December 4th, 2008
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.
- Relax: Stress can weaken your libido, so stay cool.
- Stop worrying: When your mind is strained, you may have a hard time getting in the mood.
- Stop smoking: Smoking can cause low sperm counts and decrease your virility, so quit or cut down on this habit.
- Establish good hygiene: Something as simple as remembering to floss can help make you feel more attractive and be more attractive to your partner.
- Schedule sex: Although the thought of penciling in intercourse is not particularly sexy, it can help guarantee that you'll be more sexually active.
- Avoid steroids: Steriods can interfere with your hormones and decrease your sex drive.
- 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.
- 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.
- Resolve religious issues: Overcome feelings of guilt and discomfort stemming from religious beliefs.
- Curb your alcohol intake: Excessive drinking can be to blame for low sperm counts and poor circulation, so avoid drinking too much.
- Pay your bills: Avoid nagging worry over your financial situation, and you'll feel more relaxed and receptive to sex.
- Drink plenty of water: Don't overdo it, but drink water throughout the day to promote vaginal moisture and overall health.
- Wear loose fitting underwear: Men should wear underwear that allows for some breathing room in order to promote good circulation to the area.
- Give longer kisses: Kisses that last 12 seconds or longer can reignite your passion.
- Have sex more often: Having sex on a more frequent basis can help get the ball rolling and keep you more sexual.
- 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.
- 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.
- Avoid sitting for extended periods of time: Sitting for too long, especially for men, can decrease the flow of blood to your sexual organs.
- Stay active: Inactivity can decrease your sex drive, so be sure to live an active lifestyle.
- Eliminate anxiety: Anxiety can be a strain on your libido, so learn to let go better.
- Communicate: Talk to your partner about sexual problems and feelings you may have to see how you can work them out together.
- Avoid arguments: Choose your battles to have more positive feelings towards your partner.
- Think positively about sex: Don't think of sex as a chore, but instead as a fun and loving experience that you can share.
- Spend time together: Get away from the hectic pace of life and just have fun together to get your spark back.
- Show affection: Outside of the bedroom, show affection to your partner, and you'll be more attracted to them sexually.
- Do something new: Introduce a little novelty into your lives together, and you'll produce dopamine, a chemical that helps fuel sex drive.
- 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.
- Take a deep breath: The scent of your partner's sweat can be a booster for your sex drive.
- Go out on a date: Support your emotional connection by going on a date, and focus on building your relationship.
- Avoid witholding sex: Don't make sex a bargaining chip, or you'll end up having less of it.
- 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.
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.
- Sleep well: A good night's rest can help you feel more energetic and make you more interested in sex.
- Lose weight: Maintaining a healthy body weight can improve your self image, as well as make your body more receptive to sex.
- Get regular screenings for cancer and STDs: Disease can easily interfere with a healthy sex life, so be sure to get checked out regularly.
- Massage: Massage, even when it's not a part of foreplay, can help increase your blood flow and make you feel energetic and virile.
- Treat diabetes: Diabetes can interfere with regular sexual health and desire, so be sure to treat the disease the best way you can.
- Get therapy: Speak to a therapist about your sexuality to uncover any emotional problems you may have.
- Avoid saturated fat: Saturated fat can clog your arteries and prevent good blood flow to your sexual organs.
- Support your circulatory system: Reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol to make your circulatory system more healthy and efficient.
- Deal with physical ailments: Problems including constant headaches, endometriosis, diabetes, and arthritis can interfere with your sexual enjoyment, so get them diagnosed and treated.
- Tighten your PC muscles: For women, exercising the PC muscles can lead to more fulfilling sex, which can increase your desire.
- Screen for anemia: Get checked out for anemia, which can be a cause of low sex drive.
- Talk to your doctor about depression: Depression can cause your sex drive to suffer, so find out if you're affected by it.
- Get treatment for sexual dysfunction: If you're having physical troubles with sex, talk to your doctor about getting it taken care of.
- 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.
- Evaluate your prescription drugs: Talk to your doctor to find out if your drugs are interfering with your libido.
- Ask about hormone balances: Find out if you have a hormonal imbalance, and find out what you can do about it.
Engage in these activities to boost your sex drive.
- Have sex anyway: Even if you're not in the mood, have sex, and chances are you'll get into it anyway.
- Do yoga: Certain yoga poses will help improve the blow flow to your sexual organs, as well as improve your overall health.
- Get aerobic exercise: Improve the blood flow to your sex organs by getting things pumping with aerobics.
- Read a romance novel: Turn on the biggest erogenous zone you have by reading a steamy bodice ripper.
- Stretch: Open up your body and flexibility with regular stretching.
- Do something dangerous: Dangerous activities will trigger dopamine and stimulate your sex drive.
- 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.
- Avoid exercising too much: Extreme exercise can lower your testosterone levels, which help your libido, so keep exercise to a moderate level.
- 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.
- Use sex toys: Although intimidating for some, sex toys can make sex more interesting and enticing.
- Watch porn: It does not work for everyone, but porn can help get you in the mood, or help you discover new things.
- Be more adventurous: Keep the interest alive by being willing to try new things.
- Get out of the bedroom: Explore new places to have sex, like the kitchen or your neighborhood park to spice things up.
- Talk dirty: Whether you're in the bedroom or out on a date, don't be shy about talking dirty.
- Fight boredom: If you're bored with sex, think of new ways you and your partner can connect.
- Leave the lights on: Toss out feelings of shame and embarrassment, and have more exciting sex with the lights on.
- Explore by touching new regions: Get away from traditional erogenous zones, and touch your partner some place new.
These foods can make you healthier, and foster a better sex life.
- 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.
- 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.
- Almonds: Almonds are full of fatty acids that will help with circulation.
- Goji berries: Goji berries will help increase testosterone levels in both men and women, as well as improve sexual stamina.
- Eat healthy fats: Your body needs fat to create hormones, so don't cut fat out of your diet.
- Black licorice: Black licorice can increase genital bloodflow by 40 percent.
- Celery: In celery, you'll find androsterone, which is a hormone that's been known to turn women on.
- Bananas: This phallic fruit can offer a shot in the arm to the male libido.
- Avocado: These delicious gems are full of fatty acids that will support your circulatory health.
- Avoid extreme dieting: Dieting too much or too harshly can leave your body devoid of the nutrients it needs for sexual health.
- Asparagus: This vegetable is a good source for sexual health supporting vitamin E.
- Nutmeg: Indian medicine uses nutmeg for enhancing desire, and its extract has been found to have the same effect as Viagra.
- Chili peppers: Chili peppers contain capasaicin, which supports good circulation.
- Eat protein: Protein offers plenty of energy that will make you more receptive to sex.
- Avoid caffeine: Caffeine can reduce your libido, so do your best to avoid coffee tea, and soda with caffeine.
- Basil: This herb increases your circulation and supports a sense of well being.
- Soy: Eating lots of soy can increase your arousal, as the food's phytoestrogens mimic estrogen.
- Garlic: Although not great for sexy breath, garlic offers allicin, which can improve the blood flow to your sexual organs.
- Avoid heavy carbohydrates: Pasta dishes will put you to sleep, rather than get you in the mood.
- Brazil nuts: Brazil nuts are full of the amino acid arginine, which can boost levels of blood to the genitals.
- Figs: Figs are believed to increase stamina, and are high in amino acids.
- The smell of comfort food: Researchers say that men can be turned on by foods they enjoy, such as doughnuts, pizza, and strawberries.
- Pumpkin seeds: In pumpkin seeds, you'll find zinc, which helps men produce testosterone, and will help support a woman's sex drive.
Talk to your doctor about taking one or more of these supplements to help with your libido.
- 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.
- Choline: Choline can help enhance levels of acetylcholine, which sends sexual impulses from your brain to sex organs.
- Vitamin B: Vitamin B deficiencies can be linked to infertility, so be sure to get plenty of it.
- Iron: Having an iron deficiency can leave you fatigued and out of energy for sex.
- Testosterone: Testosterone is the hormone that is behind your sex drive, so higher levels of it can help raise your libido.
- Manganese: Manganese ensures a healthy metabolism of the hormone estrogen.
- Vitamin E vaginal suppositories: If vaginal dryness is the cause of your low sex drive, it can be treated with these suppositories.
- Muirapuama and catuaba: In Brazil, these two herbs together are believed to increase your libido and support sexual potency.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A helps support imporant tissues for your reproductive health.
- Zinc: Be sure that you're getting enough zinc, as a lack of this mineral can cause impotence and infertility.
- Vitamin C: Be sure to drink your orange juice, as vitamin C can help boost fertility.
- Vitamin B5: Also known as panothenic acid, B5 is important for the creation of sex hormones.
- Selenium: This mineral helps ensure healthy production of sperm.
June 5th, 2008
By Tara Miller
When you’ve just broken up with someone, you’re probably stuck between wanting to obsess about your ex and your relationship and wanting to zap yourself into the magical realm of "I’m so over it and on to something new." If you’re staying up until 3 a.m. searching the Internet for answers to why "the one" turned out to be "the one who dumped you," make this list your first stop. We’ve compiled over 100 different resources to soothe your aching heart, indulge in distractions to avoid wallowing 24/7, and eventually move on and maybe even start dating again. But let’s take it slow.
Grieving and the First Steps
Let yourself grieve the healthy way by considering these tips and little bits of advice that will help you get back on your feet – gradually.
- How to Survive a Break Up: MamasHealth.com recommends making the best of your new free time, learning to accept your emotions, and doing something for yourself to get over a break up.
- 10 Tips to Help Get Through a Break Up: These ten tips will help you grieve without letting you fall apart.
- The Aftermath of a Break up: This article explores how people feel after a break up and tries to offer comfort for dealing with the pain and confusion that comes when a relationship ends.
- Empowering Break Up Songs: This list of songs includes "Fighter" by Christina Aguilera, "Strong Enough," by Cher, and "You Keep Me Hangin’ On," by The Supremes.
- Get Through a Break Up: This post challenges readers to get some physical contact, exercise, and force themselves to be social.
- Dealing With Anger After a Break Up: This three-part series will help you deal with anger in a healthy, responsible way.
- Losing a Partner: If you’ve been in a long-term relationship, you’re probably having a very tough time losing your partner, even if you’re trying to focus on the bad parts. This article will help you grieve and then move on.
- Stop Crying and Get Over It: This post explores break up behavior like denial and depression, and gives tips on how to get over it.
- Your Girlfriend Left You, Now What?: If you’re trying to get over the pain and shock of a sudden break up, turn to this guide for help.
- Extreme Breakup Recovery: Maximum Healing, Minimum Time: This approach recommends facing the reality of the break up, accepting it, seeing the lessons, and then taking yourself to a new level.
- The Emotions of Grief During a Breakup: Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed. of the blog Getting Past Your Past http://GettingPastYourPast.wordpress.com goes over the three phases of grief in this post.
- College Candy’s Break-Up Survival Kit: The College Candy offers this survival kit for dealing with a break up, including making lots of plans, getting drunk and putting chamomile tea bags on your puffy red eyes.
These articles focus on the emotional pain of breaking up and how you can heal yourself back to normal.
- It’s Not Me It’s You: Read the review of this popular break-up advice book here.
- Getting Through a Breakup: The UCLA Center for Women and Men posts this article to help you heal, gain perspective, and find support in the wake of a painful break up.
- Break-ups: How To Survive Them: This post goes over emotional effects of a break up like having trouble trusting anyone, struggling with starting over, and even suffering an identity crisis.
- Recovering From a Break-Up: This article from the University of California – Riverside Counseling Center has lots of advice for young singles going through a tough break up.
Breaking up a 6-month relationship isn’t the same as getting a divorce. Read this list for unique advice for more complicated break ups.
- Stages of Divorce/Breakup: Understand the normal stages of getting through a divorce, and you’ll be more ready to accept and get through each one.
- Divorce 360: This site is still in beta form, but it hosts lots of resources for deciding whether or not to get divorced, moving on, getting through a separation, marriage counseling, and more.
- Protecting Children Through a Divorce of Break-Up: For many divorcing couples, protecting their children is a huge worry. Use this guide to help you manage it the right way.
- Dealing with a Divorce: From "splitting the assets" to breaking the news to your children to moving on, this post tackles it all.
- Moving On Checklist: Steps to Consider After Divorce: If you think you’re finally ready to move on after a divorce, consider these steps first.
- Helping Your Child Cope with the Breakup: Get great tips for managing your divorce and your children in this article.
Break up Humor
Sometimes a little laugh will help you get through the worst times. Check out these humorous break up jokes and stories to give yourself a little relief.
- We’re Through: The Breakup Song: This song is a funny remake of the end song in Juno.
- Boozing Through a Break Up: Drowning your sorrows in alcohol to get over your ex may not be the healthiest strategy, but this article offers a hysterical take on boozing through your break up.
- Shocking Statistic Reveals 1 in 7 Share K-FEd’s Breakup Fate: At least your ex didn’t break up with you in front of millions of people. Or if they did, at least you’re not alone!
- No One Cares About Your Girlfriend Back Home: If you’re feeling bad about breaking up because long distance wasn’t a great idea, read this funny article from the Onion.
- Top 10 Ways to Break Up: This humorous article lists "stop showering" and "fake your own death" as ways to break up with someone.
- Breaking Up is Hard to Do: This article lists break up reactions according to college major. For example, business majors would "decide that they’re spending way too much money," and education majors would "concede that the relationship was a learning experience."
- Why Booze and Breakups Don’t Mix: This article actually offers good advice, but you’ll probably get a kick out of imagining the drunk dial scenarios.
- Cyber Break Up Humor: This parody lists different reasons why a cyber couple would break up.
- Funny Break Up Stories: Here’s a clip from Oprah that features crazy real-life break up stories in honor of the release of the film The Break Up with Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston. If the stories don’t make you feel better, getting to look at Vince Vaughn might!
- How to Break Up: This funny, oversimplified cartoon tracks a relationship through the happy times, break ups, back together again, another break up…you get the idea.
Articles and Guides
Sometimes you just want someone else to tell you how to behave and what to do after a break up, helping you pick yourself up off the floor and start behaving like a coherent human being. You’ll find plenty of survival guides here.
- How to Get Through a Breakup: Tips like "stay away from your ex" and "express yourself" will help you concentrate on the things that you really want in life.
- How to Get Through a Break Up: This guide walks you through each step of the breaking up process.
- The DUMPED! Break-Up Survival Guide: This article on Girlposse.com will help you through the first 48 hours, the first week, second week, and last two weeks of a break up.
- How to Break Up: Part I: Catherine Specter of The Huffington Post writes about distracting yourself, surviving the first few days, and rebounding the right way.
- Steps to Getting Through a Break Up: Can you get over a break up in ten steps? Follow this guide to find out.
- How to Get Through a Break Up: If you’re tired of reading sappy articles about getting over your ex, try this cut and dry guide from eHow.com.
- Helping a Friend Through a Breakup: If your friend is having a tough time recuperating from a bad break up, read this guide for help knowing what to do.
- Getting Through a Breakup: This article is written for adolescents trying to cope with their first breakup.
- When Breakups Aren’t So Clean: Cutting ties with your ex isn’t so easy when you work in the same office, have the same friends and aren’t able to get your stuff back. This article finds ways to deal with the messier problems.
- Breakup Don’ts: Don’t forget to bathe, don’t stalk your ex’s new boyfriend or girlfriend, and definitely don’t get too out of control socially after a break up.
- What do Do After a Breakup: This article helps new singles get "to the day when [they] can tell [themselves] "what was I thinking?"
- Digital Breakup: This collection of online tools and resources will help you break up with someone, get over your break up, and start dating again.
- Getting Through a Break Up: This terrific guide from nzgirl goes over the things you will feel like doing after a break up vs. the things you should you do.
After a break up, it’s tough to imagine being independent. Stop feeling lonely and start realizing that you might actually be a pretty cool person to hang out with — by yourself.
- The Magic Formula for Overcoming a Break-up Fast: This blogger lists seven important traits for getting over a break up super fast.
- Why You Should Never Try and Sacrifice Your Values to Save a Relationship: If you’re feeling guilty about breaking up with someone because you refused to change, read this article to give your self-confidence a boost.
- To 5 Break Up Songs: This list of break up songs focuses on being alone and being free.
- Breaking Through: Senior Spring Break-Up Blitz: This guide for college students offers advice for freeing yourself of a relationship before graduation.
- Breaking Up Late in Life: Being independent after a very long relationship can be scary when you’re past the traditional dating age. Get advice from this post.
- What’s So Great About Being Alone?: Find out what real readers have to say about being alone, and you’ll find new ideas for things to keep you preoccupied.
- Should You Be Single for a While?: Consider the single life before moving on to another relationship right away.
- The Singles Cafe: This site has several articles about living alone, being independent and being more social.
- Rediscovering Yourself and Being Your Own Person: This post shows you how to "re-discover and re-invent" yourself after a relationship ends.
- How to Inch Your Way Back to Being Social: If you and your ex spent all your time exclusively together, you may find that forcing yourself to be social after a break up is tough. This guide will help you through the transition.
Learning from Your Break Up
Take these quizzes and read these relationship education posts to turn your break up into a learning experience.
- 10 Positive Break Up Quotes and What We Can Learn From Them: These "positive and inspiring break up quotes" will help you get over your break up in a healthy way.
- Learning From a Relationship Breakdown: This detailed article goes over typical feelings during a break up and offers up lessons that can be learned from the end of the relationship.
- Boosting Self-Esteem After a Breakup: This Q&A from iVillage emphasizes the importance of focusing on your needs and your confidence levels after a break up.
- The Break-Up Test: Take this quiz to see if you’re ready to move on.
- What Went Wrong? When Relationships Go From Hot to Cold: Learn what leads to a sour relationship so you’ll know better next time.
- The Post-Breakup Quiz: Cheer yourself up by discovering you’re probably better off without your ex in this quiz.
- Test Your Commitment Readiness: Did you learn anything from your last relationship? Find out if you’re ready to get serious again with this quiz.
- Do You Fall In Love Too Fast?: Take this test and find out if this is the reason for your last break up.
- Who’s Your Mr. Right?: Get over your last guy by finding how that your true Mr. Right is someone completely different.
- Relationship Quizzes: Visit this site for tons of relationship quizzes that will gradually help you move on and learn more about yourself.
Blogs and Sites
From an online comic strip to The Breakup Blog, bookmark these sites so you can turn to them for help over and over again.
- LovesAGame: This blog is all about break ups, relationship healing, dealing with your ex and lost loves.
- The Breakup Blog: Recent posts on this blog include "6 Signs You’re Finally Over Your Ex-Girlfriend," and "Why Sex With The Ex Is Bad News During A Breakup."
- Breakup Girl: This site includes advice, comics and animation based on Breakup Girl, the "only superhero whose domain is love — or lack thereof — and who mends broken hearts worldwide with the help of the worldwide Web." Her "job is to fight crimes of the heart, stop dating indignities, get your stuff back, help you help your mom through your breakup, [and] make good relationships great."
Getting Support and Moving On
After you’ve grieved, moped and trash talked your ex to your friends, it’s time to get yourself ready to move on. Find support and encouragement in this list.
- How Do You Get Through a Breakup?: Dive Caroline asks readers to share their real-life tips for getting over a break up. Read their responses for extra advice.
- How Do I Get Through a Bad Break up?: Find out what readers have to say about getting through a break up here.
- How to Forget a Past Relationship: This realistic guide can help you totally let go of a past relationship.
- If At First You Don’t Succeed?: Should you try to get back together with your ex after a painful break up? This article explores the option.
- Moving On: Life After Your Ex: There is definitely life after your ex. Learn how to "clean house," limit contact with your ex and forgive him or her so that you can effectively move on.
- 10 Things You Should Know Before You Commit: If your last relationship lasted several years, you may have forgotten the things you should know and do before starting up a new one. Use this guide for tips on how to commit again.
- The Vicious Cycle of Your Memories: Stop torturing yourself with relationship memories by taking the advice offered here.
- After a Breakup: Getting Back in the Game: This article offers advice like "get pampered," "take care of your body," and "help someone else" to give you the confidence to move on.
- Relationships: How to Start Moving on from a Break-up: LifeSpy’s article suggests getting rid of relationship souvenirs, organizing a fresh start and staying away from sappy movies as effective ways to move on.
- From Being Under Him to Getting Over Him: A Timeline: If all your friends hated your ex, how long will it take you to get over him? What about if the sex was great or he forgot all your birthdays? Find out in this fun timeline.
Movies and other distractions will indulge your break up obsession but will give you a little perspective on your specific situation.
- An Inspiring Break Up Movie You Must Not Miss: This blogger recommends watching Under the Tuscan Sun to help you get over a break up.
- Break-Up Movies: From Fatal Attraction to The Way We Were to When Harry Met Sally, these are some of the best break-up movies. You can also complete a change of address here.
- Just Went Through a Breakup? Time to Party!: College Candy recommends throwing yourself a party to help get you through a breakup. The article has lots of links and ideas to help you with the theme.
- Five Songs to Get You Through the Night: The Messy Breakup: Soothe your teary self to sleep with songs like "At Least that’s What You Said" and "Road to Joy."
- 3 Healthy Distractions from Break-Up Pain: This article lauds the power of a girls’ night out, shopping sprees and a new healthy diet and exercise plan.
- Sexiest Stars: TV’s Hottest Men: Was your ex as hot as Chace Crawford or Taye Diggs? We doubt it.
- Post Break-Up Distractions: Guys will find distraction in these activities.
- SI Swimsuit Collection: There are plenty of other fish in the sea, and you can start moving on from your break up here.
Gradually get back in the game by posting a profile on an online dating site and increasing your circle of friends.
- Online Dating — A Cure for Post Breakup Blues: Find out why online dating can help you ease back into the dating game.
- Dating After a Break-Up: This article suggests several different ideas for meeting new people.
- After a Break-Up: How to Enter the Dating Scene: Tips like "do not jump into the bedroom too quickly" and "learn how to compromise" are smart tips for new singles.
- How Online Dating Helps You Recover from a Break-Up: This article asks readers to consider online dating before tackling real-world dating.
- Blind Dating Tips: If you’re not up to searching for a date yourself, have your friends set you up.
- How to Fall in Love Again after a Breakup: Even if you’re not ready for love just yet, reading this article might make you feel better, by letting you know that it’s possible to love again.
- How to Get Through Your First Date After the Divorce: If you’re nervous about dating again after being a in a long-term relationship, consider the advice in this article.
- 6 Guys You Don’t Want to Date After a Divorce: From the "Mr. Angry – I’m Divorced Too" guy to "The Dr. Phil Clone," steer clear of these losers.
Meeting Your Ex for the First Time
Prepare yourself for the inevitable first meeting with your ex by considering the advice offered here.
- 6 Tips on Playing it Cool During an Ex-Sighting: Don’t run and hide when you see your ex for the first time since the break up. Turn to this guide to help you make the most of the dreaded encounter.
- "Meet Your Ex-Girlfriend After a Breakup — 6 Dos and Dont’s: From keeping the mood light to acting cool to keeping your expectations low, this guide goes over the basic rules for meeting an ex for the first time.
- Can We Be Friends? Shifting from Partnership to Friendship: This smart guide will help you decide whether or not being friends with your ex is a good idea for your specific situation.
- How do You Respond When You Run Into Your Ex?: Find out how real-life readers answer this question on the Love Shack forum.
From being on a break to browsing items at The Break-Up SuperShop, this list has even more break up resources to keep you going.
- On a ‘Break’: What does being on a "break" really mean? This article "examine[s] the male psyche" to find out.
- Sex With Your Ex: Should you have noncommittal sex with your ex? This article explores whether or not it’s a good idea.
- The Break-Up SuperShop: Girlposse.com’s break-up store has a variety of books about surviving a break up.
- Dealing with a Break Up: Find out how to "get custody" of your friends, survive being dumped, and start dating again with the help of this article.
May 15th, 2008
Besides traditional issues with love, sex, parenting, long distance relationships and break-ups, military couples have their own unique struggles to face each day. Long deployments, readjustment problems, life abroad and on base, lonely pregnancies and complicated divorces can make even routine communication seem like hard work. To give you and your partner some much needed support, we’ve generated this list of 50 relationships resources and websites. Turn to these sites whenever you need a boost or some real-life advice.
Relocating and Base Life
For tips on adjusting to a major move or dealing with deployment, check out these websites and articles.
- Moving: Moving to a new country or city can be a strain on couples, especially if one of the spouses has to be relocated because of military service. Turn to this guide for advice and support.
- Making a Move: Get more tips for preparing for a PCS from this page.
- How to Inform Your Spouse that you do not Want to Attend a Military Heart Link Class: If you’re not enthusiastic about attending a military heart link class for couples counseling and advice, use this guide to address the subject.
- Should You Stay or Go?: Deciding whether or not to follow your spouse to a new country can mean evaluating your entire relationship. This articles walks you through the process.
- Managing Deployment: Learn about the experiences of other military families preparing to say goodbye to their loved ones in this guide.
- Deployment and Marriage — Impact and Coping Tips: This site has tips for maintaining a long distance marriage, coping with separation during multiple deployments and more.
- Military Wives’ 21 Best Tips for Dealing with a Spouse’s Deployment: Tips like "keep busy," "call on your friends," "remember your promise," and "keep your routine" will help you through the separation.
New parents and pregnant wives and girlfriends can get support online anytime thanks to these resources.
- New Parent Support: This guide has resources for military couples who are also new parents.
- Family Support: Find emotional and practical support for everything from stressed out kids to keeping a positive attitude to understanding your benefits.
- VAJoe Exclusive Military Spouse and Family Section: Comment on forums like "Military Marriage and Relationships" and "Military Marital & Relationship Difficulties" to find support whenever you need it.
- Ideas for Deployment Pregnancies: This guide has tips for moms and dads who want to stay close during a pregnancy, even during a deployment.
Dating and Getting Married
What’s it really like to date a soldier or serviceman or woman? These sites provide lots of tips for starting a relationship with someone in the military and deciding whether or not to marry a soldier.
- Getting Married: This article questions if getting married is the thing to do "before or after joining the military."
- Military Dating and Finding Your True Love in Uniform: This article discusses military dating sites that connect you to servicemen in the Marines, Navy, Air Force, Army and Coast Guard.
- Military Weddings and Honeymoons: Questions about getting married on base, military formal weddings, time off and more in this article.
- Married to the Military: 20 Ways to Make it Work: If you’re unsure about taking your relationship with a military serviceman or women to the next level, read this article for tips on making a military marriage last.
- Should I Marry a Soldier?: Marrying a soldier comes with a lot of sacrifice and stress. Learn about the real-life issues you can expect to confront if you marry into the military.
- Valentine’s Day Love for Soldiers, Veterans and Other Warriors: Celebrating Valentine’s Day when your other half is on duty can be tough. Here are some ways to make the holiday special anyway.
Dual Military Couples
Relationships in which both members are in the military need constant nurturing and support. Get help for finding time to communicate and spend time with each other here.
- Married Military Couples: Read first-hand accounts of real-life military couples to see how they cope with their schedules and anxieties.
- Married to the Military: Get advice on dealing with long separations, learning from each other and raising a family.
- For Better or Worse: How a Dual-Military Couple Manages Their Personal and Professional Life: Learn how this dual military couple keeps it together despite separation, grueling training and schedules, and other obstacles.
Life at Home
From readjustment counseling to life as a lonely army wife, these articles and resources focus on how to military couples and spouses deal with their relationships at home.
- Readjustment Counseling: This site is for soldiers who are returning home from combat and who want help readjusting to their civilian relationships and family life.
- My Married Yet Strangely Single Life as an Army Wife: In this article, an army wife discusses the six Fs that "keep [her] going:" faith, family, friends, future, funny bones and fitness.
- Domestic Abuse: This page on the Military Homefront website features a hotline for domestic abuse, as well as military-specific benefits for victims of domestic abuse.
- Strong Bonds and Better Relationships: This article follows the story of a real-life couple that encountered problems reuniting after a tour of duty in Iraq.
- Your Beloved Soldier is Coming Home – Now What?: After the excitement settles over expecting the return of your military spouse, you need to address issues like post-war trauma, guilt, depression, an older child and more.
- Homecoming Tips for Military Couples: Tips like "accept that your partner may be different" and "tone down your fantasies" are helpful tips for excited couples.
- Separated by War: This article tracks four couples and their struggles with separation during the Iraq war.
- Military Spouse Support: If you want some personalized advice for coping with separation or any other military relationship problem, e-mail the Hooah Wife and Friends blog here.
- Julie Anna Infantry Wife: Read about Julie Anna’s attempts to find meaning and energy in her home life while her husband is away in the Army.
Divorce, Abuse and Other Issues
Unfortunately, military couples sometimes experience abuse, divorce and infidelity. Discover ways to cope with these issues in this list.
- Military and Divorce: Refer to this site for help identifying triggers that can result in divorce in military couples and for resources for hiring an attorney, getting benefits and more.
- Family Advocacy: Learn how to prevent and deal with spousal and child abuse in your military family here.
- Divorce Tips for Military Couples: This guide helps military couples get through a divorce amicably and responsibly.
- Military Divorce and Separation Issues: This site provides links to military divorce prevention, divorce FAQs, divorce-related legal issues by state, and more.
- Adultery in the Military: This website decodes adultery in the military, including legal issues and specific cases.
- Military Spouses and Divorce: This article features "five tips for military spouses who may be thinking about divorce."
- When Love is a Battlefield: Military couples going through a divorce can turn to this guide for financial and familial advice.
Long Distance Relationships
Military couples know that their long distance relationships are a lot harder to maintain than traditional long distance loves. These articles and sites are full of advice, though, for your specific questions and situations.
- How to Get Close When You are Far Apart: Tips like not relying on e-mail and making plans together despite your distance can help ease the separation.
- Infidelity on the Homefront: Read the advice given to a young military wife having trouble staying loyal to her army husband.
- Long Distance Relationships and the Military: This author suggests setting up a regular schedule for communicating, making use of technology and keeping a journal to cope with a long distance military relationship.
- Military Wife Tips: Keeping Any Long Distance Relationship Alive: This detailed article is designed to give support to military couples who spend a lot of time apart.
- Long Distance Relationships: Check out this page of resources for couples in LDRs, or long distance relationships.
From online radio stations to hotline information to tried and true relationship tips, this list features even more resources to help you along.
- Military OneSource: This support center has a 24/7 hotline and an entire section devoted to parenting and relationships advice for military couples.
- CincHouse.com: This "community of military wives and women in uniform" includes great articles for nurturing relationships and family life.
- Army Wife Talk Radio: This clever website and online radio includes family and relationship advice and tips.
- Military Couples Fight to Preserve Home Front: This news article also provides links and advice for military couples who have to deal with separation, uncertainty, infidelity, and financial issues.
- Military Spouse Talk Radio: Turn to this online radio show for stories, advice, and more support.
- Spouse Buzz: This site is "where military spouses connect" to talk about communication, marriage, deployment and more.
- Loving a Marine: This post includes poems and stories about Marine wives and their struggles.
- Goodbye Always Seems to be the Hardest Word: Get tips on saying goodbye to your other half when he or she leaves on a mission.
- Military Relationships: Keeping it Together: This how-to guide has plenty of "tips and ideas for keeping it together," including Internet rendezvous, surprise phone calls and more.
May 12th, 2008
A failing sex drive can be frustrating, but there are a number of things that you can do to make it better. Some of these sure-fire methods include exercising, eating well, and being healthier in general. Here, we’ve listed these and many other easy and natural ways to get your spark back. Emotional If your mind is not open to sex, your body just won’t follow. Try these strategies for effective ways to help get in the mood.
- Build self-confidence: Improve your interest in sex by feeling good about yourself.
- Rid yourself of stress: Stress will weaken your libido, as worry keeps your mind off of sex and on other things. Try relaxing with a warm bath or a good book.
- Don’t get caught up in fights: Resolve problems with your partner so that they don’t lead to withdrawal in the bedroom.
- Get your imagination going: Read a steamy novel or watch porn to get your mind’s eye thinking about sex.
- Change your attitude about sex: Don’t think about sex as a chore. Rather, regard it as a fun, pleasurable activity with someone you love.
Physical Take these physical steps to make your body more receptive to sex.
- Be attractive: Even if you’re not naturally beautiful, there are a number of things you can do to make yourself feel more attractive. Whether that means a spa day or a new outfit, do whatever it takes to feel good about yourself.
- Stretch: Stretching offers a low-impact way to improve your blood flow and relax.
- Exercise: Work the muscles that you need for good sex, and you’ll both improve blood flow and feel good about yourself.
- Get a massage: Massages can release the tension in your body and increase your blood flow, which is good for sexual arousal.
- Try yoga: Certain yoga positions will help improve circulation to your sexual organs and increase desire.
- Lose weight: Excessive weight can have an effect on your self-esteem and make you feel less attractive. It’s also possible that being overweight can interfere with blood flow to your sexual organs, so shed a few pounds to help your libido.
Habits Your libido is an ongoing entity, and it’s affected by everything that you do. Try these methods, and consider how you can improve your sex drive with habits from your daily life.
- Quit smoking: Smoking has an adverse effect on blood flow, as it causes a narrowing of blood vessels, including those in sexual organs. Additionally, smoking steals your energy and gives you bad breath.
- Smell good: Your sense of smell can boost your libido. Some scents in particular, like buttered popcorn and baby powder, have been found to turn men and women on.
- Get a good night’s rest: If you’re tired, chances are you’re not going to be in the mood. So sleep well at night and rest up for good health and good sex.
- Drink in moderation: Alcohol may increase desire initially, but can lead to impotence and general unattractiveness if you go too far.
- Touch each other constantly: Touching your partner, whether it’s sexual or not, can help arouse sexual feelings. This can be as simple as holding hands or hugging on a regular basis.
Food Beyond daily habits, the things you eat can have an effect on your libido. Check out these foods to improve your desire for sex.
- Eat aphrodisiacs: Some foods are just great for getting you in the mood. Oysters in particular are good to eat, as they’re full of fertility-boosting zinc.
- Avoid simple carbs: Carbohydrate dishes are likely to have you heading to bed for sleep instead of sex, so avoid pasta, pizza and other snooze-inducing meals.
- Eat protein: Protein will give you an energy boost that will have you feeling good and ready for sex.
- Eat fish: Fish is not only high in protein, it has Omega-3 fatty acids as well, and these acids are wonderful for improving your circulation and sexual health.
- Cut down on saturated fat: Men should be careful to avoid eating too much saturated fat, as it can clog arteries and block adequate flow to your penis. One doctor says that a good guideline to keep in mind is, "anything that’s good for your heart is good for your penis."
Health Your overall health has a profound effect on your sex drive, so speak to your doctor about these issues.
- Look into your hormones: Speak with your doctor about your low libido. Sometimes, the problem lies in a hormone imbalance.
- Consider quitting antidepressants: Many antidepressant medications can have a negative effect on your sex drive, so discuss discontinuation of your prescription or consider alternatives.
- Keep diabetes in check: Uncontrolled diabetes can be responsible for sexual evils like erectile dysfunction and decreased sexual response, so be sure to take care of it.
- Look into adrenal fatigue: Your failing libido could be brought on by a condition called adrenal fatigue. Speak with your doctor to see if you have this condition.
Remedies Finally, you can supplement the actions you’re taking to improve your sex life with these herbal remedies that are believed to help.
- Gingko biloba: This remedy has been shown to improve blood flow to both your brain and sexual organs. It’s also believed to offer an improvement on desire, arousal, and orgasm.
- Yohimbe: This "natural Viagra" has been used in Africa as an aphrodisiac for many years. It’s believed to improve male impotence.
May 6th, 2008
Sex is great for your relationship, but did you know that it’s also great for your overall health? That’s right-sex has been found to help with conditions ranging from the common cold to high blood pressure. And although you’re not likely to come home from your next doctor’s appointment with a scribbled prescription for sex, it can be highly effective as a preventative measure and complementary treatment. Read on to find out what conditions you’re protecting yourself from every time you enjoy a roll in the hay.
- Depression: Without the help of researchers, just about anyone can agree that sex will make you feel good about yourself and better about your relationship. But one researcher has said there’s a scientific explanation that goes a bit farther. Professor Gordon Gallop says that there’s an unknown chemical in semen that has an antidepressant effect on women.
- Pregnancy: Sex is both the cause and the cure for pregnancy. Women who are ready to induce labor often have sex to speed up the process, and research backs up this method. Semen contains prostaglandins, which help the cervix prepare to open, and orgasms produce oxytocin, which will help cause contractions.
- Headaches: Although sex can sometimes bring on a headache, it can cure them too. The tension release your body experiences during and after sex can ease restricted blood vessels in the brain.
- Menstrual cramps: Sex acts as an analgetic to relieve menstrual pain, primarily because of the relaxation and endorphins sex brings.
- Arthritis: In his book, "How to Treat Arthritis with Sex and Alcohol," rheumatologist Carter V. Multz asserts that sex, as well as alcohol and other complementary treatments, can reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation associated with arthritis.
- Common cold: Manfred Schedlovski, a Swiss researcher from Zurich, asserts that sex has a positive effect on phagocytes, which are a part of the immune system that goes after alien bodies, like cold germs, and kills them. Phagocytes are increased signficantly during sex, and will often double after orgasm.
- Stress: Orgasms offer a great way to relax, and even nonorgasmic sex offers some relief. Dr. Joshua Golden asserts sex’s relaxation properties, as well as emotional benefits.
- Tooth decay: Kissing, as well as oral sex, encourages saliva production. This increase in saliva helps to wash food particles from your teeth, prevents plaque build-up, and helps lower decay-causing acid. Additionaly, seminal plasma has been shown to help prevent tooth decay.
- Erectile dysfunction: By exercising your Kegel muscles with frequent sex and delaying ejaculation, men can help strengthen muscles enough to help with minor erection problems.
- High blood pressure: Semen has been found to lower blood pressure in women. Specifically, swallowing semen can help ward off preeclampsia, which is a dangerously high blood pressure that sometimes occurs during pregnancy.
- Insomnia: Many people find that the relaxation they experience after sex helps them go to sleep.
- Prostate cancer: Men who ejaculate more frequently have been found to be at a lower risk of developing prostate cancer.
- Hangovers: Sex may not save your liver, but it will help you shake off a funk. Having sex will help boost your endorphins and oxytocins, which stimulate muscle contraction and help you avoid aggressiveness.
- Toxic system: Sex gets your blood pumping faster, which helps to rid the body of waste.
- Heart disease: Studies have shown that if men have sex twice a week or more, they tend to have a lower risk of heart attack. For women, increased levels of estrogen caused by sex help to protect against heart disease.
- Stubborn wounds: Studies have found that oxytocin, which is released during sex, can help wounds heal faster.
- Low energy: Sex increases energy through exercise and emotional well-being.
- Minor cognitive problems: Whenever you become sexually excited or have an orgasm, the hormone DHEA is released. DHEA has been found to improve cognition.
- Skin irritations: The sweat released during sex will cleanse your pores, helping to relieve rashes, blemishes, and other skin problems.
- Pain: Orgasm releases endorphins, which will alleviate pain for just about everything.
- Obesity: Although few doctors are likely to prescribe a sex diet, the fact is that sex is a form of exercise. Performing the act of sex requires physical activity that will burn calories and strengthen your heart. It’s an especially great exercise for those who have little motivation to get to the gym.
- Incontinence: Every time you have sex, you’re exercising your Kegel muscles, which are the same ones you use to stem the flow of urine.
- Weak bones and muscles: Sex brings on a boost of testosterone, which helps to make your bones and muscles strong.
- Semen allergy: Unfortunately, some women are allergic to their partner’s semen. However, along with other treatments, frequent sex has been found to work as an effective desensitization therapy for this allergy.
- Death: That’s right, sex can help ward off death for men. Professor Stuart Brody reports that men who orgasm twice a week are half as likely to die as those who only orgasm once a month.
April 25th, 2008
When you’re going through a dry spell, and those weeks start to become months and those months start adding up, it can start to feel like it will never end. However, there may be things you’re doing that are hindering your sex life. Making a few subtle changes can be just what you need to getting back on track to finding the satisfaction you desire. Here are some things to consider if you’re not getting any lately.
There’s no way around it– how you look is a big part of making or breaking your chances of getting laid. Here are some ways you could be sabotaging yourself before you say a word.
- You make a horrible first impression. First impressions count for a lot and if you’re making a bad one, it’s pretty unlikely that’s going to lead to anything good. Take care of how you look and present yourself when meeting anyone for the first time. You never know when it could lead to something more.
- Your standards are ridiculous. If you’re not exactly the greatest catch in the world, why are you expecting to only date women or men that look like runway models? If your standards are unrealistic, you’re just setting yourself up for failure and making yourself look like a jerk in the process. Aim for people on your attractiveness level and you’ll have a much easier time sealing the deal.
- You smell weird. This doesn’t always mean you smell like you just finished running a marathon, though if you’re not showering regularly you can probably assume this is a large part of your singledom. Slathering on too much aftershave or perfume can be just as overwhelming and can cause even the most tolerant of dates to hold their breath in your presence. Keep yourself smelling good but not like you just dipped yourself in a vat of eau de toilette.
- You don’t take care of your appearance. You’re not going to impress many members of the opposite sex if you don’t shave, shower at at least attempt to dress like you haven’t spent the last week stranded on a desert island. You don’t have to go overboard, but make the effort to clean up before attempting to get intimate.
- You have terrible dental hygiene. Let’s be honest, teeth are a big deal when it comes to finding someone attractive. You’ll have much more luck putting your mouth near someone else’s if it isn’t disgusting. Chew gum, brush your teeth and get regular check ups to ensure that your pearly whites stay that way.
- You spend too much time on your appearance. On the flipside of not paying enough attention to your appearance is paying too much attention to it, at the price of your date. You don’t need to spend 4 hours prepping for a date and no one expects you to have every hair perfectly plucked. Find a happy medium and you’ll make the opposite sex happier too.
- You’re too superficial. If you’re totally focused on your own appearance and that of others you’re setting yourself up for some superficial encounters as well. Some people thrive on having their egos stroked but others will find you and your attitude incredibly off-putting. Try to see beyond the surface and you may find yourself attracted to and sleeping with someone you never thought you would.
- You draw attention to your flaws. Everyone has flaws and there’s not really much we can do about them. But there’s no reason to make your big nose or awkward gangliness the center of attention. If you focus on it, so will others, so play it off like you don’t even notice.
- You draw attention to his/her flaws. It should be pretty obvious why this is a deal breaker. Even if you only make a joking passing reference to their big ears, this can destroy their confidence and maybe even make them think you’re kind of a jerk. It can also serve to make them too self-conscious to take off their clothes, which is exactly what you don’t want. Even if you’re thinking it, don’t say it.
- You don’t like your body. It can be painfully obvious to people you meet when you don’t feel good about how you look. Self-depreciating comments and attempts to cover up every flaw will make you feel awkward and uncomfortable and won’t give you the confidence you need to make a move. Learn to accept your faults, work with what you have and love your imperfections.
Even the hottest people can drive away potential lovers by having the personality equivalent to nails on a chalkboard. Here are some tips on what not to do if you want to get to romancing.
- You lack confidence. Most men and women will tell you that one of the things they find most attractive in potential mates in confidence. If you’re constantly putting yourself down or seem too shy to make a move, you may be putting off people who would otherwise be interested in you. Change your mindset and your attitude so that you project an air of confidence (though not arrogance) to those around you.
- You don’t seem genuine. Few things are more off putting than someone who seems like a big old fraud. Don’t give over the top compliments or put on a show for the lady or gentleman you’re wooing. Instead, keep your cool, be yourself, and try not to act like you’re selling them something.
- You’re a fraidy cat. No one wants to get rejected, but the fact of the matter is that it’s going to happen from time to time if you put yourself out there. Cowering in a corner and simply looking at other people in the bar isn’t going to get you in anyone’s pants except maybe your own, so stop being a wuss, get up and talk to someone. You might find that it’s much easier than you thought.
- You’re being too nice. This is by no means an instruction to act like a total jerk and treat the women or men you’re interested in like crap. But you should recognize that there is a difference between being nice and being too nice. If you’re starting to sound a little too syrupy sweet, you may be putting out the signal that you’re a pushover and that your date can walk all over you. So be nice, but not so nice you seem like a human Care Bear.
- Your friends aren’t helping you out. This isn’t so much about your own personality as the personalities of those you choose to surround yourself with. You may be a fine, upstanding gentleman or lady, but if you’re hanging out with a bunch of frat boy idiots, you’re likely not exactly setting yourself up for success. Choose who you go out on the prowl with carefully, and try to make sure its someone who’ll be an asset instead of a liability.
- You’re too intense. Ever been on a date with someone who stares you down or seems dead set on professing their love for you at every available moment? Does this sound like something that would be fun? You may be an incredibly intense, tortured soul, but the interest and tolerance that most people have for this kind of attitude wears off pretty quickly and then you just become a creep. Keep the life and death discussions until at least a few dates in to avoid scaring off your dates.
- You’re being someone else. Unless you’re a masterful con artist, chances are pretty good that you’ll come off as a little awkward and forced if you try to be someone else when meeting new people or on a date. Do yourself a favor and just be yourself. Whether it works out or not, at least you didn’t have to fake it.
- You come across as a sleaze. Most dates will know within a few minutes of meeting you whether or not you’re genuinely interested in them or if you’re just trying to make it to home plate. Unless your date is just as sadly desperate as you, this isn’t going to go over well. Keep the sleaze factor to a minimum. This means no taking dates to strip clubs, pinching butts or very clearly trying to get them drunk.
- You’re not honest about what you’re looking for. If you’re truly not looking for a long term relationship, don’t tell women or men that you are just to bed them. This can cause a lot of trouble later, and most people will appreciate honesty up front. Who knows, you may even find someone else who’s just looking to have a good time as well.
- You’re an idiot. While in the long term this simply can’t be helped, in the short term you can help downplay the effects of your total cluelessness by keeping your conversations short and sweet, not saying anything rude and by employing subtle flattery. It may disguise your true identity long enough for you to score some digits or more.
- You seem desperate. If it’s clear you’re eyeing the room like a starving animal, you may be driving all your potential prey as far away as possible. Slobbering on every available person that comes your way isn’t going to win too many hearts, minds or bodies. Relax and let things happen naturally instead.
- You talk about exes. No new girl or guy wants to hear about your ex so shut up about it no matter how fresh it is in your memory. It makes you seem like you’re stuck on the past and not ready to move forward with them.
- You have no sense of humor. Few people like to hang around with sourpuss types who never seem to get the joke and take life as seriously as possible. Lighten up already. You may have serious concerns about the plight of starving children in Africa, and that’s fine, but learn to take and make jokes as well to keep your date entertained.
- You come off as a loser. Still living at home? Unemployed? Publicly shamed? Try to keep these details about yourself on the back burner at least in the short term. Once someone gets to know and like you they may be more willing to accept your imperfections and may not see them as automatic deal breakers.
- You’re creepy. Ever seen a forty year old at a frat party? How about the types who make kissy noises to ladies who pass by? These kinds of people get labeled pretty quickly as creeps and they’re not doing themselves any favors. Act like a normal person, be reasonable with your expectations, and don’t oversexualize yourself and you will likely be fine.
- You’re condescending. Being a know-it-all may be useful in some situations, but dating is not one of them. Acting like you have nothing to learn from your date and that you are infinitely more intelligent than they are probably isn’t going to make them throw their arms around you. No one likes an arrogant person, so cut out the condensation and try to see what your potential love has to teach you.
- You act like a child. Kids can get away with needing help cutting their meat and throwing temper tantrums because, well, they’re kids. No one expects them to be mature. You, on the other hand, are an adult. Acting like a petulant five year old when things don’t go your way is one of the quickest ways you can drive away any interested partners. Learn to act your age, don’t whine and don’t expect your partners to mother you.
- You have annoying habits. Perhaps you laugh loudly after everything you say or constantly tap the table. You may not even notice you’re doing these things, but your date sure will. In the superficial early stages of dating these can be real mood killers. Ask your friends if you have any annoying habits, they’re sure to have noticed, and try to reign them in around the opposite sex.
- You’re needy. Babies, puppies and kittens are needy but totally adorable. If you’re needy, it’s completely unattractive. Most people like independent, confident individuals when looking for a mate. Your potential mate isn’t your parent and doesn’t want to have to bend over backwards to make sure your every need is met. Take care of yourself and the magic will happen on its own.
- You come off as stupid. Maybe you are stupid but that doesn’t mean you have to sound or appear to be stupid when talking up someone you’re interested in. Keep up on current events and don’t pretend to know about things you haven’t got a clue about. Let your date tell you about them instead. It will keep you from sounding like an idiot and make them feel smarter and more special in the process.
If you’ve taken it from the initial meeting stages to a real date there are still tons of ways you could be preventing yourself from taking it any further. Consider these things and your sailing may be a little smoother from here on out.
- You live in the wrong city. Let’s face it, some places just give you better odds at meeting someone of the opposite (or same) sex. New York for example has many more single ladies than men, while the west coast is chock full of single men looking for a lady. You don’t have to move halfway across the country to meet someone, but perhaps a little vacation could be just what you need to skew the odds in your favor.
- You act like too much of a player. Whether you’re a man or a woman, acting like the person you’re on a date with is just one in a long string of mates isn’t going to win their heart anytime soon. When you’re on a date the person you’re with should be the only thing you’re concentrating on. Making them feel special can win trust, endear them to you, and increase the chances they’ll stick around long enough for a little hanky panky.
- You’re trying too hard. Being around someone who is trying so hard to impress and charm someone they’re interested in is one of the most awkward situations possible. It not only makes your potential mate and everyone around feel uncomfortable, but it also makes you look like a sad, pathetic sap. Try to keep your conversations casual and keep things friendly. You don’t have to go out of your way to impress or flatter anyone, especially not right off the bat.
- You’re not trying hard enough. On the flipside, your date is going to be pretty miffed if you show up looking like you just rolled out of bed, you’re late, and you don’t seem to have put any thoughts into plans for the evening. Unless you’re a rockstar, this kind of performance isn’t going to land you any kind of action anytime soon. If your date is making the effort to look presentable and spend time thinking about you, at least have the decency to return the favor.
- You come on too strong. If you’ve made it clear within the first five minutes of the date that all you’re doing is picturing the person naked or figuring how best to get them actually naked, you’re probably not going to have a chance of doing that anytime soon. While in actuality you may be a desperate, sex-starved person, don’t let your date onto this fact and keep the sexual commentary to a minimum unless it’s reciprocated.
- You don’t listen. Your date can tell when you’re not really listening to what he or she is saying. This lack of interest just makes you seem rude and isn’t going to win you any brownie points. Listen carefully. Your recall of details could be key later on to impressing your date.
- You’re not that nice. While conventional wisdom tells us that people love to date those who are huge jerks the reality is that people also love to date people who are genuinely nice. Don’t put down your date, be rude, or act like a know-it-all. You may be acting like a rebel without a cause, but you likely won’t be impressing anyone but yourself.
- You don’t know how to have a conversation. Awkward silences on a date can be pretty miserable and they’re only exacerbated by poor conversational skills. If you don’t have anything to talk about, chances are you haven’t been listening to your date or you’ve bored them by talking too much about yourself. Make an effort to boost your conversational skills in everything you do and to learn about what makes your date tick.
- You’re late. While later on in a relationship tardiness can become an endearing and quirky part of your personality, early on it’s just rude. It makes your date feel like you can’t be bothered to be on time and that you don’t care that much about them. Not exactly the impression you want to make. Give yourself plenty of time before going out to get ready and to get to your destination. The extra effort can definitely pay off in the end.
- You’re not focused on him/her. Guilty of a wandering eye? Don’t think that your date hasn’t noticed, they sure as heck see every time you check out the waitress or cute boys who walk by. Focus your attention on your date and save the browsing for later.
- You talk too much about yourself. It’s fine to tell someone that doesn’t know much about you what you like, where you work and what you do in your spare time but if you’re going on and on about yourself, your date is likely starting to care less and less about what you’re saying. Make a concentrated effort to ensure that both of you are participating in the conversation. You’ll both have more fun and there’s a much better chance of things going further.
- You’re boring. Maybe it’s not your fault. Maybe you work in a boring office with boring people and you live alone and never leave the house. Well, that kind of is your fault. If you don’t do anything you don’t have anything to talk to people about. Get out there, have fun, take up a hobby, read a book, anything that gives you something to talk about that doesn’t bore the crap out of everyone else around you.
- Your compliments are smarmy. Most people love getting compliments but when you’re idea of a compliment is "wow, your ass looks great in those jeans" you may be crossing the line from nice to sort of creepy. Keep the compliments nice, genuine and preferably something you wouldn’t be embarrassed to have your mother hear and save the sexy stuff for later.
- You act like a salesperson. Essentially you are selling yourself, but no one wants to feel like they’re getting swindled by a used car salesman when they go on a date. Keep the sales pitches to a minimum and stick to talking about the basics. If the person is interested, the pitch is unnecessary anyway.
- You use stupid pick up lines. Pick up lines rarely work and if they do its usually because they’re so stupid they’re funny or the person you’re using them on is too inebriated to realize just how stupid they are. Cut out the cheesy lines and just stick to small talk when you’re meeting someone new.
Sealing the Deal
If you can make it to the home stretch but just can’t seem to quite get over that last hurdle, you may be sabotaging your own efforts by doing one of these things.
- You are afraid to make the first move. Everyone has been in a situation where they’re not sure if they should put the moves on their date or not. The thing is, you’ll never know if your date is up for it if you don’t try. If you feel uncomfortable invading his or her personal space you can ask first, but whatever you do, take the initiative or opportunities could just be getting away from you.
- You’re too drunk. If it takes you three beers before you can even get up the nerve to talk to someone you’re interested in, you may be blowing it before you even get out of the gate. Unless your lovely lady or man is also inebriated, your drunken blatherings aren’t going to get you too far. Even if you do manage to bring someone home, you likely won’t make it a memorable experience for them or yourself in your state. So have a drink if it helps loosen you up, but don’t get drunk if you’re looking to score a date or sex you’ll actually remember.
- You make things awkward. Don’t put your date in a position where they feel they have to do things they may not yet be comfortable with. If they don’t feel comfortable with you they’re not going to go out on another date and you’re sure as heck not getting laid. Try to keep the awkwardness to a minimum and don’t put him/her in situations you know might lead to uncomfortable silences.
- You’re rude to his/her friends. One of the quickest ways to blow a good thing is to be a jerk to your potential mate’s friends. If you’re rude to them, chances are you’ll be rude to him/her too and that’s a big turn off. Even if you find their friends to be beyond annoying, keep your thoughts to yourself.
- You’re a slob. Bringing your date home to the disgusting mess you have at home isn’t going to impress anyone, nor will it set the mood for romance. Wash the dishes, pick up your dirty clothes and change the sheets if you think you’ll be bringing anyone home. Even if you don’t, it doesn’t hurt to clean up now and again.
- You’re too nervous. So you’ve finally got the chance to get some and you’re shaking in your boots at the prospect. Don’t let your nerves ruin it for you. Relax and realize there are few things you could do to really mess things up at this point.
- Your timing sucks. It could be that you’ve done everything right but when the time comes (or so you think) to finally get to the lovemaking, your intuition is all wrong and you blow it. Before putting the moves on your date ensure that they’re in a good mood, that they reciprocate your feelings and that the situation isn’t horribly, horribly awkward for them.
- You suck at kissing. Many people base how well you’ll perform in the sack on how well you kiss, and if you’re doing a crappy job of that things are unlikely to go much further. Don’t shove your tongue down their throat, keep the sloppiness to a minimum, and follow your partner’s lead and you’ll be better off already.
- You make him/her uncomfortable. If you’ve gotten an attractive someone to come home with you the last thing you want to do is to make them feel uncomfortable with you. Whether that’s because your apartment is decorated in taxidermied animals or because you’re pushing too hard, making your date comfortable is entirely up to you. Do what you can to ensure they feel taken care of and you’re much more likely to score big.
- You ruin the moment. You’re just about to cross the line from desperately seeking to satisfied when you open your big mouth and say something completely stupid. There’s nothing worse than ruining it at the last moment, so keep your commentary to yourself and make sure you have all the necessary preparations to take it all the way.
- You have no idea how to take it to the next level. While what is comfortable for each person differs individually, in general its not too hard to figure out how to take your relationship to the next level. Just do it. Simple as that. If your date isn’t ready he or she will tell you so.
- You’re most interested in meeting your own needs. It can become abundantly clear to someone that you’re dating that you have no regard for their needs and that you’re only trying to meet your own. You won’t be meeting anyone’s needs if you make this too clear, so ensure that you’re making things enjoyable for both you and your partner. The more fun they have, the more likely they are to return for more.
April 25th, 2008
Love is work, sometimes a lot of work. But finding and knowing love is worth the effort. Sometimes it’s necessary to evaluate where you stand in your relationship so that you can determine what can be done to make it better. Here are 50 tips and ideas to help you become better at loving.
- Listen. Show your partner that you’re engaged by actively listening. Reaffirm what your partner is saying by summarizing what you have heard.
- Talk. One way conversation is not effective communication. In order to show that you are invested in the relationship, be willing to give of yourself emotionally and mentally, by sharing your thoughts and needs.
- Tough it out. During uncomfortable or difficult conversations, tough it out. Regardless of the topic or how much you hate talking about it, finish the discussion. If the problem is not resolved, it will fester in other areas of your relationship.
- Argue Effectively. Two intelligent individuals cannot agree on everything, all the time, no matter how compatible they may be. Sooner or later there will be something that leads to an argument or a difference of opinion. This should not be viewed as a problem. The important thing is how such arguments are handled. Here are a few rules that will help you to deal with arguments in a positive way.
- Keep your arguments private, between you and your partner only. Avoid having arguments in front of family members or friends.
- Never go to bed angry. Settle every argument before going to sleep if at all possible. Stay up late if necessary. It is best to get things settled and not let them fester for days.
- Do not allow arguments to escalate into shouting matches and name-calling. Even if you are in complete privacy, keep the tone natural and as friendly as possible. Consider who you are talking to and avoid any shouting or unpleasantness.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
- Be a friend. The foundation of a good relationship is a solid friendship. A successful relationship has to be founded on the qualities found in a friendship – trust, respect, a desire to spend time with each other, and the ability to lean on each other.
- Know your partner’s needs. Once you know what they are, work every day to meet them. Each day when you wake up, think of something you can do to make your partner’s day better, even if it’s just making his favorite meal or doing a load of laundry so she doesn’t have to.
- Take responsibility for yourself. Don’t focus on what your partner has to work on to be better, look inward and figure out what you can do to make the relationship better.
- Find the positives in your partner. If you remind yourself of all of the good qualities he has, it will be easier to get past the bad times when his less than good qualities are showing through.
- Forgive. In order to move forward, you have to let the past go. It doesn’t mean you have to forget, but forgive your partner so that you can move forward.
- Get away from your partner. Spend plenty of quality time together, but remember to allow each other to have ample time alone. Even though you are a unit, and you will want to spend time together enjoying your favorite activities, or just sit together and relax at home, each of you is still a separate individual with certain likes and dislikes. You both need time alone to enjoy hobbies that you might enjoy, but your partner doesn’t. Don’t think that because you are married, that you are joined at the hip and cannot do anything on your own. You both need equal time alone to think and organize your own thoughts or simply to wind down.
- Evaluate personal traits. Evaluate a potential partner as you would a friend; look at their character, personality, values, their generosity of spirit, the relationship between their words and actions, their relationships with others.
- Respect, respect, respect. Inside and outside the relationship, act in ways so that your partner always maintains respect for you. Mutual respect is essential to a good relationship.
- Teamwork. View yourselves as a team, which means you are two unique individuals bringing different perspectives and strengths. That is the value of a team–your differences.
- Don’t Assume. If you don’t understand or like something your partner is doing, ask about it and why he or she is doing it. Talk and explore, don’t assume.
- Solve problems as they arise. Don’t let resentments simmer. Most of what goes wrong in relationships can be traced to hurt feelings, leading partners to erect defenses against one another and to become strangers, or enemies.
- Learn to negotiate. Modern relationships no longer rely on roles cast by the culture. Couples create their own roles, so that virtually every act requires negotiation. It works best when good will prevails. Because people’s needs are fluid and change over time, and life’s demands change too, good relationships are negotiated and renegotiated all the time. Don’t judge. Listen, truly listen, to your partner’s concerns and complaints without judgment. Much of the time, just having someone listen is all we need for solving problems. Plus it opens the door to confiding. And empathy is crucial. Look at things from your partner’s perspective as well as your own.
- Don’t judge Listen, truly listen, to your partner’s concerns and complaints without judgment. Much of the time, just having someone listen is all we need for solving problems. Plus it opens the door to confiding. And empathy is crucial. Look at things from your partner’s perspective as well as your own.
- Try something (someone) different. If you have not had success finding someone special, then perhaps consider going on a date with someone who you think is not your type. Sometimes opposites attract, with differences complementing eachother.
- Laugh. Successful relationships develop the ability to take a light approach to conflicts. Recognizing that arguments are inevitable and normal versus catastrophic is helpful. One way to do this is to practice taking a step back when involved in a dispute. See if you can view your contribution to the situation with a sense of humor. Perhaps you can even laugh at yourself. You will also be more open and responsive to your partner’s feelings. This approach can help couples that are struggling as well as strengthen healthy relationships.
- Accept yourself. A large part of how we view other people is based on how that person presents him or herself. If you view yourself as sexy, and act that way, then others will perceive you as sexy. Truly look at and appreciate your own body. Sure, it has faults, just like every body does. Accept the faults, and accept yourself as a work in progress, and flaunt what you have. You´ll find that people react positively to your positive self image.
- Encourage growth. Two individuals in a couple are indivduals, and each person grows at a different rate and in different directions. You want to encourage each other to grow, appreciate how your growth helps you both become better people, and your relationship better because of it.
- Body language speaks volumes. Be aware of body language, both good and bad. Eighty percent of communication is nonverbal. Body language can be flirty and fun, but by the same token it can show frustration and annoyance, which can be counter-productive when trying to work through a problem.
- All business. Approach family finances as if you were running a business. Create a budget, track spending, save money where possible and don’t bend the rules whenever it feels convenient.
- Talk about it. Discuss finances when there is no emergency. If you talk about it regularly and when there is nothing to argue about, then you will be better prepared when there is a crisis or misunderstanding.
- One for us, one of you and one for me. Set up one joint account and two separate spending accounts. Men and women spend differently. Instead of having one person who oversees all spending, and will likely not agree with the partner’s spending, have one joint account to pay bills from, and then two individual spending accounts. You will have to decide together how much should go into the individual spending accounts, but there should be less arguing over eachother’s spending.
- Handle debt as a couple. Make a plan to pay off existing debt. Drawing a line in the sand and saying that your spouse’s debt isn’t your problem is not going to work because even if the debt existed before you married, your credit rating can be negatively impacted as well as the bottom line of how much money the two of you are paying monthly in interest charges.
- Make a fitness date. If the couple that plays together stays together, turn play time into an exercise routine that raises your endorphins and makes you both feel good about yourselves and each other. If the gym doesn’t work, try biking, rock climbing or just walking.
- Love notes are under rated. And today you can use technology, leave a voicemail or send a txt message to say "I love you" just because.
- Avoid calendar conflict. Place a "community" calendar in a public place (the refridgerator) to help avoid conflicts and miscommunications. It helps to have individual calendars, but for anything that will affect both schedules, make sure it goes on the community calendar so it can be checked often.
- Get energized. Find a new hobby (that you can do together), plan a vacation, do something you’ve never done before like go skydiving or take a wine tasting tour. Spice up the relationship by adding some energy and excitement.
- Read. Form a book club of two. If you really, absolutely, truly don’t have time to read, then make time. Okay, okay, you could both pick a TV show to watch together. But keep in mind, a book provides the use of imagination, and therefore allows for a lively discussion of your individual thoughts, whereas a TV show is usually pretty transparent.
- Make a fitness date. If the couple that plays together stays together, turn play time into an exercise routine that raises your endorphins and makes you both feel good about yourselves and each other. If the gym doesn’t work, try biking, rock climbing or just walking.
- Start a new project Approaching a procrastination-inducing task together makes it less intimidating, plus you can divide and conquer. And think about it: Making decisions and compromises about a more neutral situation–such as, what color to paint the living room–is great couples therapy practice for when the more serious judgment calls need to be made.
- Get out of here already. It sounds obvious, but many people find it hard to get away for a weekend. Go online, book some inexpensive last minute travel, and drop everything else to go enjoy some time together.
- Make a love list. Ask your partner to write down what makes him/her feel loved and special. Do the same for yourself. Exchange lists. Then, every day, no matter how you feel about him or her, do one loving/caring behavior for your partner!
IN THE BEDROOM
- Redecorate the Bedroom. Spice up your sex life by making some changes at home. Transform your bedroom into something new. Get rid of the piles of laundry, the kid’s toys on the floor, the pile of magazines on the nightstand and add some dim lights, candles, and sexy scents. Make it a place for romance and relaxation.
- Slow down. The fastest, most efficient route is definitely not what you want in the bedroom. Focusing on the destination — and only the obvious parts of the anatomy — is the worst thing you can do. Make sex leisurely and playful, with no definite direction. Explore and take your time, try something new, make it a whole body experience.
- Take a sexual inventory. Write suggested sexual activities on two sheets of paper, then each of you rates them from hot (would love to try) to warm, lukewarm and cold. Add your own, but choose from things like spanking, role-playing, semipublic sex, tie-up games, blindfolding, talking dirty, anal sex and watching or making erotic films. When you’re done, make note of the activities that scored high(-ish) for both of you. Try one every two weeks or once a month.
- Don’t focus on imperfections. If your body is imperfect, don’t let it get in the way of enjoying your sexuality and expressing your desire for your partner. If you find it hard to let go of anxious thoughts about your flaws, you may want to try a few sessions of therapy to work on this issue.
- The most sensitive sex organ: the brain. Sexual stimulation starts with sensory inputs that trigger mental associations. Only then do the other parts of the body get involved. For each person, the sensory inputs that trigger this reaction are different. Seeing an attractive person, feeling loved, hearing a whispered word, experiencing a certain kind of touch, all can set off the human libido.
- Sex and intimacy are intertwined. Many people have trouble feeling sexually interested in someone until they have had time to know one another, learning to trust through words, actions, and nonverbal communication such as facial expressions and body language.
- Make a sex date box. Get together with your lover and each of you jot down a steamy date idea on a piece of paper and agree that each time you go on a hot steamy date, you’ll pick a card from your special sex date box.
- Make eye contact. The eyes are a powerful part of our body language cues and can express everything from sexual interest, to annoyance, to happiness and pain.
- Get busy in the kitchen. Make cooking a team sport. Plan and prepare a gourmet meal together.
- Buy some toys. Sometimes sex can become regular and boring. Explore something new to rev up a mundane bedroom experience. Add some spice by going together to a sex toy store and buy something you might both enjoy.
- Get all dolled up. Schedule a night out somewhere that requires you to get all dressed up, whether it’s a black tie fundraiser or an evening out at a 5-star restaurant followed by the Opera. Looking good often equates to feeling good.
- Do some housework. Do a chore that your partner is typically responsible for. Fill up a gas tank, mow the lawn, fold the laundry – surprise your partner by taking one job off his/her plate for the week.