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Published in Travel
Thursday, 19 July 2012 06:25

Get your daughter ready for married life

Motherhood does not start and end at bringing up children into well behaved adults. At a point they must leave home and, sometimes, permanently too. Here are some of the things your daughter must know before getting married. Shopping for the perfect dress, filling out invitations, finding the perfect wedding setting - all of these are part of a girl’s dream of getting married. Before the big day, though, there are a few things you may want to discuss with your daughter.

By the time your little girl gets married she probably already knows all about the birds and the bees. One thing she may not know, though, is how difficult it is to live with another person. Although everything is lovely in the beginning, things can go sour very quickly, if your daughter doesn’t know that the marriage will be a challenge, to say the least.

 

Talk to your daughter about difficulties facing all relationships. She should know that it will take patience, forgiveness and understanding to keep her relationship solid. If she’s the type that gets her feelings hurt easily, explain to her that sometimes her husband will hurt her feelings even if he doesn’t mean to. She should be prepared to let some comments and situations go.

On the other hand, communication is very important, so your daughter should know that she and her partner need to talk often, and openly, about any situation. Harboring bad feelings towards your mate, without their knowledge, only leads to trouble down the road.

Yelling, screaming or bossing her mate around will not help your daughter have a happy relationship. Talk to her about giving her husband trust and freedom. Many women and men too, fall into a pattern of trying to control their mates but this causes additional troubles in the long run.

Men love to hear things like “I love you”, “I need you”, or “I want you”. These phrases reassure a guy that he is important in his wife’s life. A man that feels needed and loved tends to be more content than the one that is hollered at and called names.

Tell your daughter to pick and choose arguments with her husband wisely. If every issue results in an argument, the husband is less likely to pay attention to the points the wife is making than if arguments are seldom. It is easier to wipe the whiskers from the sink, for example, than to make a big issue about it. At another time, remind hubby that he shouldn’t leave the whisker chore to you, but do so in a kindly manner. Making a big fuse over every little thing will only cause him to tune you out.

Remind your daughter to appreciate her husband for who he is. Maybe he doesn’t choose the perfect Christmas present but he does at least select one. Be considerate of his feelings when you feel let down. He probably doesn’t even know what he did to upset you.

Advise your daughter not to let her appearance go. Many women settle into the marriage and suddenly they’re wearing ratty bedroom slippers and shirts with stains. No matter how old a man gets he still wants to have a woman that looks good. Although it’s okay to put off polishing your nails for a day or so past when they need it, letting yourself get to the point of repulsion is a huge strike against your relationship.

Talk to your daughter about things she should never do, including playing girlish games, insulting him when she’s angry, giving him the silent treatment, or flirting with other men in his presence or elsewhere at all. These things can damage any relationship beyond repair.

Keep romance alive. Surprising your guy with little gifts or thoughtful gestures can get and keep  his attention. Showing him you love him, no matter what, will keep most men coming back.

If your daughter is getting married soon, put off the shopping and wedding plans until you’ve talked to her, in a real manner, about her future relationship. The advice you give her could keep her and her husband happy for the rest of their lives.

 

Marriagecounsellor.com

Published in Travel
Thursday, 19 July 2012 06:25

Do’s and don’ts of dating a colleague

Since about a third of our time is spent at the office, it is not surprising that romance can easily spark between colleagues. At work, you are often surrounded by bright, driven people who understand your work stress and worries. Deciding whether to date a co-worker or not is extremely personal. There are no right answers.

However, there are some basic rules to keep in mind when dating someone you work with. 

Avoid conflicts of interest

If you or your significant other manages groups of people, conflicts of interest can arise no matter how careful you are. Even if you do everything perfectly, your company won’t want to deal with the inevitable complaints from people who see a situation differently. If you are your partner’s supervisor, talk to your employer about changing positions or departments if possible.

 

Even if you are not in a boss-employee relationship, you will still want to be sure to keep your relationship a private matter at work. However, keeping your work life professional and treating your significant other as you would do to any other coworker will go a long way towards ensuring that you don’t end up in trouble with the company.

Don’t reveal your relationship on social media 

Keep the relationship private. Your co-workers do not need to know the intimate details of your romance. No posting of information or photos about your latest love interest on Facebook or sending tweets about it. You never know who will see them.

Do set rules from the beginning

This means that you should both have a discussion from the beginning on how to conduct yourselves, what both of you want out of the relationship, and how to handle the situation if the relationship falls apart.

Don’t display physical affection in front of coworkers

There should never be any physical display of affection when in a professional setting. This includes kissing, hugging, hand-holding, or even staring at each other from across the room. These rules should be followed in the office, as well as at social work events.

Be professional even if it ends

Another downside to workplace relationships occurs when a love affair dissolves. You may still have to see or work with the person. You can’t vent your negative feelings in public, even if the person treated you badly. If the relationship fails, be professional and matured about it, In other words, no shouting matches.

Consider how it will affect your career

If you want to build a career at the company where you are currently working, take a pause! You have to ensure that people look at you as the awesome employee that you are and not think that you are only working in order to snag a husband, or that you are getting any preferential treatment because of who you are dating. Absolutely never, ever date your boss or anyone you’d want to give you feedback on your next performance review.  Even if it is someone at your level in another department, you still want to be known as “the girl, who is killing it in marketing” not “that girl who dates Dave in accounting.”

Know your drama level

You know how you are in relationships.  You know the level of contact you want, what you are looking for, you know how you deal with breakups. Now insert all of that into your work environment.  If you are super chill, perhaps go for it.  If you are the type who is going to throw a screaming fit because he forgot your two months anniversary, ask yourself if that is something you should be doing at the office.

Ensure you have an outside support network  

For some people this might not be a problem, but if you derive the majority of your social network from work, adding an office relationship to the mix can be too much –   your friends are at work, your boyfriend is at work, your work is at work.  Make sure you have some sort of non-work outlet for when you need to get away, because venting about work to your coworker who is also your boyfriend can become stressful.

Have an exit strategy

No one wants to think that things might end when starting a relationship, but in this case, you need to.  If things don’t work out, will you still be able to work with this person?  If you are the kind of person who can’t stand seeing an ex, then you need to ask yourself if dating a co-worker is worth your career.

Published in Travel
Thursday, 19 July 2012 06:25

Are you in love with a serial cheat? III

Few things in life are as painful or confusing as finding out that your partner has been cheating on you. Well, not all men cheat though women generally believe that men were created with the tendency of being promiscuous and that it takes a real man to withstand the antics of some women who are anxiously scheming on how to latch onto them. 

If your man is just shagging a babe, do not worry, but if he starts making midnight calls, exchange text messages with another lady at odd hours and stays out of the house for days, weeks without a genuine excuse, then be very worried.

Most of us have heard these phrases countless times “Which man on the surface of the earth doesn’t cheat? This is Africa, all men cheat. It is a man’s world. A man will do one of three things; cheat, drink or smoke and a man likes to be adventurous, variety is the spice of life.’’ A man cheats because he knows he will most likely get away with it, because it is accepted. He cheats because society will hardly frown at it and because his reputation is not at stake. He cheats because in his mind his ego is boosted by doing so.  It is only when a woman cheats that there is brouhaha.

However, there are men who have embraced the ‘cheating lifestyle’. In our society today, it is has almost become a norm to cheat. Both men and women are guilty of this. There are basically three kinds of cheats, the serial cheat, the occasional cheat and those who stray once in a while. 

Serial cheaters are the kind of casanovas who jump from one relationship to the next, usually with some sort of overlap. Or they have multiple relationships at a time without telling their partners about the other girls. A serial cheat is very seductive, and charming. He/she has mastered the art of learning how to control his or her emotions, not get carried away by the moment, but instead treats the whole relationship like a project. A serial cheat has one of the best tools in communicating, he or she has mastered the art of listening. Listening and using your words or thoughts into an advantage for himself. So if you’re dating a Lothario, you are probably in for some heartbreak, not to mention STDs. So here is what to look out for:

 

The cheater notices you 

Serial cheaters have an instinct for who to make a move on. He/she sends a drink to your table or comes over to ask your name. They make you feel special. Before you know it you are spending the evening talking, dancing, probably drinking, and being romanced. For a guy he may flash money, or tell you how successful he is, or offer to drive you home in his new car. He picks up the tab, tells you how beautiful you are, wants to see you the next night, and calls you several times a day. He is relentlessly persistent. You feel validated; he feels in control.

Your partner has been around the block

The most obvious sign of a serial cheater is someone who has been in the dating game forever. He is never monogamous for very long and has had his fair share of short-term relationships. Watch out for the guy who is just too smooth. If he seems to know all the right things to say, it is because he has said them all before and he will do so again. If he says right away, “I love you and I have never really felt this way before,” believe me, he has said this before. If he talks about getting you a ring, where you might buy a house and live, and how he has always wanted children, this is too fast. He is looking to tie you up and exercise control over your life. If he is wealthy, he is willing to pay for this control by bringing you gifts and helping with your day-to-day living expenses. Once you get used to this economic relief, you will find it hard to send him away when you find out he is cheating. He knows this.

Most of his friends are women

A guy with all girl friends should be a huge red flag. He is not interested in relationships with males because he can’t get what he wants out of them. And what he wants sex. All the friendships he makes are only people he is biding his time with, waiting for the right moment to make his move and the better looking the friends, the more dangerous the guy.

He is addicted to the chase

This guy was all about chasing you and the harder you were to catch, the more interested he got. But now that he has you, he won’t know what to do next. Except maybe chase some other girl. The chase is what gets his heart pumping. 

He brings you presents

It may be hard to figure out if a present is given out of love or out of guilt. But the guys who give their girlfriends presents often and without reason are few and far between. If your partner is lavishing gifts on you all the time, small or big, it is probably because he/she is feeling guilty about all the other love interests. Remember, if your relationship seems too good to be true, it usually is.

He doesn’t answer questions

He is evasive, gives vague answers about what he was doing last night, summarizes without going into detail or leaves large gaps in his stories. It is time for you to be the detective. Look a little deeper into what he/she is saying. If it doesn’t make all that much sense, question it. Don’t just take his/her word for it. The cheater dates others and when you find out, you are outraged. Thinking that you are dating the cheater exclusively, you find out, sooner or later, that he/she has lied and deceived you. You might see him out with someone else, read his email you weren’t supposed to see, listen to his phone messages, or get a call from his other girlfriend. You cry, he begs forgiveness, and he offers promises he just can’t keep. He showers you with gifts and you start the process again. This cycle goes on until months…or years…later, you’ve had enough. 

Dating a serial cheater may turn your life upside down, but you don’t have to stay there. If you recognize this pattern in your relationship, better pick up your running shoes.

And lastly, he or she most times never get caught during this period. To a serial cheat, a relationship is like a project and once it is completed he/she either breaks of the relationship or puts him or herself in a position where you end up calling it off. Don’t allow yourself get easily swayed. Stop the tears. Stop the heartache and stop the disrespect. Start knowing your worth. Begin your journey of happiness and change your end game so it doesn’t end in sadness.

Published in Travel
Thursday, 19 July 2012 06:25

How to deal with sibling rivalry II

Sibling rivalry is the jealousy, competition and fighting between brother(s) and sister(s).  There is always going to be a little bit of jealousy between siblings, which is a normal part of the human nature, but when it turns into envy it brings out the worst in people. Sibling rivalry is like a festering wound and it endangers relationships to the point where we can’t bear the idea of our siblings being successful, or even happy, and instead take pleasure in their failures.

It usually continues throughout childhood and can be very frustrating and stressful to parents. As kids reach different stages of development, their evolving needs can significantly affect how they relate to one another, though many are lucky to become best of friends with their siblings. 

A household that is full of conflict is stressful for everyone. No matter how much we love our brother or sister, when sibling envy exists, it has a corrosive effect on our ability to express affection. Overt rivalry in childhood is upfront, dynamic and character-building, a necessary rite of passage that enables each child find their niche within the family, rivalry in adulthood is a stagnant, secretive emotion that finds its insidious expression in anger.

It is a difficult and sometimes painful issue for many families, but here is the bottom line, rivalry and jealousy are a normal part of life though if not properly managed the feelings of injustice, unfairness and victimhood that accompany sibling jealousy become even more crippling to contend with later on.

For parents

 

Avoid comparisons among your adult children. This can make them feel like you favour another sibling or don’t think that one measures up to another. While this might sound like something that you would hope your kids outgrow, the truth is that children always want to please their parents, no matter their ages. Don’t compare your kids’ jobs, children, spouses, financial situations or homes.

Talk to your kids. Perhaps they don’t realize how their interactions affect the rest of the family. Sit down as a family and discuss the situation. Help your children come up with solutions for their rivalry that can help avoid fights and conflict. Maybe they’ll agree to disagree, decide to make certain topics of conversation off limits and agree to walk away when things get heated.

Stay out of the sibling rivalry. Clearly tell your children that you won’t take sides and don’t want to be part of their fights and disagreements. This doesn’t mean you can’t offer advice and a listening ear when they need you, but if they know that is as far as it goes, eventually they won’t even come to you with their disputes.

Encourage your children to see each other’s points of view. You raised them, but that doesn’t mean they think, react or feel things the same way. They each bring their own baggage and personality to the sibling relationships and helping each see their siblings’ sides can help them understand each other.

For siblings

Remove the baggage. The first step to a conflict-free relationship with your sibling(s) is to rid yourself of any tension and judgment your parents may have unknowingly created between you. To make your relationship work, you have to edit your parents out of it. 

We often carry a lot of what we have learned through our families with us, such as identifying ourselves (or our siblings) as the good or bad child, the favourite child or the successful child, and this can spill over into adulthood. Starting on a clean slate will allow you see your siblings in a whole new and, ideally, more positive light.

Avoid trying to change your siblings. Despite a similar upbringing, you each have your own personalities, likes and dislikes. Instead, accept your differences and embrace that they make your relationships unique.

Don’t compete with each other. This doesn’t mean that you won’t get jealous of your siblings’ successes, particularly if those successes are something that you’d like to have as well. The trick is to keep that to yourself and congratulate your siblings on their new jobs, marriages, babies or big raises instead of trying to show off your new car or bigger house.

Talk to your siblings. Arrange times when you can sit down together without outside distraction and hash out the problems in your relationships, then, work together to come up with solutions. 

Deal with feelings of jealousy. Jealousy might not be healthy, but it is normal among siblings. Rather than simply remaining jealous, which will continue to come between you and your brother(s) and sister(s) try owning up to those feelings. Instead of stewing, acknowledge to yourself that you are jealous and if you are having trouble being happy for your siblings, share what you are feeling with them in a genuine and honest way.

Don’t give up. If you have tried to reach out to a sibling to no avail, don’t give up. It is natural to feel like your brother or sister is a lost cause and not worth trying anymore, but keep making attempts to reconnect. If you really feel like your sibling won’t change, then you should change your expectations, change how you see the situation. It is also important to understand what is not working and to stop being part of the problem, which often stems from avoidance and lack of communication. 

Knowing that our siblings are here to stay means we often take them for granted. We fight, argue, hold grudges and we let time lapse between visits. Our brothers and sisters have been around the longest in our lives and they deserve to be treated with love and respect. Take the time to examine your relationship with your siblings and if there are lapses, start rebuilding the bond.

Published in Travel

Almost everyone sets goals for things they do in life. If goals are good for everything else in life why not for relationships? Do women set goals for relationships? If you do, how successful have you been with it?

We have all seen women who have been in long term relationships with men and they are no closer to getting married years later than they were when they first entered the relationship. Why spend your youthful days on someone who has no intention of marrying you? People split up all the time and to waste five years on a man only for the two of you to break-up is crazy. That means for five long years you have been off the market and missed out on the chance to meet many single men whom would have loved nothing more that to have you as his wife and life mate. Unfortunately, you were tied up on a promise that never came. You know the promise, “Eventually, we will get married.” Hell, when? All those excuses about let us finish our degrees, wait until we have enough money saved, I am happy the way we are and my personal favorite, “Why should we get married, we have been together longer than our friends and now they are divorced?” All these are smokescreens for the real fact that he is not about to make the ultimate commitment.

Determine how long you should stay with a person before you know if he is marriage material or not. (Remember this is short term, so typically it should be six months to a year). Why do you need a long term relationship to get married? We can look at this from two different perspectives, some say you should be with someone for several years before getting married, I don’t think so, I think a year, possibly two is a good time.

 

If you spend three, four years with someone you know everything about them. You’ve heard all of their jokes, know their weaknesses and can finish their sentences. Love making is not new to you two, you have been doing it for several years now. What could you possibly have to talk about that could keep you interested in the first years of marriage? 

Now, you take the same two people and they get married after one year. They have so much to talk about, they are still learning about each other. Sexually, they are still exploring one another and it is fun because now you live together as man and wife. So don’t let some guy with a promise of a ring turn you into a spinster. Refuse to let someone who doesn’t know or possibly care that he is wasting your youth and looks by stringing you along with the promise of marriage. If he was going to marry you, it really should have been done before you knew everything about him, his family, his distant relatives, his classmates and everything in between.

Money cannot be an issue, because once you are married you can combine incomes and work together to save your nest egg. It cracks me up when a man tells me that first he wants to own a home before he gets married.

So now, if you have committed giving six months to a year to determine this fact then you also need a second goal in order to shore up the first one. This goal will be to determine how long you are willing to wait to become engaged. If it takes approximately six months for you to know if he is actually a very good man and you two feel the same for one another, then a reasonable goal of an additional six months to become engaged should be in order. This then becomes your intermediate goal.

For the long term goal which is the most important, the amount of time you will be willing to remain engaged should be the ultimate objective. Oh, a reasonable amount of time between engagement to marriage is one year.  A year allows you to plan your marriage without rushing and have enough time to iron out any wrinkles in the process. 

People get married and then divorce. I also know that from the female standpoint it would be much better to tell your next man that you were married and it didn’t work, as compared to well, we lived together for nine years and then one day he told me he was in love with someone else. The first statement the new man thinks, “Damn he must have been an idiot to let a beautiful woman like you get away!” If it is the second statement, the same man will be thinking, “Damn, you must be an idiot to stay with a guy that long without a ring.” 

By now many of you are thinking, should I let him know about my goals for the future? The answer is yes.  Marriage only scares men that have as their only goal to get you into bed.  Any real man will listen to you and your goals, think about them for awhile and decide if they are acceptable and realistic for him and his future as well. 

However, before you decide to set a relationship goal for yourself, take a look at your current relationship. How long have you been together? Where is it headed? Will he ever marry you or are you content with being his live in lover forever or until he decides to move on? Look at your friends relationships as well and ask yourself where they are going in it.

Many ladies have been in long term relationships only to break-up and your ex married his next girlfriend within a year. This happens a lot, women break a man in and the next woman benefits from all of your hard work and suffering. By suffering, I mean the heartbreak associated with breaking up after many years of being together. 

Oh, and one final lifetime goal: To remain married until death do us part!

Published in Travel
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