By Keisha Stoute


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Sizzling Summer Dating Series June-August 2013

By Keisha Stoute

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

 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

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

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

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

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

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!



Sizzling Summer Dating Series June- August 2013

By Keisha Stoute

Now that you have gotten out and noticed, your first date is around the corner. It is important to have fun but you must also pay close attention to the first date tricks, traps and swindling acts! As you become experienced in the dating field you realize that everyone does not have good intentions and what they say is not always true.

Don’t be the monkey who slipped on a banana peel! Use your head and not your heart! Even the nicest people wear a mask of deception and they will try to con you into a piece of sucker pie! No thanks. Have the upper hand and know what to look for before you become another act in a traveling trick show. Here are the most common dating traps to avoid:

 1.     Sticky Fingers.  If your date has sticky fingers and
is suggesting sex direct him or her to a bee hive and get out! These individuals
are advertising what they really want up front and your encounter won’t last
very long. Remember, busy bees do not stay in one place very long so this is not
the kind of person that you are looking for.

 2.    Your date is constantly complaining about their ex. This is huge!!! On a first date you do not want to get into a lengthy conversation about why you are single and what happened in your last relationship. If your date appears to be bitter, constantly complaining and has unresolved issues then they are unavailable to you and are definitely not ready for a possible relationship. 
3.     Recent Breakup. If your date just had a recent breakup, then they are probably still dealing and communicating with their ex. This is not the best situation to get involved in. You don’t want to be the rebound person caught in a dysfunctional dance. Do not get swayed by he said/she said mess because you really do not know. This is also a ploy to get sympathy from you so that they can have the best of both worlds. People often say one thing and do another. They deal with grief and loss in various ways and they end up hurting others in the process. Leave that person alone and explore your options elsewhere. 

4.     I’m currently in a situation. Next!!!! This is a no brainer!!! If you are told by your date that they are currently in a situation, then this is not the one for you.  These individuals are complicated, selfish and want to be lost. Don’t fall for the okedoke, move on. Avoid the roller coaster of lies!

 5.     Let’s take things back to my place. On a first date, you want to be in public places where there are people around and not secluded in an unfamiliar territory.  This is a huge safety risk! You do not know this person. Air on the side of caution and decline the offer.  

6.     Too much alcohol= Impaired Judgment. On your
first date you want to be alert and oriented so too much alcohol will cloud your
judgment and will result in impaired behavior. Often time people will try to get
you drunk so that they can take advantage. Know your drinking limit and what you
can handle. Drink responsibly and be safe! Have a designated driver.

 Enjoy yourself and make the best of your day! Know what you want you really want and do not settle for less. If this is not the person you imagined then consider this an experience and move forward. Remember to avoid the tricks, traps and swindling acts!




Sizzling Summer Dating Series June-August 2013

By Keisha Stoute

Has it been a while since you’ve dated? Put your worries to rest and get ready to get out and get noticed! Everyone has experienced a drought but the key is to know what you want and devise a plan to get it! The summer time is a great time to meet new people, have fun and to try exciting things. Before you get yourself in a tiff, determine what type of relationship you want. There are two main types of relationships, monogamous and casual. In a monogamous relationship you and the other person are exclusive and you are committed to each other. A casual relationship consists of occasional dates, with no strings attached and no commitment. Since you have not been dating in a while you may want get a feel for what is out there and observe what kind of contenders are coming your way. Remember, once you have determined what you really want, do not settle! Quality is always better than quantity.

 Getting noticed is easier than you think; here are some great tips to
make it happen:

 1.  Go to events by yourself.  If you want to meet potential prospects you must go solo. When you are solo you will be more likely to make the best of your time and will create opportunities.  Remember you are there for a reason. Do not act shy. Networking, single mixers and themed events are excellent places to start.

 2. Look friendly and available. People go by first impressions. If you appear to be closed off with your hands folded in dismay do not be surprised if others are avoiding you. Yikes! Smile a lot and laugh when appropriate. Look like you are having a great time. Initiating conversation is a great way to break the
3.  Keep your options open.  During this time you may have a lot of contenders approaching you and asking you for your number; give it to the ones you want and keep your options open. Even if you have found someone that you like do not put all your eggs in one basket too soon. Often times people appear to be available when in fact they are not, do not sell yourself short.

 4.  Don’t go out with anyone the same day you meet them.  Believe it or not it happens. These individuals who ask you out on the same day are usually looking for short term fun. If someone is interested in you they will follow your schedule and will make a more appropriate date and public place where you both can meet. 

5.  Be safe and follow your gut. Don’t fall for the okedoke! Follow you instinct, if something does not sound right then it probably is not. When dating someone new always tell a reliable friend, family member or neighbor where you are going and with whom you are going out with.

Do not over analyze and try not to be too critical. No one is perfect! Dating is a trial and error process so you will live and learn. Have fun getting out and getting noticed!


By Keisha Stoute

Everyone is dysfunctional at some point in time in their lives. We all have participated in unhealthy situations and exhibited undesirable behaviors but when our actions interfere with growth; awareness and change must occur. Life is like a game of chess you must study
your opponents and anticipate their next move but when you are dealing with a dysfunctional character their moves are always predictable.
Dysfunctional people often repeat patterns of nonsensical behaviors by waltzing in denial, playing the fool and not using common sense! Typical behavior is getting into trouble, getting angry about it and calling all your friends and family to complain and then returning to the same toxic situation. It is like watching a movie you have seen many times and knowing how it is going to end. These individuals repeat this behavior over and over again because they need you to support them while they dance in dysfunction.

Dysfunctional people are not dumb although they act like it. These people are very intelligent but the real reason is that they feel comfortable in damaging situations and are hopefully and wishful that things will turn around. They know that the situation is bad but often have unrealistic goals and poor reasoning skills. These individuals are insecure, have low self-esteem and have been abused and/or neglected in some form. Stop discoing in dishonesty and take a step in the right direction! Realize your truth and get the monkey off your back! The longer you stay in deceitful conditions the harder it will be for you to leave. The first step to change is to admit that you have a problem. You must take ownership and stop blaming
others and trying to figure them out. Getting into dysfunctional situations are
easy but you must learn the lesson and move forward. Do not do the dance of
dysfunction, decided that it is not worth it and boogie out the door! 
The two main things that dysfunctional people crave are attention and sympathy. They want people to feel bad for them and to blame others for what is happening. Make them take responsibility and ownership for their own actions. As a friend or family member the best thing that you can do is not to entertain the dance of
dysfunction, tell them that you are not going to enable bad behavior and change
the subject. Do not waste your precious time and energy worrying about problems
that you cannot change. Sometimes it is good to love from a distance and
eventually they will get the picture. In order for some people to change they
have to hit rock bottom and to be by themselves. Realize your limitations and
take a stand to end the tango of dysfunction. Empower yourself and remember, do
not do the dance!


By Keisha Stoute

Actions speak louder than words and when your decisions negatively influence your life, it’s time for a change! We all have experienced unfavorably outcomes and at the end of the day you must move
forward and be ready for bigger and better opportunities. Cleansing your life is not just a promise that you make for New Years but it should occur daily. In order to reach your full potential you must make positive, wiser and healthier choices. 

During this process you will encounter dead weight jokers, yo-yos and fast talkers who will interfere with your growth! By allowing them access in your
life; you are empowering them with control that they do not deserve. Remove the lens of distortion from your eyes and see your full potential! Despite the dark and lonely moments make peace and discover your inner beauty. Cleanse your life and change your world!

Life does not come wrapped up in a big red bow but their lessons and experiences are priceless.  You may experience hardship and pain but you will eventually come out on top. When disaster strikes, realize that better days are coming your way, jump start your journey and change your thinking! 
Cleansing your life starts with you. In order to make changes you must realize your worth, discover your passion and redefine your support system. Discovering your passion is not a quick fix process but a lifetime journey. Everyone must realize how valuable they are and what they bring to the table. Figuring out what makes you smile from ear to ear and what you like doing each and every day is the main objective. Empowering yourself with positive phrases, things and the right people is a necessity. Getting rid of negative garbage, unsupportive people and old acquaintances will allow you room for endless chances for success. Change your mind, elevate your dream!

Each day gives you an opportunity to make life what you desire. If you change your thinking, cleanse your life and elevate your dream, things will happen at the right time. In order to make things happen you must have a plan. Developing a plan for success is the key in making your dreams a reality.  In attaining your goals you must seek out healthier people who will assist along the way. If you find yourself
reverting back to old behaviors find the courage to say “no” and move forward.
Remember that this is a process not a quick fix. The power of change starts with
you, so make it happen! 



By Keisha Stoute

Getting a date is easy, but finding a
quality one is the challenge. The dating game has turned into a circus of award winning performances from crooks, thieves, liars and other cunning characters. In order to survive you must utilize two important factors; basic instincts and common sense. If you are not careful, you will be the monkey in the middle!

Men and women date individuals who constantly fall below their standard and often wonder why things do not work out. From time to time we all need a pep talk about our costly mistakes. In the beginning everyone smells like roses but the scent of a dating offender is obvious.

Dating offenders are individuals who play by their own set of distorted rules. There are two types of dating offenders, naive and sophisticated. Naive offenders are easy to fool and believe everything. Sophisticated offenders are manipulative and complicated in their trickery traps and swindling acts! Learn the errors that are affecting your game.

 Naive Dating Offenders… 

1. Believe that they are the only one. Sophisticated dating offenders are good at making you feel like you are the only person in their life. You must realize that
everyone is a free agent until negotiation talks have occurred and an agreement
has been made.

 2Calls that person a boyfriend or girlfriend after a few dates. People
get excited because things are going well and often accelerate the process by
labeling the relationship too soon. Take your time and determine if this person
is right for you.

 3Gets involved in a friend with benefit situation hoping for more.
Many are duped because they get involved with people who do not want a
relationship but enjoy the benefits! Gullible people settle for this type of
relationship hoping that things will change in the future. If someone wants to
be committed to you they will.

 4. Waits for someone to commit after long periods of time.
 Actions speak louder than words! It should not take anyone an extended period of time to determine if they want to commit to you. Stop wasting your time hoping and believing; it is not going to happen!

 Sophisticated Offenders…

 1. Tells a date that they are involved in a situation. When a male or female tells you this, run for the hills because they are trouble. Sophisticated dating offenders are usually looking for sympathy so that they can have the best of both worlds. Do not waste any time, keep things moving.

 2. Mentions that they have a really good platonic relationship with
an ex that they still see but nothing else.
If you are ready to move on you will officially close the doors of your past. Manipulators usually play this card to see what they can get away with and what you will tolerate. These individuals down play the content of their relationship with an ex because it is really the opposite of what they are telling you. Remember, if it important to mention, it is important to know.

 3Appears bitter or broken hearted from a previous relationship that did not work out. This is a big one! Men and women sing the song of gloom and doom from so called hurt feelings that have not been resolved. They are looking to be in control of the situation and will leave you high and dry in due time. Tricksters play this card often so they give you a bogus reason as to why the relationship will not work. Next!

 4. Ask for time to figure out where things are going.
Bologna! If someone wants to be with you, they will! Asking for time usually signals procrastination and trying to formulate excuses to get out of the situation. Honesty is the best policy.

 In the end every dating experience comes with valuable lessons. It is important to see what category you fall under in order to make improvements. If you are making the same mistakes repeatedly, take responsibility and change. End the circus acts of deceit and become a quality option with great possibilities!