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Here’s what to do if communication is poor in your relationship

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The importance of communication as the bedrock of relationships cannot be over-emphasized.

It is is largely about listening, just as it is also about having your opinions and thoughts heard and appreciated, too.

For couples who have problems with this, here are some simple but very helpful tips to help you improve on having better communication, especially when you want your partner to listen and get the message you are passing across without drama

1. Be considerate

There’s need for emotional intelligence if communication will ever become A1. To understand your partner, you need to regularly put yourself in their shoes and think of how you’d like to be approached or spoken to, if roles were reversed in that situation.

If you think of how you would love to be approached in a similar situation, it could help you know how to initiate conversation in a loving, considerate manner at that time.

2. No ambiguity

You might sometimes not want to hurt your partner’s feelings but most times, being open and clear about your thoughts and needs is the best way to go.

Your partner should be sensitive to your needs and should not wait to be told everything – true that.

But when he or she does not get it, please do not clamp up in anger when you should be telling them what you need.

Find the right, clear words to express yourself.

3. Be consistent

It is very important to communicate frequently with each other. Don’t hold in thoughts, feelings and concerns, especially negative ones, to a boiling point where they all come pouring out in angry, resentful rants that ruin things rather than redeem and salvage the situation.

4. Timing

Sometimes your opinions are valid and those concerns you have about are worth of the complaints but it is the timing that ruins everything.

Knowing to speak and when to not… when to broach a subject and when to hold on till later… these are things you absolutely need to learn if communication is to thrive and get to a 100% effectiveness in your relationship or marriage.

5. How do you react to stuff your partner tells you?

It is important to be a partner who is approachable, non-judgmental and accepting. Of course, this does not mean you have to agree with everything your partner does or that you can’t be pissed at some of their mistakes and terrible errors of judgement.

However, if you are none of the things mentioned above, don’t be surprised if your partner censors what they tell you or of they are selectively open with you.

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Relationship

No, it’s not a good idea to text your ex during the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s how to stop

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If you’re reading this, it’s not too late – put the phone down, walk away slowly and don’t text your ex…… or call, or DM, or send a letter by carrier pigeon. 

The emotional toll the coronavirus pandemic has taken on most of us, coupled with quarantine or self-isolation, is pushing some to extremes like reaching out to a past fling or packing up and quarantining with your ex like Bruce Willis and Demi Moore.

The uncertainty of when things will return to “normal” can easily lead you to think your love life is stagnant, especially when you’re not outside meeting new people. So the ex starts to look a little more appealing; It’s the devil you know, says  Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking.

“There’s that feeling of ‘Oh my God, I don’t want to die alone,'” Trombetti says. “When you’re tired, you’re depressed, you’re lonely, you’re scared, whatever it is, you go back to a bad habit, and let’s face it – most of us have toxic exes, so you go back to that toxic place.”

If you haven’t done it already, we know you’ve at least thought about it. Maybe even written out the text and hovered over the “send” button for a couple hours. While there are a few valid reasons to check in on your old bae, the consensus is don’t.

Nicole Moore, a love coach and host of the “Love Works with Nicole Moore” podcast, says your ex is your ex for a reason, and the only exception to this rule is if one of you has changed (so essentially you’d be reconnecting with a “new” person).

“There’s that feeling of ‘Oh my God, I don’t want to die alone,'” Trombetti says. “When you’re tired, you’re depressed, you’re lonely, you’re scared, whatever it is, you go back to a bad habit, and let’s face it – most of us have toxic exes, so you go back to that toxic place.”

If you haven’t done it already, we know you’ve at least thought about it. Maybe even written out the text and hovered over the “send” button for a couple hours. While there are a few valid reasons to check in on your old bae, the consensus is don’t.

Nicole Moore, a love coach and host of the “Love Works with Nicole Moore” podcast, says your ex is your ex for a reason, and the only exception to this rule is if one of you has changed (so essentially you’d be reconnecting with a “new” person).

ZAYN MALIK AND GIGI HADID

The duo first sparked romance rumors in November 2015, and confirmed they were a couple in February 2016. After about seven months of dating, the pair split in June 2016. In less than a month, they were back together again. In March 2018, they announced on social media that they had parted ways. However, they were spotted getting intimate again in New York City by the end of April. In January 2019, there were reports of a split again. A year later, they were spotted walking arm-in-arm (pictured) in New York City, New York, U.S., on Jan. 11, 2020. “Gigi and Zayn got back together right before the holidays in December [2019],” a source told E! News.

While Moore doesn’t recommend perusing your ex’s social media page regularly, it’s OK to do so if you’re considering reaching out to them. For example, if you broke up because your ex was drinking all the time, are they still sharing videos of them taking shots or memes about downing wine during quarantine? 

You’re taking a gamble because it’s impossible to tell if they’ve changed without talking to them, but you can discreetly reach out to a mutual friend and gather some intel so you have some information to make your decision, Moore says.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to ever reach out to an ex unless you have done personal inner growth work and/or they have too. Because if not, you’re just going to repeat the same thing,” Moore says.

Unless you and your former partner had a healthy relationship with lots of positives and broke up because of distance or a life-altering event that wasn’t necessarily a deal breaker, avoid further contact, Trombetti says.

 We get it, you’re sitting alone, bored, and you’ve cleaned all your cabinets, done your yoga and watched enough Netflix and Hulu, so what else is left besides stirring up a little exciting drama by texting your ex?

How about  dropping a line to a friend instead? 

“Text your friend and say ‘Listen, I am in danger of reaching out to my ex,'” Moore advises. Say, “‘Remember that ex I used to complain to you about? I’m feeling lonely, please just text me five things you think are amazing about me, send me one compliment, tell me not to do it.’ Use your friends as backup.”

And connect with them virtually, even for a Zoom happy hour.  

If you’re still feeling tempted to press send, hear us out: Remember that annoying little habit that made you want to throw a chair at them? Moore suggests a “negative emotional stack,” which means listing all of your former partner’s qualities you don’t like.

“You’re going to sit there and think about all the bad things about your ex, all the annoying habits, all the ways they disappointed you, all the fights you can remember, all the birthday gifts they didn’t get you, every way they didn’t measure up,” Moore says.

That will lead you to be “repelled” by them and you’ll remember they weren’t that great, anyway.

Once you’ve done that, Moore wants you to remember one thing: “The best you have had thus far is not necessarily the best that is available.” Start focusing on your “love vision”: If you knew for certain you could have a better relationship than the one you had with your ex, what would that look like? 

Take time to write out and envision the love you want, and that should distract you from reaching out to the ex that got you sneakers for your birthday when you’ve never worn sneakers in your life (No, I’m not speaking from personal experience, why do you ask?)

Now that you know what you want from a relationship, it’s time to (virtually) put yourself out there and meet new people online.

Trombetti says that, especially during a pandemic  people are slowing down and starting to appreciate the more important things in life, like having a companion.  

“Get out there on the apps, have virtual dates. People are more than willing to date at this time,” she says. “You can have a ton of virtual dates at this point. The person for you is out there and the good news is, at least for the time being, they’re giving you air time.” 

Don’t let loneliness be your motivation for reconnecting with an ex who wasn’t good for you. Unless you truly believe your old partner was “the one that got away” or your relationship fizzled over something you’ve now come to realize is insignificant, then please leave your ex alone.

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How to Come Out of Quarantine in a Relationship

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If you’re single, dating or at the beginning of something with a potential partner, social distancing can be uniquely frustrating. Yes, self-quarantining is the right choice for these times. Yes, you get to stay home and binge-watch Tiger King. But as you scroll through social media and see couples social distancing together, it’s hard not to feel lonely. And it’s also hard to find the point of firing up a dating app if you know there’s no way you can meet IRL for at least six weeks. 

So should you press pause on your dating life, pull your adult toy of choice out of your drawer and hope that your love life picks up in summer? Not at all. Remember, everyone’s in the same boat, facing this scary, uncertain world. In some ways, meeting someone in this vulnerable time — messy apartment on full display in a Zoom chat, existential back-and-forths interspersed with flirty “what drink defines your personality” questions, swapping news story links — breaks down boundaries like nothing else, says Lisa Concepcion, a dating and relationship coach, and founder of Love Quest Dating.

Also? It’s not as if this is novel — romances have been built on anticipation. “Back before the internet couples wrote love letters to one another during wars! Marriages stayed together and children were born with letters bringing the news. We have video cameras and the internet,” reminds Concepcion. “People who are into each other can come out of this strong.” Here are some tips on how to keep your dating life moving forward — even when the rest of the world feels like it’s on hold. 

Start With Your Social Circle

Melissa Stewart, a yoga instructor in Los Angeles, realized that many of her friends were single — and complaining to her about the slowdown in their dating life. Stewart created a Google form for her single friends to complete about their ideal date, and invited them to share the form with their single friends. Then, she began compiling and comparing the forms, setting up blind dates between participants. So far, some couples have had multiple virtual hangouts, says Stewart. “I think there’s always a little bit of a stigma against asking for set-ups, but now, social distancing had added a novelty component. It’s not embarrassing because people think, well, what else do I have to do? There’s not this feeling that being set up is lame.”

Show Up

Have an invite to a Google hangout karaoke party? A Netflix watch event? A Zoom happy hour glow ball soirée? RSVP yes if it sounds remotely interesting. It’s the same principle as in real-life events — the more you get out there, the more likely you are to meet someone. Yes, it’s easier to hang out solo, but showing up to virtual events will keep your social skills strong. Another option: Quarantine Together is a new app that introduces singles and encourages virtual meets. Of course, Quarantine Together joins OG dating apps like Bumble and Tinder, but the point is that quarantine is a great time to shake things up. Even if you’re “not an app person,” what do you have to lose but a few minutes? 

That said, if your virtual hangout calendar is overloaded, it’s also OK to turn down invites and take some time to focus on you. “This self-isolation has forced people to look inward” and ask themselves the “bigger questions,” Concepcion says. So if you’re in a romantic situation you’re unsure about, think of this as a time to press pause and assess the situation. “Never make relationship decisions from a place of fear,” reminds Concepcion.

Have a Plan in Place

Going on a “date?” The couch won’t cut it. Have a rough itinerary, whether it’s drinking a glass of wine and chatting for 30 minutes, watching a movie together or playing a board game. Phone sex is also on the table — just make sure you trust the other person isn’t screenshotting or video-recording. Concepcion says the more you bring dating energy to your virtual hangout — dress up, use silverware, sit at the table instead of a sofa — the better it will be for both of you. 

You also may want to advance your Tinder timeline, and get someone on FaceTime after just a few texts back and forth. That way, you won’t waste each other’s time or get caught in an endless back-and-forth volley of texts. 

Get Creative

And if you are dating and want to keep the spark alive? Consider sending surprise deliveries and packages to each other. Another option: Start a private Instagram account that only the two of you have the password to and upload pictures each day that remind you of each other. Start and add to a Spotify playlist together (or, if you’re really brave, swap Spotify passwords and see what they listen to in private mode). Send snail mail and add a drop of your signature perfume or cologne to the paper. Read a chapter of a book to each other on the phone. Feeling frisky? Make it an erotica classic. The point: While touch is out, try to use your other senses to increase your connection. 

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How to avoid becoming codependent with your partner during quarantine, according to a therapist

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From images of stressed couples trying to work from home in cramped quarters to the #coronadivorce hashtag on Twitter, it’s clear that quarantines have put a strain on many relationships. Some people are in such desperate need for space from their partners they’re checking into hotels. 

But for people with codependent tendencies, quarantine might be having the opposite effect on how much they want to be around their partner, leading to problems with boundaries. 

Codependency is a pattern of behavior where a person prioritizes a relationship — whether it be with a lover or family member — over their own needs, according to Healthline. Typically, people who are codependent feel like they need the relationship to live, even if they’re miserable in it.

With all the extra time indoors during coronavirus lockdown, people with codependent tendencies are able to feed into these unhealthy habits without interruption.

New York City-based therapist Dr. Melissa Robinson-Brown spoke to Insider about the ways to spot codependence and practice healthier attachment styles. 

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the lives of people around the world. People have been advised to stay indoors and many cities went into complete lockdown to contain the spread of the disease. Here is a look at how people are getting on with their lives through the period of self-isolation and lockdown.

Couples are more likely to become codependent because they are unable to have lives outside of the home right now

Lockdowns mean many of the out-of-the-house activities that once provided healthy boundaries between couples, like work and hanging out with friends, are more scarce.

Because these activities give people a sense of individuality, Robinson-Brown said couples may be more susceptible right now to losing their sense of self.

“Couples who are literally only seeing each other during this time may become codependent because they are now looking to each other to fill all of the needs that are typically met by engaging in some of these other activities,” she said.

While partners can’t physically go places to see friends, Robinson-Brown said a major sign of codependence is if you notice your partner talking to friends and family less on the phone or online.

Don’t shame yourself or your partner for codependence

If you notice you and your partner are spending a concerning amount of time together, Robinson-Brown said it’s key to simply communicate that with them. But make sure to do it without judgment. 

“Codependence can happen to anyone especially in this time of quarantine and isolation,” Robinson-Brown said. “Outlets that we would normally have that help us to stay grounded in who we are as individuals aren’t as accessible.  It’s important not to shame your partner or yourself.” 

Talking about the issues you’re noticing and coming up with a game plan to address them will help you and your partner stay on the same page. 

Make an effort to stay connected to friends and family

Though physical distance from your partner might be difficult to realistically get, planning separate video chats with friends and family in different rooms can help create healthy boundaries between you and your partner.

“There are still ways to connect with friends, family, support groups, meditation groups, group exercise even in quarantine,” Robinson-Brown said. 

If you and your friends used to have margarita Mondays together, plan them over Zoom. If you and your grandmother used to have Sunday coffee together, give her a call while you two brew it from your own kitchens. Maintaining separate support systems outside of the relationship is key. 

“Set up virtual calls, join a virtual dinner party, give your friends and family a call, hop on social media, and attend a DJ session or music battle where you can converse with others,” Robinson-Brown said. 

Making sure you and your partner have alone time is also key, so setting quiet hours or walks apart from each other could be useful.

Spending time with your partner can feel good, but becoming codependent will hurt you down the line

Spending a lot of time with your partner might feel comforting — especially during the stress of the pandemic — but can lead to toxicity down the road, so it’s important to address codependence when you spot it. 

“While it can feel good in the moment, it means that individuals are not dealing with unhealthy behavioral patterns (because they are being enabled) and it will likely impact other relationships as well,” Robinson-Brown said.

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