Category Archives: Relationships

Secrets

secret

I was married for 25 years and admit to keeping secrets from my husband. I’m single now and keep secrets from my boyfriend. I don’t share every single thing I know or do with my partner. I’m an independant individual; why would I need to tell all I know to the person nearest me?

Are you wondering what “kind” of secrets I kept/keep? Some are small; some are large. They’re secrets, so I can’t tell you. 😉

The purpose of this blog post is to ask you if you agree that keeping secrets in your relationships is indeed “normal.” Does everyone do it? Are there times you fib about how much money you spent at a store? When we keep a secret, we lie by omission or overtly. The two Os.

Are you a secret-keeper? Is your partner?

 

Canon in D

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Canon in D begins streaming into my ears. I am in my kitchen, before the divorce, before my babies grew up and left home, before I developed a chronic case of severe depression. I stand barefoot on the pine floor, piano notes rise like fragrant flowers from our basement. I close my eyes and absorb the pleasure the old piano offers. My daughter plays and plays very well. She has natural musical talent; it moves me every time she plays. My heart lifts, and my soul is soothed.

Then I am back in reality; there were no children in the house. I wasn’t even in the house. I sat alone in a coffee shop, listening to songs from a website. Despite my effort to stay composed in public, tears, like little refugees from unbearable circumstances, escaped my eyes, and my heart ached.

Thank you, my daughter and my son, for making my life meaningful and overflowing with good memories.

mom_and_kids

10 Things To Do With Someone Before You Get Into A Relationship

So you’ve been sleeping in this guy’s bed all week, and you’re still not sick of him. Or you’ve been in love with your best friend for four years and you’re finally inching towards a relationship that involves kissing. Or you’ve found someone on eHarmony you can actually tolerate.

That’s great! I’m excited for you. But hold up. Slow down. Before you put all your eggs (biological or otherwise) in this human being’s basket… before you throw precious time, energy and money into someone other than yourself… before you take your gorgeous, wonderful soul off the market . . . make extra-sure it’s not just your sex drive talking.

1. Fix something.

I don’t care if it’s putting together Ikea furniture or talking your roommate through her heartbreak: if you can’t work through problems or struggles with this person, you’re each going to be left with a lot of shattered pieces. So if you can tile the backsplash in your kitchen and still want to sleep with them: well, that’s a good sign. Bonus points if you’re dating someone who knows how to tile surfaces.

2.

Text.

I’m a grammar nerd. I’m also a writer on my better days. So I have no qualms with admitting that I’ll judge you if you can’t punctuate correctly or take the time to spell out Y-O-U. I’m also looking to see if you can make a clever quip (or four) while still being pitch-perfect flirtatious. Everyone’s got their own text hang-ups, but you want to know that whoever you’re seeing isn’t going to flagrantly irritate you during casual communication.

3. Eat sushi.

Sushi isn’t any old dinner date. It’s a highly collaborative, potentially explosive tango that can tell you worlds about the person across the table from you toying with their chopsticks.  Are they assertive or go-with-the-flow? Do they like variety, or do they want to eat four crispy eel rolls in a row? Did they go to Kindergarten and learn how to share? I once went for sushi with someone who hated my favorite roll, and vice versa. We both talked each other into giving the despised sushi in question another chance… and both ended up nauseated and taking the rest to go. Needless to say, that relationship didn’t work out.

But hey, while you’re at it…

4. Watch how they order and tip.

Do you want to be with someone who gives a waiter 13.5 percent of the bill? Who barks at your bartender? Who is picky beyond reason?

Well, go for it. I’m going to take my receipt and run.

5. Dance.

Dance movies are sexy not because Sean Patrick Thomas and Julia Stiles are amazing, but because movement is a barometer both for how you carry yourself and your compatibility with someone else. Is your date doing the worm in the middle of the floor? Or standing at the bar throwing back G&Ts? Are they fluid or stiff? Willing to make a fool of themselves or showing you up? Grindin’ up on you or giving you your space? I’m not saying you have to breakdance to win my heart (though it’d help), but I want to see you move before I move in with you… or go dancing with you again.

6. Drive.

The way someone navigates through traffic or reacts to a high-stress parallel park can be a) really goddamn sexy or b) completely horrific. Also, it’s just good to know if you’re putting your life in danger when you get it the front seat with this person.

Full disclosure: You’re putting your life in danger when you get in the front seat with me. I think that’s something my future significant other would want to know.

7. Hang out with your/their friends.

I rarely give out brownie points (unless it involves building stuff — See #1), but I always melt a little bit when someone gets along swimmingly with my friends. Likewise, you need to have great friends if I’m going to date you… mostly because I want to be That Cool Girlfriend who hangs out with them a lot and receives said brownie points. It’s bad news if the person you’re seeing can’t at least hold a conversation with your best friend while you’re putting on your mascara or get a drink with your crew once in a while. Your friends are going to be much more inclined to resent this person for the entirety of your relationship, one, but two, you’ve known said friends way longer than whoever this punk is. They’re a pretty good indicator of what kind of people you love.

8. Hang out with animals.

Cat person or dog person: the great existential question of our generation. I have a World Wildlife Foundation debit card, which involves my face on a piece of plastic next to a panda’s… so if you don’t love animals, I’m going to be hesitant. Similarly, if you hear me talk to my chocolate lab over the phone (which I do, often), you may think I’m certifiably insane. Whatever your stance on the creatures of the earth, it’s a good idea to get the animal question out of the way. So take them to the zoo, or watch your mood-swingy kitten react to their presence in your living room.

9. Go down on each other.

Some people think you should sleep with someone before you date them. Some think all it takes is a kiss to diagnose your level of physical chemistry. Either of these could be correct, but I’m going to just average them out and say that you should, well, get down to it and make sure you’re OHMYGODSOATTRACTEDTOTHISPERSON. Also, it’ll solve that terrible relationship issue of being with someone who hates giving oral sex. ‘Cause unless you hate it too, that’s just sad for everyone.

10. Do whatever you want.

I know I’ve just wasted 15 minutes of your would-be-productive life telling you what to do, but really, there’s no set of rules when you’re into someone. So if you like them… just go ahead and like them. Spend 48 hours straight at their house. Make out with them even if they hate dogs. Make fun of their dance moves and then still go home with them at the end of the night. Being in like or lust or even love is too much fun to not just go with it.

But really — if they’re awful tippers… just don’t.

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This article was written on Jan. 30, 2012  By Talia Ralph – Talia Ralph is an editor and breaking news writer for GlobalPost.com

14 Steps – Get Over a Break-up

  1. Think through everything thoroughly, but not obsessively. Go ahead and mull it over, as many times as necessary, within reason. Consider all the reasons you two broke up. Even if it sometimes seems as if there wasn’t a good reason, there certainly was one – and probably more than one. Understand that you enjoyed being together for a while, but if the relationship was not what both you and your partner wanted for life, it would have ended eventually, no matter what. In this case, better sooner than later. Thinking about the reasons why it ended can make it much clearer to you that it takes two people to start a relationship, but just one discordant person is enough to end it. It may also help you avoid many missteps in the future if you can identify areas where you contributed to the demise of the relationship.

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1A.  Cry when you feel overwhelmed. It’s a good release! Holding strong emotions inside doesn’t make you a stronger person. If you feel the need to let out some tears, do it. When you’re finished, get back to the healing at hand.

 

2. Don’t rethink your decision. If the breakup was your decision, keep in mind that only thinking about all the good times you had with your partner may cause you to forget the reasons why you broke it off. By the same token, try not to second-guess the situation if the decision to end things was not yours. It’s very common to romanticize the good parts of the relationship, convincing yourself that maybe the bad parts weren’t so bad after all, that maybe you could just live with them. Or that maybe if your ex would know just how you feel, he/she wouldn’t want to break up after all. Don’t play this game with yourself. Accept the situation and work on moving forward.

 

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3.  Keep your space. Even if you and your ex have decided to stay friends, break away completely from each other right after the breakup. This means not seeing each other, not being around his/her family members, no phone calls, no e-mails, no text messages, no Facebook, and no IMs – not necessarily as a permanent measure, but until you feel that you can converse with him/her on a purely platonic level, without an ulterior motive (and yes, wanting to get back together counts as an ulterior motive). If he/she tries to convince you to see him/her, ask yourself honestly what the point would be. If you’re reliving the past by seeing him/her, it’s not hard to get caught up in the moment and it will be harder to let go again. You may have to have some contact in order to deal with the practical aspects of things like moving out, signing papers, etc., but try to limit this to what’s absolutely necessary, and then keep such calls/meetings short and civil.

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4.  Cope with the pain appropriately. It’s okay to feel like you have messed up – accepting responsibility for your mistakes or shortcomings is healthy. On the other hand, you must also accept that you are a good person, and that you did your best and you’re not the only one who made mistakes. Of course, a stage of denial is completely natural, but acceptance is the key to being able to start moving on.

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5.  Deal with the hate phase. This is when you want to just scream because your rage feels boundless. The amount of anger you feel depends on how antagonistic the split was, the circumstances, and how long it took to make the final break. You may resent your ex for wasting your time. You may realize that the breakup was inevitable (hindsight will reveal clues you failed to notice at the time). You may even feel a lot of anger towards yourself, but let go of that feeling fast! It’s a waste of time and energy to rip yourself apart over something you no longer have the power to change. There are so many positive things you can do with your emotions and energy. Although it may feel good to replace your feelings of love towards your ex with hate, this can still lead to complications and mixed emotions of love and hate which are never a good thing.

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6. Talk to your friends. You want people around you who love you and who will help you feel good about yourself. Surrounding yourself with compassionate, supportive friends and family will help you see yourself as a worthwhile person, and you’ll find it easier to get steady on your feet again with your loved ones around you in a comforting net.

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7.  Write all your feelings down. Write in a journal or try writing poems. The most important thing is to be absolutely honest and don’t edit yourself as you go. One of the best results of writing it all down is that sometimes you will be amazed by a sudden insight that comes to you as you are pouring it all out onto paper. Patterns may become clearer, and as your grieving begins to lessen, you will find it so much easier to understand valuable life lessons from the whole experience if you’ve been writing your way through it. No relationship is ever a failure if you manage to learn something about yourself. Just because it didn’t work out doesn’t mean it wasn’t a necessary part of your journey to becoming who you’re meant to be.

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8.  Make a list of reminders. One of the best tricks to help you stick to your resolve is to make a list of all the reasons your ex was not the one for you. Be ruthless and clear––this is not the time to be forgiving. What you’re doing is creating a picture for yourself that will call up an emotional response when you feel tempted to think that “maybe if you just did this or that, it would work out…” Write down what happened and how it made you feel, being clear about the things you never want to feel again. When you find yourself missing your ex in a weak moment, and think you might actually be getting too close to the telephone, get out this list, read it over a couple times, and then talk to yourself, “This is the truth of what it was like. Why would I want to go back and torture myself again?” If you’re caught in a low-self-esteem trap, thinking you don’t deserve better, imagine this happening to a friend of yours, and think what you would say to your friend: “Get as far away as you can! That relationship was no good for you!

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9.  Out with the old, in with the new. A breakup can signify a new beginning. Therefore, cleaning and organizing your personal space will leave you feeling refreshed and prepared for the new things to come. A mess can be overwhelming and depressing, and will just add to your stress level. The added bonus is that keeping busy with tidying your space doesn’t require a lot of brain power, but does require just enough focus to keep you from recycling pain. Occupying yourself with such tasks designed to make your life better and easier will also occupy your mind enough to help you through the residual pain. Clean your room, get some new posters, clean up the icons on your PC desktop. As insignificant as cleaning up sounds, it’ll make you feel better.

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10.  Remove memory triggers. There are all kinds of things that remind you of your ex––a song, a smell, a sound, a place. Once the grieving period has had some time to process, don’t dwell on painful feelings or memories. There are probably things that are pushing your buttons without your conscious recognition. Try walking around each room in your house with a box and removing things that make your heart ache or your stomach turn. Really focus and look carefully. You may realize that the little blue bird-shaped box sitting on the mantel has become pretty invisible for the last couple years, but when you take a conscious look at it, you notice that every time you turn towards that corner of the room and it catches your eye, you feel a sharp little pain in your solar plexus. It can work wonders to clear your space of all these triggers. If you have a keepsake, such as a watch or piece of jewelry that was given to you by your ex, and it’s a reminder of the good aspects of your relationship, there’s nothing wrong with keeping such a thing, but for the time being, try putting it away for later, when you’ve given yourself some time and space. Put these reminders far away from you, such as in a box in a place you’ll never go. Out of sight, out of mind.

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11. Find happiness in other areas of your life. Whether that means spending time with your friends and family, signing up for that class you’ve always wanted to take, or reading every book on the New York Times bestseller list, remind yourself that a relationship is one part of life, but even when you are in one, there are personal pleasures that you can always enjoy on your own. Indulge in those things now. As they say, the best revenge is living well.

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12.  Stay active. Exercise improves your mood and alleviates depression, and the distraction will help keep your mind off your situation. Go running outside, visit (or join) the gym, or just go for a walk, maybe with a friend, and think of releasing the anger or sadness with every step. If you don’t exercise regularly, here are some ways to motivate yourself to work out:

  • Do something small, right now. Going all the way to the gym, or getting decked out in your jogging gear, or doing whatever it is you feel you should be doing obviously seems like too much work. So just do ten push-ups or jumping jacks. Easy. And usually, it’s just enough to get your heart rate going a little bit, and make you feel like a little more exercise wouldn’t be so bad…
  • Get halfway there. If you want to go to the gym, but just don’t feel like it, at least just drive yourself to gym, and tell yourself that if you still don’t feel like working out, you’ll go home. Odds are, though, once you’re there, you won’t feel like driving home. (But if you do, that’s okay too. But you probably won’t.) Then tell yourself you’ll just walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes, even if your exercise routine involves much more. Just telling yourself to do one more thing, without having to commit to anything else, will make things much easier. And before long, your endorphins will take over.

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13.  Let go of the negative emotions. Understand that there is no benefit in holding on to heartache, regret, and hatred toward another person. Realize that although it is over, your relationship with that person was unique and special in a lot of ways. You can congratulate yourself for being brave enough to take a risk and fall in love, and encourage your heart that even though love didn’t work out this time, there will be a next time.

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14.  Remind yourself of the negative things. Not necessarily all negative, but the “turn-offs” of that person. For example, the less attractive you find them, the quicker you’ll get over them. Your mentality has to strictly be all bad characteristics about this person, without sounding hateful, or “hating” on this person. (Ex. his/her hair always had a funny smell to it, he/she never brushed his teeth, he/she never bought anything for my birthday, he/she had the ugliest smile I’ve ever seen, he/she had the most annoying laugh, etc).

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Here’s a quiz to see how much you remember! http://www.wikihow.com/Quiz/Get-Over-a-Break-Up

 

Other Tips:

  • Stop telling “the story.” How many times this week did you tell “the story” about how badly you were hurt and how horribly you were wronged? How many times a day do you think about this hurt? It is a stake driven into the ground that keeps you from moving away from this hurt.
  • Write a letter to your ex, but do not send it. Sometimes it just helps to get all of your feelings out. However, sending it is not a good idea. This letter is just for you, so write out everything you wish you could have said and be done with it. It doesn’t do any good to rehash the breakup over and over again, so just pretend you are telling them how you feel for the last time. Tell them how they hurt you. It doesn’t hurt to look back on the relationship and analyze how you changed for the better because of it! Tell them that too. This can help you let go of them, and realize that your relationship did have some positive effects. Ultimately, they make you who you are today.
  • If your ex has left you for another person then ask yourself: If s/he said s/he wanted you back, would you really want him or her? Would you ever trust him/her not to break your heart again? Would you be hurt, angry, distrustful when s/he is 10 minutes late calling you, wondering where she is, who he is with? Though you may believe that the answer to all your prayers would be a reconciliation with your ex, if it did happen, you might find that Mr. Spock from Star Trek was right when he said “You may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.”
  • Remember that your ex may be trying to get over you, as well. Be sensitive to that, and keep your distance. If you’ve decided to stop seeing one another, do just that: stop.
  • Write a story. Think back to when your relationship with this person began, and document it from beginning to end. This may be very painful, but it will give you a broader perspective. When you get to the final chapter, finish off on a positive note and write “The End”. If you’re writing in a notebook, close it forcefully, take a deep breath, and put it on a bookshelf. If you wrote on looseleaf papers, fold them, put them in an envelope, and seal it. You may choose to keep the story, or you may choose to shred it or burn it. The very act of documenting your relationship and closing the book, however, will help you find closure emotionally.
  • Have a symbolic ceremony. People still hold funerals for the deceased whose bodies were never found, and you can still have a formal way to say goodbye to relationships that were never resolved. Gather all of the things that remind you of this person and burn them, or donate them to charity. Give a eulogy to the relationship, and say it out loud. 
  • Keep your dignity. Many times, it’s our own ego that causes the pain; we feel rejected and deceived, embarrassed. We doubt our self worth and adequacy. A breakup, especially one in which your partner has cheated on you, can really undermine your self-confidence and shake your self-esteem to the core. Help rebuild your inner stability by impressing yourself with accomplishment – volunteer, take a class, do things that remind you of your value as a person.
  •  Make a list of the good things that emerged as a result of this relationship. Look at the problem from a completely new angle; look at the positive side. See if you can identify 10 positive outcomes of this experience.

(Thanks to WikiHow. See link to full article herehttp://www.wikihow.com/Get-Over-a-Break-Up)

Romantic Relationships – Are They Really Worth The Time?

Cracked heart

 

Have you ever felt emotional pain so great that you thought your heart were crushing in on itself and pulling the perimeter of your chest wall with it? (mix a writer and a scientist, and that is the sentence you get)

Ever know that the “right thing” was to leave a relationship but it didn’t mean you weren’t suffering heartache from that residual love still in your body? I say “body” because I don’t WANT to feel this way. An attachment (not all together a healthful one) was formed, and now breaking it is more than just “deciding” in my mind to do so.

I see his glaring faults. I see his strengths. These used to weigh differently on my scales of decision but still . . . we all weigh and measure our partners, determining the value of the relationship. Yesterday, we rounded a new corner in this continuing saga of separation. I was biding my time before this point – trying to delay the upset of the actual physical separation, which includes much emotional pain, too.

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I admit something that embarrasses me and makes me feel pathetic – I can hardly stand being alone. I’ve always been that way but hate the trait. Still, it is what it is. I have been in varying states of aloneness over the last 6 months but it is time to face the ultimate one – being physically alone and having no clear prospect of that changing.

I’m not sure why I can’t locate the “right” man for me. I don’t ask for much, really – nothing out of the ordinary. He just needs to be kind, honest, and loving. He should be affectionate and not ignore me. I need for him to be financially stable so I am not expected to solve all of his problems. I have a lot to give a partner. I am these same things that I ask for in a mate. I am very nurturing and kind. I’m generous and a loving soul. I’m honest.

Sounds like I’m writing a singles ad. Yuck.

Are relationships really worth all of this struggle? I have so much love to give – for me to be unable to share it seems a sad waste.

10 Ways to Live with a Jerk

jerkzone

 

1)      Stay very busy so you don’t have to address him often. Work, hobbies, outings with friends or family, outings alone, yard work, etc. will keep you occupied and productive.

2)      Pretend he is just a roommate who pays “rent” each week. The income is pretty nice.

3)      Plan ahead to reach your ultimate goals. Education, job, living arrangements. Write down what you want/need and then follow – step by step. Once you turn the boat over, chaos will ensue, so have a plan first.

4)      Meet with a good friend and vent when you need to release steam or seek advice. Or try blogging. It’s an amazing stress reliever.

5)      Stop thinking about how things “should” be. They are what they are.

6)      Improve yourself – physically, mentally, and spiritually. You are deserving of wonderful things.

7)      Love on your cats or dogs. They love you unconditionally and like when you show them you feel the same.

8)      Speak to the jerk when passing in the hallway, meeting in the kitchen, or sitting in the same room.

9)      Learn to un-care about said jerk. What once was love has obviously become a convenience of living arrangements – sharing the bills so to speak.

10)   Realize that you are worthy of real love and a partner who will dote on you and appreciate you.

 

Get out ASAP if there is violence but if not, and you want to plan a smoother exit route, follow the steps above.

I am not a medical professional. Do not consider my advice as professional.  😉

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Get Out of That Toxic Relationship!

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Questions to ponder:

  • Is the pain too great to stay the same?
  • Do I constantly picture an alternate reality?
  • Do I need a translator to be heard?
  • Is it impossible to make boundaries?
  • Am I the only one that is willing to meet in the middle?
  • Is getting an apology (when it’s truly deserved) like pulling teeth?
  • Does this relationship take more energy than it gives?
  • Is blaming and complaining getting really old?
  • Am I completely fatigued when I’m with the person and energetic when they’re gone?
  • If it’s a romantic relationship, are the sparks dead, end of story?
  • Do I smile when I want to yell and then yell at the wrong people?
  • Is the only thing holding me back my fear of newness?
  • Am I afraid of what people will think of me if this relationship fails?
  • Does this person make me feel like I’m lost without them?
  • Do I find myself missing the old me?
  • And so on…

 

http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/06/24/how-to-identify-and-release-toxic-relationships/