Monthly Archives: May 2014

Advice for the Lovelorn

A good friend and I were recently discussing her college-aged daughter’s first experience with an on-and-off again relationship where the guy was also pressuring her about sex. Our conversation made me think about the advice I will give my own daughter once she is older and becomes more embroiled in romantic relationships.22071164_s

As someone who learned a lot about love from making bad decisions, I’d love to spare others those hard lessons by sharing the wisdom I’ve acquired throughout the years:

DON’T make excuses for him.  If he’s letting you down and/or unable to commit for any reason, it’s because he doesn’t care enough.  It doesn’t mean he doesn’t care at all, but you should only give you heart to someone who is equally interested (otherwise you risk continual heartache and increasing insecurity during the relationship).

DON’T think you can change his feelings.  Just as some boy who’s pining away for you can’t make you like him more because of how much he likes you or tries to please you, you can’t make someone like you more.  If you’ve dated a while, the feeling is there or it’s not.  It’s better to walk away than settle for less than you deserve. If he misses you, he’ll come looking, and if that happens, make him earn your trust back.

DO think about the advice you’d give a friend if she were in your shoes.  When your heart is engaged, you cannot be objective.  Period.  Even when you think you are and can, it is impossible.  But if you consider how you would view your relationship dynamic if it was your BFF’s and she was asking your advice, it will help you keep a better perspective, and keep you from making poor choices and being taken advantage of or taken for granted.

Protect yourself.  This applies to your emotional and physical well-being.  When you become vulnerable to someone, they have the power to hurt your heart.  When you give yourself physically, you up the stakes (even when you think you are having fun and can handle it).  Rejection after sex and emotional vulnerability is difficult for everyone to handle, and if it happens more than once, it will slowly eat away at your self-esteem.  Remember, most relationships ultimately fail, so make sure when you decide to give your heart and soul and body, you and he both think it is something special.  That way, even if it ends, you won’t feel remorse.

And it almost goes without saying: condoms are critical in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. I’ve heard too many stories of people in committed relationships who’ve been burned when their partner cheats and they end up paying the price with a lifelong disease.

Be Patient. Remember you are beautiful and talented and kind, and there will be someone who recognizes and adores your uniqueness.  Don’t get hung up on the toads along the way.  Life is too short and youth is fleeting.  Pursue your own dreams with passion, and the rest will follow.

Upon reflection, I think this advice is applicable to friendships as well. So tell me, do you agree with my advice? Have anything else to share with others?


Photo credit:  Copyright: <a href=’’>nyul / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

The Afterglow

No, it’s not what you’re thinking. Today’s musings about love are not restricted to romantic/sexual love I write about in my books or discuss on this

Today I’m writing of my post-Mother’s Day thoughts.

I admit to a bit of a love-hate relationship with what I’ve commonly called the “Hallmark Holidays.” On one hand, I appreciate certain days being set aside to specifically remind us to be grateful for the people who enrich our lives. On the other, it’s a little sad that we need to be reminded in the first place. More importantly, why is it so hard to be grateful every day?

I’m better with some people than others. My own mother and I are very close and talk daily despite living in different states. But I only speak with my father twice per week…and he is older and suffering with a chronic illness. Logic would dictate I’d give more of my attention to the older, sicker parent, right? So what gives?

I could easily blame the lopsidedness on things like the fact that my mom is easier to talk to about all manner of nonsense, or that she and I are closer because, after my parents’ divorce, I spent much more time with her than him, or that he and I have a more tenuous relationship based on things done and said throughout the decades. All of these excuses are true, and yet the cold hard truth is simply that I do not make the effort. It is not part of my routine. And when he is gone, I will probably feel some measure of guilt about what I didn’t do…the time I didn’t take.

Then I look at my own kids and wonder, what will it be like when I’m in my seventies? Will I be very present in their lives, or a passing thought or obligation on their own long to-do list? Will the mistakes I’ve made as a mother become the justification of their own laziness about keeping in touch? Is there something I could do now to ensure a better outcome?

I don’t know the answers, but I also doubt a sparkly card from Hallmark means a hill of beans when all is said and done. I’d prefer little day-to-day “thinking of you” deeds to an annual bouquet of flowers that withers and dies too soon, and I suspect most of the people I love feel that way too.

So, in the words of James Taylor, I’m thinking I need to find better ways to “shower the people [I] love with love”…how about you?