Finding Balance on the Road to Real, Lasting Love (and All the Lights Along the Way) –


My last post on Red Flags seemed to cause a ripple among my readers.

Friends messaged me privately and told me relationship horror stories that could have been avoided if they’d heeded the red flags. Some readers described relationship experiences that they might have seen coming had they opened up their eyes sooner. Other readers said they may have been the red flags, which was enlightening and honest.

One reader, Jim, reminded me that not every situation is dire, and it’s important to see the great people in our lives, too.

This post is for them.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” (Anais Nin)

What do you do when you meet someone who’s great?

Someone who seems to fulfill the checklist that you’ve been carrying around for a few years. Conversely, what if that person doesn’t fit the list but you have an amazing connection and you laugh and feel like you’ve known him for ten years (but it’s only been a few weeks)?

What about that person who is honest, loving, attractive, and hilarious? What if he lives in a different town? What if she lives in a different country?

What if you’ve taken yourself off all dating sites in order to regroup and you meet someone spectacular on a magical night out with one of your best friends while watching a comic book inspired burlesque show?

What if you play in a band and your singer introduces you to her new friend and you’re immediately smitten?

What if you spend a week at a retreat in Central America, and after being back home for months, you and he meet up for a reunion and suddenly there are palpable sparks?

What if you start a new job and are attracted to your coworker in your training class and you become friends for two years until you go to happy hour and a kiss occurs?

What if you join Tinder and someone surprises you by wanting to have a real relationship and you end up married exactly a year after your first date?

What if you are breaking up with someone and move to a new city and don’t know many people but you’re introduced to a law school professor who lives in your building?  Do you say “no, I’m not ready?” Or, do you jump at the chance? Do you attempt the risk for love?

When is it okay to say YES? How do you know he or she is right for you? Can we ever know? Is there ever someone for you? I can say with certainty that I know when he is a NOPE. The yes, unfortunately, is often more difficult to detect.

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Americans (and maybe all humans) walk around with a skewed eye of skepticism as we get older.

We have been jaded and are hard-pressed to accept love. I wonder how the world would turn if we said yes to more experiences, if we listened with our hearts and not only with our heads, if we allowed ourselves to give more and take less. Do you think you’d love your spouse or partner more if you were less stressed about work and time?

When meeting someone new and special, I’m reminded of the sticky, popping sensations in my heart. It’s a braided feeling of crazy, scary, amazing, familiar, and natural all at once. That feeling is wonderful and can’t be replicated; the new secrets and inside jokes, the wonderful cuddling and pillow talk is so awesome.

Getting to know someone is an amazing feeling, something that needs to be cherished and helped along. We can’t take for granted the newness of learning what someone tick. And yet, it’s so scary! Sometimes it sure feels easier to remain distanced than to allow yourself to be vulnerable. Is it worth it?

Online scrolling (dating) often takes the mystery out of love and replaces it with search engines and algorithms. Something remarkable happens when you meet someone and say yes! When you talk on the phone for hours, finally meet for a date, and the feeling is mutual, loving and exciting.

As we get to know someone, our hearts open and we fall (in love) mightily. The feeling can often be once-in-a-lifetime and we must treat that person with respect and kindness. We have to value and protect the love and the person so this new relationship has a chance to blossom.

Green lights are the permission slips to love

We enter into a complicit agreement with another person who wants to make life better with us. Green lights are knowing that we’re taking a risk and entering new territory of trust and faith.

Whether or not we are religious, we must have some faith in love of humanity that we will be taken care of. We start jobs, fall in love, deepen our friendships with green lights.

These green lights are rewarding and risky, exhilarating and frightening, careful and spontaneous. We drive to the intersection of risk and reward with the belief that at any moment, there could be a yellow yield light or a red stopping signal.

Yellow lights

Yellow lights serve a purpose of giving us the opportunity to check in with ourselves about our needs. We learn about our needs when we pause and ask ourselves if this is what we really want.

Once we see the bank of lights on the road, we check to determine what will happen. It’s the best feeling to travel down the street and all the green lights are timed perfectly so we glide through each intersection.

But what about that bump in the road? The one that makes you wonder if you’re moving too fast or if this person is really who you’d hoped. I encourage you to keep going! Learn more about the person and determine if this is a real red light (in which case, please do yourself a favor and head the warnings) or if this is a minor blip or misunderstanding (in which case, keep moving forward).

What about the red lights?

Maybe you’re in a long relationship or no relationship. This post applies to you too. The green light can be considered a go-ahead for you to try something new, to love yourself more radically, to keep moving forward. It’s truly only when we love ourselves that we we can recognize the green lights (to say yes) and be alert to the red lights (to say no). It’s crucial that we react with efficient and effective intention.

In the case of red and green lights, when we fall for the red lights and don’t see them, is it really about our own self doubt and trusting others before we trust ourselves and our hearts? Same with the green lights: is this person fulfilling something within ourselves that needs to be improved, or do we truly love ourselves and receive added value from having them in our lives?

My suggestion is to find something in yourself that you adore and want to nourish, cherish, or develop. We can fall in love with ourselves as easily as we can be swept off our feet by another persona and by our dreams.

 

What do College Drop Offs, Empty Nests, and Spa Robes have in Common? –


Now that the last child was dropped off at the dorms, if you find yourself looking at your partner in wonderment thinking “What do we do now?” there’s no need to worry. Many couples go through similar concerns when approaching an empty nest. However, an empty nest can be a time of reinvention, reconnection, and best of all…romance.

When children are growing up, they are the center of your world, as they should be. Once the children leave, however, you are gifted with an opportunity to redirect a large portion of the energy, time, and monies once directed toward your children back to you and your relationship or marriage. If you’re single, congratulations—there’s no need to divide your precious resources, you can dedicate them to you, and you alone!

Now is the time to really take care of yourself. You deserve just as much time and attention you once devoted to your children (and then some). And the first place to start is with a good night’s rest.

After planning the graduation party, surviving the graduation party and all the meet and greets, packing your child’s belongings, shopping for the dorm room, surviving the college drop off, and grieving the college drop off, I can imagine you’re exhausted.

One of the best feelings in the world is slipping into bed with fresh, clean sheets after a shower. Even better after a shower with a partner in anticipation of fun things to come. And that’s a beautiful dimension the empty nest provides. But I digress…

Here’s the thing about sheets. There are plenty of options. I’ve always been good about buying higher-end sheets, but I recently met Steve from Vero Genuine Italian Linens (Vero is Italian – translated it means genuine), and he’s taught me some things about sheets that are important to know.

First, his website is loaded with informative, non-salesly articles and videos, full of tips and tricks with every conceivable bedding related question you could possibly imagine. If you have a question, he has an answer for you. Also, if there’s not an answer on his website, he’ll find and publish one for you. Second, he’s an incredibly accessible and responsive business owner with hundreds of video and written testimonials from highly satisfied clients.

So, if you’re going to treat yourself to something nice, rather than spending several hundred dollars on exceptional wine and a fabulous dinner, why not make an investment in your health and well-being?

Unlike wine and a steak dinner consumed and not available to cherish later, investing in well-constructed bedding is something that gets better with each washing. When properly cared for, great sheets can literally last years.  When I’ve purchased “nice” sheets, they eventually shred after multiple washes and don’t last more than a year or two. Steve told me sheets from Vero Linens can last a decade or longer. That’s amazing.

You know what’s better? When you have soft, silky sheets, you don’t need pajamas. In fact, this article even claims sleeping naked makes you not only healthier, but wealthier too. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Vero Italian Linens are produced in Italy (a country known to be a benchmark for fine quality suits, handbags, shoes and of course, bed linens). Moreover, Italy is undisputedly the country where the finest bed linens in the world are produced.

I generally buy sheets based on thread count. My line of thinking has been a higher thread count equals higher quality. I learned from Steve that a high thread count on a low quality fabric, doesn’t mean they are high quality sheets. The reverse is also true. A lower thread count on high quality fabric, doesn’t mean they aren’t luxurious sheets.

These are just a few things Steve helped me out with. There’s many more things to learn and consider when visiting www.verolinens.com.

There are also many more things you can do to enjoy your empty nest, but starting with a fun an inviting bedroom is a perfect place to treat yourself.

While you’re treating yourself, why not grab some spa robes for lounging? There’s nothing like a lazy Sunday in an empty nest with a cup of coffee and a snuggle fest.

Here’s a video from Steve with more details about Vero bed linens:

Photo: Pixabay

 

I’m 19. My Year Long Relationship Has Been A Bumpy Ride! –


The love affair started in Grade 2, now they’re in college. Intimacy Expert Allana Pratt suggests…

Question: I’m 19 and I’m going through a bit with a relationship of mine. I was wondering if there would be any way for us to talk about how things could play out? I really really love this girl. I had a crush on her since Grade 2. I’m going into my second year of college, we’ve been dating for a year and 6 months and it’s been a bumpy ride!

Answer: First I just want to say thank you. I’ve had clients as young as 17 in Germany asking permission if they could work with me… It’s amazing that at 19 yrs old, my message resonates with you. I do believe challenges of the heart go beyond age, gender, culture etc. I’m sending you a humongous showering of love and believing in your badass nobility!

Of course we can talk… I’m sure you know I work privately one-on-one with clients. You can apply for a complimentary session if you’re ready to move forward with one of my private coaching packages at www.AllanaPratt.com/connect.

Given you’re in college it might be a wiser financial decision to be in my monthly men’s training call called The Mancave. This is an cost effective way to get Live laser coaching with me in a group of freaking bad ass amazing men from their early 20s to their late 60s.

First and foremost I want you to know that bumps in a relationship are natural, normal, healthy and meant to support you both in growing and evolving. All the Disneyland fairytale illusions that it’s the ‘right relationship’ if you never fight… It’s total BS. (Of course if there’s abuse, disrespect, cruelty… then leave.)

Relationships of longevity are ones where both people take full responsibility for their growth opportunities and treat each other with non-judgment, allowance and a boatload of appreciation.

Of course this is insanely difficult when your heart hurts!

Or if you close your heart and spin in your head!

Or if you don’t you’re worth and give away your power!

Or if you bump up against an area of pain (inner growth) and you don’t know what to do!

I am no different than you great young man. I need someone to see my blind spots. I have three coaches right now that support me spiritually, healthwise, and business. I couldn’t support my global group of clients if somebody didn’t have my back! All kings and queens have trusted advisors, yes? Everyone deserves a safe place to land 🙂

So until I learn more about what’s going on specifically that’s making this ride a particularly bumpy one, I invite you to join the monthly training call! There’s no obligation, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by joining us this month 😉

You can sign up here 🙂 The ManCave- where men become Kings. 

I’m confident this will support you in letting go of unhealthy control, dissolve of any unhealthy nice guy tendencies, connect you to your grounded, centered wisdom, and really discover practical ways to be a solid man that will make her surrender and open in gratitude for you.

Let’s do this.

Huge love and bold blessings, Allana xox

 

p.s. Gentlemen…End the Fear of Rejection.

Enjoy your “How To Be A Noble Badass” Complementary Training at www.GetHerToSayYes.com

Ladies…Be irresistible. Feel sacred. Attract him now.

Enjoy your “Vulnerability is the New Sexy” Complementary Training at www.AllanaPratt.com

Photo: www.BigStock.com

What Do Women REALLY Think About Premature Ejaculation? –


We scoured the internet looking for opinions from real women and talked to an expert to get the truth – and it may surprise you!

Premature ejaculation (PE) is one of the most common sexual dysfunctions. As many as 1 in 3 men struggle with PE, which is usually defined as reaching orgasm within 1 minute of beginning penetration. However, anyone who comes before they or their partner wants them to could be suffering from PE.

Many men are extremely distressed by PE, but a lot of them are too embarrassed to talk openly about the issue with their friends or partners. Luckily, Reddit is a place where open discussions on sensitive subjects are common, and the answers you see there usually contain the frank honesty that anonymity allows for.

Later on, we will interview Dr. Langham, a professional consultant for the Between Us Clinic and a clinical psychologist with a Master of Science in marriage and family therapy. She will share her knowledge about PE, its effects on men who have it and things you can do to stop it. But first, let’s see what the people of Reddit have to say.

So what do the women of Reddit think about premature ejaculation?

Here are some examples of how the ladies and gentlemen of Reddit honestly feel about premature ejaculation.

Some women don’t even think PE is a problem…

One man asked how women would feel about an average guy (not rich, not ultra-handsome) who has a sexual dysfunction like erectile dysfunction or PE:

And at least one woman responded positively:

This woman states that she would date and have sex with a guy who had ED or PE, but would encourage him to talk to his doctor about the condition:

While some women find PE to be a dealbreaker…

For every woman who doesn’t feel like premature ejaculation is a big deal, there is probably one who feels the opposite way, such as this woman here:

Here is another woman who feels that a lengthier time of full penetration is something she needs to feel sexually satisfied:

This young man’s girlfriend apparently felt the same way about his PE:

Some women have mixed feelings about PE…

Several of the women of Reddit expressed mixed feelings about the idea (or reality) of having a partner with PE. Specifically, some of these women feel that PE need not be a dealbreaker as long as their needs are met in other ways:

A couple of women stated that, while PE may be somewhat disappointing, it is preferable to sex that is extremely long-lasting (which may or may not be due to a sexual dysfunction at the opposite end of the spectrum from PE, delayed ejaculation):

Here is what relationship expert Dr. Langham wants you to know about premature ejaculation

While there are plenty of women out there who don’t think PE is a big deal, some women feel so strongly about it that they would consider their partner’s PE to be worth ending the relationship over.

There is no simple consensus among women regarding the topic of PE, but many men would prefer to prevent premature ejaculation, even if their partners don’t find PE to be bothersome.

We asked Dr. Langham to answer a few questions that usually trouble men who suffer from this issue.

In your experience, how does PE usually affect relationships?

Premature ejaculation (PE) can really take the mojo out of a man’s sex life, but, in some cases, it can also wreak havoc on his relationship. The reason why, though, may shock you. Women report that a low libido (sex drive), along with sexual dissatisfaction are some of the reasons their relationship tanked after being with a man with PE. However, it wasn’t the quick sex that caused the unhappiness; the real problem was that the women felt that their partners spent more time on “performing” (i.e. stamina and duration) than their needs (i.e. foreplay, romance, kissing, cuddling, etc.)

Then, there’s the issue of shame. Men, who have PE, tend to feel embarrassed about having it. This embarrassment can prevent them from talking to their partners or spouses about the issue. The problem is the lack of communication often causes a distance in the relationship – one that the partner can feel. This can lead to misunderstandings in the relationship, and later anger and resentment. The woman may feel that the distance is caused by her, when in reality; it is coming from the condition and the belief that a man isn’t a man unless he can “perform.”

As for sexual satisfaction, women report that they are more “fulfilled” when their partners don’t have the condition. In fact, approximately 20% of women state that sexual issues like PE are a major factor in how satisfied they are in their relationship. Moreover, these women state that prolonged sex is crucial to their overall relationship happiness and that they are more likely to “dump” a man with a “penis problem.”  It is important to understand, however, that unresolved sexual issues can chip away at even the healthiest relationships over time, so it’s important for a man to get checked out if he suffers from this condition.

Should a man be upfront about his PE when dating a new partner?

Yes, but not immediately. In other words, a man should share with his partner that he suffers from premature ejaculation, but only after he’s sure that his partner will understand. Now, it is important to “warn” the new partner about the condition before having sex, because if he waits until afterward, she may feel betrayed or lied to. She may also feel that her partner does not trust her enough to tell her the truth. However, it’s important that the man “feel” his new partner out, before sharing something that is so personal with her. The man should definitely wait for a few dates before disclosing the condition – that is if he can wait that long to be intimate.

What would you say to men who stopped looking for a partner because of their PE?

I would tell men, who stopped looking for partners because of their PE, to “get back on the horse” so to speak. In other words, I would tell them to keep looking for those “right” partners because they are out there. The first thing I would do is assess how the condition is making the man feel – as an individual and possible partner. How is it affecting his life (i.e. self-esteem and relationships)? Then, I would determine if he really wants to be in a relationship. If so, I would suggest that he seek treatment (i.e. sex therapy exercises).

If he is already going through and still feels emotionally distressed, I would help him work through his complex feelings, some of which could be worsening his condition. I help him get to the root of why he’s feeling the way he is feeling. What has PE-related experiences he had that are now causing him to shy away from dating? I would give him “pointers” on how to handle the PE with potential partners, so he’s better prepared for any questions and concerns.

Lastly, I would help him improve his self-esteem (through exercises and activities), which is needed if he is going to re-enter the “wild world of dating.” So, I would tell these men to research their condition thoroughly, so they can explain it to women, in easy-to-understand terms, then I would tell them to “feel out” potential partners (i.e. build a relationship) before disclosing the condition to them. I would suggest they start going out with women “as friends” first, and then, once they know the potential partners better, explain the condition to them.

If a man experiences premature ejaculation, should he seek treatment even if his partner is not bothered by the PE?

Yes, he should seek treatment – for himself. Even if the man doesn’t realize it, PE affects him – his self-esteem and relationships. Not seeking treatment may not seem like a big deal, but what if he and his partner break up in the future and he’s forced to re-enter the dating world – how will it affect him then? Will it narrow his prospects and if so, what will that do to his self-esteem? Will he be embarrassed by the condition? And, even if he and his partner stay together for the long haul, what if his partner becomes resentful towards him over time? Then what? So, the best way to avoid future stress woes is to be treated for the condition.

Is there a chance that women, who don’t find their partner’s PE troubling, would be upset if their partners sought treatment and had successful results?

There is a slight chance that a woman would be disappointed if her partner sought treatment and had successful results. Why? Well, because the woman may find comfort in the fact that some women find men with PE “undesirable.” More specifically, this condition could give the woman security in knowing that she does not have to compete with other women for her man. So, the treatment and successful results could make this woman feel insecure, sparking feelings of jealousy when other women pay attention to her partner. In this situation, the woman probably wouldn’t want her partner to have the treatment. The PE is a way for her to control her partner and control the situation, so without it, she loses that control. Conversely, the man could change after the treatment, desiring to “try out” his new sexual performance with other women, thus, damaging his relationship. Still, I imagine that most women would be happy with the results because they would be the beneficiaries of these newfound sexual drives and endurances.

Where to seek treatment

For men who would rather prevent their premature ejaculation than find a way to make living with it more appealing, there is still plenty of hope. Premature ejaculation can be treated using a series of exercises that teach men to control ejaculation and prolong sex. To find a sex therapist near you, visit the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (www.aasect.org) or the Society for Sex Therapy and Research (www.sstarnet.org).

You can also learn to improve your ejaculatory control by using the PE Program, a smart online program developed with the help of sex therapist Dr. Zuckerman that includes a home exercise program for self-treatment of premature ejaculation.

This article was originally published on www.betweenusclinic.com.

References:

Mayo Clinic. (2017). Premature ejaculation. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premature-ejaculation/”

WebMD. (2017). Premature ejaculation. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/men/tc/premature-ejaculation-topic-overview#1

Thapoung, K. (2014). What Premature Ejaculation Can Really Do to Your Sex Life—And Relationship a shorter romp may be the least of your worries. Women’s Health Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.womenshealthmag.com/sex-and-love/premature-ejaculation

 

How To Be A Good Boyfriend, According to Boyfriends –


Instead of another study on having a better relationship, we went straight to the source.

Embed from Getty Images

By Nicole Weaver

What does it take to be a stellar boyfriend? Every relationship is different, but there are a few staple traits that will make you stand out as a great partner.

But instead of getting another study to tell you how to be a better in a relationship, we decided to collect some advice from the best boyfriends ever. Get ready to take notes, fellas. Here’s how to be a good boyfriend.

1. Be patient.

“It takes patience to be a ‘great boyfriend,’ patience within yourself to teach your partner new things and patience to learn. Also, keep in mind never to use our experiences with past relationships to base our current ones. We can use those memories to grow and mature, but never compare the current lover to someone from the past. All human beings are different entities.”

2. Show interest.

“It always helps to be conscious of how your partner is feeling, ask questions about a person’s day, and show interest. Another thing is just about constant, open two-way communication.”

3. Take note of the little things.

“I try to listen to what she is saying and then really remember one or two things. Maybe something she has really been wanting, or something that I know I could buy her that would make her life easier. In the beginning, I asked what her favorite flower is and made a note of it in my phone, this way when it came time for me to get her some, I knew exactly what it is without having to fish around.”

4. Put her first.

“I believe understanding how to be a good boyfriend is something only a few men can understand. It’s putting somebody else’s life ahead of yoursbecause you want to, not because you have to.”

5. Provide emotional security.

6. Make her laugh.

“Try to make your girlfriend laugh and smile all the time!”

7. Don’t be afraid to give her tough love.

“Good boyfriends should not be afraid to tell their girlfriends when they disagree with them or give tough love. A good boyfriend should be his girlfriend’s best friend and biggest critic. The dynamic of a good relationshiprelies on both partners knowing that there is unconditional love between them. So if one partner can’t take criticism well or does not like the level of love being given to them, the relationship won’t work.”

8. Let go of the reins.

“Do whatever the woman wants.”

Watch the video below for all the signs you are in a good and healthy relationship:

Nicole Weaver is a love and entertainment writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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