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    I made this comic in loving memory of my cat, Mulder. He was my...

    comics.movim.eu / CatsCafe · Monday, 14 June, 2021 - 14:00

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I made this comic in loving memory of my cat, Mulder. He was my best friend and I will cherish the love he gave me forever.

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    Love Bombing: When Excessive Affection Becomes Manipulative

    pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / LifehackerAustralia · Thursday, 18 February, 2021 - 21:53 · 3 minutes

When it comes to matters of the heart, we often have things confused. I read a quote recently and I think sums up our constant mishandling of one-another’s feelings pretty damn well. Richard Weissbourd, director of Harvard University’s Human Development and Psychology master’s program told Quartz :

“I think we’ve failed epically to prepare young people for the tender, subtle, courageous work of learning how to love someone else.”

The reason I bring this quote up now is because of how we universally see love. It’s a little mixed up, I think. Many of us hold the idea that romantic love should look like grand gestures and lavish gifts and constant contact. Maybe it does look that way for you, but it’s also important that we draw a clear line between genuine acts of affection and excessive displays that border on manipulation.

When “romantic” acts cross that line, you’re moving into dangerous territory, friends. And this is where the term love bombing comes into play.

If you’re new to the concept and want to learn more, you’re in luck. I was able to chat with Ash King, Psychology Researcher and Mental Health Practitioner with The Indigo Project , who offered some more insight.

To begin, what is love bombing?

In a nutshell, this is the term that describes “over-the-top, excessive displays of love used (consciously or unconsciously) by a partner to overwhelm, manipulate and control the recipient,” King shares.

This could come in a number of different forms. Whether it’s gifts, compliments or just an insatiable need to be with you, the behaviour seems flattering on paper, but “this often occurs after only a relatively short period of time together,” and usually seems intense.

Why is it a concern?

Rather than genuinely taking time to get to know you and take steps to make you feel loved and attended to, love-bombing takes a “one size fits all” approach to love.

As King puts it:

“…these are often not genuine displays of affection, but rather, calculated and manipulative attempts at making the recipient feel indebted – like they owe the love-bomber something.”

It’s typical ‘Nice Guy’ behaviour (that term does not only refer to cis men) where “kind” acts are used to win a prize (you or your attention).

How to tell it’s love-bombing

King shared that the key warning signs of this kind of behaviour usually look like the following:

  • Excessive, over-the-top flattery and compliments
  • Big calls for commitment early on, like moving in together, engagement, going on long trips, etc.
  • An overwhelming, one-sided onslaught of texts and phone calls.
  • They get very sensitive and hurt when you ask for space, or assert your need for boundaries.
  • They seem to not have much of a life (friends, work, relationships, etc.) aside from you and them.
  • You’re feeling unbalanced in the relationship and overwhelmed by their intensity.
  • You question the sincerity of their behaviour.

What should you do if you think you’re experiencing love bombing?

If you’re worried, you should always reach out to someone you can trust like a friend or therapist.

As King shares, “If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

You have no need to feel indebted to anyone for their acts of kindness. The entire point of selfless acts is that they’re meant to make you feel good. Not earn your partner brownie points.

“Remember healthy love and positive relationships are built on a foundation of sincerity, transparency and mutual respect – if that’s not what they’re serving, then be wary.”

The post Love Bombing: When Excessive Affection Becomes Manipulative appeared first on Lifehacker Australia .

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    The Six Styles Of Love

    pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / LifehackerAustralia · Friday, 12 February, 2021 - 05:20 · 4 minutes

Love is a complex and powerful force, one that plays out in a number of emotional, cognitive and social ways. According to the late psychologist John Alan Lee, there are six broad styles of love: Agape, Ludus, Storge, Eros, Mania and Pragma. We look at each in turn to help you determine the type of lover you are and the type of lover you need.

When we love a person, we feel emotional arousal in their presence. We will also have a set of thoughts (or cognitions) about that person, and our previous experiences can shape our ideas about what we expect in our relationships. For example, if you believe in love at first sight, then you are more likely to experience it .

But we use love in many different contexts. You might say that you love your partner, or your family, or your best friend, your job or even your car. Clearly, you’re using the term in different ways that highlight the various dimensions of love.

The ancient Greeks described several different types of love . Following the Greeks, the sociologist and activist John Alan Lee suggested that there are six broad styles of love .

It is good to keep in mind that although these love styles can be thought of as “types”, we are not necessarily locked into only one . We might have a predominant love style, but we will also have some elements of the other styles.

Similarly, our love style might change over time based on our experiences and interactions with our partners.

Eros

This style is typically experienced as a romantic, fairytale-type love. Physical beauty is important to this love style. Attraction is intense and immediate (“head over heels”), and the Eros lover feels an urgent drive to deepen the relationship emotionally and physically.

Because these individuals love the feeling of being in love, they tend to be serial monogamists, staying in a relationship as long as it feels fresh and compelling, then moving on so they can experience those same feelings again with someone new.

Storge

Storgic types tend to be stable and committed in their relationships. They value companionship, psychological closeness and trust. For these individuals, love relationships can sometimes grow out of friendships, so that love sneaks up on the pair. This love style is enduring, and these individuals are in it for the long haul.

Ludus

People with a ludic style view love as a game that they are playing to win. Often this can be a multiplayer game! Ludic individuals are comfortable with deception and manipulation in their relationships. They tend to be low on commitment and are often emotionally distant.

Because ludic individuals are more focused on the short term, they tend to place greater importance on the physical characteristics of their mate than do the other love styles. They are also more likely to engage in sexual hookups.

Pragma

Practicality rules for this type. Logic is used to determine compatibility and future prospects. This doesn’t mean that these individuals use an emotionless, Spock-like approach to their relationships, rather they a place a high importance on whether a potential mate will be suited to meeting their needs.

These needs might be social or financial. Pragmatists might wonder if their prospective partner would be accepted by family and friends, or whether they’re good with money. The might also evaluate their emotional assets; for example, does a would-be partner have the skills to be calm in times of stress?

Mania

This refers to an obsessive love style. These individuals tend to be emotionally dependent and to need fairly constant reassurance in a relationship. Someone with this love style is likely to experience peaks of joy and troughs of sorrow, depending on the extent to which their partner can accommodate their needs.

Because of the possessiveness associated with this style, jealousy can be an issue for these individuals.

Agape

Agapic individuals are giving and caring, and are centred on their partner’s needs. This is largely a selfless and unconditional love. An agapic partner will love you just as you are. But they will also be particularly appreciative of acts of care and kindness that they receive back from their partner.

Perhaps because these individuals are so accepting, they tend to have very high levels of relationship satisfaction.

The Truth About Love

The kind of love that we feel towards our significant other is likely to change over time . At the start of a relationship we feel anticipation about seeing our partner and we are excited every time we see them.

These are the heady feelings we associate with being in love, and are very characteristic of romantic love. But in almost all relationships, these intense emotions are not sustainable, and will fade over months to a couple of years.

Those passionate feelings will then be replaced by deeper connection as the people in the partnership grow to truly know each other. This stage is “companionate love” and can last a lifetime (or beyond).

Unfortunately, many people do not realise that the evolution from romantic love to companionate love is a normal – and indeed healthy – transition. Because the ardent feelings of adoration subside, sometimes people will think that they have fallen out of love, when in fact the intimacy and closeness of companionate love can be extremely powerful, if only given the chance.

This is a shame, as these individuals might never experience the life satisfaction that is associated with companionate love .

This article was originally published on The Conversation .

The post The Six Styles Of Love appeared first on Lifehacker Australia .

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    How To Flirt With Finesse

    pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / LifehackerAustralia · Thursday, 11 February, 2021 - 22:28 · 6 minutes

You might dress well, have a cool job and be blessed with beauty, but flirting is where the real magic of attraction is, especially when it comes to first impressions. In fact, good flirting is often more effective than good looks, and it’s something anybody can learn how to do.

Illustrations by Angelica Alzona.

Make friendly, lasting eye contact – with a smile

Eye contact is pivotal when flirting, and Marin suggests it’s the best way to indicate your interest. It means the difference between a friendly “how-do-ya-do” conversation and a “I’d really like to get to know you” conversation. Whether you’re across the room or already talking, eye contact has been shown to boost feelings of attraction. In one study, published in the Journal of Research and Personality , strangers were asked to stare into the eyes of other strangers. After holding a mutual, friendly gaze for two minutes, most participants reported increased feelings of passionate love toward the stranger.

Marin says the trick to flirtatious eye contact is to maintain your gaze longer than usual. If you spot someone across the way, try to meet their gaze, hold it for a few seconds and look away. Repeat this a couple times and, if they aren’t giving you weird looks, then make your approach. Be cautious, though. While a kind gaze does wonders, an unbroken, wide-eyed stare is creepy. If you’re worried you’ll go overboard, use the triangle technique and smile. Nothing says “I like you” like a big ol’ smile .

Approach from the front

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The wrong kind of approach will end things before they even start. When you see someone who piques your interest, Vanessa Marin , licensed marriage and family therapist and Lifehacker contributor , recommends you always approach from the front. Nobody likes being snuck up on by a stranger, and Marin notes this is especially true for men trying to approach women.

If they’re facing away, either make your way around or wait for them to move. And if they’re at the bar, at least grab a seat next to them instead of rudely tapping them on the shoulder (if, y’know, COVID restrictions allow for that). Approaching them from the front also gives you both a chance to catch each other’s glance and gauge interest.

Give compliments that go beyond looks

Compliments are great for flirting, but they’re also a dime a dozen. Dr Nerdlove , dating columnist and Kotaku contributor , suggests you step things up and compliment them on something they had a conscious hand in:

Complimenting somebody’s looks is both unoriginal and not terribly interesting. Letting someone know that you appreciate, say, their fashion sense or their insight, on the other hand, shows that you get them on a personal level.

“You’re cute” and “You have pretty eyes” aren’t going to cut it. If you can’t think of something that appeals to their choices, Marin says you should at least try and give them an unusual compliment. Say something like “You have a very confident-sounding voice,” or “You seem like someone who knows how to get the best out of people,” or “You have a delightfully offbeat personality.” Leave them with a compliment that will stick with them and make you unique.

Also, ditch the pickup lines and cheesy one-liners. One study, published in the journal Sex Roles , suggests that both men and women hate “cute-flippant” opening lines. Overall, participants in the study preferred openers that were more innocuous or direct. So skip the “Are you wearing space pants?” lines and try to strike up an actual conversation about the venue, music or a mutual friend. Otherwise, just go for it and offer to buy them a drink or make a unique compliment.

Use appropriate touch to show interest

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A light touch, done carefully, is an extremely effective form of flirting for both men and women. Light touching shows interest, beyond a doubt. Additionally, your flirting may not be as obvious as you think it is, so it’s great for being more direct, as long as the situation allows and the atmosphere is appropriate. When someone is certain that you’re interested, it’s easier for them to respond in kind.

In the book Close Relationships , Dr Pamela Regan , a professor of psychology at California State University, suggests there are three main types of social touch. The first is “friendly”, which is like a light shoulder push, shoulder tap or handshake — not ideal for flirting, but good for testing the waters. The third type, “nuclear”, is the super obvious types of romantic touch, like a soft face touch or brushing someone’s hair out of their face, and is far too abrupt and forward for flirting. “Plausible deniability”, the second type of touch, is right in the middle and it’s where you want to be. It involves gentle and informal touching around the shoulder or the almost-always effective touch on the forearm. One study, published in Social Influence , found that a light touch on the forearm increased the chance participants would give out their phone number or go on a date. Just be sure the atmosphere is right when you try it. Read the other person’s body language and do not engage if you’re not sure, or you might make them feel uncomfortable.

Use playful teasing to your advantage

People want what they can’t have, and a little playful teasing shows that you’re interested, but also draws people in. Nerdlove recommends a simple technique called “pushing and pulling” , where, like a kitten with a string, you dangle a compliment within reach, then pull it back. Here are some of Nerdlove’s examples:

“You’re the coolest person I’ve met… at this bar, anyway.” “Holy crap, you really are such a nerd, it’s adorable!” “You’re awesome, I never meet people like you; get away from me, I just can’t talk to you.” “We’re never going to get along, we’re too similar.”

The key here is to absolutely avoid negging or backhanded compliments, like “You’ve got a great smile, even with those teeth.” Keep it playful, friendly, and make it abundantly clear that you’re teasing. Do it with a big smile, have fun (and be self-deprecating when it’s right). With that said, however, remember to be yourself and don’t get too caught up in the idea of needing to use playful teasing all the time.

Nerdlove says good flirting is about riffing and playing off what one another says. Don’t force a change in the conversation, and keep things light. Also, keep in mind that some people don’t like teasing or witty banter, so be ready to switch gears. If you say something unfunny or upsetting, apologise and change the topic. Don’t make it about you, and don’t shift the blame onto them, like “I’m sorry you were offended.” Acknowledge that you messed up and move on to a happier subject. When in doubt, Nerdlove suggests you just be a great listener . It gives people a chance to open up about themselves, and gives you a chance to relax.

Read signals and take a hint

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Things won’t always go your way when you flirt, so it’s important to know when to throw in the towel. Nerdlove suggests it all comes down to watching the other person’s body language and listening to how they respond. If you see these signals, dial it back:

  • They’re being polite, but unresponsive.
  • Their smiles are quick smirks that don’t look authentic.
  • They give short, uncomfortable laughs.
  • They’re not volleying back jokes or questions.

Nobody likes an overbearing flirt. It’s pushy, awkward and super skeezy. Also, people talk. You never know when one bad social interaction will make things worse for you in the long run. If you swing and miss, shake it off, save face and give it a shot another day.

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

The post How To Flirt With Finesse appeared first on Lifehacker Australia .

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    10 Ways to Treat Yourself if You’re Single on Valentine’s Day (Orgasms Still Included)

    pubsub.dcentralisedmedia.com / LifehackerAustralia · Monday, 8 February, 2021 - 05:40 · 3 minutes

As someone who has probably spent just as many Valentine’s Days single as I have coupled up, I can tell you now that you’re not really missing much.

Sure, it’s nice to do cute things as a couple (if my boyfriend’s reading this, this is not your get out of gaol free card), but you know what you don’t need a lover for? A good time and good orgasms. (Sorry, babe). There are plenty of ways to get yourself through a solo V’day without feeling depressed as hell.

1. Organise a Galentine’s day date

Still feel like getting dolled up and eating out? Grab the girls and do it anyway. Beat the loved-up couples by booking in early and treating yourselves.

2. Have a mind-blowing orgasm (or 10)

If you ask me, self-love and self-pleasure are basically the same thing. Buy yourself a new vibrator for the big day, light some candles, set the mood and show yourself a damn good time. If you’re comfortable, take things slow, explore your body and experiment with what makes your orgasm.

And just to add to the V-day pleasure, LELO is having a 20% off sale until February 14 using the code VDAY21 at the checking, so if you’re more of a clitoral orgasm kinda gal, try LELO’s SONA 2 (was $139, wow $111.20) or if you’re aiming for the g-spot, try LELO’s GIGI 2 (was $189, now $151.20).

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3. Have a rom-com marathon

If you really wanna go all anti-valentines day, load up your Netflix watch list with rom-coms and breakup movies , sit back, relax and cry if you want to.

4. Settle into a little self-care

Grab your favourite face mask, some candles, a bottle of wine, your favourite snacks and settle in for a night of self-care — whatever that looks like for you.

5. Try something new

Wine not book in for a wine and painting class? It’s the perfect excuse to get boozy, crafty and avoid Valentine’s Day altogether. If painting isn’t really your vibe, you could try a pottery class, a dance class, indoor rock climbing, a cooking class, literally any kind of activity that sounds like a good time.

6. Do a workout

If you’re looking for a little feel-good moment, nothing beats a workout (except maybe an orgasm). Get your heart racing in a different way, go for a run, do an online workout, hit the gym or go on a scenic walk with friends, any of these workouts will give you a huge dose of mood-boosting endorphins.

7. Get an astrology, tarot or energy reading

Get rid of that bad ex energy by booking in for a chakra cleanse. Learn more about what future Valentine’s Days have in store with a psychic or tarot reading. Whether you believe in it or it’s just for fun, it’s a great way to spend V-day.

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8. Buy your own gift

Half the hype of Valentine’s Day is the buying and receiving of gifts. If you really feel like you’re missing out, buy yourself a gift. You know exactly what you want/need so why not cut out the middle man?

9. Avoid Instagram for the day

If seeing other people’s loved-up couple pics on the Instagram is going to make you feel sad about being single, try to avoid doom scrolling or delete the app entirely (not your account, just the app for the day).

10. Take yourself out

You don’t have to be in a couple to go out for a meal, see a show or stroll in an art gallery on Valentine’s Day. So why not book yourself a seat for the play you’ve been dying to see or go check out that tapas bar everyone’s been raving about.

The post 10 Ways to Treat Yourself if You’re Single on Valentine’s Day (Orgasms Still Included) appeared first on Lifehacker Australia .