Three Things NOT To Do After A Breakup

Based on personal experience, I know that the pain of a breakup can make one do really stupid things. I remember crying once in front of an ex-girlfriend thinking that would gain her sympathy. I know now that it likely only made me look extremely pathetic and very unattractive. In the midst of a painful breakup it’s helpful to have strategies and techniques to stay sane and not behave in any way that you later regret. Of course, the key to survival is knowledge.


Do Not Isolate Yourself


relationship-breakupWhen dealing with the pain of a breakup, some feel compelled gone the proverbial sweatpants, grab a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and binge watch Netflix for days on end, without talking to anybody. I don’t know why we think this is an effective approach. The pain one feels, regardless of its cause, will literally melt away in the presence of a good friend. The key here is distraction. If you alone, you just going to think about the breakup and you’ll be miserable as a result.


* Being alone will only prolong your recovery.

* Believe it or not, isolating yourself is an extremely selfish act. You should be focused on what you can do to improve yourself for your next relationship, not wallowing in selfish, self-pity.

Avoid Apathy and Cynicism


Being in pain from a breakup is likely to make you see the world through grime-tinted glasses. This is not good for recovery nor self-improvement. This is less likely to happen if you don’t isolate yourself from others. Spending as much time as you can with friends and family, going out and doing things, will distract you from the discomfort of the breakup and help change those grime-tinted glasses into rose-colored glasses.


Even worse, negative thinking can spiral into serious depression, which can also lead to health problems. Consider joining a yoga class. Don’t get the DVD into the yoga at home alone. Rather, sign up for a class. This will force you to get out of the house and be around others. In addition, yoga classes are very invigorating in healing, and the people that take part in them are also usually positive and helpful.


Do Not Reconnect With Your Ex — Yet


Refrain from any attempts to reach out to your ex in the early stages of a breakup. You will be extremely tempted to, but avoided to the best of your ability. Here are some examples of things not to do.


Do not leave voicemail after voicemail talking about all the things that either you or your ex have done wrong, or endlessly apologizing. Such attempts will likely be viewed as pathetic and will likely be ineffective.


Do not inundate your ex with text messages. The same as calling and leaving messages, this will only annoy the other and make you seem desperate, which frankly you are if you are doing this.


Do not post about your breakup on social media. Do not make cryptic posts about the breakup or your ex on social media. In fact, don’t mention it at all on social media. This is a private affair, not a public one.


Let some time go by until you don’t feel controlled by your emotions before you attempt to reach out to your ex to reconcile.

How To Stop Complaining in a Relationship

According to John Gottman, a marriage and relationship researcher, complaining is the number one killer of relationships. Yet we all do it. Most people who smoke know that they are slowly killing themselves. However, I wonder if those who chronically complain realize that they’re killing their relationships with all of their loved ones.

The good news is you can teach yourself to stop complaining. Research has taught us that we can teach our brains to turn off the tendency to complain as our default reaction to life’s difficulties. What I hope to demonstrate in this article is that the power of understanding how our brains work can help us make important life changes that have previously proven to be stubborn and difficult to modify.

Neuroscience has shown us that our thinking actually changes our brains structure. In other words, the way we react to various situations eventually becomes our default reaction, not how we really want to react. For example, if we tend to complain when problems arise, then our brain learns to do this whenever a problem arises in the future. In the same way, if we force ourselves to respond positively to negative things that happen to us, even though we may want to respond negatively and complain, we are making it easier for us to respond the same way the next time something negative happens.

I’m going to borrow an analogy from this article by Stephen Parton. Every time we have a thought, our brain creates a pathway for that thought to travel on. This pathway is kind of like two people throwing a ball to each other. Imagine the two people are standing 100 feet apart. When you have a certain thought, the ball is thrown. If you have the same thought again, the two people tossing the ball take a few steps closer so now they are only 90 feet apart. The more you have the same thought the closer these two people stand to each other. If you keep having the same thought, then pretty soon the two people are standing just a few feet apart and tossing the ball becomes very easy.


Let’s take this a little further. Let’s imagine you meet a difficult situation. You have two choices: you can either respond negatively or positively. If you tend to complain when you meet life’s challenges, then those two people tossing the ball are just a few feet from each other. While on the other hand, reacting positively is a less common occurrence, so it’s like these people are standing 100 feet from each other. So now whenever you meet a negative situation. It’s much easier to respond negatively because the neural network is more complete for the negative response. They are so close together like the two people tossing the ball. It doesn’t mean that you could not respond positively if you wanted to. However, you would just have to put in a lot more effort to do so.

couple-arguingNow let’s take our happiness into our own hands. You could tell yourself today, that no matter how hard it is, for the next month you are going to respond positively regardless of what happens to you. It won’t be easy and you may want to bitch and complain, but you are going to put in a good effort. What’s going to happen is the two people (neural networks in your brain) tossing the ball that represent the negative response are going to start moving further away from each other, and the two people that represent the positive response are going to move closer to each other. The end result will be that the positive response will slowly become your defa
ult response, and it will therefore become more effortless to be positive and require a lot more effort to be negative.

Do you understand what this means? It means that if you are a chronic complainer, doing this exercise for one month would result in you having to work less to not complain. And if you did it for two, three or four months, then you might even cure yourself of being a chronic complainer as you slowly find yourself automatically responding positively t
o whatever life throws at you.


couple-not-complaingIf either you or your partner is quick to complain and respond negatively to life challenges, then your relationship could be headed for disaster. This is supported by decades of careful scientific research conducted by John Gottman. Try sitting down and talking about this with those close to you in your life. Set up a 30 day challenge to not complain about what life throws at you or about what your partner may do that annoys you.

Even if your partner does something that totally infuriates you, you can choose to respond positively. You may be steaming inside, but you can still make a Herculean effort to find the silver lining. Every situation has something to teach us and that is a good thing. Focus on that and be thankful for whatever happens. In 30 days, you and your partner will likely find that it’s much easier to respond positively now than it was just a month before. Give it a try! It could save your relationship.

Should I Get Back Together With My Ex?

Question: Should I Get Back Together With My Ex?

breakupThis is a difficult question to answer without the specific details of your relationship. For example, did you only date your ex for a month, or for three years? However, without the details of your specific situation, I will attempt below to help you determine whether or not you should get back together with your ex.




Introduction: What Are the Goals of a Relationship?

The fields of biology, sociology, psychology and social psychology have discovered the basic needs of all human beings. Obviously, any healthy relationship would help to meet these needs, while an unhealthy one would prevent them from being met. Therefore, any relationship that was helping to meet these needs is worth salvaging, while a relationship that wasn’t is better of left alone. In other words, if your ex boyfriend or girlfriend was preventing your basic human needs from being met, then consider it a blessing that the relationship is over.

The Basic Emotional Needs of Humans

Safety and Security

basichumanneedsThe first need all of us have is the need to feel safe and secure. This safety comes in various forms, such as physical, emotional, financial, etc. Did your ex violate your safety in any way? Was he or she physically or emotionally abusive? Did he or she use fear to control you? If any of these are true, then you are better off letting the relationship die. Do what you need to do to move on. Alternatively, a relationship worth fighting is one where the other went out of their way to make you feel safe, physically and emotionally.

Friendship and Intimacy

These are crucial needs that we all need to have met on a daily basis. Fear of intimacy is quite common and we all suffer from this fear to some extent. Mild to medium fear of intimacy can be tolerated. And, if you and your partner can become aware of your fears of intimacy and make efforts to work on them, then you can expect a reasonably healthy relationship. On the other hand, you should avoid a relationship with anyone who has more than a moderate fear of intimacy. They could be the nicest, kindest, most attractive and successful person, but you are NOT going to have your basic needs met if they fear intimacy.fearofintimacy

It should be noted that the intimacy under discussion here is not sexual intimacy, though also quite important. Couples can have an amazing and fulfilling sexual relationship, yet sex cannot fulfill the emotional intimacy discussed above, and any relationship lacking it is doomed to failure.

Take this Fear of Intimacy Quiz to determine to what extent you or your partner fear intimacy. It says it’s for a “boyfriend” but it works for both men and women.

Sense of Autonomy, Agency and Control

Humhumanfreedomans have a basic need to be free to do what one wants, within certain limits of course. Any relationship where one partner is restricting the freedom of the other is dangerous and should be dissolved. Some examples of what to watch out for are a partner who is over-controlling, doesn’t let you go out with friends and is always wanting to know where are you are what you are doing. If this sounds like your ex, then move on. They are not worth getting back together with.





communityBeing Part of a Community

Related to the previous need, humans need to feel part of a wider community. If your ex was trying to limit or completely prevent your engagement with friends and family, then be thankful the relationship is over.

Also related to the two previous needs, a healthy relationship is one where both have a sacred respect for each other’s privacy.






Still asking: Should I Get Back Together With My Ex?decisiondecisions

Are you still wondering if you should get back together or not? If you feel, after careful reflection of your basic needs outlined above, that your ex was meeting them more than violating them, then it is definitely worth considering getting back together. If on the other hand, you have determined that your ex violated your basic human needs, or was actively involved in thwarting them, then make EVERY effort to resist ANY desire you have to get back together with him or her. Keep calm and move on.

What is Intimacy in Marriage or a Relationship? | Do You Have It?

Dr. John Gottman tells us what intimacy is one of the seven keys to a healthy and long-lasting relationship. It’s not hard to see that a relationship lacking intimacy will sooner or later fail. To be clear, it’s not physical intimacy that is key to a successful relationship, though it is important as well. The kind of intimacy that keeps relationships strong is “knowing” who your partner is on the inside.

True intimacy is not going to end arguments and disagreements. Conflict and problems are part of every relationship. Rather, intimacy is the lubrication that helps a couple get through the tough stuff unscathed and stronger than before.

So, do you have true intimacy in your relationship? Is the level of intimacy you have with your partner enough to carry you through the hard times, making you stronger and resulting in a long-lasting and happy relationship? Let’s find out.

Knowing Your Partner’s Stresses and Challenges


Do you know what challenges and stresses your partner is experiencing right now? Perhaps you know some of what is pestering your partner. Do you think there is more going on with him/her that you may not know about? If you wonder about this, it may mean that your intimacy level is weak.

Now reverse it. Is there any issue, problem or stressing situation that you are dealing with right now that your partner doesn’t know about? You know the answer to this one. If the answer is yes, then your relationship is lacking in the kind of intimacy that it needs to stay the course and survive long term. Let’s say you have a stressing issues going on in your life right now that your partner doesn’t know about. Is it something that you want to keep from him or her? Is it something that you don’t want them to know? If this is the case, then ask yourself why you are keeping this to yourself. Are you afraid your partner won’t take you seriously? Are you embarrassed? Identifying why you are keeping it a secret is the start of discovering what may be limiting intimacy in your relationship.

Know Your Partner’s Spiritual Beliefs


Are you VERY familiar with your partner’s religious or spiritual beliefs? An intimate couple would be able to talk at length and with detail about each other’s religious beliefs. Alternatively, if you are not familiar with your partner’s beliefs and vice versa, why is that so? Our beliefs are a big part of who we are. Not knowing this aspect of your partner leaves a huge, gaping hole in your knowledge about him/her. As we did above, flip it around. Does your partner know what your spiritual beliefs and attitudes are? Have you kept it from him/her intentionally for fear of rejection? Or, has it just not come up yet in conversation? This is understandable if the relationship is new. However, if you have been together for over a year and you still don’t know the spiritual side of your partner, then it’s time to reveal yourself. Or perhaps more importantly, why has this not been discussed. There could be a deeper issue, such as trust, that keeps you from sharing your inner selves, spiritual or otherwise.

Knowing about Your Partner’s Family


Here’s an interesting measurement of intimacy. Do you know which of your partner’s relatives he or she likes the least? Or, which relative they like the most? If you can answer these right away, then you can claim knowledge to one of the most private aspects of your lover’s life… their family. On the flip side, is your partner’s family and extended relatives a mystery to you. Again, flip it around. Is your family a mystery to your partner? If so, why have you been hiding this. Has your partner ever refused to share details about his/her family when asked? A reluctance to share details about one’s family is perhaps a sign that there is a lack of trust, which is essential to intimacy. Likewise, if you are unwilling to share family details, then you as well could be dealing with intimacy issues. This kind of behavior could be a sign that the relationship needs some work.


Important Life Events


Let’s try one more. Can you name the three most special times in your partner’s life? I bet many people have trouble with the three most special times in their own life, let alone their partner’s. This kind of knowledge about your partner goes below the surface and enters their inner life, penetrating a domain few people, if any, are ever allowed to enter.

Now, let’s be honest. As you were reading above, did you say to yourself, “no way would I let my partner know about this”? It’s quite normal if you did. Intimacy is a scary thing. By becoming intimate, we open ourselves up to be let down, hurt, and even betrayed. Our relationships often become stagnant because we are too afraid to open ourselves up to our partners. This “fear of intimacy” is a subject for another post. For the time being, take some time to reflect on the intimacy in your relationship, or lack of it, and start thinking of what you can do to improve your bond with your partner.


Signs Your Ex Wants You Back

So, you want to be clear on the signs your ex wants you back in the hopes of rekindling a relationship. You are likely reading this article because “feel” that your ex wants to get back with you, yet you aren’t “sure” if the signals you’re receiving support that. You hesitate to act on your feelings because in the event that you are misreading the signals, you end up coming across as a fool or even worse, desperate. So, you want to be as sure as you can before going out on a limb. Here are some coming signs that your ex is interested in starting up again.


Sometimes, these signals can be hard to see because your ex is just as worried as you are about coming across as desperate or looking foolish.

Checks In with You Periodically

Does your ex check in with you at least weekly, perhaps even more often? Do they want to know how things are going, if you’re happy, what the new job is like, etc.? Yet, they do this in a way that also diminishes their reaching out to you? That they want to know how you are doing likely means they are still into you, and that they play it down means they’re worried you might reject them. It’s pretty certain they miss you, care about you and want to get back together.

Wants To Get Together for Coffee

You still may be confused if your ex is doing this, especially if it appears that they are just interested in being friends. Again, they may be stressing “friendship” because they are afraid of being rejected by you if they come right out and say they want to get back together. But really, an ex is not going to be asking you out on coffee dates unless they like you and want to get back together. Furthermore, they certainly are not going to seek you out if they want to create more distance. So this is a pretty good sign and you want to make sure that you proceed cautiously to not mess anything up.


Continually Talks about Your Past Together

If the next continually brings up your past together, it’s a pretty strong indication that they have some regrets in which they could do things over or patch things up. This bringing up the past could focus on various things. For example, perhaps your ex is always recalling the good times you had together. This is an obvious signal that they look back fondly on the relationship and likely wish that it could continue.

Alternatively, you may find your ex continually explaining their past behavior, expressing regret for the way they may have acted or perhaps providing alternative, more appropriate behavior for how they should have acted. These are all pretty clear signs that your ex is interested in getting back together.

Often Contacts Friends and Family Asking about You

This kind of behavior shows two things, if not more. Obviously, your ex misses you and is concerned about how you are doing and would probably like to get together. However, they are unwilling to contact you directly, and prefer to ask about you through friends and family. This means that they are feeling vulnerable and feel you may reject their efforts to reach out to you face-to-face. You should be able to understand the situation much better based on the topic of conversation with your friend or family member. I would reserve any harsh judgment toward your ex, such as being upset that they don’t reach out to you directly. They are obviously feeling vulnerable and are trying to avoid being further hurt.

Talk Negatively About You

This is a tricky one. Usually, an ex talking negatively about you, at the very least, means that they once cared for you very deeply, or loved you, or even still loves you. If someone doesn’t care about you then they are not going to feel hurt. The more hurt they are, the more they cared for you or loved you. Try not to be offended by the negative talk. Take it as an indication that love was once there and therefore could possibly be rekindled.

Calls with Nothing to Talk About


This is a pretty clear sign that your ex wants to get back with you. In most cases, even a partner is not going to call without a specific reason. I usually always have a practical reason for calling my wife, such as letting her know I am on my way home and does she need me to stop by the grocery store for something.

In this case, your ex can’t even make up a fake reason to call you. They just need to hear your voice, know what you are doing and how you are feeling.

Texts You Often

This is pretty much the same as calling. If your ex is continually texting you, it’s quite clear that they are not over you.


Now, you may be able to determine with some certainty that your former boyfriend or girlfriend wants you back. The question now is what to do about it. This is a whole other matter that you want to give some careful thought to. For example, maybe it’s not a good idea to rekindle the relationship. You may love your partner, but maybe they have a character flaw, such as anger management issues.

Relax, take a deep breath, and patiently plan your course of action.

How to Show Affection | Wow Your Lover | Even If Difficult

It’s true that actions speak louder than words. For me, learning how to show affection effectively required living on the other side of the planet for nearly eight years. Certain cultures excel in certain things. And what I learn about how the Chinese treat their family members and loved ones taught me a great deal about affection.avoidingaffection

If you have trouble showing affection, then you are going to like what I have to say. I can show you how to let your loved one know that you really care for them even when you find it difficult to do so. For example, some people just find it difficult to say “I love you”. It doesn’t mean they don’t love their partner, it’s simply that they were never shown how to show someone they love them and be comfortable with it.

What if there is a way that you could show someone that you really care for them even when you find it difficult. If you have been told by your partner that you don’t show them enough affection, then here is your key to solving this problem. On the other hand, if you are troubled by a partner who is unable to show you affection, then likewise here is a method that you can share with him or her.

The Chinese excel at being considerate. And I have found it very easy to take this common everyday practice and turn it into displays of affection to my partner, family and friends.

The Chinese art taught from birth to show extreme consideration for others. For example, let’s say that you like a certain beverage, snack food, and perhaps a brand of cigarette. If you lived in China and went out with a friend and they observed you going out of your way to find your preferred beverage, snack food or brand of cigarette, you would have no idea what was going on beneath the surface with your Chinese friend. A couple weeks later your Chinese friend invites you to their home to hang out. You knock on the door and are invited in and led to the living room sofa. You sit down and quickly notice that on the coffee table is the snack food you like. Next to it, is a pack of your favorite brand of cigarette. Your host leaves and then returns momentarily with your favorite beverage. And let me remind you, this is just a common friend. It’s not even a love interest. The Chinese are just culturally wired for this kind of thing.


After returning to the states, I found myself doing the same thing with my friends and family here. It wasn’t a big deal. It came natural to me, although I did know that I was behaving in a “Chinese” way. I was conscious of what I was doing and why I was doing it, but it wasn’t a chore to show this level of consideration to others.

But guess what? Since Americans don’t normally treat each other in this fashion, when you do it people really appreciate it and notice it.

Now all we need to do is take this practice in a minute towards a loved one for the purpose of showing affection. And what I love about this method, is that it doesn’t require you to say “I love you” 100 times a day, which can be hard if you find that difficult. And as I said in the beginning of this article, what we “do” for others should mean more than what we “say”.

Fetch some pen and paper and start making a list of what your partner likes. You can also write down their daily routine. What does your partner like to drink? It may be coffee in the morning, but something else in the afternoon or evening. What TV show to they like to watch? What comfort food to they like to eat?

giving flowers

Depending on how developed you are in your relationship skills, you may not even be clear about your partner’s likes. If this is the case, then observe your partner carefully for a week paying close attention to their wants and needs. For example, I stumble out of bed in the morning, feel my way downstairs, wishing I was still under the covers, and then a hot cup of coffee is put in my hands. And when I was expecting to have to wait 10 minutes will I brew a pot. Oh man, there is no better feeling than that. But this is just one example. And to be honest, coffee is pretty obvious. If you partner likes coffee, you should have it ready for them in the morning.

However, where the big payoff comes is with the less obvious needs and wants that your partner has. This is where you need to pay close attention, adding things to your list. For example, my wife really enjoys amateur photography. It’s not something that consumes her every day. But, she does have a nice camera and from time to time she will go through periods where she’s taking pictures of the foliage in the fall or snowy days in the winter. And it’s not just taking pictures, she’s trying to be artistic. So, when I came across a subscription card for Popular Photography, I signed her up for a year. This is just one little effort among many that shows her that I care for her.

When it comes to showing affection, think less about saying stuff or being overly physical when it feels unnatural, and think more about what you can do silently to address as many of the needs and wants of your partner as you can, thereby demonstrating to them that you are aware of what is important to them in going out of your way to provide it. What better way is there to show affection than this?