Welcome to Just the Tips with Angie and Cass, a weekly relationship advice column where our two experts answer your questions! This week's theme: what makes you experts?
1. What makes you experts?
We're both college-aged people who have experience with relationships of all kinds—and that's it! We're very different people, with contrasting opinions on romance, hookups, friendships... you name it. That contrast is what makes our column unique, and makes sure you get the best answers we can provide. Plus, sometimes it's tough to ask complicated questions in person, and Yahoo Answers just doesn't cut it anymore.
Know all of our advice comes from two real people and each question is answered just before our column publishes. Although we aren't formally trained, we both have good heads on our shoulders and discuss all of the questions we receive before giving you our very best answers.
2. What do you do if you are in a relationship and you feel like you aren't getting enough attention?
Angie: This could be a simple fix! Is there something important in their life that they're prioritizing, like an upcoming exam? If there's something temporary taking up a lot of their time, you might feel like they're ignoring you when they're truly just busy. If you don't think that's the case, you can try simply asking them what's going on and explaining how you feel—your partner might not realize that you're feeling let down. Approach them in a calm, non-accusational way, and start the conversation with how you're feeling (using a lot of "I" statements will help you focus on how they are making you feel, and not how you think they're feeling.)
Cass: A general rule of thumb is that communication is key in any healthy and thriving relationship. If you feel like you aren't getting enough attention then it is important to tell your partner that you feel neglected by them. Hopefully, your partner will listen to what you're saying and the two of you can talk through how to make changes so that everyone in the relationship can feel fulfilled. In addition, if you find that your needs aren't being met when it comes to the attention you want, try checking out love languages. This is basically the idea that people feel appreciated in different ways and it is important to know what love language your partner speaks because the two of you might not feel appreciation and affection the same way. Figuring out the love language of your partner early on can help with open communication and also understanding the viewpoint of your partner when it comes to affection.
You can find a link to take the Love Languages quiz here—it's extra fun to take it with your partner.
3. Do you think that when it comes to sex men need to put out the equal amount of energy as women do?
A: "Energy" is a pretty broad word for this question. You and your partner should make sure you are on the same wavelength. Even if you're not equally enthusiastic (but both consenting!), you should both be willing to put effort into what you're doing.
C: If you're talking about "energy" as effort then yes, depending on the activity your partner (regardless of gender) should be putting in similar amounts of energy. If you're talking about "energy" as enthusiasm towards the act then YES, at all times all parties need to be putting out the same amount of energy.
A: But don't break it down TOO far. Of course, individual acts won't have the same amount of effort/energy, but broadly speaking, you should both be putting the same amount of work in. I feel like this is going to be a reoccurring theme, but OPEN COMMUNICATION is so super important! If you're unhappy with the amount of effort yourself or your partner is putting in, talk about it!
C: Like Angie said, communication is key to a happy and healthy relationship. If you're not pleased with the amount of energy that your partner is putting in maybe sit down and have a chat with them. I'm sure they'd be more than open to the conversation because no one likes to find out their partner is unsatisfied in the bedroom. Communication equals more orgasms for everyone.
4. I'm worried my boyfriend and I are on different pages in our one year relationship. We were close friends before dating and I love him... but I'm not IN love with him. I think he might be in love with me. How do I continue this relationship without being worried about breaking his heart?
C: I think this situation requires a bit of internal and external conversation. Externally, you need to talk to your boyfriend and express the concerns that you have when it comes to how both of you view the relationship. Leveling with each other will save a lot of heartache in the future. Internally, you should reflect on why you think you might not be in love with your boyfriend. Is there something you're overlooking about the relationship, do you feel like you're settling, or maybe you feel like the relationship has become too routine after a year? Depending on what you find after reflection you should think about where you see you and your boyfriend in a year. Do you see him in your future? If no, that's a deeper conversation that needs to happen sooner rather than later. Regardless, your happiness is paramount when it comes to this relationship and don't feel like you have to stay out of fear of hurting him. It doesn't help anyone to stay in a relationship if both parties aren't completely invested. That doesn't mean you necessarily have to be invested the same amount, but you should be on relatively the same page when it comes to the relationship.
A: I was in a situation very similar to this. I decided how to move forward by thinking about how I felt after I talked to him, so asking these questions might help: is being with him an overall positive? Do you usually feel better after talking to or seeing him? If yes, maintaining some kind of relationship with him, romantic or otherwise, is probably worth your time. Breaking up might not be the end of your relationship—if you think you can stay friends, that's a valid option! Ultimately, though, you're the most important person in your life, and pursuing a relationship that you're not satisfied with isn't worth the effort.
Do you have a question about relationships? Is there something you've always wanted to know but are a little embarrassed to ask? We're here to help—follow this link to send us your questions!