It’s not always where you are in life, but who you have by your side that matters.




9 Good Signs You’re in the Right Relationship

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It’s not always where you are in life, but who you have by your

side that matters.


“How do I know if I’m in the right relationship or not?”


This is one of the most common questions our coaching clients ask us.

And after Marc and I listen to the specifics of their situation, we often toss a question back at them to further clarify their thoughts and expectations.


For instance:

“What do you think a “right relationship” should provide for the people in it?”

Although the answer here is obviously subjective, in all relationships, romantic and platonic alike, there are some clear signs that things are going well.

So today, let’s take a look at some signs you’re in the “right relationship,” along with corresponding tips that could potentially help you make a “wrong relationship” right:


1. No games are being played.


Far too often, we make our relationships harder than they have to be.

The difficulties started when… conversations became texting, feelings became subliminal, sex became a game, the word “love” fell out of context, trust faded as honesty waned, insecurities became a way of living, jealously became a habit, being hurt started to feel natural, and running away from it all became our solution.


Stop running! Face these issues, fix the problems, communicate, appreciate, forgive and LOVE the people in your life who deserve it.

And of course, if you feel like someone is playing games with you, speak up and establish some boundaries.


2. Everyone is on the same page.


If a woman starts out all casual with a man and she doesn’t tell him that she wants a committed relationship, it will likely never become a committed relationship.

If you give someone the impression that casual, or whatever, is okay with you, that’s what will be assumed going forward.

The bottom line is that you have to be straight from the start, or at least as soon as you know what you want.

Don’t beat around the bush.

If someone gets scared and runs away because you were honest and set boundaries, that person wasn’t right for you anyway.


3. The line of communication is open, honest, and clear.


It’s better to talk and find out the truth than to keep going and get nowhere. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Don’t expect the important people in your life to read your mind, and don’t play foolish games with their heads and hearts.

Don’t tell half-truths and expect them to trust you when the full truth comes out – half-truths are no better than lies.

Listen without defending and speak without offending. Communication isn’t just an important part of a relationship, it is the relationship.

Relationships often fail because of trust issues, commitment issues, and above all, communication issues.

To be honest, commit, be clear about your expectations, and COMMUNICATE always.


4. Loving deeds consistently reinforce loving words.


Nurture your important relationships so that when you tell the people you love that you love them, it’s merely a ritualistic validation of what you have already shown them by how you treat them on a daily basis.

Do little things every day to show your loved ones you care. Knowing that the person you’re thinking of has you on their mind, too, means a lot.

Truth be told, you can say “sorry” a thousand times, or say “I love you” as much as you want, but if you’re not going to prove that the things you say are true, they aren’t.

If you can’t show it, your words are not sincere.

It’s as simple as that.

And there’s no such thing as a “right” relationship that isn’t sincere at both ends.


5. Expectations of perfection are strictly forbidden.


Any relationship that’s real will not be perfect, but if you’re willing to work at it and open up, it could be everything you’ve ever dreamed of.

Your best friends and your soul mate may be far from perfect, but they are a perfect fit for you.

Give them a chance to show you.

When you stop expecting the people you love to be a certain way, you can start to enjoy and appreciate them for who they are.

It’s important to remember that every relationship has its problems, but what makes it perfect in the end is when you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, even when times are tough.


6. Honesty, vulnerability, and presence are held sacred.


Although it may sound risky, the strongest type of love is the one that makes you the most vulnerable. It’s about daring to reveal yourself honestly, and daring to be open and transparent over the long term. It’s about sticking by each other’s side through thick and thin, and truly being there in the flesh and spirit when you’re needed most.

So open yourself up. Truly be with the person you love.

Allow yourself to experience them authentically.

Tear down any emotional brick walls you have built around yourself and feel every exquisite emotion, both good and bad.

This is real life.

This is how you welcome a sincere connection with another human being.


7. There is a healthy blend of freedom and teamwork.


Keep in mind that we can’t force anyone to be with us or love us.

We shouldn’t beg someone to stay when they want to leave.

And likewise, we should never feel trapped in a relationship.

In fact, if either person feels trapped, the relationship doesn’t really exist. Because that’s what relationships are all about: freedom.


Relationships are also built on a solid foundation of teamwork.


And since relationships are one of the greatest vehicles of personal growth and happiness, the most important trip you will ever take in life is meeting someone else halfway.


You will achieve far more by working with them, rather than by working alone or against them.

It really is a full circle.


The strength of a relationship depends on the strength of its two members, and the strength of each member, in the long run, depends on the quality of the relationship.

And remember, relationships are rarely fifty-fifty at any given instant in time.


You can’t always feel 100%, or a full 50% of a relationship’s whole – life is simply too unpredictable for that.

So on the days when you can give only 20 percent, the other person must give 80 percent, and vice versa.

It’s never been about balancing steady in the middle; healthy relationships are about two people who are willing to make adjustments for each other in real-time as needed and give more when the other person can’t help but give a little less.


8. Personal growth is embraced, celebrated, and shared.


It’s not about finding someone to lose yourself in; it’s about meeting someone to find yourself in.


When you connect with someone special, a best friend, or a lifelong partner, this person helps you find the best in yourself. In this way, neither of you actually meet the best in each other; you both grow into your best selves by spending time together and nurturing each other’s growth.


When you honestly think about what you and your closest confidants add to each other’s lives, you will often find that instead of giving or taking things from each other (advice, answers, material gifts, etc.), you have chosen rather share in each other’s joy and pain, and experience life together through good times and bad.

No matter what, you two are there for each other, growing and learning as one.


9. Outsiders aren’t calling the shots.


Relationships don’t always make sense, especially from the outside.

So don’t let outsiders run your relationships for you.

If you’re having a relationship issue with someone, work it out with THEM and no one else.


You have to live your own life your own way; that’s all there is to it.

Each of us has a unique fire in our heart for certain people.

It’s your duty, and yours alone, to decide if a relationship is right for you.

You’ve got to stop caring so much about what everyone else wants for you, and start actually living and deciding for yourself.


Continue Reading 1,000 Little Habits

If you appreciated the above excerpt from “1,000 Little Habits of Happy, Successful Relationships“, I guarantee you will appreciate the rest of the book…


Sometimes we need to be reminded to actually practice the little habits that allow us to better understand and nurture the bonds that make our lives whole.

We need to be reminded to be selective in our battles, too.

Oftentimes peace and love in our relationships are both better than being right.

We simply don’t need to attend every argument we’re invited to.


Yes, we can do better!

Take this to heart.

Because as you age, you’ll learn to value your time, genuine relationships and peace of mind, much more.

Little else will matter from one day to the next.


It’s an inspiring touchstone filled with our best advice on overcoming relationship setbacks, letting go of anger, fostering intimacy and trust, expressing our needs, showing gratitude, and more.


Now, the floor is yours…

In your experience, what are some good signs you’re in the right relationship?

Write your ideas down and don't be afraid to share them with your partner.




2 Reasons Why You’re Attracting Someone Less Than You Deserve

You can improve your choices with a new way of curiosity.

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My roommate and I have been looking for a new tenant to live in our flat for the past few months.

It’s a difficult process, to say the least. Next to no applicants have been reaching out to us given the untimely nature of our situation.

Despite only receiving a couple of applications within the first few months, we still had non-negotiables.

We weren’t exactly looking for a new best friend, we just wanted a nice, well-rounded tenant that wouldn’t interfere with the harmony we’d created in our living space.


In our search for the perfect roommate, I noticed something.

That is, we’re so pedantic about the values and characteristics of a potential tenant that’ll live with us for, at most, perhaps one year.

And yet, when it comes to dating, most of us are far less picky.


We settle for people much more readily. Our standards drop, despite the fact that this person may well be in our lives for as long as we live.


It’s as if we accept people into our lives based upon how we see ourselves.

Or, like Bill, the English teacher said in The Perks of Being a Wallflower,


“We accept the love we think we deserve.”


Is this true? Perhaps.

Regardless, it sheds light on an important issue that many of us ignore.

Are we entering relationships with people that are right for us or people that seem right at the time?


Invest in your self-worth.

The mistake we often fall into is putting other people’s worth before ours.

Why is this?

Perhaps, for many of us, it’s simply that we were praised for being too kind or too good when we were kids.

These qualifications made us see ourselves as good people. And, in our efforts to remain a kind-hearted individual, we often strive to be morally more acceptable even when it’s detrimental to our own wellbeing.


I used to believe if we’re blindly altruistic, it doesn’t matter if our heart falls into pieces.

Our heart would heal itself.

And yes, sometimes it heals eventually, and it should be our daily goal to show up as a good individual in the world.

But this doesn’t mean we should abandon our duty to care for ourselves.


“When you say ‘yes’ to others make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.” — Paulo Coelho


So what’s the alternative?

Are we doomed to a lifetime of self-sacrifice in the name of love, or can we do something about it?


The good news is that we can.

It all comes back to self-love.

That is, investing in our sense of self-worth.


It’s important that we learn to love ourselves deeply.

Not only how we look, but how we walk, talk, sit, laugh — everything about ourselves.


Why is this important?

Because, unless we’re able to feel comfortable in our own skin before entering a relationship with another person, we’ll always feel insecure and as though we have to lean on them for support.


Cultivating self-love enables us to become our own support system — a support system that will never leave our side.


When we think our life isn’t as glamorous as other people’s, it’s hard to not put pressure on ourselves.

If you’re mentally in that place right now, know that you’re worthy even when you don’t feel that way.


Start by changing your beliefs about who you’re. Remember the right things you’ve done or things that other people have appreciated about you.

Your worth can manifest from your strength, talents, and kind heart.


As you become aware of yourself this way, you’ll act on knowing your worth and your needs rather than what others want from you.


Be curious about yourself.

During the initial stages of courtship, we tend to focus more on the other person than we do on ourselves.

What are they going to look like? How is their personality going to be? Do they play sports?

Do they read?

Are they trustworthy?

What if they break my heart?

Am I going to feel safe with them?


All these questions relate to only one person.

And they’re not about the person we should be most worried about.


We’re the ones who will be destroyed when our heart is broken. We’re the ones who need to match the other person’s interests.


It’s not all about them.

In our efforts to find the perfect suitor, perhaps we should be flipping these questions on their head. That is, to question whether we are ready for them. Are we where we need to be in life? Are we secure and comfortable enough in ourselves?


In the end, we can only ask for what we have in return.

If my roommate and I weren’t living respectfully, we wouldn’t be able to demand it in our new potential roommate.

Approach dating in the same way.


Become the person you want to attract every day.


How do you do that?

Question what parts of your life don’t align with what you look for in a relationship.

If you feel safe only in others’ presence, create a sense of safety within yourself first.

If you want your potential partner to take care of his mental health, ask yourself if you do the same for yourself.


Fill the void before expecting someone else to do that.


Final words.

When it comes to love, we usually focus only on what the other person does and who they’re.

It’s like our world starts to turn around them and they’re the only person who is in the relationship.


But relationships aren’t only about the other person. It’s also about us and how we perceive ourselves.

While you’re curious about them, also be curious about who you’re.

While you want to make them happy by meeting their expectations, also invest in the person you should be most concerned about.


Why is it important that we don’t forget about our needs?

Because as James Allen said, “We do not attract what we want, but what we are.”

So, discover yourself and become the person you want to attract.

Make choices that match your real self-worth, not the level of self-worth you think you have.



5 Signs You’re Settling For the Wrong Person

Ending up with the wrong person is worse than ending up alone.

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In 2014, I dated a man who said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.

Usually, a person in love would respond in kind.

I just grimaced and tried to think of something to say.

Finally, I came up with and semi-enthusiastic, “Cool!”


It turns out he was not cool with my lack of reciprocation.

Do you know what else wasn’t cool?


Allowing the relationship to go as far as it had while knowing in my gut that this was not a person I could love for the long haul.

I don’t like the phrase, “Leading someone on,” but in this case, I was guilty of allowing the man to believe I was into him.


We went to dinners, house parties, game nights, and other events together, with me posing as the smitten partner.

The smile pasted on my face belied my inner thoughts which scratched and clawed my brain, trying to make me see reason.

They screamed, “He’s a good man, but he’s not right for you!”


There were so many signs that I wasn’t happy. Here are some ways to tell if you are settling for the wrong person.


1. You have to justify more than normal

Being able to compromise is the hallmark of a good partner.

However, if you are justifying every little thing about that person, especially if it involves the way they treat you, you’re settling for something that won’t last.

Or even if it does last past expectations, you’ll never be happy. Many fear they will end up alone and so they stay with someone who treats them like garbage.

Don’t make excuses.

Make your exit and find someone you won’t have to justify.


2. You’re daydreaming about other people, and not in an open relationship kind of way

It’s one thing to have a list of celebrities or unfairly attractive people you daydream about from time to time.

That’s simply a part of being human with sexual desires.


Some couples are actually pretty open about their fantasies and jokingly give each other cheating passes if the other person were to ever get a chance to sleep with an unattainable celebrity.

But when you stop imagining just sex, and start imagining a relationship, with a real person who you know and see quite often, you’re pushing a boundary.


You’ve got one metaphorical foot out the door already, and that’s not a good sign.

Sex is one thing, but dreaming of grocery shopping together or holidays in matching sweaters means there is something unfulfilling in your own relationship.


Stop settling for a life of daydreams.


3. You feel weary when they text you something sweet

Another sign that you are settling is that you feel guilty when you receive a sweet text from that person. Instead of being overjoyed at their thoughtfulness, you are resentful.

Now you have to send them something in return that is just as sweet and you really aren’t inspired to do so.


Once you lose the desire to make your partner’s day a little brighter with a kind message or two, you’ve lost the spark.

While you can reignite it, there is a chance that the flame has died out for good and you’re simply on autopilot, sending scripted responses but not meaning them.

Stop settling, and start finding what you really want.


4. Your relationship feels like a chore

Relationships take work.

Everyone knows this.

Yet at the end of the day, if you feel like it’s almost a full-time job to find reasons to love someone, you’re in the wrong relationship.


Feeling tired and exhausted after a fight is normal.

Having to work up the energy to spend time with someone and find things to talk about isn’t something you should be experiencing.

True, it could just be a phase, and maybe there is something deeper going on that needs addressing.


Talking to a counselor can help you sort through this issue.

Do the work if you believe your relationship has a chance.

Yet if you resent doing that work, you won’t magically stop feeling the anger at constantly needing to try harder.

It’s difficult to admit when a relationship simply isn’t working, but everyone involved will be better off if you don’t settle for lackluster love.


5. You feel like you can only be the OK version of yourself

The person you end up with should bring out the best part of you.

They should inspire you to be better, go for your goals, and support your crazy dreams if you have them.

Or at the very least within reason, because quitting your job to join a quilting community in the mountains may bring up questions about finances.


When we settle it’s often with someone who likes us as we are.

They don’t want to upset the status quo.


As a result, they keep us down and don’t want us to rock the boat for fear that you’ll change and stop loving them.


For every dream you have, they point out several possibilities of how you might fail.

They insist they believe you can do whatever you set out to do, but maybe after you plan more, like in a year or so.

Maybe they encourage you to skip working out, or they always make plans that interrupt the time you set aside for writing your screenplay.


For example — that guy I was dating in 2014, sweet as he was, constantly reminded me that most authors fail.

His encouragement was tempered by ominous warnings that I’d be a starving artist if I quit my day job.

This, combined with my own lack of desire to enjoy the small moments with him, resulted in our separation.

I don’t miss him.

I had learned not to settle for my average self or an average relationship when I wanted so much more.



Questions That Happy Couples Ask Each Other Often

Pin on Together

The puppy love stage of a relationship is exciting.

You’re constantly on each other’s minds.

You hang out non-stop.

Emotions are flying.

The sex is great.

But, inevitably, you become comfortable with each other.

You move out of the phase where everything is new and exciting and move into being able to be silent around each other and binging Netflix shows.


And while many couples swear they’ll never be the ones to lose that fiery connection they have, a lot do. Because, like a fire, the connection between two people needs to be cared for.

You can’t assume it’ll burn by itself.


I say all the time that a healthy relationship doesn’t happen by accident; it happens with intention.


The best couples are the ones who care for their relationship and put in the work to keep their fire burning.

And that starts with great communication; the happiest of couples know that they need to express their feelings, desires, and fears with their partner. And while that might seem scary or a bit awkward to start back up, several questions can make things easier.


“What do you need from me?”

Every single person has needs.

You have needs.

I have needs.

But not everyone is great at expressing them; that, and sometimes your partner does express them, but you’re distracted or miss what they say.


That’s why the happiest couples often ask each other what they need from one another.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explains that when people have certain needs met, they can be their happiest selves.

The same rings true for your relationship throughout the span of its lifetime.

This simple question helps a lot of couples avoid things like resentment in their relationship. Simply asking what your partner needs can uncover the solution to both of you feeling more satisfied in your relationship.


“What do you need outside of the relationship?”

Staying on the topic of needs, not all of a person’s needs can be or should be met within a relationship.

Healthy couples know that a thriving life outside of their relationship is better for their individual happiness.


But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a better understanding of where your partner’s head is at. Perhaps they miss going hiking with their friends, but your schedules have been so busy, they don’t have time.

You can help carve out that time for them to get some fresh air with people they haven’t seen in a while.


It’s healthy for your partner to look for certain needs to be met by other people. Accepting and supporting that will help your partner feel fulfilled.


Emily Blunt & Natalie Press | My summer of love, Summer of love, Emily blunt


“How do you feel about the relationship?”

Once a week, my boyfriend and I check in with each other.

I like to think of it as both of us taking inventory of our relationship.

Whatever is on our minds, we create the space and time for both of us to talk about things.


Because sometimes, issues are present in the relationship but, since there’s no specific incident that brought them up, the time never seems right to talk about them.

Asking your partner this question can solve that.


Decide on whatever frequency works for you, or simply bring this question up at random times.

But let your partner know what your intentions are for asking it.

Let them know that time is for issues to be brought up without judgment.


“What’re ways we can improve our sex life?”

Sex can be one of the most vulnerable aspects of a relationship.

People place so much emphasis on having thriving sex lives; if theirs doesn't compare to what they think is ideal, they think the relationship is failing.


So it’s worth having two conversations with your partner.

The first is asking them what an ideal sex life looks like to them.

Because I’d always assumed three times a week was what I wanted, but when my boyfriend and I thought about it, we were happier with once a week.


The second is to ask them how things can be improved.

Maybe your partner wants more foreplay.

Perhapse they’ve been considering a fantasy that they want to try with you.

Maybe people think sex inevitably gets stale, but I’d argue it’s the communication that becomes stale.


“What’re your biggest goals and dreams right now?”

Think about the person you were five years ago.

Now think about who you were a year ago.

Compare those people to who you are today.

Chances are, you’re a much different person now than you were then.


The same goes for your partner.

People constantly grow and change throughout their lives.

With that growth, their dreams and goals change, too.

The happiest of couples stay on the same page of what those are for each other and help support one another.

Because people who achieve their goals and chase their dreams are the happiest, it’s one of the best parts of living.


Couple Kiss Sparkler by Rolfo


“How are you feeling today?”

This seems like a simple question, but when was the last time you asked your partner how they’re feeling with a genuine interest in hearing more than just “I’m ok.”

Yes, it’s up to your partner to express their emotions, but it can’t hurt to create space for them to open up by asking.

Everyday stress can take a toll on couples, even if the stress doesn’t stem from the relationship. Checking in with each other helps couples not only connect but vent about whatever is going on at work or in their personal life.


Communication will always be the key to improving your relationship.

You can’t know what’s wrong or how your partner needs to be supported unless you both talk about it.

That’s why the happiest of couples ask each other these questions often

Because they don’t have one-and-done answers, you and your partner will have different responses all throughout your life.


Want to feel more confident in your relationships? Sign-up for my newsletter and receive a link to my free Boundaries Guide.



The Psychology Behind Successful Attraction

It is not just about being good looking

Do you ever wonder how someone starts a relationship with somebody that is less attractive than them?


Maybe you’ve caught yourself thinking how a mismatched couple got together, or maybe you’ve wondered why someone with model looks doesn’t always date a person with similar looks.


The truth is that physical appearance, while important only plays a small part in what people find attractive.

Attraction is complex and while physical attraction may work in the initial stages of meeting someone, it is not enough on its own to make somebody feel completely attracted to you. If physical attraction was enough, then no beautiful person would be single.


“Once you get attracted to someone’s mind you’ll find beauty in everything they do.” —


Colour Psychology

The surprising truth is that the colour you wear can affect the degree that a person becomes attracted to you.


Red is the colour that attracts people the most.

Studies have found that men find the colour red attractive based on primal instincts, while women find red attractive because they associate it with status and dominance.


Many people choose to wear red because it makes them feel sexier, and this belief could also play a part in making somebody feel more confident, which in turn makes them more attractive.


Colours that people feel attracted to also differ depending on age and gender.

It is thought that men also respond well to the colours green, black, and blue, while women respond well to purple, yellow, and green.


Tone of Voice

Have you experienced times where you have liked the sound of someone’s voice?

Well, that is part of the attraction process.


It has been identified that men like the sound of higher-pitched voices in women.

This is based on a study that was done where males listened to two voices and commented on which they found most attractive.


Unlike men, what women find attractive changes depending on where they are in the monthly menstrual cycle.

Women prefer men with higher voices when ovulating.


People with voices that are considered attractive are put in higher esteem by people.

An attractive voice is associated with having a better personality and being more interesting.

Voices that are considered less attractive have an impact on how a person is seen.

People also prefer the more dominant sounding voice, rather than a non-assertive voice.



The way that somebody smells can make a difference between attraction and non-attraction.

Natural scents and fragrances both play a part in attraction.


Every person has a unique natural odour and sometimes when people meet they may find that their natural body odours are compatible with each other.

Because of odour compatibility, two people may find that they are attracted to each other.


Deodorants and over-the-counter fragrances also impact attraction.

Wearing fragrances can influence if people see you as attractive.

In males, wearing nice scents can make them come across as more masculine.

Certain smells also trigger different feelings.

Lavender and citrus smells are said to be appealing to women, while men find vanilla and rose oil appealing.

Doctor Alan Hirsch from the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation has backed up this theory.

Scents can help with attraction because they are connected to memory.

You may remember somebody by how they smell or certain smells may trigger positive memories of a person.

“Perfume is like music that you wear.”

— Mathilde Thomas


Self Disclosure

Attraction is also based on self-disclosure, which involves expressing your thoughts and feelings.


By discussing your true thoughts and feelings with somebody, it creates feelings of trust, which makes it easier to feel attracted to someone.

Self- disclosure has been researched by Altman and Taylor who claim that by revealing your feelings over a period of time and listening to the other person sharing their feelings, a bond can be achieved.


Studies have been done in heterosexual and gay couples and found that self- disclosure was important for both.


Most of us are the same and would be wary of somebody that is secretive and does not reveal anything about themselves.

Non-disclosure would leave us asking questions about if the person is trustworthy and what they are hiding.



Research has found that people are more attracted to people that are in the same area as them.

This is because they meet each other more and have the chance to interact face to face, which increases the chances of attraction.

Examples of being in close proximity are somebody that you work with every day or somebody who is at the same university.


An example of when proximity stops attraction is when using dating websites.

You may avoid speaking to somebody on the other side of the world that you feel attracted to.

This is because you feel that you would never get the chance to meet them.


Because of the proximity and seeing the person more regularly, you become more familiar with them. This is called “the exposure effect”, which is a theory that was created by Robert B. Zajonc, who is a psychologist.



We are automatically drawn to people that show us they like us.

It is flattering to discover that somebody has an attraction towards us.

One reason for this is that it makes us feel appreciated.

Reciprocity also involves being told by a third party that somebody is attracted to you.


If people do not respond to a person that is showing them affection, then the feelings can be lost, because they assume that the person is not interested in them.


Even though reciprocity works, it has also been discovered that playing hard to get also works for some people, too.

This is because some people enjoy the thrill of the chase, and pursuing someone that is more unobtainable.

Females tend to prefer reciprocity, while men are more likely to enjoy pursuing someone.



Surprisingly, diet can affect if somebody is attracted to you.

Women prefer men that have a diet that is high in produce like fruit and vegetables, grains and oats, and tend to be less attracted to men that have a carbohydrate based diet.


According to researchers, it was found that orange, yellow, and red food affects skin tone slightly.

The skin is also positively impacted by realising a healthy glow the more we follow a healthy diet.

This changes your appearance slightly and can have an impact on attractiveness.

It is also believed that eating healthier foods causes people to give off a more attractive body odour.


Losing Attraction

There are many things that can cause loss of attraction.

Although familiarity can help with attraction, it can also cause loss of attraction.

Too much familiarity over a long period of time can become too routine and boring.


To keep attraction alive in this situation it is important to try new things and go on new adventures.

Lack of self care has also been found to be a cause of loss of attraction in relationships.

If somebody stops taking care of themselves in the way that they used to, this can cause the other person to feel less attracted to you.


To overcome this you should make time for yourself every week.

Spend a pamper day at the hairdressers or get your nails done.

Also wear nice fragrances and make an effort with your outfits.


If one person has confidence issues, this can cause their partner to lose interest.

The majority of people find confidence attractive.

People that are lacking in confidence are often less appealing.

Some reasons for lack of confidence can come from bad past experiences or fear of losing a relationship.

To overcome this, understand that it takes time to improve confidence and face your fears, and consider what you can do to stop you feeling that way.


Attraction is a complex thing.

Every person is different but research over time has found that there are a number of factors that can influence attraction.

Start today on some of the techniques discussed and see if it makes a difference to your life.


Thanks for reading.

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Stop Doing This If You Want To Build Healthy Relationships

Spoiler: You need to get out of your own head.

Coronavirus: Tips for a happy relationship — even during lockdown | Science| In-depth reporting on science and technology | DW | 23.12.2020

A lot of what makes our life, are the relationships we share with those who cross our paths, every now and then.


It is through relationships that we are able to give meaning to the lives we live, and it is through those meanings that our lives transform as we go along.


There is someone in your life, who has a natural instinct to keep getting in the way of cultivating healthy and meaningful relationships;

And that person is, You;

You in your life, I in mine, and everybody else in their own lives.


The way it feels so natural to be our little hurdles, is exactly what makes it harder for us to figure out why is it that we could be wrong.

If we are able to consider the possibility of why we could very well be wrong, we can then begin to create relationships with our loved ones, that are built on foundations of authenticity, healthy well-being, compassion, and love.


There are some aspects of relationships of any kind (family, friends, romantic, professional), that make it healthy and meaningful.


We are not meant to know all the right things that need to be done, all the time, but we can learn from trial and error, and we can learn to better ourselves for those we share relationships with.


There is something we can learn to stop doing, so that we can grow (and add to) our relationships healthily;


We need to (learn to) stop assuming.

How easy is it for us to think;

“Oh, this person did that because they must have thought this…”

We have other such similar inner monologues very easily, because we assume everything in our head;

And what’s more?

We might even act (and respond) based on what we have already thought and assumed.


Assumptions are just not worth the effort it takes to make them.


Think about it, everything that you are making up in your mind, has nothing to do with the reality of the other person involved.


You can think all you want and get nowhere close to the reality of the situation;

Until you actually communicate to that person;


Ask them;

Ask them what exactly bothers them…

Or what made them feel a certain way…

Or why did they react a certain way…

Or why did they do a certain thing…

Or ask them anything that would replace your assumptions with the reality of their actual response.


It is possible that people may not be willing to answer what you ask;

In that case, teach yourself to respect their choice and their decision;


But please, don’t let that be a reason for you to assume any further.


We need to learn to be kind (and patient) enough to ourselves, to restrain ourselves from assuming what’s unknown to us, so that we can learn to extend that kindness (and patience) to others we share relationships with, who need to be given a space for turning around the unknown into a known, if (or when) they choose to do so.


Assumptions have the power to silently kill the potential of relationships to grow into something healthy and beautiful.


If we keep allowing ourselves to make up stories in our head, we will not only be deceiving ourselves in the process;


But we will also not be doing right by those who we share relationships with.

We can learn to stop assuming by getting out of our own head, so that we can learn to begin allowing the reality to make its way to us.


People we share relationships with, already have (more often than not) so much going on in their lives to attend to, that it only makes sense for us to be kind enough to not assume things on their behalf.

So, the next time you have an urge to really make an assumption of any kind, with respect to someone;


Stop yourself in the tracks, and remind yourself, “I should not assume, because the thoughts in my mind are not the reality of someone else.”


We can cultivate relationships that are healthy and meaningful, when we begin to replace our assumptions with the ability to be open to the reality of situations.

Change Your Mind Change Your Life

Read short and uplifting articles here to help you shift…





How to Know If the Person You’re with Is the One

Sometimes the signs are subtle.

2 person sitting on beach sand during daytime

I always believed I’d find The One at a coffee shop.


Our eyes would lock the moment I looked up from the book I was reading; he’d smile in a way that would make my heartbeat quicken, yet I’d remain cool and collected.


In reality, it happened sort of like that — but not really. We met on Instagram, and I lived in a different state.

We met in person at a Starbucks, and I wasn’t cool and collected.

I managed to trip over my own flip-flop not once but twice.


I knew he was it was for me early on in our relationship.

Maybe it had to do with how much I prayed for the right man to come into my life; maybe it was pure luck.

Whatever it was, the experience with my partner helped me identify some of the signs of what it looks like when you meet the person you’re meant to be with.


My single girlfriends ask about our relationship frequently, and there are sweet moments we often share that make me wonder if other people experience this type of love and affection.

I hope they do because love isn’t something you should ever have to settle for.


I’ve written about the signs to look out for when the person you’re with isn’t The One, but talking about the aspects in a partner that can help you identify whether or not you’re with the right person is beneficial too.


With that being said, here are a few signs that showed me that my partner was The One, and maybe it’ll give you something to look out for in your current or future relationships.


Ordinary moments feel special.

This is huge — because life isn’t always exciting.

Monday rolls around, and you have to do a crapload of work that’s dull.

Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do; sometimes, you go to bed feeling like you didn’t do a single thing that served a bigger purpose other than yourself.


Mundane activities become a little sweeter with the right person by your side.


Grocery shopping feels a little bit more fun because you’re thinking about ways to nourish both of your bodies.

Taking a walk that would otherwise feel extremely normal feels more fun because you’re doing it with your best friend.


You see the world move around you together.

They point out the colors in the sky that evening; they remind you of something silly you said the other day.

They make you feel less alone in a world with over 7 billion people.


Watching TV doesn’t feel repetitive, especially when both of you have different tastes in movies.

For instance, I love old movies and comedies, my partner prefers documentaries, and whenever I relinquish my remote control power, I’m always impressed by whatever he puts on.

I feel like I get something out of it.


Be with somebody who makes you feel good during the simple moments of life.

Not somebody who is constantly chasing excitement and highs.


You can see the two of you doing life together.

I’ve always loved the phrase, doing life together.

You can stay with someone forever but doing life means something more.


You’re exploring the world with one another, seeing things you haven’t yet seen before. You’re trying different types of foods, cuisines, learning what makes things taste the way they do.


You’re moving your body differently.

You’re in sync.

Your partner likes snowboarding, and you’re more of a beach person, but you’re willing to try it out to make them happy.


You might not know exactly what the future holds, a white picket fence with a house or an apartment overlooking the city, but you can see the two of you making these types of decisions together.

You can picture the kids you’ll have and how the both of you will raise them into kind and intelligent human beings.


Maybe you don’t want kids, and your partner feels the same way.

It doesn’t stop you from living the life you’re building together and all of the adventures you can see the two of you going on.


For me, this was important. I remember lying in bed asking myself these questions.

What would our life look like together?

I didn’t see any concrete pictures.

I didn’t know what the future held, but what I did see was color.



I saw us traveling, or grocery shopping, going to the movies, having dinner, and talking about the days’ events.


Relationship expert Dr. Chloe Carmichael says:

“I believe that people evolve, and their goals and visions for their future sometimes change, which can cause some couples to grow apart. But when you’re with The One, you’re able to picture the day-to-day in pretty similar terms.”


You feel at peace in your mind, body, and soul.

When some people fall in love, it’s chaotic.


Your heart feels like it’s going 100 mph when they walk into the room.

You don’t see anything but them.


You give up your friends; you miss out on family parties; people say you’ve become one of those couples, the kind that doesn’t have a life outside of their partner anymore.


Then, that fades, and you might fall into a steady harmony with one another, and you go back to your friends, and you fight like normal couples, and sometimes you have dinner together other times you don’t.


The honeymoon phase has faded, leaving you feeling a bit empty.

It’s like when you have an energy drink, you feel good initially, but that crash makes you feel like crap.

I knew my partner was The One because I didn’t feel any of those things.

Instead, I felt peaceful.

A calm washed over me and has laid itself in me over the last three years.


When you feel this way, you know your partner won’t hurt you.

You make them happy.

They make you happy.

You know what you have is a powerful human connection that worldly things can’t break.

You’re compatible in more ways than one.


When you’re with someone who complements you and is compatible with all your flaws and imperfections, you feel like the puzzle pieces fit smoothly into one another.

You don’t have to try so hard to make it work; it feels effortless.


You feel like it’s the two of you against the world.

Everybody wants someone in their corner.

You want someone to make you feel safe and understood.


When you’re single, you go out looking for someone to give you attention.

You bring them home, hoping this might be something.

You dress up for them on dates hoping they’ll notice the effort you put into your hair and makeup.


You have friends, you spend time with them, vent to them, but deep down, you want someone who makes you feel understood and adored.


When I entered my relationship, I struggled a lot in this area because I’ve always felt very alone in life.

When I was younger, and my mom and I would argue, she would ask me why I acted like she was against me; in reality, I simply felt like I didn’t have anybody in my corner.


My partner diminished that feeling for me over time, giving me the space I needed to heal from my wounds but always being there for me when I needed him to be.


You feel inspired to do and be better.

I’ve been an avid gym-goer for a few years now, I train to the best of my ability, and I pride myself in knowing I’m not the type of person to skip a workout or short my reps.

If I know I need to do 10, I’m doing 10 — not 8, not 9 — but 10.


However, when my partner trains me, he pushes me to do 12 reps.

Sometimes 15, and you know what?

I do them.

Without fail, and I always surprise myself at how much I’m truly capable of when I have someone rooting for me in my corner, inspiring me to do and be better.


Here’s the thing, in life, you push yourself to be the best possible version of yourself, but sometimes you meet someone who sees this whole other side of you that you haven’t yet met.


Where you see weaknesses, they see strengths.


The One inspires you to do better and be better.

They don’t force you to change, and neither do you.

They simply see parts of yourself that you’ve been blinded to.


These are just a few of the many subtle signs you can look out for when you’re getting serious with your partner.

Everybody looks for different qualities and different traits in an individual but it should always boil down to the most important aspects.


Do they respect you?

Do they make you feel fulfilled?

Do they inspire you?

Do they bring peace into your life or more chaos?


If you’ve answered yes to those questions, you might have found someone who might just be the right fit.



5 Surprising Physical Traits That Predict Cheating

Science says people with these physical traits cheat more often.Christopher KokoskiChristopher Kokoski


Cheat Images · Pixabay · Download Free Pictures | Married men, Happy relationships, Why men cheat


“The human body is the best picture of the human soul.”–Ludwig Wittgenstein


Your body is a human library overflowing with secret stories to tell.


This wouldn’t surprise Leonardo Davinci.

He believed noses revealed the character of his human portraits.

Turns out, he was way ahead of science.


From Pinocchio to politics, researchers uncovered five physical traits proven to predict cheating in relationships.

Characteristics like the length of our fingers, our hair color, and the shape of our faces.

Not to mention the size of…other body parts.


As someone who taught evidence-based body language skills for over a decade, this research fascinates me. Just like with body language, it’s important to note that predictions don’t equal prophecies.


The only thing that guarantees cheating is personal choice.


Don't Date Men With Long Ring Fingers

If you want to know if your man will remain faithful, check out the size of his…fingers.

Yes, male finger length positively correlates to faithfulness in relationships.


Oxford University researchers found that men with long ring fingers cheat more often. An article on explains:


Longer ring fingers indicate greater testosterone exposure in the womb, and previous research has found that higher testosterone levels can go together with greater sexual promiscuity as an adult.


It’s not simply long fingers in general.

It’s specifically the length of his ring finger compared to the length of his index finger.

This ratio difference in finger size means he is more prone to cheat.


Don’t Trust Women With This Hair Color

An internal study by found that women with blonde hair cheated more than women with any other color. Brown hair was also associated with cheating.


The internal study reported the following anecdotal findings:

  • 42% of female cheaters have blonde hair.
  • 40% of male cheaters have brown hair.
  • 43% of the victims (both male and female) had brown hair.

Apparently, having brown hair might be a huge risk factor for infidelity either as the cheater or the victim of cheating.


James McGibney, the founder of the website, acknowledges that it wasn’t the most scientific of studies. Interesting, perhaps, but by no means conclusive.

For example, the study relied on self-report and didn’t take into account baldness, temporary hair color, or race.

While the CheaterVille report may be questionable, other studies support the power of hair color.

An article in the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology suggests that men view blonde women as more approachable.


On average, blondes earn more than any other hair color.

Hair color is so ingrained in some cultures that there is even a popular adage that exclaims, “Blondes have more fun!”

Not all blondes cheat, nor are all brunettes victims of cheaters.

Anyone of any hair color can cheat.

However, certain hair color seemingly correlates to a higher likelihood for unfaithfulness.


Watch Out for Men With Big Testicles

I’ve written before about the connection between testicle size and fidelity.

A study from the University of Oslo in Norway suggests that men with larger testicles are more likely to be non-monogamous.

This certainly seems to be true in the animal kingdom, especially with primates.


Another study in PNAS reported that men with smaller testicles displayed more nurturing brain activity, and therefore, might make better caretakers.


However, surprising research flips conventional wisdom about penis size. In a study published in the journal, PLOS One, a bigger penis size predicted partner infidelity.


Meaning, the female partners cheated.

The authors of the study wrote:

Every one-inch longer penis increased the likelihood of women being involved in extra-marital partnership by almost one-and-half times. Women associated large penises with pain and discomfort during sex which precludes the enjoyment and sexual satisfaction that women are supposed to feel.


I can neither confirm nor deny if I’m happy or sad with this research.

However, it finally makes sense why all of my former girlfriends cheated on me. ?


Be Super Suspicious of Unattractive Women

A study by Jim McNulty published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that less attractive women are more likely to cheat.

It wasn’t clear how they defined attractiveness.

According to the study, the more attractive the woman, the more likely she is to remain faithful.

The same attractiveness results were not true of men.


However, men who viewed their partners as less attractive did cheat more often.

“The body never lies.”–Martha Graham


A separate study looked at the connection between female breast size, attraction, and perceived infidelity.

In the study, men rated women of average and slightly above average breast size as more attractive. Women with small or large breasts were generally viewed as less desirable for long-term committed relationships.


For flings, men preferred women with bigger breasts.

Men also perceived women with bigger breasts as more likely to cheat.


Men With This Face Shape Will Cheat on You

Experts found men with “masculine” faces were perceived as more unfaithful, and those same men also self-reported more cheating.

Further, these men also reported stealing other men’s partners more often.


Based on this data, I would hereby like to borrow the term, “Mass-holes”.

Masculine faces were defined by features such as a “strong brow ridge, strong jaw, and thinner lips”.


Conversely, the perceived femininity of female faces did not similarly predict unfaithfulness.

The study was published in the Royal Society Open Science journal.

The traditionally masculine features of men also translated to voices.

A 2017 research study published in Evolutionary Psychology found that men with deeper voices (perceived as more masculine in the study) correlated with cheating.


Deeper voices, like longer ring fingers, typically signify increased levels of testosterone.


Summary of Takeaways

In this article, I jump back and forth between genders and scientific studies.

It’s easy to lose the common threads pulling through the research.

So, I thought a short summary might help.


Characteristics of men more likely to cheat:

  • Long ring fingers compared to index fingers
  • Brown hair
  • Big testicles
  • Masculine faces
  • Deeper voices

Characteristics of women more likely to cheat:

  • Blonde hair
  • Unattractive
  • Small or large breast size
  • Romantically involved with men with large penises

Final Thoughts

Physical traits alone only predict the odds of infidelity.

Be careful not to jump to conclusions.


Remember, predictions do not equal prophesies.


The five physical traits in this article only point you in the right direction.

It’s about the statistical probability of cheating, not actual cheating.

Despite all the science, anyone can cheat and anyone can remain faithful.


Ultimately, a person's actions matter most.

“Our bodies are apt to be our autobiographies.” — Frank Gillette Burgess



Caught in an Almost Relationship? It’s Time to Set Boundaries

Advice that will get you back the power over your life.Manuela PutzManuela Putz

The Guide to Strong Relationship Boundaries


Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you thought that your feelings don’t have legitimacy?


I guess many of you will answer these questions with yes.

Welcome to the club!


Recently, I experienced a romantic liaison with a man I really liked.

Because of long-distance, lockdowns, and other incidents, it seemed unlikely that we would ever have the possibility to get to know each other better.

Additionally, I got the feeling that our priorities were just too different.


It bothered me that we were still in contact even though we knew that our connection would lead nowhere.

Don’t get me wrong!

Not all affairs have to end in a relationship.

But it just didn’t make sense to me to be in a friendship with someone I had feelings for.

I didn’t want to complicate things, so I decided it’d be healthier to cut off the contact.


However, it was (and still) is so hard for me to set boundaries with someone I never had a relationship with.


It is like my feelings don’t have legitimacy.

We never spend more than one night together.

We had sex only a few times.

And most of all — we haven’t seen each other in a really long time.


I don’t want to be the stupid girl who falls in love immediately after a couple of beautiful nights.

I want to be cool with it and live my life without even thinking of him.

I’m almost 29.

I made some quite mature and healthy decisions in the last few years.


That’s why I’m wondering:

Why is it so hard to tell him that I don’t want him to turn my life upside down?

Even though it was a hard decision, I decided that a contact ban would be the best for me.

There were warning signs that showed me that I had to change something to give myself back the power over my own (love) life.


Here’s how I recognized the red flags and some practical tips on how to set boundaries:


How do you know that it’s time to set boundaries?

In general, you should always trust your gut feeling.

When the other person’s actions hurt you, and you aren’t sure where you both stand in your relationship, always make sure to rethink your connection.


Communicate your boundaries to the other person and be clear and consistent about your values.

I’ve observed some patterns in my own love life during the past years.


The following signals showed me that it’s necessary to change something:

1. Your mood becomes dependent on how often the other person writes you.

I’ve experienced the following situation several times in my life: You have a great connection to someone, and you feel comfortable in their surrounding.

You text regularly, and suddenly you don’t get an answer for many days or even weeks.


It hurts because it is a sign the other person doesn’t value the connection as much as you do.

In the past, I blamed myself for this reaction. I thought that I was too clingy, annoying, or boring.


Today I know that it has nothing to do with me.

Whatever reason there may be, it’s never your fault that the other person doesn’t text you back.


Still, your mood may become dependent on the frequency of answers the other person is giving you.

That’s one of the first signs that you should overthink your connection.

You should ask the other person directly how he/she feels about you.

It may be helpful as some people don’t like writing text messages or have other plausible reasons to act this way.


You’ll likely learn the reasons for their behavior in this way.

Even though the other person is telling you that they cannot imagine a shared future, don’t blame yourself. This decision has something to do with them, not with you.


You deserve someone great who loves you as you are!


I assure you that you’ll find that person if you are consistent about your boundaries and only commit to someone who meets your expectations.


2. You are afraid to make mistakes.

You like the other person so much that you don’t want to mess it up.

That’s normal.


But if you change your behavior, interests, or even your values because you think that you’ll please the person in this way, you should be careful!


When I was 19, I dated a man who told me that he would never move to a bigger city.

I was already thinking about a shared future, and even though I always loved urban life much more than living in the countryside, I agreed with him just because I was afraid that he wouldn’t want to date me anymore if I told him the truth.


Instead, I should have used this disagreement to evaluate our current situation and to talk to him about what we both wanted in life.


Remain loyal to yourself!

It doesn’t mean that you cannot show interest in the other person’s life, but don’t change who you are just because you want to please someone.

In this way, you’ll never be happy in a relationship or with yourself.


Find out what makes you genuinely happy and where your values and interests are.

Stick by your intentions, and don’t be afraid to do or say something the other person wouldn’t like.


3. The other person is turning your everyday life upside down.

Even though I’m an active person who loves running and exercising on the weekends, I like sleeping in and staying in bed on Sundays.


I sit in my bed with my laptop or a good book, spending my time reading, writing or watching a TV show.

Often, I don’t get dressed until 1 PM.


My first boyfriend never liked it to stay in bed on Sundays.

Instead, he made me feel guilty to be “so lazy” and mostly convinced me to go for a walk with him.

I hated it!

I just needed a break from everyday life, and Sunday morning was my time to relax and recharge.

It didn’t help me at all to walk through the cold and empty streets of the city with my body just needing some rest.


I let him change many habits even though I knew it wasn’t right for me.

I thought that I had to suit him.


You may see this kind of behavior from the beginning, even though you aren’t in a relationship yet. If you feel that the other person influences your habits and your everyday life negatively, it’s time to set boundaries!


Don’t let someone change your life completely!

It’s okay to adopt new everyday rituals and habits, but only if you feel comfortable with it.


4. You don’t feel comfortable and safe in his presence.

Fortunately, I never experienced abusive or offensive behavior in a relationship.

But I have a friend who used to date a former Marine who had PTSD.


One day, she found herself locked in the bathroom to protect herself from him.

He brutally beat her, and she had to call the police to avoid the worst.


She loved him genuinely, but she ignored many warning signals and fought for the relationship again and again.

If you sense aggressive behavior, end the connection immediately!

It is not about boundaries but protecting yourself from mental and physical abuse in the future.

There are considerate, mentally healthy, and loving men out there who’d love to be in a relationship with you!


How can you set healthy boundaries even though you never dated?

As mentioned above, it can be tough to set boundaries with someone you never had a romantic relationship with.

You are about to get to know each other, and mostly you enjoy your connection.

Still, there’s something that’s bothering you, and your concerns become stronger and stronger. It’s time for you to speak up!


Here are some practical tips on how to do it:

  1. Write down your thoughts and structure them so that you see clearly what you want to say.
  2. If you feel insecure about telling others what’s important to you, practice it in front of the mirror.
  3. Record a voice message for yourself and practice your statement several times. You’ll feel more and more comfortable with your boundaries. This exercise can be quite empowering!
  4. When you are ready to talk to the other person, be clear and concise about your boundaries. Explain how crossing your boundaries makes you feel like and what kind of behavior you need from your counterpart to feel comfortable.

Don’t wait until you can’t hold it back anymore!

It’s crucial to speak your truth and to tell the other person how you feel as soon as possible.

Be brave, and don’t be afraid of the outcome.


If you set healthy boundaries you’ll give your feelings the validation they deserve. Whatever happens, it’ll be for your good.

It doesn’t matter if you know someone only for a week or even hours.

Your feelings are always important!


If the other person respects your boundaries and still wants to be with you, it’s the first step to a healthy, long-lasting relationship.

If the other person respects your boundaries but doesn’t want to be with you, you’ll be better off on your own.

You’ll find someone who loves you just the way you are.


If the other person doesn’t respect your boundaries but wants to be with you, you should end the connection.

It makes no sense to be with someone who doesn’t value what’s important to you.


There’s no need to hold back your truth! You are perfect as you are, and your feelings are important.

Let the world hear them!




20 Things to Remember When Rejection Hurts

Written by

20 Things to Remember When Rejection Hurts


Be OK with walking away. Rejection teaches you how to reject what’s not right for you.


As you look back on your life, you will realize that many of the times you thought you were being rejected by someone or from something you wanted, you were in fact being redirected to someone or something you needed.


Seeing this when you’re in the midst of feeling rejected, however, is quite tough. I know because I’ve been there.


As soon as someone critiques, criticizes, and pushes you away – as soon as you are rejected—you find yourself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I’m not worthy.” What you need to realize is, the other person or situation is not worthy of you and your particular journey.


Rejection is necessary medicine; it teaches you how to reject relationships and opportunities that aren’t going to work, so that you can find the right ones that will.

It doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough; it just means someone else failed to notice what you have to offer. Which means you now have more time to improve yourself and explore your options.


Will you be bitter for a moment?



Of course—you’re human.

There isn’t a soul on this planet that doesn’t feel a small fraction of their heart break at the realization of rejection.

For a short time afterward, you will ask yourself every question you can think of:

  • What did I do wrong?
  • Why didn’t they care about me?
  • How come?

But then you have to let your emotions fuel you in a positive way!

This is the important part.

Let your feelings of rejection drive you, feed you, and inspire one heck of a powerful opening to the next chapter of your story.


Honestly, if you constantly feel like someone is not treating you with respect, check your price tag.


Perhaps you’ve subconsciously marked yourself down.

Because it’s you who tells others what you’re worth by showing them what you’re willing to accept for your time and attention.

So get off the clearance rack.

And I mean right NOW!

If you don’t value and respect yourself, wholeheartedly, no one else will either.

I know it’s hard to accept, but think about it…


All too often we let the rejections of our past dictate every move we make thereafter.

We literally do not know ourselves to be any better than what some intolerant person or shallow circumstance once told us was true.


It’s time to realize this and squash the subconscious idea that you don’t deserve any better. It’s time to remind yourself that…

  1. The person you liked, loved or respected in the past, who treated you like dirt again and again, has nothing intellectually or spiritually to offer you in the present moment, but headaches and heartache.
  2. One of the most rewarding and important moments in life is when you finally find the courage to let go of what you can’t change, like someone else’s behavior or decisions.
  3. Life and God both have greater plans for you that don’t involve crying at night or believing that you’re broken.
  4. The harsh truth is, sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been to stand up taller and emotionally stronger than you ever were before.
  5. It’s not the end of the world—it’s never the end of the world – and yet rejection can make the loss of someone or something you weren’t even that crazy about feel gut-wrenching and world-ending.
  6. Sometimes people don’t notice the things we do for them until we stop doing them. And sometimes the more chances you give, the more respect you lose. Enough is enough. Never let a person get comfortable with disrespecting you. You deserve better. You deserve to be with someone who makes you smile, someone who doesn’t take you for granted, someone who won’t leave you hanging.
  7. Some chapters in our lives have to close without closure. There’s no point in losing yourself by trying to fix what’s meant to stay broken.
  8. Take a deep breath. Inner peace begins the moment you decide not to let another person or event control your emotions.
  9. You really can’t take things other people say about you too personally. What they think and say is a reflection of them, not of you.
  10. Those with the strength to succeed in the long run are the ones who build themselves up with the bricks others have thrown at them.
  11. Let your scars remind you that the damage someone has inflicted on you has left you stronger, smarter, and more resilient.
  12. When you lose someone or something, don’t think of it as a loss, but as a gift that lightens your load so that you can better travel the path meant for you.
  13. You will never miss out on what is meant for you, even if it has to come to you in a roundabout way. Stay focused. Be positive.
  14. Rejections and naysayers aren’t that important in the grand scheme of things; so don’t let them conquer your mind. Step forward! Seriously, most of us do not understand how much potential we have – we limit our aspirations to the level someone else told us was possible.
  15. Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are. Don’t be one of them. Ultimately, you are who you are when nobody’s watching. Know this! And dare to be yourself, however awkward, different or odd that self may prove to be to someone else.
  16. Comparing yourself with others, or other people’s perceptions, only undermines your worth, your education, and your own inner wisdom. No one can handle your present situation better than you.
  17. The more we fill our lives with genuine passion and purpose, the less time and energy we waste looking for approval from everyone else.
  18. You can use your struggles, frustrations, and rejections to motivate you rather than annoy you. You are in control of the way you look at life.
  19. Sometimes transitions in life mean something even better is coming your way, so embrace them and don’t be afraid to let go.
  20. Right now is a new beginning. The possibilities ahead are endless. Be strong enough to let go, wise enough to move forward, diligent enough to work hard, and patient enough to wait for what you deserve.


All details aside, you don’t need anyone’s constant affection or approval in order to be good enough in this world.

When someone rejects or abandons or judges you, it isn’t actually about you.

It’s about them and their own insecurities, limitations, and needs.

So you don’t have to internalize any of it! Your worth isn’t contingent on other people’s acceptance of you.

You’re allowed to be yourself.

You’re allowed to voice your thoughts and feelings.

You’re allowed to assert your needs.

You’re allowed to hold on to the truth that who you are is more than enough.

And you’re allowed to let go of anyone in your life who endlessly makes you feel otherwise.


Sometimes we need to be reminded to actually practice the little habits that allow us to better understand and nurture the right bonds, or let go of the wrong ones.

We need to be reminded to be selective in our battles, too.

Oftentimes peace and love in our lives and relationships are both better than being right.

We simply don’t need to attend every argument we’re invited to, especially when our sense of self-worth is on the line.




The Hugely Underrated Key to a Healthy Relationship

You need to trust yourself more than you trust your partnerKaren NimmoKaren Nimmo


104,651 Relationships Photos - Free & Royalty-Free Stock Photos from Dreamstime


“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.”

            — George MacDonald


“I’ve got trust issues” is a common phrase in therapy.


It makes sense: when you’ve been cheated on, or hurt, or let down in life, it can be hard to know who to trust.

For some people, it tracks all the way back to the cradle, to parents who weren’t emotionally equipped to raise them.

Who also had parents who weren’t emotionally equipped to raise them. (Ah, the circle of dysfunctional life.)


While normal in the wake of hurt, trust issues can have wider implications for your life.

They can lead you to look suspiciously at others — even those with good intent — and at the world generally, which can be life-limiting.


When you’ve been hurt it’s easy to heap the blame on your partner.

After all, they (probably) deserved it.


But there’s can be an even greater fallout. And that’s that you start to mistrust yourself. You start to believe you’re not deserving of a great relationship — when you are.


Here are the signs of good self-trust and some tips for doing it better.


How to Know You Trust Yourself

Take this quiz. Answer yes or no.

  • I’m generally good at reading people.
  • I’m not afraid to open up with my partner.
  • I don’t assume everyone I meet has bad intentions.
  • I back my decision making.
  • I am able to fully relax when I’m in a relationship.
  • I make decisions without seeking multiple reassurances.
  • When I’ve made poor choices with people I make an effort to understand why.
  • I am present in my relationship, not focusing too much on its future.
  • I generally choose good friends.
  • I’m able to trust a partner when they’ve given no evidence otherwise.
  • I maintain my own friends and independent interests when I’m with someone.
  • I am relaxed with my partner maintaining their own interests/friends.
  • I am able to honestly express my needs to my partner.
  • I am able to appreciate my good qualities.
  • I am able to take (genuine and fair) criticism from my partner.
  • I accept compliments graciously and without question.
  • I’m compassionate with myself.
  • I like who I am.


If you found yourself ticking way more than crossing, you’re in good shape.

Either you haven’t been too badly hurt, or you’ve been able to make a comeback from it.

You have a good baseline for self-trust. You know what to do — you just have to keep doing with it.

If you struggled with your answers, it’s okay.

It’s also understandable if you’ve had a shaky start or you’ve been hurt by someone you loved or trusted, especially if it’s happened more than once.

The important thing to know is that trust issues can be worked on and overcome. Here are some ways to help.



Building Self Trust in Love: The Key Principles


“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” — Earnest Hemingway


Trusting someone involves risk. Here are the key things to think about:

* Don’t believe everything you think.

Our minds are mini-monsters, sometimes. They can take us into places we have no right or need to go. Don’t buy into the truth of everything that passes through your head — some thoughts are dumb, wrong and mischievous. It’s folly to cling to them.

* Take your time getting to know someone.

Just do. People take time to reveal themselves. Wait to see the truth of who you’re with. And don’t be blind to the Big Red Flags.

* Learn your body’s physiological signals.

If you let it, your body will often tell you what’s going on for you. Learn to read the signs — especially anxiety. Being with someone shouldn’t make you anxious or scared.

* Make decisions without seeking multiple input.

Sometimes we need other’s opinions, but often we don’t. Wherever you can, practise making decisions by yourself.

* When you make a promise to yourself, keep it.

If you said you’d go for a walk this evening, why are you lying on the couch? If you said you’d go to the movies with your friend tonight, why are you cancelling to be with your partner? Trust begins with yourself. If you make a promise to yourself, get behind it.

* Be vulnerable by small degrees.

You don’t have to drop your emotional guard altogether, especially if you barely know someone. Let it down slowly.

* Invest in maintaining your own interests/friends.

This is your insurance, if things don’t work out. More than that, these things are who you are. Hold onto them.

* Be bolder in your life outside relationships and bank your progress.

Take mini risks, wherever you can. And then congratulate yourself for your boldness.

* Take compliments shamelessly (not gloatingly).

This one doesn’t need an explanation. And if your partner never compliments you? Hmmm.

* Use your strengths and gifts.

Daily, if you can. Because that’s why you have them.

* Persist.

Consistent action in your work/hobbies gives you confidence. Keep going. Unless it’s an unhealthy relationship.

* Embrace the risk.

A long time ago a friend asked me if he should ask his girlfriend to marry him. In my early 20s, I knew nothing about relationships so I said blindly: “I don’t know, all of life’s a punt, anyway.”

Turns out my advice to him wasn’t that great. But I wasn’t wrong about the risk. Everything’s part punt. Loving someone is always part risk. Remember, though, it should be a calculated one. Not everyone is amazing. Not everyone is good for you. But someone — somewhere — will be.




The Halo Effect: Loving Your Partner More Than They Love You

How to make sure it’s not hurting you.

Karen Nimmo

Relationships are not perfectly, evenly formed.


That’s because the people in them are, er, people.

We all have our quirks, our vulnerabilities, and triggers, our flaws and strengths; our own brands of crazy.


So it makes sense that we don’t love in equal measure; that one partner in a relationship is more devoted than the other.


I recall one woman who couldn’t stop talking about her husband.

He was so charming, so tall, so handsome, so funny, so hot in a suit, everyone loved him, he could light up a room, such a good cook, so socially skilled, she was so lucky to have him….


Trust me, the list was long.

When I saw a gap, I took it.

“But what about you?” I asked.

“Isn’t he lucky to have you?”

She paused. Blinked.


“I don’t really think about that.”

Welcome to the Halo Effect.


What’s the Halo Effect?

“I think the perfection of love is that it’s not perfect.” — Taylor Swift


The Halo Effect is a cognitive bias in which we’re heavily influenced by our idealized views of someone.

In the simplest terms, if we believe a person is great, we’ll think whatever they do is great (even if it’s not).


The Halo Effect is common in marketing — but it has interesting implications for relationships: If you put a “halo” on your partner, you’ll see the good in everything they do.

And, while that can promote harmony, it can also blind you to their flaws; it can lead you to justify poor behavior.

And it can cause you to see yourself as inferior.


There’s nothing wrong with adorning your partner — as long as it doesn’t come at the expense of yourself.


In meeting your partner’s needs, striving towards their goals and dreams, you can slowly lose sight of yourself.

This means you can end up not knowing who you are as a person in your own right.

When this happens (or ideally well before it lands here), it’s time to back up the truck and redress the balance.

It’s never too late to find and express yourself as an individual.


Here are some things to think about.

1. Your partner is just a person.

No better than anyone else — and certainly not better than you.

They are vulnerable and flawed in their own ways.

Make sure you see their imperfections too.

And, just as they don’t need a constant ego stroke, they don’t need the pressure to be Amazing.

Inputting a halo on someone, you’re telling them they’re the best they can ever be.

They’re not: it’s healthy for everyone to be given room to change and grow.


2. You’re training your partner in how to treat you.

When we begin a relationship, we’re negotiating the other person’s landscape — their thoughts, feelings, behavior, and history.

We’re trying to get a “read” on them, work out the lumps and bumps, figure out how to successfully walk alongside each other.

So the way you treat yourself is important because it’s a guide to your partner as to how you expect and want them to treat you.

If you position yourself as inferior, think about the message you are sending out.

You are more important than me.

Is that what you want?


3. Know what YOU bring to the relationship.

This is challenging for people who struggle with low self-esteem.

My client in this case was a lovely person, a devoted wife, and mother, she had brought a huge amount to her relationships and family — and made a lot of sacrifices.

But, when asked, she was dismissive about her role and input: she said, “it’s just what I do”.

While that’s true, you’re allowed — and need to — appreciate yourself within the relationship.

More than that, you must.


4. Don’t dodge the praise — welcome it.

Anyone who is in the habit of deflecting attention away from themselves will find it hard to take praise.


They’ll brush aside compliments or thank-yous or anything that builds them up — but be quick to absorb (and be hurt by) words or actions that bring them down.

And this fosters low self-worth.

So allow yourself to be praised/thanked: Notice it and accept it graciously.

When people know you appreciate it, they’ll do it more often.


5. Name what lights YOU up.

People who’ve been giving a lot within their relationships or families often say they’ve lost their identity: I’m not sure who I am, anymore.

I need you to get back to me.

Having free time can make them feel anxious and insecure because they don’t know what they want/like to do.

So write yourself a list of your interests — including those you had in the past and would like to revive.


Just seeing it written down gives you a starting point for reclaiming your identity.


6. Put the relationship first — not the person.

Relationships work best when each person acknowledges the importance of the partnership AND each believes they are making a valuable contribution.

So prioritize your relationship.

Create time to be together, to do things you both enjoy.

Make sure your partner knows they matter.

And, if you want their full respect, show them you matter too.




The manipulative behaviors you’re confusing with love

Are you mistaking toxic or manipulative behavior for love?

These are the warning signs we often get wrong.

E.B. Johnson, NLP-MP
Colored Pencils, Colorful, Heart, Love

For some, falling in love with someone forms a big part of their future happiness.


Humans are social creatures, and a lot of us seek that social fulfillment in our intimate relationships. Unfortunately, though, true love isn’t always easy to spot.

Many of us struggle for years with that special someone, only to realize they were never the person we thought they were.

There are a number of toxic, manipulative behaviors that we’ve been taught to treat as love.

Rather than seeking to build equitable, stable, and steady relationships — we rush headlong into our passions and can find ourselves crashing into a wall.

To be truly happy in a love that suits, we have to be honest.

Are they actually treating us with love? Or are they seeking to control and take advantage of our happiness?


Love shouldn’t create discomfort.

We have to get a handle on our definitions of true love before we can find it in someone else.

That doesn’t come from the movies, or what our friends and family tell us should make us happy.

Love can only be defined by us, but within that definition should always come a base of understanding, respect, and compassion.

Our parents should love us for who we are, not who they are able to mold us into.


Love shouldn’t create discomfort.

We shouldn’t have to suffer for it, or give up who we are and what we love for it.

Sure, every relationship faces challenges.

The relationship itself should not be the primary challenge in your life, though.

It’s time to be honest with ourselves.

Brutally honest.


Are we hopping from one relationship to the next?

Do we find ourselves struggling against partners who keep tabs on us?

Demand that we give them our power?


Is your loved one overwhelming you with gifts or an obsessive presence that’s forcing you to lose touch?


This isn’t loving.


It’s toxic behavior that will undermine your long-term autonomy and joy.

If you want real love, you have to get real.


The toxic behaviors you’re mistaking for love.

Does your partner keep constant tabs on you?

Do they overwhelm you with gifts, or insist on hoarding all the power in your partnership for yourself? While these can seem like loving or flattering behaviors in the early days, they can become corrosive and toxic over time.

If we want to safeguard ourselves from this kind of manipulative behavior, we have to first be honest about how we’re being treated.


Keeping tabs


Does your partner insist on knowing where you are at all times?

Do they demand constant updates, or blow up your phone whenever you go out with friends?

While this can seem like a caring gesture, it’s actually quite controlling.

Of course, our partners should know where we are, but they don’t have to be in the middle of every experience that we have.

That’s unhealthy.


Overwhelming with gifts


Are you in a relationship with someone who showers you with gifts?

We’re not talking a little something here-and-there to make you feel special.

We’re talking about the kind of gifts which make you feel bad.

The kind of gifts that make you feel guilty or powerless; the gifts that keep you quiet.


Believe it or not, our partners can shower us with presents in order to overwhelm us or keep us from confronting them.

It’s a power play and distraction from the real issues.


Backhanded humor


A sense of humor is so important in any relationship, but as with anything else, there’s a line that can’t be crossed.


Does your partner weaponize their humor to make you feel small?

Do they use backhanded jokes and then brush it off as “nothing serious”?

Jokes made at your expense are serious, and they can erode your self-esteem.

You should feel safe enough with your partner to know that you’ll never be the butt of their jokes.


Post-argument affection


Over-the-top affection after a conflict can be a very toxic warning sign of a partner who’s trying to manipulate you.

While coming back together after a fight is important, it’s equally important to do it in a measured and healthy way.

A partner who tries to smooth things over with extreme affection can often be one who wants to glaze over much-needed resolutions.

Maybe they lean into physical affection rather than talking things out when there are issues.


Over-the-top jealousy


Jealousy is one of the most common behaviors that we can mistake for love.

Being jealous is not being in love.

That’s because our jealousy comes from a place of insecurity.

When we doubt that we’re worthy of love, we start to fear that our partners are moving toward someone more worthy.

This inspires jealousy, which causes us to lash out.

We don’t rage at our partners with jealousy because we love them.

We use jealousy because we’re afraid they won’t love us.


Becoming the boss


Every relationship has its own power dynamics, but happy relationships recognize the value of equality.

When we come to the table as equals, we are able to resolve conflicts and face adversity together. Handing one partner all the power leads to resentment and heightened conflict.

We don’t always realize the imbalance either.


Many of us find ourselves very willing to give up our own power for the simple gift of someone agreeing to “care” about us.


Rushing the finish line


When you’re someone who has really specific visions for your future, it can be great to meet someone with the same visions.

The excitement of meeting this person can often blind us to some hard truths, though. Is your new partner rushing you to the finish line?

Do they tell you how much they can’t wait to be married or start a family (even though you haven’t been together very long)?

Tread cautiously.

Question their motives and why they’re so intent on getting you across the finish line.


Obsessive closeness


Does your partner demand to be physically close to you at all times (especially when it comes to other people being around)?

Is it bordering on obsessive?

Do they refuse to go anywhere without you?

Do they refuse to let you go anywhere without them?

Rather than a loving behavior, this is an insecure and controlling behavior and one which will lead to major resentment and contempt in your relationship.


Inability to go without


One of the most toxic behaviors we often confuse for love is the age-old “I can’t live without you” manipulation tactic.

This is used most often when you find the courage to stand up for yourself.

Your partner will tell you that they can’t live without you (which implies that they would also take extreme measures if you were ever to end things with them) and then expect you to back down on whatever demands you were making.

When they see you walking away, they’ll use this technique to pull you back in.


What you need to do next.

Are you waking up to a relationship (or partner) that is less than ideal?

Have you realized just how unhealthy their obsession with you is?

You’ve got to own it and take action, and that starts with rebuilding your self-esteem and getting focused on your own happiness and wellbeing.


1. Build a base of self-esteem

Waking up to the reality of a toxic partner isn’t easy, but it is necessary.

Unless we learn to see them for who they are, we’ll stay stuck forever in a cycle that leaves us miserable and broken.

We have to wake ourselves up and find the courage to stand up for ourselves, but that requires first building up a solid base of self-esteem from which we can launch a defense of self.


Separate yourself from your relationship and learn to love who you are inside and out.

Your body is beautiful.

Your soul is gorgeous.

You have so many skills and so many talents that can bring the world (and the people around you) joy.

Identify those things and love them, embrace them, and start celebrating yourself.


Fall in love with yourself for a while.

Learn how to love every inch of who you are and celebrate the gifts you possess. Look in the mirror every morning and name 3 physical characteristics you love.

Each night, write down 3 things that you do well.


As you fall for your strengths, learn how to embrace your weaknesses and see them as the full picture of who you are.

You are worthy and deserving of happiness, but it will continue to elude you until you embrace this truth.


2. Be honest about their behavior

Self-esteem is a great place to get started when it comes to assessing your relationship, but it’s only a first step.

Once you’ve started believing in your right to be happy and loved, you need to step back and take an honest look at your partner’s behavior.

You need to look beyond the “I love you” and the “It’s just because I care.”

Rather than listening to their words, look at their actions.

Who are they proving themselves to be?


Question the motives behind their need to be close, their need to control what you do or who you see.

When you imagined being loved by someone, did you imagine that it would make you feel so bad?

Or that it would make you feel anxious or nervous?

Be honest about their motives.

Do their demands serve you or them more?


When you start to see how one-sided things are, you’ll be able to better stand up for yourself and take action.

Fixing things isn’t going to happen overnight.

You need to first acknowledge their behavior and the impact that it’s having.

Toxic partners aren’t inspired out of a desire to make us happy.

They’re motivated by a need to get their own way in the world.

Peek behind the curtain and question every motive.

See them for who they are.


3. Consider the future you want

We cannot build long-term relationships without simultaneously considering the quality of our futures. They go hand in hand.

The person you decide to build a life with is the same person you set-forward facing goals with.

Our partners play into our happiness in a big way, and a bad partner can cause damage that costs us decades of joy.

Rather than settling for someone who doesn’t treat you well, you need to consider the future that you want.


What does your ideal relationship look like?

When you consider your future, what do you imagine?

For us to get where we want to be in this life, we have to have a very clear vision of the relationships, careers, and even families that we want to build.

Does this person treat you like the perfect partner would?

Do they value you and respect you?


You can’t change anyone but yourself.

Holding on to someone toxic will only bring more toxicity into your future.

Who they are now is very well who they could be forever.

Are you willing to settle for that?

Do you want this person to treat you this way for the next 40, 50, or 60 years?

You need to look to your future and safeguard by taking action in the name of your authentic happiness.


4. Set boundaries for yourself


Boundaries are so important in every relationship, but they become especially important when we find ourselves dealing with a toxic partner.


Our boundary lines are the limits by which we protect our wellbeing and our needs.


They allow us to communicate our expectations, and to keep our environments free of the things that erode our happiness.

Are your relationships turning toxic or vile?

You need to start setting boundaries for yourself.


Instead of wasting more time and energy with conflict, spend some time setting boundaries for yourself and building the courage to communicate them explicitly.

Think about what your ideal relationship looks like. How do you want to be treated?

Where is the “do-not-cross” line for you?


Take time setting boundaries that matter.

Once you’re clear on where your limits lie, sit your partner down and communicate with them.

Tell them how their behavior makes you feel and tell them that you’re not willing to settle for feeling inferior or unhappy anymore.

Communicate that you have a right to stand up for yourself and also make it clear that disrespecting your boundaries will result in removal from your environment.


5. Put your happiness upfront


When we chase love, a lot of us chase this idea that someone else can (or will) make us happy.

It’s understandable.

From the youngest age, we’re taught by movies and even our parents that the love of another person is the ultimate means of validation.


Unfortunately, though, this just isn’t true.

We are the only ones who can make ourselves happy, and we are the only ones who can validate our sense of self-worth.


Start putting your happiness up front.

You deserve to be happy just as much as your partner does, just as much as anyone else on this planet.

You don’t have to settle with being a second-class citizen in your own relationship.

Prioritize yourself and know that you are just as worthy and worthwhile as anyone else.


Stop chasing your partner’s approval.

Stop worrying about whether they will love you or not if you stand up to them.

Do you love yourself?

No one else’s opinion of us should matter more than the one we have of ourselves.

We deserve to be happy.

We deserve to have fun, and we deserve to be respected and honored by the people that we love.

You have to put your happiness first and do what it takes to protect yourself and provide the future that you want.


Putting it all together…

While many of us spend our lives chasing love, we often find ourselves settling for partners and behaviors which are anything but loving.


An inability to live without you isn’t romantic.

Insulting jokes and constant criticizing aren’t aimed at making you better.

These are all toxic behaviors that we confuse for love, and in order to overcome them, we have to accept them (and our own self-worth).


Rebuild your self-esteem from the ground up.


You need to believe in your self-worth to see how you’re really being treated and how it’s truly affecting you.

Be honest about their behavior.

Are they showing signs of love, or are they proving that they want to possess you?

Look to the future and consider what you really want.

Is this the partnership you imagined?

Are you willing to accept this level of unhappiness for the rest of your life?

Set some boundaries for yourself and communicate them explicitly.

If your partner can’t respect these limits, take a step back and make some more serious considerations.


Above all else, make sure that you’re happy.

Your joy is valuable and deserved.

Only you can guarantee you get the future that you want, though.




12 Tiny Changes To Help You Get Your Life Together

5. Eat the frog.Kirstie Taylor

Kirstie Taylor

ᐈ Change life stock photos, Royalty Free change your life photos | download on Depositphotos®

“Life together” feels kind of subjective, right?


What makes you happy won’t be the same as what makes me happy.

One person could strive off climbing the corporate ladder while you could be thrilled working at your local coffee shop.

So no, this won’t be a generic guide on how to make your life fit into the stereotypical mold of what society deems “the dream.”

This article is to help you live a life that’s authentic to you in the most effective way possible.


Because, if we’re honest here, without a little effort and organization, life can quickly get ahead of us.

We can feel lost in the chaos.

Like we’re barely treading water instead of flowing with the current.


That’s because life is an unpredictable journey.

You can’t prepare for what you don’t know is coming.

But what you can do is set yourself up for the best possible chances for success.


With a few tiny changes to your habits, you can feel like you’re floating with life rather than fighting against it.

You can finally “get your life together” in ways that feel authentic to you.


What are those tiny changes? Let’s dive into them based on the different aspects of your life they can help:


Mental Health

Write things down.

We’re said to have at least 12,000 thoughts a day.

Numerous studies show our thoughts affect our reality and, therefore, our mental health.


If you don’t take inventory of your thoughts, they can slowly eat away at your happiness.

Once you feel consumed by self-criticism, doubt, and negative thoughts, it’s hard to accomplish much of anything, ever.


So I pose to you this: start writing your thoughts down.

It can be as simple as a few stream-of-consciousness sentences in the morning.

Or perhaps you journal what you’re struggling with most.

Maybe even start a gratitude practice to bring some positivity into your life.


Stop wasting time on things that don’t add to your life.


You don’t need to say yes to everything, plain and simple.

In fact, agreeing to every plan that comes your way may make you feel like you’re less connected to your life, simply because others dictate your schedule.


It’s OK to say no to your co-worker’s holiday party.

You can let your friend know that you can’t make it to their gender reveal party because you need to take that day on other things.


Once you stop allocating your time to everyone but yourself, you can finally do the things that feel like they’re piling up, like building that Ikea nightstand that’s been sitting in your room for months.


Or simply relax. Sometimes, we all need a day off to unplug, disconnect, and do whatever we please.


Reflect more.


If you don’t reflect on your life, you’re bound to make mistakes or choices that hurt you over and over. What brought you to the point you’re currently at is the culmination of your past.


So when was the last time you learned from it?


I changed my love life by taking note of what went wrong in my relationships.

I found a career I love by considering how much fulfillment I felt in my past jobs.

I worked through bouts of depression by making peace with painful memories.


But I wouldn't have accomplished any of that had I not taken the time to reflect on how my life had gone thus far.

The same applies to your situation.

If you want to feel like you’ve got your life together finally, consider what lessons you can learn from the life you’ve already lived.



If you want to make moves, make plans.


I mentioned above that I changed careers.

And that wasn’t even the first time.

I’ve changed careers twice in the short time I’ve been alive.


But let me be clear: I wouldn’t have been able to make either of these changes without a plan.

I took a coding course to gain that skillset, and I worked as a nanny until I made enough money from writing that I could do it full-time.


If you want to make big moves in your professional life, you need the stepping stones to get there. Sit down, plan those out, and then move forward towards something more rewarding for you.


Eat the frog.


I came across this term when my friend and fellow writer,Eva Gutierrez

, posted it on Instagram.


When you wake up each morning, start your day with the hardest or most annoying thing on your to-do list.


When you’re hung up on the things you need to do but don’t want to do, you’re more likely to procrastinate.

That scroll through Instagram becomes a scroll through TikTok, which somehow ends up with you binge-watching The Office.


See what I’m getting at?

When you tackle the hardest parts of your to-do list (or life in general), you feel more motivated to accomplish other things rather than putting them off.


Make schedules the night or week before.


Whether this applies to your full-time job, side hustle, or fledgling career aspirations, save yourself some time and headache; make schedules.

There’s nothing that eases my foggy morning brain, like knowing exactly what I need to get done that day.

If you find it hard to start your mornings or don’t know how to organize your days to fit in all your goals, adopt the idea of schedules.

It doesn’t have to be anything crazy complicated. I keep mine in the Notes app on my phone.

That way, each morning, you’ll be able to hit the ground running, rather than feel overwhelmed by having everything and nothing to do.


Physical Health

Get more sleep.

When you’re deprived of sleep, you’re in a worse mood, make crappier decisions, and your memory is impaired.

It’s not a badge of honor to boast that you only slept four hours; it’s shooting yourself in the foot.


Prioritizing my sleep is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself.

At the very least, I know that being cranky and exhausted won’t be an issue when I’m enjoying life and working through my goals.

Experts suggest getting an average of 8 hours of sleep per night.

Begin prioritizing your time in bed and watch your overall mood about life begin to change.


Use the Pomodoro Technique.


The fact that humans sit for hours and hours during the time they’re awake is slowly killing us all.

But I understand to an extent; most of us have to sit to get our work done.


But what you can control is how long you sit.


So I want to introduce to you the Pomodoro Technique.

The method is used to instill a sense of urgency in people to improve productivity, but I want you to implement it to improve your health.

Every 25 minutes, stand up and stretch. If you can walk around your apartment or work desk.

The goal is to break up how long you sit for, rather than being slumped over in a chair for hours of your day.


See a doctor.


You know that ache in your back you’ve been having for months?

Or that mole you’ve been meaning to get checked but are too afraid to? Or the fact you feel dizzy easily when you stand up?

It’s finally time to stop putting it off and see a doctor.

Part of getting your life together is being in your best physical health. But you can’t do that if it’s been years since you last saw a doctor, dentist, etc.

Scheduling an appointment is essentially eating the frog of your over-arching life to-do list.

Once it’s over, you’re going to feel a lot more at ease.



Talk about your feelings more.

There will never come a day when you’ll regret learning how to talk about your feelings with those closest to you.

You’ll strengthen your relationships and move through any resentments that might be lingering.


You’d be surprised how much more fulfilling your relationships are, friends and family included when you can talk about deeper things than what’s been going on with sports lately.


Or the fact you’ve been “fine” whenever someone asks how you’ve been.

So the next time you’re talking with someone, don’t shy away from speaking up about your experiences and how people affect you.

Sure, you might be met with some resistance at first, but it’ll be better for all your relationships in the long run.


Learn better conflict skills.


Everyone argues, plain and simple. In relationships.

In families.

At work.

Between co-workers.

But when you learn better conflict skills, you can take a disagreement from a full-out fight to a constructive argument.

Plus, your relationship with that person will sustain less injury from doing so.


This looks like learning how to communicate issues without name-calling, deflecting blame, or belittling someone.

It’s learning to solve problems with a team mindset, rather than pitting yourself against everyone.


Listen with intent.


How good are you at listening to people?

I’m not just talking about hearing what someone says.

I want to know how much you process, understand, and empathize with the people in your life.


Because not many people do this.


Between having our attention span glued to our phones and always wanting to get the next word in, not many people have solid listening skills.

You’ll strengthen the bond with people closest to you when you learn to silence distractions and listen with intent.


When you start implementing these tiny changes into your life, you’ll start to notice a domino effect. Improving your health makes you a better friend. Being a better friend helps your mental health. Your mental health improves your work-life. And so on.

These might be tiny changes, but they’re powerful. Because, with only one life to live, there’s no better time to get it together in a way that feels authentic to you, then the present.


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Better Advice

Experts Advice on Self Help and Self-Improvement




Think Better, Live Better



Two (incredibly common) toxic, confidence-killing behaviors to avoid:


1. Subconsciously seeking approval from everyone around you.

Some people love to stir up controversy and drama for no apparent reason.

Don’t buy into their propaganda.

Instead, imagine what would happen if you spent this entire day, and every day hereafter, with all your energy directed toward your most positive possibilities.

Rather than being annoyed, be amused.

Instead of getting angry, become curious. In place of envy, feel admiration.

Life is too short to argue and fight for the approval of those who can't be pleased.

Stop focusing on them, and start focusing more on YOU!

Believe in yourself and your ability to succeed.

Believe in your intuition, especially when you have to choose between two good paths.

Believe that the answers are out there waiting.

Believe that life will surprise you again and again.

Believe that the journey is the destination.

Believe that it’s all worth your while.

Believe that you are confident enough to see it through, without everyone's approval.

2. Disempowering yourself with weak self-talk.

“Why me? Why me?”

That's the kind of self-talk that holds so many of us back.

What we need to be thinking is, “Why not me? And why not NOW?”

But, again, so many of us feel like we have to wait: to be hired, to be good enough, to be chosen—like the old Hollywood cliché, to somehow be “discovered.”

Discover yourself!

What you’re capable of achieving from this point forward is not a function of what happened in the past, or what other people think is possible for you.

What you’re capable of achieving depends entirely on what you choose to do with your time and energy starting now.

In every situation you have ever been in, positive or negative, the one common thread is YOU.

It is your responsibility, and yours alone, to recognize that regardless of what has happened up to this point in your life, you are capable of making choices to change your situation.

And it all starts with changing the way you think about it.
When you think better about your circumstances, you are able to live better in spite of them.





6 Signs Someone Isn’t Worth Your Time

Pay attention to the subtle red flags.

Eric Sangerma
Whats your story Pictures, Whats your story Stock Photos & Images | Depositphotos®

During my first few weeks at college, I made friends with a guy who seemed really smart and proactive. We barely knew each other but we got along well — we exchanged notes, drank coffee between lectures, I lent him some of my CDs (yeah, those were still a thing at the time).

But there was one thing about him that kept pecking at the back of my mind and I couldn’t quite make sense of it.

Whenever I asked him about the time, he would give a vague approximation.

For example, if it was 3:20, he’d just say it was 3.

If it was 6:35, he’d say it was 7.

It was like he was too lazy to use more than one word to respond to my question.


Plus, he was always short on change.

Whether it was for the vending machine or the bus, he’d always need a few bucks.

He wasn’t struggling financially or anything, he was just careless like that.

Although I didn’t mind it at first, the trend slowly became highly irritating, up to the point where I needed to address the matter.


That conversation didn’t end well.

Long story short — we stopped being friends from that point on.


It took me some time to really understand that episode in my life.

It wasn’t until much later that I understood my ex-friend.

Life taught me a few valuable lessons on personality tell-tale signs, and that helped me make sense of it all.


Here are a few signs you should be careful around a friend, coworker, date, etc.

Don’t trust them too easily, and don’t be surprised if the relationship crumbles.


1. The Small-Things-Don’t-Matter Mentality

My ex-friend couldn’t be bothered with the small things in life. Extra change or a quarter of an hour meant nothing to him.

I didn’t realize it at the time but this was a flaw of character.

How can anyone expect to keep relationships alive if they don’t pay attention to detail?

This trait indicates that you’re dealing with a person who’s only interested in their own comfort.

They may have lofty goals, but they think this gives them the right to be self-centered.


Selfishness warps all relationships, close or distant, old or new.

He was obviously disrespectful of my time and money (no matter how small the amounts were), and it was about time I realized I didn’t need that kind of toxicity in my life.


2. Resolving Conflict By Deepening It


I already mentioned that I brought up the issue with my ex-friend the moment it started bothering me. When I tried having a serious conversation with him, all hell broke loose.

He started throwing insults at me without even considering my words.

Although I raised the issue by tiptoeing around his feelings, it made no difference.


People who fiercely react to the slightest hints of criticism might have a problem with their ego, says Psychology Today.


This exaggerated sense of self-importance may also be responsible for ingratitude and callousness.

My ex-friend surely had his fair share of self-centeredness, and he was too immature to have a reasonable discussion.

Some conflict is healthy in friendships and other relationships.

But if someone overreacts and goes straight for insults, you’re better off without them in your life.


3. Money Matters

How people handle their finances is a personal matter and it’s very culture-dependent.

Where I’m from, we seldom show the insides of our wallets to others.


But generally speaking, observing how people handle money can tell us a lot about their character.

Some people are financially toxic and that is a fact.

They may not appear to be at first glance, though.

Certain people are always able to slither out of paying their due.

The habit is impossible to catch at first because the amounts of money you give them are so small you don’t even notice.

Lending someone five or ten euros from time to time — it’s no big deal, right?

It’s no big deal as long as it’s reciprocated.


But these people are happy to be hangers-on and this is because they see you as a convenient source of money (or coffee or rides to work, etc.), not as a person.


I want to be very clear about this — the behavior I’m talking about has nothing to do with people who’re struggling with money.

Studies regularly show that poor people are more generous than others.

In my experience, those who have to make do with a small budget are very careful to think about their daily expenses.

They almost never forget to bring their wallet or run out of money for the bus.

The worst financial leeches I’ve met in life were financially comfortable, spoiled people who simply didn’t care about others.


4. No Joking Around

Everyone loves a good joke, even when it’s on them.

Oh, wait.

Not really.


Humor can be a great litmus test for relationships.


Some people just can’t take a joke, no matter how trivial it is.

That is a sign of a big ego.

Egotistical people are seldom capable of joking at their own expense because their sense of self-importance doesn’t allow them to do so.


But that’s not all.

Even the type of humor someone prefers might tell you a lot about their personality.


High self-esteem was associated with higher use of affiliative, aggressive, and self-enhancing humor styles but lower use of self-defeating humor. High interpersonal competence predicted greater use of affiliative humor and low interpersonal competence predicted greater use of aggressive humor” (McCosker & Moran 2012).


In my experience, people who make cruel jokes like testing the waters.

If you react negatively, they’ll take it back and insist they were just joking and you should just lighten up.

But if you agree, they’ll let the cruelty run free.

On the other hand, people with a wry, self-deprecating sense of humor are generally easy to talk to. They can make dark situations a little better by joking about them.


5. Gossipping

We all enjoy sharing some juicy gossip every once in a while.

The purpose of gossip is complex.

It gives us validation and new knowledge, but it also helps us build relationships, find protection… and there’s a natural element of social enjoyment as well (Hartung et al. 2018).


However, when gossip starts occupying the central place in someone’s communication, it’s a big red flag.


The dark triad of personality traits — narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy — show consistent associations with the tendency to gossip.


It’s been indicated that “psychopathy and narcissism had a positive relationship with social enjoyment and negative influence gossip, whereas Machiavellianism was positively correlated only with negative influence gossip” (Lyons & Hughes 2015).


In layman’s terms, people who have these personality types have a greater chance of engaging in gossip only for the sake of enjoyment or to harm the target.


So if you have a friend who loves to gossip, consider the specifics.

How often does the person bring these stories up?

What are they getting out of it?

Is anyone likely to be harmed by this?


Additionally, it’s important not to trust these people with sensitive, private information.

They have a gift for making you feel included — you may feel like a co-conspirator when you’re talking about someone else.

This builds trust.

But chronic gossipers will take everything you tell them and turn it against you sooner or later.


6. Obsession with Self-Image

When you befriend someone in real life, you’ll probably start following them online too.

This may reveal that they’re different from what you were expecting.

In fact, you might find out that they present a different face to everyone they meet.


Sometimes you don’t even have to see someone’s Facebook wall or their Instagram feed.

You can just take a look at their profile photo.


Narcissism was found to be a predictor of profile pictures that emphasize attractiveness and personality (Kapidzic 2013).

So if you run across a profile picture that looks like a glamor shot, that might be a hint that this person is prone to narcissism.


On the other hand, some people are just awkward about choosing profile pictures and they go for the best pic they have — so photos alone won’t tell you all you need to know.

More important is the behavior people exhibit online.


It’s awkward to catch someone lying to their followers but it’s happened to me more than once.

Some pretend to be more wealthy than they are, others exaggerate wildly about their romantic relationship(s).

Some pretend their children are geniuses and makeup stories about them.


Using social media enhances everyone’s natural desire to impress strangers.

But some people get entangled in lies — and this leads to unhappiness and hollow relationships.

It’s safer to keep your distance from people who are obsessed with seeming perfect 24/7.


Not Everything Is a Red Flag, But…

Did you know that our food choices and eating styles also reveal a lot about our personality?


A study found that a diet rich in fruit and vegetables (and low on meat and soft drinks) was characteristic of high openness.

Also, they found that conscientious people were less likely to overindulge in sweet and savory foods. Another study linked neuroticism with slow eating and low enjoyment of food.


Still, you probably wouldn’t choose your relationships based on this information alone.

How someone eats won’t really determine how they treat you.

It’s not always easy to decide whether someone is worth your time.


You don’t want to make snap judgments and unfair generalizations.

But you also don’t want to spend time with people who make you uneasy.


Don’t worry too much about detecting personality flaws in advance — at the same time, you should never ignore the small details that stand out to you.


Even though some people are good at hiding their ugly side, these things always find their way to the surface.

After all, everything we do mirrors our state of mind and personality.


If someone gives you a bad feeling or irritates you for no obvious reason, honor your intuition.


You don’t need to immediately cut ties but start paying attention.

Most of the time, all the small hints will add up and start making sense.

Once you figure out what makes the person tick, it’ll be easier to decide whether they’re worth your attention, trust, and affection.


Monogamous heterosexual marriage is just one of many ways humans can live.



If you haven’t seen the link making its way through social media, I highly recommend Rosemary Joyce’s piece Ask An Anthropologist about Marriage.

It’s an excellent anthropological analysis of the empirical claims made in the oral argument over proposition 8 in the US Supreme Court. In addition, it does a good job of linking back to earlier public statements by anthropologists about this issue.


Joyce is exactly right when she writes that

 Stable societies have been based on many different kinds of social relations that provide for the birth, care, and education of children, as well as the many other activities that marriage covers in modern US society: joint property ownership, joint medical and end of life care, joint taxation, none of which– contrary to the somewhat bizarre, reductive view of marriage argued before the Supreme Court– are about “procreation”


She also cites the AAA’s public statement that

The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.


There may be many good reasons based on one’s personal opinion, religion, or what have you that gay marriage is wrong and should be outlawed.

But the claim that monogamous heterosexual marriage is written into our biological constitution is plainly false.

Anthropologists have shown this again and again.

On one end of the spectrum, the postmodernists challenge the idea that the body can ground gender identity at all.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have hard-core sociobiologists who have shown that our species is so successful because pretty much anyone will raise pretty much any child – you can just pop them out of one relationship and into another. It’s because they are so damn cute — Sarah Hrdy calls babies “sensory traps” designed to make you be all snuggly with them.

A study in 1971 by Barry and Paxson using HRAF and a ridiculously scientific methodology found that in a controlled sample 186 societies, 54% of infants were not raised primarily by their mother.

By the time they’re out of the larval baby stage, that number increased to 80%.


What is human nature when it comes to raising kids?

The old anthropological lesson applies here as well: there is no one form of marriage or family that is natural to humans.

There are a wide variety of possible forms, and we have not finished experimenting with new forms yet. It’s that simple.



Contrary to popular belief, relationship health and quality is quite similar across gay, lesbian, and heterosexual partnerships.


For example, partners in each of these relationship types report almost identical levels of satisfaction with and commitment to their romances on average.

Relatively few differences have been discovered, and most are rather small.


Of the differences identified to date, some suggest that gay and lesbian partners are slightly better off than their heterosexual counterparts, while others imply that they are slightly worse off.

One noted advantage of same-sex couples is that they are nicer and use more humor during arguments compared to heterosexual couples.


This may have something to do with the fact that gay partnerships tend to have much greater equality (i.e., power-sharing) within their relationships, perhaps because they do not adhere as strongly to traditional gender roles.


Although it is often assumed that one partner must play the “wife” in a same-sex relationship (à la The Birdcage and most other depictions of gay couples in the popular media), gay partners feel less pressure to adopt strict roles and tend to be on more equal footing, which may result in lower intensity arguments.


Despite having less heated debates, same-sex couples tend to break up more frequently.


Part of the reason for this is likely due to gay and lesbian partners perceiving fewer “barriers” to leaving their relationships.

Barriers refer to the potential losses you might suffer emotionally or financially if you were to end a romance.

For example, if you and your partner had been introduced to each other’s families, had a shared mortgage and bank account, and had a child together, you would probably be more inclined to try and save that relationship when it hits a rough patch because the meaning and value of these things would change if you were to break up.


Why do same-sex couples report fewer barriers?

One reason is that most same-sex partners do now have the legal option of getting married.

Marriage solidifies a lot of barriers, particularly those of a financial nature, making it more costly to split up (ever hear of this thing called “divorce?”).

Thus, it could be that certain barriers are weaker in gay relationships because they usually do need to consult attorneys and appear in front of a judge if they want to end their partnerships.


Although I have focused most of this entry on the topic of differences, please keep in mind that basic relationship dynamics are largely the same across most couple types.

Thus, when comparing same- and opposite-sex relationships, there are actually far more similarities than there are differences.

Interested in learning more about relationships? Click here for other topics on the Science of Relationships.

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I am Gay/Straight/Lesbian/Bisexual/Trans I am Human card I am Gay/Straight/Lesbian/Bisexual/Trans I am Human bisexual stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images


Staying Seen: Being Bi in Relationships with Straight People


super fancy glasses in bisexual pride colors and the title of this piece


When you identify as queer but enter into relationships with heterosexual people, or those of a different gender to your own, it can feel odd to consolidate these two parts of your identity.

You’re not straight, but society can perceive you that way – where do you fit in, exactly? 


I knew that I wasn’t straight when I was in my teens.

I knew that I wasn’t gay either; if we were to go by the Kinsey scale – for all its faults – I’d hover around a 1 or a 2.

This was confusing for me to come to terms with.

I was surrounded by casual homophobia and toxic masculinity – the sort of "locker room culture" that is so damaging to young men, yet didn’t feel able to really challenge it despite knowing inside that I wasn’t heterosexual.


It was a weird situation where I felt as if I was in some sort of purgatory, drifting in a weird zone between different concrete identities.


Despite identifying as bisexual, the vast majority of my sexual and romantic experiences have been with people who identify as women.

This wasn’t ever something I had consciously planned: it’s just so happened that I lean more towards women than men in my attractions and opportunities, and this has been reflected in the makeup of my experiences.


As a result, I’ve variously been straight-passing when in relationships with women, and have also had people assume that I am gay when my relationship status hasn’t been disclosed.

Regardless of my sexuality not being anyone’s business, this brings in tropes that demonstrate how society often perceives and represents bisexuality.


There often seems to be an assumption that men who say they’re bisexual are actually gay, for example, and that women who say they’re bisexual are actually straight.

Is attraction to male bodies considered the default?

Those assumptions sure make it sound that way.

There’s almost an expectation that eventually, you’ll pick a “side” when such narratives are incredibly damaging.

It can make us feel pressured to “pick” when there’s really no reason why we should need to.


A bisexual man could be with a woman his entire life – but that doesn’t for one second mean that he’s straight.

Alternatively, he could be with men and men only, and this wouldn’t make him gay if he didn’t identify as such.


Bisexual men have to deal with toxic masculinity, homophobia, and biphobia, too. 


Biphobia exists amongst people of every sexual orientation and identity, and it can leave us feeling unsure as to where we fit in.

Acquaintances and peers may assume you’re straight if they only see you in relationships with women, and also might assume that you’re down with their casual homophobia.


Alternatively, they may think that you’re gay, and trying to come out gradually by identifying as bisexual. The revolutionary notion that you could experience attraction to people of more than one gender isn’t often even considered – people often think in binary terms, and it can be difficult for them to unlearn those patterns of thinking.


The sad reality is that because of ignorance and bias about bisexuality if you’re open about your queer identity, you may also risk deterring some potential partners.


Studies have shown that some straight women perceive bi men as being less attractive than straight men, so it’s easy to see why a queer man in relationships with heterosexual people could feel the need to keep quiet.


Unfortunately, it’s perhaps unsurprising that bisexual men are considered to be less attractive by some, as bisexuality can invite connotations of femininity.

These ideas are generally rooted in biphobia, and even if your partners don’t realize it, they may harbor certain biphobic ideas like this.


At school, in the locker room, or on the field, young men are constantly policing each other in terms of expressing masculinity, and at a time often when insecurities are often at their highest, it can be hard to come to terms with your sexuality on top of that.

Particularly if you’re treated as one of the guys, you may be worried that coming out will change how you’re treated, whether or not you have any sort of romantic or sexual attraction to your friends.


How many queer men have had a conversation with male friends that’s gone something like, “It doesn’t bother me that you’re, you know, bi or whatever - just as long as you don’t try anything with me!” or, “You’re cool – you’re not one of those gays who are like, ‘in your face’ about it”?


A stereotype remains that bisexual people are hypersexual, and want to sleep with anything that moves – it can get to the point where you’re telling friends of the same gender that actually, you aren’t even attracted to them in the first place, which can be pretty awkward.


Growing up, dating, and entering into relationships while bisexual can be an absolute minefield.

While bisexuality forms only part of your identity, it can often feel as if people see your sexuality before they see you as a whole person.

In short, don’t shy away from owning your identity. Whether you identify as bisexual, queer or even questioning – you shouldn’t hide who you are.


There are some things you can do to help manage tricky situations that may arise while dating, as difficult as they may seem.


Talk to your partners – Although it’s not your responsibility to educate them if your partners ever harbor biphobic or heteronormative ideas, it can be beneficial to try and talk things through.

Tell them how you feel: they may not understand what it’s like to be in your shoes.

They might not even be aware of their own biphobia at all, so this can be a good starting point.


Be open about your identity (where and when it’s safe for you to do so) – Work on being proud and confident in who you are. Embrace your identity, as ultimately your partners should love and respect you for who you are, your bisexuality very much included.

Rather than locking away parts of yourself, it’s always better to be open and honest about yourself. Essentially, if your partner doesn’t accept your sexual orientation, they probably aren’t right for you.

You can start the discussion around intersectionality, looking at both your own identities and those of your partner.


Encourage your friends and partners to be open with you – Maybe your friends want to become better-informed or have questions or worries.

It’s best if you can be open with each other, and that includes opening up to you.

Conflict is a healthy element of all relationships – what matters is how you handle it.


Address your own internal biasesInternalized biphobia is a real thing experienced by many bisexual individuals, not just men.

Is your internalized biphobia stopping you from expressing yourself fully?

This is a journey that you and your friends, family or partner might be able to travel on together.

As you grow and unlearn ideas, the people around you may be able to do the same.


Heres some links for you to explore:

originally wri


Your Opinions Are Not Facts

How to share your experience without forcing it on someone elseDon JohnsonDon Johnson


There’s a lot to disagree about these days: politics, shutdowns, masks, travel restrictions, vaccines—you name it.

And then there are the more mundane disagreements in everyday life, the little things, like setting the thermostat.

Someone wants to turn it down.

You want it up.

Someone says, “It’s too hot in here.”

You say, “It’s not hot.

It’s cold.”

Before you know it, you’re in a silly argument.

None of us need more aggravation, especially right now.

In order to express yourself respectfully and diffuse arguments before they start, it’s important to understand the difference between facts, opinions, and toxic opinions.


A fact is a thing that is known or proven to be true:

  • The Earth is round.
  • Google is a search engine.
  • Water is a simple molecule of positively charged hydrogen atoms and one large negatively charged oxygen atom.

An opinion is a view or judgment that depends on your assessment:

  • I like pizza.
  • I feel happy when I take a walk.
  • I prefer to wear dark colors.

A toxic opinion is an opinion disguised as a fact:

  • That project will never work.
  • There’s a worldwide shortage of jobs right now.
  • There’s no hope for a better life today.

Here’s why toxic opinions are problematic:

When someone says “It’s too hot in here,” it’s easy to get defensive because the statement excludes any possibility that your experience might be different.

It doesn’t consider that you might be cold.

“Too hot” is a relative term.

It’s not a universally accepted fact.


It might be cute when a child says “Brussels sprouts are gross.”

But it’s not cute when adults speak in toxic opinions.


Expressing an opinion disguised as a fact makes it toxic because it diminishes anyone else’s perspective.


This is how many arguments start: one person imposes their opinion on someone else.



The typical reaction is to push back aggressively, turning your own opinion toxic in response: “It’s not hot in here. I’m freezing!”


Toxic opinions invite defensiveness and open the door for arguments.


When I teach this concept to my clients, I ask them to argue with me.

I say, “The room is hot.”

They say, “No, it’s not.

The room is fine.

What’s wrong with you, anyway?”

Then I say, “Argue with me now: ‘I feel hot.’” I get blank looks.

People try to argue, but it’s impossible to argue with “I feel hot.”+ You can disagree by saying “I feel cold,” but that’s not arguing.

That’s just stating how you feel.

By saying “I feel hot,” I’m not suggesting everyone else should feel that way.

I’m merely describing how I feel and what I’m experiencing.


“I” statements demonstrate personal ownership, accountability, and taking responsibility. By using an “I” statement, you can defuse an argument before it happens.

Research has shown that “I” statements can reduce defensiveness and aggression.


Toxic opinions invite defensiveness and open the door for arguments.

Arrogance and believing one version of reality—yours—is the only possible view that underlies toxic opinions and could be the single largest creator of arguments.


There are two types of toxic opinions: impersonal and personal.


  • “Conservatives don’t care about the poor.”
  • “Technology is ruining our lives.”
  • “Wealthy people are selfish.”


  • “You’re lazy and leave all the housework up to me.”
  • “You don’t listen to me.”
  • “That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.”

You can rephrase a toxic opinion by saying “I think…,” followed by supporting facts or by stating what you experience and how you feel.

An opinion or your point of view, when grounded by the facts as you see them and the knowledge that others may see it differently, is a powerful, direct, and respectful way to communicate.

It’s empowering to say, “Look, this is my opinion on the subject.

You may disagree, but I want you to know what I think.”


For example, “I feel hot.

The thermostat says it’s 75 degrees in here,” expresses your experience and states a fact. “I think technology is ruining lives.

I read a study from Harvard citing cellphone use by small children reduces cognitive brain function.” “When we agree to sit down to watch TV together, and you get on your iPad, I feel disrespected and unappreciated.”

The purpose of an opinion is not to prove someone wrong or convince them of your point of view.

The goal is to speak truthfully and accurately about what you know or believe without discounting others’ experiences.

Without opinions, we would have no creative dialogue or problem-solving. We would be empty shells with little or nothing to say.


Instead of creating defensiveness, an opinion invites dialogue, because you take responsibility for your point of view by saying, “I think, I believe, I propose, I suggest.”

When you speak this way, it encourages others to do the same. Whether they follow your lead is up to them.

You’ve done your part.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and we all have the right to express our point of view.

We may agree with each other or not.

But no one is entitled to impose their opinion on anyone else—whether about politics or the thermostat.


My wife and I have had numerous conversations about the thermostat in our house.

She often feels hotter than I do, and we’ve had our moments.

Now I wear an extra layer on cold days.

She dresses more lightly.

When she says, “It’s too hot in here,” I smile and say, “Oh, so you’re feeling warm?

Let’s turn it down for a bit.”

She looks at me and laughs and says, “Right, I am feeling warm.”


I smile because even though we both teach this stuff for a living, we don’t always get it right.

We’re just humans, after all, living, learning, and trying to be the best versions of ourselves.