The Mother-Lover Theory:
Understanding the Emotional Needs of Women
By Frank Kermit
A woman can only play one of two roles in a man's life.
She is either his mother or his lover. She cannot be both.
When a man addresses a woman's emotional needs, her mothering instinct is halted, and thus by default, she feels more of a pull to potentially being his lover.
When a man violates a woman's emotional needs, her mothering instincts kick in, and she feels more mothering feelings towards him, and feels pushed away from potentially being his lover.
For example, one of the emotional needs of a woman is the protection of her most important asset: her reputation. When a woman is around a man that hurts the reputation of other women when he is around her, she knows that she cannot fully let her guard down. She has to be the adult in the dynamic because the man is not mature enough to appreciate how un-calibrated (and possibly creepy) his behavior is. Since she feels the need to be the adult in the situation in order to make sure that she does not inadvertently say anything around him that he could repeat to others (in the same way he is speaking poorly about others in front of her), she is enacting a behavior that is akin to how a mother must be careful of her wording, least an infant repeats her words in an inappropriate manner.
When a man actively presents himself as a gentleman that does not kiss and tell, and that does not speak disparagingly of other women in front of her, she can let her guard down enough to feel comfortable with him to the point of being intimate with him, knowing her reputation will not be in any way tarnished by him. She does not have to be akin to a mother afraid of what an infant will repeat, because she recognizes that she is dealing with a man, not a little boy, that is mature enough for her to enter into mature relations with.
Male friends of women, specially those men that are in love with their women friends, but their women friends refuse to date them have actually violated her emotional needs. This is WHY male friends have been banished into the sexless friend-zone. If there was one common element that all "just friends" males have exhibited, it is that at some point, and usually in an ongoing fashion, these men make their female friends feel like they have to mother these guys. These nice guys, can be good friends (very giving friends at that), but they do not engender feelings that would make her want to be his lover, because he makes her feel like his mother. He likely tells her his problems, seeking the validation of her approval, and wants her to make the first move. All these behaviors force her into a mothering role in his life and that kills any potential of sexual attraction.
Men that are a challenge, to the point of being jerks at times, address women's emotional needs indirectly, which is why many women can not help but love those -bad boys-. Despite all the negatives that can be attributed to bad boys, the one thing that makes many bad boys so gosh darn appealing to women is the fact that bad boys do not tolerate any mothering behaviors from the women who love them. Bad boys will not ask their lovers for -mothering- advice; bad boys will do what they want to do without needing approval. Bad boys don't like listening to a woman's helpful suggestions, as they act out to stop her "nagging". In fact, the most notorious player type bad boys reject and even chastise their lovers for trying to do things for them (like cleaning the house or doing their laundry) because those bad boys interpret those actions as her trying to evolve some sort of control over him (she gets to check up on his stuff to see what he has been up to). Men who refuse to be controlled by the actions of women, even if those actions were meant as a form of courtesy and not control, constantly challenge her mothering instinct and thus she can not help but find him sexually appealing.
Long-term couples experience this issue but in a different way. At the beginning of the relationship, a man addresses a woman's emotional needs and she feels like being his lover. However, over the course of their long term relationship, they settle into a comfortable routine, where she finds herself becoming more and more of his mother, and feels less and less like his lover. Men tend to be oblivious to this effect, because part of the emotional needs of men is to identify femininity as women being courtesy. When courtesy is taken too far however, it becomes mothering. A man will not even realize this until a woman expresses how unhappy or resentful she has become in the relationship.
I am suggesting a message to all people that have women partners, especially to those relationships that have children where the woman spends most of her entire time being "mom" or "step mom". Make sure that you remind your lady that she is more than just her children's mother. She is also your lover. Make her feel like your lover by making sure that at least for one day, she does not feel like her partner's mother too.
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How to Guarantee A Divorce
By Frank Kermit
When wedding season is upon us, I get couples coming in for some pre-marital coaching. This process, usually in private couples coaching, but sometimes as a group class is to get couples to ask one another very important questions, the answers to which may even end their engagement.
The goal is to build a rock solid foundation for the marriage so that when tough times trouble the couple, the couple has the best possible odds to stay strong and steady until the storm passes.
One of the components that I teach in my coaching workbooks for men and women, "I'm A Man, That's My Job" and "I'm a Woman, It's My Time" in this process is the rule of putting a life partner ahead of your own extended family and friends.
In dealing with couples on the verge of a break up or divorce, as well as, separated and divorced individuals who are starting over, a remarkably clear pattern became identifiable.
One of the key components that the individual asking for the break listed as a primary reason for ending the relationship was a feeling that a partner put the wants and needs of extended family members and friends ahead of the needs of a spouse and even their children.
It is important for new couples getting married to understand that the number one person in your life is your spouse:
If you end up in the middle of a conflict between having to choose what it best for your spouse or what is best for anyone else, you better choose your spouse if you want your marriage to survive as you must be able to trust in your spouse that your spouse would choose for you.
In the most basic of terms, it is you and your spouse against the world. You come together in marriage to form a partnership to build a common future, a family unit, and to have each other's best interest in mind because it is expected that the two of you have already discussed and agreed upon achieving similar life goals.
These conversations should have covered family planning, careers, retirement, lifestyle and coping with any known and potential obstacles to those plans as well as agreed upon sacrifices necessary to make all of those goals happen.
If you haven't given any thought to these core goal oriented communications, you will be thinking about them while you are in the process of splitting up.
Ironically, the very questions you are asking yourself about your partner during a divorce are the same one you both needed to talk about during your engagement.
There is only one exception to this rule...if you already have young kids when you are getting married.
At that point, your kids who rely on you and have no one else to depend on take priority over your new spouse.
Your spouse is an adult that got to choose to be with you and must accept your priority to be a parent to your children.
However your children did not have the choice of having you as a parent and you may be the only person your children have to give a damn about giving them a decent start to life.
In the future I will write an article for child-free adults who date single parents and how to navigate realistic expectations of step-parenthood.
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The 5 Extreme Effects of Valentine’s Day
By Frank Kermit
Sometimes people will use Valentine’s Day as a catalyst for something significant. Some of those significant undertakings can be life changing, while others just re-confirm what human beings tend to forget or take for granted. Here are some examples of the extreme effects that Valentine’s Day can have on people, and the actions they are motivated to take.
The Confessional: Valentine’s Day is notorious for people confessing their undying love to someone that has thus far been just a friend. At times it is a long drawn out secret-admirer type of communication with the admirer being revealed on Valentine’s Day. The problem with this method is that the anticipation of discovering whom it is overshadows the reality of who the admirer actually is. The build up is so high, that even a great date candidate might still not live up to fantasy built up in someone’s mind, and makes the climax of the secret revealed be a let down. Other times, it is a person who has been planning and rehearing a “You Mean The World To Me” speech. The intention is good but I strongly discourage such execution. This only works if the other person already likes you. There are a few people who would welcome this level of attention and reward it with a date to see where things go. However, most people do not react well from the extra pressure, and it can be a bit intimidating to get to know someone romantically that already has very strong feelings. More often than not (at least what I have seen in my coaching practice over the years), rejection is usually the response. Ask the person out for a date on Valentine’s Day if you wish, but confessing an undying love to someone that may not feel it is deserved or merited is more likely to scare the person off.
The Break Up: Valentine’s Day is a day of reflection, and sometimes that means that people who reflect on the relationship they are in, or reflect on the person they are dating, and come to the conclusion that they should no longer be together. As great as Valentine’s Day can be touted as celebrating love between two people, it is just as equally destructive in ending dating and relationships. Getting dumped on Valentine’s Day is a real occurrence, precisely because it calls attention to elements between the two people, that people might sometimes ignore, or tolerate. When a person discovers they really wouldn’t mind not spending Valentine’s Day together, that realization can turn into the rational that they wouldn’t mind not spending ANY future time together.
The Reminder: Sometimes Valentine’s Day does exactly what most people hope it will do. It is a reminder for each couple to focus on the reasons that they are happy that they are together. Instead of focusing on the day-to-day routine things that may annoy you about your partner, Valentine’s Day is a reminder for couples to take time out, recognize what it was about your partner that drew you in to begin with, and to show some attention, appreciation and love to your partner, in ways that makes your partner feel loved, special and respected. When appropriately done, Valentine’s Day can be exactly what saves a couple from a break up, and can be a reboot for the couple to get back to where they were on their path together, before the rest of life distracted them from what was really important in a relationship. In a time when the divorce rate is about 40-50%, I would suggest that anything, like Valentine’s Day that can get a couple back on track is an nice extreme effect.
The Proposal: Ding-dong! Ding-dong! Wedding bells are ringing! There is nothing wrong with proposing on Valentine’s Day. In fact, in 2013, the American Express Spending and Saving Tracker consumer report surveyed Americans’ Valentine’s Day plans, and found that six million couples are likely to get engaged on Feb 14th making it a very popular day for proposals. However there is a difference between a surprise proposal and a marriage proposal that a couple knows is eventually coming. If you and your partner have spoken at length about a future together, and you both acknowledge that a proposal is coming, but just don’t exactly know when, it is a pretty safe bet that once the proposal happens, the person asking is going to get a resounding “YES”! If you know for certain, you are going to get a yes, then by all means, do propose. However, if you are going to use Valentine’s Day as your day to surprise your partner with a proposal that the two of you have not previously seriously discussed, then you are HOPING for a yes. That is not a time to propose. A proposal needs to be an expected surprise, not a “What the heck are you doing to me?” surprise.
The Last Straw: When Valentine’s Day pushes people to utter the words, “Never Again!” is when Valentine’s Day initiates the last straw. It is what I tend to see in my coaching. Someone has the worst Valentine’s Day they ever had, and decides it is time for a change. Perhaps they just got dumped, suffered a third divorce, ended up alone for V-day for the 5th year in a row, or even proposed and got rejected. A very painful Valentine’s Day can be the breaking point that some people reach, in order to step up and take the steps necessary to begin the hard work that comes with changing. The last straw is when a person reaches a point where the pain of staying the way they are is less than the pain involved in changing their ways. It is when you realize that the common element in every problem in your love life is you, and it is time to fix you. It is a shame that as human beings we sometimes need to be slapped by life in order to be motivated to make changes in the way we do things. But reaching that extreme point can be one of the effects of the worst Valentine’s Day of your life.
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The 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Valentine’s Day
By Frank Kermit
Whether you are totally single, sort-of-dating someone, or in a serious committed relationship, there are some Do’s and Don’ts that everyone can observe to make Valentine’s Day a better experience for all.
The Top 10 Ten Do’s:
1-Do tell your partner what you want
If there is something that you want to happen on Valentine’s Day, then Do tell your partner what it is. Forget about dropping hints or hoping they will surprise you with exactly what you were thinking of. If you have something specific in mind, say so.
2-Do show appreciation and be grateful
If your partner does something big, or does something not as big as you may have thought, be sure to show appreciation for any efforts that anyone tries in order to make your Valentine’s special.
3- Do something for your partner
It is a good idea to do something for your partner on Valentine’s. It does not have to be extravagant. In an ideal world, couples would not need to rely on a holiday to be reminded to show some love to one another; couples should be doing it regularly. However, if you are going to show some love eventually, you may as well on Valentine’s.
4- Do give someone a chance that asks you out
If you are single and someone takes a chance on Valentine’s to ask you out on a date, give that person a chance and say yes to one date. Even if that person is not your type. That person was thinking about you on Valentine’s when no one else was, and that alone is reason enough to earn just one date.
5- Do make it a special day if you feel it is right
If it is your first Valentine’s together, you may feel that it is right to make a big deal of it and that is OK as long as you both agree. For example, both of you taking the day off of work to spend it together might be something fun and adventurous.
6-Do make the effort to give your partner what your partner asks for
If your partner asks for a card, give your partner a card. If your partner asks for you to read from a book of love-poetry, then give your partner what is asked of you. Giving what you want makes you happy, but giving someone what they want makes your partner happy.
7-Do try something new
Valentine’s can be adventurous if you make the most of the holiday by trying something new with your partner that you have never tried before. It could be a new restaurant, or checking out a new movie that neither of you have seen. Be open to trying something new that you know your partner really enjoys.
8-Do Respect your Partner’s Boundaries
It is easy to get caught up in our own ideas of what would be great to do on Valentine’s, but it is important that you respect any and all of your partner’s boundaries. If your partner is not comfortable doing something, it needs to be off the list of possibilities for the two of you.
9-Do Go OUT if you are alone on Valentine’s
If you are alone on Valentine’s Day, go outside, or to an event. It is a great time to meet new people that are also single on Valentine’s Day who may be in the same situation you are. Staying at home to avoid people, will only keep you alone.
10-Do be happy for people that enjoy celebrating Valentine’s
If you know people that are excited about celebrating Valentine’s, be happy for them. Just because it may not be your thing, does not mean you should ruin it for anyone else.
The Top 10 Don’ts
1-Do NOT Confess your undying love for your best friend
This only works if your friend already likes you back, or if your friend is open minded enough to give you a chance. Otherwise, all this does is put way too much pressure on your friend, and might creep out the person you are trying to win over. It is best to invite that person out on a date, rather than confess long drawn out feelings.
2-Do NOT try to make your partner feel guilty
Just because it is Valentine’s Day and you want something specific to happen, do not try to guilt your partner into doing something your partner is not really interested in doing. There is no saying: “If you really love me you will.” In fact, if you really love your partner, you would let it go, and not try to guilt the person.
3-Do NOT break up with someone just because it is Valentine’s
Valentine’s day is a day of reflection for many people, and lots of people break up with their partners on V-day. If you are planning to break up with someone, do it BEFORE Valentine’s day to give you both a chance to meet someone new. Do NOT break up ON Valentine’s Day.
4-Do NOT ignore Valentine’s Day
It does happen when you may not be able to celebrate Valentine’s Day with someone you like. If you and your partner end up missing each other on the actual date (work schedules, travel, etc…) be sure to celebrate the sentiment of the day on another day before or after the fact. It is one thing to ignore the specific date; it is another thing to ignore your partner’s needs
5-Do NOT limit yourself to celebrating Valentine’s for only romantic connections
Although Valentine’s day is USUALLY associated with romantic love, be sure to also think about those people who are important to you that you love, in non-romantic ways, and to remind those people that they are important to you. (For example, buying flowers for your mother is perfectly acceptable on Valentine’s Day).
6- Do NOT go above the agreed upon budget
As sweet as it might be to overspend on your sweetie, this could backfire in lots of ways. First, it may create resentment or feelings of unease for the person who spent less because of the pressure to make up the difference in other ways. Not a good place to be emotionally. Second, it sets a bad precedent for next year if you are still together.
7- Do Not Act Bitter
If you are Bitter about how your love life is going, acting bitter about it on Valentine’s is NOT going to solve the problem. If you are unhappy, have a look at the choices you have made that landed you in the situation you are in. Then consider your options and make better choices so that you can plan for a better Valentine’s next year.
8- Do NOT Bash what you hate about dating and relationships
Some people like to list everything they hate about dating and relationships to feel better about being single. There are some positive and negatives in all things, in all situations. Even if there are some trade offs in dating and relationships, that does not make being single “better”. They are just different. If you are happy being single, then focus on what is positive about being single, not what you think is negative about not dating and relationships. See the difference?
9- Do NOT get caught up in the marketing
How you celebrate Valentine’s is between you and your partner, and neither of you needs to feel that you have to keep up with anyone else you know. If the two of you feel fine to spend it quietly and inexpensively, that is OK. If you both want to go all out, that is OK too. Just do it because you want to do it, not because you feel pressured to keep up with the marketing.
10. Do NOT have unreasonable expectations
Unreasonable expectations of you, of your partner, and of what Valentine’s can be for you as a couple is the kiss of death to some relationships. Valentine’s day will do no more and no less than what you are both capable of as a couple. Do not assume that amazing things will happen JUST because it is Valentine’s Day, especially if you haven’t taken any actions ahead of time to ensure that something special happens.
Check out Frank's Ebooks:
25 RULES FOR EVERYONE- HOW TO ACT ON A FIRST DATE
101 GREAT FIRST DATES - WHAT TO SAY
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.
This article is based on my coaching workbooks:
I'm A Man, That's My Job and I'm a Woman, It's My Time
Rejection: The Best Worst Thing That Can Ever Happen To You
By Frank Kermit
Rejection is the worst best thing that can ever happen to you. Managing rejection is a necessary part in managing your love life. Over the course of your life, chances are you are going to experience rejection before you find your soul mate, and you may have to reject others in that process as well.
Trying to seek out love while trying to avoid rejection is like trying to walk in the rainstorm and not get even a little wet. The sooner you accept the reality that rejection is a normal part of life (albeit an unpleasant one at times) and learn to handle the negative emotions associated, the sooner you will find peace with your desires of seeking out an emotionally fulfilling love life.
Whether you put yourself out there, or are on the receiving end of someone's affections, you are going to have to deal with rejection. In fact, the more you make efforts to connect with others, then more you will surely deal with rejection.
For example, if you are on a spree of approaching new people, on the numbers alone, you will deal with more rejection than you previously did when not approaching new people. If you end up going on a date with someone, but do not end up in a long-term relationship with that person, it means at some point there was a rejection of sorts. In cases where you are casually dating, and someone that you were dating has ended up in a more serious relationship with someone else, even though that person never broke up with you directly (as there was no serious commitment in place) by virtue of that person choosing someone else, it is a rejection by default.
Rejection is a Message
When trying to understand rejection, rejection is at its core a message. The question is not why rejection exists; the question is actually, what is the message that a particular rejection is trying to communicate to you. Understanding how to interpret the correct message in each rejection is the key to mastering managing rejection.
Before getting into understanding rejection, it is important to understand that unless you are under a particular stage of personal development or are constantly getting rejection to the point where you have not had a date in over a year, keep in mind not to read too much into a rejection. More often that not, rejection has less to do with you as a person, and more to do with what is going on in another person's life. I hear it in my practice all the time how the reasons that someone rejected another had little to with the person they rejected and more to do with that person's own issues.
For example, people with a fear of intimacy will go out of their way to find reasons to reject others, blaming the other person, when in fact, they are simply running scared from potentially emotionally healthy relationships or even just sex. Other times, the person is so hooked on waiting for a particular person, that they refuse to take a chance on someone new and will reject all advances.
Sometimes, the person is in a "complicated relationship" (which is really a politically correct way of saying they are too scared to make a clean and final break up and move on) and they do not know if they are even single enough to date someone else. It could generally be that the other person rejects you based on the way you approached. Most rejections are not anything to read into, as most people rejecting you likely know nothing about you. Now with that said...
When trying to change your behaviors and developing yourself, for the purposes of attracting a soul mate, rejection becomes a great learning tool. Whether your goal is to get a major commitment, sex with the person you are seeing, or even just managing to get someone to date you at all, a rejection from achieving your goals can be a good message about what you are doing wrong, and what you should try next.
I often find that asking the person who rejected you why they rejected you, is in fact, NOT the best way to figure out what you did wrong. In many cases, the person who rejects you cannot properly articulate why you got rejected. Most people THINK they know why they rejected someone, only to have that particular reason not matter, when they do not reject somebody else that had the similar trait. That is part of what makes the learning process in relationships so challenging.
You can only really ascertain why pervious partners rejected you when you succeed in not being rejected by future partners. In other words, you will know the true reasons you constantly got rejected only after you change your behaviors and no longer get rejected.
Prior to my own personal development I was often told that I was being rejected for being overweight. During my personal development phase, I experimented with countless new behaviors to discover how to make myself more seductively attractive. In time, the weight no longer mattered for the majority of people (there will always be a minority that care too much), because I changed the REAL REASONS that I was originally getting rejected; my overall behaviors that were unattractive, for example: being too nice instead of asserting my boundaries. In certain areas of life, relationships being one of them, it is like first being given the test, and then being taught the lesson afterwards.
When you are romantically interested in a friend that you has gotten to know you well enough, and decide to chance taking it to the next level and your friend rejects your advances, it should be interpreted as an insult. A stranger does not know you enough for a rejection to be insulting. A friend however knows you enough to know that you make a good friend, which is a key component to making a long-term relationship work.
When your friend would rather keep you as a friend, rather that even try, just for one first date, to explore what more the two of you can be, that is an insult. Basically, the message is that you are good, but not good enough to even make the effort to check out if there could be something more undiscovered which could develop into a meaningful relationship.
For that reason, when a friend rejects your romantic intentions, it is best to distance yourself from that friend, or end the close friendship altogether. Staying friends with a friend who consistently rejects you (assuming that you keep hoping the friendship will blossom into more) does an emotional damage to the one that keeps hoping for change.
The biggest error that people make when trying to interpret rejection is they do not distinguish the difference between being rejected for incompatibility (a particular person does not see a realistic future for this coupling) and being rejected because a person that is unlovable.
When I lost my ex-fiancé to my then best friend, there were a few different ways I could have interpreted that rejection. On the one hand I could have understood that she felt he was better suited to addressing her emotional needs than I. On the other hand, I could have understood that there were behaviors that I needed to improve on so that I would not have acted in a way that made me less desirable as a partner.
Even more, I could have assumed that they were meant to be, and it was wrong of me to stand in their way. I could have also tried to understand that maybe her and I would simply not have worked out anyway because we really were that different and that if it wasn't my then best friend, it would have been someone else that got in the middle of it.
At the time, I was so overwhelmed with negative emotions that the only interpretation I could come up with was that I was not worthy of love. I felt that I was too unlovable to ever really deserve a relationship. It took me years to deal with that demon and slay it.
How different my life would have been had I learned to better interpret rejection. Then again, I would not be the very relatable relationship coach I am today without those horrible years of self-actualization.
Time has given me another great interpretation of rejection: Dodging a bullet. There are times that rejection is actually a blessing, although it does not seem like that in the moment. There are times when the only worse thing than not getting the date, is actually getting the date. When I look back over the course of my life, and happen to follow up on past interests that have rejected me, I sometimes find myself grateful that I got rejected, seeing how their lives unfolded. I do not wish malice on anyone from my past, however, to see how some of their lives turned out does make me realize that not having gotten involved with them may have turned out to be a great blessing that I simply could not appreciate at the time.
Think back to every time you ended up dating someone that you wished you hadn't. Chances are that someone that rejected you could have given you a worse relationship experience...and the fact you dodged that bullet is something you can be thankful for. To use a career-related analogy, if the workplace environment is a toxic one, then the only worse thing than not getting the job, is actually getting it. So the next time you get rejected, be mindful that what you don't know, isn't necessarily better than what you could have found out too late.
The mark of true unshakable confidence is when you know, and trust in, your own value and recognize what you bring in to the relationship table. When "the feast" rejections your dish, it will be the dish with unshakeable confidence that will state that the feast doesn't realize the value of the dish it just turned away.
Now, anyone with false bravado can say it, but so few people really believe in themselves enough to see themselves as a prize worth cherishing. The sign they do not see themselves as a prize? They stay in unfulfilling relationships. People who value themselves do not stay in unemotionally unhealthy and abusive relationships.
There are people who do see themselves as a prize, but that aren't. These people come across as creepy or are simply delusional people. The difference between those peoples with unshakeable confidence from those who are delusional is that the crowds who have unshakeable confidence back up such beliefs of self worth through actions. Under their table of confidence are works that make up the legs to hold it up. They have taken stock of how they live their lives being congruent taking actions that are in line with their own belief systems. They do not take themselves for granted, and do not allow others to do it either.
They have learned how to navigate the fears of abandonment in exchange for being alone rather than being with the wrong person.
Managing rejection, is at the heart, of reaching a point of loving yourself, and holding out for someone to love you at that same level, keeping your expectations realistic. If you do not have faith in yourself, and appreciate what you have to offer, you run the risk of misinterpreting any rejection you encounter. At that point, you are rejecting yourself, instead of being the one person that you need most in your corner.
Holidays and Inter-Faith Families
By Frank Kermit
The number of interfaith families is growing. It is likely that you or someone you know has been involved at some point in an inter-faith relationship. Love may be blind, but the challenges some couples face in inter-faith marriages can be very real.
According to Dr Sheila Gordon, president of Interfaith Community, religions aren’t really set up to accommodate people creating households where there are two different faiths. She suggests that parents should discuss with each other, their goals of the religion as it regards their children and what aspects of the religion they want to practice, and what they want to get out of practicing their faiths before bringing their children into it.
Some couples face what has been called the December Dilemma, where multiple faiths have days of celebration around the same time.
Some families try to celebrate each holiday separately on their respective days, but allow for decorations of both holidays to be present the entire holiday season (this avoids the December Dilemma of deciding, for example, if they should put up a Christmas tree or a Menorah).
One inter-faith couple told me that they celebrate both sets of holidays and will let their children decide what faith to follow in the future.
Some families just celebrate all the holidays at once in their own interpretation of mixing traditions together.
Finally, other families make a firm decision that the children will be brought up with one faith and one set of traditions, and the parent from the other faith either gives up a faith, or celebrates the holidays more privately, or with less emphasis even if the children are involved.
Basically, it is important for the couple to decide ahead of time, as much as they can, what they believe would be best, not only for them, but for their kids as well. It is important to keep in mind that managing different holiday celebrations and how to incorporate them into your family’s life is a yearlong process.
One thing that many inter-faith relationships face is a lack of acceptance from family and friends.
An old colleague of mine used to be very out spoken about his stance against inter-faith marriage to the point where he would refuse to attend the weddings of his friends and families if they married outside his religion. This eventually led to a lot of abandonment.
Everyone has an opinion about inter-faith relations, and it may not always be in favor of the loving couple.
If you are entering into an inter-faith relationship, and believe it is heading in the direction of an inter-faith family, be sure you are ready to face opposition that you may not have known you had.
Personally, I find it sad when family and friends are accepting of inter-faith friendships, but not accepting of inter-faith romances.
In fact, in my own practice, the biggest challenge to inter-faith couples is not the couple’s inability to work out the role of religion in their lives and the lives of their children; their biggest challenge is getting close family members on board to support them as they would any same faith relationships.
If there could be just one message I could relate to those parents and other family who abandon a loving inter-faith couple it is this:
The taint of your abandonment will never be removed even if you reconcile later.
More often than not, abandoning family re-enter that couple’s life again in the future, and it usually is because you want to see the children of the new inter-faith family.
Think long and hard before you do something that will never be forgotten. I have yet to meet any abandoner that later claimed it was the right thing to do.
Happy Holidays whatever you celebrate!
How Much Should You Care About What Other People Think?
By Frank Kermit
There will be times when we want to do something in our lives that is meaningful to us. It could be a decision related to abandoning education, what career path to choose, what kind of person to date, changing something major in how we live, or even a new life experience to experiment with to see if it is for you.
Each option that you consider can unto itself be overwhelming. However, if it is something that may have the consequence that others may not like you for doing it, it can make an overwhelming option a near impossible decision.
With each new choice we make, there will be benefits and consequences. The benefits are usually easier to identify than the consequences. The one alarming factor in your internal debate is the fact that you do not actually control the consequences of your actions.
However, when we believe that one of the consequences of our actions may be lack of approval from people, it can make going for what you want a harder decision. If what other people think of you is very important to you, it is likely going to be a huge factor in your decision making process. Sometimes, that can be a good thing, but it is not always as important as people think. Over the course of your life, it is YOU, and not anyone else that will bare the major burden of any decision you make. If you are going to take into account the opinions of others, it is important to keep in mind exactly how effective those "others" are in the ongoing process of your life.
There are times when caring about what others think has incredibly good side effects. A teenager, who chooses not to experiment with drugs and avoids the whole drug culture because she worries about how her parents may disapprove, helps keep her safe.
That is a good side effect. Caring about what your boss thinks about your conduct both in and out of the office is often necessary as it can have an impact on your ability to be promoted, and increase your earning potential. Not all approval seeking behaviors and decision-making is bad. When the negatives in your life outweigh the positives because you are caring about what others think, and put their approval ahead of your own happiness, that is when you are caring way too much.
One of the lessons I teach people who are struggling with pursuing relationship goals is how to balance when to worry about what other people think, and when to just follow through on your interests. People tend to have more regrets about the things they did not do, or at least try, than to regret the things they did do and try, even if they failed at it.
When you are trying to judge if you should care about what someone thinks; when you are trying to decide if you should go for it or not, you must ascertain whether or not their opinion actually has any legitimate and actually harmful consequences for you. Does the person in question have the power to ruin the quality of your life in a significant way? If the answer is no, then really, who cares what they think? If the answer is yes, then you have a choice to make to judge if the consequences would outweigh the benefits.
For example: you want to drop out of college and start your own business. You have talked about this plan and a number of people think you are crazy, while others support the decision even if they do not agree, and still a few love the idea. All of this is in fact meaningless.
The focus has to be on what are the consequences of this decision. If your parents are paying for your education and have told you that if you drop out they will no longer support you and that you would be financially on your own and have to move out of their basement, THAT is one of the consequences that needs to factor into your decision more than others.
Are you ready to completely live on your own and support yourself while you pursue this new path? Not sure? In this case caring about what "they" think is important. Also note that if the handful of people who thought it was a great idea for you to pursue, but aren't actually going to help you, or support you in pursuing that dream, then their opinion is worthless. It does not matter if they think it is a good idea. As they are not offering any support for your cause either way, what they think is not something you ever need to care about.
That is a key understanding many people miss out on. The idea that liking your idea without actually taking action to support you is as useless to care about as someone hating your idea but not doing anything to stop you from trying it.
What about dating and relationships? What about sex? If you want to date someone that some of your friends and family thinks is a bad idea, what should you do? If you want to have sex in a way that you would be stigmatized for, what do you do? You balance the benefits and consequences, including how you will be able to live with yourself long term if you do not even try. It is this one element that can be the most devastating. In the short term it is easy to give up some pleasure in your life in order to keep the peace with the people you care about. However, in the long term, living for others and being self-sacrificing does not necessarily grant peace nor happiness. It is more likely to lead to a life of unfulfilled dreams and an abundance of resentment.
There will be a consequence no matter what you do. There is ALWAYS a trade off. That is the way of life.
There is no one direction that does not have some kind of bad string attached. It is about choosing the paths that have the bad strings you are able to live with. If you have sex when you want to, with who you want to, you will experience one of the great pleasures life has to offer, but you may also acquire the scorn of people who disapprove calling her a slut or him a sleaze. If you choose not to have sex to please those people, you are limiting some of the life experience and life lessons that comes from experience, which may be something you regret not doing down the road.
Will it be comforting for you that you cared what others thought when you hit your mid-life crisis regretting all the things you missed out on? Only you can answer that truthfully. If you choose to go after your dreams there will be people who will HATE you for doing it if you succeed, and will HATE you if you fail; and there will always be consequences to just having dreams no matter what they are. Should you still have and go after your dreams?
If you have relationships with individuals that some of your family and friends can not stand, you will have to deal with possibly being cut off from them and others you love that may be caught in the middle (like a younger relative that must obey their parents that no longer approve of you).
However, you may very well have the main relationship partner of your life that addresses your most important emotional needs better than your friends and family ever could. Is it worth it? Only you can answer that truthfully. Then again, you could forget that potential partner and only date someone your friends and family do approve of that may or may not completely fulfill you. If you do, and given you keep your friends and family connections intact, it could seem like an acceptable trade off. Is it worth it?
Only you can answer that truthfully. Or since you can't be with whom you really want, and you don't want to be with anyone else, you could just end up alone for the rest of your life. That way no one is happy, but no one is hurting...except for you. By putting everyone else's needs ahead of your own, you ARE hurting. It is just that it is not always easy to detect when you are being hurt since you are not in the habit of looking after your own needs. (Ouch, those a-ha moments sting don't they?)
Whether "they" are strangers on the Internet who have nothing better to do than to troll your efforts and post negative comments, or if "they" are people that actually have the power to affect your ability to provide for yourself, the process is the same. Judge if the consequences are actually worth what you are getting for it.
Over the course of time, your consequences change for certain decisions you make for yourself. The consequences of being an uneducated 19 year old, in a closed social circle, who is dependent on parents to survive is very different from the consequences you would have to deal with as an independent 35 year old adult, who owns a business, and does not care about breaking ties with close friends and family.
So do keep in mind that how much you have to care about what others think will change over your lifespan, as your dependency on others change.
One thing is for sure though. No matter what decision you take, YOU are still the one person that has to live with the full consequences of every decision you do make, and that you don't make, regardless if you cared about what other people think or not.
This is a contributed post.
Got a friend tying the knot soon? You’re probably already looking forward to celebrating their last few nights of freedom! Hosting an epic bachelor party is the only way to send your friend off, and it’s best to start planning early.
Don’t just go for the traditional beer and stripper night in Vegas- it’s old and contrived! Instead, do something everyone will enjoy and remember for a long time to come. The best way to celebrate is on a trip with the guys, and there are a wealth of locations to consider.
Gambling and drinking is one way to celebrate, but it’s better to find out the groom’s interests and find something fun and unique. Find destinations with plenty of fun activities to take in. You can still relax and party later on! Here are some of the best bachelor party trip ideas you might not have considered.
Go To Barcelona
The famous city in Spain is a fantastic place to hang out all year round. Even in the midsts of winter, you can enjoy warm days on the beach with a few beers. You could even get in the water for some surfing or take a speedboat tour to the sea.
Even away from the beaches, you can find plenty of fun things to do with a group. If you’re feeling competitive, take the guys for some high-adrenaline karting. You can put your driving skills to the test at breakneck speeds. You could also try something novel like bubble football. You might even want to go bungee jumping for a real thrill!
It’s a great city for sports fans too. There’s plenty of places to play soccer, and you could also take in some beach volleyball. There’s also an opportunity to watch one of the best sports teams in the world at Camp Nou, the home of FC Barcelona.
You can get delicious food at top restaurants offering things like tapas, steak, and seafood. The nightlife is fantastic too, with plenty of bars and clubs where people of all ages can have the time of their lives.
Take On Toronto
Places like New York and Las Vegas may get most of the hype for North American bachelor parties. But if you venture further north, you can get plenty of thrills in the capital of Ontario! It’s a buzzing city full of gambling spots, but it has plenty more to offer for your bachelor trip.
You can go on a bar crawl around the best bars in Toronto. With rooftop venues, sports bars, and trendy spots, there’s plenty to try out. There are many craft pubs too, so you can sample some great ales from Canada and the rest of the world.
Away from the nightlife, you might want to check out the Hockey Hall of Fame. It’s the home of the Stanley Cup, making it a mecca for NHL fans. It also has some great exhibits and an extensive collection of hockey memorabilia.
It’s also a city full of manly activities. You can check out shooting ranges, archery, and there’s even an axe-throwing league! There’s plenty of options for accommodation. No matter how big your group, you’ll find plenty of fun things to do here.
Nothing beats spending time with your buddies in the great outdoors. Instead of partying it up for your bachelor trip, why not try out some camping? It’s an activity every guy can enjoy, especially when you bring food and booze along!
You can check out some of the best places to camp in the USA or even look further afield. No matter where you go, take a truck and pack it with plenty of camping gear. Bring enough tents for everyone- you won’t want to share! Bring the snacks and drinks along, also.
Building a campfire is a must. All you need is some matches to get it going- although you may also want some lighter fluid to help. With a camping grill, you can cook up burgers, bacon, and all kinds of other great camping foods. Of course, you could also roast marshmallows!
As an alternative to pitching tents, you might want to rent out a cabin. It can give you space for all your party to sleep. It’s much more comfortable- especially in the depths of winter! But don’t let it stop you from getting outdoors, taking in some fishing, and spending time around the campfire.
Playing drinking games and telling stories around the campfire is a great male bonding experience. But you never know what might happen on your camping bachelor trip. One bachelor party rescued a family of puppies in the woods of Tennessee!
Head To Bangkok
Bangkok is known for its crazy nightlife and wild shows on every corner. It’s definitely a city full of debauchery, but there’s much more to it that makes it an ideal bachelor party location.
One of the best things about heading to Bangkok is how cheap it is. Tourists love Thailand, and Thailand loves tourists. There are hotels everywhere with shockingly cheap prices. Many are near fantastic beaches and nightlife hotspots, so it’s perfect for your bachelor trip.
It’s also rife with cheap daytime activities. You might want to get some thrills by taking your party ziplining. You can even trek out into the wild on their guided jungle tours. It’s also a fantastic location for golfing, so you can relax with the guys and hit some holes.
It’s another city known for high temperatures year round. You’ll have plenty of fun with your friends in the hot Bangkok sun.
Hit The Road
If you can’t think of one place to go, why not go everywhere? Hit the road with your party and try out every place on the way!
There are a couple of ways you can go about it. If you have a car to accommodate the whole party, you can rent cheap accommodation everywhere you stop. But you might have more fun renting out a huge RV where everyone can sleep!
Get some road trip essentials and plan out a route. Emergency equipment and dry snacks are helpful. You could also bring a cooler for the passengers to store their drinks. No matter where you go, you’ll have a hell of a time road tripping together!
Beware Your Friends!
They May Not Want You To Be Loved
By Frank Kermit
Mistakes Singles Make # 6... Seeking the approval of friends that influences your love life choices.
Love may come and go, but a friendship can last a lifetime...or so they say. I used to believe it myself until a handful of experiences of having some of my own "friends" ruin my first few serious relationships. I also experienced being on the other side of it, when my partner's friends got more of a say our relationship than they should have. Those were very unpleasant experiences, but in retrospect, I am grateful they happened, as they taught me a very important life lesson.
I learned very early on in my life that a friend's interest in you being happy in your love life depends on if your happiness interferes with their lives. If you having a relationship with someone new in your life will get in the way of the expectations your friends place on you, then beware. Your friends could become the saboteurs at the crossroads of your journey in life.
Sometimes the source of your friend-turned-enemy is simple jealousy. Why should you be happy when they are not as happy, even if your friend already has a partner? I find these stories much more common with my women clients. Some women simply cannot stand to see their girl friends find someone to be special to them. A relationship steals a friend's attention off her (just EVIL!). In fact, I know of a number of older women who struggle to have her friends introduce her to potential mates because many of her friends (usually coupled up and started families) mention (in a joking manner of course) that the couple would lose a great babysitter. Unfortunately, it turns out not to be that much of a joke.
Sometimes the source of your friend-turned-enemy can be the fact that a new loving relationship interferes with a certain lifestyle of good times that friends have become accustom to having together. This is more common among the men I coach, as guys get resentful when a new relationship costs them a wingman
As I teach it, a real friend helps you get what you want. If you want sex, a friend does not stand in your way. If you want to date someone, a friend does not encourage you against it. If you want to take your relationship to the next level, a friend gives your new partner a chance and gets to know him or her. And if you get very serious with someone that your friend does not necessarily think is right for you (for ANY reason), a real friend sticks by your decision and accepts you despite not approving of your partner choice. Anything else (barring a seriously dysfunctional relationship involving abusive that your friend wants you to stay aware from) is not a sign of a real friendship, but an indication that it was a relation of convenience. Just because someone is your friend, does not mean they will be your ally in love.
That is at the heart of when you have to choose between your friends and your partner. Your happiness must never be based on your friend's approval. You are the one that must accept the consequences of your choices. Whether those consequences are your life being ruined for choosing the wrong person OR living a (for lack of a better term) happily-ever-after, those are your consequences to deal with, not your friends consequences. If you want to get to know someone, but are reluctant to give that person a chance because you are afraid that your friends will not approve (for example, if your friends would accuse you of lowering your standards because the person you happen to like is someone they would consider unattractive, then you deserve all the misery a lonely future can have installed for you.
Sorry, but whether you do what you want, or you do what your friends want...the consequences of your choices are always the same...they are always YOURS. Until you grow up and come to terms with the fact that the only approval you really need to build the love life you want is your own, you will never get to the higher levels of awareness to be able to have the intimate connections you have heard so much about.
Dr. Laurie Betito Quotes