I’m seeing a new relationship trend emerging among my clients. And, frankly, it’s not a good one. What’s a trend in psychotherapy? Well, it’s when you start hearing very similar stories from several clients — enough times that it makes you go hmm. Lately, for example, I’ve seen a spike in generalized anxiety which many trace to the uncertainty they feel about the political future of our country. But I practice in Massachusetts, so there’s that.
The unfortunate trend that’s surfaced over the past year or so is one I call the Non-Relationship Relationship. I’m primarily hearing about it from women in their twenties and thirties who date men, but I’m betting it also applies to dating across the lifespan and to same-sex couples.
Here’s how the Non-Relationship Relationship (NRR) works: You’re in a relationship with a man. You see him several times a week. Maybe you’ve even met his parents. The sex is good. He texts you every day. He introduces you to all his friends. He takes you to his office Christmas party. You’re planning a vacation together.
All good, right? Except for one thing: He refuses to call your relationship a relationship. And, perhaps more importantly, he won’t agree to exclusivity. In other words, he won’t commit to being faithful.
But you spend so much time together, you’re not really worried about him being with someone else, right? I mean, where would he even find the time?
But then he goes to a bachelor party in Vegas or flies off to a company meeting and now his reluctance to call your relationship a relationship starts to take on meaning. And the hard truth of the NRR is he can do whatever his little heart (or whatever) desires when he’s away from you. Guilt-free.
Now, the twist to the NRR is he’s been honest with you from the get-go. So, when he comes home and admits he hooked up with an ex-girlfriend at his class reunion, what’re you going to say?
Of course, you’re angry and hurt. And you tell him. But it gets you nowhere because he’s got the NRR rulebook as his fallback. He was just doing what he already told you he might do. In his mind, he’s congratulating himself on being Mr. Open Book.
Gaslighting is a popular component of the NRR. Being gaslighted in a relationship means your partner tries to convince you that something you know to be true is a figment of your imagination. And, done right, it makes you start to feel a tad crazy.
In the NRR, what you know to be true is that you really are in a relationship with this guy. But because he doesn’t want to name it as a relationship, because he wants to leave the door open a crack, because he thinks he’s being truthful, you start to question your truth. You think, Maybe he’s right. But isn’t this a relationship? Maybe it’s not. What defines a relationship exactly?
In addition to feeling confused, you pile on worry and jealousy. Because, without a real commitment, you can never establish trust. And, without trust, you’re a chaotic mess every time he goes out with his friends or has dinner with a female coworker. Because, why shouldn’t you be? You’re in a relationship with a guy who claims you’re not.
Why are so many guys adopting the NRR? Simple answer: sex. Remember, my sample is mostly from younger women dating their male cohorts. And these guys in their twenties and thirties don’t want to close off the possibility of hooking up with other women. They’re happy with the NRR because they get to have all the benefits of a relationship with you (companionship, friendship, intimacy) without having to walk away from the opportunity of sex with someone else.
If you’re in a NRR, do you see he’s having his cake and eating it, too? That he’s taking all of the good from you but exploiting it by infusing your day-to-day with insecurity and self-loathing?
The self-loathing piece comes from knowing you’re not doing right by yourself. You’re not saying, “Look, I’m worth more than your two-bit honesty schtick. Commit to me or there’s the door.” No, instead you’re holding out for him to change his mind, to pledge his devotion and fidelity so you can get on with it. Hear me here: This is not going to happen.
If you’re in a Non-Relationship Relationship, know that you’re choosing it. No one is forcing you to tolerate this painful mind game. Why be with someone who is pretty much telling you you’re not enough for him? Because — if you don’t already know — you are enough. You’re more than enough. And the guy who deserves you will know that.
Act like a goddess and be treated like one. Act like a punching bag and brace yourself for the blows. If you want to find out what you really mean to him, put an end to the NRR. If he doesn’t value your relationship (as you already suspect), you may be saying a permanent, healthy goodbye. If he’s willing to abandon his NRR policies to hold on to what you have, he may be a keeper. In both scenarios, you end up with something invaluable — your dignity and self-respect.
This recipe takes me back to college, when I used to binge on super unhealthy things like chips and queso at night while trying to eat reasonably healthier and more vegetarian during the day. My transition to eating healthier foods took a few years to settle in. As a busy college student, the foods from Amy’s Kitchen really helped me make this transition. I loved their Vegetable Lasagna, the Breakfast Burrito, and of course these Nacho Snacks. So when the folks at Amy’s reached out to me, I knew I wanted to make a recipe that incorporated these snacks in a slightly healthier holiday appetizer.
The secret to this carrot “queso” is that it’s actually vegan. It’s made out of carrots, potato, sauteéd onions, and smoked paprika, among a few other ingredients. I’ve seen these carrot-potato-based “cheese” recipes around the internet lately and I’ve been intrigued to try this sort of thing out myself. While I’ve been making cashew-based “cheese” recipes for years, the starch from the potato really creates a more gooey queso-like texture. As you’re blending it together, it seems impossible, but just go with it. It won’t fool your biggest cheese-lovers, but once you top it with the proper fixins, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
I served it with Amy’s Nacho Cheese and Bean Snacks – which makes this whole thing pretty indulgent, but remember that the dip is still made of carrots, and besides, it’s the holidays so let’s live a little.
Nacho Snacks with Carrot “Queso”
1 cup peeled and diced russet potato
½ cup peeled and diced carrot
¼ cup chopped yellow onion
¼ cup raw cashews* (see note)
2 tablespoons sunflower oil or other neutral oil, plus more for drizzling
3 tablespoons water, more as needed
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 medium garlic clove
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika, more to taste
½ teaspoon sea salt
Amy’s Nacho Snacks and/or tortilla chips
diced red onion
In a medium pot, combine the diced potatoes and carrots, fill with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 minutes. Drain and add to a high speed blender.
In a small skillet over medium heat, sauté the yellow onions in a drizzle of oil until soft, about 4 minutes.
To the blender, add the sautéed onions, cashews, oil, water, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, garlic, garlic powder, smoked paprika and sea salt and blend until smooth. If the mixture is thick, use the blender’s baton to help get the blender moving. You can also add an additional 1 tablespoon of water if needed. This works best in a high-powered blender. If you have a regular blender, you might need to blend the mixture longer to get it creamy. Blend until completely smooth.
Let cool slightly and season to taste. Scoop the queso into a serving bowl and top with the diced red onion, tomato, jalapeño and avocado. Serve with Amy’s Nacho Snacks or tortilla chips. The dip can also be made in advance and served cold.
*If you don’t have a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, soak the cashews for 3 to 4 hours to soften them a bit.
Note: the “queso” recipe is vegan, the nacho snacks are not.
So now more than ever, it feels necessary to take a look back at the beautiful, inspired, forward-thinking campaigns and imagery that did show up in our social media feeds, on YouTube and across the internet this year.
Rachel Roy’s first curve line debuted in February. “A big part of developing this line was about listening,” she said. “Listening to the marketplace, listening to what was going on in culture, and listening to the women who have been asking us to do this for years.”
Nike made waves in July by posting this image of Elesser, finally making its social media presence a bit more inclusive and helping normalize the idea that women of all shapes and sizes care about fitness.
It’s a fact of life that there will be times when a genuine apology is required, but many of the actions that actually elicit an “I’m sorry” aren’t anything to be contrite over.
Luckily, Twitter brought some of these behaviors to our attention through the hashtag #ThingsIWontApologizeFor. The trending topic is the perfect reminder that living authentically ― and embracing all of your flaws, needs and personality traits ― is the way to go. Research shows that self acceptance may be the key to a happier life but it’s a habit many people rarely practice.
Below are just a few things that absolutely don’t deserve an apology. Sorry, not sorry.
Just a few months after John Malkovich partnered with Squarespace to perform homages to various David Lynch characters ― such as the log lady from “Twin Peaks” ― Malkovich is now debuting another eclectic acting project with the website creation company. In a new short film, Malkovich plays himself as he leaves his career as an actor to pursue a passion for fashion design.
The movie, “Journey,” shows Malkovich trying to overcome his reputation as an actor in order to have his designs taken more seriously. At one point, he reads an email titled, “John Malkovich 2017,” that only has one line ― “Is this a joke?” Malkovich, sitting up in bed alone, sends the email to the trash.
The plot of this project slightly mirrors the 1999 Charlie Kaufman movie “Being John Malkovich.” In that full-length feature, the main character finds a way to control the mind of the Malkovich-played character, John Malkovich, and forces Malkovich to abandon his acting career to become a successful puppeteer.
Along with the “Journey” short, Malkovich set up a website with Squarespace that actually features his new fashion line.
You know what they say about opinions — everybody has one. If you want to see that truth in action, just Google “characteristics of successful people.” Some of the results will undoubtedly point to the famous Marshmallow Study at Stanford, which demonstrated that the ability to delay gratification is a key component of success.
But that’s far from the only theory:
— According to Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, it all comes down to mindset. She conducted a series of experiments that demonstrated that, while the average person sees their abilities as fixed assets, successful people have, what she calls, a “growth mindset.” In other words, successful people focus on self-improvement and overcoming challenges rather than seeing their mistakes as the products of insurmountable personal flaws. — In another study conducted by Penn State and Duke, researchers assessed the social skills of 700 kindergartners. Twenty years later, they followed up and discovered a strong correlation between social skills and success. The children with the best social skills were more likely to have earned a college degree and to hold a full-time job, while the kids who struggled with social skills in kindergarten were more likely to get arrested, binge drink, and apply for public housing.
And the list goes on and on. So what is happening here? Why are there so many different theories, complete with the science to back them up, about the traits that contribute to success? I think it’s because most wildly successful people are complex — so complex that many of their defining qualities are paradoxical.
Rather than an “either/or” set of static characteristics, they’re more likely to demonstrate both. This is a key to their success. Here are some examples of what I’m referring to. 1. They’re polite, yet completely unafraid to rock the boat. Successful people are, what I like to call, “graciously disruptive.” They’re never satisfied with the status quo. They’re the ones who constantly ask, “What if?” and “Why not?” They’re not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom, yet they don’t disrupt things for the sake of being disruptive; they do it to make things better. Still, they’re polite and considerate, and they don’t draw attention to other people’s mistakes just to humiliate them. However, that doesn’t mean they sit back and let people wander off in the wrong direction. They won’t hesitate to speak up when it’s time to change course. 2. They’re deeply passionate, yet rational and objective about their work. Successful people are passionate about their work, but they don’t let it skew their thinking. They have the ability to step back and look at their work with a critical eye and to accept their mistakes. If it’s a disaster, they’ll admit it, because they realize that it’s better to try something different than to put out something subpar with their name on it. That sense of detachment also allows them to accept feedback from others without taking it personally. 3. They’re convergent and divergent thinkers. Convergent thinking is what’s measured by IQ tests: rational thinking that typically results in a single right answer. Divergent thinking, on the other hand, is less precise. It’s about generating ideas and asking questions that have no solid right or wrong answers. Both are important. No matter how high your IQ is, you’re not going to be successful if you can’t think outside of the proverbial box. On the other hand, you need rational thinking skills to correctly judge whether your ideas have merit. That’s why this particular paradox is so important. 4. They’re both energetic and calm. Successful people seem to have limitless energy when it comes to doing the things they’re passionate about, but they aren’t frantic. They can keep that energy under control. They work hard and focus on the task at hand with devoted concentration, but they’re so smooth that they make it look both easy and fun. Some people are so energetic that they’re hyperactive and unfocused and constantly bouncing from one thing to another. Successful people know how to harness their energy so that it works in the service of progress and doesn’t undermine it. 5. They like to work and play. Successful people personify the often-repeated quote, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Because they love what they do, they find brainstorming, problem-solving, and grinding out tough projects thought-provoking, engaging, and deeply satisfying. And though they take their work very seriously, the enjoyment and gratification they derive from it blurs the common demarcation between work and play.
6. They’re ambiverts. Successful people are comfortable acting in ways that amplify their introversion and extraversion, depending on what the situation calls for. They can sit in the back of a conference room and silently listen to what’s going on, or they can go up on stage, grab a microphone, and engage a huge crowd–and they look just as comfortable doing one as they do the other. 7. They’re naïve and smart. No one would argue that intelligence isn’t an important part of success, but many successful people also have a childlike lack of awareness (or maybe it’s a lack of respect) for the type of constraints that other people blindly accept. They’re not limited by what other people tell them is possible. 8. They’re both humble and proud. Taking pride in your work is absolutely essential for success, but successful people know they wouldn’t be where they are without the people who came before them and those they’ve worked with along the way. They know that they didn’t achieve their success all on their own, and because they’re OK with that, they don’t have anything to prove. That’s why so many incredibly successful people end up coming across as grounded and humble when you meet them in person.
The reason that there are so many different opinions on what traits are necessary for success–and the reason that so many of them contradict each other–is that successful people are complex. They have a wide variety of paradoxical skills that they call upon as needed, like a mechanic with a well-stocked toolbox. What other paradoxical habits characterize successful people? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.
On the red carpet for the Los Angeles premiere of the space-flight romance, Pratt’s wife, actress Anna Faris, revealed that he had upgraded their wedding ring with some serious bling two days prior.
“He just got me this ring. I know. Like, two days ago,” she told E! News on the red carpet, while flashing the gorgeous diamond. “I look [at it] and I’m like, ‘I can’t believe it, either!’ He’s an incredibly romantic man and I’m very, very lucky.”
“She got me a tractor,” Pratt quipped, “so we’re kind of even!”
Todd Williamson via Getty Images
The stunning oval-cut stone, circled by a halo of diamonds and offset with a sparkly gold band, appears to be considerably bigger than Faris’ original wedding ring.
After the premiere, Faris gave a shoutout to Pratt as only she could, in a tweet responding to a message from InStyle about her blinding new bling.
Corsica is the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, and like the great emperor, Corsica is small and complicated.
The island is French, but not. It’s Corsican. It’s located between France and Italy on the Mediterranean. Its language, history and food are a blend of the two cultures. But ask any “true” Corsican, and they will pledge their roots deep into Genoa. The Corsican language is much closer to Italian than it is to French.
Even the road signs point to that friction. Though signs are in both languages, the French is often blacked out.
So if you are to stay on the right path here, best you follow the Corsican way.
Don’t be surprised if on that path you run into hunters, shotguns in-hand, flushing out wild boar. They were everywhere when I visited.
This mountainous island of thick brush and pristine beaches has amazing views. If you pull your nose out of your phone for a second, you’ll catch a whiff of wild flowers and herbs in the breeze. You will for sure taste it in the local food and wine.
There’s no way to adequately describe how different everything tastes here.
Clos Culombu vineyards (yes named after Christopher Columbus- they claim the great explorer was also born here) in Calvi makes a great Vermentino, which is the most prominent white-wine grape on the island.
A great place to eat, with a marvelous outside patio and an ocean view is Restaurant L’Escale in ILe Rousse.
The black olives are to die for–dusted with those fabulous local herbs. Lunch here is not cheap, but worth every Euro. We had oysters, mussels, a local fish, pasta with prawns, plus a bottle of wine for a little over $100.
To top off our lunch, a little homemade aperitif on the house. Between my bad French and their bad English, all I can say is that it was a red liquor infused with what looked and smelled like leaves from the hillside where the boar roam free.
It’s possible to do Corsica in a day: swim at the beach, tour a walled village, drink local wine, but why not stay awhile, and smell the flowers. Or drink them.