5 Inner Habits You Need To Make Any Relationship Last

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Image by Nemanja Glumac / Stocksy

If you ask someone in their 20s what matters most to them in life, they will usually say, “My relationship and my career.” Relationships and careers are the stabilizers in today’s world, bringing security, contentment, and purpose in life. Yet we don’t seem to be very good at the relationship part. Many of us are isolated, lonely, dissatisfied with our partners, and simply struggling to nurture and sustain healthy long-term relationships.

Is this reflective of our disposable and mobile culture? Whether we are talking about containers, appliances, or people, we now live in a world where we throw things away so easily. The environmental problems caused by plastic bottles and bags are a symptom. Similarly, when it comes to relationships, what do we do? If there are problems, end it; if there is hardship, look for someone better. We are becoming a culture of quitters.

But the tide is turning: Plastic bags and bottles are banned in many places, and we want sturdier appliances that last instead of cheap ones that fall apart and end up in a landfill. Is our attitude toward relationships also changing? Are we valuing longevity and commitment over a throwaway mentality?

To sustain “long term,” we need emotional intelligence and maturity in relationships, and that requires some basic inner practices. Many of the skills we need actually stem from our own self-awareness practices, such as that of mindfulness and meditation. When we have a better understanding of our own inner emotions, we’re able to respond from a place of generosity.

Based on key self-awareness principles, here are a few inner practices to consider for creating a relationship that lasts:

1. Let harmony be a priority.

Put harmony before being right. Does it really matter if your partner is wrong? Will you ruin the day’s peace by having an argument that could have been avoided by simply saying “OK, honey”?

Ask yourself: Why is it important for me to be right?

2. Listen and pause.

With inner calm and a relaxed mind, you’ll be better able to pause and listen to the other person’s point of view. Ask yourself: What are they feeling and why? Pause often in a conversation and try to understand. Most importantly, what is being communicated behind the words?

3. When there’s tension, love harder.

When there’s tension, what can you do to make the relationship stronger instead of putting it under more stress? Tension is not always a bad thing. It is like a warning bell telling you that something needs to change. Rather than expecting others to change, try to see what you can do.

What happens when you have had a bad day at work and you come home to a partner who has also had a tough day? Are you kind to one another? More often than not you have an argument simply because both of you are tired and irritated. If kids are also in the equation, it can be even more hectic. Dinnertime can be the cause of indigestion! So be kind. And remember, your attitudes and thoughts are even more important than the words you say.

4. Speak sweetly.

When the inner state is calm, speech will also be calm. Cultivate the way you speak so that your voice flows like nectar, in a soothing way without harshness or an edge. People will enjoy listening to you when you speak sweetly.

5. Make it a practice to think through the ways you’ve messed up.

At bedtime, take a minute to close your eyes and feel sorry for anything you have done to hurt others, even unknowingly. There is no need to feel guilty; just promise yourself you will not do it again. You will then sleep with a clearer, lighter conscience.

All of us want healthy, happy, fulfilling relationships—we just need the skills to let them happen. Life is not about running away from problems but facing them head-on with a cheerful and peaceful attitude. Much of the work of creating a long-lasting relationship actually starts with doing the inner work first.

5 Ways To Make Your Relationship More Romantic, So Get Ready To Swoon

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Relationships, like all things, change with time. And while there are many beautiful things about a long-term commitment to someone, keeping the spark alive can sometimes be challenging. After all, when you settle into a routine together, it’s not quite so simple to shake things up and retain that element of surprise. Don’t fret, though — there are plenty of ways to make your relationship more romantic, as long as you’re both creative and resourceful.

I checked in with the experts to get their thoughts on this, and their advice did not disappoint. “Our partner needs to know that we value them and that they have a vital role in our life,” says Susan Winter, relationship expert. “From this foundation of appreciation and gratitude, romantic feelings grow with abundance.” If you want to show your partner how much you care, one of the best things you can do is add some intrigue back into your lives. There’s something about a passionate, romantic evening together that electrifies your chemistry and reminds you why you chose one another. And it doesn’t have to be any huge gesture — even small changes can make a big difference! When you’re ready to get more intimate with bae, put these tips to use and watch your bond deepen in a beautiful way.



“We tend to underestimate the impact of phrases such as, ‘Thank you,’ and, ‘I really appreciate what you’ve done for me,'” Winter says. When your SO does something you’re grateful for, like buying you flowers or cleaning your room, let them know. After couples have been together for an extended period, it’s easy to forget to thank one another for small daily actions. But according to Winter, “kindness and appreciation are powerful aphrodisiacs.” You don’t have to make huge changes in your routine to make each other feel special — just express your love in little ways!



When you’re in a rut and your time together starts to feel monotonous, bring back a special memory you both share. “Break that cycle by randomly recreating your first date at home,” says Clarissa Silva, behavioral scientist. “Candles, rose petals, dinner, movie, anything that can recreate that first date.” Or, try reminiscing in the actual place you first went out together! Think back to that time when you were first getting to know one another, and when everything felt exciting and scary and new. You’ll both be able to look back with fondness and also to see how far your relationship has come.



If you’re both craving a weekend out of town, consider taking a vacation — maybe even a couple’s retreat. “Not only will you learn new skills for enhancing communication, managing conflict, a renewed sense of commitment to one another, and deepening intimacy. But you also have a built-in vacation filled with romantic settings, dinners, and relaxation,” Silva explains. Sometimes, getting out of your shared space and into a new location can help you feel rejuvenated and more in love.



Shula Melamed, relationship and well-being coach, says that couples who try new activities together end up happier in the long run. “Maybe sign up for a course or cause that requires that the two of you to learn, create, or show up for something you both can be passionate about,” she suggests. If you have a shared love for something, it’ll bring you closer together, and it also gives you something fresh to talk about. Doing good for the world and doing good for your relationship? It’s a win-win.



No matter what you do, the most important thing is that you’re enjoying each other’s company. “Couples who play and explore with each other report higher relationship satisfaction,” Melamed says. “So the ‘work’ that goes into maintaining long-term committed relationships might be more depended on ‘play.’” The human brain responds positively to new experiences, so the more creative you can be, the more fun you’ll have together. Try to make a habit of trying something new together at least once per month! This helps you build a bank of shared memories together that will keep the romance alive.

Try to remember that even on days when you feel bored or out of touch with each other, you both chose this relationship for a reason. When you can reframe your brain to remind yourself, “I choose you,” you’ll be more thankful for your partner and more confident in your love. And at the end of the day, a box of chocolates and bouquet of roses never hurt anyone… so get cheesy with it and have a little fun.

Here’s How To Determine Exactly What You Want In A Relationship

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Image by Trinette Reed / Stocksy
In her new book Joy From Fear: Create the Life of Your Dreams by Making Fear Your Friend, clinical psychologist Carla Marie Manly, Ph.D., distinguishes between destructive fear and constructive fear. The former is the kind that immobilizes you and keeps you trapped in a stagnant or reactive way of living; the latter involves acknowledging your driving inner needs and using that knowledge as a catalyst for change, adaptation, and growth. We love the way Dr. Manly applies this dual understanding of fear to our relationships. In this excerpt, she guides us through how to get real about what we’re seeking when we connect with others and how to shift relationships bound by fear.

The essential qualities that are prized by some may not be prized by others. By acknowledging this truth, an objective and honest attitude can be maintained; different people will simply value different things. Destructive fear might want you to have a black-and-white mindset geared toward believing that there is one “right” list of essential qualities. It might also tempt you into believing that it’s not important to know or understand one’s essential qualities. Constructive fear would say, “A few key values such as integrity, honesty, respect, and kindness are essential for any true relationship. Beyond such basics, let your wise self be your guide. A vital element of self-awareness is the nonjudgmental knowing and cherishing of what is important to you. In this way, you can understand and honor what you find essential. Without self-awareness, you are constricted and bound by the beliefs you unconsciously adopted throughout life—going whatever way you might be led. Through self-reflection, you gain awareness of your own personal values and needs.” Armed with the wisdom of self-awareness, you can then take actions that lead you closer to your values. In this way, you evolve consciously, moving ever forward with the power of transformational fear.

The first step, then, is to generate awareness of one’s unique conception of essential qualities. As an individual becomes more self-aware, a personal “list” of essential qualities can be used both to form and to guide relationships. A firm understanding of one’s essential qualities allows for the open and honest communication of these essential needs to others. The more important the relationship is, the more critical it is to have a meeting of the minds and spirits on the necessary qualities for that relationship; when a relationship is more peripheral or less significant, there is often greater leeway. When it comes to core, true relationships, these precious connections tend to thrive when both individuals value and offer the same essential qualities. When one person lacks a quality that the other person finds absolutely essential, the relationship often suffers. When many key qualities are missing, disaster often results.

What is a “relationship,” anyway?

Image by Trinette Reed / Stocksy

The word relationship carries many connotations—it means different things to different people. Therefore, it is often helpful to look at the roots of a word to regain a true and deeper sense of the original meaning. The “-ship” portion of the word relationshipindicates a state or condition, whereas “relate” stems from the Latin re, which means “back or again,” coupled with lātus, which means “borne, carried, or endured.” As such, it may be that a relationship is a state where those involved return to each other to bear, carry, and endure. This interpretation resonates with me deeply, for society uses the word “relationship” so loosely that it can become almost meaningless. Like the word “friend,” the word “relationship” has come to include those to whom we feel little or no trusting connection. Yet people are somehow surprised and left wondering what is “wrong” when a sense of trust or bonded intimacy is missing. They find themselves confused, hurt, and angry when disrespected and even betrayed.

What is missing—what has gone awry—is that many “relationships” do not involve bearing, carrying, and enduring the journey of life. Far too many relationships do well in good times and when immediate needs for companionship, sex, fun, or money are being met, but when it comes to weathering life’s truths, challenges, and deepening intimacy, the relationship has little or no strength. These generally superficial associations, which are often mere infatuations or connections of convenience, lack the essential elements that allow for bonded, lasting love. Many such connections are consciously or unconsciously built on the theme of “I’ll use you just as much as you use me.” Sadly, such situations are the breeding grounds of destructive fear—they perpetuate negative behaviors and throw mud on the concept of loving connection and growth. Indeed, a “relationship” formed or continued on a lack of integrity—disrespect, dishonesty, manipulation, and the like—is not a true relationship. “Convenienceships” is the term I have coined for such connections.

Here’s how to determine your “essential qualities” for true relationships.

These next exercises may be challenging, for they require substantial introspection, self-honesty, and nonjudgment. Allow yourself to proceed with a patient, gentle attitude. Remember that it is normal to feel uncomfortable at times in the course of self-reflection, yet as with any self-exploration, objective honesty is essential. When you are open to gentle reflection on your old patterns and ways of being, the strong arm of destructive fear has no choice but to slowly release its grip. Indeed, our most amazing improvements come as a result of noticing and attending to the areas where destructive fear has silently grown and festered. Now is your opportunity to shine conscious awareness and healing light into this area of your life. Listen for the friendly, nonjudgmental voice of constructive fear; let this voice be your guide and ally as you move into another realm of transformation.

As with every exercise, make certain that you are in a safe and relaxed environment and that you feel psychologically ready to proceed. With your notebook and pen by your side, take a deep breath. If you feel destructive fear stepping in at any time, simply notice that it is present. When you are ready to proceed without judgment, allow yourself to envision the idea of a true relationship. Close your eyes if it is helpful. Imagine every quality that is important to you in a true relationship. When you are finished, open your eyes. Make a list of the qualities you noticed; your list can be as exhaustive as you desire. When you have finished your list, pause to breathe.

In this next segment, place an E (to signify “essential”) next to every item that is essential to you; these are the traits that you find absolutely nonnegotiable in your true relationships. For example, a short list might read: integrous, honest, loyal, generous, playful, loving, tolerant, fun-loving, creative, respectful, kind, and tender. You may find yourself marking every quality on the list with an E. You may, however, find that you are led to mark relatively few items with an E. Allow the process to unfold without judgment. When you have finished, pause to breathe. The items marked with an E constitute your list of essential qualities. Make notes of any thoughts that come to mind. Breathe.

In this next phase, take a fresh look at your complete list of qualities—your personal outline of the qualities you find important for a true relationship. Pause to breathe. Then place an O (signifying “personal ownership”) next to every quality that is something you embrace and honor in your own life. Remember, you don’t have to be perfect in embodying these qualities—what is vital is that you honor your essential qualities and strive to hone them in your life. Destructive fear might step in with criticism or judgment; simply notice if it does. Allow constructive fear to guide you into honestly evaluating the characteristics that you actively strive to treasure and embody. When you have finished, pause to breathe.

Next, take objective notice of the items that have both an E and an O. Take note of those items that only have an O and no E or vice versa. For example, for an individual who values and embodies honesty as an essential trait, an E and an O would both appear. Yet even an exceedingly honest person may not demand honesty in relationships; in such a case, only an O would appear next to the word honest. On the other hand, an individual may demand honesty from others yet may not be honest in relationships with others and with the self. In this instance, only an E would appear next to the word honest. Once you have reviewed your E and O markings, pause to breathe. Make notes of any thoughts that come to mind. Breathe again.

In this next step, simply make a separate list of your essential qualities. Every item marked with an E will become part of this list. In the course of completing the above exercises, you may notice that you want to add or delete items from this list. Feel free to make any changes you find important. Ultimately, you will have a list—short or long—of your essential qualities. This list has the potential to be a most vital guide and ally in your life.

Finally, prepare to ask yourself five important questions with clarity and honesty. If destructive fear steps in with judgment or criticism, simply notice its presence. If discomfort, irritation, or other feelings arise, allow yourself to notice the feelings. Allow yourself to feel the kind, gentle wisdom of constructive fear. Allow yourself to remember that constructive fear wants to help you obtain wellness, fulfillment, peace, and joy. Pause to breathe. Now, ask yourself these five questions:

  1. Am I searching for qualities in another person that I do not have within myself?
  2. If so, am I willing to do the work necessary to engender these qualities in myself?
  3. Am I accepting a relationship with someone who does not have the qualities I find essential?
  4. If so, am I willing to talk to this person about my needs with honesty and dignity?
  5. If the other person is unwilling or unable to honor my essential needs, am I willing to walk away?

Write out your responses to each question. You need to do nothing but allow yourself to process your responses at your own pace. Pause to breathe. You are doing excellent work. Well done.

Adapted from Joy From Fear: Create the Life of Your Dreams by Making Fear Your Friend by Carla Marie Manly, Ph.D., Reprinted with permission.

Don’t Settle Down Until You Find Someone As Weird As You

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Don't Settle Down Until You Find Someone As Weird As You

Don’t settle for someone who is always nudging you to be quiet, someone who rolls their eyes at your jokes, someone who wishes you would take life more seriously.

Don’t settle for someone who makes you feel bad about being yourself, someone who acts like your interests are immature, someone who does not see the value in the way you are able to go with the flow.

Don’t settle for someone who expects you to tone yourself down out in public, someone who gives you a set of rules over how you are meant to behave, someone who tries to smother the real youunderneath a picture perfect version.

Don’t settle for someone who makes you feel bad about being a weirdo. Date someone who matches your weirdness, who encourages it, who loves you exactly the way you are.

Date someone who admires the fact you are a kid at heart. Date someone who gets your jokes, someone who appreciates the way you make them laugh even in the most inappropriate situations. Date someone who would never change your weirdness because it’s one of the many reasons they’ve fallen in love with you.

Date someone who will build pillow forts and sandcastles and Sim houses with you. Date someone who will come up with their own nonsense words to replace honey and love and sex. Date someone who makes weird jokes, makes weird noises, makes weird movements without a real reason.

Date someone who isn’t afraid of looking like a complete idiot in front of you — and likes you best when you are looking like a complete idiot in front of them.

Don’t settle for someone who wants you to act prim and proper all the time. Don’t settle for someone who teases you about how childish you are. Don’t settle for someone who thinks being a mature adult means being bland and boring.

Your forever person is not going to bat an eye when you act like a complete weirdo. They are going to get used to your quirks. They are going to understand the way you tick. Even better, they are going to fall in love with your weirdness. They are not going to want you to act normal. They are going to appreciate how utterly, shamelessly strange you are. They are going to be relieved they found someone who is authentic, someone who is unafraid of embracing their true self.

Don’t settle for someone you have to put on an act around. Don’t settle for someone who makes you feel like you have to hold back your weirdness in order to be accepted. Don’t settle for someone who wants a cardboard version of you instead of the real deal.

Don’t settle until you find someone who considers your oddities adorable, someone who laughs along with you, someone who makes you feel accepted. Don’t settle until you find someone you don’t have to worry about scaring away because they are as big a weirdo as you are.

What To Know If You’re Dating Someone With Depression

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The helplessness of watching someone you care about experience dark thought patterns, hold themselves in such a negative light and often distance themselves from you can, in turn, make you feel like you’re not good enough.

I mean, you might be an absolute berk, but if you care enough to read this then chances are it’s really not you and it’s really not them; it’s their depression.

‘I was with my ex boyfriend when I got diagnosed with depression and anxiety,’ Sarah* tells Metro.co.uk. ‘At first, he was supportive and helped me to research mental health, treatment, and counselling. This was new for both of us so we were both struggling to understand what was happening.

‘However, within a few weeks he didn’t understand why I wasn’t doing ‘better’, because I’d started taking medication and had had a few weeks away from work.

‘He didn’t seem to understand me when I told him I wasn’t able to get out of bed, how I couldn’t even shower some days, and how I felt so low.

‘His messages of support and love soon felt hollow and were replaced with emotional blackmail; HE needed me. HE was lonely. HE felt abandoned.

‘I had to break up with him […] he was making me feel 100% worse. It was probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make.’ If you’re currently with someone who’s depressed, you might be able to relate to Sarah’s ex-boyfriend.

It’s easy (and understandable, so try not to feel like a crappy partner if this applies to you) to blame yourself for your other half’s mental health struggles, or to get cranky about how they ‘put on a show’ for everyone else, and then with you they’re always silent, retreating to bed or simply not engaging.

Chris* told me that before he knew his girlfriend was depressed, he was convinced she was always annoyed at him and that he was letting her down. (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk) ‘But as soon as she told me that she’d started to take antidepressants I realised that she wasn’t being moody, she was ill,’

Chris says. ‘She wasn’t locking herself up in our room because she hated me, it’s because she needed time to herself because her depression was flaring up.’ Look, depression has a different effect on everyone unfortunate enough to be encased in it. I cannot in any way speak for everyone suffering, but as someone who has been very ill with it before I can say that from my experience, depression makes you fairly self involved; it doesn’t occur to you that your partner or friend may be wondering how they can help, or be feeling like you’re shutting them out.

It would never cross your mind that anyone else is interested in why you’re feeling or behaving a certain way. When it was at its worst for me, depression essentially turned me into a narcissistic teenager, oblivious of anyone else. So don’t be afraid to ask your partner questions, because they’re unlikely to present any answers to you unprompted. Sandra Dean from Counselling Directory agrees: ‘For example, if it seems that your partner is making more of a problem of something than you think necessary (referred to as catastrophising), instead of saying “I think you’re overreacting”, ask why they feel the way they do about it. ‘Someone [with depression] can over-think things or may need more time to do things, or seem confused. ‘If you take time to ask questions, you can learn to empathise and thus help them to be themselves, and not worried to show or tell you what they are going through. ‘Acceptance is key in any relationship, so if you can both be yourselves and if you are compatible, there can be a lot of fun to be had. Look for compatibility as you would with any person.’ How your partner is feeling is in no way under your control, and is unlikely to be your fault (if you’re reading this piece then all evidence suggests you do actually care, bless your heart). MORE: HEALTH What is binge eating disorder? Three best friends pose together in their underwear to celebrate their stoma bags Disabled woman risks her life by doing yoga Obviously every couple is different – as is every experience of depression – but a good place to start is to do your own research into depression and mental health, and to take Sandra’s advice, I’d say. Simply asking someone what they need from you or how you can support them can make a huge difference, as can a heads up from your partner if they’re feeling far from 10/10. ‘I do struggle with my girlfriend’s depression,’ says Chris. ‘It’s stressful not knowing who I’m coming home to. ‘I told her this and we talked about having some kind of signal, so she started to use a raincloud emoji when she was feeling her worst and cancelling on plans, or to symbolise in advance that she would be in bed when I got home. ‘It’s such a small thing but it’s made it a little easier to manage for both of us.’ The poo emoji will probably work just as well. What works for Chris and his girlfriend won’t work for every couple, but it all ultimately comes down to compatibility, as Sandra highlights. If you’re prepared to learn about the condition and empathise with your partner’s struggles – as, say, you would if they were suffering from a broken rib – then evidence suggests you guys will be ok.


Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2019/03/02/know-dating-someone-depression-8792369/?ito=cbshare

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MetroUK | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetroUK/

11 Lies About Love

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It was in counseling that Stephanie realized another significant impact of her abusive marriage. She thought that getting away from her husband would be enough to free her, but her mind was still trapped. He said abusive things like, “You are a fool,” “You can’t do anything right,” and “You are worthless,” she now repeated in her head. Worse yet, her perception of love radically changed.

She now saw love as dangerous, confining, and vulnerable, yet she longed to be loved again. The roots of her poor perception of love were not just the result of an abusive marriage, it also stemmed from her childhood. Her alcoholic mother never attached to her so Stephanie was constantly looking for love from all the wrong people. This left her susceptible to an abusive husband.

Unfortunately, Stephanie had twisted definitions of love born out of dysfunctional parenting and an abusive marriage. These erroneous perceptions of love did significant damage to her and her relationships. Some of the lies may even be hidden in seemingly innocent remarks. So Stephanie decided to write out the lies that cause the destruction of a loving relationship.

  1. “I’ll show you love when you do what I ask.” Lie: Love is conditional.Lasting love is not based on a person’s performance. Rather, it is grounded in seeing the best in someone despite what they may do. But this doesn’t mean that abusive behavior should be tolerated. Boundaries can be established for safety and a person can be loved from a distance without it being conditional.
  2. “If I didn’t love you, I won’t be so mean.” Lie: Love is cruel. Truth can be spoken in a kind and non-hurtful manner without damaging a person’s ego, generating fear, or destroying an image. A person in a truly loving relationship should experience more thoughtfulness, compassion, and kindness than a friend or stranger might receive.
  3. “If you love me you will do it now.” Lie: Love is impatient. Demanding immediate compliance, being intolerant of other’s timing, or getting annoyed/irritated by another person is not love. Not everyone has the same pace in life. Loving someone means being tolerant of the person’s speed which is usually determined by personality, trauma, and motivation.
  4. “You love the kids more than me.” Lie: Love is jealous. Comparing love for one person over another is dangerous. The love a parent feels for a child is not the same as the love for a friend, spouse, parent, or even pet. Each has different weights and significance. Accepting love from a person means finding satisfaction in their ability to express it without jealous demands.
  5. “When you show me love, I’ll show it back.” Lie: Love itemizes. Keeping a record of rights vs. wrongs in a relationship does not show love. Rather, it places the relationship on a ledger where a person constantly has to prove their value in comparison to another. This wears a person out and exhausts the relationship.
  6. “It doesn’t matter if you feel loved, it matters how I feel.” Lie: Love is selfish. In the ‘it’s all about me’ culture, the concept that love is not self-focused but other-focused is lost. Too often it is about what a person gets from a relationship not about what a person gives to the relationship that becomes the emphasis. This hinders the free expression of love.
  7. “You HAVE to love me!” Lie: Love is forceful. No one has to do anything. A person should have the freedom to choose to love and not feel it is an obligation. Mandating love limits the power of love to work in life and relationship. When forced, it becomes a destructive weapon that can leave a permanent scar.
  8. “I love you more than anyone else could.” Lie: Love brags. Anytime a person says this statement, it is more about the insecurity of the person speaking than the value of the person receiving the comment. This is designed to ‘put a person in their place’ as a form of unnatural submission. A person who loves someone a lot has no need to brag, their actions speak far louder than words.
  9. “If you love me you won’t brush your teeth that way.” Lie: Love nick-picks. On any given day, there are probably 1,000 things that a person can do in an annoying fashion. Focusing on these small items and demanding change is not loving the person for whom they are. True love overlooks the small infractions and sees the larger picture of a person’s character.
  10. “No one can love you because of what you have done (or who you really are).” Lie: Love is resentful. The saddest of the lies is the one which displays long-standing resentment and hurt. Granted there are some issues that may end a relationship but that doesn’t mean there needs to be bitterness going forward. If the relationship is to survive the pain, then the anger must be released, or it will cause its own end.
  11. “I’m going to leave because you don’t love me.” Lie: Love quits. Real love does not give up on another person. However, it might set safe boundaries to keep from getting hurt again in the future. Not giving up on a person means hopefulness remains regardless of the circumstances.

Most of these statements don’t arise when the conversation is normal and functioning. Rather, they tend to surface during a confrontation. It is when a person is under pressure that the true nature of their character and misguided beliefs about love are revealed.

What Women Find The Most Attractive In Men, According To Science

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Straight men have pondered the answer to this not-so-simple question since the beginning of time: what do women want? The answer will not be found in a Mel Gibson rom-com, but it might be lurking in a research paper.

Science is doing its best to solve the age-old puzzle of the female brain. Scores of experiments have attempted to name things women find attractive in men, with varying degrees of success. The studies are often small, and rely on iffy self-reported feelings for results, but at worst they provide food for thought, and at best they offer real insight that could take you from dud to Don Juan.

Here are six science-backed traits that women find irresistible.

Good Looks, But Only Sometimes

Take the abs of Matthew McConaughey, the biceps of Chris Hemsworth, and the flowing locks of young Brad Pitt, and you have the perfect man – right? Physical attractiveness can be a factor, but it’s not as important as you might think. Study after study after study has confirmed that while women choose better looking guys for flings, they fall for other qualities for long-term relationships.

A Sense Of Humour

Ask a woman what she like in her partner and she’ll almost always say “He makes me laugh.” It’s not news that ladies love a man who can tickle their funny bone, but science helps explain why. One study found that a good sense of humour is sexually attractive because it reveals intelligence, creativity, and other ‘good genes’ or ‘good parent’ traits.

A Furry Friend

No, it’s not just a stereotype – women really do love men with dogs. Studies suggest that dogs facilitate social interaction between humans. Another experiment found that dog ownership can increase the long-term attractiveness of men, as it indicates the ability to nurture and suggests tendencies for relationship commitment.


Time to brush up on your CPR and sky-diving skills. A studyconfirmed the prediction that women would prefer physical risk-takers (brave, athletic, fit) over risk-avoiders as long-term mates, but only if the risk was taken during an altruistic act. Another experiment discovered that modern risks are considered unattractive for either sex, while risks that harken back to our hunter-gather history are attractive when undertaken by men.


study published in The Journal of Social Psychology observed that both males and females significantly preferred altruistic mates for long-term relationships, and the size of this preference was greater than for other traits in mate choice. Women are especially likely to choose a mate based on his tendency for prosocial behaviour.

Wearing Red

Last but not least, one that doesn’t require a complete personality overhaul or the commitment of owning a pet: wearing red can make you more attractive to women, according to research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. A man sporting the vibrant hue is perceived as better looking, more sexually desirable, and higher status.

5 Times It’s OK to Take a Break From Your Partner

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GIC / Stocksy United

When you first start dating—or you first get married—it ’s totally natural to have this shared energy, this idea that you want to take on the world as a team. And you should! One of the best parts of being in a committed relationship is having someone to support you, to help you, and be on your side. But that understanding can sometimes lead to a pressure—to this idea that you and your partner should always be together. And that’s not the case.

Independence is great for a relationship. Not just in the sense that you should have your own hobbies in your own friends, but also because sometimes you just need a break from your partner. That’s OK—in fact, taking a little time out occasionally can keep your relationship happy and healthy. When we talk about breaks, that doesn’t mean you need to move out for a week, it can be as simple as taking a bath, going for a walk and a coffee on your own, or a weekend away with other people who are important to you.

Does the idea of taking some time for yourself make you feel guilty? Here are some of the times when it’s definitely OK to take a little breather, because taking some time apart can actually make you so much stronger together.

When You Feel Like You’re Losing Your Sense of Self

One big sign that you should take a break from your partner is that you feel like you’re losing grip on who you are. Maybe you’ve been doing lots of coupley things or only spending time with theirpeople. Maybe you’ve been at home with kids or you’ve been focused on how stressed out their job is and trying to help. If you ever find that your needs have been completely shifted to one side and you feel like you’re just part of a couple—rather than a person—you need a break. Taking one afternoon a weekend for yoga and coffee with friends will do the trick or maybe you need to just go away for a few days and get back in touch with what you want. Reclaiming your sense of self now can make your relationship so much better in the long run.

When Someone You Care About Needs You

Even though your relationship with your partner may be the primary relationship in your life, it’s not the only relationship. It’s so important to nurture and maintain relationships with other people, whether that’s your close friends or your family. So if someone needs you—if you have a sick relative, if you have a friend who’s struggling—taking a few days to be there for them is totally acceptable. When you’re in a relationship, especially a marriage, it’s easy to let all of these other relationships fade into the background, but keeping them alive helps make you a stronger, more well-rounded person.

When You’re Getting on Each Other’s Nerves

No, you’re not imagining it—sometimes your partner is really, really annoying. You know why? Because sometimes everyone on the planet is really, really annoying. A good sign that you and your partner need a little more space is if you’re starting to find each other irritating or difficult. Spending too much time together can mean you start seeing all of the tiny, nit-picky things that are wrong with each other and you stop seeing why you love each other so much in the first place. Either find more time in the course of your normal schedule to take breaks from each other or decide to take a weekend with friends and reset. They’ll seem a lot less annoying when you get back.

When You’re Questioning the Relationship

Occasionally, we start to question our relationship completely. Now, sometimes this is just a totally normal, momentary worry—something that you shouldn’t stress about. But if you find yourself constantly questioning the relationship and really wondering if it’s the right relationship for you, then you may need to take a break. If you’re spending lots of time with your partner, you can’t get the perspective that you need to decide whether or not the relationship is actually working. Taking some time away will let you approach the issue with a clear head.


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When You’re In a Stalemate

Sometimes, you hit a relationship roadblock that it can feel impossible to move past. Maybe one of you has an opportunity for a new job that means moving to a different city—and you’re split on whether or not to take it. Maybe you’ve reached a disagreement in wedding planning that you can’t seem to move past. If you’re having the same argument over and over and not getting anywhere, call a timeout. Take some space from each other to really consider the issue—from the other person’s point of view as well as your own—and then come back together. You need to start the conversation afresh for it to be constructive.

Taking a break from your partner doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Sometimes, there may be a big issue at play—like questioning your relationship—but sometimes you may just need a break because you’ve been spending too much time together or you’re missing your friends. If your relationship is strong, then taking little breaks is just a way to come back even stronger, with each partner feeling more in touch with themselves and what they care about. Don’t be afraid to make sure both of your needs are being met—because two happy people make a happy relationship.


You Are Strong For Leaving Him

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Should you have walked away from him sooner? Probably. Did he deserve all the sweet things you did for him, all of the cute texts and passionate kisses and second chances? Probably not.

However, since you cannot turn back time, since you cannot talk sense into the younger version of yourself, you should stop thinking about how much time he wasted on him. Instead, think about how much time you are saving yourself now that you are through with him.

Screw the passive aggressive friends who say I told you so and it’s about time when you break up instead of giving you their support. You don’t have to justify yourself to them. You don’t have to explain how you were blinded by love or how you didn’t have anywhere else to go or how you didn’t think you would be able to live without him. It doesn’t matter. It’s over now.

You should stop being embarrassed about how long you dealt with his bullshit. You should stop calling yourself an idiot for not seeing the signs sooner. You should stop criticizing yourself for making mistakes in the past and start congratulating yourself for waking up.

You could have stayed trapped with him for much longer. You could have wasted another month, year, or decade of your life with him. You should be proud of yourself for getting away. You should be proud of yourself for realizing you deserve more. Not everyone has as much strength as you — and don’t you dare shake your head. Don’t you dare argue about being called strong.

It doesn’t matter how many times you forgave him for cheating or lying or screaming. It doesn’t matter if there were times when you sobbed your eyes out over him and begged him not to leave. It doesn’t matter if your love for him made you feel weak, if it made you do things you are not proud of doing.

Despite what happened before, you are strong for living without him now. You are strong for deciding you have had enough of him. You are strong for surviving this heartbreak — even if you still cry over missing him, even if you are still tempted to text him, even if you feel lost without him. You are strong.

You cannot keep moping over how much time you wasted with him. You have to make the most of your time without him.

You should also recognize your time was not completely wasted because you learned from him. You learned you should not put your whole heart and soul into a relationship where you are the only one giving. You learned you should listen to your head over your heart when they are pulling you in separate directions.

You learned you should raise your standards and your expectations for how you should be treated in a relationship. You learned you are better off loving yourself than chasing someone else in the hopes they will love you. Most importantly, you learned you deserve respect.


Love someone who uninstalls their dating apps as soon as your relationship turns official, not someone who keeps backup plans around in case you break up, someone who already has an exit plan because they are assuming your relationship is going to end sometime soon. Love someone who casually asks you to grab their phone…

via Love Someone Loyal — Thought Catalog

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