7 Signs You’re In It For the Long Haul

It’s not always easy to know if the person you’re currently dating is in fact, “The One.” If you’re not entirely sure your SO is in it for the long haul, go through these 7 signs of commitment that will leave you certain they are.

  • You Want to Spend All the Free Time You Can With Each Other: Of course you’ll want to have your alone time and schedule dates with your friends and family, but if you’ve been together for a while now and still value your time together as a couple, that’s a pretty great sign.
  • Taking Trips Together: Travelling as a couple means that both of you want to make lasting memories together to think back on in the years to come. Travelling with your significant other can be a big step in any relationship and you will most likely face challenges in a different environment. If you both actively work through anything that comes up on a trip together, then odds are you know how to effectively communicate with one another.
  • Going Out of Your Way for Each Other: If you find yourself going the extra mile to make your partner happy, it’s a sign your spark is still lit and you haven’t become complacent in your relationship.
  • Purchases Becoming ‘Ours’: Combining finances or making larger purchases together such as a car or home require a level of commitment from both of you that is evidence you’re ready for a future together.
  • Exchanging Keys: If you don’t live together just yet and decide to give each other access to your home by swapping keys, this is a huge sign of trust that may lead to a greater step in your relationship – moving in together.
  • You’ve Seen Each Other at Your Worst: In the beginning of any new relationship, everyone is usually on their best behaviour. Overtime when you’re getting to know someone better, their true self  is exposed through various situations life throws your way. A partner who has seen all sides to you and loves you for who you are, hold onto them.
  • Planning Your Futures Together: Nothing says commitment like thinking about your future with one another. If you and your partner have a 5 year plan that factors one another into it and you’re working together to support and accomplish each others goals, you are definitely in a healthy and committed relationship.

If you notice these points to be true of your current relationship, it might be time to start thinking of that engagement ring to keep your partner in your life forever!

How To Know It’s Time To Call It Quits

When it’s needed, breaking up is harder to do than anything except for not breaking up.  But how do you know it’s time?

Are we having fun yet?

We all know relationships involve work.  But good relationships are overbalanced towards fun and reward—by a factor of twenty.  Literally, happy couples have 20x more positive interactions than negative, work-inducing ones.

And in a really solid dating relationship, the work often feels like play.  Being in love is the great motivating force that helps us put in the time and effort to build a future together, feeling more like “us against the world” than “me against you.”

So if you’ve been settling for 50/50, that’s a bad ratio.  Yes, sometimes really long-term relationships hit rough spots and couples need counseling.  But you’re dating.  Anytime a dating relationship involves more pain than pleasure, more unpleasant work than good times–it’s time to move on.

Does my partner listen only when I’ve got a foot out the door?

Did you know?  Whether or not a couple is happy, a full 2/3 of every couple’s problems never get solved.  Research proves you should pick someone whose differences you can live with, because most differences don’t ever fully go away.  Fifty years from now, you’re still going to be having that fight about who wipes the crumbs off the counter.

Put more optimistically, you don’t have to agree on everything to make a good life together.  But you’d better choose a partner who deeply cares about your happiness, and who is motivated to meet your needs/clear the crumbs as much as they’re able—because they actively want to further your well-being, not because you’re leaving them. Otherwise, de-fanging tough ongoing issues is impossible, because the underlying attitude says, “Your needs aren’t important unless I’m losing something.”

Committing to a partner whose primary allegiance is “me” not “we” means you’ve lost your ability to negotiate and to be heard unless you’re perpetually ready to pack your bags.  Instead, pack them now—and lock the door behind you

If my best friend was in this relationship, how would I advise them?

In my client work, I frequently hear from people who are being treated terribly.  Maybe their dating partner is stringing them along year after year with false promises, or publicly humiliating them, or withholding sex for months on end.

Whatever it is, as soon as I ask the question above, they get much clearer.

Factually speaking, a lack of kind and respectful treatment should be a total deal-breaker—because the relationship really is doomed.  If you’re going to have a happy love life, you’re going to insist on having a partner who treats you as a cherished friend and who welcomes your views, even when things aren’t going their way.  I cannot overstate this: settling for less is settling for pain.

Was the relationship worth it before this happened?

Factors inside and outside a relationship can cause us to reassess.  Betrayals happen when there’s a large mismatch between what we expect and what our partner does—whether that’s an affair, hiding money, or any other big violation of trust. Other times, a life change emerges, such as a move or new career or school option.

Transition points like these indicate a long road ahead.  If you already didn’t get what you needed from the relationship, it’s time to make the break.

Ultimately, these questions lead to the one question that will never let you down: Are we on the same team?  Loving is something we do birth to death.  Attachment never stops mattering.  It’s vital to attach to someone who is with us and for us—or to break the attachment and find someone who is.

Gift Ideas For Your Valentine

Do people really still give gifts for Valentine’s Day? Apparently the answer is yes, and according to 55% of women, tacky jewelry, was the worst gift they’d ever received from their significant other. To avoid another year of necklaces that read “sexy b*tch” in rhinestones; PlentyOfFish has created the ultimate gift guide for you and yours, using survey data from over 20,000 single men and women from the site.

The Top Three Gift Ideas  

The Activity Date – Survey says; 34% of single men and 30% of single women claimed the best gift they’d received from a significant other was a fun outing or activity they did together. Whether it be a sports game, dance lessons, or bungee jumping, plan your Valentine’s day around a fun activity you know your partner will love! For those of you in a long term relationship, take a trip down memory lane and recreate the very first date you and your partner shared.

Gift Ideas – Concert Tickets, Broadway Show, Sports Game, Salsa Lessons, Drive-in movie night  

Romantic Weekend Away – Listen up gentlemen; 28% of women said the best gift they’d ever received was a romantic getaway. Plan a  weekend away where the two of you can spend some quality time together. If this gift is a little out of your price range, book a one night stay-cation at a hotel in your own city and embrace your inner tourist.  

Gift Ideas – Mountain/Lake Resort and Spa,  Boutique hotel in your own city, Old fashion road trip

Cologne for Him – Every woman loves a man who smells amazing! Evidently men agree, with 24% of men claiming the best gift they received from a significant other was cologne. Head to your nearest department store, ladies, and pick out a winning scent for him.

Gift Ideas – Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille Eau De Parfum, Brickell Organic Beard Oil, Kiehl’s luxury body products

Additional Gift Ideas For Her and Him 

Turntable & Vintage Vinyls – Whether it’s The Best Of Sinatra, The Bee Gees Live, or Daft Punk’s latest collab, there’s a vinyl that will make any music lover swoon! Turntables made an epic come back over the last couple of years; consider buying your SO their very own. Audio-Technica produces a fantastic product that won’t break the bank.

Craft Brews – No one really understands craft beer more than the millennial generation; because, god forbid they’re caught drinking name brand. Grab a growler of your friend’s absolute favorite craft brew and make a night of it. For those of you looking for a double date idea; hop into your local brewery and ask for a tour.

Cookware from Le Creuset – Romantic dinner for two anyone? Le Creuset is the finest French Cookware and a perfect gift for the ultimate foodie! Take a page out of Julia Child’s cookbook and remember, “The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give.” – Julia Child

Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones – Nothing screams romance more than Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones! In all seriousness, if your friend or partner is a techy, you have just made their days of coding a whole lot easier.

Frank & Oak Carry On Cocktail Set – If your partner is a Globetrotter – this Frank & Oak cocktail set will have them buzzing from take-off to landing!

Spa Night at Home – Transform your home into your very own spa; set the mood with relaxing music, cucumber infused cocktails, aromatherapy bath and massage essentials! Wrap each other in housecoats and cheers with a nightcap.

Do you have a stellar gift idea you want to share with us?! Comment below!

♥ Happy Valentine’s Day ♥

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5 Ways To Avoid Freaking Out When Your Date Wants To Be Your Facebook Friend

You’ve met someone you really like – congrats! You’ve been on a few dates (or maybe you’ve just connected online), and you’re enjoying sharing insight into your job, interests, and family with them on your own terms – until their inevitable Facebook request appears. All of a sudden you’re a little concerned that declaring to this person that you “don’t really party often anymore”, might conflict with the 150 posted photos of your friend’s Bachelorette party last weekend, and a silent panic ensues. 

Here’s what to do next:

  1. Conduct a photo audit: Because the first thing this person is going to do is click through every single one of your Profile Pictures, start with those. Ensure that any photos featuring your exes, beer bong, or blurry nights from the early 2000’s that happened to be immortalized on film and seemed hilarious at the time have been removed. And because I know that no email strikes fear into someone’s heart quite like “your friend has tagged you in 25 photos on Facebook” (which raises its own set of questions), you may need to embark on an un-tagging spree.
  2. Pick your Privacy Settings: Your date has probably already perused your Public Profile by now, but it doesn’t hurt to tighten up your Privacy Settings anyway. Lock everything down and make sure all of your content is only visible to friends. Aside from being completely necessary to portray a professional image for job prospects, it might even heighten the intrigue when it comes to your future love life. You don’t need this person’s friend’s friend’s friends seeing anything you’re not ready to share yet.
  3. Take care of TMI: A few years ago you may have gone through a bad break-up and posted an extra emotional status, or maybe you used to swear a lot more, or maybe you did something silly like publish your personal contact information. 600+ people, or however many Facebook friends you have certainly do not need access to this. Scan through your old activity and delete any posts you aren’t proud of, and reel in any of your shared phone numbers and outwardly visible home/work addresses.
  4.  Give your Timeline some TLC: By this point you might be feeling a little bit down on yourself, so why not flip the script by highlighting Facebook activity you are proud of! Scroll through your Timeline and use the Highlight button, by hovering over a story or photo and clicking on the star. Consider photos from that volunteer trip you took abroad, work related milestones, and interesting places you checked-in at like concerts or festivals. This will be the content that stands out during a preliminary Facebook creeping session.
  5. Calm Down: The most important way to avoid freaking out when someone you’re interested in adds you on Facebook is to remember why they friend requested you in the first place – they already like you! Your Facebook profile doesn’t need to feature only perfectly manicured photos and profound statuses around the clock. You’re a real person, and your online identity should merely be a fun extension of your real-life self, so when you’re ready, click ACCEPT. Pretty soon you will be looking at photos of your date… passed out at his 2003 frat party with pen all over his face, and you will probably like him just the same.