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The latest news on Relationships from Business Insider
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    marriage expert eli finkel

    • Marriage can be hard for any couple, even if it starts out smoothly.
    • Psychologist Eli Finkel says there are three main strategies to improve a rocky relationship: working on it as much as possible, using "love hacks," and asking less of the marriage.
    • Your choice of which strategy to use depends on how much time and energy you have to devote to the relationship at the moment.
    • This post is part of Relationships 101, a series which aims to help us all be happier and healthier in love — and to stop fighting over who should take out the trash.


    When I interviewed relationship expert Eli Finkel about his new book "The All-or-Nothing Marriage" last year, I was one month away from being a bridesmaid in two of my best friends' weddings, and two months away from getting married myself.

    That is to say: Every question I asked Finkel that day in September stemmed partly from a desire to sate our readers' curiosity, but — let's be real — mostly from a desire to sate my own curiosity about what life would really be like after I said, "I do."

    Finkel, who is a psychologist at Northwestern University and a professor at the Kellogg School of Management, didn't exactly leave me hopeful that my friends and I would all live happily ever after. But he did leave me with some practical tips for making marriage easier when it inevitably gets tear-your-hair-out hard.

    During those times, Finkel said, couples can use one of three strategies to strengthen their relationship:

    1. Work on the marriage as much as possible

    This first option, Finkel said, is for couples who "really want this highly intensive sort of marriage, this extraordinary sort of marriage that is available today." The kind of marriage in which your partner fulfills the role of soul mate, passionate lover, best friend, and so on.

    That means you and your partner have to spend a lot of time together, working through whatever issues you have, and pay a lot of attention to the relationship as it evolves. If you choose this option, making the marriage as strong as it can be is a top priority in your life.

    2. Use 'love hacks'

    "Love hacks" are pretty much what they sound like. It's Finkel's term for "quick and dirty" strategies to make your marriage just a little bit happier. Best of all, you don't need your partner's help to use them.

    This is a good option for people who are consumed with something else in their lives besides the marriage: a baby, a medical emergency, a crisis at work.

    One example of a love hack is simply re-interpreting your partner's annoying behaviors. For example, when they show up late to dinner, instead of assuming they're a jerk who doesn't care about the family, you assume instead that they hit traffic on the way home from work.

    Another example is trying to see at a conflict between you and your partner from the perspective of a neutral third party who wants the best for both of you.

    Finkel said of this option: "It won't take a terrible marriage and make it a spectacular marriage, but it will strengthen the marriage, especially during those periods where you don't really have the time or the resources to invest in the marriage completely."

    3. Adjust your expectations

    This is the option that Finkel "wishes people would consider more seriously": asking less of your marriage.

    He said, "If you find yourself chronically disappointed in one element of your marriage, or in a subset of elements of your marriage, one of the really good ways of dealing with that is to think about: Is it really essential that I try to meet this need in particular through the marriage?"

    In some cases, the answer might be a resounding "yes." In other cases, the answer might be "maybe," or "not really." Finkel gave two examples: You like to have philosophical debates and your partner doesn't. You like to play tennis and your partner doesn't. Can you find a friend or a coworker to meet these needs for you?

    It's about letting go a little bit, about investing in some relationships other than your marriage.

    Here's Finkel again: "Find those places where the demands you're placing on the marriage are clearly exceeding the amount that the marriage can actually meet. Just take off some of the demands."

    SEE ALSO: There's an easy way to strengthen a struggling marriage — and too many people ignore it

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 1,500 happily married people say the key to lasting relationships isn’t communication — it’s respect


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    Couple Silhouette

    • SeekingArrangement, an online dating service for sugar babies and daddies, hosted a conference in New York City.
    • One of the panels focused on money in sugar dating.
    • According to the panelists, sugar dating isn't just about money — it's about developing a relationship and respecting each other's feelings. In fact, it's generally considered a faux pas to ask for money right off the bat.
    • This can be confusing, given that "arrangements" are supposed to have clearer expectations than conventional relationships.

    In April, I went to a Sugar Baby Summit. This event, for the uninitiated, is a daylong series of panels in New York City, where seasoned sugar babies and daddies share nuggets of wisdom and answer attendees' burning questions.

    "Sugar baby" and "sugar daddy" are terms used to refer to two people — usually a heterosexual younger woman and an older man, although anyone can take either role — who enter into a relationship in which it's expected the sugar daddy will compensate the sugar baby for their time with money or gifts. Many people in these relationships embrace the terms, hence the summit's name.

    The summit was organized by SeekingArrangement, an online dating service for those specifically seeking sugar babies or daddies. Scores of women who'd already taken a swim in the "sugar bowl," as it's called, or who were considering testing out the waters, showed up.

    I was there to learn more about a topic that's fascinated Business Insider's readers since Tanza Loudenback published a story on the growing number of students turning to sugar daddies to help cover their college costs late last year. Since then, Business Insider had heard from a number of sugar babies and daddies wanting to talk about their experiences and tell people about their community.

    And while I'd arrived with some ideas about what an "arrangement" was, it turned out those ideas would be quickly addressed and debunked by the panelists at the summit.

    Specifically, I'd assumed that sugar dating meant a woman agreed to spend time with a man — either sexually or otherwise — in exchange for money. Sugar babies and daddies say that, in real life, an arrangement is hardly so simple.

    Sugar babies and daddies say sugar dating is about developing a relationship and respecting each other's feelings — not just about money

    Sugar dating, I learned during a panel called "Money Talks," is about developing a relationship. Yes, sugar babies typically receive money from their sugar daddies, but that's not the defining characteristic of the partnership, at least according to those in the sugar bowl.

    Christina Friscia, who owns a digital marketing and branding agency, and was formerly a sugar baby, put it bluntly: "These guys are here to help you because you're providing them with emotional support," she told the current and aspiring sugar babies seated before her. "It's not a paycheck. You don't … just sit there and look pretty."

    Friscia went on: "There's so many more levels than just the money aspect."

    couple dining silhouette

    It wasn't the first time Friscia would mention sugar daddies' feelings. Later in the panel, she said that sugar daddies want to feel appreciated, instead of feeling like an ATM.

    That's why all three panelists and the panel moderator agreed that asking for money upfront is a big no-no.

    As Friscia put it, "If you've taken the time to build up [a relationship] with that person, they will respect you that much more." In fact, she added, "they will be way more willing to give before you even ask because they anticipate your need."

    That is to say, sugar babies are supposed to establish themselves as someone worthy of their sugar daddy's funds and imply that they're in need of money — e.g. "I'm looking for a job" or "I'm in school right now"— until the daddies are ready to share some of those funds with them.

    SeekingArrangement says sugar dating is a 'lifestyle choice' — not a job

    If that sounds like it could be confusing, it is — if it weren't, there presumably wouldn't be an entire panel devoted to the topic.

    In fact, the SeekingArrangement website appears to suggest that "arrangements" are liberating specifically because you don't have to dance around important issues (like money), as you might in a more conventional relationship.

    From the website: "Forget reading in between the lines, our members know what they want," and "Things would be much easier if goals and starting points were already set forth before entering said relationship."

    Alexis Germany, public relations manager at SeekingArrangement, reconciled the two viewpoints in an email to Business Insider this way: "The financial aspect of the relationship is something that can be brought up once a level of trust has been built. Anyone asking for money upfront is treating the situation as a job, and Sugar dating is not a job, it's a lifestyle choice." 

    On an episode of the podcast "Let's Talk Sugar," which Germany cohosts, she told listeners that one, subtle way to prompt a gift or some financial help from your sugar daddy is to show him your budget and ask for advice on saving money. Inevitably, the sugar daddy will offer to cover, say, your phone bill or your tuition expenses.

    Meanwhile, in a blog post on Let'sTalkSugar.com, JadeSeashell writes that money is just one benefit of sugar dating. Sugar babies often receive "long-term benefits," including mentorship and investments in their businesses.

    So how do sugar daddies decide whether a sugar baby is worth their time and money?

    Sugar daddies say they like to be appreciated for playing the role of the 'provider'

    Brandon Wade, the founder of SeekingArrangement who spoke on the panel, said he tries to "drill down to the purpose." As in: Do you want a new laptop because it makes you feel better? Or, do you "want to accomplish some goal?" When the sugar baby has a clear goal — maybe they're paying for college, or maybe they're looking to start a business — he's more likely to help.

    It's "the white knight syndrome," Wade admitted, meaning he relishes the idea of swooping in and saving a woman in some kind of distress.

    Wade recalled a relationship he'd had with a sugar baby who ultimately was interested exclusively in his money but pretended she wasn't. They were friends for six months before they started dating, he said: "Once she won my heart, the wallet sprung open."

    Carl Foster, a speaker and radio and television host as well as a former sugar daddy who led the panel, mentioned an off-putting experience he'd had with a sugar baby who seemed especially demanding. As soon as they met, she tried to settle on a rate with him, based on a previous relationship she'd had with a sugar daddy. Foster remembers saying, "What is this, a business negotiation here? There are rates and fees?"

    couple from behind on beachFriscia suggested that holding off on asking for money is partly a way to avoid repelling your sugar daddy and partly a way to preserve your own dignity.

    "It's not an exchange of power," she said. "You've got to maintain your integrity." Just as important, she said: Sugar daddies "can smell desperation on your breath," so a sugar baby should "be a lady about it."

    Friscia repeatedly referenced gender roles. "Men want to feel like they're helping a girl out and they're taking care of them," she said. "That's just in male DNA. Men are providers and women are receivers. That's the dynamic from the beginning of time."

    Foster said, "To me, every woman is priceless. There shouldn't be a value put on anybody." (The audience let out a collective "aw.")

    Jim Demetrios, an author, trader, and fitness adviser, who married and subsequently divorced a sugar baby, put it somewhat differently. He explained that if you're the kind of sugar baby who wants to state your financial needs and get them fulfilled right away, you'll have to find a sugar daddy who wants to work the same way. In that sense, sugar dating seems most similar to a conventional relationship.

    "It's not necessarily a hustle," Demetrios said. "It's that's what they feel that they need and that's what you don't want. So obviously, you're incompatible. So it's not going to work out."

    If you are a sugar daddy or sugar baby and would like to share your story, please email yourmoney@businessinsider.com.

    SEE ALSO: Millions of college students are so terrified of loans they're turning to 'sugar daddies' for help paying for school

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A psychologist explains how important sex is in a relationship


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    Making new friends can be a challenge, especially for introverts. Susan Cain, co-founder of Quiet Revolution, advises those looking to create new relationships to shift their mindset. Once you take the pressure off of the situation, you'll be able to connect with like-minded individuals. Following is a transcript of the video.

    Susan Cain: When you do find yourself in a full on networking event. You know, say it's a cocktail party or a happy hour. One of the most effective tips you can use is just to shift your mindset. So instead of the mindset of thinking what am I gonna say to these people? Instead go in there and think how can I make the people around me comfortable?

    I think the biggest misconception about introverts is that they're antisocial. They're not antisocial, they're not misanthropic. They're differently social. Introverts in general prefer to invest their energies into a few close friendships. Sometimes people ask me, well if you're an introvert how do you go about making new friends? And I think the answer really is more or less the same as it would be for an extrovert which is we tend to make friends most easily with people who we feel some kind of connection with. You know people who feel like a kindred spirit whether just in terms of what their world view is or in terms of shared interests and shared passion. Don't put so much pressure on yourself to do the ones that you don't like and instead actively seek out the ones you do.

    If you think that you're too introverted and that's holding you back you'll be so much more powerful once you really come to terms with who you are. I see this again and again. There's a kind of paradox that the more people have with themselves the more powerful they are in externally oriented roles like a job interview or negotiation or something like that. And if you need to get a sense of that peace one way to do it is to look for role models of people who you think have a personality style similar to yours and who are doing the kinds of things that you want to do in the world.

    I've gone through a real evolution when it comes to public speaking because I used to be terrified of public speaking and I saw it as a terror so profound that there was no way to overcome it, but here's the thing, for those of you who feel this way whether it's about public speaking or any other kind of fear the way to conquer it is you have to expose yourself to thing that you fear in very small manageable bite sized steps. So you don't begin by giving a Ted Talk. You have to start really slowly so you might instead like sign up for Toastmasters. You know, sign up for your local chapter where you're gonna be in a setting of supportive people and it's safe and it doesn't matter how much you screw up. And little by little by little the horror will start to recede and you'll be able to bring your personality into the room with you.

    Imagine that you're the host and imagine you go up to somebody. It is your job to make them feel good and that's gonna change completely your demeanor and your body language. And then if you couple that also with the idea of every single person has at least one, usually many more fascinating things about them and my job is to tap into my natural curiosity and figure out what that fascinating thing is. That also is going to serve you really well. It can be very helpful to prepare a couple of topics that you might want to talk about or questions to ask, but really at the end of the day it's about a shift in mindset.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Kelly Ripa Mark Consuelos Met Gala 2007

    It can be tough to find someone your exact age who you bond with and want to spend your life with. And that can be even tougher if you're a celebrity couple. See which pairs were almost born on almost the exact same day, and which ones barely made the cutoff with nearly a year between them.

    1. Margot Robbie and Tom Ackerley

    The "I, Tonya" star and assistant director were housemates before they married secretly in 2016. Born in 1990, Ackerley turned 28 on January 1 — Robbie will join him on July 2.



    2. Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins

    Country music's cutest couple have been friends since first grade, according to CBS News. They're the same age for seven months out of the year, from March 30 (his birthday) to November 8 (hers).



    3. Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan

    The Facebook founder is roughly 10 months older than his pediatrician wife, but from February 24 to May 14 each year, they're the same age.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    sex and the city carrie bradshaw laptop bed

    Whether you're in a long-term relationship or your partnership is still pretty new, most of us will agree that there's nothing sweeter than cuddling up next to that special someone after a long day. Maybe you look forward to your all-night Netflix sessions or having a pre-bed snack while you chat about your day … or you're totally comfortable lying side by side while you both browse your feeds.

    Here's the thing: That cozy bedtime routine could actually be wrecking your sex life, and you might not even realize it. It's natural for passion to ebb and flow, especially in long-term relationships, but plenty of seemingly harmless bedroom habits are awful for your sex life.

    INSIDER spoke with two relationship experts about the things that couples with great sex lives actually don't do in bed, and it turns out, we're likely all guilty of at least a few of them.

    Here are the 10 things you're doing that are totally killing the mood in the bedroom.

    You're keeping your devices by your bedside, and cuddling up with your phone instead of your significant other.

    This is definitely something so many of us are guilty of, especially as we become increasingly tethered to our devices, but it's the number one surefire way to kill the mood. After all, when you're going down an Instagram rabbit hole of that distant relative or the person you met in college one time, you're not thinking about getting cozy with your boo.

    "Electronic devices are huge distractions to relationships because they take away your ability to mindfully enjoy each other's company," explained Jonathan Bennett, a relationship counselor and author of the site Double Trust Dating.

    He adds, "If you're laughing at memes, seeing who liked your recent status, or checking your work emails, there's no way you can fully focus on your partner. And, the more distracted you are, the less you feel like getting busy."



    You're enjoying marathon Netflix sessions together.

    Similarly, if you're delving into a new favorite binge watch, or simply watching reruns of "The Office" for the hundredth time, you're likely doing your sex life little favors.

    Plenty of sleep experts and relationship experts alike have a more hardcore stance, believing that the bedroom should be for two things, and two things only: sleep and sex. Yep, that means no devices and no TV, which is definitely hard for most of us to abide by long-term.

    However, it seems that not all bedtime TV sessions are detrimental. Bennett explained that it "largely depends on the content" of what you're choosing to watch.

    "If you're watching a romantic comedy or a show that inspires romance and passion, it could actually help," he said. "But, if you're simply watching a regular movie or show and paying close attention to the fictional characters, it can get in the way of intimately connecting with the person right beside you in bed."

    So instead of turning on the sitcoms or the intense dramas, maybe stick with something a little steamier. The "Fifty Shades" trilogy, anyone?



    You're sharing your bed with pets or children.

    Of course, this certainly excludes new parents or the occasional night spent comforting your little ones, but if you get in the habit of allowing pets or older children snuggle up with you every night, it's no secret that the chance for intimacy ends up tanking — big time.

    "If you're inviting anyone else into the bed," and yes, this includes pets, "it distracts attention away from your partner and makes being intimate very difficult or even impossible," Bennett said. After all, "It's hard to be passionate when you're trying not to wake a kid or a dog is licking your feet," he said.

    "Two's company and three's a crowd has never been more apt," adds relationship expert April Masini, who hosts an online relationship advice forum. "It's hard to break this habit with kids and pets, so reconsider starting this habit."

    But if you've already gotten used to a crowded bed, Masini advised that you "impose boundaries so your pets and kids don't have free reign. Your bed should be sacred as a place for you as a couple — and if it's not, expect your sex life to wane."

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    john cena nikki bella blockers premiere

    • John Cena and Nikki Bella broke up in April, after being a couple for more than five years.
    • Speaking to The Blast on Monday in New York City, Bella said there's always a chance they could reconcile.
    • "He is absolutely an amazing man and sometimes you don't have to rush to the altar," she said. "So there's definitely hope."
    • This follows Cena appearing on NBC's "Today" show and saying that his heart was broken "out of nowhere," but he would still love to have a family with Bella. 

     

    Nikki Bella was absolutely heartbroken when she announced her split from John Cena on April 15, but one month later, she's in much better spirits. When a photographer caught up with her on the NYC streets on May 14, she even revealed that getting back together could be an option for her and John! "I mean, there's always a chance, right?" she told The Blast. "A chance for anything in life. He is absolutely an amazing man and sometimes you don't have to rush to the altar. So there's definitely hope."

    This quick catch-up came just hours after John appeared on the "Today" show and professed his love to Nikki, even admitting that he'd be willing to have kids with her now. This was something that he was very against throughout the five years of their relationship, so it's quite a declaration! Even Nikki said she was left at a loss for words by his confession. The WWE star actually didn't see the interview when it aired, but when someone told her about it on the red carpet at NBC's upfronts, she responded, "Wow. I'm speechless. That's crazy."

    Nikki and John were supposed to get married on May 5, but called the wedding off just weeks before in a move that completely shocked their fans. Since then, they've both kept busy — he was doing crazy press for his movie, "Blockers," while she was out and about promoting her apparel line and wine collection with sister, Brie Bella.

    However, Nikki and John confirmed that they've been talking since the breakup, and a May 9 report from Us Weekly claimed the two are still spending some nights together. Could they really be getting back together?!

    Sign up here to get INSIDER's favorite stories straight to your inbox.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: What Trump University was really like — according to a former professor


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    long distance relationship couple

    • Long-distance relationships can be a challenge for any couple, despite technology that has made communication easier than ever.
    • Instead of texting, arrange regular phone calls — by hearing their voice, you are more likely to maintain a level of closeness.
    • Make the most of the time apart by focusing on your career, expanding your support system and  and practicing self-care.

    Gone are the days where hearing from your long-distance lover took months and necessitated a town crier or perhaps a horse or two just to say "hi" back. Long-distance relationships today — with Skype, email, texting, and Twitter — should be easy, right?

    Distance may no longer be an obstacle to staying in touch in the modern world, but actually connecting with someone living a few hundred — or thousand — miles away is still no easy feat. Add that to the normal ups and downs of being in a relationship and it's no wonder that long distance relationships (LDRs, for short) don't work for everyone. However LDRs can and do work — it just takes some creativity, communication, and planning.  

    Below, find five tips to improve your current or future LDR, with help from Shannon Smith, a relationship expert with the online dating service Plenty of Fish and Celeste Headlee, conversation expert at Plenty of Fish and author of the recent book "We Need to Talk."

    SEE ALSO: 17 little things successful people do every day, no matter what

    1. Don't panic if it's not perfect

    Like all relationships, Smith advised that it's OK if you struggle at first: "Expect some initial growing pains — that's normal!" she wrote via email.



    2. Talk (on the phone) about it

    You need to give your partner (and self) feedback about what's working and what isn't, Smith said. And importantly, you should pick up the phone to have these conversations — texting is not the same as a conversation, Headlee advised. (Plus, what does the heart emoji have on saying, 'I love you?')

    "The key to making a LDR work is good communication, and that means phone calls," she continued. "Emails are not a replacement for the human voice (extensive research shows that it's the voice that humanizes us, and makes us feel empathy for another). So, call."



    3. Pay attention

    When you're only communicating via phone, as Headlee would have it, you've got to work harder to ensure your partner knows you're listening. Headlee suggests sending small, inexpensive gifts to make that clear: "If your partner mentions needing a good book to read, choose one on Amazon and ship it to her. If he's had a rough day, call and have dinner delivered to him," she wrote.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    beer 1

    • On May 5, Anna Herd and Brad Cole got married, and it was great.
    • But their perfect day was nearly ruined by a noisy frat party next door.
    • In a now-viral Twitter thread, Cole explained that the only way he could convince the frat to quiet down during the ceremony was to chug a beer.
    • Cole didn't tell Herd about the situation until after the wedding ceremony because he wanted to keep her calm on their wedding day.
    • The couple thinks the story is funny.

     

    On May 5, Anna Herd and Brad Cole got married in Oxford, Mississippi, and it was great. But their perfect day was nearly ruined by a noisy frat party next door.

    In a now-viral Twitter thread, Cole said that when he arrived at their wedding venue he found that there was a full-on party happening next door. The noise was so loud that it would've ruined their ceremony. 

    But Cole didn't want his bride-to-be to stress about the situation, so he and a few of his groomsmen decided to take matters into in their own hands before Herd arrived.

    The men paid a visit to the pool party next door to reason with the party-goers, who were members of Sigma Chi at the University of Mississippi, to ask them to quiet down. But the students' logic was, uh, almost unbelievable.

    Cole then very casually returned to the wedding venue next door and the ceremony went off without a hitch. Herd even told INSIDER that she didn't really suspect anything was amiss.

    "I had no idea about any of it until after the ceremony!" she said. "I could hear that there was something going on just on the other side of the brush and there was even a moment where the music got turned up during the ceremony that I noticed but it quickly turned back down."

    But she did add that Cole made two jokes during the ceremony that didn't quite make sense to her at the time.

    "There were two moments during the ceremony that Brad referenced it but since I didn't know what had gone on I was a little confused," she said. "We drank wine as a part of our ceremony and Brad said, 'not the first time I've had to chug for this wedding.' People laughed, but I was out of the loop. Then when we walked down the aisle together as a married couple Brad yelled 'Hey, Sigma Chi, turn it up!'"

    Cole told INSIDER that he didn't mind having to deal with the rowdy partiers.

    "Since it worked out, I have to say the whole thing was great," he told INSIDER. "I wasn't nervous about getting married but the day of the wedding had been hectic because that is the nature of wedding days. When you're thirty minutes away from the ceremony a cold beer and a good laugh are exactly what the doctor ordered."

    The next day, the newlyweds had some leftover beer from their reception, so they decided to give it to the brothers of Sigma Chi as a way of saying thanks. Cole said that he used his thread as a way to get in touch with the fraternity brothers.

    Cole's original thread has gone super viral. While many people found the story funny, some skeptics weren't sure if it was real. And to the naysayers, Cole offered this photo proof of his very real wedding day experience.

    beer 1beer 2beer 3

    Now that the dust has settled a bit, the couple thinks the situation is funny. 

    "It going viral is just really funny to us. I'd actually joked before the wedding that I wish somehow it would go viral for some reason but I'd totally forgotten I had even said that until after it actually did go viral and Brad reminded me of it," Herd told us. "It's pretty cool seeing people from all over the country getting a good laugh out of it."

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    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This robot will take your beer pong game to the next level — here's why you need it for your next party


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    couple having a conversation

    • To a certain extent, some relationship obsession is normal, particularly at the beginning of a new relationship.
    • And if both partners feel that this sort of relationship dynamic works for them, there might not be much that friends or family members can do.
    • When it becomes one-sided, however, it's something about which you should probably be more concerned.
    • Healthy relationships can require relationships with friends and family members as well, which is another factor that couples who only spend time together may want to consider.

    In many, if not most, new relationships, couples tend to get a little bit obsessed with one another. The relationship is brand-new, everything's exciting, you're infatuated. Basically, it's like you live in a romantic comedy. Some people might question how healthy it is, particularly because obsession can sometimes have a bad reputation — it's associated with some not-so-great things.

    But early on in relationships, infatuation-based obsession might not be so worrisome. Tara Vossenkemper, MA, LPC, a therapist and the founder of The Counseling Hub, told INSIDER that while it might not be the healthiest thing, per se, "...it's not uncommon, let's say that, in the beginning of a relationship."

    Perhaps the most obvious sign that you and your partner might be too obsessed with each other at the beginning of your relationship is that you tend to withdraw a bit from other relationships.

    "Friends, family, that's usually the first sign,"Monte Drenner, LMHC, MCAP, a licensed counselor at MTC Counseling, told INSIDER. "And I think, eventually, the couple will catch on, but usually it takes a while."

    It's difficult when you're the friend or family member that feels like you're missing out on time spent with someone who's important to you, as Vossenkemper pointed out, but, again, to a certain extent, it's something that even friends and family members sort of expect.

    "The couple's usually the last ones to figure this out because it's new, it's fresh, it's exciting, it's got all those things that stimulate the reward circuits in the brain," Drenner said.

    And while this could happen either in the beginning of a relationship or be a sign that the obsession is taking a concerning turn, knowing the ins and outs of your partner's schedule can also indicate that you're a bit fixated on your partner and your relationship.

    "Another sign is when the couple is overly focused on what their partner is doing, their schedule, or anyone they may be interacting with, often asking many questions or expressing thoughts that are driven by jealousy and insecurity,"Toni Coleman, LCSW, CMC, a psychotherapist, relationship coach, and divorce mediator, told INSIDER. "Couples who are obsessed may call or text each other constantly throughout the day — definitely crossing normal boundaries and even impacting a partner's work or ability to handle their responsibilities. A partner may talk about their significant other to others excessively, including mention of them in every conversation, and often painting them in glowing terms."

    gay couple holding hands

    When this sort of thing happens at the beginning of a new relationship, it might be another manifestation of that early-relationship infatuation and nothing more, but when it happens later on in your relationship, it could certainly be far more troubling.

    "Early relationship obsession usually begins to wear off when the initial phase of raging hormones has passed, the newness has begun to wear off — and they have moved into the next stage of more comfort and attachment," Coleman said. "At that point, they will be wanting to go out with friends as a couple or alone, and to include a partner in activities they enjoy or pursue them alone if the partner is not interested. They will still prioritize one another, but not to the exclusion of others that they were doing earlier. If these things do not begin to happen when the second stage hits, it's a red flag."

    Drenner said that your romantic relationship can't be the only relationship in you and your partner's lives.

    At least, it can't be that way for very long. "A relationship focused on itself can't sustain itself. Think of a stagnant pool, it's just gonna continue to get more and more stagnant," Drenner explained. "It's gotta have water flowing in, water flowing out that stems from friends, family being a part of that relationship."

    If it seems like you, your partner, a loved one, or their partner, isn't able to move beyond that initial infatuation period, which can sometimes happen without the person even realizing it, that's when experts say things are more serious.

    Vossenkemper said that one partner wanting to (or unintentionally) control the other's schedule and social engagements, merge finances too quickly or suggest that one partner stay home and be "taken care of" by the other partner, and other things like that, in which the one partner begins to lose their independence, can be a sign of abuse.

    "When you're in that situation, it so gradually shifts and there are so many great memories sort of embedded in these weird, toxic patterns, that it's really, really hard to get out of," she said. "It's really, really hard to recognize in the first place and then also to remove yourself in the second place."

    couple kiss paris

    If you're in this situation and you're able to acknowledge that there's something going on in your relationship that you're not entirely comfortable with, Coleman suggested that you bring it up and try to address it.

    "If a partner is feeling smothered or has concerns, they should address these immediately," Coleman said. "They should ask for and take more time alone and apart and see how the other handles it. Better to know sooner rather than later that this may be a relationship that will not work for them."

    When it's a friend or family member and they can't see what's going on, but you see something that concerns you, it can be a bit of an awkward and delicate situation.

    Vossenkemper suggested presenting the situation to your friend as though it's your relationship, not theirs.

    "If I'm talking to my best friend who's in that situation and I say, 'look, Cindy, here's everything that is going on or everything that I'm seeing. What would you do if I was in your situation? What would your concerns be if it was me that was in your relationship?' And that way it can create some distance between the person and their relationship," she said. "It's hard to see when you're in it, but maybe if you're thinking about your best friend in that, it feels a little bit different."

    And make sure that you're supportive, rather than judgmental, of your friend — and even of their partner, as difficult as that may be — because extricating themselves from a situation where there's concern with too much obsession isn't as easy as it sounds, Vossenkemper added.

    Though a bit of borderline obsession might not be that surprising early on, later on in your relationship or if it starts to veer off into controlling, manipulative behaviors, that's when there might be cause for some real concern — and when you'll need a whole lot of support.

    If you or someone you know is in an abusive or a dangerously manipulative relationship please seek help or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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    argument couple

    • Being cheated on is no fun for the betrayed partner.
    • To lessen the pain, the unfaithful partner often says "it meant nothing."
    • This is actually a terrible thing to say, because it minimises the act.
    • If you really want the relationship to work, you have to be brutally honest about what happened and why.
    • You've broken your partner's trust, and you have to rebuild it, which will take time.


    If you find out your partner cheated on you, you're not likely to forget it — especially as "once a cheater, always a cheater," may well be true.

    But people cheat for different reasons. Some people are convinced having a secret, discreet affair can actually improve their relationship.

    If you were the one who was unfaithful, and you were caught, you may have caused irreparable damage — whatever your reasons. But there is one cliché you should definitely never say, because it can make everything worse.

    Therapist Michele Weiner-Davis, author of "Healing from Infidelity: The Divorce Busting Guide to Rebuilding Your Marriage After an Affair,"told the Huffington Post that a very common excuse people use when they've been discovered is: "It was just sex. It wasn't about you. It meant nothing."

    While the guilty party may feel this lessens the crime, Weiner-Davis said it can actually simply remind your partner that you weren't thinking about them when you made the decision to cheat.

    "It makes a person feel unwanted, unloved, unimportant," she said.

    She added that most cheaters use this phrase because it's true — but that doesn't make their partner feel any better.

    "It may be hard to believe, but when most people cheat, they really aren't thinking about their spouses or partners at the time," she said. "They're thinking with their groins, their hormones, their emptiness or their insatiable sense of attraction."

    Essentially, saying the act was nothing minimises it. Nothing you say will lessen the pain, so saying it could simply makes your partner feel less justified in their anger — which will just make them hate you more.

    In a blog post for Psychology Today, intimacy and relationships expert Robert Weiss said the biggest betrayal with cheating is breaking the trust in your relationship — so you should be brutally honest about what happened.

    "Usually, for a cheated-on spouse it's not the specific sexual or romantic act that causes the most pain; it's the lying, the secret keeping, the lies of omission, the manipulation, and the fact that they can no longer trust anything their cheating partner says or does," Weiss wrote.

    Many cheaters believe they can "get away with it," and this may well be true. But Weiss adds continuing lying and cheating isn't likely to solve your relationship problems long term. So if you truly value your relationship, and want it to work, you should come clean about what you've done.

    Rigorous honestly won't be comfortable, he said, but it's necessary because revealing what you did isn't the most important part of the process — it's rebuilding trust.

    "You won't always enjoy it, and your betrayed partner won't, either," Weiss said. "However, if you truly love your significant other, and want to save your relationship, it's a necessary part of healing."

    SEE ALSO: There's actually a psychological benefit to being cheated on — here's why

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    sad couple

    • In marriage counseling, many people try to explain how their partner is the source of all their issues, and how their partner needs to change.
    • But couples therapist Peter Pearson says he tries to disillusion clients, and help them realize that they might also need to change.
    • It's much easier to focus on what your partner is doing wrong than to focus on how you contribute to their problematic behavior.


    After decades as a couples therapist, Peter Pearson says there are a few sentences he's never heard:

    I'm here because frankly, I don't pay enough attention to my wife. I'm a slob around the house. I pay too much attention to electronic devices. I am here to prevent that from becoming a bigger problem and hurting our marriage.

    The response he's heard too many times when he asks someone why they've come to see him?

    She nags. Nothing I can do can make her happy. Whatever I do is never good enough.

    That is to say, no one comes to couples therapy asserting that they need to change in order to improve their relationship. But just about everyone comes to couples therapy hoping to get their partner to change.

    Pearson and his wife, couples therapist Ellyn Bader, are the cofounders of the Couples Institute in Menlo Park, California. He said many people arrive at his office ready to rattle off all the ways their partner has wronged them, thereby eliciting the therapist's sympathy.

    "If they can be clear enough about how their partner is the problem, they expect and hope I will reform the partner."

    Needless to say, it's not Pearson's job to decide which of the partners is at greater fault for destroying the marriage.

    "Their perception and belief is that, ‘My partner causes my problems,'" Pearson said. "I disturb that way of thinking and say, 'No, what's going to make you create a stronger marriage is by changing how you respond to what your partner does that's so problematic."

    Many people are also afraid that their partner wants them to change — and won't accept them for who they are

    Pearson's observations recall those of couples therapist Esther Perel. When she visited the Business Insider office last year, Perel said that taking responsibility for your own behavior is key to improving a struggling relationship.

    Perel said: "It's so easy to focus on what's missing in the other person. It's so easy to go critical. It's so easy to think that if you were different, my life would be better, rather than sometimes to switch it around and think if I was different, my life would be better. And maybe if I was different with you, you would be different with me."

    Hal Runkel, a marriage and family therapist, had an interesting twist on the idea that people want their partner to change.

    Runkel previously told Business Insider that the real motivation for seeking couples therapy is that "people are scared that in order to be fully married to this person, they're going to have to become a different person themselves." Either they're afraid that they'll be rejected by their partner for being themselves — or they already have been rejected.

    "What we're all searching for is this sense of validation," or someone who knows us and still accepts us, Runkel said.

    Pearson thinks at least part of the solution lies in vulnerability. While each person wants to end their partner's problematic behavior, each person is also fearful of "letting go of their self-protective armory" that might be causing said behavior.

    He shared a hypothetical example of a couple in which one person wants their partner to be more transparent and the other person wants their partner to stop nagging them about opening up. But if the closed-off partner did open up a little, their partner would presumably feel more satisfied.

    "It's not just a matter of telling couples what to do or how to do it," Pearson said. "That's the intellectual part. Emotionally, we're terrified of giving up our self-protection."

    SEE ALSO: Couples think they go to counseling because of money, sex, and parenting — but therapists know the real problem is usually lurking underneath

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    nate and blair gossip girl

    • Though a large percentage of people have said they remain friends with their exes, I've never really been a part of that number.
    • It can be easier to simply break up without wondering which part you played in the breakup or how you could improve, but it's not always healthy or productive.
    • I decide to try doing what friends do and ask my exes how to be a better partner. Their honesty taught me the importance of friendship and communication, even when it's tough.


    For me, the end of a romantic relationship is the end. I have never had to worry about  
    maintaining a friendship with an ex. When it comes to relationships, I tend to run hot or cold, quick to cut someone off after a breakup without being open to friendship.

    It turns out that I'm in the minority. According to Match.com, 50% of people who identify as men and 42% of people who identify as women have said they've remained friends with an ex.

    It makes sense. Over the years, I've learned that my approach (i.e. the scorched-earth breakup policy of blocked, unfollowed, and deleted) isn't necessarily healthy. I mean, how can you learn from a relationship when you immediately delete their contact, pretend you weren't hurt, and repress your feelings of loss?

    There's no healing the feelings that you won't acknowledge. Not to be dramatic, but it's essentially like leaving an open wound untreated and being surprised when it causes a major infection.

    It's not that I don't think I do anything wrong in a relationship because, trust me, I usually know exactly what I did wrong. In my case, it comes down to feelings of vulnerability and fear. I watched as my parents attempted maintaining an amicable, healthy friendship after their divorce only for them to go through a tumultuous, unhealthy, and confusing period of ending that futile on-again-off-again friendship years later. I think I've developed my own defense mechanism of hardening myself off from contacting or befriending my exes for fear that I'll get trapped in a similar spiral or face the alternative of being completely candid about the vulnerability of pain and hurt feelings.

    As time has gone on, though, I've realized that this has left me essentially repeating my mistakes, unaware of how exactly I could do better or how to keep important people around consistently.

    It's unhealthy not to reflect after a breakup. A little introspection is actually essential to moving forward. A breakup is an opportunity to explore just how you operate both individually and in relationships and to work on the things you want to fix or improve upon.

    So, after what has felt like years of shutting the door on my feelings and banishing former boyfriends to the island of misfit exes, I decided to ask a few of them just how I could be better in the hopes that they'd provide me with the tools to improve, instead of repeating old habits.

    I texted a few of my exes and simply asked them how I could do better in future relationships while also wishing them well and telling them I was sorry if I hadn't been the best ex or boyfriend I could be.

    man on phone

    In doing this, I expected responses of “who is this?” or “that's not how this works,” but the results were actually pretty shocking and in the end, I believe I've learned how to be a better partner.

    One ex, who I'd dated for a few months in college before breaking things off after a discussion about long distance and graduation, told me that he hadn't even remembered exactly why we'd broken things off, though he acknowledged it had been my doing. He told me that I'd be fine if I kept doing what I was doing, which was both flattering and telling.

    On one hand, it's nice to hear that you're doing something right, even when you feel like you've been unintentionally irresponsible with someone else's feelings. On the other hand, it's eye-opening to remember something: just as I had moved on and lived my life, so would — and had — my exes.

    It was narcissistic to assume they'd be interested in giving me pointers or that they'd be hung up on things that had happened years ago.

    Another ex, who I'd also broken up after a few months but for different, more complicated reasons, did actually have a few tips and though they weren't surprising, they were a necessary reminder of exactly what I was doing wrong.

    “You need to communicate better,” he told me. “About what you want, your feelings, sex. You have to say how you feel.”

    He's right. In order to succeed in relationships, communication is key. The presence of healthy, effective communication skills is one of the biggest indicators that you're ready for a relationship.

    friends laughing

    "Communication is vital for a relationship to succeed,"Jonathan Bennett, a counselor and author of the site The Popular Man, told INSIDER. "However, if you never make an effort to communicate with your partner, or, worse, actively shut down communication, you're a big part of the problem. This means that the issues plaguing your relationship will never be resolved in a healthy way."

    Frankly, this partner had deserved those communication skills, even when things were tough or even if I decided it was time to end things.

    It was nice for him to give me the courtesy that I hadn't extended to him, especially considering he'd attempted establishing a friendship. I didn't really deserve it.

    I really learned that I've been fortunate to date some very encouraging, empathetic, patient men, each of whom had not only great things to say, but whom were also willing to welcome me back with the explanation of a simple, earnest text, something I hadn't really been willing to do for them when I was busy deflecting my pain or attempting to hide from my feelings after a breakup.

    I don't know if I learned exactly how to clearly establish the boundary of friendship after a breakup, but I did learn that one of the biggest things to be aware of is the ability to listen and learn.

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    • Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell have a playful, healthy marriage.
    • Shepard recently tweeted praise for Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino, that took the form of a joke at the expense of his wife.
    • "I love my wife @IMKristenBell so much, but if she doesn't divorce me to marry @donaldglover, I will start to question her intelligence," he wrote.
    • Bell quickly respond, writing "what I love about you honey is that we agree about everything!"


    Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell are disarmingly honest about the work they put into their marriage — and some of that work includes joking around at each other's expense.

    Most recently, Shepard tweeted that Bell should probably leave him for Donald Glover.

    He also said that he would expect an invite to their wedding.

    Not one to miss out on a joke or dig at her husband, Bell responded by writing "what I love about you honey is that we agree about everything!" 

    Glover, also known as Childish Gambino, has been making headlines recently, basically for being insanely talented. He is an actor, comedian, and rapper who is currently starring in "Solo: A Star Wars Story."

    It appears that numerous people — fans of Shepard, Bell, and Glover alike — approve of the couple's decision. 

    Others ignored Glover completely and swooned over Shepard and Bell fulfilling their title as "couple goals."

    "I want my #daxshepard. They are seriously couple goals. To be able to be so confident about each other and have a sense of humor in the relationship. I seriously wish this in my relationship too," one person commented on a @commentsbycelebs Instagram post.

    Luckily for fans of the couple, they've publicly tackled everything — from being "bad parents" to overcoming toxic relationship habits— and it doesn't seem like they're splitting up any time soon.

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    Any new relationship is full of challenges. You're getting to know someone, and there's no telling when something might happen to burst the bubble of your new romance.

    In general, it's fun learning all there is to know about someone who used to be a stranger. But sometimes, there will be signs that you shouldn't take things further.

    Everyone has their own quirks and opinions, and someone who's a bit different isn't a reason to run for the hills. But it's a major red flag if you find yourself compromising on yourself or feeling uncomfortable.

    Business Insider asked eight relationship experts, many who specialise in helping people who have been in abusive relationships, about what they think are the major red flags.

    Here's what they said:

    SEE ALSO: Empaths and narcissists make a 'toxic' partnership — here's why they're attracted to each other

    1. You justify their bad behaviour.

    "If you find yourself justifying away what he does or says, even though these feel wrong in your gut, then that's a surefire red flag.

    "The mind is the most skilled Photoshopper — it can rationalise anything and paint any picture of anyone, depending on our initial perspective. There is a psychological phenomenon known as the 'confirmation bias,' where we are inclined to discard all evidence that does not align with our views and only keep those that do. And with a potentially toxic person, they have worked to create a false positive impression to worm their way into your heart.

    "So even if they do something bad or say something that's off, you may think, 'He's only this way because he went through X.' This is when ticking boxes of 'Is he rude to the waiter?' 'Is he nice to his family members?' doesn't work. He could be all that — the sleekest toxic people are.

    "But underlying it, if he says things like, 'So they'll treat us better the next time,' or he has a mean mouth towards some people, and if you find yourself justifying his transactional mindset or meanness, then it's time to pause and step back. Our brains work overtime to convince us of someone who's not good for us, even when our guts know it."

    Perpetua Neo, a psychologist and expert in toxic relationships who created the Detox Your Heart program



    2. They don't talk through issues.

    "I'd say the one major red flag in a person's behavior that may indicate that the relationship won't work is the unwillingness to talk through issues, big or small.

    "All couples have disagreements. That's perfectly normal and healthy. But it's how you handle those disagreements that can really make or break things. Does your partner walk away? Shut down? Place all the blame on you? Throw a tantrum? These are all red flags.

    "In a good relationship, a couple can and will talk through issues, listening to the other person's point of view and expressing his or her own. No one needs to win or lose. It's about expressing how something makes you feel and being heard. Communication is key."

    — Erika Ettin, a dating coach who founded the dating site A Little Nudge



    3. They're constantly testing your boundaries.

    "Run from anyone who attempts to cross a boundary that you have set."

    Examples:

    • "You have said you do not want to go further sexually and they insist."

    • "You say you are not available on Sunday, but they push you to see them."

    • "You are not ready to have them meet your family members or friends, but they push you."

    • "They push you to date exclusively before you are ready."

    • "They want to move in or get married or set up a bank account before you want."

    • "They try to change the way you wear your hair or your clothes or anything else about you that feels like 'you,' and it makes you uncomfortable."

    Lisa Aronson Fontes, a psychologist who wrote the book "Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship"



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    • Money is a common source of stress and arguments for many couples.
    • In a marriage, couples sometimes think that they need to share everything — including bank accounts.
    • However, having separate finances allows you to be in control of your spending, reduces the stress of having a joint bank account, and allows you to have fun with your money.

     

    When I first got married, I thought my spouse and I were supposed to be attached at the hip in all things. Over time, I found that I needed more breathing room than the close embrace of early love allowed. For me, that meant separating my money from my wife's.

    "Every good marriage is based on an awful lot of separation," Steven Nock, a professor of sociology who studies marriage at the University of Virginia, told WebMD. "People need to have a separate life and existence to feel validated as individuals. They can't live solely as somebody's partner."

    For many couples this happy separation extends to their finances, as well as their social lives.

    Our money separation felt harsh at first. I had decided to pay down some debts and improve my financial IQ, and I knew I needed a separate checking account to learn money management. To my wife, this seemed like a slap in the face. Over the years, however, our separate accounts have given us both the freedom to have a little fun with our own money, while still being financially accountable to each other.

    I’m not alone in wanting to maintain separate finances from my spouse. TD Bank’s 2017 Love and Money Survey found that 51% of the couples they surveyed combined all their finances, while 34% kept some money separate and 15% didn’t share money at all. The trend is stronger among millennials: 29% of couples under 34 have no shared accounts.

    There are a number of reasons why married couples are joining the trend and keeping their finances separate from their spouses. Here’s why.

    SEE ALSO: How my husband's trust fun affects my life

    1. Two bank accounts are better than one

    Mingling your money can add stress to your marriage, too. If you and your spouse have divergent spending habits and financial priorities, you can either fight about it or give each other some space to be different.

    You might be happier if you didn’t know how much money went to piano lessons or that cute little Kate Spade backpack. That’s certainly true for some couples.



    2. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing

    Some couples take a “yours, mine, and ours” approach to personal finances. Each spouse has a separate account, and both contribute to a joint account to pay household bills.

    My wife and I have come up with a version of this approach. We each have our own checking account as part of a jointly-owned credit union account. We have a joint savings account for reserves and another that we both contribute to for mortgage and property taxes.

    In a pinch, either one of us can access the other’s checking account. Over the years, when one of us has made substantially more money, it’s been easy to transfer funds to support the other.

    Best of all, I don’t have to weigh in on the new bike helmet she wants, and she doesn’t get to have an opinion about how many dresses I need to own (a lot). We can look at each other’s accounts if we want to, but we generally don’t.

    I talk about money with my wife, and we make big financial decisions as a couple. But we stay in our own lanes for the day-to-day stuff. I think that’s the secret sauce for a happily married financial life.



    3. Some of your finances are unavoidably intertwined — such as sharing a home together

    There is a lot to be said for joint bank accounts. If one spouse dies, joint accounts usually give the survivor immediate unrestricted access, according to legal website Nolo. If your accounts are separate, then you’ll probably need documentation that proves you have a right to the money, and you might have to go through probate before you can touch the funds, Nolo reports. This can add stress to an already stressful time.

    Joint accounts also foster financial transparency. According to the TD Bank survey, 13% of respondents said they concealed some part of their financial lives from their spouses. Millennials were much more likely to have undercover money (30%) than couples over 55 (4%). Secrets included clandestine bank accounts, and undisclosed credit cards and student loan debt. Worse yet, 35% of respondents said they had no plans to ever share their money secret with their spouses.

    Financial cover-ups can send a marriage onto rocky shoals when they come to light. A recent "Dear Sugars" column had a term for this: financial infidelity, which associates hiding financial information as a form of betrayal to your partner.

    Even if you keep your finances separate (in fact, especially if you do), there’s no way to avoid talking about money with your spouse. When you live together, your financial lives are unavoidably intertwined.

    When my wife and I first separated our bank accounts, we tracked how much each of us spent on household items such as utility bills and groceries. I was surprised to find that I contributed just as much by purchasing household supplies and food as she did by paying our fixed expenses for things like car insurance and the electric bill.

    Over the years, we’ve renegotiated who pays for what, as our financial and living situations have changed. What hasn’t changed is our commitment to sharing financial information with each other and making big money decisions as a team.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    issa rae insecure hbo phone

    There's nothing worse than getting hot and heavy with someone for the first time and being in constant fear of ruining the moment. Everyone is different, so everyone's going to have different turn-offs and turn-ons in the bedroom. However, out of curiosity and obligation to inform, we did some digging to see what the people of Reddit had to say about their biggest turn-offs.

    The available threads to sift through are endless, and within them are a lot of weirdly-specific answers. But you can rest assured that many others felt similarly, and there was a general consensus for most when it came to what kills their vibe when they're getting it on. Here are some of the most commonly mentioned turn-offs we found.

    When someone has bad breath.

    "You might be oozing with hotness but the moment I smell your breath, I just lose interest" - Redditor Entengkabwisote



    When a person smokes.

    "Smokers. Nothing kills my drive faster than smelling tobacco on a person's mouth/clothes/body." - Redditor onemedicman



    When the other person is just not that into it.

    "Lack of enthusiasm." - Redditor MonsieurGrimm

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    jeff daniels kathleen trado

    While most people are dubious (at best) when people marry their high school sweethearts, sometimes it truly does work out.

    These 15 celebrity couples met (or thought they met) their soulmates when they were just teenagers. Not all of them are still together — the story of Eminem and his wife Kim comes to mind — but all 15 couples shared their adolescent lives.

    Read on to learn how these 15 high school sweethearts met, and how some were even able to keep their relationships afloat while navigating the pressures of fame and fortune.

    Snoop Dogg and his wife Shante Broadus have been together for over 20 years, and even went to prom together.

    Their first son, Cordé, was born in 1994 and they were married three years later in 1997. Snoop even shared an adorable throwback shot of the two at prom on Instagram. The ups and downs of their marriage were all documented on their reality TV show, "Snoop Dogg's Father Hood."

    The couple filed for divorce in 2004, but reconciled and renewed their vows in 2008. According to VH1, Snoop told Queen Latifah in 2013 that "[he] had no understanding of how I was hurting her and how I was betraying myself, until I [realized] I need to love this woman who loves me and had my kids. [I needed to] put my life in perspective and let my music and my business become secondary."



    Jeff Daniels and his wife Kathleen Treado still live in their childhood home town with their kids.

    Daniels and Treado grew up in Chelsea, Michigan, and met in high school. They've been together ever since. Throughout his highly successful career, the couple still call Chelsea their home, and raised their three kids there.

    In 2014, Daniels spoke about why he chose to stay close to home rather than move out to industry hubs Los Angeles or New York City, saying "[Chelsea] was home. Kathleen and I had both been raised here; good enough for us, good enough for them."



    Robin Thicke and Paula Patton are no longer together, but their relationship began when they were 16.

    Thicke told Essence in 2011 that their relationship began when they were both 16 years old and Patton was "the president of the Black student union and [Thicke] was just a silly White boy." But they had actually met a year prior at a teen club where, according to Thicke, he serenaded his future-wife with the Stevie Wonder song "Jungle Fever."

    According to E!, they were together for 21 years and married for nine, before filing for divorce in 2014 and engaging in a particularly nasty custody battle for their son Julian.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Prince Harry Meghan Markle

    • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will wed on Saturday.
    • We took a look at the scientific predictors of divorce and marital stability to help predict whether the royal couple will live happily ever after.
    • Some signs — like the fact that they're getting married in their mid-30s — are more negative than others — like the fact that they seem to share the same goals.


    When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ascend to the altar Saturday, the whole world will be watching. And in the years that follow, any hint of marital discord or unfaithfulness between them will be pounced upon as juicy gossip.

    That is to say: There's a lot of pressure on these two to make it work. Will they?

    Before we get into any predictions, it's important to note that no one can say with absolute certainty whether an individual couple will have a successful marriage, or whether they'll get divorced. The findings and observations below apply to couples in general.

    That said, here's what the science has to say about the future of a couple like Prince Harry and Markle:

    They're getting married in their mid-30s, which is generally a bad sign.

    Markle is 36 years old; Prince Harry is 33.

    According to Nicholas Wolfinger, a professor at the University of Utah, the odds of divorce are relatively high for couples who get married in their teens or after age 32. After age 32, Wolfinger found, your odds of divorce increase by about 5% every year.

    meghan markle prince harry

    They're both children of divorced parents, which could go either way.

    Markle's parents, Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle, divorced when Markle was six years old. Prince Harry's parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, when Prince Harry was 11. (His mother died in a car crash the following year.)

    As Business Insider's Rebecca Harrington reported, experiencing divorce as a child isn't exactly what predicts breakups later on. Instead, according to a 2015 study published in the journal Marriage and Family Review, kids who experience lots of family conflict are more likely to divorce as adults.

    In other words, if parents get divorced and things subsequently calm down in the household, kids could fare better than if their parents stay married and continue to fight.

    It's unclear how much family conflict Markle and Prince Harry experienced when they were younger, so it's hard to infer much from the fact of their parents' divorces.

    prince harry meghan markle

    Markle has been married before, which tends to increase the risk of divorce.

    Markle was previously married, to film producer Trevor Engelson.

    Research suggests that second and third marriages are more likely to end in divorce than first marriages. There are a number of potential reasons why. For example, someone who survived one divorce may be more likely to initiate another, since it's not as scary. "It’s now the 'devil you know': if you’ve been through it once before, you know you can do it again," marriage and family therapist Virginia Gilbert told HuffPost.

    meghan markle prince harry

    They're affectionate toward each other in public, which might not bode well for their future.

    Markle and Prince Harry were much more affectionate during their engagement interview than both Prince William and Kate Middleton and Prince Charles and Princess Diana. They held hands, giggled, and gazed lovingly into each other's eyes. By contrast, the other two couples barely touched or looked at each other.

    One study, published in the journal Interpersonal Relations and Group Processes in 2001, found that this type of behavior tends to predict the dissolution of the relationship. The authors write: "As newlyweds, the couples who divorced after 7 or more years were almost giddily affectionate, displaying about one third more affection than did spouses who were later happily married."

    Meghan Markle Prince Harry

    They seem to be on the same page about the coming years, which is a positive sign.

    It's so important that we'll say it again: There is no Magic 8 ball for any marriage. There are myriad factors that predict a couple's happiness and stability, way beyond the ones we've covered here.

    It's also worth noting that Prince Harry and Markle appear to be on the same page when it comes to their values and goals, which is important for any relationship.

    In their engagement interview, Markle said, "It was really one of the first things we connected on, it was one of the first things we started talking about when we met, was just the different things that we wanted to do in the world and how passionate we were about seeing change."

    SEE ALSO: The most important career decision you can make is who you marry — here's what that means for Meghan Markle

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    marriage therapist esther perel

    • Marriage can be challenging, and couples therapist Esther Perel has seen it all.
    • Perel shared insights on how to handle every potential stage of a relationship, from dating (there's no such thing as "the one") to cheating (it doesn't always mean the person is unhappy with their partner).
    • This post is part of Relationships 101, a series which aims to help us all be happier and healthier in love — and to stop fighting over who should take out the trash.


    I first met Esther Perel in 2017, at a launch event for her new book, "The State of Affairs."

    Perel has been a couples therapist for years; she previously published the bestseller "Mating in Captivity." I was impressed by how much energy she still had as she talked about intimate relationships, about our fears and feelings around them.

    At one point, she acted out a hypothetical person's reaction when they find out their partner has been unfaithful — which couldn't have been easy, given that the person was having many different reactions at once. (The punchline: "F--- you; f--- me!")

    A few months later, Perel visited the Business Insider office to record a series of videos in which she answered all our burning questions about modern romance — from dating to marriage. Three points stood out to me as most insightful:

    1. There's no such thing as 'the one'

    Perel said many people who use dating apps feel paralyzed by indecision: How do you know you're choosing the right person from among the millions of options?

    Perel's answer: You aren't, but you are. "There is never 'the one.' There is a one that you choose and with whom you decide that you want to build something. But in my opinion, there could also have been others."

    And now that you've chosen this person, you "come up with all the arguments to justify why that was the right person," Perel said. "There is no one and only. There is the one you pick and what you choose to build with that person."

    2. Empathy and understanding are the best ways to resolve conflict

    According to Perel, the two most important skills in a strained relationship are the ability to show empathy for your partner's experience and to take responsibility for your contribution to the problems. She called them the "saving grace" of any rocky relationship.

    Empathy, Perel said, is all about being able to "acknowledge what the other person is going through; to validate that the other person is going through this, that it makes sense that they would be feeling this way." It's harder than it sounds.

    Taking responsibility means shifting the focus from what the other person is doing wrong to what you might be doing wrong.

    Perel said, "It's so easy to focus on what's missing in the other person. It's so easy to go critical. It's so easy to think that if you were different, my life would be better, rather than sometimes to switch it around and think if I was different, my life would be better. And maybe if I was different with you, you would be different with me."

    3. Cheating doesn't necessarily mean something is wrong with the relationship

    Perel acknowledged that when someone strays, it's generally assumed that there was something wrong with their relationship. And yet she called this a "deficiency model" of infidelity, because it doesn't account for other motivations.

    "Many times the people who stray are also hoping to reconnect with lost parts of themselves," she said.

    Maybe they've always been a goody-two-shoes and long to rebel, or maybe they've gotten so caught up in taking care of the kids that they haven't properly attended to their own desire for stimulation. These aren't excuses for infidelity, but different ways of looking at the reasons for cheating.

    Perel said: "Often when a person goes to look elsewhere, it isn't so much that they're looking for another partner as much as they're looking for another self. It isn't so much that they want to leave the person that they are with as much as they want to leave the person that they have themselves become."

    SEE ALSO: I asked a top relationship psychologist for his 3 best pieces of advice about marriage

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    • In any long term, committed relationship, it is essential to communicate with one another about money. 
    • If there is a significant difference between your respective salaries, approach the subject of 'ratio-ing' the rent with honesty and openness.
    • To create a sense of fairness, the person paying less rent can take responsibility for certain domestic tasks. 


    "I'm moving in with my girlfriend. She makes way more than I do. Can I suggest we "ratio" our rent or is that weird and unsexy?"

    Here's the truth about that: Itisunsexy. But it's also practical. So you're going to have to decide what you care about more when it comes to the financial part of your relationship: sexiness or having an awesome QuickBooks relationship and no debt. My personal take is that even the sexiest relationship should (and will inevitably) have a dose of practicality.

    But either way, I will share one ingredient to every good cohabitation: openness. Which leads to my first bit of advice. Before you move in with someone, you should always have the money talk. This is true if your incomes are comparable. But I think it's especially true if they're not. Making presumptions about who'll pay for what is mighty shaky ground on which to start a new life.

    "Great, Ms. Money Etiquette," you're saying. "But what is a money talk?" Well, I interviewed a couple of accountants for this, and we all think the talk should include a few things. First, share your personal budgets with each other. Very exposing, and possibly terrifying, I know. But do it.

    Here's one way: Each take a sheet of paper and write down all of your individual expenses, then hand it over to your mate to peruse. If that doesn't feel sexy, start by saying, "I'll show you mine if you show me yours." But seeing how she spends her money will shed light on a side of her you probably don't know much about (and the other way around, too). Of course, this could be either a good thing or a bad thing ("What'sSkinflix?"). But isn't it better to know that stuff before getting the new keys made?

    Here's a more extreme version of doing that: Pass the list back and forth, so neither of you are dominating the conversation — food, cleaning lady, rent, dog walker, vet, dog food, dog groomer, mortgage, utilities, garage, vacation. Warning: This won't be that sexy. When I talked to Melissa Lydon, an investment advisor and financial analyst, she said, "The practical process of doing a budget can be very tedious. But it will bring about a huge sense of relief and clarity once you've completed it."

    Once that icebreaker exercise is done, you can address your "ratio" concept. I always think it's a good idea to de-accountant-ify terminology at a time like this — maybe calling it "sharing" will make it sound more palatable. "Let's figure out how we're going to share our expenses" puts you on a more level playing field with each other.

    When you get to the "rent" line, wrap your suggestion up in a resentment-free offering. Say something like "What if I pay one third of the rent and pick up something else, like the dog walker?" The point is to keep it neutral. And as sexy as possible. "Do it in the nude," suggests New York CPA Jonathan Walsh (cheeky devil … ), who brought up a very interesting negotiating point: Not all offerings need to be financial. "Bring everything you've got to offer to the table," he suggests. "‘You might be paying less rent, but you might be the better cook. So offer to make dinner most nights."

    And you know how much she loves your paella.

    But here's the one thing I believe every "money talk" should include, whether you're thinking about ratio-ing your rent or not: your financial history, and your current financial status. I'm not talking about sharing your net worth on your first date. But "everyone has a backstory with money," says Lydon. "And it usually is laced with some kind of emotion — anxiety, fear, guilt."

    So share yours with each other. Do you come from money? Did your family never have enough? Did you earn yours or was it given to you? If you're in debt now, let it be known. If you're financially independent, explain why. As Lydon so succinctly put it: "Share even what you don't share." You can say, for instance, that you're in debt but you need a little time to divulge the details about it. Hiding facts like these isn't cool, and, frankly, it isn't fair to the other person.

    And remember, money is a moving, living thing, constantly changing its flow. So hopefully one money talk will lead to regularly scheduled (or naturally occurring) money talks.

    At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you go into this with no hidden surprises or unrealistic expectations. And be honest, not just with your partner but with yourself. Meaning? Don't make promises in the name of love that you won't be able to keep. "If you selflessly say, 'It's OK if you can't contribute to the rent while you search for the job that will make you happy' when you don't mean it, chances are you'll end up hating your partner," says Walsh. "Be realistic, and act like adults."

    Whether raised toilet seats or hairs left in the shower drain are acceptable roommate conduct might warrant a separate sit-down.

    SEE ALSO: Being a wedding guest is expensive — here's how to save money when you have multiple to attend

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