Sometimes, online dating gets a bad rap. When it first came on the scene in the early 2000s, there was a stigma surrounding it. The attitude was somewhat like, “What kind of loser would have to go online to find a date?”
Luckily, in the years since, online dating and dating apps have become wildly popular. In fact, it seems like almost everyone who is single is turning to it to get dates and find their soulmates.
However, even though online dating is popular, that doesn’t mean the stigma is gone. And not just the stigma, but fear as well.
Fear of what? Well, let’s face it – there are a lot of creeps out there. And some of these creeps are on the online dating sites and dating apps. And even the normal people can be flakes too. So, of course, it normal and natural to have some reservations when it comes to online dating.
However, as an online dating coach in Dayton who has even been through it myself, I can tell you that there are definite advantages to it. So, let’s take a look at why I think you should try online dating. Or even if you have, why you should give it another try.
1. It’s convenient.
Think about it. To meet someone the old-fashioned way, you actually have to leave the house. But with online dating, you can sit in your jammies with a glass of wine and go through the profiles of prospective dates.
I don’t mean to imply that the old-fashioned way isn’t great, but it’s a lot less convenient. Maybe you’ll have a friend who sets you up on a blind date, but do your taste and hers really match up? Probably not. And if not, then you have to be lucky enough to happen to run into Mr. or Ms. Right on your own when you are out and about. It could be a bar, the grocery store, or Kings Island. It could happen. But the chances of it happening aren’t as good as you getting a date from online dating.
2. You can narrow your dating pool down.
Think about it – isn’t it better to have endless options of who to date rather than limiting yourself to dumb luck? As an online dating coach in Dayton, I know first hand how awesome it is to be able to search for someone with all your requirements.
Many dating sites will allow you to look for people based on all sorts of requirements, including income, age, height, occupation, lifestyle, and much more. I always suggest that my clients write down their “must haves” and “deal breakers” so we can narrow in on people with whom they’ll actually be compatible with.
3. You can screen people before you meet them.
You can tell a lot about a person from their profile. For example, I can’t tell you how many people star their profile with, “I really hate talking about myself, so if you want to know something, just ask.”
First of all, why do they hate talking about themselves so much? Don’t they like who they are? And second of all, maybe they’re just too lazy to put any effort into writing a good profile that might attract a prospective partner. And if they’re too lazy to do THAT, then think about how lazy they will be if you get into a relationship with them!
4. You will have good stories to tell.
I know so many people who have a bad attitude about online dating. But as a dating coach, I have to tell you that you just have to have fun with it! I always try to screen my clients’ dates as best as I can, but once in a while, you might just get someone who isn’t who they say they are. And then, think about all the funny stories you can tell your friends!
I realize your goal is to find a partner, and not a funny story when you are doing online dating. But when you have a sense of humor about it, then it just makes it that much more of an enjoyable experience.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to take the plunge? Contact me when you’re ready and I will help you have the best experience of your life!
Imagine this scenario. You’re a woman, and you have a long-time crush on a man you work with. After some flirting, he finally asks you out on a date. You get all gussied up, putting on your best outfit and hope for the best. He picks you up, brings you to a fun restaurant, and you both seem to be having a great time.
Then the check comes.
What now? Do you make a lame attempt at reaching for it? And if you do, would it insult him? But if you don’t, will he think you’re a gold digger?
And now let’s add in another twist. Since you work together, you know that you are ranked higher than him, and thus, make more money.
Is it more appropriate for the person with more money to pay… regardless of gender?
Fifty years ago, no one would even be asking these questions. It was ALWAYS the man who pays. But this is 2018. And as a dating coach in Dayton, Ohio, I get this question a lot. So, I thought I would take the time to talk about it in order to clear the air.
Well, let me say, there is no easy answer. Sorry to burst your bubble!
It would be simple for me to say that the man should pay. That would make it nice and definitive, and it would end the debate right there.
And I will start off by saying, that in my opinion, I do think the man should pay at least for the first date – preferably for the first several dates.
Why? Well, let me tell you.
It’s because I believe chivalry is dying… if not already dead. Now don’t get me wrong. I label myself as a feminist. But most people have the wrong idea of a feminist. Not all of us are bra-burning, man-haters. I am a feminist because I believe that men and women are fundamentally equal and should be treated as such.
However, with that said, I don’t think that man is being degrading to a woman if he pays for a date. Or opens doors for her. Or pulls out her chair. I just think that’s plain old-fashioned respect. Heck, I open doors for strangers, so does that make me someone who thinks less of that person that I held the door for? Ummm… no.
And just to add a side note here: when I go out on a date, I always offer to pay my half. I don’t think I’ve ever had a man take me up on the offer, but at least he knows that I don’t expect him to pay.
Anyway, even though I think the man should pay for the first few dates, there are some other things to be discussed that could complicate the situation.
For example, what if the woman asked the man out? Is he still required to pay? In my opinion, no. If I asked a man out on a date, I would fully expect to pay. However, I would expect him to at least offer to pay - or at least split the check.
I know it’s not fair, and perhaps a bit of a double standard. But I think if a man doesn’t even TRY to pay, then maybe he’s not a quality man. In fact, it could be a huge red flag that he’s a taker and not a giver.
I think whoever asks whom out should at least be prepared to pay for both.
So, back to the question of who pays if the woman makes more money. I stand by what I just said. Because some men have fragile egos, and if you give the impression that you don’t think he can afford to take you on a date, then to him, it might be like you asking him to turn in his “man card.”
There you have it. There is no hard-and-fast rule for who should pay on a date, but I think this is a good guideline to follow. Because as a dating coach, I have see this advice work for most people.
If you need any guidance in your dating life, don’t hesitate to contact me!
Recently, I went through a health challenge, and it required me visiting several doctors to figure out what was going on. Luckily, it wasn’t anything serious, but it started out so insignificantly — just a small rash on the side of my face. No biggie, right? Well, not if it stayed that way. But not only was it as itchy as you-know-what, over the course of the next 4-5 days, it spread over my entire face and was so insanely itchy that I wanted to claw my face off.
First, I went to the urgent care doctor just to get relief from the itching (it was a Saturday so my doctor wasn’t available). He did me no good. Then I went to one dermatologist after another. They were no help either. They just kept throwing steroid creams at me, injecting me with steroids, and giving me steroid pills. I also got antibiotics and some supposed anti-itch pills that never worked.
They kept saying it was an allergy, but I knew it was something more. Nothing was working. And not only did the itchiness get worse, it eventually spread to my entire body. It was “Itchy Hell.”
Finally, I went to an alternative doctor who took one look at me and knew what was happening. She did a blood test to confirm it too. Like I said, it was nothing serious (a systemic candida overgrowth, as gross as that sounds), but it required me to go on a no-sugar diet for at least three weeks, in addition to some medication.
When I heard the words “no-sugar diet for at least 3 weeks,” I thought, “Not a chance!” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a huge sugar addict or anything. I don’t really have any junk food in my house (or else I’d eat it), so it’s not like I would miss my nightly bowl of ice cream. But it was just the thought of limiting my options. And honestly, I really like pasta, bread, and wine (among other things like hot fudge sundaes...need I go on!).
And it wasn’t just the no-sugar. No sugar also means no carbohydrates, because they ultimately turn into sugar. No natural sugar, no ketchup, no tomatoes...nothing that even remotely had ANY sugar or carbs in it. Why? Because sugar is food for candida. It feeds it and makes it grow, so I had to starve it. Gross, I know.
So why am I telling you this? Because before I heard, “You have to go on a no-sugar diet for 3 weeks,” I never would have thought I was capable of it. I’ve tried the Atkins diet before, but I was never too strict about it — and I never lasted longer than 2 weeks. So I thought there was no chance I could ever go no-sugar that long.
But then I thought, “What choice do you have, Carol? Do you want to be miserably itchy for the rest of your life!” Of course I didn’t. So I did it. And today is the 3 week mark, actually. I’m not going to lie — I had an occasional M&M in the last week. But overall, I’d say I was 95 percent sugar-free in the last 3 weeks.
This whole dramatic scenario got me thinking a lot about my habits. Not that I don’t usually think about things like that, but I really am a creature of habit. I guess most people are. And I think most of us have some bad habits (or not-so-bad habits) that we want to change.
And the habit doesn’t have to be a destructive one like smoking, drinking, or drugs. I have plenty of habits that I would love to change. So, I’ve been working on some.
Here is the list of things that I have been relatively successful in changing lately: (1) making healthy breakfasts using healthy cookware from my kids instead of throwing sugary cereal their way, (2) being more active by going for walks around the neighborhood, (3) cutting back on the cocktails when hanging out with friend (the no-sugar diet helped with that), and (4) trying to keep up with my laundry and housework a little better than normal.
Are these changes easy? No. But you know what? They’re not nearly as difficult as I thought they would be! I can’t say that I have loved the no-sugar diet and that it wasn’t challenging mentally (and forced me to be creative with my eating habits), but I didn’t really suffer. It wasn’t that big of a deal.
And do I love walking around the neighborhood? Not really. But I don’t hate it either. I feel better knowing that I am moving my body and getting a little bit exercise. I’ll never be a marathon runner, but hopefully I won’t turn into a couch potato either.
And is it easy to make healthier meals for my kids and do more housework? No. But my kids really appreciate my efforts! I know, I know, I should have them make their own lunches and do their own laundry. I’m still working on that one.
The point of all this is that we CAN change, even when we think we can’t. I was forced into a no-sugar diet out of the need to get my health back. But a positive side effect of the diet is that I have lost some weight (yay!). I might even stay on it for a while. Go figure.
Sometimes we choose change, and sometime it forces its ugly head into our lives and chooses us. It’s never easy — change never is. But, you are stronger than you think you are. If I can do it, you can do it. So, what do you want to change? And do you want it BADLY enough to actually do it? Only you can answer that question.
So your partner isn’t speaking to you. And you think that he/she is being absolutely insane. How to deal? Should you just ignore it and hope they will change, or should you end the relationship? Or something in between?
We’ve all been there. The times when you feel like your significant other has lost their marbles. But when you’re in the midst of it, you feel alone. But you are not. Here are some tips for how to communicate with your partner when you’re convinced they are a crazy person:
Before you go jumping to conclusions that your partner is, in fact, wrong…do a reality check. Is he/she really wrong? And are you 100% sure that you are really right? Many times, there is not an objective right or wrong. Instead, reality is subjective. What you think of as the truth may not be the truth. But what he/she thinks of as the truth might also not be the truth. Why? Because many times there is no ONE truth.
The best thing to do in this scenario is to subscribe to this life philosophy: perception is reality. And while you might disagree with your parnter’s outlook on the world sometimes, it doesn’t necessarily make him/her wrong. And it doesn’t make you wrong either. Love your significant other enough to agree to disagree. You are not the same person, so allow yourselves to be on different pages sometimes.
This one stems directly from the first scenario - they go hand-in-hand. If you think they’re wrong, then of course they don’t make sense! If they made sense, then you wouldn’t be disagreeing, right?
What you should do here is to sit down and try to do two things: (1) good communication skills, and (2) empathy.
our partner probably thinks they are making sense. So ask them probing questions like, “can you explain this more to me so I can understand you better?” Ask them to clarify. They might not think they need to, but you need to encourage them to do so. When someone sends a message, they automatically think it’s clear and that the other person should obviously understand them. But nope. Doesn’t always happen!
Empathy is also crucial. It’s actually trying to see the other person’s point of view – even if you don’t agree with them. If perception is reality, then their perception is their reality. So seek understanding. Tell them you are trying to see the situation through their eyes. That will do wonders from the relationship.
This is pretty common. It’s natural to think our partner is crazy when they’re overly emotional – and unreasonable! But when you are fighting with them, you naturally disagree. That’s why you’re fighting, right?
If emotions are running too high, take a break. Go to a different room, or take a drive. Both of you need to cool off. There is something that literally happens in a human’s brain when their emotions are running high. The logical part of the brain turns off, for all intents and purposes. And you can’t solve problems when this happens! Both people need to be calm, logical, and rational. Once they (or both of you) return to normal, then you can resume talking and trying to come up with reasonable mutual solutions.
Bottom line: None of us are immune to feeling like our partner is crazy – at least some times. But just because we feel that way, it doesn’t make it true. We all get emotional and unreasonable at times. It’s just part of life! And it’s inevitable in relationships too. But if you practice these tips, you’ll find that eventually, your partner will seem a lot more sane!
The psychology behind money is interesting. We have all heard messages from our parents and society about money - and we still do. Maybe your parents told you things like "money doesn't grow on trees" or "what do you think I'm made of - money?" or "you have to work hard for money because it's hard to come by." On the contrary, maybe your parents were spenders - they never missed an opportunity to buy the latest and greatest stuff ... and then maybe went into debt as a result. Regardless of how you grew up, we all got messages about money.
I tend to be "cheap." In other words, you won't find me spending lavishly on many things. And I definitely am not an impulse buyer. But I do have my weaknesses for some things, as we all do. I don't know exactly how I got to be "cheap," but I know that I got messages about the importance of saving money while I was growing up. So I find myself struggling sometimes by trying to figure out when and where I should splurge - or save.
Here is a list of some things that people either spend money on - or avoid spending money on. Many of them on this list are ones that I struggle with as well. So I'm going to give you some insight as to what I think about spending money on these things.
1. A new car
I am the kind of person who drives my cars until they die. And even then, it's difficult for me to shell out the money for a new car. I only do it when it becomes a necessity, and then I do thorough research before I make a commitment to buy one. But many people go through cars like they're going out of style. But then you always have a car payment. So which is better? Having the best-looking, newest car all the time? Or going a few years throwing your would-be car payment into savings? I guess, once again, the answer to that in an individual decision.
2. The newest technological gadget
Okay, this is one area where I don't struggle. But I included it because I know a lot of people who fall into this category. They always need to be the first to have the newest phone, TV, or any other electronic gadget. While it's fun to get these things, how necessary is it? Does your old phone still work? Probably. But what you need to figure out is this: is it worth it to spend some unnecessary money just to be the "first" to have something? Maybe the answer is yes, and maybe no. Only you can answer that. Obviously, it's not my priority, but it is for some people and that's great if spending money on things like this makes them happy.
This is a biggie for me. As we all know, vacations are not cheap! I have two boys, and I really want to provide them some great childhood memories from vacations. But then I always think to myself, "If I spend this money on a vacation, that's money I could be putting toward their college education." So, I usually err on the side of saving. However, there are times when I do decide to spend some money on less expensive get-aways because they will be great memories.
4. New clothes
My sisters make fun of me because I like to shop at Goodwill. But in my opinion, why would I spend $50 or $100 on a piece of clothing when I can get one just as good for $3 or $5? I can get a nice "new" wardrobe there for $50 or less. It's just where my priorities lie. I'd rather spend my money on other things like vacations or other entertainment.
This is another huge area of expense that I am reluctant to spend my money. But I also don't want to look like I have an abandoned house because my landscaping is terrible. Plus, the neighbors would probably kick me out of the neighborhood if it got that bad! So, what I do is hire high school kids to do some basics - weeding, mulch, and planting a few flowers. It's better than nothing, and the cost is much less.
6. Remodeling your house
This is one I am currently going though. I built my house almost 15 years ago, so things like my kitchen are now outdated. And I have been considering doing some relatively pricey things like remodeling that and also re-vamping my artwork around the house. I tend to have a contemporary theme in my house, so I'm thinking of spending some money on some different types of pieces of art so I can change the look of my house.
This is my weakness, and probably where I spend most of my money. I love eating out at restaurants, going to movies, concerts, or any other fun activity. And I don't have a problem with it - that is, until I get my summary of what I spent at the end of the year when my credit card company sends it to me! Just kidding. I never have regrets about spending money on fun times!
8. Cosmetic or luxury services
Who doesn't love a good massage, facial, manicure, or pedicure? I'm sure there are probably people in the world who don't like this sort of thing, but I am not one of them. While I don't splurge on these things on a regular basis, I do treat myself sometimes because I think it's part of self-care and self-love. Plus it just feels good!
The bottom line is this: what are your priorities? Mine are different than yours, and yours is different from the next person. And that's how it should be. But I think that being a conscious spender is important. If you part with you money, at least know why you're doing it (and how much you're spending!).
When we get engaged, it’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement. You choose your wedding date, the dress, the destination, and the invitations. You even make sure you pay close attention to the details like food, cake, and music selections. But most couples overlook one crucial thing before they walk down the aisle: discussing finances.
First, you need to know your partner’s spending habits. For example, are they are spender or a saver? If you are both on the opposite ends of the spectrum, it’s easy to see how this will solve problems.
For example, my ex-husband and I had very different ways of spending money. He loved to cook gourmet meals on the weekends, and would frequently come home from the grocery store and hand me a receipt for $300 (I handled all the money). I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to throw up when saw what he spent. But then again, he was none too pleased when I wanted to buy some cool contemporary art for our home.
But even if you are the spender, you can still be unsatisfied with your partner’s money-hoarding habits. You might think he/she is stingy and isn’t living life to the fullest. It doesn’t matter what your spending habits are. But what does matter is whether you discuss it and come to a mutual agreement – hopefully to meet each other half way.
Next, you shouldn’t keep any financial secrets from your soon-to-be spouse. If you have multiple checking accounts, secret credit card bills or student loans, you really should divulge it all.
I have a friend whose husband had an online gambling problem. It took her years to figure it out, but she always wondered where all his (and their) money went. When he took out a second mortgage on their house without her permission, she finally wised up and figured out what was going on. So, needless to say, don’t do that to your partner!
You should also sit down together and create a daily budget. Some people are good at sticking to budgets, but others are not. What you really need to do here is agree on how much you will spend on things that aren’t necessities – like entertainment, travel, or savings. The budget is crucial so that you both can become conscious spenders. In other words, you don’t want either of you to go hog wild with the credit card whenever they want. You both need to be conscious of every dollar you spend.
Finally, money needs to be discussed for the long term. How much are each of you saving for retirement? How much money can you save, and how much should you invest? Should you get a financial advisor? And what about saving for your future children’s college educations? All of those questions need to be answered before you say ‘I do.’
Money problems are one of the top reasons people get divorced. However, it doesn’t have to be. So I strongly suggest you have these real, honest conversations with your significant other. Because I’m sure neither of you wants to become another divorce statistic. It’s not difficult. It just takes open communication and some team work.
*Note: Although I am the author of this article, it was originally published on Wedshock.com*
According to WPVirtuoso.com there are approximately 159,000,000 blogs on the internet today. So why not jump on the band wagon and start your own? Sounds like a great idea, right?
I know that you’re probably thinking this: “That’s ridiculous! How would I EVER stand out with that much competition? Why bother even trying...”
But guess what? If everyone thought that, then no one would have tried! And believe me, there are a lot of people who are popular bloggers and even make a significant amount of money doing it. So if you have been wanting to start you own blog but you keep talking yourself out of it, you need to keep reading. I am going to discuss 7 mental obstacles that you probably have to blogging....and why you should overcome them.
1. I’m not an expert at anything.
Expertise is a relative thing! I am an expert in communication because I have a Ph.D. in it. However, I am NOT an expert in cooking! But YOU might be! It doesn’t matter that you aren’t the chef of a fancy restaurant. If you love cooking, make gourmet meals for your family, then why not write about it? After all, that’s what happened with Julie Powell, the main character in the movie Julie & Julia. She just blogged about what she loved, and it later became a movie! So you just never know where blogging may lead.
2. I am not a good writer.
Do you really think that all of those 159,000,000 bloggers are expert writers? I think not. Most of them are just normal, everyday people who like to write. But that doesn’t mean you need a Ph.D. in writing to start a blog. There are a lot of good sources for improving your writing, such as GrammarBook.com. This is not to say that you should be sloppy because that will not do any good for your reputation. But it does mean that you should at least proofread your blog entries, which is not a big deal. You might even want to have a friend or family member read it for you too, so you can get a second opinion about your writing. Then you can make any necessary changes before you publish each entry.
3. All the other bloggers are better than me.
Really? There is no possible way that is true. There are plenty of bloggers out there who can barely write. Trust me, I’ve read them. I’m sure all of those 159,000,000 bloggers are NOT better than you. You have a lot to say! You have passion! Don’t let self-doubt stand in the way of you getting started on writing. Just get started.
4. I’ll never be able to write for the popular sites.
That’s what I thought too! It was less than 2 years ago that I even started my own blog. And then only one year later, I was writing for the Huffington Post! You might wonder how that happened. Well, I just started applying to write for some popular motivational websites. And luckily, my articles were popular enough and started being shared on social media hundreds of thousands of times. So then I contacted The Huffington Post and asked if I could write for them too. They said yes...and the rest is history. If I can do it, you can too!
5. I have no idea how to start a website because I’m a technological idiot.
I am the biggest technological idiot you will ever meet! And if I can figure it out, you can. Websites such as Weebly.com or Wix.com are very user-friendly. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but once I did, it was so easy to use. All you have to do is buy your domain name, create a website, and publish your first blog. If you are still nervous about whether or not you can do it, there are plenty of cost-efficient website designers who can help you.
6. I can’t make any money doing it, so why bother?
That is definitely NOT true! There are plenty of people out there who make a lot of money blogging. Click here to see a list of the top 10 richest bloggers in the world and you will see what I’m talking about. But of course, when you publish your first blog, no one will be reading. That’s why some of the richest bloggers started off doing guest posts on other websites. Once they made their mark, the readers wanted to keep following them. Then they built a mailing list so they could keep “talking” to their audience on a regular basis. You can do that, too. And eventually, once you create a trustworthy relationship with your audience, they will buy any products or services that you want to sell.
7. My family and friends thinks it’s a waste of time.
We’ve all heard of the “starving artist” and the “starving writer.” Your parents are probably saying, “That will never make you any money!” They only say that because they don’t know how the world of blogging works. We are all skeptical of the things we don’t know - it’s natural. But don’t let their doubts stop you. After all, it’s YOUR life! Do what makes YOU happy!
I hope I have showed you that the negative thoughts you have about blogging are nothing but mental obstacles. You can overcome them, because most of them are not even valid. There are many resources you can turn to start a blog online. So don’t give up! Remove those mental blocks and get started writing NOW!
This Is What REAL Love Looks Like
Love. It makes the world go ‘round, right? Well, at least that’s the how the saying goes. But is it true? It should be, but so many people confuse love with things like jealousy or possessiveness. True love isn’t either of those things. But these 17 things are. So here are the lessons that real love teaches us:
1. Love is unconditional.
The word ‘unconditional’ means that there are no expectations or limitations set. To love unconditionally is a difficult thing, and most humans aren’t good at that. But true love really does love without trying to change the other person.
2. Love means putting other people’s needs equal to – or before – your own.
While people may be inherently selfish for survival purposes, this does not serve us well in relationships. If you don’t put other people’s needs at least equal to your own, they will grow resentful. Real love truly, genuinely cares about other people’s happiness and will go to great lengths to make people feel valued.
3. Love is the highest vibration emotion that there is.
Science has proven that emotions like love and fear have very different vibrations. They can actually measure them. Love vibrates very fast, whereas fear-based emotions (think jealousy, possessiveness, hatred, greed, etc.) vibrate very slowly. When you love completely and unconditionally, there is no fear involved. The vibrations of love make you feel good at all times.
4. Love is focusing on quality, not quantity.
Love focuses on the quality of your relationship, not its longevity. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “It’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all?” Just because your relationship lasts a long time doesn’t mean that you have true love. Real love can be very brief. Therefore, quality and quantity of love are not the same things.
5. Love requires attention.
Love doesn’t ignore. It doesn’t look the other way. It wants to be present and be together. When people are in love, sometimes they think that they don’t have to “do any more work.” But real love actually enjoys giving attention to another person. It feels good, and doesn’t see giving attention to another person as a chore.
6. Love understands and accepts differences.
Let’s face it. We’re all different. Even identical twins aren’t exactly the same. They have different experiences and outlooks about the world. Real love doesn’t make other people wrong for being different. When people truly love another person, they accept their differences.
7. Love varies in how it is expressed and accepted.
What makes us “feel loved” varies. In the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, he explains the different ways people give and receive love: (1) Words (2) Acts of Service, (3) Giving Gifts, (4) Spending Time Together, and (5) Touch. It’s important to discover other people’s love language so you can understand each other and give love in a way that the other person recognizes it.
8. Love makes you feel good, not bad.
Many people confuse being in a relationship with love. Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean there is true love present. If there is jealousy, possessiveness, constant fighting, abuse (verbal, emotional, or physical), that is not love. Refer back to #6. Those are fear-based emotions and actions.
9. Love has empathy.
Empathy is the ability to put yourself into another person’s shoes and see a situation from his/her point of view. Love has deep empathy. “When you hurt, I hurt.” People who truly love one another don’t want to hurt them. They want them to feel good. They care about their feelings and try everything they can to make them feel valued and worthy.
10. Love means letting go of expectations.
Sure, we all want people to behave the way we want them to. We want them to be more affectionate. Or more outgoing. Or smarter. Or more ambitious. All of these things are expectations. Expectations are just your requirements for “acceptability” of loving someone. But true love has no expectations. It simply loves “as is.”
11. Love doesn’t play the victim role or blame others.
Love doesn’t think others are “out to get them.” Love doesn’t think their loved ones are wrong. Love works together. It takes responsibility. It forgives and allows other people’s actions to be their journey. Love doesn’t take things personally.
12. Love includes letting go.
Love doesn’t equal possession. Just as the saying goes, “If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, it’s yours. If it doesn’t, then it never was.” There is truth to that. Love allows people their freedom. It doesn’t hold tightly and crush their wings in attempt to keep them. True love doesn’t want to possess. It is willing to set you free if you want to be.
13. Love doesn’t require you to continue a relationship.
You may love someone very much. But you may not be compatible with them. Or they may drive you crazy with their continued disregard for your feelings. You can still love them, but that doesn’t mean you have to be with them. Love doesn’t mean that you have to stay, and stay, and stay. You can leave the relationship and love them anyway.
14. Love has no room for jealousy.
Like possession, jealousy doesn’t equal love. We think that if we’re not jealous of our loved ones that it means that we don’t love them. True love has confidence in the quality of the relationship. It knows that the other person is happy and content coming back to you, and only you.
15. Love is the absence of fear.
You can put all emotions on a continuum. On one end, you have love. Then appreciation. After that, it’s joy, happiness, contentment, and satisfaction. On the opposite end of the continuum of love is fear. Other fear-based emotions include, hatred, insecurity, jealousy, or greed.
16. Love is not needing and wanting.
One of the things we try to teach kids is that there is a clear difference between a want and a need. Needing someone is a feeling based in fear. You fear that you can’t live without them, so you need them. And remember, fear is the opposite of love. Wanting someone in your life gives them the freedom to leave, but still shows them you love them.
17. Love is an action, not just a feeling.
Humans tend to be addicted to intense emotion – especially when it feels good. So when we’re in love, we want to feel that way forever. But guess what? That higher than “Cloud 9” feeling goes away after a while. That doesn’t mean you don’t love the other person anymore, it just means that it’s not new anymore. So that’s where the action needs to kick in. Show the person you love them. Don’t just assume they know.
18. Love means you are a team and can be different than the rest of the world.
When you are truly in love, then it is you against the world. In other words, if you want to have your wedding on a beach in exotic location, then you go for it! Both people are on board and support each other's hopes and dreams - even if they are different.
Remember, love is happiness, appreciation, and feeling good. Anything other than that is not love. If we all loved one another as ourselves, the world would be a better place!
Relationships can be difficult, but they don’t have to be. One of the things that makes them difficult is when people worry obsessively over things they probably shouldn’t. What people worry about varies from person to person, but here are 8 common things that many people stress about that can ruin relationships. Think about it. Do any of these sound like you?
Do you worry that …
1. Your partner might cheat.
Everyone wants to be their partner’s “one and only,” right? Somewhere, deep inside (or not so deep), we think that once we’re in our relationship, our boyfriend or girlfriend won’t even notice anyone else but us. But let’s think about this for a minute. No one becomes blind to attractive people in the world just because they start dating someone. It’s pretty normal, actually. But not everyone acts on their attraction. What you need to do is work on your self-esteem so that you think that if your partner wanted to cheat on you then they don’t appreciate a quality person like yourself, and so you wouldn’t want them anyway.
2. Your partner might break up with you.
Again, as I said in the first point, fearing that your boyfriend or girlfriend might dump you is rooted in low self-esteem. Plus, it’s just wasted negative energy. If you feel good about yourself, then you wouldn’t worry about them breaking up with you. You should think that you’re areal catch. Because you are! Have the attitude that your partner is lucky to have you. That way, you won’t put negative emotions out there and ruin the relationship.
3. You’re not good enough for the partner.
Okay, you are going to start seeing a theme here. Self-esteem, self-esteem, self-esteem! It all comes down to having good self-esteem. If you think you’re not good enough for your partner, why do you think this? Do you think you’re too fat? Too short? Too uneducated? Too poor? Too shy? Too unattractive? And the list goes on. Well, get over it! Realize that you are good enough for your partner. I’ve heard many people say that the most attractive quality in a person is self-confidence. So, if a super model is unsure of herself, many men would find her “less attractive.” Conversely, if an average, overweight person exudes self-love and confidence, that is much more attractive.
4. Your partner is not good enough for you.
Or, maybe you have too much self-esteem. Okay, I think that’s an oxymoron. But, there is a fine line between having self-confidence and being egotistical. Actually, people who come across as egotistical don’t really love themselves. They just want to appear like they do, which is why they put so much effort into having other people focus on them. However, with that said, you need to accept and love your partner for who they are. Everyone is perfect in his or her own way. But that doesn’t mean that everyone is perfect for you. If you don’t feel like the two of you are a good match, then move on! A happy relationship comes from compatibility and equality.
5. Your partner’s friends and family don’t like you.
Hello? Self-esteem again? Why wouldn’t they like you? Are you a horrible person? Probably not! If they don’t like you, then one of three things are going on: (1) you really are a horrible person (probably not!), (2) they are a bad judge of character (maybe), or (3) they are just very, very different people than you are (think extrovert vs. introvert, or overly intellectual vs. not so much). And honestly, #3 is probably the most likely. If #3 is true, it’s really no big deal. So what if you’re different? If everyone was the same, then the world would be a very boring place.
6. Your partner prefers to be with other people over you.
I’m not going to say it again. You know what I’m thinking (yep, self-esteem issues). Okay, so even if your partner does spend a lot of time with his or her friends, family, or at work, does that mean that they don’t love you? Absolutely not! Everyone is different! An extrovert and an introvert have a very difficult time understanding each other. Extroverts love and need to spend time with a lot of people. Often. Introverts don’t need that. So it can seem like a personal rejection to the introvert, but it’s not. It’s just that you are different. Spending time with other people does not equal rejection!
7. Your partner isn’t attracted to you anymore.
This one could be based in self-esteem, or it could be that a lot of time has gone by and your partner just doesn’t seem to be as sexually responsive to you as he or she did in the beginning of the relationship. Actually, that’s not an uncommon occurrence. But don’t fret. If you have gained weight or lost sight of taking care of yourself, then do something about it! But if it’s just a natural progression through different phases of a relationship, then don’t worry about it. You will settle into a natural rhythm. If you don’t, then talk about it and meet in the middle. And if that doesn’t work for you, then move on!
8. You don’t have enough sex (or too much).
As I said in #7, maybe it’s just a relationship phase. Or maybe one partner has physically changed a lot. Or maybe one partner seems like a nymphomaniac compared to the other’s sex drive. Either way, this situation calls for having an open, honest conversation. Communication is key to a good, healthy relationship. So if your sex life isn’t what you want it to be, then just talk to each other. Sharing perspectives helps clear the air and helps you both understand each other.
To sum it all up, remember two things. First, love yourself! You are beautiful (or handsome) and awesome! Don’t let any worrying mess up your relationship. If you don’t love yourself, then work on your self-esteem. It can be done! And second, worrying is like praying for something you don’t want to happen. Negative energy aimed toward your partner isn’t productive. It just adds to the problem. So love yourself, embrace the positive, and be happy.
Soul Mates ... Fact or Fiction?
Although most of my writing is about motivation, success, and relationships, I am also very interested in spirituality. And brace yourself for this one: my Mom is an ex-Nun. Yes, you heard that correctly! She was a Catholic Nun for five years before she met my Dad (and no, he wasn’t a priest!). The reason I tell you this is because I witnessed my Mom’s spiritual journey growing up. And what a journey it was. She was truly on a spiritual quest, and it was fascinating. So much so that I even wrote my doctoral dissertation about it, which resulted in my first book We’re Not That Different: Two Sisters’ Religious & Spiritual Journeys.
Because my mom exposed me to all different kinds of spiritual beliefs, I did a lot of reading on the topic. One of the most fascinating things that I love to read about is soul mates and spiritual connections between lovers. The first book I read on the subject was You Were Born Again to be Together, by Dick Sutphen. Dick has since become a good friend of mine (long story), but his books on the topic of soulmates are all fascinating, and I highly recommend them. In fact, in 2013, we wrote a book together called Radical Relationship Resource: A Guide for Repairing, Letting Go, or Moving On.
Our culture bombards us with messages about romantic love. And the term “soul mate” is thrown around a lot. But what really is a soul mate? Is it just a human term we have invented to describe love – or even lust? Or is it something deeper? On a spiritual level, do we truly have one soul who we “belong” with in this life? So many people are trying to answer this question. In fact, I know a lot of people who even consult with love psychics at Kasamba to figure it out.
From my reading, here is what I have learned about soul mates. A lot of people say that a soul mate is really just a “soul friend,” and it is not necessarily a romantic connection. Many books talk about soul groups, and that we all sort of come around together time and time again. Therefore, these soul friends can be called “soul mates.” This is not to say that we don’t have romantic connections with our soul mates – that’s definitely one dynamic that can play out. But soul mates can also appear in your life as parents, siblings, friends, children, co-workers – pretty much any role in your life. But the bottom line is that they are special to you - and you “recognize” them on a soul level.
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Many times, soul mates have karma to work out with one another. Therefore, it isn’t always a perfect relationship. The two people have come into this life to work on issues and to grow spiritually. And they have agreed to help each other in this life, which is usually decided upon before they are born.
Then we have the term “twin flame.” From what I know about the twin flame concept, it seems more like what most people think of when they think of a soul mate. Many books describe a twin flame as literally the other half of your soul. Maybe that’s where the term “my better half” comes from! But either way, a twin flame is mirror for you. It literally “is” you. Some information suggests that only highly evolved souls can actually find their twin flames and have a happy relationship with them on earth. But, others say that there are phases of twin flame relationships. These people talk about “runners” and “chasers.” In other words, sometimes one half of the twin runs from the connection because it’s just too powerful and intense for them. And when that happens, the other one chases them. This obviously leads to a unique dynamic.
I don’t have all the answers. In my experience, I think that soul mates are soul friends. And I have been lucky enough to find many of my soul friends. However, I am still struggling with the concept of a twin flame. Do I really believe that our souls are split in half and that we are looking for the one to complete us? I’m not sure. I would like to think so, because that really plays into all of our romantic fantasies. But if it’s true, I think most of us are still waiting for it to happen (unfortunately).
Well, there you have it. That’s the general idea of what I know about soul mates. What do you think? Now that you know a little bit more about the concept, do you think soul mates are fact … or fiction?
Dr. Carol Morgan &
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