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So let’s discuss, is flirting cheating?

This week I’ve found myself thinking about a question that’s important to understand your own answer of if you’re dating and after chucking it in the direction of various people I know, I’ll now allow anyone else to answer it for themselves.

Is flirting with other people while you’re in a relationship considered as cheating?

I think the most important thing that needs to be considered here is this – what is the intent behind the flirt, because here’s my theory that I know won’t be received well but I’ll say it anyway. I don’t believe men can flirt without there being sexual intent behind it, whereas I believe women can.

For a man to initiate flirting with a woman, there will be some kind of sexual desire there. So really when a guy flirts, the idea of that flirting to be taken further wouldn’t ever be off the table.

However for women, sometimes we flirt purely because we want to feel desired or wanted by someone and we don’t even have to find that person attractive, but it’s more of an ego boost. We can flirt to get a drink, or to get something done for us. But …. it’s actually quite rare that we do this with a sexual intent.

But does that make it any less worse? That bit I’m not sure about.

So is flirting cheating? I think it depends on the intent behind it. Because if you’re only doing it because there’s some kind of sexual desire for the person you’re flirting with then I would have to say yes, because realistically and if we’re going to be honest, it probably means if you could sleep with them you would (but hopefully your moral compass would kick in first).

All that to one side though, I think even those of us in the most secure relationships probably have our stomachs turn at the thought of our other halves flirting with people who aren’t us. So wether you consider it cheating or not, it probably isn’t morally on track, but it’s definitely a conversation the two of you should have together to make your boundaries clear and to save any feelings getting hurt in the future.

One thing I can be sure of is that flirting with other people is probably quite a big trust violation and why would you risk doing something that could break your partners trust?

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Social Media Vs Relationships

In the last 5 years (so really not that long at all) we’ve all become obsessed with the idea that if we don’t continuously show off everything our partner does for us or with us, then somehow it isn’t a legitimate relationship worth having.

And even MORE importantly, if they aren’t showing us off then they aint worth s**t and you’ve gotta replace them ASAP with someone who truly appreciates you …. blah blah blah blah.

But why is this? And who’s fault is it? Can we blame the dozens of reality TV stars who’s jobs it is to showcase every aspect of their lives and flat everything they’re doing? Or does the issue sit with us and how easily we think we should be adopting the same life style?

I speak to so many people who feel that unless they’re being ‘shown off‘ on their partners social media accounts then they don’t feel validated. But why is the validation from strangers that you’ve convinced yourself you need, proof that you have a relationship worth having? What is it that makes us feel that we need to live every little detail with our partner from behind a phone screen, because you know ….. pics or it didn’t happen!

The important question to ask yourself really, is this …. how do you feel when you’re around your partner in real life? Do you feel safe, do you feel special, do they make you feel appreciated? If the answer to all of these questions are yes, then why are you still chasing after the views and opinions of random people to make you feel like your relationship is doing well? If you’ve been introduced to all the most important people in your partners life, then honestly, the rest of the world really shouldn’t matter.

But here’s my theory, because we all feel so easily replaceable these days, we almost have the need to make sure we’re sharing the highlight reel of our relationship online to make sure everyone knows how ‘untouchable‘ it is and how ‘#couplegoals‘ you are, because if outsiders constantly get fed a stream of how amazing you guys are doing together, then maybe, just maybe …. there’s less chance of someone trying to step in and replace you.

Before everyone felt the need to over share their romantic escapades online, relationships seemed a lot less fragile because they were far less under the watchful eye of hundreds or thousands (depending on your following) of people. But now here we all are, wanting to share posts about every meal, every trip out, every present, because we want onlookers to think our romantic lives are prefect?

But what about when you step away from social media and away from your phone, do you guys actually share a connection that isn’t even photographable? Or are the two of you a well put together image mainly for the benefit of your socials?

So what happens to those of you who prefer to keep your relationships ‘private‘ and I use the word private loosely because actually all it is, is just not flooding all your accounts with every single move you guys make together. But nowadays, unless you advertise your movements on your social media accounts you’re called private.

Maybe privacy is the way forward, so we can live more in the moment and stop chasing the validation from people who really we shouldn’t give a s**t about.

So if you want to be private or not, the first step really is to stop putting so much pressure on your relationship by feeling the need to live every second of it through your social media accounts and focus more on how your partner makes you feel in real life.

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Sounds like you’ve got a lot of baggage

Imagine that. Imagine someone who used to claim to love you telling you that no one after them will love you because you now sound like you’ve got ‘baggage

Maybe that should come on the warning label when you date someone with a narcissist personality. Not only will the tear you down when you guys are together, but they will continue to do so once they aren’t even in your life.

Funny thing is, that so called ‘baggage’ they’re claiming makes you unlovable is only from all their unneeded extras they’ve left you with. You know when you get to the airport and realise you need to get rid of a few things you don’t actually want because your suitcase is too heavy, yeah well that’s the crap they left you with.

You were just fine, in fact your suitcase was way under the weight limit, but the stuff they left you with weighed 10x the amount of anything you actually owned yourself.

But it’s ok, because a heavier suitcase just means you need to develop a more keen sense of awareness for what muscles are working to carry this heavier weight.

If we’re speaking metaphorically, the muscle they’ll have left you needing to work on is actually your brain. But god damn will that muscle be toned af for the next person who wants to try and join you at this made up airport (kind of like a terming to jet off to a perfect healthy relationship).

Here’s the part when you can thank your narcissistic piece of s**t ex for leaving you with the weight of your relationship and where it went wrong because all they’ve done is provide you with the ability to sense someone with negative intentions a mile off.

Typically speaking, this kind of ex will normally be the second person you fall in love with. And this is based off of the findings of anthropologist Helen Fisher and according to her we only fall in love three times in our life but our second love, well that’s the hardest one.

It’s the one that teaches us lessons about who we are and how we often want or need to be loved.

Our second love will typically become a cycle, often one we keep repeating because we think that somehow the ending will be different than before. Yet, each time we try, it somehow ends worse than before and we focus so much on making it work that we will tend to lose sight of if we actually should be trying to make it work at all.

More often than not, our second love is unhealthy, unbalanced or narcissistic. Most likely there will be high levels of drama. This is exactly what keeps us addicted to this storyline, because it’s the emotional roller coaster of extreme highs and lows and like a junkie trying to get a fix, we stick through the lows with the expectation of the high.

So it’s no surprise really that this love has just us with some ‘baggage’.

However …. what it has done is shown us exactly what we don’t want from a love that we will have forever. It’s also taught us lessons that we would never have learnt if it wasn’t for going through this experience.

So thank your second love, for leaving you with their baggage (and then kindly reminding you of it years later just to make sure you don’t move on from them) because without them, you wouldn’t know what a healthy long lasting relationship is and how to cherish the man/woman that makes you feel safe and respected.

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What if fate said….

What if fate was screaming at you both that you shouldn’t be together by never letting you live life running on the same timeline?

Would you listen?

Or would you put your fingers in your ears and sing to yourself to dull out the sound of life maybe having a pre planned route for you?

I’m talking like the adjustment bureau kind of vibes. Like there are some people who come into your life either to steer you into your real purpose or away from it.

Would you listen to fate if it was trying to tell you the person who’s constantly been your maybe is actually a no. That actually ‘timing’ was never the issue between you both but actually you just shouldn’t be together.

I can almost hear what people will be saying ‘but I know I should be with him/her just not right now, we’re on different pages’ but that’s the thing about literature, the pages are never the same, but somehow they still move in chronological order.

If you two aren’t even making chronological sense then maybe it’s time to accept that somewhere life never intended for you guys to be together, you stumbled across each other by a totally romantic accident and that’s ok, because they’re part of your journey but they aren’t your destination.

And what about the other end of the scale?

Those of us who life and fate has continuously attempted to propel together but by some crazy miracle or inconvenience you’ve kept missing each other.

For years the two of you had life plans that should have naturally twisted together but something has kept drawing you away from each other, maybe those people just weren’t quite ready to be shown what their ‘forever’ looks like quite yet.

Maybe the two of you have been so busy forming yourselves into the person you want to be by gaining a tonne of life experience with the wrong people. You were busy getting your hearts broken to get remoulded and put into shape ready for the person fate has in mind for you.

Or maybe the two of you will never meet?

Either way, maybe fate and life has a pre planned idea of who we should be with, or maybe it doesn’t. And maybe we don’t actually have any control over how our life will end up.

Edward Lorenz suggests that ‘Small actions will eventually lead to vastly different outcomes’ so weather we’re pulling away from our forever person or pushing towards them, if you’re meant to me together eventually you will be, once you’ve done all the ‘life stuff’ you need to do first.

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What’s with the three word rush?

Three words. Eight letters. Say it and I’m yours.

Sounds simple. But timing is everything apparently. Some of us will say it too early and sadly some of us will say it too late.

So why is there SO much pressure to tell someone that you love them? I’m sure most of us have heard it before ‘you guys have been together for months, why haven’t you said it yet?’ – maybe it isn’t right for anyone around you to judge the timing of your relationship.

I’ve known people who will tell their boyfriend/girlfriend that they love them within the first month of dating and I’ve also known people for be dating for almost a year before they’ve uttered ‘I love you’. There’s no right or wrong with this, every relationship is different and we all move at our own pace.

Maybe those people who say it early aren’t scared of being hurt, maybe they’re more open and not afraid of letting their heart lead the way instead of their head.

But I can say with total certainty that I am not one of those people, I’ve always allowed my head to drive my decision making. It keeps me out of trouble, when my heart is careless, my head is there putting it back into check and reintroducing logic to the minefield of relationships.

Most of us will feel it way before we say it. There will be moments you’re with your person and you look at them and think, ‘I love this stupid face in front of me’ but does loving all their weird quirks and little things that make them who they are mean that you’re actually IN LOVE?

I’m going to play devil’s advocate and say no. I believe it’s possible to love things about someone before being in love with them. I think it’s the step before realising that your head has lost the battle of control and your heart is now running the rule book and controlling how you are in your relationship.

When I hear it, I want it to mean something, I want the person in front of me to mean it. I want them to be sure, I don’t want an ‘I love you’ thrown at me just because in that moment it feels like love.

I want him to have felt it for weeks, like a slow build up, I don’t want him to tell me straight away, I want him to make sure that what he feels is love. I don’t want him to have fallen for me because I’m perfect, I want him to have fallen in love with me because my weirdness and imperfections make him smile, I want him to fall in love with me because I make him and his life better. I want him to feel that with me he can be exactly who he is.

Because that’s what love is right? Looking at someone on their best days, their worst days and everything in between and saying …. this is it. This is what I want and there’s nothing anyone else could throw in my direction that wouldn’t make me want to end my day with you.

To me telling someone that I love them won’t happen within weeks. It’s going to take me a while to realise my heart is all in. But it means that when I do say it I need the person in front of me to know just how much I mean it.

While thinking about the next person who’s going to tell me they love me will always give me butterflies because I’m a hopeless romantic … I’m also in no rush for it to happen because I wouldn’t ever want someone to say it without being sure.

So just know, when I say those three words, those eight letters …. that I’m without a shadow of a doubt ALL YOURS. There isn’t a part of me that would even consider leaving.

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Manoeuvring into Relationship mode

If you’ve recently got into a relationship after being single for a while and are now super confused as to how you should be behaving, then this is something you’ll want to read!

When you’re single it’s simple, the only thing you need to be worried about is me, myself & I. 

You don’t have anyone else’s feeling to take into consideration, you don’t need to remember to check in with someone throughout the day even when you feel like work may just make your stress levels blow up.

The easiest part of dating someone realistically is the no expectations zone, where you’re like 1-3 dates in and as of yet, neither of you expect anything from the other person. Neither of you get offended when you don’t get a good morning or goodnight text/call, neither party expect time from the other and everything is smooth sailing.

But you’ve got past date 1-3 and now you’re ‘officially’ seeing this new person, and here comes the time when you both have to navigate through the war zone of both of your expectations – here’s the thing though, relationships aren’t supposed to be easy, this is why we have to make sure we’re ready before getting into one.

So what are some key things to remember for our newly coupled up people who have no idea how they should be behaving now that they have someone else to consider in their life:

  1. Communicate your expectations clearly, if you want more than one message a day from them, tell them.
  2. Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean that person has to spend every second of their free time with you, if they need some down time to themselves or with their friends this needs to be respected.
  3. You can’t expect to be treated like their top priority as soon as you get together, you should feel important, but also their family and career should come above you (sorry to burst your bubble of self importance) but these are two aspects that are constants in their life and right now, you may not be!
  4. Remember a new relationship needs some nurturing time, just because the two of you are now together doesn’t mean you can take your foot off of the effort pedal, remember good relationships are created from consistency.
  5. It’s ok to ask your new partner what he/she needs from you, we’re all different and we all need different things from our partners, so asking what they need instead of guessing could save a lot of unnecessary heated discussions.
  6. Disagreements are normal, it’s ok if the two of you don’t agree on everything, arguments don’t mean that your relationship won’t work, it just means the two of you need to spend some time understanding where you’re both coming from.
  7. Date nights don’t need to be extravagant, normally your new bae will just want to be around you if time together is important to them (might be a good idea to have a look into love languages for this)
  8. A phone call can go a long way – that’s literally it, guys if your girl seems like she’s getting aggy with you 9/10 times its only because she misses you, so just pick up the phone and ask her about her day.
  9. Keep making plans to see each other, just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you automatically get all their weekend time, if you want to see them, plan something, effort is attractive!
  10. You need to be prepared to be vulnerable with your new boo, we build with someone by being open and knowing that comes with the possibility of getting hurt (sadly) showing your vulnerable side can deepen your connection and build trust. Vulnerability can be a gift to the person who’s wanting to know you on a deeper level.

Remember: Relationships are like plants, if you care for them in the way they need to be cared for, you’ll get a lot back from them, but if you forget to give them any time or effort, there’s a risk they could die out before you even get to see how beautiful they can be.

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Emotional intelligence

10 emotional intelligence tips from the masters | The Enterprisers Project

Being self-aware emotionally can both be a good and a bad thing, while being able to recognise how you feel and whats triggered it is always good, the not being able to do anything about it part is where it sucks. It’s like being given flat packed furniture with the end image and no instructions.

Maybe ignorance is bliss when it comes to emotional intelligence?

Because now you’ve become aware of that feeling in your chest, the one that’s telling you someones moved into a small space in your heart and ever so slowly they’re making renovations and expanding the space they’ve unknowingly claimed as theirs.

You know what this is going to mean, so you’re internally screaming at them to stop with the extensions they’re trying to build because falling in love is one of the scariest things you’ve every experienced in your life. To you, falling in love means a feeling of loss of control. Your emotions don’t entirely feel like your own and you’ve spent years priding yourself on the fact that the one thing that you have total and utter control over are your own emotions.

But you can feel it changing.

You can feel it changing as you make them laugh and their smile brightens up your whole day. You can feel it changing when they’re laying their head on your lap while you run your fingers through their hair. You can feel it changing in those moments of emotional vulnerability that the two of you share, the moments that belong to no one but the two of you.

You feel it when suddenly you’ve realised you’re preplanning things in your head with them that won’t be happening for months.

And you’re scared, I get it.

This is one of the times when you wish you couldn’t feel every emotional change thats happening inside you, because right now these heightened emotions are screaming at you and you can’t even try and ignore them. But the whole ‘I can’t even do anything about this‘ is whats making things worse.

It’s as if all you can do is stand and watch a building burn down in front of you despite knowing where to get water, except you can’t get the water because all of a sudden your arms have stopped working. So that’s it, all you can do is stand there and watch the destruction unfold.

And the destruction is alarmingly beautiful, in a way where you want to walk away but you can’t because you also have a desire to see what happens at the end.

Being self aware can be a good and a bad thing, but when it comes to love emotional intelligence sometimes often leads to more confusion because you’re so in tune to not only your own feelings but also the feelings of your partners.

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To chase or not to chase?

As women we’re always told ‘never chase a man‘ but the issue with this advice is the fact that it’s almost discouraging women from pursuing the man she wants, and what’s wrong with a bit of effort?

Does a runner win a race by standing still? Absolutely not.

If you’ve managed to go out and get the job you want, the pay rise you dreamt of, the car you’ve aspired to drive ….. you can’t say you managed to get all of those things by turning in the opposite direction and acting as if you didn’t want them. The odds are, you probably went after them with determination and perseverance.

So why treat the person we want any differently?

And I know what you’re going to say, people are different to material objects, they can make their own conscious decisions and yes I agree, however …. If effort is being reciprocated then you shouldn’t be scared to chase after what you want.

I also believe that making a man constantly chase you is a dangerous game, because if we think of it like a cat playing with a piece of string …. the longer you make the game last the less satisfied the cat is once the string is dropped, because the effort in trying to get it was more rewarding than actually having it and no one wants to feel like a piece of dropped string.

But maybe the chase is how we feel wanted? Maybe someone putting in unrequited effort for us is what makes us feel fully secure with the fact that they want us and only us?

At what point do we stop chasing or being chased and make the person we like feel wanted and appreciated with consistency? Because honestly, I can’t think of a bigger turn on when dating someone than that person showing you consistency.

If you’re like me, you’ll be worried that when you let people stop chasing you and give them your full attention, they’ll run off and won’t want you anymore, but maybe we need to let our walls down and give up on the idea of the chase for a while.

Maybe being honest with our feelings is the way forward, if you like the fact someone is chasing you, tell them ….. if you’re chasing after someone you like, TELL THEM!

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That Narcissistic Lover Broke Her

The Vampire Diaries discovered by Tay on We Heart It

When she fell in love with a narcissist she sadly lost a part of herself that will never come back. And while you’ll never meet the old her, the one that fell in love without caution and wasn’t afraid of being hurt, the version of her that stands in front of you now is wiser and more well rounded when it comes to life, but you need to understand why she does things in ways that maybe you won’t always understand.

All those times when you’ve found her difficult to read or confusing to deal with, just remember at one point she had her own self worth shattered into a million pieces by the one person she thought loved her more than anything.

When she hears you call her beautiful there’s always going to be a small part of her that thinks you’re only saying it because you know it’s what she wants to hear. I know you’re wondering why your compliments always partly fall on deaf ears, or when she does acknowledge them they’re greeted with more of a shrug and a laugh, but it’s because she’s used to compliments always being followed with a ‘but‘ things that should have made her feel like a princess were always tinted by comparing her to others and making her feel like she could be better, prettier and smarter ‘Your hair looks so beautiful when you have it straight‘ he would whisper in her ear ‘but don’t you think it would look better how that woman over there has hers, when women have a slight wave in their hair it looks so effortless‘ so from that point on, she maybe straighten her hair once or twice a year.

He changed her, he convinced her that she never looked as good with light hair and that the only colour she should have on her nails was red. He picked out what was and wasn’t appropriate for her to wear, so if you see her pulling at her skirt when you’re together it’s probably because she’s worried you think its too short or ‘not appropriate‘. In the back of her mind her appearance and how she comes across to others is always going to play on her mind. She knows she needs to look elegant and well put together to qualify as ‘girlfriend material’.

She needs that physical closeness, she needs lots of contact with you to feel wanted, her heightened sexual appetite is partly fuelled by her past, a past that taught her that sex was how you create a connection with someone. She learned that you didn’t need endless conversations and to really get to know the good and bad in someone. As long as he wanted her body it meant that she was wanted. She isn’t used to someone wanting to hear about her passions and what makes her tick, what she’s used to is someone telling her that her ambitions are ‘ridiculous‘ and she should aim for something more ‘realistic‘. She’s not used to being around someone who sees life in technicolour like she does, someone who embraces imagination and creativity and encourages her to go after the shit she wants because of course she can achieve it if she sets her mind to it.

She knows it’s annoying how badly she deals with confrontation, if something annoys her she’ll spend days trying to figure out a way to bring it up to you without sounding ‘crazy‘ a word she’s heard so many times before when she’s bought up things that made her uncomfortable, so now …. she stresses about it instead of talking about it, she’s used to bottling her feelings because expressing them was never met by calmness and understanding. But she hates how scared she gets to talk to you about things you wouldn’t even stress about.

You won’t understand why she pushed you away so hard at the start, but her fear of letting someone in as much as she’d done before triggered her avoidant dismissive attachment style and she needed to show that she didn’t need anyone.

She’s used to being chased relentlessly, but she’s also used to being told that she isn’t enough once the chase is over.

When she fell in love with a narcissist she never knew how much long term damage it would do, and if she did …. she would never have let the years of turbulence play out until she became so dependant on one person that she totally lost her own identity.

When you encourage her to go away and do her own things, it scares her, she won’t ever admit that to you because she’s so fiercely independent, but it triggers a deep set anxious side of her that only comes out when she’s dating. When you encourage her to not need you, she thinks it’s because you’re getting ready to leave her.

While she never wants to need you, if she falls for you, she will need you and thats because of past experiences.

She’s not as fierce and scary as you may think, but the shield she’s put up to protect herself from people like the ones in her past, makes her seem like she’s made from steel.

Her past broke her, but she’s spent a very long time rebuilding her own little castle. It’s important you understand that after she’s fallen in love with a narcissist, she’s always going to be a bit trickier to understand. But if she loves you, you’ll never experience a love like it again, because after that kind of trauma …. she will forever go to the end of the earth for the right person she finds to be deserving of her and her heart.

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Attachment Styles & Relationship Hurdles

Writing about first hand experiences is nerve wracking enough, let alone when it comes to openly admitting your flaws because of your attachment style.

People seem to think that we all have one kind of attachment style and until we own it and recognise what one we have, we aren’t able to change it and develop more meaningful relationships, but what about us strange and complicated individuals who’s attachment styles seem to be as fluid as the tea we’re spilling to our friends about our tragic relationship paths?

What if, some of us will experience different levels of attachment depending on how the person were with is making us feel within the relationship we’re developing with them?

Speaking as someone who always initially starts a relationship in a dismissive avoidant attachment style – which is basically a ‘I don’t need you or anyone else, all I need is my freedom to do what I want and when I want it so please don’t crowd my space and expect too much from me‘ kind of vibe, it’s hard to create an initial bond with someone. I know what you’re thinking … if you recognise this, then why not do something about it?

The key part to this story is that to me, if someone pushes through the emotionally shut down version of myself then when they get through to the caring side of me that would do anything in the world for them, then they really see what they’ve worked for.

Except this just isn’t ever the case, what tends to happen is when people eventually break through the ‘I don’t need you and can look after myself‘ attitude and are greeted with the ‘I want you in my life forever and will show you that in any way I can‘ well they don’t tend to want it anymore.

My experience with toxic narcissistic relationships has bought out a fearful dismissive attachment style in me that I never thought I’d have, but it’s the side of me that turns into a clingy mess when I don’t feel secure in my relationship (ugh god I hate my clingy phase more than anything!). I know that I crave stability and I look for that in my relationships, I want someone to come into my life with the intention to stay and when I’m not sure where I stand, a side of me comes out that I don’t even recognise.

I can see myself behaving in a weird clingy way that I would never do with someone new who I had no emotional attachment to. But this seems to be where the problem lies …. it takes me such a long time to realise I like someone that once I do, all the emotional attachment seems to hit me at once. What I need is for the person I’m dating to tell me that everything is ok and I immediately go back to being myself again and jump straight back into a secure attachment style. For me, when I hit my fearful dismissive phase all I need is some reassurance which generally tends to be the last thing someone wants to give you when you’re behaving weird and clingy!

But hey …. that’s past trauma rearing its ugly head for you!

When the person you’re dating starts acting even a little bit differently, you typically jump into a head space of thinking they don’t want you anymore and you get so badly triggered by your fear of rejection that its the only thing you can seem to concentrate on, especially first thing in the morning and last thing at night (but meditation seriously helps me during this little phase by the way).

And instead of pushing that person anyway, you try to pull them closer and hold on for dear life, because we can’t stand the thought of them going anywhere, when in reality they might just need a little breathing room and that’s totally fine.

But if you’re dating someone with a fearful avoidant attachment style and you need some space, a simple ‘I know we’re going through a bit of a phase at the moment, but I want you to know I’m not going anywhere’ kind of text will save you both A LOT of stress, trust me!

So maybe we don’t have control over our attachment styles, but maybe if we can recognise what phase we’re in and try to understand why we feel the way that we do, we’ll be able to cope with our rollercoaster of emotions a lot better and we can advise the person we’re dating on how to help us deal with them too!