Today's Love Tip
Don't get us wrong – guys who are nice are fantastic. But there has been a recent rash of self-described "nice guys." Don't be fooled – these are guys with an agenda. They're the ones who say women are just attracted to jerks, and... Read More
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How Not To Lose Yourself In Your Relationship
If you feel like you've lost touch with the woman you once were, then you need to step back and take a look at what's really going on in your relationship.

Ironically, the very act of falling in love in the first place feels like one is losing oneself in the romance. At the best of times, this feeling is experienced by both partners. But generally speaking, it tends to be sustained throughout the relationship to a greater extent with women.{relatedarticles}

Pleasing Too Much

Women are taught to value cooperation over confrontation and may find themselves pretending to agree with something rather than challenge it. Part of it may be due to our tendencies toward giving our hearts completely and forgetting about our own needs along the way.


Many of us have learned our peacekeeping skills from very early on. These may become so ingrained over time that it becomes difficult to put ourselves first.

So if you find yourself suppressing your own dreams and visions for the the sake of wanting to please, you are creating a co-dependency, where your inner happiness depends on successfully pleasing your partner.{relatedarticles}

As a result, you are keeping a vital part of yourself hidden from view. If your partner doesn't have the chance to experience the real you, there is no longer a healthy give and take in the relationship. There is an emotional inequity. If this continues, it can lead to hidden resentments and crushed dreams.

Back Into Balance

To get back into a healthy balance, give yourself some space. Take some "me" time to be alone and happy. This can be as simple as finding a quiet corner to do something on your own and recharge your sense of self. Here are a few suggestions:


* Spend an evening with no interruptions, rejuvenating in your own special way like reading a special book, luxuriating in a bubble bath, dreaming new dreams...etc..

* Go shopping or spend time with good friends, just goofing around without any worries.

* Develop new friendships and interests to energize yourself and enjoy a new sense of creativity.

* Learn to be more assertive in the moment and state your needs without hurting others.{relatedarticles}

* Set new boundaries so you can garner more respect and appreciation from your partner. Don't forget you trained your partner to treat you the way he does now; you just need to notch it up to a new and healthier level.

Most of all, commit to having more fun in your relationship. Support each other in your individual strengths and encourage each others growth. Respect each other's differences but most of all, be authentic.


When you make your needs a priority in your own life, your relationship will indeed reap the rewards in the healthiest way possible.{relatedarticles}

About The Author

Got a burning question about how not to lose yourself in a relationship? Grandpa Gord and Grandma Gertie put a sensible spin on expert advice, with a little humor thrown into the mix. We cover topics ranging from pets to parenting, careers to hobbies, relationships to lifestyle, finances to food, and everything in between. Visit us athttp://www.sensibleguides.com for some simple and straight from the hip advice from people who've been around the block a few times.

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Learn to Kegel

Kegel.

The word alone can cause a girl to giggle. But Kegels are no laughing matter. These exercises effectively strengthen the pelvic floor and the benefits are far reaching. After all, this is one muscle you want to give a workout, especially if you want to keep certain bodily functions under control.

Benefits of Kegel Exercises

Many factors, such as pregnancy, childbirth, being overweight and aging, can weaken the pelvic muscles and cause health problems. Kegel exercises help prevent your pelvic organs from bulging into your vagina, which can cause pelvic pressure and urine leakage.

Giving birth to a baby, especially vaginally, can take its toll on your sex life because of all the stretching your vagina had to do. However, Kegels can get your body feeling better than ever. In fact many women report an even better sex life after they start doing Kegel exercises.

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Best of all, Kegel exercises can be done anywhere - while you're at work, watching TV, on the computer, eating dinner or even while driving to work. You can do them discreetly without anyone knowing.

You don't need any equipment at all. Of course, there are devices called Kegel exercisers available on the market that claim to make your exercises even more effective, but in reality, these aren't required.


How to Do Kegel Exercises

If you are new to Kegel exercises, it can be a little nerve-wracking at first when you try to find the right muscles and worry about whether or not you are doing the exercises correctly. Just relax and follow these tips.

First, you need to find the correct pelvic floor muscles. This isn't necessarily for the faint of heart. To do so, place a finger inside your vagina and see if you can squeeze the muscles around it. While squeezing, you should feel your pelvic floor move up and your vagina tighten. Next, relax the muscles and feel your pelvis move back to where it was originally.

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Another trick is to stop your urine flow while urinating. If you can do that, then you've got the basic exercise down. However, don't regularly do Kegels on a full bladder or while emptying a full bladder. This can actually have the opposite effect causing weaker pelvic floor muscles and urinary tract infections.

Now that you have found the right muscles, you need to practice. Remember, practice makes perfect. Lie or sit down, contract your pelvic muscles, hold for 5 seconds, then relax for 5 seconds. Repeat this several times. When you feel comfortable, try to contract your muscles and hold for 10 seconds.


Your goal should be 10 repetitions several times a day. This may seem like a lot, but remember, Kegel exercises can be done easily whenever you are doing most activities. You can do them while eating, driving, playing on the computer or watching TV.

Kegels for men?

Although Kegel exercises are typically geared toward women, men can benefit from Kegels as well. For men who have problems with premature ejaculation or sexual performance, doing Kegels regularly can help men last longer and maintain a firmer erection.

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Because the pelvic muscles in men control the flow of semen and urine, strengthening them can help men last longer and have better sex for many years to come. It's the best thing they can do for their sexual well-being, and it will result in more pleasure for their partner as well.

For men, the easiest way to find their pelvic muscles is to try to stop the flow of urine while urinating. Another way, though less desirable, is to insert a finger into the anus and contract the muscles until the anus tightens. Once the muscles are found, it is critical to make sure the right ones are always being tightened.


What Not to Do

Now that you know how to do Kegel exercises, here are some things you should avoid doing:

  • Don't flex the muscles in your thighs, stomach or butt. Make sure that your focus is only on your pelvic floor muscles.
  • Do not hold your breath or force yourself to breathe. You should breathe regularly.
  • Don't do Kegels when you are trying to concentrate on something, such as learning a new task at work or at school. You may lose your concentration.
  • Don't overdo it. Too-frequent Kegel exercise sessions can cause soreness. You need time to rest, especially in the beginning, when your body is still not used to the new routine.

When You Need Help

Although many women are able to do Kegels, some women need a little more help. If that's the case with you, don't worry. Ask your doctor for feedback to ensure that you strengthen the right muscles.

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Some doctors can help you through biofeedback. A small probe is inserted into the vagina by your doctor and electrodes are placed around the vaginal or anal area. A monitor will show you if you are contracting the right pelvic muscles, as well as the length of time you are holding each contraction.


In rare cases, your doctor may recommend electric stimulation. Your doctor will apply a small electrical current to the muscles in your pelvic floor. The current causes your muscles to contract and produces a buzzing sensation. After this is replicated many times, you get used to the sensation and are eventually able to do Kegel exercises on your own.

Results

Just like anything, don't expect overnight results. If you do your Kegel exercises regularly, you should expect results within 8-12 weeks. Some women simply do Kegels to keep their health problems from getting worse, but others see dramatic results.

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However, once you see improvement, you should not discontinue the routine. Doing Kegels permanently will ensure that you do not see any decrease in the performance of your pelvic floor muscles.

Doing Kegel exercises has many benefits, especially in terms of sexual performance for both men and women. They're an easy way to make dramatic improvements to your health. Doing Kegels may be a little difficult at first, but in a short amount of time, you will be a pro. Incorporate Kegels into your exercise routine today and feel the difference. It's one move you won't mind doing.


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Fun Dates on the Cheap

Whether you're venturing out on a first date or sneaking away with your husband for a night without the kids, a date night doesn't have to break the bank. There are many outings you can try that are high in fun and low in price. Finding just the right activity when you're on a budget can basically bring upon unwanted stress. So why not explore these affordable options that won't drag you down financially? You and your date won't be sorry.

Organize a Game Night - Hit up the hall closet and pull out all the board games and cards you own. Spend an evening balancing Jenga blocks, counting your money in Monopoly or getting to UNO. Pop open a bottle of wine and make appetizers that can be eaten easily while playing, and you'll have a great low-key evening.

Scary Movie Marathon - There's nothing like cuddling up to your date during an especially scary or creepy scene in a horror movie. Stop by the local video store and pick up three of your favorites for a monster movie marathon. You can even pretend it's Halloween and stock the house with candy and popcorn.

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Stop and Smell the Roses - Look up a local garden or nature park in your area and gear up for an afternoon walk. Most parks are free or cost a nominal fee, and you can spend the day taking in the sights and sounds of nature while getting some exercise and also having lots of time to talk. Finish up your jaunt with a picnic with sandwiches from a local deli or sub shop.


Be a Tourist in Your Own City - Use date night as an excuse to explore the spots around your city or town that you've never managed to frequent. Whether it's the world's largest ball of yarn, an art museum, or tacky theme restaurant, you'll quickly learn there's no place like your hometown. You're sure to have a blast acting like an out-of-towner. Don't forget to bring along a camera for those cheesy posed photos!

 

Go See a Play - Try a new take on "dinner and a movie." Find out what's performing at your local playhouse and check it out. Tickets are usually cheap and support local artists. If it ends up being awful, you can have a good time making fun of it together or re-enacting your favorite awkward scenes in the parking lot after the curtain comes down.

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Wine Tasting or Brewery Tour - What's the best way to enjoy libations on the cheap? Visit a local winery or brewery for a tour or tasting. Not only will it be like going to happy hour without the big bill, you might also pick up some tips for what to serve at your next dinner party or backyard barbeque. Just make sure you have a safe ride to get home after swigging down your samples.

Break the Ice - Warm up to your date while hitting the ice at a local ice skating rink. Cuddle up with hot chocolate and use this as an excuse to wear your favorite scarf while you and your date make your way around the rink. Not an outdoor rink in your area? Use this date in the dredges of summer to beat the heat and get close to your sweetie with an indoor skate.


Play House - Look through the real estate listings in your area to see what open houses will be held on a Saturday or Sunday. Put on a suit and a nice dress and spend the afternoon playing make-believe by touring all the fancy houses for sale in your area and daydreaming about which one you would pick and how you would decorate it.

Do Some Good - Roll up your sleeves and spend a day volunteering together at a local animal shelter or food bank. Not only will you feel better about yourself, you'll make a difference in the community while getting to know each other or strengthening your relationship.

 

Let's Get Physical - If you're both the active type you can find a cheap exercise class to take together that will get your heart pumping. Even cheaper is a run in a park, bike ride, or an hour of self-led yoga on the beach.

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Make a Fresh Dinner - Find out where the local farmer's market is in your area and spend the morning picking out fresh and local ingredients for a dinner that evening. You can spend the rest of the day looking through recipes and coming up with ideas for your meal.

Shake Your Groove Thang - Break out your college black light and craft an i-Tunes playlist that would put your local DJ to shame. Spend an evening boogieing in the comfort of your own home without the overpriced cocktails and snotty doormen.


Embrace Your Inner Child - Spend a night at the local arcade playing video games, laser tag, and bumper cars. Allow yourself to indulge in pizza, hot dogs, and ice cream and get your date a funny gift with the tickets you've earned.

Casino Night - Find a casino in your area with penny slots and live music. You can enjoy people watching, dancing, and maybe winning some money while you take advantage of the cheap buffet and complimentary drinks.

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Catch a Game - Most cities have a nearby college or minor league sporting team that can offer a night of sports action for a fraction of the price of the pros. Check the schedules, don the team's colors, and head out for a night of beer, peanuts, and hot dogs.

 

Get Crafty - Pick up some blank canvases, tubes of paint, a few brushes, and markers and go to town. You can go outside for some artistic inspiration or challenge each other to paint something the other one suggests. Either way you'll end up with a fun night and something you can always remember it by.

 

It doesn't matter if you're feeling the financial burden, looking to spice up the routine date night or both; these ideas can provide a night of fun. If you really want to keep it interesting, write each of these ideas on a separate slip of paper. Place all of these ideas in a paper bag, shake it up and randomly draw one.

Who knows where the night will take you? One thing is for sure though - you'll get by on a shoestring.

 


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