Sizzling Summer Dating Series June-August 2013

By Keisha Stoute

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Relationships are a work in progress. Good and bad times exist but it is how you deal with each situation. Often times certain behaviors put a strain on the relationship and makes it difficult for you to be successful. Mistakes are inevitable and some will cost you more than a sorry I messed up hallmark card and flowers. Many people fall into the slippery traps of giving out too much information because someone appears to be supportive. You must remember; all attention is not good intentions! Use your head and not your heart. Choose your words carefully and consider your source. These notorious slip-ups ruin opportunities for growth and prevent you from experiencing true happiness. 


1.  Telling too much of your personal business. 
This is the most common relationship mistake. When you tell people your business
they will empathize with you and on the other hand they judge your situation and
will use what you said against you at a later date. There is nothing wrong with
confiding in someone but be cautious who it is and make sure that they are
person that you can trust and someone that won’t judge. Knowledge is
power!


 2. Giving people power over your relationship.
This is a big one! When you have too many people involved in your business, your
opinion gets lost by what everyone else thinks. You are in control, so leave 
friends, family, and coworkers out of your business. Stay away from strong
headed and domineering personalities who always have opinions and give
unsolicited advice.


 3. Seeking advice from unreliable sources.
Everyone needs guidance but seeking advice from unqualified people is damaging. No one is perfect but choose people that are healthy minded and have a good philosophy and experience on the topic at hand. Do not seek advice from dysfunctional people who can’t even get their life in order. Pick reliable sources that you can learn from.

 4. Comparing your relationship to others.
Everyone has a story of how they found love and how they function in their relationship. What works for them, may not work for you. Be careful not to compare your current relationship with previous relationships. Leave your past behind and focus on making the present positive and successful.  Embrace
your own uniqueness and don’t be concerned about the affairs of others.
Appreciate who you are and what you have.


 5. Repeating dysfunctional patterns. 
Often times you do things because of habit and don’t realize the history behind
your behaviors. Patterns are meant to be broken and you must have a good sense
of self-awareness to break it. Don’t do the dance of dysfunction! 
Find appropriate ways to tackle dysfunctional behaviors such as seeking
professional help and doing the necessary work. 


Don’t let these notorious mistakes be the reason why your relationship failed. If you have been guilty of these offenses decide today to make a positive change. Empower yourself with the right tools and support system. Learn to trust your own opinion and be a good judge of character. Create a new path for having healthy and lasting relationships.


 
 

Sizzling Summer Dating Series June-August 2013

By Keisha Stoute

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Every three months you service your car with an oil change so that it can operate efficiently and to assess problems that may interfere with performance. Based off the information given you make sound and practical decisions towards improvements. Our personal life should be viewed in that same manner. Every three months do a relationship tune-up by evaluating current performance and other areas of concerns that impede on growth and development. Getting a relationship is easy but establishing and maintaining a healthy relationship requires hard-work, dedication and patience. You get, what you give! Junk in= Junk out. You do the math!  

Relationships do not run on wishful thinking and empty tanks.
Doing your very best and putting in quality time and hard work is a necessity.
Everyone gets complacent and stuck dealing with everyday issues but do not forget
to attend to what matters most which are the relationships that you have with
others! Completing a relationship tune-up requires two committed individuals to
assess each other in the following areas…

 1.   Support 

Do I support the person that I am committed too?
Do I provide encouragement in their personal and professional life and towards goals and aspirations?
Am I available we they need me? Do I sacrifice when I need to support my
partner?

2.   Patience

When things don’t go my way, do I come across as cold, harsh and snappy?
Do I try to make an effort to understand where my partner is coming from
when conflict arises? Do I give them time to explain themselves?


3.   Understanding

Do I have an open mind when I am communicating with my partner?
Do I give my partner the benefit of the doubt or do I jump to think the worse of
them? Do I try to see their good intentions or do I criticize them for poor
performance?


4.   Nonjudgmental

Do I judge my partner by my own standards and judgments of them?
Do I compare my partner to the accomplishments and expectations of my peers and
their spouses and partners? Do I make my partner feel worse about their
situations, mistakes and shortcomings?

 5.   Forgiveness

Am I willing to forgive mistakes or do I hold on to grudges?
Do I sincerely forgive and give a clean slate?  

6.   Unselfishness 
 

Am I willing to put my own agenda aside to help my partner out? 
Do I take on some of the responsibilities such as chores, paying bills, helping out with the children etc. when there is a need too? 

7.   Love

Do I show my partner that I care? Do I tell them how much they
mean to me and how much I love them? Do I surprise them with flowers, and other
gifts to show my affection? Do I appreciate them or tell them how I appreciate
them? Do I kiss my partner and give them warm loving affection? Do I surprise them with acts of kindness?

Honesty is required in order to reach your optimal relationship potential. You may find that you need improvements in some areas so step up to the challenge, knowledge is power! When two people are willing anything is possible. Evaluating your relationship every three months gives you four opportunities to improve and enhance performance. If things are unsteady make adjustments sooner and as frequently as needed. Do get stuck on the side of the road. Take preventative measures and get a relationship tune-up!


 
 

Sizzling Summer Dating Series June-August 2013

By Keisha Stoute

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In any relationship you must learn to communicate effectively and in way that is not disrespectful and demeaning to your partner. Often times people are afraid to use their words to express how they truly feel because they are fearful of being disappointed, rejected and not
heard. Everyone has avoided difficult relationship conversations in the areas of dating, love, marriage, sex, and communication. In order to growth and to be successful in life, difficult conversations are a must. Becoming an effective
communicator starts with you! Expecting everyone else to change and to adapt to
your program is a destructive plan that always ends disastrously. If things are
not working out,  get down to business and start a conversation! By taking the initial step, this opens the door for possibilities and when two people are willing, anything can happen.In order to start a productive conversation you must do the following…

1. Acknowledge your true feelings on the matter before talking to your partner. 

This is a big one! So many people prematurely talk out of anger and frustration
and have not  thought things through. As a result, you become unaware of what is at  stake and may sabotage the opportunity before it starts. Be truthful with yourself and realize where you truly stand in the matter and what you want from this person.In acknowledging your feelings you discover the real issue(s) and the root of
your disappointment.  

2. Separate fact from feelings. 

When you are involved with someone your feelings can dominate the reality of the situation. Sometimes you want something that is not healthy and is destructive to your personal growth and development. Open your eyes and see the real picture, decipher what is actually happening and not what you want to happen. Live in the present and not in a fantasy land.

3. Become an active listener.

Being an active listener is not just hearing words but comprehending and understanding them in the context in which they are being used. This requires less talking and more feeling and embracing the moment. 

4. Accept criticism.  

This is a hard one! People do not like to be told what they are doing wrong. You have to listen with your ears and not with your mouth! Change is not always negative so be open to hearing and processing the other persons request and observations of your behavior.


 5. Explore your options.
 
After looking at the bigger picture and talking with your partner you must explore
options. Some options can include developing a plan that you both can stick
too, compromising, counseling, mediation etc. Sometimes a third party can be a
great asset in helping you facilitate a much needed conversation.  


Having difficulty conversations is not easy but when it’s all said and done you will feel better that everything is out in the open. Keeping feelings and thoughts on the inside is not healthy and can result in frustration, anxiety, anger, resentment, depression etc. Be proactive and make things happen! You have the power, take charge!   


 
 

Sizzling Summer Dating Series June- August 2013

By Keisha Stoute

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Now that you are dating it is easy to want to take control to ensure that things go your way but instead of plotting and planning take a back seat and learn to let go and let flow. In any relationship whether you are married or dating it is good to be taken by the art of surprises. There is nothing like experiencing something that you never planned
for by the sweet efforts of others. Stop worrying about how things are going to
work out and enjoy the journey and not the ending.  

So many people lose their heads and minds and end up sabotaging
relationships because they obsess over things and people that they have no
control over. Get the monkey off your back and kick that bad habit of being in
control! Learn to let go and let flow! Sometimes people have unrealistic
expectations and cannot understand why they are still single or in unhealthy
relationships or marriages. Take a long look in the mirror and take
responsibility for your actions, you cannot blame others for everything. Life
has a way of taking unexpected turns and you need to make adjustments and get
with the program.

Learning to let go and let flow requires you to step out of your comfort zone and to do things that you have not done before as well as taking a different approach than the norm. Put yourself out there and see what you get in return. Learn to trust and to give others a fair chance.  In order to get; you must give!  In relationships you must compromise and consider the other person and at times that can be a challenge. Being resistant, stubborn and spoiled results in loneliness, frustration and being a sore loser with a sour puss face. Yikes! 
 
To let go and let flow also encourages you to be open to correction and to understand that you cannot always get what you want. Your way is not always the best way so consider trying something new. In order to experience the fruits of a healthy relationship accept positive challenges and be confident in your abilities. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Learn to finish strong together and remember to let go and let flow!