How to improve your sex life

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20 random facts about dating, sex, breakups and divorce

1. According to a TED talk by David McCandless, most breakups are announced on Mondays, most breakups occur right before Spring Break and right before Christmas.

2. 15% of women in the US send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day.

3. A rabbi in L.A. invented speed dating in 1999 as an extension of a Jewish tradition of chaperoned get-togethers of Jewish singles.

4. 59% of people remain Facebook friends with an ex after they’ve broken up, according to a YourTango survey

5. The phrase “hook-up” was first used in Nena and George O’Neill’s 1972 tract, Open Marriage

6. The word ‘polyamory’ originated in the 1990s in two very different contexts. It was used in the description of a neo-pagan inspired workshop on relationships in 1990 and arose as a neologism used to create a mailing list in 1991. Continue reading

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What makes you sexy? Weight doesn’t matter if you can dance

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10 quick tips to improve your mood

1. Smile and laugh. You might have to force yourself to smile. But practice smiling while talking to people. It will make you seem more approachable and help improve your mood. Laughter is even better for improving mood. Search YouTube for short videos with bound-to-make-you-laugh stand-up comedians, such as Ellen DeGeneres.

2. Plan a couple of lunch or dinner dates. Call a couple of friends, family members or colleagues and plan some lunch or dinner dates, perhaps at a couple of new cafes or restaurants that you have been wanting to go to. Having something to look forward to can boost your mood.

3. Practice mindfulness.. The basic principle of mindfulness is not to dwell so much on the past and the future. Continuing to be angry about a past event or worry about a future event can really waste precious hours of your life. Tell yourself that nothing really changes regardless of how much you think about the past and, in many cases, the future. Force yourself to think about something peaceful and positive instead. Continue reading

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Bizarre breakup stories

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Dealing with breakup pain: How to get over the end of a relationship

There is hardly anything that can hurt as much as the end of a valued relationship. You normally will experience the greatest pain if you wanted the relationship to continue. But even if you were the one to end it, dealing with a breakup and moving on after the end of a relationship can be enormously difficult. If you shared a home together, had kids together or just hung out a lot, you must now be prepared for some major changes. Even if it doesn’t feel that way right now, the process of getting over a relationship may teach you some valuable lessons. Here are some tips on how to move on with your life. For mental exercises to perform after a breakup, read our Breakup Cleanse book.

Why do breakups hurt so much? Breakups hurt because they take something you valued away from you. When you lose something you really value, your body reacts with pain. We call this kind of pain ’emotional pain’. But emotional pain is, in fact, real physical pain. It activates the same areas in the brain as pain caused by injury. Your brain apparently interprets the loss as a kind of injury. While you deal with your emotional pain, keep the following in mind:

  1. You need to allow yourself to go through the feelings of loss. It’s a grieving process. You can perhaps speed up recovery but you can’t magically recover overnight. It is important to allow yourself to grieve for a while. You might feel angry one moment and sad the next. Whatever you feel, allow yourself to have those feelings. Continue reading
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Emotional Regulation as a Route to Happiness

Nearly anyone you ask about their goal in life will say that it is to be happy. They may answer in roundabout ways: To become a respected philosopher, to become famous, to become rich, to see my kids flourish. But these goals are not ultimate goals. They are means to the ultimate goal: Happiness. Much has been written about happiness. Aristotle equated happiness with flourishing, or well-being. Well-being, in Aristotle’s sense, requires living a good life by objective measures.

The notion of well-being, however, is only one of many senses of “happiness.” Psychological happiness is no doubt different from well-being. Happiness in this sense implies feeling happy, whereas well-being does not. Continue reading

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Breakup Interview 4

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

1) Age, sex, relationship status

25. Female. Single.

2) How long ago did the breakup happen? And how long had you been in the relationship when it happened?

A couple of years ago. Five years on and off.

3) How did you meet?

We met at a party. I didn’t really know anyone, except for my friend who invited me. It was around Christmas, and I was home visiting my parents. I noticed he was really cute, dark hair, dark eyes, really tanned. I think he noticed I looked at him, and he sort of just passed by asking if I needed a drink. Then we started talking, he was in med school. My plan then was to go to college but I was taking a year off. I worked as a waitress, now I am a manager at the same restaurant. We talked and drank all night and ended up at his place. I think we were both too drunk to remember much from that night, and when I woke up the next morning, I just took off, he has still sleeping. I didn’t think I would see him again. But somehow he managed to track down my number and he called two days later. We saw each other every day until the break was over and I had to go back home.

4) What was your relationship like?

For a couple of years it was long distance. He would come visit me every other weekend and during the summer break. I applied to some colleges close to where he was but I didn’t get in. In the meantime the owner had made me the manager because she was starting up a new place, so I suddenly had a really good job. I applied for some similar jobs closer to him but no one wanted to hire me without a college degree. At some point I just got so frustrated with everything that I just broke it off with him. It was just too hard to keep being long distance. Then my ex decided he wanted to do research and landed a post doc in my town. So we lived together for a year. That year was really good but then he moved away, and it was long distance again. I really hated it. Whenever he told me he had been out with friends or whatever, I imagined the worst.

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

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Emotional Regulation and Avoidance Behavior

Psychoanalysis and talk therapy are effective approaches in resolving old emotional conflicts. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a different kind of therapy that seeks to break connections between memories of past events and negative emotion processing without seeking to illuminate the cause of the connections. The techniques of cognitive-behavioral therapy can also be thought of as emotional regulation. Emotional regulation is not about counting to ten when you are angry or taking a deep breath. It’s about taming our destructive unconscious thoughts and emotions.

Though we cannot access the subconscious directly, we can access it via the symptoms to which it gives rise, for example, emotional overreactions, repetitive behavioral patterns, or psychological disorders. Continue reading

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Breakup Interview 3

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

1) Age, sex, relationship status

30. Female. In a relationship.

2) How long ago did the breakup happen? And how long had you been in the relationship when it happened?

About a year ago. Almost three years.

3) How did you meet?

He was my son’s after school teacher. I noticed he was really cute and always smiling. But he was my son’s after school teacher, so I never thought much about it. The first time it occurred to me was when that year’s school concert was coming up and he asked me if I could help out. He had been practicing with the second graders. On the day of the concert I came early and we were talking about the kids and getting them ready. When the kids went up on stage we were sitting next to each other on some chairs next to the stage. I remember thinking about how attractive he was. We were whispering to each other about the little mistakes the kids made and were smiling to each other. As we stood up to applaud at the end, he put his hand around my shoulders, very briefly, then he let go. I remember the chill down my spine when he touched me. I couldn’t stop thinking about him after that. The next few weeks I purposely showed up early. I knew my son wouldn’t want to leave right away. So it gave me some time with him. The kids were there and the other after school teacher was there too. But I just wanted some time to look at him. He always smiled when he saw me but I wasn’t sure if he saw me as anything more than my son’s mom. Then one day he took me by surprise. He asked me out on a date. I remember feeling a little weird about it, we were both single but he was my son’s after school teacher. But I said yes, and he took me to a restaurant the next Friday. After that we started seeing each other regularly.

4) What was your relationship like?

After about a year we talked about moving in together. In the end we decided not to. It was just too complicated. He didn’t have any kids, and he was younger than me and was still in college, and I was really busy with my son. But we saw each other three or four times a week. He stayed over once a week and every other weekend when my son was with his dad.

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

After we had been together for a couple years I was hoping he would propose. He was about to finish college, and I knew he was applying to grad school. But I didn’t want to take my son out of school and apply for a new job unless we got married. I sort of expected him to propose. But it just never happened. We even talked about him going away and what would happen. But he didn’t do anything about it. Eventually, I told him I wasn’t going to go with him, unless we had some kind of commitment. He wanted to know what kind of commitment, and I told him I wasn’t going to move unless we got married. He got very weird when I mentioned it. He said he had to think about it. Then I didn’t hear from him for several days. When he finally got back in touch, he told me he wasn’t going to marry me. I told him it was basically over then. We were both really sad the whole time until he left. We kept seeing each other, though. He also came down and visited a few times. Eventually he said he wasn’t going to visit anymore, he was just too busy with grad school. I think he found someone else, though I can’t say for sure.

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

He was never very involved with my son, luckily. So it didn’t affect my son much. But for months I was crying every night after my son went to bed. When he made plans to visit I felt jittery and in love. Then when he left I felt sad again. When he finally told me he wasn’t going to visit anymore, I was heartbroken. I didn’t try to get him to change his mind. I guess I had seen it coming. But I was still completely out of it. I called in sick at work for a week. I didn’t see anyone or go out for a long time. I managed to take care of my son, though.

7) How did you cope?

I don’t know. I just sort of did what had to be done, went to work, picked up my son, took him to boy scouts. I didn’t feel like seeing anyone. Once in a while I saw some friends but it had a hard time letting go. One of my co-workers convinced me to try online dating. I didn’t feel like dating at all. But she talked me into it and helped me set up a profile. I met someone there about a month ago. We are really serious about each other. After about two weeks we agreed to be exclusive.

8) Did you try to get your ex back?

When we were still in contact and he was still visiting I was hoping he would marry me, so we could move. I even considered moving without getting married. But when I suggested it, he didn’t seem thrilled about it. He wasn’t against it either. But I got the feeling that he wasn’t really prepared for it. I didn’t feel like bargaining with him. At some point I kind of knew it wasn’t going to work out.

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

I miss those weekends when my son was with his dad and we spent all day cooking. We would start right after lunch, go shopping, then come home and start cooking. We would sip wine and talk and cook for hours.

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

I am definitely a better cook now than I was before. :) I don’t think I am a different person, though. When I look back, I think it was mostly a fling for him. On some level he was just a fling for me, too, though it wasn’t fully clear in my mind at the time. I think I am more mature now and a lot more ready for a real relationship.

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