Dealing with Breakups: Happiness Depends Upon Ourselves

As the great philosopher Aristotle once said, “Happiness depends upon ourselves.” You can’t rely on money, material things, or even other people to make yourself happy. In order to be happy during a relationship or after it has ended, you must be happy with yourself. A breakup is just one of the sticky situations in life that we all experience, some more than others.

Breaking Up With the Person You Love

Dealing with heartache and heartbreak is never easy, no matter the circumstances. You may have caught them cheating, and ended it yourself, or maybe one of you just couldn’t deal with the long distance relationship any longer. All you can remember are the memories you had together, and possibly the thoughts of a future you would have shared together. It can be a very painful experience and people have different ways of trying to cope. You may find yourself terribly unhappy and unable to enjoy the things you once loved. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Let Those Emotions Flow: letting go of a person who you care about can play a huge toll on the emotions. Every song you hear, place you visit, or conversation you have may leave you thinking of them. Grieving is the first step to healing. Keeping bad emotions inside is harmful to the body. It may take days, even months, but once you have dealt with your emotions you will be a happier person.
  2. Learn to Forgive: if things ended badly, you may be experiencing a lot of hurt and even anger. Reframe from sending hate mail via e-mail, or leaving nasty messages on their answering machine. Not only are you too good for them, but you are too good for that. Stop wasting your time! They don’t deserve your attention for another minute. Forgive them for the things they have done, and you will find it easier to move on to bigger and better things.
  3. Learn to Forget: It will take time. Time and time again you will hear someone say “you will heal in time.” Chances are you will not believe it at the time, but it is true. Once you learn to focus on the present and all that you have going for you, new wonderful memories will grow.
  4. Exercise and Eat Healthy: go for a run, join the gym, or attend a yoga class! Exercising gives the body, mind, and soul a natural high. It will leave you feeling refreshed and positive. Plus, you may just catch the eye of the person at the gym beside you!
  5. Stay Confident: don’t let your self esteem dwindle because someone dumped you. You’re fun, your beautiful, your the perfect match for someone out there! Confidence is key, not only to feeling great about yourself, but attracting future love interests for when you ready to join back in the game.
  6. Do Something Special For Yourself: after a painful experience you should treat yourself. After all, you deserve it. Go get that manicure you’ve been wanting, or that CD you’ve been dying to listen to. Do the things you enjoy most.
  7. Keep A Journal or Diary: write about the things that make you happy. Putting emphasis on the good things in life will boast your positive thoughts and feelings. Record the things you are grateful for. Are you appreciating all the beautiful things life has to offer?
  8. Go Out With Your Friends: chances are, you did not spend a tonne of time with your friends while you were in your relationship. Go out with your friends. If you’re feeling really down, talk about it with them, even ask them for advice. Just have fun! By the end of the night you will hopefully remember how great it is to be single.
  9. Get Back On the Road to Happiness: Remember, “happiness depends upon yourself.” You don’t need a boyfriend or girlfriend to be happy. There are plenty of things to be grateful for in life. Spend extra time with friends and family — the people who make you happy!

Ten Ideas on How to Sustain a Long Distance Relationship

I am assuming that you two have already been in a relationship for a reasonable amount of time. Your time together is precious and sacred and both of you appreciate the fact that among thousands of people out there, the two of you chose to be together. I assume here that there are no lies, that both are committed to the relationship.

A long distance relationship is a trial of patience for two people in love. I’ve had my share of them due to my job commitments and at this stage in time, university degree requirement. In this article I will share several ideas on ways to not only sustain a pre-existing relationship but also develop it further.

Balance is the key to maintaining sanity in a long distance relationship. True, you may love him/her. But if you spend all your time focusing on how much you miss him/her, it will affect your moods and just make you a duller person.

Truth is, your biggest enemy is time. But at the same time, time squandered is a waste. For example, you spend all your life pining away for your partner hundreds or thousands of miles away when the thing that needs doing – your job, your degree, your life – is put on hold. Stop. You might say, “Well, its all part of the fun isn’t it? Staying up late, listening to silly soppy songs on radio, re-reading old letters. Where’s the harm in that?” Frankly, ma’am, a little is alright but a lot is way out of context.

On with the list of of Ten Ideas to Sustain A Long Distance Relationship

  1. Have DVD Fridays/Weekends

    The idea is that even though you’re apart, it wouldn’t hurt to synchronize watching a movie rental together. At least, after the movie, you can have a chat about the movie. Whether you liked it or not, or whether you identified with this or that character. At the very least, it’s a conversation topic.

  2. Work on a Common Project.

    A friend of mine works in Beijing while his wife is in the US. They’re engaged and working hard towards securing their future. They’ve just bought a home and are thinking of decorating it. Other than actually buying stuff and shipping it home (which can be extremely expensive!), whip out that Cameraphone, snap pics, put a price to it and post it on Flickror set up a blog. Now both of you are engaged in the search of fantasy furniture pieces!

  3. Share the Same Dream

    My gay friend and his partner are fitness buffs. They had this crazy idea of doing the 100km marathon. The thing is, one of them’s going away to the States for his studies and will periodically at the end of the year for his winter break. So I told them, why not train separately, but aim for a common end point. End of the year come back and race together. How about keeping a couple’s training journal?

  4. Skype & MSN

    The key ingredient for any great relationship is COMMUNICATION. Instantaneous if possible, delayed at best. Skype offers anybody with a fast broadband connection and decent CPU processor speed the opportunity to call anybody on the internet for FREE. If you can’t talk, use MSN messenger or any dozens of competing Instant Messaging services to keep in touch and focused. There’s now no excuse to communicate if calls are FREE and messages are Instantaneous!

  5. Stay Grounded and Focused

    I can’t emphasize this enough. Most people who arrive in a new city suddenly find themselves surrounded by new things to do, new people to meet etc. With that comes the temptation to try something new. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, or so they tell me. RESIST. Tell yourself, that you are in a perfectly good relationship and that you shouldn’t put yourself in a compromising position. Life shouldn’t be an episode of “Sex in the City”. That kind of life leaves you depleted and hollow. Before one of you leave, get a set of commitment rings/studs/bracelet – anything. It doesn’t have to be flashy but it is a token, a reminder that you carry in your heart, his/her heart. Mean it when you give it to him/her.

  6. Remember Your Anniversaries and Firsts

    Neglect it at your cost, but if you forget an anniversary, woe betide you… Write it down, print it out, tattoo it onto your brain, but make sure you remember your anniversaries and birthdays. Why? Well, with a little planning, that event can become focal points for the year. Something to look forward to. You could even surprise him/her with gifts sent by post. Ebay.com has lots of stuff on offer, so make full use of it. Everyone loves getting something special in the mail.

  7. Keep A Journal

    What doesn’t get written down, will not be remembered. You’re both young, enterprising adults with lives of your own. Keep track of your thoughts and emotional development. Keep track of your dreams and hopes. Doodle, scribble, inscribe your memory in a special way so that you may share it. The point is that sometimes Life moves so fast, you forget who you were or why you are with the person. A journal acts as a reminder.

  8. Pay Attention To Each Other’s Needs For Sleep

    Difference in time zone, jet lag, lack of morning coffee – are frequently cited reasons as to why you’re especially grouchy. Both partners need to be mindful that people get tired and need rest. When you agree to communicate choose a reasonable timing. Something that you’re both comfortable with. 8pm in Hong Kong is 12pm in Britain. That’s reasonable. When I was 8 hours ahead of my girl when she was visiting her family in UK, I came up with a table to remind myself of the time in UK, each time she logged on. I shared this with her and as much as possible we talked only when it was reasonable for us to do so.

  9. Use GoogleMaps To Visualize The Space Between You

    It’s a fun exercise to help crystallize the distance that separates the two of you. Go to GoogleMaps type in your address and then type in your partner’s address. Create a composite map of how you’ll be getting home if you were to walk the entire distance using satellite photos.

  10. Finally, Trust

    The most important thing in a relationship is Trust. Trust that your partner will do the right thing. Trust that you will do the right thing. Be aware that pitfalls await for any couple, and that he/she can cheat at any point in time and space because, really at the end of the day, its their choice. What we can do as partners of lovers who are abroad is be the best person that we can be.

I hope this write up will be of use to all lovers out there living under the tyranny of distance. Trust me on this, LDRs are worth having. There’s an old adage that goes, “Absence only makes the heart grow fonder” and the old-fuddy-duddy in me wants to believe in that. Till next time!

10 Signs You are Dating a Narcissist

There are degrees of narcissism. Some are more severe than others. Some are merely annoying egomaniacs. Others are axe murderers. But if you are in a relationship that has left you feeling frustrated and you’re not sure why, you may well be with a narcissist. Here are a few signs to watch for.

Narcissis, as many know, was the legendary character who fell in love with his own reflection. A narcissist is someone who, usually due to childhood trauma or over-doting parents, has become obsessed with himself. Some cases are so severe that the person becomes disconnected from reality and fails to maintain mutually beneficial relationships with other people.

I had a few indications that the guy I was dating was pretty self-centered, but frankly I didn’t think about it much. Then one day, I was at his house, standing beside him in the kitchen, and he was putting butter on a roll. He turned to walk away, taking a bite out of the roll, and left me standing there. At that time, we had only been dating a couple of months.

A big red flag went up. To me, it seemed abnormal to prepare the roll and eat it, while offering me nothing. This might not seem like a big deal, but it was combined with a couple of other things that gave me the first inkling that I was dating a narcissist.

My family is rife with narcissists, so I grew up thinking selfish behavior was normal. To this day (despite years of therapy) I display a high tolerance for self-centered people. As a result, I attract these relationships like a pair of black pants attracts cat hair.

There are degrees of narcissism. Some are more severe than others. Some are merely annoying egomaniacs. Others are axe murderers. But if you are in a relationship that has left you feeling frustrated and you’re not sure why, you may well be with a narcissist. Here are a few signs to watch for.

Lack of Empathy

Because a narcissist is, by definition, someone who is completely self-involved, he has little or no ability to perceive how someone else is feeling. Worse, when feelings are explained to him, he doesn’t care. It’s his feelings that matter. Understandably, this opens a Pandora’s Box of problems within relationships.

Social Ineptitude

Some narcissists can’t pay attention to what others are saying. My most recent one had a habit of walking away in the middle of a conversation, or lapsing off to watch T.V. while someone was talking to him. If I had anything to say to him, I always had to be careful there were no electronic distractions, such as T.V., radio, etc. I had the best luck with keeping my statements succinct. At a party, he would project his own thoughts, but never asked questions of others. As a result there was no give and take. “The conversation,” my brother said after meeting him the second time, “falls flat.”

Despite this, a narcissist is not necessarily a jackass in public. In fact, many of them have a meek and likeable public persona. This makes it very difficult to explain to others about the self-centered evil that lies within them. In fact, the duplicity can be so extreme that you can begin to question your own sanity. The narcissist, as one person put it, can seem, “like a werewolf”.

Delusions of Grandeur

 I attended a parade with a narci once, and he told me that he could picture himself being Grand Marshal one day. He hadn’t done anything remotely close to earning this honor, but he wasn’t kidding. Does your date exaggerate his achievements and accomplishments? Does he seem to build himself up? This is a common trait in Narci. If you feel he could use a big dose of humility, then this is one thing to watch for.

Requires Excessive Admiration

Narci is often quite good at fishing for compliments, and finding ways to get respect and admiration from those around him. Beware though, of a lack of reciprocity, which is mentioned below (see #10).

Sense of Entitlement

Whether it’s the best seat in a restaurant or the biggest slice of pie, Narci requires special treatment, and feels he deserves it. There may not seem to be any rational reason for why he should be first in line — he just always expects to be.

Preoccupied With Fantasies

Everyone has dreams. But Narci is obsessed with his own inner world. He has visions of unlimited success, power, brilliance or ideal love. He may engage you in the beginning, thinking you will help him fulfill these fantasies. As soon as he realizes you are flesh and blood, you become, basically, dog meat.

Exploitative

Narci has no hesitation about exploiting and manipulating the talents of others. Is there something he wants from you? Then he is probably being nice to you — for the time being.

Center of the Universe

Narci maintains an attitude that demonstrates the world revolves around him; and you must cater to his ideas, needs and desires. Most of us are happy to oblige someone these things. But Narci will keep taking from you without filling your well. And be forewarned, when the well runs dry, he will have no more use for you.

Withholding – Controlling

If a narcissist finds out what you like, he is sure to take it away from you. For instance, I told my most recent narci that I love going to the movies. Guess what happened? We never attended another one. I suspect this is more a “dog in the manger” thing than intentional cruelty. The narcissist does not want to be mean, necessarily. He just wants the world to revolve around him and his desires, his activities. If it is something you want, it isn’t something he wants, and therefore not worth his time.

Doesn’t Reciprocate

If you have made the horrible mistake of telling a narcissist you love him, beware. You will be punished. Because he is actually filled with self-loathing, Narci has contempt for those who love him.

This can be especially tough for people who have a generous nature. I like telling people I love them, and the compulsion is very strong when I feel that way. But the nicer and more generous you are to a narcissist, the more you will be rebuked. In this confusing and haphazard existence, a narcissist behaves best with those who set limits on him. Do not show any sign of vulnerability, because that gives him license for contempt.

You will find that none of your needs are met. You will receive no appreciation or gratitude for anything you do. You will never receive a compliment. You are a tool, a pawn, an object. Narcissus is not capable of any generosity of spirit. Sadly, he is incapable of the type of introspection necessary for change.

The bad news is, narcissists don’t change. Narci is stuck in his own universe, and his reality is completely different from ours. He is doomed to remain forever gazing at his own reflection, loving — and hating — only himself. Don’t hate the narcissist for being what he is. Educating him is fruitless because he simply lacks the capacity for self-examination. If anything, he deserves pity.

The good news is, because you have asked the question, you have the ability to save yourself. My advice is, “Run for your life!” Life is too short to be sacrificed for someone who won’t ever — who can’t ever — appreciate you.  Move on to better and brighter things.

5 Tips For Teenagers For Their First Date

Your first teenage date, alone with a boy can make your nervous, but if you follow these simple hints you will be well on your way to having a successful first date.

Seeing that you finally agreed to going out and give this seemingly interested guy a chance, you will want to master dating etiquette.  If you said “yes” to his request for a date, there must be something interesting about him, so get it right the first time.

Here goes a few tips to carry for that first date that will calm your nerves and help to leave a lasting impression;

1. Be yourself. This lays a necessary foundation for honesty. After being in so many exhaustive dates and relationships being honest from the start is the first best decision you can make. It weeds out any fakes and leaves room for only those who can stick around for the storms that are your emotions and moods. So after saying yes, when he asks for your input on what time and where you’d like to go, don’t be shy, point out your favorite joint and negotiate from there. It may not be his favorite, but at least you can negotiate from there.

first-date-outfit2. Regarding fashion, prepare well for the date. Pick out an outfit that you know looks good on you, something you can be comfortable in, but also doesn’t telegraph the wrong intentions. The right dress will help you to relax and be confident, while putting your best foot forward.  You want him to focus on you the person, not you the sex symbol.

3. Be sure to inform your friends or family of his plans and where exactly you will be going. When you arrive, you might send a text message to a responsible friend or family member with your location. You may also want to carry with you some cash or a credit card in case the date goes awry.  As long as you have money, you can hold on to your independence.

4. Much as we like to be fashionably late, be on time!  Put his feelings first to show your respect, and then you can demand respect for yourself from him when you need it.

texting-on-date5. During the date, switch off your phone, or put it on silent and engage in conversation. Don’t make it about yourself, but ask questions and pay attention to responses while avoiding giving too much information in one dose. Be polite in your mannerism towards your date and the hosts. Avoid hot topics like politics that are bound to leave an unpleasant air and take it easy on the alcohol to avoid embarrassments.

restaurantbilledit6. Seeing that we live in a gender balanced world, when it comes to settling the bill, you can politely offer to do so, but if he says he will pay, kindly let him. Remember that he too may be nervous and letting him feel confident about himself may be just what he needs to make the date worthwhile for both of you.

7. When the date ends, chances are you’ll already have decided if you’d want to see him again. Don’t make it awkward for him and give him hints as you say your goodbyes. If he seems unsure and offers a handshake, take it and linger a while with his hand so he knows you enjoyed the company and are finding it hard to say goodbye. On the other hand, if you didn’t enjoy your time, it would be better if you let him down in a kind way rather than be rude. Make a stand quickly to avoid games and wasting both your precious time. Remember that it was just a date, and if his efforts didn’t make a lasting or good impression, then it is better to move on, although giving him a second chance won’t hurt.

In going for this first date with anyone that you fancy, remember to have fun. The first date may not be as great as you expected, but making an effort to put yourself out there really counts. Let your date know if you would like to see them again as soon as they make the follow up call and don’t give them a hard time.

So if you’re looking to make a lasting impression as well as have fun, try these five simple tips that will ensure you brush off on your dating game and find the one. All the best!!

Dealing with Breakups – Happiness Depends Upon Ourselves

Steps to overcoming the pain and hurt of a breakup, and how to find happiness again.

As the great philosopher Aristotle once said, “Happiness depends upon ourselves.” You can’t rely on money, material things, or even other people to make yourself happy. In order to be happy during a relationship or after it has ended, you must be happy with yourself. A breakup is just one of the sticky situations in life that we all experience, some more than others.

Breaking Up With the Person You Love

Dealing with heartache and heartbreak is never easy, no matter the circumstances. You may have caught them cheating, and ended it yourself, or maybe one of you just couldn’t deal with the long distance relationship any longer. All you can remember are the memories you had together, and possibly the thoughts of a future you would have shared together. It can be a very painful experience and people have different ways of trying to cope. You may find yourself terribly unhappy and unable to enjoy the things you once loved. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Let Those Emotions Flow: letting go of a person who you care about can play a huge toll on the emotions. Every song you hear, place you visit, or conversation you have may leave you thinking of them. Grieving is the first step to healing. Keeping bad emotions inside is harmful to the body. It may take days, even months, but once you have dealt with your emotions you will be a happier person.
  2. Learn to Forgive: if things ended badly, you may be experiencing a lot of hurt and even anger. Reframe from sending hate mail via e-mail, or leaving nasty messages on their answering machine. Not only are you too good for them, but you are too good for that. Stop wasting your time! They don’t deserve your attention for another minute. Forgive them for the things they have done, and you will find it easier to move on to bigger and better things.
  3. Learn to Forget: It will take time. Time and time again you will hear someone say “you will heal in time.” Chances are you will not believe it at the time, but it is true. Once you learn to focus on the present and all that you have going for you, new wonderful memories will grow.
  4. Exercise and Eat Healthy: go for a run, join the gym, or attend a yoga class! Exercising gives the body, mind, and soul a natural high. It will leave you feeling refreshed and positive. Plus, you may just catch the eye of the person at the gym beside you!
  5. Stay Confident: don’t let your self esteem dwindle because someone dumped you. You’re fun, your beautiful, your the perfect match for someone out there! Confidence is key, not only to feeling great about yourself, but attracting future love interests for when you ready to join back in the game.
  6. Do Something Special For Yourself: after a painful experience you should treat yourself. After all, you deserve it. Go get that manicure you’ve been wanting, or that CD you’ve been dying to listen to. Do the things you enjoy most.
  7. Keep A Journal or Diary: write about the things that make you happy. Putting emphasis on the good things in life will boast your positive thoughts and feelings. Record the things you are grateful for. Are you appreciating all the beautiful things life has to offer?
  8. Go Out With Your Friends: chances are, you did not spend a tonne of time with your friends while you were in your relationship. Go out with your friends. If you’re feeling really down, talk about it with them, even ask them for advice. Just have fun! By the end of the night you will hopefully remember how great it is to be single.
  9. Get Back On the Road to Happiness: Remember, “happiness depends upon yourself.” You don’t need a boyfriend or girlfriend to be happy. There are plenty of things to be grateful for in life. Spend extra time with friends and family — the people who make you happy!