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The Jessica Diaries: What I’ve Learned About Love Over The Years

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV

The way I view and experience love has changed so much over the years. It almost feels like the older I get, the more close I get to the actual meaning of love.

When it comes to romantic relationships, I’ve gotten it wrong so many times because I was focused more on the individual than the love that should have been being exchanged between us. In other relationships, such as those with my family, I didn’t realize the depths and showings of love that have been there all the time.

Some of these lessons were learned from my constantly evolving relationship with God and others were learned once I started to change myself. I’m sharing those lessons today on the blog.

Check them out below!

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Hot Date Ideas You’ll Both Love

When you know you’ve got a big date coming up you want it to be special. It’s always a good idea to pick something that you’ll both love. There are plenty of great choices too. No matter what your personality, or where you’ve reached in your relationship, we’ve got some great hot date ideas you’ll both love:

Back To Basics

For uninterrupted quality time together, it’s time to go back to basics. Ditch the hustle and bustle associated with modern life and technology. Instead, choose a retreat in the country where it’s quiet and isolated. You can sit quietly together, or make as much noise as you like without disturbing anyone else! The people behind Flowers For Everyone are running the Love Cave for couples looking to get away from it all. You could have some serious quality time together. Leave your phones behind and let life slow down, if only for the weekend!

Action And Adventure

A great date could also be about trying something new and exciting for the first time. Getting physical outdoors can be a great way to spend quality time together. And if it’s your first time doing the activity, it will certainly be memorable. Kayaking through rapid waters, rock climbing, or venturing down a 400m zip line can all be great things to do on a date. Remember your GoPro and selfie sticks to capture the excitement up close.

Romantic Dinner

You don’t have to fly to Paris and eat at a gourmet restaurant with a view of the Eiffel Tower. But wouldn’t that be romantic? Anyone would feel just as loved if you prepared a home cooked candlelit dinner for two. Put on your favorite love songs in the background. Add some red rose petals to the table. And crack open a really good bottle of wine. Of course, a luxury dessert will also work wonders to get you both in the mood for love after dinner.

On The Water

Being on the water doesn’t have to be fast-paced. Think about Gondolas. They are one of the most romantic forms of transport in the world. The gentle water is barely disturbed as you drift along in your boat. Find a picturesque lake and a row boat. Pack a picnic (and perhaps a couple of life jackets). And let the water gently rock you both to sleep as you look up at the clouds. It’s peaceful, tranquil, and one of the most romantic dates ever!

Hot Air Balloon

While this date may be entirely weather dependent, once you’re up in the air you’ll love it. The movement of the basket as you drift across the sky is gentle. And the views are going to be amazing. Getting a bird’s eye view isn’t something you can do every day. Neither of you will be the designated driver for this hot air balloon ride. So you can both enjoy a lovely glass of bubbly to celebrate this incredible date.

Romance is still one of the hottest things about a date. Quality time together helps you get to know each other even better. Make your hot date romantic and memorable.

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The Ultimate Guide To Dealing With A Breakup

As the song goes, breaking up is hard to do. Even if a few months or years down the line, you’re completely over it, it never feels like you will be at the time.

There are so many emotions involved, and it can knock you sideways, whether you expect it or not. You might not have dealt with a breakup before or never felt the effects as strongly. Maybe you want to avoid making the mistakes you made during previous breakups.

Whatever your reasons, this guide will help you to work through your feelings and come out on the other side. It might not feel like it now, but you’ll soon be moving on with your life.

How Not to Deal with It

Before you get into how you can deal with a breakup, you should make sure you’re not making any huge mistakes. There are plenty of things that you shouldn’t do, both for your sake, your ex’s and anyone around you. Firstly, don’t turn to drinking or drugs to forget about everything. You might spend a night drowning your sorrows, but you have to be careful not to use alcohol or drugs as a crutch. It’s the same with comfort eating. A tub of ice cream is a great temporary band aid as and when you first break up. But it’s not healthy to keep eating your feelings until you’re putting on weight.

It’s also important to think about how you act on your emotions. You might be angry, upset, confused, and more. Don’t block out these feelings. But do consider carefully how you’re going to channel them. For example, keying your ex’s car is not a healthy way to deal with anger. You don’t want to do anything that you’ll look back on and regret when your mind is clearer. In fact, it’s best to try and let go of anger and resentment altogether. Those aren’t the emotions you should be focusing on, and probably won’t do anyone any good.

The Initial Post-breakup Period

The first few days or even weeks after breaking up can feel strange. You can be in a funk that you’re not sure when you’ll come out of. You have a lot of questions, some of which you won’t ever get answers for, and the breakup might have come as a shock. All you want to do is wallow for a bit at first, which can involve a lot of crying. Or maybe you wish to get angry and have a rant. There’s no need to start working through your emotions and pushing to get over it right away. You’re allowed to take your time to feel anything you want to feel. And maybe you can have a night with your friends where you all badmouth your ex.

Be in Touch with Your Emotions

It’s important not to try and push your feelings away or pretend that you’re not having them. There’s no wrong way to feel so don’t feel guilty for any of your emotions. You do need to be in touch with your feelings so that you can examine why you’re having them. Even though you can feel whatever you like, you should still be able to look at your emotions logically. Think about why you feel a particular way and whether it’s a reasonable reaction. You might find that you start to unravel some of your thoughts and feelings so that you can let go of some of them.

Take Care of Yourself

The end of your relationship might make you want to curl up in bed and never come out, but you need to look after yourself. When you’re under a lot of stress, it’s important to make time for yourself. You should spend at least a little time every day doing something that helps you feel relaxed and happy. You could go for a walk, do some yoga, meet your friends for a coffee, or whatever you enjoy doing. Having a routine can help to and get you to continue with your life, even if you feel like shutting yourself indoors. In fact, it’s a great time to take a break from any big changes in your life. Take the time to learn to be single again, perhaps picking up a new hobby.

Making Sure You Have Someone to Talk To

Going through a breakup is even harder if you have to do it alone. You may have just broken up with the person who was your biggest confidant. So it’s even more important that you make sure you have people to talk to now. The first place you can turn to is the people you would usually ask for support. Your friends and family are sure to want to help you feel better and listen to your problems. Think about what each person can offer you regarding support. If you just want someone to listen, don’t talk to someone who always offers practical advice. You might also consider looking for outside help. Going for counseling can be useful to get another perspective from someone objective.

Avoiding Your Ex

In the first stages of your breakup, it’s probably best not to contact your ex. Even if you’ve agreed to stay friends, you should try to have some space to yourselves first. You might choose to get back in touch eventually, but give yourself some time first. With the age of social media, it can be difficult to avoid them. But you are really the primary barrier to not seeing their posts. If you don’t want to see them on Facebook, for example, you can get rid of them as a friend. If that’s too much, just unfollow their posts, so they don’t appear on your news feed. Back in the offline world, mutual friends can be difficult to deal with. Some might take sides naturally, but don’t encourage them to do so. It’s ok to take some time and avoid going to group outings for a while.

Being Friends with Your Ex

One question might be causing you some trouble after the breakup. Should I be friends with my ex boyfriend? A lot of people manage to stay friends with their ex, although it is easier when the breakup is mutual. There are a few things to consider if you think you might want to stay friends. Firstly, you have to think about why you want to be friends. Is it because they were a friend before they were a partner, and you think you can go back to that? Perhaps you’re hoping you’ll eventually get back together if you stay in touch. Of course, staying friends will only work if you both want to do it. Before you agree to it, think about how it will affect you, especially if you still have romantic feelings for them.

Should You Try to Get Them Back?

A lot of people also wonder whether they should attempt to get their ex back. Sometimes, going after them to try and mend the relationship is the right thing. But there are other times when it’s just painful for both of you. Before you make any moves to get back together, you should look for signs that they want it. There are lots of things you can look out for, like your ex asking your friends about you. They might reach out to you first in the hopes of reestablishing contact.

Reflecting on Lessons Learned

A breakup is a great time to learn about yourself and to reflect on what you did right and wrong. You might have made mistakes during the relationship and afterward, but it can help you avoid them in the future. Think about which of your behaviors, if any, led to the end of the relationship. However, it’s important to think about how your ex behaved too. Sometimes, one person is entirely faultless. And sometimes it’s not because of anything either of you did wrong. There aren’t always lessons to be learned; it could just be that you weren’t meant to be.

What to Do If You Can’t Get Over It

Some people find that they’re still struggling to cope months down the lines. While you don’t need to rush yourself, you also don’t want to feel miserable forever. If you can’t get over it, you should consider seeing a therapist. They can help you to examine your feelings more carefully and perhaps give you a reality check.

Getting Ready to Date Again

It can be difficult knowing when you’re ready to date again. Some people find a new relationship within a few months or even weeks. Others stay single for a year or more and aren’t interested in finding someone new. Just remember that there’s no time limit on when you start dating again. It can happen whenever you’re comfortable and ready to try again. Being single can be just as enjoyable for many people.

Every breakup is different, and you might deal with some better than others. However you cope, do it in your own time and not anyone else’s.

Photo Credit: Nicolas Raymond

Sex, Love & Relationships

OPEN DISCUSSION: Would You Give Your Significant Other A Hall Pass?

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Cheating passes have been the topic of relationship related conversation lately after it became known that reality star Toya Wright allows her soon-to-be-ex-husband, Mickey “Memphitz” Wright, to cheat eight days out of the year.

The two are appearing on Bravo’s new series, “Untying the Knot,” and revealed this tidbit of information during a clip from their interview with the resident counselor. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that maybe infidelity led them on this path to divorce (even though Memphitz says that he wants to remain married) but what do I know? *shrugs*

Then as if that wasn’t enough to stir people up across social media, during a recent interview actress/comedienne Mo’Nique explained the open marriage she shares with her husband.

So, I have to ask…

Would you allow your significant other or spouse to cheat?

Would you give your partner permission to cheat?

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I’ll go ahead and give you my answer — absolutely NOT.

Personally, I believe in having freedom in your relationship. I don’t own anyone and no one owns me. I always want my partner to do whatever he wants to do and to always feel free to be himself (and I operate the same way).

If he feels like he wants to sleep with or have a relationship with someone else for whatever reason, then that’s what he needs to do.

However, I hope he also feels ready to deal with the consequences. *rolls eyes*

Cheating passes defeat the whole purpose of being in a committed relationship so I don’t understand why anyone would make that type of arrangement. It’s like the ultimate display of greed and selfishness. You may as well stay single and date as you please if you want to be able to step outside of your relationship on a regular or recurring basis.

I believe it would add unnecessary and avoidable drama, stress, insecurities and more to your relationship and ultimately it could lead to your relationship’s demise.

I won’t say that cheating is a deal breaker and immediate cause to break up BUT it’s not something that I would be OK with.

What are your thoughts? Do you have a hall pass? Would you give your partner a pass? Share with me in the comments section below!

Sex, Love & Relationships

A Guide To Choosing Your Own Engagement Ring

You’ve just got engaged – congratulations are in order! The one downside to your engagement is the fact that he didn’t pick a ring, instead, he’s left that for you to do. While this may not be traditional, don’t see this as a downside. As most married celebs will tell you, being able to pick your own ring is part of the fun of getting engaged.

It might have been a little more romantic had he chosen a ring himself, but think about it, what were the chances of him getting it right? Buying jewelry is tricky at the best of times, let alone as and when you’re shopping for an engagement ring.

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You probably didn’t expect to have to pick your own ring, so you might not know where to start. To help you, I thought I would share a few handy tips for choosing the most beautiful engagement ring.

Find out how much you have to spend

Before you start shopping, the first thing that you need to do is find out how much you have to spend. Once you have a figure to work with, you can then start your ring shopping. How exciting!

Traditionally, around three month’s wages were supposed to be spent on an engagement ring. However, today, that’s not always the case. Some men choose to spend more than that, while others choose to spend a lot less. What your fiance is spending doesn’t matter, just as long as you get a ring that you love.

Get an idea of what style you want

The first thing that you need to do is work out what style of ring you want – do you like modern designs or do you prefer more classic jewelry? There are so many different styles to choose from, that at first it can be a little overwhelming.

Take your time, look at the various shapes and styles. Perhaps you have always loved a certain style of ring or maybe you’ve never even thought about it before? Don’t stress, take your time, browse online and find a few designs that you love. (For inspiration, sites like Instagram are fantastic.)

Think about the metal

Once you have chosen a style of ring that you like, the next step is to focus on the metal. Rings comes in all types of materials, from yellow and white gold to platinum and silver, the metal that you opt for is up to you.

You should find that most ring designs are available in a range of metals, so you can see which style you like best. For various ring designs and metals, buy verragio rings online – there are lots of fantastic options to choose from.

If you suffer from dermatitis or eczema, make sure to pick a metal that’s hypoallergenic. For people who suffer from skin conditions and allergies, the best metal to opt for is cobalt. It might sound like a strange one, but if you suffer from skin problems, this is one of the most hypoallergenic metals. It shouldn’t cause any soreness or irritation, unlike some other metals.

Picking your own engagement ring may not be something that you pictured yourself doing, but it can actually be a great opportunity. Not only do you get to shop, but you also have the opportunity to choose the most beautiful engagement ring.