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Positive Social Relationships Can Develop Self-Esteem in People

While earlier research had yielded inconsistent findings, the meta-analysis supports the classic and contemporary theories of the influence of self-esteem on social connections

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Social Relationships
Study found that positive Social Relationships, social support and social acceptance help shape the development of self-esteem in people over time across ages four to 76. Pixabay

Researchers have found that positive Social Relationships, support and acceptance helps shape the development of self-esteem in people.

“For the first time, we have a systematic answer to a key question in the field of self-esteem research: Whether and to what extent a person’s social relationships influence his or her self-esteem development, and vice versa, and at what ages,” said study author Michelle A. Harris from the University of Texas.

“The answer to what age groups are across the life span,” Harris said.

For the study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers analysed 52 studies involving more than 47,000 participants (54 per cent female) looking at either the effect of self-esteem on social relationships overtime or the reverse effect.

The studies, all published between 1992 and 2016, included multiple countries like 30 samples from the US, four from Switzerland, three from Germany, two each from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Greece, Russia and Sweden.

Samples ranged from early childhood to late adulthood.

The authors found that positive social relationships, social support and social acceptance help shape the development of self-esteem in people over time across ages four to 76.

Social Relationships
Researchers have found that positive Social Relationships, support and acceptance helps shape the development of self-esteem in people. Pixabay

They also found a significant effect in the reverse direction.

While earlier research had yielded inconsistent findings, the meta-analysis supports the classic and contemporary theories of the influence of self-esteem on social connections and the influence of social connections on self-esteem, said the researchers.

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The findings were the same after accounting for gender and ethnicity. (IANS)

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Re-kindle All Relationships During The Lockdown

Relationships can be mended in these tough times if you remember to keep these things in mind

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Relationships
Rejuvenate your relationship amid lockdown. Pixabay

BY PUJA GUPTA

Being in close proximity 24×7 due to restricted movement outside may create strain in relationships. Experts believe that just as the Coronavirus pandemic increased divorce rates in China and the rest of the world, it seems like India, too, could face this psychosocial crisis after months of lockdown.

Rahul Krishnan, co-founder of Bold Care, a digital men’s wellness platform, says that couples should utilise this time to rejuvenate themselves and their relationships. He suggests a few ways how couples can make the most of this period.

Find Balance In Your Relationship

The greatest friction during lockdown is when one partner or both the persons are anxious. The balance of power shifts when you’re both working from home. Remember to be patient and accommodating. To keep things pleasant in the long term, create a work schedule. During working hours, treat your partner just like you would treat your colleagues. When work hours are over, remember you’re at home, with your loved ones. Being able to distinguish your role through the day is a habit formation that goes a long way in strengthening relationships.

Make Time For Yourself

Being in constant contact with the same person for days on end can lead to frustration and irritation – for both of you! Making time for yourself to be alone is important, and it helps you to decompress and process your emotions. Take a little longer with your bath and grooming. Read a new book, re-read old favourites, or listen to a podcast. Spending time alone could be as simple as lying down, with no compulsion to make small talk.

relationships
Rahul Krishnan, says that couples should utilize this time to rejuvenate themselves and their relationships. Pixabay

Exercise is a good way to get some alone time while also keeping yourself in shape. The endorphin rush that your body experiences during exercise is a great mood booster. Stretches and floor exercises are a good way to start. If you are missing your gym sessions, try exercises that use your own body weight such as pushups, pullups, squats and planks. Household items such as bags of flour, backpacks and water bottles can substitute weights. If you have space, there are plenty of dance exercise routines that you can try.

Reconnect With Your Partner

The lockdown opens up the possibilities for greater intimacy. Take this opportunity to reconnect with your partner. Unplug social media for a while and talk to each other, and check in with your partner’s feelings and fears. Make a work-at-home schedule so that you can spend more time together.

Board games are great at bringing people together. Some people might enjoy the mental intricacies of Chess and Scrabble. Others prefer the simplicity of Ludo, Snakes & Ladders, or Carrom that still hold their appeal across generations.

Lend A Helping Hand

This is the best time to collaborate on chores around the house and help each other out. Be willing to try out new tasks to the best of your abilities, and be mindful of what needs to be completed. Even a small attempt on your part goes a long way in easing both your workloads, and doing chores together can become a productive way to spend quality time.

Living In A Big Family

Larger families in lockdown together have made it difficult for couples to find their own space. If possible, go out for a short walk together and make grocery shopping a couple’s activity. Use your phone to keep personal conversations going and try out new ways to be intimate.

Couples
Couples should effectively use the lockdown to mend their love. Pixabay

Mend Your Relationship

For couples in strained relationships, this lockdown is a good time to talk things out. Social distancing sparks an “us against the virus” instinct which is great for relationships. Focus on getting through this with your own and your partner’s mental and physical health intact. Co-existing, being kind, and extending compassion can heal rifts. If you have children, spend time doing simple activities that they enjoy. Make time to talk about their feelings and troubles and remember to give them their own space and privacy.

Staying Connected To Family

Scheduled video calls can make everyone feel connected easily. Keep in touch through messages for the rest of the time. But also remember that if you feel stressed, you’re allowed to take a break from social media. Mute notifications on apps when you need some peace and quiet, and change your status to indicate that you’re taking time off. Always keep your phone available in case of emergencies.

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Locked Down Away From Each Other

Many couples have been separated and stuck in different cities. A situation like this is always difficult and especially more stressful in these tough times. This is a good time to recreate the initial days of your relationship with intimate texts and long phone calls. Distance gives us newer perspectives and new opportunities to explore intimacy. Analyse your role in your relationships and see how you can better meet your partner’s needs and expectations, and they yours. (IANS)

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Lockdown Diaries: Tips to Keep your Virtual Dating Lives Going

OkCupid shares some simple tips for virtual lovers

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Dating
Make your online dating life amazing with some tips from online dating app OkCupid. Pixabay

Dont let the lockdown keep you from finding a meaningful relationship. With a majority of the worlds population under isolation, an increasing number of quarantined singles are dating virtually from the safety of their homes, leading this generation to rediscover the joy of courtship.

Dating app OkCupid has witnessed a 26 percent increase in conversations and a solid 12 percent increase in matches in India. A whopping 91 percent of the app’s millennial users have said that they’ll continue to date, albeit virtually. But what is virtual dating and how do you navigate it?

OkCupid shares these simple tips and tricks for you to keep your dating lives rocking while you are locked in.

Be yourself

With connections moving to longer conversations and dates over calls and video instead of in real life, make sure you’re being your real self. At the end of the day, you deserve to meet someone who will love you for who you are. Pretending to be someone you are not will only complicate your dating situation if you are really looking forward to meeting this person.

Don’t limit love to a pincode

Compatibility isn’t restricted to a geographic area. Especially during the quarantine, where a distance of a kilometre is as good as being on another continent. Experiment a little and set your distance preference to global. Match with somebody on your wavelength – not just somebody in the same neighbourhood.

Online dating
Be yourself in front of your online partner. Pixabay

Dress up for date night

Date nights are special, let your clothes reflect that. As much as you are looking forward to seeing your match at their best, the person on the other side of the screen is also expecting the same. Don’t let the quarantine keep you from the joys of putting together that perfect date outfit.

or a start, it will add to your confidence which will show in your conversations. Most importantly, it shows that you were looking forward to that (virtual) date and are willing to put in some effort. But hey, if the theme of your first date is pajamas – right on. Over 73 percent Indian millennials on OkCupid said they dress up and wear something nice for a date.

Do something fun

Think about your ideal date – watching a movie? Sharing a meal? Now translate that to the virtual world for a date to remember. Activities, like watching a movie together or setting up drink dates, could be a fun activity as it will also help you know the fun side of your match, and also their choice in entertainment. When asked what their ideal virtual date activity is, India showed a clear preference – at a 41 percent preference rate – for a meal and drinks connected by technology.

Take your time

There is no time like the present to match with somebody interesting or pick up that long-forgotten conversation. Life is a little slower than usual these days, so take this time to actually figure out your kind and look for a mental and emotional connection.

If there is one thing the quarantine has done, it is to make time for you to truly get to know somebody and make sure you’re compatible before taking it to the next level, virtually!

Virtual dating
Don’t plan any physical dates during the lockdown. Pixabay

While virtual dating is fun and exciting, please steer away from setting up any physical dates, for now. Use this time to really get to know each other- long phone calls, shared activities, the list is endless. Please stay inside for your, your match’s and everyone’s safety.

While the pandemic is our reality and we are tuned to new conversations around it all the time, try going beyond this topic. You are more than the current situation and it’s important for your match to know and recognise that. Don’t rush it. Exactly like dating in real life, take your time. Text each other and build a rapport before exchanging numbers and hopping onto video calls and virtual dates. There’s no time like the present to dial it back and relearn slow dating.

Read More: Here’s your Virtual Trip to South Africa

Don’t lose your spirit. Technical glitches or awkward silences, especially on your first date, making you lose confidence? Please don’t. These slips ups could happen even in person and may not be in your control. These moments have the potential to be fun stories for you to share with each other in the future. So keep your cool, laugh a little and stay patient.

Finally, no �ghosting’, please. You had the first experience of a virtual date with your match but you really don’t feel your heart racing or butterflies in your stomach? Be honest with your date and tell them. Either way, you never have to see them again but you might end up gaining respect and a friend. (IANS)

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Online Dating Rises Amid COVID-19 Lockdown

Quarantine effect: Online dating, virtual dates on the rise

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online dating
Virtual dating brings the focus on the quality of conversations and time spent together, making it easier to figure out whether the person you're talking to is compatible with you. Pixabay

BY SIDDHI JAIN

With the COVID-19 pandemic putting a spanner in socialising, activity on dating apps has gone up. This is a lifestyle article.

Matches on OkCupid have increased by 10 per cent worldwide since March 2020, and many of its users are allowing love to bloom online.

With conversations having increased on its platform by over 20 percent, a new form of virtual dating ushers in the era of “slow dating” for single people.

“Virtual dating brings the focus on the quality of conversations and time spent together, making it easier to figure out whether the person you’re talking to is compatible with you. When it comes to planning virtual dates, both men and women prefer sharing activities as well as drinks and dinner,” OkCupid said in a statement. Asked how they plan on dating in the time of coronavirus, around 9 on 10 Indians said they will continue to date, albeit virtually.

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online dating
With the COVID-19 pandemic putting a spanner in socialising, activity on dating apps has gone up. Pixabay

What are the most popular forms of virtual dates in India? For 33 percent men and 42 per cent women, it’s messaging and texting; for 32 per cent men and 13 per cent women, it’s video-chatting; and almost 27 per cent men and 21 per cent women are relying on good, old-fashioned phone calls. More women than men are also waiting to date till the pandemic is over, the findings said.

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When asked what their ideal virtual date activity is, India showed a clear preference for a meal and drinks, connected by technology. Forty-one percent Indian millennials chose dinner or drinks; 22 per cent prefer watching a movie or TV show together; and 19 per cent opted for online games and activities.

OkCupid also said that almost 1 in 3 individuals feels less pressure in dating virtually, and 30 per cent are just glad they can wear pyjamas to a date.

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“When people can’t meet in person they still find a way to date. In fact, there have actually been over 50 million intro messages sent across the world on OkCupid over the last month among daters connecting for the first time. With restaurants, bars, gyms, offices, and entertainment establishments around the world all temporarily closed, people are looking for human connection now more than ever before. We don’t have to go through this isolation period completely alone,” OkCupid CEO Ariel Charytan signed off. (IANS)