Working as both an advice columnist and life coach, I’ve learned a few things about relationships. What I’ve learned best is that our never-ending search for connection grants us a never-ending supply of questions. Whether you’re a youngster gearing up for your ﬁrst rodeo, or a veteran with ﬁfty years of marriage, the desire to connect with others remains, as do the questions.
1. How to get over a breakup?
At the base level, breakup recovery is about reclaiming our independence and using ourselves to ﬁll the void that has been left. To me, this is a three-step process: First, it’s important to acknowledge and be comfortable with our feelings. We tend to judge ourselves for missing someone and try forcing ourselves back into what we feel is stability. That’s great news because the second step for us is to dissect our feelings as objectively as possible. We’re now feeling more level-headed, and can ask ourselves questions about if our ego is playing a role in this heartache, whether or not the relationship was healthy. Finally, our third step is to start generating new feelings amidst the acceptance of our grief. Breakups affect our relationships with ourselves, so rebuilding how we feel about us is essential.
2. What does a healthy relationship look like?
Well, if it isn’t the mother of all relationship and dating questions? When I gauge what makes for a healthy relationship, I always refer back to Attachment Theory. Attachment Theory suggests that in romantic relationships, our attachment to our partners falls into three different categories; anxious, avoidant and secure. Unlike the subjectivity that comes with many psychological principles, Attachment Theory gives us a speciﬁc goal to strive towards.
3. Sex on the ﬁrst date – yes or no?
As we get older and more mature, we realize that relationships come with many gray areas. There’s no right or wrong answer to the question of sex on a first date. Depending on what the partners are looking for, relationships have different needs, expectations and practices.
4. How to build trust in a relationship?
In order to build trust in a relationship, we must drop our defenses and keep the lines of communication open. The best chance we stand at having the partners we desire is to behave in the way we’d like them to. If we’re willing to be open, our partners are likely to do the same. This can depend on whether or not our partners have deep-seated trust issues that make it difﬁcult for them to open up, but the more we initiate trust by being vulnerable with them, the more likely they are to reciprocate.
5. What is ghosting?
‘Ghosting’ has unfortunately become quite common in the modern dating world. When someone is ghosted, it means that a person they were building some kind of relationship with stops talking to them with no explanation or forewarning. They disappear, like a ghost. As trivial as it can sound, ghosting causes a lot of pain. When we get ghosted, it’s easy to feel as if we’re somehow not good enough and can ﬁnd ourselves confused about what went wrong.
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