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The Do’s and Don’ts of Modern Online Dating

Hi there! Have you been giving serious thought to online dating and all that comes with it? Decades ago, you had to rely on a friend’s introduction or bump into a potential partner in a grocery store aisle to meet your perfect match. The other option was to walk the journey into marriage with your high school sweetheart.

Nowadays, things have changed. There are many online dating apps available, and people spend a lot of their time on video calls, phone calls, and text messages. But, even with all these opportunities available, a physical meeting is necessary.

Nevertheless, if you do choose to date virtually, how do you ensure that you’re protecting yourself online? What are the intricacies involved in online dating, and how do you jump over hurdles? If you want to date successfully now, here are some do’s and don’ts you should consider.

The Do’s

online dating tips

1. Be Honest About Yourself

Please, don’t lie about yourself on your online dating profile. If you choose online dating for marriage, you expect your partner to be as honest about themselves as they can. If both of you are true about yourself, it becomes easier to tell whether your relationship can go further.

Remember, online dating is not the end of a real relationship. It’s only the beginning of something new. When online dating partners meet offline, they want to associate what they know with their partners. So, if you make a false claim on your profile, you could be wasting someone’s time, and even worse, hurt their feelings.

Online dating to marriage statistics says that the most irritating behavior on dating apps is people lying about themselves on their profile. So if you’re serious about what you want to get from online dating, don’t lie about yourself.

2. Speak to Your Close Friends or Family about Your Online Dating Interactions

Just like offline, online dating can get involved. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t get emotionally invested. We’re saying that you need to protect yourself while online dating. One of the best ways to do this is to speak about your interactions with a friend or family member.

They can give you an outside perspective about some conversations. Besides, it’ll be easier for them to inform you of anything suspicious you should be aware of.

3. Beware of Requests for Money

Unfortunately, not everyone is on a site to find the partner of their dreams. That’s why many people ask the question, “are online dating sites real” because they’ve heard about cases of fraud associated with online dating.

To protect yourself from fraudsters, keep an eye out for people who ask you for personal information such as your bank details. Also, cease contact if someone starts asking you for money.

There’s no reason why someone should ask to borrow money from you while you’re online dating. To be on the safe side, only register on reputable sites and keep your private info private. No matter how comfortable you feel around the other person, protect yourself first.

The Don’ts

online dating donts and dos

1. Stop “Type-casting”

Can online dating be successful if you expand your boundaries? Definitely yes! But only if you do not type-cast. Type-casting is a new online dating term. It refers to only wanting to date based on someone’s star sign compatibility or eye color, for example.

You might want to delete the “no Libras” rule from your profile. The more open-minded you are about other people’s interests, the more exciting your online dating life will be. Step outside your comfort zone and embrace open-mindedness.

2. Don’t Overdo Anything

If you’ve been wondering how online dating affects communication, look at this scenario:

For the most part, when it comes to communication, men think that women love getting bombarded by romantic text messages. Even if your feelings are sincere, sending your partner the same message ten times a day may feel overwhelming.

If you notice your partner withdrawing from the conversation, it could be that she doesn’t want to bait you into overwhelming her with your sentiments. Also, don’t spy on your partners’ social media accounts looking for fodder.

You will end up spoiling the suspense of the relationship. Your date may also not like that you went around fishing for information they weren’t ready to give to you.

Conclusion

Online dating isn’t easy for everyone. But, even if you’re not successful the first few times, hang in there. It gets better with time. Have you tried any dating apps? How was the experience? What would you tell someone who is just starting? We’d love to know!

The post The Do’s and Don’ts of Modern Online Dating appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

10 Things Not to Say to Someone with Breast (Or Any Other) Cancer

Welcome to October. The leaves are showing their vibrant fall colors. Pumpkin spice everything can be found everywhere, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month is underway.
Learning that a friend, family member, or coworker has breast (or any other) cancer is hard. Figuring out what to say next is harder. As a two-time cancer survivor, I know that there are plenty of things not to say to a cancer patient because I’ve heard most of them.

I’ve written my experiences and learnings down in my book Again: Surviving Cancer Twice With Love And Lists and I will share with you here important questions, phrases, or topics to avoid.

At least you have a good cancer.

No cancer is a “good” cancer. This is a backhanded way of asking about the patient’s prognosis. Rather than asking for such information, let the individual know that you’re there to listen and let her share what she’s comfortable sharing.

Cancer isn’t as hard as it used to be.

When I was fourteen years old in 1981 with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancer was really hard, especially when I threw up day after day from radiation treatment and couldn’t go to high school. Thirty-five years later when I was forty-nine—a wife, mom of three, and professional—with breast cancer, cancer still was really hard, especially after I lost my hair, had agonizing bone pain, and diarrhea during months of chemotherapy. While advances in cancer treatment have improved over the years, any treatment stinks. It’s okay to say, “This really sucks.” Because it does and thanks for noticing.

Are you getting the boob job with the tummy tuck?

A lumpectomy or a single or bilateral mastectomy is not a “boob job.” It’s the amputation of some or all of the breast tissue, possibly including nipples, and often resulting in the complete loss of sensation in the chest. Reconstruction, if chosen, may be done with implants or with some form of flap reconstruction where the surgeon may use tissue from other body parts to reconstruct the breasts. These are painful surgeries with fairly long recoveries and leave individuals profoundly changed in their self-identities and in their sex lives. So, not a tummy tuck.

Does it run in your family? Maybe you should have worked out more.

No one asks for a cancer diagnosis. It’s not anyone’s fault if they get one. Please leave the “should have” lectures at home and avoid attributing an individual’s cancer diagnosis to something they may or may not have done, such as the food they ate, their exercise habits, or family history.

My mother, sister, friend, grandma . . . had cancer. She died.

Individuals’ cancer experiences and outcomes are different, and these stories may not always be helpful or comforting, particularly if death is involved. Put yourself in the patient’s shoes, would you want someone to say that to you?

Have you heard about [this new treatment, supplement, anti-cancer diet]?

When I was in treatment, I received much unsolicited advice. I had a great team of medical professionals whom I trusted, and I didn’t want to hear about the latest Internet “cures,” ginger chews for nausea, or turmeric tea’s anti-inflammatory properties. Respect the patient – and her choices.

I Know How You Feel.

No, you don’t. But, you can ask her how she’s feeling.

You’re so brave, strong, an inspiration . . .

do not to say to a cancer patient

While not unkind, these expressions discount how individuals with cancer may feel, which, more often than not, may be sad, angry, terrified, and anxious.

You look great.

Cancer may come with hair loss, weight loss or gain, changes in skin tone, etc. Trust me, the patient knows she doesn’t look great and is probably upset about it. Instead, simply tell the individual how great it is to see her.

Nothing.

not to say to a cancer patient

If you’re not sure what to say, then say so. Don’t ghost your friend, family member, or coworker due to your fear or unease. It’s about her, not you.

So what can you do?

Remember that the person with whom you’re speaking is the same person she always has been. Listen or offer words of encouragement and support. Ask what you can do to help them in practical, concrete ways, such as making meals, taking them to appointments, or picking up children from school. Finally, talk to them about something, anything, other than cancer.

If you would like to learn more, read about my journey in my new book

The post 10 Things Not to Say to Someone with Breast (Or Any Other) Cancer appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Mistakes Smart Guys Make With Women

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

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

Why Men Make Mistakes So Often

mistakes in relationships by men

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

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

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

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

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

The Big Five

mistakes in relationships

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

Trying to control everything

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

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

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

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

You don’t express your own feelings

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

You ASSume

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

You don’t make her feel valued

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

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

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

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How to Fall in Love the Second (or Fifth) Time Around

We were two mature adults in our mid-60’s, both grandparents, both with divorces behind us. We’d met through a dating website, and this was just our third date, each an innocent daytime picnic or lunch. I saw a spark dance in her eyes and asked, “What are you thinking?” And she startled me with this: “I’m thinking … this is what love feels like.” Huh? How does that happen? And how can you experience that yourself?

It’s Never Too Late

My experience doesn’t just pertain to Baby Boomers. The lessons I painfully learned can be embraced by anybody at any age. I’m sharing my revelations in hopes that you might avoid the kind of heart-breaking mistakes I made throughout my life.

And here is the bottom line, right near the top: Keep an open mind!

I know! That’s so easy, right? Everybody knows that. Sorry, but no, they don’t. Especially males, although females aren’t immune to shallow thinking, either. Here’s what happened to me.

The Problem

to love again

I grew up in Southern California in the Sixties, land of the Beach Boys, sunshine, and millions of blue-eyed blonde girls with beautiful tans and tiny bikinis. Yes, please, I’ll take one of those, and could you throw in pink lips and long eyelashes? What’s not to love?

The problem is, when it came to love, all my choices were based on these parameters, in exactly this order:

  1. Hair color (blonde)
  2. Eye color (blue)
  3. Body shape (voluptuous)
  4. Face shape (roundish)
  5. Content of her character (she likes me)

I was not unusual in this approach, given that it was Southern California and I was young. And I think I can safely say that women at that time and place weren’t all that different, although their desired qualities in a potential mate might vary slightly.

The bottom line (we might have several bottom lines in this story) is that our priorities were all wrong, and it took me 65 years to figure that out. What really matters is the person on the inside … their brain, heart, emotions, likes, dislikes, personality and, most important of all, at least from my point of view, their integrity.

That woman in the first paragraph of this story turned out to be the finest human being I have ever met. And how lucky am I that she loves me?

How the Problem Wreaks Havoc

I’m not happy to be disclosing some of the following, because it doesn’t reflect well on my decision-making, or intelligence, for that matter. But for the reader’s sake, I will admit that I made the same mistake over and over and over again. I added various twists to my mistakes, but they were all basically the same mistake. I chose romantic partners for all the wrong reasons.

My first choice was a woman who loved physical intimacy all the time, anytime, anywhere. Unfortunately, I later learned she also loved it with anybody. My second choice was based on my desire to have a family, so I chose a woman for whom that also was a priority. It seemed like a sound decision, but I realized much later that a healthy couple needs something much stronger to bind them together than just the children.

Rebounding from that divorce, I foolishly went back to my primitive urges and chose a younger, beautiful, and intelligent woman. That blinded me to the obvious fact that she was a diseased alcoholic. And my fourth choice was even more “retro” – a blue-eyed blonde with money. To my great surprise, that didn’t work out either.

The Solution

I would love to tell you that after a series of heartbreaking experiences in romance, I suddenly came to my senses and had an epiphany that led me to finally get it right. I’d also like to say that it’s possible for anyone to find the perfect romantic partner who’s capable of changing your life forever. But those would be lies.

The bottom line (that’s three so far) is that I got lucky. I stumbled upon a perfect woman who doesn’t even know that she is perfect. But I will take credit for one tiny little moment that led me to what now feels like eternal happiness.

This woman and I were exchanging messages on a dating website, and we still hadn’t met. She eventually sent me a photo, and that’s where my lifelong mindsets surfaced once again. After looking at her photo, I responded honestly that she really wasn’t “my type.” I then proceeded to foolishly explain my type as blonde, blue-eyed, and a moon-shaped face (none of which described her).

how to love again online dating

She should have dropped me right there and then. In point of fact, she did write, “I think you’re dumb,” but we continued to write to each other anyway. She later shared that she simply enjoyed writing to me, although she felt (correctly) that I had a lot to learn about women.

Here’s the tiny part I take credit for: When I sensed she was about to permanently sign off, I wrote to tell her that I would like to meet her. I didn’t realize until later that I was at a turning point in my life. My priorities were beginning to shift.

And that led to what has become, truly, the love of my life.

It can happen to you, no matter your age or gender.

The bottom line (yes, that’s number four) is that you need to get out of your own way. Don’t be stuck in a mindset that probably hasn’t changed much since your high school days. Getting to know someone involves far more than swiping right or left or quickly looking at a photo. You might be surprised by what you learn about yourself and the person you are getting to know.

What does love feel like? I just used a bunch of words to scrape away at these amazing feelings deep inside of me, hoping the collective sentences would offer a glimpse, a taste of this epiphany.

But maybe my Lady Love said it best when she told me simply: “Love feels like a warm blanket wrapped all around you.”

The post How to Fall in Love the Second (or Fifth) Time Around appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

3 Fail-Proof Approaches For Meeting Women (Even During A Pandemic)

I don’t know about you, but 2020 easily ranks #1 Strangest Year of My Life. Our attention spans inevitably get sucked up by news headlines and the constantly changing city and safety ordinances as a result of the pandemic’s infection rates. Even as I write this from Los Angeles, just today we’ve begun Shutdown 2.0, and I frankly cannot believe it. More businesses crippled by the current health emergency, and more uncertainty about how the economy will fare. Yet despite all that noise, despite the whiplash of changes this crazy year has presented… life goes on.

Yup, even in a pandemic, you’re hard-pressed to meet a guy who still doesn’t want a woman to become both his companion and lover. That never changes. But how do you meet women during or following a crisis of this magnitude? What’s the right way? Well, here are 3 approaches to try — and note: whenever you read this article, these approaches apply because they’re rooted in basic social truths, not fads.

Check the #1 most important thing (that all women have a radar for)

meet women during a pandemic

Hands down, if you do NOTHING else, make sure your intentions are clean and clear. Whether you’re online dating, meeting a girl six feet away at a restaurant, or passing her on a trail while wearing a mask, women innately possess a keen radar for men who are just after that one thing. So what should your intention be? Should it be to get that date? Her number? Nah. None of those, which obviously excludes sex… but stay with me.

Your intention needs to be to have non-threatening, friendly interaction with her. That’s it. Your first, second, third, etc. interactions with a girl should not be riddled with dating or sex vibes. She can sense that, and the girl who wants that isn’t the girl you want. Treat meeting women and dating as if you’re out just to have friendly conversations with new people. Don’t DM or talk to women like you’re a hound on a fox hunt. That’ll push her away, and likely, invite situations where you just get rejected. But if you make your intention just to meet women for the sake of meeting new people, you’ll eventually find someone with whom the communication and vibes work, and from there, you can gradually grow the interaction to one with chemistry.

Avoid men’s greatest fear by ditching these

Men obviously have many fears, but in the dating sphere, let’s be honest: no one enjoys rejection. Oh yes, rejection is the chokehold of dating; just one bad rejection from a hot girl can cut your confidence and recalibrate what you think you deserve from a relationship.

So how do we avoid rejection in dating? Ditch your expectations. Expectations are the trap of dating because by having expectations, you pigeonhole yourself into how the interaction, night, or date should go. By placing a “should” on any dating scenario, you automatically get sucked into your head, and worst of all — out of the environment. When your attention is not on and in the environment, you cannot experience the girl, or see clearly if she really is a good match for you.

Also, let’s be honest: you don’t know how the future will go when you start dating. You have no idea who you’ll hit it off with! I had no idea I would hit it off with the girl I am with, but in the beginning, we just kept hanging out, talking, and talking some more. My expectations with her were not to have sex, get serious, or build a future… but funny, that’s eventually (over time) what happened. When you have etched-in-stone expectations about how a conversation or date should go with a certain girl, you cut yourself off of what could be. And, when things don’t go exactly how you planned? You just end up feeling rejected… but you’re feeling rejected by your OWN ideas. Get that?

Stop creating expectations around dating, and just adhere to #1: adopt a clear intention just to meet people, hot or not.

Follow the flow and never use force

tips on how to meet women during a pandemic

I know that sounds like something a sailing instructor would tell you, but in dating, you want to keep the flow light. What do I mean? Don’t force interactions that aren’t easy, and that aren’t wanted. I’ve read advice from other guys stating that they called their girl every month for a year before they got a date. Maybe that works sometimes (in rare instances), but I’d liken that approach to forcing something that maybe should not be forced.

You want to meet a girl who adds to your life, and with whom life is better — not more work. So if you’re talking with a girl online or offline, and the conversation feels awkward, or maybe she’s just rude? Maintain good manners and keep it moving. Just because she’s hot doesn’t mean she’s worth pursuing. The right girl who evolves from a simple communication into a longer conversation into a hang-out, into a date, and so forth will ultimately be one with whom everything flows. I can’t think of any relationship or human interaction that results well from using force. Have you ever been screamed at? That’s force… and how did that work out for you? Probably not well.

Use flow. Give attention to interactions that run well with no drama, only good vibes.

Now, do you notice something?

I didn’t mention anything about using online dating apps or making sure you hit up the hottest clubs. That’s because the most effective dating and communication tactics work well anywhere — online or offline.

The truth is, achievement in any area of life starts with you, not to sound like a bumper sticker, but you need to check your motivation and goals when it comes to dating. So get your head right, and stack the odds in your favor. Meet many women just to be friendly and meet new people. Meeting new people is one of the joys of life!

And if you occasionally meet people who suck? No worries. Follow the flow, keep it moving, and remember: if you keep your positive attitude and keep your eye on the top of the mountain, you’ll eventually get where you want to go.

The post 3 Fail-Proof Approaches For Meeting Women (Even During A Pandemic) appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Tips on Finding Compatible Partners on Dating Apps

Online dating has become the mainstream way to meet singles. Nowadays, it’s more common to meet couples who say that they met on an app than those who say they met at a bar.

During the age of social distancing, more and more singles are turning to dating apps to meet potential partners—especially those with video call features, such as Say Allo and Coffee Meets Bagel. Even as restrictions ease up, dating apps will still be a vital tool for meeting new people.

Dating apps have grown in popularity over the years. There are now 1,500 dating apps around the world that cater to people from all types of backgrounds and interests. According to Pew Research Center, dating app usage in the U.S. has been on the rise over the past few years. 30% of U.S. adults have at some point used a dating app, an 11% increase since 2013.

In addition to a surge in dating apps and an increase in usage, apps have become increasingly diversified. There are apps that cater to people from all walks of life with different tastes and personality types. There’s now a niche dating app that appeals to every type of person.

Whether you want to meet someone who shares your faith, or who is passionate about saving the environment or who loves dogs; or you’re an introvert who prefers intimate connections, you’re sure to meet someone who shares your interests and lifestyle preferences.

While dating apps have made it easier to meet a large pool of singles, it doesn’t mean they’ve made dating easier. The idea of sifting through a sea of romantic options is daunting and it leaves many people wondering if it will actually lead them to that one person who they can share a magical and lasting connection with.

Most experienced daters know that sharing common interests isn’t necessarily an indicator of personal compatibility. There are other deeper and significant aspects of compatibility that should be considered when looking for a stable and long-term connection such as, future vision, attitude towards family and financial planning.

Dating and relationship expert, Susan Winter, said in an interview with Say Allo, that dating can be a valuable learning process, provided we take the right approach. Winters said that by being strategic about our use of dating apps and gaining experience as we date more people, we’ll maximize our chances of finding our perfect match.

If you’re someone who feels overwhelmed by the seemingly endless options of potential partners available on dating apps or you’re having difficulty finding compatible matches, here are five tips you can use to find compatible matches and set yourself up for dating success.

Ask the right questions

In the beginning you want to keep things light and flirty, but if you want to take things to the next level you should be asking questions with substance. These are questions that allow you to get to know a person’s true character. Good dating questions help you scratch more than just the surface and reveal personality traits and interests to see if you’re a good match.

Make sure your profile reflects the real you

online dating tips for finding the right person

Your profile is set up to give a snapshot of who you are: your personality, what you’re into and possibly some hints of what being in a relationship with you would be like. This helps matches get what your vibe is and understand how you’re different from others. The more you reveal the real you, the more you filter out people who would not be a good match for you. Don’t be afraid to declare if you’re a geek at heart or if you’re a gym rat or a vegan. Fully own everything about you and know your value.

Spend more time on each profile

When using dating apps, there’s a tendency to mindlessly swipe through matches, but if you want to find compatible partners you have to spend more time on each profile, especially the ones that pique your interest. Look at photos and examine details such as outfit choices, locations, body language, locations, poses. Read each person bio and responses. What does it reveal about them? Are they playful, serious or cheeky? Are they career-driven or are they the life of the party type of person or a bookworm?

Use apps with the right features

The technology of dating apps has become increasingly sophisticated with filters that allow users to focus on personality traits, body types and values before they even meet in person. There are dating apps specifically designed to find compatible matches for long-term relationships. Compatibility indexes and reports such as the ones offered on Say Allo and eHarmony do all the work for you. They also provide an overview on initial compatibility centered on income, religion, education and more.

Use your gut instinct

dating tips

We’ve all heard a lot about those happy couples who said they “just knew” right away when they met someone special. That’s because they listened to their gut instinct—a powerful tool in dating. It’s that strange feeling you can’t quite put your finger on. It could be a voice in your head, butterflies in your tummy, and feelings of nervousness. It could be a knot in your stomach. Whatever it is, listen to it. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your judgement. But if you sense good vibes from the person, go ahead and swipe right.

The post 5 Tips on Finding Compatible Partners on Dating Apps appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

7 Easy To Spot Signs Your Relationship Has Problems

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

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

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

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

You’ve stopped talking and laughing together

relationship trouble sign

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

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

You have secrets

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

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

You’re not completely sure you trust your partner

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

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

Doing things together doesn’t interest you

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

Arguments don’t ever get resolved, just ignored

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

The physical has fizzled

relationship troubles

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

You’ve stopped hearing each other

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

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

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

7 Tips for Building Relationship Equality

Relationship equality is one of the key ingredients to a healthy, happy life with your partner.

The meaning of relationship equality isn’t always simple to define. Many feel that a relationship should be 50/50, but the truth is relationships have ups and downs. Sometimes the needs of one partner may legitimately overshadow the other, such as extra support after a family member’s death.

So, what is relationship equality and how can you build it with your spouse?

Relationship equality is all about respect. Both partner’s feelings, boundaries, and physical body should be respected. There is no power/control dynamic.

When you have equality in your relationship it means that you and your spouse can live in harmony together and feel safe and secure.

Here are 7 relationship tips on how to build equality.

Make respect your no. 1 priority

Unfortunately, relationship equality isn’t a given in our day and age. But just because your relationship scales are tipping to one side doesn’t mean you can even things out. With willing hearts and a little bit of patience, you can build relationship equality.

Couples who respect one another put one another on an equal playing field. They do this by:

  • Communicating openly
  • Speaking kindly to one another
  • Freely giving support
  • Compromising
  • Listening without interrupting
  • Respecting boundaries

Relationships that lack respect are often toxic, so make building and maintaining respect toward your spouse one of your biggest relationship priorities.

Your needs should be equally important

There is no doubt that your needs are important, but so are your partner’s. There is nothing worse than going to a partner with a problem or concern and having your feelings shot down. Remember, healthy relationships are all about equality.

Never treat your spouse like their feelings and the issues they are going through are unimportant or play second fiddle to your own.

Toxic relationships indeed make it difficult for one partner to be assertive, but those in healthy relationships may have the same experience. One partner may be shy by nature, lack assertiveness, or simply hate making conflict. To accommodate this and equalize the playing field, work hard to make your partner feel comfortable and safe expressing their needs.

Get on the same page about sex

having equality in a relationship

Sex is a big deal in a marriage, so both partners must get on the same page about it. You want sex to be something you share, not just something you “do.”

Sex is not something that should be controlled by one partner, used as a way to guilt somebody or a tool to be used to win an argument or gain something.

Research shows that sexual communication equals greater relationship satisfaction for both men and women – so communication is going to be your best friend when it comes to all things sex.

Talk openly and honestly – and make it fun! Share your sexual likes, dislikes, triggers, preferences, and how often you’d like to be intimate together. It may be a little awkward to talk about it at first, but in the end, it will put positivity into your sex life.

Build a romantic friendship

Relationships are about more than just romance, they’re also about friendship.

Think about one of your closest friends. Likely, you both share interests or hobbies, you do fun things together like go to movies, have game nights, play sports, or go to events. Good friends build trust, loyalty, and can talk to each other about everything.

These are all fantastic qualities that shouldn’t be limited to your friends. You can boost equality in your love life by making your relationship about more than romance. Make it a true connection that requires you to think of your spouse as something more than sexual intimacy.

Make your relationship a partnership

Shallow dating is all about filling time. You fill time with your spouse by hanging out, being intimate, and exploring romance. But true equality comes from building a healthy relationship where you share your lives together.

When you don’t welcome your spouse in as your partner, you open yourself up to a “me first” attitude.

Couples can create a partnership by:

  • Getting to know each other’s friends and family
  • Talking about what’s going on in their lives
  • Consulting one another before making big decisions or purchases
  • Having an equal share in how your life is built
  • Helping one another out where you can

Spend quality time alone

equality in a relationship

Another way you can build relationship equality is by spending quality alone time with your spouse.

Spending time alone also shows your spouse that you value their company and their friendship. Instead of solely using your leisure time to be with friends or family, you choose to be with your partner. This gives you more of an opportunity to connect and strengthen the love and respect you share for one another.

Additionally, spending time together regularly (such as with a weekly date night) has been proven to reduce stress, boost relationship satisfaction, increase sexual encounters, and -for married couples – reduce the likelihood of divorce.

Support each other

In a happy relationship, one person’s desires do not overshadow the others. Showing partner support is integral to building relationship equality. Both spouses should support each other’s healthy dreams and goals; never undermining, belittling, or controlling them.

Another way you can show support to your spouse is by making your home life as stress-free as possible – showing love regularly, acknowledging problems, using kind words even when you disagree, showing nonsexual physical affection, and checking in emotionally on a regular basis.

If your relationship doesn’t feel equal, don’t worry. There are things you can do to fix it. First, make respect a priority in your love life.

Work hard to be partners, to listen and communicate, and to build a friendship. Scheduling time to be alone with yourself or your friends is also important since it helps you retain your individual identity. Good luck!

The post 7 Tips for Building Relationship Equality appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How To Let Go Of Things That Cause You Stress

One of the few things you will experience in life is emotional stress. Inevitable as it is, the question is how to get through heartaches and let go of the things that cause us stress. While we try to move on and forget everything that reminds us of the past, the process has never been easy. After all, the art of letting go is not without challenges.

There’s nothing wrong with being hurt when people do things that are, well, hurtful. However, it doesn’t mean that we should just sit idly and suffer. It is also an undisputed fact that we feel greater distress when the offense comes from the people we trust. If you want to move forward and reclaim your sense of peace, this article offers some tips.

Distancing

It is good to distance yourself from people or things that cause us pain. If you’re in a relationship with someone and they do things that hurt your feelings, walking away from the toxic relationship is the best step. The mistake most people make is that they get blinded with love, and they find it difficult to let go. However, the more we see them, the more we want them back in our life. This is why distancing ourselves from whatever causes us pain is a great way of letting go of things that hurts us. Always remember that in most cases, out of sight is out of mind.

Be thankful

Be thankful for what happened and don’t get stuck with the question of why it is happening to you. Talk to yourself whenever you get hurt and find out why it’s good for you to be apart from that thing. Whether it’s heartbreaks from your partner, see the good reason why you had to leave and don’t keep on reminiscing on why it must happen.

Focus more on yourself

focus on yourself

Focus more on yourself rather than thinking about the past. Find something you love doing and get attached to it, find your purpose, and don’t worry about the stressor. When you’re addicted to what you love doing, you spend time doing it and you forget whatever might be hurting you.

Focus on the present

Practice focusing on the present and not the past. The more you learn to live in the present and not the past, the more you’d be stronger in life. Accept the fact that whatever had happened in the past can’t be changed, but the present can be worked on just to get a brighter future. Holding onto the past will do nothing but steal your present and shatter the future.

Understand the situation

Understanding that the person or thing causing stress was never meant to be yours (maybe you just lost something precious, or someone you ever loved so dearly just broke up with you). Believe that the very best will come your way with ease; if it were ever meant for you, it wouldn’t cause you pain and stress.

Don’t complicate issues

Be gentle with yourself in the process of letting go if you haven’t been through it before. You need to understand that it takes time to heal from your pain. Don’t rush it because it’s a step by step process. If you go hard on yourself, you’ll only get hurt even more.

Eliminate the stress indicator

Eliminate whatever reminds you of the bad experience or stress you are going through—eliminating works when the stress indicator is something materialistic, human or emotional. Take out whatever reminds you of bad moments that cause stress pending the time you get over the stress.

Make friends

letting go of stress

Don’t be afraid to make new friends. Friends, especially the real ones, have a way of cheering us up whenever we’re down. Your friend can help you get over stress by taking you out for brunch or dinner: you laugh together and get a nice time out. It is an undisputed fact that stress and emotional breakdown always want to make one distant himself/ herself from the social world. However, the best you can do for yourself is to make new friends. The good times spent with friends have a way of relieving pains.

Move on

Don’t expect apologies if what is causing you stress is human. Sometimes we get to hurt ourselves more with expectations. When people hurt us, we wait for them to apologize. Expecting apologies and not getting it makes you feel worse.

The takeaway

Whenever you are stressed or troubled, don’t give in to the pain. Your peace of mind should be the priority. Always remember you need to be stronger than ever and never let anyone/anything be in control of your emotions and happiness. You are the perfect person to handle stress and emotional pains.

The post How To Let Go Of Things That Cause You Stress appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Not To Be A “Man”

Addressed to men, for the benefit of women.

If you are a male and are single/divorced/separated/married but available/in an open relationship/nursing a heartache/just a plain philanderer, there is more sex/companionship/romance out there than ever.

Tinder, bumble, grinder have made sure that even the most hopeless, out of shape, out of sorts and even out of mind men have a hope of getting laid/ find a companion. If you still haven’t, read on. If you are a woman who has had the misfortune of swiping the wrong kind of men, read on, in fact share it with men in your world and save other women from the future misadventures.

I will not be sugarcoating the scenario because I am sure if I do, the message will be lost. While you try to the turn the gender gap in your favor through dating apps, let me help you become a little more worthy for the most amazing thing on this planet, a woman. Here are a few things, which may help you behave yourself better than you are capable of; and thus enhance your chances of getting much needed feminine warmth in your life.

You are not cool

No matter how many packs you have tucked under the skin-tight tee (lose the tee to begin with especially if it has a logo of the brand which is bigger than your face) or how amazing the picture is, if you think you are cool, you just aren’t. Same goes to women, too, in case any are reading this.

If you think you are hot, you are only going to attract the specimen mentioned above. It may work wonderfully, but in case you need more than that, drop the “I am hot and I know it” vibe. Pack in a bit of surprise. Let her uncover those abs at the right time, much like all the other things you think you are good at. So, next time when you feel like flexing the biceps, don’t. Give an honest smile instead, you won’t regret it.

Open the damn door!

be an ideal man

There will be more women who would be willing to go back home with you (though not necessarily for the reasons you assume) if they felt they are with a man who knows how to treat women right. Basically, women want to know how good or bad a job your mom did with you and the best reflection of that is how you treat them.

Chivalry is often misunderstood. It is not just about opening doors and pulling chairs, it’s about genuinely respecting the presence of a woman. How? Start by listening. Try not to focus too much on the cleavage and the legs, listen! She is trying to give you the master key to her bedroom while you were not paying attention. You will get ample time to check her out, if, for once, you can keep your desperate self in check and just have a conversation.

Women are great at observing your tiniest movement, so it you think a fleeting glance on her tush would go unnoticed, you are wrong. She is watching every little move that you make. If your mom wasn’t kind to you while growing up or chivalry isn’t something that comes naturally to, Google the crap out of it, seek help, talk to a therapist and practice until you get good at it. Your dating world will change forever.

Size does matter

Both, of what you pack between your legs and between your ears. When I say it matters it doesn’t mean bigger is always better (well it is indeed better than small, in both cases). Good news is there is a right fit for both. You can’t give every girl you meet on earth a shattering orgasm or a laugh. But to some you are just the right fit.

What’s worse than not packing enough is trying hard. There is no better way to kill a great conversation or sex than trying too hard to be good at it. Relax, sit back, just do what you know and if you think you don’t know enough, learn from the right sources. Women are equally insecure in the dance of mating.

In fact, their list of insecurities is far longer than yours. That said, wait for the right fit. She is somewhere around the corner and when that happens you will feel like the best hung stand-up comedian in the world or in other words, just what she wanted in a man.

See Also: The Most Common Intimacy Issues In Relationships

Truth is sexy

Vulnerability in men is the new 6-pack. There was never a better time for a man to come across as insecure, vulnerable, and defective. While the entire “man” kind is trying hard to be alpha and scaring women away, be your real self. Be honest, truthful in your failures as a human being. It only makes you relatable. Know the difference between vulnerability, pitiful, and brooding – they are not the same. Look up their meanings online.

You want to come across as a regular flawed human being, not someone who has nothing to look forward to or deserves sympathy. While women love a project or work in progress, rarely anyone would want to associate with someone who is pitiful. Also, it is tiring to keep the “sorted” pretense going. No one is sorted and everyone knows that. The more sorted you try to appear the sooner you will wear them out. Accept your flaws and let them see the real you.

Quality over quantity any day!

to be an ideal man

Okay, I am going to save you a lot of money on dates, drives, dinners, etc., which you would spend courting women who are just not your sort but you still do it out of lack of action. Desperation is a real thing, I get it, but what is going to happen when you do get in bed with someone you aren’t really into is what I call “post climactic depression”.

Firstly, sex isn’t going to be good. Secondly, you wouldn’t want to be in that bed but won’t be able to get out that easily either. Thirdly, it will just make you doubt about your sexual skill set. Better option is wait it out, follow the things that I have already mentioned and wait for the right fit.

Keep the faith you will get laid, but in this case, “how” is more important than “how many”. If you don’t want to take my word for it, go ahead, swipe right on the next available profile and learn it the hard way. Needless to say, in the road of courtship all roads must lead to a bed. Nevertheless, the journey would be way more enjoyable if we men stop acting like what we have been told a “Man” is.

The post How Not To Be A “Man” appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Keys For Being Successful In A Long Distance Relationship

All relationships have their challenges. But when you are in a long-distance relationship, the challenges you face are very unique and sometimes difficult to overcome. Difficult but not impossible, nonetheless.

Most people wouldn’t choose to be in a long-distance relationship. But sometimes circumstances can’t be helped and, if you don’t want to end things, that’s the reality. So, although absence can make the heart grow fonder, it can also mean that you’ll need to establish a few ground rules and learn some new routines in order to be successful.

Coming To Terms With The Distance

maintain a long distance relationship

One of the hardest parts of living with a long-distance relationship is the psychological aspect. Yes, there are many new behaviors and practices that you need to consider, but before you can do that you need to be mentally and emotionally ready to make them work.

Being successful with the new dynamic of your relationship means accepting that the distance is real, and things will be different. It’s easy to live in denial and pretend that nothing will change, but the truth is that they will. Both you and your partner will need to be realistic and open about this. If you’re not, you will set yourselves up for disappointment. There will be a disconnect between the two of you, and likely failure.

So, how do you do this?

The short and sweet answer is to talk about it. Be honest with each other about your concerns and fears regarding the challenges and time frames associated. Maybe it’s a work assignment with predefined times, or perhaps it’s a permanent move for one of you.

Whatever the reason, discussing ahead of time the expectations for how long you’ll be apart is important for establishing the right psychological approach to your situation.

The same can be said for discussing your fears about the new dynamic in your relationship. No matter how strong your relationship is, you should each have questions and doubts about the impact it will have and how you will make it successful. It’s not a sign of weakness to admit that.

In fact, not asking can potentially create a situation where those fears will come true. But by discussing them you add the strength of your partner to your own strength as you work together to make sure things stay healthy and strong between you.

Be careful not to be too naïve or overly confident. Underestimating the impact is an easy and tempting thing to do. Being optimistic is great, but you have to be realistic and honest about the potential negatives as well.

Once you and your partner have committed to making things work, you then need to make a plan for how that will happen.

Best Practices For A Strong Long-Distance Relationship

There’s no surefire formula for making a long-distance relationship work. Each circumstance will be a bit different and each couple will have to adjust as necessary. The one certainty for every couple in this situation is the uncertainty that it will cause on a regular basis for each of you. With that said, there are some best practices that can help make the success more likely.

Agree on a goal

A permanently long-distance relationship isn’t realistic for most. While there’s always exceptions, physical proximity eventually becomes a crucial factor for a happy and healthy relationship. The time you plan to be apart may be long, short, or subject to change, but along with that understanding you need to agree upon a goal for your relationship in general.

Are you married? Do you want to get married? Do you want to eventually live in a specific area together? Are you working toward saving a certain amount of money to get to the next step? Leaving things too open-ended can lead to a lack of commitment.

Make talk dates

You may need to be flexible with this as life has a way of altering schedules, but making phone dates or FaceTime dates can give you each something to look forward to and help keep you connected.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but because you each have a life and your normal daily activities can take over, it can become easier and easier to allow these things to slip. So, treat them like a regular “date” and make a plan to “get together” on a set schedule.

Pre-plan visits

long distance relationship

This can be harder for some than for others, but try to plan ahead for visits. This may mean going to each other, or it may mean meeting in the middle, but seeing each other is an important way to keep things strong.

Word to the wise – surprise visits should be thoughtfully considered before initiated. Because of hectic schedules or set plans that can be hard to alter at a moment’s notice sometimes, a supposedly fun, surprise visit can actually backfire by causing stress and difficulty despite the good intention.

Keep things romantic

Physical romance and intimacy can be exponentially more difficult when you’re apart, but you should still make an effort. Send little mementos, romantic texts, and make sure you are open about your feelings of love and desire. And, when it’s appropriate, there are ways to create intimacy using technology. Just be smart and avoid taking pictures or doing things that leave a permanent digital record and could be harmful down the road.

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

Trust, trust, trust

This can be especially difficult. When you’re apart it can be easy to let your imagination get the best of you and feel convinced that your partner is betraying you. This, unfortunately, is one of the biggest killers of a successful long-distance relationship. But there is a big difference between checking-in and checking-up on your partner. So, accusing them of anything without proof can put a quick end to things.

Today, more than ever, the world feels both smaller and more accessible. This means that at any point the possibility that you or your partner may have an opportunity beyond your current geography always exists. It can seem scary to consider a long-distance relationship, but people do it successfully every day. If you find yourself in this situation, you can, too, if you’re smart about it.

The post 5 Keys For Being Successful In A Long Distance Relationship appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Accepting Partner’s Friends: 3 Steps For Dealing With Your Wife’s Annoying Friend

You love your wife — flaws and all. But sometimes, the flaws are far easier to deal with than that one, insanely annoying friend that she insists on keeping in her life. And yours. Sounds familiar?

Before you agree to spend the rest of your life with someone, there are many things that you should discuss. Finances, family planning, and future goals are all no-brainers. But what about accepting your partner’s friends?

You can’t tell your partner who they can and can’t be friends with, but the people they associate with do impact your life. This makes figuring out how to best deal with personality conflicts between you and the people your partner is close to a crucial, and often overlooked, step for a harmonious relationship.

So what should you do if you really, really can’t stand your wife’s friend(s)? Check out these three steps for some guidance on accepting your partner’s friends.

Step One – Weird, Annoying, Or Toxic?

accepting partners friends analyze

Before you actually do anything, you need to figure out what it is that really bothers you so much about the offensive friend. Is it just a personality clash or do you really feel that she’s a bad influence?

Figuring this out means that you will need to make sure you take some notes. It may seem like a strange thing to do, but actual written notes are more accurate and reliable than mental notes.

And if you’ve gotten to the point where you feel something needs to be done, having specific examples to discuss is helpful and important. It will also allow you to reflect on what it is that you’re seeing and feeling, whether there are valid concerns, and what you think needs to happen.

You may also need to consider whether your issues have more to do with you than with her. Are you possibly jealous of the time that your wife spends with this friend, or the amount of fun they have together? This doesn’t mean there’s not a problem and it doesn’t need to be discussed, but understanding this will make it a very different kind of conversation.

See Also: How To Distance Yourself From Toxic People Without Them Noticing

Step Two – What Do You Want To Do?

Annoying people exist everywhere.

If your wife’s friend is just a really annoying person, she may just be someone you need to put up with. A whiny voice or obsession with cat videos can be irritating. However, if she’s your wife’s BFF, then you may want to find reasons to be somewhere else when she’s around.

But if your wife is friends with someone who’s toxic or somehow detrimental to your wife or your relationship, that’s a different story.

Once you have taken the time to observe and reflect, it’s time to decide what you want to do and why. If this friend you can’t stand is taking advantage of your wife, a narcissist or enticing her into making poor decisions or behaving in unhealthy or irresponsible ways, then you will need to plan for a conversation.

Friendships come in all shapes and sizes.

Unfortunately, however, they can sometimes be very unbalanced. Friends who bring drama or need to be rescued all the time can drain a person and that person’s other relationships. If this is the case, your wife may feel responsible to help her or feel guilty if she doesn’t.

It’s possible that she needs help from you to see things from a larger perspective. To understand that what she’s doing is enabling bad behavior and not actually being a good, helpful friend.

If, however, this person that appeals to your wife’s wild side (or irresponsible side), and things like girls’ nights are becoming more and more dangerous – to her or your relationship – she may not be aware of how her behavior is affecting you, your family, and potentially, even her.

In this case, your wife will need to examine her own behavior and the reasons she continues to participate. Word to the wise — people don’t love to admit they need to change or that they’re doing anything wrong.

Step Three – Talking To Your Wife

accepting partners friends talking with your wife

Once you are certain that a conversation is the appropriate next step, you’ll need to make sure you approach things the right way. Saying, “I hate Jane and you need to stop hanging out with her,” or “It’s her or me babe — you choose” are examples of what NOT to do.

You’ll need to be mindful of the importance of friendships and accepting partner’s friends. And that trying to influence her friend choices may seem controlling and not be well-received. Choosing the right time, approaching it with understanding and kindness, and having some real, impartial examples of your concerns are all crucial.

Bear in mind that there may be no resolution to this situation right away. These relationships can be complicated for many reasons. But if you really feel there’s a reason to be concerned and your wife’s annoying friend is potentially worse than simply annoying, continue to have gentle conversations when appropriate. Her respect for you and your relationship will likely mean she’s taking things to heart more than you realize.

The post Accepting Partner’s Friends: 3 Steps For Dealing With Your Wife’s Annoying Friend appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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

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

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

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

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

Arrange a Virtual Date

how to celebrate anniversary long distance relationship

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

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

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

Make a Video Surprise

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

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

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

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

“Open When” Letters

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

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

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

Send a Handwritten Letter

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

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

Netflix and Chill

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

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

Create the Memories

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

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

Send a Care Package

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

Take a Matching Photo

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

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

Plan a Trip

how to celebrate anniversary

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

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

Do a Quiz for Couples

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

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

“What I Love About You” List

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

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

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

Use Technology to Your Advantage

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

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

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

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

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

10 Tips On What To Do Before Marriage

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

Step 1. Living for God’s Glory

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

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

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

This is the first and important step.

The Origin of Love

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

How does human love develop?

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

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

Step 2. Interest

what couples need to do before marriage

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

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

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

But this does not mean that you have real love.

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

Step 3. Affinity or Consonance

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

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

Step 4. Love

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

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

I especially appeal to girls: take care of yourself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 5. Recognition. Friendship. Objective Assessment

what couples need to do before marriage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Step 6. Giving Yourself

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

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

10 practical tips for behavior before marriage

1. Take your time to make a serious decision.

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

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

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

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

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

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

6. Ask yourself:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dating Mistakes To Avoid for Happy Relationships!

Falling in love with someone is a wonderful feeling that can only be topped by the feeling when that love is mutual. Starting a new relationship is extremely exciting! However, even with such an unpredictable matter as love is, there are still some rules to follow.

After all, dating is one of the most powerful forms of human communication. Hence, in order to make it fruitful and happy, you need to understand the basics of human relationships. Here are some of mistakes to avoid for happy relationships.

Making your partner the center of your universe

mistakes in relationships

The first thing on this list of dating mistakes people should avoid in order to secure a happy and long-lasting relationship may appear to be a little bit strange to some. One of the arguments against this point is that when you are genuinely in love with a person, you want to invest all of yourself into the relationship. You want to become “the one” so you put all your time and effort into making that relationship work.

However, this is not how healthy and happy relationships work. Of course, if you are going
out with someone it is essential that you pay enough attention to them, as well as their needs and wants. Nonetheless, it does not mean that they have to replace every single other human being and relationship you’ve had in your life before you met them.

Abandoning your social circle for someone is toxic and incredibly detrimental for you. The reason for this is that by focusing too much on your lover, you will lose those bits of character that other people fostered in you. It is likely that by only ever hanging out with your significant other, you will adopt their personality features and become a version of them. While this is cute to some, in reality, this is not great at all. It can even lead to a potential break-up.

The best way to explain the correlation between starting to resemble your lover and them
losing interest in you is this:

When the two of you meet and start to get to know each other better, each of you are a person of your own. And they fall for that person! If you eventually lose all of your unique traits and turn into their mirror reflection, they will be less intrigued by your existence.

In addition to that, it is incorrect to put your significant other’s needs above your own.
While it is an important feature of a happy relationship to know how to compromise, you should not forget about your own comfort when dating someone. Do not cancel plans you have made with someone and really wanted to attend to just at your partner’s whim.

It is understandable that after going out for a while people merge their social circles. They
introduce each other to their friends and mix and match the friendship groups. This is absolutely normal. The same way paying some little extra attention to your partner and choosing them before other people is normal.

You just need to remember not to limit yourself to just that one person by crossing out everyone else out of your life and abandoning your hobbies or goals that make your life a bit happier and fulfilling.

See Also: 6 Essential Steps For Overcoming Codependency

Trying to avoid arguments by bottling up your emotions and feelings

Another big mistake a lot of couples make that hinders them from having a happy and healthy relationship is avoiding arguments.

As weird as it may sound, the idea of arguments being unacceptable in a happy relationship is completely wrong. The truth is, arguments can be incredibly useful and healthy, and even take your relationship to the next level!

In fact, it is much better for your couple dynamics if both of you voice all of your concerns and talk them out, even if that could potentially lead to a heated conversation. If you discuss everything that bothers you at the time and let your partner know about your view of the situation, they are more likely to offer an explanation of their actions and subsequently suggest and alternative model of behaviour that would satisfy you both. After all, your lover is likely not a psychic and cannot possibly know how you feel about certain things unless you explicitly tell them.

Alternatively, if you choose not to express your disagreement and dissatisfaction simply because you would much rather swallow that instead of spending a couple of hours working out the problem, you are in for a hugely delayed scandal. It is human nature to accumulate all the unresolved conflicts and bottle up feelings instead of truly letting them go. Unfortunately, there is a limit to this.

Eventually, there will a be a thing, and often the tiniest one, which will push you over the edge and make you burst. Naturally, this will have adverse effect on your relationship and will likely end in a couple of days of not talking to each other.

Ignoring red flags

relationship red flags mistakes

Despite there not being a definite timeline for dating mistakes, this mistake is more relevant to those relationships that are still early, where people are still getting to know each other.

When you are only starting dating someone and still get butterflies in your stomach just from thinking about them, it is usual to idealize them in your head. Obviously, you are still new to this person and cannot possibly know about all their annoying little habits that are only identifiable to the people they live with. To you, they appear to be perfect. And this is, indeed, a wonderful feeling! However, this is exactly where the risk of ignoring red flag comes into the scene.

Unfortunately, people in love tend to not pay attention to the things that they do not like.
Instead, they choose to focus on what is good about their lover. However, this can be extremely detrimental in the long run. If you want to be in a happy relationship, you need to be with someone who you are compatible with and who fits you well. If someone does not, they are probably not meant for you. It is wrong for you to think that you can “fix” them, and make them good for you.

What you need to do is to notice all the red flags as they come and terminate the relationship as soon as it becomes unacceptable for you.

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

Not establishing clear boundaries

This mistake links back to the first point on this list since they are closely connected. In fact, not establishing clear boundaries often becomes the cause of falling into obsessive behaviours and focusing on your partner too much.

This is why you need to remember that the two of you are not to be indivisible. It is okay if both of you have your own personal space which the other one would not violate. It is okay to have some privacy, and it is not to foster any jealousy or secrecy. In fact, privacy in relationships does not equate to secrecy. Privacy is needed to be able to be your own person and is not related to you having secrets from your partner.

In addition to that, it is undeniable that the world of dating is wide and varied. It means
different things for different people. Everyone has their very own understanding of what is
acceptable in a relationship and what is best be avoided. it is important for the two of you as a couple to decide what aspects are okay with you, and which ones cross the line for you.

All in all, you need to be aware of the fact that despite being together, the both of you should still remain your own separate entities.

Comparing your current significant other to the relationships you have had in the past

They say, your current self are made of your dreams and aspirations, your thoughts and your past. When it comes to dating, however, it is best that you keep your past out of the equation.

Of course, it is completely normal to remember some bits of your past relationships and respect the lessons you have learnt from dating those people. What is not adequate, however, is constantly comparing and contrasting your current partner to your exes. Not only that is irrelevant, but that also makes your significant other doubt your feelings for them since it seems like you are not over that person you dated before them.

Besides, you should also remember that no people can be exactly the same.

Therefore, you will not be able to have the same experiences that you went through in the past.

If you want to have a happy relationship, it is pivotal for you to remember that each and every relationships is a fresh start and you have to treat it as such. Live in the moment, and look up to the things you will go through with your current partner as opposed to reminiscing over the stuff that you and your ex shared.

Lacking in the communication department

This perhaps, could be one of the primary and worst mistakes people in relationships make, lack of communication between partners. The truth is that any relationship, let alone a romantic one, are based on human trust and communication.

By dating someone, you give that person an access to your heart and let them be your companion through thick and thin. However, even then they do not have access to your brain and cannot possibly know what exactly is on your mind. And neither can you.

As it has been discussed previously, you can actually save your relationship by arguing as that will help you express your feelings and let your partner know what you’re thinking. However, it is not necessarily negativity that you need to express. Relationship is a continuous communication process. It is helpful when two people talk about their thoughts and ideas.

The worst thing that one can do when dating is assuming what their partner means. And act based on those assumptions. That can instantly worsen your relationship and bring it to a logical end. It is absolutely essential that you discuss everything that needs to be discussed.

Moreover, it is also important for you to not only listen to your partner but also hear what they are saying. Often, we agree to have a conversation yet we are still not ready to communicate. That is ineffective and does not give any positive results. In fact, that only ever leaves both parties unhappy and annoyed with each other. Therefore, in order to communicate with your significant other successfully, you need to actually trust what they are saying and give them the benefit of the doubt.

Spending too little (or too much) time with each other

relationship mistake

Something a lot of couples are guilty of is not being able to find the right amount of time to
spend with each other. Both too little and too much time spent with each other can be harmful to the relationship and result with dissatisfaction from both parties.

When you are not investing enough time into your relationship and end up being too distant from your significant other, you risk losing the connection with them. While it is a gradual process that takes a lot of time to fully happen, it is likely to be irreversible. Once you lose touch with your loved one, you will find it extremely difficult to reconnect.

Therefore, it is important to schedule your life in such a way that the two of you would have some time to be intimate with each other and just have some quality time together.

At the same time, however, it is vital that you do not overdo it. Being together all the time can be rather negative for your relationship. It can lead to the aforementioned dating mistakes such as making your partner the center of your universe and your boundaries being blurred out.

To put it simply, even if you love them a lot, being together too much can make you get bored of them or even make them start getting on your nerves. It is important to have an opportunity to take small breaks in your time spent together, so you would have a chance to start missing each other and then have an outburst of oxytocin when you finally see each other!

Going with your brain and not your heart

At last but definitely not the least, love is an incredibly complicated concept. While scientists claim that love is simply a chain of chemical reactions in your brain, in reality, it is so much more than that! Love is wonderful in its spontaneity and unpredictability. And the worst thing you can do when dating somebody into a happy relationship is to try and calculate it.

The post Dating Mistakes To Avoid for Happy Relationships! appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The Feeling of Being Ignored: What It Could Really Mean

Have you ever felt ignored?

Chances are you have – we all have at one time or another. Whether it’s being ignored by someone in particular or people in general looking past you, feeling ignored is isolating and painful. It can cause us to act out in destructive ways. This can be particularly true when you feel ignored or overlooked by someone you love.

So how should you handle the feeling of being ignored? And could it be possible that you’re making someone feel ignored without even realizing it?

Let’s take a look.

The Effects Of Being Ignored

being ignored

Being bullied is horrible, but being ignored can be worse. In fact, the silent treatment is a tactic often used by people who want to inflict pain without being outwardly confrontational. It’s manipulative and cruel.

See Also: The Most Important Tips For Dealing With Bullying At Work

People who make a point of ignoring others and using the silent treatment as a weapon may not realize the serious effects their behavior can have. They don’t know how devastating those effects can be. And some people may not even realize that is what they are doing at all.

While their indifferent behavior is selfish, it may very well be accidental.

Being ignored can cause emotional trauma. It can eventually lead to depression, anger, and low self-esteem. Because people are naturally social creatures, we crave acceptance, inclusion, and recognition.

For better or worse, we often use those around us as a mirror. Their reaction to us forms, or at least influences, our own opinion of ourselves. Being ignored by the people around us, especially a loved one, is like looking in a mirror and seeing nothing there. This can leave us questioning our self-worth and value.

But it’s not just psychological stress that we feel when we’re ignored. We can experience physical problems as well. Emotional pain can lead to headaches, digestive issues, disruptions in our sleeping or eating patterns and even diseases. All of them have serious consequences if left unchecked.

What You Can Do To Feel Seen

But what can you do if you feel ignored?

You can’t make someone pay attention to you, right? Well, you can. Unfortunately, the behaviors used by those who are demanding someone’s attention are often negative and destructive. They come from a desperate feeling that any kind of attention is better than no attention at all.

This really isn’t true, however.

If you feel like you’re being ignored, the best thing you can do is to remain calm. Allowing yourself to become so upset over it can drive people further away. The next thing you need to do is consider why you feel this way.

Ask yourself this:

Are you sure you are really being ignored? Could it be that people (or a person in particular) are just busy?

For instance, if you feel that people look right through you when you walk down the street, it may be time to examine your own behavior. People generally match the behavior of others in a public environment.

Could the indifference that you feel from others a response to your own indifferent behavior? Do you smile at others as you pass by? Do you make eye contact or hold a door when the opportunity presents itself?

If the answer is no, then it’s quite likely that those around you are responding to signals you are giving off that say, “Leave me alone.”

If you are being ignored by one person in particular, however, you need to look a little more closely at the possible reasons. Do so with an open mind. In today’s overly busy world, it’s entirely possible that the person ignoring you is actually just really distracted with their own problems and schedules. It may not have anything to do with you personally.

On the flip side, acting out our negative feelings with intentional silence, such as ghosting, has become more and more the norm, so there could be more to it. There is one surefire way to figure that out though – ask.

If you feel that someone may be purposefully ignoring you, then the best way to understand why is to ask them directly. Doing this in an inquisitive and friendly manner will give the other person the encouragement to answer honestly. And addressing the problem in this manner will show that person and others that you don’t accept being dismissed and ignored as an appropriate response.

How You May Be Ignoring People And Not Even Know It

feel of being ignored

What if you’re the one who is doing the ignoring? Would you even know it?

We all know that life can get a little crazy sometimes and we can become self-absorbed. But when you become so focused on your own world that you stop returning calls, answering emails or paying attention to those who are closest to you, it’s gone too far. Now you’ve become the one doing the ignoring and causing others to feel invisible. Not good.

The best advice is to take time once or twice a week to stop and take stock of your relationships and behavior. Give some thought as to what those around you may be experiencing as well. Nothing about our lives and relationships remains static or perpetually harmonious.

There are always ups and downs and back and forths. So, if you are feeling ignored, give some thought as to why and if your behavior is playing a part in that. Do a self-check.

Could you be the reason someone else is feeling overlooked and invisible?

The post The Feeling of Being Ignored: What It Could Really Mean appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Empowering Songs to Listen to After a Breakup

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

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

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

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

Avril Lavigne – Tell Me It’s Over



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

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

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

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

Etta James – I’d Rather Go Blind

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

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

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

The Decemberists – Everything is Awful

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

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

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

Adele – Someone Like You

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

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

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

Lorde – Writer in the Dark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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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.

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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

The post 5 Unique Dating Apps You Might Want To Try appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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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