Category Archives: Love

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Are We Ever Too Old To Find Great Love Again?

When we get to our seat on a plane, it can feel a lot like a game of Russian Roulette. We never know who our future seat mate might be. We can’t predict how soon those headphones will need to go on because we’ve ended up beside one of the most boringly verbose people on the planet.

Although those are the types of people I normally get, recently I had the pleasure of being seated next to the combination of two of my favourite things; a woman and an interesting conversation about love.

Allison was the woman’s name, and she began to tell me the story of how, at 92 years old, her mother decided to get married again.

Wait?!? What?!? At 92?! What’s the point? My curiosity couldn’t resist more inquiry…

Allison continued with the details her mother’s never-ending love story. Her mom had been widowed in her mid 60s, and remarried not long after. That marriage would run over twenty-five years, with her husband passing when she was in her late 80s. Then, once again, the path to wedded bliss would emerge at the tender age of 91, when she met her new, would-be husband.

When her family advised her that she should maybe wait to get married again out of respect to them, she sharply responded, “I hardly have enough time left to be concerned about other people’s feelings. I’m getting married, I might be dead in a couple of months.”

My new friend told me that when she spoke to her mom’s new beau, he told her,

”Your mother is the love of my golden years.”

Wow.

Now, a wedding story on its own may not make for very exciting news, but this one was special. Because it reminded me of something we often forget:

We are never too old to desire, create, and establish loving and thriving relationships.

It’s an odd belief system we’ve developed; that once we’ve gotten to a certain age we might as well just pack it in. We’ve made it this far, why stir the pot and ruffle everyone’s feathers, right?  A desire for more will stress out our families and our romantic partners if, all of a sudden, we want a thriving relationship. Date nights are things young people do and/or people whose relationships need work. We don’t need sex, it’ll probably just aggravate our old sports injury anyway, and an orgasm at this point might give us a heart attack.

Single people are suffering from a similar destructive belief system. With the majority of our population entering their 60s, there are many people who have given up on love because they feel they may be too old to deserve it now. Why start a relationship at the end our lives when we’re so close to the finish line?

positive psychology, relationship advice, dating advice, relationships, baby boomers, marriage, dating after sixtyLet’s do some math:

If the average person lives to the age of 79, then by 60 years old, we have 19 more years of life.

Nineteen years is a LONG time to just exist. Shouldn’t knowing that we only have 19 years left be a good reason to want to shake things up and create the life we want?

Are we ever too old to want dreams to come true?

Having healthy relationships has been linked to having longer and healthier lives. To further that, research has also shown that having sex and great emotional support systems can lower the amount of inflammation we have. People in bad relationships actually heal more slowly than people in great ones. Do you hear that?! Hostile relationships actually hurt us. Imagine the benefits a thriving and healthy relationship can do for our heads and hearts?!

Does this mean that we need to enter relationships to be happy? No. I’ve written about why being a happy single person is equally as good as being in a thriving relationship. Simply put, happy people have happy relationships. And because of that, relationships are a pretty good barometer of how we’re feeling inside.

So, how does one find love these days?

Before the advent of online dating, our ability to find and seek romantic partners was limited by geography and also the small number of people willing to challenge the social norms of dating and seek relationships past a certain age. With online dating, we have SO much more opportunity. We can have coffee with people all over the world via Facetime and Skype. We can find other people who want what we want by simply choosing it from the dropdown menu on the search engine. We can even decide that we just want to go out and have a roll in the hay.

I’m not saying we need to enter into a relationship to thrive. I’m saying that as a global community we need to encourage the exploration of our hearts, our sexuality, and continue to always grow and thrive as individuals and improve our ability to connect with others.

Maybe when we start to understand just how fleeting life is, we will begin to realize that we deserve love during any and all of our years.

Maybe, just maybe, we will see that our capacity and desire for love is not determined by our age, but by our willingness to choose it.

Our lives actually might depend on it.

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5 Questions People In Successful Relationships Ask Themselves

Determining what relationship success is to each and every one of us is tricky isn’t it? It’s a definition that is very personal and one that many people have lots of differing opinions on. Being “together” is just one marker of success. But there are many other dynamics that go into having a thriving and amazing relationship. 

One of the greatest influences on our relationship success is our ability to understand who we have shown up as in our past so we can look with clear and sober eyes at the choices we’re making today. Ultimately, everything we do in this moment is determining our future, so it would be important to choose appropriately, if in our future we see a loving and fulfilling relationship. 

Having thriving and fulfilling relationships is one of the greatest contributors to human happiness. Even though at some points in our lives it can feel like a far off dream, having a great relationship is an achievable goal for anyone

So, with that said, here are 5 questions that will help set us all up for relationship success:

1. Are we being our best selves? 

We’re usually just trying to keep our sh*t together aren’t we? Life is messy. Everyone around us is struggling with similar things, and even on the best days we don’t always have our heads on straight. All we can do is the best we can.

And that leads to an interesting question: Are we doing the best we can? When life hands us plot twists, are we still showing up? We must be mindful of what we’re choosing in our lives and how we want others to show up for us. If we want honesty, are we always honest? If we want integrity, what areas of our lives lack it? We want someone who has certain values, are we actually living those values?

The people who show up in our lives are generally a reflection of us. That’s why the saying, “If you want to find the one, be the one” makes so much sense, because we cannot ask for what we’re not willing to be. If we consistently live everyday making choices and having habits that keep us average, the by-product is that we will be creating a life and relationship that reflects just that. Let’s raise our game! It’s time to give our best so we can get the best.

2. Are we limiting or blocking  the  love we’re capable of? 

Do we have reasons we limit our vulnerability? Do we share our greatest fears with our partner? We all have pasts and experiences that can close our hearts. In order to be present and exist in a high functioning relationship, it’s important to do our own work. To ask ourselves, “Why do we do the things we do?”

With those answers and insights we can then change our unhealthy behaviours into ones that contribute to a loving relationship that allows us to be our authentic selves. Which leads to the next…

3. Are we able to be ourselves? 

Relationships are not where we go to pretend. They are not the place we should have to wear a mask and limit our dreams and play small.

I once asked a friend if his wife knew his biggest dreams? He said, “No, that would freak her out.” 

That freaked me out. How do we not share who we are at our core with the person that we’re wanting to share a life with? Why would we want to be with someone who doesn’t push us to achieve all of our wildest dreams? Someone who expects us to grow and learn ourselves and tap into our unlimited potential?

Our relationship is where we take off the mask and get to recharge.

If we’re constantly on our tippy toes and afraid to speak our truth, then our relationship will be where we spend more energy than we gain from it, because we’ll be using all of our energy on pretending to be someone we aren’t

4. Is our partner getting what they need? Check-in. All. The. Time. 

We don’t often check-in with our partners do we? We’re usually really scared of what we might hear. Ask each other if the relationship is working. Ask what could be better. Do not wait till there is a tsunami of emotion before we realize that we could’ve changed our behaviours and the direction of the relationship earlier.

Relationships usually end because they can’t handle the barrage of five years of problems coming out in one moment. If we adjust our sails as we go, moment by moment, we can ensure that the ship(our relationship) doesn’t get too far off-course. 

5. Are we  holding on to a relationship that we’ve outgrown? 

There’s a big difference between being in a relationship that we want to work through and one that we don’t. It’s important to ask ourselves if we’re in the relationship out of habit and routine? Have our paths and roles in each other’s lives come to a conclusion?

Sometimes our hearts just don’t want to be there anymore. And that’s ok.

We cannot run from the alarms and deep knowing as to what we need to do. Make being true to ourselves more important than anything else, including “staying together”. There is a beauty in honouring that, and by moving forward we create space for someone new to come into our lives who is more aligned with us. 

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It is often stated that relationships are “hard work”. If we believe that to be true then that can support us accepting and staying in relationship circumstances that are very far from ideal. A simple shift is;  

Relationships require effort. 

And, like it or not, that effort must come from both sides. We must be personally willing to live all of the things we expect from our partners. We must be willing to take a step back and an honest look at what kind of partner we’re being.

It requires a high level of vulnerability and the courage to say things like, “I’m just not that happy right now, how about you? What can we do to change that?” And equally just as much courage to tell them how much we love, value, and want them in our lives.

Often, what we fail to see, is all of the conversations that can potentially end our relationships, are the very ones that bring us closer together. It is through love and connections that we are invited to evolve and grow into our best selves. We just have to accept that invitation.

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The One Dating Conversation You’re Not Having That Could Make Or Break Your Future

When I was younger the setting of most of my teenage make-outs was far from ideal. I mean, there was a roof over my head, and food in the fridge, but in the basement of our family home, nestled in the back corner, was our “study”. The temperature of our basement was sometimes close to freezing, and I can remember mornings when I could see my breath. Hardly the ideal environment to try to get a girl’s clothes off.

But alas, I was a resilient young man. Temperature wasn’t going to stop me from studying the female body. I can remember a specific time when I was making out with a girl who I had been dating for a little over a month. We hadn’t had “The Talk” yet, but I could feel it perched on the ledge of her every breath. 

As my hand moved to the clasp of her bra, she grabbed my face and aggressively demanded my focus to her eyes. Raging with testosterone and trepidation for the imminent conversation that was about to happen, blood redirected itself to my brain to collect my thoughts as she sheepishly mumbled:

“What is going on between us?”

Well, that killed the mood. 

The man in me wondered, “Why couldn’t she have just waited another forty-five minutes (ten minutes is probably more realistic) to have this conversation?”

I had known that this conversation would come, and it would be the end of my relationship-free romance. It wasn’t that I was seeing other people, or that I didn’t enjoy her company. I did. I just didn’t want to be ‘in’ a relationship with her.

Let’s talk about the dating and relationship rules that we seem to have formulated when it comes to trying to navigate the booby-traps of new love.

She wanted to talk about ‘us’ for awhile. She likely chatted with her friends and they went through the formulaic algorithm that we seem to have created for the specific question we all seem to ponder:

“When is it ok to have the talk about what our relationship status is?”

Let me be very clear:

It is ok to have that conversation the moment you wonder (I’ll explain). 

I work with people all of the time who avoid this conversation because they’re afraid of what they might hear. They’re afraid that the response will be different than what they want to hear. They’re afraid that the person they’re dating might not want what they want, and that scares the crap out of them.

Think about what belief is REALLY going on here and what we’re giving meaning to:

Someone else not wanting what we want means that they don’t want us. 

AND 

We would rather avoid that conversation to avoid rejection, than get clear information on how to best make  informed decisions moving forward.

Look, I’m not here to sugarcoat or placate to the tenderness people want to hear. I’m going to tell you what’s up.

Let’s consider how this impacts our lives; we avoid conversations where we could get more clarity about someone’s intentions because we’re afraid their intentions (to be or not be in a relationship) may not match ours. 

That’s seems sort of ridiculous, doesn’t it?!

Let’s think of this scenario differently. 

Imagine that lately you’ve been feeling ill. For some time now, something in your body is just not feeling right. And, like most of us, you consider your options:

(a) Go to the doctor, find out what’s going on (and maybe that it’s nothing) and do something about it (or not), or

(b) Ignore it and allow it to grow into something that we can no longer treat. And potentially, you could die.

Your sickness becomes a colossal mess because, out of fear of hearing something might be wrong with you, you avoid the very information that would allow you to make proactive decisions and act. 

I know this sounds extreme — Because this is very serious.

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Here are 4 long-term and very serious consequences of avoiding “The Talk”:

1. You are building two roads to two different places:  Imagine that both you and your partner own a construction company, and that this company builds roads. When you consider what the company mission statement is, your belief is that you’re building roads that lead to wedded bliss.  And oddly, when probed, we find out that his/hers leads to orgasms, lack of commitment, and fleeting love that allows them to sample all the goods around. 

Wow. Quite a difference. So, if this goes undiscussed, we’ll have one company, building two different things. Doesn’t sound very smart, does it?

When this happens in the context of relationships, we’ll have hurt, anxiety, pain, and lots of time we can NEVER get back. All because we never talked about relationship mission statements. 

Don’t be fooled. Relationships require similar mission statements and intentions. Because, when not aligned, all of a sudden, maybe it’s three months or ten years down the road, you’re going to realize that you’re not building what you thought you were building. And you’re going to be really, really, really(really) angry. 

And the truth is, you should be frustrated with yourself, because all you had to do was ask. 

2. You are destroying your self-worth:  When we avoid speaking our truth and what we desire from a relationship, we step further and further away from our hearts. We are, indirectly, telling ourselves that what we want isn’t important. Our desires and beliefs don’t matter. What we need, doesn’t matter. We…don’t matter. And if we have kids, we’re teaching them the exact same thing. It is that big of a deal.

3. You are wasting valuable time:  Tick Tock goes the clock. Maybe right now you think it’s not a big deal – you’ve got time, right? What’s another couple weeks or months? Well, quickly, those months will turn into years. And you will be left in a desecrated pile of “I should haves” and, “Why didn’t I justs” as you pick up the pieces of your broken heart, one that you consciously chose to break by not having the conversations that matter. 

And if that doesn’t sound serious enough, consider how quickly our lives can change. One coffee shop lineup, one yoga class, one walk in the park. That’s all it takes to meet the person we’ve been seeking. But you’ll never be in that position to meet them if you don’t take control of your life and make conscious decisions about who you want in it. 

4. You are filling the gap:  Maybe there’s many reasons you’re avoiding the conversation. Maybe you like companionship? Great. Maybe you like getting laid and spooning to Netflix marathons? Who doesn’t?! Maybe this person is almost what you want but not quite it. What’s the harm? 

But they’re not that person. And the longer you hold onto them and fill the space of partnership in your life with mediocrity, you take away the space for your match to enter it.

Chew on that for awhile(but not too long, we’ve got love to find.)


Truth be told, there is no magic formula to dating. That’s why the book “He’s Just Not That Into You” doesn’t mean anything when we’re in the storm, because when emotion is involved it’s hard for us to be impartial. 

There are rules that are right sometimes, but if there is anything I’ve learned from dating, it’s this: 

When we are really into someone, none of the rules matter. All the books and courses we have taken mean nothing. We text and call as much as we want. We see each other as much as we want. We kiss when we want. We even bang when we want. And we say, “I love you” when we feel it. 

When we start worrying about all the algorithms and pathways we need to go down, we begin to step outside ourselves. We loose our authenticity and our honesty, because we are pretending to be someone we’re not. 

Let’s be our quirky, funny, weird, witty, sarcastic, awkward, and amazing selves. When we do that we give ourselves the freedom to just be. We’re not putting our energy into pretending, and that means we can put more energy into loving.

SPOILER ALERT: That girl and I broke up. And I never got to finish the make-out. Because I didn’t tell her what she wanted to hear. I told her the truth. The end. 

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Why Are You Single? Wait… Is that a bad thing?

We have this belief system that being single is bad.

It’s not.

Check out this video where I dispel some of the myths about how people in relationships are happier and healthier than people who are single.

If you like this video please Share it, Subscribe to my Youtube Channel, and give it a Thumbs Up on Youtube! 

References:

Stressful social relations and mortality: a prospective cohort study

Social Relationships and Health: A Flashpoint for Health Policy

Marriage and health: His and hers.

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Why The Promise Of Forever Can Mean The Death Of Your Relationship

It’s really interesting that we go from relationships of varying quality and length in our teens and twenties and then leap into a “serious” relationship or marriage and expect it to last forever.

Often, we haven’t learned from our past relationships or taken the time to ask ourselves how we contributed to those relationship outcomes. When a relationship ends, it’s easy to blame the other person but sometimes we neglect to explore what our role was.

How do we learn how to “be” in a relationship? Are we ever really ready for marriage and lifelong monogamy?

Most of our relationship knowledge and skills come from our parents and various other mentors.

This can be a good thing. But it can also be an extremely bad thing.

Our parents might have left a path of destruction and then we wonder why we have blocks to love. Seldom is it true that they loved perfectly and are models of monogamistic bliss. They are human after all.

By the time we finally “commit”, most of us have not actively sought out what makes relationships work.  We haven’t done an inventory of the behaviours we have and don’t have, that influence how we merge hearts and how to build and maintain love.

On top of that, we might never have learned how to pick great partners or to explore and honour what connection truly is.

Relationships don’t generally last a lifetime. I’m not trying to be a negative dick. This is a fact. One that we usually choose to ignore.

People get fired up over divorce and breakups. As a society, we frown upon the divorced. Their story reflects one of our greatest fears; that our relationships might one day end too.

And that fear makes sense. Breakups are hard and it’s easy to get caught up in the dream of soulmates and having one lover for our lifetime. We all want to believe that life and love is always puppy dogs and ice cream. (I love both).

It’s not. Love can be hard. Love can hurt. Love sometimes feels as though it fails us. And ironically, love is often one of our greatest sources of pain.

And if love wasn’t already hard enough, let’s throw in the fact that sometimes we make bad choices and end up down a path that is no longer where we want to be. After all, this is real life. Not a fairy tale or perfect love story.

In this real life, relationships don’t “fail” per se. We tend to outgrow them, or don’t have the skills necessary to navigate them. We often don’t know or understand how to grow together. And at times, we exist in relationships where we were never really invested in the first place.

Relationship longevity is only ONE marker of relationship success.

Certainly not the only one.

But it is BY FAR the one we place the most emphasis on.

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This is ridiculous. If “staying together” is our gauge of success, then almost everyone on this planet is/will be, or has been a failure at some point in their life. And all of us have this human relationship game all wrong.

The truth is that anyone can make the worst relationship last forever. Because “staying together” tells us nothing about the juice of the relationship. It’s not a marker of the quality of the relationship.

I believe we should define relationship success in a way that holds us accountable.

Are you doing the best you can? Are you being the best possible partner you know you’re capable of being? Are you making the choices and living in a way that you expect from your partner?

Yes? Amazing.

No? Why not?

Do you love who you are and bring that back to the relationship?

If not, why? What’s holding you back?

Instead of being driven and focused by needing the relationship to last forever, set it as an intention that guides your behaviour in each moment.

Relationship success is about living in the now and showing up each day. It’s about being the best possible version of you in each moment. And choosing your partner – moment by moment.

We can only take responsibility for our side of the relationship. It’s up to us to set the benchmark for the type of relationship we want. Those that can’t keep up, won’t. But instead of holding onto someone and dating their potential, let them go and find someone who’s ready and wants to love like you do.

By living and loving this way, we reframe what the end of a relationship means for us. We do everything we can and if a relationship ends, we let it go because we’ve done our best. We’ve given it our all. 

You are accountable to your potential. How you choose to live and love is up to you! Don’t wait until shit hits the fan to figure out how to be a great partner.

Choose to be amazing today.

Strive to be and do the best you can. Embrace the adventure. Accept and appreciate your learnings. And always move forward. Even if it’s just a small step.

When we live and love like this, moments add up into days, the days into years, and maybe even the years into your forever.

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How Do I Find The Types Of People I Would Like To Date?

This video is hot! Somebody call the cops! (Somebody did… there are sirens at the end…)

Sometimes finding a partner can be a frustrating process, can’t it?!

We go on date after date, head to party after party, and we’re just not meeting “the one” or the types of people we even want a second date with!

The challenge is that we’re usually expecting to meet the types of people we want in places that they seldom are. So, ask yourself, “Where does my ideal type of partner hang out? What do they do for fun?”

We often get scared that by missing a party we miss the chance to meet “the one”… and this can lead to the deadly epidemic of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).

But by choosing these parties or activities that aren’t necessarily always contributing to our greatest and healthiest selves, what are we foregoing? It turns out… maybe a lot!

We need to choose activities and events, not out of the fear of not meeting someone, but more so because that activity or event is a hell-yeah! And it’s contributing to the type of person we wish to be.

It’s in these moments where we choose ourselves that we meet other people who choose themselves too.

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Are There Enough Good Men For Good Women?

The other day I was speaking to my friend about the realities of dating and relationships today. It only takes a glimpse into the interactions on any relationship article or Instagram love quote, to see there are far more women reading and striving to improve their relationships than men.

This isn’t just true in the realm of social media. Women are the consumers of far more articles and books regarding bettering themselves in love. Whereas, we as men, are more open and willing to read a book on how to be a better leader, how to pick up women or manipulate our way through life. Many of these books, I’m reluctant to admit, have had a comfortable life on my shelf.

The line between work and home and how we behave is vague at best. As men, do we not see that the way we behave in romantic relationships and family systems is a form of leadership and teamwork too? That the way we are at home can translate to how we show up at work, and vice versa?

In addition, women are often a much more accurate barometer of the emotional state of relationships. Just think about the percentage of times a man says, “I want to talk about us” or “Things just seem off, I was hoping we could have a chat about how we’re doing.”

Male-initiated emotional conversations are few and far between. And this is even further supported by the mere fact that about two thirds of divorces are set in motion by women.

If we were to survey most established romantic relationships, it wouldn’t take long before we would see that men can exist in a relationship that is not necessarily amazing, but not bad either. Kind of like a “good enough to stay and not bad enough to leave” situation. I don’t mean all men, but most men. And when a woman finally leaves that’s when he says, “Wait!? I didn’t even realize things were bad! You never even tried!”

Oh yes. She did. And we were not listening, and maybe she was not saying it the right way. Or maybe no one taught us how to maintain a great relationship.

In order for men to thrive in relationships, good men need to teach good men.

However, with women there is a belief that they have an inherent ability to thrive in relationships and there is a pervasive arrogance to the messages regarding their emotional intelligence and capacity for love. One needs to only survey a couple of women before you’ll hear the commonly uttered phrase, “There are no good men out there.”

It’s a provocative thought isn’t it? Are there enough good men for good women? 

To move forward there is a need to define the idea of what makes a “good man” and what makes a “good woman”?

We could argue that a good man is one who shows integrity, honesty, the qualities of good fatherhood, supportiveness, empathy, and is kind in his words and offers fidelity. This is going to be defined a little differently by each person, but for sake of argument we can/will assume this is what makes men inherently “good”.

What defines a good woman? It’s likely very similar to what makes for a good man, except for the ever important caveat of women having different genitalia.

What makes a good women seems controversial to even discuss, doesn’t it? Because we usually just assume that on average women are the “good ones”, don’t we?

It sounds insulting to state “There are no good women out there” as it indicates that women on average are not good.

Then why is it ok to suggest that men are not good?

From what I have observed and read in the relationship world, I see that men are under the microscope when it comes to love and relationships, and women are told they are perfect at love, and that men need to step it up.

Have we truly invited men to be emotional?

Brené Brown’s research supports the idea that when a man breaks down and shares emotions with a woman, he loses her trust. His vulnerability reduces the safety his lady feels. This in turn, causes her to become angry and in some ways resent him for displaying a softer side of masculinity.

I thought we wanted emotional men? Is emotional equilibrium what we truly seek?

Based on the vast majority of literature and conversations I indulge in, the mass consensus appears to be that men should be to be able to talk about how they feel.

So what do women really want?

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It’s no wonder men feel confused about what role they need to play in relationships. There is a disconnect between what is asked of them and what they are empowered and rewarded for being.

Now, truth be told, it’s not like men everywhere are shedding tears, opening their hearts, and losing their woman because of emotional transparency. Men do not tend to share their emotions, they do not tell the women in their lives that they are upset or don’t feel loved.

Men are lost, because no one taught them what being a man means, or what they are taught is patriarchal and “old fashioned”.

Brene’s research demonstrates men being their vulnerable selves may actually result in disconnection with their partner, which is the opposite result of the intention of sharing. So on each man goes, pretending that men don’t have emotions and are not good at talking about feelings.

Because if he is sensitive he is a “pussy”, certainly not emotionally intelligent and aware of his emotional state.

We can safely say that all those things which traditionally defined the masculine model for the last couple of centuries have been displaced, and women often find themselves making the money and decisions.

We are quick to point out where men can step it up, but we do not think or discuss the idea of where women can step up their game, do we?

Women do so many things well. They show up emotionally and they create community. Women, are inherently good. They are beautifully kind, empathetic, nurturing and supportive. They build amazing social programs and have rallied to create a female empowerment movement that is unbelievably inspiring, and unbelievably needed.

There is still much oppression of the feminine, and every country and culture has a lot of work to do to have women treated with equality, and empowered and supported by all men.

That’s why I think this conversation is important, because in order for women to thrive, men need to as well.

I think that we are all here for connection and to share our hearts, but we cannot do it alone.

It begs me to ask: Are we forgetting about men, in the effort to save women? Have we forgotten about all the good men out there through our desire not to disturb the feminine?

Celebration of men and the male model is uncommon. We tend not to talk about all the amazing fathers, and unbelievably stand up men who we can call at any hour and would do anything for all the people in their lives.

Because there are a lot of them. 

I consider myself very fortunate to have grown up with, and really have only enjoyed the company of great men. Men of integrity and consistency in how they show up for the women and men in their lives. But, I do not think that it is rare, and it is not only my friends and athletic teammates who are like this.

Everywhere I travel I meet incredible men.

I can see and find good men, because they are who I look for. Just like all the women I know are incredible, intelligent, kind and have some of the brightest souls on the planet.

The truth is, we get what we focus on.

There are a lot of women who focus on their inability to find good men.

I hear “There are no good men out there” from women who have emotional wounds. Women who have chosen men and ignored red flags. Women who cheat and lie to themselves and others. Women who have their own work to do.

I’m not saying men don’t have work to do. We do. And women have work to do too. It’s a human problem, not a gender problem. We, as men, need to build from within first and create conscious communities where men can learn to support and develop together.

We need to teach each other, and even more importantly, we need to teach our sons how to become a good men and what that means. We need to be GREAT fathers.

We need to embrace and embody the emotional skills required of us to be amazing leaders in every facet of our lives. 

We need to show up for the women(and men) in our lives and demonstrate kindness and empathy. 

 We need to remember and celebrate all of the men who are changing the world. 

We need to create a space for men to thrive, and instead of trying to destroy each other, we need to build each other up. 

I commend all the good men who push for change and equality. Who don’t see gender, and instead see hearts; hearts that crave connection and love.

I am so proud to be a man and to share this planet with such amazing and wonderful men. 

To answer the question, “Are There Enough Good Men For Good Women?”: YES, I believe that there are more than enough good men out there.  And if this is true, it begs the next question:

Are there enough good women who can hold the space for good men? 

dating advice, relationship advice, love, positive psychology, couple,

5 Reasons Why You’ll Never Have The Relationship You Want

I get tired of hearing the same BS from people. Maybe it’s because on a lot of levels, I see so much of myself and how I used to see the world in other people’s reasons for love not succeeding. The complaints about how our relationships are just not working out as we had planned – they are words and feelings I’ve expressed.

Yet we’re not really doing anything to change the failures.

Much like you, I know how to play the intellectual game. I know how to see life as a victim and rationalize the excuses for why life hasn’t worked out exactly how I had envisioned. But once I became aware of my role in my choices, I could no longer accept how I was showing up to life.

I, like you, desperately crave connection. Connection is why we’re here.

Our social media is dedicated to this infatuation with love and we share quotes about all the things we dream of. Hell, I have a whole Instagram related to it.

And because of this reality, we can become obsessed with the dream. We see couples all around us laughing and having fun. And we think, “Why not me?! Why do they get a relationship and all I have had is a relationshit?!” (See what I did there?!)

We want love. We want the perfect fairytale, and we want it NOW.

Fact: Very few people’s lives actually reflect this desire.

And the irony is we are our own worst enemy. We get in our own way.

The beautiful thing about this reality is we can change it.

Here are 5 ways you’re holding yourself back from finding the love you want:

1. You Don’t Know What You Want. You talk about it. You have a pin board dedicated to it. Quotes fill your phone and you probably even have a tattoo on your ribs about love. But have you ever actually sat down and written out all of the things you want in a partner? Be specific. What is it about health and fitness? How do you want them to be able to communicate? What passions do you want to share? You need to set an intention and provide an invitation. That’s what you’re creating. Often when I ask this question, people will go off about what they don’t want. If that’s what you focus on, that’s exactly what you’ll get, which sets us up perfectly for numero dos.

2. You Don’t Have a Plan. But You Do Have Excuses. Amazing. You now know what you want, yet you don’t seem to be finding it. And you have all the reasons why this is true. You tell me that online dating is just not for you. That Tinder is just for hook-ups. That “it’s just too hard to meet people….” from your couch. Where do the people you want to meet hang out? Hang out there. Tired of not meeting people? Go out and meet some. It’s easy to meet people. They’re everywhere.

Everybody begins as strangers. Just start the conversation. We need to let go of the fear of rejection. If we refuse to put ourselves out there, do we not realize that we are just choosing to reject ourselves and the possibility of love?

By embracing rejection and talking to anybody and everybody, we open ourselves to the chance. And that is always better than no chance. That is the hope and beginning of the dream coming true. The key question is, are you hanging out in the right places or are you just addicted to the story of how nothing works out and that there are no good people out there, so you never have to change?

3. You Don’t Want What You Want Badly Enough. It’s no secret that it’s hard to maintain a commitment to the things we want. If it was easy, everyone would have six packs and chocolate would be a salad. The truth is that you talk about the things you want, but you’re not willing to make the changes in your life to get them. You know that list of things you want in a partner? Are you living that list? You say you want someone who does yoga, yet you go to the bar…and then miss yoga. You want someone who loves nutritious foods, but you always get fries on the side. Your life has to reflect your desires. Your life is a product of your choices. What are you choosing? This opens perfectly for number 4:

4. You Don’t Actually Want What You Say You Want. I love the people who talk about all the wonderful things that they wished filled their lives. They want honesty, commitment, integrity. Yet their life is filled with lies, they are always wearing a mask, they’re banging someone who’s in a relationship and they can’t leave a bar without a companion. I’m not telling you those things are bad (they are). I have chosen some of them in my past as well. The truth is that you have to live within the integrity of your words. You can scream from the rooftops about the love you desire, but would that love ever stop to talk to you with the current life you’re living? When what we say we want and what we’re doing don’t match up, our actions tell the real truth. What are you doing to get the love you want?

5. You Keep Saying Yes to Old Stories. It’s easy to get caught in our past. To keep being offered the temptations to slip back into the life we used to live that got us the partners we used to get. You need the strength and desire to say “No” to the things you don’t want and “Yes” to more of the things you do.

lonely_relationships_dating_advice

Here’s what it comes down to:

You have to be willing to open your eyes to the possibility that love can work out. That great relationships do exist. The moment we take control of our lives and our relationships, the sooner we start attracting into our lives people who believe in the same things. People whose lives are a reflection of their choices. And you become each other’s reflection. Love is the chemical reaction to the chemistry we put out there.

Yes, there’s serendipity. Yes, there’s chance. But circumstances don’t come out of nowhere. Accept that our present moment unravels perfectly as does our life if we put ourselves in the places we’re meant to be. Those random smiles on the street, that time you grabbed a coffee by yourself instead of staying home, the time you took yourself on a vacation. All those “times” can become “the time” when you meet someone else who’s taking the leap.

It’s easy to look around us at all the relationships that aren’t great. It’s easy to blame statistics for why things don’t work out or be angry at the world for all of the things we perceived have happened TO us. And I get that you’re scared. We all are. Recognize that we are all on the same boat. We’re all scared of love and pain.

In any and every area of our lives we get caught in the fear of things not working out. As my good friend Kyle Cease says, “We can always measure what we’re going to lose, but we can never measure what we’re going to gain.”

You can’t see the amazing relationship that is just around the corner! You can’t feel the love that is waiting for you or understand that your dreams CAN become a reality. You can’t see that someone else is out there who is just as scared to take the leap as you and they are waiting…

Do you realize how powerful you truly are? Do you see that you are the architect of everything in your life?

The moment we grab life by the balls and start happening to it instead of letting it happen to us is the moment everything changes. It’s the moment that you wake up. And you decide that this world has no choice but to give you the love you want. Once you get clear and truly commit to what you want, the rest will just happen…because you’ll choose it.

christmas, single, couple, relationship advice

6 Ways For Singles To Thrive During The Holiday Season

The holidays are easy for couples, aren’t they?

The most difficult decisions they’ll face are when to stop adding to the gift wish list and what to get for their partner. If the stress from that isn’t enough, there will also be the unrelenting struggle to determine which Christmas dinner to go to, on which day. How will they ever decide?! Turkey and stuffing more than once in 24 hours?! Leftovers? Gifts from two families? Noooooooooo!

Hopefully they’ll make it through.

For singles, the holiday season is a whole other story. Christmas movies are filled with romance, love, sex, Hugh Grant, plenty of laughter and never any love misses.

Yet we tend to miss love often during the holidays. It is a time of year that has a way of reminding us that we don’t have anyone. Over and over our heart will feel poked and prodded.

“Who’s your plus one for the company Christmas party?”

The friendship couples’ Christmas  parties become a celebration of being the fifth wheel. To make matters worse, we see couples flirting and wiping the extra whip cream off each other’s noses from their eggnog lattes. How cute. Not. (Haven’t said that since high school.)

So I propose a new type of holiday season. One where single people thrive and reinvent what it means to have enormous amounts of extra time and money.

What’s there to be sad about?

We’re not blowing our money on useless gifts and driving in snowstorms to see in-laws we don’t even like. No more having to endure the same mundane conversations that have us blaming tryptophan for nodding off. Let’s be honest. It’s them, not the turkey.

SO, here’s six ways to turn the holidays into a time for growth, self-love and to thrive in your aloneness or better yet, not get back together with your ex or install Tinder (again).

  1. Don’t Grow Up. It’s A Trap. When we were young we didn’t think about how lonely Christmas was. We were so caught up in the amazing things to look forward to. Sure we wanted the gifts, but in a child’s mind it’s about more than that. It’s about sharing, excitement, cuddling and watching Christmas cartoons, and waking up at 5am before Santa even thought about visiting. A kid’s heart offers a lot of insight into how to live before we learned to build walls around our hearts. Go Kids Table!
  2. Get yourself the gift that keeps on giving. Constantly we search for love when we don’t have it within ourselves. It’s true that once we’re happy alone then we’re able to fully show up in relationships. Christmas is the chance to do just that. Gift yourself the gift of development. Sign up for a course, dance class, learn to build a website, start a blog. Whatever has been on your list forever, do it! It’s time to start achieving and doing things that you put off in your relationship. The time is now.
  3. Have sleepovers. Remember when you were younger and looked forward to sleepovers, movies, and late night talks with your best friends? Now do the exact same thing, except add rum, eggnog, the movie, Elf, and a plan to brunch in the AM. We forget how much these experiences fill our soul. The only difference between then and now is that we’ve found that a nice red wine greatly helps to fill it too.
  4. Holidays are for Family. We often forget what it means to cherish our siblings. We forget what it’s like to laugh and build forts. We forget what it’s like to truly connect with family. We can take the people in our lives for granted and not let them know just how important they are. Being single offers us the opportunity to focus on family. Take your mom and dad on a date; have courageous conversations about fears and dreams and wins from 2014.  (If family isn’t available then see #3.)
  5. Date your friends. What a beautiful thing it is to have close friendships. Research shows that people who have close friendships are just as happy as people in great relationships. Bet you didn’t see that coming?! Take your friends out on a date. Our love doesn’t have to be limited to romantic love. Rekindle a friendship with someone that is important to you. Find love in ways you never though you could.
  6. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Go tobogganing, play shinny hockey, learn to ski, make naked snow angels, brew some hot chocolate and drive around and look at Christmas lights, ask that guy/girl out for a peppermint mocha. Find something that scares you and take the leap. The world has a beautiful way of catching us when we’re filling our souls and following our dreams. On the other side of fear is freedom.

When we look at being single as an opportunity to grow and nurture ourselves it opens our eyes to a world we never thought existed. A world where being single is a gift. How we use each day is a choice. I can readily admit that the holidays can be tough when we’re single, we can either take that energy and use it as a reason to stay the same, or we can see it as a gift of motivation. Motivation to want more. To believe in yourself again, to pursue your dreams and passions and see all of the other amazing facets of your life that you can flourish in. Romantic relationships are just one part. It’s when you start to see all the amazingness you already have in your life that you can forget about what you don’t have, and just focus on enjoying.

Rediscover what it means to love yourself, so you don’t need the love of others. You choose it. Be merry.

 

relationship advice, dating advice, mark groves, love, vulnerability

How To Love With Abandon And Get The Relationship You Want

As a society we make assumptions that women are complex beings and that men are straight forward and simple. No manual needed for us right? Then why, if I may ask, is it called a MANual? Hmmm…

(Yes – I’m hilarious, I know.)

Truth be told, all humans generally seek the same things; to feel loved, safe and understood.

Despite this, our fears can rule our lives and have us making decisions that keep us repeating the same mistakes, choosing the wrong partners, having relationships that don’t last and ultimately never fully opening our hearts.

Our fears of love often manifest from the same culprits; a fear of rejection, shame, and loss of connection.

These fears show up when we get scared of putting ourselves out there or if we take on the responsibility of having someone else’s heart in our hands. I personally know these fears all too well.

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.”

~ John Lennon

I want passion, excitement and acceptance! Don’t you?!? Seems simple, doesn’t it?

If we all seek love, then why do we allow our fears to rule our lives rather than the expansive amazingness of love and desire?

And how do we leap into love?

This isn’t about dropping “L” bombs(“I love you”) on the first date or telling someone you’re falling for them right after you swiped right on Tinder. Get it together, you overzealous psycho.

It is simply about taking the first step.

Whatever that step is, you’ll know.

And by taking the first step you invite the other to do the same.

What you are indirectly saying is, “I feel safe, here’s how much. Take my hand and leap with me.”

This lays the groundwork for a relationship based on vulnerability and unfiltered communication. You’ve probably heard about this before, right?! I feel like it’s the  “Unicorn” from the Hot Crazy Matrix. It’s so rare, and what we all say we want, but rarely do we actually practice in our own lives.

What happens if they don’t reciprocate?!? What if they don’t love me back?!?

When you share how you feel, you discover the truth. Finding out where you fit with someone allows you to make decisions that are in the best interest of you and your heart. If they don’t love you back, or they are just not ready, or cannot reciprocate, you then have information you can act on. Vital Information that allows you to move forward in a direction that serves you finding not just any partner, but the RIGHT partner.

Your job is to never convince someone to stay, show up, or be the kind of partner you are capable of being.

Your job is to be the best version of yourself and then invite others to join you.

By doing that you make space for only high performers to show up. People who are flaky or incapable of loving at your level are not of interest to you anymore and as a result you won’t have anyone to fix. Move on.

Put your energy into finding and investing in love that serves your greatest self.

You are in charge of creating the environment that you want to love in.

If you want vulnerability, love, connection, and all that jazz, then you need to put in the work that goes along with what you profess.

Sure, it’s true that if you never love you will never be hurt.

That sounds nice and safe doesn’t it?

It also sounds like the most boring and predictable life ever. You only live once, and you sure as hell don’t want to get to your death bed and think back on all those times you never put yourself out there.

You get this one shot. Each moment of every day could be your last.

So, go home, light some candles, put on some slow jams (or hey – some super dirty rap music, whatever works), and tell your partner how you feel. I bet you‘ll score some booty too.

Win. Win. Win.