Relationships and How to Safely Let Your Guard Down

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

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

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

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

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

Trust

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

Stay positive

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

The good stuff

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

Family and friends

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

Participation

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

Also, having fun is necessary in all successful relationships.

Honesty

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

Communication

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

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

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

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xx,

Paula

Finances and What to Ask Your Partner Before Committing

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

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

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

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

Debt

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

Credit score

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

Spending habits

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

Addiction

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

Budget

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

Future spending

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

Savings

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

finances | Money | communication | relationships | future

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

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xx,

Paula

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take a step back

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

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

Brainstorm

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

Rediscover you 

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

Reconnect with your social network

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

Be basic

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

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

Talk to your partner

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

Make changes

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

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

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

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xx,

Paula

7 Things to Consider Before Moving in with Your Partner

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

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

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

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

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

Finances

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

Discussing the “what ifs

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

Future goals

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

Cleanliness

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

Dividing responsibilities

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

Lifestyle

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

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

Communication

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

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

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

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

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xx,

Paula

7 Ways to Be a Supportive Partner During Tough Times

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

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

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

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

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

Pay attention

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

Ask questions

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

Listen

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

Offer help

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

Provide encouragement

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

Stand united

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

Hug it out

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

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

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

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

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xx,

Paula

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

Not sure how to share your feelings with your partner? Peek our tips on how to best communicate your thoughts…

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xx,

Paula

FOMO: Why You Need to Unplug

FOMO is real. Seeing all of the photos and videos of friends traveling and going on fun adventures makes you want to do that too, right? You want to be at that big party. You want to be at Coachella. You want to be part of all the fun—it’s near impossible to unplug.

So you spend a lot of time looking down at your device feeling left out and uneasy about what you’re missing. Even if you’re out doing your own thing, your focus is on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook—you just can’t seem to unplug.

What if the real fear is that you’re actually missing out on right now. By taking time away from your friends and your own life to look into the lives of others, you are missing out on time that you’ll never get back. Moments that you’ll never get back. Missing out on making the memories that you’ll never forget.

Yeah, it’s cool to look at photos of others and seeing what they’re up to, but taking time away from your life to stay plugged in is not healthy. It’s important to remember that photos are only a partial, and potentially skewed, representation of what’s actually happening. So why live “vicariously” through others, when you can reap joy from your own life?

Have you ever considered what it would be like for you to put your device down and focus on the activity in which you are engaging? To really live your life? What are the benefits of unplugging…?

Here are the possible benefits when you unplug:

1. Live in the moment

BE PRESENT. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, be there. Mind, body, and soul, be there. Drop your device, unplug, and enjoy yourself. When you’re present, you’ll notice people and things you never did before, which can be a blessing.

2. Be social

Focus on those sitting across from you at dinner, or those around you at an event. Make eye contact, smile, ask questions, laugh. There’s nothing more exciting than getting to know someone new, or further establishing an existing relationship. Network and get to know others—you may be surprised by what you learn.

3. Enjoy the simple things

Look up. Look around. What do you see? When you’re not staring down at your screen, you are exposed to the beauty that surrounds you. Unplugging is super important for your overall wellness. Awareness can be a very powerful tool, especially when it supports your efforts to appreciate the little joys in life…

4. Go with the flow

Sometimes the things that we least expect end up being the most valuable—go with the flow and see what life hands you. This idea goes hand-in-hand with living in the moment. Constantly having plans isn’t always the best thing…

5. Fly solo

Spending time alone, without your device, allows time for self-reflection, relaxation, and the possibility of new experiences. Maybe you’ll meet someone new, or explore a new place—flying solo can be exciting.

6. Feel less pressure

When you’re not stalking others or posting photos of everywhere you go, everything you do, and everything you eat, you provide yourself with space. Depending on how often you choose to post, there’s a sense of pressure to keep up with those in your social circle, or interact with your audience. When you decrease the amount of time spent staring at your phone, you may feel less pressure to do things for the sole reason of posting.

Don’t live so you can post, post so you can remember how you lived.

7. Appreciation

When you’re not focused on what others are doing, you have the ability to appreciate your experiences and the life that you live. You will be more fulfilled, and will have acquired the key component to happiness…

8. Quit comparing

Living in your moments, rather than those of others, will help emit the fear of missing out. Having realistic expectations is also crucial. Live within your means, and don’t compare yourself to others. The majority of people in the world are not fancy bloggers, models, or millionaires—they are regular people like you and me. Always remember that you are blessed with wonderful friends, family, and experiences.

Bottom line, quit comparing yourself to others because it’s just not healthy.

9. Be yourself

Being online can require a bit of a façade sometimes. When you’re not attached to your phone, you get to live a real life where you can be yourself. Being present and feeling alive doesn’t require a façade, it doesn’t require a device, it just requires you.

Be you, love you, and live your life to the fullest—without your phone! Just unplug…

unplug | fomo | social media | be present | communication

Feeling like you need to take better care of yourself? Check out these tips on how to give your body some TLC.

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Paula

Intimacy is About More Than Sex

Intimacy is something all human beings desire, and it is part of each person’s psychosocial development. Intimacy vs. isolation is a concept based on Erik Erikson’s psychoanalytical theory. This is an important stage because it is the time in which adults meet someone they can connect with and commit to. With this, one is able to set themselves up for meaning in life, which is pertinent to success in the following stages.

The meaning of “intimacy” has shifted overtime, as many psychosocial ideologies do. Intimacy, specifically for millennials, seems to now have a varied significance. Sex appears to be a primary marker of intimacy, whether or not an emotional attachment is incorporated.

So can sex be intimate? Yes. But is it the only form of intimacy? No. Can we be taught how to be intimate, just like we’re taught about sex? Think about it—from the time that teens hit puberty, education on safe sex, how not to get pregnant, and how to avoid contracting an STI are part of the curriculum. What about learning how to be intimate? Or learning what intimacy is? There is such an emphasis on sex, and I find that society, and especially media, have displayed sex as the prime form of intimacy.

Is it possible that sex is a way for two people to convey their level of intimacy? Absolutely. Sex is simply a physical act, and anyone can engage. However, intimacy is something very special, and it takes a lot of time and effort to develop such a deep connection with another individual.

Let’s talk about some other forms of intimacy…

7 ways to be intimate:

1. Trust

I cannot express how important trust is in a relationship. The first step to building a strong bond is to trust and feel safe with your partner. Without trust, there is no intimacy.

2. Love

Just like trust, love and care are vital components of intimacy. To see the best in a person, and choose to share your life with them says a lot. Building upon your relationship day by day allows for the constant strengthening of that connection.

3. Communication

Sharing pieces of yourself that are either meaningful or difficult to talk about allows both of you to become more intimate. Learning about one another, especially when discussing hopes, dreams, desires, or traumatic experiences, will further expand on your relationship. Trust is crucial in instances such as these.

4. Physical touch

Sometimes the more basic aspects of physical touch, such as cuddling, holding hands, or hugging, allow two people to feel closer to one another. It contributes to intimacy, supports your relationship, and keeps the novelty alive.

5. Spending alone time

Spending alone time together as a couple, whether engaging in an activity, or just hanging out, also provides an opportunity to increase intimacy. Something as simple as lying on a blanket in the park while holding hands and watching the leaves blow in the wind is romantic and warrants a deeper connection.

6. Peacefully sharing space

Many couples cohabitate, and this too can increase intimacy. Peacefully sharing space and a life with someone else exhibits a great deal of trust and love. This allows for a deeper level of understanding about your partner and their needs, as well as your own. Compromise and respect will most likely play a significant role here. Learning about one another in a brand new setting will surely improve your relationship.

7. Being yourself

Being your true self with another individual is the highest level of intimacy. Letting your guard down, opening up, trusting someone, and sharing some of the most private parts of yourself takes a great deal of courage. If you and your partner have a connection that allows you to be fully unfiltered versions of yourselves, know that you have reached an incredible place in your relationship, and an extraordinary degree of intimacy.

There are many layers of intimacy, and yes, sex is a part of that, but don’t sell yourself short and miss out on the incredible, loving, and trusting bond you and your partner can have together…

intimacy | relationships | bond | connection | love | trust

Not sure if you’re able to connect with your partner and feeling unhappy? Click here to see if you’re in an unhealthy relationship.

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xx,

Paula

How to Keep the Novelty Alive in Your Relationship

The Novelty can wear in any long-term relationship. That doesn’t mean that your love is fading, but rather, that the honeymoon phase is long gone. You two have fallen into a routine, and even though you still enjoy each other’s company, that spark seems like a distant memory. That flame doesn’t burn as bright. And the romance is beginning to dwindle.

Relationships, no matter how long, can always maintain a sense of novelty. That sense of newness and intense desire doesn’t ever need to fade. The secret to keeping the novelty alive is being present.

Be involved in your relationship. Be open, be interactive, and keep the flame burning bright. If you and your partner don’t create a nurturing environment for your relationship, it will wither.

As in all aspects of a healthy relationship, communication is also important. Tell each other what you need, find new ways to expand your love for one another, and make plans to keep your relationship alive.

The earlier you start this process, the better. If you build this concept into the foundation of your relationship, you will thank yourselves later. My boyfriend and I plan something special for each monthaversary because it gives us a reason to celebrate our love, be romantic, and spend quality time with one another. We also take a few minutes to chat before bed every night. This really helps us stay connected to one another…

What will you and your partner do to maintain the glimmer in your spark??

10 ways to keep the novelty alive in your relationship:  

Say I love you everyday

This is a super basic concept, but it makes a huge difference. Remind your partner that you love him or her each and every day. It will allow you to keep the lines of communication open, and it is also a way to nurture your relationship and let your partner know that they’re an important part of your life.

Schedule date night

Life gets busy and time escapes us, so make sure to regularly plan date nights. Whether it’s going out to dinner, having a Saturday picnic at the park, or staying home and playing board games, you and your partner will get to spend some quality time together.

Laugh together

Engage in activities that allow for a lot of laughter and fun. This is also a way to provide your relationship with a re-boot, especially if things have been a bit rough. With this, you and your partner will be reminded of why you love one another so much, and it can also provide you with a fresh perspective on your bond.

Engage in new experiences

Try new things together. Whether it’s bungee jumping, traveling to a new country, or taking a cooking class, this too will help keep your relationship alive. Engaging in new experiences will allow both you and your partner to learn new things about yourselves and each other. It also provides a lot of room for excitement, and to support and care for one another if needed.

Get physical

Hug and kiss each other every day, even if you’re mad. Physical touch is a way for couples to connect and be intimate. Also, who doesn’t love to be cuddled? I sure as hell do…

Say thank you

Day to day life becomes so normal and tedious that we forget to say thank you. Your partner makes breakfast every morning, which even though may be an obligation, is also very kind. Saying thank you can truly make all the difference.

Give positive feedback

Similar to saying thank you, tell your partner when they’re doing something you like, or something that makes you happy. Positive feedback will reinforce this behavior. Also, it will help your partner see that you’re aware of, and recognizing his or her efforts. That’s really important.

Communicate

Talk to each other. About what? Anything. Pass time chatting—it’s such a great way to connect. Regardless of your conversation being that of a serious nature, or making silly jokes, just talk to one another. Feeling comfortable sharing things with your partner will absolutely help strengthen your bond. With this, you and your partner will be able to jointly embrace the joys of life, and also lean on one another in times of hardship.

Just the two of you

Whether you have kids to care for, or it’s just the two of you, make sure that there is something that is just yours. As a couple, have a special TV show you watch before bed, or have a quick phone chat each day at lunch, or a coffee date before work every morning. Whatever the situation, this mini-date every day will provide you with an extra opportunity to connect and know that you’re thinking of each other.

Be present

Being present is vital to keeping the love alive. Be there. When you’re together, be involved, be aware, be part of the conversation. If you’re engaging your phone instead of your partner, you’re sending a very clear message that he or she is not important. When spending time together, be conscious of where your mind is. When not present, there is a clear distance that will begin to tear apart your relationship.

Be kind, be loving, and be supportive. Love is a such a beautiful thing, and we need to care for it as best as possible…Keep the love alive!

novelty | keep the love alive | love | relationships | hope

Hoping to improve communication with your partner? We’ve got 7 tips that’ll help!

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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