Category Archives: Companionship

Relationships – Help on How to Decide if She’s (He’s) a Keeper

Songs about relationships

“She was a perfect prayer in a desperate hour.”

– Stupid Boy by Keith Urban,


Chino Y Nacho

Aqui hay Amor  ( Here There is Love)
– by Chino y Nacho

Tú tienes la magia, la sabiduría,
Tienes la práctica y la teoría…
Yo quiero ponerme viejo, pero a tu lado.

You have the magic, the wisdom,
You have the experience and the theory…
I want to grow old, but at your side.


If you had an emotion that felt shipwrecked, I’d be a sail ship coming to your island of desire.

– Cuando Me Enamoro – Julio Iglesias


antaeus2Antaeus, son of Gaia, the Earth goddess , grew stronger each time he touched the earth –

That’s how I feel every time I’m with you, each time I touch you, each time I hold you. God, how I love it.

“I hope you never leave… Your music is so hard to find.”     – from My Heart is a Stereo by Gym Class Heroes

Rules To Help Decide if She (or He) is a “Keeper” –

  1. Is she happy to see you? Do you see happiness in her eyes when she’s with you?
  2. Does she fight fair? Do she stay on the issue that bothers her and does she say what she wants, or does she resort to personal attacks and use the terms “you never…”  or “you always…” ?
  3. Is she easy to be with? Do you feel relaxed or relieved when you are with her, or does it require effort on your part? Do you laugh with each other? Does your spirit feel more buoyant when you’re with her, or does your spirit feel drained  or even just a little deflated after being with her?
  4. Does she inspire you to pursue things that bring you joy or raise forgotten dreams, or does she “kill your [nascent] vibes”?
  5. Is she a good listener? And, if you come up with an idea, does she build on it and make it even better?
  6. Does she enjoy some of the things you really like to do –  concerts, roller coasters, art exhibits, dancing, travel and exploring, kayaking, camping, walking, architecture, sailboating, (fill in the blanks)?

If she or he does a number of these things, especially the first three,  you just may have yourself a “keeper”

Never Assume. Never expect others to read your mind.

“In any kind of relationship we can make the assumption that others know what we think, and we don’t have to say what we want. They are going to do what we want because they know us so well. If they don’t do what we want, what we assume they should do, we feel hurt and think, “How could you do that? You should know.” Again, we make the assumption that the other person knows what we want. A whole drama is created because we make this assumption and then put more assumptions on top of it.”       –   Miguel Ruiz

As a young child, I thought that it should be obvious how I felt and that others should act accordingly. I found that people often were not observant, or were preoccupied or distracted.

Words are a poor way of communicating. I often can interpret a simple sentence in three different ways, so I ask for clarification (this drives my girlfriend crazy who thinks what she’s saying is obvious). But words are far more helpful than making unilateral assumptions as Ruiz says.  There have been many more problems in this world from under-communicating than from over-communicating.





Relationships – How to Communicate Love to Each Other

Some Random Thoughts on Love.

I saw an old couple, probably in their 70’s, coming out of a building holding hands (after all the years). I went over and complimented them saying it was nice to see people holding hands. She smiled and said laughingly “We hold each other up”.

… go inside and listen to your body, because your body will never lie to you. Your mind will play tricks, but the way you feel in your heart, in your guts, is the truth.”     – Miguel Ruiz

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself” – Coco Channel

“Loving her is a splendid adventure”  – Steve Maraboli

“She was like the moon –  part of her was always hidden” – unknown

“She always had that about her- that look of otherness, of eyes that see things much too far and of thoughts that wander off the edge of the world” – Joanne Harris

“She is her own kind of beautiful”

“One universe, nine planets, 204 countries, 809 islands, seven seas, and I had the privilege of meeting you” – unknown

How to Communicate Love to Each Other

Ran across a writer named Gary Chapman who had some interesting and useful insights into communications for couples in particular and people in general. One of his books is “The Five Love Languages”. After many years working with people, he finally discerned patterns of how people communicate love to each other.

Acts of Service to help your partner

He mentioned a couple that sought counseling where the man showed his love to her by doing all kinds of “Acts of Service” to help her. He took out the garbage, vacuumed the house, washed the dishes, cut the grass, made dinners when he got home first and so on. Chapman started wondering what she did around the house. When she spoke, she said that he never talked to her and was always busy doing things.

There was another couple whereReceiving Quality Time is one way people feel loved one of them especially valued doing things together. It could be as simple as going out to a restaurant and just looking at each other and talking (like young couples).  This Chapman called “Quality Time”

Another couple just likes to have physical contact Snuggle3and snuggle on the  sofa, or go walking holding hands, or putting their hand on the other’s leg while they were driving. Sometimes, both people enjoy reading while they snuggle together.  Chapman described this as “Physical Contact”.


Other people take delight whenGift2 they are surprised with a gift. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive, they just appreciate the thought and the novelty. It could even be flowers from the yard. These types of people communicate through “Gifts”.

Some people loved to hear words of appreciation Appreciationsuch as “you’re wonderful”, or “that color looks really well on you”, or “that’s one of the many reasons I love you”. or calling her “Beauty” or “Bella”. These “Words of Affirmation” are the way some people perceive they are loved.

We are all different. We all enjoy receiving any of the Five Languages but we primarily work in one or two of the languages. Chapman thinks it is helpful  when searching for a relationship if you can find a person who has the same or similar style of communicating love.  It’s like speaking a language and the other person speaks English too, but may prefer another language, so one can be bilingual – say she likes to speak French. That may be fine if you like French. However, if she likes German, and you do not enjoy German, it may be a difficult row to hoe over the long run.

Chapman pointed out that the primary language could shift given where one is in life. A Mom with two screaming babies could become very appreciative of “Acts of Service” if, when the Dad gets home, he jumps in to help her and feeds and changes the babies, bathes them, plays with them and puts them to bed. In later years, she may revert back to her original language(s).

Wanting to compare what I thought she would say to what she actually says she prefers, I asked my partner if she liked gifts. She said she didn’t need anything. In responding if she preferred Acts of Service done around the house. She responded they didn’t do anything FOR her. I do know that she is very attentive to what I say and specific words I use (by the way guys, the word “fine”, as in “you look fine” does not work well. If she looks good or great, say that. She may have gone to a lot of trouble to choose that dress and get her hair just right). She is also very tactile and loves it when I put my arm around her. She also likes some Quality Time, so I’m planning an adventure vacation for the summer.

These Languages of Love also work for kids. Chapman had a young boy who would run at him and hug him when he got home. Physical Contact was obviously important to him.  His daughter was different. When she saw him, she would say “Daddy, come with me. I want to show you something.” Quality one-on-one time was important to her.

So, figure out how you like to receive love and how your partner, room-mate, family members like to receive love.

How to Apologize

Chapman offered some further insights. Another counselor told him that she had noticed that people had different ways of apologizing and depending on the circumstances some ways did or didn’t work.

One way to apologize is to express regret – I sorry that I…  . Chapman says DO NOT include a “but” in the response that justifies , excuses or explains your actions.

Another way ( or continuation) is to accept responsibility for the act. “That was totally my fault.”

It may be important to some people to offer restitution – “What can I do to make this up to you?”

The next component may be to show evidence of trying to change behavior.

The last element in the apology is to “ask forgiveness”. Do not assume they know you are asking for it. State it.

Chapman says that we learn forgiveness from our families and how they practice it can vary widely. So, if you mess up (particularly if you did it big time), you may want to include all the components to make sure that you include the particular manner the other person understands.


How to get through a Breakup for Guys

“One is easily fooled by that which one loves” – Molière

“If you said goodbye to me tonight
There would still be music left to write”
– Billy Joel in For the Longest Time.

“Why would you ever choose to be with
someone who is not excited to be with you?” – Mark Manson

“All farewells should be sudden, when forever.” – Byron

Thought there should be equal time for guys who have just gone through a breakup. First, it does hurt. and second, know that you will heal with time. Breakups happen a lot. Everyone goes through a couple of relational train wrecks. It’s part of learning what you want.

Sometimes, it’s a surprise. You get along well, enjoy being together, there are a lot of really amazing  fits and commonalities, no major fights, it gets better day by day, you both have smiles in your eyes, you really like being together, you increasingly think this is long term, and then she announces she’s out.

Other times, there’s plenty of evidence – disagreements, one or the other (or both) doesn’t feel good when you’re together, and finally one has had enough and ends it.

Sometimes it’s just rejection. It’s harder if betrayal is involved.

Women make mistakes too.

We all make mistakes. We all have different perspectives, different priorities, different interpretations.  Sometimes decisions are made for the wrong reasons. Sometimes we may reflect back and think “her decision was really stupid”. But, so be it. It’ s what it is. Let it be and move on.

“Humans hardly know what they want, how they want it, or when they want it.” – Miguel Ruiz

The Teacher Appears.

It is said that when the student is ready, the teacher appears.  Perhaps, the lady was there for us to learn something about life, about what we really do want.

Intent versus Outcome

Sometimes, what we want is very different from what we get. In retrospect, it can be funny.

Vettriani and Lucy and Charlie Brown snatch the football, Peanuts
Relationships – Intent versus Outcome – Vettriani vs. Peanuts

The Rolling Stones had a song about that:

“You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need.”

It’s Not Personal

Don Miguel Ruiz, in his The Four Agreements, states that we all are products of our experience. We often project world views, or our own interpretations of what someone does or who they are. If someone doesn’t fill in the intention, reason, purpose of something, we’ll do it for them (probably incorrectly). At the end of a friend’s relationship, he said the woman made some comments to him that were strange. With time to reflect on it, he knew her conclusions weren’t right, and that for her to say those things meant that she had projected some of her own assumptions that weren’t correct (and which she didn’t verify with him).  She had run a mental video of her own assumptions about him that didn’t reflect his realities at that time, and made her decision based on her own life views.  This is the same mechanism when you see a person meet a total stranger and behave badly to them even though the new person doesn’t know them and has never done a thing to them.

Search If There’s a Pattern.

Take the opportunity to see if there if there is any pattern recurring in your relationships – e.g. the type of people you have been going out with, or a similar category of complaints about you. Learn from it. If you don’t put some energy in changing it, you will continue to get the same outcome.

That’s Her Loss

Know that in a relatively short period of time, you’ll get yourself back together. As with a physical injury, you will heal. You will find a wonderful person that will be happy that your old relation didn’t work, and she will say out loud about your old friend – “Her loss”.

Some of God’s Greatest Gifts are Unanswered Prayers.

Sometimes we think that a breakup is not right/ unfair/ unjustified/ a misunderstanding… and we wish and even pray that a relationship happen or gets “saved”.

Garth  Brooks wrote a song  that speaks to that:

“Just the other night at a hometown football game
My wife and I ran into my old high school flame
And as I introduced them the past came back to me
And I couldn’t help but think of the way things used to be

She was the one that I’d wanted for all times
And each night I’d spend prayin’ that God would make her mine
And if he’d only grant me this wish I wished back then
I’d never ask for anything again

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

She wasn’t quite the angel that I remembered in my dreams
And I could tell that time had changed me
In her eyes too it seemed
We tried to talk about the old days
There wasn’t much we could recall
I guess the Lord knows what he’s doin’ after all

And as she walked away and I looked at my wife
And then and there I thanked the good Lord
For the gifts in my life

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
That just because he may not answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered

Some of God’s greatest gifts are all too often unanswered…
Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”

“Unanswered Prayers” – by Garth Brooks

Clear the space for what you want.

It’s important to get through the pain. But stop moping around. You have a choice of either replaying what was good and how wonderful it was AND how miserable you feel lacking that (over and over again), OR you can turn your focus, like a flash light, away from that negativity and non-productive thought and feeling, and use your time and energy to build something you do want.  You can keep digging around in the hole you are in, or use your precious time and energy doing things that will help you build the type of life you want. You have to make the effort to make a clearing for what you do want, make the space for it to happen.

I Just Haven’t Met You Yet.

The Census says over half of the US population is single – 128 million people.  In a  lifetime, there are probably 12 to 20 people you could meet with whom you could live with happily. In just this country there are probably 8 million people of the opposite sex that are withing 5 years of your age. Even if you are really finicky and like only one in every thousand females, there are 8,000 women that you could be happy spending the rest of your life with (just in this country. There are 196+ countries [depending on the day]).  You just have to get out there – JUST SHOW UP! The great philosopher Pooh said ” You can’t stay in your corner of the forest and wait for people to come to  you. You have to go to them, sometimes.” Henry Cloud says – if you only wait for the right person to show up at your doorstep, you’re going to end up with a Jehovah’s Witness or a delivery person.

Life’s Rule of Irony #1.

The more you go out, the more people you get to know – the more you will find things that you do want in your ultimate partner,  the more confident you will feel about yourself and the more natural you will act, the more you will be able to not give a f– about personal rejection, which will allow you to use “Life’s Rules of Irony Number 1”, the less you give a f– about an outcome, the more attractive you will become, and the more likely you will get it. The reverse corollary is equally true. Those people who care desperately about the outcome of something  will transmit that vibe and others will move back away from such a strong negative feeling.

Don’t Spend Your Present in the Past.

I know a divorced woman who was looking for a new life partner. She was a successful insurance sales person who learned well not to take rejection personally.  She was very particular and patient. If one person didn’t pan out, she took the attitude “Next! (and, implicitly, don’t let the door hit you on the backside)”.  She didn’t spend a lot of time in the past.

Keep your eyes and thoughts on the present where you are truly living. Walk towards your goals but stay focused on the now of the journey. That’s the attitude that will keep you moving towards your goals. The past cannot be changed.         Move On

Here are two general rules for breakups – and for life in general:

  1. Do not spend your time on people who do not spend their time on you.
  2. Do not spend your time with people who don’t make you feel good, uplifted and alive.

When you feel stronger, follow Rumi’s advice:

“Set your life on fire and seek out only those who will fan the flames.”

Music for Guys to Get Past a Breakup

Dakota – Living Health Monitor

Sarah Forgany, KHOU TV, San Antonio, May 2012

At the tender age of 17 months, Ben Ownby was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes which can become deadly, so, it has to be monitored hourly. It is important if the sugar is either too low or too high. Ben had to receive seven or eight shots of insulin a day to survive, and he still had seizures.

As Ben was growing up, a cute brown Labridoodle named Dakota, was being trained as a guide dog by the Guide Dogs of Texas in San Antonio. He didn’t, however, pass the demanding final requirements, but with his good scenting ability, personality and temperment, Dakota was retrained for months to detect glucose levels and became a scenting, diabetes alert dog. Dogs have over 200 million scent receptors in their noses compared to a human’s five million. “When blood sugars begin to fluctuate, the human body releases chemicals that change the body’s smell”. It’s unnoticeable to the human nose, but to a trained dog, “it’s an alarm.”

Dakota became Ben’s dog three years ago. They’ve been inseparable since then.  “He can tell my blood sugar by the scent of my breath”. If the blood sugar is too low, Dakota will jump up on Ben. If it’s too high, he’ll nibble on Ben’s wrist band to signal that Ben needs to use a traditional machine to measure his blood sugar levels.

Ben woke up in the middle of the night and found Dakota standing on him and looking down at him. Ben got up and tested his blood levels and found it was low. “He’s usually very accurate.”
Dogs “can actually detect a rise or a fall up to an hour before you know it or your meter would catch it” said Cherry Campbell, with non-profit Warren Retrievers in Virginia.

Dakota even helps Ben’s classmate. “He’s come next to me to signal that I need to check my blood sugar” said a class member. “I have been low.”

Ben’s father, Bob, said that “it was love at first sight.” Dakota helps us with the “safety of our son” and provides us “a sense of security”.

“There’s an undeniable love and bond between Ben and Dakota – a friend and a partner, who may one day save Ben’s life”

The Beautiful, Odd Couple

People – Pets , May 1, 2012

Tanner had ended up at the Woodland West Animal Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The good people there felt sorry for him. Tanner was a golden retriever with some major strikes against him. He was blind. On top of that, he was epileptic and suffered “horrifying seizures” almost every night. Although only two years old, he already had two previous owners. The people at the animal hospital were thinking that euthanasia might be the most humane act for him.

But all that changed when another dog had the terrible misfortune of getting shot. A one year old, scared, street dog named Blair was brought to the Woodland Hospital after the shooting. There, Blair and Tanner met. “The connection was immediate.” Dr. Mike Jones, the hospital’s director, noticed a miracle. He said. “It probably took us a few weeks to kind of go’ You know what? Tanner’s not seizing and Blair is getting [less skittish].’ ”

Blair acts as Tanner’s guide dog and leads the way by holding Tanner’s leash in his mouth. And Tanner is a calming influence on Blair, who was highly anxious after his shooting. Everyone at the clinic has watched their unusual friendship blossom. Tanner stays “pretty close to Blair” and will actually follow his lead. They both now share the same pen. Blair seems to be the balloon in the relationship and Tanner the string.

The local TV station reported on the canine Odd Couple, and adoption offers flooded in. The Clinic is taking its time to select their new home. Given their ages, “this is a relationship that’s going to be ten plus years, hopefully” says Veterinarian Jones. “We’re looking for that needle-in-a-haystack type owner that will be able to handle” the inseparable pair.