Are you the Toxic One in Your Relationships?

Are you the Toxic One in Your Relationships?

Are you the Toxic One in Your Relationships?
Photo by Allison Heine on Unsplash

“The truth is that most of us have at least one toxic trait that we need to work on.”

Whether it is selfishness or the lack of listening to our partner, we usually have something that we need to work on so that we do not bring toxicity into our relationship(s). 

Here are a few toxic traits:

Do you find yourself always being the one to start arguments?

Do you find yourself constantly putting your needs above those of your partner?

Have you realized that you can manipulate your partner or that you get your way all of the time?

Do you always need to be right?

Do you take responsibility for your own actions?

Do you play the victim,?

Do you include your family and friends in the relationship?

Do you always need to have the last word?

If you have any of these toxic tendencies, it is important to take steps to change your behavior.

Here are a few tips:

-Try to see things from your partner’s perspective and realize that their opinions and feelings matter too. 

-Make an effort to communicate better.

-Be more aware of how your words and actions are affecting your partner.

-Realize that you don’t always have to be right. 

– Seek help from a therapist or counselor if you are having difficulty changing your behavior on your own. Communication is extremely important and is something to master. *If you can’t afford therapy, there are a surplus of wonderful self help books.

Relationship Story Time by Ana Lefebvre

I remember my first real fight in a serious relationship. The fight began after an argument about making the bed. If you have been in a serious relationship, you would know that it had nothing to do with making the bed. It was something deeper, but you see we were young and dumb and did not know how to communicate. I came from a household where kids had no opinions and he came from a household where they would give him everything and anything he wanted.

Those two different upbringings definitely clashed. The one thing we did have in common was keeping the perception of perfectionism. I had to be perfect, but i created this perfect version of myself. He had to be perfect, but it was his family that projected his perfectionism. How toxic is this?

Let’s go back to my first real “relationship fight”, “argument”, or whatever you want to label it, that started because of “making the bed”. Now I will spare you the details of the story or place the blame on who was in the wrong, that is actually not important. My actions are the important part. After the argument, I decided the best way to handle the situation was to leave for the evening and give him the silent treatment, which he also participated in. Who started it, or if we both did it simultaneously, I can not remember. I didn’t know how to efficiently voice my opinion since most of my life I wasn’t able to have a voice or an opinion (I was 18). This first fight was a prelude to how we would handle fights for years to come.

I realized some years later (way too many years later) that this was toxic on my behalf, but now my significant other had become even worse at it to where he wouldn’t talk to me for weeks at a time. Read this article that I wrote when were together.

Going forward, I worked on myself to become better at voicing my opinion. I didn’t want to continue this behavior. It was destroying my relationship and myself. I was definitely not perfect, but I was working on myself. I went to therapy and I started to voice my opinion. He didn’t do any of that 😂. 

Ironically, the first fight was the prelude to the last fight that we would ever have together.

I knew that my communication needed to be better for my future relationships. I realized that because of my ex and his behavior (this is a for another story time) that I was scared of arguing. Then I realized, that if they wanted to reciprocate by giving me the silent treatment or doing something else, then that is on them.

I remember the first time I actually communicated my feelings to a man (after the relationship I mentioned prior). I was like wow, that was easy, why didn’t I do this months ago. I didn’t get cussed out. There was no violence. No yelling. No silent treatment. If you follow me on Instagram then you will know he was not my ending point.

An ex after that ended up hurting my feelings and I couldn’t get over it. I ended up telling him after we ended things (it needed to end) and he told me he was “sorry”, which was all I needed (I talked to him recently and I definitely dodge a bullet there). He’s one of those people that will probably never change and I am not the female that is going to sit around and wait for you to change.

Communication in relationships is extremely important which is why I talk about it in my book and my podcast. The thing is, communication will trickle down to every facet of your life. Work-life. Family life. Friendships.

Work on it.

Check Out This In Self Help
10 things guys do that women love

10 Things Guys Do That Women Love

Read below and see if you agree that these are some of the top things guys do that women love.

Now every female is different, but according to social media, these are the most popular things that guys do that women love.

1. The one-handed steering wheel turn

 It is something about controlling something with one hand that is a huge turn-on. I think it just shows power, control, and confidence.

2. Randomly bringing food 

Whether it is a simple snack or an entire meal, it is the thought that counts, but make sure it is something she eats, otherwise, it may backfire. Food is a love language for a lot of people. 

3. Loaning clothing

Or giving… If you want to get her to constantly remember you, loan her a jacket/hoodie/shirt, etc. It’s something about wearing your man’s clothing.

4. Walking on the outside of the sidewalk

This traditional gesture was actually started to protect women from dust/debris/horse and carriage splashes. Now it is seen more as a sign of dominance.

5. Not being ashamed of PDA in public

I’m not saying to have a full-blown make-out session, but not being ashamed to show affection in the public solidifies the relationship as being a relationship.

6. Picking a romance movie

Stereotypically, romance movies are geared towards and are for “females”, picking something outside of your usual norm shows that you are willing to have a relationship to where there is give and take.

7. Random eye contact and smiles

It’s the assurance and the private moment together to where you feel like the most important person in the world.

8. Texts mentioning him thinking of her

Once again it’s the assurance of letting her know that the day will not go by without you thinking about her.

9. Holding Hands

Holding hands is a form of intimacy. A form of non-verbal communication. Studies have shown that holding hands can be a huge stress reliever and also give a sense of security. 

Read: Sex vs Intimacy and the Difference Between the Two

10. Referring to her as “his woman”

Once again securing her placement in her life. Yes “my woman” can go a couple of ways and of course the discussion of the relationship status should occur, but once again that primitive dominance is a turn-on.

how to start a conversation on a dating app

How to Start a Conversation on a Dating App

how to start a conversation on a dating app
Asking Ana

Oh, dating apps. Do you love or hate them?

Regardless of your feelings about them, it is the most contemporary way to date in the current millennial culture. 

This guide will help you regarding how to start your conversation when you are dating online. An intriguing one liner is what you need initially. But how to prose the perfect initial statement?

Let’s find out a few methods that you can use for starting a conversation on a dating app.

You can start the conversation with a question

Think of an interesting question to ask. I have a friend that is a pro on these apps. He has 5-7 pictures on either tinder or bumble and he starts his conversations depending on the picture that the person clicked on. If it is an outdoorsy picture, he talks about something pertaining to being outside. If it is a formal picture, he curates his initial question, well formally.

If it is a food picture, then talk about food. Do you see where I am going here?

It can be a would you rather related question or you can go for the question that is a little bit more quirky to give an edge to the conversation. Just don’t overdo it and ask something that is completely random and not individualized. 

You can also ask for recommendations

Actually read their bio and look at their pictures. There is a difference between coming off as observant versus stalkerish. Observe a fact about them and ask for a recommendation leaning towards that. This is an incredibly easy way to start a conversation on a dating app. 

Start with a fact about yourself

You can start with a fact about yourself and leave room for discussion, by asking a question at the end about it. Once again, curate towards the person. Don’t open with a random fact just about yourself. Tie yourself and the person together. 

For example, if I saw a picture of them in Chicago I would say something like:

“I’ve never been to Chicago, what would be something you recommend doing if I go.”

Make sure you are sincere in your questions. This can be the perfect icebreaker to start with and also, an easy way to begin a conversation. 

Complement their bio

If you find something interesting in their bio, use it as an opportunity to break the ice and start a conversation with the other person. Once again, make sure you leave it open-ended.

Do not be sugar-sweet

Be yourself and do not overdo it. When you are being a little too extra (not yourself)  it can be seen as a red flag. Be nice and be real. Being authentic to yourself is what matters the most. 

Ask them questions about their goals 

Asking about their future may be too ambitious, but asking for their goals is different. When you are starting to talk to someone it is important that you understand what they want, but don’t push it. Live in the moment a bit. It will help you to align yourself with them and you will know if you are on the same page or not.

It will give you more ideas regarding what to talk about and what not to talk about. 

Once again, read the bio. They may not be on the dating app for the same reasons that you are on it and do not be too intense. Do not ask something that is uncomfortable. “Where do you see yourself in five years?”- is way too much. Instead, ask them about something that is not so far out. 

Spark the chemistry with quirky questions and do not rush things

If you are moving too fast it might deter the other person; therefore, it is best that you keep it slow but start with quirky conversation starters initially.

Think of something that is creative and lighthearted. When you both are comfortable with each other, it is easier to learn about the other person.

Wondering what to start with?

Let me help you out with a few ways to start a conversation on a dating app:

  • You can ask them about their photos.
  • You can ask them if there are places that they want to visit. I would ask this if you find photos regarding travel on their profile, or something about traveling in their description. In the initial conversation, do not ask random questions. It is more sincere when you ask a question pertaining to them. 
  • You can ask them about their work and their job and open the floor to discussing yours. Work can be a great conversation starter.
  • You can talk about your favorite music or their favorite singer. You can discuss movies that you like and the books that you’ve read. Food is also a great conversation starter. Apps like Tinder also have an option to list your favorite Spotify songs. Once again, I can not stress this enough, initially discuss things that pertain to them. 

Try not to be a conversation killer and keep your conversation open-ended.

Caution:

I would be careful of the over-the-top compliments at the beginning of the conversation because they can come off insincere.

Make sure that you are not making fun of yourself because it might seem self-deprecating and show a lack of confidence.

Make sure you are approachable. When you are approachable and you are asking open ended questions, you are allowing room for a conversation. 

Also, check the app. Do not get on and message people only to respond days later. If you want to be successful on the app then you need to be proactive on the dating app. 

How to Gain Muscle Without Gaining Fat

How to Gain Muscle Without Gaining Fat

How to Gain Muscle Without Gaining Fat

So you want to gain muscle without gaining fat, so do I.

Let’s be honest, I want to grow glutes while sliming my core area.

It seems like one of the hardest things to accomplish depending on your body type. Please remember that everyone’s body is different and will react to different foods and workout plans accordingly. Always consult a physician first.

I consulted my physician and personal trainer, Brandon Williams on how to accomplish this during my workout. 

This is what he gave me. It is an at home workout plan that anyone can do. 

“Here is your workout plan for growing a tone back (Latissimus Dorsi, Teres Minor and Major, Rhomboid, Erector Spinae, and Trapezius) working out the hip area of your Butt (Gluteus Minimus, Medius, and Maximus). This workout will consists of working both areas with an alternating focus between the different muscles sets. For example, Monday, you will focus on Back with a minor focus on Glutes. They will be performed in intervals with a 30-second rest in between sets. So, here we GO!! The first two rows will be your warmup. This will go for a quick 30–45-minute workout!” -Brandon

Ana Lefebvre workout plan

If you cannot complete the full repetition? Then, complete half of each set’s Repetition. 

Here We GO!!!! Take this task workout for 3 weeks!! I will have another 3-week workout plan for you in the second Week!! 

P.S.- Drink the weight gain flavor AFTER your workout. Or a protein drink.

Brandon Williams is the Founder of Athletic Creative Fitness  located in 

About A.C.F.

Here at Athletic Creative Fitness; you can manage your goals of active, healthy and always being photoshoot ready. You will be respected here and we will also help you break down the steps of overcoming your obstacles. Why? How? Oh, I can miss today. Do I really want this? I am not ready. I look ugly! Or perhaps the biggest question when embarking on a fitness journey… Am I even confident enough to workout at a public place because of how I feel about my body?

Click to Read More

Brandon Williams
Sex vs. Intimacy

Sex vs Intimacy and the Difference Between the Two

Sex vs. Intimacy

Amanda Palmer has said the most beautiful thing about sex and intimacy. She says,  there is a difference between when you want others to see you than to look at you.

“There’s a difference between wanting to be looked at and wanting to be seen. One is exhibitionism, the other is connection. Not everybody wants to be looked at. Everybody wants to be seen.”   -Amanda Palmer

The same goes for sex and intimacy. Most of the world is deprived of both of these things these days, but it is sad to say that they cannot find the difference between these two things.

Intimacy is  more  than just a physical relationship, unlike like  sex when you are physically in contact with someone else. Intimacy includes the vulnerability of each other in which they are prone to any pretentiousness and are in their natural habitat. It is about opening yourself to others and sharing your darkest secrets or incidents of your life.

Sex Vs. Intimacy

Image by Solie Jordan from Pixabay

In plain English, it is a non-physical  existing link or connection between two human beings who are in search of a long-lasting relationship. It could be between any two persons, whether it be a couple of opposite or same gender or two friends. In sex, it is also possible that the connection in sex could be from only one side, but this is not the case with intimacy. Intimacy begins when the feeling is mutual and both people feel the same about each other. You can also be intimate with someone non-sexually (like with family or friends). 

What is sex without intimacy?

Sex is a symbol or a representation within intimacy. Sex can be included in intimacy, but it is not the same vice versa. You cannot call it intimacy and the only in the form of or symbol of intimacy that you and your partner(s) have is sex. It could be expressed in many other ways.

However, if you want to ask what sex is if there is no intimacy, it is just for fun. The one-night stand concept (getting in bed with a stranger for one “night” to enjoy sexual intimacy with them) is common in our society (especially millennial relationships). Some people view sex without intimacy just as a fun act and not harmful for people (safe sex please). Sex is also a sign of a healthy relationship between two people (or more) that are madly in love with each other.

Sex and love are two different things. For married couples, or people who have commitments with their partners, sex without intimacy becomes less complicated over time. In sex, there are no rules or any restrictions of showing deep feelings of love to your partner. You can also enjoy it in a way in which you fool around and have casual sex without showing romance to your partner.

Kirill Palii on Unsplash wp-image-8271 size-medium alignnone” src=”https://myunboundedlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/kirill-palii-mFOJu2IGSt0-unsplash-300×300.jpg” alt=”The difference between sex and intamacy” width=”300″ height=”300″ />

Photo by Kirill Palii on Unsplash

In this regard, the “friends with benefit” concept has grown much more popular among the youth these days. People do have sex with their friends without falling in love with them. With friends, it becomes easier because they have a good bond with each other, which makes it less awkward. There is no doubt that sex and intimacy are two separate things, but sex can change the perspective of your thinking. It can make things wonderful or complicated simultaneously.

Sex vs Intimacy

In simple words, the major difference between sex and intimacy is that you can say sex is a type of intimacy. Sex or any sexual activity is the physical (sexual) intimacy that you create with your partner. Whereas intimacy has a wider spectrum in its meaning. Sex has nothing to do with emotions or feelings, but intimacy includes how you feel about your partner, whether sex is included or not.

Usually, the people who are unable to get over their previous relationships are the ones that had intimacy in their relationship or they developed deep feelings for their partner. Sexual relationships that have intimacy can be challenging to close. It leaves a hole or a shallow place in their life that they are unable to fill again. Mostly, people move on with their first love, start their new life, have a new partner, family, but they can never forget that intimacy that they had with their previous lovers.

Types of Intimacies:

There are many kinds, but mainly four usually comes forward, which are described as follows:

Emotional:

Emotions are a part of our life. When we come to a point at which we feel completely comfortable sharing our deepest desires or dark secrets with our lovers or friends, this is when you achieve emotional intimacy. We feel comfortable sharing our issues with our siblings before anyone else because we know they will understand instead of mocking us.

Intellectual:

It relates to sharing your opinions or ideas about certain things. It does not mean that you share because others will agree with you. It could start a debate, but at least you will be able to put forward what you think about a certain topic, and it is healthy when someone has one or more persons with whom they can share their opinions.

Experimental:

This is the basic level of intimacy that you achieve with anyone. It is like when you start bonding with someone in your leisure time. It means you have mutual interests and share hobbies and like to spend your free time. It is an example of syncing up in teamwork or acting in unison in some activities.

Sexual:

Last but not least, sexual intimacy. People often confuse and include their sexual intimacy as intimacy in general, but there is a vast difference. It involves sexual activities, which are mainly about feeling physical about your partner.

Conclusion of Sex vs Intimacy and The Difference Between the Two :

Sex and intimacy are two different topics. Although these can be interlinked, one must understand the concept of intimacy. Sex might not sustain the relationship; although it is integral, intimacy is something that will retain your relationship and make it last longer. Couples might lose interest in sex after 10 to 15 years of marriage, but intimacy maintains the relationship. Remember to understand intimacy and sex are different concepts but constitute an important part of any relationship. Make sure you are exploring this vast topic, there is a lot of depth that you must know of. Learn how you can better your relationship with better intimacy with your partner.

Guying texting

How To Text A Girl: Dating 101

Guying texting

I was talking to a friend about a guy who had succeeded in receiving my number, but failed on successfully communicating with me. Whenever we talked or saw each other, it was a great time and we were clearly both interested in each other. What he failed at was communication, which puzzled me since he communicated for a living. After listening to my rant, she goes, “oh he just doesn’t know how to communicate with girls”.

Then it clicked. People know how to communicate. We do it all the time, but when it comes to someone that we have interest in, our emotions get in the way of communicating.

75% of millennials would rather text than talk, but we were never taught how to use this form of communication, since it was never done before.

Here is how to text a girl: Dating 101

How to approach a woman and ask her for her number:

I want to start at the very beginning of approaching a woman, the old fashion way. Say you are in a bar, lounge or such. Approach her and start a conversation. After you have a rapport with her, ask her for her number.  What should the rapport be? Talk about something that creates an interest in her, for you. When you are approaching a woman and asking her for her number, you are basically selling yourself and why you would be a good fit in her life. After you create interest, ask for the number. If she is hesitant, do not get discouraged, remember an hour ago, she didn’t know who you were.

woman receiving a text

When exchanging numbers, make sure you receive hers and then also have her put her name in your phone. This will allow for no mistakes when trying to reach back out. The most important thing, is when you walk away, send a cute and short text to her about how nice it was to meet her and something that insinuates that you do want to see her in the future. If you are bad with names, screen shot her name. This will help you remember.

 

How to ask a girl for her number from a dating site:

text messages

If you are on a dating site, it should be easier to know someone’s interest because they are on the site to usually “date”. Once again, do not jump the gun, but also do not take too long as it may look like you are prolonging the process to weigh your options. That is dangerous, especially if you are actually interested in the person. Build the rapport that I was mentioning earlier and then once you have built a common interest ask for the number and to take her out. If, you are hesitant to ask for her number, ask her out and then the day of, ask for her number and state something to her like, “in case the area does not have wifi”.

After the date, text her in regard to thanking her for coming out and something about the evening. You want to be memorable and also stand out, so be memorable and stand out when texting, communicating with her.

How to text a girl off of social media:

First you have to get the number, right? This can be hard. Watch the video above about getting the number from a social media site. Social media is sometimes used as a dating app, but for some it is a way to communicate with friends or sell products. You have to know who you are talking to. Once again, do not ask for the number too early. If you have a private account, take into account for that. Also, cater to the person you are talking to. Getting a phone number off of social media may take much longer, because the purpose is not concrete like a dating app or in person. 

One of the biggest fails I have seen with guys trying to get my number off of social media is doing too much too soon. Not letting it organically happen. Not trying to communicate and learn who I am because they are assuming off of posts and pressuring me. 

How to text a girl once you receive her number off of social media:

Now this is different because, now that you have her number, what is the difference between you texting and direct messaging? You need to create a difference. At the end of the day, if you are not meant to be, you can still be acquaintances or friends if you communicate properly. 

Be different and do something different than what you were doing the dms.

How to text a girl if you feel like she is losing interest:

Girl receiving a text

This is actually quite easy. Go right back to what you were doing in the beginning and repeat it. Too often people get comfortable in relationships and forget to do the things that they were doing in the beginning of the relationship. This is not good at all. You want her to smile when she reads your texts. You want to remember your goal of the relationship with her. Asking her about her day and learning about her life is important. You also want to share. 

Not everyone is a text communicator. If you feel like she is losing interest through texts, ask her preference on communicating. 

Meet up with her. If it is not a long distance relationship, then ask her out on a date to keep the chemistry going and to build on it.

Here is how to text girls to meet up with you:

Make her feel comfortable and safe by not applying pressure. Ask her out directly by supplying the place and time, but do not be overbearing. 

How to text a girl

Do not do too much too soon. 

You want her to smile when you text her and it is easy, keep it positive. If she asks you about your day, text her a positive thing about your day. When you are beginning to text, you are learning her texting style and social cues. Do not move or assume too much too fast. 

The phone calls and text messages from guys are the ones that do not leave me feeling peaceful when the call ends. 

You don’t have to type in complete sentences, but watch your spelling and grammar. No need to use grammarly, or maybe you should. During your initial stages, you are trying to leave a great impression. Do that by making sure your text messages sound intelligent. 

Use emojis to help create context behind the sentence. 

Do not rush into marriage mode too fast. 

How to text when you have nothing to text about:

People, in general, love to talk about themselves. You can ask her about her job or siblings. Ask her about her accomplishments or proudest moments. Tell her about a movie you just watched and ask her if she has seen it. “If you ask about her favorite movie and if you haven’t seen it, make an effort to see it.” Make jokes. Being funny goes a long way.

When texting a girl, when do I ask her out?

Once you have built comradely with her, you also want her to be curious about who you are. Light conversations through text and real conversations in person, if this not a long distance relationship. 

If you are the one that approached her, you should be the one asking her out. Do not take too long to ask her out, because it looks like you maybe weighing your options, especially if you received her number over a social media site.

How to not text a girl:

  1. Do not be hot and cold.
  2. Do not play games with the texting reply times. This little game has been exposed. Too many times people are hot in the beginning and the pull back. It leaves the other person to wonder why they are pulling back and their assumption is not always true. 

You do not need to text all day, but when you do, make sure there is substance to it and that you text her back quickly. 

I have seen so much bad advice about making her wait. If you make certain women wait, you will be waiting for the rest of times. Certain women do not play games, and honestly those are the ones that are more solid because their confidence is much higher that the ones that are doubtful. 

Double texting is not a bad thing depending on the situation. You have to cater to the person and situation. Individualize your communication and stop with the cookie-cutter dating. 

I have friends that are single mothers and sometimes their kids have their phones.

I have friends that work 12 hour days and the last thing they want is to be pressured at the end of the day. 

3. Do no be overbearing. Remember, she doesn’t owe you anything. You approached her. Be patient, but also persistent without being needy. You want to be a part of her life, not her whole life. 

How to text a girl recap: 

  1. Get her number by applying the principles directed above.
  2. Create a bond by learning who she is and figuring out what you two have in common. 
  3. Make her curious about you through texting. 
  4. Do not be desperate.
  5. Be positive in text and leave the real conversation to when you meet up with her. 
  6. Watch your grammar and spelling.
  7. Do not play games through text
  8. Make your intentions known.
  9. Do not wait too long to ask her out.