6 Healthy Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Toxic

Written by Mark Manson

1. LETTING SOME CONFLICTS GO UNRESOLVED

There’s this guy. His name is John Gottman. And he is like the Michael Jordan of relationship research. Not only has he been studying intimate relationships for more than 40 years, but he practically invented the field.

Gottman devised the process of “thin-slicing” relationships, a technique where he hooks couples up to all sorts of biometric devices and then records them having short conversations about their problems. Gottman then goes back and analyzes the conversation frame by frame looking at biometric data, body language, tonality and specific words chosen. He then combines all of this data together to predict whether your marriage sucks or not.

His “thin-slicing” process boasts a staggering 91% success rate in predicting whether newly-wed couples will divorce within 10 years — a staggeringly high result for any psychological research. His method went on to be featured in Malcolm Gladwell’s bestselling book Blink. Gottman’s seminars also report a 50% higher success rate of saving troubled marriages than traditional marriage counseling. His research papers have won enough academic awards to fill the state of Delaware. And he’s written nine books on the subjects of intimate relationships, marital therapy and the science of trust.

The point is, when it comes to understanding what makes long-term relationships succeed, John Gottman will slam-dunk in your face and then sneer at you afterwards.

And the first thing Gottman says in almost all of his books is this: The idea that couples must communicate and resolve all of their problems is a myth.

In his research of thousands of happily married couples, some of whom have been married for 40+ years, he found time and again that most successful couples have persistent unresolved issues, unresolved issues that they’ve sometimes been fighting about for decades. Meanwhile many of the unsuccessful couples insisted on resolving fucking everything because they believed that there should be a void of disagreement between them. Pretty soon there was a void of a relationship too.

People like to fantasize about “true love.” But if there is such a thing, it requires us to sometimes accept things we don’t like.

Successful couples accept and understand that some conflict is inevitable, that there will always be certain things they don’t like about their partners or things they don’t agree with, and that this is fine. You shouldn’t need to feel the need to change somebody in order to love them. And you shouldn’t let some disagreements get in the way of what is otherwise a happy and healthy relationship.

The truth is, trying to resolve a conflict can sometimes create more problems than it fixes. Some battles are simply not worth fighting. And sometimes the most optimal relationship strategy is one of “live and let live.”

2. BEING WILLING TO HURT EACH OTHER’S FEELINGS

My girlfriend is one of those women who spends a lot of time in front of the mirror. She loves to look amazing and I love for her to look amazing too (obviously).

Nights before we go out, she always comes out of the bathroom after an hour-long make-up/hair/clothes/whatever-women-do-in-there session and asks me how she looks. She’s usually gorgeous. But every once in a while, she looks bad. She tried to do something new with her hair or decided to wear a pair of boots that some flamboyant fashion designer from Milan thought were avant-garde. And it just doesn’t work.

When I tell her this, she usually gets pissed off. And as she marches back into the closet to redo everything and make us 30 minutes late, she spouts a bunch of four-letter words and sometimes even slings a few of them at me.

Men stereotypically lie in this situation to make their girlfriends/wives happy. But I don’t. Why? Because honesty in my relationship is more important to me than feeling good all of the time. The last person I should ever have to censor myself with is the woman I love.

Fortunately, I date a woman who agrees. She calls me out on my bullshit sometimes, and it’s honestly one of the most important traits she offers me as a partner. Sure, my ego gets bruised and I bitch and complain and try to argue, but a few hours later I come sulking back and admit that she was right and holy crap she makes me a better person even though I hated hearing it at the time.

When our highest priority is to always make ourselves feel good, or to always make our partner feel good, then nobody ends up feeling good. And our relationships fall apart without us even knowing it.

It’s important to make something more important in your relationship than merely making each other feel good all of the time. The feel good stuff happens when you get the other stuff right. The sunsets and puppies, they happen when you get the more important stuff right: values, needs and trust.

If I feel smothered and need more time alone, I need to be capable of saying that without blaming her and she needs to be capable of hearing it without blaming me, despite the unpleasant feelings it may cause. If she feels that I’m cold and unresponsive to her, she needs to be capable of saying it without blaming me and I need to be capable of hearing it without blaming her, despite the unpleasant feelings it may generate.

These conversations are paramount to maintaining a healthy relationship that meets both people’s needs. With out them, we get lost and lose track of one another.

3. BEING WILLING TO END IT

Romantic sacrifice is idealized in our culture. Show me almost any romantic movie and I’ll show you a desperate and needy character who treats themselves like dog shit for the sake of being in love with someone.

The truth is our standards for what a “successful relationship” should be are pretty screwed up. If a relationship ends and someone’s not dead, then we view it as a failure, regardless of the emotional or practical circumstances present in the person’s lives. And that’s kind of insane.

Shut up and jump already.

Romeo and Juliet was originally written as satire to represent everything that’s wrong with young love and how irrational romantic beliefs can make you do stupid shit like drink poison because your parents don’t like some girl’s parents. But somehow we look at this story as romantic. It’s this kind of irrational idealization that leads people to stay with partners who are abusive or negligent, to give up on their own needs and identities, to make themselves into imaginary martyrs who are perpetually miserable, to suppress their own pain and suffering in the name of maintaining a relationship “until death do us part.”

Sometimes the only thing that can make a relationship successful is ending it at the appropriate time, before it becomes too damaging. And the willingness to do that allows us to establish the necessary boundaries to help ourselves and our partner grow together.

“Shoot myself to love you; if I loved myself I’d be shooting you.”

– Marilyn Manson

“Until death do us part” is romantic and everything, but when we worship our relationship as something more important than ourselves, our values, our needs and everything else in our lives, we create a sick dynamic where there’s no accountability. We have no reason to work on ourselves and grow because our partner has to be there no matter what. And our partner has no reason to work on themselves and grow because we’re going to be there no matter what. It invites stagnation and stagnation equals misery.

4. FEELING ATTRACTION FOR PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE RELATIONSHIP

Our cultural scripts for romance includes this sort of mental tyranny, where any mildly emotional or sexual thought not involving your partner amounts to high treason. Being in love is like a cult where you’re supposed to prefer drinking Kool Aid laced with cyanide to letting your thoughts wander to whether other religions may be true too.

As much as we’d like to believe that we only have eyes for our partner, biology says otherwise. Once we get past the honeymoon phase of starry eyes and oxytocin, the novelty of our partner wears off a bit. And unfortunately, human sexuality is partially wired around novelty. I get emails all the time from people in happy marriages/relationships who get blindsided by finding someone else attractive and they feel like horrible, horrible people because of it. Not only are we capable of finding multiple people attractive and interesting at the same time, but it’s a biological inevitability.

What isn’t an inevitability are our choices to act on it or not. Most of us, most of the time, choose to not act on those thoughts. And like waves, they pass through us and leave us with our partner very much the same way how they found us.

This triggers a lot of guilt in some people and a lot of irrational jealousy in others. Our cultural scripts tell us that once we’re in love, that’s supposed to be it, end of story. And if someone flirts with us and we enjoy it, or if we catch ourselves having an occasional errant sexy-time fantasy, there must be something wrong with us or our relationship.

But that’s simply not the case. In fact, it’s healthier to allow oneself to experience these feelings and then let them go.

When you suppress these feelings, you give them power over you, you let them dictate your behavior for you (suppression) rather than dictating your behavior for yourself (feeling them and yet choosing not to do anything).

People who suppress these urges are the ones who are likely to eventually succumb to them and give in and suddenly find themselves screwing the secretary in the broom closet and having no idea how they got there and come to deeply regret it about twenty-two seconds afterward. People who suppress these urges are the ones who are likely to project them onto their partner and becoming blindingly jealous, attempting to control their partner’s every thought and whim, corralling all of their partner’s attention and affection onto themselves. People who suppress these urges are the ones who are likely to wake up one day disgruntled and frustrated with no conscious understanding of why, wondering where all of the days went and remember how in love we used to be?

Looking at attractive people is enjoyable. Speaking to attractive people is enjoyable. Thinking about attractive people is enjoyable. That’s not going to change because of our Facebook relationship status. And when you dampen these impulses towards other people, you dampen them towards your partner as well. You’re killing a part of yourself and it ultimately only comes back to harm your relationship.

When I meet a beautiful woman now, I enjoy it, as any man would. But it also reminds me why, out of all of the beautiful women I’ve ever met and dated, I chose to be with my girlfriend. I see in the attractive women everything my girlfriend has and most women lack. And while I appreciate the attention or even flirtation, the experience only strengthens my commitment. Attractiveness is common. But real intimacy is not.

When we commit to a person, we are not committing our thoughts, feelings or perceptions. We can’t control our own thoughts, feelings and perceptions the majority of the time, so how could we ever make that commitment?

What we control are our actions. And what we commit to that special person are our actions. Let everything else come and go, as it inevitably will.

5. SPENDING TIME APART

You see it all the time: the man who meets his girlfriend and stops playing basketball and hanging out with his friends, or the woman who suddenly decides she loves every comic book and video game her boyfriend likes even though she doesn’t know how to hold the XBox controller properly. We all have that friend who mysteriously ceased to exist as soon as they got into their relationship. And it’s troubling, not just for us but for them.

When we fall in love we develop irrational beliefs and desires. One of these desires is to allow our lives to be consumed by the person we’re infatuated with. This feels great. It’s intoxicating in much of the same way cocaine is intoxicating (no, really). The problem only arises when this actually happens.

The problem with allowing your identity to be consumed by a romantic relationship is that as you change to be closer to the person you love, you cease to be the person they fell in love with in the first place.

It’s important to occasionally get some distance from your partner, assert your independence, maintain some hobbies or interests that are just yours. Have some separate friends. Take an occasional trip somewhere by yourself. Remember what made you you and what drew you to your partner in the first place. Without this space, without this oxygen to breathe, the fire between the two of you will die out and what were once sparks will become only friction.

6. ACCEPTING YOUR PARTNER’S FLAWS

In his famous book The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera said there are two types of womanizers: 1) men who are looking for the perfect woman and can never find her, and 2) men who convince themselves that every woman they meet is already perfect.

I love this observation and believe it applies to not just womanizers, but just about anyone who consistently finds themselves in dysfunctional relationships. They either try to make their partner be perfect by “fixing” them or changing them. Or they delude themselves into thinking that their partner is already perfect.

This is one of those things that is not nearly as complicated as it feels. Let’s break it down:

  1. Every person has flaws and imperfections.
  2. You can’t ever force a person to change.
  3. Therefore: You must date somebody who has flaws you can live with or even appreciate.

The most accurate metric for your love of somebody is how you feel about their flaws. If you accept them and even adore some of their shortcomings — her obsessive cleanliness, his awkward social ticks — and they can accept and even adore some of your shortcomings, well, then that’s a sign of true intimacy.

One of the best expressions of this idea came from Plato in the form of a myth. In his Symposium, Plato wrote that humans were originally androgynous and whole. There were no men or women. They felt no lack, no uncertainty, and they were powerful, so powerful that they rose up and challenged the gods themselves.

This posed a problem for the gods. They didn’t want to completely wipe out the human race as they’d have no one to rule over. But at the same time they had to do something to humble and distract humanity.

So Zeus split them in half. He split each human into a man and a woman and doomed them to spend their brief mortal existence wandering the world looking for their other half, the half that would make them feel whole and powerful again. And this wholeness came not from two perfections meeting, but two imperfections meeting, two imperfections that both complemented and compensated for one another’s shortcomings.

The artist Alex Grey once said that, “True love is when two people’s pathologies complement one another’s.” Love is, by definition, crazy and irrational. And the best love works when our irrationalities complement one another and our flaws enamor one another.

It may be our perfections that attract one another. But it’s our imperfections that decide whether we stay together or not.

Thank you for this awesome article Mark Manson.

www.markmanson.com

How do you define Love?

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Tis’ the season to celebrate love. Every year when Valentine’s Day comes around, most of us focus on romantic love. But when you stop to think about it, there are many levels and types of love: I love my husband. I love my sister. I love my dog. I love my career. I love warm nights.

Although I’m using one word to describe my feeling toward all these objects, most people understand what I’m saying: I love my husband as my life and romantic partner; I love my sister, well, “as a sister,” (I trust her and share some of my deepest thoughts with her); my dog opens my heart; I enjoy my work, and warm nights make me feel relaxed and happy.

The Greeks had the good sense to break love into four levels: “storge” was kinship, “philia” was friendship, “eros,” sexual and romantic love, and finally divine love was known as “agape.”

They might interpret the sentence, “I love you but I’m not ‘in love‘ with you” to mean, “I feel philia toward you but not eros.”

But while the Greeks gave love four spots in the dictionary, this emotion was feared.  Both Plato and Socrates saw this emotion as, “Love is a serious mental disease,” and  “Love is a madness.” And it was the Greeks who coined the phrase, “lovesick.”

Love makes people do stupid things, dangerous things as well as magnanimus and bold things.

But what is love really? Because people define love differently, a common trap is for couples is to assume they are speaking about the same thing. And because people define love differently, they show it differently and have different expectations of what it should look and feel like. many, if not most, of the problems couples experience is a result of a miscommunicated love or a dashed expectation around love and connection.

Many of us show love in the ways we hope to receive love (the golden rule of doing unto others as you would have others do unto you) but this assumes your partner defines love the same way you. In fact, the couples who come in to see me for therapy have been missing the mark for years. By the time they come to therapy, they have had years of pain and hurtbecause they have made too many assumptions about love:

One wanted physical connection, the other wanted to go on a walk together; one wanted to buy gifts to show affection but the other would rather have had him or her do the dishes, pick up the dry cleaning or even put money into the savings account rather than spend it, because that’s their definition of love.

A book I often recommend to clients is Gary Chapman’s, 5 Love Languages, because the author does a great job of outlining the five areas people give and receive love. When you know what matters to you, you can ask for this from your partner.

The areas are as follows:

1. Words of Affirmation

2. Physical Touch

3. Acts of Service

4. Gifts

5. Quality Time

Are you making assumptions about what love means to your spouse or partner? One way you can tell is by checking your resentment levels. If they are high, ask yourself why.

When couples start speaking the same language, they begin to feel understood, acknowledged and appreciated. When couples stop making assumptions about what love means to their partner, they start having better conversations and they begin to relate more consciously.

Funny how something that seems so simple is actually quite complicated.

If your relationship is a bit rocky, use this article as a conversation starter this Valentine’s Day and see what happens. Do your best to understand your partner and you may be amazed to see that he or she tried harder to understand you.

Wishing you conscious & purposeful love today and every day!

 

To view original article please click here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/contemplating-divorce/201502/how-do-you-define-love

LoVe!

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Celebrities and Online Dating.

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Nicole Pajer of Yahoo recently talked with Toni Bergquist of The Agency, LLC about the “Do’s and Dont’s” of celebrity dating.

Toni’s excerpt:
But while Hollywood stars hopping on the online dating bandwagon is becoming a trend, some professional matchmakers advise against it. Toni Bergquist, founder/owner of matchmaking service, The Agency, LLC says she would never advise a celebrity client to meet a stranger via a service like Tinder or Match.com. “I think celebrities have enough issues with privacy. Their dating lives are scrutinized enough as it is with our culture and obsession with celebrity,” she explains. “Potential love interests should be screened thoroughly through a matchmaker or personal assistant or someone that celebs trust.”

The complete article can be read here.

What Divorce Taught me About Love.

The only way I can articulate what divorce feels like, for me, might sound harsh but in reality it’s just my truth. It’s like getting out of jail, half of my mind stays stuck in the past, believing I’m someone I’m not, believing that It’s not okay too dream.

It wasn’t anyone’s fault. We grew up together and we grew apart, and while we grew apart expressing how we felt became a battle we lost. It drove me to delve into the science behind love and why I would accept this behavior from someone who at one point always had my back, as I had his. But it takes two to tango, and in love and life you both have to be 100 percent in to make those small, very difficult changes in a relationship that had ended a long time ago. Maybe if we learned years ago we could have saved our marriage. But I’m glad we didn’t and here’s why.

This sentence someone once told me lived inside me, buried and repressed. It was something like this: No one will ever have enough love to give you Toni, you need too much. Why would I believe such bullshit and who says that? I got the very thing I was taught, I wanted to simply be loved and cherished, but so did he, and our issues from childhood eroded into our adult lives and we defined ourselves by who we thought we were. We built a self imposed jail and fought each other to get out. No one else to blame, I have a part, he has a part and that’s okay.

The more I let go of the things that broke my heart I realize my heart had been broken a very long time ago and never healed.  The irony is I live a life to help and serve others so we can live in a world where dreams do come true, I simply forgot those dreams apply to me too. Part of myself is processing and letting go of words or feelings that no longer serve me, it’s in that I had to forgive myself for all the mistakes I made that I felt made me unworthy of living my personal dreams.

The longer I live in the past the harder stepping out of my self imposed jail becomes and I’m tired of living there so day by day I am releasing all the words that I held onto in order to take in all the love, and amazing people that live in my heart and share my life. While I wasn’t looking one dream came true in the form of a beautiful young man who made me feel worshipped, and connected and adored. I’m pretty sure God sent him to me to believe in all the possibilities.

There are days that I feel so alive that simply running in the grass with my dogs or dancing and reading and writing and learning and growing, and dreaming fill my heart with a fire that I had lost. I’m learning to give into my dreams, and dream about the kind of love fairy tales are made of.

I built The Agency to help people I care about find real love, so I have seen the fairy tale come true enough to know we should all dream about the things that scare us. What an irony, to learn that everything I thought I knew about love and marriage was wrong, that there are conditions, love is not unconditional, a dear friend told me a while ago.

I’m excited, and I sometimes feel like a kid, looking at the moon laying on the grass at midnight, dreaming of a life that looks far different then it used to. It’s through life experience that we awaken or we die. I have to much to give to die so I’m going to dream, and I going to share and I am going to tell anyone who will listen (thank you Stephen).

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Romance is Like Alcohol

I had to repost Mark Manson’s awesome article! Enjoy. www.markmanson.net

Romance is like alcohol. It can heal and it can hurt. It can create joy and it can create pain. It’s often responsible for some of the best and some of the worst moments of your life. It can obscure a terrible idea into a brilliant one; it can distort a terrible person into a fate-filled lover.

Romance is like alcohol. It invents emotions out of thin air. It can create a mirage of love; it can intoxicate us with an imagined happiness. It can generate anger and jealousy where none is deserved. It can bestow sadness and heartbreak when nothing is lost. Romance is like alcohol. It feels really fucking good. Most of the time. But there’s usually a price to pay as soon as you sober up.

Romance is like alcohol in that it captivates us when we’re young. It intoxicates us and convinces us that what we’re experiencing is the only thing that is real, the only thing that matters. As we grow older and gain more experience, we learn to trust this feeling less and less, to understand that it comes and goes like anything else.

Romance is like alcohol — it can become an addiction, consuming us, destroying lives and ruining relationships with those closest to us. Some people can’t seem to get enough of it. They seek it out in the most unacceptable of places — their friend’s spouse, a young impressionable co-worker, or an ex that they can’t quite seem to let go of. They will lie, cheat, steal, and hurt others just to get one more fix of it, yet their behavior will always appear justified in their own mind.

Alcoholism : Dark portrait of a lonely and desperate drunk hispanic man

Romance is like alcohol. Make sure you are using it and it’s not using you. Moderation is key. Sometimes you need to inject a little of it to add some zest back into your love life. Sometimes you need it to grease the wheels of a stale, old relationship. Sometimes you need it to help celebrate life’s important moments more intensely. But be sure to never lose yourself in it.

Romance is like alcohol. None is healthier than too much. And a little is healthier than none.

Romance is like alcohol. If you refuse to take part in it, you’re probably a real bore at parties.

Romance is like alcohol in that it distorts time. A few seconds can feel like an eternity, while an entire weekend can disappear without any sense of what happened.

Romance is like alcohol: it makes you really horny. Sometimes so horny that you end up sleeping with someone you probably shouldn’t sleep with.

Romance is like religion. It can lead you into believing in some greater force that is either trying to save you or destroy you, but you’re never sure which. It convinces you of childish superstitions for the simple sake of explaining what appears to be unexplainable on the surface.

Romance is like religion in that most people prefer to go through the motions and create the appearance of it rather than truly living it. Most people, when confronted with it, become shy or embarrassed and feel undeserving of the joys it can offer.

Romance is like religion in that others will make fun of you if you do it too much in public. “Get a room!” they’ll shout. As if praying at the altar of your lover’s lips in the clear of day were some public offense.

Romance is like religion in that it’s completely illogical, but that doesn’t stop people from giving their lives over to it.

Romance is like science in that you need to fuck up a few times before you know how to get it right. Failure is part of the process. Or rather, it’s the whole point.

Romance is like science in that no matter how many times you try to verify the experience, you can never be completely sure what exactly happened or what went wrong. You can know for certain either who you’re with or the emotion occurring between the two of you, but never both at the same time.

Romance is like alcohol in that we sometimes need it to get outside of ourselves, to feel and live and breathe and let ourselves simply be with others. It’s a chemical tool to surmount our own flawed psychology. An evolutionary trick to bind the cultures and societies that make us.

When I was young, I didn’t believe in romance. I treated it the same way I treated Santa Claus or the tooth fairy — sweet sentimentality overriding people’s otherwise right minds.

As you can probably guess, I was lonely and single. And ironically, despite all my musings about what romance was or wasn’t, my ignorance of the subject left me completely defenseless for the emotional shitshow that was my first serious relationship. Despite my ardent opposition to what romance was or wasn’t, I remained enslaved to it for years without ever realizing it.

Because this is the funny thing about romance: sometimes it hurts. This is by design. Sometimes all of the petty drama — the broken plates and slammed doors and tearful screams and shattered cell phone screens — is just as intoxicating to us as the most beautiful sunset, or the most heartfelt kisses.

Water Color Girl With Red Hair

As I grew older and more experienced, in the same way I learned to hold my liquor, I learned to hold my heart. I learned that just because it feels good doesn’t mean it is good. Just because I want something doesn’t mean I should have it. Just because we say we love each other doesn’t mean we entirely understand what that love is.

I came to understand the power of my emotions in the same way I had come to understand alcohol or religion or science: as a tool.

And as a tool, emotions are actually neutral. Emotions can hurt us, and they can help us. They can make us better people and they can make us worse people. They can be used for good and for evil. They are a supplement to who we are, they do not define who we are.

And once I understood this, I understood what love really was and what it could be. Some greater thing, unaffected by the day-to-day gusts of my internal weathervane. Something so sturdy that it didn’t even matter if it sometimes felt bad.

I understood that I can make my emotions work for me, that they are the servant and I am their master, not the other way around. That they are not commandments as much as powerful recommendations. That just because I feel it, does not mean that it must be so.

I understood that romance is like alcohol, something to be used and enjoyed responsibly (and preferably not while driving). That it is a tool designed to make my life better, even at the risk of making it worse.

Because romance is like alcohol: sometimes you just want to go out and get drunk for a while.

Check out my post on Yourtango.com

10 Jaw-Dropping Secrets Matchmakers ONLY Tell Their Best Friends

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The Conditional Romance

You’re getting ready for your first date with that hot guy you meet the other day. You have to look your best so when he sees you his eyes pop out of his head and he’s literally speechless, leaving you giddy with laughter flipping your hair, awww how we love the validation.  The same goes for him although we act like we don’t know or recognize that men crave validation  (just not as often and in a different way, clearly).

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We start the very beginning phases of dating by looking at how our needs will be met, our needs, not theirs. So the checklist in most women’s mind goes something like this: did he compliment my looks, did he hold my hand, did I want him to hold my hand, did he open the car door, did he choose the right restaurant, can he hold a conversation, was he into me, how about the kiss? Me, me and me. How does this make me feel? Are my conditions being met yet? Is he good looking enough? Does he have a good job? Can I see myself marrying him? It’s the first date but yeah….you’ve pulled out your checklist to see if he is marriage material, yet you know very, very little about him. Sounds confusing.

What’s missing here? Oh how he feels! Do we consider how he feels when we go on a date? Does he consider how you feel? Obviously men have their own conditions, usually plenty of them as well. Is she pretty enough?  Is she funny? Can she hold a conversation? Does she come from a good family? Am I attracted to her? That’s the biggest clearly but it’s not enough. Then what are her flaws? I know she isn’t perfect.  Is she going to go crazy on me like my ex.  Conditions. I’m really picky because I’m fabulous? (Insecure perhaps too) Conditions.  Me, me, me…me. me.

Now, what if we were to date like this. We get ready and instead of thinking about what he or she can give you, maybe we can learn about each other – taking the conditions out so we can get to know each other, authentically. What if we learned to unlearn all the things we think are important and get to the core of what the potential is. To fall in love. Not with the person who matches your checklist, but with the person who warms your heart, holds you hand, makes you laugh, gives you butterflies, tells you their secrets and wants to know yours, who has your back, as you have theirs. It usually takes a while to get here, to this point where we know each other and accept each other. We jump through hurdles to get here, to gain trust that your lovers intentions are pure, leaving you free to be truly vulnerable.

So we’ve got it all wrong. We’re dating and painting a picture of a life we envision. If the picture doesn’t look like the one in our head we make way for a lot of excuses. There are some who overcome those and others that will stay single. Think about that picture…it ruins everything because that picture is supposed to come last, after you’ve fallen in love and built your life, that’s real life. The rest is the condition, the pretty picture that you’re standing in wondering what the fuck you’re doing.  Think about it before your next date.

Written by: Toni Bergquist

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About The Male Mind.

1. The male mind isn’t afraid of commitment  – It’s their associations with it

A lot of women I meet think that guys are inherently terrified of being with one person.

It’s not true. The only reason is because they associate it with losing their freedom, having sexual excitement, being able to pursue whatever they want.

The great news is, that these feelings are entirely within a woman’s control. If you appear needy and desperate to be serious with him, he’ll be terrified of taking the leap. This is just one reason guys run from relationships (if you want to delve more into the male psyche on this issue, read my piece on the 3 Secrets That Reveal Why He Won’t Commit…).

If you make him WANT to be with you long-term and show him that life will only get more fun when he does, committing to you will only excite him more.

2. Looks aren’t enough to keep the male mind attracted

Men aren’t as shallow as women think. Though a man might sleep with a woman for her looks, this by itself will never make him look at that girl as relationship-worthy.

3. Men are just as emotionally needy as women

Men like women want a certain amount of affection from a relationship. If they don’t feel like they’re getting it, they’ll be just as hurt as any woman would.

The difference is that men often express their affection in a more physical way than women.

4. Men are just as nervous about starting conversations as women

Believe us, men find it just as difficult to go and start conversations with people they are attracted to as women do. You can use this information to your advantage as a woman.

If starting up conversation yourself isn’t something you feel comfortable doing at first, your job is to make it as easy as possible for him to approach you.

5. Men’s self-esteem is highly wrapped up in their sexual ability

When men feel sexually rejected, they feel like less of a man.

Even with men in relationships who feel totally loved, if they don’t feel that their woman desires them sexually as much as they desire her, it hurts their pride in a way women can’t imagine.

6. The male mind isn’t good at game-playing

Men are pretty simple.

Women sometimes give them mixed signals and think they are “playing the game” when actually the man often takes it as a sign that she’s not at all interested and simply gives up.

7. The male mind craves VARIETY

Both in your relationships, dating and the bedroom, the male mind is turned on by doing different things.

8. Men are as insecure about rejection as women

The male ego is highly wrapped up in to how he perceives his performance with the opposite sex.

This is why it can take some men a while to pluck up the courage to ask you for a date, even if you think you’ve made it obvious that you want him to ask you out.

9. The male mind appreciates things more when they are earned

This is why men are completely turned off by desperate women. They feel like anyone else could have been in their place.

What they want to feel like is that they earned their place in your life.

That they have proved themselves worthy to having the keys to becoming a part of your already amazing life.

10. The male mind can be programmed with the right language

Men love turning women on. If you want a guy to change his behaviour in a relationship, instead of saying “Honey, I would really appreciate it if you did xxx.” try this instead: “It really turns me on when guys do xxx”.

This might sound trivial, but it’s amazing how much hoovering you can get guys to do once they think it turns you on!

When you get inside the male mind in this way, you’ll never be confused about why men act the way they do again.

REPOSTED: http://www.gettheguy.co.uk/male-psychology/about-the-male-mind/

10 Reasons Why You Should Always Tell Someone How You Feel About Them

truth

Originally posted on ThoughtCatalog.com – Author Rania Naim – If the response is what you were looking for — great! If it’s not, it’s still important to let someone know how you feel. Here’s why:

1. It sets you free. Even if the answer is not what you wanted, it sets you free from the questions, from the assumptions, from reading too much into things, from holding on to what ifs, from waiting for that text, or that kiss or that moment. It sets you free from your own expectations.

2. It’s easier to move on. It’s easier to get back to the routine of your single life. You feel better about going out or even dating other people without feeling bad that you might be disrespecting anyone’s feelings. You know now that you are totally available.

3. It prevents you from being strung along. If you were getting attached, it’s always better to say it sooner than later before you get more attached that it becomes harder to move on. You don’t want to be strung along for a long time only to find out that it’s going nowhere.

4. You deserve an answer. You deserve to know what’s going on, you owe it to yourself to know where you stand, and you deserve to ask questions without holding back because you deserve an answer – whatever it may be.

5. They deserve an explanation. They deserve to know too why you were acting weird or distant or why you were holding back and they deserve to know why you might not be the same if the answer is not what you wanted. If you care about them, they deserve to know the truth.

6. Life is too short to leave important words unsaid. You never know what tomorrow may bring or when you will see that person again. It’s liberating to know that you left this person saying everything you wanted to say instead of beating yourself up for letting them go without telling them what they really meant to you.

7. It’s brave. It’s brave to risk getting rejected and it’s brave to tell someone how you feel when you’re unsure of the answer. It’s also brave because you’re not afraid to ask for what you want and you are strong enough to handle the consequences. It shows that you are both strong and mature.

8. It means you love yourself. When you want to understand what’s happening and where things are going, it means you have standards and it means that you respect yourself to walk away instead of getting played or staying in the friend zone when you want more.

9. It feels great. It feels great to get it off your chest and tell someone you like them and you think they’re great, it feels great for them also, to know that they are liked and appreciated. Regardless of how they feel, everyone wants to hear that they are special. Consider it your good deed of the day.

10. You get your own closure. You don’t wait until things fizzle out or until you two slowly drift apart, you get to know while it’s fresh, when it’s happening, instead of wondering what went wrong months down the line.