Category "Relationships"

Families of LGBT Individuals

The issues surrounding family units do not simply commence and stop at the concept of marriage. The family unit is all-encompassing. The family status is not solely reliant upon the legal basis of the marriage and union, but more so on the pragmatism of daily family routines. Each person has the right to be viewed equally and justly.

The Importance of Considering the Family Unit in LGBT Communities

The struggle to achieve equality for LGBT communities in Europe is a long-running one and of deep significance. Families of same-gender couples and LGBT families confront a lot of social, political, and economic discrimination.

At the present time, only a small number of European countries offer equitable and complete legal advantages to LGBT families on par with heterosexual families and couples. The majority of European countries offer only minimal recognition and legal care. Same gender families can encounter legal troubles at any time. Children of LGBT families are the most disadvantaged because of the stigma attached to their family status. In some serious circumstances where one family member dies or if separation/divorce occurs, children of LGBT families can be taken away by the state. Furthermore, the state can readily deny any social service benefits such as health care plans.

The Present Situation Concerning LGBT Communities

It is a confusing situation for LGBT Communities and their families. On the positive side there are several countries that are more liberal in their approach in dealing with LGTB families since the 1990s. On the negative side, some European countries have reacted severely to LGBT families while denying them their full rights along the way.

Some instances include:

  • Reducing the legal advantages afforded to the definitions of family with regards to same-gender couples. Hungary and Croatia instituted this in 2012 and 2013.
  • Legal prohibitions that ban same-sex marriage and families.
  • Russia considering measures that effectively remove children of LGBT families.

The Actions of European Institutions

European measures in recent years have improved the conditions of LGBT families and their communities. Attempts are being made to offer equal and full recognition of rights as well as benefits to these families. Many of Europe’s legal institutions have made good progress in offering LGBT families with freedoms, services, and equity on an equal footing with heterosexual families. Legal memorandums are providing LGBT communities with full freedom of movement to anywhere within the EU.

At the present time, the memorandum outlines equal rights to LGBT families regardless of where these individuals choose to transfer to within the European Union. However, the EU’s concept of “family unit” still considers marriage and cohabitation that possess laws governing these protocols. These steps need to be improved.

17 Useful Tips on How to Get Over Someone

There’s no shortage of advice on the subject of how to get over someone. You can even buy books on the subject or attempt to follow someone’s ten easy steps to get on with your life. Most of the ideas presented here have some merit, and some have been offered with tongue-in-cheek – even they may give you some ideas to run with. Good luck, and maybe the one you’re trying to get over is hardly worth the effort after all!

Cut Off All Contact

Cutting of all contact with the person you’re attempting to get over is one of the best things you can do. Admittedly, there are situations where that might be next to impossible, such as when sharing the same workplace, but you should at least try to keep contact to a minimum, without necessarily turning and walking away in the other direction whenever the two of you meet. Be civil, but disinterested, even if it’s only an act. Hopefully, the two of you will eventually become only passing acquaintances, and will eventually drift apart. However, if it’s possible to cut off contact completely, do so.

Think Negative Thoughts

This could be difficult if you’ve placed the person you’re trying to get over on a pedestal and have convinced yourself that the one you loved, or had a crush on, could do no wrong. It can be of some help to think this way if you are a perfectionist, since if you’re that type of a person you can usually find something wrong in nearly everyone. People have a great capacity for making themselves believe what they want to believe, and if you try hard enough, you can probably convince yourself that the person you’re striving to get over probably isn’t worth spending your time with anyway.

Don’t Let Hope Get in Your Way

As long as you are hopeful that you might eventually get back together, there is little chance of you ever completely getting over someone. Hope is a wonderful thing, and it is something that can often carry a person through a difficult situation, or even keep a person alive in certain circumstances. Hope can also be a form of denial however, and when that’s the case it might do more harm than good. The best way to keep hope from interfering with the need to get over someone would be to talk to that person so you can be 100% certain that the relationship is indeed over, leaving no reason for hope.

Wallowing is OK – Up to a Point

Complaining can be OK if you don’t do too much of it, or make a habit of it. It can be good for you and allow you to get things off your chest, rather than let them build up inside of you. It’s the same with wallowing. Wallowing is a form of grief, and is it is something that is actually quite natural. It’s like having a good, extended cry, which is something you can do by yourself, but can also share with someone else. If your breakup was a particularly bad one, or if you happened to be blindsided by what happened, wallowing could be healthy for you, and your friends will likely understand. Give yourself a time limitof no more than a week or two to show your feelings, however.

Be Careful of the Music You Listen To

Hopefully, the former love of your life’s favorite song isn’t something you will every day on the radio. You might have to change your musical tastes. Going from country and western to baroque, or vice versa, could of course be a challenge, but being able to march to a different tune could help. Besides avoiding your former lover’s favorite music, you might be better off avoiding his or her favorite books, places, or TV shows as well. You do not want to change too much of your lifestyle, but making a few changes might make things easier for you in the short run.

Don’t Try Too Hard

Don’t try too hard to put the person completely out of your mind. If you think of the person occasionally it’s OK to feel a pang of loneliness, but don’t let that feeling remain. You’re likely to feel a good deal better about yourself if you recognize that you miss that person and that you’re getting on with your life quite fine. Don’t let hope or denial get in your way. Just let the person fade from your life gradually and gracefully.

Don’t Get Too Busy

This would seem to be the antitheses of everything you’ve been told about how to stop feeling miserable after ending a relationship with someone. All you need to do is to turn into a workaholic and everything will be all right. That makes about as much sense as joining the Foreign Legion! You want to have things to do, places to visit, and sights to see, and you want to keep relatively busy, but not overly so, especially if your lifestyle in the past hasn’t consisted of 60-hour workweeks or 60 to 80 hours a week of volunteer work. You need to be occupied to a certain degree, but that can mean taking long hikes, having lunch with friends, or help someone landscape their yard. You do not have to immerse yourself in your work solely with the intent of getting over someone.

Get Reacquainted with Your Old Circle of Friends

Hopefully you haven’t burned too many bridges in this area. There is of course the possibility that some of your former friends have found their own significant others recently, and they might not be as likely to join you for a cup of coffee or a trip to the beach. If some of your old friends frequent a health club or a corner bar, start paying visits to those establishments to renew acquaintances, although if you’ve just broken up, visiting a bar might not be all that good an idea. There’s nothing sadder than people sitting in a bar feeling sorry for themselves. What you really want, is to reinvest in relationships and friendships that you may neglected.

Don’t Start Looking for a Replacement Right Away

It’s true that you might find someone better, but if you’re going to be carrying a torch for your former lover for a while, that’s unlikely to be the case. Whoever you meet is more than likely to come up short once you start making comparisons against the person you’re trying to get over. If going out on dates will help, by all means do so. In fact, you probably should take up dating again, or at least pick up a few new friends, or renew old friendships. Look at dating as an opportunity to have a good time with a nice person and then see what happens.

Be Careful with Someone on the Rebound

If you decide to date, be careful about dating someone who’s going through the same thing you are, and could be on the rebound. You might initially feel good about dating a kindred spirit, but it could be easy for the two of you to come to the conclusion that destiny has driven you together. The end result could be two people getting married, each one settling for their second-best choice.

Dare to Try New Things

It is your life after all. Your ex-lover might not have approved of you watching kid’s cartoons, Family Guy, 8 solid hours of football, or the Weather Channel. Now would be a good time to do a few of those things you really get a kick out of doing. You can eat a late breakfast and watch TV, while still in your pajamas, though maybe not on workdays. In fact, there are those who will tell you that taking your pajamas off and going naked is excellent therapy. Do that only when you’re by yourself of course; but there is something about going naked that gives a person a feeling of freedom, which, if only for a few hours, can be good medicine.

Be Careful What You Post on Facebook

There are a host of Facebook users who seem to share every thought, emotion, and problem they have with the world, in the naive assumption that only a few close friends will ever be aware of what they’ve posted. Facebook can be your window to the world, albeit a small one, where you can converse with friends, share photos, and on occasion offer someone good advice. Be as interesting a person as you can be, show some humor, and above all try not to drag everyone else into the pool of misery you may find yourself immersed in. If someone asks you about the break-up, it’s OK to say it hurts, but leave it at that, and post a photo of yourself surfing, or partying with friends.

Treat the New Significant Other with Respect

You’ll look better in the eyes of everyone if you manage to at least be civil to the person your ex has fallen for, should your paths happen to cross. You do not have to like or dislike the person. Maybe that significant other did connive to steal your former love away from you, but on the other hand, he or she might be a completely innocent party. Whether you want to or not, treating people with respect almost always pays dividends in the long run.

Take a Road Trip

You might not feel like taking off on you own right away, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmingly lonely. Driving through the desert isn’t going to make you feel any less lonely, but the same could be said for driving down The Strip in Las Vegas; although there would at least be some distractions. Pick a place you’ve always wanted to visit and go there for a few days. Don’t pick a place you both always wanted to visit, or your loved one always wanted to visit. If, as a youngster, you always wanted to visit Mt. Rushmore, or Cleveland, go there instead.

Learn to Enjoy Your Own Company

Enjoying your own company doesn’t mean becoming a recluse, or being self-centered or narcissistic. It means seeing and doing things on your own that you enjoy, or at least mixing such activities in with   things you do with others. Part of learning to enjoy your own company involves taking time to smell the roses and enjoy the small things in life, and learning to be ‘comfortable in your own skin’. If you can succeed in this, you will be happier, less likely to be lonely, and probably more fun to be around. Just remember that it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the company of others just as much.

Become a Different Person (or Who You Used to Be)

You probably made a few changes to both your thinking and your lifestyle when you were in love with your ex.  Most people change in some degree. When you’re in a relationship you almost have to. Now might be the time to do a little ‘unchanging’, assuming it will be for the better. Whatever you do though, don’t go back to leading a lonely existence if that is what your life used to be like. The fact that you had a great relationship should convince you that you never need to be lonely again, though you can’t be blamed if you feel lonely for a while.

Join the Foreign Legion

This seems to have been one of the best ways to get over someone a couple of generations back, and the movies certainly did nothing to throw water on this idea. Joining the French Foreign Legion was depicted as being somewhat romantic. You could see the world along with other souls also trying to get over someone. Life in the Foreign Legion really wasn’t, and isn’t, all that romantic. It would in fact be a rather rough way to spend a few years of your life.

The last bit of advice is not always the best piece of advice, and in this case, it is probably the worst. You could of course always join the military and serve your country, but doing so because you’re trying to figure out how to get over a past relationship isn’t the best reason for doing so. Go down the list again. There is almost certainly something here that you can put to good use.

Dispelling 5 Myths about the Only Child Syndrome

The only child syndrome is a theory. It is a longstanding theory, but it is one that has largely been discredited. It is also a theory that many, and perhaps most people, including some scholars on the subject, seem to insist on clinging to. The syndrome defines how, as an only child, you are expected to act or behave as a child, as an adolescent, and as an adult.

Overall, the syndrome takes a rather negative look at a child with brothers or sisters. While there are some things that only children supposedly excel at more than those with brothers and sisters, by and large, they are often pictured as lonely, antisocial, and spoiled rotten kids who are adept at acting out the role as the ‘Little Emperor.’

It would be fair to say that these children are better in some ways and worse in other ways than those who have brothers or sisters. Those things that are either better or worse that can be quantitatively measured add up to differences of 1% or so from the mean, which says that those children without a sibling aren’t all that different from other children when everything is taken into account. Looking at it another way, the good things are inclined to balance out the bad, and the advantages of being the sole child are likely to balance out against the disadvantages.

If there is an operative word when it comes to distinguishing between an only child and one that comes from a larger family, that word would be ‘tends.’ If you measure personality traits, scholastic abilities, and the ability to socialize with others, you will find that at the very most, any departure from the average cannot be summed up as a percentage or a score. The words ‘tend’ or ‘tend to’ have to be added. A siblingless child who is raised on a farm may ‘tend to’ be more lonely than one who is raised on a farm but has brothers or sisters, but by the time that child has started going to school, the ‘tends to’ more often than not disappears.

What then are some of the stereotypes that make up the so-called only child syndromes? Is there some truth in them, or are they largely myths?

The syndrome dates back to the final decade of the nineteenth century when a psychologist, who perhaps should have known better or gathered better data, presented some findings that indicated a number of disadvantages faced by siblingless children and how those disadvantages could haunt some of them throughout their lives. Other scholars latched on to these findings as gospel, and the stereotypes presented were not dispelled until the mid to late twentieth century. A few people still cling to them.

It must be remembered that in the late nineteenth century, America was still in many ways a rural society and families tended to be larger. After all, there was work on the farm that had to be attended to.

For nearly 100 years, the following myths about only children prevailed, at least in the minds of many:

  • They are lonely children
  • They tend to become selfish and spoiled
  • They are more likely to become maladjusted
  • They are less teachable than those with siblings
  • They tend to be a burden on society

If all of the above were true, it would certainly not be pleasant to be a siblingless child, nor would it be particularly pleasant to be around one. These assumptions are not true however, at least in the vast majority of cases, and the myths surrounding these children need to be put to rest.

Looking closely at these myths or stereotypes one at a time should convince you that the main difference between a siblingless child and one with siblings is the lack of siblings. When you first meet a stranger, there is really no way of telling if the person has brothers or sisters unless you’re provided with that information.

Myth #1They Are Lonely Children

Many people are aware of the fact that it is possible to be lonely in a crowd. It’s even possible to have friends and acquaintances and still be a lonely person. A belief that is held by many is that if you have a pet, it’s better to have two of the same kinds so each will have a playmate. That may be true of some dogs, cats, or horses, especially the latter, but it doesn’t necessarily hold true for humans. Consider how lonely it can be at times for a young boy who is not yet attending school and is living with two or three older sisters.

If anything, a child without a brother or sister is often more likely to find friends once he or she has reached school age. In addition, most siblingless children do indeed get a bit more attention from their parents than do children who live in a large family. That’s not to say their parents love them that much more, it’s just that if the parents are so inclined, they can spend more quality time with their sole child. Perhaps a child without siblings might be a bit lonelier than one who has an identical twin, but having an identical twin is not all that common and would have a tendency to skew the statistics.

Myth #2They Tend to Become Selfish and Spoiled

The siblingless child is often portrayed as being a selfish, spoiled brat – someone who is constantly being doted over by his or her parents and constantly showered with toys to prevent loneliness. There are definitely some kids who fit that mold. On the other hand, parents with siblingless children have a tendency to want more and expect more from that child. Instead of being showered with toys, a child without siblings is just as apt to be compelled to take piano lessons and finish homework on time and taught to lead a normal social life. In other words, there is a greater tendency on the part of the parents to groom their child for success. After all, it’s that child who will eventually decide on which nursing home the parents may end up in.

Myth #3They Have a Greater Tendency to Become Maladjusted

When you look at the news headlines, those who commit crimes such as school shootings are often portrayed as loners, which some translate as being only children. More than a few people who have committed heinous crimes have brothers or sisters. In all likelihood, most of them do unless statistics can prove otherwise, which they do not appear to do. In truth, a child without siblings has more tendencies to figure things out for himself or herself than a child who comes from a large family. He or she also has a tendency to become more independent while at the same time having a tighter bond with his or her parents than a child with siblings. This gets back to the point of the parents of children without brothers or sisters tending to be a bit more demanding at times and showering their child with equal amounts of love and discipline. Statistically, it appears that children without siblings are slightly less in need of the services of a psychiatrist during his or her adult life than is the case with an adult who has brothers and sisters, although the reason why isn’t all that clear.

Myth #4They Are Less Teachable than Those with Siblings Are

Just the opposite tends to be true. You still have to use the qualifier ‘tends to,’ but the only child tends to have a higher IQ and do better in school that those with siblings. There have been a number of studies in recent years that appear to bear this out. Part of the reason for this has to do with parenting, which has been touched upon. Parents have more time to devote to an only child’s education and learning process, and they also have a tendency to demand more of their only child. Most parents want their children to do well, but those with a single child seem at times to be more fearful of the possibility that their child may not be very successful in life. One recent study indicated that only children completed an average of 13.5 years of schooling as compared with 13.2 years for children with siblings. The difference is of course rather small in terms of percentages but nevertheless would seem to refute the myth that only children are less teachable. This myth may have had its roots in the fact that when America was more of an agrarian society, the oldest children would educate the younger one on how to do the chores.

Myth #5They Tend to Be a Burden on Society

This is not so much of a separate issue as it is a combination of all of the other myths. If all, or even a few of these myths were true, society would probably be better off if there were no only children around to make things more difficult. A fairly large segment of our society would be lonely, selfish, spoiled rotten, maladjusted, and poorly educated. Things don’t seem to have worked out that way.

What Only Children Are Really Like

Bearing in mind that there are no overwhelmingly great differences between only children and those with siblings as they grow into adulthood, there are a few tendencies that, while not terribly dramatic, still are likely to destroy most the stereotypes long held about siblingless children:

Only children, as they enter adulthood, tend to feel a greater responsibility towards their parents and in fact tend to know their parents better than those coming from larger families.

They likely prefer family and a few close friends as opposed to making acquaintances with larger numbers of people or joining groups or clubs for companionship. They are often less sensitive or susceptible to peer pressure.

They can be a bit more self-critical and are also more sensitive to parental disapproval than those with siblings.
They seem to be less comfortable with change and more comfortable in stable and predictable situations, especially where their parents and extended family are involved. They may have a tendency to be more uncomfortable with conflict, since they have not had to compete with siblings for attention, which often sows the seeds of conflict.

They tend to be more ambitious, usually as a result of the parenting they have received. They will sometimes likely stand up better under both academic and athletic pressures.

They often grow up to be more possessive, as they have not had the same experience with sharing as those in larger families; they are more possessive with both their belongings and their time.

There are differences, but it must be emphasized one more time that these differences are tendencies more than hard-and-fast behavioral rules. The fact that there are differences does not reinforce the only child syndrome however. The facts prove otherwise.