Q&A. I’m a Girl in Love with My Friend, But He Won’t Reciprocate

Q.I’m a 28 year old female. I fell in love with my best friend who is 30 years old. We have been friends for nearly a year. We see each other mostly every day, we do all kind of activities together and we use to be close until I told him about my feelings when I was rejected by him. This hurt me like anything and made me very angry. I hurt him with words and I was really hurt myself for being rejected because he is truly really important to me.

I have thought about how I feel towards him and I feel I really am in love with him. Now we are acting very cool with each other but he is angry with me because of the way I reacted when I got rejected by him.

I’m lost and confused and do not know what to do. Do you think dating someone at this stage might help?

Please help.

-Neha, Delhi.

in love with friendPhoto by silje/vanilje

A.Your feelings are perfectly understandable Neha. Friends, especially the ones who become close, form a very important part of our lives. Friendship is a relationship which lets you see each other exactly as you are, without pretences. And that’s what’s amazing about this particular type of bond between two people which is different from romantic relationships, family ties and everything else. 

That’s why it’s very common for people to fall in love with long-term friends. There’s nothing wrong with that. After all, what’s a relationship but a combination of friendship, empathy and mutual need fulfilment?

But of course how your friend feels about you is not under your control. 

The first thing here is, Neha – confessing your feelings to him all of a sudden was probably not a good idea. May be he was surprised and shocked. May be to him your feelings signified the end of your precious friendship, given the fact that he doesn’t share them.

To those who feel like they’re in love with their friend, I always suggest they spend time dropping hints and observing their friend’s reactions before confessing anything. This way, you can easily make out how likely your friend is to reciprocate your feelings. If they respond with romantic signals, you know they share your feelings and you can go ahead and tell them you love them. On the other hand, if they seem uncomfortable with your hints, or they seem to not notice them, or they start growing cold to you or avoiding you in reaction to your signals, you know you’re not in luck. In that case you can forget about them as a romantic possibility and continue your friendship as it was. The advantage of avoiding a direct confession is that in case the feelings are not mutual, you can continue life as usual without the pain and embarrassment of confessing, apologizing, making up etc.

But anyway, that’s all in the past now. 

Your course of action now is to take a break from him for a while. I’m not suggesting you sever ties. But given your feelings, it’s imperative you stay away from him for a while now to give your friendship another chance. In the current situation, if you continue hanging out with him, you’ll never be able to give up hope that he might turn to you. Life will become a never-ending cycle of joyous hope and depressing disappointment for you. This will be an extremely draining experience which will add nothing but negative value to your life. At the same time it will keep you available to him forever as a fall back option – something you don’t deserve to be. And most importantly, it will keep you emotionally unavailable for investing in other romantic possibilities around you. 

in love with friendPhoto by Jahnico

I suggest you take some time out so that you can understand your own feelings better. May be a second look at yourself will reveal your feelings have resulted only from an infatuation born out of spending too much time together? If not, you can at least use this time to shift your focus to yourself, and conquer your romantic feelings towards him. Wait till you’re completely over him before contacting him again. 

The immediate next step for you now is to drop him an email genuinely apologizing for your angry outburst. Do not mention anything about continuing to be friends OR cutting off ties in the email. This email is meant only for offering your heartfelt apology for an unwarranted reaction. 

As I mentioned, the email should be the last and only communication between you for some time to come. You’d of course not contact him thereafter. If he contacts for a second time after replying to the email, tell him politely but firmly that you don’t want to sacrifice your friendship by disturbing his life with your romantic feelings. Hence you want to stay away from him for a while, and that you’d contact him whenever you’re over him. Emphasize that you don’t want to destroy your friendship for any reason, and end with saying that you hope he’d be OK to be friends with you once again when you’re ready. 

Let me know how things go. 

All the best. :)

How to Forget Someone You Love: 7 Rules

Young people dealing with a recent break up often ask me, “How to forget someone I love?”

Breaking up with someone you truly loved will remain one of your most significant life experiences. The process of forgetting someone you loved can break you. Or it can transform you into a stronger, more balanced and more mature version of yourself, with a much higher potential for choosing and creating deeply fulfilling relationships in the future. Here are 7 basic principles you should keep in mind as you strive to forget someone you loved.

How to forget someone – Rule #1. Don’t stay in touch

There are many ways of forgetting someone you love. The one way which will ensure you can’t forget them ever is continuing to “stay in touch” with them. It’s dangerous because human emotions are irrational, and staying friends with someone we have romantic interest in makes us falsely believe – usually in spite of ourselves – that they’re somehow somewhere available when they’re not. It makes us always available to them as a fall back option. (Be honest – if your ex wants you back you’d only be too happy, right?) And most importantly, the cycles of getting your hopes high and disappointment sap all your emotional energy and don’t give you anything to show for it.   

How to forget someone you lovePhoto by Staydazzled

How to forget someone – Rule #2. Don’t force-hate them

Contrary to popular belief you don’t have to hate someone you want to forget. Hating someone puts them at the centre of your life, and doesn’t let you forget them. The key is to shift your focus away from them instead. Lies you don’t need to tell yourself if you don’t believe them already include:

“I never loved them.”

“They’re evil.”

“I was too good for them.”

Instead tell yourself, “Everything has its time. I’m happy for the good times I had with a certain individual. The time for that person in my life has now passed and it’s time to look forward.”  

How to forget someone – Rule #3. Focus on yourself

The best way to shift your focus from something/somebody you want to forget is to channel it into something you can love with equal passion. Focus on that most neglected but most important guy/girl – yourself. Now is a great time to take a fresh look at your life. Concentrate on the gifts of singlehood.

Re-evaluate your life goals. Is there something you can do differently?

Jump headfirst into that hobby you’ve always wanted to pursue.

Take that short trip you’ve never had time for.

This is a great time to learn to find happiness within yourself – something that can see you through all future emotional challenges.

How to forget someone – Rule #4. Don’t try revenge  

Holding on to your dignity at all costs is liberating. Keep those vengeful urges at bay. If you try to take revenge at this moment of emotional upheaval, you’d likely do things you’d regret immensely once you’ve gained your senses back. More importantly, it would tell your ex how important they still are to you – not the kind of ego boost you need to give them.

How to forget someone you lovePhoto by F.M.N

How to forget someone – Rule #5. Open up  

It’s OK to feel shock, pain, anger etc. after a break up. Bottling up all of that can be detrimental to your emotional health. Open up to friends and family. If you don’t want to share this with anyone post your story anonymously in online forums and gather warmth from other members (these communities are usually very supportive). You can even start keeping a journal or a private blog.

How to forget someone – Rule #6. Don’t trust indiscriminately   

After a deeply debilitating experience like a break-up, you’d remain in deep shock and pain for a while. You might have tendencies to talk to anyone who’d listen. But this is dangerous, ’cause you’re at your most vulnerable at this point and might unwittingly reveal more than you should to not-so-trustworthy people around you. Make sure you connect only with people who you’re 100% sure of, like family or long-term friends.  

How to forget someone – Rule #7. Don’t try rebound   

Don’t jump into rebound. You’re emotionally unstable at the moment. If you get into a rebound relationship out of your desperation, the chances of making mistakes are very high. It would also be rather unjust to the person you involve, as you’d be using them as a replacement for someone else. No one deserves that. And most importantly, this would cement your belief that you can’t function without having “someone in your life”. You’d have deprived yourself of an opportunity to find stability and fulfilment within yourself. That’s something which is essential before you can even begin to assess your needs from a future relationship.

As I mentioned, how you forget someone you love will always remain one of your defining experiences. Make sure the process of forgetting someone enriches you, rather than destroying you.  

9 Rules to Deal with a Cheating Boyfriend

Over the months many of you have read our very popular post 14 signs your boyfriend is cheating on you and asked me, “So what? What should I do if I find that he is, indeed, cheating?” Hence today’s post. Discovering with a cheating boyfriend is going to be one of your most challenging emotional experiences. Here are some tips to help you through it.  

Handling a cheating boyfriend – Rule #1. Double check

Based on what evidence have you concluded that your boyfriend is cheating? If it’s just your suspicions, don’t make a conclusion yet. Try to verify the facts. Look for hard evidence. Believe the unthinkable only if you’re absolutely sure.

Cheating boyfriendPhoto by diablo_x_238

Handling a cheating boyfriend – Rule #2. Give yourself time

Once you’ve assured yourself that your boyfriend is indeed cheating, do not confront him immediately. You’re feeling shock, pain and humiliation. Your first reaction will be denial and delirious anger, arising out of a feeling of being wronged. Give yourself some time to deal with these feelings, before you confront your boyfriend. Take a few days off from him. Don’t see him, don’t answer his calls. You can text him saying you’re unwell or busy.

Handling a cheating boyfriend – Rule #3. Let yourself feel

Use this period to process your emotions –the hurt, the anger, the humiliation. If you have a trusted friend or supportive family you can confide in them.  If not, start keeping a journal or a private blog – where you pour out your emotions and come to terms with them.

Handling a cheating boyfriend – Rule #4. Do not react

When you’re back in control, confront your cheating boyfriend. Do not dramatize. Do not get into a mad frenzy of yelling and crying and blaming – ceding control hurts you and you only.  Let him know of what you’ve found out in a calm, mature way. Let him respond. You cannot know his true feelings unless you create a non-threatening, safe environment.

Handling a cheating boyfriend – Rule #5. Let him explain

When you give him a chance to express himself freely, he’d most likely put his sincere apologies on the table. Subsequently he can either express his desire to continue with you calling off the other relationship (this is what most people do), or confess his feelings for the other lady and choose to break up with you.  

Handling a cheating boyfriend – Rule #6. Assess the relationship

If he wishes to break up, well, I’m sorry. You need to be strong and deal with your break up in a healthy way. But if he wants to continue, you must have a discussion about the needs of both of you from the relationship. While cheating can never be justified, it can be a manifestation of some of his needs going unfulfilled. You should at least know about such needs, if any.

Cheating boyfriendPhoto by Miguel Co

Handling a cheating boyfriend – Rule #7. Avoid self-loathing  

While an incidence of cheating may not be entirely the cheating partner’s fault, you must make sure you avoid the other extreme – drowning in self-loathing for not being “good enough”. Irrespective of what your cheating boyfriend says about his unfulfilled needs, consciously stop yourself from going down the “I’m not good enough” lane. You are extraordinary the way you are. Fulfilling or not fulfilling his needs does not, in any way, increase or decrease your worth as a human being. Whether you want to do something to fulfil more of his needs is simply a call you need to take, not a standard you have to live up to.

Handling a cheating boyfriend – Rule #8. Take a break

Once you’ve discussed your needs, if you still decide to stay together, you need to take some time off from each other. Do not jump back into your relationship on the basis of verbal apologies and promises. In that case there’s a chance that you’d go through the same nerve-wracking cycles of being cheated on and then making up. Make it clear that the only way you’d stay with him is if he’s OK with taking a break for at least a few weeks or so.

Handling a cheating boyfriend – Rule #9. Invest in yourself  

You can keep in touch with your boyfriend during the break but seriously, I’d not recommend anything more than a call once a week or so. Use the break to enrich yourself instead. Do a hard assessment of your life and set goals for your future. If you’re already pursuing some life goals, take a fresh look at where you stand in relation to them. Find new ways of doing the things you were doing to inch towards your goals. Pick up long-forgotten hobbies if you want. Reconnect with old friends. In short, shake up your life a bit. Take some time to live actively, not passively. The objective of this break is not to force yourself to fall out of love with your cheating boyfriend, but to create happiness and balance within yourself. This is meant to give greater stability to your life by reducing your emotional dependence on your boyfriend (or anyone else).

Have you ever had to deal with a cheating boyfriend? Did you break up or stay together? What was your coping strategy? Share with us in the comments section. 

Q&A.The 4 Golden Rules of a Successful Marriage

Q. I see too many divorces around me. This is making me commitment-phobic. How can I ever find the courage to get married?

-Ankita, Mumbai

It’s good to know that you understand the importance of marriage without getting married. :D

Marriage will remain one of the biggest decisions of your life (if not the biggest one). The first thing to understand about marriage is that it’s always a risk. There is always a chance that things will not work out – five, ten or even twenty years down the line. You can’t eliminate that chance, but you can minimize it – by minimizing the chances of error before marriage.

Let me lay down some basic principles of avoiding common marriage mistakes, for your understanding. I call them the four Golden Rules of marrying the right person at the right time.

Rule #1. Don’t jump too early

A relationship has various stages. The first stage is the mad infatuation/attraction phase when you see nothing but positives in each other. This stage can last for anywhere between two months to more than a year. 

Every relationship starts with this stage, which then gradually culminates into (or doesn’t culminate into) a stable partnership, complete with mutual understanding, appreciation of each other’s needs and some compromises (We all know there’s no perfect relationship with zero compromises from either side). 

marriage phobiaPhoto by Maria Rosaria Sannino

The effects of the infatuation phase on your brain are neurologically and psychologically very similar to those of addictive substances

Hence the first rule of marital success is NOT taking the decision of marriage during this phase, let it crystallize into a more stable relationship stage and then think about marriage. In other words, you should be together at least for 2 years before you decide someone is “The One” of your life. No, that “feeling” that you get in your guts about him/her being “The One” is not a substitute for those years of understanding, fighting and reconciling with each other. 

Rule #2. The recipe for relationship success

The second rule of gauging whether you have a potentially successful relationship is to look at the level of compatibility you share. 

Compatibility = Friendship + Empathy + Mutual Need Fulfilment

Friendship – Understanding and caring for each other as friends. (Thumbrule for gauging the depth of the friendship between two people: Ask yourself, “Would we want each other in our lives even if there were no sexual attraction between us?”) 

Empathy – Understanding where the other person is coming from. Their needs, biases, weaknesses and the roots of all these. Now of course it’s not possible for anyone to figure that out completely for their significant other (Heck! We’d all have to be psychiatrists!). But as long as you genuinely want to and try to understand each other, you’ll find your relationship is attaining new depths. 

Mutual Need Fulfilment – A follow-up step on the last one is a genuine desire to fulfil the needs that one’s partner has from the relationship. The stability of a relationship is determined by each partner’s answer to ONE moot question:  

Are My Needs From This Relationship Getting Fulfilled?

marriage phobiaPhoto by Mustafa Khayat

Rule #3. Marriage means change

The third rule of making your marriage a success is to realize that your life is going to change inside out after marriage, irrespective of how long you’ve been in  a relationship (unless you’ve been in a long live-in relationship), and to understand what these changes would mean for your life. 

Why Marriages and Relationships are like Apples and Oranges (Part 1) 
Why Marriages and Relationships are like Apples and Oranges (Part 2).

Rule #4. Questions to ask before marriage

Lastly, to determine whether you’re ready for marriage or not you need to ask yourselves some vital questions. Whether and when you go ahead with the marriage will depend on your answers.
“When Should I Get Married?” 10 Questions I Wish I Had Asked Myself Before Getting Married – Part 1
“When Should I Get Married?” 10 Questions I Wish I Had Asked Myself Before Getting Married – Part 2
Let me reiterate – following the 4 Golden Rules of Marriage would not ensure that you never have marital stability issues in the next fifty years. But they will ensure that you avoid the easily avoidable but alarmingly common mistakes and thereby increase the chances of success significantly. To test things out better, why don’t you run a covert survey on your divorcee friends to find out how many of them followed all the four rules? ;)

Q&A. My Boyfriend has been Avoiding Marriage for Years. What to do?

Q. I’m 26, Indian, living in the US. I have been seeing this guy (also Indian, based in the US) for 2.5 years now. We are of the same age.

Everything seems perfect in the relationship. His parents have accepted me happily. My parents are neither too approving, nor too disapproving of him, but have accepted my decision to get married to him, on condition of us getting married soon. Now here’s where the problem arises. My parents have been pressurizing me to get married for a very long time, starting at a time when I was not ready for marriage at all.

When they found out about my boyfriend, they insisted on talking to him about marriage. He came to my place and met my mother (when she was here). She liked him but he made it clear that he needed more time for marriage. I had trouble accepting it, but I did. I felt proud of his honesty and staunch refusal to lie in order to appease my family.

That was a year back. Late Last year we visited India together and he took the initiative to meet my family again, this time with his parents. I got my hopes high, but unfortunately his father told my family that he needed two more years before he was ready for marriage.

I broke up with him out of shock and pain, as at this point I had been ready to take the plunge for quite a while myself. But well, of course, we patched up.

Marriage avoidancePhoto by Irudayam

Sometime around March this year he started talking openly about marriage and declared that I’m the one for him. Gaining confidence in his intentions, I decided to stop throwing hints and told him that it’s no longer about parental pressure, and that I had been ready for quite a while. He was somewhat shocked. I asked him whether he had intentions of marrying within the year at least. He again backtracked, mentioning something vague about next year. 

I am not sure where to go from here. Everything is great between us, just that he keeps trying to buy time. Sometimes I even wonder whether he really is The One. I’m also tired of my parents continuously pressurizing me for getting married. I strive to make everyone happy but this is draining me completely. Please help.


A. Marriage is a life-altering decision Smitha. The only way you can increase the chances of making yours a success is to spend a few years with each other before marriage, and ask yourselves the right questions. 

From giving up the freedom to sleep through the weekend to making your peace with differences in food habits – marriage will change your life in more ways than you can imagine, irrespective of how many years you might have been together. 

Hence, the first step to making a marriage work is to understand this change.

Why Marriages and Relationships are like Apples and Oranges (Part 1) 
Why Marriages and Relationships are like Apples and Oranges (Part 2) 

Once you have some vague mental pictures of how your life is going to change after marriage, you need to start asking the right questions to yourself and your partner, to gauge whether you’re both ready to get married – now and with each other.

“When Should I Get Married?” 10 Questions I Wish I Had Asked Myself Before Getting Married – Part 1
“When Should I Get Married?” 10 Questions I Wish I Had Asked Myself Before Getting Married – Part 2

Hence, I’d strongly suggest against calling off a stable relationship of 2.5 years just for the sake of a disagreement over when you should get married, when you have such great compatibility. Consider giving him time if he needs, but not until you both agree on the terms. Read on to find out what I mean. 

The first step for you is to have an open but calm conversation with him. Ask him what is the reason he’s postponing the marriage again and again. Is it emotional readiness, financial issues, panic for losing personal space … what exactly is it that’s bothering him? It’s vital for the stability of this relationship that you’re both very clear on the reasons for delaying the marriage. Be extra careful to create a peaceful, non-threatening, supportive environment that helps him open up. As of today, he’s obviously scared of something – your reaction, your parents reaction, repercussions for the relationship etc – which is making him hold back from you on his real worries. Help him trust you completely. I cannot emphasize the importance of mutual trust enough for taking your relationship (and future marriage) forward from this point. 

Once you know the aspects of his concern, try to address them. 

Marriage avoidancePhoto by dmixo6

Is it finances that he’s worried about? Discuss and come to an agreement of how you’ll handle your finances (All funds common, one joint account plus individual accounts for each of you, completely separate accounts with expenses designated for each partner are just some of your options. Make sure by the end the arrangement is clear to and works for both of you.)

Is it personal space? This one’s more difficult to resolve. But you have to drive towards defining clear rules, like: I’d accompany you on all your activities and you’ll do the same for me, OR we’d each have one day of the two-day weekend to ourselves without the interference of the other, OR we’d each take solo trips sometimes, and that should be acceptable to the other partner. I’m just trying to give you some ideas of how rules of marital relationship look. Work out your own, making sure they distribute rights and responsibilities equitably,  without favouring any one partner over the other. 

Hope by now you have an idea what sort of conversations I’m encouraging you to have with your partner. Please go through the articles I mentioned before – they’d help you think about the aspects you need to take into account in this discussion. Some of the factors might even involve the parents on both sides. Each of you can discuss it with your parents, come back, and agree with your partner on what is acceptable. I’d suggest you don’t involve your parents directly in your discussion of your “Code of Marriage”, so to speak. :)

The second step from your side is to get him to commit to a marriage date, but only after you’ve successfully addressed all his concerns in the manner described above. Let him pick the date, don’t force a date earlier than what he’s comfortable with. But you should make it clear that once committed, you’d expect him to that date. If needed, announce the date to your family, friends, his family etc. (with his permission, of course). This would create some positive pressure on him to not go back on his words. 

What do you think of this situation, penguins? Let me know by leaving a comment. :)

Picking the Right Jewellery for Her: Unique Designs for Every Moment

When it comes to choosing the perfect gift for every romantic mood, jewellery is evergreen. From the tiny “I’m sorry” pendant to the bold red beads of “love is forever”, from the “I have a crush on you” plastic bangles to “Will you marry me?” diamond rings – throughout history jewellery has been the infallible medium of expressing emotions.

That’s why (OK, also because of the barrage of questions you keep asking about gifting little trinkets to her…:D) jewellery as romantic mementos became the topic of my most recent random foray through the jungle. Did I say jungle? I meant the Web.  

Now to me, it’s not the price of a piece of jewellery but its ability to express feelings that sets it apart. Hence, I knew any one type of jewellery can never be the solution to all your gifting needs. Just like your feelings, the perfect jewellery for your special someone varies from occasion to occasion. And where can you find this mind-numbing variety other than indigenous India – the mind-numbing motley of different traditions, cultures, mores and yes – different native genres of jewellery design?

That’s what brought me to CraftsVilla, a huge online marketplace for unique, handcrafted lifestyle products, directly from India’s home-grown artisans.

Products from the remotest of Indian villages available online, ready to be shipped around the globe?

That sounded too good to be true, so I decided to check up a bit more on this unbelievable-sounding initiative. What I found left my mouth agape. CraftsVilla is basically an online bazaar, where partner artisans create their own shop, set their own price, and sell their own products as they please. Craftsvilla has even set up “Craftsvilla Studios” in many parts of the country to help local designers with technical aspects of the process like taking the right kind of photos of their products, uploading, writing eye-catching content etc. The online model gives global exposure to India’s very own local art forms on the one hand, reducing prices by removing middlemen on the other. It’s just pure delight for both buyers and sellers.

As planned, I proceeded straight to the jewellery section. And at last I got what I was looking for. Each piece here is unique, and it talks to you. It has a personality, a mood. In a place like CraftsVilla (and yes it’s a place), that’s only natural I guess, as each product is handcrafted by indigenous craftsmen, for whom art is a way of life.  

I always feel jewellery (or any clothing item or accessory) is not just about making yourself look good. It’s about expressing who you are, and what you’re feeling like at the moment.

Like in this one, for example. Class, confidence and aesthetics have never blended so naturally as they blend in you ;)…

CraftsVilla jewellery

You’re modern and urban, but I know sometimes you like to show off your roots in the boldest, wackiest ways…

CraftsVilla jewellery

You’re simple yet exquisite, honest yet sophisticated. Not everyone can understand you – it takes some depth…

CraftsVilla jewellery

In your heart you’re always that college girl with dreams and the courage to stand out…

CraftsVilla jewellery

Browsing through CraftsVilla’s extensive jewellery range, I stumbled upon its Polki collection. Now I’ve always been fascinated by the art of Polki – by its use of diamond eggs (oh well I mean diamonds which have not yet become diamonds) and the breathtaking boldness of its meenakari. For those of you to whom that sounds like gibberish – Polki an indigenous style of jewellery based on uncut diamonds (called Polki diamonds) which originated in Rajasthan and came into prominence during the Mughal era. Originally Polki designs were based only in gold, but over the years other alloyed jewellery metals have also become mainstream in its designs. Polki pieces are known for their colourful meenkari patterns – a speciality of the district of Bikaner, Rajasthan. In recent times, semi-precious stones like Rose Quartz, Peridots, Tourmalines, Amethysts etc. are also used in Polki designs, in addition to the uncut diamonds.

Craftsvilla Polki artistes have brought this special genre of jewellery to your doorstep through products of diverse moods, hues and styles. If you thought Polki was only about traditional, these designs will make you think again.

This pendant set, for example, with modern designs based on the Polki tradition are perfect for the classiest of your Western formals.

CraftsVilla jewellery

The cool lightweight Polki collections with their exquisite carvings are just what you needed for the days when you feel ethnic. ;)

CraftsVilla jewellery

There’s only one thing that can complement those downright sexy, Saturday evening Polki earrings – your little black dress.

CraftsVilla jewellery

But if you have a Big Fat Indian Wedding coming up and you’re looking for traditional, needless to say you can never exhaust your options in CraftsVilla. The traditional Polki collections that I found here are sure to give you just what you were looking for – the right blend of classic Indian grandeur with contemporary individuality that’s unique to you.

CraftsVilla jewellery

CraftsVilla jewellery

CraftsVilla jewellery

CraftsVilla jewellery

And if you’re a one of those guys who perpetually dream of that elusive classy yet maddeningly sensual gift for her but can never decide on the right mix of class and sensuality – this unique pair of toe-rings is your pick:

CraftsVilla jewellery

You get the point. ;)

If there’s something on Craftsvilla that will mesmerise you even more than the designs – it’s the prices. As you would’ve noticed by now – the wide and exquisite range of Polki collection that’s available to you even at a budget less than Rs. 300 is just mind-blowing. I don’t know about you, but the prices of the sublime pieces around here threw me off my chair.

Affordability, beauty, taste, modernity, heritage – CraftsVilla jewellery offers you almost everything you want when it comes to picking a gift for the most special woman in the world. The final balancing point of all these different factors will, of course, have to be chosen by you and you only (red alert for all you clueless guys with choosy girlfriends/wives :P). Remember, it’s all about conveying your feelings the right way. :)

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

20 Signs of Emotional Abuse in a Relationship – Part 2

Emotional abuse in a relationship is a silent killer. The sooner you recognize it and take action, the better for your own mental wellbeing and of those who love you. After 20 Signs of Emotional Abuse in a Relationship – Part 1, in today’s post we deal with the last 10 crucial signs of emotional abuse in your relationship that you should watch out for.

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #11. Sexual manipulation

Your partner forces you to engage in sexual acts you don’t like, but not directly. They use manipulative tactics like telling you they want you to explore the limits of sexual pleasure with you. They promise you’d like it. If nothing works, they might even compare you with other people and accuse you of being sexually selfish.

emotional abuse in a relationshipPhoto by taylorsalvatore

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #12. Physical abuse

Naturally, emotional abuse is often accompanied by physical abuse. It may not be regular. Your partner might subtly hint at a possibility of physical violence if you don’t obey them. When an emotional abuser resorts to physical abuse, they usually apologize profusely later, and claim that they “lost control” for a moment. This may be true in some cases, but studies show that if physical violence has occurred once it’s likely to occur again.

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #13. Isolation

The abuser repeatedly expresses their disapproval of the certain friends or family members of yours. Usually there’s no clear reason for such malice, apart from your closeness to these particular people. Without saying it in as many words, the abuser hints that avoiding these people would be beneficial to your mental health. Thus, one by one the abuser eliminates your closest people from your life until the only person you’re left with for support is the abuser.

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #14. Negative memories

While attacking you verbally, your partner brings up all the old blames. You may have said and done things long back which your partner had no issues with back at the time when they happened. You’d find your partner bringing them up out of nowhere (usually to your utter shock) and criticise them savagely.

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #15. Belittling

No matter what you do, your partner mocks your achievements, making you feel stupid for celebrating them. On the other hand they’re vocal about even the smallest of their own achievements. As I’ve already mentioned, an abusive partner hates the idea of sharing power with you in the relationship. They belittle your accomplishments as another attempt at making you feel under-confident and worthless. They hope this would ensure you don’t even consider yourself worthy of sharing power equally in your relationship.

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #16. Justification

“Whatever I do is for your benefit.”  That’s the standard line the emotionally abusive partner would parrot when you accuse them of hurting you through some of their acts. They have some fallacious way to make every hurtful act of theirs look like it was meant for your benefit.

“Why do you always oppose me?”

“Because I know what’s best for you.”

“Why do you not let me visit my friends?”

“’Cause I’m crazy for your love and want it all to myself.”

Does that sound familiar?

emotional abuse in a relationshipPhoto by maleekmonroe

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #17. Unrealistic standards

Your partner sets unrealistically high standards for you. Through a verbal web of flattery and romance they convince you that “you’re the best” and they want you to “realize your full potential.” The full potential would usually mean “being the sexiest babe, the best wife and the shrewdest professional all at the same time”. Or some standard of perfection like that. The way they put it is meant to motivate you to want to live up to those standards and feel bad when you fall short. Given the fact that they’re unrealistic, this is meant to keep you in a perpetual abyss of guilt for not being “good enough” for your abusive partner.

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #18. Access control

The abuser would restrict your access to important things necessary for survival like money. Their objective is to ensure you have to turn to them for your basic needs. They can even control your phone and internet usage – insisting on going through your messages, calls, emails, online chats etc. This makes sure you can’t tell the truth about the abuse to anyone without the abuser knowing.

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #19. Denial

If they catch you reading this list, they’d trash it as “just another piece of BS off the net”. They’d never accept that their behaviour could be abusive, and would go back to every old tactic from blaming you for it to describing abusive acts as “one-off”.

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #20. Emotional manipulation

Well that’s one of the things that they could do, if they catch you with this list. A hard-core abuser would of course do what he always does when cornered – turn it back on you. They’d take you through this list point by point and “prove” (fallaciously of course) that each of them applies to you, and in reality it’s you who’s the abuser! Another classic attempt at disorienting your sense of reality and destroying your self-esteem.

If you’re experience emotional abuse in your relationship, you need to recognize it and take charge of your life now. The solution might lie in counselling, detaching yourself temporarily or if nothing works – leaving. Whatever you choose, it must start with calling the spade in your relationship a spade and taking back control – of yourself and your life.

20 Signs of Emotional Abuse in a Relationship – Part 1

Emotional abuse in a relationship is in many ways more dangerous than physical abuse. First, it doesn’t leave visible marks, making it impossible to prove to anyone. Secondly, the marks left by emotional abuse – the ones in your mind, that is – tend to take much longer to heal than those left by physical abuse of similar degree. And third, emotional abuse in a relationship is much less talked about than its physical counterpart, thereby making it difficult to diagnose, even for the victim. Here are some tell-tale signs that will tell you whether you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship.

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #1. Fear

You feel so afraid of your partner that at one point you stop protesting anything they say. You avoid certain topics out of fear of annoying them. You’re sometimes forced to lie about your beliefs and intentions as you know if you’re vocal about your true feelings they’d torture you emotionally for hours.

emotional abuse in a relationshipPhoto by dpgrneyz@yahoo.com

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #2. Long lectures

You’re having yet another argument. This time about something so obvious that you’re sure you’ll win this one – there’s no way someone can prove you wrong. Yet, your partner constructs an extremely long string of fallacious logic to prove you wrong, leaving you aghast.

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #3. Personal attacks

 Whenever there’s a fight, your partner resorts to personal attacks instead of concentrating on the issue at hand. Instead of saying, “I think I’m doing more than my fair share of household work, I want you to pick up more”, they’d say, “You’re the most selfish person I’ve ever met.”

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #4. Self-esteem loss

They reinforce such negative messages about you so that your self-esteem erodes. They also keep hinting that they’re doing you a huge favour by staying in a relationship with you, because you’re simply unworthy of love. You’re forced to a point where you start believing there’s something deeply wrong with the person that you are start feeling grateful to your partner for loving you.

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #5. Self-doubts

He uses manipulative tactics to make you believe things about yourselves, others and the world which you’d never have believed in your right mind. They might even come up with specific instances (and connect them using fallacious logic, of course) to prove you’re mentally unbalanced. At some point you start doubting your own sense of reality.

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #6. Responsibility avoidance

Whenever you dare to protest anything your partner does or says, they torture you emotionally for hours. But whenever you try to hold them responsible for their behaviour they put the blame on you. According to them if it wasn’t for a crazy and difficult partner like you, they’d be the most mild, well-mannered person on earth.  

emotional abuse in a relationshipPhoto by Hayley Bouchard

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #7. Extreme jealousy  

Your partner is jealous and hateful of every member of the opposite sex you’ve ever interacted with. They control where you go and what you do. They frequently check up on you. They might even force you to share passwords of your email, Facebook and other online accounts, all in the name of no-holds-barred trust between two people in love.

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #8. Two faces  

They seem to have two completely different selves. They’re charming, entertaining, fun around their friends, colleagues and other acquaintances. They’re not out-of-control, they’re careful enough never to treat you badly in front of others. No one apart from you knows the truth about their abusive personality, making it extremely difficult for you to make anyone believe you when you try to ask around for help.  

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #9. Eroding credibility  

Not only is it impossible for you to get their circle of people to believe you, they make sure your own family and friends don’t believe you either. They tend to complain to people close to you about how difficult a person you are. They use biased instances to paint a picture of your relationship that makes even your closest people believe that they’re the oppressed one.

Emotional abuse in a relationship – Symptom #10. Emotional blackmail

They abuse you at every opportunity, but if you try to end the relationship they become very vulnerable. They might cry hysterically or threaten to commit suicide, making it impossible for you to leave.

Does your relationship bear these signs of emotional abuse? If yes, call for help right now.

We’d continue with the rest of the 20 signs in the next post, 20 Signs of Emotional Abuse in a Relationship – Part 2. Until then, share some inspirational stories of redemption from emotional abuse in a relationship by leaving a comment.


Long Distance Relationships: Top 10 Creative Ideas

A long distance relationship. That bitter-sweet pleasure of missing someone. That anger of not having them by your side when you need them. The joy of not having to tolerate each other all the time. OK, I’m just kidding.

Or maybe not. :P

The first step of making a long distance relationship work is to understand that it takes special efforts. Yes, beyond the daily call and weekly webcam session.

I once got talking about the 5 Basic Principles of a Long Distance Relationship. Today I thought I’d share some unique, creative, off-the-wall ways in which you can connect over the long distance.  

Long distance relationship idea #1. Send a Hoochymail

Hoochymail is a cool little app that automatically generates love stories about the two of you when you input your name, a few details about yourselves like cities, specific physical features etc. You can then set the type of story (funny, sexy or really sexy ;)), choose from six different story titles and lo! Your custom Bollywood romantic comedy is ready for sharing with your long distance loved one.

Long distance relationship idea #2. Share an online journal

Start a personal blog together. Make it a private blog so that only the two of you can read it. Use it like an online journal. Both of you can have separate logins. Record your everyday experiences here in the form of short blog posts. I’m sure you can imagine the thrill of flipping through your “common diary” a few years down the line when you’re hopefully your relationship is not long distance any more. J

Long distance relationship ideasPhoto by benchilada

Long distance relationship idea #3. Declaration of romantic intent

Send a legal notice to your partner, requesting immediate reply. Before you panic – I’m talking about a declaration of romantic intent. It’s a serious-sounding, menacingly formal-looking virtual “legal notice” for declaring your head-over-heels romantic intent for your partner. Nothing like spicing up your love story with a healthy smattering of humour.

Long distance relationship idea #4. Become parents

Oh well not really, of course. But here’s MorphThing, where you can upload photos (headshots) of both of you, do some work on them (as per site instructions) and they’ll morph the two pictures together to create a picture of your future baby. J When your significant other receives the baby delivered over the morning mail, I’m sure they’ll get the happiest shock of their lives (other than the news of real one coming by, that is. ;))

Long distance relationship idea #5. Your shared bulletin board

How cool would it be if you could have a private bulletin board which only the two of you could see and post messages to each other on? That’s what Listhings brings to you – a perfect plywood board background for the board to post your red/blue/yellow/pink sticky notes to. You can choose their sizes, positioning and of course – colours. One you’re done with your first sticky note, just click the “Share” button on top right corner and you’re on your way to creating your most memorable bulletin board. ;)

Long distance relationship idea #6. Love letters

Ah the good old snail-mailed love letters. In this age of emails and instant messages, the only thing you receive via snail mail is probably you utility bills. Imagine their delight when they receive a handwritten love letter from you instead.

Long distance relationship idea #7. You are your words

Done with writing that letter? Great. If you want to become a poet as well as an artist to your special someone sitting a long distance away, don’t stop yet. Head straight to You Are Your Words, which allows you to upload something you’ve written and your photos together so as to create a portrait of your face from your words. Your face, with your crazy feelings for your partner literally writ large on it – what more could he/she have asked for as a romantic surprise?

Long distance relationship ideasPhoto by valordictus

Long distance relationship idea #8. Do something in-sync

What’s your favourite TV show? Find one that you both like and start watching it together. Call each other during the breaks to discuss your predictions on, “What happens next?” It’s as if you’re sitting side by side and enjoying an episode of your favourite sitcom together.

Long distance relationship idea #9.Take a free course together

You can try the same idea with taking free online courses together on fun topics like Spanish, animal behaviour, soap operas, street fighting etc. (if you’re bored with the “serious” topics like fundamentals of Physics, introduction to Philosophy etc., which are also available).

Long distance relationship idea #10. Send a Smilebox

Sharing your photos on Facebook is what everyone does. Simlebox lets you choose your own whacky, romantic, creative ways to share your photos with your special someone. You can upload your photos and create cool scrapbooks, slideshows, cards, collages, albums etc. out of them. There are hundreds of themes and design templates to choose from.   

What your special whacky ways of making your long distance relationship fun and exciting? Share with us in the comments. 

Q&A. My Wife Has Had Sex Before Marriage. I’m Devastated. Help!

I’ve been married for three years. It was an arranged marriage. At a very early stage I’d started suspecting that my wife had had sex before marriage. This disturbed me deeply and we’ve had innumerable discussions about this since then.

We live with my parents. Recently others in the family eavesdropped on us and unfortunately managed to listen in on some of our private conversations regarding this issue, i.e. her experience of sex before marriage. This was deeply humiliating and painful for both of us.

My father has recently taunted her with this overheard info first time in three years. I can’t tell you how guilty I feel.

At the same time I can’t drive away the visions of her having sex before marriage with another man. I find myself wondering about the details like how she managed to have sex before marriage with anyone in a small town, how deeply in love she must’ve been to have disregarded the most important family restriction, whether she gave him farewell sex etc.

She hasn’t confessed anything about any sex before marriage to this date in spite of my insistence. Whenever I ask her anything about this she gives vague replies, urging me to move on and look at the future instead of the past. I’d expressed intentions of joining Facebook and connecting with her batch mates in the hope of finding out about her past and whether she had sex before marriage. She vehemently opposed this and refused to give away even the names of her classmates. Incidentally, one of her friends visited us and hinted that my wife is “not as simple as she pretends to be”.

As of today I’ve planned to post questions about her past relationship(s) in the confessions page of her school. I’ve let her know of my intentions. This has made her very nervous and disturbed. Ironically, me too.

In spite of what all this might suggest, I love her. Genuinely. Please help me.


wife sex before marriagePhoto by banzainetsurfer

Sex before marriage? Don’t dwell on it

Normally I would tell you to close your eyes, take a deep breath and let it go. Usually you achieve nothing by finding out the details of your spouse’s sex-life before he/she met you. That kind of probing is guaranteed to make any relationship worse.

However, there’s another aspect to this in your case.

You’ve mentioned one of her friends has tried dropping you hints about her past. The only way knowing everything about one’s spouse’s past life can help is in tackling nosy outsiders like this friend, eager to spill the beans and laugh as the two of you shred your married life to pieces. That’s something you have a right to protect yourself against.

So the middle ground here is to know only as much as is necessary, and in this case you have a right to demand that information from your wife.

What you need to know about sex before marriage

Have an open discussion with her. Tell her first that you love her as she is, and that you have realized that finding out intricate details about her past life is not going to help your relationship. So you don’t want to know any details.
This will put her at ease.
Then mention to her that, at the same time you don’t want to receive info about her past life from outsiders and look like a fool. Between the two of you, you might have issues (every couple has). But to outsiders, you must put up a joint front – you must look like one inseparable unit. Hence you need to know at least what others know – i.e. basics like how many past relationships she’s been in, how many of them she’s had sex with and who was the last. Emphasize that you don’t want to know any details. This would increase her trust in you manifold.

Believe me Anon, you do not need to know any more than this to ward off well-meaning hints and suggestions from outsiders.

At the same time you must promise (her and yourself) never to entertain these advances from outsiders.

How to tackle “sex before marriage” blackmailers

What does not entertaining their advances mean?

wife sex before marriagePhoto by VishalSinghx

It would mean the following:

  • When someone hints to you that they can give you info about your wife’s past life, the first thing you should do is change the topic and discretely make it clear that you don’t want to discuss your wife’s private life with them. Yes, I know it will be difficult to overcome your urges of curiosity in such situations but youhave to do it for the sake of your relationship.
  • If they persist, you might even have to tell that to them in as many words. Tell them, “If there’s anything you want to tell me about my wife, you needn’t, ’cause I already know everything about her. And I’m sure if you had to choose whom to trust between your spouse and anyone else, you’d choose your spouse. Me too. :).” That should kill their excitement as they realize you’re not going to believe anything they say.
  • In the rarest of rare cases, if they directly give you unsolicited information about your wife in spite of your lack of interest, you should stay calm and just say, “I already know the truth”, without confirming whether you believe them or not. (If they’re telling you the truth, they should get the impression that you already know it. If they’re making up lies they should get the impression that you can see through them.)

Sex before marriage is a private issue

Coming to the question of your parents’ reaction – you should remember that your wife is living with your parents. It’s she who’s moved to a new home and made a new family her own, not them. Hence it’s your responsibility to make sure she doesn’t receive unwarranted treatment from them. You have to make it very clear to your parents and the rest of your family that you and your wife respect them and have responsibilities towards them, but your private life is yours. And their interference in it is entirely unwelcome.
Spouses might have the right to ask each other private questions. Their parents and extended families have absolutely none.
But each Indian family works in its own complicated way (don’t take it personally, I know “we’re like that only”;)). I understand it might be impossible for you to convey this to your parents in as many words. If that’s the case, tell them politely (not in front of your wife, of course) that if they have any questions about your wife, they can ask you, not her, and not in front of her.

Let me know what action you took.
All the best. :)