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 Eli J. Eli J. Finkel, a professor at Northwestern University and the author of "The All-or-Nothing Marriage," explains three different ways you can strengthen your relationship.


Eli Finkel: We have arrived at a moment in history where the best marriages are better than the best marriages of earlier eras, while at the same time, the average marriages are getting a little bit worse. Historians divide marriage in America into three different eras. There's sort of, from the Colonial Era until about 1850, when we industrialized, the second era is from about 1850 to 1965 or so, and then we are currently in this third era.


And the first era was really about helping people achieve their basic, physiological, survival sorts of needs, things like food production, clothing, and shelter. People preferred to love their spouse, of course, but it wasn't the reason that you married and certainly, if you didn't love your spouse, that wasn't a reason to get divorced. The institution was too sacred, was too important. And so spouses were workmates, rather than soul mates.

And then if you fast-forward, in the second era, people increasingly want to marry for personal fulfilment and in particular, they want to marry for love. And for the first time ever, people start to say things like, "I'm not going to marry that person because I don't love him or her." That was a new idea.


And then as we fast-forward to this third era from 1965 to the present, we see that, these days, we are looking not only for love, and connection through the marriage, and sexual fulfilment, but also for these, trickier, complicated sorts of need fulfilment, self-actualization, personal growth, and a sense of vitality. And so these days, for the first time, if you can find yourself in a situation where you'd say, "Look, he's a loving man and a good father but I'm not going to live the next 30 years feeling stagnant, feeling like I can't really grow."


Our expectations for what we want the marriage to provide us have gotten higher in a lot of ways, more sophisticated in a number of other ways, more emotional, more psychological, and because of this additional complexity, more of our marriages are falling short, leaving us disappointed.


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When we say the word “Love”, we talk about a strong feeling or affection for one another. It is a form in which two people share confidence and various details of their personal live. It is a feeling of strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship. It is a variety of different emotional and mental states, typically strong and positively experienced.

The truth is that “Love” cannot be defined. It is not clearly understood but yet it is simple. It cannot be explained but can be expressed and experienced. Most people do not know what love is or how it feels because no one has ever showed them what love is.

Some people say it is felt and it comes from the words from our mouth but I say it comes from within us and that is by our actions. We don’t talk or say things about “Love”, You show it and prove it.


When we say the word “Trust”, we talk about Believe, Reliability, Hope, truth and Expectations. Many of us are afraid to trust one another because we are afraid being betrayed, hurt or taken for granted. Some of us are afraid of trust because of their past experiences. Yes, trusting someone is extremely scaring because it is all about putting your fate in someone else’s hand.

Trust is both emotional and logical act. Emotionally, it is where you expose your vulnerabilities to people, but believing they will not take advantage of your openness. Logically, it is where you have assessed the probabilities of gain and loss, calculating expected utility based on hard performance data, and concluded that the person in question will behave in a predictable manner.

People trust each other trust each other because they have experienced their trustworthiness and because they have faith in human nature. In order to be trusted or gain other peoples trust, you have to show that you’re worthy of that person’s trust. You don’t just tell someone to trust you, you have to show reasons why should be trusted. Trust doesn’t come from words but from actions.


Love and Trust go hand in hand. To love, you must trust. Love without Trust is a lie, it is dead and its weak, you cannot trust someone you say you love, then be sure that you can never truly love that person. If there is tension or constant problems in a relationship; any type of relationship at all, it is mainly caused by the lack of trust which makes way for other things like insecurity, ego, short temper, constant misunderstandings and indifference.

Trust is built with time and experiences, it’s not a onetime solid proof built over night designed for love. Trust is a product of love. Love is a palace built on the foundation laid by trust. Love cannot breathe when trust is strangled.

So before confessing or professing your love for someone, there should be Trust because It holds a Strong foundation between you and that special someone.





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When it comes to relationships, you would probably wish there’s a chip implant that could allow you read people’s mind, so you know whom you need to invest your time in and whom not to bother with, except you are looking to just have a good time. Who knows? Technology might just surprise us with a look through glasses that could read mind or cheaper lie detector devices. Meanwhile, here are 5 worst relationship trends:-


Ghosting is a way of splitting up with someone or avoiding going on another date with the person. This is usually the method in which most people use to break up with someone. They often associate it with the idea that they don’t want to hurt their victims, so with no prior notice or discussion, they start avoiding their partner with hope that the victim would get the gist and calmly move on. When this is about to happen, if the ghostee is very observant, he or she would notice the change. The ghoster can even try to break up with the ghostee because she added  an extra meat to their food or he was 5 minutes late to their date.


Breadcrumbing is the highest technique employed by Facebook users. It is the act of sending or receiving flirtatious, but non committal text message (that is, bread crumbs) to members of the opposite sex in order to lure a sexual partner or get one invested emotionally in them, without expending much effort. They are usually the cheats, lonely or the ones just looking to feed their ego of having many imaginary girlfriends/boyfriends. They are usually in a relationship and either it hasn’t been going well or they are getting bored. Or maybe they are single but are not comfortable enough with themselves being alone but still, they don’t want a relationship.


Benching sums up the heat stage of a relationship where you want to move on from a person because they are not selfless or ready for commitment and they start doing sweet stuff for you to stay. You break up with them, they leave or they break up with you and when you are about to move on, they re-appear and start preaching and asking for chances. Usually “the bencher” keeps the benchee at their disposal so they don’t feel totally alone but they are also avoiding commitment in case they meet someone better. This can also work on going on a date with someone for once or twice. You two keep in touch, chat and share jokes but still; there is no talk of another date or interest. You might be getting benched.


This is the top chart of all trends. Cushioning is the practice of making sure you have a backup plan, some insurance on the side in case your relationship goes sour. Cushioning cheats often string someone else along for months to years while still in a relationship with their victim, just to make sure there is someone else to cushion the blow if they get dumped or the relationship goes southwards. The pros usually string multiple partners in twos, threes of any number their strength and time can take. This act is counterproductive. It works well if you become a victim of “I am sorry, I think I am in love with someone else.” But on the other hand, it only makes you think the worst of every reaction and affection shown to you by your partner. You are already thinking the worst of what you have, that would be the only thing you will see.

Love Bombing:

You don’t want to be caught up in this trend. This is the one that sums up an amazing, perfect lover who showers you with new love, gifts and everything, that you think that boyfriend/girlfriend of yours can’t provide and the worst part of these ones are “they are usually the ready to get into bed when you are ready or ready to get married tomorrow ones.” They show you great affection; make you compare your boyfriend, girlfriend, wife or husband. If you are unlucky, you get pulled into their web by choosing them over your boyfriend or girlfriend or cheating with them if you are married. Once they have gotten what they want from you or have you emotionally invested in them or worst part, made you break up with your partner, they pull off the masks and let you taste their bitter galls. They often come as the greener, better grasses because they know everyone loves a great person with a good heart.

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Maybe you just got out of a relationship and aren’t ready for something serious. Maybe you have a really hot friend but, you don’t want something serious, yet you want someone at hand for sex, gifts etc. There are many valid reasons to start a Friends with Benefits relationship. The problem is, these things have a tendency to go south pretty quick — and not in the good way. Here are some golden rules you must adhere to for a perfect friends with benefits relationship :

1. Don’t Fall in Love – no matter how exciting and intriguing it might be for you, understand that the next person may not necessarily be feeling this way. DO NOT FALL IN LOVE!

2. Keep Your Affair Very Secret – It is all well and good to trust your friends. But understand that the moment you tell them you are engaged in this kind of affair, tongues would begin to wag.

3. Know When To Quit -  Know when to run. Understand when to leave a relationship that has run its course.

4. Don’t kiss him goodbye - Remember, this is not a relationship. Remind yourself of this by having incredibly uncomfortable goodbyes devoid of affection and eye contact. A pat on the arm or a shoulder squeeze does nicely in a pinch..

5. Break it off after three months - Three months is the longest amount of time one can sustain this kind of relationship without it getting complicated. After three months, it’s an emotional free for all. You’re probably going to start getting cosmic about the whole thing.

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Relationships and courtship are difficult to keep these days due to so many uncertainties, below are some signs to let you know and jet off on time before one gets deep inside.

Most girls see all the signs and ignore them due to love or negligence

1.He tells you he isn’t really ready for a relationship early on. Yet he continues to talk to you and lead you on in a way that seems serious. You just go with it because he is cute, seems genuine, gives you attention, and you might just think he’ll change and realize you’re “the one.”

2.He takes his phone with him every time he goes to the bathroom.

3.He has more friends that are girls than you do, and he only has a few guy friends.

4.You haven’t met a lot of his friends even though you hang out with him a lot. They’re always busy.

5.He gives you just enough attention to keep you around but not enough to actually move forward in your “relationship.”

6.Every time you call him out on something (like why he went so MIA on text) he turns it around on you, saying you’re being clingy or crazy.

7.He stops initiating sexy time.

8.He is a shitty communicator and takes forever to text you back. Duh, because he’s texting countless other girls, so it takes a while for him to get back to you.

9.He has a lot of numbers in his phone that aren’t saved under names. You can bet those numbers are attached to girls who are conversing with him in a flirty manner. Trust

10.You haven’t met his family. OK, maybe his mom, but she doesn’t even know what he’s up to, and you only met her for an hour.

11.When you pick up his phone to do something innocuous like check the time he FREAKS OUT and/or snatches it away from you with some lame excuse like “my mom’s texts are embarrassing” or “phones are really personal.”

12.If you calmly and sincerely approach your partner about the thought that something seems off or makes you uncomfortable, and he or she lashes out and make you feel insecure or insane, it’s because s/he is deflecting. A caring relationship involves talking things out and caring about one another’s feelings and validating them, while trying to resolve an issue in a constructive and healthy way.

If any of these signals sound familiar or you have caught him red-handed with his pants down around his ankles,my dear please run for your dear life.


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Guys, get in here and learn. Here are just 5 specific things you do that you think women will find attractive that actually have the opposite effect and turn them ALL the way off:

1. Not wearing a seatbelt.

Really, if you’re not wearing a seatbelt you’re not only unattractive to women, you’re also an idiot.

Failure to wear a seatbelt shows that you are reckless and unconcerned for your own safety. Women don’t like that. It makes them assume that you’ll also be reckless with their heart.

2. Not offering to pay for dinner.

Some women get offended by a man who assumes he will pay for the meal, but you still need to offer. Not even offering to pay gives a woman the impression that you’re really not all that interested in her.

3. Being too goofy

Women love goofy. They really do. But, too much goofiness — particularly in the form of self-deprecation — comes across as though you’re lacking self-confidence.

4. Not dressing too nicely.

On a date, you do want to dress to impress. Hole-filled t-shirts and jeans down to your knees will pretty much guarantee you’ll be going home alone. But dressing in a three piece suit complete with cufflinks makes it seem like you’re trying too hard.

5. Throwing your money around.

Like dressing too nicely, throwing your money around projects a hint of desperation, and once women get a whiff they’re not likely to bite.
Many women do like to receive gifts and be doted upon, but there can be too much of a good thing. This is particularly true if you’re either on a first date.



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This year alone, I've witnessed up to six to seven break-ups from friends’ relationships. Its either “He broke up with me”, “It’s over between us” or “we’ve broken up” as if its ordinary broomstick they are breaking. Break-up is simply the termination of a relationship by the two parties involved or by solely one party but with the consent of both. Arises when a breach of trust, love, concern, affection and compatibility is noticed and cannot be ignored nor resolved. A concept to avoid or to stop the sensation of been cheated or feel unloved. The rate of relationship break-up these days is higher compared to the youthful days of our parents and grandparents. While some see break-ups as a way of avoiding future relationship disasters, others see it as immaturity, lack of patience and love among the lovers. Nevertheless, it depends on the authenticity of the reason, how the lovers see it and how they handle it. In as much as break-up avoids future ‘Had I known’ it undoubtedly still has dangers and disadvantages.

Let’s see some of the dangers involved in break-up:

Psychological trauma: You are in the midst of a break-up and feel like a different person. You find yourself longing for your Ex, constantly checking his/her Facebook account and maybe wondering what went wrong. This shift in patterns of thought and behaviour may be caused by neural changes that occur after a break-up. Feeling in love causes the brain to be flooded with dopamine, a feel-good chemical that lights up your noodle’s reward centers and makes you feel on top of the world.  But when you lose the object of your affection, your brain’s reward centers do not immediately power down rather they keep craving those reward chemicals - just like a drug addict who wants more but can’t have it.

Emotional torment: It’s known that depression, anger, sadness, grief accompanies break-up. Heartbreak, the emotional breaking of the heart leaves the victim devastated if there is no control.

Hatred: Sudden development of hatred for the opposite sex may spring up just after a break-up especially towards the Ex. The victim may even start losing interest in the opposite sex.

Loneliness:  That unpleasant awkward feeling you get  when someone who stays with you, chat, gossip, play with you and keeps you company leaves you, talk more of a heartbreaking break-up.

Change of mindset: More so, the most affected party may develop a change of mindset. Ideologies like ‘All men are the same’, ‘Women are after money’, ‘True love does not exist’ and stuffs like that. Inferiority complex may also crave in.

Violence: Most times betrayal of trust triggers violence which may be domestic or outdoor. The heartbroken feels it was because of his/her gentility or nice lifestyle that the whatever reason for the break-up incurred.

Fear: It instills fear and insecurity to the cheated party or the heartbroken.

Physical effect: A pretty girl suddenly starts emaciating, the skin colour changing, illness sets in probably because of lachrymose sleepless nights. When she opens up, there’s a chance of a heartbreak she’s suffering from.

Studies tend to be about the heartbroken rather than the heartbreaker and focus only on the period of misery postsplit. Luckily for many people, the heartache from a lost relationship fades over time and life goes back to normal. For some, the rupture might even become a positive experience, allowing a person get away from a dysfunctional relationship and fall in love again.

About the writer

Solomon Akpa is a Young blogger and creative writer. He is currently studying Anatomy at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology

Follow him on facebook @ Solomon Akpa

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It was just a fortnight ago that my crazy dudes declared me ‘No more single’. Hitherto, they thought I was immature for a serious relationship or that I feared commitment but the fact remains that I was still searching for the ‘Miss Right’. Someone who will sincerely reciprocate my love, a beautiful damsel with a beautiful attitude, One who I will see no reason on earth to cheat on and finally solemnize the love at the altar.

MC Mumu, a very close friend had invited me for a birthday party he will be performing at. I wanted to scruple, seeing no reason to go with him, I don't even know the celebrant. But the mumu guy coerced me into going with him. I wore a simple outfit - designers shirt atop black jeans and a pair of black shoes.

We arrived quite early, the DJ was on the wheels with Tuface’s My African Queen cooling the atmosphere. After settling down, I was on my Camon C9 phone, scrolling for Whatsapp unreplied messages and Facebook’s notifications to keep myself busy.

Moments later, MC Mumu along with a figure came over to me. “Mike, meet the celebrant,babe meet my guy”,He said. Looking up, our eyes met and a million thoughts ran. I saw an amazing oval face circumscribing an innocent glowing eyes. The pointed nose was perfectly sitting just above the sexy small lips. The short pink gown atop a golden-colored heel shoe held her hips firmly. A blind man could see the shape! She was the perfect ‘8‘ figure. She was beaming with smile now. I was completely lost, my mouth slightly agape. Who said the beautiful ones are not yet born? My thoughts deserted me when I heard her say ‘Hi’ probably for the umpteenth time. The soprano voice also partook in my torment. “Am Jennifer” She said, demanding for a handshake. The handshake was brief but magical. I asked for her attention. We talked for a while, knowing ourselves until she left to attend to some of her guests. Am sure she was feeling my gaze on her all the while.

It was time for the cutting of the birthday cake, she came over and whispered gently, “Be my boyfriend just for tonight” I joined her acting as the boyfriend. I never left her afterwards. We chatted for long and I felt more of her awesomeness. I fell for her. We danced together, ate and drank together until it was time to go. We exchanged digits. I whispered, “Be my girlfriend forever’’ She grinned and chuckled.

We kept in touch and we’ve been together ever since then. And guess what? Am presenting her to my  mother next week!

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Nowadays, it seems cheating in a relationship is inevitable. This is because of lack of self-control and lust in some. In others, reasons best known to them. Research has shown that men cheat more in a relationship than women. Could it be for the reason of superiority? Women who cheat are usually not for the lust but for the unsatisfaction in their partner. It could be sexually, financially, socially, lifestyle or some ugly traits. So both genders engage in relationship cheating.

For Ladies/Women, when your man cheats, it’s either of these reasons:

-You are becoming unattractive to him.

-You are nagging too much.

-You don’t take good care of his stomach.

-You spend more time with your female folks than with him.

-You are not submissive.

For Guys/Men, when your woman cheats, it’s either:

-You are not satisfying her sexually or financially.

-You spend more time with your guys than with her.

-You don’t have time for the affairs of the home.

-You start staying late nights.

-You don’t take care of her and her petty needs.

-You are not romantic.

When you finds out your partner is cheating and you are sure break-up or divorce is not an option for you. Do these:

-Don’t shout, argue or blame him/her for the act but wisely let him/her know you are aware.

-Have a talk with him/her, pointing out your differences politely.

-Ask where he/she is upset with you and where change is needed and do make a change asap.

-Surprise him/her either by shopping or cooking his/her delicious delicacy.

-Together, go for relationship talks or marriage seminar.

-Seek for a marriage counselor.

-Above all, pray for your partner for a change.

One of the above must surely work for you if really you want to keep your partner.

About the writer

Solomon Akpa is a young blogger and creative writer. He is currently studying Anatomy at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology.

Follow him on facebook @ Solomon Akpa

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It’s considered one of the biggest risk of modern heterosexual dating: You, a man, ending up in the “friendzone.” As most of us know, the friendzone is a place that romantic intentions go to die: It’s an elephant graveyard where men who aren’t quite good enough to make the cut as boyfriends are politely relegated to rot in the terrain of friendship, while the object of your affection is off cavorting with other, better candidates.

At least, that’s the depressing way of looking at it. In reality, though, it’s a blessing in disguise. Here are six reasons why:


The problem with conceptualising the friendzone as a second-rate place to end up is that it reframes friendship as a consolation prize rather than an inherent good.

This isn’t the most exciting truth, but it is deeply important. Being told by any human being that they would like to be your friend should set your heart aglow rather than trigger complaints about a wounded ego and sense of rejection. Simply put, friendship is precious: It’s one of life’s great joys from the moment we are born until we die. Friendship is arguably even more precious than romantic love, because it is lasting, non-exclusive and rarely risks becoming overly intense, yet it’s intimate enough to soothe your deepest existential angst.


Often, the “friendzoning” process goes like this: someone decides they have a massive crush on someone else they know through work or a friendship group, or otherwise met in neutral, platonic circumstances – they took the same class at university or were in a yoga lesson together, that sort of thing. But they never explicitly tell the other about their feelings to make it clear that they are keen to move things into a romantic sphere.

Eventually, the person who is unaware of the other’s feelings makes a comment about them being “such a good buddy” or starts dating someone else. At this point, the person with the feelings is furious. How could this b*tch have led me on like that? It was so obvious I wanted to be with her!

No. Stop. This is not how adult relationships work. If you meet a woman on Tinder or at a speed-dating event, you have firmer grounds to believe it was always obvious that you had romantic intentions, but to assume the same in other circumstances is way off base. If you want someone to be your girlfriend, you cannot expect that person to deduce that through some process of mind-reading and code-deciphering: You need to express your feelings in words. Ending up in the friendzone is a sign you haven’t been clear about your intentions, and that you need to work on your communication skills.


Another important lesson to learn from the process of being friendzoned is that women don’t owe you their romantic affection, nor do they owe you sex. There is no rule of the universe which states that, as long as you have found a single woman who is friendly towards you and in whom you are interested, she must return your affections and eventually progress things to a romantic level.

The idea that a woman can “lead you on” by being kind to you or enjoying your company betrays a damaging level of entitlement towards them, and the mere fact that a single woman is hanging out with you isn’t some signed and sealed agreement that you are going to be lovers at some point. The very concept of the friendzone as a negative place encapsulates this entitlement, and that’s another reason it’s advantageous to reframe the friendzone as a positive – even fortunate – place to be.


Learning to see women as fully fledged human beings with their own desires, values and goals as opposed to romantic prospects walking around waiting to be “won” by a man is a plus for everyone. For women, it’s great because it means their full humanity is being acknowledged, and for you it’s great because you can start to view women as multidimensional beings rather than things to be acquired, and that’s ultimately much more fulfilling.

It’s not an accident that the most vigilantly misogynistic men tend not to have many female friends: When the only women in your life are mums, providers of sex or coworkers you bump into in the kitchen at work, you aren’t seeing the full spectrum of female behaviour or accessing their inner worlds. The friendzone is an excellent locale for getting to know women on a deep – and deeply fulfilling – level.


Say things went the way you ostensibly wanted them to: You pined for a certain woman, explained that you saw her as more than “just” a friend and that she’d led you to believe she felt the same way, and even though she has expressed no genuine romantic interest in you, she agrees to be with you because that’s how you want things to be.

Does that sound good, being with someone who doesn’t actually desire you back? No, it doesn’t – it sounds like a relationship that’s doomed to fail. Relationships are enriching and valuable because they are unions in which two people freely agree to like each other and spend time together. They are rewarding because another person sees you for who you are, warts and all, and decides that you’re cool enough to hang with anyway. Why on earth would you want someone to hang around pretending they felt that way about you, when they didn’t? The friendzone is a blessing in that it ensures that, so long as you’re in it, you at least aren’t in a hellish relationship out of a woman’s sense of obligation or guilt.

However you want to conceptualise the friendzone, it’s likely nowhere near as bad as you thought it was, and it can certainly teach you valuable, life-affirming lessons about relationships, resilience, love, and even yourself. So, the next time a woman makes it clear that she sees you solely as a friend, try to view it as the poorly-wrapped but precious gift it is.

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