Relationships Archive

When creating a family, everyone wants to be happy in their marriage. And one of the criteria for happiness is marital fidelity. Willard F. Harley, Jr., Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and marriage counselor conducted an experiment with more than 800 couples and found out that men and women have basic needs that should be satisfied in order to decrease the chances of infidelity.

We read Willard F. Harley Jr.’s book His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage and we want to share the information about which needs, according to Hartley, should be satisfied to ensure that the couple is happy and the partners don’t want to change anything.

1. Her need to have tenderness and his need to have sex

  • Women have the need to have tenderness.

It’s not just about tenderness, but also about attachment and love. These feelings can be expressed in multiple ways: kissing and hugging, flowers, calls, and general caring gestures. All these things make a woman feel protected and comfortable.

  • Men have the need to have sex.

Women often underestimate men’s strong need to have sex. Willard F. Harley thinks that men’s need for sex and women’s need for tenderness are connected. If a man doesn’t show any love or tenderness, there are chances that he won’t get any sex. And vice versa, if a woman doesn’t let a man have sex with her, he won’t be tender with her.

2. Her need to talk and his need to have a friend for hobbies and entertainment

  • Women have the need to talk.

Women need their men to listen to them and give them feedback about what they say. In courtship, the couple happily meets each other and talks. For women, it’s very important to have the same thing in their marriage. Willard F. Harley found out that in order to feel satisfied, women need about 15 hours of men’s attention per week. This is a little more than 2 hours per day.

  • Men need their women to be a companion in entertainment.

Women often share their partners’ interests while dating: they go fishing, watch hockey, and so on. In marriage, they either try to get their partners enjoy what they like or let their husband do what they like alone. But for men, it’s very important that their wives are good companions. According to the psychologist, relaxing with their wives is the second most important thing for men.

3. Her need for honesty and his need to have an attractive wife

  • Women need an honest and open partner.

Women’s trust is based on the honesty of their partner. That’s why, in order not to lose their trust, it’s very important for a man to be honest even with the smallest details.

  • Men need physically attractive wives.

Let’s be realistic: men can’t appreciate their wives only for their intelligence. They also need them to be physically attractive.

4. Her need to have enough money and his need to have a cozy house

  • Women need to have enough money.

We might say that there is never enough money but there is a certain amount necessary for life, stability, and feeling safe. This is what the scientist means.

  • Men need their houses to be cozy.

Men encounter a lot of problems and tasks every day that need to be solved regularly, so it’s very important that they have a tidy and orderly place where they can rest. This need is so strong that they even dream about it.

5. Her need to have a husband who is a good father and his need to be admired

  • Women need their husbands to be good fathers.

It’s important to women that their husbands are good role models for their sons and the image of a perfect man for their daughters. Also, men need to take certain responsibilities in the development and education of their children.

  • Men need to be admired.

It’s important for men to be proud of themselves and realize that their women admire them. Sincere admiration is a serious motivator for men. It inspires them to do even more.

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14 Signs You’ve Found A Truly Good Man

Posted June 2, 2018 By Mark


A good man is hard to find. Despite the fact that the odds will not always be in your favor, the ideas of romantic relationships, true love and soulmates are still alive.

It’s estimated that the two-thirds of Americans believe in the concept of a ‘soulmate,’ that there’s one man or woman out there in the world whom they’re destined to find and love.

With more than 7.6 billion people on the planet, it’s no wonder that we’re going to have to kiss several frogs before we finally find our prince charming. The dating world brings both great joy and unbearable heartache. Despite the possibility of getting hurt, it’s all worth it when you’ve finally found ‘the one.’ However, how can you know for sure that the person you are with is worthy of it?

#1 – He Makes You Feel Secure

One of the traits of a relationship which is highly coveted is that of security. A good man will certainly go out of his way to make sure that you have nothing less than that. Determined to keep you secure in any situation, he is not afraid to stand up for the woman he loves.

#2 – He’s Never Abusive

That doesn’t simply refer to the fact that he does not physically lay a hand on you. A good man is not abusive in any way. A good man won’t be physically, mentally or emotionally abusive to anybody that he meets in his life: from the waiter at his favorite restaurant right up to his woman and his family.

#3 – He’s There to Support You

That’s not to say that he is there to agree with every single thing you say or do blindly. However, when it truly matters, you can count on him; he’s going to be there to support you throughout your life’s challenges.

#4 – You Are His Priority

If he were to list his priorities, you would be among the firsts. He understands that to have a happy, healthy relationship you cannot leave work, hobbies, friends, and family behind. However, he will devote a great amount of his time to the woman who matters to him.

#5 – He is Honest

Dishonesty is among the greatest relationship killers. A good man always tells the truth, even if it’s uncomfortable or hurtful. He understands the importance of honesty and won’t give you any reason not to trust him.

#6 – He Will Never Cross the Line

You’re going to have some arguments and disagreements throughout your relationship because that’s an inevitable part of any relationship. However, he understands that he can disagree with your opinions without crossing any lines into attacking, degrading or disrespecting you.

#7 – He Makes You Feel Beautiful Inside and Out

A good man does not merely say the words; he wants to make sure that you always feel beautiful both inside and out. He does that through his actions and how he interacts with you every day.

#8 – He Stands by You Through Everything

Throughout all of your life’s challenges, struggles and celebrations your good man will always stand proudly by your side. He can understand that real love stays strong in both the good and the bad times, and he would not even entertain the idea of ever abandoning you when you need him the most.

#9 – He Appreciates the ‘Little Things’ in Life

While several men will focus on the grand gestures and forget about the smaller nuances of a content relationship, a good man always appreciates the little moments. He’s the guy who will live you little love notes, hold the door, and do the dishes without being asked.

#10 – He Understands That Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Anyone can talk a big game, making themselves sound like the perfect romantic ones. The difference is that a good man follows up with actions to support his statements. He knows that his actions speak louder than any words and he’s willing to put effort into living with this knowledge in mind each day.

#11 – He Inspires You

When you’re around him, you find yourself trying to be the best version of yourself. Energetic, motivated and true to himself, a good man sets an example you cannot help but follow.

#12 – He Has Worked Hard to Earn Your Trust

A good man knows that trust is not something that’s freely handed out to just anybody and everybody. He dedicates himself every day to earn your trust, and will never take it for granted.

#13 – He Opens Up to You

A relationship is a partnership, and as such you expect your partner to be there with you no matter what might happen in life. A good man understands that to be a cohesive team, you both need to open up to each other and share even your most vulnerable sides.

#14 – He Actively Tries to Be the Best Version of Himself

He isn’t willing to settle for simply being a ‘good’ person in this world. A good man knows that he has the potential to become great, and actively seeks opportunities for self-improvement and growth while trying to become the best version of himself.



This article 14 Signs You’ve Found A Truly Good Man was published by Thinking Humanity and it is re-posted here under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

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** While this article is informative for the women – it is in a very real way the same for the men.  They also need to know you want them as well. **

Regardless of what a woman may believe is the reason why a guy does not pursue her strong enough, the true reason is the fact that he isn’t into her enough. Remember that you don’t intimidate him and that he isn’t shy.

In case he’s interested, he’ll pursue you. However, in case he isn’t interested, you may live next door and he won’t pay attention to you.

A guy has a strong desire to be the initiator in a relationship. It is actually part of his manhood. He likes to seize the challenge.

He likes the pursuit. When he knows what he truly wants, he’ll go after it. So, in case a guy you love isn’t pursuing you, it means that he isn’t interested in you.

He may make many excuses as to why he does not go after you. He may tell you anything or even beat around the bush or lie to you to keep you from feeling hurt. He may tell you that he is busy, he has other things going on, he is swamped with work, or he might even ghost you.

He’s a charming and good looking man. His smile does make you melt. He may open doors for you, and he may have even taken you on several dates. However, what about the days or even weeks that you have been left asking yourself if you did something wrong or caused him to lose interest in you?

Do not chase after a guy that does not give you the time of day, or that does not put in the effort to talk to you. You should stop talking to him, when you start doubting that you’re anything special.

Do not allow him to play with your feelings, mind, and body. You must know your self-worth. You must be secure and confident enough with yourself. You shouldn’t waste your time by waiting around for a guy that doesn’t want to go after or pursue you.

A real man will pursue you on a daily basis. He’ll not play with your emotions, and he’ll not call you only when it is convenient for him. He’ll lead you closer to your goals as he does want you to be happy and succeed. He’ll admire you for all your imperfections and flaws. He’ll not tell you that he does accept your flaws and then use them against you when he is frustrated or angry with you. He’ll not treat you with disrespect. He’ll motivate you to be the best version of yourself.

Life is, without a doubt, busy. However, in case he genuinely cares about you, he’ll make time for you.

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When it is Love

Posted May 1, 2018 By Mark


There have been many times over the course of my life where I thought to myself, “Why can’t this person treat me better.” I believe at some point in our lives we have all felt like we have given more to people we care about than those people care to return our way. I am not taking about money, or time here, I am talking about the love.

The reason we all want people in our lives is so we can give and feel love. My once upon a time mentor and now friend would say. “Love is something that you do, not something that you get.” Isn’t that the truth. It is really hard to look at love as something that you do though. It seems impossible to be a person who is content with just giving love, and never gets love back. The cold fact about life is we have two choices on how we can live: The first choice is a person who does not give love, and the other is a person who does give love.

By nature and design we are all inherently good “loving” creatures. I believe that over the course of ones life people forget about the love. The love does not matter as much due to the scars and pain one carries. It is quite easy to be consumed by all the events, circumstances, and people that have hurt us over the years, but what it is point of that? I believe the reason people are consumed by hurt or anger (rather than love) is because they are afraid of love.

That is right, I just said people are afraid of love. You might be asking, “Why would people be afraid of love? I can understand heights or guns but love, that makes no sense?” The truth is love hurts more than anything in the world. Love has the ability to paralyze the soul just as well as any other things can paralyze the human body. Love can break ones heart just like falling off a building can brake ones bones. The worst part of all is that we all NEED love. This is why many, including myself for years, were afraid of love.

Love does not only exist between a mother and a son, or a boyfriend and a girl friend, love exists in many forms which all should be a huge part of everyone’s life. We all must love aspects of our lives, like what we do for a living in order to feel we have a purpose. We all must love the way we live, meaning character, ethics, and morals. We all must love ourselves, down to the core which includes every imperfection and mark of uniqueness that we have. We all must love life, and feel blessed to be alive breathing the air and living our lives the way we choose to live our lives.

The hardest part about love is that it is hard. It is not easy to love our lives at times. Times when we hate our jobs, are struggling with family, or are burdened with debt can be very emotionally draining. We all have a hard time loving ourselves because we are so focused on what we are not, rather than being happy for what we are. We have a hard time loving others because others do not often treat us as we would want to be treated. There is a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to love though…

Self love is a skill we all must learn in order to increase the quality of our lives. When we love ourselves, and really love ourselves, we start to love all the aspects of our lives. In order to enhance the quality of our lives, we must start to weed out the aspects that do not make us happy and seek out other aspects which do. We are able to compare and contrast how we want to spend our time when we can break down what we love about our life and what we need to change.

The kicker about love, is when we speak about others. Unlike a job, we can not interchange people in our lives. If we are not happy selling cars we can start a business and make our own money. But when we love someone we can not trade them for another, or change their personality when things are not working out. This is where self love is most vital. If we are happy within ourselves we can put that energy into the universe and hope those around us feed off that energy.

If others do not feed off our loving energy there is very little we can do. There are only so many times we can have the same talks, or pray that the other person starts to treat us with love. There comes a time in every relationship where we all must consider. “Is the love being forced?”

Relationships which make me feel good about me and are centered around the love, and relationships which are essentially dead ends (no love exists only “forced love”). In these dead end relationships the illusion of love is often present. You can tell the people care, but they are too afraid of love to love themselves or you.

I am finding that though it would be amazing to force the love when we care about people, but we can not.

There is no helping those who chose to run from love. There is no way to reach someone with your love if they reject it and do not reciprocate the “love energy” onto themselves or you. I am sad to say, that the people who do not see love as “something you do” are probably going to always hurt and let you down. Life is too short to try to force the love.

I want to leave you all tonight with this…

There are people out there like you who want to give and receive love as badly as you do. Find those people. While you are always keeping your eyes open for the “love energy” do your best to make peace with those who may not be in your life much longer. It is always better to tell those you care about the truth rather than live a lie. If those around you are not about the love, you should tell them (in whatever method of communication you are comfortable with) that you are about the love. If they are not about the love and are ready to give, express, and show the love you are going to have to spend less time with them. Stress the fact that you are one of love and are not able to be one of love if others around you are also not one of love too.

There comes a time where we all have to dig deep in ourselves to find what we really want out of life. As of late I have decided that I only want positivity, passion, and what I call, “the love energy.” Everything else will not be a part of my life. If that is people, then so be it. From here on out I am dedicated to living a love filled life. If those around me choose not to do the same, I will not be one for interaction, as I will not choose to allow negative, non love energy into my buddle any longer. I am no longer going to force the love with anyone or anything in my life. I will always give people a chance, I will always speak my mind, and I will always try to help people not be afraid of love. But there is only so much I, and we all, can do if people do not want to be people of love for themselves.

Embrace the “love energy.” Revel in it. Block out those who try to soil your soul with fear, anger, hurt, or negativity. You hold the clock of your own life in your hand, make it one of love!

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We All Crave Relationships

Posted May 1, 2018 By Mark

We All Crave Relationships —

Some would say that life is an uphill battle. I guess that all depends really on where you are standing. The older I get the more I realize that people are what makes life worth living. People though, are very complicated. There is no “Occam’s Razor” when it comes to understanding people, or understanding ourselves for that matter. The only simple fact about humanity is that we thrive on interaction. We seek connection. We are creatures who need to interact in a social and personal nature with other humans.

Many of us strive to build relationships in our lives. Many of these relationships are platonic. but a handful are dedicated to intimacy. We all need intimacy in our lives. We all need to touch, and to feel touch. We all need to express ourselves in a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual manner. We all need love. Through life we learn more about ourselves, and about others. We are able to then love ourselves and others. Though there is one “drawback” to love, and that drawback is it can be, and most often is very painful.

We all have to learn to take the good with the bad in life. In fact, we all should embrace taking the good with the bad. If we did not, how would be able to decipher true joy from utter pain? How would we be able to feel the rush and adrenalin kick in, if we did not know what it feels like to fight to stay alive?

Pain and pleasure are all we know as humans. We strive to seek pleasure and to avoid pain. We all have immense feelings of joy and pain with us at all times. We all can let the pain/pleasure into our minds at any time, after all, the pain/pleasure is always in our hearts. We carry with us memories, experiences, feelings, and thoughts about everything. It is easy to allow those memories, feelings, thoughts, and experiences dictate how we feel and act. This is never going to be avoidable, but it can be controlled.

When we are seeking to engage people in a “loving state” we have to accept the fact that we may get hurt. We have to accept the fact that we may hurt other people. We have to accept the fact that no one is perfect (not even ourselves) and we are going to slip in and out of connection with others based on our moods. This is normal, but we need to understand that it is entirely within our control how much we let the pain affect us.

Relationships are not easy, but we all crave relationships. We all need relationships. If you are in a relationship which is not bringing you happiness you must ask yourself, ” What can I do to change the way I feel.” You need to get real with who you are, and with your role in the relationship. Yes, relationships are two-way streets, but one person has to set the tone and be the “alpha” so to speak. Eventually both will be “alphas” in their own regard. But, in order to be happy, in order to keep someone else in a state of pleasure, one must look within. One must examine what he/she can do to increase the quality of pleasure in the relationship.

Life is too short to be unhappy. Life is too short to not say what is on your mind. Life is too short to live day-in and day out “fighting your way through life.” We all need people around us, we all need connection, and we all need intimacy. Just like anything in life that is worthwhile, we have to work for those things. We have to constantly change, grow, and adapt. We have to give all that we are, and know that we are sometimes going to get hurt. In order to feel intense pleasure from another, we have to provide them with the feelings of intense pleasure.

Relationships and Love are the reason for our existence. We all crave them, we all need them, we all want them. Be responsible, be introspective, be loving, and be who you are at your core always. If you do, then you will not only attract amazing relationships to you, but you will sustain them for extended periods of time.

“Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?” – Bob Marley

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This goes as well for the Girls/Women ~ Mark


Whoever you are, wherever you are, you’re somewhere out there becoming the man that I’ve been waiting my whole life for.


Hey you. I don’t know who you are, whether I’ve met you before or not, and yet, I love you more than anything in this entire world.

For not even having a face or memories to attach this to, I’m weirdly emotional and, somehow, so full of love for you. Whoever you are, wherever you are, you’re somewhere out there becoming the man that I’ve been waiting my whole life for. And eventually we’re going to meet. Maybe we have met.

I don’t need to know the answers to these questions to know that you are everything I’ve been dreaming of and more. I know you would fix my broken heart right now if you could. Then again, I know I need to feel this pain so that I can appreciate what you’re going to bring into my life that much more. I just want to get back the chunk of my heart that’s currently missing so I can give every bit of it to you. Buuut, I guess I’ll keep waiting patiently. The day will come, and holy crap, I can’t wait!

I wonder how your heart is right now. I wonder what kind of love you’ve had. I’ve only loved one person at this point, and everything I’ve been through with him has showed me what I want and need. It’s made me endlessly excited to grow in love with you when our time comes. I’ve had great, passionate love (I’m so happy you’re not a jealous guy and I can tell you that), but I haven’t had healthy love yet. Thank you in advance for giving me great, passionate, healthy love all wrapped up together (with a whole lot of goofiness, of course!). It’s all I’ve ever wanted.

Sometimes I lie in bed at night and talk to you. I tell you about my day and how excited I am to one day be able to look you in the eyes and know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you’re it for me. To have a face and memories to attach this to.

I wonder if I’ll fall in love with anyone else before you, but I’m secretly hoping you’ll be the next and last one for me. I guess it won’t matter either way. Once you have me, you’ll have my whole heart, not a bit less. And I know you’ll take good care of it. The best care. Because I would never settle for less than that, and you would never make me.

I don’t know if I have any real fears in this life, but there are obviously things that scare me a little. The only thing that makes me less scared is you. Simply knowing the kind of love we’re going to share and work at together makes everything seem less scary. All the big and little things I want to do and accomplish in my life are so much less daunting when I think of you. And I couldn’t be more grateful for that.

Wow… I am so excited for everything that’s to come. The best things in our lives haven’t even happened yet. How nuts is that?! We have so much to look forward to, and I could scream right now just thinking about how cool that is. (But, I won’t do that, because it’s late, and I have roommates, ya know?)

We’re going to get to fall in love and come to know each other’s quirks and various facial expressions and favorite music and movies and memories. Sure, at least one other person will have already come to know a lot of those things about me, and I’m sure it’s the same for you. But, that won’t cheapen it in the slightest. It’ll all take on a new meaning when it’s you and me coming to know these things together.

We’re going to travel and laugh and try new foods and laugh and go to concerts and laugh. (I guess we like to laugh a lot, huh? I can dig it.)

We’ll send each other silly pictures of ourselves that no one else is allowed to see, as well as texts with tons of inside jokes and words from a language we basically made up.

We’ll try to share as much of our childhoods with each other as we can remember, because we want to spend our lives getting to know each other more and more, no matter how close we feel we are.

We’ll sing in the car together and play sports together and make poop jokes a big part of our relationship. (Gotta have those poop jokes.)

We’ll push each other to be better every single day, to pursue our passions and career goals, and we’ll strive to be the best versions of ourselves for our individual selves and each other.

Eventually there will come a point when we decide we want to spend the rest of our lives having sleepovers with each other. This will be about the same time I steal your last name. (Sorry not sorry, I kinda like it.)

And with all this extra time together, we’ll spend an obnoxious amount of hours exploring each others’ bodies and making love and giggling when we spice things up only to realize some things are just effing weird. But, some spice will definitely be welcomed.

Soon enough, some tiny humans will make it harder for us to sleep (and do other things…hint, hint, wink, wink), and we’ll be stuck between pure joy and wanting to throw said tiny humans out a window (but we won’t do that second thing, obviously)

We’ll make some mistakes, but that won’t stop us from being the best parenting team in the league. (Psst, let’s add some incredible humans to the population, shall we?)

We’ll provide the kind of home for our children that I didn’t have growing up but always knew I would have one day.

We’ll raise genuinely confident and compassionate children who turn into genuinely confident and compassionate adults that go above and beyond to be good and do good. The kind of adults that stand for and with other human beings and noble causes. The kind of adults that keep the spirit of childhood living on inside of them forever, just like their parents do.

Before we know it, we’ll go from having a full, laughter-filled house to having a not-so-full, but still laughter-filled, house. (Look at us, we’re still laughing! High five, babe!)

At this point we’ll realize that it’s just the two of us again, and time is moving. We’re getting older. But, we’re just as in love as we were before. Probably ten times more in love now. (I can’t help it, watching you be an amazing father to our children is hot).

We’ll have some more days to relax than we did before.

We’ll try to see every movie, watch every show, read every book, and listen to every song that we’ve ever wanted to. It’ll never happen, but we’ll try to take in as much art and entertainment as we possibly can (shout out to Netflix and/or whatever people are using in the future to do that sorta thing).

Sometimes, we’ll lie around and read next to each other in silence for a while, and other times we’ll wrestle like children for a while. These things might even occur back-to-back. (Dang, we’re so versatile!).

Having this time to relax will allow us to sit back and appreciate (even more than we already did) the life we’ve built together and all we’ve accomplished.

Because, hey, we’ll have done real good.

We’ll have taught each other so much and learned so much from each other.

We’ll have elevated each other.

We’ll have remembered what truly matters in life and what doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.

We’ll have been loyal, faithful, compassionate, and trustworthy.

We’ll have communicated openly and honestly.

We’ll have respected and spoken highly of each other, whether we were in a room together or in completely different locations. Better yet, we’ll have raved about each other, because we just couldn’t help it.

And, of course, we’ll have laughed. A lot.

We’ll have also had our fair share of struggles. We’ll have argued and gotten mad. We’ll have cried and felt intense pain. But the foundation we’ll have built, and been constantly building upon, will always have had our backs.

Because we will have always had each other’s backs.

And for that, I am eternally grateful.

I am so happy to just know, somehow, that our baggage will fit perfectly together, our hearts will fit perfectly together, and our lives will fit perfectly together. With all our flaws and everything.

I can’t wait for my family to be so proud to have you join us, and I can’t wait to be welcomed and loved by your family.

I can’t wait to be able to smile at my friends, say a playful “told ya so,” and point at you in response to why I’ve been so picky about the people I’ve dated all these years.

I can’t wait to say “I do” and kiss your face in a room filled with our favorite people.

I can’t wait to feel like we have the greatest love the universe has ever seen, even if there are others out there loving just as hard as we do.

I can’t wait to spend forever with you, future best friend/husband/father to my children.

Last but not least… Damn, I can’t wait to love you.

Your Future Best Friend/Wife/Mother To Your Children,


P.S. You’re cute.

Previously published on The Thought Catalog

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Eventually, values matter.


When it comes to keeping a relationship fresh and fulfilling for the long term, or even for a third or fourth date, it comes down to the evolutionary need to find a partner who potentially would be a good parent to your children (even if you cannot imagine being anywhere near ready for a brand new, car-seat equipped, five-star safety-rated, DVD-equipped SUV).

We are programmed to prefer partners who are different enough from ourselves to keep the relationship fresh and exciting (and, in evolutionary terms, to keep us from inadvertently settling down with someone just a little too genetically similar—meaning, related), but similar enough in core values to assure us that if the time comes, they will be as good as partners to us, and as parents to any potential children, as we feel we would be ourselves.

All about the values

Seven core value types have been identified as universal—acknowledged and ascribed to around the globe. So no matter where you live, chances are strong that you have already formed your own personal values, to some degree, in the seven areas listed below. Research also indicates that relationships that are built on shared values are much more likely to endure—sure, a fantastic lover offers thrills and chills, but someone who shares your core values will be by your side once the early excitement subsides and the goosebumps disappear.

When you feel that a relationship has not moved in the direction that you thought or hoped it might, or if a lover just doesn’t seem to fit your life when you are out of the bedroom, or the idea of spending the rest of your life waking up to the person seems more like a sentence than a partnership, there may be some mismatched values.

What do you value?

To determine what your most important values are, take a moment to reflect on your own personal experiences and expectations within the relationship and outside the relationship. Next, use the categories and examples below to write down the values that you hold most dear. Depending on the relationship, you may invite your partner to do the same. If that is not a possibility, use your values as a guide to seeing how well your partner fits and this may help you decide whether to keep moving the relationship forward or acknowledge that it is time to find a better fit:

  • Prosocial (Caring about others). Example: A partner supports me when I am feeling down.
  • Restrictive Conformity (Avoiding harm to others). Example: Partners do not lie to one other.
  • Enjoyment (Seeking pleasure). Example: Partners should be able to laugh and joke together.
  • Achievement (Personal success in life). Example: I feel everyone should work hard to succeed on the job.
  • Maturity (Understanding, accepting self and others). Example: When my partner fails me or in pursuit of a goal, I do not withhold my love.
  • Self-direction (Independence in thought and action). Example: Even though we are a committed couple, my partner and I do not try to control each other’s thoughts, behaviors, or beliefs.
  • Security (Safety and stability of self, relationships; belongingness in groups). Example: My partner and I take time to discuss how the relationship is going and work together to ensure mutual satisfaction in our relationship.

And remember: The person who fit your life and your needs last year, or even last week, may not be the person who will be the best long-term fit. Values are pretty strongly held, core beliefs. You may go crazy for someone who makes you forget your name with a single meaningful glance, but what will really make you purr for the long haul is the person who will get up first to make the coffee, let out the dog, or feed the baby on those morning when you just have to go back to sleep.

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We are all familiar with the conventional wisdom (backed by research) that you need to really know who you are as a person before trying to love others.

But being totally set with your own identity isn’t only unrealistic; it’s unnecessary. The best sign you’re in a solid relationship is that your partner is actually making you a better person. And according to science, that’s totally possible.

A good partner pushes you to be better: A 2014 study published in the journal Personal Relationships looked at how being in a relationship affects a person and their self-perceptions. As it turns out, relationship partners can encourage one another other to “realize aspects of their ideal self,” pushing them toward their goals and helping them grow in ways they’ve desired.

This process is called “self-expansion,” and psychologists argue it’s part of an innate human drive to connect with others in order to improve ourselves as people. According to the study’s lead author, Brent Mattingly, self-expansion not only means recognizing your S.O.’s positive traits, but really taking them on.

“We actually incorporate some of our partners’ traits into our own sense of self. If my partner is a very charitable person, I may begin to become more charitable as well,” Mattingly told Mic.

That change, the study found, actually positively affects our self-concept, i.e. how we view ourselves as people. As the study’s authors write, “A person who acquires an appreciation for the ballet or becomes a better painter from being with a romantic partner would experience an increase or augmentation of his or her self-concept.” That’s a very good thing.

They downplay our negatives: Significant others aren’t just filling up our ego tanks — they help cut back on the negatives through a complementary process called “self-pruning.” This occurs when we rid ourselves of some of the not-so-desirable qualities we all possess.

The self-pruning can be prompted actively, as Mattingly explained: “If I want to reduce the amount of junk food I eat, my partner can help facilitate this by providing me the emotional support to pass over the French fries and instead reach for the fruit.”

Alyssa, 31, told Mic that her husband “reminds me to stop stressing about the little things” that would get in the way of her enjoying their relationship.

Self-pruning doesn’t need to be the result of direct criticism or nagging (which can be a pain). Rather, it can happen inadvertently, as the study authors describe: “An individual’s bad habit (e.g., talking too loudly) may develop into a social allergy for a romantic partner. As a result, the romantic partner may help the individual break (or at least weaken) the bad habit.”

Getting better all the time: In unhealthy relationships, partners have the potential to pollute each other’s sense of self and adopt more negative qualities. But happy, healthy couples are the ones who make each other better by sharing the best qualities they have to offer.

The idea of “changing for your partner” gets a bad rap; but in truth, our relationships are changing us all the time — often for the better.


Found at this link -> click here

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When it is Love

Posted April 27, 2018 By Mark

The Nature of Love –

1. Love is based on the powerful attraction between two people, an attraction which is physical, emotional, social, and spiritual.

2. Love includes a deep empathy and understanding for the loved one. Empathy is the ability to feel as the other person feels and share intimately what the other person experiences.

3. Love is an emotion with great binding power. It fuses and unites two people into oneness, holding them together through many troubles, challenges, and problems.

4. True love desires the highest good of the loved one. When one loves another, he desires those things which will bring that person lasting joy; he would do nothing that would jeopardize the other’s eternal potential.

5. Love involves a willingness to share resources. The one who loves finds joy in sharing with the loved one his time, money, abilities, strengths, or any other resource available to him.

6. True love is highly durable. It recognizes and accepts imperfections in the other without loss of love, endures strains and challenges to the relationship, is not weakened by physical separation, and weathers problems without permanent damage.

7. Love is a living thing. While it is highly durable, it does require nourishment and care or it may begin to die. As long as the encouragement and nourishment are forthcoming, love continues to grow until it reaches perfection.

8. Love accepts the individuality and uniqueness of the loved one and receives joy from that. It allows the other freedom to act, decide, and move without constrictive jealousy or limitations.

9. Love is unity. Without jeopardizing the individuality of either party, love is a coming together into oneness of spirit, purpose, desires, and experiences. It’s ideal is expressed in the concept revealed to Adam: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

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One of the most frequently asked questions that we get from our readers and students is, “What are the deal-breakers in relationships?”

“Deal-breakers” are those behaviors or conditions that one partner is unable or unwilling to tolerate in a relationship. Because “tolerance” is a relative term and subject to everyone’s unique capacity to accept varying degrees of distress or discomfort, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, and no higher authority we can defer to that could legitimatize our right to refuse to tolerate a specific practice or behavior on the part of our partner (or, for that matter, to sanction our right to continue behaviors that are unacceptable to him or her).

While one person may be willing or able to tolerate occasional affairs on the part of a spouse, another may be unwilling to stay together after a single betrayal. The same goes for verbal abuse, or addiction, or chronic dishonesty, or different religious beliefs, or any of a number of other conditions that may be present in a relationship.

This is not to say that either person is right or wrong in either their behavior or their degree of willingness to tolerate that behavior in a partner. It is also not to say that we shouldn’t make an effort to work out the inevitably different values that all couples have in regard to their beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors.

What can and often does push a situation from workable to unworkable is an unwillingness on the part of either partner to openly discuss their thoughts, feelings, concerns, experience, and needs. A willingness on the part of the “offending” partner to consider altering their beliefs or behaviors is required in order to create a deeper level of trust and respect in the relationship. If there is no motivation on the part of an alcoholic to address their drinking, no desire on the part of an abusive partner to get help, no willingness on the part of a parent to discuss child-rearing philosophies openly and respectfully with their spouse, the chances of any of those situations being or becoming a deal-breaker greatly increase.

In most cases, the possibility of resolution has less to do with behavior than the perception on the part of one or both partners that there are legitimate grounds to trust that there is genuine intention to change, or to effectively manage the behavior or attitude that is causing distress in the relationship. It is also important that the other partner is open to reflecting on ways in which they may be unknowingly contributing to the situation or to discovering ways in which they can be more effective in dealing with their concerns. Yet even in cases where there is a willingness on the part of bothpartners to do their own work, that may not be sufficient. It may not be enough to interrupt the pattern enough to bring about an outcome that restores equilibrium and mutual trust in the relationship.

The longer an unacceptable condition is allowed to continue, the more likely it is to become toxic. A toxic relationship is one in which the level of trust, respect, and goodwill has deteriorated to the point where even the desire and motivation to heal has been lost by one or both partners. At this point, the likelihood of restoring this desire is low and the prognosis for the relationship is poor.

There are serious risks that couples take in trying for too long to toleratecircumstances that are causing extreme suffering for one or both partners. Couples take a serious risk in trying for too long to tolerate circumstances that are causing extreme suffering for one or both of them. Living in hope or denial, or distracting ourselves through unhealthy behaviors or relationships, only causes greater suffering in situations that are already intolerable. While facing the truth can be difficult and painful, in the long run, it is the most direct path out of suffering.

With very few exceptions, most situations don’t begin as deal-breakers; they become deal-breakers when they are ignored or inadequately addressed over a long period of time. Not infrequently, misguided efforts that one partner makes to try to tolerate their pain and frustration only add to the entrenched nature of the problem.

While there is no way—nor is it necessary—to assess what percentage of the problem is due to each partner, it is generally the case that both partners have perceptual filters preventing them from seeing the full range of options available to them. This is where help from a trusted friend or professional can illuminate possibilities that may have gone unrecognized.

The earlier we acknowledge and respond to entrenched relationship differences, the more likely it is that they will not become deal-breakers. Still, despite our best efforts, we can sometimes be faced with true deal-breakers. Where it is clear that fundamental differences are too great to bridge the gap between partners, it is wise to acknowledge this reality and to respectfully end the relationship in its present form, moving on separately or in a different form of relationship.

Commitment doesn’t necessarily mean that we stay together forever, no matter what, but that we stay engaged in the process of honoring, respecting, and loving each other as best we can, and in the process becoming a more loving and lovable people ourselves.

Sometimes the best way we can express our love is by refusing to tolerate something in a partner that is causing harm or doing damage to them, to ourselves, or to others. Sometimes the best thing that we can do is to try to become more accepting of them or their behavior. There is no generic answer to the question of which is right for you right now, in this situation, in your relationship. But staying present and deeply connected to ourselves, rather than focusing on our partner, can sometimes can be the best way to find the answer to what may be the most important question of the moment: “What is my next step?”

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