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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xx,

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 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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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

Ultimatums and What They Mean for a Relationship

Ultimatums sometimes happen in relationships. With ultimatums, you can sometimes find yourself in a situation where you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. You’ll find yourself in a place where it needs to be his way or the highway. You’ll find yourself needing to choose between two awful options. As you might imagine, ultimatums typically aren’t healthy.

Several years ago, I found myself in a relationship that revolved around ultimatums. It was devastating, to say the least. Feeling as though I didn’t have a say in how my life was progressing, or how my day-to-day life would look like made me feel very out-of-control. It caused a great deal of resentment, anger, and frustration. After a while I began to fight back against the ultimatums—sometimes this also lead to me to use ultimatums to get what I needed. At the end of the day, nothing was accomplished, and it’s safe to say that we were both unhappy.

Clearly, ultimatums are not healthy, nor are they acceptable. Relationships should be based on compromise, where the opinions and needs of both parties are considered when making a joint decision. Ultimatums completely take the power away from one person, and can instill a great deal of fear, whether that fear entails losing your partner, not being included in something, or potentially being punished.

Healthy adult relationships should focus on positivity, support, love, and equality. Ultimatums do not fit the bill, and include control, punishment, and power.

Here’s the kind of damage a relationship with ultimatums can cause…

Inequality

Ultimatums lead to a loss of power. If one is forced to only choose between two options, of which both are much less than ideal, that person loses a great deal of power. This can lead to resentment, which is a silent killer in relationships. Relationships shouldn’t be about power in the first place, but this is a sure-fire way for one partner to ultimately keep the ball in their court…

Taking the highway

In ultimatums, it’s either one way or the highway. This is literally the worst. This should never happen in a relationship. I truly believe that where there’s a will, there’s a way…highways don’t have a place in love.

Threats

When love comes down to threats, that’s no longer love. Many will say that if A and B aren’t done, “it’s over.” Threatening the end of your relationship, or to walk away, or to never speak again, is not a productive way to get what you want, or to resolve an issue. Is what you’re asking for worth losing the person you love?

Lack of respect

Being forced into an ultimatum exhibits a severe lack of respect. When two people care about and love each other, respecting opinions, feelings, and thoughts also plays a significant role. When ultimatums are presented, one partner is clearly disregarding the needs of the other. The desires of both partners should be considered when making choices at all times.

Emotional damage

Remember those negative emotions mentioned earlier? Anger, resentment, depression, frustration, angst, etc.? Yup, those types of feelings in general, but especially over an extended period of time, can cause substantial emotional damage. Experiencing negative feelings can also destroy the ability to identify and create healthy boundaries, and can also impair one’s ability to establish trust. It will require a lot of work to reverse the emotional injuries sustained…

Being unhappy

It is nearly impossible to be happy in a relationship with ultimatums. I mean, what’s love all about anyway? Happiness. Life is short, so make it worthwhile. Think twice about your needs, and what you deserve. It may be time to move on…

The one positive…

The only time an ultimatum can be helpful is when you use it to get yourself out a rut. When in a situation where all you are given is ultimatums, use it to your benefit. Use it as a last resort. Use it as an opportunity to escape whatever obstacle you may be facing. Even if it’s a tactic to release yourself from a relationship full of ultimatums…use it.

Any relationship that results in ultimatums is not a healthy, safe relationship. Remember, you deserve more than second-hand choices that don’t fulfill your needs. You deserve more…

ultimatums | relationships | dating | love | unhealthy relationships | dysfunctional relationships

Ultimatums not working for you? Here’s how to say goodbye to an unhealthy relationship…

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xx,

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