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1. Whenever you make him laugh. If all the Facebook posts my friend's mom shares are true, then Marilyn Monroe once said, "If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything." The same applies to guys too. I guess some women can make guys do anything even if they can't make them laugh, but it's still better if you can make them laugh, honestly.

2. When you fall asleep on his shoulder. This is easily on the list of "Top 5 Things Guys Would Call 'Adorable' Even Though Guys Seldom Use the Word 'Adorable' and Also the Word 'Seldom.'" I wouldn't want to read that list though.

3. When you give back one of his sweatshirts. Don't steal them. Someone who knows how to borrow ... that's the kind of person guys fall in love with.

4. When he wakes up next to you and realizes how lucky he is. He does this more often than you know, but then he goes back to sleep for three hours, and you wake up and get mad at him for sleeping through brunch.

5. The first time you spend a day in bed together. This is what clinches it: spending 24 hours together and not getting bored is the moment when you go from being "sort of a couple maybe" to "this is definitely a thing." It might even be the first time he realized he was in love with you.

6. Whenever he doesn't get to see you after a long period of time. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. That's it. That's all I have to say about this one.

7. When you give him a mind-blowing orgasm. The way to a man's heart is through his stomach. But the way to his stomach is through his penis. So, like, transitive property, you can make him fall in love with you more by coaxing the love out of his penis.

8. When you're there for him when he needs you most. Whether he just lost his job or made it through a particularly crushing NFL season, he appreciates you being there even if you don't understand why he's so upset (OK, especially if you don't understand why he's so upset).

9.  After your first huge fight. Most couples have that moment where they really have to make the decision to put in the effort the relationship is going to need to work, and that oftentimes comes after a big fight. While the fight itself may not have been so fun, knowing that you're both willing to fight it out and see things through to the other side just solidifies his feelings for you.

10. Any time you have one of those Perfect Couple Days. It's different for everyone, but every couple has those days where everything just aligns and they have a blast together, whether they're out hiking, or staying in and having a horror movie marathon. These are the days he keeps in the back of his mind for whenever he's annoyed at you.

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Cheating is definitely one quick, big way to absolutely annihilate a relationship, but as a recent Ask Reddit thread pointed out, there are plenty of other things that are much more potent when it comes to ruining even the strongest of bonds. Some of the worst things that lead to a breakup (that aren't cheating) start out small and indiscernible, and that's what makes them so dangerous. 

1. Lying to and hiding things from your partner. 

Even if you're doing it out of love to protect their feelings, keeping little things from someone you're dating can grow into a big problem and cause trust issues that wreck a relationship. As canada432 wrote, "You should be able to tell your partner pretty much anything. If you're hiding something because it would hurt them, then you probably shouldn't do that thing in the first place."

2. Withholding any kind of affection. 

Whether affection means being really touchy-feely, asking each other intense questions about meaningful things, or helping each other through obstacles, being absent and unaffectionate can cause the kind of doubts in a relationship that end up being irreparable. 

3. Harboring quiet resentment. 

As VoxMeretricis wrote, "by the time resentment is expressed, the damage is already done" to the relationship. It starts out quietly but becomes something big over time, which is what makes it so damaging.

4. Lack of communication. 

This doesn't mean not texting all day every day, but failing to talk to each other about things that bother you when they come up, or conveniently leaving out details that you think might cause problems. All that shit just gets bottled up or revealed eventually, and by the time that happens, it's usually unmanageable. 

5. Being stubborn about things or getting entrenched in certain positions. 

This is just another way of saying "refusing to compromise." If you like somebody, you should be willing to compromise. Partners who can only handle things if they go a certain way (their way) are basically just in relationships with themselves. 

6. Bickering about mundane, daily issues and chores. 

Sure, the argument you always have about whose turn it is to take the trash out seems like no big deal now, but that's the sort of thing that just becomes a great issue over time, and even worse, becomes ammo for bigger, more serious arguments down the road. 

7. Condescension. 

Talking down to a partner is just another way of making yourself bigger or more powerful than them, and a power imbalance is the last thing you want in a lasting, healthy relationship. As messedfrombirth wrote, condescension is worse than cheating because "it makes your self esteem shit," so even after the relationship ends, you still feel the damage. 

8. Staying in a relationship out of convenience. 

Whether it's because you don't want to disappoint your families with a breakup or because you have a big trip planned in six months, staying together just because you feel you should only leads to bitter resentment and an inordinate amount of fighting and heartbreak, when there was a chance you might've been able to remain friendly. 

9. Manipulation. 

This is tricky because it's often so subtle, and you don't realize you're being manipulated by your partner (or doing the manipulating) until it's way too late. As reallybigleg wrote, "the relationships that have left me 'broken' (both of which I left, by the way, so this isn't a case of heartbreak...) have been through gradual loss of self esteem during the relationship through a process of manipulation by the other partner." 

10. Jealousy. 

Even without actual cheating, just the suspicion that it's always happening can be much, much worse.

11. Presenting a false version of yourself at the beginning. 

This can be as simple and small as pretending to like horror movies when you actually hate them, or as big as saying you're not looking for anything serious when, in fact, you are. It's best to be upfront from the get to, because those little things can become huge reasons to breakup over time. 

12. Staying together because you've become codependent. 

"You're together because you're codependent and neither of you wants to be single," wrote beaverteeth92. Or in other words, you don't have chemistry anymore, and the only reason you're together is so you don't have to be alone.

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The following piece is inspired by true events.

I have gone back and forth with this story in my head and I am suddenly burdened by the pressure of telling it and the reaction it might receive.

It was 2006 and 1 was 19, a girl not yet a woman but desperately trying to imitate one. I caught a glimpse of him at our department and immediately thought that there was something fascinating about the way the sunlight illuminated his ebony skin and how animated his smile was. I carefully studied him as he strutted on looking unsure of his steps now that he had noticed me blatantly staring.

By Luck or precise calculation, I saw him again but this time we happened to be in the same cab home from school and made sure I sat close to him. He did not stand a chance in starting the conversation instead he was interrogated by me. I asked all the questions I needed to know to be his woman. Age, Sign, Schools, Family, Course, Class, Relationship and in his response, I knew he had seen me too. The cab ride still is one of my favourite stories to tell because something that was somewhat stalker-ish became a meet cute.

Needless to say, we hit it off well, so well that it scared us. We hid the giddiness of our pre-mature love and thought that it would die off as quickly as it started but it grew and was impossible to hide. We were so young and impressionable and I remember we put all our ideologies of love we got from the movies, the books and the married in school love and based our relationship on it.

Our sexual awakening formed me to be the expressive woman I am. I had always been the girl who wanted sex but never quite got the perfect opportunity or person to experience it with but with him, we both learned the length and breadth of our bodies with the luxury of time and space. We were attentive to the curling toes and the quiet gasps, the poignant smell and the burgeoning nads. We were in sync in our sexual rhythm and our deliberately synchronized climax. With him, my body never stood a chance.

Like most humans, we often feel the need to test our peace and happiness and in turn sabotage our serenity in the process. I cheated. It was a totally random event I never saw coming. Looking back now and seeing how the events leading to my infidelity played out, I can tell that it was the curiosity that comes with sabotage that lead me into the arms of another man. Of course, I regretted it immediately and with the undiluted honesty I shared with him, it was impossible for me to hide. I knew there was no crying or begging needed, I had gotten the boot. Then he said “If I left you now, I would be doing so because of what people would say…. But I am not ready to stop loving you….” We both cried that night and I promised never to hurt or disrespect him again.

However, news of my infidelity got out and everyone made him the donkey. They would ride his confidence and sincerity and turn him to alcohol and other women to boost his ego and hurt me. I looked on receiving my punishment and secretly wished that we would be even and move on. We broke up so many times in this period that I lost count. I began to feel his hidden resentment for his love for me and the hurt I caused him but I ignored it.
I am no longer interested in this relationship….” he said as he stood by my door. He did not even come in. I was shocked at how expressionless his face was. I had never seen him so blank. Years later, I would interpret that look to be hate. I never got closure and never understood why a good relationship would just end so abruptly. I had imagined that if my cheating didn’t break us up then we could face anything.
I cried, begged, cursed, pleaded with friends, hated, feigned indifference and cried some more but he had moved on. I became angry and defeated. Angry because I felt played and defeated because there was nothing I could do to get him back.

He was not done with me. Anytime I needed him, he made himself publicly available even when he moved on to the woman he eventually married, I never felt and dare I say still do not know what it means without him. She knows how twisted he and I are but she is his wife and feels he is entitled to his thrills. Yes, I am a thrill. I have had to own that term to move on.

Then it hit me, he hates me. It came as a shock but it was undeniable. He despises me. He never let go of his hurt and I had let him hold it over my head. Hate and despise crept in the perfect relationship I tried too hard to hold on to and it is 2016 and I am writing about it.

He is happily married now and I can’t even get a text back.

Side note: I do not know why I was inspired to write this but I know this is meant for a man or woman who is finding it difficult to move on or has been so deluded to stay in a relationship because of all the huge sacrifices that has been made by both parties. Please move on and severe ties today.

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As the sayings go “You’re only as young as you feel” or “age is nothing but a number”; so when it comes to dating men a few years younger, age shouldn’t be a barrier or should it? What I think is to be considered more importantly is communication, common interests. How well do we get along and is there an attraction? Although the conversation should also rationalize how much younger you are willing to go for a woman of a certain age.

For instance a woman in her early to late 30s who is dating a man in his early or mid 20s may think to herself “I just want to let my hair down and live a little” Chances are that he’ll be more spontaneous and adventurous than you’re used to. Some may say men in their twenty’s don’t quite have it together or are still on the journey of discovering themselves. They are not mentally ready to take on the emotional responsibility of being with a woman in that age bracket. The onus lies with the woman to be practical about the situation and accept it for what it is. If it doesn’t work out, both parties move on just fine.

Can it really be as clear-cut and simple as that? Are we females capable of simply just having fun and moving on from someone without any pain, even if he is that much younger? Don’t get me wrong there are young men in that age bracket who are already achievers. I used to work for Zurich Insurance Group in Swindon and the program manager was only 26 years old. In my line of work at the time, contract program managers earned in the region of £500-£600 a day. This young chap had business analysts, system architects and system analysts such as myself reporting to him. So for a woman any age he would be a great catch.

Consider this: a case where he is an achiever, has it all going for himself, great career, head screwed on tight and a looker. He isn’t concerned about the age difference and makes no issue of it. He handles you like a man should and the sex is off the chain. He’s a great conversationalist and constantly reassures you of his desire for you. Do you begin to imagine your future with him in it? You probably didn’t plan to fall this hard for him. Out of 10 boxes he ticks all 10. Do you stop yourself based on the fact he may be 7, 9 or 10 years younger?

Thoughts may start to creep up as you age along; when you’re in your late 40s dude is chilling in the 30’s. Insecurities will start to develop, will he still find you attractive, can you compete with younger better looking females? Will sex still be as explosive when it begins to dry up in the cabinet below?

I’m of the opinion that love is age-less; when a man wants you, he wants you… regardless of how old you are.

From experience, dating younger has never been an issue for me. What I have personally been more bothered about is, that I have the companionship I desire and that we enjoy each other’s company, enough to want to stay together. Psychotherapist Robi Ludwig claimed that, “In some cases, a younger guy is developmentally in a different place…he’s not ready for all of the pressures and responsibilities that go along with a committed relationship because his emotional maturity is not fully developed yet.”
This could be generalizing to an extent, because people of all ages aren’t interested in serious relationships, and plenty of people of all ages are interested in serious relationships, too.

Sadly and funny enough,we are in the era of f**k boys (excuse my language) – but it is what it is. Nice looking, well put together young men who come under the guise of what may seem as lovely gentlemen but all they want to do is f&%k. On the other hand, older doesn’t necessarily mean better – as age and maturity are not quite related.

That being said I think women should be open. Centuries have limited the choices of women and I believe we are in a much more liberal moment in time where our social consciousness has allowed us freedom of choice. You don’t have to be rich or beautiful, but just be open to the idea of seeing younger men as an additional option for partnership.
As flattering as it may be that someone 10 years younger is in hot pursuit of your time and attention, we females need to apply some sense.

Before dating a younger man, things I feel should be considered:

1. Is he mentally mature enough to be with a woman much older than him?

2. Where is he in his life and career? Lots of conversations and observing will eventually highlight these.

3. What are his goals for family and children and how far along in the future are the goals?

4. Is being with an older woman just a fantasy he is living out through being with you or does he genuinely want you?

5. Is this just a bit of fun for both of you and when he starts to back track will it be easy for you to let go and move on?

6. Can you have a grown up conversation with him?

7. Is he independent?

8. When he talks does he sound like he is much younger?

9. Will dating a younger man leave you lonely?

10. After dating someone younger, can you comfortably slide into dating men within your age group or older?

11. Are you embarrassed of him in the presence of your friends?

12. Is he embarrassed about you in the presence of his friends?

13. Are you with him just for sex?

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