Is He – Or Isn’t He – ‘The One’: 11 Signs Of A Bad Relationship

By Dr. LeslieBeth Wish

It’s difficult enough to meet someone who seems like a good love match.  But then, over time, things happen between you and your partner that make you wonder:  “Is this the right person for me?”

It seems as though it should be such an easy question to answer.  But once you fall in love, your head and heart can conspire to make you minimize your unhappiness.  As the saying goes, love really can make you blind.

Research about marriage reveals that even great relationships go through rough patches that can last months or even years.  Another surprising finding is that these mutally happy couples also live with important unresolved issues.

What keeps these couples happy together is that they sustain the building blocks of long lasting, mutually satisfying relationships:  commitment, passion, friendship, respect, complementary styles and abilities, good communication and problem-solving skills, and shared interests and values.

Every couple is different.  All you have to do to know that love has its wild cards is to look at all the combinations of couples that make you think:  “What an odd pair.”

Lifestyle Signs of a Bad RelationshipI can’t possibly know if your partner is the one for you, but I’m offering you this guide to help you assess whether you are in a bad relationship.  This list is based on findings from my five-year research with thousands of women for my book. It consists of statements that these women used to get a more honest picture of their relationships.

It’s possible that only one thing on the list below, such as domestic violence, is sufficient for you to know to get help or get out.  Use this list to educate you and to activate your newly informed intuition to help you understand your situation and make smart decisions.

Read each statement and think if it applies to your partner. There is no magic number that means you should leave.  As you can imagine, I strongly recommend you see a licensed mental health counselor for guidance.  Don’t let doubts linger or get swept under your radar.

Here’s 11 Lifestyle Signs of a Bad Relationship

1. I really respect my partner.

Almost all the time     Most of the time         Sometimes            Rarely

(Respect is earned.  It is a vital part of healthy love  Are you proud of your partner?.)

2. I really like how my partner treats me in public and in private.

Almost all the time     Most of the time         Sometimes            Rarely

(Loving partners do not air dirty laundry in public  They do not abuse in private.)

3. My partner criticizes me often and uses a sarcastic tone.

Almost all the time     Most of the time         Sometimes            Rarely

(Research shows that a sarcastic and criticizing style erodes love.)

4. My partner can be unhappy and even a little jealous of my successes.

Almost all the time     Most of the time         Sometimes            Rarely

(Your partner should want the best for you. Jealousy taints your joy.)

5. My partner always has to be right and have the last word.

Almost all the time     Most of the time         Sometimes            Rarely

(Mature partners are able to give up having to be right.)

6. My partner brings up my past mistakes whenever we have disagreements.

Almost all the time     Most of the time         Sometimes            Rarely

(Healthy couples get solution-focused, and they don’t replay the past.)

7. My partner rarely or never apologizes when he or she is wrong or hurtful.

Almost all the time       Most of the time         Sometimes            Rarely

(Inability or reluctance to say I’m sorry means someone does not take responsibility. Healthy relationships thrive on mutual self-responsibility.)

8. My partner is playful, tender, affectionate, and attentive when we make love.

Almost all the time      Most of the time                       Sometimes      Rarely

(Sex should never be demeaning or insensitive to your needs.)

9. My partner lets disagreements fester.

Almost all the time        Most of the time         Sometimes            Rarely

(Happy couples tell the partner what is bothering them.)

10. My partner has cheated on me, and he or she can be very flirtatious with others.

Almost all the time          Most of the time         Sometimes            Rarely

(Affairs are real threats to love. About a third of couples survives and thrives after an affair.)

11. My partner has lied to me about money or has used it without my knowledge or agreement.

Almost all the time          Most of the time         Sometimes            Rarely

(Stealing and lying about money is a real breach of trust and respect.)

 

What have you learned about your relationship?  Don’t act in haste.  Get professional help.  If you feel your life and safety are in danger, seek counseling to develop a safety plan first before you pack your bags. But even if it’s something as simple as you want to buy some contemporary wall art, but he gets angry with you for that, then it’s time to reconsider your whole relationship.

I hope these tips help.  My mission is to help you grow your emotional bravery and intuitive power in life, love, work, happiness, and success!  You can be part of my next book about intuition! Your story can help others! Go to my website www.lovevictory.com and sign up on the right column to receive gifts and information.

Fairy Tales & Expectations: Do They Harm or Hurt Us?

We all grew up watching Disney movies. While they are fun to watch, have you ever thought about what kinds of messages they give us?

I am a communication professor, and one of the classes I teach is about gender. This doesn’t just include how men and women communicate differently, but also the cultural expectations that we get from our society.

But let’s talk about the Disney movies. First, you have Cinderella. She was the “underdog.” She was poor, unwanted, and bullied by her Wicked Stepmother and her stepsisters. Her life is going nowhere, and she’s sad and miserable. Until one day, her fairy godmother appears and says that she gets to go to a ball. She meets her Prince Charming, and loses her glass slipper. Since Prince Charming has already fallen in love with her, he searches high and low for the girl who fits into the glass slipper. And of course, he finds her and they live happily ever after.

Then we have Snow White. The Wicked Queen was jealous of Snow White’s beauty, and so she orders her innocent stepdaughter to be murdered. Later, she discovers that Snow White is still alive and hiding in a cottage with seven friendly little miners – the dwarves. So she disguises herself as a hag and brings a poisoned apple to Snow White, who falls into a death-like sleep that can only be broken only by a kiss from the prince.

Do you see a theme here? The demure, beautiful, submissive female is hated by an older, uglier woman who tries to either punish or kill her. Then, the only way that she is saved is by having a handsome prince rescue her.

And then they live happily ever after.

When you break it down like that and make it a bit more literal, it doesn’t sound so romantic – or realistic – does it? Of course we know that Disney movies aren’t realistic.

Or do we?

Do we secretly hope that our lives will turn out like Cinderella or Snow White? Most of us would just chuckle at the thought and think “that’s ridiculous!”

But the subconscious mind is powerful. Many times, our beliefs and desires aren’t even part of our conscious awareness.

For example, how many women reading this played “bride” or “getting married” when they were young girls? It’s not that uncommon. Even if you didn’t do that, you probably dreamed of your perfect husband and fantasized about your wedding day. So you might not have verbalized your expectations and desires, but they were definitely there.

And how about the perfect proposal? I have a cousin who had her proposal planned out to the tiniest detail. She even told me, “When I meet the man I’m going to marry, you have to tell him this is the kind of proposal that I want, okay?” It consisted of a trail of clues and love notes…and a fancy dress in a hotel waiting for her…and then a limo taking her to some secret romantic location. And it all left her wondering what was happening. But all the while she really knew that it was her prince who was creating this elaborate proposal. And of course, they would live happily ever after.

The funny thing is that this cousin just recently got engaged. And did it happen like she wanted?

Of course not.

Maybe that’s my fault for not cluing the guy in. Whoops. Sorry, Michelle. But I’m still going to get you an extra special wedding gift.

But you get my point.

Our cultures talks about the prince and the proposal. It talks about riding off into the sunset and living happily ever after.

But it never talks about how to make that happen.

Once the honeymoon period wears off, then what? By then, you might be highly irritated that he never does the laundry. Or that he always watches sports. Or any other list of complaints that eventually emerge in a marriage.

Our schools don’t teach us how to deal with relationship problems. They teach us science, math, English, and even physical education, but not how to have a good relationship. Or how to repair one that needs it.

Sometimes our culture just sets us up for disappointment. I know what you’re thinking, “Gosh, she’s really bitter and unhappy!” Actually nothing could be further from the truth.

Did I have unrealistic expectations of romance and marriage? Absolutely. Did I know that I did? No. Well, maybe a little, but not enough. And just in case you’re wondering, yes, I am divorced. But I did really try to make it work.

But actually, I’m quite happy being single.

The point I’m trying to make in this article is that the expectations that our culture gives us about “happily ever after” are not accurate. Sure, the lucky few end up like Noah and Allie in The Notebook. But I don’t know a whole lot of them. I hope you do. But I don’t.

So instead of focusing so much on a fantasy, or the perfect wedding day, I think it’s more important that we focus on how to have a happy marriage. How to get along. How to love each other unconditionally regardless of our differences – and our expectations.

Real life is not a Disney movie. Even though we all know that, I think at some level, we all hope that we will be one of the lucky few who ends up being the exception to that rule.

If you got nothing else from this article, I hope that you will teach your children (or grandchildren) how to have healthy relationships. And realistic expectations.

Believe it or not, I think that we all can have our own version of happily ever after. But in order to do that, we need the knowledge, tools, and desire to keep putting effort into our relationship for the rest of our lives.

It can be done. I have faith that it can.

What about you?

How To Get Closer: T-R-A-V-E-L

By Steve Goodier

For closeness: travel. No, I don’t mean to go to take a road trip or to fly away to some exotic place. But there are ways to go deeper into a relationship –- like traveling. And there are things we can do to help a relationship really go somewhere. Let me explain.

Inmate Mitchell King had a visitor — his wife. King was serving a six-year jail term in Auckland, New Zealand for armed robbery. But his wife didn’t want to be away from him for that long. So they held hands. She wanted them to always stick together – through it all. Hand in hand, forever joined. And they did stick together. She had rubbed her palms with Super Glue.

Their new-found closeness was short-lived. And their separation painful. (I suggest we put the Super Glue idea on a short list of “THINGS NOT TO DO” when we want to grow closer.)

But if you want a deeper connection with someone you care about, if you want relationships that are more intimate, more meaningful and longer-lasting, then try this simple technique. Just remember the word “TRAVEL.”

T is for TRUST. If we’re seeking a glue to cement us to another, then trust is that bond. A relationship will go nowhere without it.

R is for RESPECT. Some people talk about how much they have always respected their cherished friends and family at a funeral. But why wait? People want to know that we hold them in high regard. It’s about valuing others and letting them know you respect them.

A is for AFFECTION. Sometimes affection means love. Sometimes it means a touch. Or a hug. Always it means kindness.

V is for VULNERABILITY. Though we may feel afraid to let another too close, no relationship will go anywhere without taking a risk. Like entrepreneur Jim Rohn says, “The walls we build around us to keep out the sadness also keep out the joy.” And the love.

E is for EMOTIONAL INTIMACY. It about learning to be open. Learning to communicate freely. The quality of relationships we make are largely determined by how openly we communicate.

L is for LAUGHTER. Victor Borge got it right when he said, “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” It’s also the most enjoyable.

So for a relationship that can really go somewhere, just remember the word “TRAVEL.” Then enjoy the trip.

4 Secrets To Staying In Love

By Steve Goodier

The results are in. I have learned that, after careful consideration and endless debate, The Perfect Man has finally been named: “Mr. Potato Head.” Let me tell you why. He’s tan. He’s cute. He knows the importance of accessorizing. And if he looks at another girl, you can rearrange his face.

I don’t know if Mr. or Ms. Potato Head is right for you. But I’m not a big believer in the idea that we MUST find a perfect match, anyway. There are plenty of happy people who are not paired with someone else. And there are also plenty who may not say they found Mr. or Ms. Right, but are living quite happily with Mr. Almost Right or Ms. Close Enough.

Marriage and long-term commitments may not be for everyone, but if you plan to be with someone a long time, can you stay in love? Does a lifetime relationship have to seem more like a life sentence? I think we’re tempted to believe that real love is a myth, a long-term relationship is a marathon, and romance is for kids. Are there secrets to staying in love over the long haul?

I believe in love and romance, and I know it can last a lifetime. I also believe there are a few simple things we can do to help our love grow over the years.

Here are 4 secrets to staying in love:

1. Find time to date.

I don’t mean time to rehash the stuff you talk about all week long. Get away and talk about things that matter. Use this as time to focus on one another, not to solve problems or to raise issues. There are other times to bring up difficult subjects.

2. Understand what delights the other and then make it happen.

“The romance is over,” says Marlys Huffman, “when you see a rosebush and start looking for aphids instead of picking a bouquet.” What makes him laugh? What brings her pleasure? And what can you do today to delight each other?

3. Remember why you got together in the first place.

When you focus first on his faults, you’re not thinking about his strengths. When you’re busy pointing out her imperfections, you’re not enjoying those qualities that attracted you to her initially. Choose to appreciate that which first drew you together and remember it often.

4. And always – plan enough time for fun.

And don’t always plan times for fun — be spontaneous. Laugh. Go places. Play.

A woman from Charleston, South Carolina was overheard to remark that it was her 53rd wedding anniversary. When asked if she planned a special celebration, she smiled and said softly, “When you have a nice man, it really doesn’t matter.” I suspect they learned the secrets of staying in love.

3 Proven Ways A Simple List Can Revolutionize Your Love Life

By Duana C. Welch, Ph.D.

Take a moment and write a list of everything you desire and need in a life partner. Take several moments, in fact. Put in everything—in detail, in color. Dream big.

Then separate that list into “must-haves”—stuff you just can’t do without—and “desirables”—things you’d like, but could compromise on if they were otherwise wonderful.

All done? In my experience, most folks resist making their list. And that’s a shame, because your list is an amazing tool in the work belt of life.

With your help, it’s going to do three really vital jobs for you:

1. Find hidden singles.

Have you ever gone car shopping? Ten years ago, I bought a Mini Cooper, and I love it so much, I haven’t replaced it.
A funny thing happened while I was looking around, though: I saw Minis everywhere. It really seemed like the world was chock-full of them.

You may have heard of the Law of Attraction, which says that we draw to us what we imagine. If life really worked like that, you’d create your list and click your heels while The One appeared.

Sigh. Not true.

And yet the list is very powerful—not because it attracts the right people to you, but because you start noticing them. Just as I started noticing my brand of car everywhere once I’d narrowed my search, you will begin noticing your kind of sweetheart once you refine your own list.

Mr. Right might be where you work or live; Ms. Right might be where you worship, or shop. The point is, have you noticed? Or is The One hidden in plain sight because you aren’t clear on your needs?

2. Do first things first.

There’s a saying, “First things first.” It means you need to do things in the order that makes the most sense. This sounds obvious, but without your list, you’ll probably do first things last. In these relationships, people meet, have sex, get emotionally involved, and *then* figure out whether this person is what they want.

You may think this is the exception, but research shows that hooking up on college campuses has largely replaced dating. A hook-up can be anything from sleeping over to kissing to having intercourse to oral sex. An 18-month multi-campus study of American college life found that most women continue to enter and leave college hoping to find yes, a degree, but also to find love and marriage. The decline of dating and the rise of hook-ups has cost them–more than men–a great deal in terms of confusion and pain.

So some girls and women reading this may never have had a date; some might have had sex with men who wouldn’t acknowledge them as girlfriends. They have no idea what to expect and require in courtship. Take this letter, from Gina (not her real name):

“I’m confused about ‘Sam.’ We hang out almost every night, and we have sex, and he says he likes me. We are each other’s fallback plan; it’s assumed we will see each other daily. But he’s never outright said whether I am his girlfriend. I asked once, and he laughed and asked why I couldn’t tell, and changed the subject! It’s depressing. How can I find out what I am to him?”

If you are tired of being confused, or if you’re tired of getting into sex-first, questions-later situations, or if you’ve had enough of getting emotionally invested and only *later* finding out that this one is not The One—it’s time to let your list turn that dynamic around.

And how do you do that? Know your standards. Then, listen closely to feedback, and ask the tough questions about and to this person *before* you get emotionally and physically involved.

I’ve read of a study showing that a date’s friends will tell the truth about them. That fits my experience. I broke up with a man whose ex-wife called to ask me to reconsider: “You’re really special to Bill. I knew that as soon as I found out he drives an hour to see you. He never goes out of his way for anyone.”

I didn’t listen to the important part of her message: Bill wasn’t especially flexible or concerned with other people’s needs. Both times we broke up, the reason was: He was not especially flexible or concerned with other people’s needs.

When I met my husband Vic, though, he took me to a party “so you can meet everyone I know. I want my life to be an open book.” Nobody there told me how lucky Vic was; they all said how fortunate *I* was to be with him. Bingo.

So listen to what others say about your partner. Ask the person you’re dating, too. You can be creative about it, but ask questions that add up to whether or not this person fits your “must-haves.” One of the more valuable questions I learned to ask in my dating life was: “If your ex and I were talking, what reason would she give for your break-up?”
Vic had answered a lot of my questions before we ever met in person; we talked about them on the phone. I didn’t rudely bust out with, “Here is my list, and you’d better answer the way I want, or I’m not going out with you.” But I did broach important questions in a friendly way, and I didn’t wait until we were deeply involved.

What if he’d refused to respond, or said something like, “Wait, why all the questions?” Some men did. We didn’t go out. If you’re reading this, my guess is that you have had enough of doing last things first, having hook-ups, and floundering around wondering what’s going on. And if so, you’re ready for someone who is also ready to do first things first.

3. Avoid deal-breaker temptations.

Doing first things first won’t help unless you heed your own list. The absence of even one tiny little “must-have” means that you Must Not; the whole relationship is a no-go for you, a heartbreak waiting to happen. So don’t go there.

Of course, a lot of us have trouble with this one. Almost everyone I know who has made the list has at least occasionally dated someone with a known deal-breaker.

Why do we ignore our own lists? Sometimes, it’s because we question ourselves, or our standards. Or we’re lonely. We’ve lost hope. We think love is rare, and we have to hang onto it no matter what, because all you need is love.
Apologies to the Beatles, but science disagrees. Love is like roadside flowers in springtime: beautiful, but common.

Sometimes, we fall in love with people where things just won’t work out; and most people fall in love more than once. Nearly all of the divorced people in the world were in love when they wed. If love was all they needed, they would’ve stayed put!

What’s enough is love, plus kindness, respect, similarity, and you sticking to your list. Before I got that, I got heartache. After I got that, I got the man I’ve been happily married to for nearly seven years.

Your right person won’t be perfect. But if you’re careful about this, they will be perfect for you.

Duana C. Welch, Ph.D., is the author of Love Factually: 10 Proven Steps from I Wish to I Do (2015); this entry is a partial excerpt. You can get a free chapter and see more at http://www.lovefactually.co

How To Have The Best Relationship Of Your Life

By Dr. Carol Morgan

We have all grown up watching movies where women are princesses, men are their knights in shining armor, and perfect couples ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. But no one actually teaches us the things we need to do to have our “happily ever after.” So that’s where I come in. Here are 15 things you can do if you want to have the best relationship of your life.

1. Try to talk with your partner about how you impact each other.

No one is a mind reader. And some people aren’t very good at knowing how their behavior affects other people. So you need to tell each other. Not only the negative impacts, but the positive as well. If you want your partner to change something, gently ask without criticism. If you think your partner is awesome, tell them. Thank them. Keep the lines open.

2. When you get in a fight, try to see the situation as if you’re an outsider looking in.

Try to step outside yourself and view the conflict as an objective outsider. This de-personalizes it and helps you see your partner’s point of view. Most people have a “me vs. you” attitude when it comes to fighting. They view it as a battle against the enemy. This could not be more destructive! Instead, have a “we” or team mentality. You’re both in this relationship together, so you have to come up with solutions together. Stepping back and looking at it from an objective perspective helps tremendously.

3. Invite your partner to build more closeness by practicing empathy daily.

Empathy is key to every relationship. This is the ability to see the other person’s point of view and show them that you value how they feel. You don’t have to agree with them, you just have to allow them to feel what they feel without making them wrong. One empathy “game” you can play is reflecting back each other’s words and feelings. This allows you to check your perceptions and helps you partner feel “heard.”

4. Tune into your emotions and see if you can each share what you need most.

It doesn’t help to repress your emotions. It might make your relationship seem peaceful, but it’s like trying to hold a beach ball under water forever. You can’t do it. Eventually, it’s going to come back up–and probably in an explosive manner. So both people need to keep their emotions in check and continuously share them with their partner. That way, nothing will be a surprise or get buried for a long time.

5. Be mindful of the fact that emotional damage can derail relationships.

It could be cheating. It could be ignoring your partner’s feelings. It could be withholding affection. Emotional damage can take any form. And they deliver brutal blows to relationships. So if there was an emotional injury that took place between the two of you, talk about it. Fix it. Don’t ignore it. That will only make it worse.

6. Discuss your main relationship goals for the next year and see if you find ways to achieve them.

When we hear the term “goal,” we don’t usually think in terms of “relationship” goals. But just as you would have a career goal, you must have relationship goals together. Do you want to get married? Do you want to buy a house? Have kids? Move to the west coast? It’s helpful to have shared goals, but if you don’t, then each partner has to be respectful of the other person’s desires and at least try to find a mutually satisfying solution.

7. Cherish and honor your connection.

Don’t take your relationship for granted. It’s sacred, so treat it that way! Too many times we get too comfortable and stop trying to make our partner happy. This doesn’t work. Honor what you have. Cherish it. And above all, communicate to your partner that you value their presence in your life.

8. Create small rituals to recognize your bond.

It helps to have rituals that you do together. It could be committing to go on a date night every Saturday or celebrating your anniversary each year at the same restaurant where you met. Or maybe it’s going on a picnic once a month. Anything that tells each other that you are committed to honoring a ritual or routine will help maintain a healthy relationship.

9. Do little things for each other.

Do the dishes. Rub her shoulders. Vacuum. Call just to say you love him. Bring home a single rose. These are simple things that don’t cost a dime (except for the rose!). These things are valued, especially by women. It shows attention and desire to help or nurture your partner.

10. Laugh. A lot. Don’t take things too seriously.

Who doesn’t like to laugh? I would guess pretty much everyone does. But as relationships get stressful, sometimes people forget to laugh. People start focusing on their partner’s negative behaviors and they get annoyed and resentful. Try not to take things so seriously. Try to look at everything your partner does (and in life) as amusing. This lightens the relationship. Couples that laugh together, stay together.

11. Grow your friendship with each other.

You are probably more forgiving of your friends than you are of your romantic partner. Why is this? Probably because you don’t put as many expectations on your friends. But a solid foundation as best friends is the best way to build a long-term relationship.

12. Support each other’s hopes and dreams.

Maybe you want to open a restaurant. Or your partner wants to go back to school for a Ph.D. Whatever your dreams, you both need to be supportive of each other. Even if you don’t agree with the dream or think it’s silly, you still need to be encouraging. Being your partner’s rock and biggest fan is essential to a healthy relationship.

13. Put your partner’s needs equal to or before your own.

You may not want to admit it, but there may be times when you are a little selfish. And that’s fine. As long as you aren’t selfish all of the time. If you only worry about your needs and you ignore your partner’s, then they will eventually grow resentful. People need to know that their partner loves them enough to put them first‒at least sometimes.

14. Give the relationship attention.

When I teach about relationships, I always use the metaphor of a plant. Plants can be beautiful, but they need to be watered every day. They need attention. And so do relationships. If you don’t “feed” your relationship, it will die. It needs nourishment just as much as a plant. You can’t ignore it and put in minimal effort and expect it to flourish. It takes constant attention.

15. Don’t expect perfection.

We all want to ride off into the sunset with that perfect prince or princess. But we all know that perfection is a myth. No one is perfect. So instead of looking at your partner’s faults and focusing on what they should change, accept them as they are. Focus on the good. Feed the good stuff. And then you will reach a place of calm acceptance and have a peaceful relationship.

6 Questions You Must Ask To Know If You’re In The Right Relationship

By Siobhan Harmer

Romantic relationships can be tricky to navigate. There are dangers in over-thinking your circumstances and in not thinking about them at all. Sometimes you can become too comfortable and forget what true happiness should feel like, or be too uncomfortable and take your partner for granted. It’s all very awkward.

So how are you to know whether you are in the right relationship? There is no secret formula, but there are certain questions you can ask yourself:

1. Do You Do Things You Both Enjoy Together?

Do you both enjoy a certain hobby? How about a particular pastime? I’m talking about more than sexy times here, people. Do you both like to play video games together? Go on walks? Sit in cafes people watching? Paintballing? Anything that you both have in common that you enjoy as individuals and as a couple should be made a priority!

2. Do You Enjoy Time Apart?

An important factor to remember when you are part of a relationship is that you are still an individual human being. Your partner may mean the world to you, but they are still an addition to your already full and complete being, not part of you. If you are without them or alone, you are not lost. You will not simply fall apart or sit doing nothing until they return. You must maintain your own self-identity. You must have your own hobbies and time to develop yourself, as well as understanding and appreciating their individualism. Besides, differences keep things interesting!

3. Do You Fight Productively?

Nobody is perfect! Conflict is completely natural and I’m suspicious of any couples that say they never argue. Either they’re full of lies or they’ve never had a discussion with each other about anything ever. Sometimes you will feel a need to win an argument against you partner, or the urge to hammer your point home incessantly. Like I say, within reason it’s all natural.

What you should be aiming for within a relationship though is productive disagreements. Each of you should aim to understand the other person, to compromise, find common ground and most of all respect the others’ opinion. If you partner ignores, denies, or invalidates points that mean a lot to you then it’s time rethink your relationship.

4. Do You Share A Passion For Your Future?

There are so many sitcoms, movies, and books these days that reinforce the idea that it’s okay to settle for someone who may or may not come around to wanting a future with you eventually. If you want a future with someone and they seem disinterested or flaky, then it’s time to realize that you deserve someone who’s just as passionate as you are. Carrying around expectations that will probably never be fulfilled only leads to disappointment.

5. Are You Attracted To Them Mind, Body And Spirit?

Physical attraction is probably the number one reason we are motivated to pursue a relationship with somebody. As the relationship develops we should also become attracted to their personalities, their minds, their quirks and flaws. You should be excited and intrigued by what you partner will say and do next, and they should love everything about you as well.

6. Do You Communicate?

Perhaps the absolutely key to a healthy, wonderful relationship is communication. In a real, long-term relationship there should be no games, no lies, no anxiety and no worry. You should remember that your partner is not psychic and that you must convey how your feelings in order to get an appropriate response.

Never settle for or stay with someone who makes you feel anxious or who lies, they do not deserve your love, time or energy.

5 Questions to Ask To Overcome The Fear Of Change

By Lori Beth Huff

I want to change, but I am afraid.

Many of us wake each morning and say to ourselves, “today is the day. I want to make this change.” Something often stops us before we even get started … FEAR. Change happens everyday in our lives, whether our schedule changes, our mood, our energy level, our bank account balance, our perspectives, many things in our everyday lives are in constant change. We should be used to it, right? We should expect it!

So, why do we fear it ? We have proven to ourselves that we are masters at adapting and adjusting. Why is it difficult for us to implement changes such as losing weight, starting to exercise, thinking more positively, letting go of an unhealthy relationship, changing careers, or giving up destructive habits?

One of the reasons we are so good at adapting to imposed change is that we were biologically programmed to survive and thrive. When we are forced to adjust, we do. Maybe not willingly, but ” we make it work,” as Tim Gunn would say.

When we realize that we should or need to change something in our lives, fear comes along with resistance. Emotionally and mentally, we are attached to the behavior or situation. It has become a habit, whether good or bad, which we have practiced over and over again or maintained for a long period of time. It’s really hard to let go of what we are used to doing, saying, and being.

When we really want to make a change, how do we work with our fears? How do we face our challenges? How can we finally make the transformation we desire in our lives?

Focus on your strengths. 

Most people advise us to not look back to our past. They say, “Don’t live in the past.” This is true, but when we look at what has already worked for us, we can understand and recognize our strengths. It may help to ask yourself these questions, write them down on paper, and, even, discuss your answers with a trusted friend.

1. When in your past did you overcome surmounting obstacles?

2. When have you successfully initiated action in your life?

3. Looking back, when have you been able to maintain a positive change?

4. When you did make a change, how did you go about it?

5. What strategies have worked for you in the past?

Examining your strengths and drawing upon your past successes can help you to develop a plan for immediate steps for change. Strategies that work are worth repeating. However, what works for someone else, may not work for you. Developing your own personalized plan of action based upon your past victories is often a sure bet.

Use what you know about yourself to go forward into action. Ask for help when you need it and collaborate with others for support. If you take small steps over time, you can do and be whatever you desire. It can be terrifying to change, but you’ve done it over and over again, successfully! You have weathered many storms and come through on the other side. You can do it again. When you look back, you can see just how strong and capable you are!

Reflecting on your past can rid yourself of the fear of change and make room for growth in your life. In future articles, I will continue offering practical, step by step strategies for personal growth and development. I look forward to supporting you on your way to living in your true spirit! We are in this together!

Motivational Monday: Fear-Based Emotions

By Dr. Carol Morgan

Have you ever been jealous? Felt possessive? Or perhaps envious of other people? These are called fear-based emotions. In her Motivational Monday video series, our Editor shares her thoughts on why you should pay attention to these feelings.

What should you do now? First, don’t get all freaked out by all the negative emotions you have running through your head. Instead, do something about it! Start right now … TODAY … and monitor your thoughts. The more you do that, the more you can change them into positive ones. And you know what that means. You will be much, much happier!

To Stop Being Used By People, Do These 5 Things

By Dr. Carol Morgan

There are many people in the world who confuse love with helping people. Not that the two can’t go hand-in-hand. They do, and they should. But at what point does the ‘helping’ people  turn into being used?  There is a very fine line between being loving and becoming an enabler. So if you find yourself feeling like other people are just sucking the life out of you without giving anything in return, take a moment to look at  your actions.

For example, I know a family who is going through a difficult time. Their adult child has gotten into trouble with the law and is currently in jail. And now the adult child is expecting her parents to not only bail her out of jail, but also to pay for a good lawyer so she doesn’t have to spend 3-15 years in prison. And they probably will. Meanwhile, I’m sitting here on the outside thinking, “This is how she got there. No one has ever told her ‘no’ – she has never had any consequences to her actions. She has a sense of entitlement and didn’t appreciate anything they did for her.” I know that may sound harsh, but I know the family well enough to be pretty confident that I’m right. And now the poor family is facing selling their house and/or downsizing just to afford her impending legal fees.

So that got me thinking about: (1) Personal responsibility and (2) Being used.

This story as an extreme example of these two very common problems. If other people don’t take personal responsibility and expect you to take up their slack, then in my opinion, you are being used. Sure, it’s nice for us to help people out and do things we don’t have to do just because we are being helpful and loving. That’s beautiful. But when it be comes a habit, a pattern, and an expectation from the other person, then I think that turns into being used.

So if you suddenly discover that you are getting used, what can you do to stop it? Well, it’s actually pretty simple. Here are 5 things you can do:

1. Say NO.

I know you’re thinking, “Duh. Thanks for that secret, unknown piece of information.” Yes, it’s obvious. But is it easily done by a lot of people? NO!!! Put yourself first. You don’t have to say yes to everything. Only say yes if it feels right and good.

2. Tell them why you are saying “no.”

Usually, when you explain things, people will have a better chance of understanding and agreeing with you. Even if they don’t agree with you, at least they know that you have your reasons and you’re not just saying no to be mean.

3. Be nice but firm in telling them no.

You don’t have to go off on a rampage and tell them what a selfish loser they are. You can tell them that you hope they get what they need, but you are not the person who will provide it for them. Wish them luck! (with sincerity … not in a nasty way).

4. Stick with your ‘no’ – don’t change your mind.

Don’t ever, ever, ever go back on your ‘no!’ If you do, they won’t ever believe you again when you say no. Say it and mean it!! This is one of the most difficult parts for most people. But you can do it!!

5. Tell them that you will have a better relationship because you say no. You will not resent them anymore.

They may not know that you have had resentment building up inside of you because of their actions. So tell them!! And let them know that this is a blessing in disguise. From now on, you will be able to let go of the resentment and have a much happier, honest relationship with them because you have drawn your boundaries.

If you don’t take these actions to stop getting used, then you have no one to blame but yourself. As the saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!”

The real message here is to love yourself enough to say “I refuse to let you use me one more second!!” Keep in mind that  you will be doing them a spiritual favor by teaching them that they need to give and not just take.

Drawing the line and standing your ground is not selfish. It is called self-love. In fact, it’s the tough-love that everyone needs in the long run.