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Parent Child Interaction Therapy in Developing Parent-Child Relationship

Raising a child is one of the most important aspects of a parent’s life. Although the road can be tough, it is quite rewarding to see your child grow up as a wonderful person. The bond of a child with the parents start since birth as the child is dependent on the parent for every need.

Parents have a big responsibility to care for their children from birth to maturity.

The key to best raise a child is through social interactions. Children learn nearly all things in their youth from their parents and the environment they get at home. They start to interact and play with other kids their age when they reach 3 or 4 years of age.

Parents are the first teachers of every child.

This is why the relationship between them should always be positive. Children learn many things while interacting with parents, such as social skills, sharing, respecting and obeying the elders, and helping other people.

During their interactions, children learn to develop communication skills and motor skills. In an ideal world, nearly every parent wishes that their child not only behave in an excellent manner, but be a quick learner and perform well in school.

But, unfortunately, there are times when the relationship between a parent and a child is not always on good terms.

Even if parents are busy with their work routine, they have to take the time to address their children’s problems.

therapy for parent child interaction

The Parent Child interaction Therapy

There are certain techniques and sessions that help counsel both the parents and child. One such purposeful technique is Parent Child interaction Therapy or PCIT. It is a short-term behavior-based family therapy that may improve the relationships between parents and children.

PCIT is best for children who have disruptive behaviors and those who easily lose their concentration either while studying or interacting.

It was developed by Sheila Eyberg in the 1970s who specialized in designing techniques for children’s behavior and play therapy. She further enhanced the two-way behavioral approach given by Constance Hanf. Today, PCIT is considered as the most effective and goal-oriented therapy to improve parent and child interactions.

The Two Stages of PCIT

PCIT involves two stages — relationship enhancement and discipline and compliance.

The therapist will first speak with the parents and let them know about the process of the two stages. The therapist will then use a one-way mirror or a live video display to see the parents interact and play with the children. The parents will have a listening device so that the therapist can give live coaching. The behavior of the parent and child are tracked and graphed to show the progress.

The relationship enhancement stage teaches the parent to minimize any negative feelings within the relationship. This stage also encourages the parents to develop new communication skills and learn how to boost their children’s confidence.

The discipline and compliance stage, on the other hand, deals with improving the conduct of the kid. It addresses the symptoms to prevent any negative behavior.

PCIT approach is ideal for children between the ages of 2 to 7. It helps the children to learn and adapt good behavior.

parent child interaction therapies

The relationship enhancement stage is also called child directed interaction. It helps improve the shared bond between the parent and the child. The child has the option to choose the toy or activity that he/she will use and the parent will play along using the instructions given to them by the therapist.

The skills are denoted by the word ‘pride’ where:

  • Praise- The child should be appreciated for good behavior.
  • Reflection- The words of the child are repeated and discussed by the parents which encourages communication.
  • Imitation- The parents teach their child by mimicking and showing approval of what the child was doing.
  • Description- The parents describe what the child is doing so that the child can learn new words and build his/her vocabulary.
  • Enjoyment- The parents show enthusiasm and happiness on the activities and playfulness of the child.

What Happens In A Session

During the session, the parents need to remember to ignore any negative behavior or remark which is not serious. The parents also need to avoid using negative or sarcastic words when interacting with the child. Once the parents and child are comfortable in the first stage, then they progress to the second stage.

In the discipline and compliance stage, the parents give easy-to-understand instructions to the child with a clear message if the child ignores or disobeys the instruction. If the child complies with the message, then the parents need to use words such as ‘thank you.’

The PCIT approach has the potential to address many behavioral symptoms, such as short temper, disobedience, aggression, and defiance.

Benefits of PCIT

PCIT is quite helpful in:

  • Building better and positive interactions between parent and child
  • Developing useful strategies to help with the negative behavior of the child
  • Reducing the likelihood of bad habits that the child may grasp such as verbal and physical abuse
  • Reducing the negative behavior of the child such as anger, aggression, and defiance
  • Helping the child to interact and communicate within the family easily

The children who take part in PCIT sessions may develop more self-esteem, show less anger and frustration, possess better social and interpersonal skills, feel safe, and communicate effectively. Parents also take much positive influence from PCIT sessions as they learn about the different behaviors of their child.

The sessions are a weekly event. Mostly, a family may take 14 to 20 sessions until the restoration of the strong bond between the parent and child happens. PCIT started with treatment of only disruptive behavior of children, but it gradually expanded. Now, this therapy is widely used to treat certain disorders which include autism, selective mutism, trauma, anxiety, and abusive parents.

See Also: Five Things I Learned From Working With Autistic Teens

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How Companies Should Handle Office Romance

We spend more of our waking day at work than anywhere else. Throughout our careers, we come across many new faces and form strong connections with those we work with.

Spending so much time with the same people leads us to build strong friendships and for some, more than that. Office supply company Viking has conducted research to find out how common romance in the workplace is and what effect it has on those who have been involved with someone at their office.

Is Office Romance Becoming More Popular?

to deal with office romance

From a single kiss to marriage, 5,000 workers across Europe were quizzed on their experience of office romance. In the UK, over two-thirds (68%) said they have been involved in an office romance. This shows how common it is in the workplace.

Of the 68% who said they have experienced office romance, 20% were lucky enough to say it ended in marriage or a civil partnership. With so many people finding that someone special in the office, it’s important employers address this to ensure the best outcome for employees and the business.

Viking’s research shows a rise in office romance among the younger generation. 24% of 25 to 34-year-old employees said they have had or are in a long-term relationship with a colleague. That’s compared to 12% of over 65s. Over half (53%) of the same age group also said they would consider a romantic relationship with a colleague in the future. This makes it even more important that businesses know how to deal with office romance.

The Effects of Office Romance In the Workplace

To shine some light on the effects office romance can have on employees during work hours, Viking questioned those who had dated a colleague about how this impacted office life.

There were some positive responses. However, those who have been in a relationship in the workplace voiced mainly negative opinions on how they felt the relationship affected their time at work.

A full list of the positive and negative effects of romance on workers is included below:

Increases productivity & creativity – 11%
Decreases productivity & creativity – 37%

Reduces stress levels – 17%
Increases stress levels – 21%

Positive impact on wellbeing – 22%
Negative impact on wellbeing – 20%

Boosts work motivation – 12%
Reduces work motivation – 7%

Improves focus – 5%
Is distracting – 26%

Positive effect on your career – 6%
Negative effect on your career – 16%

As you can see, people had different opinions on whether office relationships have a positive or negative effect on those involved.

But the two most popular responses were that office romance decreases productivity (37%) and can be distracting (24%).

How to Deal With Office Romance

To limit any negative effects on the workplace from office romances, below are some guidelines managers and HR departments can follow.

Train Management on Office Romance

It can be as simple as creating an environment where employees are comfortable openly discussing office romance.

42% of UK workers said the worst thing about their relationship with a colleague was being the subject of gossip. A further third (33%) felt they needed to keep it from HR.

If employees are familiar with office romance and feel confident approaching their peers or managers to discuss their relationship, there is less risk of it being either a secret or a subject of gossip.

To help encourage an environment where business can operate as usual around the natural social relationships formed between colleagues, providing training to managers and HR on office romance is advisable.

Relationships are likely to be stressful when it influences employee’s ability to do their job. If managers are aware and have the correct training, then they can help employees remain professional and leave the personal things at home.

As shown by Viking’s study, relationships can improve well-being and boost motivation. It’s important for employers to ensure they don’t decrease productivity and cause distractions.

Introduce a Romance Policy

A vital part of communicating when it comes to office romance is having a policy that clarifies the companies’ attitudes toward internal relationships. As mentioned before, it wouldn’t benefit employees or the business to forbid employees from engaging in relationships.

However, setting out a romance policy can help protect the business against potential HR issues. It can also help outline the conduct expected from those in a relationship.

This is something that needs addressing by companies around the UK as just 33% of employees are aware of their employer’s policy on office romance. If employees understand how they’re expected to behave, it will stop their relationship from impacting their work life and those around them.

Without a policy, behavior in the office when involved in a relationship is left to the judgment of employees. This could lead to distractions and unwanted arguments. The differing opinions on what’s acceptable could cause friction between employees.

A fair office romance policy is the obvious solution. It’s down to you to include what you feel will best benefit the business.

dealing with office romance

Keep Your Door Open

Office romance can harm employees’ ability to do their job. This is why it’s important that it doesn’t slide under the carpet.

Giving time to employees who want to discuss confidential subjects is important. It gives you a clear understanding of the happenings in your team. Turning a blind eye won’t solve anything. Relationships can turn sour and you should be on the lookout to protect your employees and the business.

An office romance that isn’t going so well is far more likely to lead to the negative impacts highlighted earlier on. Showing you understand and doing what you can to support employees if needed will build trust and help maintain productivity.

This handy guide on how to deal with office romance will help you keep your employees happy while taking care of your business’ interest. People spend more time at work than anywhere else and see no one more than their co-workers.

Therefore, romance is expected in the workplace. Finding ways to increase the positives and decrease the negatives caused is the secret to success for businesses around the UK.

See Also: Redefining Office Culture To Boost Employee Satisfaction and Productivity

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How to Deal with Toxic Relationships?

Dealing with toxic people can be challenging, especially when you are not even able to identify their toxicity. Instead of helping you evolve, these energy vampires bring you down and make you feel less confident in your abilities. The interesting thing is that most “victims” do not even see through what these individuals are doing.

So, they get up caught into this circle of unidentifiable pain, unable to make changes and always feeling responsible for other people’s feelings and emotions. It’s important to mention that toxic partners or friends can be highly manipulative, meaning they can affect your life in ways you might not identify as manipulation. They can play with your mind without you knowing. So, great job being here – that means you are taking the first step in the right direction.

Here are some ways in which you can deal with this toxicity.

First step: admitting it is true

deal with toxic relationships

The first thing you must do when you are in this situation is to realize the problem that you’re having.

Without admitting the cause of your pain, you will not be able to solve anything. To do this, you must accept that it affects you first. Denial is a pain in the bum, so make sure that what you are thinking of is actually true. Here are some ideas that you could work with, in case you might be in denial but might have not figured it out yet:

  • Be patient and kind with yourself – if you are not sure where you stand or if you’re experiencing denial, being patient and honest with yourself will help a lot. However, don’t be too harsh, it will only aggravate the negative feelings you might be feeling.
  • Avoid ignorance and understand how it differentiates from denial. With ignorance, you know that something is going on but choose to ignore it. With denial, on the other hand, you deny the fact that something might be going on. Make sure you have someone close to talk to about your issue.
  • Remain calm. Try to meditate, do yoga, take a walk, and think about it. Do not overthink though! Relax as much as you can.

You should not get stuck, keep on moving

Toxic people will make you feel that you cannot do better than them. You must wake up! This is not the best that you can do. Usually a great way to detect whether someone is doing this or not is to ask yourself: how many (other) friends/family members are you still engaging with? Do you contact people who used to be in your life regularly now? And if not, why so? Has this toxic person influenced you in one way or another?

Understand that this feeling might come from fear and it is usually promoted by an inferior
complex. If you think you are not good enough to accept what is best for you, you might be more inclined to search for those toxic relationships. This happens because as people, we find it challenging to get out of our comfort zones, so staying in the safe areas (engaging with people who make us feel the way WE feel about ourselves) is easier than accepting healthy people in our lives.

Make sure you do not continue this ongoing circle. Contemplate on your emotions and always ask why. What is the reason you are thinking whatever is that you are thinking? What is the reason you are engaging in the same addictive behaviors that you are engaging in? Even if questioning ourselves can be challenging, not doing it makes us ignorant. So, start questioning everything.

Take responsibility for your actions

It’s important to understand that, even if you let other people help you, they will not be able to change you. You are the only person who can do that, so start taking responsibility for your actions, emotions, and thoughts. Yes, it’s true that toxic people can easily get to you, but it would be false to say that you cannot choose the way you react. You have the freedom to do it; and that is because you create your own reality.

So, if you realize that there are some issues going on with someone in your life and would like to withdraw, start making active changes. Do not wait for someone else to intervene. There are two questions we need to ask ourselves when something affects us negatively.

  1. Do I like the situation that I am in or would I need to change it to feel better? And if I don’t like it;
  2. How can I change the situation which I find myself in?

Look for the reason

how to deal with toxic relationships

If you can understand the reason why certain things happen or why some people cross paths with you, it will be easier to understand their situations and change yours. Whenever two people meet, there is a reason for it – nothing is coincidental. Why do you attract these types of people? Are you looking for something you do not have in your own life? Often, people around us mirror what we fear the most, so ask that question as well – do you fear becoming toxic, addicted, dependent? Also, what do you think their life lesson is? Why did they have to cross paths with you? What could they learn from you?

Maintain boundaries and be specific

When you finally realize that some people are toxic for you, you will want to make changes. So, the first thing you should do is draw boundaries. Being able to communicate properly is important, so try not to make the other person feel guilty. When expressing yourself, use “I” statements – for instance, “I feel that this relationship does not bring me the benefits that I thought it would”, or “I do not feel prepared to continue seeing you”. Do not put the blame on them for how you are feeling, ever. That will make them defensive and unable to communicate with. If, however, you choose to use personal statements, they will not be able to invalidate that.

See Also: 5 Signs You Need to Start Removing Toxic People

Conclusion

Our lives are highly influenced by the people we choose to spend time with, so make sure you are choosing healthy relationships within your life. Make sure you truly connect with your peers/partner and understand that they are not your responsibility. Good luck!

Author bio
Emma Johnson is a digital marketer and a blogger at best essay writing service and professional college essay writers company. She is also perfect at writing and talking about self-improvement, social media and communication. Find Emma on Facebook and Twitter.

The post How to Deal with Toxic Relationships? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Plan a Simple Engagement Party On a Budget

Throwing an epic party doesn’t have to mean emptying your bank account. After all, it should be about creating lasting memories and not the amount of money you and your partner spend. To plan the most awesome engagement party on a budget, here are some tricks you might want to try.

Use Candles

budget engagement party

Candles are the tiniest and cutest decorations one can ever have! They are traditional, symbolic, and fulfilling.

Using candles instead of lanterns cuts your budget in half and still gives all the romantic feels. If you decide to use candles for the table decorations, you don’t even need to do other table decors. One or two candles and a few flowers are enough to throw super positive vibes. You can also try balloons to decorate the walls. The best part of using candles is that it pairs well with any lush arrangement.

Have an Informal Dinner

There are many people whose only concern is to have a lavish dinner at engagement parties. Well, if you want to provide that, you can do so without compromising your budget.

There are many eating options available that are delicious and cost-effective. You just need to think out of the box and try varieties.

Instead of cumbersome menus, arrange some seasonal juices, light appetizers, and moving snacks. You can also avoid serving champagne and settle with cocktails or mocktails.

If you want to get rid of the whole dinner stuff, you can arrange the party after dinner hours. After all, it’s your engagement party and not theirs. The choice should be yours.

See Also: An Easy Guide to Food And Wine Pairing

Try Local Entertainment

Try to find local artists who can perform at your engagement party. There are many talented people out there who genuinely wish to be heard. They need a platform so give them a chance.

If you want to cut your budget even more, simply share your best playlist and opt for some light music. It will give your party a personal touch and keep the mood upbeat throughout the time. You can also request some of your close friends or family members to set the pace.

Invite Wisely

Always remember that this party is just an engagement party and not your wedding. So, you don’t need to invite everyone. Keep the extra ones on the list of wedding guests.

Make your engagement exclusive for your near and dear ones. Keep it more intimate and throw a small party. This step alone can literally cut your cost a lot.

If you invite wisely, you can even spare a few more bucks for decorations, wine, and food. Don’t forget to invite fun people who judge less and dance more.

Pick an Inexpensive Place to Throw the Party

engagement party on budget

A restaurant or farmhouse is definitely one of your best choices to throw a party. But if you really want to cut the cost, then try having a cozy party in your home or backyard. This way, you can save the entire budget of the place. You don’t need to pay the rent, allowing you to utilize that amount in other activities.

These are some of the best tricks you can apply to make an engagement party on a budget possible. If you have any other ideas, you can share them here with us. Let us know and help other people plan their engagement party.

The post How to Plan a Simple Engagement Party On a Budget 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.

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How To Accept Other People’s Differences

Everyone is different and we tend to accept that. However, actually dealing with those differences can be difficult, especially when they inconvenience us. Some might argue that we don’t have to accept or tolerate other people’s differences. But, is it even possible to control, unify, and standardize everyone?

The answer, of course, is no.

It’s impossible to unite everyone. Whether we are talking about religion, personality or pizza topping preferences, people are always going to be different. Chances are that not accepting those differences will make your life a bitter and discontented one. Accepting others for who they are, however, may give you new insights and make your life more fulfilling.

In this article, we’ll take a look at individual differences and how to accept them.

The paradox of individuality and acceptance

Slogans celebrating individuality and differences are everywhere, from A. A. Milne’s quote “The things that make me different are the things that make me” to the general advice to “be you!”.

While a lot of people try their hardest to fit in with the crowd, we are also quick to point out the things that make us unique and special (even when they don’t). Whether it’s liking an obscure band or being outspoken, we often like to think that it’s something unique to us. And it’s no surprise we think like that when individuality and being different is valued in our society, at least on the surface.

But those same characteristics we prize in ourselves can be something we despise, mock or judge in others. When someone likes an obscure band, we may think of them as a poser. When someone’s outspoken, we may find them rude. This, too, is natural.

While individuality is often prized, humans are still social beings who like to feel connected and included. And one of the easiest ways to feel close to someone is to create a common enemy.

Judging a trait in someone else while thinking it makes us special doesn’t necessarily make us hypocrites. Of course, it’s not nice. People may be right to call you out on your double standards.

But in the end, it’s just another type of the self-serving bias. Some psychologists define it as any cognitive bias that maintains and boosts our self-esteem. By branding something “good” in ourselves but “bad” in others, we are able to maintain a positive self-image. And there’s a reason why so much of self-help literature is about raising self-esteem.

Why is it hard to accept differences?

accepting others

If individuality is valued, why is it so hard to accept that people are different? Thinking that we are always in the right and others are in the wrong to maintain our self-esteem is only a part of it.

Another reason may have something to do with the need for control in our lives. As psychologist Lauren Leotti and colleagues write in their paper about control: “…the perception of control is not only desirable, but it is likely a psychological and biological necessity.”

Human beings, especially those who differ from us, are unpredictable and hard to control. And so, our need to control our environment – which includes other people – may make it hard for us to accept people who don’t behave in the way we want them to.

Of course, our prejudices also play an important part. Many people like to think that they are free of prejudices or that their prejudices are justified. But even when our prejudices are based on some first-hand experiences, they aren’t necessarily true and they stop us from accepting other people.

For example, I may think that all blondes are stupid airheads who are only interested in fashion and looks because all the blondes I’ve met are just that. When I meet a blonde who is still interested in fashion and beauty but also excels academically, I will have trouble accepting them because of my prejudice.

Often, our prejudices aren’t even based on first-hand experiences but are passed on to us by our family or society.

The thing is, that on the most basic level, prejudices and stereotypes are simply mental categories. As psychologist Gordon Allport writes in this book The Nature of Prejudice:

“The human mind must think with the aid of categories… Once formed, categories are the basis for normal prejudgment. We cannot possibly avoid this process. Orderly living depends upon it.”

That’s what makes getting rid of prejudices and accepting differences so hard. Those categories and patterns are often so ingrained in our thinking that it takes a lot of conscious effort to change them, even when we gain experiences that dispute our prejudices.

Why should you accept others’ differences?

If prejudices are so natural, why should we go out of our way to accept people’s differences? There are many reasons, but some of the more prevalent ones boil down to a simple fact.

Our societies are getting more multicultural and diverse. It’s always the individual that has to adapt to the changing surroundings, not the other way around. Carrying around the burden of prejudices and trying to bend people to your will in a diverse world can be exhausting and frustrating while learning to accept differences can broaden your horizons and bring you new friends.

At work, I occasionally clash with my colleagues. While I tend to take a softer, more lenient approach to both counseling and teaching, some of the teachers are strict and unyielding. While I rely on videos and 3D models to explain psychological concepts, some of my colleagues are firm believers in pens and papers and long-form note-taking.

And that’s fine because neither of us is right or wrong. While some students prefer my approach, others find strict rules more helpful. A diverse staff means that every student can find someone who they “click with”.

Our world is constantly evolving and our mental patterns can – and should – evolve with it.

How to start accepting others for who they are?

accepting others who they are

So, how do you go about accepting the fact that your roommate likes rock while you enjoy rap and other individual differences?

Here are five simple tips to practice tolerance and acceptance:

Check your prejudices

While becoming aware of them won’t erase them immediately, realizing where your prejudices lie is the first step to combating them.

Remember, while prejudices are almost always negative, stereotypes can be both positive and negative. But even positive stereotypes can be harmful. For instance, thinking that all Asian people are smart or that all women are nurturing may sound like a compliment, but it erases the individual differences inside those groups.

So when you find yourself judging someone, check why you’re judging them.

See Also: Breaking The Cycle of Confirmation Bias

Focus on the person, not the description

While descriptive characteristics are useful for describing people, they can never provide the full picture.

People are greater than the sum of their parts. For example, someone can be a teen girl who likes Euphoria and TikTok, but that’s definitely not all she is. Try to look past the descriptives and focus on the individual.

Give up the (need for) control

The only person who you can change and control is yourself. Remember that next time when you feel frustrated because of someone’s behavior or opinions.

This doesn’t mean that you should accept any and all behaviors, even when they are causing you discomfort. Politely pointing out unacceptable behavior is always encouraged, but take a moment to consider why you find the behavior unacceptable.

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes

Often, our inability to accept someone’s differences comes from our inability to understand it. But what if you tried to put yourself in someone else’s place and understand what makes them tick?

Chances are that if you approach others with empathy, you’ll also find it easier to accept them.

Don’t knock it until you try it

Some time ago, a friend tried to get me to go to the gym with him to try weightlifting. I resisted, because “weights aren’t my thing”. I also didn’t understand what he could possibly see in lifting a barbell and setting it down again several times in a row.

Eventually, I gave in and went along. My first foray into the weight room wasn’t a success, but after a couple of times, I could finally see the appeal.

Try out other people’s hobbies to understand why they like them. Or at least, don’t knock it until you try it.

Wrapping up

Individuality is often valued, but at the same time, we find it hard to accept that people are different. It’s natural to be wary of differences, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to combat our prejudices, especially in the diverse world of today. It takes a little work, but with some simple tips, you can learn to be more accepting of differences.

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Starting Life After Divorce: How to Make the Process Easier

Getting a divorce is not the end of your life. In fact, the process gives you more things to explore, and this article will show you how to reinvent yourself for a new life.

Starting Life After Divorce

When a marriage ends, it leaves people feeling like they failed at something. That feeling, when left unchecked, festers, resulting in a lot of negative emotions that would prevent you from finding out what more life has for you.

Thus, rather than dwell on what went wrong and the life you once had, channeling your energy into finding your new “normal” would help you let go of the past and forge ahead in life.

Divorce does not have to be the end of everything good in your life; In fact, it can be the start of something new.

Here are some tips to help you in starting life after divorce:

Purge Yourself of Negative Emotions

This saying might be a cliché, but a very effective one. In the words of Robert Alberti, Ph.D., and the co-author of Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends, “It is common to sweep [your] emotions under the table, but you have to work through them, or they’ll pollute your life forever.”

Thus, let yourself feel all the negative emotions that come with being on your own again. Purge yourself of the feelings of shame, inferiority, the failure that comes with having a failed marriage, and chin up to start your life anew.

See Also: How to Heal From Divorce Through Writing

Take a Moment and Clear Your Thoughts

life after divorce

After ridding yourself of negative emotions, you need to clear and organize your thoughts. One thing that divorce brings to your life is clarity. It helps you get to this “Aha!” moment where the rest of your life flashes before you.

Clarity would help you let go of past regrets and bitterness. You’ll go from feeling like you are never going to get through the pain to a place of inner peace where you are convinced that the pain won’t last forever.

Discover and Rediscover

Another silver lining that divorce brings is the opportunity to discover new things about yourself. You get to rediscover the things you gave up during your marriage.

Getting married and staying that way for years takes a lot of sacrifices. Its end means that you get to either go back to the person you used to be or reinvent into something better.

If the bravest thing you did before is to go over the speed limit, then you might want to go hiking or skydiving. It does not have to be extreme. The vital thing is knowing that you can do whatever you want, as long as it is safe, legal, and within your budget.

Have Social Contacts and Transitional Dates

single life after divorce

Being alone is scary for a lot of people after being with someone for a long time, but it doesn’t have to be. Thankfully, we live in a world where social media thrives. Meeting new people won’t be much of a hassle.

Often, married people keep the same circle of friend. After a divorce, things tend to get awkward, especially if the separation was messy. So, use your newly single status to meet new people, especially those you’ve always admired but couldn’t be friends with because your spouse did not approve.

Also, divorce means you get to date again. However, rather than do the rebound thing, go the transitional way. Transitional dating means going out for the fun of it.

It involves trying to date people outside your comfort zone.

See Also: 24 Ways to Find a Date Offline

Own Your Life and Find Your Inner Strength

People are often stronger than they give themselves credit for, and there’s no better way to find your inner strength than to lose something you thought would last forever.

Discovering your inner strength would help you own your life by taking charge. So, if you used to rely on your partner for most of the things, now, you get to do those things yourself and learn in the process. You might make mistakes, but since you survived divorce, you’ll dust yourself up and try again until you get it right.

Conclusion

As mentioned earlier, a divorce is not the end of life and starting life after divorce doesn’t have to be so hard.

There are vast opportunities to explore as a single person. All you have to do is accept that what’s lost cannot be gotten back. Your life is no longer tied to one person and starting new is up to you.

The post Starting Life After Divorce: How to Make the Process Easier appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

What Is Relationship Addiction and How to Recognize It

Most of us would say we would prefer to be in a relationship rather than be alone. However, not all relationships are created equal. There are those that are healthy and those that aren’t. Being alone is actually better in some cases, especially if your other option is being in an unhealthy or abusive relationship.

But there are those who would still choose the unhealthy relationship over being alone, even if it’s detrimental to their happiness and health. Or those that swing from one relationship to the next, refusing to end one unless another has begun. Each of these people very likely suffers from relationship addiction.

Relationship addiction can be difficult to recognize, especially for the person suffering from it. Most of the time, they don’t see their behaviors as unhealthy. They may claim to be in love or to be following their heart. The truth is, however, that there are underlying issues that are pushing them to do all they can to avoid ever being alone.

What Relationship Addiction Can Look Like

what is a relationship addiction

A person dealing with relationship addiction can find it nearly impossible to function without being part of a romantic relationship. Left on his own, he may feel overwhelmingly lonely or incomplete. In his mind, he exists to be half of a whole, rather than being whole on their own.

This addiction typically manifests in one of two ways:

1. Relationship hopping. Relationship hoppers will meet someone, get intensely involved, and then, generally within months, meet someone else and break things off. This cycle will repeat itself over and over as they move from one person to another. The relationship hopper is constantly looking for the “one” who makes their life complete. They are willing to bank all their happiness on someone else’s presence and influence.

2. Refusal to leave an unhealthy situation. The other way relationship addiction can manifest is when a person fails to see and change an abusive or unhealthy situation. These people have their identity so tied to their relationship that the idea of leaving is nearly unfathomable – even if that means they suffer. And when these relationship addicts do find the strength to leave, they will often go back. They don’t feel like they can function normally outside of the relationship. This cycle can repeat as well. All the arguments, break-ups, getting back together, repeat.

People in either one of these categories can have a very limited sense of self and identity. They don’t know how to exist outside of a relationship. They often lose interest and connection to family, friends, hobbies, and even their jobs. Overtime, this can lead to feelings of isolation and depression.

Often they are also prone to confusing sex with love, assuming that sexual interest is the same as real and deep feelings of connection. Unfortunately, for many relationship addicts, this is a mistake. Frequently, their partner doesn’t share the same level of investment in the relationship. When this difference becomes clear, it can have significant detrimental consequences on the relationship addict’s mental state.

See Also: 10 Red Flags to Consider Before Getting Serious in a Relationship

Why Relationship Addiction Happens

relationship addiction

Relationship addicts don’t generally recognize that there is a problem. They feel like their goal of finding love and a happy relationship is the same as anyone else’s. What they don’t understand is that the underlying issues and motivators for their approach are different and unhealthy.

Most of the time, relationship addicts are struggling with self-esteem and intimacy issues. This can be due to things from their childhood and family environment, traumatic experiences in earlier romantic relationships or deeper mental health issues. These circumstances will have defined their idea of a “normal” relationship or given them an inaccurate view of what they feel they need and deserve from a partner.

Occasionally, especially in the case of relationship hoppers, the addict may be a narcissist and continually seeking partners who will validate their feelings of grandiosity and entitlement. In these cases, the addict can cause pain and harm to their partner as well, even to the point of making the relationship abusive.

How you help a person who is suffering with relationship addiction will depend on the factors that caused the behavior. Like any addict though, they may not be able to change without outside help, especially if they don’t recognize the depth of their problem.

Whatever the reasons are, wanting to be part of a relationship at nearly any cost is unhealthy and won’t result in a long-lasting and happy relationship.

See Also: How to Get Rid of Relationship Insecurities

The post What Is Relationship Addiction and How to Recognize It appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Is it Ever Okay to Settle Down For Less?

No matter how independent most women are, they secretly (or not so secretly) want to find their Mr. Right to settle down with. This is why majority of us have a long list of the qualities our Prince Charming should have. You probably have written it down in a journal when you were 11 or you might be keeping your secret wish list somewhere else.

Well, it’s natural to have some expectations when it comes to committing our life to someone else’s.

This list of ours is supposed to help us by stating what we want and what we need. With it, we no longer have to tread through any obstacles. We just need to have our eyes on the prize!

But what if, instead of helping us, our high and unrealistic expectations are hindering us? What if it’s preventing us from seeing what or who is right? What if the best thing we can do is to settle down for less?

settling down

Settling gets a bad rap

Let me be the first to say this:

There are some things you should never settle for.

You are worthy of the best and someone who treats you like a queen. This is not the kind of “settling” I’m talking about.

I am, however, talking about when you don’t respond to an online dating email simply because he misspelled one word.

What’s wrong with that, you ask?

Impeccable grammar is on your must-have list. I want you to consider that he may have been typing on his phone or perhaps he was in a rush. He simply made a mistake because he’s human — just like you.

I don’t want you to stop caring about grammar. I just want you to give the man a chance.

If every email you receive is full of misspellings and terrible punctuation, kick him to the curb. However, you must give him a chance.

Think outside the box because people don’t always fit inside the box you’ve constructed for them. Physical attraction is often considered something we absolutely shouldn’t settle on or compromise our wants and desires.

Let me tell you a little story…

There once was a girl who thought tall men were the only men worth dating. When asked what kind of guys she liked, she always said, “They have to be TALL or I could never!”

Dating someone not tall was simply not an option.

Fast forward a few years and the girl is now head over heels in love with a dashingly handsome man. He is caring, hilarious, and so intelligent that he blows her mind on a daily basis.

However, he’s also not exactly tall. She’s even taller than him when she wears heels. It’s something she would have thought was so terrible before.

settle down

If I had turned him away the moment I met him simply because of his height, I would be missing out on everything I love about my life now. So, in a way, I settled but it certainly doesn’t feel like it.

If this is settling, I would hate to know what not going out on my first date with him would be like.

Examine your list of must-haves and wants. Then, toss them aside. If he treats you well, makes you laugh, and turns you on, who the hell cares if he doesn’t dress the way you like?

Remember your deal breakers and never settle when it comes to them.

Everything else? Live a little and allow people to surprise you. Falling in love isn’t a science and you may not get everything on your list. You just might end up with something you never even knew you needed.

See Also: The 3 Important Rules For Happiness You Should Be Following

The post Is it Ever Okay to Settle Down For Less? appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

6 Perils of Moving In With A Partner (and How to Avoid Them)

Moving in with a partner is a big step for any couple. And for some couples, it can actually spell the end of the relationship as each party finds out things about the other that they’d rather not.

Before you move in together, it’s easy to maintain a bit of illusion — you’re not thrown together all the time, you can keep your finances separate, and you don’t have to deal with arguments over whose turn it is to do the dishes. But once you’re living together, little things can take on huge significance.

Here we explore some common problems faced by couples moving in together and how you can get around them.

Fighting over Finances

moving in with partner

This is probably the single biggest danger to be aware of when you move in with a partner. Ideally, you should probably have a conversation about finances before you move in together.

If one of you has been saving for years, pays all the bills on time and has a clear financial plan, while the other lives from paycheck to paycheck and has thousands in credit card debt, it’s a bit of a recipe for a disaster.

This can lead to arguments and even more pervasive problems such as an overall lack of trust.

So, if you’re about to take the plunge and move in together, it’s time to sit down and have a very serious chat about how you’re going to manage your finances. Whether it’s opening a joint bank account, setting up payment plans and direct debits or simply setting up a household budget, make sure you’re on the same page.

And if you’ve already moved in together and find yourselves fighting over finances, don’t despair. You can still have that conversation and put plans in place to make sure you get things straight. The important thing is to find an arrangement you’re both comfortable with and that is manageable for both of you.

Not Aligning Life Goals

Another big issue that cohabiting couples can face is finding out that they aren’t on the same page when it comes to long-term life plans. One of you wants marriage and kids, the other’s not sure. One of you would like to work abroad, the other can’t bear to be away from family.

The thing is that moving in together is often seen as a step towards marriage and kids. So, even if those things aren’t on the table yet, if you’re thinking about making the commitment, you need to be sure that you both want the same long-term goals.

Losing Your Own Identities

You’ve moved in together because you love each other and want to spend more time together. But let’s face it, even the closest of couples can get frustrated if they’re together all the time. And going from seeing each other maybe a few times a week to seeing each other every single day can be a bit… well, much.

That’s why it’s vital to still have a bit of alone time now and again. If you’ve lived independently for any length of time, you’ll still have your own friends, so keep up with these as much as you can. Make sure you still both do things for yourselves as well as a couple.

You should also recognize when the other needs a bit of space and respect that. You’ll likely find that you naturally end up spending more and more time together.

However, keeping separate lives to a certain extent will allow you to build your own new routine without forcing things. You should also make time together to go on dates and spend time doing things you both love. Don’t lose your identities as individuals or as a couple!

Always Merging Your Interests

Just because one of you loves nothing more than a ten-mile run on a Saturday morning, it doesn’t mean you both need to get those sneakers on. Likewise, if you enjoy a good Peaky Blinders binge session but your partner’s more of a Game of Thrones fan, you don’t have to suddenly know everything there is to know about the politics of Westeros.

If you had a particular set of interests before you moved in, you should try and maintain at least some of these. On the other hand, you may find new hobbies and interests to pursue as a couple through living together! Tuscan cookery class for two, anyone?

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

Not Accentuating the Positive

When you’re suddenly thrown together all the time, those little quirks that you once found endearing in your partner can suddenly become infuriating. Maybe they never put their socks in the laundry basket. Maybe they insist on loudly singing show tunes when they’re doing housework. Or maybe they’re just so incredibly stubborn that they’ll happily argue chalk is cheese until the end of time.

Whatever annoys you about your other half, you can guarantee they’ll have a list just as long about you. So, pick your battles. Figure out what you can live with and what really drives you both nuts.

Then, talk about it to find a way that you can manage each other’s little foibles. Also, try and focus more on the things you love about each other. It could be how your partner always leaves little notes for you or how he or she will give you a back rub after a tough day without being asked. You’ll find that this makes the annoyances a little bit easier to cope with.

Arguing Over Chores

moving in

If there’s one thing my husband and I argue about more than any other, it’s housework. It’s not the most fun thing in the world, but it needs to be done. And if you’re cohabiting, then you both need to accept your fair share of the burden.

Talk to your partner about what you each expect and what each of you really loathes doing. Maybe you hate doing the dishes but your partner is fine with it. In which case, you can do the cooking or the vacuuming. Alternatively, take turns in doing different chores.

A major cause of arguments can be if one partner is tidier than the other. If that’s the case, you need to come to some sort of arrangement where the tidy partner is not constantly picking up after the untidy one. Try and do a bit of tidying every day to keep things at a manageable level or have a blitz every weekend. Do whatever works for you. Alternatively, if all else fails and you’ve got the budget for it, hire a cleaner!

Final Thoughts

The underlying theme behind all of these issues is communication. It’s vital to communicate with your other half to make sure that you’re both happy with any arrangements, bank accounts, chore rotas or long-term relationship goals.

Remember to keep talking. Make time for each other and always remember why you love each other in the first place. Happy cohabiting!

The post 6 Perils of Moving In With A Partner (and How to Avoid Them) appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

7 Little-Known Tips For Effective Communication

It’s easy to assume that as your relationship grows so will your closeness and ability to communicate with one another. That may be the case for some couples, but for many, this just isn’t true.

Trying to manage daily life, family, jobs and all the other stressors that we face can leave couples disconnected and unsure of how to talk to one another. This kind of communication breakdown usually occurs slowly. Over time, it can lead to big problems.

The mistaken idea that love and communication grows naturally without any effort and work is one of the biggest contributors to marital problems. Many times, couples assume that the love in their relationship is gone and things have come to an end — when really what they need to do is spend some time working on their communication so they can bring things back to a healthy point.

How To Start Improving Communication

Knowing this doesn’t mean it will be easy, though. Practicing good communication skills takes effort and thought. And it can be hard to know where to start — and how. Check out these tips for effective communication below.

Watch your body language

We overlook this quite often but our nonverbal communication typically starts the conversation before we even speak, and not always in a good way. Crossed arms, a half-turned head, not making eye contact – these are all signs of disinterest or even hostility. They are less than conducive to effective communication.

So, start paying attention to what your body is doing as you speak and try to maintain an open posture.

Watch your partner

tip for effective communication

Similar to needing to watch your own body language, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your partner’s. Taking cues from the way they are holding themselves can tell you a lot about how they are responding to you.

Being attuned to these things can help you alter your approach, check your own body language or redirect the conversation as needed. The changes you make can be mirrored by your partner and change the dynamic for the better.

See Also: How to Improve your Body Language

Listen and respond

This may seem simple, but if you stop to think about how many times you have uh-huhed your way through a conversation, you can see that it’s easy to forget to actively listen. A conversation is between two people which means that both need to participate fully.

And participation means you look at your partner, listen to what they say, and respond accordingly. This is also a sign of respect, which is a cornerstone of a strong and healthy relationship.

Your way isn’t always the right way

This is where a lot of couples get tripped up, especially when it comes to household duties. It’s easy to assume there’s always a right or a wrong way to do things and that you and you alone know the difference — you don’t.

And acting as though you do will immediately put your partner on the defensive. So, understand that different approaches or different ways to handle things doesn’t equal wrong.

Know the difference between communication and sparring

An adversarial approach will sink a conversation and never result in a positive outcome. Your partner shouldn’t be your enemy – so don’t treat them like one.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

effective communication tips

You know what it means to you, so understand that’s it’s equally as important to your partner and to the health of your relationship. Snide or sarcastic comments, dismissive behavior, and lack of interest in what he or she has to say is not only rude, but it also closes the door to any kind of positive communication.

Mind before mouth

Not everything you think needs to be said. Knowing which thoughts to keep to yourself, or to rephrase before speaking, is important in all aspects of life. This is especially true in a romantic relationship. Words spoken in anger or without regard to how they will be received can be extremely hurtful and do a lot of damage.

These seven tips for effective communication are not an exact formula, but they are essential components. Without these things present, there will be problems. But each couple is different and precisely what is needed to improve communication can vary. More important than any one of these things is the fact that you are interested and willing to try to make improvements.

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5 Unique Dating Apps You Might Want To Try

The sun is shining. It is warming up again and the hormones are dancing the Samba: summer is coming. If you want to look for new partners with tech support, you probably think of Tinder first. Despite the supremacy of the app, which has since become popular among love seekers, there are many other unique dating apps which may actually be better.

Read on to find out more about them.

Fuck, Marry, Kill

Fuck, Mary, Kill, FMK in short, is a special app in every aspect. Designed as a game and a place to get to know each other, the title alone can be a deterrent to some.

The basic concept is relatively simple:

Three profiles will come up in your screen and that’s when you’ll choose which one you’d like to sleep with, marry, and kill. That’s where the fun starts!

Time to make a choice, who would you sleep with? Who would you marry? And lastly, who would you kill?

If two users have found each other, they can chat via the app. Furthermore, FMK still offers a ranking in which classification is visible. If we are often selected in the Marry category, we appear in the ranking under the wedding material. The app developers, however, stresses the fact that no one should be killed. Obviously, the category should be interpreted only as fun.

Fuck, Marry, Kill is available for free for iOS as a web app and Android.

Bristlr

Started as a joke, Bristlr is now a real dating app. The application has a very special target group in sight: a beard lover.

Anyone who has a beard or likes this specific genre should put his money to use here. It is not necessary to have an impressive profile. The only distinguishing feature of Bristlr is the beard.

When one registers, there’s not even gender queries. Therefore, the app is also one of the few dating sites that is completely open to all genders and sexual orientations.

Bristlr is available for free for iOS and Android.

Hater

hater dating app
Via datingscout.com

The app for special appointments wants to bring people together because of their dislikes. As with Tinder and similar dating apps, scroll left or right through the appointment catalog. Instead of images, we have a selection of several thousand voting topics.

On the list are food, celebrities, habits, and activities. Those who hate Trump or people who say “Babe” can find partners in similar meetings. If you have reviewed the various topics long enough, you may end up finding your Hater soulmate. Or lover, depending on the definition.

Hater is available for iOS and Android for free.

Whispar

Appointment app of the Austrian company Talk4Date eliminates text messages when searching for a partner. Instead, users learn about the app through voice. Whispar offers five new tips every day. Audio profiles can be monitored and evaluated directly. It takes almost 30 seconds to listen to each profile.

After the usual sliding principle, it can then be decided what to do next. If the other person’s voice is the way you imagined it, you can contact her directly after a game via voice messages. If voice messages are no longer sufficient for entertainment, Whispar also offers calls directly from the app. This has the advantage of not having to exchange numbers and still be able to chat with others.

Whispar is available free for iOS and Android.

Boompi

Boompi relies on the windscreen wiper principle. At first sight, it does not seem to differ from other well-known dating apps. Only when there is no interest on both sides does the game break. If two people rated themselves as interesting, they can chat via the app.

It is rare that not only the two potential lovers of meetings interact but also their respective best friends. Women can talk about news here and test the other person to finally decide if a meeting makes sense.

The function itself is available only for women. Neither men can take part in such conversations nor is there a similar function available for male stakeholders.

Boompi is available for iOS and Android for free.

As you have seen, there are many alternatives to the big players of dating apps. You just have to expand your horizons, and figure out which one is right for you.

See Also: The Truth About Tinder Dating

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10 Red Flags to Consider Before Getting Serious in a Relationship

Happily ever after — that’s what most of us want. Finding that partner you truly click with is simpler than what most of us make it to be.

At the beginning of any relationship, everything is fun. Once it gets serious, things change. We rush things. Thinking that he or she is the one, we often don’t realize that we might just be setting ourselves up for heartbreak.

This is why it is important to consider every relationship you get into as a trial-and-error. Check first if that person is worth getting into a serious relationship with.

If you are excited about the idea of getting serious with your current significant other, here’s a reality check for you – you may be too infatuated to see the reasons that he or she is not the right one for you.

So, here’s a list of relationship red flags that you should consider and reflect on:

Your partner keeps being possessive

relationship red flags

Many of us think when our partners are being jealous and wanting to control whatever we do is a sign of concern. But the truth is, this is not out of concern but out of possessiveness.

If he needs to know everything that you do and your whereabouts 24/7, that’s never out of concern but a sense of control. Sadly, most women find it adorable until it’s too late.

Your friends and family are not big fans of your partner

The idea of a “you and I against the world” kind of relationship may be romantic for some, but there are usually valid reasons why they dislike your partner. While you can both choose to prove them wrong, you should at least consider why your friends and family dislike him or her.

I’m not saying that in most cases, our friends and family’s opinion are right, but have you also attempted to listen to what they have to say about your partner? Being open-minded goes both ways. It pays to listen to someone else’s point of view in a relationship, especially those coming from loved ones.

You constantly feel guilty

If your partner keeps blaming you for everything, even those that are obviously his or her fault, maybe it’s time to rethink your relationship. A never-ending feeling of guilt caused by your partner is not something present in a healthy relationship.

It is always about them, never you

Relationships should be balanced, not just about the happiness and satisfaction of one person. If your partner seems to focus on his wants alone and expects you to give them to him or her, you may be dating a narcissist, and that attitude won’t change anytime soon.

There are so many things about your partner that he or she refuses to tell you

What do you really know about your partner?

If hardly anything, it’s not a good sign. Relationships require openness, and if your partner can’t do that, you should be worried. It is fine to keep a few secrets, but if he or she can’t be open about the small things, what else is he or she hiding?

It’s too good to be true

Whether it’s getting a thousand flowers in a single day, being serenaded by an orchestra band, or hearing ‘I love you’ early on in the relationship, grand gestures may be sweet but they should also be treated with caution.

Some narcissists and abusers are notorious for that kind of behavior until they get what they want. Unless your partner already knows you very well and for some time, don’t easily take those actions seriously.

He or she is rude to most people, especially to servers, janitors, and other workers

They say that how you treat the “little” people reflects your personality. Remember this the next time you go out, especially if you notice how he alternates between being sweet and bossy to you, and consistently rude to any waitstaff you meet.

This applies not just to romantic partners, but everyone in general. Being selectively nice is never okay.

You feel abandoned

If your partner is never there for you when you need him or her the most and seems to be present only during the good times, it is never a good sign.

Relationships involve ups and downs, and if you cannot depend on him or her this early on, how sure are you that he or she is going to be there for you in the future when you have problems and need a shoulder to cry on?

He or she is abusive

abusive relationship

Abuse, not just physical but all kinds of it, should never be part of a relationship. Don’t expect him or her to change once you agree to a serious relationship.

If he or she keeps belittling you or saying nasty stuff, makes you feel worthless, or never made you feel good about yourself, your partner is definitely not a keeper.

See Also: How to Overcome Emotional Abuse

He or she molds you to his or her ideal partner

Everyone has his or her own personality, and your partner should respect that. Sure, there may be some things that need changing, particularly any bad habits, but it should always involve your growth as a person.

If it is not for your improvement but to fit the bill of what he or she wants in a partner, take it as a sign that he or she will only love you when you fit his or her expectations, and not unconditionally.

All these are signs of an unhealthy relationship, and if a lot of these are familiar to you, maybe you should rethink your relationship. While relationships are never perfect, healthy relationships and unhealthy ones are worlds apart.

Always aim for a serious but healthy relationship. Unhealthy ones may make you happy right now, but healthy ones will do so for a long time.

The post 10 Red Flags to Consider Before Getting Serious in a Relationship appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

10 Ways To Woo A Girl The Right Way

The early days of dating are always the fun part. It’s where you can’t stop thinking about your girl and how you can make her happy. From flowers to chocolates and balloons, you have a lot of plans that are guaranteed to put a smile on her face.

However, as courtship ends, you feel less and less enthusiastic about wooing her. And that’s where problems happen and relationships break apart.

To keep your relationship in the best condition, here are some tips on how to woo a girl:

1. Be Genuine

We live in a world wherein being genuine has become such a rare quality. People are always being fake, pretending to be someone they’re not in order to impress the girl. Just think of online social media platforms where single men and women create “images” of themselves.

In person though, a discerning eye can tell real people from fakes. Be genuine and be appreciated for who you truly are.

2. Be chivalrous

I would strongly like to believe that chivalry isn’t dead. Be polite, open doors, walk on the traffic side of the road, and escort her and her friend’s home.

You may think these are small things but these small gestures will never go unnoticed. It’s not that she can’t do these things by herself but it is always good to know that there is someone whose looking out for her.

3. Give her your undivided attention

undivided-attention

Get off that mobile phone of yours when you are with her. You will have plenty of time to check game scorse or reply to your messages and emails when you are home. Unless it is extremely urgent, it will always be appreciated if you can give your phones a rest and give your undivided attention to her.

See Also: How to be a Good Husband to Make Your Life a Bed of Roses 

4. Notice her and likes & dislikes

Always take mental notes of her likes and dislikes and surprise her when she least expects it. Take her to her favorite concert, order her favorite drink when she’s running late, notice when she gets a haircut or wears something different.

She will really appreciate the fact that you are taking a keen interest in her and what she likes, and it will make her feel very happy.

5. Be there when she needs someone

You sure as hell don’t need to be a girl’s doormat but you definitely want to be her shoulder to cry on when she needs it. If she needs someone by her side, make sure it’s you. It will show her how committed, dependable and serious you are about having her in your life and wanting to be in hers.

6. Don’t keep talking about yourself, learn to listen

Noone likes a person who only talks about themselves and shows no interest in learning about the other person. If you are only going to keep bragging about yourself and your life, rest assured she will not turn to give you another look. Show a real interest in getting to know her better; it will take you a long way.

7. Make her feel special

If she is having a bad day, let her vent to you and be supportive about it. In fact, all you probably need to do is to listen.

Remember small dates like the first time you’ve met or the first time you took her out on a date. Make an effort to celebrate these with her. Do whatever is in your power to make her feel loved and cherished.

8. Keep that element of surprise

surprise-her

Now that you have learnt about what makes her happy, surprise her by using that information to your advantage. If she has a fantasy of a perfect date, make it happen for her. If she’s feeling low, show up on her doorstep to take her for a drive. Keep the element of surprise alive in order to keep her wondering and the excitement going.

9. Let her know that you are thinking about her

Drop her a message in the middle of the workday to check how her day is going or pick her up from work so that you’ll get that extra 30 minutes to spend together. Message her good morning first thing when you wake up or send her flowers or any small memento that makes you think of her.

Whatever big or small it maybe, show her that you are thinking about her.

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

10. Open up to her

Many men are brought up to avoid being vulnerable in front of the girl. However, think about it. You only open up in front of people you truly care about and are truly confortable with. If you talk about your fears or your problems or what makes you sad, it will show her that you are really invested in her and are not there just to pass your time.

We live in a world where women are strong and independent. They don’t need a man to be able to provide for them. They don’t need someone who can pay for a date. They are more than capable of doing that themselves.

Instead, how about a man who can treat them right because somehow that breed has become very rare in the 21st century. Make her feel loved and special. Always think of being in the wooing phase even after being in a stable relationship for a while.

This way you will never take each other for granted. Often, spontaneity is the key to a happy relationship. Be on your toes and keep her on hers. In turn, she will surprise you with her love and loyalty as well.

As Marilyn Monroe says, “A girl doesn’t need anyone who doesn’t need her.

The post 10 Ways To Woo A Girl The Right Way appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

15 Signs That Show Someone Is a Real, True Friend

Friends are very important in our lives. If you have a true friend and find love in someone special, then you are one of the luckiest people in the world.

Essentially, true friendship is an expression of a type of love.

Whether you find friendship in a lover or someone you are just friends with, there may be a time when you question if this person is a true friend or not — and that’s ok.

Even well-established relationships need reviewing once in a while. No one would like to invest time into a relationship that is unproductive or heading nowhere.

These 15 signs of true friendship will help you determine whether someone in your life is a real friend or not.

They support you in everything

true friendship

A real friend will encourage you in anything that you try. They will be there every step of the way, looking for opportunities to help you grow. Your cause becomes their cause. They will rejoice when you are making progress and celebrate with you.

They stick with you at your worst

Life has its ups and downs. For many people, it is easy to stick around when the going is good but not when things are tough.

A real friend is not one of these many people, he or she is different.

They will be there when the going gets tough. Your worries become their worries. They share your successes as well as your failures.

They forgive you for anything

We are all humans and we may screw up sometimes. With a fake friend, a mistake can cost you a friendship but this is not the case with a real friend. A real friend forgives because he or she values your friendship more than your mistakes.

They always have your back

Whether you are wrong or right, once the deed has been done, a real friend will stand by you no matter what.

They will take your side and fight for you irrespective of who is on the other side. But even so, they will rebuke you and correct you when you are wrong.

They constantly keep in touch

Fake friends will only contact you when they need something or when things take a turn in their life. A real friend will contact you because they are interested in what is going on in your life.

They keep your secret

No one knows you quite like your real friends. If anyone is privy to your dark little secrets, it would be your true friend. A real friend values your confidence and will keep your secrets safe with them.

They make time for you

A real friend doesn’t just stay in touch via calls or chats, they make time for you. If you need them to help out with something really important, they will find time for it.

They will also squeeze out time to spend casually with you even when they have busy schedules.

They are loyal and faithful

A loyal and faithful friend is a true friend. Such a friend is someone who is unwavering in their devotion to you and any agreed cause. He or she would not betray you and can be trusted to keep to agreements.

They don’t ridicule you in public

A true friend knows your flaws but still accepts you regardless. The person does not go about mocking or humiliating you, especially in public.

A real friend will showcase your bright sides while helping you work on your weakness where they can.

They are open to you

A true friend is real, the person discusses things openly with you and does not hide feelings.

A real friend will tell you the truth irrespective of whether it hurts or pleases.

That’s not to say they don’t care how you will feel, they actually do.

They keep their promises

A true friend keeps promises. When a real friend says something, the person means it and keeps his words.

If something happens that makes fulfilling a promise difficult, a true friend will be sincere in telling you. And they would make it up to you at a later time.

They are trustworthy

A true friend should be a trusting and trustworthy person.

You are going to be sharing a chunk of your life with this person. It is important that they be someone you can trust and who trust you also.

The thing about trust is that it is earned. A true friend will not only earn your trust but not break it.

They know and understand you

sign of true friendship

Part of what makes someone a true friend is their understanding of you and how well they know you.

A friend should be able to say what you can do and what you cannot. A real friend may even understand you more than you understand yourself.

They will always have your interest at heart.

They remember things about you

What we care about we think about, and what we think about we remember. A true friend hardly forgets any event that is dear to you.

It may be your birthday, anniversary or any other celebrations.

When they can’t make it there, they will be proactive in telling you. Also, when it comes to discussions, a true friend will remember most because they are true listeners.

They think about you before themselves

Thinking of other people before oneself is an attribute of love. A true friend is a loving and caring friend.

Such a person will always look out for your interest, sometimes to their own detriment.

True friendship is about sacrifices.

See Also: 10 Characteristics of A Good Friend

The post 15 Signs That Show Someone Is a Real, True Friend appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Bipolar Disorder Affects Relationships

Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric condition which can cause several changes in a person’s mood. People who are suffering from bipolar disorder fall in two categories — high moods (mania) and extremely low moods (hypomania).

During the manic phase, people lose their common sense to judge anything, while they completely withdraw from everything and everyone when in a hypomanic state. These changes in mood can seriously affect relationships since it contributes to how they interact with others.

Bipolar Disorder and Relationships

If you have bipolar disorder, then your mood swings can cause unusual changes in your behaviors. This can make it more challenging to go on dates or even marry.

Scott Haltzman (Clinical Assistant Professor in the Brown University) tells that this disorder can seriously create problems in any relationship. In his book Secrets of Happily Married Men and The Secrets of Happily Married Women, he also tells that when people get into a relationship, they want stability. It’s not something you can easily get when you have bipolar disorder.

Dating When You Have Bipolar Disorder

bipolar dating

If you are suffering from bipolar disorder, you may feel nervous whenever you are starting a new relationship.

But, here’s the thing:

There is no need to introduce your psychiatric problems on the first date. You should find the right time to tell your partner that you have bipolar disorder.

Revealing that you are suffering from bipolar is not an auspicious beginning to your relationship. Dr. Haltzman also says that when you feel that there is a strong mutual attraction between you and your partner, that’s the point where you should clear the actual problem.

Dating someone with psychiatric problems can be challenging because you can’t control your partner’s mood swings. If you want to succeed in your relationship, you should concentrate on your partner’s treatment and focus on communication.

How Bipolar Disorder Affects Married Life

Work stress, money issues, and other factors can put a strain on your married life. Stress caused by one’s day-to-day, however, can turn to problems of epic proportions when your partner has bipolar disorder.

Research shows that this is the main reason why 90% of marriages fail.

Like most people, those with bipolar disorders have many good qualities but they may show undesirable behaviors as well. They may show love and affections and be cold and distant at the same time.

These unpredictable behaviors may be very difficult and challenging for all married people. In such conditions, you should cooperate with your partner and make your married life stronger than ever.

How Does Someone Develop Bipolar Disorder

Doctors do not know the exact causes of bipolar disorder. However, experts consider a few factors that predispose one to develop the condition.

Family genes and abnormal brain structures are two factors often believed to cause bipolar disorder. Scientist and researchers are still trying to find out more about it.

How Bipolar Disorder Can be Treated

Educate yourself: Educate and prepare yourself before you start a relationship with a person who has bipolar disorder. Do your research to know how you can deal with and understand this psychiatric problem.

Teach your partner: Teach your partner how to react during different mood swings and what they can do to overcome them.

You have to be patient: When your partner’s mood swings interfere with your romantic or dating plans, you should remind yourself that it’s the condition and not your partner. Sometimes, taking a quick break helps.

Keep an open communication: You should be open with your partner and communicate openly.

Take proper medication: Help your partner to take medicine as prescribed. Show your support and help make sure no doctor appointments are missed.

Manage stress in different ways: You can ask your partner for a long walk or to eat healthily. Exercise regularly and be more active. A change in lifestyle can go a long way.

bipolar relationships

Regular therapy: Regular therapy is an essential component when it comes to addressing psychiatric problems.

Child school support: Children who are suffering from this mental illness can be treated by the school support system. School psychologists, counselors, and other staff should participate in helping children succeed in school.

The Difference Between Bipolar Disorder and Depression

Bipolar disorder and depression are different from each other. Knowing how they are different can help you plan the right approach.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder refers to the opposite ends of the emotional spectrum. A person may be depressed for a long period of time and show low energy, anxiety, and emptiness. When his energy is high, he may experience racing thoughts and feelings of power that can last for several days or months.

Depression

Depression is deeper than sadness. If you have this condition, you may feel helpless, hopeless, and worthless. You may loss interest in things you used to enjoy. You’ll experience changes in appetite, sleep problems, and even suicidal thoughts or actions.

See Also: 15 Symptoms You Are Depressed (Even When You Think You Aren’t)

Author: Kaitlin Adam

The post How Bipolar Disorder Affects Relationships appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Everything You Need to Know about INFJ Dating and Romance

Of all Myers-Briggs personality types, INFJ is considered to rank as the rarest. Only one or two percent of the population fall under the category – introversion, intuition, feeling and judgment. These people are a bit misunderstood because of this fact and because of their personality traits.

These are very imaginative and introspective individuals who, however, aren’t big communicators. This is why INFJ relationships can be difficult to establish. Once they find a partner, however, people who belong to the group form long-lasting bonds characterized by empathy and a deep level of commitment.

Are you wondering about INFJ romance? Whether you belong to the category or you’re dating someone characterized as INFJ, the following guide will shed some light on the biggest opportunities and some of the challenges you will have to overcome.

INFJ Personality Types: Strengths and Weaknesses

Because it happens to be relatively rare, the INFJ personality is somewhat misunderstood. Still, based on the Myers-Briggs characteristics, some valid conclusions can be drawn about the strengths and the weaknesses these people carry.

Let’s get started with the strengths first.

INFJ people are very insightful. They possess an analytical mind and they pay attention to details.

In addition, these people are very creative. INFJs are endowed with an incredibly vivid imagination and they often have creative professions. They are very keen on making the people closest to them happy, which means that they will come up with an intelligent solution for just about any problem that arises.

infj creative

INFJs are willing to sacrifice their own wellbeing for the people they love. An INFJ in relationships is giving, eager to please and selfless. As far as good characteristics go, it’s also important to point towards their conviction in life, reliability, decisiveness and conscientiousness.

Just like carriers of all other personalities, however, INFJs have their weaknesses.

A high level of sensitivity is good but it can also become a bad thing. This is why a good INFJ match is more balanced and capable of addressing such extreme sensitivities in a cool and collected manner.

These people tend to seek perfection in every aspect of life. They can burn out easily, especially if the cause they’re committing themselves to turns out to be something different from what was initially anticipated.

A final hindrance that could stay in the way of successful INFJ relationships is the fact these people can be extremely private. They’re introverts, which means that a lot will remain hidden instead of being discussed with a partner.

See Also: 8 Hustle Tips for Introverts and Creative Souls

INFJs as Lovers

infj romance

An INFJ person could find it difficult to attract romantic partners.

These individuals aren’t likely to approach strangers. Hence, INFJ dating could start in alternative ways to traditional flirts. DoULike and other dating sites have luckily provided opportunities that INFJs have been missing in the past.

Once they open themselves up to someone that’s romantically interested in them, INFJs will demonstrate their kind and loving nature. These people are very considered and gentle. They will work hard to make a lover happy. INFJ love is deep and emotionally-binding, even if it happens to be somewhat lacking in the passion department.

For INFJs, sexuality is not something casual or to be taken lightly. These people don’t find joy in casual encounters because intimacy is very spiritual and emotional for them. Hence, people who are just getting to meet an INFJ type for the first time may think this person is aloof. Under the right circumstances, however, INFJs could reveal their passion, care and desire to please a partner.

Communication with an INFJ Person

INFJ relationships could be difficult at first because of the specific manner in which these people communicate.

Remember that the I stands for introversion. These people are quiet and sensitive. Chances are that they will not speak out when something bothers them. While this characteristic is good in certain situations, it could be detrimental in terms of relationship problem solving and overcoming obstacles.

If you are the partner of an INFJ personality type, you should communicate in a calm and encouraging way. Work towards getting your partner to open up. Once they start trusting you, chances are that you will learn a whole lot about them that previously remained hidden.

It may also be a good idea to give them some time and space. While the relationship is probably going to progress slower than what you’re used to, the bond you will be establishing could potentially become unbreakable. Don’t push them because such a communication approach could get an INFJ to hide even deeper in their shell.

Which Other Personality Types Are Most Compatible with INFJs?

infj dating

INFJ compatibility is not an exact science. These people could get along with many other personality types, as long as these individuals don’t approach INFJ dating in an aggressive or flamboyant manner.

The INFJ best match balances their negative characteristics while gently challenging the private person to come out and to explore new aspects of life.

A few personality types are highly compatible with INFJs.

ENFPs (extrovert, intuitive, feeling and perceiving) is an excellent match. These people are free spirited and laidback. In addition, they possess a degree of creativity and will that will appeal to the INFJ. In addition, ENFPs are outgoing but sensitive towards the peculiarities of others. These two personality types will be willing to make necessary compromises in order to achieve relationship harmony.

ENFJs are known as givers and they could also match INFJs pretty well. The only difference between these two personality types is that one of them is introverted while the other one tends to be outgoing. These two personalities are concerned about similar issues, they possess a lot of creativity and empathy. The fact that the introversion and the extroversion balance each other out could result in a match made in heaven.

INFPs (introversion, intuition, feeling and perception) is another good choice for an INFJ partner. These people are idealists but they are much less punctual and willing to plan than INFJs. They bring a degree of spontaneity to the dating process that can be really refreshing. These people are also likely to remain optimistic about the future of the relationship even when things become challenging.

While INFJs are a rare personality type and they have various challenges to overcome, finding true love is possible. The kind nature and the willingness to understand/please their partners will work in their favor. INFJs will build very satisfying long-term relationships with the right people. While identifying the right match will often take a significant amount of time, such connections rank among the ones that are meant to last a lifetime.

The post Everything You Need to Know about INFJ Dating and Romance appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Personal Advice on Finding The One

Many of us wonder if we will ever find “the one.” Some people don’t believe that “the one” exists and that we shouldn’t be tied to just one person for the rest of our lives. To start with, the idea of being “tied to someone” is hugely negative and if you think like that, then your relationship certainly won’t be free.

Some people simply don’t care about finding the one. However, as I’ve gotten older I hear more and more people saying they are still searching for the one. As they go along, it becomes more of a burden than exciting for them.

Let’s look at the facts. There are approximately 7 billion people in the world and according to worldometers.info, 50.4% are men and 49.6% are female. The chances of finding someone you love is huge. It’s a big world out there. Often we end up staying in our small circle of friends. We go to work and then come home.

Sometimes we may join an evening class or go to the gym, often in hopes that we bump into someone and instantly fall in love with them as we see in the movies. The truth is, from my experience, it doesn’t always happen like that. I found that meeting people in a bar or online didn’t really work for me. I know there are millions of people out there that it has worked for and that is so wonderful. But for me, it was very different.

I loved the idea of “the one” ever since I was a teenager. In fact, when I was 17, I went out with a girl for almost three years and we were convinced that we were going to get married. It turns out that we didn’t and as sweet as she was, I’m really glad that we broke up. I’ve had quite a number of relationships over the years.

Some have been very intense and some have been pretty relaxed. Some have been long and some have been short. There were times that I was almost trying to convince myself that the person I was with was the one. I knew deep down that this wasn’t the case, but I still tried to make it work, which then caused a lot of pressures on the relationship.

looking for the one

During the times that I was single, I would be constantly looking at people to see if I get that magical moment when you instantly know you are meant to be together. The more I looked, the harder it became. I have dated some lovely people and I have certainly fallen in love with some of them.

But I knew deep down that it wasn’t right. I had a feeling in my stomach that told me I needed to leave. I often ignored it and tried to make it work anyway, but this only led to more heartache for both people.

I decided to completely give up. I managed to get to a place where I was totally happy with being on my own. I decided that I wasn’t going to date anybody and I didn’t even want anything casual. It all became about me and my life. I took myself on trips abroad and weekend trips in my campervan and I didn’t bat an eyelid to anyone.

If there were any signs of flirtation, I would play along, but not talk myself into the fact that I had to fall in love with this person. It was actually a really nice place to be. There was a weight that got lifted and the clouds that hung over had cleared.

While all of this was going on, I was building a really strong friendship with a woman from work. I had not looked at her in a romantic way before. We just enjoyed each other’s company and had a laugh together. As the months passed, we were spending most weekends together and even staying over each other’s houses — just watching movies, drinking wine, and eating popcorn.

She had been giving me advice about my dating life and I was doing the same for her. One night we were watching a movie in her bedroom and we cuddled up. The movie finished and we just stayed there for hours. I felt so completely at peace and after a long battle in my head as to whether I should kiss her or not, I decided to go for it. This was a bold move considering we were close friends, we worked together and that I had given up on dating.

Was it a really passionate, love at first kiss, like you see in movies? No. To be honest, it was a little awkward. Nevertheless, we kept hanging out and we were completely open and honest about how we felt about the situation. We both loved each other’s company and if we both decided to go for it, then that would be it. No messing around.

In retrospect, what happened is that we realized we actually loved each other, but as we were both not looking for love and we were not interested in sex at the time, we just fell in love based on our personalities and incredible friendship. We got married 18 months later and now we have our first baby on the way.

The strange thing was that on paper, we aren’t necessarily the perfect match. When I was online dating, I would scroll through photos and dismiss people who were probably wonderful. We put so much on the first moment, love at first sight experience that we are led to believe will happen.

The wonderful thing about our relationship is that we are fundamentally friends. We do have a fantastic sex life but take that away and we are the best of friends who make each other laugh and want to be with each other all the time. However, I understand that this may not suit everyone and I completely understand why. We both have our own individual hobbies, which is so important as we need to keep our own identities.

Finding the one will be different for everyone, but I do believe that they exist. I could argue that not everyone is destined to find somebody, but I’m just talking from my own experiences. I know that what I have with my wife is incredible and I couldn’t imagine a relationship with someone else being any better.

when finding the one

The key is to listen to what your instinct is telling you. If your gut or intuition is saying something isn’t right, then you must listen and act on that. There’s no point in wasting time, energy and emotion on something that isn’t going to work.

Yes, you can make relationships work and some people become life long partners. But there’s a difference between staying with someone that you love, who you know isn’t the one and living your life with someone you feel like you’ve almost known in a previous life.

I know that if I had stayed with previous partners who I loved, I would not be completely happy. I didn’t want love to be the reason I was unhappy. I knew that someone was waiting out there for me. It’s just ironic that I was searching for that ultimate love elsewhere when she was just right there before my eyes.

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

The post Personal Advice on Finding The One 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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5 Romantic Date Night Ideas For Going Out This Valentine’s Day

If you’re lucky enough to be all loved-up this February 14th, don’t be a cynic and ignore it altogether. Head out and spend a nice evening to remember with your better half.

You might roll your eyes at the thought of slow-motion embraces and drooping bouquets, but planning a unique date experience your partner will actually treasure — that’s romance.

Though there are many romantic ideas for couples that would rather stay in the comfort of their own home this Valentine’s Day, there are lots of options for those who are looking to dress up to celebrate.

Here are five unique Valentine’s date night ideas you should totally consider:

’Memory Lane’ Treasure Hunt

Arrange a trip through your relationship archives by guiding your loved one around your city. You can make pit-stops at the bars, cafes, bridges, and buildings that brought you together. If you’re so inclined, hand-write clues, draw something, get poetic or even be full-on cryptic.

Once your partner has solved all the riddles, meet him in your favorite bar for a cozy drink and a spot of romantic reminiscing. This kind of date — with potential for mix-ups, belly-laugh, and a few wrong turns — should bring out the kid in both of you. It’s also a brilliant chance to remember some of the best moments in your story together so far.

A Night at the Museum

night at the museum

What could be more romantic than strolling hand-in-hand across echoing marble floors, gazing at Renaissance art, ancient Roman artifacts or Victorian specimen jars?

Based on your partner’s interests and passions, seek out an off-the-beaten-track collection to explore together. You might be able to tour the one-time home of their favorite author, see a carefully curated display of the sport they play or from a country they’ve traveled in.

Many top museums now open up for late-night tours, so consider an early afternoon at a lesser-known gallery before heading to your city’s coolest museum at sundown. Couples who learn together stay together after all.

Ride the Waltzers

If you’d like to inject some magic into your relationship, research has shown there are a few simple activities which have been proven to help bring couples closer. One theory is that sharing a thrill with a partner can improve intimacy. Getting your hearts racing in each other’s company helps further the bond.

For a Valentine’s burst of adrenaline, what about a classic old-fashioned fair round for some vintage romance?

The colorful lights are an ideal backdrop for a photo together and the rickety swoop of a Ferris wheel adds a drop of nostalgia to your date. Cling on tight to your loved one as the roller coaster clatters upwards and raise your voices as one electrifying scream on the way down.

Murder Mystery Party

For some spine-tingling, Agatha Christie-inspired glamour this February 14th, take your partner to a Murder Mystery Party or host one yourself. A group activity takes off some of the Valentine’s pressure that can get in the way on a date night. So, book tickets to a professional evening hosted by actors in a nearby stately home.

You’ll be expected to look the part, so it’s an excuse to don your smartest suit and get a proper 1950s-style shave. Taking on different roles is a recipe for fun or disaster with your favorite person in the world.

Get into character, practice your accents, and impress them with your acting skills. Hosting one at home could also be an excellent way to share Valentine’s with some of your other favorite couples.

Winter Picnic

winter picnic

Valentine’s Day, of course, falls in February, which is often the chilliest month of the year. But if the forecast is cold and crisp with no rain in sight, the frosty temperature shouldn’t stop you and your other half getting wrapped up for a bracing seaside stroll.

Catch the bus or train to your nearest, prettiest beach, kitted out in your warmest woolens and robust pair of gloves. Treat your partner to a windswept march along the coastline. You can blast away the cobwebs and take in some cracking sunset seascapes.

If you want to win extra romance points, pack a winter picnic to remember. Think flaskfuls of steaming hot chocolate, slices of pie, hot sausages, and red wine.

See Also: The Romantically Challenged Guy’s Guide to a Successful Valentine’s Day

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How To Distance Yourself From Toxic People Without Them Noticing

Whether it’s a fantasy football league, a book club or your happy hour crew, there may come a time when you feel the need to move on from social groups that no longer make you happy. Whether it’s you who has changed or it’s them, it’s completely normal for social interests to shift as we age.

Unfortunately, getting out of social engagements and relationships can be a delicate thing to maneuver. If you find yourself in that situation, here are some things to consider.

What can you do when you just don’t like being around certain friends anymore?

You must restrict access. When I tell some people that, they often say something like “but that’s not easy to do.”

My answer to that is this: “True, and it’s easier than living with the results when you don’t.”

I call this “hard/easy vs. easy/hard.”

When you make hard decisions up front, things become easier for you later. However, if you make easy decisions upfront, they become harder for you down the road.

One of the ways to restrict access without angering someone or burning bridges is called “benign neglect.” This involves any decision you make that allows a person in your life (or an activity associated with that person) to move toward the back. Doing that allows someone else to step closer in your life.

As a rule, there’s no need to burn bridges. Simply, don’t engage as often or engage in what we call “homeopathic doses. This is the minimal interaction necessary to address the individual over time”.

Are there times when you just need a break from some people?

Yes, this is not uncommon for most individuals. This is particularly true when the two of you have personal values that are not in alignment. Personal values don’t have to be exactly the same. Diversity is valuable, however, the values need to be “resonant” with one another.

When values are “dissonant” with each other, it creates varying levels of frustration and even conflict. When this happens, you’ll need a break from interacting with that individual.

See Also: 5 Signs You Need to Start Removing Toxic People

How do you address personal boundaries with your friends?

Most people don’t enforce the boundaries they desire in life. Worse yet, many people don’t communicate those boundaries to others.

Don’t make apologies for the boundaries and don’t get mad when people want to encroach upon them.

Why? Because it is inevitable that people will try to encroach. Simply state your boundaries clearly and politely, and then stand firm. Learning to say “no” is an important skill in setting boundaries.

One of the best techniques that I use to say no to someone is to say something like “If I said yes to that, I’m afraid I’d let you down.” You may say that because you don’t have the bandwidth, the knowledge or the expertise to do what they are asking but in any case, you’re not the person to do what they are asking.

Is it okay to say your interests or values have changed and you want to spend more time with your family or other friends?

It is inevitable that people’s interests and values change over time. For some people, there may be subtle changes. For most, they can be major changes in interests and values. In either case, changing interests and values are normal.

The key to growing throughout your life is to remember to “live in your flame and not your wax.” When you do things you hate to do (especially over time), you are in your wax. This means that you are doing things that are sapping your energy.

When you are doing things that you love with the people in your life, you are living in your flame. You are energized and excited.

If you want a life of harmony, strive to do things that are in your flame, not in your wax. Say yes to people and activities that make you feel alive, align with your values, and add to your experience of life.

Written by Dr. Ivan Misner, Ph.D., author of “Who’s in Your Room? The Secret to Creating Your Best Life”, and founder of Bni.com

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The Danger In Looking For Your Type When Dating

“Yeah, she is nice and all, but just not my type.”

Have you ever said that or had a friend tell you that as they considered a mate? Maybe you feel drawn to intelligent brunettes while your friend is all about the athletic blondes. You may have even determined that whomever you end up with long-term will have to fit into that type in order for the relationship to be successful.

On Finding Your Type

Most of us, at one time or another, has felt that we have a specific “type” when it comes to romantic partners. We assume that people who don’t fit our predetermined “type” are not likely to be a good relationship fit and that those who do will be. But is this really true?

Yes and no.

We are often drawn to people based on our own past experiences. Elements of familiarity make us feel more comfortable with and more drawn to people with certain attributes.

Those in our lives who have had a big and usually positive impact on us can influence what we think we want in a partner. You may think you just naturally prefer brunettes, but the truth is that you probably had a positive experience with a brunette. That’s why you became drawn to the qualities that they exhibited. Parents, teachers, and other role models can all be part of creating our “type” as well.

We also tend to look for partners that are similar to ourselves or have similar backgrounds. These shared experiences and values feel important when considering a long-term future with someone. They help to provide a common ground and mutual agreement on the importance of certain things in life.

So, the shy blonde girl who grew up in the suburbs may not feel that the long-haired hippy who spent his life living on a commune is the right fit for her. There likely will have never been someone like him in her life that made an impact before. And appearances tell her they have nothing in common and that he wouldn’t be a good match. But what if he is?

The Danger in Trying Too Hard in Finding the Right Person for You

There is a danger in relying too heavily on your “type” in determining whether someone will make a good mate for you or not. Just because they do or don’t meet your idea of the right type doesn’t mean you can determine with certainty their merit as a partner.

Becoming too focused on looking for someone who fits your idea means that you may be overlooking others who would actually be better matches for you in the long run. It also operates on the assumption that  meeting your type criteria automatically makes someone a good match.

This simply isn’t something that can be counted on.

Not all athletic blondes have the mix of traits that will make a long-term relationship a good one. It doesn’t mean that you and that perfect match will be compatible.

Looking for love by relying upon your type as a guide can be a dangerous thing to do. It can set up an unhealthy dynamic. You may place unfair expectations on your partner based on what you believe they represented by meeting your type criteria. Or, on the other hand, if you end up with someone who doesn’t fall into your idea of the right type, you may subconsciously sabotage your relationship.

You may let your feelings settled and seep through before you have given that relationship a fair chance. Dating according to type could very well mean that you spend a great deal of time in relationships that are difficult and simply don’t work or leave you feeling lonely and unfulfilled.

Conclusion

Your best bet when dating or starting a relationship is to look for a person’s traits. Appreciate them instead of listening to the ideas you’ve created inside your head. It is undeniably more important to be honest, caring, and compassionate than it is to be blonde.

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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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4 Ways Men Can (Accidentally) Mess Up Their Relationship

Men are from Mars and women from Venus, right? That was the big a-ha moment back in the 90s when Dr. John Gray wrote his book. When that book came out, men and women everywhere stopped, took notice, and said: “Okay that makes sense. Men and women handle relationships (and many other things) differently!”

Not that it was that big of a secret. The emotional differences between men and women have long been noted. Those differences, however, can also be one of the reasons why many relationships fail.

In particular, men are too often at fault on this score. Because many of us haven’t developed emotional intelligence, we often look past the emotional needs of our partners. We may not experience the same feelings, so it doesn’t occur to us that they would. As a result, we get ourselves in trouble and can, without even realizing it, mess up our relationships.

Before we take a look at some of the areas men routinely overlook, let’s talk about the #1 way that men kill their relationships.

The biggest man-made problem is thinking that those differences don’t matter and that we don’t need to worry about them. Of course, if you are one of those men, you are probably not reading this. Good for you as you’ve dodged the biggest bullet.

Just because a woman views things differently than you or measures the impact of things differently, it doesn’t mean you can dismiss those things and keep going. Actually, the fact that you don’t get it probably means you need to stop and take notice.

So, assuming you are trying to avoid accidentally ruining your relationship with your partner, what are those things you should pay attention to?

Below are four of the biggest relationship mistakes guys make.

Letting your appreciation go silent

When you started dating, you likely told her pretty routinely how much you appreciated her presence in your life. You probably said things like “you’re beautiful”, “I am lucky to have you” and “thank you”.

Once your relationship is firmly established, those often stop. There’s no need, right? You told her over and over before and now you guys are committed and she should know.

Nope.

When the expression of appreciation stops, women take notice and not in a good way. For many women, no longer hearing those things means you have stopped feeling and thinking them. That translates into feeling taken for granted and undervalued.

I know you are saying to yourself, “Why is she so insecure?”

Guys, this is usually not an insecurity thing. It’s more of reinforcing your connection and not taking her for granted. It doesn’t need to be done excessively. You don’t necessarily have to do daily flower deliveries and love songs, but routinely letting her know that she’s important to you will go a long way.

See Also: How to Get Rid of Relationship Insecurities

Thinking that sex no longer requires romance

romance tips

When you’re in a steady relationship, you might think that you can just roll over any morning and let her know you’re ready and it’s game on. Well, not so fast.

While that may work on certain occasions, a woman really never stops wanting to feel pursued. Taking the time to do things right will maintain the intimacy in your relationship and reinforce that feeling that you want her and she’s worth the time and effort. You may be pleasantly surprised at her reaction.

Ignoring what she tells you

relationship tip

One thing that women tend to do far better than men is express their feelings. The problem is that not only do men not DO this well, they also don’t LISTEN to it well.

I have a friend whose wife told him for years what she wanted from their relationship – more time together, sex, and romance. She said she felt secondary in his life to work, friends, football – you get the picture.

I was actually around to hear some of these things said. He seemed caught completely off guard when she decided she was done talking and never being heard. She decided to file for divorce.

The point is, listen to what she tells you. Many women will almost give you a blueprint for the relationship if you just pay attention.

Assuming she cares about your underwear and socks

Here’s the thing – she doesn’t.

Don’t assume she’s going to take care of all your incidentals. Your laundry, dinner dishes, putting your shoes away, ensuring that you always have deodorant — those things are your responsibility. That doesn’t mean she may not do those things, it depends on how you have your division of responsibilities arranged.

But when you get angry because your sock drawer is empty and that becomes a regular complaint, it’s time to read the signs and take care of things on your own. Women want to be seen as equals, partners, and intelligent human beings – not your mom.

When you take that for granted, she will handle all those little things. She may end up pushing back or spending time with someone who doesn’t expect her to do them.

Men often assume that once the relationship is established, we are good and all the work is done. That’s simply not true. And although women can be just as guilty of all of the points above, we are often our own worst enemies when it comes to these things. Try appreciating and respecting the natural differences between you and your partner. Doing this will help keep you from accidentally messing up a good thing.

See Also: 7 Best Secrets To Building Lasting Relationships

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5 Little-Known Steps To Get Over A Painful Breakup

Life is already difficult. Let’s try and make it a little less complicated and happier.

Let me start with something you would want to hear in a difficult time like this, okay?

It is completely alright to break up with someone if you think that the relationship was too draining and you’re not receiving enough in return.

Sometimes, saying goodbye hurts, but it is important for YOU. You need it to be happy and to love yourself.

If you’re not happy, you know it’s time to pack your stuff and leave. It doesn’t matter how long the relationship lasted. You will always feel heartbroken after parting ways with someone you couldn’t imagine living a day without. You may feel lonely and vulnerable. You may even want to call them back.

The effects of a breakup can last for a long time if you let them get to you. However, you have an option to slide through those effects and get back to being you.

First of all, I would like to inform you that self-harm, alcoholism, grieving for too long, cutting communication with friends and family or anything that doesn’t sound like a healthy way to get over a breakup is most probably not it.

Instead, you should indulge in activities that make you feel more like yourself — the person you were when you were single.

This doesn’t necessarily mean single people are happier. It just means that you need to learn to love yourself again and then, think about dating. Do one thing at a time.

Here, we are going to focus on how to be the better person after a breakup. Some of these tips will directly and immediately affect you while some can make a difference in the long run.

Curious? Read on to find out more.

Accept the Fact And Let It Out of Your System

Realize that shit happens and you are not responsible for it. You are just sad that it ended and you can take your time to feel alive again. Give yourself some time to do whatever it is that you want to do to accept the breakup.

Grieving is not bad. In fact, it can help you move on. However, hanging onto it for too long is not a good idea. Avoid drinking too much or harming yourself because trust me, you may feel like doing it when the agony becomes too much.

Once you have realized that what has happened has already happened, then you have to be okay with it for your own good. You can congratulate yourself for successfully taking the first step to moving on.

Clear The Chaos Around You

breakup tips

A lot of people will tell you to go out and have fun after a breakup. This is a flawed way of dealing with the situation. Hanging out will divert your mind away from your heartbreak but at the end of the day, you will have to come back to the same place. That’s when you’ll start feeling lonely again.

To get your life back on track, you need to make your living space more lively and organized. Clean up well and create a space where you can breathe freely. Open the windows and let the fresh air and sunlight in your room. Make an environment that has no place for grief or sorrow.

You can also look for cleansing incense sticks to create a fresh atmosphere in your room. Get some crystals, like amethyst, moonstone or citrine, that absorb negative energy.

Remove his belongings if they remind you of him. Throw them away if you don’t think he would want them back. It is completely your decision.

Surround Yourself with Positivity

Think about yourself and the people around you. Take the time to invite some of them over for a barbecue or simply to hang out at home. It doesn’t have to be too extravagant.

Having others around you is actually good. You’ll have people to talk to, particularly when you are feeling down

Keep your routine a healthy one because after a breakup, people tend to oversleep, overeat, and avoid going to work. If you notice that you’re falling into that pit, make the effort to work on a healthy routine, diet, and social life. That way, you’ll feel better faster.

Even if you don’t, you will get there. Just keep in mind that you are the most important person in your life and whatever you do, you keep your own best interests in mind.

Treat Yourself

treat yourself

Heartbreaks can make you feel depressed and unable to take care of your hygiene and appearance. So, put in some effort and take time out of your schedule to visit a salon or a spa to treat your mind and body. Spas can feel relaxing when you’re feeling distraught.

You can also go out shopping and get some new clothes. Be inclined towards brighter and more lively colors as those can make you feel a lot more positive.

You can also get yourself some jewelry or a good pair of shoes. Don’t feel guilty about splurging a little if it’ll make you feel better.

Take Comfort In Your Community

All these efforts are of no use unless you cut your ties off completely from the person who broke your heart and settles back into your community.

You can start making new friends, go out with your old friend, and carry out activities you think you were missing out on when you were in a relationship. Spare some time for yourself and the people who care about you.

Conclusion

It is said that the longer you date someone, the harder it is to let go. This may be true at some level, but it is never impossible to let anyone go. All you need to do is exert effort and the first step towards that is ‘wanting to do it’.

Breakups become as difficult as you make them. You don’t have to follow the dreaded routine of over-indulgence. You can let it not affect you by taking care of yourself and putting your happiness above everything else.

See Also: Written By Him: How To Handle A Break Up

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How to Get Rid of Relationship Insecurities

The best relationship advice for a happy marriage is never to compare yourself or your spouse to someone else. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, especially if you are insecure by nature. Getting over relationship insecurities can be hard for you.

Insecurity often boils down to a deep feeling of inadequacy in a relationship. You may feel like you aren’t smart, pretty, funny or interesting enough to keep your partner’s attention. Insecurity may also stem from a distrust from your partner due to a past indiscretion on their behalf.

Feeling insecure about yourself or your spouse can do some serious damage to an otherwise healthy relationship. Here are 6 tips on how you can start getting over relationship insecurities.

Consider Your Baggage

Some of the best relationship advice you can follow for handling insecurities in your marriage is to pinpoint the source of the problem. Some examples of what led you to this emotional point may be that:

  • You have been cheated on in the past
  • You watched your parents go through a messy divorce
  • Your current spouse has been unfaithful in the past
  • You have experienced a drastic change in appearance (weight gain/loss/pregnancy)
  • Your emotional connection to your spouse feels lacking

The list can go on and on, but it is important to learn where your insecurities are stemming from. Once you know what led to your romantic insecurities, you will be better equipped to handle them.

Stop Comparing Yourself

Always remember that comparison is the thief of joy. The more you compare yourself to someone else, the less happy you will be in your marriage.

It is common for someone who is feeling insecure to begin comparing themselves to their spouse’s former lovers. This can lead to boiling jealousy, hurtful fights, and much irritation for both you and your partner.

If your spouse wanted to be with someone else, they wouldn’t be with you. Your partner is not with their ex-flame, they are with you. They love you, are charmed by you, and choose to spend their time with you because they enjoy doing so. Remember that the next time you are feeling insecure about your partner’s past.

Get It Out of Your System

talking about insecurities

If you’re feeling insecure or jealous and it is bubbling to the surface, don’t wait for it to explode. Let it out!

The longer you hold back your insecurities, the more time they have to build and fester. Instead of letting things spiral out of control, talk to your partner about it. Do that before you start snooping on your partner’s phone, following them around, and having friends check up on them.

Communication is the key to a healthy relationship, especially when you are feeling insecure or jealous.

When you sit down to talk to your partner, don’t snap at them or turn your insecurities into an argument. And trust us, that can be very easy to do.

Instead, speak calmly and reasonably about how you’re feeling. Explain to your partner why you might be feeling this way. You will likely find them to be understanding and eager to help in this matter.

Practice Self-Care

The best relationship advice for building confidence is by practicing self-love. Take care of yourself. Dress up, take a bubble bath or play guitar. Whatever makes you feel great, do more of it!

Exercising is a great way to build confidence. Learn to appreciate the unique qualities that make you a lovable and valuable partner to your spouse.

When you exercise, you are feeding your self-confidence.

Exercising triggers your body to release a compound neurotransmitter called dopamine. It’s the body’s natural reward system that causes euphoric feelings of happiness. This mood-elevator can do wonders for your confidence and overall outlook on yourself and your marriage.

Getting fit and stronger is another benefit of working out. You’ll find that the healthier your body feels, the better your mental state will be in. Doctors recommend getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day for the best results both mentally and physically.

Have a Regular Date Night

Emotional and physical intimacy are both integral to a happy marriage. Scheduling time each week to spend a romantic, fun or exciting evening together as a couple is a great way to strengthen these aspects of your relationship.

Studies show that building emotional intimacy and boosting oxytocin is actually proven to boost trust in humans. Having more trust in your spouse will put you at ease about your insecurities. It’ll give you more time to spend enjoying each other’s company.

When sitting down for date night, make sure to put your phones away. Having an electronic-free date night will prevent you and your spouse from feeling snubbed or unappreciated.

Write It Down

writing down insecurities

It’s healthy and wise to talk to your partner about how you’re feeling, but you can’t do that 24/7. Not only is it unhealthy for you to make them the source of your constant reassurance, but it is exhausting for your partner.

Make it a goal to talk about your insecurities for no more than 20 to 30 minutes a week. If you still feel the need to talk about it after this time frame, why not create a journal?

In a study done by the BMJ Journal, patients undergoing stressful situations were encouraged to write about their plans for the day for three 20-minute periods over the course of several days. The results showed a reduction in emotional stress. Just from writing!

Writing down your feelings is an excellent way to get them out of your system without starting a fight or getting upset with your partner.

See Also: 3 Writing Techniques to Increase your Self-Esteem  

It’s normal to have insecurities, even in healthy relationships. Focus on the good in yourself and in your spouse. Learn a healthy way to communicate with your partner about your insecurities and always work to build up your relationship. Following these best relationship advice tips will help you maintain a happy marriage.

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How To Stop Unhappiness Rituals in Your Relationships

I once had a patient, we’ll call her Betty, tell me that every night she would cook her spouse a gourmet dinner. At first, it didn’t look like she was unhappy in a relationship. After dinner, she would ask, “How was your dinner?”

The response was always the same: “So, so.”

Every night, she would find herself angry, unhappy, and resentful. She would focus on how hopeless her situation was. After all, she told herself that all she wanted was to please her partner and to get a little appreciation for her efforts. This woman was definitely unhappy in a relationship.

What is an Unhappiness Ritual?

unhappiness ritual

An unhappiness ritual is a repeated, unsatisfying, cyclical behavior that leads us to unhappiness. There is always a beginning to our unhappiness rituals. Entrance to them is usually initiated by the person who maintains the ritual. As long as we keep our unhappiness rituals going, there is no end to the hopelessness, disappointment, resentment, guilt, and anger that comes as a result.

Over time, unhappiness rituals become automatic. They become habits. We unconsciously include them. The unhappy feelings, which is the outcome of our unhappiness rituals can evolve into a state of chronic discontent and bitterness. Depression often awaits us as we endure with predictable outcomes.

How do unhappiness rituals begin?

Let’s review the patient above.

Her unhappiness ritual with cooking dinner began because she unknowingly needed some kindness, appreciation, and validation from her husband. She didn’t put those needs into words. It was rather a wordless longing inside her.

Then, the idea came to her that cooking nightly gourmet dinners would certainly invite conversation and expressed appreciation from her husband. When her solution didn’t give her the outcome she wanted, she kept on cooking, hoping things would change. She initially became disappointed.

Then, she became sad. Anger and resentment took over. She became stuck in a repetitive unhappiness cycle.

Here is the equation for the inception of unhappiness rituals:

  1. We have an unarticulated, unmet want that is surrounded by a discontent about our need not being met.
  2. We try to get our needs met by creating a solution.
  3. The solution doesn’t work. Our needs are not met. We get stuck in the solution, hoping that one day our needs will be met.

Why do we stay stuck?

Think back to when you learned to drive a car. If you were like most, you paid attention to how you pulled away from the curb. You always put on your turn signal and you checked the speedometer to make sure you were not going too fast. You were aware of what you were doing and what other drivers were doing.

Compare that to how you drive a car now.

After years of driving, isn’t all that you do on the highways and byways automatic? Do you consciously think about how you drive? Probably not, because your driving is now habituated. You do it without even thinking about what you are doing.

We get stuck in unhappiness rituals the exact same way.

We practice them over and over and without knowing, they become automatic. Like Betty, she no longer was aware that every evening around 4:00 she would begin thinking about what she would cook for her husband.

She would comb Gourmet magazine or her recipe books for new and delicious-sounding recipes. Around 5:00, Betty would have selected a meal and she would begin preparing it. Her mantra was, “maybe this time my husband will love the dinner.”

She reported that she was “always hurt when I got the same “so-so” response, night after night.

We become unconsciously and habitually stuck in our unhappiness rituals. Inexplicably, in our stuckness, we expect others to change their responses. It is our fervent hope that others will “get it” and we will be acknowledged, appreciated or feel loved because someone else changed their behaviors.

How to stop being unhappy in a relationship

unhappy relationship

After some therapy and planning, here’s what Betty did:

She stopped putting so much energy into meal preparation and she stopped asking her husband how he liked his dinner! Does that sound too simple?

It took Betty some time to gather the courage to sort out the needs and feelings that were related to her unhappiness ritual. She took quite some time for her to embrace the idea of stepping out of her automatic behaviors. It took creating new ways of interacting and connecting.

How to get out of your unhappiness rituals:

  1. Identify what is causing unhappiness for you. What is it that you repeatedly do that leads to your unhappy feelings?
  2. Name your feelings. Instead of just saying you feel unhappy, name exactly what the feelings are. Are you resentful or in an unhappiness ritual because of guilt? Are you accustomed to being a victim in your life and therefore being in an unhappiness ritual feels comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time? Exploration of your feelings is more easily done with a neutral third party involved.
  3. Learn what you are needing. We enter unhappiness rituals through a desire to get some response usually from another person.
  4. Dissect your ritual. When does it begin? What thoughts go through your mind? What do you tell yourself? Is guilt, retribution, anger, revenge, manipulation or setting yourself up for victimization a driving force? Write it down. Look at it.
  5. Clearly state what it is about your unhappiness ritual that you want to stop.

Action exiting

Change is very difficult as our automatic behaviors are hardwired into our brains. It takes consciousness and perseverance to depart from our unhappiness rituals, especially when they have become entrenched through years of practice.

Betty made a step-by-step plan. She took action!

She identified that around 4:00 pm, she would start planning the evening meal. Her first exodus step was to create activities for herself at that hour.

After some time, Betty decided that she and her neighbor would either play tennis at the local community center or hike with their dogs. In inclement weather, Betty worked out at the gym.

Unhappiness rituals usually fall apart after we intervene on our first step into the ritual.

Next, Betty stopped her subscription to Gourmet Magazine and she boxed up her cookbooks and the recipes that she had collected from newspapers over the years. She put them in the guest room closet.

Then, she considered what types of meals she would make for dinner. Betty decided on some frozen, pre-prepared meals and fresh salads. She had advised her husband.

It went like this:

Honey, I have changed my schedule so I won’t be dedicating so much time to preparing dinner. Just wanted you to know. I’ve got to go right now. I’m going to the gym. If you have any questions, we can discuss it later.

Notice that Betty was brief and respectful. She simply told her husband that she was making a change and then, she exited. No justifications and no explanations. No processing of feelings and no making her husband wrong for not fulfilling her unspoken needs.

To exit an unhappiness ritual:

  1. Write down a plan. Get feedback from an impartial party.
  2. Tell the person/people involved what the change is going to be. Discussing the reason for the change is not necessary and usually leads to a diatribe about our unhappiness because someone else is not meeting our needs (which usually translates into blaming them for our feelings and for making a change necessary).
  3. Plan activities you can do before you enter your unhappiness ritual.
  4. Stick to your change. Practice the change you have selected. Do the change.
  5. Remember, the more you practice your new behavior, the more quickly it becomes automatic.

Finally, get yourself out of your unhappiness rituals. If you follow the steps, you will alleviate emotional pain and find yourself happier and more satisfied with your life.

The post How To Stop Unhappiness Rituals in Your Relationships appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The One Post Breakup Thing Women Need to Do

“I’m not happy anymore. I see no future with you. I will never love you. You need to accept that and move on. I’m sorry.”

As cliché as it may sound, that was the last I heard from the guy I was so desperately in love with. He’s the guy who dumped me for his major insecurities, male ego, and limitless tail-chasing.

After some time, he went with a follow up stating that he wanted the possibility of a friendship with me- different from what I had been hoping for with him.

break up

You’d like to think that I immediately jumped at the chance to get back together, even if it’s just on a level of completely platonic pals. Or perhaps one of his many previous conquests-now-turned-buddies.

Well, let me tell you this.

I was not that desperate and pathetic.

Flipping him off was below my ladylike standards, so I told him an outright no.

Naturally, he didn’t understand my reluctance as much as I couldn’t comprehend why he wanted to keep me with him, when in fact he’d expressed openly in different terms that he’d rather close the chapter of his life where I was in it, to begin with.

How to handle a break-up with class

post break up

After a breakup, especially in this sort of situation, no matter how much you think it will work on your favor, never beg or plead. That’s even if you are still completely not over or might never be over him. By never, I mean it would be horrific and downright mortifying once you come to your senses!

Trust me. Begging does not work, even if you blackmail him emotionally.

And, do not accept a “Just Be Friends” proposition from the man who brutally jilted you under any circumstance at all! It would be unfair of him to ask that of you, especially when you didn’t want whatever relationship you had to end in the first place.

Handling breakups are different for the vast majority of us as there are a lot of factors that tend to vary.

However, acting loony will get you nowhere.

Overreacting would be a nasty faux pas.

Blowing up his phone and stalking him on social media would not only strain an already non-existent relationship. It would also make you- and not him- more miserable in the long run.

My dear women, I say, go through the breakup with class and what’s left of your dignity.

Various online dating gurus would tell you this and I can attest that it absolutely works a hundred and ten percent: Lose all form of contact with him, as long as it would take for you to reconvene your feelings and your life in general.

Human nature dictates that pain is unwanted, in every aspect, be it physical or emotional.

Unquestionably, going through your normal routine will prove to be very, very difficult. You may find yourself at the end of some nights tired, weeping, and lonely but don’t fret too much. It’s all part of the process to heal yourself.

The bottom line is for you to get a life where you are happy and secure with yourself. You don’t need him to be in it.

Then, live that life and let things run their course.

If he comes back, then it’s up to you to accept him. If you do accept, set boundaries for yourself, which he has to learn to respect.

In case he doesn’t, well, do you really want a man who wants to stay uncommitted and yet desires the benefits of a committed relationship?

See Also: Let Go of Your Ex: 7 Excuses You Need to Stop Making Now

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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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5 Signs You Need to Start Removing Toxic People

They say you become just like the company you keep. Therefore, picking and choosing friends is one of life’s most underrated skills.

Friends make or break you. The right group of friends will help you get through life and succeed while the wrong ones will hold you down and potentially destroy you.

Moving through life, you’ll encounter countless people, many of whom you will call your “friend” at one point in life. Unfortunately, not every friend stays. In fact, the average length of a friendship is said to only be around seven years.

Most often, friends come and go but there are few who stick around for better or worse.

Not everyone who sticks is good for the relationship. Sometimes you must make the difficult choice of removing toxic people for your personal well-being.

Recognize these five signs to help you make this choice.

You Feel Drained Each Time You Hang Out

toxic friends

When you’ve been friends for a while, you’ve likely had your fair share of good and bad moments. Friends are there for you during bad times and vice versa. But this doesn’t excuse friends who always seem to suck the energy out of you every time.

Friends like these are toxic. They are usually negative, judgmental, and seem to be using you as a personal therapist to deal with their issues. This is extremely draining.

Cut these types of “friends” off before their negativity rubs off on you. Have some respect for yourself. You are not a personal punching bag.

See Also: 8 Types of Toxic Friends That Are Holding Your Happiness Hostage

You Can’t Compromise on Personal Values

It’s necessary to have friends from all walks of life because they offer you different views and help you grow. However, there are friends who you will never see eye-to-eye with.

Initially, it may not be a problem dealing with these friends but as you move further in life, your personal differences may just be too big to ignore.

Compromising on things like what to eat or what to watch is one thing. But when you are dealing with differences in life choices, you can’t afford to be with someone who contradicts you too often.

You’re the Only One Doing the Work

It takes two to tango. Otherwise, you’re just dancing with yourself. The same theory applies to friendship.

When you start realizing that you’re the only one making any effort to hang out or talk, that’s a red flag that your friend doesn’t value your friendship as much as you do.

Life happens and sometimes we become busy and burdened by responsibilities. True friends will try to spend time with you. If they can’t do that, then it’s best to move on.

You Can’t Be Yourself Around Them

It can take a while for people to become comfortable. When you met your friends for the first time, you probably felt wary at first but once you gained each other’s trust, it was smooth sailing.

But if there are still people you don’t feel comfortable with even after knowing for a while, you should move on.

You can’t develop good chemistry with everyone. And it’s not a true friendship if you can’t be yourself around them.

One of You Develops Unrequited Romantic Feelings

unrequited romantic feelings

This is the toughest friendship to end because neither of you did anything wrong unless you count “catching feelings” wrong. When you or your friend becomes hopelessly smitten but the other doesn’t reciprocate, it becomes an awkward situation.

This is painful because you are ending what was once a great friendship.

Holding on will only be more tragic. Save yourselves from future drama and quit while you’re ahead. Maybe, when feelings aren’t as hot anymore, you can rekindle your friendship.

Identifying which friends to keep is a tough process but keep in mind these key points. Chances are, you are already subconsciously doing it. Being more aware of your feelings towards your friends and relationships can help you refine the company you keep.

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Healing from A Heartache: How to Stop the Pain for Good

Someone you really love goes out of your life. You lose a part of yourself and your heart fills up with frustration, anxiety, and worry. At times like this, you think only about one thing- how to stop heartache?

Well, how to deal with it?

If physical pain is the pain in your body, then emotional pain is the pain in your soul. The healing process may take a little more time and effort. It’s a hard thing to go through. And, unfortunately, almost everyone knows what it is but not everyone knows how to move on from it.

Here are the best ways to remove emotional pain and feel free to enjoy life again.

Feel Your Pain

emotional pain

Emotional pain will vanish if you accept it. It seems so obvious but actually, it is the most difficult part of the healing process.

Let yourself experience some suffering for a little while because it’s normal to feel sad after breaking up with someone you loved. In such way, you can reboot and prepare yourself for something new.

Change Your Routine

A lot of things will remind you of your failed relationship.

To lessen the pain from such memories, you have to change your life a little bit. Change your habits, try new things or the way how you do things. Move furniture in your flat, listen to the new trend in music, and so on.

Let’s start right now as there isn’t any room in your new life for the person who broke your heart.

Communicate with People

Don’t ever try to live off the grid after breaking up. Conversely, you have to spend more time with your relatives, friends, and people who can really support you during this crucial phase.

You can help someone in need or those struggling with pain, too. It’ll give you the chance to spend time away from your grief and self-pity.

Try Meditation

meditation

Meditation is a good technique to stop emotional pain. It heals your soul and clears your mind of negative thoughts, which weaken your emotions and hurt your being. Through meditation, you’ll reach a pleasant state where you can visualize yourself happy, loving, and joyful again.

It allows you to reverse the physiological effects of your painful heartbreak, get rid of toxic emotions, and reopen the possibility of a new relationship.

Final Thoughts

Heartbreak is terrible and there’s no doubt about it!

However, it is in your hands to make this period a little bit easier. Don’t bet on a quick fix because you’ll need time to recover. Cure your heartache and realize that there’s no turning back.

Life goes on. Accept your pain but don’t dwell on it. Meditate to reprogram your brain but don’t withdraw into your shell. With those things, you’ll easily know how to stop heartache.

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Taking The Mystery Out of Life: Why Humor Is Important

In one of his books, the late Dr. Wayne Dyer said:

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.

Some persons attribute the quote to Einstein. Others reach back and give Buddha credit.

Regardless of who said it, there is really no middle ground where some things are miraculous and others, well, not so much. Too many people fall into the middle ground. Others believe in the existence of miracles as really taking place- if only rarely. Some are more jaded than others.

Plenty of people prefer to live with a sense of wonder because it’s more fun.

Life and everything in it are mysterious. Even tangible items, like science, is easier to understand than exploring life. Biology allows us to observe what is happening.

In life, we become active participants. We can only wonder how life works and accept the results with a touch of humor. We lean towards taking ourselves too seriously.

But, do you know why humor is important?

Keeping A Sense Of Humor

sense of humor

Life can’t be serious all the time and humor goes a long way in easing the pain. Being able to laugh is healthy for everyone.

When used correctly, humor can even defuse tense situations.

In a relationship, humor has been recognized as vitally important. Cultivating humor in a relationship requires both individuals to remain respectful. Marriage is not a stand-up routine or a witty repartee. A good marriage is two people playing with words where humor is not used as a weapon.

Contented people approach life and love with a finely tuned sense of humor. This isn’t about making jokes that rival Jimmy Fallon. It’s about seeing the funny side of being alive and reveling in everpresent humor. Life can be ironic, fun, and entertaining.

When you share humorous observations and are able to be silly and non-serious together, you’re open and vulnerable. You’re showing you are comfortable in your own skin and at ease with your partner.

There will be challenges and obstacles in life.

When a couple finds humor, things go much smoother. It may take some effort, but that’s alright. A sense of humor can keep the world balanced even if things feel like they are flying apart at the seams.

humor in relationships

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

In a particularly challenging situation, you can make light of it and find humor. It’s a means of enjoying and appreciating each other’s support and company even in a position that is mostly crappy. Comedy is a form of relief in a stressful situation.

“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life,” wrote William Arthur Ward, an American writer.

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How To Survive A Broken Heart

I get asked how to survive a broken heart all the time and my response is always the same: piña coladas. This is why I am a relationship expert. I know so much about love that I can change Cupid’s diapers (he poops little peanut butter cups.)

This is a non-gender specific advice. If you’re a woman who has been done wrong, put that pint of ice cream down and pick up a piña colada. If you’re a man who’s been rejected, turn down the heavy metal music you’re playing and turn up the rum, pineapple juice, and coconut milk.

I’m not saying you should go out and drink so much you wake up fully clothed in the bathtub with a slice of pizza stuck to your face. Just simply use a piña colada as an airbag to create the collision a break-up creates. This famous tropical drink can transform the brass knuckles of rejection into marshmallow peeps.

It’s not a cure but a shortcut back to the highway of love.

Did he say “It’s not you, it’s me?” Has he ignored your last 15 texts?

Stop acting like there’s an alien lizard or worm living in your chest and you have minutes to live. This sucks but don’t insult the human heart. Thinking that it can’t take grief is like thinking the sky can’t support the stars. Just do what I tell you to do. Order a piña colada at a bar where there’s a jukebox playing funky tunes- a bar where there are members of the opposite sex so you can do some window shopping.

Touch with your eyelashes. But I seriously encourage chatting, winking, and making out. Every time two human beings kiss, a flower blooms somewhere in the world. Of course, that’s not true, but it’s a nice thought. I have never regretted making out with someone, only not making out.

how to deal a broken heart

It helps to think of your heart as a piece of steel- not chocolate or flesh or crepe paper. A shiny ball of steel which has a breaking point.

But have you ever seen steel forged?

It’s heated in a volcano hot furnace until it glows white. It’s so hot, the hard steel is malleable. Then, it’s hammered and smashed into shape.

Two pieces are clobbered to form one whole piece and then the steel is dumped into the water. Once it’s cool, it becomes extremely hard.

I’ve had my heart broken many, many times. And each time, I ended up stronger. My furnace? A piña colada. Maybe some Patsy Cline, a new friend for that moment.

Normally, as a dude, I don’t drink cocktails. I like my liquor to be liquor-flavored. My favorite beer is in a can. Cocktails seem to be designed to obscure the taste of liquor as if I drink it for the delicious flavor. I drink whiskey because, after a long day, I like my toes to be warm.

Adult beverages should not taste like candy. Cocktails are fundamentally dishonest, booze dressed up like Rainbow Brite. I don’t begrudge a lady who wants to enjoy a fruity drink, like an Appletini, a Chocolatini or Cheesecaketini. I’ll be having a bourbon.

However, I do make one exception to this rule: piña colada. If I get dumped, I shuffle right up to the bar and order a piña colada. Coconut mug? Yes. Umbrellas? Two. Cherries, orange slices, and pineapple chunks skewered on a plastic sword? Please.

Piña coladas taste like the beach. The ocean is just one giant, salty tear.

She cries with you and calms your fever with a frosty wet kiss. A piña colada is a vacation in a blender. It’s a sweet bubble. I have seen cowboys with faces hanging longer than curtains order a piña colada and five minutes later, you can see their hearts melting.

pina colada for a broken heart

All it takes is one. So, do it. If there’s a song coming, sing it. Can’t sing? Everybody can sing. The Power of the Colada compels you! Stomp your feet. Clap your hands. Unleash the Kraken!

You know how they say time heals all wounds? Piña colada can do the same thing. It heals and reinforces them. My heart is made out of airplanes and suspension bridges and ninja swords.

Final Thoughts

I know other relationship writers have tons of advice on this topic. But I’m inclined to think that advice is crap if it doesn’t involve a night where you force yourself to shower, put on pants without elastic waistbands, and venture out into public- actual public and not Facebook.

Facebook is not public. It’s a fun little website where advertisers own your private life and then sell it back to you. Public, as in, inhaling the molecules of other human beings. If your heart is currently broken and you’re of drinking age, then I insist that you enjoy a piña colada. Just drink responsibly and eat the fruit. It’s good for you.

The post How To Survive A Broken Heart appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Dating In Midlife: 5 Tips To Help You Get Started

When you are in your teens and twenties, dating didn’t seem overly complicated. It might have seemed awkward and occasionally stressful, but not overly complex in most cases.

Fast-forward to your 40s or 50s and now all of the rules have changed.

What used to be “Hey, you want to grab a beer?” or “Would you like to go to dinner and catch a movie?” now must often be coordinated around kids, jobs and even exes. That is if you even know anyone that is not only single but also interested in getting back into the romantic swing of things.

So, how do you get back to dating in midlife?

First, know that there are going to be challenges. Second, recognize that today’s day and age has made dating far more complex.

If you are finding yourself in your mid-years and back on the market probably after a long-term relationship or marriage, you are likely to be a little lost on how to meet eligible potential companions and how to handle things when you do.

If that is the case, check out the tips below to help you get started.

Spend some time thinking about what you want

midlife dating

If you are coming out of a marriage or long-term relationship, it would be smart to take some time before jumping back into things. Use this time to narrow down what you are really looking for.

Do you want a long-term, serious relationship or someone just for light companionship? Do you want someone to travel with or someone who is happy puttering around the house and watching movies?

People in this age differ so you should be clear with your desires. Don’t waste time or play games.

Know there will be baggage

In the 40s and 50s, people have already experienced many of life’s big moments. Most will probably have kids and even grandkids.

They will have developed habits, both good and bad, that you will have to accept. There may even be a relationship with an ex that you will have to get used to.

Be careful though.

If the divorce is new or they are just separated, you should exercise caution in dating. You are likely to say the same thing about yourself. With that, remember that acceptance is a two-way street.

Protect your finances

As everyone comes with baggage, they also come with a financial track record. This can be good and bad.

Regardless, when it comes to finances in your 40s and 50s, you have likely started or should have started laying the foundation for retirement and golden years. You may own a home and are hopefully on solid footing.

A new companion or romantic partner in your life should not derail your financial plans. It is probably wise to keep your finances separate. If you are considering a different arrangement, consult with a financial adviser to ensure the right decisions are being made for both of you.

Consider online options – but be careful

This is probably a new one and possibly feels uncomfortable depending on your age. But online dating has come a long way and can help you meet like-minded people. It also offers a population of people in similar circumstances all looking for companions.

Be careful though on just what sites you use. It is worth doing some research on the groups that target your age range and interests. Some will ask for a membership fee, so be sure that there are ample positive reviews and strong ratings by the Better Business Bureau before you pay.

And, as always, do not provide personal information beyond what is necessary for your site’s profile.

See Also: 5 Tips for Effective Online Dating

Think about hobbies, classes, professional affiliations, and friends

dating during midlife

If online dating is not for you or is just not working, consider broadening your horizons. Taking classes like cooking, trying a new hobby, or joining professional groups like Toastmasters or The Chamber of Commerce can expose you to potential new friends.

Whatever your circumstances, dating in midlife can be intimidating. Despite that, try to enjoy the process of meeting new people and the excitement of finding a new romance. Don’t get hung up with challenges. Those you are meeting are dealing with the same challenges and are probably experiencing the same range of emotions.

The post Dating In Midlife: 5 Tips To Help You Get Started appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Do You Heal A Broken Heart: 7 Surefire Tips You Can Use

What’s the most common trait of human beings?

It’s the capacity to fall in love.

Everyone experiences this intense sensation at least once in a lifetime. You go out and meet someone unique. There is an instant spark, your personalities coincide, your souls sync up, and you feel like two pieces of a puzzle joined together by destiny.

For a little while, this euphoria seems eternal. You’ll be together forever.

Unfortunately, all good things will eventually come to an end. This is the harsh reality of life unless you’re incredibly lucky to find that special someone you’ll be with forever.

But if you’re anything like the rest of us, you must have experienced a heartbreak already.

The heart is the seat of emotions. Every time it experiences extreme pleasure to extreme pain, it goes haywire and breaks up.

This phenomenon sends waves of depressions all over the body and freezes you.

You don’t want to get out of bed, eat anything, talk to anyone or even open the drapes to let some sunlight into your room.

This behavior is understandable yet quite unhealthy for your overall well-being.

So, how do you heal a broken heart and move on? How can you get back on your usual way of life? How can you start living life to its fullest again?

Go through the following healing tips to get an answer to these questions.

Accept the Reality

The period following a break-up is devastating. It is overruled by unruly thoughts and unfulfilled fantasies.

How could something like this happen to you? You loved someone with all your heart, and this is what you got in return. Did you deserve to be treated that way?

Listen to me.

This is not going to work out. Depression is an entrapping abyss from which only you can pull yourself out.

And the first step to getting out of that abyss starts with acceptance.

Accept that this has happened to you. Cut off all ties with the one who’s broken your heart.

Talk It Out

After acceptance comes expression.

You’re in pain – a lot. Everyone can see it written across your face.

Do not hold it in or it will smolder underground and eventually erupt in an untasteful manner. Instead, slowly let it out by talking to someone about it. That someone can be a complete stranger or a close friend.

Talk your pain out. Eject it from your system in any way possible. Do a creative catharsis.

Once it’s gone, you’ll find a deep cavity within yourself. The next step would be filling it with all the good things in the world.

Get Your Traveler’s Shoes On

broken heart healing tips

You feel parched like a plant deprived of nourishment. It’s time to put a distance between yourself and the place where you’ve found only misery.

How can you do that?

By putting your traveler’s shoes on and going on a life-changing journey.

Pack light, book your flight and behold the beautiful sights all across the world. Trek through rainforests, go mountain climbing and soak yourself in soothing natural spas.

Gain new experiences to get over the past painful one. You can do this!

Watch Empowering Movies

If you don’t feel like leaving your room, then how about you travel the world virtually?

Indulge yourself in other people’s stories, relive their accounts, relate to their grievances and joys and you’ll get over your own.

One of the best ways to do that is by watching movies. Use your brand new Xfinity TV for this purpose and stream self-empowering movies in HD. In addition to this, you can watch comedy movies, too.

Change Your Style

When you’re going through a heartbreak, you tend to question everything about yourself. This line of thought can endanger your very identity, damage your self-confidence, and lead you to a self-deprecating despair.

You should not let this happen.

Bring a positive change in your style. Let go of everything pulling you down. Get a new hairstyle, buy some new clothes, and basically treat yourself.

This positive change in your appearance will bring a positive change in your personality. You’ll definitely feel much better after.

Pick Up a Productive Hobby

Fix your attention on a new activity.

Go to the gym and exercise your heart out. Work on your body by taking up 30-day challenges or you can learn a musical instrument. Take art and crafts classes and create unique works of your own.

Yoga and meditation is another way to centralize your focus and let out the suppressed pain. You can write in your journal, too.

Anything to divert and discipline your raging thoughts and feelings will be beneficial for you.

Get a Pet

tips on healing a broken heart

You’ve lost a companion. How about you gain another one?

Go to the nearest pet store or adoption house and purchase a cat, a dog, a parrot – whatever suits you best. A pet in your life can bring an unfathomable amount of joy.

Once you actualize the aforementioned tips, getting over a heartbreak won’t seem like such a huge task. Remember: there’s always a silver lining behind a dark cloud.

See Also: How A Broken Heart Can Be Your Biggest Teacher

The post How Do You Heal A Broken Heart: 7 Surefire Tips You Can Use appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Successfully Get Back Together After A Break Up

Karen felt hopeful when she and her ex-boyfriend initially got back together. After a stormy breakup and a painful month apart, they gradually began to communicate with one another. It was healing for her to be able to finally get all that was unsaid out into the open.

For the first time in a very long while, Karen felt listened to. It also seemed that her boyfriend was open, honest, and that they were figuring things out.

Now that they’ve settled as a couple again, her hopes and positive attitude about the future of her relationship are fading. While a few of the agreements that Karen and her boyfriend made to bolster trust and healthy communication have continued, many of their old and disconnecting habits have resurfaced.

It’s starting to feel like “business as usual” and Karen doesn’t like that at all. She’s beginning to wonder if getting back together was a big mistake.

Reuniting with your ex can be a joyous time, but it can also bring with it doubts, fears, and more of the same dynamics that tore you apart in the past.

The Extra Baggage

We all bring emotional baggage to our relationships.

When your emotional baggage is from your past relationship with your current partner, things can get confusing. Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself reacting to your partner in a more intense way because of something that happened long ago and before you broke up.

Aside from these expectations and the baggage from the past, there is a good possibility that you and your partner will fall into habitual patterns. Humans tend to do what we’re most accustomed to doing– this happens in relationships, too.

When we get triggered, tense or tired, we revert back to those habits that we know so well- even those that have not been in our (or our relationship’s) best interests in the past.

Before you consider a reunion, here are the best tips on how to successfully get back together after a break-up.

Identify what makes you two apart

identify relationship problem

At first glance, it might seem obvious to you that your partner’s dishonesty, inability to communicate, blocks to intimacy, flirting, and jealousy are what’s ripping you two apart again.

It’s best if you take a deeper and broader look. It’s probably your partner’s or your habits that are causing the problem. However, there’s most likely a lot more going on, too.

Set an intention to be an observer and not a critic. Then, pay closer attention to how you and your partner interact on a day-to-day basis and when stressful or triggering situations arise.

Notice what happens to communication, intimacy, trust, and more. Think about what happens when your partner appears to have closed down to you.

For the moment, try to understand the dynamics between the two of you. Your goal is to figure out what leads you to move further away from one another so that you can make some changes.

Own your share of the disconnecting habits

Once you have a clearer and broader picture of what’s potentially taking you and your partner away from one another, take responsibility.

Let’s be clear here.

We’re NOT encouraging you to take the blame or to let your partner “off the hook.” This won’t help your relationship. What you have the most control over is what YOU think, say, and do. That’s why this is such a powerful place for insight and action.

Be the observer for a little while longer and notice how you’re contributing to the problems in your relationship. You may not be the one starting the arguments but you’re probably making things more heated.

Stepping back and watching your own behaviors can be transformational to you and to your relationship.

Stay focused on what you DO want

focus on relationship wants

This is a time to clear up your past and let it go. Holding onto resentments and allowing unresolved conflicts to build is only going to hurt your relationship in the long run. Do what you need to do to be more present and aware of your relationship.

Be honest with yourself. If it has become apparent that staying together is unwise and that it would be better for you and your partner to end your relationship and remain apart, honor that.

But if you and your mate are truly willing to do what it takes to create the kind of relationship you both want and you see signs that changes are happening, here’s what we urge you to do…

Make sure you are orienting yourselves toward what you DO want.

Instead of hiding the truth, make a genuine promise to speak honestly and openly and do it.

Rather than telling one another that you will stop yelling and arguing, set up some “ground rules” that are reasonable for how you WILL communicate respectfully as you resolve conflicts. Then, put them into practice.

This kind of a shift in perspective can be subtle, but the effects make a big difference.

See Also: 5 Signs Your Romantic Relationship Is Worth Fighting For

The post How to Successfully Get Back Together After A Break Up appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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 Does A Divorce Work With A Child?

Sometimes, even the best-laid plans unravel and fall apart. This is true with any relationship, including the relationship where you share a child. When children are involved, the steps to ending a relationship become more complex.

So, how does a divorce work with a child?

Getting started

child custody

Figuring out the child custody rules and regulations within your area is vital. Having a knowledgeable and capable family law attorney is crucial to the process.

Family law is different. It has far more rules and regulations than the criminal law. The burden of proof isn’t upon just one person. Instead, it is upon the person who is requesting for the custodial rights. That person has to prove that he’s more capable, reliable, and responsible.

More often than not, that means both parents need to prove themselves. The process won’t be quick and easy. It can take months and even years.

Tips On Handling Divorce When You Have A Child

1. Knowledge is key

Knowing what to do will help you through this difficult time. Having a lawyer can make things easier for you.

2. Prove that you’re the better parent

This isn’t the easiest thing to do.

Anything you say will be recorded. If you fabricate stories or tell lies, expect those things to backfire on you.

Now, if you’re sure that the other parent won’t do any good to your child, make your lawyer aware of it. Having proofs to back up your claim will also be helpful at this point. Be open to your lawyer so you can plan how you can use those proofs to your advantage.

3. Have your documents ready

Be prepared. If you expect to move out of the state, have your children’s documents ready. Keep a record of their school activities so you can easily use them when transferring.

Apart from that, you should also have your work history or proof of residence ready in case the court asks where you will be transferring. These documents are also helpful in proving your capability to provide for your child’s needs.

4. Try to come to terms with the other parent

Doing so can make the proceedings go faster, cheaper, and with less stress.

Your attorney will inform you all about the different types of custody agreements. The most common are those where the child resides with one parent weekly and spends weekends with the other parent.

Another common form of custody, which has become more popular as of late, is known as shared parenting. This is where the child spends half a month with each parent. This type of custody requires more communication. If you’re on good terms, then that won’t be an issue.

5. Don’t be afraid to have a discussion

There is nothing wrong with being passionate but remember that this isn’t about you anymore. This is about your child. Whether you like it or not, the person you are arguing with will be in your life for no less than 18 years. The less difficult you make it, the better things will be in the years to come.

talking child custody

In Conclusion

Remember that no matter how hard things get or how confusing the process becomes, rely on your family law attorney to help you through the court proceedings. He will help you find a way for your child to have a relationship with both parents.

Although your relationship with your partner is ending, it doesn’t mean that your child’s relationship with his parent has to end, too. It is your duty to make sure that your child still gets to enjoy a quality time with his parents.

See Also: 5 Legal Issues To Consider And Address Before A Divorce

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Going on A Date? 6 Tips In Planning A Cruise for The First Time

So, you have spotted that perfect girl that makes your heart race every time you see her. You asked her out on a date and she said yes. Now, the next thing is to plan a perfect date that will impress her and get her to think some nice things about you.

One of your best options is a dinner cruise.

If you’re looking for an exhilarating way to see London’s riverside sights, then opt for a high-speed RIB cruise on the Thames River. In a rigid inflatable boat, soar past the Houses of Parliament, the London Eye, and Shakespeare’s Globe while listening to a high-octane soundtrack.

Thinking about whether you ought to get an inside lodge or an overhang room?

Try not to sweat it. Galleries are extraordinary but inside lodges can be great, too.

If these things and planning a cruise for the first time overwhelm you, here are a few tips you can use.

Plan

plan a cruise

You need to plan how everything is going to go. Women like men who are organized and know what they are doing.

You need to know what will happen throughout that day so that you do not disappoint her. This way, your woman can be relaxed when she is with you since she knows that you have everything under control.

Get some money

Figure out how much money you are going to spend on the date and make sure that you have enough. You can try saving up for a couple of weeks to get all the cash that you need. Remember to stop by the ATM before you leave.

Let her know ahead of time

You have to call her in advance so that she can plan and prepare herself. If you wait until the last minute to inform her of your plans, she might already have made other plans.

Let her know the date and the time that she should be ready. You can also let her know where you are taking her so that she’ll be able to dress appropriately. This way, you won’t embarrass her.

Send her a reminder on that date or the day before so she won’t forget.

Show up on time

If you are picking her up, show up at her door on time. Do not keep her waiting endlessly without telling her where you are. If you are going to be late, call ahead of time and let her know. However, don’t be too early as she might probably not be ready yet.

When you see her, make sure to tell her that she looks good. Most women spend a lot of time and money in prepping for a date. Show appreciation for all the effort she put in.

The drive

On your way to your dinner, you can talk in the car or you can listen to some music. If you want to listen to music, keep it classy and play some soft music so that you can relax and enjoy each other’s company.

At the date

dinner cruise

Keeping things simple is one of the best rules in planning a cruise for the first time. Talk to your date and enjoy her company. Make sure that you are the one who pays. If she offers to pay, turn her down nicely.

The post Going on A Date? 6 Tips In Planning A Cruise for The First Time appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

10 Possible Reasons Why You’re Always Not Good Enough

Have you ever felt like you’re not good enough? Have you ever questioned yourself why you’re not appreciated and valued for who you are?

Well, let me tell you what I think.

1. You’re constantly comparing and measuring your standards of success against others.

“So what If I’ve graduated with a Bachelors degree, people are graduating with Masters and PhDs, I’m just not smart enough; I’m never gonna get a good job.”

2. When you don’t take care of your health, you feel like crap and you underperform.

Imagine this:

You only slept two hours the night before and you tried to work out the next morning. No matter how hard you try, you couldn’t lift as heavy as your last record. You start to think that you are deteriorating and you’re never going to improve.

See Also: Importance Of Sleep: How It Can Put Your Health In Serious Jeopardy

3. You complain that you’re not good enough but you don’t do anything to change.

You still continue doing the same shit every day that makes you mediocre.

always complaining

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”– Jim Rohn

4. You think you should be like Wonder Woman and be good at everything.

Well, you don’t have to, because you never will. This brings me to my next point.

5. You are a self-proclaimed perfectionist and big-time procrastinator.

“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” ― Ecclesiastes 11:4

6. You’re constantly thinking about the ‘What If’s’ but you don’t look at your current assets and how you can work them to your advantage.

7. You try to do everything but give up everything in the process.

You don’t have a goal or a list of things you want to achieve. You’re constantly stuck and feeling lost.

8. You’re not fully present when you’re working on something.

After you’ve completed a task, you don’t even remember what you did.

9. You don’t want to admit that you’re just a lazy prick and you’re not willing to put in the effort to succeed because acknowledging that makes you feel worse about yourself.

being lazy

10. You constantly think that you’re not good enough.

“What you think, you become.” – Buddha

By now, you must be thinking:

“Well, this girl sounds like she’s giving me advice because she’s got everything in one piece and is living out her life purpose which is making a difference in people’s lives by doing what she’s good at…”

Hell, no.

This girl is very aware what it feels like to never be good enough. However, despite that, she’s still trying to get out of her hole.

She scrolls through Instagram looking at her friend’s post about a pretty unicorn smoothie bowl he made and she thinks: “I have a degree in food nutrition and I can’t make stuff like that… I’m not healthy enough.”

She goes to Cross-fit class and she sees others doing pull-ups and handstands and she thinks: “I’ve been working out for donkey years and I still can’t do any of those… I’m not fit enough.”

She and her friend go traveling together and she sees her friend being the one connecting with people along the way and she thinks: “I can’t talk like that…I’m not sociable enough.”

And as she is in the process of writing an article, she thinks: “Why am I even spending my time doing this, I’m not…”

I’m not enough. I can’t.

You get the gist.

Final Words

If you don’t feel the same way, kudos to you. Keep it up!

If you do, then know that you’re not alone in facing this ‘fear’ of imperfection, of never being good enough.

I’m not here to offer pity or start preaching that you should change and start thinking positively.

Don’t get me wrong.

I’m just hoping to be able to offer some comfort and make you feel comforted as well.
There’s no room for judgment here. Only understanding.

Oh, and ice cream.

Join me for ice cream? I’m thinking cookies and cream. What about you?

The post 10 Possible Reasons Why You’re Always Not Good Enough appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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.

6 Simple Things That Women Want From Men

There is a lot of confusion and mystery when the topic of what women want arises. Most men think that women are so incredibly complicated that knowing what they want is nearly impossible. That is not necessarily the case. Actually, in most cases, it’s pretty simple.

Women, like men, differ from each other. There are, however, some things that are common among them.

If you are wondering what those things are, check out this handy guide on what women want.

Respect

Aretha said it well.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Women want to be respected.

That is true for most people on the planet, but women have expressed that they often feel less respected by their partners than they would like to be. It is possible that, as men, we forget that the respect women are referring to is larger than showing good manners in their presence.

Women and men are intellectually equal and just as capable as one another at most tasks. Yet, as men, we often try to take over, control or disregard their contributions not just in the workplace but in relationships, too.

A good rule of thumb is to consider the respect you would like and then show that same level of respect to the women in your life.

Attention

women wants attentionMost women like attention. So, make it a habit to practice touching, hugging, and talking about the little things that happened during the day. These things can help keep you connected to your partner.

Take note that it’s perfectly fine to ask for the same things even if you’re a man.

Honesty

Honesty goes hand-in-hand with respect and is a non-negotiable in a healthy relationship. Practice respect for your partner by being honest at all times.

She is an adult and if she asks you a question, whether it is about her appearance, behavior, or anything else – be honest with her.

Fun

When you stop to think about why people get into a relationship, you’ll probably think about love, kids or growing old together. But, if you really consider it, you start a relationship because you have fun with the other person.

Something about being together makes you happy and that really never changes. Girls and women really do want to have fun.

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

Sex and Romance

women wants sex and romance

Yes, I said sex. Women want sex, too.

However, don’t overlook the romance. Although women can be just as visual and just as physically motivated to have sex as men, they consider it a personal experience associated with love. This makes incorporating romance into the equation a crucial piece to keeping your sex life active.

Romance can stand alone. It doesn’t always have to lead to sex. In other words, don’t expect to hit the sheets every time you bring home flowers.

See Also: Four Ways to Help Your Guy Get A Clue About Romance

Acceptance

We all desire this, don’t we?

Women feel a great deal of pressure to fit whether it involves their appearance or behavior. The open secret is that they don’t like that.

The woman in your life has flaws. As long as they are not detrimental to her health, safety or your relationship, try to accept her the way she is. As much as men accuse women of trying to change them, men can be just as bad.

I am sure you don’t want to constantly be told to change, so don’t do that to her.

The post 6 Simple Things That Women Want From Men appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Rebuild A Relationship After Cheating

Finding out that your partner has betrayed your trust is completely devastating. You begin to question the entire relationship, struggle with feelings that you’re not good enough and, above all, wonder whether or not the damage can be repaired.

One thing that can offer you at least a sliver of comfort?

If you’ve been cheated on, you’re not alone.

In fact, in 1/3 of marriages, one or both couples have committed some form of cheating during their relationship.

While there are countless articles encouraging you to dump your cheating partner, there are also resources to help you out in case you decide to give your relationship a second try.

After all, if Beyonce and Jay-Z were able to do it, then why can’t the two of you?

If you’ve decided to stay with your partner after being cheated on, then you need to know what it really takes to heal.

Read on to find out how to rebuild a relationship after cheating.

Take Some Time Apart

cheating time apart

Finding out that you’ve been cheated on can lead to some serious fights between you and your partner.

These fights quickly stop becoming productive. Once that happens, they will start to take cruel turns that can make it a lot harder for you to move on. If you’re still living together or spending time together in the same environment, consider moving out. It will be impossible to resist the temptation to cut your partner down or to beg for forgiveness.

Whether you’ve been cheated on or if you’re the one doing the cheating, you owe it to both yourself and your partner to spend a few days away from each other.

First, you’ll be able to clear your mind. Secondly, you’ll be able to seek the support and advice of your friends. It will also help you remove yourself from a toxic environment.

So, book that dream Airbnb or just spend a few nights crashing on your friend’s couch.

Consider Counseling

Improving communication with your partner after being cheated on is one of the most important things you can do in order to heal.

To ensure that both sides are heard and that the difficult questions are addressed honestly, it’s a good idea to have a therapist to play as a mediator and to offer objective advice.

To find local counseling therapists in your area, you can search online or ask your friends if they know someone who can help.

Remember, cheating is often caused by underlying issues in your relationship. It can even be a consequence of the emotional imbalance of your partner. It’s important to tackle these problems head-on if you want to rebuild trust.

Resist The Urge To Snoop

20% of men go through texts and pictures while in a relationship.

If you’ve been cheated on, the desire to spy on your partner can be incredibly strong. While it might feel satisfying or offer a sense of relief if you don’t find anything, it’s important to think bigger.

Remember that spying on your partner indicates a serious lack of trust. If you truly want to move on after infidelity, then you need to learn how to trust your partner again.

This starts by resisting the urge to check their messages on social media.

Remember, It’s A Process

relationship process

When things are good with your partner, it can be tempting to throw the past out of the window and return to your previous routines. It can also be challenging to stick around if the changes you want to see aren’t happening fast enough.

Give your partner a chance to improve and give yourself the time to heal. Remember that recovery after infidelity is a process. If you treat it like a race, you’ll both end up losing.

The post How to Rebuild A Relationship After Cheating appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Signs Your Romantic Relationship Is Worth Fighting For

Is your relationship worth fighting for? Is the stress of the struggle worth it?

If you are currently in a romantic relationship or marriage and you’re having doubts about whether to fight for it or not, there are a few ways to tell.

Here are 5 signs that you can put away the white flag and salvage your relationship.

You Mean It When You Say, “It’s Not You, It’s Me”

relationship

Yes, this phrase is one of the most cliché break-up excuses. Cliché or not, looking at your own, personal intimacy issues can provide great insight into your current relationship.

Maybe your issues have nothing to do with the love and companionship your partner offers. Maybe it has something to do with your own emotional baggage.

Are you seeing a pattern in your relationship turmoil? Are the same issues that ended your last relationship haunting this one?

What’s the common denominator?

Yep, you guessed it right – it’s you.

Though I’m painting a pretty dismal picture, all hope is not lost.

If the only problems plaguing your current relationship are deeply rooted in your own insecurities, the first step is to acknowledge them. Take a step back and examine how these personality traits are affecting your relationship. You’d be surprised to see how a few slight changes to your state of mind, communication tactics or displays of affection can change things for the better.

You’re Willing to Put in the Work

Do thoughts of attending a couples retreat or counseling turn your stomach? Do your palms get sweaty and blood pressure rise when you and your loved one are left in a room together?

If working to save your relationship sounds like too much work, then it’s probably time to move on.

But if you can clearly see salvageable pieces of your broken puzzle or if you can still easily name at least five admirable qualities about your partner, there may be hope.

So, make a list and include pros and cons of you two as a couple and your partner individually. You might be surprised to discover that one awesome ‘pro’ can actually outweigh a long list of ‘cons’ or the other way around.

If you’re willing to work things out, then the relationship is definitely worth fighting for.

See Also: When to Say Fuck It and STAY in Relationship

The Thought of Ending Things Makes You Sick

Maybe it’s jealousy. Maybe it’s possessiveness.

Whatever it is, if the thought of your partner moving on or moving out turns your stomach, then you’re probably not ready to end things.

Ending a toxic relationship usually leaves you with a feeling of freedom, release, and peace of mind. All these feelings are a good indication that you made the right decision.

Sleepless nights and conflicted emotions, on the other hand, mean the opposite. If your heart and mind are torn over whether to end things, you should probably give it another shot.

There’s no worse feeling in this world than regret. Avoid the “what if” by giving things another try.

You Only Threaten to Break Up When You’re Mad

romantic relationship

We all say things when we’re mad and sometimes, it can get ugly. You blurt out things you later wish you could take back.

Often times, people use idle threats and make empty promises in the heat of an argument.

Have you ever threatened to leave only to go around the corner for a beer and return home after cooling off? Or promised to never name call again only to forget your promise during the very next fight?

If the only time you can think of leaving your partner or ending the relationship is when you’re angry or high on adrenaline, then it’s likely an irrational and superficial emotion. This means you should pause for further consideration.

You Can Imagine a Future Together

People say things like “I can’t live without you”, but do they really mean it?

If you can’t imagine your life without your partner, then you have a great foundation to work with.

When you have a solid relationship, talking about the future is important.

Some people depend their life plans on their partners. They will plan their life, career choices, and thoughts about kids based on their significant others.

For you, do your long-term goals all include your partner? Can you not imagine purchasing a home or growing old with anyone else? Even when times are tough and the two of you can’t seem to get on the same page, do you still foresee a future together?

If your answer is yes, then the two of you should be willing to work through whatever issues you are having.

See Also: 7 Best Secrets To Building Lasting Relationships

Closing Thoughts

Now that you know that your romantic relationship is worth saving, you can take the necessary steps.

Keep the lines of communication and your mind open. Try not to go on the defensive when your partner expresses concern or worry about your relationship status. Don’t jump the gun and call things off at the first sign of trouble.

Yes, relationships take work but if it’s a relationship worth saving, it will feel less like work and more like an investment in your future.

 

The post 5 Signs Your Romantic Relationship Is Worth Fighting For appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Written By Him: How To Handle A Break Up

Whether you were expecting it, initiating it or it just came out of the blue, handling a break-up like a man can be really difficult. It doesn’t matter if it’s the best thing for you or if you cared about her at all, there is going to be pain when things are over.

So, is coping really different for men than for women?

Well, the answer to that is yes and no.

Emotions are emotions and recognizing how you are feeling is important. If you try to ignore your feelings, then they are likely to surface somewhere else and become destructive.

To help you cope with a breakup, below are some tips to get you through the hard times.

Do not try drowning your sorrows

You hear stories all the time of men crying and drinking alcohol just to forget. Skip this technique. Alcohol is a depressant and is far from lifting your spirits. It is more likely to make you feel worse both physically and emotionally.

And with impaired judgment, you’ll be at a higher risk of getting involved in destructive behaviors. Drunken one-night-stands or emotionally driven bar brawls will not get you through a breakup.

Consider getting back to the gym

go to the gym

Or if you are already there, consider taking on a new challenge. Training for a half-marathon or setting a new goal for bench press can provide a healthy physical outlet for your anxiety and emotional stress. Being physically active is also a great way to clear your head. So, drag your sad self into the gym.

Don’t start booty calling through your contact list

Really, this is a pathway to trouble on many levels. In most cases, women are looking for more than an hour of your time and after a breakup, you are not likely to be in the condition for that.

And there’s a long list of negative consequences when it comes to jumping in and out of bed with people. The last thing you want is to need an antibiotic or to be researching the latest in crib features.

Spend time with friends

have fun with friends

Guy friends, couple friends or a female friend – anyone who cares about you and that you enjoy being with is a good bet during this time. You may feel like you would rather be alone but override that desire and spend time with people. You don’t have to get too involved in discussing your feelings with them.

Let yourself have a good cry

It goes against all masculinity rules but crying is a natural response to sadness and can be very cathartic. You don’t need to do this in front of other people.

Don’t give in to the desire to text and call repeatedly

That nagging inclination to call or text your ex will always be there.

Maybe the break-up was a mistake, right? If you could just talk it out, maybe things will be fine again.

No.

You broke up for a reason and whether it was the right reason or the wrong one, you both need some time to gain perspective. Repeatedly calling will not make things better. In fact, it can make things worse.

Take care of yourself

Many people experience physical symptoms associated with intense emotions. Some people can’t eat, feel physically ill or can’t sleep. Others overeat, abuse alcohol or other substances or sleep all the time. None of these are healthy options.

Try to ensure you have the right nutrition and make sure you get 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night.

See Also: What To Do After A Break Up: A Handbook For Every Newly Single Guy

Conclusion

Very few of us get through life without a heartbreak. If you have ever loved someone, then you have taken the risk of getting your heart broken through a breakup. Try and remember that everything will be alright in time. While that time is passing, you need to do what you can to ensure you are ready when your next opportunity for love comes around.

 

The post Written By Him: How To Handle A Break Up appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Mastering The Beautiful But Difficult Art Of Letting Go

“The key to being happy is knowing you have the power to choose what to accept and what to let go.” – Dodinsky

Fears, doubts, past events, unpleasant memories, bad conversations – these are some of the factors that contribute to our unhappiness.

Our mind has the tendency to hold onto those things for long, creating misery. For instance, if someone said bad words to you, your mind will keep on clinging to it until another event happens.

Unless you learn how to let things go, you won’t be able to embrace every moment of life and live it to the fullest. You won’t be able to enjoy even the world’s best luxuries.

In this article, you’ll learn the best tips for mastering the art of letting go.

Learn to Accept Before You Learn How to Let Things Go

More than half of our problems begin when we start questioning the things around us. For instance, suppose you are stuck in a bad traffic jam and there’s no way out for you.

There are two ways in which you can handle this scenario.

You could start yelling at people and vent out your frustration but this can make things even worse. Or you could keep calm and use this time to do some thinking. You could sit quietly and enjoy the music being played on the FM.

Now, what usually happens?

We choose to react negatively to the things around us. When thoughts bother us or a past event troubles us, we start questioning, explaining or justifying it. This leads to more chaos and confusion.

The best thing you can do at any moment is to accept it as it is.

When you accept it, your mind comes to rest immediately. With a stable state of mind, you can decide what can be done to make the situation better. Such decisions usually never end up in regret or guilt. Also, accepting things can help you to move on quickly from events and situations.

Remember Death

letting go

What are you really holding onto? How long will you hold onto it?

In all those moments when you find it difficult to let go, just remember that one day this is all going to be over. This very realization takes away the stiffness in your mind and body. When you remember death, you are able to honor life.

There are many people who have come before you, had been in the same situation as you and may have even left the world by now. So, there’s no point in worrying or holding onto things. Enjoy the moment you have now and just let go!

Have Faith

What keeps us from letting go of our anxieties and fears? It’s the lack of faith.

Lack of faith leads to insecurities and fears in us. That’s why faith is the biggest blessing you can ask for. With faith and confidence that you will get what you need at the right time, you can easily let go of your fears and worries.

We all have experienced this at some point.

There have been moments when you badly needed money and somebody out of nowhere came to help you. Whenever you need some help, someone always finds a way to be there for you.

That’s because of faith, isn’t it? So, have faith and let go!

Meditate Regularly

meditate regularly

Meditation is a highly recommended activity for mastering the art of letting go and living in the present moment. Meditation helps you get rid of negative emotions, stress, and everything that bothers you. It gives you the power to channel your thoughts in a positive direction.

Practicing meditation twice a day keeps you away from impressions, events, and happenings in the outer world. It helps you stay in the present moment and do your tasks with sincerity and dedication.

See Also: The Profound Effects Of Meditation On The Mind

Bottom Line

With practice and patience, you will eventually learn how to let things go, particularly those that bother you. You’ll realize that anxiety and fear are not worth your precious time and peace of mind.

Let go of things and be happy right now!

See Also: 12 Stressful Things To Let Go Of If You Want To Live A Calm Life

The post Mastering The Beautiful But Difficult Art Of Letting Go appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Are You Too Complacent In A Relationship?

Do you remember when you would check the mirror, adjust your hair and perhaps, put on cologne before seeing your mate? You wanted to put your best foot forward to make sure you would impress and attract.

Now, let’s be real.

After a few years in a relationship, we become so comfortable with one another that a lot of those little details don’t happen anymore.

Becoming complacent in a relationship is a double-edged sword. It shows that the love is unconditional and that our partner accepts us for who we are, good things and bad. The problem, however, is that you no longer put the effort you were giving before. When we start acting as though those details don’t matter anymore, a lot of things in the relationship change.

Now, if you are starting to worry about being complacent in a relationship, check these signs below.

You no longer hide the array of sounds (and smells) that your body produces

You may be thrilled that your relationship is close enough that you no longer have to leave the room every time you let out a bit of air. Unfortunately, your partner may not share your enthusiasm. Consider it something to keep to yourself and take it somewhere else whenever possible.

You have lost interest in personal grooming

It isn’t necessary to slap on some aftershave each time you walk past the mirror. In fact, it would probably be an overkill.

You should, however, make it a point to shower daily and brush your teeth regularly. Yes, your partner may love you no matter what but you shouldn’t make her work to remind herself why.

You mumble some version of “love you babe” frequently and without eye contact

Remember when you first told her you love her? You probably looked into her eyes when you said those words. You definitely felt their meaning.

If “I love you” has morphed almost exclusively into “love you babe” or some version of that, you probably have forgotten what those words are supposed to convey. It’s time to remember and make a change.

You think “dates” are no longer needed

no date

Believe it or not, dates are still necessary. What brought you together as a couple and helped you gain the comfort and closeness you now have was developed through dating.

Just because you are a few years into things doesn’t mean you should stop putting effort. People (yes, even your partner) change and grow continually. If you don’t spend enough time to enjoy each other’s company, you’ll eventually grow apart.

Closeness is a moving target. You can’t stop working on it just because you think you have it.

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

Sex has become like a well-loved recipe

sex in relationship

If your intimate life has a set routine and you could and possibly have done it in your sleep, you are probably too comfortable. Just because you achieve a successful…ahem…end result does not mean you have had a successful experience. Sex is far more enjoyable when there are a few new moves here and there. So, throw out the recipe and try exploring a bit. You might find yourself surprised by the result.

There is a difference between trusting someone so much that you can be completely comfortable in their presence and being so comfortable that you seem not to care. That difference can be a very fine line.

If several or all of the above points ring a bell, you have probably crossed that line. Try changing things up and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by your partner’s reaction and what you get in return.

See Also: 6 Signs You’re In A Long-Term Relationship

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Dating Tips for Finding the Right Person

The biggest challenge in dating is finding the right person.

Most of the time, dating is usually clouded with the wrong intentions. Some simply want to get laid while others want to see what happens next. These aren’t really wrong if those are what you intend.

But, if you are looking for the right match, you can easily get hurt if the other person has those intentions.

That is why it is important to make it clear what your intentions are, particularly at the start of the dating process. If you are dating to find the right person for you, then you have to be honest about it. Otherwise, you will get hurt if you play along and can become an easy prey to people who are just looking for fun.

Finding the right person takes time. Actually, it takes an enormous amount of time. Some people can be married, have kids and start a family only to realize that who they live with is not actually the right person for them. No wonder divorce rates are sky high.

Here are a few dating tips for finding the right person:

Eliminate Fear

Fear will always cause us to make the wrong decisions. Fear can easily convince us that who we are currently dating is the best we can have. At your very core, however, you know there is a mismatch in many of your characteristics and personality.

In other words, fear will make you blind to many unpleasant things and this can cause great issues in the long run.

It is best to date not because of fear, whether that is fear of loneliness or being single. Being single shouldn’t actually be feared at all since rushing into a bad relationship is actually worse than being alone.

Do not confuse being partnered with happiness, too. You can be happy alone and you’ll have a greater chance of finding the right person if you are complete on your own.

Take Time Before Committing

dating tips

Commitment brings a relationship to another level. Sometimes, the sweetness and the “high” felt at the beginning of a new relationship can convince you to commit to something even more serious.

Hold back a little and think about what you are getting into.

Not being bitter, but you have to consider many things. Think about your career, social life, and personal life. If the relationship you are committing to may be disruptive to any of this, it may not be worth it.

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

The Right Person May Be Appear as Wrong

There are many relationships that flourished not because of initial attraction. In fact, some of those that truly lasted are people who may have known each other for a long time without being entirely in love. The right person may be the wrong person at first, so give your partner a fair chance.

Who you are craving for may be toxic and cause you problems and those you may consider toxic or perceive to be may just be the remedy you need to achieve and sustain happiness.

You’ll never know!

Establish a Sensible Foundation for a Relationship

date tips

Many of us sign up for a relationship as if it’s a promotion of an insurance company. We forget that any relationship requires a solid foundation as it gets established.

Before you go about committing to enter a relationship, have a clear sensible foundation. For example, list your own set of values that are most important for you and see if the other person can identify with them. If not, better look for another one. Otherwise, you’ll just create your biggest regret.

Don’t Let Lust be the Foundation

Lust and sex (as dirty as possible) is a requirement for a healthy relationship. No argument in that one. But, take note that it shouldn’t be the foundation of your relationship.

Sexual chemistry is great but it doesn’t mean you’d go blind over the bad behavior of the other person. Life isn’t about sex alone. Remember the many other aspects of life you need to keep intact.

See Also: 4 Dating Mistakes You Could Be Making (And What To Do With Them)

Conclusion

Have fun dating and don’t let bad experiences take away the possibilities of finding the right person.

Again, it takes a long time to find the right one. But, if you do not stumble upon the wrong ones, you would never get there. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, but please learn from them and never allow them to hurt you. Appreciate the transience of people in your life and move on quickly!

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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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