~ Elbert Hubbard
What are your dating boundaries? Do you even have any or do you let your partner walk all over you? Setting dating boundaries is an essential part of any healthy relationship. The following are several dating boundaries that you should live by, if you want to avoid heartache.
Why Do I Need Dating Boundaries?
Establishing dating boundaries is an important aspect of any healthy relationship. Boundaries are your personal limits as regards both the type of behavior that you expect from your partner and also the limit of bad behavior that you are prepared to tolerate.
Clear boundaries help ensure that you are treated with the respect that you so rightly deserve. Failure to set any dating boundaries sends out a signal that you are more or less prepared to put up with almost anything, in order to be loved.
7 Healthy Dating Boundaries
Healthy dating boundaries include:
- I Respect Myself and My Boundaries
This should be fairly self explanatory and means not making excuses for your partner’s behavior when your boundaries are crossed. These boundaries establish a level of behavior which, in the cold light of day, YOU predetermined was unacceptable and a deal-breaker. The more you relax your boundaries, the more they will be tested. If your boundaries are not non-negotiable, then what is the point in kidding yourself that you have any?
- I Will Not Date Anyone Who is Married or Has a Significant Other
Nobody ever enters a race wanting to finish in second place. In reality, we all want to be ‘first past the post.’ So why on earth would you even entertain dating someone who already has a partner? Do you really want to live your life being second best? Are you really prepared to sacrifice your life for crumbs?
Of course not! So this boundary is something of a no-brainer. You may also wish to consider adding recently separated, divorced or widowed individuals to this boundary also. The last thing you need is to be someone else’s rebound relationship.
- I Will Not Tolerate Any Emotional or Physical Abuse From a Partner
In the heat of an argument it is perfectly natural to say things that will hurt your partner’s feelings. Let’s be perfectly honest about it…we are all guilty of hurling verbal abuse at one point or another! You might not be proud of your behavior and you may take offence at what is being said. You may regret your actions and wish that you had bitten your tongue. Nonetheless, this does not necessarily mean that you are being emotionally abusive towards, or are being abused by, your partner. However, are there several tell-tale signs of an abusive relationship.
If the verbal abuse is constant, with your partner belittling, criticizing, or humiliating you, then this is not a healthy relationship. Alternatively, your partner may be controlling or manipulative. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner, fearful of his or her volatile reaction, then this too is unacceptable.Physical abuse would appear to speak for itself. If you saw a couple walking down the street and one of them shoved or slapped their partner, then you would be visibly shocked. Nonetheless, behind closed doors, you would be surprised at the level of tolerance that is shown towards physical abuse. I should also stress that this applies just as equally to men, as it does to women. We all have a right to feel physically and emotionally safe in our homes and relationships.
- I Will Not Tolerate Lack of Trust and Respect
Mutual trust and respect are the foundation of any healthy relationship. However, even if someone loves you, it does not necessarily mean that they will treat you with the degree of trust and respect that you deserve. They may lie or cheat on you. When you are unwell, they may make no effort to care for you. When you suffer a loss, they do not comfort you. In a healthy relationship, your partner will be compassionate and genuinely care about your feelings. This is definitely an instance where actions speak louder than words.
- I Respect Myself and My Boundaries
- I Will Maintain My Independence
Understandably, you will want to spend quality time with your partner. Even so, just because you believe that you have met the ‘love of your life,’ does not mean that you should suddenly drop all of your hobbies, interests and social circle. These are an important part of your life and shape who you are. Also, if you ‘dump’ all of your friends, who are you going to turn to if things go awry? It is much easier to recover from a breakup when you already have your support network in place.Remember, you both need your own personal space and neither should be made to feel guilty about doing things on their own, or that simply do not involve their partner.
- I Will Not Waste My Time Waiting for the Phone to Ring
Do not allow yourself to be at the mercy of some ‘Game Player.’ If someone is genuinely interested in you and wants a relationship, then they will not want to risk losing you. This means that they call when they say that they will and do not cancel dates at the last minute…unless there are extremely extenuating circumstances of course! Also be wary of someone who tends to communicate predominantly by text or messenger type services. If they cannot make the effort to pick up the phone and speak to you, then they are really not all that interested in you. It is a lazy, albeit modern means of keeping you hanging on.
- I Will Not Chase After Someone Who Has Rejected Me
Rejection is hard and it is perfectly natural to want what you cannot have. However, if someone is not interested in you, then you need to move on. It’s their loss! Things happen for a reason and it simply means that there is someone far better out there, just waiting for you.This means no calling, texting, stalking or accidently ‘on purpose’ bumping into them. It is important that you maintain your dignity and self-respect.
The above is not an exhaustive list of boundaries and you will probably wish to add some of your own. However, whatever you do:
Set your boundaries, know your boundaries and stick to your boundaries!
Are you dating a Narcissistic Sociopath?
Having a partner with Narcissistic Personality Disorder symptoms can have a traumatic effect upon your relationship. Narcissistic sociopaths are arrogant, self-centered, demanding, manipulative and lacking in empathy for others. They let you believe that YOU are the problem, but really it is them. Read on to discover more about the symptoms and signs of narcissism.
Narcissism is derived from Greek mythology. Narcissus was a handsome young man who rejected the advances of the many girls and nymphs who fell in love with him.
Nemesis, the Greek Goddess of Revenge, saw this and tempted Narcissus to a pool of water. Upon seeing his reflection in the water, he fell in love with it. Unable to leave this vision of love, Narcissus eventually pined to death.
Narcissism Dictionary Definitions
General dictionary definitions of narcissism typically include the following attributes:
egoism, vanity, conceit, extreme selfishness, fascination with oneself, excessive self-love, craving for admiration, grandiose view of one’s importance, self centred, self absorbed, self obsessed, lack of empathy.
What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
Narcissistic Personality Disorder sufferers are often described as arrogant, self centred, demanding, manipulative, cocky and lacking empathy for others. They have an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration. Narcissistic sociopaths believe that they are superior to others and deserve special, V.I.P. treatment. Underneath this confident exterior, however, hides a fragile self esteem which is particularly sensitive to criticism.
An element of narcissism is perfectly natural. We may all display narcissistic traits, to a greater or less extent, without any adverse impact on our social well being. Problems arise however, when the narcissistic behaviour becomes so extreme that it greatly hinders social interaction. At this point, a professional assessment and diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is advisable.
Diagnosing Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is typically diagnosed, by mental health professionals using theDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR). Published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), this manual is used to diagnose a wide range of mental disorders, including personality disorders such as NPD.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is defined by the DSM-IV-TR as being;
“A pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration and lack of empathy that begins by early adulthood and is present in a variety of contexts.”
Cluster B Personality Disorders
The DSM-IV-TR segregates the varying personality disorders into 3 clusters, based upon common descriptive similarities. Narcissistic Personality Disorder is classified as a Cluster B personality disorder.
The Cluster B personality disorders comprise:
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Exhibits a pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Exhibits a pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity.
Histrionic Personality Disorder
Exhibits a pattern of excessive emotionality and attention seeking.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Exhibits a pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and lack of empathy.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder Symptoms
For Narcissistic Personality Disorder to be clinically diagnosed, five or more of the following traits must be exhibited:
- Has a grandiose sense of self- importance (e.g. exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
- Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.
- Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).
- Requires excessive admiration.
- Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favourable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations.
- Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends.
- Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.
- Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.
- Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Relationships
People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder have difficulty maintaining healthy personal relationships. Narcissistic sociopaths lack empathy and are extremely self-centered. Oblivious to the pain they cause, they are unable to acknowledge any wrong doing on their part, even when presented with incontrovertible evidence.
It is estimated that 50%-75% of those diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are male. Women who find themselves in a relationship with a man who has NPD often find the experience to be traumatizing and soul destroying.
If you want to read more about narcissism, there are a wide range of paperback and Kindle books available from Amazon.
What Is Friends With Benefits?
For those of you who have not had the pleasure of watching the romantic comedy of the same name, starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, you may be wondering what on earth the term ‘friends with benefits’ dating means. In the 21st century, ‘friends with benefits’ (FWB) refers to two good friends who have a casual, ‘no strings attached,’ intimate relationship.
There is no commitment, no romance or future obligation. Both parties are free to date whoever they want, when they want and they simply meet up for friendship and to fulfil their innate desires. FWB could be construed as being the ideal solution for a commitment phobic individual who is afraid of tying themselves down to one individual. You get all the benefits but without the hassle.
Friends With Benefits Rules
Unsurprisingly, FWB dating is more often than not a recipe for disaster. One partner inevitably ends up getting more involved than the other. This can lead to feelings of confusion, rejection and even jealousy. Often, the person getting hurt is the woman. At the risk of stating the obvious, men and women are wired differently. For men, they are committing a physical act that does not require love or commitment. Women, on the other hand, are far more emotional creatures and tend to associate intimacy with love.
Ultimately, whether they are conscious of it or not, a woman is typically seeking a permanent relationship. ‘Getting busy with it,’ without all of the romantic trappings, often results in them feeling cheap and used. The emotional consequences for a woman engaging in a FWB relationship can be considerable. Indeed, the woman may find the ‘matter of fact’ approach adopted by the man to be rather heartless. ‘Giving themselves’ to a man tends to change everything for the female of the species.
Finding Friends With Benefits
There are many dating websites which are now specifically targeting this relatively new market. They match up like-minded individuals who are essentially looking for a no commitment physical relationship. Typically however, FWB refers to a pre-existing friendship that shifts from a platonic level. It usually suits people at certain stages of their life, often before or after a committed relationship.
Although the term is commonly associated with people in their twenties, there are an increasing number of divorcees getting in on the act. Regardless of age, both parties need to open-minded and on the same wavelength as regards their ‘non-relationship.’
A friends with benefits relationship is fraught with potential problems. Below are some of the most common.
Anyone who is not in a monogamous relationship needs to be sensible about the risks of catching a multitude of diseases and must take sensible precautions. Even if you are not sleeping with anyone else, the arrangement allows your friend with benefits to sleep around should he, or she, wish.
- Unplanned Pregnancy
Even for those who are being sensible, there is always that small risk that your contraception fails. You both need to consider in advance what you would do, should this occur. You may discover that you both hold entirely opposing views on the matter.
- Your Family and Friends Will Disapprove
Well, most of them will. There are always exceptions to the rule! On the whole, they will not approve of your friends with benefits dating arrangement. They will struggle to understand the nature of your relationship to the extent that you may be too embarrassed to tell them and may feel compelled to keep it a secret.
- You Both Have Different Expectations Of The Arrangement
One of you may be viewing the arrangement as a short term stopgap whilst the other sees it as the start of a permanent, long term relationship.
- One Of You Will Have Stronger Feelings Than The Other
In fairness, this can probably be said of most relationships and the dynamic does tend to change over time. However, you are signing up to an arrangement whereby you are unable to get romantically involved. This can lead to feelings of jealousy, resentment and hurt.
- It Can Stop You From Finding A Committed Relationship
Whilst you are involved in a friends with benefits relationship you may, albeit unconsciously, be preventing yourself from finding Mr or Mrs Right.
- It Can Destroy The Friendship
A pre-existing friendship can be destroyed and may result in animosity between the two parties.
Given the potential for such a relationship to cause such harm, the question begs to be asked, why would anyone enter into a friends with benefits relationship in the first place?
The FWB arrangement is clinical and cold. Whilst it may suit some, it is definitely not to be recommended for the majority of individuals out there.
What are your thoughts? Have you ever been in a friends with benefits arrangement?
The No Contact Rule
The not-so-simple answer is yes and no! Whether or not you perceive that the No Contact Rule (NCR) works for you, depends upon your expectations. Whilst it is perfectly natural to want to get back with your ex, there is no guarantee that this will be the outcome that you will achieve by using this method. Alas, this is often the main reason why people initiate no contact. They want to get back with their ex and that is perfectly understandable.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding about what NCR actually is. This is why it is open to claims that it is manipulative and emotionally abusive. You must remember that NCR is all about YOU! It is intended as a coping mechanism to support you through an emotionally turbulent time. It helps you recover, as painlessly as possible, from a breakup. It gives you some breathing space to help you think more clearly and maintain your self-respect. It also helps you move forward with your life, as opposed to stagnating, whilst you wait for your ex to come to his or her senses.
No Contact Rule To Get Your Ex Back
Nonetheless, reconciliation is often a by-product of NCR. As you become stronger and more independent, your ex begins to see you in a new light. This typically makes you more attractive and a challenge to be conquered once more. However, any underlying problems that existed in your relationship will still be there. You need to address the cause of the breakup or else you are merely delaying the inevitable. Some relationships are dysfunctional, or even toxic, and this will not alter as a consequence of maintaining no contact.
No Contact After 30 Days
Some of you get to Day 30 and ask, ‘now what?’
That ‘now what?’ generally means that you haven’t heard from your ex and want to know why. You’ve been counting down the days with anticipation but there has been no movement. What is it that you need to do next, in order to get them back?
If you are still counting the days, then you are not over your ex. So, you begin another cycle of 30 days. As I explain in my Kindle book, 30 Day No Contact Rule, we are all unique and ‘one size doesn’t fit all.’ One day however, you will wake up and realize that you have not thought about your ex for several hours or even several days. You will also begin to lose count of the number of days that you have gone without any contact. No contact ends, when you don’t realize that you are even doing it. Your ex becomes part of your past, and not your present, or future.
You can buy the 30 Day No Contact Rule at Amazon.
Have you ever watched another woman, maybe at a social gathering, who has completely captivated the attention of most, if not all, of the men in the room? Standing there, you wondered what on earth her secret was? She certainly wasn’t the best looking woman in the room, nor was she the best dressed. She wasn’t the slimmest either. But there was just ‘something’ about her that men found irresistible. Just what qualities do men desire in a woman?
Attracting love in the 21st century can be so difficult. Try as you may, you just cannot fathom it out! If you are a woman looking for love, or even marriage, this can be particularly irksome.
What does SHE have that you don’t?
Why are all these men flocking around her like bees around a honey pot?
Just what is her secret?
What is it these men find so attractive?
What makes a woman so desirable?
What Men Find Attractive
As women ‘judging’ other women, we tend to place far too much emphasis on physical appearance. Rather ironic, don’t you think, given that we accuse men of being shallow for doing the exact same thing!
In fairness, we can hardly be blamed for this. We slap on the make-up, titivate our hair and spend weeks on crash diets trying to squeeze into dresses that, in reality, are still one size too small for us!
There is no doubting that men like women who take care of their appearance. Nonetheless, believing that men are only attracted to facial or bodily features is a common misconception.
While the first thing we notice about someone IS their physical appearance, this is only the first step in evaluating their desirability. Aside from finding a woman aesthetically pleasing, there are several other common attributes which men find incredibly desirable and irresistible in women.
These characteristics include confidence, intelligence and personality.
Self-Confidence in a Woman
When you lack self-confidence, you tend to feel self-conscious and act awkwardly in the company of men. This sends out signals that you have low self-esteem and a low sense of self-worth. Furthermore, you transmit negative vibes, albeit unconsciously, which can also make those around you feel equally as uncomfortable
In contrast, a woman who exudes confidence is instantly attractive to the opposite sex. She has the ability to make men feel at ease in her presence. That is why they like being around her.
Independent, ambitious and self-focused, the confident woman believes in herself and does not come across as an emotionally insecure or ‘clingy.’ Insecurity in a relationship usually equates to drama which, as you should know by now, most men prefer to avoid at all costs!
Nonetheless, I should inject a little note of caution here. Overly confident people can become somewhat over-bearing. So be careful. Men still prefer their women to be feminine!
Intelligence in a Woman
Think men find intelligent women intimidating? Well, think again!
In 2008, University Professors Christine B. Whelan (University of Pittsburgh) and Christie F. Boxer (University of Iowa) identified the top 10 traits that men wanted in a wife.
‘Good looks’ ranked a lowly 8th place whilst ‘education and intelligence’ made it all the way up to number 4!
Ok, so we’re not necessarily talking about you becoming the next Albert Einstein here. But this survey helps emphasise the importance of being able to engage a man in intelligent and meaningful conversation.
There may also be a subliminal element to this desirable trait as good communication is an essential facet of any relationship.
But even if you’re not Harvard educated…and how many of us are? Don’t fret!
Something as simple as reading the newspaper and keeping abreast of current affairs provides you with a broad range of topics to discuss and will help you ‘hold your own’ during a conversation.
We all have different hobbies, skills and life experiences which we can share also. This is what makes you the interesting and unique person that you are today. Just make sure you have more to discuss than your latest pair of Louboutins!
Good Personality in a Woman
‘Personality’ is a broad heading which covers a multitude of traits. Men like women who display the following characteristics:
- Have a sense of humour
- Are warm and loving
- Act with integrity
- Emotionally stable
And, if all else fails, remember that a smiling face can melt the coldest of hearts!
What Men Want In A Wife
The 2008 Boxer and Wheeler study ranked the qualities that men desire in a woman as follows:
- Mutual attraction and love
- Dependable character
- Emotional stability and maturity
- Education and intelligence
- Pleasing disposition
- Good health
- Good looks
- Desire for home and children
- Ambition and industriousness