Tag Archives: Love hurts

11 Signs You Were Made For Each Other

What causes some relationships to end once the newness rubs off, and what causes some to grow and thrive? While there is no one answer that rings true for everyone, there are a few signs that your relationship is more than just a passing phase. These 11 things lead to greater compatibility and a love that gets better with age – just like a fine wine. Are you and your partner meant to last? Check this list and see how many signs are in your relationship!

You’re best friends.

There’s a reason that we’re so inclined to crush on our besties – it’s because a good friendship can make for a great relationship. When you find the woman who was made for you, she’s eventually going to become your best friend. What’s even better is she’s a best friend who will encourage you to have other friends, too – a great relationship doesn’t mean locking yourselves away for all of eternity.

You respect each other.

Respect is one of the pinnacles of a good relationship, whether it’s romantic, sexual, platonic, or somewhere in between. If you and your partner were meant for each other, there will be a level of respect that’s hard to come by. You might not always agree on everything, but you know what’s important and you put your relationship ahead of your ego.

You bring balance to each other.

Amazing relationships aren’t about being exactly alike – they’re about finding someone who complements you in a way that makes you amazing when you’re together. If one of you is an obsessive planner, the other might be super spontaneous. If one of you is brash and gruff, the other might be cheery and optimistic. Love is about finding balance, and partnering up with someone who meets you in the middle.

You open up to each other.

True love is about honesty and communication. The woman who was meant for you will allow herself to be vulnerable, particularly if it sets you at ease. She’d rather hurt you with the truth than please you with a lie, but most of all she wants to create a truth that does please you. She doesn’t mind doing it, because she knows you feel the same way about her.

You belong to each other.

There’s no settling involved here – what you two have is a bond between souls. You feel complete with each other, and you couldn’t imagine things being any better with anyone else. You might occasionally have a wandering eye, but in the end you know that the strangers on the street could never compare to what you have at home. Staying loyal isn’t a challenge because you know she holds your heart.

You’re into similar things.

Love is about balance, but there are also shared interests. The two of you might have a hobby you participate in together (go you!), a show you watch religiously every date night, or maybe it’s a mutual love of rescued kittens. Whatever it is, you two have “your thing” and you love geeking out together. She’d never judge you for the fandoms you belong to, because she’s probably in half of them too… And it’s always nice to have someone to recap with.

You excite each other.

The spark fades a bit slower in a relationship where you’re meant for each other – you know all the buttons to push to keep things fun and exciting. Just the fact that you adore one another makes the most boring tasks seem a bit more bearable, so when it comes to the things that are already fun, you’re in absolute bliss. Just being around her brings a smile to your face, and there’s no doubt she thinks about you when you’re apart.

You see both strengths and failures.

True love isn’t about finding the perfect person – it’s about loving an imperfect person in the most perfect way. When you find the woman who’s meant for you, you’ll be there to help motivate her towards success, but you’ll also need to be able to pick her up when she struggles. She’ll be by your side doing the same for you, too. You’ve got the tough job of playing cheerleader and coach, but it’ll all be okay, because you’re going through it together.

You understand each other.

As much as love requires you to talk things out, partners who are meant for each other will start to develop their own nonverbal communication, too. The two of you understand the intention behind words, even when they sound unpleasant (or maybe even mean). You also know how to listen for the things that aren’t said, because you know each other well enough to notice when something’s off. Most of all, you want to understand each other – so if something isn’t clear, you ask questions until you get through it.

You support each other.

When you meet the woman who was meant for you, you’re going to feel like you can conquer anything. She’s not your sidekick or your boss, she’s your partner and she wants to see you achieve all your wildest dreams. She might not always share your vision, but both of you understand that you don’t need to be headed to the same place. As long as you’re headed in the same direction, you can get there together.

You feel genuinely happy – often.

There will always be frustrations and other things going on, but when you’re with the woman who was meant for you, those things have a chance to disappear for a little while. Being with her feels like a safety net, or like a warm fluffy bed on a cold winter day. You look forward to spending time around her because she actually distracts you a bit from the less savory parts of life. She gives you a sense of home – and that’s one of the greatest pleasures in life.

4 Words That Are Killing Your Relationships

It’s hard to think that something as little as word choice can have a profound impact on anything – even though we know how easy it is to be misunderstood. While all misunderstandings are generally bad, there are some specific words that might be wreaking havoc on your love life – even if you don’t even realize you use them.

Of course, there are appropriate and inappropriate ways to use each of these words, and just because it comes up in conversation doesn’t automatically mean your relationship is over, but the more often you use these words against your partner, the more likely things are to go sour.

How many are you saying too often?


What you say: “You never talk to me anymore!”

What she hears: “This is all your fault!”

When you start your complaints with the word “you,” it sounds accusatory – and your partner is going to feel like you’re blaming everything on you. It points the finger at her without taking your emotional response into consideration. However, most relationship problems aren’t solely one person’s fault – it takes miscommunication on both sides.

What to say instead: “I feel like we don’t talk as much as we used to.”

When you change your statement into one that reflects your feelings, you’re sharing your perspective, instead of placing blame. It gives your partner the opportunity to help your hurt feelings, instead of putting her immediately into defensive mode.


What you say: “I expected you to have a job by now!”

What she hears: “You’re not the person I want you to be.”

Although no one is immune to expectations in a relationship, it’s important to remember that your partner is not automatically held to your expectations for her. Sure, it would be nice if she did the things you expected and didn’t do the things you didn’t expect from her, but that’s not how life works. Your expectations for her may be vastly different than her expectations for herself, and unless you fully communicate, she’ll never even know what you want. Telling her that she doesn’t meet your expectations will only make her feel like a failure.

What to say instead: “I would prefer if I wasn’t the only one working.”

You can’t fix a missed expectation that’s already past – all you can really do is work on fixing it in the future. It’s also important to realize that she has to want to fix things – you can’t hold her to the vision in your imagination. Instead, focus on what you want, and open the door for discussing those wants. Keeping the focus on your wants, instead of her shortcomings, helps keep the tone a little more positive.


What you say: “You must empty the trash before I get home.”

What she hears: “I’m in charge around here, so do what I say.”

The word “must” (or “have to,” if that’s more your style) asserts dominance over the other person in the conversation. It positions you as an authority and your partner as someone inferior. It takes away her ability to think for herself, because you’re handing over a to-do list. It can lead to resentment in the long term, especially if your partner isn’t the submissive type.

What to say instead: “It would really help me if you could take out the trash before I get home.”

This simple shift makes the statement one about helping you, instead of serving you – something most partners would lovingly do. It gives her room to think for herself, because you’re making a comment, not a command. It replaces the balance between the two of you so that you’re equals, not boss and employee.


What you say: “You should take better care of your car.”

What she hears: “I’m smarter than you.”

The idea that you know what someone else should do – yikes! It’s a slippery slope. It generally comes from a place of judgment, even if it doesn’t feel like you’re being judgmental at the time. When you tell someone what they should do, you’re also telling them that you think you’re an expert, and that you know their situation better than they do. That’s not generally a good approach to take with your partner.

What to say instead: “I would love if you kept your car cleaner.”

Just like with the statements above, shifting the focus from her to you will make it more of a romantic gesture if she decides to comply – she won’t just be doing it because she feels threatened. You should still be aware that she’s not obligated to change – remember, that’s why we’re focusing on you. But, if your partner knows it’ll make you happy if she did the thing, she might be more likely to do the thing than if she just feels like you’re nagging her.

8 Tips For The Most Perfect Date Ever

Have you ever been on a date that was… Not so great, to say the least? You accidentally knocked your wine all over yourself at dinner. You stepped in gum at the theater. Maybe you even messed up your lucky pants before heading out and had to resort to the pair you usually save for laundry day. Yikes! After a date like that, most people are eager to do whatever it takes to make sure the next date they go on is way better.

Well, lucky for you, there’s actually a formula for the perfect date. Consider it a checklist, if you will – the more of these things your dates include, the more perfect they will be. You’re welcome!

Perfect dates aren’t about timing.

You don’t need to plan some extravagant candle-lit dinner. In fact, you don’t have to plan anything at all. The best dates have moments when time stands absolutely still. It’s not about how much time you spend together or what you do when you’re together, but rather it’s about how you feel when you’re around each other.

Perfect dates are creative.

It’s not about how much money you spend, either – it’s about how memorable the date itself is. You want to make sure there’s a touch of simple brilliance to it – something that her ex-girlfriends probably never thought of. When it’s done right, you’ll be creating a memory that will last a lifetime – and that’s something truly special.

Perfect dates let you connect.

When a date is executed perfectly, there’s a bit of chemistry and a bit of getting to know each other. It’s hard to fake chemistry, of course, but a lasting relationship doesn’t need as much of a spark as you might think. You’re excited to get to know each other, and you might find that you’re even closer as time goes on – that’s one of the best feelings! Most of all, though, a perfect date leaves you ready for the next date.

Perfect dates are relaxed and fun.

Most of us take our lives way too seriously all the time – but when you’re on a date, you should be calm and have a good time. There shouldn’t be any hostile competition (although a little laser tag never hurt anybody… at least not that I know of). There shouldn’t be any ulterior motives, hidden agendas, or misleading promises – this date isn’t just a path to get ahead in life. There’s plenty of time to be serious later, so make sure your dates are a time to let go and have fun.

Perfect dates are respectful.

All relationships require respect, and that respect needs to come from the start – disrespectful people don’t magically become respectful as time goes on. The perfect date understands boundaries and consent, and neither of you feels pressured or judged by the other. By the time you go your separate ways, you feel you’ve been treated fairly and with respect.

Perfect dates are passionate.

Perfect dates take passion – but that doesn’t (necessarily) mean you have sex on a perfect date. Anything that charges you up is a passion, and there’s something about the other person that makes you want to share that passion. You excite and ignite each other, and there’s a magnetic attraction that makes you want to come back for more.

Perfect dates teach you something.

The human brain is a muscle that literally sits there all day, absorbing new information. When you have a perfect date, you’re fueling your brain with some fascinating new information – whether it’s information about yourself, about her, or about the world around you. You’re both eager to learn more because there’s something so energizing about cultivating knowledge together.

Perfect dates aren’t about perfection.

While there’s something magical about the dates they show on dating shows, there’s something lacking from all of those: Realness. On a perfect date, you feel comfortable being completely yourself with the other person. You understand that one imperfect date isn’t a disaster, and you’re not putting pressure on the itinerary or your circumstances. A perfect date makes you want to build and grow with this person, and that doesn’t happen in just one day.

7 Things To Remember When Dating A Strong, Successful Woman

Thinking about dating a woman who seems to have her whole life figured out? She’s the type of woman you could picture owning her own business in the next five years (or maybe she already owns a few). She’s entirely self-made and sexy as hell – and somehow, she’s interested in you! You’re right to want to know the secrets. After all, she’s different than the women who are just scraping by. She’s thriving, and she wants you to be a part of her awesome life.

What do you need to remember when you’re dating a strong, successful woman?

She doesn’t need you, she wants you.

Strong women don’t mind being alone, so she’s not going to waste her time with someone who doesn’t complement her life. She isn’t looking for financial support, material gifts, or absolute perfection. Instead, she’d rather spend her time with someone who’s looking to grow, just as she is. She understands that no one starts off a master – she just needs to know that you’re trying. (But, if you don’t keep up with her, she has no room for dead weight.)

She has a strong set of values.

Strong women also have strong values. She needs to know that she has a purpose in life, and she’ll always stand up for the causes she believes in. Of course, she hopes you see eye to eye on those core values, but if you do have a disagreement, she understands how important it is to stick up for yourself, and she’ll respect your different opinions. She isn’t just going through life mindlessly, though – she’s actively doing something to make the world a better, stronger place, and she anticipates your support.

She’s always on a mission.

Strong women are very deliberate with what they do, so you can be certain that your strong girlfriend has a plan. Even if it doesn’t make a lot of sense to you, she’s probably already a few steps ahead (just in case). And, if you’re a bit insecure of your place in her life, be aware: You fit into her plans, in one way or another, or she never would have agreed to go out with you.

She goes after the things she wants.

As much as strong women love a good plan, she’s not afraid to take immediate action if the situation calls for it. She understands that sometimes plans and opportunities change, and you have to take control of a situation before it passes you by. She’ll stop at nothing less than success, and she won’t settle for anything she doesn’t want. This means that she’s not afraid to take the initiative, and she’ll let you know there’s a problem long before it comes unfixable.

She surrounds herself with other strong people.

Strong women aren’t keen on wasting time. She’d rather find herself amid people who can keep up with her, even if that means her social circle is quite small. She doesn’t really care for gossip or small talk – she’d much rather discuss tips, tricks, formulas, recipes, trade secrets… Whatever her particular interests may be. She expects you to be ready to grow and improve with her, or at the very least, to respect her hustle and support her as she does her own thing.

She craves knowledge and learning like air.

Skill building is a hobby for strong women. She is constantly working to improve herself, which means she’ll take books over TV shows any day. Romance can be shown by taking a class together or taking in a new experience – she’s keen on libraries and museums, too. She sets strong goals for herself, and – much to the amazement of those around her – she follows through with her plans. She’s used to overcoming challenges, so much that she seeks them out whenever possible.

She’s not a robot, but she is guarded.

Strong women aren’t magically immune to sadness, fear, or anger – they’re just better at keeping their emotions in check around strangers and acquaintances. She needs to be with someone who supports and appreciates her, because she won’t be vulnerable around someone she doesn’t trust. She won’t let her guard down unless she’s fully comfortable. Make sure you recognize the gift you have, and don’t screw it up!

9 Signs Breaking Up Was The Right Thing To Do

Letting go of a relationship is hard. Even if you inwardly know that moving on was the right choice, it’s completely normal to question whether you really made the right decision.

Rest assured, though – most likely, you did make the right choice when you ended your relationship. Holding onto something that doesn’t make you a better person is a tremendous waste of your emotional resources, and here are 9 signs that you’ll be happier without your ex in your life.

Your relationship was causing you pain.

Whether you wanted to admit it or not, your relationship was hurting you somehow – otherwise you wouldn’t have even considered leaving it. Most likely, you tried to fix the relationship before you got out of it – at least the best way you knew how at the time. It takes strength and courage to stand up for yourself and to put yourself first. Your own empathy caused your hesitation – you still didn’t want to hurt your ex, even if she was hurting you. You were afraid of the consequences of your choice, but once you took action you realized that it cured your fear. You chose to make yourself a priority, and now you are a priority.

You finally started speaking up.

The desire to please others is admirable, but when that’s all you ever do, it can be emotionally draining. In fact, neglecting yourself can have catastrophic consequences – and you finally chose to speak up, rather than letting the resentment and pain to keep growing. You are not responsible for your ex’s faults, and you are not responsible for being her perfect person. You acknowledged that you deserved better, and then you made yourself available to other opportunities.

You were headed in different directions.

It’s a fact of life that people are going to change and evolve – but there’s nothing set in stone about that growth. It’s not always linear, it’s not always forward, and it’s not usually automatic. Someone can be absolutely perfect for you in one season of your life, and then completely wrong for you in the next season. Instead of trying to force your partner to conform to your plans, or forcing yourself to conform to hers, you chose to do the humane thing and open yourself up to a better fit.

You took control of your own destiny.

Instead of playing the victim and waiting for things to get worse, you took the reins and helped to write your own story. You understand that freedom and happiness aren’t a matter of circumstance, they’re a matter of choice, and that means that you must choose the life that brings you happiness. You assume responsibility over your own life, but not hers – you can’t control the path that she walks.

You’ve already found someone new.

If you have already moved onto your next partner, no good can possibly come from questioning the choices – you’ll only end up hurting everyone involved. There is a reason that you are with this new person now – she’s a better fit for you. Even if you haven’t started dating someone else, you have found yourself – the most important partner you’ll ever have. Treat yourself right, and trust that if she was meant to stay your girlfriend forever, you wouldn’t have entertained the idea of walking away.

You figured out your needs and boundaries.

When you grow comfortable in a painful relationship, it’s normal to start tolerating things you told yourself you’d never stand for. But there comes a time when you must discover your needs and boundaries and decide you won’t put up with the same things anymore. When it comes time to reevaluate your needs, you’re also helping to heal your heart and your mind. Take time to visualize your perfect relationship in your mind, without envisioning your perfect partner. Then, identify which pieces are a must for you, and go find them.

You redefined yourself and your future.

You are strong and independent – you let go of someone you, not too long ago, considered a tremendous piece of your life. Now you can learn to set goals as an individual, instead of as a couple. Why settle for the same pain and mediocrity when you can have so much more, if you only seek it out?

You feel at peace with yourself.

You’re no longer half of a couple – you are a completely separate person, free from any expectations, misconceptions, or distractions. You’ve decided that it’s not about belonging to someone else – it’s about owning yourself. Your flaws, your values, your purpose, your likes, and your dislikes all make up who you are, and despite anything that anyone has ever told you, you are great just the way you are. Going through a tough break-up confirms and proves that, and strengthens you for the future. There are still so many possibilities ahead of you!

You learned something from it.

Any experience that leads to new knowledge – about yourself, about other people, or about the world around you – is not a mistake. It’s never a mistake to learn something new. By moving away from the relationship that no longer served you, you created a new reality – with new opportunities, and without the old things weighing you down. After all, you can’t move forward if you’re still holding onto the past. You’re still you after a break-up… You’re just a brand-new, wiser you.

11 Lies About Break-Ups We’ve All Fallen For

Let’s take a few minutes to talk about something unpleasant: Breaking up with your girlfriend. Especially around the holidays, break-ups can send you into the deepest, darkest pits of your soul, holding your happiness captive. Sometimes break-ups are messy, and people get hurt. You invest so much of your time, energy, and emotion into this one person and it gets harder to see the other people out there. This is especially true at the end of a toxic relationship where the partners are so involved in one another’s lives that they’ve literally lost touch with the outside world – friends, family members, anyone who used to mean the world to them before they entered their relationship.

To make matters worse, the brain doesn’t really like the idea of change – even positive change. Our brain, masquerading as our heart, takes bits and pieces of things and refuse to fully let go. It’s why you get nostalgic when looking through old pictures, and why you get teary-eyed when you remember your childhood pet. We appreciate things more after we’ve lost them, after all – so why would our romantic partners be any different?

Properly handling a break-up is one of those life-skills that isn’t automatically programmed into us, though – we’ve got to learn it (often the hard way). One of the first steps in resolving your break-up process is understanding that these 11 things are total bullshit.

“One last romp… For old time’s sake.”

There is absolutely no reason you need to sleep with someone one more time when you break up. Not only does it set the precedent that you’re only good for sex – which can drastically lower your self-confidence – but it also reinforces all the bonds you’re trying to break. Think about it: That’s like finding out you’re allergic to peanuts, and then chomping down on one last bag “for old time’s sake.” It’s not going to make the pain of the allergy any less severe, and it won’t make the pain of your break-up any less severe, either. It’ll just encourage you to fall into the same patterns you have, and make up with someone you really don’t belong with.

“The fastest way to get over someone is to get under someone else.”

Whoever started this line of thinking was clearly not looking out for anyone else’s interests when they first said it. The idea that you can move on by forcing yourself to move on completely undermines the grieving and reflecting process – both of which are essential to healing after a break-up. Your brain has withdrawals from oxytocin and it wants them to be dealt with as soon as possible – pushing you toward making irresponsible sexual decisions and placing unfair expectations on your new partner. Love yourself first, in every sense of the word, and be prepared for what the next relationship has in store for you, instead of forcing yourself to relieve your past relationships indefinitely. It might sound hokey, but it’s absolutely necessary.

“We can still be friends.”

I’ve always marveled at people who could stay friends with their exes after a bitter break-up. Once someone has crushed your feelings so completely, can you actually completely forgive them? Well, yes – but not right away. It’s impossible to be “just friends” with someone you have romantic feelings toward. Once those feelings are gone, things might be different – but they might be so different that you have no desire to be friends with this person anymore. It’s important that you focus on your mental and emotional health instead of trying to hold onto the past. It’s always going to sting a little to see when she’s moved on, but if you’ve still got feelings for her when it happens, it’s going to be devastating. Save yourself the heartache and opt to do your own thing until you’ve healed.

“It’s all her/my fault.”

Okay, so technically this one counts as two misconceptions, but the basis of both of them is exactly the same. Break-ups are very rarely (with extra emphasis on both parts) black-and-white or one-sided. Even if the relationship itself felt unbalanced, there was still one of you who frustrated the other, and the other who didn’t tackle those frustrations head-on. Everyone makes poor choices, but the wise among us learn and grow from those mistakes. Learning how to forgive can be difficult, but it’s essential that you forgive both yourself and her. I’m pretty partial to the forgiveness meditations within the Calm app myself – these forgiveness meditations are offered for free and have done wonders for improving my ability to let go of the past.

“Break-ups make you fat.”

I’ll admit that I’ve gone through a number of break-ups where I had gained a fair amount of weight by the time I met my next partner. I’ve also had break-ups where I lost a tremendous amount of weight before it was all said and done. It really comes down to how you handle it. The most successful way to handle a break-up is to use it as an opportunity to improve yourself – join a gym, start eating healthier, or just spend some time walking in nature every day. You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it makes.

“Being single again sucks.”

Many people (myself included) don’t like the feeling of being single. Humans are social creatures, after all – even the most antisocial introverts among us need some type of interaction. But that’s not singledom that sucks – it’s loneliness, and they’re not one and the same. It’s all about your attitude: Will you choose to be happy today? Have you made a plan for how to handle your new single life? And, perhaps most importantly, have you taken the time to cherish, appreciate, and revel in your freedom?

“I’ll never fall in love again.”

Of course you will. Humans are social creatures, remember? Eventually the day will come when you’re drawn to someone else, and if you’ve closed off your heart to the idea of finding love again, it’s going to be really hard to cope with the “what might have beens” that are soon to come your way. I do believe that everyone is capable of having a truly timeless love, but to be quite blunt, if you broke up… This one wasn’t it.

“It came from totally out of the blue.”

When you hear someone say this about the end of their relationship, you can guarantee that – in their mind – they are painting their ex as a saboteur of romance. But break-ups are rarely spontaneous. There are almost always signs that things are on the rocks, but many people choose to ignore what they consider “bad news.” It’s good that you choose to focus on the positives, but ignoring the fact that your relationship was on the rocks is not the right type of optimism. Someone else’s feelings are on the line here, too.

“I can get through this break-up the same way I’ve gotten through every other break-up.”

Wouldn’t it be great if you could figure out the secret formula and end all the pain of break-ups for the rest of your life? Well, that would be great – but chances are, finding that formula would get rid of the need for a break-up in the first place. It’s not a lost cause, though, as long as you’re actually learning things from the relationship. Each and every person – and every relationship – is different, so if there really is a pattern forming, there might be some tough introspection to do – repeating the exact same mistakes will never lead to new results.

“I’m already damaged, so what’s the point in trying?”

If you’ve ever thought that it was too late to improve your life, or that you were just “bad at relationships,” you’re not alone – but you’re also the victim of a fixed mindset. It’s never too late to make your life better, because humans are ever-evolving and growing into different people. As long as you’re steadily making progress towards the better version of yourself, you are improving. Even slow progress is better than no progress at all.

“I can change. I deserve another chance.”

Well… Yes and no. It’s entirely possible that you can change, but do you really want to be making those changes to appease someone else? If you’re not making changes for yourself, your motivation will waver and you will mess up. It’s part of the process. (Even if you are doing it for yourself, slip-ups happen.) These slip-ups will damage the trust, respect, and self-worth in the relationship – are you sure you want to risk resentment?

More than just that, your ex is allowed to be happy, too, and she doesn’t owe you a second chance any more than you’d owe her one. No one has the right to expect someone else put their own happiness on the back-burner to your wants. Let her go find her own happiness, and take care when cultivating yours. Your second-chance will come, but it might not be with her, and you need to accept that before you can move on.

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What To Expect When Dating An Introvert

For as long as I can remember, I’ve preferred my own company over the company of others. Some of it is anxiety, I’m sure. Some is probably insecurity.

But so much more of it is simply because I’m an introvert. I spent a lot of my childhood trying to fix my introversion – mistakenly thinking it was something I was just doing wrong. As I’ve grown up, however, I’ve learned that there’s nothing wrong with taking time for myself. Not only is it something I enjoy, but it’s something that I need as an introvert.

Introverts aren’t necessarily shy (although many are), they just cherish their quiet stillness and value their alone time. They recharge by themselves, as opposed to extroverts who are recharged by the energy of other people. That doesn’t mean an introvert and an extrovert aren’t compatible – it just means you need to know what you’re getting yourself into.

Introversion isn’t just one personality type.

While people are generally categorized as “an introvert” or “an extrovert,” the truth is that there is a lot of complexity within those two core types. When it comes to introverts, there’s a spectrum ranging all the way from antisocial introverts (those who would prefer to be alone because they think other people are terrible) to ambiverts (those who need time to be alone, but also need time around other people). Somewhere in the middle, there are selective introverts and shy introverts – those who are particular about the people in their lives and those who get nervous around new people, respectively.

Most introverts fall in the middle.

When you think of an introvert, you usually think of the antisocial introvert, but realistically most introverts aren’t antisocial – just selectively social. No one is in their life randomly; every day they interact with someone is a conscious choice. They are very choosy about who they get close to, so they’re not generally surrounded by a very large circle. You can trust that, if you’re in the circle of an introvert, they’ve already decided that you’re worth their time.

Introverts prefer deeper conversations.

Where extroverts can strike up a conversation with whoever they encounter, introverts don’t have such a luxury – so they’re very selective about the things they say, as well as who they say them to. Their conversations have direction and purpose, which means they’re not drawn to drama or mindless bickering. They’d prefer to work things out rather than just fight and argue.

Introverts are amazing listeners.

Introverts are attentive and thoughtful, and they take time to thoroughly process things before replying. This means that they won’t jump to hasty conclusions or speak just to hear themselves talk. They are concise with their own words, so they can better understand yours – including the ones you can’t express so well. If they can tell that it’s important to you, they’ll do their best to help you work through it.

Introverts are understanding, but they need you to understand, too.

Maybe it’s because of how much understanding they require in a relationship, but introverts tend to be some of the most understanding partners – as long as you’re not hurting them in the process. They need to feel appreciated and loved, so they’ll make sure you feel appreciated and loved. They need you to reach out first, because sometimes it’s hard to take that first step, but once the conversation starts, they’re ready to face it.

Introverts aren’t strangers to leaps of faith.

Generally speaking, introverts would prefer not to take unnecessary risks – so if the intro you’re interested in has given you the greenlight to pursue, understand that they’ve already invested a lot of thought into whether or not you’re worth it. They understand that love is a risky game to play, so just taking a chance on you is already a huge deal – make sure you’re playing fair!

Introverts need their own place to retreat.

It’s nothing personal, and it speaks nothing of your relationship, if the introvert you love needs to retreat to her own sanctuary occasionally (or often). Introverts need peace and intimacy, and they’d rather spend quality time with you than spend every minute by your side. Trust them, and respect their boundaries – the time you spend together is immensely valuable to them.

Introverts want to know their partner is satisfied.

Introverts are natural-born people-pleasers (well, with the exception of the antisocial introverts, of course). They will step out of their comfort zone if they think it will make their partner happy, and they remain concerned about their partner’s satisfaction during the entire relationship. They want to make sure you feel loved, appreciated, and happy from the first date to the very end.

Introverts are respectful whenever possible.

Your introvert love interest understands your need for personal space and privacy, because those are some of the deepest needs they have. They have high levels of emotional intelligence and would never want to impose. They also want to know that you feel your opinions are valued in the relationship, and they want you to speak up if something feels off – a roadmap to your happiness would likely be followed to the letter if you gave one.

Introverts are committed and loyal.

Relationships are a serious commitment to an introvert – they won’t enter one until after they’re sure of the other person. They may opt for loyalty before official title, and you might expect that you’re the only one they’re talking to even if you’re “just talking.” Cheating is out of the question – why would they stray from the person they’ve already committed themselves to?

Introverts will surprise you with their joy.

Just because an introvert needs a little extra time for themselves doesn’t mean that they’re boring – they just get joy from the simpler pleasures in life. The experiences they share with their most important people are precious, and they’ll enjoy those memories for years to come. To top it all off, they’ve got a witty sense of humor and are sure to make you laugh in the most unexpected ways.

Is It Ever OK To Look At Your Partner’s Phone?

My girlfriend leaves her phone hanging around all the time. Every time I see it when she’s out of the room, I know, instinctively: her whole life is in that little black box.

And yes, I do get suspicious. We all do, right?!

We want to keep tabs on our significant others, but does that mean I have the right to invade her privacy by going through their phone?

Let’s face it, we are now so engrossed in our technology that we have two lives: our regular life and our phone life.

In our phone life, we are free to say and do whatever we want, sometimes doing what we wouldn’t have the confidence to say or do face-to-face or while chatting on the phone.

We can be whatever version of ourselves we want to be, and we also can have conversations we otherwise would find difficult.

It’s created both confidence and cowardice. We can be bold, but we can also ghost people like there’s no tomorrow.

We also have a myriad of apps at our disposal that can have us hanging out with our significant others while looking for a hookup later. These apps can be hidden in folders and your partner could be none the wiser.

Of course, all of this information is going to make some people nervous about what their partner is doing.

“They’ve been on their phone texting awhile. Is it someone else?”

This sort of insecurity that cheating culture, dating apps and the “but there are so many options out there for me” mentality incites has plenty of people reaching for the phones when their significant other isn’t looking.

This. Is. Not. Healthy.

When you make the decision to invade your partner’s privacy, you’re making it known you simply don’t trust her.

Trust is one of the most important aspects of any relationship. If you don’t have it as part of the foundation, the whole thing is going to wobble and crack.

Feeling like you need to check your girlfriend’s phone to make sure she doesn’t do anything untoward simply means there’s a lack of trust on your part, and that’s not OK.

We believe we’re entitled to know everything our partner says and does, that we have the right to know all of her passwords and should be allowed to check anything we want periodically.

I’m not my girlfriend’s parent, I’m her partner. Some of the stuff she says to friends isn’t my business.

The implications of either asking to go through your significant other’s phone or being sketchy and doing it behind her back are red flags. You’re opening up the floodgates for distrust, suspicion and constant fighting.

If you think your girlfriend is doing something you don’t like, just go straight to the source and ask her directly.

Waiting until she is in the shower or in the kitchen to snoop through stuff is going to backfire spectacularly and will shift the conversation from constructive to destructive pretty quickly.

If you are constantly suspicious regardless of assurances that nothing is going on, then maybe you should reconsider the relationship as a whole.

Invading someone else’s privacy because of insecurity or what you see on TV or hear from your friends — or whatever it is that has you diving for the phone — is not OK.

Open up the lines of communication and always make sure there is ironclad trust between you and the person you’re choosing to be with.




33 Lesbian Remakes Someone Needs to Make Already

Have you ever wished you could see a remake of one of your favorite movies, but without the heteronormative relationships thrown in? Me, too, trust me. That’s why I’ve decided to make this list of 33 movies that really, really need a lesbian remake already. Who’s going to make these happen?

1. Love Actually

…except the entire cast of The L Word comes back to play all of the characters. I don’t even care how bad it would be… I just want to see it.

2. Bend It Like Beckham

Once they’re done stressing over all the homophobic insults thrown their way through the whole thing, Jess and Jules would just kiss at the end and be like “lol yep you were right” and everyone would be happy.

3. Clueless

Only, in this version, Tai gives Cher the most glorious makeover with plaid and Doc Martens, and they live happily ever after… No creepy sort-of-incest thing like what occurred in the original.

4. Juno

Since Ellen Page would actually be playing a lesbian in this one, she wouldn’t get pregnant, of course… But she’d still keep that epic level of snark that we all love her for.

5. The Notebook

Exactly the same as it is now, except it’s a lesbian couple, and instead of ending up in the hospital, they get married at a lovely old age because it’s finally legal. Everyone cries twice as much as they did for the original.

6. Step Up

In this one, Jenna Dewan plays both leads – no Channing Tatum necessary. The dancers are all awesome queer who totally rock it, because… hello… they’re awesome queer women. (Plus, twice as much Jenna Dewan? Yes, please.)

7. Adventureland

Jesse Eisenberg’s character is played by Ellen Page instead, and we get to see K-Stew and E-Page have a torrid summer love affair. Aw, yeah. (Even though Kristen Stewart’s character was totally horrible in that movie, and Ellen Page definitely deserves better.)

8. Bring It On

Can you just imagine Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union together? I can, and it’s a glorious fantasy. They end up having a secret love affair and getting kicked off their teams for falling for “the enemy,” but it turns out that lesbian love (and cheerleading) trump everything else.

9. Grease

Danny becomes Dani, the leather biker butch, and Sandy gets progressively gayer as the movie moves forward. Everything else is pretty much the same.

10. Brokeback Mountain

Anne Hathaway and Michelle Williams as the cow[girl]s, and the husbands are just obliviously in the background because men didn’t really pay attention to their wives much back then anyway. Perfect.

11. Mean Girls

Regina, Cady, and Janice practically had a lesbian love triangle going on in the original movie, but in the lesbian remake, we’d be able to see them kiss. Everyone’s a winner.

12. Mulan

How can you have a story about a woman who dresses in men’s clothing, and make her marry her “Prince Charming” in the end? I think not.

13. My Big Fat Greek Lesbian Wedding

Need I say more?

14. Twilight

In this version, it turns out that Edward and Jacob are fighting over Bella to impress each other – so when they run off together, Bella makes out with Alice and it’s infinitely better than the original.

15. Titanic

Jack is now played by Natalie Portman, but with the exact same costume design. However, Jack[ie] and Rose both survive and they end up opening an illegal speakeasy in New York at the end. (Can you imagine how much better that car scene would be, though?)

16. Whip It

Ellen Page realizes that the band guy is a total waste of her time and has sex in the diner with her BFF instead. I mean, just picture Ellen Page and Alia Shawkat together for a second…

17. Ghostbusters (2016 version)

I mean, how could Kate McKinnon not end up making out with anyone in that movie? Let’s try this one again, and this time, sprinkle in more than a wink and a nod to Kate’s uber-sexiness.

18. But I’m a Cheerleader

I think we all need a little follow-up to see how Graham and Megan are getting on now that they’ve been happily in a relationship for the last 7 years… The fans deserve to know.

19. Chicago

More sex scenes, preferably between Catherine Zeta Jones and Queen Latifah. But really, any f/f pairing will do… There are so many options…

20. The Sound of Music

Could we just have a little hint that the nuns are using “lesbian sex isn’t real sex” as a loophole to their vows of celibacy?

21. Thelma and Louise

How these two weren’t already lesbians is beyond me… But instead of driving off the cliff this time, they end up settling down in Suburbia and live happily ever after.

22. She’s the Man

Viola ends up liking the short hair and dapper look and decides she’s never going back. Besides, the boys in her life are way too much trouble, anyway.

23. Pitch Perfect

Anna Kendrick has already said she’d be down to make out with Brittany Snow in the next installment – so why not redo the whole thing with a lesbian subplot and get rid of Creepy Movie Fan altogether?

24. The Hunger Games

Let’s be real – this is another movie where the guys are more trouble than they’re worth. Katniss and Johanna, though… That I could get behind.

25. Cruel Intentions

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair already got it started – why were they both fighting over Ryan Phillippe in the first place? I mean, he was a total douche anyway, and he played Kathryn’s step-brother… Ew.

26. 10 Things I Hate About You

I can’t be the only one who wished that Julia Stiles would just say that the reason she wasn’t really into guys was… Because… She really wasn’t into guys?

27. Pride and Prejudice

Darcy is another jerk, so why didn’t Lizzie just run off with Charlotte and make the best of her options really count?

28. Jenny’s Wedding

Here’s yet another one that could have been improved by adding Ellen Page… I’m sure of it. We can even leave the other two in with their not-so-sexy sex scenes. I’d be fine with that.

29. When Harry Met Sally

Meg Ryan and Carrie Fisher would have been so cute together, and Carrie’s character even had that stereotypically-lesbian haircut going for her anyway…

30. Bridget Jones

Need revenge? Sleep with the hot girl at the New York Office. They find out that their revenge-affair was really where it was at, and no one ever speaks to Daniel again. The end.

31. The Princess Diaries

Seriously, the world needs a lesbian queen – and who better to play one than Anne Hathaway? She’s already a big supporter of gay rights, and Heather Matarazzo has played a lesbian before… So… Why not?

32. Heathers

More sex, less death, everyone lives happily ever after.

33. Cheaper by the Dozen

Instead of a straight couple with a bunch of kids, it’s now a lesbian couple with 12 cats. What more could you ask for?

What movie would you want to see done in a lesbian remake?

Let us know in the comments!

Who is Your Queer Celebrity Crush, According to Your Zodiac Sign?

Aquarius: Rachel Maddow

The highly-cerebral Aquarius needs someone who is educated and opinionated. You enjoy having a good conversation and debating your beliefs, and you need a partner who knows how to turn on your brain before anything else.

Thankfully, Rachel Maddow is a smart and savvy political commentator who knows her way around an argument – and, we’re assuming she knows her way around your dreams, too. If you’re looking for someone who will stimulate your mind and your body, look no further.

Pisces: Kristen Stewart

As a Pisces, you are known for your sensitive and passionate nature. You yearn for a partner with emotional depth and range, who isn’t going to push you too far out of your comfort zone. Thankfully, since Kristen Stewart came out late last year (or earlier this year, depending on your perspective), she’s also revealed that there is a huge hidden layer we never gave her credit for. She has a large well of emotions to draw from, which will serve as the perfect complement to your soft, gentle nature.

Aries: Ruby Rose

Aries women are notoriously sensual, and they have a strong need to be seduced. Their high sex drive is often hidden behind their need for spontaneity, so they’re best suited to be with someone who will lure it out of them. Lucky you – Ruby Rose is single again, and she’s the perfect grown-up indulgence to put your inner child to bed. This androgynous goddess oozes sex appeal, and she’s also pretty fun, too – just what you need to fill your deepest fantasies.

Taurus: Angelina Jolie

Stubborn Taurus takes some time to warm up, but once she’s thoroughly stimulated, she’s a sensual vixen with a one-track mind. This goes perfect with the strong sexuality of Angelina Jolie. Known worldwide for her highly seductive look and her deeply accepting nature, you can bet that she’ll stand up against you when you’re clinging just a bit too hard to the wrong side of things. She’ll stimulate you on every level, and remind you to get outside your head sometimes, too.

Gemini: Halsey

Gemini women are known for their flighty nature. In fact, when you’re bored as easily as you are, you crave excitement, passion, and challenges more than anything else. You’re particularly attracted to the musical and poetic types, as they tend to be exciting and romantic and complex, all at the same time. The soulful and fascinating Halsey is a great choice for you, because she feels the entire spectrum of human emotion and she’s willing to take risks. The only question is, can you keep up?

Cancer: Miley Cyrus

Cancer is one of the most sensitive of all the signs, and those who fall under the crab sign are often cautious to a fault. They need a strong, outspoken woman to lead the way and bring out their inner sex goddess. We think that Miley Cyrus is a great crush for you, because she is definitely not shy. She’ll push you way out of your comfort zone, but only after she’s done all the hard work of pursuing you. Of course, she might embarrass you from time to time – but isn’t that what your crush is supposed to do?

Leo: Cara Delevingne

Leo women are turned on by a challenge. They enjoy being in charge, but it’s no fun if they don’t have to work for it. What they desire most is someone who’s even wilder than they are, who will still keep them in check when needed. The sexy and fun Cara Delivingne loves the attention and the spotlight. She’s sexy, stubborn, and sarcastic – everything we love in our queer celebs. Plus, her wild streak will easily make yours look tame – and isn’t that what you wanted?

Virgo: Suze Orman

Virgo women crave control and stability. They’ll pick a partner who can give them security and structure over a woman with charm any day. Suze Orman is just the person your responsible self needs. Not only does she have perfect credit, but she’s also got impeccable future-planning skills – and the decency to not waste your time if it’s not going to work out.

Libra: Samira Wiley

Libras have the biggest heart out of all the signs, so they need a crush who’s trustworthy and good at listening. Now, I don’t know exactly why, but Samira Wiley just has that soft, safe vibe that just makes you want to tell you all her secrets. Plus, she’s adorable, and she gives off such a positive energy. What more could you ask for?

Scorpio: Michelle Rodriguez

Scorpio women are blessed with an amazing combination of fierce intellect and strong sex appeal. This makes them a prized catch, but they won’t settle for anyone who can’t keep up with them – in the bedroom and in the conversation. The hypersexual Michelle Rodriguez is a great choice in both areas, because she is powerful and witty, and she’ll head up the conversation and keep you on your toes. (And besides – you can’t pretend your heart didn’t skip a beat when she came out.)

Sagittarius: Samantha Ronson

Sagittarius women are free spirits who crave adventure. They’re most in their element when they are traveling the world, living the party life, and having a good time. Samantha Robin lives this lifestyle every single day and she loves it. She can get you into pretty much any bar or club you want, anywhere in the world, and she literally brings the party with her when she walks in the door. Be still, fluttering heart.

Capricorn: Tig Notaro

Capricorn women need to laugh before anything else – but that lowbrow humor just won’t do. In order to seduce you, a woman has to offer smart humor that will make you think before making your sides hurt. Tig Notaro is just the comedic genius that Capricorns need. Her style is witty, but funny, and she’s also kinda friends with Ellen Degeneres – wouldn’t that be cool?

17 Ways to Make the Most Out Of Your Long-Term Relationship

Getting ready to enter a long-distance relationship? Make sure you’re remembering these 17 tips first.

1. See it as an opportunity.

Truly, there isn’t much that challenges a relationship quite as much as going long-distance. If you look at this challenge as a test of your love, it might even make you a bit anxious. But when you understand that it’s an opportunity to do your own thing without being selfish, you’ll have a much easier time coping with the distance.

2. Avoid talking too much.

Many people think that you need to compensate for the distance by talking more than you would if you lived in the same town. While this almost makes sense, in theory, it’ll most likely make everything worse. Focus on the quality of your communication, rather than the frequency, and things will go much more smoothly.

3. Keep each other in the loop.

While you don’t want to spend every waking moment blowing up your partner’s phone, you do need to keep each other abreast of what’s going on in your lives. It’s a nice idea to update her about your family, if you’re close with them (and especially if she’s close with them), or to let her know about the promotion you’re trying for at work. And, when in doubt, a picture is worth a thousand words.

4. Set some ground rules as early as possible.

Ground rules are important to define and revise in any relationship, but in a long-distance relationship they’re absolutely essential. You’ll need to manage your expectations together, so that neither of you feels trapped or abandoned. You’ll need to clarify whether you’ll stay exclusive, or just how far you’re committed across the distance. There’s no single answer that works for everyone, but honesty is always a great place to start.

5. Avoid casting any doubt or insecurity.

If there’s something on your agenda that you know your partner wouldn’t appreciate, you’ve got two options: Either don’t do the thing, or talk to your partner about it beforehand so you can calm any concerns she may have. Telling her after the fact will only breed doubt. When you recognize a tricky situation for what it is, you can avoid the relationship traps that might lay ahead.

6. Learn each other’s schedules and routines.

Especially if you live in different time zones. It’s helpful to know when your messages are going to be a welcome distraction, and when they’re pulling her away from something important. By understanding each other’s schedules, you’re not only minimizing the stress you add to each other’s lives, but you’re also maximizing the support you can give. She’s got a big test or a job interview coming up? Help her study or wish her luck!

7. Stay positive, as much as possible.

Waiting can be painful, but a bad attitude can turn it into an excruciating nightmare. Remember the good times you’ve had in the past, and look forward to the good times that are yet to come. It won’t be like this forever, so learn to be grateful for the way things are now. I recommend keeping a gratitude journal, but then again, I recommend keeping a journal for everything, so what do I know?

8. Loan her something that represents you.

Humans, in general, tend to assign arbitrary values to things based on who they came from. My partner, for example, won’t throw away the shirts she’s had since junior high, because her grandma bought them for her. A small memento for your partner to think of you will be cherished the entire time you’re apart. Ask for one in return, too – these sentimental tokens can be traded back once you’re reunited for good.

9. Cultivate pet names and inside jokes.

It’s rough to keep bonding over a long distance, but with cutesy pet names and inside jokes, you can grow closer just by sharing the little things that no one else understands. Was she full of static electricity on your last road trip together? No one else needs to know why you call her “Sparky” – only you. Any other inside jokes are great, too, because it’s a shared memory that’ll bring a smile to your face every time.

10. Get intimate over the phone.

Talking dirty can be an uncomfortable activity, but it’s been shown to be connected to better sex – so it’s a good idea to get comfortable with it. Dirty talking lets you safely explore your sexual fantasies, and it helps open the discussion for how you’ll get busy when you get back together. (Plus, doing the deed yourself can get a little boring after a while – might as well call her so she can help!)

11. Nurture your social circle.

Long-distance partners have the ultimate luxury: A partner who is (metaphorically) standing by their side, and the ability to spend time with all of the people their partner doesn’t particularly care for, without someone ending up bored or annoyed. It’s a win-win! Take advantage of this time to grow your personal network, meet new people, and catch up with your family.

12. Savor your alone time, too.

One of the reasons introverts make such great long-distance partners is because they already know how to harness their alone time for their maximum potential. LDR’s leave room for each partner to learn and grow as a person. You can pursue your own hobbies, while reveling in the fact that you’re not just dragging someone else along for the ride. You’re each on your own journey – you’re just sharing notes until your paths cross again.

13. Send her old-fashioned snail mail.

Let’s face it: Everyone loves mail that isn’t a bill or an advertisement. When you take the time to send your partner a hand-written letter or a hand-made gift, you’re telling her that she’s worth the extra time it takes. You could have just sent a text, but instead you sent a teddybear, flowers, or a musical card – she’ll be ecstatic! You even have the element of surprise working in your favor – she won’t even see it coming.

14. Discover shared hobbies and interests.

With all the time you’re spending apart, it’s important to find some common ground. Shared interests and hobbies help bridge the divide by giving you something to talk about. Maybe it’s a book you’re both reading, similar classes you’re taking, or a collection you’re adding to separately. Either way, you’ll automatically be reminded of her every time you participate in that activity, and she’ll always feel just a little bit closer.

15. Visit each other whenever you reasonably can.

No relationship can survive purely within your imagination – you need to actually see each other when you can. That doesn’t have to be every week, or even every month, but it needs to happen on a schedule that works well for you and your budget. Once you do get that time together, make the most of it – participate in some of those shared hobbies, catch a good movie, and snuggle up together in silence. It really is the little things.

16. Do things together, even when you’re apart.

Just because you’re separated by however many cities, countries, or time zones, that doesn’t mean you can’t still have “date nights.” Video chats work well for this purpose, or you can share a walk over a phone call. No matter what you’re into, make sure you’re carving out some time to do something with her that counts as a date. It seems complicated in theory, but once you get started, it’s much easier than you think.

17. Have an endgame in mind.

Finally, your long-distance relationship can’t stay long-distance forever – at some point in time, you’ll want a different situation figured out. Make plans for your future together, and make sure you’re setting yourself up for happiness. Setting a deadline might even make the time pass quicker, too – try it and see!

Why It’s Toxic To Hold Out For Your Ex

We’ve all been there – that one person you don’t want to give up on. We need to realize that this is probably not the healthiest approach to our love lives.

Every now and then in every woman’s life, there’s going to be one (or more) partner that you just can’t get over, despite knowing internally that you should. The relationship has ended, but you’ve still got feelings – often understandably so. Our inner “hopeless romantic” may tell us that this relationship is “meant to be”.

We may be worried that we’ll never find anyone who’s as good of a fit as this woman was. These are both flawed thought processes that can lead to a number of problems down the road.

Often times, holding out is simply holding onto false hope.

We like the idea of waiting for an ex because, in a way, it’s romantic. The relationship was over, but the love wasn’t. This is a cute idea, when it happens in movies, but the reality is when the relationship is over, there’s usually a reason.

Sometimes these reasons aren’t apparent to us, and other times we don’t agree with the reasons. In theory, these issues aren’t a problem – the problem is when you ignore the logic and reason laid out and instead sit back and wait for them to change their mind.

Sometimes we make mistakes, and breaking up with someone may very well be one of them. But you can’t determine, on your own, that the break-up was a mistake – there are, after all, other parties involved, and if you don’t both want to be together, the relationship won’t work.

It can be emotionally damaging to learn that you’re not “the exception”.

Internally, we all know that it’s best to not assume we’re the exception to the rule. That’s a simpler idea in theory than it is in practice, however, and if we expect that the situation isn’t as it appears, we can be devastated when we find out that it was, in fact, completely transparent.

I personally have been a victim of “exception thinking” on multiple occasions. I assumed that it would be different with me than it was for others, and… Well, you know what they say about assuming.

It can distract you from other, potentially better relationships.

If you’re holding onto your ex long after the break-up, it can remove you as an option in the dating pool. While we tend to consider ourselves off the market when this happens anyway, the truth is you’ll never know if the girl you’re ignoring could be “the one” for you.

If you reject someone simply because they’re not the person you’re holding out for, you could be missing out on a wonderful possibility.

Of course, it’s also possible that the woman pining for your attention now is worse than your ex, but you’ll never know if you don’t consider it a possibility. Some relationships don’t have the greatest outcomes. But some are wonderful.

There’s a reason the relationship ended.

Chances are, if you’re still in love with your ex, these reasons will seem “wrong” to you. Your nostalgia will put you on the path to remembering only the good times and ignoring the bad – which is fundamentally flawed in its own way.

You’ll need to remember the specific reasons why you broke up. If it was something your partner did, remember that this behavior isn’t likely to change simply because it’s been brought to light – she will have to actually consciously work on the problem in order for it to not be a problem in the future. That’s not to say that people don’t change, but they don’t change overnight and they certainly don’t change without effort.

On the other hand, if the problems leading to the relationship were due to your indiscretions or flaws, you’ll need to fully evaluate them. Just as with your ex, you won’t change simply because you’re aware of a problem.

If it’s something you have no control over (or only limited control), your ex isn’t likely to be satisfied if these criteria aren’t met. If it is something in your power to change, you’ll have to decide whether you’re willing to do so in order to begin working on it.

And, of course, if it’s something like dishonesty or unfaithfulness, these may be components of your personality that make you poorly suited to the particular relationship.

The right person may be out there without you having to change anything about yourself – but this is something you’ll have to evaluate for yourself.

You deserve better.

This is probably the most subjective item on this list. Truly, you deserve to be with someone who values you as you are. It’s not fair that you should be forced to change yourself to meet someone else’s requirements, but likewise it’s not fair that someone else should be forced to change their requirements to fit what you have to offer.

The right person is out there for everyone – but if you and your ex have broken up, chances are, that relationship wasn’t as “meant to be” as it may have seemed in the beginning.

Tell-Tale Signs You’re Dating a Compulsive Liar

In this day and age, it’s common to meet someone who hasn’t been entirely truthful with you. That’s not necessarily to say that they can’t be trusted; sometimes it’s hard to share the intimate details of your life with someone you barely know.

However, over time, your partner should be able to be honest with you – and this isn’t always the case. Some women are practically incapable of telling the truth, and it will show up over time.

So, what are the signs that the woman you’re dating isn’t just a slight fibber, but truly a compulsive liar?

Sign #1: You have caught her in a number of lies.

Of course, just because you haven’t caught her doesn’t automatically mean she’s being entirely truthful, but it’s definitely easier to pick up on if you can catch her in the act of lying. If a great deal of her stories simply don’t add up… She may be a compulsive liar.

Sign #2: She seems to believe her own lies.

Often, when someone is a compulsive liar, they don’t even realize they’re doing it. They may honestly believe that everything that comes out of their mouth is the truth – even if you were there for the story they’re telling and you know it didn’t happen like they said it did.

Sign #3: She lies about things that don’t even make sense.

I once had an ex who worked as a veterinary technician. My roommates found themselves with a stray dog, and my ex offered to do a full check on the dog to try and find his previous owners.

After this “check”, she determined that this dog was micro-chipped and registered under the name Pumpkin (a name he refused to answer to), and the previous owners threatened to call the cops if they got another call about “that damn dog”.

After we had broken up, the roommates who owned the dog ended up taking him in to change his registered information, and they were quite embarrassed when they recounted the story, only to find out that there wasn’t even a micro-chip in place. This means that the rest of the story was also a lie.

Sign #4: She gets overly upset when confronted about her dishonesty.

This ties into sign #2; Since she believes her own stories, she will be incredibly hurt when you point out they’re not true. She may react as if you’re calling her stupid, or she may just be defensive over the fact that you can see through her facade.

Sign #5: She assumes you’re lying about everything, too.

When I had first started dating the woman mentioned above, I confided in her that I was constantly paranoid that I was being unintentionally untruthful.

I had simply meant that I was concerned that things I had taken to be facts were not actually factual at all – but she used this against me to mean that I, too, was a compulsive liar. (I might embellish a little bit sometimes, but that’s what writers do, right?)

Obviously, her distrust wasn’t an automatic indicator of her own dishonesty, but if someone has trouble believing anything you say, it might be because they are unaware of what counts as truth and what counts as a lie.

Sign #6: You can’t believe a single thing she says.

After awhile, your brain will start to pick up on all the cues of her dishonesty. Many people have a “tell”, after all, and after quite awhile of dating you will undoubtedly recognize these subtle hints, and apply them over everything she says. You might even start to not trust her for things you have no evidence over – which can lead to other problems in the relationship.

Sign #7: She won’t allow you to verify her stories.

If she insists that you believe everything she says without double-checking in any way, chances are, she’s being untruthful. An honest, trustworthy girlfriend shouldn’t have a problem with you checking into some of the incredible stories. I don’t mean to imply that you should sneak around to find these details, but you should be able to ask questions without being attacked.

So, what now?

Let’s assume that you’ve looked for these seven signs, and they’re all present – now what do you do? It can be incredibly difficult (or even impossible) to reason with someone who has no actual grip on reality, so you’re not likely to be able to convince her that her lying is detrimental to the relationship.

You instead need to evaluate whether you can live with this dishonesty. In a way, it can be a bit easier if you know it’s a problem – but that doesn’t mean that a long-lasting serious relationship is likely.

Compulsive, pathological lying can be considered a form of mental illness, and should be handled with care. Many compulsive liars are truly unaware of their condition, and treatment really isn’t possible unless they both comprehend the problem and are willing to change it.

It’s a deeply personal conscious decision to correct this behavior, and the problem may never be fully fixed. However, if you want to have a serious relationship with this woman, you will need to find a way to get her to admit the problem and work to correct it on her own.

She needs to understand that you care about her, despite her shortcomings in the honesty department. You must convince her to try to correct her lying. When a conscious awareness exists, she can begin to stop herself in the middle of a lie and correct it by saying “Wait, that’s not right.

What really happened was such-and-such.” It’s a long battle, and it may require professional therapy – but it has to be a choice she makes for herself. If she wants to keep you in her life, she needs to earn your trust slowly and over time.

10 Times You Have To Get Over Your Ex (All Over Again)

When you go through a break-up, it can be an intense process filled with a bunch of emotions. There’s undoubtedly going to be a bit of hurt from whoever was dumped. At least one of the partners could still be emotionally attached to their ex, whether consciously or subconsciously, and the truth is this may come up for years, even if you think you’re completely over her.

The first few things will obviously hurt a lot – but as you go on, you can learn to accept these things as necessary steps in the process. Be honest with yourself (and any partners you may have during this recovery period) in order to ensure that there are no unnecessary hurt feelings.

Time #1: The first full day without her.

If you and your ex lived together, it can be a bit rough the first full day you spend by yourself. You’re used to her sleeping in your bed, and now you have the whole bed to yourself. Even if ending the relationship was your idea, there’s still likely to be a great deal of attachment to the ex at this point, and you shouldn’t rush yourself through it. Instead of focusing on the empty space, you should focus on the extra room. Now you can stretch out and take all the pillows!

Time #2: The first time you hear “your song”.

If you and your ex had “a song” that perfectly summed up your relationship, it can be a little tough to listen to that song on your own. However, if possible, try to think of the last time you heard that song before getting with your ex. Think about the memories that were associated with it before she came into the picture, instead of the associations to her. Don’t avoid the song, just put a different emphasis on it.

Time #3: The first time you run across one of her old things.

In a perfect world, your ex will take all of her stuff with her when she exits your life. This doesn’t always happen, though, as people are human and we tend to forget things. Try to be mature about it; resist the urge to rip it to shreds, and instead see if a mutual contact will pass it along to her. Don’t try and deliver it yourself, and don’t hang onto it – it’s not healthy to hold on tightly to a part of your life that no longer holds relevance.

Time #4: The first time you come across pictures of her.

If you guys were together for awhile, you might have tons of pictures together. If it’s too painful for you to look at them, you may be tempted to burn or delete them (depending on whether they were printed or digital). I am actually big on throwing things away, and I find it difficult to hang on to painful memories. (I’ve had probably a hundred journals in my life, and when the memories in them are too painful, I enjoy setting fire to them – literally. I’ll admit this isn’t a healthy reaction, but it can be pretty cathartic.)

Instead of blindly ruining all these things, you should set aside some time to evaluate them individually. For example, pictures that hold deep personal significance for you that aren’t strictly related to the ex should be kept – but maybe out of sight until the pain subsides. If there were any naked pictures, don’t post them on the internet… Just delete them. Think of how you’d feel if she did the same to you, and try to act with dignity.

Time #5: The first time you see her in public.

If you guys live far apart, this probably won’t be a problem – but if she lives nearby or you have mutual friends, it can be a bit tough when you run into each other in public. Don’t make snide comments toward her; this won’t make anything better. Try to be cordial. You don’t have to be friendly if you’re hurting, but you should be adult enough to be civil toward her.

Time #6: The first time you want sex.

Many of us have fallen into the trap of going back to an ex for a strictly-sexual relationship. The truth is, it can be very difficult to maintain a no-strings-attached relationship with someone you once felt (or still feel) a deep, personal connection with. Instead of going back to your ex to satisfy your needs, or reaching out to someone new when you’re not fully healed, it’s a much better idea to simply “do the job yourself”. Some ladies aren’t really into doing the deed themselves, and this is fine too; but if you’re not desperate enough to take things into your own hands, you certainly shouldn’t be desperate enough to crawl back to your ex.

Time #7: Your first date with someone new.

Assuming you have already healed (you have already taken the time to heal, right?) you might be set back when you begin dating someone new. No matter how “over it” you think you are, the reality is that we can’t simply forget and move on. All the things you did wrong with your ex should be on your mind – but the things your ex did wrong shouldn’t be held against your new lady. Unless she is actually committing the same indiscretions that your ex did, make sure you don’t punish her for mistakes she had nothing to do with.

Time #8: The first fight with your new lady.

Chances are, when you have your first big fight with your new love interest, your mind will be reeling with comparisons to your exes. Sometimes these past fights are good to remember – for example, if you’re fighting about something now that you’ve fought with an ex about, and both women feel that it’s your fault… Well, you might want to take this to heart. Examine whether their complaints are reasonable, and whether it’s something you can fix. Likewise, if your new lady shares some of the “bad” traits that your ex had, it may be helpful to determine whether it’s something you can learn to live with or if it’s truly a fault you’ll need to avoid in your future relationships. No one can truly answer these questions for you.

Time #9: The first time your ex tries to get between you and your new lady.

Obviously, this doesn’t always happen – but it happens often enough that it should be considered. Sometimes, time teaches us that we’ve made a hasty decision in moving on, and the person from our past was truly perfect for us. In other cases, the ex may be trying to stir up drama and nothing has changed. It’s up to you to decide whether or not to take this risk. People can change, but it’s not automatic – it has to be an effort from both parties.

Time #10: Your wedding day.

Not everyone gets married, but for those who do, there’s often a lot of debate on whether or not to invite your ex. If you’re still friends with your ex (or if you’re friends again, after a period of rest), you might be considering whether they should be invited.

Personally, I feel that the answer is no, but I’ve had a series of horrible break-ups, and I do understand that there are some cases where the decision to split was mutual. It’s up to you and your future wife to decide if your ex will be welcome at your wedding – you should never hide the fact that you had a former romantic and/or sexual history with this woman in order to secure her an invite.

If you don’t have anything to hide, there’s probably no problem with it – but be aware that there’s a chance it could lead to #9 (if it hasn’t already happened yet). If you aren’t confident that your ex will be civil, or that your future wife will be secure with your ex there, it’s best to leave the invitation out.

There are a million other times when your ex may come back into your mind, but it’s important to evaluate each of these times and determine the appropriate, mature response to the situation. Everyone has different circumstances and this guide isn’t the be-all and end-all to everything.

It’s merely a reference tool to be used to help you navigate through the unfamiliar territory.

Minor Arguments Vs. Big Blowouts

Many people think that a healthy relationship means that you never fight. This isn’t true – not in the least! Never fighting is most likely to mean that at least one of you is keeping things bottled up, possibly serious issues that should be addressed immediately.

However, if you’re fighting all the time, this isn’t healthy either – in all good relationships, there needs to be a balance.

But, how do you know which fights are worth it?

Before you fight with your partner, you should ask yourself a few questions to see if it’s really worth fighting about. If the answer is yes, then by all means – don’t hesitate to speak up!

But if the answer is no, maybe you should just keep it to yourself.

Is this actually a problem, or is it just an annoyance?

If your partner is doing something that annoys you, it’s possible that she doesn’t even realize it. By picking a fight over it, rather than calmly discussing it, you might only be hurting her feelings.

And, if she does know that what she’s doing is irritating to you, she could be seeking a reaction – your anger in response to these actions will only add fuel to the fire. (Hey, we’d like to pretend that our partners don’t intentionally bug us…

But be honest, have you ever intentionally bothered a partner?)

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Will fighting about it change anything?

If you’re going to fight about something that your partner has no control over, such as the sound she makes when she’s chewing or the sound of her laugh, it can feel like an attack on herself.

Fighting with her about it will only hurt her feelings.

Is it recent and relevant?

If it’s something that you’ve already fought about, and your partner is obviously actively trying to fix the problem, you should be patient with her.

If it doesn’t seem like she’s trying, a gentle reminder can be nice – but there is a chance that she’s putting forth the effort that she can already.

Picking a fight about something in the past is likely to make her feel that her efforts are wasted, which can lead her to stop trying altogether.

Is it actually her fault?

You shouldn’t pick a fight with your partner if she doesn’t actually have anything to do with the problem. If you’re mad about work, for example, taking it out on your partner definitely won’t solve anything.

She’s there to be your support system, not your catch-all for every frustration. The same goes for things that are your problem.

A good partner will listen to your problems – but she shouldn’t absorb the anger over it.

Is it worth the potential of breaking up?

Sure, most fights don’t end in a break-up. But the fact of the matter is that some do.

If it’s not a big enough issue to risk the end of the relationship over, you probably should find a way to calmly discuss it, rather than turning it into a big deal.

Exercising these few questions before you pick a fight with your partner can help to alleviate some of the stress caused by misunderstandings and misguided frustrations.

By all means, some fights need to happen – you need to speak up when you feel that you are being taken advantage of, and you should definitely bring things to her attention if you feel she’s simply not seeing what she’s putting you through. But unnecessary fighting can just cause stress for all parties involved, and that’s not what you want.

The majority of problems, however, should be met with a calm, relaxed conversation. Wait until you’ve calmed down, maybe take a few notes, and process things before you bring them up.

This way you’re less likely to lash out, and you can address issues in a way that makes more sense to you both.

Are You A Victim Of Subtle Abuse?

When entering a relationship, most people know the obvious signs of abuse – that is, when your partner is verbally berating or physically attacking you on a regular basis. However, the more subtle signs can easily be just as important. Not only are they directly responsible for your personal happiness, but they also have the potential to turn into bigger problems if allowed to continue.

But, how do you know that you’re being abused if the signs are not so obvious? The fact that you’re reading this article tells me you are already aware of certain abusive patterns. If your partner is exhibiting any of the following signs, we urge you to discuss it with them before the problem becomes worse. In some cases, they may be unintentional and talking about them may help. If your partner becomes defensive when the issues are brought up, this is a good sign that it may be time to move on.

Your partner expects you to be faithful to him/her, but cannot offer you the same loyalty.

Some people are simply not cut out for monogamy, and this is fine – if you agree on it. If your partner expects you to commit to them while they can’t, it might be time to pack up your things.

Your partner tries to control who you can spend time with.

Initially, this isn’t likely to be a problem; you will actually agree with her if it’s better that you don’t spend time with that guy down the street who doesn’t “believe” that you’re gay. However, in some cases this can progress to the point where your partner tells you Your best friend doesn’t really care about you, you shouldn’t spend time with her anymore. This can eventually progress to I don’t think your family has your best interests at heart; you should stop talking to them. It’s important to examine all the clues in this scenario: Sometimes, your partner is right! Re-evaluating all of your relationships, whether romantic or familial or even just friendly is an important process. However, if you find that your partner is making these comments without grounds in facts, you may be being controlled.

Your partner expects you to do all the work.

I don’t care if this means that you are the sole wage earner and your partner chooses instead to play video games, or if it means that your partner refuses to do any work around the house, but expects it to be well maintained. An effective relationship is a partnership, and unless you can split the work in a way that satisfies both of you, one of you will become worn out and resentful over time.

Your partner has nothing positive to say about you.

This doesn’t pertain to a simple lack of compliments, which – while potentially hurtful – is not usually an indication of an abusive situation. Rather, I’m talking about their need to point out your flaws, without regard to your feelings. If they are unable to frame their criticism in the form of helpful feedback, it’s likely that they are inclined towards abusive behaviors – keep an eye out, and don’t allow more than you can handle.

Your partner has high demands for your physical appearance.

It’s one thing to want your partner to be attractive – we all do! It’s another thing entirely if your partner demands that you dress a certain way or alter your appearance (hair style, color, weight, etc.) in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. This is a grey area, because only you can determine what you are comfortable with, but a good partner should love you for who you are, not who they want you to be.

Your partner demands sexual activities that you aren’t comfortable with.

This is another grey area, as often we aren’t aware of our “kinks” until we have explored them fully. However, if you have explored something and have found that you truly are not willing to do it, and your partner insists – this is a problem. (Note: This pertains to unwanted sexual advances as well. Just because you and your partner are committed does not mean that they have control over your consent.)

Your partner threatens suicide or violence if you leave her.

This can be an exceptionally tough situation, in my personal experience. There will be part of you that wants to try harder to make the relationship work because, obviously, you truly care about this person, and you don’t want them dead or in jail. However, the only strategy I’ve personally found to overcome this is a willingness to step back, leave the situation, and let someone else handle it. I was lucky enough to have roommates when I was in a less-than-great relationship, and I was able to reach out to that roommate and say, “Hey, she’s locked herself in the bathroom with a knife. Can you please check on her in awhile to make sure she’s okay? It’s not safe for me to be there right now.” That should have been a hint for me to get out, but (like many people in abusive situations) I wasn’t willing to let go yet.

This is in no way to be considered an all-inclusive list, and the decision to continue or stop a relationship is entirely up to the parties involved. Relationships are a very personal matter and no one can evaluate them but you. This is also true if you notice that someone you know has exhibited signs of being abused – no amount of coaxing will get them to leave their partner if they’re not ready. It can be frustrating for those who are only trying to help, but keep in mind that your efforts to help will sound a lot like the claims being made by their partner, and you run the risk of alienating your loved one by pointing this out.

You should also keep in mind that none of these issues, on their own, is automatically a sign of an abusive partner, so tread lightly and ensure that you are properly analyzing the details (preferably on your own at first). This will allow you to make an informed decision, and will help you to understand if these things can be helped (and the relationship saved). However, if your partner is displaying multiple signs from this list, it may be time to let go.

Don’t Fear the Friend Zone

In this day and age, there’s a huge focus on the existence of “the friend zone” – does it exist? Is it a myth? Is it a term used by people who are hurt that they didn’t get the attention they felt they deserved?

Well, in a way, it’s sort of a mix of all these things.

Many of my friends explicitly refer to the friend zone when they’re speaking to their potential (and past) relationship prospects; it’s a term that’s easily understood and lets it be well known that you will not, in fact, be reaching second base with this person. (Although that’s not always true – friends-with-benefits zone seems to be a real thing, too.)

However, the general reaction to this mystery area is that it’s a negative thing – we ignore the positive outcomes that arise from it because we’re so focused on the pain and sting of rejection.

But, what if instead of focusing on the rejection, we put our attention instead to the benefits that friend-zoning brings?

1. It’s an exercise in not settling.

Often when we think of “the friend zone”, we feel that we are entitled to have a relationship with a person (romantic or sexual) due to the kindness we have shown them and the effort we have put into the process, while on the other side of the coin, we use “let’s just be friends” to signal that we care about this person, but don’t wish to compromise certain aspects of our criteria for the “perfect mate”.

While true perfection doesn’t exist, the fact remains that you can be attracted to a person and they can still be wrong for you. The friend zone teaches that sometimes it’s better to not settle on things that you consider mandatory for a partner – whether you are the one doing the rejecting, or you are the one being rejected.

2. It’s often a learning experience.

Let’s say, for example, the girl who rejected you turns out to be a complete jerk (hey, it happens). Maybe her requirements for a date were that she was more intelligent than her – which she qualifies by a college degree, even though she herself is still in college.

Do you really want to be with someone who doesn’t value you as you are? In pleading with a girl who has rejected you based on something that seems unfair, you’re basically begging her to be realistic – which, dealing with women teaches us is rarely worthwhile to look at.

On the other side of the coin, her necessary qualifications could be something entirely out of your control – such as your height. If a woman only dates women who are shorter than her, and you are obviously taller than her, pleading with her to change her mind can be futile, as she’s not likely to budge and you’re not likely to shrink.

Other criteria, such as race or nationality, can be frustrating to the person who doesn’t meet them – but it’s important that your partner likes you for who you are. Asking them to compromise their own standards, even if they don’t make sense to you, is basically forcing yourself to be “not good enough” even if you do eventually win her over.

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3. Great friendships have been built on the foundation of relationships that failed before they begun.

I have a few friends (who shall remain nameless) who I originally started talking to with the hopes of being more than just friends with them. One of them disclosed that I wasn’t her type – she preferred bigger ladies of Mexican descent, and here I was, a slightly chubby white girl.

I didn’t let it impede my desire to get to know her better, and now she’s one of my best friends – I share pretty much everything with her! She has provided me with valuable advice regarding the relationships I’ve been in since, as I have sought to do for her. If I had begged with her to give up on her “type”, we probably would have broken up and I never would have spoken to her again.

Another friend rejected me because of mutual differences in what we looked for: I was looking for someone local to get to know better, and she was only looking for friends. Well, she won – we started talking as friends.

Although it did hurt at first that it felt like she wanted nothing to do with me, we talk on a regular basis and are actually much closer for it. Sure, I still find her (and the friend referenced above) incredibly attractive – but I’m thankful for the friendship and wouldn’t do anything to compromise that now.

4. Someone more suited to your needs may be just around the corner.

This might be the most important thing: The best relationships happen when you’re not looking for a relationship. At the time I met my current partner, I had given up on the idea of finding a girlfriend, because all my efforts were met with resistance by the other party, or generally we just weren’t a good fit.

Once I gave up on finding a relationship, my soul mate happened to fall into my lap – and, unlike the jerks that I tend to seek out, she actually sought me out, offering all the things that had been missing from all of the attempted relationships of the past several months.

The fact that we’re still together two years later speaks wonders about this philosophy. If you’re seeking a relationship to fill a void, it probably won’t. It’s better to let love find you naturally. (Not that you shouldn’t help it along if you can, but it’s definitely not good to be so desperate that you compromise your core values and resort to begging. Trust me on this one.)

5. Basically, we need to learn to accept the word “no”.

It’s a tough idea to grasp: My generation is one of forced entitlement. We got trophies for participating, and “no child left behind” penalized the teachers when their students didn’t try. This really isn’t right! I have always been a bit of an over-achiever despite the entitlements that my generation has impressed upon me, but that doesn’t mean that I deserve everything I work hard for.

Sometimes you just won’t be the right fit, and that’s ok! Work on developing yourself instead of focusing on the potential outcome, and your overall outcome will be better.

Let me reiterate: Being friend-zoned definitely sucks. There’s no doubt about that. But if you can keep a positive outlook, and focus on making yourself better, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. In fact, it really shouldn’t be the end of the world. You never know what may be in store for you in the future.

Sexual Abuse in Committed Same-Sex Relationships

One of the most overlooked aspects of any successful relationship is sexual compatibility. Often, this compatibility is a subconscious thing; we don’t know why we enjoy sex with our partner, we just do.

However, every now and then, one partner will have a significantly higher sex drive than the other.

This isn’t necessarily of particular concern, and it can be easily worked around, if both partners are willing to negotiate.

However, what happens when one partner pushes the issue to the point where the other partner isn’t receiving any enjoyment out of this intimacy?

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Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a sexually abusive relationship, even if the parties involved are deeply in love. Often we think that a commitment to this person means that we’re obligated to service their sexual “needs” when they arise – but this isn’t true, in the slightest.

From a technical standpoint, sexual abuse defines any sexual act that is not consensual. This can be difficult to define when you and your partner are committed. They may argue that you have an obligation. They may threaten to leave or to find “supplemental” sexual activities outside of your relationship. This isn’t fair to you, as you can’t really help if you’re not in the mood, and you shouldn’t be punished for this.

If your partner forces sexual activities on you – even if you love them – this is sexual abuse.

Now, this isn’t exactly the same as guilting you into performing sexual favors, although this can take its own toll on you emotionally. Rather, we are talking about proceeding further, despite you vocalizing your lack of consent for this activity (no matter what your reason might be).

If you’re reading this and you think to yourself, But we’re in love, and therefore I should be willing to give it up, whether I’m in the mood or not – this article probably isn’t going to sit well with you. Because, I’ve got news for you – If your partner truly cared about you, they wouldn’t want sexual activity with you if you didn’t want it.

What can you do, though?

Well, this is the tough part – nothing is going to change if you don’t speak up. It’s possible that your partner is just a bit less mature than you, and they aren’t aware that their sexual demands aren’t okay with you. It’s important that you tell them. If you’re genuinely worried about how they will respond to the concerns you have, there may be deeper issues in play – and this may be a sign that you need to get out of this relationship.

Whether your concern is that your partner wants it more often than you do (which is common), or that they demand activities you aren’t comfortable with (such as penetration if you have expressed an unwillingness to do so, or anal play when you have made it clear that you don’t want it, even demands for a threesome if you have made it clear that you have no desire to share), or any type of unwanted sexual attention – it’s important that both partners are consenting. Just because you have said yes in the past does not mean that you have to say yes, ever. Only you can determine consent.

9 Things You Lose When You Say Sorry

Human communication is a crazy thing. The entire planet has had thousands upon thousands of years to get it all right… And still we manage to say things we don’t mean, and other people pick up on things that were absolutely not our intention. You’d think we’d have it all figured out by now. Once you add in language barriers, the complexities of text-vs.-spoken-words, and of course body language, too, things start to get really complicated.

One of the most overused (and, often, misused) words in the English language is “sorry”. We all know that a “sorry” is supposed to be a sign of humility – something we say because we know we’ve screwed up. The word is supposed to make us feel vulnerable and uncomfortable, and – in theory – it should be really hard to say.

The only problem is… It’s not.

All too often, people use “sorry” as an icebreaker, a way to start a conversation with less pressure. I was one of those people for a painfully long time, actually. Eventually I learned that insincere apologies actually rob us blind – even if the effects aren’t clear from the start.

Here are a few of the things that over-apologizing takes away from you…

You lose your first impression.

We know how important first impressions are, and often we’ll sneak a “sorry” in there to take some of the pressure off. I’d like to professionally recommend that you stop doing that! When you say “sorry” to start a conversation with someone you’ve never spoken to before, you’re setting the other person up to pay extra attention to any flaws you may have. After all, you’ve already apologized for them, so they just know the flaws are there.

It might also give them a little insight into some other character flaws you’ve got going on – an experienced communicator will know which parts of your personality may have already been carved away. First impressions are so powerful because humans start picking up on subtle cues as soon as we meet a person. When those cues tell us that the person is a chronic over-apologizer, we know that they don’t have confidence, self-respect, or credibility – but we’ll get into that a little deeper later.

You lose your charm.

Starting a conversation with “sorry” instantly kills whatever magic might have been there. It sounds like you’re undecided, and when you’re trying to pick someone up, it makes it seem like maybe you lost a bet. Not really the best way to woo the ladies, am I right? (That was a trick question. I already know I’m right.) You might not feel like you’re undecided about pursuing her, but that’s how she’s going to take it.

More than just that, unnecessarily apologizing makes you less attractive, because it already implies that you’re not worthy of the other person’s time. You sound like you’re begging for their attention, which is not flattering – at all. It messes with other people’s perception of you and just ends up making you feel embarrassed.

You lose your confidence.

Human nature pushes us to continually improve ourselves, so when we’re not getting better at something, we have the urge to apologize for it. The only problem with this is, if you were already trying your best and you decide that your best wasn’t good enough, what does that mean? Apologizing for something that you put real effort into doesn’t make you sound modest – it makes you sound unconfident.

More than just that, we tend to apologize for mistakes we think we’re going to make – before we’ve even made them! That totally kills our focus when we’re in the moment, because we’re already thinking about what could go wrong instead of enjoying everything that is already going right. It sets a negative tone for your actions and words, and it makes other people more critical of you – which, in turn, kills your confidence even further.

You lose respect from others.

It probably goes without saying, but “sorry” is a very submissive word. It’s meant to convey the same message as when a dog tucks its tail and hangs its head – and, most likely, if you overuse your apologies, the people around you are going to start looking at you the same way that people look at sad dogs. The thing about sad dogs, however, is they aren’t guilty because someone else made them guilty.

All too often, we feel the need to preface our requests and demands with “sorry” to soften the blow. Really, when we’re doing this, we’re just making ourselves into scapegoats. We’re not really apologizing for our needs and boundaries – we’re apologizing for our boundaries being an inconvenience to others. It ends up coming across as if we’re begging to just be, and that’s not good. The balance between standing up for yourself and being disrespectful isn’t as thin as you might think.

You lose your value.

When other people stop treating you with respect, it gets really hard to treat yourself with respect. You start to undervalue yourself, and you start to sacrifice your self-esteem. Other people start picking up on your guilty conscience, and you start to feel guilty for things that literally have nothing to do with you. This makes it hard to be happy, because you’re constantly evaluating the negative parts of your life as a failure on your part.

While some failures may be your fault, often those types of failures are fixable. Most of the negative parts of our lives are things we can’t control, though, and it makes no sense to beat yourself up over something you have no control over. Unnecessary apologies destroy your value by holding you accountable for things you couldn’t possibly have prevented, and that’s not fair to you.

You lose your credibility.

Since you’ve started apologizing for things that have nothing to do with you, people won’t know how to tell when you’re genuinely sorry. This leads them to think you might be pacifying the situation with other things you say, too, and it gets harder to believe the things you say. Others have a hard time recognizing a true, sincere apology, so they simply assume all of your apologies (and everything else you say) are insincere.

When you apologize for things that you were involved with, but the problem didn’t actually have to do with you, you’re setting an idea that you’re to blame for what goes on around you – even if that’s not actually the case. Over time people will start to assume that you’re to blame anytime you’re in the area. You might notice that your responsibilities at work start to diminish, or your partner’s sharing with you less and less. This is a sign that people no longer have faith in you because you’re always apologizing.

You lose your identity.

Now that you’ve lost your confidence, your self-worth, and your number of responsibilities, you’re drastically falling away from everything that makes you a unique and special person. Your views are no longer important, because you’ve conditioned yourself to think that they’re probably wrong anyway. In turn, you don’t volunteer your ideas anymore, and instead you go along with something someone else has put out there.

But you’re giving up the things that make you truly unique. Your ideas, your self-worth, and the things you do for yourself and others are what make you you – no one else can fill your shoes! When you keep those opinions and skills to yourself, you’re destroying your individuality, bit by bit. If you let this go on for too long, you’ll lose your whole personality!

You lose your relationships.

We often think of apologizing as a way to hang onto a relationship, right? But when you over-apologize, you actually accomplish quite the opposite. When “sorry” is used as a filler word, its intention is to avoid a discussion. You’re not trying to work through a problem – you’re just agreeing with your partner so that you can get it over with. This isn’t healthy.

Relationships thrive on communication, and you can’t have a lasting relationship with someone if you aren’t communicating. Burying your problems makes them grow, and offering an empty “sorry” instead of a sincere apology won’t make you a better person. It’s your actions that matter.

You can even lose your insurance.

We’ve already discussed how over-apologizing can affect your relationships, your friendships, and your career, but in some cases, you can even lose your insurance coverage for apologizing. In a car accident, for example, saying “I’m sorry” to the other person, any witnesses, or even local law enforcement is seen as admitting that you’re guilty. If you’re determined to be at fault, you’ll need to pay for medical bills, damages, and probably a rate hike from your insurance company, too.

The thing is… There are professionals who evaluate an accident to see who was at fault, and there might be information you didn’t know about at the time. Maybe the other driver had been drinking, or they weren’t legally allowed to drive. If one of these issues is in place, they may be determined at fault – but not if you admit fault first and take away the need for the investigation. It’s always better to work through the issue before you apologize for it.

9 Unavoidable Truths About Long-Distance Relationships

Long-distance relationships are a lot harder than other relationships. That’s not to say they aren’t worth it – for the right woman, nothing is out of the question. But that doesn’t always make it any easier to deal with. In fact, there are some things about long-distance relationships that are unavoidable – no matter how much you love your long-distance partner. Here are 9 things you’ve got coming in the future of your long-distance relationships – and what each of those things really means.

1. You get better at planning.

Since you know that your time together is super limited, you get really good at planning out every minute of your time together. You think about the big picture, and you can really start to visualize your future after the time spent apart. Unfortunately, this “good planning” comes at a cost – other people will get in the way of your plans, and it’s really frustrating when the things you’ve been looking forward to for months are suddenly derailed.

2. You cherish the time you spend together.

When your plans do come together how you meant for them to, you are at peace. The time and distance don’t seem so huge because you have your plans to look forward to, and your memories to look back on. This can be incredibly difficult if you break up, though, because you’ve taken extra work committing those memories to the long-term – they won’t be easy to let go of.

3. The situation usually isn’t permanent.

Worked into your plans somewhere is the day the two of you are reunited for good – that magical time when you can finally reap the rewards you’ve been building separately for so long. But that reunion doesn’t always come. Sometimes, drifting apart can seem so much more drastic when you’re separated by the distance. The relationship can be a lot harder to maintain because you don’t see each other very often.

4. Trust and communication are a given.

While all relationships require trust and communication, long-distance relationships get an extra dose. You both know how important it is that you be honest with each other, and you’d rather overshare than leave out something important. Still, all that extra communication can take its toll on you – this type of relationship takes a great deal of personal effort to maintain, and misunderstandings and miscommunication can be devastating.

5. You really notice the little things.

You want to be involved in each other’s lives, even when you’re far apart, so you check in whenever you can. Sometimes that means a phone call, a text, or a message sent through Facebook – but other times that means scrolling through timelines and blogs and whatever other social media streams your partner has. This social media presence can breed jealousy if not used wisely, so it’s important that you don’t rely on it for too much of your communication.

6. You get really, really good at phone sex.

Whether you choose to go through the phone, Skype, or any other method for long-distance sexy time, the more practice you get, the easier it becomes. Since the large majority of your sexuality is in your imagination for a long-distance relationship, you have the opportunity to come up with a number of sexy possibilities. However, even the best chat isn’t as intimate as physical closeness, and you will sometimes wish you had her closer to you.

7. You maximize your sex life as much as you can.

All that extra time apart makes the time you spend together so much more special, so you find ways to squeeze your physical needs in whenever she’s around. But opportunities are limited and often shorter than you’d like them to be, so you’ll really need to get comfortable with spontaneous quickies. Trust me, though. When done correctly, they can be really romantic – it’s all about figuring out what works for the two of you.

8. Your creativity will flourish.

Since you’ve got more time in between dates, you have so much opportunity to make your dates extra special. Each one can be its own unique kind of amazing! And, what’s even better, you have more time to save up for those dates (even though your love really isn’t defined by the money spent). But there is a lot of pressure to keep it 100% all the time, and that can be exhausting after a while, so make sure you’re sharing the responsibilities evenly to avoid burn-out.

9. You have plenty of personal space.

Introverts thrive in long-distance relationships because it allows the relationship to work around their schedule (even if they’ve created that schedule solely to cater to the relationship). Each partner has more time to pursue their hobbies, indulge their passions, and work to make themselves a better person. But there’s also an empty bed to come home to most of the time, which can get lonely sometimes – it takes a strong character to stay faithful and loyal during those periods.

So, is it worth it?

The decision to pursue a long-distance relationship is incredibly personal, and can only really be evaluated by the partners involved. All in all, though, if the hardships you’ll face don’t seem as difficult as passing the time without her in your life, it can definitely be a rewarding experience for the both of you. With enough faith and continued effort, a long-distance relationship isn’t doomed, foolish, or a waste of time – it’s simply another way to get to the end result you want.

How Shakespeare Can Teach You To Pick Up Girls

When it came to being a playboy, Shakespeare was worse than Shane from the L Word.

Hard to believe, right? How can anyone be more of a womanizer than the woman who (spoiler) left her fiancee at the altar because she was afraid of commitment?

It’s summer, which means summer flings. So if you’re looking for tips on how to pick up woman, you should hit pause on the L Word and thumb through a few of his plays. Here’s what you can learn about boning from the Bard.

#1: Never group sext.

In Merry Wives of Windsor, a man named Falstaff finds himself smitten with two married women. Instead of flipping a coin – or bedding someone single – he writes a sexy love letter to each of them, hoping one of them will succumb to his charms.

Yes, a sexy love letter. One. He sends the same letter to both women.

That’s like writing a long, heartfelt text message about how in love you are with a girl, and sending it as a group message to her and her sister.

Does it work out for Falstaff? Not even close. He ends up crying alone in the woods.

The moral of the story? Be at least a little creative with your sexts.

#2: Always choose her.

You probably know Antony and Cleopatra as the most beautiful historical love story ever told. Cleopatra even kills herself with a snake because she can’t bear to be without Antony. That’s dedication.

What you might not know is that Cleopatra was technically Antony’s mistress.

Yes, our beloved Antony was already married when he started bedding Cleopatra. At one point, while Antony is visiting Cleopatra in Egypt, both Antony’s friend Caesar and his wife Fulvia demand that he come back to Rome.

Cleopatra, none too pleased, says, “Call in the messengers. As I am Egypt’s queen/Thou blushest, Antony, and that blood of thine/Is Caesar’s homager. Else so thy cheek pays shame/When shrill-tongued Fulvia scolds.”

In other words: “Go back to Rome if you’re going to be a lil bitch.”

Instead of listening to Cleopatra, Antony says: “Let Rome in Tiber melt and the wide arch/Of the ranged empire fall. Here is my space.”

In other words: “Let Rome burn down. I’m staying here.”

And Cleopatra says, “Oh, zaddy.”

The moral: Next time a girl says that you can leave if you want, assure her that you would rather to set fire to your entire hometown than leave her.

#3: Always take your chance.

Pop quiz: Where should you never hit on a girl?

  1. Her coronation
  2. A funeral
  3. A confessional

Correct answer? Trick question! According to Shakespeare, there’s never a wrong time to make a move.

Let’s take the titular character from Richard III. He hits on a woman called Lady Anne by saying the following:

Anne: And thou unfit for any place but hell.
Richard: Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.
Anne: Some dungeon.
Richard: Your bedchamber.

Savage. And here’s how it gets more savage:

  1. Anne is at a funeral.
  2. Anne is at her husband’s funeral.
  3. Anne is at her husband’s funeral because Richard killed her husband.

And it works.

The moral: Never be afraid to go for it.

What love lessons have you learned from Shakespeare?

Study Proves That Lesbians Are Crazy About Tumblr

When it comes to social media, we each pick our favorite poison.

Some of us throw on a pair of huge sunglasses and stay Instagram ready at every moment of the day, while others do the world a favor by tweeting our constant genius inspirations. But, statistically speaking, most LGBT people are actually most likely to pick Tumblr.

If you haven’t heard of Tumblr, that’s not really surprising. It’s been dubbed the “weird cousin” of Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter – which may be why so many LGBTQ teens and young adults flock to it.

A new study called Scrolling Beyond Binaries investigates exactly why Tumblr is so darn queer.

It’s anonymous.

Unlike Facebook, Tumblr doesn’t ask you to share any personal details. You can be KateMcKinnonsGurl69 or AllLezAlways2000, and no one will ever know it’s you.

It’s longform.

While Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are focused on sharing the best parts of yourself, Tumblr focuses on, well, sharing anything and everything that comes to mind. Its longform format means you can type out whatever you’re feeling, at any time, with no pesky word limits.

It’s great for anxious people.

Tumblr puts you in direct contact with 330 million virtual strangers. Know what that’s great for? People who get nervous about meeting strangers in real life. For some people, socializing is just easier behind a keyboard. This is also great for queer ladies who can’t be safely out in their IRL communities.

It’s social justice oriented.

Tumblr actually gets a bad rap for being a cesspool of “social justice warriors,” but that’s just because people on Tumblr don’t let anything slide. Ever. Two hours on Tumblr and you’ll learn about systematic oppression big time. You’ll also learn that there are about 500 genders.

Tumblr isn’t for everyone, but it is for many queer people. For starters, check out 15 times Tumblr nailed television’s rampant killing of lesbians.

Here’s Why You Should Embrace That Time Apart From Your Girlfriend

Fall into a routine of taking things and people for granted is something we’re all guilty of.

But alone time is actually one of the healthiest things you can do for your relationship.

Distances gives each person time to decompress, to be themselves and to be secure with their identity outside of the relationship.

Here are three reasons it’s OK to have some space from your SO:

1. You stop taking her gestures for granted.

Whether it’s a mundane routine or an out-of-control fight, we’ve all seen ourselves get wrapped up in the emotions that accompany both events.

When you’re used to seeing your girlfriend daily and are the recipient of all her affection and acts of service she delivers, eventually it can feel like what they do is not something “special.” Then suddenly, we forget to say “thank you” or give that extra kiss on our way out the door.

It’s sad because we should always try to show our gratitude, but instead we become so preoccupied with the next task, everything starts to blend together.

But have you noticed what happens when your girlfriend leaves to go on a trip with friends? Out of nowhere, you start to remember all of the wonderful traits she has and can’t seem to think of enough creative ways to show your appreciation upon her return.

2. You learn things about yourself.

It’s easy to fall into the victim role when you’re having a heated argument; the hard part is stepping outside yourself to try and better understand why there is a miscommunication in the first place.

In fact, most of the time, the only way two people can stop fighting is by walking away to regroup and regather. But unfortunately, that magic trait isn’t something embedded in our DNA.

That amount of self-awareness and humility takes consistent practice and introspection; two things that can only be discovered when we’re inquisitive with ourselves over a long period of time.

A friend once told me “anger is a secondary response,” meaning there’s another emotion underneath yearning to come forward.

When we take time away from a relationship, the anger subsides and we’re left with revelations of what’s actually taking place and causing us to react in a destructive manner.

3. You gain emotional strength.

Being alone is often a lot easier said than done.

In a world where information is constantly only one tap away, being still with nothing but your thoughts — and maybe the sound of your dog snoring — can leave many people feeling anxious.

Since it’s difficult to do, embracing the discomfort that comes alongside  it is empowering.

The strength gained in solitude then becomes fuel for confidence, which is something that can always be used both in our personal and professional life.

Many times, we hear of women “losing themselves” in a relationship. It’s easy to forget what your priorities and goals are if the person next to you begins to take a front seat in your life.

Time apart can help you find yourself again and serve as a reminder that you were your own person before you met your partner.

Individuality and independence are sexy, so why not always carry that with us instead of waiting for time apart to remind us how amazing we already are?

How to Get Over Your Study Abroad Girlfriend in 5 Steps

Ah, the city of love. Bright lights. Great food. Beautiful people. Eternal love.

Ah, Paris.

Or Berlin.

Or Johannesburg.

Let’s face it, the city of love is wherever you studied abroad.

Studying abroad is a magical time. You get to live for six months in a foreign country, experiencing only the best of what that city has to offer, namely attractive college students and tourist attractions.

It’s normal to fall in love while you’re abroad. Overseas, it feels like you’re going to live this magical new life forever. But then you return home, and reality sets in. It’s not as easy to have a 5,000-mile long-distance relationship as you thought.

So how can you get over someone you thought was your True Love after it doesn’t work?

1. Accept that sometimes love is just for a season. Some people and experiences are meant to come in and out of your life. The memories are precious. Instead of being frustrated that something has to end, appreciate that it happened.

2. Don’t keep trying. If the long distance makes the romance fizzle out after a few months (or hours) of you being back home, accept that. Don’t keep trying to force it.

3. Don’t ghost her. That said, you don’t have to cut her off completely – just because you get on a plane doesn’t mean the person has to become dead to you. Keep up your friendship.

4. Don’t idealize her. Life after study abroad is hard. You return to exams and reality and a Trump Presidency. It’s tempting to look back on your ex-lover and think, “If I could be with them again, I would be as happy as I was when I studied abroad.” That’s not true. They might remind you of the happiness you had abroad, but they can never replicate that happiness, and trying to force a relationship with them won’t send you back in time.

5. Get back in the game. You’re young and beautiful and smart. You should be out meeting other young and beautiful and smart people. Ask out the cute barista with braces and a butterfly tattoo. Download Tinder, Her and Bumble, and swipe right on people way out of your league. Stay in a bar long past closing. Just put yourself out there and have fun!

And if all else fails, buy a plane ticket somewhere else.

25 Signs You Should Break Up

Sometimes it’s obvious when you need to break up. If you find your girlfriend’s ex’s underwear in the bed, it’s over.

But other times – most times – it’s not so clear. Boredom and dissatisfaction may slowly creep up on you like rainclouds from a distance. Or you might roll over one day and suddenly realize you’re not happy. You might even go back and forth on the idea for days, weeks or months.

Sometimes, the only way to know whether a breakup was the right decision is in hindsight. But to help you make the right decision now, here are 25 signs you should think about ending it.

  1. You would rather spend time with your Netflix account, homework assignments or chores than with your girlfriend.
  2. You’ve been on and off more times than you can count.
  3. You feel relieved when you think about what life would be like without them.
  4. Sex feels flat, and you find yourself faking it on a regular basis.
  5. Or sex is the only thing holding you and your girlfriend together. When you’re not in bed, you have nothing to talk about. Pillow talk is awkwardddd.
  6. You’ve been “wondering” what it would be like to be with other people. A lot.
  7. You need your girlfriend to dramatically change before you’ll want to be with her.
  8. You don’t talk nearly as much as you fight.
  9. You just don’t trust each other.
  10. Everything you loved about your girlfriend now makes you tear your hair out.
  11. Deal breakers – like smoking, or eating meat, or not being clean – are starting to break the deal.
  12. You’re together just so you won’t be alone.
  13. She’s no longer putting in effort, or you’re no longer putting in effort, or both.
  14. Your friends are just a little too enthusiastic when you talk about moving on.
  15. You feel like you’re going through the motions.
  16. You keep thinking about breaking up, even if you tell yourself that you never actually would.
  17. You’re just not happy, period.
  18. Your girlfriend doesn’t support you like you need her to.
  19. You can’t picture a future with her. Whenever you try, you feel bored instead of excited – maybe your skin even crawls.
  20. You compare her to your ex. Like, all the time. Even if you’re not into your ex.
  21. You feel complacent and are no longer reaching for your dreams.
  22. You find excuses to work later or go out with your friends more, anything to get away from your girlfriend a little while longer.
  23. You find yourself flirting with people you’re not really into.
  24. You secretly look for excuses to dump her, and almost wish you would find something incriminating in her phone. That would give you a good reason.
  25. Your instinct tells you to go. As my best friend says, “Follow your heart of hearts.”

Now, what do you do the first day after a breakup?

15 Sexuality Terms That All Queer Girls Need To Know

It’s so confusing sometimes when new words come up to describe a certain type of sexuality or relationship. I mean lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual, gay or transgendered seems enough to describe most sexualities, right?

Wrong. There are 15 that we have found so far and if you can learn them and learn the definitions it will definitely make you stand out from the crowd.


A person who experiences sexual attraction in a way that is considered the norm.


A person who feels a romantic attraction to androgyny.

Asexual/ Ace

A person who does not experience sexual attraction to another person.


A person that only experiences sexual attraction after developing a strong emotional bond.

Grey Asexual/ Grey Ace

A person that sometimes experiences sexual attraction in certain circumstances but has no desire to act upon it.

Libedoist Asexual

An asexual person with an active sex drive.


A person who experiences romantic attraction but doesn’t need or want it reciprocated.


A person who is attracted to those that are menstruating.


Someone who is attracted to all genders


A person that has non-exclusive relationships with people they are attracted to.


A person who doesn’t identify with any sexual orientation label and disregards them.


A person who is interested in someone else in a way that is more than friends but it is not necessarily romantic either.


Someone that finds the line between friendship and romance difficult.


A person that is attracted to someone because of their intellect.


A person who is sexually attracted to gender variant people.

Science Says These Are The Five Stages Of A Relationship Break-Up

I always thought there was no easy way to explain the emotional side effects of a breakup, just like there was meant to be no easy way to actually go through a breakup in the first place.

However, according to a new study, there are actually five distinct stages that lead to a break-up.

1. Pre-contemplation

This is before you even think about breaking up.

Everything’s rosy and you’re probably having a super time skinny-dipping and frolicking in the sea/having romantic candlelit dinners/Netflix and chilling.

2. Contemplation

In this stage, the first signs appear that something isn’t quite right and not everything’s so great any more.

You start having doubts and thinking things like “this relationship isn’t for me,” or “there’s something off in my relationship,” My Domaine reports.

3. Preparation

By the third stage, you’ve reached the point where you’re certain you want to break-up, but don’t know how to go about it – we all know it’s never easy to instigate.

For many people, the preparation stage lasts for months because they’re umming and ahhing, can’t pluck up the courage to end it or just don’t want to hurt their partner’s feelings.

4. Action

The fourth stage is where you actually take the plunge, have the chat and go your separate ways.

Some people gradually fall into the action stage by talking to their partners less and less, whereas for others it’s a sudden cutting off of all ties and ceasing communication.

5. Maintenance

The final stage of a break-up is that sad period where you’re giving back each other’s belongings, be they toothbrushes, DVDs or jumpers.

According to the study, if you’ve managed not to get back together while having these final exchanges, you’ll probably stay apart forever.

The report, carried about by the University of Tennessee and published in the Journal of College Counseling, saw researchers measuring two samples of college students.

So now you know what signs to look out for – and what might be coming.

Why You Stay In Your Toxic Relationship

It’s hard to see what’s best for yourself when you’re invested in a relationship.

It’s not always easy to remember who you are and what you want. You can start to lose yourself and forget to make yourself and your happiness a priority.

There is a lot of sh*t we put up with because the pain certain relationships bring us is less intimidating than the pain of letting go of the person you love.

But why? Why do we stay in relationships long past their expiry dates? Is it simply a fear of being alone?

People have now been speaking out and explaining why they stick with their partners when they know it won’t last.

Someone wrote in a particularly moving post on the Reddit forum,

The love just faded away, not suddenly some sharp ping then ‘oh I don’t love you anymore’. One day I am doing the dishes and I realised I was happy because she wasn’t coming home tonight, working later again. I suspect she is seeing a work colleague, an old bf she still gets on with, they’d known each other for years before I came along.

The funny thing is I don’t feel angry or hurt or betrayed. There is just a gentle relief that she is happy and I am happy without her. I always thought I needed a relationship but now as this one bleeds out on the floor I just feel content to watch it gasp and die.”

Sometimes it’s not that the relationship has turned completely toxic, it’s just not happy anymore.

Someone asked why they didn’t leave her, to which they responded:

Emotionally I fear it’s like I’ve been slowly stabbed and if I pull at that knife everything is going to hurt so much.”

It’s a painful and powerful simile.

Others shared their experiences after having finally seen the light and ended their relationships.

A common situation in long-term relationships is where each person has changed, but they still care about the other:

The thing is, I know we love and care about each other, but we became different people than the people we fell in love with,” said one person who’d just ended a six year relationship.

For some people, it’s the external pressure from others who don’t realise a partnership isn’t as happy as it might seem.

We stayed together a year longer than we should have because everyone else thought we were a great couple and neither of us wanted to be the bad guy who ended the relationship. I also really liked his family.”

But another person pointed out that an outsider can never really know what’s going on in a relationship:

My sister thinks I have a dull relationship of convenience. In fact we are deeply in love, have great respect for each other and are very happy to be together for the rest of our lives.”

That’s not the case for everyone though, and one woman admitted she knows her partner doesn’t really love her: “She doesn’t love me, never has, and I know it. Didn’t stop me from falling in love anyway.

We keep going because I have no self-respect or self-control. And she is too lazy, and I’m too convenient for her to look elsewhere. We are best friends. It’s hard to draw the line when we always have such a good time together.”

Whether both parties are settling is open to interpretation.

You don’t have to justify why you aren’t happy anymore. It isn’t realistic to expect to be happy in every moment of your relationship, but as a whole, this person should make you happier.

He or she should make you feel supported and capable of doing whatever the hell it is you want to do. You should know that even though you don’t have control of every aspect of your life and things will fall apart, this person gives you stability.

They help you rebuild and gives you hope that things can be the way you think they should be.

If you don’t have that, is it really worth it?

Thurst – This Dating App Offers More for Queer People

Gay men have Grindr. Gay women have Her. Straight people have OKCupid and Plenty Of Fish and JDate and Tinder and Bumble. (Okay, queer people technically have access to all of those too, but the pickings are slim, and those platform were definitely not designed for us.)

Where do you look for a new lover if you’re attracted to more than one gender?

If you’re genderqueer, where do you look for a lover who will accept your identity unquestioningly?

Thurst is “the first dating app designed for queer people of all genders.”

It was designed by Morgen Bromell, a queer woman of color who was tired of seeing cisgender white men dictate the app-based dating industry. A straight white man created Tinder, and almost all other dating apps have stemmed from that, implementing a swipe-based system that doesn’t always work for queer people.

Bromell created Thurst for “queer, cis, trans and non-binary folk who are seeking to connect in person.”

What makes it different from other queer dating apps? First, Thurst has enhanced levels of security – in many U.S. states someone can be fired for being LGBT, so being discovered on a queer app carries elevated risks. Second, Thurst doesn’t just let you choose “Seeking Women” or “Seeking Men and Women” like Tinder does. You can also look for people based on their kinks and fetishes. And you can filter people based on how they identify politically.

The only questionable aspect of Thurst is that it also allows you to filter by race. While Bromell undoubtedly means well, this feature risks fostering the same racism that has made Grindr infamous.

Still, Thurst has gained a lot of well-earned praise for pushing beyond the gender binary. As Bromell says:

I have always centered and prioritized trans folks and especially trans women, who face unparalleled levels of violence. These are essential principles, and embracing non-mainstream understanding of how to care for people has influenced the ways I envision Thurst, as not only an app, but a platform for cultural change. My hope is that we can allow folks to express the truths of their existence and be their full selves while seeking to connect with others, however that may look for them.

Check out the app for yourself.

8 Tips For Dating A Trans Woman, From a Trans Woman

Trans women are women. Period.

And, as with dating any woman, there are many DOs and DON’Ts. Transgender writer Leila Blake recently sat down to school cisgender on people on how to have an amazing relationship with a transgender woman.

Here’s what she said:

1. Don’t use the word “tranny.”

That is a derogatory term used in porn and it turns transgender women into objects.

2. Don’t expect her to teach you.

Leila says that too many cisgender people ask her questions that they could just Google themselves, such as “What’s the difference between a cross-dresser and a transgender person?” She’s not a textbook. Ask Jeeves.

3. Don’t expect her to roll right into bed.

Society frames transgender women in terms of what they’re able to do sexually – who can forget the awful Crying Game scene that demonized a sexy woman who dared to have a penis? In real life, don’t expect a transgender woman to want to move straight into the bedroom.

4. Don’t hide her away.

Leila says that for many people, “We’re ‘good enough’ for sex but not to be taken out in public.” Don’t be the idiot who tries to hide your relationship.

5. Steer clear of stereotypes.

You know that it’s bad to stereotype – not all black people are rappers, not all Asian people are math geniuses, and not all white people are trailer trash. But when it comes to transgender people, you might be holding stereotypes you didn’t even know you had, especially if you haven’t met a transgender person before. Don’t assume that all transgender women have penises (or don’t), that they’re all sex workers or criminals (like on Orange is the New Black), that they envy cisgender women (trans women are women) or that they want to look stereotypically feminine (butch trans women exist). Don’t excuse your ignorance by saying, “Sorry, I didn’t know.”

6. Don’t bring up sexual intercourse on the first date.

This is one of Leila’s personal rules. Not all transgender people are comfortable with their bodies, so they may not be comfortable discussing sex. Some are. Some aren’t. Tread lightly and wait for her to bring it up first.

7. Talk about sex before you do it.

Open communication is important in any sexual relationship, especially queer sexual relationships, cisgender or not. Before you sleep with her, ask her what she’s comfortable with.

8. Support her transition.

If you’re in a relationship with a transgender woman for a long period of time, especially a woman at the beginning of her transition, then be prepared for a lot of changes. Transitioning is difficult, emotionally and physically and financially. Support her.

For more of Leila’s tips, read this recent piece.