Wondering what’s missing in your relationship? Whether you are married, dating or in a long term relationship it is not uncommon for one of the partners if not both to wake up one morning feeling unfilled or asking why we can’t get to the next level, commit to marriage, or question continuing to wake up next to the person beside you, or even struggle to go home to whom awaits there. Once one acknowledges this concern, now what? Would it not have been better if from the get go each person had created a vision of what they wanted in a life partner?
Instead we often find ourselves dating, meeting someone by chance without really looking, finding someone that fills our temporary needs, or pseudo commit to someone that seems like they could be the one for the long haul then start accessing how to make the relationship better so it feels more right to stay in it. All in an effort to possibly avoid having to begin again to find a suitable mate by prolonging the inevitable of ending a relationship that isn’t working on all cylinders. This is especially true due to the high numbers of couples living together verses being married. The relationship becomes too entrenched in areas that probably should be left to when a couple is willing to make a lifelong commitment. Like getting too enmeshed in the children’s lives, even grandchildren, careers, as well as each other families, etc. This is not to say that when dating we should not be spending good quality time with each others family and friends.
Would it not be better to know how to avoid “being a square hole with a round peg”? Close your eyes. Envision a square hole and a round peg that will fit the hole, but there are spaces around the peg. That’s what happens when we don’t first create a vision and define the character, qualities, values, morals that we desire and need from an ideal mate. When I am working with clients they are asked specifically to do this exercise including going through a long list of values. Otherwise, we end up wondering after a while how to fill the spaces around the peg. We end up unfilled, wondering if or how to get out of the relationship instead of knowing what the ideal mate needs to be before trying to fit him or her into our life. It is also wise to make sure that one’s whole self is being brought to the table before starting the dating process. It comes as no surprise that studies estimate over 50% off all marriages end in divorce, about 75% of those that live together before marriage end in divorce and the statics aren’t any better for 2nd, 3rd marriages.
What makes matters worse is we start making excuses for the other person or even ourselves all the while knowing it may be wrong for us which sometimes builds up resentments that don’t serve either person well. “Fear” of what will happen if the relationship ends is probably the greatest self-defeating, emotional obstacle that holds one back or keeps oneself from progressing to take steps for a better future. We stay for all kinds of reasons, even very valid ones, like its’ the first guy my kids, family, or friends really like, or she has been really helpful in building my business, my boss really seems to like me with her so he takes us out more and gives me better leads, he is so handy and nice to all my friends, at least we are financially stable together, or can’t find something really wrong with him and those we know keep telling me I should marry him but… what if I don’t feel it or know in my gut something keeps holding me back? Yes, all good excuses from keeping you from getting the love you want, desire and deserve for a lifetime. Breakups are hard! So why not do all we can to assist ourselves upfront to “creatively design the life we want”?
©2015 Austin Lifestylist
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Desire, expectations, cherish, growth, nourish, seek – all great words when considering or getting into a relationship. A couple of weeks ago, I received a long letter from a client outlining his desires and expectations for a life mate. He admittedly realized over the last several years that some of his expectations have changed after being back out in the dating world. This letter along with other conversations brought to light some insights to share.
What are your expectations of a life mate? Have you taken the time to list out the qualities and character of a mate you desire? What were the expectations when you made the pledge to marry? “Expectations” is not a dirty word, in fact when used well, allows each of us to enter a relationship on solid footing with clarity from the onset. Without vision, without clarity, I find many clients trying to fit a round peg into a square hole then wonder why there are gaps around the peg and a filling of despair and fulfillment. Needless to say backing up is even tougher once in the relationship or marriage which is why most end after the 1st year of marriage and the 2nd highest ending most often occurs after children are gone from the house. And we will take a look at the overwhelming increase of divorce in 2nd and 3rd marriages, etc. in future blogs of this series.
How many of you desire to date or marry someone you aren’t particularly physically attracted too? I would dare say probably only about 2% of all males and females I’ve visited with professionally and personally have said that “looks” are not important. This is stated under the knowledge that beauty remains in the eyes of the beholder and beauty of one’s soul is most likely judged in another context. And yet it’s a given that physical intimacy is an integral part of any whole relationship.
What discipline is needed to maintain habits to ensure physical attraction can be continued throughout the relationship cycle when trying to foster what entices a mate to look at you with alluring eyes and sex appeal? How many of you have used the motivation tool “to change” to remain or with the expectation of being more content in a relationship? And how many of you would dare say the challenge to change worked for any length of time? Did illusion set in? Disappointment? A need to compare one’s mate to others? Did you find yourself going overboard in your own routine in hopes your mate would follow your example? Any yet countless studies conclude the internal drive of one’s self needs to want to make a change, want to take on the discipline to have any lasting impact. Something in one’s inner being must drive the decision, meaning you are doing it first for yourself verses for someone else, or to hold on to a relationship or a job even.
When asking someone to change, one needs to ask one’s self is the change more about you or more about them? What is driving the decision for the change to occur? Why are you wanting them to change? Tread lightly here since many motivating factors requiring change in a mate can be manipulative for one’s own sense of self-worth or gratification in the relationship. When a couple find themselves at this place in a relationship, where change is needed for whatever reason, it is very important that they have the conversation no matter how hard it is to avoid resentments, frustrations, wondering eyes, reduced intimacy, etc. Many years ago, I was taking a medication that caused me to gain about 15 lbs. in about 3 weeks which needless to say wreaked havoc on my body. I was mortified, quickly went off the medication, but it took months to repair the damage. Thankfully I already had the discipline in place to work hard to regain my figure, yet at the same time, it did admittedly impact the way my spouse at the time looked at me. Ladies men are visual – it’s a fact, they were created that way, and we can’t escape how it effects many psychological areas of their being.
Remember the childhood fable, “Jack Sprat who ate no fat his wife who ate no lean”? Clearly physical looks, along with what attracts one to another varies from person to person. Therefore, when the first inclination registers in one’s subconscious desiring a mate to change, in order to continue to be physically attracted that will vary considerably. What is most important is not expecting change to necessarily change the relationship – it rarely does. Generally a need for change, especially physical, is a symptom of something much deeper going on in the relationship.
@copyright 2015 Austin Lifestylist
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With the emergence of spring time has come the yearning from several clients for something new or asking how to move forward out of their current situation. Many of us can find ourselves in relationships that just aren’t working or perhaps wondering if he or she is the one. How do we know when to call it quits?
Make a list of characteristics of your ideal mate. This is much easier to do when not in a relationship since the trick is not making a list to fit the person you are currently seeing. Be honest with yourself!
List out pros and cons of current relationship. List should include characteristics, habits, personal desires etc. There is no limit. How much of what is on your ideal mate list matches up with the pros on this list? I always tell clients, “Play the movie forward. What do you want the end result to look like?” Make sure you are not settling for less than what you want and desire.
What continues to nag you? What gut feelings keep coming up in your mind that make you question the one whom you are with? Are you asking yourself the same questions that you were contemplating 6 months ago or a year or more? It never ceases to amaze me when talking to a client or even a friend about concerns they are having in a relationship that will continue to surface again and again. Those are red flags! We need to pay attention to them. Some we will learn to live with and will seem more like a yellow flag of caution, but many times those red flags need or must be addressed at some point to solidify being in the relationship at all. Too frequently those same red flags end up being huge factors to ending a relationship or divorce.
What are you not getting out of the current relationship that you need, want, or desire? How much are you compromising to stay in the relationship? Do you find yourself avoiding important topics of conversation? Are you weary of the possibility of being alone? Worried about starting over again? Is there passion both in daily life and in the bedroom? How much of the decision to end the relationship is about time invested? Having guilt about waiting this long to break it off? If you have ever been in a past relationship then know these are valid concerns, yet you also know the end is almost always difficult no matter what the reasons maybe. More often than not regardless of how much time it takes to end a relationship, it still ends the same way just more time has passed with more emotions and history involved to get there.
Why do we seem to have chemistry, but just can’t make it work? Two people that find themselves attracted to each other, wanting many of the same things, don’t always make a great couple for the long haul. Yes chemistry is important, however there is so much more that goes into a relationship. There are not many couples like James Carville and Mary Matalin that can make it work in spite of their vast differences about politics. The same can be said when it comes to religion, ideas about sex, how to raise a family, financial decisions, addiction habits, physical activity, health, etc. All these are potential hot buttons for many couples.
Do you find yourself wondering more times than not “what if”? What if I moved on? Or wondering if someone else that has caught your eye would be a better fit? Or even thinking about a past relationship, comparing the differences, and wondering where would we be now? One must consider their gut feelings, yet keep in prospective that feelings ebb and flow by looking at the patterns of behavior in the relationship. Relationships more often than not have their ups and downs along with difficult moments. It’s not having them that is the concern, it’s how you get through them. Do you feel content with how matters are addressed? Do you feel you can have the difficult discussions without judgement attached? Are you able to be honest with your answers and ask the hard questions without fear of the outcome or reaction? Do you feel safe in bed with your partner if in an intimate relationship? The ideal partner will make you feel safe physically and emotionally. Your overall well-being should feel contentment, satisfaction, and joy with the person you are with on a daily basis in spite of the circumstances along with a sense of knowing he or she is the best person for you.
We all know that chemistry plays a role in the progression of dating, however there are dating skills that once embraced can maximize your opportunities. Many singles are coming off “the holiday season” with Valentine’s on their heels wondering must I really go through another holiday season without a significant other. Others may wonder, what does it take to maximize a date or get that next date?
Going on the 1st couple of dates with someone is much like a job interview except it is a personal interview so consider what you want others to know about you before you even say a word. We say a lot about ourselves without even speaking. It is not new news that 1st impressions can be everything. We know it just by how people judge pictures and profiles with online dating without even meeting or knowing the person or when walking down a street whether you feel inclined to nod, or say hello verses passing on by with your head down or moving to the other side of the street. We may not think we judge but we do. It’s instinctive, it’s part of a protection mechanism within us as well. So again, what would you like others to know about you before you even say a word? We say things with our eyes, our expressions, how we carry ourselves, our posture, our gait and of course our overall presentation. Is your overall presentation congruent with your inner being? Is your overall presentation an asset to meeting your personal goals?
When it comes to presentation and dating another good question to consider is “how much time do you spend preparing for a date”? Men are typically responsible for planning the first couple of outings. Which should include making a reservation if going to dinner, brunch or even lunch sometimes so that you are not standing and waiting at length for a table as well as making sure the table is not back at the kitchen where you would be competing with the kitchen staff while trying to get to know your date. Keep in mind restaurants do close so make sure it is still open if you have not been there in a while. Men, if you take care of the details on a date it conveys a message of being able to take care for the details in a life together and shows a since of caring for the overall well being of the couple. Also, take time to plan out what you will wear including pressing the garments along with being groomed. I had a friend that show up to a nice restaurant to meet her date not only was he late, he showed up in clothes not fit for the date nor were they pressed. They had been set up by a mutual friend. He not only showed a lack of respect for my friend, his date, but he conveyed a lack of respect for their friend that thought enough of both of them to make the introduction. Another helpful tip, gentlemen, is once you decide what to wear share with your date so she can prepare to be dressed appropriately.
We all know it can be a small world. Therefore, men and women need to show up to a date with an attitude of respect regardless of the outcome. Even if they are not the person for you, they may know someone that is, they might be a great contact for work, you never know when nor how your paths could cross again, and who they know that they might share the encounter with that could have a greater influence on your life and career. And once at the date, make sure that you are not sitting across from each other if at all possible. It creates a job interview environment verses a personal encounter to possibly have your last first date.
Men’s role on a 1st date:
• Find out about her – listen as much as you talk
• Show her you can care for her emotionally, financially, and later physically
• Discover one thing you like about her and tell her
Women’s role on a 1st date:
• Reveal your inner and outer beauty – it is not about being a size 2
• Be interesting – show your strengths yet create a since of mystique – men are innately hunters so allow them to hunt to desire to get to know you better
• Show sex appeal – not cheesy or sleazy – emphasize your best physical asset like great toned arms, or your decolletage
Part of the joy of actually DATING is to explore different aspects of ourselves. Try new things, explore and express that part of yourself. Are you getting out of your box? Are you a strong athlete? Excellent! How about attending an Arts Performance like a musical or the ballet once or twice? A happy book worm? Superb! What about an hour hike or kayaking lesson! People are attracted to energy and it can come in all forms. And to ALL I recommend, GO DANCING!
Are you staying abreast of Dating in the 21st century? Do you have an Internet Dating Profile (s) posted at Online Dating sites? Have you tried Speed Dating? Have you even heard of Speed Dating for singles? Are you aware of the many places to meet new people?
How much preparation do you put into getting ready for a date? How much thought do you put into planning the date itself? Making a reservation verses risking no seating for an hour? Or what you want to accomplish and take away by the end of the date? How much attention is paid to what you wear, your grooming, cleaning your car? Being on time to greet your date? Getting yourself energized for the date itself?