When It’s Time for a Romantic Upgrade

When It’s Time for a Romantic UpgradeI don’t know about you, but the last month before I upgrade my phone is painful. By then, my old phone feels outdated and sluggish.

It doesn’t have enough storage, can’t really handle the apps I use daily, and, maybe worst of all, it’s just not exciting anymore. More than once, I’ve thought it would be really convenient if I happened to drop it in a lake or run over it with my car…just so I can go ahead and get a new one NOW.

I’m not the only one.

According to a recent study, people tend to embrace more reckless behavior with their phones when they’re looking for an excuse to buy the latest model.[i]

You won’t even risk putting a small scratch on your new phone. But your old phone? Eh, you’ll toss it across the pool so a friend can take your picture. Why not?

Which makes me think of something else. Sometimes we do the same thing with relationships.

I’m sure you’ve experienced this. You’re dating someone, things have gone from good, to stale, to not-that-great. But you’re not quite ready to break up.

So maybe you pick a fight or two. Maybe you’re not as supportive as you’d be otherwise. Maybe you get a little careless with the relationship itself because you’re ready for an upgrade.

While this behavior makes perfect sense, it’s not the best way to handle a dying relationship. It just makes the worst part of dating last longer.

If your relationship is in that not-so-great place, there’s a better way. First, you have to answer a critical question (that I’m about to show you). Then, based on your answer, you should take one of two actions.

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How to Argue with Your Man—and Feel Better Afterward

How to Argue with Your Man—and Feel Better AfterwardIf you’re on Facebook (or any other social media site), you’ve probably seen people fight online. Someone lobs an opinion out there like a grenade, and then KA-BLAM!

The ensuing “discussion” is rarely an open exchange of maturely cultivated points of view. But there’s a simple formula for turning conflict into a constructive conversation.

The problem with conflict, online or offline, is this: we think the goal is to win.

And this probably isn’t breaking news to you, but you can’t “win” an argument with someone you care about.

It feels like you can in the moment, but you can’t. That’s because even if you come out on top, you’ll end up disconnected from your opponent.

That doesn’t exactly create a romantic vibe.

Wouldn’t it be better to fight in a way that actually strengthens your relationship? What if you could throw down with your man…and come out the other side of the conflict even closer than you were before?

Fighting CAN be productive. It’s all about how you approach it.

Attorney Sean Jones has three suggestions for making fights fair and beneficial.[i] While his suggestions are specific to online fights, you can also use these tips in your relationship.

If you do, fights with your man will morph into something that makes you stronger as a couple.

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The Simple Mind Hack that Can Change the Way You Date

The Simple Mind Hack that Can Change the Way You DateHow do you feel about dating?

Depending on when you’re asked that question, your answer might change dramatically. That’s because dating is a mix of wildly different experiences.

Sometimes it’s fun, like a first kiss. Sometimes it’s intense, like the first real fight. Sometimes it’s lighthearted and carefree. And sometimes it’s nerve racking and exhausting.

Dating is all of those things and more because dating is an EMOTIONAL experience.

Which is good! One of the things that makes romance so fulfilling is the impact it has on our emotions. But there’s a downside.

When emotions run high, it’s much harder to make smart choices. Just think about the last time you were really angry. Were you at the top of your game, 100% rational?

Nope, probably not. That’s okay. Me, neither.

Any emotion, from anger to exhilaration, can muddy the waters. When that happens, a lot of people, both men and women, find themselves making poor decisions.

But there’s a way to surf the emotional wave AND make good choices. It’s a simple mind hack that’s been proven to have several positive effects on decision making.[i]

All you have to do is create what’s known as “psychological distance.” Psychological distance means creating distance from yourself within your mind.

There are a couple of easy ways to do that. You can imagine yourself as a completely different person. For example, instead of an American professional woman, you could imagine that you’re a sheep herder in another part of the world.

Another way is to imagine yourself far off in the future. Like, decades from now.

Either technique will give you some mental breathing room and allow you to see your present life and relationship very differently. As a result, you’ll have a clearer picture of your options.

Below are three times you can use this simple-yet-powerful strategy.

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You Really ARE Better Than Average

You Really ARE Better Than AverageCan you ever really know how other people see you?

It would be great if you could.

Then you could see exactly what he sees when he looks at you.

You could see why he loves you, or why he turned away.

You could see whether that mole on your cheek is sexy or distracting.

You could see what you really look like in that dress your friend made you buy…

And whether those blond highlights really cover up the gray in your hair like your hairdresser claims.

You’d never have to guess what people think of you ever again.

And you’d regret it forevermore.

There’s a very good reason we don’t know what other people really think of us. It comes down to what’s known as the self-enhancement bias.

In short, we all tend to think we’re better than average.

  • Most people think they’re better drivers than everyone else.
  • Most people think they look younger than they really are.
  • Most people think they’re better looking than average.
  • Most young people think they’re wiser than their age.

Even really smart people, like college professors, fall for it. 94% of college professors think their work is above average.[1]

No one wants to be just average, even if they’re in really good company.

You’d think that this illusion of being better than other people would cause problems for us. What if you applied for a job on the basis that you were better than average at what you did, but your on-the-job performance showed otherwise?

It turns out that it’s not much of a problem. Here’s why it can actually be a good thing.

Many people apply for positions they’re not quite qualified for, only to learn on the job and rise to the occasion. Thinking of yourself as better than you are, can give you the confidence to strive higher.

Novices who think they have some innate talent work harder to master a skill. Given that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master anything, beginners need that motivation to keep at it—even if it’s a false belief.

So how can you use the self-enhancement bias to do better at dating?

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