National Friendship Day is August 4th Here are 10 Accessories to Give Your Bestie

Sunday August 4th is National Friendship Day, which is the perfect excuse to go shopping for your BFF. Instead of buying her/him yet another bottle of wine (though, that’s always appreciated), consider purchasing one of the bestie-approved accessories below.

Wear your friendship on your sleeve with these rainbow threaded bracelets.
Venessa Arizaga Rainbow BFF Bracelets Set $50
Say shell yeah to celebrating your bestie in nautical style.
Madewell Friendship Bracelets $22
This fully customizable bracelet lets you pick the colors and words for a one-of-a-kind BFF jewelry swap.
Roxanne Assoulin Just Say It Custom Bracelet $150
Sure, these evil eye rings look adorable stacked together, but why not split them up for matching accessories with your besties?
Sterling Forever 3-Piece Gold Plated Evil Eye Ring Set $30
Pay homage to your sign while matching your BFF with these chic zodiac rings.
Mejuri Zodiac Rings $69
The key to a great friendship might not be matching jewelry, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to accessorize.
The Giving Keys Best Friend Mini Key Necklace Set $75
For your extra glamorous friend, opt for these luxurious gold charms.
The Last Line Diamond Best Friend Heart Hoop Charm Set $312
Give it up for your homegirl with these matching beaded bracelets.
Venessa Arizaga Homegirls Bracelet Set $50
Want to rock your bestie’s initial? Go for these trendy neon bracelets.
K Kane Chain Letter Neons $78
Rainbow threads and old school beads make for one seriously adorable bracelet.
Don’t Worry Bee Happy Bracelet $55

8 Popular American Sexual Fantasies


From tying up your partner a la “Fifty Shades of Grey” to spying on your significant other while they seduce a stranger, the sky’s the limit on what you may secretly (or not so secretly) fantasize about. According to a study done by sex toy brand EdenFantasys, one in four Americans has a secret sex scenario that they want to act out but have yet to share with a partner.

So what’s the appeal of a fantasy? Sexual health coach Dr. Jayne Guyn, Ph.D., RD, and author of “Too Busy to Get Busy,” says, “Our erotic urges enjoy playing to a script. It’s not necessary to have one to run eroticism, but when a turn-on meets a hot story — particularly a forbidden story — it has a place to land.” Read on to learn why some of the following popular fantasies may fire up your libido.

1 Threesomes

Do you dream of engaging in a menage a trois? You’re not alone. Out of nearly 4,200 Americans interviewed by social psychologist and author of “Tell Me What You Want” Dr. Justin Lehmiller, 89 percent fessed up to fantasizing about having a threesome.

Why is the threesome such a common fantasy? Sexual health coach Dr. Guyn explains, “This fantasy is one of abundance — more partners. The psychological basis of this fantasy lies in the sexual scarcity that many men (and some women) experience. The fantasy of threesomes and ‘more-somes’ removes any feeling of shortage and replaces it with multiple hands, mouths and bodies. The anxiety of ‘not enough’ is banished.”

2 Domination and Submission

Whips, chains, leather, oh my! These are all accessories in one of the top three sex fantasies in the U.S. — BDSM, per Dr. Justin Lehmiller’s study. As a whole, BDSM is categorized as multiple sexual activities that involve (consensual) power plays — namely bondage and discipline, domination and submission, and sadism and masochism. In this case, the “D” and “S” stand for domination and submission. Sexual health coach Guyn says, “The psychological basis for the dominance fantasy is infantile (i.e., ‘I’ll take what I want’). In submission fantasies, it’s ‘I am powerless, and in my lack of power you secure me.’”

Your daily life may be an underlying factor in whether you prefer a dominant or submissive role. According to certified sex therapist and sexologist Dr. Jenni Skylar, “For those who live more rigid, busy lives dictated by Google calendars, the appeal of surrendering to a submissive experience in a BDSM scene can feel simultaneously relieving and exciting. Vice versa, someone who feels crazed by the chaos of the world may enjoy a dominant experience and the excitement of being in control.”

3 Bondage and Discipline

If you’d love to try sexual restraints (e.g., ropes and handcuffs) on your partner, you may be fantasizing about the “B” in BDSM — bondage. Dr. Lehmiller says, “Bondage and discipline (the second meaning for “D”) involves one person surrendering control to another. Only bondage involves physical restraints — handcuffs, rope, etc.— while discipline involves psychological restraints.”

Dr. Lehmiller elaborates, “Discipline is all about controlling someone else’s behaviors — what they’re allowed to do or say — through rules and punishment. In some ways, then, discipline can be thought of as surrendering both body and mind to another.”

4 Sex With Someone of the Same Gender

If you identify as heterosexual, have you ever dreamed about a steamy encounter with someone of the same sex? Sexual health coach Guyn explains: “Because women are socialized to repress their sexual desires — even when in a loving relationship — many women fantasize about a partner who ‘knows how to please a woman’ (i.e., another woman) instead of communicating with a male partner about her specific desires in the bedroom.”

Guyn adds, “Men also fantasize about same-sex sex. They think that a male partner would be more intuitive, knowledgeable and competent at pleasuring, particularly during oral sex.”

5 Sex in Public Places

From sneaking off for a quickie at a party to joining the Mile High Club, public sex has secured a place in numerous films and television shows (and the minds of many Americans). Dr. Justin Lehmiller states, “Most of these fantasies about public sex seem to be driven by the same thing: a sense of adventure and the thrill that one could potentially be observed or caught in the act. Public-sex fantasies are therefore more about enhancing sex by inducing an element of risk and fear than anything else.”

According to Lehmiller, emotions like fear and anger are oftentimes mistaken for sexual arousal “because these emotions stimulate our bodies, causing our hearts to beat faster and our breathing to become heavier.”

6 Voyeurism

If you’d rather watch than get in on the action, you may be among the voyeuristic variety. According to Dr. Lehmiller, 60 percent of participants reported fantasizing about voyeurism. However, he establishes: “The point of voyeurism fantasies is to observe others without being seen. But true voyeurism is nonconsensual in nature because it involves someone being watched without their awareness. Given that consent is lacking in these cases, voyeurism is illegal when the fantasy becomes reality.”

Certified sex therapist Kristie Overstreet adds, “These fantasies are appealing because they change up sex and intimacy by providing a different experience. Curiosity and pleasure are heightened because you are doing something different than what you are used to.”

7 Group Sex or Orgies

If you dream of having multiple partners at once, you’re not alone. According to Dr. Lehmiller’s study, 74 percent of participants feel the same. Dr. Jane Guyn explains, “We are taught by society that sex is the ultimate expression of love and intimacy. When we feel raw sexual urges that include images or desires to be erotic with people other than a loving mate, we repress them, hoping to make them disappear because they confuse us. This only makes the urges stronger. They develop a charge. The more we push them down, the more power they hold over us.”

Certified sex therapist Dr. Jenni Skylar adds, “If we deconstruct the appeal behind the top American fantasies, the theme of multiple partners in a mostly monogamous culture is new and taboo and therefore can feel scintillating. For many, the fantasy is often about being doted on by multiple people, being the recipient of attention and pleasure.”

8 Sex With Someone Who’s Unavailable

Whether it’s a married person, an attractive co-worker or even your boss, the thought of having sex with someone who’s “off limits” can be extremely thrilling. Erika Weisel, a licensed therapist focusing on sexual and emotional addictions explains, “What makes these fantasies appealing to the masses is they deal with pleasure, pleasuring and making one emotionally available to the fantasizer. The emotional gratification derives from making the person available who has previously resisted. The higher the sexual desires of the fantasizer, the more sexual and ego fulfillment is obtained because of the submission by the object of their conquest.”

According to sex therapist Dr. Megan Fleming, it’s perfectly normal to fantasize about someone who’s taken or otherwise forbidden. She says, “Sexual fantasies are a natural expression of human imagination. In our imagination, there is safety with no risk, everything is permitted and nothing is wrong or bad.”

Does online dating make you depressed? There’s a reason why

Online dating lowers self-esteem and increases depression.

You might get a rush out of using dating websites and apps like Tinder, and OkCupid, but it turns out that in the long run they are unlikely to make you happier. In fact, according to multiple studies analyzed by the online news giant, using technology to find a mate can have a seriously negative impact on your mental health.
So what gives? First off, rejection — whether it be online or in the “real world” — really hurts. It shows being turned down stimulates the same part of the brain that processes physical pain. To put it simply, your brain doesn’t distinguish between tearing a ligament and a broken heart. And while it definitely stings when the person you are flirting with at the bar starts chatting up someone else in real life, an evening of swiping right and getting zero matches takes rejection to an entirely new level.
Beyond the feeling of rejection, consistent swiping might also take a toll on your self-esteem. Tinder’s effects on their body image and self-esteem — and the results were not encouraging. 
“As a result of how the app works and what it requires of its users, people who are on Tinder after a while may begin to feel depersonalized and disposable in their social interactions, develop heightened awareness (and criticism) of their looks and bodies and believe that there is always something better around the corner, or rather with the next swipe of their screen, even while questioning their own worth.
And to top it all off, online dating can bring about addiction. Nearly one in six singles (15 percent) reported feeling “addicted” to the online dating process. When it came to the subject pool, age and gender both played a significant role: Millennials were a staggering 125 percent more likely to feel addicted to dating than older generations, while men were 97 percent more likely to feel addicted than women. As for the ladies, 54 percent of them reported feeling burnt out by the entire process.
Linking technology addiction to anxiety and depression, finding that those who are addicted to their devices are more likely to suffer mental health consequences. “People who self-described as having really addictive-style behaviors toward the internet and cellphones scored much higher on depression and anxiety scales.” “With growing support for the connection between technology use and mental health, the relationship between motivation for cellphone or internet use and well-being warrants further exploration.”
If you’re a bit discouraged with online dating profiles, don’t fret. It isn’t fully convinced about the relationship between online dating tools and mental health. “It is also possible that people who are more depressed and have lower self-esteem gravitate to these platforms too. 
The nature of these platforms to turn dating into a volume business, which “is a setup for chronic rejection, dubious motivations and the potential for watered-down intimacy” — none of which is good for our mental health. “And all of that can certainly erode a person’s sense of self.”  “But there is always the possibility that people who are higher in certain personality styles may be more likely to use online dating and thus be more vulnerable to its effects.” 
If you’re keen on meeting a mate the traditional way, opting out of the online dating scene entirely could be the right move for you. “Attraction for a particular person may be difficult or impossible to predict before two people have actually met.” “A relationship is more than the sum of its parts. There is a shared experience that happens when you meet someone that can’t be predicted beforehand.”
However, if you aren’t ready to give up on your online love search, there are ways to ensure your experience is as healthy as possible. I suggests managing your expectations (“if you are clear that you want a spouse or life partner, a right swipe may not be the wisest way to get there”), having fun with it instead of treating it like a job (for example, use your bad experiences as humorous banter at a cocktail party) and not being shocked when people don’t live up to their online profiles. Because, let’s face it, most people on dating sites appear too good to be true for a reason.
Also, if you are finding it to be a downer and your self-esteem is suffering significantly while you online date, I recommend you calling it quits. “It may not be a healthy space for you. Give it a rest or perhaps find other online dating options that are more in sync with where you are in life.” “Tinder may not be your groove — but there is more than one electronic matchmaker in town.”

What Do YOU Think?

Are you surprised by this between online dating and self-esteem and depression? What are your personal experiences? Do you think there is a healthy approach to online dating? Let me know in the comments section.

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8 Traits of Healthy Relationships

Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing.

June 26, 2018
Nothing can bring more joy to life than beautifully fulfilling relationships. The depth of meaning, understanding and appreciation that these kinds of relationships bring is almost unfathomable. And, of course, as many people find out, nothing can bring so much pain as a broken relationship with someone dear to you.
Yes, relationships make the world go ’round. For better or for worse. But the exciting thing is that we can do much to increase our chances of having terrific relationships—relationships that are fulfilling and exciting, rich with meaning, joy and love.
There are basics that govern most human relationships and these basics are what I want to cover below. So here is my list of the eight essentials that I believe make up the basics of healthy relationships:

1. Love

Now, this all depends on your definition of love. Most people think that love is a feeling, but I would strongly debate that point. Actually, the concept of “like” is really about feelings. When you say you like someone, you are talking about how you feel. But when you say that you love someone, you are not necessarily talking about how you feel about them. Love is much deeper than a feeling. Love is a commitment we make to people to always treat that person right and honorably.
Yes, for those we become especially close to, we will have feelings of love, but I believe it is time for us to re-examine what we mean by love. We must expand our definition of what love means by including the commitment aspect of love. For healthy relationships, we must love everyone. We may not like them based on how we feel about them, but we should love them based on our definition of love above which in turn determines how we should act toward them; that is, treat them right and honorably. This is the basis of all healthy relationships.

2. Serving Heart

Zig Ziglar, says frequently that “you can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want out of life.”
The concept he is talking about is having a heart and life that is focused on serving other people. Life is best lived in service to others. This does not mean that we do not strive for the best for ourselves. It does mean that in all things we serve other people, including our family, co-workers and friends. We must learn to help those who deserve it, not just those who need it—life responds to deserve not need.

3. Honest Communication

In any good relationship, you will find open and honest communication. Communication is so important because it is the vehicle that allows us to verbalize what is inside us and enables it to connect with another person. Isn’t communication amazing? One person is feeling one thing, and through communication, another person can find that out and feel it too—amazing.
And this is a vital goal in good relationships—to communicate, to tell each other what we are thinking and what we are feeling. It enables us to make a connection. Sometimes we are the one speaking and other times we are listening. Either way, the central tenet is communication for the sake of building the relationship and making it stronger. And here’s what’s exciting: If we just communicate, we can get by. But if we communicate skillfully, we can work miracles!

4. Friendliness

Put simply, relationships just work better when we are friendly with others. Being friendly can cushion the bumpy ride we sometimes experience in our relationships. Cheerfulness goes a long way toward building lasting relationships. I mean, nobody wants to be around a grump, do they? The fact is that the friendlier you are the more you are going to have people who want to pursue longer-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with you. So cheer up, put on a smile, have kind words to say to others, treat people with a great deal of friendliness and you will see your relationships improve.

Love is much deeper than a feeling. Love is a commitment we make to people to always treat that person right and honorably.

–Jim Rohn

5. Patience
People being people, we have an awful lot of time for practice in the area of patience. People are not perfect and will constantly fail us. And conversely we will fail other people. So while we try to have more patience for others, we need their patience as well.
So often, I think relationships break down because people give up and lose patience. I am talking about all kinds of friendships, marriages, business relationships, etc. Recent research has shown that those marriages that go through major turmoil, and then make it through, are very strong after doing so. Patience wins out. Those who give up on relationships too early, or because the other person isn’t perfect, often forget that their next friend, their next spouse or business partner will not be perfect either! So we would do well to cultivate this skill and learn to have more patience.

6. Loyalty

Loyalty is a commitment to another person. Sadly, loyalty is often a missing element in many relationships today. We have forgotten what it means to be loyal. Our consumer mentality has affected this to some degree. People are no longer loyal to a product. And unfortunately, many companies are not loyal to their clients or patrons.
Regrettably, this has spilled over into our relationships. It is one thing to switch brands of dishwashing detergent. It is another thing altogether to switch friends. Sometimes we just need to commit to being loyal and let the relationship move forward. We need a higher level of stick-to-it-iveness! This kind of loyalty will take our relationships to a much deeper level. What a powerful and secure feeling of knowing that you have a relationship with someone who is loyal to you and you to them—that neither of you is going anywhere even when things get tough. Wow, how powerful!

7. A Common Purpose

One of the basics of healthy relationships is to have a  common purpose, and oftentimes this is a component that is initially overlooked, but for a long-term, long-lasting relationship it is vital. Think about how many friends you have met through the years while working on a common purpose. Maybe it was someone you met while participating in sports, while working on a political campaign, attending church, at your office, or anything that brought you together to work on a common purpose.
You had that strong common bond of purpose that brought you together and held you together. Working together, building together, failing and succeeding together—all while pursuing a common purpose—is what relationships are made of. Find people with whom you have common purposes and sow the seeds of great relationships, and then reap the long-lasting benefits.

8. Fun

All good relationships have some element of fun. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean loud, raucous fun, though that is appropriate for some relationships. But even in business relationships there should be some fun. It should be fun to do business with those who you are going to have a long-term business relationship with.
Fun brings enjoyment to the relationship and that is important. I think that oftentimes this key element can be easily forgotten or neglected in our family and spousal relationships. The fun things we did initially in a new relationship after a while can be taken for granted or simply fall by the wayside and we stop creating the fun and joy. So remember to consciously craft fun situations and moments, for these are the glue that hold our memories together and make our lives sweet.
There are so many key ingredients to making and maintaining great, long-lasting relationships. Each of the eight components we discussed brings unique dynamics and rewards to your relationships. Let’s begin to focus on improving our relationships in these areas and see what miracles occur!

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The best way to keep sex from getting boring? Change up the positions…but that doesn’t just apply to positions you do in bed.
Try out standing sex positions instead because it can give you a type of pleasure you’ve never felt before, it’ll give your partner optimum access to your G-spot, and allow them to enter you “uninhibited.” Plus, you’ll burn more calories.
So if you’re looking to enjoy deeper sex that isn’t just doggie style, these stand up moves need to happen in your bedroom ASAP.
The Leg Up
To tackle this move, lean against a wall and have your partner stand in front of you. Next, have him lift one of your legs and either hold it at his hip or wrap your leg around his hips. You may have to stand on your tippy toes for this one, but it’s worth it. This position basically gives your man free range of your G-spot and the ability to go deeper than you may have experienced before.
The Arch
Bend over in front of your partner and rest your hands on a counter or the arm of a couch. Arch your back and lift your butt so your partner can enter you easily. The simple addition of arching your back will allow your partner to hit your most sensitive spots. Pro tip: encourage him to play with your clitoris (or you can do this!) for added pleasure.
The Toe Touch
This one works exactly as it sounds. Bend over in front of your man and either grab your ankles or touch your toes. If you have your balance and flexibility down, you can even reach through your legs and grab your partner’s ankles. You’ll both feel every motion you make in this position.
The Wheelbarrow
Now this one takes a bit of practice. Have your partner lean against a wall while you stand in front of them. Next bend down and put both of your hands on the floor in front of you. Then, lift your legs one at a time so your partner can grab them. Squeeze your kegel muscles with every thrust from your partner for an even bigger climax.

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Breakups, they happen to everyone. They come in all shapes and sizes; some are swift and painless, others knock you round in ways you cant quite explain. Apparently, the average person will go through at least three major breakups in their lifetime. That’s quite a lot of time to experience something so cataclysmic.
I run a site called Never Liked It Anyway – it’s a place to sell all that stuff you’re left with when a relationship ends. It’s about breakups, but really, it’s about moving on and getting through the bad bit of a breakup quickly so that you can get back to being your most awesome self.
I get asked a lot about how to move on. It’s not easy, that’s for sure. But there are certainly things you can do to help. Below I’m sharing my top ten.
1. Redecorate Your Space
Your surroundings reflect your reality. Changing up some basic things will not only refresh your space, it will refresh your mind. You can do some cheap and easy fixes like changing bedding or moving some furniture around. Or, if you’re feeling game, you can go all out: Paint the walls and refurbish your room.
If you’re in an all-out mood and ready for a stunning transformation, check out the affordable design marketplace Laurel & Wolf, or visit Craigslist to nab a new easy chair, hit up a local flea market and find some exquisite fabrics or invite your friends round and host a paint party.
2. Name Your Triggers
Let’s face it, there’ll be meltdowns along the way. All those things that remind you of your ex now bring about a note of sorrow — your special song, your Sunday stroll, your coffee spot – even that cocktail you both used to love. These can bring you to tears.
Grab a pen and a friend, and write down your list of triggers. Then write what you can do to either avoid them or what to do when they inevitably come your way. Whatever you do, know what’s going to set you off and have a plan for them.
3. Toss It, Sell It Or Burn It 
Love notes, mementos, jewelry, Valentine’s day presents, handmade cards. They were cute at the time, but now they are just a constant reminder of the love you’ve lost. Either toss them or if they have some value, consider selling them (we know just the place!). We’re obviously a little biased, but you may as well make a profit off your breakup baggage and use the money to buy something to enjoy in this new stage.
Clearing yourself of clutter allows you to move forward. A clear space creates space for the new and exciting. And a little bonfire now and then can be a very cathartic experience. It’s not about revenge or being bitter; it’s about making space for the new.
4. Clear Your Phone
This one can be painful, so perhaps do it with a friend. Delete those old messages, photos and videos that remind you of the past. You might have the urge to save the photos, but imagine yourself happily in love a year from now. Will you really want to be looking at these old snaps?
If the answer is still yes, then put them somewhere difficult to access. This is one of those weird, rare instances that an external hard drive is better than the cloud.
5. Manage Social Media
Now for the hard part, de-coupling on social media. Unfollow, unfriend, de-tag – whatever you need to do to make sure they don’t come scrolling through your feed looking happy, healthy and potentially loved up. Obviously, you and your ex will both be happy again one day, but in the meantime, you don’t need the reminders of them living life without you.

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Long-Term Effects of an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

Emotional abuse is often the hardest type of abuse to recognize and overcome because its scars aren’t visible to the naked eye. Unlike physical and sexual abuse, emotional abuse doesn’t leave behind scars or other physical evidence. The long-term effects of this type of abuse in a relationship can be long-lasting and devastating and can even affect the abused person for the rest of his or her life, especially if the abuse is never addressed with a health professional.


According to the May 2005 edition of the “Journal of Emotional Abuse,” one of the most common and frequent psychological effects of emotional abuse is damaged self-confidence and self-worth. Abusers frequently focus in on areas where the abused person already has self-esteem issues such as physical appearance, weight, intelligence, and so forth. This only perpetuates the abused person’s issues with self-confidence.
According to the effect of emotional abuse is the inability to trust people close to you. When a relationship enters a stage of emotional abuse, the abused person naturally loses trust in the abuser. These issues of trust can spill over into other relationships, even close ones. The abused person often feels that if someone that close can break her trust, she is not safe with anyone.
One of the issues is that although children often hang onto the experiences and effects of emotional abuse in their childhood, adults who are emotionally abused often go into a state of denial–both about the circumstances surrounding their abuse and the effects the abuse has had on their self-esteem and other psychological factors. Many people may deny that abuse is even possible when it is not physical in nature.
Many women choose to stay in emotionally abusive relationships. They are in denial of how bad the problem really is and what effect it is having on their lives.
Stress and Physical Effects
The effects aren’t the only ones felt by the victims of emotional abuse. Dealing with emotional abuse over a long time can cause extreme stress, which can often manifest itself with headaches, back pain, neck pain and even pain in the extremities.

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What Your PDA of Choice Says About You and Your Relationship

Actions speak louder than words, as the saying goes, and this couldn’t be truer than when it pertains to what we do in our romantic relationships. The way we behave with each other reveals so much about the state of our unions, our deepest feelings and ourselves.
But how you interact with your significant other is likely even more telling, particularly in public. “People in healthy relationships have body language and eye-contact cues that generally show they enjoy each other’s company even when not communicating verbally.” In this way, displaying affection (or a lack of displaying affection), provides an inside look into what’s beneath the surface of your relationship. Read on to discover what your PDA style says about you and your partner.


It may seem like a simple gesture, but holding hands can speak volumes about your bond. “Toned-down PDA means the couple still has a strong spark and intense attraction, but are aware that possibly grossing out the rest of the world might not be the best idea.” By not trying to overstate the state of their relationship, couples who hold hands show they’re secure in their romantic life, but also self-aware of how their actions play to the rest of the world.

Over-the-Top Kissing

On the flip side, making out in public really makes a statement — and can make onlookers uncomfortable if the couple in question is getting hot and heavy. For those couples still in the honeymoon phase, they’re probably so infatuated with each other that it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks, — and good for them. However, laying the PDA on so thick can also mean that a couple feels like they have something to prove to the world about the.”

Linking Arms

Like hand-holding, this gesture suggests that a couple is very comfortable with each other and enjoys each other’s closeness and touch. “These couples are also playful and flirty and have no shame showing the rest of the world that they are together.” However, that some may argue that linking arms with your partner could mean keeping some sort of leash on them, suggesting a level of possessiveness. It really depends on the situation and the rest of the couple’s body language — like if one person seems uncomfortable or like he or she is trying to pull away.

Carrying Your Partner’s Belongings

Helping your other half carry things — from a purse or suitcase to groceries or shopping bags — is a metaphorical symbol for showing that you two share the burden in your relationship. “It’s a loving way to gesticulate that you want to help, support and care for your partner. It shows thought and respect for their well-being.” “You don’t want to see them struggle.

” Not to mention, she adds, it’s simply good manners to lend a hand.


Opening Doors

The classic gentlemanly act of opening car or building doors is all about putting your partner’s needs before your own — but both women and men can display it, of course. “Holding the door open, pulling out a chair, letting your partner sit instead of stand — these gestures show respect.” “These acts show a deep level of maturity and an inner feeling of wanting to make your partner feel good and cared for.” Couples who do these things are mindful of each other’s comfort and want to show the other person­ — and those around them — that they are number one.

Shoulder Squeezing

Giving gentle squeezes or full-on mini-massages are an indication that a couple is tuned in to each other’s body and needs. “For example, a husband may know his wife has been under a lot of strain. And when that occurs, her shoulders tense up. So he lovingly provides a shoulder rub to bring her some relief.” This gesture is not only thoughtful, it shows the physical closeness and ease a couple has with one another.

Thigh Touching

Think of this one as pre-foreplay. “Since the thighs are in close proximity to sexual hot spots, a couple touching in that area shows they desire sexual contact.” A twosome whose go-to is this PDA move is likely very much into the intimate side of their relationship, but they don’t feel the need to be overt about it. These couples may seem innocent in public, but they could be anything but between the sheets.

Fixing Each Other’s Appearances

Partners who pick microscopic pieces of lint off each other or put hair back in place primarily demonstrate care for each other. “When removing fluff it can say, ‘I want to help take care of you.” However, I also note that this gesture can mean, “I care about your appearance and how others view you,” which could potentially be problematic. On the one hand, if you know your partner is self-conscious in public, this gesture is very loving. On the other, it could show that you care just a little too much about how your partner’s appearance reflects on you.

Butt Grabbing

A playful booty tap is just that — fun and carefree. “Public butt smacks are almost always a sign a couple is generally happy and having a good time at that moment.” “That’s not scientifically proven, but I’d stand by it.” Of course, both partners (giving and receiving) have to be cool with this form of PDA in order for its symbolism to be positive. Unwanted love taps are usually a sign that one partner is a bit too domineering.

No PDA-ing

Maybe acting romantic in public just isn’t your style. “If you show no signs of PDA, it could mean you simply enjoy having your fun in private, but it’s often a sign the relationship is cooling and that the initial attraction and intensity have cooled too.” Naturally, some couples may not give love in public but fawn over each other at home, but this is not the norm. “Generally, when there is little PDA, there is also little happening behind closed doors.”

What Do You Think?

Does PDA define a relationship? Does your PDA style reflect how you feel about your partner? What types of PDA are you not crazy about? Let me know in the comments!

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9 Ways Your Relationship Can Be Toxic to Your Health


The Hollywood rom-com fairytale does not exist. Every relationship has its ups and downs, as anyone in a healthy, committed partnership will admit. However, there is a definite line between a bumpy patch and a relationship wrought with pain and negativity. While numerous studies show that a supportive relationship can be good for your health — from adopting healthier behaviors to just living longer in general — the constant stress from a toxic entanglement can attack your health in ways you may not have realized. Read on to see how an unhealthy relationship can impact your overall well-being.


1 Suppressed Immune System

The negative effects of a long-term toxic relationship on the immune system. I’ve looked at the way couples talked about disagreements. “Couples who are more hostile, more negative or more critical of one another or [are in] situations where one partner tends to withdraw from the other show signs of having weaker immune function.” Regarding people stuck in toxic relationships, think over and over “Should I Stay Or Should I Go?,” I have also noticed changes in the body when we are in these situations. “It happens biologically.” People in toxic relationships “get sick more than people who are in healthier relationships.”

2 Heart Health

Stress and negative emotions play a part in a person’s overall decline in heart health. A study found in a 34 percent increase of heart problems for people involved in a toxic relationship, and a another study found two-thirds of people in constant conflict died 11 years sooner than those that didn’t have conflictual relationships. These findings were backed up in another recent study on coronary artery disease or stroke in women they found that women who were ranked high in social stress had poor heart health in many instances, being 12 times more likely to develop coronary artery disease, 14 times more likely to experience a stroke and five times more likely to develop coronary artery disease.

3 Increased Risk for Depression and Anxiety

People in stressful relationships have more anxiety and depression than people in loving and supportive relationships. Indeed, I have noticed that the fallout of an unhealthy relationship can include diminished self-esteem, which often results in depression and anxiety. “If we’re in a relationship that’s not working well, we tend to devalue ourselves — and when we devalue ourselves, we don’t take care of ourselves.”. Depression and anxiety can then lead to a host of physical conditions, making us prone to disease and chronic inflammation.

4 Avoidance of Preventive Health Care

It has also been noticed patients that are so distracted and anxious by their relationship problems that they stop taking care of their own health. That can mean not going to the doctor regularly, not taking their medications or even exercising regularly. “People will delay doctor appointments because they may always be fighting.”. “When you have relationship problems, you tend to be living in chaos. And that chaos has people putting off appointments that keep you healthy.”

5 Emotional Eating

Many people turn their turbulent relationships into emotional eating, often looking to high-carb, high-calorie foods that have low nutritional value, even when they’re not hungry. “What I’ve found is that when people let go of their health or gain weight, it’s a sign of conflict in a relationship. People start eating because it’s a passive-aggressive way to deal with a problematic mate.” If things progress and emotional eating goes undiagnosed or untreated, it can lead to obesity and even food addictions.

6 Adrenal Fatigue

“Fighting with your partner isn’t just bad for your relationship, it also takes a toll on your mind.”. “There are lots of studies that show chronic health issues over time if you’re in a relationship that has conflict.” One of those chronic issues is a hormonal imbalance called adrenal fatigue, which can occur when the stress hormone cortisol consistently floods your system. Living in a combative atmosphere can trigger an adrenaline-producing, fight-or-flight response, and behind that response are overworked adrenals that aren’t able to properly regulate the release of other hormones. “Excess cortisol has been shown in studies to suppress the immune system, increase blood sugar and create inflammation.”

7 Sleep Disruption

I have also noticed that people who go to therapy often mention sleep problems. “What I have even experienced is the more conflict in the daytime, the more stress they have. Your mind is working a mile a minute.”. “What I call relationship insecurity, or worry, is associated with poor sleep patterns. Sleep problems are a trigger from worry as well as anxiety.” People who get less than six hours of sleep per night increases the risk of early death, not to mention a higher risk of Alzheimer’s, diabetes and heart disease.

8 Toxic Enabling Pattern

When people don’t feel good about themselves they tend to choose partners that keep them in an unhealthy, enabling pattern. This can mean choosing a verbally abusive partner or one that drinks heavily or uses drugs. These types of relationships create patterns that make it harder for the healthier partner to break free. “Heavy-drinking spouses may be more tolerant of negative experiences related to alcohol due to their own drinking habits.” Which means that two people with a drinking habit are more likely to fall into a downward spiral together as they both enable those unhealthy patterns.

9 Systemic Inflammation

 The correlation between cancer and negative mindsets, cautions that it does not mean a toxic relationship can be the cause of cancer, which is often linked to systemic inflammation. “Correlation [show that] people with emotional states such as being negative and pessimistic and down in the dumps all the time tend to have increased chances for heart disease and cancer.”  While a person could have that type of disposition regardless of their relationships, the events in a person’s life can also influence his or her outlook. Negative social interactions are associated with pro-inflammatory cytokine activity, which impacts the immune system’s response to things like infection, cancer and sepsis.

What Do YOU Think?

Do any of these health effects surprise you? Have you ever been in a toxic relationship? What is your advice for lessening the health impacts? Tell me in the comments.

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