Erectile Dysfunction Causes… And the Best (All Natural) Path to Rock Solid Erections
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If you’ve been experiencing anything other than fireworks in the bedroom… something could be up.
If you notice a decreased appetite for sex, difficulty getting or maintaining erections, or other performance issues, then you’ll want to look into the common causes of erectile dysfunction and some solutions that are immediately available to you.
You don’t have to just accept a decrease in sexual performance as part of life — and you shouldn’t!
Maybe a hundred years ago… but as you’ll see later, actually, some of the best boner boosters have been around for centuries, so no one should have ever had to settle for a sex life that peters out with age…
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Sexual health is an important part of your life and should never be ignored.
Erectile dysfunction can have its roots in physical problems, emotional problems, and even relationship problems.
What you eat, how much you sleep, and your activity levels are all important contributors to your sexual health. Sometimes, the causes of erectile dysfunction overlap.
Luckily, there are many ways to combat the common causes of erectile dysfunction, and a lot of them you can begin doing today:
First, it’s helpful to understand what erectile dysfunction is and why exactly it happens.
Some signs of erectile dysfunction include difficulty getting and maintaining erections needed for satisfying sexual performance.
The quality of erections is also commonly affected — in some severe cases, an erection is not even possible at all.
Erectile dysfunction is more common in men over the age of 40, and affects 18 million men in the U.S.
Erectile dysfunction can be a major source of frustration and concern for men and can result in psychological and emotional difficulties.
Why does it happen? Erectile dysfunction is often related to problems with bloodflow to the penis. In some cases, bloodflow fails to reach the penis, and in other cases, it fails to stay there.
Erectile dysfunction can also be caused by nerve damage or problems with nerve signalling. Some erectile dysfunction causes are normal and natural, while some stem from health problems.
Causes of erectile dysfunction can be physical or psychological, and can even stem from lifestyle and relationship problems.
Read on to learn about some of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction, and what you can do about it…
Most Common Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction is commonly caused simply by getting older. (Boo!)
Nature intends for you to impregnate women when you’re younger, and as you get older, reproduction naturally becomes less of a priority for the body.
But some erectile dysfunction causes are related to health conditions, so it is important to be aware of the potential issues.
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Diabetes (high blood sugar) can be a cause of erectile dysfunction because it can damage nerves in the penis. Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity are also known to be common causes of erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction can be a warning sign about any of these conditions, so it’s a good idea to schedule a physical exam if you haven’t had one recently.
Some medications can also be erectile dysfunction causes. Antidepressants, high blood pressure medication, opioids, and antihistamines are all known to be potential causes of erectile dysfunction.
You should not stop taking any medications that have been prescribed to you, but do ask your doctor if they think it might be a cause and if there might be alternatives or other options for you.
Lifestyle Causes of Erectile Dysfunction
Lifestyle choices can also be causes of erectile dysfunction.
Diet and exercise are important for sexual health, and if they fall to the wayside, erectile dysfunction can show up as a result.
It doesn’t take a lot to throw your hormones out of whack and to set back your sexual performance…
For example, drinking too much alcohol is a well-known cause of erectile dysfunction, although usually only temporarily. Alcohol can work to increase sex drive up to a certain point, and after that threshold is crossed, reproductive organs are not going to be functioning optimally–if at all.
Limit your intake to a couple drinks a day, and if the beer cans have been piling up, consider switching to red wine, which will have more benefits to your sexual health.
Smoking tobacco is another common cause of erectile dysfunction. Smoking decreases bloodflow throughout the body — yes, including your penis. That reduced bloodflow will result in difficulty getting and maintaining erections.
If you are a smoker, keep in mind that the effects of tobacco can be reversed if you stop smoking — meaning your sex life and your overall health will improve.
Stress and anxiety are also common causes of erectile dysfunction. Sex and emotions are closely related.
If you’re focused on stressful problems, sex is not going to be your body’s number one priority. This is simply a survival mechanism. Nature says: first, deal with immediate threats. Second, worry about reproduction.
If you find yourself in a state of constant stress, your body may shut down sex drive and bloodflow to the penis.
People often underestimate the impact of their workloads and their personal responsibilities on their mental health, and don’t usually realize that they can even be causes of erectile dysfunction.
Consider whether your workload is too heavy, or if there is more pressure on you than usual. If you can, try to remove some of these stressors from your life to create some breathing room.
Diet and Weight affect sexual performance
It’s important to note that an unhealthy diet is not going to make for the world’s most impressive erections. Eating lots of fatty, fried, and sugary food can cause erectile dysfunction, especially if it leads to weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.
Potato chips, donuts, and cheesy fries might be ridiculously tasty, but they aren’t worth more than your sex life!
An unhealthy diet makes it difficult for your body to function well, and can cause all kinds of interconnected problems that end up affecting sexual performance.
For example, being overweight causes your body to turn testosterone to estrogen, and you need that testosterone in order to have healthy erections.
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Being overweight can also directly affect your energy levels. You might find yourself starting to feel more lethargic and less easily inspired to get moving.
This will result in decreased bloodflow throughout your body, which is a common cause of erectile dysfunction.
Being overweight can also be a serious problem for your self-esteem. If you’re feeling self-conscious in the bedroom, it can be a major distraction, and yes, it can contribute to erectile dysfunction.
Both the health issues and psychological issues that stem from being overweight are liable to interfere with your sex life.
Low Testosterone Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction
Testosterone is the key sex hormone that is responsible for sex drive, muscle growth, hair growth, and general masculine qualities. It makes up your manly traits, and without it, things go awry.
If your testosterone levels drop below a healthy, normal level, it is very possible to become a cause of erectile dysfunction.
Low testosterone is not uncommon, and it is often a result of poor diet and lack of exercise. Testosterone levels also decline as you age, which means you have to do more to give them a bit of a boost.
Testosterone levels can drop if you have an unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, or are overusing drugs and alcohol. The consequences will show up in your bedroom sooner or later…
If you are really concerned about your testosterone levels, you can find out your exact testosterone levels with a blood test. Call your doctor to set up an appointment.
Lifestyle Tips to Diminish Erectile Dysfunction Symptoms
Since lifestyle plays such a significant role in sex drive and sexual health, changing your daily habits can go a long way in the effort to reduce erectile dysfunction symptoms. It may not be easy, but you can take it one day at a time.
Eating a diet full of fibrous, organic fruits and vegetables is a must if you want to maximize your sex drive. You don’t have to be the winner of Hell’s Kitchen to make an amazing veggie stir fry. Just chop them up, drizzle some olive oil on your cast iron, and fire up the stove.
Be sure to bring your reusable bag every time you go to the grocery store and fill it to the brim with fruit and veggies.
Purchase high quality meats and incorporate them into your diet. Ditch the highly processed stuff — it will most likely do more harm than good. The protein will help you build muscle and boost testosterone.
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Exercise is another important way to battle erectile dysfunction. Exercise helps all of your organs function better. It promotes bloodflow throughout the body, and is known to help boost testosterone.
Get a gym membership and vow to get your money’s worth. Or, if the gym is not for you, set a weekly mileage goal for walking or jogging. The fresh air will do wonders for your mood while the exercise chisels your body into shape.
Another way to improve your testosterone levels and reduce symptoms of erectile dysfunction is simply to get enough sleep.
Eight hours should be your goal every night. There are apps you can use to track sleep quality and time. Consider setting up a “bedtime deadline” as well as some relaxing rituals to help you fall asleep faster.
Spending extra time reading or cuddling in bed before it’s time to sleep can be great ways to relax, and you just might feel a bit more sexually inspired.
Though it might seem surprising, meditation could be really helpful for boosting testosterone. This is because meditation and breathing practices work to regulate your nervous system. They decrease tension in the body and anxiety in the mind.
Meditation improves bloodflow throughout the body and is a natural mood-booster. Trying it out will not hurt–you just have to have some patience. But if sitting still is just way too hard for you, you might want to consider movement practices like Tai Chi, Qigong, and yoga.
These are forms of movement meditation that will also help you burn more calories…
Natural Supplements Can Improve Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction
There are quite a few supplements that you can use to increase testosterone. Some of them might already be lurking in your kitchen…
Supplements usually have to be taken daily for months to show results, but it could be a helpful way to reduce symptoms of erectile dysfunction and reclaim your sex life. They come in forms of pills, powder, herbs, foods, and even sunlight.
D-aspartic acid, tribulus terrestris, maca powder, ginseng, and yohimbe are a few supplements that have been proven to yield helpful improvements to erectile dysfunction.
Vitamin A is a supplement you can use by sitting in the sun, or you can buy it from most grocery stores.
Ashwaganda is also used to improve sex drive and sexual performance. All of these can be ordered online if you’re not able to find them in your local grocery stores.
Scientific studies also show benefits from ginger, shellfish, red wine, and garlic can also be used on a daily basis to reduce signs of erectile dysfunction.
Many of these work by promoting bloodflow throughout the body, which will definitely benefit your erection quality and duration. (Plus, they’re delicious.)
Try incorporating some natural foods and one or two herbs or supplements on a daily basis to see what works for you. Remember you will have to be patient, as many of these don’t work unless used every day for months.
The good news is, most of the common ways to combat erectile dysfunction are actually good for your overall health.
Eating well, exercising, sleeping, meditating, and taking healthy supplements can work absolute wonders for your mind and body.
A lot of these approaches to health are relatively easy to incorporate, and won’t break the bank.
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The post Scientifically Proven: 5 Ways To Get…& STAY Hard appeared first on Gotham Club.
The best part about is that you don’t need to give up on your career to do these, you can easily do them part time, in the summer, or just once in a while.
Pub Crawl Leader
The job implies taking people on a bar tour around your location. Usually it’s about 20 dollars/pounds/euros per tour. You take them from one bar to the other and they get a free T-shirt and a shot in each of them. It gets to about 20-60 people (half male half female) and that’s it.
I have personally done this job in my University days. It gets you laid because you are the leader and you take them to different places to have fun and get drunk. Because you are doing this regularly there’s tons of social proof from bartenders and bouncers that only boost your persona. After a couple of shots one of the girls will be making out with you. This job can get you laid every single night you do a pub crawl unless, you’re a monster or too tired to have sex.
I was doing this 2 times a week and usually getting laid in both nights. It depends on the location if it’s a tourist destination this can happen every night, if it’s a normal town but has students you can do it less often but as effective. Pub crawls happen at night, so even if you have a full time job, you can organize pub crawl every Friday and Saturday.
Singles Resort Employee
Regardless of your job title, you can be a bartender, entertainer and even a pool boy, a job within a singles resort will get you laid. Single women away from home are looking to let loose and leave their normal life behind. This is the perfect time to step in and offer them an adventure.
You never have to worry about commitment because before things start to get serious they have to go home and a new bunch has just landed at the resort. It’s a never ending circle, the fun only ends when you decide to go home. This is probably the most no-stress job you can have, you get fed at the restaurant, a lot of sexy girls to have sex with and also get paid, perfect during the summer.
Strip Club DJ
This is a fantastic choice as it lands you some of the hottest girls on the planet, strippers. Strippers get a lot of attention from men but they only give their attention to some. Most of their attention goes to the strip club DJ and I’ll tell you why. The strippers always hang out in the DJ booth because the DJ’s basically control how much money the girl makes. The girls get tipped based on his announcements and also dance as long as the songs play. The more they dance, the more they get tipped. The girls compete for the attention and affection of the DJ but, unlike the other employees of the place, the DJ has no responsibility for the girls.
This works wonders however you can only sleep with one girl at a time otherwise there’s going to be a lot of drama in the strip club. Any other DJ job works but those gigs are probably harder to find. DJ-ing is done at night so regardless of your full time job you can still put in some hours at the strip club.
Scuba Diving Instructor
Probably a harder job to get into but it will most surely get you laid. You are a scuba diving instructor helping people get their diving license. You only do license as that is a 4 day course. Most of your students are 18-24 from all over the world (both genders). The location where you teach doesn’t really matter as long as there are coral reefs and tourists.
During the 4 day period you teach them a new skill and their lives are in your hands. This is a massive turn on for the girls and (according to verified sources) you get about 1 new girl every other class, meaning 1 new girl every 8 days. Also most of these girls are young and they want to have a story for their friends back home. Sleeping with the diving instructor fits perfectly.
This should go without saying, bouncers always get girls. You are the strong guy who protects them from all these losers that are hitting on her, getting drunk, and shouting in the club. You’re also the guy that lets them jump the queue if you feel like it. You need a bit of physical condition for this one but if you can pull it off you’re golden. All the girls want to brag about their bouncer boyfriend and, they will frequently visit the place you work in just to show you off.
Strip club bouncers get a lot of action too, but that’s a messier job.
I don’t know what it is but if you’re a bartender you always get laid. When I was doing pub crawls all of my bartender friends were also getting laid. You can give the girls free drinks and talk to them from behind the bar. Just ask some of the girls you know, they will probably admit to having a thing for bartenders.
In movies they are portrayed as smooth operators with a quick wit and, if that seems to fail, make sure you serve them strong cocktails.
If you’re a personal trainer you’re already looking great so as far as you body goes you’re sorted. Plus you get the chance to work closely with women that want to get in shape and getting really hands on gets you even closer. If you plan some extra late-night workout sessions at your house/hers/or even the gym you will be very delighted.
This is kind of a young guy’s job and it’s perfect for the summer. Think about it, you’re tanned, in good shape and working at the beach or pool where the girls love to relax and have fun. The best part about it is the fact that you see them in bikinis and thongs, so you know exactly what you’re getting before you jump into it.
You don’t necessarily have to become an actor as you can also attend acting classes. Women that are in this industry are generally hot, crazy and fun, on and off the stage.
You’ll have the chance to partake in a lot of drama classes alongside these beautiful women as well as acting with them in plays and sketches. You don’t have to look amazing and if you’re not narcissistic you’ll always find a partner to play out your fantasy scenes.
If you can dance this is the perfect job for you. It always happens at night so again, another job that you can do whilst working full time. A lot of women come to these dancing classes to met men. If that’s the case who do you think best suits them, if not the instructor himself? Ladies love to dance and you’re the guy teaching them, you can always stay late to work on her steps or ask her to come round your house for some free late night dancing lessons.
There you have it, my complete top 10 list of the best jobs that get you laid. Don’t worry if you can’t change your career right away, to see results, you can easily do some of them part time.
Last night I was out with one of my favorite couples in the world. I met Julie in late 2009 when I moved to Iowa to attend the University. In 2011, she moved to New York and met Gerard. And, as luck would have it, they both called me a short while after and asked me to move in with them in a beautiful brownstone in Brooklyn. (Did I just invent my first tongue twister?) I moved to New York in July of 2011 and my life dream of being a gay Mexican actor was about to come true, but Osama Bin Laden had other plans because two months later, he messed up my call-back audition on September 11.
Julie and Gerard moved to Texas about seven years ago and I’ve been fending on my own in the big city ever since. And reconnecting with them last night–as this was their first time in four years to be away from their two beautiful daughters–brought back so many good memories and I couldn’t wait to introduce them to my boyfriend for two reasons: one–they’re both extraordinary loving people and two–they’ve defined what a loving relationship looks like for me and I wanted my boyfriend to see it “live” in action. They’re just so adorable together, and for me, it’s a meter of how a couple that’s been together since 2011 still likes being around one another. I know Julie’s going to kill me for saying this, but Gerard did the most romantic and loving gesture a married man could ever do–he rushed out to get condoms after dinner like an excited 13-year-old boy about to have his first experience. You can’t fake stuff like that. There was gonna be come celebrating in Soho last night, Texas-style!
During drinks, I flashed on another couple that my boyfriend and I had recently gone to dinner with who bragged about being together for over 15 years–and I would have gladly celebrated their lengthly partnership except for one thing, they couldn’t stand to be around one another. Maybe we caught them on a bad night–we all have them, but just as Julie and Gerard couldn’t fake their genuine “like” for one another, this pair couldn’t hide their disgust for theirs. The conversation went from how they didn’t trust one another to the random cell phone checks they conducted and explicit programs they used to break into each others e-mail accounts in order to check for infidelities–which they both fessed up to that evening–can you say awkward dinner entertainment? (Although, being Mexican and growing up watching Novelas, this was my cup of tea!) I guess there were small moments of tenderness when they both agreed that their passwords to several of their accounts were each other’s names. Their story reminded me of another couple I meet four years ago who’d been together for 12-years and also rejoiced about their lengthy union to anyone who’d listen but also couldn’t stand to be in the same room together or they’d start insulting one another in a way that escalated from a funny jab about bad breath to someone having to call 911 to separate them. When did relationships become a contest and the prize is awarded to the last couple standing?
I’ve been in a few toxic relationships and it took time for me to leave but I was also younger then, now, at my age, I don’t have the energy to be involved with someone I didn’t want to be around. That’s why my boyfriend and I, after each month ask one another, “Do you wanna go for another month?” We discuss “why” but we also talk about improvements for the next month. Sounds very un-romantic, but it’s actually helpful because we speak open and honestly. When I told Gerard, he said, “You two sound like alcoholics taking it one day at a time.” And I guess the concept is similar, but it’s also taking responsibility and actively accomplishing out relationship motto which is to have fun. We decided a while back, that when we stop having fun with one another, it’s time to move on. Six months is early, we’re not trying to fool anyone into thinking we have the perfect relationship–but in six months we’ve also experienced a few hardships that have strengthened our bond. A relationship isn’t always going to be fun, that’s life–but when your life is no longer fun because of the relationship you’re in–that’s not healthy, for anyone.
For couples celebrating a lengthy union, instead of focusing on the numbers of years you’ve been together, focus on the amounts of times you make each other laugh in a day or the number of compliment you give one another in a week; those are some real numbers you should be tracking. And Julie and Gerard, thanks for the “in-person” live seminar on how to treat your partner with love, respect, and genuine “like” for one another. We learned a lot.
The residue of a past broken relationship can linger longer than you may realise. Here’s how to ditch the break-up baggage and move on.
You don’t need me to tell you how difficult it can be to recover from a broken relationship. The loss can be bitterly consuming. The thought of surviving the next hour with sanity still intact can seem hard enough, let alone the next day, week or month.
Which is why, so often, when the first light at the end of the break-up tunnel appears, we race towards it, telling ourselves that we never have to go back to that dark place of rejection again.
And so off we go, convincing ourselves that the worst is behind us, only to discover somewhere down the line that, far from over, we have all the symptoms of a ‘love hangover’. You might have long said goodbye – and quite possibly good riddance – to the ex, but the residual effects of a failed romance stick around like an unwanted reminder of the night (or nightmare break-up) before.
The lingering aftermath
“Although you can end the physical attachment very quickly, the emotional attachment takes longer,” agrees Paula Hall of relationship counselling group Relate. “And if that’s been a difficult relationship, there may be some scars.”
Failing to acknowledge these emotional scars could mean that you make mistakes in future relationship choices. Developing a penchant for remote or unavailable men, deciding to opt out of the romance rat race once and for all or even, notes Hall, finding yourself settling “for Mr Reliable, Mr Boring, who’s not really your type but [who makes you] feel safe,” are all classic indicators of the emotionally hungover.
Tempting as it is when a relationship’s over to patch ourselves up and race back into the fray, only to make a similar (or worse!) mistake again, what’s really needed is for us to make the space and time to truly acknowledge what effect our past relationships have had.
A break-up is a bereavement of sorts and, like any significant loss, there are five recognised stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – that we all have to go through to be ready to move on. But to avoid a love hangover there’s another vital stage – understanding – we need to clear before we can honestly say we’re, if not cured, then at least ready to move on.
By “analysing your motives and understanding what went wrong,” confirms Hall, you will learn to recognise – and in time come to terms with – “what part you played in the break-up and what was down to them.”
It’s only through understanding what really went wrong in our past relationship, what we’re afraid of bringing to our next one and what we would or wouldn’t want to repeat again, that we are finally able to banish a love hangover for good. Consider it an emotional detox. Your future relationships will thank you for it.
The hangover antidote
The way to a cure is to follow these steps:
Look for patterns in your relationship behaviour that might indicate unresolved issues from a previous relationship. Are you always falling for the ‘wrong’ guy? You may be suffering from a love hangover.
Be honest – what went wrong? Don’t beat yourself up or get stuck on who is to blame; use this as an opportunity to come to terms with what happened properly.
By recognising your own strengths and weaknesses you will be better equipped to face future relationship fears. Knowing what you want (or at least what you don’t!) helps teach you to recognise good romantic opportunities from bad.
4. Move on
Be open to new things and be honest with yourself about the decisions you make. It’s never easy to start again; you need to make sure that when you do, it’s for the right reasons and with the right person – even if he’s only Mr Right Now.
We all have questions that are first date staples, such as ‘What kind of music are you into?’ and perhaps the more unusual ‘If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?’ These kinds of questions encourage conversation and really help you get to know the other person.
On the other hand, there are some questions that should never be asked on a first date (and perhaps any following dates). Here are five questions that are guaranteed to ruin your chances of getting a second date.
1. So, how old are you?
The odd unexpected grey hair or wrinkle isn’t really worth offending your date over, is it? Unless you’re internet dating and your date looks completely different to the photo they posted (maybe you missed the flares and giant flower patterned shirt that gave away their heritage) this question is just plain rude. The answer of course is ‘Why does it matter?’
2. What do you like to get up to in the bedroom?
When a date’s going really well, the sexual tension is crackling and the wine is flowing, it can be tempting to start this conversation. In short, don’t. This is the point at which you need to remember that this person is still a stranger. Maybe alcohol is making you feel more confident than usual, but why risk offending your date? They might not be comfortable talking about the subject, or they might end up thinking you’re only after one thing. Come on, if things go really well you’ll get to find out at some point anyway!
3. What’s your wedding timeline?
First dates should be fun and frivolous; all silly conversations, flirting and giggles. Even if you’re not referring to you and your date specifically, asking questions about their future plans is a big no-no. If you’re asking the question because you’re just interested, think of something else (please!) If you’re asking because you want to know about their views on long-term relationships, try and find more subtle ways to detect this. Looking at their job, living arrangements and lifestyle should give you a good idea of whether your date is looking for something long term or just a bit of fun.
The more sensible of you might think ‘Surely no one ever asks that on a first date?’, but trust us, we’ve heard it all. As we said above, however comfortable you feel with your date, they’re virtually a stranger. Even if you plan on seeing them again, how do they know that? Also, you’re pretty much telling them you don’t know how to take care of yourself, which isn’t exactly an attractive quality.
5. Where have you been all my life? You’re the man I’ve been waiting for!
You should approach every date with the hope that it might lead to something more (otherwise, what are you doing going on a date with that person?) But don’t take this to the extreme; a first good date doesn’t mean this person is the love of your life. Even if you’ve had the best first date ever, hold back from saying anything too cringeworthy. Remember that different people take differing amounts of time to articulate their feelings.
Discontent is a dirty word. Thanks to an unending barrage of adverts depicting smiling, laughing couples, and the Hollywood machine churning out one rom-com after another, we’re constantly being presented with ideals of ‘perfection’. But can any of us honestly admit our love lives are as perfect and wonderful as the characters’ on the silver screen? Hardly. And would any of us admit it? Probably not.
But we can’t blame this on Hollywood entirely. If you’re bored in your long-term relationship, just seeing your newly loved-up mate glowing with happiness can lead you down a dark and murky path of self-questioning: ‘Why isn’t my bloke that romantic? Is he even right for me?’ Or if you’re single, your friends in long-term relationships – where there are hugs on tap and plans with parents – can leave you feeling lonely and unloved. Yet behind closed doors, those very friends may well be bored to tears with their familiar routine. This is ‘Grass is Greener’ syndrome, and unfortunately, it’s human nature.
“It’s instinctive for women to want to feel we are with the best possible mate”, says Kate Taylor, resident relationship expert. “We have so much choice in our lives today that we can get confused and look to our friends for reassurance or direction. We think, ‘Is she happier that me? Should I be following her path? Would that make me happier?’
But as Kate notes, it’s easy to only look at the bright side of our friends’ lives. Lucy, a 24 year-old administrator, says that she became disenchanted with her own relationship after continually comparing it to her best mate’s seemingly blissful love-life. “Every weekend with my boyfriend was the same. We’d go to the pub, then maybe shopping. Sometimes we’d have friends over. All the while my friend would tell me all about the overblown romantic gestures her bloke had made, and all the wonderful places he had taken her, and I started to think that perhaps my boyfriend wasn’t the one for me. Surely if he really loved me he’d be doing the same things?”
In the end, Lucy and her boyfriend split up, and Lucy admits that she’d rather have stayed with her boyfriend as they were than be single now: “I thought being single would give me the thrill of thinking that ‘the right one’ might be around the corner, but instead I just miss what I had.”
Conversely, it’s easy to see why couples can fall foul of the same thinking about their single mates – there’s more approval to be had from the opposite sex when you’re single, you get chatted up more and you flirt more than people in relationships do. “Hearing singleton’s tales of wild weekends can make previously blissful couples feel like their youth is passing them by,” says Kate. “‘I should be having wild-romps on yachts! Not spending the weekend comparing paint charts!’”. And this thinking can cause you to pick fights with your man, partly out of discontent – you focus purely on the negative – but partly, Kate says, because you might feel you have ‘nothing to lose’ because if you split up, you’d be single again, which might be what you actually want. But of course, says Kate, “Singletons rarely admit to having long lonely weekends in front of the TV with only a bag of Doritos for company. Couples hear a skewed version of events.”
So how can we find a happy balance? If we’re constantly eyeing up everyone else’s love lives, what chance do we have at ever being satisfied?
While feelings of envy can be potentially destructive (as was the case with Lucy), Kate believes it can be helpful and motivational, providing it jolts you into realising you need to make a change. “Every time you find yourself feeling envious of someone, dig down until you find what it is you wish you were doing, and do it! Envy can be a brilliant barometer of your secret yearnings, and you can use it as a catalyst to help you make some positive changes in your own life.”
Of course, this isn’t to say you should ditch your boyfriend in pursuit of a hedonistic single life, or jump into a relationship with the first willing fella that comes along. It means taking the time to identify what your needs really are, and making sure that each is being fulfilled in a way that balances out with the others.
Remember life is not a film
Even the most realistic chick flicks can paint a very rose-tinted picture of relationships. Remember that as you’re sat in the cinema seething because your boyfriend would never stand in the rain for hours / fight a swarm of village banditos/sacrifice his Xbox for you, every other girl there is thinking the same.
Remember that everybody rows
Yes, during those wonderful heady stages of a new relationship, it’s all pleases and thank yous and utmost consideration. But as a couple settle into comfortable familiarity, bickering over whose turn it is to cook can overtake those whispered sweet nothings. This is the natural progression of relationships, and just because John and Sally look like love personified when they’re out in public, it doesn’t mean they don’t also argue about wet towels left on the bed.
Remember why you are where you are
If you’re single, be patient: “There’s someone out there for everyone”, says Kate. So enjoy the ‘me-time’ you have while you wait for that someone – really get to know yourself before sharing your life with someone else. If you’re coupled-up, it’s because there was something about your bloke that attracted you to him when you met. Focus on that and do things together that remind you of why you fell for each other in the first place. Of course, if you’re really unhappy, it may well be time to join the single ranks, but make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons, and not because you’ve got unrealistic ideas about love.