Chat and Flirt

Modern dating advice for the internet.

Thursday

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December 2014

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Match.com Shares Dating Wrap-up Stats for 2014

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Do singles prefer taking selfies or traveling? What city has the highest number of active daters, or at least those who message the most? What height do most women prefer when they filter their matches?

If you like knowing the answers to these kinds of questions – in other words, identifying peoples’ preferences and what are they actually doing when they’re online dating - Match has just presented a wrap-up list of dating stats for 2014, culled from its extensive database. 

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Wednesday

24

December 2014

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7 Reasons Your Online Dating Profile Didn't Work In 2014

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Right now everyone is talking about the big resolutions you're supposed to make for 2015. High on the list this year, as they are every year, are all things related to dating and romance. And that's great – I'm a firm believer in setting goals for yourself – but you can't figure out where you're going if you don't understand where you've been. Before you start making plans for 2015, let's talk about 2014. Specifically, about where you went wrong with your online dating profile in 2014. ...

Tuesday

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December 2014

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Monday

22

December 2014

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6 Steps for Dealing with the Ghosts of Holidays Past

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The holidays trigger many thoughts and emotions. Hopefully, they are pleasant reminiscences filled with happy feelings. Unfortunately, for some the memories are of experiences that brought disappointment and sadness. Holidays can be a painful reminder of unhappy family times and unmet needs.

Most of us have unpleasant memories from our past. However, having those memories isn’t as problematic as what we do with them. Are you expecting to be disappointed in the present and future because of your past experiences? Are you unconsciously setting traps so that others will fail you because it’s a familiar experience? Or are you isolating or distancing yourself from others with the hope of never feeling disappointment again?

Often, we are unconsciously controlling our current situation and relationships based upon our past experiences and relationships. It makes sense—we are wired to protect ourselves and to predict our present and future based upon our experiences from the past. Unfortunately, this can damage our relationships and prevent us from getting the love that we deserve.

So, how can we deal with past experiences that are negatively impacting our present day situations and relationships?

Here are six steps for dealing with the ghosts of holidays past:

1. Strive for Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is an important first step. Making the connection between your past experiences and your current relationship struggles can seem obvious, but we often fail to make the conscious connection because we don’t want to re-experience the pain. However, the truth is that we are already experiencing pain — and creating more pain — by trying to avoid it.

Instead, by making the direct connection between your past experiences and your current behaviors, you can begin to break the patterns that have kept you stuck, knowingly or unknowingly, in your past. Then, in your mind or on paper, create a snow globe that contains your painful memory—maybe it’s symbolic or maybe it’s an actual scene from your past that is most representative of your current struggles. This helps you contain your memory and enables you to distinguish it from your present day experiences.

2. Recognize When Your Snow Globe is Shaken

Second, when you get triggered by a situation or a memory, imagine that your snow globe is being shaken. The snow swirling around your image represents all of your negative thoughts and painful emotions. Now, take this moment to recognize the connection between your current emotional state and your past experience. It’s normal and understandable that you are still experiencing the pain associated with something that happened a while ago. It’s part of our common human experience. The pain we experience around memories is unavoidable. That might sound hopeless and depressing, but there’s good news, too. The change comes with how you behave in response to these triggering events. When you can begin to recognize that, when you get triggered in the present, you are still reacting to your past experiences, you can begin to make the changes that will get you closer to the healthy and loving relationships that you deserve.

3. Focus on the Moment

Third, focus your attention on the moment. Be present. Bring awareness to your current situation. Recognize that the flood of negative thoughts and painful emotions are tied to your past experiences. Mindfulness is a key component to getting unstuck from your past and making the important distinction between your previous experiences and what is happening now. This means acknowledging your thoughts and emotions (both positive and negative) objectively and with curiosity. View them as a news crawl on the television—they are passing by and you aren’t getting stuck on any specific thought of emotion. Or imagine yourself as the sky and you are watching the weather come and go—the sun, the clouds, the rain, the storms—they all pass and you are just a curious observer.

 4. Identify Your Values

Fourth, once you are in the moment and the overwhelming thoughts and emotions have passed, you can make a behavioral choice that will get you closer to the healthy relationships that you desire. This choice can be challenging in that you are likely locked in a pattern of behavior that feels safe. The problem is that this old pattern isn’t getting you closer to the healthy loving relationships that you deserve.

In order to make new – and more helpful – choices, you will need some motivation and guidance when you’re faced with a triggering situation. The key is to let your choice be driven by your values. Thus, you must start by identifying your values, which can often get lost when we are focused on the most efficient way to protect ourselves. One way to reconnect with your values is to imagine what you would want people to say about you at your memorial service. How do you want to be remembered?

5. Make New Choices

Fifth, when you find yourself getting triggered by a person or situation, make the connection to your snow globe and recognize that your negative thoughts and painful emotions are connected to that experience (and others like it) from your past. You should not be reacting today to the person or situation from your past. You need to respond to your present day situation. This means making a helpful behavioral choice that is aligned with your values and with your goal of getting closer to the healthy and loving relationship you deserve.

6. Commit to Compassion

Sixth, bring compassion to yourself and others. We are all on a journey, and we are all touched deeply by pain. Compassion is sensitivity to the suffering of self and others, with a commitment to try to relieve and prevent this pain. Our inner critic can get in the way of accessing our compassionate self. And, if we’ve been hurt deeply we can often view compassion for others as a sign of weakness—making ourselves vulnerable to be hurt again. But, the truth is that our compassionate selves make us strong, and enable us to make meaningful and loving connections with ourselves and others.

The ghosts of holidays past will never disappear, but you can take away their power to control your present day experiences and relationships by staying in the moment and making the helpful behavioral choices that will bring you closer to the love that you deserve.

 

LMDLMMichelle Skeen, PsyD is a therapist and the author of LOVE ME, DON’T LEAVE ME: Overcoming Fear of Abandonment & Building Lasting, Loving Relationships (New Harbinger, 2014). For more information, go to www.lovemedontleaveme.com.

 

The post 6 Steps for Dealing with the Ghosts of Holidays Past appeared first on eHarmony Advice.

Sunday

21

December 2014

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2014 Holiday Dating Survival Guide

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Well folks, it's that time again. The holidays are here and they brought with them their annual dose of relationship stress and dating anxiety. Emotions always fly high around this time of year, whether you're single, dating but undefined, in a relationship, or recently broken up.

It's easy to crack under all that pressure. What you need is a holiday dating survival guide, so I've put together a few tips to see you through into 2015.

  1. Don't be a social m ...

Friday

19

December 2014

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Why It’s Never Too Late for Love

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If you’ve been single for a long stretch despite efforts to find love, you’ve probably grown weary of seeing happy, romantic couples at every turn…among your friends and family, featured in internet accounts, described in magazine stories, and on and on.

The sense of feeling left out can be especially acute at certain holidays — Christmas and Valentine’s Day come to mind — when loved ones snuggle close and make new memories.

If that describes you — well, take heart. Seeing other people in love validates the belief that it can happen to you too. Despite your sense of being “on the outside looking in,” the potential for genuine, lasting love in your life is as real today as it’s ever been.

Here are four things to remember as you anticipate the arrival of your magnificent man or wonderful woman:

1. Today is always packed with possibility. Here’s a bit of common sense we can all agree on: Just because you’ve waited a long time for love to arrive doesn’t mean you still have a long time left to wait. Yet many frustrated people fall into a psychological trap that begins to pull them down like quicksand. They behave as if yesterday was a just a preview of today, as if this couldn’t possibly be the day that everything changes.

The truth is, romantic potential has no shelf life. The odds against finding lasting love do not grow longer with time. That means in each moment of every new day, you are equally likely to turn a new corner and fall head over heels into the relationship you’ve dreamed of. Your age? Irrelevant. Number of previous strike-outs? Meaningless. The opinions of naysayers? Please! Move through your life like you expect a surprise party in your honor at any moment.

2. Attitude matters. Your romantic beliefs, intentions, and expectations have a dramatic effect on how your search for love turns out. This idea is far less rooted in wishful thinking and New Age mumbo jumbo than it may sound at first. The connection between what you think and the life you lead is actually quite clear and simple.

Think of it this way: Someone who believes she’s cursed with bad luck is unlikely to invest a few bucks in a lottery ticket, no matter how large the jackpot grows. A person who has given up on love will probably think it is pointless to go where he might meet someone new, or to put their best foot forward if he does. When you no longer have faith in the payoff, why bother placing a bet? That might sound like good reasoning — until you realize how self-defeating and self-fulfilling it is. Keep your romantic radar on.

3. “Failure” is progress. Learning what you don’t want in a partner, and how to recognize it when you see it, is every bit as valuable as knowing what you do want. In this way, romantic misfires serve an important purpose. Where many people see each dead-end as a step away from their goal, you can choose to see things the way Thomas Edison did when he said, “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Every rejected lover is one you no longer have to consider. Every lesson learned is one that makes you more ready to handle real love when it comes along.

4. Love — when it arrives — heals the wounds caused by its absence. Just as the poets, mystics, and songwriters have said for centuries, love is a magical thing. Before you find it, time drags, your heart aches, and you begin to fear that the damage is permanent. But on the other side of meeting the one you’ve looked for, you quickly forget all that. The joy of fulfillment is a salve that soothes every hurt, scars and all. When you are still in the romantic doldrums, it may help to remember that the love you seek — and are sure to find — is far more than an end to loneliness; it is a brand new beginning that erases what came before.

Love is always at your fingertips. Be sure your hand is always open.

eH+Ashsuit09102014-15About Ashley and eH+:

eHarmony’s new service, eH+ , gives you the benefit of a personal matchmaker who picks your matches and guides you to success. We’re taking the best of what eHarmony does and combining that with what personal matchmakers do best – person-to-person conversation, opportunities for feedback, and coaching to put your best foot forward.

Learn More about eH+.

eHarmony users, be sure to include your phone number in your account information so that Ashley can contact you if you are a match for an eH+ client.

 

The post Why It’s Never Too Late for Love appeared first on eHarmony Advice.

Friday

19

December 2014

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COMMENTS

Is The Holiday Season Really Breakup Season? Clover Answers.

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Benjamin Franklin famously said that the only certain things are death and taxes. These days, a third inevitability should be added to the list: breakups.

They're an unfortunate fact of life, even now when we're wrapped up in the joy of the holiday season. Perhaps especially during the holiday season, when the pressure's on and stress is running high. Online dating app Clover decided to find out once and for all if th ...

Thursday

18

December 2014

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COMMENTS

Thursday

18

December 2014

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COMMENTS

Wednesday

17

December 2014

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COMMENTS

5 Holiday Dating Tips

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The holidays can bring added stress to your dating life. If you’re single, you might wonder if it’s a good idea to invite one of your dates out to a colleague’s party, or maybe you're be anxious about spending the holidays with prying family members.

If you've just started dating someone, you could be wondering if you should buy a gift or invite him to your office holiday party. While there are no cut and dry answers, there are a few tips that could help you enjoy the holiday in ...