Wa Wah Wa Wah Wah Wah

When you look up “nag” in a thesaurus, synonyms include pester, irritate, badger, harass, and that’s only the beginning of a lengthy list of words you don’t want to be described as. Think: the Peanut’s Teacher. And for some reason it’s women who get the reputation for nagging. You can almost see the switch in your partner’s head go off. You’ve hit, what I refer to as his “hot button”. It doesn’t really matter what you’re trying to get across, he’s annoyed and you’ve been shut out. How do you avoid that and still get him to do what you want him to do?

When are you asking? You want your husband to take the trash out; is it right when he sits down after work? Or during the middle of a baseball game? Probably steer clear of these and similar times when he’s focused on relaxing. He’s not thinking about anything else and he’s especially not thinking about what you want him to do.

How are you asking him? “Do this, do this, DO THIS!!!” You’re not going to respond to someone asking you to do something if they have that tone with you, so why would your boyfriend? Try asking once politely and if that’s not working, leaving a little note (that’s not passive aggressive) asking again. It’s just a little reminder that doesn’t get either of you worked up.

 Why are you asking him? I’m not saying women are responsible for taking care of all the household chores, but if it’s something you can do and it’s going to be easier than both of you getting upset with one another, just do it. Simple. Lots of stress saved on both ends.

Men are forgetful, gentle nudges are helpful harassing is not. Remember, at the end of the day he’s not doing it to spite you, he’s doing it because he’s a man and they’re hardwired a whole lot different than we are.

 

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The Great Purge

One of my favorite things to do is clean out my closet. Get rid of the old to make room for the new. It can be sad. It took me some time to finally get rid of my old college t-shirts because of the memories we shared together. One from a formal, a couple from date nights, a few from those “special” boys who lent me their shirt (and I interpreted the “lending” to mean “keep forever”). Then those old ratty jeans–you know where each hole and rip came from and they have sentimental meaning. The thought of getting rid of them hurts your insides because it’s saying goodbye to part of your story. Like our closets, we can hold onto too much of relationships if we don’t purge, and if we don’t purge it doesn’t allow us to move forward.

Like the idea of getting rid of that nasty hat you’ve worn since you were in 9th grade, you need to start the purge. Keeping those old connections allows you to have that link to the piece of your life that may be preventing you from moving forward onto new and better things. How do you begin the process?

**FYI this part won’t be easy and will make you feel like you are betraying someone.

  • No reason for that phone number. Delete it.
  • Why do you need to read back over your old text messages? Erase them.
  • If Facebook or Instagram is a temptation either block them or get off. If getting on their account is a problem, tell someone so they can hold you accountable. You’ve crossed over to crazy (you probably know that already but don’t want to admit it to yourself.)
  • Any of their belongings—either toss them or put them in a box and have the person come and retrieve them when you aren’t home or get someone to deliver it to them.
  • Those little urges you get to make contact with that person because something makes you think of them—ignore them. Tie your hands behind your back.

The list can go on and on, but my point in giving you a starting place is because as long as you’re holding on to some part of that person and the “what ifs” is preventing you from moving forward and on to something new and great. Let go and be.

Interview: Part 10

What books or resources would you recommend for women that are looking to create long lasting fulfilling relationships?

Of course, some people will find certain resources helpful and others not as much, but it’s worth a look! If there is anything you find particularly helpful let me know! Always looking for great resources!

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.

 

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.

 

First Date: Dos and Don’ts

I used to L.O.V.E.  first dates. Sometimes I think I had more fun of those than what followed (until Forrest, of course). I also realize I’m the exception to this and most people would rather skip all the initial steps and move on to the real deal. But as far as first dates go, there are a lot of guidelines I would suggest. Some seem obvious, others maybe not, but due to my former hobby of dating I have seen the good, bad, and really, really ugly. Here are my tips for making a favorable first impression:

Do:

  • Clean up. This is similar to an interview, and even if you don’t like them back you still want to leave a nice impression. Dress for the occasion, brush your teeth, fluff your hair, you know, maintenance.
  • Bring your manners with you. If you’re the guy open the door, pay, offer the car door, stand when she leaves the table. There is nothing more charming than a guy who knows how to treat a lady. And ladies, you’re not off the hook. Say thank you, offer to pay (he might not take you up on it–and shouldn’t–but offer), say thank you. Be appreciative.
  • Even if you aren’t having a great time. It’s one date and it doesn’t mean you have to go on another one.
  • SAY YES if you are asked out. End of discussion.

 

Don’t:

  • Use profanity. General rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t say it to your grandmother, don’t say it on a date. Come on.
  • Share your sexual history. There will be time for that on future dates if you play your cards right.
  • Harp on ex’s. That’s definitely not what the person across the table wants to hear from you. Womp womp womp.
  • Talk business. BORING. Unless they specifically ask and you can keep it simple and brief. They probably do want to know but not about any terms they would need a dictionary for.
  • Stay off your devices. You want to show the person you are with you are more interested in “here and now” than “there and when.”

 

Dating can be daunting, but remember it’s casual and Date 1 in no way guarantees Date 2. Just enjoy, be yourself, and if nothing else you walk away with a good story.

Here We Go!

I didn’t realize starting this tonight was going to lead to an immediate blog post prompt. I didn’t want to leave people reading the generic blurb WordPress leaves up as my first post, so here I am! The idea behind this came because my husband and I are in limbo in life. We live in separate cities in Georgia and now is the pivotal point where we are looking for jobs in each others city and hoping something lands us in the same spot. It’s stepping out in faith at it’s finest. There have certainly been tears…many of them…but today my heart and mind are at peace. Not that I know what’s going to happen or that tomorrow I’ll still be peaceful, but today I am. I’ll take it.

All that being said, something I’ve always loved is writing and something else I have always loved is counseling. So, I figured why not combine the two and see what happens! I’m hoping this to be an outlet for whatever it is that crosses my mind (because a lot crosses my mind) and to provide some useful content and resources for you, the reader. This blog isn’t about me, it’s about you. Let’s do this.