What Your Mate Needs From You

What do we fixate on most in our relationships? The exact opposite of this title.

If we were honest, we’d admit that, much of the time, we think, “What I need from my mate” as most important to us.

But the surest way to get what you need in a relationship is to give your mate what they need. What you need will naturally flow back to you in that case.

Does this mean we should do unselfish things with selfish motives? No. Instead, it highlights how important it is to take care of our mate.

Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind as you do just that.

Listen Without Judgment

Everywhere you turn there is criticism. A lot of the criticism is true. We all have problems and shortcomings after all. But consistent criticism and judgmental tendencies from others cause people to shut down.

As a result, most people find it difficult to be honest with others. What if those we thought were trustworthy use what we tell them as ammunition against us instead of understanding better where we’re coming from?

In your relationship, your mate needs the ability to share about the messy details of their lives. They need the ability to do so without attacks and judgment.

This is crucial because attacks and judgment are everywhere. Your mate requires a safe place to share their thoughts, process shortcomings, admit fears and talk about their dreams.

This must happen without someone stepping on their thoughts and feelings and driving them into the ground.

The best thing to do is let your mate vent and share their feelings and emotions without you initially evaluating whether they are correct. Do your best to refrain from getting angry if something is said that upsets you.

If you quickly interject disagreement with how your mate processes life right away, they’ll be less inclined to be open with you in the future.

Your mate needs the ability to express their feelings and get them out. If you’re patient, you’ll be invited to offer advice or input at the right time.

The proper time to offer advice almost never means doing so in knee-jerk fashion.

Wait and then wait some more as you stay attentive. Doing so will strengthen your relationship, increase transparency and, as a result, build trust.

Your Mate Needs a Friend

Your mate needs a friend that will be there for them no matter what.

You and your mate require other friends besides the two of you. But your mate should be your best friend.

Will you get warm and fuzzy feelings every time you’re in the room together? No.

Will you constantly feel romantic thoughts towards each other? No. That will come and go.

But what you need is a fellow life journeyer who will never leave you. Who takes on the resolve to get through life together with you in the good circumstances and the bad.

Your mate needs someone who makes them a better person. That doesn’t always mean happiness. But it means something even better than happiness: purpose.

It means that, together, you work to make the world better than you found it. It means that you leave a lasting contribution that makes a positive difference.

That is where the deepest and most satisfying form of happiness can be found! Schedule your appointment online 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.

Building the Bond in Your Relationship

Ever have a job around the house that required a repair? Perhaps, you finally decided that glue was your best bet to make the fix. However, you knew that it would take a better-than-average adhesive.

A glue stick that little kids use for crafts wasn’t going to cut it. You pulled out both guns and got the stuff you don’t want to get on your fingers. The last thing you wanted was for that glue to fail at the most inconvenient moment.

Did you know that there’s a major parallel to that analogy and relationships? A general gluing rule is that the stronger the materials you’re working with, the more powerful your glue must be. It shouldn’t surprise you then, that developing and applying “glue” in relationships requires a much stronger bond than anyone can create in a laboratory.

This involves applying the right glue but it also means that you must work hard to make sure that nothing eats away at the glue you already established.

What’s the best glue to apply? Every person is different so finding a custom-glue solution that’s best for your relationship will take some time and effort to figure out.

In our culture, we’re often over-focused on the physical aspect of a relationship. That’s an essential element but focusing only on the physical will not create a strong enough bond to keep you together over the long haul. Here are some quick ideas, though, since some of the major ingredients of relationship glue are universal.

Laugh Together

You’ve heard it more than once. “I was attracted to him or her because they made me laugh.” In effect, they were saying that it felt good to be around that person and they wanted to keep feeling good which meant spending more time with them.


Our world is flooded with talkers. It’s in short supply of listeners, though. If you learn to listen to your significant other, you’ll place yourself in a unique category and strengthen your bond.

Just a quick warning before you start, sincere listening is likely one of the most difficult things that you’ll ever do. Still, it’s completely possible and worth it.

Tough Times Together

Seriously? Absolutely. If you were ever on a sports team, you likely built some great friendships. That’s because you and your teammates worked hard together to overcome adversity. If you go through a tough time together and stick with each other anyway, you’ll develop staying power and a new, bonding respect for each other.

There are plenty of other ways to build the bond in your relationship. The more you work at it, the more successful you’ll become. In time, you’ll develop a relationship that can withstand any challenge that comes your way! Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Why You Should or Shouldn’t Get Back Together

Whatever the cause, break-ups are painful and the experience of no longer being with someone you once loved can be extremely disorienting. It is often tempting to consider rekindling a past relationship, especially as time and nostalgia help you forget why the relationship ended. When you come to the point that you’re mentally listing all the reasons you should reconcile with an ex, you need to remind yourself of the many reasons why you shouldn’t get back together.

Remember that the relationship ended for a reason.

In the days and weeks following a break-up, it is easy to romanticize your relationship and gloss over what caused you to split up in the first place. But all relationships that end do so for a reason. Perhaps your partner was decided to take a job opportunity across the country and you couldn’t or didn’t want to move; maybe you weren’t able to agree on children. Whatever the cause, if the factors underlying the reasons for your break-up haven’t changed, any attempts to rekindle the relationship will only lead to more heartache.

Don’t let love confuse you.

Just because a relationship is over doesn’t mean that the tenderness and love that you and your partner felt for one another immediately disappear. There’s nothing wrong with feeling warmly about a former partner, but don’t confuse this affection for a cure for your relationship’s troubles. No amount of fondness can erase the reasons that you and your partner split.

Avoid letting familiarity sway you.

Particularly at the end of a long relationship, the close understanding that your and your partner shared makes the idea of reconciling very appealing. You already know each others’ likes and dislikes, habits and mannerisms; familiarity even gives your partner’s negative traits an attractive glow. But the convenience and comfort that familiarity affords doesn’t negate the reasons why your relationship didn’t work. Remind yourself that the cost of reentering a broken but familiar relationship is the new–and potentially successful–relationship you could be pursuing.

Keep in mind the possibilities that surround you.

At some point in every break-up, the possibility that there is no one else in the world that could make you happy flits through your mind. As time passes, you may become convinced that without your former partner, you will be alone forever. Nothing could be further from the truth. You pass scores of potential new partners every day on the street, in the subway or in line for lunch. If you keep your eyes and your mind open, possibilities lie around every corner.

There are also many times that your relationship CAN work. Just because it gets tough, it doesn’t necessarily mean the relationship isn’t meant to be. It sometimes means you are moving into a more mature stage in the relationship. And this is where you get to examine the relationship in a new light.

Relationship counseling might be the answer to get your relationship back on track.

Our goal for you with relationship therapy is to help you find to a greater closeness and more happiness.

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

Do you have trouble communicating with your partner?

Communication is essential in any interpersonal context, whether it be with co-workers, friends, or family, but it is one of the most, if not the most, essential building block of a healthy and strong relationship with your partner. It’s important to remember that it is a two-way street and as much as you want to be heard, your partner will want you to listen. Many problems begin when we don’t take responsibility for our communication.

Sometimes it is hard to acknowledge your significant other’s point of view when you have one of your own, and making the effort to really listen and try to understand them is not only a true sign of respect, but can also keep things from being bottled up and coming out negatively in the future. We all have opinions which we are incredibly stubborn about, however when disagreements do occur; the common response is to become defensive. It is this defensiveness which subliminally tells our partners that they can no longer go to us with their issues. This will, in turn, cause undue anxiety for your partner as not being able to be as open as they want to be with their significant other can harbor resentment and create a lot of unaddressed friction.

Not all conversations are going to be easy and it’s dealing with those difficult ones which will lead to the strongest bonds. Avoidance of issues will not only prolong them, it may actually intensify their meaning in a relationship. This will signal to your partner that whatever it is that you don’t want to talk about is actually an issue you are struggling with. Again, since it is a two-way street, your partner will want you to want to come to them for emotional support. It’s that feeling of being a team and being able to handle any situation together that reinforces positive validation of the relationship.

It’s been said many times before, but one of the easiest ways to show you are listening is to pay attention to the little things. Those are the intimate details of your partner’s life that they will only usually share with you. Taking notice and addressing these and other minute details in conversation signifies that you have internalized and made them a priority in your life. Furthermore, take interest, but also know when to give your partner space. There are more ways to communicate with your partner to let them know you understand them than by talking. Sometimes it is best to let a conversation sink in than to try and force it. Confronting them when they are not ready is a surefire way to ensure that they will be defensive. Instead, either ask or wait for them to come to you. Finally, remember to be open and available to your partner if you want them to feel safe and secure.

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

It’s important to share quality time with your spouse.

Quality time. It’s a phrase often heard about spouses that automatically brings a smile to your face. On the other hand, quality time when you have children… many times parents (spouses) forego quality time together because everything is about the kiddos. Not good.

Have you stopped dating your spouse or having any quality time? If so, why? Quality time is very important in a marriage, especially if you have children. A strong marriage, and your children witnessing your strong marriage, is very important. Quality time can be date nights, having sex, going on a trip, or anything the two of you do, only the two of you, as a couple where you give each other your undivided attention.

So, maybe you know this is important, but don’t know what to do to have quality time. You don’t have to spend a fortune, or even any money. You can stay home. Arrange for the kiddos to have an overnight at Grandma’s house or a friend’s house, and stay home and watch a movie together. Consider the season to come up with things you can do together. For example, in winter, stay home and cuddle up for a moving, go ice skating, go driving to look at Christmas decorations. In spring, take a walk, take a bike ride, make a picnic lunch to enjoy in your backyard. In summer, fly kits, go for a bike ride, or go swimming. In fall, go on a hayride to a pumpkin patch, pick apples, go to a football game. The options are endless.

Couples need quality time in order to keep their relationship strong, exciting, and happy. You need to maintain a strong connection. If you aren’t having a date night a few times a month, you are not committed to keeping your marriage strong.

Think about seeing a couple who seems happy. Emulate them if you need to. Those people probably have great communication, touch each other often, and take time for each other. In fact, it’s a good thing to try to make at least 10 or 15 minutes a day to talk about things going on in your worlds. Show physical affection for your spouse. Physically touch keeps people connected. Always be open and honest and focus on the positive things in your marriage. Hang out with positive people and laugh, a lot.

If you find you need help dealing with staying connected, you may want to reach out and let the professionals at the Relationship Center of Orange County help you. Let us help. Schedule your appointment online using our online scheduling tool, call us at (949) 220-3211, or text us.

Are they Looking for a Committment?

Let the counselors at the Relationship Center of Orange County help you. In the acclaimed 2013 film “Blue Jasmine” a character named Ginger, played by Sally Hawkins, is convinced by her sister into searching for a more upper-crust kind of guy than the one she’s currently dating. Just when she thinks she might have found one, she learns he’s married.

It’s a heartbreaking scene, partly because in that moment, the viewer and Ginger alike realize that the guy never really even lied about it. From the start, he openly presented the relationship as a fling between two free spirits—no strings attached. She made the mistake of assuming it was headed somewhere else.

So when it comes to the age-old dating question, “how do I know if he or she is ready to commit”? The answer is, “when they tell you so, and not a moment sooner”.

Ginger’s is an extreme example. It is fair enough to assume that a man pursuing a woman romantically is at the very least single, and even a lie of omission about one’s marital status is clearly a no-no. Yet there are plenty of single men and women who are interested in dating you but have little intention of committing or even making the relationship exclusive.

If commitment is what you’re looking for, here are a couple of simple rules to remember:

First, unless someone says they want to date you exclusively and work towards a committed relationship, assume they’re not. If you’re okay with that or willing to enjoy the relationship as it is without quietly building false hope, that’s great. It isn’t to say that he or she can’t change their mind; after all, few people decide to spend the rest of their life with someone after a first or second date. However, if time continues to pass and you reach a point where seeing him or her out on dates with other partners becomes a problem, you need to have a talk and clarify their intentions. It’s the best way to protect your own feelings and keep your self-esteem intact.

If, on the other hand, someone says they’re madly in love and can’t wait to get married and raise children with you and yet you see disturbing clues to the contrary, you need to confront the warning signs right away. Plenty of men and women throughout time have presented themselves as available and ready to commit when in fact they are (a) already in another relationship, or (b) are willing to say anything they think you want to hear. So if a partner gives you the impression an engagement ring is imminent, but your best friend reports having just seen them holding hands over a long lunch with another man or woman or you find a mysterious pair of underwear in their apartment, don’t ignore the warnings. If your partner says these are misunderstandings, then you can always take a “trust but verify” approach, but at the very least you might need to be on guard for a little while.

So if you find yourself ignoring your partner’s own words (“I love spending time with you, but I’m not looking for a serious relationship”) or downplaying signs that you’re not the only one in their life (lots of sneaky behavior, unexplained absences and convenient lies), it’s time to take inventory.

Don’t let your hopes win out over common sense — you deserve better! If you need to discuss your situation with someone, reach out to the professional counselors at the Relationship Center of Orange County. Call us today at (949) 430-7389, or schedule your appointment through our online calendar.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Tips on Getting Through

If getting through a breakup is really dragging you down and you can't seem to find a way to cope, contact the professional counselors at the Relationship Center of Orange County.Most of us have been through at least one breakup in our lives that was absolutely devastating.  Whether you see it coming or you have no idea things were that bad, a breakup can wreak havoc on our emotions.  Many people compare experiencing a breakup to feeling majorly depressed, like someone died, like sadness will never leave, or like you lost an arm or a leg.  All of these emotions are perfectly natural; however, you need to learn how to deal with the hand that was dealt to you and move on.

After the initial shock, which can encompass uncontrollable crying, dreams and nightmares about your ex, wondering if you should call them, trying to call their friends to ask who they’re seeing now, etc., things will start to get back to normal. As time goes by and your heart begins to mend, you need to figure out how to process the loss, figure out what went wrong, and how to move forward with your life.

When going through a breakup with someone whom you have spent many years in a relationship, it can feel like you have no friends and nowhere to go.  Many times this is because of the fact you probably spent all of your free time with this person who has chosen to no longer be in your life.  If you are going through a divorce, it can be even worse because in addition to building your life around the person who just broke your heart, you may feel like a failure to the people you need most right now.  You may feel awkward around your parents, especially if they spent thousands of dollars on your wedding, or your friends, because likely your friends are his friends, or even your children (if you have them) because you have always taught them that marriage is sacred and is forever.

You will likely still feel sad at times, especially if you hear a song that was “your song”, or reminds you of somewhere the two of you were at a happier time in your relationship.  You will still sometimes miss the comfort you felt from your partner or spouse, their touch, their support in hard times, and just the safeness you felt in their presence.  You will suddenly see a lot of people who look like your ex, a lot of cars that look like his or hers, and will notice that almost everybody wears the same cologne or perfume as his or hers.

One thing you can count on is that time will heal your heart, even if it doesn’t feel like that for a while.  What’s important is that you can learn what happened in your relationship or marriage, and learn what to avoid next time.  It’s crucial to learn from the past so you can ensure you know what you need in a relationship and don’t make the same mistakes.  It takes two to contribute to a relationship that goes sour.  As much as many people want to blame the other, a failing relationship is rarely one sided.  Be sure to look at what you did to contribute to the failure, and pledge to learn from your mistakes as you move on to other relationships.

Many times, women tend to believe that there is a true fairytale in store for them but it is impossible to have a fairytale relationship or marriage.  That’s why they’re called “tales”.  Everybody knows that certain chemicals come to life during the initial state of falling in love.  The key word is “initial”.  In the real world, being close to your partner or spouse is a wonderful thing, but it takes work.  In the real world, there are jobs to go to, a house to tend to, bills to pay, children to raise, groceries to get, grass to mow, and all the other things that make up the “real world”.  If you are looking for a fairytale relationship or marriage, you are only fooling yourself.

Here are a few things to consider when going through a breakup:

  1. Focus on the positive things in your life.  Maybe you have great kids, a great relationship with your parents and/or siblings, a good bill of health, or a good job.  Be thankful for the good things in your life, and think of those things every time you start feeling down and out about your failed relationship.
  2. Keep yourself busy.  If you have to go grocery shopping every night for whatever you are making for dinner, do it.  Be sure to fill your days and nights with activities, so when you go to bed, you are tired enough to sleep.  This will take care of the tossing and turning that normally comes along with broken hearts.
  3. Maybe most importantly, live in the present.  In other words, after you figure out what went wrong and how you contributed to what went wrong, don’t dwell on it.  Live in the present.
  4. Surround yourself with positive people and people who are important to you.  Try to see yourself as those people see you.  Remember to  thank the people who are always there for you, whether you rely on them for a shoulder to lean on or they are the “constants” in your life, no matter what path you are on at any given moment.

Lastly, if getting through a breakup is really dragging you down and you can’t seem to find a way to cope, the counselors at the  Relationship Center of Orange County can help you.  Call us today at (949) 430-7353 to schedule your appointment, or schedule your appointment via our online calendar.

Talk it Out … Getting the Timing Right

Man and woman relaxing together.

How often have you had something on your mind that you needed to discuss with your partner, but the right time just never seemed to present itself?

It’s a common problem. The topics that we put off are always the challenging ones. Maybe you have bad news to deliver, something is troubling you about your relationship, or you want to make a change that you don’t expect your partner to be very happy about. Whatever it is, it’s natural to avoid it in the name of waiting for the ideal moment.

Of course, that could mean you’ll be waiting an awfully long time, because there’s really no such thing as the “perfect” time for a difficult discussion.

The good news is that your heart is in the right place. You know it would be a mistake to broach a touchy subject when your partner is tired and stressed out, or when the kids are within earshot . Still, don’t wait forever, or you may find that whatever’s bothering you stays bottled up until the worst possible time, and you blurt it because you’ve reached the height of frustration. Instead, plan for the right time. But how? Well, here are a few suggestions …

Follow Your Instincts

Before planning a serious discussion about what’s on your mind, do a gut check. While in most cases letting things fester only makes them worse, if you’ve been particularly stressed out and finding yourself overreacting to situations that otherwise wouldn’t bother you, you might want to wait a day or two and see how you feel before broaching a problem that today seems catastrophic. Some things may blow over on their own once you’ve had a chance to calm down. However, if your gut tells you this is going to keep bothering you until you’ve talked it through, by all means, do so.

Set the Stage

Get a sitter and go to a favorite restaurant, take a scenic evening walk or whatever you especially enjoy doing as a couple. The benefits are obvious: The kids won’t be around to distract you, and the change of scenery will probably put both of you in a good frame of mind. There is one caveat: you must advise your partner ahead of time that you have something serious you want to discuss. The last thing you want to do is make him or her feel they’ve walked into a trap.

Be Prepared

Think ahead of time about what you want to say. It doesn’t mean you need you write a script, but you do want to make sure your main concerns or wishes are heard and taken seriously. At the same time, approach the discussion prepared to listen and keep an open mind.

Similarly, be prepared for your partner to disagree or even react angrily to what you have to say. Often we fear this will happen – why else would we be avoiding the topic in the first place?-only to find that our partner has been thinking the same thing themselves. But not always. If your partner doesn’t respond the way you were hoping, try and keep talking-calmly, rationally and respectfully – until you can reach a mutually satisfying compromise. However, if you or your partner becomes so emotional or angry that the conversation is no longer productive, be prepared to take a break and maybe table the subject until the next day.

Put it on Ice – Temporarily

If you can stop before things get really heated, maybe you can change course and go do something fun where there’s no talking required…like going to that movie you’ve been dying to see. You might not yet have resolved anything, but you’ll have made a start, which is often half the battle.

If you and your partner are having problems communicating effectively, please give us at a call at 949-220-3211 or schedule an appointment via our online calendar.  We at the Relationship Center of Orange County are here to help you.

Keeping a Positive Perspective: Seeing the Good

OC Relationship Center can help you keep the positive flow going in your relationship.No matter how much you love your husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, there are going to be days when you find yourself just not liking them very much. Maybe it’s something superficial, like his that ugly wool cap leftover from his college days that he insists on wearing even when it’s clearly past its prime. Sometimes it might seem more significant, like her habit of putting scrapes on the car with her sloppy way of navigating around those pesky parking-garage poles.

If you live and share a life with someone, you get to know them intimately—warts and all. Meanwhile, your lives are so intertwined that their mistakes impact you as well as them. It is one of the biggies that makes relationships challenging. It’s tempting to look at your friends’ partners—or even strangers on the street—and imagine that they never overspend on frivolous things, come home from work in a bad mood, say awkward things at dinner parties or forget to pick up milk at the grocery store. But that kind of thinking is not only counterproductive, and most likely erroneous. It’s easy for a stranger—or a friend you only see when they’re on their best behavior—to seem like they have it all together. In reality you have no idea what they or their relationships are like behind closed doors.

Simply put, when doing this you are focusing on the perceived perfections of others while comparing them to the imperfections of your partner.

Like so many areas of life, the importance of keeping things in perspective in this situation cannot be underestimated. Accepting that your partner has imperfections and makes mistakes is part of working to grow the relationship into a more mature one that can stand the test of time.

If you find yourself slipping into the negativity trap, practice skills that can help turn your perspective around. If it helps, pull out a notebook and list your favorite and not-so-favorite qualities your partner possesses. Chances are, there are a lot of good ones you’ve been downplaying or temporarily forgotten—maybe because of something challenging going on in your own life, or maybe just because you’ve been taking them for granted.

As you do this, consider the “not-so-favorite” qualities and try to figure out if they’re something you can do to address them—affectionately, if possible. If that old wool cap bothers you that much, you could (a) buy him a new one and see if that does the trick, or (b) remember that he used to wear it back when you first met, and you found it endearing then. If you’re distressed about the scrapes on the car, find a way of telling your partner how much it bothers you without being accusatory or demeaning. I’m sure you could even come up with a few helpful tips, such as parking in less-crowded areas of the lot…or at least avoiding the concrete poles.

Not all relationship conflicts are so easily solved—but not all of your partner’s personality quirks have to be treated as conflicts, either. After all, you have plenty of quirks of your own, another truth we conveniently forget from time to time. Taking the longer view of your partner and relationship while choosing to focus on the positive rather than the negative are priceless relationship skills. Chances are, you’ll find it well worth the effort.

If you find your complaints about your partner (or vice versa) turning into angry conflicts and need help breaking the pattern, please give us at a call at 949-220-3211 or schedule an appointment via our online calendar. We at the OC Relationship Center are here to help you.