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    How To Handle Your Crush On A Colleague In A Professional Manner

    If only life was like the set of the Netflix series The Bold Type. A magazine fashion assistant falls in love with the company’s in-house attorney. After fooling around for months, anxious that they’d get caught, the pair decide to go public with their relationship. Except, Sutton the assistant is worried that she’ll be branded ‘The girl who slept her way to the top’. Both move on, but still wondering what would’ve been had they given their office romance a shot in a normal setting.
    Unfortunately, life is no reenaction of a TV story line. When it comes to shooting your shot in a real-life office setting, telling your colleague you’re ‘feeling them’ and then promptly diving into their mouth tongue-first isn’t the best idea… especially since you’re going to see them every day, whether or not things work out the way you fantasized at your desk.
    Playing it subtly is key when water cooler conversations turn flirtatious, says Dr Jane Greer, a relationship expert and author of What About Me?.
    Here’s how to handle crushing on a colleague:
    1. Check in on company policy.
    Dust off that employee handbook and learn whether or not relationships between employees are even allowed, Greer says.
    “It’s totally fine to have a crush on a coworker, but it’s all about how you handle it,” she explains. Before you offer up your heart and soul, know whether doing so could put your career in jeopardy. If it can, you might want to try some dating apps instead.
    READ MORE: Curving Is The Newest Dating Trend, And It Might Be Even Worse Than Ghosting
    2. If you choose to proceed in secrecy, know the risks.
    “Sometimes you can’t help if you fall in love with somebody,” says Greer. “The problem with that is everybody feels the energy, and people will know.” Resentful colleagues might threaten to expose you, the stress of keeping your relationship under wraps might cause strain, and if a superior finds out, you might get knocked off the promotion track, or worse, get fired.
    So, instead of violating company policy, take stock of your options. If you want to act on your feelings that badly, consider moving to a different department, or switching to another company entirely before betting your job stability on a crush.
    But hey, if love conquers job, Greer says, do you. Just remember, you’ve been warned.
    3. If coworker relationships are allowed, turn up the flirtation—but keep it cool.
    “Show them behaviorally that they’re on your mind,” says Greer. You might ask them what kind of coffee they enjoy and later bring them a cup, strike up brief conversations about upcoming local events, or ask them about their latest work project, so you can establish a rapport.
    Basically, you want to be thoughtful, but super subtle in your flirting—call it micro-flirting, if you will. “You don’t want to engage in anything that is overt or seductive or that can be misinterpreted as sexual harassment,” says Greer. Whatever you say needs to be suitable for the workplace.
    And once your coworker feels comfortable around you, and maybe even initiates conversation, you can move on to the next step.
    READ MORE: 14 Emotional Affair Signs You Need To Be Aware Of
    4. Take it outside.
    While you can (internally) thank your boss for inadvertently playing matchmaker, limit the budding romance to outside office doors. Hopefully, through the thoughtful gestures, Greer says, your crush might warm up to the idea of getting to know you after hours.
    To keep the pressure off, invite them to something casual. Greer suggests asking them to join you for a post-work cup of coffee or drink. “Depending on their response, that gives you an idea of whether they’re even remotely interested in getting to know you better, or not,” she explains.
    5. If they’re into it, go for it.
    While a date with your office crush is super exciting, remember you’re going to be face-to-face with them—at work—in a less than 24 hours. You’ve established your workplace camaraderie, sure, but your romantic chemistry is still up in the air.
    Greer wants you to “let your hair down,” but keep in mind that, unlike a blind date or casual hookup, the two of you are now straddling two environments—work and personal life—that you’ll need to engage in. If things work out according to your fantasies, eventually navigating between the two will feel like second nature since you’ll have established ground rules on how to engage in the office. But for now, tread lightly.
    6. If they’re not, bow out.
    As it turns out, not all crushes are reciprocated (who knew? Jk, I did).
    If your crush doesn’t want to go out for drinks, or if they agree and after aren’t interested in doing it again, don’t push it, says Greer. Doing so would “put you in a potentially vulnerable position and put the other person in an extremely uncomfortable one.” What you might see as trying to “talk it out” might make your crush uneasy and could even motivate them to alert a supervisor about your behaviour.
    Instead, “continue being friendly and demonstrating thoughtfulness, but tone it [waaayy] down,” says Greer. She also recommends giving your crush some space.
    And in that time apart, take care of yourself. “Limit your encounters so that you’re not putting yourself in a position of feeling rejected or disappointed by their lack of interest,” says Greer. Soon enough, your crush will go back to being just another person at your office.
    This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com  More

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    A ‘cold, unemotional’ full moon is coming – here’s everything you need to know

    Lifestyle

    by Team Emirates Woman
    1 minute ago

    Words by Kirstyn Lewis – Founder of the Karmic Soul
    A cold, unemotional Full Moon in Capricorn looks to be having second thoughts about an intimate relationship.
    It points to a decision that needs to be made. It looks like someone got a little too close for comfort. Perhaps the image they wanted to portray in a partnership wasn’t quite right. Someone wants to be recognised as more important than they may in fact be. What a mess. Emotional control is at play.
    If they want to change the game plan, let them. Why not get what you need to say out in the open? A cover will soon be blown and real feelings revealed. There is no need for the inevitable nastiness about the whole situation that may be simmering inside; keep to the facts. The stars say: act with wisdom, and patience, don’t be wiled into their game. Above all, be respectful.
    You may be feeling super sensitive because of your insecurities. That’s Capricorn for you, he hates tears, drama and weakness in another. Women appear to handle this particular Full Moon better than men. Why are they so broody? There is introspection and curiosity around the time you risked and possibly lost.
    What is your intuition telling you? If you value your health and your heart, this is nothing more than an uncomfortable move to a better place. Mars in Taurus in the 8th house suggests elimination issues – so listen. Your body may well be feeling the same. Doesn’t it feel better when a ‘blockage’ has cleared?

    Others will soon be around for you – are they picking up your broken heart? Comedy heals, so learn to laugh at yourself; others will love your self-deprecation. Who knew you had the funniest stories about how you missed the obvious clues that someone was stringing you along with their tall tales.
    You will like this one. Revenge looks to be sweet as the devil wants to strike once, hard and fast for you. Even he wants you to let go of any disheartenment and take a break. He is dying to show off what he can do. Remain at arm’s length. This time you can just sit back, watch and wait for his pièce de résistance! Mon Dieu!
    Step back from the drama and make peace with your life. End relationships that aren’t working by July 26 to 27.
    On a positive note, who is travelling to a foreign land? I bet you can’t wait. Is it for business or somewhere you can improve or build on your career? Your energy will need to be a little more contained for where you’re going or what you’re doing, but expect your light to shine. Pull back on what you already know and go with the flow; it’s not forever.
    The Full Moon in Capricorn asks you to put yourself, your work and your thoughts for the future, first. Others may think you’re a little conniving, but you are simply showing those who love you how you play the game of life and win. Who is following in your footsteps? What impression do you want them to have of you?
    Take control by using your head not your heart.
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Yana Potter Art Instagram, Feature Image: Sara Shakeel Instagram More

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    How to Have a Better Relationship, According to Your Enneagram

    Let’s be real: Relationships can be complicated. The good news? They don’t have to be. Thanks to the Enneagram, we can show up as our best and most authentic selves in our relationships while better understanding ourselves and our other halves, no matter how different they are. And the result is deeper connection, mutual respect, and empathy. Grab your partner and read on to learn the strengths, differences, and motivations of each Enneagram type and find out where you fit. 

    Type Ones are great in relationships because they always have a sense of their priorities. It’s rare you’ll meet a Type One who doesn’t have a grasp on what it is they want in a relationship and where you fall in line with their other duties and identities. They’re also known for being faithful, helpful, and dedicated in relationships, meaning you can expect them to be all-in. 
    On the other side, Ones are known for being perfectionists, which can mean they’re critical and have overly high expectations of a partner. Type Ones should be aware of their expectations and work on finding a medium with their partner. Instead of expecting your partner to have the dishes done when you get home (without asking first) or wondering why they haven’t asked about your weekend plans yet, ask for what you want. I know, this goes against basically everything in your nature as a Type One, but unless your partner can read minds (we’re all jealous), there’s no way for them to know what you want and, in turn, meet your expectations. 

    The Helper is all about doing what they can for their loved ones. They know how to make you feel loved and appreciated, and they’re great at validating the feelings of others (even if it means doubting their own). 
    Because Type Twos are so focused on what the other person wants or needs, they often struggle to get their own needs met in a relationship. Instead of worrying about what your partner wants for dinner or how they’re feeling after a fight, ask for what you need. If your feelings were hurt or you feel like they’re not taking your ideas into consideration, this is your chance to tell them how you feel and exactly how they can support you too. A relationship goes both ways, and because a Two is so focused on their partner, they often forget to prioritize their needs too. 
    Twos can also be possessive at times, causing them to show an excess of love to their partner in an attempt to woo them or keep them in their lives. Talk to your partner about how they personally want to feel love (might we suggest the Love Languages test?) so you can give them exactly what they want too.

    If you’re familiar with Love Languages, Threes almost always feel loved through words of affirmation. They like knowing their partner is proud of their achievements, whether it’s something big, such as a promotion at work, or small, like finding the best new restaurant for date nights. Threes love to feel appreciated, and because of this, they enjoy giving to their partner too. 
    Because Threes put so much of their worth into their career, they often bring that into relationships. Talking about work over dinner, being absentminded when you’re together, and putting your work-related stress onto your partner can make your partner feel like they’re not as important to you as your career. To combat this, create work-free times with your partner. Much like some of us are with our cell phones (guilty), Threes can often be that way about their career. Give yourself two hours when you’re out to dinner or just catching up on Bridgerton where you occupy yourself with your partner. No work, all play. 

    Fours are known for being creative, but in relationships, they are playful, fun, and spirited. They are open to new experiences and love getting to share their creativity and passion with someone else. They are typically emotional and have a strong idea of who they are. In relationships, this means they’re romantic and intuitive. They love sending love notes, cards, and gifts to their loved ones, and they feel loved when their partner understands and compliments their self-expression (such as their art!). 
    In a relationship, a Four can be a little overbearing at times. They can be moody and have a hard time separating their emotions from their day-to-day lives. As a Four, it is important to remind your partner that they aren’t to blame for your emotions. Fours do not like being called overdramatic or being told they’re overreacting in a situation; therefore, it’s important to talk with your partner about your emotions instead of closing them off. You don’t have to be alone with your feelings!

    Fives love to approach situations with data on hand. They’re natural teachers who observe their surroundings and analyze situations deeply before committing or speaking up. Unlike Fours, they take time alone to process and understand their emotions before acting on them, which can make a partner think they’re uninterested or uninterrupted by a conflict (which isn’t usually the case). They have a thirst for knowledge and love to learn, making them a great companion for intellectual dates, such as going to new exhibitions, museums, libraries, and events in your city. 
    In their quest for knowledge, Fives can seem somewhat withdrawn or even contentious or irritated with a partner. While they are generally introverted and prefer to stay in, they can get frustrated when a partner always wants to pull them out of their comfort zone. Similar to Type Three, create times with your partner to discuss your lives without judgment. Your partner wants to know what you’re learning and what is interesting to you at the moment, so don’t be afraid to geek out about your latest project. They love that side of you too!

    We all know Sixes are all about commitment, making them perfect for long-term relationships. They’re loyal and feel content knowing their relationships are safe and secure. They can be introverted and extroverted, so they’re easy to open up to but also to have fun with. Helping others is important to a Six, and they feel irresponsible when they think they haven’t fulfilled that duty. They are also independent, so they’re able to do their own thing once in a while without worrying about their partner.
    Sixes are some of the most trustworthy people; however, they’re not quick to trust others themselves. This can make them seem self-conscious, nervous, and even defensive in relationships where the other person doesn’t feel trusted or accepted. Trusting another person is hard at first, but it takes being confident in yourself and your relationship to get you there. Spend some time every day focusing on building up your own self-confidence. You can’t be the best version of yourself with a partner if you’re constantly worrying about how you look or if they still like you (you look great, and, yes, they do!). Then, start building trust by allowing yourself to be vulnerable at times. Open up to your partner about your insecurities in the relationship, and discuss from there.

    The adventurers of the Enneagram, Sevens are all about a party. They’re upbeat and positive, knowing how to find the good in most situations. They almost always seem happy and carefree, which can sometimes seem stressful to a partner who’s another type. 
    Although Sevens are the life of the party, they can also seem narcissistic and distracted in relationships. They have a short attention span, which is great for having fun but stressful for discussing issues in a relationship. We know it’s hard, but Sevens, you have to slow down. Allow your partner to get serious every once in a while. Being an optimist doesn’t have to mean you never discuss negativity or the stress and anxiety each other goes through. However, make sure you’re letting your partner speak up. While they certainly love your center-of-attention personality, they also want to feel understood and heard too.

    Eights are confident and outgoing, but this can also manifest itself as arrogance and competition. They are natural leaders who view life’s challenges as exciting, and they’re never afraid of conflict. When issues arise in a relationship, they’re the first to be honest and ready to discuss what’s going on with their partner. 
    A reminder to Eights: It’s OK to show your vulnerable side. Eights feel like they have to have everything together all the time, and they can’t share the tender side of themselves without getting angry or frustrated first. To make this easier, practice active listening with your partner. No more trying to come up with a response before the other person is even finished (as an Eight, I totally understand this!). Listen to your partner as they speak, and empathize with whatever they’re going through, no matter how big or small it may seem to you. You’ll be able to relate to them on a deeper level while also prioritizing some quality time.

    Nines can often be mistyped as Twos because they are overly accommodating in relationships and can be people-pleasers. However, what makes them different from Twos is their drive to keep harmony and peace in their relationships. Known as the peacemakers, they are active listeners and sensitive to other people’s emotions. 
    Nines will do anything to avoid conflict, which can sometimes cause situations to never reach a solution (the opposite of Eights!). Instead of your usual, speak up about what’s going on with you and your partner. Whether it’s about your sex life, someone forgetting to take out the trash, or something bigger, be honest with your partner about how you’re feeling and what’s going on. Remember that not all conflict has to be disruptive; there is such a thing as productive conflict. 

    The Enneagram Type You Should Date
    (based on your own Enneagram) More

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    17 Unromantic Signs This Person Might Be ‘The One’

    Everything from the classic love affair in Pride and Prejudice to the will-they-or-won’t-they drama of Ross and Rachel teaches us that love is supposed to be extraordinary, make it impossible to sleep or eat, and always ends with a “happily ever after.” As much as rom-coms and the Twilight Saga would have us believe, romance is not actually always about flowers and love poems or grand gestures and public declarations when you find “the one.”
    In real life, the rom-com doesn’t end at the “I do” scene, but it keeps going: through paying bills and tax season, through toddlers and newborns preventing your sleep for days, and through terrifying health scares, boring daily chores, and deaths of the people you love.
    The one you choose to spend forever with is not just your personal romantic comedy—it’s the most important interview of your life. A happy life is about more than love letters and PDA, so you better make sure there’s more to your relationship too. Here are 17 signs the person you’re with might be “the one” that have absolutely nothing to do with butterflies, grand gestures, or romance.

    1. You don’t have to pretend to be interested in them or wish they would be more interested in you
    It’s likely that you and your partner will have many different interests—in fact, you should, or else dating another you would just be boring! You may not always be interested in their passion or hobbies, but you’ll want to learn more because you know how much it matters to them, and you’ll genuinely want to be able to share what they love. You also won’t have to pretend you don’t love broadway musicals as much as you actually do or feel like you can never talk about the latest fashion trends that you know your partner couldn’t care less about—they’ll want to love everything you love and talk about everything you want to talk about.

    2. Errands are kind of… fun
    Going to the grocery store, picking up prescriptions at the pharmacy, and cleaning the house are all part of the mundane routine we have to keep up with through the rest of our lives (sounds depressing, doesn’t it?). But when you do it together, there’s something inherently fun and enjoyable about the tasks that are usually mundane and tedious. Something about your partner makes even the boring feel fun and the average seem exciting.

    3. You don’t have to think twice about asking them for help
    Whether it’s to pick you up from the airport, unclog your drain, or give you advice on a problem you need their perspective on, you don’t have to think about asking your partner for help—you just do it. You trust their opinion, their advice, and their desire to care for you without having to question it for a minute.

    Source: @jessiebbernhardt

    4. They’ll pick up your slack without being asked
    Maybe you came home to your clean laundry that they just threw in with a load of theirs or they bought you a new face serum from CVS when you mentioned you ran out a couple of days ago. It’s more than just the household chores the two of you divide up—it’s the little things they don’t have to do but do just to make your life a little easier and your day a little better.

    5. You can share annoyance, anger, and doubt without worrying about their reaction
    There are absolutely no more deal breakers, and you know it—you can be in a horrible mood without feeling like they’ll think less of you or not want to be around you, and you know they’ll be supportive of your feelings before being defensive of their own if you experience any doubts along the way. You can be more honest with them than you’ve ever been because bigger than anything you’ll ever say or do, you both have a shared understanding that you’re in this life together.

    6. You both have your own thing
    Whether it’s Bachelor Mondays with the girls, painting classes, or hiking trips a couple times a year, you’re both supportive of the other pursuing their own interests and having their own time alone. Time apart doesn’t make either of you insecure, and you should feel like your partner supports you pursuing your passions over their own needs. Plus, you’ll be so excited to tell them about your time apart, whether it’s to rehash the latest gossip between your friends or what you learned in painting class (remember #1?).

    Source: Ron Lach | Pexels

    7. They’ll ask about your day every day
    Perhaps one of the most important pieces of advice I’ve ever received is to be with someone who will ask about your day every day and—wait for it—actually want to hear about it. If the first thing they do when they get home or the first thing they ask when they call is “how was your day?” every single day, you’ve found one of the good ones. Trust me.

    8. You can look at them and, for no reason at all, they make you laugh
    The best friendships are the ones that make you silly for no reason at all—where you just can’t stop laughing, right? If you’re going to spend your life with someone, it better be the best friendship you’ve ever had. If your partner brings out your silliest self and can make you laugh at nothing, you know they’re going to keep you laughing when things get hard, boring, or mundane. Life should be about enjoyment—make a lifelong commitment with someone who brings out the most fun in you.

    9. Bodily functions don’t make you blink
    You should be able to complain about your heavy flow or let out an *accidental* bodily function post-Taco Bell without it feeling like the end of the world. In fact, when you start doing gross things like shave their back or have them pop your pimples (it gets real) and you’re still just as turned on by each other as ever, that’s when you know.

    10. You can talk openly about money
    Besides just being a crucial conversation to have with the person you’re going to be spending your life with, if you’re able to talk about such a tough topic, it’s a good sign that you trust each other. While nothing is less sexy than the money talk (except maybe shaving that back hair), if you can share your financial past, goals, and current habits openly and honestly and you two share financial values similar enough that you don’t go into anaphylactic shock when you hear about theirs, you probably have a pretty strong foundation.

    Source: Ron Lach | Pexels

    11. They call you out when you need to be called out
    “The One” will be the person who is fully dedicated to helping you live your fullest, best, happiest life. This means that they will check you on your destructive habits and hold you accountable when no one else would. They’ll be honest with you—for the sake of making you better, not for the sake of putting you down. They’ll also stand by you, encourage you, and support you when you’re working through issues or going through hard times without any judgment.

    12. Your PDA is less PDA-y
    You don’t necessarily need to go make out on a park bench like you’re teenagers or feel the need to post collages on Instagram with paragraph-long captions about your oh-so-perfect relationship to celebrate every monthiversary. Instead of overt PDA, you display affection by mere accident—exchanging smirks across the room or holding hands under the table. Instead of the public make outs, fondling, or displaying your love all over social media, you publicly tease each other, brag about each other’s accomplishments, and maybe steal a kiss or hug when you don’t think anyone is looking.

    Source: @sassyredlipstick

    13. Date nights out are great, but you have the most fun at home
    When you can sneak away for a night out, of course it’s fun to dress up and go somewhere new or exciting. But if we’re being honest and if we’ve found The One, the most fun “date nights” are sitting at home with a bottle of Trader Joe’s wine, laughing at The Office, talking for hours, or playing the same card game—again. The things that would sound boring to anyone else are the things you find yourself preferring over those fancy dates.
    Anyone can get in the mood for romance when fancy clothing and candlelight are involved, but when it’s just the two of you, with sweatpants and take-out, and it’s somehow the best night ever, you know you could do it for the rest of your life.

    14. You’ve developed your own language no one else can understand
    If your daily conversations are laced with inside jokes or you consistently refer back to movie quotes or moments that will have you both dying with laughter, this person will certainly have you laughing the rest of your life. You share more than the same life and relationship—you share the same humor, and that can make all the difference in the length of a lifetime.

    Source: @hikarimurakami

    15. At the worst times, you want them there
    For most of your past relationships or crushes, it’s likely that they’re the last person you would’ve wanted to be present when you’re hunched over the toilet with food poisoning or crying in your room with a bad panic attack—so embarrassing! But if this partner is the right one, you’ll find yourself calling them when you’re having a panic attack or wishing they were there when you’re really sick (and not just because you know they’d clean up your vomit). Maybe you’ve even considered putting them down as your emergency contact—you know that when anything bad is happening, you’ll feel more comforted and protected with them there.

    16. You don’t question or second guess how they act when you’re not around
    When a friend’s Bachelor/Bachelorette party in Vegas comes up, you don’t feel a pit in your stomach or worry they won’t behave; you’ll just be excited to hear the funny stories when they get home. You also don’t doubt that as nice and wonderful as they are to you is exactly how they act when you’re not around too. You believe with all your heart that however they act, out in the world—whether it’s to other girls or people they don’t have to be nice to like waiters or servers—they treat all other people with the utmost respect and graciousness and will always do you proud.

    17. No matter what mistakes you make or how bad you look, you know they’ll still think of you the same
    In the end, you can be your truest self knowing that’s the you that they love the most. You can make a mistake or say something mean, and they’ll still think the world of you. You can wear second-day leggings and not wash your hair for four days and know they’ll still look at you the same as when you’re in a fancy dress with a blowout. The most romantic moments of our lives are often what happens in the most unromantic times—the bad times, the hard times, the gross times, the lazy times, and the boring times. The One will still see you in those times just as they would in the best times.
    Find the person who loves you for exactly whatever you are—good, bad, grumpy, bloated, messy, scattered, anxious, unfiltered—and to use the quote from Juno that taught me the most about love: “The right person will still think the sun shines out your ass.” Now that’s romantic.

    10 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Relationship Right Now More

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    6 (Non Awkward) Ways To Approach Someone You Want To Be Friends With

    Making friends when we’re kids can be as simple as sharing a toy or deciding that we’re suddenly “best friends.” But the older we get, the significantly less straightforward it becomes and the more friendship changes. It’s probably been a while since many of us had to put ourselves out there; we might feel out of practice and, at the very least, a little confused about what we should actually say to someone we’d like to get to know better (are we coming off creepy? Desperate? Weird?). While there isn’t one right way to make new friends as an adult, here are six ice breakers that can help.

    1. Highlight a similarity
    The root of friendship is often an underlying similarity, whether it’s a shared interest, hobby, or sense of humor. That’s why pointing out something you have in common is a great way to approach someone you want to be friends with. Commenting on your shared love of camping, sushi, or rap music shows that you’re paying attention to and are interested in the other person. Plus, you can set the stage for future plans more easily when there’s something in common (“I’ve been dying to try the new hiking trail! Want to check it out together?” or “There’s a great sushi restaurant nearby if you want to go sometime!”). The key is to not force it. Avoid exaggerating and don’t try to be someone you’re not just to find something in common. Noticing and highlighting genuine similarities will not only make you both feel more comfortable, it’ll also help you come across as authentic and increases the chances the two of you will connect.

    Source: @hauteofftherack

    2. Ask them questions
    We often think that to win people over, we have to be impressive: we have to have interesting things to say, be well informed about the topic, or be hilarious and entertaining. But the secret to winning friends and building connections is actually the opposite: make the other person feel like they are impressive and they’ll like you. People like talking about themselves—it’s just fact. So focus on other people and genuinely care about what they have to say. Come up with thoughtful, open-ended questions (forget boring small talk).
    If it’s a brand new friendship or you’re just meeting, ask for a restaurant recommendation, a new workout class, or the best nearby cafe to work from. If it’s someone you know a little bit, focus on getting to know them better instead of stating your opinion or talking about yourself. For example, if they’re talking about balancing a career and a side hustle, ask them how hard it is or what they’re most passionate about instead of stepping in with your experience right away. Asking questions shows that you have an interest in the other person’s opinion, and feeling comfortable opening up will make them want to build a connection with you.

    3. Give them a compliment
    Compliments from strangers or people we don’t know well can be so powerful. Since they’re unexpected, they might even be more appreciated; one compliment to a potential new friend could be memorable enough to be the start of a strong connection. It might feel easier to compliment the things that are obvious, like physical appearance or style, but if you feel up to it, make it something a little more personal. Compliment their work ethic, creativity, or great laugh. These kinds of genuine, perceptive compliments are the ones that stick with us. Plus, moving beyond the superficial (“cute top!”) can make people feel seen and heard in ways that really foster connection and friendship. No need to go overboard and base the entire conversation around various compliments: one thoughtful compliment will come off much more genuine and lay the foundation for the conversation to flow from there.

    Source: Colorjoy Stock

    4. Offer help
    One of the main things that separates good friends from casual acquaintances is emotional, practical, and social support. That’s why letting someone know that you’re available if they need help is a great way to approach them and subtly let them know that you’re interested in being friends. For example, if they mention that they’re moving to a new building, offer to move some boxes on moving day or help them pick out furniture. If they’re stressed about a work presentation or an exam at school, offer to drop off a coffee later or go through flashcards together. This can work especially well if you’re able to work together toward a common goal (like if you’re both training for a marathon or trying to meal prep more often). Offering tangible support or having a concrete goal for you to both help each other can form a connection and let the potential friend know that you’re trustworthy, supportive, and thoughtful. 

    5. Use humor
    After all, what’s the point of friendships if not to have a good laugh? Humor is actually an important basis of friendships, but it’s not about knock-knock jokes or trying to show off your wit and charm (remember #2!). It actually has very little to do with impressing someone else and everything to do with trying to make both of you feel more at ease. Sharing a lighthearted joke or making a humorous comment about the situation you’re in lets the other person get a glimpse of your personality. Plus, you’ll both be able to relax and get to know each other when you’re not taking everything so seriously. Just remember that humor shouldn’t come at anyone’s expense because it might come off mean-spirited and uncomfortable instead of funny (if you ever have to say “It was just a joke,” it wasn’t). Bottom line: be your hilarious, fun self, and at the very least, it can be a helpful test to see whether you share the same humor or not and if you two have friendship chemistry. 

    6. Be upfront
    While this strategy might feel the most vulnerable, it can also be the most impactful. It’s hard to put yourself out there when there’s always the possibility of rejection (yes, even with friendships). If you’ve had only brief interactions with someone you want to get to know better, it’s absolutely OK to share that you’re looking to meet new people and you’d love to get coffee, drinks, or [insert other amazingly fun friendship date here]. Being direct doesn’t have to come off as creepy or clingy. In fact, it typically comes off confident and flattering.
    To try this strategy for yourself, invite the potential friend to get together in a different context (“I really enjoyed meeting you! Would you be interested in grabbing a coffee sometime?” or “I actually just moved here and don’t really know anyone. I’d love to find a time to go for a walk together.”). The truth is that making the first move is scary in friendships, just as it is in dating, so the other person will likely be relieved that they know where you stand.  More

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    10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Relationship by the End of the Day

    Grand romantic gestures often get all the credit, but it’s usually the minor, daily ways in which we express love and connect with each other that set the tone for a healthy and happy relationship. Even the best relationships can still find new ways to connect. All relationships take work, but to quote the movie One Day (you know you love it), “Affection is when you see someone’s strengths; love is when you accept someone’s flaws.” Here are 10 things you can do to improve your relationship, today. 
    1. Make them a cup of coffee.
    Small acts of kindness can mean all the difference in a relationship where people, especially in long term relationships, can feel unappreciated or unattended to. Small acts that show you going out of your way to do something nice for your partner will make them feel cared for and thought of. Try making them a cup of coffee in the morning before they get out of bed. It will set the tone for the rest of the day of being thoughtful to one another.

    Source: The Creative Exchange | Unsplash

    2. Say “thank you”
    Especially in relationships that have gone on for years and fall into routines, we get so comfortable in our relationships that we expect our partner to meet all of our needs, whether it’s in how they treat us or the daily chores they do. Saying a simple “thank you” for cleaning the dishes after dinner or giving you a compliment enforces their good behavior and makes them feel appreciated, as well as making you remember why you love them. It’s also important to express appreciation and gratitude for them being in your life and how much they mean to your life, not just what they do for you.

    3. Work out together
    I know, I know: your hot yoga flow or spin class is typically your escape from all of the people in your life. But try heading over to your partner’s gym with them or bringing them along to your barre class. Activities that get your heart rate up release endorphins, which are like feel-good chemicals in your brain, making you both feel happy, energized, and excited. It’s also a new way to bond!

    Source: The Creative Exchange | Unsplash

    4. Give them a hug
    It may seem like the most basic and simplest of acts, but physical touch goes a long way in keeping romance and connection alive in long term relationships. Try to avoid physical touch routines, meaning the only physical touch in your daily life is a kiss goodbye or a hug hello (though these are also important gestures). In addition to your hellos and goodbyes, hug them unexpectedly, hold their hand in the car or while watching TV, or even just pat them on the arm to feel close. Physical closeness can translate to emotional closeness.

    5. Send them an unexpected text message
    If you are apart from morning until dinnertime, sending a text in the middle of the day that feels a little out of the blue will surprise your partner and make them feel some of the excitement that comes from a new relationship. Try sending them a message to tell them something you love about them, something you’re thankful for, or a romantic/funny memory you share.

    6. …But put away your phone!
    Try to have at least some quality time together every day where you put away your phones — trust me, Instagrams and emails can wait for you to be done with dinner. While this may feel like a hard goal in our busy lives, it is an extremely important aspect of a happy relationship. Many studies have found a direct correlation with heavy-phone-usage and relationship wellness. And if you’re angry, try to limit texting. It might be easier for you to resort to texting when you’re angry about something, but try to always talk through issues in person, or at least over a phone call. Texting fights only create distance.

    Source: Mathilde Langevin | Unsplash

    7. Go to bed at the same time
    While this may seem like an impossible feat for the couples whose schedules or preferences require different sleeping time, bedtime is a crucial time for a relationship. It’s a way of reconnecting from a busy day, a moment of quietness, and alone time before the busyness of the next day. For many couples, it’s the only moment of alone time all day. Even if you’re a night owl and your partner gets to bed by 8pm, at least try to stay in bed until they fall asleep. It’s an important and easy way to reconnect and feel close.

    8. Schedule a check-in
    Scheduling might not seem very sexy and spontaneous, but making sure you’re regularly checking in with each other will keep your relationship strong. It can be easy to let annoyance after annoyance build up until it gets to a full-blown fight, so checking in means fewer fights, more communication, and better connection. After all, a relationship is just two people trying to get their needs met. Use a check-in to discuss any recent triggers, problems, and even all the good things (which deserve recognition too!). Try monthly, weekly, or even daily (like at the end of the day), and put it on your calendars so you don’t forget or skip.

    Source: Tallie Robinson | Unsplash

    9. Laugh together
    Relationships are just friendships with exclusivity; while loving each other is crucial, liking each other is important too. While the life-partner stuff (like dividing chores) or the romantic stuff (like holding hands) might be top priorities to improve your relationship, remember that the friendship stuff is just as important. Laugh together at least once every day, whether it’s sharing a funny story that happened to you at the grocery store, bringing up an inside joke, or watching the show that makes you both LOL. Laughing not only bonds us, but helps us remember that the point of being in a relationship is to enjoy the person we love. 

    10. Make time for yourself
    While me-time might sound counterintuitive when the goal is we-time, how you feel about yourself is how you’ll act in a relationship. If you depend on your partner for fulfillment, you’ll expect too much from the relationship, and if you don’t love yourself, you’re probably worried your partner doesn’t truly love you either. Spending time alone not only ensures you’re living the most fulfilling life possible, whether that means indulging in self-care or pursuing your own interests, but it also means you’ll be able to show up as your best, truest self when you spend time together. And just as an added bonus, there’s nothing more attractive than confidence.

    What daily things do you do for your partner or relationship? Which of these ways would you try today? More

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    What to Do If You’re Not Happy With Your Sex Life in a Relationship

    Whether it’s the honeymoon phase or you’ve been together for five years, people expect us to all have our sex lives on lock. We’re all having sex every other night, and our partner always satisfies us. No problems, no questions — everything is peachy keen.Wrong.
    Being unhappy with your sex life is an issue many of us face, regardless of where you are in your relationship. It’s hard enough to talk about sex in general, but how do we deal with it when we’re not happy? Sex is such a personal part of our lives, but it can help us bond and better understand our partners. (Not to mention, it’s a real blast, huh?) When sex isn’t the booming, exciting part of our relationship everyone says it’s supposed to be, what do we do? We’re here to help with that! We’re going over everything you can try to make sexy time better than ever, from what to try in the bedroom to how you can talk to your partner about it.

    Talk to each other
    They’re not making stuff up when they say communication is key! You and your partner might be having issues not talking to each other in your day-to-day (when was the last time you really asked each other how your day was?), or you might not be discussing what exactly you need from them sexually.
    If the relationship itself is struggling beyond your sex life, this might call for a little different conversation. Understand your own needs and what is working for you and what isn’t before talking with them about what is going on.

    Ask for what you want
    Simply put, they won’t know that something is wrong if you don’t tell them. If you want more foreplay, more dirty talk, more touching (or less of something!), let your partner know. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for what you want. Sex is a two-way street, so always remember your pleasure is 50 percent of the fun too.

    Keep finances and family out of the bedroom
    When there’s something weighing on our minds (money and family or friend issues especially), it can be difficult to get in the mood, let alone to have sex and not worry about those other things. Do your best to leave those thoughts out of the bedroom. This can be done by not doing work in your bed or using your phone in bed. You can also try to talk to your partner about these issues, so they’re not taking up so much space in your head.

    Don’t focus on the length of time
    You can have great sex in as little as 10 minutes, but sometimes, worrying about going too quickly isn’t helping you get anywhere. Take things slowly or let them come as they go (no pun intended!). It’s okay to take your time.

    Stop focusing so much on routine
    When sex gets routine (having sex on the same day every month/week, only doing the same positions, focusing on the end goal too much, etc.), it’s hard to get excited for the same thing over and over. Instead of trying to keep up with what you normally do, change things up a little bit. Have sex in a different location of your house (or go full nostalgia and get freaky in your car!), change up the time (in the morning, perhaps?!), or try a new position you’ve never done before.

    Try sex toys
    I’ll say it when I’m in my grave: sex toys aren’t just meant for alone time! Bringing a sex toy in the bedroom might be able to help you explain to your partner more easily what it is you like or help you learn what that is. It can also be an easy way to spice things up from your norm. Whether it’s a vibe, handcuffs, or something with a remote, there are so many options.

    Keep flirting
    Couples sometimes think that once they’re together, the flirtation doesn’t need to continue. Flirt with your partner just like you did on your first date or even kick it up a notch from the norm. Of course, you’re still attracted to your partner, but pretending you’re not totally dating bumps up the attraction just a little bit. More

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    25 Romantic Dinners to Make at Home This Weekend

    You might feel a little tired of your own cooking now that we’re nearly an entire year into staying at home, but date night cooking—especially with your partner—is way different than your run-of-the-mill weeknight dinners. Add candles and dancing in the kitchen, quick kisses and a cozy dining setup, and it all of a sudden feels like flirty fun instead of a tedious chore you’re just trying to get over with. Whether you’re the world’s greatest chef or usually more into ordering takeout, cooking together can make it feel more like an ~event~. Yes, it might be different from your usual V-Day plans, but that’s part of the fun.Pour a glass of wine or mix up a batch of your favorite cocktails, turn on your favorite music, and dive into one of these recipes for 25 romantic dinners to make at home this weekend.

    Source: Two Peas & Their Pod

    Source: Foodie Crush

    Source: Supper with Michelle

    Source: My Name is Yeh

    Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

    Source: Supper with Michelle

    Source: Whisk It Real Gud

    Source: Drizzle & Dip

    Source: The Salty Marshmallow

    Source: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

    Source: With Salt & Wit

    Source: Sweet Tea + Thyme

    Source: Sweet Potato Soul

    Source: Host the Toast

    Source: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

    Source: Chungah Rhee | Damn Delicious

    Source: Two Peas & Their Pod

    Source: Drizzle & Dip

    Source: Whisk It Real Gud

    Source: With Salt & Wit

    Source: The Salty Marshmallow

    Source: My Name is Yeh

    Source: Foodie Crush

    Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

    Source: Sweet Tea + Thyme More