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Whether you’re new to Muslim dating or in need of inspiration to carry on with the search for love, coach and mentor Wajeeha Amin can help. Here she explains how ‘Halal’ dating can work for you

You’ve been asked ‘When are you getting married?’ for the 10,000th time. You’re sick and tired of it. If another Aunty Jees asks you one more time, you’re going to explode!

The reality is, you ask yourself that question too. You’re going around in circles. It never happened how it was supposed to. Why is it so hard?

The blueprint is laid out for you. You’ll go to school, college, university, have that fabulous career, and He or She will appear. Well, that’s what Bollywood, Lollywood and Hollywood tell you.

When it doesn’t happen the way it’s supposed to, you’re left out in the cold. You’re left with the questions and the quick judgements; you’re too fussy, too old, too educated, too this or too that. All the avenues are exhausted; family introductions or Aunty Jees matching you up with the perfect Mr or Mrs Right have dried up.

If you’ve decided it’s time to make things happen for you – in your own way and your own time – here are a few tips to help you along the way.

First things first

Be honest and get comfortable with what ‘Halal’ dating means to you.

Now I know there are mixed opinions on this, but the best way is to be clear on your boundaries and values. It’s the number one life skill to master to succeed in love and life.

To set healthy boundaries in any area of your life, you must first know what’s important to you, as well as what constitutes as a red or green light.

If you’re clear on your values and boundaries and can share them in a kind yet direct way, it will reduce anxiety and doubt as you search for someone. In turn, it increases the likelihood of mutual trust and respect in developing a healthy relationship.

Get clear on who your partner is

The first step to finding ‘the one’ is to distinguish between what you want and what you need in a partner. Wants are negotiable; needs are not.

Wants include the things you think you’d like in a partner – height, looks, occupation, intellect, for example.

These traits may appear crucially important at first but, over time, you’ll often find you’ve been limiting your choices needlessly.

Needs are different to wants. Needs are those things that matter to you the most – your values, life goals and aspirations.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Gone are the days when the only way you could meet someone for marriage was through matchmakers, friends or family.

With offline and online opportunities giving you instant access to people all over the world, the world is your oyster. Use the array of platforms that are available to you to your advantage. Try both online and offline to increase your chances.

And in the process, don’t forget my golden rule – make your search a part of your life, not your life.

Give yourself opportunities to grow

Learning something new, like a language or new skill, will build your self-esteem. Nurturing personal growh will also make you more self-aware and help you better navigate the dating maze. This, in turn, will increase your chances of meeting a like-minded partner.

Be happy with being single

Some people have an unconscious fear of being married. And some people are afraid of being single. This fear can stop people meeting ‘the one’ or lead them to stay in unhealthy relationships.

Investing time and energy in understanding your blocks and where you are in your search will better equip you to recognise the right partner for you.

It’s better to be happily single than unhappily married.

Take a risk

Relationships that last require investment. This means investing your time, energy and emotions. Being vulnerable, open and courageous is essential to nurture committed, long-term relationships.

With this level of personal investment comes risk. You may have to go through this a few times before you meet ‘the one’. This is where having a mentor, coach, and great friends will help.

Make it your mission to do everything you can to find love. Start with my tips above; you never know, you could be the next couple inspiring singles to get out and make changes!

The post Halal Dating: how to make Muslim dating work for you appeared first on eharmony Dating Advice Site.

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Have you found love on eharmony? Submit your love story for a chance to win a Secret Escapes holiday voucher worth £500! 

To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we’re asking you to share your love story along with a picture of your anniversary, engagement or wedding celebration!

No matter what stage your relationship is at, if eharmony helped you find someone, we want to hear your story! To enter, simply click on the link below to submit your story.

Tell us your love story

Love Stories Competition: Official Rules
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

1. The “Love Stories Competition” will be accessible via .co.uk’s social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and on the Dating Advice Blog from 5 September 2018 00.01 (the “Start Date”) until 13 September 2018 23:59 (the “End Date”). The entry period will end on 13 September 2018 at 23:59.

2. The competition is open to all eharmony users who are currently in a relationship or married to someone they have met on the site and who are residents of the United Kingdom aged 18 or over, except employees, officers, directors of eHarmony and its parents, affiliated and subsidiary companies, and their respective families, or anyone connected with this competition, including the third party promotional partners.

3. To enter, fill out the eharmony Love Stories form and submit one or more photograph(s) of you and your partner/spouse by the End Date. The form will be located on the following social media channels: Facebook @eHarmonyUK and Twitter @eHarmonyUK and via email at lovestories@eharmony.com.

4. Entries submitted by the End Date will be entered into the competition. 1 couple will be selected on or about 27 September 2018.

The winning couple will be the entrant whose love story, in the opinion of the judges, has the greatest quality in depicting love. The winning couple will be selected at eharmony’s and the judges’ sole and absolute discretion.

The winning couple will win a romantic holiday getaway for two.

Secret Escapes Holiday Voucher worth £500.

5. The potential winner of the competition will be notified via email address associated with the winning Entries. The potential winner will have two (2) days from the moment such notification is issued to respond to such notification and supply an alternative contact method, email address or phone number. Return of any prize notification as undeliverable will result in disqualification and selection of an alternate winner. If a potential winner does not reply to the notification within two (2) days of its issuance, is ineligible, or cannot or does not comply with the official rules, he/she will be disqualified, the prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner may be selected.
6. Entrants may submit more than one photograph.
7. Entrants must receive prior written consent by the person(s) featured in a photograph to submit images featuring another person. Images featuring children under 16 should only be submitted by a relative of the entrant, and if the entrant is not a parent or guardian of that child, the entrant must receive prior written consent from the child’s parent or guardian to submit the image.
8. There is no alternative to the prize stated and the prize is not transferable and no part or parts of the prize may be substituted.
9. eHarmony may refuse to accept any Entry at its absolute and sole discretion. The judges’ decision is final and binding on the entrants. No correspondence will be entered into.
10. eHarmony will not be liable for technical, hardware, or software failures of any kind or lost or unavailable network connections which may limit or prohibit an eligible entrant’s ability to participate in the competition.
11. Subject to condition 13, below, by entering, all prize winners agree to allow the free use of their names, submitted photographs and general locations for publicity and news purposes during this and future promotions by eHarmony for five years from 27 September 2018.
12. By entering, entrants confirm that they hold copyright to the submitted entries. Entrants will retain copyright in their submitted entries. However, by entering, all entrants grant eHarmony a worldwide, royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual license to edit, crop, re-size, publish and use each entry in any and all media (including print and online) for publicity and marketing purposes. Such purposes will be restricted to publicity and marketing associated with this competition and future similar competitions and will, in all cases, make reference to the competition or future similar competitions. Submitted entries will not be used for publicity and marketing purposes on a standalone basis. This license will last for five years from 27 September 2018. In exercising the rights granted by such license, we will acknowledge that the photograph is the work of the entrant in all cases.
13. Use of personal data received by us in the course of running the competition is subject to the privacy policy the www.eHarmony.co.uk website.
14.
By providing your email address to eHarmony, you agree to receive promotional/marketing emails from eHarmony. You may unsubscribe from receipt of such emails at any time. Entrants acknowledge and agree that eHarmony will send winners’ personal data (email address, name, postal address if applicable) to the applicable merchants for the purpose of awarding prizes. Specific merchant terms and conditions apply, including but not limited to, the merchants’ policies on use of personal data (such as sending merchant offer emails).

15. By entering, all eligible entrants agree to be bound by these official rules and we can exclude entrants and withhold any prize for any breach of these rules.
16. The promoter of this competition is eHarmony UK Ltd. (“eHarmony”), registered in the UK with registered office at PO Box 5904 London WC1N 3XX.

The post Competition: Love Stories Milestones appeared first on eharmony Dating Advice Site.

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Whilst spending time alone can be an ideal opportunity for self-reflection, even the best of us can end up feeling lonely. So just how do we tackle loneliness?

Feeling lonely is a natural and normal part of the human condition. It’s also a bit of a political hot potato at present. Concerned by figures which suggest the UK is in the grips of a ‘loneliness crisis’, the government recently appointed a loneliness minster, Tracy Crouch, who has promised to leave ‘no stone unturned’ tackling the issue.

According to health chiefs, over time loneliness can severely compromise our well-being. One recent report says the health risks are comparable to smoking 15 cigarettes a day and associated with a 50% increase in mortality.

An evolutionary outlook

But it’s important to remember that all these projections are based on the more extreme face of loneliness. The fact is we all feel lonely from time to time. This is because we are social creatures, and in an evolutionary sense we are designed to bond with other people to survive.

Human beings are psychologically wired to process their emotions by sharing them with others. We build confidence by having our feelings affirmed and mirrored back at us. And whilst there are lots of people who would argue they love spending time alone, for most of us it’s a balancing act.

So, what do you do if you frequently find yourself feeling lonely? Well, it’s important to remember that there is nothing shameful about the way you are feeling. Loneliness can induce a cruel inner-voice that suggests that somehow there’s something terribly wrong with us.

But that voice is part of the condition rather than a reality. So, if you find you’re beating yourself up, why not pause and challenge those thoughts? One way to do this is to write down the negative thoughts you’re experiencing on a piece of paper and then in a column opposite write a contrary fact for each one.

For example, if you think: ‘I’m always alone, and will always be alone,’ you could write opposite ‘I’m around people every day at work and catch up with close friends at least twice a week’.

The problem is that feeling lonely can take us by surprise and plunge us down the rabbit hole before we’ve even had time to fully acknowledge it. Therefore, it’s important to recognise its creeping advance.

Withdrawing from the world

Ironically, experiencing loneliness can also trigger us to withdraw even more from the world. We might avoid answering the phone and retreat to the bedroom. Therefore, be very kind to yourself. Muster all your courage and reach out to a friend or loved you can trust. Talk to them and if possible tell them how you’re feeling.

Of course, loneliness is typically associated with being single. But there’s no reason why the two should automatically go together. Plenty of single people have busy, active lives and only fleeting moments of loneliness. In fact, some people really love single life. You’ll usually find these are the people who have built structure into their free time, they work hard and play hard too.

If you find going solo a big challenge it might be time to reevaluate your life. What is it that might be missing? Dating to fill the void is often counterproductive. This is because we’re meeting potential partners for the wrong reasons, and expecting them to rescue us, when in fact we can only really rescue ourselves.

Nevertheless, if you find yourself struggling with chronic and recurrent loneliness, don’t battle alone. There are plenty of affordable counsellors qualified to help you change the way you’re feeling.

Tackling loneliness within a relationship

There are also plenty of people in relationships who end up feeling lonely. Sometimes the most painful form of loneliness is the realisation that you feel terribly alone even when you’re with your partner.

Such feelings might suggest you’re not getting your emotional needs met; that the two of you have become disconnected. The obvious thing to do here is communicate. Don’t be tempted to blame or shame your partner, simply stick to discussing some of the feelings you’re experiencing and tell them you’d like to resolve them.

Having a good daily routine is another way to combat feeling lonely. It may be that there are certain times during the week or at the weekend when you’re more prone to loneliness. A study by eharmony suggests that for singles the toughest time is Sunday nights. This is because things have probably gone eerily quiet. To counter this, you could pick up the phone or decide to factor a new social activity into the mix.

The fact remains we cannot expect to get all our needs met by a partner (or friend). But we can at least have the courage to express how we’re feeling with a view to changing the way we feel.

The post How to do deal with feeling lonely appeared first on eharmony Dating Advice Site.

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Tempted to give eharmony a try? There’s never been a better time. With a eharmony promo code on offer from 24th August – 4th September, don’t miss our summer sale

Are you ready to take finding love seriously? Tempted to give eharmony a try? Then our summer sale is for you. To celebrate the sun shining and everyone being in the mood for love, we’re offering a eharmony promo code every day from 24th  August – 4th September 7.

Today, you can get 6-month membership for £15 a month with eharmony promo code JOIN90!

But why should you take advantage of our summer sale? Here’s our top four reasons:

1. It’s the summer of love

Isn’t there just something about summer that makes you want to fall in love? Maybe it’s the Vitamin D from all that sunshine, the possibilities of long evenings, or the inherent romance of picnics in the park, but love is definitely in the air. Sign up to eharmony with today’s promo code and you’ll become part of a like-minded community of people who are serious about finding lasting love year-round.

2. eharmony are the experts

We don’t like to brag; but we’ve spent the last 35 years decoding the science of lasting love. And our research has shown us that compatibility lies at the heart of any happy relationship. The eharmony approach is based on psychological principles, has involved studying more than 50,000 couples in 27 countries, and included working with some of the world’s finest academic institutions.

3. We use an intelligent compatibility matching system

If you’re looking for someone that’s truly right for you, look no further. Use this eharmony promo code and you’ll have access to our compatibility model, the tool we use to intelligently match users based on shared values and personality traits. It’s a complex algorithm that matches you on the qualities that really matter for lasting love. 18 dimensions of compatibility – powerful indicators of relationship satisfaction – are used to select highly compatible people, tailored to you.

4. This eharmony promo code won’t be around forever

Our summer sale is for a limited time only. Every day from 24th  August to 4th September, there will be an eharmony promo code on this page – and once it’s gone, it’s gone! So, what are you waiting for? Sign up to eharmony today and start making the most of the summer of love…

*Use promo code JOIN90. Offer only valid in the UK. Offer expires 4th Sep 2018 at 11:59 pm BST. 6 months for £15.00 a month. Billed in one instalment of £90.00. Upon expiration of the promotional period, your account will renew for consecutive 6 month terms at the rate of £90.00 in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of Service. You may turn off the automatic renewal feature in your Account Settings page.

The post eharmony Promo Code: Summer Sale! appeared first on eharmony Dating Advice Site.

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If you’re serious about finding love, we’ve got a special offer for you! Get a 6-month eharmony membership for £15 a month, between 24th August – 4th September, with code JOIN90

At eharmony, we take finding love seriously. That’s why we want to make it as easy as possible for you to meet like-minded singles looking for lasting love too. If you subscribe to eharmony for six months this weekend, not only will you receive highly compatible matches, you’ll also pay just £15 a month with code JOIN90!

But why should you choose eharmony? Here are 5 reasons why this special offer could be perfect for you:

1. You want to date differently

At eharmony, we do it all differently. We use a complex algorithm to match you on the qualities that really matter for lasting love. We start by asking 150 carefully selected questions that get to the heart of who you are, what you want, and what really matters to you. Our patented matching system then selects highly compatible people – specially chosen just for you.

2. You want advice from the experts

We don’t call ourselves experts in lasting love for nothing. We’ve spent the last 35 years decoding the science of lasting love. Our scientifically-based approach is built on an in-depth knowledge of all the established principles in the psychology of meaningful relationships. We also worked closely with 50,000 couples in 27 countries to compliment our cutting-edge research into how love is evolving. So, if you’re looking for expert advice, this is the offer for you.

3. You’re serious about finding love

If you’re looking for lasting love, you’ll need to join an online dating service that prioritises meaningful relationships. We know that finding love can be complex. In fact, it can often feel elusive. That’s why we take the search seriously. And we attract singles that are serious too. eharmony members are a like-minded community united in their search for lasting love. They’re not about hook-ups. Commit to a membership and you’ll find singles ready for commitment.

4. You’re looking for your perfect match

Take up our special offer and you’ll have access to our intelligent compatibility matching system. We’ve distilled our knowledge and expertise into our own compatibility model so that we can intelligently match members, based on shared values and personality traits. It’s a complex algorithm but it allows us to match you on the qualities that really matter for lasting love. Each match is based on our bespoke 18 dimensions of compatibility – powerful indicators of relationship satisfaction.

5. You want to date safely

Unlike other online dating sites, eharmony doesn’t simply post your profile and allow anyone and everyone to contact you. Only your matches – a carefully curated set of singles – will be able to view your profile and send you messages. And only paid subscribers can send and receive messages. That way, your privacy is protected. The eharmony messaging system is safe and secure – you don’t need to exchange any personal details that you’re not comfortable with. It’s also quick and easy to report anyone that makes you feel uncomfortable.

Ready to get started? Get a 6-month membership for just £15 a month today!

Offer Terms & Conditions:

*Use promo code JOIN90. Offer only valid in the UK. Offer expires 4th Sep 2018 at 11:59 pm BST. 6 months for £15.00 a month. Billed in one instalment of £90.00. Upon expiration of the promotional period, your account will renew for consecutive 6 month terms at the rate of £90.00 in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of Service. You may turn off the automatic renewal feature in your Account Settings page.

The post eharmony offer: Get a 6-month membership for £15 a month! appeared first on eharmony Dating Advice Site.

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Ash and Letty met on eharmony in 2012 and married in September 2017. Here they talk us through their love story

Letty’s story

‘I’d been single for two years before joining eharmony. I found it difficult to meet people offline; I was always busy at work. When I did go out I wanted to catch up with my friends, not meet new people. eharmony seemed like the perfect choice for me. The fact that you have to pay means that eharmony members are serious about finding a meaningful relationship. I also liked the idea of being matched to someone compatible with me.

Ash’s profile stood out immediately – we shared a lot of the same interests and I felt our connection was instantaneous. We started speaking at the end of December and our first date was at the end of January.

I wasn’t expecting Ash to propose. We’d spoken about marriage, but I wasn’t sure he was ready. It happened on holiday in Santorini. On our last day, Ash asked if I wanted to go for one last swim in the sea. We headed into the water, him following me, and he started telling me how much he loves me – he tells me that every day, so I didn’t suspect anything at that point. I turned around laughing at him being so soppy and I saw him holding a ring. He asked me to marry him and everything after that is a blur!

While we have completely opposite personalities, I think our relationship works because we share the same values and dreams. We complement each other and bring out the best in each other.’

Ash’s story

‘Letty and I had been talking online for a few weeks before deciding to go on our first date. We kept it quite casual and headed to a local pub – and we ended up staying so long they had to kick us out! The next day we met again to go dog walking and were caught in a massive hailstone storm. I’ve never seen anything like it before.

After that things moved quickly. We talked all the time, met each other’s friends and families a month later, and moved in together that spring.

We got married at the Bristol Planetarium. We wanted an unusual venue as we’re not a very traditional couple. Our guests could look at the night sky before Letty walked down the aisle and after we exchanged vows, we all watched a show about space. The only thing that went slightly wrong was that the registrar couldn’t pronounce Letty’s name right. She tried a few variations, all wrong. She then asked me if I would take Arlety Jolandy Andreski to be my wife! I confidently replied, I take Arleta Jolanta Andreasik. The woman burned with embarrassment and I know Letty and her Polish family were proud of me.

Our honeymoon was in Thailand and we’re hoping to go to Greece, New Zealand and Chicago soon. I’m excited to see where life takes us. Hopefully we’ll find a home, start a family, and continue travelling, but plans change, so we’ll have to wait and see what’s written in the stars for us!’

The post eharmony Love Stories: Ash and Letty appeared first on eharmony Dating Advice Site.

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Is modern life ruining romance? To coincide with Romantic Awareness Month, eharmony has commissioned a new study into modern attitudes to romance 

Have we run out of time for romance? A recent study by eharmony has found that one in six Brits (16%) believe that romance is dead!

The pace of modern life has made time a premium commodity. And it seems that keeping up with the demands of work, friends and family leave little time for romance. It’s not just single Brits that feel this way; 15%, or one in the seven, married people agree too.

Even so, 67% of UK adults crave more romance in their lives. So, how can we recapture romance?

Romance and communication

While technology has made communication easier than ever before, it’s also made it less romantic. Hastily written emails and sloppy text messages are commonplace, with half of Brits (50%) agreeing that people don’t put enough thought into the messages they send on casual dating apps.

It’s unsurprising that digital communication – throwaway, quick and free – isn’t valued as highly as a phone call or even a handwritten letter. Love letters have all but disappeared. 42% of adults have never sent one at all. However, there may be hope for the future. Under-35s are slowly resurrecting the art of the love letter with nearly a quarter of this age group (23%) having sent a handwritten love letter to their partner within the last year. That’s well above the national average of just 16%.

Saying I love you

People are also struggling to find the words to express their feelings. Our study found that 48% of Brits say they don’t know how to articulate their romantic feelings. Men find it the most challenging, with 55% reporting being lost for words when it comes to romance.

Saying ‘I love you’ appears to come easier. People in relationships reported saying those three little words 12 times a week on average. Scottish couples are even more loved up, saying it 21 times an average!

Romantic gestures

When you can’t find the words, romantic gestures can step in. Our study found it’s best to keep it simple. Complimenting a partner and noticing the small things they do is the most sought-after gesture, with 62% putting it in their top three. Prioritising kissing (36%) and going for a romantic stroll (35%) are also popular. In contrast, splashing out on a surprise holiday (22%) or a meal at a fancy restaurant (17%) are considered much less desirable.

The post Is romance dead? Investigating modern attitudes to romance appeared first on eharmony Dating Advice Site.

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Ghosting is one of the most frustrating aspects of online dating. But there signs to look out for that someone is about to ghost you. Here are four ways to know

While access to interesting people you may have never met otherwise is one of the great boons of online dating, ghosting is one of its ugly downsides. It’s the practice of dropping someone cold with no explanation. And the worst part about ghosting isn’t even the break up (if you can call it that) but the not knowing why.

Was it something you said? Did he meet someone new? Did you introduce her to your parents too soon? Did he misinterpret that flirty text you sent? Or is she just a flake?

There’s no way to know, and that’s what makes being ghosted so hard. It denies us the one thing many of us really need to move on after a dating relationship ends – closure.

So, how can you tell if you’re about to get ghosted and thereby maybe get some kind of explanation that will help you get over the break up? Here are four tips:

1. One-word texts

You just sent him a multi-sentence text about your fun girls’ night out over the weekend and then suggest the two of you get together later in the week. His response? ‘Okay.’ Nothing else. No suggestion for where to meet up or what night.

Maybe, several hours later, feeling antsy, you inquire, ‘So, how was your weekend?’ He replies, ‘Fine.’ No details.

Chances are, he’s backing out of the relationship slowly. Pretty soon you won’t be getting any return texts at all.

2. Chronic cancellations

So, the first time she told you she was going to have to cancel your Saturday night cinema date because her sister was unexpectedly visiting, you didn’t think much of it. But when you tried to make up the missed date a few days later by suggesting drinks after work, she said, ‘sure’, but texted you last-minute to say something had come up work. Now you’ve started feeling anxious.

Then you see her for a quick dinner date on the weekend and feel better. But, after making plans for a picnic the following Saturday, she cancels on you again, claiming she’d forgotten two of her university friends were going to be in town.

Guess what? You’re not a priority and she isn’t brave enough to just tell you that. Soon, she’s probably going to stop responding to your date requests at all.

3. No interest in your life

When you first started dating, he seemed so into you. He was so amazed by your promising career and encouraging of your efforts to get back into playing music. He’d ask you question after question about your interests, thoughts on politics, and your future plans. But, suddenly, it’s like talking to a cold fish.

Maybe you just told him about your promotion at work and he responds with a lackluster, ‘That’s great’ and doesn’t ask a single question about it. Or you call him one evening to tell him about a new song you just worked out on the piano and he says he’s busy and will call you back – but doesn’t.

If he’s lost interest in your life (and not because you failed to show interest in his), chances are, he’s getting ready to move on…without you.

4. No interest in plans

You propose taking her out dancing Friday night, and she responds, ‘Sounds nice, let’s see how the week goes.’ When Friday rolls around, she’s not available – even though she knew on Monday you wanted to see her. When you suggest meeting for Sunday brunch, she says, ‘I’ll let you know if I’m caught up on work by then’ But then she never gets in touch over the weekend to confirm.

If she’s routinely failing to make specific plans with you and seems to be playing a game of wait and see, she’s probably waiting for a better option to come along while keeping you on the bench. Sure, she’ll hang out with you Saturday night, but only if that new guy who has caught her eye isn’t free.

If you’re one of the many people who have been ghosted, try not to take it too personally. Someone who can’t break up with you face-to-face or be honest about what’s going on in his or her head likely wasn’t relationship material in the first place. It doesn’t mean you should give up on love.

Once you’re over the break up, consider ways to find other people who are just as interested in having a long-term dating relationship as you are. eharmony is the perfect place to get acquainted with potential partners who share your desire to date seriously. Sign up today and find someone who is truly right for you.

The post Four ways to know someone is about to ghost you appeared first on eharmony Dating Advice Site.

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Do you struggle with anxiety? Is dating making it even more difficult? You’re not alone! Here are 5 tips to help

You’ve likely heard the distressing statistics on the prevalence of anxiety in our culture. Nearly eight percent of Brits suffer from mixed anxiety and depression – and they’re the most common mental disorders in the country. And there were more than eight million documented cases of anxiety in the UK in 2013.

Imagine how many more undocumented cases there are.

Unfortunately, if you’re prone to anxiety, dating can exacerbate your susceptibility to it.

Dating is nerve-wracking

By its very nature, dating generally causes nervousness, even if part of those nerves is excitement.

If you already have a generalised anxiety or panic disorder, the experience of interacting with new people (especially as quickly and frequently as it can happen with online dating) can trigger unpleasant feelings of stress or even a full-blown attack.

Add a series of less-than-stellar dates or a rough break up to the mix and you have a recipe that exacerbates anxiety disorders.

So, can you overcome anxiety when it comes to dating?

Yes, you can. But you’re probably going to have to work at it. Here are some tips:

1. Accept that dating makes you vulnerable

And that’s okay. Real human connection requires vulnerability. And vulnerability requires courage. Reframe how you approach opening up to people. Don’t assume you’re going to get hurt. Go into that first date with a positive outlook, open to the possibility of connection, and a willingness to be yourself.

Because when it comes to love, don’t you want someone who accepts you and likes you just as you are?

2. Get some guidance from a therapist

If you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety, you may already be talking to a therapist – if not, consider doing so. He or she can teach you how to cope with anxiety so that you don’t deny yourself the opportunity for deeply meaningful life experiences and relationships out of fear.

3. Kick the negative self-talk

Work on loving yourself as much as your best friends do and try to kick the self-criticism that we all tend to heap on ourselves. A therapist can help with this, but another simple way of addressing the negative inner voice is to practice talking to yourself the way a loving friend would. Replace things like, ‘You’ll never be happy in a relationship’ or ‘You’re not good enough’ with ‘You’re worthy, you’re fun, you’re smart and you’re an inspiration.’

And keep in mind that if you’re negative toward yourself, your date is going to pick up on that. Humans are naturally attracted to confident, optimistic people. Be one!

4. Remember there are always options

Don’t assume the worst just because you’ve had a string of lackluster dates. Shake things up. Strike up a conversation with a handsome man in the supermarket checkout line or ask that beautiful woman in the library what books she’s reading and would recommend.

If the dating app you’re currently using hasn’t panned out, try a different one. Love can show up in unexpected places. Be open to that.

5. Take care of yourself

Poor physical and mental health will take its toll on your dating life. Before you can be someone else’s dream date, you have to be your own. Look at how you’re eating, determine if you’re getting enough exercise (to get those endorphins pumping) and work on getting sufficient sleep.

And make time for the things you love. Have you always wanted to learn to paint? Sign up for art classes. Do you love to walk? Get out there every weekend for some time in nature. Become the person you’d want to date and magic will start happening!

Once you feel like you’ve overcome your anxiety about dating, get to work on finding the perfect match. eharmony can help. Sign up today and find that partner who loves you for you!

The post Can dating cause anxiety? 5 tips to help appeared first on eharmony Dating Advice Site.

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Love & Harmony by Eharmony Uk - 9M ago

Do you suffer from jealousy? Are you always fighting the green-eyed monster? Take a look at this top tips on how to overcome jealousy

Jealousy is one of the most challenging, complex, and common human emotions we experience. Often, it can destroy relationships and leave deep wounds. While envy is normal, acting out of it or wallowing in it almost never results in a positive outcome. How can we break the jealousy cycle and keep from sabotaging our relationships?

It’s not as hard as you think.

Shades of jealousy

Insecurity is the mother of jealousy. It’s incredibly easy to pick yourself apart and find flaws you think could push your partner into the arms of someone else.

I’m too old. I’m not successful. I’m not attractive enough.

Allowing these thoughts to creep into your head allows jealousy to evolve into paranoia. Even worse, harbouring suspicions that someone is pulling your loved one away can make it feel like you’ve lost control, which can lead to depression or self-destructive behaviour.

So, how can you stop your own envy torpedoing a relationship? Follow these tips to learn how to overcome jealousy:

Focus on your own feelings

There are times when our jealousy is justified, though usually it’s irrational. Get to the bottom of things and ask yourself, ‘Why am I jealous?’

Does the answer have something to do with pain from a previous relationship? Do the facts of the situation correlate with your feelings?

Sometimes, it’s not your current partner’s actions that cause jealousy. Past betrayals can trigger these feelings in a new relationship. It’s imperative to deal with your internal issues before you let yourself project them onto your new flame.

Have the tough conversations

Technology has made it easier than ever to stay in touch with friends – and exes. While some don’t mind their partners speaking to former lovers, you might and that’s perfectly reasonable.

The key is to communicate these feelings and deal with the issue head on. It’s tempting to avoid the conversation and secretly peek at your partner’s text messages or emails, but this is a recipe for disaster.

Be open and honest about how you feel. Your partner may have different thoughts, so it’s vital to remember the conversation isn’t about being right or wrong, it’s about setting boundaries you’re both comfortable with.

Avoid comparison

Theodore Roosevelt once said, ‘Comparison is the thief of joy.’

Social media has created a culture of comparison and an environment that’s rife with jealousy. A critical part of maintaining a healthy relationship is understanding that comparison often hurts more than it helps.

Measuring your life or relationship against someone else’s does nothing to strengthen you and your partner’s bond. If anything, it can cause the connection to wither.

‘I’m not as tall as his ex.’

‘They have nicer holidays than we do.’

‘She’ll leave me once she realises I make less money than him.’

Comparison leads to painful emotions and puts the focus on the wrong person. Concentrate your energy on being the best partner you can be and stop wasting energy on people who don’t matter.

Let it go

Admitting the problem is the first step towards fixing it. Jealous feelings are natural, so let’s use the emotion for something good. Take it as opportunity for inner reflection and discover what it is that makes you feel safe and happy in a relationship.

Recognising your jealous feelings presents the chance to grow as a person and strengthen your self-esteem. It’s not always easy to deal with and come to terms with the pain, but it’s the quickest way to let your jealous feelings go.

When you’ve found inner peace and come to terms with jealous feelings, start working on finding the perfect match. Sign up today, and let eharmony help find some that’s truly right for you!

The post How to overcome jealousy appeared first on eharmony Dating Advice Site.

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