Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

Sharing a secret
By Marti TrgovichDating someone new means sharing idiosyncracies, emotional baggage, and experiences that have shaped your lives. But what if that includes a health secret?

Jill*, a 33-year-old New Yorker, knows that finding Mr. Right also means telling him she has bipolar disorder. Though she takes medication, she still lives with symptoms like insomnia and a nervous smoking habit.

So how much should you reveal about a health secret? If you’re considering spilling the beans, here are eight tips to help.

Practice what to say
Rehearse with a friend or therapist, says Ken Robbins, MD, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Laurie Davis, an online dating expert, suggests asking a friend what sounds most intimidating and then smoothing it over.

Mark Snyder, a 32-year-old writer from New York City, used to dread telling a new boyfriend that he was a recovering alcoholic. “I often blurted out, ‘Oh, I don’t drink. Sorry.’”

However, as he got used to talking about his condition, “so did the ease with which I told a man not to expect a tequila-scented smooch at the end of the night,” he says.

Never tell on a first date
“Never tell someone on a first date,” says Davis, who is based in New York and Boston.

That doesn’t mean you should lie, but revealing too much too soon “may color how your partner sees you,” Dr. Robbins says. “It defines you before you’re ready to be defined.”

If you’re worried your health secret might be a deal-breaker, ’fess up by the fourth date, says Rachel A. Sussman, LCSW, a New York City therapist and relationship expert. That way, if your secret does make a big difference, you won’t have wasted too much of their time—or yours.

Be casual yet confident
Davis suggests saying, “I feel like we’re heading in a great direction, so I wanted to tell you something.”

Be sure your delivery is drama free; don’t make a big deal about it, Dr. Robbins says.

Allison*, a 30-year-old marketer from Baltimore, casually tells dates about her multiple sclerosis (MS).

“I’ll work it into another aspect of our conversation,” she says. “It’s a lot easier to tell someone I have MS as a side note in a conversation than to sit down and have a formal discussion focused solely on MS.”
Don’t have this conversation in bed—or anyplace you associate with intimacy
Amy, a 29-year-old graphic artist from Chicago, always tells boyfriends about her hepatitis C, which she got through a blood transfusion at birth. “They have a right to know,” she says.

Any talk about your condition—whether it’s communicable or not—should take place in a neutral spot, like a park, Davis suggests. “Do not tell your partner during intimacy. Telling your partner your health secret means you are opening up to them, trusting them, and becoming more vulnerable,” she says. “The place you choose to tell them should reflect this.”

Seek out relationships online
If you’re nervous about rejection, you might be more comfortable dating someone with similar health issues. Many sites cater to people with specific conditions, and they’re a great way to be up front with potential mates who are in the same boat.

Daters with STDs can check out STDFriends.com or PositiveSingles.com, while Whispers4u.com is a great site for people with disabilities, according to Davis. NoLongerLonely.com helps those with mental illness seek partners. “(However,) you should discuss the volatility of your specific condition with your doctor before signing up,” Davis says.

Know when to give your partner space
Even if you deliver a snag-free speech, it’s possible there could be an awkward moment. “(If that happens), say, ‘I can tell by your expression that this is a lot to digest and I completely understand, and I’ll give you the time and space to do that,’” Sussman says.

Then, offer some physical distance but stay in contact, Davis says. “Give them the following day to breathe and think,” she suggests. “Call them on the third day if they haven’t reached out to you. Let them know that they are still on your mind and you can’t wait to see them again.”
Don’t take rejection personally
“A good person will listen and be kind and not judge, but if (your health secret is) something they can’t live with, that doesn’t make them a bad person,” says Sussman. “It just makes them a bad match.”

And there can be multiple reasons for a rejection—many of which have nothing to do with you at all. “If your mother was an alcoholic and you date someone who’s an alcoholic, you might have to make a choice that it’s not healthy to be involved with someone in recovery,” Sussman says.

Accept support
Tiffany Sanchez Conover, 28, a store manager from Indiana, fell into a deep depression after her grandmother died. She didn’t tell her husband how she felt because she wanted to figure it out on her own.

Eventually she caved and welcomed his support. “He would stay up late to talk with me just so I wouldn’t feel lonely late at night…” she says.

Married couples need to be open to avoid hiccups in the relationship, Sussman says. A counselor helped Tiffany cope, and Sussman says that therapy and support groups—whether online or in person—are excellent options.

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Ten signs of a healthy relationship

Posted: September 6, 2012 in Love
Tags: ,

Humans are naturally social creatures, craving connections with people, including intimacy and love. Whether you’re searching for someone or striving to improve the relationship you’re in, it helps to know the hallmarks of a strong relationship.

The 10 signs of a healthy relationship include basic principles such as communication and appreciation, as well as tips for handling arguments and conflict.

 

 

Trust

Trust is an essential element for all relationships. Each partner should have faith in the other. You should not have to wonder if your lover is telling the truth.

Respect

According to Teens Health, strong relationships must include mutual respect. Your partner should never put you down, mock you or make degrading remarks about you. When your lover appreciates and loves you for who you are, he will show respect for you.

Communication

Communication is the foundation of a healthy relationship. The University of Texas at Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center advises couples to set aside time to regularly check in with each other, so they can deal with any issues before they blow up or become unmanageable.

Flexibility

Life is constantly changing, and healthy relationships recognize that fact. Lovers need to be flexible to adapt to changes in each others’ work, home and family lives, as well as changes in the dynamics and stages of the relationship.

Shared Interests

Sharing interests allows couples to bond and enjoy spending free time together. Many couples share a love of sports, movies, pets, cooking, fashion, travel, reading or art. Having at least one activity you enjoy doing together will bring you closer and offer a way to de-stress and reconnect during hard times.

Alone Time

Just as spending time together strengthens your relationship, having time apart is important as well. Couples need to remember that they had separate lives before falling in love, and maintaining separate interests gives each person breathing room. Both partners should have some regular alone time to enjoy individual interests and recharge.

Friends and Family

Healthy relationships include strong connections with friends and family. Although the beginning stages of falling in love can be intense and make you want to see no one but your lover, it’s important to maintain your relationships with other people you care about with regular visits, outings and get-togethers. Strong relationships gain power from outside connections, keeping the relationship exciting and dynamic while preventing suffocation.

Compromise

Compromise is necessary in any relationship, whether you’re at work or with your spouse. Both partners must be willing to make concessions to reach the common good. The best relationships include an equal amount of sacrifice from each partner, so no one feels taken advantage of or ignored.

Arguing Fairly

There comes a time in every relationship where arguments arise, and it is important that you both fight fair, expressing your own opinion and also listening to the other person’s viewpoint. Techniques such as taking time to cool off, writing feelings in a journal and talking to a relationship therapist are all healthy ways to deal with emotional arguments.

Appreciation

It is important for each person to feel appreciated in a relationship. Praise your partner, offer compliments and use creative ways to show you care. Problems can arise when you or your partner feel unappreciated and taken for granted. The point of a relationship is to feel loved, so be sure you both show you care.

 Source: http://lifestyle.myjoyonline.com/pages/relationships/201209/93193.php

7 Types of men every woman should date

Posted: September 6, 2012 in Love
Tags: , ,

ImageThere are some men who seem to attract the attention of every woman. Then there are other men who may go unnoticed more often than not.

That initial attraction is based on emotion, lust, or physical desire and is not rooted in anything of substance. Making decisions to date and commit to a person based on these factors can be a very costly mistake.

The purpose of dating is to get to know someone, not to Be Intimate or fulfill lustful desires. When you rush to the dating phase, you miss the opportunity to develop solid friendships and really get to know a person.

Being friends first allows you to start identifying core characteristics of the type of man who will date you for the purpose of marriage.
Here are 7 types of men that you should date:

1. The Unmarried Man –
This may seem obvious, but it is very necessary to mention. There are too many women attempting to have relationships with married men. Married men are not candidates for single women to date… period! This includes married men who are separated (legally or otherwise). They are still married and not available to date. Married people have their own families and concerns to deal with. That being said, the unmarried man, who is devoted to the things of God, is the type of man you should be interested in dating. (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). 7 types of men every woman should date.

2. The Kingdom Seeker –
A man who is seeking God’s will for His life will, not only seek out a woman to date, but will seek out his wife. The Bible says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). Lady, you should be an asset; the thing that is *added* to him as he is FIRST seeking the kingdom of God. This is why I say, run as fast as you can for Jesus and the one who can keep up might be the one.

3. The Real Man –
No, I am not talking about machismo behavior (all the shoulders back, chest out, fist curling gestures and such)… Real men don’t need all of that. That’s what grown-boys do to get a woman’s attention. Real men “pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace” (2 Timothy 2:22). Real men regard women as a gift that is not to be taken advantage of; they see her as priceless and desire to cling to her (Matthew 19:5). A real man’s character shows his high regard for a woman long before the dating stage.

4. The Learner –
A man who is in continual pursuit of knowledge is better equipped to handle life and execute on goals / plans. He should read, seek counsel, study continuously, etc… The Bible says, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22). Also, “My people are destroyed because of lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). A man who is willing to learn and gain knowledge in life should also be more open to gaining knowledge about love and having successful relationships.

5. The Multiplier –
A man shouldn’t just balance you out, he should constantly add to you. His presence should multiply your potential. He should add to the beauty of who you are and never take away from anything that is precious about you. (“Relationship Coaching: Do you multiply or divide?”) The Bible says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” (1 Corinthians 15:33). The man you date should never cause you to compromise good morals. He should seek ways to support you in your values. His values should complement yours.

6. The Servant –
A man who has demonstrated a pattern of submitting to authorities in his life (leadership, pastors, parents, etc…) will also have an understanding of how to submit to God as the head of his life and, subsequently, how to commit to his future wife. The Bible says, “Obey your leaders and submit to them… Let them do this with joy and not with groaning,” (Hebrews 13:17). His positive attitude towards authority figures is an indication of his servant’s heart and also provides a picture of how he can be in a dating relationship.

7. The Consistent Man –
Emotions rise and fall, but character shows with consistency. The consistent man is not in a rush because he does not have poor intentions, nor is he interested in manipulating a woman to be led by her emotions (“Warning: Don’t Follow Your Heart”). He will take his time to get to know you and will allow you to get to know him as well. The Bible says, “Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.” (Proverbs 28:18). Over time, the consistent man’s good character will still stand, while the man with bad intentions will also come to light.

Remember, the purpose of dating is to get to know a person. If you take your time to get to know him, you will be able to find out if he is the type of man you should date.

 

Source: http://lifestyle.myjoyonline.com/pages/relationships/201209/93381.php

10 Ways to Shake Up Date Night

Posted: August 29, 2012 in Love
Tags: ,

Do something different

By Jacquelyne Froeber
From Health magazine

After being in a relationship for years (months, for some couples), climbing out of a dating rut can be difficult. That’s why we’re making it easy. Grab your significant other and get ready for a good—but different—time. Here are our 10 ways to shake up your date night.

Laugh it up
Crack up at a comedy club with your sweety.

Get cooking
Take a cooking class (bonus points for learning a foreign cuisine).

Take a joy-ride

Rent a fun car—a Prius, a Volkswagen Beetle, a Smart Car, a Mustang—and go for a mini–road trip.

Nighttime adventure
Get a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee and head to the park.

Partner up

Hit the dance floor with salsa or two-step lessons.

Wish upon a star
Visit your local astronomy club’s open-telescope night and go stargazing.

Be a spectator

Watch a new sport; try a monster-truck exhibition or a model-airplane race.

Mix up your music
Try new music. Symphony fans, visit a bluegrass club; rock-and-rollers, give chamber music a try.

Hit the rink

Go roller-skating as a fun outing.

Head out back
Camp out in the backyard for something new.

Source: health.com

A Quick Guide to Quickies

Posted: August 29, 2012 in Love, Sex
Tags:

Fast can feel good, too! Here’s how to maximize your pleasure in minutes.

Tips for a revved-up romp

By Jennifer Benjamin
From Health magazine

In bodice-ripping romance novels, hours of lovemaking sounds wonderful. In real life, marathon sessions can leave you wondering, Are we done yet? In fact, surveys show that most of us prefer sex to last less than 15 minutes.

Makes sense: In a speedy session, not only is there less pressure to have the best sex ever, but the lightning-fast factor can be exhilarating (“I must have you right now!”). To make a minutes-long romp even more satisfying, try these tricks.

Do some smooching

Making out will help you get turned on faster. “Kissing accelerates the arousal process because it wakes up the nervous system, as well as the endocrine system, which produces all of those lust-fueled hormones,” says Los Angeles–based sex coach Patti Britton, PhD. It also makes a quick encounter feel way more intimate, so don’t fast-forward past foreplay

Keep your clothes on

Why waste precious minutes getting undressed? Besides, staying covered up can be a big turn-on. “It feels primal and animalistic, as though you’re desperate to have each other right there and then,” explains Joel Block, PhD, a psychologist and relationship expert forCanDoBetter.com.

Change the venue

Five minutes of ho-hum missionary on your pillow-top bed probably won’t knock your socks off. But five minutes in the shower? Or on the kitchen island? Now we’re talking! “The novelty of a new setting increases excitement, especially when there’s the risk of getting caught,” Block explains. Even if there’s no one else around, doing it in an unconventional spot helps create the thrilling sense that someone could walk in at any moment.

Think NC-17 thoughts

When you’re trying to get in the mood ASAP, your brain can help get the rest of you on board. “Fantasizing spurs a physiological sexual response because your body replicates what it’s envisioning in your brain,” Britton explains. “It also focuses your mind to help you tune out distractions.” Even if you are on your pillow-top bed, pretend you’re doing it on a tropical beach.

Narrate the action

Communicating while in the act, whether it’s nice or naughty talk, allows you to stay focused on each other and reminds you that you still have that spark, Block says. So share how good it feels as the action unfolds. It’s a super-simple way to have a blast—fast!

 

The Secret to Bigger, Better Orgasms

Posted: August 29, 2012 in Love, Sex
Tags: , ,

Yes! Yes! Yes!

By Jennifer Benjamin
From Health magazine

ImageEveryone loves a happy ending—so why stop at just one? In our exclusive Health.com orgasm survey, three-quarters of you said you want more: more frequent O’s, stronger O’s, and yes, O’s in a row!

Gird your loins, ladies: We’ve got tips from top ecstasy experts on how to achieve ultimate bedroom bliss.

Take it to the brink

To make your orgasm …
Last longer

Unlike men, women can maintain a heightened level of arousal, without going over the edge.

To take advantage, “Practice something called ‘peaking’ where, using his hands or his mouth during foreplay, your man brings you just to the edge of climax, backs down a bit, then increases the intensity again, and so on,” says Ian Kerner, PhD, sex therapist and founder of GoodinBed.com. “It keeps you in this holding pattern of orgasmic pleasure.”

Ride it out

Think about what happens when you climax: Does your body clench? Do you hold your breath? Sure, all of that tension may help you reach orgasm, but once you get there, it’s holding you back.

“If you allow the sensations to take over your entire body, rather than react against them, you can draw the orgasm out,” says sexologist Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD.

Think naughty thoughts

To make your orgasm …
Feel stronger

Image“Fantasizing about something new or exotic during foreplay boosts your dopamine levels, which enhance your level of arousal, and in turn, make your orgasms even more powerful,” Kerner says.

Pretend you and your man are on the beach in Belize, or having sex where the neighbors might see. The fantasy will eventually slip away, but that heightened level of excitement will lead to a more intense peak.

Go for aftershocks

Women have a little-known pleasure point that, when triggered during orgasm, can magnify the sensation.

Right above your clitoral hood, in the groove where your labia meet, is the front commissure, an area rife with nerve endings that contributes to your orgasmic potential, Kerner says.

If you or your partner applies pressure there while you’re in that blissed-out moment, it can create an even more powerful release.

Order up an appetizer and an entree

To make your orgasm …
Happen again and again (and again)

ImageHey, a girl can be greedy! Your best bet is to try to achieve one during foreplay, followed by another during intercourse.

“If you’ve reached orgasm before sex, you’ll be that much more primed to have a second one,” Fulbright explains. “During sex, he’ll be stimulating you internally as well, so the next one can be a deeper sensation.”

Source: health.com

Must-read sex advice

By Kara Jesella

ImageJust can’t seem to quite get there? Or would you like your big moment to be even bigger? 

We’ve got the dish from sex experts on how you can have your best orgasm yet.

Hit the hot spots

A friction position may help you have an orgasm during intercourse. Get on top, for example, so the top of your clitoris is rubbing directly on your partner’s pubic bone. Or lay on your back with a pillow underneath your butt.

You may even want to try using a vibrator during intercourse, says Laura Berman, PhD, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and OB-GYN at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. She recommends the Athena ($11.95) or the Aurora ($46.95), both available atevesgarden.com.

Talk the talk

“Men really want direction,” Berman says. Let your partner know when he’s on the right track, either by telling him what feels great or by moaning.

Learn on your own

ImageYou can’t talk the talk if you don’t know what turns you on. “To train your body to be orgasmic, you have to masturbate,” says Danielle Cavallucci, a sex coach with sex information company Sexuality Source.

Exercise your orgasm muscles

“Kegels are the classic exercise for women who want to transform feeble orgasms into fabulous ones,” sex educator Dorian Solot says. Locate these muscles in your pelvic floor by stopping yourself from peeing midstream. Then tone them by clenching when you’re not peeing. Do Kegels every day, ideally a few times a day. And keep breathing while you squeeze.

Get risky

Research shows that engaging in thrill-seeking behaviors together (whether it’s rock climbing or just going to see a scary movie) stimulates dopamine in the brain, which gets your juices flowing.

Delay the pleasure

“The longer the arousal buildup, the bigger the explosion,” Solot says. Get yourself close to orgasm, then slow to a simmer. Repeat that a few times before you climax.

Focus on breathing

Tantric sex may sound new-agey, but its central tenet—focused breathing—may boost your pleasure. “You can use your breath to channel your sexual energy,” sex educator Yvonne Fulbright says. Partners who breathe in tandem may slow the rush to orgasm and create a bigger buildup, which can intensify pleasure.

Explore erotica

Porn isn’t all about big penises and deep throats. Erotic movies and books can be tasteful and arousing, and the more aroused you are, the better your orgasm chances.

Berman and Fulbright suggest the Candida Royale films ($9.95 and up at adameve.com); the sex scenes are steamy, and there’s a plot. Berman also recommends literature like the Herotica series, in which women are the lead characters.

Try creative foreplay

ImageIf it takes you longer than your partner to warm up, Fulbright says, get a head start by e-mailing or texting each other sexy messages (but don’t get too graphic—e-mail is not necessarily private).

Check your meds

Women are more likely than men to take antidepressants, which are known to hurt a person’s sex life. If you’re having trouble, talk to your doctor about your meds.

Get help early

If you’re not orgasmic, advice from a pro may be helpful. Nerve damage or low testosterone could be the problem. “Your doctor can do a medical evaluation,” Berman says, “or look at relationship factors.” 

To find a sex therapist, check with the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists at aasect.org.

Relax

In a recent French study of 500-plus women, more than 70% said work stress compromised their sex drive. A low libido, obviously, lowers chances of orgasm. So ditch life’s distractions at your bedroom door.

 

Source: health.com