Are You A Trophy Girlfriend?

You see this often: an average-looking man with an arm around a stunningly beautiful woman.  Flip through the society pages of a newspaper and you will also see wealthy and accomplished men photographed beside their eye-catching dates.  Politicians are guilty of this.  Most men seeking elective office are said to purposely marry the most beautiful faces that their money can buy in an effort to look picture-perfect to their constituents.  An additional bonus is that a beautiful woman can increase a man’s chances of improving his gene pool as she may bear him beautiful children someday.   

For a woman who is referred to as a trophy wife or girlfriend, the label can be degrading as it implies that she is valued for nothing more than her physical assets.  Women yearn to be loved completely, and this includes not just what is seen on the outside but also what she has between her ears and in her heart.  While you are flattered by compliments about your beauty, you don’t want to be treated simply like a doll that doesn’t speak her mind, and is locked up in a glass case for all to see. It’s time to re-assess old views about the trophy date and consider the following ideas:  ·         

Men are visual creatures.   They are attracted to beautiful things: sports cars, grand homes, sleek gadgets and beautiful women.  While your boyfriend’s interest in you may have started off with a strong physical attraction, if after getting to know you, your boyfriend finds that your personality is dull and shallow, he may not ask you out a second or a third time. A woman must have something else about her in order to hold a man’s attention.  If he’s still with you, then he must have seen something more than just your beautiful face.          

Take pride in your beauty.  Without being narcissistic, be comforted by the fact that your boyfriend is proud of you.  Would you rather be hidden from everyone else?  In a sea of average looking people, it is your fortune to be born with the face of an angel.   

Break free from the stereotype of a beautiful woman.  You don’t always have to be bothered by the opinion of others; you can’t control their thoughts.  What you can do is to shine in a field that you are good at.  Continue to improve yourself by learning new skills and perfecting your craft.  Be nice to people from all walks of life.  A beautiful face and a good heart is a rare combination.  In time, you will be admired for being beautiful inside and out.      

Being beautiful is a blessing.  Be thankful for it.  Your man certainly appreciates it.  You would be right to worry if other than parade you around in front of his friends, your man does nothing to show that he respects you or appreciates you.  In such an instance, your beauty should give you the strength to break free from a meaningless relationship. With your looks, you should have no problem finding better men to be with.

After all, a beautiful woman is worth fighting for.   

Should I be her rebound relationship?

The fastest way to bounce back from a break-up is to find someone new.  To someone who is nursing a broken heart, a new love interest can be a source of inspiration and a distraction.  It is human nature to want to love and to be loved in return. 

When a woman’s ex leaves a void in her heart and in her arms, she may fall in love with the next male that seems to pay her some attention.  Before you know it, a rebound relationship already exists between the two.  

There’s reason to be wary about a rebound relationship. Its defects usually surface a little later, when the passion of a whirlwind romance fades or when the broken-hearted woman meets someone more compatible to be with.  So, if you know that the woman you have a crush on is finally free, be the first to comfort her, but take care not to be her rebound boyfriend.  Here’s how:

  • Be her shrink.  Listen to her feelings. Allow her to whine about her previous relationship even when you are not interested in those things.  Wipe her tears and make her smile.  The more you allow her to process all the pain coming from her broken heart, the sooner will she recover and be ready to get into a new relationship.  Surely, you will get some credit for being there when she badly needed a shoulder to cry on. 
  • Mark your territory.  While you should avoid romantic gestures and similar advances while she is getting over her ex, you should establish your presence at an early stage to keep other male prospects from entering the picture.  This you can do by offering to be her constant companion in public places. 
  • Keep her girl friends close by.  Let her female friends maintain their roles as her best friends.  You, on the other hand, should avoid becoming her best friend, but continue being her special friend.  The last thing you’d want to hear from her is that what you both share is a platonic relationship. A platonic relationship is somewhere between a simple friendship and a romantic relationship.  Unless you get lucky, you won’t be able to get her to elevate you from platonic to romantic. So, don’t be her best friend.
  • Let her know you think she is special.  This is tricky for being a grey area.  While you don’t want to woo her immediately, you have to send subtle hints her way every now and then.  Wait for the right opportunity to put in a good word about her like when she complains that her ex was the one who dumped her.  Say something that could touch her heart like “I would never let you go if I were your boyfriend.” An indirect hint is when you avoid showing interest in other girls.  If she inquires about the existence of a girlfriend, say something like, “I am happy where I am right now.” 

Seizing the opportunity to be her boyfriend in a rebound relationship is fine if all you want is a short-lived affair.  But with perseverance and proper timing, you avoid being her rebound boyfriend while increasing your chances of having a relationship that lasts.

Piano Lessons Can Boost A Child’s IQ

I enjoyed playing the piano at an early age but never really liked the long hours of practice and became the nightmare of my piano teachers back then. The monotony of playing the same piece everyday made me impatient as I imagined myself doing a Liberace instead of my lame abridged version of Minuet in G. Had my teachers informed me back then that piano lessons could actually boost a child’s IQ, I would have been less of a headache to them when I was in my pre-teens!

Math skills:  Studies are increasingly linking math skills and piano lessons especially when learned at a young age. Apparently, the entire exercise of memorizing notes and sequences, expressing emotion while playing a piece and studying musical measures and beats, stimulates the same parts of the brain that are responsible for a child’s mathematical skills and spatial intelligence.  Spatial intelligence is the ability to think through 3-dimensional puzzles without actually seeing the actual model.

Communication skills:  Playing a musical instrument, especially the piano, promotes the same brain processes that sharpens a person’s language skills.    In fact, piano training is currently being used by special education programs for autistic children as early as age 3 or 4!   The effects are more pronounced in students who have been training for years. 

In addition to increasing intelligence, piano training is also a great way to improve a child’s self esteem and instill cooperation in the classroom.

Formula for Overcoming Failure

Failure is not final; failure is not fatal.” – Pat Mesiti

 I’ve had the privilege of studying the life lessons taught around the world by Australia’s most popular life coach and mentor Pat Mesiti.  A necessary requirement for my Mesiti project entailed reading most of his bestselling books on self improvement, and it didn’t take long for me to see why he is a sought after speaker.

Looking at Pat Mesiti now, you may think that life was always sweet and easy for him.  He is living the life that most people dream of.   As a motivational speaker, Pat Mesiti does not mind revealing personal details of his life just to illustrate some of the principles he teaches.   In one of his books, he talks candidly about failure.

People generally do not take failure very well.   When things don’t go as planned, their world stops or they simply stop living.   People who lose hope seem to overlook that failure is not a permanent condition.  It comes and goes depending on how you deal with it. 

A few years ago, Pat Mesiti faced a major crisis that cost him his career and marriage. Fast forward to today, Pat Mesiti is back on his feet and is a successful public speaker, author, life coach and mentor. He is living proof that failure is, indeed, never final.  His is not an isolated case.  Most successful businessmen at one time became bankrupt or were deep in debt before they rose to greater heights.  

Use failure as a tool to rebuild.

When dealing with failure, you have two choices: to wallow in self pity and misery or to get up and find ways to rise above your situation.   Pat Mesiti narrates how he picked himself up when he hit rock bottom.  It all started with a realization that failure should not kill dreams or end goals.   Instead, he used his personal crisis as a springboard to bounce back.   For some, the pain of failure is the driving force that pushes them out of a rut.  

Learn from your failures.

There is always a lesson to be learned from a failure. Oftentimes, failure occurs because of something that you keep doing wrongly.  While failure may be a part of life, it is meant to teach you that something does not work. Determine what you did wrong and avoid making the same mistake or risk failure once again.

Take concrete action to correct your mistake.

As the old saying goes, “The man who does not correct a mistake is making a bigger mistake. It is not enough to know where you went wrong and accept failure.  If a mistake can still be rectified, then by all means, do your best to fix it. Your failure may have hurt someone or some people. Saying that you are sorry and making amends can pave the way for moving beyond your failure.

People also tend to isolate themselves when dealing with failure.  While being alone is a way to recoup from a serious mistake or loss, surrounding yourself with supportive family and friends and having an inspiration to succeed will shorten your recovery time.

I feel sad when I hear of people taking their own lives because of overwhelming debt or heartbreak.   In my legal blogs, I occasionally deviate from my usual topics to talk about ending credit card debt or open my Inbox to those who would like to ask for advice on family law (most legal queries carry a personal component that can seem more unbearable than the legal difficulties of their questions).  While I may not be able to fix everyone’s problems, I’d like to reach out and remind them that the world does go round.  Seasons change with the passing of time. The sun will always rise in the morning.   Life has its ups and downs– but it is beautiful that way.

Forgiveness and Moving Forward

Forgiveness is a thing that cleans the deck of our lives.”—Pat Mesiti

Most people find that the gravity of a mistake determines how soon or how long they can forgive.  Oftentimes, a serious wrongdoing will remain not only in your memory, but also in your heart.  But it is precisely this emotional attachment to a mistake that prevents you from moving on to a better life.  

The Monkey Experiment

Bestselling author and life coach Pat Mesiti illustrates this concept of letting go with a story about how some scientists managed to capture a rare species of monkeys. 

The scientists devised a trap using bottles with narrow necks that contained some nuts. As expected, the monkeys reached into the bottles to get the nuts but their clenched fists prevented them from withdrawing their hands, effectively trapping them. The monkeys’ refusal to let go kept them trapped.  Similarly, humans who are unable to forgive refuse to let go of the past, preventing them from moving on to better things. 

Clinging to a past mistake uses up so much of your energy when there is nothing you can do to change what has happened. Successful people also make mistakes but the difference lies in how they focus on the future, not on the past.   Just remember:

You cannot move forward while looking at the rear view mirror.”

 

You may find it hard to forgive because the memory of a past mistake can constantly refresh the pain and negativity that accompanied the wrongdoing or failure. While you may not forget things, it is possible to rise above a mistake or failure by choosing to forgive.  Remembering the past may come from the mind, but forgiving the past must come from the heart. It may take some strength to forgive others, but it can only happen if you exercise that choice.

Forgiveness does not only apply to others who may have wronged you.  If you have been in a rut for quite some time and can’t seem to get out of it, chances are that you are holding on to a personal failure and wallowing in bitterness, regret or self pity.  Having gone through moments of bitterness as well, I assure you that it was in forgiving myself that I was able to truly move on.  While I may not be able to erase my past, I chose to get up again and start a new direction on a clean slate.

First Date Tips

Men go out on a date for various reasons.  Most are interested in pursuing a long term relationship with a woman they like.  Some may just be in need of a female companion for an occasion.  Others simply wish to explore the possibility of physical intimacy without the benefit of a relationship.   Whether your intentions are for a lasting commitment or a brief encounter with a woman, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving your date a good time.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Prepare for it.  Even the most experienced daters go through some form of preparation for a girl they are taking out for the first time.  Spend some time finding out whatever you can about your date.  Know her likes and dislikes.  Seek an understanding of what she does for a living.  The preliminary information will help you pick a place to eat or hang out with her. The right setting will put her in a good mood.  Attend to your personal hygiene and figure what you will be wearing ahead of time.
  • Make her feel comfortable during your date.  If you get her to warm up to you, you increase your chances of having a second or succeeding date with her. 
  • Don’t expect intimacy on the first date.  Most women prefer to get to know their dates before getting into bed with any of them.  Be realistic in your expectations to avoid getting disappointed when the night is over.
  • Avoid being a bad first date for any woman.  This rule applies whether you want to pursue a relationship with her or if you just want to hang out or have a fling with her.  If the first date is a disappointment, a woman you like may not want to see you again.  If you don’t care how a casual date will turn out, you should still give your date a good time.  You’ll never know who your casual date may be friends or connected with.  If word gets around about how you are a sloppy date material, you decrease your chances of seizing more dates with women you really like. 

 

First impressions are made during the first dates.  Try not to make distinctions between a serious date and a casual date.  Every woman who agrees to go out with you expects a degree of respect and attention from you to make her time with you worthwhile.  Make every date matter, because you’ll never know how a woman really is until you go out with her.

How to Mend a Broken Heart

There’s nothing more toxic than staying on in a relationship gone sour.  When it’s over, you lose sleep, your skin gets ugly, your under-eye circles grow dark and worse, you lose your self-esteem.  By now you may have asked yourself a hundred questions why and how did you end up losing each other when everything seemed to be going great.  Fact is: people change, feelings change, and moping in your room will not bring things back to the way it was before.  Finding fault will not help either.  To unwind a relationship, it certainly had to be someone’s fault- his, yours, or a combination of both.  While it’s healthy and normal to grieve over the loss of a relationship, you have to pick yourself up after.  Don’t turn back. Move on.  Here’s what will help to mend a broken heart:

  1. Discard, throw, hide or put away all pictures of your ex.  Remember: out of sight, out of mind.
  2. Get rid of all items that he/she gave you during the relationship.  Donate, throw or sell them.  If you have accumulated enough, organize or join a yard sale and convert the remnants of your relationship into CASH.
  3. Avoid mushy and sad love songs for the next two or three weeks.  The same advice goes for romantic movies. Laughter is still the best medicine; watch comedy films.  If you like action movies, by all means, watch them, too.  The idea is to distract yourself and to lift your spirits.
  4. Read good books.  In your state of temporary and mild depression, self-help or inspirational books can change your outlook.  Titles such as “Who Moved My Cheese” and “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” are good reads.
  5. Get a makeover. Chances are, when you were so engrossed with your problems or with your ex, you sacrificed yourself and gradually turned from beauty to the beast. Maybe that’s the reason why the relationship turned ugly– no pun intended. You don’t have to wear your broken heart on your sleeve. Work out. Get a new hairstyle. Try a new hair color. Get a facial, manicure and pedicure.  Shave, if you’re a man.  Try out new fashion styles. Improving yourself not only makes you feel better, but it also increases your chances of finding someone new and probably better than your ex.
  6. Work, work and work. If you can’t have the best relationship right now, then be the best employee, businessman, lawyer, doctor or student that you can be. Watch yourself transform into a better person when you focus on the more important things in life, like yourself. The full attention you give your work or studies will help you take your mind off that lousy break-up. And everyone will admire you for your renewed performance.
  7. Hang out with good friends. After you’ve dried your tears, please, please, please, put on your best outfit and get out of your bat cave. Go sip a frappuccino in one of the best spots in the mall– the coffee shop. Sit outdoors so you can watch the beautiful people go by.   The sugar and caffeine in your drink will give you a temporary rush. Grab a chocolate bar.  They say chocolate contains chemicals to brighten your mood.
  8. Cut clean. Change your mobile phone number. Delete his/her number from your address book. Whatever it is you do, don’t even try to talk to him/her again. No excuses here. Don’t say it’s for closure. If you broke up badly, leave it that way. Sometimes, focusing on the real reasons for your break-up grounds you. When you feel like saying something hurtful to your ex, just write it on a piece of paper and throw it away. Don’t text! If you do, you’ll be in worse shape than the day after your break-up if you try to make contact. And please, ex-lovers can’t TRULY be good friends, unless you still dream of love the second time around. In which case, stop reading this– you are not trying to get over a broken heart.
  9. Finally, if after following tips 1 to 8 you still find yourself sinking into serious depression, go see a shrink. Get professional help. Just because you need to see a psychiatrist or a counselor doesn’t mean that you are crazy. In fact, your desire to seek help means that you are intelligent enough to recognize your limitations. Unfortunately this means spending more money because counseling and possible medication can be expensive.  So, if I were you, I’d work on numbers 1 to 8 first and see what happens.

 

No matter how difficult letting go may seem, don’t do drugs or turn into a shameless alcoholic just because you are feeling miserable. Remember, there are other fishes in the sea.

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When is It Time to Move On?

It is normal for a couple to experience challenges in their relationship after the initial sparks of attraction have worn off.  After a time, a person’s true colors will either be shown to you or your partner’s qualities which were, once upon a time, endearing to you may now be annoying you. 

At the start of a relationship, it is typical to put your best foot forward.  Most likely, you highlighted your best assets while you suppressed your less than perfect side.  The same can be said for your partner.  While deception may not be the intention, winning the affection of your partner may have called for some makeover on your part.  The problem with many a transformation is in the maintenance of appearances.  As you spend more time together, you relax and shed some of your inhibitions in front of your partner.  While this may be part of intimacy, it can also be the proverbial ‘familiarity’ that ‘breeds contempt.’   Faced with the glaring imperfections of your partner, you ask yourself if it’s time to move on.

In dealing with personal differences, you have to draw the line between what is acceptable and non-negotiable.  What is acceptable is relative, and only you can tell yourself whether you can live with it or not.  Non-negotiable issues are deal breakers and need not be explored further. 

Acceptable matters usually involve things that can be improved by your partner.  This requires open communication so that your partner knows exactly what is bothering you.  Oftentimes, your partner will propose to make changes.  It would also help if you could suggest ways to make things better between the two of you.  But change requires lots of concrete action and time for it to take place.  A mere promise to change without any further action can be a deal breaker.  On the other hand, a marked improvement that is continuous can result in a compromise for the sake of the relationship.

Other factors to consider when faced with the question of moving on include: your partner’s attitude towards your dislike for specific traits, the willingness to compromise or make changes, and a repetitious cycle of improvement and reversion of old habits. A negative reaction or development in these areas may constitute a serious reason to move on.

Problems in a relationship can test the strength of your commitment to one another.  If you are both committed to the idea of keeping the relationship, then nothing can stop both of you from working things out by change, compromise or acceptance.  On the other hand, if none of you can accept things as they are, or if none of you can make the changes the other expects, then it is time to move on.

How I did my own personal makeover

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Once in a while I get tired of my usual appearance and think of new styles to try.  As I flip through magazines or surf TV channels, I excitedly picture the new “me.”  A new look that becomes me always fetches raves from friends and family members so that I feel good on the inside as well.  I realize that I have the ability of transforming myself physically just by thinking and wanting change. 

While I managed to carry my self well with the appropriate cosmetics, a suitable hairstyle and flattering clothes, I admit that I was deficient in the personality department and was no Miss Congeniality.  As vice president for the company’s Legal Services and Human Resources Division, I adopted a strict attitude at work.   Finding fault in everything was my forté.  An internal memo that was meant for my eyes only always left my hands with red marks and revisions as though it had gone through an editor. Because my job entailed hiring and firing, I was used to sending out memos informing people of their violations at work.  People labeled me as someone with an “insatiable desire for perfection.”  In other words, I was difficult to please and saw the bad instead of the good in anything.  You could say that being negative almost became my second nature. 

I assumed the role of company critic and hatchet man for 7 years.  By the time I left, I was complaining of constant fatigue and exhaustion when all I did was sit on my desk for 8 to 10 hours a day.  I suspected that the physical stress came from constant negativity. Worse, I hardly made any real friends during my stay because people feared my power and my sharp tongue.  I could almost hear a hundred employees heaving a sigh of relief as I announced my decision to downshift and retire from office.  But what they did not know was how sad I was to realize that I became a negative person because of my job.   Being negative did not make me rich nor did it gain me valuable friends.  Being negative deprived me of making the most out of life.  Fortunately, I decided to do something about it.

I turned away from negativity.  I avoided friends who seemed to talk for hours about every negative event of their lives.  I quickly changed topics whenever someone close to me would gripe about someone at work or at home.  I bit my tongue when I felt like lashing out at someone even as I felt that the other person deserved a piece of my mind.  Every time something warranted a negative comment, I quickly discarded the thought and searched for something nice to say. 

I made positive thinking a way of life.  I start each morning with a short prayer of thanks for a new day.  I avoid watching movies that deal with violence or anything disheartening while I gravitate towards comedy films and videos with positive themes.  I took more drastic measures in dealing with negative people.  I quickly delete negative emails and text messages.  Instead of responding to negative comments and statements, I ignore the remarks and turn my attention to something else. When conflict arises between two people who are close to me, I withdraw from the issue and refrain from taking sides.  Furthermore, I went to the extent of assessing the status of my friendships with some people who were either a source of negativity or bad influence and avoided contact with them. 

Making a conscious effort to think and stay positive has yielded results after a period of time.  Those who I could not see eye to eye with in the past gradually softened up towards me and while they did not become my best friends, they no longer speak ill of me.  I understand that my change of heart may not easily be accepted by my critics and the cynics who still believe that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” But I do not let their doubt or suspicion about my true motives deter me from continuing my quest for becoming a positive person. While I may not be able to gain the approval of those who I may have offended before, I gained new friends in the meantime who appreciate my presence and find me a joy to be with these days.   It’s how I feel about myself that matters in the end.  And I feel great with the more positive me.

Oh, and I’m sure you’ve noticed that it’s Jennifer Hudson on the cover of Instyle Magazine here…she’s one woman I admire these days for her amazing transformation from a size 16 to a svelte 6!

My secret to good health

Two years ago, I started to suffer from chronic migraine attacks almost three times a week.  To make the throbbing pain go away, I used to pop an over-the-counter pain killer and to shut my eyes for fifteen minutes.   Ibuprofen, my pain killer’s generic name, became my best friend.  I had one with me every time I headed off for a meeting.  I kept a regular supply of ibuprofen just as I would keep stock of daily multivitamins.  I already thought of ibuprofen as some sort of maintenance medicine. 

During my annual medical check-up, my doctor asked me to undergo some tests as she suspected that my blood sugar level was high.  This really came as a shock to me because I did not have a sweet tooth nor was I overweight.  All along I thought that diabetes had something to do with consuming large amounts of sugary food and a bad diet.  I was underweight.  I avoided rice, meat, pasta and soda.  I did not want to believe that I was a candidate for diabetes. 

My visit to the doctor served as my wake-up call.  Once I got home, I started to read up on sugar and learned about low glycemic foods.  Along the way, I stumbled upon a website that not only gave food suggestions for lowering blood sugar levels but also mentioned yoga and other stress-reducing techniques for addressing health issues.  I decided to try my hand at stretching and breathing exercises simply because I abhorred sports or any strenuous physical activity. 

My stretching routine was my quiet moment when I reflected on positive events and let go of negative issues.  I adopted a breathing technique which entailed exhaling hard while telling myself, “I release you _______”  or whatever name, thing or disease produced negative feelings in me.  Within days, I started to feel lighter and more positive about myself.  After thirty days of constant practice, I realized that I had not popped a single pain killer for my migraine, nor could I remember when my last migraine episode was.  Best of all, when I finally had the guts to take my blood sugar test, I came out with a clean bill of health.  My efforts worked. 

Nowadays, I am mindful about my thoughts.  When a negative feeling or  thought creeps in, I recognize it and banish it immediately.  I resort to my regular selection of mood switchers to help me substitute bad thoughts with good ones.  On most days, listening to good music or watching feel-good movies keeps me going.  On other days, catching up with a good friend over a warm cup of coffee uplifts my mood.  While I have my trusted mood switchers to help me through the day, nothing beats the releasing technique that I have incorporated with my daily exercise.  That is the secret to my good health.

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