Love Vs. “In Love”: Why being in love is overrated and  wonderful at the same time.

“In love” is shorthand for the chemical changes that happen in your brain and body that push you to be with someone.  This is nature’s way of rewarding us for finding a suitable mate whose biochemistry is attractive to and compatible with our own. These are biological urgings, not romantic ones, so just what does that mean for you?

Well, it means you weren’t in love when you thought that you were in love, and that you never fell in love with the person for anything they did or for their personality or for their looks or for how they treated you.  You fell in love because your brain decided that was the right person to love.

How you felt actually had NOTHING to do with the other person at all.  Furthermore, it was never REALLY love at all, it was infatuation- an intense, short-lived and completely unreasoning effect created by your own brain.  It was never your heart.  Your brain made it FEEL like your heart was involved, but as much as it was being tugged on, your heart doesn’t get into the act until much later.

Let me tell you what happened.  You were flooded with the opposite sex hormone (more testosterone if you’re into a woman, more estrogen if you’re into a man) along with healthy doses of adrenaline, serotonin and dopamine. That’s why you had the symptoms of racing heart and breathlessness and increase in temperature and sweating and you couldn’t stop thinking about him and you didn’t want to eat or sleep- it’s chemically pretty much like being on cocaine! You were very close to obsessed.

But you can’t live like that forever.

Your body won’t allow you to walk around impaired like that because you wouldn’t survive!  You wouldn’t go to work or handle any responsibilities or even take care of yourself properly because you’re love high all the time.

Usually the feeling wears off on its own between 7-9 months. (Notice, you’re in this love haze about long enough to make a baby; Damn biology and It’s trickiness!)

Typically, the love high wears off for men before it wears off for women because this is the way we’ve been told love is supposed to feel, so we don’t question it.  The men usually question the feeling because that feeling makes them put themselves on the back burner and that is a big change from their normal.

I compare it to waking up from sleep-walking in the middle of traffic. Things are coming at him fast and loud and he’s not exactly sure how he got here.  He wakes up, and immediately pulls back from the relationship because he’s not sure if what he was feeling was real or a hallucination.  All he knows is that it’s dangerous to be this close to most women- we get crazy when we fall in love!

And even though it’s a perfectly reasonable reaction, that freaks us women out!!  The sudden withdrawal of that intense affection is like a slap in the face and we immediately go to a dark place in our heads:

“He was playing me” “He never loved me” He never wanted me” “I was used”

We do the only thing that seems to make sense.  We pull back too.  It’s what our sisters and mothers and friends and coworkers and aunties tell us to do, but more than that, it feels safe.  We put our walls back up.  After all the vulnerability of those first months, we start worrying about “self” first again and we get back into our pre-infatuation comfort zones.  We stop trying to give to our Boo and start worrying about what we’re getting and why we aren’t getting more.

At the same time we’re doing all in our power to protect ourselves by creating distance, we want that closeness back!  We never felt like that before, so we’re left thinking it had to be real, and it had to be something we could feel again with the same person.

We try to make things last long term with our Boo for selfish reasons; we try to make it work because we remember what that love high was like.  Again, it’s your brain that is in control here, not your heart.  You want to feel good again- you aren’t motivated by the desire to give to and enrich the person you’re with.

If you’re still really into them, even after the chemical cocktail wears off, even if they don’t make your heart race every moment of the day, that’s better than “in love”.  You’re in the next phase- the one that lasts.  You’re forming attachment and commitment.  This is where your heart finally gets itself into the game.

Suddenly it’s not about how you feel any more.  It’s not infatuation but real-life, “I care about your happiness more than my own” love.   That’s real love- the kind that can last a lifetime and let you have your (mostly) happily ever after with your Boo.

You can still have the moments of “in love” bliss but they usually only happen when you’ve been doing the loving and selfless actions you did when you felt like that the first time. (That’s how you trick your brain into producing the same chemicals!)

So when he says “I love you, but I’m not ‘in love’ with you”, don’t panic.  He’s expressing the fact that his brain has stopped producing the extra chemicals that made him crazy in love but he’s still choosing you.

So don’t pull away more like the fear will tell you to do.  Do the loving things you did back when you were feeling vulnerable and you let down your walls for him.  Don’t worry about being played or looking like a fool and just love, meaning give.  Stop worrying so much about what you’re getting and concern yourself with giving away more to him.

Play more, laugh more, smile more, have sex more- all the silly and sexy things you did when your brain took away your fear of being hurt in order to make you love.

I know you have your reasons not to give any more- not to try anymore- but you’re still hanging in with him, so I think it’s time to let your reasons go and try a new way.  I’m here to give you a push in the right direction if you need it!

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30 Reasons He Could Be Annoyed BESIDES You

Couple having argument on the couch at home in the living room

Tribe, I understand that once you were connected to your Chosen, most of the world stopped having the power to upset you.  Most of the world besides HIM.  It may be frustrating, but finding you didn’t make him blind to OUTSIDE sources of annoyance.  I know it always seems like he’s mad at you, but here’s a list of other things it could be so you can relax and trust him when he says “It’s not about YOU!”.

This list doesn’t mean you’ll be able to help him with the issue, it just means you’ll have something to blame it on when he’s all irritable and keeping to himself for a while.  Stand back and don’t hurl guesses at him about what it could be- you’ll only make yourself the target of all that frustrated masculine energy!

  1. He is sad
  2. He doesn’t have access to his drug of choice
  3. He has a mental illness
  4. He is frustrated
  5. He’s upset with someone else
  6. His plans didn’t go through
  7. He lost a bet
  8. He had to deal with someone who upsets him all day
  9. He hates his job
  10. He doesn’t make “enough”
  11. He got bad news
  12. He got hurt
  13. He’s tired
  14. He’s mourning
  15. He doesn’t know how to handle a problem
  16. He does know how to handle a problem but it’s not what he wants to do
  17. His game cheated him
  18. He didn’t get away with cheating the game
  19. His controller doesn’t work
  20. He’s hungry
  21. He’s starting to get sick
  22. He feels unappreciated
  23. He feels lonely
  24. His testosterone level is low (that’s like PMS for him)
  25. He needs to have sex
  26. He needs some head
  27. He lost something
  28. He was disrespected by someone
  29. He was racially profiled
  30. His team isn’t playing on a channel you have

And just an extra to ensure you don’t keep asking…

  1. He’s constipated

Comment below if you have any other reasons he could be upset that have NOTHING to do with you or your relationship!

Ten Things Your Boo Wishes You Knew

I work with tons of couples every year, and there are some things that the masculine halves always seem to talk about that create doubt or fear about the relationship and cause them to pull away.  You’re not the only one who has insecurities, Wifey!

Mastering just one of these will go a long way toward making him believe in the relationship with all his heart and bring him closer to you.  Mastering all ten will make you a Warrior Wifey who amazes him with your insight, sensitivity and compassion for him.  Here’s what he wishes he could say to you.

1. “We need to talk” is the most frightening thing you could say in our relationship.  That sentence always means I’m wrong and in trouble, no matter what I say or do, so I’ll avoid that confrontation like the plague until I think you’ve forgotten about it.  Just talk.  I might not say anything back until I have thought about it a couple of days, but I will hear you and I won’t have to deal with the anxiety of knowing a “talk” is coming.

2. I know double standards make you angry, but they exist because you want to be loved in a completely different way than I do.  If we try to treat each other exactly the same, neither of us will be happy.  I want to be treated like the man of the house which inspires me to treat you like the lady of the house. Trust me, it’s to your benefit.

3. Never say things you don’t mean like “You can just go find someone else!”  I’m just as sensitive about the relationship as you are, and when you tell me to find another woman to replace you, I figure you’ve already found another man to replace me and that makes it hard to maintain my caring and trust.  I expect you to be a woman of your word.

4. Give me about an hour after I get home before you demand time and attention from me.  It takes me at least that long to switch my brain from “world mode” to “home mode”.  I missed you and want to talk to you too, but it’s hard to focus on what you’re saying until I’ve had a little time to unwind.

5. Accept my compliments!! When I tell you you’re beautiful or smart or funny, I’m telling you about something that makes me love you.  When you say “No, I’m not!” it’s like saying my feelings aren’t true or valid to you.

6. In the same vein- stop talking badly about yourself!  Saying you’re too fat, skinny, ugly, tall, short, etc. is actually an insult to me.  It’s like saying I’m too stupid to find someone better.  I’m attracted to you for more than your looks, and you’re much sexier when you’re confident.

7. Be happy to hear from me when I call instead of complaining about the period of time when I didn’t.  When I talk to you, I don’t want a lecture- I want to know you missed me and are interested and eager to talk to me like my Wifey, not my mom.  Besides, it’s scary and a lot of pressure when you think my whole world should revolve around being in contact with you.  I have a life to live just like I hope you do.

8. Don’t ask me questions you don’t really want the answers to.  If I tell you a truth you don’t like, you’ll get mad; if I lie (trying not to upset you) you’ll get mad.  It’s a no-win situation for both of us.

9. Stop letting your miserable-ass girlfriends who can’t keep a man themselves ruin our relationship.  Just because her boyfriend or ex did something wrong to her, it doesn’t mean I’m going to do the same thing.  Plus, I HATE being compared to other men.

10. Give me privacy.  Also known as giving respect and giving trust.  Yes, I think of them as the same things.  Don’t check my email, phone or social media sites looking for trouble.  It hurts that you don’t trust me and your snooping makes you look a little… well, if I say cray, you’ll get mad, so how about insecure?

I don’t think I’m being unreasonable with this list.  I think the person who loves me would want me to be at least this comfortable in our relationship.  If you love me, listen.

**If you haven’t already, make sure to like my page on Facebook, The Wifey Handbook for free relationship advice on how to be the Wifey I know you are.  If you’re looking for a way to get the fire going again with your Boo, please check out my web page LoveWorthKeeping.com and sign up to receive your free copy of “How to Get the Spark Back NOW!!” which will start to change your entire relationship for the better like magic!  My book, The Wifey Handbook is also available to download here if you’d like to get the full scoop on what it takes to be Wifey!

Seven False Beliefs About Love That Will Cause Heartache

bigstock-Sad-Couple-Holding-Red-Broken--127631561.jpgI hear a lot of fears from the women of my tribe- worries based on false beliefs we’ve collected from movies and fairy tales that don’t take real life into account.  Here are the top seven false beliefs I correct with my clients all the time.  Learning you’re believing something that can’t be true takes a lot of the pressure off!!

1) To demonstrate love, my mate must tell me they love me every day, all day.  I hear this all the time.  Men are typically influenced by what they see and women by what we hear, so we place a ton of emphasis on hearing the words “I love you” regularly.  And we should hear it regularly, but it doesn’t have to be on repeat from the mouth of who we love.  When a man tells you he loves you, he’s not really interested in repeating it over and over.  They tend to believe saying it is less important than showing it in all the little ways women think are so important.

2) If either of us does not feel romantic with the other, it means we aren’t in love any longer.  This one puts a ton of pressure on both of you unnecessarily.  Living life sometimes leaves no room for romance- that doesn’t mean you’re not in love.  It just means you have to try harder to do those romantic gestures that mean so much to your boo.  Being committed means falling in (and out!) of love numerous times.  That only happens when one of you puts forth the effort.  (Since I’m telling you about it, yes, that person should be you.  You know better now!!)

3) My partner should meet all my needs, especially all my needs for intimacy.  My last post was about emotional needs and I explained how although we should try our best to meet our partner’s needs, especially intimacy, it’s unrealistic to believe one person will be able to meet all your needs.  You’re not with this person to “fix” everything in your life, you’re together to learn and grow, together and separately.  They can’t “make” you happy- that’s going to have to come from you.

4) When I’ve had a bad day, my mate should be able to sense it and should do something to cheer me up without my having to tell him or her. This is the same as saying my partner should be able to know how to stimulate me when we’re making love. I shouldn’t have to tell him or her what to do and when to do it.  You’re an entirely separate being from your Boo and no matter how much they love you, they are not a mind reader.  Don’t ever expect them to “just know” what’s going on inside of you.  Most men consider showing love as being able to do what you need when you need it, but if you keep it a secret, it’s guaranteed they won’t be able to help you or console you.

5) My mate and I should do almost everything as a couple if we are to maintain a happy relationship.
I know this sounds like a lovely idea, but after 14 years together, I’ve found both of us need to do things on our own as individuals in order to not go crazy.  Yes, we are a couple- nothing will change that, not even spending time apart.  But we were two separate people before that.  We have our own interests and passions.  I’m working on my blog while he’s playing his basketball game on Xbox downstairs.  Trying to do those things together would only frustrate us both!  As long as you spend some time together during each day, you don’t have to stress yourself about doing everything together.  Neither of you is going anywhere.

6) I should be able to keep my partner from getting unhappy.
This one has been difficult for me over the years, living with a partner who deals with bouts of depression.  Sometimes you just can’t keep your mate happy, no matter how much you’d like to.  Believing you should be able to keep your Boo from getting unhappy means you believe you can control their feelings which is not only impossible, but not your job.  Feelings aren’t permanent states, so eventually their mood will change, but trying to force the change just upsets them more and makes you feel like a failure for something you would never have succeeded at in the first place.  The best thing you can do if your partner is feeling down is to not make it about you.  Doing that draws you down into the dark mood they are in when it may not have had anything at all to do with you.

7) My partner and I should never argue or disagree if our relationship is good.  Hah!  Again, you are still two separate people, no matter how connected your lives are.  You WILL disagree.  There is no possible world in which you won’t.  It’s best you just accept it.  And no, just because your Boo does not agree with you, it doesn’t mean you aren’t loved.  Basing your belief in their love on them agreeing with you will make your partner absolutely miserable.  It means you get to be right all the time and they have to be wrong, and no one wants to live like that!

There we go, a strong list of all the false beliefs about love I’m constantly trying to correct.  I’m not sure where they came from, but I think it’s about time we gave them a proper burial once and for all!

**If you haven’t already, make sure to like my page on Facebook, The Wifey Handbook for free relationship advice on how to be the Wifey I know you are.  If you’re looking for a way to get the fire going again with your Boo, please check out my web page LoveWorthKeeping.com and sign up to receive your free copy of “How to Get the Spark Back NOW!!” which will start to change your entire relationship for the better like magic!  My book, The Wifey Handbook is also available to download here if you’d like to get the full scoop on what it takes to be Wifey!

Monday EXERCISE!! Do You Know Your Boo’s Emotional Needs As Well As Your Own?

Everyone has needs, but sometimes in a relationship, it’s hard to clarify what needs are most important to have met by your partner. You shouldn’t expect your Boo to meet ALL your needs- that’s a really difficult thing to expect from anyone- but it is good and healthy for partners to try to meet each other’s needs.

In this exercise, I want you to get clear on your top 3 needs from your Boo in the relationship. Figure out exactly how you’d like that need met so you can clearly ask for what you need without feeling silly or self conscious. Be vulnerable to your Beloved and trust that they will hear you. You need what you need!

Once that’s done, let your partner see the list and pick their top 3. Are you surprised by what they chose?  Be supportive and open so they don’t feel self conscious either, and really hear their reasons for what they need.

Identify your top 3 emotional needs from the list below.

1. Sexual Fulfillment: Meeting physical intimacy and sexual needs

2. Recreational Companionship: Meeting needs for hobbies, recreation and just “getting out of the house” with someone

3. Physical Attractiveness: Feeling attractive to your mate, like someone wants you and
finds you eye-catching.

4. Admiration: A sense that your accomplishments in life, personality and “who you are” is
admired by your partner.

5. Domestic Support: This is sharing the load of the responsibilities of running a household
at various times in life, including household chores and co-parenting

6. Affection: This is the warmth and fondness that is not necessarily sexual

7. Conversation: Everyone needs someone to talk with, share ideas, describe their day’s
events, “solve the world’s problems” together or debate politics.

8. Financial Support: The ebb and flow of finances across a life often involves relying on
others for financial support to meet goals or in difficult times.

9.Honesty & Openness: There is a need for someone in your life who you know will be
honest and open with you regarding your life, even if it challenges you.

10.Family Commitment: A partner brings their family with them as a potential support.
Couples have the potential of creating a new family if the couple has children. A strong
family commitment is the best environment for raising the next generation.

List 2 ways you can fulfill your partners’ top 3 emotional needs in the coming week. Commit to meeting your partners’ most important needs this week simply because they are important to you. Try hard to incorporate whatever they truly want, even if it’s not what you would have guessed or chosen for yourself. Respecting them in that way influences them to do the same for you!

**If you haven’t already, make sure to like my page on Facebook, The Wifey Handbook for free relationship advice on how to be the Wifey I know you are.  If you’re looking for a way to get the fire going again with your Boo, please check out my web page LoveWorthKeeping.com and sign up to receive your free copy of “How to Get the Spark Back NOW!!” which will start to change your entire relationship for the better like magic!  My book, The Wifey Handbook is also available to download here if you’d like to get the full scoop on what it takes to be Wifey!

Things You Believe About Love That Are Making Both of You Miserable

Couple Sitting Back To Back On Sofa

There are a lot of false ideas floating around out there about what will and won’t happen in a loving relationship. Love itself is perfect, but people trying to practice loving are not. If you know what isn’t true about love before you start, you’ll have a much easier time enjoying and prospering from love.
1. Someone who loves you will never hurt you– No, someone who loves you will try not to hurt you- and will fail miserably at times. You are two separate people and even when he is trying to love you the best he can, he won’t always get it right. It’s the trying that shows the love.
2. If you’re not getting what you “deserve” he doesn’t love you– Nope. As people, we rarely get all we deserve and one person can’t be expected to give you everything you think you deserve to have. That is just too much pressure. Give yourself some of the things you deserve and don’t depend on him for all your happiness
3. You must treat your boo how you would want to be treated in order to show your love for them– Ah, if it were only that easy! But no, it’s more of a challenge than that. You must treat your boo how THEY want to be treated to show your love for them. Learning what makes them feel loved as an individual shows you care deeply and know they are a unique human with particular needs.
4. If he really loves you, he’ll never leave you– Women initiate more breakups and divorces than men, but if you’ve been unhappy with him in general for a long period of time, he will leave you instead of continuing to make you miserable. Having an unhappy woman is shameful in his mind, and instead of letting the shame continue to grow, he’ll let you go
5. If he really loves you, he’ll never cheat– This is the one I’m going to get the most comments about! Most of the time a man cheating has absolutely nothing to do with the woman he’s cheating on. Even if he loves you desperately, he is still just as capable of doing something stupid he’ll regret. If it’s a continuing problem, I understand getting fed up and letting him go, but staying isn’t condoning his bad behavior. He knows he’s wrong.

**If you haven’t already, make sure to like my page on Facebook, The Wifey Handbook for free relationship advice on how to be the Wifey I know you are.  If you’re looking for a way to get the fire going again with your Boo, please check out my web page LoveWorthKeeping.com and sign up to receive your free copy of “How to Get the Spark Back NOW!!” which will start to change your entire relationship for the better like magic!  My book, The Wifey Handbook is also available to download here if you’d like to get the full scoop on what it takes to be Wifey!

25 Rules to a Happy Relationship

African American couple jumping in air

This is a quick list of the things I’ve discovered make for a VERY happy relationship.  If you don’t believe the entire list, pick five you like and implement them. I bet you’ll see a difference in your relationship!

1. Don’t believe anything you “hear” about them. If you didn’t see it, it didn’t happen.
2. When you say “I love you”, show it in ways they can understand.
3. When you say “I’m sorry” don’t add “but”.
4. If you can stay together for at least 13 months before trying to get married or have babies.  It’s just easier, and you have more time alone together before the big life changes start.
5. Encourage their dreams.
6. Share your own dreams and pursue them.
7. Love deeply, passionately and with reckless abandon. They may be a jerk sometimes but jerks need love too! Sometimes it will be hard, but it will be worth the trouble.
8. Fight fair. Listen to the other side, stick to the present topic, no name calling, and keep your hands to yourself.
9. Don’t judge your boo by their relatives.
10. Remember great love requires great risk.
11. Call when you say you will and call to check in.
12. Forgive relentlessly.  You never know when you’ll need the same favor.
13. Even when you’re angry and the argument isn’t over, make the last words you say before parting or sleeping “I love you”.
14. Remember no matter how badly they act, you are responsible for you own actions.
15. Don’t let an argument over something small become an excuse to argue about something big.
16. Smile when you pick up their call so they can hear how happy you are to hear from them.
17. Only marry someone you love to talk to and listen to.
18. Spend time alone together every day, even if it’s only ten minutes. You need time to maintain a connection.
19. Spend time alone every day and let them have time alone. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”.
20. Think of change like being caught in an avalanche- relax into the tumble and don’t try to stop yourself. Once the momentum of a change starts building, trying to slow yourself down will only hurt you.
21. Learn to sit in silence without it being “the silent treatment”.
22. When you’re out of harmony, be the one to restore it. Don’t wait for them to do it.
23. Love your boo more than you need them. Love is about giving; Need is about taking.
24. Work on the relationship together, but don’t make it be all work.
25. Give more than your boo expects, willingly and cheerfully.

**If you haven’t already, make sure to like my page on Facebook, The Wifey Handbook for free relationship advice on how to be the Wifey I know you are.  If you’re looking for a way to get the fire going again with your Boo, please check out my web page LoveWorthKeeping.com and sign up to receive your free copy of “How to Get the Spark Back NOW!!” which will start to change your entire relationship for the better like magic!  My book, The Wifey Handbook is also available to download here if you’d like to get the full scoop on what it takes to be Wifey!

Greetings to My Wifey Tribe!!

superwoman

Hey Y’all!!

This is my first post for my new blog, so I wanted to start strong and let it be known exactly who I am and the type of women I’m looking for to be part of my Tribe. Read my manifesto, and see if you’re in a relationship where you feel some or most of what I’m saying.  If so, then I’m looking for YOU.  Even if things aren’t going as well as you’d like right now, I know how to set them right so you can have your Love Worth Keeping.

Now,  I use the word “Wifey” even though I am a wife because Wifey was the change in my attitude and actions that got me TO wife in the first place.  I was Wifey first and I remain Wifey, and here is what being Wifey means to me.

The Wifey Manifesto:
Warriors of Love and Compromise

I am Wifey.
I have found a man so special I just can’t let him go. He is not perfect, but I am not perfect either, so I accept his love as the blessing it is and release the shame others would have me feel for loving and trusting who my heart tells me to love and yearns to trust.
We strive toward perfection together, excusing one another’s human failings and allowing love and trust space to grow. We understand there has to be a balance, masculine and feminine, and accept our roles. He doesn’t want to be the feminine and I embrace letting him be the masculine.
I choose to be his Wifey, to be a vision of a gracious, elegant, forgiving, patient and giving partner- the essence of femininity. I maintain this vision through adversity. The more I practice these virtues, the stronger the good times and the fewer and further between the bad ones. The more I practice these virtues, the deeper and more committed his love for me becomes.
I am a powerful Queen who gently and respectfully influences and shapes her King to be stronger and better, while our challenges make me a stronger and better Queen. I am a woman he wants to listen to and be influenced by- his confidante, council, peacemaker and healer.
If there is ever a gap to bridge in our understanding, I am always willing to build that bridge. My patience gives him acceptance, my peace gives him shelter. I know love given only in good times is shallow love, so I choose to love unconditionally. I have decided to stop talking myself out of opening my heart out of fear because I know a good man when I get one. Furthermore I know a man I feel an undeniable connection to. He is both, so now I choose to honor that, reveal my heart to him and behave in a manner that fits my station as his Queen.
After bad things happen, I can be hurt, but I can still love, and love fearlessly because that love heals me. This means the bad we go through is where I can experience the full joy of love. Bring on the issues! Together we can handle them. Every one. We’ve done it before and if we have to do it again, we will. That doesn’t make me weak or a doormat- it makes me a warrior.
Only “fools for love” get to fall in love with their mate over and over and that is what I choose. “Foolish” love. Love that behaves in an open, giving, forgiving and compassionate way, no matter the obstacle. Love with great risk of breaking my heart but a heart that doesn’t turn away, or fear. Love that trusts with open arms, open mind and open heart.
I am a Warrior.
I am a Queen.
I am Wifey.

**If you feel my manifesto above, make sure to like my page on Facebook, The Wifey Handbook for free relationship advice on how to be the Wifey I know you are.  If you’re looking for a way to get the fire going again with your Boo, please check out my web page LoveWorthKeeping.com and sign up to receive your free copy of “How to Get the Spark Back NOW!!” which will start to change your entire relationship for the better like magic!