First Date Tips for the Gay Man

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Even though it can seem that nobody goes on actual dates any more, there are still some guys out there that do want to spend time getting to know you before heading to the sheets.

Shocking, I know.  LOL

Sadly, especially with the advent of the smart phone apps, most of us don’t even bother following a few basic first date guidelines.  Sometimes we’ve spent so much time chatting online to each other, it’s like you’ve already had your first or second date, just without even meeting.

Bust is this a matter of getting too familiar too soon?

The whole point of a first date is to get to know someone new and see if there’s any connection between you.  It’s not to unload your entire life story, or to complain about your ex, prattle on about your newest gadget, or to extol the virtues of your new workout routine.

It’s all about see what you have in common and if there are any sparks between you.

Some of the below may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many guys forget about them.

Do something mutually fun and affordable

All too often guys will go along with their date’s ideas even if it’s something they don’t enjoy or maybe even can’t afford.  There’s no rule that says one of you needs to take charge and decide what you’ll do on your date, or that one of you should be submissive when it comes to making a decision.  It is, after all, your date too so you do have a say.

And let’s be honest – unless you’re a sugar daddy looking to snatch up some young money-grubbing twink, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing something on the cheap.. but perhaps not so cheap that you’re eating dry ramen sitting in a park.  LOL

Overall, a date should be fun and interesting.  And the most important part is spending time to get to know each other.  So if you both have an interest in the arts, why not tour a local art gallery (some of which may even be free..).  Or if you’re both foodies, why not sample the wares at some weekend market.

A first date doesn’t have to be some big lavish production.  Just go enjoy yourselves and each other’s company.

Casual is the best way to go

As clichéd as it may seem, too many gay men out there will spend hours picking out just the right outfit, or even go shopping for something new because they think that will impress their date.

But when you get right to it, is there really any point?  He’s going on a date with you, not your designer duds.

Now that’s not to say you should rock up in your paint-splattered (unfashionably) torn jeans and a dirty sweatshirt.  You still do need to look presentable when meeting someone new, but it’s also equally important to be comfortable in what you’re wearing.

Don’t go on a date wearing a button-up shirt and chinos when you’re really a jeans and t-shirt sort of guy.  Be yourself and dress accordingly.

Pick somewhere quiet and easy to get to.. for both of you

When you live in a big city, it can occasionally difficult to find a place that is mutually beneficial location-wise to both parties.  And all too often, guys will purposely try to choose a place to meet that’s closer to them than the other person.  But is that really fair?

On top of that, the whole point of a first date is to be able to talk to each other.  But if you’ve chosen to go to the movies on your date, you can’t exactly talk during the film (please don’t.. it’s annoying hahaha).

Instead pick somewhere that’s realistically reachable for both of you and isn’t too crowded or noisy.  For instance, if it’s a nice day then why not grab a couple of ice creams or gelato and go for a walk in the park.

And yes, the old stand by of meeting for a coffee is always a great option.

It’s a date, not a competition

As fun as meeting for a round of mini-golf or enjoying a few games of bowling might seem for a first date, it’s actually not that great an idea.  In fact, it’s leaving you (or your date) open to be humiliated.

Because let’s be honest – nobody likes to lose, and if you’re competing during a date, there’s always going to a loser.  And that may put a damper on the possibilities of a second date.

And yes, gay men do like to be competitive, even if they’re not into sports of any kind.  In the end it’s not about the game but about the results that will affect the outcome of the date.

To bar or not to bar

It’s all too easy to suggest meeting for a few drinks on your first date.  And sometimes that may be a great way for both of you to relax since you’ll both probably be nervous.  But the last thing you want to do is to get drunk.  Or for your date to think you’re a lush.  Or that you live on the gay scene and are a party animal.

As well, absolutely do NOT go to your local gay bar or the hottest place around.  You’ll be more likely to run into someone you know, and then will come the awkward questions about what you’re doing there.

Instead, why not go somewhere new that neither of you have been to.  Or hit up some out of the way cocktail bar for a more cosy atmosphere.  Or better yet, go for a nice quiet meal somewhere fun.  Just make sure it’s somewhere you can hear each other speak without having to yell at each other.

Be engaging and listen 

Who hasn’t been on a date and spent the entire time listening to the other person just talk about themselves without engaging you once?  Unfortunately, this is a lot more prevalent than you’d think.

We all love to talk about ourselves (even if we don’t like to actually admit it..) and whatever hobbies or activities we’ve been up to, but how is that a conversation?  It isn’t, so why not hush yourself and engage your date in an actual conversation.  Ask the other person what their interests are.. and then actually listen to what they have to say.

The more you engage and converse back and forth, the better the overall date will be.  It’ll be memorable for the right reasons, and not for being an ugly, self-centered car-wreck.

Date + Friends = Recipe for a non-date

It’s way too easy to just invite your potential date to join you and your friends to hang out.  It may seem like it’s a ingenious way to get to know your new beau while getting some friendly feedback at the same time.

Wrong.  Oh so wrong.

Just think how uncomfortable that would be for the guy, to be forced to hang out and engage with people he doesn’t know, when all he wants is to get to know you.  And by doing this, you’re essentially sending him the message that you’re really not interested in him romantically, but more as a ‘pal’.

Save the meeting of your friends for somewhere down the line if it turns into something.

Time limit or no time limit?

There are loads of people who think you should set a time limit to how long a first date should last, generally no more than three hours.  But is this realistic or setting too much of a limitation on how much you allow yourself to enjoy the other guy’s company?

Obviously, this is something that needs to be decided on an individual, date-by-date basis, as not all dates will be same.  Perhaps you’ll be getting along like gang-busters and want to spend the night together.

Or perhaps you just don’t gel that well, so it’ll only last a short while.

Some say if you spend too much time together on the first date, then you’re not giving them an opportunity to want to learn more about you.

But then again, if the spark is there right away, then that first date may turn into the second or third without either of you even trying, perhaps leading to something more.

And ultimately, isn’t that the end goal?

This post has been inspired by — 10 Gay First Date Tips That Should Be Obvious! – Gay Pop Buzz

Being an Awkward Flirt

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As someone who can be somewhat socially awkward at times, it can be absolutely terrifying to go out and interact with other people.  Just the idea of going to a pub or social gathering where you’re forced to chat or interact with other people can be almost debilitating.

But adding flirting on top of all that??  Hot damn, that can be scary as fuck!

But because of the fear of rejection, a lot of socially awkward people will be more comfortable flirting online.  And that anonymity allows them to show how amazingly flirty they really are, but they clam up once it moves into a public situation.

Obviously like anything in life, you need to make an effort to get a result.  If it feels like you’re making an absolutely massive effort but getting nowhere, then maybe you’re just coming across as a bit too subtle.  Your idea of being a flirt may not be the same as other guys.

Despite how tricky it may seem, this is something you truly need to be in it to win it.

Get out of your own head

Regardless of the situation, a socially awkward person can sometimes spend too much time over-thinking or over-analysing things.  Perhaps you’ll worry that you’ve said the wrong thing, or didn’t come across as interesting as you’d have liked.  Or you’ll worry that you’re coming on too strong.. or not strong enough as the case may be.

Instead you just need to stop thinking, calm the fuck down, and just listen to the other person.  Listen to the words coming out of their mouth and their inflection.  Watch their body language and whether they maintain eye contact or if they’re too busy looking around the room.  As you listen to the other person, both vocally and physically, you’ll find you’ll start reacting to them instinctively and naturally.

And he’ll definitely notice, as it’ll make him feel important.

Flash your assets

And no, that doesn’t mean getting your ass out for everyone to see… well, depending on the party you’re at I guess.  LOL

This is more about knowing what you’re good at and improving upon those skills as a way to increase your self-confidence or self-esteem.  It could something silly like a party trick, or being able to make the best G&T ever, or perhaps it could be a personal interest you could use as a talking point when meeting someone new.

Whatever it is, it’s obviously just the tip of the iceberg of who you are as a person, but it at least will allow someone new to get a glimpse inside.  And everybody knows that the more confident you are in yourself, the more this will shine through to others around you.  Your feeling of self-worth will improve as you go along, so why not improve upon it so it shines through.

It’s also about putting your best face forward.  If it’s clear that you’re not taking care of yourself, then that’ll be a massive turn off for the other guy.  It’s not necessarily just about your physical appearance (not all guys are into washboard abs.. just saying), but about taking care of your hygiene, knowing what looks good on your body shape, and allowing your amazing personality to shine through.

Own yourself

We’ve all been there – you’re at a party and some guy you just started chatting to is all over you.  They’re practically straddling your leg, breathing in your ear, with their hand down the front (or back) of your pants.  It’s one thing to be flirty, but when you’ve bypassed someone else’s boundaries, then you’re definitely getting into a no-go zone.

As adults, we need to be aware of our own and other’s personal space, and respect this at all times.  If you’ve draped yourself over someone and you can tell they’re feeling uncomfortable, then you really just need to back off.  Give them some room to breath and wait for them to invite you back into their space (if or) when they’re ready.

Make the first move

It seems these days that guys are totally afraid to show their interest in another person until that other person has shown their hand first.  It’s like we’re all afraid to be vulnerable and show emotions, even if it’s a solely physical manifestation of one.

There’s nothing wrong with flirting subtly (though not so subtle that it couldn’t be recognised with a microscope) and showing interest in the other person.  If you don’t show them you’re interested, then how are they going to know?  You can’t just keep waiting on someone else to make the first move, regardless of how scary that may seem.

Let down your defences

All too often, especially when you’re socially awkward, you’ll tend to approach social situations with hesitation and a pre-conceived idea of how other people will look at you.  That they’ll judge you for every word, action, or reaction you give.

Basically you put yourself on the defensive before you even walk into the room, let alone start talking to someone.  And what this means is, deep-down, you’re judging yourself and making yourself uncomfortable about a situation before it’s even happened.  You’ll start shaming yourself for actions you ‘may’ take, which will only make it worse.

Instead allow yourself to have a more open mind to whatever may come along, be it a new friend, a bit of fun, or even the possibility of a new boyfriend.

You just never know what might happen if you let someone in, so just go for it already!

This post was influenced by — How to Flirt When You’re Socially Awkward – GayGuys.com

Stepping Up to Mental Wellbeing

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Everyone deals with stress, anxiety or depression in different ways, and there’s no true set rule on how to deal with any of them.  We’ve all read countless online self-help articles touting themselves as being the ultimate list of how to do this or that.. when in reality, most are just rehashes of the same things over and over again.

One thing does ring true though regardless of which articles you read – If you don’t at least give them a shot, then you’ll never know if they truly make you feel more positive about your life, or even help move you down the road to your own happiness.

Side note – Happiness isn’t necessarily a destination, but more of a state of being.  And everyone’s ideal of happiness is different, so find your own happiness. 🙂

What is mental wellbeing?

Per the below NHS site, mental wellbeing is defined as such:

“Feeling happy is a part of mental wellbeing. But it’s far from the whole. Feelings of contentment, enjoyment, confidence and engagement with the world are all a part of mental wellbeing. Self-esteem and self-confidence are too.

“So is a feeling that you can do the things you want to do. And so are good relationships, which bring joy to you and those around you.

“Of course, good mental wellbeing does not mean that you never experience feelings or situations that you find difficult. But it does mean that you feel you have the resilience to cope when times are tougher than usual.”

Sarah Stewart-Brown, Professor of Public Health at the University of Warwick

Like anything in life, the more you put into something like your own well being, the more you’re likely to get out of it.  And if you’re waiting on someone else to ‘give’ you happiness, you’ll be waiting for your entire life.

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Steps to Mental Wellbeing

Below are a few suggestions we could all take to boost how we’re doing.  As previously mentioned, this isn’t an exhaustive list and some may work better for some people than others.

Connect with others

All too often when we’re feeling down or a bit blue, we’ll find ourselves pulling away from our loved ones.  Instead reach out to the people around you, be them family, friends, colleagues or neighbours.  Just be willing to make that step to open up the lines of communication.

Be active

This isn’t necessarily about going to the gym or starting some massive work out regime.  It’s more about just finding an activity that you enjoy and incorporate into you daily life – take a walk, go for a bike ride, go for a swim, and so forth.

Keep learning

Sometimes all you might need is to boost your own wellbeing is to engage your mind in something constructive.  It could be learning a new skill, taking a hobby class , getting that certification you’ve been dreaming about.  Or maybe just read that book gathering dust on your bedside table.

Volunteering your time

Being a volunteer in any capacity can not only help you feel like you’re contributing more to your community, but it’s a goldmine for networking.  But you don’t even have to go so far as to actually volunteer – sometimes the smallest thing, like smiling at a stranger or giving a kind word to something, can make the world a difference.

Be in the present

This could be called ‘mindfulness’, but it’s mostly about being aware of what is going around you at any given moment.  This can include the world around you, local/national/international politics, your thoughts or feelings, and most importantly, your own body.  However, don’t allow yourself to get so immersed in this that you block out other parts of life, as that’ll have an averse affect.

This post has been influenced by — Five steps to mental wellbeing – Stress, anxiety and depression – NHS choices

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How to Remind Yourself You’re Worthy of Love. – GayGuys.com

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You are made of LOVE

Re-post Source: How to Remind Yourself You’re Worthy of Love. – GayGuys.com

I used to think I was only worth what society told me I was. When I felt judged I instantly made it personal, dissecting the reasons why and ultimately burying myself in a cave of self-pity. But then something happened.

I realized the world read my value by observing my self-worth. When I felt worthless, the world took it at face value—that’s what they saw and it’s how they associated me. As humans we take a lot of our value from what people think of us, so as a result of their association, we assume their opinion is the truth when in actuality it began with us all along.

Raise our self-worth -> Raise our value.

Sometimes we have to do the work ourselves. We need to define who we are and know how valuable we truly are without needing to look at society. From then on, everything falls into place. It’s a never-ending circle that starts and ends with our own views of ourselves. Here’s how we can start raising our worth:

Remind yourself what it is they (the world) are dealing with. You’re not just anyone. You’re YOU. Stop comparing yourself to other people who might look different, sound different, feel different; the fact that you are original and unique is always going to work in your favor. You aren’t an every day run-of-the-mill kind of guy—you’re special. You got IT.

Give yourself something to accomplish so you’ll feel accomplished once it’s complete. In other words make projects, think of ideas, predict the future for yourself, come up with goals and actually try to achieve them. The simple act of working towards something makes you feel fulfilled, ultimately turning insecurity into pride.

Recognize your good qualities because the second you do, you’ll understand how it’s inspired others all this time. You’ll see that it’s your heart, your soul, and your spirit that make people love you rather than artificial things. Your goodness is your worth. Your goodness defines how valuable you are, and once you see how much you already have inside, (there’s a lot, trust me) resonate in it.

love-yourself-firstWake up happy. Before you have another self-deprecating thought, you need to fuel your heart with love. Wake up and be glad that you did. This is your room, this is your bed, this is your life; celebrate it with a smile. Place your mind in front of you rather than behind you, keep it floating on your own assessments instead of letting it sink.

Love yourself the way you love others. Too often we place so much adoration on our loved ones, yet we fail to treat ourselves the same way. We feel it’s selfish to love ourselves equal to loving the world, but trust me when I say if we don’t love ourselves we will never collect enough of it to share.

You deserve to be fulfilled. Yes, YOU deserve to be happy, to have love, to be joyous. You worked your ass off to get where you are today—you might be bruised and you might be shaken, but scars heel. Never think you’re unworthy of good things because you feel guilt or shame to have them. You deserve to be happy because you are here. You’re breathing, you’re living, you’re giving to the world, and you deserve goodness—never give it back.

 

Getting Over Fear of Making Big Life Changes

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As much as some try to say they enjoy it, change can be difficult and stressful regardless of what the change is or how big a change it is.

And sometimes despite the benefits to our lives, we can get bogged down in how tough change can be.  We’ll worry ourselves to death whether we’re making the right decisions or how we’ll even get through the changes ahead.

Getting past our fears and move forward with whatever changes that are on the horizon can be difficult.  And all too often we’ll doubt ourselves even when we know it’s a change for the best.

Hopefully the following tips will help you move forward and make that positive change in your life you truly need.

Nobody has all the answers

Before making any important decision, it’s always a good rule of thumb to collect as much information about the impending change as you can.  And doing a bit of research into it can sometimes help make that decision even easier, one way or the other.

But can you sometimes go too far with the research?  Of course you can.  All too often we get paralysed with fear because we think we couldn’t possibly have enough information to make a proper decision.  But the truth is we need to stop waiting for the crystal ball to appear with how everything will turn out, and just make that (informed) leap of faith.

Trust your instincts

I can do itAll too often we’ll make excuses for ourselves why not to make the important changes in our lives, but underneath it all we’re just not putting enough faith in our own ability to make the decision.  Who hasn’t hemmed and hawed over making some decision, only to put it off instead of going ahead with what we know we should be doing?

It’s all about the fear of the unknown and being afraid to see where the future will lead us.  It’s also about getting too comfortable in our current situation, so much so that we’d rather keep the status quo instead of leaping ahead.  No matter what is on the horizon, we need to trust our ability to handle anything the future will throw at us.

Stay positive

We always worry too much about the worst case scenarios when making a big decision, and sometimes that will cause us to put off doing what is necessary.  It’s always good planning to figure out what the worst that could happen, but at the same time, we need to look at what the positives could be.  And if it’s the right decision, then the positives will always outweigh the negatives.

Enjoy the process

don't be afraidAll too often we get way too wrapped up in the end results, that if we try to reach for that big life goal that we’ll never make it to the finish line.  But you know what’s even more profound and enjoyable?  The journey towards that goal itself. You chose that goal, so enjoy the process of getting to it.

Life is full of twists and turns, and what may be your end goal today, may not be tomorrow based on how your journey there unravels.  Life changes, and so should your goals.  And if you don’t reach your initial goal, that’s ok because you’re allowed to change to a new one as you go along.  It doesn’t mean you’re being flaky or indecisive, but instead means you’re weighing your options as you go along.

Life is an opportunity

Don’t let yourself sit on the fence about making a big life changing decision, or allow yourself to get stuck in a rut.  Or even when it comes to making a little decision really.  big or small, each choice you make in life opens an opportunity to something new.

And you just never know where that opportunity may lead you.  It may even make you change your initial goals, and allow life to take you to somewhere even better than you thought it would.  There are always choices in life, so go ahead and see where they lead you.

Make the effort

Whenever we get stuck in a rut, it’s usually because we haven’t made the effort to exorcise the change we need to move forward in life.  It could be we get settled into an easy job instead of going for one that could possibly propel our career to places we never thought it could.  If you don’t ask for what you want in life, then you’ll never get it.

It’s also too easy to make excuses why we haven’t gotten where we need to be in life, so why not put them aside and just go for it already.  If you don’t even try then you’ll never get what you want in life.  And don’t let your own laziness stop you from even trying in the first place.

Build up to the big stuff

Let’s be honest – you can’t really go for the huge tasks if you haven’t mastered the little ones first.  Sometimes you need to build up to where you want to be in life, and start from the ground up.  If it’s regarding a career change, then see what you can do to improve your skills so you meet the qualifications of the new job.  Or if it’s a more physical goal, like running a marathon, then start off with small runs and training first, and allow yourself to build up your stamina.

It’s not about completely changing your world around you at the drop of a hat, but instead doing it progressively over time.  In the end, only you can truly affect the positive changes you need to get to your end goal.

This post was inspired by: 7 Ways To Get Over Fear and Make Big Life Changes

the first step is the hardest

Making a Good Impression on a Date

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Dating is never an easy thing.  Meeting someone new for the first time can be quite daunting, and the desire to make a good impression can be high.. sometimes to the point where you can try to hard.

Dating should be a fun and exciting part of life, so why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to ensure we connect with our date?

Here are a few things you can do to ensure things end on a more positive note.

To drink or not to drink..

Probably the easiest thing to do on a date is to meet for a drink in a bar, pub or restaurant as they’re meant to be social places.  The problem is sometimes guys will tend to drink to much as a way to relax or loosen themselves up.. and nobody wants a messy date.

A date is a social engagement, and if you’re pissed off your tits, then you’re more likely to be jarringly obnoxious as you waffle on like some aging party boy instead of being your truly interesting and personable self.  There’s no race, so don’t try to down your pint in one go.  Keep it to a drink or two, and only if the other person is having one as well.

gay-dating-headlineChoose a mutually beneficial location

 

The best thing to do when setting a place to meet on a date is that it’s both convenient and beneficial to you both.  For instance, if one of you lives in North London and the other in South London, the logical thing to do is to arrange to meet somewhere in the middle, and not one that only benefits one person location-wise.

And as important as location is, the atmosphere of where you meet is super important as well.  The last thing you want is to be in a popular crowded pub where you can’t hear each other, so why not pick a more out of the way place that’s quieter.  As well, you don’t want to pick somewhere either of you might be likely to bump into someone you know.  The last thing you need is someone trying to edge in on your private time together.

Know when to make a (sexual) move

two-men-kissingThere’s nothing less sexy or enticing than a guy who goes in for a kiss or a grope in an inappropriate location or too soon into the date.  There’s nothing wrong with a bit of a public display of affection, but don’t be going in for a deep, wet snog right away.

Oh and as for those roaming hands of yours?  How about you keep them to yourself while we’re just getting to know each other, especially when we’re in public.  There’s more to meeting someone for a date than sex, so no need to go into intricate details of your sex life or what positions you enjoy or even that thing you did on holidays that you probably shouldn’t have.

Don’t be a Judge Judy

Part of getting to know someone new is learning what makes that person tick, as well as what they consider their limits to be.  And we’re not talking sexually either.  Some people hate certain words, especially the more derogative swear words, and you really need to pay attention when they say they hate that word.. not continue to work it into the conversation.

As well, if the conversation turns to politics, religion, or any other potentially explosive topic, don’t let it get your back up and judge them for their views on life.  We’re all different people so are allowed to have differing points of view.  Be willing to have an open conversation, not try to take them down because their view is different than yours.

Be real and keep your promises

If you’re truly interested after the first date and genuinely would like to see them again, then tell them.  Don’t leave them hanging, waiting for you to say something.  There’s nothing wrong with putting yourself out there, just be careful to not get too attached too soon.

As well, if they tell you they’re interested in seeing you again and you’re not, then say so (NICELY!!).  There’s no point dangling the carrot in front of them if you’re never willing to follow it through.

Oh and for goodness sake, stop trying the whole playing ‘hard-to-get’ thing.  It really doesn’t work.  If a guy doesn’t message back, it’s not a game move.  It means they’re not interested, plain and simple.

newgrindrlove_2606161bThis post was inspired by – How To Make A Good Impression On Your Date – GayGuys.com

Control Your Attitude

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Like a lot of people out there, I tend to dwell on the negative things that happen in my life.  And the more I think on things, the worse they make me feel and build upon the already negative feelings I’m having.

This, of course, isn’t a healthy or great way to deal with negativity in my life.  But sometimes it’s not as easy as just flipping a switch to stop thinking so negative.  It takes a lot of work to turn my attitude around, and sometimes if it’s been built up too much, then it’s near impossible to see the forest through the trees.

When I’m feeling negatively about something, I tend to get angry about it as well and wanting to lash out at something (or someone)… Which usually does more harm than good in the long run, so best to not allow myself to get to that point.  Not an easy feat at times.

So what is one to do if they’re starting to feel negative?  Well, why not try a few of these tips.

Shake that booty

As much as I hate hearing people say exercise is the best way to release tension and refocus your energy, you can’t help but agree the amazing rush you get when you get yourself out there and move around.  It doesn’t have to be a full-on work out, but could be as simple as going for a walk, try a bit of yoga, go for a bike ride.  Or even as simple as putting on your favourite dance tracks and dancing around your bedroom. It gets the endorphins surging for a bit and allows your body to pull away from your mind.

dancingSpell it out

For some people, myself included, writing out your feelings can be very therapeutic.  You may think that it’ll just bring you closer to the negativity you’re feeling, but that’s only while you’re writing them down.  Just the exercise of getting the words out can do you a wonder of good, as it allows you to look at the situation from a different perspective.  And perhaps allow you to actually work through that negativity in a more creative way.

Give someone a hand

There’s no better feeling you can get than when you’ve helped out a fellow human being with someone.  It be helping a mate move house or paint their new place, or even as simple as cat-sitting for a friend while they’re away.

Or if you want to take it further, there are numerous volunteer opportunities in your community, which allows you to make a more tangible positive difference in someone’s life.

In the end, helping someone else out can be very fulfilling and help you fill your head with new positivity.  It’ll also get you out of your cave and give you a chance to interact with others who need you.

No news is good news

Let’s be honest – there isn’t a lot of positivity shown on the nightly news, so if you’re already feeling a bit down, then turn it off.  Don’t even watch it, regardless of how intrigued you are about certain events occurring around the world.  The last thing you need is to feed your negative feelings with stories of war, murder, closed-minded politics or any other horrible thing they show each night.

Instead turn your brain onto something different, something beautiful and positive.  Read your favourite novel.  Watch your favourite movie.  Listen to your most uplifting diva.  Basically seek out the good stuff in life, and let the positivity take over your being.

Show those pearly whites

smile not crySometimes a smile, or even a good laugh, can do wonders for your negative feelings and help turn your energy back into positivity.

We’ve all heard that tired cliched saying ‘Turn that frown upside down’, usually from someone who doesn’t know what to say about what you’re going through.  And as lame as you may think that advise it, it’s actually quite valid.  Making yourself smile and laugh can be contagious, and before you know it, you’re feeling right as rain.

Turning your negative attitudes and feelings back into something more positive takes energy and effort on your part.  So go ahead and put the effort in.  Because in the end, you’ll only have yourself to thank for your own happiness.

This post was inspired by: You can control your attitude by Brian Tracy with article by Scott Stabile

Biggest Relationship Mistakes

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Whether you’ve been in a relationship or not, it’s pretty much common knowledge that they take a lot of work.  Regardless of the connection or commitment to each other, there will always been some issues that crop up, but it’s a matter of know how to best deal with them and move past them.

And sometimes it’s all about how you act towards your new partner.  So here are a few helpful tips.. but of course, each relationship is unique.

Going Too Fast

Let’s be honest.. the quickest way to turn off your potential new partner is to jump in too deep, too quickly.  Just because you had a fantastic time on your date and had a lovely good-night kiss (or even more amorous activities hehe), it doesn’t mean you’ll be together forever.  You have to let things happen naturally, you really can’t force things.

super intimateGoing Too Slow

On the other hand, if you take it so slow that your new partner starts to think you’re not interested, then you may end up losing them to someone new.  That’s not to say you should immediately become more physically or emotionally entangled, but at some point once that connection has been made, it’s best to move things along a bit.  Even if it’s just a small step at a time.  Whatever pace works for both of you.

Not Finding the Time

Life can be busy for all of us at times.  But if you’re not making an effort to find time for your significant other (or even dating itself), it makes the other person feel like they’re less important than other things in your life, and you’re bound to drift apart.  Relationships need time and effort to prosper, and if you can’t find time for your sweetie, then they won’t be your sweetie for long.

A Lack of Boundaries

Boundaries aren’t just about how you interact with each other, but how much outside intrusion you allow into your relationship.  Clear expectations need to be set for each other, including how much (or little) meddling you allow in, as well as boundaries with each other.

gay-17Taking Your Partner for Granted

In the beginning, we always go out of our way to make the other person feel important.. So where did that go?  Regardless if the relationship is new or you’ve been together for decades, always do something to make the other person feel special and don’t let the humdrum daily routine to take that away from you.

Trying to Change the Other Person

We all have certain expectations when it comes to our potential partners, and as long as you’re wiling to compromise to some degree then it’ll all go swimmingly.  But if you’re rigid in your ideals and continually try to make the other person fit into some mould that you ‘think’ is your ideal person, then you’re probably setting yourself up for failure in the long run.

Not Giving Your Partner Enough Space

Relationships are hard, and sometimes you each need to take some time apart.  Even if you don’t really want to.  Without being a mindreader, you need to keep an eye out for cues from your partner and just back off for a bit when they need a bit of space.  You can’t force togetherness 24/7, as even the happiest of couples need some time apart.  It’s healthy for both of you, as well as the relationship.

Having No Life Outside the Relationship

And off the back of that point, you can’t cut yourself off from your friends and loved ones from before you started the relationship.  And you can’t expect your partner to do that either.  It’s healthy to continue to have friends outside the relationship, even if they’re mutual friends.  And not just friends, but also maintain the interests and hobbies you had before.  You can’t stop being you just because you’ve found someone special.

And let’s be honest, sometimes you just need that best friend to talk to, as some topics may be a bit outside the boundaries with your new cutie.  😉

Looking -assesThis post has been influenced by the article –> 8 Biggest Relationship Mistakes | The Daily 8

Finding Your Passion

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Life is an adventure.  So why spend it doing things that bore you or make you miserable?

Loads of people talk about finding your passion in life, and to look for ways to turn what could be a hobby into something more substantial.  Or at least that’s the dream, right?

Inventory your talents

The first thing you need to do when looking for your passions in life is to figure out what you’re good at.  And not just that, but what you’re good that excites you.

be diferentFor instance, you could be good with numbers but unless the idea of crunching numbers all day gets your blood flowing, I wouldn’t recommend a career in accounting.

Perhaps your passion could even be something you enjoy doing but don’t think you’re good at.  We are our own worst critics and tend to doubt our own abilities, even after others enthusiastically compliment us on them.

And who cares if others may not thing your passion is ‘practical’ or even common.  Sometimes having a passion that is off the beaten path can lead to something amazing an unique from what everyone else is doing.

Pay attention to who makes you annoyed or jealous

We all have people around us that make us annoyed by how frivolously they live their lives.  But have you ever taken a moment to think why that is?

Most likely, it someone who’s following their dreams and doing what they want to do in life.  It could be someone who has quit a well-paid full-time job in order to start their own home business.  Or it could be someone who’s left a stable (and possibly, boring) life to move abroad and live in another country.

Basically, why be jealous of those who are making their dreams a reality? And why live a life that everyone else expects you to have?  That truly isn’t going to make you happy or satisfied in life, so get out there in the world and follow your own path.

You never know who it may inspire to follow you.

Think of what you loved to do as a child

Remember when you were a young child and what used to excite you?  Was it making up stories for your toys, or dancing around your room to the music on the radio?  Or maybe it was becoming fascinated with the worlds you could explore through books or movies?

Think back to what made you happiest as a child, and maybe you’ll be able to unearth your true passion in life.

Notice what you hate to stop doing

Like most people, you probably spend a fair amount of time at work watching the clock and wishing it was time to go home or it was the weekend already.  How is that really any way to live?  And it definitely doesn’t do much to encourage your ‘passion’ in life.

Think about how you spend your life and those activities that seem to melt the time away.  When you’re immersed in these activities you don’t’ notice the time flow by, and you most definitely don’t want to stop once you’ve started.

That’s your passion.  It’s something you could spend all day or night doing and never get bored of it.  it’s something that allows you to get so involved that you’re actually sad that you have to stop.

See your passion hunt as a fun, joyful adventure

Finding and enjoying your passion should be one thing – a fun adventure of self-discovery.  At no point should you be putting pressure on yourself to find a passion in life, as that’ll defeat the purpose.

Steve Jobs quoteAnd if you try some new activity hoping it could be your new passion, do not get down on yourself if it doesn’t work out.  The whole point of this world of self-discovery is to enjoy different things in life that you may not have thought of trying before.  It’s about seeing what you like, enjoy and are good at, not a competition to see who finds their passion first.

Allow yourself to be open to new opportunities and experiences.  You just never know when you’ll find that magical activity that just lights you up inside.

This post was inspired by : Five Steps to Finding Your Passion | Psychology Today

Stop Absorbing Other People’s Negative Energy

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Like most people, I tend to be a bit of an emotional sponge when it comes to other people’s energies.  Perhaps I unwittingly mirror their attitude or demeanour on a subconscious level, allowing myself to be sucked into their negativity.

As well, I think I can at times project my own bad mood on others, causing them to come down to my level.  It’s something I try hard to not let happen, but sometimes it just does.

Ultimately we all need to do our best to find ways to maintain our own positivity, while shielding yourself from the negativity bombarding you from all around.

Take responsibility for yourself.

It’s ways too easy to fall into someone else’s negative attitude and allow it to wash over you.  For instance, who hasn’t had a co-worker who’s constantly berating everything around them – job, company, workload, boss, etc.  And as they spew their negative views, you want to be support by listening or giving them some advise, but next thing you know you’ve joined them on their downward spiral.

Only you can and should be able to control how you’re feeling at any given moment.  As often as we get testing by life around us, you need to make a conscious decision to not allow that negativity impact you, your life or your attitude.  It may not always be easy, but it’ll be worth it longterm.

Just Breathe.

fresh airThere’s a reason people will tell you to take a deep breath when you’re feeling frustrated or upset about something.  Just the act of breathing itself can be very therapeutic, and can help you clear out the negative energy that has affected your mood.

The best thing you can do when the negativity is creeping up on you is to stop what you’re doing or thinking, sit back, and take a nice big deep breath, and then slowly let all of it go.  Sometimes you may need to change locations before doing so, and that’s ok.  Get a bit of fresh air and allow it to revitalise your energy.

Ignore It.

NEGATIVEGenerally when a negative person is going on about who horrible things are, all they’re really doing is looking for an audience to bring down with them.  For some it may be intentional, but others may not realise they’re doing it.

They literally are looking for someone to absorb their negativity, so why give them the satisfaction?

We all know negative people will continue to be that way no matter what you say to them, so why not just ignore them.  It’ll pop their balloon in a way, and allow you to get on with your day.

You can’t make everyone happy.

If someone constantly complains about their life or whatnot, then all they’re really looking for is someone to bring down to their level not for you to help them work through their issue, realistic or not.

Ultimately you can’t make everyone happy.  Really, you can’t, no matter how hard you try.  When you give into these attention-seekers, you allowing yourself to get sucked in and allowing them to attack your own positive energy.

You need to work at maintaining your own upbeat attitude, and not allow these negative people waylay you from your own happiness.

Opposite-Positive-Thinking

This post was inspired by: 4 Ways To Stop Absorbing Other People’s Negative Energy