opposites-attract

Opposites Attract – Truth Or Myth?

opposites-attractI have to be honest, I think the theory that opposites attract is a hoax. Diversity is great. Being opposite is great … when you are friends and can have time away from each other. But, when I go on a date I want to know that we are in sync.  And many times, this is not with a person who is my opposite.

How Opposite Is Opposite

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If your core values are aligned but say your habits or interests are opposite, then that is different than being completely opposite. I am a night owl and have dated men who are morning people. Is that opposite? Yes. Is it so opposite that you can’t find a way to work around it and compromise? No.  I have dated men who have completely opposite views to me about religion, life values and raising a family and when I am looking at taking a life long path with someone, it is important that we have a common foundation and agreement on key elements.

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Sure, we don’t want to date a clone of ourselves. OK, so maybe a few narcissists we know do! But, having differences are important and necessary to keep growing and learning together. This only helps keep the relationship fresh. Being diverse is OK. You can remain an individual while at the same time, share in being a couple.

Share In Your Partners Interests

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Not sure you like fishing? It’s OK. If your man loves then what does it cost you to try it? Nothing. The worst that happens is that it is not for you but at least you get alone time with your guy … and a few fish. But, you may love it and find it is something you can bond together over. And bonding is a good thing. I dated someone who was a stamp collector. Was that exciting to me? No. I did go to some stamp shows and had fun and tried to learn and wound up enjoying myself. It made me happy that he was happy that I was open to at least seeing what his interest was about!

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Feeling Special – A 2-Way Street

Dating a christian manEveryone deserves to feel special. Appreciated. Loved. A relationship remains in balance when people express this in some way … whether it is a card, a grand gesture or a simple surprise.

I think it is very important in not only friendships, but in dating relationships to make sure you let the person you are with know how special they are to you. We all get caught up in the mundane responsibilities of life. It is very easy to become complacent and plod along without fanfare. But, I have discovered that life needs fanfare and needs celebrations and needs moments of surprises. It keeps life fun and interesting.

I am a work-a-holic. There, I admitted it. I have many irons in the fire and can easily become a slave to my never ending TO DO list. But, I know this. And when I see I have fallen into the abyss, I plan “something” to get me out … an escape that leads me back to the fun world of doing something different.

If we truly love someone, we want them to be happy … we want to please them … we want to make sure their needs are put ahead of our own (as long as they don’t cross any value system). And we hope our mate reciprocates.

Is your loved one stressed? Had a bad day? Worked long hours? Have a sick family member? All this drains our emotional energy. To recharge that for our mate is important. Whether that is in a tiny card left in their computer bag, a series of fun e-cards, one single real or chocolate rose when you come to go out … all are ways to let the person we are with know we are thinking of them and think they are special.

Gestures do not have to be grand or sweeping … although that is nice too. But, small little tender thoughts or actions all contribute towards solidifying that loving bond and letting your mate know that your happiness is important to them.

What do you do to make your loved one feel special?

Mariann

Smart Girls Guide To Dating Online: Is Your Profile True To You?

Is your profile attracting "frogs"When was the last time you read your own online dating profile? Bet it’s been a while. Go look at it. Now.

I’ll wait.

Back? OK. Based on what you read …who are you? Would you date yourself? Is the person  you describe as your “ideal match” really someone you’d want to spend a lot of time with? Your online profile is important, that along with your picture is the first glimpse a potential date has of you. It’s your calling card, your advertising pitch – the marketing tool that entices potential dates into wanting to know more. And more often than not, our online profiles are not working for us. Are you not attracting attention or…worse…attracting the wrong kind of attention? Your profile is a magnet that can attract or repel. Let’s go through some pitfalls and bad online profile strategies and figure out what will make yours shine.

Are you attracting the same “bad-for-you” type over and over?

Lazy? Losers? Mama’s boys? Peter Pans? Your profile is probably attracting this type. Look at what you’re saying and how you’re saying it. Sure, we all like our personal freedom, but if the words in your profile make you sound like being “footloose and fancy free” 24/7 is of the utmost importance to you…you just may be attracting the commitment-phobic man who will perceive you as safe to date. If you wax poetic about how you are just SO careful with your money (in an attempt to sound financially stable) …you may just be attracting tight-wads.

Find another way to word these statements. You don’t want to be dishonest and portray yourself as something you’re not (more on that later) but you do want to be clear. for example, if being financially sound is important to you, try a statement like “although I love nice dinners at upscale bistros and other “finer things” in life, I still know the value of a bargain when I see it”. It says, yes I can be frugal, but I’m by no means cheap. You’ll put the tight-wads on notice!

Do you often find yourself meeting someone for the first time and realize that you have nothing in common?

Look at your profile. Are you saying that you enjoy certain things or activities JUST because you think it will attract more responses? This is where honesty is imperative in a profile. If you say that you love Hockey, then don’t be surprised if you find yourself on a coffee date with a man who is boring you to tears with his non-stop chatter about the New York Islanders! State what your interests/hobbies/likes/dislikes are with complete and utter honesty. Yes…. I KNOW the guy with the hot looking pix is a fanatical skier and you would rather eat nails than be anywhere near snow….but DON’T pretend to like skiing just to meet him. He’ll figure out that you’re not compatible when you come down with the “flu” every time he wants to go skiing.

Is how you picture yourself the same way the world pictures you?

Oftentimes how we perceive ourselves is far different than how our friends and family see us. They’re often much more perceptive and right on the money about us than we are about ourselves. So, how would the people who know you best describe you? Do this, ask at least three trusted friends (friends of the opposite sex would be ideal!) to list the qualities that make you, in their opinions, a great date. Then, use that information in describing yourself online.

When was that profile picture taken?

If your pictures is more than a year old…get a new one. If it’s ten years old…burn it. The headshot you use doesn’t have to be a glamour shot. It just has to be clear and current and look like you. Like it or not, even if you are drop dead gorgeous, there will be singles who nix you as a potential date because of how you look. Don’t take it personally, maybe they only date redheads, or they only date people over six feet tall, or their astrologer told them their soul-mate will be someone with a large mole on their left cheek. You really don’t want to meet those folks anyway, I don’t care how perfect they sound for you in their write-up. Ignore them. The really unforgiveable sin in online dating is to show up for a date and not look like your picture. So get a good headshot, from a camera….not your cell phone.

There you have it …and if you follow the above advice I guarantee that you’ll meet your mate next week….KIDDING! There are no guarantees. There is an excellent chance however that you will start meeting singles who are interested in YOU, who are more compatible with you, who are good for you. And that’s always a happy thing!

Sharon

Is Perfection Perfect?

OK. So in my mind, I think I am perfect. But, the raw truth is that I am not perfect … as much as I would like to convice myself of the contrary. I am a perfectionist and I seek perfection in others. So, why am I disappointed when others are not perfect? People in glass houses can’t throw stones. Am I holding onto unreal expectations and in essence setting others up to fail so that when something goes wrong, I have a very good reason to walk away from somone or something?

Please. Please. Don’t all yell out your answers at once. LOL

I have my faults and yet I want people to forgive me of those.

Don’t we all have something wrong with us in one way or another?

Yes, there are certain things I won’t put up with … violence, abuse, cheapness, no manners, lying and no ambition.

What is perfection? Are we talking about physical? Intelligence? Character? Integrity?
Someone corresponded with me and he confided about something physical. To me … It was exterior and not important. It was not an indicator of what was inside the person.

To not write back or dismiss him would certainly be shallow and callous and why should I penalize someone for something beyond their control? One could say I don’t meet their height limit (out of my control) and therefore they don’t want to meet me. I would get mad and insulted and wonder what kind of a jerk they were for looking at something so superflous.

I had a realization that I too was not really perfect. Who is? I chose to get to know a person who had a nice perspective on life, a good sense of humor, a cute smile, and a nice heart. Maybe whatever he dealt with in life, is what gave him strength and confidence and courage and the ability to look into one’s heart. I hope he can look past my one imperfection (ok, ok … some of my imperfections).

We met. He is a very nice man and I only see a nice, confident and decent human being.

Perfection is all subjective.

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Is there something that is a deal breaker for you?
Is perfection over rated?
And, does our desire for perfection only lead to inevitable disappointment?
I think a good heart, humor and integrity are the most important things a person can have.
But, let me know your thoughts.

Thanks
Mariann

Thanksgiving Remembered

Thanksgiving, the holiday, may be over but giving thanks should be an on-going process.

Sometimes in life we focus on what we don’t have in life … not enough money, a devoted partner, a house to call our own, a sick parent.

But I think it is important to be thankful for what is in our life …. friends, a job, a protective parent, a sense of humor, faith,

When we do, I think we open ourselves to love and good things. If we are so pre-occupied with what is wrong, then we don’t have the time or sight to see the good.

Be thankful for friends and family.
Be thankful for the guy you met who isn’t perfect – it helps define what you are looking for so when you do meet someone, you will know.
Be thankful for a job in this time of economic downturn.
Be thankful for your health.
Be thankful for a smile or act of kindness from a stranger.
Be thankful for those touching moments or expressions of love or humor with your siblings.

When we do, we will have Thanksgiving everyday.

OK, so this may seem sappy. And perhaps it was too much wine and too much good food this past weekend that has made me sentimental.

Stay positive and look for the positive in life. A relationship you are in may not work out but maybe it was meant to teach us something about ourselves or what we are looking for in a relationship. Or, if you have not found someone, keep moving forward and trying. If you have found someone that seems nice, then enjoy it!

I do know I am thankful to our loyal LIFEBYTES Blog readers. Thank You!

Mariann

DATE FOR PAY – But Who Pays?

I hate guys who are cheap with the dollar. There, I said it. I can understand careful and responsible. But, when it comes to paying for dates, I think the man should pay. It is the gentlemanly thing to do especially if he initiated the invitation to go out.

Yes, I understand it is the 21st century and woman and men are equal. But are they? Recent reports show that single women earn 82 cents to every dollar earned by a man. And, if you are a working mother then it is even less. So, perhaps we are still not as equal as we all had hoped. And yet, when it comes to intellect, capability, sense of humor, athletic ability, and talent … yes, we are equal.

But, the fact of nature dictates that men and women are different. And, when it comes to dating, it is not about equality. It is about respect, courtship and understanding the differences.

Men, by nature and gender, take a leadership role in society. And, I think it is OK to let a man pursue you. Let him earn your time and respect and affection. It is OK for them to work for it, but then again, men do like a challenge.

A woman allowing a man to pay for dinner does not mean she is weak or not independent. A woman offering to pay for a date does not mean she is controlling or wants to take the lead. It is purely about reciprocating kindness or generosity.

I, by nature, have been told that I am too generous. This is true. I have to fight myself to not grab the bill. I also realize that I cannot take away that treat of a dinner or drinks from the man.

It is hard to find a delicate balance in these times to determine who pays for a date and when.

For me, someone who is cheap can also mean they are cheap with their generosity and heart and I don’t want that. I also don’t want someone who squanders their money as they will waste their money, time and heart on unimportant things.

I want a man who is going to honor me, respect me, want to show me that I mean something important to him and he is willing to work for it. I want a man who knows his place and is sophisticated enough to know how to handle a situation with subtlety and awareness. This is not a one sided relationship. Women have their own ways to show men that they are interested, do care and have love to share. Again, not equal but different.

After awhile, it ceases to become about who pays for a date or not. It is about kindness, generosity, thoughtfulness, sincerity and wanting to please the person you love. And, in showing this, the reciprocity of how you do that is what leads to the delicate balance in the relationship.

But, starting a relationship can be tricky. So, I have a rule. I let the guy pay for the first 2 dates. If I like him, I will pay for the 3rd or make the invitation to do something which would result in me bearing the financial burden of the invitation.

I keep on that cycle for a couple of months and then I just let things progress organically.

I don’t need someone to pay for me but if someone is always willing to let me pay and does not want to reciprocate kindness, then that person is not for me.

I had an experience once where I dated someone for a couple of months. We went to a pricey dinner show in the city around the holidays. I said I would pay for the ticket portion of the evening. Leaving my date to pick up the dinner. We arrived all dressed up and ready for a fun evening. My date told me to order the pricey price-fixed instead of the cheaper a la carte. He ordered me a lot of champagne. When the check came, the waitress gave it to him. He looked at it. I said, “I have it … the money ….” And he promptly handed me the bill and said, “Well thank you very much.” Not one more glance. Not one offer to help. Not one offer to even pay the tip. What I was about to say was, “I have the money for the tickets.” I was holding the cash ready to give it to him. He had to have noticed that I then had to go searching for my credit card and paid in a combo of cash and credit card. I was so stunned and shocked and did not know how to react. Clearly my generous nature was taken advantage of for sure.

I guess what really bugged me about this was that he should not feel that comfortable letting me pay such a high bill without at least offering to help in someway. And, he also knew there was a real possibility that I would lose my job the following month and that to pay such a hefty “night out on the town” bill was a burden. But he did not have the awareness or the concern or sensitivity that is needed in keeping that delicate balance in a relationship.

Here is the kicker … he called me a year later (we had broken up shortly after that evening) and told me he bought his new girlfriend a watch that was on sale for $1600. I wanted to yell, “Look #&@!, you owe me $450 for the dinner from last year.” Obviously, I did not. But, I was relieved to not be in a relationship that did not have all the elements it needed to work and find that delicate balance.

How do you handle dating, who pays, when and how do you let that progress? Any great stories to illustrate there are true gentlemen out there? Any funny or horror stories we can all identify with in our own dating life? Please share … we love your feedback!

Mariann

Strange Email Comments – The Top Ten

Strange Emails!Over the years I’ve gotten more than my share of odd emails. Here, in no particular order, are excerpts from some of my favorites.

1. I don’t have a headshot posted because I’m very famous in my town. (Um, OK. Town drunk? Married? Really a woman?)

2. I’m married but maybe you could just have some fun with me till your Prince Charming comes along. (Soooooo…you’re being honest with me but NOT your wife?)

3. Make a wish and I’ll grant it. (After you pop out of a bottle wearing bloomers?)

4. I read your email as I was sipping a Mocha Latte, while enjoying the jasmine scents of the foliage as it wafted through my kitchen window. (This was oddly flowery for a guy…. until I found out that he’d sent the SAME email to my girlfriend..verbatim- then it was just weird. And BTW, what “wafted”, the scents or the foliage?)

5. i looking for a women just lik you. (Thank you for the warning).

6. 300-555-2788 (“CALL NOW to take advantage of this limited time offer!!!!” ???).

7. I would like to meet you later today for an afternoon of sexual pleasures. (Today? Gee, how about….NEVER.)

8. (This one came after I’d sent a polite “no thank you” to someone who emailed me) “Well, I hope you find your prince…under the TREE!” (My Christmas tree or the oak tree in my backyard? Quick, let me know I want to go and look!)

9. Here’s a link to the Real Estate group that handles the rental on my shore house. You can see a picture of the house on their site! (I’m looking for a date, not a vacation rental…just sayin’)

10. If we meet you’ll need to know that I am an atheist! (Afraid I’ll scream “Praise the Lord and pass the potatoes!!!” before we have dinner?)

Amen – thank you God for gifting me with a fairly healthy sense of humor..) What’s the oddest email comment you’ve ever gotten?
Sharon

Reconnecting with your intuition

This week we have a guest post by our friend, relationship expert Maryanne Comaroto!

Have you ever met someone for the first time, and within a few seconds of meeting them, you got a gut feeling about them and felt your body either opening up to them, or closing off? That “belly brain,” or intuition, is a powerful information filtering system that uses your senses to make judgements about new people and new situations. It measures all kinds of data, and tunes you in to everything you need to know about a person. It can tell you if this person is dangerous or safe, angry or kind, aggressive or shy. It measures things like a person’s walk, their conversation style, their body language, and their movements in order to make assessments. It all happens very quickly – if you are paying attention, you can know within about 30 seconds whether you are in a good or bad situation, and whether you should continue or get the heck out of there. The body makes this judgement call based on empirical data, and it never lies about its findings.

However, within milliseconds the information then gets passed on to the brain, where it undergoes a second, less accurate filtering process. This time around, the incoming data from the other person gets compared to your brain’s internal database of past experiences. You have a huge amount of information in your mind regarding speech patterns, behavior recognition, common references, and a whole host of other ways in which you can categorize this new person. Once the brain finds some labels to stick on this person based on your historical data, your body will respond by expanding or contracting. This is where we can start to have problems, because the brain is not always as honest or accurate as the intuition when it comes to making an assessment.

Our brains are not only full of past experiences, but also with learned and acquired beliefs that have built up over time into knee-jerk defense mechanisms that work like safety barriers to try to protect us. Men who drive up in an old, rusty car are losers; women with bleached hair and fake boobs are uneducated and shallow; men in Italian suits are successful and ambitious; quiet women who wear glasses are intelligent and trustworthy. While this second phase of filtering can provide you with some useful information, it can also be misleading, particularly if the true intuition disagrees with the assessment, and the brain chooses to override the intuition regardless.

You might think it silly that the brain’s fallible decision-making process would override the intuition’s flawless one, but it happens all the time. Think back to your last breakup. Can’t you look back now and say, “well yeah, I kind of knew in my gut that things weren’t right, even when we were still together”? That’s your intuition at work. The belly brain always knows. But your mind, in an effort to avoid pain in the short term, overrides the intuition and tells you what it wants you to hear, whatever will smooth things over so that it doesn’t have to feel pain right at this moment. In order to get past this tendency to believe the brain over the belly, you have to relearn how not to rely solely on the brain’s second-hand information. I’m sure you can think of many instances when you brain has told you things that have ultimately led to heartache, when your intuition had been right all along, but you just didn’t listen. As it turns out, the brain is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master. Your intuition needs to be in the driving seat with the brain riding shotgun, not the other way around.

So why do we so often get it wrong, and let our flawless intuition be bullied by the rationalizations of our brains? This, my darlings, is the cry of the divine feminine, and this is why it is so essential that we wake up and find this larger universal truth within each one of us! So much writing has been devoted to explaining the death of intuition, but for now I’ll just say that we will continue to make harmful decisions until we learn to wake up and pay attention to it.

If you sit and look back at all your old body-versus-brain situations, you’ll quickly see who is smarter. Next week in Part Two, we’ll talk about how to reconnect with the belly brain, and how to recover the ability to be heart-smart!

Maryanne will be teaching a live video webinar on how to “inner-view” potential dates or mates BEFORE you agree to a date or relationship. She’ll be featuring a very eligible bachelor and showing participants the best questions to ask and how to respond, live, on the fly, in real time! Sign up here: http://bit.ly/cvsc90