Dr. Julie's Blog

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Are you in a lopsided relationship?

We've all been hurt by unrequited love—that terrible, heartbreaking want for another person who doesn't return your affection. Unfortunately, "the pursuit" is also very enticing and can be challenging to give up.

Unrequited love warps one's perceptions of the person they are in love with, making it difficult for you to realize they don't feel the same way because of how immersed you are in your deep feelings for the person.

Nevertheless, everyone is deserving of love, including you. Since you aren't getting love from this other person, it's time to move on and experience mutual love. Let go of the person you're fascinated with but who doesn't reciprocate your feelings. In this blog post, let's learn what unrequited love is in detail and discuss the most effective ways to put it to rest.

What are the signs of Unrequited Love?

How can you tell if feelings are mutual or not? Here are some signs: 

They don't appear willing to develop the relationship. 

When you try...

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Do you know your partner's love language?

We all express and receive love in different ways, and those variations may be the reason why sometimes feelings and good intentions are misunderstood.

For instance, you might spend weeks searching for the most incredible gift for your partner, only to hear them say on their birthday, "I would've been happy just cuddling up on the couch together."

It's not that they're unappreciative or you made a mistake. It's because they speak different love languages or communicate their love differently.

The five love languages were first introduced in 1992 by marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman in his book "The 5 Love Languages."  He noticed there was often a discrepancy in how each person in a marriage felt loved. If one person only felt love when they received a gift but their partner rarely bought them gifts, they felt as if their partner didn’t love them. 

Knowing what your love language is and learning what your partner’s love language is will help you create an...

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Taming Your Triggers

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I was sitting in a restaurant chit chatting with a friend when the chef walked into the dining area with a large knife tucked under his arm as if he’d forgotten he had it in his hand when he left the kitchen and was now trying to hide it. 

But I saw it.  

And without any thought my body decided it was time to leave. Unfortunately, I was so frightened I was unable to move or take my eyes off the knife.

Leave. 

Don’t move. 

Leave.

Don’t move. 

It all happened faster than anaphylactic shock. 

That’s being triggered.

Triggers can be just about anything. They cause your fight or flight response to go off like an unexpected hotel alarm clock going off. First, you're disoriented and then you want to murder the clock--just make it stop.

Some situations are triggering to just about everyone. These include:

  • Being rejected
  • Being betrayed
  • Being treated unjustly (you or someone else)
  • Having your beliefs challenged
  • Being excluded or...
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Why does your childhood affect your relationship?

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All relationships have their moments when things don’t go well. Usually we can chalk this up to a difference of opinion or a simple misunderstanding. But have those differences of opinion or simple misunderstandings ever mushroomed out of control leaving you and your partner confused as to what the heck just happened? Does this happen a lot?

What do you do when this happens? That’s a key question. 

When an upset like this occurs, we need to calm ourselves down. There are several ways to do this, especially if the argument surprised you. Some ways are healthier than others and what you do to recover says a lot about what you learned about yourself and others growing up.

If you generally feel that you have a valid position AND are willing to consider your partner’s position. That’s a good sign. Maybe the conflict just flared up and after everyone settles down the two of you can talk calmly about it.

But, if that’s not what typically happens after a...

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New Year's Resolutions: Make them easier with these tips

 

For those of us who make New Year's Resolutions, we are connecting with a sense of hope that things can be different. It's part acknowledgement that things could be better and hope that we can engineer that improvement in our lives. Really, the hopefulness we feel is a love affair with the potential of what could be.

But, if you're more connected with the hopelessness of setting New Year's Resolutions because you haven't realized the potential of past resolutions or have seen too many others fail to realize theirs, it's okay. Being in touch with the problem of your current situation is often troubling and disempowering because you might not know how you got here or how to effectively change it.

Keep in mind though that the idea, "Things could (should) be better" is the first step in making a change. You have to identify a problem before you can fix it.

If you'd like to be in touch with the hopefulness of a better version of you in 2022 (or if you're already hopeful), here are...

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💕 3 Communication Tips for an Easier Holiday Season

I recently posed the question, “What’s a positive change you want to make in your relationship?” All the responses I got were focused on communication, everybody wanted to communicate better. As it turns out faulty communication is a top relationship problem.

I couldn’t think of a better topic to address during the holidays. What can be more stressful than arguing during a time when everyone is expected to be bright and cheery?

Here are 3 tips for making your romantic relationship a little less stressful and a little more romantic this holiday season.

  1. Listen more and talk less. Listening is something we think we do easily, but we are rarely actually listening. Instead, we are usually thinking of what we are going to say next. To help you listen better challenge yourself to ask a follow-up question about what your partner just said before you add anything to conversation. Another tip for being a better listener is to focus on how your partner is feeling,...
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Handling Holiday Stress 💥 If You Are A People Pleaser

Holidays are a magical time of year AND an incredibly stressful time of year. Many of us look forward to our family traditions, holiday parties, decorating, and gift giving. But, in order to do all these things, we feel like we have to squeeze them into our normally hectic, busy schedules AND get it all done with ease and grace. Except, ease and grace are often forgotten in the hustle, leaving us to wonder “Where is all the magic I’m supposed to be feeling?”

This is especially true if you are a people-pleaser and over-giver. You know what I’m talking about. You try so hard to get everything perfect so other people feel at ease and have a good time and you’re left with a few moments of fun and a big mess to clean up.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can have more ease and grace in your holidays so they feel magical today and in the years to come. It just takes a little planning.

Acknowledge your tendency for high expectations. If you are a...

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Could being curious help your relationship?

Child’s play is something anyone can do, and yet usually, only children do it. We equate child’s play with something simple and easy. Wouldn’t it be awesome if hard things in life were more like “child’s play?” 

What if child’s play could make something like your relationship easier? Wouldn’t THAT be awesome? Initially, your relationship probably felt like child’s play, but over time maybe that stopped being the case. Let’s spice it up again with something children do well that adults usually don’t. 

Let’s get curious.

Curiosity is something we are all born with and use a lot as children, but as we become adults, it fades away. It is that wonderful state of being open to learning something new, approaching a situation without assumptions or preconceived ideas of how it will go. It is child’s play at its core. There is little fear, no ideas or expectations about how something works or what will...

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Women of the Mayflower

March 1st marks the beginning of Women’s History Month. It also prompted me to think about the history of women in the founding of this country. Specifically, the women and families that came over on the Mayflower. I’ve done a little reading on this part of US history and ran across some amazing stories.

The background

Plymouth Colony, founded by the families of the Mayflower, was the first colony to include women and children. It was founded to provide a group of families a place to worship in a manner of their choosing. [Jamestown, the first colony established by the English, initially only included men because it was founded as a profit-making venture. Here’s a little history on Jamestown: https://www.history.com/topics/colonial-america/jamestown.]

 

The Mayflower

The Mayflower was not a big ship. There were 102 passengers and probably about 30 crew. The living space on the ship was 50 x 25 feet with a 5-foot ceiling. (That’s less than 10 sq feet per...

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Two Easy Suggestions for Making Valentine’s Day Special

Many people dismiss Valentine’s Day as a Hallmark holiday. But, let’s think about this for a minute. It’s a lot more than just a money-making scheme for a big corporation. Valentine's day has been around since before the Middle Ages. If it has been celebrated in some way for the last several hundred years, don’t you think there might be something to it? 

A little history

Pope Gelasius declared February 14th to be St. Valentine’s Day in 498 (yes, over 1500 years ago). The oldest surviving Valentine’s Day poem was written in 1415. In the 18th century, it became popular to exchange small tokens of affection and handwritten notes. Pre-made cards became popular about 1900. Today Valentine’s Day is the second largest card-sending holiday of the year, following Christmas. This is probably why it is thought of as a Hallmark holiday, but as you can see, it pre-dates Hallmark, by a lot.

Valentine’s Day has remained important because it gets...

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