Posts Tagged ‘relationships’
We know the fields of electrical charges able to push and pull similar materials, as magnetism. There are many kinds of magnetism, but the most familiar is the kind seen in common household magnets. Household magnets use ferro-magnetism, but another common type is feral (or animal) magnetism. Whether it be animal magnetism or some other force, some people seem to have a mysterious power to draw others to them.
A friend, who is a couples’ counselor, says no matter how dark or crowded a room, some people will attract each other. It sounds so romantic–the thought of two people being pulled together by some unseen force, but according to this expert on dysfunctional matches, this “pull” is more like the way magnets attract similar metals…as people seeking validation or excitement are drawn to each other. According to him, this is particularly true of certain personality types. They are the “players”, excitement seekers, love chasers, and narcissists. Read the rest of this entry »
A friend is one of the nicest things to have, and one of the best things to be. ~ Douglas Pagels
Valentine’s Day has come and gone again. Upon learning Valentine’s Day was being replaced in some school districts by “Friendship Day” and by adults with the alternative Singles Awareness Day (S.A.D.) I was wondering if romance had finally become politically incorrect. Both sounded as desperately over-reaching as comforting a childless teacher by telling her she’s lucky to have lots of children, or complimenting a fat girl on her pretty face.
Out of context, these new traditions sounded like affirmative action for the forlorn. Lord knows, romance is often over-rated and under-practiced, but the doom of humanity seemed inevitable, if society was ready to raise frowning-eyebrows on this most basic life pursuit. As it turns out, instead of being antithetical to romantic relationships, these celebrations that might actually serve to promote them.
Most of us don’t need a therapist, as much as a friend to be silly with. ~Robert Brault
Friendship Day? I’m all for it. The ability to make and sustain friendships is integral to enjoying others. Without friendship, even the most exciting relationships often fail. Though most of us realize the importance of friendships, we don’t always take the time to develop them. Even though we want our significant other to be our best friend, we act as if friendships are spontaneous occurrences, which develop without being cultivated, but more romances are born out of friendships, than vice verse. If friendships seem easier than romantic relationships, perhaps it is because we approach them differently.
Friendships provide us a context for being comfortable with ourselves. Unlike dating, they are low-pressure. Our earliest playground bonds are built on commonalities, confidences, comaraderie, and companionship–the same things that make for satisfying adult relationships. The tendency to be lured by the external attractions of a potential romantic partner, make all too easy for one to romanticize someone they hardly know, or with whom they have little in common. Sadly, relationships based only on sizzle, usually fizzle. Read the rest of this entry »
In the aftermath of an event like the shooting in Aurora, many are glued to their televisions, trying to make sense of what has happened. I avoid the ongoing news coverage, but it is nearly impossible to avoid being over-saturated by the information surrounding such an event. Regularly scheduled news breaks on the radio, the news ticker on my e-mail account, or the chatter of social media, assure that I’ll learn more than I need to know.
Most in the Denver area were still sleeping when I heard the first reports of the massacre, but in those early morning hours, I learned all I needed to know: Innocent people were victims in a tragic shooting. I wasn’t interested in hearing the unfolding coverage, because in the immediate hours after such a happening, what is presented as news, is mostly speculation.
Without ever tuning into a news broadcast, my head got its fill of hearsay and unsubstantiated details–or what we used to call gossip. Some speculated that James Holmes was a right-wing crazy, others were convinced he was a pawn or operative in a left-wing plan to disarm America. Some suggested he had an accomplice, others said he acted alone. Some held him up as evidence of a Godless society, some blamed bullying or the failure of parents to raise their kids properly. Still others attributed the act to American economic powerlessness, because James Holmes failed to find a job after graduate school. Many placed the blame on the movie producers, and/or society’s desensitization to violence. People speculated on whether he was mentally ill, under the influence of drugs or just the product of too much video game violence. Most of those who put forth theories, were no more qualified than I to comment on his mental health or the cause of his actions,
Only one thing was clear.
When things like this happen, we seek to make sense of them–but things like this don‘t make sense. Something went chaotically wrong in a theater in Aurora, Colorado, when what should have been an escape into movie fantasy, became a frightening reality with few chances for escape. Knowing why it happened, will do nothing to make us feel better about this senseless attack. No law could have prevented it. There is nothing that can guarantee we won’t see something like this again, and nothing we learn will make this tragedy make sense.
Despite this, the media disseminates information in an effort to help answer questions as to why it happened. Anyone whose opinion might shed light on the event, is given a microphone. Reporters dig up neighbors, colleagues, classmates or whomever is available to comment on what they knew of the suspect.
What I find troubling (and ironic) is that the people who knew the suspect, usually inadvertently admit they didn’t know the suspect. Typical they say things like, “He kept to himself” “He was a loner.” “He minded his own business“. Then they express their shock at the actions of the person they didn’t really know, a person nobody really knew.
What we don’t hear are close friends talking about the many hours they’d spent with that person. I’ve yet to hear anyone talking about the memories and the laughs they shared, or how much they valued the friendship. We don’t hear those things, because often the person(s) who commit this type of senseless violence live in an isolated world of emotional turmoil.
James Holmes played team sports in high school, surely some of those teammates interacted with him. It seems likely he would have made connections to those with whom he shared an interest in video games, or the people in his academic program, yet sadly he lived his life in strange and solitary way. Maybe something in his make-up made it hard for him to make friends, or maybe something had caused him to be distrustful of others. He may have been a mad man or a sad man, but for some reason he felt no normal connection to the people who would become victims. He was disconnected from those around him, long before that disconnect in his head, caused him to do what he did.
We all face loneliness, frustrations and despair, but if life is hard, it is harder for those who have no one to talk them down from a tree, or off a ledge. If the world is sometimes lonely for those who have close friends and family, how much more so it must be for those who don’t. I don’t mean to be so simplistic as to suggest that if Holmes had some homeboys, this wouldn’t have happened. Dylan Klebold had Eric Harris, and both of them had other friends, yet they both felt like outsiders.
Americans live more isolated lives now, than a few generations ago. The internet, e-mail and smart phones make it easier for us to stay connected, but we often spend more hours connected to our electronic devices, than to the people around us. When I was a kid, we didn’t turn to reality TV to get a glimpse into other people’s lives. If we wanted to know what was going on in other people‘s lives, instead of inviting strangers into our living rooms via television, we’d pile into the car and drop into the living rooms of those we knew. We didn’t call ahead or set a time, we just showed up. Before there was Yahoo, there was Yoohoo, as in, “Yoo-hoo, anybody home?“.
Back then, instead of feeling imposed upon, by an unannounced visit, the host would welcome the unexpected disruption. The host(s) would fall all over themselves apologizing, if they didn’t have anything to offer guests, as expressed in the very popular 1950s hit “If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d've Baked a Cake”. Even if inconvenient, they’d insist you come in and sit down, and everyone would settle in for a visit.
There isn’t much to a “visit.” Talk, listen, talk listen. Not much else. We dropped in into see a new baby or to meet a friend’s out-of-town visitors. We dropped in on those who were going through hard times. We dropped in when we learned somebody had lost a loved one. On those occasions, we brought the cake–or a casserole, but mostly, we dropped in for no particular reason.
Visiting was a good pastime, but more importantly, it was a way of staying connected to the people in our communities and cultivating relationships with them. It was offering and getting support, without joining a support group. We knew our neighbors, and they new us. Back then, those who kept to themselves were considered to be odd or at least unfriendly. Now I live in a city, where most social visits are by appointment only, but where I come from a car in the driveway, is still as good as an invitation.
It is unlikely close friends could have stopped the thoughts in Holmes head, but what if Holmes had the kind of friends who drop in unannounced? If one person had realized how deeply troubled Holmes had become, what could he have done? Who could they have turned to for assistance? Even if one person had sensed Holmes was a time bomb with a short fuse, the authorities probably couldn’t have done much, because Holmes had yet to commit a crime.
It does no good to wonder. It is too late for the his victims, but they serve as a reminder to us all, we don’t live in a vacuum. We don’t always make the effort to get to know the people around us, but perhaps we should. If there is anything to be learned from this tragedy, it is that we need each other. We all need others to help us make sense out of what we go through, and to help us get through the things that don’t make sense.
June is over, without a single wedding invite.
There is a decade when most of the weddings you attend are those of your friends. Next, comes the decade when most of the weddings you’re invited to are remarriages of some of those same friends. Eventually you enter the decade in which the wedding invitations are from those same friends’ children.
Weddings are always the same, and always different. They are a particularly good exhibition of a couple’s tastes and personality. Traditional vows are often replaced with something custom-suited to the couple. From not-a-dry-eye-in-the-house prose to incomprehensible secret messages, wedding vows take many forms.
The most profoundly witty & sincere vows I’ve heard, were pronounced recently at the wedding, of a girlfriend, who has made her living as a very successful radio personality. She and her husband had written their own vows. She didn’t know what he would say. He didn’t know what she would say.
The groom read his sincerest thoughts with palpable emotion. The bride and all those assembled were clearly touched by his verbal declaration of love for her. Then came the response of a woman who is rarely, if ever at a loss for words. There are times when one doesn’t need to say much to have said it all, and this was one such time. She said just three little words.
Never before had those three little words had more depth than on that day. In a voice frail with emotions, she simply said, “What he said.”.
I doubt the groom missed hearing romantic bromides or pledges of undying devotion, because on their wedding day, she clearly wanted him to star in their show. To those who know the bride, there was something hugely significant in a radio host who passed up the opportunity to take over the microphone. Another bride might have been tempted to upstage her groom, but not this one. There were no promises to love, honor or obey, but there was no doubt about their commitment to each other. As with most wedding ceremonies, they wed believing in happily every after.
To those who have been married a while, the words uttered on the wedding day become vague memories. We may remember what we imagined our future would bring, or how we felt, but it is unlikely we remember the words said. No matter what kind of words were said on the wedding day, it is usually the case, that both partners are so enamored of one another,they are committed to making the other one happy. On that day, we believe we are the best person for them, and they for us. We believe they will be happier with us than with anyone else.
Day-to-day-living has a way of redefining marriage. The once perfect rapport we once enjoyed with the fiancé, becomes flawed…the easy lovin’, becomes harder to come by. Then one lonely day in the future one (or both) may find themselves wondering if they could be happier.
Marriages are stronger when we stay committed to putting that other person’s happiness above our own. Whatever issues come up are compounded when we stop caring about our partner’s happiness. As our bond is weakened we begin thinking more about our own happiness, than theirs. Eventually, the desire to be happy can become almost an act of self-preservation.
Even when we have forgotten the words spoken on our wedding day, we must work to remember when we placed their happiness above our own. The vows are meaningless, unless we do our best to keep them. It isn’t easy to remember those feelings and high ideals and it may not be possible to recapture the feelings we had on our wedding day, but we would all be happier if we remembered how we once valued our partner’s happiness. If only we could all at least try to remember, do you remember?
Marriage is supposed to be a partnership, a fifty-fifty proposition. It rarely is, but even when it is, an inherent flaw in a partnership between two individuals, is how to break a tie–or deal with a stalemate. There are times when compromise is the only option and times when it is the worst of options. However, many issues can be solved or avoided using a simple rule. It is the “Who Cares Most” rule.
The “Who Cares Most” rule is works best when one party has an opinion, but isn’t passionate about it. It works like this. On many smaller matters, one partner is often more heavily invested in the outcome than the other. In those cases, the other partner defers to the whims of the one “Who Cares Most”.
For instance, if a woman decides it’s time for a new shade of paint, drapes or a couch, it is likely she has her heart set on something specific. She has an idyllic vision, which is not likely shared by the man who shares the space. Though he is not nearly as committed to the outcome, he may second-guess or oppose her choices. This is when a smart person allows the “Who Cares Most” rule settle the disagreement.
Example: I recently changed the curtains in my living room. I chose beautiful chocolate velvet drapes with Beloved Soul Mate’s full agreement. As soon as they were hung, he loved them, but I found them to be oppressively dark. Had I asked him for input, he would have opposed changing them, but when I switched them out for something bright & airy, he failed to notice the change for almost three months.
The inexperienced me, might have entertained an argument over the matter, but the older, wiser me, knows he wants to be heard, even when he doesn’t really care much. After his initial protests, he almost always likes my choices. Invoking the “Who Cares Most” rule, I staged the window covering coup unbeknownst to him, without feeling duplicitous or overbearing, precisely because having the right curtains means more to me, than it does to him.
However, when it comes to autos, he cares WAY more about cars than I do. What I NEED from a car is simple.
1. Should respond favorably to a key in the ignition.
2. Must be comfortable and spacious enough to be practical.
3. Good color a plus.
Because of the “Who Cares Most” rule, I spent a regrettable year driving a Cadillac El Dorado, with a hinky electrical system. I would have preferred an SUV, but I simply wasn’t invested enough to wage a battle over it. The over-sized car didn’t appeal to me, but Beloved Soul Mate fell in love with it. I agreed to the car, because it mattered more to him & made him happy. Fortunately for me, the two-door Caddy quickly became impractical when we had children in carseats, providing a reason to sell it to another man who fell in love with it.
Using the above rule, many problems are avoided, but it is of no use in resolving the issue of how often to have sex. By this rule, the partner who wanted it most, would be allowed to control when & how to have it, but craving sex is like being hungry for pizza. When you want pizza, you want pizza; but as anyone who has found themselves in a the desperate-for-pizza-mood knows, there is great pizza and eat-it-only-in-a-pinch-pizza. Nevertheless, pizza is pizza. When we are desperate, we may settle for something that isn’t exactly what we wanted. It satisfies the urge, but doesn’t leaving us wanting the same thing the next day.
The definition of good sex, like the definition of good pizza is different things to different people. When us gals are dreaming of sex, we may be imagining something completely different from what men imagine we’re imagining. Women dream of something sweet, tender, and memorable. That isn’t to say it can’t be naughty, gratifying, monkey love, but it’s the kind of sex, that is still appealing at breakfast the next day.
Most of us are happy enough with the kind delivered in 30 minutes or less, even when we know the difference between a made to order brick-oven pie and the pizza that comes out of a freezer box. This is one situation when the “Who Cares Most” rule causes more problems than it solves, because it is rather like trying to force A Meat Lover’s Special on a vegetarian. The invoking of the “Who Cares Most” rule guarantees a stale mate.
Thick or thin–is isn’t possible to agree on everything. The compromise can be noble or counterproductive, because if one partner is continually compromising, resentment is inevitable. In pizza terms, it is exactly why you can order pizza made with half what she likes, and half what he wants. Not everything in marriage is fifty-fifty, but love-making is an area that should strive to be. If you can’t figure out how His & Hers is supposed to work, you might find yourself alone with a whole pizza to yourself. You’ll have it your way, but it won’t be nearly as fun as having someone to share it with.
Deb’s Note: One friend says writing about relationships is hackneyed, another friend says writing about sex is boring. Everywhere I look, people are trying to start relationships, fix relationships or end failing relationships. Therefore, I do hereby vow to stop writing about both sex and relationships when everybody stops having them.
Another friend says there is no comparison between sex and pizza. I think she just needs to try better pizza.
It’s probably only a matter of time before someone authors “Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned from my Girlfriends” if they haven’t already. The lessons we learn from the women in our lives, pick up where Mother’s lessons left off. Often they are lessons we wished we’d learned sooner.
For several years, I have enjoyed rereading the words on the framed poster in my grooming area. Posters, like tattoos, are often outgrown after a few years, but I’ve yet to outgrow this one. Most of us are not fans of aging, but the years have a way of making us realize how much we don’t know and help us appreciate having been around long enough to have learned a few life lessons. Perhaps one day, I’ll grow tired of the poster, but for now, it serves to remind me that youth & beauty are replaced by a something more substantial–a sense of self.
Though they are not mine, I share the words here.
Every woman should
know how to use a stick shift;
understand the difference between
don’t tell and soul and
don’t tell a soul i mean it;
know her mind; change it;
have protection handy;
but not too handy;
use special china;
and special underwear
for no special reason;
over commit; come through;
refuse to do it again; do it again;
be able to discuss first and ten;
have better things to do;
set boundaries; go camping;
grow something; dance crazy all alone;
stare at a phone;
get dressed in five minutes;
be a princess; get over it;
believe in the perfect man;
get over it; read; walk; flirt;
shock; listen; sing; thank God;
be single and like it; a lot;
raise a child; or not;
see a wrinkle and be reminded
of her youth; not her age.
I’ve love the lines about keeping confidences. Any woman worth her latte, knows how and when to keep secrets.
I can relate to the line about knowing how to use a plunger or drive a stick shift. Whether it’s unclogging a drain or jump-starting your car, it’s good to know what to do when you wish there was a man around. Even though men love to be needed, they aren’t that crazy about needy women. When a man knows what it means to be needed by a woman who doesn’t need him, he knows what it means to be loved.
I’ve also been amused to ponder exactly what “protection” meant. Contraception? Pepper spray or something high caliber at the bottom of the purse? I would venture “protection” means something different to an Arizona girl like myself, than it might to others, but no matter, the message is clear. It’s always good to look out for yourself.
Within the lines above, there are things you can probably relate to, but between the lines is the idea of accepting and appreciating who you are. You can put your life on hold while you wait for a fantasy, or you can learn to love yourself and get on with your life.
Marriage is great, but a woman isn’t incomplete without a man. It is okay to be single. It is okay to be childless. If you find yourself in a difficult marriage, you alone will know whether the decision to stay married or to divorce is the right one for you. You alone will know whether or not life was better or worse because of having been a mother, or choosing not to be one.
You were meant to be who you are. The decisions that determine the course of your life, are yours alone to make, because at the end of your days, you alone will know whether you lived an worthwhile and authentic life.
To view or purchase, click here: EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW poster by Portal Press
Linda is a lesbian. She would tell you she prefers women, because she hates men. Several years ago, she said to me, “How can you not hate men? They’re such predators.”
Perhaps I was too busy enjoying the fun of being man-prey, to have thought of men as predators. In my experience, men were protectors, providers and heroes. Like a fish seeing a sparkly lure, I found their attractiveness irresistible. This made it easy for me to be ensnared by The Beloved Soul Mate. Alas, I am now the feminist nightmare–having been used as a vehicle for reproduction, a sexual plaything, and held hostage in the home, despite untapped career potential.
What kind of trickery caused me to believe men were amazing? There must have been a male conspiracy to brainwash me. My father and brothers were obviously in on it, because they had successfully convinced me men were strong, brave, kind, funny, generous, and self-sacrificing. I am probably suffering from Stockholm syndrome, because I have grown fond of my captor and my captivity. I live comfortably, and my needs are met. There have been times I felt I wasn’t treated as well as I should have been, but all that changed last week, when I discovered the book.
How could I have known the book held the power to change me??? The book made me feel ashamed and repentant. I didn’t realize, my faith in men had been diluted by the gospel of feminism. I’d come to accept that men are largely motivated by sex, and sometimes boorish, but I still held on to some romantic notions. Before the book, I was convinced I understood men, and was as fond of them as any female on the planet. I never dreamed I, like Linda, could be indicted as an accomplice in the crime of man-hating. Fortunately, the book, opened my eyes. The book, Why Men Are the Way They Are, which was written by Warren Farrell, a former feminist, made me realize it is men who are often powerless in our society.
Feminism propagated the idea of men as oppressors. We are supposed to believe that without feminism, we’d all be barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. We were convinced men had all the power. They had power over our bodies, impregnating us with children, whether we wanted them or not. We were to believe men controlled industry and business, leaving women at economic disadvantage. We were told to we’d been devalued by men, because they saw us as little more than sex objects.
For decades, women fought for the right to choose between home and career, the right to choose whether or not to give birth, the right to compete for jobs and be fairly compensated for them. It was all about fairness and equality–unless one considers how women’s choices increased, but men’s didn’t.
Men are blamed for carelessly fathering children, but women get away with setting pregnancy traps. A woman on The Pill is somehow deemed more reliable than a man with a condom, despite an improbable number of men becoming fathers after having slept with women who said they were on The Pill. No matter who is responsible, men are expected to support the child.
During conception, half the genetic matter comes from each partner, but after conception, men are expected to supply the majority of the support, in return for the smallest part in decision making. The mother decides whether or not to have the child, she decides whether or not to disclose the paternity of the child, she decides whether or not the father has access to the child. She can marry the father, divorce the father, and still expect child support. A man may have slept with a willing woman, but if she should become pregnant, he becomes powerless.
For years feminists have bristled against the traditional marriage vows, which employed the phrase “love, honor and obey”, but written between the lines, is an order for men to love honor & support. Men are still expected to be the primary breadwinner. We do not think less of women who choose to stay home while men support them, but men who stay home, while women support them are seen as freeloaders or losers.
Feminism would convince us marriage is an oppressive, opportunity-limiting situation for women, ignoring how limiting marriage is to men. It is perfectly acceptable for women to reject traditional roles, but men are still defined by them. Despite economic opportunities now available, women still favor men who can provide them the greatest security–in other words, the best earners.
This sets up a no-win situation for men, who often choose between time spent at home with family, to win admiration; or time spent at work, lest he fail as provider. As a result men are often seen as vacant or inattentive by the woman who is depending on his income. While her husband is out doing what he thinks is expected, if a woman misses the affection of the husband who is largely absent, she is easily enticed by the attention of other men. Is it any wonder men die younger than women?
Author Warren Farrell says just as men objectify women as sex objects, women objectify men as “success-objects”. Is it any more sexist for men to pass over women who aren’t attractive, than it is for women to disqualify men who can’t provide them the level of security they desire? Farrell suggests that if the male fantasy is sex and more of it, the female fantasy is stuff & more of it–or as he says “better homes & gardens”.
I once was blind, but now I see. The book changed me. Reading Why Men Are the Way They Are, I was surprised and saddened to consider society’s contempt for men. We should be glad boys are taught early to keep their feelings inside, and not to pick fights with girls, or we’d have seen a revolt by now. Every chapter gave me more reasons to admire men and made me wonder why I’d never heard of this book. Perhaps the book, like men, fell victim to political correctness, as it exposes how feminist notions have put us at odds with men, making men vulnerable, distrustful and afraid of commitment. (Unless you, like Linda, hate men; this is not a good thing.)
Deb’s Note: This post doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of the ideas put forth in “Why Men Are the Way They Are”. There was so much in it, even though I’ve just read it, I plan to reread it soon. I would recommend this book to every man and woman. Women will understand man and appreciate them more, men will appreciate feeling understood. Below are links to some good interviews with the author, but I wholeheartedly recommend this book and can’t wait to read his other titles, including “The Myth of Male Power”.
Perhaps, you’ve wondered if you were addicted to love. Admitting you have a problem is the first step, but don’t check yourself into rehab just yet. You may be a relationship junkie, but it is rather unlikely you are addicted to love.
We all want to be loved and appreciated by others. Love is as almost as vital to our existence as food & water. We crave affection, in the same way we crave certain foods–including some that aren’t good for us. Food is absolutely necessary for good health, but eating more food doesn’t make us more healthy, and eating the wrong foods can harm us. A doughnut is food, but it’s hardly the best thing for the body. Similarly, though love is vital to our emotional wellness, unhealthy relationships can leave us love-starved and stunted. What often passes for love, is no more substantial than a diet of doughnuts.
Seeking validation through serial relationships, can be addicting. Falling in love causes a rush similar to that experienced by users of drugs like cocaine or ecstasy. There is euphoria, energy, jitters, sleeplessness, rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms and of course impaired judgement, as the brain becomes awash in chemicals like dopamine, adrenaline and phenethylamine. In this state, it is easy to overlook warnings of a doomed relationship.
Alas, the last doughnut in the box,is never as good as the first. What starts out as delight, often ends in regret. The post-relationship hangover is inevitable, and to addicts, the cure of choice is more of the same. Relationship junkies quickly seek out another relationship, guaranteeing a repeat of “I’ll never do that again” history.
Love isn’t necessary to keep a couple together. Kids in common, codependency, or finances can do that, but they aren’t enough to keep both parties from becoming miserable. We want to believe love is always sweet and satisfying, but despite countless platitudes, poems and love songs to the contrary, it can be downright unpleasant.
Philosopher Buber said, “Love is not the enjoyment of a wonderful emotion, not even the ecstasy of a Tristan and Isolde, but the ‘responsibility of an I for a Thou.” Love means giving up what we wanted, saying we’re sorry and doing things we hadn’t planned on doing. It means letting go of what we’d imagined to accept reality. It can be exhausting and unsatisfying.
Love is hardly addicting. Those who have been challenged to love someone with an addiction, mental impairment, disease, or even just a disagreeable personality, are more likely to yearn for relief, than more of the same. Falling for someone who appears attractive is an easy, fleeting and addictive state of mind, but loving requires ongoing effort. It may be easier to develop an appetite for Krispy Kremes, than cauliflower, but those who embrace that which seems less satisfying, may ultimately find themselves more satisfied.
When I try to figure out what to write about next, I aspire to writing something readable, more importantly, I strive to write things worth the time of those who seek out this site, which is why, today, I’ve decided to share the single-most effective way to improve relationships and do almost anything better. This may not be the secret to life, the universe and everything, but it’s close.
Simple. That’s all there is to it.
Got it now?
Your grade school teachers probably told you to pay attention, but this practice is even more important after the diploma days. Every aspect of your life will be easier, if you simply pay attention.
Many people sleepwalk through life, oblivious to what’s going on around them. With electronics and media to provide constant distractions, we have become super-prone to boredom, making it easier than ever to ignore the ordinary, but important things, like the people we live with.
Married folks stop paying attention to each other, and are then surprised when the relationship fails. Parents stop paying attention to their kids, and wonder why their kid’s peers leverage more influence. We find ourselves asking what’s missing from our lives, because we forget what’s really important. Whether you seek to improve relationships, advance in your career or just live a better life, paying attention is the all-purpose, most effective way to do anything better.
If you pay attention to people who are smarter than you, you’ll enjoy tuition-free, continuing education. If you pay attention to those who aren’t as smart as you, and you’ll have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes, without the trouble of making them yourself.
Pay attention to clocks and you’ll be less likely to be late. Pay attention to the way you spend your time, and you’ll be able to accomplish more. Pay attention today to where you’d like to be tomorrow. and it’s more likely you’ll find your way there.
Pay attention to your stuff and it will last longer. Whether it be investigating a small engine noise, before it becomes an expensive repair, or being mindful of where you take off your sunglasses, paying attention to the things you use each day, will save you time and money.
Pay attention to where you spend your money, and you’ll find it easier to manage.
Pay attention to what you eat and you’ll be one step closer to losing weight or becoming healthier.
Pay attention to your appearance and you’ll not only feel better about yourself, but others will see you in a more favorable way.
Pay attention to your surroundings, and you will be less likely to get lost. Pay attention when you’re in unfamiliar places, and you’ll be less likely to be a victim of a crime.
Pay attention to those above you and not only will you know how to please them, but you’ll also learn how they got where they are. Pay attention to those below you and you’ll learn everyone has value.
Pay attention to the likes and dislikes of your loved ones, and you’ll never be at a loss for how to make them smile, you’ll never be at a loss for what to buy them when it’s gift-giving time.
Pay attention to the negative thoughts echoing in your head, and you’ll realize how they waste and spoil your energy.
Pay attention to the differences between what people say and what they do. Sometimes actions speak louder than words, but sometimes actions are only what people want you to see.
Pay attention to what your kids do, what they say, and who they hang out with. Then, when they tell you you don’t know them, you’ll be able to show them you do.
Pay attention to the people around you, because when you understand them, they’ll be easier to love.
Pay attention to the people around you, you’ll find them eagerly paying attention too you.
Less than a century ago, women in The United States hadn’t yet been granted the right to vote. Though it was allowed in some states, it wasn’t until 1920, when the constitution was amended, that women were guaranteed this right. Without the ability to voice their viewpoints via the voting booth, perhaps our country would be different today. I shudder to think of the improbable possibilities for laws [bad] men might have tried to pass. Would there be a Barefoot & Pregnant mandate? A Mall Prohibition Act? Failure to Chill Beer ordinance? Tax deductions for men who wished to claim both their wife and mistress as dependents?
Fortunately, women have made amazing strides and this country is one of the better places in the world to be female. Despite this, women still struggle, because there are some things even progress can’t change. It is possible to update our wardrobes, refurbish our furniture, restore old cars, or remodel old homes, but men are always AS-IS.
Which is why, while most of us like having a man in our lives, finding one that doesn’t make us crazy or worse, can be near impossible. Lest people mistake this for a diatribe from a man-hater, I wish to assure readers that I am a BIG fan of men. Women are almost always more and better company, but I still find the company of men irresistible. I especially like them, because they are different than women, but the more manly they are, the stronger the urge to change them. It’s like this:
I want a man who works hard enough to sweat, but I’d prefer not smell the sweat.
I want a man who knows how to use a gun if he needs to, but dislike men who need to remind others they know how to use a gun.
I want a man who can and will fight, but not a man who wants to fight.
I want a man who shows skill in the bedroom, but I’d be really turned on, if he were as eager to show off his kitchen skills.
I would like it if my man looked like one of those attractive gay models, but if I were to find out he was gay, I doubt I’d still find him attractive.
Men think women are hard to please, but it’s actually quite simple. We want manly men, who are sensitive, soft, gentle, and sweet, like women.
Women like me, have succeeded in confusing men. Are they supposed to be he-men or metrosexuals? Are they supposed to open doors for us, or just leave us a key? It’s all about balance, as we struggle to eliminate the confusion over who wears the pants and who wears the panties.
Blame feminism, because as women gained more equality in the workplace, they sought more at home. Women were changing, and in the process they were inadvertently changing men. This made me wonder if more powerful women, meant less powerful men. Was the Great American male becoming an endangered species, teetering on extinction after having been emasculated by well-meaning feminists? Had The Great American man become as frail as the California Coastal Sand Gnat, struggling to survive in the face of environmental change?
Women would love it if men were more like girlfriends, sharing their enthusiasm for things like cashmere and Italian shoes. If we had our way, men would learn to enjoy long meandering conversations and realize the joy of shopping, but while there have always been women who wanted men who were as easily controlled as children, the majority of us still want a man with a nicely defined backbone. There are men who enjoy shopping or grooming as much as women, but most men are simply not interested, because despite everything, they are still men.
Nevertheless, the metrosexual is often exhibited as evidence that men are becoming feminized. I’m not buying it. It’s just the latest incarnation of “The Sharp Dressed Man.” It’s not like men don’t care about their image, but image is different things to different men. For some image is grooming, for others it may be a car, a fat paycheck or a perfectly manicured lawn. The term metrosexual may be new, but his type is not. A hundred years ago, a man who embraced fashion and a refined lifestyle, would have been called a dandy.
Some argue that feminism has diminished our respect or the strength of American men. Many point to the examples of television fathers–like the difference between Ozzie Nelson and Ozzie Osbourne as evidence, that our view of men has been diminished. The media often portrays men as bumbling incompetents, relying on women to guide them, but this is nothing new. Literature is full of hapless henpecked husbands. Even during The Golden Age of Radio and early television men were often the brunt of jokes. It makes for good comedy, and men are surprisingly good sports about jokes made at their expense. Make fun of a woman, and you’ll likely regret it, but men are easy targets.
Because in the war between the sexes, there is no cease-fire. Women will fight for every hill, to make sure that their wisdom, competence and superior taste in almost everything is acknowledged, but men will easily surrender or declare victory, if they get respect, appreciation and regular demonstrations of affection–AKA sex.
Feminism changed sex and the economy of sex, because it enabled women to move between supply side and demand side. Women now had demands and were controlling the supply through a kind of rationing and price-fixing. As the supply began to change, men sought new suppliers, and there were always more suppliers. Promiscuity became common and porn became mainstream. Wives no longer held the monopoly on sex, and men were suddenly contenting themselves with the kind of cheap, easy, readily available women they’d previously disdained. The one woman one man ideal was outmoded, as men began sharing their pulp princesses with countless other men, and women found themselves competing with mens’ make-believe mistresses.
It simplified things for men, as they no longer needed to please a woman emotionally or sexually just to get a little, but it was hardly the brave new world. Pleasure-seeking and erotica have always existed, and it isn’t as if internet porn destroyed the sexual utopia that existed before feminism. Marriage took some hits, and intimate sex between people who loved each other fell victim to friendly fire, making some wonder if sex within marriage or would soon be obsolete. Doubtful, as long is there is one person alive who remembers that the solo, is nothing compared to the duet.
Men still need women, and women still need men. Feminism changed our world, but it has yet to change men into women or women into men. The war between the sexes continues, because some things never change, even in the face of progress.