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Nathan NaVorro


Those first few days, I did my best to hold myself together for you. I had never seen you cry so much or so hard. I hadn’t held you that close since you first came into the world.


When you collapsed in my arms—in the moment you realized it was over—I thought I would break too.


In your breaking, I came to know one of the most painful moments of my life as a mother: my powerlessness to fix your brokenness.



I couldn’t make everything okay.


You loved him. I know you still do. I know this was real love for you—not feigned, not blind, not puppy love.


VAGUELY RELEPHANT READS:

7.6

The Most Intimate Thing anyone ever said to Me. Read

4.2

The Murder of Lauralee Terrell Read

Selfless love. Genuine love.


To suggest your love was anything but authentic would be an insult to your being, to your soul.


Yes, you are young. And yes, you have many years of love and life ahead of you, but I know your love was real. I have never subscribed to the idea that love has a minimum age, anyway.


I’ve always tried my best to respect and honor your feelings, and to give you space to form your own ideas and discover how to trust yourself. Knowing that you chose this boy, wanted this boy, shared dreams with this boy, and that this love was real for you, made your breaking even harder to witness.


In the first hours and days, as the reality of the pain set in and you began to replay every text, every phone call, every date, every moment you shared with him, you pleaded, begged, and bargained—looking for assurance that you could trust what you felt, and that your love was real and thoughtfully placed.


Then came your cries for reassurance that his love would come back.



I wanted to give you the moon. I wanted to promise you his love would return, just as the sun would rise in the morning. But that was a promise I could not make.


In your breaking, I selfishly wanted you to know what I had already learned along the way: that you would find a way to survive this lost love.


I wanted you to comprehend the universal understanding of loss, without having to experience it. I hoped that you could be fast-tracked through the stages of grieving. I simply didn’t want you to hurt, and I didn’t want to hurt from watching you unravel.


READ NEXT:

9.5

18 Relationship Red Flags Every Woman Should Know. Read

9.5

You Deserve a Giver. You Deserve to Heal. Read

I wanted you to know that broken hearts happen, even to the most beautiful souls. I wanted you to know that many first loves end—some in painfully ugly and brutally dissatisfying ways—but few with the gentle summation of yours. I wanted to tell you that you really don’t have anything to worry about, that another chapter in your story awaits.


I wanted to tell you that the sun would rise tomorrow and that other boys would be waiting under its glow for a girl like you. I wanted to tell you that you’d make it out of this brokenness alive and well.


But saying these words, even if I believed them to be true, seemed wrong, unfair, and belittling of your feelings and the love in your heart. This was not a relationship that you could just get over. I realized that as storybook as your love story was to you, this wasn’t a Disney World adventure—there was no FastPass+ admission ticket to bypass the hurt in your healing.


Neither you, nor I could rush your healing.


Being there for you in your breaking was all I could do. It was all I was ever meant to do. If there was ever any purpose to my existence on this planet, as a mother and as a person, I found it through you and your sorrow. I existed to hold space for you.


In those early moments of your despair, which may have felt to you like you were on a sinking life raft, I wanted to hold you afloat. But sinking was exactly what you needed to do.


You needed to grieve love, not so you could get over it quickly—because, quite honestly, I’m not sure you or any soul can ever fully recover from the loss of their first love—but to validate your heart’s cries, as acknowledging the grief was somewhat symbolic of the authenticity of that love. You needed to grieve so that you could feel the depths of vulnerability, so that you could eventually rise again with newfound strength.


You needed to feel the emptiness of that void, so that you could someday, when you are ready, find a way to fill it in.


You needed to process that grief at your own pace and to your own rhythm. You needed to learn how to live with the raw, uncomfortable, and stained truth of loss. You needed to sink in order to transform your experience into strength.


I needed to let you sink to allow myself the time and space to grieve the loss of your innocence. Since the day I learned that you would come into this world, I’ve wanted to shield you from knowing the hurt that can come with love. Although selfishly unrealistic, I’d hoped that you wouldn’t have to wade through the inevitable darkness that accompanies heartbreak.


READ NEXT:

9.3

Love Brings Up our Sh*t—Messy, Complex & Beautiful. Read

But I realized that for you to find yourself again, to love yourself even brighter than before this loss, and to eventually love another someday, you’d have to know that darkness. You’d have to feel it. You’d have to succumb to that suffocating discomfort—if only because you can’t truly enjoy and appreciate the light without experiencing the dark.


You needed to do the painful work to heal your heart. Work that I couldn’t do for you. Work without Cliffs Notes or a beaten-down short cut. Work riddled with switchbacks and setbacks.


You needed to scrape by, get by, dangle out there with the water seeping ever so slowly over your head, so that you could eventually figure out how to glue together the fractured pieces of yourself—so that you could grow from your loss and move on.


I watched from the shore, life preserver in hand, just in case. But I knew you were ultimately alone in your struggle. This loss was your pain to own. It was part of your life story—just as it should be.


No parenting book can ever prepare a mother to witness her child discover the truth that we all come into this life, live, love, and leave it, ultimately alone. Even when we have the best support system, no one can feel for us, no one can fix us or make us whole, except for us. In the end, your healing is entirely up to you.


And as you sank, I could see you were not actually alone—for the sea surrounding you was full of brokenhearted girls and women of all ages, just like you, though each unique and with a story of their own. Each trying to cling to her own life raft while navigating the strewn debris of that first lost love.


I can’t fix your brokenness, but I can trust what I’ve learned from my own story and from other heartbroken souls along my path:


I trust that healing can happen.

I trust that sometimes losing love can lead to gaining something new.

I trust that sometimes in finding ourselves alone and empty, we can find ourselves connected and full.

I trust that sometimes meaning and purpose can be found in breaking.

I trust that you will find these things, too, somewhere in and through your pain.


Sweet daughter, if there is any universal truth or promise to be found in your breaking, it is that in losing love, you can be found—a different version of you, but someone meant for this world, someone worthy of giving and being given love.


And if love is true, it can’t be denied. It comes back. It withstands even the toughest conditions. It feels safe and cozy. It can be confusing and messy at times, but ultimately selfless and unconditionally brave.


It is ageless. It is not disposable.


It is a surrender of your heart to another—knowing that the other will care for it, protect it, hold it—even better than you can yourself. It’s pure, raw electricity and magic and mutual trust wrapped into sanctuary, a place where each person feels free and safe to be who they are, to grow and discover who they long to be, to be perfectly imperfect—flaws fully exposed and held without judgment, especially when everything beyond the corners of that place demands or expects something else.


It is a shared connection that you can’t imagine living without, regardless of how others try to influence you. It creates a glow that lights up the room and resonates an unmistakable, inspiring, outward energy—the kind of light and fire that makes it possible to get through any shade of darkness.


In your breaking, I trust that you will discover that fighting for yourself—fighting to pull yourself up for air after sinking—is the realest love, and always worth the fight.


In your breaking, I trust that you will discover that all love is worth fighting for, but that when two people share a one-of-a-kind connection, each will fight hard—relentlessly—for the other, even when it means going against the grain.


In your breaking, I trust that you will discover that the timing is always right for love, even when it doesn’t stay or last.


And in your healing, I trust you’ll discover that in the end, love is all that really matters.


Sweet daughter of mine, in losing love, I trust that you’ll come to see that love comes back when it is meant to come back.


I trust that you’ll come to know the return of love, though it may look different than what you’ve known, expected, or hoped to find.


I trust that through your hurt and healing, you will come to redefine love—what it looks like and what it means to you, and what shape it must take to fill your beautiful soul.


My sweet girl, I trust in you. I trust in your breaking. I trust in your sinking. I trust in your healing.


I trust that you will surface again. I trust you will rise.


It is through losing love and losing yourself that you will heal your brokenness. And it is through yourself that you will find love again.


Fight to love yourself, fight to pull yourself up.


Trust that you will unbreak yourself from this heartbreak.



https://www.elephantjournal.com/2017/11/dear-heartbroken-teenage-daughter-on-losing-your-first-real-love/

linchao
Is it because the...
linchao Feb 8 · Comments: 1
roridoll


Flirty & Feisty Romance Blog...spice up your relationships


Promoting Love ♡ Warmth ♡ Passion in Relationships ♡ Sensual Stories ♡ Sexy Characters ♡ Enchanting Locations



Wedding ~ Do You Need A Prenup Agreement?






Hello, 


Tighten your seat belt because it's another emotional therapy time on Advice Corner.


Last week, I heard an engaged couple arguing about getting a prenup agreement prior to their wedding. 


The groom-to-be is an entrepreneur with assets and a sizable bank account and the bride-to-be is out of work and has no money. But she sacrificed a lot by leaving her family & friends to move across continents to be with him. So, the guy wanted his bride-to-be to sign a prenup. She was upset, furious and rightly so in my opinion.


For those who don't know, a prenup is a marital agreement that states what will happen in case a couple gets divorced.


To me, getting a prenuptial agreement before you get married is the craziest thing ever! 



Are you out of your mind?



Marriage is not to be taken lightly. If you cannot trust your fiancé/fiancée to stay with you forever, or if you think your partner can ruin your finances in the future, then end your engagement now!




For engaged couples who feel the need to get this document signed in case they get divorced in the future, I say have a rethink.


Whether or not you agree, Prenup casts a dark cloud around your marriage.


In my opinion, a prenup contract is a double-edged sword that will eventually hurt your marriage. Most likely, you will get divorced because you wished for it by signing the prenup agreement before your wedding even began.


Listen! On your wedding day, you vow to love each other till your lives end. You exchange wedding rings as a symbol of a love that knows no end.





Then, how can you also sign a document that states that in case your marriage fails, you will leave with your own wealth????


That's crazy! I don't care how rich one of you is, if you feel the need to sign a prenup: 


Let me tell you what it implies;


1. You do not TRUST your partner.


2. You are not ready to SHARE all your worldly goods with your life partner.


3. Material things are of great concern to you more than the need to take a leap of FAITH with the person you say you want to spend the rest of your life with.





4. You have serious doubts about your ability to stay and battle through tough times ahead.


5. You are a fair-weather spouse and therefore unreliable.


6.The LOVE you have for your spouse is not DEEP enough and it is questionable.


7.The prenup is your get-away card from your marriage. 

The moment you sign the agreement, your brain, already wired for escape, caves in when tough times pop up because you know you will walk away with your wealth intact.Before long, you are walking into marriage number three or four.


8. Lastly, it indicates, you see an end date for your marriage.


Honestly, if you still have the urge to get a prenup agreement before your wedding day, you should NOT get married.


Flip the coin for a minute.If your partner is richer and wants you to sign a prenup, how will you feel?


Finally, remember you cannot say the words, 'I do' with an expiration date for your marriage in mind.


Try my emotional therapy tips on my Advice Corner and you will see deeper bonds form between you and your wife / husband through God's grace.


I hope you connect emotionally with your husband or wife so you can experience a more fulfilling and loving bliss in your marriage.




lucy blair

If only we knew when we begin our lives that in the end, the only thing that truly matters, are our relationships, perhaps we would make them our top priority. We are social creatures that can evolve immensely simply by relating our experiences to others. This is how we learn to deepen our understanding of ourselves and each other. Our relationships in life also pave the way for more favorable physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. It could be relationships award us with a sense of being alive, or it could be that they make you feel valued, it’s the reciprocity of these positive feelings that create meaningful lives.

  1. Marriage does not equate with happiness. The reason one can be in a happy marriage is if they feel supported, and many marriages fail to provide this over time. This blog also touches on the fact that one does not even need marriage at all, if we are surrounded by encouraging friends or family and a significant other as a companion, that is all we need to thrive within the health benefits of a loving relationship.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2016/03/causation-correlation-and-marriage.html

  1. ‘How to have satisfying, functional and intimate relationships is probably as essential as literacy or numeracy.’ In this blog, we are given specific skills on how to move forward in relationships in order to relate to others healthily, mindfully and kindly. Listening with attention and communicating effectively both play large roles in the success of a relationship.

http://rolereboot.org/sex-and-relationships/details/2016-10-need-learn-better-relationship-skills/

  1. This article lays down the difference between a ‘hedonic’ (more about experiencing pleasure in life) perspective on relationships and a ‘eudonic’ (more about reaching your potential in life) one. In order to understand and predict the well being of a relationship, one must first determine which of this perspectives drive it. The conclusion is generally that they more a partner feels valued and understood as opposed to just ‘enjoyed’, the greater the meaning on your life.

http://www.scienceofrelationships.com/home/2016/11/14/a-sidekick-for-self-actualization-how-our-partners-make-us-g.html

  1. If we are ‘in love’, we are experiencing a hormonal surge similar to any elation, joy and some would say it’s a high. If we are ‘loving’, we are much more concerned with the minutiae of our partner’s life and sustaining a grounded, authentic love. An ideal relationship is one with a combination of passion and compassion.

https://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-the-difference-between-loving-and-being-in-love/

  1. We often lose connections in our relationships because we rely heavily on our own potentially misguided mental perceptions of what the other may be thinking. Eye contact and affection are strong indicators of connection, as it promotes security. Couples sometimes fall into a negative cycle of assumptions, missing visual cues to connect, that could lead to a more understanding relationship.

https://stantatkinblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/15/seeing-and-understanding-each-other/

  1. In this blog, an interview with author Susan David, discusses the concept of emotional agility. She feels people in romantic relationships are often ‘inagile’ emotionally, meaning that their thoughts and emotions ultimately create stories which then direct their action. Oftentimes they are negative and ultimately push you away from the goal of a healthy relationship.

https://www.gottman.com/blog/emotional-agility-improves-relationships-interview-susan-david-ph-d/

  1. How can one define love? It is relative to the person that is feeling the emotion, therefore it is not very easy to qualify. In the realm of psychology, experts continue to research it and one particularly useful framework is the ‘triangle theory’. This theory is based on the belief that there are three facets to love, those are passion, intimacy and commitment, and within those three lie seven types of relationships for which one can define their own relationship.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201308/which-the-7-types-love-relationships-fits-yours

To be emotionally involved in someone else’s life and connected in some way is what it means to be in a relationship. However, the life that exists inside them is what can be either transformative or debilitating depending on amount of awareness given to the relationship. When a relationship is flowing, our lives are enriched, we can be ourselves and see ourselves in the reflection we give to others.

jcy


Love at first sight: Is it possible? Do people really meet and in moments simply know they're meant to be? New evidence suggests: Yes, they do.


The idea is wonderfully romantic: Two strangers see each other "across a crowded room," there's an instant attraction, an electric spark, and suddenly they've found their match and never look back. In a world where dating often requires a lot of work—that comes with disappointment, rejection, and uncertainty—falling in love at first sight has strong appeal.


People say it happens all the time. If you start with personal testaments, love at first sight seems like the real deal. Prince Harry reportedly experienced it, saying he knew Meghan Markle was the one for him the "very first time we met" (BBC interview). Portia de Rossi has said pretty much the same about Ellen DeGeneres, as has Matt Damon about his wife, Luciana. Of course, celebrities have no monopoly on the phenomenon; some evidence suggests that about 60 percent of people have experienced it (Naumann, 2004). You probably have friends who swear this happened to them, or maybe you yourself just "knew" in that very first moment you laid eyes on your current partner.


But did it really happen?


Rarely have scientists empirically studied love at first sight, but new research out of the Netherlands offers evidence in support of the phenomenon (Zsok, Haucke, De Wit, & Barelds, 2017). The researchers asked nearly 400 men and women to complete surveys about potential romantic partners immediately after first encountering those individuals. This included indicating their agreement with the statement, "I am experiencing love at first sight with this person," as well as reporting how physically attractive they found the person, and how much passion (sexual attraction) they felt. Data collection was dispersed across three contexts—online; in the lab (where pictures of potential partners were shown); and in person (where individuals saw each other face-to-face).


With a real-time measure of love at first sight, what exactly did Zsoks and colleagues (2017) learn?


1. Love at first sight isn't just biased memory


People really do report experiencing love at first sight in the instant they encounter a person. It's a strong initial attraction that could later become a relationship. One compelling counter-argument—that people have biased memories and essentially create the illusion of having fallen for each other instantly—isn't an appropriate explanation for all cases of love at first sight.


2. You're more likely to feel love at first sight with beautiful people


In this study, strangers were more likely to report experiencing love at first sight with physically attractive others; in fact, one rating higher in attractiveness on the scale that the researchers used corresponded with a nine times greater likelihood that others would report that electric love-at-first-sight feeling.


3. Men report love at first sight more than women


The researchers aren't sure why this happens, but it begs more investigation. Might women be less inclined to this experience because they are more selective in whom they might date, as other research has shown? Men might, for example, report this experience with multiple potential partners. But whether this translates into relationships is another question.


4. Love at first sight isn't usually mutual


A comparison of participant reports of love at first sight showed that it's typically a one-sided phenomenon; this suggests that shared instant love isn't very common. The researchers suspect, however, that one partner's intense initial experience could help shape the other person's recollection, shifting it toward a belief that he or she also experienced love at first sight.


5. Love at first sight isn't really "love"


The kind of qualities that are known to reflect love—intimacy, commitment, passion—are not particularly strong in those first moments when people say they've fallen in love at first sight. At least, these emotions are not experienced to the same degree as they are by people in established relationships. The extent to which people in relationships report feeling intimacy and commitment and passion toward their partners far exceeds reports of these emotions by people who experience love at first sight. Yet the love-at-first-sight experience appears open to these emotions to a greater extent than first meetings where love at first sight is not reported.


In sum, science favors the romantics. Love at first sight actually is experienced by people, but it's not so much "love" or "passion," Instead, it's a strong pull or attraction that makes someone particularly open to the possibilities of a relationship (Zsoks et al., 2017). Love at first sight can happen multiple times, and maybe the instances where it fizzles or simply never translates into a relationship are forgotten. But when love at first sight does launch a sustained relationship, the story is a great one.


References


Naumann, E. (2004). Love at first sight: The stories and science behind instant attraction. Sourcebooks, Inc..  


Zsok, F., Haucke, M., De Wit, C. Y., & Barelds, D. P. (2017). What kind of love is love at first sight? An empirical investigation. Personal Relationships, 24, 869-885.  






https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/meet-catch-and-keep/201801/is-love-first-sight-real

jcy
Snap, tap and follow are some of the new ways humans now relate. How did we get here and where are we going next. Do you want a prediction? Stay tuned... 


Attention span of most people these days only a few minutes. I was talking to a girl the other day, via text messaging and after a long pause, I followed up with so how do you think how conversation is going and she was completely blindfolded in her thoughts as to what we were even saying or whom I was. Mind you she could easily have just gone back to the previous messages to recall, but the drudgery that would cause her brain is pretty substantial.


Imagine marriage. I mean everyday is a new thing. Why would you even want to have children if you could wake up one day tired of them and wanting to trade them for your neighbors children. ..


This is what life is becoming, but where are we going? 

jcy

Today is Day 6 of #LoveBlog with the prompt of Blogger Love. Find all the other prompts here! Post contains affiliate links. 


One of the reasons I write about relationship advice is because so much of the blogs on marriage give shit advice.


The biggest problem is when a smug newlywed takes what has worked during her first few months of marriage and then writes about how that one trait is necessary for every single marriage ever.


Yeah, okay.


I personally prefer when a married writer tells a story of a problem she encountered during marriage, shares how she & her spouse resolved that problem, and concludes with the lesson she learned. Then readers can decide for themselves whether or not that lesson applies to their own marriage. Those are my favorite kind of blogs on marriage!


Luckily, there are some awesome resources out there on relationships in general, and on marriage in particular.


Looking to improve your relationship? Check out these amazing blogs on marriage and relationships! | Belle Brita


1) The Gottman Institute

The Gottman Institute blog gets the #1 position because its advice is based on science. Not just feel-good stuff that worked for the one couple writing a blog, but actual empirical research. Dr. John Gottman and his colleagues have spent decades studying couples and identifying behaviors that place a couple at risk for divorce. Seriously, this is one of the best blogs on marriage.


2) A Practical Wedding

This website isn’t just about weddings! A Practical Wedding also features a “Relationships” section with essays on relationships and marriage. It’s a refreshing take on how to survive and to thrive in a relationship, married or otherwise, in the 21st century.


3) Marriage 365

Casey and Meygan have shared their own journey through marital struggles while offering practical advice to couples on how to improve their marriage. I definitely don’t agree with all of their advice (seriously, if one more person tells me I can’t spend time alone with someone of the opposite sex, I will scream), but I otherwise love the frank articles on sex and the encouragement to have hard conversations.


4) Sexy Marriage

Dr. Corey Allan is a Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Ph.D. in Family Therapy. While his Christian faith influences his views on marriage, his blog isn’t overly preachy. Sexy Marriage also offers free marriage courses to strengthen your marriage. Other married writers contribute to this website.


5) Captain Awkward

I freaking love Captain Awkward. She gives amazing advice about all kinds of situations. What I love best is that she often provides scripts for you to follow when setting boundaries or when bringing up a difficult situation with a loved one. She doesn’t just give relationship and marriage advice, so even singletons should check out her blog!


6) Scarleteen

So, this is more about dating/sex/relationships than it is about marriage. But honestly, even married couples can use medically-accurate sex advice!


7) Love, Joy, Feminism

Libby Anne blogs about topics other than marriage, but I love her feminist perspective on marriage and marriage equality.


8) Enduring All Things

I’m a little biased because I consider Charlene to be a blogging friend. One day we will meet in person! She recently rebranded her blog to focus more on marriage. She and her husband have been together since high school, so she definitely has a fair amount of personal experience to share!


9) A Prioritized Marriage

Amberly comes from a Mormon background, but her posts on marriage are refreshingly practical for couples of any faith. She writes about date night ideas, balancing marriage with a pregnancy/first baby, and the nitty-gritty of marriage, like finances. I also love her guest series featuring wives writing uplifting guest posts about their husbands. (You can read mine here!)


10) Luvze

More data! Does anyone else totally geek out when reading well-cited articles on hot-button topics like relationships? Most of the writers for Luvze are college professors with a Ph.D. Really great thoughts here on dating, relationships, and marriage.


 


11) Belle Brita

Who, me? I love writing about dating, relationships, sex, and marriage! I openly critique all the bad advice floating around while sharing my own experiences and ideas.


12) Role Reboot

I’m an infrequent contributor to Role Reboot, so I’m again biased here. While the contributors to Role Reboot also cover life and family issues, I love their Sex + Relationships section. Some of the articles are general advice. Others are firsthand experiences that provide insights you might apply to your own life. All of it is feminist-friendly.


13) #staymarried

Just ignore the fact that the very first blog first post states the myth that 50% of marriages end in divorce. I am so over that myth and all the hand-wringing about the devaluation of marriage in America. Otherwise, Tony & Michelle Peterson share helpful resources to strengthen your marriage.


14) Project: Happily Ever After

Edit 12/19/2019: The website Project: Happily Ever After exists again, but the marriage section hasn’t been updated since 2014. If you haven’t read her archives, I highly recommend them.


Alisa Bowman chronicled the changes she & her husband made to save their marriage. She offers blog posts, interviews, and book recommendations to improve your marriage. What I especially love is her willingness to write about divorce. Not all reasons are good reasons to stay in a marriage.


15) Must be This Tall to Ride

Have you read the viral post about divorce and dirty dishes? Yeah, that came from this blogger. Matt Fray is divorced and writes about what led to his divorce. He writes about his contributions to his divorce, but also his wife’s. He has some sexist biases (lots of relationship writers do), but overall, I appreciate his candid thoughts.


16) Bonobology

Bonobology shares real stories and relationship advice for Indian couples. Blog categories include Relationships, Marriage, and Love, with subcategories like LGBT, In-Laws and Other Family Dynamics, and Spirituality. They also offer forums to discuss relationship questions with others. You can even submit a question to one of three relationship counselors, all of whom have their degrees and experience listed.


17) Happy Wives Club

Fawn loves her marriage and her life as a wive. She started Happy Wives Club to connect with other women who feel the same way. Her marriage blog offers date night ideas, gift suggestions, marriage advice, sex tips, and more. Fawn has also written two books on marriage.


18) Married and Young

Edit 12/19/2019: The website hasn’t been updated since February 2018. However, I encourage you to read the archives.


Married and Young is a religious blog on marriage, dating/courting, and relationships. While the viewpoint is more conservative than my own, this website offers practical advice for both singles and couples, alongside religious blog posts.


19) Engaged Marriage

Engaged Marriage offers practical tips to strengthen your marriage. While Dustin and Bethany Riechmann are Catholic, their website has articles that could apply to any couple. They do have some pieces that address religion, but if you’re not religious, you can easily skip those blog posts. If you’re looking for more than their free advice, Engaged Marriage also sells multiple products to help couples. I’ve linked to 15-Minute Marriage Makeover, a book that I’m reading and applying to my own marriage right now!


20) Two Drifters

Amy and Nathan are a married couple who met while traveling in Scotland. Now they run Two Drifters, a marriage and relationships blog focused on travel for couples! Even if you don’t need travel advice, they offer plenty of helpful articles on all aspects of healthy relationships. I’ve linked directly to their Relationships category!






http://bellebrita.com/2016/02/best-blogs-marriage-relationships/

jcy Feb 6
jcy


Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt; Michelle and Barack Obama; Bill and Melinda Gates—


 


What do these power couples have in common?


 


They met at work.


 


Whether it was at a Chicago law firm, a sunny Silicon Valley tech giant, or on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, work served as the background to their flourishing love stories.


 


But—it’s not just celebrities who meet at work. We all do. And office romance is no longer the taboo it was decades ago. Yet...


Not everything in the garden is rosy.


 


According to Vault, 58% of employees have, at some point in their career, engaged in an office romance (both random hookups and long-term relationships), and 18% become each other’s spouses. At the same time, most employees think office romance would harm their careers: 64% of those participating in an office romance kept it a secret.


 


Yes, dating at work can produce thriving relationships if approached with a healthy mindset, expectations, and boundaries. 


 


But before you go off the deep end or sleep with the boss, consider both the benefits and drawbacks it can bring to your career.


 


Pros of Romance at Work for Your Career

 


First things first:


 


Why do we coworkers fall for one another? According to professor of psychology Art Markman, it’s pretty simple: we spend tons of time together at work. 


 


But—that can’t be the only reason. If it were, people would jump into jobs based on the likelihood of finding a partner. You look for a job you’re passionate about, or at least interested in.


 


And that’s the real underlying reason for your workplace crushes. You share similar passions, views, skills, and interests. You work on the same projects and are equally excited when you succeed.


 


Research backs this up—people tend to fall in love with those similar to themselves. 


 


Quite naturally, the more familiar you are with a colleague and the more you two have in common, the more likely you are to fall for them.


 


The good news? 


 


Your office romance may positively influence your productivity and overall performance at work. Let’s look into the reasons why:


 


1) You know how they communicate and how to respond

 


As coworkers, you have a mutual connection already: shared environment and business goals. As romantic partners, you usually learn more about each other, start to communicate more frequently and, thus, more effectively.


When I collaborated with my then-girlfriend and colleague on a project, I already knew both her strengths and weaknesses (as well as her positive and negative character traits). Being her manager, it helped a lot to organize the working process so she would focus on tasks she did best. Also, we both understood triggers that could influence the work results, communicating accordingly and, therefore, reducing the chances of unexpected behaviors.

Mike Hanski

the mind behind Bid4Papers

2) You know them on a deeper level

 


Picture this: you did something great for your team today. You go home to tell your partner, friend, roommate, whoever, the good news. You get into the nitty gritty details because you’re so proud of the work you did.


 


They’re trying to get what you’re saying, but they’ll never really understand what it means to you on a personal level.


 


If you’re dating a coworker, they’ll be the one to bring it up first, and even take you out for a drink for your success.


 


Having someone know you on this deeper level, where it’s easy to understand your wins and losses on a daily basis, brings you closer to that person just because they get what you’re going through.


 


3) You team up for better results

 


It works even better if you are from different departments of the same organization.


 


As far as it's often challenging to organize productive communication between departments—due to their different schedules, project priorities, workload, etc.—you and your other half may become those links to enhance the teamwork of two different departments.


 


Team up to share ideas, views, and constructive criticism for better time management and effective cooperation at the workplace.


 


4) You consult each other on work issues whenever appropriate

 


There’s nothing better than knowing you’re right when an argument comes up in your relationship. And you don’t shy away from telling your significant other why they’re wrong.


 


This dynamic helps you become better employees. Think about it: you know your partner is wrong but no one else is speaking up about it. You’re more comfortable to share your views and criticize them. 


 


You express the thoughts honestly and with no fear of rejection, motivating other coworkers to be more positively-aggressive when persuading someone else to listen to their ideas.


 


It helps to promote a good environment and work efficiency. Also, love relationships influence our personality and attitude to the people around us; so your communication with coworkers may change for the better, too.


 


6) Your romance can boost energy and motivation to work

 


According to some research, people in love are more productive than ever: that's because of chemical reactions in the brain, boosting your overall energy and motivation to "move heaven and earth."


 


More than that, offensive rumors and prejudices about romance at work can motivate those in love to work better to prove a negative and show the positive side of their relationships.


 


But what about those rumors, huh? This brings us to the other side of the coin—


 


Cons of Romance at Work for Your Career 

 


If you’ve become romantically interested in a colleague, do your best to proceed carefully.


 


1) Your productivity may tend to decline

 


Some experts insist that it may be challenging to separate professional and personal aspects in the office, which affects work performance negatively.


 


A survey from Namely HR Solutions says that 15% of workers are less productive when dating a colleague.


 


Why? It’s simple: riding high on Cloud Nine means you’re not grounded in reality.


 


You go to the bathroom to text. You take long lunches. You wait to see if they’ll pass by your cubicle. Meanwhile, you’re missing important emails and deadlines.


 


You’re not just in love: you’re distracted. And that makes you procrastinate. It doesn’t affect only your production, but the team as a whole.


 


What started with oo’s and aah’s now turned into murmurs and whispers from your other colleagues. They see your decline in work, they may feel angry (as far as every person in a team is responsible for group projects), their work dedication suffers...


 


Also, your distractions make other teammates work more to meet deadlines, causing misunderstandings and toxic atmosphere in the office.


 


2) Your company may have strict policies regarding it

 


About 41% of employees don't know their company's policy regarding romance at work, while it may consider it a reputational risk and prohibit them from dating coworkers, vendors, or customers. 


 


Or, your company may require specific disclosures as for office romance, while only 16% of employees feel comfortable enough to tell HRs about their relationship. (64% of those participating in an office romance keep it a secret.)


 


Violating the policies, you risk a lot. Gossip or accusations (some companies have evolved the policies after the #MeToo movement) may cost you a career. So, make sure to investigate the rules before you start a relationship.


 


Also, don't hide your office romance: be open with coworkers and your boss. Sure enough, there's no need to tell everyone just after the first date or a hookup, when you're still not sure where the relationship will go. But if things do get serious, let people know as soon as you can to reduce the prejudices and the awkwardness.


 


Let’s be real—


Even if you do everything to keep your affair secret, coworkers are still very much likely to figure it out. As a result, your personal brand reputation may suffer.


 


3) Rumors can cost you a promotion

 


According to the 2011 research on flirting at work, people who often see it feel less satisfied with their jobs and less valued by their companies. So your romance at work may disrupt a professional culture, affect coworkers' morale and productivity, and impact a company in general.


 


Rumors will take place, especially if one from your couple is a boss. Others may perceive it as favoritism, diminishing the credibility of the boss in the eyes of the team—which, in turn, can cause your professional reputation to suffer: some may think you are in romance to get or give preferential treatment. It creates an alternate explanation for coworkers on why you're successful in your career.


 


4) Breaking up, you still have to work together

 


What’s worse than a bad breakup? 


 


Knowing you have to see that person every Monday morning.


 


Life is life. Even if you were serious about an office romance, breakups happen. The con here is obvious:


It’s easy to get distracted from work because of depression, anxiety, and simply seeing your new ex at work and overanalyzing communications—or miscommunications. It’s easy for office productivity to fail under any negative circumstances, but especially when both parties in a failed romance work at the same place.

April Masini

author at Ask April

Not to mention, when breaking up, you may have negative feelings for each other but still have to work together. It may affect the relations between departments, or your friendly coworkers will have to choose sides. All this bodes no good to work performance: it may turn into separation and toxic culture.


 


So, what do you do?

 


You've been infatuated with a coworker for years, should you go for it?


 


You'll have to answer that for yourself.


 


But…


 


How about we take it from those who have been there before? A vast majority (72%) believe the positives outweigh the negatives and would engage in an office romance again if given the chance.


 


I just hope you know all the risks and do everything right to avoid them.


 


If approached with a healthy mindset, expectations, and boundaries, your office romance may actually boost the motivation and overall work performance in the department (and be fun!).


 


Just make sure you learn the company policies and follow them. And—


If things get serious, don't hide your office romance from colleagues, and don't leave any place for negative rumors and gossip.


 


Thanks for reading! Now, let’s get the discussion going:


Have you ever dated a coworker? How did it unfold?

Do you think it’s okay for companies to have strict policies on romance at work?

What do you think is most difficult when being in a relationship with someone from work?

 


Let us know in the comments!


jcy

The voices and footsteps from the stage echoed back into the wings, and the familiar nervous exhilaration prickled across Lainie’s skin, raising goosebumps on her bare forearms and rousing butterflies beneath the tight lacing of her gown. She had thoroughly enjoyed her television work this past year, but she’d missed the visceral, bone-deep thrill of theatre. There was nothing quite like performing live.

She inserted the tip of her little finger beneath a ribbon and pulled hard. The Jacobean corsetry, however, she could do without. Her 1920s costumes for Knightsbridge might be hellishly unflattering on anyone with hips, but they didn’t squeeze her internal organs.

A burst of laughter from the audience eased a fraction of the tension from her neck and back. When the crowd was having a good time, and was generous in showing it, the energy was infectious.

It was still surreal that she was standing here, surrounded by so much history that the walls seemed to resonate with words and nerves and ghosts.

She wasn’t kidding herself. She’d been offered this festival role so the public could pay to watch her publicly insult and snog her husband, not because the director had watched her jiggling through the Charleston on telly and been struck with the vision of his ideal Beatrice, but whatever. She hadn’t been about to turn down the most famous theatre in London. And Much Ado About Nothing was one of her favourite plays, so it checked off two career goals in one contract.

Although it might have been better if the production team had picked one of Shakespeare’s bloody, violent tragedies for the gala run. Pressing her palm against the wooden beam next to her, Lainie leaned her cheek against her hand and listened to the faint strains of the deep cadence of Richard’s voice. The butterfly wings beat harder.

He really was a brilliant actor.

Inspiring to every other performer on the stage.


jcy Feb 6
jcy

Her hair swayed in the breeze, tickling the back of her neck

She was lounging in the hammock, under the tall beach tree

I could only see her back from where I was standing, but by the curvature of her neck I guessed she was reading

It had been 175 days since I’d last seen my wife

And now I was frozen, unable to move

She looked so peaceful, so beautiful

So soft and distinctly different from the active war zone I’d just left

And she didn’t know I was home

-Layla-

I spent most of my evenings in the hammock, enjoying the late August sun

Today I was reading, but sometimes I’d knit, or draw, or just watch the birds

I was trying to take my mind off the fact that it was my second wedding anniversary today, and I had no wife to spend it with

But all of a sudden I head a sound behind me, and turned my head

“Jasmine!” I cried, all but falling out of the hammock

She gave me the biggest grin I’d ever seen as she ran to steady me

I threw my arms around her, burying my face in her neck

And I started to sob with relief


jcy Feb 6
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