How To Safely Clean Away Mold in Your Home

How To Safely Clean Away Mold in Your Home

 

 

Can You Just Wipe Household Mold Away?

 

Are you wondering why you’re still experiencing mold issues despite wiping the affected area? You may need to do more.

You probably don’t know that mold is growing in your home. Mold thrives in dark, humid places such as your bathroom and basement.

Mold can develop within 24-48 hours under the right conditions and can potentially cause health problems or affect your home’s air quality if untreated. Once faced with this issue, you must recognize how to eliminate it.

If you’re wondering how to perform mold cleanup, here’s how.

 

 

Signs of Mold on Walls

 

The most common causes of mold growing on walls are high humidity, condensation and water leaks (which are often hidden inside the wall).

Condensation forms when water vapor in the air meets cold surfaces and cools to become liquid. Condensation is especially common on walls which form the perimeter of a house. These walls are often colder because of cool outdoor air on the other side.

Things like drying wet clothes inside or steam from hot water increases the humidity in the home. If humidity stays high in your home for a long time then you might see mold starting to grow on your walls. Usually the best way to decrease the humidity is to ventilate your home by opening windows and doors.

Leaking pipes near or inside of walls are a common cause of mold. If there’s a leaking pipe inside a wall cavity then mold will usually be well and truly set in before it’s discovered.

 

Look for:

  • cracked or peeling paint
  • discoloration
  • bulging

 

These are all tell-tale signs that there could be moisture in a wall. If you notice any of these things in a wall in your home, take a closer look and you might see the beginnings of small amounts of mold growth.

These signs could also indicate that mold is actually growing hidden behind the wall, in the wall cavity. Seeing small spots of mold on a wall can sometimes be a sign that there is actually a larger mold colony on the other side which is slowly growing through.

 

 

Mold Symptoms

 

Smelling a moldy odor or suffering allergic reactions are also good indications that there could be mold growing hidden behind a wall in your home.

Most mold symptoms are caused by mold allergies. When you breathe in mold spores your immune systems responds by creating allergic reactions. These reactions are the immune system’s defense against foreign particles entering the body.

The more a person is around mold the more sensitive to it they will become. This means that they can end up unable to tolerate being around even small amounts of mold. Their allergic reactions will also become more and more severe.

 

Indoor air quality doesn't have to be a scary unknown. Get easy-to-understand answers you can act on for cleaner, healthier air. Home Air Check - the test for VOCs, Mold, Formaldehyde, Tobacco Smoke

 

Symptoms that mold allergies cause include:

 

  • Cold or flu like symptoms
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Irritated, itchy throat
  • Blocked nose
  • Itchy nose
  • Runny nose
  • Sinus congestion
  • Sinus headaches
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Irritated, itchy skin
  • Skin rash, hives
  • Watery eyes
  • Red, bloodshot eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Itchy ears
  • Hair loss, baldness
  • Hay fever symptoms

 

 

Toxic Symptoms from Exposure to Toxic Mold

There are about 16 mold species which are toxic to humans. These molds put out highly toxic chemicals called mycotoxins.

Mycotoxins cause toxic symptoms which are much worse than the allergic symptoms caused by ordinary molds. Some of the symptoms caused by toxic molds include bleeding, damage to internal organs, mental impairment, cancer and even death in some cases.

 

Mold Infections

Sometimes mold spores that are breathed into a person’s lungs begin to grow inside them. Mold infections like this can also grow in the sinuses, skin or digestive system.

These mold infections usually don’t occur in healthy people. Elderly people or those who are sick with compromised or suppressed immune systems can suffer these infections though, since their immune systems might not be strong enough to fight off the mold. Sometimes these mold infections can even cause death.

Mold species that can opportunistically infect people include Trichoderma, Penicillium marneffei and Aspergillus fumigatus.

 

Eliminating Mold

 

It is virtually impossible to eliminate all molds and spores indoors. This is because some spores float in house dust and through the air. However, the mold spores won’t grow in the absence of moisture.

However, you can and should prevent or control mold growth indoors through moisture control. Although eliminating mold completely in a household setting is almost impossible, you can reduce an existing infestation to a point where it’s no longer harmful.

 

 

How to Remove Mold from Different Areas

 

Non-Porous Areas

 

You can simply scrub and wipe non-porous areas with a cleaning solution, sponge the affected area, and dry it fast (drying fast eliminates moisture that would allow recurring mold growth). This method is ideal for areas with small quantities of mold. An unscented detergent will enable you to smell residual moldy spots.

Example: 20 Mule Team Borax

To remove and kill the mold, I recommend using Borax.

There are many advantages to using borax to kill mold. For starters, borax is a natural cleaning product and although it is toxic if you swallow it, borax does not emit chemicals or dangerous fumes like some other mold killers. Borax, a white mineral powder, has a pH level of about 9 (baking soda is pH 8.1 and pH 7 is neutral) and a low toxicity.

Borax is commonly used as a deodorizer as well as for cleaning toilets and drains. Borax is also used as an insecticide, herbicide and fungicide and it can be mixed with water in a solution to kill and remove mold as it is a natural mold inhibitor. You can buy borax in supermarkets for a few dollars from the laundry section.

 

How to Kill Mold with Borax

 

  1. To kill mold using borax, create a borax-water solution using a ratio of 1 cup of borax per gallon of water.
  2. Vacuum up any loose mold with a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner to lessen the number of spores stirred up into the air during the cleaning process.
  3. Use a scrubbing brush with the borax-water solution to scrub the mold off the surface.
  4. Wipe up any extra moisture and excess mold particles or dust/debris to prevent them spreading into the air once the surface has dried.
  5. You don’t need to rinse off the borax as the solution will prevent more mold beginning to grow on the surface again.
  6. Leave the surface to dry completely.

 

 

Mold Stains

If the mold has left a stain, try RMR-86 Instant Mold & Mildew Stain Remover.  It works on wood, concrete, drywall, siding and walls, tile & grout, fiberglass, vinyl and fiberglass.  It has lots of terrific reviews at Amazon. 

Note though, that this is a very powerful product (which is why it’s so effective for removing tough mold stains):  use it in a well-ventilated space, and wear gloves.

 

 

Mold Growing Behind Walls

Mold commonly grows out of sight behind walls in the wall cavities. These spaces often contain pockets of humid, moist air. Mold can also grow hidden behind wallpaper. Wallpaper glue can hold organic debris which can then become a food source for mold growth.

To find hidden mold behind walls you need to use invasive inspection methods and, optionally, mold testing. It’s best to talk to a professional mold specialist in this case.

 

Porous Areas (Like Unpainted Drywall)

If you discover mold on a porous area for instance, an unpainted drywall, you’ll typically need to cut the wall where there’s mold growth.  Because drywall is a substance high in cellulose, it is one of the most common materials mold grows on in the home. As there is no practical way to completely remove mold from drywall, you will have to cut out and dispose of any drywall you discover which has mold growing on it.  Bottom line – for such an area, you can’t merely wipe it because mold growth occurs inside the material rather than on the surface.

 

Wood Surfaces

Use an externally vented or HEPA vacuum cleaner for wood surfaces. Scrub using an unscented detergent solution, rinse and dry fast. You may have to sand and refinish the surface if the stain does not come off.

You should perform sanding with a sander/vacuum combination, allowing the vacuum to pick up the spores emitted by sanding.

 

Example: This lightweight Shark Navigator utilizes Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology® + a HEPA filter; it traps 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum.

 

 

Mold on the Ceiling

If you see mold on the ceiling in your home then you probably have a humidity or condensation problem. It is also possible that the mold is caused by a water leak above the ceiling.

 

Removing Mold on the Ceiling

Like with mold on walls, if the ceiling is made of a non-porous material then you can usually just wipe the mold away with a wet cloth. You can use a mold killing product like bleach if you like too.

If the ceiling is made of a porous material though, like unpainted drywall, then you may have to cut away the material where the mold is growing since the mold has probably grown inside the material.

 

Windows

Condensation frequently forms on windows due to cold outdoor air on the other side of the window which cools the glass. Although mold cannot feed on the glass itself, if the window is dirty then mold can feed off of the grime on the window glass.

Condensation can also lead to mold growing around window frames because of moisture condensating on the glass and then running onto the frame. The other place to watch out for mold growing around your windows is in the seal where the window frame meets the wall.

So discovering mold on your windows isn’t uncommon if you have a condensation  issue.  After removing excess mold, you’ll be in a better position to establish the full extent of the issue.

If you discover a relatively minor problem, spray some cleaning strength white vinegar on the windows and then combine with some baking soda.

You can prevent mold from recurring by keeping your windows free from condensation. Wherever possible, ensure window ventilation to allow air circulation and prevent dampness.

 

Mold in Floor

Mold can grow beneath the floor in your home just like it grows above ceilings and within wall cavities. Dirt and dust which fall under the floor become trapped, along with moisture, leading to perfect conditions for mold growth.

Tiles and especially carpets trap large amounts of dust and can become a haven for mold growth. Carpets hold moisture particularly well, taking a long time to dry out, which means they can very easily foster mold growth if there are spilled liquids, water leaks or floods.

 

Mold on Furniture

Furniture left in storage can accumulate mold and mildew, especially in damp, dark conditions. Mold thrives in moist environments, and fabrics such as upholstery can absorb moisture from the air and provide an ideal place for mold and mildew to grow. It usually appears in patches, and can give off a foul, musty odor. One of the best ways to prevent future mold growth is to keep the area and items as dry as possible.

Furniture made of organic materials, such as wood, are another thing that mold soon ends up growing on if there’s a moisture problem in your home. Upholstered furniture in particular absorbs moisture, making it a prime candidate for mold growth.

Your household furniture should not be kept close to, or touching, the walls as this diminishes the air flow and creates condensation. When you check your furniture for mold remember to check underneath pieces of furniture. Also look inside furniture like cupboards, drawers, etc.

 

How to Remove Mold from Upholstered Furniture

Lay down newspaper around the couch to catch any falling mold. Brush the couch with a stiff broom or brush to loosen the spores and knock them onto the newspaper. Pick up the newspaper and throw it away.

Combine 1 qt. of warm water and 1/2 tsp. of liquid hand soap in a container. Alternatively, you can use equal parts rubbing alcohol or white vinegar and water. You can also use 1 qt. of warm water and 2 tbsp. of ammonia.

Dip a sponge into the liquid and squeeze it until suds form.

Apply the suds to the couch, focusing on the moldy areas.

Rub the upholstery with the sponge to remove any mold, rinsing and wringing the sponge as you go.

If you use alcohol, rinse the upholstery with a clean, damp sponge.

Dry the couch completely in a well-ventilated area or in the sunlight. Use fans or open a window, if possible.

Allow it to dry before using.

As an alternative to preparing your own cleaning solution, try Chem-Girl No Rinse OxyPro Deodorizer Biodegradable Peroxide Cleaner.  It’s very effective at removing mold and mildew, it utilizes hydrogen peroxide (not bleach), so there are no fumes.  Plus, you don’t have to rinse it off.  6 oz of OxyPro makes 1 quart of cleaning solution.

 

 

 

Testing For Mold

If you suspect that your home has a mold problem, and want to be sure,  you can pick up a mold testing kit.  Keep in mind that a mold testing kit is for mold only, and does not test for any other volatile organic compounds or off-gas.  For that, you will need a comprehensive test.

 

Example: This DIY Mold Test tests for mold and pollen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you with some practical information. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

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Today’s Best Retinol Creams

Today’s Best Retinol Creams

(No Prescription Needed!)

 

 

 

 

Retinol is the ingredient most likely to make a major visible improvement in your skin.

 

Few skin care ingredients have been as extensively studied—and proven—as retinoids. This vitamin A derivative has skin benefits that range from improvement in visible signs of aging to reduction in acne and brown spots.

Over the counter retinol products work as both treatment and prevention of the visible signs of aging skin.

 

What do Retinoids Do?

The primary effect of retinoids is increased skin cell turnover. Our skin cells are constantly multiplying and sloughing off, about every 30-35 days. When retinoids are introduced to the skin, damaged cells are eliminated and replaced with healthy cells more quickly.

Secondarily, retinoids stimulate the formation of new collagen in the upper levels of the skin thus resulting in increased firmness and smoothness. Retinoids can also reduce the activity of melanocytes, the cells that produce unwanted pigment in our skin (e.g. melasma, hyperpigmentation).

 

Side Effects of Retinoids

Side effects such as irritation, redness or skin flaking may accompany the benefits of retinol, but they can be managed.

To acclimate the skin, start with a low-concentration retinol or retinoid, and gradually build up the concentration over a few months. If you have very sensitive skin, you can always start using it twice a week at night, then build up a tolerance to eventually be using it nightly. Remember, you can always cut back in concentration or frequency if you start to develop irritation.  The good news is, the irritation is never permanent, but the benefits of retinoids are long lasting.

As with any method of skin exfoliation, retinoid use can make skin more sun sensitive, so diligent use of sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater is essential.

When applying retinoids to the face, it’s also important to take care around the eye area. I recommend applying an hour or two before bedtime, as applying right before bed may cause the product to migrate too close to the eye, especially when sleeping on one’s side and then causing eyelid irritation.

 

Choosing a Retinol Product

Many of these are marketed as “deep wrinkle creams” giving the impression they exist only to treat women with established lines. But retinol creams work wonderfully as a preventative measure.

 

 

 

 

Below are some of the best:

 

 

 

 

RoC Deep Wrinkle Night Cream

 

If you are starting out on a new retinol program, RoC’s Deep Wrinkle Night Cream is a good first product for newbies.

Retinoids can cause redness and scaly skin at first as it sloughs away the top layer of skin (anyone who has tried Retin-A knows this), so a mild retinoid is a good starter cream.

This sensitive night cream is less potent than other OTC products listed here and is a good start because your skin can get used to the active ingredients. Once you’ve adjusted, you can move on to more potent formulas, like RoC’s Deep Wrinkle Night Cream.

 

 

Peter Thomas Roth’ Retinol Fusion PM

One of the most beloved retinol creams is Peter Thomas Roth’s Retinol Fusion PM. It contains 1% retinol plus a host of extras, which is always great when buying a retinol.

Those extras include shea butter for hydration (since we know by now that retinol can be drying to the skin) and vitamins A, C and E. There’s also caffeine to help with puffiness.

This product gets rave reviews from all of the top review sites. The biggest con is that the company tests on animals.

 

 

SkinMedica Retinol 0.25 Complex, 1 oz.

Skinmedica Retinol Complex

 

Skinmedica is revered for its retinol products, which come in three strengths from the least potent .25 (this means the ingredients are .25% retinol) to the most potent 1%.

It’s recommended to start with the .25% product and then move your way up to the 1% if needed. Your skin needs time to adjust to the retinol.

 

 

 

NeoCutis Nouvelle +Retinol+Correction+Cream

 

 NeoCutis Nouvelle+ is an excellent product for most skin types because it contains not only a good dose of retinol but a nice mixture of antioxidants (vitamins C and E) and it does not include added fragrance.

Because it contains .6% retinol, it’s not for sensitive skin. If you suffer from redness or rosacea you likely shouldn’t be using retinols anyway because it will simply be too harsh on your already super sensitive skin.

The only con is the price, which is more expensive than many others on this list. But yes, the price is worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

Roc Retinol Correxion Max Wrinkle Resurfacing Anti-Aging Skin Care System

 

RoC was the brand my dermatologist recommended when I told her my super dry skin could no longer tolerate prescription-strength Retin-A, which can be very drying.

This set gets rave reviews because it includes a retinol cream and a serum. The two together are incredibly hydrating and effective. After weeks of use, users report seeing noticeable results.

 

 

 

Algenist Retinol Firming and Lifting Serum

 

This Algenist Retinol Serum is chock full of antioxidants and peptides along with the retinol that’s necessary for cell turnover in skin. While pricey (you can certainly buy other products for less), the added benefits and the fact that a few drops per night is all you need, make this a great buy.

Olay is known for its wonderful anti-aging products that can be bought at drugstores. Users love it because it goes on smoothly and works.

 

 

 

Olay Regenerist Intensive Repair Treatment

Another retinol from Olay that’s a bit less expensive is Olay Regenerist Intensive Repair Treatment.

Olay is known for its wonderful anti-aging products that can be bought at drugstores. Users love it because it goes on smoothly and works.

 

 

 

Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment

Paula Begoun has been around for ages, first as the self-described “Cosmetics Cop” with several books and a huge online following. She has since parlayed her fame into her own brand of products.

Her retinoid creams get great reviews online. This Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment has licorice, oat extract and other anti-irritants help to minimize the side effects many people experience with retinols.

 

 

 

 

Alpha Skin Care Enhanced Wrinkle Repair Cream

 

This Alpha Skin Care Enhanced Wrinkle Repair Cream is an incredibly mild retinol cream containing only .15% retinol plus a host of fabulous antioxidants including vitamins A, C and E. It’s also very affordable, making it a great choice for women with sensitive skin or concerns about using retinol creams.

 

 

 

Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist 24 Pure Retinol Express Smoothing Eye Mask

People swear by these Shiseido Benefiance Eye Masks despite the hefty price tag.  Reviewers swear they leave their under-eye areas much brighter (see reviews).

You have to apply and leave them on for 20 minutes and for this reason (along with the price) many people use them only for special occasions, such as before a wedding or event.

It’s not clear how much retinol is in the formula. Another con is that these have been tested on animals.

 

 

 

OzNaturals Super Youth Retinol Moisturizer with-

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B5
  • Shea Butter
  • Hyaluronic Acid

 

This OzNaturals Super Youth Retinol Moisturizer is packed with amazing ingredients, including 2.5% retinol, Hyaluronic Acid, and Vitamin C. All of these in combination increase cell turnover and plump up the skin.

I like that the ingredients are all-natural and cruelty-free. This is a beloved and fantastic OTC retinol product and it’s well-priced, too.

 

 

 

A Personal Recommendation for Sunscreen

 

On a personal note – for sunscreen, I like Avene SPF50 plus Light Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen.  I have extremely sensitive eyes, and cannot use sunscreens with chemicals in them; even if I don’t put the products around my eyes, the “fumes” from the product on my face can irritate my eyes! 

This sunscreen uses titanium oxide and zinc oxide as its active ingredients, and helps calm and protect sensitive skin types prone to breakouts, rosacea and discoloration. Very lightweight and silky, it may be worn with makeup or alone. It is fragrance free, oil free, and paraben free.

This is a cosmetically-elegant mineral sunscreen that leaves no with cast, and will protect your face very effectively while using a retinol product.

If your skin or eyes are sensitive, I think you’ll be happy with this sunscreen.

 

 

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, just about anyone is a good candidate for a retinol cream.  Anyone with aging skin, rosacea sufferers, those with hyperpigmentation, or uneven skin tone and even those wishing to reduce the appearance of surgical scars will see some great benefits of Retinol.

If you start using them when you hit 30,  your 60-something self will thank you – but no matter how old you are now – it’s never too late! 

And don’t forget to stock up on sunblock!

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information to help you on your search for a new retinol treatment (whatever age you are!).

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

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Comfortable Fashionable Shoes For Mature Women

Comfortable and Fashionable Shoes For Mature Women

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for Finding Attractive Shoes That Feel Good on Mature Feet

 

I think we can all agree that there’s some truth to the stereotype that women love shoes. For some of us, “obsessed” would be a more appropriate word. Throughout our lives, shoes have been a part of our identity. Now, as we get a little older, we have to learn to adapt to our changing feet. 

Image above: Skechers Parallel Trapezoid Wedge Sandal (super comfy – see reviews!)

 

Elements of a Comfortable Shoe

 

You probably already know how you like your shoes to look on you, but at this age, it’s also important to pay attention to what makes that great shoe comfortable.

There is no one criteria that makes a shoe comfortable. In fact, the “comfort” of a shoe has even been measured in a 16 step process by SATRA (Shoe and Allied Trades Research Association). Are you kidding me? Sixteen steps to determine the comfort of a shoe? As much as that is a valid scientific way to assess shoes, it has to be easier than that!

Let’s simplify the SATRA process down to four key elements: correct size, shape, stability, and style.

 

Size

Our feet are often different sizes and widths. The size you measure doesn’t always fit the best. Shoes of the same size and width also can vary substantially due to manufacturing and materials.

You want to allow 5/8″ room between the end of the longest toes and the end of the shoe, about one thumb width. This is often the 2nd toe, not the great toe. Also, try on shoes at the end of the day. Your foot does swell and it is bigger in the afternoon than in the morning.

Note: Most people are wearing their shoes too small. If your feet are truly different sizes, buy the bigger pair. Better to add a filler to the smaller side than to try to stretch the larger one. If you are going to wear socks with your shoes, have them with you when you try them on. Don’t guess that the nylon sock available at the shoe store is the right thickness.

When in doubt, buy the wider shoe. Most people in the United States actually need a wide not just because of the width of your foot but the thickness of your foot.

 

Shape

The only people I know that look at the shape of a shoe are podiatrists or runners. A shoe is made on a distinct last. This determines the shape of the shoe. A shoe can be curved, semi-curved, or straight lasted. Determine the shape of your foot then try to find a shoe that is made off a last that is the same shape. A straight foot in a curved last is like putting a round peg in a square hole. Not comfortable!

 

Stability

How rigid is the shoe? How rigid is your foot? If you have a wide, flat foot, then you need a stable shoe. If you have a high arched, rigid foot, then a more cushioned flexible shoe will be more comfortable.

A great way to determine if a shoe is stable is to look at the rigidness of the heel counter (the rear end of the shoe) and also to do the twist test. If you can make a shoe pretzel, chances are it is not a stable shoe.

 

Style

Well, this is the zen factor. It doesn’t matter how well a shoe fits if you can’t stand what it looks like and won’t wear it. Choose a style you like to look at and all of a sudden it is instantaneously more comfortable. Funny how the power of suggestion works that way!

 

 

Know Your Lifestyle

 

Many people buy shoes because they have a “feeling” about them. Others just like the way that a pair of shoes looks. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look stylish, but, by the time we reach our 60s, we hopefully know enough about ourselves to choose shoes that match our lifestyle.

It’s better to invest in a few high-quality pairs of shoes that will add value to your day-to-day routine than to buy numerous pairs of colorful, but, ultimately useless shoes that grab your attention in the store.

If you do a lot of walking, invest in good pair of walking shoes. If you have mobility issues or any health challenges or physical limitations, think of stability and safety. If you travel a lot, look at options that are good for walking on uneven sidewalks and perhaps suited for some spontaneous dancing (I’m speaking from experience here). Shoes are not just a fashion statement; they are your connection to the world, literally.

 

Know Your Feet

 

When it comes to shoes, size matters. As women get older, our feet change size and sometimes get wider. This makes it especially important to measure your feet every time you buy a new pair. Don’t order shoes online without an unconditional return policy. Most of all, when it comes to fit, don’t compromise.

Don’t believe a shop assistant when they say that a pair of shoes will “wear in.” They won’t. If they don’t fit perfectly in the store, don’t buy them.

Next, make sure that you buy each pair of shoes with a purpose in mind.  Don’t be afraid to get a pair of heels for special occasions, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that they can be your everyday shoes.

One final tip for getting a great fit is to try shoes on at the end of the day. If you try on a pair of shoes at the end of the day, when your feet are slightly swollen, you will be more likely to get a perfect fit.

 

 

 

Know Which Brands to Shop

 

If you’re looking for fashionable shoes that are known for high quality and comfort,  here are some ideas…

 

Marc Joseph New York

Marc Joseph New York prides itself on offering footwear that is modern & fashionable, yet extremely comfortable and of luxurious quality…most importantly at great value!  Every shoe is designed with an unsurpassed attention to detail, handcrafted in Brazil by skilled artisans

 

Marc Joseph New York Women’s Atlantic Loafer (available in 6 colors)

 

 

They are best known for their luxurious Driving Moccasins and Loafers however as our following grew that extended to a full Lifestyle collection of many products. The footwear is hand- stitched and crafted from premier quality leathers using state of the art machinery and the most contemporary techniques.

 

Marc Joseph New York Women’s leather Midtown Pump (available in 4 colors)

 

 

According to Joseph, the brand’s co-founder and Creative Director, “My goal is to design shoes that are unique and distinguished in character, incorporating the use of the most luxurious hand finished leathers & components, while remaining practical in every sense. My continuous direct communication with our loyal clientele keeps me in tune with what they desire and seek. I place extensive effort into making sure comfort and fit is unmatched. Each and every style is laboratory tested for its quality, comfort and wear and tear.”

 

 

Easy Spirit

Easy Spirit has an entire line of comfortable women’s shoes, with styles ranging from flats to sandals and wedges to clogs.

 

 

Easy Spirit Women’s Safra Dress Pump

 

 

Easy Spirit Women’s Nice Day Thong Sandal

 

 

 

Aerosoles

Aerosoles is a unique shoe company because they create comfortable shoes in a variety of styles – not just flats. Using the same types of fabric and construction allows them to create shoes with maximum comfort.

 

 

Aerosoles Tru Match Women’s Slip On Loafer (available in 4 styles)

 

 

 

 

 

Aerosoles Women’s Landfall Flat (available in 3 colors)

 

 

 

 

Clarks

Clarks is a well-respected brand of British shoemakers that has been around since 1825, and is known for quality and classic styles.

 

 

Clarks Women's Flores Poppy Pump, Cream Leather, 9 Medium US
Clarks Women’s leather Flores Poppy Pump (available in 6 colors)

 

 

Leonardo da Vinci described the human foot as “a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art”. And to make sure we can look after it better than anyone else, Clarks has studied it. From the cradle to old age, they’ve looked at the way it develops and scrutinized its biomechanics (the way it moves at work, rest and play), and what it takes to keep feet healthy and happy.

 

 

Clarks Jeness Cloud Dress Pump with Cushion Plus and Ortholite Foot bed

 

 

 

Earth Shoes

For over 40 years, Earth shoes have been making women’s shoes including casual shoes, sandals, sneakers, wedges, and boots with exceptional comfort and fashionable style to the delight of discerning women.

Earth Shoes are inspired by their founder Anne Kalso – a Danish Yoga Instructor – and her core belief that wellness and healthy living should start from the ground up. Anne created the original wellness shoe with a trademark negative heel design, called Kalso Earth Shoes. They still make the negative heel shoes today, as well as traditional and contemporary fashion comfort shoes.

 

 

 

When Anne Kalso originally set out to make comfortable shoes for women, wellness was her priority. Her yoga practice taught her that comfort and wellness start with proper footwear for your feet. She believed whole body wellness could only be achieved when a healthy lifestyle is complemented with genuinely comfortable shoes, sandals, and boots.

Earth Shoes’ signature comfort features including amazing arch support, breathable materials, padded heels and cushioned comfort – all with fresh style and on-trend looks season after season.

Earth is also eco-conscious and does their small part to do better for our planet by using water-based adhesives, vegetable tanned leathers and glueless boxes.

In 2015, Earth partnered with a non-profit organization, Trees for the Future, and planted over 50,000 trees globally. Today, their goal is to plant another 50,000 trees every year and in doing so, we’re helping keep our air clean and our bodies healthy.

 

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

Finding great-looking comfortable shoes, sandals and boots for older women doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience! There are more options than ever for women our age to find shoes that our feet actually love – while enjoying some fashionable fun.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on finding some great-looking, comfortable shoes.

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

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What Kind of Catheter Do You Need?

Urinary Catheters:

What Kind Do You Need?

 

 

How to Select the Correct Catheter

 

Urinary catheters are a complex and diverse group of medical products. While they all serve a similar ultimate purpose, the specific needs and demands of each individual patient can lead to some confusion as to which product is right for them.

Patients who are considering catheterization as a solution for urinary incontinence should exercise diligence in choosing the right urinary catheter for their lifestyle and health requirements. (Image above: Straight Catheter – Comfort Medical)

 

 

Intermittent Catheters

By far the most common type of catheter is the Intermittent (or Short Term) Catheter.

 

 

An intermittent catheter is inserted into the urethra on demand to empty the bladder, and then removed again as soon as the bladder is empty. Users are taught how to catheterize themselves, and it is a straightforward technique that can be performed by most people.

Even children as young as seven or eight years old can be taught how to catheterize, and by using aids, people with reduced hand function can practice it as well.

Catheterization is undertaken roughly at the same intervals as you would normally go to the toilet, about 4-6 times a day.

Medicare will cover up to 200 of these single-use, disposable catheters each month, allowing for frequent catheterization.

These are available in both straight tip and coude tip varieties. The straight tip is the most frequently used of these two, as Medicare requires patients demonstrate a medical necessity that specifies the use of a coude tipped Intermittent Catheter.

This need will arise from specific patient anatomy which makes straight tip catheter insertion difficult or impossible. This is especially true in men who have an enlarged prostate, where the curved coude tip catheter is the only choice for insertion into the bladder.

 

Hydrophilic Catheters

 

As insertion can be one of the main barriers to appropriate catheter use, it is usually recommended that patients use a hydrophilic catheter.

Hydrophilic catheters are lubricated with sterile water rather than gel, more closely mimicking our body’s own natural fluids. This produces greater ease of catheter insertion, helping encourage patients to catheterize whenever the need arises, leading to greater compliance with catheter treatment.

 

 

Indwelling (Foley) Catheters

Beyond simple intermittent catheters, there are also Indwelling, or Foley, Catheters. This type of catheter is replaced monthly, usually with the aid of a licensed medical professional.

As with Intermittent Catheters, these are available in both straight tip and coude tip varieties. Again, patients who can demonstrate a specific medical need will often opt for the curved coude tip version of a Foley Catheter as they tend to be easier to insert for many people.

The obvious advantage of Foley Catheters is that the frequent process of catheterization must be repeated much less often. For patients with a more active lifestyle that can make frequent catheter insertion difficult, Indwelling Catheters can be a good option.

This type of catheter is also frequently utilized for a preset period of time, such as after a surgery which can lead to urinary incontinence, since the catheter can be inserted by a doctor or nurse while the patient is already in their care. Foley Catheters are also available in a silicone version which enables patients with a documented latex allergy to avoid any unpleasant reactions to catheterization.

 

 

External (Condom) Catheters

For men, Condom Catheters are yet another option for urinary incontinence.

Rather than being inserted directly into the urethra as with Foley and Intermittent Catheters, a Condom Catheter is used externally on the penis.

Medicare provides for up to 30 of these catheters a month. As they can help avoid the sometimes difficult process of catheterization almost entirely, this can be a popular choice for men who have had difficulty with traditional Intermittent Catheters.

 

 

Closed System Catheter

 

While this system is more complex and thus expensive, it will significantly reduce the likelihood of urinary tract infections, by far the most common consequence of catheter use.

A closed system catheter is, at a quick glance, a self-contained, sterile, pre-lubricated catheter housed within a collection bag.

The collection bag eliminates the need to void the urine into a receptacle or toilet, and since it’s already self-containing, it also eliminates the need to hook up any other kind of bag or container. It’s basically ready to use once it has been opened.

These systems often include other features to help assist with the catheterization process and keep everything more sterile. As with all other types of catheters, its main function is to drain the bladder of all urine in a comfortable, smooth process while minimizing risk of bacterial infection of the urinary tract and/or bladder.

 

Conditions for Medicare Coverage of a Closed or Sterile Catheter:

Medicare will cover a Closed or Sterile Catheter System only for patients with very specific sets of medical criteria.

  • If patients already on traditional Intermittent Catheters have had at least 2 urinary infections in the past 12 months, Medicare will cover a closed system.
  • Patients in nursing homes, immunosuppressed patients, patients with vesico-uteral reflux, and spinal cord injured pregnant female patients can also qualify for this system.

 

 

10 Steps to Safe, Simple Self-Catheterization

 

1.  Wash your hands thoroughly.

2.  Set out all necessary supplies – these can include a mirror, the catheter, water, soap and/or a sterile wipe.

3.  Position yourself in front of the toilet or in front of a collection container.

4.  Wash or sterilize around the urethra. For women, wash from front to back, never re-using a wipe. For men, wash in a circular motion, starting at the urethra and working your way out.

5.  Open the catheter. To keep the catheter as clean as possible, do not allow the catheter to touch anything once you pull it out of the wrapping.

6.  Apply lubricant to the catheter if applicable.

7. For women, gently open the labia with your fingers. For men, hold penis straight out from the body and angled slightly upward toward your body and gently squeeze the head of the penis to very gently to open the urethra.

8.  Insert the clean or sterile catheter until urine begins to flow. Gently push the catheter about 1 inch further into the bladder after urine begins to flow.

9.  When the urine stops flowing, shift position a few times to ensure all urine is emptied, then slowly remove the catheter

10.  Wipe the insertion site of any urine, throw away the catheter and wash your hands.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Although intermittent self-catheterization may be more intimidating than a Foley (indwelling) catheter, there are some definite advantages of intermittent catheterization (if it is an option for you).

Intermittent catheterization (IC) is the preferable method to empty the bladder when you can’t urinate naturally. It is safe in the short-, mid- and long-term, minimizing common risks such as urinary tract infections (UTI’s), strictures, bladder stone complications and upper urinary tract deterioration.

Intermittent catheterization is closest to natural urination, and gives the user control and freedom. For short-term users, intermittent catheterization gives a faster recovery and return to normal voiding (emptying of the bladder) after surgery.

Of the different types of intermittent catheters, evidence shows that hydrophilic single use catheters are best at reducing the risk of complications.

Of course, the biggest advantage of self-catheterization is having the freedom to choose when and where to empty your bladder, giving you more control over your life. Using a single-use intermittent catheter also reduces the risk of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) compared to an indwelling catheter.

Navigating the complex decision of which catheter is right for your personal needs should be a collaborative decision between the patient, doctor, and their medical equipment provider.

Ideally, you’re looking for the middle ground between medical necessity and lifestyle preference.  This can be a complicated affair, so be sure to communicate fully and honestly with your doctor during the decision-making process.

 

 

Purchasing Your Catheter Supplies

 

Always purchase your catheter supplies from a company that is a nationally approved medicare provider participant which has been awarded accreditation by Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC), a national accreditation organization authorized by the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.   This will ensure that you are using quality products made to exacting standards, and that your privacy will be protected by law.

 

 

Recommended Catheter Supplier

I recommend Comfort Medical, which is accredited by the ACHC, has a superior reputation for quality and customer service, and is specifically licensed to offer urological supplies to their patients (and are required to keep your information confidential and protected under strict HIPAA guidelines).  Comfort Medical also fills out all necessary insurance forms and bills Medicare or private insurance on your behalf.

Comfort Medical has partnered brand name manufacturers who offer the highest quality products, and ships your catheter and ostomy supplies discreetly to your home.  Shipping from Comfort Medical is free of charge.

Comfort Medical also supports its customers by creating an individualized program; one of their product specialists will contact your physician to verify that you are receiving the correct amount and types of catheter and ostomy supplies, ensuring that you never run out.  The products specialists are always available to you to answer any questions you may have about the supplies.

 

Why Do I Recommend Comfort Medical?

  • Accredited by the ACHC
  • Solid reputation for brand-name product quality and customer service
  • licensed under HIPPAA guidelines, protecting your confidentiality
  • They fill out all the paperwork and bills Medicare or Private Insurance on your behalf
  • Delivery to your home is discreet
  • Shipping is free
  • Comfort Medical stays in contact with your doctor to ensure correct type and volume of supply
  • Comfort Medical product specialists are available if you have any questions

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information about urinary catheters. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

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Is Telomere Testing Real Science?

Is Telomere Testing Real Science?

 

 

TeloYears+TeloCoach

 

… And Should You Bother With It?

 

A fast-growing body of research is finding that telomere length in leukocytes, the white blood cells of the immune system, reliably predicts age-related disease — and can be affected by genetics, chronic stress and health behaviors, such as exercise and diet.

Twenty years ago little was known about the aging process. Many ideas existed but nothing was certain. Today we know how and why we age. We cannot control it just yet, but even that may change in the near future.

The human body has 100 trillion highly-specialized cells. Each of these cells has sets of chromosomes that contain your DNA and RNA, the latter being a compound that tells each cell what its job is. At the ends of each chromosome are cap pieces called telomeres. These telomeres keep the DNA and RNA from getting damaged by all of the activity that goes on in a cell.

 

 

What Your Immortal Cells Can Tell Us

Research demonstrated that the vast majority of cells in our bodies are mortal and have a fixed lifespan. On average, they can divide only 52 times and no more. When the cell cannot divide anymore, it is said to be senescent and susceptible to disease, infection, malfunctioning, and death. The reason cells cannot divide more than 52 times is that half of the telomere goes with the newly-cloned cell and half stays with the parent. Eventually the telomere is so short it cannot divide into two.

A tiny percentage of the cells in your body are immortal and can divide again and again with no limit.

These immortal cells are largely a part of your immune system and fight off diseases and infections as well as repair injuries. Immortal cells also have telomeres that split into two, but an enzyme called telomerase restores the telomeres to their full size after cell division. For some reason the mortal cells in our bodies do not allow telomerase inside. Only the immortal cells do so.

 

While immune cells are essential for our survival, another category of immortal cells are very deadly, and these are cancer cells.

When cancer starts to grow in a person’s body, the immune cells are dispatched to the area, recognize cancer as not belonging there, and try to do away with it. The immune cells bring telomerase to the location where the cancer is growing to clone themselves onsite. However telomerase also fuels the growth of the cancer. Cancer cells need telomerase to clone themselves and cannot do so without it.

 

 

A Possible Cure for Cancer?

One really intriguing possibility presents itself: Can we cure cancer by denying telomerase to the portion of the body where the cancer is growing?

Well, such a medicine has been developed, and right now there are four clinical trials taking place with human cancer patients to test its effectiveness.

To be deemed a success, the medicine must:

(1) kill all cancer cells, not just some of them;

(2) not spread to other parts of the body and take out telomerase where it is assisting immune cells; and

(3) not cause serious side effects like heart attack or stroke.

 


TeloYears “Now and Later” 2-pack

from: Telomere Diagnostics 

 

If successful, the cancer cells would not be able to clone themselves and multiply. The existing cancer cells would become senescent and die. Since 90 percent of all cancer cells are rapidly growing and need telomerase, the medicine has potential to take out all of these cancers at once.

Time will tell if these studies are successful.

 

 

Fountain of Youth

Another intriguing possibility also exists: Can we get the mortal cells in our bodies to welcome telomerase inside, turning these mortal cells into immortal ones? If done to all of our mortal cells, we would then become immortal. Believe it or not, this has already been done, albeit on a small scale.

Researchers collected human senescent cells that are incapable of dividing. Telomerase was force-fed to the cells in a test-tube study.

What happened? The senescent cells had their biological clocks reset to zero and started dividing again, just like baby cells. In one case they divided 26 times before the experiment came to an end.

Importantly, none of the cells in the experiment showed any cancer or tumor growth. This is great news, as scientists had previously speculated that the reason the body does not allow telomerase inside 99 percent of its cells — with the exception of immune cells and some cells that develop during pregnancy — is to prevent healthy cells from becoming cancerous.

Researchers are working on methods to introduce telomerase into mortal cells. It is one thing to do research with just 100 cells in a test tube and another to do it with 100 trillion cells in the entire human body. However, we know exactly what needs to be done to make the Fountain of Youth a reality.

 

The Telomere Effect

The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer
Molecular biologist Elizabeth Blackburn shared a Nobel Prize for her research on telomeres—structures at the tips of chromosomes that play a key role in cellular aging. 

The main message of her breakthrough book, “The Telomere Effect,” is that you have more control over your own aging than you may imagine. You can actually lengthen your telomeres—and perhaps your life—by following sound health advice, the authors argue, based on a review of thousands of studies.

“Telomeres listen to you, they listen to your behaviors, they listen to your state of mind,” said Blackburn, president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif.

Telomeres sit at the end of strands of DNA, like the protective caps on shoelaces. Stress from a rough lifestyle will shorten those caps, making it more likely that cells will stop dividing and essentially die.

Too many of these senescent cells accelerates human aging, the pair say. This doesn’t cause any particular disease, but research suggests that it hastens the time when whatever your genes have in store will occur—so if you’re vulnerable to heart disease, you’re more likely to get it younger if your telomeres are shorter, said Epel, director of the University of California, San Francisco’s Aging, Metabolism and Emotions Center.

“We can provide a new level of specificity and tell people more precisely with clues emerging from telomere science, what exactly about exercise is related to long telomeres, what exact foods are related to long telomeres, what aspects of sleep are more related to long telomeres,” Epel added.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Should we all just sit around and wait for more scientific telomere discoveries to happen?

That would be a great mistake, because we already know of four sets of factors that each correlate with longevity, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and dementia (as well as many other deadly conditions).

 

These four factors are:

  • aerobic exercise,
  • cognitive enrichment,
  • psychological states of mind
  • nutrition

Discover how well you are agingThere is a proven correlation between telomere length and these four factors. For example, one study found that runners have been found to have longer telomeres than sedentary people.

The bottom line is that if you take great care of your body,  cell division is postponed, just as  research also shows that if you take lousy care of your body and the cells are under stress, they will divide more quickly, shortening your telomeres.

Doing the right things with these four factors will not make you immortal, but it may be the difference between dying in your 90s and dying in your 60s.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided some practical, empowering information. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

WalkInLab.com

 

 

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Create Your Own Blog

 

 

Is Your Guy Still Into His Ex?

Is His Ex Ruining Your Relationship?

 

 

Don’t Allow Yourself to be Second in Love

 

Even though he is not legally married, doesn’t mean he’s not still emotionally married….

Some men have a very difficult time emotionally letting go of an ex-wife, especially when the divorce was not their decision. Add children to the mix, and dating a guy like this will make you feel like a constant loosening third wheel. Yikes!

 

You would think that if a marriage ended due to:

  • His wife cheating
  • His wife having a full on affair
  • His wife leaving him for another man
  • His wife completely falling out of love with him
  • His wife having zero respect for him—and clearly demonstrating this

…that he would not only want to move on emotionally, but also have very little to do with her. Unless, of course, they have children, and if so, keeping the communication strictly about the kids.

Although that might sound great in theory, there are men who are either too ego driven—not accepting their fault in the divorce, too insecure with themselves—to believe they deserve better, or a combination of both.

 

 

Your Man’s Ego – Is it a Problem?

The ego of a man (and frankly the competitiveness) will convince him that he still wants a woman who has left him, even if he didn’t try hard enough to keep (or value) her when he had the chance. Once she “causes” the demise of her marriage—cheating—or leaving him, his ego will set in and determine that he still wants her. His ego will convince him to do anything to win her back. What he fails to realize is that most women, when they emotionally move on—due to lack of feeling secure—are hard to obtain again.

Often, when a woman decides to have an affair—emotional or physical—it is because she is not feeling emotionally secure, financially secure or supported by her husband anymore. Once this break-down has happened, winning her back is not always an option. However, the ego will convince him to try even if it’s not about honestly wanting to keep her.

There are men who cannot accept a woman being the one to end things. So when she does, it is a huge bruise to their ego, making it their mission to get back together with her just so that he can be the one to officially end things. Of course this will usually tend to backfire in his face. And if you are dating or in a relationship with a guy like this, it will make you feel like you are never good enough since he is always thinking and talking about his Ex.

 

 

Is Your Man Insecure?

Many insecure men cannot deal with the fact that a woman has ended the relationship because they did something wrong. When this happens, they will seek forgiveness in the form of being a doormat for their Ex. Men like this will also look for things they are doing wrong or “think” you’re unhappy with—assuming they will never be good enough for you since, they weren’t good enough for their Ex.

Even if he emotionally pushed her towards the decision to get divorced by his actions (or lack of), taking ownership for his part is just as hard for an ego driven man as it is for a guy who has insecurity issues. Denial is an immature way of dealing with any problem, however so many men are guilty of this.

The man’s denial can also cause him to be subconsciously emotionally invested in his ex-wife—who no longer wants him. And if he’s in denial, how can he be expected to move forward with a new love? If your man is not dealing with his issues of insecurity over the failure of his previous relationship, it will  likely end up being a relationship killer for the two of you.

It might be hard to determine if your man is insecure; men who are insecure don’t always acknowledge their faults in the demise of a relationship. Instead they will focus on what their ex-wife did—cheating or leaving—in order to make themselves feel better.

If he’s not being honest with himself about what he did to push her away, he will continue to be emotionally connected to his ex-wife.  He will always be concerned about upsetting her and will work to please and appease her. Until your man can own up to his mistakes and forgive himself, he will remain tied to her.

 

 

Tell-tale Signs That Your Guy is Still Emotionally Stuck On His Ex:

 

  • If you and his Ex are both in need of his support—he will choose her over you
  • If he has kids, he won’t (or hardly) ever switch custody days with his Ex—for anything important having to do with you.
  • He reminds you (frequently) that she is the mother of his children and will always be in his life (duh)—but that should not mean she trumps you!
  • He will gladly let his Ex switch her custody days whenever she feels like it.
  • He will leave work early to pick up the kids for his ex-wife on her days—but she will never reciprocate.
  • If she calls him upset, he will stress out until he can call her back.
  • He has zero backbone when she is around.
  • In her presence he will be wanting to get her attention like a lost puppy.
  • Even if she is in a relationship, living with a guy or remarried, he will still go out of his way to help her when she is sick, has surgery or is injured.
  • Her plans will always trump your plans that you have made together.

 

 

Final Thoughts

As woman we really (really) want to believe when a guy proclaims that he is over his Ex, that he actually is, especially if it’s been years since the divorce. Unfortunately, men like this can be convincing because they are in denial themselves.

Take a long hard look at your relationship. What are you getting out of this? Would you stay in a relationship if they were unfaithful with someone new? What’s the difference with them being in love with someone “old”?

You get to choose your experiences and it’s time to think about what you really want. Find someone who puts you first, not second place to a ghost.

Instead of being present for yourself, you are torturing yourself with your partner’s past and feeling inadequate. You need to accept that your partner’s past makes them who they are. The person you have fallen in love with is a product of their past influences. They are not the person they were in that relationship. Look at them closely. They don’t even look the same.

If you can, communicate your fears to your partner. Ask them to support you and reassure as you work through these feelings. If they are the person you are supposed to be with, the feelings will fade as your relationship becomes more real and established.

Most men don’t want to admit that they are still in-love, harboring feelings or care (to a high degree) about their Ex—and what their Ex thinks or feels about the them—when the reasons she finally left were due to falling out of love or cheating. He will think that by still harboring feelings for her, he is pathetic. Is it pathetic to admit these feelings? Or is it more cowardly to be in a relationship with another woman knowing you are secretly pining for validation or in need of an ego boost? Either scenario, being with a guy like this is a lose-lose situation for you.

Ladies, being with a man who has not sorted out his true feelings and emotions (other than some therapy) regarding his Ex means that you will live in the shadows of her. Until he is open and willing—and actually deals with his unresolved feelings—he can never be the man who can one-hundred percent give himself to you. You deserve to be with a man who is emotionally baggage free. Don’t allow yourself to come second in love.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope you found this article helpful and empowering. 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

-Laurie

 

Recommended Reading:

What Men Won’t Tell You: Women’s Guide to Understanding Men

How to read their minds, what men want, why men cheat, why men won’t commit, why men lose interest, and how to avoid rejection from men.  By Ryan Thant.

What Men Won’t Tell You: Women’s Guide to Understanding Men (How to read their minds, what men want, why men cheat, why men won’t commit, why men lose interest, how to avoid rejection from men) by [Thant, Ryan]
Read Reviews

 

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A Step by Step Guide for Moving On

 

 

Being in a relationship is great. Loneliness rarely sets in because you always have someone to spend the day with or talk to when you need to vent. You experience new things with this person, like seeing plays, going to concerts, traveling, exploring new restaurants and shops, etc. You can also learn from this person by conversing and challenging each other to understand different ideas and philosophies.

Oh, and there’s sex! Who doesn’t love sex? So being in a relationship sounds great, and on paper, it is. However, in reality, relationships aren’t bulletproof. You’ll argue about trivial nonsense like where to eat, or what movie to watch. Relationships are complicated and stressful so failure is always a great possibility. Now, no one who is happy in their relationship would want it to end; unfortunately, we don’t always get what we want. Like the famous saying goes, “All good things must eventually come to an end.”

Dealing with the aftermath of a failed relationship is always a tough thing to overcome, but you can make it easier on yourself by being proactive with these steps:

 

 

 

Accept the Truth

 

Honestly, there are many things that can act as a catalyst in ending a relationship: cheating, lack of communication, or just plain boredom. It doesn’t really matter where the relationship went wrong, and you’ll only drive yourself insane trying to rework the timeline attempting to pin down the exact moment in which everything fell apart.

Instead, take a deep breath and swallow the truth. That’s step number one: accepting that it’s over. This will be the hardest step for most people, as optimism naturally takes over when the relationship ends. You’ll try to get the person back, hanging onto the notion that there may be a chance he will take you back.

Let go. The quicker you accept the truth, the quicker you’ll get over him or her and start dating again.

 

 

Reflect on the Failed Relationship

According to Dr. Karen Weinstein, a psychologist from New York, you should look back at the relationship for everything it was: both the good and the bad. Don’t idealize it. Instead, make a list of the things about it that didn’t make you happy. You might find some reasons it’s better that you two went your separate ways.

A study from the journal, Social Psychological and Personality Science, also shows that thoughtful reflection about a relationship after it ends can help speed up the healing process — this isn’t wallowing, though. If you’re not in a place where you can think about your relationship clearly, that’s okay. Give it some time and then try again.

 

 

 

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Connect With Your Friends

The worst thing you can do after a relationship ends is become a recluse. You see it in the movies all the time (typically romantic comedies). The protagonist is lying in bed, sulking over their broken heart. Friends then burst into the room — usually throwing back the curtains to let light into the depressing, dark room — and finger through the protagonist’s filthy food scraps and unkempt belongings.

For the rest of us, we have to be the ones to instigate a “hang out” with our friends, because they have lives too. Also, when you tell someone to leave you alone in real life . . . they usually do. So be a big boy or girl and call a friend to spend time with you.

 

 

Talk it Out

Talking through the breakup with close friends can also be therapeutic. A study by Grace Larson of Northwestern University found that talking through how you feel now that you’re no longer in a relationship and revisiting key points of the breakup, such as when you thought it was going south and how it affected your view on romance, can help you regain your own identity and sense of self now that you’re no longer in a couple.

While talking it through, it may be helpful to consider your own story from a third-person perspective. In other words, put yourself in your friend’s (or someone else’s) shoes and describe it from their viewpoint. Research shows that this kind of distancing helps you reflect and gain insight from what you’ve experienced without falling into feeling sorry for yourself.


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Get Busy

This step ties into the second one. Make sure you find something to do. Let me clarify that this step is mostly for the times when you are alone. What I did was watch movies, play lots of video games, listen to my MP3 player, and read a bunch of books.

Of course, hanging out with a friend is a great way to take your mind off of the relationship and your ex, but they have lives too and can’t spend every waking minute consoling you. So, do anything as long as you’re not just sitting in your room browsing the Internet.

What you do doesn’t have to be something big, either. In fact, research indicates that even just doing something with the intention of it helping you could be effective. Journaling intentionally is one example of something small that can be really helpful.

I suggest getting yourself a beautiful new journalling notebook to inspire your new habit. 

Some Examples:

 

 

 

Learn Something New

Similar to the previous step, this step requires you to get up and do something. Where it differs though, is in what you are doing. Step three gets your mind off of your ex, but it allows you to do unproductive things for the sake of healing.

Step four is different in that you should do things considered “productive.” I took the time to write and to learn how to play piano. I also took up the hobby of paper crafting. So do something productive like writing, learning to play an instrument, learning a new language, or taking up a hobby.

This is a crucial step of rebuilding your identity — one that doesn’t include your ex. It’s been shown that people who strongly identified themselves with their partners had a harder time getting over the relationship, so the more you can build a new you or rediscover old hobbies, or even rediscover what it’s like to do your old hobbies as a single person, the closer you’ll get to being happy without your ex.

 

 

Work Out

Exercising is good for your body as well as your mind. It has been proven to make you more focused and energized. Having focus and energy will help motivate you to do things like those listed in step four. Plus, if you are out of shape, then exercising will help you tone that body so when you are ready to get back to dating, you’ll be more confident about your physical appearance.

 

 

Take a Vacation if You Can

This step may not be possible for some of you. If money is tight, or if you’re young and don’t have a job, then this step may not be too useful. For those who can spare the cash, take a mini-vacation. You don’t have to fly off to Hawaii, Italy, or somewhere outlandish.

When a relationship ends, it’s hard to give complete, undivided attention to work and school. Sometimes you need to shake loose and enjoy life.

And if you’re having impulses to do something crazy — like dye your hair, get a tattoo, quit your job, and move to New Zealand — you’re better off waiting to do those things until you’re a little more stable and in control. A vacation could be a good way to feel a little impulsive without being totally out of control. You can try on a new identity later on down the line.

 

 

Cut Yourself Some Slack

Slightly different from going on vacation, this step encourages you to take a break from dating. A common mistake people make after being dumped is to date someone immediately after. That’s a no-no. Don’t make someone your rebound — that’s never nice.

Instead, take a break to reflect on yourself. Spend time working on bettering your life through your hobbies, your schooling, your career, or whatever else. Stay away from dating because there are too many things that can go wrong with that. You could annoyingly bring up your ex to your new partner, causing them to question your sanity and attraction to them. If your ex cheated on you, then you will most likely have trust issues with the new girlfriend or boyfriend (I’m guilty of this).

So just take a break. You don’t have to wait a whole year like I did before getting back into the dating scene, but at least give it a few months.

You might even be over them faster than you think. Most people overestimate how long it will take for them to get over their ex significant other, especially if they weren’t involved with the decision to end the relationship in the first place. So it might seem like things are never going to get better and that you’re never going to find someone else, but those thoughts simply aren’t true.

 

Recommended Reading:

The Breakup Bible: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Healing From a Breakup or Divorce
 

 

Embrace Change in Your Life

I should note here that these steps don’t have to be followed in any order, with the exception of the first step. In fact, these steps shouldn’t really be “steps” at all. You should continue doing all of them simultaneously or interchangeably until you have reached an emotional state you are satisfied with. That being said, I believe this final step is the MOST important step, hence why I saved it for last. It’s going to sound a bit harsh and a bit drastic, but I promise it is necessary.

The final thing you need to do is change your life. This can mean almost anything and will differ from person to person, but one thing should always be done. Get rid of your ex’s stuff. Throw away the pictures, videos, notes, presents, etc. or at least hide them away. You cannot completely move forward if you are clinging to the past.

 

 

Also, I’ve never met someone who was comfortable with their significant other having things from their previous relationships. It’s unhealthy and stubborn. Why would you want to hold onto memories of a failed relationship? I mean, sure, there were good moments in the relationship, but the very fact that it ended means that those good memories were outweighed by the bad. Like in the movie 500 Days of Summer, if you just stop focusing on all the good times from the relationship, you’ll remember all the bad ones.

 

 

Cut Him Out (Entirely!)

The next thing to do is get rid of your ex. Wait a minute, that makes no sense . . . I mean, we are already broken up, right? Wrong. In today’s Internet-driven age, most people never really get rid of their ex. They keep them as friends on various social media platforms.

This usually happens because both parties agree to “still be friends.” Don’t do this! Get rid of him or her. You will only hurt yourself by pretending that you can still be friends. I know it sounds mean, but you’ll regret it when he gets a new girlfriend and floods his Facebook with pictures of them kissing and loving each other or bombards his “wall” with status updates about how awesome the new girl is (the alternative applies for guys as well).

 

 

Protect yourself. Stop worrying about him. If in the future you decide you can be friends, then go ahead (unless your new partner has an issue, which is entirely understandable), but during the healing process, it’s best to shut them out entirely.

Besides, one study showed that people who cyber-stalked their exes tended to have more negative feelings about them, missed them more, and in general felt worse about the breakup. Don’t do it! Removing them from your social networks will make it much harder to do.

 

 

Expand Your Social Circle, and Possibly Your Career

Also, if you are young and can afford to find a new part-time job, then do so. A nice change of scenery and routine will help cast the illusion that things are better. The effort to move forward in life and create major changes to your job and circle of friends will help motivate you to become the person you want to be.

 

Image result for expand your social circle

 

Building off of what I just said, you should also find new friends. Now hold on! Before you call bullshit and close your Internet browser, hear me out. If you have friends that are exclusively your friends, who will stick by YOU and not your ex, then keep them.

However, if you had mutual friends, then you might want to consider distancing yourself from them. After all, your friends won’t be courteous enough to plan out every “hang out” so that you and your ex aren’t invited to the same event. Not saying that they are bad friends, just that it is not their obligation to ensure this doesn’t happen. How awkward would that be to get invited to a party, movie, or some other event by one of your friends, only to run into your ex when you arrive? Remember, you can always find new friends. And the ones that can’t choose you over the ex are probably not worth being friends with anyway.

 

 

Final Thoughts

So there you go. Those are my tips on how to get over a long-term relationship. Once again, not all of these will work for everyone. You have to choose which ones feel most natural to you. Maybe you don’t want to get a new job, and that’s fine. Maybe you really do want to be left alone, and that’s okay too.

Just remember that all things heal in time. So, cheer up, because there really are plenty of fish in the sea. And I know it hurts now, but eventually you will look back at all of this and laugh.

Use this time as an opportunity to work on yourself. Make new friends, work on personal goals, and play some damn video games if you want! It takes work to be happy and to get over that long-term relationship, but when you finally do…you’ll wish it would happen again. No I’m just kidding! But honestly, at least you will be wiser from your experiences and you’ll know how to handle it if or when it happens again.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope you found this article helpful and empowering.

If you would like to speak with a psychic to help you get over him,  I recommend Psychic Access.


Get A FREE Reading Now!

All Psychic Access psychics are tested and verified, and you can start with a totally free reading to see if it feels right for you.

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

How to Stop Being Manipulated

How to Stop Being Manipulated

 

 

Signs That You’re Being Psychologically Manipulated

 

Have you ever experienced it at the hands of someone close to you? What about with a spouse, colleague, a boss, a friend, or a family member? Sometimes you may even be controlled by a neighbor!

Control is a powerful word. It is a powerful force within the human race. It denotes a power to dictate, influence, maneuver, or direct.

If you look up the term “control,” it is synonymous with intimidating words including: sway, authority, jurisdiction, command, dominance, mastery, sovereignty, supremacy, or ascendancy. These words are certainly intimidating to say the least, especially if you feel you are being controlled by someone unnecessarily.

No one likes to be controlled. It usurps our ability to act using free will, experience the world as we see it, and choose our values, beliefs, and actions without interference. On the flip side, if control never existed the world would be a mess, our jobs would not be performed as well, our lives would be chaotic, and we would lose the order we are accustomed to. This kind of control makes sense. We need this kind of control in our daily lives.

The type of control in which your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are being manipulated by another person can steal every ounce of who you are. The manipulation is so overpowering that you can begin to suffer shame, guilt, negative self-talk, or lowered self-esteem – at no fault of your own. If you see a continual pattern of this behavior, you are in an unhealthy and one-sided relationship.

Feeling controlled by someone can be one of the worst feelings. We’re individuals with an agency toward self-motivation and freedom. Control “cramps” our ability to explore the world around us, develop and grow in our own ways, and experience our ability to make decisions and learn from them.

Control can dismantle relationships (personal and professional), destroy trust, and make others defensive and resentful toward the perpetrator of control. As we all can probably agree, control must be balanced with boundaries, respect, compassion, understanding, and patience. Wouldn’t you feel better if your boss, spouse, or parent would balance control with patience, boundaries, and respect? Without these things, control becomes bondage and abuse.

It often isn’t easy to point out the control, stand up to it, and say “no more.”

I’m of the firm belief that control is spiritual, as well. It is a power that dominates us far beyond logistics and intelligence. That’s why in domestic violence situations (or even employee-employer relationships) the victim struggles to do exactly what they (and others) know they should do. Fear of abandonment or standing up for oneself is often a key factor in these situations.

 

Why Do You Allow Yourself to Be Controlled?

 

Fear may be present related to one or more of the following:

  • Loss of friendship or camaraderie
  • Loss of opportunity or employment
  • Development of a complicated or inaccurate social status/reputation
  • Argument or confrontation
  • Temporary feelings of discomfort
  • Loss of essentials/basics for living

 

It’s important to be able to identify control and abuse. It can come to you in a sweet way, a dominant way, a bribing way, etc. Narcissism, sociopathy, borderline personality traits, selfishness, and entitlement can show up in many toxic relationships.

Emotional manipulators drive you crazy because their behavior is so irrational. Make no mistake about it—their behavior truly goes against reason, so why do you allow yourself to respond to them emotionally and get sucked into the mix?

The more irrational and off-base someone is, the easier it should be for you to remove yourself from their traps. Quit trying to beat them at their own game. Distance yourself from them emotionally, and approach your interactions with them like they’re a science project (or you’re their shrink if you prefer that analogy). You don’t need to respond to the emotional chaos—only the facts.

Maintaining an emotional distance requires awareness. You can’t stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don’t recognize when it’s happening. Sometimes you’ll find yourself in situations where you’ll need to regroup and choose the best way forward. This is fine, and you shouldn’t be afraid to buy yourself some time to do so.

 

Recommended Reading: 

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do

 

 

See the Signs –

Pay attention to signs of psychological manipulation: do any of these examples sound familiar?

 

Keeping track of you

Unfortunately, there are people who will try their hardest to keep “track of you.” What I mean by this is the person who keeps in contact with you (only to keep lines of communication open) for their own benefit. For example, Bob (a long-time colleague who never liked you) may try to text, email, or find you online or at other social media platforms to see how far you have gotten in your life. His interactions with you may be sporadic and he may not even attempt to contact you more than 1-3x a year. This kind of person may have an intent to use you or manipulate you. It’s important for me to add that they may even “cyber-stalk” you.

 

What to do: In situations such as this, I encourage you to be very careful when it comes to how much you let this person into your world. It’s okay to have boundaries. You can’t 100% trust a person who didn’t like you at first and now wants to connect.  Take baby steps or no steps at all. And that’s ok.

 

 

They befriend you only when it’s convenient for them

Have you known a person who treats you really poorly and doesn’t give you the vibe that they like you, but then one day they begin to smile with you, laugh with you, and embrace you? Be careful. It is true some people can grow more accustomed to you and begin to like you. I’ve had people in my life reject me one minute and then accept me the next because they realized they misjudged me. But there’s always that small group of people who are not misjudging you. They just don’t like you. And that isn’t necessarily your fault!

 

What to do: You can’t fully trust someone who switches from kind to mean; mean to kind. We all have mood swings but I’m not referring to mood swings here. Keep up firm boundaries and be careful with what you tell them. Keep your life private. Do you really need to be an open book?

 

 

They text/email/instant message you with multiple emoticons

This may sound immature and more common to adolescents, but not necessarily.  Emoticons can be a nice way to express your emotions and get a point across. However, there are others who will “abuse” the emoticons as a way to control how you see them and their interactions with you. For example, a heated conversation my be occurring with someone via Facebook and to “control” you the person may litter the entire message with smiley faces, winks, hearts, etc. It throws you off. It can be misleading.

 

What to do: Look beyond the emotional control. Don’t respond to the emoticons unless you feel ok doing so or unless you are well aware of their “game.” I encourage you to also stay away from arguments via social media. Messages have a high possibility of getting mixed or confused via social media. Texting back and forth about emotional topics is also not a good idea. Do it the mature way (i.e., face-to-face or phone).

 

 

They smile with you and interact positively but you get a negative vibe

Women can be very guilty of this as men typically don’t act this way. But if you are interacting with someone who smiles with you, has a positive tone of voice, has positive body language (i.e., leaning toward you, touching you, listening, etc) but you don’t buy it 100%, keep your eyes open. Keep in mind that you could also just be misjudging them, too.

 

What to do: If you sense that someone isn’t being 100% honest with you or may be trying to deceive you, tread lightly. Don’t get caught up in what you hope happens. Be wise in what you share with them about your life and keep firm boundaries until you feel you are able to trust them. Also question why you suspect the person isn’t being honest with you. Are you envious or angry with the person? Do you struggle with trust? Has this person wronged you in the past?

 

 

They loan you something or put you in “charge” but then micromanage you

This is tough. The person may let you borrow some material possession, or money, or put you “in charge” of something and then give you absolutely no space. You’ll want to question if there is a foundation of trust and respect within the relationship.

 

What to do: If you feel the person isn’t trusting you, willing to let you borrow things, or seems as if they don’t care about your feelings, question the relationship. Consider why the person is this way and ask yourself if bringing up your feelings is going to help anything at all. Some people simply don’t trust you and have a need for control. If you feel uneasy with this, bring it up and explain – without being argumentative – that you don’t appreciate their attempts at controlling you.

 

 

You are being monitored like a child

Some people “monitor” those they love and care about for reasons that may be justifiable. In a loving relationship, for example, a husband may monitor his wife when she leaves the house to go shopping. He may call or text her to know of her whereabouts because he cares. However, if someone attempts to control where you are, how long you are away, and what you’re doing to a point where you feel suffocated, demeaned, or humiliated, you’ve got a problem you shouldn’t ignore.

 

What to do: Talk to the person about how they are making you feel and avoid being judgmental, angry, or frustrated when discussing it. The last thing you want to do is ignite a fire unnecessarily. Be calm and express how you feel. If you continue to see a pattern of this behavior, consider whether the relationship is worth it and if you’re likely to experience more controlling behaviors by the person in the future.

 

 

You are micromanaged or “given” an identity

No one likes to be micromanaged because the act itself can imply that you are not capable. However, the truth of micromanagement is that the person who is doing it is only doing it because they have anxiety, insecurities, or a need for control. Micromanagement doesn’t always have something to do with you. Even so, micro-managers are frustrating to say the least. What about people who push their interests onto you in hopes of “transforming” you?

 

What to do: Make it clear that you do not appreciate being micromanaged. You can do this in a variety of ways such as being subliminal (i.e., taking control without permission, answering the micro-manager in a way that displays your ability to take care of your responsibilities, staying on top of your responsibilities, etc). Once micro-managers see that you are in control and not them, they will (in some cases) back off. When it comes to your identity, just be who you are.

 

 

You are bombarded with expectations, rules, or wants by the controller

I have experienced this in multiple cases throughout my life and I can honestly say, this can feel like the worst type of control. Any encounter with this type of person can feel like a job. You also may feel let down time and time again by this person because all of your encounters are negative due to their need to control you in some way. For example, a person like this may see you shopping and instead of coming over to you to talk or say hi, they come over to you with a judgmental attitude, a barrage of questions, or may even ask you for a favor.

 

What to do: Avoid them until you are ready (or strong enough) to take their controlling behavior without getting angry. If you get angry or show any signs of anger, the controller will only flip things on you and blame you. Distance yourself little by little until you feel you are gaining better self-control. Minimize the person’s expectations, rules, or wants and keep in mind that you are only human. Do what you can but avoid feeling responsible for pleasing them. That’s not your job. And if you feel you need to “please” them, consider whether or not the relationship is healthy and worth it.

 

 

Staunch religious or moral/ethical standards are used to guilt-trip you

It is a wonderful thing to see God in operation in your life. It is great to desire God’s principles, values, truths, and desires in your life. But a person who uses these virtues against you to make you feel bad is attempting to control you. A true and loving God would never guilt-trip you. The God I know is steadfast in His precepts but never condescending or harmful.

 

What to do: Keep the truth in the forefront of your mind. Don’t let this type of person guilt-trip you. Now, there is a thing called a “conscience” and if you are feeling guilty about something own that and move on. It’s the only way to grow. But if you have nothing to be guilty about, don’t let this person guilt-trip you.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Once you’ve identified a manipulator, you’ll begin to find their behavior more predictable and easier to understand. This will equip you to think rationally about when and where you have to put up with them and when and where you don’t.

You can establish boundaries, but you’ll have to do so consciously and proactively. If you let things happen naturally, you’re bound to find yourself constantly embroiled in difficult conversations. If you set boundaries and decide when and where you’ll engage a difficult person, you can control much of the chaos.

The only trick is to stick to your guns and keep boundaries in place when the person tries to cross them, which they will. Remember: nobody can manipulate you without your consent and cooperation.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope you found this article helpful and empowering. 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

-Laurie

 

Recommended Reading:

Narcissists Exposed: 75 Things Narcissists Don’t Want You to Know by Drew Keys. Read reviews.

 

You may also be interested in:

Are You Dating a Narcissist?

Is Your Guy Still Into His Ex?

How to Get Over Him

Preparing Yourself For a Psychic Reading – Sample Questions

Looking for Love After 40 – It’s Different

Losing a Loved One – Can a Psychic Medium Help You With Grief?

How to Choose the Right Diet Plan for Your Unique Life

Science Proves Coffee Slows Down Aging

Find The Best Bathroom Scale for You

Should You Be Taking Probiotics Daily?

The Fix for Cracked Heels

The Best Foot Bath Massagers – Full Reviews

Coloring For Adults is a Healthy Hobby

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

Is the MyPurMist Inhaler Worth Buying?

Does Biosil Actually Do Anything?

 

How to Make Your Man More Romantic

How to Make Your Man More Romantic

 

 

Sick of pining for a really romantic holiday because your guy just doesn’t get it? You are not alone. Many women long for romance but are with men who just doesn’t have a clue how to be romantic.

The thought of romance may trigger sadness and regret at the kind of relationship you’d like to have, but don’t. It may cause you to feel nostalgic for earlier times in your relationship when your partner swept you off your feet, but that doesn’t happen anymore.

If it seems to you that there is no romance in your love relationship or marriage, this could be a cause of bitterness within you and conflict between you and your mate.

 

Romance is Subjective

Men and women certainly have differing definitions about what is sexy or romantic. Generally speaking, women’s sexual fantasies tend to be filled with more romantic interludes then do men’s. Many women find a candlelit bubble bath or spontaneous picnic at dusk to be a great way to get in the mood sexually, as well as a way to express and share their love. This desire for romance begins in girlhood when young women are entranced by the promise of Prince Charming coming to life.

For boys (and later, men), their sexual fantasies tend to focus more directly on sex without all those romantic frills. So it’s not that he loves you less than you love him; it may just be that his expression of love excludes that prelude of chocolate and roses. Another point to consider: Some men have a harder time expressing their deeper emotional feelings, and fear feeling vulnerable if they do.

So now you know why trying to get romance out of your guy is like trying to get blood from a stone. But this doesn’t mean you are stuck with that.

Most women in this situation never say anything to their guy about their need for romance. They figure it won’t help, or they are afraid of expressing their desire for romance, or they fear being rejected or embarrassed in some way.

Also, some women think that romance is only “valid” if it’s a surprise or if it arrives from him without prompting, and if they have to ask for the attention, then the romance is destroyed. All of these excuses prevent you from improving the situation, and they leave him digging himself a deeper and deeper hole.

 

 

Teaching Your Man About Romance

 

 

Romance, Like Most Things, Can be Taught

We ALL learn things by someone telling us how it works, why it works, showing us how they do it and then offering positive reinforcement for doing it ourselves.

Here are some steps you can take to make romance bloom more easily between the two of you:

 

 

Spell It Out

He isn’t a mind reader, so he may not even know what you find romantic! If you just say “do something romantic,” he may feel overwhelmed or insecure and end up doing nothing. Or you could wind up with beer and pretzels, watching football on TV. Be specific — for example, say to him: “It would be really romantic if we could have strawberries and champagne by candlelight while I’m in some pretty new robe that you get me.”

 

Drop Gift Hints

When it comes to presents, it is still very reasonable to tell him what you want (“I think a bracelet would be so romantic. I just love turquoise stones, don’t you?”). If you can’t bear to do that, try putting a little note on his pillow that says: “I really love surprises but am kind of hoping for some earrings this year.” If you trust a girlfriend enough, ask her to call him and tell him what you have been pining for.

Ask for simple things: Don’t ask for expensive gifts or items that are hard to size. And if you have children, don’t bring them into it, because they might end up feeling responsible for your romantic happiness — which is not a good place to be.

 

Recommended Reading: 10 Things Every Woman Needs to Know About Men
Be a Role Model

Romance is a two-way street. Be romantic yourself all year long if you want him to be, too. Little gestures go a long way: Touch his face tenderly, spontaneously hug and kiss him while you are out, give him unsolicited massages or put love notes in his briefcase. Even reminiscing about wonderful times you have had together is romantic. As he enjoys these gestures, he will be moved to reply in kind.

 

Be Revealing

If you open up to him, you will create instant intimacy. Try telling him something personal about yourself and your feelings, and ask him then to tell you something in return. This will bring you closer and also decrease his fears of romance. You could trade sexual fantasies, tell each other what you like in bed, or just reveal something that scares you or you have always dreamed of doing. Also, you might try dancing! This a great way to be romantic and intimate at the same time.

 

Give Him Positive Reinforcement

He wants to love you and feel close to you, but he needs to see that romancing you will further his goals. So after you tell him what to do, give him feedback. Tell him how much you liked it, what a turn-on it was, how much you appreciate his doing it and how you really hope he does it again soon — hopefully before next Valentine’s Day.

 

 

Final Thoughts

While it’s helpful to know how you want to be loved, try to be flexible too. Be willing to communicate to your partner what feels romantic to you, but don’t go so far as to dictate or micro-manage a romantic experience that your mate might be trying to provide for you.

It can be a bit of a balancing act. Follow the tips above, give information about what your preferences are,  and invite yourself to appreciate the efforts that your partner is putting into loving you and making you feel special– in his unique way.

Receive the love that’s being offered to you…even if it comes in a slightly different “package” then you had in mind. This will open the door to even more romance to come.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope you found this article helpful and empowering.

If you would like to speak with a psychic to help you move toward a more romantic relationship,  I recommend Psychic Access.


Get A FREE Reading Now!

 

All Psychic Access psychics are tested and verified, and you can start with a totally free reading to see if it feels right for you.

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

Are You Dating a Narcissist?

Are You Dating a Narcissist?

 

 

 

Don’t Ignore the Red Flags!

Image result for red flags

 

People are drawn to narcissists because they can be charming and charismatic. In fact, one study showed that their likable veneer was only penetrable after seven meetings. 

Many people find that courtship with their narcissistic partner was wonderful, but abuse soon followed.  With greater insight, however, most people would probably admit that there were signs that were overlooked.

 

 

 

Check Your Blind Spots

 

There are unconscious explanations why you might attracted to a narcissist. Here are some reasons why you might not recognize a narcissist:

 

Image result for love is blind

 

Sexual attraction

The greater the physical attraction and sexual intensity, the easier it is to ignore red flags. Individuals who can see auras maintain that sexual energy literally obfuscates mental and emotional energy — why lust is blind.

 

Seduction

Narcissists are skilled manipulators. Some can be quite seductive, and not just sexually. They may be adept listeners and communicators or allure you with, flattery, self-disclosure, and vulnerability — just the opposite of what you might expect from a narcissist.

 

Idealization

Often narcissists are very accomplished, successful, good-looking, powerful, and/or multi-talented. It’s easy to idealize them and want to share in the benefits of their exceptionalism, especially if you feel inferior. People with low self-esteem, such as codependents, are more likely to idealize someone they admire. They may be drawn to typical narcissistic traits that they themselves lack, such as power and boldness. The downside is that idealization makes us ignore contrary information.

 

Familiarity

If you had a narcissistic parent, being with a narcissist will feel familiar — like family. This attraction happens beneath consciousness and is often referred to as “chemistry.” With personal therapy, this attraction can change so that you easily spot someone who is abusive or self-centered. You might even be repelled instead of attracted to a narcissist.

 

Codependency

If you have low self-esteem or are codependent, you may be unaware of your feelings, which can guide you. You may not feel entitled to respect and having your needs and wants met. Most codependents tend to accommodate and people-please other people — a perfect fit for a narcissist. This predisposition is stronger in early dating when you’re trying to make a good impression. Thus, you might overlook or rationalize feelings of discomfort and anxiety that signal trouble. If something does bother you, you won’t speak up about it and try to forget it.

 

 

Watch For the Red Flags

 

Self Centeredness

For narcissists, the world revolves around them. Other people are only two-dimensional, meaning that narcissists can’t empathize. They’re in their own reality and see you as an extension of themselves to satisfy their needs and wants.

When you talk to your date, is he or she interested in getting to know you, or talk only about themselves? Amazingly, some people do, as if their listener doesn’t exist. This is a tell-tale sign that you will feel invisible in the relationship. If you felt invisible in your family, you might take this for granted. You could possibly feel validated by the attention you give as a good listener. Beware that this pattern will likely continue.

As mentioned above, some narcissists are skilled communicators and will appear fascinated by you, even mirror your interests to make you like them. They may be good at short-term intimacy and make you feel like a king or queen; but eventually, they don’t keep up that act. You’ll discover that their motive is to get what they want; for example, sex, but that they’re not interested in getting to know more about you, your family, problems, or successes.

Be aware of other signs of lack of consideration: walking far ahead of you, making you track them down for a return phone call, arriving late, disregarding your boundaries and needs, or interrupting conversations to take calls from other people.

 

Arrogance

Narcissists feel superior to other people, and can be rude or abusive when don’t get what they want. This is revealed in their behavior and how they talk about themselves and others.

Is your date a fault-finder who criticizes or blames others, the opposite sex, or an ex? One day he or she may be bashing you. When you go out, notice how he or she treats waitresses, car hops, and vendors. Does he or she show other people respect, or act superior to other certain groups, such as minorities, immigrants, or people of less means or education?

Narcissists like to be associated with high-status people and institutions. They think they’re the best and want to surround themselves with the best. This is due to insecurity. Does your date think only his or her school is the best, and require the best car, the best table at the best restaurant, the finest wines, and wear expensive labels, or name drop public figures they know? This may impress you, but will later depress you when you feel ignored or like a prop in their life.

 

A Sense of Entitlement

This trait is a give-away. It reveals how narcissists think that they’re the center of the universe. They not only believe they’re special and superior to others, but also that they deserve special treatment and that rules don’t apply to them.

Does your date refuse to turn off  his or her cell phone at the movies, expect others to do favors, cut in line, steal things like tableware, airline blankets, or hotel ashtrays, or insist on special treatment from the parking attendant, restaurant maitre d’, or waiter? If you’re a woman, does he expect you to drive to his neighborhood? A relationship with this person will be painfully one-sided, not a two-way street.

Narcissists are only interested in getting what they want and making the relationship work for them.

 

Bragging

Although because narcissists want to believe they’re superior and the best, they’re actually insecure. Hence, they need constant validation, appreciation, and recognition.

They seek this by bragging about themselves and their accomplishments. They may even lie or exaggerate. People who brag are trying to convince themselves and you of their greatness.

 

 

Control and Manipulation

Narcissists put their needs first. They may manipulate you with flattery, belittling, or threats. Their lack empathy may show when planning a date. Time and place might be a difficult negotiation or on their terms, especially if they sense that you’re interested in them.

Initially, they may want to please you to win you over, but once they’ve made their “catch,” they want to please themselves. It’s the chase, not the catch that motivates them. Once they’re victorious, they can lose interest, and move on to the next conquest before it gets too emotionally intimate. If not, they’ll be emotionally unavailable and keep you at a distance, because they’re afraid if you get too close, you won’t like what you see.

 

 

Final Thoughts

Listen to what your dates say about themselves and past relationships. Do they take responsibility or blame other people? Pay attention if they admit to serious shortcomings, commitment issues, infidelity, criminality, addiction, or abuse. Equally important, notice if you feel anxious or uncomfortable, pressured, controlled, ignored, or belittled.

Find out about narcissistic relationships, why narcissists are codependent, and why they’re drawn to codependents and vice versa. In recovering from codependency, you’ll build self-esteem, your estimation of your worth will rise, and you’ll expect to be considered, listened to, and treated well. You’ll convey an expectation of respect by maintaining healthy boundaries, by being assertive about your opinions, feelings, needs, and wants, rather than people-pleasing.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope you found this article helpful and empowering. 

If you would like to speak with a psychic to help you move toward a happier life,  I recommend Psychic Access.

All Psychic Access psychics are tested and verified, and you can start with a totally free reading to see if it feels right for you.

 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

-Laurie

 

Recommended Reading:

Narcissists Exposed: 75 Things Narcissists Don’t Want You to Know by Drew Keys. Read reviews.

 

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