Who Are the Narcissists that Lurk About Us?


Narcissism and Relationships/Breakups: Part 2 of a series

Narcissists are difficult to spot because they wear numerous differing masks throughout their lives as they draw in the various people they groom for varying purposes. They must hide the empty spaces inside themselves, those vacuums normally occupied by a heart and soul. They passionately cover their self-loathing which they eventually project onto us, their victims. (Either they were born that way or life experiences in their younger years tragically shaped them. They are somehow victims themselves.) The emptiness they hold within compels the constant replenishment of nourishment via the emotional energies of others. That same emptiness that does not allow them to truly love.

Narcissists are expert at hiding their true identity while they groom their new victims.

Clever, Narcs exhibit characteristic charming personalities when in pursuit, operating behind near perfect projections that many of their targets find difficult to resist.

Narcs veraciously consume all the love and adoration they can extract from others, leaving the victims drained and devastated. A Narcissist’s need in this regard is insatiable.  A Narc can never sincerely reciprocate in kind with the precious emotional commodities they determinedly seek.

Once victims’ precious fuel is successfully depleted.

The Narc unceremoniously discards them and attention moves to the next victim … a new treasure chest of nourishment for the Narcissist to ‘hoover’ in order to fill the emptiness. Be sure, a Narc always has one or more potential victims being groomed in the wings, being cultivated to fall for counterfeit charms. The Narc will move on, neither holding us gently in their thoughts nor harboring regrets, continuing to use the energy sources that others supply. Amazingly, a Narc often will attempt to return to the dismissed victim for yet another cycle when other fuel sources are low.

Very few things in human emotional life are more exhilarating than being pursued by a Narcissist. Not many experiences in life are more devastating than being devalued and discarded by one who we thought truly loved us. A rollercoaster ride with a Narcissist leaves us emotionally gasping for life … having had our sacred inner and outer selves sucked away. Our self-esteem? Crushed.

Other metaphors can be applied to such an experience.

One is the vampire who preys ruthlessly on others. Like the emotionally drained victim of a vampire, we may be so vulnerable and wounded ourselves that we want and even consciously allow the Narc to return to repeat the ravaging cycle.

As we draw closer to someone we hope for love, truth, honesty and respect in the developing relationship. With a Narcissist, though, there should come a time when we must nudge ourselves to think and think again. As we fall more and more under control, we must wrestle with ourselves and walk away once the signaling behaviours morph into a cohesive set of red flags. Learn to recognize Narcissists:

  • They show little regard for the feelings of others
  • They are arrogant, aggressive and controlling at times
  • They are grandiose
  • They have a self-perception of being unique
  • They have a sense of entitlement to special treatment
  • They need admiration
  • They are withdrawn and mysteriously unavailable at times
  • They are critical of us
  • They insult us
  • They become angry when they are questioned about their actions
  • They have a fragile ego
  • They tell lies and manipulate us
  • They lack empathy
  • They must always be right
  • They blame others
  • They are unaware of their hurtful behavior
  • They cannot apologize sincerely, if at all

When we consider such signs we cannot imagine loving someone who exhibits them.

But somehow many of us have managed to. The narcissistic mask had been cunningly crafted to draw us in. We now must determinedly walk away, push through the pain and heal. For most of us the time will again come to seek a new relationship.

Perhaps a valuable lesson has been learned: No relationship is worth repeated, emotional, and often physically attendant pain. Unfortunately, considerable wounding may occur before the Narcissistic mask slips. Truly, ‘no relationship’ is better than one with a Narcissist.

Joan Barrett
Seasoned Single Joan Barrett navigates the tricky, exciting and challenging Singles lifestyle. Her passion for SINS (her playful term for Singles INternet Dating Services) inspired her to create her category best-selling book Candyland S.I.N.S. to encourage other like-minded Singles who are not about to roll over alone and sit out their remaining years. Life loves people who live it with passion. As an active participant Joan enjoys a deep and broad enough engagement to know the game, how the game is best played and … how not to be played! Yes, ‘online dating’ is the only real game in town.

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Top Romantic Cities to Visit in the World

Top romantic cities


Whether you are a romantic nature planning a vacation or a newly married couple deciding where to spend a honeymoon, you must be browsing the Internet and collecting different booklets in searches of a romantic destination. To facilitate your searches, bridesdating.com offers you a list of the cities with the most romantic atmosphere.

Seville, Spain

Seville embodies all the amenities of Spain. This city is very cozy: it’s large enough but not overcrowded. Walk down the orange tree lined trees; get lost in the winding streets and discover secret corners of the city; contemplate Moorish architecture of the Plaza de Espana, see a bull fight in the Plaza de Toros. Eat at a local tapa bar after a long walk.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Seeking romance, fine dining, and the charm of a bustling city? You will find them all in Buenos Aires. “Paris of South America”, as it’s often called, Buenos Aires attracts honeymooners from all over the world. A number one thing to do here is to watch a tango show and it’s a must. This is the city where you’ll find what to do at any time of the day. Feel the Latin warmth, contemplate splendid architecture, take a stroll in the parks during the day and plunge into a sultry atmosphere of the nightlife.

Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is the city of contrasts where each couple will find something up to them. Be prepared to walk a lot since the city is full of hills and steps. But the incredible views from those hills are worth your short breath. Picturesque streets, tiled facades, pastel-colored buildings make Lisbon one of the most scenic cities in the world.


Quebec City, Canada

Looking for a winter romantic getaway? Quebec City, the crown jewel of French Canada, is waiting for you. You will never forget your vacation spent in this snow-covered city. The 18th-century stone fortification surrounding the city creates an intimate ambiance.

Prague, Czech Republic

This city of the thousand spires, which is a nickname for Prague, lures a lot of romantic natures. You’ll fall in love with the city’s fairytale landscapes, grand historical monuments, romantic streets, cobbled streets, and stunning views on the spires of old buildings from the bridges that cross the Vltava River.

Sydney, Australia

Dine at one of Sydney’s harbourside restaurants or cafés and watch the sun set over Sydney Harbour. Explore the night sky together with your partner at the Sydney Observatory. Enjoy the best sunset view on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is the Thai capital of romance. This ancient city is as if created for honeymooners. Take a cruise on the Mae Ping River and enjoy the scenery of Chiang Mai province. The moated old part of the city is full ancient temples. Some of them were built 700 years ago. One of the oldest and most important is the Doi Suthep Temple situated on top of the tallest in Thailand Doi Suthep Mountain. The view from there is breathtaking. Enjoy a romantic picnic near the Mae Sa Waterfall.

Dan Woolmer
Daniel Woolmer is the Marketing and PR Manager at WareHouseDating.com. Managing niche dating sites which helps people find their forever Mr or Mrs Right now. Business and dating blogger who works on The SWExperts, he brings an open-minded flare and unique individual style to the business/dating scene. A passionate activist for LGBT equality, human and animal rights along with rescuing abandoned reptiles.

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Fix My Life, Not His

Fix My Life Not His

How often do us women like to think we can change our men?!

We think if we could only get them to behave the way we want them to then the relationship would be perfect. But it’s not our job to change people.  Or to fix people.

Especially as it doesn’t actually  work!

It’s important to really bear in mind,  you are not here to fix anybody. Don’t invest your time, your energy and your  emotion in trying to get someone to change. People are who they are. If you feel the need to get them to change they are not the one for you.

Accept him for who he is. Once he has shown you who he is, believe it and accept it. If you’re unhappy with the reality then he is not Mr Right.

Don’t get into a relationship with someone who is unsuitable and then spend all your time complaining and being miserable.  It’s better not to go down that road. And no, your love will not change him.

Remember not only to love and accept yourself but also to accept him for who he is.  If you’re constantly trying to fix him then you’re not accepting him.

Turn that around for a second.  Imagine if your partner was always trying to fix you how would you feel?  You might even find it controlling.

Instead, how about fixing you?

If you know what you really want  in your life it’s easier to know what kind of relationship you need. I mean, if you don’t yet know what you want from life can you be clear on what you need from a relationship?

Someone who doesn’t yet understand themselves or who isn’t focused on where they are going in life is not going to attract someone else who is.

Today, before you leave the house, sit down and ask yourself:-

Who am I emotionally,  spiritually, mentally, professionally?

What are my core values?

What are my deepest desires for my life?  What am I prepared to do to get those desires? What are my innate qualities and abilities that I can use to achieve them?

Then write down your answers – it will help you see clearly who you are, what you want and what you do not want.

Now you will be able to quickly identify people that you meet who are in line with these values and hold similar ambition in life. It’s much better to choose a partner whose life values and ambitions are the same or complementary to yours.

Opposites may attract but they don’t make for long term commitment or life together.


Patricia Benjamin
Patricia is a London based Relationship Columnist, award winning Radio Presenter, certified Life Coach and ordained Minister.
She writes for both UK and US based online publications on love and produces weekly shows on lifestyle, faith, relationships, sex and love.
She is the author of the best selling book 7 Habits of Highly Fabulous Women.
Follow her on twitter and visit her website at www.highlyfabulousconsulting.com

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5 Steps To Become Best Friends With Your Ex

5 steps to become best friends with your ex

So you find yourself missing your ex. That’s right. MISSING HER. But the thing is, you’re not missing her in an “I want to get back together” kind of way. It’s more of a platonic way. You are missing the friendship, the fun things you did, the laughs, the conversation.

If you’re wondering if it’s possible to re-connect with your ex and have a platonic relationship, the answer is most certainly yes! The questions are, are you both ready? How do you find that out?

It starts with a thorough examination of yourself. Take a deep look inside. Examine your feelings, your motives. Be honest with yourself in what you want. If you find that in good faith, you want to have a platonic relationship with your ex there are a few things that need to happen first and there are some steps to follow that will bring you two together on a platonic level.

1. Take Some Time Off After The Breakup

I think this is something we all do (or hope to achieve) by default when we breakup with someone. The key is no contact and no poking around looking for news about her. It’s total cut off. There are great benefits to being single or you may wind up in another relationship.

2. Contact Her When You Know The Time Is Right

How much time do you take off? The answer is that it is one of those things you will “just know when it’s right”. You will feel comfortable with the idea of reaching out to her.

3. Tell Her What You Want.

This is critical. You must communicate your intentions. Be direct. Tell her, “I’m contacting you because I’m wondering if you were interested in being friends. You know, ‘just friends’”. Do this in no uncertain terms.

4. Accept Her Response

You may not get what you want to hear. She may not be ready. She may be in a new relationship and having you as a friend could have an effect on that relationship. On the other hand she could be open to it (and most likely will if you ended on good terms).

5. Meet And Greet

So if you both decided that you want to have a go at it, get together. This where you will really find out if it’s possible to be “just friends”. This is when you have to be extremely self aware. Are you having any romantic feelings whatsoever? Is there any sexual spark? Does the dialogue make you feel like you are in the relationship again? Is it comfortable?

So discussion becomes the most important part after you two have agreed to meet up. If you can clearly feel pure motive in yourself and if she is communicating that it is okay for her, then you may be on to something. Breakups are hard. They crush us. It feels like we are robbed of someone who became a part of ourselves. That doesn’t have to be permanent. They say pick someone who you could see yourself being best friends with. If you’ve followed that advice, that friendship will last forever.

CJ Westyn
CJ Westyn is a relationship expert and strategist residing in Princeton, New Jersey and Denver, CO. He is a Date Camp™ Coach and former co-host of dating and relationship talk radio show, Intuidate Radio®.

CJ holds an M.A. in Rehabilitation Counseling and has spent over 10 years working with couples and individuals on a broad variety of relationship issues.

CJ’s mission is to use his writing and untamed sense of humor to add value to the dating advice world by delivering helpful digital content. He strives to move people forward as he guides them through overcoming the uncomfortable yet inherent challenges we are dealt by the human condition (You know, when “life gets in the way”).

CJ’s aim is to also raise awareness surrounding cultural mores and standards that are congruent with human biology yet have earned negative value judgment due to sociocultural human constructs such as religion, ethics and tradition.

In addition to dating advice, CJ spends significant time writing comedy and performing elaborate practical jokes. In his spare time, he watches plenty of Andy Kaufman videos (for inspiration) and audits classes at Princeton University.

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Win a Signed Copy of @DrPsychMom’s Book with @SWEXPERTS!

How To Talk To Your Kids About Divorce



We have a signed copy of Samantha Rodman’s book ‘How To Talk To Your Kids About Divorce’ to give away. It’s filled with expert advice on how to talk about divorce with your children and other tips that can help along the way.

To enter all you need to do is press the ‘click to tweet’ box below and join The SWExperts online.

Don’t forget to complete your entry by joining our dating revolution! Press the heart below!

Terms and conditions: The competition opens on Friday 20th November 2015 and will close on Friday 27th November 2015. All entries within this time will be accepted. Please ensure that you follow both steps (join The SWExperts and tweet) for your entry to be valid. The winner will be announced on @SWEXPERTS twitter page within 1 week after entries have closed and will be emailed directly. The winner will need to provide us with their details for delivery. All entrants give permission for Warehouse Dating Ltd to keep their email address for future email marketing however these details will not be shared with third parties.




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Dear Sybersue: My Boyfriend is a Nice Guy but I Like Bad Boys!

dear sybersue my bf is a nice guy but i like bad boys

Dear Sybersue:

I have been dating my boyfriend Andrew exclusively for 1 year now and I really do love him. He is ready to take the next step and move in together but I am questioning whether we are a good match for a long term commitment. He is the ultimate nice guy and is everything a girl would want! He really is a perfect boyfriend. I never have to question things or try to figure him out because he is always so even keeled and non confrontational. Our sex life is good; a little on the vanilla side but I am very attracted to him physically!

The problem is:

I am used to bad boys and really miss the excitement of it all! I am 31 years old and should be ready for a real relationship by now, but there is something that keeps pulling me back from wanting a normal conventional existence with one guy. I miss the intensity of bad boy sex and spontaneous get-togethers from my past a year ago. I know I should be thankful that I have someone in my life who loves me unconditionally without all the B.S. of a guy who is only there for a “good time not a long time,” but I admit I am a little bored with Andrew.
What do you suggest I do?

Thanks, April84

Dear April,

Have you ever thought about what it would be like for you not to have Andrew in your life? Are you possibly taking him for granted because he is always available and there for you? Maybe you are used to the up and down drama from your past “bad boy relationships” and miss that intensity of the constant mystery. Are you really OK with your past booty call lifestyle and can you see that continuing on for the rest of your life? If your sex-life is too vanilla with Andrew then you need to discuss ways to spice it up. Tell him what you like and take the initiative to change it. Most guys are pretty open to new things in the bedroom!

There might also be something internally deep rooted that could be causing you to want this unavailable type of man in your life. If you have been hurt in the past due to abandonment issues, an abusive or loveless childhood or relationship; this can keep your heart guarded so that you don’t get hurt again. Having the bad boys in your life will prevent you from having to make a commitment because they certainly won’t want one. They are content adding more and more notches to the bedpost, not running out to the jewellery store to pick out an engagement ring. You are safe from that happening!

It is time to grow in another direction and leave your past behind April! You have a wonderful drama free partnership with a man you love and someone that you are attracted to. I suggest that you take some time to talk to a counselor about why you are so drawn to these bad boy scenarios because I am pretty sure there is something stuck in your heart that needs repairing. Don’t throw away a relationship that is healthy to keep putting yourself back into the danger zone. Nothing comes out of dating these types as they will always be on to their next conquest when they tire of you. They are using you for one thing only but there is something very magical about a man who loves all of you. <3

Susan McCord is a Dating/Relationship/Lifestyle Blogger/Talk Show Host, Published Author, Advice Columnist, Interviewer & Certified Life Coach. She attended BCIT in Burnaby, B.C. for studies in Broadcasting. Susan is an Advice Columnist @ Dear Sybersue which is also the title of her book available at Amazon, Itunes, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and many other book platforms. Susan was recently named a VIP member of Worldwide Branding. This special distinction honors individuals who have shown exceptional commitment to achieving personal and professional success. Susan has devoted her career to helping others find happiness. Over the past decade she has established a stellar reputation as a sought-after dating & relationship expert, advice columnist, blogger & interviewer. She is best known for hosting a lifestyle talk show for an International audience on YouTube and has garnered more than 1.3 million views which consists of interviews, dating/relationship/lifestyle advice & comical skits. She is also an EXPERT Writer & Dating Adviser at examiner.com. She makes you think!

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How to Be the Kind of Girlfriend Who Makes a Man’s Life Easier

how to be the kind of girlfriend who makes a mans life easier

There are two types of girlfriends: one who makes a man’s life harder, and one who makes a man’s life easier.

You may not understand the meaning of this concept. “I’m a great girlfriend,” you might think.

Breaking concepts into simplest terms often helps us to improve our relationships, and it’s not so cut and dry, believe me.

When you communicate in your relationships, you need to think about what points you are getting across and how your statements are being perceived. Men prefer simple statements to complex ones.

Sometimes when women text with a guy and he gives them short or one sentence answers, they assume he’s not interested. It’s not necessarily the case.

Sometimes when a man doesn’t reply to a woman’s messages, she assumes he doesn’t find her attractive. It’s not necessarily the case.

Sometimes when a man withdraws after sex, women assume they did something wrong. It’s not necessarily the case.

We can go on and on about exceptions in relationships because there are many. However, the question we need to ask ourselves is, “How can I better communicate in my relationship and understand my man?” Being compatible is great, but if you’re not communicating well, your relationship will suffer.

Here’s how you can better communicate with your man:

1) Keep it simple

It cannot be stressed enough that the simpler your communication with a man is, the better. In relationships, many women appreciate phone calls that last for hours and long-detailed text messages from their man. These things are expressions of affection and intimacy, but sometimes shorter communication gets your point across more easily and longer communication is a tad confusing.

Sometimes your paragraph-long text will receive an equally long response of expression and banter, while other times you’ll receive, “Ok. What?”

Long texts from your guy are typically a good sign because it means he took some extra time and thought into sending you a message. However, short texts can also be sending you a big green light, and a strong message that your communication with this man should be just as simple. Look at context before length. Is the nature of his message casual? Is it positive? Remember, in person it’s important to keep it simple too, but reading facial expressions, body language, and social cues is much easier. Additionally, you can arrive at deeper substance in your conversations more naturally.

2) Be direct

When you are communicating with any man, it’s important to not be cryptic. Say exactly what you mean. Sometimes when women communicate with men, they’re thinking of all of the undertones in the relationship. “He said X, but really meant Y.” How do you know?

Occasionally women will be dance around all of the issues they are trying to address in their relationship, and their guy doesn’t even understand the point they are trying to make. Instead, telling a man exactly what you need from him will go much further. Doing so in a way that not only expresses standards, but kindness assists you in getting a positive reaction, and quickly at that. Men like to avoid difficult situations with women- some avoid them at all costs and don’t communicate at all.

Remember, when you ask yourself the question, “Am I making his life harder or easier?” can help you figure out how effective your communication will be with your guy. Asking this simple question will give you an idea of how you’re being perceived. Some men love fussy women who tell them what to do, but typically they don’t like it to be this way all of the freaking time. This doesn’t mean you act as a pushover and sweep problems under the rug. I hate seeing women do this and agree with everything their man says just because they don’t want to rock the boat and potentially end their relationship. Alternatively, you’ll understand why you’re not getting a response from a man or why he reacted with moodiness or hostility.

Men often think of their relationship as a place where they can relax outside of their work-life, so think of creating that bliss away from the outside world. Don’t obsess over if you’re being annoying, but having a mindset of “I am a direct female” will take you where you want to go in love.

3) Be feminine, but remember you are talking to a guy

The greatest thing you have going for you when you are trying to attract a man is the fact that you’re a woman. That alone is literally the most profound asset you have in love. The more you harness your feminine charms and goddess power, the more men will want to woo you and win your affection.

Using words like “lovely,” “glorious,” “divine” and “delightful,” is a beautiful way to express your femininity. “Your plan sounds lovely.” “It will be delightful to see you again.” However, with men, do your best to remember what they value- logic, rationality, objectiveness, transparency, and of course, directness. It’s important to be in touch with your masculine side so you can better communicate with your guy.

Think of learning to communicate with men as if you are learning a new language. It’s a language that is to-the-point, doesn’t require over-thinking, and consists of few complexities, but many exceptions. A woman who is in touch with both sides of herself- feminine and masculine- is extremely powerful in the dating world to an extent where men flock to her and simply cannot stay away.

4) Think “His Move, Your Move.”

The best relationships start from friendships and casual dating- when a man decides that he wants to take the reins and pursue a woman. The more you reach out to a man first outside of a relationship, the more he will feel like he has you too easily. A friend once explained this to me as a game of chess- His Move, Your Move. He invites you out to dinner or to a party. Then, you invite him hiking or to happy hour. Think of relationships as a healthy exchange, as opposed to “He always needs to reach out to me first,” or “I am in the driver’s seat fending for his attention.”

I hope these communication tips were helpful to you in your love life. Never forget to check your insecurities at the door and exude sexy confidence whether you are in a relationship or single.

Julita Cardenas
Julita Cardenas is a lifestyle and fashion blogger. She is currently finishing her graduate degree in Integrated Marketing Communications at Georgetown University. When she’s not blogging, you can find her checking out new coffee shops, listening to indie music, and spending time with her dog who is among the most important people in her life. Visit the blog at julitasimone.com

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Is It Love That You’re After Or Just a Good Time?

Is it love youre after or a good timeAfter watching a TV program one evening, a friend and I were left debating the real life scenario portrayed of a couple in a relationship of 16 years. They were not living together but appeared to be in an exclusive relationship.  Interestingly, in the first part of the show, there was a scene where the couple were enjoying a romantic promenade together, and the lady says, “we both know this relationship is leading to marriage” and the man says words to the effect, “where did you get that idea?”; it raised the question of what the entire relationship was all about!

I cannot imagine for the life of me, staying with a man for 16 months never mind 16 years unless it was clearly understood to both of us where we were going. And being sure we were both on the same page. My mother taught me better than that!

I mean, fair enough, if you are happy to spend your life in such fashion. If you really don’t mind being in a very long term relationship with no commitment in sight. No children either.

There are some people that say there are not enough men to go around and that all women cannot expect to be married. 

I believe you can speak your own truth over your life. If that includes a spouse then say it and believe it.  People are getting married all the time.  

If you have never wanted to settle down and raise a family (I did not say, have kids, but instead, raise a family) and are prepared to give yourself, your time and your energy to various people and relationships without a commitment to anything further,  it can work.


I stipulate raising a family as opposed to having kids, as some people have the idea that they want kids and in the end that’s exactly what they get, but there is no man in the home, just them and their kid(s).  But maybe that is another blog!

However, in this case the woman was expecting marriage to be the outcome. We can ask why is she still waiting 16 years on, (that I don’t understand, childbearing years are clearly long gone and you are no longer in your first bloom)  if he doesn’t want to marry you after all this time, will he ever? And how long are you prepared to hang around?

If he knows he likes it, why hasn’t he put a ring on it?

I’m not impressed with the man or the woman in this case.  Surely, a gentleman isn’t going to lead a woman on for 16 years, giving her enough emotional crumbs so that she thinks he really cares!  And lady you need to know your value.  You need to know your worth.  You’re still a queen even when there’s no king.  He is not the one!

As my good friend and favourite coach, Dr Ryeal Simms,  says “Women, you are the Chooser, not the Chosen, you are the Employer, men are just trying to get the job!”

Patricia Benjamin
Patricia is a London based Relationship Columnist, award winning Radio Presenter, certified Life Coach and ordained Minister.
She writes for both UK and US based online publications on love and produces weekly shows on lifestyle, faith, relationships, sex and love.
She is the author of the best selling book 7 Habits of Highly Fabulous Women.
Follow her on twitter and visit her website at www.highlyfabulousconsulting.com

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The 6 Main Reasons You Settle When You Really Want To Split


You find yourself wondering what happened to the once picture-perfect relationship you had and why despite trying everything imaginable, the two of you can’t seem to get that loving feeling back. You and your partner have started to live more separate lives and those cute little yellow sticky love notes they used to leave you on the bathroom counter or on your car windshield seem like a distant memory. You start to realize you’re settling and kidding yourself that there is any hope of a future for the two of you, at least not a happy one, but even when faced with the reality that your relationship is dying a slow death, you still stay.

You day dream about being single again and contemplate if you should just rip off the band Aid and end the relationship.

You have even practiced the words, “(insert your partner’s name), I think we should break-up”, in your head at least a dozen times, but you never find the nerve to say them aloud. You wonder if you had ended the relationship at an earlier point perhaps you could have parted as friends…. just maybe? But now you aren’t so sure that would even be possible. Letting go of relationships regardless of the circumstances is never easy. Even when it’s inevitable. Why?

Here are the 6 main reasons:


You stay because you know what you have; the good, the bad and the ugly. It might not be great, but you know what to expect. It feels easier to hold on to what’s familiar rather than reach for the unknown. You make rationalizations. You tell yourself, it’s not so bad and that’s it’s natural for couples to go through ups and downs which only results in you dropping your standards and expectations so low that it allows you to stay. Stay miserable that is.

2.The Realities

You stay because life will be more difficult on your own financially. Not having someone to share expenses with would of course make your life a lot more stressful. Just consider this, when we choose a partner from a place of need, our standards plummet and along with it, so does our joy.

3. You Are Scared To Be Alone

You stay because you fear you won’t find someone else. Time for a reality check. Think of all the people you know who have been through a necessary break-up. Okay, now out of those people, tally how many of them have NEVER went on to meet someone else. Exactly! And out of all those people who found someone new, ask them if they’re actually thankful in retrospect that the relationship ended. My bet is most, if not all of them would answer with a big “hell yes!”

4. Emotional Investment

You stay because you have spent time with your partner and invested precious emotional energy. You have shared memories and some of them are darn good ones too. Your heart wants to keep you in the game and you don’t want to feel like a failure. After all you’ve invested a fair amount of time in the relationship. But as the old saying goes “it’s not wise to keep throwing good money after bad money” hoping for a return on your diminishing investment. In the business world, any financial planner would tell you to cut your losses or be prepared to go broke.

5. Love

You stay because you are still in love. If you stay because you still love your partner, then what you are saying is that your love for your partner is worth sacrificing your love for yourself and your chance at having the relationship you truly want. If this is true, you might be suffering from low self-esteem and realize that when you start to love yourself more, you will begin to feel less love for the people who don’t appreciate you, grow you and fill your life with happiness. I don’t think anyone should ever choose between “love” and “happiness”. These two things should co-exist in all intimate relationships without question.

6. Break-ups Are Painful

You stay because you want to delay the inevitable pain of the break-up. So you procrastinate and tell yourself the timing is just not right at the moment. You convince yourself that breaking up after you get that job promotion or when you finish school will be easier to deal with and less painful. You make excuses to delay the pain. No one likes pain. but in time, your heart will eventually mend and the pain will fade, but the discontent of settling for an unfulfilling relationship will last forever.

When you settle, you not only cheat yourself out of the potential rewarding opportunities that await you. You betray yourself since your mind and heart are not in alignment. As a result, your self-worth starts to plunge because you end up feeling weak for not having the courage to listen to your inner wisdom and put an end your despair. Life is too short to play it safe and settle for a life less than the one you dreamed of.

Bree Bonchay
Bree Bonchay is a Los Angeles based Licensed Psychotherapist (LCSW) who believes “relationships are the currency of life”. She’s a relationship expert dedicated to helping people heal from break-ups, recover from toxic relationships with narcissists and sociopaths and to never settle for a life less than the one they dreamed of. She is a Blogger, Advocate, Facebook Toxic Relationship Recovery Forum Administrator, Radio Guest Expert, believer in miracles and is the Author/Editor of her upcoming book, “I Am Free”.

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Attraction: It’s About The Energy

Attraction: It’s About The Energy

“He’s hot.”

“She’s hot.”

What does “hot” mean?

I’m sure we all think of something similar when we use this word. Right now everyone reading this probably has the objective standard of the guy with the ripped abs or the fit yoga instructor. But are they really hot? Are they really attractive?

By objective Western standards, one would say yes. But the truth is, the definition of hot or what is attractive really depends on you and your energetic connection with any given person. I believe beauty becomes subjective once we begin to feel the energy of the person behind the ripped abs. Has a personality ever repulsed you? Have you ever found someone totally unappealing only to slowly find out that you were becoming more and more attracted as you interacted with him? Did you ever get to know the guy at the gym with the ripped abs and find him hideous after he opened his mouth? This is real.

I believe in “energy compatibility” or “energetic attraction”

I define this as attraction based on the dynamics of personal interaction with another; it is the organic synergy that occurs when two people interact. Combined with what we find to be physically attractive, we can look at this as “holistic attraction”.

You may meet someone who you’re not too excited about at first glance. Who knows, the visual level may totally break the deal without further investigation. Only when we take the time to engage someone, to “feel” the dynamics of how we connect with each other will we truly know we are attracted.

I’ve met “model type” women, only to be permanently repelled by their personalities. That in turn has actually made these women less visibly attractive. It’s as though the objective standard of what is hot dissolves. I’ve also met women who are far from the Western profile of “hot” and have found myself delightfully surprised to wind up attracted to them.

So simply take the time to get to know someone

Don’t let what you see stop you from finding out what is on the inside. When I say “energy” in this context, I am talking about the degree to which your interplay with someone “clicks”. We all have energetic dynamics in our relations with everyone we know. These connections or disconnections are what truly make or break our relationships. So that’s the real acid test of the guy with the ripped abs. Are you energetically compatible? Does his energy make him hot or hideous?

Someone may pop up in your life who doesn’t quite cut it right of the bat. Romantic involvement may be the furthest thing from your mind. But I believe that people really do come into our lives for a reason. Don’t push anyone away. “The one” may be right under your nose, but you could be ignoring him based on your idea of what society has conditioned you to find attractive.

Challenge that. Don’t become a slave of “herd” mentality. This is about finding who your heart really wants to connect with. It’s about finding true love.

CJ Westyn
CJ Westyn is a relationship expert and strategist residing in Princeton, New Jersey and Denver, CO. He is a Date Camp™ Coach and former co-host of dating and relationship talk radio show, Intuidate Radio®.

CJ holds an M.A. in Rehabilitation Counseling and has spent over 10 years working with couples and individuals on a broad variety of relationship issues.

CJ’s mission is to use his writing and untamed sense of humor to add value to the dating advice world by delivering helpful digital content. He strives to move people forward as he guides them through overcoming the uncomfortable yet inherent challenges we are dealt by the human condition (You know, when “life gets in the way”).

CJ’s aim is to also raise awareness surrounding cultural mores and standards that are congruent with human biology yet have earned negative value judgment due to sociocultural human constructs such as religion, ethics and tradition.

In addition to dating advice, CJ spends significant time writing comedy and performing elaborate practical jokes. In his spare time, he watches plenty of Andy Kaufman videos (for inspiration) and audits classes at Princeton University.

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