Posts tagged with "relationships"

All Good Just A Week Ago

If you’re feeling a little bit lonely as a single person during quarantine, there might be a perfect book for you.

For both men and women, “All Good Just A Week Ago: Funny Dating Stories to Help You Keep Your Head in the Game” is chock-full of funny, relatable dating stories put together from interviews.

With teachable moments and unimaginable scenarios, “All Good Just A Week Ago” helps single people keep their heads in the game.

Erika McCall and Niesha Forbes, two best friends, wanted to put their quarantine time to good use, so they set up 50 interviews to gather data and stories for the book.

These stories prove that relationships can make you laugh and roll your eyes instead of cry, all while showing us that we’re not alone.

In 1950, only 22% of Americans were without a romantic partner. In 2019, 124 million Americans were without a partner.

Though the percentage of people in relationships has gone down, the desire to find love and companionship has not.

McCall said, “It’s the year of 20/20 vision, and it’s time for a dating and love revolution.”

Both authors agreed that the revolution begins with this book. With a goal to understand romantic communication and expectations, “All Good Just A Week Ago” uses stories to heal relationships and foster close, loving, committed relationships in a generation obsesses with “hook up culture.”

McCall and Forbes even get into a few of their own stories. McCall herself is single and wants to clear the way for her future husband to enter her life while Forbes is on her way to her third wedding anniversary and hopes that sharing her experience can help bring about mutual respect, kindness and traditional courtship in relationships.

McCall said her story is every woman’s story while Forbes said, “It is critical to know that once you get to a certain age, things you did in your early twenties, all those toxic behavior patterns where you’re not putting your worth above your desire to be with someone, if you don’t do the work on yourself, you will find yourself in your thirties, forties and even fifties, having not learned the important lessons or found true love.”

Following the laughs in the beginning of the book, readers will reach a call to action that encourages men and women to think critically about how to move forward with healthier relationship dynamics.

For more information about the book or to order it, you can click right here.

Rita Azar illustrates relationship article for 360 MAGAZINE

The Top 5 Most Important Qualities a Guy Should Have

Are you restarting your dating life but find yourself swiping left a little too often? When you’re outing the dating world, it can be hard to find the right balance. Although we don’t want to “settle” for a person, we also don’t want to discount men.

We’re here to help you along your way. You always can try to meet a right person on Promenad, but first of all read on for the top five qualities on what to look for in a man so that you can date with intention. 

1. He’s Respectful

Your man knows that your time is valuable, and he respects it by making sure that he’s present when you’re together. He’s interested in your opinion about topics and gives you a platform to voice them.

He’s also upfront about what he wants in a relationship and doesn’t lead you on. Lastly, you feel free to live your own life without his micromanagement or what he believes is “better.”

2. He’s Supportive

You’ll know a man is supportive if you feel as if you can talk about your life, career aspirations, and goals without judgment. He trusts the decisions you make and will often back you up on them–not make you feel as if you need to constantly second-guess your decisions.

Best of all, supportive men are often good listeners. They’ll give you the silence you need and won’t frequently interrupt.

3. He’s Honest

They’ll be times when your man disagrees with a decision you’re making, and he’ll let you know in a way that doesn’t diminish your character. You won’t need to second-guess his thoughts or motivations because he’s upfront and doesn’t feel the need to hide. This often leads to better communication, one of the most important aspects of a relationship. If you ask him a question, you don’t feel any doubt in his answer–even if it’s not the one you wanted to hear.

4. He Pays Attention

Men who pay attention are often talented at active listening because they want you to know that you’re being heard. They also have good dating etiquette. When you’re together, he’s good at putting down his phone and giving you his full attention. They’re attentive to your needs because it’s their way of showing that they value you.

5. He’s Happy

A man’s attitude is often a good indicator of their self-confidence. If you find that your man has a constant, pessimistic outlook on the world, they probably have the same view of themselves. You may feel compelled to help him or find that your own mood becomes low when you’re around him. Although it’s not realistic to expect someone to be happy all the time, generally you’ll feel happy and comfortable around someone with a positive attitude. They often have a good sense of humor and smile more.

What Do You Look for in a Guy?

What are you looking for in a man? It’s important to ask yourself this question frequently until you have a definite answer. Once you know what you want in a relationship, it’s far easier to find a man that’s looking for the same theme.

It’s all about trusting your instinct. Pay attention to how you feel when you’re around him. If you feel understood, respected, and cared for, you may have found the one.

Tyler Perry’s “Sistas” Season 2

360 MAGAZINE had the chance to sit down with the cast of BET’s hit show “Sistas,” which comes from mastermind Tyler Perry, to discuss the second season of the show.

The second season premiered Oct. 14 with a special two-episode event. You can see the third episode of the season on BET Wednesday, and you can catch up on the first season on BET.

Friendship and relationship drama are center stage in this show about four women in the middle of the Atlanta dating scene. Is Mr. Right out there in 2020?

360: What are you most excited about with your characters in season two?

Novi Brown (Sabrina): The drama. I’m just excited to see how far Tyler’s going to take these ladies, and one of my acting teachers says, “Crisis shows character.” We saw Andi in a crisis right when season one ended. Is she still on the road? What is she doing? What is Danni doing? Is Karen over there with Zac because people are dying around them? It’s getting really crazy. Then we have the whole situation with Calvin and Sabrina. Then there’s Olonzo and Maurice. I just feel like you guys should definitely expect every seed that was planted to start budding and cultivating on its own, but you can’t direct how it’s going to be. This is Tyler’s show. We just show up. That’s all we’re going to do. We just want to entertain you guys.

Crystal Hayslett (Fatima): I’m more excited because you actually get to learn who Fatima is. You get to learn more about her. You get to see a lot of different layers she has. Season one, you don’t really get to see that. All you see is that she’s a “ride-or-die” for Andi. This season she continues to do that, but it’s so much more to Fatima.

Trinity Whiteside (Preston): I’m just excited about Preston’s growth. I think with Preston being a mid-season reveal last season, we didn’t get to get into a lot of background as far as Preston individually. I think in this season you get to see a little bit more of him as an individual.

Kevin Walton (Aaron): I’m excited to see more of Aaron in a different kind of space. Season one was plenty of drama in things that were around him. I feel like he gets associated with that space as if he is that. With the opportunity in season two, you get to know him a little bit more beyond just that drama. I’m excited for people to get to see that and see how they respond. Right now everyone is like, “Red flag, Aaron! Questions! Questions! Red flag!” Soften it up for him, please. I’m excited to see that happen.

Devale Ellis (Zac): I’m excited for the evolution. Zac is not going to be the same person he was in season one. Typically that’s what happens in television. Season one to season two you see an evolution of the characters, but I’m excited for people to see where Zac goes in the season.

Anthony Dalton (Calvin): I’m excited to see the interaction with new characters coming in, especially with my character and some of the other characters on the show and the new dynamics that come with that.

Brian Jordan Jr. (Maurice): I’m most excited that people get to see more of Maurice this season and more into his personal life and not just him as an auxiliary to other people but really a deep delve into his life. I’m so excited about that.

360: How does the show’s balance of comedy and drama reflect real life relationships and real life itself?

Mignon (Danni): Life isn’t all anything. Things come to pass, right? Nothing is permanent, except for what you decide to hold dear, and I think comedy and drama being balanced is only necessary for authentic storytelling.

Crystal Hayslett: I think it hits spot on. In life, there’s a balance to everything, and Tyler, with his writing and the way he wrote everything, is the perfect balance and the perfect depiction of what real life is.

Trinity Whiteside: I think, in life, much like with the show, you take the good with the bad. You get the comedy with the drama, and those are two things that I believe drive the show and what has fans from different walks of life enjoying the show.

Kevin Walton: Funny is money. When people laugh, it kind of holds up that heart space, and we do that in general, and we do that in life. When you have comedy and drama dance like that, it is that space where you know where things hit home, and you can find ways to laugh about it and create more humor. Like Crystal said, TP does that beautifully in that space. I think it mirrors life in that way.

Anthony Dalton: I feel that it’s just the human condition. There’s pain. There’s sorrow. There’s laughter, especially amongst the black community. It resonates with the fans, and that’s why we got a season two, and that’s why our numbers are the way they are.

Brian Jordan Jr.: I feel like there are so many situations on this show that are just crazy, and I have been written in with comedic things that happen right in the middle of them. Personally, I’m a person who deals with sorrow, deals with trauma, with comedy. It’s something I’ve done my entire life. People look for joy in those types of situations, and laughter is the way we heal. Especially black people, I feel, we heal from laughter. Laughter is healing for us. I feel that it would not be an adequate depiction of the black experience if you didn’t have humor, so I think it’s perfect.

Devale Ellis: I would have to agree with Brian. I feel like we laugh sometimes to hide our pain, and Zac, in particular, was not supposed to be a super comedic character, but in order to bring some humanity to who Zac is and what he’s been dealing with, dealing with recidivism and some of the choices he made, I decided to make him a little bit funny because I wanted people to root for Zac. If you look at Zac in season one, it was hard to root for him because he made some really poor decisions, and I felt like if he was funny, it would allow Zac to be likable. He’s a charming guy. Even though he’s a little bit doltish and he makes some poor decisions, he’s not an evil guy, so for me, the comedy brings a humanity to my character.

360: The cast has made a point to say they want viewers to see themselves and people they know in this show. What has the fan reception been like, and what work is still left to do in season two and going forward?

KJ Smith (Andi): I think that, from the feedback I see, they do see themselves. They see themselves in each of our characters. We are multi-faceted, diverse human beings, and we all have different layers. I even see myself in all of us, so I think that what we’re doing is translating what it looks like to be a single, black female in this time and space, and I think people can really relate to that.

Crystal Hayseltt: People love that Fatima rides so hard for Andi, but in season one, they didn’t like the way that Andi treated Fatima. They were like, “She’s going for you. Why are you so mean to her?” Going into this season, you see more of a friendship and a bond built, which is beautiful. The fans are in for a treat for sure.

Trinity Whiteside: With Preston, I think it shows that a man can love a woman for who she is, despite how she feels or the insecurities she may have. There are people out there who love you just the way you are, and they don’t need you to change or be something other than simply who you are.

Kevin Whiteside: I feel like the fan receptivity drives the show in that space and in the relatability of those situations. As crazy as these things can be, it isn’t far-fetched from things that happen on a daily basis and in every day life. That’s where TP draws his inspiration from for these stories. That relatability is one of the successes of the show. It lands for people. When we get to, as people and the character, see, like the Twitter feeds and people’s responses, you’re seeing the things that land and people’s struggles and connectedness. They’re like, “Why would you do that? Don’t do that!” Then people go, “Damn, I’ve done that.” You see that, and I feel like that space is so important for the show because that’s what keeps people engaged. You see the drama, you want it to change, you know where you’ve done that and you’re just hoping someone makes a different decision. I think that’s huge, and I see the way that strikes a chord with our fans and is what makes them so awesome. It’s like they’re right there with you and emotionally engaged and calling us out.

Devale Ellis: I think this room here is a perfect example. We’re three of the six men on the show who represent the black men on the show, and we’re all different versions of black manhood, which I think is so important because now you have different versions of black men being represented on television for the first time. Everybody’s not a criminal. Everyone’s not gay. Everyone’s not toxic a masculine man. Everyone’s not super heterosexual. There are so many different versions of black masculinity, and I think it’s good for TV, and it’s good for us as a culture.

Brian Jordan Jr.: I think that we just continue to live and learn and be open to learning. For anybody who is creating content, anybody who is acting, there are so many different types of people in the world and so many different types of black people. There’s a quote they use on Boomerang that’s also on BET, and they say, “There’s not only one way to be black.” I think that when you continue to explore the different types of black men, different types of black women, different sexualities, different socioeconomic backgrounds and things people feel and breathe and experience, you continue to open your mind to learn, and you can always display them on television and make sure everyone is seen. The growth continues when you continue to learn.

Anthony Dalton: There’s not one way to be anything. I think that this show shows that there’s not one way to be a man. There’s not one way to be a woman. We all deal with certain things, and if we have conversations about them and try to get a dialogue and have an understanding, I feel like we’ll progress.

360: How has Tyler Perry helped get the show off the ground and get it rolling the way it is now?

Novi Brown: Besides the fact that he is Tyler Perry, he became who is is because he built it on his faith. There are so many years that he got so many noes, and I’m sure even until now some people still doubt what he’s capable of. Mignon says it all the time. He’s a maverick. He’s a leader. He’s a pioneer. He’s a person who really just shows us you can do whatever you want to do. That’s what I really, really love about our boss. It’s the best class in the world.

Mignon: We told him he should do a MasterClass. It doesn’t even have to be about filmmaking. It could just be “How to direct the course of your own life.”

Crystal Hayslett: It’s amazing. Working with him is fun. We really get to play. I love when he throws lines at me. He’s like, “Ooh, say this. Say that.” It’s a lot of fun, and there are moments where I’m laughing so hard. Then I’m trying to hold it all together because he’s so funny. At the same time, he’s so supportive. As soon as you finish he’s like, “Yes, you killed it!” He’s so supportive and makes you feel really good about your work.

Trinity Whiteside: People don’t realize how much fun we have in between takes. Tyler Perry isn’t “on-screen funny.” Tyler Perry is funny all the time. Just to have that kind of feeling around you all the time, the looseness, the comfort, it makes it easier for everyone, especially as an actor, to be able to be loose and to be free.

Kevin Walton: There’s this air of dedication in him because you see what he’s amassed and the work that he does, and there’s that space of working with him where you want to contribute to that dedication, work ethic and him pouring his heart in. Then there’s the lightness. He’s just funny, and there’s all these moments that happen outside of shooting where you’ll laugh, and you’ll play with it, then you have to get yourself together an go, “Alright. Let’s get the scene.” He’s personable, so it’s a really dope atmosphere to play with, then it also demands that you bring more, especially at the rate he shoots. It’s a really comprehensive experience when we reflect on it. Working with him is really cool. There’s that demand, discipline and his dedication, then the fun and lightness of it because he likes to crack jokes and mess around, and we get to have that fun, too.

Anthony Dalton: It’s monumental, putting that Tyler Perry stamp on this show. Him doing the Viacom deal and everything gets us into a bigger market, and it allows everyone to see themselves on this show. Tyler Perry is an icon, and to be in same presence as him, and to be a part of a successful show that he’s the head of is monumental, and it just means that the sky is the limit for, not only Tyler Perry, but for us and anybody else who walks through those doors.

Devale Ellis: For me I think it’s, one, being an example. He completely obliterated this idea of the gatekeeper mentality. Tyler Perry bulldozed his way into Hollywood his own way. He didn’t follow anyone’s rules. He didn’t go along with anyone’s ideas of who he should be in order to make it, and now he owns the largest studio in all of Hollywood. He’s one of the most paid and most celebrated producers and directors in all of Hollywood, and people continue to support his projects, so he’s an example. Also, he’s smart enough to understand that he has to change with the times. This show is a different type of Tyler Perry. We saw a lot of his Bible Belt content where he was speaking to the older generations, but now this is more of a millennial or Gen Z type of show. You have younger people getting introduced, which is crazy to me, to Tyler Perry for the first time. When you have teenagers saying, “Oh, I didn’t realize that he also did these types of TV shows,” it shows that you can have longevity if you stay with your people, you continue to research what’s going on and you keep your feet ten toes down to what’s going on in the world. Him being an example and using his following to help us push our numbers means a lot, and I’m proud to be a part of it.

Brian Jordan Jr.: Tyler Perry did something that no one else was able to do. He created a genre of media as a playwright first. People never really call him that, but he’s a playwright first. He created a style of television and film that included and showed a people who had been forgotten in Hollywood. In this time where we are observing the disparities in African-American people, I think that Tyler Perry is revolutionary with the things that he has created to serve the people who had been forgotten since the beginning of time, purposely. I think that is something that should be praised an always observed. Nobody else can do it. Nobody else has done it. He has created, and also cornered, this genre, and it’s something people will always be loyal to because he is the author of it, and that is revolutionary to me.

360: What does it mean when he is actually on set, laughing at the jokes and tying in emotionally with the show?

Mignon: He’s there every day. He directs every episode. It’s him.

KJ Smith: He’s hands-on creatively in all facets. It’s at his studio. He’s the writer, the producer and the director, so he’s on-set with us every moment of every day. If Andi doesn’t have any scenes, I can go back to my trailer. I can go back to my space. He’s there regardless. He’s there most times before people get there and after people leave, so he’s extremely hands-on, and I think his dedication and work ethic is shown in the things that he’s been able to do for so many people and employing so many people. Changing the film industry, changing the city of Atlanta as a whole. He’s an incredible human being. I love Tyler. He’s just great.

To learn more about BET’s “Sistas,” you can click right here.

Tips to Strengthen Relationships Amidst a Pandemic

By Montrella Cowan, MSW, LICSW

If you were one of millions who thought, “This is my year” coming into 2020, you’ve probably been cursing this year for a while. Many of our most sought-after resolutions like earning that promotion, traveling abroad, and dropping a few pounds all gave way to our “new normal” thanks to Covid-19.  These days, those of us fortunate enough not to be catastrophically impacted by the disease are simply happy to have our health and maintain our incomes – and perhaps, that’s how it should be? Either way, ambition has given way to survival in 2020. 

Just as many states have moved into reopening, our country faces as many unknowns as knowns. The untimely combination of civil unrest and Covid-19 has brought America to a boil, just in time for back-to-school season, a presidential election and the holidays.

Can Relationships Thrive During Turbulent Times? When chaos surrounds us, how do we fare in our relationships?

According to a recent Forbes study, a majority of couples reported that quarantine life was largely positive. Surprised?

Extra time at home presents unique challenges, but the additional time also provids a rare opportunity to strengthen and repair our most important relationships.

The combination of mental exhaustion and the uncertainty of post-pandemic life may make it tempting to sit as a bump on the log in front of a fall fireplace. But as much as you’re dreaming of reading a good book and drinking a pumpkin spice latte, a key priority must be keeping your relationship fresh this fall. 

But like everything else in 2020, getting there won’t be easy sailing.

As a relationship expert and licensed psychotherapist, I want to share my tips to make this fall as much a season of success as you want it to be.

This Isn’t the Time to Coast

Always remember that good relationships take work. Now is a great time to take inventory of your feelings. How would you grade your emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health? Once you’ve measured your state, it’s time to check-in with your partner and ask them to do the same. 

Once you’ve identified your current state, I recommend following these Three R’s to maximize your momentum and give your relationship its best chance to thrive.

The Three R’s:

● Rest: Burnout is normal, especially in times of high stress. According to Forbes, 71% of couples are feeling anxiety right now stemming from stress, overwhelm and uncertainty. Remember to nurture your mind, body and spirit.

● Reflect: Take this time to reflect on what matters most to you and level set your priorities with your family — especially your partner.

● Reaffirm: Remember to validate yourself and reaffirm your commitment to self-love, growth and nurturing. A relationship is only as strong as its weakest link, so care for yourself first.

It’s Time to Put in the Work

Sheltering in place left many couples feeling more isolated than ever. Isolation can cause increased feelings of depression and anxiety, and that’s why it’s especially important to continue to replenish each other’s cups as we emerge from isolation and get back to life. 

Keep your romance alive and focus on being spontaneous!

Surprise your partner with a romantic and private picnic in the park. Let your hair down and bring out that sexy, stylish outfit. And although you may be itching to get back out there, remember that a creative spin on an in-home date night could lead to the perfect opportunity for some much-needed intimacy with minimal distractions.

Whether you’re lighting candles, challenging each other to a board game or taking a love language quiz, remind each other that you are not alone, that you’re in this together, and that through it all, your love will win.

Families That Pray Together, Stay Together

Faith supports love. 

And it’s in these unprecedented times that our faith is truly tested. In any relationship, faith acts as the root of our connection—not only with God but also with ourselves, partner, family, and friends. 

This is an ideal time to water the seeds of your faith with your partner and children. When you deliberately and routinely nurture your faith, your relationships tend to grow in perfect harmony. 

For you, nurturing your faith may mean continuing your spiritual studies privately, turning to a virtual religious service for a sense of community, or simply looking inward and discussing your faith with your loved ones at home. 

Whichever path you choose, walk hand-in-hand with your spiritual self and spread love as much as possible. The world can use more love and light right now. 

Is Now the Time To Seek Professional Help?

During the most trying of times, underlying issues tend to boil to the surface. We’re seeing it today with protests in America, and you may be seeing it within your relationship right now.

As a psychotherapist and international best-selling author specializing in relationships and personal trauma, I help those who are suffering face their trauma and guide them on a path to healing and fulfilling relationships. 

Ultimately, the decision to seek help is a deeply personal one and one that only you can make for yourself. Just remember that many of the greatest movements in history were built out of adversity and isolation. And while you may not feel like MLK did as he marched through Selma, carrying the burden of discontentment, depression or anxiety is sure to reach a breaking point if not addressed. 

When you decide that speaking to a therapist is the next step in your journey, schedule a complimentary consultation or virtual therapy session with a trained professional. 

Everything great starts with a decision, and the only time we have is here in this moment. You, and only you, can create the relationship you’ve always wanted. 

Despite all that’s going on around us, today offers another opportunity to take the next step towards the future you deserve.

Grab your FREE GIFT from Montrella: 10 COMMANDMENTS FOR LESS STRESS here.

Montrella Cowan, MSW, LICSW

Licensed Therapist & Relationship Expert of Affinity Health Affairs

Author of the international bestseller, The Purse: An Essential Guide to Healthy Relationships

Glass of Wine Illustration by Mina Tocalini

Babe Wine

Living with your partner during quarantine seems to go one of two ways. Either you become closer than ever and realize you’re meant to be, or you decide you’re just not that into them (like, why do they eat yogurt during a Zoom meeting?!) and that you need to break up… like, yesterday. 

BABE Wine and Bumble (who just hit 100 million users in July) are teaming up for the first time to cover your moving costs if you’re stuck living with your ex, so you can sip and scroll while they do the heavy lifting – literally. 

From today, Thursday, July 30 through Thursday, August 6, those who are newly single and looking for a fresh start can tag themselves (or a friend who’s newly single) in BABE’s post on @drinkbabe to be entered into the contest. Five winners will be chosen from the comments, and they’ll officially be one step closer to moving on.

Follow Babe Wine: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

24kGoldn for 360 Magazine

24KGoldn – “Mood”

24KGOLDN AND IANN DIOR PLAY IT COOL IN NEW SONG “MOOD” 

West Coast rapper/singer 24kGoldn has teamed up with Iann Dior to release their new collaboration, “Mood” Bending fresh guitar licks around a pumping bass line, the power duo play it cool as they each lend their melodic voices to the fun new track.

“Mood” ft. Iann Dior follows Goldn’s previous singles “Unbelievable” ft. Kaash Paige and “City Of Angels,” which is featured on his Dropped Outta College EP. The eight tracks collectively demonstrate his breadth of talent and tells the story of his life as a budding artist and a college student at USC – exploring the emotions, relationships, and desires he felt at the time. Listen to Dropped Outta College in full HERE.

FOLLOW 24KGOLDN:

Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube 

Peaceful Relationships in Turbulent Times

3 Steps You Can Start Using Right Away

Are these scary times taking a toll on your most intimate relationship?

If so, you’re not alone.

Fear and stress can lead to impatience and anger. And before you know it, you’re in a gut-wrenching argument with the person you love—right when you need each others’ support and companionship the most. 

Then if these painful disconnects go unresolved, you can find yourselves drifting apart. In China, the divorce rate shot up when quarantines were relaxed, and we’re already hearing the same in this country.

But it’s not from spending too much time together in the current lockdown. It’s because we’re not good at maintaining true closeness when we’re frightened.

From decades of helping people have happier, more fulfilling relationships, we offer these three steps for alleviating fear and amplifying love—even in highly stressful times. 

Step #1: De-escalate yourself—before you try to de-escalate the argument

It’s natural to want to de-escalate the friction between you right away. But we recommend focusing on de-escalating yourself first.

This is not just taking a few breaths or counting to ten, although that’s useful. It’s a deliberate shift in your self-talk that dissolves your distress enough that your caring heart and clear mind come back to the forefront. 

It starts with noticing what’s going on inside you and then naming it for what it is. 

For instance, as soon as you recognize that you’re upset, you might say to yourself: “Yikes. My stomach is in knots. I’m raising my voice. I’m reacting as if the person in front of me is an enemy, not my beloved. I obviously got triggered and might be over-reacting… Hmmm…” 

When you do that, your neurobiological self starts calming your inner fear-fest and restoring your ability to think clearly and connect warmly—which puts you in the right place to approach your partner again

One way to know you’re ready to reconnect is that your desire to get back to love will be louder than your impulse to be defensive and right.

Step #2 — Restore the loving connection between you—before you get into a conversation

It’s so tempting to launch into discussing whatever went awry so you can fix it quickly. But don’t! 

The pain of an argument comes from the disconnect between the two of you—not from the issue that triggered it.  

Here’s our favorite way to restore our connection before we talk: 

Whoever’s ready first (that was usually Paige early on) approaches the other gently and says: “I’m sorry for my part.” And then Don would say: “I’m sorry for my part, too.” And as you might imagine, the distance would melt, and within seconds we were in the full embrace of love again.

Of course, this only works when it’s 100% genuine, and it might take some practice to discover what works for the two of you. But when you do, the subsequent conversations will go much better.

Step #3 —  Listen and speak to create deeper understanding—before discussing what to do next time

We got this step very wrong in our early years. 

As soon as we were back in sync, we’d start talking about what to do differently—thinking that’s how we’d avoid reigniting the problem. Logical, yes. But it usually backfired. We’d start arguing again, or, if we agreed on a solution, it wouldn’t stick.

In time, we found that a real resolution only emerged from a full conversation. That meant having a compassionate, level-headed exchange where the goal of our listening and our speaking was to understand each other better. 

This requires listening with a genuine curiosity about your partner’s experience of whatever went awry and why it was so upsetting. When practiced with patience, this kind of listening makes it safe for your beloved to speak openly and honestly.

Your speaking also wants to be compassionate. Meaning, while being honest about what upset you, you’re choosing language and tonality that are easy for your beloved to hear without getting triggered again. That means describing your feelings and perspective without blame.  

Pitfall alert!

During this mindful make-up conversation—especially in these ultra-stressful times—it’s easy to slip back into criticizing your partner, defending yourself, or shutting down again. If that’s what happens (which we know it can) just go back to Step #1. De-escalating yourself again, and then… You get the idea.

These three steps—de-escalating yourself first, then restoring your loving connection, followed by listening and speaking for deeper understanding—provide a framework for creating patterns of communication that yield an ever-deepening bond of love. 

We know the quest can be messy, especially now. Still the potential for experiencing new dimensions of extraordinary love is well worth it.

About

Paige Marrs, PhD, and Don Marrshave been joyfully married for over 33 years and have worked together since the day they joined their lives. They co-authored two how-to memoirs, both of which teach through story. Their most recent book, Grabbing Lightning: The Messy Quest for an Extraordinary Lovereveals their messy, intimate journey to a love greater than either of them knew to reach for. Paige and Don have offered their program, The Love Conversation® Approach, for more than a decade to provide couples and singles the tools needed to resolve their challenges so they can experience the depth of love they yearn for. You can learn more or sign up for their newsletter, LoveNotes, at www.TheLoveConversation.com.

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Dating Someone Internationally

Tips On How To Help Improve Your Partner’s Chances of Getting A Green Light On Their Green Card

By Jeana Jaeger

It’s no surprise that more people are now dating internationally or outside of their ethnic group, especially since Social Media, Dating Apps and even Online Gaming are playing a huge role in making love connections across borders. However, the latest national policies may now make it more difficult for couples to secure a visa or green card if they want to live together in the United States. In fact, some of the most recent data shows that thousands of green card applications during fiscal year 2019 were not approved, meaning that it may be a little tougher for foreign born citizens to obtain a visa or green card. Since international dating will continue to be on the rise, it’s important for couples to truly understand how to legally navigate the rules.

To help improve your chances of receiving an approval, there are several tips that can help move the process along in the right direction. First, a big part of the process involves completing the necessary paperwork. Before submitting, you need to make sure you have all of the required and correct documents with the necessary signatures. Couples have to prove they have day-to-day contact and constant communication, and that they have physically met in person within the last two years of filing. When it comes to communication, it helps to show there is not a language barrier where neither partner speaks the other language, or you need to detail how you work around that obstacle.

Another important factor is that if one partner was previously married, they need to make sure the divorce is completely finalized. Regarding the blending of cultures, the government will look to see if you adhere to cultural norms such as if you had an engagement ceremony that is customary to the local culture.

When it comes to the in-person interview, it’s of utmost importance to make sure everything you say is factual and correct. The interview is your chance to tell your love story, make them understand and see how real and special your relationship is. If you lie or fail to present accurate information, your green card could be denied. Fake or photoshopped photos are also considered fraudulent evidence, which may lead to a denial.

Even though times are frightening due to recent immigration changes, true love can still prevail. The most important takeaways to keep in mind throughout the process is to provide the correct documents and factual information on time, per government requirements.

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Online Communication and Serious Relationship 

Attitude to dating via the Internet is very ambiguous. Some people believe that this is a waste of time, while others celebrate their wedding with soul mates, which they found via the Internet. Only one thing can be said with confidence,  the popularity of dating websites is growing day by day. The explanation for this is simple – this is the way people can communicate with other people from any country, any age, and social status, which means they can increase their own chances by many times to find a person with similar interests and tastes. 

Does Online Dating have a Chance for a Relationship Future? 

Surely many have heard stories from friends about how they found their partners or spouses via the Internet. Many men try to find single women online as really successful men frequently don’t have too much time for searching women in real life. However, not always people use specialized websites. There are many people who have met using social networks or started correspondence in messengers. The Internet has firmly rooted in our lives. People work and relax using the web o why not use it to find a life partner? The effectiveness of online dating is confirmed by a series of experiments. The British psychologist Gavin J. made research. Volunteers, who helped the scientist evaluate the effectiveness of online dating were the young people aged between 19 to 26 who were ready for serious relationships. Their task was to register on a dating website in order to find a partner. At the end of the experiment, 72 percent of the participants continued close communication in real life, and some of them later even got married.

Statistics show that more than one-third of the World Wide Web users at least once used the services of dating websites. Every day, more than one and a half million people spend on such portals for about 4 hours or even more. At the same time, the number of men and women registered on these websites is approximately equal.

Why People Prefer Oline Communication

Why every year more and more people take this opportunity, preferring it to live communication? 

Accessibility – no need to spend time attending any events, just have a gadget and Internet access. 

Timezone Flexibility – no matter how much time is on the watch, customers can get acquainted both day and night. It’s easy to find someone from another time zone. The Internet significantly expands the boundaries of dating. 

Answering Later – messages should not be answered immediately. There will always be some time to consider the best answer and find an approach to the interlocutor. Communication with Several People at once – getting started online is much easier than in real life – a great solution for shy people. Unsuitable people can be filtered out by age, profession, and interests. 

Some Online Dating Disadvantages 

But it is worth considering the disadvantages of dating via the Internet:

  • The user profile not always says true information about its owner. For example, a 45-year-old thrice-divorced lady can hide behind a photo of a young girl;
  • The real communication is indispensable. Even after a long correspondence, the relationship can be broken if a pair will not meet in real life. However, this minus is very conditional: even the shyest people, as a rule, decide to meet;
  • There is some risk to be deceived by criminals – not all users are really looking for a partner, some are in search of victims. This is perhaps the most significant minus of network communication;
  • Never transfer money to new Internet acquaintances, and before the first date, tell someone from your relatives where you are going to go and with whom, do not make appointments in uninhabited places, charge your phone and do not have high hopes of meeting you in order to avoid disappointment. 

A certain amount of humour, elementary caution, and a bit of patience and you will definitely find a partner of your life with the help of dating websites. Stop being single and register already now. 

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4 Signs How To Know You Are A Perfect Match

Are we compatible? This is a very vital question anyone in a relationship ought to ask, especially if the relationship gets serious. But unfortunately, some couples carry on with each other and blinded to the fact that they’re not a relationship match. So we see them move from “wedding congratulations” to “I want a divorce” in a heartbeat. 

So if you’re still in the relationship stage, pause today and ask your self — how compatible are we? Do we make a good couple or are we a good match? With these in mind, step into this post and let’s talk, showing you strong compatibility signs. 

Strangers like friends

Have you ever experienced a vibing with someone that’s so natural you get lost in the convo? You only met them for the first time, but your flow is so seamless, it feels you’ve known forever. You don’t run out of things to talk about and you feel so relaxed that you are yourself around them. You’re so comfortable around them that you find yourself talking about stuff you’ll naturally shy away from with others.

That’s a very strong sign right there that you shouldn’t ignore. Although there is more to being compatible that having great flow together. It’s something to note if you’re considering getting serious. This is because spending your life with someone you can’t have a great conversation with will make you miserable. 

Again, if you have to be so cautious around them or go silent because there’s nothing to talk about. Then you’ve not found your partner. Keep looking and don’t settle, there’s someone for you. 

You love talking about the same things

Although variety is the spice of life, in relationships you have to be as similar as possible. We mean, loving almost the same things. How about a situation where everything your partner talks about leaves you cold. Neither of you has interests in what the other enjoys doing. No single area of overlap for both of you. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. 

When a couple share love for the same topics and discourse, they don’t need to try keeping convos alive. They both get excited and engrossed with whatever they’re talking about. The conversations take a life of its own and the time keeps running. 

Have you ever had a chat with a friend and you’re not in a hurry to end it? Or you look at the time and it’s hours since you started talking? And you don’t know where the time went. That’s compatibility and it gives you something to look forward to.

They take humor as good as they can give 

A great sense of humor plays a vital role in every healthy relationship. Listen to some couples we tag “bae goals” and you’d always hear, he/she makes me laugh. Forever is too long to live with a straight face all the time. Your partner should be able to make you laugh till your muscles hurt. They should also be able to undertake your jokes and deal with the witty part of you.

A lot of people are quite sensitive and can never take a joke to save their lives. They either get offended when jokes are made or they just mope at you because they don’t get it. If you’re blessed with wit and are very goofy, please keep moving.

You’ve not found the one, because people like this will kill your vibe. They will suppress your bubbly spirit. You need all the humor in the world to get by each day. 

Their personality is perfect for you 

We all have that friend that’s so perfect we feel very comfortable with them. We can tell them everything and do everything them, but…  They remain in the friend zone. We are not even tempted to cross the boundaries of friendship into anything more serious. This is simply saying they have a great personality but they aren’t perfect for you. 

Then there are other people who have great personalities. We want to do everything with them and be with them always. We want to wake up to them and get into something serious, including visiting base without remorse. They say something and it’s so funny to you. You see the best in every one of their little gestures.

They awaken the butterflies in your tummy with their personalities. They do things that seem ordinary to others but amazing to you, and you know that they’re perfect. That’s it! Go for it! You found the one! 

“Are we compatible?” is a question everyone in a serious relationship should be asking. See our helpful answers in the post.