Protecting the image of your relationship

“Girl, he’s so annoying, I actually can’t stand him sometimes”

Sound familiar?

We’ve all done it! Vent to a friend when we get into a disagreement with our partner. This could be because we are seeking a third party opinion. We convince ourselves that someone who is not directly involved can offer a better perspective on the issue at hand.

Whilst this is sometimes the case, I believe that unless the person you are involving does not have relation to either party, the opinion could be flawed, as it’s usually in your favour.

Individuals also vent as they feel a sense of release when they do so. I myself can relate, in the past, I’ve gone straight from an argument to call up my friend. Once I’ve let it all out, I suddenly feel better.

This is often because they’ve sided with me or seen it from my point of view when my partner perhaps didn’t. Although, I now feel better, what may my friend be thinking of my man or the relationship, especially if it’s something I’m doing regularly.

We also have to bear in mind that after a row, we are not in the most positives of moods, and could say something extremely negative about our partner in the heat of the moment, which will stick.

Before I go any further, I feel it’s vital to clarify that when I’m discussing why I believe it’s important not to discuss every relationship issue you have with family and friends. I’m referring to everyday spats, small annoyances, personal issues e.g financial or intimate.

When it’s more serious issues which involve physical, mental or emotional abuse. It’s essential that you express this to family and friends or seek professional help, as it’s not acceptable in any capacity.

So why shouldn’t every relationship issue be spoken about or relayed back to friends? Let’s discuss a few reasons:

Receiving wrong/biased advice

It’s very easy for someone who isn’t facing the dilemma/issue directly to offer advice. It usually goes like “if it was me….”

Guess what! It’s not them, it’s you! All relationships are different and what works for your friend’s relationship may not work for yours. So being encouraged or influenced to take particular action from their experience is likely to backfire.

You also need to bear in mind that only your side of the story has been heard, so when they are offering you feedback it’s likely to be biased to some degree. It’s your friend at the end of the day and their loyalty is to you.

The only two people that know the full story is you and your partner, hence why it should be discussed and resolved solely by the two of you.

Resentment of your partner

Discussing every frustration and argument you have with your partner will only result in family and friends resenting them. Just picture a time your friend bad mouthed a partner, did you not begin to form a negative opinion? even if it was only at that moment.

Many inform friends of the bad times but not so much the good, which is why a negative view could easily be formed. The outcome of this is usually them voicing that you deserve better and he/she is not the one for you.

Familiarity breeds contempt

For those who have never heard of this term, it basically means that close association with something or someone results in a loss of respect for it.

When we talk badly about our partner and our relationship, its perfectly acceptable right? after all, that’s our partner. However, when someone else does, it’s a what the f*** moment. This is, unfortunately, the outcome of oversharing.

You have invited outsiders into your relationship, so they have now become comfortable to talk badly about your other half. They are familiar with all the disagreements, have heard the negatives you have to say and now believe it’s okay to also do so. Do yourself a favour and avoid this happening by protecting the image of your relationship. Also, remember the relationship is not just yours, it’s your partners too.

Not knowing where to draw the line

There are certain topics that should never be up for discussion. Intimacy should be a no-no! your partner does not want your friends to know what goes down in the bedroom between the two of you and neither should you.

A girls night often leads to gossiping but you need to know where to draw the line. Intimate details of you and your partner’s sex life should be kept private at all cost.

Finances are also such a sensitive subject and should not be discussed with others.If your partner is experiencing financial issues, do not breach there trust by sharing this with others.

To conclude, I personally believe it’s important to protect the image of your relationship. It encourages and promotes effective communication. We learn how to deal with disagreements and issues head-on with our partner. Running to family and friends disrupts that process.

The law of attraction also plays a huge part with my whole thinking on protecting the image of your relationship. Putting the negative out there to family and friends for me is basically inviting more negative in.

Do not allow others to have front row seats to you and your partners problems, your relationship is your reality and not a movie.

Thanks for reading, I would love to know your view on this. Comment below 🙂

The 5 love languages ❤️

In the past, I briefly skimmed through Gary Chapman’s book ’The 5 love languages’. This year I decided to read it and really get to grips with what Chapman describes as the 5 love languages and also how he thinks it can do wonders for a relationship but most importantly a marriage.

This book explains that we all have a primary love language, and that this is the way in which we tend to both feel and show love. Reading this book helped me to understand that just because I as an individual like to receive love in a particular way it doesn’t mean my partner does. It’s important to take time to know their love language and begin to act on it.

I am focusing on romantic relationships as the book also does, but I also believe this concept that Chapman coined will benefit our relationships with family, friends and others we meet on life’s journey.

In order to get a better understanding of the 5 love languages, I believe it’s a good idea to summarise them, especially for those who aren’t familiar with this theory.

Words of affirmation

Self-love and believing in ourselves is so significant to our well-being and growth. As much as that is great, it’s also an amazing feeling to know that someone else/others believe in us. Encouraging words really assist in building individuals up, in particular, those who’s dominant love language is ‘words of affirmation’.

Chapman expresses the importance of verbal compliments and explains how they are ‘powerful communicators of love’. He gives examples of this in his book, I chose two:

“You look sharp in that suit”

“You can always make me laugh”

These kinds of compliments will make your partner feel good and appreciated, it will give them the extra confidence that’s needed. We all have insecurities, showering them with encouraging words is where you come in. These words have the ability to eliminate any doubt your partner may have.

Moreover, there is also a downside to words being of such huge impact. Negative words have the power to put a downer of your partner’s parade and could result in them feeling low. If your partners love language is words of affirmation, I believe a good mindset to have is ‘think before you speak’

Quality time

Many underestimate the power of quality time. Some perceive quality time as simply spending time with one another. This book breaks it down and explains what it consist off.

Chapman states that ‘giving this person your undivided attention means practically disengaging from all outside sources’. This requires you focusing solely on your partner and not being distracted by the likes of phones, televisions of anything that could result in your attention being drawn away.

You may be an individual who is extremely busy with work, and family. Whilst these are all important aspects of life, if quality time is the way your partner feels love, you need to make it happen. We are all busy, but you make time for priorities, which your partner is. They require your time and to just be in your company, it’s not too much to ask for really, is it?

Receiving gifts

Universally, I’m sure most of us love receiving gifts, well I certainly do. Nevertheless, it’s not the most significant action that shows me love from a partner. However, for those whose primary love language is ‘receiving gifts’ it’s more than that. This signifies love to them. They want a visible gift that they are able to hold in their hand. The financial aspect of this gift is not important. This person enjoys and appreciates this gift knowing that they were thought of. It’s sentimental for this reason.

One’s partner may not be a gift giver, therefore struggles with satisfying their partner in this area. However love is about compromise and not everything will come naturally, but if a gift is what will make your spouse happy, you should be willing to make this happen. It’s a process that may not happen overnight, but with time you will see the joy it brings.

Acts of service

Now you are talking my language! Get it? By simply seeing what the 5 love languages were, I had already decided that this was mine. When I saw acts of service, the first thing that came to mind was ‘actions speak louder than words’. This is something I believe in completely, so I was sold.

However, I had to read the book to confirm my thoughts and to understand exactly what ‘acts of service’ as a love language entails.

Chapman says that those who speak this particular language ‘want their partner to recognise their life is tough and lend them a helping hand in anyway possible”.

I get stressed out quite easily, so when a partner can reduce stress for me in any way, I feel extremely appreciated. This can be by doing chores to ease the workload for me, whether that ’s cooking or washing up, basically anything I would like done. These acts require effort, and the reward will be how happy your partner feels once it’s completed.

Those with traditional values may struggle to fulfil roles such as this. Stereotypically, they see particular roles such as cooking and cleaning to be gender specific, acts women tends to carry out. However, if this is your woman’s love language, it may mean you need to alter this mindset. It may not come easily to you, but it is necessary.

The above example was related to acts a woman might appreciate, as I was talking from my perspective. If it was reversed and this was your man’s love language, of course the task or ways in which you could serve him would differ. This love language requires observation, over time you will be able to know what could help him/her out. This could be taking over something they constantly moan about doing. It could be as simple as that.

Physical touchWhat came to mind when you saw this header? For some, it was probably that it’s related to sexual intercourse.

Your not wrong, this does make up part of this love language, but it’s certainly not limited to this.

Physical touch consists also of physical contact such as embracing, holding hands and also kissing.

If this is your partners love language, this is the way they receive emotional love, a lack of this can result in them feeling unloved/less appreciated. For some, it could be hard for them to show love in this way, especially if this is not also their love language.

You may not be up for public displays of affection, which your partner may want. You may also simply not be a ‘touchy-feely person’. Whilst this may not be something you would indulge in normally if it’s the way in which your partner feels most loved, attempt to make them feel more secure in this way. This could be as simple as cuddling whilst chilling out. Your partner just wants to feel close to you in any way possible.

You probably read these 5 languages and found your self-relating to one or even more of them, maybe all. However, there is one that plays a dominant role, the one considered to be our primary love language. If you would like to have a clearer idea of your love language, (take this quiz). I believe it will help you identify your love language or at least get a clearer insight into this topic

In this post, I was only able to give a brief outline of what I got from this book. I highly recommend you purchase it, so you can form your own perspective. I really love the fact that Chapman incorporated case study’s in this book. He demonstrated the outcome of those who applied this concept to their relationship or particular situation. He also recommends ways you can integrate the particular love language of your spouse to the relationship.

Thanks for reading! What are your views on love languages as a whole? Comment below 😊

The approach

Approaching someone of interest can be daunting. What if he/she rejects me? What if they’re taken? These questions will never be revealed unless you build up the confidence to approach.

The approach is extremely important, your attitude and your persona are just some of the factors that determine whether someone will engage in conversation with you, and want to get know you further.

No two women are the same, and what we look for in an approach could differ. However, I believe we could agree collectively that respect and politeness is a common denominator in what we are looking for.

Personally, mannerisms is a must for me, I need to gather from the start that you are respectful. If you Address me with words such as ’oi, yo or a whistle’, I wouldn’t even give you the time of day, as I’ve already formed my opinion on you. At this stage, my name is not known to you, but there are other ways to address me, ’excuse me miss’ ’hi, can I have a few minutes of your time’. This is just examples of course lol.

Moreover, what appeals to me? In all honesty, if you look good, you have my attention, not to sound shallow. However, what follows plays a more significant role. Confidence is so attractive! Don’t overdo it, there’s a thin line between confident and arrogant. Be yourself, don’t put on a façade, we see through this.

A sense of humour? This is a must, you need to be able to make me laugh. Approaching someone can be awkward, so light-hearted banter makes both people involved more relaxed.

Additionally, I believe you should approach someone without expectations.

The person you are approaching may not be interested, maybe in a relationship or simply just doesn’t want to be approached. If you don’t get the response you want, just accept the rejection gracefully, there is plenty more fish in the sea, no one is obliged to want to get to know you further.

To assist me with this post further, I was able to get two women to share their perspective on ’being approached’.

Desiree Simone

I understand that I am a complicated magical creature. I go to bars alone, just to try a new scotch. I’d rather shop online than to ever try on a dress at a store. I can swear like a sailor but talk to your 90-year-old grandmother about the beautiful melodies of Glenn Miller.

And for this reason, I find it interesting that men have such a difficult time approaching me. Maybe I give off a highly confident, unapproachable vibe. Or maybe my RBF is so good that the men who do approach me, go straight to the “Sex Tactic”. You know what I mean. “Love that dress. It’ll look better on my floor!” No seriously, I had that happen.

Whether your approach is subtle or direct, there is a true art to approaching the opposite sex in order to strike up a conversation or even ask them out on a date. Here are some of my personal faves and a few No No’s when it comes to being approached by a guy.

Eye Contact, but no “Stalker Eyes”- When I see a guy lock eyes with me, or even if, on a date, I see that he is really looking at my eyes, it instantly puts me at ease. I want you to look at me and be engaging. But don’t look at me like you’re secretly undressing me in your mind. (Don’t worry though, we know you are!)

Be Funny vs Sexy- Being sexy with your approach is like eating dinner and starting with the dessert. Instead of going straight to the bedroom talk, why not try making me laugh. There are tons of studies that show that women appreciate a guy who can make her laugh. And why do you think that is? At the end of the day, if you can laugh together, you have a good chance of building something of value, rather than that bar hookup that ends with me deleting your number.

Compliment, Compliment, Compliment- There’s a great Chris Rock comedy special where he talks about what men need versus what women need. And he’s right in that one of the biggest things that women need is compliments. What this means is, we want you to acknowledge us and more than just “Oh, I like your eyes.” Don’t get me wrong, we love that. But if we talk about work and I mention how I was the youngest manager promoted to my current position, you might say something like “Wow. So you really work hard, and it’s paid off!” What that tells me is that you are listening to me, really listening, and you hold value to my work ethic. This, in turn, makes me feel that you are complimenting me as a person, and not just as a chick who you might want to see naked!

So go out there and take charge. Oh, and ladies, the approve can apply to you too. We often make a few mistakes with our approaches, but I think the biggest one we make is thinking that we CAN’T approach guys. So if I could give the best advice for women, just do it already! Buy that coffee for the hot guy who rides his bike to the coffee shop. Ask the guy at the gym what his arm routine is. Finally, talk to the cute tech support guy at work. The approach may be a fail, but an even bigger fail is sitting alone wishing you could have done something!

Kally

When it comes to being approached with romantic intent, I think I prefer to be approached by that person in the same way that they’d approach anyone else. I don’t really like being flirted with by someone I’ve just met, so if they just keep it friendly and try to get to know me a little at first, then I’ll feel more comfortable! 

For instance, let’s say I’m at a party – I find it really off-putting when a guy just comes up to me and instantly starts trying out chat-up lines and such. I much prefer it when they start off with a casual conversation, and then if we vibe well, then the flirty conversation will naturally follow.

I don’t like being approached in the street. On the occasion that it does happen, it tends to be from older men which makes me incredibly uncomfortable. If being approached in public, I don’t think I’d mind if it was from a ‘familiar stranger’ e.g. a regular at the bus stop who you acknowledge every now and then.

When being approached in general, I tend to seek authenticity. I can sense when someone is putting on a front with me and it makes me have an aversion towards that person. Also, I don’t really like small talk so if I can end up in a deep conversation with someone pretty soon after meeting them, it’s a sure sign that we’d get on well.

I believe a smile is pretty inviting. It instantly sets the mood for the rest of the approach. It means that the person has made a good impression already without even having to say anything at all! 

An example of a time I was put off by an approach – It was about 10 pm and I was waiting for the tube to get back home (when I still lived in London). I think I was about 17 at the time because I was doing NCS. There weren’t many people on the platform but a man (probably in his 40s) approached me and his first words were something like, “You look nice. Where are you going?” I lied and said I was going to a different station. But he definitely would’ve known I was going in the same direction, as we were both waiting for the tube on the same side. 

He asked if he could have my number and I said no, he then asked if I had a boyfriend. He was being persistent in his questions and wasn’t taking no for an answer. As soon as the tube came a couple minutes later, I quickly legged it up the platform so I’d be in a different carriage to him. I then ran home once I got off at my stop. 

As you can imagine, being a woman, it wasn’t a comfortable position to be in at all, and I was worried for my safety. I definitely think that men need to avoid approaching women when they are on their own, especially at night. We already feel vulnerable as it is, so even if the person is harmless, we’ve experienced enough difficulties with men and heard enough stories to know how things could end.

As a woman myself, this post focused mainly on men approaching women.

However, I am very aware that the old-fashioned ideal that sees men as the initiators is no longer the case.

Many women fear being seen as ”desperate” or ”too full on” if they approach a man. Hopefully, my next post will visit this viewpoint and help us to see what a few men think about being approached.

Thanks so much for reading this post, I would love to know your views on this topic. Comment below 🙂

Thank you also to Desiree and Kally for contributing to this post 🙂

Do labels matter in relationships?

Yes! That’s my answer and I’m sticking to it. As with all my post, I like to look at both perspectives. In this case, the reasons why labels are important but also why some deem it as not so important.

A label in this particular circumstance, is simply what you define your relationship status as. Typically when you initially meet someone and are getting to know them, you are likely to refer to it as dating. As things progress it may now become an official relationship, which is when labels such as girlfriend/boyfriend come in.

The first things that come to mind when an individual says “I hate labels” is one of two things. Commitment-phobia or he/she doesn’t want to be monogamous.

However, upon thinking about it in more depth, I understand the whole belief that it adds pressure to the relationship. All of a sudden a new bout of responsibility comes into the picture.

Although I agree to a certain degree, I also believe it’s part of the journey to finding the one. Naturally, as we progress in everyday life, whether it be our personal life’s or career, new responsibilities come in.

I am going to use an odd example: it’s like getting a promotion at work. You start off in a particular role, let’s say admin(that’s your title.)
Over time you may be promoted, to a supervisor which is now your new title.

A new role comes with new responsibility. It’s a positive in my opinion, it shows transition and progress just as with a relationship.
Some view labels as insignificant, a title that just adds unnecessary pressure.

However, others believe it signifies and makes clear what stage of the relationship you are at, which I totally agree with.
The cycle is this: Dating➡️boyfriend/girlfriend➡️fiancé➡️husband/wife.

Each of these stages/labels show your relationship is getting more serious and reaching new heights.
Labels don’t add pressure to the relationship, individuals associating unrealistic expectations to it does.

Many of us have seen or heard the quote “expectations lead to disappointment”.
Entering any relationship with this mindset is already setting yourself up for something negative. As your relationship transitions, new expectations come in, that’s life. Instead of viewing it as pressure, see it as growth.

Moreover, another question that comes up in relation to labels is ‘does a label stop cheating’?
Let’s be honest, if an individual is going to cheat, they will cheat, with or without the label.

However, a label makes it easier to hold an individual accountable for their actions. If you are with someone but haven’t made your relationship official, an easy cop-out would be ‘but we ain’t technically together’; which in all honesty is a fact.

This situation can be avoided by open and honest conversations from the start. This conversation will consist of both of you highlighting your boundaries. You will also make your expectations known, for instance agreeing not to sleep with anyone but each other.

This now becomes the unwritten rule, regardless if it’s not official. In this circumstance, if the person was to go ahead and sleep with someone else, you have a decision to make! Do you stay there, because it’s not really official? Or do you walk away, because, quite frankly you can’t trust this individuals words or actions? I know what I would do!!

I decided to write this post as I see often individuals settling for label-less relationships. Although some don’t see it as a big deal, I personally do. As I stated throughout this post, I believe it shows stages and growth.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe relationships need to be rushed. The dating stage should assist in you deciding whether you see a future with one and other. Once this is established, I see no reason why a title can’t be given to your relationship.

It’s also important to remember that some individuals will you give you a title solely based on the fact that they know its what you want. They may also believe that there are perks that come with this title. Don’t be so eager for the title that you misjudge the intentions of an individual.

Thanks for reading, I would love to know your views on this. Are labels important? Comment below 😊

Dating deal breakers

Following on from my previous post which was on dating, I decided to remain on that topic. This time discussing dating deal breakers.

Before I go any further I should first explain what I mean by dating deal breakers. These are traits a man or woman possesses that you are not attracted to or won’t be able to tolerate or accept going forward. Although many stick to their deal breakers, others ignore them and don’t view them as significant enough to get in the way of pursuing someone.

There are individuals that believe particular deal breakers come down to being shallow, especially if it’s in reference to looks. However wanting a potential partner that has a particular build/look for instance comes down to preference in my opinion. Let’s be honest we have all been guilty of being attracted to someone based solely on physical attributes.

On the other hand there are some who take physical preferences to the extreme and will give no leeway at all. Although I believe it’s good to go for what you want, there is no such thing as perfect so finding someone with every trait you want could prove extremely difficult.

Upon writing this post I made it a priority to ask individuals what some of their dating deal breakers were, so I could incorporate some of them into this post. That way it wouldn’t just be from my point of view but instead a wider perspective. So let’s look at a few, I have not listed them in order of importance.

Past infidelity

Once a cheat always a cheat! Although I’m not sure whether I believe this to be true, a significant amount of people do. A person who has cheated in past relationships is a put off to some and a reason one may refrain from getting to know an individual further. Whilst a past cheater can be an immediate red flag, others believe the person will change and won’t do the same to them.

Age

Age ain’t nothing but a number is the mind-set of some but for others age matters. Some don’t want to go for someone much older or younger than them as they believe they may be in different stages of life than one and other. I also believe others deem age as a deal breaker out of fear of how others/ society will view it.

On the other hand there are individuals who strictly only go for someone older than them as they feel they are much more mature. However life has taught me that age doesn’t measure maturity. This is a deal breaker that comes down to the individual.

Height

Dating someone strictly based on their height could be viewed to some as shallow but I believe it’s down to what one wants. Many women I have spoken to have stated they would prefer to date a man taller than them but it’s not a big deal. Whilst others said there would be no budging and that someone shorter than them is a no no. This could be applied both ways as a shorter man may not want to date a woman that’s considerably taller than himself.

Religion

Religion is a massive deal breaker for many as some want someone that shares the same beliefs as them and that they can attend the same place of worship with. Others don’t deem difference of religion to be a deal breaker as long as both people involved respect one and others views.

Although you can initially see past the difference of religion it could prove to be a problem further down in the relationship, especially when you have kids and can’t agree on different aspects like what holidays they celebrate etc.

Jobless due to laziness

Let’s keep it real, in this day and age there are reasons that could result in an individual being unemployed for e.g. being laid off and health issues.

However, there are some people who are jobless due to laziness or simply lack of ambition. Many who I’ve asked both personally and through a poll I carried out, expressed that and individual being jobless is their biggest deal breaker if it is not for reasons beyond their control, which is totally understandable. Some can see past this and attempt to motivate the person in question, but in all honesty you can only help someone that wants to be helped.

Smoker

There are many habits that some can’t deal with and smoking is one of them. I personally wouldn’t date a smoker as I can’t tolerate the smell and don’t want to be a passive smoker if I am being honest.

Some are able to look past the fact that someone they are dating smokes as they believe they have the potential to get them to quit.

Hygiene

Poor hygiene was a common answer in both the males and females I asked about their dating deal breakers. Fact is no one wants a person with traits such as bad body odour and bad breath these are not acceptable and will put one of dating you further especially if its a regular occurrence . Poor hygiene is both a turn of physically and romantically.

This issue can be addressed but some won’t even view it as discussion worthy and will choose not to pursue things further.

Different long term goals

Some may think it’s too early during the dating stage to ask what one and others family goals are etc.,however I am the opposite and think these things should be asked pretty early on. Do you see yourself being married one day? Do you want kids? These are standard questions that I believe need to be asked.

If you are a person that wants to be married and wants to have kids but the person you are dating doesn’t it’s best to know from the start instead of finding out when feelings are deeply involved. If you don’t want the same thing long term why waste time? Unless of course you are willing to compromise or hope they will change their mind down the line.

I was unable to write about all the deal breakers that I and others may have. Writing this post has emphasized the fact that we all have preferences, some we may be willing to compromise and others we are not. Men and women also have huge similarities in terms of what they consider to be deal breakers.

This post has also inspired me to do a post on dating deal makers, which will discuss the traits that you find desirable during the dating period the ones that tick the right boxes in your quest to taking things further.

Thanks for reading, I would love to know what some of your dating deal breakers are, comment below.

Dating in this era ( Part 1)

In this day and age dating has become a scary prospect with many claiming that they don’t trust another’s intentions. “They’re are all the same” is a phrase I tend to hear way too much in reference to one gender categorizing the other.

We have all had bad experiences and scenarios that occur with the opposite sex but should we then generalize the whole gender as bad? Simple answer is no! It’s a very close minded view to have. In this big wide world not every male or female poses the same attributes as the other. Do not allow one bad situation cloud your judgement and stop you from dating and exploring what could be in the future, and essentially meeting the one.

Dating in this era seems to be harder than it once was, I base this view mainly on what I personally hear and what I seem to see being said on social media platforms from a variety of different people on quite a regular basis. I decided to write a post on some of the issues I feel may arise when dating and how they may be avoided at times.

Let your intentions be known

Okay, so when you meet someone in the first instance you don’t necessarily know if you’re going to marry him or her. However you know what stage you are at in regards to looking for something serious/ something more casual.

I personally believe this should be addressed pretty early on in the “getting to know you stage” as it leaves no room for confusion.

If someone you’re interested in/dating says from the start I am not looking for anything serious, whereas you on the other hand are, its easy to recognise quickly you may not be on the same page. if you therefore make the decision to stay there it’s at your own risk. You cannot be annoyed with the outcome later down the line because you knew what it was and chose to still invest time and energy into it, knowing this person did not want the same as you.

Many individuals often believe they can change someone else’s mind “they don’t think there ready, but I am different, I will change them”. It’s amazing that you believe you can change someone’s view but this can often backfire.

Of course individuals can believe they don’t want to be in a relationship but as time progresses and they spend more time with a particular person they become more open to being in a relationship. Is it however safer to just date someone who states they have the same intentions as you from the start? That is a choice only you can make.

Selling dreams

I genuinely hate the phrase “selling dreams” but it’s pretty self-explanatory and I believe it can also relate to my previous heading on making your intentions clear. Although there are honest people out there, many are not. Selling dreams for those who don’t know, is in short saying one thing to someone but not coming through with it/making a promise that you know full well you cannot keep.

I am sure this has been happening for years but this era is where the term sees to have been coined and really been put into practice. A person engaging with you and allowing you to believe they have intentions of having a future with you simply for personal gain is the reason why so many are left paranoid and questioning what they are being told even if it is in fact genuine .

One can say don’t be gullible but some have mastered the art of lying and convincing. However don’t ignore the warning signs, if an individual repeatedly lies even about minor things take note, because lying makes everything questionable. Dating would be so much easier if you “say what you mean and mean what you say”.

Talking on the phone is okay

In this digital era where means such as whatsapp exist do phone calls even take place any more?

Whatsapp and other social media platforms aid us in being able to be in frequent contact with others but I do believe a phone call as communication is important when in the dating stages. Whatsapp messenger comes with far too many issues, to name a few- “He/ she hasn’t opened my message but they’ve been on-line”. One word answers lead you to believe this persons upset when in actual fact they are probably just busy. A phone call leaves far less room for misinterpretation.

I am not saying phone calls are going to save the dating world but maybe consider having a nice conversation over the phone as opposed to messages packed with emoji’s. I can guarantee most individuals frequently run out of data but have over half their minutes left at the end of each month. I am guilt too, I’m guilty!

Enjoy the moment

Enjoy the process of dating and enjoy the company of whoever it is you’re getting to know.

What brought me to this, is the craze of social media and how I believe it stops us from enjoying aspects of our lives to the full potential. An amazing dinner date somehow always makes it to snap chat /insta story with some of us even showing every course of the meal. The constant posting of the location of the date and what you’re eating and drinking makes it seem like you are going on the date more for the sake of picture purposes and less to get to the know the person your dating.

We need to learn to put our phones down and just enjoy the then and now, it seems that many of us including myself believe if we don’t snap it, it didn’t happen which is ridiculous but true.

We need to go out on dates and simply enjoy one and others company, get to know that person on both a mental and spiritual level and forget about the digital world. I am sure you have heard the saying “the best moments don’t make it to social media”~ Rosalynn Mejia

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I could write so much on this topic but I will post a part two next week. I would love to know your views on the topic of dating and why a lot of individuals seem to have a negative perspective on it.

 

Self love and relationships

Two months ago I wrote a shortened version of this post for the The Move but decided to add to what I previously wrote and post it on my own site. I really enjoyed writing this particular post as I felt like I could relate to it on a personal level and I found it to be very thought provoking as I was writing it.

Self-love is a word I hear so frequently in today’s society, but the question is are we using the term loosely or actually making an effort to practice this?

On my own personal journey I have found it quite challenging to accept both my strengths and weaknesses, but believe learning how to love every part of myself is one of life’s biggest lessons. Many of us don’t realize the importance of self-love and how it shapes us both in everyday life and in our relationships.

Self-love is often overlooked but it’s the process in which we embrace who we are, imperfections and all. Weaknesses exist but we don’t allow them to decrease our worth in any shape or form.

Self-love is also the foundation in which a successful relationship stems from. When you are secure in yourself and what you have to offer, you are able to give and receive love authentically. We often make the mistake of believing that it is a selfish act, when in actual fact it’s about getting in touch with ourselves and our happiness. Those who appear vain or conceited are perhaps battling their own personal demons and not in fact self-love.

Self-love for me is:

-Allowing my yes to be yes and my no to be no without fear of upsetting others.

-Having morals and not dropping them due to a partner or no one else for that matter.

-Chasing my dreams and ambitions and not abandoning them or sabotaging them

-Accepting that I have flaws but not allowing anyone to make me feel insecure due to them.

-Removing toxic individuals from my life and not being afraid to do so.

-Avoid comparing myself to others as there is no one like me and that is my power so embrace it.

I also believe self-love is an ongoing process that has to constantly be worked on. This can’t be learnt over night but instead is a journey. A journey that you won’t regret, that will do you a world of good both now and in the future.

Why did I relate self-love to relationships? The simplest answer I can give is this, if you have negative thoughts and feelings about yourself they will eventually become part of your relationship. This will usually happen unintentionally but inevitably and will most likely have a bad impact on the relationship.

There are many areas of the relationship that can suffer due to lack of self-love, I will discuss some below.

Believing your partner is too good for you

Lacking in self-love can lead you to think you are punching above your weight in regards to your partner. Believing your partner is out of your league can result in you being insecure. Ideally you should embrace single life and use it is as a time to gain confidence and be secure in what you bring to the table in all aspects.

When in a relationship your partner can constantly attempt to reassure you but in reality there is nothing they can say to make you feel different. You have to think your enough and only you can change your mind set. Insecurity has the potential to take its toll on the relationship in the long run.

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Relying on your partner for happiness

I am sure you have heard of the saying “happiness starts from within” and that is a fact. We all want to be loved and experience the feeling it brings. However a partner is simply there to enhance the happiness that already exist. When we become reliant on another individual for happiness we give that person full control over how we feel. This means that if the relationship ends you will be left distraught and unhappy. We control our happiness, our relationships don’t.

Putting your partner first and yourself second

In some circumstances of course you will have to put your partner first but some find themselves in a place where they constantly put their partner’s needs before theirs whilst constantly ignoring their own.

A relationship is about supporting one and other and it should never be one sided. One person needs and wants shouldn’t be put above the other.

Staying in a relationship out of fear of being alone

Let’s face it a lot of us find ourselves in situations where we want to leave a relationship but find it extremely difficult, especially when in quite long term relationships. We get scared of the prospect of being alone, but is fear doing you more bad than good?

Without a strong sense of self love we will stay in situations such as this, even if the relationship doesn’t satisfy us. Whereas a strong love for ourselves would give us the confidence and courage to leave, simply because we know we will happy alone regardless and are not willing to have our happiness tampered with for the sake of not being lonely.

Personally, I am sure just like most people, we would like to enter a relationship completely in love with ourselves. I can hold my hand up and say that me and a lot of others are not even aware of our lack of self-love until we are actually in a relationship and start to notice particular traits in our behaviour that we can put down to a lack of it.

This can be anything such as agreeing with a partners point even though deep down we disagree with it or allowing things to slide that we shouldn’t necessarily but do anyway. I know we have all come across the quote “The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others.” ~Sonya Friedman 

This is a quote that has really stuck with me as I believe far too many of us forget the bar we should set for ourselves. If we set boundaries and standards of behaviour we feel we deserve we will not allow anything other than that to occur or continue.

Self-love is important for a successful relationship as if we lack it, it can have a negative impact on both ourselves and our partner.

A relationship should not define you nor should it be the reason for your happiness.  Whilst in the relationship you will feel a false sense of happiness but if the relationship falls apart you will find yourself in a negative place which is not good for you mentally or physically.

It is essential we make it self-love a priority in all aspects of life. We should try different ways to improve how we feel about ourselves. Two exercises I would definitely recommend is writing attributes which you love about yourself and the reason you love that trait in yourself. I also love the idea of daily affirmations as I believe it can assist in restoring self-confidence. Of course you will not wake up tomorrow in love with every part of yourself but its steps in the right direction. We all need a starting point.

Thanks for reading, I would love to know your views on this topic and also some of the tips you may have in improving how you see yourself and ways to work on self love.