Aphrodisiac Dinner Date
Beauty Divine
Dominant by Day, Submissive by Night
Feng Shui Your Love Pad
The Independent Woman and the Metrosexual Man
Love Dreams
Naturally Increase Libido
Possessive and Controlling
Psycho or Jealous?
Ready For the “R” Word?
Romantic Vacations
Sexual Networking in the Fish Bowl
Stop Nagging!
The Thirty Year Old Sexual Peak
Theories of Female Seduction
Thou Shalt Not Snoop
Tick Tock Goes the Love Clock

Thou Shalt Not Snoop

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in a relationship is snooping. We are all guilty of it. We have all been suspicious of our partner's activities and have resorted to digging through the personal effects of our lover's life trying to find proof that the suspicionswe feel are not unfounded. Unfortunately, it is the actual act of snooping, and not that innocent love letter you found which was written 10 years ago and before you two even met, which will cause strain, harm and even end the relationship. In most cases, the snooping itself is the real crime, not any evidence you might find.

Everyone who has been in a real and committed relationship has resorted to snooping in one sense or another. Don't worry about it, I am not condemning you. It is normal and we are all curious about the ones we love. We all have a normal desire to make sure that we can really trust the person who is in charge of our hearts. We worry that if our beloved is not being honest or faithful, our heart will be broken. Is he or she lying about anything or being devious behind our backs? Sometimes the curiosity or belief is so great that we cannot help ourselves and we begin a slow process of invading our loved one's privacy.

The problem with snooping is evident. Most likely you have convinced yourself that your mate has been untrue. Instead of believing him or her when that person tells you nothing is going on, you decide to go through all personal belongings to prove your intuitions are correct. You might go through his or her private papers, his or her desk and private drawers, check through incoming and outgoing phone call lists and even try to break into his or her email and view online activities. When you start to rummage through your lover's personal belongings, a mental switch flips in your head. You become entranced and almost hell bent on finding some artifact which might prove that he or she has been deceptive in the integrity of your relationship. When that happens, the smallest and most innocent finding could be turned into a monumental grievance in your own head. In short, you start making mountains out of molehills. If you start snooping through your lover's personal effects, you will always find something you don't like. And to make it worse, you might then even convince yourself that he or she was hiding this piece of evidence from you purposefully. Does this sound familiar?

If you do find something that is upsetting to you and you feel as if your partner has been untrue in some way, the evidence you found will only harm your relationship. You think that by digging out parts of his or her private life will help your relationship. What you seek is to know every little dark and dirty secret, unveil any sins and bring them to light and then demand that he or she make it up to you. It is almost as if you want some sort of vindication and you believe that outing any past misgivings will cause your lover to break down, beg forgiveness if needed and reaffirm his or love for you. Well, that is the exact opposite of what is going to happen. Instead, your beloved will only be completely irritated with you for snooping. You have no excuse for this. And it will make matters even worse if what you found is really insignificant. Instead of your lover becoming more open with you, which is what you desire, your paramour will only retreat into more privacy and will keep a tighter grip on his or her personal life. Passwords and codes will be changed and doors will be locked. Why on earth should he or she let you in if all your are going to do is try to find something to yell at him or her about?

In a healthy, loving and trusting relationship neither one of you will keep any locked doors. Meaning, neither one of you will keep anything hidden from the other person. This is what will prevent any snooping in the future. If you are in a serious and committed relationship, you should make sure that your lover never has anything to worry about. It is almost as if your lives fuse into one and secrets are not kept. You still need to have a personal life but you can do so without purposefully hiding things or keeping secrets. Make sure the one you love has all of your passwords and pass code, be sure and tell them about anything naughty that you might still have (anything from old love letters to porn on your computer), make sure that your lover is always invited out when you go out with your friends and family and do not keep any secret relations with people that you should not be in touch with. If it is a serious relationship you want, then you need to learn how to live in one and promote a healthy relationship. If you do not, your lover will become increasingly agitated, will begin to argue with you on trivial matters, will undoubtedly become suspicious and will eventually resort to snooping. However, if you unlock all doors to your lover, he or she will never have reason to doubt you. The trust will grow and grow to the point that he or she will never doubt you and will never have the desire to snoop. have just created your own personal space which will never be violated by your lover because there is no need.

Finally, if there are too many tell tale signs in your relationship which are causing you to have the urge to snoop, you should have a talk with your lover to discuss them. Sometimes you don't need intuition to know that your lover is being dishonest. For example, when your lover steps out of the room to talk to someone or quickly hangs up when you enter, if he or she refuses to ever let you see his or her email, if he or she never brings you out with his or her friends and things of this nature, of course you have good reason to believe that this person is hiding things from you. If you bring these issues up to your lover and get little to no response or a defensive response, you can pretty much assume that he or she is hiding important things from you. When a person is this secretive in a relationship, he or she is hiding many things from you. You don't need to snoop to figure this out. Either demand that he or she change his ways and let you in completely or just leave because this is not a healthy relationship. But don't resort to snooping if you still want to keep working on you relationship. It will only make you upset and cause the relationship to crumble. If you decide you want to leave but don't have a good enough reason, go ahead and snoop. Most likely you will find some incriminating evidence which you can use as an excuse for saying goodbye.

Theories of Female Seduction

I have always been curious about the guides and manuals geared towards men about how to pick up women. Most of them always boast some exaggerated claims such as 'never be turned down again', 'sleep with a different woman every night', 'have women beg for your affections' and 'it doesn't matter if you are fat, bald, short or and broke'. Although I don't seriously see myself ever going head over heels for a short, fat bald man who leaches on me for money because he doesn't have two pennies to rub together, stranger things have happened. So I decided to investigate some of these seduction theories and groups for my own edification.

I recently purchased, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists, by Neil Strauss, mostly because of its appearance. The book comes disguised as a bible with its black leather covering and gold trimmed pages and gold embossing. Clever. It is also over 450 pages and comes complete with a full glossary defining all of the “pick-up” terms used within the book which were created by the writer and his cohorts. To be honest, I thought this little book would be more of a gimmick filled with boring and needless details, but it really wasn't. The book was fascinating. It went through a lot of the steps that these successful pick-up artists would use on unsuspecting bombshells, successfully, and also revealed the sordid lives of his pick-up lair centered in Los Angeles addressing drugs, sex, parties, alcohol, you name it. It was truly fascinating and a little outrageous. When I read the part concerning one of the artists successfully picking up Paris Hilton I became a little concerned that the author may have been pulling a James Frey on me. Nevertheless, the story line was captivating and entertaining.

I skimmed through most of the book, only really interested in how these artists believe they could casually walk into a bar or meat market, identify a target, and have her come home with him within an hour. Could a guy do that with me? I seriously doubt it....but then again I am the kind of girl that always has to be in control of the situation. Still, I was impressed with the series of steps given for an easy pick-up. I have my own critique for each step. Her are just a few:

He Says: Smiling. Always smile when you enter a room because it tells people that you are happy, confident and a hell of a lot of fun to be with.

I Say: I couldn't agree more. When a guy walks into a room with no smile I either assume that he thinks he is too good for everyone else, almost as if he expects women to swoon to him just for looking so darn good (what girl would want to be with someone so high maintenance?) or that he has some serious social problems which need to be worked on, i.e. he is nervous, has low self esteem and is boring.

He Says: The Peacock Theory: Women are attracted to men who stand apart from everyone else. Where something bright and colorful, a conversation piece. Leave the boring old brown khakis at home.

I Say: True. It may sound silly but this is very true. You look like fun, you look like you are very confident, you know what you want.... I wouldn't suggest sporting a bright green mohawk, just try not to look boring. The author gives some good tips in this department.

He Says: After identifying the target, walk up to the group and have an opener to allow you to start talking to them. Ignore the target for a while and talk to everyone else in the group while making it seem to the target that you are the life of the party.

I say: With practice, you should be able to walk up to anyone and talk to them and to be able to engage the entire group in conversation which will make you look good. But if a guy is talking to everyone else but me I would instantly either smell a trap or assume that he is not interested in me. This would turn me against him right away and I would give him the cold shoulder for the rest of the evening. Fortunately for you pick-up wannabes, most younger women, women with low self esteem and/or low intellect and party-goers will fall right into this trap.

He says: Direct your attention towards the target and insult her gently with silly little negative comments always followed by a smile.

I say: Huh? I read some of the comments offered as suggestions and I don't think I would be so amused. But then again I am a born New Englander. If a guy insulted me in front of people you can better believe I will through a brutal insult in his direction and walk away (if I don't throw my drink in his face). If this strategy works, it works on women who do not think much of themselves. But for picking up women to “take home”, then I guess it suits its purpose.

He says: After entertaining the group for a while, isolate your target into a one on one situation and engage her in meaningless conversation designed to fascinate her. He tells of how to use magic tricks and little fascinating mind tricks to keep her enthralled. You would have to read this chapter to understand this in fine detail but you get the picture.

I say: This solidifies my theory that the only women these groups are picking up are either truly mindless or are looking to be picked up in the first place. I think if a guy used one of these little games on me to peek my interest I might laugh uncontrollably. However, the theory is correct about keeping someone's interest. His games were a little too prosaic for me, but I personally like to be with a guy who teaches me new things every day. The premise is the same....stimulation is needed.

He Says: The Cat and String Theory. If you dangle the string in front of the cat, it plays with the string wildly but if you just throw the string down, the cat will look at it and walk away. He uses this analogy to describe women. For example, if a woman hugs you and you hug back and then stay by her side touching her..she will back off. If she hugs you and then you walk away a little, she will be following you all night.

I say: For the most part this is true. A woman likes to feel in control. If you are cramping her space too much leaving her will little choice to make on her own, she will back off. But if you allow her to make the choice, she will feel more free, safe and secure and she will be the one chasing you. Correct.

Mr. Strauss goes into further detail about reading her signals, interpreting positive signals and successfully completing the deal. More chapters go into sealing the contract once back at your pad and how to seduce her into sex. It was an interesting read and I think most men and women would enjoy this informative book. It is as bold as it is entertaining. All seduction books, guides and manuals are meant for guys who just want to increase their sex score. In my opinion, the kind of women you will be hooking up with due to these methods, although potentially extremely hot, are not dating material. They are women who are in it for the moment. These books are not for someone looking for a relationship....they could do more harm than good.

Love Dreams

Everyone has dreams, even the people who say they never remember their dreams. Dreams are conjured throughout the sleep cycle however there is a certain amount of memory erasure which occurs as the sleep cycle occurs which is why it is hard to remember dreams in general. Your strongest and most vivid dreams occur in the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) cycle which occurs near the end of your sleep cycle, and these are the dreams you are apt to remember. When the alarm goes off or you wake up in the middle of your REM without the normal transition from REM to the final Delta cycle and then to natural waking, you are bound to have some recall of the dreams you were just experiencing.

Dreams are usually a reflection of your emotions and the result of the feelings you were experiencing the day before. Most dreams make absolutely no sense, but if you try to gather some of the basic feelings within those dreams, you might be able to understand them better. Dreams of love, sex or anger within a relationship can help you to understand what is going on in your life. Conversely, if you already have acknowledged your feelings in your daily ongoings, then you will understand why you dream what you dream. Some doctors also believe that your dreams are a way of expressing emotion which you may have bottled up if you tend to not express the way you feel to others easily. With this in mind, dreams can be a natural outlet for your emotional needs.

To dream of love or of being in love suggests that you are very happy in your current relationship. Your life is a bed of roses and you couldn't be happier, you are even gushing in your dreams. However, it could also mean that you are not getting enough of that loving attention you so desire. You crave that love so much, and think of it so often, that it is only natural for you to dream about it. You might also dream about your lover or spouse. Usually this indicates a good amount of self worth and acknowledgment of your union together and your mutual dependency. Dreaming about your ex-lover is common and very often occurs at the onset of a new relationship. It simply brings to the surface any apprehension and hurt stemming from that old relationship which you fear may occur again. Another common dream is the one about your crush. You might be dreaming that this particular person is desperately in love with you. Naturally, this is because you have a one track mind and your constant preoccupation with your beloved has leaked into your dreams. However, if you dream that this person hates you or is angry with you, this just shows you how much you fear being hurt. This dream also reveals your insecurities.

Affection in dreams is common. Just as with love, if you are dreaming about giving or receiving affection, you might be simply expressing your contentment in your waking life. If you are in a very happy relationship, dreams of affection can fill your night. Conversely, you might not be getting enough affection and your constant cravings have begun infiltrating your dreams. To dream of hugging someone truly represents your caring nature, the way you take care of and hold someone. Kissing is usually a good dream and again signifies your emotional happiness. But have you ever had that annoying dream when the dream ends right before you kiss someone? This dream usually means that you are unsure of the relationship, its direction and/or its stability. If you have dreamed about kissing your friend's lover, don't worry. This does not mean you have deep and unseen feelings for this person, it merely represents your desire to be in a relationship. Touching someone in your dream can mean that you are trying to communicate with that person or it could represent your deep emotional bonds with that person.

Most people have had some pretty bizarre sexual dreams but most of them are also common. For instance, did you know that an expectant father often dreams of homosexual encounters? That is what the experts say. To dream that you are a homosexual when you are not actually denotes your love for yourself and your acceptance of all parts of your life. A very common dream for people is the dream of making love outdoors and in public. This dream speaks about some sexual issue in your life which needs to be addressed. You might be feeling shame or comfortableness in that area. Oral sex can be a fun dream. Whether you are giving or receiving, this dream simply signifies that you enjoy the giving or receiving. Regular sexual dreams are often a way for your body to tell you that you are not getting enough of that loving feeling, but you probably knew that already. To dream about sex with someone other than your significant other might mean there is some dissatisfaction with your sex life, but usually it is just a harmless and common fantasy so don't worry. Having sex with your ex in a dream is also common, especially before taking a big new step in a relationship. This dream represents your feelings of anxiety in the new relationship and maybe even a little fear of experiencing the same emotional pain that an ex caused you.

We all go through tough times especially in relationships. When you are having relationship and emotional problems you can expect some pretty intense dreams. And they all are a way to breathe emotionally and express some feelings that you have trouble voicing. Common dreams during such times are dreams of separation which suggest a fear of separation, dreams of quarreling which suggest difficult issues that you are unable to get your mate to understand, dreams of severe fighting which represent deep emotional turmoil, and dreams of divorce which symbolize the fear of your relationship breaking apart. Crying in your dreams may also be frequent. To cry in your dreams and have no one hear you cry is a dream which shows how helpless you feel. Very often, you might even wake yourself up crying because the emotions are so strong.

Most people only remember bits and pieces of their dreams but these small fragments offer a glimpse into our emotional lives. Try keeping a small pad and pen by your bed and start writing about your dream as soon as you wake up if you can. You can try to understand the dreams yourself by trying to relate to the mood and emotions you were experiencing in the dream or you can read up on that dream using dream dictionaries online and in books. Dream interpretation is a clever tool for emotional and relationship self help.

Possessive and Controlling

I wanted to send a warning out to all of my relationship-seeking friends concerning the nature of a potentially possessive and controlling new companion. It might seem that your new boyfriend or girlfriend has a small insecurity problem and you might even think it is cute when he or she sticks by your side, asks you all sorts of personal questions, wants all of the details of your past relationships and demands to know whom you talk to. You might even be flattered by all of the sudden attention. But I want you to stop and seriously assess your relationship if your new partner is coming on a bit too strong. There might be a very serious and negative drawback to this behavior.

When you first get involved with someone who is a bit pushy you may be so turned off you will end up walking away. But every so often you come across what seems to be the greatest person you have ever met, and even though he or she is a little bit “over the top”, you don't care because you are falling in love with that person irregardless of his or her possessive nature. You can't help it, everyone falls in love from time to time. If that person is seriously falling in love with you too, that is why he/she is treating you in such a controlling manner. However, their feelings are coming out in a controlling form due to a much deeper philosophy.

Pretty soon that person is checking your email, demanding to know which ex-lover you still speak to, asking who you speak to at work who might be of the opposite sex and more. The attention flatters you and you might even fall deeper in love because you are convinced that this attention means that they are really serious about you! You get the good attention along with the bad. He or she talks about the future a lot, maybe even mentions marriage and says how obsessed and in love they are with you. Its a great feeling! You become entranced in the relationship and you might even become fused into one person as time goes on. Their reasons for why they are so worried about your affairs seem genuine. He or she is only concerned about your intent, right?

Then the relationship goes up a notch. Your obsessed and possessive partner asks you not to talk to certain people of the opposite sex, mainly your exes, you can't go out for a night with your girlfriends or guy friends, he or she calls you constantly, your phone calls, text messages and emails are continuously monitored and pretty soon it gets to the point where you are not even allowed to speak to someone of the opposite sex. At first you might resist. But after much persuasion by your lover, you begin to see his or her side of the situation, and the intentions start to look noble. He or she might tell you that it is a simple matter of respect for the relationship, and that he or she would do the exact same thing for you if only asked. You begin to believe that your behavior has been wrong this whole entire time and that you must change it. After that, it all goes downhill from there. You fall into a co-dependent state within the relationship. Pretty soon, all you know is your lover. You have been isolated from any and all of your friends and you begin to depend on your lover emotionally. That is when the floor drops right beneath your feet with the noose tight around your neck.

There is a main and fundamental reason why your loved one was acting so suspicious, controlling and possessive. The reason why, and I am sure you have heard this before, is because he or she is afraid you will treat them they way they are prone to behave. For example, if your man or woman is suspicious of you flirting with other people, that is because your lover is the real flirt. If they are afraid you are talking to exes, that is because they do it all the time. And trust me, if your lover tells you that he or she would do the same for you when asking you to cut off communications with a particular person, trust me....they won't. And of course the same goes for cheating. If your loved one is constantly worried or suspicious that you might cheat, guess why? Your lover is prone to cheating. You might think that this is different in your case. You might think that, “No, he or she only acts this way because my lover is crazy about me!”. I hate to break it to you, but that is not the real reason why. It is true that this person might be, and probably is, crazy about you! But there are deeper reasons for this insane behavior. He or she is worried that you might cheat because that person holds the cheating heart.

What often happens next is that you find out about your partner's true lifestyle and behavior after he or she already has you in their grip. You have become emotionally dependent on them, and then you find out that you have been betrayed time and time again without you ever knowing it. When that happens, your world crumbles. You imagined that your lover would never ever hurt you or betray you, not after they preached about the importance of honesty and fidelity for so long! You will get hurt by even the smallest of betrayals because it hurts your ego. You have become so emotionally dependent on that person that you use that person to make you feel good about yourself. Therefore, they might not even intend to hurt you and you still get hurt! This is why emotional dependency is wrong. You, and only you, are the one person who should be making yourself happy about you, not your lover. To be honest, it gets worse from there. You feel betrayed and incredibly hurt and you end up taking it out on your lover. You become just as controlling as they were and start to ask them to do the same kind of things for you. It doesn't work because he or she will not comply and will even start to back away. This will infuriate you more because you are so emotionally involved and attached in the relationship. It is at this point where you need to seek help because it will only get worse if you do not. It could lead to depression and even deeper psychiatric problems. At the very least, it will leave you in a detached state of general unhappiness and bad feelings.

A person in this situation needs to break free. It does not mean you have to break free from the relationship. There are many things that can be overcome and if love is true, the relationship will prevail. But a person dealing with the loss of his or her control over the emotional life needs to work on restoring that independence and it can be as simple as making a conscious effort. No longer will you let him or her dominate your personal life, you will end up getting back your social life and you will make an effort to realize that you do not need that person to make you happy. You can do that all on your own.

Naturally Increase Libido

As we all get older, we may notice a significant decrease in sexual appetite in ourselves or our significant other. The loss of libido may signify loss of attraction, bad health, hormonal issues, menopause or more serious problems such as erectile dysfunction. For most people, a decreased desire for sex is a combination of poor habits, health issues and time-cramped lifestyles. The good news is that there are ways to help increase your libido naturally without drugs and without seeking medical attention. However, to increase the waning libido of your partner, he or she would need to commit to the necessary steps on their own. It is not something you can force on someone and it is not as easy as taking a pill every day.

The number one way to improve your sexual prowess is exercise. Are you moaning yet? Unfortunately for you couch potatoes, it is true. Not only does regular exercise benefit your sex life, it helps you out in so many other ways as well. First of all, exercise gives you energy. Even if you are drop dead tired from the day's activities, you could spend a half hour to an hour at the gym and feel completely rejuvenated. Without doing so, you might come home from work and spend the rest of the evening on the couch flipping through the prime time TV shows. Even after an hour or two relaxing on the couch, you never seem to get your energy back and on the couch you stay. But if you go get some exercise at the gym, you come home feeling like you just woke up. You run around the house taking care of chores and giving attention to your loved ones. Your energy level is peaked and it lasts for hours. One of the most incredible times to have sex is right after working out.....while you and your lover are washing off that sweat in the shower. Delicious. Exercise also helps you to have a great night of sleep when you finally turn in for bed and being well rested is fundamental component for a healthy sex life.

Exercise produces the hormone testosterone in the body which is considered the most important sexual hormone. Most people associate testosterone with men, but this is an absolutely essential hormone that women need for sexual arousal. This is why sex is the absolute best for women right after working out. It is obviously required for men for stronger erections. And since, exercise helps to stimulate the production of testosterone, I tend to see exercise as a way of making people randy. Furthermore, cardiovascular activities increases the blood flow to the sex organs and a healthy sex life requires proper blood flow to these organs. Poor circulation from a lack of exercise can cause even more problems in the sex life.

After exercise, diet is the next biggest factor in libido levels, if not it is the equal to exercise. As I have said before, testosterone production is necessary for sexual arousal, but a bad diet can limit the production of this necessary hormone. For example, dehydration limits hormone production and therefore too much alcohol and caffeine can really do a number on your sex cravings. Alcohol actually reduces the production of testosterone in men. Drunken sex might be fun while you are young but it just doesn't work as you get older. Foods heavy in saturated fat can eventually clog arteries and lead to poor circulation which, as I stated above, plays a negative role in libido. However, you do need fat for the production of hormones, it is absolutely required. This is why natural and unsaturated fats are needed in a healthy body. Have you see those women who are rail thin lately, the so called perfectly toned models without an ounce of fat on their bellies? Guess, what? Sex for them is probably horrible because they are not able to produce enough testosterone to get excited. This should make every woman feel better. Speaking of women, try adding more soy into your diet. Soy actually binds estrogen receptors and it even helps the vaginal areas stay lubricated! Soy is also beneficial to men as it aids the prostate.

A surprising aid in libido increase is natural sunlight. Natural sunlight is detected by the body through the eye's retina. Natural light suppresses the production of melatonin in the body which is produced both in the retina and in the pineal gland of the brain. To make a long story short, melatonin produces hormones which suppress the natural appetite for sex in the body. You produce more melatonin in the winter months and less in the summer months when the natural sunlight is at a peak in volume. This is why you seem a lot “hornier” in the summer than you do in the frigid winter. It could also explain why promiscuity and a heightened awareness of sexual activity is more prominent in the warmer and sunnier climates of the world. Have you ever noticed that? For couples that live in a colder and seasonal climate, you can still get boosts of natural sunlight with plenty of outdoor activities in the daytime such as skiing.

The Independent Woman and the Metrosexual Man

A lot of people are starting to wonder why dating in the big city has suddenly become such a perplexing and complicated experience. And when, exactly, did this happen? The dating scene has always been a little troublesome for some people and could even feel like more of a chore than what should be a fun time. But lately the single jungle of Houston and other large cities are changing and evolving into more complex designs of mass confusion. We seem to be moving faster and faster into complete chaos rather than assimilating into the well preserved roles that our mothers and fathers laid out for us.

Gender roles are changing and this is the basic concept that is generally holding many of us back from entering successful relationships. More and more people are remaining single for longer periods of time. Part of this is because we are finding it difficult to accept and understand the new gender roles of our mates, even if we, ourselves, are holding to those new standards.

The roles of women have gone through the most dramatic changes. They have changed more in the last two generations than in the last two millenniums. Due to mass media, urbanization and politics, women have achieved equality to men in education and the workplace and everywhere else you look. And thanks to the sexual revolution, we have freed our minds. Women are now able to support themselves and raise their own children without the help of a man, thus escaping the traditional role of “mother” and “wife”. Our new found independence is something we fear giving back. The independent woman does not want to be controlled or told what to do. She will never again be the docile little lamb once sought after for marrying purposes.

This change in the lives of women in large cities has led to a second major change, this one in men. Men have moved from being the gruff, rugged males to becoming “metrosexual” (a term coined by gay journalist Mark Simpson). Men have started to take over some of the duties that women had always controlled. There are women working alongside these men in the office. And thanks to sexually homogenous advertising, the meterosexual has been created. This new male breed has matching ensembles for every occasion, never has a bad hair day, loves manicures and smells like roses. He has no problem shopping, attending the opera and buying new shoes. The metrosexual is completely in touch with his feminine side but there is just one thing: he is straight.

Suddenly, the roles that we are used to having our mates fill are no longer being filled. The metrosexual is now asking why he has to pay for every date, open doors and pick a woman up at her door since the women are now so independent and financially equal. Yet these men still secretly yearn for that woman who will do the housework and raise the children just like mom did. The independent woman has become too afraid to give back that independence she worked so hard for only to begin relying more on a man than herself. Why should she when the danger still lies of being tossed aside one day? Yet, in her heart, she also desires the manly man who will sweep her off of her feet and take away all of her problems, just like her daddy once did.

We have now entered what appears to be a never ending cycle that can only be broken by trust. The once praised nuclear family with the hard working father and stay at home mother is slowly dissipating. From now on, men and women will be taking on more equal roles in relationships and families. The question is: when will we become comfortable enough to let it happen?

Romantic Vacations

If you have entered into what could be a serious relationship, then at some point in time the two of you should escape into a private romantic vacation. A retreat for just the two of you. When your relationship begins to fuse into a single life force and your entire world suddenly begins to revolve around each other, things can sometimes start to get routine or dull. The excitement might be starting to fade, although the love is just as strong as it ever was, and life is getting back to its boring old self. This is especially true once you move in together. You get up, go to work, go to the gym, do errands, clean the house and go to bed. You cuddle up and watch the same television shows together, make plans with the same friends on the weekends and go to the same restaurants for dinner out. There is absolutely nothing wrong with becoming comfortable with your lover. Life can't always be a daytime soap opera. But opting to take a romantic vacation together can turn out to be an indelible time together you will never forget.

There are many types of vacations you and your lover can take. Choosing the one that is right for you makes all the difference. Many people say that a vacation with your loved one is actually one of the more stressful times you can have where you relationship is concerned. This is actually very true; but it doesn't have to be. If you pick the wrong type of vacation, you could potentially be at each other's throats and ready to kill by the end of the week.

There are two main types of vacations a couple can take: A romantic vacation or a sight-seeing vacation. But what is the difference? The two categories I have chosen are very generalized but there is a major difference. With a romantic vacation the two of you will get plenty of relaxation, rejuvenation, pampering, lounging and easy time to spend together. On a sight seeing adventure you and your lover will be on the go-go-go. You won't stay in one place for too long, you will be constantly planning the next place to go and the next sight to see and you will be busy navigating and trying to communicate with the locals if you are in a different country. You might have a wonderful time, but the stress is going to build and build.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a wonderful sight-seeing tour with your lover, especially if traveling is your passion. But if you are looking specifically for a romantic vacation, then you might want to rethink the European tour. A vacation for two in Europe, for example, might sound wonderful and even romantic. The problem is that you are going to want to see as many sights and countries as you can in your short time. The majority of your time will be spent on the road or train, in banks exchanging currency, looking at maps and trying to find somewhere to eat and even find a bathroom. Pretty soon you will find yourself quarreling about which place to go next and because you spend so much time side by side together, you might get a tad bit annoyed with each other. This is normal, but not very romantic.

If you want to escape into a romance filled and lascivious vacation, then what you want is to go to one place for the weekend or for the whole week. A resort will have the best effect. Whether it is a resort in the snowy Alpine peaks or a resort on the sandy white beaches of the Carribbean, love and romance will be the number one priority. There will be nothing to worry about. Drinks are brought to your lounge chair and meals are paid for. You can take turns deciding what to do for the day, but for the most part you both know you are going to get plenty of lounging, napping and love making into the day. There is nothing to cause you any great stress and the two of you should be all smiles for the entire vacation. A romantic vacation is a peaceful vacation.

You should also take into consideration a few tips to make your amorous vacation just perfect. First, leave your work at home. Don't try and use your cell phone to make business calls and leave your briefcase and laptop where it belongs: at the office. If you get caught thinking about business, your lover might be less than thrilled; he or she might even be downright insulted. Also, make sure everyone in your office knows not to call you, don't even give them the name of your resort. Second, try not to worry about what is going on back home. Let your worries and anxieties slip away into oblivion. You are on vacation, try and realize this. Some people have a difficult time letting themselves wind down. Third, make a decent effort to be loving to your partner. You are not the only one on vacation, you partner also deserves this break. Make unexpected and loving gestures in the name of love and romance. Buy your sweetheart something to remember the vacation with, give him or a her a back rub on the beach, buy a bunch of flowers from a vendor on the street or think of a special way to say, “I love you”. If you give a little, you will get a lot in return. It will make your vacation the most romantic getaway you have ever had

Stop Nagging!

One of the predominant reasons for the demise of a relationship is nagging. We all know what “nagging” is and we have all been either the nagger or the recipient of hard core nagging at one time or another. Usually thought of as a feminine trait that only women are supposed to do, men also have the ability to badger beyond belief. Most people who nag their partners don't even realize they are doing it. The only thing which incessant nagging will do is push that special person away. This is always the exact opposite of its intent.

The prevailing reason why most people harass their lovers is because they don't feel like they are getting the response or attention they should be getting. Someone might nag about household chores, getting a new job, quitting smoking, not staying out late, financial issues and more. But saying the same thing over and over and over again is nagging. Even if you find new ways to state your demands, you are still saying the same thing and the object of your affections is still being and feeling nagged. The nagger wants a certain response and usually feels as if the other person is just not listening, so the nagger NAGS some more. Meanwhile, the person getting the heaping piles of orders, demands and nagging comments is getting pushed away. He or she will just end up walking away, ignoring the nagger even more and causing a great big fat circle that will not end until he or she ends the relationship.

I knew this one girl a few years ago who I befriended because we ended up being in the same circle of friends. She was a fun girl, a likable character and absolutely gorgeous But she always had a tough time keeping a guy. Here is a great example of “why”. She was dating this man for a while. He was quite a catch and considered one of the most eligible bachelors in Houston. He was charming, handsome, well established, cultured and financially well endowed. This girl, whom I shall call Kiki, was about to turn thirty. For her birthday Kiki's paramour told her that he was taking Kiki to a mutual friend's house for dinner and drinks. Unbeknownst to her, he had invited about 100 people for a surprise party and he was carrying a diamond ring in his pocket to “Pop the Big One” that very evening. During the car ride over to her secret surprise party Kiki let loose on her boyfriend. She told him over and over that she could not believe all he was doing for her 30th birthday was taking her to dinner with friends. She nagged him terribly, even yelled at him, during the 40 minute ride. Needless to say, she apologized when she discovered all of her closest friends and family waiting for her. A surprise which he so thoughtfully arranged. Kiki never saw a diamond ring that night. He never even told Kiki about the ring. The next day he returned the ring and broke it off with Kiki. To this day she has no idea that he was about to propose and that he broke it off with her because of her childish nagging. I still don't have the heart to tell her.

Although I do adore this woman with all my heart, I will say he did the right thing. I think most people out there would not dare to be so rude and act disappointed with your lover's gift making him or her feel badly. This was an extreme case of aggressive nagging. It was done only to make him feel bad because she felt neglected. There are a lot of men and women who act like this. If you nag and treat your new romance in this manner, it won't last. Nagging will never get you what you want. I will say it again: nagging only pushes people away.

If you feel like you might be nagging your lover to death you might want to think about why you are doing this. You might even want to seek counseling. If you love your significant other and you want to keep your relationship intact, you must realize the negative impact that nagging will create. The unnecessary stress will eventually push your mate towards breaking up, divorce or straight into someone else's arms. If you feel that you are not getting the consideration or feedback you desire, you can get that attention back when you stop the pestering. You will stop pushing that person away and he or she might actually start to give you the response you wanted all on his or her own.

If you are the person being nagged you might feel like there is nothing you can do. I don't want to tell you to bite your tongue, that will only cause anger to rage inside of you. If you get nagged enough without saying a word, you could eventually blow up. Instead of saying nothing, remember why this person is nagging you: he or she is not getting the response from you which is needed to quell the nagging. If you want it to stop, think of a way that will appease this person. If he or she is nagging you, tell your lover that he or she is right and you will do “something” to resolve the situation. This will quickly put a lid on the nagging, for the moment anyways. And only try to calm these situations if this is a relationship you are willing to keep and work for. If the nagging turns to verbal and/or emotional abuse, it may be high time to start walking.

Aphrodisiac Dinner Date

Dinner dates with new companions can make or break a budding romance. First dates can be nerve racking. Planning the date can be particularly difficult. Where should you go, what should you do and what would be enjoyable? You might worry that your date will not like the restaurant, the food or worse yet, the company. Once the date begins you may sometimes struggle with conversation, feel awkward and suffer from anxiety. Don't be ashamed, it happens to everyone.

What you need to do is have a plan. Once you have a course of action in place, you can stay focused. You will have more on your mind than the impending fate of your date. With this in mind you should be able to focus on the fine details of your production instead of wondering if he or she will like you. This will immediately restore your confidence and it will give you something else to worry about! A quintessential part of your grand design should be controlling what kind of delicacies are to be consumed.

Well planned and prepared meals can be a journey through sensuality. You don't have to be a master chef to concoct a tantalizing meal, but take some time to familiarize yourself with natural foods and herbs which directly affect the senses as well as hormone and vitamin levels. A great meal can be an aphrodisiac on a number of levels: the way it is prepared, the way it looks, the way it feels, the way it smells, the way it tastes and the way it makes you feel afterwards.

The absolute best and incomparable sort of dinner date you can arrange is one that you prepare yourself at your own home. In this scenario you can be the male or the female, it does not matter. When a guy cooks for a girl, the woman feels special, elated, curious and very vulnerable because the man is in complete and total control. And when the woman cooks for her special guy, she gets to showcase any special culinary talents which can serve as a hint of more to come. When you cook for someone at home you can control the food, the ambiance, the music and even the romance. You are also alone. You have a little bit less stress on both parties because you are not in front of a crowd of other diners and waiters, you can forget about small formalities and you have a better opportunity to be yourselves. And not to mention cooking for someone is incredibly romantic in itself. It shows heart, thoughtfulness and a generous effort to please the other person.

The definition of an aphrodisiac is something that arouses or intensifies sexual desire. There are hundreds of different natural foods and herbs that are thought to be aphrodisiacs usually stemming from folklore and myths. To be exact, there are no foods that will turn on sexual desire like the flick of a switch. No scientific tests have ever concluded that certain foods will suddenly make you feel “in the mood”. Forget about Spanish fly. All that ever did was aggravate the urinal tract causing people to confuse the tingling sensation in their pelvic region with one of a sexual nature. However, there are certain natural foods that can help alter and guide the moment, and you might be surprised.

Asparagus may be at the top of list as a natural aphrodisiac. It contains healthy doses of natural vitamins and minerals including the two major “sex vitamins”: vitamins D and E. Vitamin D is responsible for hormone production including sex hormones while vitamin E is responsible for increasing the amount of oxygenated blood being pumped into your sex organs. Notably, asparagus has always been considered an aphrodisiac even in the past because of its phallic appearance. The rest of the nutrients in asparagus increase vitality and work to energize the body by erradicating ammonia. Other foods rich in the sex vitamins are eggs and sunflower seeds. I don't think we can work in the eggs for a romantic dinner, but try sprinkling your salad with some delicious sunflower seeds.

Another aphrodisiac at the top of the list are chiles. Not only do chiles increase the heart rate, they also release endorphins into the body. Spicy foods in general help the body to increase its production of these so called “happy hormones” which are utilized by the body to cope with the burn. But the hormones have another effect, they give us a natural high. Chocolate, a popular aphrodisiac, also helps increase the endorphin rush. Oysters on the half shell are not as potent as you might think. They contain very little nutritional value and the effect they have are on men, not women. First, the sweet and salty smell is very similar to the female pheromone and second, they contain a high amount of the zinc mineral which is a key ingredient for testosterone production.

Aphrodisiacs do not have to have an effect on the body as described above. Delicious and fragrant smells can put people in the right mood and even make people feel more comfortable. For example, men are insatiably attracted to the smell of apple-cinnamon candles while women are pleased with smell of lavender and rosemary spices. Use your imagination with the food selection as well. Some foods are just sexy. Grapes and champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, artichokes with hollandaise sauce and lamb chops are just a few of my favorites.

Beauty Divine

The quest for beauty, age defiance and physical enhancement are at an all time high. The beauty industry, comprised of simple salons to mega-corporate giants, pulls in billions of dollars annually. People are obsessed with making themselves beautiful and more attractive for their own personal satisfaction and so others can see them they want to be seen. Not only do people search for ways to enhance themselves, but they also seek beauty and attraction in other things, most notably a dating partner.

Some people might conclude that canvassing the importance of beauty in the dating world is a bit gratuitous. We all know its out there and it can even be considered nature's cruelest form of sexual selection. You either have it or you don't. However, I think it is a poignant topic of consideration whether you are just now entering the dating realm or you have been in it for years and whether you are male or female. Today's society places heavy weight on good looks in the work place and in social scenes. You can't escape it and you can not deny it. Amidst growing liberties, democracy, the abolition of racial and religious oppression and the rising demand for an open mind one would naturally assume that our advanced culture would not treat certain individuals better simply because of advantageous genetic facial features. But we all know that this is the furthest from the truth. We see it every day.

Doctor Nancy Etcoff, a faculty member of Harvard University and a psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, has beautifully illustrated the ageless hunt for beauty in her book Survival of the Prettiest. I was enthralled with the hundreds of references throughout history Dr. Etcoff found and adapted to the importance of beauty. One of the most interesting ones involved Eleanor Roosevelt. When asked if she had any regrets she remarked that she only wished she had been prettier. To hear a statement such as this coming from a heroine to women everywhere, it makes one want to examine why and how being beautiful or handsome plays such a dubious role in our every day lives. As Dr. Etcoff examines this very thought further in her book, I think it would be best if we just accept our idealistic qualities and move on to facing them.

When it comes down to selecting new single men and women we choose to date, our very first assessment of the potential mate is based on looks. Most people will say that they are looking for more profound qualities such as character, motivation, sensitivity, a commonality in activities, beliefs and a sense of humor and that looks, although important, are not at the top of the list. Of course everyone wants to feel as if he or she had more noble intents in mind. And although this may be true, nature tends to sway our first choice. Psychological tests upon tests show that we all gravitate towards the more attractive person at first. This is not something that we can readily help, nor can we consider it malevolent behavior. It is simply programmed into us from commercials, magazine ads, celebrities and more. It is a learned responsive behavior. While not everyone looks like Naomi Campbell or Brad Pitt and there are only a few genetic anomalies in this world who apparently represent what we all should look like, we can all take steps and measures to improve the way we look and how we appear to others. It is the very first rule in dating!

The first person you need to impress is yourself. When you look good you feel good. Take advantage of what modern science has created in the field of beauty. From getting the basic proper shampoo and conditioner for you hair to hair regrowth products and surgery, from makeup to enhance your features to elective surgery for more dramatic effects. Your wardrobe should be a priority issue as well. If you are still showing up at the door to pick up your date in those same ripped jeans you have had since the 1980's, think about a complete wardrobe overhaul. Getting in shape is an absolute must. Not only does it show that you care about your body, it is essential for your health and it will help you to feel great physically and emotionally. The better you feel about yourself, the more confident you will appear. And confidence is a very sexy and appealing part of your overall appearance.

In her book Dr. Etcoff assumes that people, mostly men, are more attracted to beautiful people for short term relationships while beauty is less important when seeking a committed relationship. However, it is that attractive quality of sex appeal which will get you in the door. When you are just getting to know people for dating purposes such as with the use of online dating resources, your appearance is going to be one of the most compelling forces in attracting dates. Everyone wants someone to fall in love with them for the right reasons, but you can't change basic human instinct and the natural affinity for beauty. You don't have to be the most beautiful or most handsome person in the room, but you can take the time and effort to look the best you possibly can.

Tick Tock Goes the Love Clock

You wake up in the morning, still tired from staying up too late the night before, and hit snooze about seventeen times before stumbling into the shower. By the time you start rinsing the shampoo out of your stinging eyes you are already thinking about everything you have to do today. You put your makeup on in the car and get to work late as usual in desperate need of a caffeine fix, do errands at lunch, pick up your dry cleaning before the store closes after what is most likely another late day in the office, make time for tanning and an hour at the gym, and get home to a house you have to clean. Every day is almost the same, you are busting your hump trying to get this and that done while your list of errands keeps growing. And thanks to living in an exponentially growing population in an overpopulated city you spend an obnoxious amount of time in the car giving you more time to think about everything you still need to do. By the time you get home each day, you clean a little, shovel your special diet food that you ordered online (who has time to actually shop in a store and leisurely browse anymore?) which costs a small fortune and tastes like chicken feed and crawl into bed. Then you stay up late with your mind like a maelstrom worrying about everything you did not get accomplished. When does anyone have time for a relationship?

People who live and work in the city without a significant other or children are always on the go. You might think that a single man or woman lives the life of leisure: no obligations, no pressure, just complete freedom. And I suppose that there are plenty of single men and women who just stroll home after work, order pizza and plant their tushes on the couch to watch their usual prime time television line up. But these are the people whose tushes are the same size as the couch. Hey, no ambition, no life. However, these days our lives are getting busier and busier for most people. There is so much for us to do every day. Even the singlets of this world are screaming for more time. I seriously wonder how people are able to raise children today. I know I barely have time for nookie at the end of the day.

Perhaps it is because many people living in the city go through several stages of social behaviors and desires in their lives. At first we are the struggling young professionals straight out of college, accepting a bottom of the food chain job and struggling on a $20K salary. These were the days of buying raman noodles in bulk and picking up a bartending job in the evenings. You can't even afford to date at this age. And if you could, when would you have time? Finally you get a better paying job and you move up in the business world. But now you have entered a whole new social world. You are financially able to drop the second job, get some new digs without holes in the seams and start enjoying the night scene with everyone else. Swiftly you discover the beau monde and your life is consumed with keeping up to date with all of the latest trends, making sure you look perfect in every way and of course making sure everyone thinks you are the “it” guy or girl. How can you possibly start a relationship now? He or she might actually find out that your not fabulous. Besides, it is much more hip to have a new fling every week. This is the period of our lives where we are all poseurs. After a few years of fun and reckless behavior, you get promoted to a more prominent position in the business world. Now you realize your responsibility and you may even take it seriously. Your life might change, but your busy schedule does not. It just gets worse.

When you actually get involved in that serious relationship, you must devote time to it. To do so, you have to give up things that you don't necessarily want to give up. I always believed that we work so that we can have time. We buy time. We work so that we are able to luxuriate in vacations with our loved ones and so we can buy expensive lingerie to keep the spark alive. But instead of spending as much time as we can with our sweethearts, we end up spending our time washing the car, burning the flab in pilates class, picking up the cat food and cursing the poor slob who broke down in the middle of a one lane road during rush hour. We are so greedy and obsessed with our appearance and materialistic needs that we find it difficult to give our own time, our most precious commodity, to someone else. Then again, when we daydream about the kind of future life we want, we envision a life surrounded by family and friends, a house in the burbs, a loving spouse and children and spending the days at home being independantly wealthy. We see ourselves doing what we really want and need: spending time in the arms of our darlings.

The Thirty Year Old Sexual Peak

I recently had the unpleasant experience of turning thirty much to my chagrin. However, I will forever allege that this was not my fault. Time was moving much too swiftly and although I tried my best to stay in the sexy and swinging twenties, I lost my grip and fell flat on my face in my thirties. I am led to believe that I will not be allowed to return. The horror. The horror.

Aside from my momentary lapses of self pity, there are some great benefits to being a woman in her thirties. As you probably guessed from the title of this article, I am now in my sexual prime. It seems like a cruel joke. Guys can't think about anything but the tent pole in their pants while in their teens and early twenties. But by the time women get to the same stage, the men are calling in reinforcements of Viagra. I am sure you have all heard about this before. Women hit their sexual prime at thirty......or do they? I almost half expected to become some raging ball of hormones as if I was pushed on by a button when I turned thirty. I was looking forward to it. To my dismay, no such transformation has occurred.

Shedding light on this curiosity of mine was Dr. Sandor Gardos, a doctor in sexual education. According to Dr. Gardos, the notion that women hit their sexual peak at 30 is very misleading. You will find many websites and articles on the very subject talking about how women get their groove on and peak at 30, or 35 while others say 40. But if you are talking about a hormone flux, this is simply not true. Men and women develop the same hormones at the same time: puberty. The only reason why women seem so much more interested at a later age is because we were taught NOT to be interested in sex when we were kids. If you experimented with sex like the boys did, you would be labeled the town Jezebel. Only when women mature are they able to feel more comfortable talking about and practicing sex. They finally open up and begin to feel normal about desiring sex.

Then it becomes a whole new world for women. The reason why people argue about the age of the sexual peak in women is because it varies for each women. It might take some women, for example, longer to learn how to orgasm. But when each woman finally feels comfortable with her body and the virtues of sex, it just might be like hitting puberty for her, especially if she had always lived a reserved or conservative life. This can be a great time in a woman's life; a true sexual awakening. And if you measure a sexual peak by interest level, then you can say that she has hit her prime. On the other hand, there are some women who go wild and crazy in their twenties and never give a thought to those societal messages, i.e. “Good Girls Don't”. All things considered, these girls may not experience this sudden surge of sexual prowess at the 35 year mark. They have already experienced it all. Ahem. But not me, of course. I am an angel.

If there are any young guys out there who are tempted to seduce an older woman just because she may be in her sexual prime and easily lured by an open invitation, you may want to think again. However, it may interest all men and women to know that according to a recent publication in the Oxford Journals, women do experience a subtle phase of heat on a monthly schedule. Mid-month on her cycle to be exact. During this time, women are shown to be more attracted to androstenone (a pheromone like sweat substance), are more attracted to symmetrical and masculine faces and more attracted to the subject of sex. Even as basic as this is, its still fun to talk about. In the same journal, I also uncovered a freaky fun fact. The word for heat, Estrus, comes from a Greek word 'oistrus' which means Gadfly. Literally, it means 'in a frenzied state' because when the gadflies would buzz around cattle, they would drive the cattle into a frenzied state which resembled the same state they go into when they wanted to mate. So when scientists refer to estrus in a female, remember that this concept originated from cows.

Psycho or Jealous?

There are very few articles and resources addressing the topic of jealousy. I have come to the conclusion that this is merely because people don't know what stance to take on the situation. Everyone has been on both sides of the fence. Most of us have experienced a jealous lover and many of us have been in a relationship where we curiously find ourselves being insecure and jealous by nature. On one hand you want to condemn the abhorrent behavior exhibited by jealous partners while on the other hand you might be able to sympathize. I have decided to courageously announce my decided opinion. Jealousy is just another euphemism for psychotic behavior.

Without going too far into the psychology of jealousy, you should understand that jealousy is not an innate feeling that we are all born with; rather it is a learned response that people have developed over time to deal with certain situations. We all have the ability to feel anguish and emotional sorrow, and jealousy is one way we cope with these feelings. Jealousy can rear its ugly green head at any time. You never know what will set it off. Some people can be completely at ease with one lover and insanely jealous with another lover. People have the potential to get jealous for a multitude of reasons. They might have low self esteem, have been rejected or betrayed in the past or feel insecure about their body or looks to name a few.

I would venture to say that a small amount of jealousy in any relationship is normal. It might even be considered a good thing because it shows that deep emotions are tied to this relationship. But jealousy should not be confused as a sign of love. Severe jealousy is the exact opposite of love. Emma Goldman, an early 20th century writer, claimed that “Its (jealousy) one desire is to punish, and to punish as severely as possible”. She was very right. There are obvious big, bright and bold lines that are crossed all too often. You have probably dated one of these line crossers; I have dated more than enough. This is when jealousy becomes apparent psychotic behavior. Your lover begins to assume that you are cheating on some level or another and you are being dishonest almost every day. Soon you get to the point where that person is doing a stake out of your home, following you around like a private eye, breaking into your email accounts, slashing your tires and smearing chocolate cake on your door (Yes, someone actually smeared cake on my door in a jealous rage). When you get to the point where you can not even say one word to a member of the opposite sex at a party because you fear the inevitable wrath which will follow from your lover when you get home, your relationship is in jeopardy.

When people exhibit these jealous rages, they are only destroying the relationship they are trying to save. People use jealousy as a legitimate weapon of defense to protect what is rightfully theirs. Jealousy attempts to prevent the annihilation of love, but it only helps it along. Experiencing these jealous rages will also further lower your self respect because it causes you to stoop to the lowest of acts. It destroys more than just the relationship. “Jealousy is invariably a one-sided, bigoted accuser, convinced of his own righteousness and the meanness, cruelty and guilt of his victim”. Although the jealous person wants to keep the relationship intact, the intentions of showing these acts of jealousy are to maliciously hurt the other person. Obviously, these uncontrollable acts used to salvage the relationship do not work. They only cause the other person to retaliate in disgust making the situation even worse.

So how do you deal with jealousy? That is the big question. For the insanely jealous person, the best thing you can do is recognize that your jealousy may be unfounded and then open the lines of communication. Instead of brooding on thoughts of infidelity, simply tell your lover how you are feeling as soon as you start feeling that way. You should have these feelings immediately put to ease when he or she calms your heart. You also need to stop trying to forcibly fuse your relationship into one being. The best relationships are created through the bonding of two separate individuals. If you are dealing with a jealous person whom you want to stay with and love, then you are going to have to learn not to get drawn in to these petty jealousy arguments, do not retaliate, do not take any blame, do not let the freak outs get to you when they occur and do not assume that he or she will change any time soon. To help get rid of jealous behavior you must leave all of your doors open. Meaning, you must not keep anything hidden or locked away for your love to get suspicious or distrusting over. Couples therapy, although expensive, is a viable option.

Ready For the “R” Word?

Spring is in the air. The whole world comes alive with flowers, new life, new smells, warm weather and the discernible increase in libido of the singles crowd. Whether or not there is a direct genetic urge to mate during a specific season, everyone wants to date more in the spring. More often than not, this is the time when new love can take a hold of you and before you know it you are dancing like a cliché through puddles and singing in the rain better than Gene Kelly. This feeling of utter bliss may cause some of you to even contemplate the “R” word – a Relationship.

There are so many different levels that the single person may be on in their life regarding dating and relationships. The level you are on can affect your level of readiness for a relationship. For example, some singles have been serial daters for years refusing to enter a real relationship out of fear of rejection or simply because they love to be single and free of the drama and anguish which relationships may cause. Some singles have been searching for a relationship too hard and end up scaring any potential mates away with that instant cling action. Other single men and women have recently been removed from a relationship and they are on the rebound. Others still are happy being single but will gladly enter a relationship if only the perfect specimen would cross their path. And then of course some of you are thinking, “Well, I've had my fill of parties, clubbing and one night stands for the past ten years, my looks are fading, I might as well start the next part of my life, get married and have kids pretty quick”.

Obviously a person needs to be in the right frame of mind and the right part of life to try and enter a relationship. You should be mature enough and old enough for a relationship. Your self esteem should be high and you should not feel as if you need a relationship to make you feel better about yourself. You should be able to take care of yourself emotionally and financially and not need to depend on your significant other to take care of you completely. You should be free from past trauma and hurt. And you should be ready to enter a relationship only when you feel you have met the right person. Finally, you should only enter a relationship if you are truly in love. If you do not fill all of the requirements above, you might want to do a little work on yourself before focusing on someone else and a relationship. And if you feel that you do embody the right stuff for a committed relationship, there are even more factors that you will want to think about.

First of all, you may be ready for a relationship, but is it even worth entering one at this point? Too many people jump straight into a relationship just because the other person is attractive and available. After only a week of dating, you both decide that you are exclusive and in a relationship. Well that is just plain silly. You are only entering this relationship because you desire that grounded sense of stability (a noble desire), but you have no idea if you are even compatible on the most basic level. Later on you break up, just one of your many relationship upsets, and your self esteem decreases just a tad as you look back on your history of repeated relationship failures. Obviously, this is not the way to go. Another issue to consider is if this person feels the same way about you as you do about him or her. You may desire to enter a relationship with this person, even though he or she is giving you those wishy washy mixed signals. Ostensibly you might believe he or she is in love with you, but your heart tells you different. If you want a successful loving relationship, you must be absolutely, positively one hundred percent sure that this person feels the same exact way about you. The relationship must be a mutual arrangement. It can not be forced or coerced in any way. Forcing a relationship will usually lead to bitter resentment later on down the road.

As a final note, some relationships do not work even when both partners are ready and the perfect conditions have been set only because one or both lovers did not realize that a real relationship needs work and compromise. This especially relates to the person who has been happily single and dating for many years. Suddenly, you have rules. You must call and check in every once in a while, make plans together, watch out not to offend the other and get over going out with the friends for every weekend, crazy party and holiday like you used to. This takes a while to get used to and if you are not prepared to make these sacrifices and compromises, you may just lose one of the best gifts you can ever receive – life long companionship.

Feng Shui Your Love Pad

What began centuries ago in China as a way of interpreting the natural world to create more efficient agricultural systems and even study astronomy to understand the passage of time is an age old institution named Feng Shui. Through the ages feng shui (pronounced Fung Shway) has evolved due to superstition and folklore into a belief system with five distinct components: Wealth, Health, Fame, Career and Love. By understand the basics, we can control these areas of our lives by choosing meaningful symbols and images which are related to these areas and placing these objects in very specific areas of the house. The key principal here is that everything is connected energetically which means that your thoughts, feelings and behavior are influenced by your surroundings. Feng Shui masters have got this down to an art form. There are so many details and specifics of feng shui that I would highly recommend getting a book on it for your own knowledge and because it is so fascinating. What is interesting enough is that I found it to be very similar to the Wicca beliefs that are practiced in the west. There are many people who swear by the benefits of Feng Shui in the home.

Let’s get down to the fun part. You can Feng Shui your house for love. Turn that pad into the love shack to attract love, keep love going strong and keep the sex drive on high gear in the bedroom. What you want to do here is create good chi (good energy) and get rid of any sha chi (harmful energy).

The area of your house that represents your love life is the southwest corner of your home. According to the experts, if this corner has good chi, the marriage or love aspirations of the home dwellers will be positively energized but if it has bad chi, let’s just say that you won’t be getting any for a while; and that is putting it nicely according to these experts. The element that represents love is Earth and so putting a rock, crystal or boulder in the southwest corner of your home you will activate this good chi. Finally you need to energize this earth element with other objects in the love corner. These objects can be crystal (Rose Quartz is suggested), large and round decorative pots and jars, peacock feathers, silk or real flowers, a globe, a symbol of the sun, a Chinese love knot made of red rope which symbolizes undying love, love birds in a pair but never single or ducks in a pair but never single, rose oil and two pink or red candles burning which is known as the “tantric twins”. All of these objects have ties with the earth element but you do not have to use all of them. It is also said that wood is a harmful element to the earth element so no wood should be here. No dried flowers as well because it could signify the death of a romantic relationship. And just in case you are planning to buy a new house or rent a new apartment, there should be no kitchen or bathroom in the southwest corner of the house. If there is a bathroom, use plants to drown out the sha chi but a kitchen is a bigger problem since a kitchen in this area symbolizes infidelity on either side.

The bedroom can also be worked on. It should be well lit instead or dark and dreary. There should be no plants in the bedroom because plants will bring excess yang (male) energies to the bedroom which could increase his libido and cause a wandering and lustful eye towards younger women. There should be no TV’s and no mirror by the bed as they cause an intrusion within a relationship. Hang a rose quartz crystal over the southwest corner of your bed. When looking for love, feng shui-ists say a man should decorate with more yin (femininity) in mind while a female should decorate with more yang. This causes a healthy balance and will attract the opposite sex.

Sexual Networking in the Fish Bowl

Most of us belong to a large circle of friends that we have known for years. Few of us have more than two circles of friends. You know what I am talking about. These are the girl and guy friends that you hang out every weekend with. You know everything that is going on in each other’s life, you are there for each other and it seems like you will always be together. We are the generation that made St. Elmo’s Fire a cult classic.

But why do we limit ourselves to dating within our own circle of friends? Once you have been in that same circle of friends for a number of years the act of dating within your group can actually elevate itself to the “creepy” stage and begin to resemble incest instead of dating. A have a number of girlfriends that seem to continuously date every single guy in our group, jumping from one to the other as if it were a taste test. This behavior is not limited to the females only; my male friends enjoy the same sort of lifestyle. Myself and few others excluded, I think every one of my friends have hooked up with each other at some point in time. For example, I have a girlfriend who is sexually active with three different guy friends. She really likes one of them but he is just interested in the sex. Unbeknownst to her, he is really into another girlfriend who is the her best friend and neither one of them know about it. Meanwhile the girl he really digs is into and involved with another guy friend who is his good friend. And it goes on and on from there. Although we are all good friends, it has become a complex tangle of sexual and emotional deceit.

Casual sex can be such a pleasure. It is fabulous to have someone you can call at 2am or even on your lunch hour when you need immediate gratification. But if we are single, why do we continue to find our booty calls within our own troupe? I think the answer has to do with a certain comfort level we experience when we know the person for years on end.

Instead of looking to your best friend’s ex as your next lustful victim, try moving outside of the reassuring boundaries that your circle of friends creates. For one thing, dating every one else’s ex lovers can create a nasty situation in the future. We have all seen it happen. It can cause isolation, rifts between friendships and some nasty name calling to say the least. People need to look for new dating partners elsewhere. Try new venues, grand openings, meeting people at the gym or at that trendy new restaurant. We meet new people every day yet sometimes we fear those we don’t know. There is no reason to.

Dating outside the group will also help to keep your close knit friends even closer because you will completely avoid what could turn out to be a jealous rivalry between good friends. There are four million people in the city of Houston alone and even if you don’t live in a big city such as Houston, there are bound to be thousands of available singles right where you are. These statistics hardly compare to the number of your usual cohorts….you should be able to find compatible and yummy new companions in the dating sea of singles and singlets. Stop using your own fish bowl for fishing purposes.

Now, the Diva is not saying that you should go ahead and have crazy head banging sex with every new person you meet, although that would keep the condom supply and manufacturing economy sizzling. I am just saying that we need to get out more. There is so much diversity and wonderful new people to experience everyday in the big city so why not take full advantage of it? Get out there and create new social groups, meet more people and dare the world to stop you.

Dominant by Day, Submissive by Night

If you are like most men out there, you probably have no idea what makes those head-strong, powerful and intelligent career women “tick”. I am referring to those women you see in power suits, managing a company or running her own, who seem completely invincible and on top of the world. These women know what they want in life and they do not stop until they get it. They are fast talkers, they can close a deal with a simple wink of the eye, they can make a male subordinate cry with the slightest of disappointed looks and they will never settle for anything less than perfect sexual equality. Furthermore, I think we can all agree that these are the sexiest women out there. Men just love to imagine what they have on underneath those designer suits.

The common train of thought and logic would lead you to assume that these women are just as domineering in the bedroom behind closed doors. Generally speaking, this is actually the furthest thing from the truth. Every person out there is different with regards to their personality in life and what turns them on after hours, and there will be many variations and deviances from the norm. However, most of the fierce and passionate women in the workforce love nothing more than to come home and be completely subjugated and ravaged by a very strong and masculine man.

In all sexual relationships there must be a dominant and a submissive. Two dominants or two submissives can get together and have magnificent sexual experiences, but there will be a certain something lacking emotionally. Each one will feel less psychologically satisfied because they will not be able to express their dominant or submissive traits quite a comfortably as they should. Pop culture tends to assume that people who are submissive during sex are doing so because this is how they want to be perceived in life, they want to be dominated. Even old psychology books will back up this old principle. Fortunately, the psychology of arousal and the logic that lies behind fantasies and the roles we play during lovemaking has been virtually re-written by Dr. Michael J. Bader, the leading psychoanalyst in this delicious area of expertise. To really sum up his new theories in a very rough manner, our sexual desires are almost the opposite of who we are in normal everyday life scenarios. His theories are applied to every sexual thought, idea and fantasy and not just dominant and subordinate behaviors. His new book made me quite hungry with dirty little thoughts.

A dominant women enjoys being submissive in bed because she is able to achieve stimulation. It is impossible to feel any kind of guilt, worry, or anxiety and become sexually aroused at the same time. Professional career women very often feel like they are too overbearing towards men, too controlling and too dominant. That causes a certain level of stress. This stress is completely alleviated by becoming the submissive during intercourse thereby allowing her to achieve stimulation. These and other new brilliant revelations have created a paradigm shift in the psychology of sex. And I think it is divine to have an in depth understanding of what makes the other person scream with hot blooded delight.

Of course, every individual will have a specific dirty little secret which turns them on and no two women are the same. This article applies to many strong business women, but not all. It becomes important to discuss what makes you turned on with your lover or find a reciprocal partner. But now many of you men know our dirty little secret. If you are the type of man who enjoys a dominant woman, the same logic applies to the quiet little librarian with the cat eyeglasses on. She just might be a dom-femme complete with a torture chamber in her home where she can break her male slaves. And don’t forget ladies …… this same idea applies to men!

The Independent Woman and the Metrosexual Man

A lot of people are starting to wonder why dating in the big city has suddenly become such a perplexing and complicated experience. And when, exactly, did this happen? The dating scene has always been a little troublesome for some people and could even feel like more of a chore than what should be a fun time. But lately the single jungle of Houston and other large cities are changing and evolving into more complex designs of mass confusion. We seem to be moving faster and faster into complete chaos rather than assimilating into the well preserved roles that our mothers and fathers laid out for us.

Gender roles are changing and this is the basic concept that is generally holding many of us back from entering successful relationships. More and more people are remaining single for longer periods of time. Part of this is because we are finding it difficult to accept and understand the new gender roles of our mates, even if we, ourselves, are holding to those new standards.

The roles of women have gone through the most dramatic changes. They have changed more in the last two generations than in the last two millenniums. Due to mass media, urbanization and politics, women have achieved equality to men in education and the workplace and everywhere else you look. And thanks to the sexual revolution, we have freed our minds. Women are now able to support themselves and raise their own children without the help of a man, thus escaping the traditional role of “mother” and “wife”. Our new found independence is something we fear giving back. The independent woman does not want to be controlled or told what to do. She will never again be the docile little lamb once sought after for marrying purposes.

This change in the lives of women in large cities has led to a second major change, this one in men. Men have moved from being the gruff, rugged males to becoming “metrosexual” (a term coined by gay journalist Mark Simpson). Men have started to take over some of the duties that women had always controlled. There are women working alongside these men in the office. And thanks to sexually homogenous advertising, the meterosexual has been created. This new male breed has matching ensembles for every occasion, never has a bad hair day, loves manicures and smells like roses. He has no problem shopping, attending the opera and buying new shoes. The metrosexual is completely in touch with his feminine side but there is just one thing: he is straight.

Suddenly, the roles that we are used to having our mates fill are no longer being filled. The metrosexual is now asking why he has to pay for every date, open doors and pick a woman up at her door since the women are now so independent and financially equal. Yet these men still secretly yearn for that woman who will do the housework and raise the children just like mom did. The independent woman has become too afraid to give back that independence she worked so hard for only to begin relying more on a man than herself. Why should she when the danger still lies of being tossed aside one day? Yet, in her heart, she also desires the manly man who will sweep her off of her feet and take away all of her problems, just like her daddy once did.

We have now entered what appears to be a never ending cycle that can only be broken by trust. The once praised nuclear family with the hard working father and stay at home mother is slowly dissipating. From now on, men and women will be taking on more equal roles in relationships and families. The question is: when will we become comfortable enough to let it happen?

©2009, The Advice Diva

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Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago. - Bernard Berenson

Diva Rebecca has a long and exciting history of when it comes to love, dating and relationships. Friends and associates would come to her for advice and naturally she became the Advice Diva. Having a socialite status in the big city she decided to put her expertise down in writing. The Diva does not claim to be an expert or have certifications in this area. She explores her own thoughts and feelings and uses her own opinions formed through her own experiences. The company Advice Through Experience was founded and she wrote four successful e-books published on the A.T.E. website aptly named They are Getting Him or Her Back, The Divine Secrets of the Dating Game, What Women Really Want and For Women Only: How to be Fabulous! Diva Rebecca’s website is also host to an online advice column. The column is completely free and a fun tool for everyone. She puts some of the posts online in an anonymous form. The success of her online advice column has led to the creation of monthly articles for a variety of printed and online magazines. For questions and comments contact The Advice Diva at E-Mail.

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