Looking for a Mate Who’s Just Like You?

Searching for a mirror-image mate? As cool as you are and all, that may not be the best strategy.

Could it work? Absolutely.

But it turns out that the whole “opposites attract” thing is more than just a cute saying.

Why is this the case? Here are a few important reasons.

Just Like You: Unattainable Expectations

Are you in danger of setting your expectations too high because you want a mirror-image mate? If so, that could backfire. You may end up another year older and still all alone.

We aren’t talking about high character standards here or similarities in values. Everyone who wants a lasting relationship needs to strive for those in a mate and to be those expected things themselves!

Instead, the danger is that you want your mate to be so much like you that you never find the “clone.” And what if you were one of the rare “lucky ones” who did find their exact match?

Is it possible that the uncanny similarities in your mate would drive you batty instead of creating a utopian relational bliss?

Yep.

That brings us to our next point.

Variety Can Complement Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Finding a mate who’s different from you can create a winning strategy. Imagine a football team full of players whose only gift was kicking field goals or a baseball team full of pitchers who couldn’t hit a baseball to saves their lives.

Teams like that wouldn’t stand a chance because a good team requires balance. In the same way, your relationship needs balance. A varied list of strengths, weaknesses and interests between you and your mate will help to create such a balance.

Maybe you’re the serious type. Perhaps, someone with a bubbly personality or good sense of humor would help you strike a balance.

Or maybe you’re the right-brained, creative type. A left-brained, analytical mate would be a great help with your finances while you could help the two of you think outside the box about life.

Differences aren’t necessarily bad. Embracing them can make for a stronger match that functions much better.

Expanding Your Horizons Can Be Fun

By focusing on shared values instead of trying to get everything the same, you’ll broaden who you are as a person.

You’ll find it exciting to try new foods, consider different options for meaningful work and find unique leisure activities you never would’ve considered otherwise.

Go ahead and look in the mirror. That’s fine.

But when searching for a mate, put that mirror away and observe the amazing variety.

If it is time for you to schedule your individual appointment, you can do so online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 430-7269, or text us.

Dating after Losing a Spouse

Are you considering dating after losing a spouse? If so, you likely didn’t arrive at that conclusion easily. You just experienced what many consider to be the most difficult challenge someone can go through–the death of a spouse.

So, as you consider how to go about that process, you probably have a whole bag of questions, insecurities, happy anticipation and maybe even some guilt.

Here are a few thoughts to help you during this transition.

Is the Time Right to Date After Losing a Spouse?

There’s something extremely important to realize: A time of healing needs to happen before dating again after the death of a spouse. That amount of time is different for everyone.

If you aren’t “healed” yet, you’ll bring this into any new relationship potentially causing significant problems. A hasty decision during an emotional time could also cause you to make a decision you’ll regret.

You’ll never be the same person you were before losing your spouse. That’s ok and something that, in time, you can have peace about. You can become a stronger person because of the struggles you went through.

Men tend to have fewer social connections and often feel the need to remarry sooner, sometimes even within months after a loss. Women tend to take longer and may wait for years to enter the dating scene again. But these are generalizations. You are unique and so your timing will show that.

Some never remarry. Those fine with such a decision shouldn’t feel the need to apologize or feel societal pressure to be someone they’re not.

Crocodile hunter, Steve Irwin’s widowed wife is a recent example of someone who has no plans to remarry. She had her time of love and is OK with being single now.

Letting Go of Guilt

If you’re considering dating after the death of a spouse, you’re almost certainly dealing with emotional conflict.

On one hand, you feel some excitement about getting into the dating scene again. On the other, you feel some guilt. Dating again feels like unfaithfulness to your spouse.

These feelings are understandable after being in a committed relationship that may have spanned decades. They are very real feelings but not based in reality.

The reality is that your spouse, above all else, would want for you to be happy. If part of that happiness involves remarriage, a loving spouse would want what is best for you.

By letting go of this unfair guilt, you’ll feel better prepared to enter the dating scene again.

Your Date is Not an Extension of Your Deceased Spouse

It’s understandable and natural to think of your new date and potential spouse as an extension of your previous spouse. So much of your life was wrapped up in your spouse.

However, doing so would be detrimental to your new relationship. To expect your new date to be like your former spouse is unfair. It would set him or her up for failure.

A great illustration of this is found in the movie, The Patriot, starring Mel Gibson. Mel plays the role of Benjamin Martin who lost his wife and later fights for the US militia in the Revolutionary War.

At the end of the movie, Benjamin falls in love with his deceased wife’s sister, Charlotte. In one of the final scenes, Benjamin’s new love tells him, I’m not my sister.” Benjamin replies, “I know” but the viewer gets the idea he’s still coming to grips with this fact.

Just like it was a struggle for Benjamin Martin, it likely will be for you, too. Of course, it’s ok to bring up your former spouse from time to time. Just remember that you’re now dating a uniquely different person.

In conclusion, dating after losing a spouse is certainly not without its challenges. However, many have found meaningful and lasting love after experiencing profound grief.

If it is time for you to schedule your individual appointment, you can do so online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 430-7269, or text us.

3 Signs Your Woman Is Just Not that Into You

If you’re drawn to this article title, you’re not alone. Many partners have lurking doubts and questions about whether their woman is still interested in them or ever really was in the first place.

Sometimes, even the most committed relationships experience these fleeting fears. When these doubts persist, though, there could be a problem.

If you’re fearing the worst, here are some signs that your girl isn’t interested.

She Isn’t Laughing

This may sound superficial and it’s understandable why you may think so. But it goes deeper than that.

If your woman isn’t into you, she won’t find you funny anymore. She might not even smile when you do things that most others would find funny. These are signs that something could wrong.

It could be that the benefit scale of continuing the relationship is tipping the opposite way from what you want.

You may be doing everything right and treating her like a queen but that may not be enough. The mysterious chemistry of love just isn’t there.

If she doesn’t feel better with you, then she likely won’t be with you for long.

Lots of Excuses

If your girl is busy every time you ask to hang out, this is a tell-tale sign she’s not interested. There are exceptions but few.

Some exceptions may be that your woman is going through a short burst of busyness such as studying for finals, overwhelmed by her job or feeling depressed. She still may love you but is just maxed out.

Most of the time, though, if there are constant excuses why she can’t get together, that’s a not-so-subtle hint. If she was interested, she’d make time for you. In fact, she wouldn’t be able to help herself.

Some women will let you know very clearly if they’re not interested. Others won’t. They’re afraid to hurt your feelings so they make excuses to avoid time with you instead of being direct.

Your girl may need to vacuum her car, go shopping alone (again) or visit a family member she has never mentioned before.

The excuse possibilities are endless but one thing remains the same–She does her best to avoid you because she’s not into you anymore. The opposite would be true if your woman was interested

Trust Your Gut

Most of the time, you instinctively know there’s a problem before your “come-to-Jesus moment”.

As difficult as this realization is, it’s the best thing in the long run. If you get serious with the woman of your dreams but you’re not the one she dreams about, things will be miserable.

If you’re still unsure where your woman stands, work up the guts to come out and ask her. You can also ask your closest friends and family about what’s they’ve observed.

If your woman’s not into you, there is someone out there who will find you irresistible. It’s not the end of the road. Instead, it’s the beginning of a new and better road. 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.

 

What Is Digital Detox?

Something some find harder to do than just about any else.

Digital detox is the act of refraining from electronic devices for a set amount of time.

Some reading this will immediately think doing so sounds fantastic. Others will decide it’s impossible either due to work pressure, because of their love of technology or both.

So, did this term come about from a bunch of technology hating people? Hardly. Technology can take over your life if you’re not careful.

Digital Detox to De-Stress

We’re not talking about snail mail here. We’re talking about what can feel like the need to be available 24/7.

From smart phones to emails, video conference calls, social media and more, it can be like a persistent heavy weight that’s always there.

You may feel pressure to answer emails while on vacation (Seriously? Who’s idea was that?)

You may also feel pressure to quickly answer yet another text message instead of interacting in a meaningful way with your significant other, children and friends.

The stress only compounds in many cases. Those living in real time become resentful and feel neglected, thus increasing your stress exponentially.

The number-one reason people practice digital detox is to minimize stress.

Sure, some do it to connect with people in a way that matters. But even for a reason like that, the underlying purpose is to decrease stress to make life manageable and, hopefully, fulfilling on a deeper level.

I’m Struggling. What Can I Do?

First, know that you aren’t odd if you have this struggle. Many, many people all around the world are having an increasingly difficult time.

Here are a few ideas to regain control of your life and feel better:

Set Boundaries—Talk to your supervisor or clients and let them know that you aren’t available any hour of the day but that you will get with them as soon as you can. Most people will completely understand.

Practice Long-Term Digital Detox—Leave technology for as long as you can. Vacation is a perfect time to try this. If you’re extremely pressured, pick somewhere so remote that you can’t use any kind of technology so you have a good excuse.

Short-Term Digital Detox—Most of the time, an extended time away from technology isn’t possible. Still, there’s a lot you can do including the following:

  • Pick certain hours or days out of the week that you don’t use technology. Replace that time with physical exercise and time with people.
  • Step away from your “fun stuff” that falls under technology. That could mean backing away from the news, social media, television or video games. Again, get out and do something else during that time.

In summary, it’s not that technology is bad. We all can be very thankful it exists. We just need to be careful we’re not “overdosing” on it. Balance is key. 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.

Your Parents Need More Help—Now What?

There must’ve been a trigger for you to take interest in this article. Likely, there were several. Maybe your parent fell in their home, is confused or is isolating.

Either way, the signs are starting to add up. Your parents need more help. And you’re not quite sure what to do.

Although no one solution to this problem is exactly the same, here are some thoughts.

Find Some Emotional Support

If it was just attacking an everyday problem, that’d be one thing. But this isn’t an everyday problem.

Your parents made unusual sacrifices for you and built memories you’ll never forget.

Your parents are declining and that is sad to watch. It’s emotional and you likely feel overwhelmed. That’s completely normal.

Solving the problem is harder because of the strong feelings tied to it. One of the best first steps is to talk with a trusted friend, seek out some advice from a therapist or both.

You don’t need to walk this path alone. You’ll feel much better after getting out your fears, anger, sadness and feelings of not knowing what to do.

By doing so, coming up with the right choices to solve your parents’ problems will be easier.

The Least-Restrictive Solution

Your goal is to provide exactly what your parent needs without infringing on their independence.

No matter how old your parents are, their need and desire for independence will always be there.

Maybe all you need is someone to come in and clean periodically or to provide some meals. That may not mean that your parent shouldn’t drive anymore or needs to move to an assisted-living home. But, then again, it may.

By finding the least restrictive option you’ll save time and money. But more importantly, you’ll empower your parents to remain as independent as possible.

This will strengthen your relationship with your parents. It will build trust and give your parents the hope and courage they need to go forward.

They’ll stay more purposeful and happy as a result.

Delegate Responsibilities

You can’t always do everything you want for your parents. If you’re trying, you probably wrestle with feelings of guilt at times.

You may feel that you need to do everything yourself because your parents did most everything for you.

However, there are times when you just can’t do everything. That’s when you need to delegate some of those responsibilities.

Maybe you can find people from your community or family to provide meals, help with shopping or to regularly check up on your parents when you can’t.

Or it could be time to pay someone to offer services that will help your parents with everyday tasks around the house.

Although it’s hard for anyone to see a decline in their parents, it isn’t the loss of your relationship.

If it’s the right time to get extra help, everyone involved will feel relieved though it may take a while for your parents to see the value in the changes. 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.

We Aren’t Connecting—3 Things Women Want from Their Partners

You aren’t connecting with your girl like you know you should. Now you’re wondering what she wants and why you’re not enough.

Oh, boy. Where do we start?

That could be what you’re thinking because women can be complicated. But they also are easy to figure out on a certain level.

After all, economics is a complicated subject but it’s also simple—Just make more than you spend.

For most men, the problem isn’t in understanding what to do. It’s actively doing what they already understand. Let’s give you the simple version of what your woman wants from you.

To Feel Safe

Your woman needs you to be her protector. This has nothing to do with your girl being weak. As you already know, that isn’t the case.

But your girl needs you to hold her hand when she loses a loved one, stick up for her when others don’t and hold her when she’s crying (even if you don’t understand).

She needs you to be her calm during the storm instead of adding to the turbulence.

The Most Beautiful

Beauty means a lot of different things to people. Everyone can look at a sunset and agree that it’s beautiful. And the reasons people find sunsets beautiful would be pretty much the same.

But there are way more complexities in determining the beauty of a woman. Yes, a segment of our culture would have you believe that beauty is only how hot a woman looks in a bikini.

Physical attraction is important but there are plenty of more enduring qualities that make your woman beautiful. Physical beauty wanes and quite quickly in more than enough cases.

So, given that fact, here’s a good question to ask:

If my woman lost her physical beauty, what about her would still be beautiful?

Those other positive qualities you come up with make up the entire beauty of your girl. Those traits you came up with were always there. They’re just easy to take for granted.

By making a conscious effort to appreciate the full beauty of your woman, you’ll see that she’s far more beautiful than you give her credit for.

At this point, it’s time to tell her she’s the most beautiful. Besides her physical traits, she may have a great sense of humor, be self-sacrificing, intelligent and generous among other things.

Guys, the most beautiful thing about your woman is that she’s willing to put up with someone like you. No matter how much of a stud you think you are, not many women would be willing to do that!

If you treat your wife like the most beautiful woman in the world, the funny thing is she’ll become exactly that. If you try to do it the opposite way, things won’t go well. You can’t build someone up by running them down.

A Marathon Runner

Yep. Sprinters need not apply. Your woman needs you there for the long haul.

Your woman needs someone to grow old with. Someone who resolves never to leave her even when times become absurdly difficult.

It isn’t so bad giving the most beautiful woman in the world what she wants. Trust me. You’ll be handsomely rewarded and your difficulty connecting with her will quickly become less of a problem. 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.

How to Be Patient in a New Relationship

Are you in a new relationship? If so, you’re likely well-acquainted with the battle to be patient.

You’re trying to balance going too far with your affection with your fears and apprehension.

How can you be patient in this phase of your relationship? For starters,
(no pun intended), here are some ideas.

Mentally Prepare Yourself

Think of your best friends. How did they become such great friends?

You likely didn’t just walk up to them one day and ask, “Hey, do you want to be my BFF?”

You probably would’ve weirded them out, right? You may have lost the potential for a fantastic friendship before it ever started.

There needed to be a gradual time for the friendship to grow into your life naturally.

The same makes the most sense and works best in romantic relationships though it can be way harder to be patient.

Keeping this in mind will help. Otherwise, you could push a potentially great fit away.

Mentally preparing yourself will minimize the stressors of a new relationship. Some things just won’t happen until the proper time no matter how hard you try.

And they may never happen at all if you try too hard.

Be Considerate of Your Date

Welcome to the ongoing give and take of any relationship no matter how new or advanced.

Ironically, being too pushy accomplishes exactly the opposite of what you want.

If you pressure your new date to be more physical than they’re comfortable with they’ll shut down and push you away. Or, worse yet, they’ll give in to the pressure and later regret doing so.

If you pressure your date to spend too much time too early, they may start avoiding you.

The reason there’s resistance to impatience is that the impatient person is only thinking about what they want.

The person feeling pressured notices this selfishness and instinctively resists it. This kind of impatience, if not kept in its place, can cause your new and vulnerable relationship to break down and possibly even fail.

Do your best to notice cues from your date and be considerate of their feelings. That’s what healthy relationships are all about—a love that’s willing to sacrifice.

Set Boundaries for Yourself

Lastly, before getting too far into a relationship, take some preventative steps to stay patient.

Ask your good friends or a therapist for some advice about ways to protect yourself and your new date.

Suggestions may include a specific plan to limit time spent, doing things with your date in public instead of going home together and limiting texts, for instance.

By learning patience in your new relationship, it’ll grow the quickest it can and you’ll both get what you want in the process. 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.

How to Help Your Children Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Children can develop high levels of stress and anxiety just like adults. We’re often tempted to downplay that fact.

We hear things like, “children are resilient” or “they’ll get through it all right.”

But the truth is that children are too often exposed to stressful life situations with few resources to help them.

Are you concerned about the stress and anxiety level of your child? Here are some ideas about how to lessen the problem.

Remember They Can’t Handle as Much

Children can’t handle demands on their physical bodies like adults can. Adults can be out in the sun and cold much longer without becoming stressed.

The same goes for emotional strength. Kids need time to grow into these abilities. Things that you don’t find stressful at all could be very difficult for your child to deal with.

Learn to Notice Stress in Your Child

Adults tend to let others know when they experience too much stress and anxiety. Children usually don’t know how to express things so clearly when they’re in similar situations.

Look for physical or emotional changes in your child to help you see if they’re struggling with too much stress and anxiety.

Is your child wetting their bed, fatigued, angry or more emotional than usual?

These could all be indicators that your child is struggling to handle stress and anxiety.

If your child is old enough, ask them about how they’re feeling. If possible, try to find the causes of your child’s stress so you can come up with a plan to lessen it.

Create a Positive, Accepting Environment

There are enough causes of stress and anxiety in the world. Do your best to make sure that your family environment doesn’t add to the problem.

Was your childhood full of anger, negativity or abuse? If so, you experienced more stress than you should have.

Your family doesn’t need to be like the family you grew up in. Do all you can to create a healthy, nurturing and positive environment for your child.

This means that when you give consequences to your child for bad behavior, it should be done with controlled emotions.

It also means that you work hard to provide a happy environment. Do your best to smile often and compliment your child. This will help immensely with any other difficulties in your child’s life that can’t be avoided.

Another part of a positive environment is modeling for your child how to deal with stress in a healthy way.

Keep Your Child Active and Healthy

Obesity in children is on the rise. And it affects more than just your child’s body. It also affects their emotional state.

Teach your child to regularly eat healthily and exercise.

Feed your child plenty of fruits and vegetables and teach them the proper amount of food to eat. This is a great stress and anxiety reducing technique you can work at together.

You also can exercise together, getting rid of anxiety that’s been lurking in the back of your minds.

In Summary

Looking for something else to help your child?

Teach your child to practice deep-breathing techniques, listen to soothing music or watch calming nature videos online.

Also, don’t rule out counseling to help your child through a tough time. If you feel that your child has been through way too much stress and anxiety for his or her age, seriously consider that option.

By working with your child and others, you can help your child reduce their anxiety and stress which will result in a happier, healthier life. 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.

You Do Not Have to Be the “Perfect Daughter” Anymore

There have been billions of daughters throughout the generations.

Guess what. None of them were perfect.

Not one.

Do you secretly put pressure on yourself to be the perfect daughter?

You need to stop and just be yourself. Here’s why.

Playing the Perfect Game

Want to play that game? Really, you don’t.

Two things will happen if you try.

You may end up extremely discouraged or depressed because you can’t be who you think your parents want you to be.

Or, you’ll begin the adventure of the double life. This option’s probably more common.

You project a perfect image when around your parents but are anything but when not in their company.

This can lead to risky decisions because internally something tells you you’re being unfair to yourself by trying to appear perfect. So, you rebel from that pressure whenever you can.

But the decisions you make when your parents aren’t looking could hurt you. And your parents will probably eventually find out anyway.

Giving up on Perfect Doesn’t Mean Giving up

So, you’re finally convinced that being the perfect daughter isn’t possible.

That doesn’t mean you should give up on forward progress. Progress is your real goal. Just small progress over time.

Imagine that you have a big garden. You don’t want a single weed in that garden but find that there is always one more to pick.

You could just give up and say, “what’s the point of weeding?”

But you probably wouldn’t be proud to show your garden to guests who stop by.
That garden is your life. Keep weeding. Continually work towards being a better person.

But be kind to yourself and stop fretting. Otherwise, you’ll give up trying or pretend that you’re trying when you’re really not.

Who Says You Need to Be Perfect, Anyway?

There’s a good chance that you only think your parents expect that of you. It may only be a flawed perception.

After all, we’re often harder on ourselves than we are on other people. Your parents are full of mistakes just like you are.

They should have the ability to love you through your failures and imperfections. They needed the same understanding from others to get to where they are today.

What If Your Parent Demands Perfection?

That’s not an impossible place to find yourself as a daughter. If that’s you, things won’t be quite so easy.

You need to give yourself permission not to be perfect even though you feel like it’s expected.

Sometimes, parents are too hard on their children because they want a better life for them than they had.

But that can be taken too far.

Try to gain your parent’s approval. It’s a satisfying thing to accomplish.

But also know that you won’t be able to always gain their approval. At times, you’ll need to courageously do what you must even without their approval.

In Summary

You can be a great daughter but not a perfect one. Let the beauty of progress mark your life instead of perfection.

In doing so, you’ll be as near perfect as you could be without all the stress, fear, guilt and sadness of unmet expectations. Schedule your appointment for either couples counseling or men’s counseling using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Men Get Sad and Lonely Too

The idea that only women struggle with this problem is a myth. Although men can process sadness and loneliness differently from women, men still are quite vulnerable. Lack of Communication and Loneliness

Men generally aren’t as quick to communicate compared to women. There’s more of a struggle to connect with others on a meaningful level.

It’s not an uncommon challenge for men to develop vital and deep friendships with people they rub shoulders with at work and in their communities. Many feel like they know hundreds of people but their relationships are a mile wide and an inch deep.

Because of this, loneliness in men is fairly common. It’s not that men desire to be lonely. Loneliness is a terrible feeling.

Some men don’t know how to build deep friendships, don’t realize the need or just figure that’s how things must be.

But that isn’t true. Things can and need to be different for men to be healthy

This doesn’t mean that men are to share every gory detail of their lives with others hoping that transparency leads to friendship. They must test the waters and see if there’s trust first.

Some of the best friendships, ironically, are more of something that happens to a person instead of trying to force something to work. Forcing things almost never leads to deep friendship connections.

Men desperately need other people who are “in their corner.” They need people who believe in them.

Sadness and Emotional Stability

There’s a lot of pressure for men to be emotionally stable and strong. While that’s honorable, sometimes attempts to play such as role breaks down.

Men have hurts just like women do. And stuffing those injuries deep in the soul to give the appearance of strength can mean big-time trouble later on.

Men aren’t invincible. There is no superman. The strongest men aren’t those who ignore their sadness.

The strongest are those who realize they have a problem. Men can’t fix their life difficulties on their own. They can’t make their sadness and loneliness vanish while remaining in a vacuum.

Men need others to help them through these struggles. Everyone does.

Although some level of sadness and loneliness are normal, when this becomes constant or ongoing, it isn’t. If you experience consistent sadness and loneliness as a man, you aren’t alone.

You can experience a much higher quality of life than that. You can take courageous steps towards something better.

Whether that means help from a significant other, venting to a loyal friend or seeking the support of a trusted professional, there is hope!

The strongest men aren’t islands. The strongest men know they need others and that others need them.

These realizations and steps towards something better will go a long way in relieving sadness and loneliness in men. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.