How to Know You’re Ready for Marriage

It’s scary to think that you might be ready for marriage, as it’s a really big step. I don’t think I’ve attended more weddings in my entire life than I have this year alone. Many of these friends were close friends—friends I watched grow independently, and then grow with their partner.

It was so crazy to watch the people I was basically a child with join forces, say “I do,” and choose to share a life with their soulmate. And let’s just pretend that I didn’t cry like an baby as I watched my besties walk down the aisle…so basic, right?

With the many weddings I witnessed, however, there was a common theme—love.

These newlyweds were clearly ready for marriage and showed their love in so many ways. From their vows, to their interactions with one another, to allowing us to see that they are family. Home is now where that person is. Home is in that person’s arms. Home is being lovers, best friends, and life partners.

Putting a ring on someone’s finger doesn’t necessarily make them family, nor does it make them your best friend. But the way in which two people care for and value one another is truly what creates the strong bond and sense of unity required to have a successful marriage. Are you ready for marriage?

Here’s how to know if you and your partner are ready for marriage:

Unconditional love

To love someone unconditionally also means to support them unconditionally. It means understanding that person in a way that no one else can, and having their back no matter what. Love isn’t just about hugs, kisses, and a ring, but rather, about giving it your all and doing your best for one another…

BFFs

Having not only a romantic relationship, but a friendship, is a vital component. If you plan on spending the rest of your life with someone, getting along is kind of important. Being able to do anything and everything together, tolerating one another for more than just a few hours, and wanting to live life in the same way is a must. Seriously, you gotta be BFFS.

Compatibility

Do you feel as though your partner was always around? Like he fits in so well that you can’t remember a time in your life when you were without him? Now that is true compatibility.

When you’re considering a marriage, compatibility doesn’t only matter for the two of you, but it also counts within your social networks too. Did she mesh so well with your family that it felt like they had known her forever? Does he get along with your friends so well that he instantaneously became part of the crew? If you’re compatible in the way that you’re supposed to be, everyone will love her just as much as you do…

Laughter

No matter what happens, you two find a way to laugh your way through each day. You know that you two can conquer anything when you’re together. Whether being playful, laughing with each other, or at each other, you give one another strength. So much of that comes from having a sense of humor and bringing joy to your relationship. Laugh together.

Adventure

Wanting to do the same things is super important. Whether spending Sunday’s on the couch with endless naps, or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, you are side by side every step of the way. You don’t ever want to be apart, and you can’t imagine doing the things you love with anyone else…

Acceptance

I believe that the premise of love is to accept someone as they are, and to love them because of their flaws. Remember those little quirks that drive you crazy? Yeah, those—those are the things that make you fall crazy in love. To love someone is to accept them exactly as they are, good and bad.

Ready and steady

Are you able to accept your partner for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish until death does you part? If you’re feeling ready, with a steady hand, this may be the person for you…

marriage | ready | love | wedding | relationships | adulting

Know who you want to spend your life with, but not sure if it’s the right time? Read up on why millennials are choosing to postpone marriage… 

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xx,

Paula

Breakups: The Difference Between Heartbreak and Being Broken

Breakups are literally the worst. You feel awful, and you’re not quite sure what’s going to happen next. Everyone copes differently, but usually there are tears, tubs of ice cream, and drunken karaoke nights. The thing with break-ups though, is that they don’t always come from the same place.

You would think that most breakups lead to heartbreak, but I don’t agree. I think heartbreak is real, but I also think that many relationships leave people broken. Some relationships are so awful, that the aftermath is actually the best part. The part where you get your freedom back. The part where you get parts of yourself back…

The relationship itself caused so much damage that the breakup was a saving grace.

I had a friend reach out to me a few weeks ago for some support during his breakup. He was heartbroken, and he truly felt that I could relate. Unfortunately, I couldn’t. I’ve been in relationships that left me damaged. The actual break-up was the happy part, not the sad part.

It is far more likely that those stepping away from a healthy relationship will experience feelings of grief and sorrow, whereas those walking away from a destructive relationship will experience feelings on the opposite side of the spectrum.

Breakups are never easy, however, if I had a choice, I would take heartbreak over destruction. The heart and the mind are delicate, especially when it comes to love. Missing the person you loved because of  beautiful moments shared is far more desirable then missing someone because you have become addicted to abuse. Being grateful for escaping the wrath and cruelty of a person is a very different type of loss…

At the end of the day, loss is loss…

Here’s how to come back from a breakup, whether sweet or sour:

Talk about it

Talk about your feelings. Share your experience. Whether with a close friend or a mental health professional, let it out. Expressing yourself will help you better process what you’re going through, and hence, learn how to cope in a healthy way.

Find yourself

It is possible to get lost in a relationship, good or bad. Find yourself. Rediscover those missing pieces. You will feel whole again, and it will make moving forward much easier.

Access your support

Rebuild lost relationships. Find your support network. Whether it be friends or family, surround yourself with people who love you and bring you joy.

Smile

Learning to be happy again is honestly the worst part, but you have to try. The first step is to smile. Remind yourself of the beauty around you, as well as the beauty within.

Don’t place blame

Placing blame doesn’t help anyone. Yes, I’m sure both you and your ex were equally responsible for how things went down, but don’t let whose right or wrong bury you. It doesn’t matter. All that matters is letting go. AND be sure to NOT blame yourself.

Embrace being alone

Being alone again is terrifying, especially if you had been attached for a long period of time. Face the fear, and embrace being alone. I can honestly say that learning to be on my own again taught me so much. I learned that I can do anything and everything independently, even though my ex-partner thought otherwise. This allowed me to dispel many of the shortcomings my ex claimed I had, and I was able to reclaim my autonomy.

Get your life back

Get your life back. I mean that in every sense possible. Do the things you love, spend time with people that make you laugh, be happy. Take back all the things, and parts of you, that your ex seized. Take back the power and strength that were stolen from you. Get your life back…

breakups | heartbreak | being broken | love | relationships

Not sure what the long-term effects of an unhealthy relationship are? Read up on what the emotional consequences might look like… 

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xx,

Paula

Relationships and How to Safely Let Your Guard Down

It can be scary to let your guard down. We’ve all been there. We’ve been hurt. We all have a past. Some of which may be scary, dark, and full of grey skies. However, it’s important to remember that it’s in the past

You’ve been blessed with this new relationship. A relationship so great, and with someone so wonderful, that it pushed those grey-skies aside, covered you with warm sunshine, and allowed you the space to take a deep breath. Due to past fears and triggers, it feels nearly impossible to let your guard down, but in order to keep the sunshine and fresh air flowing, you’ve got to start the process…

Trust isn’t built overnight, and neither are healthy relationships. They take hard work, dedication, and a great deal of respect and honesty. Nonetheless, regardless of the scary what-if’s, the sooner you begin to move forward, the better.

NOTE: It’s crucial to keep in mind that this is NOT your last relationship. If you had any doubts, you would have probably run for the hills by now. Clearly, there is a reason you’ve stuck it out this long. Trust yourself—know that you are choosing wisely. Continue to utilize those awful, hurtful lessons learned to keep your heart safe; those lessons help you make better choices. Put your fears aside, let your guard down, and take a risk—it’s possible that you may find exactly what you’ve been looking for…

Here are some simple steps to help you let your guard down:

Trust

This can literally be one of the hardest things to accomplish. Trust is earned, and it takes time, but when you have it…you’ve got gold. Try to trust your new partner. When I say trust, I don’t just mean knowing that she won’t lie to you. I mean giving him the kind of trust that will allow him to see the real you—the kind of trust where you let him in.

Stay positive

Keep things light and happy—try not to go to your dark place. Consider the positive things, and focus on the good. Allow yourself, and your new beau, the opportunity to have fun and enjoy the time you spend together.

The good stuff

Take notice of how great your partner is. Even if it takes you writing down or verbalizing five things you like about your babe every day, do it. This will help you build trust, and also focus on the positive. You’ll thank yourself later…

Family and friends

Introduce your partner to the important people in your life. Trust that she will behave appropriately, and expect her get along with your loved ones. If she fits you, she’ll fit them too…

Participation

Allow your partner to participate in your life—include him in the things you love to do, whether solo or in a group. Providing your partner with this opportunity will help you evaluate if you want him to be included in exciting parts of your life. It’ll also help you discover how well you two fit together.

Also, having fun is necessary in all successful relationships.

Honesty

Be honest with yourself, and with your partner. If you’re having triggers, or feel smothered, let her know. If you want to spend more time together, or feel that you’re unable to trust him, share your thoughts. Honesty is truly the best policy…

Communication

Along with honesty, remember to communicate as clearly as you can. Don’t sugar-coat things, and know that people don’t read minds. Ask questions—share concerns—express gratitude and joy—communicate. Being open, honest, and expressing yourself will deter arguments and will keep you focused on the fun stuff.

let your guard down | relationships | trust | communication | love

Not sure if your relationship is healthy? Review the signs of an unhealthy relationship…

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xx,

Paula

Finances and What to Ask Your Partner Before Committing

Discussing finances can be one of the most difficult things to do, especially if there’s love involved. If you feel that a future is in store for you and your beau, talks about monies are crucial. Have you ever considered how your partner manages their finances? Or what they choose to spend their money on? Or how much they save every month?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s super important that you ask. The way in which a person spends money says a lot about who they are, and if you two are financially compatible. Let’s stop and think for a second: if you were to be married, do you expect you and your spouse to have a joint bank account? Wouldn’t it be important to know where your half of that account is going prior to committing? I think so…

Yes, love is about more than money. Survival is also about money, and safety, and enjoying life with the person you love.

But if you have expectations for what your future is going to look like, consider asking your partner the following questions:

Debt

Let’s start with the big guns—does your partner have debt? Personal? Student loans? How much is it, and how is your partner managing it? Is it being paid off? Is it being ignored? Or is your partner proactively seeking other options, i.e. deferment, loan forgiveness, etc. You don’t only marry your partner and his family, you also marry his debt

Credit score

If you want to someday buy big things, like a car or house, having a strong credit score will get you the best offers. If you and your partner are legally linked via marriage, financing agencies will look at both scores. Be sure that your beau is winning the game of adulting with a high credit score.

Spending habits

We all have those silly things that we spend money on, and if it’s not going to destroy your future household, it’s cool. But if your partner needs to have the newest, sportiest, Benz every year when he’s sitting on 100K of debt, you clearly need to have a discussion about how he’s managing his finances.

Addiction

Spending money can be addicting. Does your partner gamble? Use drugs or alcohol? Or shop too much? These habits can get to be very expensive, and sometimes, one is unable to stop. Figure out where money is being spent and if it’s detrimental to the accounts and beau’s health.

Budget

Do you budget your money? Does your partner? Make sure that you’re on the same page re: where money goes and how much of it goes where.

Future spending

The future is something we all look forward to. Do you want a big house with an even larger kitchen, and double sinks in the master bedroom? Knowing that you and your partner are managing money to reach these future goals should be at the top of your list.

Savings

Do you and your partner have savings accounts? Is this money you two plan to never touch? Or money you’ll eventually invest in property, stocks, a CD, or a mutual fund? Talk about where these big bucks will eventually go. If it just so happens that your savings is only there as a security blanket for that rainy day, that’s good to know too…

finances | Money | communication | relationships | future

Are you and your partner also having talks about moving in? Here are some things to address before making a decision…

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Paula

7 Things to Try When You’re Feeling Stuck in a Relationship

Feeling stuck is a place no one thinks they’ll end up, nor is it a place anyone wants to be. When one meets their new heartthrob, you can literally foresee what the next several years will look like—so much happiness that it’s coming out of your nose, an abundance of laughter, and more loving feels than you ever imagined possible.

But what if life takes a different course? A course that involves less happiness than you expected, and a whole lot of resentment and wishing things were better? Unfortunately, this is a reality in many relationships. The crazy part is that this is usually the case with the love affairs we expect to last forever.

So where do you go from here? You feel like your relationship has hit a wall, and sometimes you feel like you want to bang your head against that same wall. You’re feeling stuck. Do you walk away? Well maybe…? But what if you just need some space? You love your other half so much that words can’t do that love justice—seriously, how did you end up here?

Well, the first (and most important) question you need to ask yourself is if you’re feeling stuck because of you, or because of the relationship.

In order to figure it out, try these seven things:

Take a step back

In order to get a wide angle view, sometimes you need to step out of your comfortable bubble. What does the picture look like from a different standpoint? Do you like what you see? What would you do differently if you could move pieces of the puzzle around?

When we look at our lives from a different perspective, from a different lens, it’s possible that new things may come to light…

Brainstorm

Spend time considering the issues you’re facing. Once you have that down, brainstorm how to overcome those issues. It’s okay if you can’t do it alone; be sure to ask for help.

Rediscover you 

Feeling stuck can sometimes be related to losing sight of who you are, and which direction life is taking you. This happens—a lot—and it’s called a crisis. Rediscover yourself. Reinvent yourself. Learn new things, try things you’ve never done before, spend time alone. Be sure that you’re able to figure out what it is that you need to get unstuck, and pursue it.

Reconnect with your social network

Humans are social beings. Yes, being in a relationship is great, but don’t cut out the people in your life. Rather, make it a point to reach out to those people. Spend time with others, especially good friends and family members. So much of who you are comes from the strong bonds in your life. If you can reconnect with an important person, it’s possible for you to reconnect with healthy parts of yourself you forgot existed…

Be basic

No one wants to be basic, but I promise, this is a good kind of basic. Go back to the basics. The best parts of you stem from the things you love to do—the things that make you who you are. We all grow up, move on, and forget the things that we love. Go back there. Go back to the places that make you smile, and do the simple things that bring you absolute, unconditional joy.

Want to go for a bike ride by the beach? Or swing on the playground all day? Or just cuddle in your mom’s lap while watching rom-coms and sipping on hot cocoa? Yeah, do that—do all of that. It will ground you.

Talk to your partner

It may feel like you’re the only one feeling stuck, but maybe your partner’s on the same boat. Talk to each other. Let your partner know how you’re feeling and have a discussion. It’s possible that the two of you may have grown out of this relationship. Or maybe you just need some fire to re-ignite that flame. Whatever it may be, communicate your thoughts and feelings with your partner.

Make changes

At the end of the day, whether moving forward solo or with your partner by your side, something needs to change. Figure out what you want, and go after it. Life is too short to be unhappy, and you’re the only person who can make you happy…

feeling stuck | relationships | communication | change | self-care | back to the basics

Still not sure if you’re in the right relationship? Here’s how to know if it’s real love…

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xx,

Paula

Ultimatums and What They Mean for a Relationship

Ultimatums sometimes happen in relationships. With ultimatums, you can sometimes find yourself in a situation where you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. You’ll find yourself in a place where it needs to be his way or the highway. You’ll find yourself needing to choose between two awful options. As you might imagine, ultimatums typically aren’t healthy.

Several years ago, I found myself in a relationship that revolved around ultimatums. It was devastating, to say the least. Feeling as though I didn’t have a say in how my life was progressing, or how my day-to-day life would look like made me feel very out-of-control. It caused a great deal of resentment, anger, and frustration. After a while I began to fight back against the ultimatums—sometimes this also lead to me to use ultimatums to get what I needed. At the end of the day, nothing was accomplished, and it’s safe to say that we were both unhappy.

Clearly, ultimatums are not healthy, nor are they acceptable. Relationships should be based on compromise, where the opinions and needs of both parties are considered when making a joint decision. Ultimatums completely take the power away from one person, and can instill a great deal of fear, whether that fear entails losing your partner, not being included in something, or potentially being punished.

Healthy adult relationships should focus on positivity, support, love, and equality. Ultimatums do not fit the bill, and include control, punishment, and power.

Here’s the kind of damage a relationship with ultimatums can cause…

Inequality

Ultimatums lead to a loss of power. If one is forced to only choose between two options, of which both are much less than ideal, that person loses a great deal of power. This can lead to resentment, which is a silent killer in relationships. Relationships shouldn’t be about power in the first place, but this is a sure-fire way for one partner to ultimately keep the ball in their court…

Taking the highway

In ultimatums, it’s either one way or the highway. This is literally the worst. This should never happen in a relationship. I truly believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way…highways don’t have a place in love.

Threats

When love comes down to threats, that’s no longer love. Many will say that if A and B aren’t done, “it’s over.” Threatening the end of your relationship, or to walk away, or to never speak again, is not a productive way to get what you want, or to resolve an issue. Is what you’re asking for worth losing the person you love?

Lack of respect

Being forced into an ultimatum exhibits a severe lack of respect. When two people care about and love each other, respecting opinions, feelings, and thoughts also plays a significant role. When ultimatums are presented, one partner is clearly disregarding the needs of the other. The desires of both partners should be considered when making choices at all times.

Emotional damage

Remember those negative emotions mentioned earlier? Anger, resentment, depression, frustration, angst, etc.? Yup, those types of feelings in general, but especially over an extended period of time, can cause substantial emotional damage. Experiencing negative feelings can also destroy the ability to identify and create healthy boundaries, and can also impair one’s ability to establish trust. It will require a lot of work to reverse the emotional injuries sustained…

Being unhappy

It is nearly impossible to be happy in a relationship with ultimatums. I mean, what’s love all about anyway? Happiness. Life is short, so make it worthwhile. Think twice about your needs, and what you deserve. It may be time to move on…

The one positive…

The only time an ultimatum can be helpful is when you use it to get yourself out a rut. When in a situation where all you are given is ultimatums, use it to your benefit. Use it as a last resort. Use it as an opportunity to escape whatever obstacle you may be facing. Even if it’s a tactic to release yourself from a relationship full of ultimatums…use it.

Any relationship that results in ultimatums is not a healthy, safe relationship. Remember, you deserve more than second-hand choices that don’t fulfill your needs. You deserve more…

ultimatums | relationships | dating | love | unhealthy relationships | dysfunctional relationships

Ultimatums not working for you? Here’s how to say goodbye to an unhealthy relationship…

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xx,

Paula

Relationships and Why to Let Your Guard Down

Needing to let your guard down can be terrifying. After getting hurt you spend so much time fixing what was broken. You spend so much time trying to readjust to single life. You spend so much time keeping yourself safe from hurt and just trying to heal.

It’s much easier to keep your heart safe behind the walls that you’ve built so tall and wide. Why risk getting hurt, right? Well, not totally right.  Yes, learning to let your guard down is the last thing you want to do, especially after you’ve finally picked up all the pieces of your broken heart. Why would anyone want to purposely go through that kind of pain again?

Even though getting hurt sucks, big time, deciding to let your guard down is the only way to figure out if they’re the right person for you. Does he make you happy? Is she respectful of your boundaries? Does he provide you with the space you need? Is she understanding of what you’ve gone through? Is he patient enough to wait until you’re ready to move forward? These are important factors when considering letting someone in.

Ultimately, you have to decide if this person is worth potentially getting hurt again, and if dating this person is worth the time and the effort.

Here’s why you should consider letting your guard down…

Fear of the unknown

You’ll never know until you try. Fear can keep us from pursuing a lot of things, especially those that entail risk. This can potentially cause you to miss out on really great opportunities—life altering opportunities—so weigh the pros and cons, and make a decision to let your guard down.

Be yourself

In order to really get to know a person, it’s crucial that you are exactly who you are. With your guard up, you aren’t allowing the true you to interact with this person; there’s a constant façade. With this, you will build a foundation that is not completely honesty. Remember: honesty is the best policy, so be yourself.

Feelings

Along with being yourself, unless you let your guard down you won’t learn how to truly feel about this person. If you don’t let this person in, and if you aren’t able to get to know one another on a deeper level, you won’t be able to figure out if you’re a good match.

Hindering progression

If you’re unable to tear those walls down, you may be hindering your relationship from fully moving forward. Without being all in and giving a relationship an honest try, it may never progress.

Resentment

You may start to resent the relationship, or your partner, if things aren’t moving forward. Again, try to let your guard down.

Wasted time

If you take too long to give it your all, you may end up committing to something that isn’t right for you. The last thing you want is another broken heart and wasted time. Be mindful of this as you decide whether this relationship is truly worth letting your guard down…

Fairness

At the end of the day, you need to be fair to the other person involved. Yes, you want to protect yourself, but it’s also not cool to hurt someone else who was genuinely trying to make things work. Be considerate of the person on the other side, and either really get to know them, or kindly part ways.

Being ready

Being ready to date again is a vital component when putting yourself out there. If you’re not ready to be with someone new, make it known. It’s okay to take the time you need to heal. Mending a broken heart is not an easy task, and there’s no need to rush into a new relationship.

Love will find its way to you when the timing is right…

let your guard down | love | dating | relationships | broken heart

Not sure if it’s real love? Here’s how to know if it’s real love…

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xx,

Paula

7 Things to Consider Before Moving in with Your Partner

Doesn’t the thought of moving in with babe make you feel giddy?! Just knowing that you’ll get to wake up to your partner’s gorgeous face every single morning gives you happy feels so gooey that it’s kind of like a scoop of melting vanilla-bean ice cream on a just-out-of-the-oven molten chocolate cake. But is moving in simply about the happy feels? Or is there more to it?

There is a lot to consider when cohabitating, as it is a bigger step than most imagine. At the end of the day, it is two independent people joining forces to share a space. This gives me the feeling that things might get sticky if they’re not handled appropriately.

Yes, you love your partner. And yes, you two basically stay over all the time. But, you still have the ability to return to your own space when you need some alone time. Even though the idea of moving in is bright and beautiful, like a diamond-covered unicorn flying in sky, it doesn’t always lead to a happy ending.

Research has found that compared to Gen X, more Millennials are choosing to move in prior to tying the knot. So before you and your partner jump into cohabitating, like many other millennials, be sure to have a discussion about what living together will look like and how co-adulting will be handled.

Not sure what to talk about? Here are some ideas…

Finances

Money is just that, money. Loving someone is much more important than dolla dolla bills, but we all work very hard to make a living. Considering this, things need to be fair. Talk about who’s paying for what: Will you divvy up all bills? Will you split rent and each pay different utilities? Will one person cover groceries, and the other pick up the tab when dining out? Regardless of your plan, be sure to set some ground rules so that no one feels taken advantage of.

Discussing the “what ifs

Unfortunately, happily ever after isn’t guaranteed. What happens if you two decide to part ways? Will only one of you be on an existing lease? Will you both be on a brand new lease? If things don’t work out, who gets to keep the apartment? How will you split up furniture and belongings? Who keeps the dog? Does the other get visitation rights? A lot of couples invest quite a bit in creating a beautiful home for themselves but don’t consider who-gets-what if things go sour. Not to encourage negative thinking, but this should be discussed prior to potentially signing your life away…

Future goals

Moving in a huge step forward, so it’s important to know whether this is the last step, OR just a stepping stone to the next step. It’s important that you’re both on the same page about where you are in your relationship, as well as what you want in the future. Do you want to get married but your partner doesn’t? Does he want kids but you don’t? It’s important to consider these matters before taking such a big step.

Cleanliness

How do you like to keep your home? Sharing a space with someone can be very difficult if you’re on opposite ends of the spectrum. Many people have tidy living conditions, while others don’t. Are you a clean freak, but your partner’s a messy slob that never does the dishes and puts her dirty shoes on the bed? This can ultimately make or a break a relationship. Making sure that some ground rules are established for tasks such as cleaning, cooking, chores, etc. before the big move is crucial to surviving cohabitation.

Dividing responsibilities

Along with cleaning come many other housekeeping things that need to get done. The list literally feels endless, but who is going to do the laundry? And clean the bathroom? Who’s changing sheets? Who is walking the dog in the morning? Who picks up the mail? Again, talk about the things that need to get done in your home and equally divide tasks. Regardless of how you choose to share responsibility, you should each hold your own and contribute to the household.

Lifestyle

The way in which you and your partner live day-to-day can also determine whether cohabitating will work for you. Do you like to go to bed early, while your partner stays up until 3AM binge-watching GOT? Do you enjoy hosting, but your partner doesn’t like people in his space? Does your partner have friends over all the time, but you prefer less frequent guest visits?

Especially for those who live in small spaces (i.e. studio apartments), this can become a huge barrier to enjoying your living situation. With this, a great deal of negative feelings can arise, which can potentially lead to arguments. Be sure that you have some rules in place. Maybe your partner can use headphones while watching late-night TV, and you and your friends can go to the local bar for drinks. Whatever it is, come up with a solution before you share a space.

Communication

Most importantly, talk to each other.  You partner is not a mind reader, so tell him if something is bothering you. This is a two-way-street, so be sure to encourage your partner to also share any concerns with you. If you two aren’t able to talk things out and come up with a compromise, cohabitating may not be the best move for either of you.

Moving in is such a significant step in a relationship—be sure that you’re both ready to walk up to the ledge and leap…

moving in | cohabitation | love | relationships | dating | communication

Think moving in will cause a lot of fights? Check out these suggestions on how to choose your battles…

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xx,

Paula

7 Ways to Be a Supportive Partner During Tough Times

We all have ups and downs in life, and being a supportive partner requires a delicate balance. It can be particularly difficult to watch the person you love most go experience hardship. Being a supportive partner through this rough-patch is important to you, but you’re not quite sure how to approach it…

You love your partner to the moon and back, and would literally do anything to end their suffering. Some of us are fixers, while others may choose to sulk in their sorrow prior to engaging in damage control. Regardless of how you handle hardship, you should approach the topic in the same way that your partner chooses to move forward.

Every single person copes differently, and depending on the situation, as well as your partner, you may need to maneuver with caution. Model after your partner. If they’re gung-ho about getting out there and fighting the battle, join them in that confrontation. If they need to take time to think and feel their emotions, feel with them.

Again, there is no right or wrong way to cope or be a supportive partner. What’s most important is remembering that this isn’t about you, it’s about your partner.

Check out these tips on how to support your partner during a difficult time…

Pay attention

Sometimes people aren’t openly willing to share what’s happening. Be sure to pay attention to any changes in behavior. Is she not as talkative? Is he not his cheerful self? Does she look like she’s been crying? Does he seem angry and irritable? These may be signs that something’s up…

Ask questions

If you notice a difference in your partner, ask what’s going on. This will show your partner that you care, and will also provide them the opportunity to talk about it. Be sure not to probe too much, however. Do not push your partner to share if they are not yet comfortable doing so.

Listen

If your partner is ready to share their experience, listen. Don’t judge, and don’t interrupt. Just listen. Verbally talking about thoughts and feelings is a way to process what’s happening—this can be very helpful, especially if your partner is taking time to let things sink in.

Offer help

When we love and care for someone, it’s likely that our first instincts are to help and protect. This may not always be what your partner needs, so be sure to ask how you can be supportive. It’s possible that listening is all the help your partner needs, and that’s okay. If more help is asked for, be sure that it falls within your boundaries too.

Provide encouragement

Remind your partner of how intelligent, kind, and strong he is. Remind her that she is talented and capable of achieving anything. Provide him that delicate push and support he needs, and remind him he has the skills to overcome this, as well as any, roadblock.

Stand united

Help your partner see that you will be there through thick and thin, and that you’ll stay by her side no matter what happens. Let him know how much he means to you.

Hug it out

Physical touch can be very helpful, especially during times of hardship. Research has shown that something as simple as a hug can release happy chemicals in our brain, such as Oxytocin. Not only that, but it will continually strengthen the bond you share. If you feel uncomfortable doing any of the things listed above and only want to give hugs, it’s just as helpful…

Being there for your partner, no matter in what sense, is incredible. Remember to breathe, and everything will work itself out. Stay hopeful, and remember to search for the silver lining…

supportive partner | love | relationships | hardship | communication | support

Still not sure how to convey wanting to be a supportive partner? Check out these tips on how to best communicate with your partner…

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xx,

Paula

Finding the Right Kind of Love Can Be Life-Changing

Finding love isn’t terribly difficult, but finding the right kind of love can be life-changing. We’ve all been in one of those relationships where things look so great on paper, and yeah, you get along, but there’s still something missing. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but deep down in your soul, you know it’s not enough…

This type of love ends up being the worst because you’re constantly trying to avoid that nagging feeling that something’s missing, which causes one to make excuses for negative feelings or bad treatment. At this point you might wonder if this is what true love is actually like? It’s definitely not.

When you finally find the right kind of love, you’ll know it. I used to laugh when my happily-coupled friends would give me the “when you know, you know” speech. I seriously thought it was a joke—until I knew. Being in love isn’t always enough, but being in the right kind of love is key.

So, what makes love right? This is something that varies from person-to-person, but I do believe that there are some general themes we, as a species, need to feel safe and happy.

What makes love the right kind of love?

When love is easy

Loving your partner is easy. You literally love every single thing about him, and you would never want him to change. Perfectly flowing and vibing with another person is unbelievably rare, and it is a definite sign of being in the right kind of love.

Feeling fulfilled

You wake up every morning not wanting anything more in life. Having this person by your side is all that you need. Nothing is missing. Nothing is lacking. Your heart is full.

Feeling safe

Sharing your life with someone you respect, value, and trust, allows you to feel safe. You know that you are there for one another, to care for and support each other. You feel a sense of stability that allows you the comfort to go out into the world and live your own life, but know you have a happy, positive life waiting for you at home too.

Reliability

Knowing that you can count on your other half is vital to the success of any relationship. If your partner is there when things go downhill, he’s a keeper.

Support 

No matter what happens, good or bad, your partner is by your side. This needs to be a two-way street, of course, but knowing that this person will be by your side through thick and thin, is incredible.

Openness

When you and your partner are able to speak freely about anything, all while knowing that the other will listen with open ears and an open-heart, is the epitome of healthy communication. She will hear you, and you two will engage in a discussion rather than a fight. This is gold.

You can be yourself

The beat part of being in a relationship is having those inside jokes. You can be super goofy and weird together, and it’s totally okay. You guys always have fun, even when you’re doing nothing. You want to do everything with her because things are more fun when she’s around. It really doesn’t get any better than that.

Teamwork

Not only is your partner your best friend, but you guys also make a great team. You two are a force to reckon with. No matter what life throws your way, you work together to move past it. Not only that, but you overcome barriers in a way that is supportive of one another, and has the others’ best interest at heart. Nothing can break the two of you…

Loyalty and honesty

You know that your partner will never do anything to break the trust and bond that you share. It’s deep-rooted in your soul, and there is no doubt in your mind that your partner will always be truthful and loyal. Having that peace of mind is priceless.

Loving selflessly

Last but not least, the love that you have for this person is different than any other love you’ve experienced. It’s selfless, it’s wholehearted, and it has no bounds, and it’s mutual. When you find someone who can love you just as much as you love them, if not more, it’s the ultimate blessing.

A love like this is meant to be cherished and nurtured. It is beautiful. It is patient. It is kind. It is life-changing. Treat it as best as you can. Love it like Kanye loves Kanye. And once you find it, don’t let it go…

love | life changing | relationships | support | trust

Still not sure you’ve got the right kind of love? Check out how travelling with your partner before tying the knot can help!

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xx,

Paula