Gift-Giving In a New Relationship

By Vanessa Jones

The holiday season is around us in full swing, so what’s to stress about? If you recently started dating someone and are freaking out about what to get them as a gift, take a deep breathe and relax. While gift-giving can be tricky for new couples, there are some standard tips to go by to make the experience less of a nightmare for you. The following are tips to help you pick out the perfect gift:

  • Evaluate the Type of Gift: Think about and consider how long you’ve actually been involved with each other and go on that. Some people really look into gifts, so it is best to choose one that reflects your feelings and thoughts. If you haven’t been dating long, go with something that’s cutesy and fun. If you’ve been dating a little longer or knew each other before, it’s okay to give a little more.
  • Don’t go Overboard: If the two of you have not been dating very long, don’t go with a gift that is too much or too expensive. This may give your significant other the wrong idea. It may also lead him or her to think that you are trying to buy their company or give the wrong impression that you are trying to flaunt something. Remember, sometimes less is more.
  • Pay Attention to What They Like: Observe what your partner wears, what kind of accessories they seem to like, whether or not they wear perfume or cologne, or what types of sports or things interest him or her. Paying attention to their likes and what they seem to be interested in can come as big help when its time to choose a gift. It also helps to pay close attention to what they say, as they might mention certain things they like and don’t like.
  • Take Him or Her Shopping: Taking someone on a shopping trip with you could be one of the easiest ways to help think of a gift for him or her. Be sure to let the person think they are joining you on a shopping trip and pay close attention to something that may catch their eye. If that doesn’t work, suggest something to your partner to see what he or she thinks about it and how your partner reacts to it.
  • Keep an Eye Out for Needs: Keep a close eye out for something he or she may need. If they are constantly loosing stuff, saying they wish they had more of something, or you notice that they need something, buy it as a gift. That way, it’s a safe way to know your gift will be a hit, and it shows you pay attention.
  • Ask Their Friend for Help: If you don’t feel completely comfortable choosing something on your own, ask someone close to your significant other for help. Ask a brother, sister, close friend, neighbor, or family member with help choosing a gift. Be sure to tell them not to specifically ask your significant other or be too obvious about the help, and be sure they don’t spill the beans.
  • Ask Someone to Help You: If you’re really not too comfortable or don’t really know anyone who knows your significant other well enough to ask for help, ask someone close to you for help. You may be able to get some solid ideas from your friends, siblings, or family members. If that doesn’t work, you can always ask the sales person at the store for some help on a traditional or neutral, but good gift.
  • Keep it Classy: Even if things started off hot and heavy between you two, always be mindful and respectful when it comes to exchanging gifts. You never know who will be around when gifts are opened or whether or not family members and friends will ask to see the gifts they were given. Always keep it tasteful.
  • Go With Something Simple: If you’ve tried everything else, and simply cannot find a gift you are confident in giving, go with something easy and simple. Simple gifts people love are: perfume or cologne, bath salts or lotion packages, flowers and a card, gadgets, a gift card, books, movies, tickets to an event or concert, etc. Just go with your gut, and choose something simple, it’ll be fine.

10 Reasons You’ll Be Single Again On New Year’s

By Vanessa Jones

The new year brings new beginnings, fresh starts and sometimes depressing realizations that you’re still very single. When the clock strikes midnight, you find yourself among a crowd of people kissing, embracing and, for a second, it feels like all you’ve got is yourself. There’s nothing wrong with being single if that’s in fact what you want, but there’s almost always a reason why you are flying solo. Here are 10 reasons you’re single again at New Year’s:

  1. You’re afraid of commitment: If you’re afraid of commitment, don’t expect to have a girlfriend or boyfriend for more than a couple months. If you want to have a relationship that won’t end when you hear "I love you," then consider dating someone who isn’t looking to get married any time soon and also wants to take things slow. If you want to keep your options open and not let anyone in, then put up that wall and you’ll find yourself single at New Year’s again.
  2. You’re not over your last relationship: If you’re still pining over your ex and what you once had, you’ll definitely be flying solo for New Year’s. No one wants to date someone who isn’t over their last relationship and can’t stop talking about it. You can bet that while you’re sitting at home thinking about your ex, he or she is out there having a ball and not thinking about you. So, stop the pity party and move on.
  3. You don’t date: If you don’t date because you’re preoccupied with your job, afraid of the opposite sex or don’t have time, you will most definitely be single at New Year’s. If you think you are too good to date, you’ll never find someone. Sure, giving your heart to someone puts you in a vulnerable position and you could end up hurt, but you could also learn a great deal about yourself, relationships and even, gasp, fall in love.
  4. You date the wrong people: Some people don’t date and some people just don’t know who to date. If you have a track record of dating sleaze balls, prima donnas and people who are so wrong for you, it may keep you from being able to hold a relationship. Although some relationships can feel like a complete waste, try to learn something valuable from each experience and figure out what you want and don’t want in a significant other.
  5. You’re in love with yourself: Self-love is fine and dandy, but if you’re so in love with yourself that you think no one else is good enough, you can go ahead and kiss yourself at New Year’s. Confidence is sexy, but egotism does not bode well in relationships.
  6. You lack confidence: If you lack confidence, New Year’s may be a sad, sad night. If you don’t have confidence in yourself, it’s going to be that much harder to find someone to date you. You may retreat, stand in the shadows of your more outgoing friends and wait for someone to come talk to you, but that just isn’t going to cut it. It’s going to take some effort and confidence to let others see how great you are, and the rest will be history.
  7. You scare away the opposite sex: Whether it’s your weak pick-up lines, awkward conversations or bad breath, you might be single for New Year’s yet again. If you find yourself scaring away the opposite sex at "hello" or after two months of dating, you may want to retrace your steps and see where you went wrong. Maybe it was nerves, insecurities or lack of chemistry, but continue to be yourself and put yourself out there because someone good will eventually come around.
  8. You’ve stopped trying: Maybe you’ve let yourself go a little by growing a Grizzly Adams beard or not wearing makeup and quit going out to bars or parties with your friends. You may have simply stopped trying to impress or meet guys or gals because nothing has materialized for you. That’s understandable to an extent, but you’ve got to buck-up and get back out there because you aren’t going to find the man or woman of your dreams sitting on your couch.
  9. You’re a player: If you’re a player, of course you’re going to be "single" on New Year’s night. You may actually have a girlfriend or boyfriend, but that isn’t going to stop you from picking up other girls or guys. This is a sad lifestyle choice, and you only have yourself to blame when you get burned.
  10. You’re always in the friend zone: If you find yourself always ending up in the friend zone, where a person views you as a friend and not a romantic partner, then you’ll likely be single again on New Year’s. This can be a difficult zone to escape, but you’ve got to make the other person see that you’re more than just a nice guy or girl and you’d make an excellent mate. In order to do so, you may have to make a gutsy move, like asking them out or kissing them at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s.

5 Sure-Fire Signs You Should Kick Him (or Her) to the Curb

By Vanessa Jones

Sure, every relationship is going to experience the joys of good days and the annoyance of bad days. It’s when you start experiencing too many bad days and forget what it was like to be happy, that you start to think that it may be time to review your relationship. While breaking up is hardly ever easy, if you find yourself thinking about it more often than not, it’s probably time to end it with what you thought was Mr. (or Mrs.) Right. Holding on to a relationship can be more harmful to either or both parties, and will only become worse with time. Here are some signs to let you know it’s probably time to kick your significant other to the curb:

  1. You’re Not on the Same Page: It’s possible that the two of you are seeing things on a different level and don’t want the same things anymore. This is something that definitely needs to be shared and talked through. Pick a good time and place to talk and be completely honest. If the relationship is becoming serious, and you don’t have the same goals in life, or your partner treats the relationship casual, while you feel it is going to something more serious, it is best to cut ties. If you haven’t been dating very long, you may want to wait on this conversation for a couple of months to establish feelings and such before you have a "where is our relationship going" chat. Remember, changing is a part of growing, and the fact that things change doesn’t mean it’s anyone’s fault, it just means it’s better to realize it and move on.
  2. Constantly Pulling the Disappearing Act: If you spend more time alone or with your friends than you do with your partner, it may be a sign that things are going south quick. If your significant other is constantly jumping into the next room to check or answer the phone, it may be a sign the relationship is over. The same applies for email, texts, and your partner finding the need to be top secret with his or her life. If your partner would rather spend their time with their friends and other people on a regular basis, you need to end things. There will obviously be times when he or she has other plans or has something else going on, but if you constantly find yourself hanging out alone, and sad and lonely about it, it is just not worth your pain to hold on- send ‘em packing.
  3. You’re Unhappy: You should always take your feelings and instincts to heart. If you are unhappy and your partner does not show the least bit of interest for your feelings, then that person is simply not worth your time. Being in a relationship means that the two of you are supposed to be a team, communicate with each other, and make each other happy. If you feel your unhappiness is being caused by your partner, then it is probably a sign that you need to continue on without this person in your life. This is especially true if you have talked to your partner about your feelings and the way he or she makes you feel, and nothing has changed. Chances are, things will not get any better and you will realize down the road that you wasted your time.
  4. That Feeling is Gone: There will be days when one or both of you is having a bad day and things may seem a little off, that’s pretty normal. However, if things have changed by a day and night comparison, it’s probably a sign that one or both of you isn’t feeling it anymore. If you feel like you are constantly annoyed or disappointed in the action’s exercised by your partner, keep a close eye out for this. Finding yourself thinking about happier days and the days when your partner acted in a nice and loving manner, could certainly be a sign. Your gut instincts are usually right, and if it’s gotten so bad that you can’t even stand the thought, much less to look at your partner, you know it’s over. If that feeling is gone, there is a little to no chance that things will be same again.
  5. There is no Trust : There are few, if any, things more important in a relationship than trust. If there is a lack of trust in a relationship, it is only a matter of time before it kills the relationship. If you find yourself constantly wondering if your partner is lying about something, hiding something, or doing something you would not approve of, it will continue to cause problems down the road. If your partner gives you a reason to be suspicious and question their trust, chances are it is for a good reason. Not having trust in a relationship will cause small and frequent arguments, which are not worth it because trust is hard to earn back, and it will eventually tear the relationship apart. Do yourself a favor and end a relationship when trust is not present, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor.

6 Reasons to Slow Down Before Getting Married

By Vanessa Jones

Marriage is a very serious commitment that shouldn’t be rushed. As romantic as it is to escape and elope privately or get married on a whim, there are too many important things to consider before taking the plunge. Sure, you and your partner may be madly in love and know that you want to spend the rest of your lives together, but have you discussed children and career goals, or have you met with a premarital counselor to prepare for the ups and down of marriage? If you answered no to any of these questions, you may be getting ahead of yourself. Marriage is for a lifetime; and if you do it right the first time, once is enough. Here are six reasons not to rush into marriage:

  1. Divorce: One of the top reasons not to rush into marriage is the high rate of divorce in America. According to a CDC report by the National Center for Health Statistics, there were 6.8 marriages per 1,000 people and 3.4 divorces per 1,000 people in 2009. Although the marriage and divorce rates have fallen slightly, divorce remains a serious issue that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Infidelity, financial struggles and lack of time are some of the top reasons people get divorced. Until you have considered all of these factors and have spoken to your partner about them, you may not be ready for matrimony.
  2. It’s for a lifetime: If you truly believe in the institution of marriage and upholding marital vows, then you will promise to "love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sadness and in joy as long as you both shall live." Marriage is forever; not until things get rocky and you give up. This commitment cannot be taken lightly. So, unless you are prepared to spend the rest of your life with this one person, you may be rushing marriage.
  3. You don’t really know your partner: If there is anyone you should know like the back of your hand it’s your partner, especially before you get married. Sure you know his or her favorite movie, pet peeves and goals, but have you thoroughly discussed religion, careers, children, politics, division of labor and in-laws? You may be surprised by your partner’s answers to some of these pressing topics, and they may not fall in line with your beliefs or plans for the future. These conversations generally come up when you’ve been dating someone for a long time and grow closer. No matter how in love you are after a couple months of dating, you most likely don’t know each other well enough to get married. Only with time, experiences and open communication will you truly know your partner.
  4. It’s expensive: Marriage is an expensive union. Although every couple handles their expenses and budgeting differently, finances need to be discussed beforehand so your marriage doesn’t end up costing you money. Taxes, major purchases, investments and personal financial goals are all things that need to be considered before you jump into marriage. It’s so important that both partners understand their individual financial responsibilities and have money management skills before merging their lives and bank accounts.
  5. Marriage is not easy: Anyone who thinks marriage is a piece of cake is fooling themselves. It takes a great deal of patience, cooperation and sacrifice to better one another and do what’s best for the relationship. You have to be prepared for this kind of commitment if you want a marriage to work. Trust, communication, togetherness and appreciation are all key components to keeping a marriage healthy and balanced. There will be many ups and downs in a marriage that will test the strength of your love, but if you are committed to talking through your problems and working as a team to find a solution, you’re doing it right.
  6. Fear of ending up alone: As romantic as it sounds to get married after only knowing each other for a short period, it is not a realistic or smart move. If you are getting married because you think you’ve found the right one and don’t want to let him (or her) go, you could be doing yourself a serious disservice. Getting hitched because you don’t want to end up old and alone is not a good reason. You have to make sure you are making the right decision and you are getting married for the right reasons. This usually comes with time, communication and considerate planning.

The Truth About “Friends With Benefits”

Sure, there are two sides to every coin. Just like in anything else, there are pros and cons of having friends who are a little more than just friends. Sometimes they work out great, and other times the issues commonly start when one person starts feeling a little differently about the "friends" part. For the most part, as long as both parties can agree on where the two parties stand, then problems shouldn’t really arise. Here, are some ups and downs of "friends with benefits":

The Ups

These are the things about "friends with benefits" that can make it worth the while.

  • No Strings Attached: Having no strings attached means that friends that have special benefits don’t fall into normal relationship standards. They basically can date and see other people as they please, and are not really committed to their "friend." They generally enjoy dating around and having relations with several different people. This can definitely be a plus for people who just want to have relations with others that do not want the pressures and limits of a relationship.
  • Convenience: There’s no doubt that a "friends with benefits" scenario can be convenient for both parties. It usually means the two parties can casually call or meet up at random times to hook up. It gives them both the opportunity to go out with other people and use the "friend" for benefits and when you are looking to have a good time. This also cuts the whole dinner, drinks, and pretending to care bit.
  • It’s Comfortable and Fun: Having this type of deal, usually means that the two involved are comfortable with each other and that their relationship is casual. Many people who take advantage of the "friends with benefits" scenario like that they are already comfortable with the person they mess around with, so it’s easy. This usually eliminates dating or having an awkward sexual encounter with a stranger.

The Downs

These are the things about "friends with benefits" that make you want to cut all ties.

  • Becoming Too Involved: A downside to "friends with benefits" is that sometimes, one person may become too involved. One person may start becoming too interested in what the other is doing, or asking too many questions and it can put a strain on relations. If the two aren’t clear on the arrangements and how it works, there is a strong possibility things will not end well.
  • Jealousy Issues: Jealousy issues can also be a downside to these kinds of relationships. If one person starts to become attached, they may start fights and arguments by being jealous of other people or other relationships their partner might have. Jealousy issues may also occur when one of the parties involved changes their feelings about the situation and doesn’t speak up about it.
  • The Risk of Loosing a Friendship: These situations can end badly. When these type of deals end badly, there is a possibility that the friendship will be ruined. If the friendship is really important to the people involved, sometimes that is enough for them to realize and decide that a "friends with benefits" relationship probably isn’t the best idea for them.
  • It May Taint an Image: Engaging in a "friends with benefits" relationship is just fine for those who aren’t looking to settle down. People must keep in mind though, that they may eventually want to settle down. If the person has an image and is known for having a lot of "friends with benefits", it may make it hard for the right person to trust that person or cause that new person to question their motives and intentions.

7 Great Date Movies You’ll Both Enjoy

There's nothing like a great movie date. Snuggling next to your significant other and enjoying a great movie is one of the best ways to spend time together, but the movie has to be one that appeals to both the man and the woman in the relationship. Otherwise, what should be an enjoyable activity can turn sour very quickly. Here are seven great date movies that men and women can enjoy together.

  1. Jerry Maguire: The 1996 classic, Jerry Maguire, is loved by men and women alike. Who can resist the popular scene of Cuba Gooding Jr. and Tom Cruise screaming "Show me the money" or the famous quotes, "You complete me" and "You had me at hello." Aside from a couple sappy parts, Jerry Maguire is an entertaining, lighthearted film that viewers can actually relate to.
  2. Forrest Gump: Forrest Gump is a wonderful date film that you and your significant other will enjoy watching together. Forrest Gump will entertain you with his adventures, funny one-liners and unwavering love for the free-spirited Jenny. This movie will make you laugh, cry and cheer for the loveable characters all at once.
  3. The Princess Bride: The Princess Bride is loved by the masses and could certainly fit into your movie date nights. This 1987 film has all the ingredients of a classic fairy tale with sword fights, giants, a kidnapped princess who's forced to marry a hateful prince, but is later saved by her childhood beau whom she falls in love with.
  4. Casablanca: Casablanca is a timeless classic that you and your date can enjoy together. The complicated romance and sacrifice of Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund proves to be more than either can handle, and makes for an unforgettable love story torn by war. Before you know it, you'll be quoting Humphrey Bogart's line "Here's looking at you, kid" and singing "As Time Goes By."
  5. The Wedding Singer: The Wedding Singer is a hilarious and lighthearted love story about a wedding singer and waitress who are both engaged, but find that they are a better match for one another. You'll definitely laugh more than you'll cry watching this movie, while enjoying the killer '80s music.
  6. Shakespeare in Love: Shakespeare in Love is a wonderful film for couples to watch together. In the late ‘90s this film won best picture and six other Academy Awards. With allusions to the great works of Shakespeare, a star studded cast, and plenty of laughs to go around, Shakespeare in Love is a great movie for both guys and girls to enjoy together.
  7. Love Actually: Love Actually is a hilarious British film with an amazing cast that has become a must see romantic comedy. The movie chronicles the ups and downs of the love lives of several different groups of characters. This movie has a great big helping of intrigue, humor, sadness, love, and just about every other emotion you can think of. With superb acting and well-timed laughs, this is a great flick for both girls and guys to enjoy.

Opening Up Communication in a New Relationship

Being in a new relationship is a wonderful thing.  There is a care-free feeling that comes with this new person in your life and the courtship phase of a relationship brings out feelings you may not have felt for some time.  The thing is relationships are not easy.  Once we move past the initial smitten phase, reality sets in, and the relationship becomes something that must be managed like other parts of our lives. 

Loving relationships are hard work, which is why so many young relationships fail to make it past the three month marker.  This is when we really begin to see the other person for who they are.  They are not perfect; like us, they too have flaws.  If you care enough for the other person to want to be with them, you must be able to have the freedom to speak from your heart in regard to your feelings and what you want out of the relationship.  What follows are a few tips to keep communication open in order to move your new relationship to the next level.

Be proactive and take the first step.  Most of us are afraid to express our innermost feelings with anyone, let alone someone you’ve known for a few short months.  However, if you truly see yourself staying with this person, it is of the utmost importance that you break the silence and start talking about things that really matter to you.  Gauge the person and decide how deep you should go in regard to feelings, but remember: it’s better to find out now whether or not they are willing to open up to you.

Don’t force the other person to tell you any more than they want to.  Perhaps sharing feelings is important to you, but your new partner is unsure of how much he or she wants to divulge.  This is natural; it is more difficult for some to express themselves than others.  If he or she is still willing to listen to you, it’s a good sign.  Just make it clear that whenever they are ready to talk, you are there to listen without judgment.

Write a letter to your partner.  Sometimes it’s just easier to get your thoughts down on paper.  Writing a handwritten letter to your partner shows that you are willing to take the time and commit what you have to say as a record for them to look back upon.  Expressing the way you feel comes out much more personally when written down.  Think clearly about what you want to say and don’t ramble on.  A great method when writing down feelings and issues is to start with positives, move on to address concerns, and then reinforce the positive aspects of the relationship once again at the close of the letter. 

 

Dating in your 40s – Is it that Difficult?

Gone are the days when dating was a term associated only with teenagers and people in their twenties; gone are the days when dates were looked on as stepping stones to a deeper relationship or marriage. Today, we’re seeing the emergence of 40-plus men and women looking for people they can see on a casual basis – they’re divorced, widowed or still single and looking for companionship in the prime of their life. Marriage is not necessarily on the cards, but if it does happen, it’s a welcome side effect of dating when you’re above forty. The 40-plus dating scenario is both different from and same as its 20-something counterpart, and if you’re confused by this statement, here’s an explanation.

What’s still the same…

•    The uncertainty that’s a constant companion when you’re meeting someone for the first time, especially when you’re being set up on a blind date.
•    The anticipation as date night gets closer, especially if you know the person and are hoping to take the relationship to the next level.
•    The doubts that plague you about the relationship status after you’ve gone on a few dates.

What’s changed…

•    You’re more mature now, having gone through adult life and its trials and tribulations and wiser for the same. You don’t tend to make the same mistakes you did when you were much younger and clueless about life.
•    You carry emotional baggage, from your past experiences and relationships. They may be good or bad or a mixed bag – they always affect the way you look at and approach your new relationships.
•    Your family may or may not approve, especially your children. It’s up to you to make them understand that you need your own life and get them to see your point of view; try not to antagonize them even as you pursue your own happiness.
•    The people you meet are also battle-scarred warriors who’ve been down roads similar to the ones you’ve travelled, so be prepared accordingly.
•    You may not meet people who’re the same age or one or two years younger or older than you. They may be either much younger or much older, so if you’re choosy, you may not find too many datable people out there.
•    There may not be any of the tender-footing and leading questions that open a traditional date in your 20s. Most people who date in their 40s take the practical, no-nonsense approach and are open about what they’re looking for in the relationship right from the word go.

Dating in your 40s and above may seem like an uphill task, especially when you’ve been off the scene for decades. But it’s like riding a bicycle – once you learn, you never forget. So get into the spirit of things with the right attitude, and watch life begin anew at 40. 
 

What to Do When Your Spouse Gains Weight: 100 Tips and Resources

By Vanessa Jones

If your spouse has recently let themselves go a bit, how do go about telling them that they need to get in shape? After all, you’ve vowed to stick by them for better or worse, and weight gain is hardly the worst thing that can happen. But weight gain can lead to many health conditions, and if you’re truly worried about the health of your spouse you can’t help but to want them to shed a few pounds. Here are some tips and suggestions on motivating your spouse to get back in sexy, svelte and healthy shape.

Tips

Weight is never an easy topic to broach. Check out these tips to help get the ball rolling with your spouse.

  1. Decide whether or not it matters to you. For some people, the weight their spouse gains may just not be an issue. Decide whether or not you really feel your spouse’s weight is something that’s affecting their health or your life together. If not, you may want to just let it go, and embrace them as they are.
  2. Be gentle. Let’s face it, there’s no nice way to tell someone you think they’re looking a little rounder than before, but do your best to bring up the issue in a caring, non confrontational way. Realize that they are probably already well-aware they’ve put on weight and probably don’t really need you to point it out.
  3. Understand they may be angry, hurt or upset. No matter what route you take if you decide to confront your spouse about his or her weight they’re probably not going to feel good about it; it is a sensitive issue for most. Be understanding that even if you’re talking with them with the best intentions that they may not react the way you’d like.
  4. Don’t nag. If your spouse is making an effort to lose weight, don’t constantly nag or ride them about their food choices. Making them feel guilty will more than likely not encourage them to eat less, but instead to run to those comfort foods.
  5. Provide support. For many people, losing weight can be an uphill battle, especially if it’s been years since they’ve hit the gym. Make sure you’re giving your spouse the love and support they need to successfully feel healthy can make a big difference.
  6. Search for the root of the issue. Physical problems are easy to see in a person, but the cause of these problems may be something less obvious. Often there are underlying emotional issues that are contributing to weight gain and helping your spouse uncover and work through these can really be the first step in getting healthy.
  7. Empathize. Losing weight is tough and your spouse will benefit from some empathy from you. Your spouse will feel more supported and it can help bring you together as a couple.
  8. Work together. The best and most effective way to motivate your spouse to get in shape is to do it together. Then one person isn’t be singled out, you can support each other in fitness and diet plans, and work together as the team you should be towards a common goal.
  9. Let them decide. If you spouse does want to shed some weight, let them be the boss of how they’ll go about it. You may have good intentions, but trying to control things won’t help and may even turn them off about the whole idea.
  10. Make it fun. Doing active things doesn’t have to mean spending hours on a treadmill. Play tennis together, take walks, go hiking and do active things that are not only beneficial but fun as well. It will make it much easier for your spouse to stick to getting healthy and you’ll get to spend valuable time together.
  11. Don’t provide unnecessary temptations. Because you are sharing a household, you can make it almost impossible for your spouse to lose weight if you constantly have junk food around the house. They may be able to resist the temptation some of the time, but no one is strong enough to resist is all of the time, so keep the unhealthy stuff out of your house if you really want to help your spouse.
  12. Make it about health. While part of your motivation for getting your spouse to slim down may be about more superficial issues, the heart of the issue should be about getting them healthy. With numerous health consequences of being overweight, you don’t need any other motivation to work out and eat right.
  13. Be positive. Even if your spouse doesn’t look quite as super-sexy as he or she did when you got married, it doesn’t mean there aren’t other things you love just as much about them, maybe even more now. Try to focus on those things so your spouse still feels valued, special and loved and it’s not all about the things you see wrong with them.
  14. Make sure they know you love them. At the heart of your efforts to get your spouse healthy should be constant reminders of how much you love them, big or small.
  15. Revamp favorite foods. Just because you’re watching what you eat doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy old favorites. Think of new, healthier ways to prepare your spouse’s favorite foods.
  16. Don’t exclude your spouse. One surefire way to sabotage your spouse’s weight loss is to make them feel excluded from special occasions that involve food by not giving them a slice of cake or making them feel left out of the celebration. Leave the decision up to them whether or not they indulge.
  17. Encourage them to visit the doctor. Weight gain isn’t always about simply eating too much. There are a variety of medical conditions, some more serious than others, that can cause weight gain as well, in ways that your spouse simply cannot control. Getting a full checkup can be a good idea in general, as it will let your spouse know just how much their weight may be affecting their health.
  18. Eat at home. While there may be many healthy options when eating out, you and your spouse will be tempted to eat less and better if you eat out as little as possible. That way you’ll know exactly what goes into every meal you eat.
  19. Be a role model. You won’t get far with convincing your spouse that he or she needs to lose weight if you are not looking so fit yourself. Taking action and eating right, working out and living healthy can go a long way towards encouraging your spouse to do the same.
  20. Give them motivation. Both you and your spouse can set fitness goals as motivation to help make all the hard work really feel like it’s paying off. Plan getaways together, fun nights out or anything that both of you really enjoy that can act as a motivating factor to get in shape.
  21. Eat together. Making mealtimes a part of the day when you come together as a couple can be helpful for a variety of reasons. You’ll get to talk and slow down while you’re eating as well as getting the chance to cook and prepare meals together that are healthier and better for you both.

Articles

These quick reads can help you find support, advice and information on approaching your spouse.

  1. How to Accept a Spouse Gaining Weight: If you want to learn to accept your spouse in their new, rounded form, this article can help you to do so.
  2. How to Tell Your Spouse to Lose Weight: Telling your spouse you think they look a little plump isn’t easy. This article provides some suggestions on making the process a little easier.
  3. 8 Ways to Help Your Partner Lose Weight: Want to help your overweight spouse? This article is full of great tips.
  4. How to Make Your Spouse Live Longer: Help your spouse live a long healthy life by getting them to follow these health tips.
  5. Supporting Your Spouse’s Weight Loss Efforts: Read this article to learn some great ways you can be supportive of your spouse’s health goals.
  6. Do You Help or Hound Your Heavy Spouse: Learn how the things you say to your spouse may be hurting rather than helping their weight loss.
  7. What to Do When Your Husband is Overweight: Here you’ll find some pointers on how to act if your spouse isn’t quite the same active, healthy person you married.
  8. Loving Your Overweight Partner: Learn to love your partner just as they are from this article.
  9. Weight Management and Your Spouse/Partner: For Better or Worse: Even if your spouse has put on some weight, you can find ways to help them in this helpful article.
  10. Gain a spouse and you’ll likely gain some pounds, too: It may not entirely be your spouse’s fault that they’ve gained weight. This article explains how it’s fairly common to put on weight after marriage.
  11. Help Motivate an Obese Spouse: Get some pointers on giving your spouse motivation so they can feel good about their progress.
  12. How to Get Family Support When Losing Weight: This article explains ways that you can help support and encourage your spouse in their weight loss.
  13. Don’t Say This to Your Dieting Spouse: Check out this article to learn what things are not a good idea to say to a spouse about their weight.
  14. How to Keep Your Husband Healthy: With obesity being tied to heart disease, stroke and cancer, this article explains some waysyou can help keep your husband in top shape.
  15. Telling Your Honey, "It’s Time to Lose Weight": Learn to say and what to avoid when you think your partner needs to lose weight.
  16. Violent Acres: What to Do About a Fat Spouse: Get some straight talk on telling your spouse you think they need to shed a few pounds from this blog entry.

Do It Together

The best way to get a spouse to make a lifestyle change is for the two of you to do it together. These blogs, tips and articles can help you make the most of your fitness goals as a couple.

  1. Get Fit Together: Get in shape right alongside your spouse and this site can tell you how.
  2. Partner Up: Lose Weight With Your Spouse: Form a great team to lose weight with advice from this blog.
  3. Dieters Find Success with a Spouse: Find success for the both of your weight loss by working together, as this article states.
  4. Weight Loss for Couples: Learn how to best lost weight with your spouse, partner or significant other from this article.
  5. Couples Weight Loss: Build a Team That Can’t Be Beaten: Working together can make losing weight all the easier and this site can help you build a partnership with your spouse that will benefit both of your health.
  6. How Couples Can Get Fit Together: Here you’ll get some great pointers on shedding weight right alongside your partner.
  7. The Link Between Couples and Weight: Find out how couples influence each other in terms of weight from this article.
  8. 7 Steps to Get Fit With Your Spouse: These seven steps can help point you towards a fit and happy future with your spouse.
  9. Working Out With Your Spouse or Partner: Get some tips and advice on working out together with your spouse from this blog.
  10. Ways to Get Your Significant Other To Exercise: Working together, as this article explores, can be a great way to motivate your significant other.
  11. Gym Couples Work it Out: Making your gym routine into an activity for two can be a great way to spend time with each other and get in shape.
  12. Healthy Eating Tips for Couples: Six Ways to Stay Slim Together: Eating together can be a great way to ensure you’re both getting the nutrition and healthy foods you need.
  13. Diet Solutions: With Spouse: This site offers some suggestions to losing weight as a couple.
  14. Couples Dealing With Weight Loss Together: Learn how your support can make or break your spouse’s weight loss plan.
  15. Couples Diet Better Together: This article from USA Today shows how working together to get in shape really does benefit both of you.

Motivating Factors

There are a number of health issues that can be exacerbated by being overweight. These articles and websites address some valid health reasons you can address with your spouse.

  1. Obese Couples Risk Lower Fertility: If you’re trying to have a child with your spouse, you may be surprised to find that his or her weight might be making it more difficult.
  2. I’m No Longer Attracted to My Overweight Spouse: While health is central to losing weight, your spouse’s wright may very well be affecting your attraction to them as well, as this article addresses.
  3. What Are the Health Consequences of Being Overweight?: This site gives some pretty good reasons why losing weight can be a great idea.
  4. Study Says Obesity Can Be Contagious: If your spouse thinks his or her weight isn’t hurting anyone but themselves they may want to think again. This study shows that overweight people can often influence the behaviors of those around them.
  5. Why Lose Weight?: Need a reason to start losing? The American Heart Association provides several on their site.
  6. FDA: Lose Weight: The FDA lays out some reasons losing weight is in your best interest.
  7. Staying Slim Improves Breast Cancer Survival Rates: Lowering your weight can have unexpected benefits, as this article explains.
  8. Health Consequences of Obesity: Learn how your weight can affect your overall health.
  9. Obesity and Disease Risk: Being overweight can increase your risk of getting many types of diseases and you can learn more about them here.
  10. Smoking and Obesity Curb Sex: Find out how health factors like obesity and bad habits like smoking can affect your drive for and enjoyment of sex.
  11. 7 Good Reasons to Lose Weight: Read this blogger-created list to learn some reasons that weight loss should be a priority.
  12. 10 Health Factors for Staying Slim: This site lists some big health reasons why men should keep off the weight.

Inspiration

If your spouse is searching for something to get them motivated or inspire them to get in gear, have them check out these great weight loss blogs that show how it’s done, and give them support from others in the same boat.

  1. Former Fat Guy: This blogger tracks all his trials and tribulations when it comes to weight loss in his blog.
  2. A Weight Lifted: For women who are tired of constantly yo-yo dieting, this blog can provide some inspiration on losing weight the right way.
  3. 101 Reasons I Hate Being Fat: Find some reasons to lose weight from this blogger who is tracking her weight loss.
  4. Diet Blog: Here you’ll find some get motivation to lose weight from other bloggers and as well as news and information on health care and fitness.
  5. Scale Junkie: Understand that being healthy is about more than a number on the scale from this blog about nutrition.
  6. Get Fit Slowly: Follow these friends as they work to lose weight and get in shape.
  7. Confessions of the Guy at Weight Watchers: This runner has lost loads of weight already, over a hundred pounds, and you can follow his progress here.
  8. John is Fit: This blogger felt unhealthy and vowed to lose some of his almost 300 pounds by living healthy and eating right.
  9. Fat Girl Dives In: Blogger Tina lost over 100 pounds, gained it back and now it trying to lose it all over again.
  10. Journeying to Lose 200 Pounds: With 200 pounds to lose, follow along as this blogger tries to lose it and keep it off.
  11. Losing It: This female blogger details how she is changing her eating and living habits to be healthier and happier.
  12. A Life Less Sweet: Cutting out high fructose corn syrup may be a big help in losing weight, as this blog explains.
  13. Escape from Obesity: This blogger and mother of five is trying to lose weight from her present size of 278 pounds and you can follow along as she takes it off through better eating and exercise.

Tips and Advice

These sites provide some basic tips and advice on ways to lose weight and get in shape.

  1. How to Lose Weight By Drinking Less Alcohol: Beer and mixed drinks can have loads of calories you may not even realize you’re drinking. Your spouse, and you, can shed some pounds but cutting back on the booze.
  2. Easy Ways to Lose Weight: 50 + Ideas: If you’re looking for some easy ways to get started on a weight loss plan for you and your spouse, these tips can provide some simple inspiration.
  3. Wii Weight Loss Plan: Who says losing weight can’t be fun? Check out this site to learn how you can lose weight just by playing games on the Wii.
  4. How to Lose Weight Watching TV: If your spouse isn’t ready to hit the gym just yet, get them moving at home with these exercises they can do in front of the TV.
  5. 50 Weight Loss Tips: Get some pointers on losing weight from this site.
  6. How to Lose Weight Safely: Don’t force your spouse into a dangerous crash diet. Read this site so you can ensure your spouse is losing the pounds safely.
  7. How to Most Effectively Start Working Out When You Haven’t Exercised in Years: Even if your spouse hasn’t lifted a finger to work out in ages, this blog can help them to learn how to get up and get moving no matter how rusty they are.
  8. Tips To Get Into Shape Without Leaving The House: You don’t need thousands of dollars worth of workout equipment to get in shape, this site tells you how to get fit in your own home.
  9. How to Start Doing Yoga: Learn to do the downward dog and the mountain pose from this beginner’s yoga guide.
  10. Weight Training 101: Weight training is an essential part of any workout routine and this site provides all the basics
  11. Body Fitness Guide: From yoga to fitness supplements, this site provides a ton of helpful health and fitness information.

Marriage Advice

If you feel your husband’s or wife’s weight gain is putting a strain on your marriage, you may want to check out some of these marriage advice sites that can help.

  1. A Good Husband: Here you can get marriage advice from a man’s point of view.
  2. WifeAdvice: Check out this blog to read funny stories from this husband and wife duo.
  3. Relationships in the Raw: Give this blog a read to learn how to better communicate with and improve your relationship with your spouse.
  4. Ask April: Send in all your burning questions on marriage, including issues with your spouse’s weight, to this marriage and relationship advice blog.
  5. Save the Marriage: If your spouse’s weight has put some tension between the two of you, learn how to work towards a better relationship from this blog.
  6. The Marriage Counseling Blog: For those who aren’t quite ready to go to real marriage counseling, this blog can be a good first step.
  7. Marriage Actually: This blog provides an honest look at marriage, both the good and the bad things.
  8. Love and Relationship Advice Blog: Susie and Otto Collins, relationship coaches, authors, and speakers maintain this blog that can give you some great advice on your marriage.
  9. Relationship Advice: Find some assistance in keeping your marriage running smoothly check out this blog.
  10. Marriage Blog: Families.com provides a lot of helpful tips and ideas for making marriage solid.
  11. The F-Word: Visit this blog if you want to learn to accept your spouse just the way he or she is.
  12. Relationship Advice for Relationship Bliss: This blog deals with turn-ons and offs, relationship difficulties and more.

100 Little Known Ways to Boost Your Libido

Everyone knows that eating chocolate and wearing fancy lingerie can spice up your sex life, but there are a number of little known ways to make things more interesting that you may not have considered. Whether it's eating the right food, or just getting a handle on your stress level, there are many things you can do to get a better libido. Read on to learn about 100 of these solutions.

Lifestyle & Habits

Take a look at your everyday life to see if you're interfering with sex.

  1. Relax: Stress can weaken your libido, so stay cool.
  2. Stop worrying: When your mind is strained, you may have a hard time getting in the mood.
  3. Stop smoking: Smoking can cause low sperm counts and decrease your virility, so quit or cut down on this habit.
  4. Establish good hygiene: Something as simple as remembering to floss can help make you feel more attractive and be more attractive to your partner.
  5. Schedule sex: Although the thought of penciling in intercourse is not particularly sexy, it can help guarantee that you'll be more sexually active.
  6. Avoid steroids: Steriods can interfere with your hormones and decrease your sex drive.
  7. Resolve cultural issues: If your cultural beliefs make you feel uncomfortable about sex, resolve them on your own or with the help of a therapist.
  8. Improve your self esteem: If you're feeling inadequate or just down on yourself, improve your outlook on your own or with the help of a therapist.
  9. Resolve religious issues: Overcome feelings of guilt and discomfort stemming from religious beliefs.
  10. Curb your alcohol intake: Excessive drinking can be to blame for low sperm counts and poor circulation, so avoid drinking too much.
  11. Pay your bills: Avoid nagging worry over your financial situation, and you'll feel more relaxed and receptive to sex.
  12. Drink plenty of water: Don't overdo it, but drink water throughout the day to promote vaginal moisture and overall health.
  13. Wear loose fitting underwear: Men should wear underwear that allows for some breathing room in order to promote good circulation to the area.
  14. Give longer kisses: Kisses that last 12 seconds or longer can reignite your passion.
  15. Have sex more often: Having sex on a more frequent basis can help get the ball rolling and keep you more sexual.
  16. Avoid high temperature baths: Although relaxing, hot tubs and saunas can hinder circulation, particularly for men, so they aren't good for your sex drive.
  17. Don't set your laptop on your lap: Especially for men, laptops can increase the temperature in your groin area, which is detrimental to your virility.
  18. Avoid sitting for extended periods of time: Sitting for too long, especially for men, can decrease the flow of blood to your sexual organs.
  19. Stay active: Inactivity can decrease your sex drive, so be sure to live an active lifestyle.
  20. Eliminate anxiety: Anxiety can be a strain on your libido, so learn to let go better.

Relationship

How you feel toward your partner can have a lot to do with the quantity and quality of sex, so follow these tips to build a relationship that's more open to sex.

  1. Communicate: Talk to your partner about sexual problems and feelings you may have to see how you can work them out together.
  2. Avoid arguments: Choose your battles to have more positive feelings towards your partner.
  3. Think positively about sex: Don't think of sex as a chore, but instead as a fun and loving experience that you can share.
  4. Spend time together: Get away from the hectic pace of life and just have fun together to get your spark back.
  5. Show affection: Outside of the bedroom, show affection to your partner, and you'll be more attracted to them sexually.
  6. Do something new: Introduce a little novelty into your lives together, and you'll produce dopamine, a chemical that helps fuel sex drive.
  7. Take a vacation: Sometimes the hectic pace of daily life can get in the way of sex, so step out of your usual routine to spice things up.
  8. Take a deep breath: The scent of your partner's sweat can be a booster for your sex drive.
  9. Go out on a date: Support your emotional connection by going on a date, and focus on building your relationship.
  10. Avoid witholding sex: Don't make sex a bargaining chip, or you'll end up having less of it.
  11. Share responsibilities: If you're not having sex because you or your partner is burned out or too tired, learn to more evenly balance your responsibilities between you.

Health

Your health plays a major part in the way your body craves and responds to sex, so make sure you're in tip top shape.

  1. Sleep well: A good night's rest can help you feel more energetic and make you more interested in sex.
  2. Lose weight: Maintaining a healthy body weight can improve your self image, as well as make your body more receptive to sex.
  3. Get regular screenings for cancer and STDs: Disease can easily interfere with a healthy sex life, so be sure to get checked out regularly.
  4. Massage: Massage, even when it's not a part of foreplay, can help increase your blood flow and make you feel energetic and virile.
  5. Treat diabetes: Diabetes can interfere with regular sexual health and desire, so be sure to treat the disease the best way you can.
  6. Get therapy: Speak to a therapist about your sexuality to uncover any emotional problems you may have.
  7. Avoid saturated fat: Saturated fat can clog your arteries and prevent good blood flow to your sexual organs.
  8. Support your circulatory system: Reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol to make your circulatory system more healthy and efficient.
  9. Deal with physical ailments: Problems including constant headaches, endometriosis, diabetes, and arthritis can interfere with your sexual enjoyment, so get them diagnosed and treated.
  10. Tighten your PC muscles: For women, exercising the PC muscles can lead to more fulfilling sex, which can increase your desire.
  11. Screen for anemia: Get checked out for anemia, which can be a cause of low sex drive.
  12. Talk to your doctor about depression: Depression can cause your sex drive to suffer, so find out if you're affected by it.
  13. Get treatment for sexual dysfunction: If you're having physical troubles with sex, talk to your doctor about getting it taken care of.
  14. Gain weight: If you're underweight, your sexual functions may be diminished. This is especially true for women, who may cease ovulation if body fat levels are too low.
  15. Evaluate your prescription drugs: Talk to your doctor to find out if your drugs are interfering with your libido.
  16. Ask about hormone balances: Find out if you have a hormonal imbalance, and find out what you can do about it.

Activities

Engage in these activities to boost your sex drive.

  1. Have sex anyway: Even if you're not in the mood, have sex, and chances are you'll get into it anyway.
  2. Do yoga: Certain yoga poses will help improve the blow flow to your sexual organs, as well as improve your overall health.
  3. Get aerobic exercise: Improve the blood flow to your sex organs by getting things pumping with aerobics.
  4. Read a romance novel: Turn on the biggest erogenous zone you have by reading a steamy bodice ripper.
  5. Stretch: Open up your body and flexibility with regular stretching.
  6. Do something dangerous: Dangerous activities will trigger dopamine and stimulate your sex drive.
  7. Role play: Adopt roles to play throughout the day or just out on a date to make things more interesting and set up a promise of things to come.
  8. Avoid exercising too much: Extreme exercise can lower your testosterone levels, which help your libido, so keep exercise to a moderate level.
  9. Compete: Being competitive, like in sports, can raise your levels of libido-boosting hormone testosterone.

In the Bedroom

These are a few things you can do with your partner to jump start your libido.

  1. Use sex toys: Although intimidating for some, sex toys can make sex more interesting and enticing.
  2. Watch porn: It does not work for everyone, but porn can help get you in the mood, or help you discover new things.
  3. Be more adventurous: Keep the interest alive by being willing to try new things.
  4. Get out of the bedroom: Explore new places to have sex, like the kitchen or your neighborhood park to spice things up.
  5. Talk dirty: Whether you're in the bedroom or out on a date, don't be shy about talking dirty.
  6. Fight boredom: If you're bored with sex, think of new ways you and your partner can connect.
  7. Leave the lights on: Toss out feelings of shame and embarrassment, and have more exciting sex with the lights on.
  8. Explore by touching new regions: Get away from traditional erogenous zones, and touch your partner some place new.

Food

These foods can make you healthier, and foster a better sex life.

  1. Eat a good diet: Overall, eating a nutritious diet full of fruits and vegetables will help you feel better and more in the mood for sexual activity.
  2. Drink alcohol: Although drinking too much can have an adverse effect, alcohol, particularly high quality beer and distilled spirits, can improve your overall and sexual health.
  3. Almonds: Almonds are full of fatty acids that will help with circulation.
  4. Goji berries: Goji berries will help increase testosterone levels in both men and women, as well as improve sexual stamina.
  5. Eat healthy fats: Your body needs fat to create hormones, so don't cut fat out of your diet.
  6. Black licorice: Black licorice can increase genital bloodflow by 40 percent.
  7. Celery: In celery, you'll find androsterone, which is a hormone that's been known to turn women on.
  8. Bananas: This phallic fruit can offer a shot in the arm to the male libido.
  9. Avocado: These delicious gems are full of fatty acids that will support your circulatory health.
  10. Avoid extreme dieting: Dieting too much or too harshly can leave your body devoid of the nutrients it needs for sexual health.
  11. Asparagus: This vegetable is a good source for sexual health supporting vitamin E.
  12. Nutmeg: Indian medicine uses nutmeg for enhancing desire, and its extract has been found to have the same effect as Viagra.
  13. Chili peppers: Chili peppers contain capasaicin, which supports good circulation.
  14. Eat protein: Protein offers plenty of energy that will make you more receptive to sex.
  15. Avoid caffeine: Caffeine can reduce your libido, so do your best to avoid coffee tea, and soda with caffeine.
  16. Basil: This herb increases your circulation and supports a sense of well being.
  17. Soy: Eating lots of soy can increase your arousal, as the food's phytoestrogens mimic estrogen.
  18. Garlic: Although not great for sexy breath, garlic offers allicin, which can improve the blood flow to your sexual organs.
  19. Avoid heavy carbohydrates: Pasta dishes will put you to sleep, rather than get you in the mood.
  20. Brazil nuts: Brazil nuts are full of the amino acid arginine, which can boost levels of blood to the genitals.
  21. Figs: Figs are believed to increase stamina, and are high in amino acids.
  22. The smell of comfort food: Researchers say that men can be turned on by foods they enjoy, such as doughnuts, pizza, and strawberries.
  23. Pumpkin seeds: In pumpkin seeds, you'll find zinc, which helps men produce testosterone, and will help support a woman's sex drive.

Supplements

Talk to your doctor about taking one or more of these supplements to help with your libido.

  1. Take a multivitamin: Multivitamins can help promote your overall health and sexual wellness, as well as provide specific nutrients that you need for a strong sex drive.
  2. Choline: Choline can help enhance levels of acetylcholine, which sends sexual impulses from your brain to sex organs.
  3. Vitamin B: Vitamin B deficiencies can be linked to infertility, so be sure to get plenty of it.
  4. Iron: Having an iron deficiency can leave you fatigued and out of energy for sex.
  5. Testosterone: Testosterone is the hormone that is behind your sex drive, so higher levels of it can help raise your libido.
  6. Manganese: Manganese ensures a healthy metabolism of the hormone estrogen.
  7. Vitamin E vaginal suppositories: If vaginal dryness is the cause of your low sex drive, it can be treated with these suppositories.
  8. Muirapuama and catuaba: In Brazil, these two herbs together are believed to increase your libido and support sexual potency.
  9. Vitamin A: Vitamin A helps support imporant tissues for your reproductive health.
  10. Zinc: Be sure that you're getting enough zinc, as a lack of this mineral can cause impotence and infertility.
  11. Vitamin C: Be sure to drink your orange juice, as vitamin C can help boost fertility.
  12. Vitamin B5: Also known as panothenic acid, B5 is important for the creation of sex hormones.
  13. Selenium: This mineral helps ensure healthy production of sperm.

Next Page »