5 Ways to Break Up With Someone Gently

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Let him down easy”? There is absolutely nothing easy when it comes to breaking up with someone. The fact is: it is going to hurt, regardless of how gentle and compassionate you try to be towards them. There is unquestionably nothing you can do about their broken heart. Breaking up gently will help in making sure your partner will not be angry, thus, not ending things on a sour note. Here are the top five ways to “let them down easy.”

  1. Picture yourself in their shoes.

– The more you can understand their feelings, even if you’ve fallen out of love, the easier it will be to convey your words in a more caring and sensitive fashion. Some people just don’t care enough about being empathetic towards others. If breaking up with someone is an easy thing for you to do and you throw them cliché phrases, then you probably are not putting yourself in their shoes, and that is not fair to your partner.

  1. Break up face to face and do it PRIVATELY.

– Too many people use email and texting to do their dirty work, which is extremely insensitive and unfair. The best way to understand how someone is feeling, you must face them to talk. Most people assume that they are being gentle by breaking up through a text message, but that is actually worse. Not to mention, unbelievably cowardly, as well. Breaking up with someone in a public place is highly disrespectful and rude. Your partner will want to be in the comforts of their own space to let it all out after you leave. That’s not possible for them to do if they’re waiting on a salad they ordered, but no longer wish to eat when all they can think about is how hurt they feel. Insecurity tends to take over immediately. This is advice you’ll find everywhere. Online, through friends, family, in magazines, etc.

  1. Timing is everything.

– Breaking up with someone who cares about you more than anything when they’re about to walk into an interview for a job they really want, or after a family member passes away, are not appropriate times to break things off with them. Before class starts is another example of an inappropriate time. Best wait till the weekend when they’ll have time to cry, process, and accept it. Although it’s never a good time to break it off with somebody, there are better times than others. When you think about what you want to say, try to make accommodations for timing. Think about where she’s at in her life. If she’s in a bad place already and going through a difficult time, try to wait it out.

  1. Offer your friendship, so she knows you still care.

– When a relationship ends, realize that it isn’t just those people in the relationship who are hurting. What if your partner grew close with your friends, parents or siblings? If they feel they cannot talk to you anymore, they will feel like they lost more than one relationship, as it would be uncomfortable for them to keep in touch with anybody close to you. Offering friendship when they are ready will help decrease those awkward feelings and discomfort. Not only will it show that person you still care about them and want them in your life, but it already gives them the green light to keep the same friends they’ve made since the beginning of the relationship.

  1. Don’t put them on the defensive.

– This happens to married people more often than those in a relationship. Even if you’ve just got married, listen to their response and only use statements beginning with “I” and never with “you.” Not many people pay attention to this and it will normally be overlooked and as a result, both you and your partner will become defensive. Notice the difference in the examples below:

Expressive Language

“I feel hurt when spoken to like a child.”

Defensive Language

“You always talk to me like I’m a child.”

One expresses feelings which helps get to the bottom of the problem, where the other one shoots blame onto the other person. What’s sad is that not many of us even realize we do this, but you can expect it from your partner when breaking up. Even if they put you on the defensive, be understanding about it, because chances are, they don’t mean it and are speaking out of hurt. You can find more here.

Be mindful. Be compassionate. Be confident, but kind.

3 Tips To Start Loving Yourself Again

Think about it enough, and you’ll realise that there are far too many people in the world who have no idea just how special they are. Many of us invest far too much time in focussing on the negatives, or are surrounded by so many negative people or influences that we forget about all the things in life there is to be positive about. If this sounds all too familiar, here are some great tips to start loving yourself again!

Make More Time for the Things You Want to Do

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From Pexels

 

If one of your friends calls you up on Friday night and invites you to a night on the town, you’re really under no obligation to say yes. If you’d rather stay in and practice a hobby, or read your favourite book one more time, then do it! While you don’t want to alienate the people who care for you, or miss out on anything that’s a genuine family milestone, it’s very important not to go out and do supposedly pleasurable things just because you feel you need to save face. The next time you’re invited out and feel it’s something you “really should” turn up to, take a step back and think about whether it’s something you really have to do, and whether there’s anything more fulfilling you could be doing with your time. Know when to politely decline, and just be you!

Reward Yourself

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From Pixabay

 

It may not feel like it all the time, but we all do things that are deserving of a little treat here and there. Giving yourself rewards makes it easier for you to establish and achieve your goals in life, allows you to recharge your batteries and re-focus your energy, and makes you an all-round more confident person. Don’t carry on thinking that you’re undeserving of all the lovely things you want. If you’ve been window shopping for stylish leather jackets for months on end, take the plunge and get yourself one! If you’ve been straining your stomach and calorie-counting, and it’s all feeling too much, then eat something decadent one evening in the coming week. While rewarding yourself unjustly can quickly snowball out of control, too much hard slugging and discipline can eventually turn into a bad thing. Love yourself by cutting loose once in a while!

Be More Active!

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From Wikimedia

 

You’re probably sick to death of hearing that you should be more active from blogs like these. However, this is another essential staple in giving yourself the kind of self-love you deserve. Being active doesn’t have to mean gruelling sessions in the gym. It can be as simple as going for a walk around the block, jogging in place while you watch TV (don’t worry, no one’s looking!) or doing some simple yoga poses as part of your morning routine. By making these things a habit, you’ll be loving yourself physically, but mentally too. As you exercise, your brain will release endorphins (feel-good chemicals) and make you feel more energized, optimistic and satisfied. Soon, you’ll find it so much easier to tackle whatever life throws at you.

 

How to Cope When Life Kicks You in the Teeth

As much as the movies would have us believe, life is rarely a box of chocolates. Bad things happen, partners cheat on us, a loved one dies unexpectedly, or we are diagnosed with a serious illness. You can’t prevent these things from happening, unfortunately, but you can do your best to prevent them from tearing your life apart.

Nobody’s life is perfect. It doesn’t matter how rich you are, or how pampered your existence is, sooner or later life will kick you in the teeth. When this happens, you have two choices. One is to lie back and take it, the other is to pick yourself up and fight back. Which option you take is up to you, but I recommend option two.

Breathe in and Count to Ten

Whatever the cause of your woes, you are likely to be in shock for a while. Shock has a habit of disabling us. We can’t sleep, cry, or deal with anything. Instead, we go over what’s happened, repeatedly, rather like the events of Groundhog Day.

Instead of allowing events to flatten you, breathe deeply and try to stay calm. You can deal with this, so take things one day at a time.

Share the Load

No man or woman is an island. A problem shared is a problem halved, so reach out and ask for help. Friends are there for you, but you need to ask for help. Draw your loved ones close and let them shoulder some of your burden. That’s what friends are for.

Talking Therapy

Sometimes, talking to friends is not enough. As much as our friends and loved ones want to help, there is only so much help and support a friend can offer. After all, they have their own life to lead and they can’t be there 24/7.

If you are struggling to deal with your crisis, make an appointment to speak to an online therapist or counsellor in your neighborhood. Counsellors and therapists are trained professionals who can help you work through your pain, grief, and anger. Don’t expect a quick fix, but a few sessions with a counsellor or therapist should be enough to get you back on the road to recovery.

Practical Solutions

Once the initial shock has faded, start looking for practical solutions to your problems. Do you need somewhere else to live? Do you need cash? Think through your problems logically and reach out to friends and family for help. No matter how impossible a problem appears, there is always a solution if you look hard enough.

Let It Go

Don’t hang on to resentment and anger, or it will poison you from within. Instead, try and let it go. Railing at the injustice of your situation, or vowing revenge against the person who hurt you won’t help you to heal your wounds. Learn the art of forgiveness.

Move On

In time, you will be able to move past this terrible time. It may take a while, but you are strong enough!

How an Unexpected Pregnancy Birthed a Short Film

By Amy Ferguson

Riddle me this: Two long time friends living in different states get together for one passionate night after twenty years of wondering ‘what if?’ One lost his wife to cancer six months prior, and is still working through his grief. The other has spent a great deal of her adult life a single cat lady dedicated to her career as an artist. What do they do when they find out that one passionate night resulted in a pregnancy?

No really. What do they do? Because that cat lady is me and in the moment I had absolutely no idea. Eight months into that pregnancy I did know I wanted to capture the unique and strange circumstances that brought me to where I was– an unusual crossroads of life I’d never planned.
Myself and my partner in this decided to take things in our relationship at a normal pace, even though baby’s arrival was fast approaching. He stayed in Colorado, while I continued my life in Los Angeles, although life was rapidly becoming new and strange and very different– solo midwife visits and baby shopping were fast replacing a late night beer and comedy show. Even though we were dating, and in love, I was planning for the birth alone, getting the apartment ready by myself. Then there was the uncomfortable Mother’s Day and Father’s Day I wished could be joyful, but held a certain sadness. My significant other had his first birthday without his wife, and after, the one year anniversary of her death. And then there was me, holding the promise of something new in my belly while helping him let go of the past. It felt impossible. It was a lot. Pile on some pregnancy hormones, and you could at times have a crazy emotional cocktail.
There was also another child to think about. A child who lost a mother. And then me. There with the promise of a new baby growing ever bigger in the face of their grief. Again, it was a lot. We’re still trying to figure it all out because, hey, if we can make this work, that would be pretty cool, right? Being partners in this crazy world, making the impossible possible for my new baby born from passion. But it’s just not that simple… He’s used to his mountain life, surrounded by nature. I’m used to my city life, surrounded by artists and collaborators. How do we meld these two lifestyles? Can we make a life that satisfies us all? What will become of our new family? Or will we simply be long distance co-parents?
In helping me process how rapidly my life was changing, I made a short film about it all. I hoped to capture how strange it was to constantly be filled with love, sadness, and uncertainty. I’m still facing the uncertainties now, but that’s was life is, isn’t it? Uncertainty and delicious surprise.

Thanks you for watching!

‘Til Death Do Us Part from Lindsay Stidham on Vimeo.

This film would not be possible without my co-director/ writer Lindsay Stidham, amazing DP Scott Uhlfelder, co-star Mort Burke, executive producer and co-parent Bryan Madden, and many others who donated their time and talents.

The Gifts Your Best Friend Bride Really Wants

If your best friend has just announced her engagement, chances are she’s going to be coming to you for some help. Weddings are huge events that cost thousands. What she needs from you is attention to detail, honesty, and support. Your friend certainly doesn’t need another tea set or vase. Give her a gift she will treasure forever – a wedding to remember!

Dress shopping will be quite high on her agenda, and you will undoubtedly be invited. What you need to bring to this exciting shopping excursion is the gift of sensitive language. If she has her heart set on a dress that really doesn’t suit her, can you find the most tactful way to suggest a different direction? What if you hate her choice of bridesmaid outfit for you? How will you tackle this without hurting feelings?

Cutting the guest list down to size is a common problem that can result in spats between the bride and groom. If you can help eliminate a few sensitively, the happy couple will be delighted. Seating arrangements, travel arrangements, and accommodation arrangements are also problematic at this stage. Remind the bride this is for the guests to work out, and steer her to make wedding invitations instead. Keep her engaged with creative tasks to reduce her stress.

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Thanks to Pexels for the photography

 

Kids and flowers are two of the biggest challenges a best friend will have to rise to. Your gift to your bride Besty could be to take care of the smaller members of the wedding party. Flower Girls and Page Boys can get stroppy, tired, loud, and uncooperative. If you can manage to keep them entertained, engaged, and excited in a muted way, you will have given the happy couple the best gift they could ask for! Pocket tissues, kids games on your phone, and small stuffed animals should be in your emergency kit when you’re taking care of children.

As for the flowers, be prepared to drive all over town without losing a single bud or petal. If you’re charged with picking them up from the florist, your role won’t end there. You’ll need to furnish the men with their button holes, the Mothers with their hairpieces, and the bridesmaids with their half bouquets. Finally, you can present the bride with her bridal bouquet without her knowing a thing about the traffic jams, mixed up hats, or problems with pink roses off season.

It’s the big day, and your best friend bride is having last minute jitters. You’re still not dressed, and her makeup is definitely going to need to be redone. Are you ready to give the gift of clarity and purpose? It sounds pretty dramatic and important, but the truth is your friend needs you now more than ever. Reassurance, support, and positive thinking are things you should be able to offer in abundance. Maybe it’s time to crack open that tea set and offer her a cuppa to settle her nerves? As a best friend to a bride, you are the superhero who knows exactly what to give her when she needs it.

 

Does Your Marriage Give You The Thrills?

Marriage isn’t all rainbows and butterflies: sometimes there’s compromise, and sometimes it’s just darn hard work. With jobs, kids and money getting in the way, it’s sometimes hard to keep the spark in your relationship. Many married couples settle for a dissatisfying relationship. The bed is no longer a place to play, it’s a place to sleep and briefly escape the stresses and strains of the world. And instead of weekends being the time to have fun, they’re spent trundling around Costco, looking for bulk discounts and trying to save the pennies.

Nobody wants to live like that, especially when the relationship with their partner used to be so exciting. Here’s how you can truly rebuild in a marriage.

Keep The Thrills, Not The Courtship

One of the mistakes that married couples make when they’re trying to inject the thrills back into their relationship is to go back and do exactly what they did when the first met. They go out for expensive romantic dinners by candlelight, say romantic stuff to each other and listen to soft music. But this tactic rarely works because they weren’t what made courtship exciting. What made courtship exciting was the fact that everything was new and that the person you had met seemed to so exciting. Now that you’re used to them and how they operate, there’s less mystery and interest.

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Flickr

 

Bringing the thrills back doesn’t mean recreating the past. It means actually bringing the thrills back and doing exciting things together. The key is finding stuff to do that is actually exciting and arousing. That could mean going hiking somewhere new, rock climbing or going on a rollercoaster.

Challenge Each Other

Another reason marriages can seem stale is because your life has become stale. You do the same things every day, and you’ve gotten your routine down to a tee. And while this might be good news from an efficiency standpoint, it can be bad for a marriage.

The way to bust out of a rut and make marriage more exciting again is to challenge each other. According to researchers at the University of North Carolina, couples who overcame tough challenges together are those that are happiest in the long term. The researchers said that couples who overcame challenges experienced a rush of adrenaline that actually helped them forge closer bonds and get to know each other better. According to the researchers, the success of completing a challenge aroused the same pathways in the brain as sexual arousal, producing a similar euphoric experience.

Taking A Break

Taking a break from a marriage might sound like a bad idea. But there’s a lot of truth to the old adage that “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” You don’t, of course, have to officially announce that you’re on a break, even to your partner. You could just decide that you’re going to take off for a couple of weeks and go on holiday with your friends, leaving your partner to do whatever they want. Being in a happy relationship means that sometimes there have to be interruptions in that relationship.

 

Getting A Divorce When You Have Kids

Deciding to get divorced is tough when it’s just the two of you. But when you add kids to the equation, it can make things even more complicated. However, despite how much you want it to work, sometimes you can’t get passed certain issues. And divorce is the only way forward for you and your partner. Here is some handy advice you need when you are getting a divorce and have children to deal with too.

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   Pexels

 

Tell kids about the split at the beginning

 

A lot of parents hide the split from their children to save their feelings. After all, they know how much it will hurt the kids to tell them about the divorce. But if you hide it from the kids, it could do more harm than good. After all, they might find out about the split from a third party. And then they will be hurt you never told them yourself. Or if you do tell them later down the line, they can feel like you have been lying to them for months. Therefore, despite how hard it will be, it’s time to tell the kids about the split at the beginning. Sit them down together and explain what will happen. Make sure you remind them you both love them and will always be their parents.

 

Work out a child custody agreement

 

Despite how you may feel about your husband, he will always be the father of your kids. And although you might not want to see him, your kids still need to have him in their lives. Otherwise, they will grow to resent you if they can’t see their dad. And it will harm your relationship as they get older. Therefore, you need to work out a plan with your ex which will ensure they still see the kids. It might be the case that you do this through a family law attorney. After all, as well as sorting out the divorce, they can sort out custody of your kids. And if you agree to joint custody, they can make sure this works out for you and your ex. If things are bad between you and your ex-partner, you might want to get a third party such as a parent or friend to drop off and pick up the kids.

 

Give yourself some time too

 

While your kids are your priority, you need to remember that you need to process the divorce too. After all, it can be a horrendous thing to go through. And it can be really tough to say goodbye to that part of your life. Therefore, to ensure you get some time to yourself to grieve for the relationship, it might be worth asking friends and family to help out. For example, letting your kids go for a sleepover could help you to release your emotions for the evening. And sending them to your parents while you go on a mini-break with your friend could help you through the divorce.

 

Remember to be wary of introducing new people to your kids during the divorce. After all, they need time to process the divorce, even if it’s been in the pipeline for a while. Therefore, put dating on the back burner for the sake of your kids.

 

A Simple Guide To Involving Your Children In Your Wedding or Vow Renewal

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More and more people are now having children before they get married. In many ways, it makes sense. A wedding is an expensive endeavor that you can’t necessarily afford when you’re young, but having kids at a young age is beneficial for both health and practical reasons. So it’s more common than ever to have children in your 20s and save the wedding for your 30s.

 

Even for those that are already married, there is always a vow renewal ceremony. These are most often done during the big years for wedding anniversaries, such as five, 10 or 20 years. It’s a nice way of renewing your commitment to one another and if you didn’t have the chance on your original wedding, to involve your kids in the celebration.

 

Whether it’s a wedding-after-kids or a renewal, you’re tasked with the same desire: to find a way to incorporate your children into your ceremony. You can unite the whole family in a day of celebration and create memories that you will never forget.

 

If you’re looking for a little inspiration on how to ensure your children don’t feel left out from the festivities, then here are a few ideas to get you started:

 

  1. Let Them Choose Rings

 

Wedding bands are the symbol you take with you throughout your life as a reminder of your spouse. It, therefore, makes sense to add an extra layer of celebration and have your children choose the rings.

 

If you don’t fancy giving them full rein in a jewelry store, then they can always choose from a shortlist that you put together. That way you can select something you know you will like without having to worry about a huge price tag from a ring they set their hearts on. Steer them towards 1 karat diamond and precious metals that you know you love, and you won’t go far wrong.

 

  1. Write The Place Settings

 

If you’re having a formal party after the ceremony, then have your children write the name settings. If they’re younger, then there is a certain charm to misinformed letters – far more than any printed version could manage. For older kids, it’s a chance to practice their cursive!

 

  1. Ask Them To Come Up With A Play

 

Imagination is a vital part of childhood, and you should make an effort to encourage yours at any point. A perfect way to do this is to ask them to come up with a play at the reception to entertain you and your guests.

 

Go all out on this one, setting aside a budget for costumes and encouraging them to tell whatever story they want. Make sure you capture the whole thing on film of course; it’s definitely something you will want to look back on.

 

  1. Ask Them To Give Speeches

 

Obviously, for children of a certain age, this is not feasible. However, if it is possible and they don’t feel too nervous at the prospect, then it could be a beautiful touch to the day.

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How You Can Help Care for the Vulnerable

There isn’t a single definition of the term ‘vulnerable people’. In life: everybody, no matter their circumstances, is going to be vulnerable at some point. But some that are more vulnerable than others, and over a far longer extended period of time at that. People who need continuous help and assistance in their daily lives because of physical or mental disabilities, because they are of too old a age to look after themselves properly, or because they are too young to help themselves at all, are some of the types of people who can most specifically be described as ‘vulnerable people’. Because of this, we should do all we can to help them.

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Image source

 

Helping those who are vulnerable because they have special needs is probably the hardest of the areas to enter as, for the most part, you have to be professionally trained and qualified to be able to do so. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you are doing so, however, without being professionally trained; you just have to remember to be a nice person. In order to help somebody who has disabilities with a task, you should communicate with them, even when they have a chaperone next to them. If somebody has a interpreter or a nurse by their side doing their talking for them, make sure not to filter the conversations through them and always speak directly to the person in question. Here are ten special needs organisations that you can work alongside.

You can care for any elderly people in your life by tending to their physical well-being. Keeping somebody of an elderly status as active as possible is great way to help them fight disease and reduce their functional age by up to 10 years. But you shouldn’t just seek to combat and watch out for signs of weakness in their physical status — you have to look out for their mental health as well. When it comes to this, signs of forgetfulness, unsteadiness and a general lack of direction are the things to look out for. If you feel that an elderly person needs more that just a little bit of assistance, you could offer extensive companion care on a regular basis. This could include homemaking, driving and overnight assistance, or you could even become a live-in companion.

On the other end of the age spectrum, you should pay attention to any children who you feel may be of a vulnerable status. Like working with people who have certain disabilities, working with vulnerable children, or even just children in general, is something that can only be done by those who are qualified to do so; but there is a free online course in caring for vulnerable children that will help you get the ball rolling if this is something you wish to do. You can spot the signs of child neglect or abuse, however, no matter how qualified or trained you are. The signs of child abuse aren’t always clear cut, especially when the child is too scared to say anything about it, but things you can look out for, and listen out for if you ever have the chance to talk to any children, include: them talking about being left at home either alone or with strangers, seeing a poor bond between them and their parent(s), seeing that they are excessively violent with other children and noticing that they lack the ability to be social, even with other children.

Don’t just help others for the ‘good karma’, do it because it’s a good gesture and because it’ll provide you with a good feeling. You may even find yourself walking down a meaningful career path by doing so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Enough Caring Is Enough

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Wikimedia Image

 

Have you been caring for an aging parent? Maybe they’ve moved into the family home, or you’re helping them in their home. Whatever the arrangement, it’s inevitable that the caring will take its toll. Admitting that you’re struggling can be hard, but it’s important. Caring for your parent when you don’t feel able will lead to short tempers and damaged relationships. Not to mention that your parent won’t be receiving the care they need! Consider following these tips if things are getting on top of you.

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Wikimedia Image

 

WHAT IMPROVEMENTS CAN YOU MAKE?

 

Before giving up, take a little time to think about what improvements you can make. Is there anything you could buy that would help? If your parent is struggling with mobility, could they get a mobility scooter or chairlift, instead of relying on you? Do you have siblings who could help share the responsibility? Taking the pressure off in these ways will make a huge difference to the way you approach the situation.

 

TALK THINGS THROUGH

 

You may not want to broach the subject with the parent in question, but it’s important you do. If your parent is living in your family home, you might want to invite everyone involved. Even so, it’s important you parent doesn’t feel as though you’re ganging up. It may be worth having a one on one chat to start with. Find a tactful way to express your concerns. Make sure you state that you’re concerned about not being able to give the right care. Once you’ve started the conversation, you might find your parent agrees or has worries of their own. Make sure to use tactful language throughout the conversation. Tempers may be frayed by this stage. Even so, the situation is difficult for everyone, and accusation won’t help. Be respectful to each other’s feelings. After you make a point, ask your parent how they feel about that.

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CONSIDER THE OPTIONS

 

If speaking things through hasn’t helped, it might be time to consider other options. This may not be pleasant, but it is necessary. Start researching the options open to you. That’s not to say you have to turn straight to nursing homes. Consider whether your parent would be happy to accept professional help at home. Having a carer visit one or two times a week will take pressure off you. It’ll also ensure your parent is getting the level of care they need. If the problem is more serious than that, it might be time to find a senior living facility near you. Be sensitive with this, and include your parent in every aspect of the search.

 

Conversations like these are never going to be easy. Even so, there comes a time when you can’t avoid them. Once you’ve reached a conclusion, you’ll both feel much better. The strain will lift from your relationship, and you’ll feel able to look forward. There’s no denying that the road ahead might be a hard one. Even so, it’s a journey you can take together.