Are your Friends getting between you and your Relationship?

gossip

Are your Friends getting between you and your Relationship?

Have you been through a series of broken relationships lately? Have you searched through your selection process, your personality, your emotional baggage and all other aspects of you, only to come up empty? If it isn’t you it could be your friends. Sometimes it’s obvious and sometimes more subtle. But your friends are a reflection of you. They can also get in the way of lasting love, if you let them. Are your friends getting between you and your relationship? Take a look at these indicators and see if you are the victim of love sabotage by your pals.

Do your friends ever tell you that your date isn’t good enough for you? If they call your date unattractive, stupid or dull right in front of you, you have a right to be upset. That’s really rude behavior. Still, take a look at the qualities of your date. If they cut the mustard, something might be wrong with your friends. If you are trying to chill with your new main squeeze and your friends are constantly turning up the volume, or the drama to get your attention, take note. They will drive a wedge between you and your partner. That’s not good. Realize that if they are your real friends, they’ll ask about your preferences. But if all they care about is their own entertainment, they won’t even think of asking what you think.

One of the most insensitive things your friends can do is bring up past relationships to your date before you are ready to expose them to these stories, and your role in them. Particularly if you’ve had a foible that’s run through many lovers, or a faux pas you want to put behind you, the fact that your friends, your own friends are bringing it up is enough to make you want to take them all out, ninja style. Currently, with pesky anti-ninja laws in place, they’ll have to live. But if they take part in this kind of behavior, don’t hang out with them anymore. At the very least, don’t bring any dates around them. Have you ever had a friend who wants you to cheat? Or a friend who thinks you’re perfect for their cousin or sibling and will sabotage other relationships so that you end up with a certain person? Yeah, lose that friend. They only have their own interests at heart, though they’ll swear they have your best interests in mind up and down. Their actions speak volumes, their words a pile of drivel.

The worst is a friend who puts you in the worst position. Like a friend who flirts with your date. Nothing is worse than a friend who overtly or covertly tries to steal your lover. Cut that Judas off immediately and remove their name from the record. A friend of the opposite sex flirting with you or making their feelings known is another potentially horrifying scenario. Let them down gingerly. For more advice read, Toxic Friends: A Practical Guide to Recognizing and Dealing with an Unhealthy Friendship by Loraine Smith-Hines.

What Exactly Is Cheating?

WHAT-IS-CHEATING

What Exactly Is Cheating?

One person’s cheating is another’s playing the field when it comes to dating. In a relationship things are more clear cut but there still may be some areas of ambiguity. Is having an office spouse cheating? What about emotional intimacy, can that exist outside the couple? What exactly is cheating? It turns out infidelity may be determined by your gender and age. In a recent poll 40% of men and 56% of women said that if their partner kissed someone other than them on the lips, it was cheating.

But as women got older the number that shared this opinion dropped. 75% of younger women ages 18-29 considered their partner locking lips with another cheating. 53% of women age 30-44 thought so. 38% of women 45-64 shared this same view, and for the 65 and over crowd, only 30% considered it cheating. For sending a sext, that is a sexy photo or text message to someone, 74% of men thought it was cheating, compared to the 80% of women who shared the same view.

When it came to developing a deep connection, women and men’s opinions were divergent. Only half of men considered this to be cheating compared to 70% of women. The participant’s age played a factor in whether or not forming a deep bond with someone was cheating. 52% ages 18-29 felt this way, compared with 69% of the 65+ respondents. Political persuasion played a factor as well. When polled about whether going to a strip joint was cheating, 19% of Democrats said so, compared to 35% of Republicans. 51% of Republicans said it wasn’t cheating while 86% of Dems agreed. What about reconnecting with an ex on Facebook, is this cheating? 21% of guys thought so, but 56% didn’t. For women, 26% thought it was cheating while 42% thought it wasn’t.

When it came to Facebook, a political bend played a factor as well. 19% of Democrats thought reconnecting with an ex was cheating, 51% didn’t. For Republicans, 29% considered it an infidelity while 44% thought it was okay.  Talk with your partner on what you consider cheating at your particular stage in the game. Have a conversation and establish some ground rules. If you aren’t exclusive realize what that means, and if you are outline what that means too. If you and your partner have experienced infidelity read, After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful by Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D.

Your Guy hopes you Don’t Ask These

talking

Your Guy hopes you Don’t Ask These

Lots of women have questions about their new guy when they first get together. But when dating it’s important to let people reveal themselves slowly, when they are ready. Lots of women can overload a man with questions when a relationship is taking root. But this can scare the man off. He wants to have fun and get to know her naturally. But if he’s overloaded with questions, it isn’t fun anymore.  In fact, he thinks it means that she is going to turn into a nag later, or else be controlling and manipulative. It’s good to get to know your man. And you don’t want to waste time with someone who isn’t right for you. But questions should show that you are interested in getting to know them and build a relationship.

Some women also export all of their issues onto their men. Questioning is a way to have him validate her and alleviate her insecurity.  But if she keeps doing this he will put space between them thinking that she is too needy. Here are some questions your guy hopes you don’t ask, at least at the beginning of the relationship. The first is whether or not he thinks other women are attractive. All men find other women attractive. It doesn’t mean they will act on a fleeting impulse. And thinking someone is attractive and being in love with someone are two different things, both for men and women. Too much staring is inappropriate no question. But a quick look isn’t an offense. It’s natural.

It’s nice to ask your man what he’s thinking from time to time. But if you are asking all the time, it feels like an invasion of privacy. Every relationship needs borders and a romantic one is no exception. Certainly no two people should know what the other is thinking all the time. This phrase is acceptable if your guy has trouble sharing his emotions and you want to try to get him to open up, particularly if he is a total enigma or you think something is bothering him. But if you are just asking all the time out of some anxiety you are having, examine that anxiety. Are you the jealous type? Are you insecure? These are issues to work through. Showing interest in someone is one thing, but trying to know their every thought another.

Don’t ever ask if you look fat. No man ever knows how to answer in a way that will satisfy you. The best he can do is go over the top and hope you are satisfied. Instead, go shopping with and ask one of your girlfriends. Send her a photo real quick on your smart phone. It will save your guy a headache. Lastly, don’t ask about past relationships unless you want to hear the answer. And be ready to talk about your own. With these questions in mind, your man will be a lot happier, more comfortable with you and willing to open up. For more advice read, Relationship Advice for Women: Roadmap to His Heart- 8 Steps to Attracting & Keeping Mr. Right by Anthony Floyd.

Guys, are You Cheating and Don’t Know it?

infidelity

Guys, are You Cheating and Don’t Know it?

If you are in a committed relationship, you probably have a good idea of what the delineation between physical cheating and being faithful is. But there are lots of gray areas in social contexts that while it may not seem like cheating to you, your lady may view things far differently. So are you cheating, in her eyes, and you don’t even know it? It’s a scenario that can spell disaster, at best a big blow out and at worst a change to your Facebook relationship status, nights crying into your pillow and a whole lot of questions from your family and friends. So how can you fend off relationship disaster? Have a clearer picture of how the fairer sex views infidelity.

Do you have a female colleague or friend who you are close to? Do you discuss personal details about your relationship with her? Whether you are complaining that she hogs the bed or that she’s a little timid in the bedroom, you may be crossing the line. Daniel Kruger, Ph.D. is a University of Michigan psychologist who studies differences in gender, specifically in how they view infidelity. “Informational infidelity” is the term he uses for this phenomenon. A woman could read this situation as emotional bonding. Females find this a bigger threat than even sexual intercourse. Kruger says, “If he’s fooling around on the side, she still has the relationship—the investment. But if a guy is falling for another woman, he might abandon her.”

Have you ever checked your ex’s Facebook page or other social media site? If you are friends or you are just curious to see what she is up to, you may see no harm. Human sexuality professor Justin Sitron, Ph.D. at Widener University says, “Socially, we’re primed to think that men don’t care about emotions and feelings—that all they care about is sex.” So you may be innocently checking out your ex’s page, but what she’s thinking is you don’t have the capacity to do so. Sex must somehow be on your mind. Another problem can occur when you are out socially with the people from work. You may saddle up to the bar and buy a drink for a coworker’s main squeeze or a colleague. But even fitting the bill for a cocktail could be overstepping according to Kruger. “It could be seen as being generous and nice,” he said. “But it could also be construed as hitting on someone, especially if you’re buying a drink just for the woman—not, say, a round of beers for everyone.” Buy a round or just your own and your lady’s drink. If there is a special place that you always go to, or the restaurant where you had your first date, do not take another female there. You are putting your life in your hands. Those places have serious sentimental value and so are off limits. Finally, be careful when saying something nice about another woman’s hairdo or getup. It could mean you’ve been paying some attention to her. Think about the compliment you are about to pay before saying it. Mull it over and if it sounds like something that could get you in trouble, silence may be a better route. For more advice read, Boundaries in Marriage: Line between Right and Wrong by Jeffery Dawson.

Both Sexes get Jealous but over Different Things

jealousy

Both Sexes get Jealous but over Different Things

Most people agree that just a smidge of jealousy can be a good thing. It shows how much you mean to your partner and vice versa. But we have to be careful in the quest for recognition, rekindled desire or appreciation. Some use jealousy as leverage to dislodge these emotions from our lover. But we should not play with the heart of another too cavalierly. Such machinations often make matters worse. The only good jealousy, the kind that leads to positive change, is taken in small doses. In larger forms, possessiveness and covetousness are destructive forces that ultimately tear two people apart. Both sexes experience jealousy, but they do so differently and over different things. That’s according to a new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. Chapman University’s David Frederick in conjunction with UCLA’s Melissa Fales conducted this study. They decided to try to use big data to see if a phenomenon in a previously conducted study was supported or torn down. The finding was that the majority of men are outraged by sexual infidelity. This is true even when no emotional connection is involved in the act. Women on the other hand are torn up over emotional infidelity even in instances where no sex takes place.

The researchers reviewed a survey taken by NBC.com back in 2007. 63,894 participants took that survey. The questions in the survey surrounded dating and relationships. One section in particular was of interest to these researchers: “Take a moment to imagine which of the following situations would be MOST upsetting or distressing to you.” The first answer, you found your partner in a sexual relationship with someone else, but they have not fallen in love with that other person. The second was you found out your lover fell in love with someone else, but had not slept with them. 54% of men said a sexual affair was the most egregious transgression. This same answer was selected by 35% of heterosexual women, 34% of gay men, bisexual men 30%, bisexual women 27% and lesbian women 34%. Researchers believe these gender-specific responses have evolutionary roots. Men’s concern over sexual infidelity stems from the need for assured paternity, for supporting one’s own genetic offspring. For women, pair bonding is the issue. From an evolutionary standpoint, a woman wants to know the guy will be around to help raise her vulnerable young and provide for them.

The problem is this programming helps us survive a Stone Age world that no longer exists. Does this sort of ingrained thinking help or hurt our aims in the modern love sphere? How our current needs and these ingrained processes interact is a point of concern. How does this pan out with couples who don’t want children or can’t have them? What about countries where gender equality has nearly come to pass? What role do messages from advertising, our culture and the media play in our selection of a mate and how do these interact with our Stone Age subconscious? Researchers say the results aren’t exactly cut down gender lines. In fact, there was a little more variance among different nations in the world. The cultural and contextual factors are important and play a significant role. Although there is an overall pattern, individual men and women also have different perspectives. But this research doesn’t take such nuances into account.  Sorting it all out however is complex. We may never have a formula for how human jealousy works, or how human relationships should be conducted in the modern world, for that matter. But further insights such as these can help us know ourselves better and figure out how best to negotiate the modern needs of love with those that inhabit our subconscious from our ancient past. For more on the evolutionary roots of love pick up a copy of, Snakes, Sunrises, and Shakespeare: How Evolution Shapes Our Loves and Fears by Gordon H. Orians.