Friday, July 29, 2011

Dating and Mating #6: Red Flags & Deal Breakers

The beginning of a relationship is full of flushed and positive emotions.  It is almost scary the wonder we can feel towards someone else.  Our new found #1 seems to have nothing that we don't like or won't put up with.  In the standard dating game these feelings eventually begin to subside and the reality of this new person becomes clearer. 

Red Flag - If in a month of steady dating your friends start to question some behaviors of your new #1 and you find yourself annoyed with them or begin to isolate yourself from them, you need to look inward as there may be an unhealthy reason you are willing to ignore negative tendencies.  This is especially true of individuals who connect with, and stay in, abusive relationships.

Everyone has positive and negative behaviors, even you.  You will NEVER find someone that does not, or will not, annoy you with what they do, think or how they act.  You will at some time annoy them too.  This is fact.  What becomes important is watching for Red Flag behaviors; can you live with them or will those Red Flags become a Deal Breaker.

Red Flags are those bothersome behaviors that you don't do or are not used to.  They are generally considered small annoyances but once in a committed relationship where the BIG differences of finances and child rearing must be addressed, it will be the small annoyances such as; toilet paper, over or under, toothpaste, squeeze or roll up, clothes hamper or corner of the room, shoe rack or in the hall.  These small things will be the straw that breaks the relationship-camel's back.

Deal Breakers are subjects that need to be addressed BEFORE you commit to a relationship.  Young relationships tend to avoid these hard topics because disagreement is likely and no one wants an argument.  You do yourself, as well as your potential partner, a disservice by not discussing issues most important to you.  Important topics such as; how many children, child rearing practices, who's career is primary, moving, religious views, commitments to aging parents.

Close friends and family members see your relationship from a different perspective.  Listen, and hear, what they are saying.  Try to see what they see.  A Red Flag may illuminate a Deal Breaker that can save both of you precious time and heartache.

If you are already in a committed relationship and having difficulty keep in mind selfishness is what causes and perpetuates many of these issues.  Forgiveness is the only sure way of finding lasting happiness. 

These books are a good investment for everybody.  Making Love Last and  Please Understand Me.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

It's Friday: Sip, Nibble, Enjoy

We've experienced some good coffee/food moments in our recent Friday Forums.  Green Mountain Coffee has both a Coconut and a Blueberry blend, each with a fine hint of flavor enjoyed by all. We've received another coffee suggestion: Berres Brothers Coffee out of Watertown WI. Their Highlander Grogg blend is on our list to try.

The new food products included Mini Reese's Cups, Hershey's Cookies and Creme Drops, Chocolate Marshmallow Bites, Blueberry Newtons, Wrigley's 5 Watermelon Gum and two different types of fiber bars. 

There wasn't any item that got rejected.  M. offered that the marshmallow bites didn't satisfy the chocolate craving although she came back later and rescinded that opinion.  In the middle of the afternoon those Marshmallow Bites really hit the spot.

On the 'new products' list I want to recommend the Norwex enviro-cleaning towel.  They have an environmental cleaning cloth and polishing cloth that is a Clean Queen's dream.  Using only the damp cleaning cloth, which has silver for anti-bacterial cleaning, it tackles hard water, grease and built up dirt.  The polishing cloth leaves a streak free shine that is exceptional. 

My fellow Clean Queen sister-in-law K. tried to tell me but honestly these are pricey for cleaning towels.  She finally put one in my hand and I was an immediate convert.  If you are a cleaner (you know who you are) spend the $30 for the basic package of cleaning + polishing towels and you won't be disappointed. 

What have you tried recently that is worth mentioning?

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Friday, July 15, 2011

Dating & Mating #5: Don't Be Sold on the Packaging

Dating and Mating was a series I began in 2009.  The first four continue to get hits plus my son is heading to college so this information seems timely, and prudent. 

To catch up:  #1 Research and Development, #2 Judging a Book by It's Cover, #3 Unequal Yolking Equals a Rough Journey, and #4 Keeping Relationships Alive.

Have you heard, or said, any of these statements?  "Just a pretty face.", "All hat and no cattle.", "They aren't that good looking but they're really nice.", "A plain Jane." "Nice lookin' but there's not much under the hood."  Have you later gotten to know someone better and thought they were more intelligent and often better looking?

Most often when single, people can be more concisous of their appearance (see #3) and generally attempt to put their best foot forward.  This is a good thing, it's just not the ONLY thing.

My son made the observation, now that school is out, that without a central gathering place it is more difficult to get to know someone.  School offers a consistent meeting place with classes and regular lunch dates.  The workplace serves the same purpose.  Here we see the same people everyday, get to know each other and subsequently form attachments.

I want to address relationship pitfalls especially prevelant among the young and unattached.  Many people leave high school anticipating, and hoping, to find their life partner during the "college" years.  Fresh out of high school there is the idea of no pressure, no hurry, attached to a willingness and desire to test drive.  Pretty packaging, of both sexes, takes precedence in the choosing. 

BE AWARE, many a regrettable experience began on good looks and little conversation.  Hormones and flushed feelings are allowed to drive us into situations that should have more consideration and communication.  Selfishness is generally to blame; so how do we stop a bad relationship from beginning?

Show some respect for yourself and for others.  Show some restraint.  Don't grab, buy, take or touch things because they look tasty, pretty or free.  You are the master of your fate, the captain of your soul.  Take care.

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Taste of Texas Brewing. It Must be Friday

A shout out to our friend R. over at W. for suggesting A Taste of Texas San Antonio blend coffee.  It is a house blend for H.E.B. from their Taste of Texas line.  We had a bit of a problem as H.E.B. has no location here, but we were not dismayed.  C. was in San Antonio for a convention and came home with the goods.  THUMBS UP all around for this festive grind.

The tasty treats were in abundance as N. baked up delicious muffins accompanied by summer fresh strawberries.  V. did not disappoint on the new product front. Cremesicle Oreos and Special K Crisps. The Special K Crisps were approved by everyone. The Oreos didn't seem to have much orange flavor, a big NO from M. but V. thought the taste might have been lost in the coffee and liked them much better later in the afternoon.

The Taste of Texas opens a whole new world of coffee for our Friday Forum.  Is there something you think we should try?

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Friday, July 1, 2011

Exercise Much?

Our pastor spoke recently from Matthew 14 concerning Peter and his cry for help on the water.  The point of his sermon was, as disciples of Christ our faith is always in place and times of distress are the opportunities we have to exercise it. 

This message hit close to home being in line with my 2011 words to live by: Be Not Afraid.  At the start of the new year I declared these to by my words for 2011.  In January the calendar already had three big events, not to mention the family shift of graduation and eventually starting college.

In the past six months, like most Christians, I have had to exercise my faith over and over.  In each instance I have sought God and claimed I would not be afraid of what I did not know or could not control.  Assessing these stressful situations from an internal point of view I believe I have managed most events in a calm and peaceful manner, experiencing much more enjoyment than anticipated through the pre-planning.

Spiritual maturity is often so incremental we don't notice until we have sufficient hindsight, much less expect notice from our general public.  Conscious exercise to "be not afraid" in situations that I would naturally mull and worry over has allowed me to reduce my worry and concerns and in some cases letting them go.  This is evidence my faith is deepening. 

Like all change, this doesn't happen without conscious discipline and exercise.   If you are an agent of the kingdom your faith is all ready with you.  The strength of that faith is yours to exercise daily with Bible study and prayer.  Join me in these exercises, do not be afraid.

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