healthy relationship advice

dating advice: the “captain america” rule

Context: I grew up in a family of nerds, and superheroes were always a really big part of my childhood. Captain America was a favorite, and he kind of became my family’s standard for good behavior and just generally being a Nice Person. (If one of the kids started a fight they’d get hit with, “What would Captain America think of how you’re acting?”, stuff like that.)

So when I got to high school and started dating, my mom told me something that sounds funny but in retrospect actually turned out to be really good advice:

“Date someone who treats you the way Captain America would. Never settle for less.” 

And this has actually helped me so much in my dating life, through high school and into my adult years, because even if it’s a little silly, it’s been really helpful to have that standard in the back of my mind when I’m first going into a relationship. 

Would Captain America ignore my calls? Would Captain America forget my birthday? Would Captain America get mad at me for cancelling a date because a family emergency came up? If the answer is no, then I know that the person I’m currently dating does not meet my standards, and that I need to break things off before they get too serious.

And your standard absolutely does not have to be Captain America, specifically. It can be any person, male or female, real or fictional, who is known for being respectful and considerate. It can even be an imaginary “soulmate” that you make up yourself. The point is to have a specific idea of how you expect to be treated by your romantic partners, and to refuse to compromise or settle for less. (Just make sure you’re holding yourself to the same standards – you can’t expect to date superheroes if you’re going to treat your partners the way a supervillain would.) This is a really good way to keep yourself from falling into bad relationships where you aren’t treated with the respect and care you deserve.

TL;DR: You deserve to date people who are respectful and considerate of you. You deserve a Captain America. Don’t settle for less. 

Can we start normalizing consent and open communication in all aspects of a relationship, not just sex? It may not seem like a big deal, but getting permission before holding hands, kissing, and even nonphysical stuff can go a long way in establishing a sense of trust. Remember that some people have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse in previous relationships and may not like being touched a lot. Remember that some people haven’t been in any previous relationships and may take a while before they feel comfortable with the more physical aspects. Remember that some people are independent and don’t like others paying for their things or spending a lot of money on them. Literally, the easiest way to alleviate this is to just ask before you do anything that may seem questionable. Some examples: 

“Would you mind if I held your hand?” 

“Is it okay if I put my arm around you?” 

“Is it alright if I kiss you?” 

“I’d like to pay for your meal if that’s okay with you?” 

“Would it be okay if I bought you something?” 

It’s literally that simple. And this goes for everyone, ladies and gents alike. Just. Ask. But the biggest thing is this: 

Don’t ask if you’re not prepared and willing to accept no as an answer. 

If they say no, that’s it. End of discussion. Move on. If you try to manipulate or guilt-trip them into a different answer, then you’re being controlling and selfish, in which case I hope they dump you like the bucket of slimy eels that you are. 

Remember kids, consent is cool. 

5 Tips for a Healthy Relationship

1. No phone checks. Some couples make it a habit to go through each other’s phones at the end of every day, looking for any flirty messages with other people or evidence of cheating. Don’t do this. It’s gross. Rummaging through someone’s personal belongings at the end of the day is how you treat a five-year-old who forgets to take permission slips out of his backpack, not a grown adult who you claim to love and trust. Phone checks - or any other invasion of privacy - tell your partner that you absolutely do not trust them or take them at their word, and they introduce suspicion and spying into the relationship. Just don’t. Trust your partner instead. 

2. Don’t expect mind-reading. A lot of misunderstandings between partners start with the phrase “they should have known”. Never assume that your partner knows anything you haven’t specifically told them. No matter how well you know someone or how long you’ve been together, you’re never going to learn how to read their mind. Sometimes your moods and desires aren’t as obvious as you think they are. If you want something from your partner, use your words and tell them. 

3. Forgive means forgive, period. Getting cheated on sucks. Getting lied to is awful. You are well within your rights to end the relationship if someone crosses this line. But if you decide to stay with your partner after that happens, you need to find a way to really and truly forgive them - not use their wrongdoing to emotionally take them hostage. Forgiveness means talking it over like adults and finding a meaningful way to move past the incident. It does not mean that you have a blank check to invade their privacy, treat them badly, or throw the incident in their face for the rest of the relationship. That’s a great way to turn things toxic and hostile real quick. None of this applies, by the way, to abusive behaviour - that should not be forgiven, and it’s probably best to end the relationship. 

4. Don’t use breaking up as a threat. When you’re really frustrated and in the heat of an argument, it can be really tempting to go in for the kill - saying something along the lines of “well, maybe we shouldn’t just break up, then”. Don’t do this. In the moment, this might seem like an easy method to get your way and stop the argument, but threatening to break up is the nuclear option in relationships. It’s like settling a petty squabble with your neighbor by dropping an atomic bomb on their house - you’re going to get blown up too. Threatening to break up immediately turns a tense situation hostile and resentful, and if you threaten to break up enough times, your partner will eventually get tired of the emotional rollercoaster and call your bluff.

5. Never stop working on yourself and being your own person. There’s this weird thing in our culture where we expect our romantic relationships to be everything. When we’re single, we need friends, hobbies, family, therapists, activities, goals and the ability to entertain and find meaning for ourselves - and then the minute we get into a relationship, we gather up all those needs and we dump them right on our partner’s head. Our viewpoints shift from what you need to do for yourself ( I need to find ways to manage my anxiety, I need to reach out to my friends more) to what your partner needs to do for you (they need to be more supportive, they need to talk to me more). Being in a relationship does not mean that you cease to exist as an individual, and it doesn’t mean that you stop with self-care. If anything, self-care becomes more important - when you’re able to keep yourself healthy, you and your partner can spend more time enjoying each other, and less time in crisis. 

This isn’t like the end all be all in the definitions of Healthy Relationships, but when writing and you want to show one, these are aspects to look for and express… also, the opposite behavior would show elements of a not so healthy relationship… (Write that story that’s a ‘better love story than Twilight’ ;P )

And for those that need it, perhaps knowing this will help you in your relationships.

Sometimes shit happens.

I have a friend going through a rough time right now, and her main question is “Why?”

“Why didn’t I see this coming?”

“Why did this happen?”

“Why am I not getting this?”

The most frustrating thing about life is that sometimes, there isn’t an answer. It’s so easy to drive yourself crazy looking for the moment where it all turned or where it all went wrong, but most of the time, it’s not there.

I know it’s easier said than done, but you have to let you go. I’m one of those people that hangs onto stuff for way longer than I should and it’s always ME that ends up hurt by it, not other people. 

Go ahead and let yourself be upset. Get some ice cream and cry. It’s okay to be upset! But eventually, you need to look at it, try and find something you can learn from it, and then move on.

There’s something we can learn from every bad experience, and a lot of times it’s about yourself. Take this moment to appreciate yourself and your self growth.

It’ll all be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.

Break Ups

They’re never easy. Someone always gets hurt. Some are mature while others are petty.

My girlfriend just broke up with me two days ago. Not because she found someone new. Not because she didn’t enjoy our relationship. Not because her feelings for me had lessened. She broke up with me because she felt all the emotion in her life fading away. She was becoming more and more detached with each day that passed. Numb and empty. She didn’t think it was healthy to keep the relationship going with how she was, so she ended it.

I respected her thoughts, because I love her. if you love someone then you have to be willing to let them go, especially if it means they could be happier. All I want is for her to be happy.

I will say my biggest regret of that night, when she messaged me the longest paragraph she had in months, is that i didn’t ask her if we could talk about it. I wonder if maybe i had said that, if maybe we could’ve stayed together and given things just a little longer to see if things got better. I wonder if I could’ve asked if this was just a break, or a break up.

It was a break up.

How to deal with your break up in a healthy way:

  1. Cry, sob, let it out. This one is a given, and if your break up was anything like mine, you won’t want to cry, you’ll hate the feeling of crying. But it’s healthy and will make you feel better in the long…long run!
  2. Exercise/workout. I know this may sound like the last thing you want to do, but if you feel anxious, angry, mad,frustrated,even guilty, then this is what will help you. I’m incredibly sore because of how much I’ve been working out lately, and it’s rather addicting. This is coming from someone who hates exercise with a burning passion. This also helps you feel like your not dying when your heart is physically aching!
  3. Stay positive/be optimistic. This sounds extremely difficult I know. And it is. For me, what I thought of to stay positive is that she broke up with me because she cares for me. Knowing that her feelings didn’t fade away and that she didn’t want me out of her life. For you it may be that they wanted to stay friends, or that you get to start fresh.Maybe now you’re able to dress a certain way, do things that you couldn’t before.
  4. Build confidence. Pick out outfits that make you feel good about yourself, dress yourself up. Tell yourself that there’s nothing wrong with you, you are an amazing person and you’ll find the right person, because they’re out there. Do something that you’re good at. 
  5. Talk to people. After a break up no one wants to talk to anyone. You just want to wrap up in a blanket and sob. Some over eat while others stop eating all together. But you don’t want to feel alone. So don’t. Don’t isolate yourself! you need to talk to people! You can vent, sob on them, or just carry on a normal conversation! But don’t, don’t, DON’T isolate yourself! That’s not going to help anything! You can have your alone time because it’s important but social contact is a MUST.
  6. Distract yourself/keep busy. If all else fails, find something to keep you busy. Watch something, listen to music, write music, draw or make art. Write a story. Find a new game to be obsessed with. Dive head first into a new fandom. Pick up some new books. BUT remember not to isolate yourself while doing this, go hang out with people, go shopping or to a movie! Go take an extra class or join a club!

Sorry that this was so long, but I hope it helps someone out there, I know I wish this was there for me.

I’m going to open up and be honest with my partner. I’m going to let them know when I’m going through things instead of keeping it all bottled up. Real love makes its through.
—  Affirmation of the day.

It does not matter how good someone is to you, always pay attention to your thoughts and feelings during a relationship, not just the good but also the real emotions like fear, annoyance, anger, or doubt. Because these will expand once the butterflies die out, and someone being good to you does not invalidate your feelings. 

everybody chill. communication is key to any kind relationship but, hear me out, someone doesn’t have to be abusive or toxic for you to have a reason to leave them. sometimes it’s just not a compatible relationship (that includes friendships). and that’s okay. not everyone is for you and you’re not for everyone. just because things don’t work out, doesn’t always mean someone has to be at fault. let go of people if it brings you peace, and let people let you go if it’s for their wellbeing. 

My partner and I may argue but that doesn’t mean it’s the end of our relationship. We are going to figure out and work through our problems. Real love makes it through.
—  Affirmation of the day.

anonymous asked:

What do you think is the most important thing in a relationship? Best piece of relationship advice? Tips for maintaining a healthy and long lasting relationships (platonic and romantic)? Thanks!

Here are the qualities that I think are important in a healthy relationship (this is about romantic relationships, but everything but sexual compatibility can be relevant to platonic relationships as well):

  • Respect. Probably the most essential factor in a healthy relationship is that you respect each other as human beings and as equals, that you care about each other’s thoughts and feelings and opinions, and you don’t want to harm each other.
  • Trust. You need to be able to trust what your partner says, and not be constantly worried that they’re lying to you. You need to be able to trust that your partner will do what they say they’re going to do, and will be where they say they’re going to be when they say they’re going to be there. And you need to be able to trust that your partner isn’t going to cheat on you - even if they’re out with friends without you, even if you’re long distance, even if they spend time with other people who are a gender they’re attracted to.
  • Honesty. Obviously, without this, it’s going to be difficult to have trust in your relationship. In order to trust what each other says, you need to be honest with each other, and not lie to each other.
  • Communication. If things are bothering you, talk about it. If things are good, talk about it (e.g. if your partner did something that you appreciated, tell them, so they know to keep doing that thing). If there’s an issue in your relationship, it’s not going to be solved by being passive-aggressive, or avoiding each other, or not saying anything because you’re scared the other person will get mad. You should both feel safe and secure enough to express when something has upset you, without feeling like the other person is going to immediately dump you (or become aggressive towards you) for trying to talk about it.
  • Physical/sexual compatibility. This is something that some people will say doesn’t matter, but if you’re in a relationship that is or may become a sexual relationship, I think it’s important to make sure you’re both on the same page. If one of you wants to have sex, make sure the other person does as well before anything happens. If one of you isn’t ready to have sex, make sure the other person is happy to wait. If one of you doesn’t want to have sex at all, make sure the other person is happy staying in a relationship without having sex. Make sure you both understand what kinds of sex you each enjoy and don’t enjoy, and that you’re both happy with that. Make sure you feel able to communicate openly with each other about sex, and that you respect each other’s boundaries.
  • Actually enjoying each other’s company. Make sure you actually like spending time together! It’s weird how many people seem to complain about their significant other, like it’s a chore to see them (like stereotypical groups of men talking about how glad they are to escape from their wives in the pub or on a golf course). The whole point of a relationship is that you like hanging out together.
  • Actually wanting to be in a relationship. Sometimes you get along great with someone, and care about each other a lot, but there’s just no romantic chemistry, or there is and then it fades, and that’s okay. Sometimes you’re in a great relationship, but you feel like you want to be single for whatever reason, and that’s okay. Even if it seems like you’re doing all the right things, a relationship isn’t going to last unless both people actually want to be in a relationship with each other, and it’s okay to admit it if you don’t.