How to Outsmart He-Said-She-Said Arguments

How to Outsmart He-Said-She-Said ArgumentsDid you know there’s a hidden danger in trusting your own memory?

Most of us think of our memory like a personal video recorder. When you remember something, it’s like sitting down in the theater of your own mind and pressing play.

Except, that’s not how memory works. Research Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus knows first hand.

When Loftus was 44 years old, her uncle told her that as a child she discovered her mother in the pool after an accidental drowning. Loftus had no memory of seeing her mom’s body, but she trusted her uncle.

Before long, she started remembering. She could picture details of the day. How her mom was dressed. Even the lights of the police cars.

Which is odd because, as it turns out, her uncle was mistaken. Loftus didn’t witness any of it. Instead, her mind created memories to match what her uncle said.[1]

That’s memory for you. We think of it as an accurate recording, but Loftus is famous for her research that shows how bad eye-witness accounts can be.  It turns out, our memories are surprisingly malleable.[2]

Memories change over time. They morph and combine. Sometimes we add to them. Sometimes we edit details out. Even otherwise honest folks have been known to fabricate entire scenes, believing something happened that never did.

Okay, so there’s A LOT we could explore here, but let’s narrow our focus. How does this affect your relationship?

That depends entirely on how much you let it.

Below are two tips for minimizing the impact of less-than-accurate memories—yours AND his! If you’re tired of he-said-she-said fights, keep reading.

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5 Relationship Myths That Make People Miserable

Relationship MythsHave you ever fallen prey to a widely-held misconception?

Here’s a completely harmless example: shaving makes hair thicker.

This old wives’ tale has been around for a long time, but there’s no truth in it.[1] Shaving can make hair look thicker. But shaving (or waxing) won’t actually make hair grow in fuller than it was before.

If you’ve ever held off removing hair for fear it would come back with a vengeance, the worst you suffered was some stubble. Not ideal, but not the end of the world.

But there are other myths that can really mess with important areas of your life. Like your love life.

But let’s back up a step. There are some commonly held beliefs that have the potential to wreck your relationships before it even gets off the ground. Buy into these lies, and you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Fortunately, they’re easy to identify and disarm.

In fact, as soon as you see them for what they are, the power of these myths will be broken. Let’s tackle these five relationship lies together.

Myth #1: Relationships are hard.

Relationships are not hard. You find someone you have stuff in common with, invest time and effort, and a bond develops. It’s not complex. It’s not even difficult.

Think about it. If relationships required special skills, how would people of all intelligence levels, all backgrounds, all socioeconomic groups, and all cultures find ways to succeed in them?

Relationships themselves are not hard. But building a beautiful relationship that is based on trust and commitment is hard. It takes commitment from two people over a long period of time.

Do you want true intimacy? Then yes, you have to put in the time. You have to commit the effort. There’s no other way.

But it’s not the relationship that is hard.  Instead, think of it like a work of art. It’s a beautiful process that unfolds over time. And the best artists enjoy their work, not just the end result.

Myth #2: Men can’t be trusted.

There’s zero connection between gender and a trustworthy character. While it’s not uncommon for women (and men) to claim the other is less than trustworthy, that’s a bunch of bunk.

The truth is there are people of all kinds who can’t be trusted . . . and there are people of all kinds who CAN be trusted. It’s not about gender. It’s about the individual’s values.

If you make sweeping judgments about men, the resulting bias will cause you to misinterpret and reject the honest claims of the good men who find their way into your life.

Myth #3: Relationships get better when you fix them.
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How to Spot Your Future Husband Faster

How to Spot Your Future Husband FasterWhat are the chances your future husband is trying to meet you online?

One study suggests that it could be as high as 33%.[1]

(Other estimates are more conservative at 5% to 25%, so keep your eyes open in the real world, too. If he’s not online, he’s likely to be working at the same place you work or hanging out with mutual friends.)

But, if your future husband is online, how in the world are you going to find him? Have you seen all the potential matches out there? There are too many to sort through.

Dating sites can’t do the work for you. They can suggest matches but can’t predict chemistry. There are too many variables to consider.

Is your ideal partner near your age, or is he just outside of your ideal age range? Does he live within 30 miles of you, or does he live across the country? Does the camera love him, or will you pass over him because his profile pic is unflattering? Will you message him back, or will you ignore him because he can’t spell?

The human mind isn’t built to cope with questions like that.

Worse yet, if you consistently pick the wrong guys, you’ll waste your time on endless messaging and fruitless dates. You’ll become discouraged, frustrated, and sick of trying. Maybe the day you let your online dating membership expire is the day he tries to get in contact with you.

Luckily, your brain has a friend that knows exactly what to do.

Ever know something “in your gut”?

That’s not just a figure of speech.

You have two systems for making decisions. They’re called, quite cleverly, System 1 and System 2. (Seriously.)

System 1 is your gut or intuition. It’s what helps you make quick decisions, like whether to go for the chicken salad or double cheeseburger. You don’t have to think. You just feel the right answer.

Unfortunately, the “right” answer may actually be wrong, and that’s where System 2 comes in.

System 2 is your rational brain. The educational system taught you that System 2 is the only correct way to make a decision. Without reason, logic, and facts, you’re just guessing.

System 2 oversees our gut decisions. Perhaps your gut is urging you to move in with your boyfriend, but you write down a list of pros and cons to determine whether it’s really a good idea or not.

As great as it sounds, System 2 is remarkably bad at picking romantic partners for us.

You meet someone who is perfect on paper in every way. He’s exactly the sort of man you always said you wanted. But you’re not interested in the slightest. Your head tells you to go out with him, but your gut says, “I’ve got better plans. Pajamas. Netflix. Ice cream.”

Your gut is louder than your brain. Once it decides, its decision sticks.

So what does all that mean for online dating? And how does it help you find the perfect guy faster?

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When He Doesn’t Want All the Love You Have to Give

When He Doesn't Want Your LoveThere’s nothing worse than knowing you have a big heart…

A heart that any man would be privileged to cherish…

And yet feeling that men don’t want your love.

If you’ve ever felt like that, let me share with you a story I sometimes tell my clients.

You’re standing in a crowded mall, holding a bunch of the most beautiful long-stemmed red roses.

Your task is to hand out each and every one of these roses to passers-by.

At first, no one will even stop for you. They keep their heads down and walk past quickly, like you’re just another salesperson trying to get something from them.

It feels humiliating to put yourself on display like this, just a woman with a beautiful gift no one wants. You feel vulnerable.

But you’re not leaving until you’ve done the job, so you start to think.

You realize you can get people to stop by making eye contact with them. So you start looking out at the sea of people, searching for friendly faces. If you catch someone’s eye, you wink conspiratorially and hand out a rose with a smile. You give away your first few flowers, and you’re ecstatic.

But soon you notice that the men are still avoiding you. Why? Is it because roses are a symbol of romantic love?

You set your sights on trying to get a man to take one of your flowers. At last you manage to shove one into a man’s hand, but as he walks away he quickly drops it into a trash bin.

That’s no way to treat a gift from your heart!

By the time you’re finished, you feel drained and bruised. Facing that much rejection made you angry. You don’t know why so few people would take your gift, but a little voice inside your head is whispering that the problem was you. Maybe if you looked different, everyone would have wanted your roses.

This little story is a metaphor for how it feels to search for love.

You have a heart full of love, and you keep trying to give that love away.

But no one will take it. Men either assume you’re trying to get something from them, or they value your love so little they drop it in the trash when they think you’re not looking.

It’s not easy finding someone who’ll accept all the love you have to offer. Which is insane, because love is one of the most beautiful gifts anyone can give.

It’s unfortunate we live in a world where there are no free gifts. Everything comes with strings attached. That free sample at the cosmetics counter isn’t proof of the company’s generosity; it’s a taster designed to get you to buy the full-sized product.

So no wonder men look askance at your offer of love. They wonder what you’re “selling.” They don’t realize the value of what you have to offer.

How do you get men to be open to all the love you have to share? Here are 3 ideas.  Continue reading