Why You Are Your Most Important Relationship

Man looking at his phone in the mirror

If someone told me that the most important relationship I’ll ever have is my relationship with myself, I would call the cliché police and report them for first degree distribution of a controlled cliché. Yet I’m writing this article to tell you that this bit of wisdom is a cliché for a reason: It’s true.

Social science supports this truism, too. According to research on self-image and relationships, people who have more compassionate relationships with themselves do, in fact, have healthier romantic relationships with others. And self-compassion, just like any other skill, can be learned. Continue reading Why You Are Your Most Important Relationship

Don’t Text Your Ex

Spiraling plane crash

In 2019, we’re more connected than ever. We’re constantly glued to our phones, addicted to texting and social media. We have a direct line of contact to pretty much anyone we want, anytime we want. This means that, for better or for worse, we have a direct line to contact our ex at our fingertips, 24/7. Let’s be real: Most of the time, texting your ex is not a good idea.

When you’re feeling lonely and constantly thinking about your ex, it’s really hard to resist sending a text. Trust me, I know! We’re creatures of habit, and when you’re so used to talking to someone you care about all the time, it’s hard to break the habit and cut contact. But by continuing to text your ex after your relationship is over, you’re just dragging out drama and prolonging the time it takes to truly get over someone. Continue reading Don’t Text Your Ex

What’s the Deal with Emotional Affairs (According to a Therapist)

Two people holding hands

Emotional affairs are non-sexual, but intense emotional actions with someone outside of a committed relationship. They’re arguably more easily facilitated with the help of modern technology like dating apps or social networks. Unlike prior decades, those who have affairs don’t only relegate themselves to people in their direct proximity (such as work), but may establish real connections with others in far away places.

Emotional affairs are a type of infidelity (cheating). However, everyone has different opinions on what constitutes cheating, so there’s a lot of variation in what might be characterized as an emotional affair. Continue reading What’s the Deal with Emotional Affairs (According to a Therapist)

Is Your Neediness Justified?

Wolf hugging another wolf

I remember being cuddled up with my ex-boyfriend one morning, trying to muster up the courage to bring something up that was bothering me: the fact we barely texted throughout the day. Eventually, I found the nerve to ask him, “Do you still really like me?” He looked at me, confused, and said, “What!? Of course I do! Why do you ask that?”

I went on to explain that I felt like I wasn’t getting enough attention from him, since I was always the one to initiate text conversations or phone calls. The lack of contact made me feel like he wasn’t into me anymore and had me doubting our few month old relationship. Continue reading Is Your Neediness Justified?

How to Break Up Without Being a Jerk

Gorilla

Breakups suck — even if you’re the one doing the breaking up. This assumes you have a heart, since you’re reading this in hopes of avoiding jerk status.

Unfortunately, breakups are an inevitable part of relationship life. Think about it: every relationship you’re in can’t last forever, right? Sometimes you’re going to be the one getting dumped, and sometimes you’re the one who’s going to be deciding to split. To be a respectful human and have good break-up karma, you’ll want to have good breakup etiquette. Continue reading How to Break Up Without Being a Jerk

Owning Your Part in a Toxic Relationship

Hand picking an apple

All relationships have bumps in the road, but when your relationship becomes more bump than road, it may be time to reevaluate. It’s tempting to only recognize toxic dynamics when they’re caused by someone else. But what if the toxic one in your relationship is you?

In a toxic relationship, both people develop unhealthy behaviors and treat each other disrespectfully. While one person in the relationship may engage in more toxic behaviors than the other, they don’t exert overwhelming control over the other person. Instead, one or both partners engage in behaviors that make the relationship unhealthy, sucking the life and joy out of it, and making it more of a chore than a support. Continue reading Owning Your Part in a Toxic Relationship

What’s the “Right Speed” for a New Relationship?

Track race

Entering a relationship slowly? Can’t relate. Any relationship — or quasi-relationship — I’ve been in has been pedal to the metal, full speed ahead…and that has its pros and cons.

If you’ve been keeping up with celebrity news lately, you’ve probably noticed the trend of speedy relationships, particularly when it comes to engagements and weddings. Exhibit A: Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande, who notoriously got engaged and moved into a lavish apartment together one month into dating. Four months later, their engagement was called off. Continue reading What’s the “Right Speed” for a New Relationship?

6 Ways to Navigate Cuffing Season

Two people standing with cat in the middle

The days become shorter, the weather turns bitter, and suddenly all those happy singles suddenly start pairing off. The whole world seems to yearn to curl up by the fire and sip hot cocoa with someone. Anyone. At least until Spring when the freedom of the single life calls again. If this sounds familiar, you might be falling victim to the effects of cuffing season. Continue reading 6 Ways to Navigate Cuffing Season

Why You Try to “Save” People (and Why You Should Stop)

A superhero glides through the air on his way to save someone

When the pressure of work deadlines feels especially heavy, or my never-ending to-do list feels nearly impossible to clear, I have a few foolproof solutions. I take long, deep breaths, organize my closets…or call my sister and tell her everything she’s doing wrong and exactly how I, and only I, can change that for her.

Sound like a strange way of finding calm? According to Talkspace therapist Cynthia Catchings, we try to save or fix people — in this case, my sister — because it is easier than trying to deal with our own issues. We believe we don’t have control over our own situations that are making us anxious, so we try to exert control somewhere else.

The rush that helping others provides us is exhilarating and can become addictive. But is it healthy?

Continue reading Why You Try to “Save” People (and Why You Should Stop)