Archives for posts with tag: couples

When considering breaking it off with someone, here are four things to think about:

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Do you still get butterflies?
When you look at his picture or think back to a special date, do you get those familiar feelings in your body affectionately known as “butterflies”? When we still care deeply about someone, there is always that feeling, even if it was been turned off due to problems in the relationship. If you still blush when you think back to a stolen kiss or laugh at a recent inside joke, there is still some spark and it just might be the right amount needed to relight the fire.


Are the issues workable?

People are different and what they find to be acceptable in a relationship may vastly differ than another person. This would be a time to reflect on what you find acceptable in a relationship and if what’s happening is not acceptable, then it may be time to reevaluate your role in the relationship. If the issues are workable, then you might want to give it another try because in the end you may always wonder what would have happened if you had an extra talk or if you tried something outside of the box.

Are you willing to work them out?
Speaking of things outside of the box, are you willing to do that? Are you willing to put yourself outside of your comfort zone to improve your relationship? If you are willing, you may find that your significant other is willing to step outside of his norm and meet you halfway in dealing with your problems.

Do you love him?
Love is the reason we are in relationships. It’s the unexplainable thing that ties two people together when no other explanation makes sense. If you can honestly answer that you are still in love with him and you come from that place of love, it will always conquer all. Love is the foundation and if that isn’t broken then you can always repair the damages.

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Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-258-8845 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.

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Being your authentic self is about knowing your authentic self. Discovering who you are before you enter the relationship is one of the most important aspects of this journey. Once you have a solid idea of who you are, then you will automatically show up as real. And you will attract a mate that also shows up as their authentic self. Now, if you have discovered your authentic self, then you are already ahead of the game. Just be yourself and this will naturally occur.

If you are still discovering who you are, here are some guidelines to follow:

– Spend some time figuring out what you like and don’t like.

– Spend some time doing what you already know you enjoy.

– Seek out therapy.

– Join a new group on Meetup.

– Discover a passion and follow it.

There is not a linear path for every person. Find out what makes your heart sing and follow it.

Spend some time with friends and family and get feedback. Your friends and family know you most intimately. They can provide you with insight into your behavior or what they see in you. They can help by sharing what they love about you. Again, this exercise is meant to open your awareness to how you interact with other people.

Once you are ready to get into a relationship, always spend time taking care of yourself and connecting with who you really are. Revisit your path of self-discovery whenever needed or as a continual growth process.

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Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-258-8845 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.

The Do’s

1. Do put your best foot forward

– This is your first impression with your potential new mate. Wear something nice. Think of it like an interview. Dress to impress without overdoing it

2. Do monitor your thinking

– If you catch yourself in your head, employ thought stopping techniques. Be in the moment during your date and enjoy your time together

3. Do go in with a positive outlook

– The point of dating is to find your other half. Let go of the worry that will come with a new date. Look forward to what this date could be, as opposed to worrying about every and anything

4. Do share about yourself

– Again, this is like a job interview. Open up to that person on things you feel comfortable sharing. Having open communication is one of the foundations of a relationship

5. Do order whatever food you would normally get

– I’ve heard time and time again that many women order salads on the first date. This sets up a false impression. Go into the date as yourself and let the person appreciate that you might love quesadillas, not just lettuce and tomatoes!

6. Do have a good time

– Dating can be a lot of fun. It’s like opening up presents; you never know what surprise you might receive

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The Dont’s

1. Don’t place a lot of expectations on the other person

– It’s the first date. Don’t start dreaming up the next ten years of your life. Live in the moment

2. Don’t mislead the person on what you are looking for

– If you are looking for marriage, be upfront about it to manage the other person’s expectations

3. Don’t overshare

– I know #4 under “Do’s” says share, but there are some things you shouldn’t share on a first date, like exes or family drama

4. Don’t discuss politics, religion or other sensitive topics

– This goes along with the above but it needs to be reiterated. Telling a person your religion is appropriate but going into detail or trying to convert someone is not the best approach

5. Don’t worry too much

– Just breathe and be! It’s a first date, not a marriage proposal. Just use positive thoughts and affirmations to stay in the moment

6. Don’t be afraid to be the first one to reach out after the date

– There are a ton of “rules” regarding communication. Throw them out and do what feels right. If you want to text them the next day, then do it. If you want to call and plan the next date, then do it. If you are worried about this, read #5 again

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Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-258-8845 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.

Building a relationship or keeping one takes a balance of having a person maintain their identity and creating a life as a couple. It is easy to fall into a relationship and lose yourself in the moment. When you start to put 100% of your energy into your relationship, you risk the chance of losing your identity and independence in the process. Here are some tips for you to continue to do throughout your relationship as a way to maintain your “I”.

1. Keep your own hobbies

It’s always fun to date someone who has similar interests as you. This way on Saturday afternoon you can both go paddle boarding. But what about Sunday? Chances are he might be watching football. She might be reading the latest Chick Lit book. What are you going to do with your time? Find or maintain your own hobbies. Find a new local coffee shop, go to the gym or meet up with some friends at a 5k. Having your own hobbies is important for your sense of self and efficacy.

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2. Make time for family without your significant other

Again, this is an easy routine to fall into. Of course your significant other will be at every holiday and major event. However, sometimes it’s important to take time with your family, for you. There is a different level of comfort and openness between family members. Take the time to go to lunch with your sibling and share about your relationship, work or whatever else is on your mind.

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3. Enjoy time with your friends

When we get into relationships, it’s natural for your friendships to fall to the wayside. This is a normal process that happens; however it is also important to recognize that it is happening and recommit to incorporating a balance. Just like with your family, take the afternoon to go out with your best friends. The time you spend apart will make you appreciate your other person just a little bit more when you get home.

When you find yourself losing yourself in your relationship, just take a deep breath, recommit to your other relationships (including the one to yourself) and enjoy the time you spend both with and without your partner.

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Photo credit: Pinterest

Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-258-8845 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.

Being intimate with your partner is about having a partner who is willing to be intimate with you. So before you go looking for solutions on how to find intimacy in your relationship, ask yourself this: “Is my partner willing to be intimate with me?”. If the answer is yes, then by all means proceed with the research, effort and time it will take to increase intimacy in your relationship. If the answer is no, then it’s important to take a look at why you stay and what options you have in your relationship. 

So, your spouse wants to become more intimate in your relationship and now you’ve got to figure out what to do? Why not work with your spouse to come up with ideas on how to do it together? Write out a list of things you would do together if time, money, jobs, children or any of those other intimacy killers didn’t get in the way. While you may not be able to do everything or anything on your list, it will be a jump off point. If you and your significant other both say you want to sail around the world, you could start with a one night cruise. 
 
Communication is another key ingredient in intimacy. It is the basis for all relationships so making communication a priority will allow for chemistry and passion to happen organically. Talk to each other about you day, your fears and hopes, your desires for your relationship and anything else that comes up for you.
 
The most important thing in finding intimacy in your relationship is willingness on both parts. Once you have that, with time and energy, everything will fall into place.
 
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Photo credit: Pinterest

Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-258-8845 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.

A common theme I’ve come across in my practice and in talking with people in my personal life is intimacy in a relationship. When problems arise one of the first things to go out of the window is intimacy. When working on relationship issues this is a major hurdle to address because it’s complex and uncomfortable.

Intimacy is not just about sex. Intimacy is about the language spoken between a couple. It’s about physical touch. It’s about opening up emotionally to one another. It’s about letting the other person see into your soul. It’s about having a spiritual connection with each other and your higher power.

I decided to get some feedback and advice from men about what intimacy means to them and what stops intimacy. This is what I learned:

– Men want to be valued and appreciated for what they do in the relationship
– Men want women to be on their side, even if they are in the wrong. If a man is complaining about his boss, he doesn’t want to hear “I told you so” when his spouse comments. He wants to be supported and validated for his feelings (just like women)
– Men want affection and romance, it just might look differently then what women want and this is where compromise can come in
– Men want their ideas to be heard, even if they seem outlandish

So here are some suggestions on things a couple can do to improve intimacy in their relationship:

– Take up a hobby together. Anyone up for obstacle course runs ? Become activities partners, in addition to the other partnerships you’ve created
– Bring romance into your relationship. Light some candles. Put on your favorite music. Draw a bath and sit in the tub together and talk about your day
– Take time to be your own person. When people grow as individuals they bring strength into their relationship
– Turn mundane events into celebrations. Break out the fancy china. Buy flowers for the table. Have dessert at every meal

I’d love to hear from women on what intimacy means to them and how men can respond to their intimacy needs in a relationship.

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Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Since then, she has started a private practice in Pembroke Pines Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety relationship issues, and substance abuse. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here. For a free 15-minute consultation, call or text Amanda at 954-258-8845 or email her at amanda@amandapattersonlmhc.com.