Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Where's the Passion?

Sometimes long term relationships, like marriage, tend to cool down. Heck, some almost seem as if they were hit with a fire extinguisher. One day you look up and realize that there isn't that same spark as there was in the beginning. What happened?

Well, realistically life happened.

In the beginning of a relationship, in most relationships, it is as if you can't keep your hands off one another. Three times a day might not have seemed like enough. You had butterflies in the tummy. You had that stupid grin that just wouldn't seem to go away. You had that urge to just look at the other person because an hour away seemed like too much time.

In real life things like health issues, work (yes, that nasty four letter word), and other obligations start taking back over. The passion starts to die down - usually slowly. Then one day you wake up and it's at a dull roar.

What to do, what to do.

Well, here's the truth. Life continually changes us each day. Each experience we go through turns us into someone new. For instance, if you start a family and become a parent you can't afford to be a party animal - just an animal from a storybook at bedtime. You get tired. You even get to the point where you want sleep more than sex. Or even if there are no children you meet new people. You experience new things. You move to new places. Most people's lives are continually changing, so of course your relationship changes.

So, here is some advice to help re-spark.

1. Make time for one another. It's easy to say that you can't and keep going. It takes work to make it happen. Making it happens shows that you really are willing to do what you need to do to keep the relationship going long term. If you hesitate or make excuses why you can't do it, then maybe you really don't care if things are bland.

2. Communicate. Remember that not since the dawn of time has grunting actually substituted for actual communication. Also, "What do you think?" isn't an answer - it's a question. Conversations do not have to be long and drawn out. Just showing that you care enough to spend a few minutes talking to one another can make a huge difference.

3. Don't let suspicion and jealousy overcome you. If you are fearful that your spouse is seeing someone then open up about it. Don't allow them to make you feel guilty or stupid for asking. Don't accept the "When do I have time?" answer. It won't help your fears and it's also not a denial, so it won't make you feel better. Or if you see someone that is flirting or that your spouse is flirting with and it bothers you tell him. Remember discussing is not the same as yelling. If you are yelling and fighting that is not communication. It defeats the whole purpose. Communication only happens when there is a positive and helpful exchange of information.

4. Show the other person that you are thinking about them with little things. Offer a back rub or foot rub at night. Make or buy them a special treat. Create a goofy poem or card that just shows you were thinking about them. Keep it simple, but sweet. Remember not to get upset if they don't reciprocate. If you want it to go both ways you have to tell them that you want that to happen. Agree on it. You can't expect people to do things that are against their nature. Your goal should never be to change the person you are with into someone you want to be with, but to learn to love and live with the person they have become.

5. Schedule sex. I know, this isn't romantic. However, if your life has become so crazy that you are exhausted and things have become routine this might just be your answer. Some people poo poo it, but I met someone who made it work for them and they were happily married for over fifty years. She told me that after the kids were born if they hadn't scheduled it then it would never happen. After the kids were out of the house it was something during the week they looked forward to. She also said that they were the only couples in their seventies she knew that could say had a regular sex life. Her husband actually looked forward to their Tuesday night. It was the one night that they never scheduled anything else but each other.

6. Also, for married couples I strongly recommend, even if you aren't having problems, marriage encounter weekends. It's amazing the reconnection you can find during that time. It works.

There is nothing wrong with being "comfortable" in a relationship as long as you aren't unhappy. So, if you are unhappy and need that little extra something try any of the above. If nothing works you need something more professional than I can help you with on a blog.

But, I wish you all a future of love and passion!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What about Pheremones? And other magical sense.

I remember once my daughter wanting to go to a dance and be noticed. She was in high school. Like all girls she wanted to stand out in the crowd and find someone special. She had not been feeling very special. There were no boys that were particularly interested in her, and she just wanted to feel downright attractive to someone other than her parents. This is understandable.

So, I picked up a book that had some hints to bathing with some herbs and witch hazel. We put it all in the bath and that night she had at least three different boys that were interested. She never went without a boyfriend up until the day she married. (Her husband is very thankful she's going without boyfriends now.)

So, was it the herbs that brought out something special that boys found attractive, or did it just raise her confidence enough so that she carried herself better and was more noticed? Could she really have released pheromones naturally?

The answer is a big whopping "perhaps."

Today you can find companies that produce pheromone creams, lotions, and perfumes which promise to enhance your love life. But do they really work? Is it worth shelling out big bucks for a chance that you might get lucky?

Well, according to recent studies our sense of smell can actually create different moods and emotions in others. However, the human sexual pheromone is not easily identified, and science is still out on if it makes a difference in our sexual prowess.

Interesting enough, however, is that science has also determined that tears have a scent to them. As a matter of fact tears can actually reduce sexual arousal in men and lower their testosterone levels. Scientists wanted to see if gathering tears from crying women in a jar and having men smell them would bring out empathy or sympathy, but nope. Smelling the tears made them think that sex was definitely out of the question.

And although that sexual pheromone that is found in boars that make them raise their rear in expectation of satisfaction has been identified for the piggish creatures, those same pheromones do not have the same affect on human beings. As a matter of fact even after decades of study the little human pheromone has kept science guessing and has remained quite elusive.

But don't give up hope. Evidently from a study done in 2005 the olfactory glands were tested on gay men, straight men, and women via their perspiration. Sweaty t-shirts were used and the results were rather interesting. Gay men and heterosexual men both preferred the sweat smell of women. Women preferred the sweat smell of men whose DNA was far from their own, making scientists trigger the believe that women are attracted to men that could potentially father their children.

So, maybe spending the big bucks on pheromone scents won't really help you scientifically, but if they help boost your confidence that might be just as good.

It is easier than trying armpit sniffing after all.

Monday, April 15, 2013

To Tell the Truth... on dating profiles

I have helped a few of my friends to create online dating profiles. Those things can be tough! Even tougher is going through them. I mean, you can create about any type of photo with photoshop. Some guys and gals don't even bother putting up photos at all. So here are some tips from someone that has done a lot of looking around (for others.)

1. Don't put up a picture with you and another woman whom you have obviously cut out. Really bad form, guy. Makes the lady wonder if she'll be the next cut out on your dating profile.

2. Don't put up a picture of you from several hundred years ago. Everyone ages. If you are that self concious stay off the dating site and get some help. Eventually he's going to notice you lied.

3.  Avoid putting down things like, "Must be thin and smoking hot." It makes you sound like a superficial moron. Being a moron is bad enough, but being a superficial moron is probably going to keep you alone for a long time to come. It's fine to prefer someone you find attractive, but seriously? Perhaps if you just have your mind set on eye candy there is a really good reason you aren't hitched.

4. Avoid putting up several pictures of yourself holding a can of beer. Beer drinking is fine, but if every single picture you have is of yourself partying and holding out a beer you might come across as a Jeff Foxworthy character. "He might be a redneck if..."

5. Don't just take what someone else says at face value. It's great to meet someone online, but meeting them in person might change your entire perception. If they are avoiding a face to face contact and have every excuse in the world that should be a HUGE warning sign.

6. Take advantage of things such as webcams to have conversations. This way you can get a basic look at him/her before sitting down to an awkward dinner. It can also help keep you from requiring your best friend to give you a bad date rescue call.

7.  Be honest. Don't lie on your profile and then expect everyone else to be telling the truth. Come on. Double standards are not a good way to start out looking for a relationship. Honesty may sometimes be painful, but it really is the best way to go.

8. Don't try to let someone you aren't interested in down easy. It's good to be kind, but sometimes that kindness may be taken the wrong way - such as causing them to think you are really interested even though you are trying to say you aren't. You don't have to be mean, just say something simple like, "It's been very nice talking to you, but I really don't think we click. I hope you find someone that you click with soon." Don't engage further in conversation where someone can make you feel guilty either. Once you cut it off leave it off.

9. Take recent pictures of yourself alone or with your pets. If you are a pet person make sure that the other person knows that up front. A lot of people aren't interested in someone that doesn't like animals. A lot more people consider their pets more like members of the family and not "just animals." Make it part of your profile if something is important to you.

10. Use recent pictures. Don't put up a picture from a year or more ago just because you like the way it makes you look more. If you don't like the way you look work on that first before you try dating. The most important relationship you can have is with yourself. After all, you are the only one that lives with you 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

And with all that said - try speed dating! You get to meet a lot of different types of people face to face without the awkwardness of wondering what they are like in person and drawing something up inside your head that ends up being way off the mark.  It can be an even more exciting possibility for someone whose mother or friends keep ragging on them to get out and meet someone. Imagine being able to say, "I had 12 dates just last week with different people." The look on their face would be priceless!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Chilvary Test

They say chivalry is dead, but it may just be dormant. Take the chilvary test and see where you rank, or where your guy ranks. This test is easy enough that you can take it for him.  Is he a keeper or a loser? Let's find out.

So, since chivalry is obviously supposed to be dead everyone starts out with -5 points. Hopefully it goes up from there.

1. On a date do you or does he:
    a. Always pay or offer to pay? (+10)
    b. Always pays or offers to pay even on his birthday? (+15)
    c. Expects you to go dutch (-5)
    d. Never has  money to pay for anything (-20)

2. If he/you see someone being attacked you/he:
    a. Doesn't hestiate to step in. (+20)
    b. Ignores it and move on thinking it's not his/your problem. (-20)
    c. Stay out of it but call 911. (+5)
    d. Video tape it for youtube. (-5)

3. The phrase you/he correlates on how women should be treated is:
     a. "Get in the kitchen, woman, and bring me dinner and a beer." (-20)
     b. "Don't worry your pretty little head over it, honey. Let the men take care of it." (-10)
     c. "Behind every good man is an even better woman." (+10)
     d. "No woman will ever be as good as my mom." (+5)

4. If he/you had a theme song it would be most like:
    a. "The All American Hero." (+10)
    b. "She Was Asking For It." (-20)
    c. "She's a Lady." (+5)
    d. "Don't Take the Girl." (+20)

5. Sitting on a crowded subway car he/you would:
     a. Offer your/his seat to a pregnant woman or elderly woman (+20)
     b. Pretend you don't see anyone and mind your own business. (-5)
     c. Push/yell at people to give you some freaking room. (-20)
     d. Offer your/his seat to a hot chick to score. (-15)

6.  It's his/your birthday party and the girlfriend/wife is drunk, falls, and needs stitches in the ER. So,
     a. You/he asks someone to take her so you can keep partying. (-5)
     b. Stop everything to take care of her and ensure her that it's okay. She's more important than a party. (+20)
     c. Take her to the ER, but make sure she knows how pissed you are. (-10)
     d. Make her wait to go to the ER until after the party. Who cares if she scars? (-20)

7.  You are all out camping and a grizzly bear appears. He/you
      a. yell, "Every man for himself!" and run for cover never looking back. (-20)
      b. Make yourself/himself huge and tell everyone else to get in the car slowly. (+20)
      c. Lay down and play dead hoping the grizzly goes for someone else. (-10)
      d. Throw food in front of the grizzy to buy everyone time to get in the car. (+10)

8.  If you/he could have any one of these super powers, which would it be?
     a. X-ray vision to be able to see everyone naked. (-20)
     b. Powers of persuasion so everyone would do your/his bidding. (-10)
     c. Super strength to keep his family and loved ones safe. (+20)
     d. Mind reading so you/he can know what everyone is thinking. (+5)

9. You/he is out to dinner. His best friend mentions that your/his girlfriend really shouldn't have dessert, she's looks like she's had one too many already. You/he:
     a. Tell him to go to hell. Your/his girl is super fine and can have whatever she wants. (+10)
     b. Agree. You/he think(s) women should stay fit and trim to keep their man happy. (-20)
     c. Snicker, because it's funny wishing you/he had the guts to tell her that. (-10)
     d. Get up and walk out with the girl. Anyone that is that mean and disrespectful isn't anyone's friend. Let him know that if times were different you'd/he'd slug him for insulting your/his girl. (+20)

10.  The one old fashioned value that you/he most embraces is:
        a. Opening doors for women. (+15)
        b.  Expecting dinner to be ready when he comes home from work. (-10)
        c. A man rules the house - it's his kingdom. (-20)
        d. Honesty is next to Godliness. (+5)


Over 100: A keeper! You are right up there with Sir Lancelot and Casanova, baby. You have the moves and the chilvalry that others thought were dead. You are the guy that every woman wants and every man who isn't you hears about it from his wife. He secretly hates you and wants to find your flaws. We wouldn't be surprised if you own a white horse and shining armor.

 40 - 99 -  You have potential. Even though you aren't entirely chivalrous and you have faults, eh. On a scale from 1-10 you're a definite 5. Have you considered charm school? No? We aren't surprised. While you may not be Prince Charming, you certainly aren't quite the frog prince.

30 - 40 - How many relationships have you have that have failed? We think probably quite a few. Remember Stanley from "A Street Car Named Desire?" I'm sure the two of you are probably related. Thankfully you have probably dropped using the club and pulling your woman into the bedroom by her hair, but you aren't that far from your cave man ancestors. Your favorite word might be "ugh." Unfortunately you are probably still quite pleased with yourself.

Under 40. - There is no polite way to say this, so here goes, you are the reason that people think chilvary is dead. However, you put the ick in dick.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dating After a Breakup

So, one question a lot of people have is "how soon after a break up should I begin dating?" Unfortunately there is no simple answer for that. It doesn't come packaged in a nice neat mathematical equation. (Which for those that are mathematically challenged are probably doubly thankful.) However, there are some things you may want to take into consideration.

I think the most difficult thing my friends that have returned to the dating world found is the advice of "take it slow." They have somehow lost, in their time living in long term relationships, the concept of time. After a relationship breakup you need some time for yourself. You need time to grieve a bit and to get your bearings. This is especially important after living with someone for any number of years. Living alone isn't easy, but it is necessary. You regain respect for yourself and gain a lot when you are able to show you can be independent. You will make better relationship choices too. It's amazing how wonderful it is to know you can stand on your own two feet. Most pyschologists recommend a year after a divorce to start dating. Common sense says that you should, at the very least, wait until the divorce is final. Take this time to reconnect with old friends that may have slipped by while you were unhappy and going through your breakup. If you lost friends, do something where you can meet new ones. Take a class. Join the gym. Don't mope.

It's really not a good to have that feeling that you have to be in a relationship. That is a sure sign that you aren't ready for one. It's almost a given that you are willing to overlook a lot of faults in a person just so you have someone in your life. This puts you in a cycle of being miserable, adds to the possibility of depression, and adds to the possibilty of another breakup in your near future. The one thing I've noticed with my friends that start dating after a breakup or divorce is they make excuses for the guy they are dating. He makes them pay, but it's okay, he'll catch it next time. (Never happens.) He doesn't like their friends, but that's okay, they'll make time anyway. (Never happens. In this case they actually make her feel guilty for going with friends.) Other women are calling him, but he never knows who they are. Just wrong numbers or someone that got the wrong idea from a text. (Then why did he have their name in his phone with their number?) Desperation makes you believe anything in order to keep reality at bay. Desperation also means you are really not ready for a relationship.

The next thing is to consider your feelings for your ex. Do you harbor hatred? Not a good sign. Contrary to popular belief the opposite of love isn't hate - it's apathy. That hatred you are feeling extends in a lot of negative directions in your life. Not only does it show you aren't ready for a new relationship; it shows that you are still emotionally attached to your previous one. There are enough obstacles in new relationships that you really don't need to be bringin baggage from a previous one. This is another good reason to take time for yourself and truly get ready to move on in life.

Here is another thing to think about: are you attracted to the same kind of person? It didn't work the first time, so why are you following the same pattern of destruction? Sure, a lot of people like bad boys or fast girls, but is that really wise? If you are looking for happiness and know that isn't where it lies why waste your time hurting yourself over and over again? New beginnings can be wonderful. Let go of past ideas that didn't work and try something and someone totally new. Remember, you can date more than one person at a time. Dating, in spite of what some people believe, is not the same as having sex. Once you take the new person into the bedroom you've changed all the rules.

Okay, now here is the hardest one to accept. Even if your ex was a lying cheating so and so, you were part of that relationship. You stayed there. You married or lived with them on your own terms and maybe even despite warning from other people. You have to come to terms and accept your part in the responsibility of the break up. It isn't just the other person who is to blame. Until you assume your responsibility for your part you won't be able to move on and have a healthy relationship. You truly need to understand what happened in your relationship that made it break apart. Once you do that you won't have that same trouble again. You'll be free.

So, if you can look at this and say, "yep, I am so ready to find someone new" go for it! There is a big wide world waiting for you. So, good luck and happy dating!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dating Older Women

 Men in history have had it easy. There was absolutely no stigma for an older man to date a younger woman. On the contrary, he would get a wink and an elbow bump from the guys for snagging himself a little cutie. But there was a serious double standard for women in the past. An older woman dating a younger man was a travesty. There were woman in the past in the US that actually hid the age of themselves or their husband if the husband was younger to avoid being ostracized. The reasons? Simple. Older women were not as child bearing ready as younger women. However, today, not everyone is looking to procreate. Older men are more financially stable than younger men. Not necessarily true. Our job market is changing daily.

So, what reasons do younger men look to older women? Benjamin Franklin had some ideas on the reasoning, and he was a genious. He said (paraphrasing):
  1. Older women are more worldly, have more to talk about, and have seen and know a lot that will keep a man interested.
  2. Older women are kinder than younger women and take better care of you. (He also notes that even though they aren't as pretty as younger ones, etc., to which I don't necessarily agree. This day and age of makeovers and moisturizers are keeping older women on the hot list.)
  3. Older women are less likely to get pregnant. (Well, we all know what good old Ben was doing during his lifetime, so no surprise he sticks this in here.) He also noted that pregnancy could become an inconvenience.
  4. They are better and cleaner than prostitutes. (Yep, Ben has sex on his mind for certain.) Older women are more discreet when it comes to sex than younger women. Not that I've seen many women running around yelling about their sexual experiences on a regular basis, but perhaps. He also states that people could forgive an older woman for having sex with a younger man more easily than forgiving a younger woman for giving up her goods at all. My my how times have changed.
  5. Okay, now this some may find offensive, but please, remember that Ben said this and not myself. He says that even though the muscles at the top of the body on an older woman may lack some contour, that her lower extremities that matter are still ready and raring to go. A man won't be able to tell the difference on the down under.
  6. Ben says there is less sin in sexual encounters with an older  de-virginized woman than "debauching" a virgin. Wouldn't Ben be surprised today? Evidently making someone a non-virgin ruins their life.
  7. You will make a young woman miserable, but you will make an old woman happy. Evidently older women are less demanding and expect less. I'm starting to think good ole Benjamin Franklin didn't know much about women at all.
  8. Finally, Ben says that older women will be so grateful for the act. Really, Ben? This coming from a man with a 15 year old common law wife and a slew of mistresses?
In truth there are studies show pros and cons for both ways. In the long run it's not the age that matters, but the quality of the relationship and the compatibility of the people involved.

I personally have been on both ends of the spectrum. I married an older man and the marriage didn't last due to me growing in a different direction after a while. I then married a younger man and we are perfectly happy and still going strong. We communicate better.

The one thing I do agree with Benjamin Franklin on is marriage. If you find the right person then do it
... well, don't just do it... put a ring on a finger, say the words, and mean it.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Things That Can Screw Up a Relationship

Okay, let's face it. Being in a relationship doesn't mean that you are destined for "happily ever after" status. Relationships are work. With the percentage of unhappy and/or divorcing couples it might even be safe to assume that many people sabotage their relationships.

There are some of the well known and publicized ideas of how and why relationships should or do work. You know the staples: communication; trust; respect; love. Knowing how to define them and how important they aren't doesn't guarantee you a life time of happiness, however. You actually have to practice them.

There are some other things that will definitely mess up a relationship. You'd think they would be obvious, but they happen a lot, so obviously not.
  1. Don't compare your current relationship with your past relationship. The person you are with now is not the person you were with in your past. Duh. It's not fair that they either have to pay for the sins of your past nor have to live up to standards of being someone else. If the other relationship had been great it wouldn't have ended. Start fresh and learn to appreciate the person you are with - or don't and end it.
  2.  Don't assume that your partner knows what you are thinking. You have an advantage of being able to read your own thoughts, but unless you are married to a martian mind reader they probably don't. Giving hints you think are clues isn't the same as coming out and just saying what is on your mind. Just spit it out if you want them to know. Yes, it might not be what you want, but in the long run it saves on a lot of frustration.
  3. Regardless of how busy you are make time to spend with your partner. Everyone is busy, so that's really not a good excuse. If you have time to read or watch the news, read a book, or send a text you have time to give to your partner. One huge mistake people make is getting to feel too comfortable with the other person. It's not a road you want to take.
  4. Be careful who you listen to when it deals with your relationship. Not all things are as it seems. Just because your good friend seems to have an amazing relationship on the outside doesn't mean it isn't WWIII on the inside behind closed doors. If you love the person you are with, then love them. If you really want to do something be prepared to make it happen yourself. It might be nice if they bought you roses or a box of candy, but if it isn't their style buy it for yourself and tell them, nicely, that you appreciate them, but you like to be spoiled. If they can't do it then you'll do it for yourself. It's important to never expect something out of someone that they can't give. If you can't do it and you just want them to change; you are with the wrong person.
I think the best advice you can have on a relationship is that if you can't live with the person you are with just how they are and love them - you don't really have a relationship, you have a project. Projects are work and not nearly as much fun.

After all, it's the spirits that actually matter and not the body. It is our spirit that makes us happy. Our spirits that love. Our spirits that sustain us. Physical love is not nearly as long lasting as spiritual love.

Oh, and remember this - relationships can drive you crazy, but it's a fun kind of crazy!