Living Alone

I am old enough to remember that once upon a time, a man – or heaven forbid, a woman – living alone was frowned upon. There were all kinds of explanations or rumors as to why they may be doing so. We now know that there are millions of people in this country and elsewhere who choose to live by themselves and enjoy every minute of it. There are also those who for different reasons end up in the same lifestyle but are not happy about it. It definitely creates much consternation when one does not have a choice in […]

Making a Relationship Work

Everyones’ lives are affected by the connections we make, whether they are friendships, relationships, partnerships, or acquaintances. Human beings are not in a balanced state when there is conflict, so we look to make those connections harmonious. The question of “making them work” on the one hand sounds right, but on the other, it simplifies it to some kind of a mechanical endeavor. Add some WD-40? Smooth the edges with a file? If only we were so uncomplicated … Take two or more individuals who have grown up in different environments and families, throw them together and expect that all […]

Apology Needed?

When is it comfortable for you to apologize? Or are you one who never uses this form of communication? Do you think you are never wrong? Or are you the one who apologizes at every turn? Humans being the imperfect creatures that we are, we all make mistakes that unintentionally offend others, cause hurt feelings that may trigger anger and resentment. Some of us internalize these and then the negativity festers. Others express the reaction and may engender further conflict. In a relationship, these kind of interactions can lead to a healthy resolution and consequently, to growth, but it is […]

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 […]