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Date Someone Who Can Do These 10 Things To Make You Happy

Date Someone Who Can Do These 10 Things To Make You Happy

As a therapist who specializes in relationships, I can’t help but notice several skills and personality features that can make or break a relationship.  No, this is not going to be an article about making sure to find a rich guy who likes to spoon or a hot girl who likes to watch football.  These 10 skills are what make couples feel satisfied, connected, and happy with each other regardless of their superficial characteristics.  If you have a partner who can do all 10 of these, (and you are able to do them as well), your will have a very satisfying relationship:

1. Date someone who can delay gratification.

In other words, the ability to do an unpleasant thing instead of an enjoyable thing in order to achieve a more-important benefit. Being in a healthy partnership means being able to suck it up and deal with all kinds of unpleasant things (embarrassment, vulnerability, taking out the trash, resisting acting on angry impulses, actively listening instead of playing video games, running a boring errand, etc.) for the sake of the other person and for the sake of the relationship.

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2. Date someone who can be present.

Relationships suffer when one or both partners is not able to engage in the moment with the other person.  Of course we are all busy and can’t exactly sit around staring at our partners quietly all day long, but the ability to genuinely listen to and focus on the other person at least a few times a week is important.  If your significant other is unable to unplug, disconnect from distraction, and engage in interacting with you, this could lead to loneliness down the road.  Also, people who are able to be present and attentive to one thing are excellent listeners, since they are simply in the moment focused on what the other person is saying.

3. Date someone who makes you feel emotionally safe.

Being “emotionally safe” with your significant other means that you are comfortable being vulnerable, making direct requests, and being yourself in his/her presence.  If you have a partner who criticizes, is defensive, talks you out of your feelings (is invalidating), or is often annoyed or condescending toward you, you will eventually grow to feel “emotionally unsafe” in that relationship. Partners who feel emotionally unsafe feel disconnected and powerless at best, and depressed and miserable at worst.  If your partner is open to hear what you have to say (even when s/he does not like it), does not act defensive or critical of you, feels that your emotions are understandable, and considers your requests and desires, s/he has the ability to make you feel emotionally safe.

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4. Date someone who can tolerate not being in control.

A healthy, happy relationship consists of two people who can tolerate the feeling of not being in control once in a while. This skill is required in many situations, from  letting someone else choose the paint color for the bathroom, to letting someone else openly share feelings that can’t exactly be “fixed.”

5. Date someone who can take control when necessary.

There are some people who struggle with being responsible for decisions and actions.  Whether it is calling the plumber when the sink is leaking, or resisting buying a new sofa because it isn’t in the budget, the ability to be “in charge” and “proactive” is a positive quality in a partner.

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6. Date someone who knows and appropriately communicate his/her feelings.

Emotionally-aware partners are able to pinpoint that they are feeling disrespected, ignored, or lonely instead of simply flying off in a reactive, non-constructive rage.  If your partner is emotionally aware enough to understand his/her feelings, this is a good sign for your relationship.

7. Date someone who knows and appropriately communicates his/her needs.

If your partner is able to directly request his/her needs without criticism, yelling, passivity, aggression, or passive-aggression, this is a great sign. If your partner calmly makes specific requests for you to change a behavior without making you feel inadequate or inferior, you probably have a keeper on your hands.

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8. Date someone who can be humble.

Humility is required during the process of forgiving someone else for their mistakes and during the process of asking for forgivness from someone else.  In a happy, healthy relationship, both people are able to abandon ego and pride when necessary.

9. Date someone who can tolerate emotional intimacy and togetherness.

In a happy, healthy partnership, both people are comfortable sharing emotions, thoughts, and needs.  If a problem arises, they are comfortable discussing it instead of avoiding it and pretending it doesn’t exist.  They share vulnerabilities, fears, successes, and life goals comfortably.

10.  Date someone who can tolerate separateness.

The ability to tolerate separateness means that he/she is comfortable doing things on his/her own.  And when you are doing things on your own, he/she is not texting or calling you constantly.  Being able to be on your own once in a while without experiencing anxiety is a sign of security and trust.

Featured photo credit: taliesin via morguefile.com

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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