MARRIAGE IS A DANCE
“Love is a constant process of tuning in, connecting, missing and misreading cues, disconnecting, repairing, and finding deeper connection. It is a dance of meeting and parting and finding each other again. Minute to minute and day to day.”
– Dr. Sue Johnson
My first exposure to “couples dancing” was through a semester-long ballroom dance class in college. My now husband and I eagerly absorbed the sampler of foxtrot, waltz, tango, swing, and salsa, and we aced our final recital with flying colors.
We learned some basic rhythms and a few fancy moves. It was just enough to impress a few friends, and keep us on the dance floor till the very end of the night at weddings (including our own), parties, and “swing nights” at the dude ranch where we worked for a summer.
MOVING BEYOND MISTAKES IN MARRIAGE
I recently saw a video of a couple gracefully dancing on the streets of Israel, moving in and out of crowds, encapsulated by one another and their dance.
This couple moved with immense strength, agility, and elegance. Every step, spin, and lift was a piece of fine art. Their flawless performance left me mesmerized, inspired, and eager to return to the dance classes my husband and I had begun taking at Flow Studios in Seattle.
During our second lesson, my inspiration quickly turned into frustration as my partner and I began tripping over each other’s feet, colliding with one another, and growing steadily disheartened.
4 QUALITIES OF A KEEPER: HOW TO RECOGNIZE A GOOD GUY
When it comes to marriage, don’t settle. Read on for the non-negotiable traits in your future husband.
I have a dear friend who was once vivacious and cheerful. As a teenage girl, she had a promising future. She was beautiful, warm, smart and talented. She dated a lot and was widely admired. She had “the pick of the litter” as far as guys went. In college, she met a charismatic guy who made her laugh. He swept her off her feet and they married.
Soon enough, she found out that Prince Charming was really a sociopath. She stayed with him for the sake of her children and suffered in an unhappy, abusive marriage for many years before leaving.
8 THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN EVERYTHING GOES WRONG
“The best way out is always through.”
“Today, I’m sitting in my hospital bed waiting to have both my breasts removed. But in a strange way I feel like the lucky one. Up until now I have had no health problems. I’m a 69-year-old woman in the last room at the end of the hall before the pediatric division of the hospital begins. Over the past few hours I have watched dozens of cancer patients being wheeled by in wheelchairs and rolling beds. None of these patients could be a day older than 17.”
That’s an entry from my grandmother’s journal, dated 9/16/1977. I photocopied it and pinned it to my bulletin board about a decade ago. It’s still there today, and it continues to remind me that there is always, always, always something to be thankful for. And that no matter how good or bad I have it, I must wake up each day thankful for my life, because someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.
Truth be told, happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them. Imagine all the wondrous things your mind might embrace if it weren’t wrapped so tightly around your struggles. Always look at what you have, instead of what you have lost. Because it’s not what the world takes away from you that counts; it’s what you do with what you have left.
10 HARD THINGS TO START DOING FOR YOURSELF
In 1911, two explorers, Amundsen and Scott, embarked on a race against each other to become the first known human being to set foot upon the southernmost point of Earth. It was the age of Antarctic exploration, as the South Pole represented one of the last uncharted areas in the world. Amundsen wished to plant the Norwegian flag there on behalf of his country, while Scott hoped to stake his claim for England.
The journey there and back from their base camps was about 1,400 miles, which is roughly equivalent to a round-trip hike from New York City to Chicago. Both men would be traveling the same exact distance on foot through extremely cold and harsh weather conditions. And both men were equally equipped with experience, supplies, and a supporting team of fellow explorers. But what wasn’t certain is how each of them would approach the inevitable challenges they faced on the road ahead.
As it turned out, Amundsen and Scott took entirely different approaches to the very same challenges.
THE STRANGE REASON BREAKING UP SUCKS
A man will cut your knee cap off and feed it to sharks, but he’ll leave you intact as a human being. He won’t affect who you are. Women. Women are not-so-violent. So they won’t cut you, but they will shit inside of inside your heart, leave it there and then go paint their toenails.
They’ll paint them red, of course. Of all colors, F’ing red.
The color of your broken heart.
There always comes that awkward time when someone doesn’t love you as much as you love them. It’s like being left out of the foursquare box in elementary school. Here’s a picture, because you probably forgot what the game was after the Foursquare App came out:
REPAIRS DURING CONFLICT ARE A SUPERPOWER OF EMOTIONALLY CONNECTED COUPLE
When you think about it, every couple in every relationship is set up for failure. It is impossible to be emotionally available to your partner 100 percent of the time. In fact, you will miss most of your partner’s bids for emotional connection out of mindlessness.
But failure is not the problem. Even a mother who failed to be responsive and available 50 percent of the time can raise a child to be a healthy adult who has healthy relationships. According to psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott, the difference between “good mothers and bad mothers is not the omission of errors but what they do with them.” How a child copes with everyday failures and fluctuations is directly related to the degree in which their parent creates an environment for a secure attachment bond and how that parent repairs their errors.
This is no different in our romantic relationships. The difference between happy couples and unhappy couples is not that happy couples don’t make mistakes. We all do. How couples handle conflict resolution is what separates the relationship Masters from the Disasters.
IF YOU HAVE THESE 7 THINGS IN COMMON, YOU’VE FOUND YOUR SOUL MATE
Do you have these 7 things in common?
When I tell people I believe in soul mates, they balk.
But hear me out.
See, I don’t believe in that MFEO (made for each other), you-are-my-one-and-only-other-half, Cinderella-seeing-Prince-Charming-at-the-Ball kind of soul mates. But I do believe that some people speak to our souls more than others.
I see this with friends even. There are a lot of fantastic people that I love and I’m friends with, but there are only a few that I connect with on a deeper level, that see me truly, because they compliment me in some way or another, my “soul friends.”
10 SIGNS YOU REALLY DON’T WANT TO SPEND THE REST OF YOUR LIFE WITH HER
You’ve heard that all you need is love. Well, it takes a little more than that to spend the rest of your life with someone.
One of the Beatles’ most popular songs says that all you need is love. So when you find a woman you’re absolutely lovestruck by, you think you want to marry her. After all, love is all it takes in a relationship to be happy…isn’t it?
Well, despite how popular the song is, love isn’t actually all you need. And if you’re going to spend the rest of your life with her, you actually need a whole lot more. So, as you’re deciding whether you want to spend the rest of your life with her, here are 10 things to look for that will tell you that you don’t.
10 GUYS YOU SHOULD NEVER MARRY
Nobody’s perfect. But some men you should just avoid entirely.
Every little girl looks forward to her wedding day. They can’t wait to meet the Prince Charming who will sweep them off their feet. But, as you grow older, you realize that nobody’s perfect. Your dreams of marrying Prince Charming become dashed away as quickly as the movie ended. So instead of looking for Mr. Perfect, you look for the one who is perfect for you.
As you look for Mr. Right, you try to look past some of bad traits so you can see all the good ones. This is good. It shows that you’re not shallow. But, despite how shallow it might seem, there are some guys you should just leave in the dating pool. Here are 10: