Breaking Up With Compassion and Respect

Reading about all of these celebrity couples who have been breaking up recently made me remember the break ups that I went through. After thinking about it for a moment, I realized that breaking up with someone when they haven’t done anything to hurt you, such as cheating on you or mistreating you, is way different than breaking up with someone who has done either one of those things. I also realized that being the one having to end the relationship with someone who has mistreated you or cheated on you when you loved them very much is just as devastating (if not more so) than when being on the receiving end of a break up.

Which one of these two types of  break ups was the most difficult for you to go through? (If you never had to break up with someone in either one of these circumstances, count yourself extremely lucky.)

When you broke up with that person, did you do it in a kind and caring manner to spare their heart – or did you have to do it in a cold and abrupt way so that they got your message loud and clear? Sometimes doing the latter is necessary; but in my opinion, doing the former is a more humane way and it’s better for their heart – and yours. If you were on the receiving end of a break up, did they do it in a compassionate way or were they cruel and disrespectful about it?

In my personal experience, I’ve had to go through both types of those kinds of break ups. I’ve had to break up with a guy who treated me well and that I was in love with, but I knew our relationship wasn’t going to progress because he was too scared to commit and to allow himself to be emotionally naked with me. Then, many years later, I had to break up with a guy that loved me (in the best way he knew how), who I loved very much and with whom I spent very many happy and loving years together…but towards the end, he began mistreating me verbally and emotionally. Both of those break ups hurt in their own way and were very difficult for me to see through to the end — but, it had to be done.

 

These are 8 ways that I think a break up should go, from start to finish:

1.) Break up with them in person.

There’s nothing worse (or more immature) than ending a relationship with someone via text, by ‘ghosting’ them or by changing your social media status to ‘single’ without talking to them first. It’s better for both people involved to break up while being right in front of each other; to provide closure, to answer any questions that either one of you may want or need to ask, and as a means of respect to the other person. Not only that – but by breaking up with them in person and letting them hear you say those words with your voice inflection while seeing your body language and facial expressions, there won’t be room for any misinterpretations on their part about what you’re telling them. Breaking up with someone in any other way leaves way too much room for assumptions, mixed signals and misunderstandings.

 

2.) Be mature about it and show compassion and respect for them.

Just because you realize that they aren’t a good fit in your life or they’re not relationship-material, that doesn’t mean you have to be cruel or cold while ending things. Show them the same maturity, compassion and respect that you know you would want to be shown if the reverse was happening. You loved them and cared for them once, right? Well then, you can be compassionate and caring towards them right up to the end. No need to hurt their feelings even more or to shred their heart any further. Speak in a calm and respectful tone when breaking up with them, even if they don’t reciprocate. In time they will appreciate it; and in turn, you’ll feel better for doing it that way.

 

3.) Don’t initiate a fight just to get the other person to break up with you.

Yes, breaking up is hard to do. But, when it has to be done, part of being an intelligent and mature adult is to be upfront and be brave enough to break up with them directly. Starting a fight, constantly arguing with them or acting in a disrespectful and cruel manner towards them so that they have no other choice but to break up with you is a very cowardly way to end your relationship with them.


4.) Keep the break up (and the reason for it) short and simple.

Even if you feel justified in doing so, there’s really no point in you telling them ALL of the reasons why you’re breaking up with them. Keep it simple by telling them the main reason(s) why you want to end the relationship without insulting them or becoming hostile. If they have a few questions that they want or need answered, do so in a manner that is genuine and respectful. However, if they have a litany of questions that seem to be endless, then you’ll need to end the conversation, say goodbye and good luck and walk away. Allowing them to steer the break up conversation in the direction of them hashing out the aspects of the relationship that they feel can be ‘fixed’ or that they shouldn’t be blamed for will only drag out the inevitable.

5.) Allow yourself enough time to grieve over the ending of your relationship.

Breaking up with someone can be just as emotionally painful as when you’re on the receiving end of it. Having to end a relationship when you still love and/or care for that person is absolutely gut wrenching – and it can take a long time for your heart to heal from that. Give yourself time to grieve…a lot of it. The ending of a long term relationship in which there was true love or deep caring for someone is similar to the emotions that one experiences with the death of a marriage or a friendship – because you know in your heart that you’ll never see this person again, nor will you ever be as physically and emotionally close to them as you once was…and that this is permanent. Don’t even entertain the notion of dating or contemplate entering into another relationship with someone until you know for sure that you’ve healed enough emotionally. Rebound relationships never work out, and it isn’t fair to the other person who thinks you’re in it 100% when you’re really not.

 

6.) Don’t blather on social media about your break up.

This is something private that should stay that way; at least initially. Changing your status to ‘single’ or ‘not in a relationship’ is one thing – but badmouthing your ex on Facebook or posting things directly addressed to them on social media that should be said to them in person and in private is very bad form…and it isn’t respectful or mature either. If you must let out pent up frustrations, resentment, sadness or anger about your ex and about the break up, confide in family and friends or start a journal and stay OFF of social media. Once your heart heals and you’re in a better place emotionally, then you can post a mature and factual status about the ending of your relationship – but only if you truly feel that it’s necessary to let all 580 of your Facebook ‘friends’ know about it.

 

7.) Realize that being on the receiving end of the break up will still be heartbreaking to the other person, no matter how kind and respectful you are when ending the relationship with them.

Your significant other is still going to become extremely emotional and will feel devastated when you break up with them, no question about it. Try to be empathetic towards them…and be as kind as you can possibly be. If the timing is right – and if you think they might be receptive to it – give them a hug or place your hand on their shoulder to show them that you understand and care about what they’re going through. Break ups don’t always have to end on a negative or hateful note.

 

8.) Find solace and understanding with what you’re going through from the emotional support of family members, loved ones and friends.

You don’t have to go through this heartbreaking process alone. Seek out members of your family, loved ones that you trust  – and of course, your besties – to give you the emotional support that you need and that will help your heart heal more quickly. These people love you unconditionally and they will stand by your side to make sure that you get outside for walks, coffee meet ups and lunches, for Netflix nights consisting of buttered popcorn, a bottle of Muscato and watching cheesy rom coms, for offering their shoulder for you to cry on whenever you have to or for letting you talk to them as long as you need to so you can get the sadness out of your system. Knowing that you have people who love you, care about you and who will be there for you whenever you need them will help you move on with your life faster without having to hold in all of that emotional pain, negativity and sadness.

 

Of course, you can’t control what other people do – but, you can control your own actions and how you affect others. And even if you find yourself on the receiving end of a disrespectful and cruel break up by an emotionally crippled and immature person, you can still take the high road by respecting their wishes to end the relationship and move on without contacting them in any way, even if they contact you afterwards…and also by not gossiping or badmouthing them on social media or to people who are in both of your social circles.

Sometimes, break ups happen because the two people involved were just not a good fit for each other – it doesn’t necessarily mean that one of them was mistreating the other; although sometimes that is the case. When you do things in life the right way and in a way that coincides with humanity, understanding, respect and fairness with regard to people – then you’re doing all that you can to be a kind, caring and compassionate human being.

Unfortunately, break ups are a part of life. Even though two people who are in love and enter into a relationship together aren’t planning on it to end -more than half the time, it does end.

How it ends will depend on the maturity level and compassion that the individuals involved possess.

 

Is It Wrong For Men To Expect Women To Shave Their Legs?


I have recently come across an article about how the author says she will ‘never shave her legs again’. Now, I have given some thought to this feminine grooming ritual throughout the years and also pondered it when I began shaving at 13. I was very self-conscious of the hair on my legs back then, even though they were light brown and baby fine. But, shave them I did…because I knew if I didn’t, I would be made fun of and boys (as well as girls) would consider me ‘gross’ and ‘hairy’.

Everyone knows the double standard here: Women are expected to shave, but men aren’t. Women are considered more ‘feminine’ if their legs are smooth and clean-shaven; while men are considered ‘masculine’ if their legs and the rest of their body is hairy. What group of people have decided this to be so in ages past doesn’t mean a thing to me. Because – truth be told – I like shaving my legs, bikini area and my armpits. I actually like the sensation of having smooth silky legs and the way it feels against my clothing, a warm breeze or on my soft cotton bed sheets.

Here is an excerpt of the article I’m referring to:

“I put up with the physical discomfort of shaving all the way until college because I couldn’t tolerate the potential social discomfort of having legs that stood out. But as I became more aware of the excessive standards our society imposes upon women’s appearances, I grew angry that something as benign as body hair had caused me so much concern.

The ideal of smooth legs was about pleasing men, not pleasing myself (though some women have told me they shave to please themselves, and they should be able to make that choice without judgment as well). After all, men were never considered gross or unclean for having much more body hair than I did.”

Why I will never shave my legs again

 

In my opinion, the author of that article has every right to not shave her legs if she feels pressure from society or from men to do so. And hey, if she actually likes the way her fuzzy legs feel against her clothing or how they feel when they rub up against other things, it’s her prerogative, right? Who am I to say she’s weird for not shaving them or that her legs look unattractive with hair all over them (even though I believe she is and they do).

I hope it has occurred to her that there are women like me out in this world who happen to like shaving and that we do it because we want to and because we want to please ourselves – not only because we want to ‘please men’ – although I’m sure many guys out there find the look of a woman’s shaved legs aesthetically pleasing. At one point I wondered if this woman is just a feminist and refuses to shave her legs ever again as an act of rebellion against ‘what pleases men’ and against this particular double standard that has existed towards women for possibly hundreds of years.


I pose a question to the men
: What would you do if you were dating a woman and noticed that her legs were hairy and that she obviously doesn’t ever shave them? Would it turn you off? Would you ‘next’ her? Would it not matter to you one way or the other? Or would you be accepting of her hirsute lifestyle and still find her physically attractive?

To the women I’d like to ask: Would you ever stop shaving your legs and allow men (or the general public) to see them hairy? And if you do shave regularly, why do you do it? Do you think it’s fair that men aren’t considered ‘gross’ or unattractive for having leg hair, but if we chose not to shave, we would be looked upon as unattractive and unkempt?

At the end of the day, it’s each woman’s decision to do with her body what she damn well pleases – regardless if anyone approves of it or not. But by the same token, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a woman grooming herself in such a way so she can look physically attractive to her partner or to members of the opposite sex; men groom themselves in certain ways as well to be physically appealing to us.

If a person chooses to do things to their body to be attractive to others because they want to, then there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that in my opinion. But, if they’re doing it to adhere to societal norms and they truly are against doing it – as the aforementioned author is – then that could become a negative issue for them.

 

Back In The Dating Game: Just Have Fun With It!

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When you find yourself single again after years of being in a monogamous relationship, it seems like a scary place to be in – and at first, it really is. After all, you’ve been giving your love, your trust, your affection, your soul and your physical being to another person for years, only to find out that – they not only have betrayed your trust by breaching the boundary or deal breakers you have set in the relationship – but they may have ended the relationship with you in such a cruel way that left your spirit crushed and your heart broken with more questions than answers.

 

Realizing that after everything you have gone through with this person in getting to know them, entering into a relationship with them, learning to trust them and opening yourself up physically, sexually and emotionally to them – you’re now single. And with that new status comes the frightening, frustrating and dreaded realization that, if you want to find love with a significant other in the future, you’ll have to go through ALL of that all over again. Ugh.

 

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Getting back into the dating scene can seem like a daunting experience. But, it goes without saying that you should be healed spiritually and emotionally first before even considering entering into the dating jungle again. Assuming that you’re already healed, you can now forge ahead into the all too familiar territory of seeking a new mate. Most people go into this with a serious mindset. They date several individuals and size them up to see if they’re a good fit. They measure the physical attraction factor against the personality factor to see if they can come up with a happy medium.

 

While they don’t want to settle for a person who doesn’t meet their criteria, they also don’t want to get together with a person who seems too good to be true or who is, in their opinion, “out of their league”. They analyze (and over-analyze) everything that the other person says and does on all of the dates they’ve been on. Then they try to come to a decision as to whether they want to continue pursuing this person or whether they should turn them away and continue on to dating the next person. This process sounds more like planning for retirement or for a funeral than planning on who they’re going to choose to spend some of their life with!

 

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Enter Online Dating. In my opinion, this is the most easiest way to meet people and to have the opportunity to message them or “chat” with them before having to meet them in person. Although some people will argue that meeting people “the old fashioned way” is better than meeting them online, one cannot dispute the fact that online dating enables people to meet more of a variety of other singles in a shorter amount of time than meeting people one at a time.

 

Not only that, but as I’ve stated earlier, online dating gives you the chance to:

1) see how well a person communicates (and whether they can spell and punctuate grammatically correct sentences)

2) see what they look like so you can determine if you’re physically attracted to them (assuming the photos they post is actually them)

3) get a “feel” for their personality before you actually meet them in real life (assuming that they’ve represented themselves online as they really are in person)

4) exchange phone numbers and speak to each other to see if there is something about their voice or the way they talk that attracts you to them (a woman who wants to be cautious can block her number until she feels more comfortable sharing it with him)

5) experience situations 1) through 4) before you meet them, giving you an advantage over meeting someone for the first time without having the benefit of knowing anything about them

 

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With all of this in mind, I think the single most important thing people forget to do when dating is: to have fun with it!  The last time I was in the dating scene, I had the same serious mindset that most people do. With every guy I dated, I always wondered in the back of my mind if he would be “The One”. Sure, I tried to have fun on those dates, but the purpose of dating those guys was for me to find the person I’d want to spend the rest of my life with. Unbeknownst to me, I was placing a very heavy burden on myself as well as on the other guys I was dating! And when all of them failed to live up to my expected standards of the type of man I wanted in my life, it ended up being a very disappointing experience.

 

Now that I’m back in the dating game, I have a whole new mindset and attitude toward it. I no longer date with the expectation of finding “Mr. Right” or to find the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with. Now, I’m just dating for the sheer pleasure of meeting and connecting with new people. If I end up finding someone who is a good match for me, great! But if I don’t, I still appreciate and enjoy the opportunity of meeting different guys and practicing my social skills. If I’m lucky, I may even end up making a friend or two!

 

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With my new perspective on dating, I can now actually enjoy going out with each new guy I meet. I can have fun going to different venues with them, having intellectually stimulating conversations with them, being complimented by them and having them being attentive towards me. And whether we make a “connection” or not, I still had fun being with them! Dating now is light, breezy and casual, with no expectations on my end other than to have a good time with another human being that I had the opportunity of getting to know via a dating site before I met them in real life. Although I have boundaries, conditions and deal breakers that I will make my date aware of, I will make certain exceptions where physical attributes and personality traits are concerned because I don’t want to miss out on making a connection with someone special.

 

So, if you find yourself single again and wondering which avenue to take – either meeting people the “old fashioned way” or using a dating site – just remember ONE thing: make sure you have FUN during this process, okay? Try not to have too many expectations or a rigid long list of all of the traits that you want in a potential mate when getting to know someone and especially when you meet them in person for an actual date. Just treat each person you meet like they’re a good friend and your goal is just to have a good time with them. You’ll be surprised at how much more fun you’ll have and how more relaxed you’ll be while being able to enjoy the company of another person!

Good luck, hold your head up high and dive head first into the wonderfully crazy world of dating. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“What Happened to Miley Cyrus?”

We’ve seen it before, time and time again: yet another young star who has traveled down the wrong road and has turned to drugs, trouble making behavior, poor choices in relationships, shoplifting, DUI’s, floating in and out of rehab and doing controversial things in their professional and private lives making negative headlines.

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At first, I was shocked when Miley cut her hair super short and shaved the sides off. I was even more shocked when I first saw her first sexually suggestive music video, “Can’t Be Tamed”. I remember her as sweet and goofy Hannah Montana/Miley Stewart from her hit Disney t.v. show “Hannah Montana”.

She seemed to transform overnight from a polite, respectful and sweet young lady with long flowing locks who was in a much envied relationship with hunk Liam Hemsworth into a punkish, outlandish, controversially outspoken dynamo with a spikey short ‘do who has used a foam finger in ways that would make any football player wince.

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What happened to sweet Miley??

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Well, I’ll tell you what I think happened to the old Miley we used to know and like, and who we were comfortable with. She has a mind of her own. And whether you like her, love her or hate her, it’s undeniable – this is her life; and she has the right to live it however she sees fit. She was under contract with Disney for so long, that, when she finally was done with her years long stint with The Disney Channel, she probably felt so…free. Free from the shackles that had bound her to act, dress, interview, perform in concerts and live a certain way – the way Disney wanted her to be. I can’t imagine what that must’ve been like.

I can’t believe that her parents, namely her one-hit-wonder dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, placed her into the world of show business and living in a fish bowl. Sometimes I suspect he did this to get his own name back into the spotlight, and other times, I think that she asked him – maybe even begged him – to please let her sing or act and to be famous the way that he used to be.

Either way, I never would’ve let my precious child enter the hedonistic and potentially psychologically damaging world of show business, no matter how much they begged me.

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Sure…a few celebrities, such as Sandra Bullock, Brooke Shields and Miranda Cosgrove, to name a few, have managed to keep their professional and private lives (and their sanity) intact. But, they’re in the minority. Stars such as Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Amanda Bynes are sad examples of how fame and fortune can ruin even the sweetest and level-headed young celebrities. If they straighten themselves out and set healthy life goals for themselves, there’s still a chance they can have bright and happy futures. But from what I’ve seen, fame has a way of warping a person’s mind.

I mean, think about it: just imagine having the paparazzi follow you EVERYWHERE you go and taking pictures of you in EVERY waking and sleeping moment of your life. Imagine EVERYTHING that you do, say and experience in public AND in private is broadcast to the entire WORLD and that you don’t have one moment’s peace or privacy. Now, I realize that most celebrities CHOOSE this way of life for themselves to attain the very fame, fortune and attention that I just spoke of – but, still. I still feel a sort of pity for them. No amount of money or fame in this universe could ever tempt me to become a celebrity, whether for 15 minutes or for 15 years.

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Miley Cyrus is just 22 years old. She still has many years to live her life, to get whatever it is out of her system, to learn valuable life lessons and to gain wisdom from her mistakes and experiences. If she’s still behaving and living this way ten or twenty years from now, then that is her prerogative and it’s her choice to do so. Hopefully though, this won’t be the case.

Look at Britney. She was a hot mess a few short years ago, remember? She showed her crotch to the world, she lost custody of her two sons to Kevin Federline, she shaved her head bald and had to have her own father handle her professional and private affairs for her while she attended much needed counseling sessions. But…look at her now. She’s level headed, grounded, has regained custody of her boys and is back in the music biz with her new hit single, “Work Bitch”.

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Will Miley make it through the warped celebrity wormhole of Hollywood and become level-headed, sane and grounded the way Britney has? No one knows. All I know is, I miss the “old Miley”. I have a feeling she’s still in there – somewhere. She just has to find her own way through the nightmare she’s currently living in called fame.

Some of us miss you, Miley. We hope you come back. And if you don’t, then that’ll be sad; but, such is life.

“Road Rage: A Warning to All”

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One of my fellow blog posters had written about her road rage incident and in my response to her, I realized that I not only wanted to warn her about what could happen (even though she already knows how dangerous it can be), but I wanted to warn all of you as well. I want to share something that someone who is near and dear to me experienced because of her participation in a road rage incident (that wasn’t her fault):

My loving and kind relative, Dana, was being tailgated and bullied by a crazy redneck in a large pick-up truck when she was driving home from work one day. She was doing the speed limit when she noticed him in her rear view mirror coming up behind her fast and, had she not sped up to go faster than he was, he would’ve plowed into her. This scared her but angered her more than anything, so she slowed down to 30 mph to teach him a lesson but then after a few seconds switched to the right lane to allow him to speed past her. But, he also switched to the right lane and tailgated her while shaking his fist out of the car window. After a few minutes of her switching lanes to allow him to pass her and him continuing to tailgate her at a high rate of speed, he ended up following her to a local convenience store and while the cashier was dialing 911, this monster went to her driver’s side window and attempted to slit her throat with a knife. If he had a gun, no amount of martial arts experience in the world would’ve prevented her from being shot in the head on the spot.

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She had neck and lower back issues due to an auto accident that occurred years earlier but had experience in martial arts (thank the Lord) so she was very swift with her reactions to avoid getting stabbed by him. She got out of the car and he chased her around it and tried to get at her but grew increasingly agitated because he couldn’t get anywhere close to her, all the while swinging his knife and shouting obscenities at her saying he was going to “cut her up.”

She kept her cool (even though she feared for her life) and ran quickly around the car to avoid him. After a few minutes of this, he shouted at her some more before he got into his pick-up truck and peeled out of the store parking lot. The police arrived about 5 minutes later and they took her statement. They caught him a few weeks later but she didn’t want to testify in front of him in court for fear her face would be permanently etched into his memory and that he’d someday try to find her and kill her. At that point, his memory of what she looked like had more than likely faded and – she wanted to KEEP IT that way. Instead, she dropped the case, cut and dyed her hair, traded-in her car, moved to another city and went about her life. She never saw him again.

What I gleaned from her unfortunate and terrifying experience is this: NEVER EVER engage in road rage with ANYONE, no matter how much at fault they are for cutting you off, tailgating you or whatever else they do. People like that are CRAZY – and you NEVER KNOW just how mentally unstable they are and how they could have a gun or other type of weapon and they could relentlessly pursue you to do you bodily harm or to MURDER you, as was the case with my relative.

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Whenever someone does me wrong on the roadways, I just continue to drive onward, as if nothing had happened. Of course they’ll speed past me, flipping me the finger and shouting some sort of obscenity at me, but that’s when I remain calm, cool and collected and allow my anger and frustration at them to subside. Most times I’ll raise up the volume of my car radio to distract me and to get me to smile and calm down. There’s NO way I’m EVER going to react to anyone on the road EVER again. My sweet relative’s unimaginable horror story about what happened to her has reminded me of how many monsters actually walk and drive among us. I’d rather be safe than sorry.

“Is Flirting Considered Cheating in a Relationship?”

 

This post is a follow up to my last article titled, “Is Jealousy Healthy in a Relationship?”. When two people enter into a monogamous relationship together, there are certain understandings and conditions that are basically a given. Situations that are usually not tolerated in a relationship are: physical/verbal/emotional/sexual abuse, emotional/physical infidelity, drug or alcohol abuse and/or continuous disrespect.

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However, there are people who have different opinions on what behaviors within a relationship are considered to be cheating and which of those same behaviors are considered to be harmless and not cheating. A possible behavior that could be acted out in a relationship is flirtation with members of the opposite sex. People view flirting in many different ways. Some people regard flirting as a “natural” part of a person’s personality and, therefore, it is harmless and that the person doing it has no intention of carrying that behavior any further than just flirty conversation, eye contact and displaying body language.

 

Others view flirtation while in a relationship as a behavior that is unacceptable and will either warn their partner never to do it again or they would possibly break up with them if they did do it again or even if they did it for the first time. Then there are people who view flirtatious behavior as a gray area within their relationship. In other words – for them – it would depend on the specific social situation in which the flirtation took place, how their partner flirted with the opposite gender, what words were spoken, what body language was used and what kind of eye contact their partner was giving the other person. The person observing their partner’s flirtation would have to make a decision as to their significant other’s intent with them flirting with a member of the opposite sex.

 

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To avoid any conflict concerning this behavior within a person’s relationship, they should discuss with their partner and come to an agreement on what they both constitute as cheating or unacceptable in their relationship. But even when both parties agree to what they consider to be unacceptable or cheating, a certain unforeseen situation or circumstance can arise that can catch one or both people in a relationship off guard. In this case, it is imperative that the flirtation that occurred be discussed calmly and reasonably so that the person who witnessed the flirtatious behavior that their partner engaged in or they found out about it can make a decision for themselves as to whether they wish to accept it, forgive it and forget it or declare that they find it unacceptable and to either issue a warning or end their relationship with that person.

I’ve dealt with this situation before and let me tell you, it doesn’t leave a good taste in your mouth. And it’s more than just jealousy – it’s the fact that the person you love, that you care about, that you’re faithful to with regard to this behavior and that you have an exclusive relationship with could actually carry out a flirtatious conversation with someone else when they should only be acting that way with you. Because, as everyone knows, flirtation is the biological dance of sexual intent within the human, animal and insect kingdoms. There is nothing platonic about flirtatious behavior within any species of the opposite sex. And when you witness or find out that your partner has engaged in it – even if it was only a one time event – it could very well make you doubt your trust in them and make you wonder if their love and sexual attraction for you is waning or has eroded altogether.

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A person would have to trust their partner implicitly and believe them when they say that they had no plan on carrying out the flirtation any further and that they were put into (or happened upon) a social situation that caught them off guard – and they found themselves initially physically/sexually attracted to the other person either because the both of you are having relationship difficulties (which is, in and of itself NO excuse but it’s their reasoning for letting it happen) or because they had a moment of weakness and had let themselves get “caught up in the moment”. Or it could have been another reason.

Either way, if it was only a one time event and you trust your partner enough that you have faith in the fact that they haven’t engaged in it before (or routinely), it IS possible – and this is totally up to you – to forgive them for slipping up in this way and to trust in them that they’ll never do it again while they’re in a committed relationship with you.

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Being in a relationship with someone that you love and who loves you always carries the risk that your partner may end up doing something within your relationship that you don’t approve of, that you will not tolerate and/or that you may consider ending the relationship over. Making a difficult decision about your mate after having witnessed or found out about flirtatious behavior your partner has engaged in depends on several factors:

* How well you know your significant other.

* What their past behavior within your relationship has been like.

* What the specific flirtatious offense was and to what extreme it had manifested.

* If they have ever have committed an infidelity against you during your relationship.

* How they behave with other women when they’re with you.

* How you feel about (and how forgiving you are) with regard to every person being an imperfect human and them having the propensity or likelihood of making a mistake that falls short of possibly having a physical affair with someone of the opposite sex which is what flirtation basically is.

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Dealing with this type of sensitive situation while you’re in a committed relationship is never easy (unless, of course, you’re in a polyamorous or a polygamous relationship). Finding out about a flirtation that their mate has engaged in with someone else, understanding it, resolving it and forgiving it (or not) depends on the two people involved, what their belief systems are and on the factors stated above. I do believe that based on those things, this type of negative behavior can be resolved and forgiven; though not necessarily forgotten. Lucky are the couples who can work through this type of situation while leaving the love and trust they have toward each other intact.

Personally, if this ever happens again within any relationship I’m in, I may forgive them; but I will never forget about what they’ve done. I may or may not end up making a decision to break up with them over it – that will all depend on the aforementioned factors as well as how strong my love is for them at that point and time in our relationship. I’m a forgiving and understanding person…to a point. I don’t like – and will never tolerate – having my love, trust and faithfulness taken for granted and disrespected; regardless of how much love and affection I feel for them.

One must guard their heart and the love that resides in it very carefully in these emotionally perilous times; and I believe this is something that everyone should do…

 

 

“Is Jealousy Healthy In A Relationship?”

Did you ever feel that twinge of jealousy when you caught your significant other checking out an attractive person? Have you ever felt the green-eyed monster take over your mind whenever you’ve observed someone of the opposite gender talking to/flirting with/or downright making moves on your mate?

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Most people have felt jealousy in their relationship at some point. Some therapists and psychologists say it’s healthy and a sign that you care about the monogamous sanctity of the relationship that you have with your spouse or life partner. Other mental health professionals state that a person who exhibits this personality trait in their relationship is insecure with themselves, they have low self-esteem or confidence and that it is an unhealthy sign of possessiveness and controlling behavior.

Okay, this is how I think about jealousy. I think jealousy is a normal part of a healthy relationship between two people who love each other, respect each other and value each other for the person that they are, for those aspects of their character that each admires in the other, for their unique personality traits and for the fact that they don’t take each other for granted because they know that being in a monogamous relationship carries one big potential risk: that someone else will find their mate attractive and win them over or that their spouse or life partner will fall out of love with them and move on with their life with someone else.

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But…there are varying degrees of jealousy that – in my opinion – range from being normal, reasonable and healthy to being abnormal, unhealthy and um, downright scary. Let’s review the different types of jealousy one can feel and experience with their significant other to see what would warrant a healthy jealous reaction or an unhealthy (or psychotic) reaction:

The Blindness Activator

This type of person wishes they could render their partner sightless whenever they venture out in public where attractive members of the opposite sex could be lurking out in the open. I’m not saying that this is psychotic or abnormal behavior, because if this particular person’s spouse or significant other is rude, disrespectful, inconsiderate of their feelings and acts like a perverted pig around other people in front of them (let alone when they’re out in public without them), then this type of jealousy would be warranted and justified. However, if this person’s partner is a normal human being who simply notices attractive people and looks at them for a few seconds and then carries on with their day without ogling or being disrespectful towards anyone, then feeling this type of jealousy would signify insecurity and an unhealthy type of possessiveness on their part.

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The “What About Me?” Whiner

The person who exhibits this type of jealousy is always (and forever) comparing themselves to anyone their significant other finds attractive or checks out. For example, if this person is a woman and their male partner and herself are watching “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and he makes a comment about how attractive Angelina Jolie is or, if he even just watches the movie while staring at the female character in the movie, the woman will whine, “What about me? Don’t you think I’m just as pretty as she is?” Then of course, the husband or boyfriend doesn’t want their significant other to feel bad or to feel jealous, so they are put on the spot to reassure her that – yes – she is ‘just as pretty’ (if not ‘prettier’) than Angelina Jolie so as not to cause a ruckus or an argument or the cold shoulder treatment later on. I think this type of jealous behavior borders on the abnormal and definitely unreasonable; but again, it depends on how the guy relays his opinion about the attractive actress or how he looks at her. I mean, if he has a line of drool hanging out of the corner of his mouth and his eyes are glazed over OR he says his comment in such a way that is meant to make his mate feel bad, then it is understandable why a woman would react this way. Personally, if any guy I was with acted that way, he would see a vapor trail where I once stood. Noticing an attractive female is one thing – saying it or noticing her in such a way as to make his partner feel uncomfortable and disrespected is an entirely different thing.

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The Go-Along-With-It Gal/Dude

A person who exhibits this type of jealousy not only has a normal healthy mindset, but they exude self-confidence and reasonable and logical personality traits that their partner finds attractive. Even though a person like this does feel a pang or twinge of jealousy for their mate, it’s at such a low level that they have the maturity (and trust in their partner) to actually genuinely agree with them if they also find another person attractive. For instance, let’s say that a married couple are at the beach walking along the shoreline and a ripped, tanned greek god happens to jog past them and the wife checks him out for a few seconds before resuming her discussion with her husband and he goes, “Wow, he sure could give Fabio a run for his money, eh?” In this way, the husband is acknowledging the fact that he knows his wife finds the male jogger attractive without being defensive or sounding insecure about it and actually understands why and how she finds that jogger attractive.

The Visual Stalker

This kind of jealousy is one of the most severe and relationship damaging out of all of the types listed above. A person like this literally “stalks” their mate with their eyes and ears; and when they’re out in public or in a social situation, they watch their partner’s every move, their eye contact, their body language and movements and listen to and dissect the meaning, intent and tone of every single word that their partner speaks to the opposite sex. It is as if they have taken their mate hostage and they have declared that their spouse or significant other is NOT allowed to have ANY type of dialogue, conversation or visual/verbal exchange with an attractive member of the opposite gender. If the person their mate is speaking to is unattractive, a senior citizen or is in any way deemed impossible for their mate to be sexually or physically attracted to – then they feel it is acceptable and permissible for their significant other to speak to them. A person who reacts with these types of jealous feelings toward their partner is way beyond insecure…they honestly need professional help to sort out why they have such low self confidence and why they feel that they are unable to trust their mate with people of the opposite sex.

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There are attractive people everywhere we look and where ever we go. Whether we’re in a relationship or whether we’re single, each one of us will eventually notice how attractive a member of the opposite sex is. But, when we’re in a relationship – true love, respect for your partner, having confidence in yourself with your own attractiveness, having consideration for your partner’s feelings and being mature and logical enough to know that noticing physical attractiveness in others is inherent in us all – it makes this part of human existence that much more complicated. It’s all part of the biological equation and process of finding a mate, flirting with that person to find out if any chemistry exists and setting out to win that person over for the purposes of procreation and/or to enter into a loving long term relationship.

With that being said, it’s imperative to notice other people’s physical attractiveness when you’re with (or without) your partner in a subtle yet respectful manner. There’s no need for a person to ogle at someone else or to stare at them until they fade away into the horizon. There’s no need for them to make tasteless/overly flirtatious or over-the-top sexual comments about an attractive person in front of their mate and especially when their mate isn’t present. It is when people disrespect their partner in this way that they end up being on the receiving end of a negative jealous reaction from their significant other. And sometimes, even when a person does not disrespect their partner in this way and does notice other attractive people with subtlety, respect and tact, the person reacting negatively to that was probably emotionally damaged by someone else from a prior relationship.