relationships

How To: Get Through A Fight With Your Love

L-O-V-E. Four letters that express an undying devotion between persons across the world, of varying ages, languages, and cultural backgrounds. Everyone can love. So what happens when your one-and-only slits the tires on your love-jeep and the walls of Jericho come crashing down? Perhaps a fight. Fights can be healthy and really contribute to the growth of those in the relationship. But they can hurt, and the cuts run deep. Here’s a survival kit to help keep your heart safe, and your mind logical. After all, criticism is only a sign of bad communication.

Workout. The best way to get out aggression and clear your brain is a hard workout. Sweat, grunt, even cry if you’re up for it.

Write about it. If you’re anything like me, the workout will have turned the blender on your thoughts and emotions, and in order to process, a journal might be necessary. Write whatever comes out. If it’s Jane Austen’s perfectly logical prose, so be it. More likely, it will be a stream-of-consciousness that floats between rage, fear, hurt, and questioning. Ask those questions. Get up close and personal with your heart to find out what’s REALLY bothering you. Try having a conversation with yourself… I always think of Ben Stiller’s self-therapy in the classic 1980s movie, Heavyweights.

Watch a Movie.  If you need distraction while the questions mull, put on a good movie. Been looking at the shelf for more than 20 minutes? Grab a friend or sibling and make them pick one for you. Then ask if they’ll stay to watch it with you as an accountability partner. Say it with me: We are NOT here to wallow in self-pity.

Make a playlist. We’re not looking for heart drowning, but pick an assortment of songs that can bring you on an emotional journey, out of your over-analyzing. If you’re angry, start with a little Lincoln Park. Ease into some Mumford and Sons, then Adele. Slide into some good Santana, then some Celtic Women or Country genre. Get a little Maroon 5 and Nora Jones in there for a controlled relapse into the softer emo before transitioning into some calming Enya or classical tunes. You can always try the encouraging resonance of Josh Groban.  Finish with a happy Jack Johnson, Michael Buble, or Louis Armstrong and start the day anew with a fresh look at love. Don’t exhaust yourself…it’s meant to be a cathartic experience where you can download emotions into the music itself.

Get outside. Even if you’re not up for socializing, a little human observing and minimal interaction will do you good. Get yourself a cup of coffee, and sit on a bench where there are children nearby. Don’t be a creeper, but let the kids’ joy fill you up. Watch them take pleasure in the simple things of life.

Volunteer. Get acquainted with people who are in a worse position than you. If you are alive, healthy, can read and write, and have clean water in a sturdy shelter….you are better than A LOT of people in this world. Give back in gratitude for your blessings.

Know your apology languages. When you’re ready, apologies might have to be made. The quicker the confession of pride, the quicker the healing into joy. That being said, there’s a difference between going out of your comfort zone and forcing yourself to say something you don’t mean. **Caution** ONLY APOLOGIZE IF YOU MEAN IT. Otherwise, it breeds a messier resentment faster than glitter dumped on a ceiling fan!

Happy communicating! Remember: Love endures.

How Should He Take Care Of You?

This is a question that I have been grappling with for some time. It is my dream to marry a man who knows each and every intimate part of me as a best friend and lover, especially the parts that I don’t even know I’m hiding.

What gal wouldn’t want a genuine question of “How are you doing, my dearest woman?” every weekend over a cup of the very best hot chocolate? Is it too much to ask for a guy that drops everything when he notices you are holding back tears and collects you into a gentle hug? Should he take you out to dinner and consistently buy you small tokens of affection just to evoke your smile that he craves all day at work?

What are the bounds of a chivalrous knight, and where is he expected to reign?

I have a few observations…let me know you thoughts.

Fighting Daddy’s Girl Syndrome: Dads are means to take care of their little girls in two ways. First, they are to teach them how to succeed in the world. Second, they are to make sure their sweet angel knows her beauty. Sadly, most fathers lack one or both of these distinctly masculine nurturing characteristics. Ladies, you shouldn’t be looking to please a man for your own affirmation that Dad didn’t offer. Instead, search for the mature partnership without ghosts. He should bring out your good qualities, be patient as you fix your undesirable ones, and support your passions.

If Opposites Attract, then it follows that the introvert needs the extrovert, the emo-punk chick is knitted to the jock’s popularity, and the hard-worker supports the frivolous babe. Your complementary man acts to the opposite of your moods and can bring you to a balance. He might not ever commit to your point of view, but you share a happy middle ground together that is a new creation. Be prepared for compromise and notice the difference; that’s what keeps you both attractive.

My beau’s greatest compliment seems to be, “We think the same way.” While the observation is slightly below my romantic yearn, I have come to understand he means to compliment the process of reason and the means of communication which we share. Being a “feeler” I’d rather embellish an emotionally-driven connection, but we work to find a balance that suits us individually, often taking refuge in Respect.

Should Birds of a Feather flock together? A friend once approached me and dismally announced her behavior of dating men exactly like herself was narcissistic. Her fervor surprised me, as did my own reaction of disagreement. It can be extremely comforting to have a mate interested in similar tastes, experiences, and hobbies. You’ll find a certain rest in the other and a distinct (though not thorough) ease in sharing life.

The surest way to know what you need from your companion is to know what you need IN him. The more you know yourself, the healthier a relationship you can expect in return.

 

It’s Renee Zellweger’s Birthday! Now, Let’s Talk About Bridget Jones.

It’s Renee Zellweger’s birthday today, ladies. I’m happy for her and all, but I’m going to be honest, it’s really just an excuse for me to talk about Bridget Jones.

I’ve talked about this hot mess heroine with many women. One of the first things almost all of them will say is, “Oh my gosh, she’s so me!” Now, obviously they don’t mean that they are thirty-two year old British women with smoking addictions who “dress like their mothers”. But there’s something about Ms. Bridget Jones that is undeniably universal to women. So, where does this sassy lady’s addicting all-ness come from?

Oh, Mom

When we first meet Bridget, she’s on her way to her mother’s turkey curry holiday buffet. Upon arrival, her mother informs her that what she is wearing simply will not do by sweetly saying, “You’ll never get a boyfriend by looking like an Auschwitz victim.” Of course a mother only wants what’s best for her children, but we can certainly all relate to the fact that sometimes moms can be a touch insensitive and even racially offensive in the process. And we will totally be just like them someday.

All By Myself

Arguably one of the most memorable scenes in the movies is the opening credit sequence. Bridget has been called a spinster by the hopelessly handsome Mark Darcy and proceeds to blare, sing, and dance to “All By Myself” alone in her flat while drinking heavily and sort of watching Frasier reruns in the background. Every woman, at some point in her life, has been there. Period.

Stank Bag Boyfriend

Enter the misogynist massive jerk bag Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant at his absolute cutest). Let me digress for a second by talking about his entrance into the film.

     The elevator doors open. Hugh Grant is inside, with a faint worthy, bad boy smirk on his face while Aretha Franklin belts out “Respect”.

I will always have a special place in my heart for ‘90s and early 2000’s Rom Coms, simply because of the musical choices in these films.

Okay, back to Daniel Clever being a royal dirt bag. Maybe you married your middle school sweet heart and never had your heart broken. I am happy for you. But, like many women, I have dated the Daniel Cleaver type stank bag. The guy who is wickedly handsome and every girl not-so-secretly wants to be his girlfriend. The guy who can get away with anything by smiling and spouting off a snarky one liner. The guy who can get out of anything with a little white lie and hopes that his mistruths will never catch up with him. But dating the jerk makes finding the perfect guy that much better. True for me and certainly true for Ms. Jones in this movie.

Where Are The Toilets?

We have all failed in social settings at one point or another in our lives. In the film, Bridget is at a book launch party, and in the hopes of interjecting a titillating point about Chechneya, she ends up asking, “Do you know where the toilets are?” Hashtag awkward. Thank you, Bridget Jones, for giving us the opportunity to laugh at ourselves.

Bridget Jones isn’t a size zero. Bridget Jones wears granny panties. Bridget Jones is a royal hot mess who is constantly wearing the wrong outfit to parties. You would think women everywhere would be shy to claim that they are just like her. But we aren’t. Why? Because at the end of the movie, the perfect, handsome, quiet but strong Mark Darcy tells her that he loves her just the way she is. Every woman wants to be told that. Bridget Jones showed us that we aren’t alone in our hot mess-ness. She showed us that we can be a bit of a mess but there’s a guy out there who will love us just as we are. 

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Sweat Pants and Night Cheese

I am a person who doesn’t like to be left out. I like knowing what is going on at all times with everyone in my circles of friends, family members and co-workers. I like being included. Thanks to Facebook and Instagram, you can’t escape knowing every outing, life event, and thought in your “friends’” lives and if your are being left out. Thanks social media?

I’m totally guilty of Insta-bombing the mess out of a concert my Facebook friends wish they could be at. Or gramming a picture of some crazy good eats at a fancy restaurant. Or a selfie boarding a plane to some swanky destination. I share what makes me look like a baller and those awesome filters only add to my radness.

I look awesome when I share sick pics and quippy status updates! But when other people do, and I realize that I’m not there to share in the uploading of social currency, I feel like a total loser with no friends. Now, that might sound dramatic.

It is.

But don’t lie, you know what I’m talking about.

The thing is though, I like being by myself. Really. I like sitting on my bed and reading for multiple hours. I like going shopping by myself. I like being in my sweatpants at 5:30 PM most nights. I like sipping on red wine at 7 PM on a Tuesday while eating some Traders Joe’s cheese and catching up on my TV shows. I don’t need to be with someone at all times to be content. You might say that I’m an introvert. And you would be wrong. I just find it exhausting to be an extrovert at all times.

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Seeing friends hang out without me used to really bother me. I’d wonder if I was a crappy friend, if I said something that hurt their feelings, or if they just didn’t like being seen in public with me. But lately, when these feelings come up, I think, wait a minute, I don’t want to be where they are right now. I’m loving this Cabernet and these old volleyball shorts. Yes, that looks like fun and yes, I’d like to do that. I don’t like being left out. But I don’t have to be a part of everything every time.

The next time you feel left out and those pangs of jealousy start to creep up, look around at what you’ve got going on. It’s probably pretty rocking.