Passion or Obsession?

What is that dividing line between passion and obsession? In the news was the breaking and entering of a man, a stalker, of Taylor Swift’s apartment and this for the third time. He was arrested and of course, this is a crime. But there are those who are so passionate about a hobby, an activity or an item that it may be hard not to label it an obsession. And it will affect any relationship. The dictionary defines passion as: a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything; and obsession as: the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings […]

Why Isn’t it All About Me?

Have you ever been told: You know, it is not all about you! Or maybe you uttered those words of dissatisfaction yourself as to how a conflict is being discussed. Taking things personally is a cognitive error we all make at different times, because everyone has a pool of insecurity, some more than others. If I tell you I just fell and broke my arm, and you proceed to elaborate on that time when your leg was shattered in three places, you are not listening and only relating the event to yourself. Ergo, it is all about me! When we […]

Love Online

Have you met your soulmate? That is, if you believe in that concept. Or, how do you meet potential partners? Once upon a time, there were matchmakers, good-intentioned family members, friends, and then it became bars, school or college, and even the workplace with its own set of issues. Check this statistic out: “In 2017, 39% of US heterosexual relationships and 65% of same-sex relationships began online.” (Tinyurl.com/yxb4abuv) This can’t be surprising given the length of time we spend in cyberworld. When I see the number of hours I personally devote to online usage, I am amazed. But then why […]

You, Me, or Us

One of the transitions one makes going from a single life to a partnership, is adjusting to the concept of “us” or “coupledom.” It may not be a conscious shift, but sooner or later, there comes an instance when our own needs and wants collide with the other’s and then it is a time to be deliberate about just how you merge me with us. In all human interactions, a powerful dynamic is that of control. Who is in charge of this relationship? Does one person dominate in decision-making? Or is it a fairly balanced, equal footing combination? We come […]

IS SECRECY EVER ACCEPTABLE?

When you read the title above, what was your first thought? How would you answer if it was you being secretive, or your partner? In any relationship, or friendship, trust in each other is one of the main building blocks. For that to exist and grow, we have to be open and honest in sharing thoughts, opinions, actions and feelings. But prerequisite to that is also what we know as self-awareness. To the extent that I know myself, my motivations and thoughts, I can communicate them to you. What if I am afraid that you will judge me or disapprove […]

Civility and 2019

This is the time of the year when we have to start getting used to seeing a new year date, making resolutions, and perhaps, maintaining a sense of hope that with the winter solstice behind us, spring will show up soon. Eastern thought holds that we now go within ourselves, to re-evaluate, ponder, and ready ourselves to the emergence of new discoveries, new growth, and rejuvenation. Almost universally, we’ve been seeing a decline in civility, in treating “the other” as less than us and to feel emboldened to make our opinion known in less than gracious ways. I don’t want […]

Empathy in Relationships

Empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. As such, it would be a main building block of any relationship. Neuroscience informs us that 98% of people have this ability wired into the brain, but practice falls short of that high percentage. Why? How did any of us discover this ability anway? Do you remember your parents, or your teachers, saying things like: “Now Sally, give your brother a hug. He hurt is knee. Help him feel better.” So although we have an inborn capacity, it is one that has to be activated as […]

Less Sex?

Have you seen the recent studies and statistics about teenagers and young adults having less sex? Given the options of birth control, greater freedom of expression of sexuality, and even low pregnancy and STD rates, not to mention all the dating and hookup sites, shouldn’t we be seeing an increase in sex? Young adults are reported to have fewer partners than the two generations before. Teenager abstinence seems to be rampant along with less sex by Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. It is true that fewer people are marrying and those who do, marry later. Many couples cohabitate without involving […]

When Do You Leave an Argument?

So if you are discussing and then arguing about an issue or a conflict, what is your usual modus operandi? Do you get quiet and withdraw? Do you engage fully, and the discourse goes on for a while before the other party leaves? Do you follow each other from one room to another still angry? Or do you call a timeout and drop it altogether? It is impossible to be alive and not to have disagreements and conflicts with other people, especially with those we care about. So how we handle those make a difference in the quality of our […]

Elections and Friendships

When you are reading this, it will be ten days before the midterm elections. Whichever party you affiliate with, or even none, the last several months have seen social media, print media and our TV screens full of references to the “most important election in our lifetime.” I hear from my friends and patients that friendships and relationships are affected by the political atmosphere to an incredible extent. So how are you dealing with it? Friends have declared that a person supporting the “other” party is a deal breaker for dating. Couples have ended up with horrible arguments. Families have […]