Love Answers

How do I open myself up for a fulfilled single life?

Hi Tori! Thank you for reaching out and asking this valuable question on the topic of making improvements in your relationships. Welcome to the BetterHelp platform! I can tell that you have been looking for ideas on how to prepare for your next relationship as well as improve and build upon your current friendships. What are some of your relationship goals? I hope that my response to your question will assist you in making changes in your current and future relationships. Sometimes advice and guidance is all we need in order to take the next steps! I can tell that you have been feeling motivated for change based on what you had written in your question. It is a really good sign that you have been reaching out for support. Who else is in your support system? What institutions would you consider to be supportive for you? Are you familiar with the cycle of change? What are some things that you can realistically do as you prepare for change? Here is a link to more information on the cycle of change: https://ououd.casn.ca/media/documents/the-cycle-of-change.pdf Also, here is a link to the circle of support work sheet in which you can continue to identify your natural supports: https://www.citn.org.uk/resources/circle-of-support/ In addition to reaching out for support and preparing to make change, I can see that you are trying to focus on your needs. Have you taken some time to focus on your feelings, as well? First and foremost, I recommend that you take some time to focus on recognizing your feelings and assessing how your emotions may have changed over time. I will share with you the link to the feelings wheel in order for you to practice feeling identification strategies: https://ytp.uoregon.edu/sites/ytp2.uoregon.edu/files/Feelings%20Wheel%20in%20PDF.pdf It appears that you have already begun the process of setting some really good goals for yourself! I realize that you would like to learn how to live a fulfilling, single life. That sounds really great! What are some of the things that would make life fulfilling for you? Perhaps you can make a list of your hobbies, talents and interests in order to have a better understanding on how to answer this question. What are some of your personality traits that you would consider to be your greatest strengths? Take some time to assess your own personal favorite qualities that you recognize within yourself. In addition, you mentioned in your question that you had moved to London for love. It sounds like that plan did not work out in the way that you initially expected it to. I realize that this experience could come with some feelings of disappointment or perhaps even feelings of devastation. Those are just some of my first thoughts. I am wondering if you are familiar with the four types of Greek love- stergo, phileo, agape and eros. I understand that you had moved to London searching for love and did not find the type of love you had anticipated. Perhaps you can still find love but maybe a love that comes in a different form!Below is the link to an article that explains the four types of Greek love for your review: https://annointing.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/love-types.pdf On another note, I understand that you were able to recognize some of warning signs of codependency in your last relationship. Have you noticed codependency signs in your past relationships, as well? Take some time to clarify some of the signs of codependency. I would like to encourage you to look into more information on the topic of codependency. Below are the titles of two books that you could read in order to explore more on this topic: "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie "Understanding and Treating Co dependnce" by James A. Kitchens Also, check out this web link for a quick synopsis about understanding co dependency: https://www.mhankyswoh.org/Uploads/files/pdfs/CoDependency-UnderstandTreat_20130813.pdf In responding to your question, I would be interested in hearing more about what you have been doing to live a fulfilling life so far. What can you do to take action in order to live a more fulfilling life? Would you be able to envision yourself feeling fulfilled in other ways? I recommend that you try to visualize your life feeling fulfilled. Would you be willing to prioritize yourself over other people? It sounds like you could benefit from self care skills. Essentially, from my perspective, self care skills mean practicing any activity that brings you joy and fosters a sense of self love. It is okay to be selfish. Not in a bad, rude and "no one matters but me" way but rather in an "I love you" (yourself) type of way! I hope that you can carve out twenty minutes or so in your day to practice self care. Here is a link to some more ideas for self care skills: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5c154cf9372b964a03cbccdb/t/5c488d65352f534aa63aa58a/1548258661324/100+Coping+Skills.pdf I recommend that you begin the process of journaling or creating art on a regular basis. Would you be willing to participate in creative writing or therapeutic drawing interventions? You could keep a daily journal as a means to record and keep track of your thoughts and feelings. At this time, I would like to recommend that you you begin attending individual counseling sessions on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. It sounds like you could find meeting with a therapist one on one will be helpful for you overall. In individual therapy, you can have the chance to address your concerns with attachment. Ask your therapist about the attachment theory! You may also want to consider attending a group therapy session or a groupinar. The group therapy process has very unique benefits that you may find to be helpful for you! Lastly, I want to thank you again for your time asking this important question. Also, I want to wish you all the best on your therapeutic journey on BetterHelp. I hope that my response has been helpful for you in some way. Take good care and have a nice day!
(LMHC, ATR-P, MS, NCC)
Answered on 11/17/2022

I can’t see my future. It makes me scared. And I just broke up with ex. It makes it much harder.

Hello Jina, Thank you for providing your question to the BetterHelp platform! First, I hope this response finds you well, settling in to New York and doing your best to be as kind to yourself as possible, especially as you adjust to all the changes you have recently made in your life. I know relocation is not easy and may be even harder for you, as you  have had unexpected setbacks, such as your breakup with your now ex-boyfriend, to contend with in between. Second, I want to give you confidence and assure you that, despite the language barrier, you did a wonderful job articulating yourself here, describing the situation at hand and the emotional consequences you are experiencing very well. I understood perfectly.  I will address your questions as they were written. My thoughts are as follows: 1. If you are wondering how you can arrange living in the US, specifically in NY with limited resources, it is first important that you examine the resources you have at present time. Do you have a driver license, birth certificate, a working visa, etc. In order to get a job, get benefits, help from the department of social services, or other entities that require citizenship or active visa status, you must hold these documents. If you have limited resources, NYS has a plethora of options, a simple google search or visit to your local department of social services can give you more options related to those who require assistance when they have a status as an immigrant. If you want to maintain here, you have got to get yourself aligned with resources and supports first and foremost before the weather really turns and the holidays begin. Things get complicated and take much longer during these times. 2. Depression in the context of a breakup is not uncommon. You have just lost a long-term relationship where you saw your life going one way and it went another. It can feel like grieving the loss of a dear loved one. These things take time and intention to heal. You can spend time going over whether it was your fault or their fault, whether you were right and they were wrong or vice versa, or you can decide to live your life with the current truths present and accounted for - they are that the relationship has ended and you must move forward, building new patterns where you love yourself and treat yourself the way you had hoped your partner would. You need to do your best to take care of yourself physically - take walk during safe times and get fresh air, eat well, pattern your behaviors in new ways that are not related to the old relationship so you can show your body and your mind that you are moving forward with confidence in spite of the heartache you are enduring. You can do it! 3. Self-love requires self-trust, self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-reliance. Engage in behaviors that create the narrative that you will always show up for yourself, that you will protect yourself. Talk to yourself kindly as you navigate your new environment, be open to doing things that make you feel happy all on your own and savoring those moments. This is how we build self-love by saying we love ourself and then truly acting like it. You want self-love, give it! Everyday, every minute. I hope this is helpful to you. Please return to the BetterHelp platform should you have more questions. We love them and love to help. I am wishing you all the best of luck and light during these hard times. Rooting for you always!
(MSSW, LCSW, LICSW)
Answered on 11/16/2022

How do I commit myself in to a relationship?

Hello Lisa, Thank you for reaching out for your question. I will try my best to answer this as best as possible on the limited information.First of all, it is very hard to find good men these days.  Society has taken a modern turn and communication and steps to build a relationship don't seem to really exist.  People are wanting to "rush order" dating and relationships and they usually end up with someone who has a personality disorder or co-dependency issues, especially on a dating application where that platform is really attractive for someone who quickly wants their ego fed.With that said, if you are wanting to find someone of quality, I strongly recommend that you do things that you do and love and then someone who is also interested in the same things will find you there. For example, if you love to kayak, play tennis, etc. then gravitate to those type of activities.  In addition, volunteering for community service especially during the holidays is a nice way to help out.Lastly, when you do meet someone, the key is to take your time.  Take one step at a time and really get to know someone instead of rushing in a physical relationship.  This way, you can study their personality, see if they are a good fit and you have things in common, and develop a sense of trust.  It takes time to build trust and most people rush into things and then end up getting hurt.  It also might be good for you to seek professional counseling with a licensed therapist to see if you keep gravitating towards the same type of toxic guy. Perhaps, there is a pattern where you are drawn to more toxic men and this is why you continue to get hurt.  A licensed therapist can help you under why you are drawn to certain men and help you shift out of old patterns and perhaps help your "picker" find more trustworthy fellas.Hope this helps and I wish you the best on your journey of love.  Remember, do things that you love, learn to love yourself, and in return... you will attract love to you.
Answered on 11/15/2022

Should I wait?

Hi there, Sorry your heart aches!  I have the same question you do, why now?  Did you ever ask him that?  Did something happen that you are aware of or was it out of nowhere that one day he changed? Do you believe him about his reasons for stopping to see you?  Why does he still call every day?  I know you might not know why either. It sounds kind of unusual but could it be true that he is in therapy and trying to fix the situation in some way?  If he still calls, it could be that he is trying to stay connected to you despite being unable or willing to be in a relationship.  I would suggest the next time you talk, be aware of how the conversation makes you feel, both during and after.  Do you feel uplifted and expanded or sad and upset after talking to him? I guess to be honest I hear some "red flags", but I get that if he seemed wonderful you might not want to completely give up on him and the relationship.  However, if he is clearly telling you he doesn't want to be in a relationship now, then I would suggest starting to try to accept that.  If someone else is interesting to you (to date)...be safe about it but I say go for it!  Stay busy if you can! It doesn't sound like you are in a committed relationship and you are worthy of one if you want that. There's nothing wrong with a dating break and some time being single either. Maybe you could kind of leave the door open for the future but if "Mr Right" won't even see you it might NOT be right for now.  I get that you might be hurt, confused and frustrated.  But so much in life is timing.  For some (kind of odd) reason the timing isn't right for him, then yes if you can, move on! Those are my thoughts without knowing more. Also try not to take it personally, as is sounds like whatever issues he has are his. Thanks for your question!  Good luck! 
Answered on 11/14/2022

Why do I feel like I'm going to be alone forever?

Thank you for taking the time to reach out and for posing such a courageous question.  I can certainly feel the pain contained within your question and can only hope to provide more clarity toward your experience with my answer.   Loneliness is a deeply existential experience that contains a unique and profound paradox within its overall presentation.  Often, loneliness is produced by underlying sub-feelings, experiences, and perceptions of being abandoned, rejected, alone, stuck, ostracized, or isolated.  Yet, we do not realize that when we experience these difficult sub-feelings, we are very much connected to other human beings.  Truly, loneliness is a common experience shared by many individuals on a cross-cultural level.  Naturally, when we have multiple experiences that foster a deep sense of loneliness, the fear can easily become: "Is this awful experience going to last forever?  Am I destined to remain alone for eternity?"  Often, when we meet these anxiety invoking thoughts with facts, hope can be salvaged.  Although I do not know the full extent of your circumstances, I invite for you to consider the facts pertaining directly to your experiences.  Allow yourself to separate what is actually known from what is being imagined or dictated by the emotion of fear.  As human beings, we become easily prone to living in the imagined future.  Unfortunately, as much as we would like to predict the trajectory of our lives, we can never be absolute certain about anything.  All of this is to say, that even if you have had profound experiences of loneliness in the past, the future remains poised with opportunity.   Strength and growth can also be elicited whenever we can begin to recognize behavioral patterns that we tend to easily fall into, follow, or employ within our lives.  Perhaps, the question of, "What personality characteristics am I most attracted to within people?," can serve as a preliminary platform that further motivates future insight and direction.  Awareness, Boundary Formation, and Commitment tend to prove as being useful within our navigation of friendships and relationship dynamics.  When searching for love, we must be mindful to practice self-compassion, empathy, and true self-love.  As an early Pre-Socratic Philosopher once stated, "How can we give what we do not have?"   Becoming comfortable with entering into and exploring the love in which we have for ourselves, may prove as being a guiding light that is meaningful in our quest toward self-discovery.   While the pain of the past requires renegotiation in order to derive meaning and incorporation into our lives, we can be empowered from the lessons in which we have learned and applied.  Success is in the trying.  Returning to the safety of ourselves and allowing the love in which we have for ourself to be sufficient, may assist in remedying any hurt that still lingers or remains.  Similarly, once we have a stable foundation that is rooted firm in self-love, future encounters of abandonment or isolation will prove as being less painful. 
Answered on 11/13/2022

Why do I still love my exes but i have a boyfriend

Hi, thank you for your question! I know it can be difficult to reach out for some help, so I would like to thank you for taking this first step.  In the subject line it's states that you are thinking of your exes even though you're in a relationship. Further in to your question you outline that you feel that you partner isn't understanding of what you're bringing and that you haven't said "I love you" yet as there is a hesitant feeling of being the first person to say this, also you expressed that you don't know if you do "Love" them.  When looking at the first part, we could be comparing our old relationships to this one and seeing how we felt towards those people and how we feel toward our current partner. This could be something as simple as the basic communication isn't there. The appeared lack of understanding can be draining as you can feel like you're not being heard, this can and will add a strain to the relationship. In the last part you expressed not knowing if you love them as you can't say it due to not wanting to be the first. There sounds like a lot of unknowing in the relationship, what I mean by this is that you may not be getting what you want out of it.  If you're not getting anything from the relationship we can explore speaking only to our partner and seeing how to progress and have a future. If however we've done this and nothing appears to have changed we then need to look at if the relationship is worth keeping and what is best for ourselves moving forward as it's not healthy to stay in a relationship just for companionship. When it comes to relationships we also need to explore the relationship with ourselves as it's important to have a solid foundation in order for us to have boundaries in relationships, to keep ourselves safe.  I hope this has been useful, if you would like to explore this further please don't hesitate to get in touch! 
Answered on 11/12/2022

How to make life decisions when I am in a confused state?

Hello Sam, Thanks for your question! I am hearing that you have some pretty mixed feelings about this relationship and about whether or not to continue with it. While it's normal for the dynamic in a relationship to change over time, it sounds like you aren't totally comfortable with how things are with your partner now. Perhaps you are wondering whether he is as invested in your relationship as you are and whether it is worth it for you to continue putting in effort when he may not be meeting you halfway. For a situation like this, I think it can be helpful to try taking a step back from the question of what to do to ask yourself what matters to you in a relationship. Communication? Trust? Mutual support? It can be helpful to spend some time thinking about this for a lot of reasons, but in this type of situation it may help shed some light on what about this relationship is working for you and what about it is not. For example, it sounds like it is important for you to feel like a priority and to spend time with your partner, and it sounds like these things might not be happening right now. Love is often an important part of a relationship, and at the same time, love alone may not make for a relationship that feels good.  I think it can also be helpful to check in with yourself about how long you are willing for a problem to continue without being resolved. You don't say how long you and your partner have been together, only that you are beyond the beginning phase. There are a lot of things that can contribute to communication problems including stress and other factors which may not be in your control. How much time are you willing to spend arguing? How many times can you accept him missing appointments with you before you've had enough? It is useful to know what your limits are as you consider how to address some of these problems. A third thing to ask yourself is whether you would consider relationship counseling. People often think that counseling is only for a relationship in crisis, as a last resort. In fact, counseling can be helpful to relationships at any stage, for a variety of issues. You mention that you and your partner don't seem to be understanding each other, which could have to do with how you communicate with each other. It's normal for couples to struggle with communication, but instead of continuing to have such a hard time, it might be possible to learn some new skills that can help you get back on the same page. If your partner isn't interested, it might be worth pursuing on your own, just to have some space to talk things through. Finally, I think it is useful to ask what your gut is telling you. Are you waiting for permission to let go of this relationship? Are you wishing for encouragement to hang on a bit longer? We have gut instincts for a reason, and it could be that deep down you already know what you want to do. It may help to notice whether there are other emotions blocking you from following through - for example, guilt about leaving, or shame about continuing. It can be helpful to identify those emotions and work through them; however, you don't have to wait for your feelings to change before you take action.  Thanks again for your question. Whatever you choose to do, I wish you good luck! Warmly, Kate
(MA, LPC)
Answered on 11/08/2022

I don't understand why no one is ever attracted to me or shows interest in me

Hi PS! Thank you for taking the time to reach out for support on the "Ask a Licensed Therapist" forum! I appreciate you sharing many details about your question related to loneliness, isolation and establishing meaningful relationship connections. I can tell by the information that you have provided that you are looking to further your relationships and address your challenges with intimacy, dating, attraction and romantic relationships. Based on your question, I can tell that you are a very likable person and that you have a strong support system. As I am sure that you already know, having close relationships with family and friends can be an integral part of anyone's social experience. A strong social support system can be vital in managing the challenges of every day life. It is a really great sign that you have close friends, supportive parents and feel good about these connections. I would like to encourage you to continue to build upon these supports. In addition, I can see why you are still feeling alone if you are coping with rejection. Self confidence can be an attractive quality for many individuals. Perhaps you can start the relationship building process by working on improving your self esteem and rebuilding your self confidence. If you are looking to assess your own self concept, I recommend utilizing the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (RSES) as a means to measure self esteem over time. Here is the link to this free, validated and reliable assessment: https://wwnorton.com/college/psych/psychsci/media/rosenberg.htm I would be curious to know more about your thoughts on dating. What would a satisfactory relationship look like for you? What are some aspects in a relationship and qualities of significant other that you are searching for? What are your current positive traits, qualities and strengths that you could bring to a relationship? It is true that dating isn't always easy and that there are many challenges that come with the process of establishing a romantic connection. What have your strategies for dating been like thus far? Would you consider the prospect of online dating? Some people meet their partner through a mutual friend, a friend of a friend or by being connected to someone who knows them both. Have you tried reaching out to your friends and expressing your dating concerns? Do you think that one of them could connect you to another single person who is looking for similar things? It would be good for you to leave your comfort zone behind and meet new people when the opportunity arises to do so. Maybe you can ask some couples how they met in order to give you some ideas for your own future love story. One aspect of dating entails having a set of shared interests with another individual. How would you describe your hobbies and interests? If you are willing, you may want to consider creating a running list on the topic of your strengths, talents, interests, etc. Having an interesting hobby maybe helpful for you to nurture your self confidence, as well. Perhaps you could meet someone special doing one of the activities on your list of interests! Keep track of what you like to do and the things that are of interest to you. When it comes time for a first date, you will be super prepared and be ready to express your hobbies to the person who is getting to know you! I would like to encourage you to begin writing in a therapeutic journal about your strengths as well as explore some barriers to having a fulfilling relationship. Emotional expression can be an incredibly powerful tool when reflected through the journaling and writing process. As a provisionally licensed art therapist, I always recommend making art as a means to communicate, express and process any thought, feeling or experience. The holistic interventions of art therapy may be beneficial for you to incorporate into your therapeutic journey. Did you know that there are many added benefits to art making which includes self esteem building? An art therapy related activity that could work for you is to draw a picture of a potential first date. Take some time to imagine, create and allow yourself to discover a sensory experience. Where would your ideal first date be located? What sounds might you hear? What things would you see around you and surrounding you and your date? What might your date look like? Would there be any tactile sensations, tastes or smells that stand out for you? By creating this guided visualized imagery, you are giving yourself a chance to better understand the things that you are looking for. Perhaps there will be an opportunity for this experience to manifest itself into your life if you would like it to. Aside from recognizing your talents and strengths through writing, creating therapeutic drawings and utilizing sensory visualization exercises, I would like to recommend that you begin individual counseling services on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Having a safe space for you to share your thoughts, express your concerns and come up with a plan for change would likely assist you in building self esteem and attaining your goals. Going to group therapy sessions or a groupinar may be beneficial for you, as well. Essentially, it is up to you what you decide to do regarding your therapy. Lastly, I would like to share an inspirational quote with you written by an anonymous individual, who is full of dating wisdom: "Poor self esteem- everyone is beautiful in their own unique way. Everyone is capable of giving love and deserves to receive love. Everyone." Thank you again, PS, for asking this valuable question on the BetterHelp platform. I truly hope that my response was helpful for you in some way. Take good care, be optimistic and stay positive. Try to have some faith that things will work out in the right time and in the right way. I want to wish you all the best on your therapeutic journey! Have a wonderful day.
(LMHC, ATR-P, MS, NCC)
Answered on 11/08/2022

How do I tell my mother I do not want to go to her wedding without her cutting me out of her life?

Hi Lore, thank you for the question and I'm sorry you're in that hard situation. Let me start by simply stating that relationships are hard, no two ways about it, especially in the close relationships like parents and siblings and spouses. They bring us some of the best feelings and loveliest moments of life, and they can cause some of the greatest heartbreak with the bitterest of feelings. Probably at least half of the situations I deal with as a mental health provider involve relationship issues as a central problem. So, if it brings you any comfort, which it might not, just know that you're not alone in your struggle. Well, to begin examining your specific question, I'd want to know more about the reasons why you don't want to attend the wedding. Is it your own unresolved hurt or resentment from your parents divorcing? It is your genuine worry or concern about the relationship not being good for your mom? Or is it some other reason? You have told her you don't support the union "for several reasons" so maybe it is all of the above and more. Did you express those concerns to her early in their relationship or was it just when they announced their intent to marry? How did she respond to you when you expressed your concerns? Sorry for all the questions, that's just how my counselor brain works. You obviously won't be able to answer my inquiries, unless you decide to engage in ongoing counseling with me, but maybe you’ll let those questions help you reflect on the situation and gain some additional insight from them. So, without enough information to give you very specific answers, I'd like to share some of my general thoughts with you at least. It seems like this problem really comes down to boundaries and how firm you are willing to make them with your mother in this instance. Communication of boundaries can fall on a spectrum from aggressive to passive, with assertive and passive-aggressive falling somewhere in between. Assertive communication is usually the goal we strive for in relationships we want to maintain, but for a variety of reasons even in those relationships, we sometimes find ourselves being aggressive or passive or both. An example of aggressive communication in this situation might look like, "I hate your fiancé and I hate that you're marrying him, and I never want to see either of you again." That might not go well toward any future relationship with your mother, if that's what you want. A passive example might be, "I'm so selfish for not supporting my mom in this, I just need to bury my thoughts and feelings about it so I can be there for my mom." Passive-aggression might look like, "I'll go to the wedding but I won't like it and I'll act miserable the whole time so my mom and that idiot fiancé of hers can see how much I disapprove." And there might be a lot of different assertive examples we could think of, but they'd all look basically like this; "mom, I understand that you love this man and probably have your own good reasons for wanting to marry him. My concerns are (insert your reasons in simplest most straightforward terms possible), and for those reasons I can't genuinely support you marrying him. I respect and love you, so I want to be honest and clear with you to prevent this from becoming a wedge in our relationship going forward." Then, you've maturely and authentically put the ball in her court. However, a word of caution here, you get to choose your boundaries and actions, and you can even ask someone else to respond to you with certain thoughts and feelings and actions, but when the rubber hits the road you don't get to choose their reactions. You have to give others the same freedom to choose that you’ve taken for yourself. But, that's no reason to just throw your hands up and ignore or go against what you genuinely want in order to control or diffuse another person's thoughts, feelings, or actions. If you ponder the questions I asked above about the reasons you don't support the union and don't want to go to the wedding, and if you assertively express thoughts and feelings to your mother with the boundary that you will not attend, and she still cuts you out of her life, then the problems are deeper than you just not supporting this marriage, and I'd recommend a course of family counseling. But I trust that with these ideas you'll be able to get through this rough spot with your mom and come out the other side still loving each other even with your differences and boundaries. Best wishes!
Answered on 11/05/2022

How can my girlfriend and I reignite the spark? And how can we better improve our communication?

I would suggest for you both to remember the first time you both got together or met. Also, remember when and how you fell in love. Talk about those times with one another to rekindle the relationship. When it comes to communication, I suggest learning how to fight or learning how to have conversations. This is a must. Using "I feel" statements, are quite powerful. For example, "I feel ________ when ______." Be mindful of tone of voice when having discussions. Remember to speak to each other with love and respect. Taking a 5-minute break, if you feel the conversation is getting heavy, might also be helpful. Do mindful breathing exercises during the 5-minute break, then revisit the conversation. Couples therapy is also very helpful. Having fruitful conversations about the positives of the relationship is key. If it is a long-distance relationship, evaluate if it would be better to move closer together or keeping it like it is. Perhaps each of you taking accountability for actions can also help. When there is ownership of something that went wrong, you or your partner may feel heard, understood and cared for. This also shows that there is an awareness of what struggles are happening in the relationship. Making a list of values that you both share and don't share can also help bond you both. Therefore, you can see each other's differences and learn to embrace the various characteristics of your relationship. This can help you both grow with one another. Deciphering the struggles in the relationship, which led to the break-up, can also illustrate what not to do next time you both give the relationship a go again. Decide to show up for yourselves in the relationship and making communication a priority is also a great way to set the standard for your relationship. Compromise and trust is key. Spending time with one another in person can also be powerful. Hugs and looking into each other's eyes stimulate the bonding and love hormones in your brain. It can bring you both closer to one another. Making a conscious choice to write love notes and send them to one another, will also further help with communication. 
(PsyD, MA, LMFT)
Answered on 11/01/2022

How do I cope with a breakup?

Hi NaeNae! I am so glad that you reached out for some help! This sounds like a hurtful situation that is difficult to navigate on your own. Sometimes our emotions get in the way of us figure out and decide what is best for us. Try looking at it from a perspective that does not include your strong emotions-just the facts! What is it that is making you unhappy? Maybe the feelings of not being appreciated enough? Or possibly him not showing emotions? Is this something the two of you can work through together? It's okay if that is not what you want, moving on is okay too! Either decision is a difficult one to make, but always keep in mind that each decision will lead you down a different path. There is no right or wrong path in this situation, just two different ones that can both have beautiful outcomes.  Focus on what will make you happy. When coping with a break up it is important that we focus on what is happening in the moment, not in the past. What is wonderful about your life in this moment? For the next five minutes focus on, where can you find joy, peace or whatever else you need to be content. Then do that again until you get through an entire day of being in the moment. Some moments won't be so easy and that's okay too. Let yourself feel those feelings and then let them pass and go back to taking baby steps at staying in the moment.  It's also okay to look to the future. What are your goals and dreams? What are you doing in this moment to accomplish them? If you aren't working on anything specific right now, that's okay too. It sounds like one of your goals is getting through this break-up. What do you see yourself doing when you are feeling like yourself again? Once your emotions have calmed down a little bit, start thinking about your next steps. Not before you are ready though! It's okay to take as much time as you need to get through this challenge!  When you lose someone you love in any manner, whether through a break-up or death or something else, it is normal to grieve that. Grief is not only for death. Any loss can be grieved. The stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and then acceptance. These stages are not linear, one day you might feel like you have reached the acceptance stage and then all of the sudden you are back to anger and denial. This is normal and okay. Over time you will find that you are in the acceptance stage for longer and longer. Sometimes, a break-up can be even more challenging to grieve than death because there is not always the finality that comes with death. The possibility and hope of being with that person again can come back up. This is where your boundaries come in! Set boundaries that let you think about this person in the same manner all the time and this process will go more smoothly.  Good Luck NaeNae! I wish you and your daughter the best! 
Answered on 10/31/2022

Should I be starting a relationship so soon after ending one?

Hi Jacie! Thank you so much for asking this valuable question! I can tell that you are wondering about a plan to proceed with your next relationship. It sounds like you are debating whether or not you should be starting a relationship soon after ending your last relationship. Essentially, the answer to your question will have to come from you. I will do my best to provide you with some insight and guidance to help you make the best decision for yourself as possible! I know that you mentioned that you and your ex were together for sixteen years until you had separated due to his recent deployment. I would say that sixteen years is a long time to be in a relationship with someone. What were some of the highlights or important memories of this relationship? Did you make the decision to separate due to the physical separation of his deployment? Was this a mutual agreement for you both? Was there a time in which you two had considered getting back together after the deployment had ended? I can certainly imagine that staying with someone who is at risk of deployment at any given point would be a significant challenge for a relationship. It seems like you made the best decision for yourself at the time and chose to end the relationship. In addition, it sounds like since you have separated from your ex, you have started seeing someone else. Now that you have begun a new relationship, are you questioning whether or not you are ready to continue with the relationship with that individual? In what ways are your comparing your current boyfriend with your ex? How would you say that these two individuals are similar? What are some of their major differences? Take some time to contemplate some of these questions. I would like to encourage you to make a list of the qualities that you like to have in a partner. If you are comfortable with making a pros and cons list about each of these relationship experiences, that may be beneficial for you, as well. Perhaps you may also benefit from constructing a timeline of your relationship history. If you truly feel like it is simply too soon to start a new relationship, then it is okay to take a step back, take it slow, take a break and spend time focusing on yourself. Your needs are incredibly important and it is vital to take some time for yourself, especially in between ending a relationship and starting a new one. I realize that sometimes relationships are back to back or even overlap. It is ultimately up to you to decide if it is too soon for you to be with someone new or if you are ready to start fresh with someone else once again. I know that you mentioned that you have been trying to feel happy for some time now. What are some of the things that allow you to feel a sense of happiness? How would you describe your hobbies, interests and values? Perhaps you can begin the process of identifying your thoughts on happiness  and create a brainstorm, write a bullet point running list or start a word splash of your ideals for happiness. I think it makes sense why you would seek happiness for yourself. Maybe you can come up with a flow chart or a step by step list on how you can achieve happiness now and in the future. The fact that you would like to curl up into a ball may indicate that you are searching for a sense of comfort and security. I would like to recommend two different EMDR resourcing activities for you to try. The first one is the Butterfly Hug. The butterfly hug may bring you a sense of security. For this exercise, you cross your arms across your chest and envision your hands as butterfly wings. Gently tap your hands on your shoulders, arms or elbows and envision the flapping wings of a butterfly. This method is thought to bring physiological sense of calmness to individuals who are willing to try this tapping method. Here is a link to the an article of the butterfly hug directive and a YouTube video on this technique : https://emdrfoundation.org/toolkit/butterfly-hug.pdf https://youtu.be/iGGJrqscvtU I also think that it would be a good idea for you to try the inner peaceful place guided visualization activity. In this directive, you can imagine a personalized place of peace. What do you imagine seeing in your peaceful place? What sounds might you hear? What smells would there be? Take your time to imagine any tactile sensations or tastes that you would experience in this place of peace. No matter what you envision, remember that you can trust yourself to return to this place of inner peace at any time. Here is the link to the script for the inner peaceful place strategic: https://emdrtherapyvolusia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Calm_Safe_Place.pdf In addition to trying out some of these techniques, I recommend creating some art work that depicts your vision for yourself and the future of your relationship. One idea could be to draw an image using lines, shapes and colors to represent the feelings, hopes and dreams of your current relationship. Perhaps you might be willing to color in the shapes of a coloring page, such as a mandala. You can also create a small sculpture using clay or Model magic. Contemplate what symbols you might choose to represent your feelings and experiences in your relationship. Lastly, I recommend that you begin attending individual counseling services on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. There is an option for you to attend a group or a groupinar on the BetterHelp platform. Trust in the healing nature of the therapeutic process. Thank you again, Jacie, for taking the time to ask this important question on the BetterHelp platform. I want to wish you all the best on your therapeutic journey!
(LMHC, ATR-P, MS, NCC)
Answered on 10/30/2022

I'm awful with my feelings in my relationship. I can't seem to be empathetic, any suggestions?

Dear Berlin: Many thanks for your question. I'll try to help you with some tips and prompts, that may give you a better understanding on "How to be empathetic" with someone, in this case with your partner. Understanding your partner's feelings: it seems you have some understanding of this ("she is upset", " hurting her"); are there any other feelings that you can identify? Trying to imagine or visualize hurting your partner's feelings around situations, events; this requires some guidance on how to do it, perhaps yourself improving your own ability to visualize, and then apply that to your partner. Trying to wonder and imagine your partner's thoughts: here, you can use another technique of imagining your partner responding to you and to your attempts to communicate and your type of communication. To practice mirroring and internalizing your partner's feelings as yours; this requires practicing the identification of your own feelings and making your partner’s feelings as yours. Understanding and acknowledging your partner’s feelings: trying to identify the origin and factors that contribute to your partner’s feelings, recognizing and accepting them as your own feelings, and identifying with similar factors that happened to you. To have a different view and perspective from your partner's point of view, think the same way as your partner's thinking, and be open to have your partner's own input. Practice the role reverse, how would you feel if your partner communicates and treats you in the same way? How is it for you? Be focused on what your partner says and feels and confirm your own understanding, being sure what she said is what you understood. Finding your own way to measure and have feedback from your partner regarding your efforts to be more empathetic, reviewing your expectations around what outcomes you are looking for, having your partner to help and guide you on the way to be communicated, related and supported. And some more tips and prompts can be added to this requirement, as daily practice, improving communication, intimacy, and other behavioral recommendations. The exploration and discussion of the implementation of these suggestions, as well as your own input on how to improve, learning from mistakes and moving on, being hopeful and determined to overcome your difficulties, can be explored in individual therapy sessions. What is important is your motivation and asking for help around a process that is possible to improve. Many thanks. José
(Master, of, Science, Counselling)
Answered on 10/29/2022

I've had multiple broken relationships. It seems like something is wrong in my behavior and I need to change

Hi Archana! Thank you very much for asking this important question! It is great that you are reaching out for support at this time. I can tell that you are wondering if you need to make changes in your behavior due to the outcome of your last few relationships. It sounds like you are looking for some guidance on how to move forward and process your past relationships. Based on your question, it seems like you are feeling concerned about the various behavioral patterns in your past relationships. It is a really good thing that you are practicing self observational techniques and are willing to commit to change if needed. It appears that you have thought a lot about this and are contemplating what you should do next. Think of the cycle of change as a downward spiral and remember that change does not necessarily occur in a linear format. I know that you had mentioned that you have had multiple broken relationships in the past. I would be interested in hearing more about the context of how you perceive these relationships to be broken. It may be important for you to clarify this for yourself, as well. For example, was there heartbreak, broken communication patterns or a gap in time in which you took a break from the relationship and then resumed? Perhaps you mean something else entirely. At this time, have some hope that one day you will have a relationship that will last. Building healthy, trusting and strong relationships can take a lot of effort, energy and time. Do what you can to practice the principles of gratitude and patience. It might be helpful to write a gratitude list about the things you have learned in your past relationships. In addition, it sounds like you might benefit from creating a timeline which depicts your future goals for your relationships as well as outlines the length of time you spent with your partners in previous relationships. I recommend utilizing colors to depict the emotions that you felt at any given point in time. There is no time like the present to begin the process of healing through drawing, writing and creating. I understand that you may be worried that perhaps your behavior is the root cause of the problem. It is hard for me to say whether or not you need to change your behavior without me knowing exactly how you behaved in the relationships. I realize that you do not know what behavior you would like to change either. Take some time to practice self observational skills and begin to reflect on how you have behaved in the past. It sounds like you have an inkling that you may be giving too much in a relationship or perhaps too little. Are you thinking in terms of giving too much love, energy, effort, trust, etc.? What would you give more of in your next relationship, if you could? I also would like to encourage you to focus on your own strengths and expectations in a relationship. What are some qualities that you admire in a partner? What are some of your strengths and qualities that you bring to the relationship? If you could change the outcome of at least one your relationships, what would that look like for you? I recommend creating a running list or a word splash in order to further keep track of and express your thoughts and ideas. I realize that exploring some of these questions may be a challenge but have some faith in yourself that you can do it. I want to encourage you to trust in the process. Would you be willing to write down your thoughts in a therapeutic journal? I think it would be a great idea to keep track of your concerns on paper. After writing your thoughts down, you may be able to come up with some themes and connect the dots about what you could be doing and what you would do in a relationship. I will share with you the concept of the equality wheel which, in essence, encourages equal partnership and healthy relationships. From my perspective, this concept provides individuals and couples with hope that equal relationships are possible and can be attained. The equality wheel can certainly be a powerful, healing concept especially due to the fact that it is depicted in a circular formation. Circles are thought to be naturally healing as well as comforting in some cultures. After reviewing this resource, you may have a better understanding of what behaviors you could potentially change or what behaviors you want to see from your future partner. Here is a link to the equality wheel: http://www.ncdsv.org/images/equalitywheelnoshading.pdf Lastly, you may want to consider taking some time for yourself. It is okay to take a break from being in a relationship as you work on building your self care skills and your support system. In the meantime, you can make small changes in your life and to your routine. It is completely up to you how you want to move forward in the process of change. At this time, I would like to recommend individual counseling sessions on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. The opportunity for therapy can be a foundation for change. In addition to one on one therapy sessions, you may also benefit significantly from group therapy sessions. The group therapy process is a great way to build a therapeutic alliance with other group members. Also, there are some options for groupinars on the BetterHelp platform in which you can learn more about how to improve your skills and process your experience in your past relationships. Thank you again, Archana, for taking the time to ask this vital question about your behavior and relationship patterns on the BetterHelp platform. I hope that my response was beneficial for you in some way. I want to wish you all the best on your therapeutic journey. Have a nice day!
(LMHC, ATR-P, MS, NCC)
Answered on 10/29/2022

I dont know whether to stay in my relationship?

Hi Rand! Thank you for taking the time to ask this valuable question! It is really great that you are reaching out for support about your relationship and are considering setting relationship goals for yourself at this time. I realize that you may be feeling uncertain about whether you should stay in your current relationship with your significant other. Ultimately, the decision is up to you and your partner. My hope is that I can guide you in this decision making process by providing you with some ideas on how to make a decision either way. How long have you been in the relationship with your significant other? What themes have you noticed coming up in regards to the arguments that you two have been having? I know that you mentioned that your partner is always starting arguments with you. How long has that been going on? I can tell that you are willing to take accountability and responsibility for certain things in situations when you may be realistically the one at fault. This speaks to your maturity and strength as a partner. I would also like to know how you choose to respond to your partner when arguments do arise. Also, how are you feeling about the situation? How do you react to your partner when they are constantly arguing with you? I can imagine how you must feel when you are blamed for certain things that are not actually within your power to control. Have you had the chance to speak with your partner about the nature of their concerns? In addition, have you spoken with your partner about how the arguing behavior makes you feel? Answering some of these questions may help you in understanding more about you yourself and your relationship. Would you consider journaling about this experience? There is a journal feature on BetterHelp which provides specific journal prompts for you to write about on a daily basis. Therapeutic writing can be incredibly helpful in making sense of specific experiences and is beneficial to the healing process. Try writing an entry that is based on free association techniques or create a world splash that describes your relationship. This technique will allow you to visually see on paper what you are thinking. Free association is when an individual writes down the first thoughts that come to mind in the moment and steps back from evaluating the thoughts or having judgement.  I am also wondering if you would be willing to create a therapeutic drawing of your relationship. You may want to consider creating a kinetic couples drawing. Essentially, this means that you will create a drawing of you and your partner doing something, such as an activity or shared interest. This may give you further insight into your current relationship. Another art based approach would be to draw you and your partner as symbols. Think about what some of your hobbies and interests are and draw yourself and your partner as something in a symbolic and representative way. These art based and drawing activities can be inspiring for you to take part in as a couple. As for one more drawing related idea, you could color in a picture, such as a mandala, together as a team. The circular shape of the mandala can be incredibly powerful, healing and soothing. Coloring within a circle can be relaxing and has been scientifically proven to lower heart rate and reduce blood pressure. Take turns sharing colored pencils, markers or pens in a shared the space. I hope that you two can practice some team work together and maybe put together a puzzle or build a garden or a sculpture. How can you demonstrate to your partner that you want to improve and that you are paying attention? Based on what you wrote in your question, it seems like your partner is dissatisfied and would like you to do more activities with them. Would you be willing to make a plan to do one activity together per week? Could you both carve out time for a mutually agreed upon activity? You could start this practice by going on a ten minute walk with your partner twice per week. This will also give you two the opportunity to share your thoughts and talk about how things are going in the relationship. It sounds concerning that you have stopped doing the activities that you used to enjoy. Would you say that you are noticing a loss of interests in the activities that you love? Is your relationship impacting your drive to participate in your hobbies? I want to encourage you to take some time to focus on yourself. The best thing that you can do in any given moment is focus on taking care of you. Here is a list of coping skills that you can incorporate in your self care routine: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5c154cf9372b964a03cbccdb/t/5c488d65352f534aa63aa58a/1548258661324/100+Coping+Skills.pdf At this time, I will send you the diagram that depicts aspects of a healthy, equal relationship. I hope that things improve over time and that you are able to get to a point of a more equal relationship. http://www.ncdsv.org/images/equalitywheelnoshading.pdf At this time, I recommend individual counseling sessions on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Talking about this situation with a neutral provider might help you to manage the feelings that you are experiencing. When in therapy, it is truly important to trust in the therapeutic process. You can also consider going to couples counseling sessions now or in the future. I hope that the two of you can begin to take on a sense of shared responsibility if you do decide to move forward in the relationship. Thank you again for taking the time to ask this question. I want to wish you all the best on your therapeutic journey. I sincerely hope that response has been helpful for you in some way. Take good care and have a nice day!
(LMHC, ATR-P, MS, NCC)
Answered on 10/28/2022

I need to know how to heal and rekindle things with my girlfriend

Hello BB! Thank you for taking the time to check out the BetterHelp "Ask a Licensed Therapist" forum. I appreciate you asking this important question about salvaging your relationship with your girlfriend. I realize that this must be a very challenging situation for you to manage at this time. I hope that you have been able to recognize your strengths as a partner in all of this. I really admire your goal of trying to heal and rekindle your relationship with your girlfriend. It makes sense to me that you would initially be feeling shocked about the recent changes in your girlfriend's behavior. When did you find out that she was lying to you? How did you find out that she was lying? Perhaps there are certain aspects of her behavior in which she is communicating something to you in a nonverbal way. Maybe you can ask her more about this when you have a moment to do so. As I am sure you already know, honesty is a pillar of any relationship. Encourage her to be honest with you from here on out no matter what. Hopefully by setting clear expectations and boundaries about how you would like her to behave, this will be overall beneficial and healing for your relationship. Based on what you said in your question, it sounds like she has since apologized for her behavior and has ceased contact with the individual who you feel uncomfortable with her talking to. Have you asked her more about this experience? I wonder what that has been like for her to cut ties completely with this individual. Perhaps asking her some questions in a curious manner might give you some more information about why she acted in the ways she did. Was it a relief for you to hear that she was only connecting with this person on a friendship level? I would be interested in hearing more about the reasons as to why this individual makes you feel uncomfortable. Have you shared your reasons for this with her yet? Would you be willing to participate in an art making activity as a means to find a sense of safety for your current situation? I recommend trying the Rose Bush guided meditation and visualization technique. In this exercise, you can imagine yourself as a Rose Bush. Think about what your Rose Bush might look like. What colors would your petals be? As a rose bush, would you have leaves for photosynthesis or thorns for protection? Imagine that as this rose bush, you have every thing that you need. There is rain water from the clouds, light from the sun and your roots are firmly planted in nutrient dense soil. As the rose bush, imagine that you are cared for by a gardener or maybe the butterflies and bees. Perhaps you are located near a lake, a stream or even a waterfall. And as this rose bush, you have been planted exactly where you were meant to be. Consider that maybe you are surrounded by other rose bushes. After you take some time to contemplate what your rose bush would look like, create a therapeutic drawing, painting or find an image of your rose bush online. Your inner rose bush can bring you a sense of growth, peace, safety and security. If you could picture your relationship as a rose bush, what would that look like? Imagine that your relationship will grow, just like your inner rose bush. You can also begin the process of creating a mandala, which essentially can mean coloring within a circle. By creating a circle drawing, you will be able to find a sense of relaxation. It is scientifically proven that coloring within a circle can help lower heart rate and reduce blood pressure. This method produces a naturally calming effect. Perhaps you can design your own mandala as a means to express your feelings about your long term relationship. Maybe you and your girlfriend can work on a mandala drawing or painting together as a means to re kindle your relationship and give some space between the here and now and the past. Take some time to enjoy the present moment together as a team. In addition to therapeutic drawing and guided visualization techniques, I recommend that you take some time to practice self care skills. You can begin this process by recognizing what your currents hobbies or interests are at this time. Turn your favorite activities into a personalized self care routine. Spend about twenty minutes three times per week focusing solely on yourself and your needs. Practice self love by recognizing your strengths as an individual, as well as your strengths as a partner. You may also want to try some relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing. At this time, I recommend attending individual counseling sessions. Speaking with a trained therapist about your concerns is likely to be beneficial for you as you work towards improving your relationship. Certain aspect of the therapy sessions can absolutely be healing, as well. In addition, you and your girlfriend may want to consider attending couples counseling session if you both are willing to give it a try. Having a safe, shared space to address your mutual concerns could be incredibly helpful for the two of you. This may also give you a chance to practice some relationship building activities, including building trust in the relationship. Lastly, I recommend attending either a group or a groupinar as a means to obtain some additional support and insight into your experience. The groupinars available on the BetterHelp platform cover a myriad of topics and may give you some ideas on how to navigate your current situation. It is certainly a worth while option to check out! Thank you again, BB, for your time asking this vital question. I sincerely hope that my response will be helpful for you in some way. I want to wish you all the best on your therapeutic journey on BetterHelp. Take good care and have a great day!
(LMHC, ATR-P, MS, NCC)
Answered on 10/25/2022

What should I do when I have fallen out of love with someone I dated for 8 years?

Thank you for asking this question, I can sense from the way you write that this is really hard for you.  Where I feel I could be there for you in disentangling the whole dilemma is in listening at depth to your whole perspective on this situation in therapy.  Through the process of sharing everything that comes up for you as we talk together, you will start to feel more able to gather together your inner courage and conviction to live as you yourself want to live. I strongly feel that it would be unethical of me to guide you towards what you "should" do in anything, including how to end the relationship you write about in the question.  Therapy works in a far more helpful way than anybody's advice could because it really puts you in the driving seat and nurtures everything you need within yourself to know yourself better and so to become decisive (as far as i understand from your question, making and carrying out a decision is something that you're struggling with right now) because you yourself begin to feel decisive from the inside out.  The process of being in therapy will also help with navigating and building relationships because it builds self awareness, self knowledge and self acceptance.  The more accepting, caring and trusting you feel towards yourself, the more life enhancing your relationships will have the potential to be in the future, as you'll be able to be true to how you really feel as you live them.  You mention the word courage, I do honestly believe that that is something that comes through self trust and self acceptance.  Those are both attributes that can develop inside you through sharing at depth over a period of time in therapy. When you say you've fallen out of love with the guy you've been dating for 8 years, I'd be really interested to know more about the relationship, how the love was and how it feels now with him.  I'd also like to know more about you and what's going on for you in your life that might also be affecting how you're feeling when you're with him.    I hope my answer has some meaning for you, it comes from my heart and my experience! My best wishes, Lucy
Answered on 10/24/2022

How do you move on from a long-term crush?

Hi CT, Thank you for reaching out with your questions and concern about your situation.  Hopefully, I can give you some professional feedback that can help you make a decision on what is best for you. First off, it is normal for you to think about someone in the past, especially if you were really interested in them and it never amounted to anything.  Your curiosity is going to get the best of you. With that said, I don't think it would hurt you to see if there is anything on their end in regards to sparking the flames back up again.However, in the past, it seems he wasn't wanting a long distance relationship and shared his thoughts with you. Perhaps, things have changed since then, but I think it would be good for you to see if there is still a spark there first.I do have concerns that he hasn't really shown interest in entertaining anything more of a friendship because his energy is showing that he doesn't even have the time to have a "full conversation" with you. So, if he isn't able to devote a conversation with you, I'm not sure he will devote the energy into this friendship for other things. My best advice is for you to pay attention to his energy towards you and/or his actions and the way he treats your friendship. This may give you clues before you open that door on whether or not he is wanting something more from you.It never hurts to try and figure something out and get answers, even if they aren't what you want to hear.  It is better for you to have an answer to get peace of mind, rather than wondering and questioning if this would go anywhere. Otherwise, your mind will always wonder when you could be putting your energy into another direction or someone else if he is not wanting to invest or entertain this connection at a level that is more than friendship.I hope this advice helps and I wish you the best of luck on whatever you decide.
Answered on 10/23/2022

Relationship/ situations situationship problem

Hi Gee, Thank you for sharing your story and the issues that you are facing.  I'm proud to hear that you are standing in your truth and in your power.  I also like that you decided to speak with your friend. It can be a very tricky dynamic to date a friend's ex, especially if she is your best friend.  Many women would be very upset, but in this case, it seems like the relationship wasn't as strong for her, especially in comparison how he viewed it.  This also gives a big clue and indication of how he is in relationships.  If he is not wanting a long term commitment, then I think it is best that you move on if this is what you are wanting.  Pay attention to what a guy tells you and not just playing scenarios in your head because you want to be with him or make excuses for his behavior.  Many times, women attempt to justify things instead of looking at the "here and now."  A guy that wants to be in a relationship will make the necessary steps and will voice that to you.  His words and his actions will align.  This seems important for you. At this present time, he doesn't seem like he is meeting that need and hasn't since you have been with him.  I think it is important for you to assess your energy and how you feel with him.  It sounds like you don't feel emotionally safe with him and I think that is your answer.I'm proud of you and how you are standing firm in your boundaries.  So, don't waste your time and energy on someone who is not going to give you that in return.  Continue on in your quest of what you want and the universe will match that request.  If you tell the universe that position is filled, it will not continue to move forward to fill that "vacancy spot" to your criteria.  Many best wishes on your journey. Stay strong and in your power of what you want and don't settle ;)
Answered on 10/23/2022

Letting go and moving on

Hello Greenhouse, It has been in my experience that often others who blame their partner for cheating are the ones that may be engaging in it themselves.  It is difficult for the mind and heart to be on the same page especially when trust has been broken.  The heart feels like letting go is impossible because you cannot imagine life without them but, the reality is it hurts too much to stay, as lots of thoughts and feelings feed into what was experienced. It is hard to "forget" if our partner has been unfaithful and staying in the relationship can take a toll on our self-esteem and self-worth.  We start to react in desperation and feel like this relationship is like an obsession.  We become more preoccupied in staying in a relationship that is broken and not working.  The longer we stay in it the harder it is to walk away and the more desperate we become.  Sometimes we think because it did not happen in other relationships that something is wrong with us.  In my opinion, I think sometimes we fall in love with our partner and it makes it difficult to let go.  Every relationship is different and we feel differently in each one.  Maybe it is an attachment situation but also it is important to remember that it is ok to love that person and not be with them.  Often, people get caught up in feeling the love and trying hard to make the relationship work instead of recognizing you don't have to stop loving the person to let go.  Sometimes it is about acknowledging that you love that person but due to circumstances you cannot be in a relationship with them.  Part of maturing and recognizing a relationship is toxic is accepting the love you have for them can remain, just that you cannot continue to be involved with them.  It is about challenging your immediate reaction to hold on to the relationship with an iron fist and recognizing you are losing yourself in trying to remain in a situation that will be detrimental to our own mental health.
Answered on 10/21/2022