Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Getting Your Needs Met Without All The Drama!


If there’s one thing I love about my significant other is that he makes me smile even when I don’t feel like it.  There are days when I look at him and the whole world stands still.  But then there are days when I just want to bury my head in the sand from arguing with him.  Have you been there?  If you haven’t, you probably will at some point in your relationship.  It certainly doesn’t have to be like that if you learn how to argue or challenge each other in a positive and nurturing way.

Well, I’ve been focused for quite some time on finding ways that couples can fight in an effective and non-threatening way and still get their needs met.  Now this can be quite a contradiction.  Especially, since men and women can be so different in the way they express themselves.  The more I work with women, the more I realize how much they need to express themselves in a relationship whether good or bad.  The need to get their thoughts and feelings off their chest are paramount.  Men, on the other hand, don’t share this same need.  As a matter of fact, they would rather avoid the whole thing altogether!

One thing that is constant between both sexes is the need to get our needs met.  We both have a yearning to get something out of the relationship.  However, the way we go about it isn’t always the best to generate the most effective results.  For example, let’s say she wants more affection from him at home while he needs more appreciation from her for the things he already does at home.  In other words, she’s starving for love and reassurance and he’s starving for recognition.  Simply put, both are starving to get their needs met but can’t seem to get across to the other person in a positive and meaningful way.

So how do we come together and get on one accord?  As I’ve done research in my own life, through the lives of other couples I’ve observed, and the enormous wealth of information from a number of relationship experts on this subject, I’ve come up with my own theory.  Below, I’ve outlined a few steps for challenging each other in a positive way and ensuring your needs are heard and accepted.

1.       Stick To The Issue At Hand – When we get mad at our mates, we tend to get into a pattern where we bring up old issues besides the one at hand.  Then before we know it, we’re lost in conversation and attacking the person for issues that have already been settled or buried and have no relevance to the one you’re currently facing.  By the end of the conversation, the current issue is still unresolved and our partner doesn’t even know what we wanted in the first place.  Hint:  Prioritize your issues!

2.       Don’t Attack Your PartnerGolden Rule!  The worst thing you can do in a relationship, particularly when you are in the middle of an argument is attack the character of your partner.  In comparison to boxing, you’re “hitting below the belt”.  When you attack your partner, you open up the door to having your character assaulted as well.  Women become more emotional and men shut down completely.  Meanwhile, the issue you want to address lies dormant while your partner’s feelings just got crushed.  Hint:  Attack the issue not the person!

3.       Create A Win/Win – The best thing you can do is to create little “win/wins” for your partner while maintaining your need to get what you want.  When thinking of your needs, consider their needs as well.  For example, if you want him to take you out more, then also be willing compromise and cook dinner at home when he has had a long day at work.  Using this same example, you could also make it worth his time and interest by offering to go to places he’ll enjoy as well so that he gets something out of it too.  Think big picture.  You want to be successful in the relationship and that entails the two of you being happy and fulfilled together.  Hint:  Consider their needs too!

4.       Let Your Partner Know How Much It Means To You – Our mates are not mind readers!  Sometimes they need a little nudge from us about our needs and what getting those needs met really means to us.  This may sound crazy but think about how kids ask for what they want.  They usually give us big doe-like eyes as they ask and it’s as if their whole world will be turned upside down if we don’t give it to them.  Well, you don’t have to go overboard in a dramatic way but just letting your partner know how much something really means to you can do wonders for you in actually getting that need fulfilled.  Hint:  Let Them Know It Means A Lot!

5.       Give Your Partner Some Space To Consider Your Needs – Once you’ve asked for what you need, give your mate a little space.  Allow them the space to consider what you want and how they may go about giving it to you.  If you ask for what you want and then demand they give it to you now, you’ll seem selfish and impatient.  Not to mention, you’ll have turned them off and they may actually reject you altogether.  Besides, they may be in the process of not only giving you what you need but doing it in a way that you never imagined.   

(Hint:  Be Patient!)

6.       Don’t Let Others Dictate Your Relationship – Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our needs, we tend to invite others into the conversation that’s meant to be had with our partners.  This includes having casual, nonchalant conversations with our family members, friends, co-workers, and others who really don’t have a clue what’s really going on inside of our relationships.  All they can do is speculate based on what “we” have told them.  They have to be on your side so your partner never has a chance to defend him or herself.  That’s not very fair.  When it comes to your needs, keep it between you and your partner.  Besides, if you tell them how bad or unloving your mate is and then you go back to that person next week, they’ll be confused and may not believe you the next time something happens.  Hint:  Keep your love affairs private!  Disclaimer:  we’re not talking about abuse in which case telling your family and friends is always acceptable.

In short, relationships teach us a lot about ourselves.  Our partners are like our own mirror images.  They are there to help us grow and be a better person.  It’s no coincidence that relationships are the most challenging area of our lives that we’ll ever encounter.  It is in this space that our true growth and identity lies.  Cultivating and nurturing relationships is where we get our needs met.  Through positive reinforcements like win/wins, staying out of “attack mode”, being focused on the task at hand, letting them know how much a thing really means to us, giving our partners some space, and not allowing others to dictate our relationship is where we can find success.  There’s no need for drama when we have our partner’s best interest at heart.  When we consider our needs, the needs of our partners, and the success of the relationship, we’ll be just fine.

Thanks for reading!

For more helpful dating tips, please check out my website at www.liveloveaspire.blogspot.com or you may inquire about my dating/relationship coaching services at www.liveloveaspire.com.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

2014 Youth Summit held in Columbia, MD

Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority, Inc., ILO Chapter hosted its 2nd annual Youth Summit in Columbia, MD and I was honored to be a part of such a great event.  The workshop offered helpful tips and guidance to Junior high school students in the areas of Cyberbullying, Violence for girls and boys, and they also offered fun workshops like Hip Hop Dance moves.  The kids really enjoyed the workshop and all had positive feedback.  Great job sorors and frat!

44th Annual Congressional Black Caucus Convention

What a great week!  I had such a great time at the CBC this year!  Thanks to members and staff of the CBC for allowing me to participate in the event this year.  I met some really great people and learned a lot about what's going on in the community.  I'll be back next year!

How To Get That Man To Church Stat!

Sick of nagging him to go to church?....Read this!

If you’re like most women, you’ve given up completely on the idea of your spouse or significant other accompanying you to church.  You’ve asked, prodded, and did everything you could to convince him to enter the building.  It’s just not worth the fight anymore.  Let’s face it ladies…getting a guy to go to church is like pulling teeth out of his mouth!  I was having a simple conversation with a girlfriend of mine and I finally realized how clueless we were on this subject.  So I decided to explore the subject a little closer.

Thousands of churches in America convene on Sunday morning to worship and connect to other parishioners.  And of those that convene in churches, statistics show less than half of those parishioners tend to be men.  No surprise, right?  Just check out the predominately female singles ministry and sometimes even the marriage ministry which is usually led by women with husbands who look like they are forced to be in it against their will.

So why don’t men go to church?  Great question!  Again, I was just as puzzled as you are so I am going to give you my own personal theory.  Men like challenge, risk and adventure.  Church isn’t equipped to offer men those opportunities.  It is a place focused on caring for people, nurturing people and being sensitive to people’s needs.  It’s a great place for women who already possess those feminine qualities but not so much for men who are seeking to validate their own needs as masculine men.  It’s no wonder they would rather retreat at home to prepare to watch a football game than to become emasculated in a church that doesn’t address their needs.

But there is hope!  My personal theory is that men DO want to go to church!  I believe they really admire women who embrace their religion and spirituality.  Or else they would not date and/or marry them!  Most men are spiritual and believe in God or a higher being.  All they need is a woman who will lovingly convince him to go with her to church.  It’s not that hard but it does require a LOT of patience.

I’ve outlined a few steps below that I think may be worth trying:

1.       Start slow (baby steps!) – Men are like babies when it comes to going to church.  They have to crawl before they walk.  They embrace their spirituality quite differently than women.  They’re more quiet and introverted when it comes to anything pertaining to their emotions.  But churches encourage the outward expression of these emotions which can be quite challenging for them.  They’re also trying to maintain their masculinity in a church environment that’s very female oriented.  As women, most of us don’t like to see men cry even though we know they do but yet we’re encouraging them to go to a place that can be full of extreme emotions. 

I suggest helping him in little ways to get to church.  Offer to read a few passages from the Holy Bible or a spiritual doctrine with him that may help him with everyday problems.  This is great because now he gets to experience the practical side of spirituality and religion and also embrace his emotions little by little before advancing to a church where he would have to connect to others on a deeper spiritual level.  This also creates a safer environment for him to explore his spirituality and religion in the company of his own home without others watching him and allows him to express himself without fear of repercussion from others.

2.       Be a great role model – Ladies, if you’re not setting a good example than there’s no point in leading him to church.  He’s looking at you as an example of someone who has strong morals and values inherent in spirituality and religion.  So if you’re cursing like a sailor and expecting him to follow your path to church, you will be sadly mistaken.  He admires you for your spiritual qualities and looks toward you for guidance.  Be that spiritual leader or woman who has high standards and principles that you claim to have in your life.  He should see you setting the example by helping out in the community, being kind to people and showing him what he could become if he follows your path.

3.       Invite him to interesting events at church – Try to find special events in church that are male oriented or events that are interesting and less pressure for him.  In other words, find events that if he decides not become a member or even come back entirely, he would still be welcomed into that environment in the future.  Also, find events that are fun and lighthearted that he would enjoy while also being able to connect with other men or good people in that church.  He may not come to church at that moment but it will certainly be in the back of his mind in the future.

4.       Have great timing – When he is ready to go to church, do not tell him how long it’s taken him to go or that you don’t believe he is telling the truth.  Continue to go to church regularly and when he finally asks to go with you, be open to him accompanying you without judgment.  He is already uncomfortable with this idea and the last thing he needs is someone who will judge him when he is trying to do the right thing in his life.  Personally, I’ve seen men come to church when they feel like it’s their last hope.  Now, this may not be the ideal situation but it may be the catalyst to him experiencing religion for the first time in his life.  What may seem like a bad situation may turn out to be a wonderfully new experience necessary for him to grow.  If you deter that growth with your judgment, he may never want to go again.

5.       Exercise patience! – This isn’t an overnight process!  It may take him years and years to finally go to church with you.  For some men, it only takes a little convincing and for others it will take more work.  Please don’t try to expedite the process.  Men go to church when they are ready and not before that time!  You cannot force him to go.  He goes on his own timeframe.  The only thing you can do is help and encourage him in this process.

So ladies, at the end of the day, you are going to need a LOT of patience and prayer.  So many women give up right before he has had the chance to fully consider the invitation.  They either get mad at him for not wanting to go or become resentful that he doesn’t want to share in this special experience.  And yet, these are the times when there’s about to be a breakthrough.  Again, take baby steps and appreciate him for the small steps he is taking to get there.  Then remember timing is everything.  Be ready for him no matter how long it takes.  And you’ll see a difference.  With a little prayer, patience and hope, he’ll be in church in no time.

Thanks for reading!

For more helpful dating tips, please check out my website at www.liveloveaspire.blogspot.com or you may inquire about my dating/relationship coaching services at www.liveloveaspire.com.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Why Don’t Matchmakers Serve More Female Clients?

Male clients vs Female clients….why men are preferred!

As a relationship coach and professional matchmaker, I believe the work I do brings enormous benefits to both men and women looking for love and long term relationships.  Both men and women seek me out to try and find that special someone to complete their lives.  And it is both an honor and a privilege for me to work with them in this process.  But unfortunately, from the matchmaking side of my business, I’ve had to turn away hundreds of women who I know would not be ideal to work for to match them with their ideal mates.

I think most of us as matchmakers love the idea of helping people, particularly women who we know are desperately seeking help in finding love.  Those are the people who you want to work for because the reward of knowing you helped them find someone is priceless.  And I know at that moment I’ve chosen the right occupation.  But then there are days when you have a client, most of the time it is a female, when you know she just isn’t a good fit for your business and you have to let her down at a time when she needs you the most.

So what are the real reasons why matchmakers don’t serve more female clients?  I get asked this question all the time so I wanted to give some insight.  Please see just a few of the reasons below in no specific order.  I’m sure other professional matchmakers can add or delete reasons to this list but these are my reasons for limiting the amount of women I serve as clients.

1.       Men are very traditional – From my experiences of working with men, they tend to be very traditional when it comes to dating.  They still like to hunt and chase women.  They still like to be the head of their household.  I don’t have a problem with this concept since my business is founded on traditional forms of dating and courtship but when I added the matchmaking component to my business for both men and women, I knew my business model had to change.  Since I work with men who still enjoy taking the lead in relationships, I knew I could only work with them as matchmaking clients but then continue to work with women as coaching clients.  I do still take women but on a very limited basis.

2.       Larger pool of women – Sorry, ladies…there are more of you than of the men we can find for you.  I really do wish this wasn’t the case but it’s true.  I get tons of applications from women wanting to be matched to the right guy to which I have to reject half of them for reasons I list here in this article.  I can easily find great women for my male clients just about everywhere.  Nevertheless, there are still some great guys out there for you but we as professional matchmakers have to be realistic about who we can match or we will be out of business!

3.       Women tend to seek perfection – Because women tend to have such high standards, I usually have to coach them to be more flexible in their requirements in a mate.  This is the reason I still take lots of women as coaching clients.  We want this perfect mate who is virtually non-existent.  Everyone has their faults and flaws because we’re only human.  I believe our parents and society tells us to reach for the stars but then don’t give us a realistic view on how high we should go to find him!  Once I can coach a woman to be more realistic in her choices then I may be able to work with matching her to the right mate. 

4.       Women (in general) can’t always afford matchmaker’s fees – I’ve found in my business that many women I encounter can’t always afford (or want) to pay the fees I charge for my services.  They love the idea of having someone partner with them on finding a mate but hate the idea of having to pay for it.  I don’t really blame them.  Again, I’m very traditional so I believe men should be the ones who pay for the service.  I always need women to match my male clients so I do accept women to list in my database as non-paying members to choose from for my male clients.

5.       Men who pay a matchmaker (in general) want women of a certain caliber – I work with everyone from successful male doctors and lawyers to average Joe’s and they all seem to want the same type of things in a woman.  They want her to be successful but not domineering, beautiful but not obnoxious, and caring but not overly nurturing (aka clingy!).  A woman with great posture, elegance and sophistication applies here too!  My clients may find some of these qualities with some women and other qualities with other women on their own.  But when they’re paying a hefty fee for a matchmaker – they want the total package – no exceptions!  These are qualities they can’t always find on their own either because they’re too busy or just simply hanging out in the wrong places.

In short, both men and women are looking to find love these days via online or offline dating services.  We as professional matchmakers have dedicated our lives to making their dreams come true.  And although I’ve limited the amount women I take on clients, I encourage all women to continuously work on themselves both internally and externally to attract the right mate.  There’s always a relationship seminar or workshop hosted by a relationship expert or author going on locally in your area where you can learn lots of information on how to have a great relationship.  Take advantage of every opportunity to update your looks, your demeanor and how you are perceived by men.  And who knows, maybe then you can become your own successful matchmaker!

Thanks for reading!

For more helpful dating tips, please check out my website at www.liveloveaspire.blogspot.com or you may inquire about my dating/relationship coaching services at www.liveloveaspire.com.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Recap of the Art of Femininity and Seduction Workshop - Sept 13th

Thanks to all of my friends, family, and sponsors for your support of our event.  We could not have done it without you!  The event was a huge success thanks to all of you!  We were able to raise funds for the Kidney Disease Foundation.  We had lots of positive feedback and are already planning to do it again next year!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What I’ve Learned in Pageantry That May Help You in Dating

Use what you got…to get what you want!

I hate to admit it but I love entertaining a crowd.  It’s so ironic because I’m actually a super shy girl!  My family still doesn’t know how I can be so soft spoken and timid in person yet so full of life on stage.  I often wonder this myself sometimes!  I think it’s because I love to entertain people and make them smile, even for one moment in time.  But this irony made me think a lot deeper about people’s gifts and talents and how we can use them to propel us in dating successfully.

Throughout the years, I have entertained people through pageantry, fitness and local community shows.  And the thing I’ve noticed is the variety of people that perform on stage and the tremendous gifts and talents they bring with them to the stage.  Every one of them is different in their presentations.  That’s what makes them special and people are drawn to their uniqueness.

The more the person brings their individual strengths to the stage no matter the eccentricity of it, the more that person shines in the eyes of the audience.  The more the person hides their talent or tries to be like someone else, the more their light is dimmed and someone else shines ahead of them.  Well, the same holds true for dating, the more we bring our gifts and talents to the relationship, the more our partners love us and the more we hide behind those gifts, the less attractive we become to our partners.

So why do we hide behind those gifts?  Well, that’s a great question with a one word answer-fear.  Fear sets in and tells us that people won’t like us if we express ourselves.  Fear tells us to be like other people.  The only problem is that when you become like other people, you lose the essence of who you were born to be in life.  You become just another face in the crowd.  We must learn to overcome that fear and let our light shine so that others can see it.

You see, I believe everyone has a gift and everyone is here on earth for a reason.  Some people have bright, bold personalities.  Others have quiet unassuming personality.  Some people have incredible outward beauty (although in the eyes of the beholder!) while others have a quiet, inner assurance.  But that’s what makes us all colorful people.  If the world were all full of one color or had one type of people, we would have a very boring world.  Your uniqueness makes you attractive to others because it is what you bring to the table.

The more we’re free to express our talents and abilities in dating, the more others will see those talents and reward us accordingly.  They appreciate the fact that we are who we are and not like other people.  When you decide to express your own individual self, you move to another level of maturity and wisdom of which others can only aspire to go in life.  You begin to control your own destiny and write your own rules.  You begin to live the life you were meant to live. 

Thanks for reading!

For more helpful dating tips, please check out my website at www.liveloveaspire.blogspot.com or you may inquire about my dating/relationship coaching services at www.liveloveaspire.com.

If you happen to live in the Baltimore-DC metro area, please do inquire about my upcoming workshops.  The next workshop series will be held on Sept 13th in Columbia, Maryland.  If interested, please email us at info@liveloveaspire.com.