Friday, October 26, 2012

The Best Relationship Advice

I met my first (and late) husband when I was a mere 15 years old and he 17. He was my first and only boyfriend, and we married five years later at the tender ages of 20 and 22.

Needless to say, I did not have much experience about how relationships worked. However, what I did have was a solid upbringing with an intact family and an inherent thirst for learning. I was a sponge and, as I watched how couples interacted with each other, I carefully chose the ideas that rang true to me and I incorporated them into my own life. I have lived my entire life by a principle that my then boyfriend made in an offhand comment … and it has served me very well. 

When I was 17, while I was visiting and staying at my boyfriend’s house, his older brother by twelve years was also visiting from out of state. As we sat around the breakfast table, his brother read the newspaper. One by one, he mentioned things his wife would like and he proceeded to cut out advertisements for clothing and blurbs about things to do in the city. My boyfriend remarked that he hoped that when we were married for as long as his brother and wife that we would still be acting and thinking like they did. 

I took this remark to heart and practiced it every day of our twenty year marriage. 

You may ask how did I put this concept into practice and how YOU can implement it in your life. Here are ten suggestions. 

1. You’ve both laid down in bed after a long and exhausting day. Your partner says, “I’m thirsty.” Despite your tiredness, you jump up and get him/her something to drink.

2. You paint your partner into the landscape of your life. Consequently, wherever you go, whatever you do, he/she is always with you. For example, when you’re in a bookstore, you notice books your partner might like; you buy a special treat at the grocery store; you smile when you see something you know your partner would like and can’t wait to tell him or her and so on. 

3. You do tasks you’d rather not do because you know that it will make your partner’s life easier. 

4. You go places your partner likes without resentment because you know he/she wants to share his/her passion with you. (and, of course, your partner does the same for you) 

5. You are always on the lookout for things/ideas that you know will delight your partner.

6. If your partner is tired and taking a nap, you will make sure the house remains quiet by turning off the phone (or at least quieting the ringer) and keeping kids occupied and quiet.

7. You offer to do a task that a mate usually does but is one he/she would rather not. For example, generally men do the driving when out as a couple. You might chauffeur your mate around and let him feel like a prince. 

8. Get up early and prepare a breakfast in bed treat. 

9. Take the kids out and give a mate a day for him or herself. 

10. Encourage your partner to pursue activities he/she enjoys, even if they don’t include you. Of course, this should be balanced with family and partner time. However, when a partner goes out into the world and pursues his/her passion, renewed energy, excitement and passion is brought back to the relationship. Think of it as the pause that refreshes!

These are not difficult things to do, but you must do them with a smile while knowing that you are making life easier, less stressful and more enjoyable for your partner. It's the little things like the preceding (that might even go unacknowledged) that add up to an overall feeling of contentedness in a relationship.

Friday, October 19, 2012

10 Ways To Have an A+ Date

Dating is supposed to be fun. If you don’t see it that way, you’re most likely facing disappointment before you even begin. 

As in every endeavor in life, attitude is of paramount importance. The universe is a giant mirror and whatever you project out will be reflected back to you. If you leave your house anticipating that your date will end badly then it most certainly will. Before embarking on your date, set your intention to have fun. Additionally, slap a smile on your face and project a warm and welcoming aura. These three things alone will exponentially increase the chances of having a successful date. 

Here are 10 more tips to help you succeed. 

 1. Be on time. This is simply a show of respect. Besides, no one likes to be kept waiting, especially if it’s the first time you’re meeting someone. Even if you’re a couple of minutes late, feelings of insecurity can set in and your date might feel like he/she is being stood up. This can set the tone for the entire evening, and it’s not a relaxed one. 

2. Keep your alcohol consumption in check. Even though you might be nervous and a drink will relax you, don’t consume more than one glass of alcohol. A drunk date is not an attractive date. Additionally, alcoholic beverages are expensive, and it’s not polite to have your date expend a lot of money on you, especially if this is a just get-to-know-you type of meeting. 

3. Offer to share the cost. To follow up on point #2, it’s also polite to share the cost of the evening. The offer doesn’t have to be accepted, but it’s a nice gesture and is indicative of your attitude about carrying your fair share in a relationship. 

4. Leave your prior relationships at home. A first date is not the time and place to rehash your entire life and talk about how an ex has done you wrong or how a late spouse was a saint with whom no one can compete. There certainly shouldn’t be any crying or ranting about past relationships. 

5. Clean up for your date. Again, this is a show of respect. Take time with your grooming and dress appropriately for the venue. 

6. Inquiring minds want to know, but don’t interrogate. A date is about having a conversation, which includes questions and answers. However, you can show an interest in what someone is saying without having it sound like a police interrogation. 

7. Be flexible. Go with the flow. Try something you’ve never tasted. Participate in an activity new to you, even if there is a chance it might be awkward. This is called being a good sport, and it will be noted and appreciated. 

8. Keep your sense of humor. The ability to laugh with each other and at yourself makes for a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere. Laughter encourages good feelings about the other person. 

9. Know when to end the date. Even if it’s love at first sight, don’t drag the date out forever. Let both parties leave with an urgency to see each other again. 

10. Let your feelings be known. No one is a mind reader and no one likes being rejected. If you liked someone and want to see him/her again, leave broad enough hints without cornering your date into making an on-the-spot decision whether he/she would like to continue the relationship. Send a text or an e-mail the next day to thank your date and let him/her know that you’re open to exploring the idea of getting to know each other. 

In conclusion, the way to have an A+ first date is make the meeting fun, easy and stress-free. Come to it free of expectations and then whatever the result, it will be a positive one. 

For more tips on dating and relationships, like the Love After Loss Facebook page

For more in depth tips and thoughts on love, dating and relationships, check out the selection of relationship books I’ve written. Books on other subjects, such as coping with grief, spirituality, the power of positive thought, how to build confidence, caregiving for aging parents, fitness and weight loss, social media for entrepreneurs and teen pregnancy prevention, may be found here

If You Want To Be Terrific, You Need To Be Specific (series of 3 books) 
1. How To Heal Your Heart After A Relationship Has Ended 
2. How To Date With Success 
3. How To Enhance Your Relationship 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dating Tips: Y is for You

While participating in the dating game, as well as in many other situations in life, it’s easy to have your feelings bruised. Most often, this happens when the words and actions of others are taken more personally than intended. 

Of course, in the midst of a personal interaction, it may be difficult to avoid feeling this way. 

Over the course of a dating career, you will meet lots of new people, each with their own agenda, and it is one they are probably NOT sharing with you during the first few interactions. Consequently, you have no idea what they are really thinking. 

While you may believe a date went swimmingly and the two of you are headed for a happily ever after, your date may be just looking for a good time. 

If you ass-u-me that your date is more interested than he really is and, thus, make an innocent remark about your future together, you can scare him away. Chances are he will disappear, never to be heard from again. You are left wondering what YOU did wrong. 

The truth is that you did nothing wrong because this incident wasn’t about you. It was about your date’s inability to express himself honestly and his fear of commitment.

If you encounter this scenario, or another similar one, don’t waste your energy beating yourself up or pine for this person to return. Just say NEXT! 

If you let every rejection or slight throw you off track, you will have a difficult time with the dating scene. Simply keep in mind that everything is not about you!

The preceding is an excerpt from my book, Understanding Dating and Relationships From A to Z, which is available via Amazon. Click on the title to see more about it.  Here are the other subjects covered in the book about which you can learn.

From A to Z: Ageist, Behaved Well, Cerebral, Deceptive, Egocentric, Fear, Genital Health, Hesitant, Imaginative, Juvenile, Knight in Shining Armor, Lust, Monopolizer, Noncommittal, Optimistic, Platinum Rule, Questioner, Rebound Relationship, Stymied, Tenacious, Uncompromising, Virgin (Born Again), Wary, eXcessive, You, Zero-Tolerance.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Culture, Accents and Attraction

The word ATTRACTION is often used when referring to prospective dates. Let’s examine what it means to be attracted to a person. 

According to Webster, attraction is defined as the following. 
1. The act, process or power of attracting 
2. Personal charm 
3. The action or power of drawing forth a response; an attractive quality 
4. Something that attracts or is intended to attract people by appealing to their desires and tastes 

 Attraction, often thought of as chemistry, is really the spark that inspires you to want to find out more about a person. 

Of course, after you get past the initial draw, there has to be some substance to the person for the relationship to morph into something meaningful. 

However, humans are a very visual species and most make quick decisions (although not always accurate) about a person upon a first viewing. 

There are lots of variables that can act as a catalyst for an initial attraction, including a person’s height, hair, personality, lifestyle, sense of humor or even that sexy foreign accent that indicates a cultural heritage different than your own. 

I was just introduced to a relatively new and free online dating site that caters to those who find people from different cultures captivating. If this interests you, visit the site at says that exploring a relationship with someone who is from another country can be very attractive. Providing a sense of intrigue, it beckons you to discover your differences as well as your similarities. Be it an Aussie, Brit or an Irishman, some people just seem to be uncontrollably drawn to a foreign accent that makes them weak in the knees. 

The site features an international search engine that allows you to locate people from other countries that reside in your current city, as well as connect with those from the U.S. 

If you are looking for love, this is just one more option available to you.