How to progress to the next step after your first date?

How to progress to the next step after your first date? Wow, you have finally met “the one” or “soul mate” - you are excited and nervous, what’s next? But as everyone who has ever been in a relationship knows that it takes more than chemistry, GSOH etc... to make a relationship progress to the next stage of commitment. * First Date You went out on your first date and had a great time. You felt that you have many shared interests, same sense of humour and definitely some attraction. Good start but remember to slow down! While it’s good to be open, but to disclose too much about yourself, past relationships and what you are looking for too soon can be overwhelming for your potential partner and can be a major turnoff. You can’t rush a relationship just because you are ready to commit. Let the relationship develop at its own pace, so that a solid foundation for friendship and trust can be established. * Being a Couple Once you have acknowledged mutual interest and ready to progress to the next phase of your relationship - being a couple; you can then self-disclose more; discuss your physical and emotional needs and your dreams and expectations etc... Here are some tips on how to grow your relationship successfully: Make time for each other – relationship is like a living plant, it requires tender loving care to grow and blossom. Show your partner how important they are to…

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Festive Holiday Season or Silly season?

Festive or Silly Holiday Season? The holiday season is fast approaching, we can choose to make it festive, joyous time to relax and catch up with family and friends or we can turn it into a silly season and create more stress for ourselves than necessary. We also need to be mindful that this time of the year is not necessarily a festive time for everyone, for some, it can trigger bouts of depression especially if someone close to them has recently died or they have been through a separation / divorce. So how do we prevent stress or depression? * Be realistic – family get together don’t have to be perfect. Try to be flexible with family obligations and arrangements as families change and grow, i.e. newly married, recent birth or divorce. Revaluate past traditions and rituals and be open to create new ones to cope with changes. * Enjoy the moments – even when things are not perfect. Don’t expect family members and friends to live up to your expectations (as you don’t know what is going on for them). Accept them as they are and be understanding if the situation goes awry. Set aside grievances for discussion at another more appropriate time. * Stick to a budget – decide how much money you can afford to spend on food and gift shopping then stick to your budget. Ask your loved ones what they want for Christmas instead of getting stressed out guessing what perfect…

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What is career counselling?

What is career counselling? Career counselling is just like any other kind of personal counselling you seek when you: don’t know what you want to do feel stuck in a dead end job are unhappy at work unsure which career direction to take are not progressing in your career If you can relate to any of these feelings, then seeking help from a career counsellor would be beneficial. A career counsellor can help you understand who you are; what you want out of your life and your career by helping you explore: your interests, skills, abilities, values and goals. Perhaps more importantly, a career counsellor can offer you support while you are making a life / career transition because career and personal issues are often interlinked, the imminent change and decision-making can be extremely daunting. People tend to fall into one of the four stages of life categories listed below. By tuning in to your natural skills and abilities, understanding yourself, knowing which stage you are in, the world of work and your place in it - this knowledge would give you the freedom to explore not one, but several career paths available throughout your life. Four stages of life: The Exploratory stage (ages 17 -27) – people at this entry level are usually concern about discovering who they are, how they fit in the work force and how to negotiate early career decisions. The 30’s Transition (ages 28 -29) – at this stage people have already…

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Codependent Relationship

What is a Co-dependent Relationship? Co-dependency can occur in any type of relationship, including romantic, peer, family, friendship and work. There is a clear distinction between thoughtful, caring, loving behaviour or feelings that are normal and healthy to those that are excessive to an unhealthy degree by putting other people ahead of yourselves. A healthy relationship is 'inter-dependent' – when partners take care of themselves and each other. A mutually satisfying relationship is where people give, receive and rely on each other equally. Of course, there will be times when one person will carry a bigger load but overall all parties contribute equally to the relationship. A co-dependent relationship occurs when personal boundaries between individuals are broken, unhealthy or don’t exist. Co-dependent people focus on pleasing and accommodating others instead of focusing on themselves. They have a diffuse sense of self, characterised by denial, low self-esteem, excessive compliance or control patterns. Co-dependent people are constantly in search of acceptance; they like to feel they are “needed”. They often find themselves in relationships where their primary role is that of a rescuer, supporter and confidante. They often depend on the other person’s poor functioning to satisfy their own emotional needs. Co-dependent relationships are fraught with resentment, anger, criticism and pain. Here are some signs of a co-dependent relationship: 1. You minimise your needs and preferences. 2. You enable the other person’s unhealthy behaviour and they enable yours. 3. You feel guilty when asserting yourself. 4. Your mood and…

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How Do You Know Your Relationship Is In Trouble?

  How Do You Know Your Relationship is in Trouble? While no relationship is perfect and couples can expect to have their fair share of conflicts, however it’s how you resolve conflicts that matters. If issues are not resolved properly, they become insurmountable and resentment can build up over time. Here are some warning signs signalling your relationship is in trouble: Arguments do not get resolved. Most couples have issues that can be resolved over time as their relationship develops, but when key issues are not resolved and they keep re-surfacing – then your relationship will struggle. Feeling like you are “walking on eggshells” around sensitive issues. When you feel the need to avoid conflicts and protect yourself from further conflict, this signals a lack of safety in your relationship. You are unable to reach out to your partner for emotional support. A romantic relationship without emotional engagement will be drained of any vitality. If you are unable to show your emotional vulnerability to your partner then it is a clear sign your relationship is at risk. You find you are spending less 'couple time' with your partner for no particular reason. When for no good reason, you both choose to spend less time together and this pattern continues over a long period, you will drift apart. Couple time is a crucial resource for sustaining intimacy and connection in a relationship. Arguments include criticism, defensiveness, and contempt. If one or both of you engage in character attacks,…

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A Loving Relationship Requires Work

How to Build a Loving Relationship? It's easy to fall in love but to keep your love alive and enduring requires work. According to John Gottman, the guru of healthy and happy relationships, we need to be aware of our negative behaviour patterns, which Dr. Gottman called the "Four Horsemen of Apocalypse": Criticism: Attacking your partner's personality or character, usually with the intent of making someone right and someone wrong i.e. "you always..." "you never...." "you're the type of person who..." "why are you so..."! Contempt: Attacking your partner's sense of self with the intention to insult or psychologically abuse him/her. Insults and name calling: "bitch, bastard, wimp, fat, stupid, ugly, slob, lazy...". Hostile humour, sarcasm or mockery. Body language & tone of voice: sneering, rolling your eyes, curling your upper lip. Defensiveness: Seeing self as the victim, warding off a perceived attack. Making excuses (external circumstances beyond your control forced you to act in a certain way) -" It's not my fault...."; "He/she made me do it..." Cross-complaining: meeting your partner's complaint, or criticism with a complaint of your own; ignoring what your partner said. Disagreeing and then cross-complaining - "that's not true, you're the one who..." "I did this because you did that..." "Yes.... but" - start off agreeing but end up disagreeing.  Repeating yourself without paying attention to what the other person is saying. Whining "it's not fair." Stonewalling: Withdrawing from the relationship as a way to avoid conflict.  Partners may think that they…

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