Saturday, March 15, 2008
Women and Friendship
Women and Friendship; is it as good or better than Chocolate?
by: Tina Frazer


I’ll start this article by admitting that I am a full-blown “chocoholic.” I love the way eating a piece of chocolate makes me feel. It’s so indulging, satisfying, and to me is the ultimate reward or excuse to instantly lift my spirits, calm my nerves, and just make me happy. This lead me to thinking about how few things in life are as good or better than chocolate.

Now, I would certainly have to rank being a Mom at the top of the list, but another big contender is Friendship. I think it is truly disappointing that we as women allow something as rewarding and bittersweet as friendship, to regularly take a back seat to our careers, husbands, children and busy demands of life. When you compare eating a piece of chocolate to spending time with friends, you will find a lot of commonalities…

Friendship and Chocolate are both actually healthy for us.
Friendship and Chocolate both make us feel good.
Friendship and Chocolate can be addictive and both make us eager for more.

Did you know that researchers and scientists have suggested that chocolate contains compounds that can help maintain a healthy heart, good circulation, and reduce blood clotting? And, a Nurses study at Harvard Medical school found that women with friends were less likely to develop physical impairments as they aged.

I know for me personally, whether it’s a few minutes on the phone, a nice e-mail shared, lunch/dinner, or movie time spent with a friend, I am left feeling refreshed, happy, and ready to sing, “I feel like a Woman!” While I truly love being a Mom, I need friend time for me (even though half of it may be spent talking about the children anyway). It just feels great to spend time with my girlfriends to gab about everything under the sun, including love, relationships, finances, parenting, - and occasionally important topics like Brad Pitt!

Have you every noticed that when you do finally take the time to make that phone call to your friend, send that e-mail, or arrange that dinner or movie date, that you feel so good you automatically start planning for the next chat or get together. We do this because this needed interaction with our female friends just leaves us eager for more. This “feel good” addiction is similar to why we automatically eat more than one piece of chocolate in the box (and admit it, we rarely stop at just one).

I may be disqualified to judge what is truly better, friendships between women; or chocolate, since I admittedly confessed to being a “chocoholic”. After all, some of you reading this article may not even like chocolate. In my opinion they are both equally fabulous. However, I do want to say if ever you needed to slow down, and purposely make time for something in your life amongst your daily juggling of activities, then please do so for friendships. Finding “friendship” time needs to be a priority even if it is once a week or once a month, to catch up with old friends and to make new ones. It’s healthy, it makes you feel good, and you (we) deserve more of it.

Cheers to a happy, healthy, life shared with many great friends and of course a bit of chocolate!




This article is free for republishing
Tina Frazer is the founder of Let’s Be Friends.net, a friendship website exclusively for women. Let’s Be friends.net promotes and encourages new friendships among women. Meet and make new friends online who share your lifestyle, interests, or values. Perfect for stay-at-home Moms, Working Mothers, empty nesters, young, young at heart and those new to town. Membership available to women 18 and older at http://www.letsbefriends.net

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Thursday, March 6, 2008
Sign of Affair: I Fell Out of Love...and just love being in love
Sign of Affair: I Fell Out of Love...and just love being in love
by: Dr. Robert Huizenga


If there is one front-and-forward excuse for infidelity it is: " I fell out of love."

This usually means: I no longer feel sexually attracted to you (I'm sexually attracted to someone else, for now, at least.) Or, I need to spice my life with giddy emotional highs and intrigue every so often.

Infidelity has different faces...and different signs and patterns.

Did you know there are 7 different kinds of affairs? Well, there may be more, but after a couple decades of clinical work and research, I've identified 7.

And, if you look carefully, you will find that each form of infidelity carries different signs and markers. Know those specific signs of infidelity and you can save yourself much grief.

One kind of affair I write about in my E-book is called, "I Fell out of Love...and just love being in love."

Here are some signs and patterns you can expect in this kind of affair:

1. Hang on to your seat. This may be some ride, much like a thrill ride at an amusement park. There will likely be many ups and downs, spiced with dramatic flair. Watching your spouse go through his gyrations may leave you somewhat dizzy. He will give his all to this new-found "love" and at other times might find his way back to you.

2. Typically you will struggle with being ignored and feeling rather awful that you can't provide the "love" this other person seems to provide. You might find yourself questioning your capacity to "love" and your desirability. His affections will obviously be centered on that other person.

3. He may want to tell you about this other person. Not only might he want you to know about the other person he may desire to share with you some of the details of this relationship. He might want you involved. This creates an intense triangle that juices the drama. (Most classical love stories are dramas, complete with a triangle; he "falls in love" with the forbidden or unattainable princess. Often the drama ends as a tragedy - Romeo and Juliet.)

4. Expect some juvenile behavior such as love letters (e-mail), special names, special promises, secrets only for the two of them, etc. Some of these affair relationships are the result of unfinished business from adolescence. Perhaps he was responsible for family or beset by some trauma or internally or externally imposed injunctions that precluded him from dating, socializing with the opposite sex, and "falling in and out of love" a number of times, which is so important and vital for adolescent development.

5. You may hear the persistent phrase, "I love you, but I'm not in love with you." He may truly "like you" and depend on your stability, goodness and understanding. The thought of losing that may keep him connected with you. His fear of losing that which is stable and enduring may conflict with his need to follow his feelings. As well, the possibility of loss may point to the internal emptiness that stirs up very uncomfortable feelings and thoughts. This is part of the roller coaster ride.

6. He may feel very badly about his "inability" to love you and his "inability" not to love the other person. He may express great remorse for the dilemma. He may profess deep sadness for "hurting" you - but, as you know, he has no control. His feelings drive him. His "concern" for you indicates his superficial understanding of relationships. Or, his "concern" for you may be a manipulative attempt to find an easier exit from the marriage.

7. Expect his feelings for the other person to fade. They will fade quickly if this is a pure "I've fallen out of love (and just love being in love)" affair. The "romance" of adolescent love affairs start quickly and end as abruptly. If, however, other issues come into play, such as, resentment and/or the inability to say no, you have a more complicated situation that takes longer to resolve.

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Dr. Robert Huizenga, The Infidelity Coach, has helped hundreds of couples over the past two decades heal from the agony of extramarital affairs and survive infidelity. Visit his website at: http://www.break-free-from-the-affair.com
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Saturday, March 1, 2008
Recovering from Romantic Fantasy
Recovering from Romantic Fantasy
by: James Sniechowski


Chances are you never thought you needed to be rescued from romance. In fact, you probably feel you need more romance in your life, not less. The truth is that most hearts are broken in the painful difference between the possibility of real romance and the insistence on the fantasy of romance -- with the real thing taking the loss.

Recovering from romantic fantasy is based on your willingness to accept who you and your partner are -- without deceit, without drama, without all of the false puffery so many of us put around our images of love, relationship and intimacy. Recovering from romantic fantasy does not mean living without it. It means you will have, perhaps for the first time in your life, the chance to experience reality-based romance that is meaningful, fulfilling, passionate and can actually help create a relationship you can trust and delight in. This kind of romance -- real romance -- can fill your soul with the feeling and knowledge that you are loved for who you are, just as you are, and it can inspire you to love deeply and fully in return.

What can you expect should you decide to recover from swept-away romantic fantasy? Here's an example.

Judith: One evening, we bought a special pie for a friend, to thank him for a favor he'd done for us. It was a strawberry-banana cream pie with a collar of sculpted whip cream around
the top. Careful not to tip it, Jim set it on the floor of the car behind the driver's seat and we made our way home.

The day had been particularly difficult for Jim, and he was feeling raw and vulnerable. When we got home, he picked up the pie and the box caught on the edge of the seat, tumbled over and landed top down. It was that kind of day. He looked to me and timidly said, "Maybe it'll
be okay." He opened the box and the pie, of course, was demolished, more like strawberry-banana-cream porridge. Jim slumped.

I was angry that the pie had fallen and shocked when Jim announced it might have survived intact. I knew better. How could he not have? But, more importantly, I knew Jim was
suffering. I understood what he was going through. So, I put my arm around him and told him, "It's a mess, isn't it? I'm so sorry..... Let's get another one later."

It was a moment of real romance that left both of us feeling whole and human, compassionate and connected, loved and loving. In contrast to the grandiosity of romantic fantasy, we were just in our garage with a fallen pie, and yet we both experienced a sense of grace and beauty and a special bond of intimacy.

Can you picture yourself sitting around dreaming up a romantic fantasy where a dropped pie leads to heartfelt love? Most people, being honest, would have to say, "No." That's just not how romance is thought of in our culture. Besides, romantic fantasy always ends up being punitive. It is contemptuous of "fallen pies." It's dismissive of human imperfection, derisive of anything that doesn't reach the lofty heights of romantic bliss.

Real romance comes from beyond what you already know. It's spontaneous, unrehearsed and open-hearted. It's about what's happening in the moment, about the attention and affection between two people.

When you're open to the heightened awareness of real romance, a vivid, even ecstatic experience can spring from any unexpected moment. If you try to hold onto it, you cancel your invitation for life to catch you off guard and take you into the deepest places of your heart and soul.

(Excerpted from The New Intimacy, Health Communications Inc.)

About The Author:

Judith Sherven and James Sniechowski share the secret of life-long romance. Be sure to get your copy of their Free 1 hour teleseminar "Keeping Romance Alive," and find out how. Just go to: http://www.judithandjim.com

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