Truth Code: relationships
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Σάββατο, 25 Φεβρουαρίου 2017

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All we want is to know what happens in the head of our partners. Although we can’t read his mind, we can decode his behaviour and discover whether you really mean everything to him.

He Loves me, he loves me not … If you are unsure whether your partner is really in love with you, check out these signs that reveal. When a man is in love, he behaves with respect.

1. He asks you before he makes plans.

It is because he wants to know if you are free, or if you are planning to spend time with him, because, you are his first priority.

2. The chemistry between you is outstanding.

You are on the same wavelength, and when you are together, sparks are flying everywhere.

3. He doesn’t assign you tasks.

He doesn’t ask you to do his work or finish the tasks around home. He knows that you have your own life and own work to do rather than finishing his.

4. He keeps a check on you.

He is concerned that you are doing okay when he is not around. When he is with you, he will make sure that you are not feeling weak.

5. He is prepared to compromise.

We all have our own needs and desires. But yet he is willing to give up some things that meant to him in the past.

6. He is honest.

You have never caught him lying to and he always tells you about the places he went. He is not hiding any secrets from you.

7. He is constantly smiling to you.

And he doesn’t do that just to get something from you.

8. He has nothing against you.

He won’t be threatening you when you have an argument as in to bring against you if you leave him.

9. You have rational arguments.

The arguments that you both have are quite practical and you both always tend to figure things out. If both of you have some kind of irrational fears, you don’t end up fighting about them.

10. It is not difficult to do anything for you

He will do anything for you to be happy.

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Πέμπτη, 23 Φεβρουαρίου 2017

An unhappy relationship, or one where a person doesn't feel loved and appreciated has been known to cause clinical depression and other mental health problems in people.

A bad relationship can have a detrimental effect not only on one’s mental health, but on physical health too. Just being in a relationship— unhappy or not, can sometimes put you at a higher tendency of developing lifestyle-related medical conditions and diseases, that single people are less likely to develop.

1. Your relationship can make you gain weight.

People in relationships tend to be lackadaisical about their health and fitness, putting them at a higher risk of developing obesity and unhealthy eating than singles.

2. It can slow down your rate of recovery.

The recovery period after major surgeries or treatment, is often long. It is recommended that this time in a place that is familiar and comfortable to the patient, preferably their own home, as this corresponds with a higher rate of recovery. However an unsatisfactory or loveless relationship slows down the recovery of the person.

3. It causes depression.

An unhappy relationship, or one where a person doesn’t feel loved and appreciated has been known to cause clinical depression and other mental health problems in people.

4. Hypertension is often caused by strife in relationships.

The kind of sedentary lifestyle most couples lead puts them at risk of developing conditions like hypertension, low or high blood pressure and increased cholesterol. Singles tend to lead fitter lives in comparison.

5. Stress-related lifestyle diseases.

Lifestyle diseases are often brought on by stress, and stressful relationship can be the leading cause of coronary problems, increased cholesterol levels, obesity and heart disease.

6. Mental health.

The impact of one’s love life, can be seen in the mental health department too. Conditions like obsessive compulsive disorder, low self esteem, sometimes even schizophrenia, are often brought on by unhappy or unhealthy relationships.

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Facebook could be spoiling your relationship. Analyse your usage. If you spend too much time on Facebook, log off now, before you wreck your relationship.

1. It cuts into your together-time.

People often browse Facebook in bed, before sleeping-time that was earlier allocated for relaxing and maybe cuddling with your partner. Watch where your time is going.

2. It makes you suspicious and demanding.

Facebook can harm relationships by making you wonder why your partner is spending so long on it, and what they’re doing. It fosters mistrust and suspicion.

3. It raises expectations.

Seeing other happy couples on Facebook do things for each other, makes you expect the same from your partner. It makes you compare your relationship to that of others, and see it fall short.

4. Boundaries on how much to share, can overlap.

You might be an effusive, extroverted sharer, but your partner might prefer to keep intimate details on the down low. What things to share, when and how much to share, can be major points of contention between couples.

5. Any addiction is bad, including Facebook addiction.

Too much of a good thing is bad, and Facebook isn’t even a good thing to begin with. When you have an addiction, it affects your family and loved ones too.

6. It increases jealousy.

Seeing your partner get chummy with other pals, or have fun without you can foster feelings of jealousy and resentment. Don’t fall into the Facebook trap.

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Τετάρτη, 22 Φεβρουαρίου 2017

Joanna Ppapagianni
Do men’s insecurities teach women they aren’t good enough?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard women say it. I heard it again the other day in my office from a client. I’ve heard it from friends. It doesn’t matter how smart, how fun, how caring, how successful, or how attractive women  are. They believe it…”I am unlovable.”

These women that have so much going for them. And yet they believe that no one wants to be with them.

From one perspective it is difficult to understand how they can come to this conclusion. How they can not see all that they have to offer to a partner? However, as I listen to their stories I begin to see why they believe it. It is because men have told them they are. Over and over and over again.

I’m sure most men will claim that they’ve never said a woman was unlovable. And that’s probably true…at least with those exact words.

But what about in other words? How many of you have ever claimed a woman was over-emotional, over-reacting, too demanding, high maintenance, clingy, crazy, controlling, or irrational? Maybe you’ve told a woman that no one could live up to her expectations.

How many of you have ever claimed a woman was over-emotional, over-reacting, too demanding, high maintenance, clingy, crazy, controlling, or irrational

If these comments aren’t enough, men back them up with some tired tropes about relationships. I hear them in therapy all too often. A good relationship shouldn’t take so much work. I don’t want to have to talk about everything. There shouldn’t be so many ups and downs…why can’t we just be happy? She just wants to complain, while I want to fix the situation for her. I spend time watching TV or playing video games in the room with her, how much more of my time does she want?

Instead of saying, “I don’t want the same things in a relationship that you do,” too often men feel the need to tell women that what they want is wrong or bad. Giving that framing, how can women hear anything other than, “you are unlovable?”

What gets overlooked is the fact that we can spin the male perspective in the same way men often spin what women are asking for. I don’t want to do the work it takes to be in a relationship with someone as smart, strong and in touch with their emotions as you are. I don’t want to have to be on my toes or be challenged to keep up with you. I want to take the easy way out. I don’t want to have to make myself vulnerable enough to connect emotionally or to be present with you.

Those are exactly what those criticisms of women are really about. It isn’t that the women are bad, or over the top. It is that many men don’t want to do the work it takes to be with a strong, smart, independent woman. And to feel good about themselves, they frame their partner as the one that is not normal. It is how they justify their unwillingness to work harder.

I don’t want to have to make myself vulnerable enough to connect emotionally or to be present with you.

The difficult part is that they often get away with it. This has been going on for so long that many women buy into it to. They hold themselves back, they don’t show their intelligence or personality because they have been taught that men won’t like it. Men use the fact that some women do that as evidence that other women are asking for too much. It is a damaging cycle.

Unfortunately it gets worse. Despite the fact that in the end many men don’t want to do the work it takes to be with them, men are often wildly attracted to smart, strong, intelligent, passionate, authentic women. Men see the positive energy, fire and authenticity and want to be a part of it. They will virtually orbit those women just to be around them.

Despite the fact that in the end many men don’t want to do the work it takes to be with them, men are often wildly attracted to smart, strong, intelligent, passionate, authentic women.

When those men come to realize that this type of woman takes more than they are able or willing to give, it seldom ends well. The attraction is still there, but men don’t want to accept that it is their lack of effort that is the issue. They’d rather criticize the woman for having the very traits that made her attractive in the first place.

Some men simply fade away, leaving the woman to believe she was undesirable. Other men revert to those same claims about how it is the woman’s fault. They tell women that they want too much and are being unreasonable.

Then there are the men rushing for a monogamous relationship. If the woman says no, he can resort to the claims of how she’ll never find a man. If she says yes, it not only helps eliminate competition, it also adds claims of obligation and commitment to their arsenal to defend not putting effort into the relationship..

Women that aren’t afraid to show that they have intelligence, passion and more are given the message they are unlovable. 

However it plays out, the cycle is perpetuated. Women that aren’t afraid to show that they have intelligence, passion and more are given the message they are unlovable.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

There is a different type of man. One who believes that a woman like this is worth investing time and energy into. That having a woman like this in his life makes him a better man. That there is value in having to stay on his toes, having to think, having to make an effort. That a relationship like this is not only worth the effort, but substantively different than anything he’ll experience elsewhere.

Even if you don’t want to invest the effort it takes, own your choice. Don’t pin the fact that you won’t work for what you are attracted to on her. Instead of telling her she is somehow flawed or less than, respectfully admit that you aren’t interested in investing in a relationship with her. Don’t protect your own ego by crushing hers.

After all, what kind of man do you want to be?

Written by Jay Blevins

This article has been republished from Good Men Project, Click here to view the original copy

About The author

Jay Blevins, LMFT, is a licensed systems therapist with a private practice in Madison, WI. While he works with individuals and partners around a wide variety of issues, his primary focus is on alternative relationship structures, alternative sex and sexuality, and power dynamics. He is a contributor to various relationship and sexuality blogs and publications and has been a frequent presenter at alternative lifestyle events and psychotherapy conferences.
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By: Cassie Fox 

It’s easy enough to find a lover. There’s no shortage of willing participants the world over: men and women who desire nothing more than the moment, that first touch, the way two bodies collide like dying stars and create whole new galaxies.

It’s such a simple thing to fall into somebody’s arms, to throw yourself into their bed, to learn the language of fingertips on skin. In sex, we can find ourselves or lose ourselves, long moments of free-floating bliss where nothing else exists except mouths and hands and the sounds clothes make as they shed.

But the mere act of being with someone isn’t enough to satisfy me. Intimacy goes beyond sharing my body; I want to share my soul. 

I want to ugly cry in the safe space of his arms and still feel beautiful. 

I want to roll out of bed in the morning and have him pull me back in, morning breath kisses and messed up hair, and maybe he’ll hold me a little longer or maybe he’ll tickle me until I heave myself up and head for the shower. But either way, the warmth of it will stay with me all day. 

I want to go to baseball games, bright lights under summer skies, overpriced beer and souvenirs, and watch the way his eyes crinkle around the corners when he smiles at me and grabs my hand every time our team hits a home run. 

I want to travel to exotic locations with him, hear the way he tries to pronounce words that are foreign in his mouth, try delicious and disgusting foods, watch sunsets on seas half a world away. 

I want to go no further than our couch, a weekend of nothing but Netflix and pajamas, snacks and no dinner, bingeing on bad TV and really amazing TV, painting my nails while he picks up my feet and puts them in his lap. 

I want to watch him sleep in the faint light that dissects our room at night, and stun myself with the revelation that I miss him when he’s not awake.

I want to lay awake in the early morning hours, shoulder to shoulder, legs folded around each other like an anchor, and talk about everything and nothing, the time my parents sent me flowers when I won the sixth grade spelling bee, and how he felt when his dad left home for the last time. 

I want to accidentally burn dinner and have to go out for emergency pizza at 9 PM, a little bit drunk on the moonlight and each other, sitting on the same side of the booth because across the table feels like far too much distance between us. 

I want to write lipstick notes on the mirror, “I love you” etched in steam, find notes in my jacket pocket with private jokes that make me blush, make me remember, make me anxious to hurry home. 

I want to meet his family, and have him meet mine, and love them or hate them or mostly just tolerate them, or just make a family of our own. 

I want to laugh with him and cry with him, push him away and then press myself against him until we can barely breathe, celebrate the good times and grieve the hard ones, talk it out and storm out in angry silence, go to bed hurting and wake up forgiving. 

I’m not looking for just a lover. I want someone that’s my person, my lobster, my mister. I want to fall in love, be in love, and stay in love with my best friend.

This article originally appeared on Your Tango.
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Τρίτη, 21 Φεβρουαρίου 2017

Joanna Papagianni
As a relationship coach I often hear the question, “What does he/she want?”

Here are five possible answers to the question of what your partner, or the person you’re longing after, wants.

When people ask this question, it’s usually with the hope that the answer is going to be something that they can create in themselves in order to make the other person fall in love with them.

You’re never going to be able to do that, and to be honest you don’t want to – just remember back to a time that someone was in love with you and you didn’t feel it. No one can force that emotion.

It sucks to have to accept that, I know, but the sooner you do, the sooner you will be free to find the love that you truly deserve.

1. To feel love and be in love

If you ask most people what they want in a relationship, they’ll tell you it’s to be LOVED by someone.

This actually isn’t true though; although most people don’t realize it.

What people actually want is to be in a relationship where they feel those loving and in love feelings towards someone else.

If love were all about the way that the other person feels about us, then stalkers wouldn’t get such a bad rap.

The truth is that you only welcome someone’s love when you feel something for him or her in return. Someone who presses his or her love onto you when you don’t want it is usually just creepy.

2. To belong

When you belong somewhere, with a group of people, you not only have a place where you fit in, but you have a place where your presence is missed.

Without you around physically and energetically, there is a you-shaped hole inside that person’s life, and there are holes that perfectly fit those people in your life.

3. To be wanted and needed

Yes mainstream media and pop psychology love to tell us that needing something is a bad thing, but how bad can it really be if it’s a characteristic that occurs so naturally and easily in so many of us?

When you go on any personal development, growth and evolution journey, one of the things that you will discover is that every aspect we think of as negative, like attachment, anger, being needed, all have positive benefits for us too.

If you’ve ever felt secondary and unnecessary in a situation, like a third wheel, you’ll know one of the obvious benefits of feeling needed – not feeling unwanted.

People want to be welcomed warmly, they want to know that you can’t live without them and they want to know that your world will be emptier without them.

You only have to look inside yourself briefly to prove it: to know that you want all of those things for yourself as well.

4. To feel comfortable and at home

When you feel comfortable and at home around someone, you don’t have to pretend or put on airs and graces.

So it stands to reason that when you feel at home and comfortable around someone you’ll want to spend time with him or her.

Luckily, energy healing and coaching can actually help you change your energy in this regard, and help you drop the mirrors that are causing energetic tension between the two of you.

Once you’ve dropped the mirrors though, you may actually find that you no longer want to be in the relationship – even if all of a sudden the other party does.

5. To share

Someone to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of all human beings.
- Miles Franklin

Just think about it for a minute… when you care for someone, what you really want to do is spend time with them, share space with them, talk to them and validate the experiences of your life and world by having this person share them with you and reflect them back to you.

If you’re in a relationship where you want the focus to be solely placed onto you, you’re missing the point of why the other person is here: they also have a story to tell and a life to share.

So when last did you listen?

Ask how was your day?

How much do you really know about what is going on in your partner’s world?

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Is staying in love simply impossible?

Love is a slow build up, not an instant thing. Here are eight reasons why people can’t seem to stay in love anymore.

1. There’s Too Much Emphasis On Instant Gratification.

We live in an age of high speed everything: high speed internet, high speed 3G phone service. We expect everything to happen for us immediately, and that’s a problem for love. You can’t go on three dates and expect to be ready to live with each other.

2. Drugs And Alcohol Are Used Too Heavily.

This is hardly a universal trait among people who have a hard time being in love. It’s not that roasting a bowl after work or having a beer with some friends on the weekend is really all that bad for you and your love life, but it’s when it becomes addiction that it’s problematic. In many cases, drug and alcohol use are on the decline, but it’s still love’s worst enemy in a lot of ways.

3. Sleeping Around Is On The Rise.

I’d argue that there’s nothing inherently wrong about sleeping around when you’re not in a steady relationship, aside from the possibility that diseases spread. Use protection. Go at your own pace. You don’t owe anyone anything.

But in the same way that drugs damage your potential for love when you self-medicate, sex can be a kind of medication, too. If you’re fine with sex that isn’t particularly special, that’s fine. But if you’re using it to fill a void in your life, it may hinder your ability to love fully in the future.

4. People Are Into Themselves More Now Than Ever.

More and more, we think about our needs before the needs of anyone else. It’s getting to the point of insanity. No one wants to take care of anything that doesn’t personally pertain to them. This constant self-interest makes it hard to let love into your life.

5. Dating Happens Because It’s What You Think You’re Supposed To Do.

Everything that I’ve talked about so far pertains to everyone, but this one is a bit more common among the young I’ve found. We feel like we have to date just because that’s what you do. But that’s really not the case. It’s important to be able to love yourself before you fall in love with someone else. Take time to get to know you.

6. It’s Harder To Make Compromises.

From the moment we’re born, we’re told that we have to go to college, get these jobs, have a career, and all of this other ambitious stuff. We’re also told to have a family, to have kids, to have that stupid house in the suburbs. The emphasis on success takes away from finding a partner and starting a family.

It’s important to remember to compromise with each other. It doesn’t mean giving up everything, it just means making it work.

7. Being In Love Is A Fairytale To Some.

Love is different from person to person. Each relationship is unlike the last. It’s important to let it take the form it’s going to take, not force narratives of the fairytale love.

8. We Just Aren’t That Great At Loving.

I’ve seen it. I’ve felt it. I’ve experienced it in myself. We’re not that great at relationships and being in love. There’s no reason to be ashamed.

It’s important that we grow as people. It’s important to remember that being in love is like being a part of the best team you could dream of. It’s important to remember how to talk to each other. Remember, we’re all people and we all want to be treated a certain way. So, embody that.

This article was originally published at Higher Perspective
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If you’re dating because you truly want to find love with a great guy you can build a future with, you probably end up disappointed a lot of the time. Finding someone that you click with and who wants the same thing in life as you do might seem like a simple enough request, but it often feels almost possible to fulfill. Because of this, dating can feel downright depressing AF and borders on soul-destroying. Here’s why:

1. You Date With Complete Honesty But Are Often Blindsided By Bullshit.

You know what you want — you want love, and yet you’ve been met with countless assholes who only tell you what you want to hear or lie about who they are just to get what they want from you. It’s hard to know what you can trust anymore because you’re so used to being led on and taken advantage of by losers.

2. When You Make A Kind Gesture, It’s Sometimes Seen As Needy Or Clingy.

Whenever you date anyone, you probably do it honestly, thoughtfully and with good intentions, just as anyone should. If you text a guy first, get him a random and spontaneous (not to mention thoughtful) gift or show your affection for him, it sucks when he gets turned off or sees you as clingy or needy. WTF?

3. You Believe You Can Trust Guys, But More And More They Prove You Wrong.

You try and trust every new guy you encounter and give him the benefit of the doubt, but it’s just so damn hard when history has shown you that many guys are only out for themselves and couldn’t give less of a shit about your feelings at all. Just once, you’d like to meet someone whose loyalty and honesty is equal to your own. It’s not too much to ask, and yet, it can feel like it totally is these days.

4. Finding A Guy Who Doesn’t Just Want A Hook-Up Feels Insanely Difficult.

It really does feel like more and more guys these days are opting for low-key, casual sexual relationships that require little to no effort as opposed to having lasting love with one person. You know that sex is only a small part of the equation and there are other amazing benefits to having a real relationship, and yet it seems like so few guys feel the same way anymore.

5. Your Real Intentions Scare A Lot Of Guys Off.

A lot of the time, you don’t even get the chance to see what could potentially develop because your honesty about our intentions can scare guys off before you even get a chance. Why the hell does it seem like so many guys scared of commitment these days? When you actually tell a guy you’re looking for a real and meaningful relationship, many of them see it as instant pressure and run away almost immediately. You’re just being straight up. Ugh.

6. If You Give A Guy Girlfriend Perks, He Sometimes Takes Complete Advantage Of It And Then Goes MIA.

When you’re dating someone and you truly like them, which is always (otherwise, why would we date them?), you tend to behave like you would in any relationship. You treat your partner with respect, generosity and thoughtfulness… only to sometimes be completely unappreciated for your efforts and tossed aside for the next flavor of the month. The best part is, a lot of the time, you don’t even get an explanation as to why he went rogue. It’s rude AF.

7. You’re Often Left With Unanswered Questions From Being Ghosted.

Do you know how exhausting it is when we have to question ourselves over and over again because yet another guy didn’t have the decency to give you a real and concrete ending to the relationship you were building? It’s absolutely infuriating, and yet it’s something you  just have to suck up and deal with because it seems like it’s not going to end anytime soon.

8. You’ve Heard Every Excuse In The Book And You’re Sick Of The Nonsense.

From “I’m just not ready” to “I’m not looking for anything serious” and “I’m just too busy for a relationship,” you’ve probably heard literally every excuse as to why a guy can’t offer you what you’re truly looking for. It’s a painful reality, but you keep trying to find love despite it.

9. You Probably Feel Deflated A Lot.

Maybe you give up, take breaks and dive back in routinely, and the cycle is seriously so exhausting that it’s natural to find yourself wondering why the hell you even keep putting yourself out there and making the effort to begin with.

10. More Than Likely, You Literally Don’t Understand How You Can Still Be Single.

How can it be this hard for good women to find love? How can so many amazing women with so much to offer get caught up in this bullshit we call modern dating? Why does it feel like so many guys these days so put off by relationships in favor of meaningless sex? It’s a cycle of questions that constantly spin through your mind, but there are no real answers.
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Δευτέρα, 20 Φεβρουαρίου 2017

“I can’t tell you exactly how it will end, but I can tell you this when it begins, it will feel like rain and when it ends it’ll feel like fire. And the truth is we’re all beautifully mad enough to believe that maybe love was meant to save us from ourselves.” -R.M. Drake.

I think we’re all afraid of showing someone the worst sides to ourselves. We’re afraid of rejection, we’re afraid of vulnerability.

But if you let me, I’ll love you at your worst.

I’ll love when you don’t like the reflection you see looking back at you.

I’ll love you for the things you are insecure about.

I’ll love you through every fight.

I’ll love you through every breakdown.

I’ll love you through every tear, you hate shedding.

I’ll love you through every anxiety attack.

I’ll love you when you become that person, you don’t recognize drunk.

I’ll love you when you push me away.

I’ll love you when you don’t understand.

I promise to love you at your worst. And with that it’ll heighten everything that is it’s best.

Because even at your worst, you’re beautiful.

Even those moments you hate yourself, I promise I won’t.

I’ll love you through the anger.

I’ll love you through the confusion.

I’ll love you for the past and accept it, as you haven’t yourself.

And even more for the future that may be uncertain.

I love you for the things you are. I love you too for the things you aren’t.

And if you let me I’ll love this way forever.

I’ll love until our wrinkles age together and we envy our youth.

I’ll love you for every memory that is imprinted in my heart.

I’ll love you for your quirks.

I’ll love you for your flaws.

I’ll love you for it all, if you dare let me.

Because when I look at you I see perfection, despite the flaws that prevail.

Because when I look at you I see the person you inspire me to be.

Because when I look at you, I’m happy to be alive.

So I’ll love you through it all, even in those moments you don’t love yourself.

And if you let me, I’d like to love you like that forever.

For more of Kirsten’s work, follow her Facebook fan page.
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Σάββατο, 18 Φεβρουαρίου 2017

Lessons for the ladies ready to get past the bad boys.

Real-life nice guys are the men you meet who aren’t looking for accolades for doing what’s right.

They’ll slow down for a turtle crossing the road, even if nobody’s watching. They’ll ask the person serving their coffee how their day is going, and they’ll genuinely want to know. They won’t play games when you meet them, and they won’t put up with your crap or manufactured drama because they know nice when they see it, and picking fights isn’t nice.

Before I met my husband, I dated a bunch of not-nice guys. I peppered in a few nice guys here and there, but I think I was so insecure and unhappy at that time that I either drove those good guys away or grew bored of their niceness.

I didn’t see the pattern then, but once I met Ivan and chose to prioritize this genuinely sweet, caring person in my life, there were a few things I had to learn:

1. You Need To Stop Being A Jerk, Even When You’re In A Bad Mood.

I’m not a super warm and cuddly person in real life. In fact, people have said that it can be hard to get to know me. This aloofness isn’t something I work toward – in fact, I actively try not to have a cold exterior, but it’s a part of who I am. Part of being with a nice guy is learning to soften for him, particularly when he needs you to be present for him.

This was hard for me. In fact, it’s still hard for me sometimes. I can be a hard-ass, and I can be snappish and reactive and I take zero shit from anybody. When I was with guys who weren’t all that nice, this wasn’t a problem. In fact, I think they sort of liked it. A less-balanced guy might try to charm me into being sweeter, or might take advantage of the situation to create a fight and cause drama.

But a real-life nice guy probably isn’t going to do that. You need to take responsibility for your tone, and realize that you’re dealing with a loving, caring person who doesn’t deserve to be locked out of your proverbial ice castle. Even more, you don’t get to take your crappy mood out on him or you’ll end up hurting him.

A nice guy doesn’t have a bad-boy exterior to hide behind when you’re being prickly, so do whatever you can to be kind and warm. This is your partner, who has earned your trust. He loves you. He deserves at least that.

2. Realize That A Nice Guy Is Not Just Nice To You, But To Other People, Too.

A nice guy who is nice to you but a jackass to everyone else isn’t really a nice guy. Real-life nice guys are kind to strangers, warm with friends and probably give a lot of their time and energy to many people. This can take some getting used to if you’re used to dysfunction and the insular world of the so-called Bad Boy.

My husband, most of the time, is incredibly nice to everybody. He knows the life story of the plumber, the ladies who work in the billing department at work, and will hug anybody, anytime, who wants to hug. He also helps little old ladies across the street, and I mean that literally.

What this means is that you’re going to have to get used to sharing him. He’s probably happy to help his dad fix the broken garbage disposal or let the neighbor use his pickup truck for a run to the dump. He’s probably going to run out to help his brother carry a couch, and he may answer endless text messages from his best friend when he’s going through a messy divorce.

He’s not yours, you know, he’s his own man and he is probably going to spread his love to people other than you. You can set boundaries of time that’s just for you two, and certainly it’s okay to set boundaries about how intimate his relationships are, but helping other people and spending time with them is part of who he is. You don’t get to squash that.

3. A Nice Guy Wants To Hear You And Support You Through Hard Times, But You Need To Solve Your Own Problems.

Your genuinely nice guy is probably willing to stand by you through the worst of times, to be there the moment you’re hit with grief over a major loss, or to pick you up off the ground when you’re triggered from a past trauma. He wants to hold you when you need holding, and lift you up when you’re down… but he’s not going to be your crutch, and it’s unfair to try to make him into one.

Beyond that, he knows you’re not a child, and refuses to treat you like one. You will need to learn to solve your own problems if you want to have a happy life with a nice guy. Find a therapist if you need one, reach out for help from people other than him sometimes.

What I learned over time with Ivan was that even though he was my favorite source of comfort and solace, he couldn’t be my only resource for support. Every human’s ability to hear grief, sadness, panic or whatever other big feelings are limited, and both you and your nice guy need boundaries so you don’t fall into a trap of one partner being broken and the other being the fixer.

4. You Need To Become Comfortable With Quiet, Peace And Regular Old Happiness.

If you’ve lived in chaos most of your life, or if you’ve had abuse or a lot of drama in past relationships, you’re probably going to be really uncomfortable with the sense of ease that comes from being in a healthy relationship with a nice guy.

I grew up among some emotional chaos myself, especially when I was young, and I’m also a very active and analytical person. I spent most of my life attracted to movement, change, noise, high emotionality, and people who needed me to fix them. But none of that was ever really good for me.

When I would land in a quiet, stable situation I learned to kick up dust to make myself more comfortable, and that wasn’t a good thing for my husband’s emotional state. In fact, it was really bad for him. As much as I think my husband is the greatest, he’s also not perfect, and it took a long time for us to learn how to sit together in calmness, to smile and relax into happiness, and to cultivate quiet.

If you’re like me, you may need to approach happiness almost as a meditation. Breathe into it, feel that it’s around you and also notice the discomfort you have with it. Notice the anxiety that starts to come up when you feel peace, or when you feel vulnerable, and just recognize that it’s there. Keep in mind that the goal is to appreciate the good stuff that’s right in front of you, instead of planning for the bad that might happen.

5. Finally, You Need To Stop Being Afraid You’re Going To Hurt The Nice Guy You Love.

This seems like a weird thing to say, but one thing you may have learned in your life is that you are dangerous. Maybe you learned as a little kid that part of you was wrong – too spirited, too fiery, too emotional, too strident, too sexual, too loud, maybe too gay. Too something. You were shamed into believing that part of you was made wrong and because of that, you are just going to hurt people around you.

Well, that’s bullshit.

Why? Because you’re an adult now, and you have control over your choices. Yeah, we’re all going to screw up sometimes and make mistakes. We’re going to hurt each other’s feelings. Nobody is immune to that – not you and not him.

But those things you think are so bad inside? You can either fix them so you don’t hurt him with careless words, or infidelity, or creating drama, or whatever you tend toward, or you can live in fear. I wouldn’t suggest the latter. It’s lonely.

You get to choose whether you hurt him. So you don’t need to be afraid of that. You aren’t special in your ability to hurt others – we all have that. And we all need to make the choices, every day, that show love and not selfishness or harm.

These dynamics exist among a lot of couples, not just with men. There are women who are genuinely nice, and sometimes their partners aren’t used to that and cause all sorts of problems, too.

This is about healthy relationships, regardless of gender or sexuality, and we can all work toward being the type of people who are happy when we’re healthy.

This article was originally published at The Good Men Project
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