definitely some times when you shouldn’t say sorry – and I started using better strategies to decide what I really apologizing for, and when I was just filling holes in conversation.

Through all this, I learned these 10 things you should never say you’re sorry for – even if you feel guilty about them. (Which, FYI, you really shouldn’t, but that guilt takes some time to un-learn.)


1. Never apologize for needing alone time.

While humans tend to be social creatures, most of us are recharged by periods of stillness and silence. Your alone time gives you time to process life, and it helps prevent you from burning yourself out.


2. Never apologize for speaking your mind.

Women are socially conditioned to hide the things on our minds, especially when those feelings might hurt someone else’s feelings. You shouldn’t have to hide how you really feel, though – and no one should make you feel bad for being honest. Don’t be rude, but don’t keep your mouth shut just to please others.


3. Never apologize for taking your time to reply.

With the age of technology exploding all around us, we’ve gotten all too used to an immediate response. Truthfully, though, your smart phone exists for your convenience – not the convenience of others. Very few things that we treat as “urgent” actually are, and rushing your response takes away your time to think things through.


4. Never apologize for asking for help.

Admitting you need help is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness. Even Batman needs a partner sometimes, and – sorry to be the one to tell you this – you are most likely not Batman.


5. Never apologize for your past mistakes.

You can’t change who you used to be – you can only change who you are now and in the future. No one worth keeping around will bring up your past mistakes and hold you to them. Have you learned and grown from it? If yes, then remove yourself from the guilt – that’s not who you are anymore.


6. Never apologize for putting yourself first.

In the spirit of giving, we tend to think that we can’t make ourselves a priority. However, this leads to setting un reasonable expectations from ourselves, because human nature is, in fact, very selfish. You can’t do everything, and you don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why. It’s 100% okay to say no to things.


7. Never apologize for telling the truth.

When we stop ourselves from telling the truth because we’re worried about how it’ll affect someone else, what we’re really telling them is that we aren’t there with them in the rough times. The truth might hurt, but a lie will hurt way more, and for way longer. And besides, honesty is hard enough to come by – why withhold the truth within you?


8. Never apologize for being messier than other people would like.

When I was a kid, I always thought it was weird that we’d get more cleaning done in the few hours before company came than we did in the week before we found out they were coming. It’s okay if life gets busy, and you don’t have as much time to clean as some random outside person thinks you should – unless, of course, those other people are responsible for cleaning up after you when you don’t do it yourself.


9. Never apologize for being successful.

Three mottos to live by: You deserve happiness, you deserve success, and you deserve everything you’ve worked for. If you’ve earned it, it’s yours forever – be proud of your achievements!


10. Never apologize for how you feel.

Your emotions are a natural part of your human experience, and in most cases they serve a useful purpose. Hormones, other people, and the stresses of daily life can do some major damage on those emotions, but you’re only responsible for how you react to your emotions – not how you feel in the first place.

21 Signs Your Relationship Is All Wrong For You

It can be tough to navigate the treacherous waters of our love lives. We’re all supposed to put in effort, but how much is really enough? Is there such a thing as “too much”? Shouldn’t we just do whatever we can to stay with our partner?

Well, no. Only you know what you can really handle in your relationship, but as a general rule of thumb, if it hurts you more than it makes you smile… It’s probably toxic.

If you hurt her more than you make her happy… It’s probably toxic.

If you have to look at lists on the internet to see if your relationship is worth staying in… I hate to be the one to say this, but… Your relationship is probably toxic.

Contrary to what you might think, though, a relationship can be toxic even when both people are madly in love with each other. I mean, let’s just look at Harley Quinn and The Joker. (Well, the Suicide Squad versions of them, at least – the comic book characters had a different dynamic going on.) Those two are crazy about each other, and yet they still end up exhibiting so many of the traits that qualify a relationship as abusive. (Although, they do it in a bit gentler of a way than their ink-and-paper predecessors did.)

If you see the following 21 signs in your relationship, it’s best if you get out now and ask questions later. Run, don’t walk, as far in the other direction as you can – for your own sanity.

1. You’re always fighting.

One of the most obvious signs that you’re wrong for each other. Constant fighting could be a sign that you two are totally incompatible (or that one of you has unresolved anger issues). Either way, get out while you still can.

2. You’re never fighting.

While fighting all the time is a bad thing, so is keeping quiet to keep your partner calm. If either of you is holding your tongue to keep from saying something that might start an argument, you need to get out as soon as possible.

3. You can’t be yourself.

Relationships are bound to change people – but are those changes ones you wanted to make? Your partner should inspire you to improve yourself, but she should never pressure you to make changes you don’t want to make. If she wants you to be someone else entirely, get out.

4. She makes you feel bad about yourself.

It’s normal for complaints to come up in a relationship. But how your partner delivers those complaints is just as important as what they are. It’s her job to build you up, not tear you down. If she’s more inclined to insult you than to offer you helpful advice, she’s wrong for you, and you need to ditch her.

5. You’re stuck in the past.

While we’re talking about building each other up, it’s actually impossible to get better when someone keeps bringing up the mistakes of your past. If your partner can’t help but throwing the past back at you, even when you’re making a conscious effort to fix things as best as you can, it’s a good idea to let her go.

6. She doesn’t compliment you.

Even the most secure and confident women like hearing that they are loved and appreciated. You shouldn’t settle for a partner who doesn’t make you feel awesome. She should be your #1 fan – and she needs to be there to remind you just how great you really are. If she can’t do that, you should ditch her.

7. You feel emotionally drained.

All relationships require effort and emotions. But if your relationship is constantly taking its toll on you, sucking all your happiness and energy away, it’s probably really, really toxic for you. You need to be with someone who puts in just as much as you do, and doesn’t expect you to do all the work. If your relationship bleeds you dry, it’s time to say goodbye.

8. She’s holding you back.

It’s important that you give your relationships their fair share of attention, and that you make your girlfriend a priority in your life. But if your girlfriend demands your attention, over your responsibilities (such as work, school, or chasing your dreams), she’s bad for you – and you deserve better.

9. You don’t feel like her equal.

One of the reasons your girlfriend might hold you back from achieving your dreams is because she’s afraid you’ll realize you deserve better. These types of women (and yes, men too) need to feel superior to their partners in order to make themselves happy – but no one wants to give up all their control. If your partner tries to control everything you do, you need to say goodbye.

10. Your needs only come after hers.

Just like a partnership that’s lacking in partners, no one can be happy in a relationship that doesn’t care about their happiness. Even the most selfless person on the planet will feel drained if they’re constantly being taken advantage of. Don’t settle for someone who puts you in second place – save your self-respect by showing her the door.

11. She makes you anxious.

There’s a certain amount of anxiety that’s normal in a relationship – and that “normal amount” can be even higher when you’re dating someone with anxiety. But the woman who’s right for you is going to do as much as she can to keep you from getting anxious. If she stresses you out and doesn’t care why, let her go.

12. You feel unsafe with her.

Let’s be clear: It’s not her job to provide you with round-the-clock comfort. You are encouraged to make yourself feel safe, as much as you can. But if your girlfriend ever makes you feel threatened, and gets mad when you bring up how you feel – you need to ditch her.

13. You have to hide things from her.

This one can go both ways – either you know the things you’re doing would upset her, or you’re afraid of how she’d react if she heard. Either way, there’s a really good chance that there’s a reason. Relationships require honesty, so if you can’t be honest with your partner, you need to say goodbye.

14. You don’t bring out the best in each other.

Your girlfriend needs to be your cheerleader – not a trigger for bad behavior. The girlfriend who deserves your love is going to do her best to encourage you to be a good person. She wants you to be the best person, so that the two of you can eventually be a power couple and lead an empire or something. If she doesn’t really care if you get your shit together or not, move on. She doesn’t really care about you.

15. You don’t both take responsibility.

Your actions are your actions, and her actions are her actions. A healthy relationship requires that you both maintain your autonomy. That means her mistakes are not your fault, and vice versa. A woman who really cares about you will take responsibility for her own actions, and will expect that you do the same. If everything seems one-sided, it’s time to leave.

16. You make excuses for her behavior, or for why you stay with her.

This goes hand in hand with #15: You need to let her be a grown-up. When you make excuses for someone, you are treating them like a child, like they’re incapable of learning from their mistakes. We teach people how to treat us. Are you teaching her that you’re going to forgive her, even if she doesn’t change? If she’s ready to throw you under the bus, and you’re ready to save her from under hers, it’s time to say goodbye.

17. She tests how much you love her.

If your relationship is full of ultimatums and tests of your affection, your partner is probably insecure – and that’s not a good foundation for your relationships. You should be showing your love in all the standard ways, but your love shouldn’t need to be quantified through her specific demands. If it’s always a test, she’s immature – let her go.

18. Your relationship lasts trust, respect, and stability.

There aren’t too many things that have the ability to keep a relationship afloat all on its own. But, three things that are absolutely essential to having a happy, healthy relationship are trust, respect, and stability. It shouldn’t be a roller coaster every day – there needs to be some consistency, or you need to leave.

19. You feel locked away from your friends and family.

If you spend more time with your significant other than you do with all your friends and family put together, there is a problem. The problem isn’t necessarily her, and it isn’t necessarily you – but it’s important that your social circle is actually a circle. If it’s just two dots that stay in close proximity to one another, your life (and sanity) are going to suffer for it. Get out while you still can.

20. You’re always asking permission, even though she never does.

I’ve heard it time and time again – you shouldn’t have to ask your partner for permission to do things. I totally agree, too. If your partner requires you to ask her permission before you make any decisions, she’s probably bad for you. But even if you’re offering up control of your decisions willingly, and your partner isn’t doing the same for you, you’re probably making a huge mistake. Get out of the relationship before you completely lose yourself!

21. You think you’d be better off without her.

One of the saddest things that can happen to a relationship is when one partner finally realizes that it wouldn’t hurt as much to walk away as it would be to stay. When this happens, it’s time to walk away. Whether it’s because you don’t care about her as much as she cares about you, or because you’ve been trying way too hard for way too long, this is a sign that’s usually right on the money. If you think life would be better single, you’re probably right – and you need to take action.


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Is Polyamory Right For You and Your Girlfriend?

“Honey, we need to talk. I think we should see other people…together.”

It’s not easy to have this conversation with your partner – the conversation about potentially opening your relationship up to new people, aka becoming polyamorous.

Maybe you and your partner have tossed the idea  around a few times but you’ve never seriously discussed it. Or maybe you two aren’t completely sure what it entails, but you’d like to explore it together.

How do you know for sure if polyamory might be for you and your girlfriend? Every couple is different, so it depends. But ask yourself these questions.


Why are you interested in a polyamorous relationship?

Even if you choose not to pursue it, merely suggesting polyamory can change the dynamic of your relationship. So before you even mention the idea,  seriously consider your own reasons for wanting it.

Constructive reasons:

  • You and your partner are in a strong relationship, and you think it could benefit from being open to more people.
  • The idea of your partner being with someone else turns you on, and you’d like to find out why.
  • You love your partner so much that you recognize a single person can’t meet all of her needs. A polyamorous relationship might make you both feel more fulfilled.
  • You and your partner trust each other and want to have a little fun.

Destructive reasons:

  • You’re bored with your relationship. You hope that sleeping with other people will paradoxically make you want to stay.
  • You want to break up with your partner but don’t want to be alone, so you want to use polyamory to bide your time until you find someone new.
  • Your relationship is on the rocks, and you and your girlfriend keep fighting. You hope that involving another person will make things less complicated. (Actually, it will make things one hundred times more complicated.)
  • You caught your partner cheating and hope that an open relationship will repair your broken trust.

What are you comfortable with?

In separate rooms, you and your partner should each make a list of what you’re comfortable with the other person doing. Make columns for “completely comfortable,” “mildly uncomfortable,” “completely uncomfortable,” and “not sure.”

Would you be comfortable with your girlfriend kissing another woman? A man? What about just cuddling? Sleeping over? Dates but no sex? Sex but no dates? Do you want to bring a third person into the relationship as an equal partner?

You don’t have to have all of the answers, and most of your answers will change as you and your partner explore. The important thing is that you think deeply about your comfort levels.

Afterward, you and your girlfriend should sit together to compare lists. Be honest and open about how you feel. If you’re comfortable with something but your girlfriend isn’t, don’t pressure her into changing her answer.

Together, talk about why you’re uncomfortable or comfortable with certain ideas. Maybe you’ve realized that you’re okay with your partner sleeping with other people, but you’re terrified that she’ll fall in love with someone else; therefore, you would prefer she never sleeps with the same person twice. Maybe your girlfriend is open to bringing a third person into the bedroom, but because physical intimacy is sacred to her, she only wants to sleep with someone else if you participate.

There are no wrong answers or wrong reasons. The important thing is that you listen to each other – and that no one feels pressured. If you realize that polyamory isn’t for you, or if your girlfriend is having second thoughts, then it’s okay to table this conversation.


What resources have you checked?

Polyamory can bring joy and adventure to your relationship. It can also bring confusion and pain. Instead of figuring it out in the dark, you and your partner should take advice from the experts who have already been there, done that and written about it.

Here are a few to get started:

The Ethical Slut – basically the polyamory bible.

More than Two – a practical guide to ethical polyamory.

Poly Weekly – a podcast about loving more than one person.

Love More – America’s first (and only) polyamory magazine.


Polyamory isn’t an excuse to sleep with more people, it’s a way to deepen your relationship. Whether you and your girlfriend decide to explore it, or whether you realize it’s not for you, the important thing is that you both feel comfortable.

4 Relationships That Are Bad For Your Bank Account

I’m really bad about the whole “yours vs. mine vs. ours” thing. I’m a really generous person, and it’s bit me in the ass more times than I care to admit. I think I was about 12 years old the first time someone else wiped out my bank account for me – and that was just the first time I let it happen.

It’s easy to excuse ourselves, and tell ourselves that we’re not responsible for the things that happen to us. And, in many ways, that’s true. But if you continually find yourself broke, despite doing everything in your power, you might have one of these 4 toxic financial relationships in your life – how many can you still fix?


The Broke Friend

I was The Broke Friend for what feels like the longest time. I was with someone who didn’t want me to work, because of her own insecurities, and as such I was the friend who would wait for someone else to offer to pay my way. I hated it – but some people are a lot more comfortable with the idea. If you’ve got a Chronically Broke Friend in your life, you might need to cut some ties – at least until they get their finances sorted out.

According to motivational speaker Jim Rohn, we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. While there are probably a million ways to interpret that message, it makes sense that bad money habits can be contagious – if you let them. If you have a friend (or friends) who are constantly short on cash and asking for hand-outs like it was their job, you need to evaluate whether they actually belong in your life.

A good friend will take responsibility for their situation, instead of asking you to bail them out all the time. It’s 100% okay to terminate toxic relationships – even if you’ve known that person for your entire life. You are under no obligation to stay friends with someone who brings you down (even if they’re just bringing down the average of your main squad.)


The Irresponsible Family Member

The Irresponsible Family Member is almost as bad as the Broke Friend, except that they’ll probably straight-up tell you that they aren’t going to pay you back. After all, you’re family – and family helps family, right? Your Broke Friends know that their place in your life is voluntary, and they’re going to try a little harder not to screw it up.

Whenever you’re confronted with a request for money, you need to consider a few things first. Can you afford to lose the money you’re putting out? Statistically speaking, friends and family probably aren’t going to pay you back. Even if they do pay you back, it can put a major strain on the friendship as it is. If you do decide to lend to them, be sure to establish clear boundaries and ground rules before you write that check – and then follow through on what you said. You want to lead by example, and you want this person to be responsible with your money.

While lending money to friends and family is generally discouraged, there are going to be situations when you feel the need to help out. When these situations come up, make sure you know what to expect before you go in – and maybe take the time to set up a loan contract, too. It’s not selfish to take care of your own financial needs first. It’s short-sighted not to. Your budget comes first, including saving for the future – don’t let someone else destroy your plans.


The Gold Digger

For a really long time, I thought I was immune to the effects of gold diggers. After all, I was a lesbian making just over minimum wage – surely the women who didn’t want to work would be aiming a little higher, like rich male CEO’s, right? Well, unfortunately, no one is immune to the Gold Digger’s trap – all it takes to make you vulnerable is the willingness to share what you’ve worked hard for, with someone who hasn’t worked for it.

When it comes to spotting a gold digger, the signs aren’t always so obvious if you’re not so well off. However, a woman who’s only with you for your money will expect you to pay for everything (or most things). She’ll come to you first if she has any financial troubles, but if you start to struggle, she’s nowhere to be found. More signs can be found here, but every situation is different. You’ll need to use your own discretion as you look through the microscope at your relationship.

When dealing with a gold digger, the easiest thing to do is sometimes to just walk away. Despite whatever she might say in protest, she was probably getting along just fine before you came into the picture, and she’ll find a way to make it work again on her own. You should never be pressured into financially supporting someone who isn’t willing to help you out, too.


The Big Spender

Finally, believe it or not, someone can be wealthy (or better-off) and still be bad with money. Some women spend outside their means because they’re trying to create an image for themselves. Other women are emotional spenders who impulse-buy without a second thought. There are even women who are clinically addicted to spending money – yes, shopaholics really are addicts. (That link also offers a few tests to see where your own spending habits lie.)

While there are a bunch of different reasons for shopping (and spending) addictions, it’s important that you treat this subject carefully. Your spend-happy partner might need some serious counseling to help undo years of compulsive shopping, and she has to actively want to get better or it’s never going to work.

Until she gets her spending under control, you should resist the urge to go “joint” on any financial decisions. Cosigning for a loan with her has the potential to ruin your bank account, and signing for a large purchase with someone who’s fiscally irresponsible is not a smart choice, either. Do your best to help her sort out her issues, but don’t make yourself vulnerable to her habits. Remember, your money mistakes can cost you for years – so don’t let your partner be one of them!

13 Things Your Partner Wants From You (But Shouldn’t Have to Ask For)

I’ve been giving relationship advice around here for a while now. In fact, Facebook just showed me today that my original interview with the KitschMix team was a full year ago – and I’m even more excited every day I get to be a part of this team.

That being said, there seems to be a lot of advice that I really shouldn’t have to give. I know there’s no such thing as an instant relationship expert, but these 13 things that – once you figure them out – you’ll wonder why you never saw it before.

Take it from me: Most relationship problems boil down to one of these 13 things.


1. She wants input in your life.

She probably doesn’t want to have her hand in everything you do, but she’s probably not just talking to hear herself talk. Listen to the advice she gives you. You’re the master of your own domain, in the end, but has she ever steered you wrong before?


2. She wants you to make an effort with your appearance.

Let’s face it – some people go through phases where they don’t care so much about their looks. I’m in one of those slumps myself right now – after gaining a bunch of weight, it’s hard for me to feel as sexy as I did when we first got together. But your girlfriend isn’t expecting you to look like you did when you were 18. She’s expecting you to try to look good for her.


3. She wants you to adore her.

Please note that “adore” does not mean the same thing as “dote on”, nor does it mean the same thing as “obsess over”. To adore your girlfriend, you simply need to take time out of your day to do the things that make her smile – simply because they make her smile.


4. She wants you to be the best version of yourself.

I’m not talking about the wealthiest, or the most spiritual, or the best in the sack. I’m talking about being the person you are destined to be, whatever your calling is. Your girlfriend wants you to set lofty goals, and then cheer you on as you reach toward them. It’s not about controlling you, it’s about helping you reach your full potential.


5. She wants you to be her cheerleader, too.

If your girlfriend, wife, or partner is pushing you extra hard to reach toward your goals, there’s a chance she’s struggling to reach her own. Unfortunately, you can’t exactly get yourself out of a hole by pushing someone else out first – you need to work together.


6. She wants you to understand what she wants from life.

Obviously, you’re not going to know what she wants every time she can’t pick a restaurant. That would just be silly. But a happy, healthy relationship requires that both partners are on the same page about the goals. You can’t push someone on the right path if you don’t know where the path is. Open the doors of communication and talk about your long-term plans, and be sure to ask about hers, too. Ask questions if you have to – she may be holding back because she thinks you won’t care!


7. She wants you to remember the little things.

Some people are really good at remembering the likes and dislikes of others, while other people are completely terrible about it. Even if you happen to fall into that second group, you can still make an effort to remember the things that are important to her – even if it’s something that seems silly, like how she takes her morning coffee.


8. She wants you to treat her like an adult.

In the heat of an argument, many people find themselves minimizing their partner in some way. After all, when we’re fighting, we’re self-serving and worrying about our own needs – which is healthy, to an extent. But if you talk to your partner like she’s a child, the only growth you’re going to have is resentment, and that’s not good for anyone.


9. She wants you to remind her that you’re an adult, too.

It’s great to have fun and do your own thing, but when doing your own thing starts to get in the way of her thing (whatever that may be), it’s time to make some grown-up decisions. Your relationship doesn’t have to come first every time, but if it never comes first, you need to ask yourself… Why not? Over time this can lead to her talking down to you, and while that’s still her bad for being condescending, you’ll need to gently remind her that there is an adult hidden in there somewhere. (And, maybe, put your inner child away for a little while.)


10. She wants your affection, encouragement, and attention.

Whether she wants to admit it or not, humans crave social interaction – and even the least social among us has some need for attention from another person. Even if she never says it, she wants you to look at her like she’s the queen of the world. She wants you to sneak a kiss whenever you can. She wants you to tell her that she’s got what it takes to make her dreams come true. Go ahead – tell her now.


11. She wants you to take her seriously.

I think we all have our little “crazy” moments from time to time. But if you care about your girlfriend, it is absolutely essential that you never make her feel like she’s crazy. What’s even worse is people who actually tell their girlfriends that they’re being crazy. Check out this history of the word “psychopath” and see if you really mean to call her that – or if you’re just being rude.


12. She wants you to be equals.

Let me make one thing clear: Being “equals” is not about who works more, who makes more money, or who does more around the house (although those are often the easiest places to start). If you and your partner are truly equals, neither of you will be “in control” of the other – and you will both be protecting, serving, and adoring one another. Don’t make it a competition – or you’ll lose every time.


13. She wants you to talk to her – about everything.

I’m the type of person to lay everything out on the table. (I’m convinced that’s why writing was a pretty good career choice for me.) Even if you’re not that type of person, an honest relationship requires that you find a way to be that kind of person, as much as you possibly can. You can’t work through problems if you refuse to acknowledge them. You can’t hang onto someone if you don’t tell her how much she means to you. And, you can’t love someone if you don’t talk to her about things. Communication has to go both ways, or it doesn’t work.


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Become More Likeable Girls By Following These 11 Simple Tips.

Sometimes it’s really hard to fit in and we can all do with a little bit of a push in the right direction. If you find it more difficult to make friends or struggle to feel comfortable in large groups, these little pointers can make all the difference.


Look People in the Eye

This might sound a little obvious but it’s surprising how many people don’t make eye contact when they are talking to someone. Make sure you look at them when you are engaging in conversation. We’re not saying you should stare, just meet their gaze and that applies even if she has a nice pair of boobs you’d rather be looking at.


Don’t Keep Looking at Your Smartphone

A real bugbear, this one. There is nothing worse than trying to talk to someone and they are more interested in looking at their phone than concentrating on what you are saying. Just don’t do it. Ever.


Call People by Name

We know, we know, what else are you supposed to call them, right? But what we mean is if you use their name mid conversation it can make people feel special and important. Give it a try the next time you are having a conversation and watch them smile.


Smile

Believe it or not some people are just not big smilers. The problem with that is it can make you seem miserable or bored. We’re not saying you have to sit there grinning inanely like a Cheshire cat, but smile now and then to show you are happy to be talking to them.


Listen Carefully

Listening is actually a skill in itself, especially if you are finding the conversation a bit boring or long winded. So make sure you pay attention and do not keep asking someone to repeat themselves.


Flatter People

There is a difference between flattering someone naturally or sounding like a creep. If someone looks nice, tell them. If they are telling you about an achievement tell them how well they’ve done. It will show them you care and that’s a nice opinion to have of someone.


Accept a Compliment

Many people find it really hard to accept a compliments they don’t want to come across as egotistical. But if someone makes the effort to praise you or say something nice, thank them and tell them you appreciate what they are saying.


Don’t Complain

Have you ever had the misfortune of talking to someone that just moans through the entire conversation? It’s harder to cope with than pulling teeth. Certain people often feel the need to moan about the weather, their hair, their partner, in fact they can find something to moan about no matter what! So don’t go there. Try and focus on some positive things to say. If you are both having a moaning fest that’s different, but if you’re engaging in a typical conversation hold back on the moaning.


Don’t Jump to Conclusions

Certain people have a tendency to always take things the wrong way or read more into a situation than there actually is. It can also mean you judge someone wrongly and build a wrong impression of them. Make sure you don’t do this. If you think someone is insinuating something, then politely ask them to elaborate on what they mean. This is better than presuming you think you know what they mean and get the wrong impression totally.


Watch Your Body Language

Big body language no nos. Yawning, bad tone of voice, scowling and putting your hands on your hips. Body language signals like these will make you come across in a really negative way so whatever you do try not to show these signals when you are talking to someone or are in a large group.


Make Everyone Feel Included

Sometimes people can feel really awkward if they are in a large group and they simply sit there and not speak because they are shy or they don’t think they have anything relevant to say. IF you notice a member of the group is not joining him direct a question at them and ask them their opinion. If you are really shy and don’t like big groups, try to show other ways you are involved in the discussion by nodding your head or even saying ‘I agree with you’ or relevant statements like that.  It won’t take long for others to then involve you more directly rather than taking no notice of you because you are not speaking.

 

What To Do If Your Girlfriend Is Bad with Money

Let me tell you a little story, and I want you guys to chime in on it in the comments. I’m going to change the names and leave out the specifics, and I just want to know if it sounds familiar to you. I’m guessing most of you have been either Linda* or Layla* in this story at least once in your life, and some of you might still be one of these people. Let’s see:

Linda is very self-motivated, and takes it upon herself to track her finances without “needing” to. She gets her bills paid on time, almost without thinking about it, because she has a system that lets her do so.

Her partner, Layla, on the other hand, is significantly less motivated when it comes to money, and she’s racked up a little bit of debt because of it. She makes enough money to pay her bills, but she struggles with making smart money choices.

As a result, she’s able to pay her share of the bills, but usually at the last minute (or late), and she can’t seem to save anything – no matter how much money she’s made that month. It seems like the list of things she needs to pay for expands to fill exactly how much money she has coming in.

Layla is embarrassed about her money habits, so she doesn’t tell Linda about them – and, in fact, she sometimes lies about them! She refuses to ask Linda for help, even though she knows Linda has more than enough money in savings, because she’s afraid to admit that she has a problem. She keeps telling herself that “this is the month I try harder with my money”, but because she’s completely alone in her fight, she fails.

Meanwhile, Linda gets more and more frustrated, because she feels that she’s paying more of the bills and handling more of the shopping, and – since she doesn’t know that Layla is struggling – she thinks that Layla is being totally unfair and expecting too much from them.

What should Linda and Layla do in this situation?

While the specifics of money problems are bound to vary from person to person, they most often come from bad habits set into place. Sometimes, the “bad habit” is nothing more than what I like to call “shiny-itis” (or the compulsion to buy the next new thing, whether the item is actually practical or not). Other times, the “bad habit” is that your bills are too high for your income. There are a number of other possibilities, too, but the process of getting past them is still largely the same.


Let her know you’re on the same team.

Often when there is a severe difference in money management skills within a couple, the partner who’s not so good with money will be embarrassed. Maybe past partners have shamed her or judged her for her money, or maybe she’s her own worst critic. Either way, it’s important that you let her know that you’re on the same team, and you have a better chance of fixing things together.

The simplest first step is to sit down and write out some goals. I’m not going to go into the specifics of why you need to write them down, but trust me – this list should be on paper. Don’t talk numbers yet – we’re just trying to get a picture of what you want your finances to look like.

Most importantly, you need to let her know that she has nothing to hide, and that you just want to help her improve herself. Your girlfriend is an adult – so treat her like one. Avoid being patronizing, or making her decisions for her. In order to make lasting change, it has to be a willing effort on her part.


Get to the root of the problem (or as close as you possibly can).

The vast majority of the time, money problems aren’t exactly a problem by themselves – they’re a symptom of a bigger problem. These bigger problems, if left untreated, can actually start to affect the other areas of your relationship, too, so it’s best to resolve them as early on as possible. In order to help her get past her problems, you have to understand them. You can’t give advice if you don’t know the question.

Examine where in her finances the issues lie. For example, does she spend outside of her means? This is usually a sign of insecurity. Does she have a lot of debt from credit and store cards? This could be a sign that she doesn’t take responsibility for her actions. Likewise, emotional spending can be a sign that she’s impulsive, or that she suffers from depression. (Shopping is known to give the same euphoria that drugs and sex produce, so “retail therapy” can easily become an addiction.)

No matter what the specific causes are, talking about them will help you discover what other areas of her life she might need help with – even if you’re not the right person to help with them. While it’s normal to want to help her figure everything out, it’s actually pretty important that you let her find her own answers, too. She is her own person, and there is no guarantee that you guys will agree on every step of the process.


Get started as quickly as you can.

One of my favorite quotes is by Maya Angelou: “Do the best you can until you know better. And then, when you know better, do better.” This quote works great for almost every aspect of your life, because the people who take a slow start are already doing better than everyone who hasn’t started trying yet. As soon as you understand enough of the problem to take action, take action.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t think things through. I’m definitely not recommending that you go in on a joint bank account when your partner doesn’t even know how to look at prices yet. The important part of understanding the problem is deciding what the appropriate measures are for you to take.

Sit down together and have an honest discussion about your budget. You should both disclose your income, your spending, your saving, and your bills, as well as which of those things are “needs” and which are “wants”. No one needs to give up everything that brings them joy, but you’ll have to find a balance that doesn’t make you want to rip your hair out.


Act like she’s your partner.

Now that you have gone over the budget, you can start working things out to make the budget easier for her. Explain to her that money problems don’t usually come from a lack of funds – they come from a lack of priorities. Walk her through the tips and tools that you use, and give her a chance to ask questions if she needs.

If you have any hope of actually helping, you have to make sure she actually learns. While it might seem easier to just take over for her, I promise you – you’ll get frustrated very fast if you do it that way. The conversation is going to be uncomfortable, especially if she’s been hiding the truth for a while, but it’s essential that you give her some input on things, too.

By the time you’ve finished this step, you should have a fairly specific list of your average income (separately, and together); your average essential shopping; your average savings deposits; and, of course, your recurring bills. You should also have goals set for income, spending, and savings, which are revised from your Step One goals. Take a deep breath, and remember that there’s nothing to fight or judge over.


Get help from someone smarter than you.

I’d be willing to bet money that you’re not perfect with your money, either. There is always more to learn, so it’s worth it to invest (time) with an expert who can teach you something new. Subscribe to podcasts, read books, and take workshops together in order to reinforce the idea that this is a joint effort.

Finances require major teamwork, and many people simply haven’t had that experience in their lives yet. Bad habits can be really hard to break, especially in the case of impulse shopping and emotional spending. The more someone stresses about the situation, the more likely they are to repeat the bad behavior.

Unless your financial security is drastically better than your partner’s (for example, if you were born wealthy, or your income is more than 2x what hers is), it’s important not to spend much money on these expert tools. There is a lot more free information out there than most people realize. If you must spend money on the things you’re learning, make sure that it fits comfortably within your partner’s personal budget – she might not feel comfortable about you spending money to bail her out (even if that’s not exactly what’s really happening).


Make time to work on it.

Lastly, it’s important that you schedule a regular check-in time to go over your progress, your goals, and your expectations. This doesn’t have to be some big ordeal, but it should be carved out on your planners at least once a month, and maybe more often to start.

Remember that your budget is a no-judgment zone, and that her habits may have been forming for decades before you even came into the picture. Change doesn’t happen overnight, and she’s going to make some mistakes – quite possibly a lot of them. If you want long-term results, you have to learn to expect a few bumps in the road.

Your partner has the power to be the strongest member on your team – but only if you let her. You need to consistently work together, to handle the symptoms as well as the causes for the problems in your relationship. It gets easier in time, and as long as you’re both making a grown-up effort, the lessons you learn together are going to stick.

Do you have any other advice for couples struggling with their finances? Let us know in the comments – we’d love to hear about them!

Why You Should Ask Your Girlfriend’s Permission (Even Though You Don’t “Have To”)

I’ve heard it so many times before, in so many different articles (including, perhaps, a few of my own): You should never have to ask permission from your partner.

In some ways, that’s really good advice, too. Often, in the course of a relationship, we manage to forget that we are our own people, who happen to share our lives with one another.

The bonds we form can unintentionally take over, and before we know it, we find ourselves speaking for one another.

Unfortunately, though, to erase all of those bonds would mean you’re just two people who happen to be in close proximity to one another, and that’s not good, either.

Truly, it’s a balance. You should never feel pressured to ask permission from your partner for making decisions that only affect you.

The problem is, most of our choices don’t just affect us – which is why I choose to ask permission, even though my partner would never demand that I do.


It prevents a conflict.

How many times have you caught yourself making plans for you and/or your partner, only to find out later that your partner had other plans for that timeframe, or that she was uncomfortable with you participating? I know I’ve fallen victim to that one a time or two. That’s how I learned that asking first is the easiest way to prevent it from happening.

Seriously. Just ask. And don’t be afraid to let it be known that you’re asking, either.

We put too much emphasis on being our own people, and we forget that our relationship needs to be nurtured, too. When you feel comfortable with the idea of asking your partner before making plans, you’re giving her a chance to do the same with you. This way, plans don’t come as a surprise, and unless you both happen to plan a specific surprise for the exact same time, you won’t find yourself arguing about whose plans have to change.

(And if you argue about whose surprise was better, well… That’s another discussion entirely.)


It keeps your separate lives connected.

It’s so sad when you see people who say they’re in a relationship together, but really they’re just living together. I know I’ve been in that type of relationship, too, and it’s not fun. Not even a little. It can happen completely by accident, when we get busy with the rest of our lives, or it can happen intentionally when one partner is being deceptive.

Sadly, even when it’s unintentional, it can take a lot of hard work to repair the damage. If the two of you are entirely independent of one another, then what are you really doing together? A relationship that thrives on convenience, rather than love and respect, is doomed to fail (and be totally miserable until it does).

When you ask your partner’s permission, you’re giving her a peek into what you’ve got going on, without her having to pry. While I’m not going to say that asking permission will magically cure insecurity, it can definitely help to prevent the misunderstandings that come from a disconnect.


It allows you to make better decisions.

Personally, I like to pride myself on my decision-making skills. I’m an obsessive planner, and have a major compulsion to write down literally everything that’s going on in my life. Otherwise, I get terribly overwhelmed, and I’m too busy thinking about what I need to do tomorrow, that I can’t focus on what I need to do today.

Admittedly, this takes its toll on my decision-making skills, so I need someone to keep me grounded. Sometimes, that “someone” is my planner or my journal, but other times, it is absolutely my girlfriend.

The truth is, everyone has times when their decision-making skills are not their best. Logic and emotion can’t really coexist (at least not at the same time). Having someone to “check in” with before making a decision gives us a sounding board to weigh out the pros and cons. Most of the time, my girlfriend just listens as I go through everything on my own, and then tells me that she trusts my decisions.

Other times, she calls me out when I’m being totally irrational, and actually points me to the option that makes the most logical sense. Even the most rational people sometimes have off-days, and I don’t know about you, but I’m no Einstein over here.

In both cases, I’m grateful for the ability to talk things over with her – and I’m grateful that she gives me the same position in her own decision making process. It’s always nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of, and it’s great to deflect to someone who may have a different perspective.


It shows respect.

Okay, this might be my inner traditionalist coming out to play here, but… Asking if your partner is OK with something before you do it is the respectful thing to do. Your choices do affect her, even if only minimally, and it’s nice to defer to her to make sure she doesn’t feel disrespected.

Again, asking permission won’t cure insecurity, but if it might help, why wouldn’t you do it?

Likewise, when you show your partner the respect of asking permission will also inspire her to do the same for you. If you’re the only one asking permission, that’s when it’s a problem. But if you each ask each other before you make your decisions, you’re reinforcing the idea that your relationship is a partnership.


It creates a partnership.

I know, I know – I kinda just said this. But your relationship needs to be a partnership. You two should lean on each other, and respect each other’s feelings about the important things, as well as the trivial things. (Of course, I’m not telling you to text your partner to ask if you can go to the bathroom or take your break at work – that would just be ridiculous.)

When you agree to ask each other before making your bigger decisions, you’re reminding each other that you’re on the same team, each of you allowing the other to have a say in things.

Remember, though – you both need to feel the same way, or it’s going to cause a chasm between you. If one of you is constantly asking permission, and the other is doing their own thing no matter what, you don’t have a partnership. You have a dictatorship and the relationship is going to have some serious negative consequences, for both of you.


Lastly, it gives you an “out”.

I’m sure there have been a time or two when you’ve been invited to something you’d really rather not do, but you couldn’t think of a good reason not to. (No? Is that just an introvert thing?)

In a healthy relationship, your partner will understand your desire to have an “out”, and she’ll be happy to oblige that for you. Of course, this shouldn’t be abused, but from time to time… It’s nice to know you’ve got someone to back you up.

In some cases, it gives your partner an out, too. Instead of making plans for both of you, it’s good to get in the habit of asking whether she wants to be included. “Do you mind if I…” and “Would you like to join me?” should go hand-in-hand, most of the time. You should want your partner to be an active part of your life, whenever appropriate.

(It might not be appropriate for work events, especially if you’re not out of the closet at work. It also might not be appropriate if someone else is footing the bill for the event, and your partner wasn’t invited. Use your own discretion – and then stick with the plan.)


No matter what your specific reasons for asking permission are, it’s a great habit to get into – and I am proud to say that I ask my girlfriend’s permission for something at least a few times a week. Do you?

Why You And Your Girlfriend Need To Learn Another Language

Maybe you got a C in high school Spanish. Maybe you’re a polyglot who already knows six languages. Or maybe you’ve never even thought about learning anything but English.

No matter where you fall on that spectrum, you and your girlfriend should learn another language together. It will bring you closer, spice up your love life and transform date nights into creative adventures.

Okay, you say. But how?


1. It’s a Project

Learning a language requires hours. Several hundred hours, in fact. But these hours will fly by when you’re working on something with your girlfriend, and you two will bond over the challenge of picking up a new tongue.

Learning a language is a long-term project that requires consistency, so the two of you can work together to decide how much you want to invest. If you’re a native English speaker, then French, Spanish or Afrikaans will be easiest to learn. If you want a challenge, choose a language that doesn’t use a Roman alphabet, like Arabic or Chinese.

When you’re learning a language, the whole world becomes your classroom – and a romantic date spot. What does a typical night for you and your girlfriend look like? Netflix? Take-out dinner? Homework?

Instead, picture you and your girlfriend sitting by a fire, learning to write love letters to each other in Japanese. Picture you both watching a black and white French film while sharing chocolate-covered strawberries. Or dancing the night away at salsa and bachata classes in Spanish. Or making a dozen new friends at an Italian conversation meet-up. When you’re learning another language, the ordinary – letters, movies, dancing, conversation – becomes a romantic and interesting date idea.


2. It’s a Secret Code

Your girlfriend looks particularly attractive today, and you want to tell her all the naughty things you want to do. Unfortunately, your parents are sitting across the table. Solution? You could wait until you and your girlfriend get home. Or you could switch to Swahili and say, Nakutaka – I want you.

It’s gratifying to share something with your partner. You’ll start to text in a mixture of English and another language. You’ll send each other funny cartoons or idioms. You’ll develop your own inside jokes. It’s almost like the language is just between you and her.


3. It’s a Gateway

If your girlfriend’s family speaks another language, the best way to earn their approval and demonstrate your commitment is to ask her to teach you that language. That’s also the best way to truly learn about her culture. Without knowing the language of her family, you’ll always be missing a key part of who she is.

Sure, you’ll mispronounce words and incorrectly conjugate verbs and confuse subject-adjective agreement. But the point is that you’re trying. The more you try, the more you will learn about her and the closer you will become.

Discouraged? Consider setting up a reward system. Every time you say something correctly, she gives you a kiss. Every time you don’t, she gives you a naughty punishment…


Ready, set, go!

Here are some free and fun resources to help you get started.

  • Duolingo offers twenty languages languages, everything from Spanish to Ukranian to Esperanto. It works on a game-based system, so you won’t even realize you’re learning. Compete against your girlfriend for the highest score. Loser has to do dishes.
  • Language Zen only offers Spanish, but will add more languages soon. This revolutionary program teaches you through songs and personalizes itself based on your language goals. The goal is to take the anxiety out of learning a language. With Language Zen, learning it has never been easier.
  • Fluent in Three Months may sound hardcore, but this course proves that anyone can learn any language with ease through immersion. This website offers guidebooks, blog posts, newsletters and a helpful community of thousands of people, so that you and your girlfriend can connect with others.

Happy language-learning! Viel Glück! (Good luck!)

How To Let Go Of Your Fear Of Abandonment

Have you ever caught yourself irrationally fearing that your partner will fall in love with every stranger they see on their street? That they haven’t texted you for an hour because they’re bored of you and all the magic between you has been lost since that morning when you ate pancakes together? That you’ll never be as important as their exes?

If your answer is positive, you also probably find yourself surrounded by an ugly shameful feeling, because you might see yourself as the text-reading, facebook-stalking caricature character from that rom-com you watched the other day.

Now, behaviors such as these are indeed manipulative and possessive, and you should never fall into their pit or, if you already have, you seriously need to work on that. Still, fear of abandonment and the relationship anxiety that it’s causing is a primal fear, valid and torturous, and it most definitely is not something to be guilty or ashamed for.

Most of the times this fear is irrational. You might try to find an excuse for it but fail miserably: your partner might have not given you any ground to believe that they’re going to cheat on you, any sign that they’re not as much in love with you anymore as they used to be,  that you’re not enough for them, or that they’re gonna wake up tomorrow morning with the urge to leave you. These fears just exist and come without a warning. And that’s just horrible. You may have a beautiful, healthy relationship, and yet constantly feel like you’re poisoning it because you can’t trust enough, you can’t rationalize enough, you can’t relax enough. Especially when both (or more than both, in the case of a polyamorous relationship) of you work that way, finding some peace of mind might seem impossible.

Generally, try to remember that this is how people generally function: with their insecurities, their missteps and exaggerations. All of these are a hundred percent valid human responses to love and investment and insecurity, and they don’t make you a burden, or hard to love. You can just start building this, step by step, in order to start feeling more comfortable in your own skin and with the people who are important to you.

Discussing everything with your partner is a wonderful start, and good communication might make it so much easier, but sometimes even when you assure each other that you’re okay, it’s not enough for the noise in your head to buzz out.

I might be the last person allowed to give advice on such an issue, since I still freak out about everything and ruin several dinner dates and sleepovers. However, you can let me share my experience – not about something I’m over with, but about something that’s still pretty relevant in my life. It might help just letting you know you’re not alone, since that was the first step I made to feel better myself: ask whether I was the only person on Earth that poisoned my own relationship with my phobias, and feeling oddly reassured when I found out there was nothing unusual about me. It might also help if I share with you my coping techniques: not what solves the problem, but what I have found out makes it more viable.


1 – Take some distance from your thoughts

Sometimes it comes and it’s so harsh that you can’t go on without discussing it and overanalyzing it.

Some others, though, it briefly brushes over the surface of your mind amidst a thousand other thoughts. Something along the lines of of “oh yeah, I acknowledge that fear, it’s something that exists and can possibly affect my evening and remind me that I can never actually lay back and be happy in this relationship”. In these cases it’s better if you try to distract yourself. I’ve found out that this fear, when it remains on this relatively harmless stage, can pass and let me enjoy my trip, my daydreaming or my evening at the playground, without demanding to be set upon the surgical table and be exhaustively peeled and chopped to its ingredients.


2 – If it doesn’t go away, talk

If you see that your thoughts insist, don’t let them prevent you from sleeping at night. It’s vital that you discuss such things with your partner. Don’t ever feel like you’re being ridiculous or clingy for asking questions, but remember: There’s a huge difference between asking your partner, for example, about their feelings towards a friend that causes you jealousy, and demanding that they actually stop seeing that person or talking to them, just because you feel that their relationship is taking up space from yours.


3 – If you ask, believe

Trusting someone and knowing it’s safe to do so is a process. People often deny themselves their feelings or the possibility of a relationship in order to not feel vulnerable for placing their trust on someone else. But sometimes, even when the other person has given you every reason to trust them, you find yourself incapable of believing them. That’s one of my biggest problems, and I still have to fight with it, but then I try to remember that my partner does his best to prove his love to me everyday with his actions, therefore, there lies some effort to me in order to learn to give credibility to what he says, and not assume things on my own.


4 – When you learn how to believe, let the other in

Sometimes the worst thing that can do to your communication is to translate your partner’s point of view in your own language, instead of trying to grow familiar with theirs.

For example: When I’m supposed to fall in love, I do it almost instantly and with the first sparks of attraction. My partner functions in the completely opposite way: he needs to take his time, get to know the other person as friends first, form an intimate bond with them, before he can start experiencing romantic feelings. The fact that I refused to believe that a person can work in a different way than I do, made me freak out for months. I convinced myself that we were doomed and that we’d never feel the same way (spoiler alert: eventually, we did). We had to work hard in order to start understanding how the other thinks and feels, but for the work to start, we first had to realize that it’s a thing that actually happens: people think differently, feel differently, fall and stay in love through different processes, and that’s okay.

So let your partner know what it feels like to be in your mind. It will solve many misunderstandings and help them know you better.


5 – It’s not us, it’s me

Try to check whether it’s your own insecurities acting up when your relationship doesn’t face any other challenges. I don’t mean ‘stop whining, it’s all in your mind’. Sorry to break it to you, but most things are in our mind and yet, that doesn’t make them any less real. No. What I’m saying is, once you realize that there’s nothing wrong with your relationship per se, or at least that less things are wrong than what you think, it’s a first step in the process of rationalizing things a bit easier.

When I took a step back and wondered why I’m always incapable of believing my partner when he says he truly wants me, is happy with me, and won’t turn to other people, I found out that it’s not caused by anything he does wrong. Instead, it’s induced by the fact that I can’t really imagine how I could ever want me, or be satisfied by me, if I was another person, because of my own low self-esteem.

That doesn’t mean that you can magically solve all of your problems because you acknowledge them: I don’t believe that anyone can learn to love themselves overnight just because someone told them to. Self-acceptance and self-love is a long and bumpy road. But figuring that out was at least the start of accepting that the problem wasn’t caused by the lack of my partner’s appreciation, or his potential dishonesty when he comforted me.

Here is another important detail: when your fear is there, making your life harder, but you acknowledge that it’s caused by your own insecurities and that your partner has done nothing wrong to trigger it, let them know: it’s important to assure them that you’re not blaming them when it would be unfair to do so and when, you actually, are not.


Fear escalates to worse fear, even when you discuss things and feel temporarily better: it can seem like a relationship dementor: sucking all the happiness from the room, making you believe that you’ll never relax and enjoy, or even that this relationship is doomed, if not by its ingredients, then by your overthinking itself.


6 – Analyze wisely

Discussing things with your partner is vital, but you can always talk to your friends as well, to people who’ve probably been through that before, who care for you but inspect the dynamics of your relationship more soberly, from a more detached, distanced point of view. Overanalyzing is paralyzing, some say, but when it’s inevitably what you (and I, trust me!) have learnt to do best, sometimes you need to figure out how to use it productively for your own profit.


Talk openly and deeply. Respect what you listen and demand to have your own feelings respected. Let your partner know why you feel the way you do, or try to figure it out together. Long, hard conversations, are sometimes the biggest challenges and can help you know and care for each other in a deeper way.

Everything requires effort but no effort is in vain. You learn and you grow, and you’ll stumble again, but each time, your feet will feel a bit more coordinated.

In the end, always remember: focusing on the present builds the likeliness for a future.

5 Ways You’re Unintentionally Abusing Your Girlfriend

The other day, as I was browsing the sites I frequent, I came across this article about abusive behaviors. Naturally, I was curious – the intersection of mental health, love, and abuse is a really big topic to me (and one that I hope my articles do proper justice). However, when I started to read the article, I was taken back. For those who don’t want to read the whole thing, the author seeks to describe some behaviors that he’s identified in his own relationships that can be taken as abusive.

I don’t want to think that you can accidentally abuse someone. It’s so much easier to think of an abuser as the exception, rather than the rule. It’s hard to explore the idea that the potential for abuse lies within each and every one of us.

As I kept reading his article, though, I saw myself in some of these actions. I was speechless – I am an advocate for people getting out of abusive situations, ASAP. Was it really possible that I, too, had created abusive situations for my partners, past and present? I didn’t want to believe it – but I knew I had to.

If you have the time, please read Jamie Utt’s full article (here’s that link again). His article is aimed at cis straight men, but his points ring true for so many of us. In the meantime, here’s a list of 5 abusive things you do that you probably had no idea could be taken as abusive.


1. Acting on our emotions.

Humans are super emotional creatures. There’s some debate as to whether other animals feel the same emotions we do, and in turn whether they’re capable of “actual abuse” in the clinical sense. But humans are definitely capable of feeling emotions, and when we act on those emotions without regard to how they affect others, that is abusive.

One of the most common emotions that affect our relationships is jealousy. At its core, your jealousy is not your partner’s responsibility. None of your emotions are. When you take the step to look through her phone, casually scroll through her Facebook friends list, or otherwise use your jealousy to justify an intrusion on her personal privacy, you are being abusive.

Likewise, our personal insecurities can come into play, too. Your partner’s actions and words may play a part in your insecurities, but make no mistake: Your insecurities are not her fault. They are your reaction to her actions. While she should try to keep your feelings in mind as appropriate, that doesn’t mean she deserves to be held accountable for them.

With these two emotions, we don’t see our actions as abusive, because – after all – part of being in a relationship is accepting that your actions will inspire a certain reaction in a partner. However, if we were to apply that logic to all emotions, anger can turn into aggression, which can turn into physical violence or emotional abuse of a partner. It’s easy to say that what you’re doing “isn’t that bad”, but by excusing these gateway emotional response, we’re setting ourselves up for a worse emotional response down the line.

Instead, you should work through your emotional reaction before taking an action. Emotion is a normal part of the human experience, but your partner deserves a fair chance to speak her side. If you need to let off your emotions, do so in a journal or to a trusted friend – and then, once you’ve calmed down, express your concerns to your partner and allow her to voice her side. There’s a chance your suspicions are exactly right, and you are entitled to your disbelief if the evidence is against her, but you owe her the respect of giving her a chance to explain.


2. Controlling the situation.

This is one that I’ve struggled with for much of my life. We often learn at a very young age that we need to be assertive in order to get what we want. We have to make sure that our own interests are taken care of. These are very valuable lessons to learn, of course, but they also set us up for unintended consequences.

When we start with assertiveness, this can easily shift toward control if we’re not careful. It’s important that we take actions to get the things we want, but we should not force someone else to give us what we want. In that context, it’s easy to see how it can be abusive, but it’s not usually so black and white.

Think over your relationship. When’s the last time you pressured your partner to give in to your will? For example, you want to get a puppy, but your live-in partner doesn’t want a puppy. Just as with any other examples of consent (because coercion is a byproduct of rape culture), if one person says yes and the other says no, the answer is no.

Likewise, your attitude about the situation comes into play, too. Intention does matter, even if it’s not the only thing that matters. Even when you compromise with your partner, the way you treat that compromise makes a difference. We can be unintentionally abusive when we applaud ourselves for being “accommodating”. The word itself is a bit patronizing, don’t you think?

Compromise isn’t about being the bigger person. It’s about being a decent person. And, if you think you deserve a pat on the back for being a decent person, you are not a decent person. If the motive behind your compromise is anything other than fairness and common decency, you’re making yourself a martyr – which is one of the signs of gaslighting.


3. Refusing to listen.

Particularly when we’re affected by stress, anger, or insecurity, we may be prone to ignore the things our partner wants, or the things she asks of us. We might even come up with excuses as to why it’s “not our fault” that we didn’t listen or didn’t remember the things she said. In some cases, those excuses are absolutely true – but, most of the time, they’re just excuses.

Talking to your partner is meant to be a productive experience. She brings her concerns to you because she trusts you to help with them, even if the only “help” needed is a listening ear. If you’re continually making your partner repeat the things she expects from you, you’re telling her that your convenience is more important than her happiness. You’re telling her that what you want is more important than her comfort.

What’s worse is that, by refusing to listen to her (and denying the validity of the things she says), you’re telling her that you know better. While that’s certainly going to be true, some of the time, it’s important to remember that she is her own person. Continually ignoring her wants and needs makes you a bad partner, regardless of the reasons you come up with for why you’re ignoring them.

I think the scariest part of this particular problem is that there’s often a disconnect involved. The partner who doesn’t listen may, in turn, accuse her partner of “nagging”, while the partner being ignored feels that her partner is willfully disregarding her feelings. Assuming that you don’t want that scenario to take over your relationship, you need to make an active effort to listen to her.

Does that mean you need to do everything your partner asks? No – that would make her your controller. But it’s important to listen to her and understand which of her complaints is the most important, and which you can reasonably fix. She is your partner – not your boss, and not your assistant. Treat her fairly, and take her into consideration when making your decisions.


4. Emotionally manipulating her.

Many of us have experienced emotional manipulation at some point or another in our romantic relationships. Sometimes, it’s entirely unintentional, or even conditioned (and condoned) through society. It makes sense that emotions play a big part in our relationships, but using someone’s emotions against them is a terrible way to handle your own emotions.

It’s far too easy to excuse emotional manipulation as just gaslighting and name-calling, but the truth is, emotional manipulation happens more often than we’d like to admit. Any time you withhold sex, affection, or attention from your partner, because of something she’s done (or hasn’t done), you are emotionally manipulating her. Even if you have the best of intentions with your manipulation, it’s still manipulation.

Another common form of manipulation is playing hard-to-get, or using the words “If you loved me you would…” as a precursor for a request. We see both of these behaviors a lot in our favorite “romantic” movies and television plots, but they’re definitely not romantic. They’re about using someone’s desire to make you happy against them in a very personal way.

Let’s think about this one from the other side. Telling someone that their love for you needs to be proven through certain specific actions is unfair, at best, and very abusive at worst. People love differently, and while there are some general signs that someone cares about you and some signs that they don’t, there is no single arbitrary quantifier. Love doesn’t need to be quantified, nor does it need to be qualified.

Less obvious are “relationship tests”, set up to catch your partner in inappropriate behavior. For a long time, I used to tell the people I dated, “If I find out you’re testing me, I will fail… On purpose.” That’s because secretly testing someone is unfair, and it just shows that you are too insecure to be in a relationship right now. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as long as you realize that and choose not to be in a relationship. But no one should have to jump through hoops to make you happy, whether they know the hoops are there or not.

Instead, discuss your true feelings with your partner, without the passive-aggressiveness that leads to emotional manipulation. If you have a concern, express it as a concern – not as an ultimatum. Chances are, your relationship will be happier and stronger once you let go of your need to control your partner through her emotions. (And she will definitely be happier, too.)


5. Showing aggression when things don’t go your way.

I’m going to level with you guys: I suffer with some temper problems. I have moderate anxiety, and some days it’s incredibly difficult to keep my anger in check. But just because you feel angry does not mean you have to show aggression – and learning the difference between the two is essential to living a happy life.

The main difference between anger and aggression is that anger is an emotion – a normal and perfectly natural reaction to things gone wrong. Aggression, on the other hand, involves an act (or threat) of violence. Sometimes, this violence is sudden and noticeable – such as when a relationship turns physically abusive. It doesn’t usually start that way, though.

The threat of violence can be stated, or it can be implied – such as when Jamie (from the HuffPost article) slammed his hands down on the table and scared his wife. The implication here is that, if he’s willing to slam his hands down on the table to express his anger, he needs that physical release of his anger. You can tell yourself all you want that your anger is “under control” because you only take it out on inanimate objects – but you’re sending your partner a very clear message.

Instead, if you must reach out for a release of your anger, try channeling your anger into physical activity. From a psychological standpoint, it’s a lot more helpful in releasing your frustrations, and it’s really good for you, too. While I don’t recommend exercising with the person you’re upset with, necessarily, it’s a great way to harness your adrenaline. Remember everything you know about “fight or flight”? Well, the goal here is to use “flight” to prevent “fright”. (See what I did there?)

Physical exercise works for a number of reasons. First, it produces endorphins, which are your body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Second, it helps to lower your blood pressure, which is both a cause and an effect of elevated stress levels. Third, it helps to burn off extra energy and adrenaline that can cloud your judgment and lead you to poor relationship decisions.

Connect On A Deeper Level With Your Boo By Doing These Three Things.

Having a connection with someone is made up of three main components. Time, Focus and Sharing. Connections with your boo can occur if one or more of these components are missing. The idea is to share experiences together and implementing all of these three components in your relationship. Let’s have a look at how you can do this.


Time

Finding the time to spend together alone in your busy schedules can be really difficult for many couples and lack of time together is one of the main components to disappear in a relationship. If you live together it’s easy to become more like ships that pass in the night as you both focus on your careers, work colleagues and friends. If you don’t live together it can be very easy to spend time with a group of friends rather than just being alone. Spending time together is really important, but it’s not how much time you spend together, it’s the quality of your alone time.

Everyone has different opinions on what quality time together means so the first thing to do is to ask your boo what she sees as quality time together. Then tell her yours. For example, you may think quality time together could just mean lounging on the couch watching a film, but she may think quality time together means getting away from normal activities and doing something different, just the both of you. Once you’ve established what quality time together means, implement them all so you both feel you’re getting quality time. It won’t take long to start feeling really connected with her after doing this.


Focus

Now you’ve both worked out how you are going to spend time together you can implement the focus. If you’re on a ‘date night’ don’t let your mind wander to what’s happened at work that day, or start mentally preparing for a presentation you have coming up. Stay in the moment. Focus on what you are doing with her. Listen to what she is saying. Forget everything else going on and just enjoy her company and the experience you are both having alone. Many people find it hard to switch off from life’s pressures but with practise it can be done. Forget the outside world during your quality time and just think about her and what you are both enjoying together in that moment.


Sharing

Now you’ve sussed the time and focus you now need to start sharing as well. This means while you are together you share your thoughts, feelings, ideas, hopes and fears with her. It’s also important to share your physical self as well. Kiss her, hold her hand and cuddle her while you are alone together. It will show her that you are sharing your complete self with her and help build trust and deep bonds between the pair of you. Don’t forget the sex. Make time to make love to her and make sure she feels desirable and wanted.


Mastering these three components get easier over time and you both need to then implement as much of this into your daily lives, even if it’s just grabbing a coffee together during the day. It’s a chance for you both to talk alone, to focus on each other and share any issues you are worried about in your relationship.


Here is an experience you can both enjoy together while implementing all three components.

Cuddle up and face each other. Look into each other’s eyes and talk about something nice, such as your future plans together, where you’d like to go with her on vacation or simply tell each other what you love about each other. Exchange kisses, touch her face or gently rub her arm. These kinds of intimate experiences are very powerful and can help re-establish a connection that has been missing recently.


 

What to Do If You Think Your GF Is Cheating

I think, at some point in our lives, we all end up with a cheater. Even cheaters themselves end up falling for someone who can’t stay faithful, eventually. Most of the time, what we think might be cheating is just a miscommunication – but that can sometimes hurt just as bad. What do you do if you think your girlfriend is cheating on you? We’ve got 7 steps to make the process a little easier.

Take a deep breath.

Things aren’t always what they seem, and just because you’re getting a little suspicious doesn’t mean there’s actually anything going on. What makes you think she’s cheating, anyway? There are a number of things we do every day that look way worse than they actually are. For example, if your girlfriend “has to work late” every night, it might mean she’s seeing someone else – but it could also mean she’s trying to bank some extra money for your future together. Stay calm, and don’t make any rash decisions based on a hunch.

Be discrete.

Even if you have solid proof that she’s cheating on you, that’s not really your business to spread around. You don’t want to get a reputation as a rumor-starter, and there will always be people who don’t believe the facts when they’re right in front of their face. (I could get all political here, but I don’t think I will.) Be careful who you confide in about your suspicions – trying to rally all your mutual friends to your side can have disastrous consequences.

Process the information.

Gather up the bits of information that you have, and decide how you want to move forward. Remember that hard evidence isn’t necessarily required, but if there’s a legitimate alibi for everything you’re accusing, things probably won’t work out in your favor. Consider things that you’ve heard, if you’ve heard them from people you trust. Consider things you’ve seen yourself, as well as the gut feelings you have. Taking all these details into consideration will help you form a more educated plan of action.

Talk to her about it.

I know this is the part that sucks, but… You have to hear her side of things. The only people who ever really know what happened are the people who were involved. There are at least two sides to every story, after all. Keep in mind that your girlfriend might not tell you the truth (cheaters aren’t exactly known for their honesty, after all). Even if she does tell you the truth, that’s not going to make it hurt any less. But denial will hurt you way more, and for much longer, so you have to get the truth.

Decide if you want to stay or leave.

No matter what the truth turns out to be, only you can decide if the relationship is worth the pain it’s caused you. If she wasn’t cheating, there was still something off that caused you to feel that she was, so you need to explore that for yourself. It is 100% okay to walk away from a relationship that doesn’t make you happy, even if there are children involved. After all, it’s more important that your children see a loving, healthy relationship – not one where their parents are miserable all the time.

Consider therapy.

Regardless of whether you choose to stay together or split up, therapy or counseling might help you to work out the issues that have come up. A good therapist can help prevent these insecurities from turning into full-fledged phobias, and they can help you to process the changes if you decide to stay together. No matter what choices you make, there is nothing wrong with reaching out to someone for help.

Learn from it.

The biggest thing you can gain from any bad life experience is the lesson it teaches. Use this setback as a means of redefining your relationship needs, whether with your current partner or your future partners. If your partner wasn’t cheating, but spending long hours at work, you need to recognize whether future ambitious partners would be a problem with you or not. Lastly, if you keep making the same mistakes, you haven’t finished learning from them yet – try to look at things from a different perspective, and see if there are any things you could do differently to be treated the way you deserve.

How A Casual Fling Can Help You Get Over Your Worst Break-Up Ever

Break-ups suck. Even between the most mature of adults, there are bound to be some hurt feelings in the mix, even if only temporarily. Often we resort to a casual rebound hook-up just to get our bearings back. Sometimes, these rebound hook-ups are a total disaster, but truthfully, they’re not all bad. Here are 4 things that casual flings actually get right.

It helps you remember the rules of the dating game.

Realistically, casual flings and long-term relationships should follow pretty similar rules. Yet, for some reason, we don’t always follow the same rules for both situations. We tend to think that one woman – the one we’ll never see again – somehow deserves less respect than we gave our exes. Or, on the other side of the coin, we feel more comfortable being unapologetically ourselves in front of the ONS, because we can just go ghost if things don’t work out. (Long-term relationships take a little more effort to leave.)

The truth is, you always need to keep your expectations reasonable and honest. Exactly what that means may be different from one to the other, but the core concept is the same. Treat her with respect, don’t lie to her, and be open about your intentions. You should also be using proper protection, unless you are completely monogamous and have been for at least six months. Don’t take unnecessary risks with your sexual health!

It helps build your confidence back up.

We all know we shouldn’t place our sense of self-worth in the hands of another person. Yet still, many of us need some reassurance from time to time, and that’s a normal human instinct. It’s always nice to feel wanted and appreciated, and a well-chosen casual fling can provide just that reassurance. Not every fling will give you that security, but it usually doesn’t hurt to try.

Just remember that you do have an obligation to tell the other person if you’re just using them for the ego boost. Not everyone minds this implication, but they deserve the respect to choose if they’re okay with it or not. You can look out for your own happiness without sacrificing someone else’s.

It gets you out of the house.

When you’ve got someone to hang out with, you’re more likely to get out of the house… Even if you’re just going to their house. In a post-break-up funk, it can be hard to remember to get your daily sunshine. A casual fling gives you somewhere to go, something to do, and a reason to take care of your hygiene. While it’s best if you remember to do those things anyway, your casual fling just gives that extra little push.

Going out with someone can help you get out of your head, too. All too often we get hung up on everything that’s gone wrong in our lives. Since you barely know this person, you won’t be so tempted to just unload on them, like you would with your friends. (And, if you do get the urge to tell your life story to the girl you just met at the bar… Don’t give into that urge.)

It takes some of the stress out of dating.

I like to think of casual flings as the “training wheels” of the dating world. It’s nothing serious, and yet it has all the same qualities as a good serious relationship… Minus waking up to morning breath every day. Since the expectations are generally lower and it’s easier to communicate without those pesky feelings getting in the way, it’s way less stressful to have a casual relationship than a serious one.

Of course that’s not to say that serious relationships don’t have their place, too. No matter how heart-wrenching and life-affecting serious relationships are, most people will find themselves drawn to be in one at some point in time. You might end up being drawn to a serious relationship with your casual fling – my current girlfriend and I were just supposed to have a one-night stand, almost three years ago. You can’t always predict the way things are going to turn out – but you can give yourself permission to go with the flow.

8 Of The Best (And Worst) Things About Dating A Writer

I’ve been a writer (professionally speaking) for a little over a year now, and it’s still a new and exciting experience almost every day. There are definitely some things about being a writer that my non-writer-friends will probably never understand, as well as some things about my non-writer-friends that I’ll probably never understand. (Like, you mean to tell me there are people who can get through life without writing things down in their planner first? I really can’t wrap my head around that one.)

No matter what the differences really are, I knew that there were differences in my dating life even before I started getting paid for the words I write. If you’re interested in someone who writes – whether for a living, or just as a hobby – there are 8 things you really, really need to know about dating a writer.

(Also, please note that when I say “writer”, I’m not just talking about the professionals here – writing is so much more than a job, it’s a way of life.)

1. We remember things. (Like, everything.)

Those who are drawn toward being writers tend to keep written records of everything. Personally, I’ve been marking down the days I have sex, in some way or another, since shortly after I turned 18. We can’t always explain why we feel compelled to write things down – but rest assured, if there’s anything we think might be important to us, it’s probably jotted down on a piece of paper somewhere. Probably inside of a really, really pretty notebook, because that’s just how most of us roll.

This is a great thing for you, because we’ll never forget your birthday or our anniversary. We probably also have a list of things that you enjoy, as well as some things you don’t like. It’s not all strawberries and sunshine, though – we’re also going to remember that time you got way too drunk and tried to kiss our roommate. Whatever you do, make sure your writer girlfriend doesn’t find out about you doing anything horrible to someone else – you might end up finding yourself in one of her villainous characters one day.

2. We can make you famous. (Or infamous!)

Okay, I’ll admit… As I wrote this, I immediately thought of the (in)famous Jenny Schecter and how she put all of her friends on blast in a very public way. I also can’t help but think of Jenna Hamilton from Awkward and how she’s unwittingly put her family and friends in the spotlight a time or two, too. Writers draw from life experience, so as soon as you enter her life, you’re already running the chance of ending up in a story or article.

Sometimes, this is awesome, because we have a way with words that can make you sound like the most awesome person ever. If your writer girlfriend writes romance novels and there’s this one special move that you invented… Well, it can easily find its way in. On the other hand, if you do something that really pisses her off, she might end up letting everyone know – and while she won’t use your name, the people who know both of you will definitely know it’s about you, and everyone else will just know that you’re the “bad guy” in the story.

3. We are great at listening.

To a writer, every single day gives an opportunity for new material. We listen to every word you say, and we’ve probably done thorough research into the subject you need help with – and, if not that, we at least know exactly where to find the information. If you’re looking advice, we’ve got the best around – we draw from every life experience we’ve ever had, read about, or seen. Most of the time, we can play through the whole situation and predict which one is most likely to lead to a resolution – and which one is just headed for disaster.

However, this advice and knowledge comes with a downside: We can’t turn it off. Don’t come to us with a problem if you just want to complain, because we will find our way to the solution whether you like it or not. We love listening to your stories, but we’re not going to keep re-reading the same sad pages, so make sure you’re actually trying to fix your problems, or we’ll both just end up frustrated.

4. We’re probably the most romantic girlfriends you’ll ever have.

I’ve heard it said that, in order to be a good writer, you have to be a good reader. It makes sense, too – if you can’t understand the complexities of the language, you can’t possibly craft beautiful things with it. You have to fully understand how to love before you can be loved. And writers have that type of loving relationship with all the things in the world – whether they are actively thinking about it or not.

You see, as writers, we have a very intimate and passionate relationship with all the little things in life. We can see the magic within a simple coffee cup, and see the possibilities that lie within an empty page. We look at something unfinished and don’t see it as something left to do, but rather as something we can still fix up. This also means that we prefer the thoughtful or intangible gifts – a writer would never be satisfied by frivolous trinkets. We don’t want your money, we want your love, and we won’t let you forget it!

5. We have a unique perspective of the world.

The creative mind is always skilled at seeing things from someone else’s point of view. We’re skilled at taking in every detail, and figuring out which ones are worth considering. Truth be told, all of the details come into play, at least to some degree, but there are definitely some that mean more than others. We have the skills necessary to take this jumble of details and ideas and turn it into something very real.

Unfortunately for you, once we’ve made up our mind about what’s important, what’s not, and what’s right or wrong, we are pretty sure of ourselves. We are confident, because we know we’ve taken everything into consideration. There’s pretty much no use arguing with a writer, because she’s probably (literally) written the book on exactly why you’re wrong. Trust me on this one – any writer worth mentioning has her code of ethics, and won’t stand behind her facts until after she’s totally verified them.

6. We are adventurous.

Your writer girlfriend is keen on new experiences, because she knows her writing depends on them. She’s totally into having sex in new and exciting places – even if it sometimes makes you nervous. That’s not to say she’s going to push you too far out of your comfort zone, but you definitely need to be a little open-minded. She’s known for bending the rules a little bit in order to get what she wants – good writing is about bending grammar rules to your will, after all, so why wouldn’t the rest of life work the same way?

This adventurous spirit, while wild and exciting, also means that she can get bored easily if she has to stay in the same place or situation for too long. She needs to spread her metaphorical wings and fly. She might even need you to remind her to keep her head out of the clouds, but that’s what you get for loving a dreamer!

7. We are patient.

Most people think that writing is all about finding the perfect words to put on the page. The truth is, you rarely find the right words the first time around – writing is all about rewriting. We struggle to find the right words, and we struggle to make the words fit together. Honestly, when you think about all the steps that actually go into writing something, it’s a miracle that anyone would choose to be a writer – and it’s probably more true that being a writer chooses us.

This patience that we learn through our craft teaches us how to be patient in the rest of our lives, and how to fit everything together so that it works for everyone. We’re used to working and reworking things, and we’re used to sacrificing in order to meet our greater vision. The downside is that we’re going to expect that patience from you, too, and if you aren’t able to give it to us… Well… We had to fight for what we deserved in the writing world, but we’re sure not going to take the same from a partner.

8. We don’t really do the whole “goodbye” thing.

When you love a writer, you’re going to find out quickly that the things she writes have a tendency of sticking. Her words will live on much longer than she will, and you can bet that the words on the page will bring you closer to her. It’s never “goodbye” with a writer. Once she’s written about you, you’ve become one of her characters, and you’ll always be a part of her world.

The flip side is that you won’t ever truly be rid of her, either. The words she writes will be around long after she’s gone. This means that she’s not going to take down the blog posts she’s written about you, or suddenly cancel her publishing contract just because things went wrong with you. Good luck forgetting the woman who’s already written you into her memoirs.

7 Signs Your Partner Is Cheating

Sometimes we all get those little niggling doubts that our girlfriends are cheating on us. We don’t have any proof, but we just ‘feel’ something is going on. Well, if that sounds familiar to you just now take a look at some of these signs that might indicate she’s playing away.


1. She wants more sex than usual

This might seem a bit strange, but according to psychologist Nikki Martinez of Betterhelp this can be a sign your boo is having an affair. It’s not necessarily because she has suddenly developed an increased libido but could be a sign she feels guilty and is trying to make it up to you by giving you lots of sex.


2. She’s become Miss Romance

If your chica is normally unromantic and all of a sudden she is sprinkling petals in your bath and whisking you away for romantic weekends and this is totally out of character for her, beware. Rob Alex, creator of Mission Date Night, says that this kind of behaviour can be a red flag that she’s cheating and feels bad about it.


3. She looks hotter than ever

When women have affairs they become more aware of how they look on a daily basis so if she is suddenly showering more than usual, making a bigger effort with her make-up or has started working out more at the gym it may be a sign she has another love interest.


4. Her behaviour in general changes

According to Melinda Carver, a relationship coach, if your partner changes her usual behaviour totally and acts differently than how she normally does it could be an indication she’s dipping her toe somewhere she shouldn’t be.


5. She’s making a massive effort

Has your girlfriend started to make a real effort to show you affection, always arrive on time for dates and seems more motivated to show you how important you are to her? If yes, Cecil Carter, of dating appLov, suggests this could be because they are trying to overcompensate for what may be wrong in your relationship.


6. She’s become really adventurous

If climbing a steep hill was a challenge to your sweetheart and now she’s attempting to climb Mount Everest it may be an indication that she’s trying to show you how happy she is with you, even though she is doing adventurous things alone and not including you in them.


7. The green-eyed monster rears its ugly head

Life coach Kali Rogers claims that if your girlie is suddenly jealous of you looking at other women or starts to become really possessive and wants to know where you are all the time it could be because she is projecting. This is when someone assumes you might be doing the same as they are and in this case, cheating.


Not all these signs are proof that she is playing away and she simply might just be trying to put renewed energy and excitement back into your relationship.

The best thing to do is to talk to your loved one and tell her what you are thinking and feeling. Sometimes it’s easier to assume the worst but that’s not always the case.

Be brave and talk to her because accusing her of something that she is not guilty of is one sure fire way to destroy your relationship anyway.

8 Things You’re Doing to Ruin Your Relationships

It’s no secret that relationships require a lot of compromise. Sometimes, it even feels like hard work – especially if it seems more like sacrifice than compromise. When the relationship ends, we often try to place the blame largely on one person or the other, completely ignoring the fact that one-sided break-ups are actually very rare. In fact, in many cases, when it seems like one person is screwing things up, it’s actually more likely that you’re both doing things to ruin your relationship – it just happens that the other is shifting the blame a little more.

There’s really no such thing as an expert in the dating game. Sure, some people know a little more, and some people are a little more naïve, but most break-ups boil down to the following 8 reasons. How many can you count in your relationships?


1. You give your partner too much control over your life.

In the course of some relationships, one partner will end up “wearing the pants”, so to speak. This isn’t always a deliberate act of control – sometimes, the partner who seems to be controlled is voluntarily giving up their autonomy for their partner. Eventually, the in-charge partner gets used to being in charge, and it becomes a really difficult habit to break, for both partners. Different personality types play into each of these roles, and it’s not always going to happen, but recognizing it is the key to being happy in your relationship – and the rest of your life, too.

How do you know if you’re handing over too much control? One of the easiest ways is to identify the things you automatically defer to her. Do you feel the need to ask permission, or do you feel confident that the choices you make won’t upset your partner? Do you pre-emptively check in with her so she knows you are where you said you’d be at that time, or do you only check in if there’s something out of the usual going on?

There are tons of examples of this self-inflicted loss of control, and some of them may even be pruned by your partner. It’s important to identify them early, so that you can break the habit on your side. Once it’s become “business as usual”, the habit will be much harder to break, as you’ll both have to work on it.


2. You avoid responsibility for your own actions.

One of the most common excuses that I hear for infidelity, domestic violence, and even codependent drug addictions is that the other partner “made them” do it. This is dangerous, not only because it paints your partner as a bad person when they might not otherwise be classified as such, but also because it removes your ability to fix your own problems. After all, if you can’t acknowledge that you have a problem, you can’t actually plan a solution.

That’s not to say that you should take responsibility for everything that goes wrong in your relationship, though. If you’ll notice, I said you should take responsibility for your actions. Do not allow your partner, or anyone else in your life, place the blame on you for things that are out of your control. Unless you have magical powers (or a major control freak complex), you didn’t make your partner do anything, and she didn’t make you do anything, either.

This means that you need to own up to your past mistakes, too – even when it hurts. Thankfully, admitting to yourself that your past mistakes were actually mistakes gives you the chance to come up with a different approach next time. If you don’t take responsibility for these choices, you’re setting yourself up to make the same bad choices again.


3. You have unclear priorities and expectations.

Something I used to be really, really bad about is expecting that my partner would naturally know what she should be doing, at any point in time. I had a very clear picture in my head about what my priorities were, and I assumed that anyone I dated would have the same priorities. It would be great if it worked out like that, but realistically, priorities are very subjective. If you don’t communicate your expectations, she doesn’t know your expectations.

On the other side of the coin, there’s the woman who doesn’t even know what she expects from herself. (That’s all priorities really are, if you think about it – expectations you set for yourself.) We often assume that our priorities stay the same throughout our lives, but really, that’s rarely the case. Most of us have expectations for ourselves in ten general categories, as one of my favorite bloggers explains in this post. Even if you don’t have an answer for all ten categories, chances are the ones that are most important to you now are different than the ones that were important five years ago, and in the next five years they could very well change again.

It’s important that you both fully understand your priorities and expectations, as they pertain to yourselves and to each other. It might seem weird the first few times you talk about them, but in time the conversation will get easier (and, truthfully, more exciting, too). Regularly reflecting on your priorities helps to ensure that you’re both still working towards the same goals, which will guarantee your relationship’s happiness.


4. You sacrifice your sense of self.

When a relationship is going well, the urge to merge can get really, really strong. After a while, we start to inadvertently attach ourselves to our partner in new and (at the time) exciting ways. So-called romantic movies make it seem like this type of attachment isn’t just healthy, it’s super romantic. But in order to preserve your own happiness, you need to do your own thing, too. Building your entire life around your partner is not sweet. It’s highly dysfunctional.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have shared interests and hobbies, too. You absolutely should! But these should never be forced shared interests and hobbies. If one of you likes fishing, but the other can’t stand the thought of gutting a living creature, obviously fishing together is probably not a real shared interest. Does that mean the fisher shouldn’t fish? No. It means that she should fish without her girlfriend.

If you’re used to codependence, it can be really hard to separate yourself from your partner. In situations where you’re both having issues with attachment, it can even lead to resentment if one of you is ready to work on it and the other isn’t. This is one of the reasons it’s important to establish your priorities and expectations regularly – it helps avoid the awkwardness and insecurities that can come from “I think I need some space”.


5. You’re reckless with your words.

Is it just me, or is it harder to control your words with someone you’re unapologetically yourself around? It’s almost funny (in a sick and twisted sort of way). We care about them more than anyone else in the world, but we throw our words around like they don’t sometimes have sharp edges. Maybe the opposite is true instead – we care about them so much that we want to tell them what they want to hear, even if we know it’s not the truth.

Neither one of these extremes is good. Your partner deserves honesty, but she also deserves tact and respect. For those of us cursed with a sailor’s mouth (pun absolutely intended), it’s hard to remember that our words have a price. Personally, my vice is using the words “bitch” and “fuck” as sentence seasonings, without any real meaning behind them. My girlfriend, on the other hand, doesn’t care for either of those words, so I’ve got to take extra precautions to stop them from coming out of my mouth. I screw it up a lot, actually, but the effort does make a difference.

It’s not always about the vulgar words, though. Sometimes, we may make jokes at our partner’s expense, or even insult someone for something that happens to be true about our partner, too. It takes time to learn all the little quirks of your particular relationship, but you have to actually make the effort to learn. Then, once you’ve discovered what’s most important to her, consciously shift your talking style to be more respectful of her.


6. You keep your mouth shut.

We sort of touched on it in that last bit, but I’d like to elaborate a little more here. Denying a problem, or little white lies to protect her feelings, aren’t doing you any favors. If you’re denying the things you really need her to work on, you’re putting her happiness above your own. And, if you’re not a happy girlfriend, you can’t be a good girlfriend. Staying quiet to save the relationship will always lead to resentment.

In simpler terms, we teach people how to treat us. Even the best person will eventually find themselves taking advantage of their partner’s feelings if their partner continually makes their own feelings unimportant. Again, that’s not to say that it’s entirely your fault when your partner mistreats you, but you are giving up on your ability to get the things you want.

Even if it’s not so black and white, you can’t get what you don’t ask for. Communication is absolutely essential for happiness, and we have a basic human instinct to give our loved ones the things they want from us. The vast majority of partners will do what’s in their power to keep their other half happy, as long as they know what it takes. When you keep your own needs quiet, you’re not doing anyone any favors.


7. You make too many excuses.

To a certain extent, you do have a duty to protect your girlfriend’s honor. You’re probably not going to take off into the sunset with her on a daily basis, or fight everyone who wolf-whistles at her in the streets. But most people feel compelled to stick up for their partner when they hear other people talking badly about them. But does that mean you should always defend her? Actually, no.

When we hear our other loved ones talking about what our girlfriend has done wrong, it’s important that we evaluate what they say before we jump to her defense. In some cases, their accusations are entirely unfounded, in which case you absolutely should stick up for her. But, more often, we get defensive because we know there’s an air of truth in what they say, and we don’t want to admit it to ourselves.

The next time someone tells you something unfavorable about your girlfriend, pay attention to what they’re actually saying. Do you absolutely know and trust that they misunderstood what they saw? Or, are you jumping to her defense because that’s what she would say if you accused her? When in doubt, try to plan a civil conversation to discuss the information you heard. If she’s really innocent in the situation, make sure you correct the rumor as best you can.


8. You’re in love with love itself.

Lastly, there is a certain subculture that is in love with the idea of love, and who will try to form that loving bond with everyone. Not all relationships are meant to last forever, and that’s actually okay. When we try to force a bond with someone when there really isn’t one there, it’s going to end badly. This can be especially scary if both partners are in love with love, and actually have very little in common. Sure, you might stay together for a while, but you’ll never be truly happy.

At the same time, you do need to be at least a little bit in love with love in order to make the relationship work. After all, someone who doesn’t want to be in love is probably going to have a hard time keeping their focus just on their partner. But you need to make sure you’re in the relationship for the right reasons, and those sappy feelings are just the icing on the cake.

13 First Date Red Flags That Let You Know She’s Not The One

Have you ever had a first date that went so horribly wrong, but you couldn’t pull yourself away?

I know there have been a few dates I’ve been on that were absolutely dreadful. I remember one particular first date, the girl literally took me to parade to all of her friends. All of them. Like it was a giant house party at her place and, apparently, I was the guest of honor. Yikes.

As scary/creepy/flattering as that might be, the truth is that not all first date red flags are automatically bad.

In fact, some are actually pretty tame, but they serve as clues that your future with this woman is… Well, it’s not going to work out.


1. She doesn’t show up.

Maybe the most obvious red flag is when you go through all the trouble of setting and confirming a date, and she just doesn’t show up. Note that this isn’t necessarily the same thing as when someone has to cancel, although a series of cancelled first dates might mean that she’s a bit of a flake. Sometimes things do come up, but if she knows that things are going to come up, she won’t confirm the plans. No one repeatedly bails on someone they actually want to be with.


2. She has the same name as your ex.

While it’s not technically her fault that she has the same name as your ex, it’s important that you’re able to separate her from the ex of the same name. Otherwise, it’s likely that you’ll be thinking about your ex every time you say her name. This brings all sorts of unwanted (and often unfair) psychological connections. Since it’s completely unfair to apply these comparisons to someone, and you can’t really help if your brain does it for you, it’s best to steer clear.


3. She kinda looks like your most recent ex (or maybe your first love, if they’re not the same person).

This is another situation where your brain can play games on you that are totally not fair – although sometimes, this one is an intentional self-sabotage on your part. We see someone who has all the attractive features of a person, and we may think that we can “do things better” this time. But it’s important to realize that our looks are such a small part of who we are as a person. Every first date is a fresh start – don’t screw it up by living in the past.


4. She’s wearing a wedding ring.

Okay, before I get any backlash: I know that there are people who are legitimately interested in open relationships. I’ve even heard that these open relationships work out great for them. But, if she didn’t tell you that she was married before you agreed to go on a date with her, and she’s rocking a wedding ring (or worse – the tan line from a recently-removed wedding ring!), she might not be being honest with her spouse, either. Is that really the type of relationship you want to be in?


5. She shows up drunk or high.

Personally, I have nothing against drinking. I’ve often joked that it’s one of the perks of having adult responsibilities – we get to buy beer to deal when said responsibilities get to be a little too much. But if the person you’re thinking about starting a relationship with is already drunk when you meet up with each other, or if she’s obviously under the influence of something a little more illicit, dating her is probably not a great idea. She shouldn’t have to pre-game before a first date – that’s just not a good sign.


6. She tries to pressure you to get drunk or high.

Truthfully, pressuring someone into anything that they don’t want to do, or that they’re not sure they want to do, is not cute, not romantic, and 100% not okay. Even if you think (or she says) she’s just trying to help you loosen up, this is controlling behavior, and if left unchecked it can progress further into manipulation and, eventually, full-fledged abuse. Get out at the first sign of peer pressure – trust me on this one!


7. She’s a best friend’s or sibling’s ex.

I’ve heard that there are some people who don’t mind if their exes end up dating someone really close to them after they break up. I, for one, am not one of those people, and I will be very offended by it. What’s even worse is if you helped your friend or sibling get over the break-up, and you still went to date their ex. Sure, sometimes two people are just wrong for each other – but if you listen to the things that she did to hurt your loved one, and you still date her, you have no one to turn to when things turn out exactly the same for you. You were already warned, and you didn’t listen.


8. She talks about her therapist.

I went back and forth for a while on whether to list this one or not. On the one hand, therapy is definitely nothing to be ashamed of, and the sooner we can get rid of the stigmas surrounding counseling and therapy, the sooner it can actually help more people. But, on the other hand, there is an appropriate time and place for that, and your very first date is not the right time to bring up your latest psych sesh. That’s a conversation best saved for after you’ve gotten to know each other a little.


9. She tries to pressure you into having sex.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having sex on a first date, nor is there anything wrong with wanting to wait a little longer. The problem comes when one person wants to have sex, and the other person doesn’t. In cases like this, one yes and one no is definitely a no. Any woman who can’t respect your wishes does not respect you, and that’s not something that she’ll develop as time goes on. Get out before the disrespect gets worse!


10. She’s flirting with someone else, right in front of you.

Some people are “natural-born flirts”. I get that. It’s actually human nature to flirt in certain situations, at least to some extent. But she shouldn’t be flirting with the waitress on your first date, or the lady who tears your ticket stubs at the theater, or the woman who checked you in at the bar. If she can’t help but flirt with those around you, time is not going to fix this – she’s always going to be a flirt, and you’ll always wonder if she’s got some side action going on.


11. She brings someone else on the date.

One of my worst first dates ever ended up bringing a bunch of her friends on the date. I’d had a crush on her since middle school, before we ended up meeting up unexpectedly a few years later, so I looked past this red flag and paid for dinner for her and all of her friends… But it wasn’t too long before she started trying to bring other people along all the time. We didn’t have too many dates anyway (I couldn’t afford to date her and her whole crew, after all), but I want to pass along the advice: Only the people invited for the date, should be on the date. Everyone else can pay for their own dinner. No exceptions.


12. She talks about any of her exes.

Depending on how long the relationship was (or how much she felt for her), it’s normal to still think about her from time to time. But if your very first date involves her telling you all about Ms. Not-So-Perfect, there’s a good chance she’s still hung up on her, and that’s just not a good sign for your future. If things go well, you’ll have plenty of time to rehash “you’ll never guess what my ex did” stories later (assuming these stories won’t make either of you uncomfortable). Don’t let her ex ruin your relationship with her.


13. You two are already fighting.

I know there are some people who like the “fire” that comes from fighting with their partner – but, again, I am not one of those people, and those people really only get on with each other. For most people, fighting right off the bat is a really, really bad sign, and it doesn’t matter how good the make-up sex might be – you deserve someone who speaks to you like a human being, not like a child. If she’s already fighting and you haven’t even had your first kiss yet, let her go and move on!

17 Places Love Might Unexpectedly Find You

What’s your favorite type of romantic movie?

I love the ones where the couple meets in a totally unexpected way. You know the ones – the ones that leave you thinking, “But it doesn’t really happen like that.” Life is busy, after all, and it seems like the only times you can find love are the times when you’re strategically looking for it. Between your social life, work, school, pets, family, and housework, it’s a miracle anyone falls in love, ever.

Realistically, though, it’s not actually that hard to find love. In fact, it’s a lot easier if you’re not looking. I’ve always thought it was a bit ironic, but it’s true – the unexpected love really is the best. And, it actually makes things easier – here are 17 everyday places you can find your once-in-a-lifetime love.


1. At sporting events.

If you’re interested in watching (or playing) sports, there’s a good chance the love of your life might, too. If you’re lucky enough to have live sports and a sports bar, why not try for both?


2. At a concert.

Music is super important in my life, so it’s essential that my partner enjoys music, too. Going solo to concerts and shows lets you meet new people, and you’ve already got at least one thing in common.


3. At the dog park.

Pet lovers prefer people who love pets. It’s a fact. If your fur babies get to meet at the same time you do, you prevent the awkwardness of not knowing your Chihuahua hates poodles until after you move in together.


4. At work.

I generally advise against workplace romances, but things happen sometimes – so why not go for it? Just make sure that neither of you has any influence over the other’s job – that never works out well.


5. While ridesharing or using public transportation.

We all hear about the weirdos on the train, but that ignores all the perfectly amazing people who use public transportation, too. (And besides – you never know who that “weirdo” really is if you never talk to them.)


6. At networking opportunities.

This one pretty much falls under the same category as workplace romances, but easier to cut-and-run if necessary. Dating someone who understands the work you do is a must, and someone who’s in the same field is going to understand the complexities better.


7. On vacation.

Depending on how you feel about long-distance relationships, your vacation fling doesn’t necessarily have to end when the vacation is over. There’s something romantic about being long-distance, especially if you have the means to visit each other.


8. On a group adventure.

Check your local classifieds to see if there are any group outings near you. You may be able to find ski trips, photo walks, and even nature hikes – among many other awesome adventures!


9. At the movies.

For the longest time, I thought that going to the movies alone was a sign of desperation. As I got older, I realized that going on dates yourself is a super awesome idea and more people should do it. Besides, it’s easier to approach someone you’re into if they’re not surrounded by other people.


10. At school/college/university.

Hey, don’t knock it – there are probably some awesome people on campus, many of whom you might not have even met yet. Check out the clubs and events offered and plan to go to everything that interests you – your next boo might be there, too.


11. At a party or kickback.

If your friends have been hassling you to come hang out with their other friends and you’ve been resisting it, you could be squandering the chance to find your true love. Any chance to meet new people is also a chance you might fall in love.


12. At the mall.

Whether you’re spending your own hard-earned cash or the 30 gift cards you received for your birthday, keep your eyes open to see if there’s anyone checking you out. You might be surprised!


13. At the grocery store.

Believe it or not, most people have a grocery store of choice. If you and your next girlfriend already buy your vegetables in the same place, that eliminates the arguments about where to buy okra 4 years from now.


14. Online.

The stigmas about online dating are falling away, and people are realizing that there really are amazing people waiting on the other side of the screen. Are you one of them? Setting up a profile only takes a few minutes, and realistically you don’t have to do too much after that.


15. On a business trip or at a conference.

Remember how we said people who work in the same industries understand each other better? Yep, still true. Plus, business trips and conferences tap into the vacation vibe, too, which doubles your chances of meeting someone great.


16. On a set-up.

Fun fact: My longest relationship to date was sort of a blind date. Sure, some blind dates turn into major horror stories (I’ve had some of those, too) but they also turn into fantastic love stories when they work out.


17. In the places you already go every day.

Unless you sit at home 24/7, you’re bound to meet other people during the course of your day. We’ve been conditioned to avoid these other people because, hello, strangers are scary – but I have to believe that the vast majority of the strangers you encounter are more like you than you’d expect. Open yourself up to the possibility of meeting someone new, and you’re already halfway there. Obviously, you might have to kiss a few frogs along the way – and you might even meet that psycho your mother warned you about. But you’ll also make a few great friends, and maybe even meet the woman of your dreams. Be careful, but optimistic, and love will find you when it’s the right time for you.

12 Secrets To A Happy Long-Term Relationship

What exactly makes a successful long-term relationship? Some people think it’s all about having similar visions, or similar hobbies, or just being similar. The truth is, if we date someone who’s exactly like us, chances are… We’re going to hate them at some point in time. Having too much in common actually makes you incompatible, because our brains strive for someone who helps offset our own weaknesses.

Obviously, someone who’s your polar opposite isn’t going to stick around too long either – after all, you don’t want to date someone who you have nothing in common with, right? It’s a delicate balance, and not every relationship is going to do the trick – and that’s perfectly okay.


1. Not every relationship is meant to last forever – know when to let go.

It might seem a little counter-intuitive for me to start off this list, this way, but let’s get really, painfully real for a second: Not every relationship is meant to stand the test of time. Does that mean your three-week romance is a waste of time? Absolutely not! As long as you’re learning something about yourself (and hopefully having a good time while you’re at it), the relationship served its purpose. You need to be able to recognize an inevitable end, because they do exist. Now that we’ve got that out of the way…


2. The grass is always greener where you water it.

When we get wrapped up in the day-to-day happenings, it’s easy to start neglecting our relationships. It’s not right, but it happens more than we’d like to admit to ourselves. If you find you have a wandering eye, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to stray – it actually means that you need to try a little harder in your current relationship. Most likely. In some cases, it means you’ve been trying too hard and your partner just isn’t putting in her fair share… In which case, please see #1.


3. You’re not always going to agree… And that’s perfectly fine.

I know I’ve read a ton of articles that say that a happy relationship involves choosing your battles. What’s usually lacking, though, is the revelation that picking your battles does not equal don’t acknowledge your disagreements. It’s completely normal to disagree with your partner from time to time – and, in fact, if you never disagree, there’s a pretty good chance that at least one of you is lying. Acknowledge your disagreements, but don’t let the little things ruin your love for each other.


4. Independence is absolutely essential.

It’s 100% okay to have your own hobbies and interests. In fact, it’s necessary – if you give up the things you enjoy, just because your partner doesn’t enjoy them, you are making your partner way too high of a priority in your life. It’s also totally okay to spend time alone, even if you don’t really have anything going on. I’m not saying you should go so far as to sleep in separate bedrooms in the same house, but every now and then you just want to chill without any company. And it’s perfectly okay to want this.


5. Make time for each other, too.

Independence is important, but so is spending time together. Your partner is on the local softball team, but you couldn’t care less? That shouldn’t matter – you can still go to support her at the big game (or at least some of her games). Hung up on stuff from work? Make sure you’re giving her attention, too – she might even be able to help you out of your work-stress-mode. Remember that you guys are each other’s sidekick and support group – and act like it.


6. Good surprises are key.

Relationships thrive on a little spontaneity, even when it’s only spontaneous for one of you. Every now and then, you’ve got to surprise your partner. I’m not saying you need to plan an all-out bash (partially because I’d probably have a nervous breakdown if someone threw me a surprise party), but you should try to surprise each other from time to time. Even if it’s something super simple, like washing up the dishes even though it was most definitely her turn.


7. Take your problems seriously, and get help when necessary.

One of the hardest things for me to do is actually ask for help. I get so caught up in all the endless things that I, myself, alone need to do or fix or handle, and I forget that I have someone on my team. I have a bad habit of compartmentalizing things, and excusing those things that wouldn’t really be a big deal if they were on their own. But, in the scope of your relationship, a lot of little problems can be as bad as a few big deal-breakers, so make sure you’re reaching out for the proper support system. Sometimes that means counseling. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, either.


8. Understand where your priorities lie.

Your partner probably isn’t going to be the absolute top of your list, and that’s okay – but she should definitely fall somewhere within the first few. Well, not necessarily your partner specifically, but your relationship as a whole. Make sure you know what your biggest priorities are, and your partner’s, too. Your priorities don’t have to be identical, but they should be similar enough that they don’t clash.


9. Respect your differences and your partner’s choices.

You’re not going to agree with everything your partner thinks, feels, and does. You’re not obligated to agree with any of these things, as we’ve already discussed. But you are obligated to support and respect her. Does that mean you can’t tell her when she’s making poor choices? Of course you should. But make sure that the decisions are objectively bad before you say something – not just based on your personal prerogative.


10. Your words and actions have consequences.

When someone we really care about says or does hurtful things to us, they mean a lot more than when a stranger says them. Example? Once I had a random stranger call me a “fat cunt”, and it didn’t bother me nearly as much as when my partner told me I looked “gross” (after losing the weight that caught the attention of the stranger just a few years before). Your words will have an immeasurable impact on your partner, so it’s best that you avoid saying anything you might regret later. Your words can never be taken back once they’ve been said. Don’t screw it up.


11. You’re going to change, but make sure you stay true to yourself.

It always cracks me up a little when a character in a movie tells their partner, “You’ve changed!” Well… Of course they’ve changed. People don’t stay the same for years at a time, and if they did, they’re not really applying themselves. But it is important that, through all your changes, you do your best to stay the same person your partner fell in love with. Don’t forget your values, don’t get too wrapped up in newness, and try not to lose your sense of humor, either.


12. Never stop falling in love with her.

This is one of the most important things I can pass on to you today: Love isn’t a magical feeling that just stays forever. That feeling, those butterflies, all of that, isn’t love but infatuation. Real love takes a bit of work, and you need to fall in love with her again every single day, or it’s not going to work out. Date nights help, as do little tokens of your affection, but largely, it’s about remembering why you chose to be with her in the first place. Remind yourself how great she is, and take steps to make sure she knows how much you appreciate her.

Love doesn’t actually last forever – but soul mates choose to keep loving each other even when things get hard. (Especially when things get hard.)

There’s Just No Denying It, Lesbians Are Addicted To Love.

OK Chicas, wait for it, lesbians are apparently at a higher risk of love addiction, and no, this is not just an excuse to justify our behaviour when we act in a way that our heterosexual counterparts call ‘rushing into things.’

No way, I hear you cry! Us? Lesbians? You mean when we declare undying love to each other after two dates and are willing to move to the other side of the country to be with our princess charming by the third, this is called a love addiction? Yep, I’m afraid so guys. This is just some idiosyncrasy only I do, says that little voice of reasoning in your head. Not all lesbians are like me, surely?

Sorry girls, we are all guilty of this weird phenomenon. I’m sure if we were all completely honest with each other every single one of us has rushed a new relationship forwards well before we should’ve done. But fear not, we are not a bunch of addictive personality types with serious mental health issues, we actually have an excuse for it.

According to Dr. Lauren. D. Costine, author of the book ‘Lesbian Love Addiction: Understanding the Urge to Merge,’ the reason for this (hmm) behaviour is due to the fact women release the feel good chemicals oxytocin and dopamine when they start to have feelings for someone.  Dopamine is actually a feel good chemical so it’s the same effect as being intoxicated. Put two women together both feeling like this and you have your explanation as to why we want to rush into things so quickly and start nesting.

In an interview with Psych central, Dr. Costine, who is also a lesbian and psychologist, stated that women’s brains are wired to connect quickly to others for survival purposes. So, when we feel like we want hers and hers matching coffee mugs and matching gay pride tee’s there is a method behind our madness. We are surviving.

But of course, with every high comes the low. And this is where we basically crash and burn. Eventually the Dopamine subsides as we get more familiar with each other, the oxytocin disappears back into the nether regions of our brain and what are we left with? Usually a disaster of mammoth proportions where we look at our partner with loathing rather than love and despair rather than desire. Then the reality hits home that this relationship was not meant to be and we smash our hers and hers coffee cups and set fire to our matching tees.

However, I’m a firm believer in forewarned is forearmed so take heed. The next time you enter into a new relationship try and fight those pesky chemicals encouraging you to declare your undying love or start looking at lez wedding venues and take a step back. Taking things slow does have its advantages. It means you get to look at the person for real and not in a ‘brain induced haze.’ This can only be a good thing and will save you so much heartache in the future. If you really have met your princess charming I promise you she will still be there in a year’s time and you will never look at her with distain or loathing. Then you know you are truly in love and ready to consider your future together in a level headed and non-chemical induced manner.


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