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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guest blog: Self-Definition in Relationships

Author Bio: Tonya Vrba is a passionate writer. Her work has been published in newspapers and blogs. She frequently writes for http://www.onlinedatingsites.net about the top dating sites, health, careers, books and college. Learn more about her work at her personal website http://www.tonyavrba.wordpress.com

Self-Definition in Relationships How do we define ourselves has a huge impact on how we act in relationships. In some ways, our defining factors are obvious. You may consider yourself male, female or transgender. You are short or tall, fat or skinny, black or white. What truly effects us is the deeper definition. How do you define yourself when you look in the mirror? What characteristics would you use to define your personality? These are the questions that ultimately define what kind of relationship you will have.

When I was in high school I would have told you that I was fat and ugly. My personality was weird and out of place. For this reason, the couple relationships I had were horrible. It wasn’t that the relationships made me feel a certain way, but that I sought out those who would treat me the way I thought I should be treated. At the time, that meant I should be treated as an outcast. Now, my brother has finally reached high school age and he tells me about different girls he likes. Many refuse to date him because they don’t want to ruin the relationship. Instead, they seek out boys who treat them poorly and often my brother comforts their tears. There it is again: girls seeking out people who treat them the way they think they deserve.

This stays with us throughout our life. Every person sees themselves in a certain way. Whether consciously or subconsciously, we seek out people who view us similarly to how we view ourselves or who push us towards the person we want to be. In many ways, we must live and let live when it comes to relationships. A person is going to continue seeking people – either good or bad – based on how they feel as a person. They only way to change that, is to change how a person views themselves. Aside from that, we must live and let live.

So often, we feel a need to tell people what type of person they should be dating. This can be as simple as a friend suggesting a nicer partner, to a religiously minded person suggesting a gay person seek out straight relationships. Regardless of these efforts, a person will act on the definition they give themselves. We can suggest ideas about how a person should look upon themselves, but the individual is the ultimate decider.

We cannot impose our definition of right and wrong upon other people. The best way to help someone who is in a troublesome relationship or who seeks out troublesome relationships is to encourage them to change their definition. A person in an abusive or destructive relationship will remain there so long as they think they get what they deserve. Let your opinion be known, but respect their decision. If or when they change their self-definition and realize they don’t want the relationship they have, they will need someone to fall back on.

If you find your relationships always turn sour, it may be time to examine your own self-definition. We should consider ourselves beautiful and worthy. Once you start to see yourself that way, potential partners will see your beauty too.

Monday, September 6, 2010

I thought this was interesting

No Longer Being “Mr. Nice Guy” Can Improve Your Relationships and Life
By Amy Phillips-Gary

Are you a man who is nice at all costs?

Do you work hard to please others in your life-- your boss, your partner, your friends and family?

If so, you have joined what seems to be a trend lately. Some sources estimate that 1 in 4 men consider themselves “nice guys” who often bend over backwards to try and meet the needs of the people in their lives.

'So what's wrong with being 'Mr. Nice Guy' and trying to please others?” you might be asking yourself.

Of course, there's nothing wrong or bad about being a caring and sensitive person who is helpful and giving. Big troubles arise, however, when a man continually puts his needs first and always says “yes”-- even if inside he is shouting “NO!”

We've all been in situations in which we agreed to something that wasn't what we really wanted and then ended up feeling resentful about it.

Many men are working hard to counter the years of damage wrought by “macho men” or “chauvinist pigs.”

This was the stereotype of a man who expects to be served by the women in his life (especially when it comes to domestic matters). According to this image, he is tough and even crude at times.

The “macho man's” masculinity is all wrapped up in working toward and achieving his goals, regardless of whom he runs over to get there.

To be fair, even the most macho or chauvinistic men of decades past were probably not as uncaring and insensitive as they were portrayed as being.

But, the stereotype persists. Some men today have made the intention-- perhaps unconsciously-- to be a “nice guy” instead of a “macho man.”

Maybe you told your wife that you'd take the kids to the zoo when you desperately wanted some time to just relax and kick back that afternoon.

Perhaps you agreed to take on a co-worker's responsibility at the office to help out, even though you already feel overwhelmed by your own workload.

It could be that you said, “Of course, I will,” to a friend who asked you to help clear out his garage, even it's your only day off that week and your back has been hurting lately.

Why “Mr. Nice Guy” will only undermine your relationships and aspirations...
When you play the “nice guy” at all costs to you, not only do you often end up resentful, you may also feel powerless and trapped.

After all, when you have developed the belief that in order to succeed in relationships and life, you need to shove down your true desires and try to please everyone, you lose what's unique and authentic about you.

You may feel conflicted as what you truly want attempts to get your attention from the inside while you also are concerned about upsetting or letting someone down.

All of this internal conflict can lead you adrift. It can take you further from your own knowing and drive.

And, to compound all of this, it is really tough-- if not impossible-- to take responsibility for someone else's happiness.

In the end, when you ignore what you truly want and, instead, constantly try to please others, nobody actually benefits.

Does this mean that the “macho man” is back?
So if you stop being “Mr. Nice Guy,” does it mean that you need to flip into the stereotypes of the unfeeling and self-serving man?

Of course not.

What it does mean is that you can take responsibility for your own happiness and well-being and nobody else's.

You will no longer rely on your ability (or inability) to please others as your reason for feeling successful in relationships, at work or in life overall.

When you stop being a “nice guy,” you stay in touch with what you truly want in a situation.

Sometimes this will mean that you are willing to take the kids to the park and take some “me” time that evening instead.

Other times, it will mean that you are honest with your boss that you are not willing to take on your co-worker's project if you are also expected to do a satisfactory job on the projects for which you are already responsible.

Your honesty will most likely be appreciated and respected by everyone around you. Stay open to new options that you may not have considered before.

You can be sensitive, caring and giving to others and at the same time, honor what you want and need.

Here is the link to the article:


Monday, July 12, 2010

Friendship or relationship

I was reading a short article from "YourRomanceGuide" and it had some interesting points. What struck me was this part:

"We are like a child in friendships but behave like an adult in relationships.
If you remain inside your boundaries in a relationship and not try to change it into a close friendship, you will have longer relationships. Telling all does not help in relationships

I agree and disagree here. If one tries to change the relationship then ok maybe things can go off track, however, there is a certain amount of friendship that should be apart of the relationship. How many times have you heard from couples that have been together for many years (sometimes even 40 or 50 years), say that their partner is their best friend? Personally, I believe that this friendship is really the glue that can hold a relationship together through the really rough times.

Changing a romantic relationship to a friendship-no, but being friends or becoming better friends in a romantic relationship-YES!

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Three Points To a Successful Relationship

The three points for successful relationships

1. Know who you are and what you want.

2. Know who they are and what they want.

3. Communicate openly and honestly .

As simple as this premise is however, I am oftentimes amazed at how often people are afraid of honesty. Hurt feelings, guilt or even shame may be some reasons for a person's lack of honesty. Most would agree I think that these reasons, the very ones we hide, come out in the end anyway and the end, tragically, is the end of the relationship. So what was solved? This premise can be used with just about any relationship, but I will venture to concentrate on romantic type relationships, especially pre-relationship. I will lay out and explain the three points, then continue on about general relationships.

Chapter one- Defining ourselves

I truly believe that one of the main problems, and one of the hardest to conquer, is being honest with ourselves and as a by product of this, our prospective partner. How many times have you seen your friend act differently around the opposite sex, or the same sex if that's what they prefer? What about you? Are you completely at ease around a person that you are attracted to? Or, as Billy Joel wrote in a song, do you "*Wear a mask"? 1 Let's face it, we are social animals that want to be liked and looked upon in good favor. It's perfectly normal to be nervous or apprehensive in prospective type situations. To put our best foot forward as it were. Let's ask ourselves some simple questions. Are we really that courteous, respectful, playful, romantic or even punctual in a steady relationship, or are we just like this on the first few dates?

So how does one go about defining themselves? An easier way is to ask yourself who you are . Go ahead, sit down in your comfortable spot and think about this question. Remember, there's no one around that you would be lying to, just yourself. If you lie to yourself, then what real chance do you have of a successful relationship with another person?

Here are some examples of things you may want to think about :

1. My family upbringing

2. My religious beliefs (or belief system)

3. My past relationship experiences

4. Views on different topics (political, social etc)

5. Feedback from friends and family

6. Favorite pastimes

7. Worst traits/best traits

You get the idea, right? Look at where you came from and what you were taught, and by whom. Realize that much of who you became had to do with your upbringing. Were you bullied in school, or the bully or neither? Who was your first crush and what was the outcome? Were you taunted about your crush by a sibling or friend? Did you have a lot of support?

Chapter two- Defining them

Ok, it's a little harder to define someone else than it is yourself, especially when their putting on their nice face also, just like you. So what can you do? Two things come to mind, give it some time and cut them a little slack .

Most relationships develop over a period of time, not all, but most. Prepare to give him/her the same amount of time to get to know them as you would want them to give you. It's not only fair, but it gives them a chance to open up more when they get more comfortable with you, and visa versa. Time seems to define us better than we realize.

Also, remember that they are probably just as nervous and maybe intimidated as you are, so they are going to exibit a certain amount of shyness and/or awkwardness that they won't after some time. So just as you would want someone else to do for you, cut them some slack. Realize that just like you, they probably have there guard up.

Taking this all into consideration, ask the questions that you feel comfortable asking, don't rush though, you have time.

Chapter Three-Honest communication

Ah, the tricky part! Why tricky? Because many of us can't be honest with ourselves, and when that's the case, how can we be honest with a prospective partner? If you were able to define yourself well in chapter one, it shouldn't be too hard for you to communicate honesty with your partner. I mentioned in defining them that one needs to give it time, this is not so much the case in honest communication. One should be upfront right away. If your partner likes to go out and drink on the weekend, but you don't, let them know that. If your partner likes pets, but you don't, let them know that.

There is a tendency for us to want the person to like us and have things in common with us so much that we lie just a little bit-avoid this like the plague! Down the road these little white lies are going to come back to bite you in the butt. You already know who you are and what you want, so communicate that honestly with this person. In the long run it's the best chance you have of a solid relationship.

*from my upcoming e-book: "Relationship Digest, the three points for a successful relationship"

Details to follow :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy holidays all

As many of you can see, I have been lacking in my posting. Well, all is well in my life short of a few glitches. I have become the "Glitchmaster" and will polish these glitches off soon enough.

I want to take this time to tell all of you, my blog friends, that I sincerely wish each and every one of you a healthy and happy holiday season full of love, happiness and of course, great relationships :)

Be well my friends!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Being single really sucks!

Oh I can hear the thoughts now, the compassion- cheer up Bobby, you'll find someone one day. There's someone out there just right for you. Everyone has a soul-mate Bobby, even you. Well thank you for the kind words and encouragement, but I had something different in mind when I said, "Being single really sucks!"

Being single really sucks, at least sometimes, because of the things singles have to deal with. Let me give you a few examples:

When you are perfectly content to be single, yet have everyone under the sun wondering why?

You tell people that you choose to be single and they wonder why. Is something wrong with you?

Singles don't get the same benefits, as say married couples ie: tax breaks.

Single people seem to loose life long friendships because, well, we may not fit in to our friends married lifestyle anymore like we use to.

The list goes on and on, but as I'm more of a relationship blogger (yeah, I know, being single is a relationship-with oneself), I'll steer you good folks to a few fantastic blogs that deal with this age old (problem?) of being single in a world full of couples.

Singletude is actually the singles blog that got me thinking about the world singles have to live in.

Onely don't you just love the name? This blog has two ladies that tag team the issues of being single.

Singlewomanrule is a collective of woman joining together to deal with issues that affect single woman.

Singlutionary is run by a lady with some very interesting, and humorous, perspectives on singles.

There are more links to some other good single blogs and sites on my side bar (go give a peek).

p.s. the McLinky you see here is a way for like minded bloggers to link together. I think it's a great idea :)

MckLinky Blog Hop

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The HYLYM factor

I was watching an episode of "Is she really going out with him", one of those reality shows where they show the relationship of a girl and a shmuck playboy type, and at the end the girl decides if she's going to stay with the shmuck or not. It was the third time I saw this show and as I watched the guy being a total jerk and treating the girl like so much trash, I actually said to the girl on the television, "Have you lost your mind!?" Hence the acronym HYLYM.

So after seeing this episode, and thinking about the premise along with being witness to real HYLYM situations, I decided to ask you guys what's up with this?

Why would a girl not see that a guy is being a cheating, disrespectful shmuck to her when everyone else not only sees it, but tells her so? Is there a gene involved or is it upbringing that makes her susceptible to the HYLYM factor?

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