Relationship Advice – The Date Mix Dating and Relationship Advice for Today's Daters Sun, 18 Mar 2018 08:00:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Loving Yourself Again: 6 Things You Need to Give Up Sat, 17 Mar 2018 08:00:33 +0000 Moving on from something can be hard. Here are some things you can do.

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Everything seemed to be okay yesterday. But today you woke up and suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of stress from all the changes in your life. I get it because I remember experiencing those same feelings several years ago. It’s not just one event, but a series of events, that began to pile up and make me feel emotionally drained.

A lot of things can cause an emotional pileup. You could be going through something serious like the sickness of a friend or a loss of someone you love. It can be changes at work like a new boss, a promotion you didn’t get, or a missed opportunity. Maybe you’ve recently moved, had kid go away to college, a fight with someone you’re close with, or a change in your routine. Whatever caused you to feel drained, after a period of change or turmoil in your life, it’s normal to feel weary and unsure. You may not even recognize or like yourself very much anymore.

No one wants to be unhappy and everyone wants to feel love. Statistics show that 85% of the population is affected by low self-esteem. The culprit is the absence of self-love.

So how do you get your love of self back?

Well, there are things you can give up in order to return to a place where you can love yourself again. It sounds simple but people often don’t think about the subtle things we do to create a sense of who we are. As I explore in my book, “Truth to Triumph” to love yourself is to experience peace in all situations. But to get there, you need to look at who you are and how you interact with the world.

If you’re ready to fully love yourself again but aren’t sure where to start here are six things you can give up:

1. Defining yourself by the changes in your body.
Changes in your body can sometimes redefine you, causing you to stop loving yourself. Don’t fall into that egotistical trap. Losing or gaining some weight or buying that new face cream may make you feel different, but ultimately your worth and your sense of self should come from something more. You’re a beautiful person but the best thing about you isn’t your body or how you look. Who you are is more than that.

2. Seeing events as your life.
Sometimes it’s easy to see big life events such as getting a job, moving to a new city, getting married, or having a child as the moments that make up your whole life. But these events are just things. Know that your natural ability to love yourself is in the present moment, not in an event that has or hasn’t happened. Live in the moment and do as much as you can now, instead of constantly looking forward or backward.

3. All judgment, including self-judgment.
When you experience unkind judgment from others it can be debilitating if you believe it. The same holds true when you judge yourself. So don’t do it! It’s ok to be honest with yourself or want to improve and better yourself, but this should come from a place of love not shame or fear.

4. Identifying yourself with others.
It’s easy to let a relationship with someone, especially a romantic relationship, define you. And even the loss of that relationship can have the potential to be a part of your personality or how you view yourself. It’s natural to identify yourself with the people in your life, but along the way you can lose who you are by attaching yourself too closely to another person. Give up identifying yourself with others and see yourself as a unique and loving person all on your own.

5. Your fight against change.
When things change that are beyond your control it can make you feel less needed or unimportant because the role you used to play doesn’t exist anymore. This is why so many people fear change. There will come several points in your life where you’ll have to stop fighting an inevitable change and voluntarily move on. You have to give up things in order to grow.

6. Your fear.
You can’t love deeply without experiencing loss. One of the biggest things holding you back from personal growth and choosing to love yourself is fear. If you’re living in fear, you’re not moving forward. It can paralyze you.

When you get to a place where you don’t love yourself, it can feel like there isn’t a way forward. Focus on these six tips and see where they take you. Loving yourself isn’t always easy. It’s something you’ll have to work at your whole life. But when you love yourself that love naturally translates to others. And it can fill your whole life.


Lily Sanders is a noted author, speaker, co-host, and life coach, recently named one of the 15 Top Coaching Experts in NYC. Her newly released book “Truth to Triumph” is a spiritual guide to finding your truth. Lily’s passion is for humanity and she thrives on helping others live life at a deeper level. Download her free e-book “Soul Bread” and start benefiting from her daily affirmations that feeds the soul. Follow Lily on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Lust vs. Love: 5 Ways to Tell What You’re Feeling Sun, 11 Mar 2018 09:00:07 +0000 Are you in love or lust? Here are a few ways to tell the difference.

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Are you in love or is it lust? Sometimes it’s hard to tell because both emotions feel really good. And both create a connection with your partner that feels exciting and blissful. But for all their similarities, they are most definitely not the same. When it comes to lust vs. love, there are a few things you should know.

Lust is an intense physically attraction. You desire your partner in every way due to your strong sexual connection. Love is deeper than lust. It’s attraction and affection. You profoundly care for your partner, which creates an emotional attachment in addition to your sexual connection.

It’s important to know the difference, especially in the beginning of the relationship. It’s easy to get caught up in the heady feelings of a new love interest, and mistake your early feelings of lust for love. Want to know how to tell the difference?

Here are 5 things that help you tell if it’s lust vs love:

1. How perfect you think your partner is.
If You’re in Lust: You think your partner is perfect. You think nothing is wrong with them. Everything about them is shiny, bright, and new. They can’t do anything really wrong in your eyes because the pedestal you put them on is that big.

If You’re in Love: You know your partner isn’t perfect—and you choose to love them and be with them anyway. In fact, it’s your partner’s imperfections that you cherish the most. You know you aren’t perfect, so you value and welcome your partner’s flaws.

2. How much care you put into your appearance.
If You’re in Lust: You dress up each and every time you see your sweetie because your physical attraction to one another is huge. You’re obsessed with looking your best for them because you still feel like you need to impress and entice them.

If You’re in Love: You wear sweatpants and no makeup. You don’t care how you look in front of your partner because you know that they like and care for the real you—whether you’re wearing a bold lip or zit cream. Your level of comfort with one another is that strong.

3. How often do things other than have sex.  
If You’re in Lust: You spend most of your time in bed. You have a super intoxicating desire to have sex all the time, but not necessarily to connect in other ways. Chances are you don’t engage in much pillow talk and you might not even cuddle.

If You’re in Love: You have sex, but that’s not all you do. You want to connect with each other in other ways, like trying out new hobbies and activities together. You might not even have sex for a few days or weeks and you don’t freak out about it because you know life happens and your relationship is not all about sex anyway.

4. How deep your conversations go. 
If You’re in Lust: You love living the fantasy. This might mean spending time in hotel rooms and engaging in sexting and superficial chatting, but you don’t want to discuss real feelings or any plans for the future.

If You’re in Love: You talk for hours about anything and everything, including deep feelings. You care and respect how your partner feels as well as their perspective on the world. You both feel motivated to support one another and be a better person for each other.

5. How much you challenge each other. 
If You’re in Lust: You are so infatuated with this person that you ignore things that actually bug you, including red flags. You don’t like how they handle money or how they speak to servers at dinner, but you ignore it because you don’t want to rock the boat. You just want to keep things nice.

If You’re in Love: If you don’t like something your partner said or did, you call them out, lovingly. You know a solid relationship requires honest and open communication, and because you want your partner to be the best they can be, you want to offer constructive criticism to help them.

Lust vs. love is hard to differentiate at first, but the biggest difference between the two staying power. Lust is all about the present moment. The attention you receive, the fun you have together, and the butterflies. Ultimately, lust fades. Sometimes it fades into a breakup, and other times, it can transform into love. Love is about the present moment AND the future. It’s wanting to have this person by your side through thick and thin, and experiencing the journey together.


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Common Relationship Mistakes That Aren’t a Big Deal Fri, 09 Mar 2018 09:00:38 +0000 At some point in your relationship, you're going to make some mistakes. Here are some you shouldn't worry about.

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The list of so-called rules in today’s dating culture seems endless. From wait three days to text back to don’t reveal too much about yourself too early, it can seem overwhelming trying to navigate all the social norms associated with meeting someone new. And at the end of the day, once you find yourself with someone you’re interested in, the rules tend to go out the window.

A lot of how you act in in relationship is based on who you are and who the person you’re with is. And, chances are, for you and the person you’re with the rules don’t apply… not all of them anyways.

So if you find yourself in a new relationship, worried that you’re making mistake after mistake, don’t worry so much. Here are some common relationship mistakes that really aren’t a big deal.

1. Showing that you’re nervous or insecure.
We hear it all the time… Be confident! People are attracted to confidence. Even if you don’t really feel that way, fake it until you make it. Bt there can be a lot of pressure on both men and women to act confident and sure of themselves when they’re naturally nervous about meeting someone new.

“Many people feel that showing any nervousness or insecurity with your partner is a mistake that will shatter their opinion of you,” says dating expert, James Anderson. “The reality is that this is far from the truth! If you’re in a relationship with someone that you trust, being honest with your feelings and sharing your concerns is a great way to bring the two of your closer.”

2. Oversharing.
In other words, it’s been two weeks and he/she knows everything about you, ranging from your past relationships to your brother’s financial problems. We’re often told to remain a little mysterious and not open up too much early in a relationship or else it ends up being a therapy session. It’s not a big deal if you share this kind of stuff, especially if the both of you feel very comfortable with each other—you could both be such a good fit that it’s easy to open up right away. Chances are, if they’re willing to listen and react positively, then you’re in the clear.

3. Not sharing everything with your partner
On the flip side, transparency in a relationship is key, but you don’t have to share absolutely everything.

“While you do want to be very open and honest, the truth is that they don’t need to know every single mistake or regret that you’ve accumulated over your life,” says Anderson. “You don’t want to lie to them but you also don’t need to be exceptionally forthcoming with your most embarrassing memories.”

4. Making yourself too available.
We’re often told that making the other person the center of our universe too soon can push the other person away. This can really depend on the personality of the other person. If you’re really interested in each other, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to spend as much time together as possible. It’s not about ditching your hobbies, obligations, and friends, it’s more about not playing by the rules and letting your new date know that you’re really into them.

5. Talking about your ex.
Talking about previous relationships with your current partner can be a sensitive and awkward conversation. So much so that you’ve probably received advice to avoid talking about it. But sometimes talking about an ex can be helpful.

“Talking about your ex isn’t as big of a deal as people make it out to be and often can be a great way to help your current partner understand how they can improve your current relationship and avoid mistakes that you have made in the past,” says Anderson.

6. Having sex after the second date.
How many times do we hear that you should wait to have sex with someone new? That you have to build emotional intimacy before physical intimacy? The reality is that we are all different when it comes to sex. While some prefer to wait three months, others may prefer to wait three days. It’s completely up to you and your partner. And, if you do have sex early in the relationship, it doesn’t mean the relationship is going to fail. Continue to keep an open mind that the relationship may or may not work out.

When it comes to starting a new relationship, it can sometimes seem like you’re out of your element. And in many ways you are. Learning about a new person, how to interact with them, their likes and dislikes, when they’re social and when they’re happy to be alone… all these things take time and can feel awkward at first. Chances are you’re going to make a lot of mistakes in any new relationship. And though some may make your cringe, they aren’t the end of the world. Ultimately, they may even bring you closer.

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How to Get Over Someone You Still Love Wed, 07 Mar 2018 09:00:28 +0000 Because some people are really hard to let go of.

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Getting over someone is hard work no matter what. Even if you only dated for a short period of time or just crushed on someone for a while, you still feel a sense of loss, disappointment, and sadness when things are over. But getting over someone you still love? That’s not only heart-wrenching, but can also seem so impossible that you wonder if you’ll ever be able to move on.

Some people are just really hard to let go of. It’s hard to move on from your pain because when you finally do let go of it, that’s when the relationship is really over. And for most of us, that’s a reality we don’t want to face. You could very well be aware of all the reasons why you shouldn’t be together but those reasons—no matter how practical and sound as they might be—don’t just make the love go away. As Carrie Bradshaw famously said, “But if you love someone and you break up, where does the love go?”

The love might still be real. And, at one point, it might have been good for you. However, in order to have the life, and the relationship, that you truly deserve and someone who’s deserving of your worth and value, you must try to get over your ex.

Here’s how to get over someone you still love:

1. Cut off contact.
FYI: you don’t have to be friends with your ex, and while we’re at it, no, it’s not always the most mature route, despite what some people say. You know what’s more mature? Taking care of your emotional wellbeing, as well as establishing boundaries and understanding what YOU need in order to be your best self. It’s not harsh and it doesn’t mean you’re a jerk or a bitch. It means you’re looking after yourself, which is what everyone should do after a breakup.

2. Give it time.
Clichéd? Yes, but nonetheless, it’s true. Time is an amazing buffer for raw emotions. How much time? Unfortunately, there is no real answer. It’s completely personal. For some, it might take weeks or months. For others, it could take years before you can finally breathe again. It’s important not to rush the process, either. Moving forward with a new relationship, or even reestablishing contact with your ex way before you’re ready can set you ten steps back. Take your time and, above everything else, be gentle with yourself.

3. Let go of the fantasy.
Most people don’t mourn the relationship they actually had. Because the relationship they really had was most likely filled with fights, drama, and emotional strife. Who would mourn that? No one. Instead people tend to mourn the idea of what they could have had. They become obsessed with the fantasy they keep replaying in their heads, which is propelled by good memories and false hope. People do this because they don’t want to focus on the pain of the breakup; so they go towards what feels good. And what feels good is romanticizing your ex and choosing to focus on the good times instead of on who your ex truly is today. By doing this, it becomes way more difficult to detach and let go of someone. So when you find yourself fantasizing about your ex, it’s important to remind yourself of all the reasons why you broke up in the first place. Even writing down an actual list of all the things that didn’t work and what you didn’t like is helpful. It’s not for you to stay angry, but to stay real.

4. Choose forgiveness.
This is probably the most difficult part of the process. When someone you love treats you poorly or unfairly it feels like a shot to the heart. Your trust is broken. You wonder how you could have loved someone who could betray you so easily, and you begin to question whether or not you truly ever knew your partner. And then down the rabbit hole of despair and anger you go. As cheesy as it sounds, in order to feel at peace with someone, you must find it within yourself. Often this means seeing the breakup from your ex’s perspective. Choose to see what they did as something that was necessary, and not unkind. Choose to understand that they did the best they could at the time, and that, ultimately, their best wasn’t good enough for you—and that’s okay. It’s easier to forgive your ex when you see them as a real and flawed human being rather than through a lens of perfection.

Forgiving your ex is not letting them off the hook for bad behavior, but it is about giving yourself emotional freedom. In the end, no one can give you closure but you.

5. Understand there’s nothing wrong with you for loving them.
Because there’s not. It’s okay to still love your ex. It’s okay to still feel pain. It’s okay to want another ending over the one you were given. That’s all part of the process. But also know that love isn’t what solely makes a relationship work. Relationships work when similar values are aligned, when the communication is clear and honest, and when the timing is right. Sometimes the best way you can demonstrate your love for someone is by wishing them the best in life, even if that means letting them go.

Getting over someone you love isn’t easy at all. But it’s essential that you don’t let the love you have for your ex outweigh the most important relationship you’ll ever have—the one with yourself.

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Dating Someone Who Doesn’t Want to Get Married Fri, 02 Mar 2018 09:00:16 +0000 What to do when what you want doesn't align with what they want.

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It’s safe to assume that by now we’ve evolved into a culture that respects someone’s choice not to marry. Marriage isn’t the end-all and be-all for everyone—their are singles who’d like to remain that way, couples who prefer to stay together without marriage, or people who have already been down that road before don’t want to go down it again. Whatever the reasons, commitment doesn’t always mean you need a marriage certificate, but for some people, putting a ring on it is the ultimate goal of dating. So what happens if the person you’re dating doesn’t want to get married or you do?

The discussion of marriage while dating is a tricky situation. You don’t want to bring it up too early, thus placing unnecessary pressure on a premature relationship. But on the other hand, you don’t want to wait until you’ve already planned your wedding on Pinterest only to hear your beloved say, “I just don’t see myself ever getting married.”

Differing on the value of marriage doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker in your relationship. However, it’s definitely something to discuss and evaluate with your partner so you understand how you both feel. Here’s what you need to consider:

1. How is their history affecting your current relationship. 
There’s some validity behind the old excuse of, “I don’t need a piece of paper to prove my commitment to you,” when your partner was previously married. Maybe his or her past experience has soured their view on marriage. Not because they don’t love you or want to be with you, but mostly because they don’t want to go through the potential fallout of a messy divorce. Another reason? Maybe they’re a child of divorce, and thus have a painful experience of marriage. Getting a frame of reference is essential to understanding your partner’s reasons for not wanting to marry. From there, you’ll be able to determine whether or not that’s enough reason for you to continue being with this person.

2. Are they even ready for marriage?
Sometimes someone says they don’t want to get married because they aren’t ready to marry at the present or near future. It doesn’t mean marriage is completely off the table, but only that they’re not in the right headspace to consider walking down the aisle with anyone. At this point, you’ll need to determine whether you want to continue a relationship with your partner. Maybe they’ll never be ready, or maybe they won’t be ready soon enough for your timeline. You can’t or shouldn’t wait for someone who’s not willing to give you what you need.

3. Are they worried your relationship will change? 
It’s cliché but true—a number of people worry that once they get married then their relationship will change. Sex will be sporadic. You’ll fight more over stupid stuff like chores and underwear on the floor. They’ll be held more accountable for things. Money might also be an issue. Some men don’t want to marry unless they feel financially stable and secure. Basically, they don’t want to be forced into something constrictive and would rather enjoy what they have—something that allows more freedom. This is a good indication that you two should discuss how you both see your relationship, and where it’s headed. Maybe you can eventually find a compromise, but if your values aren’t matching up, it might be time to split.

4. What’s your reason for getting married. 
You both need to figure out your why. You need to know why your partner doesn’t want to get married as much as you need to figure out why you need to get married. Is it just to have a big fabulous wedding, or is it because you want to spend the rest of your life with your perfect partner? Sometimes we assume we want marriage because that’s the social construct in which we’ve been raised. But if you’re with someone who checks off all the boxes of who you want in a life partner, then perhaps you might want to consider whether you could be happy with a commitment ceremony rather than an official wedding.

Ultimately, in order for a successful relationship to have serious staying power, your values and goals for the relationship are important to consider, but so is your ability to communicate and compromise. Be realistic with what you both are asking for when it comes to commitment, whether that means not pushing for marriage six months into your relationship or waiting six years before discussing marriage in your relationship. Most importantly, weigh your happiness. Does this partner make you feel happy, safe, and secure? Can you both see yourselves spending the rest of your lives together? If the answer is yes, then maybe that’s all you need. 

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Top 5 Simple Tips for Healthy Relationships Wed, 28 Feb 2018 09:00:15 +0000 Five relationship experts to share their #1 tip for maintaining a healthy relationship.

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Having a successful and healthy relationship takes work, but not the stressful and tedious work you might be thinking. You can have a healthy relationship by following just a handful of simple tips. We asked five relationship experts what their number one tip is when it comes to maintaining a healthy relationship.

Here are the top 5 tips for healthy relationships that anyone can follow:  

1. Avoid making assumptions about each other’s feelings, wants, and reactions.
When people know each other for a while, they can sometimes predict how their partner is going to react. However, when couples fall into a pattern of making assumptions about each other too readily, some significant problems may follow, explains licenses psychologist, Dr. Nicoletta C. Skoufalos. “Communication between partners can shut down over time. Partners may stop being curious about each other, and in fact may be making incorrect assumptions about each other that can lead to miscommunications. Additionally, people’s thoughts and experiences or even who they are can change over time. When partners make assumptions about each other they may fail to acknowledge how each has grown over time and this can create distance between them.” Continue to communicate about feelings, don’t hide your reactions, and always express what it is you need from your partner.

2. Focus on the positive traits of your partner.
Instead of focusing on flaws in your partner, which perpetuates negative feelings about the relationship, focus on the positive aspects of your partner. “It’s important to look for any positive qualities that you admire in your partner,” suggests Afton Strate, a licensed clinical marriage and family therapist. “If you have experienced a lot of conflict in your relationship this may pose more of a challenge initially, but I encourage couples to find even small things that they can appreciate about their partner. When you have identified something that you like about your partner (e.g., their patience) it can be helpful to connect the quality with an experience that you’ve had with them. You can also reference qualities that initially attracted you to your partner or an aspect of their character that may have been demonstrated more recently.”

3. Couples who play together stay together, so have regular dates and take an annual vacation together.
Take turns planning weekly romantic date nights or date days. “Hiking, biking, skating or long walks are great things to do. Learn something new together as a couple such as wine making, snow shoeing, a cooking or dance class,” says Susan McCord (aka Dear Sybersue), a relationship coach and advice columnist. Then, every couple months, even if it’s just a weekend, get away together. “Getting away from everything once a year is also a great way to stay close to each other. You can remove yourself from the everyday distractions at home and enjoy a fun new environment together. Diversity is the key to a strong relationship because things never get stale. You always have something to look forward to,” she adds.

4. Maintain your individuality.
Each person in a healthy relationship needs to know who they are and what makes them happy. “Many times when people begin a relationship, they try to please the other person and neglect themselves in order to begin the relationship,” explains Dr. Cherry D. Weber, a licensed clinical psychologist. “People ideally begin to develop who they are in childhood and build off this as they mature throughout their life. If both people have a healthy sense of self they can develop a good relationship by bringing their similar qualities as well as their differences to the relationship, and they won’t have one person dominate or overshadow the other.”

5. Choose the right person.
If you really want to know the key to having a healthy relationship, it comes down to who you select to be your partner. “Selecting the right person with whom to build a relationship and share your life is half the battle,” says Elly Klein, a relationship expert and writer. “Yes, you must find them attractive and enjoy their company, but they must also have a good heart, treat you well, and want to be with you. So don’t place all the emphasis on attraction and connection.” The bottom line is that if you’re only just physically attracted to someone and don’t really enjoy spending time with them outside of the bedroom—or if you don’t fully trust, accept, or respect them—the relationship will struggle to be healthy. Find someone else.

Some people will tell you relationships are work, and there’s some truth to that, but it’s also trivializing the matter. Relationships, and fostering healthy relationships, are about more than simply working at it. Your relationships are your life, they are living, evolving things just as you are. And as a result they should grow and change just as you do. As you grow in your relationship, keep in mind these five simple tips. And don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

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