Stuck in a relationship loop

Do you ever get stuck in a rut? It can happen in virtually any aspect of your life with friends, family, coworkers or your career. The same problems seem to surface time and time again. What about the romantic relationship loop?

When I write “relationship loop” I’m talking about those of you who seem to relive the same romantic relationship over and over again. I want to say you know who you are, but most people don’t realize it until the loop is broken.

These relationships consist of the same problems, the same fights and the same anguish over why each relationship runs into the same problems. Most of the time these same people can see the loop pattern in others but can’t (or possibly refuse) to see it in their own lives.

Attractive brunette male carefully cleaning table with cleaner. Horizontal.If you’ve been in a romantic relationship, you know it comes with ups and downs. Even a seemingly flawless relationship will encounter a difficult patch now and again. It’s unavoidable, especially when you live with someone. Sometimes the way they “clean” the kitchen will drive you insane, even if they’re intention was meaningful. (You know what I’m talking about, ladies.) What matters the most is how you deal with these difficult patches when they do surface.

Don’t automatically chastise your partner for their shoddy cleaning job. In all seriousness, who really gets genuinely upset over cleaning? Look at yourself. What are you really upset about? It could be an underlying issue, like money, that’s contributing to the freak-out.

So, what do you do? Stepping out and looking at your relationship objectively can help. Look at the dynamics between you and your partner. Are you doing something to aggravate the situation? Think about how you can take a different approach to resolve the issue.

Think you need a third party to analyze the matter? Sometimes, it has to be done if an issue it more serious than you thought. A third party — like a therapist or couple’s counselor — can assist you in finding solutions and/or rehash what’s going on. Again, find an appropriate moderator who has personal experience with romantic relationships.

If you bump up against a relationship obstacle, remember that putting all the blame on your partner won’t solve anything. Usually, both sides are you blame and it takes a combined effort to fix it.

What tools have you used to get out of a relationship loop?

The Ten Commandments of Online Dating

We thought is posting was great and wanted to share it with you. It originally appeared on Man Cave Daily. Have a hearty laugh on this lovely Friday!

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Is Mrs. Right really only a click away? She sure can be. Online dating is great way to mix, mingle and find someone you can connect with– but here are rules:

1. Thou shall not act too cool to care. For your profile pic–yeah, if you need to trim your nose hairs or something, do it before you say cheese. And I hate to sound like grandma, but run a comb through your hair and wear something presentable. Oh, and no pictures with you and your ex. Or you and your dog spooning in bed. Or you with the Hawaiian Tropic girls in Vegas. That’s just weird.

2. Thou shall not search online for a new mate until the present mate is out of the picture. You’d think that would be a given, but unfortunately, it’s not. Just making sure it’s duly noted.

3. Thou shall not be long winded. When responding, blabbing on and on and on can be annoying. Gals like to know you can get to the point quickly and confidently.

4. Thou shall not forget to use the spell checker. Sounds crazy, huh? Well, lots of girls I know admit they hot the delete button if a message is muddled with bad grammar and typos. Why? It just shows you could care less.

5. Thou shall not act Creepy McCreepy. It’s totally cool to be flirtatious and fun when you’re communicating online, but if you get a feeling you might be crossing the line, than look down—you probably already did. Play it cool, not creepy. Don’t force a real life date or act pushy. No cursing, arrogance or trying to sound inaccessible. It’s an instant turn off and honestly, what’s the point?

6. Thou shall not pick a dumb username. Dumb username pickers, you know who you are. Stop it. The same goes for your headline or status line. “Mr. Loverman” was taken years ago. Writing “Are you the one?” makes you sound lame, and “This site is stupid but I’m so lonely” isn’t going to win you a profile prize or a hot girl either.

7. Thou shall not e- lie. Even from your very first communication, do not inflate anything. Not your job, not your car, not your shoe size. Even those teeny tiny little white lies can come back to haunt you. And you’ll totally attract the wrong type of girl if you start lying about who you are and what you do. If you still live with mom, own it!

8. Thou shall not be late on the first date. As the saying goes, if you’re early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late—don’t bother showing up. And since you planned this first date (hint, hint) it’s better to arrive a little early to make sure all goes smooth.

9. Thou shall not act Creepy McCreepy. Yep, this is a repeat but the same goes for face-to-face dates as well. Girls have their guards up when meeting a guy for the first time in real life. One creepy-stalker stare and chances are, you’ll never hear from her again. Oh, and talking about the crazy night you had in Vegas with the Hawaiian Tropic girls…not a good idea.

10. Thou shall not pretend you fell off the face of the earth. If you’re no longer interested in keep the communication going, or going on the second date, don’t act as if you were suddenly swept into the witness protection program. Tell her the truth, she can take it.

Janene Mascarella is a lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, CNNMoney, American Way, Self, Glamour, Cooking Light, Women’s Health, Woman’s Day, Bella, Mint.com, Currency, Parenting, Parents, Family Circle, American Baby, AOL Travel, and iVillage. Follow her on Twitter @MrsWrite

The Facebook Breakup

Remember when breaking up was easy? You would tell that guy or gal, “It’s not you, it’s me,” and move on with your life. Breaking up used to be private. Not so anymore.

Now through social media, we have so many ways to over share our personal experiences and our personal lives. Perhaps it started with Myspace. Oh Myspace. You could not only put your relationship status, but also your sexual orientation. Does anyone really need to know this?

Our inspiration for this post come from an Oct. 7 article by Sarah LeTrent of CNN:

Back in the day, when couples began dating exclusively, they called it “going steady.” Now, they’re more likely to make it “Facebook official.”

But when relationships go sour, instead of simply returning a varsity jacket or pin and letting the news trickle through the gossip grapevine, popular social media outlets make breaking up even harder to do — and more public.

A single “what’s on your mind” entry or 140-character tweet can quickly turn your Facebook mini-feed or Twitter stream into a virtual episode of “The Jerry Springer Show.”

As a relationships expert, I advise: Get rid of the drama! Yes, we all want validation. We all want our “friends” to console us in our time of need. But quite honestly, do we really need to lash out about something or someone to prove a point? Especially on a website that will hold on to this information forever??

Remember: Facebook was originally created for college students. So I urge adults to act like adults, not like college students. I encourage that you keep your private lives private. No one needs to know that you’re married, single or in a relationship. Would you tell a stranger on the street that you’re “in a relationship?”

Also, be careful about the photos you post, or the photos you’re “tagged” in. You really don’t want the world seeing you at the last cocktail party with your arms wrapped around your co-workers in true party style. Try to scan your profile regularly to make sure that all the photos that are posted or tagged are respectable and appropriate.

In addition — and this next part is for you ladies — DO NOT stalk your ex on Facebook. And better yet, don’t retaliate. We’ve seen people passive-aggressively go after an ex or the new girl/boyfriend of an ex. And regardless of what you write and what you think you need to say, your comments and thoughts are still going to come across as ridiculous. We all know it’s so easy to speak our mind when we can hide behind the safety of the keyboard, but quite honestly, if we were to meet these individuals face-to-face, would we really state the same things? Probably not, so try to control your actions.

Are you one who over shares? What kinds of things have you done? We’d love to read your stories!

Love in the Information Age

Let’s face it. People judge us on our looks. Yes, it’s horrible that we’re superficial beings. But whether we meet someone in real-life or online, hotness is a factor, at least initially.

The target might look like Mr. or Ms. Hot, but once you talk with them you could have nothing in common or the person could be dumber than a stump … unless, of course, you’re into that.

Case in point, here’s a clip from this week’s “Suburgatory.” Here’s a “hot boy,” who’s kind of dumb, showing off his “guns.” The cute little redhead and lead character, Tessa, is appalled by him until, in the next scene, the two are dared to make-out. The show goes on to reveal Tessa’s obsession with Mr. Hot while trying to rationalize liking him only for his looks. Have you ever been there? C’mon be honest …

This got us thinking about how people present themselves when looking for love whether it’s online dating or here at Premier Match. We get so many photos of people looking sideways, standing in a crowd (which one are you?) or on the beach wearing a hat and sunglasses. These kinds of photos DO NOT work. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s why you’re not getting hits on your profile.

All you need is a good head and shoulders headshot. It doesn’t need to be professional. You can have a friend take it in your home or even outside by your favorite lake. You don’t have to look like Derek Zoolander. We actually advise against it. The point is to make sure you look good. As we’ve written before, think of dating like a business, complete with a marketing department. No one’s going to buy something that looks tired or creepy.

And please look happy and friendly. SMILE. Check out this clip from “Whitney” to see what we’re talking about. You want people to WANT to date you. You don’t want to look weird or unhappy. You never know, you might see a photo of someone and pass on them only to come across them three months later with a better photo, go out with them, and start seriously dating them.

You must think about how you want to be perceived. You definitely don’t want to take a self-portrait in your bathroom mirror with the toilet in the background. Seriously, that’s just gross. Make yourself stand out. With so many over-processed generic images in the world, be an original. You are an original, afterall.

So, what do you think? Would you pass on someone who looks happy vs. one who looks sad? Or do you judge solely on hotness?