Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Dream Lover

Filed under: Dreams,I Love You!,Intimacy,Kissing,Love,Relationships — Larry James @ 10:30 am

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CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – 2016 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from a real dream. Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Monday, February 8, 2016

Romantic Ideas You Can Use at Home

Filed under: Having FUN,Love,Romance — Larry James @ 11:53 am

Romantic ideas you can do at home by Terrys Fabrics
Romantic ideas you can do at home by Terrys Fabrics.

Copyright © 2016 – http://www.TerrysFabrics.co.uk.

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CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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Monday, December 28, 2015

“Thank You, Father for Zero Pain” + A Special Favor From You!

Filed under: Prayer,Relationships — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Some of you may have noticed that I pretty much stopped posting new articles to my four blogs around the first of November, 2015.

ThankYouFatherAbout that time something happened to my lower back and the pain was almost unbearable. The pain broke my focus and interfered with the concentration required to write. I would sit down to write and the pain said, “No!”

I am a very spiritual person and believe that God does heal.

“Prayer slows our mind, calms our spirit, and centers our heart. It removes our mind from the culture of consumption that surrounds us and centers us on something greater and more important. It calls us to identify our desires and articulate our values.” ~ Joshua Becker

Recently I wrote: “I believe that every prayer is answered when absolute belief is present; one way or another and always for good and for your benefit. It might not be at the time you want, or the way you want it; but it will be answered. Another benefit of prayer? It teaches you patience while you wait for an answer.😉

A prayer without belief that your prayer will be answered is incapable of producing any useful result. Next time, suspend your disbelief and say a prayer of thanksgiving. A grateful prayer begins the creation process. Let go of the “wanting” of it and focus on what it feels like to have what you desire. Remember that prayer is made powerful by the sincerity of it and the faith and belief that supports it.”

The power of prayer is not the result of the person praying. Rather, the power resides in the God who is being prayed to.

Prayer places us in contact with Almighty God, and we should expect almighty results, whether or not He chooses to grant our petitions or deny our requests. Whatever the answer to our prayers, the God to whom we pray is the source of the power of prayer, and He can and will answer us, according to His perfect will and timing.

There is a scripture that says, “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19).

… And now, the favor I ask of you. If you are a believer, right now… stop and silently remember me in your prayers. I thank you!

BONUS Articles: So… What About the Power of Prayer?
A Prayer of Thanksgiving
Holy! Holy! Holy!
Religion vs. Spirituality

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2015 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Monday, November 23, 2015

Are You the “Essence of Joy?”

Filed under: Joy,Relationships — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , ,

I’m not suggesting that you go around “joyful” all the time, but that your essence should reflect the fact that you focus on what makes you joyful the biggest percentage of the time. You cannot reflect this joy if you are hanging around others who are duds!

Look at your top 5 friends. Do they reflect joy? No! Then why are you hanging around them. You usually become more like these people the more you hang around them. Me? I like people who are UP most of the time. They are just more fun to be around.

REL-EssenceofJOYIf you focus your attention upon the experience of being joyful as much as you focus upon the absence of it, not only would you begin to enjoy life more, but maintaining your physical well-being and balance would also be easier. Look for people who are happy. The problem is we focus too much on the problems and concerns we have and go about complaining and telling everyone how we feel. (Most don’t really want to hear it – unless they are doing the same thing – then they feel right at home with you). FOCUS!

Most of us are engaged in the here and now about 8 percent of our waking hours – the rest of the time is spent thinking forward or backward, dwelling in worry or regret. Forward thinking works better.

The easiest thing of all to lose is your joy. You receive a disturbing e-mail, the cat knocked over your coffee cup, and on and on. You cannot us be a good witness with your countenance if you live on the other side of joy. How do you get your joy back? The first step you need to do is admit you’ve lost it. Get your joy back! Always thinking, “I’d be more joyful if… or when…” won’t get you there.

Start by taking inventory of what matters to you and what makes you happy. Your own joyfulness is one of the few things you have complete control over and while cultivating joy can be difficult to achieve without intention, it’s work no one else can do for you. Before you get out of bed in the morning, think of something that makes you smile. Smiling more often is one of the keys to finding joy.

Every day, do something that reaffirms the beauty and joy of living. Focus on being more joyful. Intentionally focus. Being intentional clarifies your focus. When you catch yourself complaining about everything, your focus is distorted. What to do?

I made a conscious decision many years ago that I was not going to hang abound people who were negative, unhappy and who complained about things but never did anything different. Boo! Hiss! I found that I was becoming more like them and I didn’t like what I saw.

joyThen the “C” word showed up! I changed. There are consequences for every choice you make. Some good. Some not so good. As I put distance between people who I used to hang out with, I noticed that many other opportunities to meet new people showed up. That was good. How could I tell? They were people who when faced with a situation, immediately began to focus on a solution instead of bitching about it. The more I surrounded myself with people who were joyful, happy and self-confident, the duds began dropping by the wayside. Not everyone, but the ones that were dragging to down. I began to seek more “Wow!” moments. I became more optimistic. Experts agree that optimistic people are happier people, they are more joyful.

My whole attitude changed toward one of joy, fulfillment and more. Truly my whole like changed for the better. It’s important to find joy on your journey.

“Energy follows thought; we move toward but not beyond what we can imagine. What we assume, expect, or believe creates and colors our experience. By expanding our deepest beliefs about what is possible, we change our experience of life.” ~ Dan Millman

If you asked your friends, “Am I the essence of joy?” what would their answer be? First, they would probably think you’ve gone off the deep end, so don’t ask. You already know. And if you are not moving up the “Joy” scale, perhaps you could drop some of the things that are holding you back, focus on finding more things to be joyful about and begin to rain joy and happiness on everyone you meet.

What brings you joy?

Time to do something different. Turn off the news. Eat a cupcake. 😉

Sound like a plan?

BONUS Articles: 40 Ways to Find Joy in Your Everyday Life
Kidding Around With Romance

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2015 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Unhappy in Marriage is Bad for Your Heart!

A new study suggests that an unhappy marriage could wreak havoc on your cardiovascular health.

Researchers examined five years of data from married men and women, ages 57 to 85. People with spouses who were negative or critical were more likely to have heart health issues – women suffered more than men – than those supportive partners. This effect worsened with age.

REL-UnhappyMarriageThey then compared heart health to how these adults said they felt about their marriages. Wives and husbands (who were not married to each other) answered questions about how close they felt to their spouses, how happy their marriages were, and how demanding and critical they felt their spouses were.

Theory: Relationship stress intensifies over time, and heart disease is harder to overcome in those who are older and more frail.

It’s one of the first to take a nationally-representative sample of adults and examine the impact of marriage quality on heart health over time.

This from a study of nearly 1,200 married American men and women by researchers at Michigan State University, East Lansing, published in Journal of Health and Social Behavior.

Being in an unhappy marriage can cause stress, which has a direct link with cardiovascular health. And those effects accumulate. “It’s not like you have contact with your spouse and the next day you have heart disease,” Hui Liu, a Michigan State University sociologist, said. “It really takes time. That may explain why it’s stronger for older people. Your body will remember the effect.”

Such marriages can also push you toward unhealthy and harmful habits, like drinking a lot or smoking.

But why is it that women were hurt even more by unhappiness in a marriage? Liu said it’s possible that women are more likely to internalize their feelings, feel depressed and be more sensitive than the men in their relationships. They also found that when women were sick with heart disease, it lowered the quality of a marriage, but not when men were sick. Liu said women are more likely to serve in a caregiver role for their sick husbands and be more sensitive to not exacerbating stress, but husbands may not be as sensitive about the relationship when their wives are sick.

While a lot of marriage counseling may focus on younger couples, the study authors emphasize that older couples would be wise to pay attention to the qualities of their marriages, too. Their hearts may very well depend upon doing so. “But these results show that marital quality is just as important at older ages, even when the couple has been married 40 or 50 years,” Liu said.

A happy marriage, of course, isn’t the only way to a healthy heart. Cardiovascular health begins with your diet. Start by cutting back on your salt-intake. Consuming too much can lead to high blood pressure, which is the leading cause of risk of death for women in the U.S. Most Americans should eat fewer than 2,300 milligrams of salt, which means almost all of us should cut back on sodium, according to the CDC.

You can also change your diet to include more heart-friendly foods like oatmeal, salmon, avocado, and berries. Beefing up your green veggie intake with more spinach and soy beans can help as well. And go ahead and indulge in a glass of wine every now and then. Research suggests the tannins in red wine might help reduce the risk of heart disease and moderate drinkers are less likely to suffer a heart attack.

Another key to a healthy heart is exercise. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days per week. Alternatively, 25 minutes of high-intensity exercise three days per week, in addition to muscle strengthening exercises two days each week can also help to prevent heart disease. So get out there and swim, run, bike, jog, whatever it takes to get your heart healthy and pumping.

Copyright © 2015 – Hui Liu, a Michigan State University sociologist. You can contact her at: http://Sociology.MSU.edu/faculty/profile/liu-hui/.

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CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Absolute Best Way to Recharge Your Relationship

There’s nothing that recharges a relationship like “getting away.” Putting the pause button on life for a day, a weekend or a week, is vital to remembering why you got together in the first place.

People make all kinds of excuses as to why that can’t “get away.” First and foremost is, “I can’t take time off of work.” Our culture values work productivity over family and relationships. We view relaxation and leisure as lazy. The consequence is stress, burnout, and neglect of our most important relationships.

REL-GettingAwayOften the chronic complaint in couples counseling is that one partner feels the other puts work first. Only at the point where damage has been done to the relationship, does that partner make changes. Suddenly they find a way to finish their day earlier, or “unplug” when home.

Other excuses are lack of money, time, and childcare. Bob and I take a hard line here since we see the result of relationships being neglected: There are no valid excuses for not “getting away.” It doesn’t mean you have to leave town for a week or break the bank. More about that later.

Here’s why “getting away” is so important to your relationship. It:

1. Breaks the routine and let’s you slow down. Our lives tend to become like “Groundhog’s Day.” We focus more on doing than being. Unconsciously, we take our relationships for granted and the result may insidiously be “relational drift.”

2. Makes it easier to unplug and focus. We’ve become so plugged into our computers and cell phones that we don’t often unplug. This has led to less focus on deeper communication and connection with our partners.

3. Increases joy together. Getting away revitalizes our relationships. We remember what it is like to be free, to let down and let go of responsibilities for a short time; to play, to laugh, have fun together.

4. Creates positive memories that will last much longer than the time away. Just the memories and looking at pictures of fun times together can transport us back to that feeling. In this way, times away last much longer than they actually are and give us pleasure after they are over.

5. Provides privacy that you rarely get at home. When our children are in the home, we don’t have much privacy. Being away gives you space to walk around naked, and feel unrestrained.

6. Allows you to relax and have better sex. Sex at home when kids are around is not ideal. When they are little we are exhausted, and when they are not around there is always something that needs to get done. It’s easy to neglect sex. Getting away means you can’t do any cleaning up or home projects. It is forced relaxation. Sex is always best when we are relaxed. And sex in a new place is more exciting!

BONUS Article: It’s Never Too Late to Get Back on Track… S#XUALLY!
Make Everyday a FUNday!

Copyright © 2015 by Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD. Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, is a licensed counselor and co-founder of Relationships Work, an innovative therapy practice and online resource center. Together with her husband, Bob, they encourage couples to consciously co-create their relationships in order to achieve a deeper, more intimate connection. You can visit Relationships Work online at: http://www.RelationshipsWork.com. Follow them on Facebook.

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CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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Saturday, November 7, 2015

21 Rules For Living to a Healthy Old Age

Oussama Zinedine, Guest Author

Some of us have reached our golden years, and some of us have not. But these suggestions should be read by everyone. They have been collected from many a senior, each with his or her own piece of advice. Some you know, some may surprise you, and some will remind you of what’s important. So read well, share with your loved ones, and have a great day and a great life!

REL-OldAge11. It’s time to use the money you saved up. Use it and enjoy it. Don’t just keep it for those who may have no notion of the sacrifices you made to get it. Remember there is nothing more dangerous than a son or daughter-in-law with big ideas for your hard earned capital. Warning: This is also a bad time for an investment, even if it seems wonderful or fool-proof. They only bring problems and worries and this is a time for you to enjoy some peace and quiet.

2. Stop worrying about the financial situation of your children and grandchildren, and don’t feel bad spending your money on yourself. You’ve taken care of them for many years, and you’ve taught them what you could. You gave them an education, food, shelter and support. The responsibility is now theirs to earn their own money.

3. Keep a healthy life, without great physical effort. Do moderate exercise (like walking every day), eat well and get your sleep. It’s easy to become sick, and it gets harder to remain healthy. That is why you need to keep yourself in good shape and be aware of your medical and physical needs. Keep in touch with your doctor, get tested even when you’re feeling well. Stay informed.

4. Always buy the best, most beautiful items for your significant other. The key goal is to enjoy your money with your partner. One day one of you will miss the other, and the money will not provide any comfort then, enjoy it together.

5. Don’t stress over the little things. You’ve already overcome so much in your life. You have good memories and bad ones, but the important thing is the present. Don’t let the past drag you down and don’t let the future frighten you. Feel good in the now. Small issues will soon be forgotten.

6. Regardless of age, always keep love alive. Love your partner, love life, love your family, love your neighbor and remember: “A man is not old as long as he has intelligence and affection.”

7. Be proud, both inside and out. Don’t stop going to your hair salon or barber, do your nails, go to the dermatologist and the dentist, keep your perfumes and creams well stocked. When you are well-maintained on the outside, it seeps in, making you feel proud and strong.

REL-OldAge48. Don’t lose sight of fashion trends for your age, but keep your own sense of style. There’s nothing worse than an older person trying to wear the current fashion among youngsters. You’ve developed your own sense of what looks good on you – keep it and be proud of it. It’s part of who you are.

9. ALWAYS stay up-to-date. Read newspapers, watch the news. Go online and read what people are saying. Make sure you have an active email account and try to use some of those social networks. You’ll be surprised which old friends you’ll meet. Keeping in touch with what is going on and with the people you know is important at any age.

10. Respect the younger generation and their opinions. They may not have the same ideals as you, but they are the future, and will take the world in their direction. Give advice, not criticism, and try to remind them of yesterday’s wisdom that still applies today.

REL-AgingWell211. Never use the phrase: “In my time.” Your time is now. As long as you’re alive, you are part of this time. You may have been younger, but you are still you now, having fun and enjoying life.

12. Some people embrace their golden years, while others become bitter and surly. Life is too short to waste your days on the latter. Spend your time with positive, cheerful people, it’ll rub off on you and your days will seem that much better. Spending your time with bitter people will make you older and harder to be around.

13. Do not surrender to the temptation of living with your children or grandchildren (if you have a financial choice, that is). Sure, being surrounded by family sounds great, but we all need our privacy. They need theirs and you need yours. If you’ve lost your partner (our deepest condolences), then find a person to move in with you and help out. Even then, do so only if you feel you really need the help or do not want to live alone.

14. Don’t abandon your hobbies. If you don’t have any, make new ones. You can travel, hike, cook, read, dance. You can adopt a cat or a dog, grow a garden, play cards, checkers, chess, dominoes, golf. You can paint, volunteer at an NGO or just collect certain items. Find something you like and spend some real time having fun with it.

15. Even if you don’t feel like it, try to accept invitations. Baptisms, graduations, birthdays, weddings, conferences. Try to go. Get out of the house, meet people you haven’t seen in a while, experience something new (or something old). But don’t get upset when you’re not invited. Some events are limited by resources, and not everyone can be hosted. The important thing is to leave the house from time to time. Go to museums, go walk through a field. Get out there.

16. Be a conversationalist. Talk less and listen more. Some people go on and on about the past, not caring if their listeners are really interested. That’s a great way of reducing their desire to speak with you. Listen first and answer questions, but don’t go off into long stories unless asked to. Speak in courteous tones and try not to complain or criticize too much unless you really need to. Try to accept situations as they are. Everyone is going through the same things, and people have a low tolerance for hearing complaints. Always find some good things to say as well.

REL-OldAge17. Pain and discomfort go hand in hand with getting older. Try not to dwell on them but accept them as a part of the cycle of life we’re all going through. Try to minimize them in your mind. They are not who you are, they are something that life added to you. If they become your entire focus, you lose sight of the person you used to be.

18. If you’ve been offended by someone – forgive them. If you’ve offended someone – apologize. Don’t drag around resentment with you. It only serves to make you sad and bitter. It doesn’t matter who was right. Someone once said: “Holding a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Don’t take that poison. Forgive, forget and move on with your life.

SkinnyDipping19. If you have a strong belief, savor it. But don’t waste your time trying to convince others. They will make their own choices no matter what you tell them, and it will only bring you frustration. Live your faith and set an example. Live true to your beliefs and let that memory sway them.

20. Laugh. Laugh A LOT. Laugh at everything. Remember, you are one of the lucky ones. You managed to have a life, a long one. Many never get to this age, never get to experience a full life. But you did. So what’s not to laugh about? Find the humor in your situation.

21. Take no notice of what others say about you and even less notice of what they might be thinking. They’ll do it anyway, and you should have pride in yourself and what you’ve achieved. Let them talk and don’t worry. They have no idea about your history, your memories and the life you’ve lived so far. There’s still much to be written, so get busy writing and don’t waste time thinking about what others might think. Now is the time to be at rest, at peace and as happy as you can be!

BONUS Article: Make Everyday a FUNday!
Romance in a Jar…
Ways to Relight the Flame of Love

Copyright © 2015 – Oussama Zinedine. Oussama Zinedine, is Manager at Assaly & Associates. “Assaly & Associates s.a.r.l ” is specialized in governing and handling the relations of our clients with their Bankers – “Bank Relationship Management.” Visit their Website at: http://www.AssalyGroup.com/

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CLoveLOGOLarry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s Relationship Pintrest Page at: http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/relationships-blog/

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Men Have Feelings Too!

A Discourse in Support of a Safe Place to Express Feelings ~ (For Men Only – It’s okay for women to sneak-a-peek and pass this along to YOUR man!)

Someone once said that women are the ones with feelings. Men are the thinkers and fixers.

Men have feelings too, however they often refuse to acknowledge them, much less talk about them; seldom to their spouse or significant other and especially not to other men. Most think it is a sign of weakness.

REL-MenHaveFeelings2Not so!

It is a sign of strength and of courage. Men who get in touch with their feelings can reinvent themselves. It opens up numerous possibilities. It is possible for a man to be tough AND tender!

Often men get caught up in the business of the day and when they arrive home, they express their feelings in unintentionally destructive ways by literally “dumping” on their significant other. This doesn’t work. The relationship can only go downhill from there.

For the most part, men have not been brought up to express their feelings at all, much less in a constructive way. Generally speaking, you can trace this behavior back several generations. Remember the song, “Big Boys Don’t Cry?” It should have been, “Big Boys Don’t Express Their Feelings.” Bet your grandfather didn’t. Most likely neither did your dad. He was probably the “rock;” the one who must be strong and not demonstrate his feelings lest he be seen as a weak man. Men are suppose to be macho. Oh, really? The truth is, most men lack the skills to express their feelings.

“But,” you say, “that is a woman thing.” Says who? The more you are in touch with how you really feel about things, the easier it is to communicate those feelings. I call this: getting totally honest with yourself!

Men are notoriously poor at cultivating and maintaining close friendships with other men. Often when you ask a man how many close friends he has, he will be at a loss to come up with more than one or two (if any at all).

Many times the people he will mention are the guys he gets together with over a beer to talk about the big game last Sunday or the other men he communicates with about business. Other men may talk about their childhood friends they no longer are in touch with. How sad. These are not the kind of close friendships with whom you can share your most intimate feelings. Intimate feelings? Is that scary, or what?

When we run from our feelings, they follow us… everywhere!

Feelings must be expressed. To stuff your most intimate feelings is to stay stuck with the feeling. What is the solution? How can you find a way to communicate your feelings in a way that feels safe and where you can always be assured of being heard?

One highly effective solution is to form your own “Men’s Support Community.” To be heard is to be healed. You learn to talk openly and honestly in an environment of absolute confidentiality where there are no rules about what or how you say what you need to say. The other men in the group only listen. No one offers advice. No solutions. The other men learn to suspend their judgments about what they think or feel about what you say. They are there to be your committed listener. Listening IS support.

Soooo… how does this help you? You get to “vent” all you want, anyway you want but this time without the destructive tones damaging the relationship you have with your significant other. Another way it helps is that you learn when you listen. You discover that you can benefit from the experiences of the other men.

You should have learned by now that a solution that you discover on your own rather than being told by someone else is almost always the better and most workable solution.

While it may be difficult for men to understand how only talking with no advice and solutions will work, I can assure you that after meeting and getting to know each other after about 6 to 10 weeks you will begin to notice a shift in the dynamics of the group — to say nothing about your attitude about expressing yourself fully.

To be listened to attentively feels good. Knowing that you have everyone’s full attention to how you feel can be a bit disarming for some men. In “Men’s Support Communities” I have been involved with, in the beginning most men experienced some level of discomfort in only being listened to without anyone offering solutions. Men are fixers, remember? This is not the expected way for men to be. Or is it? As the group spent more time together, the bonding that occurred worked its own miracle. Frequency assists in the bonding process.

Men can learn a very important lesson from fully participating in a group such as this. They learn to empathize with women who are often heard complaining, “He never listens to me!” Once men experience the committed listening of the group, they begin to feel more at ease in sharing their deepest concerns about their relationship, their work and their life with their spouse or significant other.

Most often this is the salvation for their personal relationship!

“Every man needs to bond with other men from the heart. He needs to fulfill his needs for intimacy with someone other than his lover, so she isn’t his only outlet for feeling. He needs mirrors of his own quest to understand his masculinity; soul buddies who can validate his journey like no woman ever can. Find a friend. Take off your mask. Show him who you really are.” ~ Barbara DeAngelis, Author of Real Moments

Mens-Support-GroupGuidelines for a “Men’s Support Community”

• Set a specific place, time and length of the meeting. Once a week in the same place, at the same time with a two hour maximum is recommended.

Important: The effectiveness of the group is dependent upon each member’s total commmitment to making attendance at this weekly meeting a high priority. No commitment. No healing. If you cannot commit to be present at every meeting do not join the group. Obviously there will be an ocassional missed meeting because of family emergencies. Our group determined that family comes first. Other than family or you die, there were no excuses for not attending this life-changing meeting.

• Be on time. Better yet, arrive early and visit for a few minutes before the meeting officially begins. If someone is unavoidably late, do not stop to greet them, continue with the meeting. I once was late for a sales meeting and made the comment, “Better late than never,” to which the sales manager replied, “Better never late!” Lesson learned.

• It is wise for everyone to commit to meet for a minimum of 6 weeks in the beginning and at the end of that period you can all choose to extend your meetings at 6 week intervals. Our group eventually decided to meet indefinitely.

• A group of from 6 to 8 is most effective.

• Decide whether you want to have a closed group once the group reaches capacity. I am of the opinion that a closed group is a good idea. A new member introduced to the group after the group has been meeting for awhile may feel left out because the others in the group have already bonded. The older members will often feel the need to bring the new member up to speed. A closed group is recommended.

• Start the meeting promptly at the appointed time and end on time.
Eating, drinking, gum chewing, alcohol and recreational drugs all serve as distractions from feelings. Refrain from alcohol and recreational drugs the day of the meeting. No smoking.

• Refrain from giving advice and criticism. This is a must. If a member requests assistance, it is best to volunteer it at a private meeting between the two of you at another time. A phone call also works.

• Use “I” messages (e.g., I think, I feel, I believe, etc.) and all the listening skills you can muster.

Confidentiality is paramount. This cannot be over emphasized. This includes talking to your spouse or significant other about who said what in the meeting. Nothing discussed in the meeting goes out of the room. If a confidentially breach is discovered is it wise to ask the guilty party to leave the group.

• No subject is taboo. The focus must be on expressing your thoughts and feelings about what is happening in your life. Remember, this is a “safety zone;” a place where you can say what needs to be said without the judgment of others and without the fear of anyone else speaking about it to their friends. Avoid chit-chat about the score of the big game or other less important stuff you can talk about at another time.

• During this meeting it is important to notice what it “feels” like to suspend your judgment about what someone is saying. This will free them up to speak whatever is on their mind. No “raised eyebrows” or “elbow nudging.” You are there for them only to be their committed listener.

• Always read the “Statement of Purpose & Intention” at the beginning of every meeting. Always. Resist the urge to dispense with this very important part of the ritual because you’ve “heard it before!” It must be an intergral part of every meeting. Since there is no leader of the group, it’s a good idea that each week the responsibility for reading the “Statement of Purpose & Intention” word-for-word be rotated. (See below).

This process – often called “The Talking Circle” – is designed after a simple yet powerful Native American tradition that we have found useful. A Talking Circle is based on the expectation that everyone participating has something to say and something to learn. This format can create a therapeutic group.

When one person talks, everyone listens. No interruptions and absolutely no advice given. There is no cross-talk; each person gets one opportunity to speak and only speaks at that time. This is a opportunity to say what you want to. You may choose to take a turn talking or not.

In the Native American tradition a feather or “Talking Stick” is passed from person to person. It is a tool used to let people speak their feelings in a group. It was usually made of wood (usually a long stick, 12 to 18 inches) and often decorated with feathers or ribbons, painted with colors or carved.

As a gimmick to call attention to who has the floor, when each man in the group took their turn to talk in the group I was in, they held a TV remote control. Somehow it made us feel at home and more in control. There may be some irony there, I think. Our version of the Talking Stick gave them the floor to speak. All present must hear you out.

A special note for women: (I knew you couldn’t resist reading something labeled “For Men Only! – Hee! Hee!) – The guidelines are the same for a “Women’s Support Community.” Women seem to have an intense need to offer advice and solutions in these groups. Generally speaking, men have this reputation, however it has been my experience that the opposite is true in “Women’s Support Communities.”

Most women in groups that have disbanded tell me that they did so because either one person tried to be the leader (or controller) of the group or the group could not resist the urge to offer advice and solutions. This is usually the death of the group. Sandy, my friend, was in a group that disolved for both of these reasons. A caution to women: offer no advice or solutions and let the group lead itself if you want your group to be an effective tool for healing.

It is wise to have same sex groups only. The only exception might be if there is a therapist present who can moderate or intervene in any disputes that may surface between couples. Generally speaking, mixed groups do not work as well.

The following Statement of Purpose & Intention is an extremely important part of each meeting. It helps center the group and brings each member of the group back to the intention of the group. Before each meeting begins, have someone volunteer to read the following to reinforce the reasons you are meeting.

Statement of Purpose and Intention

We have recognized a need in our lives for the support of a group of loving, caring friends. We have put aside this period of time to help each other with the emotional stresses of life. We agree to give these meetings an importance in our lives that we honor by making attendance a priority. It is our intention to create a place where we can collectively experience the value of self-discovery by giving and receiving support in a caring, understanding and respectful way.

In the process of receiving support we will speak honestly about our thoughts and feelings. By doing this we will create the freedom to explore our feelings without concern as to whether what we say is well thought out, or worded appropriately. In the process of giving support, we agree to listen in a non-judgmental fashion without interrupting, giving advice or suggesting solutions. By honoring the value of our own inner wisdom the healing we seek will occur.

We agree to keep in confidence all that is said during our meetings!

Next. . . someone reaches for the TV remote control and begins to talk. There is no time limit. Some men will choose to talk more, others less, but rarely not at all. If you finish early, adjourn the meeting.

Let the healing begin!

Larry’s NOTE: The above “Statement of Purpose and Intention” was written by my good friend, Michael Najarian, Personal Growth Productions.

A Special Message From Larry James

The miracles I have personally witnessed in “Men’s Support Communities” defies description. I’ve seen relationships on the brink of divorce, in time, totally healed. Some miracles take longer than others.

I’ve heard anger expressed, happiness, grief, concern, understanding, fear, acceptance, love; a myriad of feelings you seldom hear expressed by a man to other men.

I’ve heard deep, dark secrets revealed and when expressed in the confidence of men who were trusted friends, countenances changed the instant the news was out. The stress of withholding was at last relieved.

The support for a man whose wife died after losing a bout with cancer was incredible to behold.

How does this happen? These miracles are like trying to describe the flavor of an orange. You have to taste the fruit to know its flavor. In other words, you had to be there.

I challenge you to “be there!”

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2015 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Friday, October 2, 2015

Adrift Into the Scary Unknown

Today, I would like for you to read the following three quotes and spend some time thinking about the standard you have set for your life. Find a time to sit down, and be selfish for a moment every now and then. Often people fail to look at their lives and situations for the soul purpose of trying to find solutions for personal situations. It is important to confront situations head-on and figure out how to improve on them.

Are you on the right track? Where do you stand in the scary unknown?

REL-ScaryUnknown“It is the promise of Love that if we let ourselves go into the unknown, work on ourselves and become the Love we are seeking, that IT will FIND US. Yup, that’s right. But we have to go through the dark night of our fears, dive deep into our insecurities, feel the pain of them and then bring the Light of our awareness to them.” ~ Mastin Kipp, The Daily Love

“Too often people attempt to live cautiously, taking no chances, avoiding all risks… in the safety of established patterns of living. They don’t feel fulfilled… yet they’ve found a niche, a formula… not for success, but mainly to avoid failure. To me, this is the living death. I mean, when security becomes the main goal. We, as humans only grow by taking advantage of opportunities. Life is a risk and we absolutely must reach beyond the safety and familiarity of our previous patterns of behavior in order to find true happiness and fulfillment.” ~ Mack Newton

perfectENDING“By the time the fear subsides, it will be too late. By the time you’re not afraid of what you were planning to start/say/do, someone else will have already done it, it will already be said or it will be irrelevant. The reason you’re afraid is that there’s leverage here, something that might happen. Which is exactly the signal you’re looking for. So fear isn’t just something to deal with and get past. It may mean the moment is nigh – you need to take action now, because it signals that a window of opportunity has opened in front of you.” ~ Susan Biali, M.D.

Fear is the most powerful single factor that deprives you of being able to achieve your full potential. Do your best in everything right now! Don’t ever let your insecurities or past failures or what others might tell you keep you stuck! Focus on what you want and how you can achieve it. If the things you dream for don’t scare you, they probably aren’t big enough.

If you want to give yourself the best gift you could ever receive, believe in yourself. Believe in yourself and never let others try to tell you otherwise or bring you down. You have to be willing to see things you didn’t expect, and figure out what you can tolerate and what you cannot.

Accept that failure is possible and necessary. As Winston Churchill once said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.

Know the consequences of staying where you are. Have faith in your choices. There is never a good reason to slow down. Keep moving forward. Seize the moment!

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2015 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Monday, September 28, 2015

Gals! How to Survive the Dating Daze!

How to negotiate the minefield of the dating game!

Tactic 1: Be fit for dating 
~ We all get knock-backs – where a man’s not interested or doesn’t call again after the first date or two. Women with what I call ‘dating fitness’ have optimism and confidence so that ‘knock-backs’ aren’t the end of the world. They know there’ll be other date-opportunities around the corner; that his lack of interest didn’t necessarily reflect personally on them; and that men prefer women who don’t make too many dating ‘trade-offs’ – like dumping friends as soon as he rings – just to get a date!

REL-DatingDazeTactic 2: Be fantastic at first impressions
 ~ I’d be rich if I had the proverbial pound for every woman who told me, “I missed a chance when this great-looking guy came into my office and I didn’t have the guts to even look at him!” By planning ahead with all my advice, you won’t miss opportunities as they arise and will still appear spontaneous! Once you’ve got a date lined up, just as footballers visualize scoring goals, start visualizing your impending date as being fantastic. Run it like a film through your head – the evening goes from strength to strength, affirming to yourself all your positive points, and being calm and confident because you’ve got yourself sorted early.

Tactic 3: Be confident – avoid the ‘I’m unworthy’ complex!
 ~ Confidence is critical to your dating success and men notice the dirty dozen signs of when a woman feels “unworthy.” The tell-tale signs of unworthiness include: when a woman gushes about her past successes and how many men are asking her out right now; when without prompting she claims she’s not looking for “anything special;” when she’s overly flirtatious with too much touching; and when she asks to be compared to his exes all too soon. Being confident is incredibly attractive and my advice is to at least appear confident – even if you’re nervous inside!

Tactic 4: Be sexy – not easy 
~ Hugh Grant once spoke for 99% of men when he said he missed the “chase” – implying that women just put it on a plate for him. This is the real world – not some phony ideal world where men are tender-hearted romantics who never judge a woman who sleeps with them soon. If only! When presented with the opportunity most men will have sex but won’t pursue a romance with what they see as an easy woman. Sounds harsh but deep down they feel she’s decreased her “social” value. However you can still have fun flirting until you decide when you’re ready to have sex – or not.

Tactic 5: Be busy – avoid the princess syndrome ~ 
Men want you to have a life – not hang by the phone – as it takes the pressure off them to “look after” you and be the center of your universe. Tactic five is about how “princesses” are high-maintenance. Most men do not want high-maintenance, they want an equal. Give up your “princess” ways and keep living life while you’re getting to know him.

Tactic 6: Be knowing – not a know-it-all ~ 
Men don’t want dumb blondes but at the same time find it hard to handle how aggressive some women have become in proving themselves through conversation. You can be assertive at work, you can be assertive with the salesman you’re buying your new car from or the estate agent trying to sell you a house. But with him – have fun! Talk to him like you don’t have anything to prove. Conversation when getting to know each other should be like a friendly game of tennis, not as though you’re smashing “aces” at him!

Free-Online-Funny-Quotes-1Tactic 7: Be able – to sort the princes from frogs ~ 
Listen to your common sense and intuition,e.g., if he never rings when he says he will, flirts with anything in a skirt, ignores you when with the boys – then he’s a frog! Too many women hope their “frogs” will morph into a prince. It doesn’t happen that way. Be clear on frog – behaviors to look out for so you don’t waste your precious time.

Tactic 8: Be mysterious – don’t give the game away ~ 
What’s sexier – a slow strip tease or flinging your clothes off? The former raises anticipation and heightens excitement. The same goes for letting a man get to know your personality and your life. You don’t always have to tell him where you’re going, who you’ve been speaking to, what you’re planning for a free night, or how long it takes to do your make-up, hair and shave your legs. Leave a bit of a mystery and he’ll keep coming back for more.

Tactic 9: Be a bit of a bitch – in the nicest possible way ~ Most women are just too nice. They feel they can’t have an opinion. Can’t say what they’d like to do on a date. Can’t stave off male pressure to have sex or even dump a guy when after two dates they know he’s not the one. Tactic 9 is about setting your boundaries early and expressing them, especially when he doesn’t seem to be getting the message!

Tactic 10: Be aware of dating blind spots ~
 There are loads of “blind spots” we need to watch out for, money being one of them. Don’t get flustered over who should pay. Just be straight about what you feel comfortable with. Or when he doesn’t ring after taking your number. Be aware of my “rule-of-three” – the critical hurdles of three dates, three weeks and three months. Learn how to cope with dates from hell (we’ve all had them!) and avoid the trap of stereotyping men. Essentially, keep your eyes open so you are as successful as possible in dating.

BONUS Articles: 4 Online Dating Safety Tips For Women
You Date Who You Are!
Is He the One? 6 Questions to Ask Yourself
14 Signs He’s Into You!
10 Reasons People Are Afraid of Online Dating
The 3 BIGGEST Mistakes Newly Singles Make

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2015 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Wedding BLOG” at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking BLOG” at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Visit Larry’s Relationship Pin Board on Pintrest @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/relationships-blog/

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