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Love Advice

The Break Up: 4 Tips to Mend Your Broken Heart

By August 8, 2012 Love Advice, Relationships
forgetting_sarah_marshall

Not again…the dreaded break up has happened.  Whether it was a long term relationship or just a summer romance, it doesn’t make it any easier. No one goes into a relationship thinking, “Man I sure hope this doesn’t last.” And when breakups happen it can be disorienting, disheartening and down right sad.

But, before you reach for the chocolate chip cookies and rocky road ice cream and do things you should not do, let’s get real. Break ups are sad and the loss of any relationship is hard, but we don’t have to become blubbering saps who can’t get out of bed for weeks. Nor do we have to turn into bitter, man-hating wags. There’s a happy medium and it usually involves talking through your feelings, accepting responsibility and moving on. 

The key is not to get over your ex as quickly as possible, but as healthy as possible.  Here are a few tips on mending your broken heart and keeping your self-respect in that. 

1. Take Time Off the Dating Scene bka “The Manbattical”

Give yourself the proper time to heal, otherwise you will pay for it on the backend. Where’s the fire?  You will meet someone when the time is right and you are mentally able to enjoy a new encounter or relationship if it turns into that. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time finding out you are not yet over your ex and miss out on a “good catch”.

2. Talk it Out (But Try Not to Dwell)

I don’t mean calling every girlfriend you have to bad mouth your ex (although it sure feels good). What if you realize the relationship isn’t really over? Now everyone has an opinion based on what you have said in the heat of the moment. Instead turn that energy into something creative i.e. writing, drawing, or physical activity. You need to release that energy. My relationship has turned me into a novice boxer and if I ever need to hurt someone I’ll be prepared.

3. Seek Closure With or Without Your Ex

This doesn’t mean calling you ex and forcing a conversation. For everyone this process is different. Decide for yourself what you need to get over it. Accept responsibility for your contributions to the break-up and go about the business of getting closure. For some that means having a heart to heart. For others it simply means forgiving themselves and jumping back into their own lives and happiness.

4. Learn & Move On (& Get a Little Pissed)

Although it hurts now, relationships are one of the best learning tools wed could ask for. The great memories will never leave you but neither will the bad ones. Take what you have learned and pay it forward in your life from here on out. Conventional wisdom would say to placate but I say a little anger never hurt nothing. Internalize your lessons and put some force behind them so you can work to not make the same mistakes again.

I believe that when found, the right relationship can be the element that helps a person go from good to great, unsuccessful to successful and from indolent to empowered. Shake off the ghosts of exes’ past and get to the business of moving on.

Break ups are tough! What things have helped you get over an Ex? Please Share!

Tiffany is a  licensed therapist, writer and motivated chica! Check out Tiffany’s motivated thoughts here and be sure to visit her at Motivated Thought and follow on twitter @motivatedtht!

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Do Clothes Make the Man?

By August 1, 2012 Fashion, Love Advice, Men We Love
Street Ettiquette

A lean trouser, a mean suit jacket, a polished brogue. A wafting scent as he walks by. He’s strutting, hand in his pocket, briefcase in the other. Focused, dapper, divine. A sight to behold. There’s something about a well-dressed man.

 Street Etiquette 

Regular Stylish Thought reader and blogger Katrice posted this picture on her Facebook page the other day and let the church say, “Amen.” The comments were hilarious and to the tune of “Oh lawd” and “Please let my husband dress like this.”

Whether you like your guy suited and booted or casually put together, a man who knows his way around a bowtie and wingtip is a plus. My friends often joke that they don’t know how I’ll find a guy who measures up to my high style standards.

Is it wrong to want a man who knows the importance of looking good and appreciates flair as much as I do? *Hint Hint Miguel* While style isn’t a substitute for having a good heart or for true love, a man who takes care and looks impeccable is a pretty sweet extra. Plus who doesn’t love something nice to look at? ;)

What do you think, do clothes make the man? What’s your preference when it comes to your man’s style?

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Sex and the Single Girl: Casual Sex vs. Celibacy

By July 24, 2012 Love Advice, Relationships, Sex
Sex & the Single Girl

There comes a time in every single girl’s life when she has to make a choice. A decision that will affect her for months (maybe years to come). A decision not to be taken lightly. Should she enjoy the dating scene and have sex casually outside of a monogamous relationship or should she withstand that pressure (and yearnings) and be celibate?

Sex is an important part of our lives, health and experiences and everyone’s need for intimacy is different. But one thing is universal, being single without “regular” access to sexual relations can be a tough for us modern girls. We have to make choices about our sexual health, our needs and expectations and do what’s best for ourselves.

Your Body, Your Terms: Casual Sex

You’re actively dating and maybe even seeing a few guys that you like. Or you’ve got a booty call on the backburner. Whatever the situation you have access to sex but not a serious relationship. You could be in between relationships or just not meeting someone you want to take seriously, but having sex in definitely on the menu.

Pros:

You have needs, biological needs. And maybe your need to have sex is stronger than your need for commitment. You don’t have to worry about where your next lay will come from, or at least not worry as much. And the need for a serious relationship may be staved off by your casual affairs, at least for a little while.

Cons:

You still have to solicit sex and outside of a serious relationship, that can be difficult. If you’ve had a long standing casual sex relationship, you still have to send awkward texts or phone calls for sex. You may wonder how you can turn a booty call into a serious relationship (which almost never works). If it’s casual, it’s probably not monogamous. Hopefully you’re practicing safe sex but the threat of STD and unplanned pregnancy is still there.

Insider Opinion:

Kori, 28 said “It’s not in my genes to be celibate. Casual sex works for me because I have a need for it and while I would prefer to have a boyfriend that isn’t always the case. At the same time, if you’ve been having casual sex with someone for a while you have an understanding and remember to practice safe sex. My thought is even if I have a boyfriend, stuff happens. You break up and I would rather have sex than not.”

The Waiting Game: Celibacy

There’s more to relationships than sex and waiting can help you make better decisions when it comes to men and help you get in touch with what you truly want. But on the flip side, it is a waiting game. You have to choose celibacy because it’s something YOU want to do, not because you think it will snag a guy. Leave that 90 day rule to Steve Harvey and em and define what celibacy looks like for you.

Pros: 

You are carefree, well as carefree as you can be while not getting laid. You don’t have to worry about diseases or pregnancy. Whatever your reasoning for abstaining (religion, self-esteem, marriage) you have decided to hold sex to another esteem and wait for your own ideal situation.

Cons:

You’re not getting laid. And surprisingly, all you can think about is getting laid.

Insider Opinion:

Crystal from Texas says “Celibacy is tough for those of us who were sexually active but for me its the way to go. My choice is spiritual. Casual sex, while is ok for some, I can’t get down with giving myself to multiple people.”

What are your thoughts ladies? Have you ever practiced celibacy? How do you deal with sex being a single girl?

And for more discussion check out the thread on Facebook

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8 Famous Women & The Men Who Love and Support Them

By July 11, 2012 Love Advice, Relationships
Famous Women and their Men

We know the popular saying, “Behind every successful man is a woman” but what about the saying “Behind every successful woman is herself.”  While men have the support of women, typically successful women don’t get the same treatment. How unfair is that?  However, every so often a successful woman gets the benefits of a great relationship and a great career.

Here are 7 famous, successful and powerful women who had (and have) the support of a loving, adoring man behind them.

Oprah & Stedman

Oprah and Stedman have become the prototype for a successful relationship with a powerful woman. With 26 years together, the couple has never married, but Stedman has been an constant companion to Ms. Winfrey, supporting her and her career. Stedman has said of Oprah, “I want her to succeed and be as successful as she can.” Now that’s support!

Meryl Streep & Don Gummer

In her infamous 2012 Academy Awards acceptance speech, Meryl Streep thanked her husband first in a glorious tribute to her rock, “First I’m going to thank Don, because when you thank your husband at the end of the speech, they play him out with the music and I want him to know that everything I value most in our lives, you’ve given me.” 

Julia Child & Paul Child

Acclaimed food writer and chef, Julia Child was known for her love of French cooking. But little do people know that Julia also had an amazing love of her husband Paul Child and he was tremendously supportive of her careerr and endeavors. Her autobiography, My Life in France, is as Julia says “a book about the things Julia loved most in her life: her husband, France (her “spiritual homeland”), and the “many pleasures of cooking and eating.”

Coco Chanel & Boy Capel

Having never married, Coco Chanel did have the support and love of many men throughout her career. Her first supporter and subject of many books about Madmoiselle Chanel is her lover and muse Boy Capel, an English polo player and Chanel’s first financier. Their affair lasted nine years, even while Boy was married. He died in 1919 in a tragic car accident, allegedly in enroute to see Coco. 

Eva & Juan Peron

Using her husband’s position as President of Argentina, Eva Peron surpassed his reach to become the Spiritual Leader of the Nation and a charitable force for the masses of Argentina.  Upon initially meeting, their relationship was not well received by the higher ups in Argentina, but Juan Peron, moved ahead with his love for his “little Eva” as he affectionately called her. Ultimately it would be Eva’s presence that would catapult them both. 

Hillary & Bill Clinton

Their relationship is the epitome of “stand by your man” and while Hillary stood by Bill through his tumultuous presidency, Bill has done the same for her throughout her Presidential run and subsequent position as Secretary of State. Bill has said of Hillary, “I believe when she [Hillary] says she doesn’t think she’ll run, she’s being completely honest. I want her to do what she wants to do. I’m glad she’s comin’ home, I miss her. We have fun together.”

Amelia Earhart & George Putnam

A marriage of equals, Amelia didn’t want to marry at first and reportedly turned George down 6 times! As fate would have it they married and George acted as a publicist for Amelia’s book (prior to their marriage). Headstrong and fiercely independent, the words “obey” were removed from their wedding vows. Throughout her career, George managed her appearances and organized her flights. When Amelia disappeared, George financed his own search for his wife. 

Wendy Williams & Kevin Hunter

This duo has been together since Wendy’s radio days and has been the subject of much media attention. While Wendy Williams is outspoken on TV she is mostly mum about her relationship with husband and father to her only child. Kevin has served as her manager and also as Executive Producer on her talk show and mostly takes a behind the scenes approach to her career. While she has spoken of their rocky times, she credits Kevin as being her support system.

While it’s not society’s norm to have men take a backseat to their women, these famous husbands and lovers have shown that great men know how to let their women shine and that powerful women can have equally great support systems! 

Stylish Thinkers, what do you think? Can a woman today have it “all”: supportive husband and powerful career?

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Ask a Guy: How to Meet Quality Men

By July 5, 2012 Advice, Love Advice, Relationships

Ladies, sometimes we need to go straight to the source. Ask a Guy is a new column where great guys give us great advice on our love and relationship quandaries. 

Dear Guy,

I’m a 28 year old single woman who is ambitious, intelligent and funny. While I know I’m not perfect, I would like to think that I’m a catch. I’ve been single for nearly 3 years now and am wondering what’s up? I’ve met a few guys but nothing ever serious. I admit that I don’t actively look for men or dates and I’m wondering if I should put myself out there more, whatever that means.

I would like to be in a serious relationship and am just wondering what am I doing wrong? Should I be out every weekend or start an online dating profile? What are the best ways to meet good, quality men?

~ Single & Confused

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Dear Single and Confused,

First off you are not doing anything wrong. There is nothing wrong  with being single. It is better to be single and enjoying life than being in a dead end relationship that is either emotionally or  physically draining.

You already have taken the first step by taking  some time to yourself to figure out what you truly want. Now that you  know you want a serious relationship the next step is to go out and  find it. Easier said than done. There is no place where good, single  men who want a relationship congregate.

Most men don’t even search out  a serious relationship. We are either open to it or not. If we are  open than it is the woman we are dealing with at the time we mature to who we tend to commit and settle with. That is a different  topic though, back to your questions. 

In my opinion, there are only two ways to meet a guy:

1) Through a friend or

2) Going  Out

I am a big fan of option one. You have a 3rd party reference  to vouch for the person’s character. The only bad part is they may be more  loyal to that friend over you or if things don’t work out it could  ruin your friendship with each other.

Option 2 is go out. The man that could be the person you are looking for can find you in the club, supermarket or at church. You don’t have to club.  Go out to places that you find interesting and fun. That way there is a good chance that the guys there share your interests. When you are out  smile. If you see a guy you think is attractive make eye contact. If  he doesn’t approach you it is his loss.

More importantly be confident. You will meet guys. The key is knowing what you want and cutting bait when the men you meet fall outside of those guidelines. 

In closing I don’t have all of the answers, I wish I did. I do know how males think and why we do some of the crazy things that we do. I wish you the best of luck. If you keep a positive attitude and be a little more outgoing I’m sure you will find what you are looking for or he will find you because you will be what he is looking for.

~ Your Guy

Have a question for our guys? Send your queries to askaguy@stylishthought.com

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Today’s advice comes from James, your average college educated Corporate America working male. Foodie and happy hour snob, James is a people person in every sense of the word. Never shy about speaking his mind, follow James on Twitter @j2dajones for more commentary and trash talking.

 

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Sound Off: Male Strippers, 50 Shades of Grey and Sex in the Media

By June 27, 2012 Entertainment, Pop Culture, Sex
Magic Mike

So the world is flush with embarrassment (and pent up frustration) over the new movie Magic Mike. Half-naked men gyrating, drunken bachelorettes, an unexpected love story. Women around the world are spitizing in their seats. Who knew a flick about a hot stripper would cause so much tension? Ok enough with the puns.

While Magic Mike looks remotely interesting, it got me thinking about my own inhibitions and my otherwise total dislike for male strippers. If you’ve ever had a friend, sister or cousin get married you’ve been to a bachelorette party. And if you’ve been to a bachelorette party, you’ve seen a male stripper. And if you seen a male stripper, well you’ve SEEN a male stripper.

The trailer for Magic Mike looks pretty accurate. They dance in crazy costumes, gyrate, hump drunk women, mimic sex and leave you with a smile. While I’m not one to knock anyone’s hustle, male strippers simply aren’t for me. Don’t get me wrong, I think they have impeccable physiques and I’ll admire them from afar. But when they want to hump on you, that’s where I draw the line.

Maybe I’m a prude who can’t have fun? That’s a possibility. But I wonder how can female strip clubs institute no touching rules, while male strippers can be so hands on? And I wonder if male strippers, like 50 Shades of Grey, are something one likes only after a certain station in life?

Sex is plastered everywhere we look and it’s not terribly shocking. It’s engrained in our entertainment and almost always from a male perspective. The craze of raunchy movies and soft porn books is targeted at female audiences and I wonder, do women really care?

Or if Magic Mike was Magic Monica would we look at it differently? 

Maybe I just don’t get what all the hoopla is about? Or maybe I’m just desensitized to sex in the media?

Either way, it’s going to take more than Channing Tatum’s abs to get me riled up. And one thing’s for sure if I ever get married, don’t get me a stripper for the bachelorette party.

What do you think of male strippers? Like them? Loathe them? Sound off!

Will you be going to see Magic Mike when it hits theaters?

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Know your Rights… Reproductive Rights That Is!

By June 20, 2012 Health and Fitness, Sex
Birth Control

As as young woman I’ve grown up with my reproductive freedom in tact. I’ve have always had access to legal abortions, contraception and quality health and pregnancy care.

However, as the election heats up and religious-right attacks on women’s reproductive freedom continue it seems that a generation of women are forgetting (and forgoing) their rights. Here is a quick primer on reproductive freedom and what it means for you.

What is Reproductive Freedom?

Reproductive Freedom is the right to to choose freely and responsibly the spacing and timing of your children. It is the right to choose whether or not you have children and it is the right to safe and quality reproductive health care including safe and legal abortions, contraception and pregnancy care.

In the U.S. we have seen our reproductive rights challenged from abortion to the most recent firestorm surrounding contraception and health care providers obligation to provide birth control. It’s scary to think that something we’ve always had is teetering on the edge of being taken away. 

For so many of us, our rights are something we don’t even think about. “Of course, we’ll have access to insurance subsidized birth control, abortion will always be legal” Maybe not. Can you imagine a world where women aren’t allowed to decide when and how to raise a family?

Exercising our freedom, as women, to choose our life’s path, whether that path includes children and how many children, is our birthright and we should be aware of the issues surrounding our most precious right.

Stats on Reproductive Rights

Even if you’ve never had an abortion (or wouldn’t get one) there are millions of women worldwide who deserve access to this legal and safe procedure.

And if you take birth control pills and use other contraceptive you may soon find that access restricted as well. Here are some stats on reproductive health worldwide:

  • One in three American women will have an abortion by the time she is age 45
  • 58% of women having abortions in the US are in their twenties.
  • Of women having abortions, 61% have one or more children; 85% are unmarried; 69% are economically disadvantaged 
  • In addition to preventing pregnancy, birth control helps reduce the risk for endometrial and ovarian cancers
  • The use and access to affordable contraception helps lower the need for abortions
  • 5.1% percent of women 15-44 have been treated for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease ; a disease that can be prevented by the use of oral contraceptives
  • 1000 women die a day worldwide from pregnancy and childbirth related complications 

Attacks on our Reproductive Rights

Even with the major need for access to reproductive care, government has placed multiple restrictions on our access to abortions and contraception. 

  • Texas has instituted a Sonogram Law that requires women to have a sonogram 24 hours before having an abortion
  • Blunt Amendment allows employers to object to specific insurance coverage for religious reasons
  • In 2009, Dr. George Tiller was murdered inside a clinic in Kansas. He was killed because he performed abortion services.
  • The 2003 Federal Abortion Ban outlawed second trimester abortions and does not provide exception depending on a woman’s health condition. 
  • 15 states have unconstitutional bans on near-total abortions with some states having case-exceptions like rape or health
  • The Hyde Amendment denies abortion services to Medicaid recipients; 33 states have similar laws restricting low-income women’s access to abortions
  • Most states don’t have enforcement birth control laws, meaning pharmacies can refuse to fill your prescription
With laws being passed to restrict our access to affordable contraception and legal abortions, it seems that young women’s rights are being infringed on. While our rights are still intact, in the years to come it could be harder and harder to live the life you want, not the life others impose on you. 

What are your thoughts on the war on women’s reproductive freedom?

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10 Things I’d Tell my Daughter about Love, Relationships, Men & Sex

By June 13, 2012 Life Advice, Love Advice, Relationships
Nsync

I am by no means a relationship expert (I just play one on the Internet) but at 28ish years of age, I’ve had my fair share of great relationships, bad ones, boo-tay calls and the like. Recently, I was going through a ton of old high school journals that my mother saved for me. Most of it was standard teenage rhetoric; boredom, self-loathing, hating high school and of course boys, love and sex.

My Teenage Dreams!

Image Source

As I flipped through the entries, I realized that as I wrote about not having time for a serious boyfriend, there was still a want there. And as most young girls won’t tell you, they care about boys, A LOT. If my journals are any indication, I was a teenage girl infatuated and confused by boys, being in love and having sex. Yikes. Looking back from my now vantage point, I’ve learned a bit (and am still learning) about love, men and relationships. 

Inspired by a post on the hilarious relationship blog Very Smart Brothas of the same title, I thought what if I could sit with my imaginary daughter (or teenage self).

What would I tell her? What lessons about love, relationships and men could I share. Here’s what I came up with. Hopefully, she’ll have a journal one day to look back on. 

1. Boys are not the Entire Universe

As young girls we’re taught to believe that the world revolves around boys. As we mature we realize that men are only a part of life and not the main aim or motivation for living. I would tell my young daughter that boys are not the end all be all and life will be much fuller and richer if she learns to do things for herself instead of winning the charms of some guy. 

2. You Will Experience Heartbreak. It will Make you Wiser, Stronger & Better

Heartbreak is inevitable. Show me someone who’s never had their heart broken and I’ll show you someone who never stepped out on a limb or truly loved. Heartbreak can feel like the end of the world, but it’s not. I would hope my daughter would realize that while you may get hurt in love, you will always be OK.

3. Your High School Sweetheart will not make it all the way

There are exceptions to every rule but in my eyes serious relationships are for adults not young kids. I would tell her not to get too attached to any one boyfriend and to know that just because you start together doesn’t mean you’ll end up together.

4. Books Before Boys. Trust Me

School comes first. Smart girls are the best girls. And if a boy doesn’t like you because he says you’re a nerd, kick him in the nuts. 

5. If it’s not working, break up!

Echoing #3, serious relationships are not for young people. I think being young is for getting to know yourself and what you want out of life. If a relationship is causing you unnecessary stress, keep it moving.

6. Keep Your Cookies in a Jar

Sex is great between two consenting adults. But sex changes things and having it too early or with certain expectations can be a recipe for mis-communication and hurt feelings. Plus I would want to make sure she has a strong grasp on having safe sex, her body and being comfortable enough with her sexuality to ask for what she wants. 

7. Respect is the Minimum

Respect is a non-negotiable. If he doesn’t respect women at a very base level, stay away. And remember he has to work to win you, not the other way around. 

8. Friends before Boys

In life, there will be plenty of moments when your girlfriends will be more instrumental than any man. Remember to not disregard your friends for a guy.  And please don’t let me catch you fighting with your best friend over a boy. That will be your tail. You shouldn’t even be thinking about boys! 

9. There’s always another guy

He broke up with you and it feels like the end of world. Trust me it’s not. School will still be in session tomorrow, your homework will still be due and there will be another guy around the bend. This is at the very foundation of what I hope to teach my kids, but especially my daughter, who society will try to brainwash every chance it gets to settle for less than she deserves. 

10. Trust your Instincts & Expect the Best

Don’t demand, simply expect. Expect the best treatment, the best friendship, the best that he has to offer and don’t be afraid to walk away. Give your best and remember nobody’s perfect but trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

These are just a few of the things I hope to teach my daughter one day about love, men, relationships and sex. I would also like to teach her to not to sweat the small stuff, order pitiful salads on dates or trust men who don’t open doors, but that’s a whole ‘nother conversation. 

Stylish Thinkers, what lessons would you tell your daughter (real or imagined) about love, relationships, sex and men?

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