Today’s Thought: Pretence in Relationships

When we like someone, we are so keen for them to like us, too, we might even do things we would not normally do, like sharing their activities, even though they might not give us much pleasure. The desire to impress is so strong, we suppress our own individuality to be accepted, then find, later down the line, that the pretence cannot be sustained.

If you have met someone new, are you really being YOU?


Did You Know?….Current Marriages in the USA

Seems that people are not so keen on getting married these days, for a variety of reasons, especially the fact that domestic abuse (whether physical, verbal, or financial) is the number one reason for divorce among married couples. Perhaps people are not willing to put up with poor treatment in a relationship where they feel trapped.

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The Fitness Booster Motivation Tips: Don’t Miss This Week’s Topics!

Do you tend to feel shy, afraid and anxious about life? Do you loathe your reflection when you look in the mirror? Is there something you would love to do but feel afraid of doing it, because your fear of failure, or messing it up, is more overwhelming than the possible gains?

If you don’t feel particularly confident about yourself, achieving your dreams, or having great relationships, and could do with a boost in your self-esteem and self-value, The Fitness Booster Newsletter is just for you! It covers a wide range of mental health and emotional health issues, giving useful tips on what to say in tricky circumstances and how to execute routine actions in a confident, winning way.

SUBSCRIBE FREE TODAY on Substack! for regular posts and podcasts on boosting your confidence and feeling more worthy and competent in your activities.


How Can You Be Sure the Person on a Dating App is Single?

Photo by Giorgio Trovato

Using a dating app has its advantages, but it also has its disadvantages as not every user will be honest. That’s why you really cannot be sure someone is single, especially if you inject an element of distrust in all your dating experiences through unnecessary suspicion and doubt. However, there is something you can do that will help you much more to feel confident in your interactions, and that is to: take the focus off others and put it on yourself, so that you are sure of what YOU are doing. It will encourage only the right people to come towards you.

A 19th century author, James Allen, once wrote: “Men don’t attract what they seek. They attract who they are.” Simply put, if you wish to attract trustworthy people, you have to be one too, and your own profile words will have to indicate that. For example, you cannot say that you are seeking someone single, then react to every beautiful woman (or whatever criterion pushes your buttons) who says hello to you, without being too discerning! You have to live by whatever you write, so that it matches with your integrity, and it will draw the right people to you.

For example, when I was dating, I spelled it out in my online profile, exactly what I was seeking, and then proceeded to avoid anyone who put ‘separated’ (their wives might not know that they are!), who were looking for ‘fun’ (as though there is no fun in serious relationships), who seemed restricted in their movements or times (particularly on weekends when they should be free), who were reluctant to meet, and just wished to email endlessly, and people who had no photos. What were they hiding? Why were they on a dating site if they couldn’t show themselves? And, finally, people who had very little on their profiles, seeming to be economical with the truth, or just inarticulate.

In fact, I remember a few guys actually contacting me to say that my profile was ‘intimidating’, and would put off many men, meaning it would put them off, exactly the type I didn’t want! I ended up getting guys who liked what I wrote and were genuinely interested in me, and met some amazing people, among them my current partner.

The key thing about using dating apps or sites is to make sure that what YOU say reflects who you are, and what you seek. By sticking to your principles, the people who like what they read will come towards you, and the ones who don’t like it will continue on their way. But by being certain of what you are seeking and not deviating too far from it, you will be able to spot those who don’t match what you seek more easily, including the insincere and attached ones.

RELATED BOOK: 7 Steps to Finding, and Keeping, ‘The One’

Problem Question: How Do I Make My Guy Love Me?

Image by Steve Watts

Q. I just can’t get loved by my loved one and that realisation is keeping me frozen… I do feel like the person I am, which is not much… It is the worst feeling to see there is nothing you can offer to your man that another woman cannot do better.

A. You must be in a lot of pain. But you have both the problem and the solution in your email to me. Let’s identify your key comments.

“I just can’t get loved by my loved one and that realisation for me is keeping me frozen… I do feel like the person that I am, which is not much…”

First of all, how can someone love what you are rejecting just now? You don’t think much of yourself (your words) but expect your partner to find that low esteem attractive. That is not possible. No one will love you in your present state because true love begins inside of us. Until you really appreciate the unique and loveable being you are, you cannot appreciate others, neither can they love you in turn. Perhaps that’s why you call others ‘ignorant’ because they are not seeing your low point of view. Yet that is a stereotype reflecting the negativity you feel inside of you.

Currently, you are not giving out much, you simply have needs – the need of another to love you. But just being needy isn’t attractive. Just like how to have friends we have to first be a friend to others, being lovable comes from being able to be a lover, to forget ourselves and to GIVE; to find out what our partners want and SHARE it with them, not just wait for them to love us or to fulfil our needs. Naturally, the more needy and worthless you feel, the less you will have it remedied, and the less you will have to give, because no one can make you happy if you are unhappy with yourself. You will always feel miserable and inadequate. YOU have to start the loving process first to get the love you seek.

Dealing With a Negative Situation
If your partner is having, or has had, an affair, then sitting in that demoralising situation wondering why he found someone more attractive won’t help you. It only makes you feel worse: truly rejected, unwanted and unloved. You have to begin the slow process of finding out why you think you are not much, why you feel unloved and begin to appreciate yourself, a step at a time.

Once you begin to feel better about you, as a person, others will flock to you and your husband is more likely to notice and respect you. But the simple truth is that you are not likelt to find love until you love yourself, because you are offering something unlovable to others, something you don’t care about, something you loathe. Yet you expect them to compensate for that loathing by loving you instead. You expect them to be excited about your substandard goods. Cart before horse, I’m afraid.

You have a lot going for you, with or without a someone else. Pick yourself up and stop focusing on your partner. You will never be able to please him in this state. Keep saying to yourself that if he doesn’t like you, there is always someone else and start to rebuild your confidence. Once attraction goes, it doesn’t return, no matter what you do. Something essential is lost. You merely prolong the pain. To keep the relationship it has to be re-established on a different plain of mutual respect, and that’s very hard to do when we are feeling unloved and resentful and the other party isn’t really interested. Sadly, while you are waiting to please him further, he is already looking outside and the one thing these outside liaisons do to a relationship is to show what is missing from it, which makes reconciliation even harder.

Stop trying to be Perfect
Most important, stop being hard on yourself in trying to be a perfect parent for your child. The more you do that, the more inadequate you will feel trying to measure up. Life does what it likes and just because you cannot offer your son two parents doesn’t mean he does not appreciate the individual love you each have to give him. Get rid of your desire for perfection and accept your situation as it is. Try to improve it in other ways instead of vainly holding on to an ideal which is draining your resources and sapping your confidence and esteem.

Will love be back? you ask. Yes it will, every time. Only you can bring love back into your life when you stop seeking approval, stop expecting people to love you to make up for your lack of self love, stop trying to be perfect and start giving to others and yourself, instead of just waiting to receive. Believe me, it would be a wholly new and fulfilling experience.

How can you make your man love you? You can’t, so stop trying. Something is missing from your relationship and unless you find out what it is, the situation will only get worse. The real question here seems to be, “How can I love myself?”. Once you work that out, things will begin to happen that you didn’t even expect because you won’t wait around for his love. However, do hang in there. It really does get better when you begin to look outwards, when you can see where you want to go and you begin to truly value the most important person in your world – YOU!

(NOTE: Paid subscribers, or significant Donors, can have their questions answered publicly. A private service is available separately.)


RELATED BOOK: Cheating & Betrayal: A Handy Guide to Reducing Its Impact

Today’s Thought: What Are You Attracting?

Many people believe that to find their ideal partner they simply have to look for the right physically attractive person and everything will be fine. But whoever we are drawn towards are also drawn to us because of the vibes we are giving off. If we are suspicious, wary, or lacking in empathy or cold in approach, sadly that’s exactly what we will attract in others because, quite simply, like attracts like.

How Do You Know You’re in Love?

Image by Karolina Grabowska

Falling in love is such a pleasurable thing, the tell-tale signs are not easily missed because they take over your life for as long as the feeling lasts. They permeate every activity, they define one’s actions and appear to take on a vibrant life of their own. There is no greater feeling than being in love, because that is strongly connected to our feeling of self worth and acceptance, which makes it one of the happiest moment’s of a person’s life.

The most obvious signs of love in the air are most evident in seven major areas of behaviour, especially the first three:

1. Constant Loving Thoughts
When we are in love, we cannot stop thinking about that person. We spend a lot of time imagining what we did with them (like that first kiss, or the way we met) and that is relived over and over; fantasising about spending time with them, and constantly wondering what they are doing, while smiling to ourselves like Cheshire cats who got the cream! It is really difficult not to think about the loved one mainly because they make us feel happy; they make us want to shout out loudly from the rooftops, to tell the world how we feel, and they give us a quiet sense of satisfaction and self reinforcement in being loved, desired and wanted.

2. Increased Communication and Interest
This is a time when the desire to communicate with the loved one is strongest. We tend to become more expressive and open. There will be lots of phone calls, visits and/or texts/emails between the parties. There will be dialogue around the most insignificant things. There will also be playfulness, teasing, expressions of endearment, tons of questions, and plans about sharing activities. In fact, it will be non-stop communication around the things that matter, coupled with an insatiable mutual interest in the lives of both parties. Everything, no matter how trivial, will assume importance and significance to maintain that connection and dialogue. This is because the very act of communicating is both enjoyable and self-reinforcing so both parties try to get even more of it.

3. Desire to Please
Love gives us a strong desire to please. At such times we would go to the ends of the earth for the person we love. Nothing seems too difficult or challenging because we are trying to impress, to be given the seal of approval. In fact, we would even take up hobbies we do not like, if the other person is doing them, just to show how much we care about them and to gain their approval! When we love someone we want to make them notice us and to keep that loving feeling going as long as possible. This is where we are at our most compliant and amenable. It also explains why many people can be taken advantage of during these heady, vulnerable times.

The most definite sign of falling in love is when that person begins to occupy your thoughts, even when you don’t make any conscious effort to think about them. It is really about feeling good vibes towards her/him in a warm, comfortable way; a way you wouldn’t feel about anyone else.

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Did You Know?…..Single Households

Quite a stark statistic from the last census has been revealed about American society: more than 34 million households have people who live alone, with a sizeable number being over 65, and predominantly female. Yet living along, even when we choose it, is not good for mental wellbeing because, as numerous studies have shown, it is actually interaction and socialising with others that maintain our emotional balance.

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Today’s Thought: Do Opposites Attract?

We hear a lot of anecdotes about people who seem so opposite in every way find deep attraction. What excites the parties appears to be the superficial DIFFERENCE between them.  However, behind the obvious differences, something else is always operating between those couples at a deeper level to make the relationship work. Otherwise it would be a very frustrating partnership.

No matter what is happening superficially, differences with looks, beauty, personality, activities etc, people will only connect if their basic values are in tandem. Real opposites represent conflict from the beginning because there would be little alignment in needs and objectives. This would keep the parties going in different directions.

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Why Do Some People Like to Ruin Things for Others and Make Them Miserable?

Photo by Brooke Lark

It’s called POWER. This is how such people make themselves feel significant, in control of others, and that they matter.

There are some people who lack self-belief and self esteem and, like bullies, the only way they can feel good about themselves is to make life harder for others, especially picking on those who might be more vulnerable and lacking in courage or confidence. They are often easy prey to that kind of selfish action.

Some people tend to have a belief that if they are not getting what they want, nobody should get theirs, either, hence why they spend their time making life difficult for others by thwarting their opportunities and success. However, you also have a choice as to whether someone can affect you, or not, because bullies will only prey on those they believe are weak and helpless. Perhaps you need to stand up for yourself and show them that you are not there to be manipulated or be made miserable; that they are not important to your progress in life.

As that great American First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, once said: “No one can make us feel inferior without our permission.” Indeed.

So you might need to let go of the victim mode and develop more confidence in yourself to ignore the negative actions of others by surrounding yourself with people who uplift you, instead of dragging you down. You really can tell the quality of your life, and what you desire for yourself, by the friends you keep.

How Do You Recognise Trustworthy People, if You Don’t Trust Others?

Photo by Ronda Dorsey

Imagine this scenario: a rich person is new in town and looking to hang out with others. Whom would she spot first? Another rich person, or a poor one? It is likely that she would spot the rich person first because they are both likely to be joining the same clubs, sharing similar activities, living in the same wealthy area, shopping at the more expensive places, etc.

I use this simple comparison to show that we tend to attract who we are, not what we seek! The simple fact is that if you do not trust anyone, how on earth are you going to attract trustworthy people? Others can only react to you the way YOU treat them, not what you expect of them. If you approach others in a suspicious and distrusting manner, that’s exactly how you are going to be treated yourself, because people can pick up negative vibes a mile away, and are likely to believe that you are not to be trusted either, because of your negative, judgemental and superior approach.

You need to realise that if you don’t trust too many people, you won’t be able to recognise the trustworthy ones, because YOUR actions will draw the untrustworthy ones towards you, every time, making your expectations a self-fulfilling prophecy. It means you will keep getting more reasons not to trust others because you expect the worst.

Negativity cannot attract positivity, so if you really wish to have trustworthy people around you, start TRUSTING YOURSELF to make the right decisions, and trusting others, too. You will find that you attract who you are, and you won’t need to be on your guard with strangers, or fret and worry about whether anyone is trustworthy or not. You will be getting what you are giving, which will let the insincere ones stand out a mile and avoid you altogether.

Personal Dilemmas #1: What would you do?

Photo by Arnaud Jaegers

This series tests the quality and skill of your interactions, at home and at work. It is an opportunity to honestly examine what you would do in such a hypothetical situation, and give a response from your particular perspective.

DILEMMA: Your date or partner is not keen on voting, does not believe in its effectiveness, and refuses to vote, because, in their words, “One vote doesn’t change anything.”

You take the opposite view, that one vote can make a difference, especially in marginal counts. You cite American Andrew Jackson in 1824 “who won the presidential popular vote, but lost by one vote in the House of Representatives to John Quincy Adams, after an Electoral College deadlock”. (Source: The Power of One Vote – Middleton, MA)

What would you do next?