Why Ultimatums Are Terrible

a black cat sitting in a fabric cat carrier
Image by I am R. / CC BY

Having moved a cat cross country once before, I knew what I was in for when setting out on the long drive from Ohio  to Texas. The awful noises I would be subjected to.

Cats aren’t like dogs. Unless they’re specifically trained to develop tolerance for it, cats despise car rides. And they aren’t shy about letting you know their displeasure.  » Read more

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Strive to Leave Things Better Than You Found Them

a campsite in the woods
Image by Grand Canyon National Park / CC BY

It’s been interesting preparing for a cross-country move on a short timeframe. My partner Justin and I have been thrust into a variety of cooperative tasks. And while we’ve lived together for eight years and have even run a business together, the very nature of fixing up our house (so we can sell it quickly and for a good listing price) and packing on such a tight time frame has given me opportunities to understand him and his thought processes in a novel way.  » Read more

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When You’re Good at Providing Reassurance, Some People Don’t Even Know You’re Doing It

closeup of a blooming cactus
Image by Renee Grayson / CC BY

“I really worry about you,” she said. “You’re so insecure. So in need of reassurance. So weak.”

I blinked my eyes twice in slow motion, feeling a wave of shock wash over me. True, I’ve always been a sensitive person. This wasn’t the first time in my life someone had said something like this to me.  » Read more

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When You’re Used to Bad Relationships, It’s Easy for Something to Feel “Too Good to Be True”

Two equestrian riders, on horseback, in low tide reflections at sunset on Morro Strand State Beach 29 Oct. 2008. Michael "Mike" L. Baird Canon SD950 point-and-shoot snapshot. This photo has some Lightroom 2 gradient treatment applied: gold bottom-to -center; blue top-to-center toning.
Image by Mike Baird / CC BY

In an earlier piece, I wrote about the homing pigeon effect, i.e., “good things are hard to screw up.”

Good relationships typically feel very easy in the beginning. A mix of the biochemical attachment cocktail of New Relationship Energy and actual compatibility washes over any small flaws that would otherwise jump right out.  » Read more

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