How Do You Know If He’s Bad for You?

how to know if you're in a bad relationshipEvery group of friends has one:

The girl who doesn’t see the warning signs about the guy she’s with.

She’s so happy to be with him that you can’t say anything. You exchange concerned glances with other friends, but you know the rules. It’s not your place to comment.

Besides, maybe you don’t know him as well as she does. There must be something good about him.

But still…

You’re just waiting for the fall. For the day she calls you up and tells you she needs you to come over right away, because something REALLY bad has happened. You’re going to be there for her when that day comes. And then you’re finally going to tell her the truth about what you knew all along.

What you never expected was this phone call…

“Guess what?!” Her voice is the most excited you’ve ever heard. “We’re getting married!”

Whether a relationship is healthy or not doesn’t matter to someone in love.

When you love someone, all you know is that you want to be with him. You want to make it work no matter what. If things get hard, you work harder. Obstacles only strengthen your resolve.

It’s not my job to tell people whether they should split up or stay together. What I think of someone’s relationship isn’t as important as what they think of their relationship. But I do see unhealthy relationships. It’s hard not to notice sometimes.

Here are 3 tipoffs that can help you recognize a relationship that’s not good for you.

  1. You may be in a bad relationship if…
    Your self-esteem has been going up and down a lot.

Some relationships lift us up. They make us feel stronger, happier, and better able to take on the world.

Other relationships lift us up only to dash us down. They’re a roller coaster of emotion.

Rocky relationships can consume your life. You hang in there, because the good times are SO good. You keep hoping you’ll find a way to make it work, so you can live happily ever after.

There’s a lot of satisfaction in fighting to keep the relationship together and make him happy. The harder you work on your relationship, the more committed you feel. You can’t give up now. Not after how much effort you’ve put in.

But if the thought of splitting up fills you with terror, you might want to ask whether it’s love or fear keeping you in the relationship.

  1. You may be in a bad relationship if…
    You’ve started doubting yourself more since you’ve been with him.

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How to Have All the Romance and None of the Regret

how to live without regretsDo you have any relationship regrets? Things you said or did you wish you could take back? Things you didn’t do that you wish you had?

You might think, “Well sure, James. Most of us do.” And you’d be right…as long as you take into account a surprising statistic.

On average, women are roughly two times more likely to have romantic regrets than men.[i] (In contrast, men tend to have more work-related regrets.)

And what’s really fascinating is that the longest lasting, most powerful romantic regrets are not about mistakes. They’re about missed opportunities.

Which means you’re more likely to kick yourself for NOT flirting with the cute guy at Starbucks than for making a fool of yourself if you do.

It’s all about risk. Short-term risks, like embarrassment at a failed flirting attempt, carry more weight in the moment than long-term risks, like regret. Fear of failure can be a powerful motivator.

But I tend to agree with Lucille Ball who famously said, “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.”

At the end of the day or the end of the decade, wouldn’t you rather look back and know you were daring enough to go for it? Even if you don’t always succeed, wouldn’t it be better to regret the things you tried and failed than to regret the things you were too afraid to try?

If so, then you’re ready for a crash course in regret-free romance. Below is a three-step plan to help you carpe that diem.

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Getting Your Romance In Alignment with the Rest of Your Life

how to find the right relationshipHave you ever given thought to how much influence your man has over your life? Both day-to-day happiness, and your overall direction?

His influence is profound.

If you were a fan of the TV show The Office, you’ve seen a fictional version of this in action. By the end of the series, Jim and Pam were married and had kids. But they started as friends, and Pam was engaged to one of the guys who worked in the warehouse.

Pam was the receptionist back then, though she dreamed of a career in graphic design.

But her former fiancé wasn’t supportive of her artistic interests. He wasn’t invested in planning (or even setting a date for) the wedding, either. In fact, Pam was more of an accessory in his life than a focal point.

And it showed. She didn’t pursue any of her dreams. Her boyfriend was a HUGE factor.

The people you surround yourself with can raise you up or pull you down. In fact, recent research shows that even the person you sit next to at work can affect your performance!

Think about how much more significant your partner is.

You need a man who fits with the rest of your life. I’m talking about romance that aligns with everything else that matters to you.

If you can find alignment in the three areas below, you’ll be happier, healthier, and much more likely to have the kind of love you want.

This is the stuff of lasting romance…

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What to Do When Your Relationship Gets Sick

how to solve relationship problemsImagine this scenario.

You wake up one morning feeling kind of crummy. You’ve got a slight fever, and your throat feels like sandpaper. Didn’t someone at the office have strep last week?

Crap.

You go to your doctor, fully expecting him to diagnose you with the strep throat. Because the throat-swab came back positive for Strep.

But he doesn’t. Instead, he tells you to take a cold shower for the fever, and he recommends mints to ease the pain in your throat.

Mints?! You need antibiotics for a bacterial infection like strep!

If that happened, your doctor would just be treating the symptoms without ever addressing the underlying cause. Crazy, right?

And yet, we do the same thing in relationships all the time.

When things are off in a relationship, it’s exhausting. You’ll feel drained and emotionally raw, like a romantic version of the strep. It sucks.

And it won’t get better if you just treat the symptoms.

Treating the symptoms of a “relationship bug” can take on many different forms. You might pamper yourself with a shopping splurge. Or respond to his frustrating behavior with some passive-aggressive jabs. Or even disconnect emotionally by avoiding real conversation and intimate moments.

The relationship will stay sick, and you’ll only feel marginally better. Rather than just treating the symptoms, why not deal with the disease?

I have three suggestions for getting over a relationship ailment.[i] If you’re feeling fatigued in your current romance, the cure is likely in one of these three places.

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