Do you know how to keep the spark alive in your long-term relationship? Discover some great ideas in this contributed post.
Being in a long-term relationship is wonderful. Not only do you get to go through new stages of life with your significant other, but you also become closer than others. However, long-term relationships tend to lose that fiery spark that might have been there in the beginning. This lack of excitement leads many couples to drift apart over time.
If you want to avoid parting ways, you need to learn how to keep that spark alive in your long-term relationship. It’s easier than you think when you have a strong foundation. We all know how stressful the chaos of everyday life can be, and it’s understandable that you’ll stop focusing on your relationship. To make sure you stay connected with your partner, do these surprising things below that help strengthen your relationship.
1. Spend Time Apart
One of the most surprising ways to strengthen your long-term relationship is to actually spend time apart. This doesn’t mean you need to take a break or separate. However, it doesn't mean getting to know who you are outside of your relationship with your partner. When we’re in long-term relationships, it’s easy to define ourselves based on our relationship with our partner. This isn’t healthy.
You’re your own person with unique interests. Haven’t you ever heard the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder?” Well, it’s true. Don’t be afraid to develop your own interests and friend groups outside of your partner. Take a weekend to yourself to have fun with your friends. Take a new class by yourself. This alone time and time spent without your partner is vital to retaining who you are as an individual.
2. Try Something New Together
Experiences form the backbone of strong relationships. When you’re doing the same things day in and day out, you start to lose focus. That spark you cherished early in your relationship fades fast. Make it a priority to try new things together regularly. Maybe you try a new restaurant every month or you go on weekend trips to new parts of the world. You might even try new lingerie, sexy costumes & more in the bedroom. All of these things bring you together over a shared experience.
3. Date Each Other
Dating isn’t just for the first few months when you’re getting to know your partner. You can date your long-time partner or even your spouse. In fact, this is essential to keeping your relationship alive. What is a date? It’s time when you just focus on each other and nothing else. In the early stages of your relationship, this was when you got to know each other.
Now that you’ve been dating for a while (or years!), you can use this time to reconnect. Leave the worries and stress at home and just talk to each other. You can talk about new things at work, your hobbies, or even your own kids at home. No matter what you talk about, treat this the same as you would a second or third date. You get to date your best friend! What could be better?
4. Travel Together
Traveling is the test of any relationship, long-term or short-term. When you travel, you’re forced into uncomfortable situations. Things are no longer in your control. Maybe your flight is delayed or you get lost in a new city. These stressful situations bring out true colors—for better or for worse.
How well do you know your partner? The best way to find out is to take them with you somewhere new. You’ll quickly learn how they act at their best and at their worst. While this can strain a failing relationship, it can also strengthen the best relationships.
Being in a long-term relationship is something to celebrate. Not many couples make it this far, so it’s clear you have something special worth savoring. The best way to strengthen your relationship is with these steps above, no matter how strange they might seem.
There are many factors to consider when deciding to live together with someone, Do you know what they are? Read this contributed post to find out more.
The title of this article sounds judgemental, but it’s really not. Asking yourself this question is absolutely a necessity no matter how in love or well supported you are with your lover. Of course, there are some circumstances where moving in together with your boyfriend or girlfriend might be a no-brainer, depending on your current situation. For example, you might decide that since you have a child on the way, it’s best to set up that personal family home in a secure, stable manner, and really try to make a go of things. Many people have done this, and many people have succeeded in crafting a beautiful family home, even though it perhaps wasn’t as planned as it could have been.
But of course, this is a highly specific circumstance, and it may or may not apply to you. If you can, it’s always best to consider deeply when the potential of moving in together comes up. If you manage to simply take the time to consider your position, you can either move forward with your plans enjoying greater confidence or potentially avoid a mistake until you once again consider it.
Consider our simple list of advice to try and decide whether or not this is a good personal decision to make:
What is the financial history and handling like within your relationship? How has this been in the past? Perhaps a stumble here or there isn’t too worrying as we all experience problems from time to time. However, if your other half has been evicted at any time in the last five to ten years, or if they regularly overspend or miss their rental payments, there is no way that tying your financial history to this person is worthwhile.
If you are the person without this sense of financial reliability, it might be that you’re going to struggle to do so in a relationship. Couples often spend MORE when together, not less, and it’s often easy for bad habits to become twice as echoed if you both share them. It might even be that you only have a middling lack of financial handling in the recent past, but if your other half hasn’t challenged you on this (especially if you’re close enough to consider moving in together,) it might be that they aren’t quite the fundamental rock you expect them to be to help you manage your spending issues, nor should you expect them to be.
Financial untying yourself from someone else and vice-versa, especially when two names are on a lease or two contracts become one can become messy if the agreement dissolves. If you’ve ever seen Judge Judy, you’ll know that lawsuits between jaded ex-lovers who moved in together two quickly and shared each and every asset they owned is perhaps 90% of the lawsuits brought to the Judges panel.
It’s neither smart, romantic or clever to throw away your potential financial security to proceed with moving in. You can live semi-permanently with someone without having to tie yourselves together on one lease, or moving together in an apartment signed by both of you.
Of course, if you both have good credit, a history of on-time and well planned financial decisions, and you trust the other person, you can progress with greater confidence. We’d recommend knowing the person and their financial behaviours for at least two years before moving in, although more is often better. Once taking the decision to move forward, take another six months to verify everything financially, assessing and reassessing your eligibility for this life situation. Just like the waiting period after deciding on a tattoo design, time can often bring a refreshed sense of clarity in the long-term if we give ourselves enough time.
Of course, financial stability is one thing, but it’s nothing without the emotional glue that holds a relationship together. Young couples often think that love will last forever, but often it’s maturity that tempers the fires of love and helps retain that sense of rationality at the end of the day, even through tumultuous times. If your relationship often falls into an on-off form of connectivity, then perhaps fusing yourselves together with the financial responsibility of a home is not quite the best idea, even if focusing on a humble apartment at this stage.
It does seem to be somewhat of a cultural attitude that most couples fight and go through long, down periods, but that’s not true at all. Small grievances and annoyances are normal, but they must be talked through. If yourself and your partner have large blowouts, even one a year, it’s a sign that the relationship might not deal with the strain of maintaining and sustaining the funding of a household, no matter how humble.
It’s easy to see that having a child to ‘fix’ a relationship is an absurdly stupid move for most people, but moving in together can be nearly as toxic for both involved. If you haven’t had an argument or large disagreement in your relationship you haven’t worked through immediately, and you trust each other even in the harder times, it might be that you are suitable to consider this step more appropriately.
Emotions vs. Cold Hard Logic
While young love or even mature love can feel like a river of emotions you love to become swept in, this is never the right time to make life decisions that can impact you both. This isn’t to say you need to feel completely detached and mechanical in your decisions for the future, but you do need to temper the positives of your relationships with the worries of the future if you hope to make a good decision. It also cannot be done out of a sense of hurried pacing.
A good analogy is to imagine what you’re like when taking care of your weekly grocery purchases. If you head to the store while hungry, it’s likely you’ll purchase much more than you need. There are clinical studies performed that prove this resoundingly well, but the common sense of this situation is hard to argue in the first place. Consider how this might apply to your current situation, and you’ll have a good idea of what we mean.
Considering the appropriate plan can be worthwhile for now. HDB flats for couples are often the best starting, stepping stone on your path to joining the property market together. It’s best to stay humble. If you can both stay aware of your responsibilities and can temper your expectations to begin with, it might be that drawing up a long-term plan could be very appropriate to do.
Start small. Appreciate what you have. Focus on working together to better your career and financial situations instead of spending on the highest and most comforting residence you can right now. When pooling an income you may be able to achieve something nicer than you would have solo in the first place. Of course, a couple will only need one bed, so it might be that someone moving into the other’s apartment could be a better and cheaper alternative than to simply find a new place together.
Consider compromise. How might both you working commutes be affected? Did you want to live abroad for a certain amount of years? Where are both of your families? Do you have anyone else aside from the relationship participants to turn to for help if you’re struggling a little? Drawing up a set of rough plans of what life will be like on a daily, practical level can help you understand that which you’re getting involved in, giving you the red, amber or green lights to either stop, stay cautious and patient, or proceed with your decision. When contextualized like this, it’s often easy for couples to retain a sense of rationality about their potential timeline of moving, and that’s only ever a good thing.
With these tips, you’re sure to enjoy a more informed decision, no matter your final analysis.
Money saving tips to help you plan your dream wedding while sticking to your budget are explored in this contributed post.
Let's face it, when it comes to getting married, there is so much that goes on in order to make the day a perfect one - one from your dreams and fantasies. Now to ensure the day lives up to those expectations, there is a lot that needs to be done which all adds up financially until you're left with an overall price that means no holidays for at least three years. It's painful to think about the costs, and yet that's what planning a wedding consists of, and a lot of people overlook it because it is only one day. Having said that though, there's no reason to go overboard if you really don't have to. That doesn't mean necessarily missing out on things, it's just delving a little deeper to get the best prices.
Here are some ideas to get you thinking.
First of all, you absolutely need to make a budget so you know what you have to work with. Traditionally it's known for the Father to pay, but it doesn't always work out this way anymore - people have become a lot more independent which is great, although it may change the overall budget. The tip to keeping within the budget - it only looking at things within your price range. For example, when looking for a dress, or a tux, the worst thing you can do is go in and find 'the one', only to realise it's over double your price limit. This is both soul destroying and exasperating, so don't put yourself in this kind of situation to begin with.
If you have a good friend or family member that you trust with your life, then assign them a job that you would normally pay someone to do. Like a wedding planner. These are pretty pricey services, and are also rather unnecessary if you have other helping hands available. Of course, don't give a job to someone that you know will be incapable otherwise it may all end in tears. But if you have a budding photographer that loves to snap, then add them to your photography team. You could even get them stuck in to a wedding photography workshop so they know exactly how to ace it.
Always be on the lookout for discounts. One of your best friends throughout your wedding planning, will be the internet. You can find anything there, and there are even comparison sites that will compare prices on things like venues, flower arrangements, and even catering. So never settle if you're unhappy, there is always a second cheaper option. Keep your eye out for sales that happen during certain months if you book them for a specific time too. And be sure to ask your circle of people about any recommendations they have, as you may just get some money knocked off because of the referral.
So as you can see, sticking to a budget doesn't affect the day as much as you may have imagined.
How to talk to your teenager about sex, love and romance? Read more in this contributed post.
Parents everywhere know exactly what it means to dread their kids growing into teenagers. Firstly, they remember what it was like for them to be teenagers. They remember the angst, the insecurity and the desperate need to fit in with the crowd. They know that their teenagers have all this to come and today, it’s so different compared to a few years ago. The world has changed so much when it comes to sex and relationships and this is not a bad thing. More complicated, perhaps, but not a bad thing.
Same sex relationships two decades ago were not as openly spoken about compared to today. Romance and sex wasn’t splashed across social media for all to see. The ‘selfie’ in the smartphone era had not yet been invented for people to critique and roast online. Life and love and relationships are entirely different now. Asking a girl or boy to go out to the school disco is easy to discuss for some parents, whilst trying to advise on a chat with gay guys may be a little harder to do. It’s not ignorance; it’s just not the same as it was before. However, we now live in a time where parents are swotting up on how things work for teenagers today and not basing how they talk about sex, love and romance on wooing each other back in the Eighties. Times have changed, but talking about healthy relationships and self-respect hasn’t.
Teenagers now are still full of angst and uncertainty and it’s important that they know that you are going to be open, non-judgemental and there for them when they need you. Broaching the subject? That’s not the easy part, because teenagers don’t want to talk about themselves directly. However, as a parent you can figure out their favourite series or film and discuss the dynamics of those relationships instead and talk about the red flags to watch for in terms of gaslighting and abuse, which are very much talked about today. Teenagers need to hear that they are worthy of themselves as they are, that they don’t need to be pressured into sex when they know that they can pace themselves until they are ready. They also need to hear that their feelings are valid and valued, and that those friends who don’t listen to those feelings aren’t friends to be worrying about.
Sex and love are both a normal part of life, and the more you broach this subject with your teenagers, the easier it will be to get it through to them that they are in charge of their own bodies and feelings. It’s okay to love whoever they want to love, have sex when they feel ready and not pushed - and SAFELY - and you will be there for them no matter what. Teenagers will make their mistakes: we all have, and as long as they know that you are going to be a shoulder to cry on, a non-judgemental ear to talk to and a safe haven, you can be confident that they will do their best to make good choices.
Would you like to introduce sex toys into your relationship but don't know where to start? Read this contributed post to learn how.
For years there has been a push to introduce vibrators into sex play for women. Men have been encouraged to suppress their own feelings towards this and to focus on their partners. Studies have shown that a greater proportion of men who have used dildos with their partners report lower levels of sexual satisfaction than those who have never done so. As psychologists tried to unpick the reasons for this they discovered it was yet another case of men not feeling able to speak up about their own desires. Deeper studies discovered that those men who used sex toys and did communicate with their partners had the best sexual satisfaction of all. The best way for both partners to have mind blowing sex is for the use of toys to be a two way street and for everyone to communicate effectively.
Talk, Talk And Talk Some More
Good sex can be spontaneous sex but for anything that is different from the norm, you need to talk it through; especially when it is the first time. BDSM, role-play and sex toys cannot be introduced unilaterally and it will only be fun for everyone if it is consensual. If you connect with a partner, you can discuss fantasies, or ask questions before, during or after sex. The best time is when it feels right and you are both horny. Don’t jump in like a bull in a china shop but keep it subtle: “you know what would be hot sometime…?” Equally think about the time and place; what works when you are engaged in sex might get a very different and very negative reaction when you are having dinner. Just start with what interests you such as watching each other masturbate and then take it from there.
Go Beyond The Vibrator
Advice on sex play often focuses on improving the experience for the woman. Bullet vibrators on the clitoris or G-Spot, or large penetrative vibrating dildos are not the only sex toys out there. It is important to include these, you need to do your part in providing more variety for her, but she is not the only person in the relationship. It may be that you find these toys exciting and want them used on you; only through being honest and trusting can this happen.
It Is Time To Reclaim Your Pleasure
There are a wide range of penis stimulating sex toys available. The best known, and most flexible, of these is the Fleshlight. The beauty of the Fleshlight is that, like vibrators, you have a huge variety available. The orifices can be surreal or sculpted from the vaginas of porn stars but the interiors are where the real action is. You can choose between highly realistic feeling sleeves or ones so intense that they threaten to make you blow your top in seconds. Fleshlights are not just about pure stimulation, they can play an important role in your relationship too. Some women experience intense pain with penetration and the fleshlight can help to bring you together. Some of the sleeves are designed for stamina training and your partner can use them to tease and train you; improving both your sex lives.
Sex toys are not something to be afraid of, and neither is talking. By talking about your feelings and desires you will not only make your relationship better for you but for her too.
5 dating tips to help you find love in your twenties and thirties are explored in this contributed post.
There will come a time in your life, it could be now, in your late twenties, thirties…. where you finally want to find someone who can settle down with you for life. Finding the love of your life is no mean feat and it will involve a lot of dedication and searching, but when you do, you’ll be treated to a relationship full of love and laughter.
It is always the first thing people will say when you come to looking for dates, but it is true. If you try to be someone else on a first date to impress someone you aren’t letting your real personality out and this can have a massive effect on your ability to find someone right for you. You want someone who loves you for all of your quirks and despite all of your floors. Be yourself and this will allow you to find them.
Don’t force it
If you think a date is going ok but you don’t feel any sort of romantic spark, this doesn’t mean you have to carry on stringing it along for a while to try and find that fizz of attraction. When it comes to love, when you know you just know. Don’t force a feeling of attraction and affection on yourself and someone else because it simply won’t work. If you wait long enough you will eventually find that special someone.
If you struggle to get the confidence to talk to new people in person, you can always try to speak to people on the phone on a service such as Fonochatlatino.com or online on a dating app first. It might seem a little pointless but it will build up your confidence and it will allow you to meet and speak to a whole range of different people. You can share a common interest and learn how best to keep a conversation flowing ready for a real date.
Go to parties
If you never leave the house you will never find the one. If your friends ask you out for a night out or to a party, just say yes. You never know when your missing link will show up to an event and it can take you a long time to find them if you never go out in public. Get out there and allow people to approach you for a chat and see if any sparks happen to fly.
Don’t worry about commitment
Commitment is a big buzzword with relationships and of course everyone eventually wants to be able to commit to the right person. However, when you start to date people just go with the flow, don’t think about the long term until you can see it going somewhere and just enjoy the present moment with your new love. If it is meant to be it will be, and if not, you can learn from the experience for your next relationship. Learning and using your past experiences is a good way to find the one for you.
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