Monthly Archives: September 2010

How to Work Through Problems in a Relationship the Right Way

This one I am still working on, but with experience you definitely start to learn ways that work and ways that don’t. I’ll give you a few examples of ways that don’t work and then share with you ways that do, or at least in my experience so far.

Don’t turn everything into a fight. It’s not worth it and things don’t get solved that way. If you are having a disagreement, talk it out and discuss it.

Don’t ignore the issues. If you ignore them they will build up and one day you will explode. It’s not healthy to keep things to yourself when they bother you. If something bothers you, address it, your partner should understand.

Don’t end it when one person is still unhappy, then the problem isn’t actually solved. If one person is satisfied and the other is not, then the problem may arise again in the future.

Don’t let it end just because you don’t want to talk about it anymore. That usually means that it will come up again.

Don’t bring up the past, especially if that problem was already solved. There is no need to resurface issues that have been dealt with, it will only cause more problems.

And here is what I have learned so far

Do talk things through, don’t yell or scream or name call. Try to talk it out.

Do solve the problem the best you can, even if it means talking about it for a long time. It can get frustrating and annoying, but in the end it’s probably worth it.

Do go to bed happy. If you go to bed still angry, it will only cause the issue to drag on longer than it needs to and you probably won’t get much sleep.

Do try to satisfy both parties. Which may mean compromising; just make sure that the compromise is fair and you are both satisfied.

And I am sure there are more Do’s and Don’ts but as I evolve in my own relationships these will come with time and experience.

 I received this email below as a forward, but I found it extremely relevant, and useful. I’ve already referred to it

This took me less than a minute to read and is a great reminder of an EXCELLENT, simplistic principle.

10% of life is made up of what happens to you.

…90% of life is decided by how you react…

What does this mean?

We really have NO control over 10% of what happens to us.

You cannot control a red light.

However, you can control your reaction.

 Do not let people fool you

YOU can control how you react.

Let us use an example…

 You’re having breakfast with your family.

Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt.

You have no control over what just happened.

 What happens next will determine by how you react.

 You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over. She breaks down in tears.

After scolding her, you turn to your wife and you criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table.

A short verbal battle follows.

 You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs, you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish her breakfast and getting ready to go to school. She misses the bus.

 Your spouse must leave immediately for work. You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school.

 Because you are late, you drive 40 miles per hour in a 30 mph speed limit zone.

 After a 15-minute delay and throwing $60.00 traffic fine away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye.

After arriving at the office 20 min late, you realize you forgot your briefcase.

Your day has started terrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to coming home.

 When you arrive home you find a small wedge in your relationship with your wife and your daughter.

Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning. Why did you have a bad day?

A)     Did the coffee cause it?

B)      Did your daughter cause it?

C)      Did the policeman cause it?

D)     Did you cause it?

The answer is “D”

You had no control over what happened with the coffee.

 How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day.

 Here is what could have and should have happened.

 Coffee splashes over you.

Your daughter is about to cry.

 You gently say: “It’s ok, honey, you just need to be more careful next time.”

 Grabbing a towel you go upstairs and change your shirt. You grab your briefcase, and you come back down in time to look through the window and see your daughter getting on the bus.

She turns and waves. You arrive 5 min early and cheerfully greet the staff.

 Notice the difference?

Two different scenarios, both started the same, both ended different. Why?

Because of how you reacted.

 You really have no control over 10% of what happens in your life. The other 90% was determined by your reaction.

 Have a great day-unless you have made other plans!!!

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Five Signs You’re in a Good Relationship

Ever thought to yourself “am I in a good, healthy relationship? Well here are five signs that are a starting point to answer your question.

Compromise without having to compromise yourself
All relationships require some form of compromise. When you are in a good relationship, both parties are willing to compromise and meet half way, not one person compromising and getting nothing in return. Compromises are meant to improve the relationship, not to improve an individual in the relationship. If you are compromising yourself because the other person is not happy with you, then maybe it’s time to reevaluate the worth of your relationship.

Communication
Communication is so important in any relationship, and good communication is an indicator that you are in a good relationship. You can start by communicating your feelings about a situation rather than keeping it bottled up inside. When you are upset about something, the best thing to do is to communicate the problem rather than fight about it, or keep silent. That will only destroy the relationship.

Trust/Honesty
The only way to be in a relationship is if there is trust, and in order to trust you have to be honest with each other. It may be difficult to tell when someone is being truthful, but if you can trust the person then you are off to a great start. I say start with your gut feeling. If you feel that you can’t trust the person there is probably a good reason why.

Supportive
Being supportive of one another is so important. And this means being supportive in every way, when they are sad or happy, making a huge decision or deciding what to eat for dinner. To be in a good relationship you both have to be there for each other, through everything.

Being your own person
I think this is the most important sign in a good relationship. Of course when you first start seeing someone you want to spend all your time with this person, and as you get older your priorities change and so does your lifestyle as a single person. But if you can maintain being your own person separate from the relationship but still continue to have all of the above then you know you are in a great relationship.
Being with someone should not change who you are, but enhance who you are. Staying your own person will only allow for the two of you to grow together and make the relationship stronger.

Compromising, communication, trust/honesty, supportive and being your own person are just a few signs you are in a good relationship. If you are still questioning your relationship then maybe it’s time for a reevaluation.

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Staying Friends With Your Ex

Some people can stay friends with their exes, and others can’t. Sometimes it’s difficult to see or talk to the other person, especially if it starts to bring back memories with that person. It’s also hard to see them with someone else. So should we stay friends with our exes? Well, that’s totally up to you.

 I personally have never been able to be friends with my exes. I usually hate them for a long time after and then a few years later I may add them back to facebook and maybe even have a conversation or two. There are some I will probably hate forever, but it also depends on how the relationship ended. The few that ended decently are the few that I am acquaintances with today (after a few years and other relationships). The ones that ended badly are the ones I don’t think I will ever be able to be friends with.

Breaking up is a hard thing to do, and one of the hardest parts for me is losing that person who you spent so much of your time with, and shared your life with. It’s like losing your best friend. And of course when the break up is smooth your initial thought is “let’s be friends”. But it really isn’t that simple, especially right away. You still have feelings for that person, they don’t just disappear. Being friends right away can keep you confused about your feelings and make it harder to move on. But there is no reason why you can’t be friends in the future if the relationship ended nicely. You did share so much of who you are with that person, but then again, if you wait a few years you may no longer be the same person you were when you were together.

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Dating Friends

Ever thought about dating a friend? Maybe you and your friend have feelings for each other but thought it was weird to take it to the next level since you have been friends for so long. Or maybe you’re afraid of ruining a great friendship. Either way, you haven’t moved forward with dating a friend.

Well let me tell you a little something I learned, dating a friend may be the best decision you’ll ever make.
Where did you met your last fling or relationship? A bar? A club? A friends party? Were you sober? Probably not! Do you think that meeting someone while you are not in your right mind is the best way for a relationship to blossom? Don’t get me wrong, sometimes those relationships end up being life long, but those are the lucky ones! For the rest of us, do you really know that person you met at the bar? Do you know who they really are besides hot and maybe able to hold a decent conversation given the circumstances? No, you know nothing about this person. And then you go on a date with them and they are great! You get along, you have some things in common, it seems almost perfect! And then you date for a few months, a year etc… and you start to really get to know this person. You find out that you really have nothing in common, that they are really immature, they don’t like their family, they have interests in things you will never understand, they are liars, and the list continues. But you have already invested a few months, a year, or even a few years into this relationship and you’re not ready to let go just yet.  But in the end it just doesn’t work out.

Where do you meet your friends? Usually through other friends which most likely means you have things in common already. You were most likely sober and able to hold a conversation. And you already know you can hang out without it getting awkward.

Now I am not saying go and try to date a friend when there is no chemistry there. But if you ever felt something for a friend why not try it out, see if it will work. Unfortunately you risk the chance of losing that friend if it doesn’t work out, but if you both can be mature enough to be civil then why not try it? I think turning a friendship into a relationship may be the best way to go about your next one.

If you don’t have a friend you are interested in, maybe when you meet someone and there seems to be potential for a relationship, try being friends first. Get to know each other without before you decide if they are the one for you. Jumping into a relationship before knowing anything about the person may waste two years of your life.

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Time Heals Every Wound

Time heals every wound, seriously!

Sometimes it’s hard to think that one day you will feel better, you will be happy, you will smile again. Trust me, I know. It may take longer than you hope but eventually you will be happy again.
Some tips to help you move on and get over the heartache faster:

1. Delete him from facebook, or at least block him.

This really helps you to get over your ex. These days it’s no longer just “what if I bump into him on the street?” but “what if his status changes or his relationship status changes on facebook?” So block him because we all know that you will check his facebook page continuously, which in the end will make it harder for you to get over him.

2. If you feel the urge to text him, sober or not, text your bff instead.

This is a great tip. With all the new technology we feel the urge to send a text, or an email in these vulnerable times. Why? Because it’s impersonal and he doesn’t feel pressured to respond. But this keeps you attached and brings back the sad feelings. Rather than sending him a text or an email, send one to your best friend.

3. Keep yourself busy.

Keeping busy is an easy way to get your mind off your ex. Join a team or activity to keep you busy a couple nights a week. Plan girls nights, because a night with the girls is always a sure way to keep your mind occupied.

4. Allow yourself some grieving time

If you completely avoid grieving/mourning/crying etc… over the lost relationship, even if it was your idea, it will probably all come crashing down on you eventually. If you give yourself some alone time to get it all out at once then chances are you are in the right mind to finally get your life started again.

5. Do something fun!

I believe that when you break up with someone, it is important to do something really fun. For example, going to Niagara Falls for the night with your best friends or planning a shopping trip in Buffalo, or just getting away to a cottage for the weekend. Not only does this get your mind off the break up, but it gives you something to look forward to that doesn’t involve your ex. Trust me, doing something fun will help you remember that you are still able to have fun without him.

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Holding Back

I’ll never forget the first time I was broken up with for another person. The hatred I felt and the anger, it was overwhelming. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t work, I couldn’t eat. I thought “what is so wrong with me that he would leave me for someone else?” The time it took to get over that kind of heart ache crushes me to this very day. But then it happened again, and again. I never understood it, I couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea that someone could be with one person but have feelings for another. I wanted revenge; I wanted to feel better about myself. Why wasn’t I good enough? 

Failed relationship after failed relationship and the turnout was always the same; they found someone “better.” Then I met my most recent ex. We fell in love so fast (too fast maybe) and I thought that this was it, he was the one! We dreamed about our life together, getting married and having kids. We were naïve and blinded by what we thought was “real love”. As time went on that love never grew, never changed. Then things got worse, we got worse, we got to know each other, really know each other and that was enough to make us realize that maybe we aren’t who we thought we were and maybe we weren’t meant for each other.  Other factors played a part in our relationship ending, but part of that were some harsh realizations.  We didn’t break up for someone else, but part of the reason I pulled myself away from the relationship was because of feelings I was beginning to feel for someone else. And once I pulled myself away from the relationship I started to realize some things just weren’t right (refer to my first post).

I look back on that first heartbreak and realize now that you can’t help your feelings. If you’re with someone and there is someone better out there for you, why hold back? We all deserve to be as happy as we can, and if that means breaking one heart along the way, then go for it. Hearts are broken daily and everyone gets over a broken heart. Hell, I even experienced a broken heart when my most recent relationship ended, even though I knew there was someone else I would be happier with.

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Relationships

It’s amazing what it takes for you to realize the mistakes you are making. Especially when it comes to relationships. I wouldn’t say I am a relationship expert, but I would say that I have had enough experience in them to know a few things.
So ladies, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.

1.No guy should ever tell their lady they are fat, no matter what!

I let a guy “call” me fat for two years. And over that two year period I really thought that I was. Even though he would say things like “you’re sexy, your hot, etc…” the few times he would tell me to work out, or that my weight was gross was enough to make me feel more self conscious about myself than I ever thought possible. I started to begin to feel unsexy and my S drive hit rock bottom. I blamed myself for our lack of intimacy. I never put two and two together.
If your guy is telling you to go to the gym and you do not have a health issue or are overweight, then you are with the wrong guy. Here is my suggestion ladies, when a guy is telling you to do something for their benefit and not yours, they don’t have your interests in mind and they are not the guy for you.

2.You should always be a top priority.

I learned this one the hard way. In my relationship career I was never someone’s number 1. There were always other things like film, lacrosse, drinking, friends, hockey, refereeing, war reenactment… I was always second or third priority. In each relationship I let myself believe that not being number one was normal. I would compare my relationships with my friends and think “those guys are just whipped, they are not normal,” when in reality I was the one in the abnormal relationships. If you are being shoved aside for something “more important” then that guy is not worth it. Spend your time with someone who see’s you as one of the most important things in their life. Trust me, there are a lot of guys like that out there.

3.If wanting to spend time with each other is one sided, get out now!

This relates to the above statement. If your guy does not want to spend as much time with you as you do with him, then he isn’t ever going to want to. This problem caused a strain so tight on my last relationship that it’s one of the reasons that broke us. And during this time, I blamed myself. It didn’t help when my boyfriend called me needy, especially when I have heard from many people that I am not a needy person and very independent. Stop blaming yourself, you are not needy, your guy is just insensitive to your feelings. He should want to spend time with you, and as much time as possible. When you love someone, you want to spend all your time with them. Some time apart is good for both of you and the relationship, but a real relationship isn’t spending one night a week together or you always driving out to see him or going to the things he likes because that’s the only time you can see him.

4.Don’t leave feeling bad about yourself

If spending time with your guy leaves you feeling bad about yourself, then he isn’t worth it. I spent the last two years feeling bad about myself, feeling stupid or ugly or insignificant. I thought that I was being treated amazingly, but for some reason every time I wasn’t with him I felt like I just wasn’t good enough. I wanted to be better, but it wasn’t for me, it was for him. I needed to be better for him. If your guy is making you feel like you are not good enough just being you then he doesn’t love you. How can that be love if all he wants to do is change you? It’s not.

5.If he never wants to do the things you like, but expects it in return, he’s a jerk.

How can a guy expect you to do all the things he likes but sulk when it comes to doing the things you like? I spent every winter weekend watching hockey games, which isn’t so bad if your guy was actually playing or if you had someone to sit with. I watched the hockey games for the referee, the one person everyone in the stands hated, and I watched them alone. But when I wanted to go out to a bar for some drinks I either got “I’m tired” or “I hate downtown.” But if he did come, he would sit and sulk. How embarrassing!! Relationships are about compromise, you do the things he likes, he does the things you like. No questions, no sulking, no complaining. You don’t have to do the things together all the time, having your own interests and doing your own things is good, but when spending time together you should want to try to do the things your loved one likes to do, it shows you’re interested in their life.

It’s amazing how during any of my past relationships I didn’t see what was really going on. And most recently I thought that I was in the relationship for life. But I was lucky to have gotten a blessing in disguise that has helped me see that I deserve much more. If you are in a relationship and you’re questioning any of the above, just really think about it and ask yourself “is this really the best there is? Don’t I deserve more?” because you do! You just need to figure it out before it’s too late.

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