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When partners are facing a tough time in their relationship, then sometimes they need to bring in an outside party to help them sort things out. Half the battle in many relationships is getting both partners to agree to couples' therapy. Many... Read More
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Love Him from a Long Distance: 5 Secrets

Some people may say that it is impossible to keep the fires burning on a long-distance relationship. Others reply that simply isn't true because absence makes the heart grow fonder. So who is right? The survivability of your long-distance romance will depend on the type of relationship you have built.

New couples often feel the bumps in the road separating them more intensely, while established couples can navigate the potholes better and keep their romance on cruise control.{relatedarticles}

Although long-distance romances present unique challenges, they are not predetermined to fail just because the fire isn't stoked every day. However, until the great divide between you and your significant other ends, here are 5 secrets for managing your long-distance relationship that will strengthen the bridge between you and your sweetheart.

 

Secret One: Use Technology to the Fullest

Did you know that putting the "I" into your relationship -- whether it be an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch -- just might help keep the "we" part of the relationship strong and healthy. Regardless of what the love optimists say, the mind has this awful trick of blurring images that aren't in focus.


He might not forget your face, but over time, some of your lovely and wonderful features won't be as sharp as they were when you were together. If your sweet voice isn't lingering in his ears enough, then it is time to ramp up your social media skills. Here are a few suggestions for managing your long-distance relationship with the latest technology.

 

  • Look for plans, services or apps that offer unlimited sharing features. A free app called Pair was recently launched for the iPhone that allows couples to share exclusively videos and photos, text, and even sketch together for free.
  • Buy a webcam. While nothing replaces in-person visits, videoconferencing is honestly the next best thing to being there. If your computer does not have a built-in webcam, get an external one for around $30 for those late-night, intimate chats.
  • Sign up for a video chat service. In addition to the webcam, you will need an account with Facetime, Skype, Gmail, iChat, AIM, or another service. Placing and receiving video chats is simple and costs nothing or very little. As long as your loved one has an account on the same network, you can talk face to face for as long as you want.{relatedarticles}

 

Secret Two: Prepare a Care Package

Care packages are not just for college students or overseas servicemen anymore. Next to keeping your face in the picture and your seductive voice in his ears, your next move is to fill the void of some of the other senses that your boyfriend is missing that remind him of you. A care package is a perfect way to stimulate these sensations from afar.


 

If you love to cook -- and your beau loves to eat your cooking -- whip up a batch of his favorite cookies or brownies. If your fellow is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, you can still send him his favorites packed in dry ice. When the goodies arrive, all your honey has to do is pop them in the oven or microwave and bon appétit -- it is just like you are standing in his kitchen. Food is a perfect care package because it will satisfy those primal needs.

But don't just limit your care package to food. Send him a new playlist of his favorite songs and be sure to slip in "your song" as a surprise. Another idea is to appeal to his sense of smell by sending him a pillowcase with your intoxicating scent on it. To get the maximum effect, sleep on the pillow after washing your hair or applying your favorite perfume to soak up your effervescence. The trick is to surround your guy with scents that will remind him of you and your great times together.{relatedarticles}

 

Secret Three: Plan a Visit

 

You can get a lot of mileage from a planned visit before, during and after your trip. First, comes the building of excitement of planning your trip and what you will be doing once you arrive. Next, of course, comes the actual excitement while you are there. Then finally, the afterglow once you are back home reminiscing about how much fun you had and how you cannot wait until the next time.

 

Secret Four: Keep Yourself Busy

 

The greatest gift you can give your long-distance lover is to keep yourself busy. While reminiscing about old times is fine for awhile, you will need to talk about something new to keep your romance fresh. If you and sweetheart have mutual friends, go and hang out with them so you keep your fellow caught up on all the neighborhood gossip. Remember, you had a life before you met him, which made you the interesting and attractive person he fell in love with. Go out and rediscover yourself with the extra time on your hands.


 

 

Secret Five: Make Him Feel Touched

 

You now have secrets for satisfying 4 of his 5 sensations: sight, sound, smell and taste. But how do you satisfy the sensation of touch from long distance? When people talk about "touch," they are not just talking about the physical sense of touch.

The other sense is when someone feels "touched" and experiences that inner warmth that comes from knowing one is loved and cherished. You can make your boyfriend feel touched in many ways, but start by telling how much you care about him and miss him. No fellow ever gets tired of hearing about how important he is to you.{relatedarticles}

While the above secrets can be quite effective, remember that they are still only substitutes for the real thing. Be prepared for stormy weather caused by the strain of being apart. Relationships are very unpredictable.

One moment you can be basking in the sun and warmth of virtual intimacy, and the next moment feel that you are separated by a void as big as the ocean. Just remember to keep working at it until you unlock his heart with the right combination of secrets for making your long distance relationship work.


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When it's OK to Reconcile with Your Ex

Is on-again, off-again the story of your life?

Plenty of couples break up to make up. It's an age-old dilemma that even the best of us face. As romantics, we're often compelled to rekindle that troubled romance and take another shot at love. But is it really okay to reconcile with your ex?

Only you can say for certain what is right or wrong for your situation, but our friendly advice and little nuggets of wisdom will hopefully provide some food for thought during this period of soul searching.

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What caused the breakup?

It's important to think back and try to be objective about what led to the split. Regardless of whether it was mutual and amicable, or if you were the dumper or the dumpee, there is almost always a reason behind the split. Far too often we tend to gloss over the negative and focus entirely on the positive in times like these; the heart wants what it wants, as they say.


Ask yourself the following questions and answer them honestly:
  • How would reconciling affect the nature of the relationship?
  • Would anything change?
  • What made you unhappy when you were together?
  • Who or what was at fault?
  • What was good about the relationship?
  • Did the breakup happen because of a single issue (for example, infidelity)?
  • Was it something trivial (he didn't call when he said he would)?
  • Was it a build-up of things that finally hit a boiling point? {relatedarticles}

When analyzing the pre-breakup relationship, it can be helpful to write down a pros and cons list. Be brutally honest with yourself. Small self-deceptions will only harm you in the long run so save yourself some heartache.


Actions Speak Louder than Words

Oftentimes, getting back together with an ex happens because we expect that person to have a major epiphany and change. Perhaps he has promised to curb his inconsiderate ways. The harsh truth is, we are who we are. Many a breakup has occurred throughout human history because we have tried to change the person with whom we're together. However, it's unlikely you'll ever witness the transformation you've been awaiting.

Idiosyncrasies included, you must accept the individual as he or she is. You can communicate your grievances, and he may even make genuine efforts to acquiesce to your demands in order to be with you. But saying you are going to do something is much different from actually living it. So be wary of promises. Take some time and observe the "change." If his actions revert back to the same old situation, you'll know that his words -- along with his promise -- were empty.

The Heart vs. The Mind

The epic internal dialogue, the subject of countless books and films, what's right: the heart or the head? The song doesn't lie: breaking up is hard to do. While your rational mind may be telling you that it's not worth the emotional rollercoaster ride, the heart wants to put a quick end to the heartache - it says, if it feels good do it.

Usually, the heart is victorious. When you break up all over again, the mind scoffs at the heart's weakness. These two entities don't have to be diametrically opposed. Sometimes they do sync. It's all about striking a balance, and experience dealing with both life forces will arm you with wisdom in the future.


Don't get stuck on the notion that he's "the one;" there are plenty of fish in the sea that are probably just right for you. Getting your heart broken a few times will force you to be more selective about who you let in, while allowing your mind to recognize the red flags as early warning signs not to continue in a bad relationship.

Even when we know it's wrong to get back with an ex, we do it anyway. Why? Sometimes we have to make our own mistakes in order to learn from them. As long as the relationship wasn't abusive in any way, it's okay to give yourself this permission. The point is to grow as a person, take what you can from the experience, and resolve not to walk the same path the next time.

The 5 Stages of Grief

The grieving process doesn't only apply to the death of a loved one. The 5 stages of grief can be used for breakups, too. Identifying where you stand with your grieving can shed some light on whether you're ready to take him back.

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  • Denial - You are in a state of shock. You are trying to avoid the pain of this loss by refusing to accept that the relationship is over.
  • Anger - Once the reality of it sets in, you feel like you have been treated unfairly and may lash out at him or others in your life.
  • Bargaining - You or your former partner might make promises to change - that whatever caused the breakup won't happen again.
  • Depression - The inner turmoil of the breakup, usually consisting of the inability to sleep, eat, or accomplish daily tasks.
  • Acceptance - Moving on with your life and accepting the circumstances of the breakup, even making peace with your role in it.

The Logistics of a Relationship

Some breakups happen because of practicalities. For instance, one person is relocated out of state because of work or school. Additionally, a good relationship can begin too young and a desire to sow one's wild oats and experience what else is out there may emerge.

If you choose to try again, give yourself a time frame. If things aren't working out again, vow to end them after a set amount of time. After all, you could be much happier in a new relationship with someone who is appreciative and actively building a future with you than trying to resuscitate a failed relationship. A relationship should make your life better, not worse.

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Poet Kahlil Gibran once said: "If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don't, they never were." Sometimes we have to take our own roads in life, and if those paths have the chance to meet again, there's nothing wrong with picking up where you left off in your relationship.


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Sex for Dummies: Who Can Help You Get Your Groove On

Feel like you're fumbling in the bedroom? Everyone deserves a happy, healthy and fulfilling sex life but inexperience, social stigmas or self-esteem can all keep you from reaching your sexual potential. You might feel like you'll be stuck as a 40-year-old virgin or an awkward one-night stand forever, but there is hope. Check out these resources, people and places that can help you get your mojo back.{relatedarticles}

A Sex Therapist - Okay, okay you're probably having flashbacks of Dr. Ruth or your mother's old dog-eared copy of "The Joy of Sex" but modern sex therapy is a whole new game. While visiting a sex therapist may not be up there on your list of "fun things to do" it can be quite beneficial.

A professional sexual counselor can help you work through your issues in a private and neutral environment. Whether it is shyness, inability to reach orgasm or a health disorder - you can work to improve it through mind and body exercises.

Sex School - These classes go beyond what you learned in sex ed. Popping up all over the country in erotic stores and natural health clinics are sensuality workshops that teach men and women new sexual techniques that can improve your performance and make you more comfortable experimenting in the bedroom. Topics can range anywhere from massage to mastering the art of dirty talk. Go on, make him hot for teacher.


Pole Dancing Classes - Feel like your moves could use a little updating? Trying to build up your sexual bravado? Pole dancing classes could give you the confidence boost you've been looking for.{relatedarticles}

Not only will you learn new steps to get your man's heart pumping, you'll get a workout and start feeling better about your body image. Typically most classes are made of all women so there's no need to feel self-conscious when learning how to shake it.

Pull Out an Anatomy Book - Sexual anxiety may stem from the fact that you aren't sure what you're looking at down there and how it works. Obviously a penis and a vagina are no-brainers but what about the clitoris or prostate?

Take time to explore yourself with a hand mirror and see if you can pick out your hot spots. Knowing what parts are what and how they are stimulated may ease some of your worry and make you a better lover.

Watch Porn - No, really, it might seem silly or make you blush but exposing yourself to sexual activity in the privacy of your own home can allow you the ability to become more comfortable with the idea of sex.


You can pick up tips on positions and familiarize yourself with the sights and sounds you may experience. The more you can watch the more relaxed and prepared you will feel when it's time to hit the sheets. If you're worried about looking like a perv to the neighbors, don't fret - online ordering can keep you conspicuous.

Take a Trip to Nevada - Places like the Moonlite Bunny Ranch or the Kit Kat Club in Carson City, Nevada, are legally licensed to offer sexual services for patrons. It can be pretty pricey though, so make sure this is the way you want to go. It can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,400 for a full-on sexual experience with one of the brothel workers.{relatedarticles}

If you've got the cash to make a trip you can have a professional teach you the ropes without the emotional investment and embarrassment that can come along with trying to figure out a sexual relationship on your own.

Your Primary Care Physician - Many sexual problems stem from health problems that you may not be aware of. Issues like high blood pressure, diabetes, depression and side effects from certain medications can all kill your libido. A quick visit to the doctor could save your sex life and keep you from a major health scare in the process.

Change Your Mindset - Start to think of your sexual inexperience as a good thing. In relationships, some partners may actually prefer someone who is willing to learn how to satisfy them and who does not already have certain habits or techniques. Embrace your level of experience and let your partner show you the ropes.


Join a Support Group - After life-changing events like a rape, cancer or death of a close loved one, sexual issues can arise. You may not feel emotionally ready or you could be experiencing physical issues such as dryness and pain.

There are on and offline support groups for women suffering from sexual issues because of health or psychological causes. A quick Internet search can provide you with a listing of groups in your area or online that can offer you a resource for getting over your sexual situation.{relatedarticles}

A Personal Trainer - Maybe the reason you're falling flat in the bedroom is that extra flab. Invest in the services of a personal trainer who can get you looking and feeling your best, which will result in boosting your confidence when the lights go down and the clothes come off. With your newfound fitness you may also feel more comfortable slipping into lingerie or a sexy swimsuit. Who knows, you might meet your next tryst at kickboxing class or running on the track.

Remember that there is nothing wrong or uncommon about being sexually shy or inexperienced. Societal pressures, media, and the Internet have sent mixed messages about sexual norms.


Either you're a bad and naughty girl for thinking about sex or you're an uptight loser for lack of promiscuity. However, it's up to you to overcome awkwardness or inadequacy by finding the methods that work for you and make you feel comfortable.{relatedarticles}

No matter what method, or combination of methods, you choose to unlock your sexuality it won't work if it's a way that makes you uncomfortable or feels fake, go at your own pace and you'll be in the groove in no time!


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