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

9 Tips on How to Unplug from Social Media

I truly have a love-hate relationship with social media. Times have changed, and we now have 24/7 access to excellent tools that allow us to surf the web at any moment of the day—we literally have the entire content of the internet at our fingertips.

Having access to the internet and social media has been life altering in many positive ways, but is it possible that people are pushing the limits? Is it possible that we have begun to encounter more negative aspects than positive ones? Is having constant access to the internet changing the way in which people interact, view, and experience things?

There are many aspects, such as connecting to others, that have had such a positive impact on the way that people interact. I absolutely love seeing what my friends are posting on social media—whether it’s photos of their burritos, boyfriends, or babies—seeing how happy they are brings me so much joy.

However, there are parts of the online experience I don’t necessarily enjoy. One in particular is when I’m spending time with someone who cannot be bothered to put their phone down long enough to be present and enjoy the time we are spending together.

It’s important to consider if the hype of social media is causing people to forget what living life is all about? Is the need to post a photo, or see someone else’s photos worth missing out on your own experiences?

Life is meant to be personally seen and experienced so we can create memories. Yes, a photo is worth a thousand words, but what if one can’t remember what made taking that photo so special in the first place?

A while ago I posted an article about how the new FOMO is not being able to unplug and enjoy being present in the life you’re living—the fear of missing out on real life experiences and joy. With this, it’s also important to learn how to unplug.

Check out these 9 easy tips on how to unplug:

Put the device down

Seriously, the first step is to put the phone down. When with others, turn it off or put it on vibrate and focus on those in your presence. Enjoy the time you spend with others—time is the one thing that we can never get back, so make it worth while…

Look around

You may see things you never saw before. Beauty is sometimes in the places we least expect. So again, put the phone down, walk with your chin up, and enjoy your surroundings.

Engage others

Spending time with your friends? Great. Talk to them. Shoot the shit. Laugh together. Whatever you do, just enjoy yourself.

Live for you and no one else

Engage in activities because they will improve your quality of life and add value to your life. Refrain from doing things because “everyone else” is, or because it’s “cool.” Imagine yourself looking back twenty years from now—will that memory make you smile and have positively contributed to your life somehow? If the answer is no, it’s definitely something to re-consider…

Don’t judge a book by its cover

Social media may not be an accurate depiction of people’s lives. Hence, it’s important to live the best version of your own life. Yes, FOMO is a real thing, but make sure it’s a fear that’s actually worth giving up valuable time and experiences.

Unfollow models and bloggers

Seriously, unfollow. The lifestyle that people are paid to lead is not realistic. Do not feel like you are missing out. The sooner you can unfollow these accounts, the sooner you can live the amazing life sitting right under that beautiful nose of yours…

Focus on you, because you are beautiful.

Do not seek validation online

The number of likes on your Instagram or Facebook are in no way equal to your worth as a person—you are worth so much more than a virtual thumbs-up. The sooner you can see this, the sooner you can put that phone down…

Less is better

Privacy is a beautiful thing. Less is better. The less you post, the less people know about you. There is so much data on the internet, and that can sometimes be scary. Do you want everyone to have access to where you are and what you’re doing? Remember, once something is posted, it can never be unseen. Post with discretion.

Go off the grid

Going off the grid can be so badass. As mentioned above, people are now able to access our every move and see exactly where we are and what we’re doing—some secrecy can go a long way…

social media | unplug | be present | less is better | internet

Is social media bringing you down? Read up on how it might be destroying your self-esteem…

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xx,

Paula

Millennials and the Transition from Twenty to Thirty

The transition from twenty to thirty has proven to be rather special for millennials. Unlike previous generations, millennials have had ample time and opportunity to live out dreams and adventures. Although the desire to explore life still exists among those in their thirties, there is definitely a drastic shift in lifestyle between twenty and thirty. Whether it be the way millennials in their thirties socialize, make lifestyle choices, or love their partner, it is not nearly the same as being twenty.

I was definitely one of the millennials that had the opportunity to move away for college, travel, develop friendships that will last a lifetime, and really figure myself out. The way I lived when I was twenty is very different than the standard of living I desire now. It is possible that this is due to societal norms and expectations, but also, I think people grow out of certain things.

Growing out of things, or growing up has a lot to do with sense of self, the stability one creates, and maturity. Over that decade, each person is able to discover the direction in which they would like their life to go. Regardless of being single, or married, in a career, or in school, or living in your parents’ basement—we all make choices that allow us to best convey our values.

I believe that as a person, we remain the same. I am who I am, and my age will never change that. However, as I grow up the things that I find to be most important shift.

What the transition from twenty to thirty looks like…

Big dreams

The things we desire in our thirties are significantly different than those in our twenties. The dream is now owning a home, or starting a family. Again, this is a reflection of the life one envisions for themselves, but as we get older, the dreams get bigger and bigger—literally and figuratively.

Time and convenience

Thirty makes it much more difficult to find a reason to engage in an inconveniencing task. Those tedious, awful undertakings, like finding parking in LA, or waiting in line at the hottest “it” bar, can cause one to reconsider whether to pursue that activity or not. Time is of the utmost importance, and wasting that time is not the business.

Health

More than ever before, leading a healthy life in all aspects—mind, body, and soul—is a top priority. Having a burrito every day is no longer okay. Drinking your liver away every weekend is no longer okay. As you grow up, you realize that you only have one body—it’s beautiful, it is a gift, and it’s important to take care of it.

Balance

Balance is crucial to the success of any adult, whether twenty or thirty. Life pulls us in so many directions these days—not to mention, stress levels are higher than ever before. Finding balance in order to sustain wellness is pertinent. Meditate, stop answering work calls when you’re off the clock, get a massage every month—whatever it takes, find balance.

Fun

Ah, fun. The things that change the most. Currently, I enjoy staying in, taking my dog to the park, watching TV with babe, and going to bed at 10PM. In my previous life—my twenties—we would just be starting the night at 10PM. I look back and can’t even imagine how I used to keep up with that lifestyle. Regardless, I wouldn’t change a thing, past or present…

Graduation parties vs. wedding parties

Literally everyone and their mothers gets married around thirty. It’s so exciting to see my closest friends find their soulmates and begin a life together. Marriage is a pretty big deal, even though it may not seem like it. We’re not in college anymore, Toto…

Family

Spending time with family isn’t at the top of your list when you’re trying to figure out who you are, and where your place in the universe is. Twenties are meant for solo time. Thirties, however, are meant for rejoining the family dynamic—or creating a family of your own. Spending more time with your parents and siblings, really getting to know your nieces and nephews, and possibly having your own child, become such a substantial part of your life. It’s quite lovely…

The hott guy vs. the good guy

Choosing a partner is always a task, whether you’re in your twenties or thirties. The difference is, however, that what you’re looking for in a partner changes. You start to consider the long-term: Do you want the same things? Have the same values? Are you compatible? Do you enjoy the same activities? Do you like your partner’s family? All of these things become important. I mean, this is the rest of your life we’re talking about, not just a date to the school dance.

Yes, thirty seems to be more serious, but it’s also a time to cherish all that you have accomplished—you owe it to yourself to live the life that you want, no matter what others say…

millennials | growing up | transition | lifestyle |thirty | twenty

Feel like you’re missing out on all the things you used to do? Check out why it’s important to unplug…

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xx,

Paula

Relationships: How to Know if it’s Real Love

Relationships are particularly tricky, especially when trying to figure out whether it’s real love or not. When we are in a new relationship, it’s as if the world is now made of chocolate chip coated cotton candy clouds. Everything is pleasant, and peaceful, and your heart is so filled with joy that it’s left your body and made its way up to heaven without you.

This initial stage of love, also known as the honeymoon phase, is so much fun. But once your cotton candy bubble pops, your love can look significantly different. The question is, however, is it the love that’s different? Or is it you that’s feeling different?

Being in love can lead to a skewed perception of reality. Feeling all the love can cause one to ignore possible red flags, potentially turn a blind eye to dishonesty, and even accept behaviors that aren’t okay. Once you’re able to make your way back down to planet earth from those cotton candy clouds, you may, or may not, like what you’re seeing.

There can be a wide-array of barriers when it comes to actually understanding whether the relationship you’re in is right for you. Is it healthy? Is it making you happy? Are you at ease? Every single person has a unique set of needs when it comes to finding the right partner, as well as the right kind of love. There are many things to consider, so what do you need to look for to discover if it’s real love?

How to know if love is real… 

Self-love

When you find the right kind of love, it becomes a lot easier to discover just how much you love yourself. I truly believe that self-love is part of the foundation of any successful relationship. Alongside trust, communication, and respect, the way in which you love yourself is also how you will accept love. When you love yourself, you have the insight and ability to know whether or not you’re not being treated appropriately, and you can better understand if this love makes you feel good about life and yourself. When it’s real love, you’ll feel it in your bones…

Boundaries

Being able to set boundaries with your partner, and make him or her aware of your needs is crucial to the success of your relationship. Anyone can set boundaries, however, it’s whether or not your partner respects those boundaries. If your needs aren’t being met, it possible that you won’t continue to be cuddled up in your cotton candy clouds.

Things are easy

Yes, all couples have problems and conflict can sometimes arise. But if at the end of the day things flow pretty nicely, and being together is easy and fun, you’re definitely on the path to a healthy relationship.

Relationships are not meant to be hard, they’re meant to be fulfilling and joyful…

Lifestyle and compatibility 

Do you two like the same things, and want to live life the same way? Are you able to complete your partners sentences? Do you know exactly what your partner is thinking when he sees the dog with the rainbow mohawk walking down the street? That’s great. You’re compatible, you want the same things in life, and you understand one another. Being able to engage in fun activities together allows your love to blossom and build a strong bond.

Compromise

When you and your partner are able to make decisions based on both of your needs without becoming resentful, you’re solid. Engaging in a discussion about potential life altering changes, and figuring out how to make those changes, all while respecting one another, has a lot to do with love. If someone doesn’t love you, they wouldn’t be willing to switch things up and make improvements.

Guilt be gone 

Guilt is something you don’t want in a relationship. Being able to put yourself first, whether it be for your career, schooling, or for the sake of balance, without your partner making you feel guilty, is pretty spectacular. Knowing that you are free to do whatever you need without worrying that you’ll come home to an angry partner is truly a gift.

If your partner understands you and provides you the space that you need to care for yourself, that is a selfless act. It’s kind, and it conveys a great deal of love…

Acceptance

Accepting one another, as you are, and not wanting to change a thing is a very loving gesture. It is hard to enjoy every single thing about a person, but if you are capable of doing that with your partner, it’s real love.

Love is all around you. How you choose receive and extend love is up to you…

real love | relationships | love | lifestyle

~Photo by Christian Gertenbach on Unsplash~

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xx,

Paula

15 Non-Negotiable Rules For Navigating The World Of Your Twenties

It’s all about life rules…

Millennials | rules | life | lifestyle

Hey guys! I feel so lucky to have had another piece shared via Thought Catalog. This particular piece is very special to me because it’s about many of the life lessons I’ve encountered over the years. These non-negotiate life rules have helped me lead a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.

Whether in your 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s, know that these rules will always be by your side to provide you the support and logic that you need.

These rules also help you remember what’s actually important in life. Like people, and our families…

Of all the things discussed in the article, this is my favorite:

Have no regrets

Life happens—it is what it is. Regardless of the situation, you must have been able to take something valuable away from even the most awful moments. Life itself is a huge learning experience. Embrace the good and the bad—find the silver lining. The things you learn will come in handy someday.”

Spread love like confetti, and cherish the love and care that you are provided by those that matter. Be happy, and appreciate the little things.

Life is meant to be lived, so laugh, love, and do the things that bring you joy…

xoxo,

Paula

Inspired to make some changes? Check out why you need to unplug…

Dating Should Be About More Than Instant Gratification

Dating has significantly changed over the years. While our parents and grandparents were meeting in high school, or at the local ice cream shop, or seeing each other from across the room, millennials are now meeting on platforms such as Tinder. All love stories are beautiful, but that’s just it—are they still love stories? Or has dating turned into a single-serving experience? Simply a way to get what you need for right now? 

Because of the new rules of dating, the value of building a relationship with another person has radically decreased. This is problematic for many reasons, especially because millennials are learning to degrade people; to cheapen their worth. People are people, and they should all be valued and respected, whether they fulfill your needs or not.

Dating should be about joy, adventure, and the excitement of learning about a new person. Figuring out how this person complements you, and what makes them special. To discover what they like, and what things you two have in common. To be friends. To be lovers. To be all that you need.

Not all relationships work out and head in that direction, however, it’s important to have fun. Each person will teach you something new, and it will be worthwhile in the long run.

Dating should not be about instant gratification. It should not be about using someone for your own selfish needs. It should not be about ghosting, and ignoring, and being hurtful. Dating should be about honesty. It’s possible you may not be interested after a few dates, so be honest. Just be honest—if not for the other person, do it for yourself…

Why dating shouldn’t be about instant gratification:

Socializing

With the way in which millennials communicate today, primarily via text, emojis, and email, it’s possible to lose sight of how to best socialize. Whether meeting your soulmate, or going on a single date with someone, be social. Ask questions, get to know one another, and most importantly, put your phone down. Dating well is something you can learn, so enjoy yourself and take notes—this may benefit you in the future.

Building relationships

If the date doesn’t work out, that doesn’t mean you can’t be friends with this person. Take time to build a relationship—you never know what you’ll find and how it can impact your life.

Figuring out what you need in a partner

If you don’t allow yourself any time to actually get to know someone, you won’t have the opportunity to learn what it is that you want, and don’t want in a partner. By engaging in single serving relationships, you are doing yourself a disservice…

Missed chances

According to Forrest Gump, life is like a box of chocolates and you never know what you’re gonna get—so try. Not getting to know someone can potentially cause you to miss out on finding your special someone.

Don’t judge a book by its cover

Society is so heavily focused on looks, money, and status, that it may prevent you from giving someone the chance they deserve. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Meet up with someone because they’re cool and make you laugh, not just because they’re hott. Although attraction is important, don’t be shallow.

Respect

Respecting others should always be a priority. If you don’t plan on seeing someone anymore let them know. Remember, there’s an actual person on the other side of the text box. A human being with thoughts, emotions, and a heart. It’s not appropriate to just ghost someone because you can’t be bothered to deal with it—would you want someone to do that to you?

Be yourself

Remember to always be yourself. Be the kind, cool person that you are. Let people in and allow them, and yourself, to see just how wonderful you are. Let them see why you are to be valued. Let them see what makes you special. Let them see you.

dating | millennials | respect | ghosting | relationships

Dating bringing you down? Check out our tips on how to date fearlessly… 

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xx,

Paula

Arguments and How to Best Pick Your Battles

Arguments in any relationship are unavoidable. Two people, with two separate sets of needs, calls for the occasional battle. Whether with a friend, sibling, or your partner, fights are definitely in your future.

Arguments can vary in level of seriousness, or possible detriment they can cause. Regardless, the vast majority may not be worth losing that person, or somehow destroying your relationship. The key to surviving arguments is which ones you choose to pursue.

Picking your battles is something I learned at a young age. My older sister used to always remind me of this in the midst of an argument, and it was definitely a lesson I was happy to learn. Now that I am older, I am able to decide which battles are actually worth fighting. Which battles I’m actually passionate about. Which battles are important to me. And which battles can somehow improve the relationship versus damage it.

In my relationships, I find that there are several ways to decide which of those fights to choose. Many of them require a thought and time to decide if it’s worth the trouble.

How to best pick your battles:

Level of importance 

Is a particular issue an annoyance vs. an actual problem? We all have good and bad days, and some things, like the direction in which the toilet paper roll hangs, can drive you nuts. Be sure, though, to consider how fighting a battle that inferior can ultimately affect the other person. Will they be hurt? Will they feel unappreciated? Sometimes it might be easier to just flip the roll and move on…

Timing

There’s a time and place for everything. Is it the right time to discuss this issue? Or could this be better handled in the future? Somethings just don’t need to be addressed right away. For example, you’ve just gotten engaged, and you are not sure where to send your kids to school. Are you planning on having kids in the next year? If not, maybe it’s not something that you need to get into right this second…

Ability to compromise

Being able to compromise is crucial to the success of any relationship, especially when it comes to potential arguments. Is this a topic that isn’t very concerning to you? Pizza vs. Thai? Or which coffee table to purchase? Which color to paint the new room? Again, take into consideration how important this is to you vs. your partner—will it affect them more than it will affect you? Sometimes it’s worth the compromise…

Is it life altering? 

Fights can vary from life altering to unworthy. Whether it’s relocating to another city/country, or deciding whether or not to have children, these decisions can completely change your life. How significant is the issue? And where do you stand compared to your partner? These types of discussions may be worth the battle—just make that you are able to appropriately get your point across.

Can you let it go? 

If you decide to completely drop a topic and not pursue a discussion, you actually have to drop it. Don’t avoid the problem because you don’t feel like dealing with it, otherwise you can develop negative feelings like resentment and anger. If you’re choosing to comprise, be 100% okay with your decision…

Be constructive

If you choose to pursue the battle at hand, come prepared with valid points, and be constructive. Actively listen, and try to understand the other person’s point of view. Choose your words wisely, and be kind. Take time to think about things first, and engage in discussion after you’ve had time to calm down. Remember, it’s of the utmost importance to always be respectful.

arguments | relationships | compromise | pick your battles | dating | love

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Paula

Why It’s Important to Travel with Your Partner Before Tying the Knot

Travel is such an important part of life. Travel allows for new experiences, personal growth, and the ability to really get to know someone else. Whether doing it solo, with friends, or with your partner, your joint travel experience can define that relationship.

 I’m one of those people who can’t travel with just anyone. Because of this, I was pretty nervous about taking a 3-week international trip with my beau. We’ve been together for over a year, and our local trips have been great. I literally can’t get enough of this guy. BUT, traveling across the world, while trying to navigate a new place, in a foreign language, with varying cultural norms, can create some friction. 

The primary question I got from friends when we got home was, “did you guys fight?” This was confusing to me—were we supposed to fight? Luckily, there were no arguments, and we had an amazingtime. 

Having had the opportunity to spend 24-uninterrupted-hours together each day for 3-weeks helped me realize just how much we love each other. However, if we weren’t compatible enough, many things could have gone wrong. And if they did, we may not have returned as two people in love…

Consider these 7 things when traveling with your partner before tying the knot: 

1. Making plans

Making plans is so important. Whether it’s for dinner, travel, your new apartment, or your future family, being on the same page is crucial. What’s your travel destination? What attractions will you visit? What type of food will you eat? Will you rent a car? Or utilize public transportation? Will you stay in a hostel? Or a fancy hotel?

Being able to weight the pros and cons, and make a joint decision that both parties are comfortable with is just the first step. If the two of you desire different things, making plans can potentially become a barrier to moving forward in your relationship. 

2. Compromise

Compromise is also part of making plans—can the two of you work together to settle on something you’ll both be happy with? It can be one person choosing hotels, and the other booking tours, or both of you planning everything together. Whatever it may be, make sure you are both happy with what’s coming. 

3. Lifestyle

Leading a similar lifestyle is vital when it comes to travel. Are you wanting to go on a foodie tour? See the sights? Visit the museums? Or climb Mount Kilimanjaro? Will you both agree on engaging in the same activities? Or will it become a battle? 

My beau and I decided early on that we wanted to eat our way through Europe. We wanted to get lost in each city, and take in as much of the culture as we could. We did not plan any tours, nor did we engage in the craziest activity that city had to offer. Our desire was to enjoy our vacation and go with the flow.

If we hadn’t agreed on the same things, it would have been totally possible for conflict to arise.  

4. Spending time 

I think spending an extended period of time with someone and not wanting to punch them is a reallygood sign, lol. Are you able to tolerate your partner 24/7 for several days and/or weeks? Are you able to remain patient? And kind? And not find something to bicker over? 

If you can handle constantly being in close quarters for several weeks, sometimes under difficult circumstances, you and your beau can really get through anything…

5. Having fun

Do you have fun with your partner? Does your partner suggest activities that you both enjoy? Taking pleasure in the time you and your partner spend together, even if you’re doing nothing, is crucial to the success of a relationship. 

You can’t always be happy, and life isn’t always fun, but there should be more good times than bad… 

6. Listen to your gut

Are you at ease? Or are you anxious? Are the butterflies in your tummy from excitement? Or from nervousness? Listen to your gut. Our bodies can sense things that we might not yet realize. Living a life where you’re constantly on edge is not healthy. Be aware of what your body is trying to tell you…

7. What’s next?

Will you come back from your trip knowing that this person is the one for you? Or will you return wanting to end things? Long trips can do that, and it’s okay. If you can’t tolerate two weeks with your partner, how are you going to endure a lifetime? 

Traveling with your partner before tying the knot can reveal a great deal about both you and your partner. If you’re both on the same page, and have the ability to work together as a team, your relationship is probably in a healthy place…

travel | dating | marriage | relationships | travel with your partner | compromise

Love your partner, but not sure how to show it? Read up on how to love your partner wholeheartedly…

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xx,

Paula

10 Emotional Consequences of a Dysfunctional Relationship

If you’ve ever been in a dysfunctional relationship, please raise your hand. Yup—my arm is definitely in the air…

The battle with dysfunctional relationships is that they may not seem so bad at first. The red flags are usually there, but they’re not severe enough to cause alarm until you’re in pretty deep. Or it’s possible that it was a choice to overlook those concerning behaviors all along. Regardless, they’re very misleading…

I decided to address this topic today because a reader recently reached out to me and shared her story. I think it takes a lot of courage to become aware of how dangerous some of these red flags are, and most importantly, being able to acknowledge that you deserve better. I personally went through something very similar, and experienced many of the emotional obstacles discussed in this article.

While undergoing the internal struggle between the madness of things eventually getting better, or you needing to make a run for it, it’s possible to suffer a great deal of psychological and emotional harm in the interim. With this, you begin to question everything and start to feel that you don’t deserve better. But guess what? You do!

That’s what a dysfunctional relationship does—it causes you to feel as though you are not worthy of love, and care, and happiness, and stability, and all other things that allow one to feel secure and safe. But you are worthy.

Dysfunctional relationships can cause a lot of damage, and whether you’re in a place where you’re contemplating a break-up, or have already walked away, there is a great deal to overcome once it’s over…

10 emotional consequences of a dysfunctional relationship:

1. Decreased self-esteem

It’s difficult to feel good about yourself when the person who is supposed to bring out the best in you makes you feel small.  Actions such as pushing you away, making you feel unwanted or unimportant, constantly placing blame, or only pointing out your faults, can absolutely cause a significant drop in your self-worth.

In situations like this, remember that you’re not the problem. This type of treatment is unacceptable. Be sure to stand up for yourself (if safe), and engage in activities that will your self-love on a daily basis. Constantly use this as a reminder of just how great you are…

2. Feeling at fault

Remember that the way in which your partner acts or treats you is not your fault. Each person is responsible for their own actions, and should be able to address matters in a respectful and kind way. If your partner makes you feel as though they need to treat you poorly, that is not on you. And you shouldn’t tolerate that type of treatment either…

3. Somatic symptoms

Sometimes our feelings can be so severe that they physically manifest themselves. Going through an emotional rollercoaster can literally make you feel sick to your stomach. If you start to experience physical symptoms that are out of the ordinary, schedule an appointment with your doctor.

At this point, it is important to consider the way in which your relationship is effecting your health. Your wellness should always be your top priority.

4. Lack of motivation

It’s really difficult to achieve your goals and focus on the things that matter when you’re distracted by your relationship. Not to mention, negative feelings and decreased self-esteem can strongly interfere in your successes.

5. All the negativity

Experiencing a plethora of negative thoughts and feelings over an extended period of time can be very unhealthy. Between the anger, resentment, sadness, self-doubt, and disappointment, it can feel nearly impossible to find some joy.

Try to keep your head above water by surrounding yourself with people you love—people that are supportive. Engaging in activities that make you feel good is also a healthy way to combat some of the negativity…

6. Inapt priorities

Our priorities shift due to life circumstances. When in a dysfunctional relationship, priorities become blurred, and what’s important can sometimes be placed on the backburner. Be sure to always put yourself first and maintain sight of your needs.

7. Isolation

Depending on the direction in which your relationship is going, it’s possible that you may become isolated. Whether you’ve become disinterested in socializing, or spend all of your free time with your partner and his circle or friends, this can be very serious. Try to remain in contact with your friends and family, and make time to see them.

Also, feeling isolated and unsupported can absolutely hinder you from walking away from a dysfunctional relationship, if you decide to. Your social network is a resource—keep the lines of communication open.

8. Learning to tolerate abuse

Abuse comes in many shapes and forms, including emotional, verbal, and physical. Being mistreated so often eventually starts to feel normal. This is extremely problematic, and being abused is never okay. If you need help, reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

9. Tolerating dishonesty

Whether lying, cheating, or stealing, dishonest behavior should not be tolerated. Trust is an important part of any relationship, and you deserve better.

10. Losing yourself

Whether losing sight of who you are, or losing your voice and ability to stand up for yourself, this is the most difficult emotional outcome to recover from. Not being heard when trying to speak your mind is destructive and hurtful. Being with a person who is not interested in hearing your thoughts or feelings is a person that is not worthy of you

Dysfunctional relationships are exactly that, dysfunctional. Don’t allow yourself to feel that you are to blame for all of the misfortunes of your relationship. You’re not, and you deserve more

relationships | love | dysfunctional relationship | emotions

Not sure how to walk away from your dysfunctional relationship? Read up on how to prepare yourself here

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xx,

Paula

Is Social Media Destroying Your Self-Esteem?

Social media has such a significant influence on society, and the vast majority of posts involve adveritsements. I can’t remember a time when there was such an emphasis on things as there is now. Not that I’ve been around that long, but it seems as though material objects matter more now than they ever have before. There are many factors that can potentially be responsible for this phenomenon, however, it seems as though the Instagram and Facebook feeds may be the culprit.

From the fashion bloggers, to the travel bloggers, or anyone who is paid to advertise a product or location, you find yourself somehow sucked into the “wow I wish I had that” mindset. This newfound desire for things has created such a significant emphasis on having more, wanting more, needing more. From the fancy designer handbag, to the newest fancy iPhone, to the fancy hotel vacation—YOU NEED TO HAVE IT.

Not only is social media keeping us from appreciating the amazing things we do have, but it’s also creating a sense of inferiority. I am not enough. Not rich enough, not thin enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough…

This is absolutely invalid. You are everything. You don’t need things to be happy. You don’t need to go into debt in order to buy the lavish items being advertised on your feed.

Here is why It’s important to keep media at face-value:

1. Work, work, work

Bloggers get paid to look good. They get paid to write a review on a new product. They get paid to tell you what’s cool. Does that mean whatever they’re advertising is necessarily the new cool thing? Maybe, maybe not. Also, they usually get the item for free, whereas most normal people don’t have that luxury.

2. It’s a team effort

From photographers, to videographers, to make-up artists, chefs, or personal trainers, to a writing team, it’s not a one (wo)man show. Everyday people leading normal lives cannot be expected to have the same appearance or lifestyle because between work, family and friends, laundry, making dinner, walking your dog, and sleep, it’s impossible to live a life such as those displayed on social media.

3. Why can’t life always be this breezy?

Life isn’t always about rainbows, unicorns, and Bentleys. Life is hard. Based on the images presented to us via social media, we are expected to believe that life is perfect. Perfect relationships. Perfect bodies. Perfect homes. But that’s exactly what it is, a belief. Our imperfections make us who we are, and they should be valued.

4. The exhaustion factor

Between everything going on in life and working crazy hours, I have no desire to be fully made-up every single morning. Sometimes I like throwing my hair up in a bun and wearing my most oversized, comfy sweater. Once my smile is on, I have all I need.

If feeling comfortable in your own skin isn’t considered beautiful, I don’t know what is.

5. The comparison

Please, please, please do not compare yourself to any of the people portrayed on your Instagram feed. These are images of people who are hired to look/act/do things a certain way. It is not realistic. Again, take it at face-value—that’s all it is.

6. That money, money, money

Seriously, don’t go broke for buying items you don’t need because social media tells you it’s supposed to be cool. What’s actually cool is not spending a fortune on random objects and owing a big bank somewhere a lot of money. You’re already a badass without all the extra stuff…

7. You are enough.

Don’t ever allow anyone to make you feel that you or the things you have are not enough. You are perfect just the way you are. You are beautiful. You are talented. You are intelligent. You are the perfect version of yourself.

social media | self esteem | online | you are enough | unplug | self love

Feel like you’re missing out on your life because of social media? Read up on why it’s important to unplug

Don’t forget to subscribe and also connect with me on the following platforms: PinterestInstagramTwitterGoogle+, and Facebook!

xx,

Paula