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Global Guide to Divorce

Jack Jack the Cat

Relationships

Relationship PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Portrait Of Young Shy Couple Sitting On Sofa At Home

Trauma from past relationships affects a current one.  The person may do the hot/cold dance – wanting to get closer, yet afraid of being burned again. Not only is relationship PTSD traumatic for the individual, but also to the other in the relationship. The person with PTSD can be afraid to acknowledge even to themselves, deep feelings – as this has led to heartbreak previously.

UK ‘s National Health Service (NHS) defines PTSD as an “anxiety disorder caused by very stressful or distressing events.” People with PTSD have high levels of stress hormones. When danger is perceived, the body produces adrenaline to trigger the fight or flight reaction. “People with PTSD have been found to continue to produce high amounts of fight or flight hormones even when there is no danger.”

 

How PTSD Manifests

 

In relationships, the person may bolt when things are getting serious. They are okay at the beginning – the Getting To Know You stage. When simple requests/demands are voiced by their dating partner, it can be overwhelming. “Do I stay and face a risk of rejection (whatever the trigger is)?”  This person dances into a relationship, then dances right out again.  Or keeps the partner at an arm’s length.  You might be kept in the friend zone or friends with benefits one without a commitment.

The individual with relationship PTSD can be self-medicating with either drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or all three. This is to numb themselves and tamp down emotions. It feels more comfortable to put up an emotional blockade around themselves. If they are like a zombie, then there is no opening for trauma to sneak in. This is a faulty protection mechanism which is harmful to relationships.  Insomnia is another problem for those with this PTSD. Some get flashbacks whether or not in a new relationship.

A person with dating PTSD is trying to avoid being hurt again. Also tries to avoid repeating patterns which led to the trauma -being left behind and heartbreak. The Lehigh Center for Clinical Research in Allentown, PA, USA states “Avoidance is a common symptom of PTSD. If you avoid communicating with your partner about important matters such as your feelings, because building a wall to protect yourself is easier, then you may be suffering from PTSD from your last toxic relationship.”

One man, Peter, had three traumatic dating relationships in a row and developed PTSD, complete with flashbacks. He opted not to date for 10 years.  He became an alcoholic trying to deal with this trauma. Attending AA meetings gave him support dealing with his life.  Now he is living with a fabulous woman.

 

What to do when dating a survivor of PTSD

  • Go Slowly.
  • Be Patient
  • Learn when to pull back. They may crawl into their cave when the relationship is getting too intense.
  • Give them space.  They not initiate contact for a few weeks.
  • Allow time to build a firm foundation. Then they can begin to trust you bit by bit.

It is a delicate balancing act

Pushing to get closer scares them away. Too little leaves them guessing if you are about to do a runner, which may have led to PTSD from previous relationship. Consider sending a short, to the point text “How is your day going?” or when something notable occurs. “I didn’t get the job” or “My short story won a prize.”  Responding is easier than generating a text.

 

Have a full life

When you are busy, your mind is focused on these activities and less likely to be dwelling on the frustration of this dating relationship. You are more interesting and enticing when you do get together.  They can laugh and wonder what antics/classes/events you are up to next. Your full life gives fuel for conversations.  Taking improv acting classes, having fun at karaoke an d so forth, helps you seem different from previous dating partners where trauma occurred,

You may have to accept their pattern of being there and then backing away. No one can change another person. One can express needs with “I” statements. “I need you to text or call at least once a week.” “I want to get together at least every other week.”

 

Questions to ask yourself

  • Are you getting frustrated with the dance backwards and forwards?
  • Are you getting something out of the relationship?
  • Are the good times outweighing the disappearing act?
  • Are you feeling secure in the relationship?
  • Are you both able to discuss personal history, problems, worries, etc?
  • Are they focused on you when you are speaking?
  • How strongly do you feel about them? In love? Or is it lust or merely a fascination?

Your dating partner is operating from fear. Fear is their reality. They are looking for indications that they may be mistreated again.  You may be able to slowly build trust and have a successful relationship. Communication is imperative.  Give it your all, and then if you need to bail, you know you did everything that you could. There is hope that after a bumpy start, your relationship can be successful.

 

 

 

How Single Parents Can Better Manage Stress

Life can be stressful for single parents and their kids. For parents, there is financial stress, job stress, interpersonal stress, and the overarching stress of having to raise the kids alone. For kids, there is a completely different type of stress – fear of the unknown and feeling self-conscious about coming of age without their mother or father in the picture. As a single parent, it’s hard to manage it all.

Here are some tips to help give you some ideas on how to minimize stress.

 

Cut Yourself Some Slack

The first tip is likely the hardest, but it’s something you must strive toward. Single parents often set high expectations for themselves – often too high. However hard it may be, try to cut yourself some slack. Despite any shortcomings, you’re doing the best you can.

 

Practice Relaxation Techniques

The seemingly obvious way to reduce stress is to remove the stressor from your life. Unfortunately, when it comes to managing a single-parent household, this isn’t always an option. So take steps to alleviate the effects of that stress instead. This is where relaxation techniques come into play.

Meditation can be very effective. Listen to guided meditations or try to focus on whatever brings you inner peace. Simply put, meditation is being mindful in the moment.

You can repeat a mantra, or you can just be in the moment consumed by your present surroundings. If your kids are old enough, you can even get them in on the practice. As Psychology Today points out, meditation is scientifically proven to boost all the best parts of life while removing negativity.

When you’re meditating, make sure you’re in a quiet space in your home to promote relaxation. Wearing comfortable clothes like leggings and a roomy T-shirt can also help you focus.

 

Get Your Kids Involved  

You’re not being a bad parent if you want some free time. You need it if you want to keep your sanity. One way to increase your alone time is to get your kids involved in activities. After-school clubs, sports, community arts groups — you can find an organization that specializes in facilitating the exploration of their interests.

Cultivate their love for community service and volunteering by registering for animal welfare or environmental organizations. If your child is athletic, team sports are a great way for them to meet new people and encounter new role models. Talk to your kids about their interests, and there will surely be something they’d love to get involved in.

 

Foster a Stress-Free Home Environment

You spend most of your time at home, so it’s naturally going to have a lot of impact on your stress level. A messy, disorganized home is a stressful home. Even if you aren’t a super tidy person, excess clutter can be a problem. This is especially true for a family run by a single parent who is already busy. Take some time to fully declutter your home from top to bottom so it’s more manageable. You can also use some sensory tips and tricks to reduce stress. Plants, essential oils, aromatherapy candles, and natural light can help people feel relaxed. Open those curtains and let the sun shine in.

As a single parent, you are managing a family alone. There’s no way around that. There will be a lot of stress to deal with — both your own and that of your kids. Try to combat this stress by getting your kids involved in engaging activities, making sure you have a clean, organized, calming home environment, and setting some time aside to practice relaxation exercises.

Author Janice Russell  believes the only way to survive parenthood is to find the humor in it. She created Parenting Disasters so that parents would have a go-to resource whenever they needed a laugh, but also to show parents they aren’t alone. She wants every frazzled parent out there to remember that for every kid stuck in a toilet, there’s another one out there somewhere who’s just graced their parents’ walls with some Sharpie artwork!

 

 

Grief May Surprise You After Divorce Or A Break Up

One may think they are over their relationship or got past divorce and later feel the loss. Grief can sneak up on you and catch you by surprise. It is like swimming in calm waters and a big wave comes up and slaps you hard. It takes time to mourn a marriage or love interest. One day you are fine and the next in tears. It can be lonely at first.  Grief comes in stages and one can move back and forth between them.

Denial

This is avoiding the situation. Pretending that things are not happening. Not dealing with reality, such as thinking if you do not hire an attorney, then the divorce will not happen. Or he/she will come to their senses and stay with you. It is delusional thinking. Denial may be manifested as carrying on as usual with the same routines as if nothing is happening.

Anger

This is when a person realizes denial is not stopping the divorce or a break up. The other person is firm, “It is over.” They have collected any personal belongings at your place and have dropped off yours.  In a divorce situation, it is no longer possible to deny the divorce is happening.   Papers are served. The other party’s attorney has contacted you or perhaps a court date has been set. One is furious that their life is in such an upheaval. Anger can have one reacting instead of responding. Reacting is impulsive and not thinking with a clear head.

Anger can lead to revenge – such as using the children as weapons. Too often in the news, a parent kills the children in a divorce situation to get back at the other one. It can be trashing a spouse’s reputation on social media.

Bargaining

It is hoping that if you change your behavior then the divorce or break up will be stopped. One may try and make a deal with the other person.  “I can change.  I won’t do (whatever annoyed them) anymore.” Or with a marriage, “I will agree to a divorce if we go to a weekend retreat to try and patch up our relationship.”

Being in the bargaining stage is acknowledging the situation which is not done in the denial stage. It is moving along in the grief process. It is wishing for a miracle to happen.

Depression

Depression in grief is not the same as the chronic clinical one. Rather, it is numbness. Feeling as if stumbling around in slow motion. There may be brain fog or lethargy. The body is worn out from having the strong surge of emotions from earlier in the divorce process. These ranged from shock, panic to despair. It can be a time to take a pause and nurture yourself. The stress hormones, such as cortisol, have flooded one’s body. This quieter time can be a way to chill out and regroup.

Acceptance

This last stage might come during the proceedings or a bit later. One has come to terms with what happened – no longer being married. When it is a break up, finally realizing that person is no longer in your life.  One acknowledges the loss and begins to look ahead to the future. A new chapter is opening in life which can include changing careers or relocation. Taking up new challenges and hobbies. It is a time of exploration – whether it is a self-assessment or travel to enticing destinations. Time to start a new chapter in your life. Many of us change careers.

This is based on my article published in the Divorce Magazine out of Toronto.

10 Signs it Might be Time to Talk to a Divorce Attorney

Marriages are complex relationships that have ups and downs. According to the APA, 40 to 50 % of husband and wife in the United States takes divorce. This complicates the choice to divorce. In today’s post, we’ll go over some of the most typical warning signs that your marriage is on the verge of divorce, as well as when it’s appropriate to contact Divorce Lawyers Toowoomba

 

1.    You’re getting into a lot of fights.

 

Disagreements may be a good aspect of a marriage if they are used to negotiate and grow. Unfortunately, harmful behaviour such as blaming, name-calling, and even emotional or physical violence may occur during fights. If your disputes with your spouse are becoming increasingly heated, it may be time to explore a change.

A famous relationship researcher, John Gottman, discovered that he could predict if a couple will divorce with 93 per cent accuracy. According to him, it all boils down to four behaviours: criticism, defensiveness, disdain, and defensiveness.

 

If these activities are normal in your relationship and you’ve tried and failed to prevent them, it’s an indication that your marriage is on the verge of falling apart.

 

2.  Your children are suffering as a result of this.

 

Children are extremely sensitive, particularly when it comes to the persons in their life who are the most precious to them. For many couples who are unhappy in their relationships, it takes a detrimental influence on their children for them to recognise it is time to make a change. If your child has observed several conflicts between you and your partner, you may want to consider the influence of watching this conflict on them.

It has been shown that, in certain cases, children’s emotional well-being increases after their parent’s divorce.

According to one research, 82 per cent of children who have suffered family breakdowns would desire that their parents divorce if they are unhappy. Most parents want to model good relationships for their children; if yours has been less-than-healthy recently, it may be time to consider the next step.

 

3.  Your self-esteem has collapsed.

 

Is your spouse supportive and appreciative of your greatest attributes, or is he or she critical of you? Everyone has the right to feel comfortable about themselves, particularly in the context of their marriage.

Even if you feel valued by your partner, persistent disagreement inside a relationship can sometimes make people feel inadequate to live up to the standards of a healthy marriage. If your self-esteem has recently suffered, it might be a sign that you are not in the ideal relationship.

 

4.  Your values are the opposite.

 

Perhaps you had huge aspirations before you married, but they died out when you found your partner didn’t share them. It’s also normal for couples to admit their differences at first and then expect they’ll ultimately get on the same page; perhaps this was the case in your relationships, and you couldn’t meet in the middle.

Opposite thinking and values, regardless of the situation, may produce a lot of difficulties in a relationship and make it difficult to imagine a future together. If you want a large family but your partner does not want children, you may find it difficult to reconcile your opposing desires.

This may be a good moment to take a step back and consider whether you’re prepared to compromise in order to continue in your relationship.

 

5.   The negatives overshadow the positives.

 

A hard patch is one thing; every partnership goes through them from time to time. On the other hand, if you constantly feel as if a dark cloud is hovering over your marriage, you may want to reconsider. Which issue is more complicated when you list the positives and negatives of your relationship? Approach this with a cool mind and evaluate recent life events and challenges that may be affecting your relationship right now.

 

6.   You two have grown apart.

 

Sometimes partners begin life on the same road but wind up with opposing ambitions. “You either evolve together, or you grow away,” as the phrase goes. If you and your partner don’t have the same connection you did when you first met, it might cause big problems in your relationships.

The emotional distance between couples can make communicating your wishes and needs to each other challenging. To make matters worse, a lack of communication has regularly been identified as one of the leading reasons for divorce. If you and your partner feel as if you are no longer communicating with each other, you may want to consider divorce seriously.

 

7.  You’ve made changes, but nothing has changed.

 

Many couples give counselling a go before calling it quits. Some people also strive to make small changes in their everyday lives that will make them both happier. If you believe you’ve done everything and nothing has strengthened your relationship, it might be a sign that you’ve exhausted all choices and should contemplate divorce. Nobody wants to remain miserable for the rest of their lives; you have to draw the line someplace.

 

8.   A Partner is Having an Extramarital Affair

 

For some people, infidelity means the end of a marriage. They are unable to forgive their partner for having an affair. Some couples can overcome infidelity and maintain a devoted relationship.

If your partner wants to be with the individual, the marriage is gone. It is a clear indication that it’s time to talk to a divorce attorney.

 

9.   Trust Issues

 

Another pillar of a happy marriage is trust. You must have faith in your spouse to remain faithful and make decisions that are in the family’s best interests. It might be difficult to reestablish trust if your spouse refuses to accept his or her role in losing it.

Trust is supported with respect. It may be tough to sustain a marriage if your partner does not appreciate you. Because of a lack of trust and respect, you may struggle with a variety of difficulties, including investment choices, child-raising decisions, and job choices.

 

10.   Intimacy is lacking.

 

A lack of emotional and physical closeness indicates a developing loss of interest in the relationship. It might be a sign that your partnership is in danger if you feel more like roommates than two individuals in love.

 

Taking the Next Move

 

When you begin to explore divorce, you should speak with a family divorce attorney who can clarify your alternatives. If you have a cooperative partner, you may have a Friendly Divorce and guarantee that each partner’s financial and emotional requirements are fulfilled. It’s critical to find a family law attorney that listens to you and advocates for your rights so you can feel like your old self again in no time.

 

Bio-

 

If you are considering divorce, information is critical in determining how to proceed. Family Lawyers in Toowoomba provides a 100% private, no-obligation, fixed-fee first consultation with Divorce Lawyers in Toowoomba to discuss your case and explore your choices. If you need our help preparing for a divorce, please contact us, and we will gladly lead you through the procedure at your pace.

 

Divorce Or Break Up After the Holidays

People who are only staying together for the sake of the kids may find holidays extra challenging. A parent who was trying to stay married until at least her youngest daughter was close to going to college planned a cruise over Christmas. Yes, she only had to be with her spouse in a festive group setting, but the cruise only slightly delayed the inevitable. She filed for divorce the following February long before her target date. The holiday cruise was merely a distraction from her toxic marriage, not a solution.

The holidays can shine a spotlight on problems which are bubbling up just under the surface. Busy day to day activities with a packed schedule can mask issues that are not being addressed. When one or both have long job commutes or kids with jammed agendas, this enables a couple to pretend that everything is okay. When interacting with each other (or attempting to avoid it) during holiday time off from work, spouses can feel empty inside.  When holidays are lonelier being married than they ever were when single, this is a warning that something needs to be done. Holidays can be the big wakeup call that you really do not want to be with your partner for the next set of holidays the following December.

After a few excruciating New Year’s Eves with her husband, a woman thought over their relationship.  Coming to the realization that she did not ever want to be alone with him, pushed her into ending her marriage. Although now divorced, her solo New Year’s Eves are something she anticipates rather than dreads.

The holidays are over and people are thinking about New Year resolutions or changes that they want to make in their lives. This introspection is one reason that divorce solicitors and mediators are extra busy in January and February. Feeling hollow and that the holidays were lacking something, can point that all is not well with an area in life. If things are going fine at work, with kids and so forth, then look at your marriage. Some spouses do not see that they are avoiding each other by participating in a whirlwind of holiday events.

The holidays may have highlighted some hidden issues, so see if your relationship can be salvaged. Talk to your spouse about your relationship to determine if they are also having questions or issues. Some do this when walking which makes it easier to open up without having to make eye contact. Others may choose to discuss their relationship at the pub or over a glass of wine. If things are not resolved, consider marital counselling.  If your spouse refuses to do so, then go alone.

13 Reasons Why You’re Single And What To Do About It

When you are successful in your professional life because you’ve worked hard at it, it stands to reason that working hard at your love life in the same way will lead to the same result, right? So why aren’t your efforts yielding the desired outcomes? Why are you still single?

The following checklist will help you uncover 13 possible reasons and what to do about it. However, don’t let this list be a source of despair, because there is a solution!

  1. You don’t really believe there are great single men out there. Perhaps you think all men are just after 1 thing… Limiting belief systems are like sets of tinted glasses through which you view an altered reality, selectively seeking out and focusing on what you deem to be true to support your idea of reality.

  2. You are following the same destructive pattern by dating the same guy with a different face over and over again. We all know what the definition of insanity is, right? You need to start doing things differently if you want a different result.

  3. You are holding on to your past: The secret to closing the door on your past is letting go with love and forgiveness. If you don’t let go of your past it will destroy your future. But it’s not so easy, is it? (See point 1…)

  4. You are scared. You may have a fear of dating, of falling in love, being emotionally attached, trusting someone, losing someone close to you. You are not alone! Pretty much everyone seems to be affected by some degree of fear of social rejection, and this fear can be debilitating. It keeps you from taking action and tricks you into believing that you are better off staying in your comfort zone and striving to be happy there and not facing the fact that you are indeed miserable.

  5. You have Expectations! Oh NO! You have this perfect image of who you want to date and be in a relationship with and, try as you might not to, you expect your date to fit a certain type of pre-defined criteria. 100% chance of things going wrong – and you know it, but you still….

  6. Self-esteem issues anyone? If you are looking to enter into a healthy relationship it is best to start developing a healthy relationship with yourself first and foremost. ‘Like’ attracts ‘like’. We think we can hide low self-esteem but it shows up in so many unattractive ways. If you don’t think you’re worthy, how can someone else think so?

  7. Confidence. Closely related to the above, but worthy of its own point. Confidence is the key to dating success. If you aren’t confident about your worth, why would you expect someone else should take time out of their busy schedule to get to know you better?

  8. Boundaries! Boundaries are sexy and they tell men that you are valuable. Boundaries are evidence of high standards and values, indicate healthy self-esteem, and attract people who recognise what you live by and expect those close to you to live by. Even the most confident and successful career-woman can be tempted to loosen those boundaries to ‘keep a man’. If you are one of those, then you will always be someone else’s doormat.

  9. You don’t think you can be truly fulfilled without a partner, and it shows. There’s nothing attractive about that at best, and at worst it reeks of desperation. You should be living a full social life doing things you love doing with the friends and family you adore. Relationships flourish in the right social environment.

  10. You underappreciate the allure of your feminine energy. Many of us are out of touch with our dominant feminine energy and therefore lead unbalanced lives. Men are attracted to femininity and don’t respond well to masculine women in a romantic environment.

  11. You lack commitment in the area of love and relationships. You can still be living a full life, enjoy a successful career and be committed to finding a relationship. Yes you can indeed have it all! It shouldn’t drop off your ‘to do’ list in favour of chance. Where your energy goes, that’s where you go…or stay.

  12. You are dating from a mind-set of scarcity. You can’t imagine finding anyone, let alone opening your eyes to the abundance of choice that will become available to you when you turn that mind-set inside out and go forward with an ‘abundance mind-set’. I know it’s easier to sit back and wait for destiny to come knocking, but sorry, that’s not how it works. You therefore need to get out there and start creating choice in your love life.

  13. Singles are finding dating tough and telling each other just how tough it is. Well it’s tough because we are losing our social competence, especially when it comes to dating and relationships. Work on your interpersonal and face-to-face communication and conversation skills, work at being approachable – and you will be.

Perhaps you need some help?

The fact is that when it comes to your love life, the ‘work hard’ approach is clearly not enough, and if you don’t address the above, it often only leads to disappointment and frustration.

You need to stop and think about doing things differently! You know you need a new approach – and you need it now, because your intimate love relationship will affect pretty much every other area of your life. It will determine your happiness, fulfillment and overall quality of life more than any of your career success or achievements ever will.

So what are you to do if you are serious about having a loving and lasting relationship with someone amazing? Find yourself a reputable Love Coach to support and love you every step of the way. To your success in love!

Author of article is Bonita Grobbelaar. Biography:  Relationships and the way we embark on them have changed, and Bonita Grobbelaar believes in helping her clients to do the work from the inside out. Women who have succeeded in all areas of their life but love, have benefited from consulting with Bonita. She puts her clients back in the drivers’ seat of their lives, and helps them to map out a journey to their intended destination in love.

A believer that all women not only deserve, but are fundamentally entitled to a life they love, in the company of a solid partner through the good and the bad, Bonita specialises in guiding and supporting successful women around the globe towards healthy, lasting relationships.

Her industry experience spans over a decade, and during this time, Bonita has helped thousands of women to find and keep love.  Her own experiences saw Bonita living through ten years of negative dating and a failed marriage. Questioning the reasons for this led her to a journey of great self-discovery, where probing and testing brought her to the revelation of why all areas of her life, except love, were successful.

Today, Bonita is happily married and has two daughters. She experiences deep gratitude for a life she loves daily, and teaches her clients how to apply what she has learned, to help them find balance and relationship success in their own lives.    www.lovecoachbonita.com  

Join my NEXT FREE workshop: Unlock Lasting Love, Without Relying On Online Dating: bit.ly/UnlockLastingLove   Find time in my calendar that suits you best and let’s figure out what’s stopping you from finding the love you want and how to change that: lovecoachbonita.com/apply/

What Should You do if your partner is a bully during your divorce

Divorce, in normal terms, is an agreement where both parties agree on terms and conditions in order to get separated.  Well, generally there is the consent of both the spouses and their families while taking the divorce. However, there is not always an ending with the mutual consent one of the spouses makes it difficult by being a bully. Of course, you need to hire a family law attorney Salt Lake City or divorce law attorney California in order to secure yourself from being bullied.

Hiring an attorney is definitely helpful yet there are some measures you can take if you find out that you are being bullied by your spouse and settle on mutual grounds that are helpful for both the parties.

Protect yourself with mental harassment

There are times when you may feel that your partner is crossing the limits and becoming abusive and you may feel threatened. Well, both mental and physical abuse is illegal in most countries. You can file a complaint against your spouse in any matter you feel harassed or if you are being threatened.

Create a supportive network around you that can help you and work as a witness as it is difficult to recognize that you are the victim of abuse and keep them approachable to help you out.

Consult your divorce lawyer

You must consult and inform each and everything to your divorce lawyer Salt Lake City. Of course, your partner being a bully does not want to communicate with you, then you must let your lawyer communicate. You must be confident enough to inform everything to your lawyer as your lawyer will understand the situation and will not let you get into the uncomfortable zone with your partner.

Keep everything legal

If you know that you cannot pull up your points in front of your partner is a bully and does not allow you to convey your thoughts properly. In general situations, it is advisable that they should sort out through mediation or collaborative law but your situation is unusual as your partner will not allow you to reach mutual consent.  In such cases where one of the partners is abusive, the decision should be taken by an independent judge. And in court, the behavior of your partner can turn out to be useful for you, just make sure you have a skillful lawyer who is aware of the tactics and the nature of the court. A family judge will take the decision on the most ethical note that can save you from all the trauma you are suffering because your partner is a bully.

Conclusion

All the divorce cases are not the same, and all the cases don’t end in mutual consent easy agreement. There might be some exceptions such as your partner being a bully, fraud, or an extramarital case. Each case requires time and attention and keen observation. So if you are in a situation where your partner is a bully, mark the measures that are mentioned above, they can really help you out to overcome the situation. I wish you all the luck that prevails!

 

 

Tips For Learning The Skill Of Small Talk -The Way To Connect With Others

Life’s  upheavals  bring change which may necessitate  finding a new set of friends.  One can have just gotten through a divorce or relocated for a job. Small talk is the way to establishing connections with others.  You may feel like a nine-year old kid again on the first day at a new school.

It can be challenging to make small talk. Individuals have avoided parties and gatherings because the thought of engaging in this is scary. Small talk is an important skill – whether on the social scene or in networking. It enables one to make crucial contacts in their field. Small talk is necessary to establish a relationship which can result in a sale or a regular client.

Small talk starts out on the surface. You are both fishing around initially to discover a common link – an interest or activity. It might be the stage of life you are currently in – getting a divorce, or being parents to a toddler, etc. When the common link is found, then a portal opens to a deeper place of communication. You took the plunge and are now having a fulfilling conversation.

There are ways to make small talk less painful and more spontaneous. Attend an event. You have an instant topic of conversation – the concert, rugby match, school play or whatever it is. A co-worker who loathes small talk joined several MeetUp.com groups. The initial conversations are focused on the specific purpose of the group (hiking, books, travel). She can handle talking about the subject and picking up tips from the other members.

At a party, a good ice breaker is to ask how a person knows the hosts. You may find out that you both have things in common. Other sure topics to get things started, is to inquire about pets/children/grandchildren/holidays.

I comment on a person’s unique jewellery or article of clothing. This often leads to “I bought it in India” and we go on from there. Even something as banal as the weather can start an involved conversation on sports. I talk about how weather impacts my running and they may talk about skiing.

An acquaintance feels small talk can be superficial. She does not like it when strangers at a gathering, ask her questions. She feels this is an invasion of her privacy. People may ask questions to loosen your tongue. These individuals are merely trying learn a little bit about Rose. If she would volunteer information first, then it would not seem like an interrogation. Rose could turn the table around and ask them questions, thus not feeling on the spot. People have different levels of what they consider is private. An introvert like Rose, finds it more challenging to open up about their life.

In this digital world, small talk seems to have disappeared. Texting gets right to the point, by-passing the nuances which are picked up when being face-to-face. When in person, if one skips small talk and communicates in the digital style, it would be perceived as too abrupt.

Small talk takes practice, like other things in life. One does not pick up a violin and play it like a virtuoso on the first try. Nor be proficient at getting goals when learning football. Start in little increments. Talk to a person standing in the queue at the grocers. Chat with a sales clerk. Work up to more challenging encounters, such as at a wedding reception or Bar Mitzva celebration. I have made close, life-long friends by starting with small talk.

I am also a dating consultant and release weekly podcasts.     datingcoach.coach

Tips On Dating For Introverts

Going on dates can be intimidating for the introvert. It is easier to stay at home and watch romantic films than go meet potential dating partners.  Fear can stop people. Fear of getting tongue tied or sounding stupid can keep individuals from venturing out of their flat. There are ways to have dates and be in one’s comfort zone.

Think about going out in a group.

You can laugh and have fun without the pressure of carrying on a conversation solo.  Members of the group all contribute comments. There is less of a feeling of being judged, when in a group setting, as opposed to only being the two of you. If you hit it off with someone, a private conversation is still an option.

If a person seems interested in you, it is less nerve-wracking to issue an invitation to a group activity. Say, “A bunch of us are going to the Greek Festival on Saturday. The food and music will be great – want to join us?”

Go where there is a community table.

I do this in several coffee shops and have talked to interesting people. One coffee shop is open late with led lighting which changes colour. It has DJ training classes which ensures edgy music and a lively vibe.  I write in this place and encounter creative types like me.

Spend time with outgoing friends.

They will talk to others and draw people to your group. You can meet the individuals who come over for a chat. A potential date may be on the shy side too, and find talking to you in your group a bit less of a chance for rejection.  Various podcasts give tips on how to meet people when by yourself or in a group.

Practice making connections. 

Talk to people who are not potential dates – grannies, kids, a parent. This is like training wheels when learning how to ride a bike. Practice engaging others in conversation – the person behind you in the queue at the cashiers. I talk to people during the long wait at the post office. It makes the time pass quickly and the parting winks are nice.

Engage in conversation to those around you.

It will lead into talking to those who could be interesting to date. You are not targeting them specifically, when you talk to everyone.  I chatted to people in a queue for a festival.  One of them asked me out and we got engaged ten months later. One never knows.

Introverts can give off the wrong non-verbal message that they are not interested.

An introvert may turn away or avoid eye contact even though they are hearing wedding bells in their head. This is a deterrent for the other individual to pursue any more contact with the introvert. Force yourself to maintain eye contact. Turn towards the potential date. If you freeze and your brain cannot form a sentence, at least smile and nod.  Anything to show interest and prevent them from misunderstanding your feelings and walking away.

Connecting with those you are interested in as a date, is a skill.

One does not learn how to play the violin overnight, so do not expect to be dazzling the first few times you attempt to meet people to date.  Consider making friends with a variety of people.  By doing this, an organic relationship can develop into a lifelong partnership.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine  thedivorcemagazine.co.uk

7 Ways To Express Your Love For Your Partner Without Saying It

Love is that effortless emotion that can transform even the most impassive person. Sometimes we miss out on the signs or moments where we can express our love, without saying a single word. These are simple gestures towards our partner. Understanding the tiniest detail of your loved one shows how much you love him/her.

Saying ‘I Love You’ always works and will end your fights magically. Here are a few other creative ways to express your love for your partner without having to say it.

  1. Share your deepest fear/secrets  

Our deepest and darkest fears or secrets are very personal. Sharing these with your partner will make him/her believe that you trust them entirely. This can make them feel really special and loved. It expresses your faith in your loved one and assures he/she is the most important person in this entire world. Also, it allows your partner to help you get out of it if you wish to. Growing together in love, eliminating flaws or accepting them, finding serenity is all that matters.

  1. Attention to Details 

When does he/she wake up? What is his/her favorite dish? Or favorite T.V show? Small details can bring immense happiness. If you know your partner’s favorites, what keeps them happy or what puts them off, you will be able to express your compassion towards them. It will show that you care for the minute details only to bring that smile on your partner’s face. For instance, opening the car door for her, placing the food on her plate, keeping the hot water ready for his/her bath. Small acts matter in love. And these are not just a onetime action. Practice it to engrave it in your nature. Be genuine and don’t make it pretentious.

  1. Listen  

Listening involves paying interest to no matter what your partner is saying. Put your phone down, and prioritize the person in front of you longing to communicate. To listen to your partner is to show that you genuinely care for him/her. It shows your involvement physically and mentally. Look at them and show your concern, and when the need arises, give your opinion. Your partner might need your consideration or assistance with something which they might have shared just yesterday. It is the simplest way of expressing your affection without the need for uttering a word.

  1. Send Gifts  

Yes, and there is no need for any special occasion. Randomly pick a flower and surprise her. Send gifts to his/her office, giving them a chance to chuck out tensions. As said earlier, a gesture of your love, your presence that you are there for him/her forever, makes a huge impact. That is how you can convey love. Send your girlfriend a dainty piece of casual white dress to let her know that she is the angel of your life. Or surprise him by planning for an adventure, a dinner date, where you could cook for him and eat with some wine like Stella Rosa Black and champagne like Totts or maybe a football game date or any other sport he enjoys the most.

  1. Understand Each Other’s Ambitions or Choices 

At the end of the day, you and your partner are two separate individuals with different aims in life. Your ideologies are compatible, but ambitions might differ. Your way of expressing affection should involve an understanding of that. Compassionate love is about appreciating by allowing your partner’s individual growth and success. It becomes a matter of respect. Give your partner space. Believe it, giving each other space will make your relationship healthier. How much you value your partner’s dream to achieve something. Learning how to cook a new dish is also an achievement. Celebrate it without any reason to show her love.

  1. The Magic of Touch 

Animals express their love through touch, and that is always mesmerizing to witness. The magic of touch is effective enough to heal even an ailing person. Hold hands while watching a movie. Make your partner feel exceptional because he/she has you to support and stand by any day. A simple act of touch and cuddle can tickle that spark between you every time. A kiss on the forehead itself speaks a thousand words.

  1. Stay Positive  

‘To err is human; to forgive, divine.’ Focusing too much on flaws will bring negativity to your relationship. Instead, ignore those aspects and center your relationship on positive things. What binds you together? What do you love about him/her? Life is too short to hold on to grudges or fights. Be thankful for who your partner is. Imperfection makes us the person we are. So, figure out how to accept those and move on. That will show your true love.

Conclusion:  

Communication is the key to build that mutually engaging relationship where both can pour out energy and soul in making each other feel special every day. Compromising at times on petty issues will prevent unnecessary arguments. Love might mean different for each one us. Do not conclude that your partner doesn’t love you on the basis of these. He/she might express it in another way. An act of kindness, a piece of thoughtful advice, touch, is some everyday actions that show love and compassion.

Author’s Bio:
“Jessica Smith has been writing for a few years now. She is a writer by day and reader by night. She was a very quiet child but writing always inspired her and that is why she began writing in her free time. She loves reading, be it a newspaper, a book or anything. She also loves cooking, traveling and dancing. She wants to be a successful writer as writing is her passion.”

 

 

 

Your Partner Is Not A Mind Reader

Some people getting divorced stated it was partly because their partner did not fulfil their needs.  These individuals said if their partner really loved them, they would know what to do.  No, your partner is not a mind reader. How can a person expect another to know what is going around in their head? A spouse does not intuitively grasp what the other person is thinking and feeling.   Be specific, such as “I had a rough time at work today and want to chill for a few minutes.”

Relationships are built on good communication and not on assumptions. Ask questions to ensure that you are both on the same page. Do not assume that you both are feeling the same way. Use I statements to be clear in your communication. “I feel shut out when I sense something is wrong and you won’t talk.”

People have dealt out the silent treatment as if it were a punishment.  An American man fell in love with a European woman. When she was upset, this woman would sulk for a few days and refused to have a discussion no matter how much her partner tried. He could not read her mind nor make amends for perceived acts which may have bothered her. The man eventually walked away from a person whom he loved. Counseling may have helped this couple to communicate more effectively and avoid a break-up.

Help a partner to share their thoughts by asking open ended questions.  “You are more quiet tonight, what is going on?” Make it clear that you have no idea, so your partner does not expect you to telepathically know how they feel. A couple near my son with a young child, are getting divorced. The wife’s voice comes through his wall, saying “You don’t love me. If you did, you would have known that I wanted to be held when I went to sleep last night.” Or “You should have realized that I had a bad day at work and made dinner.”  The husband tells my son that if he had a clue how she felt, He would have cooked the meal and so forth.

Be specific what you need. My male friends want to fix whatever needs fixing – my problem, car or wherever it is.  I have to be clear, since they cannot read my mind. “I only want you to listen right now. I am going to vent about my co-worker and then we can move on to something else.” The guys then get that I want to let off some steam. If I do not express what I want, then before I am done with my story, these fellows have already formulated an action plan.

Please read more in Divorce Magazine www.divorcemag.com/blog/your-spouse-is-not-a-mind-reader/

How to Maintain a Relationship – People Share Their Secrets

This is a cross processed photo of a young African American couple with the city behind them.

Tips on how to avoid potential pitfalls when dating. It can be puzzling how other folks stay together for half of a century when your relationships last for a few dates. A variety of couples graciously revealed their secrets to what makes a relationship last.

Just let go

At the end of the day, let go of the trivial things which happened. Do not get worked up over the small stuff, but rather focus on what is important. When we carry all of these insignificant grudges around, they become a big load. No one is perfect – so give your partner some slack. Do not keep score. “I did this so you had better do that.” One acquaintance kept a tally of grievances and when she reached a high number, they got a divorce. A friend kept track of who did what chores. She expected them to be split 50/50 even though she worked fewer hours outside of the home. That ended in divorce. Your spouse’s actions are not motivated by malice, so just let go. We all have annoying quirks.

No one has the power to  “make” you happy

People have divorced or broken up with partners when that individual no longer “made them happy.” We choose our feelings and no one else has the power to make us feel a certain way. It is in our control to be happy or not. Long -term couples said that they required other relationships besides the marital one, such as being in clubs and with friends. The Dalai Lama states “True happiness does not depend on an external being or thing. It only depends upon us.” When becoming unhappy, that is a red flag to have a discussion with your partner. One woman informed her husband that she wanted a divorce because she was so unhappy. Talking this through, they discovered that she missed her old job and was miserable being a stay-at-home mom. Once back in the workforce, she was content with her life.

Follow your gut instinct

A priest said that he talks to both mothers when doing weddings. He tells these ladies not to interfere with their children’s relationship. Do not let your friends interfere with your relationship either. Friends can mean well, however give lousy advice that is detrimental. They may have their own agenda, which does not align with yours. Two co-workers were close and the friend played racquetball with the other’s husband. She pretended to support her married pal, but the end result was that the couple got divorced and the other two got married. Trust your gut instinct and do not rely on others to offer opinions on what to do. I knew it would be a mistake to get married to my now ex-husband. An older family friend kept insisting it was only “pre-wedding jitters” and to go through with it. Big mistake listening to her.

Be  careful about what you say

Be careful of what you confide to others -especially when going through a difficult time. Friends will side with you and may not like your partner after hearing your complaints about him or her. They often continue to loathe them after your problems are resolved. You may be told you are too good for your spouse, when personal details are overshared with family and friends. What you say in anger can have a negative effect on their viewpoint of your partner and of you remaining in the relationship.

Share

Couples stated that sharing was important, which includes sharing child care responsibilities. One father said that he is “the bottle washer” since his wife also works full time. Sharing household duties means looking around for what needs to be done and not waiting for a partner to ask for help.

Have fun and a sense of humor

Many said having a sense of humor keeps things running smoothly. Laughter connects people and having fun adds spice to the relationship. Couples have taken up Salsa dance lessons, golf, joined gourmet dining clubs or got into volunteering. They have become active in community issues or rediscovered a long-lost passion in life. These people are reinventing themselves together on the same path. Life events have kept some individuals from traveling in the past. I have met many couples in second marriages exploring the world and ticking off exotic places from their Bucket Lists. Others have gotten involved in projects together, such as renovating a house for retirement is a sunny locale.

At a fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration, the wife said that “commitment is love – you can’t have love without commitment.” When they went through rough patches, they each knew the other was committed to the marriage and was not going to bolt. Secrets to lasting love is to have kindness, be respectful of your partner and put them first in your life above others.

Originally published in Divorce Force   www.divorceforce.com/