(This is a contributed post)
Horse Back Riding as a First Date
By Nancy Smythe
So you want to suggest an equestrian outing as a first date. It could certainly be romantic in a riding-off-into-the-sunset kind of way...or not.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan your outing to make sure things go as smoothly as possible.
It is important to consider that riding a horse, even a calm, well trained one can still be risky. This is a living animal, not an amusement park ride and the risk of falling off is real.
Things such as severe allergies (to the horse, dust or hay), mobility issues etc may limit what kind of activities you can do.
Be sure to ask your date ahead of time if he or she has allergies or any other issues that would prevent them from enjoying the activity you have planned.
So to start, what kind of activity would you and your date prefer?
There are a surprising number of stables that offer a variety of services to novice riders within an hour radius of most downtown areas. It is important to choose a place that will offer the type of experience you both are looking for but with an acceptable level of safety.
It may be for a half hour trail ride all the way to full weekend trail rides with camping, or an hour introductory riding lesson, or even just a petting zoo/farm visit type of experience.
A good place to start your search would be with the Provincial (or State) equestrian association of your area. In the province of Quebec we have Cheval QuÈbec and the Equi-QualitÈ program which lists stables that meet the safety and horse welfare criteria set out by our national equestrian association. There you can search by region and type of activity to find just the right place for your date. If you are referred to a barn that isn't part of Equi-QUalitÈ or a similar program, it may still be a good place, but make sure of the following:
Are they insured? It is generally standard to be required to sign a waiver acknowledging the risks. If they don't have one to sign, they probably aren't insured in case of an accident.
If you are going to ride, do they have helmets for you to wear? It should also be standard that they have you wear a helmet. If they don't, not a good sign either.
Is your guide certified by your national or provincial association? This is not necessarily standard (and not really necessary if you are visiting a farm but not intending to ride) but is becoming more common and also goes a long way to ensuring your safety and enjoyment of the outing.
If they are sending you and your date out on the trail with a non-certified teenager as a guide, definitely not a good idea. Most associations will have lists of certified trainers, instructors and guides available on their web sites.
Once you've booked your outing and are preparing to leave, make sure you and your date are properly dressed. Skirts, dresses, shorts, sandals and high heels that are commonly worn clothes for summer dates are major no-no’s. It is dangerous, uncomfortable and a reputable place shouldn't even allow you to ride in such clothing.
The best clothing for riding is fairly close fitting but not restricting. Sports pants and boots with a small heel (similar to cowboy boots) are ideal for the average trail ride. Jeans are ok, but unless you have real riding jeans, you are likely to get blisters or chaffing in all the wrong places because of the seams. Not particularly conducive to continuing the date after the ride.
Sun block and insect repellent is recommended as with all outdoor activities.
Now you and your date are at the barn and ready to ride! Make sure you pay attention to the instructions your guide gives you. Following guidelines will keep you safe and help to ensure an enjoyable ride.
Do not insist on galloping or even trotting if your date isn't comfortable with it. Going at speed on a horse is not as easy as it looks. It takes skill and balance that is most often developed by many hours in the saddle.
So while keeping the horse at a walk may not satisfy the adrenaline seekers out there, it may still prevent a trip to the hospital.
Be respectful of your date's comfort zone.
Trail riding or visiting a farm can be a great way to get some quiet time to talk and get to know your date while enjoying a natural setting. So plan ahead, be prepared and enjoy the ride!
Nancy Smythe has been certified by the Canadian Equestrian Federation (now Equestrian Canada) and the Federation Èquestre du Quebec (now Cheval Quebec) as a Level 1 Trainer since 1991. She has supported numerous riders and their horses in achieving their personal goals, whether those goals are to win a Championship, overcome a particular fear or simply improve communication between horse and rider to instill safe riding skills.
To contact Nancy you can reach her through her Facebook
The Plight of The Mistress Mindset
By Frank Kermit
The women who enter into affairs with married men behind a wife’s back seem to take on the wrath of society. When the genders are reversed and it is the wife cheating, society tends to take a more compassion view towards the cheating wife wondering what unfulfilled needs caused her to seek out an extra marital affair.
Yet when it is a husband cheating on his wife, it seems to trigger a societal rage, and some of that rage gets directed at the mistress involved. If the marriage were an open relationship where the wife was aware and consenting to the extra martial relationship, it would no longer be an affair, and there would not be as much cause for the raw hatred because the core issues of trust and abandonment are not being violated.
In that case it is likely, as with a number of open relationship couples, that the wife would also have the awareness and consent of the husband to pursue her own paramours.
But the plight of the mistress is not all enveloped in the wrath of fury thrust upon her by the people affected by such an affair. It is not her potential broken heart from unfulfilled promises or ending up alone when a husband decides to work things out with his wife.
It is not even how her friends and family may distance themselves from her if and when her role as a mistress comes to light.
The true plight of a mistress is the danger of the repeating behavior pattern she is enforcing when she enters into a relationship with an emotionally unavailable partner.
The longer any person continues to develop attachment and experience in emotionally unavailable relationships, the stronger the predisposition of her mindset to repeat that behavior pattern.
The best way to safeguard herself from getting stuck in that repeating behavior pattern is to break it before it starts either by refusing to date a man who seeks to cheat on his wife, or to end things immediately when she discovers that the man she was dating was in fact married and hiding it.
In the latter example, it is unfortunate to report that many women continue to see him, regardless of being lied too, because of how she already feels attached to him. The advice of how she feels cannot be the most important thing, when in the process of trying to break a repeating behavior pattern, is simply unpopular with such women and is part of the reason she is likely to continue repeating it.
Like any unhealthy addiction, the longer we do something that is not good for us, the harder it becomes to stop doing it.
Being a mistress becomes normalized the longer you do it, to the point where, single men who would be interested in a serious relationship with you, would turn you off.
This is why many mistresses actually end up losing interest in their married lovers once the wives dump those men after the affair becomes public. Part of the attraction is all the intrigue and emotional range from biting forbidden fruit, the naughtiness of having something you aren’t suppose to have, the drama of anticipating the next spontaneous secret rendezvous and so on.
Eligible single male candidates who are not cheating on anyone simply aren’t as alluring for women trapped in the repeating behavior pattern of the mistress mindset.
My hopes are that any mistresses who are reading this will see herself and seek out some form of therapy, counseling or coaching to help break the repeating behavior pattern of the mistress mindset.
You obviously have lots of love to give, and the world definitely needs people with love to give. It is just a matter of healing and learning to give love to the right people.
Be The Light You Seek in Life
By Frank Kermit
There are times when the world around us seems too chaotic, too violent and just does not make sense.
It is too easy to become disillusioned with people in general, and the natural reaction to lash out at something, or some one, or some group of people can feel very justified in the moments we are emotionally compromised.
In those moments where, we are scared, we feel violated, and we do not feel safe, anger can take over and cause people to act in violent ways against the people they target.
However, the people being targeted tend to be innocent of any incident, because they are being attacked as symbols of threats, and not the ones who actually threatened anyone.
To anyone reading this that has been affected in any way by the violence and crisis covered in mainstream media I implore you to pause for just one moment before taking any actions into your own hands.
Yes, it is important to take actions to protect yourself and to protect your loved ones.
It is also just as important, that you do not become, in that moment, exactly the type of person you are raging against:
A person who is acting out of maliciousness and irrational sentiment in the name of a higher cause.
If you give in to that violent impulse, you are just perpetuating the cycle of violence that leaves no safe places for our future decedents.
If you want to change the world, and make the world a better place, the most powerful place is to start with your own heart.
Do not just seek better behavior from the people in positions of power. Seek within to create that destiny.
Be the light that you seek in the world.
Be the example of how others should treat one another by treating others with the same kindness and compassion you wish others would display as well.
Making the world a better place starts with you showing other how, by the way you make choices for your own life.
Do you believe the world lies too much?
Be the example of how to share the truth.
Do you believe the world cheats too much?
Be the example of how to practice ethical openness.
Do you believe the world fights too much? Be the example of trying more diplomatic efforts to resolve conflicts.
Do you believe the world is too indifferent to suffering?
Be the example of compassion you think the world needs.
Human beings are creatures of influence.
You have the power to influence others through your actions.
A new year is coming.
You can make it a good one.
The Frank Break Up Formula:
How To Break Up With Someone
By Frank Kermit
Breaking up with someone is rarely an enjoyable or pleasant experience. In fact, there are those individuals who stay in less than satisfying relationships, and even can go all the way to becoming engaged and married, because they fear the conflicts that would come up if they carried out a break up. Over the course of my own self actualization years ago, I developed a means to break up with someone that will give the best chances of the break up being amicable and could even lead to a future friendship or temporary friends-with-benefits agreement.
This way to break up with someone can be used in almost every break up situation. It can work when you have been dating for a long time, but do not see a future together, or if you have been friends-with-benefits and want to end it before getting too attached, or if you want to explain why you want to end a relationship, but do not want to list all the reasons why that may unnecessarily hurt the other person. In fact, the Frank Break Up Formula can also be used when you want to excuse yourself near the end of a first date, as you have already decided that you do not want to even attempt a second date.
You start off by telling the person what you like about them. Then you continue by telling the person what you love about them.
Then you identify what values you each have that are incompatible with each other, and for that reason you must break up before things get more serious, before you both get even more attached, or you continue to date only to end up in a resentful breakup, or worse, nasty divorce.
For example, you have just completed a first date with someone, and have come to the conclusion that you want to end it. Through questions and conversation topics you identify some value or future life plans that you both are incompatible on. To make this work, you must fully believe that he or she will not change. At the end of the night, you can tell your date that you like their taste in music, and that you love their sense of humor, but that in conversation he or she mentioned absolutely not wanting anymore children and that you are absolutely interested in having a child of your own.
This is an incompatible value and future life plan. For this reason, it is better to break up and not continue to see each other, than to hope for a change and let anger and resentment grow to the point of being abusively insulting to one another on social media. Most people, when presented with this, find it respectful and honest, even though it is disappointing.
And when someone asks you about the person you broke up with, or the person that broke up with you, speak well of him or her. Just tell everyone that you wish that person well, and hope he or she does find someone. It is the BEST way to manage a break up situation.
When The Ex is Hard To Forget
World Does Not Stop For Your Broken Heart
By Frank Kermit
When your ex is too hard to forget, what becomes too easy to forget is: that the rest of the world is not going to stop while you nurse your broken heart. The rest of the world, and the people around you, will continue to go through life’s ups and downs. One of the shockers for people with major broken hearts is that when they start to come out of the spell of hurt they are under, they sometimes are amazed at how much life has changed around them and they did not notice until now. It is like waking up from a bad dream, but you were never actually asleep, and now you also feel like you need to mourn the lost time of being so broken hearted, that you put your own life on hold.
If you are suffering from a broken heart, here are some tips for getting over an ex so that you do not lose any more time than you have to.
1. Create new memories
If you and your ex used to dance to a particular song, dance with every new date you get to that song. If you and your ex used to frequent a particular restaurant, then go there with every new date you have. With each new person that you see, you create memories to help combat how you filter your past memories with your ex. That “special something” that you only did with your ex, stops being so “special”. It also loses its power to remind you of the pain of missing your ex.
2. No bad mouthing the ex
Bad mouthing your ex doesn’t help you deal with the pain of missing your ex. It may feel like it does at first. Bad mouthing another person can make you feel like you have a little power and control in the moment because it brings about feelings of anger and hatred. However, all that does is keep you feeling pain about your ex. Yes, your ex may have wronged you, but continuing to bad mouth your ex keeps the hate alive, and also halts you from feeling good with new love. Hate breeds more hate, and makes you forget how to love.
3. The realization that if it was meant to be, it would have been
“But if I just did this one thing different…but if my ex just didn’t do that thing…but if one of us had just decided something different….but…but…but”. STOP! There is NO but…but…but. If the two of you were suppose to stay together, then nothing would have split the two of you up romantically. Mistakes are going to happen, and every relationship faces obstacles. No one has an “easy” relationship.
The best of couples will find themselves struggling sometimes just to connect emotionally when life gets in the way. And I do mean the BEST of couples. If you and your ex were “meant to be” then you would “still be”. The fact that the two of you could not survive whatever it was that caused the split; then it simply could not work out in any case being the two people you both are at this time.
4. Take the time to mourn the future
One of the areas that many people do not give proper credence is that in order to get over your ex, you have to mourn the future you have built up in your head about your ex. When you are in a relationship, it is normal to imagine what your future will be like with that person. This can include, where you are going to live together, marriage, having kids, grand kids, growing old together…well here is how you deal with that: You must understand that there is the conscious mind that knows the difference between fantasy and reality and then there is the sub conscious mind that believes that both fantasy and reality are actually one and the same.
On a sub conscious level, you FEEL like you and your ex have already been together as long as you have fantasized about, even if you have only dated a short time. When you break up, it is important to mourn the loss of that fantasy future you built up just as much as you mourn the loss of the real relationship, because there is a part of you that FEELS the fantasy future was as real as it gets. The loss of the relationship is not the only thing that you need to grieve for. There is the loss of the future you dreamed about too.
If you have ever been in love and lost that love, then you know the heart break of not being able to forget an ex.
5. Deconstruct the ex symbol
Often times, one of the biggest challenges in getting over an ex, is that your ex became a symbol. There is your ex, the human being…and then your ex, the symbol. When the person you are dating becomes a symbol for some greater cause that you attach to that person, that symbol will still exist in your mind, even if you break up, and can last long after your ex is gone from your life. For example, if dating a specific person became a symbol of your own self worth, then when you stop dating that person, your self worth will be attacked.
So let’s say that you always felt bad about yourself and have very low self esteem…but one day you end up in a relationship with a person that you feel is “the best thing” that you could ever hope for in dating. If that “best thing” becomes your symbol to mean that you are a worthwhile human being because you are dating your partner…it is only a matter of time, before your own self worth issues surface and maybe even cause you to self sabotage your relationship. Once your partner becomes your ex, you may not just have to mourn the loss of your partner in your life, but you may have to also deal with how your ex as a symbol, changes the way you see, feel and think about yourself.
Be with a person, because you actually want to be with that person, and not because that person symbolizes to the world, your peers, your family, or whomever else you are trying to get approval from, that you are “worthy”. The richest man loving you, nor the most beautiful women loving you will NEVER make you feel worthy of anything, if you don’t already feel you are worthy of loving yourself first.
6. Date other people
It is normal to want to isolate yourself when dealing with heartbreak. Just because it is normal, does not mean it is the correct thing to do. If you are nursing a broken heart, and someone wants to date you, then get out there and date.
Be careful not to try to take out your frustrations regarding your ex on the new person you date. If you are unable to do that, then wait. Once you do get to the point where you can appreciate the new people in your life that want to woo you, then let someone woo you…or be wooed by you.
Everyone has a clock that is ticking. We are all running out of time. You have a choice of how to spend a portion of your time. You can choose to be alone and feel sorry for yourself, or you can choose to make the effort to find new people to connect with and share yourself.
7. Stop spending time/communicating with ex, get used to the new normal
Life without the ex is all about getting used to the “new normal”. This process is also taught to people that are suffering from massive grief when a loved one dies. Although the emotions, and some of the healing process may be similar, there is one underlying difference. Your ex is not dead; only your relationship with your ex is dead. For this reason, it is only natural that you would want to stay in touch with the ex, and want to keep your ex in your life. At first, it does make the pain easier to deal with…it also helps keep the hope alive that the two of you might rekindle. But what happens when there is no rekindling of the relationship? You are then going to have to deal with the full brunt of the pain you have been avoiding, as well as the pain of having stayed in contact.
This does not mean to become enemies with your ex. It does mean that you need to take time away from your ex, until you get used to not having your ex as your partner. The sooner you get used to the new normal of life without your ex, the sooner you and your ex can actually be friendly with one another in the future.
8. There is something you needed to learn…figure it out
There is one common element in every single relationship you have ever had. It’s YOU. When a relationship ends, the most important thing you can do is look for the lesson for you to learn, so that you do not make any of the same mistakes again.
Did you think you could handle a particular element of your relationship, and ended up learning that you aren’t as liberal or open-minded as you would like to think? Did you date someone that had values that were so different from yours, and you didn’t think it was a big deal, until after you got more serious? Did your instincts scream not to get involved and you learned to trust your gut more? Maybe you learned that your gut instincts are actually wrong and that you shouldn’t trust it when choosing a relationship partner.
Regardless of how the relationship ended, the fact is, it ended. Even in the best of circumstances where the two of you broke up very amicably and simply weren’t compatible, there is still a lesson to learn…and the biggest lesson is figuring out how to read the signs that you would not work out in such a relationship, so that you don’t end up seriously dating someone with a similar personality as that of your ex.
9. Stop the desire for revenge
Sharing secrets you promised never to share, or passing around intimate photos and videos you made with your ex to get them back, is one of the worst things you can do. Not just because it is wrong, but also because in doing so, you will end up having to relive the pain of the break up, to keep you feeling that your acts of vengeance are justified. One thing is for certain…if you continue to aim for revenge, the on thing that will absolutely keep is the hurt. Revenge doesn’t always balance out the hurt…it can sometimes be the source of keeping the hurt burning.
No matter how things ended, seeking revenge rarely takes the pain away. It just perpetuates the pain. Revenge only makes a person feel some sense of power and control for a moment…and when the moment passes, it leaves the revenge seeker feeling even emptier. If a person makes the right move, they stay away from revenge. If the person makes the wrong move, they try to seek out getting an even more despicable revenge thinking that it will sooth them of their growing emptiness. Take my word for it…taking revenge on an ex rarely makes things better.
10. Forgive yourself to find closure
Forgive yourself. Forgive the mistakes you made in the relationship. Forgive your part in the break up. Forgive yourself for choosing to date your ex to begin with. Forgive yourself for having a relationship that ended. Forgive yourself for being human. Forgive yourself for not being perfect at relationships. Forgive yourself for making your ex cry, hurt or mourn. Forgive yourself for not knowing how to make that relationship work. Forgive yourself for the time you might feel you wasted with your ex. Forgive yourself for everything you are still angry with yourself for regarding the relationship.
I have often found that when you reach a point where you can learn from your relationship mistakes and can trust yourself not to make those same mistakes again, that is when people can forgive themselves. In self-forgiveness people find the closure they seek. You will not find closure from your ex. You find closure from within.
One of the hardest demographics that I coach is a couple, where one partner is suffering from depression. They are such a challenging demographic because the individuals with depression may look perfectly healthy, and their partners simply do not understand the situation, so they tend to lack compassion.
Sometimes, the people we love are in pain. The pain our partners may experience is not always a pain that can be seen. It is easy to conclude that a person is in pain when we see that person in a cast, or other physical signs of illness. When we can see it, it becomes much easier to accept that the person we love will simply not be able to do the things we would normally expect him or her to do.
However, invisible pain can be every bit of devastating as the pain that we can physically see.
In some cases, the person who is depressed and may not even be aware of the mental illness exists. In cases where a partner ends up in a depression, interest in sex can be the first thing to go, and one of the last things to return if and when the depression passes. When the interest in sex fades, some couples seek coaching, while others wait until the resentment and symptomatic problems of couples not having sex, surface to the point they can no longer be ignored or tolerated. At that point, a lot of damage has already been done.
If there was one bit of advice that I want to communicate to both the depressed person and the coping partner it is this:
If a person lacks the self-awareness to detect his or her own depression, it is very possible that such a person would blame their misery on their partner.
This can be very hurtful to the partner, who is usually innocent of any wrongdoing. A depressed person (not knowing he or she is depressed) may independently conclude that the loss of libido MUST be a result of the partner, and may verbalize such conclusions attributing it to anything from holiday weight gain, to not keeping up with chores. A depressed mind is unable to think clearly and out of hurt and anguish may lash out at a loved one. A loved one being lashed out at may fire back out of feelings of fear and rejection, which only aggravates the issues.
If you or someone you love is experiencing a low sexual libido, before either of you accuse the other of horribleness that will surely hurt your relationship, stop and take a moment to ask if the lack of sex drive may be a symptom of depression, and seek out the help of a trained professional for a diagnosis. Do not let a depression destroy the good love you have in your life, regardless of what side of it you are on.
This is a contributed post.
Starting a family and getting married can all come at you so fast. It’s a good thing to question whether you’re ready to make such a big commitment in your life. If you don’t question these things and whether now is the time for you to push ahead, you might make the wrong call for you. That’s the last thing you need, so don’t let it come to that.
Instead, be honest with your partner and discuss the practical challenges that the pair of you are likely to face when starting a family and tying the knot. These practical areas of concern might not be romantic, but it’s the practical things that will hit you hardest later on.
First of all, you need to think about the timing of all this. Is now the right time for you to be starting a family and settling down with a partner who you aim to stay with for the rest of your life? Questioning that is nothing to be ashamed of; it’s perfectly natural. We all have to find our own way, and you don’t have an obligation to anyone if you’re not ready to do something yet.
There are other ways in which timing should be considered too. For example, if you are entering middle age and you still want to have children, you will have to think about biology. Of course, there are things you can do to have children later in life now, but it’s something that is worth keeping in mind. You don’t want to regret things later.
Money is a big part of any long-term relationship. You need to find a way to make it work financially for the both of you. And looking at how the balance of financial obligation is going to work between you is key. Talking about these things openly and frankly is always the best way to do things. That way, everyone will know where they stand.
The other thing to think about is whether you should put a prenuptial agreement in place. Some solicitors or law firms can provide expert advice if that’s something you want to do. It will mean that if the marriage doesn’t turn out as planned, the finances will be clear and no one will have to argue over money. Finally, think about whether you have the money to start a family and maintain your lifestyle. Raising kids isn’t cheap.
Last but not least, you should think about how your family and marital plans fit in with your career. For many people, their jobs and careers are the most important things of all to them. And there is nothing at all wrong with that. But it can be challenging to keep your career on track while raising a family.
It could be a better idea to wait until your career is in a more stable place before starting a family if you feel like you are stilling growing fast in your job. That way, your career will be less hectic when the times comes to have children and take on fatherly or motherly responsibilities for the first time.
What to do after you get engaged
By Frank Kermit
This is an article for couples that are now engaged, I wish you congratulations on getting the "yes"! Welcome to the next level of the development of your relationship. Beware...if you thought getting to this stage was hard, you are about to embark on an even more challenging endeavor: The period of time where you and your partner are testing the waters to see if marriage is going to work out for you.
When working with couples that are discussing marriage, or have gotten engaged, but have concerns about their ability to maintain a lasting relationship, I always encourage the couple to sit down and have a Frank Disclosure
It is time you and your now fiancé embark on a very challenging journey...to share every secret you each have that could potentially end a marriage that has not even begun yet.
We all have secrets. Some secrets you can keep to yourself, but other secrets, if exposed, can ruin your marriage. So the question is, what do you have to tell your future spouse?
The answer is, you must tell your spouse everything you believe might cause your spouse not to marry you. If you happen to be thinking that you could NEVER tell your fiancé about X...well that X is exactly what you need to tell them now.
Does your fiancé need to know everything? In today's world of social media and recorded history...well actually, yes you do. If you chose to safe guard certain truths from you past, at least, you must share those truths that would cripple your relationship if your fiancé ever found out.
For example, if you know that your fiancé would never tolerate dating someone who currently does certain types of illegal drugs, and although you currently do not do any illegal drugs, but you did so in your past, it is important to let your fiancé know. Your fiancé may stay, your fiancé may go but it is important to give your fiancé the chance to make an informed decision, even if it could lead to the end of your current relationship.
Chances are your fiancé will eventually find out, and when that happens, any assumption you might have had that it would no longer be an issue goes out with window, as the divorce papers come riding in. Keep in mind a break up today is a lot less detrimental to your emotional health than a divorce tomorrow from a marriage that was based on omissions of truths.
Here is another example; have you ever posed nude for photos or made a sex tape that is in the hands of an ex? Even if your fiancé does not mind the fact that you did or did not, your fiancé should at least be shown the courtesy of being ready for the day when your vindictive ex makes those images or videos publicly available or posted them on the internet. We never know what can happen in our futures.
Something like this could simply blow over...or it could be detrimental to a career (yours or your fiancé). It would also be a good idea to tell your fiancé before you have children together as your children will share in the fortunes and hardships you experience as a couple. Consider that your kids might get mercilessly teased and bullied in high school when intimate showing of either mom or dad catch up to them. You cannot control the actions of a crazy ex but you can at least have your team be informed of the potential play hazards and take whatever precautions may be necessary.
If you just got engaged, and want to have a disclosure with your partner, consider all the things you can and cannot handle. Take into account your boundaries and deal breakers. Really think about what your values are and how you want those values to be enacted in your life daily. Here are some things you might want to share with your fiancé if you want the best chances of making your marriage last a lifetime. Do either of you have a child out of wedlock that was given up for adoption who may come back into your lives in 20 yrs? Have either of you worked as a sex worker (stripper/ prostitute/ pimp/ driver) at any point in time?
Have you ever had a secret friends-with-benefits liaison with someone that your families will insist attend the wedding? Where either of you ever hospitalized for a suicide attempt? Have either of you ever been on medication for a mental illness that you may relapse into? Have either of you been arrested, incarcerated or have a criminal record? Were either of you dating someone else when you initially met? Have either of you been a party to cheating on past partners, or were the "other" person in an affair? Do either of you have some form of fetish, or alternative sexual lifestyle, or sexual orientation that your current partner does not know about? Have either of you participated in a wild-nature relationship that your current partner would not be able to handle?
In some cases, your fiancé just might not care about your past. If that is the case, then sharing this information will help the couple bond, and make your relationship stronger. It will prevent your enemies, that WANT to see your relationship fail, from being able to use either of your past histories to turn you against each other.
In other cases, your fiancé will care. Your fiancé may have certain beliefs about relationships and life, such that your past, or accepting your past (and vice versa) is just not feasible. In a perfect world, a person's past would not matter, and the love of your life would be accepting of everything about you. We do not live in a perfect world. For that reason, you need to know, and your future spouse needs to know. You are investing your life and all of your resources into this relationship including your bodies, your souls and banking on future children. Make your marriage strong by making an informed decision.
Dating With Mental Illness
By Frank Kermit
The term Mental Illness covers a variety of mental health conditions and disorders. Commonly mental illness will affect and change a person’s mood, emotion, thinking and behaviors (or a combination of these).
Mental illnesses are health conditions; they can be feared and misunderstood by many people but they are nothing to be ashamed of. Mental illness is common, and more common than many people care to admit.
If you have a mental disorder, should you mention it when dating? If so, when do you bring it up? First date? Just before initiating intimacy? Before moving in together? On your online dating profile before you even meet a person?
In order to answer this, you will have to make a choice.
If you are comfortable with the entire world knowing your personal challenges with mental illness, then bring it up on a first date. If you do not care about your privacy in this regard, then there is no point hiding it longer than need be. For example, if you suffered severe depression in the past, and may be prone to having a severe episode in the future, and you do not care who knows about it, then share it in conversation on the first date.
Does it have to be the first thing you say after you say hello? Nope.
But it is something you should tell the person if you see the two of you are getting along, and the best way to bring it up is calmly, and as a matter of fact. For example, you are getting along on the date, have been talking for about an hour, and have found you have a few things in common and decide that you like the person enough that you might like the date to go longer into the night, or even already thinking about a second date.
A way to bring it up, is to calmly and simply mention that there is something you want to talk about, and that you really like the person so far, and you want the person to know this, so that it doesn’t become an issue in the future. Then tell the person about some of the challenges you deal with. A different way you can bring it up, is to ask the person if they have ever dealt with any mental health issues, or know of someone they care about who has.
One of three things will happen. The person will either answer the question and then ask you the same question back, the person may answer the question and not ask you the same question back; or the person will ask you why you are asking. In any case, this would be a good time to talk about your challenges with mental illness.
Something to keep in mind is that you are the ambassador to train people how to treat you. If you behave unsure about your condition, or if you communicate that you are uncomfortable discussing your condition, you may trigger the person you are speaking too to be just as unsure and uncomfortable about you. If you communicate your situation with self-love, and demonstrate that you are accepting of your situation, you will influence others to feel the same way about you.
For this to work, please make sure that you are as knowledgeable about your mental health issues as you can be, and help the person you are dating better support and assist you by clearly communicating your emotional needs, and boundaries (as the case may be).
Now then, if you do NOT want information of your mental illness to become public domain, then you will have to work a little harder at screening the person you are dating to see if they are trustworthy enough to share this information as well as have the capacity of compassion and understanding. This means that during conversations in the early stages of dating, you must test the person by asking them questions that will reveal how they feel about your mental illness without revealing that you have it. For example, if a particular artist or performer has the same mental illness as you, you can start out by a conversation of the album or movie that person appeared on. Lead that conversation from the art, to the person, and mention in casual conversation the mental health issues of that person.
Then gauge the reaction of your date.
If your date talks about coping with mental illness with compassion and understanding, it is a sign you may be able to share secret parts of yourself with that person later on. If your date reacts in a very negative way where you do not feel safe reveal your secret to them, it is a sign you likely should not continue dating the person at all.
For example, if you want to know if the person you are dating can be open to talking about your depression, anxiety and your past suicide attempt, you can start by bringing up your favorite movies starring the late actor Robin Williams. From talking about the movies, to a discussion about the star himself who was publicly known for dealing with mental illness, that tragically took his own life in 2014, how your date reacts and discusses mental health will reveal if you are with a compatible partner. (P.S. I miss Robin Williams, forever my Mork).
Two warnings to the people that need to keep their mental health issues a secret from the people they date.
First warning is not to pay the mind games of getting your date to fall in love with you before telling them. It is manipulative and unethical. Let the person you date be able to make an informed decision before getting too attached to you, and focus on screening your date for compatibility as mentioned above.
The second warning is do not make the mistake of not telling someone that is on the verge of committing to be life partners with you. If you have suffered, or continue to suffer, with mental illness, and you are getting serious with someone, that person should know what challenges they face in being seriously involved with you. Chances are you may find yourself dealing with your struggle in the future, and your life partner should at least know what to expect from you, just as you would want to know something this serious about your life partner.
To anyone reading this that refuses to date someone that has suffered with mental illness, or is at risk, I want to explain something to you. It can happen to anyone, at any point in the life span. There is no guarantee that people who are at risk for mental illness will ever succumb to it in their lifetime. With that said, there is no guarantee that just because someone has never struggled with mental illness before means they will never struggle with it.
Just because someone had a parent that needed medication to cope with mental illness does not automatically means that the person you are dating is going to require the same means to cope with life. Just because the person you are dating has never dealt with panic attacks or depression does not mean that they will not start to deal with them after a traumatic event much later in life. It is that common.
Like ANY physical health issue, it can strike at any point. Whether the result of a bad unforeseeable accident, or resulting after a number of warning signs taking effect, or happening seemingly without cause, it can happen to anyone you are dating, just as it can happen to you.
Treat others with the same compassion and understanding, as you would have them treat you. When it comes to mental illness, this is more applicable as one day, it could very well be you.
I invite you to join me on Wednesday January 25th at 10 pm EST when I take part in Bell Let’s Talk, as a guest on Dr Laurie Betito’s radio program Passion, for their monthly feature Dating Dilemmas where I will talk about Dating with Mental Illness with Dr. Laurie Betito, and co-host Fritz-Gerald Morisseau of https://www.elitespeeddating.com/
The show will be broadcast LIVE in Montreal on CJAD 800 AM (http://www.iheartradio.ca/cjad) as well as broadcast in Toronto on NewsTalk 1010 AM (https://www.iheartradio.ca/newstalk-1010)
Battling Insecurities When Dating
By Frank Kermit
Insecurities can be an obstacle in your dating life. The special challenge is that even if you find someone that you like, who happens to like you back, your own insecurities will more than likely sabotage every great potential relationship you find.
Insecure people usually lack a certain confidence, and can be troubled by self-doubt about their own abilities, skills, and their own self-worth.
People can feel insecure about a variety of things such as weight, height, attractiveness, facial features, disabilities, social status and even whether or not they are deserving of being treated well or of experiencing being loved.
When your insecurities overwhelm your entire sense of self worth, it may be referred to as an inferiority complex, which can at times drive individuals to overcompensate to achieve extreme related success.
For example, a person with an inferiority complex about his or her looks, could potentially go to extreme measures to be considered very attractive, such as people who starve themselves to unhealthy near death limits, or people who train hard to the point of injuring themselves.
Insecurities can be rooted both from childhood experiences (for example, growing up with a feeling of unworthiness of love or attention from a parent), as well as, experiences from an adult's life (for example, a failure of some kind that became wrapped up in the adult's self identity).
In my practice, what I see most often is that insecure people attempt to solve their insecurities by aiming to be as perfect as possible.
This means not taking any action in dating waiting for the perfect time, waiting for the perfect partner, or waiting until he or she achieves some great accolade before being open to dating.
Striving for perfection does not seem to alleviate insecurities. It actually exasperates the problem constantly leaving an individual feeling like he or she is not ever perfect enough to be loved.
Full on acceptance of self is the best solution for insecurities. It is the complete opposite of the source of being insecure, and when a person fully accepts and loves him or her self, they also accept their insecurities as part of what makes them whole and unique.
Once you reach a point where you do not fear abandonment, or fear being unwanted, and accept yourself for all the reason you think people could potentially reject you, that is when you give off the belief in yourself that attracts people.
When you are OK with you, you teach others how to be OK with you.
This does not mean that EVERYONE is going to flock to you. Fact is, even at your best, there will likely always be a percentage of the population that will not accept you.
However, once you fully accept you, you may be surprised to find out that many other people (the majority in fact) will be more accepting of you as well, no matter what it was you originally felt insecure about.
The aim is not to ignore the element at the heart of your insecurity, or to try to hide it from others. It means that others may also acknowledge the existence of what you were insecure about, and still accept you with it.
One of the behaviors I always encourage in my clients to help them along the path to a stronger self-esteem and to build up self-acceptance is to stop judging other people.
Treat people with compassion at all times. It is a learn-able skill just like any other. Avoid gossiping about people, making fun of anyone for any reason whatsoever (in person or online), and be accepting and tolerant of others, even if you do not like them.
They do not have to conform to your own sense of appeal for you to accept them. You do not have to like a person, their look, or their lifestyle, in order to accept them and respect their rights as human beings; whatever flaws you may see in them.
How openly or harshly you judge others are signs of how little or how much you compassionately accept yourself.
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