How to Move Forward After Cheating, According to a Therapist

man and woman looking away

For as long as people have made promises to be faithful to their partners, people have been breaking those promises. Aside from the hurt that comes with infidelity, romantic partners — both the cheated and the cheated upon — may feel guilt, betrayal, anger, foolishness, and loss of trust.

And yet, people still do it. They do it even when they know it’s wrong, even when they said they won’t, and even though they might — or will — get caught. This begs two questions: The first is why, and the second is how do couples move forward if it happens? Continue reading How to Move Forward After Cheating, According to a Therapist

How to Avoid Destructive Behavior in Your Relationship

couple sitting on bench looking on phones

We see it all the time in movies, TV shows, with our friends, and maybe even with ourselves (guilty as charged) — people engaging in destructive behaviors in a relationship, thereby sabotaging it. The bad behavior takes a toll on the relationship, sometimes causing it to end, and the sabotager is left feeling heartbroken…even though, uh, it was kind of their own fault.

It’s pretty common for us humans to self-sabotage and not always in relationships, sometimes it’s our career, schooling, or general well-being. Sometimes, you don’t even realize you’re doing it, hurting ourselves (or others), until it’s too late. Continue reading How to Avoid Destructive Behavior in Your Relationship

11 Ways to Combat Boredom in a Relationship

couple sitting outside in chairs looking at each other

The harsh reality of long term relationships: Boredom hits.

As time goes by and the relationship’s honeymoon phase recedes further and further in the rearview mirror, it’s likely that the exciting chemistry you and your partner once had just isn’t as present anymore. You might find yourself on autopilot, in a monotonous routine with your partner, and next thing you know, you’re straight up bored.

When a relationship is newer, there tends to be more excitement. You’re experiencing a lot of firsts with your partner, sparks are flying, and you’re having fun. When a relationship is older, it’s common to experience boredom in some aspect of your relationship, whether it’s your day-to-day life at home with your partner, your lack of date nights, your sex life, or all of the above. Continue reading 11 Ways to Combat Boredom in a Relationship

Is Your “Situationship” Harming Your Mental Health?

young guy hugging young girl

More than friends but less than a relationship, we’ve seen it time and again in our own lives and in pop culture. A fictional “situationship” from one of my favorite movies — Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher in No Strings Attached — instantly comes to my mind when I think of this topic. The storyline of the movie (highly recommend if you haven’t yet seen it), takes you through a friendship that becomes more than just friends, but then not exactly your typical monogamous relationship either. The movie ends in (spoiler alert) the two falling in love and living happily ever after.

Unfortunately, reality is hardly ever like it is in the movies.

Continue reading Is Your “Situationship” Harming Your Mental Health?

3 Tips to Not Lose Your Sense of Self in a Relationship

man lost in maze

Have you ever had a friend who becomes a chameleon anytime they are dating someone new? Maybe it happens overnight, or maybe you’ve watched them slowly fade away throughout a long-term partnership. Maybe it’s you.

Losing yourself in a relationship often happens before we even realize what’s taking place. One day you’re you, and the next you’re staring in the mirror, barely able to recognize the shadow of yourself you’ve become.

Sometimes it takes a trusted friend or counselor to help us see these changes from an objective, caring perspective. Other times, it dawns suddenly on a person: they don’t recognize themselves anymore. Continue reading 3 Tips to Not Lose Your Sense of Self in a Relationship

Is It OK to Break Up With Someone Struggling With Mental Health?

partners hugging under umbrella

A few years ago, my boyfriend broke up with me because of my mental illness. To be more specific, I was dumped because of the behavior my mental illness was causing, and the strain it took on our relationship. It was one of my biggest fears come true, to be “too much to handle” in a relationship.

I’d been struggling with depression for years prior to the relationship, but while we were together, I was going through one of my darkest and lowest points ever — having mood swings and sobbing at the snap of a finger. He had to deal with my crying spells, refusal to go out and socialize with his friends, and my late night anxiety attacks. I had zero control over my emotions. Continue reading Is It OK to Break Up With Someone Struggling With Mental Health?

Why We Find Emotionally Unavailable People Attractive

man sipping his drink wearing sunglasses

When I look back at my quasi-relationships that haven’t worked out, I can see a common denominator. I was going after guys who were emotionally unavailable (let’s be real: beyond emotionally unavailable).

For one example, I was almost in love with someone who had so many red flags he could have been an air traffic controller. He was an hour late to our first date, and chronically late after that…(the first red flag). Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I continued to see him. He had several tattoos that he’d gotten with or for exes, and while we were “seeing each other” he got another that was a nickname another ex gave him…(another red flag). Oh, and he was still legally married, something he told me months later…(the biggest red flag). Continue reading Why We Find Emotionally Unavailable People Attractive

Why Having the Same Personality as Your Partner Isn’t the Secret to Happiness

two girls in matching wigs looking at each other

I thought I hit the jackpot when I found a boyfriend who was very similar to me: an introverted cancer who would rather stay in and watch movies with a glass of wine than go out to wild parties. He wrote moody, romantic poetry just like me, he was artsy and sensitive just like me — the list goes on.

In some ways, I did hit the jackpot — but the excitement didn’t last long. A couple months into the relationship, I learned that just because we had very similar personalities, it didn’t mean that we were compatible and it definitely didn’t mean we were going to work out in the long run. Five months after we fell madly in love, we were donezo. As you can imagine, a breakup between two moody writers was not pretty. Continue reading Why Having the Same Personality as Your Partner Isn’t the Secret to Happiness

What Do Your Fantasies Mean?

girl on carousel

While we as a society are becoming more open about sexuality, one thing we can’t avoid talking about is fantasies. I’m not talking about sex dreams –– I’m talking about the sexy scenarios we create ourselves in our waking life. You may have one particular recurring fantasy that you can’t get out of your head, or you may have a lot of them across the board. You may be dying to create these fantasies in real life, or you might be content with simply just imagining the scenarios. Continue reading What Do Your Fantasies Mean?

A Guide to Surviving the Workplace Crush

coworkers hanging out at the office laughing

The only time I was actually excited to go to my old job was when I knew my work crush was going to be there. It was a retail job at a shoe store —not a typical 9-5 — so I didn’t see him everyday. But when we did work the same shifts…oh boy.

My mood was totally different on those days. I was excited to go to work and even happy to be at the store. I had a pep (or, um, maybe a sexy strut?) in my step. There was something to think about other than how boring and miserable work was. Finally, I had a reason to go to work. Continue reading A Guide to Surviving the Workplace Crush