Wednesday, April 27, 2016

10 Things I Can Bring To A Relationship

If you're single, do you ever ponder about what you can bring to a relationship, or do you mostly focus on the qualities you want your partner to have? I've been reading more and more about how it's good from a law of attraction standpoint to focus on the former. It's one of the techniques I used when I got serious again about finding the right job when 2016 rolled around. I told myself that I was a good writer, creative, dependable, willing and able to learn how to do new things, and detail oriented. I feel that focusing on my strengths and believing in them definitely helped change the job situation for me. 

So now, naturally, I've been thinking about applying this same technique to manifesting the right relationship with the right man. Not long ago I came across a blog written by a single guy and he wrote this same post. This isn't about being arrogant or bragging, by the way -- it's about affirming to the universe what you are as a person and believing there's someone out there that's right for you that will LOVE everything that YOU have to offer. Because a key thing I've been seeing mentioned lately is that you have to believe that there's a partner out there that is searching for you, and everything that you have to give. Just as a dream job has a dream candidate, so too does a person have a dream partner. 

I also think this is a great exercise to try to determine that you're actually ready to attract someone worthy into your life, because if you honestly can't come up with ten positive traits and really believe in them, then it may be time to do a little more work on yourself before you think about trying to attract a partner. 

So here it goes...ten positive qualities that I believe I can bring to a relationship.

1. I'm Baggage-Free
I have no kids (but welcome a divorced dad with kids that are school-age or older) and I don't want to have a baby. There are several advantages to this...for starters, anyone nervous about having his kids get along and blend with a partner's kids doesn't have to worry about it with me. Second, the fact that I don't have kids of my own to take care of means I have more time to devote to a relationship and getting to know his children, if he has any. Also, I'm a great catch for a divorced father that has already gone through the whole changing diapers and dealing with temper tantrums period and doesn't want to do it again. I've never really had a biological clock and at age 44 it's definitely not going to happen. 

Also there are no ex-husbands, and no lingering ex-boyfriends. My heart is open and I am emotionally and physically available. My job is low on the stress factor and very 9 to 5, so I have a lot of quality time to spend with someone special. 

2. I Have A Job That I Love
I mention it because I believe no man wants a gold digger or a freeloader. I have a career again that I love and am grateful for, and I feel like I'm serving a purpose in the world. I've always had common sense with money and I'm saving as much as I can while living at home. This doesn't mean I don't want a partner to give me gifts and pay for dates -- it means I'm financially stable and happy during the work week. I also was able to get the job after basically creating one on the side for myself to gain social media experience, and I would imagine a guy would find the fact I used my ingenuity attractive. 

3. I Have A Positive Attitude
It goes without saying (given the theme of this blog) that I stay positive most of the time, focus on what's going right, and find things every day to be grateful for. It wasn't easy at times when I was out of work, but I managed to focus on the positive as much as I could. No one wants to date a Debbie Downer (unless they're emitting the same low energy vibration or they're some sort of emotional masochist that enjoys enduring that kind of behavior from another person.) Now don't me wrong -- I'm no sunny, overly upbeat Pollyanna -- but I think most normal guys would want to date someone that has a healthy and positive attitude on life in general. 

4. I'm Physically and Emotionally Healthy
Speaking of which, I'm lucky and grateful that I'm not only physically healthy and don't have any diseases (nor do I have to take medication for anything) but that I'm emotionally healthy as well. I've never been depressed -- at least not for a period of time while also experiencing several major symptoms that would cause me to be diagnosed with it. I guess this naturally parlays into the next thing I have to  offer...

5. I Take Good Care of Myself and Have A Good Figure
I almost feel like I should apologize if this sounds superficial, but then again, I shouldn't have to apologize for wanting to live a healthy lifestyle. I enjoy exercising, eating right, and staying in shape. I also protect my skin from the sun as much as I can and have a good skin care regimen. For me, it's a lifestyle that I'm naturally inclined towards, and I'm happy with the way I look and very comfortable with my body. 

And yet, although I like to dress nicely and put on a bit of makeup nearly every day, I don't consider myself high maintenance. I rarely even paint my fingernails -- and prefer to paint my own toenails in the summer instead of paying someone else to do it. I also color my own hair at home. 

I have never tried any kind of recreational drug, and I've only smoked one cigarette in my life. I drink alcohol maybe a couple of times a month. In fact, I don't really have any addictions at all -- at least no bad ones. 

6. I'm Supportive, Caring, and Generous
If my partner has an achievement in his career, I want to be his proud cheerleader...if he's under the weather and not feeling well, I want to nurse him back to health...and if he's had a rough day I want to be ready to give a back rub and provide a hot, home cooked meal (I'm ready to provide those things even on good days, of course.) I've also been told I'm a really good listener and often seem to get asked for advice from friends, so they must value my opinion. I'm also trying to be more generous; I recently rewrote a friend's resume and now she's been getting one interview after another and great feedback on it, so that makes me feel good, and I've been answering her questions about job hunting and interviewing. 

7. I've Learned From My Past Mistakes
Everyone has done and/or said something they've regretted, and I am no exception. I've lost friendships because of my own lingering insecurity left over from my childhood and teen years. I've also done stupid things while dating when I was younger because I thought it would make a guy fall in love with me -- of course, taking action from places of desperation only backfires in your face. The important thing is I've learned from my past mistakes and I've forgiven myself (even if other people involved couldn't forgive me) and moved on. Things that used to bug me in the past don't so much anymore, and I let things go. 

8. I Am Affectionate and Want To Have Sex -- and Keep Having It
Well, I have to mention it because some women do lose interest after so many years of being in the same relationship. I know that every marriage or long-term relationship has its ups and downs and that includes a couple's sex life, but I want to do what I can to keep that physical intimate connection with my man going even after so many years. Also, I'm completely comfortable initiating it, and that's a turn-on to a lot of men. I'm not a one-night stand person, and I don't want casual sex -- I want to enjoy it as part of a committed, long-term relationship, and I want to make my partner feel good and cared for (and of course, I want that in return.) I also consider myself to be a sexy woman. I like wearing negligee, high heels, and other sexy garments for a partner. 

Also, I love kissing (and making out), hugging, touching, and giving/receiving back and shoulder rubs. I love holding hands with a guy as well as holding onto his arm while walking...and gently touching and flirting while riding in the car or out to eat. I think it's really important to give and receive physical touch and show your partner that you care. 

9. I Have Healthy Interests and Hobbies, and Am A Good Conversationalist
Too much to pack into one trait? Well, they're kind of all tied in together...anyone that's seen my other blog, Go Retro, knows I love to write and also am fascinated by retro pop culture. So if you want to discuss Steve McQueen movies or talk music from the 1970s, you're probably going to find a lot of chat about with me. In that similar vein, I'm not really like other women in that I don't find it particularly fascinating to talk about weddings or babies. At my previous job, I always wanted to talk to the sales guys that sat near me when they would start talking about movies, TV, or something in the news. (Unfortunately, I'm not really into sports but I do watch the yeah, deflategate would make for a good topic.) In addition to writing, I love movies, (retro) music, going to restaurants, going to new and favorite places in New England, cooking, knitting, reading, bike riding, walking, and doing fun things with my Meetup group. 

Speaking of conversations, I've come a long way since my shy days and can hold a conversation with just about anyone, finding something interesting to talk about. So when a guy introduces me to his family, chances are I'm going to be able to chat in a friendly manner with everyone. I grew up before the Internet and mobile devices, and find that nothing beats phone or in-person conversations. Even email -- which can be way more detailed and intimate -- trumps texting any day. 

And there's one thing you won't find me doing when it comes to "interests" and that's posting constantly to social media. In fact I've been browsing my personal feed on Facebook less and less, especially as some people I'm connected to use it more and more to post selfies and constantly swap out their profile photo. It really is used by an awful lot of women as a tool for self-approval and validation, and I simply don't need to use it in that way. 

10. I Believe In Honesty and Open Communication
I don't like to let disagreements fester -- I believe in talking things through in a healthy manner. I also realize that relationships are all about compromising and this applies to friendships as well; sometimes you'll go somewhere or participate in something that your friends want to do that you may not be crazy about, but you want to be agreeable. I'm also not one to keep my feelings hidden; I believe in being honest and saying what's on my mind. I think if more couples would just confront issues and talk through them in civil manners and reach agreements they might be less friction in relationships. 

I could actually easily add five more items to this list, but I think ten is a good place to stop. Because are you listening, universe? I am ready to meet someone fantastic! 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

What We Can All Learn From Prince

As everyone knows, superstar Prince passed away last week at the age of 57. On my other blog, Go Retro, I posted about nine great songs that he wrote that were covered by other artists, but I also mentioned that I never found Prince sexy while one of my college friends did. That isn't being disrespectful -- I certainly respect him as a talented artist -- but I bring it up because there's a lot that some of us could learn from Prince's approach to life.

For example, after his death I learned that he was only 5'2"! I was really surprised to hear that he was that height, because in photos and on camera he definitely carried himself as a much taller man. Maybe part of that was due to his flashy wardrobe (and heels), but more likely it was his swagger and confidence that made him seem larger.

One of the biggest complaints I've read online from men struggling with dating is that they feel women only go for tall men. There was one very negative guy that would routinely leave that same comment on a dating site I used to read. He would reiterate that he was "only" 5'8" -- which happens to be my height. Some of us would tell him, "Well, look at it this're not 5'4" or 5'6" -- you're 5'8". Think of the guys that are shorter than you to put things in perspective"...but it always fell on deaf ears.

Prince was proof that having a lot of confidence and believing in yourself trumps being six feet tall when it came to attracting women. One of the interviews I heard the morning after his death was with a friend of his in the music industry that said his attraction of the opposite sex was legendary, and that a common refrain in his circle became, "Don't introduce your girlfriend to Prince." Apparently he had that kind of effect on women. If only we could bottle and sell that kind of confidence. 

Not only that, but Prince was epileptic -- a detail of his private life he kept hidden until some years after he had achieved fame and established himself as a music legend. In an interview with Tavis Smiley from 2009 he mentioned that he had a difficult childhood at times and was teased. Smiley asked him how he overcame that, and he said he focused on himself and honed his musical skills. Before long the neighborhood was hearing about how talented he was. 

Another thing I heard about him is that he cared very little about the critics and other people's opinions of him. He did his own thing and didn't let the judgment of others affect it. It was described as having a strong sense of freedom -- a wonderful thing to develop and goes along with one of my favorite sayings by Wayne Dyer: "What other people think about me is none of my business."

It sounds kind of hokey, but from now on when I listen to Prince's songs that I enjoy best from my childhood and teenage years, I'll be thinking about the guy's positive attitude as well as his talent. He was definitely more than just his music. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Why I Don't Believe God Causes Cancer (Or Punishes Anyone)

I was just on Twitter where I saw a disturbing meme. It was a picture of an emaciated African child accompanied by text that read, "If there is a God, f*ck him."

Throughout the years, I've heard many people say that they're angry at God. I used to get angry at God myself, so I understand their pain, frustration, or confusion. I used to blame God when I couldn't find a job or a boyfriend. "God must have put a curse on me," I've thought more than a few times to myself when I was younger. 

I really hope I don't need to actually tell anyone that God putting curses on someone is BS...but just in case, it is BS.

Because today I vehemently believe that God doesn't cause anyone's misery, or punish them. God doesn't give a person cancer, or causes a child to be born with autism, and God certainly isn't punishing anyone that doesn't go to church. 

The reason I believe this so strongly is because of a book I read years ago, by Harold Kushner, called "When Bad Things Happen to Good People." The book was originally published in 1981 and became a media and public sensation, and has been read and shared by people of all religious faiths. If anyone had a reason to be angry at God, it would have been Kushner. His only son was born with the incurable disease progeria, which causes the body to age rapidly. He died at the age of 14 in 1977 and his death inspired Kushner to write the book. 

Did I mention that Kushner is a rabbi? 

At the beginning of the book, he explains all of the emotions he went through and indeed, how angry he was at God. How could God supposedly punish him, a man of faith that helped others, and furthermore, how he could punish an innocent child that never hurt a fly?

Throughout the book, Kushner shares his personal stories as well as the tragedies of those from his synagogue that struggled with the same questions. But through examining logic, he reaches the conclusion that God doesn't play an active role in determining who will contract a disease, who will die, and who will survive a plane crash. Instead, he believes that God is there to help through others when something upsetting happens; he's in the people that are inspired to launch support groups that can help others, or in the first responders that come to the scene of an accident. 

It hard for me to explain this but personally, I feel the same way, and I don't think of God as an old man with a long beard sitting on a throne in heaven, rewarding those that do good deeds. I consider the term "universe" to be synonymous with God and the all-that-is. When I think of the law of attraction, I like to think of it as being connected with the source that created everything. 

And throughout the years, I learned to stop praying in the traditional sense and asking God to help me or for favors. Instead I bask in the knowing that I'm connected to him and the inspiration or solution I need will be shown to me. It almost always is. 

Furthermore, I believe that God/the universe is a loving force, made of love, and not something or someone that wants to strike people down as has been depicted in the bible. 

For anyone still struggling with God's role in the world and looking to blame someone for something that was out of their control, I highly recommend Kushner's book. I think it will give you enormous relief and understanding, and will enable you to let yourself off the hook. 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Should I Trust Appearances, Or Trust the Universe?

As much as I enjoy going out with my Meetup group, it can also be a little depressing. Inevitably, one or more women at just about any gathering will begin telling horror stories about their love life. The one we heard last night was kind of a doozy.

I'd met the woman before -- she's really nice, super personable, classy, and very attractive. She's also going through a messy divorce at the age of 55. Her husband of 26 years, who also works in the chiropractic office they co-own, cheated on her for many years with one woman, then cheated on his mistress with another woman. But it gets worse.

Her divorce is about ready to become final, but for the past year during her separation she's been putting herself out there online. She was recently dating a man for the past several months that she was head over heels with, and she thought he was with her as well. He was taking trips to Florida with her over the winter to his beach house, and then was having second thoughts about dating a woman that he felt was technically still married (in a matter of weeks she'll be legally divorced.) He said he didn't want to break up with her when she asked if that was what he wanted. But a couple of weeks ago, he did just that - without an explanation. Needless to say she's heartbroken.

Her divorce and what both guys did to her dominated the conversation for a while.

This is just the latest in a long line of similar stories I've heard from various women through the years, but I will admit hearing this one really put a damper on my mood when I got home. How can I possibly have any hope for myself when it seems these attractive women aren't having any luck? How can I have any belief in myself to have success in this area when all I hear about are men that are cheaters and liars?

I'm trying to remind myself that everyone is different, and that we don't know all of the details that went on. But I'd be devastated if something like this happened to me. By the way, the boyfriend that loves to break up without giving any explanation whatsoever is a common story I've heard many times, over and over again. Only now it's not restricted just to younger guys in their 20s and 30s doing it, but now apparently older men as well.

Right now I have no answer for it all, and I don't know when I'm going to feel 100% positive about attracting love again. I slipped off of it this week -- I won't go into details, but suffice to say although I'm still really happy with my new job and trying to celebrate every thing going right in my life, I don't have much faith right now in attracting love. I've been hurt and disappointed so many times -- albeit not to the extent that these women have -- that I'm seriously starting to doubt that there really is anybody suitable for me out there.

Now to be fair, my friend Amanda that came to the dinner actually had a success story to tell, from a friend of hers that went on and is now married to a guy she met on there. But even that tale is a little tough to take, as the guy lied about his age by 10 years to her. She married him anyway, and there's quite an age difference between the two of them. I'm not so sure that I could trust someone that lied about their age online, and by a whole decade.

Before going to sleep last night, I looked up the PBS special "Wishes Fulfilled" that the late Dr. Wayne Dyer gave a few years ago. The program is almost 2 hours long, but the segment I wanted to locate and listen to was the one where he repeats a quote by a law of attraction teacher named Neville Goddard about disregarding appearances and any evidence that goes against your dream. It didn't take long for me to find it, and this is what it says:

"Disregard appearances, conditions, in fact disregard all evidence of your senses that deny the fulfillment of your desire. Rest in the assumption that you already are what you want to be. For in that determined assumption, you and your infinite being are merged in creative unity. And with your infinite being (God) all things are possible." 

Dyer goes on to say "God never fails and YOU are a piece of that which never fails."

It's very easy to listen to other people's stories and think that's all there is, and that they're somehow presenting the gospel as to what a particular situation is like (in this case, dating and relationships.) Today I'm reminding myself that I can't listen to other people's stories and let it dictate my mindset. 

My friend Amanda is getting laid off from her job in a few months, and some of her job hunting stories are ones that I could have told during the past two years. Someone else hearing them might start to believe that their experience would be the same, and lose faith. Yet, despite what I personally went through I was somehow able to believe in myself and know that I would get the right job, and I did. I disregarded appearances about the job market and the economy, as well as the phrase, "there's nothing out there" (which is what my mother constantly told her friends that asked how my job search was going.)

Somehow I need to believe in the universe again when it comes to attracting the right relationship with the right man. Should I trust appearances, or should I trust the Universe? I think we know what the answer is. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Close Call

Have you ever had a really close call while driving that almost resulted in a serious accident? I mean really close, like another vehicle coming literally within only a couple of inches of hitting your car? That's what happened to me yesterday.

I was in a really good mood, having just returned from the mall after finally finding a few pairs of jeans that fit me right. I had also run into one of my old high school friends with her husband and two kids as she was entering Macy's, and we discussed getting together with our other friends later this spring or summer.

I still had to run errands back in my town, and I was driving in the right-hand lane of my town's main street, which at this point of the stretch becomes two lanes. I just had gone through a green light next to a supermarket plaza when all of a sudden this silver Hyundai Sonata pulled out quickly from the right from an area of the plaza that's used for making right-hand turns onto that street. I don't think the driver had even stopped before speeding into oncoming traffic -- he/she zoomed right out in front of me.

The only thing that saved me from a collision was that the left-hand lane was empty, so I quickly swerved there to avoid them while hitting my brakes hard and feeling the anti-locking kicking in. Of course I laid down my horn as well. It turns out the crazy driver wanted to get into the left-hand lane. They actually stopped as my car was coming to a stop, and I know I was within inches of hitting it, then they zoomed off like a maniac -- probably terrified that I was going to catch up with them and inflict road rage.

And I'll be honest -- had this happened a few years ago, I would have been absolutely furious. I probably would have tried to catch up with them from the right-hand lane and give the finger and yell all kinds of obscenities at them.

But...I didn't.

I let him or her go (it happened so fast I have no idea what kind of person was driving the car.) I decided it was best not to know who was driving it, and I didn't want to confront them -- partly for my own safety, because who knows how crazy someone who could do something like that is. There's also the possibility they were high on something, or drunk. I was shaken up and my heart was pounding, and I took a few deeps breaths to calm down. But I didn't want to be near that car. I went back into the right-hand lane and then cut through some side streets that I knew about on my right to get to where I wanted to be.

My car, thank goodness, wasn't damaged...and no one was hurt. I shuddered to think how close the other car was as my brakes kicked in. I just got my Jetta not even two years ago and I love it, and still love driving it.

Sometimes it's best not to get involved in a confrontation, and just let things and people go. 

I did also wonder if I somehow attracted that scary situation -- as there have been a few times since getting my current car where I've worried about someone hitting it. I guess I shouldn't be entertaining that thought any more! I'm just grateful it was a close call, and nothing more. 

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