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if you dont meet someone in person–it is not a relationship Posted on Oct 03, 2013 at 11:46 PM

You may think you are connected as you share intimacy through emails, phone calls, etc. but it’s not real until you actually spend time with this person — touch them, see them and hear their voice.

I found a great excerpt from Paul Weinberg’s fantastic book about connecting in this age of social media called “The I Factor,” and it has to do with the false sense of intimacy created through online communication: “Electronic communication is a medium that encourages intimacy by allowing you to reveal thoughts and feelings that you might not share with anyone else or that you might not be comfortable expressing face-to-face. But without the benefit of direct face-to-face interaction, electronic communication can also create a false sense of intimacy by providing a screen through which you can reveal as much or as little as you choose, and consciously or unconsciously filter or distort what you reveal … keep in mind that words themselves are limiting and reductionistic, and cannot possibly capture the richness and nuance of direct interpersonal contact.”

Our rule of thumb here is if you do connect with someone we have matched you with, try to meet them in person within several weeks if possible. Talk to them on the phone as soon as you are comfortable – I would say after several rounds of communication. If they are long distance, Skype with them. You need to look into the eyes of the person you are interested in to really get a sense of who they are beyond emails and phone calls.

If you meet someone online and they profess their love for you without actually meeting you — be very skeptical.

The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope.

I also think it helps if you go in with the attitude that you are just fishing for fun, and not with expectations that you are going to catch the biggest fish ever and win the whole fishing tournament! Too much pressure! I think the fish can pick up on that vibe from a mile away. It’s like one of those sparkly, spinning lures that are supposed to attract fish, when really the fish are smart enough to realize what it is. Those fish wait for the natural bait to come along, and then they get hooked! Great dates aren’t just going to show up on your front porch. You have to be visible to let people know you are available. You have to be out there meeting people – and meeting new people – to stand a chance of catching new fish

Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice, but falling in love with you I had no control over

To me, that’s the important takeaway! Marriage is a choice, and marriage is hard work. Take the time during dating to be sure that you are ready and willing to make that commitment. Make sure you are willing to make the choice that he or she will become your “one person” and that you are willing to put the hard work into making your relationship work.Be smart. Don’t leave your love life to chance. we are also aware that when that familiarity turns from one of  “comfort and ease” to one of “disregard and disrespect” that it’s time to reassess. It is when relationships, either dating or marriage, start to turn from comfort to complacency, that many couples start to feel disconnected, unappreciated, and undervalued.

Decisiveness is a characteristic of high-performing men and women.  Almost any decision is better than no decision at all

Why Online Love Strikes Sooner… Posted on Sep 30, 2013 at 11:33 PM


Let’s look at the benefits and pitfalls of both extremes…

In Praise of Fast-Trackers:

The appeal of meeting online dating newbies is their fresh perspective and positive energy. Unsullied by disappointment and tolerant of profile clichés, they’re generally excited about meeting people and expect the process to work. They look for common ground or are open to new adventures. They say, “Here I am. I’ve posted my profile and am ready to find love. That’s great you’re into skiing because I love to ski!” or “You like ballroom dancing? Well, I’ve never tried that before, but why not?” When you approach love with that kind of open mind, you leave room for magic to happen.

There is a potential downside, though: Even if you’re thrilled with your new love, you can’t help but wonder if you’ve put enough time into your search. One colleague whose boyfriend was the first person she met online confessed that she sometimes wonders if she should have spent a few weeks to see who else was out there before committing so quickly. Even if you’re smitten from the beginning, it doesn’t hurt to meet a few more folks before taking down your profile. That way you’ll be extra confident of your choice.

The Lure of Serial Dating:

Serial dating gets a bad rap. Players have been long accused of being too picky or too reluctant to commit, instead preferring to binge in the “Candy Store” of online love, where it’s relatively easy to meet someone new. But sampling the dating buffet can serve a good purpose, namely by giving you a chance to find out exactly what floats your boat. It’s a sort of self-discovery process, especially if you’re coming off a long relationship or bad breakup. Perhaps you’ll learn that it’s important for you to date someone who exercises every morning or who likes a similar amount of cuddling or television. By becoming clear about what you want, you’ll more likely to recognize that person when he or she shows up on date 29.

The challenge, of course, is becoming too committed to your checklist and not giving people who might be good partners in the long run a fair chance. Resist the temptation to seek out the reasons you shouldn’t date them and stay positive. But be mindful of going on so many dates that you feel burned out. When you arrive at dates feeling as though you’re checking a box – your butterflies having flown away a long ago – it’s time to slow down.

So what makes serial daters finally become serious? All that volume doesn’t necessarily improve their chances of finding a “soul mate.” One friend admitted that after years of dating, he wasn’t sure his current girlfriend was any better of a match than the others. He was just tired and wanted to stop dating.

“Who knows if we’ll like each other?” I thought. “So let’s just enjoy this glass of Malbec.”


Is Your Relationship Costing You Too Much? Posted on Sep 26, 2013 at 11:12 PM

Have you ever blamed yourself for giving too much in a relationship? If you have, you’ve probably felt resentment for not getting back what you feel is owed for all your effort. On top of that, if the man you gave so much to has moved on to someone else, it feels like that woman is now getting the benefits that should have gone to you.

Thinking about how you gave so much can keep you awake at night, as you beat yourself up for being so foolish.

But a better use of that time would be to ask yourself why you let yourself give so much and get so little in return? What drove you to settle for crumbs when you were feeding him the whole cake? The answer is simple. You were in a “pay as you go” relationship.

How does that happen? Most likely things started out strong and it seemed like he really cared. But most relationships (unless you’re with “the one”) start to fizzle and burn out and that’s when we women panic. We start to feel that it’s up to us to get that “loving feeling” back.

We might suspect that this man isn’t our Mr. Right, but the fear of being alone or starting over again drives us to try and make it work. We get the crazy idea that if we show him how much we love him and how good we can be, they’ll naturally respond back to us in kind. But it doesn’t work that way; in fact it’s the opposite.

So how do we show them how we feel? We start “to pay” for love. For example: we’ll do laundry, clean the house, shop and cook, buy presents and treats, give money, or generally go out of our way to tend to their needs. None of these actions are wrong, but it’s the intention behind them that counts. We put effort, time and money into getting a man’s interest back but we’re killing ourselves in the process. We pay and pay and get little to nothing in return.

In a healthy relationship, both partners have to give their all. They have to be 100 percent invested. If you’re “paying as you go” you’ve tipped the scales and not in your favor. So ask yourself if you’re feeling resentful that you’re “owed” something in your relationship. If you are, it’s a good indication that the feelings between the two of you are no longer mutual. If you keep “paying” that feeling is just going to get stronger and things will get worse. It’s a signal to stop giving and pull back.

If stopping causes him to step up and start giving back, the balance is restored. But if nothing changes, it means you’re still in a “pay as you go” relationship. It’s a sign that what you had is no more and it’s probably time to walk away.

Have you been in this situation? If so, how did it work out?

How Many Stages Are There in a Romantic Relationship? Posted on Sep 25, 2013 at 12:08 PM

We have all been exposed over and over to romantic stories from movies and television, and the story always ends when the romantic partners finally get together and live happily ever after. In actuality, this is when the real relationship story begins. There are several stages that relationships go through over time, but most of us want the happily ever after — and believe our relationship should be easy. This is a myth. Satisfying, mature, relationships happen when both people work hard to maintain a sense of safety with each other.

According to Stan Tatkin PhD, there are a few stages in love relationships. These stages will help you identify where you are in the development of your own relationship. All three involve very different emotional states, so they require an adjustment with each transition.

The 3 Love Relationship Stages:

1. Romantic Love

You are driven in this stage to idealize your potential partner. You experience the emotions of joy and excitement. The novelty of a new love leads you to think about your partner day and night, imagining all the possibilities of how this person can fulfill your deepest desires. You want to spend every moment of every day with your new partner in the bliss of newly discovered love.

Here, you should remember the saying, “If it’s too good to be true it usually is.” There’s a reason for this adage. In this stage of romance, your brain is not able to access and incorporate red flags, or flaws in your potential partner. You only see their potential and how you feel when you are with them. Your brain is literally addicted to the feeling of being in love. In this stage, you biologically lose your brain’s prefrontal lobes’ (the thinking and logical part of the brain) ability to reason.

Romantic love is the fodder of Hollywood movies and stories. Romantic love sells, and we can’t get enough of it. But media representations of these stories give a false sense of what a relationship should look like, and set us up for disappointment in real relationships.

2. Realistic Love

As a counselor, I hear the same story over and over, “Our relationship is not easy or fun anymore.” This is the beginning of the second stage of love relationships, which is realistic love. It is most often in this stage that people get stuck. Idealization of your partner diminishes and you begin to see who your partner really is — and they begin to see you. All your flaws are exposed to each other and it is here when couples start really being challenged in the relationship.

It is in this stage where couples either make it or break it. The time frame for this stage varies wildly. Some relationships are ditched immediately, others endure bickering and unmet needs for many years. If you only believe in romantic love, your bubble will undoubtedly be burst in this stage. You will begin to feel cheated, or that you “settled” for a partner who is not the person you fell in love with. You will begin to feel resentful, and resort to blaming your partner for your unmet needs. Thus starts a cycle of blaming, hurt and despair. If you feel this is you, contact a marriage counselor sooner rather than later.

In my experience, couples wait too long to seek counseling. They live for years with blame, resentment and hurt before they seek help. Sometimes one partner is doing all the work to keep the relationship together and ultimately this strategy results in feeling depleted and frustrated. Eventually the depleted partner will decide they are totally done, and their partner will be surprised when the relationship ends. Some partners will step up to the plate and begin giving to the relationship when they realize they can no longer just take from it.

There is a healthy way to transition through this stage of realistic love relationship and move to a more mutually safe and secure functioning. I encourage any couple that recognizes they are living with negative patterns of behavior to get help with their relationship. This help will involve learning about yourself and your partner at a fundamentally deeper level. Find out what your unmet needs are, and work to feed your partner’s unmet needs too.

3. Mature Love

This stage is marked by safety and security in the relationship. Both people feel fulfilled and cared for by the other person. Isn’t that what you want and desire? The only way to obtain mature love is to work through the previous stages: there are no shortcuts. In this stage you and your partner know each other at a deep and intrinsic level. You know your own desires and wounds, and you choose to accept your partner’s desires and wounds in turn. In other words, you have each other’s backs — for better or worse.

Every one is human and makes mistakes. Each stage of love is wrought with mistakes; the important thing is that the two of you commit to working through the mistakes and build safety together. In this stage, love is an action and a feeling word. No longer worried about losing the relationship, you can experience this type of love as safe, satisfying and passionate.

Why They Don’t Call After a Great Date?! Posted on Sep 23, 2013 at 01:36 PM

Men and women are no different when it comes to the reasons why they may seem to be having a terrific time on a date but later vanish, never to be heard from again. If you’ve ever had a great date but then never heard from that person again, you know how confusing the experience can be. I I find that the vanisher often vanishes for three basic reasons, each of which can break your heart if you’re not savvy about the risks of dating.

Somebody Else


Hands down, the existence of someone else is the number one reason why a person may not call or reach out to you after a good date. Who is it, you wonder? It depends. Sometimes the vanisher is currently interested in and talking to someone else; other times, the relationship or fling has ended but your guy or girl is still hung up. Though there may not be an active relationship, the vanisher may still have tender feelings for that individual and may not be ready to give up the ghost and start another relationship with someone new.


Embarrassment or Insecurity


The second reason people don’t call back after a good date is far less self-explanatory.Sam, provides an excellent example of this type of vanisher. Sam is in his early 30s and is looking for a serious girlfriend. The problem? Sam recently moved to a new city and felt forced to take a job that he feels is beneath him. In short, Sam wants to wait to start dating someone seriously until he moves into a better job, one that comes with the status and salary with which he feels comfortable.


“Sam!” I urge. “You’re such a great guy that you shouldn’t worry about what any woman will think of your job or your income.” He counters: “But if I’m with someone, I want to be able to really take her out, and I don’t want to worry about paying for things with a credit card because I don’t have the money now.” In other words, Sam has decided that he will not ‘embarrass’ himself by dating anyone until his career is where he wants it to be. Trust me: Unless you were his therapist, you would never in a million years know why he never called the last girl back. But I’ll bet you my four-year-old daughter that his poor date felt confused and upset when he vanished. 

Sam is only one example of the role embarrassment (about one’s life circumstances) can play in not following through after a good date.  The key is to remember that there are countless challenges that can interfere with one’s ability to start a relationship. Understanding that the vanisher may not have called back because of humiliation or embarrassment – unfounded or not – serves as an important reminder: It’s not always about you, so ease up on yourself!


Impulsive Or Obsessive Personality Style


The third major reason why someone vanishes after a good date has to do with the way he or she makes romantic decisions. While emotionally healthy men and women approach a new relationship with a mix of excitement and caution, vanishers experience a flurry of mental activity after a good date that overwhelms them and ultimately blocks their ability – or willingness – to continue dating. The way they cope is to simply avoid that person altogether.


Men and women who are impulsive frequently vanish. These vanishers often dive into a conversation with a new date and feel certain that the new person is The One. During the date, they may start making plans for the future, talk as if the two have known each other forever, or show expressions of physical affection that would convince anyone that this person is interested. The problem with impulsive people, however, is that they often make decisions on impulse and reality hits them in the face when the date ends. Rather than continue dating, impulsive vanishers are often like little kids with a case of grown-up ADHD. They get distracted by other things, people, and tasks and don’t stop to arrange another date.


In addition, men and women who are obsessive also frequently have a good date but then disappear. These vanishers mentally dissect the entire date and themselves to the point that they start focusing on fears and ‘what ifs’ instead of doing what they should be doing: taking it easy and having fun! The obsessor usually is his or her own worst enemy, and these conflicted individuals sabotage their own love lives time and time again.

The takeaway: Whatever the reason may be for anyone who vanishes after a good date, the recipient of such behavior should not take things personally. Try using the following mantra to protect yourself from unnecessary frustration: Dating is risky business; if you can’t take the risk, don’t take the date