It’s never fun. But when you know how to do it, it’s not so bad.
Your chances of getting what you want from your partner are drastically lowered, unless you read on…
Sorry, what were you saying?
Spoiler alert: it’s mostly about not being an asshole.
Turns out men and rats really aren’t that different.
Say hello to a whole new world of sexual boundaries.
What if everything is going just the way it should?
It changed everything.
Some good, some bad, all relatable.
Getting men to talk about how they feel, relationships, or what’s weighing heavily on their minds, is a mystery to many women. Instinctively, most women know something is going on with their partner, son, or perhaps their dad, but getting them to open up about it is another thing. This is where female intuition fails and the difference between male and female communication is startlingly obvious.
A key thing to remember is that women and men work through problems differently. Women process problems verbally. As they share their woes their brain is processing solutions, therefore, during a crisis women tend to talk about it. Most males won’t do that, however.
What many males hear from females during these times is that there is a problem. In his head he’s usually thinking that if she didn’t need him to fix it, why would she talk about it? Men on the other hand work through problems internally and on a very private level. They often don’t want to discuss their issues and can become defensive if women pester them to verbalise what they are thinking.
This is often why men are quieter when there is a problem. Many women tend to misinterpret this as a sign that the man doesn’t care, or isn’t concerned about the issue at hand, and unfortunately, arguments begin or separation and divorce can result.
The first step in getting a man to talk is to understand this fact. The second thing women need to know is that men think on their feet – literally. Sitting down and talking isn’t their first option. If there’s something wrong most men prefer to hibernate with their thoughts for a time, come up with a solution, and put it into action. They want to fix the problem, but they’d prefer not to talk about fixing the problem.
So, what’s the trick to get males to open up? One word ladies… Timing. Females often speak to males with urgency and neglect to wait for the right moment. It’s like a child wanting mum’s attention when she’s busy cooking dinner and alike. Luckily, most of us learn about timing as a teen when we work out exactly when to ask our parents for something you know they might not agree to. Most of us have timed things to work in our favour and it’s the same concept.
In this particular case, it means looking for cues to open a conversation. For example, when men are tired you won’t get much out of them. Also, if they are preoccupied with something unrelated, don’t bother asking how they feel or talking about that certain issue that’s been lurking around. No joy there, either!
Each male and female relationship is different, so women need to look back on the patterns of when the male in their life has opened up in the past. Using my sons as an example, I know for a fact I can’t get much out of them when they are engaged in a computer game or out with their friends. I do know, however, that I can get them to openly discuss stuff that’s on their mind when they are in the car and we are driving somewhere.
Life is filled with these types of patterns and behavioural cues. Once you recognise them, regardless of the situation, you can easily use them to your advantage. As communicating is such an integral part of a relationship, recognising a male’s conversation patterns is vital for females to understand. Only then can they get the males in their life to be more open and learn to share their thoughts more freely.
Image via focus.de
When you stop and think about how communication has changed in the last twenty years it’s pretty awesome. We can be virtually anywhere in the world at anytime and communicate with others via text. We don’t need to wait to be face to face or even voice to voice to speak.
This does however open the law of averages to work against us. For every positive change welcomes a brand new negative. That’s harmless enough considering the convenience we all experience isn’t it? It might be a stray text to a stranger or unwitting recipient or perhaps the infamous auto-correct with a brain of it’s own. Others may use text to say things to people they’d NEVER say face to face and then of course there’s that misunderstanding which sometimes occurs with all types of digital communication.
For us onlookers it’s all pretty funny, but please spare a thought for a few the people actually receiving some of these. You’ll know which ones I mean after you take a look. So let’s see first hand how the wonderful law of averages is working against some people out there!
Man talk 101.
Toast… goat. Pissed… coffee. We can all see how spell check did that can’t we?
No dude, not too drunk at all.
Is this fate’s way of saying don’t go to the party?
Clearly auto correct has sex on the brain.
The slipped finger phenomenon.
Clearly not the response they were hoping for?
Notice when “image” was mentioned it helped provide the visual.
Yet a second visually appealing text.
Speaking of visuals. Does that really look like a vagina?
Poor Moooma ain’t loosing that weight any time soon.
Proof that people can actually text without a single operational brain cell.
This dad just had his heart restated without a defibrillator.
What an evil little ……!
Awesome way to get rid of the kids! Anyone seen my phone?
Prime example of a great father / son relationship.
Anyone willing to offer this child some Pro-Bono counseling?
Great way to suppress a thriving libido.
One for Mum and minus zero for smart ass.
Way to give ya boys some confidence with the ladies!
I’d vote this man Father of the Year.
How can she continue to 🙂 after that initial text?
This last one actually makes me feel like a better parent.
So, I hope you all enjoyed the second round of funny texts. I’ll admit, not as funny as the first round but hey, some of those were just too hard to beat. No matter how hard I searched! Hopefully in a few more months people will come up with some more funny texts to entertain us. In the meantime if you have something tucked away that’s witty or funny and you think others will enjoy, we’d love to hear from you.
Picture this: It’s holiday season, you’ve been happily single for a year now (by choice, obvs) as you’re far too busy being fabulous, successful and carefree to want a serious relationship just now, but you’ve developed an urgent need for some hot lovin’.
a) Invest in yet another vibrator (yawn)
b) Eat more chocolate cake (like, a lot more)
c) Take up kickboxing to vent your sexual frustration and/or
d) Contemplate a holiday romance, fling or casual sex encounter, whatever term your fancy.
If you answered d), take a deep breath and let’s talk about the “rules”, girlfriend.
Sexologists and relationship experts alike say you’ll want to strongly consider the following hot topics below and/or include them for possible discussion with Mr-Perfect-For-Now if and when you decide to take up a short-term “fuck buddy” over the summer break. Of course, if it’s a one-night night you’d prefer, there probably won’t be a lot of deep and meaningful dialogue.
- Don’t expect cuddling, basking or canoodling after sex. If he bolts straight for the door after the big event, and you’re sure you’re just after casual sex, you need to learn to be OK with this, lady.
- You can’t expect to introduce your booty call to your friends, family or pets. Dude ain’t yours for the keeping (and you don’t want him long-term anyway).
- Be upfront about your expectations and feelings, or lack thereof: sure, relationships can grow out of casual sex, but you’ve got to make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to love and commitment. Honesty is absolutely key.
- Do not act like a girlfriend and develop a strong emotional attachment to hot casual sex man if you don’t want a relationship. Save yourself (and him) the complication and possible heartbreak; leave your emotions at the door.
- Don’t be greedy and selfish in the bedroom: this is the time to be adventurous, find out what truly blows your hair back and experiment with new sexual positions and/or role play. Just be sure that he’s into it, too.
- Ensure you’re in control of both your emotions and your actions to avoid unsafe scenarios.
- Always, always practice safe sex. Always. Did I mention always? No ifs, ands or buts, if he won’t wear a condom, abort!
What do you think? What are your casual sex rules?
Images via www.someecards.com.
Do you have someone floating around the outskirts of your life who can only be described as toxic? Someone who makes you feel bad, brings you down, is an emotional vampire and generally has nothing positive to offer you or your otherwise peace-loving, positively fuelled, happy life!
You might be thinking, why would you have this person around anyway? Well, they are usually there out of necessity. They might be a work colleague or worse, a family member and the only reason they’ve remained part of your life is out of loyalty or a sense of duty. Maybe it’s to appease your partner or keep the peace.
So, instead of grabbing them by the hair and thrusting their head into the closest concrete surface, which BTW, I seriously don’t recommend; what’s a better solution to your toxicity problem? Sure, it might feel good to attack them, but rest assured, when you release them you’ll kick yourself for being manipulated into behaving like someone you aren’t.
There are always much better solutions to dealing with the token toxic person in your life and we’d like to give you some tips before you find yourself in the above scenario.
1. Honour your feelings
It’s ok that you don’t like everyone you meet. We each have a unique personality and sometimes personalities aren’t compatible. Don’t avoid what you are feeling or try to alter your feelings on account of others. Suppressing thoughts and feelings will only escalate a situation and make things worse.
2. Set boundaries and enforce them
Don’t allow yourself to be used as a personal doormat by anyone; including family members. Establish your boundaries and respect yourself. Be assertive in enforcing the boundaries without being nasty. It will be much harder to set boundaries during an established relationship, so get ready for the fallout! Keep emotions out of it and no matter how hard they push, remove yourself from the situation and don’t bite.
3. Don’t expect to receive emotional support from them
Toxic people don’t care about your wants or needs. Regardless of what they say, if you don’t expect anything from them, you will avoid the disappointment they can cause.
4. Be aware of their agenda
Toxic people aren’t interested in giving you their time or attention. Be prepared for them to lack interest in your life. Try to be one step ahead of what they want from you and only give them what you are prepared to have taken. This is not a reciprocal relationship and you need to be fully aware of that.
5. Don’t expect to be able to please them
No matter what you do, you won’t be able to please them. No amount of giving will be appreciated and they may neglect to remember what you’ve done for them. The best way forward is to stop trying to please them and accept them for who they are.
6. Refuse to be manipulated
Toxic people are very successful manipulators. It’s probably their best skill. They are used to getting their own way and don’t care who they hurt, disappoint or destroy along the way. Their lack of empathy for others allows them to take advantage, without any guilt or remorse. Don’t allow manipulation to undermine your integrity or alter your personality or behaviour.
7. Avoid criticism
Toxic people find fault in others, however, they don’t take constructive criticism or feedback very well. In fact, they may use criticism from others as a way to manipulate empathy. In you need to have them in your life try and find something positive about them. In some cases you may need to look exceptionally hard.
8. Protect yourself at all times – physically, emotionally, mentally, financially and spiritually
The only way you can have this person in your life is to thoroughly protect yourself. They will ask for more than you can afford to give, in all aspects of your life. If you don’t protect yourself, you will get lost in their negativity. You can become that person you don’t want to be or even like, for that matter.
9. Stay away from them whenever possible
The only way to sustain a relationship with a toxic person is distance. If they try to manipulate their way into your home because they have nowhere else left to go; save yourself the heartache and torture. They won’t appreciate it and they will use you up and spit you out when they are finished with you. If toxic people are in your life, don’t invite them into your inner circle. This is where they will do the most damage. Keep them on the outer, be polite and live your own life.
10. Make the decision about having them in your life
Over time, this person will wear you down, emotionally, physically, mentally, financially and spiritually. You might result to behaving like someone who isn’t you because of the server stress they cause. Before it gets to that, regardless of how this person exists in your life, you need to make a decision to either tolerate them or walk away. If you are tolerating them for the sake of others, you need to be honest and state that you just can’t do it. It’s unhealthy and no-one should have to live with the level of toxicity some people provide.
No matter how hard you might try, at the end of the day, it ultimately takes two people to make a relationship work. If one party isn’t willing, you will need to resign to the fact that no amount of effort on your part will change it. In fact, the harder you try, the worse it can get.
Image via cauldronsandcupcakes.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/toxic_ppt1.jpg
Now, I don’t know who came up with the term “sex contract” but they really should have rethought the wording. Great concept – but the term “contract” can destroy the intimacy it can bring to a relationship. Nevertheless, if you value your sex life or would like to improve it, you need to sit down with your partner and draw one up. It’s very different to a sexual consent contract which people get casual partners to sign to ensure they aren’t later charged with rape.
The main purpose of the sex contract is to get people communicating about their sexual behavior, desires and boundaries with their partner. It’s an excellent way to explore and negotiate all types of sexual activity you want to try, builds intimacy and trust; plus it can include things like what constitutes infidelity and anything else of a sexual nature.
They’ve become increasingly popular since 50 Shades of Grey was published a few years ago and sex therapists are using them as a tool to get couples back on track. Even if you have a great sex life, it’s a bit like having sexual insurance if problems arise within your relationship. Having a forum to talk about sex provides an opportunity to discuss it, rather than dealing with the problem in isolation or withdrawing from your partner.
Having discussed the benefits, we explore the how to initiate a contract and investigate the types of things to include.
Even initiating a sex contract is a positive exercise. It shows your partner that you value your sexual relationship, want to protect it and make it even better. For some people, wanting to create one and actually doing so maybe a bit awkward. How and when do you bring it up? Before sex, after sex, at the dinner table?
Just like any other discussion you need to pick the right time to talk about it. In this case, you want to talk about your sexuality and sex life, so a perfect time would be when the two of you are in bed and have pillow talk. Be aware of how you word things. Like I mentioned previously, the word “contract” sounds cold and formal. You also want to get across this something you want to do, rather than turn it into a proposal.
Below are two examples. The first is a poor way to introduce it and the second is a better alternative.
- “Hey babe, have you ever heard about this thing called a sex contract? Couples talk about their sex lives together and make up a contract. Would you consider doing something like that?
- “Hey babe, I read about this thing where couples talk about their sex life together and make up like a list of do’s and don’ts. They include all sorts of sex related things in it. I’d love to do something like with you. ”
Can you see the difference? The first invites your partner to put an end to the discussion, whereas the second makes a statement of what you want. Wording things correctly is really important, particularly if you want something from your partner which may make them feel uncomfortable. Keep that in mind when you negotiate items on your list!
Now, a sex contract is solely between the two people who create it. Therefore, what you include is up to you. Below is a list of things for you to consider:
- Quantity of sex
- Sex dates
- Sex holidays
- Turn-ons and turn-off
- Non-intercourse activities (eg. erotic massage)
- Sexual language
- Sexual positions
- Sexual research and experimentation
- Sex toys and porn
- Spending on sex products
- Sexual function and health
- Lack of desire
- Sexual boundaries
- Relationship boundaries
- Infidelity – foundation and consequences
- Talk about emotions; including guilt, shame, trust, respect, discretion, privacy
- Contact with ex-partners
- Friends of the opposite sex
- Revisions to the contract
As you can see, a sex contract should include way more than depth than quantity and positions. It’s a tool to be able to communicate about sex with your partner, make it better and fix issues as they arise (or don’t, pardon the pun). Couples who can talk about sex have a much greater chance of working through issues which leads to a better, stronger relationship overall.
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Whether you’re looking for better friendships, a business partnership or more depth in your intimate relationship, effective communication is what helps you understand other people, lets them understand you and creates stronger connections. If you’re looking for ways to develop your communication skills, here are a few areas where you could focus your attention.
Shutting out all distractions, making eye contact and focusing on the other person may sound easy when you’re happy and relaxed, but try doing it when you have a million things on your mind and it turns into a challenge. It takes a conscious effort to stop everything and listen to your kids, friends or partner, but the effort is well worth it. It makes the other person feel loved, important and understood (and it may take less time than you think).
In relationships clarity is often lacking when people are trying to communicate what they need. You don’t want to be a burden, you fear rejection or you believe that if others want to give you something, they will, anyway, out of their own good will. When they don’t, you feel neglected and eventually resentment builds up. But your partner, friends or children aren’t mind readers. Most likely, they’d happily give you what you want if they only knew what it was. Practice asking without attachment to the answer and you’ll be surprised how often people say ‘yes’.
You’ll have more productive conversations and more meaningful relationships, if you enter each interaction without expectations and without pre-conceived judgement. If you’ve already made your mind without considering the other person’s opinion, then your communication is not likely to achieve an outcome that both of you will be happy with.
A healthy relationship is one where you accept each other as you are without trying to change the other person. Show others that they may be different and you may disagree with their opinions, but you respect them and appreciate them just the way you are.
Empathy is the ability to recognise and share other people’s emotions. It makes all the skills I mentioned earlier easier to master – if you can put yourself in the other person’s shoes, you intuitively know how to show that you’re there for them, you can see their point of view and you can easily accept who they are. While some people are naturally more gifted than others, empathy is a skill we can all learn by being mindful and curious about the people around us.
Image by GLady via pixabay.com
You probably suspected that life will change once you have a baby, but the reality of parenting often exceeds both our best and worst expectations. I was unprepared for the deep love I felt towards my new baby and how it radiated towards everything else in my world. I was also taken by surprise just how much time and energy my new bundle of joy demanded. Of course, everyone tells you that you won’t have time for anything anymore, but you can’t even begin to fathom it until you experience it yourself.
The changes will inevitably affect your relationship with your partner. In some ways your relationship will become deeper and in other ways it may crumble under the pressure. Here are some tips on how to keep your relationship strong. Some of them I had to learn the hard way. Some of them I’m still learning.
Talk about the changes before the baby comes
Have a conversation about your money plan, who’s going to do the chores and how you’re going to make sure that each of you gets some time to yourself to recharge. You’ll most likely find that the reality of early parenting is very different from what you thought, but at least you’ve set the expectation that these are the changes you’ll need to address and not just hope that everything will sort itself out by itself.
Share your feelings with each other
When you’re completely consumed by what you’re experiencing it’s very easy to assume that everyone can see how you feel and that your partner should automatically be able to relate. But unless you tell him, he won’t necessarily know what’s going on. For example, if he’s not getting up several times a night to settle a baby, he doesn’t know what it feels like not to have had more than a couple of hours sleep at a time for a few months. Think about it, you probably didn’t know just how severe sleep deprivation could be until you were right in the middle of it. So if you don’t feel that you’re getting the support you need, there’s a good chance that your partner simply doesn’t understand what you’re going through. Talk about it.
Make time for just the two of you
It was one of my own biggest mistakes that I didn’t see the need for couple time from the start. I thought that because we had a strong relationship, it would stay strong no matter what. In fact, if I have to be honest, I didn’t think about it at all. It was just something that was there and I took it for granted. It takes a lot more effort to reconnect once you realise you’ve drifted apart than to keep a strong connection going. Find friends or relatives who will look after the baby so that you can spend some time with each other, or even organise dates at home while the baby is asleep.
Remember that you’re both going through big changes and it’ll take time to adjust. Having a baby together places big demands on you, but it also has the power to bring you together like nothing else can.
Image by PublicDomainPictures via pixabay.com
By Tatiana Apostolova
Picture this: it’s 5pm – what we call “cactus-hour” in our house – and you’re busily trying to baby whisper two unruly toddlers under three into submission. You’re bone tired, you’ve got food stains on your dress and if you have to endure one more toddler dance routine to The Wiggles, you might snap.
You look over at your poor, equally harried husband, and can’t remember the last time you had a proper date night, sans kids, when you could both let your hair down and just enjoy being a couple, rather than proper, responsible parents.
Sound familiar? Date nights, no kids, are incredibly important for your sanity as a couple. They’re good for your marriage, in terms of reconnecting with your loved one, and for you as individuals, to have some time away from the kids in which to let loose and properly enjoy one another. But if you’re not in a family support situation, with say a grandparent or a friend who can regularly take the kids off your hands, you may need to look at investing in a regular babysitter, cost be damned.
So, why are date nights so important? Psychologists say communication has an important role to play in maintaining a healthy and fulfilling relationship. It can be very difficult for a couple to find the time to talk openly and honestly to each other in the business of everyday life. One way to make the time to talk and keep the romance alive in a relationship is to plan a “date night”.
Some of the other date night benefits include the anticipation, something to look forward to and thrill of getting dressed up and – gasp – leaving the house together.
Date nights are also great for injecting some romance into your everyday life – it might almost seem a bit illicit… You’ve escaped for the night and maybe you’ll feel that excitement you felt when you first fell in love. These nights out are also an opportune time to communicate openly and positively – to tell your loved one how much you care and what you love about them, without the kids screaming in the background.
Another psychologist tip is to keep the conversation positive and happy on your date nights in order to reconnect on a positive level. Leave big problems such as money issues and mother-in-law stresses for another time (but do make a time to talk about these problems later, don’t ignore them or they’ll fester.)
Just try not to lose your heads and get caught up in a thrilling, but dangerous crime, ala the hilarious Tina Fey and Steve Carell in Date Night (pictured above).
How do you keep the romance alive in your marriage?
Main image via news.vh-artists.com and secondary image via www.pixabay.com