Internet Dating

wmp__1299247966_iStock_000010264931XSmallInternet dating has become increasingly popular for people of all ages. There seems to be a site for just about any type of relationship or partner you might be looking for, and it is not uncommon for some to be subscribed to more than one. The effectiveness of each site can vary widely from user to user, but more often than not there are several horror stories associated with internet dating. From people not being what they claim to be, or horrible matches in general, dating via the internet can be very hit or miss. The experience is really what you make it, and internet dating can be a great experience.

Internet dating has changed how many people view dating in general. Many sites try and take the guess work out of meeting people, matching you with people that are best suited for you based on their parameters. How well do these parameters work? It varies because it largely depends on people being completely honest with the answers to their questions. Deception is a big part of internet dating for some people. It may be the excitement of getting away with the lies, or perhaps they are just not confident enough in their own personality to attract others. Sorting out the lies from the truth can be a difficult task, but it is usually best to go with your gut if you get a bad feeling about someone.

Safety is so important when it comes to internet dating. You never know who you could run into on the internet, and you certainly don’t know how honest they are being with you. Here are just a few tips to keep you stock-footage-online-dating-computer-screen-conceptsafe.

Get to know them before you agree to meet. Too many times people rush into meeting someone they just met online. Ask the potential date questions past what their interests are. Asking them what they are passionate about and what their goals are can be a great way to give you an idea as to what type of partner they would be for you, and how their goals would mesh with yours.

Go with your gut feeling. Our instincts will very rarely lead us astray. If in your heart you do not think that this person is safe, a good match, or there is something “off” about them, go with your gut. Don’t put yourself in a situation that you do not trust.

Make your boundaries clear. This includes both physical and emotional boundaries. Not everyone is going to be comfortable or have the same boundaries as you. It is so important that you know that your date knows your limits and will not push things that you are firm on.

Meet somewhere public for a first date. This is just a suggestion, but it is the easiest way to keep yourself safe. Meeting someone for the first time can be extremely nerve racking but meeting in a neutral place around other people can put you both at ease. It will help keep you out of any unsavoury situations that could pop up.

Dating can be tricky. Finding someone that you connect with on all levels is not an easy feat. Internet dating has made connecting to new people much easier, but it is so important to protect yourself. Trust in your gut, and know that at the end of the day that each and every encounter is a chance to learn, grow, and prosper.

More Than Just Talk: Effective Communication Between You and Your Significant Other

shutterstock_47090224  Communication is so important in every relationship that we are a part of. We need to be able to clearly express our feelings and desires to those we are involved with in order to have our needs met. This is especially true to having a successful relationship with your significant other. In order for communication to be strong later in a relationship, it is necessary to have a good foundation built on honesty, openness, and trust. Good communication aides in both arguments and important decisions (i.e. children, life goals, etc.) put your communication skills to the test. So what is good communication? To fully explore this, we first need to take a look at what dysfunctional and functional communication looks like.

Have you ever been in a relationship in which talking to your partner was frustrating and painful? Did they shut down during arguments? Was there a lack of trust and honesty? If the answer to these questions is yes, chances are the communication between you and your partner was dysfunctional. Some characteristics/behaviours that can be considered dysfunctional communication include:

  • Shutting down during arguments (giving the silent treatment when angry, getting increasingly impatient and angry when participating in emotional conversations)
  • Lack of trust (inability to open up about true feelings and refusal to participate in meaningful/heartfelt exchanges)
  • Dishonesty (telling “half-truths” or just not telling the truth at all, hiding things in order to avoid having a conversation about it)
  • Actively ignoring (making an effort to “tune out” or not engage in conversation at all on a consistent basis)
  • Abusive and hurtful language (swearing, name calling, and put downs being used on a consistent basis during arguments and everyday conversations)

Dysfunctional communication can have huge consequences in a relationship, including shutterstock_33262939constant turmoil and arguments between you and your partner. It is possible to move from dysfunctional communication to functional communication, but what does functional communication look like?

Functional communication is, at its most basic level, effective and meaningful conversations between you and your partner that deepen trust, allow for openness, and promote full disclosure and honesty. Some characteristics/behaviours that can be considered functional communication include:

  • Ability to be vulnerable with your partner (being able to be open and honest about sensitive topics (past traumas, true feelings) as well as being respectful of your partner’s feelings and experiences)
  • Actively listening to your partner (engaging in the conversation through acknowledging them (nodding, eye contact) as well as responding appropriately and fully)
  • Trusting your partner
  • Ability to be honest with your partner (completely and fully expressing your true feelings about important things, as well as expressing your frustrations and anger in a healthy way)

Although the differences between dysfunctional and functional communication seem vast, it is possible in some relationships to repair past damage and move forward to more effective communication.

As in any relationship, gaining effective communication requires a lot of hard work. Having good communication with your partner is not going to happen overnight, but below are some suggestions to help you and your partner communicate more effectively.

Speak honestly about how you feel. Let your partner know when you are angry with them, or when you are hurting, instead of shutting down. Shutting down can create resentment which can destroy a relationship.

Find ways to gain trust with your partner. This is not an easy task. Past experience can taint your ability to trust in another person, however, working through this and providing your partner with opportunities to gain your trust can do wonders for communication. Give your partner every opportunity to put their trust in you, and work towards gaining their trust.

shutterstock_71759158Pick your battles and learn to fight fairly. Before engaging your partner in an argument, think about your motives for arguing. Understand that arguments are not about winning or losing, but about learning to compromise and see both perspectives. Well arguments are completely normal in relationships, it is important that you fight fairly. Avoid using harsh and hurtful language when arguing with your partner. Words often do much more damage than we are aware of, and some of these wounds are irreparable.

Communication is the foundation of human interaction. That is why it is so important that you are able to effectively communicate with your significant other. Developing a healthy way of connecting to your partner will not only bring you closer together, but increase your happiness and stability within the relationship.

Building a Successful Relationship

Human connection and acceptance are something that we all strive for. It is part of our nature to want to have a partner, to have someone that we connect with on a deeper level than just friendship. Relationships are an important part of our socialization as human beings. However, relationships that just don’t work and leave us with a bad taste in our mouth are an almost inevitable part of dating.Basic RGBGetting past the stage of just dating to being in a committed relationship is a large step for most people. After being burnt by others, it can often times be hard to accept and reciprocate the love for someone that you are close to. You may know that you love them but it may be hard for you to show the person that you love that you are in love with them. This can be a relationship killer.

Honesty, trust, and communication are the key pieces to a healthy and successful relationship. Without one, it is like a tricycle is missing a wheel; you won’t be going anywhere any time soon because your tricycle just doesn’t work. Building trust with the person that you are seeing is a great way to open up the lines of communication and having an honest relationship.

Trust is something that is hard to earn but very easily broken. Being completely honest with the person that you care about is a great way to earn trust. This does not mean that you need to tell them every detail of your thoughts, but you do need to be honest about who you are and what you are about.

When entering into a relationship, it is important at some point to make it clear what both parties expect from the relationship. This is so that there is no confusion around things like seeing others and cheating. Unclear boundaries can lead one or both of those involved to pushing the boundaries of the relationship to a point where there is resentment for committed indiscretions.

Cheating is seen as something that is nearly impossible for any couple to recover from. There are some relationships that do fully recover, but it takes a lot of time and hard work for healing and movement forward. Healing and taking the time to talk to your partner about what has happened is essential to pulling through cheating. However, cheating is often times just swept under the rug or pushed deep inside left to fester and grow. This is a breeding ground for resentment within a relationship.shutterstock_87748405Relationships aren’t easy. They take a lot of time, work and dedication. A happy and healthy relationship is something that is possible, but it requires the above mentioned. The important thing to remember is that loving yourself comes first in a relationship. Being happy and comfortable in your own skin will attract people that are like minded. Love yourself and the rest will follow.