eHarmony Blog eHarmony experts’ take on dating, relationships and the science of love 2014-04-16T22:41:43Z http://www.eharmony.com/blog/feed/atom/ Dr. Seth Meyers http://www.drsethrelationshipexpert.com/index.html <![CDATA[Are You Dating a Narcissist?]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=16540 2014-04-16T22:41:43Z 2014-04-16T22:41:43Z Dating a narcissist is, sadly, a fairly common occurrence for men and women, and knowing how to identify one is necessary for your sanity and self-esteem. Before we get to the signs to watch out for, understand that no one is a fool for dating a narcissist. In fact, these individuals often have a lot […]

The post Are You Dating a Narcissist? appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
am i dating a narcissist 300x200 Are You Dating a Narcissist?Dating a narcissist is, sadly, a fairly common occurrence for men and women, and knowing how to identify one is necessary for your sanity and self-esteem. Before we get to the signs to watch out for, understand that no one is a fool for dating a narcissist. In fact, these individuals often have a lot going for them: attractiveness, an outgoing personality, and well-cultivated social skills. The narcissist is usually well put-together, charming, intelligent, and focused on emerging in every social arena as superior. If you date a narcissist, he will work hard early in the relationship to let you know that he is an amazing catch and that he is highly desired by others. The narcissist is careful to set this dynamic up early in dating so that you know your place in the relationship: You belong in an inferior position to him, and that will not change. The narcissist can start to relax once he senses that you understand how lucky you are to be with him. (Cue the goose bumps – the toxic, scary kind).

Some traits or disorders are found more among men or women, but narcissism strikes men and women equally. A small percentage of men and women – under 5 percent – meet the criteria for full-blown Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but a much higher number of people have narcissistic traits. If you find yourself dating someone who is narcissistic, the summary version involves you feeling frustrated, angry and hurt. Check out the telltale signs below.

He loves to talk about himself.

Narcissists love talking about themselves and their accomplishments. They brag without even realizing it, and their conversations must focus far more on them than on you. A narcissist will talk at length about his day, but does not seem so interested when you talk about yours; a narcissist loves going out when she makes the plans, but she seems bored or pouty when you set the plans; the narcissist looks for comfort from you when he’s upset, but the way he comforts you when you are upset feels too quick and shallow to truly comfort you. In essence, the narcissist is simply not good at feeling empathy for you or anyone.

She loves attention and will do whatever is necessary to get it.

Narcissists are often extremely flirtatious, and relationships with narcissists usually involve frequent arguments about fidelity, jealousy, and flirtation. Narcissists need something called “narcissistic supply,” which is a psychological term that refers to the attention that fuels them. Sexual attention is one of the most basic types of attention, and narcissists try to get as much sexual attention as possible. If you date a narcissist, she may flirt with someone else right in front of you, or may show a little too much physical affection to a random person (e.g., putting an arm around the shoulder, getting “handsy”). Narcissists are famous for keeping the metaphorical door open with exes and others who show interest, as they need constant attention and reassurance that they’re desired and wanted. Sadly, narcissists are also motivated to flirt or elicit sexual attention from others as a means of solidifying their own power over the other person in the relationship. It goes like this: ‘See how much everyone wants me? Don’t forget it.’ The underlying message: Don’t forget I have more power than you in the relationship.

He can’t handle even the tiniest criticism.

Narcissists can’t tolerate the simplest whiff of criticism. Though they present an act to the world that suggests that they are completely in love with themselves, the truth is that they feel deeply insecure underneath the polished, self-loving exterior. In a relationship, two partners are bound to have the occasional problem with the other person; in a relationship with a narcissist, you simply aren’t allowed to have any problems with them at all. Narcissists desperately hang onto the belief that they are perfect, so hearing anything to the contrary must be totally blocked out and denied. If you criticize a narcissist too much, he or she will simply leave the relationship and dispose of you like an object.

She won’t take accountability when she’s wrong.

If a 24-hour hotline existed for the victims of narcissists, most calls would involve the lack of accountability. Simply put, narcissists won’t take accountability for what they’ve done that is wrong or hurtful. In an argument for example, a narcissist will say or do something but completely deny it a moment later. What’s more, narcissists often flip the negative behavior onto the other person and suggest that the other person is the one who said or did the terrible thing. To most people, this dance is confusing and crazy-making, creating the insidious doubt, Am I going crazy? Trying to get a narcissist to say they were wrong or to apologize in a heartfelt way is a losing game – it’s simply not going to happen. If you get an apology, odds are that it is issued as a means to keep the peace and get you off their back – not because they really mean it. With narcissists, the same bad behavior will keep popping up again because the narcissist’s personality is extremely resistant to change.

I pray for each of you that you don’t ever find yourself in a relationship with a narcissist. Making a relationship work with someone who is so emotionally injured and defensive is next to impossible, so why waste your time trying? There is simply no way to have a consistent or harmonious relationship with a narcissist. Because narcissists are calculating, it is often difficult to spot a narcissist at the outset. Within the first few dates, however, the narcissist will start dropping hints about his superiority. At this point, it’s your choice to decide whether you want to respond to the smoke that’s billowing around him, or passively hope for the best and sweep your instinct under the rug. My hope is that you run – and don’t walk – for the closest escape route. Your self-esteem and anxiety level will thank you later.

book Dr Seths Love Prescription lg 190x300 Are You Dating a Narcissist?About the Author:

Dr. Seth is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, Psychology Today blogger, and TV guest expert. He practices in Los Angeles and treats a wide range of issues and disorders and specializes in relationships, parenting, and addiction. He has had extensive training in conducting couples therapy and is the author of Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription: Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve.      

The post Are You Dating a Narcissist? appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
0
Jeannie Assimos, Director of Content <![CDATA[4 Questions You Should Never Ask Your Partner]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=16527 2014-04-16T21:34:41Z 2014-04-16T21:34:41Z Today’s blog comes from the wise duo Susie and Otto Collins, who warn us all about asking questions that can lead to more serious issues in our relationships. I am sure I am guilty of asking at least one of these in the past! Oops… If you’ve ever asked yourself the question: “Was it something I […]

The post 4 Questions You Should Never Ask Your Partner appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
bad questions to ask your lover 300x200 4 Questions You Should Never Ask Your PartnerToday’s blog comes from the wise duo Susie and Otto Collins, who warn us all about asking questions that can lead to more serious issues in our relationships. I am sure I am guilty of asking at least one of these in the past! Oops…

If you’ve ever asked yourself the question: “Was it something I said?” chances are, it was. Communication with your spouse or partner can be tricky business. You may have the best intentions and only want your beloved to move closer to you, but the way you choose to tell your truth and say whatever is on your mind can unintentionally cause a rift between you and your partner.

And if that rift is not addressed, it can grow bigger and become deadly to your relationship. You really know it if, after your “helpful” advice, or opinion-sharing, there seems to be more tension and disconnection than there was before.

Because of this, you may feel like you can’t be totally honest or that you have to hold back and only say what you think your partner wants to hear. Of course, this isn’t healthy either. Resentment and tension can form from silence and this is detrimental too.

For a relationship that’s open, honest and truly happy, you have to talk with your partner—even about issues you two don’t agree on. Set difficult (or even everyday) conversations up for success by NOT asking your partner questions like these:

1. “Why don’t you ____ anymore?”

It is helpful to talk about specific behaviors with your partner, but you put him or her on the defensive when you use an accusatory tone and allege that this thing (that you desire) never happens. It usually isn’t true and comes off as nagging or desperate.

Be sure to acknowledge it when your partner does what you like and appreciate—even it it doesn’t happen as often as you’d like. Do say to your beloved something like, “I love it when you hold my hand when we’re out together.”

2. “Is she pretty?”

You might not consider yourself to be a jealous person, but if a question like this comes out of your mouth, think again. You put your partner in an impossible position when you ask something like this. Will you even believe what he (or she) responds? Will a “No” quell your worries and insecurity? When you’re tempted to ask this kind of a question, pause and go within to soothe the stories of not being good enough that you may be telling yourself.

3. “Do I look fat in this?”

This may sound like a stereotypical question, but it’s possibly one you’ve posed to your partner before. It’s another impossible question because it’s usually about you and your self-criticism and doubt. There is no “safe” answer he (or she) can give you. No matter what your partner says, you’re still going to feel self-conscious and ugly if that’s the belief you have about yourself.

It makes sense that you want to know that you’re attractive to your partner, but you won’t be able to hear (or believe) a compliment if you don’t feel it from your own self first. Healthy self-esteem and body image are top priorities for a happy and close relationship.

4. “What’s wrong with you?”

It’s frustrating when the one you love is acting quiet or weird and you have no idea why. Your partner’s withdrawal from you can seem like a rejection. Instead of demanding to know why your partner is not his or her usual self, take a moment (and a deep breath) and get clear.

Maybe you already know what this change in mood or behavior is about but you’re overlooking the obvious or maybe you don’t know. Different questions like, “How can I help?” or “I love you and I am here to listen if you want to talk” are much more effective ways to invite your partner to open up to you.

Any other questions you can think of that we should never be asking our partners?

More at YourTango:

A Baby and His Rescue Dog Match

The Real Reason Older Men Like Dating Younger Women

5 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Commitment

The post 4 Questions You Should Never Ask Your Partner appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
0
Dr. Seth Meyers http://www.drsethrelationshipexpert.com/index.html <![CDATA[How to Convey Confidence – Even When You Don’t Feel It]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=16519 2014-04-15T15:36:27Z 2014-04-15T15:36:27Z Therapists often talk about the importance of being “authentic,” or true to yourself and how you really feel. As a psychologist who specializes in relationships, I completely agree – except when we’re talking about confidence. If you’re not a confident person by circumstance or nature, there are simple behaviors you can practice to become more […]

The post How to Convey Confidence – Even When You Don’t Feel It appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
Therapists often talk about the importance of being “authentic,” or true to yourself and how you really feel. As a psychologist who specializes in relationships, I completely agree – except when we’re talking about how to be confident 300x199 How to Convey Confidence – Even When You Don’t Feel Itconfidence. If you’re not a confident person by circumstance or nature, there are simple behaviors you can practice to become more confident. But make no mistake: Confidence is an opiate when it comes to attracting others to you.

Neediness and rabid insecurity are huge turn-offs in the dating world. The reason? No one wants to constantly reassure another person for years on end. We all want someone who is okay on their own, not someone who is going to come with gobs of emotional needs we inevitably fall short in meeting. Singer Bruno Mars comes to mind, as he sings in his song Just the Way You Are, “If you ask if you look okay, you know I’ll say…” I don’t know Bruno and have never treated him in my Los Angeles office. However, if he has a pattern of falling for insecure girls, it means he likes broken-winged birds and instinctively tries to save them.

Don’t ask for reassurance about your appearance or overall attractiveness.

Simply put, don’t be a date like the one Bruno Mars sings about. Sure, everyone wants to look good and be attractive to their date, but don’t ask your date to reassure you. You don’t need anyone to tell you how you look because, uh, you have access to mirrors – and mirrors don’t lie! Now, if your date tells you that you look good, hooray! Say “thanks” and move on.

You will convey confidence by not asking your date how he – or she –thinks you look. Trust me: Men and women can smell insecurities a mile away, so try to convey confidence in the beginning. As you get to know your date better and have a sense that you can trust him with very personal and private information, you can share some of your insecurities with him point-blank later. But wait until you know him and trust him – and you might even be more confident by then if you practice!

Get comfortable doing things on your own.

In my clinical work, I practically beg my clients to get involved in some meaningful extracurricular activity that provides a healthy social network: church, an adult sports league, volunteering for a political campaign, or an outdoor adventure group. When I talk about this with my clients, most of them frequently respond the same way: “Okay, I’ll ask my friend and see if she wants to do it with me.” No, no, no!

You’ll become a much more confident and secure person when you learn to venture out more socially on your own. If joining a group by yourself isn’t your cup of tea, then make sure to take yourself occasionally to lunch or the movie theater on your own. Worried about what people will think if they see you alone? If you run into anyone you know and they ask with whom you came, laugh and say, “Actually, I’m here by myself because I can have just as much fun on my own.” The more you seek out activities on your own, the more confident you will become. I promise! And as an aside, I’m living proof as a formerly insecure person myself.

Watch your body language as you walk around and enter a room or crowd.

Without you even knowing, your body language may be sending a sad or insecure message. I watch a lot of people enter a crowded room, and they often shrink: shoulders held low, eyes averting contact with others, and chin held down. People often fuss with their jewelry, bag or purse to have something to do while they feel nervous or uncomfortable. The truth: It doesn’t matter what anyone really thinks of you except for the people who you know well. A crowd of people, most of whom you don’t know? Blink and forget about them – but do it with a smile.

To convey confidence with your body language, walk, stand or sit with good posture; keep your chin up; make eye contact and give a little smile to random people; mouth a quiet “hi” under your breath to someone across the room. On a date, try the same behaviors and add these to the list: say supportive, encouraging things when your date reveals something about himself; mention something you’ve done in your life that you’re proud of; and talk about your interests.

No one is one hundred percent confident. We all have some insecurities – movie stars and presidents included. The point, however, is to understand that conveying confidence is important in two major ways: It attracts healthier partners to you, and you start feeling better about yourself, too.

book Dr Seths Love Prescription lg 190x300 How to Convey Confidence – Even When You Don’t Feel ItAbout the Author:

Dr. Seth is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, Psychology Today blogger, and TV guest expert. He practices in Los Angeles and treats a wide range of issues and disorders and specializes in relationships, parenting, and addiction. He has had extensive training in conducting couples therapy and is the author of Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription: Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve.      

The post How to Convey Confidence – Even When You Don’t Feel It appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
0
Jeannie Assimos, Director of Content <![CDATA[Can a Marriage Survive Adultery?]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=16510 2014-04-14T21:00:28Z 2014-04-14T21:00:28Z Today’s guest blog comes from psychologist Dr. Alicia H. Clark, who brings a little hope and lightness to a very difficult subject. Through her experiences with many couples, she feels the answer to the title of this article is — yes. Betrayal, deception, mistrust. And very, very hurt. These are the emotions people harbor after finding out their spouse […]

The post Can a Marriage Survive Adultery? appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
Today’s guest blog comes from psychologist Dr. Alicia H. Clark, who brings a little hope and lightness to a very difficult subject. Through her experiences with many couples, she feels the answer to the title of this article is — yes.

can marriage survive an affair 300x200 Can a Marriage Survive Adultery?Betrayal, deception, mistrust. And very, very hurt.

These are the emotions people harbor after finding out their spouse has been cheating on them. Many of us know marriages which broke up because of an affair, but that’s not what I’m addressing here. In fact, if both parties are willing, a marital affair is something that can be worked through, allowing the marriage to not only continue, but in fact to thrive.

Here’s how to process an affair to come out ahead in your marriage.

1. Know That Forgiveness Will Be Possible

Before you even begin the path towards processing the affair, it’s easier to know there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. In my 25+ years of working as a psychologist, I’ve had the pleasure to witness countless couples revive their relationship after a marital affair. Just having in mind that once you begin to understand how the events happened, and each other’s feelings, forgiveness becomes possible. Not only can each partner forgive the other, but they can also forgive themselves. Forgiveness is a choice and a method by which we move forward.

2. Take Responsibility For Your Part Now

Dealing with the affair can be used as an opportunity for both parties to examine where they may have emotionally defaulted on the relationship. What holes are there? What types of support can they now start to implement? Success hinges on each party being willing to take responsibility for their role in the relationship atmosphere. This can be hard to absorb for many people in the throes of betrayal and pain, but it works.

3. Institute Kind, Open and Routine Communication

Free-flowing, yet always respectful, communication is key for restoring and maintaining intimacy. Before most marital affairs happen, healthy communication takes a dive. Misunderstandings are rampant and both parties were likely hurting. Fluid speech involves sharing your feelings as well as listening carefully to your partner’s experiences, and peppering your day by being in touch when you’re not together. To regain the spark, it might help to revisit the feelings you had when your relationship started to be serious. Start by sharing what you liked about each other then, and what you like now.

4. Be Willing to Stretch For Your Relationship

When things feel the most challenging — for example when you are annoyed or angry at your partner — take a step back and ask, “What can I do for him/her today? How can I give? What wishes can I grant them?” Reaching out to help can often alleviate the ill feelings we had.

5. Make Dates

Whether a two-hour leisurely picnic in the park or the full-on Broadway show night on the town, make sure to schedule in dates at least once a week. The caveat is that you have to get out of the house, preferably with smartphones off.

Using the above methods to restore a relationship’s positivity will inevitably lead to restoring trust and returning real, ever-present love. Obviously, these steps can be challenging, and getting the help of a professional can be instrumental in helping you both heal. Ultimately, as hard as it might sound at the beginning, a marital affair can be a turning point for recreating a solid, united, lasting marriage.

What do you think about this subject? Do you think it’s possible for a couple to get through a betrayal like this?

More at YourTango:

Dating Advice for Men from Women

How do I keep my husband from cheating?

Should Women Be Responsible for Confirming their Dates with Men?

The post Can a Marriage Survive Adultery? appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
0
Sara Eckel <![CDATA[Dating Rules: Selling Yourself vs. Being Yourself]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=16503 2014-04-14T20:26:23Z 2014-04-14T20:23:55Z Dating guides frequently give strict rules about how to behave around prospective partners. There are dictates about who should pick the restaurant and pay the check, how far in advance the date should be requested, and how long to wait before sending the follow-up text. We’re advised to be open, but also mysterious. To wear […]

The post Dating Rules: Selling Yourself vs. Being Yourself appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
online dating best practices 300x199 Dating Rules: Selling Yourself vs. Being YourselfDating guides frequently give strict rules about how to behave around prospective partners. There are dictates about who should pick the restaurant and pay the check, how far in advance the date should be requested, and how long to wait before sending the follow-up text.

We’re advised to be open, but also mysterious. To wear makeup, but don’t try too hard. And always, always be positive.

In my book, It’s Not You, I rail against the dating gurus who tie us in knots of self-doubt with their narrow and often contradictory prescriptions for how to be lovable. Readers have questioned me about this. After all, doesn’t dating require a bit of salesmanship—choosing a nice profile picture, cherry-picking your favorite books and movies (your love of War and Peace is well documented, Bridget Jones’s Diary not so much), wearing smart clothes, and emphasizing the parts of your life that are going well (your promotion at work) over those that are not (your ongoing feud with your sister)?

It’s true. Showing up to a date in a wrinkled t-shirt and unwashed jeans is a bad idea. So is complaining about your back pain or your ex-wife.

But here’s what’s interesting about this question: Why do we assume that our best selves are fake? Why is the “real” you the one who falls asleep in front of the television with potato chip crumbs on her sweatshirt and curses her boss under her breath? As opposed to the one who rescues stray dogs and looks damn fine in a halter dress?

At the Buddhist meditation center where I study, I frequently staff weekend retreats. At the beginning of each program, we’re asked to create an uplifted environment. We make sure the cushions are straight, the flowers are fresh and the dining room chairs pushed in. We wear nice clothes and try to ensure that everyone who comes in the center feels welcome and comfortable.

Are we being fake? No. We’re merely treating ourselves and others with respect. We’re turning our attention not to what others think of us, but to how can we give them the best experience possible.

I think this principle applies perfectly to dating. Too often, dating is presented as a business transaction. We set our terms and conditions (“He’d better pay for my drink or I’m outta here”) and calculate our advantages (“I hope she realizes she’s not getting any younger, whereas I have all the time in the world”).

We try to sell ourselves. Our pitches will vary depending on how confident we feel or how hot our date is. Sometime we take on the slightly hunched or overly slick demeanor of the seller (“I have to get her to like me!”). And sometimes we see ourselves as the “buyer,” with the power to coolly evaluate whether or not this person is worth our time.

Seeing ourselves and others as commodities makes dating stressful and no fun. So instead, why not see the date for what it is: a meeting of two people, trying to connect. Instead of attempting to impress or get the upper hand, why not simply treat your date with kindness and respect? Wear a nice dress. Take an interest in her job. Compliment his wine-choosing skills. Ask if she’s warm enough by the window.

It’s not about scoring brownie points or playing by the rules. It’s about making the evening as pleasant as possible for both of you. That way, no matter what happens, you both win.

Sara Eckel is the author of It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single. You can get a free bonus chapter of her book at saraeckel.com. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

The post Dating Rules: Selling Yourself vs. Being Yourself appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
0
Grant Langston Vice President, Content and Customer Experience <![CDATA[Could You be Oversharing on Your Dates? Insights from Sarah, the eH+ Matchmaker]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=16492 2014-04-11T20:45:26Z 2014-04-13T14:45:07Z Today’s blog is from Sarah, the matchmaker for eHarmony’s new service, eH+.  The new service gives you the benefit of a personal matchmaker who picks your matches and guides you to success. It’s eHarmony’s matching + premium professional matchmaking. We’ve all found ourselves on dates where the other person is talking incessantly about themselves while we’re strategizing […]

The post Could You be Oversharing on Your Dates? Insights from Sarah, the eH+ Matchmaker appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
EHPlus 03092014 MedWeb 2 237x300 Could You be Oversharing on Your Dates? Insights from Sarah, the eH+ MatchmakerToday’s blog is from Sarah, the matchmaker for eHarmony’s new service, eH+.  The new service gives you the benefit of a personal matchmaker who picks your matches and guides you to success. It’s eHarmony’s matching + premium professional matchmaking.

We’ve all found ourselves on dates where the other person is talking incessantly about themselves while we’re strategizing about the quickest exit. It could be that your date is a certifiable narcissist but in most cases, they may not even realize that they’re monopolizing the conversation as their chances of a second date are steadily evaporating.

I hear this a lot from my eH+ clients, they’re on a date and it’s as if the other person has prepared a two hour long monologue about their life and experiences.

Balancing personal disclosures is a critical component to successful dating. As you get to know your date and build intimacy, it’s important not to talk about yourself too much.

The Talker

You already know about yourself! So why do talkers appear to be so egocentric? A lot of times people feel that they must sell themselves by bragging or prove that they’re worthy of love and approval. You don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard, nor do you want to oversell yourself and then under-deliver.

I encourage my eH+ clients to put some thought into their intentions of dating and getting to know someone. Act interested in your date and what they have to say, too. It’s not an audition, it’s a date and by not listening enough you’re failing to draw the other person out.

Have you developed a genuine curiosity in your date? Show your interest by asking thoughtful questions to get to know him/her, but also remember you’re not interviewing or interrogating them.

Some of eHarmony’s favorite first date questions include:

1. Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
2. What kinds of things really make you laugh?
3. What’s your favorite place in the entire world?
4. Who is your best friend? What do you like about him/her?
5. Favorite movie of all time? Why so?

The Listener

Do you often find yourself on the receiving end of a talker’s non-stop personal soliloquy? With every passing minute and every additional word, your contempt for their disinterest grows. As a listener you’re in a great position to learn more about your date but don’t just passively receive, it’s important to also engage in the conversation. Working closely with my eH+ clients, I advise them to ask the right questions to subtly steer the conversation in their direction. You don’t need to wait for an invitation to talk and share about yourself.

For listeners, it’s important to remember that part of building a meaningful relationship is having an emotional connection with someone. To be able to do this you must express your thoughts, feelings, wants and needs.

Through my matchmaking experience I’ve found that many people approach dating with their defenses up; they don’t ever want to get hurt and they’re apprehensive about being vulnerable. I encourage my eH+ clients to push themselves out of their comfort zone a bit. If you want a different result than you’ve had before, you need to be authentic when you talk about yourself.

Reciprocity

It takes two people to have a conversation and whether you’re a talker or listener it’s important to be engaged, show interest and share things. The goal is a reciprocal conversation and exchange of ideas. You can’t possibly get to know someone without asking about them, their interests and passions but also allow your date the chance to get to know you as well.

Have you been out with someone who talked way too much? How did you handle it?

Learn more about eH+, personal matchmaking services by eHarmony.

The post Could You be Oversharing on Your Dates? Insights from Sarah, the eH+ Matchmaker appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
0
Monique A Honaman <![CDATA[Life Lessons: Think Twice Before You Speak (or Text!)]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=16478 2014-04-10T19:38:06Z 2014-04-10T19:38:06Z “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.”  Napoleon Hill I got a call last week from someone looking for some advice and perspective. She saw a text on her “tween” daughter’s phone from her ex-husband’s wife. It said, “I wish […]

The post Life Lessons: Think Twice Before You Speak (or Text!) appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.”  Napoleon Hill

saying things the wrong way 300x200 Life Lessons: Think Twice Before You Speak (or Text!)I got a call last week from someone looking for some advice and perspective. She saw a text on her “tween” daughter’s phone from her ex-husband’s wife. It said, “I wish I was your mom.” She asked me what I thought … because her initial reaction was one of extreme annoyance.

I wholeheartedly agreed with her annoyance.

My ex-husband would crack a gasket, flip his lid, and lose his cool if he ever heard my husband say to my son, “I wish I was your dad.”  My son has a dad. It’s my ex-husband. He’s a good dad. When I first remarried, my ex made it a point of asking me what our kids would be calling my husband/their step-dad. He wanted us to know that “dad” was taken. Of course it was! I assured him that “dad” was not going to be used, and that the kids would come up with a moniker that would be appropriate (and they have!). Being “mom” or being “dad” is an important title that is not to be thrown about loosely. It’s an honor, and it’s a commitment.

Let’s assume that all parents in this scenario are “good” parents! This young girl who fielded the text from her step-mom is put in a no-win situation. Guilt is never a good emotion, and it’s unfair for her brain to have to process this. “I wish I was your mom” conveys “I wish your mom wasn’t around.” If the girl agrees, “Yes, I wish you were my mom too,” then there’s an inherent feeling of taking sides against her mom. There’s that guilt. Regardless of the angst that many teen girls feel with their moms, there’s still an underlying level of loyalty and love. The other response is, “Not me; I’m glad you aren’t my mom.” That’s kind of mean to think, and it’s rejecting someone who just shared a personal emotion with you. Again, it creates a feeling of guilt against someone who does play a key role in this young girl’s life.

Why would any step-parent think that it’s OK to verbalize “I wish I was your mom/dad?” Whatever good intentions underlie the statement are completely lost in the delivery. While I agreed with the annoyance articulated by the woman who called, I also encouraged her to “take the high road” and give the benefit of the doubt to the step-mom. I’m sure she meant well. I’m sure it wasn’t intentional. Nobody can be that clueless, can they?

“I am so glad I am your step-mom/step-dad!” How about rephrasing it this way? It conveys the same intention! It essentially delivers the same message, just in a way that is phrased more openly! It’s declaring something positive, not wishing for something impossible. The insidious negativity goes away. It removes the propensity for feelings of guilt to seep into the conversation.

Communicated this way, it honors both roles – mom and step-mom, dad and step-dad. It says, “I value my role as step-mom/ step-dad.” Phrasing it this way honors all players in the blended family. I get goosebumps when I witness my husband and my son bond over something, laugh, and share a special time together. It warms my heart when I hear him say, “I love being your step-dad.” It honors the special bond they have, yet it takes nothing away from my son and his dad.

What a difference a few words can make!

I wonder how many other things we say – perhaps with good intentions – that get interpreted wrongly or that serve to create guilt? Can you come up with any?

Monique Honaman 2013 HRLT2 265x180 Life Lessons: Think Twice Before You Speak (or Text!)About the Author:

Author Monique A. Honaman wrote “The High Road Has Less Traffic: honest advice on the path through love and divorce” (2010) in response to a need for a book that provided honest, real, and raw advice about how to survive and thrive through one of life’s toughest journeys, and “The High Road Has Less Traffic … and a better view” (2013) to provide perspectives on love, marriage, divorce and everything in between. The books are available on Amazon.com.  Learn more at www.HighRoadLessTraffic.com.

The post Life Lessons: Think Twice Before You Speak (or Text!) appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
0
Sarah Elizabeth Richards <![CDATA[How to Stay Hopeful, Even When it’s Really, Really Hard]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=16470 2014-04-10T15:10:00Z 2014-04-10T14:25:05Z We all know dating can be disappointing. Yet there’s a big difference between feeling bummed about a great first date who never contacts you again and taking that short mental taxi ride to hopelessness territory. One reaction passes within a few hours, and the other can last days, generating overwhelming feelings and defeating thoughts that […]

The post How to Stay Hopeful, Even When it’s Really, Really Hard appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
online dating and staying hopeful 300x200 How to Stay Hopeful, Even When it’s Really, Really HardWe all know dating can be disappointing. Yet there’s a big difference between feeling bummed about a great first date who never contacts you again and taking that short mental taxi ride to hopelessness territory. One reaction passes within a few hours, and the other can last days, generating overwhelming feelings and defeating thoughts that usually don’t match reality. As soon as you see an elderly couple holding hands and wearing matching purple knapsacks in the airport, you go to that terrible place of “I’ll never have that! I’ll be alone forever.”

Hopelessness feels bad physically. It can start as a sigh or uneasiness in your stomach and eventually seizes your shoulders and makes your head spin. Hopelessness hurts emotionally. You taste a perfect spring strawberry and ache with longing because you wish you could share the moment with a partner. You refuse to watch romantic comedies. You can’t bear to look at your friends’ “happy couple” weekend pics on Facebook.

When you’re in this state, it’s hard to reassure yourself that all your efforts to find love will pay off eventually. The feelings have hijacked your perspective and self-confidence. Instead of saying to yourself, “Hmm, I’ve having a hard time right now,” you’ve somehow convinced yourself that you’re: A) Unworthy; B) Unlovable; or C) In serious denial because nothing ever works out for you.

Stop reacting! Here are some tips to climb out of the rabbit hole:

1) Stop thinking of love as a destination.

You probably won’t be single forever. You’re just unattached right now. Despite what we might have learned as children, there is no such thing as “happily ever after.” People fall in and out of love and often have multiple marriages throughout their lifetimes. We now live in a society in which there are more single people than married folks for the first time in U.S. history, according to the latest Census figures. So stop thinking of yourself as “not married” or “not in a relationship.” This shift in thinking will free you up to enjoy this phase of your life, rather than view it as a time when you were missing out.

2) Try to anticipate your dry spells.

No matter how full and fabulous your single life is, there are going to be times when you’re sick of your own company. If you see a week ahead of free evenings, and you know that you’ll go a bit stir-crazy running errands three nights in a row, plan something fun to do with friends or family. If going solo on Sunday afternoons feels particularly soul-crushing, accept that invite to the BBQ or find a meet-up group. The key is to schedule things ahead of time, rather than letting lonely thoughts fill your head.

3) Celebrate your alone time.

When I visited my grandmother as a little girl, we played a game called “having a party.” She’d serve me milky coffee in her fancy china cups and play my favorite jazz records, and we’d dress up in her gaudy 1970s beaded necklaces. She taught me a valuable lesson in celebrating the ordinary.

If you’ve been single for a while, the last thing you want to do is celebrate another date-less Saturday night. But it’s a little more bearable if you try to make your own party. Hold a Mad Men marathon. Make yourself a nice dinner with fresh asparagus from the farmer’s market. Pour yourself a glass of wine. This way you’re not waiting around for a significant other to enjoy your life.

4) Recognize everything you’re doing right.

The reality is that people who make an effort to find love usually find it. You can stay motivated when you remind yourself of everything you do towards your cause. Before you fall asleep, make of mental review of what you did that day: Maybe you responded to an email or posted a new profile photo. If you’re working on improving your fitness, maybe making it through a spin class felt like a small victory.

5) Remember this too shall pass.

If you’re in a bad place, give yourself a time limit on how long you’ll let yourself wallow there. Let yourself be in a funk for an evening, for example. The next morning, brush yourself off and send out a few emails.

What helps you get through the hard times?

About the Author:

Sarah Elizabeth Richards is a journalist and the author of Motherhood, Rescheduled: The New Frontier of Egg Freezing and the Women Who Tried It. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Marie Claire, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Slate and Salon.

The post How to Stay Hopeful, Even When it’s Really, Really Hard appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
0
Jeannie Assimos, Director of Content <![CDATA[Franny Agnes Lee’s Latest Misfortunate Blind Date: An IRS Auditor!]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=16458 2014-04-09T15:25:04Z 2014-04-09T15:25:04Z First, she met a guy with a strange obsession for turtles. Last month, she encountered an actual leprechaun. I am always anxious to see who Franny Agnes Lee will be paired up with next — and this episode does not disappoint! I wish Franny would give eHarmony a chance to connect her with someone…maybe some day. […]

The post Franny Agnes Lee’s Latest Misfortunate Blind Date: An IRS Auditor! appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
First, she met a guy with a strange obsession for turtles. Last month, she encountered an actual leprechaun. I am always anxious to see who Franny Agnes Lee will be paired up with next — and this episode does not disappoint! I wish Franny would give eHarmony a chance to connect her with someone…maybe some day. Enjoy this latest adventure from our sweet new character!

eHFranny ep3Audit Franny Agnes Lees Latest Misfortunate Blind Date: An IRS Auditor!

 

Related:

Franny: Blind Date One

Franny: Blind Date Two

The post Franny Agnes Lee’s Latest Misfortunate Blind Date: An IRS Auditor! appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
0
Sara Eckel <![CDATA[Let it Come Naturally or Treat it Like a Job? How Hard You Should Work for Love]]> http://www.eharmony.com/blog/?p=16436 2014-04-09T15:03:11Z 2014-04-09T14:37:40Z Last month, I attended an event where I read from It’s Not You, my book about navigating life as a single adult, when an audience member asked an interesting question. I had said I didn’t think a romantic relationship was something you could pointedly go after, the way you might a promotion or a master’s […]

The post Let it Come Naturally or Treat it Like a Job? How Hard You Should Work for Love appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
Last month, I attended an event where I read from It’s Not You, my book about navigating life as a single adult, when an audience member asked an interesting question. I had said I didn’t think a romantic relationship online dating success 300x199 Let it Come Naturally or Treat it Like a Job? How Hard You Should Work for Lovewas something you could pointedly go after, the way you might a promotion or a master’s degree. On the other hand, I was a proponent of online dating. Didn’t those two stances contradict?

It’s a good question, one I hear a version of fairly often.

We seem to take an “all or nothing” attitude about love. So you have the camp that says you have to pull out every stop—every drinks meet, every dating site, every party that your aunt or neighbor promises will be full of attractive single people. With this strategy, you burn out pretty fast, so along comes someone to tell you that love will only come when you relax—stop trying so hard! So you chill out in your pajamas and binge-watch Game of Thrones, and quickly realize that this strategy is pretty flawed, too.

That’s why I like the Buddhist concept of “not too tight, not too lose.” It’s like tuning a guitar—you want to find a place in the middle, rather than an extreme.

It’s great to make an effort—whether it’s spending an evening reading dating profiles, or schlepping to that co-worker’s friend’s birthday party three towns away. The problem is not the effort. The problem is how you respond when you don’t get what you want.

You can control the amount of time and effort you spend trying to meet people. You can control your behavior on your dates—your promptness, the way you dress and how you treat these gentle strangers.

But you can’t control whether the two of you fall in love, or even if you’ll want to go on a second date.

That’s frustrating, but there’s a good news side to it: Now you get to relax. You’ve done the work, time to sit back and let the evening be whatever it is. Maybe you’re attracted, maybe not. Maybe your dinner companion is sweet and funny, maybe tiresome and mean. But whatever is happening – there you are – in your life, trying to connect with another human being. If you can let go of “how it’s supposed to be” you might find that “how it is” is pretty interesting.

Who is this person sitting across the table from you, complaining about his ex-wife or angling to figure out your salary? What are her hopes, dreams and fears? What has brought him here to this moment in time, on this date, with you?

its not you sara eckel 185x300 Let it Come Naturally or Treat it Like a Job? How Hard You Should Work for LoveEven if you don’t fall in love with this person—even if you don’t like this person—you can still be curious. Dating is usually depicted as either light and giddy or bleak and pointless, but I think it’s quite profound. When else do we get the opportunity to try and connect, on the deepest level possible, with a random stranger plucked from the ether? It’s completely bizarre, and endlessly fascinating.

Sara Eckel is the author of It’s Not You: 27 (Wrong) Reasons You’re Single. You can get a free bonus chapter of her book at saraeckel.com. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

 

The post Let it Come Naturally or Treat it Like a Job? How Hard You Should Work for Love appeared first on eHarmony Blog.

]]>
0