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Who Is Chris Evans’ Girlfriend, and What Does His Love Life Say About Dating?

By | Celebrities, Chris evans, Food for thought, relationships

Christopher Robert Evans (or Chris Evans, as we know him) doesn’t mind being single. The Captain America star has dated a slew of A-listers over the years. But, contrary to what some may think, he’s not averse to settling down.

RELATED: Chris Evans’ Vulnerable Admission About Marriage Will Change The Way You Think About Him

Just like Hollywood’s top bachelor-turned-family man, George Clooney, Evans is totally open to getting serious and starting a family. As he told USA Today in 2017, “I definitely want children. I definitely want a family. But you cannot put the cart before the horse.”

Chris Evans, from People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” photo shoot (Photo by Michael Schwartz)

“The family only works if it’s built off the extension of the love you feel for a person,” Evans continued. “If you all of a sudden want the kid more than you want the relationship, you may be on shaky ground.”

That’s precisely why he’s not about to force a relationship or rush into one. Rather, Evans is holding out for the right match. He wants someone who will complement his passions and interests while also pursuing their own.

Getting super-real about what he wants in a partner, Evans told The Hollywood Reporter that he “fears being enveloped.” As he put it, he has always been “a really autonomous guy,” and he doesn’t want to lose that. “I really like to be with someone who also has their own thing to do as well,” he shared, adding, “If I’m with someone who just kind of adopts my life, that can feel a bit suffocating.”

Jessica Biel Almost Became Chris Evans’ Wife

Kate Bosworth and Chris Evans on the set of the 2000 drama The Newcomers
Kate Bosworth and Chris Evans on the set of the 2000 drama The Newcomers (Photo: Instagram)

Chris Evans dated some of Hollywood’s biggest names over the course of the past two decades. His first high-profile romance was with Kate Bosworth, who he met on the set of 2000’s The Newcomers. Their union was short-lived, however, and by 2001, he was in his first long-term relationship. 

That’s when Evans began dating Jessica Biel. The couple was together for five years and co-starred in two movies (Cellular and London) and yes, marriage was definitely on the table. Calling Evans a “keeper,” Biel told Cosmopolitan in 2005, “We always talk about [getting married]. We both want to be married, and we both want to have children.”

Unfortunately, things didn’t work out and Evans appeared to hit pause on getting serious.

Chris Evans’ Star-Studded Dating History

Following his split from Jessica Biel, Chris Evans reportedly decided to keep things casual and date around. Over the years, he was linked to a long list of stars, including Emmy Rossum, Christina Ricci, Kristin Cavallari, Amy Smart, Dianna Agron, Ashley Greene, Sandra Bullock, Lily Collins and Minka Kelly. However, the situation changed in 2016, when the Knives Out actor met comedian Jenny Slate on the set of Gifted.

While Evans didn’t address most of the relationship rumors that surrounded him following his split from Biel, he did go public with Slate. They were smitten and began dating soon after meeting. As Slate gushed, theirs was an instant connection. “[The] first night that we hung out, I was like, ‘Wow, I could hang out with Chris for, like, 90 hours,” she shared and Evans agreed. “I’ve only known Jenny for a few months, which is insane to say because we’re like the same animal,” he enthused.

His Relationship with Jenny Slate Lasted Less Than a Year

However, despite appearing to be super in-sync, they split less than a year later, in February 2017. After initially citing “conflicting schedules,” Slate told Vulture there was more to their breakup. “When Chris and I started dating, my husband and I had only been separated a couple of months,” she recalled. That meant she didn’t have time to properly mourn the end of her marriage. Still, she couldn’t resist giving love a chance. “Chris is a sunny, loving, really fun person, and I didn’t really understand why I should be prudent,” she told the mag. 

Even so, she was adamant that she has “no regrets,” while Evans underscored the fact that theirs was a positive, drama-free breakup. “I am endlessly grateful for having met her,” he gushed. “She will be in my life always.”

Chris Evans & Lily James Dating Rumors, Explained  

Lily James (Photo: Instagram)

Once Chris Evans and Jenny Slate called it quits, tabloids once again began linking the actor to other stars. Yes, Evans has dated some incredible leading ladies, but some purported relationships were merely the result of speculation by fans and the press. For one, there was his reported romance with Cinderella star Lily James.

The couple first sparked dating rumors in July 2020, when the Daily Mail published photos of Evans and James out in London. They were spotted on July 6, 2020, leaving Mark’s Club in Mayfair, and reportedly heading back to Evans’ hotel in the same cab. Just two days later, the Daily Mail spotted them again, this time having ice cream and lounging on the grass in a London park.

James was later asked outright by The Guardian if they were dating, but she played coy, simply saying, “No comment.” When Harper’s Bazaar UK asked the same question, she shared some sage dating advice: “Don’t be obsessed by boys! Hang out with your girl mates.”

Did He Really Date Selena Gomez?

Selena Gomez (Photo: Instagram)

Just a few months later, speculation about Captain America’s love life ramped up once more as Selena Gomez was added to the long list of Chris Evans’ girlfriends. Or, rather, possible girlfriends.

In October 2021, Evans’ fans became convinced the was seeing the singer/actress. As E! News reported, Evans posted an Instagram Story of himself playing the piano, which turned out to be the clue his followers were looking for. Eagle-eyed folks spotted the reflection of a brunette in the video, and they were sure it was none other than Gomez. Jump to November 2021, and rumors swirled that Gomez had worn Evans’ sweater while supporting bestie Taylor Swift on Saturday Night Live.

Neither star ever addressed the dating rumors, although Gomez admitted to Andy Cohen back in 2015, “I kind of have a crush on Chris Evans. Isn’t he cute?” Even so, they may have been just friends, or maybe they never spent any time together. After all, the internet is filled with rumors, and Evans’ decision to not comment on every single speculation is both worthy of applause and seriously healthy. 

Who Is Chris Evans’ New Girlfriend, Alba Baptista?

Chris Evans and Alba Baptista

Since splitting from Jenny Slate, Chris Evans has done his best to keep his private life private. Despite his efforts, though, fans became convinced, as far back as fall 2020, that Evans was dating Portuguese actress Alba Baptista, the star of Warrior Nun.

RELATED: Why Chris Evans and Jenny Slate’s Positive, Drama-Free Breakup Is Truly Inspiring

Evans and Baptista’s romance was finally confirmed on Nov. 11, 2022, when photographers spotted them walking together, hand in hand, through New York City’s Central Park. Neither actor has publicly commented on their relationsip.

How Did Evans and Baptista Meet? That’s a Good Question

It’s believed the two actors met in Europe, where Evans was there shooting The Gray Man and Baptista was working on Warrior Nun. However, as the Daily Mail notes, their filming locations didn’t actually overlap. While she was in Spain, he was in the Czech Republic and France.

So who is Alba Baptista? According to IMDb, she has 28 acting credits (so far), including recurring roles on a number of popular Portuguese TV series. Her big break came in 2014, when she was cast on a telenovela called Jardins Proibidos and went on to star in more than 300 episodes. Jump to 2020, and she made her North American small-screen debut as the lead in Netflix’s Warrior Nun

What’s more, we also know that Baptista speaks five languages (Portuguese, English, Spanish, French and German), and is 16 years younger than Evans,. She was previously linked to Canadian film director Justin Amorim, who called her his “soulmate” on Instagram in 2019. 

Chris Evans’ Wife? The Star Definitely Wants to Marry

(Photo: Instagram)

It sounds like things are going well between Chris Evans and Alba Baptista. A source told People in November 2022 that the couple has been dating for over a year, and they’re taking the relationship seriously. “They are in love and Chris has never been happier,” the insider gushed, adding, “His family and friends all adore her.”

Could marriage and kids be next? The newly crowned Sexiest Man Alive told People that month, “That’s absolutely something I want: Wife, kids, building a family.” He shared, “I love the idea of tradition and ceremony, I had a lot of that in my life so the idea of creating that, I can’t think of anything better.”

Evans also told the outlet that he thinks he’s a better partner now than he’s ever been because he’s used every failed relationship as a chance to improve. “You spend a lot of time learning what’s been helpful and what hasn’t been,” he shared. “We all have patterns, hang-ups or baggage that repeat and echo, so I’ve really been able to kind of identify where I need improvement and what works.”

Is Chris Evans’ Approach to Dating Healthy?

Bearded Chris Evans at a Hollywood premiere

Upon first glance, Chris Evans’ dating history can make him look like a player. However, as he’s made clear, that’s simply not true. Case in point: He made a vulnerable admission about settling down when he told Men’s Journal in 2019, “I really want kids. Yeah, I do. I like pretty pedestrian, domestic things. I want a wife, I want kids.”

RELATED: Elsa Pataky Reveals Why It’s Hard Being Married to ‘Bossy’ Husband Chris Hemsworth

That said, he’s also made it clear he’s not about to rush into a union simply because of those aspirations. Finding “the right one” isn’t easy (nor is it guaranteed), and there’s no magic formula to make the perfect partner materialize in front of you. As we can see from Evans’ love life, even when you’re a Hollywood leading man who’s found incredible success in other aspects of life, dating is hard. It has ups and downs and you need to embrace the good with the bad. 

Chris Evans in The Gray Man

If a relationship doesn’t work out, there’s no reason to become resentful or place blame on your partner. Rather, you should appreciate the union for what it was, celebrate the joy that it brought, and use it as an opportunity to learn and grow. 

It’s a valuable lesson we can all learn from Evans, who is a master of peaceful, grown-up separations. As he told Elle, “I’ve had no bad breakups in my life” because, “if you’re ever fortunate enough to love someone and have them love you back, it’s worth protecting that. It’s rare that someone can truly know you,” he mused, so “if you’ve broken through that kind of wall, I think it’s important to value that.”

Equally important is striking the right balance on the quest for love. As the actor shows us through his own healthy approach to dating, it’s imperative to be open to love, but not be desperate to have it at all cost. 

KEEP READING:

Demi Moore & Ashton Kutcher’s Legacy Isn’t a Failed Marriage – It’s Their War on Human Trafficking

https://www.goalcast.com/chris-evans-girlfriends-relationships/

How High Is Your Relational Intelligence? Take Esther Perel’s Masterclass to Find Out

By | Food for thought, relationships, shopping

You’ve heard of emotional intelligence. But how high is your relational intelligence? “Relational intelligence is the set of skills that we bring to knowing how to live our relationships,” says renowned psychotherapist Esther Perel in the trailer for her Masterclass on relational intelligence

Whether you’re single or coupled up, you can now learn directly from Perel in this Masterclass, which consists of over three hours of content broken down into 12 lessons. 

Who Is Esther Perel?

(Photo by Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images for Massachusetts Conference for Women)

Esther Perel is probably one of the most famous couples therapists in the world. She is known for her innovative approach and insights on the way we communicate and connect as human beings, from the bedroom to the boardroom. You may have seen her viral TED talk on rethinking infidelity – yes, those are the types of thought-provoking conversations she starts. 

Perel is the host of two podcasts, Where Should We Begin, which provides an intimate look into real-life couples counseling sessions, and How’s Work, which is more focused on relationships in the context of workplace dynamics. 

What Does the Esther Perel Masterclass Cover?

If you’re not familiar with the Masterclass platform, it provides high-quality learning experiences hosted by A-listers. The video production has a cinematic feel, and the lessons are structured in a digestible way and sometimes include supporting homework and materials. The Esther Perel Masterclass is broken down into 12 modules: 

  1. Meet Your Instructor 
  2. Developing Self-Awareness 
  3. Developing Empathy 
  4. Establishing Boundaries 
  5. Understanding Power Dynamics 
  6. Identifying Roles in Relationships 
  7. How to Have Difficult Conversations 
  8. Understanding and Resolving Conflict 
  9. Effective Listening for Better Communication 
  10. Avoiding Miscommunication 
  11. Building Trust 
  12. Cultivating Intimacy 

Each module dives into a different relationship skill. The class offers a holistic overview of what it takes to have better relationships, from effective communication principles to insights that help you gain a deeper knowledge of yourself and others. For example, Perel says that everyone has conflicting needs for separateness and connection. How you manage the delicate balance between those needs can make or break a relationship. And since, as Perel puts it, your relationships have a huge impact on your quality of life, this is an important area to master. 

“Whether it’s with your partner or project manager, you’ll learn how rethinking the basic principles of intimacy, communication, and trust can improve the quality of your life in the bedroom, boardroom, and beyond,” according to Masterclass’ description of what you’ll get out of the course. 

Who Is the Esther Perel Masterclass For?

If your marriage is in crisis and you need professional help, you could probably benefit from professional health. The same can be said if you have mental health issues or are dealing with the aftermath of emotional trauma – you may need more than an online self-study class to overcome your struggles.

That being said, Esther Perel is one of the best in her field, and her Masterclass is an affordable way to gain access to her cutting-edge approach. If you’re someone who cares about personal development and growing as an individual, you’ll most definitely benefit from learning from her, whether you’re in a romantic relationship or not. As a couple, watching the Masterclass together can help you deepen your bond and reach new levels of intimacy. It can also be a great way to start important conversations that you may have never had before. 

Curious to try it? Check out the link below for more info. 

(Photo Credit: Masterclass)

SEE IT at Masterclass.com 


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https://www.goalcast.com/esther-perel-masterclass-heal-relationships/

All Night Long: Is Tantric Sex Right for You?

By | dating, Food for thought, Just for Fun, relationships

No matter how good your sex life is, you might wonder if it can get even better. The answer to that question is likely yes—and tantric sex can help you get there. This ancient spiritual and sexual practice is all about sensuality, intimacy, physical connection and awareness, and a deepening of pleasure. Even if you regularly have enjoyable sex, there are invariably ways to heighten pleasure, new things to discover, and levels of connection with yourself and your partner that you never dreamed of. This is the goal of practicing tantric sex. But is it for real? And can anyone do it?

The good news is that the promise of tantric sex is accessible and available to all who wish to explore it—and that includes you. Trying tantric sex can sound intimidating, but once you try it, you’ll likely be hooked. Even better, tantric sex techniques can be practiced alone and with a partner. So, if you’re single or your significant other isn’t excited about pursuing tantric sexuality or you just want to explore a bit before sharing tantric sex with your special someone, you can try this sexual practice on your own. 

So, don’t wait. In this comprehensive guide, learn what tantric sex is, what it is not, how to practice it, and tips for beginners. Then, have fun practicing the exciting, fulfilling spiritual and sensual art called tantric sex.

Sex is a journey. It’s about the destination, sure, but also the adventure along the way that gets you there. Essentially, orgasms and straight-up sexual intercourse are great, obviously, but there is so much more to discover. This is where tantric sex comes in.

What is Tantric Sex? 

(Getty)

Tantric sex, which is also called spiritual yoga, is an ancient Eastern spiritual practice with roots in Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Instructions for this sensual art were recorded in sacred texts known as the Tantras as far back as the sixth century. Tantric sex books are famous for including drawings of a seemingly limitless array of sexual positions, but this approach to sexual intimacy is about so much more.

Tantra literally means woven together. And the true emphasis is just that—achieving heightened sexual pleasure and intimacy with your partner. Devotees of tantric sex often enjoy hours of enhanced sensuality, but also deepen their physical and spiritual awareness and relationship at the same time. 

Myths About Tantric Sex

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It’s helpful to dispel some myths about tantric sex. First off, tantric sex is not just about having amazing orgasms, although you very likely will. Instead, it’s about slowing down, getting in the moment, and fully experiencing the sensual and spiritual dynamic of each tantric sex session. 

In fact, orgasms aren’t the goal, just a potential by-product of spiritual yoga. Often people aim to go to the edge of orgasm and then back off in order to prolong sex and continue enjoying the experience.

Another myth about tantric sexuality is that you need to be a super flexible or athletic yogi or spiritual guru in order to engage in this erotic practice. Not true. All bodies, all minds, and all couples can explore tantric sex. Sure, some super bendy, toned bodies can get into complex or physically challenging tantric sex poses that most of us can’t even imagine attempting, but acrobatics and lasting all night aren’t essential—or even necessarily desired.

The Benefits of Enjoying Tantric Sex With Your Partner

Young Beautiful Man With A Woman Sleeping In The Bed. View From Above.
(Getty)

While the wow of the sexual part of a tantric sex practice is what gets most of the attention and allure, spiritual yoga is about so much more. Tantric techniques help you harness your sexual chemistry and develop a deeper connection to your partner and to yourself. This practice helps you use your sexual energy to explore pleasure as well as intimacy, sensuality, your bodies (yours and your partner’s), and your spirituality.

Essentially, enjoying tantric sex with your partner helps bring you closer as a couple as it improves your sex life—and it teaches you about yourself and each other, too. You can both discover more about your true desires, your physical bodies, your hearts, and your spirits. You’ll enhance your physical control and ability to experience (and surrender) to your feelings as you explore the depths, edges, limits, power, and beauty of your bodies, hearts, minds, and orgasms. 

Sounds amazing, right? Here’s how to get started.

How to Start Exploring Tantric Sexuality With Exercises

Young Couple Lying On Bed
(Getty)

Like yoga, tantric sex is a practice that you can access whether you’re a beginner or more advanced. And you can continually learn from and deepen your experience and ability. There is always more to discover, a greater connection to find with yourself and your partner, and heightened levels of intimacy, spiritual awareness, and pleasure to achieve.

So, grab your partner’s hand (or your own) and begin exploring tantric sex. A new chapter in your erotic and spiritual life starts now. While tantric sex can be experienced in many different ways, if you’re a beginner it’s ideal to start with the basics. As you develop your practice, it may lead you to more complex tantric sex exercises, poses, and techniques. 

To begin, you’ll want to choose a private, comfortable space where you and your partner feel safe, relaxed, and uninhibited. You may want to set the tone with soft lighting and romantic music (but ideally something that won’t be distracting). Be sure to set aside an hour or more as tantric sex is intended to be a slow, meditative unfolding. You don’t want to feel rushed. Now, it’s time to begin exploring. There are a number of ways to enter into tantric sexuality, but the keys are going slow, following what feels good, focusing on sensation and your partner, and letting go of preconceptions or any kind of agenda or end result. Your job is simply to feel and connect, to give and receive. And move your bodies in ways (and positions) that feel good.

You can begin clothed or naked. Tune into your breath and that of your partner. There’s no right or wrong way to touch but aim to disrupt your normal sex routine by trying something different, something less hurried, less geared toward orgasm or sexual intercourse. Instead, try sitting opposite each other and simply looking in your partner’s eyes. Then, slowly begin to touch each other’s bodies. Or give each other massages or pick body parts to focus on and touch each other simultaneously—or take turns. Sit on each other’s laps or get into any other position that allows you to experiment with touch, motion, breath, and connection.

Tantric sex is meditative, which essentially means to be in the present moment. So, banish thoughts of what you’ll be doing later or worries you have about this or that. Banish any judgment of what you like or don’t or how your body looks or feels. Instead, think about what your body wants and feels. Notice how different touches make you feel and be responsive to your partner’s reactions, too.

Experiment with using synchronized breathing as you look at each other and/or touch each other’s bodies. Use a variety of touches, such as long, slow strokes, gentle taps, squeezes, or holds, varying the pressure, speed, and motions you use. Aim to start away from the sex organs. Touch the whole body before slowly making your way to the genital areas. You can incorporate kissing, oral sex, and/or sexual intercourse whenever you like. However, again, keep things moving slowly with a focus on being mindful and present, which can heighten your pleasure and connection to your partner. Aim to continue eye contact and rhythmic breathing as much as possible. Your session ends when you both feel ready to stop, which might be after 30 minutes or after a few hours. It’s all up to you and what feels right.

Tips for Beginners

It can help to talk with your tantric sex partner ahead of time about what you’d like to explore together. Discuss your acceptance of each other’s bodies and desires, as well as the assurance that saying no to anything that doesn’t feel good is just as welcomed as saying yes to something new. 

To get your ideas flowing (and maybe help you get in the mood), consider reading sex quotes or sex poems together and/or listening to music you find sexy. And talk about your desires, past sexual encounters, feelings for each other, and what you hope doing tantric sex together may bring to your relationship.

Remember, you may feel awkward at first as you begin exploring spiritual yoga. Know that with practice, you will enhance your tantric sex skills as well as your awareness of your sexual energy and spirituality. 

Let yourself laugh, play, and take pleasure. Aim to let go of any negative feelings and/or share them with your partner. Take the opportunity to dive into honesty and exploration together and with yourself. Relish in the sensations your body is capable of and in the loving embrace of your lover.

KEEP READING:

Is Envy Harming Your Relationship? It’s Time to Understand the Three Dimensions of Jealousy

https://www.goalcast.com/tantric-sex-explained/

How to Know if You’re Spoiling Your Child – And the One Thing That Can Help

By | Food for thought, parenting, relationships, self

If you want your kids to be kind, studious and compassionate people who are good to their peers, you should model great social behavior, you should set aside plenty of time for studies and support them as needed, and you should pay close attention to their sense of contentment.

RELATED: Fearless Mom Throws Herself Amidst Danger To Save Her Daughter From Being Abducted

Also, you need to have your children do plenty of chores. That’s the conclusion of a survey of nearly 10,000 children in their early elementary school years: the kids who were held responsible for doing a number of chores at home while at kindergarten age were more socially well-developed, were better students, and were overall more satisfied with life by the time they reached third grade.

How can such a direct correlation be the case? Another way to think of it is… how can it not?

Chores Teach Responsibility, Self-Sufficiency and Pride

Boy vacuuming floor while father standing at home
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We all like being part of a team but, more to the point, we like feeling like a valued member of that team, and the way to be and feel valued is to genuinely offer some value to the group. For kids in their kindergarten and early elementary school years, the primary “team” is the home, and to be a contributing member of that team (AKA the family) requires some guidance from the parents (or primary caregivers).

While kids will feel satisfied by the proverbial “job well done” when they do chores, they’ll need to be guided as the chores are implemented.

RELATED: Jamie Lee Curtis Marrying Her Daughter in a Nerdy Wedding Is #ParentGoals – Here’s Why

Once they are, though, household chores provide a means for kids to achieve something that youth rarely permits: self-sufficiency. Children who are tasked with household chores will grow to feel that they are instead trusted with these duties, not tasked at all, per say.

When a child is praised for a good test score or a fine performance in a school play, that can give them a momentary sense of pleasure. When he or she can tell they are genuinely appreciated for their regular contributions to the home, that can create a lasting sense of innate responsibility. It can help them begin to become the kind of person who takes care of needs in their own lives and who other people look to as someone they can count on and respect.

Why Parents Often Fail to Hold Kids Accountable for Chores

Boy and girl sitting on sofa with remote control
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You know the old expression that goes along the lines of “if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself,” right? Well, when it comes to a child’s chores, that advice could hardly be less accurate. Yes, when you ask a kid to set the table before a meal or clear the dishes after dinner, the task will take longer. And yes, there may be more spills and messes and in the end more work made for the parents. The fact that kids take longer to do many things and do them less effectively is one reason parents may fail to hold a child accountable for chores. But how else will they learn?

The second reason parents may not implement responsibilities is because, frankly speaking, it can be tough to do so. Kids who have not previously had to do chores may push back against their new duties, showing defiance or throwing tantrums.

RELATED: You May Destroy Your Child’s Future and Not Even Know It if You Fall into This Trap

Sticking with it takes dedication and sometimes a stern hand, but with a stern but caring approach, the new chore regimen will eventually take hold and will eventually be commonplace and perhaps even a source of pride as the child contributes to the home.

Third, some parents may not compel kids to do chores because they want their children to have the happiest, easiest, most care-free childhood they can, thinking how hard life can be in adulthood, so why put these burdens on them now? This is the exact wrong approach for caring, loving parents, even if they mean well, though, as it actually sets kids up for challenges and failure later in life.

Set Kids Up for Success With Manageable Chores

Girl setting table
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So you are sold on the benefits of having kids in their kindergarten and early elementary school years doing chores around the house? That’s good, but only as long as you commence the new routine properly. You do not have to – and should not – implement a grueling new chore routine overnight, suddenly asking your kid to take out the trash, water the pants, feed the fish, collect the laundry, and so forth.

Let’s use setting the table as our example, though this staggered approach can be used much more broadly. If your goal is for the child (or children) to set the entire table, start with just the napkins. Then, after a week of that (or whenever the child shows competency), add in the silverware placement. Soon, you can also have the kid putting out drinks and, soon after that, even bringing plates and bowls of food to the table. Slowly allowing the chore to expand helps ensure success and makes it seem like less of a burden and more of an everyday thing.

Also, note that you should never impart a chore to a kid that may be a matter of safety or genuine necessity for the home. Younger kids should not walk the dog alone, for example, or tend to any cooking task involving heat or sharp knives, or be solely responsible for feeding pets, or any other such task that, left undone or done improperly, could create a real problem for the household. The point is to teach responsibility and self-sufficiency, not to force responsibility on them that may backfire, causing shame or trauma if the tasks are unfulfilled.

Trust us – your kids will eventually be grateful you made them do a bit of work!

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https://www.goalcast.com/benefits-chores-childs-wellbeing/

Is Your Online Life Destroying Your IRL Relationships? Chances Are the Answer Is Yes

By | Food for thought, relationships, self

These days, we spend more time on our phones than ever before. We use our devices for pretty much everything—to get caught up on the latest dumpster fire of news, check work emails, text our parents and even, as it turns out, make new friends. 

While keeping in touch with existing friends through online channels like Facebook or through texts is nothing new, there’s a new wave of people having exclusively online friendships.

RELATED: Woman Shares Dangers of the Internet after Being Abducted by an Online “Friend”

As in, becoming friends with people you do not know in real life but through your online connection. 

The question is: Are these online friendships actually good for us? Emerging research says maybe not so much. So, whether you already have online friendships or you are curious about them, it may be worth understanding the pros and cons of these relationships.

What’s Considered an Online Friendship?

young woman looks online
(Photo by Surface on Unsplash)

First, let’s break down what an online friendship actually is—and what it’s not. An online friendship is essentially when you meet and maintain a relationship with someone online. This could mean networking with people in your industry, flirting on dating apps, DMing influencers back and forth or even chatting with people on message boards. Essentially, there’s little to no chance that you’re going to meet up with these people. The whole point is that you don’t need to do that. 

RELATED: Whitney Wolfe Herd: How Tinder’s Co-Founder Overcame a Horror Story to Become a Billionaire

You could also consider rekindling long lost friendships through social media a type of online friendship. Even though you have an preexisting connection, if you have no intentions of meeting in real life and keep things strictly over chat and message, then this becomes more of an online connection rather than a personal one.  

Online friendships are conducted over message and chat, not phone calls or in person meet-ups. This is what truly sets them apart from regular friendships. 

The Upsides of Online Friendships

zoom call nice young woman
(Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash)

While it may not be healthy to only have online friendships, these kinds of relationships do have some perks. Here are three ways that online friendships can make a positive impact in your life. 

You’ll have fun talking to friends online

Chatting with people online is, to put it simply, fun. Being able to message back and forth with someone can help you get through a long workday, combat boredom when you’re in line at the DMV or just give you something to do when you’re bored. It’s a low stakes way to be social without having to be vulnerable or connect on a deeper level if you don’t want to. 

You can easily connect with people

Connecting online is accessible to everyone with an internet connection. For those with physical challenges, mental health issues or chronic pain, going out with friends can be tough.

RELATED: Grandma Is Targeted by Scammers but the Trick Is on Them – Thanks to Her Secret Past

Messaging with someone online can be done from anywhere, anytime. Not only is it convenient, but it opens the door for connection for those who have trouble being present with friends in more traditional ways. 

You can always find someone available

In real life, friends have other obligations like family, kids, work, other friends—you name it. Online friends are almost always available since they are just a ping away. If you have a number of online friends by belonging to groups or message boards there is likely someone always available to chat with you.

The Downsides of Online Friendships

young man looks online
(Photo by Marie-Michèle Bouchard on Unsplash)

While online friendships are convenient and fun, they shouldn’t take the place of real, in-person connection. Not only are humans social creatures who rely on physical and emotional connection with people face to face, but we end up facing some serious issues when we focus solely on online friendships. Here are four ways these friendships can affect people negatively. 

You will more time spent online

According to the study about online friendships, researchers found that when people had a preference for online friendships this was related to “increased risk of problematic internet use.” As it’s been documented elsewhere, and often, spending too much time on your phone or computer can have significant physical and mental effects, from eye strain to depression. When you have online friendships, you will likely end up more hooked on your gadgets and this is detrimental to your overall well being. 

You could jeopardize IRL relationships

When you prioritize online friendships, you will likely neglect your in-person friendships. Online friendships are easier, after all, since they are more convenient and lower stakes emotionally.

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It’s all too easy to fall into a pattern of messaging friends online more than taking the time to coordinate a coffee date with a real-life friend. 

You might have idealized notions of who your online friends really are

As anyone who’s ever formed an emotional connection with someone online knows, online relationships can get weird. When you’re not seeing someone face to face it’s easy for your brain (and your heart) to create an idealized version of that person, which is usually a departure from who they actually are. This can be confusing and stressful when your expectations don’t really match reality. 

You miss out on the real connecting parts of friendships

Participants in the aforementioned study who said they prefer online friends over real life friends also had higher fears of intimacy and vulnerability. In this way online friendships become a crutch for not growing emotionally and allowing others to truly know you.

As you cling to these online relationships, you miss out of the hard, yet rewarding, experiences that true in-person friendships can bring. It may be more comfortable to have online friends, but face-to-face friends are the ones who can really feed your soul. 

Internet Friendships: Are They Unhealthy?

couple have coffee outside
(Photo by DocuSign on Unsplash)

When it comes to friendships, it’s important to find a healthy balance of in-person and internet friends, if you’re looking to have online friendships. Being part of online communities can certainly make you feel less alone and help bring some lightness and connection to your day-to-day.

But having people in your life to whom you can really connect in person is something all of us need at a core level. As long as you’re not letting your online friends come between your real-life relationships, you’ll be just fine.

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https://www.goalcast.com/are-online-friendships-unhealthy/

Boost Your Shot at Intimacy with This Weird – and Sometimes Uncomfortable – Eye Trick

By | dating, Food for thought, relationships

“The eyes are the windows to the soul.” This observation attributed to French Poet Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas sums up the power of prolonged eye contact for building intimacy within a romantic relationship. 

You may have noticed that staring into the eyes of your significant other feels good. But as it turns out, eye gazing has a host of benefits that can help you and your partner feel connected and create a stronger sense of intimacy.

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Let’s take a look at the benefits of eye gazing – what it is, how it can impact your relationship and how to use it to strengthen your bond with your partner.

What Is Eye Gazing? And What Are Its Benefits?

couple looks into each other eyes summertime outdoors
(Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash)

To an outside observer, eye gazing can look like a prolonged staring contest. But the practice of eye gazing is more than just maintaining eye contact. Unlike staring, eye gazing focuses on holding a softer gaze with your partner, having two sets of eyes meet and truly look into one another. 

Breathing exercises can be paired with eye gazing as well. Depending on each partner’s preference, sitting face to face and closing your eyes first, taking a few deep breaths and then opening your eyes to meet your partner’s eyes can be an effective starting point. 

Eye gazing offers plenty of benefits for couples looking to forge a deeper connection when done regularly. Here are a few ways that eye gazing helps build intimacy and improve connection.

Eye gazing builds trust

When a person avoids eye contact, they’re naturally perceived as hiding something or being dishonest. Maintaining eye contact does the opposite – studies have shown that a person who keeps eye contact is considered more trustworthy. Applying this finding to a relationship, continuous eye contact with a partner can make couples more likely to trust one another. 

Eye gazing helps you perceive your partner’s emotions

Being able to pick up on when your partner’s emotions without them having verbally tell you how they’re feeling builds intimacy by making your partner feel understood. While other indicators like body language can help with this, one study found that most people analyze a person’s eyes to get clued into how someone is feeling. 

Eye gazing improves connection

Gazing into someone’s eyes helps foster a deeper bond and connection between partners. 

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In a world with constant distractions thanks to technology, having someone give you their undivided attention through eye gazing makes a person feel important. Eye gazing can make you feel extremely connected. One study found that those who participated in eye gazing with their partner felt as if they’d become so bonded that they were one entity. 

Eye gazing creates intimacy and attraction

Many classic studies have shown that prolonged eye gazing generates shared feelings of love and connection. One of the most known cases dates back to 1989, when researchers paired strangers up and had them gaze into each other’s eyes for two minutes. Participants reported feelings of love and connection. This could be due to evidence that shows prolonged eye contact releases oxytocin, the feel-good hormone in our brains that creates attachment and bonding. 

How to Practice Eye Gazing

young man making eye contact
(Photo by Lucas Sankey on Unsplash)

Practicing eye gazing with your partner for the first time can be an awkward, even uncomfortable, experience. Keeping prolonged eye contact with another person leaves you open and vulnerable, which may not yield the positive feelings you’d hoped on your first few tries. Here are a few tips for getting started, along with ways to make you and your partner feel more comfortable.

Eliminate distractions

Turn off the TV, silence your phones and put them out of eye range, along with tablets and computers. Eye gazing is best practiced in a comfortable area of your home where distractions are limited. 

Get comfortable

Find a comfortable space in your home where you and your partner can sit facing one another for a prolonged period of time. You can decide to hold each other’s hands or sit with your legs touching one another if you prefer. 

Close your eyes

Closing your eyes and breathing in tandem with your partner before you start eye gazing helps ground the experience and set a clear starting time for this exercise.

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Try closing your eyes, taking three deep breaths in and out together, then slowly opening your eyes to meet your partner’s gaze. 

Continue deep breathing

Taking deep breaths in and out while eye gazing can help center you and your partner during the experience. Inhale and exhale a few deep breaths at the start of the exercise with your eyes open, then continue breathing regularly for the duration. 

Hold the gaze

You may find yourself wanting to look away and take a break – which is perfectly normal. Even if you look away, try your best to return to meet your partner’s gaze. 

Look at both eyes

As you move through the exercise, you may want to look into one of your partner’s eyes, then the other, to get a closer look – especially if this is a new experience for one or both of you.

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Do your best to keep each eye focused on the eye directly across from your partner, as darting eyes can be distracting for the person you are eye gazing with. 

Aim for 3-5 minutes of eye gazing

Some couples may find it helpful to set a timer during this exercise – others may find it distracting. However, if you and your partner prefer to time things out, aim for around three to five minutes of eye gazing each time for best results. 

End with a few deep breaths

Taking two or three deep breaths at the close of the eye gazing exercise helps keep things from ending too abruptly. Breathe in and out together, and try to time your breathing to your partner’s once you’ve finished eye gazing. 

Summary

two women make eye contact lying down
(Photo by Bence Halmosi on Unsplash)

Eye gazing can be a powerful tool to connect two people when performed regularly and with intention. It helps strengthen relationships and increase feelings of connection and closeness. If you or your partner struggle when first trying eye gazing, try not to take it too personally, as this can be an intensely intimate practice to engage with.

As with learning anything new, mastering the art of eye gazing can take practice. You may find that you and your partner need to adjust the method or even take a break during it. With time and practice, eye gazing will come easier for the both of you and be something you each look forward to doing together. 

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How to Write a Best Man Speech That Everyone Will Remember

By | Food for thought, marriage, relationships

On November 19th 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered an address that would come to be known as one of the finest speeches in history. The Gettysburg Address is a mere 272 words in length and took Lincoln less than three minutes to deliver.

The speech contains powerful, moving language heavy with sorrow and deep with resolve and some of its phrases would likely have achieved renown regardless of its length, but to be clear, one of the reasons the Gettysburg Address was and remains such a powerful piece of oration is its brevity.

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Any best man (or maid of honor, of course) looking to deliver a great wedding speech is well advised to take a note from Lincoln and keep it short. He’s also well advised to make it a bit lighter than the remarks the 16th President delivered on that early November day.

And remember, being asked to be a best man is a great honor – with luck (and a lot of work and devotion), this man will only get married once in his life, and he is asking you to be the pillar of his wedding party. So you owe him, the new bride, and everyone assembled a good speech. It need not be a perfect best man speech, but it better be good.

How Long Should a Best Man Speech Be?

wedding speech
(Photo by Thomas William on Unsplash)

To start your speech strong, go with a tried-and-true opening formula: introduce yourself. Briefly explain who you are in relation to the groom, and then quickly move on to talking about the man himself and his new spouse. Quickly because the speech is not about you, and because giving a great best man speech means being short and, for the most part, sweet.

The shorter the better, frankly. Look to Abraham Lincoln for inspiration and try to keep your remarks to under three minutes, which means trying to keep your whole speech to around 300 words or a bit more. 

Even if your best man speech is going to be partly off the cuff, make sure to practice the wedding speech, or a “draft” of it, anyway, a few times beforehand and time yourself. If you tick past the five-minute mark, you are going on for way too long.

Best Man Speech Tips

Max and Jillian wedding

A truly awesome best man speech will have everyone happy, many people laughing, and have the whole room feeling better about the bride and groom. Note that a best man speech is not about making you look good – a funny best man speech should center on the groom and something amusing he did or said; an inspirational best man’s speech should center on an impressive act by or quality of the new husband.

You are giving a speech, but you are not its subject, so be a great friend and make your friend look and feel great. And the same goes for his new spouse, too: focus on your friend, then focus on the couple, then wrap it up.

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Your speech should have a theme that you can touch on several times. It may be as simple as love and kindness, but identifying a theme for yourself will help anchor the speech, preventing you from straying off topic and rambling too long.

When making a best man speech outline, remember always to plan a speech you can deliver while being genuine. If you’re not a slapstick humor kind of guy, don’t try for that kind of humor. If you’re a known jokester who always has the room roaring, don’t try to lay on the life advice and words of wisdom too heavily. Your best man’s speech will be at its best when it’s heartfelt.

As for what to talk about, that’s really up to you: you were chosen to be the best man because you know the groom so well, either as best friends or family, presumably, so you know whether a funny story, a touching anecdote, or a bit of both is best called for. Just remember that not everyone in the audience at the wedding reception will know you well – in fact, half of them may not even know the groom well – so don’t get too obscure.

Remember that it’s always a good idea to mention how wonderful the wedding day has been and to acknowledge the ceremony itself and the wedding vows, to thanks all the wedding guests, to note the venue, the food, the music, and even the cake. The people whom planned the wedding reception will appreciate you noting all these details – as will the bride’s father and mother or whoever paid for the wedding. Might want to thank them, too, eh?

And don’t forget to end with a short wedding toast and wishes for a good night and a good life for the couple, and to then turn it over for a maid of honor speech. (And if this has already happened, make sure to acknowledge it.)

Best Man Speech Tips: When in Doubt, Quote Someone Else

wedding speech
(Photo by Kashawn Hernandez on Unsplash)

There’s a reason so many speeches incorporate quotes from other people: a well-known quote has already been effectively vetted by many audiences, so you can count on it working for yours. A quote can serve as the start of your speech, as the anchor

So, what are the best types of quotes to use? Love quotes are always a good choice at a wedding, as are quotes about commitment, about the future, about trust, about kindness, and about friendship. Look for quotes that are either already well-known or are from a well-known source, be it a famous person, a popular song or book, or another source people will recognize.

One of the reasons quotes are powerful is because they are comfortable; they tend to work best when they re-confirm a notion someone already held rather than imparting new information.

Things to Avoid During a Best Man Speech

wedding party
(Photo by Andrii Olishevskyi on Unsplash)

Alright, so we talked about tips for things you should consider doing; now here are the things to avoid during a best man speech.

First and foremost, be very cautious with the embarrassing stories. The line between a great best man speech and an abominable failure is a fine one indeed if you start in on the embarrassing story approach. If you have even a shred of doubt that an anecdote or joke you’re considering is crossing the line, leave it out. You can always share the more cringe-worthy stories with the gang out on the dance floor or as the cigars come out later, leaving that “he’s a great guy!” reputation intact in front of the larger crowd. 

And do not, repeat, do not drink too much before your best man speech, and don’t have more than one drink while giving your remarks, either. You can hit the bar hard later, but you can’t ever unsay things that slipped out due to a few too many cocktails or glasses of champagne.

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Why Handling Reactivity Is Essential For Healthy Romance

By | dating, Food for thought, relationships

Healthy romantic relationships take effort. There’s the balance of independence and intimacy, expressing and meeting needs in each other, knowing what expectations are healthy or unrealistic, and finding a way to grow together and navigate life. The process is like gardening; the effort to nurture the soil, plant the seeds of togetherness, and give the environment what it needs, allows for beauty to flourish.

Romance, more than any other relationship, has the potential to surface deep wounds, during the exploration of deeper and deeper intimacy. As wounds surface, so do painful emotions. As painful emotions surface, self-protection mechanisms can become activated in reaction, from the desire to flee, blame your partner for difficulty, or write off the relationship as dysfunctional for not matching an image of perfection.

Relationships that go the distance involve two people who work with these emotions, and their reactions, skillfully. If reactivity is out of control, things spiral, get messy and descend into immature or harmful behavior. Ideally, there should be low tolerance for this type of drama or chaos. That doesn’t mean giving up at the first sign of reactivity, but being intentional with how you handle reactivity.

In my experience, the space, forgiveness, and willingness to work together through this learning process is love in action. Here, we’ll explore the role of reactivity, and why handling it is essential for healthy romance. Before diving in, I want to thank Sanya, my partner, for all the lessons we’re co-learning. This article wouldn’t be possible without her.

What Is Reactivity?

couple chatting
(Photo by Alexander Popov on Unsplash)

In We, Jungian analyst Robert Johnson describes the intricate dynamic of romance through the lens of depth psychology. In particular, he explores how projecting an image of perfect love onto a romantic partner destines the relationship to suffer. Not only is it unfair to the person in front of us, but it blinds us to the nourishment of true love, that is free from unrealistic expectations.

Johnson notes that, typically, most romantic relationships are “less than friends,” not “more than friends.” The paradox at the heart of romance is that, very often, we show the person we love our most hidden shadow qualities, and through vulnerability and the exposure of emotional wounds, resort to behaviors we wouldn’t with friends. Johnson notes how most people are more patient, forgiving, kinder, more tolerant, and yes, less reactive in friendships.

When we open our hearts to deep levels of intimacy with a partner, we unconsciously give them power. They become the person we are risking with our heart and their behavior has the potential to cause immense amounts of joy or suffering. In some way, this ups the ante, making us more sensitive to their words and actions, or lack of words or actions.

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That requires the commitment to being aware of such sensitivity. Reactivity is impulsive. It’s quick, often centered in trauma or fear, and leads to coping behaviors to regain balance. Without self-awareness, reactivity becomes passive aggression, name-calling, mind games, blame, or even worlds of assumption about the person’s motivations. All of which cloud the reality of what’s happening or create more pain and suffering.

couple in strife
(Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash)

When you’re reactive, you’re at the mercy of emotions. You jump to conclusions and don’t take time to pause, slow down, and consider things with more maturity. Many relationships are in a reactive space the majority of the time. To return to the gardening metaphor, reactivity acts like weeds in the soil. Those weeds have to be seen and removed.

Emotions Are Welcome, Reactivity Isn’t

Romance is an emotional exercise. You can’t cultivate intimacy without confronting your inner world. That includes love, joy, and gratitude, but also the pain, heartbreak, fear, and other wounds that have accumulated over a lifetime. Trying to cultivate intimacy without welcoming emotions is impossible. The willingness to be vulnerable, and share those emotions, is essential to growing closer together.

The opposite, suppressing emotions and pretending everything is okay, leads to levels of resentment that you want to avoid, a garden full of weeds. The challenge of romance is to develop the skill of sharing your emotional life, whilst taking full responsibility for it. The word response-ibility is relevant. Responding, not reacting, is a skill. And that starts with owning your emotions.

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Owning your emotions means having the awareness of what you’re feeling, what caused the feeling, how you’re relating to that feeling and any other thoughts or desires that come from there. Most importantly, it includes the awareness of what reactions surface — the insult, the slamming of the door, the witty comeback. Not being reactive doesn’t mean not having those reactions surface in your mind. It means giving yourself enough space to see them and choosing not to act them out.

Protecting Your Loved One From Your Shadow

shadow
(Photo by Isai Ramos on Unsplash)

Another way of looking at this is that when choosing a romantic partner, part of the duty of care is to do all you can to protect them from your shadow. Loving someone isn’t enough — culture has normalized unhealthy or even abusive relationships, based on concepts around “the one” and love being some form of dependency. You have to walk the walk, and that means doing the hard miles of protecting your partner from all the mechanisms you have that can cause harm.

If you want to be right and win arguments, practice letting things go and focus on reconciliation, not winning. When you feel hurt you become tempted to make hurtful comments to get revenge, bite your tongue, calm down, and wait before talking. If you create emotional distance when things get tough, leaving your partner to feel abandoned, do the work to be able to communicate through feelings of withdrawal, so your partner is informed.

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This is a process of humility, a spiritual practice in itself. It’s also highly creative and empowered. You might see yourself as compassionate or highly evolved, but the proof is in how you respond when your loved one does something that upsets you. Do you tear them apart? Or feel the pain, communicate as best you can whilst taking responsibility, and use it as an opportunity to choose differently?

Mistakes Happen, That’s Okay

As mentioned, there has to be space to mess up. Unless your parents are a hybrid of Mother Teresa and Eckhart Tolle, most of us internalize unhealthy dynamics to various degrees. Humanity-wide communication and emotional awareness is severely lacking in maturity. In fact, reactivity seems to run the world. So, working to overcome this is an act of conscious rebellion to create healthier models of relating; not only for your relationship, but for future generations.

When you become reactive, aim to recover as quickly as you can. Don’t hold onto a storyline that justifies your behavior. Be firm with yourself and set high standards. Keep the focus on you and your behavior. Apologise, from the depths of your heart, when you mess up, and listen to your partner mindfully when they communicate why what you did hurt them, and what you can do to resolve it.

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Always try your best to avoid being reactive. Don’t tolerate it. But when it happens, forgive yourself and move on. Expect the same standards for your partner, too. This is a two-way path. If one person is doing all the work to be less reactive, and the other person is making little effort, then there have to be questions around the purpose for relating in a certain way.

young woman mirror
(Photo by Elisa Ph. on Unsplash)

Safety and Intimacy

Deep intimacy is scary. There’s no way to get there without courage, because it takes courage to be vulnerable enough to open your heart to that degree. Feeling so much for another living, breathing human makes us sensitive; to loss, abandonment, rejection, and betrayal. Those are human emotions, and they’re normal. The challenge is to be with them, accept their presence, and do your best to walk the walk.

All of this is to say that deep intimacy requires a level of safety. If both people or one person in a relationship is highly reactive, leading to a sense of walking on eggshells, or that you’re one comment away from an argument, it’s difficult to relax enough to open the heart. All of us have inner protectors that will do what they can to avoid unnecessary pain. You can’t be in inner protector mode and open-hearted at the same time.

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Safety is created when there is trust, a mutual dedication to respect, and the commitment to avoiding behaviors that can cause unnecessary pain. It comes from healthy boundaries and respectful communication, along with two people who are taking responsibility for how they’re feeling.

The Purpose of Values

This practice is supported by shared values. If an agreement is in place to cultivate specific values, they act as guides when understanding what behavior is tolerable, and what isn’t. They also act as points of acknowledgment or celebration when new behaviors are achieved — thanking someone when you see them choose not to be reactive, and instead respond maturely, is incredibly powerful and encouraging.

coffee conversation
(Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash)

Values such as respect, integrity, and honor all play a role in avoiding reactivity, because reactivity violates these values. Name-calling isn’t respectful. Deliberately avoiding a loved one is acting without integrity. Failing to apologize for doing something wrong isn’t acting with honor. Instead, being committed to upholding values makes the process more fulfilling and rewarding, a nourishing soul primed for growth.

In Conclusion

There’s a risk of misconceptions when describing a practice like this. For clarity, there are a few things this practice isn’t: the suppression of emotions, passivity, avoiding expressing needs, the avoidance of conflict, or a concept. It should offer the opposite: space for emotions to be expressed intelligently, with self-awareness. An active desire to problem-solve, or be resourceful, rather than slip into reactive habits. A way to practice communicating needs, or resolving conflict, with respect. And, more than anything, a deep embodiment of love, not simply an idea or fantasy.

Choosing someone to share your heart, emotions, time, and energy with is no small thing. It’s an honor and a privilege and deserves to be treated that way. Yes, we all slip up now and again. But the desire to become less reactive, meet your partner’s needs, and do your best to transcend pain and reactivity, to be more compassionate, considerate, and caring, is the most poignant expression of love, the true meaning of more than friends.

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How Leonardo DiCaprio Made Kate Winslet Cry – And Why It’s So Important

By | Celebrities, Food for thought, Inspiring Celebrities, relationships

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet have enjoyed a decades-long relationship built on mutual respect and love.

The pair first met on the set of 1997 smash hit Titanic, which grossed over $1.8 billion (yes, billion) at the global box office and catapulted them to A-list status. Both actors were in their early twenties (she was just 21 while he was 22) and were still finding themselves — both as artists and as individuals.

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It was this unusual shared experience that helped solidify an unshakeable bond between them. In the 25 years that have followed, they’ve continuously made fans swoon with their sweet friendship. With that achievement, it’s time for us to look into and remember the importance of platonic love.   

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet’s Relationship, Explained

Kate Winslet looking over Leonardo DiCaprio's shoulder in Titanic

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet’s on-screen chemistry stole hearts around the world and left many fans hoping that life would imitate art. In fact, a potential off-screen romance between them continues to inspire fanfiction to this day. However, theirs was a different kind of love from the very beginning. 

Speaking with Vanity Fair back in 1998, Winslet conceded DiCaprio was attractive and even “probably the world’s most beautiful-looking man,” but explained that their union was destined for a different kind of greatness.

“To me, he’s just smelly, farty Leo,” she joked, later sharing that they “never fancied each other.” Rather, they bonded over common interests, the fact that they were both “really very young,” and the film itself, which proved to be “seven months of very intense work.”

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From that common ground stemmed trust, a mutual admiration, and what Winslet has called “one of the greatest friendships of my life.”  DiCaprio agrees and has dubbed her one of his best friends and his forever “homegirl.”

Given how young the two actors were when they first met, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see them grow in separate directions, but as they show us, a true connection can withstand anything, whether it’s time, distance or even fame.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet smiling on a couch in Revolutionary Road

Indeed, DiCaprio and Winslet’s friendship hasn’t wavered and they even worked together again on 2008’s Revolutionary Road. The film was actually directed by Winslet’s then-husband, Sam Mendes, and as she told kinowetter, the on-set dynamic was “really great.” 

That’s because when you accept that you can have different kinds of love in your life and you’re open and honest about them, they can come together without drama. Working with DiCaprio, whom she called “the best actor of his generation,” also gave Winslet the trust and confidence to push her acting and be the best possible version of herself, which is something that paid off during awards season as she won the 2009 Golden Globe for best actress.

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While accepting the award, she made sure to thank her husband and her kids, but also her bestie. “Leo, I’m so happy I can stand here and tell you how much I love you, and how much I’ve loved you for 13 years,” she gushed, enthusing, “Your performance in this film is nothing short of spectacular and I love you with all my heart. I really do.” 

Their bond also extends far beyond the professional realm. The award-winning twosome has been known to hang out at DiCaprio’s Saint-Tropez home; they like to quote Titanic at one another because, as Winselt shared, “we find it really funny,”; and they genuinely love being a part of one another’s biggest life milestones. Case in point: When Winslet secretly tied the knot with Ned RocknRoll in 2012, DiCaprio reportedly walked her down the aisle and gave her away.

DiCaprio and Winslet Prove the Importance of Platonic Love – Even in Hollywood

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet talking on-stage

Platonic love continues to be one of the most misunderstood types of love, and that’s a real shame. Many of us still have the tendency to assume that such a bond is simply impossible because one (or both) parties are sure to develop romantic feelings.

It’s a misconception so common that it’s been the basis of many rom-coms, including the timeless classic, When Harry Met Sally… However, Billy Crystal’s infamous proclamation that “men and women can’t be friends” is simply untrue. In fact, as Healthline points out, platonic relationships aren’t just possible, they’re important.

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The fact is that platonic love between two individuals can be a great gift. It can be the basis for a wonderful, fulfilling relationship in which both parties offer each other unconditional love, lift each other up, and have an all-around good time filled with laughter and joy — exactly like Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet have.

If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us about human connection, it’s just how important friendship is for our overall mental health and wellbeing. It’s something the two actors learned firsthand as they were unable to meet up for close to three years.

Opening up about their first post-lockdown reunion, Winslet told The Guardian, “I couldn’t stop crying.” Explaining why she was so emotional, she shared, “I’ve known him for half my life” and not being able to “have dinner or grab a coffee and a catchup” took a real toll. “Like so many friendships globally, we’ve missed each other because of COVID,” she said, gushing, “He’s my friend, my really close friend. We’re bonded for life.”  

As these two show us, love can take on many forms and is truly a gift to be charished, no matter how it manifests itself. Whether or not it goes against outdated norms should be of no concern, as long as the union in question enriches life, like it clearly does for DiCaprio and Winslet.

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14 Years After Receiving Christmas Shoebox Gift, Woman Marries The Stranger Who Sent It

By | Food for thought, heartwarming, love stories, relationships, romantic, stories, uplifting news

A gift from worlds away

Most love stories don’t begin with two kids on opposite sides of the globe, but this tale is in a class of its own.

It all began in Christmas 2000, when 7-year-old Tyrel Wolfe was helping his parents pack Christmas shoebox gifts for children in the Philippines. The project, headed by Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan’s Purse, consisted of packing school supplies, toiletries and small toys.

Each shoebox-packer was asked to include a photo of themself with their gift. And so, the boy sent a picture of himself decked in Western cowboy gear, and then was off into the sunset.

A random friend request

Over a decade later, at 21, Wolfe received a Facebook friend request from a Joanna Marchan. Thinking nothing of it, he ignored it.

Then two years, up popped another friend request from Marchan. With curiosity getting the best of him, Wolfe replied this time, asking how she knew him. Nothing could prepare him for her reply.

Marchan told him that she received Wolfe’s shoebox gift and picture, and how much she cherished it all those years. She added that she sent a thank-you note, however it got lost in the mail.

With that, the two began chatting and were drawn together like magnets. It was only a matter of time before the pull was too strong.

And so, after saving up enough money from work, Wolfe took bought a ticket to the Philippines for 10 days to meet Marchan.

He told PEOPLE that it was a leap of faith.

I knew I was taking a big risk. I had never traveled alone, let alone to a foreign country before and I was meeting people I didn’t know or even knew really existed.

– Tyrel Wolfe

A leap of faith

That was quickly put to rest when he laid eyes on her.

“When I finally got there and saw her, I had to punch myself a couple times because I thought it was a dream,” he recalled.

The chemistry was reciprocal. However, in respecting Marchan’s family tradition, the two couldn’t officially be a couple until receiveing her father’s blessing. When Wolfe finally had to return home, it was heartbreaking but only fueled his resolve.

It was one of the hardest goodbyes I’ve ever had to say because we didn’t know the next time we’d see each other. I told her I’m going to do whatever it takes to come back to her.

– Tyrel Wolfe

It wouldn’t be long. The two kept in close touch, planning their reunion. Finally, on a return trip to Manila a few months later — this time accompanied by his father Ivan — Tyrel got papa bear’s blessing to marry Marchan.

Have an open heart

The couple settled down in the United States because of Wolfe’s job, which also lets him help Marchan’s family back home.

As for Marchan, it’s all been alot to take in but she’s enjoying the ride with her beau.

“It was a big change and adjustment for me,” Marchan says. “I was raised in the city and now I’m living in the country with much less people and more space, but it’s a beautiful place.”

Wolfe and Marchan are keeping another commitment: Packing a shoebox every holiday season, including a note with their story.

We don t want to give them some fantasy, but we do want to show that we care and want to share our love.

– Tyrel Wolfe

Far from a fantasy, this incredible story teaches us that with an open heart and a little faith, there’s love and magic all around us.

More uplifting stories:

Be courageous enough to love

“To love is to recognize yourself in another.” — Eckhart Tolle

https://www.goalcast.com/tyrel-wolfe-joanna-marchan-christmas-shoebox-love-story/