Relationships are like art...they're created out of inspiration.
Like art, relationships have a certain level of imagination, creativity and inspiration. It is amazing what a relationship does for our health and overall wellbeing. Studies say that those of us in relationships generally earn more, are happier and live longer. Whether or not that's the case in your relationship, they do inspire us to look at life from a new perspective and make choices differently than when we were single.
The word 'inspire' means to be in spirit. When we are in the spirit of something, a thought or an emotion, we are moved to take a certain level of action. Many seek relationships to bring new meaning into their lives. Usually when we couple with another person, their influence naturally causes a change in our thinking and behavior.
But, does this inspire you? Does your relationship inspire you to want to be a better person, stretch your limitations and boundaries to get a better job, take on a passion you've been too afraid to pursue, but now that you've got support feel you can make it happen? Or, does your relationship inspire you to want to get married, have children, buy property and take on more responsibility than you ever imagined?
If the answer to any of those questions, is 'yes,' great! A relationship has the power to bring positive aspirations into your life. Those aspirations can cause you to make decisions that will affect the rest of your life, For the most part, you want that inspiration to be a positive influence, To help you reach your goals as an individual and a couple.
But what about the opposite: doubt, fear and uncertainty? Right now, do you sense a shift in your relationship, where it was once very inspirational and now it's just a situation? How did you get there? What can you do to get out of it or change it? I have three suggestions:
1.Compare your goals at the beginning of the relationship to your goals now. If they are the same goals, your relationship is not moving you along. If they've changed for the better - plans and memories have been made. The 'piggy bank of your relationship' gets fuller everyday and you look forward to the future, you're on the right track.
2.The landscape of your life is different. Ask yourself is it a 'good different' or 'bad different.' True, you can't always say a situation is 'good' or 'bad,' most of life is a shade of grey. However, if you take an objective view, how do things look for you at the moment in your relationship? Are you where you thought you would be at this point?
3.Are your instincts telling you something? You know, that nagging thought or feeling you get every time a specific issue or concern arises. What is it trying to tell you? Are you listening, or holding off out of fear or anxiety? Our instincts are there for a reason. Sometimes it's a safe bet to listen.
Inspiration comes from many sources, however relationships are the most underrated, yet one of the most powerful. If you think about your relationship and the opposite occurs: apathy, disinterest or the inability to see past the current moment, take note. Either change your perspective, the relationship or both.
Want to make time to date? Let go of control. prioritize, set the goal and the intent to be open and flexible.
How many times have you heard someone say they "don't have time to date"? How many times have you said it yourself? I've worked with dozens of clients as a Matchmaker and one of the main issues they have is time, Usually, it's not because they don't have time, because they certainly make time for other things like massages, long drives through the countryside or skiing in Vermont. They have the time, they just don't want to make the time, which is different.
To make time for something implies effort and let's face it, no one likes to put effort into something when there is no guarantee of a favorable outcome, right? Well, like any investment - no risk, no reward. Here's a few pointers on how to make time to date:
First of all, stop telling yourself and others you don't have time. You have time to binge watch Netflix or your favorite shows on Amazon Prime, right? Take those three hours a week and get to know someone new. You never know, that person may end up being the one who spends three hours on the couch binge watching with you!
Next, take time to prioritize dating. Make the decision to give it time and attention. How much of a priority do you want to make dating? It is a process, and a lifestyle, that includes time for more than just the date itself. You must consider wardrobe, venue, transportation and everything that goes into being present and at your best.
Third, set the intent. What is your intention to date and why? These questions can be tricky to answer because they can bring all the emotional reasons to date to the surface. Are you tired of being alone and want someone to spend time with? Would a potential relationship give your life meaning? Or, would dating breathe new life into a dying relationship?
After you consider your intent to date, set a goal. For example, start small and plan to go on two, maybe three dates a month. At least have a goal to meet new people outside of work or your familiar social circle. Make a plan to attend a few community gatherings or events a month where the potential to meet like-minded people is high. You may meet someone special, or at the very least, make new social contacts!
Finally, be open and flexible. When you meet someone who shows an interest, take a few minutes to learn about them and size up the potential for a first date. He or she may not check any or all of your 'boxes,' but aren't laundry lists and boxes outdated? To be open and flexible, means you are ready to put yourself out there and not control the outcome. You never know who you'll be attracted to or who will be attracted to you. It's ok to be 'picky,' especially if you've learned from choosing not too wisely in the past, but this time around, show maturity and the ability to go with the flow. The best experiences in life come when when we let go of control.
Your intent to find love will make all the difference in your success.
So here we go again! We’re past the halfway mark in January and the talk now is how to re-start or maintain resolutions. The pressure is still on to “make a change!” Is it hard to not buy that? After all, it is well intended. I mean, who could argue with the goal of self-improvement or finding love? And so most of us willingly go along and declare, “this is the year that I finally stick to my resolution.”
But is this what you really want? Is finding a partner about you or something else?
Lots of us crave love from a romantic relationship and make finding one a goal for the New Year. Reasons range from another year gone by to getting older or feeling like it’s now or never. The thing is a relationship may be doomed from the start if the intention behind it is out of fear, angst or loneliness. My thought is, the purer the intent, the better the outcome. If you intend to date with the intention to bring love, value and family into someone’s life, the result is more favorable than, say, having someone to sleep with on the weekends.
Your intent must align with the outcome you want because this will guide your actions behind it. For example, what if your goal is to find a long-term relationship that will lead to marriage? Should you hang out at a club or bar hoping to run into a fine hottie with confidence and strong family values? Maybe, it has happened. However, if an LTR is your intent with someone you can love the rest of your life, you’re more likely to find that in a community setting or through a professional service. Of course, if you intend to find endless hookups this year, there are plenty of dating apps readily available.
As we move towards the end of January, lets consider our intent for a relationship this year. Consider the role it will play in your life and why it holds importance. And by all means, if you realize that you’re not ready for a relationship, i.e. exclusivity, honesty and commitment, refrain from attempting to go on dates with people who are. It’s not fair to them and ultimately, not fair to you either. When your intent is to be better it affects not only you, but also everyone you bring into your orbit.
“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” - Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
For the last 50 years, since the assassination of Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., the narrative in America has been focused on his dream for the totality of human rights. Equality, prosperity over poverty and the right for people of color to have basic human dignities afforded to those in positions of privilege. As we settle into 2018, the nation celebrates #MLKDay with the issues Dr. King fought for still at the forefront of minds all over the world.
As a day of remembrance and observance, I echo the thoughts of many who have sought support and empowerment through established and new civil and human rights movements. Take pride in work if you are employed and have a job you must tend to. Dr. King, and others, worked hard for your right to work with people of all races across industries, across the country. If you have a day off, take part in an act of service.
For the love of service, find an organization and give your time. Or, if already connected, share your volunteer initiatives with others. Research or join a local agency that aligns with the causes you hold dear and lend a hand to someone who may need your help today. Service is just another word for love. When you give both, you build bridges that unite the world. No small feat, but worth the effort it takes to make a positive impact on change,
Everyone knows that relationships take time, effort and commitment to work. The end results are often times not what we expect them to be, yet a select few are pleasantly surprised. So tell me, why do you want a relationship?
Ok, I know. It's a hard question to answer, right? Why do you think that is? Have you even thought of asking yourself that question before? Probably not because it’s too much thinking and processing to manage, especially when it comes to matters of the heart.
First, let me be clear, I’m not asking what you want from love. I’m asking what you want from a relationship. Love and a relationship are two different things. They are not interchangeable or synonymous. One is a feeling, an emotion that is based on inspiration from within. The other is an external partnership based on an emotional, physical or mental connection that is bound by trust and commitment. Love is internal and inspires thought and action. Whereas interpersonal relationships are a byproduct of love.
When we seek a relationship we look for someone we can relate to, a person who will understand who we are without judgement and/or expectation. We want a person to be close with who will make us feel comfortable, safe, wanted and loved. The level of comfort we gain from a romantic relationship is rarely found in other parts of our lives. For that reason, relationships or the search of one, dominates a large portion of our lives.
The question is why?
If you are single and actively seek a man or woman to share your intimate self, what role will that relationship play in your life overall? Is it a situation that you really need, or is it a familial or societal pressure you’re trying to quell?
Does a relationship move you closer to the goal of being married, being a parent, or is it for financial reasons?
Consider the elements of your life you will subsequently change if, and/or when, you enter into a relationship. Are those elements of your life (that you’re willing to give up, or alter) just to accommodate a relationship, things you refuse to give up even when you find the relationship you want?
Ultimately, what will a relationship do for you and is there any other way for you to get what you want without it?
Dissolve your resolutions and create some goals for dating and relationships this year! Make a solid case (to yourself) for the decision, write it down and get started.
We're three days into 2018 and your resolutions are still alive...barely! Have you been active in the gym the past few days? Given up that morning muffin for avocado toast or cut back on one glass of wine after dinner? Whoa, that's a lot! How long do you think you can keep that up? Well, more power to you because you have about three more weeks (MAX) before you give up entirely, and then it's back to last year's bad habits.
But, maybe, just maybe you're gonna prove me wrong. Honestly, it all depends on your goals. For example, the number one goal every year seems to be to lose weight. Nothing wrong with that. However, why? Are you unhealthy and want to feel better, build confidence and a lifestyle change? Or, do you want to create a new self image, look good and buy new clothes?
If you're goal is a new relationship, I bet you've sat down and thought about why you want to be in a relationship, right? Made a list of the characteristics you want him or her to have, what energy and influence they'll bring into your life...even how much your family will (or should) love them! Probably not. Your best bet is to dissolve your resolutions now, especially when it comes to love.
The New Year sparks such a desire to change any element of life that makes us unhappy. But life changes are goals to be considered and processes to be worked. I know what you're thinking...goals, process, work! Words like that imply time, effort and patience (which so many have so little of). I understand, but when it comes to two people coming together, you have to start with the intent (goal) choose a method (process) and go on dates (do the work). Make sense?
Grab some paper, a pen or open your fav word processor and write down what you want in a relationship in 2018. It's not a resolution, dissolve that! It's a map to achieve your relationship goal(s) for the year.
Ditch the resolutions and try Relationship Goals for 2018! Make it your year to figure out what you want, find new places to find it or recommit to the love you already have!
When you think about it, 2017 was an onslaught of emotional, psychological and theoretical adjustments, especially on a social level. Our world (literally and figuratively) continues to change at a rapid pace. Political, socioeconomic and cultural shifts implemented this year will have strong repercussions in 2018 and beyond.
Socially, this makes you all want to lock down your love lives! Find someone special to anchor and help you through the changes ahead. I'll be honest, as a single woman, I understand the desire. It can be a challenge to navigate and digest the ups and downs of life when you run the entire ship. There is no one to bounce ideas off of, let you know when you're taking on too much, or share the triumphs of a job well done. A partner mirrors our decisions, is a compass for direction and can be a comfort when the train goes off the rails.
On the flip side, the freedom of being the only person responsible for your ups and downs, keeping your own counsel and setting the course for the moment, hour or day is a privilege that can't be ignored, which leads to my point.
I know you're reading and hearing and "New Year Resolutions" everywhere, which is expected. But face it, by the time we hit our mid 20's the idea of making resolutions for the new year is a waste of time. Basically because they'll get broken within the first few days or weeks of the year. For the sake of intention, I think goals are a better bet!
If you're single, sit down and think about what you really want in a relationship. Create a goal to put yourself in environments and/or try new things that will put you in the vicinity of that type of person. Be careful though, this may mean moving past your comfort zone. List 3 places (other than a bar, gym or work) where you can do something new and meet someone with the qualities you're looking for.
If you're on the fence about a relationship you're already in, think about what value that person brings into your life, other than monetary (if that's even a factor). How does he or she make you feel? Do you learn, grow and experience life in a better way with this person, or do they bring you down? Give yourself the goal of serious thought about this topic. If they're right for you, you'll know it. Trust your instincts and figure out a way to work on the relationship to get it where you want it to be. If not, make a definitive decision to end the relationship. It doesn't matter if your grandma likes them, or your friends love them...if you don't, there's no point in being together.
Already dating or married? Think about making a commitment or a recommitment to your relationship. Been thinking about moving together, discuss taking the leap. Wanna give your marriage more time, your spouse more attention? Book a vacation for just the two of you and do something both fun and romantic.
As 2017 comes to a close, let 2018 be the new beginning that it is. Give yourself the goals of love rather than resolutions.
More than anything else, the holiday season is about love. Love for self, fellow man and life. Give, receive and enjoy!
The holidays bring togetherness and cheer, but also causes heartburn and anxiety! Over the years I've found a few things lovers tend to get wrong. Here are my top 3 holidays do's and don'ts to set you straight for the relationship side of the season.
If you're in a new relationship (and not quite ready to introduce your new love to family, friends or colleagues), do schedule special time with them. Plan dinner and exchange gifts (even if they don't celebrate any of the holidays). Show him or her the potential your love has and your commitment to grow the relationship. Give your time and attention during the busiest season of the year.
Don't force your holiday traditions, festivities or expectations onto yourself or your date. The holiday season is stressful as it is. Everyone celebrates the holidays in their own special way. More and more people leave the hustle and bustle aside for sandy island beaches to avoid holiday commitments. Rather than stress out, schedule one or two events you are required to attend, then leave your schedule open for relaxed play time. That way no one feels forced or excluded during the holidays.
Do keep the holiday attire to a minimum. "Ugly sweaters," Santa and reindeer hats are cute and show you have a fun side, but overall they're not sexy. Keep your style warm, relaxed and on trend with classic red sweaters for guys, and comfy accentuated dresses, skirts or slacks for the ladies. A festive scarf, broach or ear muffs show you're in the holiday spirit without looking like you escaped from the North Pole!
Don't overdue the gifts! Especially in a budding relationship. Show how much you care in every way during the holidays instead. Tell him or her how much you appreciate them in your life. Buy a gift that shows your commitment to learning more about them and plan something intimate like a couples massage. If you've been dating for a while, give a gift you can enjoy later, like a vacation that can create memories in the future.
Do be grateful for the love you have during the holidays. If you're having a tough time with your partner, rather than call it quits (due to pressure or stress), think about the point of the season. Good will, togetherness and compassion are major themes this tine of year. Give extra effort! Add some holiday spirit to the relationship with tried and true traditions like a kiss under the mistletoe, nog and cookies in front of the fire place, cuddle night on the couch or wishing upon a star!
Don't feel like a loser if you're single. Although you may see couples, love and family bonding everywhere, believe that one day you will have the same thing! Feeling down during the holidays will make life seem worse than it is. If you're reading this, chances are life isn't so bad, you have a working internet connection! Volunteer in your local community, help a neighbor or call a friend you know you won't see during the season. Find something, anything, that brings you joy and be happy to have it in your life.
Client Confidential features real stories and experiences shared by my clients. Dates, situations and/or circumstances that are entertaining lessons we can learn from. Also shared is my advice and opinion.
All names have been changed to protect their identity.
Everyone who works with clients knows that the stories they share can be humorous, heartbreaking or downright scary! In this first edition of Remy OnLove’s Client Confidential, I share how tough it can be when you share your political stance and what it’s like to ‘go on a date’ with someone who refuses to sit with you or communicate. Of course, all names are changed to protect identities.
The Verbal Abusive Abuser – Jeff is a handsome guy, tall with broad shoulders and built like a linebacker. He’s an attractive fixture on the dating apps and sites, but has grown wary of being truthful about anything other than what he does for a living or what he looks for in a woman. Why? Well, any dating coach or therapist will advise their client on being too open on a profile, especially when it comes to (still) taboo subjects like religion and politics.
This client is a Republican and considers himself Conservative. However, political beliefs consist of 5% (at most) of his dating preferences. When he listed his political view on profiles, he’d get plenty of hits! They’d either bash him outright (without going on a date), or pretended to be interested so they could go on the date and abuse him face-to-face. The dialogue went something like this:
Client: Hi Mary, you look great tonight. How are you? Date: Good, thank you for the compliment. You’re not so bad yourself! Client: Would you like to get a drink and talk before we order dinner? Date: Sure, that sounds like a plan… Client: What would you like? Date: So, you’re a Nazi, huh? Client: What? Date: You’re a Nazi? You hate women? Why are you on a date if you don’t like women? Client: Um, I’m not sure what you mean… Date: You’re a misogynist, a pig and a Nazi. Why do you go on dates anyway…are you actually looking for love or a robot to go along with your diabolical way of thinking? Client: That’s a lot of questions, and I’m not sure how to answer… Date: I’m going to the bathroom! Waiter: I don’t think she likes you, man. Client: What makes you think that?
It's important to consider three things when dating on apps, sites or when using a Matchmaker. First, always be honest about who you are and what you believe. There is someone, or several people, who share your views and will not admonish you about them. Second, always keep composed during situations where you're confronted over your perspectives, whether it be on race, religion or politics. Finally, each dating experience is an opportunity to ask better questions and be more selective moving forward. With those adjustments you inch closer to success in the long run.
The Lurker – Jennifer arrived for her date 10 minutes early. She knew he looked exactly like (or very close to) her celebrity crush. The host placed her at a booth near the window. It was a clear, sunny day so she took that as a good sign. The ten minutes were long, and then finally, a guy starts to walk by the restaurant. He sees her, they make eye contact and he slows down. As he approaches the door and reaches for the handle he grabs it and swings the door open. Instead of asking the host if she is there, or approach Jennifer’s table (he knows what she’s wearing), he sits at the bar and stares at her. Jennifer’s date lurks at the bar and pretends he does not see her sitting in a booth near the window.
Finally, Jennifer asks the host to go to the bar and ask her date, Ben, to be seated at her table. Ben listens to the host and eyes Jennifer before waiting 10 more minutes to finish his drink and walk over to the booth. Ben sits down without saying a word. He stares at Jennifer as she tries to make conversation. Gives one or two word answers and finally excuses himself to the bathroom. At this point, Jennifer is over it, pays for her drink and leaves. Ben, her date, follows her down the street and watches as she gets into her car. In disbelief, she drives around the block and passes the restaurant where Ben is still standing at the front door watching people walk by.
Overall, this is a strange experience. And, 'Jennifer' handled it well. Although you cannot predict how someone will behave on a date, you can control your response to it. My suggestion is to do exactly what she did and get the heck out of there!
As soon as you decide to get serious about dating and relationships, you embark on a Love Lifestyle. Believe it or not, you start doing things that change who you are into who you want, or hope to be, in a relationship!
I talk to my clients a lot about the "Love Lifestyle." They often ask what that means and here's my definition: The Love Lifestyle is the way you live before, during and after dating. This includes mental, physical, emotional health and accompanying behavior that surrounds a romantic partnership. Individuals spend various amounts of time, energy and money when they decide to pursue a relationship. Broken down by two main categories, dating and relationships. Think about your past attempts to date. Can you assess where you've made significant effort to either participate in or continuously live in a state of romantic endeavor?
Dating - this includes searching (dating apps, websites, matchmakers, networking) for the sole purpose to meet someone you're attracted to and start a relationship (albeit mental, physical and/or emotional). In addition, going on dates, investing interest and communication with someone in the hopes that you build, primarily, an emotional and physical connection.
Relationships - the act of being in one or more relationships (simultaneously or separately) in an effort to feel or reciprocate love, desire (lust) and/or validation and appreciation.
Health, wellness, beauty and fashion are major areas of effort. For example, how many people do you know change their diet, work out routine (or start working out), fashion and perspective (on various topics) when they get interested or experience interest from a potential romantic partner? Lots of people, myself included, right? Those changes are exactly what the Love Lifestyle is, a change in mental or physical behavior to satisfy the emotional response to a potential romantic relationship.
Countless areas of enterprise benefit from this lifestyle! From the food industry (restaurants), to entertainment ('date night' movies...'Netflix and chill'), technology (aforementioned dating apps and sites), wellness (couples massages) and travel. Ways to embark on and capitalize off of romantic partnership is everywhere. I consider it a 'lifestyle' that is growing with technology and our increasingly innate desire to be romantically involved.
What do you you think, is the process to look for, maintain and find love a "lifestyle" choice?