Tuesday, 13 February 2018

15 Ways to Get a Closed-Off Person to Open Up

You’ve heard it said many times that communication is crucial for good relationships. Few people would disagree that open, honest communication is important—but that doesn’t mean everyone is willing or able to talk effectively.

So what happens when your friend or love isn’t open and you’re having trouble coaxing the words out? Try these strategies:
1. If this person is a clam, don’t be a crowbar. In other words, prying someone open usually doesn’t work. It will get you nowhere to demand, plead, or threaten. A gentler approach will get you much further.
2. Realize that for many people, being open is scary. Closed-off people are convinced that being vulnerable invites judgment or rejection.
3. Create a safe environment. Getting someone to open up has everything to do with that person feeling safe and secure.
4. Understand that some closed-off people have hidden wounds. A difficult upbringing or past romantic disasters may have contributed to the fear of being open.
5. Recognize that everyone is wired differently. Each person falls somewhere on the continuum of extrovert and introvert, guarded and transparent. This doesn’t mean that someone naturally closed off can’t learn to open up—but it helps for you to understand that person’s basic temperament.
6. Be an ally, not an adversary. It can be frustrating when someone you love refuses to open up to you. Don’t let frustration become another barrier.
7. Express what openness means to you. Say something like, “Our relationship is so important to me. I want to us to have the closest relationship possible.”
8. Take time for togetherness. Many people need time—lots of it—to feel the freedom to open up.
9. Know that nagging will get you nowhere. When we see someone we love struggling to open up, we want to help—and that desire to help can sometimes cause us to nag and nudge. Doing so will only leave you both frustrated.
10. Set the tone. Make sure the context and conditions are right for open communication.
11. Emphasize empathy. Convey to this person that you “get” what he’s saying and you identify with his feelings.
12. Be a “role model.” Verbalize your own thoughts and feelings, and then allow plenty of space for them to do the same.
13. Accentuate affirmation. Any time he or she makes the effort to be transparent with you, make sure y
14. Meet halfway. It’s not realistic or fair to expect anyone to immediately move from closed to totally open. Be satisfied with small steps forward.
15. Employ all of your listening skills. No one is going to be open with you unless he knows he has your full and undivided attention.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Finding Love: 15 Behaviors to Guide You There

Your ability to stay aligned with your goal of a healthy relationship is bound to be put to the test as you navigate the highs and lows of dating. There are times when you may feel the urge to give up, crawl up on your sofa, and never date again. You could feel rejected and let down when someone you like doesn’t feel the same. You will also feel the adrenaline pumping when you meet someone new, and actually hit it off. In a nutshell, dating will test your capacity to stay present, be confident, handle anxiety, be vulnerable, and be patient.

Knowing deep down you want love and companionship, but feeling burnt out by what it takes to attain your dating goals, commonly presents an internal conflict for most single individuals. When in doubt about what to do, remind yourself you don’t have to make any major, rigid or permanent decisions on whether to give up on dating, and acknowledge that it’s natural to feel confusion and impatience when things aren’t clicking in the ways you had hoped.
If you are going to make the commitment to put yourself out there, it is important to approach your love life with a healthy and reality-based mindset and not give up prematurely. It’s about tweaking beliefs and behaviors that may interfere with dating. It’s also essential to grasp what it really means and what it ultimately takes to create the relationship of your dreams.
Below are 15 signs you are approaching dating with a healthy mindset and acting in ways that promote connection.
1. You allow yourself to take breaks from dating when necessary, but don’t give up on your relationship goals. This means having control of your impulses, and refusing to give in to urges to quit online dating after a few bad dates.
2. You do more than simply show up for dates. You engage, share, contribute, try and be present. I like to tell my clients they can go on 100 dates, but if they are not present, open and emotionally available, forming a connection will be nearly impossible.
3. You give potential partners a true chance. This may mean you go on multiple dates with the same person (even when the first date wasn’t a perfect 10) and you give yourself time to figure out how you feel about someone by taking the opportunity to get to know them better. Remind yourself you don’t have to rush to decisions.
4. You take emotional risks and allow yourself to be vulnerable. Believing being vulnerable is weak is a problematic perception. In fact, love, connection and intimacy are all based on vulnerability. Bonus: you understand that being vulnerable does not mean oversharing or moving too quickly. It is about developing trust over time.
5. You believe in authenticity. You don’t hide who you are, disown the qualities you aren’t proud of, or change who you are based on someone else’s wishes.
6. You work on yourself and participate in self-discovery and reflection. You remain open to learning about yourself as you date. You reflect on what’s working well for you and what needs improvement without shaming or judging yourself. You are willing to learn from your hardships and miserable dating experiences.
7. You are clear on the type of partner you hope to attract and the kind of relationship you aim to create. While you are open-minded about your dating life, you have a strong sense of your desires and goals.
8. You heal dysfunctional patterns and old relationship wounds so you don’t repeat them. You own it and let go of blaming others for your own life circumstances. Also, you are willing to say goodbye to and end relationships with toxic people.
9. You believe in love. While you may be persuaded otherwise, if you want love, you must believe it exists.
10. You focus on feeling deserving of love even when your mind tries to convince you otherwise. If you can’t think of ten things you have to offer to a partner, start a list right now and let it grow as you reflect on your strengths, accomplishments, personality traits and values. Long story short — be confident and believe in your worthiness.
11. You ditch protective behaviors, such as playing games or drinking too much on dates. When you like someone, you go for it even though it’s scary and anxiety-producing.
12. You understand dating is more than just picking the next person to ask out or profile to message. It’s about intention and deliberate action that is in line with what you are looking for.
13. You put your happiness in your own hands. You give your power away when you wait for someone else to bring you joy and make you feel good about yourself. Always validate yourself, create the life you want in this moment, and treat yourself with kindness regardless of your relationship status!
14. You try multiple dating methods to see what works best for your personality and relationship goals, as well as meet a wide range of like-minded singles.
15. You understand love is a choice and an action (not just a feeling). It is something that grows and shifts through continued efforts and nurturance.
By using the fifteen points above as an assessment tool for how you are currently approaching dating, you can ensure you are tackling your dating life with thoughts and behaviors aligned with love.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Romance

Romance is at the heart of any dating experience. If you don't consider yourself romantic then you are wrong. I don't know of anyone on this planet who doesn't have the ability to fall in love. Therefore if you can fall in love, you can be romantic too. Romance is not in the grand gestures , it is in the small details. Women will often say that it is the small things that matter. The small gestures but it is down to both men and women to start being romantic. It is a two-way process and both parties get an immense amount of pleasure from showing they care about someone. Yes we would all love to have a romantic picnic on a deserted Caribbean beach with the person of our dreams but romance begins closer to home with tips such as these:
Understand what romance means and why it is important and learn what romantic aspects there are to your own character. No one has a heart made of stone, however tough their exterior.
Understand that romance is not the sole domain of women and that men who are romantic are far more successful when dating
Romance has nothing whatsoever to do with masculinity. In fact, being romantic can enhance your masculinity and reputation with girls.
Not all women are naturally romantic either but that doesn't have to be the case.
The key to being romantic is thoughtfulness. So start being a little less thoughtless and selfish.
Communicate with your partner on every level and anticipate their desires and needs.
Look at your partner when they are talking and hold their gaze
Learn that mood, location, situation and ambience can heighten romance with dramatic effect
Phone just to say hello, I love you and surprise your partner
Learn to say, I love you and mean it. Don't say it ever, if you don't mean it
Send them notes and small cards telling them you are thinking of them
Be spontaneous and do little deeds that show you are thinking about them
Start going for walks together, whatever the weather
Put your partner first, particularly as a surprise with a spontaneous trip away
Think creatively and plan a surprise weekend away
Buy flowers any time of the year, nice ones not just roses
Remember birthdays, anniversaries and landmark days such as the day you first met and plan something
Listen to the clues your partner gives you, such as things they like and books they read and buy little gifts
Keep being romantic. In a good relationship, romance never ends
Compromise. Putting yourself first is not romantic.
Write him/her a letter and let them know that you love them and you mean it. People send far few letters these days. Use good quality stationery too.
Watch romantic movies together and invest quality time doing the things you share and both enjoy
Make cards rather than buying them. It shows thought and inspiration.
Take your partner on a picnic to the park or beach and prepare in advance without involving them. Initiative illustrates romance nicely
Don't be a cold fish. Learn how to hug, cuddle and make physical contact. Touching without sex is far more romantic but don't always hug without kissing!
Kiss your date and learn to appreciate the finer qualities of kissing for its own sake
Dance together when the occasion arises and show them special attention
Hold hands and do anything make your partner feel close to you
Hold and hug your partner in bed, especially after sex
Talk chat and converse about anything and everything
Allow your partner to breathe and do separate things to heighten the sense of romance when you are together
If you don't cook dinner for your date, start learning my friend. A surprise dinner with candles is romantic
Buy small gifts spontaneously that show great thought in what they enjoy. But not too many otherwise it has the opposite effect
Remember that romance is often about giving of yourself, even if it is simply your precious time when you could have had other plans. Making your partner a priority is vital
Do things that make you both laugh. Laughter and romance go hand in hand
Remember that romance is in the small details and does not need to be expensive in any way. I'd rather receive a handmade card any day than an expensive gift
Anticipate your partner's wishes and desires to show them you are listening to them and that you care
Expect rightfully that romance is a two-way process though the romance you provide is simply giving of yourself.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Women on Dating Apps Want Love, Not Hookups

She might be seeking something more serious than you think, a new survey finds

Dating apps like Tinder are supposed to make meeting women—and getting laid—easier than ever, but according to a new survey, there’s a good chance your match might be looking for love instead of lust.
To get to the bottom of how technology has really shaped our sex lives, Clue—a health app for women—teamed up with the sex researchers at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute. The duo surveyed 140,000 people (96 percent of whom were women) in 198 countries about how apps and other forms of tech have impacted their sex lives, health, and relationships.
The researchers found that 34 percent of Americans have used apps to find sexual or romantic partners—but casual hookups aren’t the only type of relationship women are seeking. Of all the people surveyed, 15 percent reported using apps to find a partner, compared to only 10 percent looking for one-night stands.
When you break the results down to just American respondents, 36 percent of people said they were looking for either a short or long term relationship, 11 percent were cool with one-night stands, and 9 percent wanted to find regular sex with no romantic connection.
The least desired relationship? Friends with benefits.
Ironically, men are much more likely to use dating apps to improve their sexual relationships, the survey found.
Now, clearly some women are looking for casual sex when they’re swiping right. It’s up to you to find out if she wants something more. Bottom line? Don’t immediately expect sex on the first date because you met through an app.
That’s assuming you land a date in the first place. Can’t seem to score a one-on-one? Here’s why she’s not messaging you back on Tinder—and what you can do about it.

Friday, 5 January 2018

5 Scientific Reasons to Sleep Butt Naked

Most people are missing out on these health benefits

Only 12 percent of Americans sleep naked, according to a recent poll from the National Sleep Foundation. But that’s a damn shame. Not only does nighttime nudity feel awesome, it’s also good for your health. Here are 5 great reasons to let it all hang out tonight.
You’ll sleep better
Shedding your threads before tucking in will help you snooze more soundly, says Men’s Health sleep advisor W. Christopher Winter, M.D. Your body temperature declines as you doze and climbs before you wake up, but clothing can interfere with this natural fluctuation, Dr. Winter says. The extra insulation can make you too hot as your temperature drops, leading to tossing and turning and waking up sweaty in the middle of the night. Nix the PJs and allow your body temperature to ebb and flow uninterrupted, Dr. Winter says.
You’ll ignite your metabolism
Staying cool throughout the night may help rev your metabolism, according to a 2014 study in the journal Diabetes. Researchers found that when people slept in a chilly room, they produced double the volume of brown fat—a healthy fat stored in your neck that burns calories to generate body heat—compared to when they slept in a warmer room. Keeping your body temperature lower by sleeping nude could produce the same effect, says study author Francesco S. Celi, M.D.
You’ll protect your testicles
Sleeping in your underwear increases the odds that you’ll get an infection in the worst possible place, says Brian Steixner, M.D., a urologist based in Atlantic City, N.J. Your drawers keep heat and moisture in—and bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments, says Dr. Steixner. More bacteria makes for a higher likelihood that any chaffed or irritated skin down there becomes infected, he says. Skip your skivvies to keep your balls cleaner, drier, and healthier.
You’ll nurture your sperm
Your scrotum needs to be just the right temperature in order to optimize sperm production, says Dr. Steixner. That perfect temperature: 95 to 96 degrees, just slightly cooler than the rest of your body. When your testicles are too warm, your sperm quality suffers, according to a Finnish study that tested the semen of men who used saunas. Even tight underwear can be enough to raise your sack’s temperature above the optimum level, Dr. Steixner says. So for the sake of your future children, consider freeballing.
You’ll get closer to your partner
Skin-on-skin contact with another person triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin in your brain, according to Swedish researchers. The chemical reduces stress, makes you feel more connected to your partner, and increases your sex drive, the scientists say. And let’s state the obvious: Brushing up against each other naked in bed often leads to good things.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Want to Be Happier? Take Your Clothes Off

Science says nudity could make you feel better about your body and your life

Ever let it all hang out on a nude beach? There’s a reason those people are all smiles: Being naked around other people might make you happier, according to a new study from Goldsmiths, University of London.
Researchers surveyed 849 people, and found that those who had spent time in the nude outdoors or with other people—sorry, your girlfriend or family doesn’t count—reported they were happier, felt better about their bodies, and had higher self-esteem than those who didn’t shed their clothes.
Then they did two more experiments, but this time they talked to people before and after they participated in an actual nudist event. The results were similar: Study participants reported improvements on those same wellbeing measures afterwards.
“What we found was a very good correlation, that generally, if you did these activities, the longer you did them and the more frequently you did them, the happier you were about all of these things,” explains study author Keon West, Ph.D., in a video produced by the university.
What’s more, seeing other people naked predicted a more positive body image than being seen naked by others, the study authors wrote. And no, it’s not because you get to stare at a bunch of butts.
According to one participant, seeing other people with “normal, not perfect” bodies helped ease the insecurities they felt toward their own.
So while more research needs to be done to confirm exactly why nudity could make us happier, the findings have the potential to help those with body image problems in the future, West explains.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

7 Ridiculously Simple Things You Can Do to Make Your Partner Happy

These actions may seem small, but she appreciates them the most

Whether you just started dating or she doesn’t flinch when you fart anymore, chances are the moments that make you appreciate your relationship aren’t grand romantic gestures.
It’s the little moments in a relationship that mean the most, says Jennifer Freed, Ph.D., a relationship and family therapist.
For ideas, we turned to seven women who are happy in their long-term relationships. Here’s the number one thing their partners do to make them swoon. 
LEAVE HER NOTES
“My husband and I have been married for more than five years and dated for six years before that. You would think that our relationship would get boring by now, but he reminds me he loves me by writing love notes and putting them in my lunch bag each day. I usually make my lunch before going to bed and somehow he always sneaks it in.” —Denise W., 38
MAKE HER LAUGH
“I’ve been with my boyfriend for two years, and I still get a good laugh from the videos he sends me of himself via Snapchat. And it’s not even like he’s trying to make me laugh. I just love him so much that I crack up out of adoration.” —Kelly W., 26
MAKE OUT WITH HER
“We have been married for 10 years and every night our bedtime ritual is to make out like we’re teenagers. We’ve done this on nights when we were incredibly tired and when we were mad at each other. It’s the best. It’s a good reminder of how amazing our relationship is.” —Wendy D., 36
LISTEN TO HER
“When something is bothering me, my boyfriend never fails to give me his full attention. He puts his cellphone down and actively listens to me speak. That shows me how much he cares about me.” —Jackie G., 31
GIVE HER PERSONAL SPACE
“My boyfriend and I just started living together after a year of dating. It’s hard to go from living alone to living with another person, especially since our new apartment is tiny. When I just need some space, I never have to ask for it. He always senses it and goes out for a walk. I know that living together will just keep getting easier.” —Connie S., 27
LEAVE THE TOILET SEAT DOWN
“My boyfriend lives with three guys and reminds them to keep the toilet seat down when I’m over. It makes me laugh because I never asked him to do that, but he just goes above and beyond to make me feel comfortable.” —Erin A., 25
CALL HER MOM
“My husband calls my mom every week. He has such a good relationship with her and always calls to check up because she’s older and lives alone. It reminds me how much of a caring person he is.” —Hilary W., 37