• A Salve for Disconnection in our Pandemic World
    by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on October 12, 2020 at 10:39 pm

    It’s been seven months since living in our coronavirus reality.  Activities and normal ways of living are modified or all together blocked for many of us as we continue to ride our personal waves of angst, fear, preoccupation, anger, worry, frustration and sadness.  One thing most of us can all relate to is the felt The post A Salve for Disconnection in our Pandemic World first appeared on LoveAndLifeToolBox.

  • Codependency is an Attachment Issue
    by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on September 19, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Aude Castagna, MFT explores the reasons people can be compulsive pleasers and caretakers, even in the face of toxic behaviors and to their own detriment.  She offers some guidance around how to start the process of change.   We start Life as helpless infants totally dependent on our caregivers, and we are hardwired to forgo their The post Codependency is an Attachment Issue first appeared on LoveAndLifeToolBox.

  • Identify Gaslighting Then Get the Hell Out
    by Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT on September 11, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    “Gaslighting” is a great word because it so vividly describes the feeling one has when on the receiving end.  It’s as if there is a match repeatedly being struck under you but then blown out to leave you wondering if it was lit in the first place.  With gaslighting, the sudden little fires is the The post Identify Gaslighting Then Get the Hell Out first appeared on LoveAndLifeToolBox.

  • Depression and Anxiety Can Be Intertwined
    by Richard Nicastro, PhD on September 4, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    Many are undulating through waves of worry and sadness as we experience the effects of COVID-19.  Our lives look very different from how they did 6 months ago.  Dr. Richard Nicastro, PhD looks at the connection between depression and anxiety and the importance of addressing them.   If you’ve ever experienced depression, you may be one The post Depression and Anxiety Can Be Intertwined first appeared on LoveAndLifeToolBox.

  • Find the Good News
    by Rick Hanson, PhD on August 11, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    For those who feel swamped with bad news.  Rick Hanson, PhD discusses the brain’s negativity bias and the importance of being able to recognize the positive things too. Why find the good news? “Tell the truth.” It’s the foundation of science – and the foundation of healthy relationships, communities, and countries. But the truth of The post Find the Good News first appeared on LoveAndLifeToolBox.

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  • Love and The Psychology of Happiness
    by Rachel on October 26, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    What makes us truly happy? For some, the first thing that may come to mind is affluence. Having money to buy that special car or those shoes you have always wanted. However, according to scientific research, wealth does not increase happiness – at least, not after a certain point. A study by Cassie Mogilner and The post Love and The Psychology of Happiness appeared first on MacLynn.

  • Long-Distance Relationships: The New Norm
    by Gina Yannotta on October 23, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Long-distance relationships are certainly not a new concept, however, what is new, is being forced into it because of a global pandemic. What else is new, is that it may be highly plausible that the person you are ‘long-distance’ dating may only live around the corner or a few miles away! It is looking like The post Long-Distance Relationships: The New Norm appeared first on MacLynn.

  • What Not to Talk About on a First Date
    by Rachel on October 22, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    No matter how many first dates you have been on, meeting someone in person for the first time can be intimidating and awkward. When nerves can kick in, without realizing it we can find ourselves speaking about, quite frankly, the absolute worst topics to keep the conversation going. So, before you embark on your next The post What Not to Talk About on a First Date appeared first on MacLynn.

  • Commitment-Phobes: How to Spot a Would-Be Heartbreaker
    by Gina Yannotta on October 15, 2020 at 11:51 am

    It’s getting serious. Weeks have passed, months even, and things are happening. You’ve sung their praises to your family, your friends, your coworkers. They’re your first waking thought and your last dream at night. They’re exciting, they’re hot and they’re fun, but you know what else? They seem stable. They come across as secure. They’re The post Commitment-Phobes: How to Spot a Would-Be Heartbreaker appeared first on MacLynn.

  • How To Survive The Holiday Season
    by Gina Yannotta on October 12, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    Does spending the holidays alone fill you with dread? Thinking of all your friends happily snuggled up in front of the fire with their loved ones? If hitting the holiday season is leaving you feeling more like the Grinch than a cheery Santa filled with festive joy, here are some simple steps to help you The post How To Survive The Holiday Season appeared first on MacLynn.

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  • What is a Woman’s Responsibility in a FLR?
    by Te-Erika Patterson on April 10, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    We often discuss how important it is for men to uphold the FLR concepts of Please Her, Protect Her, Promote Her. But, in a Loving Female Relationship (Loving FLR) women have certain responsibilities too. A man wrote in recently to say: I cannot imagine that I’m the only man who gave his all to a+ Read More The post What is a Woman’s Responsibility in a FLR? appeared first on Loving FLR.

  • I Have Always Respected My Wife’s Decisions
    by Te-Erika Patterson on April 8, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    I know how men can wheedle and press their partners to get what they want, when they fear they won’t get it. I am not lily-white in that regard. If she says she’ll think about, or gives a “hmmm” or a maybe, whether to soften a “no” or because she really does want to think+ Read More The post I Have Always Respected My Wife’s Decisions appeared first on Loving FLR.

  • Men Have Fears About Relationships Too
    by Te-Erika Patterson on March 31, 2020 at 3:36 am

    No man is a superhuman, even when we want them to be. Women expect men to have it all together at all times, to never be emotional or insecure or need TLC. But men are human too and sometimes they need reassurance because they have fears about being hurt, abandoned or not being good enough.+ Read More The post Men Have Fears About Relationships Too appeared first on Loving FLR.

  • Can a Woman be Too Demanding in a Loving FLR?
    by Te-Erika Patterson on March 19, 2020 at 11:54 pm

    After more than a decade of being single I met a man and I felt it was a good idea to give a relationship with him a try. He was very considerate, thoughtful and tried his best to please me. I was shell shocked, honestly. I thought this type of behavior was reserved for women+ Read More The post Can a Woman be Too Demanding in a Loving FLR? appeared first on Loving FLR.

  • Am I in a FLR Right Now?
    by Te-Erika Patterson on March 15, 2020 at 8:31 pm

    I study relationships like most people study their favorite sports team or hobby. I have spent the last decade studying Marriage/Family therapy in grad school and eventually moving into defining the relationship style that we now know as Loving FLR by writing 5 books, creating videos and online education programs. I have interviewed or surveyed+ Read More The post Am I in a FLR Right Now? appeared first on Loving FLR.

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  • Do You Feel Cursed in Love? Why you still don’t have the relationship you want
    by jessmccann on March 11, 2020 at 8:24 am

    Ashlee is one of those women who can walk into a room and make every head turn. She is a tall, slender brunette with blue eyes and a wide smile. But good looks aren’t Ashlee’s only attractive attribute; she is also smart, well-traveled, and outgoing.But Ashlee has never had a satisfying romantic relationship. She’s had numerous boyfriends—in fact, she’s rarely single for long—but their interest in her lasts only a few months. She eventually receives a break-up text or is ghosted without any warning. Ashlee cannot understand why she is unable to hold someone’s interest and is beginning to worry … Continue reading →

  • Four Phrases That Can Save Your Relationship
    by jessmccann on March 9, 2020 at 4:42 pm

    Things aren't good. In fact, they are really, really bad between you two. The love and companionship you once had seems like a thing of the past and now your days are filled with arguments, tears, and misunderstandings. Maybe you've tried for so long that you are almost ready to give up, or perhaps you are afraid that the one you love might give up on you. What I know is that most couples who want to stay together make a consorted effort to do so, however, the things they try are usually ineffective. Since communication is key to any healthy, happy relationship, most end up failing not due to lack of love but lack of understanding, empathy, and appreciation. And it's not necessarily because we don't possess those things, but because we don't effectively communicate them to each other. I've compiled a list of the 5 most important phrases that can turn around even the most broken of relationships. 1. How Can I Help? When is the last time you said these words to your partner? Maybe you've been so caught up in having him or her do things for you that you haven't thought about what you can do for them. This phrase is especially helpful if you use it at the very time you feel yourself about to get into yet another argument because your boy/girlfriend is in a bad mood and taking it out on you. Imagine that he comes home from a long day, doesn't greet you with open arms, and immediately jumps down your throat for something trivial because he's just had it with crappy job, shitty boss, or anything that is unrelated to you. You could get your panties in a bunch, defend yourself and retort with some snide come back, or you can recognize that his bad attitude is actually a cry for help. 2. What Would You Like Me To Do or Say? Said honestly and not sarcastically, this statement can save you a ton of time and frustration. Most of the time we think we are hearing people accurately (when we are not) and then we decide on what action to take based on that inaccurate assessment (which ends up doing nothing for them.) To get to the point, and start making positive changes right away, just ask your partner what they need from you instead of guessing. 3. You're Right. I find this phrase is more effective than the ever-popular "I'm Sorry." It may be because "I'm sorry" is over-used, or sometimes said half-heartedly, but "You're Right" hardly ever goes wrong. The key with these two words is, again, in timing. When your partner is telling you how they feel, citing places where you could improve, don't jump to point your finger back at them and start listing examples of where they, too, could improve. Instead just sit there, listen, and say, "Your Right." This is usually so disarming that it stuns the other person into softening up immediately. Then, you can have your turn to vent your frustrations. 4. I appreciate that you... This one speaks for itself. It's been said by numerous experts that the number one reason people leave relationships or cheat on their spouses is lack of appreciation, not lack of love. So how important do you think it is to actually say the words, "I appreciate"? Yeah, pretty important. It doesn't matter what it is that you appreciate either... emptying the dishwasher, sending a sweet text, remembering an important date, whatever it is, just tell the one you love that you appreciate their efforts. For more of my advice blogs click here to load. To check out my books on Amazon, click here. Continue reading →

  • What Every Girl Should Know About Hooking Up….
    by jessmccann on March 7, 2020 at 8:42 am

    This blog is an oldie but a goodie! I last posted it in 2009, so for anyone who hasn't read it yet, enjoy! Your are out with your friends enjoying a few drinks on a beautiful night. Your phone vibrates. You have one new text message. You pick it up and see that it's Sam, a guy you met three weeks ago and hooked up with because you were really wasted. He's a nice guy, but ever since that night, he's been pseudo-stalking you. You've been cordial, answering some of his texts and calls, mostly because you like the attention, but he's just not the one for you. You tell your friends at the table, "It's Sam the stalker again. He is out in DC and wants to know where I am." There's a round of snickers and laughs. Someone tells you to be nice to the poor guy and tell him where you are. You never know, he might have cute friends, she says. You take a sip of your margarita and say, "Let's see how the night goes. If we don't find any cute guys here, I will tell him to come by." Two hours and two rounds later, no one at the table has seen anyone cute. You are almost forced by one of your oversexed friends to call Sam and bring his entourage over. By now you have a good buzz going and figure, why not. He'll buy you your next round and tell you how hot you are. So you text Sam and tell him where you are in Arlington. You laugh to yourself because you don't even have to extend an invitation. You know very well that he's going to say by some strange coincidence that he's at the bar next door and will just swing by. Fifteen minutes later, Sam, his best friend, and his roommate stroll into bar. People are introduced, shots are ordered, and the night officially begins. Sam is all over you and the more you drink, the more you like it. By the end of the night, you and Sam are stumbling back to your place. You guys make out all over your apartment and for some reason it's really great. Maybe it's because you've been going through a dry spell, but whatever the reason, you are into it. You continue to make out with Sam and the more you kiss him, the more you like him. How could you have disregarded him before? Maybe he's not as bad as you initially thought. And then you wake up the next day completely sober and realize you had on major margarita glasses. Sam is lying in your bed, snoring like a sabertooth tiger, drooling on your favorite pillow. You are annoyed like crazy. How long is going to be here, you wonder? He finally wakes up, smiling like a cheshire cat, and pats the space next to him, indicating he wants you to lie back down. You'd rather shoot yourself than cuddle with Sam so you make up an excuse about having to run into work that morning. Disappointed, Sam reluctantly and slowly, gets out of your bed. You throw his pants at him and watch him stumble to get dressed, knocking over your alarm clock and family photo in the process. He apologizes and then asks if you have time to grab some breakfast. Ah, sorry no. You really don't. Some other time maybe. Sam picks up on your unintentional invitation to do this again, and says, "Ok, when? Do you want to meet up later tonight?" At this point you just want him out of your apartment so you tell him to call you later and you will see about getting together. He finally leaves after you pretend to walk to your car. You get back to your apartment and collapse on the couch. You eventually drift off to sleep but not before labeling Sam's number DO NOT ANSWER into your cell phone. I know you can all related to this story. We have all had guys we just aren't into, chase after us relentlessly. We've all caved and been nice to them, even hooked up with them once or twice. We've kept them on the back burner in cases of emergency and extreme boredom. But guess what? This story is not what you think. You've just entered the Twilight Zone. You were not out with your girlfriends having margaritas last night. You were in DC, hanging out with your best friend and her roommate, hoping to hear from the guy you met three weeks ago and had a hot hook up with. A hook up you have not been able to stop thinking about. That's right, in this scenario, YOU are Sam. You were the one who texted him to find out where he was. You were elated when he told you he was at the Eventide rooftop in Arlington. You rushed over and played it off as if you at the bar next door. You met up with him and his friends, had some drinks and ended up back at his place, where at some point in the night you fell completely in love. You woke up in his bed filled with excitement. You are certain he likes you now. He wanted to go to breakfast, but a work emergency took priority. Totally understandable. You like him even more because he's ambitious. He told you to call him later and you guys would meet up again that night. Maybe you saw this switch-a-roo coming from a mile away. Maybe my Twilight Zone blog was totally predictable. I really don't know. What I do know is this. There are lots of girls out there that string along men that they aren't interested in. They hook up with them when it's convenient, call when they are lonely, and essentially use them when they want to. Those same women often come crying to me when a man does the same thing to them. These girls bounce back and forth between men that like them but have no interest in, and men that they like but can't pin down. Ironically, these women cannot see the writing on the wall when a man is only with them out of convenience. They make up excuses for sporadic behavior. If he doesn't call for a week, but then suddenly texts while he's out on a Friday night, they believe it means he's suddenly come around! He was just busy all week with his stressful work schedule. The truth is that guys will use you in the same way you use them. In order to find love and happiness you must stop the cycle of use. It's the most anti-love action possible. How is it fair that you waste that nice boy's time but then fall to pieces when another guy does it to you? The Universe will absolutely bring you what you deserve and if it knows you are only hanging out with someone because you are lonely, it will not blink at handing you the same scenario. Don't waste your time on men that are not interested in you and don't waste someone else's time either. Getting involved with men who make you chase them can do a terrible number on your self-esteem. Unbalanced and unloving relationships chip away at your heart and by the time you find a guy that really likes you, you don't know how to act. You don't know how to really be in a healthy relationship because, thus far, in your past there has only been use. If you don't like someone, don't waste their time. And if a guy doesn't seem crazy about you, do yourself a big favor and just move on to someone who is. What you put out to the world is what you will get back. Be kind and loving to men and they will be kind and loving to you. Continue on to additional ADVICE BLOGS HERE. Continue reading →

  • Should I text him? How long should I wait if he took a week to contact me?
    by jessmccann on March 5, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    Dear Jess, Last week I gave a guy my number. It took him six days to contact me, but he finally sent me a text. How long do I have to wait to respond to him? I’m a fan of applying old-school rules to new technology, so the first time a guy reaches out to you, you should wait at least twenty-four hours to respond. It does not matter if he texts, calls, e-mails, or instant messages. Whatever mode of communication he chooses still warrants the same reply time. Having difficulty with that? Think of it this way: Ever since you gave him your number six days ago, you’ve been staring at your phone, recapping the night you met him, second guessing his interest, and undoubtedly doubting yourself, what has he been doing? Going to the gym, seeing his friends, and, oh yeah, not calling you. As you’ve been sitting there in a quiet panic, wondering if you were going to hear from him, he’s been living life worry free. Now that he’s called you, it’s his turn to wait and stress a little. However, if you call or text him back immediately, that won’t happen. If he actually calls you, do not pick up. Let your voice mail handle things for now and return his call the following day. This isn’t revenge for making you wait—it’s just rebalancing for the greater good of your future relationship. After you text him back the first time, you are going to have to vary your response tactics. If you religiously wait exactly twenty- four hours each time, he will eventually pick up on your pattern and think you are playing a game. It’s always a good idea to let time pass before you reciprocate a call or text, but if you want to remain a mystery and keep the chase going, the key is to be unpredictable. Text back immediately some of the time but then wait a few hours or a whole day the next. Keep him on his toes by being unpredictable when it comes to your return texts and calls. What If He Calls and Doesn’t Leave a Message? Dear Jess, Update! He just called! But for some reason he didn’t leave a message. Can I call him back? If you want a guy to know that you have been sitting by the phone eagerly awaiting his call, then by all means, go right ahead and call him back. But consider this first: How do you know that he really meant to call you and this wasn’t just an accidental pocket dial? How embarrassed will you be if you call him and he says that he didn’t really intend to call you? Then all that self-restraint you’ve been exercising will be for nothing. He’ll think, “Wow, I pocket- dialed her and she got so excited she called me!” For argument sake, let’s say he did purposefully call you and did not leave a voice mail; if you call him back, you will be setting a precedent that he doesn’t ever have to leave you a message. While you may not care about that right now because you are so elated to hear from him, you will care after it happens for the tenth or fifteenth time. He will learn that he can do the bare minimum, and you will still jump to his attention. In essence, you are positively reinforcing bad manners and unconsciously telling him that you aren’t worthy of being properly pursued. One of my clients constantly struggled with her phone etiquette, too. She would always Continue reading →

  • Why You Haven’t Found Your Person: Your Unconscious (and Toxic) Dating Pattern
    by jessmccann on March 4, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    "I haven't had a boyfriend in years. Everyone around me is getting engaged. I can't believe I'm this old and still single!" Have you ever uttered these words? Maybe to a friend? Maybe to yourself? Have you sat there smiling at a girlfriends' bridal shower only to secretly be thinking, "Why isn't that me?" Are you feeling so frustrated by the lack of love in your life that you are almost ready to give up the dream of ever finding it? If any of this sounds like you, rest assured you are not alone. There are millions of females that feel just as you do, and are struggling just as you are. Like you, they want to find their person in life, and are totally unsure as to why they haven't yet. It wasn't this hard for your parents, so why is so hard for you? Is it just today's culture? Are you looking in the wrong places? Dating the wrong guys? Saying the wrong things? Whatever it is, you haven't figured it out, so you don't even know how to fix it. Recently I received an email through my website that summed up all the dating woes that women seem to be feeling these days. It said, "Dear Jess. I'm so over dating I could just cry. I have joined every dating site, gone to every meetup group, and forced myself to be as friendly and engaging as possible. In the end, I may get a few dates, but they never amount to anything. It's like the whole world has "gone casush" (short for gone casual) and no one wants a traditional relationship anymore. Is it really that things have changed so much, or is it me that's causing these disastrous dating results?" The answer is that yes, things have changed, but things have always been changing. Women used to get married by arrangement, and dates only took place with chaperones. That's no longer the case, of course. Yes, times change, but honestly, love hasn't. It's out there and guys do want it, too. The problem I see for most girls and young women is that they have an unknown, toxic dating pattern that has them perpetually yielding the same results with guys over and over again. In fact, I've seen these undiscovered patterns pop up so much over the last ten years that after only speaking to someone for about an hour, I can usually indentify which one they have. In all, there are five, and some of the ramifications are as follows: * The guys you like never like you back as much * You get angry or frustrated with the guys you date fairly often * You are alone (because you are pickier than most people) * You feel like it's just a matter of time before your relationship fails * You feel jealous of other people's relationships * You can't let go of a person or experience you've had in the past which has made you untrusting and jaded * You incessantly replay your conversations with people * You're always wondering where the relationship is going and then it doesn't go anywhere * You constantly compare yourself to other women and often feel like you are in competition with them * You think if you were prettier/smarter/thinner you would probably be in a relationship * You like things a very certain way to the point of perfectionism * You need constant reassurance that someone likes you If you can identify with any of the above listed items, it's highly likely you have one of the 5 patterns that I'm speaking of. Now is the time to figure out what yours is specifically and correct it. I'm now offering coaching packages of 3 or 5 sessions either over the phone or through email. Send me an email at and ask for pricing (I promise, it's worth it.) To check out more of my advice blogs, click here. Other Popular Blogs: Why He Chose Her Over You? Are You Likely To End Up Alone? He Hasn't Texted Me Back! What Do I Do?   Continue reading →

  • I think the guy I’m seeing was stalking me before I met him, and I am afraid that something is going to happen
    by /u/Acrobatic_Front3309 on October 27, 2020 at 7:08 am

    I’m a 22 F, this is a 25 year old M. Is/was he stalking me? Is this something I should be concerned about? It’s 2:49 a.m, I haven’t slept for a day and so this may sound incoherent and annoying, as well as choppy because it’s sections from notes I’ve taken on my phone throughout. But here is the backstory: Basically, I was fostering a little animal, put him up in hoobly to find him a home. Some guy reached out, interested. We communicate back and forth and he asks me what cage I recommend and immediately buys it. By the way, I noticed throughout this that he was texting me like too flirtatiously, asking for my Snapchat to send future pictures of the animal, I was not sure why? Like how could he know who I was— the ad was anonymous, it felt odd. He gave me his Instagram, which I did not follow. I asked for proof he bought the cage and he sends me a receipt. On this receipt was also his address. The next day, when I asked him if it had been delivered (amazon), he goes “it was delivered to my family who lives like fifteen minutes away” (please keep this in mind). Later that day he picks up the animal and seems nice! He starts communicating with me a ton, I follow him on Instagram, he updates about the pet and whatever. We eventually decide to hangout, but he’s extremely weird about it. He INSISTS It be at my apartment, even though I really wanted to see the pet. At one point before he hangs out with he tells me his roommate has COVID, and that he himself has tested negative (?). He also mentioned to me that his roommate hated the animal, wanted it gone, given back to me, all this, and then said he convinced the roommate to let him keep it. Anyway, he came over, helped me with schoolwork, we hung out and it was fun. We flirted.He ended up staying the night on my couch. The next morning he’s helping me with homework and all that and I take a shower for like 45 min. I cannot remember if my laptop was left open in the main area of my apartment. After I get ready and want to study more, he suggests we go to his apartment— but he was very hesitant? It was strange. On our way there he admits to me he lied about his roommate having Covid, because I questioned him about it. he didn’t explain why. We go from my apartment to his apartment, and I notice it’s the same address as the receipt. This is weird to me, because he said that was his family’s address. His family, that he had mentioned to me while talking the night before, lives many, many states away from here in his hometown. About 30 minutes after going to his apartment, he, with fake shock, goes “oh I forgot my laptop at yours”— his reaction was blatanly fake. I knew he was lying. Another thing, my apartment is tiny. We also had spent 45 minutes making sure we had everything to go— because I had a lot of books and such I needed. He only brought one book, pencils, and his laptop— there is no way he could have accidentally forgotten it. He loitered for a while, seeming to suggest we go back to mine to get it? It was strange. Then he goes “it’s okay I do have a spare one,” and has a whole nother laptop? We do schoolwork for like six hours, I meet his roommate and ask about the pet and his roommate never said anything about the pet and likes him, never asked for him to give the animal away? Later, he admitted to me that he was lying about the pet because for a second he wanted to give him back to me. I was so confused because he signed a contract stating he wanted to be his forever home, and bought him hundreds of dollars of toys and such. He told me it was a moment of panic and that he would never do that though, and I have noticed he loves animals. He was being extremely creepy and overbearing while I studied, constantly looking at me, I just felt smothered. At one point he gave me a couple of little gummy candies saying they were CBD or weed or whatever gummies, which they were, but I got so high when I asked him to make sure I wouldn’t, like I did not feel fully coherent. I had a horrible pounding headache and went home and it’s been 3 days and I still feel it and it’s awful. I don’t know if that showed him violate a boundary but it felt weird. I finally left to go and I get back to my apt. While there I go to my room and text him being like “damn I forgot my phone charger”. He immediately Ubers over and gets the charger and his laptop. I noticed the laptop was hidden beneath the couch cushion? I just don’t get how it would’ve gotten there. I thought nothing of it really, I actually thought it was sweet for him to come get the charger, and he left. Over next few days he’s just texting me and calling me a ton even unanswered, assuming he’s coming over. I did like him at first so I flirted a little but I started to just feel weird about everything. I had the worst feeling in my head about him couldn’t get rid of it, something so anxious that I have NEVER felt before. He also would say things that made me cringe, “I can wait to watch you eat pasta” b/c we talked about going to eat together and like “I love watching you while I study” and I just think the word watching is so bizzare because who even thinks to use that word in that context I don’t know. The next two days, he was pushy all over again about hanging out. He was also sending me a lot of memes that videos and being like “me as a dad”— and getting extremely panicked every time I didn’t text him. It was creeping me out. At one point, after hours of me not andwering, he was like “I’m not allowed to go home for thanksgiving.” He knows my family lives nearby, I don’t know if was inviting himself? He constantly FaceTimed me even though I wouldn’t pick up, then would guilt me. At one point, I got a weird phone call from his number than directly back to mine. Weird alarm bells set off in my head. (Other shit; • he’s told me he like gets revenge on everyone who’s wronged him, all his ex’s were evil— cheated on him with entire teams of athletes, etc.) I told him I wanted to slow things down, to be normal and I didn’t want to see him everyday yet. He said he understood and I actually started to like him again thinking maybe he just really liked me. The thing is, it just did not feel that way. Minor things were setting off huge alarms, I felt and still feel so dramatic. I forgot to answer his text last night, and this morning, until the afternoon. When I tell him this he goes “Hey bug. I ended up getting so tired from staying up that I smashed my head and ended up in the ER. I’m going to get some more sleep and text you after.” I felt this was a lie, something about it felt like a lie, and for me it was enough. When I finally made it clear to him I did not want communication, he contacted me on all forms of social media constantly. He also began calling me incessantly. At one point, he had someone text me “(his name) says you can have the animal.” I was not responding. I noticed that all of his calls would come up as my own number/contact, I would decline them and it would say six missed calls from (myself). I have a service that texts me whenever I get a voicemail, so I was receiving texts notifying me that a voicemail from him (his actual contact) had been sent to my number, however, my inbox was completely empty. He would also call me on *67, and I would unmask them with a service, and his number still showed up as mine?! I tested it with several other contacts, and this did not happen, their voicemails also were delivered to my phone. My best friend called me, and told me that halfway through, the ringing changed, and she was promoted with automated instruction to type the number she would like to leave the message to. A family member called me to test this, and noticed that the phone call started timing immediately (the timing starts when the call is picked up), even while it was still ringing. I have a gut wrenching feeling constantly, and I don’t really know how this is possible. I’ve checked my phone for call forwarding and everything. Is this even possible? He continued to contact me on all platforms Please help. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I genuinely believe he did something— but I just don’t understand how it would be possible? I feel watched all the time, but I don’t know why— I live in a secure apt building— but I am worried— could he have planted something in my apartment? Is that even possible? Sorry this is long and badly written, it is the middle of the night and I have been awake for days. I have never felt random stress like this in my life and there does not seem to be a reason for it. I’m a 22 year old female who lives alone in the middle of a city, I am getting behind on schoolwork because I am afraid but there doesn’t seem to be much of a reason for it. I cannot make the feeling go away, even though he has finally stopped trying to contact me on all social media. I feel weird and strange and deep anxiety. I’ve had crazy boyfriends and situations like that, but this deep panic I feel constantly is disturbing my life. I feel I cannot think straight. I also cannot bring myself to do basic tasks it’s odd I have a sense of impeding doom and I don’t know if I’m imagining it or what to do. There is no solid evidence or anything big, but I feel frightened like I’ve never felt before. I don’t know why because this kid seems well adjusted and has friends and is in a great post grad program in a specific field (don’t want to name it) that requires a lot of intelligence. By the way, I ended it with him today. Are my fears justified? Is there a chance something is up or am I imagining it? TL;DR : Rehomed an animal I was fostering to a guy who I think may have known it was me from the start, now am worried he was stalking me before and still might be submitted by /u/Acrobatic_Front3309 [link] [comments]

  • How am I (30F) supposed to let go of the thoughts that my bf (32M) had a 10-year relationship before me?
    by /u/Educational_Stand_46 on October 27, 2020 at 6:58 am

    I’ve been dating with my current BF for about 4 months and we’ve turned to be official in a relationship for about 1 month. I thought we had much fun and joy together, but having the thoughts that he had a 10-year long relationship with his ex always bummed me out. I knew it’s fact and I can’t change it, but I also know that no matter how hard I try I may not surpass the experiences he had with his ex. I really like this guy a lot, but the more I like him the more I get the sense of insecure. He once said he didn’t deny that he thought about getting back to his ex, which makes me even more insecure and upset. Although he also said he likes me, I’ve had this trust and self-doubting issues every now and then. How should I do to let go of this feeling, i started to wonder is it my problem or his? Or is it the expected relationship I want? Thanks in advance, I need your advice. TLDR; how would I stand knowing that my boyfriend (4 month) had a 10-year long relationship before me? submitted by /u/Educational_Stand_46 [link] [comments]

  • I [38 M/gay] want a relationship... but conversation (or lack thereof) feels like it's killing me
    by /u/Ambicoastrous on October 27, 2020 at 6:38 am

    Hey all. 38-year-old gay cis-male professor living in a major urban area in the US, working as a professor for a university that most of you have heard of. I have my dream job, I'm working towards a great financial situation, and I'm feeling like I'm finally growing into "myself" overall. I'd really like to find a LTR, but it's been a while... Background on relationships, FWIW: First LTR was a guy I met online while I was in college--this was in the "original" Facebook days, mind you; I graduated in 2003, moved to NYC (where he was from, and where I was planning to go), and we were together to some degree or another for 5-ish years after that until he started sleeping around without telling me. Somehow even through that we're still friends all these years later. I had a few short-term (ranging from 2-6 months) BFs after that, but my next truly major relationship was in 2010 when I met an Australian law student. I know it sounds trite but it really was a lightning-strike kind of romance--everything just clicked. We spent every waking hour we had free together... until he got a job offer back home that he couldn't turn down. My situation was not one that would allow me to follow him, so I was heartbroken for the better part of two years. Since then I've really just not put any particular effort into dating. After my ex moved back to Australia I actually moved myself to go back to grad school; I ended up putting on a bit of weight while there that I've recently been able to start shedding, so I really didn't feel particularly "pretty" or confident, and subsequently didn't really make much of an effort to date. I did go out every once in a while, but nothing significant ever emerged. Mentally, though, things have shifted a bit recently. I'm feeling more confident and more "ready" than I have in a long time. Living in a big city is ideal, even amid the scourge of Covid-19. And I've even dipped a toe into the dating pool--I'm not a big fan of Grindr (or the other gay-only apps... they just feel too hookup-y for me personally), but I have doodled around with Hinge and Tinder... ...and that's where my struggle emerges. I've had no problem matching with guys; I've been paired with lots of guys that seem attractive, interesting, and worth getting to know, but I simply cannot figure out how to keep a conversation on an app--or, more often than not, in person--aloft. Honestly I've sometimes wondered if I'm on the autism spectrum since I seem to "stall" when it comes to figuring out how to engage with someone else when it's my turn--but I've always been this way. I realize that this may seem vague without examples, but I am hoping that some of you might be willing to try and role-play with me in the comments section--I'm not really sure how else to "simulate" what's going on, but I really feel like I need some kind of strategy to loosen up or think laterally or... something before I'm going to be able to go beyond much more than a first date. tl;dr: Been a long time since my last relationship, including lots of life changes... and now I'm finding I have a lot of trouble with casual conversation to even get something started with someone else. submitted by /u/Ambicoastrous [link] [comments]

  • NSFW: Husband (27M) Wants Sex All The Time. I(27F) Am Struggling With Motherhood, House Work, And My Career.
    by /u/Thiswomanistired2020 on October 27, 2020 at 6:14 am

    This is a throwaway account. My husband and I just recently had a baby and to say it has been crazy is an understatement. The birth was traumatic and due to covid we did not have any support to help us with a newborn. I am breastfeeding so my libido is pretty nonexistent. We will occasionally have sex, but it is difficult because the baby will cry almost immediately after things get heated. Anyway, my husband has been pretty persistent about wanting sex all the time. I am so tired. He doesn't really help with the baby or help with cleaning. I have to basically hand him the baby to allow me to have some time to myself which means showering or cleaning the house. I am up with the baby all night long while I allow him to sleep so he is rested for work. I am now back at work(I work nights) and it is a struggle to try to sleep. I feel like a zombie on days off, but I have to continue with my parent and house duties. I just feel like I'm being a bitch to my husband. I try my best to satisfy him. I will give him handjobs or blowjobs. I know he wants more than that, but I am just not horny and if I was a little horny, the lack of him helping me turns me off. I even bring it up to him and he ignores me. I also don't want to get pregnant and getting birth control is hard when my OB won't allow my baby to come with me to the appointment due to covid. I feel so guilty and I need some advice. TLDR; Husband is horny and I am not. I feel guilty about it. He doesn't help me with childcare and housework so I am exhausted. submitted by /u/Thiswomanistired2020 [link] [comments]

  • My girlfriend (20F) wants me (20M) to stop watching porn.
    by /u/Phenolphathalein on October 27, 2020 at 6:12 am

    My girlfriend (20F) wants me (20M) to stop watching porn. We're still in a fairly new relationship. Only about a month in and she wants me to stop watching porn because she said it degrades women and she believes since I have her, I shouldn't fantasize about other women since she should be fulfilling enough. In addition, she said doesn't know what the point of doing anything with her is if I watch porn. I only watch hentai and look at sex comics about once a week btw. What should I do? I already told her I think it's kinda controlling of her to ask me to stop. TLDR: she wants me to stop, but I don't think she's right. submitted by /u/Phenolphathalein [link] [comments]

  • War songs and lullabies behind origins of music
    on October 26, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    Love is not the primary reason humans developed music. A new evolutionary theory of the origins of music argues more evidence supports music coming from the need for groups to impress allies and foes, and for parents to signal their attention to infants. They also argue against the theory that making music arose out of a need for social bonding, or that it is 'auditory cheesecake' a fancy evolutionary byproduct with no purpose.

  • How'd we get so picky about friendship late in life? Ask the chimps
    on October 22, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    When humans age, they tend to favor small circles of meaningful, already established friendships rather than seek new ones. People are also more likely to lean toward positive relationships rather than ones that bring tension or conflict. These behaviors were thought to be unique to humans but it turns out chimpanzees, one of our closest living relatives, have these traits, too. The study shows what's believed to be the first evidence of nonhuman animals actively selecting who they socialize with during aging.

  • Marriage or not? Rituals help dating couples decide relationship future
    on October 15, 2020 at 5:42 pm

    Rituals such as those centered around holidays and other celebrations play an important part in human relationships. When dating couples engage in rituals together, they learn more about each other. And those experiences can serve as diagnostic tools of where the relationship is going, a new study shows.

  • Discrimination contributes to poorer heart health for LGBTQ adults
    on October 8, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    The majority of LGBTQ adults report experiencing discrimination from a health care professional. Compared to cisgender heterosexual adults, LGBTQ populations experience multi-level, psychological and social stressors, including exposure to discrimination and violence, yet data on how these stressors affect their cardiovascular health is limited. Policy changes within health care education and clinical settings are needed to improve LGBTQ cardiovascular health, experts urge.

  • Same-gender couples interact better than heterosexual couples, study finds
    on October 7, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    Same-gender couples have higher-quality interactions with one another than heterosexual couples in Southern California, a new study finds. The study also holds that couples with two men have the smallest social networks.