Relationships are a beautiful thing. There really is nothing better then falling head over heels for someone who you want to spend the rest of your life with. Relationships give you memories you’ll never forget, whether that’s romantic holidays or jokes that make you both laugh so hard that you snort. Unfortunately though, sometimes things have to end and sometimes you have to go through the gut-wrenching pain of trying to mend a broken heart.

Accepting that a relationship is over or is no longer working sucks big time. But it’s important to remember that you need to look after yourself as well, so here are some ways to help mend a broken heart when the inevitable happens.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Relationships | 7 ways to mend a broken heart | Dating | Love | Relationships |

ALLOW YOURSELF TO WALLOW IN SELF PITY
It’s entirely natural and healthy to mourn a relationship, no matter what way feels best for you. Hole yourself up in your room for a weekend and binge-watch Friends with a tub of ice cream, or go out drinking with your friends for however many nights straight. Neither way is more healthy than the other but you need to wallow and do what you do. It seems tempting to put on a brave face and look ahead, but it’s important to feel your emotions too because if you don’t, how are you ever going to heal?

FOCUS ON YOUR FUTURE
Although it might seem that your whole future has gone down the drain in a matter of weeks, it’s important to remember that there is still a future there, even if it’s not as you imagined anymore. You might not have motivation to do much or look ahead, but there should be at least one thing to focus on whether that’s blogging, getting to the gym for a workout or writing in general. If you’ve ever wanted to pick up a new hobby or research a side business, now is the time when you actually, y’know, have time.

BLOCK YOUR EX
No questions asked. Yes it’ll hurt and yes it may seem extreme but still talking to them so soon after the break up will not help one bit because you’ll either feel like you’re getting on really well and want to get back together or you’ll spend the whole time convinced they’ve met someone which will hurt like hell. Blocking them is the best thing to do because you’ll both have space away from each other to move on.

UNDERSTAND WHY IT DIDN’T WORK 
Relationships don’t just end for no reason. You always learn something from a relationship – good or bad – and you should take this away from the relationship. Maybe you weren’t understanding enough. Maybe they didn’t communicate very well. At the end of the day, if it’s meant to be, it will be – as my nan always says. So if it was meant to work, it would have done.

MOVE ON
You’re probably nowhere near ready for a new relationship yet but that doesn’t mean you have to be entirely alone. Your confidence is probably at an all time low right now so talking to some good looking guys online or going on one or two dates could probably be really helpful when the time comes. Try heading online for websites like an Essex dating site, Cumbria dating sites, dating in Birmingham, to date Dorset singles or even single women in Gwent if that’s your thing (and there’s nothing wrong with moving on from men completely and experimenting a bit this time around either!). The important thing to remember is not to rush things: my cut off point for the end of a relationship is always when either one of you does the deed and sleeps with someone else. In my mind, there’s no going back from that. So if you want to move on for the sake of yourself but still want things to work out, by all means, go out and date but hold off on jumping into bed with someone until you’re entirely ready because once you do, there’s no taking that back!

TREAT YO’ SELF
Always, always take time to treat yourself. Go out and splurge money on some pretty lingerie from Boux Avenue or get yourself a stunning new hair cut. You deserve it.

A NEUTRAL MEETING WITH YOUR EX
Finally, after all the tears or once you feel like you’ve accepted things, I believe it’s also important to meet up with your ex on neutral grounds, especially if you still have things to give back to each other. This could be months after the break up, but you’re always going to have to see them again one day anyway, so why not get it over and done with? A quick coffee will be the perfect opportunity to show them you’ve moved on and you’re okay and is also the ideal way to say goodbye for a final time on good terms. You could also use this time to discuss once more why things went wrong; after so much time has passed and you’ve had some space away from each other, it will be a lot easier to talk about things without feelings involved. Plus, who knows, you might find yourself both understanding what went wrong and might want to give things another go..!

The important thing to remember though is that when you break up with someone, you must always focus on yourself first. Even if you do want to try to fight for things and get back together, there’s no use waiting around and putting yourself down waiting for a chance that might never happen. It’s always best to focus on making yourself feel better because, if anything, this is more likely to encourage your ex to see you being mature about the whole thing. If you’ve both had time apart to work on yourselves and realize what went wrong, you’re more than likely to eventually rebuild things if there are still feelings there months down the line.

What do you think? What’s your fail-safe way of dealing with heartbreak? Let me know!

*Please note, this is a sponsored post but all views and opinions are entirely my own.

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So, without wanting to jinx things, plans have been put in place for me to move out (of my family home) and into my own place, depending on time and job applications. However, it’s a nice feeling to know that this is in my near future and it’s a goal to work towards if things don’t work out right away. And so I wanted to talk about making a house a home today (well, a flat, but you get my drift).

Depending on time, budget and whether you’re renting or buying, there’s only so much you can do with a place to make it your own and to make it feel homely. I’ve thought for a long time about what I would do and how I would decorate should I ever move out, but now that it’s a near possibility, I’ve been putting more thought into the smaller details.

Here are some things I’d like to do/have when that time comes.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Home | How to make a house a home | Interior

A BLOGGING SPACE
This one is an obvious choice and as I already have a stunning desk for blogging, all I have to do is dedicate a space for this desk and add some inspiring prints to the walls and accessories in the area. Ideally I’d like this space to be located somewhere that gets lots of natural light, but near a radiator to keep warm and toasty too. Luckily, I’ve been pinning desk/blog area ideas on Pinterest for years now so when the time comes, I think I’ll be well off for inspiration!

A READING NOOK
Whether that’s an area, a huge comfy armchair or just somewhere warm, a reading nook is a must. Currently I read my books in bed and that’s it. To have a cosy chair would be ideal, but I also want a chair that stands out too. I always like the look of the bright and edgy ones in TK Maxx, so this is an idea!

A SNACK DRAWER
Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted a snack drawer beneath my bed filled with crisps, (vegan) chocolate and sweets. The idea of being able to eat these snacks at all times of night – when my cravings appear – without having to get up and go downstairs or risking disturbing someone has always appealed to me. As it goes, since I’ll be moving out, this is no longer necessary really as I’ll have no one to disturb, but I still love the idea of all my favourite snacks being in within reach without me having to even get out of bed! At the moment, my drawer  only holds jeans…

A STATEMENT WALL
Nothing too over the top of course but I’d like one wall for some photos/memorabilia and perhaps a scratch off travel map to keep count of my travels! I’m not sure how I’ll do this wall, but some ideas are lots of polaroid photos or odd and random sized photos in funky frames so everything is mismatched. Unfortunately I’m not great at this type of thing, so I’ll be enlisting my sisters help when the time comes to decorate/theme a room.

FUNKY MUGS
I’ll never grow up and have a matching cutlery/plate/mug set. Never. I’ll probably buy a few different random sets, but I want all my own mugs like my many unicorn ones for example! Favourite mugs are always a fail-safe way to make somewhere feel homely – you can’t feel at home having a cuppa in a mug that’s not your own, it’s just a fact!

There are other things I would love of coursebut are definitely not achievable at this time. For example, if I had a house, I would love a jacuzzi bath (my dad said my room will always be here though so I’m welcome to come back and use this one!), a conservatory overlooking a green garden (outdoor hot tub and/or pool optional!) and a hidden cinema room in the basement. If only I were rich..!

What would your dream home have?! Let me know!

*Please note, this is a sponsored post but all views and opinions are entirely my own.

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A new year brings anticipation for the year ahead and January is certainly the time to start looking towards any travel plans or holidays for the year. Just after Christmas is the best time to start researching, mapping out any savings plans and, quite possibly, booking up any deals that may be discounted. I’ve thought a lot about my travel adventures in 2018 lately and although I’m still looking for some inspiration, here’s what I’m set on.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Travel  | 2018 Adventures | Berlin | Iceland | Romania | Europe | Adventures

BERLIN
Much like many other travel bloggers, I have plans to cut back and budget my money/travelling better this year by doing lots of smaller short breaks if possible. First up is Berlin at the end of the month which is already booked thanks to a cheap deal discovered on Wowcher. It’s somewhere I’ve wanted to go for around a year now but when I saw the deal included entry into Tropical Islands – an amazing indoor faux beach with real sand and summer-like temperatures, I was sold. I’ve wanted to go to Tropical Islands for years now, so that’ll be another thing booked off my bucket list within the first month of 2018!

ICELAND
Iceland seems doable this year if I budget right. I haven’t researched a lot into this but I know I definitely want to visit Blue Lagoon and, if travelling in a couple, I’d like to pencil in a couple of nights in one of the transparent igloos in the hope of spotting the Northern Lights.

ROMANIA
Being that my week off at the end of the month was meant to be spent in Romania (now that I’m no longer going, I booked Berlin instead!), I still really want to go, perhaps in the summer. I’ll be sad to miss visiting the beautiful country in the snow, but after our adventures there last year, I feel like I know enough to navigate the cities alone. We saw a taster of a lot of places in the summer of 2017, so this year I might split it up and fly out two times a year for long weekends in a different city each time. LuckyTrip has tons of recommendations, but from past experiences I’d love to visit Bran and Cluj-Napoca again.

UP NORTH
Vague, I know! Although I’m in no rush to visit my old uni town particularly again (since myself and a friend visited a couple of summers ago), there is a lot I’d like to see and re-visit ‘up north’ and in Tyne and Wear/surrounding areas. I’d like to spend a little longer in Newcastle and spend some time in Durham, as well as fit in a visit to Alnwick Castle again. I’d really like to visit Beamish too, and The Forbidden Corner, as both of these places I wanted to visit when I was studying in Sunderland but never got the chance to.

EUROPE, IN GENERAL
Another vague one, but I’d like to visit some more places in Europe like Dublin, Budapest, Amsterdam etc. I’m set on visiting Edinburgh for next New Year’s Eve, but I’m hoping if I can budget probably I can maybe do a little bit of interrailing, if not this summer then next.

I’ve gone for the more cheaper ideas for 2018 and haven’t even thought about a ‘proper’ summer holiday, as I think smaller city breaks are going to be ideal for me this year. I think I’ll get some sun when I visit Romania but as a whole, smaller and budget adventures are appealing to me a lot more right now, as opposed to lavish beach holidays! Still, I am keeping my eye out on anymore TrekAmerica tours too!

What are your travel plans for 2018? Let me know!

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One of my New Year’s Resolutions – and blogging goals – was to focus on my blog’s Tumblr a little more. Only, of course, a lot of you may not even know what Tumblr is. Do you use Tumblr?

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Lifestyle | Do you even Tumblr though? | Tumblr |

The creative photo sharing website is much like WeHeartIt (oh the good old days of WeHeartIt!) or Pinterest, where people share their photography, videos, writing, art and more. Overall though, it can be incredibly inspiring. After five minutes of scrolling through, you could find yourself facing beautiful photographs of nature, stunning makeup art and bang on trend outfit details.

Therefore I set up a Tumblr a long time ago to coincide with the blog – and took time to carefully tag each image I reposted so that along the top you could click on what you wanted to see for inspiration, whether that be makeup, accessories, fashion etc.

Currently, it’s primarily geared towards fashion and beauty, but in future I might use it to share quotes, travel photos etc.

I used to link to the website with every post on this blog but when I stopped using Tumblr and reblogging (and forgot my log in details!), I fell behind. Now I’m back posting again however, so if you’re looking for beauty or fashion based inspiration, have a look and give me a follow! Drop your links below and I’ll follow you back too. I would definitely love some new people to follow.

You can find the Formidable Joy Tumblr at www.formidable-joy.tumblr.com!

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I may not be an expert when it comes to love and relationships but with fresh heartbreak under my belt (more on that later..maybe!), I can safely say I have learned a lot during my 11 years of dating the opposite sex.

I wholeheartedly believe that that’s the beauty of love though. Each relationship – even the bad ones that you look back on with regret – teach you something. And these things you learn stay with you as you go through life and meet the right person! So even the bad relationships are good for you in a way.

Here’s some things I’ve learned in my 11 years of dating.

Formidable Joy | UK Lifestyle Blog | Dating | 6 things I've learned in my 11 years of dating | Love | Relationships | Advice

BEWARE OF ‘PSYCHO EX’S’
Let me be entirely clear about this, I have learned time and time again that if a man uses the words ‘my ex is/was a psycho’ when you first meet, chances are HE IS THE PSYCHO or it’s just an excuse to cover his past, present and future tracks. Ah yes. It’s so easy to see through rose-tinted glasses to believe that an ex that is being ‘too friendly’ and ‘just won’t get the hint’ despite him apparently insisting to her multiple times that it’s over. You’ll believe him until evidently months or years down the line you’ve unwillingly become ‘that’ ex, sending him perfectly understandable messages about why he has suddenly started seeing someone else after dumping you to be single and why he won’t answer you when you deserve an explanation. Yep, I’m sorry to say this ladies, but if a guy tells you his ex is psycho, it’s probably because he’s leading her on whilst moving in on you and wants an excuse to cover up the fact that he’s clearly breaking her heart and her messages are just a repercussion of that. Stay well clear, else soon enough you’ll be labelled that ‘psycho ex’.

YOU CAN’T FORCE SOMEONE TO CARE
You just can’t. Yes, life would be easier if they loved you as much as you love them. You can be the perfect partner by being romantic and supportive but people can’t help how they feel. Much like when you friendzone someone, you don’t want to hurt them and you wish they didn’t feel that way or you felt the same way but sometimes you just can’t force things.

LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCTS
I was about three weeks into my uni relationship when I realized that my boyfriend at the time was a) a player and b) would never fully commit to me. But lo and behold, he was hot, he showed no signs of straying and I thought maybe I’d finally tamed him. I was wrong. If I’d listened to my instincts, I would have avoided nearly two years of stress. I mean I don’t regret the relationship but it taught me that I should have listened to that gut feeling from the get go.

…BUT KNOW WHAT’S WORTH FIGHTING FOR
If you’re like me, you may find it hard to walk away and want to fight for everything. This rarely has good outcomes for me but I’m proud of this part of me. I’m proud to be the one in the relationship who will always stand up and fight for it to keep going. That said, when it gets to the point when I know it’s no longer worth fighting for, I then walk away. My point is that relationships aren’t black and white: someone may do something to hurt you but if you know they/the relationship is worth working through, then screw what everyone else says and give it your all.

DON’T LOSE YOURSELF
It’s very easy to consume yourself entirely in a relationship. Partners often become best friends too, so it’s no surprise when relationships with your other friends get put on the back burner for a bit. I’m very guilty of giving my all – in fact, often too much – to a relationship and this is definitely a bad habit. Of course it’s good to want to put your other half first sometimes, especially if they make you happy, but you should always remember to take time for yourself too. Don’t let your own goals suffer for their priorities – compromise is such an important word in a relationship for example. Don’t give up your hobbies – I gave up my pole dancing classes when I met Vincent because travelling back to Luton every Thursday just wasn’t convenient for me at the time, but now I regret it and wished that I’d kept that regular weekly thing for just me. So, to conclude, go with the flow and definitely fall head over heels for someone and spend as much time as you like with them if it feels right. But remember to keep something for yourself too.

RELATIONSHIPS ARE ALMOST ALWAYS UNEXPECTED
They tend to happen when you least expect it so if you’re single and looking for a relationship, try taking the back burner and not looking for one. Concentrate on yourself for a bit first and you’ll hopefully soon find that someone will come along when you’re not looking. That said, it’s never fun to be lonely either and if you want to not-look-for-the-relationship-you-actually-want, dating is always a good shout. Why not try online dating with Cambridge dating sitesdating in Manchester, and Aberdeen dating sites in search of single men in Nottinghamshire or to date Hertfordshire singles? Whether you’re after just dating, a bit of fun or something more, you’re bound to find someone looking for the same thing online. And, who knows, maybe one of those dates will turn into an unexpected relationship..!

However, whether or not I learn from these mistakes and lessons is a whole other kettle of fish…!

Do you have any fail-safe advice or knowledge you’ve picked up on since dating? Let me know!

*Please note, this is a sponsored post but all views and opinions are entirely my own.
*Images taken using Dom&Ink‘s Map My Heart.
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