What’s the Best Way to Breakup with a Hookup?

hookup

What’s the Best Way to Breakup with a Hookup?

Whether you are dating again after a divorce, staving off marriage, are too busy for a serious relationship or believe monogamy is antiquated system with no place in the modern world, you are immersed in the exciting albeit confusing, hookup culture.  And anyone who has spent any amount of time in it comes to a point where they have to break up with someone that they aren’t actually dating. The whole experience can feel like a double edged sword. You didn’t get the benefits of a relationship exactly but you still have to go through the worst part. Some people try to hint around as if they are all-of-a-sudden completely unavailable. But lots of people, of both genders, fail to take the hint. Of course, you may ask what the best way to breakup with a hookup is, but it all comes down to who you both are and how you relate. Do you do normal couple things but are still in the incubator stage of your relationship? Or is this a drunk dial booty call on a Friday night? Just as the punishment should fit the crime, the type of non-relationship you share with this person should determine the way you break up with them.

If you shared meals, hung out in bars or spent a significant amount of time together, this person is owed a face-to-face breakup. Just be honest with them. Sit them down and let them know that you want a plutonic relationship and still want to remain friends. If you aren’t feeling it anymore, say so. When you act like a couple the lines between hookup and relationship tend to blur. You’ll want to clear things up in a way that leaves no room for confusion. If this is the drunk hookup, let them know that it’s been fun but you just want to be friends from here on out. If you really aren’t attached a phone call might suffice, if it’s just a case of text and grind. Then there are those times where you just went out on one date and you are 100% sure the chemistry isn’t there and never will be. Just tell them so. Here perhaps over the phone might be alright as well. If you two have been hanging out a long time, or worse yet were at one time thick as thieves, this is the serious, sit-down breakup.  Perhaps they said or did something that soured you. Maybe you met someone else who flips your switch and lights you up like Las Vegas, or things just coasted into boringsville fast. Whatever the case, you have to sit this person down in a quiet, comfortable setting and explain why. Don’t let it feel like you are stomping on their heart. But they do deserve the truth. If you think they’ll make a scene, do it in a public place like a restaurant or coffee house.

Do go out of your way to let them down gently. Don’t gossip with your friends. Word does get around and then how will you look when it reaches your former hookup? If you are dropping this person, drop them. If you drunk dial them a week later and get it on, you’ll be in the same situation all over again. Erase them from your phone and email. Maybe keep them on your social media pages or else your actions may seem hurtful. Resist the urge of calling them and starting the cycle all over again, or don’t break up with them at all. Don’t dwell on the situation. Learn from this experience and integrate it into your future pursuits. Certainly even the most short-lived relationships can leave you with a good memory. Sometimes it helps to close with that memory and how you’ll cherish it. It leaves both of you feeling good. For more on traversing the harrowing landscape of love read, Sex at First Sight: Understanding the Modern Hookup by Richard E. Simmons III.

How the Different Genders’ outlook on Sex Affect a Marriage

sexless

How the Different Genders’ outlook on Sex Affect a Marriage

One of the things long-term couples fight about is sex. Men generally want sex no matter what stage the relationship is in. Meanwhile, women see it as the end result of a healthy relationship. Therefore men still expect to have sex when the relationship is rocky, while women prefer to abstain because emotionally, they don’t feel like it is the right thing to do. Men sometimes see this as not fighting fairly. To a man, the two things, emotional well-being and sex, can be compartmentalized. To a woman, however, they cannot. As physical intimacy declines so does emotional intimacy. A vicious cycle occurs. The husband may confront the wife about “withholding” sex, saying it is unfair. At this point the wife, who thinks he only cares about sex, may regress even further. At this point the husband too may pull away, resentful of the wife. Here the two sides interpret sex differently. But instead of reaching out and discussing or discovering how the other interprets it, the miscommunication creates resentment which further widens the rift between the two. The emotional problems in the relationship may be glaringly obvious to the woman but not to the man. These rolls can be reversed too. Certainly there is a husband out there right now withholding sex due to a wife’s negligence or transgression.

Famed marriage researcher Pepper Schwartz however says this is the most common type of sexless marriage, where the woman feels hurt or emotionally detached and the man disgruntled about the lack of sex in the relationship. In this situation she says “there’s a lot of anger and two people who simply don’t know how to change their behavior.” The husband feels victimized. He may disappear into his “man-cave,” local sports bar, golf club or other such hangout. He may believe that all marriages are meant to end up like this, two mild adversaries living side by side. Due to his alienation from his wife, he feels no responsibility to what has transpired. The wife however believes that he should own up, open up, and apologize for what he’s done wrong so they can move on. But he feels he hasn’t done anything wrong so the cycle continues. In this scenario both parties are aggrieved while each blaming the other. Both feel disillusioned about their partner and perhaps even the institution of marriage itself. Each feels resentful and angry. Yet to bridge the gap it often takes patience and openness to see why the other party is aggrieved. It also takes the ability of one to analyze the past and see where things went wrong, and to see their own contribution to the conflagration. Once we can recognize where we ourselves went wrong we can address our partner in a new way. It takes two. No one person had hurt this marriage in and of themselves.

When a couple hits rock bottom, it’s often time to work through their problems with the aid of outside help. Generally either they seek out marriage counseling, live two separate lives side-by-side or one party files for divorce. This type of marriage is also ripe for infidelity, which could be a wake-up call. But more often than not it causes the end of the relationship or at the very least a worsening of relations. Luckily there are 12-step programs for codependency, psychological services, marriage counseling, faith-based services and so much more. To preserve intimacy and joy in your marriage, look to the positive contributions your mate brings. Come to understand and accept who they are, faults and all. Do the same for yourself. Think about what is important to you in a marriage and stick to and preserve it. Learn to let the other, lesser things go. Spend time relaxing together, even if it’s just for fifteen minutes a day. Take part in adventures together. Do things for the two of you, just as a couple. Forgive. Don’t hold a grudge. Write little notes to one another. Tell jokes. Make each other a nice hot cup of something. Always remember to fight fairly. Talk things out no matter how long it takes. Always try to see where your partner is coming from. Choose to work at it and you can keep your marriage abundant and bountiful with love. For more on this topic, pick up a copy of the book, The Busy Couple’s Guide to Everyday Romance: Fun and Easy Ways to Keep the Spark Alive by Editha Rodriguez.

Ending a Manipulative or Controlling Relationship

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Ending a Manipulative or Controlling Relationship

If you somehow found yourself in a manipulative or controlling relationship, it may seem impossible to end it. Though it can be difficult, it can certainly be done. You may feel guilty, somewhat responsible, wondering if they can make it without you, or visa-versa. But that’s just the manipulation talking. How can you be happy, fulfilled and truly free with this person in your life controlling you? You need to prepare, go through with it and move on with your life.

First, realize that you are being controlled. Has the person had terrible outbursts followed by how much they want and need you? Did you try to leave before and they threatened you, or even threatened suicide? Have they slowly wormed their way into every aspect of your life? Do they put you down in front of others? Are they extremely jealous? Write down a list of all the controlling and manipulative things they have done, or are doing. Keep this list and refer back to it when you feel your resolve wavering. Remember all the reasons you want it to end, and then make arrangements. Are you two living together? Make arrangements to move elsewhere. Do so quietly. Plan what you are going to say. Make it short, sweet and to the point. Let them talk but don’t let them drone on. And don’t let them charm, or cajole or convince you to stay. Don’t budge. Remember your list and don’t back pedal, keep moving ahead.

It may help to end the relationship in your mind first. Pretend you are confronting the person and say all the things you wish you could say, if they weren’t so manipulative. Remember the good times and the bad. Reflect, but realize it’s better this way. You’ll never be able to live your life with them controlling and manipulating you. Think of yourself as single. Be firm. And once you drop the hammer, don’t contact them. Erase them from your phone. Block their email. Unfriend them on Facebook and other social media sites. Keep away from them. Don’t give them a chance to explain. How many chances have you given them? Do not tell them where you are going or where you’ll be living. If you see that person, just walk away from them. Do not give them a chance to chat or explain things further. They are only looking for an in to suck you in. Realize that they are a charmer and have the ability to manipulate you, and resist them.

If there is something you absolutely need to contact this person for, do so through a mutual friend, or have your friend contact them and pick up the item. If it has to be you, pick it up in a public place. Take the item. Thank them and get out of there. Give them short yes and no answers. Be cold. Don’t give in to any of their advances. Spend some time with your friends, relatives and other loved ones. Get busy with work, school or whatever you are doing. Love yourself. And recognize how much better life is without someone manipulating you. For more advice read, In Sheep’s Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People by George K. Simon, Jr., Ph.D.

Does your Husband Reject your Advances?

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The old stereotype is that the man always wants sex and the woman is often the one who rebuffs his advances. But in a lot of marriages, the opposite is true. This point of view doesn’t often get addressed. Does your husband reject your advances? This can really hurt a wife’s self-esteem. One of the reasons we enter into marriage is to have a life partner to share our bodies, minds and emotions with. But if there is no sex in a marriage the relationship begins to wilt. It’s hard to maintain the strong emotional bond when the physical one is lacking. But it can be difficult to get a man to open up about why it is that sex isn’t of interest to him. First, there’s the social stigma. So in addressing it he may feel that there is something wrong with him or that you are blaming him. Instead, make it a comfortable setting. Pick a time and place to discuss it without any distractions, when you both feel comfortable. Use “I” statements. Tell him how you feel when your advances are rebuffed. This will make him feel sympathy for you. Now it’s time to ask what the problem is. It could simply be that he is stressed out and exhausted from work. In which case perhaps it’s time to get a little rest and relaxation. Can he delegate some duties, work from home or use flextime to his advantage? Are there ways he can relax and refresh himself so that he can be ready to help reignite the spark?

Oftentimes, a sexless marriage is due to deeper emotional issues. Was there an indiscretion? Has the bond of trust been hurt or broken? Or have the two of you just been growing apart? It’s important to sit down and address these issues honestly. But if one or both parties don’t feel completely comfortable, feel betrayed, or have a sense that they are no longer respected or loved, or that they no longer feel respect or love, than the sex isn’t going to be restored unless these deeper issues are addressed. Both parties have to think long and hard about the differences. Are they reconcilable? What steps need to occur to rectify the problems and put things right again? Couple’s counseling may be in order. Discuss this possibility. Is your spouse open to it? Are there sexual health issues at play? If addressing these with a man make sure he’s extra comfortable and trusts you. Be loving, patient and nurturing and get him to open up. A change in medication such as heart medication or some anti-depressants can also affect the mechanics of the situation. Talking to his physician and a switch in medication may be all that is needed to fix the problem. Perhaps things have just gotten old and stale. Instead, a romantic dinner talking about fantasies, planning them out and doing one for each of you may be what you need to get things back on track. Keep talking to each other. Get to the bottom of it. Renew your sex life and your marriage will follow. For more on this topic, read Why Men Stop Having Sex: Men, the Phenomenon of Sexless Relationships, and What You Can Do About It by Bob Berkowitz and Susan Yager-Berkowitz.

Are you with a Psychopath?

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The word psychopath conjures up thoughts of serial killers—emotionless demons hunting other humans and bathing in their blood. But the truth is a psychopath may come off as one of the most gentle, charming and magnetic personalities you’ve ever come across. It doesn’t mean that they will be killers. They just lack empathy for others, and so become self-absorbed in a relationship. They take and take without thinking of giving in return. Though this doesn’t have the Hollywood shock value, being in a relationship with a psychopath will eventually kill your energy and enthusiasm for the relationship and soon the relationship itself. So how can you tell if you are with a psychopath? There are some signs to look out for. First, psychopaths know how to push the buttons of others to get what they want. They are quick to judge someone’s strong points and insecurities. So if you are dating a psychopath they’ll make you feel amazing about your strong suits and help you feel better about your shortcomings. Things will move incredibly fast and you’ll feel that you are being whisked away, swept up in a storybook style romance. Next, this person will try and show that you are birds of a feather. They may even use the words soul mates. They will have the same likes as you. If you had a particular incident in childhood that scarred you, he or she may have a similar story. They will mirror you in many ways.

For the psychopath, everyone is out to get them. Make sure you play careful attention to how he or she talks about others in their life. If all of their exes were the worst people in the world, lying, cheating or taking advantage, if their parents are overbearing or their boss mean, if they are always the victim than that is a good sign you are dealing with a psychopath. Either that or this person has some other serious disorder. People who are well-adjusted usually come to the realization that they themselves also bring baggage to a relationship, or how they acted could have made things differently. Of course we’ve all had our fair share of bad relationships. But if in each instance this person is always the victim than there is something wrong there. The psychopath will go out of their way to please you in the beginning, then they will shut you out or their interest will drop off and they will expect you to bend over backwards to please them. Sometimes a crack will be seen through the veneer. They’ll say something odd and perhaps hurtful, then play it off as a joke. Beware, this is a serious sign that something is very much amiss. If this person gives you the silent treatment over a pretend slight, or even disappears for days at a time, you may be involved with a psychopath. Usually the relationship starts out all about you, then becomes all about them, they hold you up on a pedestal at first and then devalue you so that you think you are worthless. You may be discarded at this point, only to be sucked back in. Don’t fall for these schemes. If things don’t feel right, they probably aren’t. Make a clean break, cut off any communication and thank your lucky stars that you were able to get rid of that psychopath you were dating. To learn more about the traits of a psychopath, read Danger Has a Face: The Most Dangerous Psychopath is Educated, Wealthy and Socially Skilled by Anne Pike.