Tuesday, February 28, 2012

6 Signs Your Dating The Wrong Person

We've all encountered that feeling within a relationship where something doesn't quite feel right? It’s been months and you don't seem to be progressing. Every relationship will experience highs and lows but there are a few signs that maybe the person you’re dating isn't right for you. E Harmony published a good article on this subject, below are a few points they mentioned as well as my own.

1. They're abusive. Abuse comes in many forms not just domestic violence. People underestimate the psychological damage of emotional and verbal abuse. If a person isn’t respecting you or your boundaries, constantly belittling you and demonstrating controlling tendencies you may want to asses your relationship. If you find your arguments resort to violence then there's a problem. I understand it’s not easy to just pick up your bags and leave but the first step is awareness that this is not acceptable behaviour.

2. There scared of commitment. You can't really plan for the future with someone’s who’s scared of commitment. Try having a conversation of where you hope to see the relationship in a few months time and you'll probably be greeted with an awkward silence or a change of topic. Dating a commitment phobe will often leave you very frustrated. Some obvious signs are they have a history of short relationships; they'll limit the amount of time they spend with you and treat you as a low priority. Read the signs for what they are, there’s no guarantee that your love and affection will change them.

3. You’re Not Happy. I've been in a relationship where I wasn't happy due to the points above. It becomes draining emotionally and mentally and is there for everyone to see. You can’t fake happiness no matter how much you try. If you’re not happy within your relationship it will have a knock on effect within other areas of your life.

4. Your Instincts Are Calling. Oh how I could have saved myself so much heartache if I'd trusted my intuition a bit more. That little voice inside our head is there for a reason, those doubts your feeling usually mean something. I’m not suggesting you end a relationship but you should definitely take the time to follow your intuition. Find out what it is that’s bothering you and then you’ll have grounds to make a decision. It may end up confirming something good or bad.

5. They String You Along. There’s nothing worse than being strung along. I for one hate not knowing where I stand with a guy. A classic example was with a guy I briefly dated. I'd often suggest things to do and his response would be that he'd let me know *confused face*. Majority of the time I’d be left twiddling my thumbs. Dude, just say if you can't come or don’t want to do something. If you’re in a relationship and are experiencing non committal behaviour then you may want to reevaluate whether it’s worth your time. When a person is stringing you along its anything that makes you feel powerless and out of control while the other person calls the shot.

6. They're cheating. I had to add this point as it frustrates me when men/women turn a blind eye to their partner’s endless infidelity. I understand there's a lot of factor’s including children and self- esteem issues that makes it harder to leave. However my past experiences have shown that the longer you stay and accept this behaviour the harder it is to leave. It destroys trust and the bonding between couples. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

5 Things Couples Do Too Soon

We all recall the wave of emotions we feel when getting into a new relationship. There’s the constant high within the honeymoon period and excitement of things to come. Understandably everyone’s optimistic at this time and hopes to have a long future with their partner. Nevertheless it’s important not to make any hasty decisions and rush into things. Don’t let emotions cloud your judgement and cause you to do things rapidly. Madame Noir published a good post on things couples do too soon. Here’s a recap as well as some points I feel are important. 

1. Sex- this had to secure the number one position because sex changes EVERYTHING! Of course intimacy is important within relationships but often people rush into sex too quickly. I'm not going to delve into the emotional, physiological effects of sex; I'll save that for another post. The fact is the majority of people that are dating probably have sex within the first few weeks. Hankering gets the better of them and they just can’t resist the urges. They then mistake sex as a good foundation for a relationship. How strongly you’re attracted to a person won’t guarantee a fulfilling relationship with them. You’d be surprised how many people get intimate way too quickly and then hope that the other elements of the relationship match their sex life.

2. Live Together. Some people debate that couples that live together are testing the waters for when they get married and that it’s a sign of commitment. While others view it as having your cake and eating it and that it pushes some couples into an area of comfort that they just fall into. It depends what you want from the relationship and what your beliefs, expectations are? While you may live together there's still no guarantee that your partner won't up and leave. Living together too soon can put too much pressure on a new relationship. You’re still getting to know one another and don’t need the added pressure of constantly being in each other’s space.

3. Buying Gifts. I'm not against sharing gifts but I don't feel it's appropriate within a few weeks of dating. Buying gifts is a nice gesture but it depends what the motives are for giving them especially if it’s expensive. Yes this person may be generous and want to show their appreciation for you but what’s the rush? Is it because you want the person to like you and the only way you believe they'll do that is through spending money on them? Buying gifts can put indirect pressure on the other person to match what your dong. I associate buying gifts with someone I'm in a long and meaningful relationship with and always raise an eyebrow when gifts are brought too soon.

 4. Prioritize Each Other. There's nothing wrong with putting your partner first just don't do it too early within the relationship. You used to keep your weekends free to chill with friends or have some me time and now find yourself constantly putting your partner’s needs and desires before your own. You double check whether your partner has something planned before you commit to anything. Be careful not to lose your friends over someone you've been dating a few weeks. It’s important that you still have a life as its early days and there are no guarantees that the relationship will work.

5. Expecting Too Much Too Soon. You've been dating for a month and already you want to change the status on your Facebook. Want to meet the parents and go off on holiday together. Slow your roll! There's no rush and this urgency can end up pushing people away and come across as desperate. Keep your expectations in check.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What's The Fuss About Valentines Day.

I've been previously drawn into the Valentine hype and spent copious amounts of money on what has become a commercialized day. I recall in my early twenties going all out for an ex boyfriend. I brought him an expensive watch, teddy bear, sprinkled rose petals on the living room floor (like a scene from Coming to America) filled out an oversized card with sentimental lines, set the CD on  repeat with a love song by R Kelly and topped it off with a restaurant booking. At the time I felt a great sense of achievement and wanted a gold star for my efforts. I must confess that my actions would be reciprocated……they were not! I learned that my so called BF didn’t do Valentines. Not that you should give to receive.  In hindsight I didn't have to go all out for one day in the year and most importantly it wasn't necessary to spend so much money. I have never made that much effort since as I don’t’ feel a date in the Calendar should determine how I show my love and appreciation for my partner.

Valentines Day holds a different meaning to everyone hence where problems can arise. Some may view it as a chance to boast about their other half's grand gestures? The one day that you can spoil them rotten if you haven’t done so for the rest of the year. While others see it as an opportunity to spend some quality time with their loved ones due to a demanding workload, families, etc.

I think a person has to be really secure within themselves and their relationship to not get swayed by this day. Some people get over excited with the romanticism of it all. They may end up spending above their means. Treating their partners like kings and queens for one day and then reverting to a lack of appreciation. While there’s those that seem to have inherited the romantic gene and use this day to cement what they already have. 

Valentines Day can put immense pressure on couples especially men. How many women are left crushed when their partner doesn't live up to their expectations? They’re left disappointed because they didn't receive so much as a card. What about those in relationships that claim they don’t celebrate the day but secretly hope to be surprised? The key to all of this is to be honest within yourself and your partner. If they wish to celebrate it let them choose how they do it. This doesn’t mean you’ll get what you want but at least there’s a level of understanding and less chance of unmet expectations.  

There's nothing wrong with proving your love for your partner but surely it’s something that should be done 365 days a year.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Why Women Feel The Need To Fix Relationships?

How many couple’s would give similar answers when asked whether things needed fixing within their relationship? What you feel needs changing and what your spouse thinks will probably differ. Considering there's two people in a relationship you’d think a couple would sit down, communicate‘effectively’ and work out what needs changing ‘together’. I think men resent when women get into super woman mode and try too fix everything themselves. A common example of women trying to fix relationships iscouples counselling (which can prove beneficial). I thought I wanted tospecialise in couples counselling but have decided against it. Counselling oneperson is challenging enough but two at the same time would prove too much for me.

My friend is attending couples counselling. He mentioned that his Mrs had suggested couples therapy on several occasions and I can only assume he finally succumbed as he speaks about the experience begrudgingly. I very much doubt he would have tried to ‘fix’ things and would NEVER suggest counselling. The problem with this along with most couple counselling is that people are going in with different expectations and concerns. His girlfriend is going withthe hope that things will change and the bumps in the road will flatten out. I quietly believe that she hopes that he’ll finally pop the question too. His reason for going is to appease her, keep things harmonious and the hope that she will understand him better. They both have a desire for their needs to be met unfortunately there not the same.

How often does the relationship need fixing? Are we tryingto find flaws that don’t actually exist? I think we’ve become conditioned to TV programs, society and all the self help books available. Women portray a large number when it comes to the readership of relationship books. This puts an indirect pressure on women to be the ones to fix things. Women spend more time talking and listening about relationships and are more nurturing by nature. Maybe this constant striving to fix everything comes from the desire to have a happy relationship

I’ve read time and time again that men are quite simple. Thisis evident in their approach to fixing a relationship. Men will either accept usand the relationship for what it is or they won’t. Yes it’s as simple as that! Oh how we could save ourselves a lot of heartache if we didn’t get into relationships with the mind set that ‘I can change/ fix him’. I’m guilty of this tendency and it only left me very frustrated.  It may start off subtlety and before you know it you’re trying to change everything about the man/ relationship you once claimed to like. I’m not suggesting people don’t change but when faced with the facts you have to accept them for who they are. As Dr Phill once said 'You can’t fix someone or a relationship if the other person doesn’t acknowledge there’s a problem'.  
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