4 Communication tips for couples are highlighted in this contributed post.
A rocky patch in your relationship can cause distress to both sides. It can affect your work, your social life, and your family life too, especially if there are children involved. While it may feel like your relationship is coming to an end, ups and downs are very common in relationships, and you may be able to work through your issues to make it out the other end happier and more content. Take a look at some of the solutions below that could help you both work through your issues to get your relationship back on track.
Communication is key to a healthy relationship. However, this is one element that many people struggle with, and it’s poor communication that can ruin a relationship. Talking through your issues is difficult, but if you can do so in a way that is non-argumentative and simply expresses how both sides feel, you may find that there is an easier solution to your problems than you realize. Take some time to really talk to each other about the things that have been bothering you for a much healthier relationship where both sides feel heard.
You may not really know much about couples counselling, or feel that it is not for you, but it is something that helps thousands of couples each day to enjoy healthier, more honest relationships. Whether you have problems communicating with each other, you suffer from sexual intimacy issues or anything else that may be causing your rough patch; couples counselling could be the thing that brings you both together again in a safe and open space.
Get away from it all
Sometimes it’s outside factors that cause our relationships to suffer. If work is affecting your relationship for example, or even one person having a much more active social life than the other, then a vacation could be just what the two of you need. Putting physical distance between the issue and your relationship could be beneficial, and a vacation will give you both the chance to relax without distractions to leave you both feeling much happier when you return. A vacation will also help you establish some perspective so that when you return, you can find ways to manage your workload better or prioritize your relationship over late nights with friends to help you refocus on your relationship.
Spend more time together
Sometimes the issue can be that you’re just not spending time together. It can be difficult if your schedules clash, or you’re in a long-distance relationship, but these are issues that can be resolved by spending more quality time together. Try to spend time together, enjoying date nights that are free from distractions (that means keeping your phones away!), that let you both catch up on how you’re doing and enjoy each other’s company.
Relationship issues can be difficult, but for many people, they are a phase that will disappear with a bit of work. It’s important to remember that love is not a power play, so it’s important to treat your partner as an equal and ensure that they do the same in return. It’s difficult to deal with issues, but tackling them head on will benefit your relationship and make you both stronger for it.
10 Online Dating Tips
By Frank Kermit
Online (Cyber) dating can be challenging. Dating unto itself is a challenge. Meeting someone new that you have to get to know. Allowing them to get to know you. Finding out where you are, and are not compatible. It is not always a fun process for some people. Add to that mix having to meet through technology, where a person’s interpretations of communication get muddled, and dating can sometimes be unpleasant.
I could write a book of advice on online dating, and I likely will one day. In the meanwhile, here are some quick tips for online dating that I share with my coaching clients to keep online dating as positive as possible.
There are many people that just like the attention that being on online dating sites affords them, and they have no actual interest in ever dating someone, so by following this tip you avoid having weeks (or months) of your time wasted by someone that never actually wants to date you. (Yes, attention mongers lurk on online dating sites). Also, there are stories of people posing as the opposite gender online that are either just having fun, or doing research on online dating practices. There are fake profiles designed to get people to sign up to online dating sites, but who have marketing teams behind them, not an actual interested person. In fact there are some dating services that will communicate on behalf of a client to arrange a date, so unless you see the person face to face to match up the voice with the face, it is possible that you are not even talking with the person you think wants to date you.
Tip # 2 Never Send Anyone Money
This may seem obvious, however it is important to keep in mind that professional “catfish” are very well trained and skilled in the art of manipulation. They fester online trying to get someone attached to an online dating profile. By using attractive profile pictures, and carefully worded texts in the profile description and other written communication (emails/texts), they achieve their goals to make their targets feel an emotional attachment. And when they feel the attachment is strong enough, they create a “crisis” moment where they require you to send them money to help them out. At that point, they have been actively studying every bit of your communication to see what kind of crisis you would most likely respond too. For example, if you mentioned that you suffered a death of someone close to you (death of a spouse or sibling), a crisis you may be presented with could be the person saying someone close to him or her has died, and they need money for the funeral or to pay off the dead person’s debts in order to claim the body. There is a very real science behind what these “catfish” manipulators use in order to properly target vulnerable people to get them attached to the person they THINK is on the other end of that profile. No matter the crisis, never send anyone money during “an online relationship.” BTW, this also means never send someone your credit card number, regardless of the reasons they state (such as, “prove you are a real person, send me your credit card number so I can check”), no electronic payment services, no loans, no investment opportunities, no gift cards…you hopefully get the idea.
Note: The origin of the term “catfish” comes from the movie Catfish (2010). It is a story about a man named Nev Schulman who travels to America to meet a young woman that he fell in love with over social media, only to meet her in person and to find out she is older and married and nothing like her online profile. In the movie, the husband tells the story of how catfish were put in with the live codfish for long oversea travels in order to keep the cod fish swimming and moving, so that codfish would be a better quality meat. The catfish would nip the tails the codfish and keep the codfish active. The deceptive wife in the movie is compared to the catfish because her life would be dull and boring (like unhealthy codfish meat), if she did not have someone “nipping at her tail fin”.
Tip # 3 It Is Not a Relationship Until You Meet In Person
This is a tip that some of my coaching clients have found very upsetting. The idea that if you are interacting through texts, emails, phone calls, and even face to face technologies (ie. skype, facetime, etc…) it is still not considered a relationship. Sometimes the chemistry and connection that people feel through technology can make people believe that what they are experiencing is a real relationship. The feelings may be real, but the relationship is not (ok, go back and read that line again, as I know some of you may have to ponder that one a bit). Just because you feel something for someone, does not make what you have with that person a committed relationship. Relationships come with commitment (such as the expectation of not talking to anyone else online), but commitments are to be earned, not expected. It is unreasonable to assume anything has been earned when you have yet to meet a person face to face in the real world. (There is a lot more I could say on this topic, however it is best that we table this for now and move on to the next tip).
Tip # 4 Keep Your Own Online Dating Profile Honest
The new buzzword in online dating is “Kitten Fish”. The term means to make yourself out online to be very different from how you actually are in real life. The biggest culprit of “Kitten Fishing” is using good photos of yourself from the past that do not at all match how you look at the moment. It is important to present your best self in an online profile, but it is wrong to misrepresent yourself. Be honest in your profile. If you are only interested in casual dating, do not say you are looking for something serious because you think it makes you look like a better person. If you work in the mailroom of a prestigious company, do not try to pass yourself off as a partner in the business. If you have taken less than a handful of night courses at the local college or university, do not try to pass yourself off as a graduate. Kitten Fishing might get your more attention, even a few first dates that end quickly, but only someone Kitten Fishing as much as you did MIGHT want to give a second chance, but honestly, would you want to date a kitten fish yourself? Right. (Remember my point earlier about attention mongers who lurk online?)
Tip # 5 Focus on Your Boundaries (Must Haves), Not Preferences
One of the best ways to approach online dating is to use it as an efficient filter. Let’s say you normally have to go on about 9 lousy or semi-decent first dates in order to find a 10th person that you would actually like to have a second date with. (Don’t let the numbers scare you OK? Just play along). There are reasons those 9 first dates did not work out. What makes online dating profiles so efficient is that you can communicate all of your “Must Haves” (your boundaries) that you are looking for in someone that you would like to date more than once, and because of that eliminate having to experience those 9 actual dates, and just focus on every 10th date. If you take this approach, you will likely get less attention, but the attention do you get will be quality. (Remember what I said about attention mongers?) Preferences are things that you would like your date to have, but they are not necessary. If they are not necessary DO NOT LIST THEM. People reading your online profiles might mistake your preferences, as must-haves and might reject you before you ever get the chance to meet them in person. For example, if you have lung issues and cannot date a smoker, say so because it is a boundary. If you would prefer not to date a smoker but you wouldn’t mind it too much either, then do not mention it at all.
Tip # 6 Know Your Sex-On-A-Date Rules
I am often asked if someone should have sex on a first date when meeting online. My answer is it depends if you are already comfortable having sex after any first date. No judgments here. The key to sex and online dating is about finding someone that has compatible sexual values as you do. If you are comfortable with sex on a first date and the person you have sex with judges you for it, it is disappointing, but you probably would not want to keep dating that person anyway. If you are not comfortable with sex on first dates, communicate that, and PLEASE stick to your rules about sex whatever they may be. If you want someone to question whether or not they can trust you for things to get more serious, start breaking your own rules on a date like having sex when you initially said you were not going too. In fact, one of the most hypocritical things you can do is have rules about not having sex on a first date, when you already regularly take part in anonymous one-night stands. If you do connect with someone and date them for any length of time, you will likely share with them your values when it comes to sex (and how quickly you engage in sexual activity). If you behave in a way that is counter your actual sexual values when first dating, at best you might come across as manipulative. At worse, you could attract and end up in a relationship with someone that has the opposite sexual values you do. Can you say, “Things are likely to end badly here”?
Tip # 7 Look for Contradictions In the Profile of Others
When looking at the online profiles of others, something I coach my clients to do is to be on the look out for contradictions within an online dating profile. Those contradictions can be very telling about the kind of person you might end up dating and can help you decide if you should even bother. If one part of the profile contradicts another part of the profile, it is a warning sign. For example, if someone writes in their profile their family (their kids) is very important to them, but when it comes to listing 5 things they cannot live without, they do not list their kids in those top 5, that could be a warning sign. If someone talks about how easy going they are, but then talks about how they have rules about how a first date needs to happen in a fancy restaurant with certain high-end criteria, that could be a warning sign. If someone describes themselves as open-minded, but goes on in the profile about the kinds of people they hate, that could be a warning sign. Some profiles are so filled with contradictions (“I like to go out a lot but I also like to stay home”) that it makes a person wonder if you are dealing with a people pleaser, or someone that is so afraid to be honest about what they want, that they play it too safe by being on the fence. Just keep in mind that contradictions could be a big warning and at the very least are conversation topics to be covered on a first date if you make it that far.
Tip # 8 Use A Decent Photo
A good photo can change how much attention your online profile will get. I was presented with a study by a match making site that describes which profile photos get the most attention to your profile. Women may be encouraged to smile more, look happy, and show cleavage. Men may be encouraged display their pride (stand tall, chest out, appear confident), regardless of how happy they looked. Both may be encouraged include photos of them having fun, and having a profile shot focusing on the left side. That is what the data shows. However, the main thing is to use a CURRENT photo (see the tip on Kitten Fish above). My personal suggestion is not to use photos with your ex (still not over it eh?) no matter how hot your ex was, and not to use professionally photographed or touched-up portraits. Yes, you want to be your best online self, but the dating world wants your best-realistic self too. Also, if you use a photo that is slightly less flattering than your actual looking self, then when someone wants to meet you, it makes the first meeting much more of a pleasant surprise. Nice way to start a date.
Tip # 9 Be Realistic About Who You Can Attract
One of the biggest misconceptions I have to dispel amongst my client base is how some of them assume that just because they are going to try online dating that they can now raise their standards ridiculously higher. It is good to have standards (see my tip above about boundaries). However, having very high standards when dating online does not matter if you would not be able to attract such a person in real life. This is not about fulfilling your unmet fantasy. This is about finding a real person, who is a real human being, with some of the good qualities a human being can have, and having some of the not-so good qualities that a human being can struggle with. If you are holding out for perfection, you will be just as lonely dating online as you currently are dating in real life. And if you legitimately do want to find a better partner for yourself, the best place to start is to work on yourself to become a better dating candidate partner first. There are times where I have coached people for 3 months before they attempt another date, so that when they do get that next first date, the challenge isn’t trying to get a great person to like you; the mission is about you getting to screen how great the other person is that you like. See the difference?
Tip # 10 Learn To Love Online Dating
The worst thing you can do is approach online dating with a terrible attitude about it. It will come through in your communication (from your profile, choice of photos, texts, emails and if you make it far enough phone calls and first dates). People, who seek out to sabotage themselves in online dating, will kill every chance they get to meet someone who is a decent candidate.
They are the easiest for manipulators to target online.
Those with negative attitudes tend to fall for the fake profiles the most, because fake profiles promise the impossible: an ideal fantasy of the perfect match. It is not enough to be willing to try online dating. You have to take pride in the fact that you are putting yourself out there. You have to be proud that you want to date. Yes, it means you have to screen through fakers and manipulators (just like in real life). Yes, it means you have to put yourself out there and make yourself a little vulnerable (just like in real life). Yes, you may have to go through a numbers game (just like in real life). Yes, you may have to make the first move if you aren’t getting any attention (just like in real life). Yes, you have to take some precautions for safety (just like in real life). Yes, you may have to make building a love life a priority and put in lots of time (just like in real life). Stop whining. Stop complaining. Stop Self-Shaming. It is what it is. Learn to love it. Own it. Make it yours, just like you would any other great opportunity in life that you have to work at.
A good solid profile, a great attitude towards meeting new people, and the willingness to take action can make online dating a great way to meet new people, if you are prepared to make the most of your online time together.
Released July 21 2017, Updated on March 1, 2018
Frank Kermit makes his 1st appearance on the program Find The One Elite with host Antia Boyd. On this show Frank talks about The Top Emotional Needs Of Single Men & Women.
Been thinking recently, after having read John Milton’s sonnet
“On His Blindness” and reflecting on all of the family,
close friends, ex-colleagues, and even ex-students,
who have passed in these 72 years of my life – Jim Riga
By Jim Riga
Call ‘life’ what you want; it's not the least bit fair,
It causes many people grief and despair.
Comprised of numerous ups and downs,
It makes some smile, and others frown.
It knows no borders, tribe or race,
Religion, culture, or color of face.
Yellow, red, brown or white,
It means nothing if you're dark or light.
Loved ones lost, friends gone too,
Look around; so alone are you.
Memories, though pleasant, now remain
Of days now filled with unbearable pain.
Joyous days of yesteryear
And times so filled with pleasant cheer
But now warm times seem all but gone
As time and life do venture on.
The times we knew when we were young
Fleeting as those smiles that sprung
From times when we were young and free
But now bring one much misery.
Now, seldom are those times of gold,
And more fleeting now as we grow old,
So live life now with an open heart,
For life goes on as more friends depart.
Copyright, July 17, 2017
Body Sugaring- A type of sugar that’s good for you!
by Pillow Talk Gal
When someone first mentioned body sugaring to me, I have to admit I had no clue what they were talking about.
Was it some kind of new skin treatment craze
or was it something involving aroma therapy?
I quickly discovered that it is a wonderful hair removal method that’s all the rage.
First of all, let me be very clear that the idea of anything involving pulling on any hair on my body, is not my idea of a good time.
I had such a bad experience in the past that I vowed never to put myself through that again.
This said, The Sugar Hive-NDG had such great reviews that I couldn’t resist checking it out.
Ample parking makes it easy to access
and the owner, Oriel, was very inviting.
Upon entering, my senses were treated to wonderful aromas both from candles and the lovely natural sugar based products being used in my treatment.
After filling out a form (health information taken only as a precautionary measure) I was guided to a lovely room where we began the process.
While applying a skin preparation lotion (which helps to disinfect the skin and is completely natural), Oriel explained the origins of body sugaring to me.
It all began thousands of years ago with the Egyptians. The pharaohs and their entourage used this method to remove unwanted hair. Up until very recently, body sugaring had popularity mostly in Europe but thanks to word of mouth, it has gained momentum here in North America and shows no signs of slowing down.
All the products used are completely natural (made entirely of sugar, water and lemon juice) and this special formula of natural goodness does not adhere to live skin cells (unlike waxing, the sugar only removes the hair and dead skin cells, and not healthy skin cells).
The advantages of this include reducing redness and eliminating the possibility of developing ingrown hairs. The sugar used is prepared at room temperature so there is no worry of dealing with that feeling of burnt skin often experienced with hot wax. The fact that it is a natural product also is good news for the environment, as no harsh chemicals are used and the sugar is applied simply by a technique using only the fingers.
So, I know what you’re thinking;
it all sounds fine and dandy but what about the pain?
It’s safe to say that at one point or another in every woman’s life, we’ve had to deal with hair removal torture, in the many forms that pain presents itself.
I myself have had my share of bad experiences that include burnt skin, chemical burns and allergic reactions just to name a few.
Let me tell you, body sugaring is my new go to hair removal must have!
When Oriel started the process and began to remove the hair on my legs with the sugar, I was shocked!
I literally felt no pain.
I kept bracing myself to feel that all too familiar pinching sensation but each time I did, I was surprised I felt nothing.
Even on the most sensitive areas,
I was pain free and totally relaxed.
It was such a refreshing experience compared to what I had endured in the past.
Before I knew it, my session was over
and Oriel was applying
a natural soothing lotion
(that btw smelled awesome!).
My sugaring experience was one of the most positive hair removal experiences I have ever had and I highly recommend you look into it if you need to get rid of those pesky hairs (be it legs, arms, facial or otherwise).
High praise to the Sugar Hive for a job well done,
About the Sugar Hive and its owner: Oriel is from Kitchener, Waterloo and has been doing body sugaring for a few months now. She hopes to open her own body sugaring shop some day and would even love to offer a spa experience featuring all natural products. Her budding business is located at 4397 Grand Boulevard in NDG, Montreal.
Link to The Sugar Hive Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/TheSugarHivee/
About Pillow Talk Gal
Born and raised in British Columbia, she is a professional woman managing a career, marriage, and a teenager. Life can be challenging at times but she's a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason, and more often than not, she tries to understand those reasons.
"Join me in my journey throughout life’s issues and I guarantee you’ll be left pondering an issue or two." - Pillow Talk Gal
To read Pillow Talk Gal's last post, click HERE
by Carrie Joyner
I always figured the next love of my life would happen organically.
After 2 years of taking a break from the soul sucking world of online dating, I decided to jump back in because the old fashioned way of meeting men just wasn’t happening.
Not the right ones, anyhow.
The romantic notion of meeting Mr. Right in the frozen food aisle at the grocery store went out the window a long time ago since Steve Jobs put iphones in 90% of the populations hands.
Human interaction is scarce these days.
Eye contact is nothing short of a miracle.
People would rather Snap Chat themselves with cartoon eyes and dog noses.
-I don’t get it.
-I don’t want to get it.
I didn’t go hungry the past two years, don’t get me wrong.
I just needed to kick start the process and increase the odds of landing a dream partner before I start thinking about getting a few cats and spending every night binge watching Million Dollar Listing and fantasizing about a career in high profit real estate.
Putting yourself out there lends to some pretty deep self-analysis by being part of that online, fast food style relationship world.
Don’t get me wrong, there are good men out there…but you have to cut through a lot of weeds to find a good one.
With my iphone machete in hand, I began hacking away.
Vessel of choice: Tinder
I am tired of paying for the chance to meet someone who could ultimately end up wasting years of my life.
I spent the better part of 2 years in 3 useless relationships because of that.
Recently divorced and feeling the clock ticking in the last few years of my 30’s, I dropped the bar…forget raising it…and settled with three different men for the sake of being in a relationship.
Mild levels of attraction led to a lot of time being complacent, at times anxiety-inducing and ultimately unfulfilling relationships.
One was crazy, one was a jerk and one was just too nice.
I just signed up two weeks ago, so about 50 matches later, 4 disappointing actual dates, I am taking a deep breath and getting ready for week three.
The latest date was probably the strangest.
A hot pilot who had been texting with me for about 24 hours before I found a hole in my schedule and asked him if he was free.
He was, we set up a time and place to meet for a drink.
He arrived 30 minutes late because he was stuck in traffic and took about ten minutes to establish consistent eye contact with me.
This is where all that self analysis kicks in.
The reality is that I am sitting in front of a total stranger.
I don’t know if he has issues.
I don’t know his back story
or what really happened in his last relationships,
or how hurt he had been in the past.
The questions float around my head incessantly.
-Is he not focusing because he is nervous?
-Am I too good looking for him?
-Am I not good looking enough?
I finally hooked him in a topic that he was semi-passionate about and I had my eye contact at last.
He didn’t want to leave,
but I have to cut these things short unless there are fireworks.
Plus, my dog needed a walk.
He texted me after to make sure I got home safely, which was thoughtful.
He asked if he could see me again
and I said yes,
because maybe that first encounter
was just scratching the surface.
I haven’t heard back from him all weekend
and I am not going to reach out first
…I am old school like that.
Online dating is not how I imagined meeting my next boyfriend and hopefully husband, but it is the easiest way to start connecting to total strangers, some with good intentions, others not so much.
It takes time, energy, thick skin and courage of steel
to not cancel dates
that seem like a good idea while couch surfing with chardonnay.
But I guess you can’t win the lottery without buying a ticket,
so let the games begin!
I Left the Love of My Life
by Karen Cross (cir. 2013)
I left the love of my life because
I thought I could do better.
Now I'm childless and alone at 42
Laughing and dancing with my fiance at our engagement party, I thought I might actually burst with happiness.
Surrounded by our family and friends, I looked at Matthew and felt certain I had met the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with.
Quite simply, he was my soulmate.
It all seemed so simple to my naïve, 19-year-old self.
I was, I smugly told myself, the girl who had it all.
So why, 20 years later, do I find myself single, childless and tormented by the fact that I have thrown away the only true chance of happiness I ever had?
Eight years after that wonderful engagement party in 1989,
I walked away from dear, devoted, loyal Matthew,
convinced that somewhere out there,
a better, more exciting,
more fulfilling life awaited me.
Only there wasn't.
Now I am 42
and have all the trappings of success
- a high-flying career, financial security
and a home in the heart of London's trendy Notting Hill.
But I don't have the one thing I crave more than anything:
a loving husband and family.
'My father warned me not to throw this love away. But I was sure I'd find Mr Perfect around the corner'
You see, I never did find another man
who offered everything Matthew did,
who understood me and loved me like he did.
Someone who was my best friend as well as my lover.
Today, seeing friends
with their children around them
as I know I am unlikely ever
to have a family of my own.
I think about the times
Matthew and I talked about having children,
even discussing the names we would choose.
I cannot believe I turned my back
on so much happiness.
Instead, here I am back on the singles market,
looking for the very thing
I discarded with barely a backward glance
all those years ago.
I know I can't have Matthew back,
and it hurts when I hear
snippets of information
about his life
and how content he is.
Fifteen years after I ended our relationship,
he is happily married.
At this time of year, so many people will be assessing their lives and relationships, wondering if the grass is greener on the other side.
Many will mistake contentment for boredom, forgetting to cherish the good things they have.
I would urge those who are considering walking away from such riches to think again.
How different things would be for me now if only I'd listened to Matthew when he pleaded with me not to leave him in 1997,
tears pouring down his face.
I was crying too,
and it tortured me
to watch the heart of the man I loved
breaking in front of me.
But I was resolute.
'One day I might look back and realize
I've made the biggest mistake of my life,'
I told him as we clung to each other desperately.
How prophetic those words have proven to be.
'I will always be here for you,'
And I, arrogantly,
thought that somehow
I could put him on ice and return to him.
Matthew and I met when we attended the same comprehensive school in Essex.
We started dating just before Christmas 1987 when I was 17 and studying for my A-levels.
By that time he had left school and was working as a motorcycle courier.
We got on like a house on fire, and our families each supported the relationship.
Before long, we had fallen in love.
Matthew was romantic but incredibly practical, something that would later come to annoy me.
His gifts to me that Christmas were a leather jacket - and a pair of thermal leggings.
Two weeks later, when we'd been seeing each other for less than a month, he proposed.
We were in my little Mini Clubman when he shouted at me to stop the car.
Scared something was wrong, I braked in the middle of traffic and we both jumped out.
Then, oblivious to the other drivers beeping their horns, he got down on one knee in the middle of the road.
'I love you, Karen Cross,' he said.
'Promise you'll marry me one day.'
I laughed and said yes, thrilled that he felt the same way that I did.
In the summer of 1989, while out for a romantic meal, Matthew proposed properly with a diamond solitaire ring.
Two months later, we held our engagement party for 40 friends and family at the little house we were renting at the time.
The following year, we bought a tiny starter home in Grays, Essex, which we moved into with furniture
we had begged, borrowed and stolen.
We giggled with delight at the thought of this grown-up new life.
I was in my first junior role at a women's magazine
and Matthew worked fitting tyres and exhausts,
so our combined salaries of around £15,000 a year
meant we struggled to make the mortgage payments.
But we didn't care,
telling ourselves that it wouldn't be long before
we were earning more
and able to afford weekly treats
and a bigger home
where we could bring up the babies we had planned.
the housing market crashed
and we were plunged into negative equity.
Struggling should have brought us closer together,
and at first it did.
But as time went on,
and my magazine career - and salary - advanced,
I started to resent Matthew
as he drifted from one dead-end job to another.
I still loved him,
but I began to feel embarrassed by his blue-collar jobs,
despite his intelligence,
he didn't have a career.
Then he bought a lurid blue and pink VW Beetle.
Why couldn't he drive a normal car?
Things that now seem incredibly insignificant began to niggle.
I began to wish he was more sophisticated and earned more.
I felt envious of friends with better-off partners,
who were able to support them as they started their families.
I stopped seeing Matthew as my equal.
I stopped seeing all the qualities that had made me fall in love with him - his fierce intelligence, our shared sense of humour, his determination not to follow the crowd.
I saw someone who was holding me back.
I encouraged him to find a career
and was thrilled when he was accepted
to join the police in 1995.
It should have heralded a new chapter in our lives,
but it only hastened the end.
We went from spending every evening
and weekend together,
to hardly seeing one another.
Matthew was doing round-the-clock shifts,
while I worked long hours
on the launch of a new magazine.
Our sex life had dwindled
and nights out together were rare.
I stopped appreciating little things he did,
like leaving romantic notes on the pillow
or scouring secondhand bookshops
for novels he knew I'd love.
He was my best friend,
yet I took him totally for granted.
After festering for weeks about his shortcomings,
I told Matthew I was leaving.
We spent hours talking and crying
as he tried to convince me to stay,
but I was adamant.
My parents were horrified
that I was walking away
from a man they felt was right for me.
My father's words to me that day continue to haunt me.
'Karen, think carefully about what you're doing.
There's a lot to be said for someone who truly loves you.'
But, I refused to listen,
convinced there would be another,
better Mr Right waiting around the corner.
I moved into a rented flat a few miles away
in Hornchurch, Essex,
and embraced single life
with a vengeance.
By now I was an editor on a national magazine.
Life was one long round of premieres
and dinner or drinks parties.
Matthew and I remained close,
even telling each other about new relationships.
But though I'd dumped him,
I never felt the women he met were good enough.
I can see now I was acting out of jealousy.
I clearly wanted to keep him for myself.
Our closeness was,
however, called to a halt in 2000
when he met his first serious girlfriend after me, Sara.
One night shortly after his 34th birthday,
I phoned to ask his advice about something.
Matthew was unusually abrupt
and asked me not to call him again.
'Please don't send me birthday or Christmas cards
any more either.
Sara opened your card last week
and was really upset.
I have to put her feelings first.'
I hated the fact Matthew
was suddenly putting another woman before me.
How dare she come between us!
Over the next few weeks,
I'm ashamed to say
I vented my spleen at both of them
in a series of heated phone calls.
I was completely irrational.
I didn't want Matthew back,
but felt upstaged by Sara.
after one particularly nasty argument,
Matthew put the phone down
and refused to take any more of my calls.
I didn't realize it at the time,
but I would never speak to him again.
I met Richard.
It was a whirlwind romance,
and within a year we were engaged
and buying an idyllic farmhouse
in the Norfolk countryside
while I continued my journalistic career,
commuting to London.
He was a successful singer
and, as we toured the country,
I thought I had finally found
the excitement and love
that I craved.
But Matthew was never far from my thoughts,
and Richard complained
that I often brought him into conversations,
even comparing them both.
They were so different.
Although outwardly romantic,
Richard was repeatedly unfaithful,
and I never felt secure enough
to start a family with him.
after three-and-a-half years together,
he walked out,
having admitted his latest paramour
was pregnant by him.
My life fell apart.
Over the next year,
I struggled to pull myself back together
and did a lot of soul-searching.
I finally understood what my father had meant.
I realized Matthew was the only person
who had loved and understood me.
When I heard through a mutual friend
that he had split up with Sara,
I wrote to him,
apologising and asking for forgiveness
- and a second chance.
It was six years since we had last spoken,
but naively I thought he would want to hear from me.
What I didn't know
was that Sara
was still living at the house
and it was she
my very personal letter.
It included my phone number,
and she left me several angry,
I had inadvertently caused problems
in Matthew's life,
so it was unsurprising
I never heard from him,
despite writing several times
over the next few months.
In the end,
I left it at birthday
and Christmas cards,
thinking he'd find a way
to get in touch
if he ever changed his mind.
Then, I heard a couple of years ago
Matthew had married
his new partner, Nicola.
For a few moments I couldn't breathe,
then the tears came.
Matthew and Nicola still live in Essex
and, as far as I know, don't yet have children.
That's the next milestone I truly dread.
It's been 11 years since Matthew and I last spoke,
and I have to accept that door has closed.
Perhaps he has found what he is looking for
and I am a distant memory.
I have had one other
significant relationship since Richard
- with Rob -
but that recently ended after four years.
Rob reminded me a lot of Matthew.
He was decent and honourable,
the life and soul of the party but with a kind and sensitive side.
But we were each too jaded
by previous heartbreak to make it work.
And while I wanted children,
he had a grown-up son and didn't want to start over again.
So once again I am on my own,
my mind full of 'if-onlys'.
If only I'd stayed with Matthew,
we'd almost certainly be married with children.
Or, maybe Matthew wasn't the right man.
I will never know the answer,
but my decision to leave him
has definitely cost me the chance
of ever becoming a mother.
Now I can only look back
and admonish my selfish,
When I visit friends and family back in our home town,
I can't help but hope I'll bump into Matthew.
I'd like to think I'd say sorry.
That I will always be there for him.
But I wouldn't be surprised
if he turned his back on me and kept walking.
To those out there thinking of walking away from humdrum relationships,
I would say don't mistake contentment for unhappiness, as I did.
It could be a choice you'll regret for the rest of your life.
Elvira Di Perna (born Giarrusso)
October 6, 1915 - 10 July 10, 2017
Passed away peacefully at Villa Forum Residence in Mississauga, Ontario on Monday, July 10th. just short of her 102nd. birthday.
Beloved wife of the late Damiano, loving mother of Nicholas (the late Maria), Civita (Joe) and Carmen (Joe). Cherished Nonna of Damian (Mary), Maria, Elvira, Robert (Cheryl), Nicky (Rina), Rosemarie (Paul), the late Stephen (Leanne), and 13 great grandchildren. She also leaves behind her beloved brothers and sisters in Montreal: Domenic (Anna), Assunta (Fortunato) and Victor (Elisa).
Elvira immigrated from Gaeta, Italy in 1949 with her children, to begin a new life with her family in Canada.
She was widowed two years later at the age of 36 and had to overcome many significant challenges in raising a family of three young children and to provide support to her brothers and sisters.
A family woman, the eldest of 13 children, who devoted her entire life in helping her children, grandchildren, as well as her brothers and sisters.
Elvira will be sadly missed and fondly remembered by her many family and friends.
Good bye Elvira, and Thank You.
I got a reminder on social media that today is the anniversary that I self published my 10th book: From Friends To Lovers: Stop Being Her Emotional Cookie Man. On July 12, 2009 I self published it.
In celebration, of this 8th anniversary of this book, I present the introduction of the this book written by Will Hicks.
-Frank Kermit, Author
Introduction to From Friends To Lovers
by Will Hicks
My Mother told me that it was an extreme honor when someone asks you to write an introduction or forward to their book as she was asked by one of her colleagues at work.
When Frank asked me I took it as an extreme honor because of our friendship and the caliber of person that he is.
Once Frank becomes your friend he’s there for you through thick and thin, rain or shine.
He also makes sure he stays in communication with all his friends as well as open doors for you through friends he has that may be able to help you in any way.
The most memorable show for me was the New Years Eve show we did together. This was one of the funniest hours of my life.
We talked about everything from where to go, where not to go, the mindset that you need to have...etc. The show was professionally done, as is everything the man does.
We’ve shared many private moments off the air also, friends talking shop, giving advice, and trying to help out guys that need it the most. There are a lot of pretenders out and I can say not just with my own experiences but also out of the mouths of countless others that Frank Kermit is No Pretender. His body of work speaks for itself and I’m honored to be a part of that great body of work.
When Frank speaks it’s always from the heart and he’s speaking from experience. He genuinely doesn’t want you to make the same mistakes as he did or take some of the roads that he’s traveled. I’d say he generous to a fault with an infectious smile and as cool as the other side of the pillow.
Once you enter his world, Frank becomes your mentor, coach, confidant, counselor and most importantly Friend. So enjoy what’s about to happen next. There will probably be things along the way that you disagree with or don’t like but you’ll always appreciate where they’re coming from, that I can assure you. Also know that Frank Kermit wouldn’t have you do something that he wouldn’t do himself.
Will Hicks, Dating Coach
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in St. John's, Newfoundland
Dr. Laurie Betito Quotes