Attracting Love & Maintaining Healthy Relationships – Your relationships are a direct reflection of you. Attracting healthy, loving relationships is an important part of experiencing a life of abundance and happiness that we all seek. Are your relationships nonexistent, problematic or fleeting? Do you constantly find yourself dating the wrong guys? Are you seeking a deeper connection in your relationships? Developing a healthy and loving relationship with yourself and changing your beliefs is the key to attracting healthier people into your life. Who do you have to “be” to attract your ideal partner?

Dating Survival Tips for Gay Men

“I don’t think there’s enough passion between us”, “I don’t think we are a complete match”, “I’m not feeling a click”, “I don’t think there’s enough chemistry on my side”, “We’re not sexually compatible”, “I’m not ready for a relationship”, “It’s not you; it’s me”, “I’d like for us to remain friends”.

Oh…the perils of dating! We’ve all been on the giving or receiving end of these statements and it never feels good either way. Sometimes nothing is ever said, and the situation just fades away causing us even more confusion. Dating can be very difficult, especially in the online environments we often find ourselves.

So how do we take care of our personal well-being in dating situations?

Here are some dating survival tips to consider:

1). Date for dating’s sake – Get rid of the expectation of finding “the
one” and just date. Meet people with the intention of getting to know them and
learning about who they are. Avoid getting emotionally caught up too soon. Release
the pressure and expectation that this might be “the one” for the long-term.

2). Actions don’t necessarily speak louder than words – We’ve all been
told that “actions speak louder than words” but this isn’t always so. Be wary
of interpreting someone’s actions as meaning that they are into you or that
they actually want a relationship with you. Some guys may say sweet things, buy
you flowers or gifts, treat you to dinner, introduce you to their friends and
family or initiate sex as a part of their own dating rituals. These actions may
hold no specific meaning to you whatsoever.

3). Have fun – Enjoy the process of dating. Put your best self forward
and have fun. You cannot control another person’s thoughts, feelings or
behaviors. You also can’t control the outcome of the experience. You can allow
yourself to have fun! Be lighthearted about it all – stay in the moment, enjoy
your dates and let go of your attachment to the outcome.

4). Stay focused on your life – Make time to plan activities apart from
dating. Remember that dating is only one aspect of your life. Do other things
that bring you pleasure and balance your dating life with other important life
areas – having a rich full life makes you a very attractive person overall.

5). Learn how to handle rejection – It’s never easy to be let down but don’t
personalize the rejection. Recognize that everyone has their own psychological
issues and relationship histories that they bring into dating situations. If
someone tells you they don’t want to go forward don’t make it about you. There
can be any number of reasons that caused them to back out, and they probably
have absolutely nothing to do with you. If you need to, you can talk about the
experience with a friend, therapist or coach to help you to quickly move on.

6). Focus on your well-being – Take care of yourself every day by asking
What can I do to take care of myself today?  Perhaps it’s exercising,
meditating, or going out with friends or family. Do whatever is meaningful to
you. Make a commitment to yourself to do something each day that makes you feel
good.

Finally, always remember what my grandmother used to say:

“Men are like buses, there is always another one coming”!

 

 

 

How to Move on in Your Love Life

You’ve been in your relationship for quite some time. Things have changed recently, and you’re beginning to doubt that it’s going to last much longer. You’re not even sure how you got to this point! What happened?

 Warning Signs

There are many warning signs that a relationship is breaking down. Think back over the last few months and you may recognize some of these signs:

 

Unnecessary criticism. Your partner blames you or attacks your character.
Contempt. Nearly everything your partner says is a complaint or an insult.
Avoidance. Your partner has begun ignoring or avoiding you.
Being defensive. You don’t listen to what your partner says for fear of being hurt or them lashing out at you again.

Two or more of these warning signs could signal that it’s time to move on, but how do you do that?

Moving On

First, realize that the end of any relationship is similar to dealing with a loss of a loved one. You may go through the grieving process: denial, anger, ambivalence, depression, and recovery. This is normal and to be expected.

Give yourself some time to grieve and you’ll come out a stronger person on the other side.

Here are the top ten ways to move on in your love life after the end of a relationship:

1. Recognize and accept that the relationship is over. Don’t hold on when there’s nothing to hold on to.

2. Remove everything in your home that reminds you of them. Don’t keep sentimental items; they’ll only make you miserable.

     •  Put away valuable items such as jewelry or other gifts rather than throwing them away. You may want those items in the future.

3. If seeing your ex hurts, make it a point to avoid them. Sometime in the future you may be able to be friends, but now is not the time to try.

4. Don’t make financial decisions right after a break up. Your emotions may cause you to make emotional decisions. It’s better to wait until you’re on emotionally stable footing.

5. Avoid rebound relationships. Give yourself time to heal from being hurt before opening your heart again.

6. Focus on yourself. You may have spent so much time investing in the other person that you’ve let your own needs go.

      •  Learn to find out about yourself again.
      •  What do you like to do that you haven’t been doing?
      •  Do something special just for you!

7. Take up a new hobby. Now is a great time to start something new. Renew your interests in hobbies that you like, and spend time exploring new creative outlets.

      •  Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn rock climbing, but your ex was afraid of heights. There’s no reason to wait any longer. Go find an instructor and hit that mountain!

8. Don’t stay cooped up at home. It’s important that you spend time with friends who can encourage you and help you feel good about yourself.

9. Be friendly with people you find attractive. Smile, say hello, and act interested. You may not be ready to jump right back into a relationship, but you can always leave the door open for future relationships.

10. Work your way back to dating slowly. You may want to start out by double dating with a friend. Be up front with your date so they know what to expect.

Breaking up from a long-term relationship is never easy. Let’s admit it, it hurts. You can move on in your love life after a break up if you recognize the end, and then follow the ten steps given above. Soon you’ll find that you’re over your last relationship and ready for someone new.

Top 10 Ways of Finding Closure in Your Relationship

As the song says, “Breaking up is hard to do.” Finding closure after the end of a relationship is often harder.

 “Closure” is a psychological term that simply means closing the door on something or someone.

Closure means you leave the past in the past rather than dragging it out into the present again. In relationships, this means learning how to let go of that relationship and move on to another, possibly better, relationship.

There are many ways to find closure. In fact, how you find closure will depend entirely upon your personality and particular situation.

Here are the top ten ways to find closure after a relationship ends: 

  1. Declare out loud to a close friend that you accept that the relationship is over. Choose someone who will support you and help you stay focused on the present and future rather than dwelling on the past.
  2. Call the person you’re letting go and release them. Acknowledge that you still have feelings for them, the relationship isn’t healthy, and they’re free. If it’s too painful to talk with them, write them a note.  
  3. Refocus on yourself. You may have let your own interests slide while you were involved with your prior relationship. Now’s the time to shift your focus back to yourself and what you want to do.
  4. Find a new hobby or activity to replace the time with your ex. If you always went out on Friday nights, invite some friends over, instead, and watch movies. Or you could volunteer for a worthwhile charity.
  5. When you start thinking about your ex, call a friend to bolster your resolve. Ask them to restate your reasons for letting them go.
  6. Create a mantra or saying that helps you refocus. Keep telling yourself this mantra and before too long you’ll start believing it. You’ll also start acting differently as well. “I am strong and I am over him.” could be all you need to say, but it may be something more detailed like “I’m a wonderful person who is worthy of love, respect and happiness.”  
  7. Remove things that remind you of your ex. At some point in the future you’ll be strong enough to look at these things with fondness rather than being tugged back to the past.
  • Take them off your speed dial.
  • Remove photos of the two of you.
  • Box up gifts they gave you.

       8. Take care of yourself. Eat better, take up a new exercise, and get plenty of rest. Hydration is important, too, so be sure you drink plenty of water.

       9. If you’re feeling particularly sad over the break up, don’t hold it in. It’s natural for you to feel upset about the end of the relationship. Go ahead and cry. You may even want to write in a journal how you feel so you can get the feelings out rather than holding them in.

      10. Try to figure out what went wrong in the relationship. Reflect on this after you’ve distanced yourself from it for a while.

  • If  there were things you did that could’ve damaged the relationship, admit them.
  • Try to determine the red flags that signaled the relationship was ending.
  • Decide to avoid similar mistakes in future relationships.

If you didn’t want the relationship to end, you may be tempted to leave the door open hoping to rekindle that lost love. It may be difficult to find closure, but the emotional price of holding out hope can be costly. For your own health and peace of mind, learn to let the relationship end. Let go of the past, close the door, and walk into a better future.

 

 

 

A Valentine for All

February 14th is known as the day to celebrate love. Countless couples exchange gifts such as flowers, cards, candy, jewelry and dinners with feelings of affection and love for each other. For many singles; however, being alone on Valentine’s Day can evoke feelings of loneliness, self-doubt, unworthiness and even depression.

 People are either single by choice or because they haven’t found the right partner yet. Others are single due to a break up or death of a partner. Additionally, there are many people in unhappy relationships who often feel isolated and alone even though they are “coupled”.

If you are feeling disconnected or lonely; how can you take care of yourself and feel good on a day set aside for love?

Here are some tips and suggestions:

1). Recognize the illusory nature of the holiday. Remember that Valentine’s Day is a commercial holiday. It is not so much about love and relationships as it is about selling flowers, candy, cards and jewelry.

2). Your self-worth is not dependent upon your current relationship status. A relationship does not define you. Remember that love is for all – not just couples. You have many relationships and people who love you.

3). If you recently experienced a loss and are grieving over your loved one, allow this to be a day of mourning. Acknowledge that this is a hard day and seek out support from others.

4). Plan in advance to do something that will prevent you from having to watch couples fawning over each other. Get together with people you love – family members and friends or plan something fun to do on your own.

As much of a cliché as it seems, we need to be reminded of it again and again – the most important person to learn to love is yourself. You want to create the most loving and joyful relationship with yourself. You are the only person you will ever be with on a constant basis. Other people can leave you but you will never leave yourself. So find ways to love and nurture yourself. Do things that make you happy. Be gentle and kind to yourself – always. Your relationships with others will grow out of the loving relationship and sense of appreciation you have for yourself. The people who come into contact with you will be greatly touched by your presence and will respond to the love emanating from within you.


As Featured On EzineArticles

How to Find a Loving Relationship

Is finding a loving relationship on your mind? Have you been disappointed in your search? While it may seem like discovering the type of relationship you long for is beyond your reach, rest assured it’s not unattainable.

There are many strategies you can use to help you in your quest for that special guy. And once you find that extraordinary person who loves you for who you are, your relationship can carry you forward, together, toward your dreams of complete fulfillment!

Here are a few important tips to help you find the loving relationship you seek:

1. Know your own needs. When looking for a long-term relationship, the first thing you need to do is clarify your own wants and needs. After all, if you don’t know what you want, how will you recognize it when you find it?

Know who you are, what you want out of life, and what you definitely don’t want.

Many people go out looking for a relationship with no clue what they really need or want in a partner. When you’re able to figure out your own desires and know who you truly are, then you’re much more likely to find someone who fulfills those desires.

2. Be firm with your values. It’s essential to stand up for the values you find important. If your love interest has completely different core values, then you’re not going to be able to build a strong, loving, and lasting relationship.

You can still have a relationship with someone you disagree with on some issues. However, the foundational values that you hold dear should be shared. This could be your family, cultural, religious or political values, or whatever else is important to you.

3. Identify your goals. What are your goals? Where do you plan to be in five or ten years? A relationship where both partners have very different goals will be difficult.

It’s important that you find someone with similar goals so you’re both heading in the same direction. You want to come closer together as your relationship grows, not be torn apart by wildly differing goals. For example, discuss important subjects such as pets, whether or not you want children, career aspirations, etc. before jumping into a relationship.

4. Be true to yourself. This is imperative if you want to find the loving relationship your heart longs for. You should never settle for someone just because you want to be in a relationship.

Don’t allow your desire to have a loving relationship sell you short of what you really deserve.

If you’re not true to yourself, you’ll come to regret it later. You may wake up one day and realize you’re not happy with your life, including the person you’re sharing it with.

Finding a loving relationship is possible – don’t let anyone, including yourself, try to tell you otherwise. However, it’s important that you take the time to prepare yourself to attract your soul mate.

By following these tips, you’re putting yourself in a good position to spark a connection that will last for a lifetime. It might take some time and effort to get to know yourself first, but the results will be well worth it!

What Are Love Languages?

Everyone needs to feel loved. It’s vital to know how you enjoy being loved, but also how to properly love others. A doctor by the name of Gary Chapman became famous when he came out with a book called The Five Love Languages.

There is a basic breakdown of five different love languages to make it easier for us to identify how to express ourselves to our loved ones. Once you’ve figured out what your partner’s love language is you’ll be able to show them how you feel in a way that is fulfilling to them.

For example, let’s say that your partner likes to hear the words “I love you” often. Even though they know that you love them, just hearing the phrase can brighten their day. But perhaps you thought that you should express your love by buying little gifts. Your loved one likely appreciates the gesture whenever you show your love, but at the same time it’s not their personal preference of how they like to receive love.

The Love Languages Explained

1. Verbal Lovers – Like the example above, some people just like to hear gestures of love such as “I love you” and “I appreciate everything that you do.” For this type of person, you’ll want to provide constant encouragement, never letting things go unsaid.

  • Try verbalizing your appreciations in some way each day.
  • Don’t assume your partner knows what you’re thinking and feeling – speak up!

2. Time Well Spent – One of the love languages has to do with spending quality time with your partner. This doesn’t mean just casual conversation; it means the times where your partner is your main focus. If your partner enjoys quality time, here are some things to consider:

  • Choose a certain time each day or week where you’re completely dedicated to your partner. This means that you need to shut off the TV, put down the paper, get off the computer and make time for each other.
  • Think of activities you can do together to really connect.
  • Make sure you have a good relationship with yourself; it’s the only way you can truly connect with your partner.

3. The Gift Giver – Another love language is one where your partner may enjoy giving and receiving gifts. This isn’t because they’re greedy; it means they’re visual people who enjoy seeing proof of your deepening relationship. If you’re with this type of partner, try these tips:

  • Even if you’re a big saver, make the effort to spend at least a little money or make some homemade or handmade gifts
  • Leave loving cards and notes for them.
  • Don’t give gifts everyday, but give gifts that are meaningful.

4. The Chores –  We can’t forget the chores when it comes to a language of communication between partners. Since there are many things that need to get done around the house, it often causes problems when you try to figure out who’s doing what. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Everyone has different chores that they deem important
  • Figure out which ones your partner doesn’t enjoy and do them.
  • Chores involve thinking ahead, which your partner will certainly appreciate.

5. Physical Affection – The physical affection love language can get complicated. Expressing your love physically doesn’t only mean lovemaking. It involves simple touches too. Each partner will usually have some kind of opinion when it comes to this language:

  • Figure out which kinds of touches your partner enjoys, it may be a gentle rub of their shoulders or some cuddling while watching television.
  • This is equally important, figure out which touches irritate your partner.
  • Get to know your partner’s moods so you know when to express physical affection.

The Combination

Your partner will likely speak a certain combination of these love languages. As your relationship deepens, you’ll get to know your partner better and better. It may even help to outright discuss the topic of love languages with your partner to better understand each other.

How to Love Unconditionally

In order to build a solid foundation in any relationship, whether it’s a loving partnership (marriage), friendship or a relationship with a sibling or child, you must learn to love unconditionally without limits or judgment.

Loving someone unconditionally can be hard to do and goes against the grain you were probably taught in today’s Western society. Society tells you to get even or get revenge. However, to love unconditionally requires forgiveness and letting go of the wrongs.

So How Do You Love Unconditionally?

What’s required to show someone unconditional love when you’re in a relationship? Being there physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, through thick and thin, no matter what may happen is unconditional love.

Physically: Being “there” for someone physically means just what the word implies. You’re there for them in person, standing by their side, listening to them, or talking with them so they’re not alone. This may be at three in the afternoon, or three in the morning!

Emotionally: When you’re with someone emotionally, you’re offering your support by allowing them to honestly and openly express their feelings. Supporting someone emotionally with unconditional love also means that you’re there selflessly to help them work through their feelings. The goal is for the person to rise above the negative emotions and turn them into positive ones. You’re the shoulder to cry on!

Mentally: Supporting a loved one mentally means that you help them think through their actions, motives, and desires. You help them do this by finding out what’s going on inside. To support someone mentally requires you to help your loved one process their thoughts through to all possible outcomes.

Spiritually: Spiritually supporting a loved one means you pray for and with them and help them grow in all aspects of their life – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Often spiritual support is given without a person being aware of it, through prayer.

Unconditional love does not mean, however, giving into every whim or desire. Often people confuse unconditional love with spoiling. Giving into a person’s every want or desire when it isn’t appropriate can actually harm their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well being. For example, giving into a child’s demands for junk food may make them happy today, but it isn’t a good source of nourishment in the long run.

Letting Go

True love is shown when you try to help another become a better person and unconditional love is shown when you still love them even if they refuse to change.

Many times it’s necessary to “let go” of a loved one, while still loving them unconditionally, because they refuse to take the necessary steps to improve. An example of this would be an alcoholic or drug addict. You still love the person, but when they refuse to work at overcoming their addiction or don’t care about themselves or who they’re hurting, you must let go. Sometimes this means, letting them spiral down until they hit rock bottom. Often you get hurt in the process because you love them and don’t want to see them go down this road, so loving unconditionally also means that you’ll be there for them when they’re ready to try again.

Love isn’t an emotion or feeling – it’s a choice. This is especially true with unconditional love. In relationships, you show unconditional love by overlooking petty mistakes and forgoing judgment and grudges. Unconditional love requires self-sacrifice and forgiveness on your part and it’s through unconditional love that those you care about will change for the better.

5 Steps to Building a Strong Relationship

Have you ever invested your time and emotions to build a relationship, only to see that relationship destroyed in a matter of minutes? When it was all over, and the dust settled, did you find yourself wondering, “What happened?”

Whether the relationship is in your business or personal life, strong relationships take time, attention, and energy to build, maintain, and nurture.

Relationships are important to everyone. As the saying goes, “No man is an island.” We need and depend on each other. Our relationships help define who we are and how we get along in the world. We’re often judged by the company we keep and our relationships are part of this.

Without relationships, a business cannot exist for long. Regardless of what type of business you have, you need good working relationships. At the very least, you need people to do business with! Forming healthy relationships with your customers and colleagues is an integral part of the recipe for success.

Additional types of relationships include family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, supervisors, mentors, and more. These relationships add layers of depth to your life. Each one can touch your life and make a difference, so you want to build and cherish these relationships as well.

Here are 5 essential keys to building healthy, satisfying relationships: 

1.      Be Honest. People respond to honesty. In a world where people are often faced with scams and lies, honesty is a priority. The relationships you form with honesty as a foundation will be strong and powerful.

2.      Apologize. If you’re wrong about anything or do something that offends or hurts someone, admit it. Everyone makes mistakes; after all, we’re all human. People respect you more if you admit your mistakes and apologize. Respect strengthens your relationships.

3.      Stay in touch. Relationships require exchanges. In our world today, we have many options to communicate and improve our relationships.

  • Face to face is always the best. Enjoy coffee, lunch, or just stop in for a chat. Not only are you communicating, but you’re also fully devoting your time to them as well.
  • Letters and cards are a good way to stay in touch, and they remain special in this computer age full of quick text messages and impersonal emails.
  • Emails are also appreciated, particularly when you give it the personal touch, but nothing says, “you’re important to me” like meeting in-person or chatting on the phone.

4.      Recognize accomplishments. Let people know that you notice even their small accomplishments. Everyone likes to be noticed and recognized. It fosters good feelings and builds on your relationship when you give someone a well-deserved compliment.

  • Let your co-worker know they did a great job on their presentation.
  • Tell your client you noticed how well they’re doing in their business.
  • Give your child a hug for doing a great job on anything!

5.      Take a genuine interest in those you have relationships with. Don’t just serve up generic compliments from time to time. Ask questions. Showing an interest and remembering small personal details lets them know that you’re thinking about them and that you’re interested in their life.

  • Learn from their experiences. For example, you can ask, “How did you do that?”
  • Ask about what they’ve been working on.
  • Inquire about their family, baseball team, or the new puppy.

Relationships add much to our lives. In our personal life, they can add the richness of friends and shared memories. In our business life, they can bring us success and recognition. Strong, healthy relationships are the founding corners of a rewarding life.

Relationships grow over time. While there are the rare finds where you instantly bond with someone, this is the exception rather than the rule. Be sure to follow these tips to build and nurture profitable relationships that will stand the tests of time and challenges.