Your Feelings don’t have to be Logical after a Breakup

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Your Feelings don’t have to be Logical after a Breakup

When you first break up, though emotions may run deep, you have a good understanding on why the relationship didn’t work out. But as time moves on you may have nostalgic memories bubbling up to the surface. Sadness, a desire to be with that person, and regret could inhabit your thinking. Though it was clear in the beginning why it ended now the reason could be far murkier. These new feelings don’t match the understanding you have, or had when the breakup first occurred. You aren’t supposed to feel this way. But you miss your ex and even long to be with them. This doesn’t make logical sense, especially if the person treated you poorly or the relationship was so uncomfortable you couldn’t wait to get out of it. But so what? Your feelings don’t have to be logical after a breakup. It’s one thing to have illogical feelings but it’s quite another to put those feelings into action. The disconnect however can be confusing, being pulled between your logical understanding and missing your ex. This disconnect causes shame. If you tell a confidant or a group of them how you are feeling, often they will be shocked, wondering how could you feel this way after the way that person treated you. And this reaction may compound the guilt you are already feeling for missing this person, instead of relieving your pain.

Do not run back to this person. Give yourself space. You need time in order to think things through, let these emotions pass and see things in a more balanced way. Don’t go running back to your ex. Though the relationship surely had moments that were pretty great, if you get back with them the same old problems will creep up again. You’ll hurt your reputation and you’ll have to disentangle yourself from this person once again. Instead recognize your feelings. Don’t judge them or feel guilty, just come to understand and accept how you are feeling and why you are feeling this way. If you left a relationship that was good and you think that you two can work out your issues, and that you both want to, give reconnecting consideration. But if you know logically that this relationship wasn’t good for you or your ex by and large, and there is no way to make it work, then allow yourself the freedom to feel the way you do. Understand that emotions aren’t always logical. Be okay with how you feel and understand it. But when the time comes let logic be your guide.  For more on healing from a breakup, pick up a copy of Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You by Susan J. Elliott JD Med.

The Kinds of Friends to help you Through a Divorce

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The Kinds of Friends to help you Through a Divorce

When a marriage ends some people want to hole up and never see the light of day again. It’s true that everyone has their own grieving process. But this is a time when you could use the support of family and especially friends. Close friends will validate your feelings, comfort you, make you laugh and give you some insight. They can really help you endure those hard, dark days and aid you in reaching the bright, shining day at the end of this terrible storm that’s settled over your life. Don’t be too shy or too proud to reach out to those close to you. That’s what they’re there for. You’d be surprised how much people want to help if just given the chance. And if the roles were reversed, wouldn’t you be happy to do the same for them? There are different kinds of friends that can help you through a divorce. See if you have any of these in your social circle and be sure to reach out to them in your time of need. A divorce can drive you nuts. What you may need is a friend who’s logical that can show you how things work and tie the loose ends together for you. If you have sudden revenge fantasies, the logical friend will bring up karma. And if you suddenly want to get a face tattoo to celebrate your new singlehood, your logical friend is sure to talk you off of that ledge. This is a good friend to have when the tempests of emotion rock your inner core. Be sure to have one logical friend you can reach out to.

Next, you want the confidant and conspirator. This is the person who will back you up, and throw in a few things when you really need to badmouth your ex. They’ll take you out for a few drinks, maybe even introduce you to some cute singles they happen to know. This is the person you can get loud with, have adventures with, and find reasons to love your life again with. Divorce can feel like part of you was ripped out. It’s important to explore your past and other sides of yourself. That’s why the old friend is a good one to reach out to. You can sit and relax, reminisce with them and get insight into who you were, who you are and who you want to be. The old friend has probably known you a long time and can talk about your other relationships and what patterns emerge, helping you to see what perhaps you brought to the relationship that you should work on to make your next one spectacular. If you met a new friend, why not spend time with them? They can help you develop your new personality, post-divorce. If you have a friend of the opposite sex, don’t steer clear of them. Hang out with them. When you’re ready a little harmless flirting as practice can lift your self-esteem. They can also provide insight from the other gender’s point of view. The fuzzy friend is a great one to have. Dogs and cats know instinctively when we hurt. The gestures that they do and the unconditional love they practice can help heal your heart. Finally there’s the tried and true friend, the one who may be all of these friends combined, the one that’s always at your side. You know they’ll be there when you call. Definitely reach out to that friend. They’ll have you feeling better in no time. For more advice on getting over a divorce, read Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery: 101 Stories about Surviving and Thriving after Divorce by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Patty Hansen.

Things you Should Expect from Someone you Date

DATING-ADVICE

Things you Should Expect from Someone you Date

There are those who arrogantly cast off a good friend’s dating and relationship advice and go forth, picking people that are bad or wrong for them, only to end up with their heart smashed to bits, crying their eyes out. Some people can accept advice on love and others have to experience things for themselves. But after you’ve been there, whether you witnessed who not to date from observing other people’s relationships, got the right guidance, read all about it on relationship advice blogs or have been kicked in the ribs by love more times than you can count, after seeing a bad relationship implode you learn really quickly that feelings alone don’t make a good foundation for a relationship. There has to be more. You need to be able to understand one another, trust each other, to be able to reveal your true self without fear of ridicule, disgust or confusion. In fact, we all want to be recognized and understood deeply for who we are. But if you don’t have the proper guidelines when you are on your search for the right person to love, you may again fall folly into one of the common relationship blunders, letting your mind take a back seat while your heart takes the wheel. Here are some things you should expect from someone you are going to date.

First, make sure this is someone you can share your innermost thoughts with. One of the reasons why we have relationships is to be emotionally close with someone, to have a partner to share our victories with, to shed tears with, to vent on and to hold close when the world just seems too cold. If you have to keep your guard up for worry that they will make fun or take advantage of your weakness, this isn’t the person you should be spending time with. If you are going to be with someone, be with someone who listens to you. Oftentimes, we end up with people who roll right over our sentences or cut us off impolitely, saying they know what we are going to say before we even say it. Not giving us the respect we deserve to hear us out. Not giving the benefit of the doubt. Instead, for a long-term relationship, make sure you are listened to and you are heard. Someone who really cares about you will dig deeper and look at the emotion that is behind the statement that you are making, and will connect with you not only on the cerebral but emotional level. Don’t fall for someone who’s negative. Find someone who holds you up, not that holds you down. Make sure it’s someone that is nurturing and supportive, that will help you achieve your goals and cheer you on from the sidelines. Don’t go for someone who wants to hide their affection for you. Be with someone instead who wants to scream it to the world.

Go for someone who will give you the upmost respect, who will treat you right. Someone who disrespects you or degrades you should be cut loose without even a forethought. Get to know someone better who makes you feel good about yourself. They should make you feel attractive, sexy, confident and just overall fantastic. You should be walking on air or get that warm feeling when you think about them. Get with someone who knows their negative qualities and is self-reflective. You should be with someone who knows that they aren’t perfect. Have you ever argued with someone who always thought they were right? It’s childish, exhausting and unrealistic. We are all human. We are all beautiful as we are all flawed. But to know and even embrace your flaws with a touch of humility is a show of great character. It also means that this person will be agreeable. You can negotiate and compromise with them. They will be looking for alternatives to confrontation. They can even make you feel comfortable enough to open up about yourself. Make sure that honesty and good communication inhabit any relationship. Without these, you are setting yourself up for disaster in one way or another. Reach out to someone who makes you feel comfortable, who you can let your hair down with and just be you, without any pretense or showmanship. Find someone who appreciates you for who you are and all the things that you do. Look for someone you feel the same way about. Be with someone who understands and appreciates what you are all about, your goals, your desires and your dreams, supports them and will do whatever they can to help you reach them. For more on finding and keeping the love that is right for you, pick up a copy of The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary D. Chapman.

Techniques to get your Man to Listen

COUPLE-ARGUING

Lots of women complain that their husband or boyfriend doesn’t listen to them. They are either met with being tuned out, being stared at, or not having him remember important things that she has said. But there are some surprisingly easy techniques you can use to get your man to hear you, listen and engage in what you are saying. First, when you want to talk to him, sit at an angle rather than straight across from him. Men can interpret the directly across positioning as aggressive and you may be inadvertently triggering a fight-or-flight response in him. Kitty-corner or even beside him is seen as far less threatening. By having to make constant eye contact you may be making him put his guard up, so he isn’t listening as relaxed and attentively as he should. He will be much more comfortable and accommodating if you position yourself right when addressing issues with him. When you want to talk about something, don’t do it when the TV is on. If he’s right in the middle of an important game, wait until after unless it is so important it isn’t worth waiting for. Besides the emotional side, the male brain doesn’t activate different areas of the brain as the female one does while multi-tasking. That means if he is doing something else, he will have a much harder time really listening to you. So if you want to discuss something, pick the right time and ask him to give you his attention.

Think about the response you want to get out of your man before discussing something with him. Do you just want to vent? Is there a problem that needs solving? Or are you looking for emotional support? Men are natural fixers. So if you want anything other than a logical solution to the problem, you need to state what you are looking for off the bat or else he won’t know and you’ll both be frustrated. Men are very fact based. In fact, MRI scans have revealed that men listen with the logical, right hemisphere of the brain. Don’t go into long, dramatic detail or you will probably lose him. Studies have shown that men have a harder time reading body language and facial expressions than women do. In this, don’t give hints or expect him to know how you are thinking or feeling. Spell it out for him. If you are upset, scared, nervous, overwhelmed or experiencing some other negative emotion, tell him how you are feeling first and he’ll be better able to respond to your needs. Men’s minds are more spatial, visual and mechanical than women’s. So with some things, visual communication might be a better way to get him to remember something or make an impact. A drawing, map, note, outline, list or something that he can see will help a great deal. Speaking isn’t the only form of communication and if you find another method more effective for certain instances, why not use it? A man’s brain has fewer connections between the hippocampus of the brain where memories are stored and the frontal lobes which are our conversation centers. This means men remember conversations much less than women. If you want to tell him something important, ask him to repeat it back, an “echo.” If it’s something like, “Can you pick up the dry cleaning tomorrow?” He may say “Yep” and forget. But ask him to repeat it back, “Sure, I’ll pick up the dry cleaning,” he’ll more than likely remember. For better communication in your relationship, read Communication Miracles for Couples: Easy and Effective Tools to Create More Love and Less Conflict by Jonathan Robinson.