Friday 31 July 2015

The 10 Decrees of Divorce Survival

The 10 Decrees of Divorce Survival

The official document that finalizes your divorce is called a "decree." It's a formal, legal acknowledgement that your marriage is over. But long before you reach that official milestone, you must take on going, decisive action to ensure your personal well-being. The "10 Decrees of Divorce Survival" will help you cope with -- and ultimately triumph over -- the many challenges you face during this difficult process:

1 Do unto others. Vow to do something for someone else every day. It can be as simple as paying someone a heartfelt compliment or as meaningful as volunteering in a soup kitchen. The point is to take the focus off of yourself and on to someone else. You'll find that doing good for others makes you feel good.

2 Cancel your pity party. Think you've got it bad? There are plenty of others who have been dealt way worse hands than you. Tell yourself: "There are so many people who would gladly trade their day for my very worst day, in a heartbeat." And believe it, because it's true.

3 Stop being angry. If your ex has hurt you, it's natural to feel anger towards him/her. But at a certain point, you have to let it go, because ultimately, your anger will harm you, not your ex. It will eat away at you and prevent you from focusing on your future and experiencing joy.

4 Be grateful. Every religion, philosophy, and New Age belief system extols the power of gratitude. There must be something to it! Instead of constantly bemoaning what you've lost, switch your focus and spend time thinking about what you've got. When you're feeling particularly low, your gratitude may be for very basic items: a roof over your head and food on the table. When you're feeling more empowered, you can be grateful for your resilience, talents, and new opportunities. Without a doubt, you've got an infinite number of reasons to be grateful. Make a list. Refer to it and add to it often.

5 Spare your children. If you're a parent, remember that your job is to be there for your children, from the moment they're born and throughout the rest of your life. While children (of every age) can be a great comfort, always put their happiness first, ahead of your own. Think about what they need to feel secure and to stay strong and take steps to provide the resources that will make that happen. Always be truthful with them, but save any sordid details about your ex and the divorce for your friends or therapist.

6 Stay healthy. Countless studies have shown the benefits of exercise, especially the cardiovascular variety. It's really a "magic pill" that works on your physical body as well as your emotional self. You don't have to run a marathon; just find some kind of activity that you like and commit to doing it at least three times a week. You'll look and feel better, guaranteed. Also pay attention to your diet. There are two possible reactions to extreme stress: some people turn to junk food for comfort, while others lose their appetite all together. Neither option is beneficial. Be conscious of what and how much you eat and strive for a healthy balance. (And while sharing a bottle of wine with friends is a pleasurable, healthy way to connect with others, turning to the bottle when at home alone will bring depression and isolation, not comfort).

7 Reach out to others. Your friends, acquaintances, and loved ones want to help you, but often, they simply don't know how to proceed. Many of them aren't sure what you need, so they may pull back and remain silent. However, once you take the initiative and reach out to them, they will be happy to provide what you need, from a dinner invitation to advice about lawn maintenance. You'll be surprised at the incredible outpouring of love and support (often from people who are not your closest friends).

8 Educate yourself. There are plenty of books, websites, blogs, etc., (like this one) offering all kinds of advice about the many aspects -- legal, emotional, social, and financial -- of divorce. While you should always take "expert" advice with a large grain of salt, read as much as you can about divorce and its aftermath. You will undoubtedly find ideas that resonate with you and that provide new perspectives on your situation. You never know where your next inspiration will come from. And the old saying is true: knowledge is power.

9 Strive for indifference toward your ex. Love and hate are two sides of the same coin, and neither will serve you well once your relationship ends. While it's easy to transform the intense love you once felt for your ex into intense hatred, to move forward, you need to break the strong emotional attachment between you. You must consciously stop thinking and obsessing about your ex. He/she has moved on -- and you have to as well.

10 Make a new plan. You may find that your post-divorce life is radically different from the life you once expected. However, if you want to be truly happy, you must come to terms with this. It's up to you to create a new, fulfilling, happy, and productive life. No one can accomplish this for you. Here's the bottom line: to move forward, you have to let go of the past. Change and reinvention are scary, but once you take the leap, you'll feel empowered and excited about your possibilities. Adopt the wise words philosopher Joseph Campbell as your credo: "We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us."

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Thursday 30 July 2015

My Guy Is Really Flirty ....With Other Women!

My Guy Is Really Flirt...With Other Women!

By Minot Pettinato-Little

Does your boyfriend look a little too long at the sexy waitress, or spend a little too much time with his female BFF? Here’s what you can do. 

As females, we’ve learned at a young age how to bat our lashes, laugh at lame jokes, sizzle with sarcastic sensuality, and twirl our hair without breaking a nail, all for the sake of becoming the perfect flirt. So what happens when the tables are turned and it’s your man who can’t seem to zip his sexy lips around other girls?

What do you do when harmless flirtation has crossed into the monogamy-zone? Sure, flirting can sometimes be harmless, but it can also spell the ruin of your relationship. You never know when his seemingly harmless flirtation is an open door towards infidelity!

How to handle a flirty boyfriend

When your guy just can’t seem to keep himself from trying to charm the ladies all around him, here are 5 things you can do to rein in your man.

#1 Try to address your trust issues. Do you have trust issues with your mate? If you have faced a blip in the past, such as him cheating or exchanging wildly inappropriate texts or touches with another female, then you need to nip this thing in the bud. Either toss him out, or set him straight.

However, if your jealousy is unfounded and your guy’s never really done anything to afford your mistrust, try to take a chill pill. Sometimes, people are just flirty by nature. In fact, most females remain extremely flirtatious even after they are in a committed relationship. This doesn’t mean they don’t love their partner, it is just an aspect of their personality. 

#2 Don’t jump all over him. It may seem tempting to jump down your man’s throat every time he gives a passing glance to another female, or leaves a larger-than-life tip for a foxy female waitress who did a lower-than-low job at serving.

However, you need to remember not to sweat the small stuff, either. Just because your man loves you doesn’t mean he’s dead inside. Sure, you love your guy, but does that mean you never notice when a hot fellah is walking down the street? Don’t confuse appreciation with flirtation.

If it’s not just jealousy and you’re honestly having a problem with the way your boyfriend is talking to other females, then instead of immediately taking the jealous bait, try compiling your list of evidence from a month’s worth of wrongdoings and calmly…

#3 Bring it up. Men don’t appreciate being attacked and you may just end up putting him on the defensive if you react this way. You may try to first bring it up with him with sarcasm or a well-timed joke. Skilled couples can turn this serious conversation into witty banter without things ever getting awkward, with the end of the conversation usually being wrapped up in a “Sorry babe, I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. I won’t do that anymore/I’ll try harder” acquiescence

However, if witty isn’t your thing then you may choose to highlight some past instances of his flirtations or interactions with other women. Explain to him that it upsets you and makes you feel disrespected. Try to put him in your shoes and ask him how he would feel in certain circumstances.

If you have experience with similar issues because of similar flirting in a past relationship, humbly explain this to your man and ask if he could tone down the figurative lash batting. If he still doesn’t listen after this, you may want to…

#4 Do a little snooping. While this option is an inappropriate misuse of power, as well as an invasion of personal privacy, the truth is that most girls do it. If your man has a close female friend or carries on a flirtatious relationship with other women, and suddenly your Spidey senses are going off, you may want to follow the snooping avenue.

Check his social media, e-mails, and if you can wrangle it: his phone. Odds are, if he’s behaving badly, he’ll have some evidence left on one of these networks. Notes to keep in mind? Most men don’t delete their “sent” message folders, and they will also put their cheating mistress in their phone under a guy’s name – so be sure to check the conversations to see that “Chad” and him aren’t having wildly curious conversations about blowjobs.

If you’re not up for being the “snooping girlfriend” and he maintains his innocence on the matter, you could always come out and ask him if he could show you his social networks and a quick skim of his texts to put your mind at ease.

Remember to make this request humbly, and with manners. Tell him you don’t want to have access to his passwords and that instead of being a phone-snatching-stalker, you’d prefer the situation to be as respectful as possible to his privacy.

Explain to him that you want to trust him, and if he could show these things to you, at your immediate request to avoid tampering with the evidence, you would be eternally grateful – not to mention much more fun to be around. 

#5 Give him a taste of his own medicine. Take note: revenge is the extreme measure that you only want to take when push comes to shove. If your boyfriend still isn’t backing down with the flirtatious behavior, or flat-out denies what he’s doing, then it’s time to bring out the big guns: revenge.

Give your lover a taste of his own medicine and show some of his moves to the men in your life: his friends, your friends, waiters at restaurants and cuties in bars. Don’t go out of your way to embarrass your boy, though! Simply let your inner flirt shine through and see how he reacts.
The ideal situation would be him feeling the old bite of the jealous bug and the twoof you having a good laugh about it in years to come. The bad outcome? He flips out and can’t see the comparison between what you’re doing and what he’s doing.

If the latter happens to be the case, seriously consider dumping this guy. Relationships aren’t 60/40 and they aren’t even 50/50 – they are 100%, and if you’re not getting 100% of the respect you’re giving, then you need to take your goods elsewhere.

It could be that your man is messing around, or it could be that he’s simply a flirt who happens to be wildly committed to you. If you’re down with that, great. If you’re not? Don’t stick around. A relationship where you don’t feel respected is not a relationship worth staying in.

Previous articles:
  • Is Your Partner Still in a Relationship With Their...
  • This Is What It Means...When Guys Cry
  • The Sniff Test: When Dogs Become the Match Makers
  • 11 Signs He Knows You're The One When you can spen...
  • Men and women play hard to get to test their loved...

Wednesday 29 July 2015

Is Your Partner Still in a Relationship With Their Ex?

Is Your Partner’s Relationship With Their Ex Making You Uncomfortable? 

Is it paranoia or is there a real reason for you to be worried? 
 By Francesca Marie

Is your boyfriend or girlfriend still in touch with their ex?

Are you okay with that?

In most circumstances, you should be accepting of that relationship.

Figuratively speaking, staying in touch with an ex is never a problem.

The problem only arises when the staying in touch translates into reality, literally!

Is your partner in a relationship with their ex?

Does your boyfriend meet his ex all the time?

Does your girlfriend share a flirty conversation with her ex now and then?

Do they ever exchange texts like “I miss those days…” or “my boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t know I’m texting you right now”?

Well, if I were you, I wouldn’t feel too comfortable imagining my partner’s ex trying to worm her way back into my partner’s life too!

But then again, is your partner’s ex worming their way back into their heart, are they just friends, or are you just getting paranoid?

Is it normal to be friends with an ex?

Yes, it is. It’s just like being friends with someone, isn’t it?

Being on friendly terms with an ex, exchanging a hello on the street, interacting with each other now and then over the phone, well, it’s completely acceptable and even healthy.

But that’s not what would bother you anyway, would it? It’s the more intimate and closer bond between exes that always threaten a new lover.

So can your lover still continue to have a close relationship with their ex? Well, it may not always be the norm because most people find it very hard to stay friends with someone they shared so much chemistry. But on the other hand, some people find it pretty easy to end a romance and turn it into friendship.

The threshold of balance

There’s a thin line between being friendly and getting attracted to each other. And to make matters worse, the thin line is always blurry and too fuzzy to see until you cross over to the other side!

How often does your partner interact with their ex? Every person is different, and sometimes, some people just find it easier to socialize and hang out with everyone comfortably, even if that’s an ex. But is your partner’s ex as close, or even closer than your partner’s other friends? 

These are questions that could help you understand just how friendly your partner and their ex are. But more than anything else, what matters is your personality and your own relationship with your man or woman. What’s acceptable to you, and just where do you want to draw the line?

The easiest way to deal with this is by making it clear as soon as you get to know about their over-friendly ex. It’s awkward to tell your partner that you’re not comfortable with the idea of them being so friendly with their ex, but if you care about your relationship, you need to voice your thoughts.

Think about it, your relationship would definitely go downhill soon if you pretend to be progressive and completely secure, when in reality, you feel threatened by your partner’s proximity to their ex. 

Do you trust your partner?

If you truly believe your partner won’t be doing something frisky behind your back, that’s a great thing. But if that’s the case, you wouldn’t be getting angry about their proximity to their ex, would you?

Sometimes, even if you completely trust your partner, it’s perfectly normal to feel troubled over natural human instincts. If you shared a perfect relationship with a smoking hot ex *and you had to break up with them over unavoidable circumstances*, wouldn’t you get carried away if they came on to you after both of you had a few drinks?

You may be loyal to your lover, but when you play with fire, there’s always a risk of getting your fingers burnt, or worse… 

Is it affecting your relationship?

So your husband or wife, or boyfriend or girlfriend talks to their ex all the time? That isn’t the problem. What matters is how you feel about it, and where you intend to draw the line. If you have a problem with your partner’s ex, don’t bottle your emotions and endure the pain because you think you may sound silly for voicing it out loud.

#1 Talk to your partner. If you feel threatened by your partner’s closeness to their ex, don’t feel embarrassed about it. Insecurity is a completely acceptable emotion in any relationship. Don’t wait until you reach the point of no return, where you give your partner the silent treatment and pick fights with them over silly reasons every day, just because you don’t feel like telling them the truth in the first place. 

#2 Do you feel disrespected? Mutual respect is an integral part of every strong romantic relationship. Does your partner make you feel disrespected in the relationship by maintaining a close bond with their ex? Just say it!


You don’t like your partner’s ex. So have you told your partner about it? How does your partner react to your insecure plea?

Does your partner fight you or voice their displeasure when you mention that their relationship with an ex bothers you? Do they appear embarrassed or do they get angry?

If your partner chooses to fight you instead of trying to reassure you, it’s pretty obvious that they prioritize their relationship with an ex higher than their relationship with you! 

Really, if you tell your lover that you’re feeling insecure because of their ex, if your partner really cared about you and your relationship, they’d be more concerned about reassuring you and making the relationship work instead of defending their ex, don’t you think? Now why would anyone do that unless they have feelings for their ex?

When a partner chooses to fight you instead of trying to reassure you and comfort you, something’s definitely not right, whether your partner chooses to admit it or not.

10 Signs you need to be worried about your partner’s closeness to their ex

If your significant other is still in a relationship with their ex, it’s acceptable. Well, unless it’s not acceptable to you! What the world thinks doesn’t matter here, and the only thing that matters is whether it matters to you or troubles you.

Here are 10 broad circumstances when relationships with exes generally take a new romantic twist over time, especially when they’re not pruned at the right time.

#1 Your partner’s ex is too needy. Your partner’s ex tries to cling on to your partner all the time. They may have broken up with your partner, but they still depend on your partner for everything, including emotional support! 

#2 Getting back together. Your partner’s ex wants to get back with them. How can you tell? Well, they text or say things like “I miss you…” or something much more flirty and undisguised to your lover.

#3 No reason to stay friends. Your partner doesn’t have any reason to stay friends with them. And yet, your partner doesn’t want to keep some distance from their ex even if it bothers you. 

#4 Lies. Your partner lies to you about their proximity with the ex. “No, we’re not close at all,” when in reality, they’re much more attached to their ex than they claim to be.

#5 Hidden secrets. Your partner hides information about the times they meet their ex or interact with them, or manipulates the truth. If their relationship is so pure and platonic, why the lies?

#6 Comparisons. Your partner compares you negatively to their ex in the middle of a fight or a conversation. 

#7 Secrets. Your partner isn’t comfortable with you reading their ex’s texts or listening to their interactions with their ex.

#8 Meetings. Your partner meets their ex far too often. And they don’t even work together!

#9 Besties. Your partner treats their ex like a best friend, and confides everything to them. In fact, they seem more like best friends and less like exes.

#10 Who’s more important? Your partner fights you over their ex. Every time both of you fight over the ex, your partner always stands up for their ex and defends their relationship with them, even if it means hurting you or walking away from you.

Relationships with exes and complicated love stories may work very well in sitcoms, but they’re extremely painful in real life. Deal with it if you’re comfortable with it, but walk away if it’s something that can’t be fixed.

After all, all of us are different, and every individual has his or her own threshold for jealousy and insecurity in love. And if your partner chooses to defend their relationship with an ex instead of trying to help you trust them better, you need to ask yourself where you stand in their list of priorities.

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with being in a friendly relationship with an ex. But if your partner gives more importance to an ex than the relationship with you, then that’s definitely something you shouldn’t put up with anymore!

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Tuesday 28 July 2015

This Is What It Means...When Guys Cry

This Is What It Means...When Guys Cry

You can tell a lot about a dude — from his relationship MO to his sex skills — by his tear-shedding style.

He Cries, But Not in Front of You

Closet sobbers have been taught that boys shouldn't cry. "This often leads to the suppression of other emotions — even happy ones, such as love — in your presence too," says William July, PhD, author of Understanding the Tin Man. "The feelings he might think are most acceptable to show are anger and sexual arousal." Though sensitive at his core, he needs your support and compassion to begin thawing on the outside. If you notice he's quieter than usual, ask him if something's wrong at work. Even if that's not the problem, he'll be more inclined to reveal what's upsetting him if you open the door. It won't happen overnight, but as trust increases,so should his expressions of emotion. Deep down, this guy has a need to impress, which is why he doesn't like to reveal any chinks in his armor. Your job is to make it clear that tenderness is one of the qualities you prize in a guy.

He's Always Stoic

This may come as a surprise, but a man who's not in touch with his feelings will always put yours first. "Because he wants to come off as tough and manly, his primary concern will be protecting you and making sure you're secure," says Scott Kudia, PhD, author of If This Is Love, Why Am I Unhappy? And since this guy is so uncomfortable with displaying his emotions, there won't be much drama, meaning he'll handle most problems calmly.

The drawback is that he may have trouble showing depth of emotion — verbally and physically. "Encourage him to slow down during intimate times — like in bed," says Kudia. "Tell him you think it's sexy when a guy lets down his guard." If he feels that his alpha-male standing won't be compromised, he may loosen up a bit, but he's never going to walk around with a hankie in his pocket.

He Bawls Out of Frustration

When things don't go his way, this guy responds by having a mini meltdown. "Don't mistake his tears for sensitivity though," warns psychologist George Weinberg, PhD, author of Why Men Won't Commit. "He just never learned to express himself any other way, so he deals by crying, which is how the body purges toxic emotions. And when it comes to sex, he needs reassurance." 

The best way to handle him: Ignore his freak-outs, but acknowledge his feelings, and couch your sexual desires as compliments. Lastly, you may suggest he see a counselor for new, healthier ways to cope.

He's Not Shy About Shedding Tears

If your guy is the type to get watery-eyed during very emotional situations — or even during the occasional sappy moment (read: while watching a sad movie) — you have a keeper. "This is a well- balanced man who is  secure enough in his masculinity to be emotional," explains Kudia. "He is likely to be a good communicator and has no problem letting you know how he feels, either with words or displays of affection." Because he's in touch with his own emotions, this guy will probably be able to better intuit yours. For example, if you want him to take the next step in the relationship or switch up the bedroom routine, he'll sense it. And if he doesn't, a subtle suggestion is all it will take to effect change since pleasing you is a major motivator for him.

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Monday 27 July 2015

The Sniff Test: When Dogs Become the Match Makers

Even with numerous businesses and websites dedicated to matchmaking, you can still find love just taking your dog for a walk

The road to dating is paved with such websites as,, even and (we’re not talking fish here) … and then there’s Fido. No cyberspace required. Just ask those whose canine companions led them to their significant others.

It was just another day in New Orleans’ City Bark dog park for Rich Bouchner, a wealth manager, and his 95-pound Great Dane/lab mix. Little did he know that his dog Easy would lead him to love.

Leaving the park, Bouchner began talking to a woman as they walked their dogs out. The conversation ended with the woman saying, “I have a friend I think you should meet.”

Two minutes later, as Bouchner was driving home, his phone rang.

“I talked to my friend, and she wants to meet you, too,” said the woman. So what inspired her to turn a dog walk into a match-matching opportunity? Both Bouchner and the woman’s friend, Elizabeth Fahey, the owner of an organic juice delivery service, loved dogs. Drawn to each other via the canine connection, the human connection took on a romantic life of its own.“Today we’re a unit,” said Bouchner, a year after meeting Fahey. “The three of us go everywhere together.”

So what if Easy hadn’t connected with Fahey?

“It would have been a game-changer,” said Bouchner. Fahey had a must-love-dogs requirement as well. “As a vegan, I feel strongly that the person with whom I’m sharing my life is not only a dog lover, but a lover of all animals,” she said.
Scott Wanke and his dog, Coal, were buddies. They traveled across the country, taking in as many states as they could in as many ways as they could.
“We went hiking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, camping and snowshoeing,” said Wanke, a physical therapist. Coal was about a year old when Wanke adopted him. The black Australian shepherd/lab mix had been neglected and confined, and had no social skills when he came to live with his new owner.“But Coal turned out to be the ultimate dog,” said Wanke.

The canine sidekick always hopped into his owner’s truck when there was an opportunity to go anywhere. At least that was the case until Scott met a woman named Lara Heyliger, also a physical therapist, 10 years later.
“From the moment Coal met Lara, he loved her. It got to the point that when I would pull up in front of Lara’s apartment and open the door for Coal, he would run straight up to her place on the second floor. And if we all left Lara’s apartment together and walked out to our separate cars, Coal would hop into Lara’s car. And Lara was a cat person!” said Wanke, who was elated, rather than jealous, that his dog was as fond of Lara as he was. That bond actually sealed the deal for romance and ended in marriage two years ago for Wanke and Heyliger.
“If Coal hadn’t fallen for Lara as I did, we wouldn’t be here in New Orleans,” said Wonke.
Coal lived only a couple more years. He was 11 when Heyliger first came into the picture. Just recently, Scott and Lara adopted another rescue dog.
It makes sense that a growing community of dog lovers looking for love is now on the ever-growing list of internet dating sites. Yes, there is a site.
Locally, those who have followed Rover’s lead in social settings such as dog parks often say that they trust their dogs’ judgment. Bouchner has never doubted that his dog Coal “has a good read on people.”
“If my dog Annie is positive toward a suitor, I find I am more open,” said Lore McPeek, a licensed massage therapist. “I read her radar. If she snubs someone, I see a yellow flag. Caution.”
There are no definitive studies to prove that dogs have the ability to judge character in humans, but famed dog trainer Cesar Millan, of the National Geographic channel “Dog Whisperer” series, works on the premise that dogs read a human’s energy. A study conducted at his center indicated that dogs have instincts about other dogs that can kick in from a distance as far away as 50 yards.
“I don’t think dogs are matchmakers in a direct sense. In other words, I don’t believe they hone in on a potential mate for their favorite human companion. Indirectly, however, they create opportunities for more human interaction. Dogs are fabulous conversation starters, and without a dog, there would be missed opportunities for such interactions on walks, trips to the dog park, involvement in dog classes, trips to the pet store, and so on,” says Dr. Nancy Kay, a board certified specialist in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, blogger (, and author of the book “Speaking for Spot.”

“I do believe that dogs (and animals in general) have strong and accurate instincts about a person’s character, but at a first meeting I’m not sure this comes into play. As a relationship progresses, how the dog feels about their human’s romantic interest may be a factor (in how the relationship progresses),” said Kay.

But dogs don’t hold a monopoly on love connections: just ask the cat lovers.
Kati Stewart (now Kati Hill) was a graduate student in 2007 when she took her cat, Lola, in for a second opinion after getting the disheartening news that her beloved pet had feline leukemia. The new vet, however, determined there had been a misdiagnosis and that her cat was perfectly healthy. After the appointment, she shared the good news about Lola to a girlfriend and added, “By the way, this vet is so cute!”
She adopted another cat and returned to the vet, Dr. Brian Hill at Maple Small Animal Clinic. During the feline exam, she couldn’t help but notice how Dr. Hill and her cats connected.
“I knew he had a kind heart,” she said. The devoted cat person also noticed that her new vet wasn’t wearing a wedding ring.
“I used to be very shy, but at the urging of my stepmother, I wrote him a thank-you note that ended with ‘Let me know if you would ever like to have coffee or lunch,”’ she said.
A response to her note came the very next day. Fast forward to marriage in 2009 and now a family of two children, two dogs and two cats.
“The cats love him more than they love me,” said Kati Hill.
In the interest of equal time, there are dating sites (such as for cat lovers.

Sunday 26 July 2015

11 Signs He Knows You're The One When you can spend all day in bed together.

11 Signs He Knows You're The One When you can spend all day in bed together.

1. He's always telling you how much better his night out would've been if you were there. It's not like he's constantly pining over you just because you're at work for the day, but he wishes you were around when something exciting happens, and he can't wait to share funny stories with you.

2. You spend all day in bed together. Not every day (because that would make for a terrible, barely functional relationship), but that first day you spend in bed together, just talking and laughing (and sexing) is always a good sign that the relationship is going places.

3. The sex is great. This is key. Sex isn't everything, but good sex means you've got a connection.

4. You can spend a day doing nothing. You don't even have to talk. You can sit in silence reading your own books or just relax outside in a park. Being together is enough.

5. You can always make him laugh, sometimes with just one word. You might not be the funniest people in the world, but you can crack each other up. You have a ton of inside jokes at this point, and you know exactly what to say to make him laugh uncontrollably.

6. You really "got it" when he had a crisis. You understood him when he was stressed out and not at his best, and you stuck through it with him. How you act when the pressure is on says a lot about you.

7. You show interest in the things he likes (and he shows interests in yours). You don't both need to have a deep passion for whitewater rafting to be soul mates. But you do care about the things he loves, precisely because he cares about them. So even if rafting isn't your thing, you tried it because you knew it would make him happy.

8. You can tell he's really comfortable around your family and friends. He doesn't have to be best friends with everyone you know, but he at least feels welcome.

9. He credits you with his big promotion at work. He really feels like you make him a better person, because you encourage him to go for it. You're supportive, but he doesn't feel like you're being pushy, because you really believe in him.

10. He loves that you introduced him to fusion Thai food. And modern art. And Lena Dunham. You open him up to new experiences and take him out of his comfort zone. And he loves what he's learning.

11. He can't keep his hands off you. You two still fool around like it's the first week you met.