Saturday, October 30, 2010
This YouTube video is from the "Smack the Pony" dating series. I'd seen it once before, but I found it again on this recent post from the popular blog Hooking up Smart: Boyfriend Wanted: Clumsy Thumbs Need Not Apply. Interesting post about geek-snobs who expect their dates to be as geeky as they are.
Are you a geek-snob? Have we gotten too picky about who we date?
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Coach Ronnie quotes Rabbi Schnitzer on two points that I found particularly insightful:
* Love is not being "stirred" by perfection... that is admiration. Love is accepting and embracing imperfection.
* Love starts with self-love.
Putting these together, this means we need to start by accepting ourselves -- not just the stuff we're proud about, but even our flaws.
I know I had long heard the advice about "loving yourself first" and then you'll find love, but I didn't really "get it." I imagined it meant I had to go around giving myself "positive affirmations" all the time. Luckily, I had a wonderful childhood and I felt like my self-esteem was fine, so I really didn't feel the need to write myself little sticky-notes to remind myself of how great I was. I understand that most people aren't so lucky, and it takes a long time for people to feel good about who they are, but I really didn't feel like I had that problem.
However, I think there's a second-half to this "self-love" exercise. It's not just about recognizing your strengths, but accepting your weaknesses. Even though I had confidence in what I was "good at," I was embarrassed to admit my imperfections to others. For example, I'm really bad at keeping up on what's going on in the world. So, if someone would start discussing a topic that I wasn't aware of, I'd keep my mouth shut, rather than risk the embarrassment of ignorance.
These days, I admit to what I don't know. I'm often met with a surprised, "OMG! You didn't know THAT?" but I just thank the person for cluing me in. In fact, I usually quiz them for more data, telling them that they need to teach me all there is about whatever it is, so I don't make the same dumb mistake in front of someone else. They feel good about teaching me something, I feel good about learning, and we're both happy.
Likewise, when someone else risks showing me their imperfections, I usually feel closer to them. I can relate much more easily to someone who is imperfect and not afraid to admit to it, than someone who only wants to tell me about how great they are. I love confidence, but not arrogance.
I think the key is we need to have confidence in ourselves -- both our strengths and weaknesses. I had confidence in my strengths but was insecure about my weaknesses. We're not usually "confident" about our weaknesses. But if we accept our weaknesses -- admit to our imperfections and do what we can to improve -- we become much more "real."
So, if we do all this self-love stuff, will we really "fall in love" with someone else? Maybe. Maybe not. The thing is, it won't matter nearly as much. We'll be content with ourselves. We won't need someone else to "validate" us. We are the only person who will be with us forever, so we'll have most definitely found a love partner for life.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Vote for The Children's Hospital to receive LIVESTRONG community impact funding for a program proven to support families fighting cancer.
The contest ends at 6 p.m., Friday, October 29, so please cast your vote now.
The Children's Hospital is in the running to win a $10,000 LIVESTRONG grant for The Children's Hospital Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders (CCBD).
Community votes determine the winner - and we are currently ranked third in online votes - so your vote counts!
Cody Hudson runs the CCBD's sibling support programs. She says that this potential gift would help siblings play an active role in their sister's or brother's treatment and their family's health and healing.
Research shows that siblings of chronically ill children grow up to become more empathetic people. With this potential gift, we can help siblings of Children's patients develop beneficial coping skills that they can use throughout their lives.
Cody Hudson, MS, CCLS
Therapeutic Recreation/Child Life Specialist
Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders
Currently, the CCBD offers a day camp and sibling education program. The LIVESTRONG grant will improve the current offerings to help even more siblings cope during their sister's or brother's treatment.
Voting is simple and can help all the families who need the CCBD. Just visit LIVESTRONG online.
Spread the word!
Cut & Paste into your status on your favorite social media sites:
Help the Children's Hospital with a click of your mouse: http://bit.ly/doO2tx
Well, earlier this month, the newsletter promoted a free audiobook by Dr. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, called, "Love is a Verb." It looks like it's only free for the month of October, though, so I figured I'd better hurry up and spread the word!
Here's the information from the newsletter:
Posted: 03 Oct 2010 05:59 AM PDT
Each month christianaudio gives away a premium audiobook download for free. How does it work? Well, they give away one audiobook download a month (that they have published or that a partner has allowed them to give away) absolutely free; available only during that month and only once, ever.christianaudio and Bethany House Publishers have partnered together for the month of October 2010 to bring you the audiobook download of Love is a Verb for FREE!
During the month of October, you can download a free audiobook of “Love is a Verb” by Gary Chapman. A coupon code is no longer required to receive this month’s free download! Just log in to your account & order the book online at ChristianAudio.com.
The offer is valid through October 31, 2010.
ABOUT GARY CHAPMAN
Dr. Gary Chapman has spent his life helping people communicate love more effectively and in turn build more satisfying and lasting relationships. His book “The Five Love Languages” is a regular on the “New York Times Best Sellers” list – even after being in print for fifteen years – and has made the term ‘love language’ a part of everyday speech. “Love Is a Verb” takes his teaching to the next level. Rather than a typical marriage self-help book filled with lengthy explanations of principles and techniques, it is a compilation of true stories displaying love in action. These stories – written by everyday people – go straight to the hearts of readers, who often say that illustrations are the most effective parts of a book. Gary Chapman adds a ‘Love Lesson’ to each story, showing readers how they can apply the same principles to their own relationships.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Today I'm going to talk about the love I feel for my friend, Craig Dunham. He's my friend with ALS. In looking at the eight kinds of love I described the other day, he doesn't really fit into one category. Before he got sick, the type of love I felt for him probably fell somewhere between Romantic and Platonic (many of my single male friends fall into this category... I call them "Flirt Buddies.") But in this past year, since I've been helping him, I've also developed the type of love that's similar for what you feel for your children... the protective love that comes from caring for someone. I also have such a deep admiration for Craig's faith and spunk, in spite of this awful disease, so I'd also throw in what might be considered a spiritual love as well... I think of him almost as a modern-day Jesus with a very big cross to bear.
Craig can't talk any more. The only movement he has is in a finger. If that finger is taped just right to a mouse it's possible for him to send email, but that's pretty much his only form of communication. It's not something that's easy, so it's not like we can really be pen-pals.
Even though he can't answer the phone or talk, he can hear us as we speak into the message machine, so I call every night. I usually review a chapter from a spiritual book that he loves: The Purpose Driven Life. I often tell him how I see him living out the lessons from the book -- not questioning God for the hardships, but worshiping him. What an incredible role model he is.
Well, I'm not one to really utter the 'I love you' words to single males unless I'm in a long-term relationship with them. And even then... it's iffy. I've had the bad experience of not hearing those words back, and when you don't hear a reciprocated "I love you, too" you might as well be hearing an "I don't love you."
So... I was a little hesitant about whether or not I should end my nightly calls with, 'I love you, Craig.' But, hey... I already knew Craig couldn't talk, so I figured there was no risk of rejection. He was going to get love from me whether he liked it or not. So every night, I've been leaving my messages, ending them with "Good night, Craig. I love you." There was something comforting to me about saying those words... not really knowing even if Craig could hear me... Having the safety of not having to worry about whether or not he'd say them back.
Then one night, right after I left my message, I got an email from Craig. It's an email I'll treasure and save forever.
It said, "I love you, too...."
Monday, October 25, 2010
According to an article on YourTango, falling in love takes a fifth of a second.
When you fall in love, twelve areas of the brain sync up to release "happy" chemicals like oxytocin, dopamine and adrenaline. Like a love potion concocted by the brain itself, these chemicals induce feelings of euphoria in the brain's cognitive centers that manage metaphors, language comprehension, visual processing and body image. The whole process occurs faster than you can even blink.
This article explored "love at first sight" vs. love that grows over time suggesting that the "realization point" -- the point we realized we were attracted -- feels like an epiphany. (I guess that's when all that "chemistry" happens.)
It's interesting that (if I'm understanding this right) the "love" chemicals are induced in the cognitive centers that "manage metaphors, language comprehension, visual processing and body image." There's a specific part of our brain that manages metaphors? And a part of our brain manages "body image"? Weird.. I wonder if these are the same areas of the brain that get affected when we get drunk. It could explain why we don't know what we're talking about (let alone use a proper metaphor), can't see straight, and why we think everyone is so much better-looking (body image impairment) when we're drunk or in love.
Anyway, back to chemicals. Here's another article about the chemistry of love that explains the roles of estrogen and testosterone (for the sex drive) and how dopamine (pleasure) and norepinephrine (racing heart) combine to create "elation,intense energy, sleeplessness, craving, loss of appetite and focused attention." Oxytocin apparently is released during the big 'O' (which may be a good mnemonic device if you're ever getting quizzed on this stuff) which helps create an emotional bond. Endorphins are another hormone released during sex,producing "a general sense of well-being, including feeling soothed, peaceful and secure."
And once again, the subject of dwindling romantic love rears it's head:
The feelings of passionate love, however, do lose their strength over time. Studies have shown that passionate love fades quickly and is nearly gone after two or three years. The chemicals responsible for "that lovin' feeling" (adrenaline, dopamine, norepinephrine, phenylethylamine, etc.) dwindle. Suddenly your lover has faults. Why has he or she changed, you may wonder. Actually, your partner probably hasn't changed at all; it's just that you're now able to see him or her rationally, rather than through the blinding hormones of infatuation and passionate love. At this stage, the relationship is either strong enough to endure, or the relationship ends.
The article also mentions the addictive quality.. a "love high".. and how some people go through relationship after relationship to get a love fix.
As I concluded from the discussion of limerence, this does not sound healthy... it sounds a lot like drugs... Feels great, but it's totally irrational, addictive, and doesn't last.
Now that I realize love is like drugs (note the metaphor) I'm feeling much better about the fact that it is currently missing from my life. Yippee!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Those of us who are very analytical and have been exposed to corporate slideshows can appreciate this! View in full-screen mode and read the fine print. Very funny!
I found this on a very popular blog about love: Hooking Up Smart.
Friday, October 22, 2010
The article says that Dorothy Tennov, in her book "Love and Limerence," describes these traits of limerence:
1) Intrusive thoughts about the object of passionate desire (the “limerent object” or LO)
2) Acute longing for reciprocation
3) Mood becomes dependent on the LO’s actions
4) Inability to react limerently towards more than one person at the same time (except when limerence is at low ebb)
5) Unsettling shyness and fear of rejection when in the presence of the LO
6) Intensification through adversity (up to a certain point)
7) Acute sensitivity to any act or condition that could be interpreted as favorable
8) An aching of the “heart” (a palpable heavy sensation in the front of the chest)
9) Buoyancy (a feeling of “walking on air”)
10) An intensity of feeling that leaves other concerns in the background
11) A remarkable ability to emphasize the positive traits of the LO, while rendering the LO’s negative traits as “endearing” to the point where it is perceived to be another positive trait.
That's IT! I know exactly that feeling! Another symptom of limerence is that it only exists if there is hope and uncertainty of a reciprocated relationship. I thought this was really interesting... especially the uncertainty part. This could explain why I seem to be more attracted (in this sort of desperate, limerent way) to someone when they are showing subtle signs of interest, yet still a little "hard to get."
Of course, if they reciprocate my limerence, all is euphoric and then I guess, we graduate into a more mature romantic love. (At least that's the idea...) But, what usually happens when I'm in "limerence" is that the LO (Limerence Object) may be attracted to me or even experience "lust" (another component of romantic love), but usually doesn't have the same degree of limerency (I'm making that word up) towards me. I remain hopeful and uncertain and "limerent" until I get it into my head that he's just not that into me. We will not go into the deep despair and late nights with Laptop Guy that follow...
I used to feel that if I didn't feel those "limerent" feelings, I wasn't really in love. But after reading more about it, I'm thinking it's really kind of unhealthy! I mean, it's exciting and wonderful when you feel like it's reciprocated, but hey... no one is really THAT good! And we're really just fooling ourselves and setting ourselves up for disappointment when we realize our LO is not who we're fantasizing they are. I know the times a guy has been in "limerence" with me, it's flattering, but I feel uncomfortable because I don't share the same intense feelings, and I'll typically avoid a romantic relationship. Maybe that's why it's better to keep our "limerence" to ourselves. Better to try and be "cool" rather than staring up at our LO with starry-eyed adoration.
Wanna read more about limerence? I found Tennov's limerence website with a free monthly newsletter.
What have been your experiences with limerence? Do you think it's a necessary part of romantic love?
Thursday, October 21, 2010
I think romantic love is the most confusing of all of them... It's the type of love most of us yearn for, but can't seem to control. In fact, when we're in love, we feel completely out of control... obsessive, distracted, crazy! And if the other person feels the same way about us, it's absolutely wonderful! I don't know if this is "real" love. I've always thought of this more as "infatuation." Nevertheless, it's magical.
I read an article that reiterated what I've heard before. The shelf life for "romantic love" is about two years.
When boiled down romantic love is about as realistic as trying to build a meaningful relationship with your television set. As such it is only sustainable for about two years and then the inevitable happens; the screen tarnishes, the mental projector breaks down and you start seeing each other for who you really are. This is when lovers accuse each other of changing or not being the person they fell in love with and/or married.
(Note: Laptop Guy and I have been in a relationship for more than two years, and I have noticed that he's been shutting down prematurely lately. I think it may be the beginning of the end for us.)
The article says that part of the problem is that we have these unrealistic expectations about our mate, and when we see them for who they really are, we feel like we're no longer in love.
The truth is good relationships are mundane and when the myths fail, the relationship has a better chance of working; just look at the success of arranged marriages. The difference between these and prince and princess unions is that arranged affairs don’t start out with the expectation that you will be on a pedestal and worshipped forever.
I actually always used this argument to explain the success of my own marriage (that is until I got divorced...) I got married because I was pregnant. I didn't feel "in love." But I grew to love my husband because of who he was...not because I was looking at him through rose-colored glasses. I used to say that unlike other couples who marry when they're starry-eyed, I loved my husband much more after we were married. It seemed to be more of a mature love, rather than that obsessive, romantic love. It was kind of a bummer that I went into my marriage being petrified, rather than excited, but I saw the man I married for who he was...both his faults and his strengths... and I saw that he loved me and was doing his best to be a good husband and a good father. And I grew to love him very deeply.
On the other hand, he was "in romantic love" with me when we got married, so he was in for a rude awakening when I fell off the pedastal. (This may have come when he realized I watched the soap opera, All My Children.)
We had a good marriage for 19 years (despite my All My Children addiction) until he fell "in love" with someone else and realized he was no longer happy with the status quo of a rather boring marriage. (I was no longer watching All My Children, but he was not happy with my interest in the sitcom, Friends, either.)
I can't really blame him. Those shows are pretty stupid. (Perhaps if I were watching something called, My Dear Husband, he might not have minded so much...)
And I get it that being in love feels great. I might have done the same thing. It really does feel a lot better to be "in love" than to be in a marriage where romantic love seems non-existent. The problem is, according to the literature on this stuff, it never lasts, and unfortunately, at this age, I often have a hard time even getting it to start!
So what do you do if you want to fall in love? Well, I am doing research on this. Tune in tomorrow when we dissect romantic love a little further...
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Romantic Love - This is the type many of us think of first when we talk about love. It's the type that goes with lust and desire and sex. It's the type where you want to be together all the time. This type of love feels really, really good. It's usually what we mean when we say we're "in love."
Platonic Love - This is the type of love we have for our friends. This is pretty easy to give and find... you just have to give and receive support, find the good in people, listen, share, be vulnerable. This can get tricky because it might lead to confusion as to whether or not you're interested in romantic love. It's not too uncommon to move from Romantic Love to Platonic Love. That's when you hear (or say) the old "I love you, but I'm not 'in love' with you line." But it can go the other way, too. Sometimes platonic love can develop into romantic love.
Familial Love - This is the type of love you have for your siblings, parents, and maybe extended family... grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews. You grew up with them and accept them regardless of their faults or quirks. You have absolutely NO romantic interest even if they're extremely attractive. (Tempted to make incest joke here, but I'll resist.) You feel like you can be truly yourself around them, though you can get on each others' nerves. You can often take this kind of love for granted because you trust it will never go away.
Love of Children - This is a love that's different and deeper than familial love. This is a protective love. Perhaps because it starts when a baby is completely dependent on us for care, this kind of love is usually given freely and unconditionally.
Love of God - This is a spiritual kind of love. It's about belief and faith and feeling that there is a higher power that will guide us. It's the kind of love we feel when we see beauty and goodness in the world.
Love of Pets - Sometimes this can almost be as strong as love of children, especially for people who don't have children. Again, it probably comes from caring for a living thing who is completely dependent on us and who loves us in return.
Love of Other Stuff - Though this may sound like a "materialistic" kind of love, I'm talking about when people say things like, "I love ice cream" or "I love summer" or "I love my house" or "I love my job." I think it's a positive thing to enjoy life and a good thing to love what we have. And when we lose something we loved... like a house or a job or even a treasured possession, we grieve.
Love of Self - This, of course, is very important. It may be hard to have any of the other kinds of love without tackling this one. This is the one in which we accept and embrace everything that's unique about us. We don't try to defend ourselves or pretend to be someone we're not. We know we're not perfect and that we have our faults, but we also celebrate our talents and want to share our gifts with others.
OK, that's all I can think of. Just thought I'd set that reference point so that in the future when I talk about "love" I can clarify the type I'm talking about.
Which of these types of loves do you have in your life right now? Is there a type you want but don't have? What can you do about that?
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
My daughter and I have had many ups and downs since that day. We've had some very painful "discussions," especially during her teen years. Once, during one of those very heated "discussions," she told me she didn't love me. I told her that I was sad she felt that way, but that I knew she really did love me. I told her that some day she might feel bad that she'd said that to me, but that she shouldn't worry, because I know that even when she's mad at me, she loves me. (I'd remembered this speech from a scene in "Terms of Endearment"--a very moving conversation between dying Deborah Winger and her troubled son.)
I told my daughter that I'd loved her from the moment I knew I was pregnant and that I would always love her, no matter what she did, what she said, or even if she really didn't love me... even if she hated me. I still would love her with all my heart. She asked me with a stubborn defiance, "Why? Why do you love me, Mom?"
I thought of all the classic reasons. My daughter is model-quality beautiful, brilliant, and talented in every way. She is the only person I know who excels (and I mean top 1%) in everything she tries. Seriously! There is nothing she can't do, and I'm not just saying that because I'm her mother.
But that's not why I love her. Those may be reasons that the rest of the world loves her, but I know I'd love her just as much if none of those things were true. But why? Why do we love our children with such depth before they're even born? And then when they're born, that love just grows until our heart feels ready to burst, like the scene from "When the Grinch Stole Christmas". (Obviously, my post today is influenced by pop movies.)
I suppose part of that loves come from knowing that we are responsible for these innocent, beautiful babies. We witness this miracle...this tiny human being that grew within us and managed to find her way out into the world. And even though we've heard of all the biological explanations, we just know there is no way this could be possible unless there is a God.
And we look at this treasure God has bestowed us with and vow that we will be the perfect parent. We are determined to never let anyone harm this innocent baby. We read every parenting book and worry about every hiccup. We take care of this little miracle and marvel at his every move.
And as our little baby grows, we see that we've become her hero. We know how to get him to break into giggles. We know how to kiss away her tears. We feel his little head heavy on our shoulder as he snuggles close and drifts off to sleep. And we think, "I'm a good parent. I love this baby more than anything."
And then our babies grow up.
We start to see their unique characteristics. We see them struggle, make mistakes, and get hurt and, as much as we try, we realize we can't always kiss away their tears. We question whether we are the perfect parents we vowed we would be. We go from being their heroes to their embarrassing parents. We see them disagree with us as they work to establish their own ideas. We see them become independent as they grow into adulthood. We see them practicing their own traditions, making their own paths out in the world, finding love, living life, most of the time, without us. And we think, "My baby has grown up. I love her more than anything."
And then, one day, she has a baby of her own.
And finally, she understands the answer to her question.
Monday, October 18, 2010
First of all, the weather was absolutely perfect! It was the kind of fall day I could just drink in. In the 60's... not too hot, not too cold, filled with brisk air and morning sunshine. Taking in deep breaths as we ran through the streets and parks of downtown Denver, my body was filled with energy, I marveled at how great I could feel... especially since most of my training runs had been downright depressing.
There had been many times during the training season when I'd thought about quitting. In fact, the week my Dad died, I actually had decided to quit. My heart just was not in it. I kept thinking, "Why am I doing this? Who cares?" I just wanted to hide somewhere and feel sorry for myself.
I told my running partner, Bonnie, that I was going to give up on the marathon, but that I'd try to keep her company for part of the long runs when she was in town. The next time we ran together felt really good. It turns out running was much more therapeutic than laying in bed crying. Go figure! So I decided to stick with it, after all.
But what I'm most grateful for are my family and friends. I think I'll have to write a separate post about that... Right now, I just can't do justice to how deeply moved I am by the wonderful emails, text messages and phone calls I got wishing me luck and sending prayers for the people in my life who need support.
And then there were the people who actually ran with me.
If it weren't for Bonnie, I never would have done this. She is the perfect running partner (and friend/therapist!) We'd been talking about running a marathon together for over 5 years and we finally did it! There were others who trained with me when Bonnie was out of town - John, Michael A., Julie, Doug, and Rene. And then there were even people that came to the race! Michael B. surprised me by coming with his two younger boys. They roller-bladed at my side through miles 18-20 and were there cheering me on at the end. There was Doug who found me at mile 25 and ran that VERY difficult last mile with me. If it hadn't been for him, I would have walked it.
All these people kept me going. The virtual running buddies. The real running buddies. My Dad, Craig, my family. They mean SO much to me.
It occurred to me (getting all philosophical here) that life can be like a marathon. There are the ups and downs...times that are exciting and times that are painful. But what keeps us going are those people who love and support us. Those beautiful people who don't mind whether we're fast or slow or sweaty...they just are willing to be there for us and tell us to 'keep going.'
I just checked my time and it was 4:46:28. The time was better than the 4:56 I did on my first marathon, but not as fast as the 4:29 time I did on my second. But I would have to say that, regardless of speed, I had one of the best times of my life.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
I sent an email to friends yesterday asking for calls and pointing them to yesterday's blog post about Virtual Running Buddies, but it confused some people. Five years ago I was very organized giving everyone appointed times to call me... every 10 minutes throughout the race. This year, I hope and plan to be running with Bonnie, so I don't want to rudely be talking on the phone the whole race. Yet if we get separated, I definitely would love to have the calls, and I'm much more likely to get them if they're scheduled.
Yesterday, I figured out how I could convert my voicemails into .mp3 files. When I think back about the race 5 years ago, I remember how moved I was by the voices of encouragement. What I wouldn't give to have a voice recording from my Dad saying, "I love you, Honey. I'm proud of you." Now I almost think I'd prefer people to leave a voicemail than to try to talk to them during the race.
I've decided to go with this plan: Have running buddies at scheduled times, but tell them to prepare for their calls to go to voicemail and warn them that I hope to record them.
So, my updated tips for Virtual Running Buddy 2 are:
* Call at your appointed time, but be aware that the earlier in the race it is, the more likely your call will go to voicemail.
* If you don't want an appointed time, call any time during the race, but, again, realize your call will most likely go to voicemail.
* If the call goes to voicemail:
- A short message is fine.
- Be aware that I will probably convert to an .mp3 file so I can listen to it any time I need motivation.
- Cheers, 'atta-girls, and 'I love you's' are encouraged! (For those friends that are uncomfortable with the L-word, I promise to realize you are using this in a platonic, friendly-love type of way. Of course, please feel free to tell me I'm sexy and all that non-platonic stuff, too!)
Friday, October 15, 2010
On Sunday, I'll run my third and final marathon: The Denver Rock'n'Roll. This year the plan is to run with my neighbor, Bonnie, but we got separated in the first 5 minutes of the half-marathon we did in August, so I need a backup plan. (If I have to run 26.2 miles by myself, I will go crazy.)
Five years ago, when I ran the DisneyWorld marathon, I implemented a very successful Virtual Running Buddy program. I got lots of friends and family to call and cheer me on throughout the race. I even wrote an article about it for Colorado Runner!
After the race, I wrote a blog post, Single, But Not Alone. I was filled with happiness at getting so many calls and having had the ability to share the excitement of the marathon with friends. So, I decided to repeat the program. If I don't get separated from Bonnie, I'll let the calls go to voicemail, but whether it's in the moment or on a voicemail, it will be wonderful to hear the voices of my friends as they cheer me on.
I dug out my email from 5 years ago and was reminded of the fun I had in planning this. Here were my suggestions on how to be a good Virtual Running Buddy:
#1 Cheer the runner on! Example: You can do it! You're almost there!
#2 Ask the runner how far she is / what she's experiencing, etc. If she says "pain" gently remind her that this was her choice to run, and then go to a different Talking Point.
#3 Tell the runner what you are doing. Be very descriptive. Answer any questions she has for you giving, long drawn-out answers to make the time go by.
#4 Entertain the runner with jokes, songs, silly stories, anecdotes, poems, riddles, games etc.
#5 Boost the runner's ego by telling her lots of wonderful things that she likes to hear.
#6 Tell the runner all about your favorite hobby or interest.
#7 Get the runner's adrenaline going by starting a debate about a controversial hot button.
#8 Come up with something creative to say during your allotted time slot.
#9 Tell the runner one of your most private secrets.
#10 Ask the runner for advice on a problem you're experiencing, and realize she will be thinking about it and giving you thoughtful advice the next time she talks to you.
#11 Play some kind of little game like 20 questions with the runner.
#12 Read or say something "juicy."
or.....anything you want to talk about for 5 minutes!
* Call at your appointed time and be aware of when the next caller is scheduled.
* Be energetic and entertaining.
* Expect the runner to be too talkative, especially in the second half of the race.
* Hang up on the runner without saying goodbye.
* Go to sleep, watch TV, or be otherwise distracted.
* Burp, fart, or go to the bathroom while talking to the runner.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Well, yesterday I read an article in Psychology Today that I not only disagree with, but found insulting to both men and women!
In "Too Tired for Sex?", John Buri starts out with:
Sometimes you might hear a woman say something like this: “My husband just isn’t interested in.”
Does that strike anyone (besides me) as odd?
If we are talking about a young (under 50), healthy male --- he is interested in sex. Period.
My first point of contention is that 50 is the cutoff for not being "young." I doubt that one turns 50 and then, boom, it's "OK" to not be interested in sex. (Besides the fact that I'm extra-sensitive to 50 being noted as the boundary between young and old) I am just insulted that he would imply that every healthy man under the age of 50 is interested in sex all the time. Men do get tired too!
Buri goes on to insult the women in these men's lives by stating later in the article:
Let’s face it. A typical young, healthy male can be a nano-second from, and if you lean over in bed and gentle caress him, he will be awake, alert, and ready to go long before you have a chance to move back over to your side of the bed.
Young, healthy men are interested in sex.
[They may not be interested in sex WITH YOU, but they are interested in sex.]
He goes on to say that most men that are in DINS (Dual Income No Sex) relationships, are "getting it elsewhere." This "elsewhere" apparently is from "pornographic women" who are available and undemanding.
Give me a break! Way to make a woman paranoid! Now I'm not a man, but I was married for 19 years, and I know, just like me, there were times my husband didn't want to have sex when it had nothing to do with me. (There were also plenty of times he did want to have sex when it had nothing to do with me.) I also have dated plenty of men of all ages with varying levels of libido. I absolutely do not buy into this guy's theory and think believing such a thing would be detrimental to a marriage.
Imagine if men were told that about women... Hey guys, every time your wife told you she was tired, she wasn't really tired... she just didn't want to have sex WITH YOU! She'd rather get her jollies from porn. And ladies... there's a night when you don't want to have sex? Well, you aren't healthy! That just isn't normal! (unless you're over 50).
I guess I wasn't the only person who was insulted by this portrayal. The comments on that piece included the a rebuttal from DivorceBuster's Michele Weiner-Davis.
As someone who is in the front lines with couples, I have grown increasingly aware that women have no corner on the low libido market. In fact, based on my clinical observations and casual conversations with colleagues, I’d say that low desire in men is America’s best kept secret. After all, in a culture where virility is inextricably connected with masculinity, why would any man want to broadcast his drop in desire?
Weiner-Davis' rebuttal article (which I found much more believable, not to mention articulate) also referenced findings from a Redbook survey:
Another myth-buster revealed by the survey was what women said were the causes for their husbands’ lack of desire. Contrary to popular belief that the only reason a man would turn down sex is because “his machinery isn’t working properly,” or their wives are extremely unattractive, this just isn’t so. Men, it seems, turn off to sex for many of the same reasons that their wives do- emotional disconnection, underlying resentment or unresolved problems, depression, stress and so on. In fact, one of the most common reasons men reject their wives’ advances is that they feel their wives are critical or bossy. Nagging simply isn’t an aphrodisiac.
It is interesting that I am completely insulted by the article written by the male and in agreement with the one written by the female. Is it because I'm a female?
Side note: As I was searching for a photo for this post, I found yet another relevant article posted today: Why men don't want sex anymore. Check it out.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
1) Explore a passion - Here's a time to just lose yourself into something you love to do, but never have time for. Check meetup.com or use the web to find other people that have the same passion.
2) Give yourself a makeover - New clothes, new hairstyle, new makeup. It doesn't feel quite so risky to experiment with stuff like a new hairstyle when you're completely single. If it doesn't come out perfect, who cares? You have time to get used to it or change it again.
3) Focus on friends and family - One thing that's great about being in a relationship is that it's fun to lavish your love focus with little surprise gifts, text messages, or other little things to let him know you're thinking of him. Why not spend that same energy on the other people you love in your life? Surprise your friends and family with some extra attention.
4) Volunteer - There are so many opportunities to help others. Volunteering usually puts things into perspective. You realize that being single is really a trivial problem compared to all the other problems in the world. And if your insecurity is age, volunteer at a nursing home. You will feel very young! (And there are plenty of old people that will think you're the hottest thing ever!)
5) Learn Something New - Dig out that list of stuff that you always wanted to learn and get started! Take a class, read books, find mentors, experts, or other people who want to learn too. Like #1 (Exploring a passion), meetup and the Web are good areas to find people and resources to help you.
6) Get Attention From Single Friends - I have some friends who "fill in" with things like occasional text messages, coffee breaks, or platonic dates. During a time when I'm feeling especially lonely, it's nice to have a "safe" flirt buddy to exchange "sweet dreams" text messages with.
So there you have it. Goodbye depression! If you're focusing on loving others (and, of course, yourself!), you may not be in a relationship, but you will have plenty of love in your life.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Since then I've done three other TnT events, raising thousands more. I'm so overwhelmed by the generosity and spirit of so many people that I can't even begin to express it.
For years I've been telling people my final marathon and fund-raising event would be in 2010. I have been training for a marathon, but I have not been doing the fund-raising. I know that most people have been hit by this poor economy and I just didn't want to put all those friends who have been so generous in the past on the spot to give once again. But I know there are so many people who are in need of support.
So, instead of asking for money, this year I'm going to ask for prayers.
Now, I know not everyone prays, so... I'll leave links to charities, just in case you'd rather go that route. But whether you donate, pray, or support the causes and people in your life in different ways, just know that you make a difference.
Please pray for:
* Craig Dunham, his family, and all those who are suffering from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). Craig is the bravest man I know. His smile and strength will keep me going as I run on Sunday.
* My Dad, Terry Francino, who lost his fight with cancer on August 26. Pray that his spirit will be running with me (Please, a lot faster than he could go in life!) And pray for his wife of 53 years, Suzanne. I am so blessed to have her as my mother.
* George Dunham (Craig's father) and Butch Warren (the mother of a man who's donated over $1500 for my causes) who recently have lost their battles with Alzheimer's. Pray for all families that are either suffering from or caring for people who are battling this illness.
* The continued health of my beautiful friend, Rebecca Ritter, who is proof that you can survive breast cancer, still compete in triathlons and century bike rides, and look sexier than a 25-year-old model.
* The incredibly generous people who have supported all these causes. Keep them healthy and strong.
As I run those 26.2 miles at the Denver Rock'n'Roll, I will be remembering how lucky I am to have health and that I live in a world where people support, love, and pray for one another. (I'm hoping that will take my mind off of my aching legs.)
Monday, October 11, 2010
A few years ago I learned a technique that really has helped me when I get that rejected feeling... You have to start by having confidence, which can be especially difficult if you feel like you've been "rejected" a lot. It's like a downward spiral that you have to break your way out of. But let's say you've done all your self-help homework and you feel good about who you are, flaws and all. Now, instead of feeling "rejected," you kind of have to feel a little sorry for the person who is going to miss out on YOU.
So... let's take the example of having a first date. It seems like everything went great! You like him and he seems to like you! But then... all goes quiet. Why? The old insecure self would go through all these scenarios in your head, most of them about you... you said the wrong thing. He thought you were too old or fat or ugly or short. Instead, think about these 10 very possible reasons why you haven't heard from him:
1) His email to you is going to your spam file. Believe it or not, this has happened to me on at least 3 occasions. Or the opposite has happened. I've contacted him and gotten upset that he hasn't responded and it's because my email landed in his spam box.
2) She lost your contact information or is having trouble deciphering it. Though unlikely, this does happen, especially if you write your number on a napkin in a tipsy state.
3) He died. OK, this one is highly unlikely, but we cannot omit the possibility. It did happen to Miranda in a Sex and the City episode. It was the only explanation I could come up when I didn't get a response from Mr. February in The Laptop Dancer Diaries.
4) She's sick. A little more probable than reason #3. There are other things (family emergencies, unexpected travel) that fall into this category of "extenuating circumstances."
5) He's not over his last girlfriend. He had a great time, but realized he just wasn't ready to move on. Or maybe she called and they got back together. Bitch!
6) She's very attracted to you, but you are so much like her ex that she knows she would repeat the same mistakes she made with him and she wants to break the pattern.
7) He has little kids and is busy with work and parenting. Your lifestyle is totally different. He realizes he wouldn't be able to give you the attention you deserve.
8) When she meets you, she realizes that she knows your ex. She doesn't want to cause drama.
9) He knows you blog and write about dating and he doesn't want to be the subject of your next blog post.
10) She is totally intimidated by your good looks and intelligence.
I could go on and on here. But let's say it's what you fear most. He/she didn't like you because of your [name your biggest insecurity.] The thing is, if you still have that [big insecurity], the problem may be that you are giving off vibes that you are insecure rather than confident! And that may be the reason he doesn't want to see you again. That's why it's so important that you feel good about yourself. So figure out those [big insecurities] and get over them! You are beautiful!
The point is, don't automatically assume the worst when you don't hear from him. Just assume he died.
Friday, October 08, 2010
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
As you may be able to surmise from the title, the article claims that...
drum roll please...
Women feel more pain than men.
Though I have done no research whatsoever on this matter (other than reading this article) I would have to say I disagree. This should come to no surprise to people who know me since I will almost always disagree with people who make blanket statements and generalizations. Now maybe if the title would have been: In General, Women Feel More Pain Than Men, I might have gotten on board with it, but... even then, I probably would have found a way to argue. (In general, I am more argumentative than men.. and most women..)
My belief is that pain is not a gender-based thing... It's felt by people that are hurt or injured or sick, which can happen to both men and women. The article says:
A variety of chronic and painful conditions, for example, are far more common in women, including migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and fibromyalgia -- which affects at least four times more women than men. Women are less tolerant of pain. Their pain lasts longer. And they are more likely to become disabled by it.
I'm sure there are plenty of painful diseases that are more common for men. And I'd be willing to bet, a whole lot more men have been injured or disabled because of violence (ie. war, sword fights, etc.) than women.
Now, if you take away all the sickness and injury and you just take two healthy people well then, yeah, women get the short end of the stick because of our reproductive systems! Not only do we have to go through hormonal hell, we have a bunch of messy and, yes, painful stuff, that we don't normally talk about (at least not to men!) because it's just.... embarrassing! And then there's childbirth! Nine months of pregnancy and then squeezing a baby out your vaginal canal... yeah... that's painful.
The study goes on to say that not only do women feel more pain, but that they don't handle it too well. They get depressed and "have a higher tendency to catastrophize." I found this paragraph interesting:
In experiments that challenged people to hold their hands in ice-cold water, one of Thorn's students found that people who tolerated the pain longer were less likely to have catastrophic thoughts and less likely to have emotionally vulnerable personalities. Emotional vulnerability is a traditionally feminine trait, Thorn said, and even women who play traditionally masculine sex roles have higher levels of pain tolerance and feel pain less intensely.
I was especially interested in this because I had planned to take an ice bath after the marathon I'm running in a couple of weeks (rumor has it, if you do this, you won't suffer from stiffness). However, now that I know that ice water was used as an example of seeing how well people tolerate pain, I'm thinking maybe I don't need to do that ice bath after all...
Here's my unscientific conclusion to all this: It's not that women feel more pain than men. They're just bigger whiners! I say this in all deference to my gender, but I do believe that in general, women dramatize and often make a bigger deal out of things than men do. (As an example, I had a bunch of women tell me how terrible getting a mammogram was, and when I got one, I thought... this is it?)
I think it's true with emotional pain as well. Based on my observations, women, in general, dramatize, and typically have a lot harder time moving past emotional pain or "letting things go." This isn't to say that I think women have more emotional pain than men. I just think, in general, men are less likely to spend as much energy and time talking about their pain, either physical or emotional.
So, I guess you could say, in general, I sort of do agree with the article. I do think women have more physical pain (if you disregard diseases or injuries) and I don't think we handle pain as well as men.
But, according to this article, it's because of these findings that "doctors might some day personalize the management of pain, based on the genders of their patients."
Let's hope not! We have enough issues with gender discrimination (for both men and women) as it is, we don't need to start getting it in health care! The last thing I want is some doctor assuming I'm going to get depressed and offer up therapy if I get some painful disease. Just give me the pain-killers and let me be on my way!
In closing, I would like to offer up this joke in which a husband offers to take the pain of childbirth from his wife:
Transfer the Pain
A married couple went to the hospital to have their first baby. While there, a new doctor told them he’d invented a machine which could transfer the mother’s labor pains to the father. The husband thought this was a terrific idea. (Talk about dumb!)
The doctor set the machine at ten percent, explaining that even ten percent was too much for most men. But the husband felt just fine. So, the doctor turned it up to twenty per cent. Still nothing. Amazed and with some trepidation, the doctor turned the machine up a notch, to fifty percent. But the husband continued to feel just fine. Wanting to help his wife, however, who was writhing in pain, he told the doctor to transfer all the pain to him.
In the end, the wife delivered a healthy baby, and the husband suffered no pain at all.
When they arrived home the next day, they found the mailman dead on the front porch.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Since my post about Men and Communication seemed to spark a little interest, I thought I'd carry on with that theme for a bit and let you all know of something called "The Red Pill Weekend," put on by Ray Brejcha.
This has been described to me as a "men's authenticity weekend." I've seen a recommendation from a friend and heard from others that it can be "life-changing." Note that, as of yesterday, there were only 3 spots left in Boulder.
When you check out his Website, Brejcha offers a free audio recording on "A Man's Way: 11 Commitments to Become a Stronger, More Confident and Masculine Man" so if you can't attend the weekend, that might be something worth checking out.
Here's the text of the flyer from Ray Brejcha:
Most men, no matter how successful in life, are still baffled, at least to some extent, by the mystery of women. And quite often, it is a struggle to find and create the kind of connection that we are all wanting, whether your single, married or dating someone.
The fact of the matter is that we weren't ever taught how to do this consciously, let alone with mastery and strength. We are usually so busy pursuing career, money, health and "success" in the world that there's often little time to fulfill our dreams in this area of life. And even if we have the time, money, and health to make it happen, we often don't know how. Where can we go for some guidance and support that is real, honest, authentic, and that actually produces results?
The Red Pill Weekend http://www.redpillweekend.com
The Red Pill Weekend Is For You….
- If you’re divorced or widowed, and have found yourself back “on the market”, with rusty or nonexistent dating and relationship skills
- If you want to be able to attract women you desire, in a deeper and more authentic way. Whether you’re new to the dating scene, or have been doing this for years.
- If you feel trapped in unhappy relationships or relationships where the attraction is fading. Let’s face it – if you’re in a relationship and your partner seems to be losing attraction for you, it’s time to take action. Everyone’s perception of you changes when you have choices, including the way you feel about yourself.
- If you feel “off-track” and deeply desire a sense of purpose and direction in your life. You really want to be doing work that is more rewarding and meaningful and aligned with your values.
- If you’re tired of holding back…. Whether it be in your current relationship where you hold back expressing a desire, or with that beautiful woman you want to approach and don’t, you’ll learn how to ask for what you want and get it—effortlessly. Or, if you hold back at work and in expressing your vision for the work you want to do in the world, you’ll learn how to speak and live your truth.
- If you are a man who has realized that it is not just about having an attractive woman or a lot of money…it is about living a life of freedom that is a life of your choosing, but you’re not sure how to get that, this weekend is for you.
You will leave this weekend with a greater understanding of yourself and your unique gifts. You’ll learn how to show up more fully in all your relationships and how to benefit from the support of other men (men’s culture) in every aspect of your life. In addition, you’ll get specific feedback on ways you both resist and engage your own growth and what to do to fully embody and live your gifts. You will re-gain access to your own inner strength, cultivate deeper connections with others and gain clarity though honest and specific feedback and accountability to the group.
Come join myself and a staff of over 20 men and women this October 16th and 17th, 2010 in Boulder, Co. for the adventure of your life!
Still not sure if this program is for you? Call me and we can discuss about your situation and whether or not the program would benefit you. Payment plans are available!
To Your Freedom,
Monday, October 04, 2010
Now, though it may be a generalization, I'd say it's relatively common for men to be less interested in discussing relationships and feelings. There certainly are exceptions. I've had a few short relationships with guys who were very communicative about their feelings. Overly so. For example, there was one guy who I really liked until we got into the 'making out' stage of the relationship. His kisses were very "wet." (I'm not really sure how to describe this, but I had a strong urge to wash my face directly after the kissing.) He also kept his eyes open during kissing. Presumably my body language gave away my less-than-ideal reaction, and he wanted to talk about it. I absolutely did NOT want to talk about it. He called me from his car on his way home from a date, wanting to talk about our relationship. I thought to myself, "So this is what it feels like to be on the other side... I will never again pressure a guy to talk about a relationship..."
Dating coach Nicole Johnson recently wrote an article called: "Testosterone: Why Men Don't Understand What Woman Want," in which she talks about some of the basic differences between the way men and women communicate.
Men can make modifications, but will never react or communicate on your level. They do not possess our emotional or verbal prowess. (Even men with PhDs and MDs are inept.) The majority of male energy is focused on burgers and blow jobs.
They are not thinking about honing their emotional or communicative capabilities. Women need to accept this reality, and take responsibility for putting UNNECESSARY pressure on men.
Again, I think this is a generalization, and I've met plenty of men who communicate very well, just differently. The men I've loved, including my ex-husband and father, have had two things in common: 1) they were very intelligent and liked to talk about intellectual subjects 2) they were uncomfortable speaking about emotions... especially negative emotions. They typically would rather avoid having a conversation than confront a problem.
But as I examine my own communication styles, I realize I am not really that different. I love talking about subjects that are "comfortable" and I enjoy talking about relationships, but I avoid conversations which I'm afraid might hurt someone. When I think back about the relationships I've had where I wasn't into it as much as the guy was, I was the one who was not very communicative. I guess one difference, however, is that in those situations, I would usually let the guy know, in hopefully a diplomatic way, that it just wasn't working out for me... so at least I would have that conversation.
In any case, I agree with Nicole in that we cannot expect men to communicate like women... and actually, when they do, I find it a little annoying. I also think it's not fair for me to expect a man to explain why he's not into me unless he wants to be in the relationship. I'm not sure I even want to hear the reasons.
But if we've been in a marriage or long-term relationship, it would be good to have some explanation when one person wants out. I went through months of agony trying to figure out why my husband stopped loving me when he wanted a divorce. It turns out he was in love with someone else, but I didn't find that out for several months. Now I'm sure there were plenty of problems or things about me that irritated him and maybe even drove him to look for someone different. I didn't really need to hear every detail about what he didn't love about me or what he did love about the new woman. But it would have been nice for him to at least clue me in a little about what was going on with him instead of such an abrupt end to our marriage with no explanation or communication.
This isn't necessarily gender specific. A male friend of mine told me recently that he'd been dating a woman who just "disappeared" with no explanation. He called and emailed her several times, but she hasn't responded. It's this kind of disappearing act that can be so hurtful.
So, in summary, here's what I've concluded:
- People usually like to talk about stuff they know about.
- People don't usually like to talk about stuff that might hurt or anger someone else.
- If you're breaking up with someone, give them some explanation, but there's no need to go into details about all their character flaws
- I'm not attracted to sloppy kissers
Saturday, October 02, 2010
So here goes... This is what's in it for you:
Even though the Jazzed site is new, it seems to be growing like gangbusters, thanks to this promotion. The interface is very easy to use and has a great look and feel to it.
Online dating is a great way to meet people. Even though I can be a little cynical about it, I have to say, I have met a lot of wonderful people thanks to online dating. There are tons of articles and books out there to help the new online dater. In 8 Tips for Great Dating for Single Men and Women, author Dr. Diana Kirschner says you have to start by making finding love a priority. Looks like she wrote a book, Love in 90 Days: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Own True Love. I will have to check this out! There are checklists and homework! (I love that kind of thing! Just give me a plan...)
In How to Find Love Relationships Online – Internet Dating, you'll find 9 more tips, specifically for online daters.
There is so much available for singles and online daters, I think if I were married I'd be feeling a little left out!
Now about that iPad. It's true that my main motivation for spreading the word about Jazzed is that for everyone that signs up with my invite, I get an entry into a weekly drawing for an iPad. But that will be true for you, too! And, I happen to disagree with my friend who said people wouldn't sign up because I was doing this so I could win an iPad. In fact, I know a couple of people who probably only did it for that reason. They wanted to help me out. As Gretchen Rubin, author of the Happiness Project writes in To Make a Friend, Ask Someone For a Favor
Studies show that for happiness, providing support is just as important as getting support. By offering people a way to provide support, you generate good feelings in them.So, to summarize, by signing up for Jazzed you will:
- Help populate a cool, new online dating site, free of charge for 90 days
- Will have a chance to win an iPad
- Will be doing me a favor by helping improve my chances of winning an iPad
- May find the love of your life!
Friday, October 01, 2010
Another benefit is that they're having a drawing for an iPad every week and you get an entry for every person that signs up with your invite, so I am on a MISSION to find every single person (both in the unmarried sense and in the every single person sense), get them to sign up and I'm going to win that iPad!
What's the drawback? Well, as of today, there are hardly any people out there. In fact, there wasn't a single guy in Colorado in my search criteria. (And for all of you who are going to say I'm picky, my only criteria was that he was a man.) I think there were only 1000 guys total on the whole site at this point. Personally, I consider that a benefit because a) I'm not really interested in online dating right now and b) it gives me better odds for winning the iPad. However, if you want a big selection, you'd be better off going with match.com or plentyoffish.com (also free.) However, remember the iPad!! Once you sign up, you can invite a bunch of your friends and get in the drawing, too! (But wait until after I win this week, so you won't have to compete against me.)
Here are some other FAQs:
Q. Weren't you trying to win an iPad for a girl with Cerebral Palsy?
A. No, that was my friend, Lis, who actually DID win that iPad for her student!! Yay!! I simply want to selfishly win this iPad for me.
Q. I'm already in a relationship, so I don't think I should sign up.
A. Do it together with your significant other. You can pretend you're meeting each other online and do all kinds of kinky role play stuff. Or act out the Pina Colada song. Don't worry, you can get off as soon as I win the iPad.
Q. If I get on this site and ask you on a date, will you go?
A. Highly unlikely since I am not feeling very "datey" right now. I'm really just doing this for the iPad. However, I will gladly accept attention, flowers, cute text messages, and flirtatious remarks and return the favor. Mwah!
Q. Is this a hoax? Are you really just trying to sell your outrageously funny book, The Laptop Dancer Diaries?
A. No,the offer is completely true. But as long as you're single and lonely, you might as well read the hilarious Laptop Dancer Diaries. It will tell you all you need to know about finding true love so you never again have to be subjected to online dating sites.
OK, folks, go for it! May you find love and win an iPad!
UPDATE: I WON!!!! THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO SIGNED UP!!