Marriage

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The Mistakes Smart Guys Make With Women

There are a lot of smart guys out there. They’re successful with good educations and stable jobs, and they also respect women. They’re just overall good guys. Yet even these men seem to be able to mess up relationships with women repeatedly and with such ease that it makes it almost seem deliberate. Why is that?

It seems like an age-old story, right? Guy meets girl, guy and girl have a connection, guy immediately (and then ever after) puts his foot in his mouth, does something insensitive, or any number of other things that suddenly makes the connection tenuous and creates strife. As it turns out, there are some specific reasons for this and very common mistakes that even the smartest men tend to make.

Why Men Make Mistakes So Often

mistakes in relationships by men

Men and women are different. Duh, right? I mean, that’s why relationships are fun and exciting – while also confusing and frustrating. One of the biggest differences between men and women, however, is their emotional intelligence quotient (EQ). Women simply tend to score higher.

Emotional intelligence is not synonymous with being emotional. What it is, really, is how we  manage our relationships with others and relate with them. EQ, in its actual definition, refers to emotional and social capacities that cumulatively demonstrate how efficient we’re able to:

  • Perceive and convey our feelings
  • Grow and sustain our social connections
  • Deal with hardships, stress, and make decisions
  • Utilize emotional information in an effectual and relevant manner

What this means is that someone with a high EQ is not only in-tune with their own emotions, but can recognize and effectively respond to the emotional state of others. This is an area where women typically outdo men.

Having a higher EQ can be a benefit in many areas, not just relationships. But when it comes to relationships, being able to see, understand, and respond to emotions and the non-verbal cues related to emotion can prove to be crucial. Without this skill (ahem…guys are you listening?) you can make big, insensitive mistakes and mess up a good thing.

The Big Five

mistakes in relationships

Okay, we know even smart guys make dumb mistakes with women. And not all of these mistakes are the same, but here are a few that seem to be fairly universal.

Trying to control everything

This is a big one and most of us have been guilty of it. We can blame society, stereotypes, or our parents, but men are generally taught they need to be strong and in charge. Control issues for men can show up anywhere from making plans for the two of you without consulting her, to trying to “fix” every problem or dilemma she encounters.

Women aren’t fond of being treated like subordinates, which is what you may be unconsciously doing if you try to take charge of everything. Remember, she’s your equal; she may even be smarter than you, and a relationship is a partnership.

You fail to consider her feelings (or simply ignore them)

If you pay attention and listen, most women will tell you (or show you) how they feel. Not acknowledging these feelings and responding appropriately can leave you in a bad spot. Because women are generally more in-tune with emotions they want them to be recognized and understood. It makes them feel closer to you and safe in your relationship. And guess what? It’s good for you too.

You don’t express your own feelings

Yep, she expresses hers and she wants to hear yours too. The tendencies toward one-word answers, holding things in, and trying to be “strong” that many men do can leave your lady feeling uncared for and in the dark. Just like Billy Joel advises, “tell her about it, let her know just how you feel.” This includes when you’re feeling hurt, scared, or insecure.

You ASSume

This may rival being controlling as one of the largest mistakes. Never assume anything (pretty good advice in general). You can’t read her mind and she can’t read yours. You must establish good communication if you want things to be strong and healthy between the two of you.

You don’t make her feel valued

Although the need to feel valued isn’t just a girl thing (we need it too), typically, women are much better at making us feel valued than we are at making them feel valued. Men are notorious for taking the love, affection, and small things that the women we love do for us for granted. Find a way on a regular basis to let her know how much you appreciate her.

While smart men do often make dumb mistakes with women and their relationships, it should be noted that women can be equally as guilty at times. I, by no means, don’t want to insinuate that men are knuckle-dragging morons that can’t treat women properly. Or that women are universally angelic and never at fault.

The fact is that relationships are tough at times and both genders are capable of making dumb mistakes. The blunders of men often just happen sooner and are more immediately obvious.

The post The Mistakes Smart Guys Make With Women appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

7 Easy To Spot Signs Your Relationship Has Problems

You would probably be surprised at the number of couples I work with where one or both partners feel their problems “Came out of nowhere” or “Happened overnight.” There are also those couples where one person doesn’t feel that anything’s really wrong and is just attending counseling to appease the other.

I can tell you with certainty that nothing causing problems in a relationship happened overnight or came out of nowhere, and if one partner thinks there are problems, then there really are and counseling is a good choice. Many couples go for too long with blinders on, ignoring the signs there are problems in the relationship. By the time the issues are too big to ignore they’re also often too big to be dealt with alone and require professional help.

If you want to keep your relationship strong, healthy, and happy, it’s much better to tackle issues as they arise and while they are still small. If you don’t, it’s like a snowball. Before you know it the small thing that may have been worked through with a thoughtful conversation or two is now tangled up in all the other issues it caused and requires counseling to sort out and fix the damage caused.

So, if you want to save yourself a lot of frustration, pain, and complications, there are some common signs to watch out for that can indicate you’re moving to shaky ground.

You’ve stopped talking and laughing together

relationship trouble sign

Communication is crucial to a happy relationship and not just the communication that allows you to work out problems. Couples need to be able to talk like friends and laugh together, even over silly, non-crucial things.

So much focus is given to the communication skills that relate to conflict resolution that we often forget that couples also need to be able to just chat, laugh, and enjoy each other. If you’ve noticed that you and your partner no longer do this regularly, consider it a warning sign there are problems looming and fix it.

You have secrets

Maybe they’re not big secrets and don’t seem like a big deal. You bought something and don’t want to deal with the conversation about spending, or you grabbed a drink with a friend after work and it doesn’t feel worth discussing. It’s not the specific thing that is a problem in most cases, it’s the fact that you purposely didn’t tell your partner.

Secrets, even the small, stupid ones, cause problems. And the little ones inevitably lead to bigger ones – don’t doubt me on this. I’m not suggesting that you each need to detail every little thing you’ve done every single day, but if you feel even slightly inclined to not tell your partner something then it’s a pretty sure bet you should.

You’re not completely sure you trust your partner

This doesn’t mean you have to suspect them of having an affair or leading a double life, but more likely that you have a nagging “curiosity” regarding certain things that seem odd or unclear about their behavior. Maybe it’s a, “I wonder who that text was from,” or “Is there more to the story that you’re not telling me?”

These minor cracks in trust are a problem even if they’re unfounded. Your partner (or you) may be doing nothing wrong, but the fact that one of you is concerned means that something needs to be done to fix the trust problem before it gets larger and potentially destroys your relationship.

Doing things together doesn’t interest you

If your reaction to, “Let’s go to dinner, movie, for a walk, bowling, etc.” is, “Meh, no thanks” it’s a problem. Just like you need to be able chat and laugh together, you also need to be able to do stuff together and enjoy each other’s company.

Arguments don’t ever get resolved, just ignored

If the end to an argument is, “Fine, whatever,” it hasn’t been resolved. Unresolved arguments are like tooth decay, they will eat away at your relationship and eventually cause a painful cavity. If, as a couple, you are finding it harder and harder to resolve your disagreements there’s a bigger problem and it’s time to fix things. This doesn’t get better without intervention, it gets worse.

The physical has fizzled

relationship troubles

The intensity of intimacy in a relationship will ebb and flow, that’s completely normal. But when the desire leaves entirely it’s a red flag. Intimacy is crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship, it’s part of what keeps you bonded and satisfied with each other. So, if one or both of you seem to have lost interest entirely it’s time to figure out why and fix it.

You’ve stopped hearing each other

This is a big one and hard for some people to understand, but as a couple you need to really hear each other. Many times, one partner will say things like, “I tried to tell you,” or “I’ve said it over and over” and the other (often the man) will be oblivious. There is also an element of nonverbal communication that can be difficult for people to get, but is worth trying to understand. One partner may communicate through their actions how they’re feeling more than their words. While this isn’t an advisable way to communicate, if you’re worried that your relationship is starting to have problems, it’s worth paying attention to.

If any of these sound familiar it’s time to act. Doing so now can prevent larger problems and keep your relationship on solid footing. Know that encountering these issues in a long-term relationship is very common and doesn’t spell doom for the two of you, nor does it mean you have to go to counseling. Catching these things early may just mean you will be able to resolve them more quickly and happily than if you wait too long.

The post 7 Easy To Spot Signs Your Relationship Has Problems appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

12 Tips on How to Celebrate Anniversary in a Long Distance Relationship

Since the advent of the Internet, long-distance relationships have no longer been something extraordinary. They have become an extremely popular way of dating which quite often leads to marriage.

According to statistics, 75% of couples have experienced being in a long-distance relationship. About 3 million Americans live apart from their spouses for reasons other than divorce at some point in their marriage.

So, obviously, LDR couples have their LDR wedding anniversaries.

And if you are looking for some ideas on how to celebrate anniversary in a long-distance relationship, we have 12 cool tips for you.

Arrange a Virtual Date

how to celebrate anniversary long distance relationship

Spice up your normal FaceTime or Skype chat with a romantic vibe.

Plan your anniversary date together in detail. Consider food, drinks, decorations, outfits, and activities. You can even watch a movie together or play a game, for example.

Make this evening special and memorable. Show your significant other how much you care despite the distance.

Make a Video Surprise

What can be better than sweet long-distance anniversary messages? Only a sincere, romantic video surprise.

  • Rule number 1: Turn your creativity on.
  • Rule number 2: There are no other rules.

You can make a small cute video and tell about your feelings. You can also sing a song, dance or read a love message you’ve written.

Your partner will be over the moon after watching your lovely intimate video surprise.

“Open When” Letters

If you’ve never heard about this creative, romantic solution before, think no more. It’s always a win-win option.

The idea is to present your partner a bunch of letters they’re supposed to open at different times. For example, they can open the letters when they are feeling lonely or happy. Inside the letters can be small notes, cards, photos or even small gifts and sweets.

The best thing about this heartwarming gift is that it keeps giving.

Send a Handwritten Letter

When you don’t see each other for months, sending texts becomes an ordinary thing you do every day. Thus, if you want to do something more special than a long-distance anniversary message, opt for real mail.

A handwritten love letter or a postcard in the mailbox pile of boring stuff will surprise your sweetheart. It can become another heartwarming reminder of your love.

Netflix and Chill

Here is an idea from the list of funny things to do on your anniversary.

If you’re both dying to watch a new movie, you can organize a distant Netflix and chill date. Turn the movie on simultaneously and connect through FaceTime so that you can see each other’s reactions and discuss it while watching. Enjoy the same snack together, too.

Create the Memories

How to celebrate anniversary in a long-distance relationship? Create memories.

If you have an opportunity to meet on your LDR wedding anniversary, consider doing something you will both enjoy. Buy tickets to a concert or go on a hot air balloon ride. You can also try to do a parachute jump or a helicopter ride.

Send a Care Package

Fill a gift box with their favorite sweets, goodies, and cute little nothings. Spray your signature scent all over the box, add a couple of photos and an intimate love note.

Take a Matching Photo

Another funny thing to do on your anniversary when you are far away from each other is to take a matching pic as a symbol of your indivisibility and unity.

Experiment with the poses in your separate pics. Then, try to make a photo you would have probably taken if you were together in Photoshop.

Plan a Trip

how to celebrate anniversary

The first variant is to plan a surprise trip to see your partner in their city. If covering the trip expenses and taking several days off work is not a problem for you, think no more and get on a plain for the most romantic surprise for your other half.

Another option is to plan a trip for two and meet at some romantic place to celebrate your love.

Do a Quiz for Couples

Answering questions for long distance relationship couples or doing a love quiz could also become a memorable and funny thing to do on your anniversary.

Moreover, it’s a great bonding experience, despite being thousands of kilometers away, at a distance of a phone call.

“What I Love About You” List

If you are stingy with compliments in everyday life, making a «what I love about you» list will be a perfect long-distance anniversary idea.

Take some time to come up with the things you appreciate, adore, and love about your partner. What makes you proud of them? What makes you happy?

Send this list to your love in a message, in a letter, or write them on separate papers and put them all folded into a decorated jar.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

If you are still struggling with those tips on how to celebrate anniversary in a long-distance relationship, then rely on technology.

Long-distance anniversary messages and video chats are not the only benefits of our high-tech era. Through special apps for your phone like LokLok or Couple, LDR couples can find more new ways to connect with their distant partners and spouses.

See Also: 4 Original Ways to Be Romantic in the Digital Age

Love each other and show your love – no matter if you’re close or far!

The post 12 Tips on How to Celebrate Anniversary in a Long Distance Relationship appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

10 Tips On What To Do Before Marriage

Marriage does not belong to people. It belongs to God, and serves primarily His purposes. Only when our marriage is dedicated to God and serve Him do we find the happiness of family life and the fullness of joys.

Step 1. Living for God’s Glory

That is why, before looking for a life partner, you must find God and begin to follow Him. Often, young people are concerned about secondary (but in their opinion, the most important) questions: where to study, where to live, with whom to start a family.

And they miss the main fundamental questions: how to please God, to know Him, to serve Him. Bypassing these key issues of life, a person can wander for a long time in the dark, trying to solve these secondary issues and not finding solutions.

Therefore, first of all, develop your spiritual life and live for God’s glory, as it is said in 1 Corinthians 10:31: “So, eat, drink, or whatever else you do, do everything for the glory of God.

This is the first and important step.

The Origin of Love

Recently, a teenager of about fifteen came up to me and said that he had fallen in love. He wanted to find a good job to be able to provide for his future family and to marry this girl as soon as possible. I asked him why he was so sure that he needed to start a family as soon as possible. His answer was simple – because he had a crush on her.

How does human love develop?

It does not occur spontaneously at the very first meeting between a man and a woman. Those who tell sentimental stories about love at first sight believe that it takes no time to generate love. But this is not so. A person may like it at first sight, but true love needs time.

By nature, a man enters into a relationship mainly on the basis of instinct and reason. A woman, on the contrary, feels and perceives the world through emotions. Of course, this is a simplification, but it is useful for understanding how love is born between a man and a woman.

Step 2. Interest

what couples need to do before marriage

Do not be embarrassed by this, God did so. In the first stage, most often, the guy often likes a girl for her looks. It causes attraction in him – maybe sexual, maybe just mental. But she does not leave him indifferent.

The girl is fond of the guy, thanks to a burst of emotions: admiration, warmth, thirst for intimacy and love. This sprout of love cannot be a serious basis for living together. These feelings are essentially ephemeral and short-lived.

In adolescence, you have a natural desire to recognize the opposite sex. There’s the desire to love someone and be loved, to be understood and heard. These feelings often serve as the basis for falling in love for a particular person. Therefore, when you have feelings for a person, this is normal.

But this does not mean that you have real love.

These first feelings lead to one of two options. Either you will eventually lose interest in a person or move on to the next stage – the emergence of consonance, kinship.

Step 3. Affinity or Consonance

Observe if you had a feeling of kinship with the person you liked at the first stage as if you had known each other all your life. Communicating with him and observing from the side, you will find more and more common, something near and dear. You are attracted to each other by a common interest or a common enemy.

Here, usually, the most “dangerous” stage of love development begins.

Step 4. Love

When we meet a soul mate and even the opposite sex and we like her, then a special stage begins – love. This is a natural, normal reaction, but it cannot be the basis for creating a marriage.

We can fall in love not only once and not only in one person. Therefore, my advice at this stage: you should not “dissolve” your feelings.

I especially appeal to girls: take care of yourself.

This is not the last step. At this stage, a person can hardly be objective. He definitely needs a third party. He needs someone spiritually mature whom he can trust. Surely, parents should always be consulted. But it can also be a pastor or youth leader, a spiritual mentor. But I beg you, be sure to chat with someone mature at this point.

Vivid emotions distort the perception of reality to such an extent that we are ready to ascribe to the object of our love all our virtues, denying in it the presence of the slightest flaw. Everything in it seems to us perfect, right, and reasonable. We are ready to forgive any mistake and protect our beloved from anyone, most often from parents, or ministers, or even friends, who, with a sober look note both the advantages and disadvantages of your relationship.

Somehow a disciple approached the ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes, who fell in love and asked him what is the cure for love at first sight. The sage replied: “Look at a person a second time”.

Falling in love cannot be a support for building a marriage. Rather, on the contrary: marriages concluded on this basis are most likely to result in divorce or disintegration from within. The very first days of life together bring the first difficulties: who will go to the store, who will clean the house, what to do in the evening and how to spend Sunday.

The dramatic and inevitable law of contrasts is disappointing; it is associated with the woeful discovery that the life partner we have chosen turns out to be a normal person, that is, a limited creature.

And it immediately makes us forget about its positive aspects, and now we are beginning to consider him the worst on the whole earth and ask ourselves how it could happen that we chose him. Thoughts come that there was no God’s will for you to marry her. What frustration and despair you will experience!

Step 5. Recognition. Friendship. Objective Assessment

what couples need to do before marriage

Do not disclose your feelings at this stage. It is better to recognize a person from the side, looking at him with the most objective eyes in his natural setting. For this purpose, you can simply do some service together.

A meeting will not provide as much necessary and objective information about him as mere observation from the outside. A date cannot become a really good tool for recognizing a person of the opposite sex. Joint meetings are possible, only a few times, and then at the final stage, before making a final decision.

Discard the illusions that you will be able to change the character of your chosen one after the wedding! It is better to prepare in advance for the fact that you will need to live with its shortcomings (and to him – with yours). Learn how this person walks with God, overcomes difficulties, how respectfully he treats his family members. And work on yourself – kill your selfishness before marriage.

Lasting love is built on the objective knowledge of a loved one. Of course, I would like to think that sympathy, beating in unison of two hearts – this is the necessary foundation of love. But this is not enough.

It is the objectivity that leads from friendship to love that is the right path to marriage. I love a person when I love him for what he is; I love and appreciate its advantages, and I impartially evaluate the shortcomings and carefully help him correct them.

Every person, and in particular, a spouse, and then children, should be loved precisely for what they are, and not for the desired virtues, position in society, academic titles or successes achieved.

If we do not learn this central aspect of love, selfless love for a person by himself, we will quickly be disappointed. When success becomes less when a career does not work out, or the qualities that we so idealized turn out to be more modest, what are we left with? With disappointment?

If your love is built on this, then, of course, you will be disappointed. Moreover, we will have disgust, for we will feel deceived and seduced. There is nothing more violent than disappointment. Personal suffering arising from the realization of our mistake gives rise to the most cynical reactions – the better we know a person, his habits, his desires, the more evil we can inflict on him.

That is why it is important to get an objective picture in order to approach the final stage or the last step, when you can already go and make an offer (or accept it, saying “yes”).

See Also: Friendship’s Day Special: Why Friendship Makes Marriage More Fun

Step 6. Giving Yourself

Donating yourself to another person is not to be confused with the plexus of bodies. Love as a gift consists in the desire for the good of the beloved: his good, and not good in general, dissolved in a cloud of emotions. That is why conjugal love is a consciously made choice. It should involve bringing oneself as a gift to another person, accepting her as she is, with the aim of creating a family.

Only a marriage based on love-giving can lead to strong family life, although this does not mean that there will be no difficulties. But if Christ, His love, and His example of love will be at the center of such a relationship, then such a marriage is doomed to become happy.

10 practical tips for behavior before marriage

1. Take your time to make a serious decision.

True love is not afraid of time but only strengthens. If you have it, then over time it will become more mature.

In addition, falling in love is natural for a person, but this does not mean true love.

2. Remember that love is a gift from God. And you can not say “I love her” and “she loves me.” This is not true: there is one common love between us. Check whether your love is such, whether there is reciprocity.

3. Talk to someone you trust. A wise person will help you understand the situation and look at it soberly and objectively.

4. Do not rush to share your feelings with a person to whom you feel sympathy. Do not bind a person in any way (take a promise, forced to answer). If everything is from God, then you should not “help” Him.

5. Do not force yourself to love, if love passes – premarital relations should be natural and free.

6. Ask yourself:

  • Do I want to study the Bible together with him (her) and live on it?
  • Do I want to have children with him (her)?
  • When I think about this person, what thoughts do I have?
  • Why do I want to marry her / marry him?

7. Do not worry about your future. It belongs to the Lord, He will take care of you. In addition, marriage is not the only way to realize things about yourself. Trust the Lord and do not make decisions solely on the basis of fleeting feelings (love).

8. Study the Bible, especially words about marriage and the relationship between a man and a woman. Pray that God will help you see the situation through the prism of these passages. And please don’t be stubborn. If God speaks, then obey without trying to convince yourself otherwise.

9. No dates. If there are dates, then there is no objectivity, therefore there will be no real friendship. Have patience. God will show everything with time.

10. Live a truly spiritual life so that God can guide you. Do not leave the church ministry because you fell in love. Spiritual life and ministry is God’s unchangeable will for you at all times. Otherwise, you will start to think incorrectly and you will not be able to have a sober look at things. From this point in your life, there will be a mass of wrong actions and decisions.

The post 10 Tips On What To Do Before Marriage appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Empowering Songs to Listen to After a Breakup

No matter which end of a breakup you have found yourself on, ending a serious relationship can hurt. Lost love can leave you feeling heartbroken, lost, confused, and even depressed. Thankfully, music has an amazing way of soothing your heart and refreshing your spirit during these troubled times.

Music doesn’t even have to have lyrics in order to move your heart. The emotion behind a set of violin strings or the sweet melodic tones of someone who has also had a broken heart can make you feel less alone.

Whether you’re singing along with heartbreaking lyrics or hearing an empowering song about self-worth and moving on, music can help you get through your break up.

Here are 5 songs to listen to after a breakup. They have secret messages of relationship advice that you need to hear.

Avril Lavigne – Tell Me It’s Over



This hit from Avril Lavigne’s 2019 album “Head Above Water” is relatable for so many reasons. It speaks about a girl who is in a painful on-off relationship with her partner.

When the couple breaks up, it never really feels like it’s over. There is manipulation and emotional confusion afoot.

“I ain’t playing no games / ‘Cause I’ve got nothing left to lose
I’m so tired of circular motions / They leave me dizzy and confused
My heart, oh no / is not your revolving door
I get stuck spinning and spinning and spinning / Oh, ’til I collapse on the floor
But every time that you touch me / I forget what we’re fighting about
Oh, you come and you leave / Shame on me for believing every word out of your mouth
Tell me it’s over / If it’s really over
‘Cause it don’t feel like it’s over / whenever you’re closing the door / no
So tell me it’s over”

This song reminds the listener not to put up with emotional gaslighting or toxic relationships. Release yourself from the turmoil that comes with an on-again-off-again relationship and date someone who wants to be with you 100 percent of the time.

Etta James – I’d Rather Go Blind

This 1968 release by jazz superstar Etta James is one of the most heartbreaking, soulful breakup songs you will ever hear. It’s about a woman who knows her partner is cheating and is shattered, but unable to let go of that relationship.

“Something told me it was over / When I saw you and her talking
Something deep down in my soul said, cry girl
When I saw you and that girl, walking around
I would rather, I would rather go blind boy / Than to see you, walk away from me child
So you see, I love you so much / That I don’t want to watch you leave me baby
Most of all, I just don’t, I just don’t want to be free no”

The secret relationship advice hidden in this song? Trust your instinct. If something feels off in your relationships, it probably is.

The Decemberists – Everything is Awful

Sometimes, there is no point in looking toward a positive future or reminiscing about all the good times you shared with your ex. Sometimes, you just want to wallow.

The folk rock band The Decemberists released this gem in 2018 off of their “I’ll Be Your Girl” album. We think it is the perfect song that says it like it is. Sometimes, after a breakup, everything is awful.

“What’s that crashing sound / follows us around?
That’s the sound of all things good breaking
Put your fears to rest / You know it’s for the best
As a choir of angels sings
Everything, everything, everything, everything, everything, thing
Everything, everything, everything, everything, everything is awful”

Adele – Someone Like You

Bitter and soulful, sad and vengeful, this Adele classic has been a favorite of those nursing broken hearts since 2011. This song speaks of a person who simply can’t get over her former lover moving on. She wants nothing more than to be with someone just like her ex so she can feel a love like that again.

“I heard, that you’re settled down / That you found a girl and you’re / married now
I heard, that your dreams came true / I guess she gave you things / I didn’t give to you
Old friend, why are you so shy / Ain’t like you to hold back / Or hide from the light
I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited but I / Couldn’t stay away I couldn’t fight it
I had hoped you’d see my face / And that you be reminded that for me it isn’t over”

This song can help soothe your broken heart, but don’t get too lost within its words. Remember that your relationship ended for a reason. The last thing you should want is to date a carbon copy of your ex. Instead, move on to someone bigger and better.

Lorde – Writer in the Dark

New Zealander Lorde’s 2017 release of Writer in the Dark is a dark and haunting song about the torture of being left and feeling like you aren’t good enough.

“I am my mother’s child, I’ll love you till my breathing stops / I’ll love you till you call the cops on me
But in our darkest hours, I stumbled on a secret power / I’ll find a way to be without you, babe
I still feel you, now and then / Slow like Pseudoephedrine
When you see me, will you say I’ve changed?
I ride the subway, read the signs / I let the seasons change my mind
I love it here / since I’ve stopped needing you”

This song offers a beautiful piece of relationship advice behind it. Love hurts, but it makes you stronger. The moment you realize that you are stronger than the pain your ex put you through, and that you no longer need your ex to be happy is certainly one to celebrate about.

Take these 5 songs to listen to after a breakup and let their lyrics and sound heal your broken heart.

And always remember this relationship advice: You deserve someone who will love, respect, and appreciate your presence in their life — not break your heart.

Take your time to grieve your relationship and then move on to bigger and better things.

See Also: The One Post Breakup Thing Women Need to Do

The post 5 Empowering Songs to Listen to After a Breakup appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Effects of Being In A Sexless Marriage On Your Mental Health

What is a sexless marriage? Can it affect your mental health?

Research suggests that being in a sexless marriage doesn’t mean that you and your partner are never intimate. It means that you are only having sex once or fewer times a month.

When sex is lacking in a marriage, both partners suffer. It’s more than just having an orgasm and feeling great (though that doesn’t hurt either). It’s about connecting with your partner in mind, body, and soul. It is about feeling secure in your relationship.

When these important aspects of love are taken out of the marital equation, trouble is soon to follow.

Here are 7 studies that prove that a sexless marriage can hurt your relationship and your mental health- and there’s nothing shallow about it.

Sexless Marriage Causes Depression

Research proves that marital satisfaction is significantly associated with being satisfied in bed. Not only does sex feel amazing and lower your stress levels, but it also connects a couple on a romantic and emotional level.

Another study highlights that increasing sexual activity from once a month to once a week can raise happiness levels as much as making an extra $50,000 at your job.
When you do not have the emotional connection and the flow of beneficial oxytocin running through your body that comes from having sex, you may begin to feel depressed.

Here are some signs that your mental health has taken a turn toward depression:

  • Feeling helpless, sad, and alone
  • Experiencing feelings of worthlessness
  • Constant fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Constant pessimism
  • Feeling unmotivated
  • A significant change in appetite or eating habits
  • Irritability
  • Digestive issues
  • Scattered thoughts or difficulty concentrating

See Also: 7 Ways You Can Start Coping With Depression Naturally

Reduces Marital Trust

cope with a sexless marriage

Studies done by Northwestern University and Redeemer University College found that trust is important to a happy marriage.

The precious oxytocin hormone released during intimacy has been shown to cause a substantial increase in trust, allowing people to feel braver, more trusting of their spouse, and more willing to take emotional and social risks together.

When you are in a sexless marriage, you may feel less physically and emotionally trusting of your partner, which can damage other areas of your relationship.

Straying Thoughts and Hearts

Couples who spend time together are happier than those who don’t and it doesn’t have to be special. Studies show that anything from washing dishes side by side to romantic date night can boost happiness and lower stress. And sex certainly contributes to happiness.

Studies also suggest that the oxytocin released after sex is responsible for feelings of monogamy – particularly in men.

When you are not feeling emotionally or sexually satisfied in your marriage, you may have thoughts of looking elsewhere for such satisfaction. This may cause you to feel guilty or worse, follow through with your desire to cheat and possibly ruin your relationship.

See Also: Tips For Happy Marriage: 7 Simple Ways To Maintain A Loving Relationship

Stunts Communication Skills

When you are no longer intimate with your spouse, you may feel uncomfortable opening up and being vulnerable with one another. This can severely stunt your communication skills.

We have all heard that communication is the backbone of a healthy marriage, but did you know communication also contributes to a healthy sex life? Research proves that couples who are willing to talk about sex enjoy higher relationship satisfaction and increased orgasm frequency in women.

Couples need to discuss their sex life. Communicate about what feels good in bed, what kinks you’re into, and what you and your spouse can do to make sex feel more satisfying for you. It is also essential that couples be open, honest, and kind about what may be stopping them from enjoying a healthy sex life.

Studies show that stress can negatively affect your libido. Hurt feelings from past relationship mistakes, marital boredom, and certain medications can also play a role in a lowered libido.

You Become Easily Irritated

Sexual satisfaction predicts heightened emotional intimacy for couples. The more satisfied you are in bed, the closer you will feel to your partner. When this intimacy is lacking, you may find you are growing apart or becoming irritated with one another.

Because oxytocin makes you feel calmer and less stressed, a lack of this love hormone can do just the opposite. As your mental health and relationship happiness decline, you may start to feel annoyed with your spouse over small things. Arguments become more frequent and you may even hate being in the same room with them.

Lack of Intimacy Hurts your Emotional Connection

Is it normal for your sex life to take a dip? Yes and no. Research shows that later life couples (ages 70-86) were more likely to choose emotional intimacy over sexual intimacy as they age. But those same studies also indicate that midlife couples (ages 50-69) often become distressed by changes in their sex life.

So yes, your sex life is sure to change and go through ebbs and flows the older you get. However, a complete lack of sex or only having sex once a month is sure to create problems in your marriage and with your mental health. Instead of favoring your emotional connection, you may feel like you are growing apart.

Resentment Snowballs

coping with a sexless marriage

When you are not being regularly intimate with your spouse, it can cause resentment to build. You may start to wonder why your spouse doesn’t care about your sexual satisfaction. More importantly, you begin to question why they are giving up on the emotional connection you share or overlooking the wonderful benefits that sex brings to your marriage.

If you have discussed your sex life at length and your spouse doesn’t seem to want to change or communicate about why they are resistant to intimacy, it can cause you to feel neglected, hurt, and angry.

If a lack of intimacy is causing you to have thoughts of straying, you may even start to resent your spouse for making you feel the need to look outside your marriage for pleasure or validation.

Are you living in a sexless marriage? If so, this can affect your fidelity and self-esteem. It can weaken the love you once felt for your partner. There is no doubt that a lack of sex can hurt your mental health, your feelings, and in some cases, even your physical health.

The post The Effects of Being In A Sexless Marriage On Your Mental Health appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

10 Tips for a Long and Happy Marriage

There’s no master plan for how people maintain their marriage. There’s no formula to follow or equation to calculate.

Every relationship is different and each couple faces distinct circumstances. You can’t deliver the magic love formula for the same two couples. Yet, there’s a wealth of knowledge out there from those who understand what it takes to thrive.

For one couple, it might be a simple passion or activity they both enjoy, something that no one else can understand. Humor, music, sense of style — these are all points to account for.

The best way to learn how to succeed in a long-lasting marriage is to consult those who’ve done it. Discover the secrets for how these relationships flourish. Some of these couples, overcoming long distance, and some withstanding the test of time, have lasted up to 78 years.

Morrie and Betty Markoff: Your Friends Aren’t The Best Judge of Character

morrie and betty markoff
Via articles.latimes.com

This couple of 78 years has one tip for you: Your friends aren’t always the best judge of character.

Their perspective shouldn’t be the main variable for how you manage your relationship. They’re not the ones who spend their time with your loved one. Your friends don’t understand how much you mean to this person. They don’t define what your love should be.

Yes, your friends can be an excellent safety net for you. They see or might notice things you don’t.

But in the end, you’re the one married to this person and they’re not. It’s up to you to take responsibility for how you judge your own relationship. Not others.

Sammy and Macie Waller: Remember Your Vows

sammy and macie waller
Via becauseofthemwecan.com

75 years of love.

What’s their secret?

They insist that you remember the vows you gave to them when you got married. Those vows represent the foundation of your marriage. If you keep the base strong, you allow your relationship to blossom into something that can withstand time and distance.

Now, what happens to a relationship with a weak foundation? If there’s nothing for your relationship to stand on, how can the rest of your marriage fall into place?

Make a habit to return and remind each other of the vows you made on your wedding day. Those blissful words represent the starting point for your marriage. Without knowing where you two came from, how can move forward together?

Warren and Mattie Sanders: Agree To Disagree

warren and mattie sanders
Via southernliving.com

This couple has been together for 69 years. What kept them together was their agreement to never argue.

Agree to disagree.

Yes, it’s acceptable and normal to disagree. What they did, however, was learn how to walk away from arguments.

Couples stay together based on unity. Arguments fueled by negativity divide your love. It takes away the time you could enjoy together in each other’s arms.

Be wise. Agree to disagree and make an honest effort to understand each other. An argument doesn’t go anywhere if you two don’t listen to each other’s viewpoints. Raising voices and bringing up things to fuel the fire won’t help.

Be patient, listen, and love each other. How do you learn how to do this? Start from the very beginning, and it’ll only get better from there.

Bob and Jean Haynes: Laughter

bob and jean haynes
Via southernliving.com

You can’t fail if you both have a similar sense of humor. Laughter is the secret for this couple of 67 years. Use it as a positive way to lift up and support each other.

Laughter brings smiles and joy. Remember to not use your partner’s vulnerabilities against them. With laughter, you form memories and inside jokes only you two can understand. It brings the bond you have with each other closer.

Who cares if you have a weird joke no one but you two get?

Life is short and few people can say their relationship was blessed with moments of laughter. Your memories and jokes will grow with you, as you two never forget the funniest things that happen to one another.

See Also: 3 Ways To Inject More Humor Into Your Relationship

Frank and Thelma Hoffman: Form A Companionship

frank and thelma hoffman
Via abcnews.go.com

Love one another and form a companionship. That’s what has kept this couple together for over 67 years. You two must like or think about the same things. A friendship that blossoms into a loving relationship and marriage is a beautiful testament of affection.

The warmth and tenderness of a true companionship are unmatched. When you’re together, people think you’re close to the same person. Your personality traits complement each other, and the result is a relationship that cannot die.

Maybe you both love animals. Perhaps, you have the same passion for an instrument or you met each other by learning a new language.

You’re both lucky to have each other and you should recognize that.

Cherish it.

See Also: 6 Hobbies For Couples That Can Strengthen Your Relationship

Benny DeWitt and Joyce Smith Speares: Always Kiss Each Other Goodnight

benny dewitt and joyce smith speares
Via southernliving.com

This is what this couple of 62 years has done every night. Live in the moment, because you can’t guarantee what will happen in the future. You don’t want to live a life full of regret because you were too angry to wish your loved one goodnight.

A kiss at the end of the day before you sleep is a gentle farewell until the morning. Anything can happen the next day, but if you take the time to love each other, even for a short time, your romance grows richer.

Letty and Rudy Sagun: Dancing…a lot!

letty and rudy sagun
Via southernliving.com

Even 59 years later, some of the things you enjoy doing with your loved one don’t change. That’s the case for both Letty and Rudy. Their lasting endearment is thanks to their love of dancing with each other.

Even as time passes by, you can return back and be with your dancing partner. Likewise, when you’re looking to learn a new dance move, they will be right there waiting for you.

Your significant other understands you and knows how you like to have fun. If other people don’t think you’re good dancers, who cares! More power to you.

Charlie and Sherri Sugarman: That Whole “Better Half” Idea? Ditch it.

charlie and sherri sugarman
Via southernliving.com

Charlie and Sherri have been together for 51 years. They understand how crucial it is to be your own person, and there’s no need to turn your relationship into a competition. You two should complement each other.

The two of you can grow together as a couple if you balance each other out as your own person. Spark interest among one another. Bring new ideas every time you come together.

“Better half?” There’s no such thing.

Tom and Maureen McEwan: Still Living In A Big House

tom and maureen mcewan
Via smalljoys.tv

For 50 years, this couple knows what it takes to stay together. At the same time, Tom and Maureen understand that they both have their own unique personalities. Even if you two complement each other, there’s always still room to grow with your own interests!

If you’re artsy, sometimes you need some space for yourself. For other people, maybe you have a passion for reading books. You two can have space for your own favorite things to do, and you can have the comfort knowing you’re both there for each other.

Ray and Joan Day: Share and Compromise

ray and joan day
Via southernliving.com

Ray and Joan have been together for 48 years. Sharing and compromising is what has kept them together through the years. When you learn how to meet each other halfway, your relationship gains newfound strength.

Time can do so much. Jobs come up, people have to move, some friends come and go. But if you take the time to truly listen to where you’re both coming from, you can move past these things.

As a couple, you’re joined together in unity. Your marriage to each other is a signal that you don’t want or need to be with anyone else. There’s no one else out there who can replace them.

Remember…

Each relationship is different. These secrets from these 10 couples are simple, but they’re crafted out of timeless wisdom.

There are hearts all over the world, but when you’re in a relationship, only one of these hearts match up with yours.

They mean to you what you mean to them. As time goes by, you’ll have your chances to give them a hug, laugh with them, and kiss them goodnight. Don’t take these moments for granted, because what you have is special.

Master these secrets of what makes a long and happy marriage work, and share with someone what you’ll do to ensure a loving relationship.

Author:

Jessica Santos is a content marketer with a passion for writing and storytelling. You can find her writing on a variety of topics ranging from floral DIYs to rising cybersecurity trends. When she’s not writing or researching for her next project, you find her trying out the latest foodie trends at local community festivals. See more of Jessica’s writing here: http://www.oldest.org/people/longest-marriages/.

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How To Make Your Wife Smile

When you meet the woman of your dreams, a marriage becomes suddenly inevitable. And a few years into your marriage, everything changes as you get to know your better half. You realize that keeping up with your wife can be a drag. Despite that, however, you should still play your part and give your wife the attention and love she deserves.

Here are some really great ways to make your wife happy.

Make Her Feel Special

courting relationship

Once you are friends with someone as a guy, it naturally gives you the inclination to be more frank with them, tease them, be more personal in your comments, and share things together. However, a woman is a much more complex person and that is what we tend to forget about our wives.

Without them, we are simply lonely. All the fame, power, and money can go rust in the corner. If you don’t have someone to share them with, then what is the point of having them in the first place?

You need to know that your wife is yours and she deserves to be treated in a way that doesn’t make her feel anything less.

Here are some things that can brighten up her day:

• Leave her a genuinely felt and sincere note of thank you or reminder for how much you truly love and care for her.
• Get her favorite ice cream, chocolate or anything sweet that you know she likes. She appreciates the fact that you remember her.
• Make waves the next time you get intimate with her by making the setting more attractive and appealing. We don’t need to delve too much on this subject. We know that you know what we are hinting here.
• Complete your honey-do list and if you haven’t, then now is the right time to start one.
• Calling her on the phone or sending her a message is something that doesn’t need much effort nowadays, thanks to the internet and technology.
• Make her feel at ease. After work, ask her if she needs a massage and if you don’t know how, then learn a few routines for free online.

Remind Her How Beautiful She Is

If you are the man who truly admires your life partner, then you should know why ‘beauty’ or being called ‘beautiful’ is important for a woman.

Here is what you can do:

• Respect your own physique. Wash yourself, brush your teeth, cut your nails, and get groomed. This will make her question your actions — we bet on it. And when she does, tell her up close with a gentle hug or a cuddle that it was all for her.
• Never forget to compliment her with pure honesty regarding how amazing she is in front of everyone.
• Don’t wait for a fight or some other bad time to tell her how beautiful she is. Be generous and straight up tell her and do it differently every time you do.
• Your affection towards her is probably what she needs. The trust she has on you can make her fight the entire world just for you. So, be a man and ensure that you will do the same with a kind smile.

Instill Happiness

You know, there are couples in the world that are broke as hell yet they live the most lovable lives. Even the kings and queens would envy them. Money, property, fame, and power has nothing to do with the state of pure joy. It comes from within — a fulfilling feeling which you can share with your loved one without restrictions or limitations.

Here are some of the ways you can still mean the world to her no matter who and wherever you are:

• Believe in her dreams and support her causes in life. Let her be free to choose what she wants in life or professional career.
• Treat your wife with care. Be gentle and use kind and grateful words for her loyalty and dedication she puts into making your house feel like a home.
• If there is a quarrel, listen first. And if she is right, then you have no reason not to apologize to her and make the necessary changes.
• If there is a decision to make, always ask for her opinion.
• Travel with her, even if it means doing the groceries together or simply going out for a dinner or watching a movie. Ideally, making her leave the house for a week-long trip at the least will really bring out the colors in her cheeks.

A Note

I hope that this post didn’t meddle with your ego as a man too much. Though I certainly do not proclaim myself as a feminist nor does my writing depicts it in any manner possible, I certainly do agree that God creates women and men to complete each other.

Without the other half, we are simply deserted on this tiny blob of water and land placed among the infinity of the cosmos around it. Wealth and youth come and go, time flies by, everybody leaves and nobody stays forever. That’s why we have to do our best to make our better half feel special and loved.

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5 Unique Ways To Celebrate Your Parents’ Anniversary

Anniversaries are considered as one of the most special occasions in the life of a couple. And if you are planning to celebrate the day when your mom and dad tied the knot, then you must be quite excited. They definitely deserve some fancy celebration on achieving such a big milestone in their life.

If your parents are a social couple, then it is important to include all their favorite people in their anniversary celebration to make it unforgettable for them. If you don’t have a plan yet, here’s what to do for your parents’ anniversary.

Pool Party at a Farm House

Imagine all your family members having fun at a pool party while enjoying exotic cocktails and scrumptious cuisines. Yes, just the thought of it sounds so exciting!

It’s best if you have a farmhouse of your own away from the hustle and bustle of the city. If not, then you can always rent one for your parent’s anniversary celebration.

Let all your dear ones witness the most important day of your parents’ lives. Your parents will be thrilled with the idea of a pool party. They will surely have a great time with all their favorite people at one place.

Special Wedding Anniversary Cake

We all agree with Julia Child that a party without cake is just a meeting.

So, add some fun and flavor to your parents’ anniversary celebration with a lip-smacking cake of their favorite flavor. You can order a heart-shaped special cake for a wedding anniversary. You can also get a photo cake with a memorable picture of your parents’ wedding day.

Just the sight of the cake will make them smile. They will surely enjoy every bite along with the rest of the family.

Create a Video of Some Old Memories

Your parent’s marriage must be full of happy moments and wonderful memories. Turn them into a video they can watch on their anniversary.

Plan a Treasure Hunt with Family Members

If your parents are quite sporty and love to play fun games, then you should plan something that will get them moving for their anniversary celebration. You can plan a treasure hunt in your basement or backyard.

Everyone will surely have fun while hunting for treasures. It will give them an opportunity to work as a team, too.

Redesign their Old Wedding Attire

Consider redesigning your parents’ old wedding attire. Remember, you don’t really have to make these trendy and up to date. You can just repair any tears and wash away any stains. Surely, your parents will be in tears after seeing that what they wore on their wedding day are now good as new. Everyone at the party will have their eyes fixed on how thrilled your parents are. Not to mention, on the remarkable restoration of their wedding attire.

See Also: What to Give On Anniversary: Gift Giving Tips To Make It That Extra Special

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In Sickness and In Health: How to Cope With A Sick Partner

When you get married, you might write your own vows or you might stick with something that’s tried and true. Either way, you are pledging yourself, your love, and your support to another human being through all of life’s tricky circumstances. But what happens when things go awry and life throws your relationship a curve ball? How do you cope and start dealing with chronic illness in marriage?

What Does Facing Illness or Injury Do To Your Relationship?

love in health

There are different illnesses and injuries that can occur. Dealing with a broken arm is far different than dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Either way, however, even the slightest incapacitation of a partner can change the dynamic of your relationship significantly.

All of a sudden, the daily roles to which you have become accustomed to change and things between you and your partner change as well. You become either a caretaker or the one being cared for. Either way, this can alter your connection with or perception of your partner.

Romance often takes a backseat as you and your partner adjust to your new roles. This change, along with the altered responsibilities, often causes problems for the relationship and each partner individually.

The change in a relationship when dealing with chronic illness in marriage may also lead to emotional issues. Depression is not uncommon and it can affect the both of you.

If you think that you or your partner is depressed, there are resources you can reach out for help. This is critical when the effects become long-term.

Unfortunately, these hurdles can be difficult to jump and can lead to bigger challenges than just romantic issues. The divorce rate among couples, especially younger couples, where one partner faces health issues is much higher than that of the general population.

Dealing with Chronic Illness in Marriage

So, what can you do to protect your relationship and keep it healthy, even if one of you is not?

Communicate. Each of you is going through something difficult and unique. You need to talk about it. Understanding your partner’s point of view is crucial. When you are wrapped up in the changes you are facing, it becomes easy to forget how those changes are affecting your partner. Discussing how you each feel can create empathy and respect for the other’s circumstance. Neither is easy. And although you are each facing tough times individually, you can actually support each other and go through them together as well.

communicate with each other

Seek support. Friends and family are particularly important in times like this. This is true for both of you. Stress during such time can be a lot to handle and people that care for you can provide perspective and relief. And no, you are not likely to be imposing or taking advantage by leaning on them a bit. If they are people that care about you, they will most likely be happy to be there for you. Even just a conversation to get your mind off things can help.

Remember the love. Yes, things are different and they are likely difficult. However, you fell in love and made a life together for a reason. Remind yourself of this. Pledging your life to another person really is for better and worse, in health and in sickness. You have to hold onto the good times to get through the bad. Remind your partner of these things, too. Each of you is likely to get bogged down in the current circumstances and forget to look at the big picture.

Conclusion

Regardless of the seriousness of the health issues – whether they’re temporary (hopefully) or permanent (worst case) – your relationship can survive. Certainly, the severity of the problem will impact the difficulty of keeping things together, but it can be done.

Remember that you’re not alone. Not only do you have each other but you also have resources in the form of your family and friends. Of course, there are also your trusted healthcare professionals to take care of you and your spouse during the tough times. They can help you get through things. Most of the time, all you have to do is ask.

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6 Really Important Questions You Should Ask Before Getting Married

Are you ready to get married?

Having a discussion right from the start of a relationship that you are looking for a life partner is a great approach. Do not agree to stop dating others until you and your partner have discussed where you’d like the relationship to go.

Are you both thinking in the same direction or do you have different goals in dating?

After a time of exclusive dating, for a maximum of 6 months, we recommend you have a conversation about a timeline for marriage.

Here are the tops questions you should ask before getting married.

Do you want to have children?

before marriage questions

One of the most common challenges that we see with our clients revolves around women who have the conflicting pressure of building a career as well as a romantic relationship with enough time to honor their biological clock for having children. Starting to create a family over the age of 36 years old can be difficult for women.

It is very painful for a woman to be in a relationship for five or more years only to learn that her partner does not want children. Unlike a man who can have children at almost any age, women need to be asking questions about children early on in their relationships.

One of our patients, Donna, is a woman who is 36 years old and is now freezing her eggs because she desperately yearns for a child. Her husband of eight years is just not interested in children. She hopes someday he will change his mind.

If you want children, do not continue to be in a relationship where the other party is not sure if they want to have children. We recommend that you politely and lovingly tell your partner that should they change their mind, they can let you know.

Can you both make your marriage the number one priority?

Are there commitments to parents or prior children that prevent you from making this relationship your priority?

This question is the most challenging and very important.

There are invisible loyalties that can undermine marriages. Parents, overworking, passionate hobbies, health issues, and even friendships are some of the commitments or obligations that can prevent a couple from coming first with each other. It is devastating to find out after your wedding vows that you are not the priority in your partner’s life.

These issues can be negotiated but it needs to be done before you make your relationship official.

What is your attitude towards drinking and drug use?

Another important issue you need to address before you take yourself out of circulation relates to your partner’s attitude towards alcohol and /or drugs. Frank discussions about drugs and alcohol use are essential.

Do not think that you will change your partner’s attitude towards drugs and alcohol because of your love for each other. Alcohol and drug use is a huge problem that can lead to loneliness, disconnection, and divorce.

What is your involvement in religion?

You also need to discuss your perspectives about participation in religion. If you have important differences, that could be a big problem. Having different religions can also be problematic.

If you’re going to have children, what religion will you raise them with? Do you want to be at home raising the children and be a full-time domestic partner or do you want both of you working?

If you come from a culture that expects the mother to be home with the children and your partner does not, this could be a big conflict. If both partners feel comfortable about working full time, that could be fine. It is important to talk about your financial and domestic roles before committing yourself for marriage.

Does your philosophy of managing money match your partners?

Discussions about financial goals are important before committing to marriage. Arguments about money are a common cause for divorce.

Do you have debt? Is it important that you have a plan for retirement? Do you pay your bills on time? Do you work for the purpose of travel and adventure or are you more interested in building your savings, or just living within a budget?

Who will pay the bills? Over what amount of money would you want a joint decision to spend? $100? $500?, $1000?, $10,000?

Do you have health issues which could impact the relationship?

questions before marriage

Not disclosing your history of depression, debilitating migraines or other ongoing health problems can explode later. If discussed ahead of time, your partner will not feel betrayed by your withholding information about major health issues.

Recently, a couple came to see me for counseling because the wife had a dramatic episode of depression just days after the wedding probably due to the stress of organizing the event. She had been on bipolar medication with on and off depression for a year but had not disclosed this to her new husband. He knew she was on some medication, but he did not know the details.

She was unable to function for 12 hours after the wedding and only then told him of her problem. He felt betrayed. Their lives have been greatly affected by this intermittent cycle of depression and his distrust has grown as he now contemplates divorce.

Conclusion

Love and passionate romance are an important value in modern marriage but unless you are open and honest about these issues, your marriage will just have a shaky foundation.

Sitting down and honestly talking about your expectations will not sound like an exciting venture. However, this is an important conversation that needs to happen if you want to avoid painful surprises.

Don’t think that you can change your partner. If you are not able to negotiate important differences, know that these are the issues that will inevitably show up in your relationship and cause stress and crisis eventually. We encourage couples thinking about marriage to ask the questions we have discussed. You need to use your thinking (not feelings!) and you need to inquire about your differing values and life goals to save yourself from a preventable life of discord and disappointment.

Author Bio:

Dr. Barbara Grossman is a PhD marriage counselor with over 30 years of experience with 60,000+ client hours. Michael Grossman MD is an antiaging rejuvenation physician specializing in bioidentical hormone replacement and stem cell therapy. They have conducted marriage workshops for over 25 years to thousands of couples. They are the authors of The Marriage Map: The Road to Transforming Your Marriage from Ordeal to Adventure.

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What to Say to Someone Who Cheated On You

If your worst fears have been confirmed and you have discovered that your partner is cheating on you, you are probably wondering what to do now. There is likely some part of you that wants to find a way to inflict as much pain as possible on the cheater, but is that really the best way to handle things? Probably not.

So, what do you do?

Take a look at the tips below to help you get your thoughts in order before you approach your partner.

Let it out

let out feelings

Take some time to express your thoughts and emotions but not to your partner yet. Cry, scream, break a plate, and do whatever will make you feel better. No matter which you choose, do it on your own and in private.

What you are feeling can be overwhelming and potentially lead you to destructive, emotionally driven actions. They will not gain you the results you need so, allow yourself to fully express your emotions first.

Stop and think

Once you’ve expressed your feelings in private, sit down and give some thought to your situation.

Did you see this coming? Were there signs along the way? Did the cheating happen for reasons that you can determine?

Consider the evidence

Now, think about what evidence you have.

Is it irrefutable? Could there be any chance that you have misunderstood the situation?

If you are certain that things are as they seem, you will need to make plans for your next steps.

Evaluate your past and future

Time to reflect upon your relationship. You became a couple for a reason but are the things that brought you together still there in any way? Is this the first time this has happened or have you been through this in the past?

Consider what you had wanted for your future. If the infidelity had not occurred, where did you see your future together?

What do you want

Aside from hurting your partner in some comparable way, think about what you want to do next. If you have a family and a life together, considering what you want now and in the future is crucial.

Keep in mind that keeping your marriage together after an affair is possible. Getting past it will take work but it can be done. But, is that what you want?

Write it down

Writing things down offers several benefits for you. Moving through your thoughts and feelings as you put them on paper or a screen will help you sort them out. It will also allow you to approach a conversation more calmly and in a more prepared manner than if you just start talking.

Talk

talk it out

Set a schedule where both of you can focus in an uninterrupted way as this conversation will not be easy. Know ahead of time that emotions will run high and you will have to do your best to stay calm and rational about things.

There is no way to determine how a conversation like this will go. It is possible that it may not go well at all. It is also likely that in order to get through things, you will need to seek the help of a professional counselor.

In Conclusion

There are many couples who are able to work through cheating and come out stronger and closer.

If you have found yourself in this situation, try using the above tips as a guide to get started. Be open to seeking counseling if needed and be committed to making things work.

See Also: How to Rebuild A Relationship After Cheating

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How to Heal From Divorce Through Writing

Most people who have been through a divorce would probably find it one of the most challenging times in their lives. It’s a time of grief, mourning, upheaval, and changes that you never dreamed you’d have to make. Social support, emotional support, and self-care are completely important during this painful transition.

For centuries, writing has been used to express people’s deepest feelings and find meaning and purpose in their lives. By using well-thought-out prompts, you can do the same thing and experience the benefits of expressive writing.

Introspective writing, for example, can help lift up your spirit. It can also benefit you emotionally and physically.

Writing can help you in practical ways as well. How?

Below are some great examples:

Sharing the news

For one, you can use it to plan how you are going to tell your family and friends about your impending divorce.

It can be uncomfortable and awkward for everyone involved. This makes it critical that you carefully plan how you’re going to tell them the news.

Try writing about how you would like your divorce to be perceived. You will probably need a page or more to explore this in writing. Eventually, you’ll be able to narrow it down to a sentence or two.

Focus on what you would like the divorce to be like and decide how much you are willing to share with different people. You will have different versions for the children and for family and friends.

Preparing your answers

Children will need to know concrete facts, like where are they going to live and how often they will see each parent. Anticipate the questions they might have and plan your answers.

For friends, focus on the ideal way that you are aiming for. You might say something like, “Peter and I have been struggling in our marriage for a long time and we have decided to get a divorce. We would like to remain friends.”

However you decide to word it, practicing on paper will help make conveying this difficult message easier.

Forgiving yourself

You can also support yourself during this time by writing a letter to yourself, expressing encouragement and love.

It is vital that you forgive yourself for your part in the dissolution of your marriage. And also give the assurance that you can successfully move forward. Then self-address, stamp, and mail it!

Another enlightening exercise is to sit down and write the complete story of your marriage, with a beginning, middle, and end. Do it in a few short sessions as it can be overwhelming.

Forgiving your ex

As you write the story, remember that the good memories are still yours to cherish. And feel the relief that the bad times will soon be over.

writing about divorce

It is vitally important that you begin to forgive your ex – no matter how hard that may be. There is a Buddhist saying that holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else – you are the one who gets burned.

Planning your future

Most importantly, when writing the history of your marriage, do not end the story with the divorce as that isn’t where your story ends!

Extend this story into your future, describing how resilient you inherently are and how bright your future will be. Detail what you learned from your mistakes and how your next relationship will be different. Then, go on to describe your ideal future!

See Also: How To Overcome Negative Emotions Using 5 Writing Techniques

The very best way to heal is to begin living your dreams. So, list your goals in the next five years and what you would like your life to look like ten years down the road. And when you are ready, list baby steps you can take to realize those goals.

Expressing gratitude

Finally, one of the simplest but most powerful practices is to write a daily gratitude list.  As I wrote in my book Write For Recovery:  

write for recovery

No matter how bad your life is at any given point, even in the worst of times, there are always things for which we can be grateful. A practice of appreciating the good things in your life nurtures feelings of optimism and joy. It also gets your ego out of the way so your spirit can shine.

A minute of gratitude is like a vacation for your heart and mind. And just as the runner gets a second wind and is stronger with every run, gratitude is strengthened by repeated effort.”

The act of acknowledging our blessings has been shown to increase serotonin and dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitters in our brains. A practice of appreciating the good things in your life nurtures feelings of optimism and joy.

A minute of gratitude is like a vacation for your heart and mind. You cannot hold anger at your ex and bemoan your past while you are busy being consciously grateful for all the precious little gifts in your life!

See Also: The Magic of Appreciation: How to Practice Gratitude

The post How to Heal From Divorce Through Writing appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Friendship’s Day Special: Why Friendship Makes Marriage More Fun

A healthy marriage comprises of many different roles. On any given day, you may be the sexy lover, the secret keeper, the playmate or the best friend. This plethora of roles you play contributes to the quality of your marriage.

Being friends with your spouse is guaranteed to make your marriage more fun for both of you. It will help deepen your bond as well. Being friends with your mate means more shared activities, free and open communication and a marriage that is the envy of all your friends.

Wondering why friendship in marriage is important? Here are 10 good reasons:

You get to enjoy similar hobbies

fun relationship

Many couples get together because they like each other’s company and there’s physical attraction. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean they enjoy each other’s hobbies. When you have already established friendship, you likely have a hobby in common with your partner.

This opens the way for more interesting date nights as a married couple. Instead of going out to dinner, you can head out for a Sunday morning surf, try golfing, play video games all afternoon or go on a photography hike. Having similar hobbies means more bonding time for you as a couple.

See Also: 6 Hobbies For Couples That Can Strengthen Your Relationship

You’re over each other’s past relationships

By being friends with your partner, you have probably already heard dozens of stories about his ex-girlfriends. You may even have been friends with some of them! Not only does this give you full disclosure about your mate’s romantic past, it can also make you feel less jealous and more secure in your relationship.

Your marriage is enviable

Doesn’t it tickle you on some level when your friends watch you and your spouse interact and then wistfully exclaim: “I wish I had that!” Not that you’re concerned with what other people think of your marriage, right?

There will be less damaging fights

As friends, you’ve had your share of ups and downs. This also means that you’ve probably had your fair share of arguments, too.

By establishing friendship in your marriage, you’ll know how to communicate in a disagreement with your partner and you won’t be afraid to apologize when you are wrong. You know how to consider your partner’s feelings and put yourself in his shoes.

This is friendship at its best. This makes marriage more fun since there’s no pride getting in the way of doing the right thing, particularly when it comes to apologizing, admitting wrongdoing and making up with your lover.

Furthermore, there isn’t that looming fear of this ‘D’ word when you already have a long history of friendship together. This allows you to be open with one another without worrying what effect your honesty will have on your relationship.

You set an excellent example

Your children will depend on you for many things, like food, emotional support and someone to entertain them. They’ll look up to you as an example of how to behave and what standards to expect from life and love. This bodes well for those who have made friendship an important part of their marriage.

Your children will consider your marriage as the basis for what they can expect from their marriage in the future. Your friendship and fun-loving attitude towards one another will set an excellent example for your little ones.

There’s transparency

Does transparency in your marriage make it much more fun?

Since you are already friends, you have already heard the best and the worst experiences the other has gone through. From crazy exes to not-so-dignified behavior, you know your partner’s dirty history in and out. This takes a lot of the guess work out of your relationship and leaves more time for you to enjoy each other’s company. You’ll be able to share your problems without fearing what the other person will think.

It keeps things interesting

fun marriage

Friendship makes a marriage more fun by keeping things interesting. When you are friends on top of being lovers, it will keep the relationship from feeling stale or routine. Having fun and laughing together bonds you as a couple and heightens your desire to spend time together. What could be more interesting than taking up new hobbies with your best friend in the world?

See Also: 3 Ways To Inject More Humor Into Your Relationship

You have a comfortable silence

Is there anything worse than that clunky, uncomfortable silence that comes from not knowing a new friend well enough? Never fear! This will never happen when you have friendship in your marriage.

You can feel completely comfortable with any silent gaps that appear in conversation with your partner. You won’t feel the need to search for old, embarrassing instances from your past to fill the void. Instead, you’ll simply bask in the glow of one another and enjoy those extra moments of silence that you have together.

Your partner knows how to be happy for you

When you’re good friends with your spouse, you and your partner both know how to be excited for each other. There is no secret jealousy or looming resentment. When you achieve something great, your partner will be right there celebrating with you. They can show you full support and make you feel special.

You’re less stressed out

Being in a close relationship means there is more oxytocin flowing through your body. This “love drug” makes you feel accomplished and appreciated. It raises your trust and lowers stress and anxiety. The happier you are, the happier your marriage will be.

Conclusion

Friendship makes marriage more loving, more comfortable and more fun to be in. It is an aspect of marriage that needs nurturing to stay fiery and alive.

So, make time for your mate every day so you can nurture your relationship and make your marriage as fun as it can be.

The post Friendship’s Day Special: Why Friendship Makes Marriage More Fun appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Finding Your Soulmate: 6 Ways To Know When You’ve Met ‘The One’

You might not believe in ‘the one’ or the idea that there is a perfect person out there destined to be yours. But, maybe you’ve been dating someone for a while now. You love them, enjoy their company and are wondering if they are the one you’ll commit to spending the rest of your life with.

How can you really be sure?

There are the loving feelings you have for them that can give you hints. You may even have thoughts that living without them would be unbearable. Those are both good starts. However, there has to be more than that to know that he or she is ‘the one’, right?

There are. And to help you figure it out, here are 6 tips on finding your soulmate.

You both feel lucky to be with each other

It’s a good sign when both of you think you hit the jackpot with your relationship. You feel like the luckiest person alive to have this person as yours and they feel the exact same way. You’re feeling blessed to have each other and you couldn’t be more grateful.

You have similar priorities and values

Opposites may attract, but if you have opposing life goals and values, the relationship will likely experience a lot of turmoil. On the other hand, if you and your partner share common priorities about family, children, work or even money, then you can know that you can build a future together.

It doesn’t matter what you do together

fun relationship

When you’re with someone you truly care about, even the mundane can be fun. Your time together doesn’t have to be filled with fun or fancy dates. You are just excited to be with the other person and spend time together. You care about the smallest details, like how her day went or what happened at work.

See Also: 7 Ways To Tell That You’ve Gone From Dating To A Relationship

Your friends and family see what you see

Your family members and friends see why you like this person so much and they like the idea as well. If you’re falling in love with a special person and have supportive friends and family, then they will encourage the relationship. Always be cautious if your friends and family aren’t tickled over the person you are dating.

You can have healthy conflict

Every relationship is bound to have its arguments and disagreements. It’s how you handle those arguments and disagreements that show how compatible you are.

Can the two of you respectfully disagree and work through conflict in a healthy, productive manner? Or do fights turn into screaming matches where everything escalates and there is never an end to it?

The two of you should feel like you can tackle anything together in a respectful, considerate and effective way.

You are truly yourself around them

happy relationship

In the early stages of a relationship, we put our best feet forward. But, as we get more comfortable and know someone more and more, our true selves come out. It might be for the better or for worse.

You shouldn’t feel like you have to hide your intellectual or silly side whenever you are with them. When your partner has seen the many facets of you and loves you anyway, it’s a good sign the relationship is a keeper.

Conclusion

Sometimes, you just know. Call it a feeling or a gut instinct, but we often can just tell when something is right. If all the above things are present in your relationship and you have the feeling, then congratulations! It looks like you’ve met your match.

This does not mean, however, that living happily ever after will come automatically. Relationships take work. Finding your soulmate takes effort. You have to be willing to put into and not just take from it.

When you appreciate each other, have similar values, enjoy just being together, navigate conflict in a healthy way and can be yourselves with each other, you are off to a good start. Having these things going for you gives you a good foundation to build from and increases your chances of having a successful relationship.

If you don’t have all of these characteristics, you don’t have to give up. Successful relationships are built, not born. Pick one or two to start working on improving and see what happens next.

See Also: 7 Best Secrets to Building Lasting Relationships

The post Finding Your Soulmate: 6 Ways To Know When You’ve Met ‘The One’ appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Tips For Happy Marriage: 7 Simple Ways To Maintain A Loving Relationship

A happy marriage or relationship can be very healthy for your physical and mental wellbeing. Science has proven that men live longer and healthier lives when they are in a healthy marriage or long-term relationship.

These things, however, aren’t the only benefits you can gain from such relationships. Fox News report that the prevalence of cancer is lower among married women and men and heart disease is less common among happily married couples. A healthy, loving relationship can also lead to lower stress levels, fewer symptoms of anxiety and a happier mood.

Unfortunately, not all relationships and marriages have happy endings. Up to 41% of first marriages end in divorce while the average person gets divorced at the age of 30.

Second and third marriages, however, have an even lower success rate. As much as 60% of second marriages end in divorce while up to 73% of third marriages fall apart. It is also reported that there are up to 100 couples filing for a divorce every hour every day.

If you think that your marriage or relationship is going downhill, then this post is for you. Here are the simplest, yet effective, tips for happy marriage.

Open Communication Is Important

The way you and your partner communicates is of utmost importance. The Better Health Channel of Australia reports that a happy relationship relies on being both a good listener and good communicator.

You should be able to openly share your feelings with your partner and listen when your partner is talking to you. Only then will you be able to truly understand each other’s feelings and find ways to improve together.

They recommend setting aside time each day to listen to each other without any distractions, to think about what you want to say, and to be open to discussing certain objects with your partner without jumping to conclusions and without being judgmental.

Don’t Forget To Hug

loving relationship

While this may seem somewhat insignificant, you should not disavow this idea without considering the science behind a hug. Mind Body Green reports that hugging helps to build trust. It can boost both your mood and happiness, too.

These are all thanks to the release of oxytocin, a hormone that helps to reduce feelings of anger, isolation and loneliness. Consider the benefits of a hug and you’ll clearly see how hugging on a regular basis can help you and your partner maintain a sense of trust and a healthy bond.

See Also: How to Hack Relationships: 3 Ways Physical Touch Helps

Have Sex… As Frequently As Possible

Having sexual intercourse with a partner on a regular basis has many health benefits for the both of you. Sex can improve your immune system, contribute to better heart health, and cause your blood pressure levels to decline. It makes an excellent form of physical exercise.

Sex can also be an excellent way to reduce pain as well as the risk of developing prostate cancer. It can improve your sleep quality and many people find that sex helps lower their stress levels.

Sex can also help a couple bond. It can make both individuals feel appreciated and sexier. If you suffer from a condition such as premature ejaculation, a lack of libido or erectile problems, then seek help from a doctor to prevent these health concerns from causing problems with your sex life.

Have Dinner Together

We all live busy lives and with schedules that are packed with tasks and activities. This can often lead to two partners living past one another and spending less time with each other.

To stay connected, two partners have to make time for one another. Start by having dinner together every single night. While this may seem like a very small step, it would allow both you and your partner to spend more time with each other thus creating an excellent opportunity to maintain your connection.

Better Sleep Cycles

When our lives are busy, our sleep cycles often become disrupted. Sleep is important and has many functions in the body. Ensuring you gain an adequate amount of sleep every night is really important.

When you do not have healthy sleep cycles and become sleep deprived, both your body and mind may suffer. Sleep deprivation can cause cognitive dysfunction, impaired mental activity, memory problems, moodiness and can even lead to depression. This can take a toll on your health and your relationship.

Smile… And Laugh

happy couple

Something as simple as a smile can make a difference, especially if you and your loved one are going through a tough time. Laughter can be thought of as powerful medicine.

Science has proven that laughter can strengthen your immune function, provide relief in pain, reduce stress levels, and even boost your mood. Laughter has been scientifically proven to strengthen the relationship between two people so try to smile and laugh more with your partner.

Spend Time On Yourself Too

Lastly, you should never forget that even though you are in a relationship, you are still an individual with feelings, emotions and body. Some people tend to forget that they should spend time on themselves as well if they plan on maintaining a healthy, loving relationship.

Small things like making sure you are always well-groomed and decent can show your partner that you still care how they feel about you.

Conclusion

Being happy is a wonderful experience, but being in love can be an even more powerful experience. Unfortunately, love does not last for everyone – as we already discussed, more than 50% of all marriages end up in divorce. Luckily, there are ways to maintain the love and happiness in a relationship.

One of the best tips for happy marriage is to act together. Both partners need to act together to make their relationship last.

See Also: 6 Stepping Stones Of A Successful Married Life

The post Tips For Happy Marriage: 7 Simple Ways To Maintain A Loving Relationship appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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6 Best Valentine’s Gifts For Her This 2017

Valentine’s day is just around the corner and if you are a man who hasn’t figured out the best Valentine’s gift for her yet, now is probably the right time to narrow down your choices. Deciding on the last minute isn’t only stressful but it can also put you at risk of buying the wrong gift. For Valentine’s Day, you want your partner to feel as special as possible.

To make sure you impress your loved one, here are 6 awesome Valentine’s gift ideas you should consider this year.

If you’re still dating…

Camera

If your girlfriend likes keeping memories, a good instant camera won’t fail you. Polaroid-style instant print cameras make a great choice since they have a vintage feel and they’re very portable. She can easily take her camera with her during trips. She can even take pictures of your special day together.

polaroid camera gift

In case your girlfriend is into photography, you can give her something fancy, like a complete camera bundle. You can buy the items separately and just bundle them on your own or you can pick a store that sells camera-related products in packages.

Make sure that there’s an SD Card, tripod, extra battery and a case apart from the camera.

New makeup

Girls can’t resist makeup. Whether it’s another bottle of her favorite foundation or a set of limited edition lipsticks, you won’t have a hard time making her smile this Valentine’s Day.

When choosing makeup, make sure you know what your girlfriend’s skin type is. The right shade counts, too. These things are very important to consider, especially if you are planning to buy a face makeup. The last thing you want to happen is to buy an expensive foundation that’s several shades off.

For a safer choice, stick with an eye shadow pallet. Most pallets come with several shades she can use for work, special events and date nights. There are also lipstick pallets that go on sale during Valentine’s Day.

makeup valentine gift

Pro-Tip: Ask her sister or friend to help you choose the right brand or shades if you’re unsure.

If you’re newly married…

Jewelry

Diamonds are women’s best friend. This, however, doesn’t mean that any kind of jewelry won’t make a good pal. Women like jewelry because they can add style and spice even to a plain and simple outfit.

Pearl jewelry, for example, makes a good choice since it reflects innocence. It can complete a woman’s classic look and may even produce a calming effect. The nice thing about pearls is that they come in a variety of colors and even sizes. Pick one that can reflect your partner’s unique personality.

valentine jewelry

Heart-shaped jewelry is also a good valentine’s gift. You can pick out the right metal and stone depending on her preference or personality. As for the base, find one that fits your budget. Gold is more durable and long-lasting but it tends to be expensive. Silver looks stylish and it’s more affordable.

A romantic getaway

Just because you’ve already tied the knot doesn’t mean that you can skip the romantic trips you used to take back then when you were still dating. The nice thing about being married when you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day is that it gives you more time to spend with your loved one. You should know her a little bit more, too.

You can go hiking, or book a vacation outside of the city or even out of the country. Imagine yourself sitting in a tropical beach on a warm and balmy day.

romantic getaway

There are tons of packages available during Valentine’s Day so you won’t have a hard time finding one. The problem, however, is that a lot of people tend to book on the same season. To save yourself from the stress, decide early on the trip you want to take and book right away.

Apart from booking the trip, it’s a good idea to add in a few surprises, too. You can plan a romantic dinner or pack her favorite bottle of wine. You can call for room service and bring her breakfast in bed.

If you are already married for several years…

A planner

Whether your partner works a 9-to-5 job or she’s a full-time wife/mom, a planner would surely be a great help. It can help her keep track of important things, like your kids’ school play, meetings or due payments.

planner valentine gift

Apart from helping her remember things and plan her time better, a planner can also decrease her stress level. She can use it as a journal for venting out feelings. Planners are great for keeping memories as well. She can use it to track habits, too.

To make a simple planner more romantic this Valentine’s Day, sneak in a few surprises before you actually hand her the gift. You can block out specific dates in the calendar and plan something special for those days. You can write sweet notes on it, too.

At-home spa

If taking your wife on a spa getaway isn’t feasible, you can try recreating the same experience at home. A foot massage is the ultimate way to pamper her, and the Electronic Foot File with Diamond Crystals from Amopé makes it easy to give her a spa quality foot treatment in the privacy of your own home.

Amopé Pedi Perfect Foot File with Diamond Crystals
(The Amopé Pedi Perfect Extra Coarse Foot File with Diamond Crystals can be conveniently found at Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Amazon and Bed Bath and Beyond for less than $50.)

Add some candles and lotion and you have everything you need for a romantic night in. And the best part? This gift lasts long after roses have died and will become a staple in her beauty routine.

In preparing her home spa experience, make her as comfortable as possible by setting the right temperature. Don’t forget to put out warm fluffy towels, a clean robe and pair of slippers, too. Spritz some lavender scent in the air. You can even add some rose petals to make her feel that she is really in a spa salon.

home spa valentines

This special day, make your beloved feel pampered, special, and loved. Remember… Happy wife, happy life.

Good luck and may your Valentine’s Day celebration be memorable and unforgettable.

 

The post 6 Best Valentine’s Gifts For Her This 2017 appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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