What they don’t tell you about online dating: the mathematics of love.

It is estimated that 1 in 4 relationships start online and predicted that 70% will use online dating services in the future. The current reality of online dating:

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Approaching dating as though it is testing out what I call, your happiness hypothesis, your own personalized algorithm that can help minimize some of your own expectations. Create an equation (just like the dating sites) that includes the elements that you absolutely require (fixed variable) and the elements that you think you want (random variable). Focus just on characteristics, qualities and life desires. For example: a friend of mine has the following requirements of the men she dates: ivy educated, graduate degree, professional, shared religion, family-oriented, certain age range, & certain height requirements. Physical appearance, sense of humor, adventurous, and work-life balance are not priorities for her. Identify the elements that you think you must have and those that you’d like to have.  You might find that dating based on a system testing out your happiness hypothesis, will help you figure out what is a better fit for yourself.

 

How to stop being single!

Fall is near which means summer flings are over and fair weather friends are gone. Now, it’s time to focus on what you want in a relationship. Here are a few tips if you looking for a lasting relationship.

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Be open.
Begin letting off the ” I am happy with who I am; I am just looking for someone to make me even happier”. Instead of that desperate “I’m looking for anyone because I hate being alone”. Desperate is not sexy; confidence is.

Go with your gut.
If you feel something is off, it IS! If you think she’s “crazy” or he’s commitment phobic, chances are they are not ready to be in a relationship. A relationship is NOT a test of the strength of your intuition. Trust that it needs no confirmation. There is someone out there for you. Don’t delay your happiness by months/years/an extra day confirming your gut feeling.

Don’t use people as a financial plan for yourself.
Look for people that complement who you are and who you are becoming. Like life, money has it’s own cycle and it’s own ebb & flow. The larger price to pay is your sense of happiness, regret and resentment.

Get out there.
Subscribe to online dating services, go out to parties, go out to events, go on groupers. Do something. Don’t sit back complaining about all the things you don’t want to do and wonder why you’re still single.

Treat dating like it’s a social experiment.
It really IS. Treat dating like you are collecting data on what you want and don’t want. See what combinations of qualities and characteristics better complement you. Don’t treat dating like it’s a job interview or when in public treat it like you are online (approaching everyone to see what sticks). If you don’t like the social experiment concept, treat it like it’s a sport.

Start off your New Year with a bang!

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As I reflect on the year, I realize more and more that life isn’t always about getting what you deserve. It’s about us all being on different trajectories. The reality is that everyone has the same opportunities at being happy. It’s about the choices we make and understanding how it shaped our experiences. The better we are at understanding why we chose what we did, the closer we get to actualizing our goals.

The things that we experience are temporary. It changes as our perception of the experience changes. Everything has its own unique trajectory. Imagine a ball in flight. The speed and direction in which it travels is dependent on the amount of force exerted onto the ball, the angle of your wrist, your strength for it to travel. The same principle can be applied to our everyday lives. Each person’s trajectory possesses its own unique set of qualities that is directed by each decision we make. What it yields is dependent on the decisions we make around the goal we want to achieve. The better we understand our experiences, we get a better sense of what we need and then we are better aligned to encounter the right set of circumstances and people.

This year, in addition to your New Year’s resolution, write a letter to your 2012 self itemizing the things that you gained, how you grew, and what you’re appreciative of. Whether you: grew from the ordeal of a break-up, divorce, found the love of your life, found a job, got laid-off, gained more customers or started your own business. Think about each thing that you would like to continue and things that you would like to grow from. Everything we go through brings us closer to what we need to actualize our dreams or brings about our happiness. If your goal is to be a better partner in your relationship (your trajectory), think about how your communication style may have improved in the last year or conversely how it can be improved in the coming year (your decision making process). Whatever the situation is, think about what led you to that moment and what you intended on happening. If it is what you intended, apply that formula to other situations. If it wasn’t, revise the process by being more congruent with what you want to achieve. Sometimes when we see it written, we are better able to see some of the incongruence very clearly. When I have reflected on my past experiences, I realized that the qualities and circumstances that I was seeking was the opposite of what I was experiencing. Hope this helps you have the best year yet!

Have a happy, healthy & prosperous New Year!

How the sexes handle hurt

In our quest for happiness and ultimate life satisfaction, we encounter struggles that we try to figure out. Clark Kent & I decided to collaborate to answer some of the questions that men and women struggle with one another. We wanted to demystify the age old question about not understanding the other sex. We started with some of the stereotypical questions of what we think our genders do wrong when listening and communicating with the other sex. Clark’s answers have the male symbol (♂), mine have the female symbol (♀).

 Perception: What are some of the differences between men and women in handling hurt?

 ♂ Every man or woman experiences things that alter what perception of illusion that is what is felt within. The more pain experienced the greater the capacity for love to take its place. When a man is hurt or is hurting another it is because of the choices he can’t see! I had to break someone’s heart who meant alot to me, when she learned everything I had done, and did to myself I then tried to make it work with her. But what I had to learn from this was that the more I came true inside myself the more I was able to see this very pain in others. I could see her pain and I was forcing her to see it without her permission to obtain it. This was not what I wanted for her I wanted her to be happy.

You have to take what shattered pieces of you that you have and remove those life situations to live your life more fully. All pain has to be embraced, all flaws accepted, all regrets uncovered, all of it.  It doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t happen in your thoughts it happens outside of them.  If you are with someone, male or female, it does take you to remove all forms of judgement, lies, etc. to be able to hear another!  You can run from those that you feel are dangerous or you can stand your ground long enough to allow them to see themselves through your eyes.  It takes this if you want to be in love, it takes this if you want to understand another, it takes this to heal inside yourself what you wish to heal in others.  Love has no end of depth it only has the surface that you can see with your eyes and then sink to realize you will always float and be able to breathe more than you ever had.  In general we continue to seek answers in others rather than seeking them inside ourselves. You will need to listen deeper to accept all things inside yourself before you will hear it in others!

♀ What blunts a women’s ability to see things for what they are is that we are seeing things that affirm what we want. Only after time passes, do we start seeing things for what they are. Generally, it is after a painful experience do we see the full extent of the distortion. We want to believe that what we are creating in the relationship is for the betterment of the person and ultimately the relationship. We don’t want to believe that what we created in the world could be distorted, diseased, or dysfunctional. It would mean accepting a definition of ourselves that is contrary to what we know of ourselves and what social and biological realities we face.

Communication style: Why can’t my he/she communicate with me so we can make this relationship work?

♂ A man will still pick up the communication habits of the father or mother or variables of both. It isn’t that he doesn’t love you unconditionally, but the place of love he experiences through sight keep him from hearing himself. If you never are able to communicate what your truths are, then you will play a role as you were taught or are willing to learn from your partner. This is how it has been and how it will remain until this core of thinking can be eliminated in either one. It is not something you have to repeat, it is not something you have to make as a choice to live your existence under this.

All those broken pieces that were me I had to pull together to create something out of it. I had to take the corpse I was and put something beautiful together out of it. I didn’t know where to start and I didn’t know where I would end up. I met someone who watched me go through this, something in her love in a friendship that was placed allowed me to be as honest with her as I hadn’t been with myself but in essence it allowed me to be honest with myself beyond anything I ever knew possible. You can change the vibrational love within you by this very acceptance of knowing something deeper is before you!

♀ The lack of self-awareness is gender neutral. From your insights, it seems that men learn a communication pattern from their environment and model that behavior that he was exposed to within that environment. Where, women adapt their communication styles based on situational experiences. Women learn earlier on that expressing ourselves releases some of the emotions that can create negative and maladaptive thinking if it’s unexpressed. As we go through relationships, we have expressed some of the painful emotions and cultivated a support base to keep us from repeating some of the pain we wanted to avoid. The difference is that we have outlets to express emotion and can synthesize the negative emotion and at least not repeat those same emotional triggers in the next relationship.

Often times, though, we keep trying to tell men what we want them to be, what to do, & how we want things; instead of just listening. If we just listened to men, we would let them get out their raw, pent-up emotion and let their truth emerge. In their truth emerging we might see our truth. If that isn’t aligned, we can begin searching for the person who is designed for us. In many relationships, I have failed to listen to what they were saying and I realized way down the line that it was an illusion that I assisted in creating. Their lies became my lies.

You are not meant to suffer silently.

Since its Father’s Day on Sunday, I have been getting a lot of letters on deep seated pain about daddy issues, parent absenteeism, abandonment, and parent-child reconciliation. I don’t want to minimize the role our parents play in who we become in our adult relationships. There are many reasons why it is that we pick the wrong types. I’d like to give you the easy answer, but the truth is there isn’t just one factor.

The reality is that your parents can’t be blamed for your past failed relationships. You decided to select who you dated. I’m not here to tell you that they didn’t contribute to the choices in who you selected, why you selected them and/or why you tolerated things you may not have normally tolerated. Your parents provided you with the basics: life. That’s the only thing they owe you. The rest is entirely up to your own design. They provided the context for how you function. You take that blueprint and create your life schematics. The best thing you can do is go through life recognizing why you made the decisions that you did. If it was due to an absent parent, address it with that parent or parents. They also have reasons for their decisions. You have tried to reason out the rationale for their decisions for years and, in the final analysis, that is hardly ever their reasons. The reasons that exist in your mind are reasons you created to cope with your pain, hurt, the incomprehensible or the unfathomable. They tried to deal with their decisions the best way they could. Listen to their rationale. More than likely it was never intended to hurt you or not show you love. All of our decisions are based on selfish reasons (meaning they are benefiting some aspect of what we are and think we need/want). Try to avoid thinking that they owe you more than what is realistic. That may further imprison you or arrest your growth. Once you have identified the aspects that caused you to make the decisions you made, then you are able to move forward and understand the painful experiences you have had. We all have things that cause us pain that keep leading us to reproduce pain. That’s the irony. Sometimes it is conscious, other times its subconscious.

Today begin a different practice. Start by recognizing your parents’ limitations. They didn’t intend for you to be brought into this world to suffer. They may have been in their own personal version of torture. Any human life brought into this world is a gift because it’s something the world needed. You are not here to suffer silently. Sometimes we love in search of ourselves, to fill a void, to feel again, to feel needed, simply to have companionship, etc. In every case, ask yourself what this relationship really represents in your life and to you.

What are some of the things you can do to help reconcile some of the causes of your pain?

 Step 1. Gratitude list

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Make a list of all of the qualities you admire about your parent(s). The one (or both) that affected you the most. It could be that they provided you with a home, clothes, food, toys, your education, etc. Anything that made your life comfortable.

Step 2. Defining moment

Once you’ve completed that list, I want you to go back and think of a moment in time that you were grateful that they were there. It could be taking you to your little league practice, that they pushed you to excel in school, that they both where in the delivery room, they took you to get your driver’s license or your first car, the day you had your own child and gained a better understanding of the choices a parent makes, etc. Anything that contributed to you at the time or to who you are now.

Step 3.  Reflection

How does it make you feel? That feeling is what you should feel when you are in a healthy relationship.

Happy Father’s Day and thank you mom & pop!