Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Do You Expect Too Much From Your Relationship?

We all deserve to find people who connect with us, who care for us, who make us laugh, who drive us crazy (in a good way), and who make us feel more excited than a popcorn kernel in a microwave.

Of course, we should all strive for all five qualities, not settle for two or three of the total. That said, many of us have unfair expectations of what relationships are supposed to be like.

Blame it on the movies, or romance novels, or Barbie-and-Ken mythology, but seeking perfection in a relationship isn't noble; it's doomed. Think about the lottery winners: They play with the hope that they'll score big, quit the job, buy a yacht, and party for the rest of their lives.

But the reality for so many mega-bucks winners is that they end up in a dead-end life with relatives clawing at them and bankruptcy lawyers dividing the spoils. Why? Because their expectations of their fantasy life were far different than the reality, and they end up blowing the so-called best thing that ever happened to them.

Same goes for relationships. You may hit lucky sevens with a perfect match, but if you don't manage the fantasy with a dose of reality, your heart will be headed for bankruptcy.

Below, you'll find four key fantasy vs. reality clashes. Make sure you end up on the right side

Expectation: The Fireworks of Romance
Reality: The Fireworks of Conflict

Sure, when sparks fly in a beginning of relationship, you've got oodles of chemistry, hopes, and anticipation. But to think that every day is going to be a barrel of butter-cream icing is just asking for trouble.
If you're experiencing a lot of passion, you need to manage the 180-degree side of that passion-hard-core conflict. While some see conflict as relationship weakness, it can actually be the opposite - a Harvard study, in fact, found that subjects who express their anger have half the risk of heart disease compared with men who internalize it.

It's a sign that you're communicating, a sign that you both care about the relationship, and a sign that you've got sparks, not complacency.

Expectation: The Perfect Package
Reality: Imperfect Behavior

When two people meet "the one," they tell all their friends about all the qualities of the new-found lover: Cute, friendly, compassionate, funny, good job, nice shoes, gorgeous body. In other words, poifect!
Yeah, right, your friends think, and they're probably right. Okay, your new love interest seems to fit 97 of your 100 pieces of criteria for the perfect mate - after the second date. But again, that level of expectation can be an unfair standard that your imperfect companion will never be able to live up to as weeks, months, and years pass.

Better to admire and appreciate the things that made you swoon. Then, it's up to you to manage the warts and worries (in personality, behavior, hygiene, whatever) that will slowly be introduced the more you get to know them.

Expectation: Wild Nights, Sleepy Days
Reality: Wild Days, Sleepy Nights

The joys of dating: Party all night, then lounge around during the day in anticipation of the night ahead. Of course, the initial excitement - about an impending date on the town or a friendly tussle in the bedroom - is one of the main engines that drives the relationship early on.
That power source will wind down a bit once commitment sets in and routine takes over. Fight the impulse to pull away when you start to feel this relationship shift; spending time with a romantic partner can curb work-related stress and lower blood pressure, according to researchers at the University of North Carolina.

The most successful couples are the ones who are able to adapt to the fact that crazy work days, the stress of life, and the daily grind of reality will become a stronger force than all-night talks under the stars.

Expectation: Complete Immersion
Reality: Occasional Diversion

When you start dating someone who drives you to Jack Nicholson levels of craziness, you want total saturation. You want to talk on the phone, you want an inbox full of flirty messages, you want five nights a week of dates, you can't stop thinking about them, and everything you say, do, smell, touch, or eat reminds you of that person.
If that's you, I'm happy for you. That kind of all-consuming infatuation is one of the greatest feelings in life. But it just can't last. And - truth to tell - men may maintain an interest in the NFL, and want to watch a game or two with buds.

Or women may decide that, heck, those end-of-season sales just can't go on without them. Many couples write off those feelings as evidence that they must be falling out of love. I don't see it that way. I see it as falling into reality, and successful couples know how to change their definition of immersion.

In fact, University of Chicago researchers found that those with a wide circle of friends have an easier time dealing with stress and have a lower risk of heart disease than people who rely on only one or two others for support. That is, they don't see immersion as being based on quantity of time together, but rather immersing themselves in each other in whatever time they have-whether it's a lot or not.

For a great look at this process of making real lives work with real love, check out this article, "How to Find Your Way Home," and show it to the man in your life.

Have other ideas for keeping our love life revving-but not too high - sound off here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

A little office tip.....(yeah dats right BACK TO WORK!!!)

What do prairie dogs, credit thieves and slackers have in common? They’re all types of co-workers who can undermine your efforts at work. And, unfortunately, these personalities are prevalent in many offices. In fact, according to a recent Robert Half survey, nearly one-third of professionals said they work with someone who is rude or unprofessional on the job.

Your relationships with co-workers can directly affect your on-the-job satisfaction -- and career success -- so treat everyone as professionally as possible, even those who may rub you the wrong way. Here are some examples of difficult colleagues you may encounter in the office and suggestions on how to best cope with each of them:

The Belittler
Belittlers routinely tear others down in order to build themselves up. Put-downs, demeaning remarks and disparaging comments are common trademarks of this person.

Coping strategy: Your confidence is the Belittler’s weakness, and he or she will back off if you stand up for yourself. Try refuting a Belittler’s criticism by asserting yourself, using facts where possible. For example, if he or she puts down one of your ideas, say, “It’s something that’s worked for X, Y and Z, and it also is more cost-effective than what we’re doing now.”

The Credit Thief
Insecure about their status, Credit Thieves boldly steal your ideas and grab the glory when a project is successful. Curiously, they’re nowhere to be found when things go wrong.

Coping strategy: Keep a written record of your activities and accomplishments, and give your manager regular status reports about the projects you’re working on. And don’t hesitate to correct misperceptions. (“Actually, I did the research; John helped input the data.”)

The Noisemaker
Be it making long personal calls, forgetting to silence their cell phone ringers, playing music or talking with others using their “outside voice,” Noisemakers can’t help but disturb others.

Coping strategy: Do your best to insulate yourself from the sound. If you have a private office, close your door. If you work in a cubicle, try putting on headphones or moving to an empty office where you can concentrate in silence. If the situation persists, speak to the person and kindly ask him or her to keep the noise down, explaining that it’s preventing you from getting your work done.

The Saboteur
Saboteurs have a knack for leaving colleagues in the lurch. Similar to Belittlers, they like to make others look bad. Their tactics aren’t always overt, so you may not realize you’re working with a Saboteur until a critical deadline arrives. That’s when you discover you’re unable to complete your part of the project because the Saboteur has withheld important information.

Coping strategy: Be sure your supervisor or project manager knows the roles and responsibilities of each team member, and insist on regular progress reports so that Saboteurs can’t take advantage of lapses in oversight.

The Rumor monger
Rumor mongers like drama and often spread half-truths or lies by talking behind others’ backs. This is an especially dangerous type of co-worker because he or she has the ability to tarnish your reputation.

Coping strategy: The best defense is to avoid engaging in any kind of mean-spirited gossip. Remember, if you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all. If the Rumor monger starts swapping stories with you, avoid falling into the trap and instead excuse yourself as quickly as possible.

The Slacker
This person may try to pass off tasks to other staff members. The Slacker often claims he or she is “too busy” to help out, yet will make time for long chats and Web surfing during office hours.

Coping strategy: If you lead a project team, be sure this person carries his or her weight by documenting the responsibilities of each member of the group and asking for regular status reports. Hold everyone accountable for their portion of the project, and be firm with deadlines.

The Prairie Dog

There’s nothing quite as distracting -- or, at times, alarming -- as when an individual pops his or her head over your cubicle wall, seemingly out of nowhere, or drops by your desk unannounced. It typically happens when you’re on deadline or just about to write down a brilliant idea.

Coping strategy: Let the person know that, while you’d like to talk, you have a lot to do at the moment. If possible, schedule another time to meet, such as during lunch or after work. And, to prevent further interruptions, consider hanging a sign outside the entrance to your workspace, notifying people that you’re busy and when you’ll be available again.

If one of these descriptions reminds you of yourself, it might be time to re-evaluate your own behavior and adjust it as necessary. Remember, when it comes to working in an office environment, the more you respect others’ time and space, the more likely they’ll be to return the favor.

Robert Half International is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm with a global network of more than 350 offices throughout North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. For more information about our professional services, please visit www.rhi.com.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

How to be His Best Sex Ever.......Dedicated to all Val Couples

Want to be the best lover your guy has ever had? It's simple. All you need to do is understand the male sexual psyche... and not judge him for it.

I recently attended an art exhibition in London that traced the representation of sex in art through the ages. Part of the exhibition included a series of photographs that aimed to capture the essence of various couples' relationships and sex lives. The images were both graphic and private: intensely tender moments and raw sexual moments. The first series was based on a straight couple. The second was based on a male homosexual couple.

What struck me immediately was the difference in their sex lives. The gay guys didn't just appear to have more sex than the straight couple—their sex life also had extraordinary variety: different positions, locations, props... tender sex and wild sex. Their sex life beat the straight couple's sex life hands down. Why? Because it's two men. A gay guy knows his partner won't judge him because two men think of sex in the same way: Neither one sees anything wrong in what they're doing! The male sex drive is more primitive than the female sex drive, so two men together feel totally secure in letting loose. The lesson to be learned as a straight girl? The only thing standing in the way of you having a tender, wild, wonderful, exciting sex life is your attitude.

In today's society, there's a very clear line drawn between "normal" and "naughty." This seems to be the definition: If everyone does it, no matter what "it" is, "it" is "normal." If only a few people do it, no matter what "it" is, "it" is not "normal."

(Modified)...Rubbish...Variety is the spice of life...TRY SOMETHING NEW!!

The next time your partner suggests something unusual, fight your knee-jerk reaction to say no. Consider why you want to reject it: Is it because it's just something you don't hear other people say they're doing? Is that what scares you? If so, then ask yourself if trying his suggestion will hurt either one of you physically or emotionally: Is there any danger? If not, then what's the problem? Be one of the few women to embrace this concept and you'll not only be the best lover he's ever had, you'll probably be the best he ever will have.

Men Are Visual: Excite His Eyes
Men's sexual arousal is dependent on what they see, which makes visual excitement his number one turn-on. And the evidence is in the emails I get from male readers: "Why won't she... watch porn/shave her pubic hair/wear sexy clothes/leave her shoes on/watch us having sex in a mirror/masturbate for me/go out without underwear on?" He needs electric shocks to his penis. Give him something he's not used to seeing or doing and you'll make his day.

Lose the "I Should Be Enough for Him" Mindset
Men like trying new things. So when your guy asks for something new in bed, all it means is that he wants to try something new. Is that how most women interpret it? Heck no! Being the super-sleuths of relationships, ahem, we don't take anything at face value; instead we dive deep below the surface searching for a murkier, more sinister reason. And the conclusion we generally come to is this: "If he wants something new in bed, it must mean he's unhappy with the sex he's having" or "Why does he need all these props/fantasies/porn DVDs when he's got me?" Both of these reactions are overreactions, and, more often than not, neither one is true. You don't look at him oddly if he orders something other than a burger for lunch, do you? Or a glass of red wine instead of a beer? Humans need variety. You need variety. Instead of feeling intimidated by it, embrace it.

No, You Won't Look Fat
There's another reason why we're not rushing to pull on that French maid outfit or wear the tiny underwear he bought us. It's the embarrassment factor: We're scared we'll look fat or feel ridiculous. In fact, it's the main reason women say they're not more adventurous in bed. It's not that we don't have a naughty streak; it's just that our self-consciousness over powers it. But, if you're wearing a French maid outfit, odds are, he's not looking at you as a whole, not at your "problem" areas (he probably doesn't even think you have any problem areas).

Explore New, Uncharted Territory
I know it's a delicate topic, but anal play is getting more and more popular and you need to know about it. Why? Because if you get it right, he'll have the most powerful orgasm he's ever had. (Yes, really.) Having said that, his bottom is a hugely private zone, and you'll need permission to enter. How? Either ask outright or read body language—ideally both. Instigate proceedings by stroking the perineum, the smooth area between the anus and testes. Then use three fingers to massage it firmly. Let your fingers casually brush against his anus and see how he reacts.
If he pulls away or clenches his bottom together, he's either not interested or nervous (quite possibly both). If he lifts his bottom or presses against your hand, it's a pretty good indication that he'd like you to continue. Keep stroking the opening until he's relaxed again, then insert the tip of a finger into his rectum (having first applied some lubricant you left on the nightstand). Hold still for a moment or two, then try circling or moving your finger gently in and out. Check that everything's fine (just say, "Okay?') before pushing your finger further inside. Once you've gently explored how deep and what sort of movement he likes, add it to oral sex or when you're masturbating him with your hands, just before he's about to orgasm.

Ban the Bed
Yes, you've heard it before: Sex in the bedroom is boring blah blah blah. So... why don't you stop having sex there then? Knowing you should be having sex in places other than the bedroom won't turn you into a better lover unless you do it. Have a quickie in the bathroom at parties or in the lavatory on an airplane. Let your hand stray into his lap in the movie theatre. Give him a very naughty, long, wet kiss in the kitchen at his parents' (though not while his Mum's doing the dishes). Pounce on him in your living room, dining room, spare room. Do anything beyond rolling over once at the end of the day, stifling a yawn and making a half-hearted attempt at fondling him.

Just so we're clear...this is a disclaimer...am feeling everything except the exploration of new territory..(ahem).....

consider this my tribute to Val's Day(lol)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Am baaaaaaaack

Hallo all

I see I've been sorely missed by my main sweetheart afrobabe....and other sweethearts like Isi, Nyemoni, Solomonsydelle, and others I failed to mention(sorry)...allow me to apologise for the long silence I was on leave and had very limited access to the web..the best I could do was publish comments...I just responded to them today.
Well dont ask me how my leave was cause ders no story to tell..I spent it snoozing, eating, snoozing, eating, er...**********(ahem) etc etc..
All in all its good to be back but I should inform in advance I'll be gone again in a week's time for about a week.....

So....what have I missed?

Friday, February 1, 2008

How To Date Like A Man

When’s the last time you saw a guy walk into the bar or party looking useless and confused? Okay, so it was yesterday. Were you interested in him? No? Shocker. That’s because most guys walk into a place with a purpose. Unless they’re looking for a space to park their binder filled with original Star Trek drawings, they’re looking for friends or women. And you should look the same. When you walk into a place, act like you know where the hell you’re going, even if you don’t. Everyone will wonder who you are and why you’re there, but they’ll never think you’re useless and confused.

Got your eye on someone? Good. Don’t shy away. Look him straight in the eye and think, “You should be attached to my lips by now, why aren’t you?” Trust me, he’ll read your thoughts like they’re projected above your head on a widescreen.

Look. No one cares about what anyone else has to say. They just don’t. But what you have to do is pretend that you do. Ask about their life, their job, their parents, anything to keep them talking. Because the more fake interest you show in them, the easier it is to disarm them. Guys are used to talking about themselves, as are we all, but if you actually fake an interest, they kind of don’t know what to do. Like puppies trapped in a cage in the window of a pet shop, they are addicted to the interest you show in them. Tap the glass. Watch them lick your fingers.

You’re at the bar, you’re talking with him, it’s been hours, and still nothing has happened. Do us all a favor. Kiss the idiot. For one thing, he’s not going to not appreciate it. For another, if you don’t do it, someone else will.

There are two ways to take control of a situation like this, whether you’re at a bar or a wedding or an inauguration.

Way #1: Lean forward and say, “You have the cutest lips!”
Way #2: Lean forward and say, “Are you going to kiss me now or WHAT?”

Way #2, obviously, puts the ball in his court and makes him feel in control, even though, really, you’ve just instructed him to kiss you, which is pretty much what you wanted him to do in the first place.

You can always take control by just telling him to do what he probably wanted to do anyway; whether it’s kissing you or getting you a cab home. Tell him what to do. He’ll like it.

Do you want sex? No, really, do you? Because men do. And that’s pretty much all they want from you until they get to know you and your sense of humor and how you put on your shoes in that cute way that no one else does. And until you realize that sex is not an invitation to boyfriendville, you’re screwed.

He just wants to have sex with you. And you? You want to have sex with him. So do it already. Enjoy it. Tell him what you want. Make him your momentary love slave. And after it’s over?

Make him sleep in the wet spot.


This is so incredibly important. Give him your name. Give him a fake cell number. In this age of the internet, anyone can find you if they want to, but, that being said, it doesn’t mean you should hand out your cell phone number to every last guy you happen to sleep with. Tell him what you do for a living, but don’t tell him where you work. Give him your email address, but don’t tell him what you do. Do not divulge all of your personal details. Why?

And you will not want him to. And you will be all, “Oh. Hi. Yeah. Um…” And he will be all, “Yeah. You. And me. And…” And you will feel like a man for the first time in your life and you will say, “It was really nice meeting you the other night, but I have to floss my cat three times a day and I’m in charge of the electricity for the Chrysler building and why don’t we just…hook up later in the year. When I’m willing to?” And he will be all sad and lonely and want to see you again and you will think, “Wait, who IS this guy?” And then you will be sorry that you handed out your personal information to a potential stalker.

So you’ve had sex. Good for you! Guess what? You never have to talk to each other ever again if you don’t want to. Know why? It's not required to talk after sex. If you had a good time but you don’t want to date him, don’t call him. If you had a good time and you do want to date him…don’t call him. Know why? Because you just had a one-night stand. And one night stands, barring unforeseen circumstances, will never wind up in a relationship.

Not to go all Samantha on you or anything, but seriously – one night stands are awesome. No muss no fuss, no strings, possibly good sex, no worry about the following morning or possible dating situations, one night stands…they have their merit. Do we all want a sexual partner with whom we can tell our deepest secrets and joys? Sure. Do we all want the occasional bang up against a chain-link fence behind a bar with no consequences? Hell. Yeah. Never shall the two meet. Unless we’re really lucky.

Want more from Erin Dailey? Check out ErinDailey.com.