Identifying Dangerous Emotional Connections
There's a reason riding a roller coaster is so much more fun when we're squeezing the hand of a good friend. This roller coaster of life is often full of gut-wrenching twists and turns that would be almost unbearable if we had to face them without the support and love of friends. In fact, the more good friends we have surrounding us the better, right? But when does a close and supportive friendship become too intimate and begin to threaten a marriage or a long-term relationship? This kind of emotional affair is a tricky situation that can sometimes be more easily entered into than an actual sexual affair. Emotional affair is a tricky situation that can sometimes be more easily entered into than an actual sexual affair.What Level of Extra-Marital Emotional Involvement is OK among African people? We all need someone who will listen to our troubles and mop up our tears when things aren't going well at home. What woman hasn't complained that her husband or boyfriend is making her crazy? Talking and venting are important aspects of a deep friendship. But be aware that many of those who engage in inappropriate levels of emotional intimacy justify the behavior because there is no sexual involvement. Just because the relationship is chaste doesn't mean this so-called spiritual affair couldn't be hurting your partner. The most important thing you can do is keep an honest line of communication open and follow that woman's intuition—if something doesn't feel right, don't ignore that gut feeling.
Cultivating opposite sex friendships is healthy and normal. A husband shouldn't feel threatened by a wife that has a vibrant social life and many friends or vice versa. On the contrary, it should reassure you that you are married to someone special. Forming an emotional connection with other people is a critical part of emotional wellbeing. In fact, even an occasional crush is normal. After all, those hormones don't shut down just because there is now a ring on that finger. That being said, it's important to take responsibility for your own behavior and stay aware of how a friendship may be progressing.
There are some telltale signs that a friendship is trending toward dangerous levels of emotional dependency to watch out for. The best yardstick to measure a close friendship that forms outside of a marriage—or a committed, long-term relationship—is the marriage itself. How is the friendship and emotional connection that you've developed affecting your primary relationship? If the friendship is causing an increased sense of distance, coolness and emotional disconnect in your relationship at home, then it may be time to step back and evaluate the situation.
Emotional Affair Warning Signs
Time: Do you spend more time with your friend than with your partner? Deceit: Are you lying to your partner about where you've been or who you've been talking to? Are you making up excuses to be able to spend more time with that person?
Withdrawal: Are you going to your friend for emotional support more often than your partner? Is the friendship causing you to withdraw physically from your partner as well?
Fantasize: Do you wonder what it would be like to have a serious relationship with your friend?
Shame: Would you feel ashamed if your partner was watching you interact with your friend? Are you afraid to let your partner meet your friend for fear that he will sense the emotional bond that exists between you?
Fortunately, these emotional affairs seem to be more easily overcome than physical philandering. If you feel that you or your spouse is caught up in a friendship that has gone too far, don't despair. Acknowledging the problem, being honest with yourself and your partner, and seeking help from a professional counselor should help you restore your relationship and renew your commitment to the love of your life.
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Below are 10 ways to help you close the intimacy gap in your relationship. The main goal in presenting these ideas is to help you and your partner feel more involved in each other's daily lives. You may not actually be there, but you can definitely make them feel like you're a part of what's going on!
1. Voice Memos Nothing can bridge the gap like the sound of your partner's voice. Voice memos are one of the easiest and cost effective ways to achieve this. You can send your partner a voice memo key chain with the words "I love you" on it. You can get a voice memo photo frame and record "thinking of you always" on it. You can get a personal recorder and just say random thoughts about your day to your partner and send it to them at the end of the week. Many stuffed animal companies offer voice recordings inside of the toy. You could say different recordings such as, good night, sweet dreams, good morning, I love you, and so on. Today's market has so many products available that your options are only limited by your creativeness.
2. Daily Journal/Blog Chances are you're pretty Internet savvy if you are in a long distance relationship. If you are, sign up for a free blog somewhere and send your partner the username and password. Use this tool as a way to frequently communicate with each other about your daily life and thoughts. If you don't have access to a blog, write a little something about your day each night. At the end of the week, mail your partner the letters.
3. Web Cam Dates When you're missing your partner's touch, a web cam date can be the closest remedy available. Frequently arrange a set time for these dates. Take turns planning on what you'll talk about or do. Some couples have used these as an opportunity to share a romantic candlelit dinner, watch a movie together or even play games such as Battleship.
4. Shared Moments Once a day, stop and do the same thing at the exact same time. You could gaze at the stars, say a little prayer for your partner, send an instant message or take the time to write to each other. Just knowing that you are doing the same thing, at the same exact moment as your partner, can do wonders towards increasing your intimacy.
5. Let it Grow A plant is often referenced as a symbol of a growing relationship. Use this symbol in your romance by sending each other a plant to take care of. As the plant grows, press leaves or flowers to send to each other in your mailings. When the long distance aspect of your relationship ends, plant them side by side at your new dwelling.
6. Scrapbook of Our Relationship It often helps to have something to look back on while we are apart. A scrapbook or photo album is a great way to do this. Whenever you are together take LOTS of pictures. After you separate again collect the pictures and put them in an album. Write little notes about how you were feeling during the certain times the photographs were taken and tuck them under or next to the photograph. Make two copies and send one to your partner. Whenever you are feeling lonely, take out your book and remember all the fun times you've had together.
7. Journal of Love Letters Couples in long distance relationships are usually faced with more episodes of doubt than the typical relationship. To help counter this, make sure you are both sending letters to each other, even if by e-mail. Every so often, compile your communications and put them in a journal format. If you can, send your partner a copy of the journal as well. Now, whenever those feelings of doubt creep in, make a date with your journal and spend some time reflecting over how well you've have made it so far.
8. Make it Personal Send your partner an item of clothing or something personal that they can see or wear daily. It should be something that you use frequently that will instantly remind them of you. Sometimes it's the littlest things that can make everything feel all right.
9. Framed Pictures There's nothing like seeing your partner's beautiful face daily. Let your face be the first thing they see each morning and the last each night. Make an effort to send framed pictures to your partner whenever possible. I'd try for a new one each month. You can make it more creative as well by having each picture reflect something about each month. For example, in December have a picture taken with Santa or in the snow. You can also use each month as an opportunity to share a moment in your life. Take a picture of you doing something you do every day. Each month pick a new daily task to take a picture of.
10. The Scent of Love One of the most effective ways to trigger an emotion is through the use of scent. When sending something to your partner, spray a bit of your cologne or perfume on it. You can spray things like a pillowcase, a stuffed toy, love letters or a piece of clothing.
Remember, while long distance relationships aren't easy, they can be the most rewarding. The time and effort you take to cultivate your intimacy now WILL transfer over into your future time together. The main goal here is to make each other feel like you are connected and involved in each other's daily life. It is the number one success tip of any long distance relationship. If you can achieve this, you will be on the right path to a very successful long-term romance.
VALENTINE'S Day is only a couple of weeks away, but don't despair if you're a single girl - you still have time to land yourself a Romeo.
If your flirting is a little rusty, The Naughty Book For Girls by Candice Hill has a chapter filled with wicked ways to woo the man of your dreams.
Candice says: "If there's a flirty vibe between you and your target the rest often follows naturally."
Here are her top tips on how to pull a fella in time for February 14.
TIP ONE: Get his attention.
Eye contact is the most common way to initiate a flirty exchange. Identify the guy you want to flirt with and catch his eye.
Maintain eye contact for at least three seconds, then smile and look away. This will be just enough to get his blood racing.
TIP TWO: Perfect the eye contact.
Initial eye contact is often best accomplished out of the corner of your eye with your body half turned away. Think sex kitten rather than tiger.
TIP THREE: Humour.
There is nothing like humour for breaking down barriers. If you are not feeling funny then take a quick look around the room and you are bound to find instant inspiration.
Laugh at his jokes, if you find them funny. This is an instant indication of compatibility.
TIP FOUR: Ask questions. Feeling nervous? Asking questions is an excellent way of shifting the focus from you to him.
Avoid clichés such as: "What do you do?" Instead, wrap up a little compliment in a question: "You look happy! Did you just get promoted or something?"
TIP FIVE: Be positive.
Negativity is a real turn-off. If you complain about the world or your problems you may find yourself alone.
TIP SIX: Slip innuendo into chat.
A little risque chat gets the hormones whizzing, so slip the odd light sexual innuendo into the conversation. Just make sure it is not forced.
TIP SEVEN: Use touch.
Once you are laughing, a touch on the arm can signal that you are comfortable with each other.
Touching someone's hand is more intimate and you might want to save that for later.