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Dating can be an emotional roller coaster for many of us. Even when both partners are in good physical, mental, and emotional health, dating can still be a challenge. But adding mental illness to the equation can make the highs and lows in romance much more extreme. In extreme cases, untreated mental health conditions that place a strain on a relationship can be dangerous to both partner’s emotional and physical health.

Studies have found that being in a stable relationship has a positive impact on a person’s health, and can even lower a person’s stress levels and their risk of becoming depressed. But a bad relationship can cause anxiety and also increase a person’s chances of suicidal ideation. For single people, their physical and mental health levels are better than a married or coupled person in a strained relationship. The research bears out that poor mental health can strain a relationship, and a strained relationship can increase poor mental health.

You might have taken an extended vacation from dating because you found it overwhelming, frustrating or you couldn’t relate to or communicate with men. You might experience a large amount of anxiety on dates or find the thought of going on dates uninteresting and exhausting. Nobody enjoys getting rejected by a man, but it might feel terrifying to you rather than understanding that it’s just part of the process when you’re struggling with poor mental health.

The issue is, dating can be overwhelming and stressful for people who aren’t dealing with mental health disorder symptoms. It’s like trying to compete in a sport or go ice skating with a sprained knee. Untreated mental health conditions can make the dating process even less likely to go well.

People with untreated anxiety or depression might find themselves drinking too much on a date, to curb their emotional distress. To someone who doesn’t drink to excess, this type of behavior can seem like a red flag to a healthy dating partner. It’s unlikely that a person will get asked out on a second date if they drank too much on the first one and said something embarrassing or rude. Mental health symptoms can also make a person seem irritable or easily agitated on a date. That’s definitely not ideal for getting asked out again.

Being sick can also cloud a person’s judgment when dating. They might end up with a person who isn’t good for them, or who can sense that they aren’t in their right mind and they might take advantage of them in other ways.

Untreated, manic bipolar swings can cause someone to spend recklessly, engage in unsafe sex, or participate in other risky behavior. In some cases, a dating partner might be incredibly intrigued by a person’s vivaciousness. But when someone comes down from a manic phase and enters into a depressed phase, their personality can take an abrupt turn. This can lead to a breakup, which is not good for an already struggling person’s mental health. It’s just not a good idea to try to connect with others when your life isn’t stable.

On top of all that, lousy relationships or traumatic breakups can worsen symptoms, and lead to people avoiding dating and relationships for fear they will make a mental health disorder worse. Some of the most common symptoms of poor mental health in dating include:

  • A lack of interest in sex, or a high libido that is abnormal for that person
  • Aversion and wanting to avoid a partner
  • A fear of intimacy, emotional and physical
  • Frequent arguments and fights with no discernible cause or trigger like infidelity
  • Increased neediness, or wanting constant reassurance

People who live with mental illness are often concerned about whether they can make a relationship work. Will it be too much work to have a relationship and deal with mental health issues? Will my partner get tired of my issues and leave me? Will I get rejected when I tell my partner about my mental health struggles? These are common concerns that many people struggle with.

Having a relationship isn’t for everyone with mental health challenges, but many couples can find love and success. Being diagnosed with a chronic mental health condition is not a romance death sentence.

So, how can someone with a mental health condition find love?

First, get treatment for the disorder. This will help you be able to discern your relationships and find the right partner and attract the right person to you. The second most important thing to do is to find the right partner for you and be honest with them about your struggle. A good way to look at it is to realize that mental health issues are common, regular, everyday occurrences and millions of people are diagnosed every year, and deal with them every day. If your partner had a physical condition that needed monitoring and treated, like diabetes or hemophilia, you’d want to know, right?

The right person for you has to be open to mental health issues and willing to learn more about your condition and how it is managed. You need someone willing to be patient and understanding when you’re not feeling your best. Chronic illnesses will flare up from time to time even with a steady treatment regimen.

Treating the condition before embarking on the dating journey will eliminate a lot of heartache during the dating process. 1 in 5 adults is diagnosed with a mental health condition each year. But millions of them are in happy, fulfilling relationships. People with chronic illnesses find love every day, and it’s possible for you too.

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May is mental health awareness month. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s a good idea to stop and consider your mental health, and how it may or may not be harming the quality of your life. With how busy everyone is, it’s easy to feel surrounded and lost in modern-day “noise” and not have a good grasp of our emotional and mental health.

Unfortunately, in our culture, it can be very easy to overlook your mental health. Our society prioritizes beauty and financial success over emotional well-being and the quality of our lives. In fact, your mental and emotional health have a direct impact on your daily functioning, happiness, and ultimately, how fulfilling your relationships are.

Beauty and money aren’t critical to the success of your relationship or your dating prospects. It’s your mental health that can make or break your relationships. Even if reduced mental and emotional health levels aren’t sabotaging your love life, it will hurt you in other areas of your life.

The brain is just another part of the body, and hardly anyone is ever in peak physical condition, or able to maintain it for their entire lives. Think of how many times you’ve had a cold that lingered and wouldn’t go away, or had a season of life where you suffered from frequent headaches, or injuries. The brain is similar. It’s very common to experience episodes of depression, or anxiety, or any number of mental health issues and symptoms. Mental illness in various forms is common, affecting 1 in 5 adults every year.

But unlike physical health issues, people don’t talk as much about mental health problems. That means they don’t acknowledge how they are harming them and they might not seek help for them. It’s a lot easier for people to hide or dismiss their anxiety symptoms, while a festering, infected wound might be more obvious. But both of these conditions left untreated, are harmful.

The primary reason we don’t discuss mental health is due to the stigma. People who live with mental health conditions are often blamed for them, even though they can’t control them. They’re labeled “crazy” or “weird” or “dangerous” and often feel ashamed.  Worse yet, this stigma prevents people from getting the help they need.

But it isn’t a weakness or failure to fall ill and need help. It’s a sign of strength to realize you’re struggling and to ask for help when you need it.

The stigma causes us to make mental health funding a lower priority, so people living with these conditions get a lower quality of care. How can we solve a lot of our society’s problems that stem from mental illness if we don’t take it seriously? Untreated mental illness is a significant public health concern. If you have a mental illness, it makes it harder to get and keep a job or to function in school. It can affect your finances, and it’s one of the leading causes of disability.

Mental health problems are associated with homelessness, poverty, unemployment, substance use, and trouble forming and maintaining relationships, often leading to social isolation. Other related complications include harming yourself or others, and mental health issues can cause or worsen certain physical health conditions.

When people live with the symptoms of mental illness, they don’t necessarily know they have a problem. If they’ve lived with their condition for a long time or it runs in the family, they may think it’s normal. Maybe they think everyone lives with similar problems and they pretend to feel normal and just don’t talk about it. But if you’re living with any of the following symptoms on an ongoing basis, you may have more of a problem than you are aware of:

  • Feeling sad or down consistently, regardless of circumstances
  • Confused thinking and trouble concentrating along with memory issues
  • Excessive fear or worry
  • Low energy or tiredness irrespective of how much sleep you get
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Excessive or inappropriate guilt and feelings of low self-worth
  • Extreme mood swings, highs and lows, and significant irritability, hostility, or violence
  • Withdrawal from friends or usual activities
  • Having trouble leaving the house
  • Trouble eating, overeating, and substantial changes in weight
  • Reliving past traumas
  • Trouble coping with daily problems or stress
  • Not in touch with reality, delusions, paranoia, or hallucinations
  • Substance abuse
  • Suicidal thinking
  • Change in sex drive
  • Trouble understanding and relating to people and situations

If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of a mental health disorder, please reach out for help today. Therapists, social workers, counselors, and mental health advocates can put you in touch with doctors who specialize in treating mental health disorders. Making sure you’re healthy on a mental and emotional level will not only improve your daily functioning and quality of life, but it will also help you find and maintain a healthy, fulfilling relationship.

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Women believe that men aren’t looking for committed relationships these days, but that simply isn’t true. Yes, it is true that many men don’t want commitment or are players, but there are plenty of good men out there looking for committed, long-term relationships. You just have to know how to figure out if he’s one of those keepers and how to get him to commit to you. You can’t possibly get a man to commit to you if he doesn’t want one or isn’t capable of making one. So, how can you avoid time wasters and dead-ends? Your best bet for protecting your time and your heart is to know how to screen your dates for their ability to commit.

That doesn’t mean that you have to grill the poor guy with personal questions on your first few dates. To him, that will feel more like an interrogation than a pleasant encounter with an interesting woman. Interrogators don’t get second dates. Why sabotage your chances of getting to know him? What’s your hurry in getting these answers? As long as you’re protecting your heart, you can take your time.

The key to screening for commitment is to listen and pay attention to what he’s telling you. If you pay attention and listen carefully, people tell you who they are without you having to ask, or worse – grill.

Be honest with yourself and pay attention to any red or even pink flags that you hear about in your conversation. You may be tempted to overlook some things if you find him really interesting or attractive. But watching for the telltale signs that he can’t commit is one of the most important things you can do to avoid getting into a relationship with an unavailable man who will break your heart.

Look out for these waving red and pink flag warning signs:

1- He tells you he isn’t looking for marriage.

Listen to this warning. Men typically don’t lie about this. Many women will overlook this warning sign because they think that once a guy gets to know them, he’ll change his mind. That’s a huge risk you’re taking if you ignore this red flag. Don’t be tempted to think that he’ll change his mind once he gets to know you. He’s being honest upfront about what he wants or doesn’t want in a relationship.

2- He’s never committed. To anything.

He’s never had a serious girlfriend, never been married, or didn’t even want to buy a car or house, and not because of financial constraints. A guy who can’t commit to anything concrete even if it’s not related to a serious relationship is waving a commitment red flag high and proud. This type of guy can’t even commit to taking a vacation a few months in advance. If he doesn’t want anything that ties him down, he’s going to bring that lack of commitment to your relationship too.

3- He tells you he has trouble trusting other people.

Sure, many people have trust issues, but if he’s warning you, he might be telling you that he can’t commit because of them. Relationships are built on the ability to trust. If this person is self-aware enough to admit that they struggle in this area, chances are, they won’t be able to commit to you because they will have trouble trusting enough to make a serious commitment. Let this one go and look for someone ready to trust and commit.

4- His closest friends are all single.

Water rises to its own level, and you’re known by the company you keep. When you hang out with negative people, you’re either a negative person yourself, or you’re about to become one. The reverse is true when it comes to hanging out with positive people. Unless you’re in your early twenties, a guy who only hangs out with other single men is probably going to stay single, too. When all his friends are single, they may share the belief that being single is better, or that marriages don’t work. Men who have a lot of married, family-oriented friends are probably going to value committed relationships more, and want a committed relationship for themselves. Consider this one a pink flag, and proceed with caution.

5- His life is a mess.

If he can’t get his act together, it isn’t likely that he’ll be able to make a major commitment to you and take both your lives to the next level. Besides, why would you want a commitment with someone who doesn’t have their act together? When you commit to someone, you end up taking on the positive and the negative things that are going on in their life. Make your life a little easier and your future more enjoyable by hitching your wagon to someone who has their life in order.

Have you ever overlooked some of these danger signs in a relationship? It can be easy to do when you find someone attractive, you don’t know how to look for red or pink flags, or you’re tired of being single. If you found yourself in a situation with a commitment-phobic man, how did it work out for you? Do you have warning signs that you want to share with other women who want a serious relationship?

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When you’d like to find a good man to date, it’s important to know the best ways to show interest when an opportunity arises. A man is more likely to put some effort into your relationship when he feels he has a chance with you.  Yet, it is possible that you can come on too strong, making you seem too forward. He might feel like you’re too into him, and back off. Or he could pursue you for casual sex, thinking you’re willing. How can you look interested but not too interested? Here are some good ways:

1- Make eye contact. This is one of the most subtle ways to show interest.  It is one of the easiest things to try if you’re shy.If you simply glance his way for a few seconds, you might even catch his eye. If it’s a man you know or are dating, making eye contact shows you’re connected.

2- Smile. When you’re smiling at him, you are letting him know that you are enjoying yourself. Whether you’re smiling at him when in conversation or smiling while walking down the street, you’re showing your genuine warmth which can be very attractive to a man.

3- Be attentive. You want to be present with him, so that you are listeningto what he’s saying and can respond with appropriate questions and comments.  When you care about what he’s saying, you’re telling him that he matters. He’s likely to feel important.

4- Touch him. If you’re shy, it might be harder to show interest by touching, so do what’s comfortable for you. You can try to lightly touch his arm if you think he’d be OK with it. Notice whether he’s comfortable with your touch by seeing how he reacts. Does he seem to like it or does he pull away?

5- Laugh at his jokes. When you laugh at his jokes, he’ll know that you’re enjoying the conversation and you get along well.

6- Don’t get personal. Save the personal details for later. When you’re just getting to know a man, it’s best to keep things light. Don’t tell all the details of why your last relationship didn’t work out. You might think it will bring you closer, but it might feel like too much information for him.

7- Make good conversation. When you’re having conversations with a man,he can get to know you. He knows that if you weren’t interested, you’d probably cut off the conversation.

8- Be coy. When you’re a little flirty but also shy or standoffish, he has the chance to pull you out of your shell. He might feel very special when you finally tell him more about you.

9- Compliments. When he does nice things for you, be sure to appreciate him for it. You want him to know that you like what he’s doing so he’ll keep doing it. If he does or says something thoughtful, say, “That’s sweet.”

10- Be yourself. Don’t change who you are to be with a man. Ultimately, you’re looking for a man who likes you and wants to be with you. If this is difficult for you, you may want to learn more about how to be your own Brand of Sexy.{Link to quiz or something}

Are you showing interest with men? Which of these tips do you want to work on? Do you want to add some of your own pointers?

Leave us a comment below.

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Expectations are a powerful thing. If they’re too high, then you’ll be constantly disappointed. If they’re too low, then you’ll never get what you want and deserve, from yourself or others. But did you know that your expectations determine your reality? If you don’t think you can succeed in reaching your goals, you won’t.

That’s the worst thing that can happen when your expectations are too low. But what happens when they are too high, or otherwise unrealistic? Unrealistic expectations aren’t in-line with reality. And if your head is in the clouds, and your expectations aren’t realistic, it will cause you a lot of trouble and heartache.

Unrealistic expectations can sabotage any area of your life, including dating and relationships. Usually, when a person is unable to find a good relationship, one of two things is going on. They either don’t have enough standards for their dating partners and get taken advantage of – otherwise known as having too low of expectations. Or, their standards are way too high and unrealistic. We’ve covered low standards in dating before and how those can ruin your chances at love. But today’s article will cover unrealistic, too high of expectations.

Check out your expectations in the following areas to see if they may be making your life more complicated than it needs to be:

1. He must meet every criterion on my checklist.

Mr. Right may not meet everything on your list. When you put the items on your list above the importance of enjoying his company and appreciating his efforts, something is not going to feel right. You don’t want to sabotage your first meeting by feeling disappointed by something that may not ultimately be very important, like how tall he is or where he went to school. If you’re in the process of looking for a relationship, it’s a good idea to look over your checklist and reassess. Are there a few things on there that aren’t super important that might be needlessly limiting your dating pool?

2. He should always understand me.

When your partner comes from a different background and has different life experiences, he may not always understand you. Differences are expected. Part of a healthy relationship is learning about your partner, and appreciating them. Relationships grow and strengthen when the people in them make an effort to communicate.

3. He should always know the right thing to say.

Men can be unsure of what to say, just as you might be. Chances are, you’ve been put in difficult or awkward situations where you didn’t know exactly what to say. You may have even said the wrong thing! If he’s feeling nervous or pressured, he might say the wrong thing, too.  That doesn’t mean he is wrong for you. Take the time to try to get to know him. Maybe when he’s more comfortable around you and understands you better, he’ll be more on target.

4. He should know what I’m trying to say.

He can’t read your mind. If you’re leaving out relevant information, you might be making it harder for him to figure out where you’re coming from. Learning to be a better communicator can help you in all of your relationships, not just romantic ones.

5. He will always support everything I do.

We all have different values. Your partner is not going to support your actions if you are going against his values.

6. I can change him.

The only person you can truly change is yourself, and that can take a lot of work. Someone else also will have to want to change to make that happen, and you can’t do it for him. While it’s true that people can and do change, they don’t change in predictable ways, or on your timetable.

Are you tempted to want to change the men you meet? Could you be choosing people with problems thinking you can fix them?

It’s more realistic to accept a person as they are and to consider whether you can live with them or not, flaws and all.

7. We will never argue or disagree.

Conflict is healthy for a relationship when the partners want to find a compromise or a resolution, or at least to agree to disagree. It can lead to a better understanding of each other, rather than just a lot of arguments. Conflict doesn’t have to be a dirty word. A mature relationship will involve some conflict, and that’s okay.

Do you see other people’s expectations keeping them from getting what they want? Do you see it in your life? Let us know how this has affected you in the comments below.

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Women frequently end up in relationships with men who don’t pay for anything and can’t hold down a job for very long. Once you fall for a man like that, it’s easy to hang in there hoping that you can change him. That kind of thinking usually keeps you tied to a man who can’t make you happy, prolonging your unhappiness. 

Worse yet, he will drag you down in ways that aren’t emotional, such as stunting your financial and career growth. It’s hard to get ahead in life when you are stuck supporting a fully grown, and capable adult. You can’t take career risks. Forget about having kids. So, why do women sometimes find themselves trapped in toxic relationships with deadbeats?

Unfortunately, a lot of women are so used to putting the needs and feelings of other people ahead of their own that they can easily miss the tell-tale signs of a deadbeat. When you’re the type of person who has been put into emotional and physical caregiving positions for much of your life, it can be challenging to see the signs and red flags that are there to alert you to trouble ahead. Once you’re attached, and in love, it is incredibly hard to let go of someone who isn’t good for you. So it’s best when you can see the problems ahead and avoid them altogether. 

Deadbeats usually follow patterns and have several red flags attached to them. Here are some of the most common deadbeat warning signals to be on the lookout for:

1. Someone else supports him. 

Whether it’s his parents, his ex, or the government, it doesn’t matter. If he isn’t making a living, he will always be on the lookout for someone who will support him. That will be you someday. A guy like this is not motivated to support himself, and why should he be when other people are all too ready to do it for him? Don’t fall for this trick. 

2. He doesn’t take responsibility. 

Just as he doesn’t take responsibility for his finances and his ability to support himself, a true deadbeat won’t take responsibility in other areas of his life. 

  • He blames his ex-girlfriend for why his last relationship didn’t work. 
  • If you get in an argument, he’ll find a way to blame you for it, even when he’s wrong. 
  • If he has children, he may not see the child often and doesn’t want to pay child support.

Guys like this are bad news and big trouble. Stay away from people who don’t accept responsibility for when they do something wrong. It’s a true sign that this person lacks character and integrity. You’ll end up being the scapegoat, and it will lower your self-esteem. 

3. He’s immature. 

Maybe he’s partying too much or has a tantrum when you don’t want to do what he wants. He just doesn’t act like a grown up. He plays games with you or with his boss, rather than looking for a mature, effective way to communicate how he feels. He puts off doctor’s appointments, paying bills, or taking care of his car. Why would you want to take on an overgrown child? Look for a man who is an equal adult and who is reliable. 

4. He’s uncomfortable with your success. 

He can’t handle you working hard or getting ahead at work. He might complain about your hours or try to convince you that you don’t need or want that raise you are going for. A man who is a good person and who is the right one for you will care about your dreams and aspirations. He will be a true partner to you, and ideally, you’ll both help each other get ahead in life and reach goals together, as a team. 

5. He won’t commit – to anything.

It’s difficult for him to make plans for the weekend, so it’s practically impossible for him to imagine making a lifelong commitment to a woman. Deadbeats are always on the prowl for get rich quick schemes and the next best thing. Commitment to anything is a swear word to a deadbeat. 

6. His friends are like him.

You are known by the company you keep. Look at who his friends are. If his friends do not see the value in working hard, being honest, and getting ahead with integrity, he doesn’t either. Water tends to seek its own level. The people he associates with should give you a clue into what type of person he is below the charming veneer he’s put on when he’s around you. If you find yourself uncomfortable around his friends because they drink too much, do drugs, complain, and tear each other down, this is a glimpse into his character. And be honest with yourself here – you wouldn’t hang out with people like his friends if it weren’t for your boyfriend. 

So why are you with him? 

Maybe you don’t feel worthy of a successful man, or you’re afraid of getting hurt or rejected. You might be afraid to be alone, and settling is better than nothing. It’s possible that you were raised around people like this and you have a tough time seeing the red flags. You might think he’ll change. 

It’s true that sometimes, people do change. But guess what? They don’t change in predictable ways, or on our timetable. Value yourself by saying “bye” to the deadbeat. 

Our cultural focus on equality can confuse us into thinking that we shouldn’t want or expect men to pay for our meals, plan the dates, or pick us up.  We might feel guilty about expecting better treatment, especially if he doesn’t have much money to pay. That can make it easier to settle for poor treatment, leading you into a relationship you may later regret. 

Remember, when you’re cautious about taking your time to get to know him, you have the time to look for these warning signs. When you follow the Be Your Own Brand of Sexy process, you can do what’s right for you in weeding out deadbeats whether our culture considers it “equality” or not. 

Want to know more about how to weed out other kinds of toxic men from your life? Get this FREE checklist now to help you spot narcissists and players before they break your heart.

Leave us a comment and let us know what kind of toxic men you’ve experienced and how you plan to weed them out in the future.

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Some women get super lucky. They manage to meet their soulmate online and live happily ever after. The rest of us mortals endlessly correspond with men they never meet. Or we end up going out with men who aren’t interested in relationships. Worse still, we end up agreeing to dates with guys we know aren’t good for us. Does this all seem like a giant waste of time to you? It can be. But the thing is, online dating is just a tool. It’s all in the way you use it. 

How you approach the online dating experience is what’s going to make all the difference. It can either be a significant waste of your precious time or the best way for you to meet guys, get dating practice and find Mr. Right. If you’re looking for love and don’t want to waste your time online, follow these ten tips:

1. Be careful. 

Don’t put yourself in danger. It’s always best to meet a new acquaintance in a public place. Don’t reveal too much about yourself in your profile. You don’t want just any man to be able to track you down at work or home. When going on a date with a man, always let a trusted friend or family member know where you are. It’s also not a bad idea to have your friend or family member follow you to the date location, so they know you got there safely, and what your date looks like. 

2. Wait for men to contact you. 

Although we’re modern women who don’t have to wait for men to ask us out, you can tell a lot more about a man’s level of interest if you do. 

Is he online looking for women to meet and found your picture and profile appealing? If he doesn’t contact you, he might be among the 30% of online daters who never even go out on a date with anyone online. He also may not be attracted to you, which is almost always a deal breaker for a future relationship. If you want more than a date or two, don’t waste your time initiating contact. 

3. Don’t be his pen pal. 

It’s true (but rare) that couples can correspond for years and end up in a relationship. However, the chances of it working out are very slim. If you are looking for love, stick with people who suggest a real-life meeting within the first few emails. Otherwise, you really don’t know if he even looks like his picture.

4. Don’t settle for crumbs. 

Any man who can’t bother to put his best foot forward by sending you a nice email just isn’t that interested. He might send you a “wink” because he thinks you’re cute, but you live too far away for him to consider dating you seriously. He’s just saying “hi.”  Or maybe he’s conflicted about something else about you or about dating in general. Don’t write him back. 

5. Don’t be influenced by online dating sites. 

These sites want you to pursue men and be delighted when a man shows the tiniest bit of interest, like sending you a wink. Don’t fall for it. It might be better for the site if you’re asking men out or writing men who aren’t interested, but it’s not the best option for you. With online dating sites, you have to look out for your best interests, because the company only cares about its bottom line. 

6. Post your best photos. 

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so ask someone to take photos of you when you’re looking your best. 

7. Don’t lie. 

There’s no point in posting a photo that is several years old or many pounds lighter. You may be tempted to think that he’ll like you when he gets to know you, but it’s more likely that he’ll wonder whether he can trust you to be honest with him. Put yourself in his shoes. You don’t like it when people lie to you, right?

8. Be positive. 

It’s not in your best interest to use your profile to complain about men or dating. When you say things like, “you don’t want liars or cheaters” to contact you, you’re just showing that you’ve had some unpleasant dating experiences. It’s better to expect good things from online dating. It can also be off-putting for honest guys to deal with bitterness. 

9. Take it slow. 

Even if your first date goes well, remember that he is still virtually a stranger. Continue to meet him in public places until you get to know him better, and don’t rush into bed with him. This will protect your safety, but it will also protect your heart from unnecessary pain and heartache from crash and burn relationships

10. Appreciate nice men. 

In a culture where the focus is on appearance, we can be tempted to prioritize how he looks over how well he treats you. Dating a man who is good looking, but doesn’t treat you with respect is not a good use of your time. You may not want to date a man you don’t find attractive, but at least value being treated with respect, no matter how he looks. 

Do you use these ten tips in your online dating life? Which will you start to use if you don’t already, and how has online dating worked for you so far? Feel free to share in the comments section. 

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Earlier this week, television hostess Wendy Williams was spotted out and about, sans wedding ring. Naturally, the rumor mill went into overdrive. Gossip started flying that her husband’s mistress recently had his baby. But that’s not all. Wendy is staying in a sober living facility, after having issues with cocaine in the past. 

If those rumors are true, this must be an incredibly painful and stressful situation for wife Wendy Williams. It’s hard enough on a marriage if a spouse is unfaithful and cheats. But when you add in a baby and substance abuse issues, it goes from heartbreaking to potentially dangerous. As much as people may be envious of a celebrity’s wealth and fame, it’s not all sunshine and roses. When you’re in the spotlight, you can’t keep the details of your pain private. Wendy Williams’ heartbreak is on display for everyone to see and talk about. 

So, why is it important to spot a cheater upfront and avoid them like the plague? Because you deserve happiness in your romantic relationships, not the kind of embarrassment and heartbreak that Wendy Williams is going through right now. 

Once a cheater, always a cheater. 

There’s a reason that saying started, and for good reasons, too. People who cheat tend to have issues with relationships, maturity, and empathy. Sometimes, cheating is a symptom of a more significant problem, like drug abuse, mental health disorders, or something even more sinister. In extreme cases, frequent offenders may have a serious form of sexual compulsiveness. The symptoms of this disorder are engaging in risky sexual practices, having multiple sex partners, or having sex while high or drunk. You don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who engages in these practices. They can give you an STI, for one thing. And they’ll break your heart.

Now, there are effective treatments and therapies for these problems like sexual compulsivity. But if you want a cheating partner to get better, they might not want to change their behavior. People like this often don’t want treatment. If they do get treatment, it takes a long time to see any significant results and improvement. 

You have good reason to be concerned if you’re involved with someone who’s cheating on you or has cheated on their partners in the past. Only you can decide if the relationship is worth saving. But if you want to continue, be prepared for a bumpy ride. Rather than “forgive and forget,” it’s best to address your unhappiness with the situation head-on. If he’s not willing to get treatment, that probably spells trouble, be sure you get help for yourself too because dealing with this incredibly difficult situation requires a lot of emotional support. 

The best course of action for dealing with a cheater is to avoid them in the first place. But how can you tell if a guy is bad news in the faithfulness department?

1. Slow down and take your time

The best tool to help you determine if a guy is going to cheat on you is time. It’s simple, boring, and might not seem very sexy, but it works. When you are slow to get involved, you have the time to find out more about him and figure out what kind of problems he’s had in his past relationships. 

Of course, you want to protect your heart, so don’t fall in love with him while you’re figuring out whether or not he can be trusted. Let him prove to you that he’s worthy of opening your heart to him. 

2. Be honest with yourself. 

If he’s checking out other women on your date, if he doesn’t seem to be very into you, or if his last relationship sounds like it was full of tension and conflict, pay attention. These are huge red flags. 

He may not spell out for you in plain English that he cheated in his last relationship, but you may be able to pick up some clues of negative interactions and communication problems. Don’t assume everything will be different with you. People often repeat similar issues in their next relationship. 

3. Don’t overlook his history or yours. 

A 2017 study on cheating found that people who admitted they cheated in their first relationships were three times more likely to report that they cheated in their next relationship. Those who knew their partner cheated in their first relationship were twice as likely to say their next partner also cheated. 

Are you attracted to cheaters? 

Listen for clues that there was discord in his relationships. People don’t have to cheat when they’re unhappy in a relationship. There are more constructive and mature ways to manage that dissatisfaction.

Have you been involved with a cheater? Any ideas of how you might have known in the early stages? How will you keep from making a similar mistake again? Leave us a comment below.

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On the popular television show “The Bachelor,” the star of one of the seasons, Colton Underwood, jumped a fence to run after contestant Cassie Randolph. But he pursued her after she had already eliminated herself from the competition. 

The gesture was undoubtedly good for the show’s marketing department. It got tongues wagging. Since the season with Cassie and Colton ended, people are still talking about it. Critics, viewers, and fans of the show are still trying to decide if Underwood’s actions were a genuine expression of true love, or something more ominous. 

Is it true love or toxic behavior when a man goes after you even when you don’t want a relationship with him? Cultural expectations further muddy the waters. Should men pursue women, or is it a sign of controlling behavior? Is it better for women to “chase” a man? These aren’t always simple questions with equally simple answers.

There is no doubt about it, though. In certain situations, a man who keeps pursuing you after you’ve made it clear that you’re not interested is showing a clear disregard for your feelings. Behavior like this is a good indicator that he will display controlling behavior in the future. 

If he does not hear you when you make it crystal clear that you’re not that into him, his continued pursuit and actions are NOT romantic or loving. He is showing you that it’s all about him and what he wants, not what you want or don’t want. You don’t want to hitch your wagon to someone who is an emotional bulldozer. 

But on “The Bachelor,” that wasn’t the situation. Cassie Randolph eliminated herself because she wasn’t ready to get engaged, not necessarily because she wasn’t interested in Colton Underwood as a romantic partner. So it’s safe to say that Colton jumping the fence to go after Cassie was not a display of selfish behavior.  

If you haven’t watched The Bachelor, the purpose of the show is for the Bachelor to propose to someone at the end of the season. It’s a requirement that Cassie Randolph wasn’t ready for, but it appears Colton Underwood was. 

Cassie Randolph was probably showing good judgment by eliminating herself from the competition if she wasn’t ready for a serious commitment. Why wouldn’t a woman have concerns about making a huge commitment to a man who’s seeing other women, and might just as easily propose marriage to one of them? 

Our culture does an excellent job of confusing us when it comes to toxic myths about romance and good, old-fashioned common sense. People have expressed disdain at the idea of a “chase,” where a man pursues a woman and tries to convince her of his worthiness. 

Critics of this approach say that “the chase” implies an inherent passivity or confusion on the part of the woman, while the man must be assertive. But why are the critics so dismissive of a woman who wants to protect her heart from a man who may not be the right person for her?

There is nothing passive or confused about making sure a man loves you and is going to treat you well before you make a big commitment to him. And marriage isn’t just an emotional commitment. You’re also legally and financially tying yourself to that person. It’s crucial for your future happiness to know that the one you marry is compatible and a good person. 

But shows like “The Bachelor” make it appear reasonable to commit when a man doesn’t have to prove any sort of love or devotion. In fact, we’re beginning to expect women to chase men, which is often a huge disaster for women. It’s okay if it doesn’t work for most women to chase men. But it’s best to figure out what’s right for you as an individual, rather than blindly following trends, like “The Bachelor” TV show and other programs like it. 

It’s unfortunate when our cultural norms and ideas about relationships cause so much confusion. I also believe that this confusion around romance is why the modern dating scene just isn’t working for millions of women today. 

Just because other contestants on the show professed their love for Underwood, doesn’t mean he is required to have mutual feelings for any one of the contestants. Remember, “The Bachelor” is a show. It’s not real life. The script is arbitrarily constructed, and the methods in the program don’t work for real couples.

Most of the couples from The Bachelor have not gone on to have successful, long-lasting relationships. However, the couples from The Bachelorette show have had much greater success. Could it be because the show centers around the men qualifying themselves, or “chasing” the woman? I suggest that might be one of the keys to the longevity of these relationships. 

“The Bachelor” with Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph has had a happy ending so far. Four months since the show ended, the couple is still together. 

Are you a fan of “The Bachelor?” What do you think about these types of shows, and did you find Underwood’s actions romantic or strange? Please leave a comment and let us know your thoughts. 

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It’s not just guys who get stuck in the dreaded friend zone. The friend zone is an equal-opportunity antagonist, dream-dasher, and hope-stealer to all people who want more than just friendship from a special someone. If you want more from a man than just his friendship, you never want to get stuck in the friend zone – that awful place where he wants to be “just friends.” 

When you want more from the relationship than he does, it’s sad, frustrating, and a huge confidence-shaker. But the friend zone is a normal part of dating. At some point in your dating journey, there will come a time when you experience the friend zone, and a dating partner isn’t as interested in you as you are in him, or vice versa. The friend zone is a part of the dating process. But if you always seem to find yourself in the friend zone with men, you might have a bigger issue on your hands than just the occasional lack of chemistry. If this keeps happening to you, it’s time to look a little deeper into why this keeps happening, and start digging for answers and solutions. 

What can you do to avoid the dreaded friend zone? Check out these top three, simple tips to get out of there and stay out of there for good once Mr. Right comes along. 

1. Be More Attractive

Be attractive. Don’t be unattractive. What does that even mean? I know it might sound harsh, but sometimes ending up in the friend zone is because you aren’t attractive to a potential partner.

I don’t want to put more pressure on you to look good. Our culture is obsessed with pressuring women into looking and dressing a certain way. It’s hurtful that society continues to insist that we meet totally unrealistic and unattainable beauty ideals. But there is a balanced way to approach this step. 

There’s a major difference between striving to attain an unrealistic beauty ideal and putting a little bit of effort into your natural appearance. 

If you make self-care a priority, your efforts will make you more attractive to the opposite sex. Grooming, good posture, flattering clothes, and confident body language are much more effective for making yourself attractive to the opposite sex than getting a nose job. Most of the traits that make you attractive are changeable in some way. Whether it’s wearing a little bit of makeup to enhance your best features or changing your hairstyle to bring out your bone structure, simple things that are unique to you are what make you the most attractive to men. 

2. Be Realistic 

When you are realistic about your desirability, then you’re objective about what you can offer a partner. Being realistic also makes it much easier for you to find a dating partner who has a similar set of attractive traits. You’re way less likely to end up in the dreaded friend zone if you’re realistic because you’ll be interested in men who are a good match for you. You won’t waste your time on someone who is out-of-your-league and doesn’t hold the same attractive traits and values as you. 

3. Don’t Settle for Less

Be brave and confident enough to say “no” to the kind of relationship you don’t want. If the man you’re interested in states he is looking for a casual relationship and you want marriage, believe him. And, let him know that you’re not interested in a casual sex relationship. 

If he is only asking you out for weeknight-only dates, you know he is seeing other women, and you are not his top priority. You do not have to accept those dates! If you turn him down and he doesn’t make you a better offer, he’s not that into you. But if you keep accepting dates from him, you are letting him take you for granted and encouraging him to continue treating you as a casual date or “just a friend.”

Have you been stuck in the friend zone more times than you’d like to admit? Implementing these ideas into your routines and interaction with your dates will keep you out of that dreaded place. Are you already stuck in the friend zone with a guy you really like? Leave us a comment below for more tips. 

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