By Stephen Passman
1. They’re Manipulative
This is the biggest one. Both women and men do it. I see it all the time — someone getting a man to buy dinner or drinks with no interest of getting to know the person, or a man expecting sex for doing so. Manipulative behavior is often not seen at first because of the initial superficial interactions and the “puppy love” effect. Manipulation is when someone acts or uses something or someone with a maleficent or aggressive intention in order to induce a desired action. Manipulation is emotional abuse (Fjeltstad, 2014).
Other big ones to watch out for:
a) Guilt tripping someone into doing something they don’t want to do.
b) Intimidation, using fear, or verbal abuse for creating submission for some action.
c) Positive/ Negative Reinforcement (E.g. Only saying I love you only after someone does something “good” or pleasing to the partner).
d) Anyone who “presses your buttons” or uses your insecurities to get you to do what they want you to do.
e) Giving gifts with strings attached or crossing your boundaries often.
Someone who is manipulative must be in control. So If you find these circumstances to be the case, realize that no one deserves to be subjected to this kind of behavior.
Regardless of gender, sexual preference, or age, we all go through a phase when we’re not exactly girlfriend/boyfriend material. Our natural instincts and emotions have a tendency to overpower our reasoning, and before we know it, we’re going down a vortex of misery we’ve caused ourselves, one way or another. Consciously quit these unhealthy habits and peace of mind (plus a healthy relationship) is on its way!
The ultimate relationship killer. The beginning of the end. You justify your snooping by saying it’s harmless, and stuff like “if my S/O isn’t doing anything wrong, he shouldn’t have to hide anything from me.” However, this little “harmless” habit of yours will eventually feed your anxiety and it will cause you to overthink even the littlest of things: his bedtime, his work e-mail, his gas station receipts… Suddenly, you’ve turned into a psycho without even knowing it. Seriously, just stop snooping and trust your partner. Sometimes, our brains manufacture red flags even when they MIGHT not even exist at all.
Fairytales, romantic comedies, fiction novels, and porn (duh) are unrealistic. Stop building fantasies in your head and quietly expecting your boyfriend or girlfriend to fulfill them for you. Do you want them to expect more than you can actually give? There’s a thin line between what you deserve and what you think you deserve. Know the difference. Expect within reasonable bounds.
3. Taking Score
It is inevitable to feel good after giving an amazing gift, or doing a huge favor for your partner. However, you must always bear in mind that whenever you give or do something, that doesn’t mean you’re going to get one in return. Be sincere and quit using a scoreboard in your relationship. In cheesier terms, do it for the loooove. Quit trying to be the better half, and instead, be a better whole.
We’ve all gone through hard times. And we all get through them. However, some get through them better than others. So what is their secret? Most of it has to do with attitude. Here are 13 things to remember when life gets rough:
1. What is, is. Buddha’s famous saying tells us: “It is your resistance to ‘what is’ that causes your suffering.” Think about that for a minute. It means that our suffering only occurs when we resist how things are. If you can change something, then take action! Change it! But if you can’t change it, then you have two choices: (1) either accept it and let go of the negativity, or (2) make yourself miserable by obsessing over it.
2. It’s only a problem if you think it’s a problem. Many times, we are our own worst enemy. Happiness is really dependent on perspective. If you think something is a problem, then your thoughts and emotions will be negative. But if you think it’s something you can learn from, then suddenly, it’s not a problem anymore.
3. If you want things to change, you need to start with changing yourself. Your outer world is a reflection of your inner world. Don’t you know people whose lives are chaotic and stressful? And isn’t that largely because they feel chaotic inside? Yes, it is. We like to think that changing our circumstances will change us. But we have it backwards—we need to change ourselves first before our circumstances will change.
4. There is no such thing as failure—only learning opportunities. You should just wipe the word “failure” right out of your vocabulary. All great people who have ever achieved anything have “failed” over and over. In fact, I think it was Thomas Edison who said something like, “I did not fail at inventing the light bulb, I just first found 99 ways that it didn’t work.” Take your so-called “failures” and learn something from them. Learn how to do it better next time.
I am only 24 years old, yet I have actually already chosen my last tie. It’s the one that I will wear on my funeral a few months from now. It may not match my suit, but I think it’s perfect for the occasion.
The cancer diagnosis came too late to give me at least a tenuous hope for a long life, but I realized that the most important thing about death is to ensure that you leave this world a little better than it was before you existed with your contributions . The way I’ve lived my life so far, my existence or more precisely the loss of it, will not matter because I have lived without doing anything impactful.
Before, there were so many things that occupied my mind. When I learned how much time I had left, however, it became clear which things are really important. So, I am writing to you for a selfish reason. I want to give meaning to my life by sharing with you what I have realized:
1. Don’t waste your time on work that you don’t enjoy. It is obvious that you cannot succeed in something that you don’t like. Patience, passion, and dedication come easily only when you love what you do.
2. It’s stupid to be afraid of others’ opinions. Fear weakens and paralyzes you. If you let it, it can grow worse and worse every day until there is nothing left of you, but a shell of yourself. Listen to your inner voice and go with it. Some people may call you crazy, but some may even think you’re a legend.
By Nick Notas
We’ve heard it from every relationship advice column ever: communication is key. But what does that even mean? It’s like saying “be yourself” — great in theory but useless without context or practical application.
For years I thought I knew about good communication. I figured it boiled down to getting everything off your chest. And since I never shut up and would have heated emotional outbursts, I felt I was doing a fine job.
After multiple failed relationships, lots of reading, and serious self-analysis, I began to understand the real components of effective communication. Now, nearly three years into the healthiest and happiest relationship of my life, I’m ready to share my insight.
- Have regular bonding time. Don’t spend all your free moments together watching Netflix. Take even 30 minutes a night where you two hang out, talk, and show affection. This closeness promotes honest, vulnerable conversations.
- Don’t resent what they don’t know. Are you frustrated with something she did? Do you think she was being unfair? Did you tell her? If the answer is no, you have no right to be pissed off. Give her a chance to explain her side and apologize if necessary.
- Address your feelings as soon as possible. If there’s something on your mind (whether positive or negative), don’t delay telling her about it. Calmly describe how and why you’re feeling the way you do.
The same goes for when she asks you “What’s wrong?” or “What are you thinking about?” Replying, “Nothing”, “It doesn’t matter”, or “Don’t worry about it” are not valid answers. Again, how can anything get resolved if both parties don’t know the whole story?
- Set expectations early on. What do you want? What’s important to you in a relationship and in a partner? Do you need alone time regularly? Do you want to see your friends weekly? Is consistent sex a priority? Do you want to be monogamous?
Convey as much as possible from the start through discussion and action. If you pretend sex isn’t a priority, you can’t expect it daily a year later. Encourage your partner to share their expectations as well.
1. Took a lovely young lady Go-cart racing and followed it up with some laser tag. We ended up sitting on a hill drinking while the sunset, talking, making out for what seemed like hours.
2. To the airport, before the draconian days of the TSA and shoe-removal. I was a poor college student and had a date with a hot visual arts student with really short black hair and an ass you could bounce a quarter on. I had no money and was challenged to think of something different and creative. The airport was free. We people-watched, made up back stories for them, made up dialogues between people from far away, played spot-the-spy (every major airport must have at least one spy in it at all times. It’s a rule, I think). We walked up to those limo guys holding signs and pretended to be who they were looking for (“Hi we’re the Sniths. Oh, you’re looking for the Smiths. Never mind”) And when we were pretending to be spies, I told her our cover was blown and to follow my lead and kissed her. For a guy whose only exposure to anything smooth is a jar of Skippy, I’m still proud of that one. Then we went and watched planes take off and land, Wayne’s World style. We went on a few more dates, but nothing ever happened. Not even an under-the-shirt, over-the-bra squeeze. But that was still the best date I’ve ever been on.
3. She drove an hour and a half to meet me in a poorly-lit gas station parking lot. We had a lot of time to kill, so we went to a restaurant to eat and start getting to know one another. From there, we went to a divey bar for a drink, where an extremely trashed teenager kept us company and told us all about her ex-boyfriend. Eventually we left and went to a nearby park, where we made out until a policeman shooed us out of the park.
All of this was leading up to the midnight showing of an indie slasher movie I’d originally invited her down to see. We stole kisses through the whole movie and laughed our asses off (it was intentionally funny).
We were thirty years old but I felt like I was back in high school in all the best ways. Happy to say it was the first of many great dates. She’s the love of my life.
Obviously, I’m not a relationship expert. But there’s something about my divorce being finalized this week that gives me perspective of things I wish I would have done different—¦ After losing a woman that I loved, and a marriage of almost 16 years, here’s the advice I wish I would have had
1. Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.
2. Protect your own heart. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.
3. Fall in love over and over again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.
4. Always see the best in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.
5. It’s not your job to change or fix her—¦ your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.
6. Take full accountability for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.
Myth #1 —“ Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.
Myth #2 —“ Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.
Myth #3 —“ Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.
Myth #4 —“ Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.