10 Signs You’re in an Unhealthy Relationship

Making a relationship work takes a lot of effort, especially an unhealthy relationship.

When you first start dating someone, the sky is bluer than ever, and there isn’t a thing in the world that can bring down your feelings of pure euphoria. The world if perfect, life is beautiful, and all of the birds are chirping a song of love specifically written for you.

Being with the right person is meant to be an exciting adventure full of joy and laughter. It’s meant to make you feel so full and happy that your heart feels like it’s going to burst. It’s a love that is only read about in fairytales and seen in films at the theatre.

New love makes you feel so warm and fuzzy inside—kind of like you’re living in an ice cream castle with rainbow unicorns frolicking through a field of sprinkles. Knowing that this person decided to love you makes you feel an over-the-moon type of joy.

REALITY CHECK: In an unhealthy relationship, things may only seem this way at first…

Yeah, even with all the cotton candy and fields of flowers you notice several things that rub you the wrong way, but you choose to ignore them. Why? Because he’s too perfect to be bothered by things that initially seem so insignificant.

Over time, things change. The warm and fuzzies slowly fade, and the “amazing” person you committed to doesn’t treat you so well anymore. It’s killer—it literally destroys your heart and soul. 

So you start to realize that love isn’t enough.

I was once in a relationship that took a similar course—a seriously downhill course. And let me tell you, it got worse than I could have ever imagined…

As many millennial women are today, I am educated, outspoken, and opinionated, however, my voice was stifled and what I had to say “didn’t matter.” Nonetheless, I continually fought for what I felt was right. After a long and hard internal (and external) battle, I finally decided to end things.

I had a hard time believing, like many other people in my life, that the man I thought was so right couldn’t have been more wrong

10 signs that you’re in an unhealthy relationship:

The power struggle

No matter what the situation, there’s always a battle for control. Decisions are not made jointly, but rather, solely by one person—typically your partner. When you decide to stand your ground, you find yourself in massive, destructive arguments. Nothing is solved, and you most likely feel hurt, frustrated, and unheard. 

The insecure partner

This can have a very serious effect on the relationship. Being with someone who is not comfortable in his or her own skin, or even worse, intimidated by your success, can be detrimental to both individuals and the relationship.

To feel better, your partner might say or do hurtful things that will imply that you are small or insignificant. Not only does this destroy the trust in your relationship, but it can also cause feelings of shame, resentment, and decreased self-esteem. Healthy? Don’t think so…

Not being the priority

Always being last in line on the list of important people is hurtful. When it comes to your partner’s life, it’s possible that everyone and everything is put before you and your relationship. Relationships should be built collectively, with you and your partner walking through life side-by-side. You are not meant to be an added character in your love story—you should be one of the leads. 

Constant arguing

You’re constantly bickering over little insignificant things, and discussions aren’t even an option because things escalate so quickly. Constantly communicating in a manner such as this one is not healthy, by any means.

One-sided compromising

In order to make your partner happy, you compromise. You begin to give up too much, and before you know it, you realize that you’re the only person making sacrifices. You wake up one day and you’ve lost sight of what you want and need.

If your partner loved you and respected your individuality, this wouldn’t happen. It takes two to tango, and it’s always a two-way street.

Losing yourself

Think of the Venn diagram—you give so much of yourself because you think it will benefit your relationship, but rather, you’re only chipping away at the parts that make you who you are—your interests, your goals, your happiness.

Couples are meant to grow with one another. In order to build a strong bond, relationships aren’t meant to crush existing aspects of each individual’s life. It is important to always maintain parts of your own identity. Refrain from adopting your partner’s identity and way of life, although they might desire it. Be sure to find a balance. 

Lack of communication

You express yourself, but it feels like you never actually said anything. It’s as though your voice, opinions, and needs don’t matter. This is absolutely unacceptable. It’s possible that your partner may not care enough to listen, or that he or she is simply unwilling to consider your needs.

Your voice is who you are—if your partner doesn’t take the time to hear you, they don’t deserve you.

Walking on eggshells

You find yourself constantly walking on eggshells. You will literally do anything to keep the boat steady and avoid an argument. Love is about being open, honest, and feeling comfortable and trusting enough to rock the boat. Thoughts and feelings are meant to be heard, respected, and nurtured, not suppressed.

Questioning yourself

Everything you say is either ignored or questioned, so you begin to think twice about your choices. Whether needing to second-guess your words or actions, or wondering if you should even speak at all, you consider the possible negative effects and if an issue might arise.  

Resentment

Ah, resentment—the game-changer. Before you know it, you’re in a love-hate relationship—the kind that makes you feel stuck. Is it the love or hate that’s sticking? Which is it?

The take away here is that love isn’t enough. Know when to cut your losses and save yourself. If someone isn’t willing to make you a priority, hear you, and love you, it’s time to take care of yourself…

**Abuse or mistreatment of any form is not okay. If you ever need help or have concerns about a loved one, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline

Decided to walk away and end your relationship? Let’s talk about how to best cope with a break-up

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

xx,

Paula

Don’t Waste Time: 10 Things to Consider When Dating

Dating can take up a significant amount of time.

Time is of the essence. Even though I’m not dating anymore, I remember what it was like to sift through online profile after online profile, and chat it up with all the fellas that approached me. I literally went on what felt like a million first dates. Needless to say, I met the love of my life when I least expected it, and he was totally worth the wait.

Even though I’m no longer on the market, I continue to support my friends that are in the dating game. When we talk about what they’re looking for, what questions to ask, and what they should consider when dating someone new, I always share my dating tips with them. What tips you might ask? The ten golden rules that will keep you sane and on track.

Time is valuable, and it is not to be wasted. So what is it that you need to ask yourself when dating someone new?

To avoid wasting time when dating, consider these 10 things:

1.Are they into you?

First off, you’ll know when someone is into you. If for some reason you’re not sure, ask. If you two are not on the same page, that’s okay—word on the street is that we only get one soulmate, and this person just isn’t it.

2. Go after the one who wants you

I cannot emphasize how important it is to spend time with someone who feels the same way that you do. The chasing game is not pleasant, so please don’t put yourself in that position. Spend time with someone who shows a mutual interest, and is willing to invest time and effort. Trust me, it makes dating so much easier and significantly more fun.

3. Communication

Communication can be super tricky at the start of something new. Unfortunately, there is such a negative connotation associated with being “needy” or “clingy.” Doing what feels right for you, regardless of it potentially coming off as “clingy” or not, is the way to navigate the waters here.

Reciprocate communication if it’s mutual, and remain responsive. However, if the other person isn’t making an active effort of contact, it’s probably time to move on. You definitely don’t want to end up have conversations with yourself via text…

4. Go with the flow

Sometimes you may not hear from someone you’re newly dating for a few days, and that’s okay. Being open-minded and going with the flow is the best way to handle a situation such as this. I’m not saying that ghosting is okay by any means, but sometimes things come up. Just continue to live your life as is, and if this person wants to be a part of it, they will find a way to make that happen. If not, nothing is lost.

5. Wondering if you’re good enough

Don’t ever question your self-worth. No one has the right to make you feel like less of a person, or make you doubt how awesome you are. If this person is going to make you feel bad about yourself, in any way, it’s probably best to say goodbye…

6. Be real

Always be yourself.  Open and direct communication when starting a new relationship is of the utmost importance. Honesty is the best policy, and this will allow you and your date the chance to see if you are compatible. Not to mention, you’ll be able to figure out if you two want the same things. Be the real you, and see how things flow naturally.

7. Time is of the essence

If you feel that there’s a special connection, take the time to get to know your date. But if after a few meetings you two are not seeing eye-to-eye on topics or values that are very important to you (i.e. human rights, politics, family, religious beliefs, etc.), don’t waste your time.

8. Is it a deal breaker?

Okay, so you like this person, and there’s an obvious connection. However, you notice some red flags. The question is if you can actually live with these differences. Compromise is crucial and necessary in any relationship, but some compromises, or “sacrifices,” are just too big. You’ll need to consider if it’s something you’re willing to deal with on an ongoing basis.

Remember, people don’t change. If you can’t accept a person and their flaws as is, things may not work out in the long-run… 

9. Calculate the risk

Dating can help you make an educated and calculated decision. Are you willing to invest in this relationship? Is it a safe bet? Or is it an investment that you expect to crash and burn? Sometimes things like needing to “chase” someone, or having different values, is an explicit sign that it’s going to crash and burn. 

10. Listen to your body

Listen to your gut—what’s it telling you? Are the butterflies due to excitement or anxiety? Is something off? Or is it just that you’re really looking forward to your date? Basically, do you want this person in your space? If you answered yes, that’s great. If you’re not looking forward to this person being around during the honeymoon phase, you probably won’t want them around 2, 3, or 10 months from now…

No matter what, have fun and don’t give up!

dating | time | don't waste time | love | relationships

Is dating burning you out? Check out these tips on how to give your body some TLC.

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xx,

Paula

How to Best Cope With a Break-Up

Going through a break-up can be rough…

You and your beau just ended things. You’re still trying to fathom what the hell just happened. Is it really over?? What? Seriously, what just happened?

All of the moments shared, the nights of laughter and cuddles, all of the fun and adventure…turns out it wasn’t enough. None of it makes any sense. How can you live a life where your beau isn’t by your side?

We’ve all been there, and have made it through that unthinkable mess. No matter how many times you go through heart break, it never gets easier. If anything, it gets harder. As we get older, we tend to have more meaningful relationships, too. With this, we invest more, we have future plans, and it feels nearly impossible to walk away.

A very good friend of mine was sharing with me how difficult it’s been to try and move forward after her break-up. She and her fiancé broke it off, and it’s been devastating. She and the person that committed to spending their lives together just bailed. We’re not talking about cancelling a dinner and a movie date here, we’re talking about walking away from forever.

Whoa. That’s heavy.  

So how do you make it through a break-up? Other than watching Dirty Dancing, and scream-singing at the top of your lungs to your favorite Dashboard Confessional songs, there are plenty of things you can do.

Check out my guide to best cope with a break-up:

1.Prohibit contact

I truly believe in a no contact policy. This was something I did with my last break-up, and it made things so much easier. Cut the ex out of your life, cold turkey. It can be difficult, but it’s well worth it. If you absolutely need to, replace the ex’s number with your best friends’. Any desire to make contact will be fulfilled by connecting with someone else that you love.

NO. CONTACT. POLICY.

2. Say goodbye to social media

Whatever social media platforms you two are friended on, DELETE THE EX ON ALL OF THEM. Seriously, you just have to. In order to move on, you cannot know what your ex is up to, where your ex is, or who your ex is now dating. Pressing that unfriend button will provide you with the space you need to start letting go—it will allow you to move forward. It really is the first step…

It doesn’t hurt to delete all of the ex’s family and friends too. Yes, there may be some mutual friends you still really like, and that’s fine. However, you might want to consider limiting what shows up on your feed for the first few months…

3. No cyber stalking

Seriously, no stalking. It is detrimental to your healing, and seeing things you don’t want to see will be very hurtful. Like, so unbelievably hurtful. Don’t do it.

4. Get out there

Whether it’s seeing your family more often, arranging dinner dates with your girlfriends, or joining a kickball league, get out there. Being social will help you remember that there is life outside of your failed relationship. It will also remind you of how much fun you can have.

5. New experiences

Go on adventures. Whether solo, with friends you’re re-connecting with, or new friends, just get out there and enjoy yourself. Life has so much to offer! When in a relationship for so long, trying new things that are outside of your comfort zone aren’t typically the norm. The newer the experience, the better.

6. Appreciate being single

Having the time to be single and flying solo is pretty rare, so enjoy it. Take it all in, utilize that time productively, and rediscover yourself. There’s nothing greater than focusing on your growth, your happiness, and your goals. Do you.

7. Find yourself

Ok, so listen up—this one is really important…

Take time to find yourself. While in relationships, we sometimes lose sight of who we are. Discover who you are as a whole, and not just as a half. What do you like to do? What makes you feel good? What’s on your bucket list? Do you want to travel? Cook? Fly a plane? Whatever it may be, get out there and do it. Push your limits, and figure out who you are and what you want…

8. Everything happens for a reason

We may not ever understand why certain things happen. What I know for sure is that everything happens for a reason. Life sometimes throws curveballs, and it’s usually because there’s something better on the other side. Go with the flow, and let life take you where you are meant to be.

9. Let it out

Whether talking to friends, seeing a therapist, or journaling, let it out. Part of healing is expressing your emotions. Whether through art, physical activity, writing, or talking, it’s all a form of expression. If you hold it all in, you’ll hinder yourself from truly moving forward. Not processing your feelings and working through the pain of a break-up can also negatively affect your future relationships. We all have the ability to cope in a positive and healthy way, and this really is a crucial step…

10. Love and forgiveness

While doing all of these listed above, don’t forget to love and forgive yourself. Often times, we blame ourselves for certain things. Remember, this break-up is not your fault. Sometimes two people aren’t meant to be together, and that’s okay.

Always, always, always, love yourself…

11. Take care of yourself

Above all else, take care of yourself. Be healthy—mind, body, and soul. Know that you have the ability to accomplish anything. You are enough, and you don’t need another half to feel whole. Remember, you are the priority.

Feel like some self-TLC will help you feel better? Check out some tips on how to better care of your body here!

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

xx,

Paula

Love is Not Created Equal

Love is one of those things that comes in all different shapes and sizes, and it’s never the same. Each piece is different, and definitely not created equal.

Have you ever been in love? Or thought you were? Where you feel like your heart is going to burst because you love the person standing by your side so much? Yeah, I’ve been there. Been there, and done that. Twice. The difference, however, is why one relationship lasted and the other didn’t. One was corrupt, and the other wasn’t.

Love can be an evil-eyed monster sometimes. It can be so intense that it literally feels like you’re dying inside. It’s the kind that makes you sacrifice your needs, your happiness, and your wellness just to make the other person happy. A love that is miserable and viciously demanding—it’s simply the worst.

That was the first kind of relationship I had. Where I loved so much that it turned to hate—eventually some of that was me hating myself.

I took so much away from who I was and what I wanted. What I thought was me “loving” someone else was actually slowly chipping away at me.

Now, I’ve been lucky enough to find a love that is the complete opposite. A love that I gladly give, unconditionally, because I know I will receive the same. A love that makes me smile, and feel full, and laugh uncontrollably all the time. One that is so selfless and passionate, that my heart feels like it’s going to burst.

A love that provided me with the support and care I needed to be a better human being. A love that gave me the hope and courage to pursue my dreams. One so strong that it would stand by me no matter what.

This is my definition of love. This is what I expect and need to have a successful relationship. How I was lucky enough to find it? I have no idea.

So take time to think about what you need in a relationship. Is it the type that will make your heart feel so full that it’s going to explode from all the joy? It could be the type where you and your partner just can’t bear to be apart? Or the type that will allow you a great deal of space and the ability to be as selfish as you need? Each person requires something different, and as long as you and your partner are on the same page, it will fit.

Love is like a puzzle. Once you find your missing piece, it literally feels like your whole life has come together.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d always felt very fulfilled: I have great friends, a wonderful career, and an abundance of adventures to look back on. But still…something was missing.

I came to find that my missing piece was sharing my life with someone who wanted the type of loving feels I was able to give, and vice versa. A person who has the same values and goals. A person who enjoys the same lifestyle.

Basically, it’s all about that puzzle—when it fits, it fits. When you know, you know.

Don’t settle for anything less…

xx

-Paula

To learn more about how I found my love, click here!

Love Happens When You Least Expect It

Love happens when you least expect it.

Love is one of those things that we all hope for. Falling in love has been modeled to us for years in fairytales, films, and even in real life. I always knew I would someday find my knight in shining Armani…at least until I didn’t know.

After having gone twenty-nine years with failed relationship after failed relationship, I hit a point where I no longer wanted to fall in love with someone else.

What I needed was to fall in love with myself.

I took a break from dating and spent the majority of my time doing things that I liked—things that I was doing for me. I spent more time with my family and friends, I traveled, I continued to develop my career, and I enjoyed the little things.

I was happy.

I was excited about life, and I was grateful for how full my life was. I was motivated, and I was looking at the world through a new lens.

I realized that the moment I stopped focusing on what was lacking in my life, was the moment I was able to see just how lucky I was. I was surrounded by wonderful people who cared about me, and I was living a life that I had only dreamt of.

Positivity.

Having a positive outlook on life completely changed my perspective. It made all the difference. I was so grateful for the opportunity to appreciate the things life had provided me. With this, I became more open to the unknown, to new experiences, and also to love.  

Little did I know, but all of the positivity I had been feeling was radiating to those around me. I found myself constantly surrounded by people who were pleasant and vibrant, and before I knew it, love found me.

When I least expected it, the man of the dreams walked into my life.

You know that knight in shining Armani that I had been waiting for my whole life? Yeah, him. He walked through the door and everything changed. I mean, he wasn’t in Armani, but Ted Baker had never looked so good on a man…

Energies attract like energies. It’s the law of attraction. I hadn’t been ready for him because I needed to learn to focus on other aspects of my life—the good things, the little things, the things that brought me joy. I needed to realize that I was enough. When I took the time to work on myself, truly love myself, and take a step back to see just how lucky I was…life sent me exactly what I needed.

It’s not about the destination, but about the journey.

Trust life. Trust the process. When the time is right, you will be provided with exactly what you need. In the meantime, enjoy the ride and appreciate the lessons learned.

Remember, you are always enough…

xx,

Paula