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The latest news on Relationships from Business Insider
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    couple eiffel tower

    If you're on the hunt for your perfect match, there's a chance you've been looking too close to home.

    Travelling is a great way to meet new people — and it turns out there are certain places around the world that increase your chances of finding Mr or Mrs Right.

    Dating app Happn— which has 1.9 million users in the UK and 37 million worldwide — analysed the number of "crushes," or matches, made by users across the globe to find out which monuments and landmarks were popular for finding love.

    The app, which exists in 50 cities and 40 countries, uses geolocation to connects users who are in the same place at the same time. If the users "like" each other, by tapping a heart on the other user's profile, then they can start messaging each other.

    While the likes of the Eiffel Tower did make the list, some of the results were more surprising — and you're unlikely to have heard of the 71.5 metre-tall landmark that took the number one spot.

    Scroll down to see the 10 landmarks around the world where you're most likely to meet your match, according to Happn.

    10. Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Meaning "hunchback" in Portugese, the mountain is known for its "Christ the Redeemer" statue, which tourists flock to.



    9. Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey. In the 15th century, this stunning spot served as the main residence and administrative headquarters of the Ottoman sultans.



    8. Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia. Whether you're simply checking out the view or attending a performance, this arts centre offers many opportunities to meet someone new.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    julianne hough and brooks laich

    How long a couple waits to have sex is a decision that's deeply personal to them. Whether they're abstaining for religious reasons, because of past relationships, or simply because they want to wait, many couples make the decision to wait until after they get married.  

    Though the internet is full of false flags about which couples have actually waited to take the plunge (Lisa Kudrow was the victim of such a rumor), we've rounded up some of the couples who have been open about waiting. 

    Ciara and Russel Wilson

    Though the pair were previously married to other people — Wilson to his high school sweetheart Ashton Meem and Ciara to rapper Future — Wilson and Ciara were public about their decision to wait until they were married to have sex. 

    “For me, I knew that God had brought me in her life to bless her and for her to bless me,” Wilson told Us Weekly. "We're not going to be perfect, by any means. But He's anointed both of us and He's calling for us to do something special."



    Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich

    Julianne Hough was vocal about her decision to wait to have sex until marriage from the beginning of her career, explaining her reasoning to CosmoGIRL! magazine in 2008.

    “I want to be with that special person,” she told the publication. “I think [the choice] to have sex before marriage is an individual one, but if you’re just with one person, it’s only for one good reason, and [waiting to have sex] will strengthen that relationship. I’m not trying to preach consequences here, but I think when you say no, down the line it will be a better decision.”

    Although Hough didn't confirm that she waited to have sex until marrying Brooks Laich in 2017, nor should she feel obligated to, she also never publicly went back on her stance. 



    Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici

    Sean Lowe was notoriously known as the "Virgin Bachelor" during his time on the franchise, but he actually made the decision to be celibate after the age of 24, he told the site "I Am Second."

    "At the age of 24 I finally became a man," he said. "I said, 'OK, Jesus, let’s do it again."

    When he married now-wife Catherine Giudici, who he met on the show, their wedding was televised and the "virgin" aspect of their relationship was played up, with a live-stream of the Honeymoon Suite in the bottom of the screen during the ceremony. 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    couple kiss

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • Chana Rose, who has been a matchmaker for over 30 years, says to look for a partner whose direction in life you share and who you're attracted to.
    • Tawkify founder E. Jean Carroll thinks the two most important factors are looks and status.
    • Talia Goldstein, founder of Three Day Rule, advises seeking a partner whose best qualities are evergreen, like kindness and respect.


    There's no secret formula or magic combination of characteristics that make someone a perfect romantic partner, but there are certain qualities that up your chances of building a happy, fulfilling relationship.

    INSIDER spoke with professional matchmakers who make it their business to know how to spot a suitable significant other. Here are the five things that they say you should look for.

    The same direction in life

    vespa couple travel

    Chana Rose, who has been a matchmaker for over 30 years and facilitated hundreds of weddings, said that she starts by making sure that the two people she wants to set up have similar goals and trajectories for their lives.

    "I think the most important thing is that they have to be in the same direction in life," said Rose. "That's the premise that we start off with."

    Chemistry

    couple kissing

    It might go without saying, but chemistry is a key element in successful relationships. It can take time to become evident, especially if you or your date are too nervous in the beginning to be yourselves, but Rose said it has to be present.

    “You want to be with somebody, that's gotta be there,” she said. “Two pieces of wood don't get married.”

    Looks and status

    couple

    E. Jean Carroll, columnist for ELLE's Ask E. Jean and founder of Tawkify, believes that the two pillars of a successful match are looks and status. If those two factors align, it's likely that the rest will, too.

    "If people like the way the person looks, they will like the person. If you're relatively the same status, you will be happy," she said. "Any matchmakers who say they aren't matching on looks and status are not human.”

    Common interests

    Couple Cooking Eating

    Maybe you both like cooking and share new recipes with each other. Maybe you enjoy hiking or hate-watching bad movies. Whatever it is that brings you together, there should be something that you both can talk about and partake in.

    "They have to have enough in common to have a conversation and also to teach each other different things,” said Talia Goldstein, founder of Three Day Rule.

    Intangible qualities

    couple hugging

    Some of the traits on this list are temporary, and that's okay. While looks, status, and interests can change, they're still important catalysts for sparking a connection and bringing people closer together. But even before these things begin to fade, Goldstein encourages seeking someone who demonstrates evergreen qualities like kindness and respect.

    "You don't really need perfect teeth and broad shoulders when you're 70 years old," said Goldstein. "You should be looking for someone that genuinely respects you and makes you laugh and is kind. That's what we find are the most important traits to look for in a match, are really the intangible."

    Want to learn more about modern matchmaking? To read more about why the old-school practice is making a comeback in today's dating world, click here.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The psychology behind who says ‘I love you’ first in a relationship


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    flesh love Mihaya&Takao

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • Haruhiko Kawaguchi photographs couples vacuum sealed together.
    • He has 10 seconds to take the pictures before his subjects need to breathe again.
    • He hopes to capture the couples' adhesion and connection to each other.
    • Don't try this at home.


    This photo series gives new meaning to the phrase "You take my breath away."

    Haruhiko Kawaguchi, also known as "Photographer Hal," uses an unconventional method to document couples' closeness to each other.

    In his ongoing series called "Flesh Love," he explores the bonds that hold people together by eliminating the space and air between them. He vacuum seals lovers into plastic storage bags meant to hold bedding, then quickly snaps pictures while they hold their breath. 

    Here are 10 stunning vacuum-packed photos.

    Haruhiko Kawaguchi is a photographer based in Tokyo, Japan.



    After publishing a book called "Couple Jam," for which Kawaguchi photographed couples crammed into bathtubs, he wanted to continue experimenting with other household objects.



    He settled on using vacuum bags that hold bedding, and began recruiting couples to pose curled up together inside the plastic bags.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    couple

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • INSIDER asked a relationship expert the signs that you and your partner are the perfect match.
    • She told us that you should accept each other and enjoy spending time alone with each other. 
    • Sometimes, though, it may all come down to trusting your gut. 

    Getting into a relationship with someone is like gambling. You never truly know that something is going to work out, but you can use clues and past experiences to determine if someone actually is — or, at the very least, could be — the one.  

    Sometimes, however, you can gauge if your partnership is right fairly early in the relationship. INSIDER asked dating expert and author Monique Honaman to share some signs that a couple is a perfect match and her answers may just help you figure out if your partner is the right one for you. 

    You accept each other. 

    Even the happiest person notice things about their partner that drive them mad. You may think a perfect match involves two people who find no fault in each other, but Honaman told INSIDER that's not the case. 

    She said that unless someone's faults are huge deal-breakers for you, you'll have to accept them if you're in it for the long haul. Don't think that just because they love you that your partner will change who they are inherently.

    "Too frequently couples try to change one another," she said. "I hear, 'I figured I could change that about him over time.' The reality is that if you can’t accept whatever it is you are trying to change when you are dating, don’t hold out that you can change if after you are married."

    "If you are the perfect match, you are willing to accept him/her entirely," she added. "You might not prefer a certain trait, but you are willing to fully accept it."

    That means you don't have to love your partner leaving towels on the floor or their terrible jokes at parties, but if you can shrug your shoulders and accept it, you're right for each other. 

    Couple

    You genuinely enjoy being around each other. 

    So many people envision relationships to be romantic dinners and candlelit nights. But if you're in a long-term relationship, you probably already know that a lot of your alone time together involves grocery shopping, Netflix binges, and cleaning the house. 

    You'll end up spending a long time together, if you're lucky, but a lot of that time will just be the two of you doing nothing special. If you're truly a good match, Honaman told INSIDER, you'll genuinely enjoy spending time with them, no matter what you're doing. 

    "This sounds obvious, but many couples truly don’t enjoy being together — just the two of them," she said. "They may have great physical 'chemistry,' but may not be able to enjoy simply being in each other’s company."

    Honaman said that a great Instagram presence or having fun in groups is not enough to build a strong partnership together — you have to be OK with conversations just the two of you. 

    "I’ve seen great couples who appear to be perfect for each other. They are constantly going out with other couples, having parties, traveling in groups," Honaman said. "The reality is that they are uncomfortable being alone with each other as they have nothing to say to each other when it’s just the two of them.  If you can’t go for a walk together, stay in and have a quiet dinner together, enjoy a deep conversation together, it may not be the perfect match." 

    You have a gut feeling about them. 

    Oftentimes there is no substitution for trusting your instincts. Someone may be great on paper, but that doesn't mean you have to stay with them, Honaman said. Try to listen not only to the logistics of your partnerships (i.e. "they're really nice,""it's awesome to live with someone like them") and really try to figure out the nitty-gritty of how you feel about them (i.e. "I'm attracted to them and I feel safe." or "I can see myself being with them forever.")

    "Sometimes we try so hard to let our brains make our decisions for us, when really we need to listen to our heart just as much, or more," she said. "When it comes to relationships, intuition and heart-messages are usually more correct than logical and brain-messages.  Our brains may tell us that logically someone is a good match for us, but if our hearts aren’t in it as well, then trouble lies ahead."

    The bottom line is if you feel comfortable, stable, and happy with your partner, that may be all you need to know that they're perfect for you. People and situations change, but for now, all you can do is figure out if you fulfill these traits and trust that you've made a good decision. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Dating app founder: Response rates go up 60% when your first message is like this


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    hayden christensen rachel bilson

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • Rachel Bilson and Hayden Christensen have been together for 10 years.
    • According to Us Weekly, the couple has broken up.
    • They have one daughter together. 

    Another Hollywood couple has reportedly split.

    Us Weekly reports that "The O.C." star Rachel Bilson and "Star Wars" actor Hayden Christensen have split after 10 years together.

    According to the publication's source: "She's full-time back in L.A. He's in Toronto. They’ve been on the outs for a couple of months. They are completely, officially done."

    Bilson, 36, and Christensen, 36, met while filming "Jumper" and have been dating since 2007. They were briefly engaged, but never married. 

    The couple has a daughter, Briar Rose, born in October 2014. 

    Representatives for Hayden and Bilson didn't immediately respond to INSIDER's request for comment. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Terrifying NASA footage from space shows the giant Hurricane Harvey about to slam the Texas coast


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    blake lively ryan reynolds

    Age doesn't necessarily matter when it comes to love for these Hollywood May-December romances.

    From the 12 years between Jay-Z and Beyoncé to the 17 years between George and Amal Clooney, these celebrities have found their match in partners more than 10 years older than them.  

    Here are 32 celebrity couples with a big age gap between them. 

    Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder: 10 years

    Reed, 29, and Somerhalder, 38, started their relationship in 2014. They were engaged in early 2015 and were married in April that same year. The couple welcomed daughter Bodhi Soleil in July 2017. 



    Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo: 10 years

    Levine, 38, marriedVictoria's Secret model Prinsloo, 28, in 2014. Prinsloo gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Dusty Rose, in 2016 and announced a second pregnancy on Instagram in September 2017.



    Cheryl Cole and Liam Payne: 10 years

    Former One Direction member Payne, 24, has been dating singer Cheryl Cole, 34, since 2016. She gave birth to their first son, Bear, in March 2017.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    woman texting

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • There are a number of new dating "trends" that crop up all of the time, and it can be tough to know what they all mean. 
    • We've broken down all of the definitions of each term so you can put into words what may be happening to you.
    • We've also given advice on what you can do if you fall victim to any of these trends. 

    From ghosting, to haunting, to zombeing, dating is sounds more like a bad horror movie these days. And finding out what they mean can only add to the horror. 

    Although the internet and social media did not invent dating troubles, they've certainly added a number of complications when it comes to finding a partner. It can be difficult to keep up with the latest thing people are doing to each other, and even more difficult to deal with when you fall victim to one of the most common dating pitfalls. 

    We've compiled a complete guide of all the dating terms floating around, and what you can do when one happens to you. 

    Ghosting

    This is the OG modern dating term that refers to someone you're dating, seeing, talking to, etc. disappears without a trace. They don't break up with you, they just stop responding one day, leading you to assume they've broken up with you.

    Although this is common among people online dating someone they don't know very well, it can happen to anyone. This apparently includes people you live with

    Used it a sentence:"I was talking to that guy from OKCupid but he ghosted me last week."

    How you can deal with it: Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot you can do. If you know for a fact they're alive and this was a casual thing, you should probably just move on. If it was a little more involved, aka a full on relationship, you can feel free to let them know that it wasn't OK, and how it made you feel. Just know that those words may ring hollow to them and you likely won't get a response. 

    If they have things of yours, try and arrange a neutral person to go pick them up or let them know when you'll be by so they can leave it in a safe spot.

    Otherwise, thank the universe that this person showed you their true, ugly colors, relationship expert and author April Masini told INSIDER.

    "If you’re ghosted, understand that the person who ghosted you doesn’t have the tools to be in a mature relationship — or the character," she said. "And while it’s not nice to feel rejected, you’ve dodged a relationship bullet. Move on and be glad you have this opportunity."

    couple on phone

    Zombieing

    What is it? This is what comes after ghosting. After leaving without a trace, this person will contact you out of the blue acting as if nothing is wrong. This is like a person who is "dead" to you coming back to life, hence the term

    Used it a sentence: "That guy from OKCupid who ghosted me totally zombied and is acting like he never dropped off for 6 months."

    How you can deal with it: This is possibly even more frustrating than ghosting. Though this sometimes leads to a tropical vacation sponsored by Tinder, this person is most likely a flake and you should ignore their advances. 

    In some cases though, they may have a good excuse (i.e. a death in the family, mental health episodes, etc.). In those cases it's up to you if you want to give them another chance, especially if the relationship wasn't that serious. Just be prepared for them to do it again. 

    Stashing

    What is it? This is when you're dating someone and they're seeming to hide you away. You never seem to meet any of their friends and family and your dates tend to be at their house or somewhere where you won't know anyone.

    Used it a sentence: "I think my boyfriend is stashing me. It's been a year, and I've never met even one of his friends."

    How you can deal with it: Be straight up with your partner. Ask them to meet someone in their life or let them know that you'd love to hang out with a group of their friends too. 

    If they refuse, you're going to have to press them on it eventually. Though they may have real concerns about a toxic family or some rude friends, everyone has at least one person in their life they'd want to show you off to. If they don't they're probably hiding something. 

    couple

    Phubbing

    What is it? This refers to when you're in a relationship or even begin dating someone, and they prefer to look at their phone over talking to you. 

    Used it a sentence: "That guy totally phubbed me last night. He spent 30 minutes on his phone at dinner."

    How you can deal with it: Make some guidelines about when and where you use your phone]. If someone is on call for work fine, but making certain areas, like your bedroom, and certain times, like meals, a phone-free zone is a good start. 

    Benching

    What is it? This term refers to when you talk to someone online, and they seem interested but won't see you in person. You're "warmed up" by their conversation, but placed on a bench while they're talking to other people. You're kept on the line in case those relationships don't last.

    Used it a sentence: "That guy from OKCupid is totally benching you. No one is completely busy for three weeks straight. 

    How you can deal with it: You don't want to be with someone who doesn't unequivocally want to be with you. If they keep canceling on you and stringing you along, ask them to pick a date that works for them. If they can't commit to that, even months out, then they're just not worth your time. 

    You don't have to be mean, but let them know you're looking for someone who has more time to invest in a relationship with you and tell them it's best you don't talk anymore until they have that kind of time. 

    Couple

    Breadcrumbing

    What is it? This is when someone is nice to you in small doses, but won't speak to you in between. Maybe they send you flowers, but won't commit to a date for four weeks. Maybe they answering your texts for a week, and then send you a sweet email from. They're stringing you along with small bursts of effort.

    Used it a sentence: "I thought this guy was done with me, but now he's breadcrumbing me. I just got flowers at work." 

    How you can deal with it: Similar to benching, you have to let them know that you need someone who commits more time to you. This constant state of flux is terrible for a relationship because you can't trust that they'll be there for you when you need them. 

    It can be tough to identify, but you need to recognize that his behavior is not OK, spiritual counselor and speaker Davida Rappaport told INSIDER. 

    "A few months of being flirted with to no avail is a clue that you are being played … period," she told me.

    The next time you see them in person, let them know that you really like them but you feel like they keep dropping off the face of the earth. If they make excuses, let them know that you can't take the whiplash anymore. 

    Haunting 

    What is it? This is similar to zombieing, but sneakier. This refers to when someone ghosts you, but they return some time later in an indirect way. Maybe they Snapchat you, like your Facebook post, or watch your Instagram story. Either way, they are showing up again when you thought they were "dead."

    Used it a sentence: "This guy from six months ago just liked my tweet. I feel like he's starting to haunt me."

    How you can deal with it: This person is trying to edge their way back into your heart. They're showing up in this way to get back on your good side in a romantic way or otherwise. You can un-friend them, mute them, or block them if you feel like you want to, but otherwise, just treat it like an occasional annoyance.

    Couple

    Cushioning

    What is it? Cushioning refers to when someone keeps you around to make themselves feel good. They'll be in a relationship, but still in touch with you and flirt because you boost their ego. It will also keep you as an option if their current relationship doesn't work out and "cushion" the blow.

    Used it a sentence: "This guy I went to high school with told me I was beautiful, but I think he's just saying that because he needs a cushion after his breakup."

    How you can deal with it: Cushioning is a low-key form of cheating. You are under no responsibility to stop a person in a relationship from hitting you up, but you can shut it down. Let them know that you're happy to peruse something (if you are) if they're out of a relationship, but you feel it's inappropriate give their relationship status. 

    Of course, this doesn't apply to people in open relationships, so feel free to ask that first. And maybe verify that fact. 

    Love bombing

    What is it? This is an insidious tactic that has been around for years, but has only recently got a name. Love bombing is when someone moves a relationship along really quickly, telling you they love you on the second date, making plans to move in with you quickly after you meet, and just generally showing you loads and loads of affection. 

    This is usually followed by manipulative and controlling behavior, and can even lead to abuse. This person "reels you in" with this overwhelming love, lulls you into a sense that they adore you and would never hurt you, and then uses that bond to force you to comply with what they want. 

    Used it a sentence: "I didn't realize he could act like this because he was love bombing me in the beginning of our relationship." 

    How you can deal with it: It's best to cut love bombing off as soon as you catch it. Although you may be flattered by gifts and attention, remember that you both have control over the pace of the relationship. Let them know what you're comfortable with and don't let them manipulate you into doing anything you're not comfortable with. 

    If love bombing has crossed over into manipulation and abuse, you should tell someone you trust as soon as you feel safe. If you or someone you know has been the victim of domestic violence or abuse, you can contact The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 6 details you might have missed on the season 7 finale of 'Game of Thrones'


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    marriage relationship proposal couple love

    Preparing for my interview with psychologist Eli Finkel, there was one question I didn't really want to know the answer to.

    Finkel is a psychologist at Northwestern University and the author of the book "The All-or-Nothing Marriage," in which he explains why modern marriage is so hard and what couples can do to strengthen their own relationship.

    In one section of the book, Finkel addresses the issue of compatibility — how to maintain it with our partner, even as we both grow and change. And I was left worriedly wondering: Is it possible that a couple can start out perfectly compatible, and then become less so over time?

    Here's the answer he gave: "Even if we achieve compatibility in the marriage, there's no guarantee that that compatibility will remain strong over time."

    Yikes.

    Those few years that you're dating, before you get engaged, are what Finkel calls a "snapshot." He said, "How representative of your overall life are those two [or however many] years going to be?"

    That's especially true, Finkel added, if those two years are when you're "in your late 20s, and you're building a career, and you're still hanging out some with your college friends, and you have some new friends.

    "But there aren't screaming toddlers; there aren't newborns pooping their diapers all the time. So the degree to which you're compatible right now isn't any sort of guarantee whatsoever that you'll be compatible even in three years or five years."

    Finkel's unsettling observations reminded me of something Susan Pease Gadoua, co-author of "The New I Do,"told me in July: It's helpful to know you have an "out" of your marriage. That is, if one or both people grow out of the relationship, it might be upsetting, but it won't be shameful to leave.

    The psychologist Daniel Gilbert's research on the "end-of-history illusion" is especially relevant here. Gilbert suggests that most people have no idea how much they'll change in the future — which means you can't predict whether you'll still want the same things from your marriage in 10, 20, or 30 years.

    Ideally, both people in a relationship will grow and change in tandem. But realistically, that doesn't always happen. For sure, it's a scary prospect, but it's one that we're better off embracing.

    The real question here is whether or not you and your partner are determined to make the marriage function anyway — and there's no right answer.

    Finkel said:

    "The ''til death do us part' vow is so interesting because it says, 'You know, I'm going to change. I know I'm going to change. We're going to take this gamble. We're going to make this promise that says, regardless of all those sorts of changes and even when all those sorts of changes might lead us in a different direction, we are going to work super hard to try to make sure this marriage works."

    SEE ALSO: A therapist explains why one of the most traditional beliefs about marriage is also the most damaging

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: RELATIONSHIP EXPERT: Trying to meet your partner’s needs is 'the most horrific advice I could imagine'


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    Fergie Josh Duhamel

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • Fergie revealed that it was getting kind of weird pretending to still be with Josh Duhamel when they had split.  
    • They announced their breakup last week, but in their statement said they had actually split earlier this year. 
    • Fergie said they are committed to co-parenting their son. 

    Fergie and Josh Duhamel's joint statement announcing their breakup last week may have come as a surprise to many, but Fergie revealed to People magazine that it was a long time coming. 

    She told the magazine that keeping their split a secret was getting a little "weird" for them, since they were often interviewed and asked about their 13-year relationship. 

    “Honestly, it was just getting a little weird for us with all the romantic questions,” the singer told People. 

    “You can ask him, but it was just getting a little weird to laugh through the first date questions,” she continued.

    Their joint statement about their split indicated that their relationship had ended earlier this year, but it's unclear exactly when they called it quits. Fergie said that they wanted to wait to get their son Axl, 4, adjusted before they told the world. 

    fergie josh duhamel

    "We just wanted to get adjusted in private. [And Axl’s school has helped as] we have a co-op so Josh and I would walk there several times before the school season," she said of co-parenting with her now-ex. 

    Despite the split, Fergie said that she and Duhamel still love each other, and the announcement did not mean there was any bad blood. They just figured it was time. 

    “We’re great friends, we love each other so much, and it just got to the point where it was getting a little weird,” she told People. “There’s no perfect time, so we just decided to do it.”

    So far Duhamel has stayed mum on their split, but if Fergie's words are any indication, it seems like the pair has their priorities in order. Co-parenting after a breakup isn't easy, but they seem to be getting along just fine. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The largest study on breakups just revealed there’s actually an advantage to being cheated on


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    gigi hadid zayn malik

    Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik have been a high-profile, highly talked about couple since they began dating in late 2015. You may not be able to remember a time when they weren't together, but believe it or not, this power couple wasn't always about appearing in music video and magazine cover stars. 

    Take a look back at Gigi and Zayn's cutest, dramatic, love-filled moments, and see how they came to be one of the world's most fabulous couples. 

    August 2015: Zayn broke things off with fiancée Perrie Edwards.

    A few months after he split from One Direction, the singer ended things with his fiancée Perrie Edwards of Little Mix. Edwards claimed that Zayn ended things over text, but he later refuted that claim

    Their breakup lead to the revenge anthem "Shout Out To My Ex," which has some pretty obvious digs at Malik.  



    November 2015: Gigi and Joe Jonas broke up.

    Gigi and singer Joe Jonas ended their relationship in November 2015. At the time, they cited scheduling conflicts for their troubles. 

     



    November 2015: Rumors swirled that Gigi and Zayn were a couple.

    Gigi and Zayn were photographed leavingJustin Bieber’s American Music Awards after-party together and rumors began circulating that they were dating. They insisted they were "friends," but sources told Us Weekly that they were casually dating. 

     

     



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    married wedding

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • INSIDER asked a relationship expert the signs that you and your partner are fit to stay together.
    • Trust, support, accountability, and physical love are all important aspects of a long-lasting relationship. 
    • No one can know if you'll last for sure, but these are a good hint. 


    When you start a romantic relationship, you go in with some that you and this person could go the distance — otherwise why would you waste your time?

    Everyone wants to find the perfect formula to make a relationship last forever, but because every couple is different, a formula doesn't quite exist. That being said, there are some important traits that all successful couples share. Therapist Kimberly Hershenson told INSIDER what she feels long-lasting relationships have in common

    You trust each other. 

    It's a big deal if someone puts enough trust in you to devote time to you and open up to you. If you're going to be with them for a long time, it's important that you show reverence and respect that bond. 

    "It is difficult to be vulnerable and share problems with others," said Hershenson. "When a partner is able to open up to you it is important to not break their trust."

    In a relationship, trust is everything. If you feel comfortable and confident that your partner won't do things to hurt you and is not going to cheat on you, then you may have a winning team. 

    You support each other. 

    The world can be a scary place, and one of the best parts about having a partner is having someone on your side when the going gets tough. 

    If you feel like your partner believes in your dreams and is there to listen when you need to talk something out, that's a big part of a long-lasting relationship. 

    "Asking your partner how they are doing sometimes without even sharing your own personal issues allows you to be completely available to them," said Hershenson. "Listening to others' problems and lending an ear is a good way to "get out of your head" and let your partner know you are fully present to listen to them."

    couple friends women

    You hold each other accountable. 

    Partnerships mean being kind, but it also means speaking your truth when they do something that upsets you. Staying quiet doesn't lead to happiness, so knowing when to call your partner out in a healthy way will only make your love stronger and last longer.

    "If your you or your partner is upset with the other person talk it out without getting defensive," said Hershenson. "Acknowledge what your part was (even if it was simply upsetting them) and discuss what you could do differently in the future."

    If you are both able to admit when you're wrong, it will cause your fighting time to be cut down and will prevent simple misunderstandings from turning into something much bigger.  

    You show physical love. 

    Though it's important to show your partner love and support through your words, keeping up some form of physical love is important. This doesn't just have to be sex — making sure to give your partner a kiss when you leave for work or holding their hand while running errands are other, more subtle ways to connect physically. 

    "Whether it's a kiss hello or goodbye, snuggling on the couch or holding hands; even non-sexual touching builds connection between partners," Hershenson said. 

    Even if it doesn't come naturally, keeping up a routine of showing physical affection can make all of the difference. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Brooklyn Beckham Chloe Grace moretz

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • Brooklyn Beckham and Chloë Grace Moretz have been commenting on and tagging each other in flirty posts, making fans think that they back together. 
    • They reportedly broke up in September 2016, but have clearly been spending some time together lately. 
    • They commented "love you" to each other, but haven't confirmed that they're dating again. 

    Brooklyn Beckham and Chloë Grace Moretz have done a pretty good job at keeping fans guessing about their relationship status, but this week they added more fuel to rumors that they're back together. 

    Beckham and Moretz have been a rumored couple since 2014, but kept things on the down-low until they walked the red carpet as a couple at the premiere of Moretz's movie "Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising" in May of 2016. But the couple apparently split pretty quickly after that, and reportedly broke up in September 2016

    But the former couple hasn't been able to shake rumors that they're back together recently, and their social media behavior isn't doing much to quiet the speculation. Moretz apparently re-followed Beckham in August and they've been trading compliments on each other's photos. 

    Moretz also posted a photo of Beckham in a car and captioned it "8.27.17 NY," which means they have at least been hanging out. 

    8.27.17 NY

    A post shared by Chloe Grace Moretz (@chloegmoretz) on Sep 20, 2017 at 4:15pm PDT on

    That may seem innocent enough, but this week, things escalated. Beckham posted an Instagram of himself watching "Game of Thrones," and tagged Moretz. The caption reads: "These nights are my favourite ❤️. Missing my girl."

    These nights are my favourite ❤️. Missing my girl

    A post shared by bb (@brooklynbeckham) on Sep 17, 2017 at 10:25am PDT on

    Now Beckham posted a photo of Moretz's head with the caption "Thinking of this one xx." Moretz commented "Love you" and Beckham returned the favor with a "Love you more."

    Thinking of this one xx

    A post shared by bb (@brooklynbeckham) on Sep 20, 2017 at 12:35pm PDT on

    Their fans, of course, caught wind to the exchange and were understandably freaking out in the comments. 

    "Ohhhh my heart!!!! I'm in love," one wrote. 

    "OMFG this made my day, finally they are back together!!!!!" another wrote.

    "I freaking ship this couple so much 😭😍 since the day that they broke up, I knew that they were going to get back together. My heart omfg," a fan wrote. 

    Of course nothing is official until Moretz and Beckham announce it themselves, but them getting back together doesn't seem to be too far off, if it hasn't happened already. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Will and kate

    It's easy to believe that all celebrity couples have a fairytale romance, but many have admitted that their trip to the altar wasn't always easy. In fact, some took time apart during their romantic journey. 

    We've rounded up all the couples that almost didn't end up together forever, and had at least one break up on the path to their wedding day. 

    Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard

    Despite picture of true love now, Kristen Bell revealed to PopSugar that her now-husband Dax Shepard actually broke up with her shortly after they began dating. 

    "He sat me down and said, 'I can't have this right now. I think you're wonderful, but I am still dating other people,'" she said. "And then I, like, liquefied and fell to the ground, but I felt incredibly respected that he had the balls to tell me we weren't in the same place."

    Of course, shortly after, he knew he made a mistake.

    "He called me and he was like, 'I don't know what I was thinking. I was dating someone else but they're just not as interesting as you, and I don't know what I'm doing,' and he came back," Bell told PopSugar. 

    Shepard and Bell got married in 2013 so everything obviously worked out for them, but she said that she doesn't let him forget that they almost were never married. 

    "But I still always remind him of when he broke up with me," she told PopSugar.

     



    Chrissy Teigen and John Legend

    They are the internet's favorite couple now, but John Legend revealed to The Guardian that his relationship with Chrissy Teigen was almost over after a particularly stressful day. 

    "I was really stressed and busy," Legend said. "I was just like: 'I’d just be happier single right now.'" 

    Well Teigen wasn't having it; she told him no, they weren't breaking up. 

    Technically this wasn't a real breakup. Teigen later tweeted clarifying that she recognized that Legend was just having a particularly tough day. 

    "It wasn't a a typical breakup," she tweeted. "He was on tour and his voice hurt and he was being a whiny face about everything and so yeah, I was like 'no.'"

    Still it sure makes for a funny story knowing now how happy the couple is now. 



    Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo

    Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo may be proud parents and a happily married couple today, but once upon a 2013 they ended things in a kind of messy way.  

    The couple began dating in 2012 after Levine broke up with Prinsloo's friend and fellow Victoria's Secret model Anne Vyalitsyna. Levine and Prinsloo dated until May 2013, when he reportedly began dating Sports Illustrated supermodel Nina Agdal.

    But that relationship was short-lived. By July 2013, Levine and Prinsloo got back together and got engaged. They were married in June 2014, and Prinsloo gave birth to daughter Dusty Rose in September 2016. The couple is expecting another child together.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Demi Lovato

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • A blogger criticized Demi Lovato for not labeling her sexuality publicly.
    • Lovato hit back, saying that she doesn't want who she's attracted to turning into a headline.
    • She hinted that she'll discuss her sexuality in her new documentary. 


    The rumor mill went into overdrive last week when Demi Lovato was seen holding hands with another woman. Lovato hasn't spoken out about the photos or confirmed that she's romantically involved with her, but she didn't keep silent when critics knocked her — and now she's argued that she shouldn't have to "label" herself on Twitter.

    It all started when Lovato gave an interview with PrideSource and declined to label her sexuality after hinting that she may be bisexual. She said the decision to stay mum was a personal one and that she didn't want her sexuality being made into a headline. 

    "I just feel like everyone’s always looking for a headline and they always want their magazine or TV show or whatever to be the one to break what my sexuality is," she told them. "I feel like it’s irrelevant to what my music is all about. I stand up for the things that I believe in and the things that I’m passionate about, but I like to keep my personal life as private as possible when it comes to dating and sexuality and all that stuff just because it has nothing to do with my music."

    Demi Lovato

    This caused blogger Noah Michelson to write a piece criticizing Lovato for not openly labeling herself and discussing her sexuality. When he tweeted out a link to his Huffington Post blog on the subject, Demi and her fans were quick to take him down. 

    "Expectant and rude," Lovato replied to the tweet."Watch my documentary and chill out."

    Lovato continued to speak out against the piece on her own Twitter account, saying that more about her sexuality would be revealed on her terms in her new documentary "Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated" which drops September 29. 

    "Just because I'm refuse [sic] to label myself for the sake of a headline doesn't mean I'm not going to stand up for what I believe in," she tweeted

    "If you're that curious about my sexuality, watch my documentary. But I don't owe anybody anything," the singer concluded.

    Although visibility of sexualities and gender identities can be important, not everyone finds strength and validation within a label. It seems like Lovato has a pretty good handle on what she's comfortable with and won't be shamed into speaking about who she's attracted to.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Khloe Kardashian Lamar Odom OD

    The INSIDER Summery:

    • Khloe Kardashian says she was initially told ex-Lamar Odom died after he overdosed in October 2015. 
    • Khloe's sister Kim was the first to hear and relay the misinformation.
    • The reality star said she screamed when she first heard the news, and found the experience traumatic. 

    "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" has gifted fans with an inside look at the lives of the famous family, allowing them to witness good and bad times — like when Khloe Kardashian's ex-husband Lamar Odom overdosed in October 2015.

    What fans didn't realize at the time, however, was that the experience was much more traumatic than it appeared.

    People shared a clip from the upcoming 10 year anniversary special, in which the family members say they were initially told the former NBA star died. As Kendall Jenner explains in the clip, she received a text from her older sister, Kim Kardashian-West, with the news. 

    "It had said Lamar passed away," Kendall says. "And I immediately started sobbing on the plane."

    Shortly after, however, she received another text saying that her former brother-in-law was not dead, but "not doing well."

    So where did this false information come from? Kim says that someone made a fake account and sent her the wrong information, an act that sent the entire family on an emotional roller coaster ride. 

    "She fell [and] screamed on the plane," Kim says of her sister Khloe. 

    "To think and to go through the motions as if someone has passed away is the most traumatic thing to do and then to know they’re really alive, it was too many emotions, I think, for any of us to handle," Khloe tells host Ryan Seacrest. 

    Khloe Kardashian Lamar Odom Interview

    The story of Khloe and Lamar's relationship is made for TV; filled with love, betrayal, and heartbreak. According to ET, the two met in August 2009 and got married a month later — an event which was filmed for "Keeping Up With The Kardashians."

    Though the couple shared many amazing moments as husband and wife, even earning their own spin-off show on E!, Khloe's rise to fame and Lamar's alleged drug use and infidelity eventually led to the couple's split in 2013. The divorce proceedings were put on hold, however, after Lamar suffered from an overdose in 2015, according to E!.

    Khloe cared for Odom during his hospital stay and recovery process, showing that she still had love for her former husband. But that was not enough to keep them together.

    "I will always like love Lamar and be his friend but it's time for me to start the next chapter of my life," Khloe said in an episode of "Keeping Up With The Kardashians," according to E!.

    Lamar Odom Khloe Kardashian

    Their divorce was finalized in December 2016, according to Us Weekly. Khloe is currently seeing Tristan Thompson and hopes to get married and start a family with him some day, giving fans something to look forward to in the next season. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    dad with baby

    Eli Finkel's take on parenting is perhaps best summed up in his description of his baby as a "puking piece of adorableness."

    Time was, he or his wife would want to spend the night out with friends; the other would send them off, no problem. Once their baby arrived and his wife would go out, Finkel said, he would now be solely responsible for this, well, puking piece of adorableness.

    Finkel is a psychologist at Northwestern University and a professor at the Kellogg School of Management. In his new book, "The All-or-Nothing Marriage," Finkel both explains why modern marriage is so hard and offers some guidelines for strengthening your own relationship.

    In one section, he describes how parenting can take a toll on a marriage, and admits that he was one of the 25% of men who suffer from postpartum depression. When he visited the Business Insider office in September, he said he was surprised — and somewhat dismayed — by how much having a kid changed his life.

    To expectant parents, or to people who hope to one day have kids, he said the key to survival is adjusting your expectations.

    Here's how Finkel described his own experience: "I just felt like everything that I had enjoyed doing in my life was gone, and replaced with a lack of sleep. I did love my child of course, but the way that it affected my life was depressing for me."

    Finkel's personal experience affected his marriage, putting some distance between him and his wife. It took a while for them to reestablish intimacy. Adjusting their expectations helped.

    In the book, Finkel describes a post-baby vacation with his wife that wasn't nearly as enjoyable as it used to be. On that trip, they decided to stop shooting for the stars. He writes:

    "Seeking bliss through the marriage — particularly looking to each other for assistance with personal growth and self-expression — just made things worse. So we just stopped trying. We put our heads down and focused on putting one foot in front of the other.

    "That approach worked. The disappointment became less acute. And, eventually, we rediscovered each other."

    By the time he and his wife had a second kid, Finkel told Business Insider, he and his wife had "recalibrated":

    "Both of us understood that this isn't going to be the time when we're going to enjoy each other in the marriage the way we used to. This isn't going to be the time when our spouse is going to be as attentive to us and as responsive. This isn't going to be a time when we're really going to have that much alone, well-rested time together. And how disappointed are we going to be about that?"

    The transition to having a second baby went much more smoothly.

    Other scientists have studied the transition to parenting, and the "buffers" that protect against a decline in marital satisfaction. According to Alyson Fearnely Shapiro, then at the University of Washington, two of those buffers are "being aware of what is going on in your spouse's life and being responsive to it" and "approaching problems as something you and you partner can control and solve together as a couple."

    The takeaway here is that you can never fully prepare for having a kid — but you can prepare for your life to change in some capacity, and you can talk to your partner about how you'll each help each other through the low points.

    SEE ALSO: A relationship psychologist has bad news for couples who plan on being married for life

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    Ian somerhalder nikki reed

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed shared the story of how they conceived their child on a podcast. 
    • Reed reveled that Somerhalder actually flushed her birth control pills down the toilet. 
    • This is disturbing not only for health reasons but because Somerhalder seemed to make the decision himself that the couple would have a baby. 


    Having a baby is a huge decision for every couple. It should be one that is carefully thought out and one that all parties involved are consenting to. 

    It should not involve throwing out someone's contraception in an effort to decide your partner is getting pregnant. But Ian Somerhalder apparently did just that when he and Nikki Reed conceived their first child, Bodhi. 

    Somerhalder and Reed appeared on Dr. Berlin's Informed Pregnancy podcast, as first noted by Women's Health, where Reed revealed that catalyst for her pregnancy was pretty much decided by Somerhalder.

    "[He] threw out all my birth control pills," Reed said.

    Somerhalder at this point decided to explain his decision, saying that he and Reed had discussed having a baby together and decided they wanted to. But he apparently decided to take matters into his own hands before Reed did. 

    "We decided that we wanted to have children together, and it was just time. But unbeknownst to poor Nikki, she didn't realize that I was going to go in her purse and take out her birth control," he said. "By the way, it was the beginning of the pack, so I had to pop all those suckers out."

    Wow. What a burden for someone to have to dispose of a whole pack of birth control. The nerve of some people to have a fully stocked medical supply of pills that they regularly take each month.   

    nikki reed and ian somerhalder

    Contraception is a very personal decision to each person. People of all gender identities take it not only to prevent pregnancy, but to limit the effects of painful periods, endometriosis, acne, and more. Taking away birth control for some people would be like cutting off any other important medication — because it is an important medication. 

    But say Reed is lucky enough just to use birth control pills as contraception — your body can still go through some big changes when coming off of the pill cold turkey, even when you're in "good health," including heavy bleeding, cramps, and mood swings. 

    On top of that, Reed made a choice about her body and Somerhalder didn't respect that.

    The only person who can make a decision about a person's contraception is that person. If Reed was reaching into her purse to take another pill, she was clearly making the decision to still use birth control pills as contraception. Maybe she would have stopped tomorrow, the next week, or never, but it should have been up to her to decide, regardless of what conversations were had.

    Somerhalder was quick to point out that the pair had already made the decision to have children before he popped the pills into the toilet. But apparently, he also has a six-minute video of Reed "freaking out" that her birth control was gone. That doesn't sound like a woman who is empowered and consenting in her decision to have a child. 

    Consent can only be given in that moment — just because they had a prior conversation about it, doesn't mean Reed doesn't reserve the right to change her mind. By taking away Reed's pills, Somerhalder took away her bodily autonomy. He made the decision for her and decided that he knew better than she did. 

    At no point when popping out 28 pills did it cross Somerhalder's mind that maybe this is a super messed up thing to do to the woman that you've promised to be a fair and supportive life partner to. 

    Nikki Reed Ian Somerhalder

    And in case you think I'm being unfair to the guy, Somerhalder admitted on the podcast that he basically made the decision for Reed to get pregnant himself. 

    "Actually, now thinking about it, I guess I kind of decided," he said.

    At least he's self-aware. 

    There are plenty of ways to go about having children. Ideally, this should start with a long discussion and end with you both consciously making the decision to conceive a baby. It should not involve a terrible, panic-filled moment of realizing that the decision has been made for you. 

    I am not married to Ian Somerhalder. For all I know, he could be a dream husband in every other scenario. But what he did here was not OK, and it's troubling to hear him laughing and seeming not to realize that at the very least he betrayed his wife's trust. At worst, he put her health in danger.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Nikki Reed Ian Somerhalder

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed shared the story of how they conceived their child on a podcast.
    • Reed revealed Somerhalder thrown away her birth control pills after the couple decided to have children.
    • The story sounded like reproductive coercion to some people.
    • Now Somerhalder and Reed put out a statement clarifying their position.
    • "If this somehow sheds a light on a topic that definitely needs some mainstream attention, then we are grateful for the unintended consequence [...] We are two happily married people who chose TOGETHER to have a baby."


    Husband and wife actor duo Ian Somerhalder and Nikki Reed have found themselves in the middle of a contentious news cycle after the couple told a controversial story about how their first child was conceived.

    Somerhalder and Reed appeared on Dr. Berlin's Informed Pregnancy podcast, as first noted by Women's Health, and said after they decided together it was time to have children, Somerhalder threw away Reed's birth control.

    "[He] threw out all my birth control pills," Reed said.

    "We decided that we wanted to have children together, and it was just time. But unbeknownst to poor Nikki, she didn't realize that I was going to go in her purse and take out her birth control," Somerhalder said. "By the way, it was the beginning of the pack, so I had to pop all those suckers out."

    Nikki Reed Ian Somerhalder Getty red carpet

    As my colleague Kristin Salaky wrote on Friday when the news broke, this was concerning to many who believed the story made it sound as if Somerhalder was really making the decision for Reed. 

    Reed and Somerhalder have now since released statements defending Somerhalder's actions and saying the story was being misinterpreted by media outlets. When they both told the story, it was in a lighthearted tone. 

    On Friday, Reed posted a screenshot of a note she typed out, which was peppered with sarcasm and anger at the way certain people had reported the story.

    Here's the full message:

    Quote from an article this morning claiming my husband tried to "force (me) into pregnancy?!" Oh and my favorite line "That is some unconsented bulls--- right there."

    My response: Yep. When you actually listen to the podcast (which I'm sure you didn't) you'll hear how UNFORCED I felt. Also, "unconsented" bulls--- is you speaking on my behalf in a story admittedly taken out of context for the purpose of stirring up drama WITHOUT my approval. Don't talk about consent to me.

    And lastly, how dare you try to cast a dark shadow over one of the happiest most memorable days of my life — you're not only disrespecting me but my baby. Oh and next time you try to stand up for women by writing an article "about women's rights," try properly conveying the way I felt. It's a shame that this was your way in. You have a platform, write about things that matter by using truthful stories, not gossip. Thanks and goodbye.

    — Nikki.

    Then on Saturday, both Somerhalder and Reed tweeted and Instagrammed a joint response. This one had a much different tone.

    Here's the full message:

    To anyone who has been affected by reproductive coercion, we are deeply sorry. That is an extremely serious issue, and women's rights is something that is incredible important to both of us. It is something we've been very vocal about, and something that is very close to our hearts.

    We never expected a lighthearted interview we did poking fun at EACH OTHER and how WE chose together to get pregnant, a goofy moment in Barcelona with our two best friends and the anticipation of the start of our journey together as we went from two to three, to turn into something representing a very serious matter.

    However, if this somehow sheds a light on a topic that definitely needs some mainstream attention, then we are grateful for the unintended consequence. It's a shame that outlets chose this as their way into a very serious discussion, as we are certainly not qualified to be the faces of this topic. We are two happily married people who chose TOGETHER to have a baby. The end.

    Love,

    Nikki and Ian

    You can listen to Dr. Berlin's Informed Pregnancy podcast episode featuring Reed and Somerhalder's story to hear the full tale.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    couple happy

    If you've just got out of a relationship with a narcissist, you should congratulate yourself. You tore yourself away from the abuse, the lies, and the mind-games, and you can finally start to heal.

    If you ended the relationship, they might still be trying to get back into your life. This is why the "no contact" stage — where you completely erase them from your life — is so important for you to move on.

    However, if they broke up with you, you might be still grieving for what you once had. It's important to remember that you're mourning the person you thought they were, not the abusive, cruel manipulator the really are.

    A certain amount of time after the break-up — usually not long, when it comes to narcissists — your ex will find someone new. Whether you're happy they're out of your life or not, this can still be upsetting to hear.

    The narcissist will go out of their way to ensure you know about their new relationship. This could be through social media posts, mutual connections, or even directly contacting you about it. They might even thank you, to tell you how much they appreciated your time together and how much they learned from the break up, to be a better person for their new partner.

    If you can't resist the temptation to look the new love birds up on Facebook, you might see everything you thought you had in the beginning of your relationship. You'll see happy faces, gushing posts, and what looks like domestic bliss.

    The person who made your self-esteem drop to the floor appears to have completely vanished.

    You might start to question your own worth, and ask yourself questions like, "Why couldn't they be like that for me?,""Wasn't I enough?," or "Was it my fault?"

    Yes, you were enough. No, it wasn't your fault. What you have to remember is this is all an act. When the narcissist met you, they put on the same mask. You had that smiling, happy face once, before the narcissist showed their true colours.

    The same story repeats itself.

    According to psychologists, therapists and neuroscientists, narcissists can never change. They are obsessed with the idealised image of themselves, which they believe to be superior to everybody else. They are deeply miserably people with low self-esteem, so they create an inflated version of themselves in their minds, giving them a false sense of superiority.

    Small spats which all normal couples go through turn into never-ending circular arguments with narcissists, because they only see fault in others.

    "They are perfect in their mind,"Shannon Thomas, a psychologist and author of the book "Healing from Hidden Abuse," told Business Insider. "So when we're trying to have a normal back and forth about how we're going to work through these bumps, psychological abusers will be very resistant to that, because there's 'nothing wrong with them.'"

    This contempt they see for everyone else around them is deep-rooted. This means sooner or later, that hatred and disgust will be pointed towards the person they are in a relationship with. A romantic attachment doesn't protect you from being the target.

    Narcissists can never really love anyone.

    It doesn't matter how much they bombed you with love at the beginning with gifts, compliments, and undivided attention, because this wasn't their true self. That's why it's important to remember that no matter how happy and loved-up they look with their new partner, it's only a matter of time before they start being belittled and insulted too.

    Narcissists can never really love anyone. Every relationship they have is transactional, meaning they are always looking into what they can get out of it. Sooner or later, they will suck their partner dry of money, enthusiasm, self-esteem, or all three, and they discard them without looking back.

    That's why you should never be jealous of your narcissistic ex's new partner — they haven't changed. They aren't fixed. They aren't happier with this new person. They are merely going through the same first steps of the relationship you did, and you should be glad you're free from it.

    After the idealisation phase, which the new relationship is in, devaluation starts, which is when the narcissist starts to tear down your confidence and makes you miserable.

    So instead of worrying that you were the problem, tell yourself this: someone else's actions are never your fault. We are all responsible for what we say and how we act, and if your narcissistic ex decided to make you feel worthless and unloved, it was never because of something you did. It was because they can't deal with the fact that we are all imperfect.

    You escaped the worst relationship you are ever likely to have, and you survived, because you are strong. You're likely to still feel an attachment to the relationship because of something called trauma bonding, but these feelings will eventually fade, and you'll look back one day and thank your lucky stars you got away.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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