7 Ways to Maintain Your Mental Health in a Long Distance Relationship

Person listening to phone

I remember being in a long distance relationship (LDR) a couple years ago that made me feel like I was losing my mind. My life and happiness revolved around when I was going to see my boyfriend next. It was almost like I forgot how to function as a single person…despite having been single basically my whole life.

Suddenly, my days just became me staring at my phone during work, waiting to get text messages from him. My nights became me waiting for a FaceTime call. I knew this wasn’t healthy, especially for someone like me who suffers from depression and anxiety Continue reading 7 Ways to Maintain Your Mental Health in a Long Distance Relationship

6 Questions You Need to Ask Before Committing to Someone

Couple holding each other

After countless swipes left and right (mostly left), blind dates, speed dates, awkward dates, always-only-first dates, you’ve met someone you think is wonderful — and he or she seems to think you’re wonderful back. Eventually, neither of you wants to live without each other, so you’re ready to go all in and make a firm commitment.

This is exciting, but it can also be terrifying. After all, finding and committing to the right partner is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your lifetime. To make sure you don’t lose yourself in the butterflies and giddiness — and instead create a foundation that’s grounded in an understanding that will guide you and your partner throughout your relationship — it’s essential to ask your partner and yourself some questions before taking the next step. Continue reading 6 Questions You Need to Ask Before Committing to Someone

Is the Idea of a Soulmate Bad for Your Relationship and Mental Health?

Couple riding bikes at sunset

When you’re in a new relationship, your hormones are racing and the newness of your love can be intoxicating. It can be tempting to feel like you have met your “soulmate,” the one person who is made for you and only you.

Even though this idea is very appealing and romantic, there are also down sides to thinking this way. The soul mate paradigm can raise your expectations to an impossible level, ironically making you feel less satisfied with your partner overall. Continue reading Is the Idea of a Soulmate Bad for Your Relationship and Mental Health?

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Support System

House on edge of cliff

When you think of a support system, you might imagine yourself as a character in Friends or How I Met Your Mother. You and your five best buddies, hanging out at your favorite coffee house or bar, ranting about your day. That’s supportive — right?

Yes, friendships are an important element of your support system. But the roots must go deeper, touching both your personal and professional lives and providing a wide range of outlets if one element isn’t working. For example, maybe you need support because your friends are at odds — having multiple resources helps ease your stress.

Science says a strong support system is essential, and can even help improve health outcomes. If your own network struggling, here’s how to beef it up. Continue reading 5 Ways to Strengthen Your Support System

Are You Contributing to Other People’s Mental Health Issues?

Hands pulling against woman's face

You may wonder: Is your mental health dependent on your neighbor’s (and vice versa)? In some ways, yes — there is, in a way, a mental health ripple effect.

Just as when a pebble is thrown into water and causes ripples, your words, actions, and feelings affect those around you, who in turn affect those around them, and so on. Continue reading Are You Contributing to Other People’s Mental Health Issues?

Men’s Surprising Relationship Needs

Neon lights

Growing up with a single mother and a sister, I spent most of my life feeling a bit intimidated and cautious around men. And the fact was, many of the stereotypes I’d heard about the male gender turned out to be true. Most of the boys and men I met were macho, tough as nails, and it was rare to meet a man I felt I could open up to and feel emotionally safe with.

Then I met my husband, and all that changed. He was candid about his feelings, and forthcoming about communicating his needs. His father was the same way, and I soon learned that there was a whole world of men out there who weren’t closed off, misogynistic jerks. What a revelation! Continue reading Men’s Surprising Relationship Needs

Here Are the 8 Worst Pieces of Relationship Advice

A couple embracing under water

No matter who you are, where you live or what you believe, there’s one thing that unites all of us Earthlings: complaining about relationships. Whether you’re in one, looking for one, or have sworn the whole charade off, you’ve probably heard some terrible advice from well-meaning friends.

Here are our least-favorite snippets of relationship wisdom — from outright lies to misleading half-truths. Continue reading Here Are the 8 Worst Pieces of Relationship Advice

Why Do We Romanticize Our Ex-Partners?

Couple with X's on hands

As life goes on and my previous relationships recede in the rearview, I still can’t stop thinking about my exes — and not about how much I hate them. It’s quite the opposite, actually. I’ll find myself remembering the good times we shared together, how amazing it felt to fall in love and be loved back, and how much I cared for them. I catch myself looking back on my partners as though they — and everything about our relationship — were perfect.

The reality of it, though, is that I’m just romanticizing my ex-partners and — conveniently — not thinking about all the negative and unhealthy aspects of those relationships. I’d rather think about the special romantic days than the days spent crying and arguing. Continue reading Why Do We Romanticize Our Ex-Partners?

7 Ways Fear Makes You Settle for Less in Your Relationship

Concerned woman

Many clients come in to therapy telling me that they don’t feel happy or fulfilled in their relationship. Instead of being excited to be with their partner, they feel stuck, bored, and trapped. When we discuss the idea of leaving, though, many of these clients feel anxious or outright terrified at the prospect.

Why do people settle for less in relationships? Why do they end up stuck in loveless or conflicted relationships, feeling like there’s no way out? And how can you know if you’re settling for less in your own relationship? Continue reading 7 Ways Fear Makes You Settle for Less in Your Relationship