Valentine’s Day: What Celebrating Love is All About

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate important relationships and love. Valentine’s Day has always been one that I was fond of, even if celebrating as a single lady. Galentine’s day is too much fun for words, as is celebrating with your siblings.

Whether involved or celebrating solo, the same Valentine’s traditions take place. You grab a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates, pop some popcorn, and search for the sappiest rom-com that’s streaming. Cuddling with a heart shaped-pillow is a must, along with feeling super cozy in your PJ’s and organic, panda facemask.

Or, on the flip side, you’re out on the town with your beau celebrating over a fancy dinner with intricate desserts and bubbly so good it tickles your nose. You get super fancy because love has no price, right? RIGHT! But what if these traditions don’t quite capture what love is about? What if the “love” we are celebrating, or how we have been socialized to celebrate Valentine’s Day, doesn’t represent what love actually means to us?

Love is so much bigger than the one-day celebration known as Valentine’s Day. Love is this massive, undefined, unconditional, beautiful feeling that is comprised of light and happiness. How can one single day signify how much you love someone?

Valentine’s Day can represent many different things; some may go above and beyond, while others may choose to avoid the holiday. Regardless of how you choose to celebrate, remember that there is so much more to love…

Here’s what celebrating love should be about:

Celebrate love every day

Valentine’s Day should be a simple reminder that love should be celebrated year ‘round. Whether telling your boyfriend you love him, bringing flowers home for your girlfriend, or surprising your wife by cleaning the kitchen floor, you can show the people you love just how much you love them each and every day…

Consider the simple things

Love doesn’t need to be shown via insanely extravagant gestures—love can be as simple as kissing your partner on the nose, or holding hands, or bringing home soup if he has the sniffles. In love, it’s the simple things that matter the most. In love, it’s the little gestures that mean the most.

Remember why

Remember why you love your partner and the many people in your life. Remind yourself daily of just how lucky you are to love, and receive love, from your social network. In order to appreciate love, you must be able to acknowledge and understand it.

You are loved

Along with reminding yourself of why you love others, also remember that you are loved. Many people hold you near-and-dear to their hearts and feel lucky to have you as an active part of their lives. Remember that.

Love yourself

First and foremost, love yourself. Loving others is such a significant part of life, but so is self-love. Embrace your energy and power, and truly value who you are. There’s no greater love than love for oneself…

Spread love like confetti

I believe that love is like karma—what goes around comes around. Spread love. The more love you put out into the universe, the more love you will receive in return. Whether smiling at a stranger, or giving your dog a hug, spread love.

Love is everywhere

Love is everywhere, and it’s important to recognize that. Embrace love. Love is taken for granted, but rather, it should be valued cherished. Really take it in and open your heart to it, regardless of where it’s coming from. Let love, and be love…

Valentine's Day | Valentine | Love | Relationships | Dating | Celebrate

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Paula

How to Cope When Life Changes Instantly

One of the major lessons I learned at a very young age is that life changes instantly. It literally takes a split second for your entire world to spin ‘round and flip upside down—before you can even blink an eye, nothing will ever be the same again.

When I was 7-years old I lost my mother in a car accident. When you’re a kid, you don’t expect that life changes instantly, but it does. I didn’t quite understand where she went, or the extend in which it would affect me, but it changed my life in more ways than I could have ever fathomed at that point in my development. Yes, I still had my father and my sisters, but the childhood that I had—the childhood that I knew—didn’t exist anymore.

Over the years I struggled with how unfair life was. How could this happen? How is it that life changes instantly? It used to kill me to think of what life could have been like if she was still alive. It would hurt to even remember moments I had with her.

Overtime, however, the anger dwindled. Even though I didn’t understand why my mother was taken from me for so many years, I realized that it was better to embrace her memory. To remember the things she taught me. To remember her laugh. To remember the sparkle in her eyes. I tried to remember the person she would want me to become. I tried to remember that she would want me to be happy…

While visiting with family a few weeks ago, we decided to look at old photos. I opened the first album, and there was her face. She had a smile on in every single picture. She held us tight in every photo. She was living her best life. She embraced every single moment, even though she had no idea her life would end sooner than it should have.

Along with several other incidents that have happened over the last few months, seeing my mom smile in those pictures reminded me that every single moment we are alive and breathing is precious. I have learned that it is possible to find something good in every situation. I have learned that sometimes it’s those awful things that happen that teach us the most about ourselves, as well as how we choose to view the world.

After devastating, catastrophic events, one has the choice to perceive life as a taker rather than a giver, but is that what life is actually about? We are what we make of things—we are how we choose to face adversity—we are who decides which perspective to take. The choice is between light and darkness—which will you choose?

Despite of the setbacks and barriers, smile, be grateful, and don’t take anything for granted. Our lives are delicate, and extremely valuable. The slightest thing can create chaos. Regardless of the situation, remember that things could be worse.

Here’s how to cope when life changes instantly:

Breathe 

Stop. Breathe. Take a second to think about what’s happening.

Wait

Don’t make any decisions until you are calm and have had adequate time to process the situation.

Count on others

Turn to people in your life that you love and trust. You don’t have to go through whatever is happening alone—lean on others and accept their help.

Feel what you need to feel

It’s okay to be angry and feel the million other emotions rushing through your body and mind, but don’t let it take over. Anger and other feelings can sometimes consume us, so be cautious…

Focus on the positive 

No matter how bad things can possibly get, there is still good to be found. Look for the silver lining. Try to focus on the positive aspects, even if it seems impossible…

Forgive 

When things go sour it’s usually because something bad has happened. Whether because of something done independently, or something done by another person, choose to forgive. Forgive so that you can move on. Forgive so that you no longer hold on to negative feelings. Let go of the hurt. Let go of resentment.

Acceptance

Eventually you’ll learn to accept, or try to accept, the new. Do your best to adjust to the changes, and remember that over time everything to be okay. Remember to breathe…

life | life changes instantly | positive thinking | silver lining | coping

The fear of loss is real–here’s how to cope…

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Paula

Unhealthy Relationships and How to Take Your Power Back

Unhealthy relationships can take everything out of you. They will drain you of joy, confidence, hope, and anything remotely close to happiness. These unhealthy relationships are known to destroy your soul—to destroy your spirit. They are the relationships you will never forget just because of how much pain and agony you went through.

You got out. You’re free. The healing process felt like death, and you felt so weak along the way. But here you are, standing tall, and feeling stronger than ever before. You swear that you will never end up in a similar relationship, but how can you be sure? Dating can be deceptive, as the deeper you get, the clearer someone’s personality becomes.

Even though you would give everything to stay away from future relationships that resemble those destructive horror shows, it’s not always guaranteed. What is guaranteed, however, is not allowing another human being to make you experience those awful feelings again. What is guaranteed is never giving another person the power to hurt and control you again.

How is this possible? What does it have to do with power? Well, a lot, actually. Your power is knowing how valuable you are, and saying no when you are not being treated well. It’s being aware of your worth, and no longer making excuses for another person’s inappropriate, hurtful behavior.

Whether currently in an unhealthy relationship that is bringing you down, recovering from one, or starting a new one, you can always take your power back…

Here’s how to take your power back:

Know your worth

Know that you are worthy of love, and worthy of good treatment. You deserve a healthy relationship in which you are happy, and you should not settle for anything less.

Say no

If something you are not okay with is happening, speak up. Say no. Make your voice heard, and do not allow for anyone, no matter who, to treat you in a way that makes you feel small, disrespected, or hurt. Remember, you deserve better.

Demand more

Along with not accepting inappropriate behavior, demand more. State your expectations and set a timeline. If things don’t improve, you may need to reevaluate your relationship and if it’s turning into one of those horror shows you previously experienced.

Pay Attention to Red Flags

Be aware of any red flags. You’ve been through this before, so keep an eye out for any strange, inappropriate behavior. Unhealthy relationships are not the business.

Listen to your gut

Always, I mean always, listen to your gut. You know when something is wrong, so be sure to pay attention. Learn how to decipher the difference between butterflies and anxiety. Learn when to call it quits, and when to stick it out just a tad longer. Connect your mind and your intuition; don’t use one to fight the other.

Express your expectations

Make it known early on what you will and will not tolerate. Explain that you need from a relationship, and do not accept anything less. This sounds like a potentially aggressive approach, but I think if presented appropriately, it can be very effective.

Give yourself permission to be vulnerable

It’s okay to put yourself out there. It’s okay to learn to trust again. It’s okay to let your guard down. Being able to let someone in is also part of your power source.

Feeling happy in a relationship is wonderful, however, it does not coincide with relinquishing your power. Even if you have been blessed the greatest, most supportive partner, keep your power. It’s a tool. It’s an instrument. It’s a means of strength that you can forever lean on. You never know when you’re going to need it next…

unhealthy relationships | relationships | power | self worth | permission

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Commitment and How to Customize Your Relationship

Commitment can be one of the most beautiful things in life. Having the one you love most—your person—by your side every single day provides a sense of stability and comfort that is unlike any other. Commitment, however, can also feel like you’re crashing down into a mountain of misery.

Things always start out beautifully, but the demands of life can sometimes alter how a relationship functions. Whether working together, or against one another, your relationship can potentially take a turn for the worse.

There is only one way to guarantee that your relationship will be filled with happiness, laughter, and love—make it your own. There is so much societal pressure to act a certain way, or follow a specific path, but that doesn’t work for every couple. Communicate. Sit down with your partner and discuss the ways in which your relationship will best operate. Consider what traditions and rules you want to create, as well as the type of lifestyle you hope to lead together.

Deciding what works best for you and your partner is vital in creating a strong, successful commitment. Take time to figure out, within your individual and shared values, how you would like to move forward in your relationship. Commit hand-in-hand, compromise hand-in-hand, and walk through life hand-in-hand.

Sharing a life isn’t always as easy as it sounds. In order to fully commit to your other half and keep your relationship out of the fire-pits of misery, figure out what works best for your both…

Ready to customize your commitment? Here’s how to do it:

Question social norms

Society tells us that we need to follow certain rules to be “accepted.” It can be difficult to veer away from what seems “normal,” but if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. Find your own way. Find the appropriate “norm” for your relationship and run with it.

Focus on your happiness

Being happy doesn’t always coincide with what is expected of you by others, i.e. parents, society, culture, etc. Talk to your partner about what is acceptable for you as a couple. Openly discuss some of those especially difficult topics like religion, or how to raise your kids, so you each know what you’re signing up for.

And most importantly, remember that it is difficult to please everyone at the same time—focus on pleasing yourselves and the rest will eventually follow…

Set boundaries

Whether setting boundaries with other people in your life, or with one another, make sure those are in place. Boundaries allow your relationship the space to grow in whichever direction you and your partner choose.

Be honest

Honesty is the best policy. Share your true thoughts, feelings, and needs with your partner. Allow room for an open discussion. If you need to create a special form of communication that you’re comfortable with, go for it. Do whatever it takes to help you both express your process.

Working together is a significant part of growth and commitment, so be sure to make it a part of your day-to-day communication…

Listen

Take the time to hear what your partner is saying. Ask questions when you don’t understand your partner’s perspective, and do your best to acknowledge where he’s coming from. Be respectful. Be understanding. Be kind.

Compromise

Make decisions together. Find what works for you both, even if it’s not ideal, and follow through. Come to a conclusion that both you and your beau are okay with—this will provide peace and comfort, and allows both of you to have your opinions considered. This way, you can avoid resentment, which is the silent-killer of many relationships.

Stick together

No matter what, stand by one another. Support each other. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt, and vice versa. Do not allow others to dictate what needs to happen in your relationship. Do not allow others to cause conflict on your relationship, or turn the two of you against each other. If you don’t have each other’s’ best interest at heart—if you don’t have each other’s backs—then who will?

Find your way—find what will support the needs of both you and your partner. Be different. Be unique. Be happy. Be in love. Be as committed as you possibly can to a relationship that you love…

commitment | relationships | love | dating | communication | happiness | boundaries | customize

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10 Ways to Learn to Love Yourself

Who would have ever thought it would be so hard to fully love yourself? We are who we are, and acceptance is key. But when surrounded by negative words, distorted perceptions, and unkind opinions that shouldn’t matter, it can be difficult to see the wonder in your soul…

We have relationships with people in our lives, and we choose to accept them as they are—the good, bad, and the weird. Wouldn’t it be incredible if we could have that same type of love and acceptance for ourselves? To know that our strange traits make us unique rather than different. To appreciate our insecurities and learn from them. To know that society does not define what beauty is. To know that we are perfect just as we are.

At the end of the day, even if surrounded by love and positive words, if you don’t believe those things internally, none of it is real. You are the best possible version of you, and you are incredible. Not one soul on the planet has the right to bring you down—but most importantly, do not give anyone that power. You are strong. You are resilient. You are worthy.

The relationship you have with yourself is the most important one—nurture it. Be kind to it. Respect it.

Here’s how to learn to love yourself:

Positive Affirmations

Say positive things about yourself daily. Start with 2 or 3, and then add a few more. Overtime, this will help increase self-love, and improve self-perception. Being nice to ourselves is very much underrated…

Positive self-image

Feel good about yourself. Feel good about the clothes you wear, and how your look in them. Feel good walking in your shoes. Feel good when you look at your image in the mirror. If you see yourself in a positive light, others will too. Set the tone, and fill it with positivity and love.

Self-talk

This one is important… self-talk is crucial when learning to love yourself. Get rid of negativity when talking to or about yourself. If you start to have a negative thought, try to replace it with a positive one. Doing this at first may seem difficult, but overtime, it will become an automatic correction.

Be yourself

Always be who you are—wherever you are, and whomever you’re with—be you. If you can put the real you out there, you will learn to love yourself (more than you already do). The best part about this? People will recognize how genuine you are and will absolutely love you too…

Accept Compliments

Part of self-love is hearing people when they compliment you. Look them in the eyes as they say it, take in their words, and respond with “thank you.” You are beautiful and you should know it.

Cleanse

Cleanse your life of any people that bring you down. It is important that any toxicity be removed from your life. While learning to love yourself, you also need to learn to let go of the demons that are bringing you down.

Keep your power

Do not give anyone to the power to judge or criticize you. The thing to know here is that people will always be unkind, but when you don’t give them any power, you are immune to the hurt they can cause you. Your only job is to be happy and please yourself. Don’t give up your power…

Give yourself permission

Give yourself permission to love yourself. Give yourself permission to be yourself. Give yourself permission to be quirky—those are the best things about you.

The strange things

Embrace the weird things about your personality. They make you who are you, and you are the best possible version of you. Stay weird!

Know your Worth

You are worthy of love, respect, and kindness from others, and most importantly, from yourself. You are valued, and you are worth loving.

Know that you are loved, give others permission to love you, and learn to love yourself…

self-love | love yourself | love | personal growth | positive thinking | wellness

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Paula

Ditch New Year’s Resolutions and Embrace These 7 Concepts in 2018

New year’s resolutions are quite big in our social culture. Whether going for it solo, or as a group, it’s one of those things that’s expected every year. Going around the table and sharing your goal for the year has become such a norm.

So you begin to set goals for yourself — new year’s resolutions. What will you work on? How will you improve yourself? What will you change? It’s several weeks into January, and you find that you haven’t taken any steps to meet your goal. You’re failing. You become disappointed in yourself. You find your face in a pint of ice cream wondering why you ever worked so hard on creating new year’s resolutions in the first place.

After starting the new year’s resolutions process, you’re left unmotivated—but what if you could do things differently? What if you need that initial glimpse of hope? That little glimmer of positive change in your life, just to prepare you for those bigger goals. We all need change every now and then, and maybe new year’s resolutions aren’t for you…

There are alternate routes of support when hoping to improve aspects of your life, whether in the new year or not. Regardless of goals or changes needed, center your desires on creating happiness. Consider what will bring you joy, and what will help you lead a more positive life. How will these basic changes help you meet your larger goals? First, set the foundation—once you’ve got the basics down, everything else will follow.

Embrace these 7 concepts in the new year:

Embrace love

Love truly is the greatest gift of all—it’s all you need. Whether self-love, or love shared with others, embrace it. Take it in—really feel it. Having loved ones to turn to, in good times or bad, is a blessing. Cherish those relationships, and treat them with the utmost care. Sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that provide us with the strongest type of support…

Embrace happiness 

Find the things that bring you joy and run with it. Find your happiness—do whatever it takes to keep it going, and continue to facilitate its’ growth and development. Your happiness is unique; do not compare yourself to others, and do not allow others to judge you.

Embrace positivity

Pay close attention to both the positive and negative aspects of your life. Make it a point to eliminate anything toxic, including people. Cleanse your world of anything that deters you from being at peace.

Embrace change

There are always things that need to change, but first, concentrate on the basics. What is causing you stress? What’s causing you sadness? What’s hindering you from growing as an individual? Along with removing things that are toxic, how will you alter your life so that light can enter? How will you eradicate the darkness?

Embrace your health

Laugh. Dance. Play. Run.

We all have limitations, but do whatever it takes to enjoy your mind and body. Be grateful for your health, and take care of yourself. Avoid taking this gift for granted—you only have one body, so treat it well…

Embrace today

This cannot be emphasized enough…be present. Enjoy every single moment of every single day—be there. Remember the scents, the sounds, and the face of the person you are engaging with. Remember the sound of their laughter. Remember the feeling of the sun beaming down on your face and warming your skin. Remember that exact moment that perfectly-shaped snowflake landed in the palm of your hand during the first snowfall of the season. Whatever you are doing, be present.

Embrace life

Accept what life has handed you, and rather than resenting the universe, try to consider how this can benefit you. What is the silver-lining in this situation? Once you start to focus on the good versus the bad, you will open the gates to appreciation and acceptance. Living a life that you accept is far more exciting than a living a life that you detest…

Happy New Year!!!

new years resolution | change | positive thinking | goals | new year |2018

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7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Get Back with an Ex During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is all about love, cozy cuddles, and sweet kisses under the mistletoe. The holiday season calls for spending time with loved ones, and particularly your special someone. Having your beau by your side is especially lovely during this time of year. Exchanging fancy, well-thought out gifts, clinging arms at holiday parties, and kissing when the ball drops at midnight, are just a few of the many reasons why sharing the holiday season with babe is desirable.

But what if you’re not attached? The holiday season can feel lonely and a lot less cheerful if you’re flying solo. Scrambling to make plans with friends for New Year’s Eve, and doing everything in your power to dodge questions from family about why you’re not married yet make finding someone, anyone, a very high priority.

But wait—what if you could re-kindle the flame with a familiar mate? Someone you’ve already spent the holiday season with—someone who will pick out the perfect gift—someone who is a great kisser (and can actually stay up past midnight).

Getting back with an ex just for the holiday season may seem like a good idea, but it’s not. Re-igniting that old flame will most likely give you pretty deep burns. Familiarity and the need to hold on to old memories is not a valid reason to return to a relationship that you’ve already chosen to remove yourself from…

Here’s why you shouldn’t get back with an ex during the holiday season:

Why you broke up in the first place

Just because it’s a time of the year to be warm and fuzzy, doesn’t mean that getting back with an ex is the right thing to do. Unless pigs started to fly, the reasons you two broke up are most likely still valid reasons. Be sure to remember previous issues before sending that text…

Trauma

Depending on what went down in your relationship, getting back together can bring up traumatic feelings from the past. This can be detrimental to your wellness and sanity, so be sure to consider the effect reaching out to an ex may have on you…

Moving forward

After a break-up, it is customary to work very hard on moving forward. Contacting an ex will kick you two steps back, and cease all the hard work you put into healing. Is having a date to your work holiday party really worth it?

Making the right choice

You made the right choice when you left, so keep that in mind. Do not allow the desire to cuddle with beau lead to you taking a wrong turn. You left once—don’t question that decision.

People don’t change

And your ex probably hasn’t either. The things you hated about him probably still exist. Even if he’s wrapped in lights all cute looking like a Christmas tree, he’s still the same person you previously left behind…

Priorities

Prioritize yourself. By not getting back with your ex, you are putting yourself first.  Take care of yourself. You will get through the holidays, and feel stronger than ever once January rolls around. Focus on yourself and feel the joy.

Sometimes flying solo allows for a special sense of freedom and happiness. Take it all in…

Positive vibes

Channel all the energy it would take to 1) decide to reach out to the ex, and 2) move past all the drama, into something meaningful. Volunteer at a dog rescue, serve food at a kids shelter, or simply sing carols in the street. Whatever it is that you’ll spend time doing, create a positive experience for yourself. Enjoy every moment learning something new about you, and give love to those in your life that deserve it most.

Holiday season | holidays | dating | relationships | ex | love

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7 Ways to Embrace the Holidays and Combat Stress

The holidays are just around the corner, and I am beyond excited to start celebrating. Christmas is literally one of my favorite holidays. There’s something particularly special about bundling up by the fire, sipping hot cocoa, and hanging out with loved ones. The best part, however, is having your heart filled with joy and being completely awe-stricken as you stare at the bright, beautiful Christmas tree that’s taking up half of your living room. There’s really nothing like it…

Even though cookie-cutter holidays are what we all strive for, the holidays aren’t always so cheerful. A great deal of issues come up, including family drama, financial troubles, and sometimes, loneliness. Even though the holidays are perceived as the happiest time of the year, they can bring out some really dark feelings.

Stress rises, demands escalate, and money and time are scarce. Sometimes even the brightest of times can open our eyes to a great deal of hardship. So, in the spirit of the holidays, here are some simple strategies to take care of yourself and stay sane…

7 ways to embrace the holidays and combat stress:

Remember what the holidays are about

The holidays are about spending time with the people you love most. We all have that strange Aunt Sharon and creepy Uncle Mark that we’re obligated to see. Regardless, try to focus your time, energy, and joy on the one’s you love most.

Consider obligations

The holidays also call for many obligations, whether familial, at work, or in your relationship. Remember that you are one person, and that you can only do so much. Even though people may expect you to fulfill their requests, it doesn’t mean that you have to.

Set Boundaries

Part of holiday stress is sometimes family, and again, those unfortunate obligations. Be sure to set boundaries. Know your limits, and communicate them to the people in your life. It’s okay to say no when you need to. Again, be sure to take care of yourself…

That money, money, money…

Yes, the holidays are a time of giving, but be sure to give within your budget. It’s exciting to gift the people you love the big items on their wish list, but if it is not fiscally possible don’t do it.

Gifts are about the thought, and your loved ones probably just want to celebrate the holidays with you…

Be present

Whether buying gifts, or having holiday dinner with family and friends, be present. Enjoy every moment. Take in the sounds of laughter, catch all the smiles, really enjoy the eggnog you’re sipping.

Be sure to find fun in the things you need to do as well—there’s always something to enjoy and be grateful for…

Eat, drink, and be merry

Remember to enjoy yourself. The holidays are about happiness and togetherness…soak it all in. Eat, drink, and be merry!

Tradition

There’s nothing more joyful than joining your loved ones in tradition. Whether creating new traditions, or re-living old ones, make them special. Decorate your home, put up a Christmas tree, light the Menorah candles each night…do whatever it takes to embrace the holiday season.

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!! 

the holidays | stress | holiday stress | happiness |boundaries | combat stress

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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