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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Not That Into You?

In the early stages of dating, it's common to dump and get dumped. You're both assessing whether or not this person is right for you, keeping your eyes open for red flags, and refining your own relationship goals.
It's polite not to waste the other person's time when you've decided something won't work out. It might be tempting just to stop taking their phone calls, but it's more mature to break up formally. Even just saying "I'm sorry, this just isn't working for me" will make the message clear.
On the other end, don't wait by the phone. Even if you like someone you've started to date, try not to start picking names for your future children until you've at least agreed to date exclusively. Don't blow off your friends or favorite activities for your new date, and remain open to the possibility that someone else may be the right one for you. When you're sure that you two are both strongly interested in one another, then it's time to reprioritize

Friday, February 20, 2009

Getting Dumped

It happens to pretty much everyone. You've fallen for someone, only to have him take that job offer in Shanghai, or have her dump you for the electrician.
Some experts advise getting right back out there on the dating scene after a breakup. It's not a good idea to hide in your room and watch cooking shows for months, but it's definitely worth taking some time to grieve your loss before you try again.
Psychologists identify five stages of grief, which might look like this:
Denial: "She's coming back."
Anger: "She didn't deserve me! She's rotten and I hate her!"
Bargaining: "Maybe if I propose, she'll come back."
Depression: "I'm worthless without her. No one else will ever love me."
Acceptance: "She's not coming back, and I'm surviving."
You don't have to go through the stages in order, and you may even skip some of them altogether, but knowing what they are can be helpful in recognizing your own emotions as part of a common process. Be especially careful of getting stuck in depression, which can actually provoke chemical imbalances in your brain. As you move toward acceptance, you can begin to think about what kind of life you want as a single person, and what kind of partner might be an enjoyable part of that life.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friends With an Ex?

After a breakup, many people find they miss the other person -- even though they may not miss specific relationship problems -- and thus state the intention of staying "friends."

It's fine to treat one another with civility, particularly if you are likely to meet one another at social events. It's also a kind gesture not to run around bad-mouthing the other person.

But at best, pursuing a friendship with an ex takes up time that you could be spending building a healthy relationship with a new partner. At worst, it could open the door for cheating or rejection.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Relationship Advice and The Rebound

There's a familiar relationship pattern among people who move quickly into a new romance after the old one dies (or, sometimes, while it's still limping along). Sad and brokenhearted, such a person finds a kindly soul who's willing to offer a comforting shoulder, or bed. The kindly soul offers support and relationship advice, believing that this will lead to healing, renewal, and love. And lo and behold, it does -- but not with the kindly soul. Often, the person who once seemed a source of comfort now becomes just a reminder of old pain. A happy new life begins -- with a happy new partner, someone who wasn't around for any of the bad old stuff. If you're fresh from a breakup, you can recognize this pattern for what it is, and choose to get your comfort from people who don't want long-term love. If you're tempted to play the role of the kindly soul, take two steps back and give the rebounder time and space to heal before expressing your interest.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Break Up Advice

We all agree it is compassionate to avoid hurting people’s feelings whenever possible. The “whenever possible” clause creates some confusion when ending a relationship, however. This is an inherently painful time for one or both parties. Many tactics have been used, when breaking up with someone, to attempt sidestepping this inevitable truth. They all fail. Worse yet, avoidance of the plain, honest truth causes more misery then is necessary in these situations. Therefore, avoid being evasive or vague. Be direct while taking responsibility for what you want.

There are no strict rules about how to end a relationship. However, a few tips can help when breaking up with someone.

Don’t be evasive, unclear or vague. Be direct and to the point. This is not an enjoyable matter for either of you. Giving false hope or making your partner guess at what you want prolongs everyone’s misery.
Do not break up in stages. You may think this will make the loss easier. Don’t fall for it. This only serves to administer low, medium and high doses of pain over a longer interval.
Don’t lie or invent a story. Things will not add up and the falsehood will be found out sooner or later - usually sooner. Getting over a break up is hard enough without introducing mistrust. Making someone piece together bits of information while leaving him/her to guess what is true causes unnecessary pain.
Don’t blame someone or something else for your choices. Identifying and asking for what you want is an important developmental step and is necessary for mature relationships. Also, hiding behind excuses is pretty transparent. It is likely the other person will see what you are doing. Conversely, if he/she actually believes your excuse, the person will try and problem solve how to remove whatever relationship obstacle you’ve fabricated.
Don’t delay ending a relationship. Once you know you want to break up with someone, it does not help if you deny what you feel. Your partner will sense a change, perhaps reaching out for reassurance. This may feel like “neediness” to you which will increase your feelings of being stuck.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Break Up Avoid

Relatively mature, kind people seem to be rendered nearly brain dead when breaking up with someone. In efforts to avoid conflict, not hurt anyone’s feelings or not look like the bad guy, we often say the oddest things. Let’s be clear, it is not possible to come up with a break up line that makes the process feel good. However, saying the wrong thing can definitely make the whole thing worse.

What shouldn’t you say?

Anything that compares the person you’re breaking up with to an ex or to a new person you've met
Talking about how difficult getting over the break up will be for you
Pointing out how this whole idea is really in the other person’s best interest
Making the famous distinction between loving someone vs. being “in love”
Stating you’re no longer interested but you’d like to keep the benefit or convenience of the sex
There are no perfect words to draw on when ending a relationship. Instead, let’s lay out some break up lines to avoid:

I’m interested in someone else. You’d really like him/her.
You can’t imagine how hard this is for me.
I just don’t want you to get too attached.
I don’t feel that way about you, but the sex has been really good.
I'm getting married this weekend so I won’t be able to see you anymore.
Trust me, I’m doing you a favor.
I need to find myself.
Right now I don't feel like I can give you what you need.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking….
I don’t want to be together anymore, but we can still have sex if you want.
I love you, but I'm not "in love" with you.
It’s not you, it’s me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

After a Break Up

Breaking up hurts because it activates a grief reaction. Grief is a profound sense of loss paired with cycles of sadness, anger and hurt. Feelings of betrayal, rejection and abandonment are common at the end of a relationship. Although this is a normal response to losing someone important, you will feel anything but “normal.” Take good care of yourself during this time, don’t try to run from your pain, and reach out to friends and family for support.

Break up quotes are plentiful because as the song says, “Breaking up is hard to do.” All kinds of feelings come up: grief, loss, sadness, anger, betrayal, abandonment. To make matters worse, getting over a break up is not something that can be rushed.

Attempting to hurry past emotions or avoid them altogether is never advised. When unrecognized, minimized or dismissed the pesky things tend to linger even longer! Therefore, the common tricks of keeping so busy you don’t notice yourself or beginning to date immediately are counterproductive. Instead, make time for your feelings, take good care of yourself, and turn to family and friends for support.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How to Break Up With a Girl

Ending a relationship is awful on both sides. Tons of break up poems, break up songs, break up quotes and break up advice have been written for this very reason. Although there is no avoiding the inevitable awkwardness, take heed men -- we've got a few pieces of advice for you to follow when breaking up with your girl.

Directly state what you want. Simply say what you mean. If you hint around, and she doesn’t want to hear what you are telling her, she will hold onto hope that things are okay.
Do not continue sexual involvement once you’ve decided you want to end things. No matter what you say, she will take this as a sign you still have interest.
Do not promise things you will not deliver. If you are not going to call, do not say you will. If you don’t want her calling you, nicely let her know. If you don’t want to remain friends, be clear about this point.
Be honest. Do not lie about why you are making this choice. It is happening because it is what you want. Do not pretend the break up is due to external circumstances (e.g. busy with work or school obligations).

Do not act as if there is a chance the two of you will get back together, if this is not something you are planning to work toward. And, do not deny interest in dating other girls if you are likely to do so in the near future.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Break Up Help

The ending of a relationship is generally difficult for both parties. In an attempt to make it easier, many couples attempt to maintain a friendship. We’ve all said it, “Let’s stay friends.” It seems like the most mature and humane way of breaking up with someone. And, we think it will ease the pain…or perhaps the guilt.

While at first glance this appears a helpful strategy in getting over a break up, I encourage you to look again. Except in extremely rare cases where both people want to break up and there are no bad feelings, it’s very hard to go directly from a romantic relationship to friendship.

Being friends right after a break up is often a disaster because there are many raw, hurt feelings flying around. The love shared in a romantic relationship involves certain qualities that don’t immediately go away. With time and distance, those romantic feelings and connections diminish. Hurt feelings heal. However, staying in close contact keeps pain fresh, stirred up.

It’s really a double whammy. Nothing can heal and the full magnitude of what has been lost is disguised by this band-aid (a.k.a. friendship). Although facing grief does not sound appealing, that is precisely how people begin to recover after a break up.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, remember one person usually does not want the break up. Now you’re talking about a friendship in which one person wants more than the other. Imagine how that might work once one of you becomes interested in someone else romantically. Exactly! Messy and painful.

Let time pass and feelings heal. A friendship can then be developed, if it is what both people want.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Long Distance Relationship Advice

Some long distance couples find this to be the best of both worlds. You can live your life without constant attention to the needs of a partner. Yet, you have a person with whom you connect periodically to get a regular dose of romance and fun.

After a while, this can be a double-edged sword, however.

Many couples in long distance relationships find it so much fun and, in a way, so low-impact on their day-to-day lives, that after a while they become convinced that this relationship is obviously “the one.” And sometimes it is. But it’s hard to judge that from a distance.

Perhaps no long distance relationship advice is more important than to be careful. Do not overestimate a long distance relationship’s potential to translate into a regular relationship where you live in the same town, same home, and are headed towards long-term commitment.

The long distance relationship is an easy place to be on best behavior. Anyone can be accommodating, flexible, and attentive for a long weekend. This says little, in most cases, about how accommodating, flexible and attentive each party will be if you see each other every day, much less live in the same home.

In a nutshell, always remember: a long distance romance is NOT real life. It can be a wonderful little bubble that floats through real life. Party on in that bubble. Live it up.

Real life happens when you step outside that bubble to incorporate both your habits, idiosyncrasies, faults, families, jobs. Life becomes very different from what it was inside that bubble. Make changes to your life with caution

Monday, January 12, 2009

Long Distance Relationship Benefits

Long distance relationships are not usually something people choose, but they are a fact of life in modern societies where people move around and travel a lot. The saying “absence doth make the heart grow fonder” is usually built-in to long distance romance. Need space? You have it in abundance when experiencing long distance love.

Long distance dating has many benefits:

Every now and then you get to leave your normal life behind. You hop on a train, plane, or automobile and can immerse yourself in someone else’s world (Or alternatively, someone you like drops into your life for a finite time, you play and have fun and then they leave).
You are required to make no major adjustments to your life, no need to make space in the closet or to do somebody else’s laundry.
When together, in your space, in theirs, or in some vacation spot, you know your time is limited. So usually both partners are on best behavior. You both want to make the most of the time and are attentive to each other’s needs for affection, romance, and physical intimacy. It’s hard to pack in a month’s worth of sex, play, and romance into one weekend. But it can be fun to try.
While it’s hard to say goodbye at the end of a weekend, there’s an advantage to long distance relationships. When they leave, you have back your space and can settle into your own habits, your own rhythms, and your own lifestyle without any day-to-day attention to the needs of a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Many long-distance couples find this arrangement to be the best of both worlds, living life without constant attention to the needs of a partner, yet having a person with whom you connect periodically for romance and fun.

One sure-fire way to undermine the advantages of this arrangement, however, is when long-distance relationships start to mirror a relationship with someone you live with. Cell phones, Blackberries, email, and the rest of our communication technologies make is possible to not go a minute without contact with someone on the opposite side of the world. This can be comforting and reassuring at times when you need that immediate contact. At the same time, it can undermine one of the main advantages of a long-distance romance: DISTANCE!

The distance piece of a long-distance romance may be hard at times but it’s also what allows each party to feel a sense of autonomy and freedom from obligation to constantly be on alert to the needs of another. Of course, in the case of an obvious crisis, a parent’s hospitalization or getting laid off from a job, it makes sense to reach out to one’s intimate partner wherever they are. But that’s different from texting, emailing, or calling 5, 10, 25 times a day, just to touch base. If it works for both of you, that can be OK. But if one of you starts feeling a pressure to answer and conflict emerges over the question “Where were you?” … pay attention. An imbalance may be emerging over needs for contact and space.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Long Distance Relationship Tips

There is a down side to long distance relationships. You may tire of the travel, of not having a partner who’s there to share in the day-to-day joys and travails of a life partnership. At that point, the question facing long distance romance is similar to the question all couples face at some point: do we take it to the next level?

For long distance couples, it’s ideal if you can test moving to the next level before one of you uproots your life and displaces to the other’s home turf. Here’s a list of things to begin the process:

If you haven’t already, start introducing your long distance love to key people in your life. How does it go with your friends, family, workmates? Do they mesh well?
Who has greater flexibility to move? And do you honestly explore what sacrifices will be involved for both parties? It may seem self-evident who should move but all options should be explored so no one feels they’re making all the sacrifices.
Whoever is likely to move, what opportunities exist for that person to create his or her own life, career, friends? Initially, it’s normal to be somewhat dependent on the person who is based there, but the person moving will have to create a life for him or herself or resentment and suffocation can emerge from one or both parties.
Above all, talk about concerns, fears, anxieties. If you can’t lay this stuff on the table now, it won’t get easier once you two are sharing a home and a life and your lives are intertwined.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Long Distance Relationship Arrangements

OK, so you know that many long distance couples find this arrangement to be the best of both worlds. You can live life without constant attention to a partner’s needs, but have a person with whom you connect for romance and fun.

But what happens if something comes up in your normal life that is a real crisis? How does your long distance boyfriend or girlfriend fit into this situation? Do you not tell them about it? This may be the choice for some who don’t want to bring “real life” into the bubble of that long distance love.

Or do you call them for support? Do you reach out as most folks would, for the comforting voice of your intimate partner?

There is no correct answer here. But it can be a turning point in telling you both about where your relationship is and where it is going.

How each of you handle this situation will tell you a lot. How do they handle your crisis. Or, conversely, how do you feel about them bringing their crisis to you? If you share a crisis with them, are they supportive or avoidant? If they call you, are you empathic or resentful that they’re dumping this on you? A positive response can range from their staying more in touch than normal by calling or emailing regularly to get you through the crisis. Or it could involve their hopping on a plane to be with you. Or it could be anything in between. There’s no correct response in this situation. It’s all about what each of you needs, how well that need is conveyed, and how the response comes back. How it’s handled will tell you a lot about what’s possible for a real relationship down the road.


simple thing to do....just say it.
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