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Psychologists Explain 4 Things That Make A Relationship Work

Psychologists Explain 4 Things That Make A Relationship Work

We all want to make a relationship work–and ever better, for an entire lifetime! Sadly, the fact is that a lot of relationships don’t make it that far. You likely want to do everything you can to avoid having your partnership meet that fate!

Many strive to discover the secret to a happy relationship, and the answer is more complicated than just one be-all-end-all! Here’s how psychologists explain four things that make a relationship work.

1.    Positive Thinking Helps Make a Relationship Work

Positive thinking is a powerful thing, capable of completely changing your perception of any given situation. It’s also something you need to have if you want to keep a relationship healthy.

This has to be a mutual choice between both partners in the relationship, says Licensed Psychotherapist, author, and radio show host Barton Goldsmith. Both of you have to decide to control how you carry yourselves to promote more positive behavior and manage moods together as a team.

Here are some tips for developing positive thinking that can help make your relationship work:

·         Approach Problems With A Positive Mindset

When there’s a conflict or severe issue, pause and breathe before launching straight into combat mode. With positive motivation, problems are more likely to be solved through compromise and open-mindedness, says Monte Drenner, a licensed mental health counselor.

·         Share Positive Events In Your Life

When good things happen, seek out your partner and tell them about it. Numerous studies have found that sharing these positive points in your life – especially when you feel excited to tell your partner the great news – can facilitate a stronger bond.

·         Foster Good Self-Worth

Positive thinking applies to each partner, too. You must have healthy self-worth that isn’t attached to having a partner or how your partner makes you feel. If you rely too much on your partner for happiness, things will fall apart pretty quickly! You need to feel secure enough in yourself that other people’s opinions don’t damage your self-esteem, says School of Love NYC founder and dating coach Monika Parikh.

·         Reminisce On Times Of Laughter

Did you know that studies have shown that laughing together and then looking back on that laughter together is great for a relationship? Dr. Megan Stubbs, a relationship and intimacy expert, states that asking each other about your favorite happy memories together is a great way to begin reminiscing. The shared emotions and memories bring you together and can even make you think of the future to come.

2.    Communication Can Make a Relationship Work

There’s a reason that so many people say communication is the secret to a happy relationship. No human being can read minds, so you need to talk to your partner about different concerns you have or opinions you hold, says Goldsmith.

·         Share Your Downs

Being vulnerable can be scary, but it’s part of communication. Your partner can’t know how you feel if you don’t tell them. Licensed psychologist, Rapport Relationships founder, and dating coach, Dr. Jennifer B. Rhodes, even goes so far as to state that letting down your guard can be a huge part of intimacy as a whole.

·         Don’t Make Assumptions

No matter how well you believe, you know your partner, making assumptions is a surefire way to land yourself in confusing misunderstandings. Lasting Connections founder and psychologist Sameera Sullivan points out that mind reading in this manner can be dangerous and that it’s much better to ask instead of assuming to avoid hurting anyone in the process.

·         Talk About Boundaries

Knowing your limits is essential in a relationship, and many relationships will suffer from silence and ignoring these problems than they will ever suffer from violence, says Parikh. Don’t ignore your partner’s crossing of limits or things that hurt you. Talk about them and be direct and clear about where your boundaries are. Don’t become compliant. Avoiding a fight isn’t as positive as it sounds, and couples that fight healthily and regularly often have a stronger relationship. You should feel comfortable discussing these things with your partner; if not, that could be a huge red flag.

3.    Positive Reinforcement

Reinforcement is the act of continuing to make it clear that you love and appreciate your partner. It’s easy to accidentally fall out of the habit of being sweet and romantic to someone you’ve been in a relationship with for years and years.

But leaving the honeymoon phase doesn’t mean the sweetness should end, says Goldsmith. If anything, you need to continue working on your relationship forever, and you shouldn’t become complacent in the way you show your affection. Here are some ways to make sure positive reinforcement is still a part of your relationship:

·         Encourage And Support Your Partner

Offering words of encouragement shows that you think of your partner’s experiences and pay attention to what they’re going through. Expressing admiration at their improvements or successes and being supportive in more challenging times tells your partner that you care.

·         Surprise Your Partner Now And Then

These surprises show you’re thinking of your partner outside of the typical red-letter days. Clinical psychologist Joshua Klapow, Ph.D., also The Kurre and Klapow Show’s host, recommends tangible romantic gestures. Instead of sending emails or texts, buy tiny gifts, write small letters, or help them check something off their to-do list!

·         Schedule A Date Night

Date nights are a break from mundane, everyday life, states Maple Holistics Health and Wellness Expert Caleb Backe. You’re choosing to spend quality time with your partner outside of your daily life. They’re your partner in relaxation and the hustle and bustle. Plus, it’s fun to get that time to yourselves to hang out! It spices things up. You get to talk to each other and rekindle a spark. There’s no denying the positive effects these dates have, so make them a regular thing!

·         Hold Hands In Public

Klapow recommends that you and your partner hold hands in public – just like you did when you first began dating! This act is intimate but public, a display that you and your partner are together. It’s also a natural way to bond through touch while indicating that you are happily there for your partner, always!

·         Kiss Each Other More Often

When you first started courting your significant other, kissing was probably a highlight of your dates. As time goes on, in most relationships, make-out sessions are replaced by quick, chaste pecks on the lips or a kiss on the cheek. Sarah A. Intelligator, a Family Law lawyer and owner of the Law Offices of Sarah A. Intelligator, recommends that you never stop kissing each other as you did before. When you eliminate these heated shows of affection, you’re subconsciously sending the message that your partner is less desirable to you, and that can sour intimacy and fun.

·         Keep Romance Alive

Just because you’re comfortable with each other doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still flirt and be sappy partners in love! Keep buying flowers. Keep doing romantic things. Be embarrassingly romantic. Act like you’re still in the early “chase” stages of your relationship. You’d be surprised how much that can help keep the spark alive!

4.    Be Your People

When you’ve been with someone for a very long time, it’s easy to slip into a state where you don’t do anything without the other. You become almost interchangeable and, in the worst-case scenario, could get codependent.

This is very unhealthy because the common idea that a partnership is two halves making a whole is not accurate. A partnership is two whole people coming together out of love and appreciation. Your entire life shouldn’t be about your partner, and you shouldn’t be relying on them to give you everything you need. That’s too much pressure for anyone, and it’s blatantly unfair to yourself, too.

Here are some tips for being your own person while still being a unified couple in a relationship:

·         Give Each Other Space

Everyone needs alone time. Even the happiest couples need individual time to themselves, says Parikh. Learn to be comfortable and feel positive without your partner next to you at all times. Lead your own life! Have your own hobbies! Have your own me-time! And of course, respect that your partner also needs all of that, too.

·         Assess Yourself And Grow On Your Own

You need to be a strong person on your own, continually learning and growing with the years, to maintaining a healthy relationship. Your partner should be doing the same. That’s why you need to evaluate and assess yourself, says Amy Bishop, M.S., a couples therapist. There’s no denying that even the very best people can have negative or questionable behavior. We all have toxic or bad sides to us because we’re human and flawed. Your job is to continue learning from your mistakes and being aware of the things you need to work on. Put effort into growing and developing as a person, and your relationship will grow, mature, and become healthier with you. Don’t let your pride stop you from acknowledging your weaknesses!

·         Have Separate Friends

According to research, the least positive relationships most likely to fall apart are those where you have all the same mutual friends. Think about it – you have the same support group and have no social circles of your own, which is far from a positive factor. Worse still, if the relationship falls apart, the friend group is caught in an uncomfortable situation. Mutual friends are good, but have separate circles on top of that, too!

·         Take Care Of Yourself

You’re a grown adult, and you don’t need another human being to look out for you all the time. You get to decide what you want and need and how to spend your time. Yes, you should take your partner into account when your decisions or actions affect them. But if it’s just about you, then be independent! You don’t need your partner to help you with everything or be there for every second of your life, says Parikh. Having one person as your only go-to is toxic for them and for you. Besides, you can always tell your partner about your individual adventures later!

Final Thoughts On Some Things That Make A Relationship Work

Making a relationship works takes effort. You need to stay positive, communicate well, make sure your partner knows you love them, and continue to work on yourself. It might not be easy, but if you love the person you’re dating or married to, it’s certainly worth it!


15 Signs Your Relationship is at a Turning Point (for better or worse)

15 Signs Your Relationship is at a Turning Point (for

Humans are social beings with an innate desire for a relationship. While you are a complete person in your own right, there’s something magical about finding and cultivating a lasting relationship with a person you love. You may believe in love at first sight, but true love is a decision, and it takes a lot of work for both people to come together.

If you think about your life as a long road towards eternity, you will have many people who travel with you. Beloved family and friends are often at your side, but your soulmate is the one who holds your hand with each step. How do you know if you have the right person?

Your destiny is filled with forks in the road to allow you to make life-altering decisions. You and a potential lover will often come to one of these forks to see if the relationship was meant to be. It becomes the turning point for you both.

Are there common points where couples must decide to stay together or walk the other way? How do you know if the hand you hold is your forever person?

Fifteen Signals You’ve Reached a Relationship Turning Point.

Here are 15 signs that your relationship is at a turning point, be it good or bad.

1. Attraction

While inner beauty out-trumps outer beauty, attraction starts with the outward appearance. Your physical beauty may be the thing that attracts him, but your lovely soul will be what keeps him. The difference between the two aspects is often a turning point for couples, because who cares if he looks like a movie star and has the integrity of a beast?

2. Lying

Nobody is above stretching the truth a bit to save face. However, chronic lying can destroy even the best relationships. If you find out your lover is dishonest in one area, what other lies is he weaving that you don’t know?

3. Wandering Eye

You shouldn’t be so insecure in your relationship that neither of you can say someone else is attractive without causing a war. But if your love interest looks beyond you with a constant wandering eye, it could be a turning point that says something is amiss.

If you both decide that you are in an exclusive relationship, you have a right to expect that your partner will be loyal to you. Be suspicious if your beau can’t keep his eyes on you and is constantly texting and talking on the phone to “nobody in particular.” His “nobody” may be the third person in your relationship.

4. Bonding Experience

After your first initial attraction, dating each other provides the ideal bonding experience. You get to ask questions and eventually learn about what makes the other tick. Taking time to date and bond can lessen the chances of getting married and finding you have nothing in common.

5. Birth of a Child

Is there any greater joy than for a couple to be blessed by the birth of a child? This precious life is the ultimate result of your love and can bring you even closer as a couple. However, unplanned births or a baby born from unfaithfulness can often destroy a relationship.

6. Moving in Together

You never honestly know someone until you move in together. When you share a common space, you see each other at your best and worst moments. Maybe you will find that you can work things out with time, or that you are entirely incompatible.

Some couples won’t move in together unless they are married due to religious obligations. You can still learn a lot by visiting each other’s homes and seeing how you live. If you can’t come to a compromise about your different lifestyles, your future as a couple may be bleak.

7. Your First Big Argument

After you have your first big fight, you will probably think the relationship is over. Be assured that the most devoted couples have arguments but still know how to make up using compromise. If there are never any disagreements, then one of you is giving in and not being genuine.

It’s possible to disagree or even have an argument without crossing a line. Many committed couples say that the secret is to talk it out and never go to bed angry at each other. Should arguments become physically or verbally abusive, it’s time to walk away.

8. Lack of Communication

One of the top complaints of couples who are in therapy is that they never communicate. When was the last time you and your lover sat down and really listened to each other? A healthy relationship is based on trust and honest communication.

Practice improving your listening skills. A good listener will keep an open posture, display neutral body language, and will mirror the speaker’s emotions. When you and your partner listen to each other, you aren’t as likely to have miscommunications.

9. In-Law Issues

Another turning point in your relationship can be how you relate to each other’s family. It’s not always easy to strike a balance and create boundaries with in-laws. If he hesitates to introduce you to his family or doesn’t seem interested in meeting yours, it may be a red flag.

It’s beneficial when you have a good rapport with both families. While you try to be friendly and respectful, it doesn’t mean that you must be treated like a doormat. If need be, distance yourself until the other family can learn proper boundaries and accept you for who you are.

10. Creating New Traditions

As individuals, you both had family traditions that you hold dear to your heart. When you become a couple, you may have to compromise on how to celebrate the holidays, special occasions, or religious obligations. You bond even more when you create new traditions of your own to pass on to your children.

11. Knowing the Other’s Thoughts

A relationship isn’t going anywhere unless you can be empathetic with one another. Sometimes, you become so close that you intuitively know how your sweetheart would feel about something. If you find that you are often completing each other’s sentences, it could be a beautiful turning point in your relationship.

Being empathetic also means that you care about what the other thinks. Maybe you won’t agree on everything, but your person should respect your thoughts and opinions. When you can work together, you know that you can withstand the problems that life will throw at you.

12. Substance Abuse

When your lover has a substance abuse issue, every aspect of your relationship is adversely affected, such as finances, health, and stability. In these cases, it takes a lot of love and professional intervention if your relationship will survive. The worst mistake you can make is to stay in such a toxic relationship with the idea that you can change the other person.

Alcohol and drug abuse alter people’s minds, and a once loving person can become abusive or even dangerous. If you live with someone who smokes, breathing secondhand smoke is more hazardous to your health than smoking the cigarette. Gambling isn’t a substance abuse, but it is a common addiction that can break a relationship.

13. Lack of Intimacy

Let’s face it; if you have a romantic relationship without intimacy, you just have a roommate. Talk to your lover about your concerns because depression, some medical conditions, and many medications can cause a lack of sexual interest. It can also be a sign that he has taken his affections elsewhere, which can be a negative turning point in your relationship.

Communication is vital when it comes to intimacy. Men usually aren’t as adept at discussing their feelings or knowing what women need. Don’t be shy about talking about your need for intimacy, love, and quality time together.

14. Making Each Other a Priority

When two people are in a committed relationship, you should be each other’s top priority. Mutual trust assures you that he’ll always have your back and will be there for you and you for him. If you consistently find yourself at the bottom of his list of priorities, perhaps finding someone else should be at the top of your list.

15. Financial Issues

Other than cheating, nothing can decimate a stable relationship more than financial struggles. Yes, every couple has a few rough patches here and there, but chronic money problems tear people apart. Although money can’t buy love, being financially secure can minimize fighting and worry about how the bills will be paid.

If you are having financial issues, take an honest look to see where the problems lie. Is it just poor money management, or does one or both of you have a spending addiction? For a relationship to prosper, you also must be on the same page concerning your financial goals for the future.

Final Thoughts on Recognizing That Your Relationship is Reaching a Turning Point

Since nobody is perfect, there’s no such thing as an ideal relationship. As your relationship matures, you may come to many situations that will make or break it. Remember what’s best for you and when you’re in for the long haul, or know when it’s time to say goodbye.


Science Proves that Trust in a Relationship is More Essential Than Love

Science Proves that Trust in a Relationship is More Essential

While lasting relationships can’t thrive without love, trust in a relationship may matter most. Feelings of love come and go in long-term relationships, but trust withstands the test of time. Any healthy marriage goes through phases where the couple may fall out of love temporarily. However, if they have trust, it can keep the ship afloat on the stormiest of waters.

Any two people can fall into love, but those feelings tend to fade over time. After a while, relationships form into more of a loving friendship as the honeymoon phase ends. If the couple continues to build trust and work as a team, then the relationship stands a good chance of lasting forever. Simply put, you can have faith without love, but you can’t have love without trust.

In a successful relationship, you have to believe you can trust your partner before giving them your heart. Below, we’ll talk more about why trust predicts relationship success more than love.

Science says that trust matters even more than love in relationships.

In a nutshell, a successful relationship hinges on kindness and trust more than anything else. The feelings of infatuation will fade, but if you have confidence, nothing can take that away. People underestimate this and expect that they’ll feel the same in 20 years as they did in the very beginning. When their love starts to wane, couples assume that their relationship won’t make it.

However, they forget about the importance of trust. Even if you don’t feel in love with your partner anymore, you can still love and respect them. You can still hold onto the positive aspects of your relationship and choose to focus on those. The Gottman Institute says that accentuating the positives in a relationship is one of the most significant predictors of success.

John Gottman, a leader in studying what constitutes a healthy marriage or relationship, believes the little things matter most. After studying couples over the past 35 years, he says the following items ensure success in relationships more than anything else:

Learn your partner’s inner psychological world, such as their biggest hopes, fears, worries, and joy. This will help you bond with your partner and know their needs.

  • Share fondness and admiration.

Gottman refers to this as a solution for contempt since it promotes affection and respect for each other. In other words, you want to focus on the positive things about your partner rather than the negatives.

  • Lean into your significant other instead of away from them.

State your needs and respond to your partner’s attempts to connect. For example, if he or she points something out to you, or tries to engage in conversation, put your full attention on them. The smallest moments and interactions matter the most in relationship success.

  • Maintaining a positive perspective.

Try to have a positive approach to solving problems, as trust in a relationship comes from how you respond to conflicts.

Part of building a healthy marriage or relationship comes from how you deal with conflict. It can either make or break a relationship, so make sure you work as a team. Listen to your partner and try to come to a resolution together. Conflicts are typical in any healthy relationship, as long as you treat your partner with love and respect.

  • Work on making each other’s dreams a reality

Let your partner talk openly about his or her desires and dreams. Create an open environment where they feel safe and heard talking about the future.

Every relationship needs something that unites it, whether that means kids or perhaps a shared business. Or, maybe it means getting involved in something you both enjoy, such as biking or hiking. No matter what the trouble is, make sure your relationship involves something that matters to both of you.

Of course, this should remain a priority in a relationship. Without trust, you won’t have a foundation to build upon for a successful partnership. You want to know that your partner will have your back and that you can count on them for anything. Building trust in a relationship takes time, but being vulnerable with your partner will help the walls come down little by little.

Any successful relationship requires a commitment to your partner to make it work. If you want to remain with this person long-term, you need to embrace both their negative and positive qualities. However, you shouldn’t dwell on their negative traits, which will skew your image and perception of them. You will start noticing more of the things that you find annoying about them rather than what you adore about their personality.

In other words, admire them for their positive traits and learn to accept their flaws. If you can do this, it will ensure a successful union for life. Also, make trust your foundation early on in the relationship, as everything else hinges upon it.

So, why is trust more important than love in a relationship?

  1. You can’t have love without trust.

If you can’t count on your partner and you feel uneasy around them, you can’t possibly become vulnerable enough to fall in love. Love will fade over time because some days, you’ll get under each other’s skin and take each other for granted. Other days, it’ll feel like you just met and you want to spend all your time with them. However, these feelings will fluctuate with the situations and experiences you go through as a couple.

Trust will remain steady throughout your relationship as long as you don’t do anything to betray it. If you stay faithful to your partner and put their needs first, you’ll never have a doubt in your mind if you can trust them or not.

  1. It allows you to have boundaries in the relationship.

If you have love without trust, it may lead to codependency and attachment issues. However, if you cultivate trust, it brings a sense of security into the relationship. You can each go your separate ways at times without having to worry about each other’s whereabouts constantly. This way, you can develop a strong marriage by having your alone time as well as time spent together.

  1. You’ll have a sense of peace when you have trust in a relationship.

Without trust, you constantly feel on edge or just unsure of where you stand with your partner. Will they suddenly break up with you or say they’ve been seeing someone else? Do they want a future with you? If you cannot answer these questions honestly, you need to have a serious talk with your partner and communicate your needs.

Everyone deserves to have a loving, supportive relationship where they can fully trust their partner. The person you love should eliminate your stress, not add to it by being unclear about their intentions. When you find a secure partnership, you’ll have a sense of peace.

  1. Trust allows you to gauge how much you give of yourself to others.

If you don’t trust someone, you won’t want to open up to them about the details of your life. Trust gives us a way to decide the level of emotional intimacy we wish to experience with someone. It helps us control our emotions, in a way, because not everyone gains access to the deepest parts of ourselves. Trust in a relationship helps peel back our layers, slowly showing our partner more vulnerable sides of ourselves.

  1. Love is blind, but trust never fails you.

You can love someone who might not love you back in the same way. You could bend over backward for someone you’ve fallen head over heels for, but that doesn’t guarantee they’ll reciprocate. Many people get involved in one-sided relationships where the other person doesn’t have their best interests in mind, unfortunately. When you jump too quickly into a relationship out of loneliness or desperation, you may not see the person.

However, if you build upon the relationship slowly and get to know the person, you can establish trust. This way, you can gauge if your partner deserves your time, commitment, and heart. While love can overpower and blind you, faith will illuminate your path and steer you in the right direction.

Final thoughts on why trust is more important than love in relationships

Any healthy marriage or relationship requires trust as the foundation; without it, love cannot grow. You can’t plant a garden without tending to the soil; similarly, you can’t have a thriving relationship without establishing trust. All successful relationships require this faith because it helps you grow closer to people. It enables you to realize how much of yourself you should give away based on their input.

If someone only gives you 50%, why should you bother giving them 100%? If you care about trust in a relationship, make sure of your partner’s intentions before committing fully to them.


12 Ways to Stay Calm During Relationship Struggles

12 Ways to Stay Calm During Relationship Struggles

Relationship struggles happen with every couple from time to time, but they don’t have to make your relationship spiral out of control. It’s important to stay calm during conflict so that both people hear each other out and come to a compromise. You might think that never fighting points to a healthy relationship, but experts say the opposite is true.

One study found that over 14 years, couples who argued often had the least likelihood of getting separated. The study followed 79 couples across the Midwest and found that the healthiest couples clashed and reconciled immediately afterward. So, don’t think that arguing a lot signals a strained relationship. It may strengthen your bond, depending on how you react after the argument.

Here are 12 ways to stay calm during relationship struggles:

Below, we’ll go over a few easy tips for remaining calm amid a disagreement. Remember, arguing is normal, and how you respond to your partner makes all the difference.

1 – Don’t expect perfection.

Many good, solid relationships fail because of unrealistic expectations. By expecting perfection from your partner, you never give them the freedom to make mistakes. They won’t feel comfortable in the relationship because of the impossible standards you’ve set for them. When you have relationship struggles, remember that both of you likely contributed to the problem.

This way, no one will get all the blame for the issues, and you can talk openly about your feelings. Of course, if you did nothing wrong, you have nothing to feel sorry for. If it was indeed on your partner, remember that they’re only human and likely didn’t purposely hurt you.

2 – Listen first, respond after.

Sadly, many people react without actually listening to someone’s point of view. However, make sure to stay calm and give your partner the chance to talk. You will learn more this way and perhaps understand why they reacted a certain way. Listening makes up a massive part of a successful relationship. Studies have shown that those who actively listen have better relationships.

What is active listening, exactly? It usually consists of the following:

  • Put away your cellphone or any other distractions.
  • Maintain eye contact with your partner
  • Restate or summarize what they’ve said for clarity
  • Acknowledge that you’re listening by saying “Mmm-hmm” or “yeah” occasionally.
  • Have empathy and understanding for your partner.
  • Most importantly, listen to understand wholly, not to reply.

3 – Try to remember you’re a team.

Don’t look at your partner as the enemy; instead, look at the problem you face as the real opponent. In relationship struggles, it’s easy to blame your partner for everything. However, this won’t get you any closer to solving the issue at hand. For any problem you face, you’ll want to stay calm and actively brainstorm on a resolution together.

4 – Keep in mind that every relationship has ups and downs.

Don’t get discouraged when you and your partner have disagreements; these will come up in any healthy relationship. Life does not come complete with an instruction manual. Indeed, you’ll face tons of challenges along the way. However, learning how to tackle problems as they arise helps you become stronger as a couple.

Of course, if a relationship goes through more bad times than good, you may want to reevaluate where you stand with them. Perhaps they haven’t been pulling their weight or have an overly negative attitude. As long as you work together and put in equal effort, you can get through anything.

5 – Don’t say anything you’ll regret later.

In the heat of the exchange, you may get a case of word vomit and say a few things you don’t mean. It happens from time to time. But if you wish to smooth things over easier, try to take a few breaths before you speak. Nothing good comes from anger, including lashing out at your partner during a disagreement.

Take time to formulate a response before you say anything because this can prevent a lot of heartaches and hurt feelings.

6 – Walk away for a few minutes to stay calm.

If taking a few breaths doesn’t work, you may need to walk away and get some fresh air. Or even revisit the topic later that day or the next day if you need to. Never put yourself in a situation where you don’t think you will have control over your response or reaction. This will only cause hurt to your partner and perhaps damage your relationship in the long-term.

7 – Put yourself in your partner’s shoes.

Sometimes, the best way to overcome relationship struggles involves a hearty dose of empathy. If you want to resolve a problem, try to get inside your partner’s head. Where are they coming from? What can you learn from their side of the story?

You always want to approach relationship struggles as a team rather than you vs. them. You will only cause more strife and turbulence by trying to get your way or discarding their feelings.

For example, if your partner didn’t come home in time for dinner, they probably have a perfectly reasonable explanation. They may have gotten tied up at work or had a flat tire. Make sure to hear them out and get their side of the story before you react.

8 – Remember the positives of your relationship.

Many people ruin a perfectly good relationship by focusing too much on the negatives. In fact, according to the Gottman Institute, contempt in marriage is one of the most significant predictors of divorce. An excerpt from an article on the book’s website states:

“After watching thousands of couples argue in his lab, he was able to identify specific negative communication patterns that predict divorce. He called them The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and they are criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.

Contempt is the most destructive of The Four Horsemen because it conveys, “I’m better than you. I don’t respect you.” It’s so destructive that couples who are contemptuous of each other are more likely to suffer from infectious illness than couples who are not scornful of each other. The target of contempt feels despised and worthless.”

However, even if you have a pattern of talking down to each other, you can always reverse this behavior. Relationship struggles can take a toll on a couple, but you can overcome them by recalling positive aspects of your relationship. Think back to when you first met and remember why you love your partner. If you can revive the fondness and admiration, you feel for each other. You’ll approach problems as a team.

9 – Put your partner’s happiness first.

Sadly, many people look to others to fill a void within their hearts, but this can quickly drain the other person. Of course, you should have a partner who makes you happy, but your relationship shouldn’t be primarily self-serving. In other words, you should want to make them feel fulfilled and put their needs first. If you both can do that for each other, you’ll have a higher chance of a successful relationship.

People who only think about their personal needs often end up jumping from one relationship to another. If you want a relationship, it takes a lot of sacrifice and selflessness to make it work. Sometimes, you must be willing to put aside your desires to make your partner happy.

10 – Practice mindfulness.

To stay calm during relationship struggles, you should remain mindful and present. Don’t recall old arguments and mistakes, and hold them over your partner’s head. This will only add more fuel and fan the fire and make your partner resentful or unwilling to discuss things with you. Tackling only the problem at hand makes it easier to smooth things over, and you’ll have the mental focus necessary to do so.

11 – Be open to being wrong sometimes.

You can’t be right all the time, especially in a relationship that requires humbleness and vulnerability. If you want a successful partnership, you’ll have to have an open mind and admit when you’re wrong at times. Focusing more on overcoming the issue instead of having to be right will ensure success in the problem getting solved.

12 – Don’t make assumptions about your partner.

Your partner may not be giving 100% lately, which makes you feel resentful and neglected. However, try to put yourself in their shoes– don’t assume they don’t care about you. Maybe they have a lot going on in their life, and asking them about it opens the floor for a heartfelt discussion. Not sure what’s on your their mind? Ask them–their inattentive behavior might be an outcry for help.

Final thoughts on how to stay calm in relationship struggles

Every relationship goes through phases, and it won’t always feel like the best time of your life. Anyone in a long-term relationship knows it takes enormous sacrifice and understanding to make things work. However, if you can apply some of the tips we’ve listed above, you can get through any relationship struggles that arise.


Marriage Counselor Reveals 10 Relationship Stages Couples Must Go Through to Last

Marriage Counselor Reveals 10 Relationship Stages Couples Must Go Through

Most people don’t know that different stages of a relationship exist, but knowing this can help your relationship succeed. For example, once the honeymoon phase ends, couples start to settle into more of a long-term friendship. They realize that it takes effort and a conscious choice to make the relationship work. Then the real work begins after the butterflies start to fade. Unfortunately, movies and other media outlets have glamorized relationships and given people unrealistic expectations about them.

Many relationships fail because people expect to feel the same way about their partner after years of being together as they did in the very beginning. Of course, after having kids and dealing with life’s responsibilities, those exciting and intense feelings begin to fade. Perhaps this disappointment in reality not living up to fantasy may explain why around half of the marriages in the U.S. end in divorce.

However, if a couple chooses to remain together, they should learn about the different stages of a relationship, so they know what to expect. Below, we’ll go over them in more detail.

Here are ten relationship stages every couple should know about:

While different relationship stage theories exist, we will focus on the one by Dr. Mark Knapp, a renowned professor at the University of Texas. He studied patterns in relationships and was considered an expert in nonverbal communication research. While his model assumes that all relationships will eventually end, as evidenced by the coming apart phases, not all relationships will follow this pattern.

With that said, he came up with ten different stages, broken up into two phases: the coming together and coming apart phases. Let’s go over them more extensively below.

The Coming Together Phase

Relationships don’t all begin in the same way, but they usually have some things in common. Some people meet through online dating sites or in the workplace, while others meet during travels abroad. After the initial coming together phase, most couples will go through the following stages of a relationship.

  1. The Initiation Stage

This phase happens during the dating phase when you both are still getting to know each other. You know that you like one another, but you haven’t committed to each other yet. Right now, you may get together one or two times a week for dates where you gauge your compatibility with this person. You may feel that butterfly sensation in your stomach when you meet up with them, as everything feels fresh and exciting.

  1. The Experimentation Stage

If you decide that you wish to take things further, you get to know them on a deeper level. You may start dating formally and call each other boyfriend or girlfriend. Others begin to recognize you as a couple, and you make this person the center of your world. While you haven’t fallen in love with them yet, you realize the potential in this relationship and want to test the waters.

In this stage, you get to know their values and outlook on things and see if they match yours. While you probably don’t agree on everything, you have enough in common to want to continue dating them.

  1. Intensifying Stage

This time is the real honeymoon stage where everything goes smoothly, and you want to see them as much as possible. After work or on the weekends, you call or text your new beau and make plans to meetup or chat on the phone for a while. You start to feel comfortable enough with this person to where you want to divulge more intimate details about yourself. You find yourself developing deep feelings for this person and may begin to picture a future with them.

  1. Integration Stage

Since you’ve officially become a couple, you start to mesh your lives together. While you may not live together at this point, you still take each other into account when you make plans and revolve your lives around one another. You have routines and habits as a unit, and start to see yourselves as an “us” rather than a “me and you.”

  1. The Bonding Stage

As your relationship deepens, you start to bond more intensely. You may decide to live together or get married because you feel so strongly about each other. You’ve made sure that your ideals and values line up and that your personalities mesh well together. The people closest to you recognize the seriousness of your relationship, and you may decide to make a formal commitment, such as marriage.

The Coming Apart Phase

Unfortunately, not all relationships last forever. While some people stay married for life, many others decide to divorce or break up due to a variety of reasons. If you start to see any of these stages happening in your relationship, it may signal trouble in the near future.

Here are the stages of a relationship in the coming apart phase:

  1. The Differentiating Stage

Whether this happens after months or years together, every couple goes through this phase at some point. Even if the relationship lasts a lifetime, couples will have periods where they don’t see eye to eye on things. They may notice incompatibilities in their personalities or beliefs. They may see themselves as separate people rather than one unit. If you can’t overcome your differences, you may decide to break up during this phase.

  1. The Circumscribing Stage

The stages of a relationship include a phase where you drift further apart, called the circumscribing stage. You may start to set more boundaries for yourself and have more of your life separate from your significant other. You may begin to do things on your own accord without consulting with your partner first. As a result of the distance in your relationship, you may have more arguments or feelings of resentment.

The intimacy steadily decreases, and you may start sleeping in separate rooms or even moving back with friends or family for a while. You still love them, but you don’t see yourself as a unit any longer.

  1. The Stagnation Stage

You feel that the relationship is hurtling toward a dead end. In this stage, you don’t feel devoted to your partner like you used to and don’t see much of a future with them. While both of you may know that things have come to a standstill, you may have a hard time formally ending things. In the coming apart stages of a relationship, you have to decide to either reconcile or go your separate ways.

  1. The Avoidance Stage

In this phase, you try to avoid one another as much as possible. If you still live together, you may have separate lives and only interact if you have to talk about bills or other adult responsibilities. However, any feelings of love or devotion toward your partner have faded. You may start making plans to move out and have a life of your own so you can have closure.

  1. The Termination Stage

In this stage, you make a formal decision to end your relationship. Whether you have hard feelings or not, you realize that you don’t get along anymore and feel it’s best to move on. If you were married, you might start or finalize your divorce. If you had been living together, you decide to go your separate ways. You tell family and friends about your separation as well once you’ve made the decision.

The importance of understanding the stages of a relationship

Many people become confused or overwhelmed about their relationship because of the emotions involved. However, even if you love someone, you may grow apart or realize you want different things in life. Understanding the phases that relationships go through will give you awareness if you and your partner start to drift apart. It will also help you learn when to give a relationship the green light if you’ve just started dating someone.

Final thoughts about the stages of a relationship

Relationships all go through phases, but not all of them will last forever. Some couples can weather the stormy seas, while others decide to jump ship and start over with someone new. Of course, every relationship is unique, and what is right for one couple may not apply to another. No formal rulebook for life exists; we have to make it up as we go.

Therefore, no matter what relationship stage you find yourself in, know that the right person will stand by you through all the phases. If your relationship must come to an end, try to take the lessons you learned from it and keep an open heart for Mr. or Mrs. Right. They will come along when you least expect it, so enjoy your life and go with the flow. Exit a disharmonious relationship gracefully, and wish your ex well along their path in life.

Relationships may seem complicated, but when you find the right person, you’ll have clarity about life that you’ve never felt before.


20 Text Messages to Send to Strengthen Your Relationship

20 Text Messages to Send to Strengthen Your Relationship

Surprisingly, sending text messages to your partner can help strengthen your relationship. When they know you are thinking of them, it’ll deepen your connection and let them know you are supportive. Even if you think your partner knows how you feel about them, they still need to hear it. They’ll appreciate the thought, and it’ll make their feelings for you more substantial, too.

While sending text messages can strengthen your relationship, it can harm the relationship if not done correctly. Sending sweet text messages to let your partner know you are thinking of them is perfect. On the other hand, you shouldn’t use text messages to:


-discuss important issues

-make decisions

-send too many text messages without getting anything in return

Text Messages to Send to Strengthen Your Relationship

Every relationship needs consistent work to strengthen your relationship. New relationships require work to build and maintain the bond that is developing. Send these text messages to strengthen your relationship and show them how supportive you are and how much you care.

1. “Good morning! I woke up thinking of you, and I still can’t stop.”

When your partner knows you’re thinking of them first thing in the morning, it’ll make them feel good. They’ll see that they are essential to you and that you want them to know it. Plus, it will make them think of you, too, and they’ll be looking forward to spending time with you.

2. “I can’t focus on anything else today because I can’t stop thinking about you.”

When you can’t stop thinking of someone, let them know. Better yet, if they are making you distracted, let them know that, too. They will be flattered that you are thinking of them so much, and it will make your relationship stronger.

3. “Good night, my love. I’ll be thinking of you while I drift asleep tonight.”

Telling your partner that you’re thinking of them before falling asleep is sure to strengthen your bond. It’s a sign that you want to be more serious and that you aren’t thinking of anyone else. When they receive that text message at night, they’ll likely spend their night thinking of you, too.

4. “I am so proud to have you in my life. You’re an inspiration, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for our future together. You amaze me.”

When your partner knows you are supportive and proud of them, they’ll love you even more. You should always praise your partner’s achievements and efforts. Plus, you should always let them know that you are impressed by them.

5. “You make me a better person. I love who I am when I’m with you.”

Spending time with the right person can make you strive to be better. Without even realizing it, you will be the person you want to be when you are with them. Let your significant other know this, and you may find out they feel the same way about you.

6. “I woke up thinking it was going to be a bad day, but then I remembered that I get to see you later. I can’t wait for that moment.”

Reaching out to someone you love is the best way to make a bad day better. Thinking about spending time with them later will make it even better. If you let them know this, they’ll feel giddy and excited about seeing you, too.

7. “I still get butterflies when I think about you. You’re on my mind all day, and I am so grateful that you are mine.”

If you let your partner know you still get butterflies when you think about them, they’ll be happier, too. Since these feelings tend to wear off, they’ll appreciate knowing you still feel excited about being with them.

8. “I feel at home when I’m with you, and right now, I’m missing home. I can’t wait to cuddle and spend some time together.”

When you feel at home with someone, you know you’ve found something special. They’ll know it, too, as long as you communicate those feelings with them. It’s a sweet and romantic text to send, and they’ll be looking forward to the time together, too.

9. “I never knew I could love someone as much as I love you. Thank you for coming into my life and choosing to stay here. You mean so much to me.”

Those who haven’t found the right person may not realize how strong that love will be. Once you know it, however, make sure to keep that person around. Let them know you are appreciative of your time together and let them know how special they are.

10. “I can’t stop thinking about your smile, and that look you get in your eyes. I’m fascinated by you, and I spend all my time looking forward to seeing you again.”

Pointing out the things you love about your partner is sure to strengthen your relationship. They will learn to love those things about themselves, too, if they know that you do. Never underestimate the power of flattery with someone you love.

11. “I want to know everything there is to know about you. All of your secrets, thoughts, and memories. Mostly, I want to listen to your voice as your eyes light up while you tell me.”

Wanting to know the deepest secrets of someone means you want a stronger relationship. You have likely already realized it, and your partner will recognize it after receiving this text. It will give them a good feeling all day, and they’ll look forward to sharing.

They’ll want you to share your secrets, memories, and thoughts, too. This will give you a stronger bond and bring more meaning to the relationship.

12. “I’ve been thinking about you all day. Can I see you tonight?”

Letting your partner know you have been thinking of them will make them excited and happy. Then, letting them know you hope to see them that day will make it even better. They’ll be excited to make plans and spend the rest of their day looking forward to it.

13. “Because of you, my life is amazing. I’m so proud of all you have accomplished, and I’m thankful for what you do. I’ll support anything you do in the future because I want to be there for it all. I love you.”

Always let your loved ones know when you are proud of them. They’ll see that you are supportive and caring. Plus, if you let them know you are thankful, too, they’ll feel even better about the relationship.

By telling them that you look forward to being by their side in the future, they’ll know you’re genuinely invested. This will help them open up to you, ensuring the strengthening of your relationship.

14. “I can’t stay away from you. My life seems perfect when you’re around.”

When you can’t stay away from someone, and you’re happy to be there, let them know. Letting your loved one know how special they are to you will deepen the relationship you have. Never keep these feelings to yourself if you want to see the relationship grow.

15. “I don’t know a lot about life, but I do know I never want to let you go.”

There are so many unknowns in life, and pretending to know everything doesn’t help. When you admit you have faults and don’t know everything, your partner is more likely to believe you. So, when you follow it up with not wanting to let them go, they’ll believe it.

16. “You deserve everything you want in life, and I want to make sure you get it. I’ll spend my time making sure you’re happy.”

When someone knows you want to do anything in your power to bring them happiness, they’ll be more trusting. This will allow them to open up more quickly and come to you for comfort.

17. “Thank you for being so good to me. I’m glad you are in my life.”

Always thank someone for being good to you and making you happy. Show your appreciation for them, and they’ll be sure to love you more.

18. “I keep thinking about the fun we have together. You always make me appreciate life more. I had the best time, and I can’t wait to do it again.”

Bringing up positive memories from the past can help strengthen your relationship. It’ll bring back those happy feelings and make them want to experience it again.

19. “I’m so lucky to have you. I don’t say it enough, but I appreciate you more than you know.”

As stated before, letting your loved one know that you appreciate them is beneficial to your relationship. When they see that you feel lucky, they will feel blessed, too, knowing they have someone so thoughtful.

20. “I can’t help but smile all day, thinking about how happy you make me. Spending time with you is the best part of my day.”

When your partner knows how happy you are to be with them, they’ll feel the love. Let them know you enjoy spending time with them and that they are important to you.

Final Thoughts on Text Messages to Send to Strengthen Your Relationship

Remember to let your partner know when you are thinking of them. Tell them your deepest feelings, and make sure they know how special they are to you. Studies show that communicating in intimate ways is essential to building a healthy relationship. These types of text messages can allow you to communicate more effectively. When you can read and edit before you hit send, you’ll be sure to send the right message.


10 Relationship Killers No Couple Should Ignore

10 Relationship Killers No Couple Should Ignore

Relationships are hard work. It seems there are more reasons that a relationship will fail than succeed. However, there are plenty of successful relationships, so it’s not impossible to make it work. No one is perfect, so that no relationship will be perfect. One of the critical things to do in a relationship is to recognize relationship killers and fix them before they get out of control. When both people in the relationship are willing to do their part, success is inevitable.

Here are ten relationship killers that couples should never ignore.

1. Poor Communication

Bad communication is one of the top reasons that relationships fail. It doesn’t matter if it’s one person or both people that are bad at communicating. Eventually, things will crumble.

Bad communication can come in several forms. It could be that one person isn’t letting the other person in on their feelings. It may be that body language says something different than what comes out of a person’s mouth. It could even be assuming that you know how your partner is feeling without actually talking to them about it.

It’s normal to have some communication issues. However, if you can recognize these issues and work on them, you can save the relationship. Don’t ignore them because they’ll only get worse if you do.

2. Unwillingness to Cooperate or Compromise

A relationship is a partnership. It takes two to tango, and the dance isn’t going to go well if you don’t work together. Both people must be willing to give as much as they take.

While your relationship may seem like a match made in heaven, you must remember that you’re two different people. You’re not going to do everything precisely alike, so you need to be willing to compromise. There can be no cooperation without a bit of compromise.

If one or both people won’t compromise and cooperate to make the relationship go smoothly, this is a sign that the relationship is not going to work out in the long run. If you care about each other, you should try to identify the root cause of the lack of cooperation and fix it before it becomes a big problem.

3. Jealousy

Some people think jealousy means that your partner cares about them. After all, you can’t be jealous over something you don’t care about, right? Unfortunately, this is far from the truth.

Any good relationship should build from trust and respect. A jealous partner could be insecure and emotionally needy. The jealousy has absolutely nothing to do with whether they care about you or not. As the insecurity builds, so does the negativity. The relationship could turn verbally or physically abusive.

Jealousy is often a result of some underlying issues that the person has. If they genuinely want the relationship to work, they’ll get help in discovering and fixing those underlying issues. If they don’t get help, it’s going to be a relationship killer.

4. Lack of Intimacy

Sex isn’t an essential part of a relationship, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. The desire to fulfill intimate needs is normal and natural. When your partner is not fulfilling this need, you’ll begin to feel like you’re missing something or worse, that you’re not what your partner wants.

Intimacy doesn’t only mean sex. It encompasses those private, meaningful moments that you share with your special someone. It’s what distinguishes a romantic relationship from a friendship.

If there is a lack of intimacy in your relationship, you need to find out why immediately. There are a plethora of reasons that this could be happening, and not all of them are as bad as you may think. However, the issue does need to be addressed before one or both partners lose interest in the relationship.

5. Unfaithfulness

If your partner is unfaithful, this is a clear, unmistakable sign that your relationship is headed down a dangerous path. Despite this being obvious, many people try to sweep it under the rug and pretend it didn’t happen. This never works.

Cheating changes a relationship. The trust is broken, confidence is shaken, and the love between the two of you is questioned. The person who was cheated on will be hurt deeply, and even if they pretend to be over it, they usually aren’t.

Cheating doesn’t have to be the end of a relationship, but it will take a lot of hard work to save it. The cheater must be willing to go to extraordinary lengths to prove that they won’t cheat again.

6. Codependency

Codependency during a relationship is when someone dedicates themselves to making their partner happy, and the partner enables this behavior. It’s more than being clingy or really in tune with their partner. One person finds no joy in life other than doing any and everything to please their partner while the other soaks it all up with no cares that their partner has no life. In other words, one person needs someone, and the other person needs to be required.

It may seem that if both partners are okay with this behavior, then it would work out. However, this isn’t the case because codependency is a mental health condition that usually stems from some past childhood trauma.

According to psychotherapist Linda Esposito, LCSW, codependency is created when someone had unreliable or unavailable parents when they were a child. The child grows up constantly suppressing their needs and desires and continues the behavior into adulthood.

It’s a behavior that can lead to an abusive relationship. It can become extremely dangerous because, over time, the partners’ mental state can become more and more unstable.

The bad thing about codependency is that it often takes someone outside of the relationship to recognize it. Once it has been pointed out, you and your partner will have to move mountains to fix this problem. You’ll likely need a lot of therapy.

7. Lack of Goals

If both partners have no goals, then maybe it won’t be a problem. They can both be happy settling for less, provided they can at least pay their rent and not be homeless. However, if one partner has goals that their pursuing, being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t have any plans isn’t going to work.

The reason for this is that a partner with no goals can become more of a burden as you rise and achieve success. They’ll be someone you’re towing along for the ride. They may even hinder your success.

Suddenly your relationship is not a partnership, and you may find that you don’t have much in common anymore. Your partner may begin to feel like they aren’t good enough for you, and you may start feeling that way also. The only way to fix this problem is for your partner to have their own set of goals their working towards. You don’t have to have the same goals, but they need to be at least similar for the relationship to work out.

8. Laziness

No one likes a lazy person. Lazy people hinder progress, don’t get things done, and cause more problems than they’re worth. They aren’t dependable, and they’re not any fun.

Lazy people may have problems at work. They won’t get raises or promotions. Indeed, they may have trouble keeping a job in the first place. This affects the finances of the relationship, and money is one of the significant relationship killers.

If your partner is lazy, you need to nip that in the bud immediately. You may be tolerating it now, but in the long run, it will ruin the relationship.

9. Holding Grudges

Everyone makes mistakes, but those mistakes shouldn’t be held against you forever. Perhaps you did something in the past to upset your partner. Your partner has probably concerned you also. However, at some point, you must let it go.

Holding grudges, especially if they’re minor, will only keep the drama going in the relationship. It kills trust, creates negativity, and causes passive-aggressive behavior. This negativity leads to a whole host of other problems.

Unfortunately, holding grudges is one of the typical relationship killers. If you or your partner are holding grudges against each other, talk it out and let it go. If you need to get professional help, do it to save your relationship.

10. Unrealistic Expectations

You can’t go into a relationship with your idea of a perfect relationship already preformed. You must let the relationship develop on its own, the way it’s going to develop. Psychologist Bernard Golden, Ph.D., says that clinging on to unrealistic expectations in a relationship can “foster an adversarial posture that undermines a greater commitment to the relationship.”

Unfortunately, a lot of people’s unrealistic expectations become fast relationship killers.

You can’t predict the personality of the person you’ll fall for any more than you can predict the lottery. Sure, you may know of some qualities you prefer, but people are much more complicated than a few superficial qualities.

This is an easy problem to fix. Simply open your mind up to the possibilities. The same goes for your partner. Stop “expecting” and experience instead.

Final Thoughts on Relationship Killers You Shouldn’t Ignore

There isn’t one perfect relationship in the world, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore major relationship killers. It’s okay to have standards and to stick by them. Without these standards, your relationship is headed nowhere fast.

If you recognize any relationship killers in your relationship, the first thing you need to do is have a serious conversation with your partner. You should both be willing to put in the effort to fix the problems. Successful relationships are hard work, but the happiness that comes from them is worth it.


15 Relationship Deal Breakers Strong Women Will Never Ignore

15 Relationship Deal Breakers Strong Women Will Never Ignore

Relationships are hardn and women put up with a lot from men. Women, especially strong women, can be incredibly resilient people. However, there is only so much that a person can put up with. Here are 15 relationship deal breakers that strong women simply won’t ignore.

Here Are the 25 Deal Breakers Unacceptable to a Strong Woman

Many women will flee the scene if they observe these behaviors in their new man.

1. He lives with his parents.

If an adult male still lives with his parents, this is a big red flag that strong women won’t ignore. This doesn’t include guys who are taking care of their parents because one or both of them are sick or disabled. Those guys get a gold medal.

An adult male who still lives with his parents simply shows no ambition in life. He is lazy or scared to move out on his own, or both. Even worse, he might be a mama’s boy, and no woman likes those type of men. Either way, it’s one of the biggest deal breakers.

2. He doesn’t have a steady job.

No one likes dating an unemployed guy. It’s not that strong women are trying to be gold diggers, but let’s be honest here. An unemployed guy can’t take you out. In fact, they won’t be able to do much of anything.

Plus, the inability to hold a job is a sign of immaturity or the unwillingness to be responsible. This will only cause problems in the future.

3. He has no goals or aspirations.

A strong woman is motivated and determined. Being with a guy who has no goals in life will get old fast.

It’s hard to be with someone when you’re climbing the ladder, and they’re okay just being at the bottom. Eventually, you’ll have too much distance between you to have anything in common. Strong women know this, so they aren’t going to put up with a man who has no aspirations in life.

4. He is a bad father.

Most strong women probably have dreams of having a family in the future. If they’re dating a man who already has children, they’ll pay close attention to the type of father he is. If he isn’t taking care of his children now, he probably will be unkind to her children in the future.

Even if he does take care of his future children, it’s still a deal breaker because no real woman is going to watch him favor some of his children over the others.

5. He doesn’t treat women in his life with respect.

Strong women demand respect in their lives. A man might pretend to respect a woman at first but then change later in the relationship. She may notice that her man is disrespectful of her family or even disrespectful of his own family.

With a strong woman, he won’t get the chance to change because she’ll notice this behavior upfront by watching how he treats the women in his life. A man can’t hide his true nature at all times, so when the red flag shows up, a strong woman will quickly exit the relationship.

6. He’s always late to everything.

People are late every now and again. It happens. But when it’s a recurring theme, a strong woman won’t continue to put up with this. When a man is always late to everything, it shows that he doesn’t respect people’s time. A strong woman values her time, so she won’t deal with someone who doesn’t respect it.

7. His temper seems out of control.

An out of control temper is one of the biggest red flags you can have in a relationship. A lot of women put up with this type of abusive behavior, unfortunately. However, a strong woman will absolutely not deal with it. She values herself too much to remain in such an abusive situation, and she will quickly remove that man from her life, even if it must be by force.

It doesn’t matter if it’s physical abuse or if it’s more verbally abusive in nature. Either way, she’s gone.

8. He complains about everything.

No one likes a negative Nancy. In this case, it might be a negative Ned. A strong woman is likely motivated and has a positive attitude. The last thing she wants to do is spend time with someone who complains about everything.

A strong woman might give a man a chance to correct the behavior. She may try to talk it out with him and help him change his perspective. However, if he doesn’t, she’ll tire of the behavior, consider the behavior as one of the major deal breakers, and remove that man from her life.

9. He gives up on things easily.

A strong woman is attracted to a strong man. This means a man that will persevere even when the going gets tough. That’s how strong couples build a strong future together.

Strong women don’t have the capability of dealing with a weak man who gives up on everything. It’s simply not in their nature to be with someone like that. That is a relationship that is destined for failure, and strong women know this early in the relationship.

10. He constantly makes bad decisions.

Young guys may make bad decisions, just like young women. Everyone must learn. However, at some point, you’re supposed to grow up, mature, and make responsible decisions. A man who constantly makes bad decisions has not grown up yet.

A strong woman is not going to be with a man who constantly makes bad decisions. This means she will have to constantly fix situations, and that can inhibit growth. A strong woman won’t let anyone hinder her growth.

11. He is a flirt or cheater.

As mentioned in tip number five, a strong woman is going to demand respect. A man who is constantly flirting with other women or cheating is not respecting his woman. Some women will put up with this constant cycle – strong women will not.

Strong women know their worth, and they aren’t going to be with a man who doesn’t respect their value. They will cut that man off so quickly he won’t even have time to react. Plus, a man who is a flirt or cheater is usually always telling lies. And that’s one of the worst deal breakers of all.

12. He is involved in illegal activities.

For some women, the bad guy is extremely attractive. This is usually immature women who haven’t grown up yet. However, once a woman grows up and becomes a strong woman, she’ll cut the nonsense out of her life.

A strong woman isn’t going to allow anyone to be in her life that could bring her down. Therefore, if a man is involved in illegal activities, she will refuse to have a part in that. She will also refuse to be in a relationship with that man because she knows she could lose everything just by being associated with him.

13. He is childish/immature.

There is nothing wrong with being in touch with your inner child, but you must be able to be an adult when it counts. Some men never reach that point. They stay in their mother’s basements and play video games all day.

A strong woman is not going to date a guy like this. In fact, a strong woman probably won’t even give that type of guy a chance. It’s one of the major deal breakers.

14. He doesn’t treat his lady like a queen.

A strong woman thinks highly of herself. She works hard, and she likes the finer things in life. She treats herself like royalty, and she wants a man that treats her the way she treats herself.

If a man doesn’t believe in treating his woman like the queen that she is, the relationship is not going to work out. They have two different ways of thinking when it comes to how they treat each other, and a strong woman isn’t going to budge on being treated like her worth. A strong woman knows that a queen should be with a king.

15. He is wimpy.

Throughout history, men have always been portrayed as being strong, brave, knights in shining armor. That’s what women want, especially strong women. They desire men who can protect them and take care of them.

A strong woman refuses to settle for a man who is afraid of life. This doesn’t mean she wants a man who is going to fight all the time. It just means she wants a man who isn’t afraid to be a protector.

Final Thoughts on Deal Breakers for Strong Women

Don’t let this article make you think that strong women are inflexible and unyielding. They will give a man a chance to prove his worth. What they won’t do is put up with continuously weak and immature behavior.

A strong woman needs a strong man. There is no way to get around that. Anything less and the relationship becomes lopsided. A strong woman simply won’t tolerate a one-sided relationship.

If you are a strong woman, you already know that all the above tips are true. If you are a man looking to get into a relationship with a strong woman, make sure you can meet all these criteria, or else you’ll be wasting your time. A strong woman simply won’t ignore these deal breakers.


10 Signs Your Relationship Is Being Forced to Last »

10 Signs Your Relationship Is Being Forced to Last »

Relationships are always hard work. Sometimes, no matter how incredibly hard you try to keep your relationship going, it fails. One of you may decide to resurrect the relationship, but if your partner isn’t willing to do the same, it’s a waste of time. You’re just forcing it. So, precisely how do you know when (or if) your relationship is failing? What are the signs your relationship is being forced to last?

Here are ten red flags that your relationship is being forced to last

  1. Not “we” anymore

When one or both partners begin saying, “I” rather than “we” it’s a sign the relationship is in trouble. A relationship involves two people living life together. Their lives are intertwined, making them a couple. They hang out together, shop together, and do things with friends as a couple. This closeness doesn’t mean they never do things independently, but generally, couples like to do something together.

Dropping “we” from your vocabulary is the first sign of a troubled relationship. It’s easy to miss this sign as nothing more than wanting more independence. Why should you make a big deal out of it? But take note, it’s a sure sign of something broken. Be honest with yourself, don’t naively force your relationship if you notice this subtle sign.

  1. Avoidance

Couples that never have time for one another aren’t living as a couple. Staying busy seems like an innocent thing, but it’s a way to avoid talking or interacting with your partner. It’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to prevent severe talks about your relationship. Couples fall into this trap all the time, especially if they don’t want to face the truth that their relationship is failing.

You may tell yourself that things will work out. You just need some space. That may be true, but if there’s constant avoidance, this is a bad sign. Here are some subtle avoidance techniques that happen in failing relationships.

  • You choose to stay home instead of heading out with your partner (every time they ask)
  • You make plans without mentioning it to your partner.
  • You’ll get up early and leave for work before your partner is up.
  • You get home late at night after your partner has gone to bed.
  • You keep a busy schedule, so there’s no time to interact with your partner.

If avoidance is a regular part of your relationship, It’s time to stop pretending and sit down for a talk with your partner. Your relationship isn’t healthy, it’s being forced by either one of you or both of you.

  1. Argue about everything

When everything you and your partner talk about turns into an argument, that’s a sign your relationship is floundering. Perhaps you never used to argue about things like money, sex, or family, but suddenly those topics are hot issues between you. When couples can’t talk about their problems, it erodes their relationship. In healthy relationships, partners respect one another enough to allow for a difference of opinion.

Healthy couples can find common ground on issues. But when a relationship fails, neither side wants to compromise. There is a desire to stand your ground because you feel the need to protect yourself. Don’t try to force any relationship that has gotten to this point. Sit down with your partner or spouse–have an honest discussion, hopefully without an argument, about the state of your relationship instead of staying around in what seems doomed to failure.

  1. Lack of intimacy

The loss of affection and intimacy in your relationship is never a good sign. Romantic relationships build from affection and intimacy. When the sparkle is gone, and there’s little to no affections between you two, it should be a concern. All couples can get into a rut. Kids, work and the busyness of life can cut into times of intimacy, but long periods without sex isn’t healthy.

Other examples of affection, such as hugging and snuggling, are also important in a relationship. If your relationship lacks these signs of romantic love, it could mean that one or both of you are forcing your relationship. Perhaps it’s time to have a long talk with your partner about what’s going on. Encourage your partner to be honest. Tell them you promise not to react to what they say, no matter how difficult it is to hear. Ask them good questions such as

  • How do you think our relationship is going?
  • How do you feel about our relationship?
  • Are you still sexually attracted to me?
  • Do you feel uninterested in intimacy in our relationship?
  1. Irritations grow

Little things about your partner that never used to bother you suddenly feel very irritating. In the past, you overlooked their habits or quirks, thinking they were rather cute, but not anymore. Back then, you didn’t mind it when your partner didn’t like the dog on the furniture, but now you feel like they’re being picky.

You feel tired of adjusting your lifestyle to fit their preferences. When irritations grow with no resolution or discussion to work them out, a relationship is sure to fail. Forcing a relationship to work out won’t help change these feelings.

  1. Silent treatment

The silent treatment isn’t quiet. It speaks volumes. Refusing to talk is a form of rejection. You’re pretending the other person doesn’t exist. It’s a loud and clear sign of a dying relationship. Forcing a relationship that is this far gone is hopeless.

If you can’t talk to your partner, there’s no way to resolve issues. It’s easy to pretend like things aren’t that bad, to live in the comfort zone day today. But you must take the scary first step and encourage your partner to talk to you. Tell them you want to talk about the condition of your relationship. If they aren’t willing, it’s time for you to pack up and go. By their refusal to talk to you, they have essence given you their answer about where they stand in the relationship.

  1. Lack of communication

When a couple acts like two people existing under the same roof with little communication, the relationship is doomed. You are acting like roommates, but not very good roommates. At least roommates communicate. Communication is one of the most necessary ingredients in a romantic relationship.

Without it, couples can’t work on improving and growing as a couple. A lack of communication means there isn’t a desire for one or both partners to invest in the relationship. You can try to communicate more with your partner, but you’ll figure out soon enough if they truly want to continue the relationship or if it’s time to end it.

  1. You forget about your partner.

Making decisions without your partner could mean you’ve lost interest in being with your partner. Couples do things together because they enjoy one another’s company. If you decide to head off to your parent’s house for a long weekend and you don’t bother to include your partner, you should take notice. Something isn’t right. Step back and assess how you feel about your relationship.

Don’t pretend the relationship is okay if you’re leaving your partner out of your weekend plans. It’s easy to live in the comfort zone of a familiar relationship, but you need to step back and stop forcing things. Have an honest and heartfelt chat with your partner about how you feel.

9.. Lack of dedication and commitment

Studies found that commitment in a romantic relationship means you both have a desire to have a future together. There is a sense of dedication, and both partners exert the energy needed to stay together. If one or both the partners begin to feel they don’t care about doing the hard work, it’s a sign the relationship is breaking down. It’s easy to feel guilty about a failing relationship. It’s hard to be the person who says it’s over. You may like the person, but just don’t see any future with them. It’s best, to be honest, and reveal the truth. It’s the kindest thing to do.

  1. Lost loyalty

Way back when your partner was the only one you wanted to spend Friday night with. But lately, you feel like you’d rather hang with your friends. They’re more fun, anyway.  If you feel more loyal to your friends than your partner, something is broken in your relationship. When you’re committed to one another, even though you don’t need to spend every minute together, your first choice is to be together.

You are good friends and enjoy one another’s company. But if you start to feel yourself feeling less than interested in spending time with your partner,  it could mean you’re not being honest about how you feel. Maybe you do not want to hurt the other person, but your actions speak louder than words. It’s time to quit forcing a relationship where you don’t feel loyal to your partner.

Final thoughts on knowing when your relationship is being forced to last

When a romantic relationship runs into trouble, there are obvious signs. It’s easy for the couple not to notice these signs or refuse to believe the truth of the failing relationship. It’s easy to pretend that everything will get better over time. Relationships don’t get better without both partners working to make this happen. When you see the signs, it’s best to get out of your comfort zone and talk honestly with your partner about your relationship.


15 Relationship Rules Never to Ignore

15 Relationship Rules Never to Ignore

Part of life’s joys is to create a lasting relationship that fulfills your heart and spirit. However, mutual relationship rules will provide the perimeters that will keep it healthy and happy. Here are fifteen relationship rules that you and your love might want to consider.

Never Ignore These Fifteen Relationship Rules

1. Be Genuine

In the beginning, the first thing that attracted you to one another was who you were. So, why would either of you want to be somebody else? For a relationship to thrive, you’ve got to be genuine and honest. Don’t try to put on airs or keep your feelings boxed away in your mind.

2. Listen to Each Other

One of the beautiful parts of being a couple is that you can share anything without fear of being judged or belittled. You may hear what your lover is saying, but are you truly listening? With all the commotion and stress of everyday life, it’s easy to get caught up in work, email, phone calls, and errands.

Make it a point to reconnect after school or work and listen to each other. Turn off the tv, cell phone, and other distractions and pay attention to your sweetheart. Follow the habits of good listeners, like maintaining a receptive posture, mirroring emotion, and restating what you’ve heard.

3. Cheaters Never Win

When you are in a committed relationship, you expect that two is company, and three is a crowd. Unless your relationship is casual and you’ve agreed that you can both see other people, cheating mustn’t be tolerated. It just leads to a life of jealousy, mistrust, and bitterness.

Be sure that you’re on the same page for your definition of cheating. There shouldn’t be any secret texting, phone calls, or meetings. Even if sex isn’t involved, sneaking around with the opposite sex is still cheating in your relationship rules.

4. Don’t Lose Your Individuality

A couple may be one in heart and spirit, but you remain individuals. Sometimes, you may feel like you’ve lost yourself in a relationship and need to focus on your own needs. Only when you can love yourself can you love your partner the way you should.

It’s okay to have your hobbies and interests or to enjoy some time in solitude. Respecting each other’s individuality gives you more to share and cultivates appreciation for the other’s talents and personality. Spend time with friends and family and allow yourself to grow mentally and spiritually.

5. Learn How Each Other Shows Affection

While genetics may have a minor role, you learned how to show affection by mirroring your parents and family. Some families use hugs, kisses, and are verbal about their love for one another. However, other families may be more stoic and usually show affection by doing kind things or giving gifts.

Do you know your partner’s love language? Usually, women are more in touch with their emotions and aren’t afraid to express their affection with words and a gentle touch. Society trains men from the cradle up to be more reserved with their feelings, so they often will demonstrate their affection through their actions.

Be intuitive with each other’s love language, and you should realize that you probably show affection differently. It’s not a character flaw, and it doesn’t demean the sense of love and devotion. If you want your guy to say “I love you” more often, just tell him what you want.

6. Be Allies

As lovers and partners for life, you must be each other’s best friend and ally. That doesn’t mean that you disregard your loving family and friends. It means that your person is at the top of your list, and you’ve got his back.

If you have friends and family who don’t approve of your relationship, it’s their problem. Gently but firmly let those naysayers know that if they can’t be supportive and civil, then you’ll part ways until they can. If you allow yourself to be on the wrong side, you’ll lose all trust and respect from your mate.

Be a cheerleader and encourage your sweetheart in his projects or dreams. Even if they don’t pan out, he will remember that you were beside him the whole way, and he’ll love you for it. Being an ally doesn’t mean you always agree, but it means that you are still supportive.

7. Appreciate Each Other

In a long-term relationship, it’s easy to get lost in routine and take each other for granted. One of the basic needs of humans is to be appreciated. Sometimes, sweet daily gestures may become routine, and you forget to thank each other for being thoughtful.

Make it part of your relationship rules to say how much you appreciate one another every day. Not just for loving gestures, but who you are as people. When you show gratitude and appreciation, your love can last.

8. Create New Routines and Traditions

Another wonderful benefit of being in a loving relationship is that you both script your book of love. Do you have cherished childhood memories of holidays and other family traditions? Share each other’s memories and see how they can be interwoven into your life as a couple.

Also, why not create some traditions and routines of your own? Whether it’s for holidays, special occasions, or even choosing a favorite restaurant, bring your personality to the table. They will make lasting memories that you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

9. Be Willing to Compromise

Since you and your person are still individuals, you won’t always agree on everything. If there’s never any difference of opinion or a bit of opposition, then one of you isn’t being genuine. The key to a thriving relationship is to know when to compromise.

First, choose your battles wisely. Don’t create a big fight because you want to go to the ocean for vacation, and she has her heart set on Las Vegas. For your relationship rules, both of you should be willing to give and take a little and come to an agreement.

10. Romance Without Finance isn’t Happening

No, money can’t buy love, but it sure makes life easier. If you’re in a committed relationship with shared finances, you’ve got to work together. Discuss your finances and agree on a budget that will pay the bills, provide savings, and have a little money for incidentals.

Perhaps one of the biggest relationship destroyers is financial problems. Just as you’re committed to each other, you must also be committed to keeping a budget that will sustain your livelihood. Be accountable to each other for spending and consider weekly discussions about the current state of your finances.

11. Be Patient

In our drive-through society, people want immediate results and satisfaction. True relationships aren’t instant and rarely come as ordered. It takes compassion and patience to learn each other’s habits and to work together to resolve conflicts.

Patience is an integral part of relationship rules. Be patient with him and be patient with yourself. Remember that good things come to those who wait.

12. Don’t Try to Change Each Other

A common mistake many people make in forming a relationship is the hope to change the other person. Yes, love and relationship do bring change and make you a better person. However, you must love each other for who you are, not who you think the other should be.

When you try to mold your personality into a cookie cutter of expectations, you’ll just create resentment and an unsettled atmosphere. This blunder can be traumatic if you stay with a toxic person with the idea that you will change things. Love each other without reservation or manipulation, but you should be strong enough to walk away from a toxic or abusive relationship.

13. Keep the Fire Burning

Does your relationship seem stale and boring? Like a flower garden, a relationship must be cultivated and carefully tended to for it to flourish. Be spontaneous and go on surprise dates or getaways. Bring your sweetheart a heartfelt gift or do something special just because you love him.

14. Don’t Hold Grudges

Somebody once remarked that nursing a grudge is akin to drinking poison thinking it will hurt another person. In your journey of love with your partner, there will be many offenses given and taken. Love means that not only can you apologize, but you can offer forgiveness and continue along your way.

Grudges are deadly toxins for any relationship, and nobody wins, especially not the grudge holder. Forgiving doesn’t negate or excuse the offense, but it frees your mind to cope and mend your relationship. Many couples say that part of their relationship rules is that they never go to bed angry at each other.

15. Keep Open Communication

Be your partner’s ear and shoulder for comfort. Agree from the start that no subject is too great or insignificant that you can’t discuss. To keep conflicts at bay, talk about your schedules and other commitments daily. Always be free to listen to what your person has to say and to voice your feelings to him or her, so there’s no confusion or misunderstandings.

Final Thoughts: Follow These Relationship Rules to Foster Long-term Romance and Respect

Lastly, infatuation is a feeling, but love is a choice, and it takes work. To keep your relationship strong in the long run, establish relationship rules together, and be sure to stick with them. Healthy boundaries equal a healthy relationship that will be meaningful for you both.