Times have changed, and so have the rules regarding the biggest game of your life.
The biggest secret of this world is that each one of us wants to love and be loved. Dating in a relationship is important because it allows you to get to know the person you are in a relationship with, while having a good time. Dating helps to reveal any potential problems you may have if you pursue a more serious relationship with a person, and it sets the foundation for long term relationship.
The “old maid” stigma is long gone. Some couples are opting to have families, live together and share a life without tying the knot. Marriage is a beautiful thing, but a long-term, satisfying relationship equals happiness, and is a perfect fit for many. Dating is also healthy as it releases some happy hormones such as endorphins. So let us see the eight new rules of dating in this modern world.
Rule 1: No More Waiting Game
It’s done. Dead. Over! Yes, no more waiting “three days” after a date to contact your new love interest. As the dating rule book certainly isn’t law, don’t wait three days to call her/him — just do it. If you had an amazing first date, text your date the very next day and let him/her know how you feel about.
Rule 2: He asks, She pays
The one traditional dating “do” that still stands is the general belief that men are supposed to make the first move and pay on dates. However, as per an Elle/MSNBC dating survey, 57% of women would offer to pick up the check on a date. The best win-win situation in this scenario is to split the check. Therefore, in modern era of dating world, gender roles are negotiable. Sometimes the lady wants to pay for a night out and sometimes it’s the other way around. This means our old fashioned dating rules have become a little more flexible nowadays, and that is a wonderful thing. Embrace it!
#Rule 3: Ensure Every Date Is Fun
Not only does trying to make your date happy makes you feel good, but it is also one of the first signs of attraction. Studies have shown that when taking someone out on a date, the primary factor that will determine the success of the event is how much fun it was. The couples who go on adventurous trips, camping, snorkeling or visiting theme parks together experience much more fun than couples who doesn’t go anywhere.
#Rule 4: Your Past Is Always Present
Prepare to be Googled. Your dates are digging for your past before they even shake hands. If you were arrested 20 years ago at a protest, be prepared to talk about it. If your jazz group has a review in the local paper, your date may be humming one of your tunes. If your past is less than savory, be prepared to explain.
#Rule 5: 40 Is the New 30
It’s not just Jennifer Aniston and Demi Moore who look amazing and decades younger than they actually are. We are all living longer these days, and in many cases, aging a lot more gracefully. Maybe it’s time to reconsider widening your dating age parameters.
#Rule 6: Do Not Ignore Red Flags
While it’s important to give your date a fair shot, it’s also important to NOT ignore glaring signs of incompatibility, misaligned value systems or rambunctious behaviors. If you’re uncomfortable around someone, pay attention to the red flags. Don’t force yourself to stay in a bad situation, or to say yes to a date that you know, without a doubt, can lead nowhere. So wait for your Mr. / Miss Right.
#Rule 7: The World Is Smaller Than Ever
Thanks to the technology, the world has become a smaller place. Through Skype, Hangout, Yahoo Messenger, Face time etc., you can even manage long distance relationship and can enjoy your virtual dates.
Moreover, marriage does not give the license to kill dating. You must plan a romantic date with your soulmate once a week whether it is cooking a gourmet meal or dining out at new restaurant. You can also go on a long-drive to the beach and catching a sunset or strolling hand in hand in the park, around a lake or pond and feeding ducks. Therefore, you should never think that if you are married, you should not go on date; but, you should always go on a date to know your better half better.
#Rule 8: End It Well
Most dating relationships end either in marriage/live-in relationships or with people going their separate ways — that’s the dating adventure. Make it your goal to end it well. Cherish the relationship for what it is, respect the person you’re with, and if it’s not meant to be, walk away from the relationship having given it your best and with no regrets.
To sum up, it is the same advice your mom gave you on the first day of school: Be yourself. Present yourself authentically, laugh at the things you find funny, share your personal viewpoints on topics, wear your favorite geeky sweater and give your date an opportunity to get to know the real you.
Feigning interest in favorite activities just to land a date will likely lead to disappointment.
Guys want genuine women in their lives. They want to know who you are and what you’re about right from the start. Women don’t want their guy to change mid-relationship, and guys want the same thing from a partner. Knowing this, I’ve compiled a list of the top nine things that my male listeners and readers feel should never, ever be fake about you:
1. Share interests of your man
Women often feign interest in activities they would never normally do to get to the first date with a man and keep things moving along once they see each other. Do not go crazy for his favorite football team, develop a love of rafting or suddenly feel like Ethiopian food if these things are simply not true of your character. It will eventually see through or be greatly disappointed when he did not get the outdoorsy woman he has always dreamed of a time you tired. A man prefers to admit from the start that you try something new just because of him to act like you absolutely love something you totally hate your life.
2. Friendships with other men
Do not act like your friends are purely platonic guy when you actually dated (or hung) in the past with some of them. The guys understand that you can be friends after the romance ends, but they really want to know whether or not the bill that you had lunch with every day is just a buddy at work or an old flame . Your friend does not know another guy you intimate details without their knowledge. Be honest about what area of your life is key in how he chooses to interact with them and whether or not he will accept your friendship with these men.
3. What do you want out of the relationship
Be clear about what you love. Do not tell her you want something relaxing when you know you have already planned the wedding in your head. Do not say you want to move when you are juggling 10 other guys on the side. He wants to know what is the purpose of your game of seduction so he can decide whether to continue to play along. In addition, the relaxation in a relationship does not guarantee that you will get something deeper down the road with him if you change your mind.
4. Your opinion about his circle of friends
Do not act like you like her friends and family when you do not really. The men were caught in this trap many times in the belief that their wife was comfortable around – and even enjoyed spending time with – their inner circle, only to discover months later that she was really unhappy. He much preferred that you have been honest about why people love being around you and those you do not like. Many relationships are lost when an annoying friend or family member is still there. Let him know your true feelings about his circle so he can make adjustments to make you more comfortable.
5. Your overall look
Men love a beautiful woman, if she is full of natural or glamorous. However, most believe that you should be just as amazing to 6 hours you have been to dinner the night before. The men the magic of makeup, heels and even Spanx – but they want the “natural” you are just as captivating. In addition, they want you to be as confident and sexy without all the accessories you are with them.
6. What are the goals you want to achieve in the future
Do not approach him as a girl’s career high, and then once you move in together or get married, decide to stop working to stay home all the time. Men like to think they know what type of partner, you will be on the road, and if you are secretly hidden a passion for work abroad, becoming a soccer mom, or dig a few degrees warmer, it needs to know this so that it can take a more informed decision about your overall relationship compatibility. The truth is, it has a picture of family life “ideal” in his mind – as you do.
7. Your desires in the bedroom
Some women get all the “big” in the room at the beginning of the relationship to calm after a man is hooked. Men think that the way a sexual relationship begins where it should stay, and if you play around and pretend to be something you’re really not in order to obtain a ring, it will be devastated. Be your true self in the room and you have a better chance to build a lasting relationship.
8. What you find attractive about him
Why are you interested? Why are you here? If you are interested in him only because he is a wonderful lover, tell him that. If you are only interested in him because he is powerful and effective, be honest about it, too. Most men (and women) know their strengths and weaknesses. He’ll know what really see in him and will be greatly surprised if your actions and your words in line with his thoughts. Bottom line, he wants to know what attracted you in the first place so it can maintain and keep your interest over time.
9. Your romantic history
Be clear about your past relationships and romance. He wants to know who should be aware of who you most evil, that one is “one that got away” and you have to deal with on a regular basis because of things like children , a job or a family member. Men do not want to be surprised by your former lovers, and they also want to try to avoid doing things that let you down or hurt you in the past with men.
Surprisingly, he may have enjoyed date No. 1 as much as you did — and that’s the problem.
It’s the number-one question women have about dating. Does this scenario sound familiar? You have a great time with Mr. First Date. Not a so-so, marginal, you-can-sort-of-understand-why-it-didn’t work-out time. No, this was clearly fun that was had by all.
He says he’ll call you, but when the phone doesn’t ring, you think, “OK, maybe it’s too soon to hear from him.” One week later without a text, tweet, email, or call, and you wonder what you did wrong. Why did he disappear after the date that apparently only you thought was great?
You imagine dozens of reasons why he didn’t call you back. His phone fell into a pond. He lost his memory in an accident. The telephone company is on strike and no one can get through.
Yes, there could be dozens of bizarre turns of events that left him unable to contact you. But that’s probably not the case. To end the suspense, I spoke to men to uncover and share (in their words) some of the most common reasons they don’t call women back after that first date.
It is better to be honest up front than to embarrass even further in the future.
If you have already given a guy your phone number or agree to go on a date just because you did not want to hurt his feelings, you are a woman needs a game plan and an audit of the reality. Of course, you could have saved a moment of embarrassment by pretending to be interested at first, but now that you have set up for the worst rejection when you blow him later. A better approach? Use one of these polished manners to say “Thanks, but no thank you” – are collected from relations experts, gurus and meeting people who are as knowledgeable as you.
1. Be honest about your feelings
Tell a guy directly that you are just not that into him can make even the most wiggle an outspoken woman. Would it help if we assure you it is a little more harsh reality? And it will spare both you and your fiance anxiety future. Use “I” so he does not think he did anything wrong, says Susan Roane, communications expert and author of What am I saying then? Talk to your way of business and social success. “For example,” I really enjoyed talking with you, but I do not feel a connection “or” I think you’re obviously very good, but I’m looking for something else now and I want to be honest up front about our chances. “This may be a moment of discomfort, but he will walk away and recover. In fact, it will probably thank you for your candor.” Honesty is like a breath of fresh air, “says the Coach David Wygant dating. “The guys thank you.”
2. Reverse the typical gender roles
Let’s say someone comes to ask your number. When you request information at his place rather than giving your own, you put the ball in your court – which means you call the shots. Does not he know that this is a ruse? Most guys say it: “Do whatever he tells me is that she loves being in control,” said Jeff Wesson of Los Angeles. “It’s good for me. Then I’m not responsible when things are going. If she calls, great. If it does not, well. I will not lose sleep.”
3. Reset his sights
If you really enjoyed talking with him (but not enough that you can imagine to do a duet together), do not return empty-handed. Run through a mental checklist of your friends and colleagues singles. If one of them seems to fit the bill better than you, tell him you think he would get along with one friend of yours, take his number or e-mail and offer implemented, recommends Jean E. Carroll, Elle magazine advice guru and author of Mr. Right, Right Now. “If you flatter, you can not hurt his feelings,” she said. “And it can not be complimented if you are suggesting setting up with someone else.”
4. Apologize for the unavailability
Rather than a straightforward rejection, advocates Wygant said, “I’m sorry, I’m not really dating right now” instead. “What it really means, of course, is” I do not meeting, “but at least he can concentrate on being disappointed that he has just met you at the wrong time in your life.”
5. Play the Numbers Game
When you and your admirer have mutual friends, you can repel his advances by making it clear that you do not want to spend time with him in this group context – not as a couple. New York, only Jaime Costa explains how a woman uses the tactic on him: “A really cute girl joined our temporary staff, and on his last day, I said I would take him.
She replied, “Of course, it would be wonderful if we are all gone to – the whole team -. To celebrate “I immediately had the image that she was not interested in something more, but it was always fun to go out like that.” So if someone you like (but not that way) from your circle of friends, ask you out, you can simply respond by saying, “That sounds fun – I will ask others if they can join us!
Phrases like “do you work out?” Sound like a come-on – even if you are sincere.
You’ve probably already discussed with successful enough to get all the numbers, but now you have to fill possibly hours of free time conversation, what do you say? Let us guide you to some choice phrases that will work in your favor – and some you think you can impress everyone, but most of the time will turn against evil.
Five things you would like to hear:
1. “You look incredible.”
Recognize (and appreciate) that she went all-out for you. Trust us, even if it is a single bond latte, a degree of decision-making which took Jean-tee-ponytail combo she has any progress. No need to be too specific with your praise, just let the know you’ve all noticed that it looks good.
2. “How was your day?”
This may seem trivial chatter, but it shows you care and are interested in his life. Make sure you really listen to the answer rather than the icing on when she listed the details of a little spat with a colleague. Bonus: (“Have you reconciled with the woman still in finance” for example), it will give you something to follow up in a later conversation
3. “I’m really having a great time with you.”
This is probably the best thing you can say, mid-day! It takes the edge and let all know, she can relax. You will also comment on how she feels, too. Hopefully it will beam back and say, “Me too!” In contrast to sniff each followed by a murmur: “How nice.”
4. “What do you think such and such a subject?”
You guys are great to tell us what you think, but you can be a little stingy about seeking our opinions. Ask your date of each viewooint and will be flattered – and the speech stimulus is related to ensue. Of course, it can steer clear of obscure subjects to be a note on or comfortable discussing, and only discuss the burning issues such as politics if you’re ready for a potentially serious discussion to follow soon after.
5. “I would love to see you again.”
This is a great way to end a date, because it ensures that you and your date of each (and it can prevent too can wait, it’s awful on the phone about it, women tend to do). Trust us, she will enjoy.
Five things that she hates to hear …
1. “You really have a great body. Are you working on or something?”
Do not say something like this, please! It is too uncomfortable to make a will and objectification. Avoid mention of any body part or anything that might make you look shallow.
2. “Oh, I know all that!”
If you feel sorry, very well – but if you’re about to start pontificating, resist! Women as intelligent, well-informed men of the world, but we also appreciate humility. When you turn on your “top side”, you are not so sexy for us more. If she wanted a know-it-all, she had spent every night with Wikipedia.
3. “I was shopping for a new luxury SUV …”
Such a transparent attempt to impress everyone has the opposite effect – unless you hear “cha-cha-chiiing” all eyes and dollar signs appear. Thus, the bag of those “I am a great man” comment on your business, your status and pay.
4. “You want to go back to my place for a bit after dinner?”
Ask a woman to go to your place at short notice, eh? What’s next – showing all your prints? We are women hear this and automatically think you’re just trying to make us in a compromising position, even if you do not really have a good reason to invite us in. Way, it would be better to say something like, “I invite you to my place, but it’s a wreck, “and wait for all to insist that she did not mind the first. Oh, and never ask to” come in a minute to use the bathroom “when his place at the door, either.
5. “I’ll call you.”
OK, that’s what she really wants to hear, but it and not follow through so many men say that I need to warn you in doing this first. So if you have any doubt in your mind about any other call, not to utter those three little words! Instead, she mentioned the opportunity to wish all of the great presentation, thank you all for sharing time with you and say good night.
If it feels like the spark is fizzling, it’s time to break out of your routine.
Stop being friends on Facebook
On Facebook, that is. “It’s a terrible idea for spouses to be Facebook friends with each other,” says Ian Kerner, Ph.D., co-author, with Heidi Raykeil, of (best self-help title EVER!) Love in the Time of Colic: The New Parents’ Guide to Getting It On Again. “Relationships are already filled with enough banality. I want to preserve what little mystery there is, which means I don’t need to see my wife’s latest check-in with her third-grade pals on her Superwall.”
But wait! You don’t have to, like, swear off the technology entirely. Perel suggests getting a secret your-eyes-only email address just for each other — not for “pls pick up Muenster” and “remember B’s ballet stuff” — but for loving and flirtatious messages only.
Buzz-killing as it sounds, you might need to start scheduling time for intimacy — or at least committing to once a week, by hook or by crook (which, bonus, could force you to get creative). “Ruts beget ruts,” says Kerner, noting that when you go without, your body actually becomes accustomed to lower and lower levels of testosterone. On the flipside, he says, couples (not just parents) who are intimate at least once a week report better relationships and quality of life overall.
Postpone that argument
You know that fight you always have? Stop having it. Make a three-month plan for not solving problems, suggests couples therapist Sharyn Wolf, author of This Old Spouse: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Restoring, Renovating, and Rebuilding Your Relationship. The money fight, the recycling fight, whatever: you’ll have it on May 15, time TBA. Until then, not a word. “See what you’d be doing if you weren’t having that fight,” says Wolf. “Sometimes it uncovers something else that was really bothering you; sometimes it gives you so much energy you take on something new. And sometimes you realize maybe it wasn’t such a huge deal after all.”
Use “we” when you fight — and in general
You’ve probably heard this one, but they just checked again and found that spouses who use pronouns like “we,” “our,” and “us” when describing points of disagreement are better able to resolve conflicts than those who use “I,” “me,” and “you.”
No doubt the problem of most concern to most parents during their children’s adolescence has to do with boy-girl contacts. There are practical, down-to-earth parts to this. Parts that deal with behavior and conduct–with how a boy or girl ACTS.
There are other parts to it also. Parts that have to do with how a boy or girl FEELS. Too often we talk about and work with the first part only. For feelings related to the sex drive have long been hard for us to deal with.
As a result, we are inclined to focus on how our children behave in their boy-girl relations. We are inclined to by-pass how they feel. It’s as if we were expecting them to handle their feelings automatically by the attention we pay to their acts. As with other things, however, we do better if we pay attention to both.
At the beginning of the puberal cycle, a small gland–the pituitary gland–located at the base of the brain sends out a secretion called the gonadotrophic hormone. This in its turn sets off growth of the sex glands, the testes in the boy and the ovaries in the girl. It stimulates them to produce sex hormones or endocrines of their own and eventually to manufacture mature sperm cells and egg cells.
The puberal cycle with these internal changes starts long before puberty proper. Though the girl’s first menses ordinarily come between twelve and fourteen, the changes inside her body start anywhere from nine to twelve; sometimes even as early as eight. Though boys ordinarily have their first seminal emission around thirteen or fourteen, the internal changes begin between ten and a half and twelve, in some boys even as early as nine.
As the internal changes progress, the outward changes come. These we notice as we observe our teen-ager’s growth. They proclaim to the world and to the opposite sex that childhood is being left behind. Here, for all eyes to see, finally stands a woman. There stands a man.
The puberal cycle, however, does not stop with puberty. Internal changes and often external growth continue for several years. It is probably a combination of the physical changes, the sight of the opposite sex growing into maturity and the perception of one’s own development that brings the upsurge of sex feelings and the increased interest in sexual concerns.
When boy meets girl in the early teens, hesitance is usual. On her part the girl is giggly and coy. She whispers and titters and has secrets with her girl friends. She seemingly shuts boys out. Perhaps this is because she is thrown together in school and elsewhere with boys her own age. These boys seem “babyish” and beneath her, since they are normally slower to develop. Till about fifteen, they are apt to be smaller. Their beards are pinfeathering and their voices quaver.
With disdain, the girl looks down on them. “That Bob! Those boys! They won’t dance. They won’t do anything!” with a snort. “They don’t know a horse from a cow. They don’t keep their ears clean. They actually smell!”
But give the same girl a chance at some more mature and noble-looking creature, then her interest crops out. “That Roy! Have you seen him? Let’s face it, he’s terrific! He’s six feet tall if he’s an inch. He simply walked away with the class election. I tell you, he rates! Only, do you know? One of the girls said he wanted to kiss her the second time they dated. That’s rushing it too much. But still, let’s face it, he’s cool!”
Nevertheless, if she suddenly finds her Adonis seeking her out, quite unexpectedly she may retreat. Ruth has been dying and sighing to be asked to the dance in the gym by a boy two grades ahead of her. However, when the invitation actually materializes, Ruth turns it down. “I was crazy to go,” she exclaims, “but I couldn’t. I’m crushed. I’ve never had such a bitter disappointment. What happened? Why can’t I go? Don’t forget there’s that tremendous assignment we got in English. Miss Zee’s a mean one. If I don’t get it done, well, you know . . .” lamely trailing off.
On his part, the boy in his early teens characteristically sneers or teases or turns on his heel at sight of girls. George, who is thirteen, says with contempt, “The girls in my class think they’re real cute. They act real conceited and real glamorous. But when you try to talk to them they just ignore you and act so big shot they give you a pain.”
Mike can’t see his older sister for dust. From his thirteenyear-old viewpoint he belittles her attractiveness and doesn’t see why any of the boys want to take her out. But one evening he sticks his head into her room to call her to the telephone and catches her half dressed. In spite of himself, young Mike lets out a whistle. “Oh, boy! Bosoms!” he exultantly exclaims.
Actually both boys and girls are tremendously conscious of the other sex and are reacting with body feelings that frighten them. The boy, seeing the girl of his own age as more of a woman than he is a man, often unconsciously identifies her with “Mother.” The earlier love-rivalry feelings then come rushing. His jeers then serve as self-protection to make himself keep himself away.
Somewhat later when he falls, he usually falls for a girl much older. This still is protection. He knows that “older women” are quite out of sight.
Similarly the girl entering her teens who yearns for an “older man of about seventeen” still holds the picture of an idealized father in mind, so that she is ordinarily her own dictator in insisting for herself that the arm-length policy prevail. She will hang on to the telephone betraying her interest in everlasting conversation about boys at first, and later with them. But she still must keep the distance safely between.
This might be termed the period of avoidance. A pause, as it were, in which to build courage. Some boys and girls seem to skip this period. Some go through it before they reach their teens. But when it exists with its various incompatibilities of boy wanting older girl and girl wanting older boy and the older ones of both sexes looking down on the younger ones, there are resultant barriers which either bother parents or let them breathe a sigh of relief.
Thirteen-year-old Dave’s mother was one of the bothered ones. She was overconcerned with her son’s lack of interest in girls. She arranged for him to go to dancing school. She invited girls over. She surprised Dave with a “gorgeous Valentine party,” and kept urging Dave to “be nicer to girls.”
However, when he crawled inside himself, becoming more morose and truculent, she decided she had better get inside herself for a change, at least for long enough to do some soul searching.
“Yes,”–she came up with a good discovery–“when I was twelve or thirteen, my older brother wouldn’t pay the least attention to me. I was utterly crushed. I see I’ve been identifying myself with the girls Dave neglects; as if I were in their boots, once more being neglected myself. I’ve been thinking of them and not of how Dave feels at all.”
The change that followed in her attitude helped Dave to be franker and more open.
“Girls,” he confided to her, “they’re just impossible.”
“I know.” She nodded, feeling with him at last. “I know they make for a lot of problems.”
“They sure do for boys.”
His mother’s mirroring of his feelings was far more helpful than her earlier proddings. It left him freer, when he became ready, to move ahead at his own speed.
In contrast, some parents try to delay things and are pleased if their youngsters are not concerned with the opposite sex. “He’s got plenty of time to go with girls!” Or “I’m grateful, believe me, that she doesn’t care about boys yet. I’ll have enough trouble on that score later.”
The age at which boys and girls become outwardly interested in each other does vary. So–be watchful and tolerant. And in early adolescence, don’t try either to hold back your child or to push him on in his contacts.
Let your young teenager’s INTEREST IN THE OPPOSITE SEX develop at HIS OWN RATE.
His or her attitude toward your family says a lot about where your relationship is headed.
If your guy is suddenly saying no to potato chips and yes to the gym, you might want to ponder with whom, exactly, he’s envisioning sharing this revamped physique — it might not be you. And if you’ve been spending more time working out lately, you also might be contemplating the single life, according to a new study.
The University of Heidleberg study — which tracked over 2,000 people, ages 16 to 55 — found that a coupled-up person’s sudden interest in getting fit could indicate a desire to head for the hills. It also found that — surprise! — single people as a rule weigh less than those who are in relationships. (Ah yes, the old “love chub” theory.)
The conclusion, then, is that when we’re thinking of making a break for it, we start slimming down and buffing up to prep for our re-entry into the dating world.
Dr. Ian Kerner, sex and relationships counselor and founder of GoodInBed.com, acknowledges that a sudden frenzy for fitness could be a warning sign in a certain context, but on its own, it could actually be a good thing. While Kerner has known “plenty” of people who go on “workout binges” right before — or even months before — a breakup, he says exercise enthusiasm can just as easily be about health and fitness, pure and simple.
“Losing weight or getting in shape on its own is definitely not an indicator that people want to break up; it’s an indicator that they want to take care of themselves,” Kerner says.
But, Kerner says, it’s important to look at the big picture. Here are five signs that, alone or coupled with someone’s sudden affinity for 6 a.m. elliptical sessions, indicate your twosome might be in troubled waters:
1. You don’t have anything to talk about. If you find yourself bored and disinterested, or feel like he’s not putting as much effort into conversations as he used to, Kerner says you’re in shaky territory.
2. You don’t care about the people who are important to him (and vice versa). If either of you starts showing a real lack of interest in your partner’s friends and family, or stops making an effort to do things that are important to the other person, that’s a clear sign at least one of you is checking out.
3. Someone’s suddenly a workaholic. “Throwing yourself into work and making yourself a lot less accessible than you used to be,” says Kerner, “or doing anything, really, that upsets the schedule and rhythm the two of you might have established together” — is a clear warning sign.
4. You only seem to hang out in big groups. When romantic dinners for two turn into endless occasions for socializing, chances are there’s a reason you’re avoiding intimate moments as a couple.
5. You’re not supporting each other. Is he making underhanded or passive aggressive comments that chip away at your confidence and self-esteem? Or do you find yourself belittling him in front of his friends or denigrating his ideas? In a healthy couple, each partner has the other’s back.
In our age of social media, it can be easier than ever to stay in touch with your ex, long after you break up. Heck, I still regularly converse with guys I dated back in high school over Facebook. But what about a real life friendship with an ex from not so long ago? After all, you still have a lot in common — and still travel in the same circles, meaning you’re going to run into him regardless. Is it okay to stay friends? Or are you just setting yourself up for future disaster?
“Running in the same circles and having things in common does not always equate with friendship,” they say. “Remain amicable whenever possible but re-define the relationship so there is no confusion about how you will interact. We recommend staying away from intimate encounters and sharing personal information to avoid any confusion or bad feelings.”
And that means setting boundaries from the beginning so you’ll be sure to retain a healthy friendship and resist the temptation to backslide into that unhealthy relationship.
“Be friendly but not transparent to avoid any sense of false intimacy,” they suggest. “Maintain a distant relationship and stay away from late night phone calls, excessive communication, or cute texting. Avoid anything you used to do when you were a couple.”
Of course once you start dating someone new, expect a wrench to be thrown in the so-called friendship. Especially if your new significant other starts feeling threatened–and you start feeling divided loyalties.
“Your new loyalty is to your current relationship so it’s important to respect your new partner’s wishes,” insist Pescosolido and Brosh. “If they are feeling insecure than maybe it’s time to check in on the appropriateness of your relationship with your ex. If you’re doing it right, a new significant other shouldn’t feel threatened (unless they are extremely insecure). Your ex should understand.”
But what if it’s you who’s feeling threatened, by your ex’s new girl? And you find you can’t stop feeling those pangs of jealousy every time he chooses her over you?
“That’s a trigger and a big red flag that you need to get some professional help to move on,” say the Divorce Detox founders. “You might also want to consider the possibility that you are keeping your ex in your life because you still have hope of a reconciliation. A new partner is a sign that he has moved on….and you should, too. Keep this information to yourself and get professional help. This is your problem, not his.”
Successful people share their blunders — and why they’d make them again.
1. Totally embarrass yourself.
After the publication of my book Reviving Ophelia, in 1994, I was invited to a prestigious party. I got all dressed up; I was so excited to make connections. I had a wonderful time and was elated as I was walking back to my car. Well, that is, until I felt something on the back of my skirt. While I had gotten dressed for the function, I had apparently sat on a stack of clean laundry, and a pair of underwear had affixed itself. I had spent the entire night that way! I was mortified, but at the end of the day, it just didn’t matter. I went to other similar events after that, and as far as I could tell, that incident didn’t change people’s impression of me one little bit.
I tend to think that we are all always one static-cling mishap away from looking like a total idiot—and believing that helps me keep gaffes in perspective. And, of course, these grand embarrassments eventually loosen their grip anyway, leaving you with an ace-in-the-hole story to crack up your friends with for years to come.