Which Comes First in Romantic Relationship: Friendship or Courtship?

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Which comes first as an effective strategy to establish a romantic ties with the person that one loves?

The guy must first befriend the girl and then court her after she has shown enough trust to him? Or the guy must first directly court the girl and when she accepts the proposal, he could start establishing trust and friendship with her?

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This can create a dilemma. If the guy uses the first approach of befriending the girl first before courting her, the latter might think that he is taking advantage of the friendship.

But if the guy directly courts the girl without first knowing and befriending her, the latter would think that the former is more interested with sex or playing “fresh” as he doesn’t bother to befriend her first to know her more in the personal level. Friendship is an important foundation of a mature romantic love.

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It can happen that a great friendship between a man and a woman is destroyed because one of the partners put romantic meaning into their relationship. But it can also happen in the opposite direction–that a genuine friendship between two people can blossom into a romantic relationship. There is really no assurance or sure formula which one should a person begin in the process of courtship if women do not show signs of nonverbal signs that they want to be courted by men. Thus, one wonders how romance could be established: A man must first Initiate friendship with the other and then proceed to courtship, or he must first directly proceed to courtship and then develop friendship with the other after a romantic relationship is established.

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If one is beginning to feel the tingle of attraction in a platonic friendship, how should he or she explore the possibility that his or her romantic feelings with the other might be reciprocated? After all, a relationship of compatibility and trust can serve as a strong foundation for romance.  But how does one partner make a move to express his or her romantic feelings to the other without sinking the friendship?

To decide which approach a guy will pursue to woo a girl is not easy. It depends on different social and cultural factors. He must first do some background check in order to know the preference of the girl, whether she prefers courtship or friendship first, and thus avoid missteps and win the girl he loves.

The Story of Best Friends Who Became Lovers

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Read the amazing story of Ravi and Anju. They were first best friends since childhood. But later on they became lovers:

“We are at the Coffee Shop sitting opposite to each other, it is like any other day but still it is special, moreover it is different and a bit awkward. I and Ravi have been best friends since we were in fifth grade. We two never felt the need of anyone else, rather no one felt comfortable enough when we were together. We always had our secret jokes and we preferred to keep them secret. Because some jokes when explained loses its essence. It’s roughly been 8 years of our friendship and we realized that we always come back to each other even though we were dating others. Probably because I know that no one understands me better than Ravi, perhaps he feels the same…

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And we decided to go on a date the next day. And first time in my life was I concerned on how I look, how I dress up while I am going out with Ravi. And yes the funny part is I wore makeup, I dabbed my sister’s red lipstick, applied some mascara, blushed my cheeks in a pink shade. I was uneasy but that’s what dates are, present yourself in a way you are not. I wore my sister’s black short lace dress with 3/4 sleeves and wore my red pumps (yes I only wear them on parties and dates). When I reached, he was already there (he usually is late) and that was the first reminder, that we are on a date. He stood up to greet me, and I caught the surprise in his eyes. He was surprised to see me in a short dress and makeup, probably because I always wear jeans and no makeup. I smiled and sat down, yes I now realize I overdid things, it was just another day, but he too wore a leather jacket, which seems brand new. And I could feel the nervousness in his air, maybe a reflection of what I am feeling. We ordered our cappuccinos and two grilled chicken sandwiches, our favorite meal. I wonder if I have to eat with a fork, but I prefer eating a sandwich with my hands. We sat quiet, he was intently looking at me, observing me, I was absorbed in his gaze, and I felt hesitant. My shoulders shrunk, and I hoped that the ground would absorb me, I felt like a fool to dress up like a bimbo, hmph.

He finally said “You looking very pretty, how come I haven’t seen you like this before?” 

“It’s Pari’s dress, and I am wearing a makeup” and it feels disgusting
“Yeah I can see that, and it looks lovely, you look like a glam girl”

“yeah right, would you stop teasing me? I know I look weird, I shouldn’t have tried this.”

And he suddenly held my hand and said “You look lovely Anju, I feel like a douche to not have seen your beauty before, I have always loved you as a best friend, lately I felt much more than friendship, so I talked you into this date proposal, and I am flushed by your beauty, why do you hide it?”

“I don’t hide it, it’s just not me”

“It is you, the dress isn’t yours but can be yours, every girl wears makeup, so it is you, and there is no harm in glamorizing yourself”

“I feel spurious”

“You aren’t fake, you are the same girl I had always liked to be with”

And suddenly I went silent and recalled our conversation in my head, and boom! He confessed he is feeling more than friendship for me lately…

I could only flush crimson, and I was short of words, what I instead did was hold his hand in confirmation to what he has just said. And he punched my left arm by his right arm hinting we still would be best friends apart from being lovers, and we laughed.

To have a best friend and a lover is great, but to have that one person as a best friend and a lover is amazing” (Mudhesh, 22April, 2014).

Photo credit: Pixabay.com, Pexels.com

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References

Patrick, W (30 July 2017). From Friendship to Courtship: How Friends Fall in Love. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/why-bad-looks-good/201707/friendship-courtship-how-friends-fall-in-love.

Mudhesh, F. (22 April 2014). Short story – From Best Friends To Lovers. Retrieved from https://helpalittle.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/short-story-from-best-friends-to-lovers/


5 Deadly Differences that Can End a Marriage

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Marriage is cross-cultural. It is not only a union of persons but a union of cultures or way of life of two people who have different cultural upbringing or socialization. It is expected that conflicts and tensions can occur during the marriage. But there are certain differences which can threaten a marital commitment. The following are some of the deadly differences that can end a marriage:

1. Different Schedules

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If your work schedules are completely incompatible, that can make being in a relationship together pretty tricky. Different work schedules can greatly affect their relationship and intimacy.  This incompatibility in schedules can be noted among couples who are busy in their work, business, and career. Celebrity couples, for instance, who are busy with their own schedules in shooting and post-production promotion of their latest movies and gigs that they seldom find time to maintain and nourish their relationships. This is not to say early birds and night owls can’t make it work, but major differences in how two people operate day-to-day can create major date scheduling challenges and prevent momentum from being that wind behind your backs.

2. Different Relaxation Styles.

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If two people have completely different relaxation styles, it will be very challenging to make a relationship work.”Based on how someone likes to spend their weekend, I mentally put people into two different categories: ‘activities person’ or ‘homebody. Activities persons want to spend their relaxation by doing relaxing tasks such as swimming, drinking, camping, or doing some sports activities outdoor. Homebody persons feel more relaxed by resting or doing something worthwhile inside the home or indoor. This incompatibility in relaxation can lead to some frictions and stress in the marital relationship which can threaten the stability of the marital union.

3. Different Eating Habits

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“This can extend to physical activity as well. For instance, if one partner enjoys working out and eating healthy and the other partner isn’t as interested in this lifestyle, it can be incredibly frustrating for both parties.” If one partner is a vegetarian and the other is a “meat eater” can be a dangerous combination. There is always an argument or friction every time they dine together because of their differences in the choice of food.

“While you and your partner don’t have to be at the same level of fitness, share the same interests (maybe you like running marathons and they prefer to lift weights), or eat the exact same way, it’s important to at least have some commonalities when it comes to your health and lifestyle.”

4. Different Levels of Intelligence

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Similar levels of intelligence can dictate whether a relationship will work out or not. Intelligence can mean a general curiosity or interest in learning to better oneself, education or a college degree(s), or emotional intelligence. If you are on completely opposite sides of the spectrum, the relationship likely won’t work.

5. Different Ways of Expressing Emotions

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Differences in expressing emotions due to differences of personalities and social upbringing of couples can a deadly path towards a breakup or dire in marriage. A marital commitment is based on a constant negotiation between partners to maintain their relationship. This implies diplomacy, openness, and compromise to settle a dispute or marital conflict. But if one of the partners is more aggressive in expressing their emotions, especially anger, and the other would not give in, then the marital union can be in danger, particularly if the quarrel is persisting. In this case, a mature third party such as a counselor or common friend, would act as a referee or mediator can be desirable to avoid a breakup or separation.

GIF Credits: Giphy.com

Reference

Fellizar, K. “The 15 Incompatible Qualities That End Relationships, According To Matchmakers”. Bustle.com. Retrieved from https://www.bustle.com/p/the-15-incompatible-qualities-that-end-relationships-according-to-matchmakers-8102682.

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7 Reliable Tips on How to Heal a Broken Heart!

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Introduction

Rejection or separation from people we love is a fact of life. There are lots of romantics  and separated couples out there who are nursing a broken heart because they cannot forget the past and move on with their lives. To be rejected by somebody we love in a romantic or marital relationship can indeed be painful. Since people’s minds are conditioned by society that to fall in love is natural, the bodily and psychological effects of a breakup or divorce can be devastating. But people are historical beings. The pain of a broken heart is not forever. It can heal depending on how we deal with the past experience and how we change our social environment. Here are some reliable and practical tips on how to expedite the healing of a broken heart:

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1. Avoid all things that can remind you of the past relationship. Avoid people, places, and things that can remind you of your former lover. The more you hold on to the past, the longer the healing process  to end. Always remember, that this person is only one of the many millions of people you can associate yourself with in the future.

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This relationship has ended and there is no reason to hold on to it. Probably, it is the happy memories of the past that keep you clinging to the failed romance. But it is only a matter of time that you can meet your next lover, depending on your attitude and openness to begin  a new relationship.

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2. Change something in your Self and environment to mark a new beginning of  your life. You can change your looks, hair, or fashion which can make you feel good about  yourself. Some people would cut their hair or have a new hairstyle to forget the past.

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If possible, you can change your job or activities that would remind you of your former lover and past experience. You can engage in new sports, hobbies, or enhance your talents to heal the wound and repair your broken ego. Achieving something for yourself and others can improve your self-confidence and help you forget the past.

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3. Evaluate your past mistakes and try to avoid them in your next relationship. Learn from your mistakes. Do your homework before you decide to enter a new relationship. Do some background check first before saying “yes” to your next lover! A simple research whether the person is already married, a womanizer, or a drug dependent, etc. can avoid a lot of future headaches!

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Also, check whether you can manage the cultural difference with your next love. Marrying a foreigner or a person with a different cultural background can also cause a lot of headaches in personal compatibility and adjustment.

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4. Look for a friend or person who is patient enough to hear your frustrations and lamentations. In the stage of your breakup, the negative emotions you feel could be heavy. If you decide not to see a psychologist or therapist to listen to you, find a true friend who is patient enough to journey with you in your depressions and frustrations. Someone who can objective enough to assess your problem and give you an honest feedback on what’s going on with you.

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The trick is to release all those pent-up emotions and hidden anger within you, to unload all your mental baggage or negative emotions against the person who rejected you and move on with your life. Repressing emotions can have a negative consequence to you physical and mental health.

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5. Consult a professional psychologist if the trauma and depression are serious. If you feel that the trauma is serious, you can consult a professional psychologist to assist you in overcoming the emotional pain caused by the breakup or divorce.

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6. Don’t lock yourself in the room, go out and meet new people!

Retreating from public life or from your circles of friends and relatives just because you’re nursing a broken would not be helpful in overcoming a painful breakup. You should, instead, strengthen your bonding with your family and old friends and open yourself to new people and friends. To forget the past, you should encounter new and exciting people, events, and places. Taking an exciting vacation, joining organizations, or participating in wholesome parties and charitable activities can be an effective means to heal a broken heart!

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7. Be patient. Only time can heal a broken heart. There is no medicine or pain reliever that you can take to remove the romantic pain immediately. Just don’t panic. All romantics undergo the painful experience of nursing a broken heart. The good news is that this pain will be more bearable  as you grow in experience, maturity, and wisdom in romantic relationship. To mend a broken heart is more painful for first-timers but less for experienced lovers and repeaters.

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Final Advice

Don’t forget to pray and ask God to guide you. Based on research, religious people are likely to hurdle difficult problems in life than non-religious. Romance is only temporary but faith in God is eternal. Join religious groups and organizations for mutual support. What matters is your ultimate goal in life. Don’t lose sight of it. One failed experience should not define you life. Rise and see the beauty of life!

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Photo credit for all photos: Pexels.com free photos

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6 Top Signs a Guy Isn’t Interested In You Anymore

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1. He Stops Texting or Calling You.

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If your boyfriend stops calling or texting you regularly the way he used to do, then his interest in your relationship has gone cold. A guy who truly loves you will always find ways to contact you no matter how busy he is with his job or work.

2. He Flirts with Other Women In Front Of You

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Flirting with other women in front of you is a sure sign that he has lost interest in you, or he is indeed a playboy who is incapable of bringing you to the altar. Why would he flirt other women if he is really serious in your relationship and intending to marry you in the future.

3. His Body Language Changes Around You

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“When a guy likes you, he might not say so directly, but his body language will. He’ll lean towards you to build intimacy, face his body towards you in group situations, and find reasons to touch your shoulder or arm (like when he makes you laugh)” (Bastion).

If your boyfriend is no longer as sweet and caring as he used to be, then he probably lost his interest in you. It’s a sign that you need to move on and find another suitable partner.

4. He Doesn’t Pay Attention Like He Used To

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Romantic relationships call for intimacy and mutual care on a regular basis. This entails every partner to provide special attention to your loved one. If your boyfriend is no longer giving you the special attention he used to give you when you started the relationship, then it’s a sign that he is no longer interested in you. Watch out for inconsistencies of what he says and what he does. If he says that “I will never, ever love somebody more than I love you” but starts to take you for granted, then it’s time to find another guy until you’ll find your match and get engaged.

5. You Always Have To Text And Call Him First

You will know that your man is no longer interested in you always have to text and call him instead he taking the initiative to contact you. In this case, he maybe busy with other things or maybe having other relationships with other girls. A guy who is truly in love with you would make sure to contact you no matter how busy he is! A change in pattern in your communication is a biggest sign that he is gradually abandoning you!

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6. He Doesn’t Get Jealous If You Mention Seeing Someone

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Jealousy is not always a negative reaction. Being jealous can be just a way to guard the exclusive relationship from intruders. If your boyfriend is jealous when you mention that you’re seeing someone is just a normal reaction, and a precaution for him that you might get tempted to entertain other relationship. Romantic relationship is basically dyad or pair with 2 people falling in love, not triad or any form of polygamous union. So, if your guy is not jealous even if you mentioned positive traits of the person you met, then this can be a sign that he doesn’t care because he loses interest in your relationship.

GIF Credits: Giphy.com

Reference

Bastion, N. (n.d.). “The Top 10 Signs a Guy Ins’t Interested in You Anymore”. Retrieved http://www.vixendaily.com/love/top-10-signs-a-guy-isnt-interested-in-you-anymore/

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Chasing the Ultimate Meaning of Life & Happiness

       Do we really know where we are going to in life? The following lines of the song of Diana Ross entitled “Do You Know Where You’re Going To” are loaded with philosophical and sociological meanings that can challenge us to find the ultimate meaning and happiness of our life:

     “Do you know where you’re going to,

Do you like the things that life is showing you,

Where are you going to,’

Do you know?…”

Happiness Depends on Our Ultimate Life Goal

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Photo credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

We only live once in this world. As rational beings, we are creators of meaning. What makes our life meaningful would depend on our ultimate goal. The primary goal we envision for our life is what basically guides us in our daily living. Its achievement can ultimately make us happy. The quality of our happiness would fundamentally depend on this life goal. If our supreme purpose is to seek wealth, then our happiness would consist of gaining profit in our investments, increasing savings, achieving dominance in the market, creating new breakthroughs in business innovation, etc. If our ultimate purpose is to chase pleasure in food, sex, alcohol, or other forms of addictions, then our happiness will be enjoying and prolonging pleasure in our bodily senses. If our basic aim is to love God by serving others, then happiness would be spiritual consolation and the joy of serving God’s poor and underprivileged. If our aim is to change society according to our ideology or political beliefs, by fighting oppressive social structures and regimes, then our primary happiness would consist of personal joy of seeing that some of our reforms are realized in society. In short, our ultimate life goal can define the quality of our happiness.

Our view and enjoyment of happiness, however, can change through time. We are historical beings. Our ultimate life goal change as we continually search for the true meaning and value of life. That is why we hear conversion stories of people who have found their true meaning of life and change their original life goals.  St. Augustine of Hippo, for instance, was a true sinner and womanizer before his conversion to Catholicism. But after he found Christ in the Gospels as the true meaning of his life, his personal life radically changed, from being a pleasure seeker to being an avid servant of Christ and a great theologian of the Catholic Church. In his famous book, The Confessions, St. Augustine declared the basic orientation of his life: “My heart is restless until it rests in you, O Lord!”

Happiness as Cultural

People from various walks of life can have different goals and philosophies in life. Thus, one may inquire: Which ultimate goals in life are “superior” or more sublime than others?  Is serving God or humanity a superior goal and object of happiness in life than seeking pleasure, chasing wealth, fighting for social reforms or some other noble or religious purposes?

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Photo: “Sunset” by the author

Well, the unintended consequence of becoming human is to be born in a particular set of parents and community and to grow up in a particular culture. We neither choose where we must be born nor control how we should be brought up as a human being in society by our parents or guardians during our formative years i.e., from infanthood to early adolescence, which is said to be crucial for our personality formation. Social scientists believe that each culture is as good as the other. Thus, there is no “inferior” culture and cultural conception of what constitutes a meaningful life. Culture plays an important role in constituting one’s ultimate goal in life. If one is brought in a capitalist culture which puts more value on material prosperity rather than spiritual pursuit, he or she would more likely see the ultimate goal of his or her life in terms of material pursuit rather than in terms of service and growth in holiness. If one is born in a primitive society and culture where following tradition and communal goals supersedes personal ambitions, then the individual life goals would more likely reflect the collective goals. If one is born in a criminal sub-culture where people in the neighborhood are members of criminal syndicates and often talk of deviant techniques and criminal exploits, then expect the members of this neighborhood to pursue criminal careers and see prosperity through crime as the ultimate purpose in life. Unless there is external intervention or socialization on non-criminal or religious pursuits, individuals within this subculture could never be converted to other forms of lifestyle and non-criminal worldviews. Thus, it is crucial for individuals to think outside the box and explore other worldviews through education to go beyond the limitations of one’s sub-culture in understanding the ultimate purpose of life. Some people change their worldviews and goals in life by mere reading of books. St. Ignatius of Loyola, for example, was converted from a hedonist soldier to a spiritual mystic and founder of the Society of Jesus, the largest religious orders of priests and brothers in the Catholic Church, by accidentally reading the book of the saints while recuperating from a serious wound in a castle in Spain and asking himself: If the saints can do great things for Christ, why can’t I?