Single Women and Dating

The dating game has changed. Many singles no longer date–they hook up. A hookup is a casual sexual encounter, usually after a party or night out, with no commitment to future encounters. In contrast, a date is a planned romantic encounter between two people that may or may not involve sex and that usually comes with the expectation that a second date could follow. Some single women complain about this change, and may still desire a life partner mainly because many singles still face social stigmas, researchers say.

Dating Frustrations

Single women are frustrated with today’s dating scene, reports Maryanne Fisher, a psychology professor at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada. They complain about the quality of available men and men’s new dating attitudes. Many women say the men they meet only want sex, and pretend to want a relationship until they get what they want. Fisher notes that though some single women are just looking for sex, most want to live “the plot of a romantic comedy. They want [the guy] to be clear about his love, not sending some cryptic text that is laden with ambiguity.”

Date vs. Hookup

Empirical studies confirm Fisher’s observations. Psychology professors from James Madison University asked 150 female students and 71 male students whether they would prefer a date or a hook-up in various romantic scenarios, such as when there was relationship potential, when their partner had a great personality and when they had been drinking. The researchers found that unlike men, women had a preference for dating when the possibility of a relationship was not mentioned. The study also showed that more women than men were interested in a relationship, and that the women’s greatest fear was to become emotionally attached to someone who was not interested in them.

Changes in the Dating Game

Studies around the world have shown that women are more selective than men when it comes to choosing sex partners. However, men’s new dating attitudes affect gender differences in selectivity, according to a study from Northwestern University. Northwestern psychologists speculated that physically approaching someone is enough to make him or her more appealing. They tested this in a series of 15 speed-dating events involving 350 participants. In about half of the events, the woman would approach the man. The participants subsequently rated each other for desirability. The result: The gender difference had vanished. This may be a good indicator that men’s new, more passive, dating attitudes eventually will absorb gender differences in selectivity.

Pressure to Date

Despite changing dating attitudes, women feel a greater pressure than men when it comes to dating and marriage. Family studies experts from the University of Missouri and Texas Tech interviewed 32 middle-class, never-married women over 30. They found that the women felt pressure to conform to a conventional lifestyle. They also felt conflicted. Many of them reported being happily single, but they said they felt “singled out” at bouquet tosses at weddings and at social gatherings with married friends. They also felt they needed to justify their singlehood, and that people would naturally assume they were married with children.

Why Single Women Eat Salad

In her observations of single women’s dating attitudes, Dr. Maryanne Fisher noticed that single women often feel exhausted from the efforts of self promotion to make themselves seem desirable to men. Going to the gym, buying fashion clothes, whitening teeth and putting on cosmetics can be exhausting and expensive. Single women also feel unsure what personality traits to display or hide on dates. Meredith Young, a neuroscience doctorate student, found that single women also engage in pathetic eating habits in the company of men. Together with her team, she observed 470 undergraduates eating at the canteens of McMaster University in Ontario. The result: The more men who were eating with a woman, the less she ate. The researchers speculate that women use food as a signal of their desirability. The arugula leaves say “I’m pretty; I’m attractive; I take care of myself,” says Young.

References

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How to overcome a breakup

By guest blogger Suzanne Harrah

I have been fortunate enough to have only suffered through a few breakups in my life; breakups that ultimately rocked my sense of self, my heart and stable mindset. And with each breakup, the intensity has grown, the ability to shake it has lessened and the internal, agonizing cuts seem to only cut deeper. With that said, I have only been dumped once; I caused the rest of my relationships’ demise, but that didn’t stop the hurt or the prolonged heartache.

With that, I can tell you that the feelings that overcome you during a breakup might truly be the only universal feeling in the world. There are so many different forms of love and happiness that it’s hard to truly pinpoint them, but heartache, that’s universally felt. You can’t help but feel the all-consuming anguish when you see someone going through a breakup. I always describe it as half of my body just fell off and nothing filled its void. So while there is little solace to take at the moment, you can take comfort in knowing that EVERYONE has felt this way, they survived and so will you.

But if its advice you’re looking for, I will provide you with my foul-proof breakup recipe that will help ease the pain and bring back the old, yet new you.

After breaking up, I allow myself to eat, cry and drink as much as I want for one week. This is the purging period. You can complain to your friends, you can eat the most fattening food in the world, post sappy songs on Facebook and you can stay in sweatpants for days on end, but on day 8, it’s all over.

On day 8, you begin your detox. Empty your house of all fattening food and alcohol. Toss any item that reminds you of your ex. If you think you may regret it in the end, hand all items off to a trusted friend. Stock your fridge with healthy food and begin an exercise regime. If these are things you haven’t ever done, take the time to research how to eat right and work out. These two things are imperative to restoring your sense of self. Block or hide your ex on Facebook. Delete your ex’s number and take down all photos. And then finally, think back to all the hobbies you had before you started dating your ex and figure out how you can get back to them.

For the next month, you will eat healthy, abstain from sex, work out regularly, and get back to doing all the things you love. Make time for friends and family and lead a balanced life of work, social and health. Do not try to date anyone or contact your ex. Do not hit on anyone. Excuse yourself from anyone hitting on you. This period of time is about you and only you. Deviating will only prolong your healing.

After one month, you could still be sad, but you will feel invigorated, you will glow from all of the healthy food you’ve been consuming, you will feel stronger, physically and mentally, and you’ll be providing your own happiness again by doing all the things you love. You’ll be so busy that you won’t have time to mope and you’ll look great while doing it.

At this time, I suggest going out and buying a new vibrator or fleshlight, because you’re probably dying for some action at this point. You can find great options at Adam and Eve. Keeping these toys around will keep you from making rash decisions when going out on dates–because at this time, I suggest going out on a date. See how you react, if it feels too soon, then you know you need to continue the detox period. The detox period could last anywhere from one to six months. Continue to test your progress by going on the occasional date. All the while, you are regaining yourself, but making a new you at the same time.

This recipe doesn’t unbreak your heart, it just helps you refocus your energy and keeps you from wallowing in self-pity. When you’re focusing on yourself, you don’t have time to think about how some guy or girl broke your heart. It sucks, there’s no other way to put it, but with the right attitude, you can come out on top; I promise.

Suzanne Harrah- Currently resides in Georgia with her Husband and 3 kids. Suzanne credits her coffee veins for getting her through each and everyday. She enjoys writing and has contributed to many magazines and blogs. Her funny and sarcastic wit mixed with honest real life events creates a relate able tone for any woman.

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The Break Up Diet: How Healthy Living Can Help You Move On

By guest blogger Lily

The breakdown of a serious relationship can be one of the most stressful life experiences there is; according to Everyday Health, divorce is up there with the death of a family member, job loss, illness and going to jail. Sometimes a break up, although upsetting, can be a mutual decision made by both parties that is ultimately beneficial for both of their futures. But when a partner is unexpectedly ‘left’ it can leave them hurt, confused and full of unanswered questions and anxieties. Why wasn’t I good enough? Is there someone else? Were they cheating? Does this mean I’ll need to consider STD testing? What happens now? How will I ever trust again? And so on.

There are a lot of helpful organisations that can offer advice and support of both a practical and emotional nature following the breakdown of a relationship or marriage. However, sometimes moving on is all about self help and can be furthered with something as simple as your diet. It may not seem like an obvious time to start considering the contents of your kitchen cupboards, but research shows that whilst food hasn’t been scientifically proven as a direct cure for depression, a healthy diet can certainly ease the symptoms of depression and anxiety following a break up.

Read on for some dietary tips that will help you come out of the other side of a break up feeling fit, fresh and fabulous.

Stock Up On Calming Carbohydrates

Serotonin is a chemical within the brain that is thought to ease sadness and anxiety by creating a calming effect on the body and mind. Whilst foods don’t directly contain this chemical, a diet rich in carbohydrates is thought to help increase the production of serotonin in the brain. Just try and keep your choice of carbs sensible – think brown rice, cereals and vegetables instead of chips and white pasta dishes.

Adopt A ‘Mediterranean’ Diet

Studies have shown that the rate of depression and mental health problems are far smaller in Mediterranean countries and a lot of this is due to a healthy and nutritious diet. This isn’t down to one specific food source but the combination of many different foods (including fish, olive oil, nuts, vegetables and whole grains) each with their own individual health benefits. This combination of omega 3, vitamin B, natural fatty acids and antioxidants is apt to make you feel happier and healthier so adopting a Mediterranean style diet be almost as therapeutic as going there for real!

Drink Water

Keeping hydrated is usually seen as a means of survival rather than a mood enhancer.  But research shows that even mild dehydration can make you feel grumpy and miserable as it creates a chemical imbalance in the brain. With the body losing up to two and a half litres of fluid a day through perspiration and urination, it is important to replace this loss – particularly if you are also exercising. Water is healthy, free and available on tap (no pun intended) and should be fully utilised to the sum of at least two litres a day in order to maintain a healthy and happy mind.

Think Outside of the Fridge

Spice up your diet with a few non obvious, happy foods. Blue potatoes are probably not something you will find in your local supermarket but they are full of powerful antioxidants that contain neuro-protective qualities for the brain such as reducing inflammation and assisting in memory. As the brain is the essential organ for regulating moods, it is important to treat it well in order to stay happy.

Another ‘happy food’ is Swiss chard – an unusual green vegetable similar to spinach. It is very high in magnesium which is responsible for increasing energy in the body. A study carried out by the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry shows that high magnesium levels are proven to help keep depression at bay.

Muscles and honey are also high in nutrients that help keep the brain healthy and although they are not necessarily everyday food items, they could still be quite easy to adapt into your diet.

Eat Regularly

Eating regular meals is essential in regulating blood sugar levels. Skipping meals, particularly breakfast, can lead to low blood sugar which will leave you feeling tired, irritable and with a distinct lack of motivation. Sometimes, sadness and depression can make people lose their appetite altogether but sudden weight loss is bad for the body and will deprive the brain of glucose and other nutrients that are important in mood enhancing. In severe cases you may need to resort to taking supplements in order to build yourself back up. To avoid this try and eat regularly and be sure to snack on healthy foods such as fruits and cereals between meals if necessary to keep your energy levels up.

Things to Avoid

Although this is the time when you may feel like you need them most, avoiding things such as caffeine, alcohol and foods that are high in fat and sugar is essential in stabilising the mood. These substances all include ingredients that will give you an initial energy boost by releasing the neurotransmitter beta-endorphin, but that happy feeling doesn’t last and you are apt to crash and burn when the effects wear off. If used in excess they can also cause sleep problems, anxiety and high blood pressure – all of which will only make your melancholy mood even worse in the long run. However it’s not all bad news – studies have shown that a small amount of dark chocolate (i.e. chocolate with high solid cocoa content) can actually benefit mental health by improving blood flow to the brain and giving you a boost in energy and concentration.

The key thing to remember after a break up is that maintaining your physical and emotional wellbeing and looking after yourself is essential. The beauty of the break up diet is that it includes foods that are all conveniently healthy and low in fat as well as being energy providers and mood enhancers. So next time you see your ex the chances are you’ll be looking great as well as feeling great – the ultimate revenge.

Lily is a health writer from England who specialises in relationship advice and sexual health issues for a number of journals and blogs.

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Making breakups less complicated: Renting vs. owning

It may seem like a dream. You have met the love of your life, and you want to move in together. You have always dreamed of owning your own house, having a home of your own. You and your SO find a cheap starter house, finalize the deal and move in. You are living the dream.

The trouble is that more than 50 percent of marriages and relationships end within seven years. If you and your SO are among the 50 percent and you own a house together, breaking up is no straightforward matter. Before you can go your separate ways, you have a house to sell.

But isn’t living the dream worth the risk? Not obviously. Let us look at some of the alleged advantages of owning as opposed to renting:

  1. When you rent, you never get the monthly payments back. The money is gone. When you own, making your monthly payments is like putting money in the bank.
  2. Buying a house is a great investment. You could make a fortune when you eventually sell the house.
  3. When you own your house, you ensure that there is a decent inheritance for your children
  4. When you own your house, you know what your mortgage will be for the next 20 years. When you rent, your future payments are unpredictable.

While these claims may seem obviously true, reality is a different one once we attend to the details:

  1. Unless you made a huge down payment on your house, you are likely to be paying mostly interests the first many years after buying your house. Interest is money in the pockets of the bankers.  It will take five to ten years before you really start paying off on the actual cost of the house. So if things go well and you stay in your house for many years, you will have made a saving by making your monthly payments. But if things go wrong and you need to sell prematurely, you have to be lucky to even get your money back.
  2. Houses are great investments in the long term. Despite the unpredictability of the housing market, the value of a house is almost guaranteed to go up over time. But remember that if you sell your house eventually, you have to find a different place to live. If you buy a new house, you most likely haven’t made a dime. And again, houses are not great investments if you have to sell prematurely.
  3. Children normally do get a nice inheritance if their house-owning parents stay put all of their lives. However, there are costs associated with owning a house. Houses need maintenance. Eventually you will need a new roof, a new furnace, a new air conditioner. In addition there are little repairs all the time. If you rent a house or apartment, you can put the money not spent on house repairs in a savings account. Over the years, your children’s inheritance will probably be as sizable as it would have been if you had chosen to buy.
  4. Rents go up over the years. Mortgages stay the same. But the small yearly increases in rent in no way compares to the costs of maintaining a house. So while your mortgage stays the same over the years, the actual cost of owning may well be much higher than that of renting.

Financially speaking, owning a house tend to be a good investment if you plan to, and succeed in, staying in the same house for a long period of time. If you have to sell prematurely, you are likely to lose money. Buying a house with the love of your life may seem like a tempting idea but a significant number of those who do this will end up loosing big time.

A further consideration is that owning a house can be a strain on a relationship. There is always something to do, little repairs to be made. Renting takes off some of the pressure of the housework:

  1. When the furnace or air conditioner breaks, you call the manager.
  2. When a storm damages the roof of your building, you are neither responsible for making the payments nor for making sure that the job gets done.
  3. If you live in an apartment complex with a gardening area, someone else will cut the grass, water the plants and pull out the weed.
  4. You can normally move anytime you want without caring about whether the world is facing a financial crisis

The message here is clear. Unless the odds are great that you and your loved one will be together for a long time, you may be better off renting.

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Mucuna Pruriens for post-breakup depression

The time immediately following a difficult breakup often is accompanied by both sadness and a manic state of mind. Your temporary insanity may lead you to beg, bribe or threaten your ex to come back. Though this time is extremely unpleasant, your energy levels are far from low. But once you have recovered from the breakup mania, your energy levels may completely drop. In some cases, depression may develop. If you satisfy several of the following conditions, you may suffer from depression.

  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of motivation
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Mental confusion
  • Memory problems
  • Depressed mood
  • Crying spells
  • Nervousness
  • Lowered self-esteem
  • Lack of pleasure in previously enjoyed activities
  • Irritability
  • Overeating or lack of appetite
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Suicidal thoughts

If your depression is severe, you may want to ask your physician for an antidepressant. However, a dietary supplement may suffice for milder depressive states.

One promising dietary supplement for depression is Mucuna Pruriens seed extract, which is available over the counter. Mucuna Pruriens is a legume native to India. The seeds of this legume contain a number of chemicals that may be beneficial for improving mood and energy and the ability to experience pleasure.

Depression is associated with imbalances in the brain’s levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. According to a study published in the September 2004 issue of Phytotherapy Research, Mucuna Pruriens seed extract can help restore the levels of these neurotransmitters.

The main chemical believed to be responsible for the restorative effects of the Indian legume is levodopa, also known as “L-Dopa.” Pure forms of L-dopa play an important role in the management of Parkinsonism, a disease characterized by low levels of dopamine and an associated lack of muscle control.

L-dopa is the precursor for dopamine and norepinephrine. Pure L-dopa is not normally used for the treatment of depression, as it can give rise to serious side effects, such as tics and other involuntary repetitive movements. However, none of these side effects occur when L-dopa is supplied in the form of Mucuna Pruriens seed extract.

L-dopa does not directly affect serotonin levels. The brain’s levels of serotonin are usually lowered in people with depression.  Restoring the brain’s levels of dopamine and norepinephrine may lead to increased energy, motivation and self-esteem and a renewed ability to experience pleasure. But it may not help with sadness, crying spells and nervousness, as these conditions primarily are a function of stable serotonin levels. If you experience continued nervousness or sadness after taking Mucuna Pruriens for two weeks, consider taking St. John’s Wort, an over-the-counter dietary supplement that can help increase serotonin levels.

Reference

Manyam, BV, Muralikrishnan, D, Hare, TA. (2004). “Neuroprotective Effects of the Antiparkinsonian Drug Mucuna Pruriens”, Phytotherapy Research 18: 706-712.

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Adrafinil for post-breakup fatigue

An unexpected breakup can lead to anxiety and depression, especially during the first few weeks following the breakup. However, you may continue to suffer from the traumatic event even once the immediate shock resides and life starts to return to normal. Common long-term effects of an unexpected breakup include mental confusion, memory problems, difficulties concentrating, mental and physical fatigue and daytime sleepiness.

These conditions could be symptoms of major depression or an anxiety disorder but they may also just indicate a slight imbalance in neurotransmitters, which can be regulated with an over-the-counter dietary supplement. I mentioned Mucuna Pruriens seed extract as a way of restoring neurotransmitter levels in an earlier post. Mucuna Pruriens seed extract can help increase motivation and the ability to feel pleasure. It is particularly effective if your symptoms are mostly physical rather than mental. If your symptoms are mostly related to memory, concentration and wakefulness, the dietary supplement adrafinil may be more effective in treating your condition.

When ingested, adrafinil breaks down into modafinil, a central nervous stimulant commonly used to combat narcolepsy. Unlike modafinil, however, adrafinil is not currently regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This means that it currently is legal in the US to purchase and possess adrafinil without a prescription.

Adrafinil, like modafinil, increases mood and energy levels by affecting adrenergic receptors in the brain. When the chemical binds to these receptors, the brain produces norepinephrine, which helps combat fatigue and problems with motivation and centration. Adrafinil is also believed to suppress the brain’s levels of GABA and increase the levels of glutamate. GABA is the brain’s main depressive neurotransmitter, whereas glutamate is the main excitatory neurotransmitter. The effects of adrafinil on the GABA and glutamate systems help speed up thought-processes and stay focused on the task at hand. It can also prevent daytime sleepiness and general fatigue.

As adrafinil is a mild central nervous system stimulant, it could interfere with other medications you may be taking. So even though adrafinil is currently unregulated, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start taking it.

Reference

Milgram, NM, Callahan, H, Siwak, C. (1999). “Adrafinil: A Novel Vigilance Promoting Agent”, CNS Drug Reviews 5: 193-212.

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Top ten ways to get over a breakup

The time immediately following the shock of a breakup and the time of a mad obsession are driven by the overflow of stress chemicals released by your brain in response to what is happening to you. This is a time when you are likely to act crazy! Breakup chemistry is insanity chemistry. Temper your stirred-up emotions by sticking to the following ten pieces of breakup advice:

1. Stay away from him: Don’t be a fool. Don’t contact him or try to get him back. Why not? Because you can’t convince someone to love you. It takes two to start or rekindle a romance. Your behavior is a factor but your behavior (whatever you do) is not going to be able to cast a spell on your ex and miraculously make him change his mind.

2. Write a bitch list: List everything you can think of that your ex did that hurt your feelings. Write every little thing, don‘t hold back. Above all, don‘t make excuses or let him off the hook. Be real. Exactly how did your ex disappoint you? For example: “He looked at other women when we were together”, “She didn’t want me to call her ‘my girlfriend’ ”

3. Eat serotonin food: The process of your breakup recovery can be supported or stunted by the foods you eat. Your brain chemistry has many different players, none more important to breakup recovery than serotonin. Very simply stated, when your serotonin levels are low, you are more depressed and when they‘re high, you‘re happier. To increase your levels of serotonin fill up on turkey, bananas, milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, nuts and beans.

4. Mix things up: You can minimize emotional pain by changing your environment. Regardless of whether your home reminds you of your ex, try moving furniture around. Put a colorful piece of cloth over an old chair. Rearrange something in the kitchen, bathroom and office.

5. Meditate for 15 minutes. Practice disconnecting from your thoughts and letting them go. Deep relaxation and meditation allows the parasympathetic nervous system to become active by down-regulating the sympathetic nervous system. What happens is that once the sympathetic nervous system shuts down, the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) no longer is prevented from acting on the GABA receptors that are present everywhere in the nervous system.

Don’t know how to meditate? Set the timer for 15 minutes and simply sit quietly. Your job is to just keep yourself company for that 15 minute shower of brain soothing chemicals. See if you can feel your body down shift as the time goes by.

6. Have fun making up funny breakup lines. Some examples:

  • I let myself go hoping you’d leave
  • I’m not a prude, it’s just that you’re repulsive
  • It’s not you. It’s the new guy I’ve been seeing
  • I love you but I just don’t want to be limited to one sexual partner
  • I have a hard time expressing my feelings. Get the fuck out of my house
  • I am so not into you that it bores me to tears to spend five minutes with you
  • You’re a great guy. I am looking for a jerk
  • It’s kind of weird dating you. Let’s break up
  • I pee in pools. Let’s break up
  • Roses are red. Violets are blue. I’d rather be dead than continue seeing you.
  • My mom told me to stay away from boys. Let’s break up.

7. Think about him in a negative light: Imagine how other women would be repelled by your ex. Forget about the traits that people might fall for. Everyone has some bad trait or other. Imagine him in a dating situation where he shares this with a new woman. How does she react?

8. Get rid of his clothing or other physical reminders of him. Just pack everything up and get it out of your living space. Let a friend keep the bag if you cannot let the things go. Get everything about him out of your space!

9. Punish him (in your thoughts): Imagine your ex paying the price for your breakup and heartbreak. Picture him in a black and white jailhouse rock kind of outfit. See him behind bars pining for freedom.

10. Take a supplement: If you have trouble sleeping during this time, you might try taking a Benadryl. While Benadryl is normally only to be taken for allergies, it is also a relatively harmless sleeping aid. Alternatively, plan to ask your doctor for an antidepressant or a sleeping aid.

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Breakup Interview 5

Occasionally we will be featuring someone who recently suffered or is still suffering from a past breakup or related heartaches. This is the fifth interview in this series. To read the fourth interview in the series, click here.

1) Age, sex, marital status

27, Male, Single

2) How long ago did the breakup happen? How long had you been in the relationship when the breakup occurred?

This relationship ended three and a half months ago. It lasted only about three months.

3) How did you meet?

We met on OKcupid.com

4) What was your relationship like?

A roller coaster. Lot of days we were very happy together, other days it seemed like we misunderstood every single thing the other person said. I often felt like she was reading a lot into what I was saying, either thinking I was angry or horny. I got the impression that she thought I was playing games. When it was good, though, it was very good. Just didn’t happen all that often.

We only got to see each other once a week since we live two hours away from one another, but I liked that we each had separate lives, at least for the beginning of the relationship.

5) Who initiated the breakup? And what were the details of the breakup?

She did. We were talking on the phone and she had a very bad series of days. After she ranted about how horrible I was to her, how much of an angry person I was, and that I was like everyone else in her life (just wanting her to be a nice little girl and don’t complain about how hard her life is) she said, “I should just break up with you now so you don’t have the pleasure of doing it yourself.” I wasn’t in the mood to argue after being lashed out at (which seemed to happen at least once a week) so I said, “That’s fine, goodbye”.

About a month later I realized that she had sworn off all men and couldn’t bare the fact that I must have hurt her so much. I wanted to apologize that I couldn’t help her understand how much I truly did care about her and how I wish I could have clarified how much I was *not* angry with her. She didn’t believe anything I said, and said she didn’t care about me anymore. I said, “How could you go from saying you love someone and planning a future with me one month (kids and a home), and then go not caring at all about me the next?” She said something that amounted to it not being my business, and that she hates me now.

6) What were the effects of the breakup physically and psychologically?

There weren’t any physical effects that I recall. Psychologically, I find myself very worried about being misunderstood, more so than I have in quite a long time. I worry quite a bit about hurting anyone inadvertently, so much so that I will feel awkward around people I think I may have even remotely harmed. Also, I spent a lot of time thinking about whether or not I truly am a good person.

Some of the things she said when I tried to contact her was pretty damaging as well. She said hurtful things that targeted a lot of my insecurities. Said I was worthless, said I have no meaning in my life, and implied that I was a failure.

I also feel much more hesitant to allow myself to become attached to others. This is the third in a series of very painful relationships. It seemed like in those relationship I was ready to be committed and open up completely, but perhaps they were not. It’s difficult to want to open up again when the last three times I did I was wounded.

7) How did you cope?

I tried to take time out of my day just to feel the pain. Just let the emotion wash over me. If I needed to, I would talk to friends about who I was feeling, and ask about whether or not they thought I was really at fault. A question that was commonly on my mind was, “Could I have been more patient or tried to be more articulate about my feelings?” It’s difficult to say whether or not I could have been, but it was helpful to hear support from loved ones.

Aside from that, I’ve been getting back into martial arts training, and being more physically fit in general. I’m focusing on self improvement.

I’m taking this as a learning experience that I should really focus on those things I feel insecure about: focus on my studies and how I want to live my life. If I’m truly satisfied with the effort I put forth then I will slowly lose those insecurities.

8) Did you try to get your ex back?

Not especially. She thought that’s what I was doing when I tried to apologize to her, but I really just hate hurting others. By the time it was over I knew it wasn’t going to work. Romance shouldn’t be as difficult as that was, and something I desire almost above all else is to be understood. She didn’t.

9) Do you miss your ex? If so, what do you miss most?

I don’t miss my ex so much as I miss her child. She had a child from a previous relationship, and had him a bit before we met. He’s the cutest baby I’ve ever seen and I don’t go a day without tearing up a little bit that I won’t see him again. He was very very easy to become attached to. Generally speaking, I guess I could say that I miss the fact that I felt so very close to starting a family.

10) What sort of impact has the relationship with your ex had on you as a person?

I’m not sure. I think, if anything, I’ve become more cautious of how much I give of myself, how much I let myself love, before really knowing someone. I’ve never been afraid of loving until now.

Are you interested in being interviewed anonymously? Indicate your interest here.

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Summary of Today’s Lecture: The Intentional View of Sexual Desire

I have posted a short summary of today’s sexual ethics lecture over at Lovesick Love. This is a really interesting topic. The big question is whether sexual desire is desire in the normal sense of “desire” (as in “I want a red sports car”) or more like an emotion (or something else altogether). I think sexual desire involves a lot more than desire in the narrow sense. Presumably, sexual desire isn’t really desire at all (as we normally use the word) but some kind of complex mental (and bodily) state. Normally, when we desire something (e.g., a piece of chocolate) we don’t already have what we desire. Sexual desire, however, has nothing to do with what we have or don’t have. I don’t think your sexual desire changes when you actually get to have sex with a person you have dreamed about having sex with for a long time. Presumably your sexual desire is intensified at this point. This suggests that “sexual desire” has little to do with desire and a lot to do with what is going on in your mind.

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Quiz: What’s the chance that my ex and I will get back together?

You have 10 points to start with:

1. My ex and I had been an item (or going out) for more than 4 months. YES: Add one point

2. I am clueless as to why my ex broke up with me. YES: Add one point

3. I never met my ex’s parents, siblings or old friends. YES: Subtract one point

4. I have had sex with my ex since we broke up. YES: Add one point

5. I have contacted my ex at least five times more than he/she has contacted me since the breakup. YES: Subtract one point

6. I have begged my ex to give us another change. YES: Subtract one point

7. We were fighting a lot when we where an item. YES: Subtract one point

8. My ex has contacted me at least once since the breakup to find out how I was doing and I have a feeling that he/she (still) genuinely cares about me. YES: Add one point Continue reading

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