Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friends and Lovers

Filed under: Relationships — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Larry’s NOTE: I wrote this piece back in the early 80’s as a guide for my behavior in a relationship. To absorb the true intent of the words, it is best to read it aloud. – maybe more than once! ;-)

I am learning to see my love partner without distortion; to value her as highly as I value myself to give without expecting anything in return; to commit myself fully to her welfare. Only then can love move freely between us without apparent effort. It’s unconditional love between best friends.

When we are able to love in this selfless manner, we experience a release of energy. We cease to be consumed by the details of our relationship, or the need to operate within the artificial structure of exercises; we spontaneously treat each other with love and respect. Love becomes automatic.

Friends&LoversMy forever lover is my very best friend!

LoveNote… The only way to have a friend is to be one. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I believe that friendship among lovers is essential to unconditional love and is the primary ingredient for a deep and lasting love relationship. I trust her with the deepest murmurings of my soul. She knows the best and the worst of me and yet loves me through and through – a friend as well as a lover.

In order to experience the kind of relationship I want, I accept the fact that, in order to understand each other, my love partner and I must have clearly developed channels of communication. I cultivate transparency of myself by being a master in the art of self-disclosure. I know that when the inclination to reveal myself to the one I love is blocked, I close myself to her and experience emotional difficulties. I promise to never hide behind a facade.

I will forever practice telling my love partner exactly what pleases me, decreasing her reliance on mental telepathy. ;-) I express preferences instead of demands. I believe that I can never know myself except as an outcome of disclosing myself to her.

In ways I may not fully understand, self-disclosure helps me to see things, feel things, imagine things, hope for things that I could never have thought possible. The invitation to transparency, then, is really an invitation to authenticity. It is also an invitation to allow myself to be vulnerable.

LoveNote… Never close your lips to those to whom you have opened your heart. ~ Charles Dickens

When I allow my love partner to see me for who I really am right now, I am less afraid I will be rejected in the future. When my love partner accepts and loves me unconditionally, I know I will never have to hide in the relationship in the future.

To have inner peace it is necessary to be consistently loving in what I think, in what I say and in what I do. I think thoughts of love. I speak words of love. I demonstrate unconditional love for my love partner in all that I do.

Openness means being willing to communicate my deepest feelings. There can be no intimacy without conversation. The only way my love partner and I can truly communicate is to tell the truth. Truthful communication moves love partners and creates a condition of unity, love and satisfaction.

For intimacy to grow in a healthy love relationship there can be no withholding; feelings – both positive and negative – must be shared equally between love partners. The act of withholding the truth is always potentially a lie.

The energy required for the self-discipline of honesty is far less than the energy required for withholding. My love partner and I are dedicated to the truth and live in the open, and through the exercise of our courage to live in the open, we become free from fear. Fear cannot exist whenever insight is valued above feeling frightened.

I listen when my lover shares without making judgment. My heart is always open to hear what my love partner has to say.

LoveNote… A good relationship is that in which each appoints the other guardian of his solitude. Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue to exist, a wonderful living side by side can grow up, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against a wide sky. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Someone said that it is possible to be together so much that we suffocate each other. Perhaps. I do not allow this to happen in my love relationship. I believe that love includes letting go when my partner needs freedom; holding her close when she needs care. I am committed to creating space in my relationship when needed.

We have learned to cherish both intimacy and solitude. We never feel tied to each other.

LoveNote… Don’t smother each other. No one can grow in the shade. ~ Leo Buscaglia

At the heart of love, there is a simple secret: the lover lets the beloved be free. My love partner and I require different mixes of independence and mutuality, and the mix is freely discussed and renegotiated from time to time when necessary.

When two people in a love relationship are complete within themselves they do not experience the love they have for others as diminishing, detracting, or threatening to the love they share. They are secure within the relationship.

Insecurities bring forth jealousy, which, in effect, is a cry for more love. It is within your rights to ask for more affection when self-doubts surface, however, the indirect way that jealousy asks for it is counterproductive. Excessive possessiveness is inappropriate. Jealousy is the surest way to drive away the very person you may fear losing.

It is an irony that the more possessive I am, the more love I demand, the less I receive; while the more freedom I give, the less I demand, the more love I receive. I take great pleasure in watching my love partner be fully free and fully alive!

MeYouLoveNote… Love is not possessive. ~ I Corinthians 13:4

We encourage each other to widen our circle of friends. We each seek to ever expand our horizons. We enjoy celebrating life together and with friends!

I know that if I expect to be the only person who matters to my love partner I am setting myself up for disappointment. As wonderful as true love can be, no one person can meet all your needs. My love partner is, and will always be my very best friend, and she is not my only friend.

I fully expect my love partner to have other passionate interests other than me. To extend the freedom to develop her own interests in other people and hobbies can only empower our relationship. Freedom can never confine. It can never be detrimental to the relationship. It can only open up many exciting and previously undiscovered opportunities to enjoy life.

When my lover is pursuing areas in which she excels, she is happy. I enjoy her most when she is happy. People are easier to love when they are happy.

Trust is forever present in our love relationship; trust and deep commitment to each other, and loyalty and devotion. This allows us the freedom to care about people of the opposite sex and to enjoy friendships with them, and when we sit down together in the evening to share the events of the day, we do not have to ask if our love partner has been faithful.

LoveNote… Love from one being to another can only be that two solitudes come nearer, recognize and protect and comfort each other. ~ Han Suyin

The stronger and more secure we become, the more we are willing to be ourselves while encouraging our love partner to do the same.

Genuine unconditional love not only respects the individuality of the other but actually seeks to cultivate it, even at the risk of separation or loss. The ultimate goal remains the spiritual growth of my love partner, the solitary journey to peaks that can be climbed only alone.

LoveNote… But let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another, but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together; for the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow. ~ Kahlil Gibran

I believe that no matter how committed my forever love relationship, I will always be “single” as well as a part of a couple. Unconditional love is a special, intense connection, and it is not an answer to all or even most individual problems. No one can make me happy but me.

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.

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
Visit Larry’s Relationship Pin Board on Pintrest @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/relationships-blog/

Monday, April 13, 2015

Stay With It!

Filed under: Coaching,Commitment,Relationships — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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In a relationship? Things getting a little rough? Things can get a little complex at times. Never give up! Stay with the program. Make your relationship a lifetime commitment. Don’t weasel out! Sticking with it, is easier than beginning again.

Never stop. We often get so wrapped up in our everyday experiences that we forget that our relationship comes first. It does, you know. Make it a habit to work together on your relationship. When you become discouraged, seek out someone in your support system, perhaps a friend whom you “know” will be your encourager.

StayWithItTo paraphrase Vincent Van Gogh, “When you hear a voice within you saying, ‘You’re not going to make it,’ than by all means continue making better choices and that voice will be silenced.”

Perhaps it’s time time to re-imagine your relationship. Begin to think of it as you want it to be. Let go of tour resentments and begin again.

• Never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place.
• Kiss hello before doing anything else when you get home, then give each other some space for a little while to ease into being home and being together again. Kiss good-bye when you leave.
• More “I love you”s are better than fewer.
• Be more spontaneous in demonstrating your love.
• Never allow yourself to become bored with each other. That may take some effort if you’ve slowed down on giving it your best.

Stick with it and your partner will stick with you. Catch your partner doing something right and acknowledge them for it. Play together. Learn to have fun together again. You both must be willing to bring your best to the relationship… working together. Positive repetition builds your relationship reputation. Become known to your partner as someone who is consistent with their best efforts; someone with commitment, perseverance and dedication to serving the relationship. You must demonstrate your commitment.

You have to wake up every day and “choose” the relationship all over again. Choose what you truly want and need in order to achieve the loving, caring, committed, passionate, fulfilling relationship that you truly desire. Coming and being together is a beginning. Keeping together is a progress that takes time and steadfast commitment.

We all make mistakes. Never stumble over something that is behind you. Forgive and let it go!

“You are here to learn how to be truly happy, to become your best self. And it is attainable. But only you can make that happen.” ~ Maria Shriver

Stay present. Recommit to really “be” in the relationship. There is a way out of your unhappiness. It’s simple. You say you love your partner… now stand up for that Love! Don’t walk away with without giving it your best! That’s the cowards way out.

BONUS Articles: How About a Healthy, Controlled One-on-one?
Halfway to Each Other…
Does Your Relationship Need a Wake-up Call?
Who Ya Gonna Call? – The Love Doctor, of Course!

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.

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
Visit Larry’s Relationship Pin Board on Pintrest @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/relationships-blog/

Sunday, April 5, 2015

What To Do When You’re Bored…

Filed under: Boredom,Relationships — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Boredom is an emotional state experienced when an individual is left without anything in particular to do or becomes bored by doing the same thing over and over without a break.

So… what do you do?

Tip: Embrace your boredom and keep moving forward!

DistractionsFor the past three or four days I’d been doing the same things over and over without a break. I needed to be in a different space, away from my work for a little while. I realized that I hadn’t eaten anything all day. The moment I started thinking about food I had a very strong awareness of hunger. Where can I go, and what can I do that would be different – sorta “out of the box” but not all the way out.

I got in my car and just started driving. I needed a hunger break!

I was about to pass CostCo when I remembered that you can buy a 12 inch hot dog – with plenty of chopped onions, relish and mustard – and a 20 ounce drink for only $1.62 (tax included), so I pulled in and parked. That hot dog was sounding pretty good as I stood in line and watched the people as they went with their hot dogs to be seated.

While I was standing there, I thought that “people watching” might be a fun distraction. People watching with intention. Observing! Really being aware of watching people.

I found a seat on the edge of the aisle where the people who had been though the cashier line all passed by.

The first to catch my eye was a man, about 60, with a cart with 17 bottles of bourbon. I wondered if he noticed that he had forgotten the Advil for the next morning.

I was having new thoughts about what people buy, how they were dressed, walking fast, walking slow, blocking the aisle with their over loaded shopping carts, what they might be thinking, how they matched up as a couple, etc., and… not making any judgements about anyone or anything. I was beginning to have fun as I chowed down on my dawg.

Hysterical laughter suddenly lit up the place. I turned around to see where the noise was coming from and observed two women, totally unaware of anyone else, laughing uncontrollable. Other people who also noticed the commotion began to smile and some to laugh. There must have been at least fifteen or more people who, now, all had smiles on their faces. Neat! I began to look at passersby to to search for some more smiles. I was getting into some deep thoughts when suddenly…

A little kid, standing right behind me, gave a scream that could be heard throughout this incredibly large store. Now sure why. Didn’t care. I almost dropped my hot dog, however, I suddenly realized that I wasn’t bored anymore. My mind was enjoying this change of pace. Lots to observe.

Distraction2Being more observant was just what I needed to give my thinking a rest from my work.

I could have bought a bag of nuts, gone to a park, sat under a tree and looked for squirrels. One of my friends told when she was bored, she bakes her grandmother’s bread recipe. The blessing of baking or cooking is that the act itself helps you pass the time and, hopefully you get to eat something delicious. I’ve taken off an afternoon to go to a movie matinee; have some popcorn and a Pepsi®. Sometimes I feel guilty, like I really should be working, but then I remember that I also need to take care of me. “Me first” is not a bad idea as long as you don’t overdo it. Balance, my friends.

Physical activity is like a re-set button for your brain. When day-to-day pressures are weighing on you, walk briskly, even vacuum the carpet, or take a warm bath to clear your mind. Exercise does wonders for your mental health. It can boost your mood, improve your memory and expand your ability to learn. It’s more than just a stress reliever; exercise can actually reverse the aging effects stress or boredom has on our bodies. And it can lift depression and anxiety.

Buddy up. An understanding friend can encourage you when you’re feeling sad or unmotivated. Plan a weekly meet-up for a walk around the block or in your favorite park. Another great way to combine exercise with fellowship. In addition, lending your time and talent to others can boost your mood as much as those you are helping.

There are lots of things you can do that can be just the distraction you need to get you back on track. When I did get back to my office, I had a few new thoughts that I could write down… thus, this article.

I felt energized, ready to get back to the fun of what I do which is helping people, help themselves. My work isn’t work. It’s like going to fun everyday. You, too, can – if you think about it – put some fun in what you do. Create a new distraction! My CostCo distraction was just what I needed.

There is a sign in my office that say, “If it feels like work… you must be doing something wrong;” something I heard my friend, Larry Winget say many years ago.

By the way, my people watching adventure at CostCo is way more exciting than people watching at WalMart.

Larry’s NOTE: A special “Thank you” to CIGNA‘s 2015 calendar for a few tips I included above.

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.

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
Visit Larry’s Relationship Pin Board on Pintrest @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/relationships-blog/

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Science Holds the Key to a Happy Marriage

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

Ana Loiselle, Guest Author

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes… they’re essential for marital harmony.

There are likely changes that you and your spouse would like to see in order to be happier together. What’s holding you back? What is so difficult about change?

ScienceMarriageChange is challenging because it requires conquering and retraining your brain, which rigidly maintains the status quo. Your brain controls the very behaviors that are unhealthy for your union, despite your desire for a happier marriage.

Doomed? Hardly. You’ve got science on your side. Use the fascinating research and discoveries of neuroscience and neuroplasticity to help resuscitate your relationship.

Brain research has immense implications for all aspects of your life: Relationships, personal growth, overall happiness, behaviors and habits.

Neuroscience reveals how habits are formed and how they can affect you on a daily basis. Many habits are helpful and healthy, while others… not so much. Your relationships can become patterns of habits that are often emotional reactions.

In other words, the happiness (or lack thereof) in your relationship is a product of your habits. You are the product of your actions and behaviors. Brain research now reveals why some actions or habits succeed and others fail.

Your behaviors and actions toward others are crucial to the success of your relationships. ‘Good’ habits release oxytocin into your bloodstream. That’s the fabulous feel-good chemical that surges feelings of love, connection and safety through your body and mind.

‘Bad’ habits (neglect, fighting, apathy, etc.) put you into fight-or-flight mode, which inhibits your brain from releasing oxytocin. Your ability to feel connected and your feelings of safety are diminished.

If you fall into the fight-or-flight category more often than not in your marriage, it’s essential to boost your oxytocin-response habits. Remember, according to neuroplasticity researchers, your mind can change your brain. Regardless of age, your brain’s plasticity allows you to rewire your habits.

How does this work if you want to improve your relationships? Happy marriages are a result of ‘good’ oxytocin-response habits. You must break away from old, ‘bad’ habits that are inhibiting your chances of happiness and connection.

Fact: Your brain is vital to a better connection and relationship. A behavioral shift can mean long-lasting change and a stronger, happier connection in your marriage.

It might not be effortless, but it’s absolutely feasible!

BONUS Article: “Don’t Change! I Love You Just the Way You Are!”
The Secret to Solving ALL Your Problems!

AnaLoiselleCopyright © 2014 by Ana Loiselle. Ana Loiselle is a relationship coach, author and professional speaker who specializes in helping people change their lives and improve important relationships. Ana is the Director of The Relationship Center with offices in Albuquerque, NM and Phoenix, AZ. In addition to her private practice, Ana is a highly sought-after speaker, known for her life-transforming seminars for both lay and professional audiences including universities, religious organizations, professional organizations, and community agencies.

Her now very popular brain-based program Rescue My Marriage Now!™ Bootcamp has saved hundreds of relationships. People from all over the world schedule private phone sessions with Ana and seek her help by joining the Rescue My Marriage Now! Bootcamp.

Ana has been a featured expert on NBC, UPublic, and the Fox Network. She is also a frequent guest on talk radio programs.

Ana is a graduate of the Relationship Coaching Institute, was the CEO of one of the Top-200 Fastest Growing Businesses in the US, and a former two time World-Champion Morgan Horse rider. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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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.

Subscribe 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/

Saturday, March 28, 2015

How is Your Relationship Doing?

Filed under: Relationships — Larry James @ 3:48 pm
Tags: , ,

RELquizAn enriching relationship pays huge health dividends. To keep close and ward off prickly conflict, check whether you’re valuing each other enough.

“Appreciation-deprived relationships are like overdrawn bank accounts,” say Sabitha Pillai-Friedman, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Center for Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University. When there’s not enough gratitude, goodwill diminishes and stress, conflict, and distance creep in. How does yours rate? (Ask your partner to take the quiz, too.)

1. How often do you thank your partner for his/her role in keeping the household running?

❏ Often
❏ Sometimes
❏ Never

2. How often do you thank your partner for just being there for you?

❏ Often
❏ Sometimes
❏ Never

3. How often do you notice and appreciate a positive quality in your partner? (Don’t fudge; be really honest here.)

❏ Often
❏ Sometimes
❏ Never

4. How often do you say nice things abut your partner when you’re together and talking to other people?

❏ Often
❏ Sometimes
❏ Never

How you scored…

Three or fewer “often” answers? Your partnership could use a few more strokes.

Improve!

Begin each day by saying something appreciative, like “Thanks for making the bed” or “You’re great for remembering to buy milk last night.” Then throughout the day notice and acknowledge a few of the good things your partner does – brewing the coffee and bringing it to you, talking you down from a mental ledge, picking up your dry cleaning because your schedule got jammed, whatever.

“This simple strategy can change your relationship dynamic more quickly than you think,” Pillai-Friedman says. Even if your partner doesn’t sit down and take the test,, tell him or her about your results and plans your have for improvement.

Appreciation is highly contagious.

Copyright © 2015 Dr. Oz, The Good Life Magazine. Subscribe here!

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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.

Subscribe 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, March 24, 2015

What is Cheating?

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

Sometimes it’s hard to determine when you’ve crossed the line. There was a time when cheating had a simple definition, but nowadays we are more complex and less accepting of betrayal of any sort in a monogamous relationship. The answer of course is going to be different for every couple.

One of the best questions you can ask yourself is: “Would you be uncomfortable if your partner acted the way you do?”

CheatingThe rules are about what constitutes infidelity are different for everyone, and you probably shouldn’t let me or anyone else give you a pre-made prescription for setting comfortable boundaries and expectations in your relationship.

What is cheating? Having sex with someone other than your marriage partner is the distinguishing factor that makes an affair a betrayal. That’s cheating. Furthermore “any” situation that has you in a compromising position with someone other than your own partner. For example, going out with someone “without sex,” sexy chats online with the opposite sex, or downloading porn, when you are supposedly in a committed relationship is in my opinion also considered cheating.

A broad rule of thumb is anything that you are doing with someone with the opposite sex (or same sex) that you would not want your partner to know. It’s a matter of integrity and trust.

Relationships, simply put, are about relating. If you can’t have effective communication with your partner, if you’re withholding things that need to be said, then you’re “cheating” your love partner out of something valuable. For most couples it is the deception and the feeling of being betrayed.Cheating

Rule #1: If you are separated there can be no hook-ups allowed. Generally speaking couples who separate do so for two reasons: #1 to work things out separately so they can get back together or #2 to use it as a gentle step toward divorce. Choose your reason for separation and act accordingly. Hooking up with someone other than your partner during separation is cheating!

It’s important to know that there is nothing that cannot be forgiven. Nothing! The choice is only and always your own. I know. It’s difficult and it can be done.

Larry gets LoveNotes… “About 4 months ago I discovered that my wife had sex with her golf instructor. I was devastated and ready for divorce. I love her, but how can I ever forgive her and continue living with her. We separated for 6 weeks and missed her so much that I turned to the Internet and found your article on forgiveness. I called and after an hour with you my life has changed. I had a hard time forgiving her, but like you said if you do decide to forgive, never bring it up again. It wasn’t and isn’t easy, but I did it and I’m glad. I feel better and she feels better and we are still together doing everything we can to start over. Thank you, Mr. James.” – A. M., Orlando, FL

cheatingIn my opinion, there is nothing wrong with “innocent flirtations” or having members of the opposite sex as close friends. Some people think it is wrong for their spouse to:

• Flirting (provocatively) with a member of the opposite sex. (Clarification: Provocatively is the keyword.)

I personally feel that the following could be classified as cheating:

• Discuss things of a sexual nature with a member of the opposite sex.
• Giving gifts to a member of the opposite sex unless they are a relative.
• Have sexual contact with someone other than their partner.
• Deny being married or in a relationship. Some think this is the first step to cheating.
• Chatting online with a member of the opposite sex unless your partner knows.
• Getting private dances at strip joints.
• Exchange personal e-mails or text messages, especially if your partner does not know.
• Sharing personal information and emotional feelings with someone other than their spouse. This is never a good idea.

The caveat is this: If it begins to get emotional, it’s time to cut the string. An “emotional affair” is an affair which excludes physical intimacy, and is usually based on emotional intimacy. An emotional affair can also be referred to as an affair of the heart. It is a phenomenon that is not limited to married couples, affecting people in serious relationships of every type. An emotional affair may begin innocently as a friendship with a person outside the relationship.

Over time, the partner becomes infatuated, obsessed in some cases, with this friend – and eventually tries to become friendlier, spending more time with him or her at the cost of the relationship that person is already in. Where one partner is in a committed monogamous relationship, irrespective of whether marriage is planned or not, and irrespective of if the couple is already married or not, an emotional affair can be considered a type of chaste non-monogamy without consummation. When the affair breaches an agreement in the monogamous relationship of one of the partners to the affair, the term infidelity may be more appropriate. to me, that’s stepping over the line.

Most guys — 74%, according to an AskMen.com Dating survey — think that cheating starts with a kiss. In other words, sexual contact constitutes cheating. For women, however, a kiss doesn’t even have to be part of the equation.

If you are not sure what constitutes cheating on your partner – perhaps it’s time to have a conversation with your partner to spell out what you consider appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Or, call a relationship coach for clarification.

Your comments, please!

BONUS Articles: My Partner Cheat? Never! 29 Red Flags That May Suggest a Cheater
Forgiveness… What’s it for?
What Counts As Cheating Now
Cyber Cheating = Emotional Infidelity!
Hmmm… Are You At The Risk Of Cheating?

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.

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, March 20, 2015

Why Sex is Good for Your Health

Filed under: InfoGraphic,Intimacy,Sex — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , , ,

SexIShealthySex is FUN and pleasure is good for you!

There are many health benefits from participating in this creative activity.

It’s important to have a passion for life’s sexual journey and for the processes required to go from boring to bliss in the bedroom. Be creative with your passion. Direct it toward your partner. Nurture it. Enjoy and revel in it.

Be courageous enough to not always take yourselves so seriously; to laugh, to play and be playful and to experience whatever is sexually exciting and enjoyable.

LoveNote… Passion is pure energy, aliveness, and like life itself, it starts off neutral; it is a given. We are the ones that give the energy of passion direction and meaning. The more we have succeeded in channeling passion into love, the more attractive we have become to each other, and the more attractive our relationship has become to both of us. ~ Henry James Borys

cintimacy468BONUS Articles: 15 Hot Ideas for Phenomenal Physical Intimacy!
Red Hot LoveNotes from Larry James
Making Love

InfoGraphic Copyright © 2015 – Helen O’Keeffe. Visit Helen’s Website at: http://www.evoke.ie/category/health/.

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2015 – Larry James. Larry’s commentary 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.

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
Visit Larry’s Relationship Pin Board on Pintrest @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/relationships-blog/

Monday, March 16, 2015

Detoxify Your Relationships

Many years ago I went on a special cleansing diet for about 6 days so I could become more sensitized to all aspects of my life. For awhile, I had do give up some of the things that were causing me to feel sluggish, etc. The hardest part was identifying and then breaking free of the belief systems and social programming that I had absorbed over my lifetime in order to reveal my true authentic self. I was overeating and my junk food consumption was at an all time high. It was time to detox my body!

The first 4 days were the hardest. I had headaches from withdrawal from caffeine. However after the 6th day and beyond, I began to make better choices because I felt terrific. I gave up those things that I recognized that were hurting my body, mind and spirit.

RELdetoxBefore you try to detoxify your relationships, be sure to take a good look at yourself. Typically, once you detoxify your relationship with yourself, you will be able to evaluate your other relationships with ease.

Every relationship goes through ups and downs, however, if your partner is always putting you down, criticizing and making fun of you in front of your friends, perhaps a relationship detox is in order or the extreme… a fresh start!

Re-examine your relationship! Dump any destructive drama that’s going on in your life. Do you fight, make up, then fight again? Do you feel “not listened to?” You think those kind of people are your friends, but most don’t actually exude any qualities of a true friendship. If you feel stuck, worn down and unsupported or you wonder why your best friend isn’t the person you can count on when you need support, you may be in a toxic relationship.

You deserve someone who will demonstrate their love for you; someone who is honest and trustworthy.

Here are the seven secrets Dr. Brenda Wade, Psychologist and author, has taught to thousands of people. Use them to start ridding yourself of old, toxic habits and begin to replace them with new, healthy patterns.

7 Secrets to Detoxify Your Relationships

1. Respect ~ This is where we begin and end in any healthy relationship. The 7 Secrets actually spell out the word “respect.” This is one of the most important tools I teach. I’m giving it to you here because along with Dr. Oz, I am committed to your health and well-being, and relationships are a cornerstone of both.

2. Extend ~ Become a better person by upgrading your listening and expressing skills. It’s never too late to learn how to make your relationships better.

3. Solid ~ Step on solid ground by remembering the good times you’ve shared and the special qualities you both have. Focus on the solid foundation you’ve built. What we focus on expands and becomes stronger.

4. Peace ~ This means letting go and forgiving. Once you’ve communicated and solved an issue, bury it and don’t dig it up again.

5. Expect ~ Use the power of expectation to set clear positive goals in your relationship and expect to reach them. Practice seeing your goal already completed with your inner eye. This exercise pulls you forward toward the goal.

6. Communicate ~ There are three parts to healthy, non-toxic communication. Express feelings as opposed to blaming. Use, “I feel” instead of “You never” or “It’s your fault.” Make a request. Ask for what you would like or need without guilt tripping or manipulating. Listen deeply.

7. Tops ~ Top it off by showing extra acts of acceptance, kindness and loving support.

There is no easy way to detox our relationships. Because it isn’t a matter of neutralizing a toxic person, but disengaging from a toxic bond. Letting go might be another word for it. If you really want to stop them from upsetting you, you need to take charge. Sometimes you know a relationship or friendship isn’t working, but you’ve invested so much time and effort you just keep it going. If the relationship is depleting to you, it might be wise to create boundaries to maintain your sense of self-worth or begin to distance yourself from the one who is.

You have choices and you get to decide what is and what isn’t acceptable treatment from the people in your life. If it’s not okay, do something about it. Don’t wait for them to change first. That isn’t likely to happen.

BONUS Articles: Relationship Detox
Detox Your Relationships

Larry’s NOTE: The 7 Secrets to Detoxify Your Relationships (above) is copyrighted by Dr. Brenda Wade!

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.

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
Visit Larry’s Relationship Pin Board on Pintrest @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/relationships-blog/

Thursday, March 12, 2015

“Don’t Change! I Love You Just the Way You Are!”

Is this something you may have heard before? Hmmm. I doubt it.

DontChangeOh, but if we could all say this and that it were the truth.

I guessing that for some of you, if you ever heard that statement, it might bring up all the things that you secretly know about yourself that could (and probably should) be changed – and if they were, would better contribute to a more healthy and happy relationship.

Others might begin to think about all the things that they think their partner thinks about them. We all have stuff that should be changed.

No one is perfect. We all have things about ourselves and things that annoy us about our partner that we wish they would change. It may not make much sense, but sometimes, annoyances come in the smallest packages.

• Not putting the toilet seat down. (It’s purely a matter of respect).
• Rolling the toilet paper the wrong way. (Have two bathrooms? Problem solved!)
• Leaving clothing for your partner to pick up. (It’s also a matter of respect).
• Stopping smoking or not taking your smoke break anywhere but in the house.
• Invalidating your partner’s feelings. (“I hate my job!” ~ “You shouldn’t feel that way.”)
• When your partner speaks… you LISTEN!
• Not remembering to say, “I love you,” at least once each day!
• Being constantly late for everything.
• Raising your voice and holding on to being “Right!”
• Nagging. (Men AND woman are guilty of this one)
• Knowing you will be late, and not calling your partner to tell her/him!
• Not giving your partner a romantic HUG at least once a day.
• Not being man enough to stop and ask for directions!
• Saying you’re fine when you’re obviously not fine.
• Not thinking before you speak. Weight your words before you say them ~ especially if you are angry.
• Not giving your partner some space when they need it.
• Having unrealistic expectation about your relationship.
• Saying, “I’ll do it later,” which means one or two weeks from now.
• Shutting down and not talking when you are angry and when your partner asks, “What’s wrong?” you say, “Nothing!”
• Not saying, “I’m sorry,” when you know you are wrong or did something that disappoints your partner.
• Spending too much time on your computer and not enough time with your partner.
• Not doing your share of the household chores. (Guys: Women rarely argue with a man who is doing chores!) ;-)
• Not taking your partner out to dinner and not leaving your cell phone at home.
• Listening with empathy when your partner has had a bad day. Just listening, not being a Mr. or Mrs. Fix-It!
• Talking down to your partner.
• Drinking directly out of the orange juice carton.
• Rejecting all your partner’s compliments. (When your partner compliments you, all you have to do is smile and say, “thank you.” That’s it.)

Hmmm. The above list are a few of the little things that often piss us off! Some might say some of them are not so little. ;-) They show up frequently in my coaching sessions. Most are petty issues. After a while your irritability level goes up and even minor mistakes are more than you can take. If you spend much time with anybody then you are bound to eventually be annoyed by the small things. Sometimes it’s important to consider the matter so trivial it isn’t worth the discord it causes. The trick is to look beyond those petty annoyances and see the real person that’s there – the person you say you love.

toilet-roll-2Take a deep breath, bite your tongue, and think logically before starting an argument about something. Begin by asking myself “Does it really matter?” or “Am I just overreacting?” Give others the benefit of the doubt as much as you can. Carefully choose the things you argue about. How you argue – especially how you end an argument – can determine the long-term success or failure of your relationship. Expressing your feelings is fine, but finesse is required. If something your partner does annoys you more that 2 or 3 times, it’s time to talk about it.

“You have to color outside of the lines once in a while if you want to make your life to be a masterpiece.” ~ Albert Einstein

In other words, there must be some changes you both can make to make your relationship a masterpiece. Working together. Setting aside your petty differences and focusing on doing whatever it takes to create the kind of relationship you both can be happy in; one that allows forgiveness and a commitment to make and keep some mutually beneficial new promises.

Promise each other that there will be no “undelivered communication!” Withholding important conversation from your partner nearly always proves to be the destructive force behind the, “My partner will not listen to me!” or “My partner will not talk to me” complaint.

Instead of complaining, deliver the communication – in a loving way – to your partner. The number one problem in relationships is undelivered communication. It’s the things we don’t communicate because the last time we did, it caused a confrontation, argument, anger, frustration and we want to avoid these feelings so we stuff them. The next thing you know is, your partner didn’t take out the garbage and you want a divorce and it’s not about the garbage. Your ability to communicate is important and helps with feeling more of a bond with your partner, but if nothing changes, you’ll be having the same conversations again in a week.

We must learn to distinguish between expectations and needs. Everyone has a need to be loved, to be understood, to be accepted and to be forgiven when necessary. For us to have expectations about how those needs get fulfilled can only cause disappointment.

It’s important to come up with a plan for what needs to change. If you stop there and do nothing else, you’ll still be doing better than the average yelling match. However, if you want to be sure that this becomes a habit, reward yourselves. Cuddling, watching a movie, or having good old-fashioned makeup sex are all positive ways to end an argument on a happy note. Remember to say, “I love you,” and give a long, heart-felt hug.

It’s the little things we do for each other that help the relationship grow!

If we could accept the notion that everyone is doing the best they can, regardless of whether their choices are our choices, our attitude about our relationship would improve and perhaps the relationship we have would become the relationship we enjoy being in.

BONUS Articles: The Truth About Relationship Expectations
Relationship Rescue: How To Negotiate The ‘Small Stuff’

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.

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
Visit Larry’s Relationship Pin Board on Pintrest @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/relationships-blog/

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Before You Give Up…

A survey of counseling professionals from YourTango.com – one of the the digital leaders in love and relationships – offers compelling insights into why marriages fail.

Be4UgiveUP2The leading cause of divorce? Communication problems, followed by sexual infidelity and “not spending enough time together/not mutually prioritizing the marriage.”

When you have a problem, not communicating with your partner about it sends a message of its own. They get to make up what they think the non-spoken messages convey. Women are skilled in this activity. ;-)

She might conclude that you do not love her as much as you used to. She might decide you just do not care anymore. HER lesson is to understand that when you do talk, it is time to honor YOUR feelings and just listen. On the other hand – what is she supposed to think? You won’t talk! You often totally close down at the most inopportune times, sometimes because you don’t know what to say or how to say it.

Maybe you are afraid you might appear weak, or she might lose respect for you, and on and on. Maybe it is because every time you do allow yourself to become vulnerable enough to talk, she butts in with HER feelings!

The typical woman has a need to verbalize, communicate, declare, express, vent, chatter, discuss, dialogue and debate the problem; she needs to continue to talk about it until she is finished talking about it. To her, this means she cares. It is the way SHE solves problems. YOUR lesson is to know that this is the way she is.

Some couples give up too easily! He doesn’t take out the garbage and she want’s a divorce and it’s not about the garbage! Undelivered communication is a relationship killer. Being emotionally honest and having intimate conversations can cause you to feel vulnerable.

When two people really love each other, they openly and honestly communicate. They talk about what matters. No withholds. They have learned to talk about anything, and everything… all the time, and I must add… that is relevant to their relationship.

If the relationship you are in doesn’t feel like there is a lot of love showing up, it’s time to begin demonstrating a higher commitment to finding that love again.

For those who might give in and let go of a potentially great marriage, think about what breaking up means. Take your time. Think some more. What were you feeling when your partner proposed? What were you thinking? What happened that even has you “thinking” about leaving? Think about that. What “REALLY” happened. Be honest. Let go and allow yourself to inspect what happened. You are not allowed to blame your partner. Forgive. Forgive YOU first, then whoever else needs forgiveness. Have a candid conversation with your partner about what you are “feeling” and what’s next.

It’s more fun to stay together and to make up than to deal with the stress that often happens when you are alone and lonely.

Don’t get me wrong. Not every relationship issue is solvable for the benefit of both. And there is always a time to let go and move on. Only you can decide.

So… before you give up, communicate! It’s time to wake up… NOW… not break up! Don’t let your relationship fizzle. Have a candid talk with yourself first, then a candid conversation together. (A calm, loving, low decibel conversation, works best!).

So, how can couples divorce-proof their marriages? Sixty-five percent of experts agree the most effective way is by improving communication, followed by decreasing negativity/criticism. Only about four percent cited more or better sex.

Final Thought: If you need help, ask for it!

BONUS Article: For Men Only – Have No Undelivered Communication!
Together… Until the Love Runs Out
Halfway to Each Other…

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.

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
Visit Larry’s Relationship Pin Board on Pintrest @ http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/relationships-blog/

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