Tag Archives: dating

Little Children Come Out to Play

26 Jan

It would be nice if they would ask our permission, but they don’t. Our little children come out to play without any warning at all. I’m not talking about our sons and daughters. I’m talking about that outer child we all have. the outer child that protects the inner child inside of us. Sound confusing? Maybe but you know the one… they are always causing problems for us. They get in the way of happy, healthy relationships.

One little comment to a grown up can come off one way but once the outer child hears it, it becomes quite the problem. Not because the comment was anything big and not because the outer child is overly dramatic. It is solely because the outer child feels the responsibility to protect the inner child also known as the wounded child. And they are hurting – always. They lie beneath our surface and wait. When they hear anything that sounds remotely like the hurtful words of our parents or they see something happening that reminds them of the hurts and fears of childhood, they call on the outer child and well let’s just say it is downhill from there. As adults we can no longer see clearly or think rationally. We are overtaken by the tantrums and fits of our outer child. We operate from a place of hurt and start moving further and further away from healing. Who knew these little people could do so much damage?

The bad news is the inner child and the outer child are a part of us now and forever. The good news is they are not strangers to us. We know them well and they are close enough to call on and speak directly to. First you have to make sure you recognize your outer child is there. Go back to a previous blog called Identifying Your Outer Child and see if you recognize yours.

The next step is to get to know them a little better when things are calm. Start talking to them now before they jump out and yell at your partner on your behalf. The irony is they think they are helping. They go into attack mode to try to defend because they are protecting the hurting child inside of you. It gets even more complicated because as it turns out, they weren’t really yelling at your partner at all. They were fighting with your partner’s outer child. Now we’ve got multiple children who have come out without permission and they are really getting into it. It can be ugly.

The best way to get to know your inner and outer children is to start talking to them. Be kind, because they are typically in a state of hurt most of the time and only have the reasoning of children. Be patient when they are immature and not listening to you or your partner. Then… lay down the law. For example, I had to start by explaining to my inner child that she is safe because I am a grown up and I will take care of her. That job belongs to me I will never abandon her. I am here, always. I tell her that I understand she needs attention and that I will work hard, in a grown up way, to get it. I explain that fits of crying and sarcastic comments from the outer child will not help me and my partner. I tell my outer child that she needs to stay quiet and let the grown up part of me take care of my relationship. I tell my inner child that I love her but that I’ve got this and she is not to send out the outer child and start causing problems. Most of the time she listens and the grown up side of me gets to stay happy and healthy.

But there is something else that is really important. It’s not enough just to see your own inner and outer children. You must recognize that there is a wounded child inside your mate. That child was told ugly things and hurt in ways you may never fully understand. You don’t have too really you just have to keep your outer child at bay when dealing with your mate’s “children.”. The grown up in you can step up and soothe their inner child. You can say kind things to build them up or calm them down. See the child, be the grown up. You would never yell at a hurting child on purpose but that is essentially what is happening if we are not clearly seeing who is standing before us, our grown up mate or their outer child who has come out without permission.

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It’s not you, it’s me.

29 Jan

It’s not you, it’s me. It’s a famous line. It’s a line that would make anyone on the receiving end want to cringe, or possibly crawl under a rock and hide. This same line might cause one to stare in disbelief if they were “lucky” enough to have someone say it straight to their face.

I’ve been thinking about this line all day wishing there was a new way to say it without the stigma attached to it, without the pain attached to it. Because there is no other or better way to deliver the line, I must defend it. You have to know it’s not just a line if in fact it is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

I won’t speak for anybody else, but I know I’ve said it and I’ve meant it. It’s not the other person. It really is me. The extended version of this line sounds something like this. It’s not you, or anything you did or didn’t do. You in fact, are perfect just the way you are. You were kind and patient and respectful. It’s me. It’s the way I feel and unfortunately, I can’t make myself feel anything different than what I do. It’s not you saying the wrong thing. It’s me wishing my heart would flutter a little more when you say it. It’s not you doing all the wrong things. It’s me wishing I were feeling more gratitude for all the things you do for me. It’s not you being anything less than great, it’s me not knowing if you’re the right kind of great for me.

So if someone ever says to you, “It’s not you, it’s me. You have a choice. I say go ahead and believe them. It probably is them and you deserve better.

Strengthen Your Relationship – It’s Worth It

4 Nov

Things my be going along just fine in your relationship.  Congratulations!  This is the perfect time to bring up some discussion questions and do a check-in with your significant other.  Most people don’t want to “rock the boat” if they don’t have to but there is no better time to check-in and see if the two of you are on the same page.   When we don’t “check in” on a regular basis we can find our relationship in a really yucky place before we know it.  Even worse – we aren’t sure how it got there which can make the recovery period even more difficult.

Here are some discussion points for you and your partner.  You can try to answer for each other in a game format and see how well you know each other, but be sure by the end of it  your partner knows where you stand on each one.  When there are differences in your responses don’t panic, just dig a little deeper and discuss them.

  • I am important to our marriage/relationship because…
  • What I contribute to your success is…
  • Ways I have fun with you are…
  • The ways I seek space in our relationship are…
  • Ways I am intimate with you are…
  • My most important role as your spouse is…
  • I feel most feminine/masculine in our bond when…
  • I deal with stress by…
  • I need you to…
  • I feel most loved by you when you…
  • You may not know it, but I am loving you best when I…

Fear is a primary emotion.   Men’s biggest fear is failure.  Women’s biggest fear is abandonment.  These may be likely culprits if you are having any troubles in your relationship.  Women: Check yourself and the kind of messages you are sending to your male partner.  Are you criticizing a lot?  Are you sending the message that he can’t cut it or that you don’t even need him?  Are you cheerleading him and supporting him?  How often do you say you are proud of him and all that he does?  Showing gratitude can be invaluable.  Men: How are you speaking to the woman in your life?  Do you remember to call when you are running late or your plans change?  Do you remind her how important she is to you?  How often do you express that you look forward to “forever” with her?    In a relationship, these small acts of kindness can go a long way to soothe our biggest fears.  After all, this is the partner you chose.  Remind them why you had to have them.

If you have other ways of “checking in” or connecting with your partner, leave a comment, I’d love to hear it!

 

Romancing Your Female Partner

3 Oct

A friend of mine stumbled upon a cool link and shared it with me today.  I found this article there so I am passing it onto you.   For those of you that are familiar with Love Languages and the work of Gary Chapman, it will seem familiar to you.  I may share more good stuff from the site down the road but feel free to check it out on your own.  It’s http://www.twoofus.org/index.aspx

Romancing Your Female Partner

The concept of “romance” hasn’t received much original thought in decades. Hollywood spits out clichés. Romance-starved fans gobble them up. Some people make a noble attempt to emulate what they have seen on the silver screen: flower-filled baths, rings sparkling in champagne.

Reproducing the kind of romance shown in movies can feel rather like an act: You know what your audience wants. So you go through the motions for her. But you both know it’s a little scripted.

Ultimately, what makes romance real is making romance your own. If it doesn’t feel sincere, you aren’t likely to keep the production going for very long. And as much as a woman may crave a grand romantic gesture once in a while, she also craves an enduring romance. What makes romance both powerful and sustainable is tailoring your style of romance to the needs of your female partner.

Have a Game Plan

Taking initiative is incredibly attractive to most women. Brainstorm new restaurants, activities or experiences to share together. Start with a solid plan for your dates, then adapt to the mood and the moment as needed. Say something like, “Tonight, I’d like to take you to dinner at Vito’s and then to go see the new Daniel Craig movie. How does that sound to you?” This allows her to express her preferences but spares you both the familiar, “What do you want to do? / I don’t know” rigmarole.

Give a Just-Because Gift

Make a point of picking up a present for her any time you travel. Choose something that reflects both her personality and the location. You don’t need to spend a lot; what’s most impressive is realizing you were thinking of her when you were away. Do the same thing when running errands in town. Keep an eye out for little things she would love: a new book by her favorite author or her favorite fruit from the local farmer’s market.

Be Responsible

You’ll never see it being used to sell body wash ads, but women generally find responsibility incredibly sexy. She’s not necessarily a gold-digger; she’s just looking for someone she can trust to be a true partner. Holding a steady job, staying on top of the bills and giving back to your community are undeniably attractive traits.

Be Specific to Your Woman

What makes your partner feel loved and safe? What makes her feel just a tiny bit spoiled? You may buy her tickets to the hottest Broadway musical, but if she’d rather be courtside, your efforts (and money) are wasted. Would she rather go on a hike/picnic or go out for a night on the town? Most women appreciate flowers, but do you know what specific flowers she likes? And do you know what she might prefer to have more than flowers? If not, don’t be afraid to ask. Say, “What can I do today that would make you feel really loved?”

Do an Unsolicited Chore

Housework isn’t naturally appealing to most people. But doing chores—especially without being asked—can make you more appealing to your partner. Women don’t really enjoy nagging. But some women do have a hard time relaxing in a messy house. By freeing your partner from some household drudgery, you free her to focus on taking good care of herself … and you.

The Way to Her Heart

The old adage is: “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” But the same may be true for women—especially women who have spent the day with insane coworkers or tantrum-prone toddlers.

You don’t have to be rich: You can stay home and cook. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef: The meal could be a humble offering of spaghetti and salad. For that matter, you don’t even have to cook at all: Simply swing by her favorite to-go place on the way home from work.

Show (and Expect) Respect

Different women have different ideas of chivalry. But every woman wants to be treated with respect and consideration. Likewise, you should fully expect to receive respect from your female partner. Romance isn’t about abasing yourself. It’s about elevating and strengthening your connection as a couple.

Despite what you see in movies, romance doesn’t require goopy sentimentalism or lavish public displays. romance is making art out of everyday experiences … and applying creativity and thoughtfulness in a relationship.

Best of luck to the guys out there!  I’m rooting for you!