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.
To Belly Dance Or Not To Belly Dance
Written by: Pillow Talk Gal
Updated February 28, 2018
When I was asked if I wanted to take part in a belly dancing class and write an article about it, I was really excited. Then, the more I thought about it the more I began to worry a little. I have never really attended any kind of dance class (if you don’t count when I was little) so belly dancing seemed like a bit of a leap. I have to admit though; I was curious and nervous at the same time.
The day of my first class had finally arrived and my excitement/curiosity had made me almost an hour early. At least parking was a breeze (I found a spot literally in front of the building). I had some extra time to kill, so I decided to sit in the park right across from the dance studio. Despite the honking of cars and bustle of the city, it was very relaxing and helped to calm my nerves a little bit.
An introduction to the rest of my fellow dancers was given and everyone was gracious and friendly towards me (the new comer). Students had the option to bring their own hip scarves or to choose one from Brooke’s wide, not to mention beautiful, collection. Not having any of my own, I chose one of Brookes’ (I would later find out that she’s owned this particular hip scarf for 8 years- no pressure).
Once everyone was ready to begin, we all took our seats on our mats and Brooke began her introduction to what holistic belly dancing is all about.
The class was a safe space where women could share their thoughts and emotions without judgement. After Brookes’ explanations, we all sat in our circle and experienced the openness of touch with one another.
We all paired up and gave our partners hand massages using essentials oils (this exercise is practiced openly to learn to relax and give of ourselves but also to receive from others.
We were given a small demonstration as to how to massage the hand then we were off (of course it is clearly mentioned by Brooke that any and all activities done in the classroom are not forced upon students and anytime anyone is not comfortable with something, they are free to sit out with no judgement or issues). This said, I sat back and allowed my partner to give me my hand massage.
At first, I was clearly not relaxed as my partner was so keenly able to detect (by simply feeling how tense my forearm was). Then as she calmly told me to relax and enjoy, I found myself surrendering to the calming music playing in the background and found that my massage was actually very pleasant.
I found myself letting go of my tension and just giving into the moment.
Once we had given and received our hand massages, we gathered in our circle once more and captured what we had taken away from the experience, in our journals.
The group then proceeded to share their thoughts on the massage exercise and what they had taken away from the experience. I myself shared how impressed I was with my partner’s ability to almost immediately detect where I was holding all my tension in my forearm (carpal tunnel syndrome- a common job hazard among writers) and therefore she was able to relieve some of the pain.
Poses and stances were front and center and I awoke muscles my body seemed to have forgotten I had.
We observed ourselves in the studio mirrors so as to mimic what Brooke was showing us (to the best of our abilities).
Brooke gave us a phenomenal example of what we could eventually accomplish with these wonderful moves and she performed for the entire class.
It inspired us all and definitely made me want to give it a whirl.
The amazing part is by this time I wasn’t feeling self conscience at all. I was totally comfortable in the environment that Brooke had created for the class.
We all moved to the music, holding our belly dance poses and receiving encouragement from each other and Brooke.
The aspect that surprised me the most is that as a woman, I have spent the better part of my life trying to make my body giggle as little as possible.
Now, I was being encouraged to shake all my little bits as much as I could and it was fabulous! No shame, just pure liberation and enjoyment of the female form in all its glory.
As we danced and learned how to move our bodies, time seemed to just fly by. Before I knew it, the class had come to an end and it was time to cool down. Brooke gave each and every one individual high-fives and congratulations on a job well done. It was such a rewarding experience.
I am so looking forward to next week’s class.
-Pillow Talk Gal
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
*Disclaimer: All photos of Brooke Megan are copyright Brooke Megan and all persons in the photos retain all their rights, interest and titles in the photos. All photos appear here with written permission on file with Brooke Megan.
About Brooke Megan and House of Lavender
- Holistic Belly Dance Group
Located at: 5582A Sherbrooke Street O, Montreal, QC H4A 1W3
Telephone number: 514-814-7557
Face book page: House of Lavender: Beauty and Wellness
Brooke Megan has been teaching belly dancing for 8 years and has extensive experience in dance through her teaching at Carlton University in Ottawa.
She herself was introduced to belly dancing through group lessons and was compelled to share this wonderful art form with others. She has performed at the Shenkman Art Centre in Ottawa, various art galleries and cafes. Her goal in offering belly dance lessons is to educate people with regards to the beauty and strength of exotic dance. She wants to have people experience this art form at a grass roots level.
Her six week program is open to all who wish to explore their creative side all the while relieving stress and getting fit.
For more information call 514-814-7557 or check out her Face book page: House of Lavender: Beauty and Wellness
Some personalized birthday ideas are explored in this contributed post.
I always try to make sure I plan to perfect birthday for my husband. I know that many of my readers also have partners, and so I wanted to release an article that gives you some great ideas. If you struggle to organise the celebrations for your loved one, you can use this post as inspiration. At the end of the day, you just need to show them that you care. You also need to make them feel special for that one day out of the year. Don’t worry if you haven’t got a lot of money to spend at the moment. A happy birthday isn’t about how much cash you throw at it, and there are always ways in which you can make savings.
Search for quirky gifts
Regardless of how much you can afford to spend, you’ll want to get your partner something different for their birthday. When all’s said and done, they have cash of their own. So, if they wanted anything from a high street shop, they’d probably go out and buy it. The experts behind Cuckooland's gifts for men say there are more quirky and unique product sites than ever before. So, you need to turn to the internet to find something interesting. You always find better prices online, and there is no reason to spend a fortune. Just select something that he probably hasn’t seen before.
Cook his favourite meal
Everyone likes to eat a decent meal on their birthday. So, you should remember your partner’s favourite dish and prepare it for his big day. You can also make some cookies or some other dessert he’ll love. Make a list of ingredients a couple of days in advance, so you have enough time to get them from your local store. You can then sit down and eat together during the early evening. You could also give him his gifts at the same time if you have children. They way, they can enjoy him opening the presents too. If you give them to your loved one in the morning, the kids might miss out because they have to go to school.
Spend time together
Lastly, I advise that whatever happens, you spend some time together. That could mean going out for a few drinks or staying home and cuddling on the sofa. In truth, it doesn’t matter how you spend your time so long as you’re by your partner’s side. When all’s said and done, there are only a few days each year in which you have to make each other feel special. So, plan something that will allow you to achieve that goal. Again, if you have children, you should think about involving them in any activities you organise.
As you can see from that advice, you don’t have to work hard to plan the perfect birthday. You just have to make sure you have some time together. Your partner isn’t going to care about gold Rolex watches or anything expensive. If they love you, they’ll feel happy just being in your company. One last thing; make sure both of you book the day off work. You deserve to take a break on such an important date.
How to Find the Right Toy for a Couple
By Dr. Stacy Friedman
Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced in using adult toys, knowing what toy to bring into your relationship may be confusing.
Some people may feel that they are less of a lover or not capable enough to please their partner if they need or want to use toys,
but that can’t be further from the truth!
Toys are great if you want to spice things up!
They can enhance any relationship and can even help with difficulty in having orgasms.
Here are some tips
so you know what toys may be best for what you need.
Believe it or not 75% of women can’t have an orgasm through intercourse so this helps take some of the pressure off!
Just make sure lube is used when putting the ring on or it may not slide on very comfortably…ouch!
The plug is a great prostate stimulator so anyone can enjoy anal play. Give some oral or have intercourse and then feel the intensity of your orgasm!
Don’t knock it until you try it!
The most important thing is deciding together, as a couple, what is best and just be open to trying something new. If it doesn’t work, then try something else but be open to variety, as it is the spice of life!
Written by: Dr. Stacy Friedman
About The Author
Dr. Stacy Friedman, DHS, CSC
Dr. Stacy is the founder of Creating Intimacy Coach, Inc. She got involved in the field of Clinical Sexology because of her passion for helping people learn to experience the best sexual intimacy with themselves and with their partner(s). She holds a Doctorate degree in Human Sexuality, a Masters in Clinical Sexology and is a Certified Sex Coach. Dr. Stacy is a member of WASC (World Association of Sex Coaches), and of the ACS (American College of Sexologists), which shows she has earned top credentials in her field. She also has a BA in Psychology and a Registered Diagnostic Medical and Vascular Sonographer.
Sex Coaching is designed to help women, men, and people of any sexual orientation or gender address their concerns about sexuality, sexual function and sexual expression. Additionally, since 2006, Dr. Stacy has been a consultant selling adult novelties and has coached and educated many people in a fun, positive approach to love, romance and in all aspects of sexuality. Her education and personal, spiritual and sexual journey, including life experience uniquely enables her to help people to face the challenges that may lie ahead and to achieve their goals.
If you would like to discuss a concern in greater detail, you may contact Dr. Stacy at 561-899-7669 or by email at Stacy@drstacy.org for a complimentary consultation. Dr. Stacy works with all aspects of sexuality and specializes in women’s issues, low libido, couples with mismatched sex drives and LGBTQ concerns. Coaching sessions are available by phone, Skype (international coaching is offered) and in office sessions located in South Florida, US.
www.DrStacy.org Your Creating Intimacy Coach
“My passion is to help you create yours” - Dr. Stacy xo
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The Wedding Toast Speech
By Frank Kermit
Remember this day, your wedding day.
Not for the parties,
not for the extravagance,
nor the dinner and dancing,
but remember this day, your wedding day
because of the reasons you chose to marry your spouse.
Remember who is it that you picked to marry on this day,
and why you picked this person
over all other choices available.
Remember the reasons why you chose to get married
and how it fits in with your plans,
and why you decided
that the person that you wanted
as your spouse
was a reflection of everything you felt
is important to you enough
that you wanted to make him or her
part of your family.
Remember this day, your wedding day
That the ritual of the wedding
is more than just a celebration
of your new union.
It is to mark the change in your lives
as individual "I"'s
to a unified sign of a "we".
As a "we",
you call on all those people closest to you both
to witness and be a part of your togetherness,
in the hopes
that not only will they be celebrating your endeavor;
they will also be employed
in the ongoing support
of your new and future family.
Remember this day, their Wedding Day
To you: the wedding guests,
please know and remember
that your role in being present,
is more than the gifts you offer,
your toasting their happiness,
and your boost to start the new couple
in their new life together.
Your role as participants
in a wedding audience
is that you have also accepted a role
in the ongoing support
of the new couple
to help keep this new family together
through the hardships and triumphs
that life can
and will force upon us.
For better or for worse,
isn't just a saying.
It is a reminder.
Life gets very real
when you have someone else
to care for and think about.
If and when you are blessed with children,
of every decision you both make
is even more intense;
Remember this day, your wedding day,
as you both pledge
to do your best
to suffer them together,
and support each other,
even when either of you
happen be at your worst.
Remember this day, your wedding day
Because you BOTH
Will Make Mistakes
There will be times
you both will make mistakes,
when you both will etch
an emotional scar,
when you will have to deal
with financial worries,
mental health concerns,
new limits on your physical abilities,
the challenges of well meaning people who love you,
who interfere more than help you,
having to move and change with the times,
and in the death
and passing of people close to you.
Remember This Day, Your Wedding Day,
As you both pass
into the next stage of your lifespan,
up to and even past the point
of being present for
the possible weddings of your own children
and grand children.
Remember this day, your wedding day,
Remember every reason you had
to make the commitment
to start this journey together,
knowing that life together
would NOT be easy
but that you still wanted
to go through with it.
Remember this day, your wedding day
because it was the event
you chose to create.
Remember the love
that brought you together,
the willingness to stand together,
and the drive behind
making your intent
to build a future together a public decree.
When either of you
are overwhelmed by life,
and it is likely to happen
more often than not
over the course of your lives together,
remember this day, your wedding day
to remind you
why you chose to make it happen.
Remember this day, your wedding day,
to help you build
and create a better future for the two of you,
through each and every new day
you decide to stay together
and honor the promise
as best you can
So, Remember this day, your wedding day,
when some days are better,
when some days are worse,
and take it one day at a time.
Learn how to pick a wedding theme in this contributed post.
There are blue skies above, which means that wedding season is about to hit the ground running. If you’re planning a wedding in the coming months, you may be thinking about whether to have a themed celebration or not. Wedding themes appeal to some couples, but you don’t have to have a theme for your big day. If you do like the idea, here are some tips to help you choose the perfect theme for your wedding.
The seasons play an important role when it comes to choosing a theme, and many couples take inspiration from the weather, the surroundings, and the time of year. If you’re getting married in the holidays, for example, winter wonderland and Christmas themes are always a big hit. If it’s summer, and you’re having a beach wedding, something more tropical and exotic may appeal. If it’s fall, you may choose to use the colors of the leaves for your table decorations, or you may go for golds, rich reds or burgundy shades for your bridesmaid dresses, for example.
Heritage and culture
Many people like to celebrate their heritage when it comes to planning a wedding. This could be reflected in the addition of dragons to the table centerpieces or choosing the color red for an invitation for a Chinese wedding or in the outfits you choose to wear for a Scottish celebration. If you’re marrying somebody from a different culture, using your heritage is a theme is a great way to bring everyone together and create a day that involves both sides of the family.
If you’re getting married soon, you’re probably aware of what’s hot and what’s not in the world of wedding themes. Like fashion catwalks, trends change every year, and there is always a collection of ideas, which seems to reflect what everyone wants. A couple of years ago, vintage fayres and shabby chic were all the rage, and this year, al fresco gatherings are stealing the show. Informal ceremonies are becoming increasingly popular, and more and more people are shunning the traditional wedding breakfast in favor of more sociable and less formal options like barbecues, buffets, and grazing platters.
It’s common for couples to use their passions and interests as a source of inspiration when it comes to planning a wedding. Perhaps you’ve traveled the world together, and your table names are named after your favorite places. Maybe you love jazz, and you’ve gone for a retro Hollywood theme with live music. Or maybe you’re massive fans of Star Wars, Harry Potter or Game of Thrones and you’ve asked everyone to dress up for your big day. If you do have a shared passion, this is an excellent way of personalizing your ceremony and making it memorable.
If you’re in the middle of planning a wedding and you’re considering potential themes, think about what interests you, and what kind of event you want to create. Celebrate what makes you special, be creative, and plan a day that’s unique and personal.
Your Home is Your Seduction
By Frank Kermit
Your date is coming over to your place! You have seen each other a couple of times already, but this is different. This is YOUR PLACE, not some coffee shop or movie theatre or restaurant. This is home field advantage.
And why not?
After all, there is no cover charge, you do not have to share a public washroom with strangers, you can put your feet up, a meal is way cheaper, and you can even prepare the meal together as part of the fun!
What could possibly go wrong?
Well, depending on how you live at home...plenty could go wrong, and even though you might be able to keep your date intrigued enough, your place could be a turn off in ways you might not know.
However, there are pitfalls. If your home is not a warm and receptive environment that makes visitors feel invited to overstay their welcome,
you could inadvertently be pushing away your hearts desire.
On occasion, I make coaching house calls for people that seek out to create an alluring seductive homestead to help them attract sexual partners and/or relationship candidates. Some people may require an objective eye to help them spot those idiosyncrasies that the proprietor may be oblivious too.
Here are some general guidelines
If you only bring out certain candles when a date arrives, or put a particular bottle in the fridge, or move your furniture around to create an ideal setting, it is best to always have those candles out, your bottles in the fridge and your furniture in the ideal settings at all times.
The energy levels you will take on your date that you saved from a massive cleaning will be well reserved to help create an outstanding evening.
A bathroom that creeps out a person will have a very different effect than one with appropriate artwork (see above), scented candles already lit, a fresh shower curtain and a sparkling toilet.
If you want to have a spectacular love life at your home, and you do not have the time or the inclination to clean the bathroom, hire a cleaner to come over for a couple of hours each week to scrub it down.
It is worth the investment.
The key factor is that those toiletries stay at your place after your lover leaves in the morning, and it encourages your over night guests to want to come over again, especially when they know they already have their own toiletries there
Making the effort of pimping your pad can be the difference between using your toilet to enhance your love life, or your love life being in the toilet.
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Athlete and Vixen: Making of a Pole Dancer - Part II
by Melanie Lynch
I last posted about Pole dancing being a sport and that not all Pole dancers are strippers but I asked the question ‘what is so wrong with stripping anyway?’
When I started Pole dancing I found that I would get so frustrated with everyone implying I was a stripper. As years went by I started participating in more shows and met so many great women.
They were all out there trying to be brave, showing up in small costumes and hoping they would put on a performance. Some of these fantastic women were almost naked and some were actually stripping. I marvelled at them and loved them for the courage on stage but quickly learned that although they were strong on stage backstage they were nervous balls of energy getting their courage up and trying to remember their routines.
I discovered that there really was
nothing different between them and me.
So once again, let’s start at the beginning. When I started my Pole journey, I went to my first class and I was wearing full-length leggings and a tank top. To me this was revealing.
As we progressed I needed to climb and so the leggings changed to shorts. I learned to hold the Pole between my legs (yes, I am aware of how that sounded) and the shorts got a lot smaller.
Then the ultimate thing happened, I started to flip upside down and needed to position the Pole across my abdomen.
So my tank tops needed to turn into a crop top or sports bra. Let me tell you, after you have had three children, your first instinct is not to show off the stomach area.
As I stood there, I had to fight the urge to cover my stomach with my hands. But Pole is so much more than exercise.
It’s a community.
A loving, welcoming community that encourages women to not apologize for the way they look.
These ladies push you to grow, express yourself and be bold!
At the same time as I started attending Pole shows,
I also started going to Burlesque shows.
The first time I went to one, I was completely blown away. I had never seen anything like it.
These women came out with the most amazing, decadent, creative costumes and performed with such sublime beauty that it took my breath away.
They were stripping but the show was more than just removing their clothes, it was a celebration of beauty, whether it was the movement, the costumes or the woman themselves, it was simply beautiful.
I had the privilege to watch one performer named Coco Framboise who came on stage wearing the massive fur boa which she slowly undressed behind.
It was a cheeky tease because you would only see glimpses of her caramel skin behind the white softness of the fluffy boa. She was mesmerizing and the crowd absolutely loved her. There’s nothing like the crowds at these shows. The first thing you notice about these crowds is that they consist largely of women and these women scream, shout and catcall the performers in encouragement.
They show their appreciation for what is happening on stage. I was drawn to try this too and so signed up for the Coco Framboise School of Burlesque.
I wanted to learn how to exude
that kind of confidence and beauty.
I once read one of those Facebook postcards that said something like “some women feel empowered by covering themselves while others by taking their clothes off, who are we to judge” and it spoke to me.
There’s a lot of criticism about women taking their clothes off or objectifying themselves and I won’t go into all their arguments here.
You can’t take two steps without running into their voices and you can go read about it yourselves.
There’s something to me that just doesn’t fit about this mindset.
WE are strong and determined.
We do not want to be told anything about ourselves anymore.
We own our lives, our bodies and the way we choose express ourselves.
You are not qualified to judge me or others who enjoy this activity.
This is our choice.
Why is it wrong to be us? We are not hurting you or ourselves.
In fact we are having fun and life should be fun.
Maybe no one will understand what we are trying to do and that’s ok but all I ask is that the judgment stop, and that you just sit back and enjoy the show since we have worked hard to pull it together!
If you think I am crazy and wrong, well that’s ok too because I have a whole community of women that are there with me cheering me on and supporting me every step of the way and I really didn’t choose to do it for you anyway.
To read Part 1 of this series,
The importance of continuing to show your love is highlighted in this contributed post.
Most of life is very simple. We’re born, we love, we laugh, we cry, we die. When you make it easy, life is simply those steps and along every step, love is the central theme. We are born into love. We are taught to grow in love before we fall in love ourselves, and it’s the most beautiful emotion. Life may be simple, but love is not. Love is the most complicated emotion in the human spectrum of emotions. We all crave it, we all seek it and for the most part, we cherish it once we have it. It comes from different places: children, partners and parents, and it means different things to everyone.
Falling in love for the first time is one of the most meaningful experience you’ll ever have. The relationships that we have shape who we are as people and even when you think a short relationship doesn’t matter, there’s always an impact. You have to make love count where you can and live it in the moment rather than dismiss it from life, or you can end up becoming cynical about it. When you think back to the start of your relationship, you probably remember the fun. The sparks that flew, the dates you went on and the fizz in your stomach when they smiled at you are all memorable dating moments.
Relationships do go stale and boring as time goes on; it’s an inevitability. But it comes from lack of effort. They only become boring if both parties aren’t putting their absolute all into it. You can’t be gifted with a great love and allow it to rot – you need to nurture it and let it thrive between you. The effort has to come from both of you and if you make it spontaneous and exciting every day, you’ll have a love that counts. Making love last through the years depends on the way you treat it. See the best in the person you’re with – they’re not going to be perfect but looking at the good qualities that they have over the bad is going to end things far earlier than you may imagine. The one thing that’s different when time passes, is the effort that gets put in. There are plenty of ways that you can make an effort for your relationship and the tips available on www.mydatingsolutions.com are fantastic and can really help you with those early dating nerves. When you make love count in your relationship, you can keep that romance and passion alive. You don’t need to do huge gestures in your relationship, even the smallest gestures can be appreciated and cherished. Always be thoughtful with any gestures you make and be grateful for those that you also receive.
You don’t have to be at the beginning of a relationship to have passion and romance. You can carry this throughout a whole relationship from beginning to whenever it ends – early or til death do you part! Did you know that one of the most important ways to show your love and affection is simply to listen? Listening is the cornerstone of any great, successful relationship and it’s not just the goals and the fun you should be paying attention to. Listen to the rants and the upset and the stresses they are experiencing. There’s nothing more romantic than someone who sits up and takes notice of you and your life. Get to know each other every day and keep things fresh. When the relationship is going a bit stale or boring – as they often do – don’t wait for it to fizzle out. Stand up and make your love count for you both.
There are so many ways you can make love last in your life and having compassion is key. When you embark on a brand-new relationship, wooing is key. It’s not flowers, chocolates and dinners you need to use to woo them, but your humour and happiness and ability to show compassion. Understand their needs, be sympathetic to their desires and look for any way you can show them an act of kindness. If you’ve been married for several years, you can still show the person you love compassion and romance, and it’s even more important in a marriage. Making love last isn’t about the material things, it’s about how you can be your whole self with someone and how you can take notice of the little things. Sliding doors moments of relationships like these are the ones that count the most, such as companionably brushing teeth together before bed or making an effort to clear up a mess instead of pointing it out. Those moments are overlooked too often and they are the ones that people should be cherishing.
Affection, passion and romance are all things that people crave with their love. Pay attention to their needs, make sure you kiss every day and make sure you spend time just laughing together. Laughter is the best thing for any relationship, new or old, to bloom. Older relationships grow into a mature love that doesn’t always need the fizz and bang of early relationship wonders, but there’s nothing wrong with having a little fizz! Mature love is usually diluted by children, jobs and distractions that secure your relationship but pull you apart romantically and make you forget those early days of passion. Rediscover them. Date each other all over again and do all the things you started out doing when you first fell in love.
You can make love count in thousands of ways, too many to list, and those ways all go hand in hand with effort for each other. If you want something to work, make it happen. If you want to fall in love again after a break up, make it happen. Put yourself out there and try hard for yourself. Love doesn’t just fall into our laps, it takes work and it’s wonderful and frustrating all at once. Once you’ve experienced it, it’s all you’ll crave. Make it count!
Vibrators Are Not Your Competition!
by Karly Stein
I hear this from men all the time,
“I can please her better than a vibrator can”
“She won’t need that when she’s with me”.
Recently, on a Facebook group page I read word from a man stating that vibrators were his number one competition.
Well here’s the truth…. It’s not a competition!!
10 Reasons why you need to appreciate the vibrator!
Men provide much more to a woman than a vibrator can!
Women seek from men: companionship, love, touch, protection and more.
All things a vibrator can’t provide and that is why vibrators are not competition for men. So embrace the vibrator, understand that it is your ally. Have fun and be safe.
If you need more help in area of dating and relationship, schedule a free 30 minute discovery call at www.KarlyStein.com !
Karly Stein of www.KarlyStein.com is your Wing Woman when it comes to dating and relationships. She is the host of Dating, Mating and Relating with Karly Stein on www.tapthemicradio.com. Author of 101 Ideas to Create Fun and Memorable Dates and the upcoming book Anatomy of a Bad Boy, How to be the Nice Guy and Still Get the Girl.
In 2012, Karly started her path into this industry by signing up to Sell Intimate Products and she quickly discovered that she loved learning everything she could about dating, relationships, intimacy and sex and then discovered a passion for teaching about it.
In 2014, She took a Passion and Intimacy Coaching Certification course and that quickly changed her path into coaching.
Karly is passionate about men stay out of the friend zone in relationships and helping women fully embrace their feminine side.
Karly Studied Communications and studio art at the University of Denver.
She currently lives in Denver, CO.
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