How To Date On Your Own Terms

The number one quality I look for in a man is my own interest in him. This really should be the top requirement in getting to know a person, going on a date, and pursuing a relationship. My interest precludes all other qualities he could possibly possess. It precludes his niceness, his academic and work qualifications, his psychological profile, his physical attractiveness. If I personally have no interest, no attention is paid. This sounds cold, and I get a lot of disapproval from both men and women. What I often ask women is why do you date men you have little to no interest in?

 

Most women will tell you that they give nice guys a chance. They date for the opportunity to meet someone. They date to get to know someone. But, later, when they get into situationships with people that are pointless, fruitless, or dissatisfying, they have no concrete understanding how they ended up in this situation. That’s obvious, you are dating people you don’t necessarily want, people who don’t truly turn you on, even people who asked you out, simply because no one else asked you out. All those reasons are ridiculous.

 

We all date for different reasons, and all reasons are valid. Some women date to hook up. That’s perfectly fine, except when they are hooking up with men who don’t actually turn them on. The next day they wonder why the whole experience was so bland. They took a willing participant, not someone they actually felt physically attracted to.

 

A lot of women want a real relationship. That’s nice, but why are you dating men who you have little to no interest in? Why are you trying to get to know a person on superficial levels (does he pay for dinner? Does he open doors? How quickly does he respond to texts?”), and ignoring important qualities you want in a relationship: the ability to connect on an emotional level, a clean history of solid long-term relationships, inner character, a spine would be nice. A man whose word is important to himself is far more valuable than a man whose words change depending on the situation.

 

Some women want to get married and start families, yet they consistently date men who dangle those things in front of their faces like a carrot on a stick. Then they wonder why they have to chase him and his carrot stick for years, and still don’t have the relationship they want.

 

A lot of my friends, both male and female are reaching middle-age, and acknowledge a history of negative dating patterns, and psychological profiles of people they dated. The vast majority of women I know are repeating patterns with narcissists, pathological liars, men with egos so bloated, they only see it when it explodes in their face. Yet, in all their experience dating they have never questioned their own tastes, their own attraction points, their own preferences, and their own psychological issues that make them chase exactly those toxic qualities they despise so much.

 

I believe that the entire culture of dating, and our belief that we must keep connecting with people, and giving the wrong people a chance simply because they chose us, is exactly why every interaction with the opposite sex turns into a situationship rather than a relationship. The entire process of traditional dating stinks. I have been criticizing the dating culture, dating media and the dating industry for years, and still can’t understand why people (both men and women) buy into it. Do you really think that a dating manual will teach you how to apply the latest texting trick successfully and lead you to everlasting peace with someone? No, it will lead you into another bogus situation. If you are a grown up, and have experienced a lifetime of bogus dating situations, repeated patterns with people who have no ability to connect to you on your level, why are you dating at all? Why? Do you have an answer to that?

 

Is dating, and the race to score a mate really that important? Is it more important to you than your dignity? Is it more important than your inner peace? Is being alone such a deep seated fear that you must keep putting yourself out there over and over again for the bleak opportunity to secure someone? Much of the dating industry is just irrational fear mongering for women, and an ego trip for men who need it. Real people don’t connect using techniques. Real people connect on a deeper level, and that never happens following a relationship blueprint.

 

When you met your closest friends, did you study a course outline? Did you take your friendships step by step, from a handshake, to drinks, to a phone call, to exchanging mindless texts, to building an actual friendship? No, you followed your instincts, hung out with people whose vibe you like, found your tribe, then opened up and allowed them time and space to open up to you too. Did you have a goal or an agenda when you met your best friend? Were you hoping from day one that it turns into a lifetime commitment of friendship? No, you weren’t that desperate, nor foolish. You allowed people whose company you enjoy to get to know you and vice versa.

 

You certainly did not attempt to build a friendship with a person you don’t like, a person whose views don’t necessarily mesh with yours, nor did you attempt to bond with the friend who demanded that you tell them where this relationship is going after three outings. You find your tribe based on your own personal interest, mutual attractiveness, and interest that is always equal.

 

Yet, when it comes to dating I see women going on dates with men they actually have no interest in at all. Some women do this because no one better has asked them out. That is just a demonstration that she is willing to settle for less than great. Some women date to possibly make a friend. Some date for the sheer numbers, they believe the more men they meet the greater their chances are in meeting someone they could actually be with. Unfortunately, most women allow the man to first decide whether he wants her, and what he actually wants from her, and they go along with it, even when she has made no such decision for herself at all. Did you actually choose him, or did you allow him to choose you? “Umm, well, he asked me out, so I went” is usually the answer. But why did you spend an hour of your valuable time, having dinner and giving a chance to a person you aren’t actually interested in?” “Because he invited me to dinner and that is a nice gesture”.  Many women are simply responding to a kind gesture, so a lot of women have absolutely no idea how to choose.

 

I really believe that women should stop dating. Period. Disconnect form the dating industry, burn all your dating books so that no one else suffers the misfortune of subscribing to the insanity that dating culture exposes us to. Just stop. Take a time out, go on a man-diet, re-connect with yourself, find yourself, take a long time to think about who do you want. You should have a clear idea of the psychological and emotional profile of the person you would like to spend time with. Then take some time to understand how to spot those qualities, how to screen for narcissism, bloated egos, superficiality and deep insecurities. Read, study people, observe. Most of all, study yourself in all these situations.

 

If you have a lifelong habit of picking out narcissists, you have to fix yourself first. List all the grandiose or false qualities you were attracted to that later turned out to be toxic. Above all things, you must know yourself, your strengths and big weaknesses if you want to become a sharp observer and screener of people.

 

Never date a man unless you actually have an interest in him. If you don’t know him, there is no reason to give a stranger a chance at all. If you know nothing about a person, rather than start dating him and following dating rules and patterns, try not dating him at all.

 

How do I date? By not dating. I absolutely hate giving time to people who I am not attracted to, who I find unattractive on a physical, personal or a social level. I make no apologies for that. Next, I am usually getting to know a lot of people at the same time. I get to know them socially through friends, I observe them in group setting, and try to determine who in my social circle respects them, and who they show respect to. Are they surrounded by drama, or are they shrouded in mystery? Mysterious people who give off no signals and deflect direct questions are red-flags to me.

 

I look for non-date opportunities to get to know a person. I organize a hike with a few people, so I can gauge the topic of our conversations. Recently, on a three hour drive to a retreat with a bunch of friends, I got to know two guys on a deeper level, simply by listening carefully to the topic of conversation on a long car ride. One was anti-choice and revealed himself to be a pro-lifer. Now I know I won’t be hooking up with that.  The other, who I was less interested in looks like he would either be a good friend with benefits, or someone to get to know better. Both of these guys asked me out on a date, and I am glad I did not participate in a traditional date with either of them. The pro-lifer admitted to hiding his political status on Tinder and from most of his dates simply because women tend to dump him up front. That means that he would have hidden that fact from me.

 

When I meet someone I am actually interested in dating, I actually ask him out myself. I know that a lot of women are not comfortable doing this, but I think that remaining passive and only dating men who ask you out, leaves you at the mercy of the dating traditions and social norms. You won’t meet a soulmate when you are choosing from what’s available to you. I know how I feel about someone, I trust my own instinct, so why remain passive and give only chances to men I know I don’t want?

 

I get asked out a lot. My job is such that I meet a ton of people, and I am grateful for that. But I ignore 99.9% of people out there because I have learned that dating traditionally, and dating only men who ask me out is a complete waste of my time. He gets to date who he wants, but I have to choose from among those who tried their chances with me. Some guys will ask you out because they truly want you, while others are just playing the numbers game and asking every woman out. They get lucky, because a lot of high quality women give chances to men simply because they asked.

 

By dating on my own terms, I have freed myself from the dating game, or the actual rat race. I refuse to waste one hour of my time drinking wine and making eye contact with a man I find unattractive. I won’t dishonor myself that way. I refuse to then make nice, and say all those appropriately polite things, and lead him on to the next date when I really didn’t enjoy the first one at all. It is disrespectful to the man, it makes a false impression, and worst of all, the dishonesty makes me feel horrible. Entertaining the possibility of someone I really am not interested in feels gross to me. I like myself too much for that.

 

There are times when I am not interested in any men at all. I make absolutely no effort to date anyone. The last place you will see my face is on a dating app. Why should any random schmuck have access to me and believe that he could have me at the click of a button? Personally, I wouldn’t place much value on men who are on Tinder either. They are playing the numbers game, they are available to all my girlfriends who screenshot their profiles then trade “look who I found on Tinder” in group chats. If everyone in the tri-state area can have access to a man, why should I?

 

Now that I am no longer in the ugly rat race of dating, I am much more relaxed and unconcerned with men in general. My inbox is full of offers I don’t even read any more. I organize events, I attend parties and I only talk to men who I have identified as interesting. I will approach someone and start a conversation, I will ask an acquaintance for an introduction, and I only give my phone number to people I actually want to talk to. I openly say no to men I don’t want to connect with, I don’t say it rudely but I make sure that I am clear. I have a card without a phone number for the persistent buggers, but I find that I no longer need to use it when I clearly state no.

 

Now, when I show up to a date, it is because I truly want to be there. The person who invited me has my genuine attention. I am not feigning interest, nor am I just going through the motions. If they don’t convince me on that one date that they are 100% available to me and only me, if they hint they may have better options, or are entertaining other women, I have no reason to be there again. I am there to enjoy myself, and I’m gone as soon as it is no longer pure joy see that person.

 

The ball is in my court. I used to go on too many dates, then wonder why the experience always made me feel gross. That was because I was trying to get to know people I really didn’t want to know. Now I only go on a few dates, but they are quality time. If a person doesn’t seem to want to connect on anything but a superficial level, I bow out long before the dating process even started. I don’t need anything superficial. Sometimes I do, most of the time I don’t.

 

I perceive not dating as a super power. It is my time to observe from a place of detachment. A lot of men and women feel like losers when they are not dating, so they quickly jump into the race only to find they actually don’t enjoy a single person. I have learned through self observation that I only feel like a loser when I am participating in dating just for the sake of dating. It feels awful to be on a date with someone I feel no interest in at all. It feels even worse to then go through the appropriate post-date motions of exchanging dull texts, making plans or politely without hurting his feelings look for a way out. I’d rather not be there in the first place.

 

I also found that my time with men is of greater quality. By only meeting with people I actually am interested in, I find that I am more present on a date. I am enjoying myself more when I am truly interested in what the other person thinks about subjects that interest me. I ask better questions when I am curious whether the person relates to me. I am much more likely to make an effort to actually know someone if I am happy to be in his presence. I feel no pressure to do anything at all. I am simply there for my own pleasure, and if he is not enjoying himself, or if I don’t meet his agenda, nothing has to happen.

 

Depending on my interest, something can happen but only when I want it to happen. That can be after a few dates, after a few weeks, or after a few months. It all depends on whether I want a hookup, a summer fling or a relationship. Everything happens on my own time, and I go no further if for any reason I feel uncomfortable.

 

No one has to invest in a relationship with me, I don’t prod people into giving me more time than they want. I relax and see what happens. If nothing is happening I don’t feel like I failed at some dating technique, I understand that there was no magic in that connection. It takes two people to create a spark. If only one of us lights up, there’s no magic. You don’t need three dates to see for yourself that there isn’t a mutual spark. If there is a spark, the whole relationship will power up right away.

 

I do date several people at the same time, or no people at all. Regardless, I am always getting to know someone on some level, whether they know it or not. By getting to know men by hanging out and not dating, I meet them with their guard down.

 

I almost started dating someone six months ago, then backed out once I saw him in a group setting. My first instinct was that this guy has issues that my eyes don’t see. So I observed. Hanging out with a bunch of friends I learned that his last ex filed a lawsuit. His previous one pressed charges against him, and his relationships tend to be with the most inappropriate people (coworkers, friend’s exes, even bosses). After a few hours of drinking, he made a fist and punched the table then turned it into a joke about the effect he has on women. I observed and I learned everything I needed to know about him that night. Would I have learned this had I actually started dating him when he asked me out? Chances are he would have been on his best behavior and after three dates I would have done something I regret, had I followed traditional dating norms.

 

I suggest that you devise your own personal way for getting to know people. Following tradition will lead you nowhere. Following your own instinct even when your instincts are wrong, will allow you to see yourself, discover your own deeper issues, your own flaws and readjust. Inside the private Goddess forum, I advise women to date less, not more. You don’t owe everyone your attention or time. Learn how to spot the characteristics of men who are toxic or just plain wrong for you up front.

 

I can now ask a few prodding questions as soon as I meet someone that allow me to see how he sees himself, how he perceives me, and what his agenda is. I don’t have to meet him for a drink to know he isn’t for me. I use my intuition and I trust it. I’d rather be wrong and lose a few people, than get into icky situations just because I ignored that first gut feeling.  The moral of the story is to make your own dating rules, become more in touch with your own self, figure out what kind of connection you want and screen for whether the person is even capable of that before you go down the dating path. I won’t date some schmuck simply because he wants me, and neither should you.

 

S

 

 

 

 

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When Love Isn’t Happening

If it’s not happening, you are giving air time to contradiction. You want love. But, that’s not good enough. Self-love gets stale, so you’d rather have someone else to love. Okay. You get into your center, align, open your chakras, and you get into the right frequency. Very cool for you. Only later you look at Facebook, click on an article about how most singletons your age are lonely, and how dissatisfied they are with their six figure, meaningful jobs, and boom! You identify with that. Or, boom, you get angry about that. Whether you identify with the sentiment or you rally against it doesn’t matter. You went boom, and crashed down to earth. There goes your love. A minute before you were in the right place. But now, you allowed the contradiction, acknowledged it as real, and as soon as you gave it airtime, crashed down to earth. Heart chakra, solar plexus, sacral and root chakras just slammed shut. What’s the point?

Let’s try this again. What is love? It is just an energy you produce all by yourself. I don’t care whether I love that one, or that one, or that one. Does it matter if one man isn’t participating in what I’m creating right now? Every human has the power to create the feeling of love. Don’t believe me? Scroll down to the video of the girl blissing in her moment, look at your dog’s face light up the second it sees you, or your own heart melt like butter when your baby calls you mom. Love happens on demand. You have the power to turn it on like a power switch. It shuts off in a split second, the minute you see or feel contradiction. Your power is in holding your energy still in exactly the place you choose to put it in, No Matter What your eyes see or your ears hear, your energy should be exactly where you want it.  This takes practice.

Let’s try this again. Get aligned, tune into the energy of love, then practice staying there no matter what. Once you feel stable, log onto Facebook, and set your intention on reading a negative article or responding to a negative post, while mindfully holding your energy in the state of love. If you feel yourself getting wobbly, slowly shift your focus back into yourself and realign with love. Again, slowly turn your attention onto something you don’t like, and see how long you can hold love in your consciousness, while that moron you dislike so much is allowed to be who he wants to be.

I recently went through a mini breakup. No biggie, but it made me cranky for a few days. I didn’t miss him, I just hated that I gave air-time to who I don’t want. I was feeling the contradiction of what I truly think I deserve. You cannot stuff your negative feelings, fighting to keep a balloon under water only makes it explode. Rather than dwell on all that went wrong, I decided to slowly direct my energy (not my crazy thoughts and whacked feelings) somewhere else. What made me feel better is a long, scenic drive, an overnight in my favorite cabin, an awesome bottle of wine, and a fireplace. I borrowed a dog because having an animal nearby always makes me happy. In the morning I went to a wolf sanctuary because I love petting wild animals. The whole weekend I was practicing shifting my energy toward something that feels better. Often an animal feels better than a human. Each time I felt bliss, I practiced holding my energy there as long as I can. It took 3 hrs to re-center and find my power again.

The power of love has nothing to do with men, nor whether you’ve had one today. They can’t make you happy. Love is a power because it is your own personal center, it is the core of who you are as a being. Love can make you happy when you learn that you alone possess it, you alone operate it, you alone choose whether you are tuned in or tuned out. Think of love energy as your magic wand. Practice using your wand by first changing your frequency, shifting how you feel in any given moment, becoming bulletproof when people hurl insults, remaining unaffected because the only thing you are receiving in their moment of anger is your own stream of love. Here is a negative condition that is happening to everyone else, it is making everyone angry, but it is not affecting you. You are tuned into something else.

Some people need drugs to tune into ecstasy.  I do it on command with my own mind. When I do, I am power, I am God.

 

S

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Love vs. Commitment vs. Codependency vs. Sex vs. Friendship vs. Romance

Love vs. Commitment vs. Codependency vs. Sex vs. Friendship vs. Romance

 

We have all been taught that true love is marriage and is all of the above concepts combined. But is it? Have you ever been in love but reluctant to commit? Have you ever had a spectacular sexual connection, but not felt romantic? Have you ever wanted to marry someone, but confused that desire with neediness or codependency?  Have you ever been in a commitment, but felt physically attracted to someone else?

 

Does the traditional concept of love even make sense? Is it possible to write love into a marriage contract? Is it possible to bring love to a halt with the help of an attorney? Do people confuse their feelings of love with feelings of ‘He Will Answer All My Prayers’, then wake up one day to realize, he makes a good father, but a horrible lover? Love isn’t simple, yet we all want it to be more accessible, more equitable, more safe, and when it leads to emotional disaster, we wonder what was wrong with our formula. It all added up in the beginning, but when the relationship ended none of the pieces added up any more.

 

Is it possible to compartmentalize our emotional desires from our physical desires from our safety and security needs from our desire to connect on a spiritual level? Experts used to claim that this is only possible for men, real men, and that women were not designed to be able to handle that kind of compartmentalization. In fact, until recently, women who were able to have sex without needing love nor the man himself, were taught to be loose, pitiable, psychologically damaged. Much has changed in the last few years. Not only are we finding that it is possible to have love without commitment without codependency without friendship without romance, we are finding out that it is absolutely necessary to experience it all separately and in various combinations because what love means to you is very different from what it means to me.

 

When two people say I love you, they are actually speaking two different languages. To me love is a blissful feeling, an open heart chakra, vulnerability, fearlessness, complete willingness to be destroyed and knowingness that I will rebuild myself stronger and even more fearless. To most humans love is a measured dose of trading emotions for evidence of a firm commitment. If you asked my last ex, love is complete control of the other so they cannot leave you. If you asked the previous ex, love is how he would feel only if he could parade me as a trophy, but since I refused, it was not true love. To me, my refusal was proof of the purity of my love.

 

One thing is for sure love is not a fairy tale, but unfortunately most women grew up raised on a strict diet of Cinderella, Snow White and Beauty and the Beast. In each story the delicate beauty submitted to her savior, and they lived happily ever after. Is it any wonder that to this day most women dream of walking down the aisle wearing a princess gown, and that many insecure men think that a real woman is the one who submits?

 

So, the traditional concept of love isn’t working. If it was, we wouldn’t be so obsessed with decoding it.  While the rise in divorce rates makes traditionalists panic, personally I think it is a positive sign. It means that people are starting to question what love truly means to them, and what types of love would best suit their needs. That isn’t always a marriage contract. Sometimes true love is the freedom to explore. And our definition of love isn’t permanently fixed. I see that with every new relationship, I redefine love and what it does for me.

 

I have never met someone whose idea of love matched mine. Sure, many claimed to be my perfect match, but we all know how to mimic feelings and parrot words the other wants to hear. They were all a wonderful match while the love lasted. As true as my love was, it has always faded. There are several exes whom I will always love, but am glad are no longer in my life. To some, that makes me a very scary woman.

 

Love ended for many reasons. Often our love was a house of cards with no mortar and no foundation. Most often it ended because I lost respect, deep insecurities, and the ugliest factor of all, control. Love is the direct opposite of control, but to many people control is the only form of love.

 

How do we unboggle love? I don’t think we are meant to. For centuries we thrived in marriage, or what I refer to as codependence. Religions instructed that marriage was the only form of love, and it worked as long as women had no other options. As soon as a few opportunities opened up we grabbed them. We grabbed birth control pills, we grabbed college and diplomas, we grabbed low-paying jobs just to afford ourselves delayed marriage, sexual experience, and an opportunity to live beyond what was deemed advisable for us. We learned that love doesn’t have to be the first boy we kissed, that love doesn’t have to be a husband, that love doesn’t have to be a shiny rock mounted onto a wedding ring, and contrary to what science claimed about the female brain, sex does not mean we will automatically attach and fall in love. Now we see that we don’t have to marry the father of our children. He can still be a good father, and we can still have a life. We learned that a man is not safety, children are not security, and no matter how much life’s meaning we are supposed to squeeze out of marriage and motherhood, it will never be meaningful enough. We want more.

 

Now what? The only thing that I can say with 100% certainty is that I don’t know what love is, and neither does any academic, moral authority, nor expert. That is why the institution of marriage has collapsed. We made love into the only thing it was never meant to me, an institution, and we killed it.

 

Very few can argue that animals have no emotions, and that animals are not capable of love. They are, only they experience it simply, more honestly and more purely. Animals can experience emotional loss and pain. Do they seek to protect themselves from love? Do they attempt to bind or chain one another? Do animals thrive in institutions or do they thrive in freedom? Maybe what they experience is more natural, certainly less contrived.

 

Humanity, with its egotism, thirst for power and control over one another, is the only entity that has succeeded in killing love. We have degraded the concept into a mere transaction. Outside of the human construct, love very much exists. We can’t even see it because we assume that anything that isn’t human cannot be conscious.

 

But look at the kind of love our moral authorities have created. Priests are raping children, politicians are masking their impotence by parading prostitutes and strippers in front of the masses, celebrities are trading two years of love for a ten carat diamond ring, CEOs are making headlines with dick pics, but it is still not okay for most of us who are skeptical to say, No, I do not believe in the institution of marriage.

 

It seems that the only way to remain sane and actually taste love is to break it down into little pieces and experience the easily digestible bits that make sense to us right now. Recently a friend got chastised by our social circle for admitting that she is in love and in a relationship with a married man. All hell broke loose, and she got called all kinds of names. No one accepted that what she felt could be true love. It was impossible they said, because he is under contract. Have you ever been in love with someone who belonged to someone else? I have, and I allowed myself to remain in love. Speaking with my friend I realized that she is happier than ever. She was very respectful of his marriage, and did not want to break it. She would not even ask him to leave his wife. She was thrilled to simply be in love with this human, despite the judgment, despite the insults, despite the fact that she understood she will one day get hurt. How is that not love?

 

I prefer to compartmentalize love. I have openly stated that I have friends with benefits. In fact, the reason I have experienced so much is because those friends empowered me to explore various types of relationships with different people. There are times when I miss romance, and I find someone to experience it with, even briefly. Currently, marriage is impossible for me to fathom, so I am leaving that out of my equation, and codependency is totally out of the question.

 

We each have to define love for ourselves, understand that as long as we are growing, our concept of love will keep evolving, always for the better. In fact, learning how to love in new and greater ways is the expansion of consciousness. With each new reincarnation of love comes a new revelation, a new cycle, a rebirth, a new enlightenment. Out of that crash of agonizing pain and suffering, comes a new version of you, always greater. Do you really want to stop this beautiful process so that you can get married?

 

Keep experiencing, keep growing, keep evolving and keep loving. Love never gets smaller unless you try to capture it.  As you keep opening yourself more fearlessly, you will experience love in its highest forms. You will crash, you will burn, and you will survive. Each time love will get bigger and bigger and bigger. Guaranteed.

 

S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

in·ti·ma·cy- Into Me I See

 

 

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Dating The Big Shot vs. Dating An Equal

This morning there was a debate in the Goddess Private Forum about what turns women on. As you can imagine, the conversation got a little racy. Some posts were funny, others explicit, some women love brains, others love brains of a different kind. These days more women appreciate youth and physical prowess, and more women discount wisdom, financial status, and dominance. Today women are acquiring higher degrees and financial stability, so while most are looking for their equal, very few women are asking for a man who possesses traits of dominance or superiority.

 

Yesterday morning I was speaking to a Goddess in training. She was complaining that there aren’t enough excellent men. She said that she would like to meet men whom she can look up to. I immediately downloaded a message for her, and asked: “If you are looking up at a man, doesn’t that logically mean that he is looking down at you?”  She was shocked, that statement blew her away. It totally resonated. Then I asked her if she had a history of dating men who treated her as if she is nothing to them? Her only answer was “Holy, f**king sh*it!”.

 

This scenario probably resonates with a lot of women, and men. A lot of my male friends complain that women are only chasing men who are no good, lack character, or possess traits of an alpha male. I think that this is how women have been raised, most of us have been taught by our fathers to look for men who are excellent providers, highly intelligent, superior. Even culture and media glorify big shots, worship hyper-successful males to the point where they can do no wrong, and respect men of supreme knowledge, leadership, and dominance. Today especially, the younger generation of males are labeled by media as lazy, passive, and are ridiculed for being in touch with their feminine side. Let’s face it, we are all raised like that.

 

I’ll be very honest, and at the risk of sounding egotistical, I have never met a man who I thought was above me. Yes, I too admired big shots, their high intelligence and dominance. But I never actually met a man who I thought was more intelligent, nor more dominant than me. I am an alpha, and let’s just leave it at that. I always ended up in relationships with men who were less smart, less confident, more insecure than me, so they all pretended to be more than they actually were. These men too were raised to believe that they should be in the lead, and that women should support their egos. So, in order to make him feel bigger, I would always try to make myself look smaller. I have a history of putting men on a pedestal, so that I can admire them from down here. I thought that once he is bigger than me, I will feel like he is a real man. Is it surprising then that our culture promotes the idea that a real man is bigger, better, stronger than a real woman?

 

My first husband was less intelligent and less educated than me. I wanted to make him feel like a real man, so when the company we both worked for went public, and all executives were being vetted for it’s IPO, he asked me to remove MBA from my resume, so that he could feel like a Vice President. I did so gladly to make him feel like a man. I loved him, and at the time I thought that is what a supporting wife should do. But looking back, I spent the entire marriage boosting his confidence, placing him in the lead, putting him in the spotlight. I remember sending press releases to financial media, to get him interviewed by CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg and Forbes. I glorified all his successes, and swept mine under the rug. It is no surprise then, that when we were going through the divorce, he openly said that I am too small for him.  You might think that I learned my lesson, but I still believed that a man should be bigger, in fact, I could only be turned on by someone who appeared to be bigger even when he was obviously faking his success. I simply admired men who perceived themselves to be great.

 

A lot of my male friends complain that women are “programmed” to look for fake signs of success, dominance and superiority. I agree with them. I was raised in two cultures that valued machismo, dominance and male superiority. A lot of my female friends and clients complain about dating brutes, narcissists, and phonies who treat them as if they are inferior, but they have never made a connection between the traits that they find attractive, and how the men who possess those traits behave and treat them.

 

It is almost impossible for a woman to be turned on by a man she does not find attractive. So when the women try to date men with milder manners, they find that “he is nice, but he can’t turn me on”. I know how that feels. I was in the same predicament for many years. I tried giving the nice guy a chance, but no matter how hard I tried to accept him, I never thought of him as Wow. But it is strange to realize that we all want to be wowed by the object of our affection. The men who I initially thought of as impressive always turned out to be putting on an act.

 

It was by sheer luck and probably boredom that I once started dating a guy who is not an alpha, not a brute, not an egotistical narcissist, just a regular guy. Lucky for me he was hot, which is the only reason I noticed him. If he wasn’t I would have dismissed him easily. But that one relationship with a non-dominant male, totally crashed my program.  I admit, I only gave him a chance for his looks, which is superficial. But the more I got to know him, the more I found his humbleness refreshingly charming. Slowly I started to notice that he had nothing to prove, wasn’t trying to lord over me, wasn’t asking that I diminish myself so that he can feel like a man. He was actually proud of me for being in the lead. I never met a guy like that. I had heard that they exist, but never thought I could be attracted to one.

 

But this one relationship was enough to change my view about masculinity and what it actually means. I realized that rather than look up at a man, I’d rather be looking at him straight in his eyes. Men who are our equals happen to have healthy views about women and femininity. They are actually capable of relating to us. Logically speaking, if he isn’t looking down on you, he won’t be treating you as such either.

 

Though many women in the forum found this revelation to truly resonate with them, many admitted that it will be hard to change old habits. I agree, we all live the way we have been programmed. And if we want better life experiences, we have to step out of the matrix.

 

Breaking my program was a painful experience, but I fully intended to change my habits and my reality. The good news is that I stopped being attracted to dominant, macho men, and I am now turned off by egotism. I now have a lot more respect for what culture refers to as beta males, the men who don’t seek to dominate, but are perfectly comfortable with themselves.

 

But I think that socially this country is experiencing a shift. Turn on the news, and the headlines are filled with accusations of masculinity being under attack. Initially, it was just a few critics who openly ridiculed the president’s narcissism and phony masculinity, but then other politicians with bloated egos and very little character got lumped into the same category. Then came the #metoo movement, when the country’s top executives were exposed for harassment, rape and misogyny. And finally, the nation’s religious leaders were exposed for pedophilia, sexual abuse and a long history of silencing victims.

 

So, is masculinity under attack? Definitely not. Fake masculinity is being exposed, and criminal behavior is under attack. and that is clearly making a lot of men and women uncomfortable. Delusion, perversion, bullying are under attack and rightfully so. But, as we watch the masks of a lot of powerful men crack and fall to the ground, many of us are realizing that those traits we were taught to be masculine: aggression, dominance, superiority have nothing to do with real manhood at all. A lot of women are recognizing their own personal patterns in the stories that play out in the media. We can all relate to submitting to a man so he won’t lose his temper, won’t retaliate, won’t seek revenge. We all know what it is like to keep our mouths shut so that his opinion could be valid. We have all been taught to pander to a man’s ego, and if we have an opinion that invalidates his, make him believe that he came up with it himself.

 

In many ways we women are guilty of supporting fake masculinity, respecting the patriarchy and bowing down to Big Men. In fact we made them, we raised them, and we pandered to their egos for generations. Why are we so dismayed that so many men still don’t see us as equals? We put them on those pedestals ourselves.

 

But, getting back to dating and women’s attraction to big, powerful men, I think that this is something that is slowly shifting here in America. Now that women comprise 47% of the work force, we no longer need men to lead us, support us, be superior to us. As our needs change, many women are starting to realize that we don’t need a traditional husband, we now want a partner and an equal.

 

Dating that hypermasculine brute with a bloated ego who seeks to dominate is no longer attractive to a growing number of women. Personally, I want a man I can respect. I see myself possessing a very strong character, so I would like someone whose character matches mine. I still want someone whose strengths compensate for my weaknesses and vice versa, but overall I want my equal. I don’t need someone whose life I have to build, nor someone whose ego I have to stroke. I am ready to build my own life. He can join me, or not.

 

If one person in the relationship is looking up, obviously the other is looking down.

 

S

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Chivalry Vs. Opportunism Explained

Is chivalry dead? I think chivalry definitely exists, but how it is being used has definitely changed. In modern times, our social interactions have also changed, and so have our expectations of fellow humans.

Let’s start with the definition of chivalry and the word’s origin. According to the dictionary:

chivalry

Men behaving courteously— holding the door open, offering women their jackets when it’s cold — is called chivalry.

Medieval principles governing knighthood and knightly conduct

A rule or standard especially of good behavior – courtesy towards women

Synonyms: gallantry, politesse. Type of: courtesy, good manners

As you can see, times have changed and medieval knights have evolved into gentlemen, and further evolved into everyday humans, or men. Traditionally, chivalrous gestures were simply good manners taught to nobility, but as times changed, so did our social expectations. In modern times, chivalry no longer refers to men only. As gender roles are becoming blurred, most men and women strive to treat our fellow humans with dignity and kindness regardless of gender.

In this day and age, it is common for women to be chivalrous as well. Today, women open doors for men, for other women, and for strangers. I tend to open doors for whoever is near me, I even open the door for the janitor in my building simply because he is human.

There seems to be much confusion about chivalry and its failures. Apparently, a lot of people are upset because their so-called chivalry isn’t being met with adequate praise or reward. And some women complain against chivalry, because it is archaic, because they too partake in chivalry, but mainly because some ‘chivalrous’ men, expect a reward for gestures which are supposed to be free of charge to all humans.

What no one has considered is that chivalry isn’t dead, instead it is being misused and its intentions are often confused with another concept called opportunism. What is an opportunist?

op·por·tun·ist

noun: opportunist; plural noun: opportunists

a person who exploits circumstances to gain immediate advantage rather than being guided by consistent principles or plans.

Reading this definition, can you see how opportunism can be a turn-off for many women?

Personally, I am always impressed by good manners. It is a sign of a respectful person who has consideration for those around him or her. Good manners are a sign of fine breeding, a reflection of one’s values, and how a person perceives themselves. Naturally, a person who values others will act in a way to demonstrate that. And a person who respects fellow man will not demand repayment, nor accolades for an act of courtesy.

Chivalry is given freely with no reward, nor further expectations. Opportunism takes advantage of the recipient of that gesture. What critics of chivalry find offensive is the false belief that a kind gesture comes with a price tag. There are many different kinds of men out there. Some will open a door without a second thought. For them the gesture is a matter-of-course, it comes naturally, and is a reflection of their character. I would like to think that when I open a door for anyone, I do it out of politeness and good intentions even though I am female.

As a woman I always notice good manners, and am always grateful to a person who performs chivalrous acts free of charge. But, I understand that most women have experienced “toxic chivalry” or what I refer to as opportunism, and this is something that we all complain about.

There is a type of man out there who uses so-called chivalry to take advantage. He rushes to open the door, he hears Thank You, but follows her to see just how grateful she really is. As she keeps walking, he keeps reminding her that he is just being a gentleman and that she is rude because she won’t give him time of day in exchange for that open door. He takes a woman out on a date, picks her up in his car, opens the door each time, orders her wine, orders her dinner, insists on paying for everything then insists on driving her home. Only, once he has performed all these tricks like a ‘real gentleman’ he awaits his reward. Some men treat chivalrous gestures like a punch card. “I did 10 gentlemanly things for you, therefore I am a real man”, or “I got dinner so you owe me”. An opportunist is always looking to be rewarded for a gesture a person could have done for themselves.

Several years ago, I received flowers twice on a New York City street from complete strangers. One was a heart-melting act of chivalry, the other a stomach churning act of opportunism. I was living in Manhattan, and commuting home from work. A guy standing in the crowded subway car was holding a big bunch of roses, clearly intended for someone else. I paid no attention to him at all and had my face buried in my phone. As the train came to a stop we both exited, he stopped me, took one rose out of the bouquet and handed it to me. He said, “I don’t mean to be creepy, but I saw you on the train and really felt like you should have this rose. Please accept it”. I was stunned, and speechless, and tongue tied, so all I could nervously stutter is ‘Thank You’.  He walked away and said ‘Have a beautiful day”. Needless to say, my heart melted, I felt grateful for the kind gesture, and smiled just thinking about that for days.

A few weeks later, I was sitting in an outdoor cafe, waiting for a friend. A guy walking down the street saw me, then stopped at the corner grocery and picked up a nice bouquet. He walked over to my table to hand me the bouquet, and he said ” You are beautiful and I just want to give a pretty lady these flowers to brighten up her day”. Once again I said thank you, that is very nice of you. I was so touched by the nice gesture of the guy from the subway, that my guard was down.  Only this guy, wasn’t going anywhere. “So, are you here alone?” “No, actually, I am waiting for a friend”. “Mind if I keep you company until your friend gets here?” Red flag, shivers down my spine, this one is going to be a creep. This guy was not being genuine, and honestly, I really didn’t want his company at all. But he acted as if I owed him my company because he gave me some flowers. Things turned unpleasant, and the waiter asked him to leave me alone. A lot of bickering and few insults later, the manager came out and threatened to call the police. How much did I appreciate his act of fake chivalry and being called a bitch? His flowers were revolting.  They were not a gift, they were bait. I couldn’t look at them, and asked the waiter to take them away.

Chivalry versus opportunism. Please know the difference. To be fair, we all should be allowed an opportunity to decide for ourselves whether we want to engage or take part in a gesture that may cost us later. Had I known that he was giving the flowers to earn the reward of my company, or to get a date, I would have rejected them outright. No one wants to feel obligated to reward an unnecessary gesture with their dignity.

And this is the reason a lot of women aren’t comfortable with today’s chivalry. Chivalry used to be free, but in modern times some men are taking advantage and expecting a reward or validation. He demands to hear that an act of common courtesy makes him a real man.

Because today it is very important to begin every assertion with “Not all men”, I will give you that. Not all men are opportunistic assholes. The vast majority of men and women make kind gestures because it is a reflection of who they are, and they understand that human kindness goes a long way. Both sexes are becoming comfortable with opening the doors for each other, for saying Thank You, and for thinking nothing of it.

So, the few men who are opportunists when it comes to using manners to gain favor with women are the ones who give chivalry a bad name. Chivalry isn’t dead, and women have not been corrupted by raging feminism. We are not determined to destroy manhood, in fact we appreciate true and healthy masculinity. What has changed is that we refuse to reward opportunists with our attention, our affection, our respect, nor the validation they crave so badly.

What makes a man a gentleman is that he acts with true character and honor every single day, and he does not require validation from others to be who he is. His value and his humanity speak for themselves. An opportunist is the opposite of that. Only an opportunist will use a gesture such as opening a door, then demand gratitude or the title of “real man” for performing a task a monkey can do.

My five year old nephew is learning his manners, so he has started opening doors for everyone, for mom, for dad, for his teacher and all his classmates. Is he a man? He has a long way to go to earn that honor. What I hope to teach him is that we all do kind gestures for everyone out of love for humanity, and not because we expect to earn a gold star.

So, the next time a woman complains about chivalry, take some time to consider why. A lot of women are tired of fake chivalry and opportunism. We have spent lifetimes  fending off goons who claim to be ‘just a nice guy’, but expect a little something in return. We are tired of promised job interviews that turn into an unwanted date. We are tired for having to pay for that open door with validating a man’s machismo. We simply are tired. This is why many of us would rather open our own door, pay for our own drink, and go home in peace, rather than worry that we owe you something. Please consider that we live in an age when most women will routinely open a door for a man and ask for absolutely nothing in return.

Are we taking over manhood? No. We simply want to be left in peace.

S

 

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Our Protective Walls Are Blocking Our Ability To Love

“The walls you put up to protect yourself, are the same walls that are blocking your blessings”. Stephen S.

 

You can’t walk in fear of getting hurt, and expect to attract the highest possible love, the most amazing career, or the ultimate life experiences. Like everyone, I do have fears. And to protect myself, I created a belief system- as long as I stick to my strong beliefs, and I allow people with certain stringent qualifications into my sphere, I will ensure I am safe from harmful relationships. So I built an energetic wall, a wall of high standards and high morality. If you meet those super high standards, you get to be in my life. So, I eliminated a ton of toxic people. Guess what. The safe, non-toxic ones in my life, still manage to disappoint me, hurt me, prove to be fake friends or feeble lovers.

 

I can put up as many walls as I want, but I still block the good as well as the bad from my life. In doing so, I am restricting my ability to love and be loved because I walk in fear. If I say to someone, sorry I cannot love you because you are of the wrong political party, or you are the wrong religion, or you aren’t as educated as I am, I am placing conditions under which I can love, and placing conditions means I am participating in very conditional love.  Each condition you have is a brick in your protective wall. The more conditions, the harder it is to meet people who are your energetic equal.

 

The real me truly believes in unconditional love, I have written about that many times, therefore I must drop my conditions. That’s not easy. We all claim to want unconditional love, yet each one of us has at least a 100 conditions. Go ahead and list all your conditions on a sheet of paper. It will be very good for your eyes and your heart to get in touch with all your conditions. It is an eye-opening experience.

 

I believe in free, unconditional, pure love, yet I just realized that I have a long list of conditions I have not spoken out loud because I would not admit them to myself. With every breakup I thought I learned something- what I want in a man and what I don’t want. And after my last breakup, I added a whole bunch of conditions I never had before. I think it is normal for our list of conditions to adjust after every relationship. This is how we learn what works and what doesn’t work for us, and how we maintain focus on people we want instead of the ones we don’t want. I have been keeping such a list for years so that I can be aware of my wants.

 

All humans have their own requirements- people we are naturally attracted to, qualities and personality traits that work well with ours. We also have a long list of negatives, red flags and habits that absolutely do not work for us. Having such a list helps me maintain healthy boundaries, and maintain awareness of what I am doing, when I am dating people who really aren’t good for me.

 

But, when that list grows to unreasonable expectations, with each new addition, you are adding another brick on that wall around your heart. At a certain point we have to figure out which bricks are sensible, and which serve no purpose at all. I am one of those people who senses energy very well. I read other people like an open book, and when people’s walls are up, I know to leave them alone. There is no sense in crossing someone’s boundaries. That would be a very unhealthy and disrespectful thing to do to someone.

 

As a meditation practice, I often check on my own energies from time to time. I recently discovered a massive block, about two feet in front of me. I only notice it when I meditate, but it is huge. I have literally been pushing away people for the last couple of years.

 

I thought of it as cleaning house. Once I decided to clean my life and remove as many toxic people as possible, I started to filter. I like you, I don’t like you. You can come in, you cannot come in. You are on probation until further notice.

 

Did my house get any cleaner?  It may seem that way, but now that I look at this massive wall of bricks around my heart, I see that I am still sweeping the mess, and maybe the mess is getting bigger. When people see a wall, they do one of two things. Obviously, a wall is a massive obstacle, and sensible people walk around it. It really is the more logical thing to do, not to chisel the wall away, but to keep on moving. Healthy people will not see a walled up person and start climbing. Healthy people respect boundaries, so they leave you alone.

 

So who are the people who try to chisel your wall away? The ones who do not respect boundaries. The ones who resolve to rescue you from your prison. The ones who stubbornly want what they can’t have, and in an effort to obtain what the other won’t give them, they bring in the heavy equipment to bulldoze through your fortification. Do you really want those in your life? Well, that is exactly who snuck past my guards this year.

 

So how do we break down our own wall, and let our guard down? You don’t necessarily have to take it down brick by brick, it may be easier to create a new belief system. Remember, each belief is just a brick in your wall. Go through your list of requirements, and change your beliefs about them. For example, I do not like dating people who are older than me. I habitually date younger men because I find them uncomplicated, they have more modern attitudes toward women, they are unspoiled and unsoiled by divorce and free from children.

 

I truly enjoy relationships with younger men so much, that I have come to absolutely fume any time someone older asks me out. And my belief system about older men could definitely use a tune-up.  I doubt that I will ever be attracted to older men, because for me physical attraction is important, but at the very least I have to stop blocking and pushing away people who don’t meet my lofty standards. I don’t have to date them, I just have to find them acceptable, see the good in them.

 

If you meditate, clearing energetic blocks may be a bit easier. When I get centered, I tune into my own body and scan my own energies. I might see an old panic attack I had on a stupid subject. I use knowingness to clear the old energy, by logically knowing that the situation and my feelings about it are now irrelevant. Of what value is it to me to still stop breathing every time I recall that difficult client I had two years ago who threatened to sue me? Is my feeling about a person who is no longer in my life of any value to me now? Thinking about the validity of that past panic attack, and the silliness about my belief, makes the energy disappear. If knowingness is not your meditation tactic,  you might move the energy with your hand, and remove it from your body by wiping it away. Energy can be moved physically, mentally, or using any of the greater senses you may be in touch with while you meditate.

 

If clearing energy is not your thing, you can simply meditate on freedom. What does freedom to love whoever and whatever without fear feel like to you? This is a challenging energy to get into or recall, because ever since we started dating, we have been protecting ourselves from freedom, and free relationships. The thought of freedom might scare you. Rather than recall the energy of freedom as it pertains to past lovers, think of your love for your favorite pet. You had a dog and you loved it very much. What does that love feel like to you? Even if the dog has passed, your love for it feels just as good. Sit there in that energy, and simply feel love for your dog for as long as you can. Now think what it would feel like to have another dog? Could you feel love for that new dog too? Of course you can. Having another dog does not change in any way how you feel about your first dog. Your heart chakra stays just as open when you think of the two animals, then three, then all the animals in the world. Love is truly limitless, so why do we place limits upon it? Now think of that ex who hurt you. Do you feel the energy around your heart tighten up? Your throat or your solar plexus might twist into a knot. Free love, vs. conditional love feel very different inside your body.

 

Living without barriers or a brick wall feels freeing, so meditate on your own sense of liberation. If you don’t meditate, and you can’t sense energy, please see a therapist. Use whatever method works for you, but the goal is not to continue to make a case for your wall, or argue for your blockages.

 

We can’t walk in fear and expect wonderful things to happen. We cannot build a protective wall around us, then expect the most dashing lover to break down those walls. If he did, he would be overstepping our boundaries- and that would qualify him as a psycho 🙂 So, my next goal is to tear down my own walls, open my mind to new potentially hurtful experiences, and allow myself to get hurt again. I might be a little wiser than I was last year, so hopefully the lessons won’t be so harsh.

 

But, unless I take a chance on me, what good could possibly happen?

 

S

 

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The Relationship Scorecard

Do you keep a love scorecard? Or does someone you are in a relationship with, or a friend keeping score of what you are doing right, what you are doing wrong, what they did for you, and what you didn’t do for them? Are they measuring how much attention you gave them, versus how much affection or time they got in return? Do they demand you repay them for every kind word, or a seemingly thoughtful act? Is that person you?

 

I am not going to stamp a label on people like that. We all know that kind of loving is wrong, and it’s not love at all. Love is based on freedom, and free expression of our own level of love for all people. It is about allowing the other person to show us how they love. It is feeling free to love on our own terms without pressure to conform to the other person’s expectations.

 

I bought you an expensive birthday gift, now you owe me some respect. I forgave you last week, so now you owe me some cuddle time. I took care of you when you were sick, now you owe me a get-out-of-jail-free card. Tit for tat. I give you, you pay me back. That kind of arrangement (because it is not a healthy relationship) is a trap. It is about others serving our needs and rewarding them with tokens. Except, how can we measure other people’s attention, affection or time?

 

You will never have your needs met by a person whose job you think it is to love you how you see fit, and vice versa. Expressions of love are an act of kindness, not a duty or an obligation. The minute you make it the other person’s obligation to relate to you on your terms they will disappoint you. Those kinds of relationships are exhausting for all of us, and they bring misery and very little joy to people who know they can love much better. They are primitive, immature, contrived.

 

My ex used to measure every one of my transgressions silently, but very methodically. Each time he did something nice for me, like spend time with my friends, he expected that I pay him with a never-agreed-upon sum that only he could accurately calculate in his own head. The sum of what I owe him was always a mystery to me. There was never an agreement that if he spends time with my friends, I would owe him something, if there was such a discussion, I would never have incurred the debt. I would have easily left him at home and enjoyed a night out on my own. I didn’t even know that the night with my friends was unpleasant for him, yet days later, I would find out that I haven’t adequately compensated him for the favor. One day I would get the silent treatment, so I’d leave him alone. The next day, more silent treatment, so I would leave him alone. I know when someone is being passive aggressive and when I am about to be manipulated into something, so I disconnect. I don’t chase, I don’t pester to find out how can I please you? If you want to shut me out, go for it. Finally, five days later he would explode and demand to know why I am not concerned that he is not talking to me. Dude, you are a grown up, you know how to speak up and communicate like an adult. If something is bothering you, it is on you to communicate it. And then the drama would start. You didn’t call me. You didn’t spend time with me. I did everything for you but you did nothing for me. What did you do for me? I spent time with your friends.

 

Don’t fall into that trap. Doing nice things for people, then demanding emotional compensation is manipulation. We shouldn’t have to compensate people for kindness nor for being in a relationship with us. Kindness comes out of the goodness of our hearts, and willingness to share ourselves with others. There is no price tag for kindness.

 

If someone is billing you for good behavior, kindness, affection, or time, run! Anyone who is keeping a relationship scorecard is simply weighing every gram of flesh you are willing to sacrifice for them. You shouldn’t have to pay with your soul just to be in a relationship.

 

Friendships can be just as toxic as love. Since to most people friendships are less urgent, they waste more energy trying to maintain romantic relationships. So when a friend is keeping score, we dismiss it as annoying. Recently, a friend asked within our group if anyone would be willing to lend him a spare car for a couple of weeks. He was moving out of the country, selling off all his stuff, and needed some wheels while he closed out his life. A mutual friend offered him her car and asked for nothing in return. There was no money exchanged. Imagine his surprise to start receiving texts from her a week later, listing all her grievances. You don’t hang out with me, you never call, you could have invited me to that NYE party. Huh?  He didn’t realize that borrowing her car meant he would be her escort. He promptly returned the car, not wanting to cause drama. But the drama continued. She kept insisting he could still have the car, all she wanted was some time, and consideration from him. This is how we fall into situational traps where one person does something nice for the other, then demands whatever payback that can temporarily fulfill them.

 

Relationship scorekeepers are a drain. You will never do enough for them to make them feel warm, fuzzy or satisfied. They are empty people with gaping holes in their lives, and instead of filling those holes themselves they get you to do it for them. The signature phrase all relationship score keepers use is “You owe me”.  The sum of what you owe them is never reasonable, it is always above and beyond what you are willing to do for them. Relationships with scorekeepers feel like a burden. They don’t feel good, nor equal, nor loving, because the scorekeeper is always weighing how many grams of flesh you are willing to slice off for them. Eventually, you’ll be missing a limb, there simply will never be enough of you to keep them from starving. Run.

 

My advice is if you keep a relationship scorecard with anyone, learn to let people off the hook. It is wrong to give for the sake of getting something in return, just give as much as feels good to you. If other people don’t return in equal measure, appreciate them anyway. Allow people to be who they are, and give to you what feels good to them. Honor what they gave you, no matter how little. Treat their time, their attention, and their gifts as a treasure. Cure yourself or train yourself from keeping a love and relationship scorecard. You’ll see, your relationships will be much healthier once you give people a break.

 

S

 

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