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

How Keeping Secrets Can Impact Your Mental Health

girl hiding behind curtain

You know the saying: “Secret secrets are no fun unless you share with everyone.”

While not everyone gets a kick out of keeping secrets, a lot of people do deem secret-keeping necessary, whether they’re hiding something from their romantic partner, family, or friends. People keep secrets for a multitude of reasons. Maybe they feel embarrassed or shame about something, they feel they might get in trouble (with the law or with a person), or they feel like their relationship with somebody might be destroyed should the big secret be revealed. Continue reading How Keeping Secrets Can Impact Your Mental Health

How Quality Time With Your Partner Improves Your Mental Health

partners holding hands on a walk

My husband and I just got back from a vacation in Maine, where we spent a few glorious days hiking in Acadia National Park. We ate lobster rolls, searched tidepools, and took naps on the ocean rocks like the nearby seals. The best part? There was no service. Without the constant flood of emails, text messages, and social media updates, we could simply enjoy each other’s presence. A luxury.

Quality in-person time is especially important in our digital age because, as a recent study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion shows, higher rates of social media use are tied to greater loneliness. Tweeting at your sweetie, might not be as hot as holding their hand on a nice hike.

Like many couples, my husband and I have a hard time carving out quality time for just the two of us. At any given moment, we are either working, meeting up with friends, visiting family, or running errands. It takes conscious effort to set aside time for us to spend together doing something just for fun. But it’s been vital to our relationship and my personal happiness. Continue reading How Quality Time With Your Partner Improves Your Mental Health

How to Help an Online Friend in Need

lost phone in the woods

Being a good friend means being there for someone while they’re hitting some bumps in the road. It means offering love and support when you notice someone needs it the most. It can mean simply being a shoulder for them to cry on — but that can be hard to do when it comes to helping an online friend, someone you may never have met in person.

With everyone spending more and more time online, online friendships are becoming more and more common. Online is no longer just to maintain friendships made at school or work, but also to forge entirely new ones with peers while browsing social networks or playing online games. Similarly, your feed is also likely filled with friends you haven’t seen or spoken to in years — fringe friends from high school, old acquaintances, and former coworkers — people who are far from your best buds, but whose startling posts or cries for help can make you worry just the same. Continue reading How to Help an Online Friend in Need

When Your Friends Are in Different Stages of Life Than You

two girls sitting on swings facing each other

When they were dating each other, I was single. When they were engaged and wedding planning, I was attempting and failing at the dating scene. Married? We were still hanging out, calling ourselves a well-oiled tricycle.

I’ve had friendships fade as we journey through different life stages, but I’m convinced that strong friendships — like mine with high school friends who ended up with the same last name — can last through it all.

Research shows that Americans, on average, only have one close friend. This makes it even more critical to nurture the ones you have as life evolves at a different pace for each person. Here’s how you can stay friends even if you’re not at the same point on the path or if you’re on a different path altogether. Continue reading When Your Friends Are in Different Stages of Life Than You

What is Attachment Theory?

many locks attached to fence

As we make our way through our grown-up lives, we don’t always consider how the first few years of childhood might still be affecting us. Yet according to attachment theory, our earliest experiences — most notably, our earliest relationships — have a profound and lasting effect on all aspects of our lives, in terms of our personalities, mental health struggles, and adult relationships. Continue reading What is Attachment Theory?

How Financial Infidelity Impacts Mental Health

Until debt tear us apart sign

Before we tied the knot and merged our finances, my husband and I decided to each hang on to a credit card from our single days. Higher limits in case of an emergency and the ability to charge a surprise gift unnoticed solidified our decision. But as I scanned our joint credit card charges last month, I thought back to our individual cards and how easy it would be for either of us to be financially unfaithful.

Marital infidelity is widely known, but research shows that financial infidelity is on the rise. 41% of American adults reported that they’ve hidden accounts, debt, or spending habits from their partner. A recent survey determined that millennials are nearly twice as likely to hide money or accounts from partners than other generations. Continue reading How Financial Infidelity Impacts Mental Health

5 Reasons Couple’s Counseling Is Not Just for Crisis

man and woman standing on dock facing toward camera

If your relationship is on the rocks, breaking up isn’t the only option: couples counseling can salvage a struggling marriage — or even improve a good marriage. Just ask rocker P!nk, who has attended couples counseling with her husband, Carey Hart, for most of their 17-year relationship. She told Today host Carson Daly that couples counseling saved her marriage. “It’s the only reason we’re still together,” she said. Continue reading 5 Reasons Couple’s Counseling Is Not Just for Crisis

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?