Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

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.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Don’t Blink!

Life is short… don’t blink! Your life can change in an instant!

I would like to call attention to those people who – intentionally or not – flat out don’t pay close enough attention to their relationship. They let things slide past them as if their partner were not even in the room. Often a moment’s inattention can cause a lasting resentment from your partner. Guys… just remember, when you are ignoring her, you are teaching her to live without you.

REL-DontBLINK“We can choose to connect to those around us, or we can choose to close ourselves off. Some days we may not feel like reaching out to others, but on days when we can, you never know just what may come of it.” ~ Angie Aker

“It all started out perfectly. We were so in Love, but somewhere along the way the Love ran out!”

How sad to be together and know that some of the best days of your lives haven’t happened yet… and you are not paying attention to your relationship. Perhaps it’s time to stand up for something bigger than you both – your relationship – and make it a priority again. Talk. Communicate. 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. 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.

You shouldn’t have to do it alone! One cannot do the work that is required of two. Together you are a team and you must work together if your relationship will survive. It’s important to stay connected. That takes some effort on both sides. Everyone’s adventure together is different. Love is what love is! To everyone it expresses itself differently, and it shouldn’t be a struggle.

How does your relationship feel? Feeling new and alive comes from the inside. It’s time to get back to the life you once loved. 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. It is difficult to feel good about yourself, when you know you are letting your love partner down by not giving yourself your full attention. You take care of you – your partner does the same. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to pay attention to the overall relationship unless you both know how to focus attention on yourselves first. Two broken people can’t fix each other.

“Why isn’t Love enough? Why isn’t romantic love, followed by commitment or marital vows, able to keep us connected for a lifetime? The answer is “falling in love” or “being in love,” though a powerful emotion, is passive. Our culture naively teaches us to believe the feelings of love will never change. We don’t learn how to actively nurture and grow the emotion of love over our lifetimes.” ~ Bob Hollander, JD, LCSW-C and Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD

doNOTblinkRe-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.

Begin today to look into the future. Imagine – together – how your relationship can be if you recommit your love for one another and then “do” whatever must be done to have it be the way you imagined it. Love is much more than a basic human need. Power your passion with love. It’s time to reimagine your relationship! Imagination is a powerful thing, only if you use it.

Relationships can be awesome. For them to be awesome… they take work. They take paying close attention to them, nurturing them and expressing lots of love in many different ways.

Rediscover your passion for each other – you do remember the passion that once stirred your soul when you first met? When you fall in love with someone, the infatuation you both experience is exhilarating. You are elated. Everything is just dandy. You are doing the happy dance! You both are sure this will all help hold the relationship together. Power your passion with love. It begins with getting back to being friends again. As best you can, put your differences aside temporarily and do the things that friends do. Do romantic things for each other. This will energize your relationship. Get back to the Love!

NOTE: Some of the articles listed below may help get you started!

BONUS Article: Pay Attention to… Each Other!
Reboot Your Relationship With These 10 Ideas!
Love Yourself FIRST!
Friends and Lovers
Stay With It!
Top Ten Ways to Give Love
When You Stop Paying Attention to Your Marriage…
Everyday You Get to Start Over…
Let Love Change the Course of Your Life
“I Love You” – A to Z!
Got Answers? We’ve Got Questions!
Don’t Let Fear Shut You Down… Use it to Wake You Up!

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

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Together… Until the Love Runs Out

Just Married… “It all started out perfectly. We were so in Love, but somewhere along the way the Love ran out!”

When you fall in love with someone, the infatuation you both experience is exhilarating. You are elated. Everything is just dandy. You are doing the happy dance! You both are sure this will all help hold the relationship together.

Life is good. AND then…

TillLoveRunsOutWhat you take for granted… disappears! You stop dating. Bad mistake. Those sexy lover’s talks turn into lover’s quarrels, then arguments or disagreements become more prevalent. Children are born (Hmmm, didn’t expect so many changes) – more responsibility. Effective communication is on a downward spiral. Differences in their personalities and opinions begin to surface. Resentments begin to build. There’s not much sexual intimacy anymore, if any. The relationship feels empty. You move progressively farther apart. You both begin to lose interest and then someone says the “D” word!

“All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest, never vicious or cruel. Good battle is healthy and constructive, and brings to a marriage the principle of equal partnership.” – Ann Landers

He leaves his dirty underwear on the floor for her to pick up. She nags him to help her with the housework and he says, “Ill get to it later,” and never does. She begins to shut down. He knows she’s angry but when he asks her, “What’s the matter?” she gives him the silent treatment or walks away. Communication is by far the single biggest aspect that holds lovers together or tears them apart.

First of all, the Love doesn’t run out. It’s still there. We simply allow the fire for each other to go out. You must consistently fan the flames with Love and attention. Probably not on purpose, but when you stop working on the relationship and begin to take each other for granted, what would you expect? It takes work – the kind of work you do together – to keep the fire burning. It takes a lot of energy and commitment. Never lose sight of why you married your partner in the first place. Successful relationships do not work on autopilot.

Why do couples drift apart? Couples drift apart when they do not take time to talk and listen to each other. Ask him or her and the answer you usually get is that they’ve just drifted apart. It’s time to get rid of the drift word. Never allow yourselves to drift apart.

Holding on to what doesn’t work and being too darn stubborn to try to make it better serves no one and makes no sense. A stubborn person always thinks they are RIGHT. They are often into being right so deep that there seems to be no way out and sometimes that drift happens so slowly that they just don’t notice until it’s too late.

“Oh, no! I didn’t see that coming!” A comment like this usually comes from someone who was being complacent and was taking their partner for granted.

How does this happen? What makes people run away instead of holding on to each other, letting go of what doesn’t work and renewing their intention to allow the relationship to heal when tough times happen?

A twice-married woman summarized her attitude toward drifting in the following manner: “I think drifting describes so many people in this world, especially with so much external pressure and stimulation hitting us constantly. We deal with it all by not dealing with it at all. It certainly expresses what I do about so much that is difficult to face in my life.”

It’s time to reconnect! Here are only a few of the changes you should consider working on:

• focus on communicating better and more often
• become better listeners
• avoid blaming
• begin dating again – Make one night each week a date-night
• take responsibility for your actions and feelings
• spend more time together as a couple – Discover new activities you can enjoy together
• be more affectionate and considerate
• surprise each other with special things, not just on special days
• become partners in parenting
• respect each other’s differences
• find moments to connect with your partner many times every day
• support each other in extended family conflicts
• invent new ways to nurture your relationship
• journal your feelings in a private journal
• remember to say, “I love you” (out loud) to your partner at least once every day (more often is best!)
• place a priority on spending quality time together
• be proactive by creating a plan together
• overlook those small negative habits your partner has that get under your skin – Focus on what you Love about them
• seek professional coaching

Now begins the restoration of your marriage and the path to reconnection! Prevent yourselves from drifting apart by making your marriage a top priority. Growing together as a couple is an essential component in any happy marriage. Are you willing to change?

“We can do no great things; only small things with great love.” ~ Mother Teresa

BONUS Articles: 12 Real Reasons Why Couples Drift Apart Over Time
“How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways…,”
Back to the Future
Reasons Why
The Do’s and Don’ts – When Your Partner Becomes Distant

broken-heartCLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – 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/

Friday, October 31, 2014

Don’t Try This at Home!

Relationships can be awesome. For them to be awesome… they take work. They take paying close attention to them, nurturing them and expressing lots of love in many different ways. Here are a few things that you may need to work on.

Never say hurtful things to your partner. Telling your partner that you really didn’t mean what you said is a lie. You meant it when you said it. Don’t let too much time go by before you say, “Im sorry. I was wrong to say that,” and move on.

DontTryThisDon’t ignore your partner. Giving your partner the cold shoulder because you are angry only drives a wedge between the two of you. Communicate. Pay attention to your partner.

Never offer advice unless it is asked for. Offer a listening ear instead. Your ears will never get you in trouble. Don’t talk. Be a good listener.

Don’t be a cheater. Usually cheater cheat because they are not getting what they need from the relationship they are in. Learn to ask for what you need from the relationship.

Stop being judgmental. Allow your partner to be who they really are. If you are constantly judging your partner for what they do or say, it might be good to reflect that upon yourself.

Don’t be a complainer. Begin by focusing on the positive things that show up around you.

Don’t hold back what you are feeling. And don’t fake your feelings. Saving up does’t work. When you bottle up emotions, it is going to end up in a huge fight.

Don’t be apathetic. Avoid audioapathy. That is a word I coined to identify someone who is apathetic to listening to their partner.

Don’t say you will do something but never do it. You are only as good as your word.

Give up being jealous! Being jealous is a cry for more love, but is a dysfunctional and dangerous way to ask for it.

Stop trying to change your partner. Instead, focus on changing yourself to be someone who accepts your partner for who they are. Always encourage growth and change. The art of caring for another is rooted in love and respect.

Stop trying to be someone you aren’t. Admit your weaknesses. You re not a superhero. Talk about them. Ask for assistances.

Don’t neglect their own self-awareness. Always take care of you!

Stop being suspicious of your partner. Trust is paramount. It is the foundation of a healthy relationship. If you don’t trust your partner to be faithful, honest, caring or anything else, then you’re not in a good relationship. AND you are the only one who change how they feel. They don’t let fear overpower your love and trust.

Get rid of your expectations. Unfulfilled expectations always cause problems. When you don’t get what you expect, you get disappointed. When you get disappointed, sometimes you get angry, frustrated, resentful, etc. Focus on what you NEED from your relationship and don’t settle for anything less.

Don’t keep secrets from each other. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Remember, omissions are lies. Be open and honest in your relationship. Being honest is the only way to be at peace with yourself and others.

Don’t focus on the past. Let it go. Be present in the present. Always remember… forgiveness works.

Don’t focus on your partner’s flaws. Maintain sincere love in your heart for them. The more you see the good in them, the more good you will uncover in yourself.

Don’t be mad because the sharing of the chores are not equal. Work together to find a mutually beneficial solution. Guys: Nowhere does it say that the woman does all the housework. Just because your father sat on his ass and expected dinner to be on the table at a certain time, doesn’t mean you get to be like your father! Household chores must be shared.

Don’t snap at your partner. If you are angry or upset, say so – in the most loving way you can. Bickering happens. Ask for a time-out. Then come back and explain what your were angry about.

Never look at past relationships as failures. There are no failed relationships. There are only lessons to be learned. Only look back to see how far you’ve come and what you have learned from the lessons that were presented to you at that time.

Stop taking your relationship for granted. Make time for those you care about. Two people can wake up next to each other, yet it like they are miles apart. What you take for granted… disappears.

BONUS Article: 25 Things People in Healthy Relationships Don’t Do

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – 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

Friday, May 16, 2014

Bring Back Those Memories…

Over time some couples drift apart. We all change, and that’s okay. Perhaps you’ve been together for many years, but your relationship doesn’t feel quite like it used to be. It’s important to remember the memories of the good times. What you take for granted… disappears!

“Remembering the good old days can revive your relationship. Memories of the way you were can stimulate better couple communication.” ~ Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D.

memoriesRemember the first time you ever saw her/him smile? What did you do on your first date? Do you remember what you wore? Your first kiss? Where did you go when you parked for a little moonlight and make-out?

Never stop doing the things that brought you together in the first place! That’ll help!

Sometimes, with everything that’s going on we tend to focus on the present and the romantic memories of the past begin to fade. Never let your romantic actions fade. Instead of trying to change that (and your partner), let it go. Instead, give them your support and lead by example. That means that if they are not catching on, you may need to have a talk.

If you are sad that your relationship isn’t more like it used to be… wake up! Although it’s never quite going to be like it was, it can always be better than it is now! All successful relationships require work. You must be willing to do the work!

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

So… perhaps it’s time to do some counting. Perhaps it’s time for you and your partner to reminiscence together sometime real soon. You may want to spend time apart thinking about some of those special occasions with your partner then go to dinner and talk about the good times and what you both can do to bring them back.

Instead of going out, some couples light some candles, play some romantic music, pour your favorite beverage – create a mood – and together remember what it was that brought you together in the first place. Relax and unwind. Take your time. Triggering a memory of an experience you had with your partner may light the fire again. Often one good memory leads to another. Sometimes your memory of an event may be different that your partners. Be sensitive to that and agree to be okay with it.

Reminiscing about the “way we were” could help bring back the joy you once knew when you were first together. What’s too painful to remember, you simply choose to forget – to coin a phrase.

Relive the fun times. One of the best ways to relive fun times is to do things that help you remember them. What was it that you did together when things were clicking? Do that again! Maybe you need to make a list. The memories you create between the two of you and the ones you will create from now on are yours and yours alone. Agree to make them memorable. Cherish them.

If you both find it difficult to do this on your own, you may want to schedule some relationship coaching. If you truly value your relationship and you do want it to work, coaching will be worth it!

Appreciate what you have, who loves you and who cares for you. You’ll never know how much they mean to you until the day they are no longer beside you. Then it’s too late!

BONUS Articles: Remembering the Good Old Days Can Revive Your Relationship

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2014 – 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

Monday, June 10, 2013

How to Stay Together When One’s a Neat Freak and One’s Messy

Lori & Bob Hollander, Guest Authors

No one warned us 25 years ago that one of our major challenges would be how neat or messy we kept our home. Bob and I have struggled with this issue for years. I was the more meticulous one and Bob was, shall we say, more relaxed about how the house looked.

unmadebedWe often argued about who was right. I felt clothes should be put away each day and Bob thought putting them away once a week was enough. I liked the bed made up in the morning. He said, “Why make the bed when you are going to sleep in it again at night?”

When I came home from work I knew exactly what he’d had to eat since there would be a trail of wrappers and cups left wherever he had consumed them. When he came home to me there was no trash left around.

I thought the dishwasher should be emptied every morning so dirty dishes didn’t pile up during the day. Bob didn’t mind putting away the clean dishes at night and then loading the sink full of dirty dishes from that day, or even from the day before. When I cooked I cleaned up as I went along so there wasn’t such a large mess to clean up afterwards. Bob felt it was more efficient to make a full mess and clean it all up after we ate. Our tolerance for mess and clutter was at opposite ends of the spectrum.

We had countless arguments about this like many couples. Here are just a few of the comments you would hear in our home:

“You never clean up after yourself! I can’t stand it anymore. How many times have I asked you to wipe the crumbs off the counter so we don’t get ants?”

“You are so compulsive. Why does everything have to be perfect? It’s always got to be your way. You don’t know how to relax.”

Notice the focus is on justifying our own position and blaming the other for his/hers. One day we finally started to talk about our underlying feelings and dug deeper to find the root of the problem.

I realized that when the house wasn’t straightened up, I couldn’t relax. I was very sensitive to and aware of my environment. Bob realized that he didn’t even notice when the house was a mess because it didn’t bother him; he could let things go until he felt ready to do them.

When we started listening to each other’s perspective without making the other one wrong, is when we began to solve the problem.

He began to understand how stressful it was for me when things were in disarray and I saw his point of view, that it was ok for the house to look “lived in.” We compromised and worked toward the center. And we appreciated the other: I noticed when he cleaned up for me, and he noticed when I would let things go so we could spend part of the evening together. Now Bob and I joke that in our relationship OCD married ADD.

DishesStickyNote• How does this issue play out in your relationship?
• Are you miles apart in your tolerance for clutter?
• Do you compromise on this or is it a chronic conflict?

Next time this issue comes up for you and your partner remember the following:

1. Don’t make your partner wrong. Everyone has different views about the degree of cleanliness and clutter in the home.
2. Ask your partner to explain his/her feelings about the issue. Listen to each other and respect your partner’s point of view even if you don’t agree with it.
3. Work together to come to a compromise.
4. Encourage each other by appreciating when your partner does something the way you like it.

We would love to hear how you and your partner work out the neat-messy differences in your relationship on our Facebook page.

BONUS Article: For Men Only – More Housework… More Intimacy!

Copyright © 2013 – Lori & Bob Hollander. Lori Hollander, LCSW-C, BCD, and Bob Hollander, JD, LCSW-C, are licensed counselors and co-founders of Relationships Work, an innovative therapy practice and online resource center. Together, 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.

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.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Downhill Is Hard, Too!

Larry’s Note: The following article is an excerpt from my book, “How to Really Love the One You’re With.”

The Smith Street Society Jazz Band, the band of a musician friend (Bruce McNichols) from New York, is often asked to march in parades. After marching with the wind and the rain in their hair, in the snow and in the heat of summer, he and the band were weary of parades. The last parade they marched in was uphill most of the way. They were exhausted.

The band was called and once again asked to participate. When my friend complained about the parade route being mostly up hill the last time, the caller quickly added, “Don’t worry. This time most of the parade is downhill!”

BruceMcNichols

Bruce McNichols (1939 – 2012)

My friend said, “What? Are you crazy? Downhill is hard, too! As a matter of fact it’s worse!”

Brilliant insight!

We want our relationships to run smoothly. We want things to level off. Forget the ups and downs. Give us somewhere in the middle. The least effort we have to expend, the better. Someday we won’t have all of these problems and things will be easy. Give me a break! With this kind of attitude people will soon be saying, “Ha! Ha! You lose!”

His response made me think.

Climbing the mountain of life is difficult. The mountain of life has no top. Life is a continuous climb. There is no life of ease, no easy love relationship. You never get there. Sound hopeless? It is far from hopeless.

“You never get there” only means there is always something more to reach for, something past the looming precipice that you cannot yet see. Relationships must be consistently worked on and you must not quit climbing. This perilous quest is never easy and it is always worthy of your best efforts.

At first it may seem that quitting is the answer. If you have ever tried quitting, you may have discovered that it is more difficult to go back down the mountain than to continue the climb for several reasons. First of all, going back down takes you back to where you were before you began. There’s not much challenge in that.

The more steps you take in the right direction, the smarter you become about staying on the right path, the more skilled you become in developing strategies for the climb and the more you begin to enjoy the challenge of the adventure. As you continue to climb, so does your self-confidence. When you retreat, you lose ground; you have to start all over.

On your way up the mountain, you have already moved past some of life’s most troublesome obstacles, so keep your eye on the target. Keep moving up. Unless you want to experience the same obstacles again in reverse order, keep climbing.

I suppose the question is: “Since you have a choice, which would you prefer: to return to where you started before you began the climb or to keep climbing with the one you love? When you run into an obstacle and when love is still present, should you quit or keep working on the relationship?”

Downhill is hard, too! The rewards of a continued climb far surpass the steps you may be tempted to take in the wrong direction.

“But the climb is too hard! I’m not sure how long I can continue.”

It will be difficult if you continue and perhaps more difficult if you stop. You experience one set of circumstances when you move ahead and another set of circumstances when you quit. There is often pain in either choice. The choice that brings you the most pleasure may not always be the best choice. You must weigh the benefits of your choices. That is the way love relationships work. Love takes work. It takes lots and lots of work.

DownhillIsHard2If you think that “someday” you will conquer the mountain; someday you will live “happily ever after,” you are in for a big surprise. Someday is now! “Happily ever after” is the same as tomorrow – it never comes. This is it! Live happiness now.

That certainly does not mean you should give up. The climb is never easy. It takes consistent effort; a concept of team. Climbing as a team is a better idea. Working together is a must. There are no shortcuts to the top of a mountain that has no top.

If your love partner is not assisting the two of you in the climb, nothing you can do can change that. For them, changing is a personal decision. You cannot push a rope up the mountain. Keep climbing, alone if you must, but continue the climb. There is something new and exciting up there just for you, too! There are many important life and relationship lessons for you to discover on your quest for the summit.

Doesn’t it make sense to push forward and continue to experience new and exciting things rather than continue to wallow in the past and be disappointed again by the same old stuff?

Although fear and risk may appear as obstacles to overcome along the way, the end result is a benefit worthy of accomplishment. I’ve had it with the past! Except to learn from, the past is useless. The future is now!

Your love relationship is either in a state of continual becoming – a steady, yet rugged climb to the top of the mountain; at a checkpoint, resting – a place where you take a breather, a place where you self-inquire, and where you take stock of the relationship together to determine what needs to be done to continue the climb, or your relationship is in a state of giving up – a place where you start back down the mountain, a task that may be more difficult than the climb itself.

Plot your course. Study the mountain.

Develop a team strategy. Team can conquer the mountain. The goal is a healthy love relationship anchored in unconditional love. The interesting thing is, you find love along the way. It is not something you must wait for. Love is now. It is your choice.

When love partners make a mutual decision to do what some might call an impossible thing, the chances of doing it more than double. Your energy is focused. The risk of failing decreases when you find solutions, make decisions together and get into action, or to coin a phrase, “continue the climb.” All your energy is on the side of doing.

As you climb, occasionally find a ledge cozy enough for the two of you to rest, re-create and celebrate love. Take time to celebrate your successes. Then regroup and begin climbing again.

Relationships are simple. Not easy… simple. Remember the “Golden Rule!”

Uphill is hard.

Downhill is hard, too!

Larry’s Update: My dear friend, Bruce McNichols (1939 – 2012), died unexpectedly on February 16, 2012. We both served our great Nation together – he in the Army and me in the Navy on Adak Island, Alaska in 1957. Bruce McNichols: Banjo, Soprano Sax & Vocals, Band Leader, has performed in Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, Newport Jazz Festival, Breda (Holland) Jazz Festival, major motion pictures (for Dino DiLaurentis and for MGM), the Woody Allen Jazz Band, and opened for Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Peggy Lee, Al Hirt, Rodney Dangerfield and Cab Calloway, played sold-out concerts from El Paso to New York and on the Tonight Show with actor/singer/banjo player George Segal. RIP Bruce McNichols, you were among the best human beings on the planet and I was honored to have known you.

CLoveLOGOCopyright © 2013 – 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.

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.

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