Today's Love Tip
Much of what most people know about tantric sex is what they've learned in the media - particularly from a one-off by the musician Sting, who commented that he and his wife could have sex for hours in tantric fashion, due to their yoga... Read More
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When Should You Take It Personally?

We hear so often, "Don't take it personally." What does this really mean? The answer is NOT simple!

Let's say that you are in a great mood, feeling loving and expansive, and someone - either someone close to you or a stranger like a clerk in a store - is withdrawn or attacking.{relatedarticles}

This is when it is important to not take it personally. Their behavior is coming from whatever is going on for them - they are tired, not feeling well, feeling inadequate, angry from a previous interaction, judging themselves, coming from their own fears of rejection or engulfment, and so on. When you take their behavior personally, it is because you want to believe that you have some control over their behavior. You want to believe that if only you were different, they wouldn't treat you badly. This is a huge false belief, as you have no control over what is going on with them, and their behavior has nothing to do with you.


On the other hand, let's say that you are in your ego wounded self, and you are shut down, harsh, attacking, blaming, or people-pleasing. When this is the case, if others are also shut down or attacking, their behavior might be personal to a certain extent. They might be taking your behavior personally and reacting to it from their own ego wounded self.

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While you are not causing them to react with withdrawal or attack - it is the fact that they are taking your behavior personally that is causing them to react - you are also not innocent in the interaction. So it is always important to notice your own open or closed energy to see whether their behavior is not at all about you, or whether they are being reactive with you.

Another scenario to be aware of is: if you are open and loving and another is closed and harsh, their behavior DOES affect you. Even if you do not take their behavior personally, their unloving behavior can cause some deeper core feelings of loneliness, helplessness, heartache, heartbreak, and sadness. Taking their behavior personally may be a way to cover over these deeper painful feelings, because when you tell yourself that their behavior is your fault, then you might feel anxious, depressed, guilty, or shamed. As bad as these feelings feel, they are actually easier to feel because you are the one causing them by taking their behavior personally.


Likewise, if you are the withdrawn or harsh one, and a person close to you is not taking your behavior personally and are feeling their own core painful feelings caused by your unloving behavior, they may choose not to be with you. They might not want to be with you when you are withdrawn or attacking. In this case, it is important that you DO take their behavior personally and explore what you are doing that is resulting in exactly what you likely don't want - their moving away from you.

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The bottom line is that if you are being open and loving, then it is important to never take another's behavior personally. If you are operating from your wounded self and are withdrawn or attacking, then you might want to explore your own behavior when others are also withdrawn, attacking, or when they disengage from you because they don't want to be around you.

Your open and loving behavior is NEVER the cause of another's unloving behavior. Your closed, withdrawn or harsh behavior is also not the cause of their closed, withdrawn or harsh behavior, but can be the cause of them not wanting to be with you, and it is important to open to learning about your own withdrawn or harsh behavior.

About The Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding process - featured on Oprah. Discover real love and intimacy! Click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer:http://innerbonding.com/relationshipmicro/relationship-micro-1/ and visit our website at http://www.innerbonding.com for more articles and help. Phone Sessions Available.


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Are You A Sex Addict?

Hollywood A-listers like Tiger Woods, David Duchovny, and Jesse James have accidentally pioneered the acknowledgement of sexual addiction as a serious problem.

However it may appear in the tabloids, sex addiction is real and it can be the root of a number of problems that can affect the rest of your life. It may be the desire to constantly masturbate, watch porn, pick up strangers, and engage in sex at any opportunity.{relatedarticles}

Sex addiction can consume your life, and it may lead to complications in not only your relationship, but also your health, your work, your relationship with your friends and family members, legal trouble, and a general loss of interest in the rest of your life. If you do suspect that you are a sex addict, read on to find out what the tell-tale signs of sex addiction are.

You Experience Interruptive Thoughts about Sex.

If thoughts about sex or sexual activity are interrupting your day without provocation, that might be indicative of a problem, particularly if those thoughts push the bounds of decency.


If you're suddenly hit with the thought of what kissing, fondling, or having sex with a complete stranger, an acquaintance, a close friend, or a family member, you are experiencing sexually obsessive thoughts.

You've Been Leading a Double Life.

Do you have a lover on the side? Are you regularly cheating on your partner? Do you keep your sex life a secret from your friends and those around you? If you've been leading a double life to fulfill your own sexual desires, it may be a signal that you have a sex addiction.{relatedarticles}

While it's true that a number of people, both male and female, cheat on their significant others, a constant compulsion to do so isn't normal.

If you've been keeping your activities a secret from the people you care about the most, it begs one question - why? Why are you hiding what you're doing? If you know what you're doing is wrong but you can't stop yourself, you have a problem.

You are Constantly Looking for New Sexual Material

One of the markers of a preoccupation with sex is the compulsion to constantly seek out only media that is related to sex. This is different from the average guy (or gal) who watches pornography on occasion, reads sex articles, or looks at stimulating photographs. These are normal, natural human compulsions, and an interest in sex is not indicative of a problem.


On the other hand, if you are always looking for sex-related material to the exclusion of other things you may have a problem. Is your productivity at work suffering because you're browsing adult dating sites or reading steamy sex stories? That's another sign.{relatedarticles}

You Jeopardize your Relationships

We're not talking about just your personal relationship with your partner. A sex addiction can easily begin to interfere with your professional and social circles. Your deceptive behavior, necessary to cover up your sexual exploits, can put a strain on your friendships when your loved ones ask about where you are or what you're up to when you so frequently disappear by yourself.

Your stress over relationship conflict can lead you to indulge further in your sexual addiction, creating a dangerous whirlpool that can suck up your whole life.

You Feel Negatively about your Behavior

If you feel shameful about your behavior and have the impulse to hide it, you have a problem and you need to seek out help and support. Negative emotions are a common human experience, but if you're trapped in a cycle of being unable to withhold yourself from your behavior and then feeling remorse or depression about your actions, your psychological well-being is in jeopardy.


Sex addiction is not different from most other addictions, and your counterproductive behavior and hiding of it can destroy your sense of self-worth and lead you into a dangerous pattern of denial. It can also lead to guilt, depression, and even suicidal feelings.

When we do things that we can't restrain ourselves against, then hate ourselves because we can't help ourselves, we lead ourselves down a dangerous path of self-destructive behavior that can take hold of our lives and compromise all aspects of our life.{relatedarticles}

You Engage in Sexual Thrill-Seeking

You may be seeking out exciting encounters if you're not being satisfied or stimulated by having sex with the same partner, and what might be a one-off can quickly turn into a habit. You may be engaging in dangerous sex escapades with strangers, having sex in public or unusual places, and opening yourself up to potentially harmful situations.

If you find that you are never satisfied by having sex with your partner, your sexuality may be suffering. Constantly looking for new sexual thrills is often a hallmark of a sex addiction that has gotten out of control.


You Have Gotten in Trouble with the Law

If your dangerous thrill-seeking has led you down a destructive path, you might attempt having sex with prostitutes, having sex with minors, or engaging in exhibitionism.

These illegal activities can not only land you in legal trouble, but could also smear your public reputation and leave you outside the good graces of your friends, family, co-workers, and the general public (which tends to frown on these sorts of sexual exploits).{relatedarticles}

Other actions that might not necessarily be illegal but could still be offensive or indicative of a problem include indecent phone calls, dialing sex hotlines, or voyeurism.

When the compulsion to express your sexuality lands you in trouble, it's a sign that you might be a sex addict. Sex shouldn't be a legal issue, and if it's causing problems in your life, it could lead to a breakdown of your relationship with your partner or your relationship with others.

Not to mention, it could be terribly embarrassing to have your name spread all over local and social media channels.

If you're experiencing one or any of these symptoms, you may have a sex addiction. Fortunately, there is help available. Online websites and discussion forums are a good place to discuss your problem in anonymity. Always remember: the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem


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How to Heal a Broken Heart

Love hurts.

You finally find someone you thought was "Mr. or Ms. Right," only to learn they were all wrong. It just doesn't seem fair.

The good news is that time heals all wounds. While it wasn't the most pleasant feeling, it was definitely a learning experience. How can you mend a broken heart? According to grief counselor and breakup expert Susan J. Elliot, the end of a relationship is the same as other grief processes, which means there are phases to the process. The phases of breakup grief include "shock and disbelief," "review and painful relinquishment," and "reorganization, integration and acceptance." How an individual moves through these phases is based on the nature of their break-up as well as the individual's personality.{relatedarticles}

To help you through a break-up, it's important to have a plan of action. These 10 tips will help you ease the pain. It's important to keep in mind that everybody is different and recovers at their own rate.

Tip #1: Face the Pain

The worst thing you can do is turn away from your emotional pain and deny you are hurt. This will bury your feelings making it possible for them to emerge some other time when it isn't appropriate to feel them, for example, when you are in a new relationship.

The best way to face the pain of your broken heart is to think as much as you want to about the relationship, cry as much as you need to and talk to someone who will listen to you. Find a shoulder to cry on whether it's a family member, friend or professional. Processing what happened in the relationship by getting it all out will help make sense of it, so you can accept the reality and move on.


Tip #2: Understand the Relationship

Why didn't the relationship work out? To answer this, think about the relationship and all of the reasons why it just wasn't headed in the direction you or your ex wanted it to go in.

List all of the reasons why the breakup occurred and allow yourself to take it all in. Again, cry over it if you need to. The best part of this exercise is realizing and accepting the flaws in the relationship. As you unearth the major shortcomings, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that your relationship wasn't built to last.{relatedarticles}

Tip #3: List All the Reasons He Wasn't "The One"

No one is perfect, and a breakup is the ideal time to point out all of your ex's imperfections. What really got under your skin about him? What do you want out of someone else? The relationship didn't work out for a reason. Even if you can't find anything wrong with him, the mere fact he wasn't willing to work out the difficulties should be a major strike against him.

Relationships require work from both people, and it is difficult to make love last if one doesn't want to put in the effort to make the other happy.


Tip #4: List Your Awesomeness

Breakups can make you feel like you are a horrible person that no one will ever love again. Good thing this is simply not true.

Think hard about all of the qualities you love about yourself. Think about what your friends and family love about you. Be honest with yourself, not self-conscious. You are a great person, no matter if you make mistakes. You just need to realize it and that will make you feel you are strong enough to repair your broken heart and worthy to allow someone to love you again.{relatedarticles}

Tip #5: Take Care of Yourself

When you are depressed over a breakup, you might start eating and sleeping more or less than you normally do. This can make you feel ill and even more upset over the breakup.

Sleeping the right amount gives you even more energy and helps you process your emotions better. Eating well will help you feel less sluggish and provide you with the energy you need to get moving. Exercise will get your heart pumping and release endorphins that will help you feel better about yourself and the situation.


Tip #6: Think About Your Independence

Was there anything you wanted to do that you couldn't because you were in a relationship? Maybe you wanted to hang out with your friends more, have more time with family or see particular movies your ex didn't like to see. Now is your chance to do whatever you feel like doing with whomever you feel like doing it with, because no one stands in your way.

This is your life now. You are free. While you may prefer to be with your ex, rather than free, you can't deny the release of restraints when you no longer have to take someone else into account.{relatedarticles}

Tip #7: Consider the Future

The future may not seem bright to you right now, but just fantasize a bit about finding someone who is just perfect for you - someone who will come sweep you off your feet and carry you off into the sunset. Imagine a point in your life when you're happier than you have ever been with anyone, including your ex.

Can't seem to release those feelings for your ex because you miss him so much? You don't have to...just allow yourself to create a story in your mind despite the longing you have for your ex. Play around with it and try to have fun. If you find yourself smiling or feeling a bit hopeful for the future, you've succeeded.


Tip #8: Support Others

Sometimes the best way to deal with pain is to lend your support to someone else. It helps you see that your situation may not be as awful as you thought. It also may help you feel less alone when you see someone else going through as much grief as you feel.

Just be careful not to impose your problems on your friend's problems or she won't feel supported. If she comes to you for help first, you should focus on her. If you go to her first, she should help you.{relatedarticles}

Tip #9: Do Something New and Exciting

Living the same old life you were living when you were in a relationship will only remind you of how much you miss your ex and wish he were with you as he used to be. However, if you start engaging in new activities your ex was never part of, you won't miss him as much because it doesn't remind you of him.


Tip #10: Give It Time

Time heals all wounds. While you may want the pain to go away as soon as possible, it just doesn't work that way. You need to let yourself heal and that can take some time. Just hang on for as long as you need to start feeling better about the break-up. You will feel better...it just takes time.

When the Pain Ends

As you start to feel better and more like yourself, start to consider love again. You may be scared of it because you don't ever want to go through this type of pain again, it's important you give it another try. You never know whom you will find next and if that person will be the one you will be with forever.


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