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

Want to work on increasing self-love? Check out these 10 tips to help you learn to love yourself…

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xx,

Paula

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

Feeling stuck in your relationship? Here are some things to try…

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Paula

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

Feeling like you’re not enough? Here’s 7 ways to know you are enough…

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Paula

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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Paula

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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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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Paula

Relationships and Why to Let Your Guard Down

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

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

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

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

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

Fear of the unknown

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

Be yourself

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

Feelings

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

Hindering progression

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

Resentment

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

Wasted time

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

Fairness

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

Being ready

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

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

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

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

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xx,

Paula

7 Things to Consider Before Moving in with Your Partner

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

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

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

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

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

Finances

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

Discussing the “what ifs

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

Future goals

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

Cleanliness

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

Dividing responsibilities

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

Lifestyle

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

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

Communication

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

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

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

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

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xx,

Paula

7 Ways to Be a Supportive Partner During Tough Times

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

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

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

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

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

Pay attention

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

Ask questions

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

Listen

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

Offer help

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

Provide encouragement

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

Stand united

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

Hug it out

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

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

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

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

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xx,

Paula

Finding the Right Kind of Love Can Be Life-Changing

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

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

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

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

What makes love the right kind of love?

When love is easy

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

Feeling fulfilled

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

Feeling safe

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

Reliability

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

Support 

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

Openness

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

You can be yourself

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

Teamwork

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

Loyalty and honesty

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

Loving selflessly

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

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

love | life changing | relationships | support | trust

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

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xx,

Paula