10 Ways to Tell You Are Falling in Love

It’s a thin line between love and lust. If you’re crazy about your guy but not sure if you’ve crossed into crazy-in-love territory, there are definite signs you’ve gone off the deep end.

Here are 10 of our favorite tells.

1. You start thinking in terms of the future, and it doesn’t scare you. Do you already have next year’s couples Halloween costumes planned? You’re on the edge of the cliff, my friend.

2. His happiness is your happiness. Not only do you go out of your way, instinctively, to make your man smile, but when he’s content, you’re floating on cloud nine.

3. You want him around in good times and in bad. The idea of him taking care of you post-wisdom-tooth-removal doesn’t send you into a freak-out fit, in which your voice takes on dog-hearing-only octaves as you scream, “He can’t see me doped up on Valium, drooling into a pillow!” Instead, he’s the one you want spoon-feeding you.

4. You crave physical contact that goes beyond sex—oh, and sex with him is also amazing. When you’ve had a tough day at work, burying your face in his neck is an instant cure. You sleep better when you’re in his arms. And his chest is way more comfy than your memory-foam pillow.

5. Feeling like an addict? Check. Hours spent together simply aren’t enough, and any empty space you have in your brain is taken up with thoughts of him.

6. You talk him up 24/7. From every sweet text he sends to that new—and very effective—move he whipped out in bed, your gal pals have the 4-1-1.

7. You get jealous. Not in a crazy-psycho-don’t-talk-to-my-man way, but in the sensitive-to-potential-relationship-threats way.

8. “We” and “our” have become regular parts of your vocabulary. It’s not the coffee shop; it’s “our coffee spot.” And when you get invited to your BFF’s weekend bash, you reply, “we’ll be there.”

9. Ex who? If any thoughts of your last love held on at the beginning of this relationship, they’re now long gone. Why would you think about an ex, after all, when a perfect man is right in front of you?

10. Love songs were written for you. When you start relating to the lyrics of your favorite gushy tunes, you know you’ve got it bad.

What are some other signs that you’re falling in love? If you’re in love, how and when did you know?

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Do You Understand the Rules in a Lesbian Relationship?

There are rules in a lesbian relationship people don’t understand…

No matter what type of relationship you are in, there are rules, but rules in a lesbian relationship are something that a lot of #people don’t understand. I’ve been in a gay relationship for 6 years and there are rules in a lesbian relationship that none of my friends get – but that’s okay! I’ve got all of the rules #below that can really help you understand how a lesbian or even a gay relationship works!


When it comes to lesbian relationships, one of the top rules in a lesbian relationship is that there are no gender definitions. Just because I work outside of the home and my partner works inside the home, doesn’t mean that I am suddenly the ‘man’ in the #relationship. It just means that I work outside and she works in. There aren’t automatically roles that lesbian relationships follow, it depends on the participants.


Also, not every relationship has a butch lesbian and a femme lesbian. Truthfully, a lot of #people have that misconception about lesbians and it’s simply not true. In my #relationship, we are just us, regular people who happen to love one another. I am not a femme or a butch and neither is my #partner.


Another rule in a lesbian relationship is that not every relationship has to have sex toys – and if a lesbian does use them, it doesn’t mean that she is missing something. Truthfully, a #girl can get off in so many other ways and sex toys can just be for fun. In a lesbian #relationship, us girls just want to have fun!


Because you are dealing with two girls, there isn’t a rule that you have to have sex every single night. You can actually go a few weeks or even months without sex just because you don’t feel like it. Try that out with a guy and who knows what can happen to your #relationship!


A lot of the #time, people just assume that because two lesbians are dating, they are automatically engaged – or that just because they are in a relationship, they automatically want to settle down. Nurturing the #relationship takes a long time and trust me, a girl wants to know her partner inside and out before completely committing.


In a lesbian relationship, any cheating, whether it is online, with another #girl or even with another guy – it’s all considered cheating. This is a huge rule in my #relationship and because of past relationships, I have a bunch of trust issues. This is another misconception that #people have about lesbian relationships – that if a lesbian cheats with a guy, doesn’t mean that she is cheating. Not true!


Finally, another rule in a lesbian relationship all revolves around threesomes. Just because a girl is in another relationship with another #girl, doesn’t automatically mean that she is going to ask for a threesome. In my relationship, I can’t share – ever.

So, while these are some rules and misconceptions that you might not understand – do you get them a little better now? Lesbian relationships are normal and have rules just like anyone else! So, what other rules do you have in your #relationship?

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

How Low Self-Esteem Affects Your Relationship

Self esteem is a very important component within a healthy relationship. People who have low self esteem tend to wreck their relationships.

People with low self esteem have difficulty believing that they are unconditionally loved and accepted by their partners. They tend to hold back from fully committing themselves in their relationships or from making themselves vulnerable. They tend to engage in other types of behaviors that are unhelpful for relationships (e.g. testing their partners’ love)

The result of low self-esteem tends to be the prevelance of “Lower quality relationships” because their relationships have less love and trust, and more conflict and ambivalence. This is because they are unable to establish healthy boundaries or limits with people.

People with low self-esteem come to relationships with a variety of irrational thoughts, emotions and actions all of which lead people to lose themselves in relationships with others. This loss of self into others leads to a loss of personal internal control. They become victims to being controlled by how others think, feel about and act towards them.

Personal Value

In order to have a healthy relationship, it is required that both parties feel confident about their voice and their personal value. If those components are missing it can take a tremendous toll on ones emotional well-being.

Self-esteem and self-worth

In romantic relationships people often feel most comfortable around those who have a similar level of self esteem as their own. This means subconsciously people with low self-esteem will attract others with low self-esteem.

A person with a low self-esteem often also has low self-worth. Even if they don’t verbalize it, they do not act as if they feel they are good enough to be loved. This lack of self-worth is born from lack of self love. If you don’t truly love and accept yourself, then you cannot truly accept love and acceptance from others.

This lack of self love can lead to a state of emotional impoverishment. This occurs when you are unable to create feelings of love and acceptance within yourself. Instead you look to others as a source of approval. Lack of self love causes you to see people not for who they really are, but for what they can or cannot do for you. In this state, your ability to love will remain emotionally immature and undeveloped because what you have to give in return is not love, but rather your unfulfilled needs.

Low self-esteem creates lack of connection and trust

Low self-esteem destroys relationships because this kind of insecurity creates a disconnect between yourself and your partner. An example may be “Please call me every night at 10pm because other wise, I will worry.” The subtext to this is, “I’m worried that you are going to cheat on me!”

No adult should have to hold themselves accountable to that kind of disrespect. That sort of accountability is for children, not for adults in a relationship.

A person trying to have this type of “control” in a relationship is really suffering from low self-esteem. They need to control the situation because they need to control you. Their need to control you is because they don’t trust that you love them enough to control yourself.

(Which begs the question, if the only way to keep your partner from losing control is this level of hyper-vigilance, then maybe you are in the wrong relationship.)

There comes a point within a relationship that you need to believe that you are with someone who cares about you and respects you enough to not hurt you. When you trust someone, you open yourself up to the possibility that you might get hurt.

What about people who cheat?

Most people who are unfaithful do so because of low self-esteem. Very few people do it if the relationship at home is satisfying. Cheating is a sign that something isfundamental missing within the relationship.

Value and respect

The main reason people are unfaithful is due to a lack of feeling valued and respected by their primary partner. They genuinely believe they are not valued at home. Everyone wishes to be significant and valued, especially from the most important person in their life. When they don’t feel significant, and feel as though they are taken for granted, are being used for convenience or have little value to their partner, they are likely to find someone else who will value them.

Sex and affection

Another reason people cheat is because of lack of love and affection. Love and affection is often withheld by one or both partners when there are layers of resentment beneath the surface in a relationship. Feeling neglected takes over, especially when sex is sporadic. Nothing is worse than being in a relationship and feeling lonely. If one is single, one can always go on a date etc. But if one lives with a partner, yet feels loneliness, then it feels hopeless because there really is no hope without significant change. It affects one’s self esteem, because one feels unwanted, but can not do anything about it. This makes the partners more prone to seek that love and affirmation somewhere else.

Validation and attention

A very important part of being in a relationship is the need for validation and attention. If the closest person to you does not validate you, does not confirm what you mean to them, does not reinforce who you are and wish to be (not what your partner thinks you are and wishes you to be), it can precipitate a feeling of being abandoned and uncared for. Most cheaters do not feel validated or affirmed, neither do they get much attention. They often feel neglected, especially if there is also a lack of love and affection or any real conversation either, mainly accusations and blame. Once we are not validated by those who matter, we begin to seek it elsewhere.

When any of these elements mentioned are missing, self esteem plummets and the person is likely to feel like a failure. It erodes a person and effects everything they do because they are constantly unhappy, anxious and stressed. It is difficult to feel good about one’s self when there is an overwhelming number of unmet needs missing from one’s life.

Personal confidence

The unfaithful partner feels a tremendous loss of personal confidence. It has a domino effect on everything else. Many unfaithful partners suffer in silence for a while, feeling low and hurt, until they feel compelled to do something about it in order to boost their confidence and improve their esteem.

Relationship in a rutt

There are many relationships where partners have settled into a rut, taking their spouses for granted, living in resentment and hurt, withholding affirmation and attention, value and respect. Those are the kinds of relationship that are most vulnerable to infidelity because living with someone else should enhance our happiness, not make us feel worse.

People with low self-esteem need to have “perfect” relationships and compete for control in order to make their relationship be the way they think it should be. This results in healthy relationships deteriorating. Eventually the relationship partner finds themselves in empty, hallow, phony, relationships with deep resentments and hurts. The partners have given so much to the relationship, they have nothing left of themselves to keep the relationships alive.

Here are symptoms of low self-esteem:


  1. Not spending very much time living in the present: If you worry about the future or spend too much time reflecting on the past mistakes, the bottom line is that you are not living in the present.
  2. Always wanting something you don’t have or something that’s out of reach: When someone has a great dissatisfaction with the trajectory of their life, or their lifestyle and it seems that what they want is always just out of reach, and that situation doesn’t ever change, self-esteem is probably the cause.
  3. Avoiding real intimacy: People who have low self-esteem have problems opening to and connecting with others on a deep level. Some don’t even recognize that the bonds they share are shallow and superficial until they get involved with someone else, on a much deeper level. They feel that if the other person finds out who they truly are, all love will be lost. They are afraid that opening up will result in getting hurt. Some people have entire relationships built on walls and avoiding intimacy. If you are avoiding real intimacy for whatever reason, take it as a sign that you need to look at how you are feeling about yourself.
  4. Busyness: The business of being busy, always keeping busy so you don’t have to look honestly at your underlying problems. Often times people will keep themselves busy so that they don’t have deal with feelings that they keep hidden. If you are a “do-er” and are constantly busy but not truly happy, start looking at the areas of your life that aren’t quite together. That will give you a place to start in finding out what you are trying to suppress with your “busyness.”
  5. Acting destructively towards yourself and possibly to others such as being overly critical or self-sabotaging behaviors. People who are overly critical tend to project feelings about themselves falsely onto others. An overly critical attitude comes from their feelings of inadequacy and fear of making a mistake. Unaware that they are more critical than other people, they focus on the negative rather than the positive and give more weight to the negative in both themselves and others.
  6. Those with low self-esteem tend to choose the wrong partners, and remain in relationships that continue to be unsatisfying despite many red flags that it is time to end it. They fear change, they fear being alone, and they fear their own ability to make sound decisions.
  7. Motivated by fear of “doing something wrong” and receiving negative feedback, those who have low self esteem seemingly need to narrow their choices to be safe from erring. Consequently, they grab hold of the notion that there is only one right way to do things—usually the way they were taught. Once the “right” way is recognized, they feel they can then remain safe from ridicule, rejection, disapproval, or from making a mistake in judgment that might have other negative consequences. With only one “right” way every other position is then “wrong,” (black versus white). That means that in order to be right, their partner must always be wrong. Once they are convinced they are right, they become closed to considering a different viewpoints, unable to think objectively that any other way may be acceptable. They become rigid in their thinking and judgmental of others who think, feel, or act differently. They basically don’t develop the ability and freedom to look at issues and consider the varying merits before choosing a side.
  8. Doubting their ability to make good decisions, these low self esteem sufferers are often overly submissive to—and blindly follow others without sizing up the situation on their own. Such blind allegiance without studying or assessing the situation can lead people to give control of their lives to others who don’t have their best interest at heart, whose views are questionable, or whose views are radical in one direction or another. Through recovery, people become stronger and more confident in their own ability to make decisions and develop the freedom to feel they have the right to do so.
  9. People with low self-esteem can be very self-focused, only viewing and thinking of what goes on around them on the basis of their own needs and wants. They find it difficult to put themselves in the shoes of others or to recognize how their behavioraffects others. They are often aloof, appear to be very selfish, even narcissistic,though they are motivated out of feelings of inadequacy, selfishness and grandiosity.

To maintain healthy intimacy in your relationships, you need to establish healthy intellectual, emotional and physical boundaries with your partners.

Characteristics of a Healthy Intimate Relationship

The goal in an intimate relationship is to feel calm, centered and focused. The intimacy needs to be safe, supportive, respectful, nonpunitive and peaceful. You feel taken cared for and nurtured, unconditionally accepted and loved just for existing and being alive. You feel part of something. You are able to forgive and be forgiven without revenge or reminders of past offenses.

You experience being free to be who you are rather than who you think you need to be for the other. This relationship makes you free from “analysis paralysis” where you need to analyze every detail of what goes on in it. Healthy intimate relationships support your individuality and encourage personal growth. This relationship does not result in you or your relationship partner becoming emotionally, physically or intellectually dependent on one another.

You know you are in a healthy, intimate relationship when you have created an environment where:

  1. I can be me.
  2. You can be you.
  3. We can be us.
  4. I can grow.
  5. You can grow.
  6. We can grow together.


A healthy relationship frees you to be yourself while acquiring self-knowledge is a lifelong process. Even if you do not have a strong sense of who you are, you do know when you are NOT being allowed the freedom to be yourself. You know when you are feeling judged or when you are worried about making a mistake. The freedom to be yourself means that your partner will neither interfere with nor judge your process of being and becoming.

In return, you offer your partner the same freedom that you are ask for yourself. And you accept your partner as he is. You do not get caught up in your fantasy of who you want him to be. You focus on who that person really is.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Are You In Love? Science Will Prove It

Scientists have pinned down exactly what it means to “fall in love.”

Researchers have found that an in-love brain looks very different from one experiencing mere lust, and it’s also unlike a brain of someone in a long-term, committed relationship. Studies led by Helen Fisher, an anthropologist at Rutgers University and one of the leading experts on the biological basis of love, have revealed that the brain’s “in love” phase is a unique and well-defined period of time, and there are 13 telltale signs that you’re in it.

1. “This one’s special”

When you’re in love, you begin to think your beloved is unique. The belief is coupled with an inability to feel romantic passion for anyone else. Fisher and her colleagues believe this single-mindedness results from elevated levels of central dopamine — a chemical involved in attention and focus — in your brain.

2. “She’s perfect”

People who are truly in love tend to focus on the positive qualities of their beloved, while overlooking his or her negative traits. They also focus on trivial events and objects that remind them of their loved one, day-dreaming about these precious little moments and mementos. This focused attention is also thought to result from elevated levels of central dopamine, as well as a spike in central norepinephrine, a chemical associated with increased memory in the presence of new stimuli.

3. “I’m a wreck!”

As is well known, falling in love often leads to emotional and physiological instability. You bounce between exhilaration, euphoria, increased energy, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, trembling, a racing heart and accelerated breathing, as well as anxiety, panic and feelings of despair when your relationship suffers even the smallest setback. These mood swings parallel the behavior of drug addicts. And indeed, when in-love people are shown pictures of their loved ones, it fires up the same regions of the brain that activate when a drug addict takes a hit. Being in love, researchers say, is a form of addiction.

4. “Overcoming the challenge made us closer”

Going through some sort of adversity with another person tends to intensify romantic attraction. Central dopamine may be responsible for this reaction, too, because research shows that when a reward is delayed, dopamine-producing neurons in the mid-brain region become more productive.

5. “I’m obsessed with him”

People who are in love report that they spend, on average, more than 85 percent of their waking hours musing over their “love object.” Intrusive thinking, as this form of obsessive behavior is called, may result from decreased levels of central serotonin in the brain, a condition that has been associated with obsessive behavior previously. (Obsessive-compulsive disorder is treated with serotonin-reuptake inhibitors.)

6. “I wish we could be together all the time”

People in love regularly exhibit signs of emotional dependency on their relationship, including possessiveness, jealousy, fear of rejection, and separation anxiety.

7. “I hope we stay together forever”

They also long for emotional union with their beloved, seeking out ways to get closer and day-dreaming about their future together.

8. “I’d do anything for her”

People who are in love generally feel a powerful sense of empathy toward their beloved, feeling the other person’s pain as their own and being willing to sacri?ce anything for the other person.

9. “Would he like this outfit?”

Falling in love is marked by a tendency to reorder your daily priorities and/or change your clothing, mannerisms, habits or values in order for them to better align with those of your beloved.

10. “Can we be exclusive?”

Those who are deeply in love typically experience sexual desire for their beloved, but there are strong emotional strings attached: The longing for sex is coupled with possessiveness, a desire for sexual exclusivity, and extreme jealousy when the partner is suspected of infidelity. This possessiveness is thought to have evolved so that an in-love person will compel his or her partner to spurn other suitors, thereby insuring that the couple’s courtship is not interrupted until conception has occurred.

11. “It’s not about sex”

While the desire for sexual union is important to people in love, the craving for emotional union takes precedence. A study found that 64 percent of people in love (the same percentage for both sexes) disagreed with the statement, “Sex is the most important part of my relationship with [my partner].”

12. “I feel out of control”

Fisher and her colleagues found that individuals who report being “in love” commonly say their passion is involuntary and uncontrollable.

13. “The spark is gone”

Unfortunately, being in love usually doesn’t last forever. It’s an impermanent state that either evolves into a long-term, codependent relationship that psychologists call “attachment,” or it dissipates, and the relationship dissolves. If there are physical or social barriers inhibiting partners from seeing one another regularly — for example, if the relationship is long-distance — then the “in love” phase generally lasts longer than it would otherwise.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

The One Thing Happier Couples Do Together

A study shows that giggling in tandem is a good indicator the relationship’s going to last.

Study after study has shown that laughing is good for the soul. But now we know something else: sharing giggles with a romantic partner keeps the lovey-dovey feelings going, according to a study published in the journal Personal Relationships.

Laura Kurtz, a social psychologist from the University of North Carolina, has long been fascinated by the idea of shared laughter in romantic relationships. “We can all think of a time when we were laughing and the person next to us just sat there totally silent,” she says. “All of a sudden that one moment takes a nosedive. We wonder why the other person isn’t laughing, what’s wrong with them, or maybe what’s wrong with us, and what might that mean for our relationship.”

Happy Couple In Bath

Kurtz set out to figure out the laugh-love connection by collecting 77 heterosexual pairs (154 people total) who had been in a relationship for an average of 4 years. She and her team did video recordings of them recalling how they first met. Meanwhile, her team counted instances of spontaneous laughing, measured when the couple laughed together as well as how long that instant lasted. Each couple also completed a survey about their relational closeness.

“In general, couples who laugh more together tend to have higher-quality relationships,” she says. “We can refer to shared laughter as an indicator of greater relationship quality.”

It seems common sense that people who laugh together are likely happier couples, and that happier couples would have a longer, healthier, more vital relationship—but the role that laughter plays isn’t often center stage. “Despite how intuitive this distinction may seem, there’s very little research out there on laughter’s relational influence within a social context,” Kurtz says. “Most of the existing work documents laughter’s relevance to individual outcomes or neglects to take the surrounding social context into account.”

Kurtz noted that some gender patterns emerged that have been reported by previous studies. “Women laughed more than males,” she notes. “And men’s laughs are more contagious: When men laugh, they are 1.73 times more likely to make their partner laugh.”

There’s also evidence that laughing together is a supportive activity. “Participants who laughed more with their partners during a recorded conversation in the lab tended to also report feeling closer to and more supported by their partners,” she says. On the flip side, awkward chuckles, stunted grins and fake guffaws all are flags that there may be something amiss.

This harkens back to a classic psychological experiment conducted in 1992, where 52 couples were recorded telling their personal, shared histories. The team noted whether the couples were positive and effusive or were more withdrawn and tired in telling these stories, then checked in with the couples three years later. They saw a correlation in how couples told stories about their past and the success of their partnership: the more giddy the couple was about a story, the more likely they remained together; the less enthusiastic the couple was, the more likely the couple’s partnership had crumbled.

While there are cultural differences in laughter display—Kurtz says that Eastern cultures tend to display appreciation with close-mouthed smiles, not the heartier, toothy laughs that are more Western—there’s no question that laughter is important. “Moments of shared laughter are potent for a relationship,” she says. “They bring a couple closer together.”

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Loved and Learned Rather than Loved and Lost

Here’s what I learned about gratitude and pain during the worst variety of heartache…

Pain + Gratitude = Less Pain.  Less Pain + Gratitude = A Thirst For More Gratitude.

I like to think that gratitude is the currency of the Cosmos.  The more I spend the richer I become.  Like everything else, being thankful is a choice, just as in choosing love over fear, or happiness over crappiness.  Consciously choosing to dwell in gratitude simply makes me feel I’m closer to the source of the Universal gift dispensary.

This perspective sounds totally do-able when the road is paved with sunshine and smiles, but when the Darth Vader of heartache pays you a visit and bad things happen to good people, suddenly the “do-able” seems bloody impossible.  Here’s what I learned about gratitude and pain during the worst variety of heartache; Divorce.

Rather than fight the sadness, the fear, the resentment, the embarrassment with a fake smile and my genetic British upper lip bravado, I chose to commit to my grieving seriously.  I fully belly flopped into my feelings and gave myself permission to fall apart like a total pro.  Intuitively I knew that unleashing the hounds of pain, anger, disappointment, ridicule, and mountains of crap-ola I had put up with, was the massive exhale that my soul was starving for, after all those years of holding it’s breath.

Thank you for failing.

When you’re faced with good, bad, and ugly, it’s often tricky focusing on the good.  We get so tempted to dwell in the darkness, the pity, the punishing shoulda, coulda woulda’s that we forget to simply congratulate ourselves on being human and that   “failing” is actually critical to succeeding.  My bad and ugly were frightening and painful, but my good was the prize that made it all worthwhile.  My own happiness was not the only one at stake.  I had a child and we both deserved gold.

Thank you “Golden Boy”.

During much of my marriage, I often felt like the passenger in the movie “Speed”, with the work of a madman at the gas pedal.  Even though you may not be in control of your breakup, you are in complete control of how to proceed from here on out.  Knowing that you can get off the bus without knowing what is going to happen next is both terrifying and spectacularly thrilling.

Doctor Who Taught Me 6 Things About Love

I live as the intersection of a hopeless romantic and die hard geek.  So as obsessed as I am with Doctor Who and as much as I tune into the long running British sci-fi series to watch an anachronistic man fight off salt shakers armed with plungers and egg beaters, sometimes I learn a thing or two.

Here’s just a few things I’ve learned about relationships from the travels of my favorite Time Lord.

  • You can survive your partner’s “regeneration.”

So just about fifty years ago, the partners that be at the BBC concocted a strategy to continue the massively successful series without William Hartnell, the actor portraying him.  His health had begun to interfere with his performance, and they were left with the issue of having to replace the main character.  Their genius move, later dubbed “regeneration,” was to give the character the ability to regenerate, taking on a completely different face and personality.  This move gave the show the ability to grow and change with eras, and is directly responsible for its longevity.

Now, there’s no scientific evidence that human beings can regenerate, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t change.  We grow, we evolve, we discover different things about the world.  We go through profound experiences that alter our personalities.  On the show, companions who witness the Doctor they knew change faces have difficulty adjusting to the new Doctor, unsure if he’s the man they once knew.  This is a pretty relatable sensation for anyone who has known or loved someone for a long time.  How many times have you heard the phrase “He’s not the man I married.”? But just like the characters on the show, we can actually survive the changes in our partner.  When we love and care for someone, we learn to love the way they grow as a person.  If we plan to enter a long term relationship, this is exactly what we’re signing up for, to grow together on a shared journey through time and space.

  • Bow ties are cool.

Every Doctor has his wardrobe eccentricities, and the Eleventh Doctor, portrayed by Matt Smith, had his bow tie. He felt they were cool and he made great effort to make sure we knew that at every opportunity. It was a silly little embellishment that may or may not have been well received by his companions.  Or his wife. Like the Doctor and his bow tie, we all have some little quirks, interests, and hobbies that drive our significant other absolutely bonkers. And our partner has some that do the same to us. But love isn’t about having someone who fits the absolute perfect package and hits every mark on some cosmic checklist. Love is about finding someone who may have a thing or two that doesn’t quite click with you and loving them anyway, or even because of those quirks.

  • The past isn’t always great but the future is in flux.

Anyone who has gone back and tried to watch the classic episodes of Doctor Who prior to the 2005 reboot may discover something: a lot of them are really, really hard to sit through. It can be tough talking to someone who grew up watching the series, because their memories are painted by the nostalgia of their childhood, while my viewing is hard to always reconcile with the modern show that I love. When we meet someone new and develop a relationship with them, sometimes we learn a thing or two about their past that gives us pause.  There may be some things about their history that they aren’t proud of or even regret.  It’s important to remember though that the past is exactly that.  We don’t have a time traveling police box that will let us change history. What’s important instead is to see the person you love now as a result of those old growing pains, and maybe eventually love them as the building blocks they are for who that person is today, and for the future you’ll have together.

  • I just want a mate.

All talk of friendzones aside, sometimes it actually is better to be friends with someone than to have a romantic relationship with them.  Doctor Who returned in 2005 with the early seeds of a romantic subplot between the Doctor and the first new companion, Rose.  As epic as that love story became, and as much as it tied back into the 50th Anniversary special that aired years later, there’s something to be said for the power of a great friendship.  Rose has her place in Doctor Who history, as does the unrequited pining Martha who replaced her, but when things got too dark for the Doctor, what he needed was “a mate,” and he got it in Donna Noble, the brash temp from Chiswick played by Catherine Tate.  The next few companions all moved along the same lines, Amy Pond flirted occasionally but her heart belonged to Rory, and Clara Oswald was shakily written as a romantic interest for Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor, not truly shining until she bonded as the closest trusted ally of Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth.  Romantic love is amazing, but sometimes what we need is a friend who we can trust, and have unwavering faith in.

  • The Girl Who Waited and The Last Centurion, aka Patience, Patience, Patience.

“Okay kid, this is where it gets complicated.” Amy Pond was a little girl who met a mad man with a box called the Doctor, who she didn’t see again until she was an adult, making her “The Girl Who Waited.”  Adult Amy has a boyfriend, later husband, who was turned into a plastic double of himself and then also waited outside a box for her for over a thousand years dressed as a Roman Centurion, aka “The Last Centurion.”  What does all this mean? Simple: Patience.

Sometimes we feel an immediate need to rush into something or feel the intense desire for instant gratification.  But I know speaking from personal experience, I’ve ruined many a good thing by being too eager, or by being unable to wait patiently.  Love can’t be rushed.  Even if you had an actual time machine, you couldn’t skip right to the end because the journey, the anticipation, that’s all part of.

  • “The name you choose, it’s like a promise you make.”

The Doctor’s real name is not The Doctor.  The line above is what he tells his companion Clara during the season 7 finale episode “The Name of the Doctor.”  He talks about his name like it’s an ideal, a reminder of the person he’s supposed to be.  Many of the other things on this list have to do with external expectations and actions.  This one is all about ourselves.  For years when I was younger, I wanted a girlfriend.  I wanted to be in a relationship because the concept of that appealed to me.  But I was young, foolish and someone who was silly enough to let her ideas of romance be influenced by the movies and TV shows she watched.

Now I’m 33, probably still a bit foolish, but I know that love is not about having something.  Love is about being something.  It isn’t that I should want to have a girlfriend or a wife, it’s that I want to *be* a girlfriend or wife.  That I want to be the kind of person worthy of someone’s love, that I want to take on the responsibility of sharing their life, of joining it with mine. Being someone’s partner is a promise you make to them, but just as importantly, it’s a promise you make to yourself.

My Name is Sunah and I am a CARER

To Care, or Not to Care, that is the question every person actively dating is forced to ask themselves daily.  However if you’re a carer you’ve probably already realized there is exactly zero point in going through this daily test because you have no choice.

My name is Sunah Bilsted. I am a carer. And I don’t know how to stop.

Managing the percentage of care or not care is one of the more elusive challenges when it comes to getting to know someone. Care too much and a fragrant waft of desperation flies around you like a gaggle of zombie cartoon birds. Care not enough and you feel like a robot living in fear, mechanically pushing people away with rationalized aloofness.

Carers tend to have a habit of falling in love with people who prefer dating people who don’t love them.  And in a confusing turn of events, so do the NOT carers. EVERYONE seems to love a not carer. Oh, the gladiator like challenge you take on, to be so wonderful, so amazing, so fucking cool, that you alone can change their distant nope persona into a loving hells yes persona. Society idolizes not carers too because for some peculiar reason, apathy mimics confidence. It’s almost as if caring is an insecure act of weakness and I’m so above caring cause I’m too busy being awesome, it is an act of high self esteem. We’ve all heard that feeble nugget of advice: “Just act like you don’t care” or “Just act like you have somewhere else to be”.  And you see it work for them.  They act like they don’t care, they get the job.  They win the relationship.  They win life.

What do you do if you just can’t fake it? What if you have nowhere else to be??

Everyone has a friend that excels in not caring and they have an endless stream of suitors. Who cares if they’re actually fulfilled, you’ll simply revel at their effortless ability to snare people into their web, I mean lives. And you’re secretly or perhaps not so secretly jealous, but you have long accepted that they’re perfect and are incapable of insecurity and you; well you drink insecurity like whiskey. Or diet coke. Or whatever shitty thing you slurp down in a desperate attempt to pad your void. You sit there and listen to their advice, breath held, eyelids wide, almost fluttering, but you know that their addictive wisdom will never work on you. Like an iPhone that drowned in toilet water for one precious moment too long. There ain’t enough rice in the world to dry out your need to care too hard, too soon.

But nah, screw that! You’re real! You don’t play games. And if people want to play games then you don’t want them! But you do. You do want them. Can you have them authentically? Can you be yourself and also create healthy boundaries? Yes!

But only if you address your own anxiety. Because maybe, just maybe, love and anxiety feel like the same thing to you.

“Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.”

– Anais Nin

You don’t want to be a strangler! You just want to love. How is that a bad thing?

If you’re early on into getting to know someone, and you’ve spent one or more days wondering about how their day is going instead of yours, then you care too much.

Pointers to Maintain a Healthy Carer “non-strangler “ balance:

  1. You’re not in control. So stop trying to be. So often we reach out, call, text too much, or make it your part time job to ‘like’ all their dumb Instagrams, because in some weird way, we are trying to control the outcome. You feel vulnerable just being, just living with your feelings, so an action, any action, temporarily alleviates the worry. But action borne out of trauma, will usually result in more trauma. When you feel like you need to connect or you might actually die, check in with yourself first. If it feels like a game, an attempt to get the imaginary upper hand, or even if you just want attention. Stop. Do something else. For yourself.  Like your own Instagram pictures if you have to.

Crying Couples—Did they pass the LOVE TEST?

How would you and your partner fare at this test?

Get your tissues ready, people.

What if you could love yourself as much as your significant other loved you?

Tatia Pilieva sought to answer that question with “Love Test,” in which she talks to couples about their relationships — and each woman’s insecurities.

For “Love Test,” Pilieva filmed the couples in two different sessions: In the first, the couples are on screen together, describing their love stories. After that, Pilieva prompts them to indulge in treating themselves to a ritual created by Dr. Timothy de Waal Malefyt, a clinical associate professor at Fordham University​. In the second session, the women are on screen alone, describing how the ritual helped them and their relationships.

The short film helps illuminate Revlon’s findings, in a recent study conducted by Dr. de Waal Malefyt, ​that ​97 percent of women reported a significant change in themselves within the first week of adopting the aforementioned beauty ritual.

​”I wanted to create a film that celebrates women. All women,” Pilieva said. “I wanted to show that our love runs deeper than our doubts or insecurities.”

Did they pass the LOVE TEST?

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Does Age Really Matter in a Relationship?

Statistically speaking most people form relationships with people close to their own age.

If you look around you, you will most likely find that your friends, neighbours and relatives are in relationships with people between two to 7 years older or younger than they themselves are.

Women have traditionally married men a couple of years older. There are a few rational reasons for this. In the past a woman wanted someone who was a bit more established than she was, and anecdotally men want to wait longer before they have families.

In my own life I have dated men up to 16 years older than I am, and also men up to 9 years younger. The younger I was it seemed, the older my partner was!

When I was 18 I had a 2 year relationship with a man of 34. He was just 10 years younger than my Dad, and was actually friends with him. I benefitted from his maturity, but eventually found the relationship a bit stifling. We were both volunteers for St. John’s Ambulance, and that was the only thing we really had in common.

During the time I was dating the older guy, I met a man of 22, and we had an on-off relationship for a couple of years. In many ways I was the more mature of the two of us, he was a musician and a bit of a skirt-chaser. The advantage of the relationship was that we had so much in common. We both enjoyed the same kind of music, and with that as a background would talk into the wee hours of the morning over endless cups of coffee, with our gang of mutual friends. My first really long term relationship was also with someone virtually my own age. We had similar backgrounds, similar interests, and in most ways were a perfect fit.

When that relationship broke down, I played the field for a few years and dated both younger and older men. Each age group seemed to have some advantages, younger men were mostly energetic, adorable and a tad insecure, awed by your profound knowledge! but had a totally different frame of reference. Older men were more likely to nurture and want to protect little old you, but tended to want to be “in charge”!

I remember telling one of my younger dates (He was 21, I was 30.) that I had gone to see the World’s Fair with friends, he replied that his parents had taken him – he had been 9, I had been 18, literally double his age! His tastes in music were vastly different, and his idea of a good time was dancing the night away at a party, my taste was maturing into an appreciation of Wine and Fine Dining!

My affection for him was almost condescending, and I did not like that he brought that out in me. I also found that men of my own age, despite the natural differences in personality, at least understood the same social and political references, and had seen the same movies that I had seen!

I had noticed that in many May/September romances of any kind, it is the power imbalance that strains the relationship, so if that is evened out in some way, by money, prestige, or even just personality, then relative power is not an issue.

In my opinion, similarity in tastes and experience is more important than age; but you are much more likely to find those similarities in someone fairly close to your own age. As you age, the gap can actually widen a bit. A 50 year old woman and a 40 year old man (or vice versa) probably have much experience in common, and, in North America at least, maturity is a great leveller.

Each relationship is unique, of course, what works for one is not necessarily good for another.

Problems due to different tastes can be worked through if both parties are willing to compromise. There are mature 20 year-olds, and immature 40 year-olds. As with any aspect of a relationship it works if you both really want it to. Just look at Madonna! – or maybe that’s not a good example.

Age may be just a number, and we are all as old as we feel, or as young as we look,  Right now I am married to a man who is 6 months my junior, but looks and acts his age, whereas I look and act 10 years younger! The older I get it seems that age becomes just demographic information, and inside my head I can remember being 19, which makes me younger than my children!

Loving Unconditionally

“The most important thing in this world is to learn to give out love, and let it come in.” ~ Morrie Schwartz

Love is a strange and beautiful thing.

I always thought I knew what love meant. I grew up hearing the words all the time. It was on TV, in books and magazines, and people all around were saying it.

I thought I knew how to love. I mean, I told my teddy bear that I loved him because he kept me safe at night. I told my sister that I loved her, only if she was nice to me and would play the games that I wanted.

But if I didn’t get that new limited edition beanie baby, I felt differently for my parents. If my friends at school didn’t give me the birthday presents I wanted, I felt differently for them.

I seemed to only love the people and things that would give me something in return and that would allow life to go on the way that I wanted it to.

I never truly felt love, a love that was unconditional and all encompassing, until the day I first saw my dad cry.

My friends always tell me that my father is the happiest man that they’ve ever met. He greets everyone with open arms, and his smile is so big you can practically count all of his teeth.

The other day I came home, and my dad looked sullen, the smile usually spread across his face missing. He looked into my eyes and just collapsed into my arms, sobbing.

I could feel his sadness before I even heard the tears, from the way he put his entire body weight on me as if he needed help just standing, and the way he gripped me so tight like a child does with his mom on the first day of school.

My sister had just made a rash career decision that would leave her in a large amount of debt and temporarily unemployed. And my dad just didn’t have the money that she needed to help her out of her situation.

Growing up, my dad always told us that his one purpose in life was to give us the life that he never had. And in his eyes, at that moment, he had failed.

You see, my parents are first generation immigrants from Vietnam. They come from impoverished families, both with more than 10 siblings each. Their journey to America is almost like a fictional tale to me, something that they rarely talk about, with my dad escaping first, then my mom, aunt, and sister, who almost didn’t even make it out alive.

At first, the American Dream wasn’t all that it was made out to be. Yes, freedom rang, but so did the challenge of learning a new language, a new culture, a new way of making money and supporting a family.

But somehow, they did it. They raised my older sister and put her through college. They raised my aunt, and put her through college. They raised my twin sister and me, and put us through college. And in the midst of all that, they found a way to sponsor all of their own siblings to emigrate to the land of the free.

Did I Love You Enough?

Did I love you enough?

Did I show you what you meant to me?

Of course not, I didn’t even know.

I didn’t even know that you were so amazing. That you were the only person I really trusted in my life.

That you were the only one that could take care of my computer problems, my personal drama, fix anything, take care of our bills, make me laugh, plus finish our entire house inside and out. A skill set you had, O so amazing, but I didn’t even know.

I didn’t know how unique that was. I didn’t get to tell you I am in awe of you.

I didn’t get to tell you.

I would trade everything and anything for one more moment with you to tell you all of this.

I’d tell you how lucky I am to have met you. How special you are and how no one could ever be as cool as you, for me.

I’d hold you so tight and I’d never complain about your work schedule, or your meetings, or your social life. I would love you for it all, because you are perfect just as you are.

Did I love you enough?

Babes I ask myself this all the time, I loved you so much but could I have done better?

Could I have seen you more fully. Loved you more entirely? Praised you more freely?

Yes I could have.

I hope you can feel it now.

I am loving you.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

10 Ways to Make Your Significant Other Feel Like They’re the Only One

“I had an opportunity to have a long discussion with her fiance the day before he proposed”

My daughter recently became engaged, and I had an opportunity to have a long discussion with her fiance the day before he proposed about her, marriage, and living life together. The topic of how hard he wants to work to make his fiancee, and soon to be wife, feel special and loved came up repeatedly in our conversation.

What can a husband do to help his wife feel special and know that she is loved?

This list, built after years of observation and experience, will help stimulate ideas of your own for helping your wife feel special.

Send her a love note

Handwriting notes and letters is becoming a lost art in an era of instant communications and technology. A love note, written by hand, is an expression that communicates love, caring, and giving of one’s time and self.

A short note sharing your love, your admiration of her, your appreciation of her special traits, and your commitment to her speaks volumes about how special she is.

Learn to speak her love language

Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages has been a true revelation in many relationships. Chapman makes the case that most people receive messages of love in one (or more) of five different ways. The way we receive love is our “love language.” The five languages are:

  • Words of affirmation
  • Quality time
  • Physical touch
  • Receiving gifts
  • Acts of service

My primary love language is words of affirmation; my wife’s is quality time. So hearing from her how wonderful I am communicates love to me, but that love language doesn’t work for her.

I need to give her undivided attention and lots of it for her to feel love. Take time to determine which love language works for your wife or partner, and then speak love in her love language.

Get ‘er done

Do you have a “honey-do” list a mile long? I know that with my hectic schedule, my list never seems to end.

Doing things that are on her list is a good way to show how special she is to you. If she sees you doing the things that are important to her, she will feel love and devotion. Painting the family room, cleaning up the garage, or following through on a commitment to the kids will make a big difference in how she feels about you and about her worth to you.

Call her on the phone

A phone call in the middle of the day lets her know that you are thinking about her. Consider calling at a random time, when she will least expect it, and just tell her that you are thinking about her, wanting to know how her day is going and to communicate love. It is easy to get caught up in all the business of the day, and she knows it. So taking time to call and let hew know she is important will make a big positive difference in her day.

Send sweet text messages

If you have the ability to communicate via text message, consider sending texts that communicate love, and maybe even flirt occasionally. Here are a few suggestions to get your ideas flowing about what might work for your partner.

  • If I could rearrange the alphabet, I would put U and I together!
  • Thinking of you makes me smile.
  • Did the sun come out or did you just smile at me?
  • I just moved you up to the top of my TO DO list

Plan a romantic getaway

Find someone responsible to take the kids and make plans for a weekend away. Plan everything out, choosing things that she likes to do. For example, make dinner reservations and get tickets for a play, a movie or an event she would enjoy. Reserve a hotel room, pack her bags, and make sure her calendar is clear. Some quality time with things she loves to do is an awesome way to communicate how special your wife is to you.

Make it physical

Lots of dads will read this and think sex. But remember, our partners want to be touched in more ways than we like to be touched. Consider an extra long hug in the morning, or a kiss hello or goodbye that lasts about 15 seconds. A back rub, foot rub, or a tender massage communicates worlds about your feelings for her. Physical touch is important in a relationship, and while it often leads to sexual touching, your wife will love the extra attention and the feeling of being touched without it having to lead to something else.

Listen fully engaged

With our busy and demanding world where work tends to invade every moment of life, it is easy to be distracted at home. Even the kids can create significant distractions from meaningful communication. One habit my partner and I picked up long ago is setting aside 30 minutes each evening to just talk. No television, no kids, no telephone or computer, no friends. Having half and hour for just us has really helped with our communications patterns and allows me to be fully engaged in the conversation.Active listening, where you listen with all your senses for intent and feeling, is a big communicator of love and affection.

Cook for her

There is something a bit romantic and something that communicates love and caring when a man cooks for his woman. Plan ahead for a meal she likes. Find a recipe, get the ingredients, and the follow the recipe to create a great meal for her. A little pampering like being able to eat a meal that she didn’t have to plan for or prepare goes a long way in letting her know how much you care.

Give her a break

One things our partners don’t usually get at home is a break. From the time she gets up until the time she crashes into bed, it is usually one very long day with more demands on her time that she can fill. This is especially true if she is a stay-at-home mom where she is likely starved for adult human contact. And moms who work outside the home also tend to carry with them all day their responsibility as a mother. Giving her a break from the stresses of the day can really communicate love. A hot bath with some music she enjoys while you clean up, go through the bedtime routine with the kids and get things ready for the next day will really help her feel your love and your specific concern for her and her needs.

Whatever you do, make sure that you regularly communicate how special your wife is to you. Little things are big things, and it is important to identify how she receives your communication of love and to make time to make these little expressions happen.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

How Giving Hugs Can Lower Blood Pressure

A mere hug from a friend or a loved one has the power to uplift your mood, when feeling down.

Additionally, hugging your loved ones on happy occasions doubles the joy and instils a feeling of confidence to conquer the world. It is a sign of showcasing love and affection that not only provides emotional support but also renders numerous health benefits. Here are top 7 reasons why you need to hug your loved ones more often.

Combats common cold and flu

According to a study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University, hugging (especially when you are stressed out) aids in relieving common cold and flu. It showed that hugging was effective in protecting people from stress-induced susceptibility to infection such as viral infection. This is why, a hug a day to your loved ones is recommended to keep stress-related infections and common cold at bay.

Strengthens the immune system

When you hug someone, you exert pressure on the sternum (breastbone) and an emotional charge is created. This activated the solar plexus chakras which in turn stimulates the thymus gland. This gland regulates the production of WBCs (white blood cells) in the body, thereby, keeping you healthy.

Acts as a natural stress reliever

A research published in the journal Psychological Science claims that being hugged by a trusted person may act as an effective means of conveying support. Apart from this, increasing the frequency of hugs might be an effective means of reducing the deleterious effects of stress. So the next time you see your loved ones stressed out, hug them!

Lowers blood pressure levels

When you hug or kiss anyone close to you, the levels of oxytocin, a hormone, goes up. This hormone plays a key role in the reduction of cortisol in the body, thereby, lowering blood pressure levels. In addition to this, when someone hugs, Pacinian corpuscles, a type of pressure receptor present on the skin, are activated. It sends signals to the brain nerve that lowers blood pressure.

Burns calories

You may not believe that hugging your loved ones burns around 12 calories. This means that every time you hug someone, you burn calories, thereby maintaining your weight.

Relaxes muscle tension

A hug can release tension in the body by combating pain and improving your blood circulation. It also aids promotes blood flow in the soft tissues, thereby aiding in relaxing tensed muscles. So, apart from relieving mental stress, a hug can work wonders on your physical health and muscle activity.

Promotes brain health and memory

A hormone named oxytocin is released into the blood stream when you hug a close friend or loved ones.  This improves memory power along with reducing tension. Apart from this, it also stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system thereby helping you to strike a balance between activeness and calmness.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

You’re Asked! How to Say Yes or No to a Marriage Proposal

Answering a marriage proposal can be tricky business. A heartfelt, “Yes!” is the perfect response if that is truly what’s in your heart, but what if you’re not quite sure how to respond?

Don’t be caught off guard. If you’re in a serious relationship and think your partner might be getting ready to pop the question, start thinking now about how you’ll respond.

Ways to Respond to a Marriage Proposal

A marriage proposal is a pivitol moment for any relationship since the futures of two people are set in motion by the answer to the question. Sometimes a woman can see that proposal coming and already knows how she wants to respond. In other cases, her partner might just catch her off guard with a surprise proposal. No matter how that proposal comes, it’s important to think about your reply before you give an answer that is going to change your entire life.

Saying Yes

Naturally, saying yes is always easiest when you’re both on the same page and looking forward to building a life together. A simple, “Yes” is enough to seal the deal, but maybe you want to say a little more to make the moment as special for your partner as you can.

Some reply ideas include:

Happy couple who just got engaged
  • “Yes! I’ve wanted to say that to you for so long.”
  • “Yes, I can’t think of anything I want to do more than spend the rest of my life with you.”
  • “Of course I will. Was there ever any doubt?”
  • “You’re the love of my life, and my answer is yes, yes, yes!”

Saying No

Refusing a proposal is much tougher than saying yes. After all, you’ve probably been in a caring relationship for a while before your partner pops the question, and you don’t want to hurt his feelings even if you aren’t ready for marriage, don’t think marriage is a good idea at this point in the relationship, or don’t plan to marry.

In a situation like this, reply ideas include:

  • “I’m sorry. I care about you so much, but I don’t think we want all the same things in life. I think it would be wise if we didn’t marry, at least not right now.”
  • “I’m flattered that you care for me enough to want to marry me. I’m just not interested in getting married, and I think you should marry someone who can truly give you the love and commitment you deserve.”
  • “I think you’re wonderful, and I wish I could say yes, but I just don’t feel in my heart that we’re right for each other. You may not see that now, but when you do find the right person, you’ll be glad you’re still free to propose to her.”