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The latest news on Relationships from Business Insider
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    Twitter baes

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • Two Kent State University students began messaging on Tinder in 2014.
    • They kept joking that they missed each other. 
    • This went on until this year when Josh Avsec tweeted a screenshot of their conversation. A friend tagged Michelle Arendas, the woman he was talking to, in his tweet. 
    • The two exchanged numbers and now Tinder is sending them to Maui. 


    You know that feeling when you just forget to text someone back ... for a year? 

    Well, Kent State University students Josh Avsec and Michelle Arendas ran into that situation nearly three years ago — and now the internet and Tinder is determined to get them together. 

    It all started in September 2014 when Avsec and Arendas matched on Tinder. Avsec messaged Arendas with a simple "Hey Michelle." Despite that dazzling and captivating message, she didn't respond for more than a month and explained, jokingly that her "phone died." 

    "Wow you found that pretty fast," he played along. "It usually takes me about five months to find my charger." 

    "Yeah I just wanted to make sure it was fully charged, 0 to 100 real slow," she replied. 

    Then the conversation dropped off for another month when Avsec jokingly excused his absence. "Hey, sorry I was in the shower," he said. 

    She then took another month to reply. "Hey just saw this message, sorry I was in class," she said. 

    Then, another three months went by and in May 2015, he messaged her back. "Sorry Michelle I have made a horrible first impression, i it [sic] really caught up with finals," Avsec wrote. 

    "Hi I really do apologize for just now getting back to you, I've just had a really really busy week," she wrote back seven months later. 

    Then, nearly a year went by when Avsec replied in October 2016: "Michelle I don't want you to think I'm rude, midterms are coming up and it's just been really hard to keep up with it all," he wrote. 

    Four months later, he got his response. "Hey Josh, just wanted to get back to you really quickly!" Arendas wrote in February 2017. "President's Day had me swamped recently, you know how it gets!!" 

    Avsec posted the entire exchange to Twitter last week with the caption, "One day I'm going to meet this girl and it's going to be epic. Look at the dates of our Tinder texts." From there, it was retweeted tens of thousands of times and one of Arendas' friends tagged her and looped her into the exchange. 

    Avsec told BuzzFeed News that this is what finally prompted him to direct message her and get her number and that the two have been chatting ever since. But once Tinder got wind of this constantly missed love connection that happened on its platform, it sprang into action. 

    "It's time you got together IRL," the app tweeted. "You have 24 [hours] to decide the city you want to have your first date in and we'll send you there!"

    Avsec tweeted back and said that the pair had decided to meet up in Maui, Hawaii. 

    "After a long debate over your unbelievably generous offer, our dream first-date would be in Hawaii," he wrote. "Meet you in Maui??" 

    Tinder responded, confirming that they'd be sending the pair there. 

    "Aloha! We're sending you to Maui but you can't take two years to pack your bags!" the app's social team wrote back. 

    Avsec told BuzzFeed that he and Arendas have plans to meet up in person before their big trip and it looks like the internet is waiting with bated breath for the two to live happily ever after. 

     

     

     

     Here's hoping all your swipes right end in trips to tropical destinations! 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This girl showed up to Tinder dates in a wedding dress


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    prince harry meghan markle

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • Prince Harry bought a piece of art and asked if it could be split in two for him and an "important person." 
    • Obviously, we're assuming that person is Meghan Markle. 
    • It's a sweet gesture even non-royals can learn from. 


    When you're a commoner, you might borrow your partner's sweater to feel close to them. But when you're a royal, you buy expensive artwork and split it in two for you and a loved one. 

    People magazine recently confirmed that Prince Harry purchased a sentimental piece of artwork from British artist Van Donna called "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love" for an "important person," which obviously, we're assuming is his current girlfriend and "Suits" actress Meghan Markle. 

    But he didn't just purchase it for Markle. Harry reportedly also asked if the piece could be split in half for two people, according to People. That leads us to believe (or hope) that one piece hangs in his royal pad while the other is in Markle's home. 

    It's not clear how much the prince dropped on the romantic present, which features two canvases (one with two children holding hands and the other with the name of the piece on it), but People reported that a painting by Donna went for $5,000 in 2016, and that her stock has only risen since that purchase.  

    Harry reportedly purchased the work in October 2016, just shortly before he went public with his relationship with the American actress and philanthropist. But the artist just recently tweeted about the purchase, understandably freaking out.

    An unnamed local art collector told People that they give Harry props for the sweet and innovative gesture and we have to agree.

    "It's a bit like a charm bracelet — where you give half of it to someone you're involved with and keep the other half yourself," they told People. "We should all learn something from it, I think.”

    And while we all may not all be able to afford a gesture worth thousands of dollars, we can still take a less-pricey page out of Harry's book. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: We drove a brand-new Tesla Model X from San Francisco to New York — here's what happened


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    Surprise wedding

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • A man planned a surprise wedding for his fiancée. 
    • She was happy about it and the two got married in a friend's home. 


    Surprise weddings can be tough to pull off: You have to convince everyone that the event that you're throwing is important enough that they should show up, give them a reason to dress nicely, and keep the whole thing under wraps. Things get a lot more complicated bride is out of the loop too. 

    Lorenzo Trujillo pulled off the seemingly impossible on July 7: he threw a surprise wedding for his fiance and when she found out about it, she wasn't mad!

    Trujillo told BuzzFeed News that he and his partner Jenn, who are both in their late thirties and live in Leesburg, Virginia, had both been married in the past with fairly big weddings, so they weren't interested in having a big to-do for their own ceremony. He said that the planned on eloping or going to the courthouse with some friends. 

    "She came to me and said, 'We have this marriage license — when are we going to get married?' and I said, 'You know what? Don’t worry about it. I'll figure it out,'" Trujillo told BuzzFeed. 

    Well, apparently for Trujillo, figuring it out means planning a totally surprise wedding for Jenn in just 10 days, with some help from their best friends, according to BuzzFeed. 

    Trujillo said he told Jenn he had a big date planned, so she should pick out a nice dress. Luckily for him, he said she picked out a white dress that she could wear again to the courthouse when they got married. The two actually did go on a dinner date and he proposed at the end of their meal. She, of course, said "yes."

    Surprise wedding

    Then, Trujillo's plan really got going. He said that he had left tickets to their "event" at their neighbor's house, but then when they pulled up to the house, she saw twinkling lights and knew something was up. 

    Trujillo told BuzzFeed that he assembled their friends and family at the house and told them it was for a surprise party. They were only told of the nuptials when they arrived. When Jen and her fiance walked up and she figured out what was up, obviously, she freaked out. 

    "I was like, 'Is this happening right now?'" she told BuzzFeed News. "'Are we getting married? Are we doing this?'"

    Despite knowing how many brides might react to such a surprise, and warnings from Trujillo's best man and the wedding photographer that maybe this wasn't such a good idea, Jenn was thankfully happy about the decision.  

    Looks like this leap of faith totally paid off for these two lovebirds. Just be sure that if you're thinking about doing this for your partner, they have an adventurous spirit and love a good surprise. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This couple quit their jobs and used their wedding budget to sail the world


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    sadness

    Have you ever been talking to someone, and their version of events seems totally and completely different to yours?

    This happens a lot, largely because the human memory is imperfect. We all remember things a bit differently to each other.

    However, in more severe circumstances, people toy with someone else's memories to make them feel like they are going crazy. It's called gaslighting.

    Gaslighting is not when somebody has a different opinion to you. For example, you can't accuse someone of it just because they vote for an opposing political party. It's a severe manipulative tool people with dark triad personality traits use — but not exclusively — and it is seen a lot in abusive relationships.

    It's mainly used as a power tactic, to make the victim question their reality, and become more subservient. According to psychologist and therapist Perpetua Neo, it is when someone "screws with your sense of reality to manipulate you, causing you to distrust yourself and trust them instead."

    The term is coined from the 1944 film "Gaslight" where a man controls and tricks his wife into believing she is losing her mind — her things appear to go missing, she hears footsteps coming from the attic, and she sees the gaslights dim and brighten for seemingly no reason.

    These tactics are on the more dramatic end of the scale, and in relationships the signs can be a lot more subtle. However, Neo lists things she and some of her clients went through, such as having emails and numbers deleted from phones, and being made to repeat things over and over while being backed into a corner.

    Even so, in many cases, if you're being gaslighted you probably won't notice it's happening to you.

    You might think you are too strong of mind to let somebody have this effect on you — and hopefully you are right — but according to psychologist Stephanie Sarkis on a blog post in Psychology Today, gaslighting is often done so slowly, the victim doesn't realise they're being brainwashed.

    It's like the "frog in the saucepan" analogy: where the heat is turned up very slowly on the stove, so the frog never realises it's starting to boil to death.

    Everybody is different, and everyone has different experiences, but according to Neo, people who are controlling, abusive, and narcissistic often follow the same pattern. For this reason, there are several techniques that the people who tend to gaslight others follow.

    Here are some of the signs to look out for.

    Sign #1: Lies

    A gaslighter's main objective is to confuse you. Because of this, they don't really care whether their lies are blatant and obvious. When they say something that is obviously untrue, they will still say it with a straight face.

    Even if you have proof, they will often stick to their guns. This is all a tactic to keep you off-kilter. Eventually, they will attempt to make you believe that everything they say is the reality.

    It will start off with something as simple as: "I didn't say that." But over time it will turn into something more disturbing, such as threatening to expose you as a liar or a fraud, when really you are neither of those things.

    The more sure you are that they are wrong, and the more frustrated you get, the more they will persevere with their lies.

    Sign #2: Isolation

    Abusive people like to use the people around you as weapons. According to Sarkis, if you have children, a gaslighter will tell you that it was a mistake to have them. They will try and make you believe that you are worthless, and nothing else can compare to how important your relationship is.

    They may say tell you your friend actually hates you, or your brother thinks you are useless. These are almost certainly lies, but when they are reinforcing your mind with the same stories over and over again, some of them may start to stick.

    "Gaslighters are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what — and they use these people against you," Sarkis writes. "When the gaslighter uses this tactic it makes you feel like you don't know who to trust or turn to — and that leads you right back to the gaslighter. And that's exactly what they want: Isolation gives them more control."

    gaslight

    Sign #3: Positive reinforcement

    One of the most confusing — and effective — things a gaslighter can do is be nice to you. If someone was truly nasty and insulting towards you 100% of the time, the relationship probably wouldn't have gotten very far. However, when someone starts gaslighting you, they've already established a relationship with you that you believe is meaningful.

    "Naturally, the abuse persists, and you’re never sure if it happened," Neo said. "Because the next day, he is so charming or so remorseful — or a mixture of both."

    When a relationship starts with someone abusive — often a narcissist, a sociopath, or a psychopath — they will "love-bomb" you. According to a blog post in Psychology Today by psychiatrist Dale Archer, love-bombing is a tactic when somebody showers you with affection, and makes you feel like the luckiest person in the world.

    However, the love-bombing, or idealization, stage is quickly followed by the devaluation and discard stages, where you start to be insulted and wonder where on earth things started to go wrong.

    The idea is that when they take this love and affection away, you will do anything within your power to try and get it back. You blame yourself for them changing the way they acted towards you, and you compromise yourself time and time again to get the perfect partner back again. You can't though, because that person never really existed.

    Gaslighters will throw in the odd compliment, or the rare gift, to make you believe that it's the real them, and whenever they are angry at you, or abusing you, it's because you did something wrong.

    Sign #4: Projection

    If the gaslighting partner is a drug addict, that's what they will accuse you of being. If they cheat on you, they will say you are the one being unfaithful.

    It's a distraction technique, according to Sarkis, because it keeps you on your toes, and makes you feel like you should be defending yourself. You're so busy doing this, the gaslighter gets away with whatever they want to.

    Sign #5: 'You're crazy'

    Sarkis says this is one of the most important tactics to look out for. If someone ever dismisses your point of view as "crazy," you need to really consider why they are doing it.

    It's dismissive and patronising, and it doesn't take your feelings into account. It makes you feel like you are not being heard. Worst of all, the more often the gaslighter calls you crazy, the more likely you are to finally believe it.

    "They'll use this 'you're unstable' idea to stop you from hanging out with other people, isolating you, or making you give more of your resources over to him," Neo said. "They'll tell you things like 'Look at you, no one likes you' to dissuade you from hanging out with your friends and family, or point out how these people are bad for you."

    The desired effect: You're under their spell

    Once they've worn you down, the gaslighter will have you where they want you. You'll be agreeable to everything they say and you will no longer question them when they blatantly lie to you. You'll be confused and disoriented, and feel like you have nobody left around you to trust.

    "Because you don’t trust yourself, and instead have been conditioned — rewarded or punished accordingly," Neo said. "You fade away into a shell of who you are."

    In other words, the gaslighter now has complete control.

    isolation

    You might be more susceptible than others

    Some people subconsciously seek out abusive people to date, time and time again. Unfortunately, this means that if you've been in a relationship with a gaslighter, you may be more likely to end up in another one.

    Certain traits make people more susceptible to falling into these types of relationships. According to Neo, people are attracted into abusive relationships because they are familiar, and they are recreating damaging aspects of their past because familiar feelings are comfortable.

    Also, there are the people who have a lot of empathy for others, and they get sucked in because gaslighters know they can prey on that.

    "Some women show this co-dependency, by over-giving and over-functioning," Neo said. "That's a very common trait I see in my clients. They're over-empathetic and they tend to feel a lot."

    She added: "When that happens you over-empathise with other people, and you stop empathising with yourself, because you explain everything away for other people. And the empathy starts to drag you down. You get very tired, and when you're very tired it's very hard to fight."

    Neo also points out that many of her clients who were in these sorts of relationships were very high achieving women. This seems counter-intuitive, but abusive people enjoy controlling those who they feel are worth controlling. For example, narcissists will show you off in front of their friends, but behind closed doors they will belittle and devalue you.

    But it doesn't stop there

    If you manage to get out of the relationship, the gaslighting can persist, Neo warns.

    "You find it hard to trust yourself — you let the big bad wolf into your life in the first place," she said. "You feel like someone’s out to get you. Or, as his mask slips, he may have even told you cruelly how he was out to get you."

    However, she also says the good news is you can heal and you can learn to trust and love again, rather than feel fearful that life is out to get you at every turn. It'll just take time.

    The more aware you are of these kind of traits and signs, the better equipped you are to avoid falling into a gaslighter's trap. It's not an exact science — and relationships are complicated — but if you feel like you're constantly compromising on your own sanity, or defending yourself more than seems normal, it might be time to take a step back and look at what's really happening.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    man walking in the rain san francisco

    About a month ago, a group of about 20 men — all fathers in their 30s and 40s — gathered at a home in Oakland, California to talk fatherhood.

    Alarmingly, when asked how many of them had "real friends" — the kind of confidantes with whom they could talk honestly and vulnerably about life on a regular basis, through good times and bad — only two people raised their hands.

    It might be tempting to interpret this sense of isolation as a crisis of masculinity in the US. But the available research suggests that loneliness is a problem that supersedes gender.

    In a revealing sociological study, a large percentage of Americans report having shrinking networks and fewer relationships. The average American has only one close confidante, the same study showed. And the leading reason people seek out counseling is loneliness.

    The reason we're lonely

    Why do so many Americans feel disconnected from one another? Many critics have blamed social media and smartphones. But the truth is that online social platforms often help us feel more connected to our communities — not less. The larger issue lies not with technology, but with Americans' individualistic ideology.

    Americans like to think of themselves as independent, unique and autonomous, as a classic study by Stanford psychology professor Hazel Markus has shown and described in her book Clash: How to Thrive in a Multicultural World. Like other individualistic cultures, mostly in Western Europe but also in some immigrant cultures, Americans want to stand out.

    This individualistic mindset is in part the result of the Protestant work ethic, which heavily influenced US culture with the idea that every man has to prove his own worth in the face of God.

    stand outSimilar ideas were also emphasized by American transcendentalists including Ralph Waldo Emerson. In Emerson's essay "Self-Reliance," he claims that it is the job of individuals to find their own voice, path, and life calling. "Be yourself," he wrote, "no best imitator of another, but your best self."

    Immigrant culture also influenced American individualism, as our ancestors strove to forge their own path toward the American Dream.

    Individualism in the US can differ by socioeconomic level. Working-class Americans tend to act more collectivistically, according to research by Kellogg School of Management professor Nicole Stephens. For example, people of higher economic status tend to be more independent, whereas poorer people often tend to be more collectivistic. But in general, Americans pride themselves on their independence, on their ability to succeed and pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

    Our quest for independence may also be responsible for our current crisis of loneliness. We know from decades of research described in our book The Happiness Track that our greatest need — after food and shelter — is for social connection. From birth through old age, we need to feel that we belong.

    Yet we can easily become isolated from one another. Some of us get competitive when we compare ourselves with our peers; others get trapped in 12-hour work days or scatter across the country in the quest for achievement. We drown in workaholism and the busyness of life, then numb ourselves with alcohol and Netflix. Yet social connection is what we all desperately want — that sense of deep and powerful intimacy, whether it's with a romantic partner or a friend.

    listen talk conversation listening

    Here's what we can do

    As men and women grapple with new definitions and forms of masculinity and femininity, we now have a rare opportunity to create new cultural norms around authenticity and vulnerability — the keys to building social connection.

    As Brené Brown, professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, has so powerfully shown in her bestselling book Daring Greatly, when we allow ourselves to be seen — when we admit our fears or self-doubt, for example — we connect with others and in turn give them permissions to be themselves. In sharing our fears and insecurities, we find true relationship.

    It took one person at the men's group in Oakland admitting his vulnerabilities for everyone to suddenly open up. Thanks to this man's courage — which at first led to an awkward silence — everyone else started to let loose, bonding with each other authentically. Parenthood is hard, it became clear; so is trying to balance being a good father and a good partner. In order to bond, they had to admit that they didn't have everything under control all on their own; they needed each other.

    Everyone has challenges in life, and many of those same difficulties are shared by the people around us. When we stop trying to emphasize what makes us different from, and better than, everyone else, and instead focus on what we all have in common, we feel a lot less alone in the world.

    Emma Seppälä is the Science Director of Stanford University's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and author of The Happiness Track. She is also Co-Director of the Yale College Emotional Intelligence Project at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. 

    Peter Sims is founder & CEO of Parliament, Inc. and author of Little Bets.

    SEE ALSO: 10 ways to fight loneliness

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Tiffany_Dufu_headshot

    I'm just as guilty as anyone else of reaching over my pile full of constructive, smart, aspirational nonfiction books to the novel I really want to read (again).

    But I couldn't put down Tiffany Dufu's "Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less."

    "Drop the Ball" is the true story of how Dufu, who is chief leadership officer at Levo and was a launch team member to Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In, figured out how to manage the conflicting demands of work, parenthood, and her marriage — by letting some of it go.

    Normally (confession time!) I have a hard time finishing nonfiction and self-improvement books. I generally put them down one day and they just fade away. But with "Drop the Ball," I wanted to see what happened. How did Dufu, who spent her whole life earning A's, and honors, and promotions, and generally giving everything her all, keep things from falling apart while raising two children as she worked and her husband traveled extensively for business? Which balls did she drop?

    If you can't identify with this challenge, look to the concept of the "mental load." It refers to the mental checklist needed to run a household, one traditionally kept by women. Low on toothpaste. Must get cash to pay the lawn-mowers by tomorrow. Rain boots no longer fit toddler. Car inspection is about to expire. And so on. (For more on that, check out the illustrated version of this concept, "You Should've Asked.")

    If she doesn't remember it, it won't get done. Or will it?

    The book is packed with relatable, too-close-to-home lessons for overachievers of any ilk — whether at home, or at work. At work, it's called delegating, and it's not a remotely new concept. If you're overseeing a team, you trust others to do what they do best, and you don't do every little thing yourself. That's why you have a team! Ever since finishing "Drop the Ball," I can't stop thinking of its takeaways at work. If something isn't done exactly the way I would have done it myself, can it be enough? Actually, can it be better than how I would have done it?

    Sociologist and UC Berkeley professor Arlie Hochschild called the struggle of balancing work at the office, running a household, and caring for children the "second shift," in her 1989 book of the same name. Hochschild wrote that paid work, child care, and housework are three separate jobs, and that historically, in a heterosexual household with kids, women take on two of the three. As Lisa Wade, an associate professor of sociology at Occidental College, put it in a 2016 article for Money, the second shift is "the work that greets us when we come home from work."

    But Dufu tells us that while someone has to do it, it doesn't have to be you, and it doesn't have to be the way you've always done it.

    One unforgettable anecdote from Dufu's story has stuck with me as the pinnacle of dropping the ball: the dry cleaning.

    When she asks her husband to be responsible for picking the dry cleaning, she's worried it won't get done. Usually, she picks it up before work, but she notices that he doesn't. That's OK, she reassures herself. There's a whole day ahead. When she comes home from work, she notices the dry cleaning isn't in the closet. As the dry cleaner approaches its closing time of 8 p.m. and she starts getting anxious that he forgot, she hears the doorbell ring, and rushes over, assuming he'll be outside, hands full of dry cleaning and unable to open the door. But it's not her husband. It's her dry cleaner, delivering the dry cleaning.

    Drop the Ball_final cover"Your husband asked me to deliver," he told her.

    "You deliver?"

    "Yeah."

    "Martin, I've been bringing my clothes to you for nearly two years now. How come you never told me you guys deliver?"

    "You never asked."

    I can't stop thinking about that — how something she worried her husband couldn't or wouldn't handle turned out better than the way she did it herself. What else could others, whether partners at home or teammates at work, do better than we could, if we just give them the chance to do it?

    While Dufu's book is about a high-achieving woman and probably resonates most with others in the same position, it's not only for women. It's for anyone used to being top of the class, to juggling every ball without letting one drop, to being put-together at all times. It's also for anyone who loves, or who shares a household with, that person.

    I've recommended it to friends, to coworkers, to acquaintances. As far as I'm concerned, there isn't anyone who shouldn't read "Drop the Ball."

    SEE ALSO: The woman famous for explaining 'why women still can't have it all' perfectly explains how anyone's priorities can change

    SEE ALSO: The biggest difference between your purebred dog from a breeder and a mutt from a shelter is marketing

    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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    couple

    Have you ever been in the middle of a heated argument when the other person suddenly pulls out their phone and starts texting?

    This behavior, known as stonewalling, fits into a category that marriage therapist John Gottman has identified as one of four signs a couple is headed for a breakup.

    Gottman is a psychology professor at the University of Washington and has been studying couples for decades.

    Gottman and University of California Berkeley psychologist Robert Levenson spent 14 years studying 79 married American couples to find out what — if anything — those who divorced had in common.

    The couples who split by the end of the study tended to display one of four behaviors which Gottman called "the four horsemen of the apocalypse": contempt, criticism, defensiveness, and stonewalling. But Gottman also told Business Insider that there are ways to spot these behaviors early and work to change them for the better.

    1. Contempt

    Contempt alone, Gottman told Business Insider, is "the kiss of death" for a relationship. He described the behavior as a virulent mix of anger and disgust that's far more toxic than simple frustration or negativity. It involves seeing your partner as beneath you, rather than as an equal.

    coupleThe reason contempt is so powerful, Gottman said, is because it means you have closed yourself off to your partner's needs and emotions.

    If you constantly feel smarter than, better than, or more sensitive than your significant other, you're less likely see his or her opinions as valid. And more importantly, you're far less willing to put yourself in his or her shoes and try to see a situation from his or her perspective.

    To combat this behavior, partners need to be open to seeing things from the other's point of view.

    2. Criticism

    Like contempt, criticism involves taking something your partner did and turning into a statement about their character or the type of person he or she is.

    Say your partner has a habit of leaving used dishes around the house. Do you calmly tell them that the behavior bothers you, or do you think to yourself, "Why am I dating the type of person who is so careless that they leave their dishes everywhere?" If you're in the latter category, Gottman said these reactions can feed darker feelings of resentment and contempt.

    The next time you find yourself criticizing your partner's character, then, perhaps take a moment to question why you're doing it. Are you trying to avoid addressing a bigger issue?

    3. Defensiveness

    Gottman found that couples who divorce within the first several years of marriage — one of the times when divorce rates are highest — tend to slide easily into emotionally-charged situations.

    couple arguing

    One partner in these dangerous scenarios, he said, often plays the victim and becomes defensive.

    For these couples, "entering negativity is like stepping into a quicksand bog. It's easy to enter but hard to exit," Gottman said.

    To avoid a situation like this, he advised taking responsibility for your role in a tough situation. This can be uncomfortable, but it's often what keeps a bad situation from escalating, he said.

    4. Stonewalling

    You know when an argument is about to start — you can feel your heart rate increase and your voice get a bit louder. But if things start to get heated, do you walk away or simply ignore your partner?

    Blocking off conversation can be just as toxic for a relationship as contempt because it keeps partners from addressing an underlying issue, Gottman said. So if you find yourself shutting down, pause and think about how you can stay open to what your significant other has to say.

    The takeaway

    Gottman isn't the only researcher to highlight these signs that all is not well with a couple. A recent study of close to 400 newlyweds found that couples who yelled at each other, showed contempt, or shut off conversation about an issue within the first year of marriage were more likely to divorce as far as 16 years down the road.

    Still, keep in mind that it's okay to occasionally display one of these behaviors. If get frequent enough to replace more positive interactions, however, that can be cause for concern.

    Simply recognizing that you're doing something negative is the first step to combating it. If you can figure out how to avoid a behavior or replace it with a more productive one, you'll probably make your relationship stronger.

    In fact, Gottman said that partners in the couples he's studied who succeed in staying in love have both cultivated what he calls "the magic trio": calm (even during conflict), trust, and commitment.

    Those traits are essentially the opposite of the "four horsemen," and they involve building a safe haven with your significant other — a place where you feel comfortable, nurtured, and free to express yourself without fear of retribution. Gottman likened the idea to the actor Tom Hanks' monologue about his late wife in the movie "Sleepless in Seattle."

    "Hanks says something like — meeting her was like finally coming to 'a home, but a home I had never known before,'" Gottman said.

    SEE ALSO: How a 'relationship contract' could save your relationship — or ruin it

    DON'T MISS: Science says these 5 things happen to couples who have been together a long time

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    Business Insider UK spoke to Matthew Hussey, dating expert at howtogettheguy.com and howtogettheguy.com/blog and author of New York Times bestseller "Get the Guy," about what to talk about on a first date for it to turn out a success.

    Here's a transcript of the video:

    Firstly, talk about what you love and get them talking about what they love.

    Too often a first date goes down this very logical route. "Where are you from? How many brothers and sisters do you have? How old are you?" All of these details that don't actually create attraction.

    Logic doesn't create attraction, emotion does.

    What we want to do on a first date is get to emotion as quickly as possible.

    One easy way to do that is to stop asking "What?" questions and start asking "Why?" questions.

    When somebody tells you what job they have, the quickest thing you can do is say: "Why do you love your job? Why do you hate your job?"

    If somebody tells you the movie that they like the best, ask them: "Why do you love that movie? Why is that movie so special to you?"

    "Why" will tell you much more about somebody than "What."

    If you want to get connected to somebody on a date quicker than anybody else is, get to the"Why" question.

    Produced by Claudia Romeo. Filmed by David Ibekwe.

     

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    couple kissing

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • A new study claims that Americans are having less sex than they were in the late 1990s.
    • Authors attribute this to fewer people coupling up and those couples having less sex. 


    It's no secret that people can be insecure about how often they're having sex, but it turns out that we might all be in the same boat. A recent study suggests that overall, Americans might be having a lot less sex than they're used to.

    A study conducted by the Archives of Sexual Behavior claims that Americans in the 2010s are having sex much less frequently than Americans in the 1990s. In fact, according to the study, Americans are on average having sex about nine fewer times per year than they were 20 years ago. 

    The authors of the study say that they don't believe that increased access to pornographic materials is to blame for the decline. They also push back against theories that longer working and commuting hours are to blame. 

    Instead, researchers claim that Americans are coupling up less frequently than they were 20 years ago because more and more people are choosing to reject marriage and settle down later.

    couple in bed sex

    People who are in relationships tend to have more sex at a higher rate than those who are single, according to the study. Despite what your friend on Tinder wants you to believe, researchers say that the "hook-up culture" promised by dating apps isn't really resulting in people getting it on at a higher rate. 

    And while couples are having sex more often than single people, this group still saw the biggest decline in frequency over the past 20 years. Researchers say that is the other reason for the decline nationally: Couples had sex 16 fewer times in the 2010s on average than in the 1990s.

    While no one can say if this trend is happening for sure and what could be causing it, previous studies have pointed out that millenials are simply having sex differently. One study found that millenials have much more variance (more sexual partners, but losing their virginity later) in their sexual patterns than past generations, for instance. 

    No matter what happens, this seems like a good of time as any to remind you that the amount of sex you and your partner are happy to be having is the right amount of sex

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How much sex happy couples have every month


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    master of none tinder dating apps aziz ansari netflix

    My experience with online dating was not great.

    I met guys who never texted back after one seemingly awesome meet-up, guys who ghosted after seven seemingly awesome meet-ups, and guys who looked … different from their profile pictures.

    I remember being incredibly frustrated — wasn't the algorithm supposed to match me with guys who were more interested in a relationship and more similar to me than all the lame-os I'd met IRL?

    Five years after joining OKCupid (I stopped using it after about a year), I got an answer: Not really. I was on the phone with Mandy Ginsberg, who is the CEO of Match Group North America, meaning she oversees Match, Plenty of Fish, and OKCupid.

    Ginsberg told me a personal story, the moral of which is this: No matter what medium you use to meet people, you're going to face the same challenges in finding a relationship.

    In between her stint as CEO of Match.com and her current role as CEO of Match Group North America, Ginsberg spent almost three years running The Princeton Review, which was at the time owned by Match Group.

    When she returned, she remembers thinking:

    "Because of the sheer numbers and the volume and number of people, I was like, 'Oh, everyone's going to find people. All the problems have been solved.'

    "And what I found is that it's not like you're this holy grail that came into the dating category. You still heard the same things you heard, which is ability to have chemistry, or someone not being sure about their intent, or going out on endless first dates and nothing ever clicking."

    To be sure, some would say that online dating has created new challenges — like making users think there's always someone better out there than the person they're currently seeing.

    But if you think joining a dating service will revolutionize your romantic life, you're likely in for a rude awakening. People are still people — now you're just being introduced to a bigger pool of them.

    That doesn't mean you won't meet the love of your life online — you might — but it may take some rejection and disappointment before you get there.

    Ginsberg said: "It didn't matter if dating happened 20 years ago or 10 years in the future; it's still going to have the same challenges."

    SEE ALSO: Tinder's sociologist reveals an easy way to get more people to message you

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A data scientist reveals how you can tell if a first date is going well based on language choice


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    wedding bride and groom

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • A survey found that people are waiting longer in their relationships to get married. 
    • The average couple is waiting 4.9 years, according to the survey.
    • It also found that a big majority of couples felt like marriage was something that they wanted to do, instead of feeling pressured.


    The institution of marriage has gone through a lot of changes over the years, but now it seems people are putting more thought into the union.

    A recent study conducted by Bridebook found that not only are people getting married even later in life than ever before, but the average couple is also dating for a longer time before getting married. 

    The survey, which included 4,000 recently married couples, found that the average couple was together for about 4.9 years before trying the knot. This broke down as the couples dating for 1.4 years (17 months) before moving in together, living together for 1.83 years (22 months) before getting engaged, and being engaged for 1.67 years (20 months) before getting married.

    A previous E-Harmony survey had this number at around three years, as did a Wedding Way survey

    The study also gave some optimistic glimpses into the state of modern relationships. It showed that the rate of divorce is at its lowest since 1971, and 83% of couples say they felt no pressure to get married and did it because they wanted to. 

    The founder of Bridebook, Hamish Shephard, said that this type of survey shows that modern relationships are becoming stronger and more about commitment. 

    "Marriages are becoming stronger than ever, relationships happier and more committed than ever, and couples more independent and consensual in their decisions than ever," Shephard said in a release. 

    While people should be married when they feel the time is right, it is heartening to see that people are taking their commitment seriously and feeling more confident about their decisions. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Having a different sex drive than your partner can be a tough obstacle to overcome. Of course, there is no magic number of times you should be having sex, but if you feel like you're just not enjoying sex like you used to or don't want to have sex as often than you used to, you might be suffering from a low sex drive. 

    While you won't know for sure what the culprit is until you talk with a doctor, these common reasons for low libido may point you in the right direction. 

    You're really tired.

    Being too tired to have sex is an old cliche, but it turns out there may be more to it than we once thought. A study by the National Sleep Foundation found that one in four married Americans say they are often too tired at the end of the day to have sex with their partner. 

    A study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine also found that lack of sleep can have a negative effect on your sex drive.

    So if you want to get busy between the sheets, you've gotta get busy with your pillow. 



    You're stressed out.

    If you're really feeling the pressure at work or you're beefing with a friend, your cortisol levels are probably high as a result of stress.

    That cortisol is a total mood killer and may be suppressing testosterone and other hormone productions, making the thought of getting it on less appealing to you. 



    Your hormones are out of whack.

    If you were born with naturally-low testosterone, whether you identify as male or female, you may have always had a low sex drive. Your doctor can test you to see if your hormones are imbalanced.

    But sometimes it doesn't just happen naturally. If you're a person who takes birth control, switching pills or suddenly getting off a pill may be to blame.

    While the pill has not been proven to affect sex drive, it can affect your hormones, and many people who have taken it report a sudden shift in how much they want to have sex. 

    In all of these cases, you can talk to your doctor to see if another form of contraception might be right for you.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    couple kissing balloons

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • I've never given out my "sex number."
    • I think it's pointless to give it out and just makes people feel bad.
    • It unfairly targets different genders into feeling bad if their number isn't low or high "enough." 


    There are a few things that you have to tell your partner when you enter into a relationship with them: You should tell them your STD status and history (which you should get tested for often), you should tell them about your likes and dislikes, and you should definitely tell them your stance on who the best Kardashian or Kardashian-adjacent person is (it's North West, duh!). 

    But one thing too many people feel pressure into revealing in a new relationship is their "sex number." 

    If you're not familiar, your "sex number,""body count," or (as it's more ominously called) your "number" refers to the amount of people that you've had sex with before you began dating your partner. This idea of the "number" has been parodied in pop culture, discussed at length online, and has been anguished about in private for years. 

    Why the heck do we care so much about this "number" anyway? 

    I kind of get it; humans are competitive creatures. We eat up facts about how often our friends are having sex, compare ourselves to national averages, and internally compete with statistics. We want to feel like we outrank our friends because in our minds, having more sex makes us more desirable and better in some weird way. 

    Honestly, the idea of the number is a crock of crap for a number of reasons. 

    For one, the way we discuss this "number" varies a lot when it gets down to gender. A study showed that when asked about how many times they've had sex, those who identify as women were more likely to decrease their number, while those who identify as men were more likely to inflate theirs. So those "numbers" you care about so much are probably not even accurate. 

    The "number" is pretty indicative of our attitudes when it comes to how different genders have sex— female-identified people are supposed to hold up a paragon of virginity and chastity while male-identified people are rewarded for being "players" and having a lot of sex. We see a woman with a high number as "slutty" and a man with a low number as "un-sexy." 

    This idea of the number is unfair to all sides: No person should have to lie about past experiences to make themselves worthy of a partner. You are not ruined by sex.

    Also, sex means different things to different people. Of course, when most people think about sex, they think of the penetrative sex between a man and a woman, and that may very well work for most straight people. But where does that leave same-sex couples? Do bisexual and pan-sexual people get to have two or three different numbers? Do trans people get to reset theirs if they had sex before they transitioned?  

    When there is no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all definition of sex, this number becomes pretty useless. 

    There seems to be this existential dread when getting into a new relationship that the person needs to know the stats of your dating history. If they're a nice person, they're not going to care.  

    In the course of dating your partner, they will pick up on your dating history. You'll mention ex-boyfriends and ex-hook-ups, and that time a guy took the mattress cover off of your bed because he thought it was a quilt. These things can come up naturally without either of you being on trial for what you did before you got together. And if your partner is anything like mine, they probably don't really want to hear the tales of your hook-ups past. 

    You can choose to share whatever you want with your partner, but if you're not comfortable sharing your "number," don't do it.

    No one should be pressuring you to quantify your worth in the form of a figure. All they need to know is you'll be a healthy, supportive partner who will respect you and only engage in consensual and protected sexual activities with you.

    When anyone has ever asked me to give out my sex number, I usually just laugh or make a stupid joke to change the subject. It's not only that I think it's none of their business — which it isn't — but comparison is the thief of joy.

    Everybody has different sex drives, relationship lengths, mental health battles, and just general game. I didn't get into journalism to talk numbers — it's boring, trivial, and bound to make someone feel bad.

    Now ask me to tell you an awful hook-up story, and I got you. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    tom hanks crashes wedding

    No one wants a wedding crasher. But a celebrity wedding crasher? Well, that's a different story.

    In general, celebrities do weird things and seem to live by a different set of rules. Often, that's a bad thing. But when the greatest basketball player alive or the Queen of England herself and taking selfies with you and wishing you the best, it's hard to complain.

     

    Here are 29 times celebrities crashed other people's weddings.

    Beyoncé and Jay-Z stumbled on a quiet seaside wedding.

    The power couple spent Beyoncé's 2014 birthday weekend vacationing in Portofino, a small and scenic Italian fishing village also known for its resorts.

    According to Elle, they passed by a small church while taking a stroll. Noticing a wedding was inside, they crashed it, and Beyoncé took a few photos with the bride that made their way online.

    "I didn't know that Beyonce and Jay-Z were there! It was a big surprise!"the bride, Sara Carafa, told E!. "I only asked them if they would take a photo with me...Jay-Z told me 'No, we are on vacation'...Bey was super nice! She told me 'Suuuureee! Come here!' And she gave me a hug! She told me that I was 'so beautiful' and my dress was gorgeous...And then she congratulated me... I love her!"



    A wedding photographer convinced Snoop Dogg to step in.

    Snoop didn't so much crash this wedding as get roped into it. In a late summer wedding in 2014, a photographer for a wedding at Chicago's Hard Rock Cafe saw Snoop stepping out of his limo. The photographer — who was "Snoop's biggest fan,"the groom's mother told ABC— convinced the rapper and his entourage to say hello.

    "They had a great conversation and a ton of laughs inside the bar," the groom's mother said. "Snoop was a blast to be around."

    Snoop later posted a photo with the couple on Instagram.



    Taylor Swift crashed a ceremony and sang "Blank Space."

    Swift's surprise wedding appearance is a perfect of example of how celebrities can do it right. Swift attended the nuptials after weeks of coordinating with the groom's sister, who knew the couple were both huge fans.

    The sister told Swift that the couple wed earlier that year in the hospital where the groom's mother spent her final days, so they could share the moment with her.

    The wedding ceremony's DJ, Michael Klebacher, told Billboard that Swift's appearance and performance was "cathartic."

    "I didn't know anything really until about an hour beforehand," Klebacher said. "If I wasn't a Swiftie before this weekend, I am now."

    Because Swift took the time to dress nicely and perform a song at the couple's request, Swift's appearance also came off as an altruistic move. She wasn't someone who was trying to look cool for the press.

    "There are already people all over the internet who are saying, 'Oh, this is such a cold and calculated move by Taylor for promotion,' but nothing that I've seen would indicate that at all," Klebacher said. "I'm not seeing anything other than complete altruism."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Business Insider UK spoke to Matthew Hussey, dating expert at howtogettheguy.com and howtogettheguy.com/blog and author of New York Times bestseller "Get the Guy," about how to date someone more successful than you.

    Here's a transcript of the video:

    The key to dating someone more successful than you is to understand that just because they may earn more, it doesn't make their purpose any more important than yours.

    We too often minimise our own purpose because we compare our earnings to somebody else.

    What we have to realise is: somebody may earn more but our time is just as precious.

    There's two things to remember:

    1. Don't allow their success to become an excuse for bad behaviour. If they are never giving you time, if they are never giving you energy, them being successful doesn't excuse things that otherwise would be a problem in a relationship.

    2. Don't drop the things that are important to you simply because your partner is more financially successful than you.

    Produced by Claudia Romeo. Filmed by David Ibekwe.

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    woman smiling happy smile

    Bella DePaulo is 63 years old and she's been single her entire life.

    "I never wanted to get married. Living single was my happily ever after," DePaulo, a psychologist at the University of California Santa Barbara and a pioneer for the single life, said at a TEDx Talk this spring.

    DePaulo has studied singles like herself for more than a decade, and her findings suggest that being single has a range of benefits, from the psychological to the physical.

    "The beliefs that single people are miserable, lonely, and loveless, and want nothing more than to become unsingle are just myths," DePaulo wrote on the blog PsychCentral in 2013.

    In 2016, she combed through more than 800 studies of single and married people and found that her own work isn't the only research to suggest that being single could have some tangible health benefits — from stronger social networks to a healthier body. Read on to find out about the other advantages you might reap from singledom.

    SEE ALSO: How to tell if you're going to break up, according to a psychologist who's studied couples for decades

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    Singles have a stronger social network than their married counterparts.

    Think married people have more friends? Think again.

    In 2015, social scientists Natalia Sarkisian and Naomi Gerstel set out to explore how ties to relatives, neighbors, and friends varied among single and married American adults. They found that singles were not only more likely to frequently reach out to their social networks, but also tended to provide and receive help from these people than their married peers. Their results held steady even when they took into account factors like race, gender, and income levels.

    Put simply, "being single increases the social connections of both women and men," Sarkisian and Gerstel wrote in their paper.

     



    Singles may be more physically fit.

    There may be some truth to the idea that people who "settle down" ease into unhealthier habits, at least when it comes to some measures of physical fitness.

    After surveying more than 13,000 men and women between ages 18 and 64, researchers found that those who were single and had never been married worked out more frequently each week compared with their married or divorced peers.

    And a 2015 study in the journal Social Science and Medicine that compared body mass indexes for about 4,500 people across nine European countries found that single men and women had slightly lower BMIs, on average, than men and women who were married. Overall, the married couples also weighed about five more pounds, on average, than the singles.

     



    Single people could be more likely to develop as individuals.

    An analysis of data from the National Survey of Families and Households that compared more than 1,000 people who had always been single with about 3,000 people who had been continuously married in 1998 found that the single people in the sample were more likely to experience personal growth than the married people — at least when it came to how they answered the following two questions. 

    As compared to the married people in the sample, the singles were far more likely to say they agreed with the statements:

    • For me, life has been a continuous process of learning, changing, and growth.
    • I think it is important to have new experiences that challenge how you think about yourself and the world.

     

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    okcupid 9

    "Go big or go home": It's probably a good life mantra, but it's an especially good online-dating mantra.

    That's what I took away from my conversation with Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg, the exec who oversees Match, OKCupid, and Plenty of Fish. I asked Ginsberg about her best recommendation for someone new to online dating.

    "You get out of it what you put into it," she told me. "If you just have one photo and two lines in your profile, people don't take you as seriously."

    Read: To be more successful at online dating, put more effort into crafting a unique profile.

    Match sent me stats to back up that observation. For instance, for each additional photo a straight man includes beyond the first one, he gets about 2.8 times the amount of email a man with just one photo gets. For straight women, that number is 1.9.

    Note that this stat doesn't take into account what's pictured in the photos. Simply being willing to reveal more about yourself can be appealing. (It's worth noting, however, that there could be other factors at play. For example, more attractive people might be more willing to share more photos of themselves in the first place.)

    This research reminded me of some Plenty of Fish data that I wrote about last year.

    POF users spend, on average, about 10 minutes creating their profile, but those who spend about 20 minutes are twice as likely to leave the site in a relationship. And POF users who add detail and photos to their profile are four times more likely to meet someone on the site than users who have minimal detail and no pictures.

    Even beyond adding more photos and detail to your profile, Ginsberg said it helps to "give people a real glimpse into your life." Let them know you're a runner or a foodie, Ginsberg said, both so you have a better chance of ruling out people with incompatible lifestyles and attracting people who are similar.

    To be fair, the same logic — share more about yourself, get more dates — might not apply on other dating services where the demographic skews younger, and maybe not as interested in a long-term relationship.

    If there's one glaring takeaway from Match's research and Ginsberg's observations, it's this: If you're serious about finding a partner, put as much effort as you can into making yourself stand out.

    SEE ALSO: The exec who oversees Match, OKCupid, and Plenty of Fish says online dating hasn't solved the hardest part of finding love

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    woman standing

    The INSIDER Summary:

    • A researcher found that one of the top reasons why people avoid sex is medical reasons.
    • People who have suffered heart attacks or strokes avoid sex because they don't want to trigger another event. 
    • Other people with chronic illness may be avoiding sex because of pain or may have low libido because of medication. 
    • The researcher suggests people have more conversations about sexual health with their doctors. 


    There are countless reasons why people might avoid sex: they could have religious abstentions, they could be focusing on other things, or they might be asexual. But according to several studies, the top reason why people are avoiding sex is more concerning than that. 

    In an article for The Conversation, researcher Shervin Assari shared studies which found that medical issues were among the top reasons why people who identify as both male and female avoid having sex. 

    Sex avoidance was found as a result of a variety of illnesses, both physical and mental. Assari pointed to studies that showed that people with heart diseases and who had suffered strokes frequently avoided sex because they felt that it would trigger a heart attack or stroke

    woman standing

    He also shared a study by the Mayo Clinic that found people avoided sex because their chronic pain made it difficult or a mental illness triggered by the chronic pain made sex unappealing.

    Many medications for physical and mental illness can also cause low libido, so while the illness may not be the main cause, the treatment can lower desire for sex. 

    Assari said that while this trend is concerning, it can be helped by patients speaking with their doctors about low libido or difficulties surrounding sex that may be caused by their illness. But a study showed that more than half of all doctors visits do not include a conversation about sexual health.  

    Assari wrote that the onus should be on the doctors to address sexual health because if they bring it up first, patients are more likely to talk about it. 

    "The 'Don’t ask, don't tell' culture should become 'Do ask, do tell,'" he wrote. And we happen to agree.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Scientific studies show that people who are altruistic have more sex


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    women

    When you think of a "sociopath," chances are you think of a serial killer or a con man in a movie. But chances are you've met a sociopath — after all, according to Harvard psychologist Martha Stout, author of "The Sociopath Next Door," one in every 25 people is a sociopath. 

    With so many alleged sociopaths around, and with their charming nature, it can be hard to know one when you see them. INSIDER spoke to experts about some tell-tale signs that the one you love may actually be a sociopath. 

    They charm the pants off of everyone in the room.

    A standard trait of a sociopath is that they are charming and gregarious people. They know exactly what to say to everyone to get them to like them. That's probably why you were drawn to them in the first place. 

    "They typically know how to woo a person using incessant flattery and compliments," psychotherapist Patti Sabla told INSIDER. 

    Be careful: Because a charming people-person isn't necessarily indicative of a sociopath, you should look out for other signs, too. 



    They disregard your feelings.

    Sociopaths lack empathy so if you get upset with them, they have a hard time understanding why. They won't act sorry or even see a reason for you to be upset. 

    "They may get drunk and do something awful like tell off your mother or your best friend," Sabla said. "When you confront them about it the next day they don't care.  They are incapable of empathy and may even try to blame you for 'trying to make them feel bad' about the situation."



    You don't think even they believe what they're saying.

    Do you ever get the feeling that the person you're talking to knows what they're saying isn't true? Sociopaths are skilled liars, but sometimes they're so disingenous that their actions and facial expressions give them away. 

    "You feel a weird sense that he’s not really believing his own words,"Carlos Cavallo, a dating and relationship coach, told INSIDER. "Like they will tell you they love you, but their actions seem almost dissonant with it."

     



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    13 reasons why justin and jessicaThe INSIDER Summary:

    • "13 Reasons Why" fans are not happy over a tweet that featured main characters Jessica and Justin.
    • The deleted tweet showed Justin kissing Jessica on the cheek with the caption "Always."
    • The two characters have had a tumultuous relationship filled with emotional abuse and even sexual assault.
    • Many felt that the offensive tweet inaccurately painted the relationship in a positive light. 


    The trailer for the
    second season of"13 Reasons Why" hasn’t even dropped, and already, it’s well on its way to being just as controversial as season one. The provocative show, which drew ire from viewers and medical professional experts alike for its uber-realistic portrayal of teenage suicide, remains one of Netflix’s biggest hits to date (at least if social media is any indicator— Netflix doesn’t release actual ratings for its original programming), and with season two on the way, its official Twitter account has been busy keeping fans engaged with a flurry of promotional tweets. One post in particular has struck a rather raw chord with fans, however, who are taking the show to task for what they’re calling a major misstep.

    The tweet in question featured a photo of main characters Jessica and Justin, who were involved in a rather questionable relationship for much of the duration of season one. Not only did Justin frequently ignore Jessica’s emotional needs, often calling her “crazy” and “dramatic” and blowing her off to be with his friends, their storyline ultimately reveals that he knowingly allowed his former friend Bryce to sexually assault her at a time when she was too intoxicated to object. What’s worse, he kept his secret from her for months, lying to her about the night in question in a move he claimed was “protective.”

    13 reasons why deleted justin and jessica tweetThe posted snap not only shows Justin kissing the cheek of what appears to be an overjoyed Jess along with the words, “I’m enough,” it’s captioned with the phrase, “Always.”

    Backlash was immediate, with fans expressing their belief that the tweet glorified the problematic relationship.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The account of "13 Reasons Why" has since deleted the tweet, though no further statement has been issued. Here’s to hoping this isn’t a preview of the storyline to come when season two debuts next year!

    Join the conversation about this story »

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