A good outcome needs a good approach.

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I’ve read countless stories of people who say they want a relationship yet have no idea what they’re actually looking for in a partner, or people who say they need one thing yet stick around with partners who straight out refuse to give them that very thing, or people who don’t even know what is normal or not normal in their own relationships.

You see the problem, right? I bet everyone does. But if it’s so obvious, why is it so common?

Well, it’s because it’s ridiculously easy to slip into these situations.

It’s what happens when you only see what’s in front of you and “go with the flow” without seriously considering how much this flow might be costing you. It’s the price of mindlessly dating or dating without intention. …

Your anxiety is the cost you have to bear every time you get out there and take a chance on someone. Not everyone is worth this cost.

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I used to have severe anxiety when it came to dating. Meeting new people, waiting for text messages, confirming plans, not knowing where the relationship is going could hurt me physically.

Dating wasn’t fun. Dating was a constant battle of fighting all my ugly thoughts about myself, all my doubts about whether I was worthy of love, all my childhood memories of feeling left out and unloved, imprinted on every molecule of my body.

When the person I was dating showed signs of pulling away, I tensed up, I freaked out, I held on tighter, which only pushed them away further and, damn, did that hurt. Sometimes it hurt like my life depended on it. …

The insights I gained after accepting my partner’s proposal

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Before meeting my future husband, I was never sure If I wanted a serious relationship or marriage.

In hindsight, it was because the people I dated were never good enough for me, meaning we were fundamentally incompatible. I was also not good enough for myself — my life wasn’t where I wanted it to be yet.

Later when my future husband asked me to marry him, I was in a very different place — saying yes felt natural and fulfilling.

In fact, everything we did together felt natural and fulfilling; any future talks were pleasantly expected. There was no question about our love for each other and where we were heading together. …

Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.

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You’re probably familiar with the advice, “Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry.”

Several studies have found that going to the supermarket on an empty stomach leads to not only buying high-calorie groceries that are bad for you but also overspending on the items you don’t need.

One of the reasons is self-control— hungry people are more likely to grab instant food that satisfies their cravings than to buy healthy ingredients and spend time cooking a proper meal.

In a nutshell, they make bad decisions that they often regret later.

The same logic could be applied to dating.

If you use dating apps when you’re lonely, you’re likely to pick unsuitable people to date. …

Tingly Mind is an online publication that offers empowering life and relationship advice. Our content is geared towards women in general and heterosexual women in particular.

After all, regardless of gender, we serve the people who value security and stability in life. If you want to become a solid individual with healthy, meaningful relationships, you’re at the right place.

What we can do for you as a writer

I’m looking for writers with insight and passion.

In return, I can help you improve your writing and increase your chance of curation, which translates into views and earnings.

You’ll receive direct support from me, Ellen Nguyen — I have 5+ years of writing experience and have produced many popular pieces on Medium that bring me 4-figure paychecks every month. …

Stop looking for your father in the people you date.

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Since getting engaged, my partner and I have talked quite a bit about having children.

At 26, I definitely feel the maternal instinct to care for another being other than myself. Even though I don’t want to think about the pain of childbirth, I love the idea of having my own family if possible.

Yesterday, I clicked on a recommended Youtube video about babies, which caused me to binge on the How to Dad channel.

Jordan Watson is a content creator from New Zealand who makes videos about his “dad-ding” journey. While his how-to guides are mostly for fun, it’s clear that Jordan is a present and loving father. …

Quality over quantity.

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What is “intimate”? It means familiar, private, and personal.

To have more intimacy in your relationships is to build close, meaningful, and deep connections. It makes you healthier, happier, and more fulfilled, especially in the long run.

When you’re young, you might care about being popular and having as many social media followers as possible. You prioritise your study and career before everything else, even at the expense of your relationships. But your perspective changes as you move through different stages of life.

When you get older, your need for meaning and companionship increases. You realise that intimate relationships add a great deal of value to every aspect of your life, and you want them. …

A practical guide to communicating your needs and boundaries

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You probably have heard of the advice, “Respond, not react.”

It sounds simple, but it’s not always easy to follow. And if you fail to do it, it can leave lasting consequences, especially in romantic relationships.

Romantic relationships are painfully fragile in the early days. But even between long-term couples, enough communication issues can lead to devastating breakups.

It doesn’t help if one partner suffers from an insecure attachment style or anxiety when dating — like I did.

I wasn’t just reacting, though. I reacted terribly.

Worse, sometimes, I didn’t even react at all — I just let things slide and pretended everything was okay even though my boundaries were violated and I was deeply hurt. …

A logical explanation and a practical solution.

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There are many reasons why a person might have a low sense of self-worth. Regardless, it can negatively affect every area of their life.

They might not put themselves forward for a promotion because they don’t think they deserve it. They might sabotage themselves in relationships because they believe they’re destined to be alone.

Even when they’ve achieved great things and surrounded themselves with great people, deep down, they feel like a fraud. They’re worried they’ll get exposed at any minute and lose everything they have. There’s always something they need to do before they can proudly be themselves.

In a nutshell, they don’t feel enough for themselves. …

Reward actions, not words.

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In the dating world, future fakers are people who sell the idea of a future to get what they want in the present.

If you’re looking for a genuine, serious relationship, it can be incredibly frustrating and painful to fall victim to a future faker.

They come across charming and keen and know just the right things to say. They lead you to believe that you’re the world to them only to drop you at a drop of a hat when you’ve become attached to them.

You have no idea what was real and what was fake. You end up getting hung up on them and making excuses for their behaviours while feeling foolish for letting them treat you that way. …


Ellen Nguyen

Writer, author, content creator. Editor of Tingly Mind, empowering life and relationship advice for women. Check me out: https://linktr.ee/ellennguyen

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