1. How To Recover From a Failed Relationship

    September 23, 2013

    lost love

    by Connie Jameson

    While looking for our one perfect love, we usually run across a few loves that only seem to be “the one and only”. And then we say goodbye to our illusions, which on the other hand usually helps us make the decision of breaking up with our partner.

    No matter whether the decision of separation comes from you or your partner, the recovery from a failed relationship is never easy. Living though this period sometimes takes a lot of time and in order to learn how to bear the whole process more easily, you need to have in mind some of the specialists’ advices that will help you turn back to your “normal” way of life sooner.

    Separate like grown-ups

    Save yourself the insults, arguments, unwanted arguments and infidelity. Be honest with yourself and your ex-partner and try to separate as friends.

    Remember that you won’t feel better if you start blaming your partner for everything that happened between you two, because it is very likely to get the same amount of insults and this usually means that things will get ugly.

    If you are married and you have made the serious decision of getting divorced, make it as quickly as you can – the sooner all divorce procedures end up, the faster you will be able to start your new life.

    Do not idealize your ex

    Often, some people who were walked out on, are inclined to create an idealistic image of the person who is no longer in their life and start blaming themselves for losing the Perfect One. Don’t do that. This way you will only create a non-existing image that you will not be willing to let go easily. Try to face the fact that everybody has their flaws. The same applies to your ex.

    Leave the home you have shared with your ex

    Try to do the same with all the places where you have been together. Do not put some salt in your own wounds and stop visiting your favourite places, trying to remember the good old days. Change your home, choose another restaurant where you can go in the Friday nights and keep yourself away from all the places that are able to recall the pain back.

    Find yourself a new hobby

    Start working out, or visit the local theatre more often, start going out with some friends, etc. In other words – start doing everything that you have wanted to do when you had a relationship. Watching romantic movies is strictly prohibited, you can see why, right?


    Prepare yourself for the changes in your life

    When it’s a fact, the separation and the failed relationship is hanging over your head like a sword, and you think that the pain will never go away. That is not the right approach. Try thinking of all the positive things in your life that are yet to follow. It is time to make changes.

    Do not make hasty decisions and start a new relationship very soon

    Some people rush into a new relationship right after they have broken up with someone just because they are scared of staying alone. Do not become one of these people.

    Wait for a while in order to put your feelings in order before letting yourself fall in love again. Have some rest in order to give yourself the opportunity of taking another person into your life. And the most important thing – when that happens sooner or later, do not compare the new person with your ex spouse. This is not healthy for your new relationship.

    Take advantage of the separation

    Make some conclusions from this painful separation. Analyze your mistakes, as well as the mistakes of your ex. Of course, don’t forget to point out your advantages. In other words – become a better person and starts loving yourself the way you are.


    Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fotorita/2587226758

  2. Ten Tips to Keep Your Social Media Presence from Destroying Your Marriage

    September 15, 2013

    It is undeniable that social media has immeasurable benefits in our modern society, however keeping up with an active social media presence can have devastating effects on your romantic relationships, especially marriage. Social media provides us with the ability to connect with people in our social networks and maintain relationships with distant friends that would otherwise fade away (remember your elementary school pen pal?). Even the most innocent of actions, like posting a new photo or a status update, can have a lasting impact on your relationship with your significant other. Social media and online networks are a large part of today’s constantly connected cultural milieu, and play a significant role in the way we interact with one another. It is also a primary means by which we gather information and share ideas; but like any tool, social media can be harmful if it is misused. Keep these tips in mind if you want to keep your social media presence from harming or potentially ending your romantic relationships.

    1.       R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

    Love, trust, communication, and respect. Those are key elements that the foundation a good romantic relationship is built on. Don’t let yourself fall into the ever present social media trap of putting your spouse on blast when they do something that irks you. Everyone makes mistakes, and yes, some are worse than others, but that is not an excuse to put your partner down in front of a virtual audience of Facebook friends or Twitter followers. No matter what the circumstances surrounding the issue may be, resist the urge to turn to social media to air out your dirty laundry. It’s far too easy for people to turn to social media when they want to feel like they are not alone in their dissatisfaction, but venting in the heat of the moment can have lasting consequences. It is not worth posting something you can’t take back just to feel like someone else is on your side when you have a disagreement with your significant other. Remember—deleting a post from your timeline or twitter feed does not delete the memory in the minds of the people who saw it before you realized it was a bad idea.

    2.       Adopt a “Cool Down” Period

    A “cool down” period is a mutually agreed upon time frame in which a couple can take a step back to reflect on the disagreement at hand before acting on their thoughts and feelings. Social media provides an easily accessible outlet to quickly and impulsively vent about your interpersonal problems, but just because you can vent online, doesn’t mean you should. Rallying others on your side and publicly shaming your partner is one of the most damaging things you can do in a relationship (even if you are still naïve enough to think after-the-fact damage control deleting does the trick). A good rule of thumb is to stay off of social media altogether when you are angry with your spouse. This will prevent any emotionally driven posts from making their way to your social network, which only serves to make matters worse when your relationship has already hit a speed bump. Reserve your opinion about the problem(s) you are facing in your relationship for you and your spouse…and maybe a relationship counselor.

    3.       Update Your Partner Before Your Social Network

    Take a moment to harken back to the days before the innovation of social media, when the only people who were constantly updated on your status were the few who were closest to you; not hundreds or thousands of acquaintances you stay connected to online. When your significant other has to find out about something that takes place in your life by way of a social media update that is shared with everyone else in your network, it can make them feel like you have grouped them into the same category as the acquaintances you rarely see. Making your spouse priority one when you have an update to share will show that you put them first, and that they hold a special place in your heart that the rest of your network does not. Adopt this strategy of making your spouse the first person to hear news you have to share, good or bad, and watch your relationship improve. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but it’s the small things like that which make relationships last.

    4.       Privacy Please!

    Social media has all but obliterated the idea of privacy, especially in romantic relationships. Certain things should still remain sacred in your relationship, which is why you and your spouse should agree on what is off limits when it comes to social sharing. Things like the intimate details of your relationship, screen shots of messages, videos or photos of your spouse should be kept offline (sleeping photos aren’t flattering for anyone, no matter how funny they may be). Respect your relationship and your partner by keeping some things offline and private. Ask yourself this question: at the end of the day, is sharing the intimate details of your relationship with your entire social network really bringing anything positive into your relationship? Chances are the answer is going to be a solid no 99.9% of the time.

    5.       Establish a United Front

    You don’t have to agree with your spouse on every issue, but you shouldn’t be actively rooting against them either, especially in front of the members of your social network. If you and your spouse disagree on politics or a topic that one of you happens to be particularly passionate about, be mindful of posting comments or links to websites or articles that actively go against those specific topics. This does not mean you are forbidden to talk about these issues, but if you do, try to keep it positive or at the very least objective. If you disagree with the viewpoints or ideals of your partner, keep it between the two of you and don’t announce it online.

    6.       What Would Your Spouse Think?

    Always consider how your spouse would feel if they saw everything you did online. Scary thought, right? Be a considerate partner, and think twice before publicly commenting. Consider how your spouse would feel if they saw that you liked an ex’s bathroom mirror duck-face “selfie”. Also, you might want to re-think having friends in your network that also double as skeletons in your closet. Regardless of how confident and secure your spouse is in your relationship and themselves, no one wants to see their significant other’s previous romantic partners interacting with them online. Social media can act as a catalyst for break-ups if used carelessly. According to a popular website that offers detailed divorce statistics, over 20% of divorce filings in 2011 contained the word “Facebook”. While Facebook may not be the core reason for divorces, it does provide an all too easy way for partners to act out in a manner that can easily lead to the dissolution of their marriage.

    7.       Insist That Family and Friends Respect Your Partner

    Respecting your spouse on social media not only applies to you, but your social network connections as well. If you find that you have a friend or family member that has strong negative opinions of your spouse or disapproves of your relationship, be clear with them about setting boundaries and enforce these boundaries if they cross the line. Hopefully those in your social network respect both your relationship and your spouse, but if they don’t, you may need to be clear with them that disrespect simply will not be tolerated. It may be a simple statement like, “Mom, I know you like to look at our Facebook pages to see what we are up to, but I would really appreciate it if you could make those comments to me in private.” Tell them to filter their thoughts before sharing them online, and if they continue to ignore your requests and passively disrespect your spouse from behind a keyboard, remove them from your network. It may seem harsh, but cutting off a Facebook friend and restricting your communication with them to the telephone or face-to-face is a much better option than allowing them to disrupt your relationship and cause unnecessary drama between you and your partner.

    8.       The Classic ‘Overshare’

    It may be your personality to share everything you do with the rest of your network, but if your spouse doesn’t share that same desire to be an open book, don’t include them in your habit of oversharing. The ‘overshare’ on social media is so easy to do because access to social media accounts is conveniently available for those of us who have a smart phone within reach at all times. That is not to say you should avoid sharing anything regarding your spouse, however. It is easy to quickly post about the cute thing your wife just said or the awesome DIY project your husband just finished, and that can have a positive impact on your relationship and make your spouse feel appreciated. You just need to know what is ok to share and what is off limits. You should not share everything, and you especially shouldn’t divulge the most intimate details of your marriage to your social network.

    9.       Were You Talking to Me?

    It has become so common for couples to spend more time connecting with their social networks than connecting with each other. Are you the couple that sits on the couch next to each other while your eyes are glued to your phone, tablet or laptop? You may feel like you’re spending quality time with your partner because you are physically close to them, but are you making a real connection? Instead of ignoring one another and exploring the lives of everyone else online, make the effort to inject some romance into your marriage and plan a special outing for just the two of you, completely void of social media. A fun night out on the town with your significant other is definitely a story worth sharing.

    10. “Vague-booking”

    If you are not familiar with the term, ‘Vague-booking’ is internet vernacular for those all too common, Facebook posts that leave readers questioning exactly what they meant. “Of course this happened to me” or “Here we go again” are examples of vague-booking. You might think it’s cute or poetic to toss out these undecipherable one liners, but posting a message that is subject to interpretation by those who see it can be a dangerous game when you are in a committed relationship. If your spouse sees one of your vague-booking posts and interprets it the wrong way, it could lead to a serious misunderstanding that results in an argument. Make the message of your social media posts clear to avoid misinterpretation by your significant other – you aren’t coming off as deep as you think you are and you are opening the door for unnecessary relationship problems.


    Relationships aren’t easy and it takes a lot of work to keep both parties happy. There are enough obstacles that get in the way of a peaceful marriage (hello, in-laws!) so why add social media to the list of challenges you and your spouse will have to face together? If you and your spouse are social media junkies, you may want to keep these tips in mind. If you don’t, instead of checking your Facebook profile every five minutes, you may find yourself checking your Match.com profile instead.

    Image Credit: Federico Ravassard – https://www.flickr.com/photos/federicoravassard/8552043273

  3. The Importance of Empathy in Your Relationship

    June 13, 2013

    romance and empathy

    by Jonathan Lenbuck

    In order for a relationship to be successful, having empathy for your partner is important. Of course, your partner also has to have empathy for you. We all have to work at our relationships to ensure we get the most out of the experience, while taking into account the other person’s feelings, wishes and needs. Yet for some people, fostering empathy as part of a close relationship can be difficult to achieve.

    What is Empathy?

    The word ‘empathy’ has only been part of language use for just over a century. Empathic capabilities in humans are considered to be a part of our emotional intelligence. When we empathise with another person, we are able to see things from their point of view.

    Some of you will be familiar with the phrase “Don’t judge a man until you have walked in his shoes,” which speaks of the importance of empathy and moral values. Empathic abilities enable us to form the basis of a moral code, based on how we believe other people would like to be treated.

    When we know someone well, we can very often predict what they would do in certain situations, based on our knowledge of that person. This is referred in psychology as “Theory of Mind.” Due to our empathic capacities, we can respond appropriately in social situations, and take socially appropriate actions in a range of different situations.

    Empathic Issues

    Like so many problems in psychology, a good way to emphasise the importance of empathy in our relationships is to look at what happens when someone has very few empathic capabilities. A number of psychological conditions can inhibit an individual’s empathic ability. Some of these are:

    When a person lacks empathy, their behaviour is not always what we might expect. Often, the individual may seem thoughtless or arrogant at times. In extreme cases, this can lead to cruelty and distress. However, for someone living with a psychological condition, it is not their fault if they say the wrong thing, or sometimes seem cold before they see your reaction.

    They are relying on your empathy to see things from their perspective. Those who have empathy learn to understand that no harm is meant by the occasional cutting remark. The individual was simply unable to foresee the impact their words would have, in the current situation.

    Some individuals tend to see things in black and white. When a person has a different opinion to them, they react negatively. They enter a defensive state of mind where they are unable to see the point of what the other person is saying. This means that collaborative work and discussion can be extremely difficult.

    Anger versus Empathy

    No matter what our capacity for empathy, when we become angry, our ability to empathise becomes compromised. When we become: frustrated, stressed, or angry it becomes difficult to see things clearly. Many of us will admit that when we get carried away in an argument, we can say things we don’t really mean in the heat of the moment. Then afterwards, when we have had the chance to calm down, we regret saying them and feel compelled to apologise.

    The Importance of Empathy in Close Relationships

    Having empathy for others is important in all relationships. We demonstrate our empathic abilities for a partner by identifying what that person is feeling. To have empathy for other people, we must be in touch with our own feelings. Good listening skills are valuable to enable great communication between partners.

    Someone with an empathetic nature is patient, kind and understanding. They accept that we all have flaws, but that we deserve to be loved in spite of them. Those wishing to learn how to become more empathetic should know that to have empathy for someone else, we must first love ourselves.

    Empathy in the Spotlight

    When couples come to a counselling session, they are asked how they feel about their relationship. Counsellors use empathic questioning, to encourage empathic thinking in other people. For example, a typical question frequently asked during a counselling session is: “How do you think your partner feels about your relationship?”

    In situations where a person has very little empathy, therapy can nurture vital relationship skills. Increasing an individual’s awareness about problems which may occur in future, and finding ways to deal with them is the role of the counsellor. Issues affecting a couple’s relationship are identified, and strategies are discussed so the couple can deal with them as they arise.

     Image CreditWirawat Lian-udom