Can I Remain Friends with My Ex?

Is it possible to remains friends with an ex? Sure, but it will require a careful and objective approach to the situation. Of course, being objective about a person with whom you used to share the most intimate parts of yourself can be a daunting task for some. This difficulty may be exacerbated if the relationship ended badly—in which case it may be impossible. However, if you truly feel that a friendship with your ex is worth the effort, then by all means go for it! Here are a few tips to get through the tightrope act of transitioning from girlfriend to friend.

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Rule 1: Give yourself a grace period. Creating a “no contact” period between the time you break things off with your former lover and the time you decide to embark on your quest for a friendship is necessary. Regardless of how cordial, mutual, or inevitable your breakup may have been, the fact of the matter is your ex was an important person in your life at some point and not having him there in that capacity can be jarring. You need this time to mourn and accept the end of the relationship.

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Rule 2: Assess your feelings. Once you’ve gone though the grace period and have concluded that you want to pursue a friendship with your ex, you have to ask yourself why you want this friendship?  Be honest about your intentions. Make sure you’re not pursing this with the dream of a potential reunion. He may never want to be in a relationship with you again, and you have to understand and accept this as fact.

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Rule 3: Assess his feelings. Reconsider if friendship with him is the right option if you know he still harbors strong feelings for you. Don’t give him a false sense of hope by stringing him along with a friendship when you know he yearns for more. This may sound counterproductive, but if you care enough to want him as your friend, then delay your friendship with him until you are completely sure that’s all he truly desires.

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Rule 4:  Keep is strictly platonic. Do not, I repeat, do not continue or maintain a sexual relationship with him. The idea of a “friends with benefits” situation is nearly impossible if it involves your ex. It’s hard enough to maintain a platonic relationship with an ex. Sex is always accompanied by feelings not matter how hard you try to avoid them. If rules 2 or 3 apply to either of you, then rule 4 must be followed as well.

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Rule 5: Keep outings to a minimum. So, you’ve followed rules 1 through 4 to a T, and you’re now deep in the infant stages of your friendship. Don’t ruin any progress by still engaging in activities that can be considered “couple-like.” Frequent dinner dates and hang out sessions may bring on the potential for mixed signals and compromising situations to occur. Sure you may be enjoying your ex’s company, but friendships come with far less expectations than relationships. Just because you’re doing well as friends doesn’t mean you will do well as a reconciled couple. Remember: there was a reason you two broke up in the first place.

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Rule 6: Create boundaries. Since this friendship has risen from the ashes of something that was once romantic, you have to recognize that this will not be your typical, run-of-the-mill friendship. Be careful not to discuss with your ex your newfound freedom and its accompanying love life. Neither of you may not have deep feelings for each other anymore, but even the tiniest of feelings may spawn jealousy which could lead to confused feelings and awkward conversations. This friendship is supposed to add value to your life, not create stress.  Do not assume you two are cool enough to discuss how well last night’s date went.

Just like in a relationship, a good friendship requires effort, trust, mutual respect and honesty. Following these rules won’t ensure that a friendship will happen between you and your ex. However, if you can keep these few tips in mind, there’s a strong change you’ll be able to turn your failed romantic relationship into a budding friendship that could last for many years to come.

Tamara Jenkins is a real Jersey girl. She’s independent, opinionated, and loves her sports. When she’s not watching her favorite teams, she’s reading, practicing yoga or working on a few books she hopes will get published one day. She also may or may not be training for a 5k race. With a belief that life is what you make of it, Tamara doesn’t merely want to survive life; she wants to live it.

5 Things Single Folks Do Wrong

What are single folks doing wrong – that keep them single? I’m talking to the singles who wish to be in a relationship, not those who have it all together and are not seeking advice from an ex-single woman. After observing some of my single friends, I noticed a few common factors, and now we’re about to rip them to shreds:

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1. “Something must be wrong with me since I can’t find the right one.”

Nothing is wrong with you! Repeat after me: nothing is wrong with me.

Stop comparing yourself to other people’s relationships, and for Pete’s sake, stop listening to the TV’s version of single folks (ahem Ted from How I met your mother!) You are not those characters, and being single doesn’t mean you must be doing something wrong. Stop trying to fix yourself each weekend when you go home without a date.

Everything is right with you.  I would bet that the minute you stop focusing on what must be wrong with you, or what you need to fix in order to start bringing in the men/women, you’ll begin to see a whole new world of people who catch your interest, and who might even share the interest. Sometimes we are so wrapped up in our singledom to even notice those dates we’re praying so hard for at night!

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2.  Needing a relationship.

I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but the minute you start saying “I need a man/woman because….”, is the minute you’re basically telling the universe that you can’t live without this special someone. You’ll never get what you want by needing it too much.

Learn to feel (even just a little) okay without having someone to come home to. Sounds crappy, but when you tell yourself that you’re okay with being alone for a while (even if this isn’t true), you’ll start reaping what you’ve sown all this time. Holding on too tightly seems to do the opposite of what we really want, so practice letting go just a tiny bit, and see if you don’t soon begin meeting potential loves.

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3. You’ve developed the never-gonna-happen mentality.

Never develop the never-gonna-happen mentality! Or you know what will happen? Exactly what you proclaim — nothing. When you’re constantly feeding yourself these ideas that something will never happen for you, that is exactly what you’ll get! So, as corny as it is, take the advice of Earl Nightingale and begin with more positive thinking. You’ll be amazed at what that simple task alone will do for you.

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4. “I’ll never get anyone because my standards are just too high.”There’s no such thing, so stop giving yourself that excuse. Having standards just means that you know what you and need in a man or woman. While relationships are about compromise, you don’t have to give up your core wants and needs. Figure out what it is that you value the most in a partner and use that to help you find the beau that best suits you. Just because you have standards doesn’t mean you can’t find anyone. It actually means you can more easily sift through the ones that aren’t a good fit.

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5. “The kind of man/woman I want just doesn’t exist.”

Again, there’s no such thing, so stop using that excuse. I can assure you, the kind of person you’ve dreamed of is out there. If you are a fan of the Law of Attraction, you’ll realize this as truth. The qualities that you are looking for in your partner are out there and continue to put those into the universe. As you date you can use this as a barometer for your compatibility with another. Flexibility is key – sometimes your dream man or woman does not come in the package you exected. But if you are open to it you just might unwrap the gift and realize he or she was all that you ever asked for. This means being open to meeting and getting to know people – and realizing that you deserve your desires and you can have them . Yes you’re dream man or woman is out there – open your eyes.

Written by: Kendra Richards is a writer, pet lover, aloe vera-eater and a woman of many talents. If she isn’t passionately typing away, she’s more than likely spending time with her family, pets, boyfriend or attempting to sew something. It’s also possible that she’s buried deep in some type of activism work. Writing anything and everything from beauty, health, fashion product reviews to informational articles, she loves variety when it comes to reading and  writing. A people and animal lover, she believes cats are super heroes in disguise.

When Your Relationship is PMS-ing

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You know when it seems like your relationship is completely out of whack? Your spouse is just unexplicably “off” and you feel like somewhere along the way, you guys have hit an irritable, frustrating bump in the love road. Every time one of you opens your mouth, the other jumps on the defensive train and it turns into one argument after the other, and over seemingly nothing. You don’t know what happened, but over the last few days, you’ve been at each others throats, and everything s/he does seems to set you off (and vice-versa.)

Virtually all relationships go through “relationship PMS” at some point. It may be as frequent as your own PMS, or it may be as rare as once a year. Wherever you stand on the scale, learn to identify the issue for what it is and be mindful that it, much like Aunt Flo, will also pass. Even knowing this, relationship PMS is not fun for any of us, so here are a few ways to cut through that cruddy phase and get your relationship back in order.

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Find harmony. 

We rarely feels harmonious during PMS week, and relationships are no exception. There’s stress and frustration, but harmony eludes us. When dealing with the frustration of the PMS spell (whether it’s your PMS or your relationship) grab yourself a piece of peace and harmony.  One of the simplest methods is by using guided meditation (which you can find on YouTube). Sitting through a 15 minute session of guided meditation works wonders to bring your focus, clarity and mental state back to more sane levels. If you can get your lover to participate with you, even better! It’ll help bring the relationship back into balance.

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Too much time together

Obviously too much time together can  lead to further frayed nerves.  So agree to spend half a day alone, doing something that relaxes and rejuvenates the both of you, then meet up for a relaxing activity that you can do together.  For example, my spouse & I took a  late-night adventure into the peaceful, quiet woods last weekend and felt better than if we’d stayed in with a boring movie. Just a breath of fresh air, and a little nature can help bring you both back into a more easy-going state of being.

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You need a laugh

…or perhaps a drink, but there is a reason people have said  laughter is “the best medicine” for so many centuries. If you can get yourself a good, hearty laugh, then your outlook and mood will in fact lift. Speaking of a good laugh, what’s funnier than two people having some light-hearted fun with each other? Achieve this by channeling the inner child in you and cook up a prank to play on your lover. Think saran wrap on the toilet seat or a go old school and get a whoopie cushion (whoopie cushions for men = endless hours of fun). If you can master a funny prank that’ll make him laugh too – you just might end the PMS phase for good. Nothing cuts tension like a fit of laughter. Just make sure it’s done with kindness and not cruelty, and be prepared to get pranked in return!

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Never underestimate the power of music

Music is another tried and true method for altering your mood. One of my favorite happy-songs is “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. I cannot play that song and not smile. Anytime I feel discouraged, down or overly stressed, I play it, and it never fails to uplift my mood.  If you have your own favorite song that puts you in a can’t-resist-must-dance-now mood, then put it on repeat and don’t stop until you’re there! You and your partner both will benefit from the good vibes of a happy song.

Written by: Kendra Richards is a writer, pet lover, aloe vera-eater and a woman of many talents. If she isn’t passionately typing away, she’s more than likely spending time with her family, pets, boyfriend or attempting to sew something. It’s also possible that she’s buried deep in some type of activism work. Writing anything and everything from beauty, health, fashion product reviews to informational articles, she loves variety when it comes to reading and  writing. A people and animal lover, she believes cats are super heroes in disguise.

 

Spring Into Romance

Beginning

After spending the winter getting cozy with your lover and hopefully going on some exciting dates through out the chillier months its finally time to open up the windows and let in the fresh air or make a trip outside!

Here are some exciting dates perfect for night & day – so ditch the blankets and grab your babe for some spring fun.

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Get Active

The couple that plays together stays together! It’s time to get outside and make the most of the adventures that are all around you.

  1. Hiking: A great way to exert energy while spending some alone time with your significant other and taking in the scenery. For added romance, take a night hike with just a flashlight as your guide (works best if you have taken the path in the daylight first).
  2. Bike Rides: Most cities have bike paths and parks ready to be explored.
  3. Sporting Events: Surprise your boyfriend with tickets to a baseball game! Get involved in community leagues, or play catch in the back yard. Also, catch a Hockey game before the season comes to a close.
  4. Zip Line: don’t turn away from this seemingly scary activity. Some are designed to be more leisurely and some give you just enough of an adrenaline rush!

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Spruce Up The Home

After the long winter months, most of us can probably agree that its time to bring a little brightness into our homes.

  1. Spring Cleaning: A classic way to spend quality time together is cleaning. No, I don’t mean let’s do the laundry and dishes together, rather let’s make our home an enjoyable place for the both of us by adding new wall art or storing the extra blankets.
  2. The Earth Laughs In Flowers (and plants): There are plenty of flowers and plants that are great to have around the house. Or maybe, now is the time for you to start you garden together or improve the landscaping!
  3. DIT – Do It Together: Pick out a new paint color and give your furniture, front door, or living room wall a make over. If you are feeling crafty introduce your BF to Pinterest and find something you can make together.

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Yummy

With the change of weather we are all getting excited to incorporated fruity flavors and try new recipes that pair perfectly with cocktails on the porch.

  1. Picnic in the Park: Pack a basket full of your favorite foods and drinks, and enjoy an afternoon under a shade tree.
  2. Fruit Farms: Go organic and visit your local apple orchard or strawberry farms. This is a healthy and fun daytime activity! Try incorporating your yummy fruits into a new recipe such as salads and desserts.
  3. Mixed Drinks: Everyone enjoys a refreshing drink, alcoholic or not, while enjoying the sun. Try making a new drink, (that you both enjoy) every Saturday and invite friends over for your own happy hour.

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Go Outside

It’s finally warm so what better way to spend the afternoon than enjoying the sun.

  1. Garden Gurus: There are plenty of types of gardens you and your sweetie can explore together. Find tranquility walking through a botanical, butterfly, or peace garden. If you are up for more of a challenge hedge mazes are lots of fun!
  2. Drive in Movies: With the weather getting warmer its time to take your movie-nights-in, outdoors. Pack up the car with blankets, pillows and snacks – just the right ingredients for snuggling with your significant other.
  3. Animal Loving: The zoo is never a dull place! Between the penguins, elephants and adorable animal t-shirts you are sure to have an adventure. Also, many zoos have special events such as behind the scene tours that give you a chance to interact with the animals.

Don’t forget to show off your new skills, experiences and clean home to your friends by inviting them over for a couple’s night or meet at the local park! Spring is a perfect time to make fresh foods and create memories in the warm air while spending time with your love.

Written by: Sydney Cologie dream “job” is doing PR for a fashion magazine or retail company. She enjoy reading my horoscope and am often spilling hot coffee on myself. Inspired by city life, swing sets, and oversized sweaters the world is her oyster. Making up new words & watching cartoons are just a few of her favorite pastimes along with buying unnecessary calendars and dreaming of owning a kitten.

5 Things I Learned From Being in Love

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1. Love isn’t all about receiving, but about experiencing joy together. 

It feels good to receive, nobody can deny that,  but what’s more important is  the joy two awesome folks can experience with each other. When two people are deeply in love, the giving/receiving part comes naturally, and without tension. Couples whose love is strong enough usually get their wants and needs met – experiencing the joys of this together is most important.

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2. Love isn’t about someone else making you whole. 

You must already be “whole” before you can ever experience a healthy, loving relationship with someone. You know what they say, to love someone else or they can love you, you must first love yourself. It’s pretty much the same concept with being “whole.” When you’re already in whole, once you enter a relationship, the need to have someone else give you something that only you can give yourself won’t stand in your way of love.

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3. Life really, truly is all about feeling. 

Feeling joyful, bliss, appreciated and unconditionally loved – that’s what life is about.  I’d bet there isn’t a single one of us on earth who doesn’t want these things above all else. When you realize that this is what it’s all about, you’ll be more in tune to each other and your feelings. And you know what they say: when one spouse feels badly, so does the other and when one is happy, so is the other. So, take note of what creates these positive feelings for the both of you – and do them more often.

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4. Having peace feels way better than winning an argument.

I don’t know about you ladies, but it can feel good to “win” arguments. However,  it’s a quick way to sour the good vibes, when you take winning too seriously. There doesn’t have to be a winner and loser in every argument. Respect each other’s side, and usually, (when you stop feeding that ego that screams “but I have to be right, and S/he has to admit it!”) you’ll find that a lot of arguments weren’t big enough to evolve into more than a serious discussion in the first place. In fact, when you think about how short life is, some arguments will suddenly become irrelevant, and so will winning them.

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5. It’s okay to disagree. . . on some things. 

Obviously, it’s important to be in agreement on the important matters of a relationship, but the truth is, I really don’t need him to agree with me on whether or not aliens do in fact exist (and they do). Bottom line:  if it’s not a deal-breaker, we can simply agree to disagree, but still enjoy a fun, lighthearted debate every now and then.

Written by: Kendra Richards is a writer, pet lover, aloe vera-eater and a woman of many talents. If she isn’t passionately typing away, she’s more than likely spending time with her family, pets, boyfriend or attempting to sew something. It’s also possible that she’s buried deep in some type of activism work. Writing anything and everything from beauty, health, fashion product reviews to informational articles, she loves variety when it comes to reading and  writing. A people and animal lover, she believes cats are super heroes in disguise.

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