Happy Valentine’s Day! Today is that day. It’s the day that people exchange gifts, cards, flowers, candies, and cute and cuddly teddy bears. Today is the day that third grade boy buys his first Valentine’s Day gift for his sweetheart. He mulls over the aisles at the local Target looking for the perfect way to tell his first crush that he thinks she is special. It is the day that he gets butterflies in his stomach, hoping that he makes the right decision. It is the day that she waits for his call and lights up when she hears his voice on the other end.
It is also a day of cynics. It is a day where the jaded remind us that we are crazy and they are single. It is the day that eyes roll and people scoff. But why? I understand if you are displeased with the commercialization of the Holiday, but the same can be said for many Holidays today. So why so much hate for VD? I mean, it’s a day to celebrate Love. The cynical and jaded make the single assumption that not having a romantic interest on this Day of Hearts makes it a painful reminder that we are single. But what does being single have to do with it? This day is about Love. That love is also shared amongst family members and friends. We share in love with our children and remind them that they are special. When I was little my father used to get my sisters and I all chocolates. Maybe my outlook on this adorable day is a direct product of the idea that it was about family and not romance. Love has everything to do with it.
The history of Valentine’s Day has to do with a Christian Martyr that got into trouble for marrying couples. That background is probably responsible for making Valentine’s Day associated with love and romance. In a time when lovers couldn’t marry, they were fighting the ability to do so. Appears we are always fighting against something. So you cynical singles fight the good fight, only 16 more hours left to go. As for the rest of us, smile, cuddle, and tell them you love them.
We all remember the year that Britney Spears made the video Hit Me Baby One More Time. We remember because she went from being an innocent singer to a provocative pop princess. She emerged from her young years on The Mickey Mouse Club. It shook our view of young women singers. We remember her because she showed … her midriff and society went crazy for it. Whether it was backlash from angry parents or cheers from supportive fans, there was reaction. And I don’t blame her. It put her on the map. She was popular with the younger crowd and encompassed a genre of fun and fearless; much like Madonna transformed tunes in the 80’s with her breast cones and seductive song and dance.
As Britney grew up she needed to obtain a new crowd’s popularity to keep herself on the map, she had to up the ante. I thought she did it considerably well. Now less is always more, but the marketing was strategic to shift from innocent to dangerous. And you know what, it worked.
Welcome 2014, and Miss Miley Cyrus. Now it’s not her problem that to get the same societal attention that Britney did she had to keep with the times. Midriffs were a thing of the past and in came twerking. She was aging out of Hannah Montana so her choices became leaving stardom and collecting from the Hannah monument or to continue a career. In a society that is saturating itself with bigger, better, stronger, faster…. we are eating ourselves.
Even in the days when Britney and Christina Aguilera were pop queens their lyrics still brought in sexual expression subtly and power to women’s voices in creative ways. Christina was a Genie in a Bottle and you had to rub her the right way. Take it the way you like, but wanting one last chance (hit me baby) and genies in bottles discretely sang messages. Lyrics about popping molly and Lady Gaga‘s Do What You Want with my body scream messages that make me wonder: have we lost (pardon me) our fucking minds. We are spoiling America. We are doing a very specific job of spoiling the women in America. Justin Timberlake emerged from the same early TV show as Britney and Christina. His popularity began in the boy band NSync and still continues today, but when was the last time he had to show his midriff let alone twerk to get our attention? Let me answer that for you, never.
So where did this all come from? I rented the movie Don Jon last evening. I got more than I bargained for but I don’t offend easily. So my intrigue had me watch it. I believe Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s intention when he created the film was to explore sex and porn addiction. 40 days and 40 nights explored the same kind of addiction (although it did it subtly). He created a story line that breaks the main characters porn/sex addiction by reminding him that overindulgence is bad and pornography is not real sex anymore. The character had a better connection with porn then he did having sex with his girlfriend. Step in Julianne Moore‘s character who is an older woman with a sense of humor stemmed from a sad situation. (The movie was all over the place but that is besides the point.) She sets the tone for the change. Which brings up my next point: The problem with pornography. The same thing that happen when shifting from midriff to twerking took place in the porn industry. Missionary sex began with mixing it up with a new position or two. It was scandalous for the mail man to come over to a single woman’s house, enter the house, then enter the woman. Then …. literally all hell breaks loose. In comes the threesome. Because when did having sex with one person at a time not sexually satisfy us? I will tell you why. We live in a fantasy world of expectations that literally don’t exist and they are brought to you by: the media. But we all buy into them because we are an overindulged, unsatisfied, spoiled society. Woman may feel the need to submit to the ridiculous standards.
In a society that is saturating itself with bigger, better, stronger, faster…. we are eating ourselves. I just hope it saturates itself at some point. How are we going to teach our children to be conscious in a society that is so unconscious?
This evening will mark the beginning of 2014, as we say au revoir to 2013. But before all the resolutions start mounting, let’s discuss the most important event that takes place right at the stroke of Midnight: The Kiss.
The tradition of kissing on New Years Eve has been long practiced in many cultures. Kissing in most cultures is a greeting gesture, but America places much romantic emphasis on this lip lock. The wedding kiss is the most common western belief, keeping our traditional ideas of kissing to relationships rather than saying hello. Whatever your culture or personality is this Holiday season, one thing we can all ask together is: Who will You Kiss this Tuesday Evening?
Years ago the Washington Times reported that 2/3 of American’s expected to kiss someone at midnight. Over half of these people said it would only last a couple of seconds.
What does all this mean?
The joy of New Years eve has some people sharing an intimate kiss with a spouse, a new crush, or even an innocent bystander. However, for the other 1/3 of us Americans that won’t be par taking in the passion, I urge you to take a step back to enjoy the love and happiness that fills the air. May this New Year’s bring you passionate hope for the coming year to be filled with wonder, cheer, happiness, accomplishments, love, and most of all laughter.
If you were chosen as the maid of honor or best man in an upcoming friends’ wedding it means that you hold a place very near to their hearts. Maybe you grew up with one of them, maybe you are a sibling, maybe you were a college friend or colleague or maybe you stepped into their life only a few years ago. No matter what the reason that they chose you, it is up to you to make sure you honor them. You can honor this by preparing a speech that highlights both their love for one another and your love for them.
Here are some things to remember when preparing the speech:
1. Practice, Practice, Practice. This is not a college exam; you don’t cram the night before. You have to put thought and time into this one. The engagement is typically about a year, but even with half that time, it’s enough to prepare and practice for the big day.
2. Google it. If you have no clue where to begin do what all the great writers do, read! Reading helps spark your brain with vocabulary and verbiage. Skim the internet and get some sense for what others say, but in the end make sure it’s your own. This is to get your creativity flowing, not to steal someone else’s amazing speech.
3. Reminisce. Look back at old photos of you and the groom/bride or the couple. The past can give you some good ideas for where to go with the speech. Reminiscing can help you get some ideas and add the pizzazz of the past.
4. Ask. Ask the other people in the wedding party for things they enjoy about the couple or their favorite memories. You can gain insight on how to introduce the new couple.
Here are some things to remember when giving the speech:
1. Hold off on the boozing until after the speech. You have to get through the whole day, which can begin on a golf course with the guys or in the salon with the ladies. Wait until after your speech to give into the free bar. There is nothing worse than getting up in front of someone who wanted you to represent them that day, and turn out to be blasted or buzzed.
2. Watch the content and the language. Remember that the audience does not just consist of your frat bros or close friends. There is family, co-workers, and friends. Even if one set of parents enjoy a dirty joke now and again, the etiquette at a wedding calls for more. There are grandparents and many friends that will see inside or crude jokes as unfunny and unfriendly. Be mindful of the audience. Anything you could not say in front of a child or a grandparent is better left out.
3. Don’t talk too much or too little. Remember that you have other people giving speeches too. Think about talking for a maximum of five minutes. Ask the bride or the groom what they expect and follow along with other wedding part speech lengths.
All in all remember that this is a very special day for the couple. They only get to do this once. No do-overs, so practice and make your speech another great memory for the wedding day.
This was derived by happenings in my life this morning. I was at the gas station before work. I wasn’t looking very sexy as I have had a cold and needless to say it is also making me a bit irritable. So I pass this guy who is with a friend and he proceeds to hang out of the driver seat window and yell, “Hey girl, what’s up.” Not only is this kind of hitting on someone completely appalling to a girl, it comes close to the behavior of a dog. You want to act like one and that shock collar might be the next best thing for you. So in a world where bad “hitting habits” take place, let’s look at the right way to approach someone you are interested in.
Let’s recap the bad. You don’t “hollar” at someone out the window of your car. You don’t yell at someone to get their attention, it’s plain rude.
So how can you talk to someone subtly and sneak in a way to hit on them? It’s about sparking up a conversation that can lead into asking someone for their phone number. If you are a social person starting conversations may come easy to you. If you happen to be shy, start trying with other people. Begin a conversation with a stranger in the grocery store and try it out. Josh Duhamel’s character, Messer, in Life As We Know It, does a great job showing how hitting on someone is an art. He hits on Katherine Heigl’s character at the supermarket. He subtly picks up an item and asks her how to say a word. She replies, that it is Acai. He compliments, “Wow you must really have an ear for languages.” She is flattered and it goes from there. So take note from Josh and try these rules of engagement:
1. Find a way in. Whether you are at a bookstore, in line at Starbucks, in a class together, or at a bar find something that you can inquire about or discuss. Ask about a book. Ask a question in class. Find a subtle way to make contact with the person without coming on to strong.
2. Compliment. After engaging in a conversation with the person about what got you “the way in” find something to compliment that goes along with it. An example is: “That book looks interesting (the way in), you must also be a great writer.” (Don’t make this compliment too much. It needs to be subtle and not too direct. You are very intelligent or you are beautiful are too vague and it lacks real motivation). It needs to equate to something more than a blanket statement you could use with anyone. Give the other person an opening to talk about themselves.
3. Don’t over do it. Be yourself. There is nothing less attractive than someone who tries too hard. Even if you are awkward and can’t get it completely right, that can be somewhat attractive in itself.
1. Always call the person the first time you want to make plans with them. Do not text.
2. Make sure to be gracious and thankful when someone else is footing the bill.
3. Don’t Facebook stalk. Get to know the person as a person, not their profile page.
I was listening to Loveline with Dr. Drew the other night. I overheard him say this to one of the callers, “Intensity is not love.” I sat with that for a moment and began to unpack what it means to have intensity in a relationship.
Intensity is not what the majority of us know as “Butterflies;” that initial warm tingling feeling that we get when we see that person or when we think about them when they are away. Intensity is much different. Butterflies are driven by the same oxytocin hormone, but the intensity is like an addiction and can be driven by negative triggers in the oxytocin. The intensity lies in large and fast amounts of this “love hormone” resulting later in opposite behaviors like jealousy and envy; although these emotions might not come through at the beginning of the intensity, these emotions can take effect after the intensity is over or during its intensity.
Intensity is mostly felt by those who experience relationships through insecure/anxious attachments or avoidant attachments. Secure attachments are the healthy attachments that allow us to get the proper doses of oxytocin at the proper times and allow for quality trust and bond building.
When the brain and body illicit butterfly feelings, once those feelings go away our bodies do not crave or seek out those feelings. We have landed in a comfortable place when we stop feeling those initial rushes of emotion; comfort and security override those feelings. However when we feel intensity, it is never enough when it goes away; it is the chaos that we constantly feel or seek out in the unhealthy relationship.
When thinking about a specific someone who makes you have intense feelings, some of which can even create some anxiety, listen to your body more and take the time to acknowledge what the relationship or person is actually doing in your life.
You can also take this QUIZ to review your attachment style. Ask yourself if intensity is something you crave. Look into understanding your attachment style to make better and healthier connections with your partners in the future.
We are quick to blame one party when our partners stray and meet someone outside of the relationship. But what about, “It takes two to tango?” I am not suggesting that you blame one party or the other, but I am suggesting that you give them equal responsibility or equal forgiveness. Example- You are back with the guy who cheated on you, but you refuse to talk to the girl that he cheated on you with. Maybe it is time to refuse to talk to both of them. Or maybe it is time to forgive both of them.
My suggestion is that if you are continuing the relationship with your partner and trying to resolve a time of infidelity, that you forgive both parties. Letting go of that past can be the best thing to get you and your partner to move on to a successful future. Moving on with your partner through a time of infidelity can be a very difficult task. However if you are refusing to forgive your partner or the situation, the best thing you can do is get out of the situation. If you are ruminating about the infidelity, the act of the cheating, or the parties involved, and are unable to stop your bad thoughts it is time to move on. You can not continue to analyze why this went on. Some situations in life just don’t make any sense and you will never be able to make sense of them.
Here are some quick suggestions to move on from this difficult situation:
- Take care of yourself. Get back into a happy hobby. Hang out with friends.
- Don’t disclose your personal life. In the times of Facebook Status, it may be easy to bash your unfaithful partner via web, but I suggest against that.
- Don’t listen to unsolicited advice. Everyone is going to have an opinion about what you should and should not do in a situation of infidelity. You need friends who give you support rather than judgement.
- Forgive everyone involved. Forgive your partner, the other party, and yourself. You might even have to take some responsibility in order to forgive yourself.
- Couples therapy. It might be good to have a neutral third-party to help you get through set-backs of the relationship and move forward. You will be able to talk honestly about your feelings in a safe environment.