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Archive for the 'Miscellaneous' Category

Jul 04 2009

A Relationship has a Mind of Its Own

Published by under Advice,Miscellaneous

  • A relationship is a shared mental process.
  • A relationship has a presence, a personality and an emotional impact.  It can and will make demands on both partners. It shapes how partners see each other.  It is a lens through which partners understand each other.
  • It has a mind and a heart of its own but it doesn’t have a body. Instead of flesh and blood, a relationship is formed by the constant flow of the ten thousand messages, and reactions to those messages, that flow constantly between the two minds of the two partners.
  • In other words, a relationship is a spiritual entity.  Like an Angel?  Maybe Except its presence can be seen with scientific instruments. Brain imaging can observe how the neural activity in one partner is mirrored by similar neural activity in the same brain areas in the other partner, a visible marker of empathetic resonance. If it’s an angel, it is one that you can see on a computer monitor.
  • Despite the hard science evidence, a relationship doesn’t live in the concrete world. A relationship lives in the world of stories. Stories register in our brains and make us think and feel in various ways.  We humans are, maybe more than anything else, creatures who tell stories. We live stories and will even die for stories. The deeper, more intimate the relationship, further it sends its roots into both partners’ stories – into the heart of their lives.
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Apr 29 2009

What can possibly go wrong?

Published by under Advice,Miscellaneous

They started the session so pleased with each other and the promise of their relationship. They’d been through a lot and now it looked like they were in for a patch of fair weather. However, thanks to my careful questioning and comments I’d managed to bring her to the point of seething resentment and in response, he was on the cliff edge of committing himself to some way of expressing some kind of punitive and spiteful payback: He was suddenly more than willing to do exactly those very the things she feared, just make her eat her damn words and stew in her own fears until she choked. Based on that I figured the session was a success.

Perhaps you are wondering why? Let me give you some background and also let me see if I can persuade that this was a good exercise for both them. And also, perhaps I can persuade you that this exercise might be a good idea for you and your partner.

They’d had a hard ride, these two. It had been a difficult on-again-off-again relationship. Honeymoon became hell became break-up became make-up became honeymoon became hell and round and round. It had happened enough times that they knew and feared their routine. This in itself was great progress. Before this realization they seemed surprised to find themselves again and again in the same place.

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Apr 25 2009

Dating and Mating Dances at Midlife

Published by under Miscellaneous

It’s Spring and you know what happens. For the next few weeks, in the fields and forests, the birds and the beasts are doing their mating dances. We too, by instinct, perform a mating dance. The human mating dance is called dating.

A mating dance is a way for two creatures to work out whether they are going to have a certain, special relationship, which includes sex; it also includes certain understandings, expectations and obligations. A mating dance is not just matter of whether or not they are agreeing to do The Big It, it is also a matter of how they are going to get along, the Big How. This is the fundamental dynamic in dating.
Mating Dating Negotiating
In the Ken Burns 12 part documentary on jazz, Wynton Marsalis opens the series with this statement: “The real power of jazz and the innovation of jazz was that a group of people could come together and improvise art and can negotiate their agendas and that negotiation is the art.” I was struck by that last phrase, that the negotiation itself is the art. There it is again, the Big How.

In dating also, negotiation itself is the art. It’s not some specific goal or event dinner, sex, vacation plans — that really matters; the goal is to create a process, an ongoing relationship. It’s not what you get, it’s how you get there. Everything is foreplay.

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Apr 25 2009

Men, Women and Dancing

Published by under Miscellaneous

You have to imagine this scene; 500 men and women in sexy, casual dress at a big conference hotel for three days of socializing, flirting and dancing to swing music. This was the annual Boston Tea Party at the Framingham, MA, Sheraton, There are weekends like this all year long, all with the same format: lessons all day Friday and Saturday, dancing all night, until three or four in the morning, more of the same on Sunday.

For the lessons, the huge hotel ballrooms are cut in half by fold-out walls and about seventy five couples are arranged in a line snaking up and down, up and down. Skilled teachers with big personalities and cordless headset mikes lead the crowd through new steps asking the couples to change partners every two minutes. By the end of the lesson every leader has danced with every follower. It’s like non-verbal speed dating.

A good rule for meeting someone interesting is to make the first encounter brief and pleasant. Then, when you meet them the second time, they already know you. They are more open. Dancing with someone in a lesson makes it easier to ask them to dance later, at the open dances. By the end of the days’ lessons, people have had a hundred or so brief encounters. Talk about working a room.

The evenings are for dancing, performances, contests and more dancing. Two different ballrooms, one with old fashioned, welcoming swing from the thirties, forties, and fifties, and the other room thumping with glitzy, do-you-want-to-do-me, eighties and nineties disco music. It’s a study in flirtation.

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Mar 30 2009

Welcome to Datingatmidlife.com

Published by under Miscellaneous

You are a midlife adult now.

You can learn to create and manage your relationships.

You can get what you really want.

Welcome to Datingatmidlife.com

Being single and dating is so different at midlife that I’ve created a special  site with help, advice and resources. I’m a real human being, as you are-  not some kind of big business corporate organization, and I really care about helping you find fulfillment in your relationships!

You CAN create an exciting, fulfilling life partnership life. But don’t be too hard on yourself if you haven’t yet. Here are some of the real challenges you face as a single person at midlife:

Finding yourself single at midlife is a form of midlife crisis, and it doesn’t matter whether you left the relationship or it left you, it’s still your crisis.

In a crisis, there is no way back to what used to be “normal”. No matter what you do, something new must happen.

Midlife dating is confusing because there are four stages to the midlife crisis for single people (check out my article on the stages of midlife dating). In each stage there is a different way you have to take care of yourself and a different set of lessons to learn.

Success in partnerships at midlife demands higher level skills and more self knowledge. Which skills? What kind of self-knowledge? How do you learn about something if you don’t know that you don’t know it?

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