Blog Archives

For Men Only: Your Purpose Must Come Before Your Relationship

Every man knows that his highest purpose in life cannot be reduced to any particular relationship. If a man prioritizes his relationship over his highest purpose, he weakens himself disserves the universe, and cheats his woman of an authentic man who can offer her full, undivided presence.
Admit to yourself that if you had to choose one or the other, the perfect intimate relationship or achieving your highest purpose in life, you would choose to succeed at your purpose. Just this self-knowledge often relieves much pressure a man feels to prioritize his relationship when, in fact, it is not his highest priority.

Your mission is your priority. Unless you know your mission and have aligned your life to it, your core will feel empty. Your presence in the world will be weakened, as will your presence with your intimate partner. The next time you notice yourself “giving in” to your woman, postponing your mission and denying your true purpose in order to spend time with her, stop. Tell your woman that you love her, but you cannot deny your heart’s purpose and mission.

Joe Vim Whitcomb

Co-Author Reboot Your Relationship, LMFT, Educator

David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man

Break Up No Need To Make Up

cbad032299ad9ee2cf82a33f0c969d28So, I just broke up with (I prefer to say ‘parted ways’ with) my boyfriend of 4.5 years. I looked at our connection objectively about a year ago and had a brief emotional breakdown (you have to let yourself feel things in order to move through them). I think that all of my concerns were in the back of my mind for the past year. Then this year while I was in Iceland and had some space from the relationship I consciously thought about everything that I broke down about last year.  I decided that the relationship wasn’t meant to be. I came home and broke it off. I said we weren’t going to work out and I didn’t want us to ruin our relationship like most other people do before they break up. Why not just leave now, when I know it won’t work out, instead of wasting time waiting until we despise each other and have no good memories of the relationship left?

This decision came as a surprise to many. I made the decision rather quickly and quietly.  At least it seemed that way since no one knew I had been watching to see if my concerns were valid for the past year.  I don’t need to consult with everyone I know.  I consulted one of my best friends and my parents, mainly because they were the ones with me in Iceland and they know me the best. Then, my decision was made.  I made my decision and was 100%+ confident in it. Many of the people who were surprised were only surprised because they didn’t see it coming.  Almost no one was surprised that I decided it wouldn’t work out in the long term. My family, my friends, his family, and my therapist all agreed with me.

Our relationship appeared to be great and fully functional from the outside. We got along well and hardly ever fought. If we did fight we were very good at communicating and resolving the issue. We traveled well together, we did everything together and public displays of affection were par for the course. But there were important variables that matter more than getting along socially. Cultural differences, religious differences, different life goals, different life views, different levels of openness to adventure, different levels of acceptance of others, different levels of tolerance for others, different ideas about my role in my own life, AND the list goes on.

How can I just walk away?  Did I really love him for all of those years? Yes. Did I love the incompatibility of our core charateristics? Not in the least, but it took me some time to realize this. Is love all that matters? Is it enough to hold 2 people together despite all adversity? Not at all.

Movies teach us that love conquers all! Love is all that matters! Love is unbreakable! How could I just walk away and not look back? Well I had a year to think over the issues in the back of my mind. Also, I am adopted. What love is stronger than a mother’s love? No love is stronger than a mother’s love. If a mother can give her child up despite her love for that child, because she knows that it is what is best for the child, then any love can be given up in the name of what is best for the participating parties.   I have no doubt in my mind that walking away from the relationship is what is best for me.  Really, after my birth parents gave me up so I could have a better life than they could give me, and after my parents worked so hard to give me the best life they could, it would just be disrespectful to not also do my part to make sure I have the best life for me.  Happy, successful, boundless.

Adoption affects the way adoptees approach relationships. It is my nature to love intensely and wholeheartedly. This is with my friends, my family, my significant other, humankind and life.  I am afraid of people leaving me, as most adoptees are, so I build strong, close relationships so people want to stay around. I think it must be more a fear of rejection than a fear of losing someone, because if a friendship or a romantic relationship isn’t functioning the way it should, I will leave. I am not saying this in a cutthroat, cold-hearted way and I never leave any relationship without thoroughly thinking it through. I basically decide “this isn’t working out. It would be best for both of us if this relationship ended…immediately.”     I am always confident that the decision is best for both of us, and usually after a little time, the other person realizes that I was right.

This was my first introduction to relationships.  Day 1 of life this is exactly the way it happened when my birth parents gave me up for adoption. I understand why my birth parents gave me up. They were right to do so. In their position, I would have given me up for adoption too. I’m just thankful they didn’t choose abortion instead.  Keeping me would have been a negative thing for me, and for them. Now, we all have healthy, flourishing lives that we may not have had if I weren’t put up for adoption. On the day I was born they said ‘we love you dearly but we have to let you go, this just isn’t going to work out’ (they didn’t actually say this, their actions did).  I guess because of this, I really see the value of having the courage to let go of a relationship that doesn’t play, or no longer plays, a positive role in your life. I wouldn’t exist as who I am today if I hadn’t been let go. I never mean to hurt the person I part ways with, just as my birth parents didn’t mean to hurt me, and I always know that that the other person will be ok. If I, and many other adoptees, turn out (relatively) ok, then anyone that I part ways with will be ok. I’m absolutely sure of it.

 Love doesn’t conquer all.  Love isn’t enough. And sometimes holding on to love despite all adversity does more harm than good.

So when people say that they are still pulling for us, that they think we were perfect and that they are keeping their fingers crossed…I say “STOP.” (1. nothing is ever as it seems.  2. I have never understood that breaking up and getting back together nonsense)  I don’t go in-and-out of relationships.  I am in a relationship, or I am out of it and I don’t make the decision to leave lightly.  I don’t have the mind or heart to handle ambiguous connections.  There are enough of those in my life. I do have an open adoption after all.

If someone leaves me?  Devastation.  Of course, not so sure that I will be ok.  Hypocritical? I prefer the term unstable ;).


Love always and forever,

Juliana Whitney

– That Adopted Girl

Keen On You – Dating, Face Reading & Relationships

Love is one of the most beautiful products of human interaction, a blending of affections between a pair of people that forms a lasting bond. Though there are countless ways to show this emotion, there are actually five categories of Love Expressions that can be used to define those using them.

Understanding not only your own categories but your partner’s as well will help strengthen your relationship and improve the impact of the kind gestures you do for one another. The concept of love expressions is a surprisingly easy explanation for the intricate dance of affection, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself nodding in agreement when you discover yourself or your partner in an expression or two. Use these compatible categories as a guide, and you’ll start to notice less fighting and a more pleasant tone to your relationship. If you haven’t found that special someone yet, this information can also help you make a more informed decision about a future mate.

Naturally, each individual is different when it comes to how they love and what types of love they respond to. The love expressions are an excellent place to start if you’d like to learn how to achieve harmony of the heart with your mate. The very act of discovering your partner’s category or categories compels you to take a deeper look at the interactions you share with them. Finding your own expression orientation is often enlightening as well, and can offer helpful clues to help you improve an existing relationship or hunt for an ideal partner.

Disagreements and frustrations in relationships arise from partners who don’t understand one another, but figuring out love expression types will give you both a strong starting point for deeper connections. Each of the 5 categories of love expressions – Attention, Closeness, Compliments, Service and Thoughtfulness – carry certain attributes that appeal to some of the other categories. Though categories tend to be a part of someone’s ingrained nature, learning how to acquiesce and appreciate the differences of a “mismatched” type can build harmony, even if there wasn’t much to work with initially.

Each category in the love expressions array is different, but keep in mind that there is no right or wrong among them. Someone who enjoys close physical proximity is no more or less romantic than a partner who prefers to do the dishes to show their devotion. While a bouquet of roses may delight one person, another may accept them with a silent wish for a poem or a repair job for a broken drawer instead. Scenarios like this are the reason that figuring out both partners’ categories is an important step towards a better relationship.

When you’re ready to start on the path to new and lasting love, call your partner to sit and talk with you. Read, discuss and ask your lover about these categories, as their insight will inevitably help you discover your own tendencies as well. Keep an open mind and make a genuine effort to truly listen to what they say – you may be surprised at what you learn, even if you’ve been with your lover for decades.

Dating or in a relationship? improve with Keen On You relationship tools; face reading, personality, love expressions and more




A new original song called I NEED TIME from the musical. It has just been released on ITUNES. $0.99. If anyone has had to force themselves out of love with someone now or in the past, they will definately get the lyrics of this song.

Click the link…you will love it.

Feel Your Feelings

I was emotionally shut down for years. Every woman I dated had to deal with my inability to identify a feeling. She would ask, “Hey is something bothering you?” I would reply, “No, I’m fine” with a hint of defensiveness.

The closest I ever came to identifying what was really going on was “I’m in a funk.” Many folks know this as feeling off somehow or my personal favorite, “I’m in a bad mood.”

Underneath such comments is an entire emotional landscape that remains largely unexplored. The metaphor I like to use is that of a lake.

When standing on the shore of a large lake, you can see ripples, colors, and reflections. If it is windy or stormy out, the surface of the lake changes and makes it even harder to see beneath the surface. Not until the storm dies down can you begin to see more clearly. When things are still, the lakes surface mirrors it’s surroundings.

Venture beyond the shoreline and even more possibility opens up. The lake takes on a new perspective. Looking beyond the reflection it becomes three dimensional and you can see below the surface.

We are very similar. When we are upset, it is hard to see things clearly. The only way to see things clearly is to take some space from the upset, calm down and gain a new perspective. Why am I mentioning this metaphor?

Because feeling helps you see clearly. And seeing clearly helps you move more freely toward what you want in your life. And when you get what you want, you are more fulfilled.

But Why Is It So Hard For Dudes to Feel?

Contrary to some big generalizations out there men do in fact feel, but most men were trained as little boys by the “boy code” to not feel. They were trained and taught to suck it up not cry etc. For example, as a boy I was trained by my Dad and my culture to not feel. To feel meant I would be judged as a wimp, a girl or even gay. (As if girls or gay people are somehow bad?) So, men do feel, it’s just challenging for many men to know what they are feeling.

So, it’s understandable why many men don’t allow themselves to feel and can’t even identify a feeling. Many adult men are still very scared to feel their feelings because if they do, their fear is they will be judged as not manly, acting like a girl or being weak or gay.

So, most men never venture out beyond the shoreline and certainly don’t look below the surface. Therefore, many men remain locked up, shut down and not free.

The cost of not being willing to feel

1. relationship blues

Sadly, these old fears keep many men locked up around their feelings and lead to very frustrating relationships for women dating these men. Rather than dive in to the unknown waters of intimacy, men stay on the shore, where it is safe. But as any sailor will tell you, a ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for (a William Shedd quote).

Moreover, men who shut down or stuff their feelings remain emotionally constipated and have very little facility or freedom when it comes to intimacy. Then, they keep resisting actual help like couples counseling.

2. narrow bandwidth of expression.

If you never let yourself feel grief, anger, sadness and other “negative” emotions, you will have less access to the “positive” emotions such as joy, love, and happiness. The waters you are able to swim and navigate are more shallow. For example, if you avoid “negative” emotions, you might experience some happiness but the depth with which you feel it is limited.

3. you are not free.

Staying on the shore, you never really get to test if your vessel is seaworthy. Freedom is the open water of who you are, not the shore.

4. physical problems.

Most body workers, massage therapists, and good body-centered, somatic therapists know that the body holds and stores trauma and unexpressed emotion. The more you hold, the more the body has to carry the burden. Your boat begins to decay having never touched water. Stoic men who never learn to feel, are simply in pain.

5. You are less available to give and receive love.

If you shut yourself off from your own emotions and never “set sail”, you’ll never know what it is like to swim or sail. The endless terrain that is available to you will remain a distant dream. If you want to feel more love, try feeling all your feelings. Try exploring what lies below the surface farther from the shore.

If you choose to feel, a huge reward awaits you

For the brave who do decide to face the unknown lake of discomfort and painful emotion, what you will experience may shock you. Try it and see what happens. Let me know what you discover. To me it’s something like an elixir.

But Where Do I Start?

1. Get quiet: When you are upset or “in a funk” sit down or lie down and be still. You cannot see below the surface until you are still. Meditation is a tool that can help.

2. Get Curious: Start with the facts before you begin to interpret or try to figure it out. Target 3 main areas:

a. Thoughts–When did it start? Ask yourself when this feeling started? Was it the fight with your partner last week? Was it a call with your parents? An ex-lover? Did something piss you off at work? Where are your thoughts going and what are they like?

b. Emotions—What does it feel like? explore the feeling quality and the sensation that goes a long with it. Is it hot? cold? tight? humming? vibrating? tense? soft, achy? Does it have a color? a tone? Does it radiate? is it dense? thick?

c. Body sensations–Where in your body do you feel it? Is it in your throat? Gut? Chest? Where does it live?

3. Take responsibility for what you are feeling: Name it, begin to articulate it with a friend. For example, “wow, for the last few days I was locked up. Now I know that it started when ____happened. I have felt tense and irritated ever since. I feel shut down and I don’t want to be around anyone.”

4. Notice what your default behavior is when you feel this way. When you find yourself, “in a funk” do you numb out with TV? food? sugar? porn? masturbation? alcohol? drugs? Or do you isolate? Or both?

5. Choose to feel it until it changes. Have the balls to turn toward it. After all, what is the worst thing that could happen?

Want to feel more love and lightness in your life? Then start saying “yes” to feelings you have been saying “no” to. Invite them in and get to know them. As John Wellwood says, befriend your emotions. See what happens and report back.

It is possible that when you venture out beyond the shores and swim farther out in the lake that you might experience more fear, but at the same time more freedom and aliveness.

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