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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Or, in other words, is Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus still relevant in this day and age?

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus is a book that everyone is aware of and most women have read at least once in their life’s. It has sold more than 50 million copies and is still a huge part of popular culture; constantly being referenced in movies, TV shows and more. It’s Georgina’s ‘boy bible’ in Angus, Thongs & Perfect Snogging, and I myself used to steal my mum’s copy and read it when I was a teenager, in hopes to get into the mindset of why men acted the way they did.
Some parts of the book have stuck with me since then but when I found it in my room the other day, I decided to re-read it to see if it was still relevant, not just in this day in age and in the way that modern dating is, but also now that I’m a bit older and I’m in an actual serious healthy relationship.
The whole basis behind the book is that men are originally from a different planet than us ladies, and that’s why there’s so many differences between us, especially when it comes to the way we deal with conflict.
I’ve never thought guys were that different, until I sat down and re-read this book and realized that expecting my boyfriend to communicate and deal with things exactly the same way I do isn’t helpful!
So I thought it would be fun to go through and briefly touch upon each section from the book, noting whether or not it’s still relevant!

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Dating | Relationships | Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus
MR. FIX-IT AND THE HOME-IMPROVEMENT COMMITTEE
The general idea behind this chapter is that when a woman is upset or stressed, a man tries to fix the problem rather than comforting her. On the other hand, it also focuses on the fact that women like to ‘improve’ men by helping them grow – causing him to feel controlled as opposed to accepted. 
Do I think this is still a problem (or ever was a problem?) in relationships? Yes and no. I can definitely agree with the ‘home-improvement committee’ theory – since getting with my boyfriend, I have wanted to help him a lot. I do tend to nag at him to sort all his bills out and stuff like that, but luckily I tend to pull back sometimes and remind myself that he’s a grown man who can look after himself! I think women wanting to help their man grow and be their best selves is definitely still very relevant, but I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing anymore. These days, Facebook is filled with meme’s about woman being ultra proud of their other halves which is good. 
I’ve never been the type of person to go to a boyfriend about my problems – usually I just let everything get on top of me and throw a tantrum! So I can’t say I have a lot of experience with ‘mr. fix-it’. I do sometimes have to remind my boyfriend that if I’m upset, usually I just need a hug or a cuddle to feel better, but likewise, he never really tries to ‘fix’ my problems.
Still relevant? The jury’s out on this one. The home-improvement committee is still at large to a certain extent, but I think men have learned to give Mr Fix-It a rest.
MEN GO TO THEIR CAVES AND WOMEN TALK
According to this chapter, when men are upset or stressed, they like to go into a man-cave until they feel better. Women like to talk, talk and talk.
THIS. This is super relevant. I never actually noticed the whole man cave thing until I re-read this book and then was like ‘ooooh so that’s what Vincent does when he games’. The boy can go into a world of his own and whilst I’m missing his attention, I now see it’s his way of distressing from work (or me). 
On the other hand, I definitely talk when I’m stressed or upset. Though I usually need a hug, rambling helps a lot too and helps me get things off my chest.
The idea of man caves has actually really helped me be more supportive of my boyfriend when he needs his space. I know now to just leave him be and do my own thing, and he knows to reassure me to let me know he just needs a bit of space and will come back to me when he can. I still struggle to accept this when we have an argument (I tend to think it’s not fair that he should have space when the argument/he has upset me), but it takes time.
Still relevant? Yes. 100% yes.
HOW TO MOTIVATE THE OPPOSITE SEX
This chapter is a little confusing, but from what I can gather, it focuses on the circle of a woman giving too much or too much of herself in a relationship and a man therefore not giving enough. Men need to feel motivated to give support and if they see the woman giving a lot, they assume they don’t need support.
I don’t feel this is relevant. There have been times in the past where I’ve felt like I’ve given too much – too much romance, too much support, too much effort etc – but usually this has been resolved by communication or by ending things when they weren’t right in the first place.
SPEAKING DIFFERENT LANGUAGES
Well even though there’s a whole chapter on this, it isn’t necessary. Men and women speak a different language nearly everyday. From the tone of voice to the words they use and the way they are perceived. Unfortunately this is just a common problem that can be solved with communication.
Still relevant? Yes. Perhaps not as severe, but I definitely encounter this issue regularly.

“We mistakenly assume that if our partners love us they will react and behave in certain ways = the ways we react and behave when we love someone.

MEN ARE LIKE RUBBER BANDS
So I kind of think this chapter is stupid but it also makes a whole lot of sense. Because men are d*cks, once they get close to a girl, they then like to pull away for some stupid reason (it is explained in the book but I can’t be bothered to go and re-read it). It makes no sense, but, unfortunately, it’s true. At least in my experience. Sometimes when you like a guy and he pulls away, you gotta play hard to get. But trust me when I say, a man who plays games like this isn’t worth it anyway.
Still relevant? Unfortunately so.
WOMAN ARE LIKE WAVES
Isn’t this just another way of saying woman get periods? Yes, sometimes we’re happy and sometimes we’re sad. It’s not always to do with PMS – going through emotions is just part of life – but I certainly get a little batsh*t crazy and over-emotional when it’s around about the time for my period. Men should be more understanding. We shouldn’t use our periods as an excuse to act out. But sometimes we just do.
Still relevant? Well, yes, we still get periods but no, I don’t think men need a guide to dealing with them.
DISCOVERING OUR DIFFERENT EMOTIONAL NEEDS
This chapter states that women need – in this order – caring, understanding, respect, devotion, validation and reassurance in a relationship, whereas a man needs: trust, acceptance, appreciation, admiration, approval and encouragement.
These are most things healthy relationships should have anyway. Any normal person would know this already: skip this chapter.
Still relevant? Yes. But not necessary.
HOW TO AVOID ARGUMENTS
I’m not even going to go into this chapter because a) people argue for a reason and arguments are necessary to a certain extent and b) without arguments you don’t get makeup sex. And quite frankly that’s not a world I want to live in.

Still relevant? Nope!

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Dating | Relationships | Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

SCORING POINTS WITH THE OPPOSITE SEX
What even is this? It sounds absurd and has bullsh*t lists about how to support your other half, including things like give them four hugs a day and ‘don’t flick the remote control to different channels when she is watching TV with you’. People shouldn’t need a list to show love in a relationship. Unless you’re an idiot. In which case, this list is pretty helpful.
This chapter also states that men score women on what they do (10-20 points when he forgets to do something and she says it’s okay!) but women give generally the same score depending on whatever the man does. So basically, woman see the little things just as important as the big, whereas a man gives more points depending on what the woman does. I don’t even know.

Still relevant? No.
.
HOW TO COMMUNICATE DIFFICULT FEELINGS
This is just about communication really but also suggests writing a letter if you find it hard to convey your feelings verbally. Writing letters always help, to be fair.
Still relevant? No.
HOW TO ASK FOR SUPPORT AND GET IT
Aka say would you instead of could you. I get the point behind this chapter, but every relationship is give and take – sometimes you do things to make your other half happy and sometimes they do the same for you. You shouldn’t have to study what words you should use to ask them to take out the trash once in a while.
Still relevant? No.

“A woman should not be judged for needing this reassurance, just as a man should not be judged for needing to withdraw”
KEEPING THE MAGIC OF LOVE ALIVE 
Finally, this chapter sums up the book overall, stating that woman should support men in their man cave and men should try not to fix women’s problems, etc.

Still relevant? Partly.

So as a whole, this book is tricky, A lot of it is bullsh*t and stuff people should know anyway – but granted, if you don’t know, it’s quite helpful. There are some things I have taken away from it that I still think are really relevant in this day and age though, most notably man caves and the home-improvement committee.
It’s always eye-opening to read a book like this and I think it definitely helps to remind you of the differences between men and woman but, if I’m honest, overall I believe that no good couple would need to refer to this book word for word. Sure, it’s helpful to understand how to support your other half in things you don’t know much about, but, generally, if your partner loves and respects you and makes you happy, who cares if he needs to disappear into a man cave every now and then..?

Nonetheless, it’s been fun to sum it up in regards to modern dating. I’m lucky enough that I don’t have to play the game anymore – though most of this book is spot on for couples as well as people just wanting to get a head start on understanding the opposite sex – even when single. If you’re looking for ways to put what you’ve learnt into practice, why not try online dating? There’s sites for everyone these days, including senior dating, Belfast dating agencyBerkshire dating agencyGuernsey dating and Isle of Wight dating.

But what do you think? Do you think Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus offers information and advice that is still relevant when it comes to dating in this day and age? Let me know!

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*Please note, as a contributor for We Love Dates, this is a sponsored post but all views and opinions are entirely my own.

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Autumn is hands down one of the prettiest time of year and, with Christmas fast approaching, it also means romance is in the air. 
With warm summer days gone and the need to save for the upcoming season, those in relationships often put going out for dates on the back burner. It’s natural in a relationship to settle into a routine of dinner at home and Netflix binges, and whilst there is nothing wrong with that, it’s also nice to go on an actual date now and then.
So with that in mind, here are some autumn date ideas!

Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | Relationships | Dating | Lifestyle | Autumn date ideas | Love |

HUNT FOR THE PERFECT PUMPKIN
It seems the American trend of pumpkin patches has landed in the UK with patches springing up this year. Don your wellies and head over to find that *perfect* pumpkin, making sure to stop and take plenty of photos along the way. Then, head home and have fun carving the pumpkins (but make sure to keep the ‘insides’ for some recipes like pumpkin pie or soup!).
GO FOR A WALK
Yes, it sounds stupid, but sometimes it’s really lovely to just leave your phones at home and go on a long walk to reconnect and focus on each other. Autumn is the perfect time for this with all the beautiful colours and crunchy leaves, so why not head to a local nature estate or something similar? If just walking isn’t your thing, make it fun: download Pokemon Go and have a pokemon hunting date, or try Geocoaching (google it!).
SCARE YOURSELF SILLY
Visit a scare attraction to get that adrenaline going! There are plenty of scare attractions around the UK so you’re bound to find one wherever you are – from a family friendly spooky farm or a theme park fright night.
GO FOR DINNER & A MOVIE
With Netflix and NOWTV, it’s very rare that couples go to the cinema anymore – why would you when you have so much entertainment at your fingertips? But as the evening’s get chillier, put the effort in to dress up a little and actually go out. There are tons of deals: Meerkat Movies and cheap days at the cinema, and have a look online beforehand for some vouchers for restaurants. It might not seem like much but if it’s been a long time since you’ve gone out, it’s a really fun way to get out of the typical work-eat-sleep-repeat pattern.
DO SOMETHING TOURISTY
This one can be a little pricier, but if you live near a big city or near the capital, why not do something typically touristy? Lots of cities do deals so you can do more than one attraction in one day and it’s also a great way to get out of your hometown for the day. Also, chances are that there’s going to be at least one touristy thing that either one of you haven’t done.
GAME TOGETHER
There are plenty of PC/Xbox/Playstation/your console of choice games that can be played on Co-op. My recommendation? Scary games. There’s just something romantic about your other half saving your on-screen character from zombies, trust me…
BINGE WATCH A SERIES
You probably do this often anyway but why not go all out? Book the day off work, stock up on essential snacks beforehand and aim to finish a series in one day. Shorter series like Stranger Things are perfect for this. To make the date extra cute, build a fort or make an indoor picnic.
COOK TOGETHER
One of my boyfriend and I’s favourite things to do is actually cook together and this is a far cry from how I used to be when I’d never cook and was scared of experimenting with food. This can be something simple as dinner, or you could make a three course meal together and light a few candles to make it romantic when eating. There’s also lots of seasonal food you can make/bake together. Stick some music on and have a laugh in the kitchen as you make food together: it’s always fun. 
And if you’re dateless this autumn? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Forget the local bars: take your dog (or borrow a friend’s dog!) on a walk to scout potential romances, try a local gig one evening or sign up to a dating website! Some suggestions are: best dating sites, date divorced singles, Northampton dating site, dating agency London and Auckland dating – I’d suggest signing up now so you can get some autumn dates in pronto 😉
So, how about you guys? What are your favourite autumn themed dates or date ideas you’ve always wanted to try? Let me know!
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*Please note, this is a sponsored post but all views and opinions are entirely my own.

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Recently, I’ve been very open about my experiences of online dating.

There was once a time when I was slightly ashamed of it and wouldn’t even tell my friends, but then apps like Tinder and Plenty Of Fish came on the scene and all of a sudden everyone was a lot more open about it and the idea of meeting strangers online became the norm.
I also realized that it’s something a lot of us have been doing for a lot of years anyway and meeting strangers (safely!) online kind of goes hand in hand with our generation; we’ve made friends on Myspace, bloggers like myself have bonded via Twitter then met at blogging events in real life and I’ve even discovered bands online which have led me to meeting some awesome people.
There is still a bit of stigma around it though and I can sort of see why. I used to have the notion that if I told people I was online dating, they might think it’s because I’m not pretty enough or approachable enough to meet men in real life. I definitely do not think that anymore though as I soon realized that everyone and their dog was on some form of dating website anyway!
But I digress. Here’s some benefits of online dating if you’re single but still a little cautious about giving it a go.
Formidable Joy | UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog | 7 benefits of online dating | Online dating | Dating
YOU CAN MEET SO MANY GREAT PEOPLE
…even when it doesn’t evolve into a relationship. Online dating is pretty great I guess in a way that you sort of already forge some form of connection before meeting in real life and that connection doesn’t just go away if things don’t work out, so many people often go on to become friends afterwards. This wouldn’t happen if you just gave your number to someone in a club. Similarly, you could also make contacts this way. I’ve made contacts in music, graphic design and photography in the past, which is pretty cool.
DATING IS FUN!
For a while, I used online dating apps and websites just to go on dates and not necessarily for a relationship. This led to some real fun dates which is often one of the best parts of being single. Some of my most fun dates included going to an Arctic Monkey’s gig, spending the day along Southend seafront and drinks at the quirky underground 1940’s themed bar, Cahoots. 
IT HELPS GET YOU OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
I used to be so shy and that’s part of the reason why I turned to online dating. I could never approach a guy unless I was drunk and on a night out, but online I found myself coming across as super confident and this paid off in my favour. I think this helped me become more outgoing in real life too, especially as the messages exchange online often led to meeting in real life. Also, heading down to Southend to meet a stranger for a first date was way out of my comfort zone, but it paid off and I ended up dating said guy for around six months. 
YOU DON’T HAVE TO TAKE IT SERIOUSLY IF YOU DON’T WANT TO
Even though I know plenty of people that have forged relationships through the use of Tinder, it is still an app that is often considered the most playful of all of them and you’re never judged for whatever you’re looking for on there. If you don’t want a serious relationship or just want to dip your toe into the world of online dating, apps like Tinder can always lead to a bit of fun!
…BUT IT DEFINITELY WORKS TOO
Strangely enough, I’ve had more relationships/’dated’ more people online than I’ve had ‘single first dates’ (if that makes sense), which is weird when a lot of people think online dating is used for people looking for just one thing. I’ve been with my boyfriend for just under seven months now and in that time we’ve gone to Blackpool, Brighton and even Romania together (I’d never have seen myself visiting such a beautiful country before meeting Vincent!) and are super happy and in love. The proof is in the pudding = online dating does work.
THERE’S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
Want your friend to set up your profile for you and find some dates? There’s a website for that. Actually looking for something long term and serious rather than just fun? Take your pick of many websites aimed at those being a bit more serious with their choices. You can also find websites such as a Bedfordshire dating site (perfect if you really want to look local), over 50s dating, over 50s dating Northamptonshire, and, again websites that are more area specific; a Tayside dating site and over 50s dating Tayside. No matter what you’re looking for, there’s bound to be a website or app for you.
AND YOU CAN STILL BE ENTIRELY SAFE
Meeting strangers these days isn’t what it used to be. A lot of websites do necessary checks when allowing people to sign up and you usually get a good feel of a person and their character before meeting in person. That said, many websites recommend some safety measures too, such as meeting in a public place and letting someone know beforehand where you’re going to be. Like I said, luckily it’s more accepted these days so there should be no embarrassment with telling a friend that you’re off on a date with someone you met online, and lots of people have a get-out plan with their friend in case the date isn’t going as well as planned! Plus, who can forget that bar from St Albans that went viral last year for the notices in their toilets offering daters a subtle way to leave the bar in case they felt any unease on their date…
Will you be giving online dating a go or have you in the past? Let me know with a comment!
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*Please note, this is a sponsored post but all views and opinions are entirely my own.

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At just three years shy of 30, I like to think I have most of my shit together when it comes to relationships.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect – I still go batshit crazy when I’m PMSing – but there are some things I’ve learned from my early twenties.

Unfortunately, one of them things isn’t how to deal with the baggage that comes along with a new relationship, or, most notably, ‘ex girlfriend’ baggage.

Not all relationships are plain sailing. I’ve had my fair share of complicated relationships in the past, but up until recently, I never had the trouble of an ex girlfriend who just wouldn’t let go – at least not to this extent.

I don’t think many people do, nor do many people go into a relationship expecting to deal with that type of baggage or even knowing how to minimize it. Still, I learned that it can happen and I also learned how to deal with it, so hopefully, if you’re ever in a similar situation, this might help you.

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Relationships | Dating | Advice | Love | Baggage

DON’T BE AFRAID TO DROP THE ‘COOL GIRL’ FACADE
Similarly, don’t downplay your own feelings either. If something is really bothering you, voice your concern. I know it sucks to be *that* girl who doesn’t like who their boyfriend talks to or gets a say in who he should have in his life – but being uncomfortable with an overbearing ex doesn’t make you that girl at all. Drop the cool girl facade: you can’t always be happy and easygoing and if you don’t tell him/your other half that it bothers you, it’s only going to niggle away at you and make things worse. Don’t downplay it either. An ex messaging and trying to move in on your man is not okay, even if he rejects her or ignores her messages! Plus, what’s better in a new relationship than getting to the point where you can let your guard down a little and show your vulnerable side? It’s tough, but it’s a necessary step to take to really feel comfortable around each other.

TRY AND GET TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM
Unfortunately, some ex’s just can’t let go, and often that’s all there is to it. There are always going to be people in this world who don’t have standards, who set their sights on something and try their hardest to get it – without caring about who they hurt on the way. But, sometimes, there’s a reason for this type of thing. Is your other half accidentally sending off the wrong vibes whilst trying to stay friends with an ex? Are they not quite as over the ex as they claim to be? Try and get to the bottom of the problem, as it’s always super easy to paint an ex as someone who can’t move on (and often, this is true), but sometimes they’re getting mixed signals or might even be entirely innocent with your other half leading them on (this has happened to me before, and it’s not unusual for guys to pair ‘psycho ex girlfriends’ against ‘current girlfriends’ when in reality they just want to have their cake and eat it too – unfortunately it’s a fail safe way to have an excuse for their actions should any issues arise).

BLOCK THEM FROM YOUR LIFE
I’d never condone anyone to try and choose who can and cannot be in their other halves life, but if it’s really bothering you, it can’t hurt to ask them to do the honours. This may be an unpopular opinion but at the end of the day, and ex is an ex for a reason. They might still have them on Facebook because they want to be friends or maybe they haven’t deleted their number because they don’t want things to be awkward if they bump into each other on a night out, but none of that is as important as how it’s affecting you. Any boyfriend would be more than happy to delete an ex (if they’re acting out of order) from their life to reassure you. And let’s face it, they probably have a lot of friends anyway. Why would they need another in the form of an ex?

Formidable Joy | Formidable Joy Blog | Relationships | Dating | Advice | Love | Baggage

Likewise, block them yourselves, even if they’ve never made contact with you directly. It’ll stop them watching what you’re both up to and it’ll mean you don’t have to put up with vague-but-obviously-aimed-at-you Facebook statuses. My favourite was that I should learn the difference between being loved and being a rebound, even though my boyfriend had been single since before Christmas and had dated other girls between breaking up with his ex and meeting me. You just don’t need that in your life, especially if the ex is prone to playing games = don’t let stuff like that play on your mind and make the situation worse.

TRUST IN YOUR OTHER HALF
Trust is super important in a relationship, but it’s really only in times like these that you realize how important it is and how vital it is. Some ex’s will go as far as trying to get into your head; whether that’s claiming you can’t make your other half happy, insisting he’s not actually over his ex or even creating lies that he may have cheated on you. Even if it’s just one person’s word against the other’s, it’s really important to put your trust in your other half; no matter what.

TALK TO THEM
This would also be a good way to get to the bottom of things, but generally, men are really crap with this type of thing. In their mind, they’re with you, not them, so that should be that. In your/a girls mind, you know that forthcoming behaviour from an ex isn’t right, the Facebook statuses are throwing shade and generally, until you know that they know what they’re doing isn’t right/they’ve been told to back off, it’s going to worry you. You don’t have to be a b*tch about it, but if things get really bad, there’s nothing wrong with just asking why they’re still chasing after your other half and if there is a particular reason, like him not making it obvious enough that he’s moved on or her still believing there’s a chance etc. 

DON’T FEEL ASHAMED
Finally, don’t feel ashamed that it’s got to you; most of the time, they’re doing what they’re doing for the simple fact of getting to you so that the issues will arise in your relationship and you’ll break up and let them win. But just because it bothers you and plays on your mind, it doesn’t mean that your relationship isn’t strong or secure. I had my boyfriend’s ex messaging me things like ‘he’s only with you to fill the void I left’ and ‘I will always love him and put up with the fact that he’s with you because I understand him and he knows that’, which, of course, hurt and kind of tapped into my insecure side that every girl has. But when I thought about it further, I made the choice to not listen and not let her win. Sometimes it’s not when they harass your other half but more what they say to you; if they play on your insecurities, it’s very easy to cause arguments between you and cause a break up. If it gets to you, don’t be ashamed, but just speak to your boyfriend or other half about it and let him reassure you it’s not true.

I’d just like to add that despite what I’ve said above, it’s always important to be sure that what you’re fighting for is worth it. In my case, it was, because I genuinely see a future with my boyfriend, but sometimes, the drama can get too much. Your other half has to meet you halfway, but there’s always the possibility of it not going away completely. If your boyfriend isn’t taking the correct measures to remove the issue from his life, sometimes it’s just not worth staying for the drama = there’s only so much you can take.

In the wise words of a creepy porno director from the film The Girl Next Door, “Always know if the juice is worth the squeeze.”

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