Sunday, April 22, 2018

7 Steps to Ask Your Partner for an Open Relationship

7 Steps to Ask Your Partner for an Open Relationship

 Though not everyone is open to the idea of an open relationship, you can try these tactics to convince your partner to give it a shot. By Lianne Choo

So what exactly is an open relationship? In a nutshell, it means that both parties are totally fine with their significant other having sexual relations with other people. Depending on the couple, this could mean just sex or even building an emotional bond with someone else. At the end of the day, all open relationships have different rules and it is totally up to you how you want to pursue this.
No matter what you do, the key is to take it slow. Even if it takes weeks, months or even years to drill the idea into your partner’s mind, take your time with it. Not many people are open to this novel concept of dating other people, whilst in a committed relationship. So you have to look at it from their point of view. Gently urge them without coming on too strong or you will alienate them.
The last thing you want to do is to push your loved one to do something they are not comfortable with. Always remember to be patient and to not hold it against them, if things do not go your way. There is no doubt that it will probably take you dozens of in-depth conversations to get your partner on board but it will all be worth it in the end. 

How to ask your partner for an open relationship
Here are 7 simple things that you can say and do to get the conversation flowing.

#1 Casually mention it. The first step is to bring up the subject in an elusive manner. Try not to come right out and say it, and do not make it obvious at first that you want an open relationship. Many people do not even know what an open relationship is, and your partner may be one of them.
You should watch a movie together or recommend to your partner that he or she read a book or an article that touches on the topic of open relationships. Plant the seed in your partner’s mind and wait for the magic to happen.

#2 Bring up a success story. The next time you talk about open relationships, whether seriously or just in passing, bring up a success story or two. If you know couples who are happy in their open relationships, point out that they are happy, and that it is something worth trying.
Use celebrities as examples if you think it will help. Rumor has it that Hollywood star Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith have an open relationship. The same goes for celebrity chef Rachel Ray and husband John Cusimano. At the end of the day, the goal is to help your partner see that open relationships are not such a big, bad and scary thing, and that society is changing its stuffy views on conventional partnerships.

#3 Hang out with like minded couples. Another way to ask your partner for an open relationship is to spend time with like-minded people. An example is gently urging your loved one to head to a swingers club without going home with anyone. It is simply a matter of exposing your partner to this alternative lifestyle, and what better place to get a taste of it than at a sexy swinger’s club or bar? Let you partner flirt with someone else and get them excited about the myriad opportunities out there. 

#4 It’s only for sex. When you speak about having an open relationship, be sure to clarify the rules. The last thing you want to worry about is your partner agreeing to this, then falling for someone else. Make it clear that your open relationship will only be about sex, and emotional infidelity will not be tolerated. Of course, this all depends on the two of you and what types of rules you wish to set in place. Make sure that you discuss this important bit together and not shove it down your partner’s throat, and expect them to kowtow to you. 

#5 Explain why it works. Just like any salesman, you have to explain what the benefits are. Sell the whole idea of an open relationship to your partner, and focus on why it works and why it is better than what you currently have. Whether the two of you should sexually explore what is out there or if you simply want to spice it up a couple of times, share all the pros of an open relationship and hold nothing back. You will be surprised at the lengths your loved one will go to, just to see you happy.

#6 Be honest. You also have to remember to be honest. Springing the idea of an open relationship on your partner is hard enough for anyone to swallow. They will probably experience every negative emotion in the book, the minute you bring this up: sadness that you want this, disappointment that they are not enough, anger that you would do this to them, jealousy because you want to be with someone else.
The only way to dull the negativity is to be honest. It may not work right away, but it will eventually get through to your partner. Honestly explain to them why this is important to you, and they may just see the light sooner than you think. 

#7 Take your time. The final thing that you have to do when asking your partner for an open relationship is to take your time. Patience is certainly a virtue when it comes to this. Do not expect a breakthrough right away. As mentioned, this may take days, weeks, months or in some cases, even years to sink in. You have to wait until your partner warms up to the idea before embarking on sexual escapades.
If you truly love them, you will wait for them to be ready. Making a lifestyle change is not a piece of cake. Imagine how much discipline it takes to go to the gym three times a week or to be a vegetarian. Agreeing to let your spouse go out and sleep with other people takes time and plenty of thinking, so just be patient.
Always remember that there is a chance things may not go your way. There are cases where people have been known to walk out on their partners, because they asked for an open relationship. Some people are just not programmed to be accepting of this novel relationship idea so do not be surprised if your spouse is one of them.
Just remember not to force your loved one to do something they are not comfortable doing. Play your cards right, and you may be surprised that your partner may also be open to the idea of an open relationship.
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Why You Need Your Space in a Relationship ?

Why You Need Your Space in a Relationship man woman couple love sleep bed together

 Even if you love each other to bits, you and your partner must also spend time apart to make your relationship grow. Here are 5 ways to do just that! By Sarah Rogers

Most of us have seen it before, the couple attached at the hip, completely dependent on each other, and always doing absolutely everything together. I call them ‘you-complete-me’ couples because essentially one or both partners feel as though they could never do or be anything without the other.
I’ve been there before, and have witnessed my fair share of ‘you-complete-me’ relationships. While my personal experience took place when I was 16 years old, and still discovering a lot about myself and what I wanted, many people continue this type of relationship far into their adult lives.

What’s it like to be in a ‘you-complete-me’ relationship?
I can think of two people close to me that have entirely unhealthy ‘you-complete-me’ relationships. The first is my sister and her boyfriend. They met in high school, attended the same university, studied in the same program, worked the same internship, and to this day continue to have all of the same friends, hobbies, interests and goals.
My sister and her boyfriend literally don’t do anything without the other in tow. This is definitely an unhealthy relationship as it doesn’t offer either of them the chance to grow individually. It’s also extremely annoying to watch every single decision my sister makes revolve around her boyfriend. And I’m not just talking about big life decisions such as where to live and possible career options. I’m talking about basic every day decisions such as going out for dinner, or taking a vacation with family or friends. 

The second ‘you-complete-me’ relationship that I have to deal with on a daily basis is one of my best friends. She and her boyfriend live together, work together, and generally do everything together. While I also enjoy spending time with my boyfriend and cherish the time we have together during our monstrously busy schedules, I don’t find it necessary to do absolutely every single thing with him.
I know they’re in love, and it’s a wonderful thing to have your partner at your side. But this obsession with her boyfriend is becoming increasingly destructive to our friendship. I’ve tried several attempts to detach them and get some quality girl time!
I’ve tried suggesting a girl’s day out for manicures and something to eat. But, not only did she propose that her boyfriend could meet us for lunch, she even hinted that his hands could use some help. I didn’t care if he had disgusting callouses all over his body, I just wanted an afternoon with my friend to talk about whatever we wanted, and not be censored by her boyfriend’s presence. After numerous other invitations, all which were followed with “sure, I’ll see what Sam is doing first”, or “yeah, that’d be great. We’d love to come” I started to give up on ever getting time with her alone. 

Why do they have these relationships?
One of the central causes of these ‘you-complete-me’ couples is insecurity and unhappiness in oneself, in the relationship, or both. To start increasing the feeling of security and your happiness, it’s important that each part feels sure of their individualities.
One way to overcome these ‘you-complete-me’ relationships is to find a balance of space as a couple. Space as in the time you spend without your partner attached at your hip. Space in a relationship is essential in allowing a person to learn and grow as an individual, and motivate each partner to nurture and establish his or her own identity.

How can you have space in a relationship without getting lonely?
Though you may think spending some time without your significant other will turn you into a lonely mess, you’d be surprised at how much healthier your relationship can be when you spend a little time apart. Here are ways you can do that.

#1 First you need to learn to love yourself and enjoy your own company. Having time with and for yourself is essential to recuperate and be able to offer 100% of yourself, whether in your intimate relationship, at work or with your family and friends. If you don’t have the time to know who you are, and what you want in life, it’s hard to offer your best to other people in your life.
So take yourself to the spa, take an afternoon off reading at a coffee shop or even watch a movie alone. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it is something that you can enjoy, and give yourself time to reflect on… well, yourself. 

#2 You also need to discover and maintain your own friends group. While it’s nice to have close friendships that you share with your partner, it’s also exciting when you can call up a friend or two and arrange to spend time with people outside your relationship.
You must also stop insisting that a significant other can fulfill each and every one of our wishes and desires, as this is extremely unrealistic and unfair.
Your relationship with your partner shouldn’t be the only relationship that can fill your wants and needs in life. Other people should always be part of your life. You need friends, family members and other networks of people to offer a sense of community, and to identify with outside your relationship.

#3 It’s also really important to have your own hobbies and interests. Of course, you will share some of these with your partner, as it’s probably what brought you together in the first place. But being able to be a part of something individually will allow you to gain confidence, be aware of your personal goals, and generally be your own person.
So join a book or film club, work out at a different gym, take a night class or attend some events without your partner. Having something that is your thing is completely rewarding! You should also encourage and motivate your partner to have his or her own interests and hobbies!

#4 A big part about finding the right balance of space in your relationship is being completely honest with your partner. It’s not enough to say, “I need space” and leave it at that. Space in a relationship is generally perceived as a negative thing or as rejection, so you need to be honest and specific about what it is you need. If you are vague with your partner, they will most likely be left hurt and confused.
However, if you are specific why you need the space, your partner will be less likely to feel rejected and hurt. If you express to them what you feel you are lacking, or that you want to try something new, it allows your partner to be more supportive of your need for some time without him or her tagging along.

#5 Respect your partner’s needs. While you may ask for support in a new class or personal goal you’ve set for yourself, you should also respect what your partner asks for. If they show interest in a new hobby or express that they’d like to mix up their routine, you need to be supportive as well. A relationship takes the effort of both parties, so in order to find a balance of space, you need to make sure each of your needs are taken into account. 

Space in your relationship is a good thing.
Growing as a couple is important, but growing as an independent individual is important too. If you love yourself, have your own friends and hobbies, and have time to relax from your day to day responsibilities, you will be a happier individual with an established sense of self.
With a good balance of space in a relationship, you will actually end up appreciating your partner more, as you don’t take them or their time for granted. You will take the time to arrange special nights out, and making more of an effort when you spend time together.

Couples who respect one another’s space and independence have stronger relationships. So start taking those new dance lessons or take that solo trip you planned years ago, your relationship will be healthier if you just give it a fair shot!
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10 Ways to be a Better Listener in Your Relationship

10 Ways to be a Better Listener in Your Relationship

 Communication is a two-way street. Are you intently listening to what your partner has to say, instead of just waiting for your chance to speak? By Danielle Anne Suleik

Has your partner ever complained about your inability to hear what they are saying? It is probably not because you are hard of hearing. You just have a little problem when it comes to listening to your partner. Learn how to become a better listener by heeding what we have to say.
One of the problems that couples encounter in a relationship is miscommunication. This happens when one or both of you are unable to express yourselves in a way that your partner can understand. It can also be because you do not put much value in what your partner is saying.
No matter what the reason is, not listening to your partner can lead to bigger problems. When one person in a relationship fails to live up to their role as a partner, their connection becomes strained and it can lead to a break-up.
Communication is one of the most important parts in a relationship. If a couple fails to cultivate their ability to connect with each other, the relationship will not last for very long. It is not just about talking. It is about listening to each other’s thoughts and opinions. 

Not only that, you also have to be aware of their needs. If they are not saying it out loud, it means that they are expressing it to you in different ways or sentiments. If you feel that none of it is getting through to you, then the problem lies in your ability to really listen.
It is not just about hearing the words that come out of your partner’s mouth. You need to understand what they are saying, and take it to heart. Don’t just take any idea in a literal sense. You have to read between the lines as well.

What are the things that your partner wants to tell you?
In order to become a better listener, you have to be aware of what your partner’s concerns are. Before they even say anything, it is good for you to know what they might want to talk about. Everyone has a billion thoughts that they might want to talk about with their partner, but there are some topics that are more common for people in relationships.

#1 The little things. They can be chores, requests, favors or even a short narrative about how their day went. These things may seem unimportant at times, but the fact that you are paying attention to them can go a long way with your partner. If they feel that you are ignoring even the smallest of things in a conversation, it could hurt them more than you realize. 

#2 Their feelings. Some people would prefer not to talk openly about their emotions, but your partner may want to. If they feel that you are belittling their feelings, they might resent you and feel as if you are ignoring them. In a relationship, talking about feelings is not just an occupational hazard. It is also a privilege. Knowing how the person you love feels can solidify your bond, and allow you to learn more about them.

#3 Their doubts. If you are having communication problems, that could be the least of your concerns. Your partner may want to voice out their other concerns about your relationship, but your indifference might make them feel as if you are not concerned about it.

#4 Their complaints. It might feel like nagging, but a partner complains about you because you are doing something wrong in their eyes. If you listen carefully, you can find out if they are right and change your ways. If they are wrong, the least you can do is defend yourself and fix the problem together.

#5 Their appreciation. The most painful way you can ignore your partner is when you do not listen when they are expressing their love for you. They might be complimenting you or telling you how much they love you when you are not listening. When they realize that their efforts are being ignored, it could spell trouble for you and your relationship. 

How can you become a better listener?
Now that you know what to look for, you can start to hone your skills in order to become a better listener. Remember that it is not just about remembering what your partner says. You need to internalize it and respond appropriately when necessary.

#1 Hear them. Before you can listen, you have to be aware that your partner is talking to you. If you are busy and you hear them talking to you, stop what you are doing and talk to them. If you can’t do that, tell them that you will be with them shortly. Miscommunication happens when a person is too wrapped up in what they are doing and then fail to realize that their partner is talking to them.

#2 Apologize. If you did not hear your partner the first time, apologize and try to correct the situation. Try not to let it happen again, because an apology will not work on the same situation a second time around. 

#3 Make a note of what your partner is saying. If your partner complains that you keep forgetting stuff, write it down. Put it in a visible place or set an alarm on your phone or computer.

#4 Understand what they are saying. It is not just about knowing what language you and your partner speak. You need to think hard about what they are saying. You have to know how it affects you. You also need to know how you can help them if they are talking about a problem.

#5 Do not give unsolicited advice. Always wait for them to ask for your help. When they do not ask for it, do not just leave it at that. Ask them if they need your help.

#6 Do not interrupt them. Interrupting someone when they talk makes it harder for you to remember what it is that person is saying. It is also rude. Your partner may resent you for it. If you have something to say about the matter, wait until they pause or stop talking.

#7 Acknowledge what they are saying. Do not just stare blankly at your partner while they are talking. Always acknowledge them with enthusiastic nods or by saying words like “Yes”, “Uh-huh”, “I see” or anything that is appropriate for the conversation. It might seem like such a small detail, but they will appreciate you for showing that you are indeed listening to them.

#8 Do your best to give them what they need. If your partner is asking you for something that you can provide, try and remember to do it. If it is something that you can’t do for them, tell them your reasons and help them understand your decision. 

#9 Finish your conversations. Do not leave a conversation when it is not yet finished. This can lead to a misunderstanding. Always ask your partner if they need anything else. Make sure that whatever it is you are talking about is resolved before the conversation ends. If they end the conversation on their own, do not worry about it. Just don’t forget the things that have already been said.

#10 Keep your temper in check. No matter what your partner says, always think first before you react. If they are being aggressive and can’t handle their temper, do not ride the same waves they are. Be calm and keep a level head so you can solve whatever problem it is that you are dealing with.

Listening to your partner is not difficult. You don’t have to be a genius to communicate with your partner. If you can hone your communication skills, your partner will follow suit and any problem you used to have about listening to each other will be a thing of the past.
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Friday, April 20, 2018

Why Social Media is Killing your Relationship

Why Social Media is Killing your Relationship

 Are you addicted to Facebook, or have a chronic over-sharing problem? These seemingly innocent habits could have drastic effects on your relationship! By Minot Pettinato-Little

Social media is great for a number of things: staying in touch with friends and family, sharing photos and videos, and keeping abreast of the goings on of local businesses. However, it can also be a real pain in the butt: gossip galore, drunken posted pictures, and loosely known acquaintances journaling in their status updates about their life problems, and detailing what recipes they made for dinner.
Sharing life achievements? Great. Shameless link-spamming in status updates? Ugh. All this connecting can really get tiresome.
So what does it do for relationships? Not a lot of good, frankly. You may think you have to be obsessed with your online persona to experience troubles from the Internet, but sometimes the trouble isn’t you at all, it’s other users.

Social media habits that are ruining relationships
There are actually a number of things that make Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites a bane to the modern relationship.

#1 Oversharing. While you may think it’s okay to tell the world via Twitter or Facebook that you’ve just had the most outrageous fight with your boyfriend, he may not think it’s so cool to be so connected. If you’re the type to overshare, you may be alienating your mate by being the one who shares every tiny detail of what’s going on in your lives.
In reality, oversharing fights through social media is not only both childish and disrespectful, it’s also rude. You both have your mates, friends and family on your friends list somewhere, and do they need to hear about how you think their loved one is being a major douchebag?
But what if you’re sharing good things? Believe it or not, a lot of people still value their privacy. For example, did you get engaged and now you want to tell the world? Think twice before shouting it out on Twitter, before he even got the chance to tell his own mother! Just remember whether it’s good or bad news, there is such a thing as sharing too much. 

#2 You never stop networking. Are you obsessed with social networking? Are you consistently checking your Instagram, YouTube, Texts and Twitter via your cell phone? There’s nothing more annoying than trying to have a conversation with your romantic partner, while they’re checking their phone for the latest updates.
By consistently responding to texts and other forms of media, you’re essentially saying your partner’s company isn’t interesting enough to hold your attention. Not very loving, is it?

#3 Friends list drama. The friend lists can be one of the biggest stress factors in a relationship, whether it’s new or long-term. Imagine your girlfriend is friends with 200 guys, most of which leave sexual or flirtatious comments on her newest pictures. Not exactly the most secure feeling ever. Or what if your boyfriend is friends with a girl you absolutely hate or worse: his ex.
Not only do you have to worry about social connections, you also have to worry about incoming friends requests from random people who have ulterior motives.

#4 The jealousy factor. If you find your mate chatting with members of the opposite sex via social media on a regular basis, you may have reason to worry. This worry can lead to paranoia, jealousy, snooping, and fights. Snooping into your mate’s social media account or their friends’ pages can be one of the most terrifying experiences for a couple. What if you find flirtatious messages, sexy photos, or incriminating evidence of their whereabouts on another friend’s wall?
What’s even worse is when you find nothing at all, and realize that you’re being suspicious over absolutely nothing.

#5 It makes you narcissistic. Facetime and Skype are just new ways we look at our own reflections, isn’t it? How many people choose for their chatting partner to have the bigger Skype window? Not to mention, those with huge followings over social media may start to let their “likes” go to their head. The attitude that you are all-important and ultra-popular can make your partner see just how self-involved you are. 

#6 The invitation to flirt. Using social media is like having a formal invitation to flirt. It’s as simple as using too many emoticons or carrying on too long with someone commenting on your picture. Maybe you view these interactions as innocent, but the random guy who was searching the hashtag #Blonde and happened to come upon your hot photo? Yeah, he doesn’t care how innocently you meant your winky-face to come off, nor does he limit himself to his interactions with you, just because you have a boyfriend or a husband.
People online don’t care what your relationship status is because they don’t have to. After all, they don’t know you. Therefore they make that invitation to flirt seem all the more innocent. Always think about your spouse when you have these interactions online. If you reversed the situation and stumbled upon a chat between your boyfriend and a girl who was flirting with him via an Instagram photo, how would you feel?

#7 “The Ex Effect.” Yes, your ex existed and your new beau will just have to get over that fact. But does he or she need to see tagged pictures of your ex slammed all over his newsfeed?
The fact is that many people stay friends with their ex via social media, and it’s usually an invitation to disaster. One night of reminiscing via Facebook may lead to video Skyping, which could lead to coffee and before you know it, you’ve completely reconnected with a person whom you were supposed to leave in the past.
Even if this hasn’t actively happened, the threat will always be there, no matter how long it has been. In most cases, you need to remember that this person is your ex for a reason. The past should stay in your past, especially if you are trying to move on with your future. 

#8 Cheating. This is the big one, the full Monty of social media woes: Cheating, and its unfortunate ties to social media. Think about it: If you’re a man and you see a hot girl walking down the street, you see her once. No harm done.
But via social media? You can stalk her photos and keep her in your mind and your consciousness from the comfort of your tablet screen. Is that the image you want to have of your mate as they’re browsing through their feed over their phone? Sure, this may imply a complete lack of trust in your partner, but the sad truth is that expansion of the Internet has made it all too easy for people to cheat and get away with it.

There is already way too much drama spent on social media without getting your romantic relationship involved. Play it smart, and keep social media in its proper place!
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