Why What I Admire In You Also Says Something About Me

If you ask 100 different people who they admire most and why you’ll get dozens of different answers.

But did you know that what we admire in others tells us something about ourselves? And it’s not just superficial tidbits that can be unearthed through such an observation as we’ll see.

What You Admire in Friends

What you admire in friends tells you something about yourself.

Perhaps what you appreciate and admire isn’t exactly enduring. It could be simply that you’re drawn to and admire people who wear nice clothes and look a certain way. Or maybe you admire a certain socio-economic status.

Even with superficial admiration, you can learn something. We all are superficial to an extent so it doesn’t mean you’re a terrible person if you admire traits that are only “skin deep”.

But let’s dig a little further. Perhaps you admire friends who have grit. Friends who had to overcome significant adversity.

If so, it’s likely you had to persevere despite overwhelming obstacles or that you currently are doing your best to make an attempt at it. This likely causes you to appreciate music artists who make songs about overcoming obstacles and causes you to admire those artists.

Maybe you love fitness or adventure and you admire those who hold similar likes, desires and activities.

Regardless, when you discover what you admire you’ll understand yourself a lot better. These admirations aren’t mere coincidences.

Sometimes what you appreciate in someone could get you into trouble. Admiring traits that aren’t, in fact, admirable could tell you that you’ve strayed a bit from where you want to be.

The Components of Purpose

When we get into things like the greatest contribution you can make to humanity, things can get hazy.

Finding the big “why” to your existence isn’t easy for most people. Some never find it. Some compare finding this “calling” to digging it out from the rubble of a collapsed building.

To find such a purpose is frustrating and sometimes agonizing. There are a series of successes and failures along the way.

Sometimes, you may just long for someone to throw you a clue. If you want a clue in this painstaking process, stop and think about who you admire.

Could it be that you are supposed to become what you admire most in others?

No, not a re-creation of someone else. Just you at your very best.

That you are to become someone who others will admire. A signpost in the dark night of others finding their way.

So, when you look at others and admire them. Stop and take notice.

Sure, what you admire might be their hairstyle. But, then again, it could cut to the very core of who you are and who you’re supposed to become. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Things Super-Happy Couples Talk About

 Super Happy Couple after successful couples counseling

Super-happy couples are in the minority. But there are always certain people who defy the odds.

If you fall into this select group, that’s awesome. If not, you can in time. (And some couples move from ‘good’ to ‘super-happy’ with some relationship skills training from  a short time in good couples counseling.) Here are some ideas for you:

Relationships are a journey and are always changing. Some are getting better and some are deteriorating.

Understanding what those with uniquely fulfilling relationships talk about will give you some ideas about how to improve your own relationship.

More Than the Weather

Before going into more specifics, it’s good to realize that the happiest couples talk mostly about things that have depth to them.

Sure, there are surface conversations about the weather, schedules and summaries of what happened during the day.

But those are conversations you can have with a perfect stranger at a coffee shop. Anyone can talk about those things.

In a healthy, committed relationship, the walls come down and discussions about things you wouldn’t share with anyone else come up.

Just what are some of these rich conversations about? Here are several common topics.

Problem-Solving Discussions

Problems abound in every relationship. Some of them, we cause. Others are completely out of our control.

Most of the time, unhappy couples fight about these stressors. By doing so, they make their problems worse than they originally were.

Although happy couples have moments of weakness and fight at times, those instances are quite rare. And when the inevitable fights come, the couples know hoe ‘fight fair.’

Instead, happy couples work together to come up with solutions to problems. They’re better able to handle the struggles every person experiences through teamwork.

They fight the problem instead of fighting about the problem. And that makes all the difference.

The result is that super-happy couples grow even closer together because of problems.

Problems cause the demise of some relationships. Those same difficulties become the glue that holds the relationships of fulfilled couples together.

Super-Happy Couples Talk About the Future

For anyone, thinking about the future can be scary. There’s no way to know exactly what will happen.

Happy couples talk about the future anyway. They share about their hopes, fears and dreams. They plan the best they can though they realize some things are out of their control.

After talking about the future, happy couples come up with ways to better themselves, their children, their community and people around the world.

Happy couples implement plans to make a positive difference in the world together.

Other Conversations

What else do exceptionally happy couples talk about?

They talk about their fears, their beliefs, their childhood and what bothers them. But that’s not all.

Happy couples build happy memories together and get to remind each other of them.

These memories make even unhappy situations much better. You’ll just know. If it is time for you to schedule your couples counseling appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Is Your Partner the Marrying Type?

Interested in marriage but unsure if your partner will make a good marriage partner? It’s always wise to find out the answer to that question sooner than later. Bad marriages can often be avoided by doing some homework first. This will also give you greater confidence if you decide that you have a long-term keeper. Advice abounds on this topic but here are a few quick tips to help you decide if your partner is the marrying type.

Ask Your Friends

You can find out a lot by asking a friend about whether your partner is marriage material. Infatuation within a relationship is a wonderful feeling but can blind you to the truth about your partner, especially early on. The “in love feeling” can cause you to easily overlook large faults in your significant other.

Your friends live outside of these feelings and will be able to give you an honest assessment of your relationship. Whether they say “yes” or “no” to the marrying type question, listen carefully to them. It may be painful if they say “no” but it could save you from even greater pain down the road. Just remember, if they give you the thumbs down it isn’t because they are rejecting you. It’s because they care about you. They know that you have many lovable qualities and that you deserve better.

You Can’t Be Yourself

Although dating often means putting our best foot forward, it isn’t always a realistic depiction of one’s true self. Couples sometimes hold back their negative emotions and act more positive than they normally would. Those in a relationship want to give their partner every reason to like them. This can reach unhealthy levels, though.

If your partner is always trying to get you to look different, wear different clothes or change your personality to suit their desires, this is a problem. Although everyone has the need to become a better person, some partners try to change things about their significant other that aren’t bad. If your partner can’t accept you for who you are as a person, it’s a good indicator that they won’t be happy with you in a marriage relationship.

Trust Issues

If you consistently have valid trust concerns about your significant other, it may be a good idea to put the brakes on. Do you find that your partner is flirty with others besides you, keeps in contact with old flames, or has been caught in physical relationships with others while you’ve been dating? Getting married won’t fix that problem and will likely make it worse. Have an honest discussion with the one you love about these concerns. Marriage relationships can’t survive without trust. If you can trust your partner, you may have a keeper!

In this process, it’s important to remember that sometimes even partners who are the marrying type sometimes don’t want to get married at first. It can take some time to work up to that level of commitment. In contrast, just because your partner is eager to get married, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are marriage material. If you’ve read this far, it shows that you’re serious about your relationship. That’s exactly what you need to be successful!

Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Ways to Spice Up a Dull Relationship

Dating or staying married to the same person can get, well, dull. No matter how much passion was evident in the beginning, no matter how many times you swore the thrill wouldn’t dissipate, life happens and boredom sets in. While the restlessness is nearly inevitable, there are many things you can do to ignite the flames. With a little imagination and the tips we’ve outlined below, we’re confident you’ll be able to rekindle at least some of the excitement you once knew.

Speak your partner’s love language

Sometimes one partner seems to be speaking Chinese while the other only knows French. One person keeps showing affection while the other just wants a thoughtful gift. This form of miscommunication is very common, yet also very damaging. Fortunately, it’s also easy to fix. Check out Gary Chapman’s book “Five Love Languages” to better understand your communication style when it comes to love; then ask your partner to do the same. Learn how to show love so that your partner can “hear” it.

Change the routine

Seeing the same four walls can get boring; doing the same thing repeatedly can become tedious as well. In the spirit of making things more lively, change the routines you have grown accustomed to. If you always vacation at the ocean, try a trip to the ski resort instead. If you always wear a t-shirt to bed, experiment with lingerie. If the waiter knows your name at a particular restaurant, sample one you’ve never been to before. If you’re seeking something a bit more adventurous, try wearing a sexy wig or pretending to meet your partner for the first time. Having new experiences, from dining choices to sexual positions, increases your brain’s dopamine levels, thereby leading to an increased connection with your partner.

Eliminate the screen in the bedroom

Few things kill romance as quickly as the glow from a television, iPad, computer or phone. Banish those things and spend time focused on each other instead.

Talk through problems with someone not involved

It’s easy to continue rehashing the same problems over and over. Like a broken cd that is stuck on repeat, we tend to get stuck in the same fighting habits as well. It’s helpful to hear how other people deal with the problems we experience because it can provide us with new approaches to our situation. Having a change in approach can oftentimes bring about new results. Moreover, talking to someone outside the relationship can help put things in perspective without relying solely on your partner for all communication needs.

Whenever you try to rejuvenate a relationship, keep in mind that the only person you control is yourself. Try to maintain a positive outlook as you grow and change, but also recognize that there are times when it is just best to say goodbye.

Could you use support? Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.


Should you give a past relationship a second chance?

You’ve finally done it. You’ve said goodbye to a relationship that didn’t feel right. Just when you’re confident that you made the right decision, a certain smell reminds you of the person. Or maybe it’s a song or a photograph. Suddenly regret creeps in. All of the positive memories flood your thoughts. Conveniently, the bad memories seem to disappear, vanishing like they never existed.

On one hand, you want to persevere through thick and thin. Perhaps there are children. Maybe finances make the situation complicated. Regardless, there are enough promising memories that you’ve developed a nagging question in the back of your mind. “What if?” you keep asking yourself. At some point, you have to be willing to say “enough is enough.” Yet how do you know when that line is crossed, the line that proves it’s time to say no to a second chance? With few exceptions, this isn’t an easy question to answer. However, there are some guidelines to use to make sure you’re making the right decision. Before you pick up the phone, read below:

You have reason to believe change is possible

You’ve been with this person for a while. If you have substantial reason to question the person’s ability to do the right thing, or credibility, or overall character, it may be time to say goodbye permanently. If this person has earned your trust and respect, however, and you believe that your partner has achieved important maturation as a result of your split, consider whether you’re both willing to put in the extra effort to make it work. If so, it may be time to rekindle the romance.

You were wrong

We all make mistakes. The end of a relationship rarely involves only one person messing up. If you can recognize your own role in the relationship’s demise, it may be time to swallow your pride, admit defeat and apologize. Own your mistakes, ask for forgiveness, and reflect on what you need to change. Then work on making the necessary changes.

There are enough rewards and benefits

Every relationship has its problems. Usually we put up with the problems because we like what we receive despite them. If your overall relationship was enjoyable, if there were more ups than downs and you feel forgiveness is possible, consider a second chance. If those ” second chances” add up to double digits, however, or if they’re having a poor impact on your physical or mental health, it’s best to move on.

When you consider the possibility of reuniting with a previous partner, there’s one important principle to follow: Take care of yourself. If that means you should forgive and work through the challenges, employ strategies to do so. On the other hand, if taking care of yourself means letting go, be honest with yourself and look toward the possibilities a new future entails.

What is next?

If you do decide to give it a second chance, a good idea is to seek couples counseling as you reunite. It is likely that, as a couple, you developed patterns of relating that didn’t work. It is possible that there are some old wounds that need healing. Please don’t make the mistake of assuming that love can conquer all – especially with an ex.

Couples counseling can help you explore what you each need from the relationship and each other. It can help you learn how to better communicate so you might avoid repeating patterns that did not work.

Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

After the honeymoon

The period leading up to your nuptials can be one of the most blissful in your life, from showing off that shiny new diamond to the moment you finally say “I do,” you celebrate with friends and family at that pitch-perfect reception you planned so carefully and head off on the honeymoon you’ve always dreamed of. You’re on the proverbial cloud nine—so high you can hardly imagine coming down, even when the honeymoon’s over.

To be fair, you are probably wise enough to expect a period of adjustment when you return to the world of work, chores, bills and normal life. But it might actually be harder than you think. Studies have shown that many couples struggle more during their first few years of marriage than those who have been married for a long time.

In the beginning, many couples struggle with a let-down period that’s not unlike the post-holiday January blahs. Depending on how much you invested in the wedding festivities themselves—both financially and emotionally—you might experience some sadness just because it’s over. Some couples may have also saddled themselves with some serious wedding debt, introducing an unwelcome element of stress right away (now why again did you insist on the champagne-and-caviar bar?).

But the challenges usually run a lot deeper than post-wedding come-down and buyer’s remorse about the fancy flowers at your reception. Though many couples today live together before getting married, for others, this could be the first time they’ve had to work on divvying up household chores, finances and a world of other details about the new life you’re sharing. Maybe he thought her tradition of joining girlfriends for a drink after work every Friday was over now that they’re married, but she thought differently. Maybe he never mentioned that not only does his beloved dog shed like crazy but also has a voracious appetite for shoes…until after her favorite pair of Ferragamos are history. When conflicts catch you off guard, tensions and resentments can build quickly, and even lead to a sense of panic: What have I gotten myself into?

Down the road, other realities sink in. While sparks still fly in the bedroom, one or both partners may begin to take intimacy for granted now that they’re married and caught up in the routine of daily life. This is normal and natural—no couple can sustain the hot-and-heavy chemistry they felt in the beginning any more than a new Mercedes convertible would hold the same excitement after a few years of driving it. But that doesn’t mean you’re in for a long, slow decline in your sex life. Studies have shown that married couples have more sex than single people, even those who’ve been married for a while, and one key is as simple as continuing to do it. Even when you don’t think you’re in the mood, make the effort—your appetite might return faster than you’d think. And never underestimate the power of flirting; telling your partner how good he/she looks in that new pair of jeans can go a long way toward reminding both of you of the attraction that brought you together in the first place.

For all of these issues, the key is having realistic expectations of your post-honeymoon life together. Anticipating conflicts, resolving them ahead of time where possible while understanding that others will still take you by surprise, and taking the time to talk things through in depth before the wedding—even with professional premarital counseling—can make all the difference in the world. And it will be a healthy first step for building a lifetime of marriage skills that will serve you well for many happy years to come.

You deserve to have a great love life.  Let’s see if we can make yours better.Our Orange County relationship counseling services can help you get your relationship back on track. We look forward to connecting with you.


From Online Dates to Potential Mates

Using an online dating service has become about as commonplace as using the Internet to book flights or shop for shoes. And while some are still embarrassed to admit they’ve tried it, we’re getting close to the point where online dating is so mainstream that no one thinks anything of it at all.

But is it smart? Like almost anything else, that depends how you go about it. Here are a
few things to remember if you’re considering using an online dating site:

Many people lie, in one way or another, on their online profile. This is common knowledge, right? Still, you might be surprised (or at least become better informed) by knowing the most common lies people tell according to the online dating site Okcupid.com.

In descending order, here are the top three profile deceptions: height, income, and pictures.

Many of these untruths will be clear the moment you meet your date in person. It doesn’t take a genius or even measuring tape to see that the man who claimed to be 6’1” is really closer to 5’6”. And while you might have been delighted with a man who is 5’6”, the fact that he lied about his height raises flags about his honestly and self-esteem.

Other deceptions might be more difficult to root out, but you should always trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t, and you should move on.

All of these are good reasons to meet your online acquaintance sooner rather than later instead of engaging in lengthy getting-to-know-you sessions over the internet. No matter how well you hit it online, it’s never a substitute for getting to know someone in person (and eliminating frauds as soon as possible).


On the other hand, let’s assume you want to be the right kind of online dater, the one who presents him or herself in a flattering and honest light in that all-important profile.

On this front, Whitney Casey, a relationship insider for Match.com, recently gave readers of the site Oprah.com a few tips. For the picture, she suggests enlisting your best pals to help. “Your friends are going to keep you honest,” she said. “Plus, they’ll make sure you use the best picture of yourself.” For the profile, she recommends sharing who you are and what you like to do, a bit of unique information about your pet peeves and personal quirks, and a basic description of your current life—movies you’ve recently seen, books you’ve read, new restaurants you’ve tried, etc.

Once you decide to meet for a date, use common sense. Wendy Atterberry, who runs the dating-advice site DearWendy.com, recommends meeting in public and planning a first date that “can be short, sweet and low-key, like lunch or a coffee date.”

If the chemistry’s clearly not there, it will be over and done with in no time. If you do feel a spark, however, there’s nothing stopping you from lingering over a long meal, taking a leisurely walk or whatever feels comfortable for both of you.

So whether you’re looking for friendship, a casual date or a serious romantic partner, don’t be afraid to use all the tools at your disposal, including online dating. In the digital age, it can be the most efficient way to find the person you’re looking for. Just be safe, smart, and of course, remember to have fun. Isn’t that what dating is all about in the first place?


You deserve to have a great love life.  Let’s see if we can make yours better.Our Orange County relationship counseling services looks forward to connecting with you.