Relationship Problems – The Date Mix Dating and Relationship Advice for Today's Daters Fri, 15 Dec 2017 09:00:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 8 Relationship Compromises You Should Never Make Thu, 07 Dec 2017 09:00:44 +0000 Are you giving up the vision you had for your life.

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When you’re in a long-term relationship, it’s inevitable that you’re going to have to make some compromises to make the relationship work. There are the little things like which peanut butter to buy or where to go on your vacation. And then there are the bigger compromises which shouldn’t be taken lightly. In fact, there are certain compromises you may face that’ll have you questioning the relationship and whether it’s really worth it.

Besides your health and safety, which should never be compromised, here are eight other subtle yet significant compromises you should never make in a relationship.

1. Your dreams and goals for theirs.
While dating, especially when you’re young, you need to go after your goals with vigor and fire. “If your goal is to become an engineer and you got a great job opportunity in a city away from your partner, you should absolutely take it. If that partner is mature and respectful, he/she will honor your goals and support you in pursuing them,” explains Alli Owen, a life coach specializing in relationships.  If you give up your dreams for someone else, you may come to resent them later on.

2. Your values.
Your values are part of who you are at your very soul. If you’re not a big drinker but your partner is a destructive drinker and it’s affecting your relationship in negative ways, it’s okay to give them an ultimatum. Owen says your partner should respect your desires and want to be a better person not only for you but with you. “If you always envisioned marrying a person of a particular faith or religion, wait to settle down until you find that person.”

3. Your vision for your life.
You’ve always wanted at least two kids and a life in the suburbs, but your partner doesn’t want kids and prefers to live in the city… And the more you talk about it, the more it seems like the life you want is suffocating to your partner. You can’t compromise things like this without someone being miserable in the end. The best thing to do is stop prolonging the inevitable and end the relationship. There is no use wasting anyone’s time if your life vision doesn’t align with theirs.

4. Your family and friends.
Be wary of any partner who tries to keep you from seeing your family and friends. It’s normal to see less of them because now you’re spending more time with your partner, and while some possessiveness may make you feel wanted and special in the beginning, it can also be a red flag of things to come later in the relationship. As Kristen Fuller, M.D. writes, healthy friendships can help you cultivate healthier relationships and be healthier overall. “Studies have shown that older people with friends are more likely to live a healthier happier life than those who do not have many close friends.”

5. Your self-worth.
We should all expect to be treated with love and respect by our significant others. Our partners should stand by our side through good times and bad and shouldn’t make us feel bad about ourselves. It’s natural to have disagreements and to challenge one another, but don’t allow verbally abusive communication into your relationship. Non-healthy communication can be damaging to your self-esteem.

6. Your principles when it comes to flirting.
You may not even realize you’re doing this but, quite often, men and women concede to their partners’ desire about texting or flirting with others. If your partner’s flirting makes you uncomfortable, it’s worth wondering why it’s so important to them. The conversation is generally followed by thoughts like, They’re still coming home to me or He/she is just being friendly. Flirting is a sign your partner needs someone else to fulfill part their needs, which could even just be their ego. If it’s not something you’re comfortable with, then don’t put up with it.

7. The type of relationship you want.
It should never be okay for your partner to pressure you into doing things you don’t want to do, says Rori Sassoon, a professional matchmaker and CEO of Platinum Poire. “For example: Having an open relationship, a threesome, or anything else that makes you uncomfortable in your relationship. Or inviting another person into your relationship is a big decision that can create jealousy when you want to be strengthening your intimate bond.”

8. Your finances.
These days, having your finances in check is important if you plan on buying a house, taking out loans, or dream of retiring early. Your partner’s bad credit or spending habits can eventually impact you. “If they are taking from you financially and not contributing to expenses, there is nothing to compromise here. They must stop,” says Sassoon. If it feels like you’re constantly footing the bill and they’re mooching off of you, it’s best to keep your accounts and finances separate and plan very inexpensive dates until they get their finances together.

When you care deeply about someone or when you’ve invested a lot of time and effort into a relationship, it can feel natural to compromise on even these big things. But if you find that all your compromises are creating a life and a relationship that doesn’t make you happy or move your life in the direction you want, it’s time to consider whether the relationship is really what you want.


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Pros and Cons of Breaking Up and Getting Back Together Fri, 24 Nov 2017 09:00:38 +0000 Can on-and-off again relationships work out in the end?

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Ross and Rachel did it. So did Carrie and Mr. Big. As did Miley and Liam (in real life), and, of course, Jelena. These are examples of couples—both fictional and real—who dizzied us with their off-and-on antics. Experts, including real ones and the so-called ones (otherwise known as your friends) might warn against getting back together with an ex, but is it really such a bad idea? After all, if you’ve once experienced such a close connection with an ex, isn’t reuniting with them what rom-com (and real) happy endings are made of?

If you’re considering getting back together with your ex, no doubt you have a lot to consider. Which is why we came up with a list of pros and cons to help you figure it out.

PRO: You’re already comfortable with each other.
No awkward silences or fumbled attempts at small talk are necessary here. Not only are you starting again from a comfortable foundation, but due to your connection, you’ll also experience the butterflies common with new relationships. It’s basically a win-win situation.

CON: You’re not as secure with one another.
Sure, you might be comfortable with each other, but that doesn’t mean you feel completely secure. Studies have shown that married or couples who had at one point been on-again/off-again—or what psychologists refer to as “cycling”— have more uncertainty about their relationship’s future.

PRO: You’ve seen each other at your worst.
The honeymoon period of dating often shrouds the true nature of your partner, as well as the true compatibility of the relationship. But with an on-and-off partner, you’ve seen each other at your worst. You’ve cried and you’ve yelled. Your partner knows that you can be petty about which Netflix series to watch, and you know your partner gets hangry. You know what to expect, so you aren’t entering a relationship with any idealistic expectations.

CON: Old habits die hard.
You might know how to push each other’s buttons, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing. It might be easy to fall back into a routine with an old flame, but if you aren’t both consciously choosing to break old patterns—especially the ones that caused your relationship’s demise in the first place—then you can expect to repeat the cycle again. Communicating what you both need the other to fix is a good place to start. However, people are creatures of habit, and if they don’t want to change, they won’t.

PRO: You have a special connection.
There’s a reason why you keep reconnecting with your ex. You probably had other relationships that you knew weren’t going anywhere, thus didn’t think twice about after their ends. But if there’s a special type of energy pulling you back towards your ex, there might be a special reason behind it. Maybe your gut is telling you he or she could be the one, but the timing was wrong before. That’s more than enough reason to give it a second shot.

CON: It’s harder to forget than to forgive.
You might forgive your ex for the pain he or she might have caused you, but that doesn’t mean you entirely forget it. Harmful words and heartbreak—as well as the emotional baggage attached to it—can be difficult to shake. Getting back together with your ex means facing the hurt and rejection you’ve experienced before, which can be a hurdle to your relationship getting off to a good, and lasting, start. If you aren’t willing to let go of the past, then you won’t have much of a future together.

Though they’ve been proven to be more stressful and confusing at times, the on-and-off relationships that are successful are the ones in which both parties allow their breakup(s) to serve as opportunities to improve themselves, both individually, and together. Instead of imagining what a relationship with an ex could be, openly negotiate what needs to work in order for you and your partner to grow together, rather than apart. Using a breakup as a time of growth and renewal, as well as applying the lessons you’ve learned in the interim, could give you the happy ending you deserve.


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What to Do When Someone Says I Need Space Thu, 23 Nov 2017 09:00:04 +0000 It feels like the kiss of death in the dating world, but what exactly does it mean?

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It’s a tale as old as time: You’re getting to know someone, you have great chemistry, and your relationship is blossoming. You don’t want to jinx it, but you have a good feeling about this relationship. That is, until they drop the four little words that change everything: “I need space.”

Nobody wants to hear “I need space.” It feels like the kiss of death in the dating world. What exactly does it mean? Is it texting less? Is it spending more nights apart? Is it a breakup? We’re here to help you figure out what it means and how best to react when someone says, “I need space.”

Listen carefully and understand why.
When those four words come up, the most important thing you can do is listen to what your partner is saying. Understand their reason for needing space—does it relate to you, are they busy at work, or is something pressing going on in their personal life?—and, most importantly, respect their request. Arguing, pushing back, or getting defensive won’t get you anywhere.

Be aware and assess accordingly.
It’s important to be aware of (and realistic about) your situation. There’s a big difference between someone you’ve only known a few weeks wanting space and someone you’re in an exclusive relationship with wanting space. If you’ve been out on a few dates, that’s one thing. If it’s your fiancée, that’s another. The shorter the relationship, the less you should protest. Consider your status and proceed accordingly.

Thank them for being honest.
With the increased use of technology in our daily lives, most, if not all, of our dating and relationship communication has moved online. It’s easy for people to just disappear and never text again without so much as an explanation of why. So when someone chooses to tell you that they need some space, in a way, it’s better than not being told at all. Even though it’s not great news to hear, it’s still better than being left in the dark, wondering why things changed.

Respect their wishes.
When your partner says that they need some space, give them some space. Don’t try to change their mind. We know it’s tempting to probe for answers or even try justifying your own behavior, but trust us: That’s only going to make things worse. Moving forward, it’s a good idea to wait for them to reach out to you first.

Get some space of your own.
Hey, if everyone’s doing it, why not? Instead of stewing because your partner wants some space, take a page from their book and get some space of your own. Find a new hobby, catch up with friends, or indulge in some serious “me” time. You might even see your relationship in a new light too.

When someone says that they need some space, the last thing you want to do is overwhelm them with questions or press them for information. The best response is a positive one. Even if things ultimately fizzle out, your partner will be grateful that things ended on good, respectful terms.

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8 Signs He’s Losing Interest and What to Do About It Thu, 16 Nov 2017 09:00:37 +0000 Is he vague and indecisive about making plans? Could be something's up.

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It’s happened to a lot of us, both men and women—You thought things were going really great until, suddenly, they weren’t. So now you’re left wondering what happened. It’s hard when you start getting really excited out someone, only to have them lose interest. You start wondering if it’s you and if there’s anything you can do to reel them back. If you’re wondering what the signs he’s losing interest are, here are eight things men do when they’re beginning to slip away and what (if anything) you should do about it.

1. He’s making excuses.
In the beginning, he was all about you—when you called he ran. Now, he’s working late, has to run errands, isn’t feeling well, or always has an excuse every time you ask to do something. Typically, whenever someone gives you a reason for why they can’t do something, what they’re really telling you is they don’t want to do that thing or that it isn’t a priority for them. If you see this happening a lot, it could be a big sign he’s not as into the relationship as he once was.

2. He’s not as responsive on this phone.
You both use to text all day long and talk every night, and now he barely responds to a text and never calls you back. He may simply not be interested in chatting with you anymore or he could be talking to someone else. Either way, it’s a clear sign he’s losing interest in hearing from you.

3. He’s become defensive and rude.
When the nice, sweet man you fell for starts ignoring you, hurls insults, and gets sarcastic, it’s a big red flag. If he starts putting the blame on you when you become upset by saying things like, “If you don’t like then don’t be with me,” or “I always used to spend Saturday nights with the guys,” he’s definitely losing interest.

4. He stops asking questions.
Asking questions helps someone learn more about who you are as a person. From knowing your favorite band to hearing about a good day, when the person you’re with asks you about things he or she is learning your likes and how you feel, and are showing their interest in you. When your man stops asking how you’re doing, how do you like your burger, what do you think about this movie… it’s a sign he’s stopped caring.

5. He’s more vague and indecisive.
When a man becomes vague about what his plans are, what he wants to do, or if he wants to go out or not, it’s often a sign that he’s not looking forward to seeing you and is even avoiding it. If he stops sharing his plans with you and then you find out he’s been going out with his friends or family, then it’s a big sign he’s losing or has lost interest. He clearly isn’t making time for you when he has plenty of it.

6. There’s no sex.
The nights you’re together, instead of getting hot and heavy in the sheets, he’s been falling asleep faster than a baby. And when you try to initiate, he says he’s tired and rolls over. You start to think, When was the last time we had sex? Then you start thinking, When was the last time we kissed, hugged or held hands? When this happens, it’s a sign he’s no longer physically or emotionally interested in you.

7. You’re only having sex.
On the flip side, he could still be showing other signs of losing interest but still having sex with you because he knows he can satisfy that urge. It doesn’t mean he’s still emotionally and even physically interested in you if the sex is till there. If it feels more like an act and he’s more concerned about satisfying himself and not you, he’s not really interested in the relationship anymore.

8. The relationship is stagnate.
If he’ still hanging around and you’re still meeting up, but it feels more friendly than romantic, it can be that the flame he had for you has gone out and he’s losing interest. It might feel like the relationship has been flat-lining lately with no ups. Almost like boredom. Sometimes, when a man loses interest he isn’t necessarily mean or neglectful, he’s just not all there.

Ok, so what do you do about it?
So, you’ve picked up these signs and are wondering how to proceed. Many would say that if you’re noticing a guy is losing interest in you, why fight it? But, sometimes there are other things going on in his life that make him seem distant and not interested. It’s always difficult to have a serious talk about feelings, but it’s also important to let him know how you’re feeling and to give him a chance to tell you the same. Try talking to him to see what’s going on. If he opens up and there’s good communication, it may not be an issue with the relationship at all. But if he’s not willing to open up and makes himself more distant, then it’s time to move on to somebody else.

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re already unsatisfied and worried about the direction things are going. If he’s not caring for you and being present in the relationship in the way you need, and won’t even discuss why not, you deserve more. It’s never easy walking away, but spending your time and energy on someone who’s not spending time or energy on you can be much harder.

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10 Signs You Need to Break Off Your Engagement Fri, 03 Nov 2017 08:00:04 +0000 Are you still waiting for them to change?

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Being engaged is exciting and amazing. You’re happy, you’re exciting for the future, you’re relationship is moving forward, and you and your partner are confident that you want to spend the rest of your lives together… forever. Or are you?

Sometimes, certain traits and feelings about your partner don’t come to light until after the ring is on your finger and it can leave you feeling unsure about your relationship and where you’re headed. Before you vow to spend the rest of your life with someone, keep an eye out for these 10 signs that mean it might be time to break off your engagement and walk away.

 1. You can’t get excited about anything related to the wedding.
It’s normal to be nervous, but if you find that you can’t get excited about wedding planning (your bachelorette party, trying on wedding dresses, or hair and makeup trials) it could be a sign of a possibly bigger issue, according to Carolyn Wagner, a licensed counselor and psychotherapist. “It would be wise to examine what’s getting in the way of you enjoying these things like you deserve to.” Even if you’re the more reserved type, you should still get excited about marrying the love of your life.

2. Your fiancé cheats at his bachelor party.
So this may seem like a completely obvious reason to walk away from a relationship but you’d be surprised by how often this happens. A recent study shows that one-third of bachelors cheat at their bachelor parties. “Surprisingly, this is one of the few times a man will admit to cheating because it was his ‘last chance’ to have sex. Oftentimes, men do it because they’re not ready for the responsibility of marriage and could be too cowardly to break off an engagement. He could be hoping that once you find out he cheated on you, you’ll do it for him,” says Dr. Caroline Madden, an author and a therapist who specializes in infidelity. Definitely put the marriage (and perhaps the relationship) on hold until you address the infidelity.

3. You’re waiting for some of your partner’s behaviors/beliefs to change.
You thought that taking the relationship to the next level would make them save more money, drink less, and spend more time with you. Or maybe there were other behaviors you were hoping would change while dating… and they haven’t. “Unfortunately, problematic behaviors while dating rarely resolve themselves just because you get engaged, or married, or have kids. These things need to be addressed directly and mindfully worked on. If something is still troubling you, it’s time to have a serious conversation and possibly delay or call off the engagement until it’s resolved,” advises Wagner.

4. You’re not having or enjoying sex anymore.
Your sex life shouldn’t be fading this early in your relationship. If you find yourself cringing through sex, doing it as little as once every month or few months or have to fantasize about another person to get turned on, your next stop shouldn’t be the altar. A lack of sex does not bode well when you think about what your sex life will be like for the next 60 years, says dating coach, Josie May. If there’s no attraction or desire for one another, it could eventually leave one or both of you to seek sex elsewhere.

5. You realize you’re getting married for the wrong reason.
Perhaps you only wanted to get married because all of your friends are married, you’ve reached a certain age, someone is in the military and about to be deployed, there was an unplanned pregnancy, he has money, he’s the first guy that ever loved you, or you’re just tired of being single… there are a lot of reasons to get married, but are these the right ones? A marriage based around circumstances rather than love is likely to fail. If you feel yourself simply going through the motions and questioning the reasons why, then it may be time to end things.

6. Your fiancé trash talks your friends, family, even you.
It’s not uncommon for some men to treat a ring almost like a bargaining chip. (AKA, “If I give you a ring, you stop/start doing this.”) Break things off if your partner doesn’t love and accept who you are and who you surround yourself with, advises life coach Samantha Siffring. “If your partner blows up your phone while you’re out, criticizes all of your friends, or restricts when you can go out, it’s a major red flag of future abusive behavior. Don’t let your partner ruin your relationships with other influential people in your life.”

7. You can’t see yourself with this person for the foreseeable future.
Do you really envision the future you want with this other person in it? Any doubt is a reason to stop and think. “This isn’t about lack of imagination, but rather, you can see the party, glitz, and glam of the wedding, but you don’t actually WANT to be married to the person you are with. Having a great party on your own with you as the center of attention might be what you could try instead of saying words you don’t mean to someone you don’t love,” says licensed therapist, Dr. Donna Oriowo.

8. You haven’t set a date and he/she dodges the conversation.
Even if you both want a longer engagement if there’s no date set or even a timeline established, then you haven’t solidified the engagement, explains relationship writer and author, Samantha Gregory. “Too many times the engagement lasts for years. The engagement is not a permanent state of affairs.” For some, getting engaged is the goal and they don’t have any plans or focus beyond the ring.

9. You discover some major secret or learn about something they’ve been withholding.
There are certain secrets that come out that are so surprising that they show that you really don’t know the person you’re about to become legally entangled with. Maybe they’ve been married before, have children, have a hidden drug addiction, are very deep in debt, have a rap sheet, or you learn they’ve cheated on you. Anything big like this means you need to put the breaks on the engagement so you can sort through the issue before moving forward. Breaking off an engagement is much easier than going through a divorce.

10. They demand to sign a prenuptial agreement at last minute.
Prenups are common. It’s fine if you’ve talked about a prenuptial agreement before the engagement, explains Gregory. However, it is a sign of distrust to demand one AFTER the engagement. You may feel like you got tricked into saying yes and now don’t agree with the terms of the prenup. “This is a big topic that should be discussed before the engagement if one or both are persons of wealth/means and/or involved in a family business,” says Gregory.

Breaking off an engagement is a serious decision, but so is getting engaged. When people are caught up in the excitement of the moment and momentum of a relationship, it can be hard to stop and think about whether saying yes and bonding yourself to this other person for life is really what’s best for you both. When considering your decision, keep in mind these red flags and trust yourself and your judgement. Walking away from something can be hard but it will save you a lot of heartache down the road.

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Experts Share Tips on Dating Someone with Anxiety Sun, 17 Sep 2017 08:00:25 +0000 40 million adults in the U.S. have some form of anxiety. So how does it affect their relationships?

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It can be confusing and even scary when you’re with someone who experiences anxiety, especially if you’ve never experienced high anxiety or an anxiety attack yourself. Dating someone with anxiety can be challenging, but taking the time to understand your partner’s condition and how if affects them can help.

“If you haven’t experienced it yourself, it can be especially difficult to commiserate or empathize when your partner’s thoughts are running away with them, or when a panic attack seemingly appears out of nowhere and it can feel impossible to calm your partner down,” says Katie Krimer, a licensed therapist. “Anxiety can be physiological in nature, it can come as a panic attack, a never-ending string of worries, actual phobias, fear of social situations, etc.”

Knowing what to expect from an anxious person and how to best support someone with anxiety is key in making your relationship last. To help you navigate the complexities of dating someone with anxiety, we asked the experts to weigh in on the best ways to approach a relationship when one partner suffers from anxiety.

Develop an understanding of their anxiety.
“When your significant other isn’t feeling anxious, open up a conversation to try and understand how they experience anxiety, what happens in their body, and what goes through their mind,” says Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Piper S. Grant. “In communication about their anxiety, try to understand what their triggers for anxiety may be. Is it certain places, certain situations, when you’re around certain people, or when particular life circumstances are happening. This will allow you to know if something may be coming up.”

Watch your tone and speak calmly during an attack.
Gently telling an anxious partner to calm down can be difficult. You might want to raise your voice and ask what they want or try and reason them out of it. “Often, due to people’s own discomfort with others’ suffering, your tone can come off as flip or dismissive of your partner’s experience. There can be a lot of shame and embarrassment one experiences if they suffer from anxiety. They’re already in a position where they might feel out of control over their emotional state. In panic disorder, for example, people can actually develop a fear of having panic attacks in public situations, partially for fear of how they will be evaluated. Expressions of compassion and validation will help someone feel ‘gotten’ and less alone in their experience,” says Krimer.

Have a plan for when they have an anxiety attack. 
While communicating about your partner’s anxiety, develop a plan of support. “That might mean coming up with a word your loved one says when they are feeling anxious and that means you need to leave the room together, or maybe it’s understood that your partner doesn’t want you to touch them when they’re anxious but rather just sit in silence with them. In a time of high anxiety, or even a panic attack, communication can be difficult,” says Grant.

Don’t take it personally.
This is easier said than done. For example, patterns of avoidance is a common trait with anxious people. They may not be avoiding you, but perhaps a situation that can trigger a panic attack. “Anxiety can [also] often manifest as anger or frustration, but don’t assume he or she is upset with you,” says licensed therapist, Kayce Hodos. “The biggest challenge you’re likely to face is feeling frustrated that you can’t fix it. You can offer support, but your partner is responsible for managing their symptoms, which can range from emotional responses, such as intense worrying and fear, to physical sensations, such as headaches or nausea. Hopefully, your partner has a good therapist, and you may need to find one, too. After all, you both need to be taking care of yourselves for your relationship to be healthy.”

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults each year. That’s around 18% of the population. It’s by no means a rare occurrence to find yourself dating someone who has some form of anxiety, and taking the time to learn more about it can help you in many of your relationships.

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