The conversation? Unremarkable. The sex? Less frequent. The terms of endearment? What endearment? Your relationship has stalled, and it's time to give it a jumpstart. The first step is recognizing there's a problem, now we've got some helpful pointers for getting back that sizzle and spark. Here are five tips for recharging the love between you and your mate.
Whether you're single, looking, or in a relationship, these tips will guarantee a hot Summer — in more ways than one. Hoping to spice things up this season? With ideas to help you boost your confidence, invigorate your dating life, and heat things up in the bedroom, we're offering nine easy ways to have a fun, sexy Summer. Take a look at these creative ideas to make this your hottest Summer yet!
We're happy to present this post from our partner site Yahoo! Shine:
According to an American Express survey of 1,518 people, guests will spend an average of $539 per wedding this year — and that's just to attend the event, not to be a member of the wedding party. The wallet-busting figure is up $200 from 2012, when guests reported shelling out an average of $329 on clothes, hotel rooms, and gifts.
The real cost is probably even higher given the estimates for some of the costs. The credit card company says that guests will budget just $57 for new clothes, $27 for a babysitter or pet sitter, and $95 for a hotel room—all of which seems astoundingly low, even for a local event. Members of the bridal party can count on spending a little bit more, thanks to slightly higher clothing costs: about $577 per wedding, according to American Express.
No bride considers herself a bridezilla, but they can all unknowingly do things that annoy their bridesmaids. To make your life easier this wedding season, we polled real bridesmaids to find out their biggest pet peeves. Because after all, a happy bridal party makes for a happy big day. Watch now. And if you're a bridesmaid, let us know if you have more tips to add!
Talking about your ex with a new guy may feel like the ultimate don't, but sharing some insights into your past relationships might actually be a good thing. And although you definitely don't want to hear all the nitty-gritty details of each other's past relationships, learning about those connections — and fallouts — could bring you closer together. Before you agree on a no-ex-talk ultimatum, take a look at these surprising benefits of opening up.
- You can better understand each other's relationship habits. Regularly find yourself annoyed whenever he gets jealous, defensive, or overly protective? If you learn some of the pitfalls of each other's past relationships, it'll help you both understand where the other's coming from, and as silly as it sounds, you can find comfort in the fact that it's not you — it's the exes.
- You open the doors to other kinds of communication. Honest, open dialogue in one area of your relationship could trigger a domino effect, leading to more candid conversations altogether. Once you've relayed the ins and outs of your previous heartbreaks, you'll have broken down a barrier in your relationship. From there, you may feel more comfortable talking about sex, insecurities, or other topics that made you nervous in the past.
- You learn where each other's insecurities lie. Knowing what didn't work for each other in the past can help you avoid those hot-button topics or issues. If, for instance, he ended things with his ex because she became too dependent, you can make a genuine effort to build up your own independent lifestyle.
The bottom line: Opening up about your past relationships doesn't have to mean opening up a can of worms. If you stick to an honest, considerate line of communication, ex talk can actually bring you closer together.
If a friend or co-worker is into you and you don't feel the same, it can be more than a little awkward to let him down. Whether he's a lifelong pal, an acquaintance you'll be seeing around, or a guy who works just a few cubicles away, that common ground can make turning him down feel impossible. Still, that's no reason to pretend you're into him just because it's easier. Instead, follow these tips to say no under even the trickiest of circumstances:
- Evaluate the relationship. Before you reject any date offers, take the time to step back and consider your approach. If you're feeling 50/50 on whether or not you're interested, think about what you'd gain or lose by giving him a shot. Is it worth going on a date to see if sparks fly? Would he feel better if you at least gave it a chance? Or is he the type who'd rather not go through the motions if you know you're not into it?
- Don't dillydally. It's never polite to wait days before responding, but it's especially rude when you've been asked out by someone you already know. No matter what kind of news you'll be passing along, be respectful and make a point to reply the same day.
- Pick the right medium to communicate. If it's a friend who's casually texted to ask you out, it's perfectly fine to text him your response. Dealing with a co-worker? Don't IM him from 20 feet away. Instead, muster the courage to say something face-to-face — he'll appreciate that you were up front with him, and you'll avoid the awkwardness of seeing him just after you've messaged him with a refusal.
- Set the postrejection tone. Chances are, he's going to feel a bit blue after you've turned him down, so it's on you to establish a normal, easygoing vibe. Smile and make small talk, but don't go overboard and shower him with attention, because that'll only rub salt in the wound. People tend to mimic the way they're treated, so do your best to treat him like a friendly acquaintance and hopefully, eventually, he'll be able to rise to the occasion himself.
The wedding ceremony can be overshadowed by the dancing, booze, and food of the reception, but ceremonies truly hold the heart of the big day: it's when the couple officially begins the rest of their lives as spouses. The "I dos" are led by the officiant, and selecting the person responsible for that moment should not be taken lightly. And more and more couples are choosing loved ones for this meaningful duty over clergymen. "In the past few years, we've seen a big surge in the number of couples asking a friend or family member to officiate their wedding," San Francisco wedding planner Jubilee Lau of Jubilee Lau Events told us. "It seems as if the consensus for such a decision is to bring in another layer of personalization to the ceremony." If you're planning on having someone you know officiate your wedding, Jubilee shared five tips:
Dad Might Not Be Best
"Normally, we would advise couples to refrain from asking immediate family members, as sometimes they get too emotional to carry themselves well in front of all the guests," Jubilee notes. But if you or your spouse-to-be has a dad who can handle the responsibility without getting weepy, go for it. Jubilee said they had two weddings recently where the groom's father officiated and the ceremonies were a success.
Public Speaking Skills Matter
It's OK to be picky. This isn't a competition for who you're closest to, it's about who would do the best job. Jubilee adds, "We recommend that they invite someone who is normally a good public speaker (they should be eloquent and articulate), that they feel very comfortable with, and who would have the time and patience to work with them on the ceremony content."
It's More Than a Daylong Commitment
This leads us to Jubilee's next point: "A good officiant does more than just read a script." You need to find someone who's willing to put in the time and effort, not just expect to show up on the big day and say a few words. "He/she should be prepared to spend some time with the couple to understand the elements that they want to bring into the ceremony — religion, families, culture, traditions, etc. — and then help them to incorporate it well." No slackers allowed!
Pair Him/Her Up With a Pro
Chances are that the friend or family member you ultimately choose has little to zilch experience officiating a wedding, and you don't want to be babysitting him or her on what goes into the undertaking. Jubilee offers this solution: "What we've done before is to pair the friend/family member up with a professional officiant, who then helps to write the ceremony. That way, they can properly advise on the content, but the clients still get the benefit of having a close friend officiate on the day of." There may be a fee for the professional (around $300-$500), but it's probably worth it to avoid any major slip-ups.
"Short and Sweet" Doesn't Mean Generic
If you've ever sat through a rushed ceremony, you know that short isn't always better. It can result in everyone at the reception feeling like they're just attending a fancy party, not celebrating a personal, significant joining of two people vowing to spend the rest of their lives together. "Although many nonreligious couples opt for a 'short and sweet' nondenominational ceremony, we always remind them that it should still be meaningful and represent who they are," Jubilee notes. "After all, the ceremony is the core of the reason why everyone is there that day!"
— Additional reporting by Annie Scudder
We're happy to present this story from one of our favorite sites, The Knot. Stuck on what to give the brides- and grooms-to-be in your life? Here's some advice!
Whether it's for a cousin, coworker, or close friend, here are the only six tips you need to know about giving great wedding gifts.
Related: 10 Ways to Ruin a Wedding
Respect the Registry
Though your first instinct might be to go rogue (hey, everybody wants to be unique), we suggest thinking twice before shopping outside of the registry. Think of it as a (very long) letter to Santa. When you were a kid, were you hoping to be surprised? No way! You were hoping to get the things on your wish list. Well, that's exactly how the bride and groom feel about the list they spent hours putting together. Sure, if you're crazy-close with the bride or groom and have a great out-of-the-box idea you know they'll love, then by all means, go for it. Not positive? Better make friends with good-old Reg.
Related: 10 Wacky Wedding Cakes
Adjust Your Attitude
When it comes time to shop, it can be a bit difficult to get excited about buying, say . . . a toaster. But guess what? That's an item that's likely to get used every single day. The same goes for a place setting of flatware. Sexy? Not really. Sure to be appreciated? You bet. Take a second to think about the items you couldn't live without in your own home (think: your buttery-soft sheets, or that killer coffeemaker) and let that guide your gifting. Suddenly, buying a household basic will feel far less impersonal and, well . . . basic.
Wish your gift could make a bigger splash, but don't have the dough to make it happen solo? If you've got friends or family heading to the same wedding, consider going in on a registry dream item. Think big: A group of three or four guests could go in on a great grill — while a whole family could give something major, like a refrigerator.
Related: 10 Most Outrageous Wedding Photos
Cash Is Cool
Wondering if it's proper to send moola as a present? Not only does it pass the etiquette smell test, but with more and more couples financing their own nuptials, it's bound to be met with smiles. Rule of thumb: Send a check in advance of the ceremony, so you won't have to worry about possible name changes.
Shop and Ship
These days, many brides and grooms tie the knot far from home, and the logistics of hauling back a big pile of loot after the wedding can be daunting (not to mention expensive). Do the couple-to-be a solid by having presents delivered directly to their residence (if they aren't already roomies, have it sent to the home of the bride). Ready for another hot tip? Provided the bride has registered there, most stores will wrap and ship the gift for you. Can you say painless?
That one-year rule? We're not really feeling it. While etiquette once dictated that guests had a full year postwedding to gift the happy couple, the reality is, anything beyond six months is likely to seem rude. If you're slammed with multiple weddings this season and need to stagger your gift buying (is that your wallet we hear, begging for a time-out?), feel free to space out your purchases by a month or two. But we vote for giving a smaller, more affordable gift on time.
— Hallie Goodman
You invite her to every event, you call regularly, and somehow, your friend always has an excuse — sound familiar? When a friend repeatedly flakes out on plans, forgets to check in, or fades into her own world, it's hard not to get upset and take it personally. If the relationship is important to you, though, don't dismiss the friendship altogether. Instead, follow these four steps to put your shaky friendship back on track:
- Consider her perspective. Everybody has to bail on plans sometimes, but take a step back to acknowledge where your friend is coming from. Is she extra busy at work? In a new relationship? Has she been turning away from other people, too, or does it seem like it's just you? Put yourself in her shoes to see what may be going on — whether it's about you, your friendship, or a separate issue she's dealing with on her own.
- Be persistent. Just because she can't make it to one or two events, that doesn't mean you should write off your friend altogether. Give your friendship a shot and regularly invite her to hang out, even if it feels like she's never available. She'll appreciate the effort, and you may find out that her flaky behavior is just a phase.
- Check in with her. She won't be able to step up her friendship game if she doesn't know there's a problem in the first place. Next time she ducks out of plans at the last minute, ask her if everything's OK. Even if she gets defensive, it's worth reaching out to be sure there's not a deeper issue.
- Know what works for you. Every friendship is different, and it's up to you to decide what kind of relationship you'd like to have with her. If you're running out of patience and can't keep putting in effort when it's not reciprocated, take a temporary step back. There's no need to create black-and-white boundaries — let your friendship live in the gray area for a while, and sooner or later, she may just come around.
Happy Mother's Day! To celebrate, we asked our readers and our fellow POPSUGAR editors to share pictures of their moms with a piece of advice she's given them. From don't forget your deodorant to always makes time for yourself, we've rounded it up so we can all benefit from this motherly wisdom! Enjoy.