30 Things Divorced People Think You Should Know About Marriage

Just because someone is divorced doesn’t mean he or she didn’t walk away from a failed marriage without learning some valuable lessons on marriage. Quite the opposite, actually.It’s in failure that we often garner our most strength and wisdom. Like Janet Fitch says, “The phoenix must burn to emerge.”

Divorced people have “burned” and emerged, and most often for the best. We know better — we want better. We understand marriage in an intimate yet difficult way. Some of us wish we did things differently — some of us wish we had married a better fit. No matter what the tale, you can learn a lot about the value and delicacies of marriage from someone who loved and lost.

1. Your marriage is not as good as your vows. It’s what you put into it each day.
2. The roots of your love need to run deep from the start. If the love is attraction- or surface-based, the love will die.
3. Some parts of your marriage will be frustrating, but love enough to be patient to ride out the lows and receive the highs.
4. The grass is not always greener. Even if it looks more lush, you don’t know the quality of the soil.

5.  Tend to the garden of your marriage, lest it get overrun by weeds.

 

6. It’s more than the ring. Can you imagine growing old or being sick with this person?
7. It’s best to cool off alone before throwing down harsh words in a fight.
8. Both of you need to take turns steering the wheel.
9. If your partner backs away and avoids talking, you may have to wait for them to come back around. Patiently.
10. Marriage is not always exciting. Finding the joy in the day-to-day will serve your marriage well.
11. A good marriage means getting your hands dirty. Participating each day. Not expecting perfection.
12. We are all under construction as works in progress. Accept your partner as long as he or she is working on it.
13. Intimacy is the one thing that separates your marriage from your other relationships. Nurture it.
14. A good marriage requires two people who are both still learning about life and each other.
15.  Sometimes, marriage requires you to bend down and tie your partner’s shoes when he or she just can’t do it.
16. Expect there to be some serious storms in your marriage. You might question your love for your partner and feel alone at times.
17. But good marriages have two partners who work through tough times and see the light of a brand-new, better day.
18. A good partnership is simple, really. It just feels easy — most of the time.
19. If your partner feels like he or she has an eye, hold, or lock on you, it’s not love. It’s toxic control.
20. Love is letting the other party rest sometimes and be lazy. We can’t be our best selves 24/7.
21. And the simple little gestures you do or DON’T do each day add up . . . or subtract.
22. Doing those little gestures can lead to great changes for the good in a marriage.
23. Creating lots of joy, love, and more time to connect and “deposit” in each other’s love accounts is important.
24. Don’t be surprised if you two have issues that can feel as if they’re taking a long time to get over.
25. In marriage, as in life, slow and steady wins the race rather than rushed and hasty.
26. There will be small, tiny moments in your marriage that will feel like heaven. Enjoy that paradise.
27.  Savor it.
28. And let both of you enjoy the fruits of your life. Each of you deserves many bites of happiness.
29. Never let anyone else in your intimate emotional space. Those little “affairs” do so much damage to a marriage.
30. Decide each day to be true to yourself and your partner. Your word and deeds are all your partner has to go on.
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Is This The Reason So Many Relationships Fail?

Eli Finkel, a US university professor specializing in social psychology reckons there’s a very common reason modern relationships fail—and it’s all about our expectations. In an interview with The Atlantic about his new book The All-or-Nothing MarriageFinkel explained he considers many people in relationships too idealistic.

Basically, rather than just being content that our partner provides us with a spare pair of hands to sort out the home and go about our daily lives, we’re expecting them to be everything to us.

We are, he reckons, demanding WAY too much of them. A lot of modern couples expect their significant other to love them because, duh, but also to “help them grow” and become our best selves. We want them to make us feel attractive, smart, hilarious, sexy, basically all the things all the time. And this, he says, is putting so much pressure on our relationships that we are totally screwing them up.

Why though? Finkel says in the past 100 years, marriage and relationship expectations have blurred due to cultural changes.

In his The Atlantic interview, he said:

“I would just urge everybody, think about what you’re looking for from this one relationship and decide, are these expectations realistic in light of who I am, who my partner is, [and] what the dynamics that we have together are? If so, how are we going to achieve all of these things together? Or alternatively, how can we relinquish some of these roles that we play in each others’ lives, and outsource them to, say, another member of your social network?”

What he’s saying is, in order to not overload your partner with expectations, you probs could maybe go to a pal or family member for the assurances your partner can’t give you. And that’s totally fine.

He continues:

“The question isn’t, ‘Are you asking too much?’ The question is, ‘Are you asking the appropriate amount, in light of the nature of the relationship right now? ‘The idea of ‘going all-in’ is, ‘Hell yes. I want to ask my spouse to help make me feel loved and give me an opportunity to love somebody else and also [be] somebody who’s going to help me grow into an ideal, authentic version of myself. And I’m going do the same for him or her. I recognize that that is a massive ask, and because I recognize that that’s a massive ask I’m going to make sure that we have sufficient time together. That when we’re together we’re paying sufficient attention to each other, that the time that we’re investing in the relationship is well-spent.'”

So if Finkel’s theory is true, we need to accept most of our expectations are a tad too much. In order to avoid constant disappointment and inevitably, the end of our relationship, we need to not pile too much pressure on that one person.

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By: Paisley Gilmour for Cosmopolitan

9 Tips For Surviving a Long-Distance Relationship

As someone who was in a long-distance relationship for two years and is now currently in another one, I know all the pains that come with being in an LDR all too well. Sure, distance makes the heart grow fonder, but it also downright sucks. It’s not the most frugal dating option, not to mention how difficult it is to not be able to see your significant other anytime you want. Although long-distance relationships aren’t the easiest, they aren’t impossible to survive either — as long as you keep these nine things in mind.

  1. Assume that it’s going to be really tough: Let’s just get this one out of the way. It’s great to have a positive attitude going into a long-distance relationship, but you should also expect to encounter many bumps along the way. Once you embrace the challenge, you’ll be better equipped to get through the more difficult moments and won’t be as tempted to give up when you’re put to the test.
  2. Always have your next visit planned: You need to give yourselves something to look forward to. Each time you reunite, discuss when the next time you’ll be seeing each other will be. Secure the date, add it to your calendars, and start counting down.
  3. Facetime as much as you can: Trust me, seeing each other face to face will help your relationship more than a phone call can — even if it’s just through a screen. It’s obviously not the same as being together in person, but it’s the next best thing you’ve got. It’ll also make you more focused on your conversation without being able to multitask as easily.
  4. Woo each other: Surprise each other with mailed letters, homemade goodies, or any other thoughtful things you can imagine. Think of how your relationship was when you two first started dating and pull out all the stops. Small and sweet gestures can go a long way.
  5. Make your visits count: You don’t get time together often so when you do see each other, take full advantage. This doesn’t mean you always have to have an extravagant plan on hand; being present is enough. Put your phones away and give each other the time and attention you don’t often get to enjoy.
  6. Celebrate the little things: And this includes cheesy holidays you’d normally skip if you were together. Celebrating personal accomplishments, relationship milestones, and even National Pizza Day together while apart will help you both feel more connected. Plus, it’ll also give you an excuse to make a visit or do something nice for one another.
  7. Get a travel rewards card ASAP: Spending money on visits can really add up, so you might as well rack up points you can use towards your next trip. Most credit cards come with bonus miles when you first sign up, while some come with companion fare tickets, so be sure to take advantage of all the perks.
  8. Make your visits a vacation opportunity: Instead of flying into their hometown, pick a city to meet in! It’ll allow you two to experience new places together and make visits even more fun.
  9. Be in it to win it: If only one of you is fully invested in making your long-distance relationship work, it won’t. Like any other successful relationship, it takes two willing partners. Make sure this is something you both equally desire because giving halfhearted effort just won’t cut it. You should also have a serious conversation about what you both expect out of this relationship. How long are you both willing to endure long-distance? Is relocating an option? Envision a future together and create a game plan to make it happen. If you both want it, you’ll make it work!

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By: Nicole Yi for Popsugar

10 Crazy-Simple Things All Guys Want During Sex

Sex is simple; It’s everything surrounding sex that’s wildly complicated.

And just because this is about the things all guys really appreciate during sex, sex is actually about two people (or hey, three or four) taking care of each other’s needs. You should be with someone who is willing (and excited) to give you the same respect and attention in the bedroom he himself wants.

1. An orgasm. Although this is not to say that sex can’t be awesome without one. But orgasms are kind of why you show up to sex in the first place, much the same way the only reason anyone goes to baseball games is to eat hot dogs. Sure, the game is fun, but if you don’t get a hot dog, why did you go?

2. Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm goes a long way, and hopefully you and your partner are both very enthusiastic in bed. That in and of itself is a huge turn on. The opposite end of the spectrum for anyone would mean just laying there while having sex done to you. And while there are probably some people out there that would… appreciate… that, most people would probably find it off-putting.

3. Ambient noise. Absolute and complete silence during sex usually means you’re not enjoying yourself or worse, you’re asleep. So by all means, be vocal. It’s the best barometer he has for knowing if he’s doing it right.

4. Foreplay. Foreplay is incredibly important. Without foreplay, it’s like a roller coaster without that slow climb to the top of the track. It’s just the drop. The anticipation is key. Granted, rides that are just drops are literally “Tower Drop” rides and (like foreplay) they have their time and place. But they’re not as good as roller coasters. This is a fact.

5. The lights on. Men are all about the visuals. So of course they’d like to have the lights on so they can stare deep into your boobs eyes during sex.

6. Compliments. It’s not like he needs to hear “good job! You’re doing great!” every thirty seconds, but a little bit of positive dirty talk goes a long way. Say some nice things about his penis if you’re ready to wrap things up.

7. Communication. Communication is critical to good sex. That doesn’t mean you need to be shouting out plays or stopping mid-coitous to make a pros and cons list of doggy style. Your foreplay doesn’t need to be trust falls. Communication can involve talking, but it can also be through wordless understanding. Or maybe expressing a desire to try new things beforehand so you can feel it out without stopping the action. Essentially, it’s about working as a team to get each other off.

8. Variety. Variety is always great. It’s why people love buffets. Using more than one position is never a bad thing.

9. A shared workload. No one wants to do all the work. Give each other a break from thrusting and grinding and all the other sex verbs you’re doing to get off.

10. A post-sex nap. Sex is exhausting. Sleep it off.

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By: Frank Kobola from Cosmpolitan

10 Stupidly-Simple Things All Women Want in Bed

Everybody has different taste in bed, but there are a few things that are pretty universal. If you want to make sex better for your partner, start here.

1. A partner invested in my pleasure too. A woman is not your hand, a fleshlight, or any other masturbatory aid. Don’t just use her body till you orgasm and then roll over and assume she had a great time too, because that’s not how it works. Being a good partner is about putting in equal effort. You don’t want to be the person who bailed on the group project all semester, just to swoop in and take credit for the A at the end.

2. Peace of mind when it comes to protection. Be prepared, and assume we’re doing it with a condom unless otherwise agreed upon beforehand. Don’t pressure me to take it off halfway through or look at me dumbfounded with your dick hanging out of your pants like you’ve never heard the word “condom” before. Just don’t do it! I will walk out. I really will.

3. An orgasm. Sex shouldn’t end with just the male orgasm — especially if she hasn’t had one yet. If you’re going to be too exhausted after you orgasm, make sure she’s taken care of beforehand. It’s not rocket science. If you know, for sure, you’re going to get yours, wouldn’t you want your partner to enjoy herself too?

4. Communication. There’s a time and a place for wordlessly-grunty sex, but having a partner who asks if you’re into something or if you want it another way is also nice. You don’t get any extra points for making it to the finish line without saying a peep.

5. A clean bed. It’s really, really hard to let yourself go and enjoy yourself if you can feel your calves brushing up against any sedimentary layers of sweat, grime, and hookups past on his Target comforter with every grunt.

6. A spare phone charger. If I have to call an Uber afterwards, I want to be able to listen to music or check Twitter on my ride back, and I can’t do that if I stupidly let my phone just rot for the nine and a half minutes we had sex. And if I’m staying the night, I might still want to check Twitter if you fall asleep before me. Sue me!

7. Foreplay. It’s not a race to the finish line! You can take your time and draw stuff out and enjoy yourselves. A little patience will carry you a long, long way. Besides, if the orgasm was the only thing that mattered about sex, I’d be dating the USB brick that charges my vibrator.

8. Sock removal. Please, please remove your socks before sex. It’s just so weird to see someone like, fully naked but still wearing socks that it can really take you out of the moment. Plus, then you run into the weird thing of like, “Should I have left my socks on?” “Do they not like feet?” “Do they think my feet are ugly?!” and spiraling into a hole of foot-based anxiety, which is not a place anybody likes to be.

9. Realistic expectations. Please don’t climb into bed with me just to morph from Jake in Accounting to Ron Jeremy. Porn sex is cool and all, but real life sex isn’t always like that, and I resent the notion that it’s totally normal for a guy to flip you over wordlessly and try to stick it in your ass while calling you a dirty slut and telling you he’s gonna finish in your hair. Like, we just watched three episodes of Frasier on your laptop, stop acting like your convertible 2-bed is a sex dungeon. Chill.

10. Enthusiastic cunnilingus. Self explanatory.

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By: Carina Hsieh for Cosmopolitan

6 Reasons You Should Absolutely Delete All Those Photos With Your Ex

When The Weeknd deleted all hints of Selena from his Instagram, people definitely noticed. Compared to the fact that both celebrities immediately returned to their respective celebrity exes, this part of the breakup was by far the most relatable. Who hasn’t purged selfies with their now-ex? It can feel dramatic and cathartic.

But clearing out digital memories can also be complicated. According to Dr. Jesse Fox, Assistant Professor in the School of Communication at Ohio State University, “the hardest part about being on social media in this situation is that your business becomes very public [during] a time when most people would prefer to keep things private. Everything you do is going to be scrutinized or interpreted by people in different ways.”

While getting rid of your ex’s photos on social media feels like it invites gossip, it’s actually a much healthier (and infinitely faster) way to get over the heartbreak. Here are seven reasons to absolutely do it:

1. Staring at your photos might make you forget why you broke up in the first place.

According to a study by Dr. Fox and Dr. Robert S. Tokunaga on “Romantic Partner Monitoring After Breakups,” keeping tabs on an ex on social media led to “greater current distress over the breakup, more negative feelings, more sexual desire, more longing for the ex-partner, and lower personal growth.” And even if you unfriended them, holding onto the flawlessly-filtered highlight reel of your relationship does you no favors.

“You have a higher desire to be back in the relationship because you’re looking at the best times,” says Dr. Fox. “You’re getting this rose-colored view of what your relationship was like, and if you’re constantly reminding yourself of it, it’s going to be harder to move on.”

2. It forces you to remember how much everyone else loved you as a couple, too.

Yes, your Eiffel Tower pic together is your most-liked Insta to date. It also needs to go. “There are other people’s recollections of your relationship that are really hard to avoid,” says Dr. Fox. “You get that social reinforcement when you’re in a relationship, so often seeing those comments and likes from friends, your partner’s family, or people you didn’t even know before you met your partner, can also be really stressful in the wake of a breakup.”

Hell is other people’s heart-eye emojis under your romantic beach grams. Delete, delete, delete.

3. Future partners might feel like you’re still into your ex.

According to Dr. Fox, “there’s such visibility of your former relationship to future partners” when you keep up old photos. Even if the breakup was a long time coming and ended mutually, your new Tinder date might worry when they see pics of you together from only a month ago.

“I would ask yourself why you want to keep them [on your profile]. What are other people going to get from seeing this information?”

4. It makes it so easy to creep on other aspects of your ex’s life.

Even if you unfollowed them on Instagram and spared yourself the unexpected updates on their lives, if they’re still tagged in your pics together, you’re only a click away from luring yourself back to their page. “It’s easily accessible – you go out and have two glasses of wine at happy hour and then it’s right there in your hand at any moment,” says Dr. Fox, who recommends taking the extra step of temporarily deleting the apps off your phone post-breakup. “If you take the apps off your phone, then you have to reinstall the apps, login, remember your password, and by the time you had to process and take all of those steps, hopefully you’ve gained a little mindfulness about the situation.”

Basically, when in doubt, block it all (at least for now).

5. If your ex is a remotely kind human, they’ll understand why you need to do it.

If your ex is capable of basic empathy, they won’t prioritize the optics of your past relationship over your emotional needs. “Have a conversation about it; maybe it’s better to de-friend each other or stop following each other for a little while,” says Dr. Fox. “And then when you’ve moved on and you’re not ruminating over the relationship, then you can make that connection again.”

And if your ex is the type of person who would gleefully screenshot your profile and brag about how hurt you must be if you deleted the pics: congratulations, you dodged a bullet. All the more reason to remove every trace of them from your phone.

6. There’s no good reason not to.

If you think you might want to look at the photos again someday, you can always save them on a hard drive that you don’t access right now. “It’s not that they necessarily have to disappear; you just need them out of your line of vision every day if you expect and want to get over the relationship,” says Dr. Fox.

Choosing to keep them up on your profile that you know you check multiple times a day is choosing to stall moving on – whether it comes denial that it’s really over, or denial that you maybe miss your ex, or just a general fear of people judging your post-breakup pain. If you truly want to live your life and reconnect with friends and one day be ready for a new relationship, the remnants of your old one only hold you back.

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By:   for Cosmopolitan

10 Types of Sex People Who’ve Been Dating Forever Have

1. Angry Make-up Sex. Make as many arguments as you want for being perpetually single and free. You’ll never get to have make up sex where you simultaneously can’t wait to not be fighting anymore, but also let out any leftover aggression. There’s a very strong argument for this being the unequivocal best kind of sex.

2. Casual Masturbation. Sometimes, you can’t be bothered to go through all fanfare and hullabaloo of sex. So instead, you just rub one out through your pajama flap while you lay in bed together. Ah, romance!

3. “Let’s Get Out of Our Comfort Zone” Sex. It should be noted that “comfort zone” is subjective. Some couples might see it as buying a pair of fur handcuffs. Others might just want to introduce a few new positions or watch some porn together. Other couples might go to orgies. Who knows! But once you’ve been in a relationship for long enough, there comes a time where one of you says, ‘Hey, I think we should really switch things up.’

4. Incredibly Lazy Sex. There are days where you wake up hungover, or groggy. There are nights where you’re tired but horny. In a long-term relationship, it’s fine to just go at it with the bare minimum every once in awhile.

5. Rediscovering-sex Sex. In a long enough relationship, you go through peaks and valleys in the amount of sex you’re having. Any long-term couple has had a bit of a dry spell together followed by a tornado of intimacy.

6. We’re-Supposed-to-be-Ready-in-Five-Minutes Sex. Sometimes you just can’t help it and you wind up wildly late to that fancy dinner thing. It’s not his fault you look irresistible dressed up.

7. Vacation Sex aka They’re-Going-to-Have-to-Light-This-Hotel-Room-on-Fire-After-We-Leave-Because-They’ll-Never-Get-Rid-of-the-Smell Sex. Seriously, how is every hotel not a biohazard by now?

8. Baby-Making Sex. At some point in the relationship, couples might decide to have kids. And having sex with the goal of procreation in mind is a whole different beast with two backs. There are schedules to adhere to and menstrual cycles to keep track of, and it can sometimes even feel like an obligation. Like how you might love McDonald’s french fries, but if you worked there you’d get sick of them.

9. We-Actually-Have-Time-to-Ourselves Sex. As couples get older, their obligations change and pile-up. Promotions at work mean spending more time at the office. Friends and kids and the kids of friends and your kid’s friends all eat up your schedule. Sometimes, you have sex just because you actually have a few hours to yourself.

10. Sex. Sex doesn’t really change that much. Long-term couples are still having sex whenever they want. And while they’ve got more experiences together under their belt, they’re still just having good old- fashioned sex.

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By: Frank Kobola for Cosmopolitan

How Do I Stop Being Jealous for No Reason?

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for seven months and we’re about to head off to college. He’s going two hours away from home and I’m going out of state. This relationship has been so incredible and I’m so excited to see where we go in the future. However, I have a really bad habit of getting jealous, even though he has given me no reason to be and has been nothing but reassuring, kind, and loyal to me. How do I allow him to make friends and stop being so clingy and smothering?

I feel for you: Dating someone who’s headed off to college sucks. You aren’t wrong to feel jealous. It’s normal to freak out and imagine he’s kissing some co-ed while you’re studying. It’s scary to send a boyfriend or girlfriend off to start a new phase of life. But extreme jealousy has a funny way of blowing up in your face, if not making all your worst fears come true. You’re smart to try and get ahead of this problem.

To help you deal with these inevitable feelings, first I think you have to accept a few lousy things about distance because they’re unavoidable. Here’s a random assortment of a few: 1. He’s not always going to text or call when you want. 2. He’s going to be busy when you’re not. 3. He’s going to make lots of new friends. 4. Some of them will be cute girls. 5. You’re going to see something on someone’s social media that bothers you. 6. Clueless friends are going to say insensitive things about how he’s definitely fooling around. 7. He’s going to want some space. 8. No matter what, you’re not going to be able to see or talk to him as much as you’d like. 9. Sometimes, his phone really is going to die. And all of the same things will be true for you as well when you’re settling into your new college routine.

I’m not trying to scare you. It’s just that there are dozens of ways in which this long-distance relationship is going to be hard—and if you start off hoping that it’s going to be smooth sailing, you’re bound to be disappointed and jealous when you discover it’s not so easy.

Then next year, be realistic and pick your moments. Think: quality phone calls and visits, not constant contact. Make a few reasonable plans in advance: In addition to regular check-ins, consider scheduling a standing phone call every Sunday night or a visit every other weekend. Sometimes, when things go wrong, you can help control your jealousy if you’ve got a plan on the books to look forward to. Remember that it’s healthy to talk about how much you miss him, but there are degrees: Be honest about your feelings, but don’t lay a guilt trip on him every time you say goodnight.

My big-picture advice: Take care of yourself first. The more you think about him than yourself, the more jealous you’ll be. Practice being alone a little bit before he goes. Don’t just think about missing him—think about all the new things you’ll do at your new school. Keep yourself busy with clubs, classes, meeting new people. If you’re happy and busy with your own life, you’ll be less likely to obsess over his and smother. Remember that obsessive jealousy is just never a good look, and there’s nothing more attractive than a woman who’s got her shit together.

My boyfriend and I have been dating for close to three years. He comes from a relatively strict Catholic family, and they are conservative pro-lifers. I, on the other hand, am very liberal and I do not hold back from making my feminist viewpoints known. My boyfriend however does not see the importance of feminism, and doesn’t find it necessary. He believes men and women already have completely equal rights. Every now and then I try to educate him a little, but he’s pretty firm in his beliefs and has “evidence” of his own to back up his viewpoints, so I usually let it go. Ultimately, his behavior never broaches sexist, and that’s the most important thing for me. I’ve been hearing about a 2018 Women’s March and I was unable to attend the first one, so attending the next one is incredibly important to me. I asked my boyfriend if he’d go with me, and he said he would, but then asked if I’d join him for the March for Life in January. As you can guess, this is not something I want to do at all. The two events stand for completely different things and even though I want to support him, I want to show no support for the pro-life movement. What do you think I should do?

This is a fascinating problem. If I’ve got this right, your boyfriend is a nice guy who treats you well. But he’s also willfully, extremely clueless: Every time anyone tells him about gender-based discrimination (the wage gap, sexual assault rates, domestic abuse stats, sexual harassment headlines, campus rape stories, etc.) he sticks his fingers in his ears and la-la-la’s or tosses out anecdotal counter-evidence because he is certain that everything is absolutely equal and fine and good. But it’s not.

My first thought is: As a woman, it’s going to be really hard to have a long relationship with a guy who denies the fundamental realities of your life. He doesn’t have to call himself a “feminist” and be woke on social media. But he does have to grapple with facts if he’s going to honestly engage with your life. I worry about what happens when he tells you that, no, you’re wrong about how you feel about your life, your experiences, and the forces that shape them.

But my answer to your question is actually quite simple:

Go to the Women’s March or any upcoming event you’d like, whether that’s with your boyfriend, your girl friends, or yourself. Do not cut a deal and agree to go to the March for Life, because you should not be strong-armed into supporting a cause you disagree with as part of some kind of 50/50 deal, regardless of the cause. Sure, if you’re interested in the March for Life, check it out. But if you fundamentally disagree with something, stand by your principles, and explain that you’d rather not lend your support to a movement you oppose.

All I’ll add to that is that I hope you spend some time thinking about what it means to be with a man with such strict conservative beliefs who refuses to see the discrimination all around him. I’ve known couples who got along fine before the big issues came up—but fought like hell when life got more serious and those fundamental disagreements started to have a bigger impact on everyday life. This is just one March, but if this relationship lasts, you’ll want a traveling partner you can trust on the long road ahead.

This weekend I got very drunk with a friend of mine. We ended up making out. I’m not sure what happened because I had blacked out. I feel bad since it was my friend’s first kiss. We’re both gay, I’m a lesbian and she’s bi. I tried telling her that I’m not interested in anything serious, especially with a friend. I just went through a rough breakup with someone I had lots of friends in common with. Ever since that weekend, I’ve noticed her looking at me a lot more and differently, like she’s in love with me. She talks to me that way too. How do I explain that I don’t have feelings for her and I’m not going to kiss her again, without hurting our friendship? 

Look, you can’t help it if you’re an amazing catch (and, sounds like, an amazing kisser). Sometimes, people are just going to fall for you. Since this was your friend’s first kiss, it’s no wonder she’s crushing especially hard on you.

You’re on the right track and this is going to be fine: You’ve just got to figure out how to let this woman down easy. That begins with watching your behavior. It’s all fine and good to say, “I just want to be friends,” but if you start making out with her the next time you get drunk, she’s not going to believe you. And there’s a whole world of grey area in between. The best way to send a clear message is to stop sending mixed messages. Create some distance. Play it cool.

Most of all, if you don’t want to hook up with her, be clear about that. It sounds like you’ve almost said the right thing. You told her you’re not interested in “anything serious” with a friend. But that’s not the truth, is it? You don’t want to casually hook up again, do you? If you don’t want anything romantic or sexual with her—serious, casual, otherwise—tell her that. “I like you as a friend—but just as a friend. It was a mistake to hook up with you and I can’t do that again.” Don’t leave any wiggle room. Don’t make excuses or over-explain it. (If you blame it on your break-up, she might just think you need some more time before you make out again.) It might sound ten-percent more harsh to be clear, but it’s necessary. In love, as in home security, you’ve got to shut that door tight or someone will keep trying to pry it open.

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By: Logan Hill for Cosmpolitan

Selena Gomez on WHY she took back Justin Bieber

Selena Gomez finally broke her silence on her rekindled romance with Justin Bieber. In an interview with Billboard, the 25-year-old singer opened up about why she was drawn back to her former flame and how things are different the second time around.

Gomez—who dated Bieber on-and-off from 2010 to 2014 and recently reconnected with him—cited time as the reason the two were able to spark things up again, despite a toxic romantic history.

“I’m 25. I’m not 18, or 19, or 20. I cherish people who have really impacted my life,” Gomez said. “So maybe before, it could have been forcing something that wasn’t right. But that doesn’t mean caring for someone ever goes away.”

 

The singer also referenced her reconnected friendships with former Disney Channel stars, such as Demi LovatoMiley Cyrus, and Nick and Joe Jonas, as other examples of how she’s developed a different outlook on life from when she first began dating Bieber.

“And [that goes for] people in general. I mean, I grew up with Demi. Nick and Joe and Miley—we’ve gone through seasons in our lives,” she said. “I don’t think it’s as serious as people make things out to be half the time. It’s just my life. I grew up with all of these people, and it’s so cool to see where everybody is. It comes back to the idea of me remaining full.”

Gomez also touched on her relationship with The Weeknd, who she dated for roughly 11 months before she reconnected with Bieber. Despite The Weeknd recently deleting all pictures with Gomez on social media, the “Fetish” singer insisted that the two are still friends.

“Something that I’m really proud of is that there’s such a true friendship,” Gomez said. “I truly have never experienced anything like that in my life. We ended it as best friends, and it was genuinely about encouraging and caring [for each other], and that was pretty remarkable for me.”

Though Gomez didn’t confirm nor deny her relationship with Bieber, from the sound of it, she did have a lot of nice things to say about him. We hope the two the best if they do decide to re-spark their relationship.

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From: Style Caster

Goal Setting in Relationships

Setting goals with your partner can be a double-edged sword. On one end, when you achieve them you feel joy and exhilaration for having realized a dream or aspiration. On the other hand, when you fail to meet them, you may face disappointment as you are forced to reevaluate your ambitions. When it comes to your relationship, setting achievable goals with a tone of collaboration can help enrich each other’s lives and support the bond between you and your partner.

The Anatomy of Relationships

No relationship is the same, and just like people change over time, so does a relationship. According to Donald Peterson, contributing author of “Goal Concepts in Personality and Social Psychology,” there are five general stages that can be distinguished in the development of close relationships: acquaintance, buildup, continuation, deterioration and ending. Obviously not all relationships go through all stages, but the changes in goals from one stage to another are critical in determining the course a relationship will follow.

Stephen John Read and Lynn Carol Miller, also contributing authors of “Goal Concepts in Personality and Social Psychology,” recount how individuals may base their projections of what a relationship might be like with someone in part on how each other’s life goals will mesh with one other. The idea that “opposites attract” has been debunked by research showing how “most married couples tend to be more alike than different in regards to life goals, interests, values and personality dispositions, as well as education, economic status, and other sociological variables.” In other words, when evaluating a prospective partner, people look at how they can accomplish goals in common, for example having intellectually stimulating conversations, having children, etc.

 

Goal-Setting Strategies

Relationship goals can cover the gamut, including areas such as problem solving, emotional support, financial goals, creating a family, etc. One way to set goals in your relationship is by having a weekly meeting with your significant other to go over the upcoming week and set a ‘to-do’ list of items for each other. Then, review those same items from the past week and move forward anything still needing to be completed. As part of this process, share three positive things big or small that your partner did that you liked in the past week, and one negative thing you would like them to consider working on. In time, you will have created a habit of openly talking about where things are with your relationship, and where you want them to be.

Another way to set goals with your significant other is by applying some of the guidelines set forth in “Goal Setting: How to Create an Action Plan and Achieve Your Goals.” Authors Susan B. Wilson and Michael S. Dobson recommend writing them down in specific measurable terms, so that you can visualize and achieve them with realistic deadlines. As part of defining these goals, make sure to keep them manageable and actionable, as well as include a regular review of their progress. Reward desired behavior, reinforce successes however big or small and provide feedback when correction is needed. When correcting, do so in private and be specific, focusing on the error and not the person to avoid grudges and keep a healthy outlook. Develop objectives for both the short and long term.

 

From Extrinsic to Intrinsic Motivation

In a study published in the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,” researchers examined the connection between relationship satisfaction and self-regulation. “Individuals experiencing higher levels of satisfaction in their relationship exhibit higher levels of perceived control, goal focus, perceived partner support, and positive affect during goal pursuit.” This results in higher rates of daily progress on personal goals. In other words, as your relationship satisfaction increases, so does your motivation to effectively self-regulate your actions and progress toward achieving your goals.

According to Peterson, goals between partners tend to converge to the extent that transformations occur mutually. For example, “a person who initially stopped smoking to please a partner may genuinely come to find smoking abhorrent.” Changes in personal dispositions of this kind are independent of the relationship, and when they occur they can reduce the demands for accommodation by shifting the motivation from an extrinsic to an intrinsic place. Keep in mind that any union is limited by the biological needs and personal goals of the individuals in the relationship, so revisiting them on a regular basis can keep interests and values aligned in the long term.

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From: Live Strong by Raquel Villareal