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Living in the past

Relationships are hard. Two people come together that have separate lives, interests, and beliefs with the expectation that they'll be able to find some common middle ground and spend copious amounts of time together. You know what makes these situations even harder?

Living in the past.

People kill relationships all the time because, even though they are with someone in the present, they are still caught up on past hurt or mistakes that they've made in the past. But why is that? Why do we give so much power and influence to things that happened in the past? It should be easy to understand that continuously carrying past issues and hurt around won't leave you with much room to accept love in the present.

And no, I'm not saying that everyone should just forget about everything that has ever happened to them. That would be ridiculous. This blog would not even be possible if I left everything that ever happened to me in my past as a memory.

What we should do, instead of living in the past, is learn from it. Learn a lesson from that situation that you experienced or from that relationship that left you heartbroken. Figure out what you could have done differently and apply it to your future endeavors. Try to understand the other person's point of view and see if you may have had anything to do with why things didn't work out.

But please, for the love of God, don't do what most of us actually tend to do. Oh, you know what I mean! That thing where you treat the other person like a criminal for doing something that they've never done or ever had any intentions of doing simply because someone else did it to you in the past. Checking your partner's text messages or Facebook, not because they're acting sneaky or suspicious, but because someone cheated on you before and you just want to make sure it's not happening again. Or constantly having your guard up because someone else was disrespectful to you in the past.

I think it's partly human nature to want to protect ourselves from re-experiencing things we've been through in the past. The sad thing about it is that this type of thinking can ruin every relationship that you get into in the future if you're constantly living in the past. How long do you think someone will want to be with you if they feel like you don't trust them, even though they've done nothing wrong? Do you really think anyone will constantly put up with you yelling at them or trying to argue simply because that's what you were used to in your past relationships?

It's definitely something to think about because you may not even know that you're still living in the past until someone points it out to you. So do me a favor, step back and take an honest look at your life and relationships and ask yourself if you're still living in the past or if you're truly living in the moment.

***I would love to hear how you feel about this in the comments below!***
My partner holds me back

If you've learned anything about me so far, you know how I am truly in favor of relationships that build up both partners. You know my stance on where I think women belong and you also know why I believe that most men are never satisfied with their relationships.

Like I said, I'm definitely a proponent of relationships where both partners are on equal footing. One thing I can't stand to see is a relationship where one or both of the people in it refuse to show support towards one another. My wife brings this fact up to me every now and again when she thinks about some of her past relationships and how I'm a lot different from what she's experienced.

My wife is a smart woman, she's ambitious, and she's hardworking. But, no matter how much she believes in herself and her abilities, she still wants and values my support. If I wanted to, I could be the type of guy that says "Why do you want to get another degree, don't you already have one?" or "Why are you trying to get promoted so quickly, aren't you fine where you are?"

It sounds crazy, but there are men who actually ask questions like that in their relationships. I swear, men are strange creatures. Some of us will say that we want a bad chick or a go getter, but then get intimidated by the fact that her goals are on par with or surpass our own by a mile and a half.

Personally, I feel like I get more excited and invested in my wife's goals than she does sometimes. I would never dream of trying to hold her back because I want us to excel through life together. What's the point of being with someone if all you want to do is control their life and prevent them from reaching their goals? If you want to control someone you should just get a dog and not waste another person's time.

Every relationship is different though. Where some say to themselves "my partner holds me back" other people say "my partner doesn't push me at all". I feel as though that can be just as damaging. If two people are together and neither of them is contributing to the growth of the other, then that is just wasted time and opportunity. I think relationships should make you better at the end of the day. If it wasn't for my partner, who would have pushed me to take every opportunity to excel at work, even if it meant more work for me in the short run? Who would have pushed me to go back to school and obtain an MBA? Who would have pushed me to even start this blog that you're reading right now?

I can truly attest to the importance of being in a supportive relationship simply from what I'm experiencing right now. It's liberating to feel that you have someone that supports your goals and it's equally fulfilling to know that you have someone else to give encouragement to. If you're reading this and you're still thinking "my partner holds me back", then I implore you to consider what your reasons are for staying in that relationship from this point on...

*** Have any of you ever experienced either of these situations - feeling held back or on the contrary, knowing that your partner supports your goals? Let me know in the comments below! ***
How to fix a man

Contradictory to popular belief, women like to fix things more than men. Just look at Olivia Pope, she's a professional fixer for goodness sake! But unlike Ms. Pope, most women make one project their absolute favorite - men.

How many times have you heard your girlfriends say something like, "I know he doesn't always do right, but I can change him" or "He'll stop (insert negative action) if I stay with him long enough because he loves me".

This might be true in very few cases, but in most scenarios - a woman can not fix a man. Sorry. It might be hard to hear, but it is the truth. My personal experiences have helped me learn this for sure. Men are stubborn creatures and we don't always want to do the things that we should. When it comes to relationships, people always say that women mature at a faster rate than men and I somewhat believe that this is true. It sort of helps me understand why women are usually more comfortable with being in a serious relationship earlier in life and why they believe that men can meet them halfway.

The thing that I think get's forgotten in most cases is that a man is really only going to change when he wants to. No amount of pressure or convincing is going to speed the process up. He may play the part or pretend to be the person you're asking for, but he won't truly be that person until he's made the decision for himself.

I only know this because that was exactly how I lived my life for a long time. The comfort of a relationship was appealing to me but being faithful was something that I struggled with for a while. What didn't help me at the time was the fact that I was forgiven, time and time again for my wrongdoings. Honestly, I would have probably learned a better lesson if someone would have just called me out on my BS instead of giving me continuous chances to 'do better'.

In my opinion, the best way to truly fix a man that has problems with being faithful is to just leave him alone. Let him learn his lessons the hard way, but don't let those lessons come at your expense every single time.

***What do you think? Is there any real value in continuously trying to convince a man to do better in a relationship or do you agree that leaving him alone is the better option? I'd love to see your opinions in the comments below!***

*This article was originally featured on*
Why Men Cheat

I have a theory that I have believed for a long time, that broken people help to create more broken people. What do I mean by that? I think that the act of cheating creates a vicious cycle in most cases because the person who gets cheated on will eventually go out and cheat on someone else. And sadly, this is something that I am very familiar with.

I always like to talk about the dirt that I've done in the past. When I was in high school I had my fair share of relationships and 'extra-curricular' activities. I pledged KAΨ while I was in college and this caused my social scene exposure to skyrocket. That caused a few problems for me because I was always at parties and greek events that brought me into contact with a lot of people. I had a girlfriend named Lisa, at the time, but I was never in any state of mind to actually be "faithful". I feel somewhat sorry for her because she was at a disadvantage from the very start of our relationship, but she never really knew it.

All of my earlier relationships ended because of infidelity, but it was because my girlfriends were the ones doing the cheating - yes, women cheat as well. Shocking right? You probably don't believe me so I'll give you a few examples. A girl I was with for a little while named Sonya cheated on my with my own cousin and then 3-way called me with him on the phone to confess about it. Another girl I dated, Nina, was a few years older than me and my family didn't really like her too much, but I loved her. We dated for a while until she had sex with one of her exes at a party and her friends told me about it.

My next serious relationship was with a girl named Tasha. She was kind of a special case because we dated off and on and went to different schools. I used to joke about how innocent I thought she was. She had a brief fling with a guy that I knew before we ever dated (a fling that never quite went away). And in between one of our breakups she had a very risqué rendezvous with one of my best friends. To top it all off, I ended up getting engaged to Lisa while I was in college and as life would have it, she had sex with one of her exes about 2 weeks later. Chalk that up to karma or the broken people cycle.

Whatever the case, relationships are hard enough, but I feel like we make them infinitely harder when we continue these cycles of brokenness. Broken people often seek out other broken people, and sometimes when they don't find another broken person they consciously or subconsciously create another broken person.

I was the "victim" many times in my early relationships, but at some point I decided that I would just do the cheating myself instead of waiting to get my feelings hurt, because I just knew that it would eventually happen. In hindsight, that was probably not so smart of an idea. Regardless of that fact, I think it's important for us to be open and honest with ourselves in these situations. I wish I would have convinced myself that what happened wasn't my fault and that I didn't have to be unfaithful just to protect myself.

Be honest with me. What do you think about cheating? Do you think people do it because it happened to them or is that just an excuse? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think!