Chemical love

Chemistry Here Today Gone Tomorrow

Ever meet someone and you can’t keep your hands off of them? It’s a great feeling. Am I right? You think about them constantly. You have a funny smirk on  your face … all the time. You are in a meeting and suddenly images of naughty things you have done overtake your mind and soon you don’t hear what anyone is saying in the meeting. And then when you do get together, hours pass like minutes in each other’s arms. You wonder how you would ever sleep if you were living with this person because other adult activites would get in the way. And, then just as quick as it started … it changes. Chemistry here today gone tomorrow.

Enjoy The Experience

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Chemistry and attraction is a funny thing. It seems to change and sometimes you just don’t know why. And just when chemistry wanes it can come back with a vengence and yet again, you don’t know why. I am not one to live in the moment, but if I have learned anything it is that you have to enjoy the experience and moment you are in. For this planner and over thinker, that is a hard thing to do.

Do Not Overthink Attraction

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Attraction is not just physical as we all know. It can be connected to spirit and soul and how sympatico you both are. I have been weak in the knees for a cute guy only to find out after a few dates that the person has no heart or thoughtfulness. And then I have met guys who I was not so attracted to but their souls and hearts were so genuine and loving and thoughtful, their physical looks improved and my attraction for them was unexplanable.

Chemistry Here Today Gone Tomorrow

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Relationships are hard. Add in chemistry and sexual attraction and it is quite the balance beam to stay steady on. I give kudos to people who have found that balance and can go with the ebb and flow of a relationship. The good, the bad. The ups, the downs. The funny, the serious. The wild attraction, the friendship. I just don’t know how they do it and I am jealous because I wish I could. I exit a relationship once things change and perhaps I just am not trusting of the foundation or that we will get back to where we were. If we don’t, I will be devastated and disappointed and frustrated. So, I opt for the easier route. Yes, I know I am working on this!

Give The Relationship Time But Always Be Honest

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I tend to check out once I feel a relationship is out of sync and that is not fair because every relationship goes out of tune every once in a while and it does not mean the music can’t return to the relationship. But, you have to be honest with what you are feeling and where you are and what you want and if your relationship is giving you what you want. If it is not, you have to be honest and sensitive and know if this is a short term issue or one that needs reckoning. Your heart will know and will tell you.

Listen To Your Heart – Ignore The White Noise

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Listen to your heart and trust in how you feel and know the difference between what will change and what you know will not change. Easier said than done. But in the stillness of your thoughts, it will become clear and so will what you have to do for you and for the fairness of the person you are with … whether that is to stay together or move on.

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Q & A: Brokeback Mountain Secret?

QUESTION:
I am a gay man. Only a couple of my friends know. People might speculate but I do not like to talk about my sexuality. I don’t want people knowing I am gay or defining me by my sexuality. The problem is … I am alone. I want to be in a relationship, but if I am, then everyone will know. I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life, but I don’t want to have to talk about my sexuality either.

Mariann:
If you are gay, and you can be honest with yourself, then you owe it to your friends to be honest with them as well. They may already know or suspect so I am sure the news will not be shocking. If your friends love you, they won’t care as they just want to see you happy.

I think you are not comfortable in being seen as gay. And, it does not have to define you unless you want it to. Your friendship, honesty, integrity and how you conduct your relationships define you … not who shares your bed.

Once you come clean to your friends, I think it will unburden you psychologically of those invisible chains that have prevented you from fully living your life and having love and a relationship in life. You deserve it. Now, just go out and do what you need to get it!

Sharon:
I agree with Mariann, you owe it to yourself to be true to who you are and honest about it too. Your true friends will still be your friends regardless of your sexual orientation. Truth is (I’m taking an educated guess here) most of your friends will probably not be surprised when you come out to them. They may even become closer friends because you were able to share a very private part of yourself with them. Your friends will also respect the fact that you are a very private person who doesn’t want to be defined by his orientation.

You deserve to be in a good, solid relationship and being honest with yourself and everyone around you is the first step on the path that will help you achieve this goal.

Dear Diary – Where are ALL the Normal Men?

Dear Diary,

Where have all the good men gone? Where are all the normal guys? Why is it so hard for guys to write just ONE email that has complete sentences with punctuation and no abbreviations?

I know I am asking but not expecting to get any answers back. I had taken a hiatus from dating for a while. I was busy at work and then wanted to spend some time on me … just me … my health … my exercise … my fashion … my writing. When that was in balance, I decided to venture back into the world of online dating.

I clicked on several profiles and cast a wide and accepting net.

I am not quite sure why guys who I email respond and tell me, “Thanks. But, I just met someone and we are dating and I am giving that a shot.” And, then … everytime I am on line I see they are constantly on line which makes me think they were lying and I would have rathered they not even email me with such an excuse.

One guy seemed cute, but he did not smile in his profile pic. And, the story in his profile told why. He went to the wake of the mother of a friend of his only to find himself at the wrong wake. And when he was on the receiving line realized it just as the daughter of the person who passed hugged him and said, “tell me what you remember about her?” He said (about this stranger no less) … “how beautiful she was.” The mourner teared and the guy left. On his way out, he took a pic of himself. Really? That’s when you say to your self … gee, maybe I should take a pic of myself now coming out of a wrong wake … and then post it on a dating site. Really?!?! Really?!!? Just askin ….

Then, this same person emails me and each email maxes out at 5 abbreviated words. He wants to talk. If his conversations are anything like his email, it will last all of a minute. Yes, some guys are not great with email. But an email with an “X X” in the subject line with the text of the email that says, “how are you?” Really?!?! That’s all he could muster? Just askin ….

One guy, Gomez, told me I was beautiful and that he knew he would marry me as soon as he saw my pic. Ugh – oh … he sure was wrong on that one. DELETE.

And why when you ask a man who has children to tell you a little about himself, he turns it into an itinerary about his children’s sports and school schedule? That is about them. I want to know about YOU. Is this too much to ask? Apparently, in many cases, it is.

Not a fan of Brittany Spears … but this seemed fitting:
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8RlQ4bE1dA]

I am sorry for complaining diary. I am always hopeful and feel the numbers are on my side and that if I just have patience, I will meet someone. Well, that patience pond is dry and I am really starting to lose faith that there are nice normal guys who just want to meet a nice girl.

Why did it seem so much easier in our parents time to meet someone who knew how to treat a woman and was not afraid of committment?

When did our society become so dysfunctional? I am not sure who to blame. Maybe we all share that …. but really Diary, I wish you could speak and tell me where all the normal men are?

If anyone knows, please email me.
Mariann

Re-discovering Laura Branigan

It was 11:55pm and I was glancing at the clock thinking I should go to bed. I was finishing a cup of tea and decided to skim the myriad of channels I think I subscribe too. I saw the opening credits of FLASHDANCE and I was hooked. This movie was like an anthem for the working girl who was more than she seemed. I had forgotten the scene where Jennifer Beals takes off her bra while still wearing her shirt … in front of the very cute boss (Michael Nourri) … at the time I thought this maneuver was quite bold.

As the movie played along, Laura Branigan’s GLORIA bounced out of the TV. OMG … in that instant, I was transported to another time in life. One I had forgotten. One I thought was worse at the time but in hindsight, was actually a good time. I wish I had appreciated it. With a few notes, the floodgates opened to memories and experiences that were locked deep in my mind (I’m blond, so that’s not too deep!). As remembrances of parties and friends brought a smile to my face, so too came back images of guys who I either dated or had such a crush on that I could barely put two sentences together.

Amazing to me that there were people and events that happened that I forgot about and 3 notes opened up that box of jewels … in the voice of Laura Branigan singing GLORIA. So, I then immediately went to iTunes and downloaded several of her songs … some I knew and others I am only discovering now. Seems fitting to be discovering her new songs when an old song of hers caused me to re-discover part of my past friends, loves and fun times.

Do you remember Laura Branigan? I thought she had a great voice. Remember this? Ya gotta love those solid gold dancers from the 80s! LOL

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVnI9X5p9JQ]

It is a shame what happened to Laura Branigan. She died in 2004 from a brain aneurysm. It makes you realize that while you remember and treasure memories, it is important to live life and create new memories every day!

Go, run back to your past and play a song or watch a video and see what memories it unlocks.

Tell me what you remembered … I would love to hear it.

Thanks for letting me ramble!
Mariann

The Reviews Are In

A friend recently sent me an email to say that she was referring her recently divorced sister to the LifeBytes blog to read about online dating. It seems that sis is anxious to get back into the dating pool but a bit overwhelmed by the concept of dating online. Write a profile? List my Turn-ons and Turn-offs? Email? I need to post a PICTURE TOO??!! No Virginia, you don’t just go the local sock-hop and wait for a boy to kiss you anymore. Add to this the fact that there are so many sites out there to choose from and I can see where the newly-single would find the prospects of remaining perpetually-single quite appealing.

Ah but the internet is good for so much more than dating…research for instance. Mariann and I recently connected with a site called OnlineDatingSites.net – the perfect place to start researching the various sites out there if you’re a “newbie” or even if you’re a veteran dater just looking to compare sites.

OnlineDatingSites features complete reviews of most of the major sites, including very complete information about what’s allowed or restricted with free or trial memberships as well as the fee structure for full-access membership. The reviews are grouped by Top Ten and specialty (Senior, gay, single-parent, jewish, to name a few) sites. I was really impressed with the way the reviews were structured, easy to read and complete but not so long that you need to spend days reading through them. You can be up and dating in no time.

There is also a blog with posts listing the top dating advice sites for men as well as for women, articles about the advantages of online dating and more. Oh yes, one more thing to note OnlineDatingSites has excellent taste in blogs….LifeBytes is listed as one of their “must-read” blogs..just sayin’.:)

Every dating site has it’s own personality, some have a more casual “just dive in and search our database” approach and some have a more, they call it scientific, approach. With the more structured sites you’re required to fill out a personality test that helps to match you. This can be fun or annoying and time consuming, depending on your own personality (and patience!!) A site like OnlineDatingSites can help to cut through the clutter and allow you to find the site that you’ll feel the most at home with. And that is a huge step in the right direction because…..you really do need to spend time posting a headshot, reading lots of profiles, sending emails, and……All much easier to do if you’re on the site that suits you best.

Three Degrees of Attitude

I was with some girlfriends the other day, chatting over coffee, fresh fruit and pastries when the conversation turned to dating. We were a mix of married, single and significant-othered so we all had different perspectives. One of my friends whom I hadn’t seen in a while asked me whatever happened to that nice man I was seeing. I told her I’d broken it off some months before and then someone else mentioned that “didn’t I meet him online?”

“Yes, I did. On Match.com,” I said.

Five women did what females tend to do when the conversation is about to get Good. We all simultaneously grabbed a pastry (ignoring, of course, the fruit!) and started munching away as the comments started flying faster than the cookie crumbs.

“What was it like? Wasn’t it scary, meeting someone you know nothing about?”
“I heard that a lot of the men on those sites are married!”
“My cousin’s friend’s sister met someone online and he turned out to be a huge alcoholic.”
“Well, my co-worker’s friend’s mother just got married to a guy she met online.”

My answers were: In an exhilarating kind of way….like skydiving. Knowing how to weed out the undesirables is an art form. See previous note about the art of filtering – learn it! Congratulations!!

Yes, it can be very challenging to date online. It takes time and practice, patience, stamina and a finely tuned sense of humor.

I hear from many singles who try online dating, have one or two bad dates and then refuse to date online ever again. I also have friends who just keep plugging away at meeting and dating new people despite the seemingly never-ending string of bad dates or worse, boring dates. Who do you think will find a long-term relationship someday? You get three guesses, the first two don’t count.

Mama never said it would be easy. But it’s absolutely possible to find that special someone online. I did, it didn’t work out in the long run but we had two and a half years together that I will treasure forever. My niece just got engaged to her soulmate who she met on eHarmony.com (Congratulations Blair and Josh!…:) So how do you do it? How do you date online, keep your sanity and sense of humor and increase your chances of finding a good and honorable mate? Attitude….with a capital A.

I’ve written alot of things about the ground rules for online dating and how to navigate these tricky waters but the first and foremost thing you need is Attitude.

Attitude is how you approach online dating. There are Three Degrees of Attitude.

Courageous Attitude – There ARE a lot of undesirable types online, married, manipulative, con men (and women), and a lot of these snakes can appear very, very charming. You need to realize that you’ll come across these people online, it’s a risk you take in the online dating arena. But you will be able to weed out these baddies because you have a:

Realistic Attitude – You are not desperate to find someone…NOW!!! You know that this process takes time and patience and you know that if someone seems even remotely inappropriate, you will quickly and easily say…”Goodbye…Next!” and move on to a new person. And you will meet a great guy or gal because you have a

Positive Attitude – This is the one that lets you laugh about the dates-from-hell. It allows you to just go out and enjoy meeting a match for the first time because even if it doesn’t lead to a second date, you’ll have had a great conversation with a person who you never would have met had it not been for the internet.

The three Degrees of Attitude will keep you sane enough to keep on plugging away at dating (as opposed to spending the rest of your Saturday nights cozying up to a pint or two of ice cream). The Attitudes will enable you to laugh at the bad dates (and sometimes yourself) and they’ll lead, at some point in time, to a guy or gal who matches you on (as eHamony says) 27 points of compatiblity.. AND Attitude.

Sharon

The “Weight” of Dating

As soon as I lose 10 pounds and can fit back into my skinny jeans, I will go back on the dating site and look for someone.” How many of us have said that to ourselves or friends?

How important is weight when it comes to dating? It seems women are more forgiving towards a man with weight than men are with women who have a “few extra pounds.”

The bottom line is … looks are important. But, so is the soul and character underneath. Physical attraction is what differentiates a boyfriend or girlfriend from just being a friend.

My mother used to say that “packaging” was important. But, it was not everything and that your shared values and what you have in common is most important. But, we each have a responsibility to look our best.

I have been out with some men who are so cute, you can’t take your eyes off of them. But, after a boring conversation or finding we have little in common … I lose interest and they become less cute. And, there have been times when I met a man and there was no initial chemistry but as I got to know their personality and values, I found them exceptionally attractive. But, if I did not allow the time to get to know them, I would not have seen that.

When we say looks are important, we don’t mean someone has to be a size 2 or a guy has to be built like a body builder and both of them looked like they stepped out of a Neiman Marcus catalogue. Sometimes it is a smile, a look in their eye, or the way they carry themselves.

Is weight important? Yes and No. It is a problem when the weight causes you frustration … sucks away your personality … inhibits you being your true self … or risks your health.

I have been out with men who have a wry smile that is dazzling, but have more weight on them than I would like … but if the chemistry and bond is there, it is of little concern.

Likewise, I have been on dates when I have not been at an optimal weight and I wonder, “doesn’t my weight make me less attractive to them … why do they like me?” I realize they see a 3 dimensional person who is fun and intelligent. But, in a wierd way, I almost get annoyed at them for accepting me with my extra weight. (therapist please!! lol)

At the end of the day, I think 4 things prevail:
a. We need to be the best people we can be as it relates to health and self development.
b. Looks have a preliminary importance in sparking an attraction that makes you want to date someone but there needs to be substance.
c. That who the person is on the inside is more important and we owe it to ourselves and the people we meet to allow time to look past the shallow veneer of looks and see what kind of treasure lies within that person because attraction and chemistry can develop.
d. A persons character is not fleeting as looks can be — so give people a chance and give them the kind of respect and chance you hope people allow you.

Weight can be lost and gained.

Chivalry, consideration, thoughtfulness, heart, a sense of charity, kindness, humor goodness and appreciation of family and what we have in our lives are not so easy to gain.

So, before you are so hard on yourself or with others, embrace all the other wonderful things you bring to the table and how lucky someone is to know you. And how lucky you are to have an opportunity to meet and get to know a wonderful person.

Give chemistry and attraction some time to see what develops. And, if that physical chemistry is a forceful magnet, be sure to look beneath the surface at the character within.

I gained weight since my mom’s passing last year. I am now on a diet and losing weight. And, it feels great. I feel healthier and happier about myself. I am not doing it be more attractive. I am not doing it so I can go on some dating site. I am doing it for me … and hopefully that is what someone will find attractive … Just me … in whatever form that takes on both the inside and outside of who I am.

Please take our Poll.
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Thanks for listening …
Mariann

Where I Discover That Men Can Be…Surprising.

Between our day jobs and the holiday-family-stress-filled time of year that it is, the LifeBytes project is moving at a slower than snail’s pace. We’d love to have a few days where we could lock ourselves in with a case of Diet Coke and assorted junk foods and just plug away at the book….not to be right now. Although we are chipping away at getting this baby born.

We’ve been thrilled and gratefully amazed at the depth of some of the stories that have been submitted. Our potential authors have been incredibly generous in sharing their experiences and we’re feeling so positive about the (eventual…sigh) publication of LifeBytes. We’ve noticed that younger singles have quite a different approach to online dating than older, more battle-scarred, singles. Better? Worse? Funnier? Sadder? You’ll have to be the judges on that one. Some singles dip a toe into online dating, have one or two bad or just plain weird dates and give up on the online thing entirely; while others manage to keep their sense of humor intact enough to just relax and enjoy the, oftentimes longer than expected, journey as it unfolds. The one constant is that everyone, young, older, male or female, brings their own attitude and approach to dating in cyber-space with ever varied results.

One of the things that has really stood out for both of us is that many more women than men have submitted. Well, actually the number of female contributors part makes perfect sense. We women do tend to talk and share more, don’t we? No, what has struck both of us is that the majority of men who’ve submitted stories have sent us tales of how they met their girlfriends, wives and significant others. Interesting.

Not long ago I met an online match for dinner. As it turns out I was one of the first women he’d met from this particular site. It was one of those meetings where you both realize immediately that this will be a pleasant dinner and conversation…but not more. He hadn’t dated at all in quite a few years and was having some trouble adjusting to the process of online dating. So I shared some of my observations and experiences with him, gave him some pointers on keeping his sense of humor high and expectations realistic…and…I told him about the LifeBytes project. Now, I don’t as a general rule discuss the project with men I meet online. Truth is, that’s not why I’m dating online, I want to meet a long term match and the book is an entirely different thing. But this sweet man seemed like he needed to hear that many others were sharing his culture shock and…yes…were meeting the loves of their lives too. I didn’t go into story specifics but shared some general observations that Mariann and I have developed regarding the project as a whole. I mentioned that the men submitting were telling us their love stories. As he heard this he nodded his head slightly and a faint smile played across is face.

“That’s because we always want things to work out.” He smiled again and I thought, they do?

So, in the end, I was the one who learned something new, and now I’m curious about whether or not this is generally how most men think. Come on guys…tell us if this is true for you. Are you really all just mushy romantics deep down? Is there a chewy nougat center under the strong hunter-gatherer exterior? I sure I’m not the only one wondering about this. It’s OK, you can share your thoughts on this with us…we won’t tell…well actually we will…but we’ll only tell our very best girlfriends…;)