Interview: Part 6

Can you share your thoughts on delaying sex until women get to really know a man? Some experts I have talked to especially warn against having sex on the first date because it creates a sense of pseudo-intimacy that prevents women from seeing things objectively. For women who are interested in having a long term committed relationship, would you recommend that they delay having sex until they get to know the man and have him commit to exclusivity?

I cannot emphasize holding off on sex enough. As much as we would like to be able to disconnect from our emotions and engage in a good romp, we really can’t do it the way we would like especially if we desire a long term relationship. Our bodies won’t let us. We release a hormone called Oxytocin when we orgasm and that hormone is responsible for attachment. Oxytocin will give you the feeling that there is something more there than is actually there—circling back to the pseudo-intimacy. It’s like an illusion. You are allowing a man to engage in something very intimate with you and unless you are in a committed relationship he has nothing to lose.

Take the time to get to know him and feel safe in the relationship with him before the physical commitment comes. You will probably find the longer you wait, the less likely you are to start flying off the radar on him because you are secure in the relationship because of the foundation not being based on lust.

If all you take from this is “Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t do it” then that’s all you need to remember. Don’t do it. Be patient.

They know that blowfish BLOW

Spent all of last week between the Gulf and the Atlantic being carried by the currents of the sea. Along with the currents come the sea cnidarians (silent ‘c’– nidarians). A sea cnidarian is commonly known as a jellyfish, but I like to use the technical term to sound a little bit more educated about the ocean. Jelly fish are great mysteries of the sea, and I would like to shed some light on their dangerous ways.

-Jellyfish are comprised primarily of water (95%) with no bones, eyes, heart, or brain. So really they just bob along.

-Jellyfish have one hole for ingesting and expelling food. Delicious.
-A group of jellyfish is called a ‘smack’. So you could say, “I was playing in the ocean and got caught up in a smack” and then you would have to explain yourself and then you will sound very intelligent–unless the pain of the smack prevents you from speaking
-The mouth is not only used for ingestion and expulsion, but also fertilization. One hole, many functions
-If a jellyfish is left on shore, it will dissolve leaving only a film behind
-Jellyfish do not survive well in captivity because they need the currents to propel them
-Jellyfish can be up to 7 feet across with tentacles 120 feet long. No fear, you will not find these off the Atlantic coast but in the Arctic.
-The amount of venom in a Box Jelly could kill 60 people. Stay away from dangerous marine life.
-And against common belief, urine will not help a jellyfish sting

Interview: Part 5

I have read a few experts that recommend playing hard to get as a means to woo men and retain their attention. Can you share your thoughts and talk about your views on playing hard to get to attract men?

This is a million dollar question. Thinking about it on the surface, it makes no sense. Why would someone you are intentionally ignoring be interested? But for whatever crazy reason it works. I have a few ideas between what I have heard from others and what men have mentioned to me.

It’s in their genes. Men may be hardwired in their chemical make up to want to chase the woman. Take the hunter-gatherer example, it’s what men have been doing since they first showed up on Earth. They hunt and the thrill seems to be in the chase. If we make it too easy for them, they lose interest. Peculiar, but it’s how the game works.

Everyone likes a little mystery, so revealing too much about yourself too soon takes away the mystery. Men like to have things to figure out, it keeps them intrigued. Tell him just enough but leave him wanting more. Think about a good book, the chapter ends and you’re so curious what happens next you keep reading. You are the book, and he is the reader.

It may be that “playing hard to get” is actually a woman being confident and secure in who she is. She isn’t consumed with when she’s going out with him next because she has other things on her plate she is excited about. She doesn’t need to take time to craft the perfect witty text back because she isn’t paying attention to her phone but to the people she is with. She knows she is enough with or without him. That’s attractive.

While I don’t agree with making up excuses and always being “busy”, you do want him to know you have a life, but you should squeeze him in somewhere. Guys like a challenge, but they don’t like games. Give him something to work for, but don’t mess around with him and play him like a puppet. That’s not fair and it’s manipulation to get what you want. The flip side, as a woman, there are things you should expect which include him planning dates in advance, following through with plans, and being intentional in spending time together. If he’s not doing those things, he’s probably playing his own game with you. Be smart, confident, play it right, and he will be intrigued. From the intrigue, only time will tell…

 

Par for the course: O-72

We had our annual Young Life golf tournament this week. It was a glorious day spent on the fairways watching for a hole in one. That was the only job I had, sitting at hole 17 to see if someone got a hole in one to win a Lexus. No one did. Getting two hole in ones in a round of golf is a 1:67 million chance. I should take up golf, good life sport.

-The World’s Longest Golf Course is the International Golf Club in Massachusetts. 8325 yards long with a long par of 77. Par for the course is generally 72 for those of you who don’t follow golf. It also has the largest green that is 28,000 square feet.
-Mint Juleps are sipped most amongst the clubhousers at the Masters than any other tournament
-Apparently it takes 18 shots to finish a fifth of whiskey. Thus the reason for 18 holes on a golf course. Do you ever even make it to hole 18 is that is the plan of attack?
-The World’s highest golf course is the Tactu Golf Club in Morococha, Peru, which sits 14,335 feet above sea level at its lowest point. Not certain of the highest point, but altitude sickness is a possibility.
-There are three golf balls on the moon.
-One must play 10 rounds of golf in order to have a handicap
-The longest hole in the world is the 7th hole (par 7) of the Sano Course at the Satsuki Golf Club in Japan.  It measures a long 909 yards. 9 football fields!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOO
-$602 million dollars is in the golf ball market. Could be a good place to start these days
-There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball.
-Want to learn golf? Check out, “Bad Golf Made Easy” insturctional videos by Leslie Nielson. I used to watch these in my youth for fun. I got you babe.

Interview: Part 4

We get a lot of emails from our readers who often worry about losing the man that they are interested in. This can be ranging from issues like the man blowing hot and cold to a man communicating with them only via text messages to him taking her for granted and not making any plans ahead of time for a date to being hesitant to talk about how he sees their relationship progressing or discussing his thoughts about marriage etc.

I guess it’s quite natural for people in general to avoid serious topics or conversations especially when they are first getting to know the person. But for a relationship to progress and for a couple to build trust and feel emotionally connected, it is important to talk about what’s on your mind and discuss important issues.

What we see many women do is that they either avoid talking about these issues or pretend they don’t matter because they don’t wan to “risk losing him” or they have this hope that they can change the man later on as the relationship progresses In the process, they set a dangerous precedent by avoiding conflict altogether or by sweeping issues under the rug early on in the relationship.

So how can women overcome this fear of losing their man and cultivate the habit of openness and honesty early on in their relationship?

Losing a romantic partner is scary because of what has been invested into that person. Thinking about it can give you a pit in your stomach. So, in relationships, we do what we can not to rock the boat. Relationships can be like Seahaven in the movie The Truman Show–the sun always shines, people are always “good”, everyone smiles, and there is never any traffic. Pure bliss. And that is what we try to maintain in relationships. The problem comes when we can’t force the smiles anymore and we are looking for something real, just like Jim Carey in The Truman Show.

It’s not normal to dive into the nitty-gritty on date one—this is a chance to hit the surface and figure out what kind of person you are working with. The first few dates can be like Seahaven, putting your best foot forward and feeling the man out. However, there comes a time when facing the nitty-gritty is necessary to take a relationship to the next level. It’s relatively easy to keep things on the surface, especially if he isn’t willing to dig deep. What I see many women doing is compromising themselves because they are afraid of what direction tough conversations may take the relationship. But ask yourself this, “Am I staying true to who I am and my values or am I sacrificing part of me so I don’t lose him?” What happens if the relationships ends? Will you be able to say, “I have no regrets and I didn’t compromise who I am.” That should be an end goal.

Having real life conversations isn’t easy, but they are crucial to a relationship and should be discussed on the early-ish end. It is much better to find out that you and Bobby don’t line up with the idea of children in month 2 rather than in month 9 when much more has been invested emotionally. And truthfully, I believe many of these conversations should be had even before the boyfriend title is thrown around. Others may believe that is too early, but I think once you’re on that track, it’s much harder to turn back when core values are not lining up. It’s those values that make you who you are. Be bold. In the end you want someone who respects you, not someone who you’re living in The Truman Show with. Spoiler alert: It doesn’t work out with his wife because it’s a relationship that never left the surface.

On the issue of changing a man, don’t hold your breath. The only thing a woman can (maybe) change about a man is his clothes. Do not get into a relationship with the idea you are different and you can tame the beast, you can’t. He can change, but it’s going to be because he wants to, not because you want him to.

 

ON WEDNESDAYS WE WEAR PINK!

My phone is sitting no more than 3 feet from me as I write this post. I am constantly attempting to figure out ways to become less dependent (is that even possible at this point?) on my phone use and the apps that come accompany it. A little over a year ago, I felt like I spent too much time scrolling on Facebook, so I removed it. A little painful feeling FOMO (fear of missing out), but it lessened overtime. It’s constant re-evaluation of my use and when I think maybe I’ve gotten better, I catch myself in the same habits of picking up the phone only to see my home screen. With that, I removed notifications from popping up from my Instagram account and SnapChat. There is always something I can be doing better.

I came across an article this morning on Psychology Today that is a little longer than a really short read (about 10 minutes) that can help anyone take an honest reflection on their social media use and how to break some of those pesky habits and be more present and live a more authentic life in relationship with those around you.

Are You Self-ie Absorbed?

The Fungus Among Us

There are a few foods that I really don’t like and one of those is mushrooms. Not because they taste bad, because I don’t think they taste like anything, but the texture really creeps me out. I get chills thinking about a mushroom in my mouth.
-Mushrooms fall into the Kingdom of Fungi!!!!!!!!
-The Buddha was a victim of mushroom poisoning
-It is said there are around 40,000 varieties of mushrooms but only 200ish are edible
-A fifth taste, umami, is found in mushrooms. It enhances tastes of other foods. I think umami is one of my top 6 favorite words.
-We are like mushrooms because we both produce Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. That does not make me like them any more
-The Mushroom Capital of the world is in Pennsylvania. Liberty Bell and Mushrooms, very good.
-Bananas have potassium (K) but portabello mushrooms have even more.
-A mushroom is able to double in size every 24 hours.
-The honey mushroom is the largest organism every found. Go visit it in Oregon, it covers 3.4 miles.
-Finally, don’t go hunting for your own mushrooms.

Interview: Part 3

 What would your advice be for women who would like to attract men into their lives and have great relationships, but are currently struggling to do that?

Attracting men into your life may seem impossible sometimes because you look around and think 1. All the good men have been taken: There are still great men out there but just like women aren’t all alike, men aren’t all alike either. Everyone wants something a little different. 2. Do any men even live in my city? Yes, men are in your city, you just might need to spread your circle a little. 3. Is there something wrong with me? There probably isn’t something wrong with you, but you know what you want, you just haven’t found it yet. Through conversations with men, there are a few things that they do (for the most part) all find the most attractive in women.

First, be yourself. In the movie The Ugly Truth Katherine Heigl spends a majority of the movie being, what she is told, the “right” kinda woman to attract her hot physician neighbor, Colin. It works, and Colin likes her but she has added hair extensions and squelched her Type A personality to become some “loosey-goosey all caution to the wind” kinda woman. And of course in the end, it’s too much for her to keep up with, she is miserable, and she breaks it off with Colin. In saying all of that, conforming to what you think a man “expects” and losing yourself will not work out in what you want long term. It’s a lie, it’s exhausting, and it’s just not you.

Confidence. It’s what I hear over and over from men. Since I am not one, I don’t know what they see and what makes a confident woman stand out from one who is not, but they love it. LOVE IT.

Put yourself out there. Get on a dating website, pick up one of the many dating apps out there and just explore! Don’t be afraid to meet new people. A rule I always stood by is if a guy had the courage to ask me out, I give him a shot. People can surprise you and who knows where one date with someone can take you. Something I hear a lot of is “he’s not my type” but has “your type” worked for you so far? You just may want a little something different but you haven’t figured it out yet. Be open to possibilities.

Most importantly, enjoy the season of life that you are in right now. It may not be where you envisioned yourself, but it’s where you are right now. Live for yourself and enjoy having your time be your time. Find new activities, try something new, pick up a hobby…be content (which is far easier said than done). There are things you are able to do now that you could not do with a boyfriend, fiancé, spouse, or children so take the opportunity to live your life without obligation to someone else and it will help prepare you for that time when you are sharing your life with someone else.

 

Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee

Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking a group of eight 10th graders down the Chattahoochee. We spent the morning cleaning along the river bed where we found items including embroidered suitcases, motorized cars, and Smirnoff Ice bottles discarded. That afternoon, we put on the orange life jackets and got in our raft. Considering my last rafting trip was down 12 foot waterfalls on The Nile, the only danger I faced were the teenagers who wanted to push me overboard. And they did…along with hitting me in the back of the head with a football. But what a river system!

-The US has 3.5 million miles of river, and the Chattahoochee is 436 of those.

-Chattahoochee is an Indian (Native American, for clarification) that means “river of painted rocks”. Our raft got stuck on many of those painted rocks.

-Once our Hoochie flows to our Southern neighbors of Florida, the name changes to Apalachicola. In the Indian language, that means “gators wear jean shorts”

-The upper Chattahoochee basin provides metro Atlanta with 70% of our drinking water. The upper basin does not include what runs around 285.-To follow that, 250 million gallons of sewage water are dumped into Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee each day.

-Along the river, one can see several species of birds, turtles, and the Virginia Opossum. I don’t know if that is the same kind of opossum we find along the street.

-Where is the southern most point to find trout? Yes, that is right, the Chattahoochee.

-E. coli is not just at White Water. The count at Paces Ferry is 938 (much higher than a few miles north where it is 699). If you don’t know Atlanta, Paces Ferry is the local rafting spot. Good thing the ferocious rapids didn’t knock any water in my mouth.
-My favorite river that is beastly, The Nile, is over 4,000 miles long. It is also awesome
-The Nile has a rapid called the G-Spot, but they just dried it up.
Now that you know these facts, start taking care of your local water systems since it is also your local source of fresh water.

Interview: Part 2.5

  1. You mentioned the constant negative reinforcement by media and society on how they greatly influence our thoughts and perception about beauty and looks. Some women have told us that they have so much negative chatter in their minds that they are simply unable to make a positive change. For every positive step they take, they tend to have be pushed 10 steps back by their inner critic and negativity. How can women detoxify the negativity in their mind and from external sources and make continuous progress to enhance their self worth and value?

Constantly receiving the negative reinforcement by media and society has been devastating on women attempting to gain self worth and confidence. We can’t even begin to understand how many times a day we are exposed to unrealistic figures, lives, and standards of living. Not only that, the words magazines choose to put on their covers even sinks you farther into believing what you are doing isn’t good enough. Your sex isn’t up to par, your clothes are out of style, and your abs aren’t flat enough. Who is setting these standards? I am not really certain who they are, but they aren’t realistic. How do we even begin to step back and remove ourselves from something that is so deeply ingrained in our culture?

Facebook, it’s the highlight reel of your friend’s lives (and maybe yours too). A status will always say something really awesome that‘s going on, “Gone to Hawaii with the love of my life for 10 days. See ya!” It’s never anything like, “Got dumped. Again. Crying in my bathtub with a bottle of wine and chocolate.” What we see on Facebook is exactly what that person wants us to see, so when your life doesn’t match up to theirs it’s because you are only seeing one side. Just remember highlight reel.

Pinterest it’s all the most wonderful things in the world on one website. This takes the idea of Facebook one step further by not only letting you put your life on the board but taking other people’s lives and pinning it on your board. But, that is where the problem lies, it is an illusion. We are slowly buying into the DIY projects that Sally Sue can whip up together in what looks like 5 minutes and takes the rest of us 5 hours. Or the wedding planning pins that are supposed to be on a budget, but you’re wondering what budget they followed. It is like real life Barbies we are trying to compete with. And by the end of it you are defeated and sinking into a hole of what you have and who you are never being enough.

The list of social media goes on and on into Instagram, Twitter, Blogs, Flickr…the list is endless and none of it will help you get any closer to accepting who you are. If you find that you notice yourself having more negative feelings after being on any of these sites, I would encourage you first to make a graph and put a scale of 1-10 on your mood and each time before you look at one of these sites mark where your mood is and then again after you have been on the website. If you find you constantly feeling worse it may not be a bad idea to delete your account(s). There are other ways to stay up to date with loved ones without knowing their every move.

  • You are enough. Wake up every morning and say it.–even when you don’t believe it.
  • Put pictures up of real women you admire—your mom, sisters, Kelly Osborn…whoever it might be that makes you feel good about who you are and what you have to offer.
  • If you like encouraging quotes, put them up in your car, on your mirror, next to your bed, wherever you look.
  • Certain people may be triggers, know who they are and figure out if you need to limit your time with them or stop following them on social media.
  • Have conversations with people. Real conversations about things that really matter to you.
  • You are not alone in this battle.

I’ve said it before, comparison is the thief of joy and if we are constantly comparing ourselves to others, we are robbing ourselves of the most precious gift life has to offer—a life of contentment and joy in who we are and what we have to offer.