December 28, 2007

Do you?

Remember the times when you put me on your shoulders? How I wished it was forever you would hold us...You could have had it all, you, me and our princesses, you know anything was possible.... I don't know what's holding you, but until you find your way back... my heart will wait...

December 27, 2007

Crying men...

Crying feels constructive, but isn't. Crying is mildly shameful, pleasantly cathartic and best done alone. In recent years it's been taken as a sign that men are in touch with their emotions. Men who cry for a proper reason like their wife leaving them or their lover left them for another are one thing, but men who cry about stupid things are deeply unnerving.

Please note: if you find yourself in front of man crying because of a certain tragic, it's probably hormones and not existential angst.

Single? Be Happy!

(From my October 14, 2007 posting on my Friendster Blog)

When you’re single, everyone asks you the same question. When are you getting married? When you are in your thirty’s, the question becomes, why aren’t you married? Whatever the reason is you’re probably tired of hearing it.


It can sometimes be even worse if you’re single, in your thirty’s and you don’t even have a steady mate. People sometimes wonder what’s wrong with you. The answer to that question is obviously nothing. You can be happy and single without a mate.


The first step to being single and happy is to be happy with yourself. If you are happy with who you are then it won’t matter what other people say or think. Because there will be many times as a single person that you will want to go out and do something but don’t have any one to do anything with. For example, if all of your closest friends are married or have a significant other you may feel like a third wheel hanging out with them. Or the only free time these couples may have they want to spend it alone with each other or other couples. This is no time to feel sorry for yourself. Get out of the house and do something. Don’t be afraid to do your favorite activities by yourself.


Volunteer your time to a favorite charity. Go in there intent on doing what you can to help them reach there goals. Join a church and become active there. Find a ministry to serve in and volunteer your time there. In both of your volunteer activities you’ll be around other like-minded individuals and may even make some lasting friendships.


Just because you don’t have a mate doesn’t mean you can’t go out. If you want to go out and can’t get together with any of your friends, go out by yourself. If you like going to the movies, go alone. No one will look at you funny if you’re sitting there by yourself. Everybody is there for the same reason you are, to enjoy the movie and to be entertained. The first time it may seem strange reacting loudly by yourself at the screen but you will get used to it. Don’t be afraid to go to a restaurant by yourself either. Instead of having someone to talk to before, during and after your meal, bring a book or magazine to read. It will pass up the time. You’ll also notice that your meal is brought to you faster when you are by yourself than when you are with a date or a few people. I don’t know if it is because cooking one plate of food is quicker than cooking two or more and having them ready at the same time, or if the waiter is trying to get rid of you sooner by having you eat quickly so that they can get you out of their so a couple can have your table.

You can even go to concerts or sporting events alone. You can certainly enjoy these events without having someone with you. Sometimes you may end up talking to the person next to you, especially at a ball game.

Just because you are single and without a mate, doesn’t mean you should sit around the house and mope. If you want to go someplace and have no one to go with, go out by yourself. You can still have a wonderful time.

But I am lucky, I've got a partner... this isn't for me, it's for everyone who's single and lonely.

I think i need to repost this for myself... harharhar!

December 26, 2007

An act of forgiviness....

Recently, my ex and I had a fight or a discussion through sms/text (pathetic isn't it?), we had an enormous feeling of anger, hatred, disappoint- ments towards each other, or perhaps I was the only one... : ) I don't have to go back thinking of what we have said to each other, but instead I would like to share you a wonderful experience I had over Christmas Eve. I never had sleep during the Christmas Eve, until the following morning of Christmas; I get out of my bed, took a stick of cigarette, a towel, and led myself to shower. That morning while taking a shower, I prayed so hard:

"Lord, with this water, wash away my sins, give me a new heart and a new soul, re-new me and don't bring my old self back again and this I pray to you my Lord and my God..."

Right after I took a bath, I sat down the tub and talked to myself, if I walk out of this shower room, I will become a new and better person. I stood up and walked to my bed and sat down to watch TV, as I turned the TV on, a single phrase appeared before my eyes:

"How can you love if you don't know how to forgive?"

Without wasting a single second I grabbed my phone and send a message to my ex, asking for forgiveness and that he may forgive me too. He responded, "Thanks, and we may stay friends." Instantly, I felt so good about it and felt all the anger, resentment and grudges are gone. Like a magic!

I believe that the most important thing to consider when thinking about forgiveness is the effect that it has on ourselves. Forgiveness isn't always about the person being forgiven; often, that person will have asked forgiveness and will be very grateful when we do forgive, but probably more often we need to forgive for our own sakes. I've carried around anger and resentment for a while, and I've done so quite often. But the thing that always took it away was the realization--usually later rather than sooner--that my anger wasn't affecting the object of my anger at all, but it was affecting me a great deal, in a very negative way. I wasn't sleeping as I could have been, I wasn't able to focus on the task at hand as well as I could have, I wasn't able to relate to other people effectively.

True forgiveness is not something we do for another person. I often hear people speak of forgiveness as something we give to someone else, something that must be deserved or earned, and sometimes needs to be withheld. The virtuous purpose of forgiveness is self-healing. As long as we are holding anger, resentment and grudges against another person, we are contaminating our bodies, spawning thoughts, outlook and attitude that keep away our highest good. As we hold on to the belief that someone has harmed us so badly that we cannot, will not, forgive, we give power to the part of us that feels vulnerable and defenseless to being harmed. Want for forgiveness actually draws more in situation that will feed our anger and ill-treatment. Lack of forgiveness has been related as the result to illness, excess weight, financial scarcity, failed relationships and a host of other problems. Lack of forgiveness inhibits love, which is the only true source of power. I have established its importance, what exactly does it means to forgive. Forgiveness is sometimes experienced as letting someone who hurt us off the hook, no longer holding them responsible for their actions.

"The practice of forgiveness can play an important role in your relationships with others. Forgiveness will enable you to correct distortions in your relationships and to improve the quality, intensity, and meaningfulness of relationships. It means letting go of past resentments toward others so that you can experience them in the present. Even if you do not "feel" like forgiving someone, forgiving them will release you from the hold of the past and allow you to experience the world in a new way. To forgive is to step outside the vicious circle of interpretation, where concepts from the past dominate experience, and to begin to live in terms of a larger, more worthy purpose. Forgiveness eliminates fear and anxiety, weakness and vulnerability."

-Ari Kiev

Forgiveness is not a negotiation between two people. It does not begin and end by saying “I forgive you.” True forgiveness is not about excusing someone’s hurtful actions. It goes much deeper than this. It is the inner understanding that no harm was done, in truth, nothing to forgive. Anyone who acts intentionally to harm another is trapped in this painful prison, even if he or she doesn’t recognize it as such. When we understand this, we can more easily feel compassion instead of rage. Instead of focusing attention on the wrong thing that has been done to you, imagine that this painful experience reflects some belief or expectation you have about life.

"Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

As of this moment, my ex and I remain as friends, exchanging messages, the best gift I ever received?, well, it’s the act of forgiveness...

Merry Christmas to all of you...

December 20, 2007

It's a hard work...

I had always known that I was attracted to men, but because gayness was outside what I had been taught to expect, I wasn't able to accept my sexuality for a long time. Being a single father is probably a bigger issue than being a gay father. It's hard work being the only responsible parent, having to take all the decisions and trying to meet all their needs, but I've been very lucky in terms of having supportive friends and family.I was quite a conventional dad - quite strict with homework, manners and bed times. You need so many skills and resources, but more than anything you need commitment. But I always found the resources to keep going, though it's often been hard. As I grow older I've become much more laid-back and accepting - less controlling. It's been a hard work, but I wouldn't have missed any of it. Like all parents, I made mistakes. I wish to spent more time with my daughter while she is little.
I never lie about what I am. I'm completely comfortable and happy with that, and I just don't know why it has to be a problem. Most people accept me and judge me by what they see, but there's still a minority who are blinded by prejudice. My mother was desperately upset when I first told her, but she got over it and she's the best mum and grandmother in the world. I have a sister, who is always fine about my sexuality, but on the other hand she hates it and still wishes I was 'straight'. The neighbours are fine - we'll never change attitudes or help people understand if we don't have proper education about it.

December 19, 2007

Failed Realtionship is a gift...

"For I am tired of this feeling down

don't like it one little bit

I need to fix the leak in my heart

Before it's really split

So here life, take a punch at me

and smack me good and hard

make me wake up my old loving self

Catch me off my guard."

I remember this line I posted before, from Elsie Duggan's poem, "A need to mend my broken heart". Have you been cheated? left behind? left alone? How did you feel? Have you felt the the pain?, anger?, grief?, etc... have you been in this situation before? or you are locked in this situation right now? You may want to read this blog.

Haven't you heard this line before?, from your friends or parent maybe?, while you were crying to death in front of them because of your failed relationship.

"Don't cry over spilled milk."

Is merely a saying meaning "if it's over and done with, you can't affect it any more, so why worry? there's nothing that can be done." No amount of tears will bring the milk back into the glass. Likewise, if you can't change something, why bother what-iffing? So why waste time? It's not worth it after all. Read on, maybe you can learn from this too...

No matter how badly or sadly a relationship ended, there is always something you can learn from the experience. Whatever you learned is your gift. Very often a current or past "failure" is what fuels you to the very success that you've always dreamed of. Past relationships give you a clearer picture of what you want and what you don't want in a relationship if you take the time to examine them. That’s the key, “take the time to examine them.” Whatever you do, don’t move to another relationship until you perform this examination. Let me share an analogy to make my point. When you rent an apartment, you are required to pay a refundable deposit fee and you are refunded this deposit if you leave the apartment in good condition. Consider your heart as the apartment and your self-esteem and self-worth as the deposit. If you don’t adequately clean the apartment (your heart), you will not get the deposit back (your self-esteem and self-worth intact). Leasing offices would not dare think of renting an apartment to a new renter with out first cleaning up, cleaning out and refurbishing the apartment. Do the same for your heart; clear away the debris of pain, disappointment, anger, fear, etc. before you invite another guest to inhabit your heart.

Now let’s get back to failed relationships as gifts.

One gift a failed relationship can give you is the power of contrast. If you can muster the strength and courage to let go of an unfulfilling relationship, you will soon see just how much precious time and energy you were wasting on something from which you were not reaping any reward.

Another gift a failed relationship can give you is the power of vision. By finally realizing what you don’t want in a partner, you can focus on building your vision of what you do want in a partner. You can now focus on what points of compatibility you desire in a partner.

For the gift of a failed relationship to really be useful, you must decide to bless the relationship and let it go to make room for the type of partner you desire and also to free your previous partner to find a more appropriate mate.

In reality, there are no “failed” relationships. Begin to view past relationships as incredible gifts; some relationships offer more incredible gifts than others but gifts nonetheless.

As the saying goes, people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. We may never understand or know why we were in a particular relationship. We may never understand or know why people come into our lives and then leave.

What I’ve learned is that if a relationship isn't working, it is not a bad thing or a failure as we have been trained to believe. It is merely that you, and perhaps the other person have learned what it is that you were supposed to learn by being in a relationship with that other person and it's time to move on to other "lessons." If we can remember that life is a "classroom and that people and situations are our "teachers"

The purpose of all relationships is to help us to grow--personally and spiritually. Even the most painful and ugly relationships can be gifts in learning more about ourselves, strengthening of our intuition and learning to accept the truth when we see it. The greatest gift of a past relationship is that you now know what you really want in a mate.

So instead of looking at a relationship that didn't work out the way you had hoped as a failure, I suggest you look at it for the gift that it is.

A need to mend my heart...

by Elsie Duggan

my many thanks to the author....

I am trying to find the smile

that is usually on my face

but it seems to be hiding

left without a trace

I know why it is missing

and I want to get it back

but I don't know how to do it

haven't found the knack

I know that I have tear drops

running down my cheek

I know the reason for that

my heart has sprung a leak

Things will be getting better

at least I'm hoping so

I just don't know why

time is passing very slow

I am trying to be blaze'

train my brain to stop this thinking

but I am not successful at it

I think this ship is sinking

I am doing my very best

to tread the water round me

and feel the love I know is there

Waiting to set me free

Patiently I sit here

trying night after night

to escape this lonely feeling

will I win this fight

It is only me that can bring back my smile

Only me to let love in

Only I can be the one

to take it on the chin

For I am tired of this feeling down

don't like it one little bit

I need to fix the leak in my heart

Before it's really split

So here life, take a punch at me

and smack me good and hard

make me wake up my old loving self

Catch me off my guard

Why bother coming out?

Copyright 1996
by Gianna E. Israel

Over the years I have read many good articles about the process of coming out. Some of these articles advise caution when disclosing. Others advise kicking down that closet door, coming out, and yelling "I'm a transgender person" to the whole world. Either approach may work for you depending on your circumstances. Personally, I've always preferred to disclose sensitive information cautiously. However, I encourage those individuals who are seeking instant notoriety to be mindful of the consequences, and to most certainly wear their best high heels or wing-tipped oxfords. Whether a person is deeply closeted, living privately, or not certain whether coming out is timely, this article takes a look at reasons for not coming out. In doing so it addresses issues that will be of interest to persons who crossdress as well as those who intend to live in role.

Coming out in some circumstances will be easier than imagined. Overall, however, it also can be hard work. This article is titled, "Why Bother Coming Out," because before doing so an individual must balance risks, consequences and potential outcome. In many circumstances the benefits of coming out may not outweigh the to come. Considering that coming out may damage a person's career, family and friendships, doing so demands that one ask difficult questions before committing to changes.

Would you care to flex your gender-knowledge muscles? Guess what is one of the most common questions crossdressers bring into counseling sessions? You are correct if you guessed it is regarding a person's decision to come-out to a spouse or introduce crossdressing into the home environment. Disclosure within a personal relationship is an extremely difficult process, even when done with planning. Also, contrary to the opinions of many "out" individuals, coming out to a spouse, or introducing crossdressing into the home environment, may in some circumstances be the worst mistake a person can make.

In the decision-making process before coming out, it behooves the individual to ask questions about how exactly this disclosure will affect others' lives. In doing so it is generally wise to take into consideration other people's current health, home stability, religious background and openness to accepting differences in others. Thus, if a person's significant other just lost employment, is extremely religious, and constantly voices bigoted statements toward gays and lesbians, this would suggest several things. First, announcing difficult to accept changes after a spouse loses a job, would be very poor timing. Also, at the very least, if an individual has very conservative views or is downright bigoted, it first needs to be determined if the individual can be taught that others have differences, and to be accepting if they cannot understand these differences. Then, only after the individual has learned how to accept differences in others, would he or she potentially be open to hearing about crossdressing. Transgender men and women do need to be mindful of one point. For every spouse that is successfully educated to accept gender issues or crossdressing, there are others who cannot be reached.

Holidays, family reunions and birthdays are also not necessarily a good time to come out. These events can be filled with additional stress, and introduction of such a serious issue may ruin a good time for all. Consequently, I suggest avoiding disclosure during these events, save your news when you can relay it privately and an individual basis.

Within both society in general and the transgender community, there tends to be numerous dramatic tales of "The Wife Who Immediately Sought Divorce After Discovering Her Husband's Secret Crossdressing Desire." I extol my readers to not become caught up by such fears. The fact is, at least within my experience as a careprovider, those marriages which end solely on account of the discovery of a spouse's crossdressing is a rarity. At worst, a shocked spouse may react with anger and severe disappointment. However, in situations where a spouse walks out the door upon discovery, there are almost always other problems with the relationship. Crossdressing becomes just another reason to end the relationship. My suggestion, if your relationship is on rocky ground, leave that secret wardrobe well hidden and out of sight.

In deciding whether disclosure is appropriate within a relationship, crossdressers must bear in mind that it is possible to pursue this activity in a manner which has no effect on a spouse or others. This is particularly so for persons who only dress occasionally, and have no interest in living "in role" as a member of the opposite gender. While this arrangement may not meet the expectation of one's fantasies, it is possible to establish transfriendly relationships outside your marriage which provide emotional support, places to store clothing, and dressing opportunities.

If you have concerns about privacy, it is possible to visit or regularly attend crossdressing and transgender organizations, particularly because confidentiality is emphasized. These opportunities can help diminish the sense of loss the crossdresser may have as a result of not being able to share his or her "special secret" with a spouse. Additionally, being in touch with the transgender community can positively enhance an individual's communication and disclosure skills. He or she may listen to others' coming out experiences, hear how spouses reacted, and learn methods of educating people about the importance of accepting differences in others.

Deeply closeted crossdressers may be surprised to learn that the majority of spouses respond with moderate ambivalence when introduced to their partner's crossdressing needs. This is particularly so after the spouse becomes accustomed to the idea this is something that cannot be cured or changed. Naturally, many spouses wish the "problem" would simply go away, and would rather not deal with it. With resignation, they may even offer brief support, as long as they don't see it and the children do not find out. Therefore, with this in mind, it is my opinion that should a crossdresser not feel comfortable disclosing crossdressing issues to the spouse, then by all means do not. Particularly, if the crossdresser has no experience disclosing to others, has no emotional support system, or truly believes that disclosing would irreparably damage the relationship. At the very worst, if your spouse finds out, you can honestly state you did not know how to disclose and doubted that disclosure would enhance the relationship.

Living with a "secret" can be torturous. This is particularly so because many individuals become excessively obsessed with guilt because they believe their spouses need to know every aspect of a partner's life. Not necessarily! Many individuals have independent interests or needs which are not introduced into their relationship.. And, having independent interests or needs is not wrong. Especially, if these do not detrimentally affect others. As another idea to ponder, many spouses purchase clothing or personal accessories without seeking the other's permission. This should not be any different for crossdressers.

Recently I came to appreciate the term "hobby," which some crossdressers use to describe their personal activities. In the past I did not like the term because I felt it diminished crossdressing as an integral part of the crossdresser's self-identity. However, over the years I have come to realize that labeling crossdressing a hobby reduce the social stigma associated with crossdressing. Explaining to others the dynamics behind crossdressing can be difficult, and even harder for some to understand. Portraying crossdressing as a hobby, is less confusing and sounds less threatening. Furthermore, while crossdressing may not be quite the same as fishing or playing bridge, it is my understanding that like many hobbies, it can be relaxing, enjoyable, help reduce stress and create interesting situations.

The need to make wise disclosure decisions is also a concern for transsexuals and transgenderists, or those who live part or full-time as a member of the opposite gender. Where the crossdresser can choose to remain closeted, and even keep personal secrets from friends and family, doing so becomes considerably more difficult for persons who wish to undergo transition. There is a great deal of literature covering the initial coming out process for persons making transitions, therefore we briefly will focus on issues less frequently addressed.

Political correctness within the transgender community has its benefits. However, it has been my experience, as a careprovider and transgender woman, that not everyone needs to know I am transgendered. Maintaining privacy and choosing to disclose are each decisions one must choose for him or herself. Providing information about gender issues to others is important, but so to is peace of mind. Therefore, as an individual transitions and the glamour of having a transgender identity wears off, he or she may choose to disclose selectively. In my personal life, I generally choose to educate where it will do the most good, and otherwise not address the subject unless introduced by others.

I do not advocate that individuals hide their identity because they are ashamed of who they are, however, there are in fact many reasons not to bother discussing gender issues. In many social situations people do not need to know your complete history, transgender needs and personal interests. This is particularly so in situations where selective disclosure or not doing so at all may best serve you. For example unless a person is actually in the process of transition, within the workplace talking about gender issues may make an interesting topic for discussion. However, unless a situation arises because of your identity, discussion of gender issues may not be necessary unless it is part of your avocation. This would be so for gender activists, gender specialist, gender theorists, etc.

The major exceptions in favor of disclosure, are for legal and medical purposes. Obviously, if you are a person in transition, prior to changing documents to reflect your new name and gender-identity, you may have to disclose that you are transgender. If you are taking hormones, or are a post-operative transsexual and seek gynecological or urological services, it is also likely you will need to inform the physician of your transgender status.

Finally, the most common question I receive from post-operative transsexuals, goes something as follows: "Dear Gianna, I am a post-operative transsexual, and have been living in role for many years. Nobody in my life currently knows that I am a transsexual, including a man with whom I am having a relationship. The relationship is becoming serious, what should I do? Signed, Tormented." My readers, that is a difficult question to answer. In most circumstances I suggest that such individuals begin setting the stage for disclosure, and ultimately disclose to their loved ones. If they don't, they face the possibility of someday being rejected for having not fully disclosed their past. If they disclose early in the relationship, they face the possibility of losing their romantic partner. If that happens, I suggest you deserve better. Go find a partner who can accept you for who you are. Frequently people ask me what is the best time for a post-operative to disclose his or her transgender status. If at all possible, during the beginning of a relationship that appears to have long-term potential, right before having sex, much as one would discuss other personal information.

The art of disclosure is difficult. Many times individuals lose these skills after spending years in the closet. And, there are also others who have not yet experienced coming out in real life. Before doing so, be cautious. Explore which options best suit your needs, yet do not harm others. And, if coming out is not right for now, don't.

There is one particular circumstance, where if at all possible, an individual should not come out or disclose their gender issues to others. I am directing this statement primarily to individuals who would like to disclose in the workplace or within meaningful relationships, but who know nothing about coming out. In these situations careful planning and forethought should go into disclosure. Generally speaking, the party you disclose to is likely to be affected by this new information, and it would be in your best interest to make a positive presentation. Therefore, I suggest that these disclosures occur without drama, overwrought emotions, self-deprecating statements, or for the purpose of coming out in order to validate yourself without taking into consideration others needs.

As a quick refresher course on "coming out," I would like to remind my readers that after building a gender-specialized support team, the best personal motivation for disclosing to others would be to improve the quality of a relationship. In disclosing, it is important to prepare for your discussion. You may do so by sharing your fears about coming out with people in your support group or with your therapist. When you are ready, then it is time to ask the person if it is possible for a pre-arranged, private meeting. During your meeting, validate the relationship and ask for confidentiality if necessary. Having done this, share facts about your needs and transgender identity in an easy-to-understand manner. Also, invite questions. If you don't have all the answers, that is fine. You can always provide more information as you learn it. After your discussion, seal the communication with appreciative and supportive words.

What To Expect In A Relationship

Now that you've mastered the rules of attraction, here are some guidelines to keeping things running smoothly...

First things first, pat yourself on the back. Getting to this stage is difficult enough with all the awkward, nervous moments that precede the actual initiation into a relationship. You’ve earned this title! Now you just have to deal with the pressure to keep it. Don’t fret, however, things aren’t as scary as they might initially seem. As long as you pay attention to a few key areas of your relationship, it’s sure to succeed.

TIME: Ok, now that you have someone new in your life that you care about, it means that you’re going to have less time in other areas. This isn’t a bad thing of course, but time-management is key. You want to balance both your personal time (which you need) with the time devoted to your bf/gf (which s/he deserves).

SELF-IDENTITY: You have one now, but be watch out. It’s very tempting to meld into a single unity when you’re in a relationship. “While compromise in a relationship is a necessary ingredient for it's success, denying the core of who you are is not,” says relationship counselor. “When you finally realize that an all-consuming relationship is depleting you, there will be nothing but resentment and identity-conflict.” In order to avoid this situation, you need to make sure that you maintain your own life and interests outside of the relationship. A relationship is based around two individuals coming together to benefit one another, if you have no life outside of each other then you cannot bring anything new into your relationship and it therefore cannot grow.

FRIENDS: High-five! You’re friends are excited that you found someone, but chances are that they’re also a little worried about your new relationship. Why? Because it means that you have less time for them. No, it’s not a selfish thing, but it is something that you need to make sure you pay attention to. Your friends want you to be happy, but they also don’t want you to disappear. Make sure you have nights when it’s just you and your buds. Your partner should appreciate that you’re paying attention to all the important relationships in your life—not just your romantic one.

COMMUNCATION: Even though you’ve both agreed that you want to be together there are going to be things that you disagree with down the road. No two people work the same way. One person might want to take the relationship faster than the other, one person might need more space, and one person might find be more of home-buddy than a social butterfly. Understand that your partner is unique and embrace them for that, while also introducing them to what makes you special too.

Let your partner know what you expect out of the relationship. This doesn’t mean that you have to dump everything on the table on Day 1, but if you need to talk about an issue that you’re dealing with or express a concern that you have, you should feel comfortable doing so. Do not play games, honesty is always the most effective way of getting your point across. Relationships are based around communication and one facet of that is trusting that your partner is both willing to listen to your feelings and respects them.

DATES: Spending time together is key in a relationship. You want to keep everything as exciting and new as it was before you started dating, while also allowing yourself to sink into a comfort zone. When you plan dates, try to have both nights that you go out and nights that you stay in. This will allow you to go out and experience new things together that are conversation starters (like movies, museums, parks), while also allowing you to have cozy nights in where you can strengthen your physical bond (kiss, snuggle, kiss, kiss).

INTIMACY: Being intimate with your boyfriend or girlfriend is part of what distinguishes your relationship as a romantic one. However, this does not mean that you have to have sex. Pay attention to what you feel comfortable with doing and do not allow yourself to feel pressured. This is one area of your relationship where you don’t owe anyone anything but yourself. You come first. Only go as far as you feel comfortable. If your partner needs an explanation as to why you need to stop at a certain point, have the confidence and the assertiveness to say, Hey…I like you but the this is where I’m at right now and I need you to be okay with that if this is going to work. Other than that…have fun with your new hot honey!

9 ways to say i love you

Not my own, praise to the author

By Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller

"I love you" are three words all children need to hear often from their parents. Do you want those words to have real meaning to your child? Do you want them to connect one heart to another? Do you want to use them to develop a level of intimacy in your family that communicates your heartfelt affection for your children? If so, consider strengthening "I love you" with the following suggestions.

1. Use Eye Contact. Give your children your eyes when you say "I love you." Souls touch when meaningful eye contact is made during moments of intimacy. Touch with your eyes. It’s a way of connecting that helps you bond.

2. Touch. A pat on the back, a hug or a high-five will add meaning to verbal expressions of love. So will a slight squeeze of the shoulder or a kiss. Take your child’s hand in yours when you say “I love you” and add a tactile component to your words.

3. Use names. The sweetest sound in any language is the sound of your own name. Names get our attention, build connectedness and help us connect. Sadly, some children only hear there own names when they are in trouble. (“William, you better get in here!”) Add your child’s name to your expression of love. “I love you, Carlos,” or “Tadahito, I really love you.” Watch their reactions. Their facial expressions will encourage you to continue the practice of adding your child’s name to “I love you.”

4. Use the words son and daughter. These two words can add intense intimacy to your verbal expressions of love. “I love you, son” or “I love you, daughter” can create an emotion-filled statement that will invite an equally emotional response. Monitor your personal-comfort level as you use these two important words. Notice your feelings as you say them as well as the reaction you get from your children.

5. Add nonverbal signals to your spoken message. Smile, wink and add pleasant facial expressions to your words. Make sure the message on your face is congruent with the one coming out of your mouth.

6. Do not use the word "when" as part of your vocal communication of love. "I love you when you smile like that" or "When you choose that happy mood, I love you" sends a message to your children that your love is conditional. Children often hear "I only love you when..." To love unconditionally, say "I love you," without any condition attached.

7. Remove the word "but" from your description of love. "I love you, but" is usually followed by a concern, problem or frustration. When we express our love along with a concern we send a mixed message. When we do this, children get confused and conclude the love part is a manipulation intended to soften them up before the real message is delivered.

8. Add "because you are loveable" to your manner of expressing love. "I love you because you are loveable" is an important concept to help children appreciate. It helps them understand that your love is attached to nothing. It simply is. Be careful not to add any other words after because. "I love you because you are thoughtful" adds a condition that communicates conditional love. The only acceptable phrase to use with because is because you are loveable.

9. Say "I love you" at unexpected times. Children often hear our expressions of love at familiar times. We typically say "I love you" when we are going out the door on our way to work. We say it when we end a phone conversation. "I love you" is often the last communication our children hear as we tuck them into bed at night. "I love you" at those times is often expected and certainly anticipated. To heighten the impact of these three valuable words, use them at unexpected times. Say them in the middle of a meal, as you are driving down the road in your car, or as you stand at the kitchen sink doing dishes together.

Some children are auditory and need to hear the words “I love you.” Others are tactile and need to be touched to feel loved. Still others are visual and need to see love on your face and in your actions. Why not give your children all three variations when you communicate your love?

Her impact on me...

Her eyes like diamonds,
Reflecting and refracting the light of her heart,
Satisfying my world with the light of a love I have not at all seen before.

I have felt darkness so thick it chokes.
The darkness hasn't a chance when she enters my world.

I have seen horrid sights that cloud a once clear mind.
My memories fade with her smile.

The silence, once so quite my eardrums ached,
Has been soothed with her laughter and childlike words.

I see the miracle of a growing, learning child,
On the landscape of my life I once thought baron.

Do I do what's right for her?

Do I love her as much as she deserves?

I did not know how to truly love before she became a part of my being.

I do and will forever love her with the deepest, truest love this tattered heart can muster.

I am now part of the lucky.

I am now part of the blessed.

Raising Your Daughter as a Single Dad

Sometimes as I visit with some of my single father friends, I get a glimpse of the challenge they facing raising children alone. But I still can't fathom the challenge a single father faces in raising a daughter.

Don't get me wrong-I absolutely adore my daughter. They have, mostly due to the influence of their mother, become strong and capable adult women. But I shudder to think how they might have turned out if I was their lone parent.

So, single dads, I hope you can feel my admiration for your taking on the challenge of raising a daughter alone. In trying to understand the keys to success in raising a daughter as a single dad, I turned to some of my friends and acquaintances who have done it well.

Whether you are divorced or separated and the custodial parent, or whether you are a widowed dad, the challenges are very similar. So, given the advice from those who have walked in your shoes, here are some suggestions for tackling this important task successfully.

Don't Go It Alone. Most of the dads I talked to spoke of the importance of a female mentor in the lives of their daughters. For some dads, a grandmother, aunt or other family member can take that role. For others, it is the mom of a friend his daughter's age. For others, the mentor may be a church youth leader, girl scout leader or athletic coach. But finding a strong and capable female role model is critical to your daughter's success in growing up. Helping your daughter connect to this mentor is a step you need to take.

Communicate. Many men tend to take an "I Must Fix It" mentality in their lives and their relationships. We tend to listen long enough to identify the problem, and then we are off on the solution. Our daughters usually don't want us to fix their issues; they would rather we listen for understanding and let them learn to work our solutions. Keeping the lines of communications open requires time, patience and a willingness to make it a priority.

Teach Her to Solve Problems. Sometimes our daughters need a little coaching in terms of problem-solving. Sitting with her and helping her think through an issue, develop alternatives and come to a conclusion tends to be counter-intuitive for some fathers. But it is important to teach her how, and not to lean on us for solutions. Helping her develop good problem-solving skills will serve her well throughout her life.

Don't Rescue or Overprotect. I know from my own experience with my daughters that I had no problem at all being the white knight to ride in on my charger to rescue her. It was hard for me to learn to let my daughters struggle some with life's problems and challenges. If you overprotect, your daughter will either rebel or become dependent, and neither of those outcomes is a positive. Allow some limited risks and she will learn confidence as she succeeds.

Be Involved in Her Life. I think it is generally easier for dads to be involved with their sons' lives than with the goings on in a daughter's world. But as a single dad, your daughter needs to feel your support. Attend her athletic contests, just like you would with your sons. Take her shopping occasionally. Be around the house when she has her friends around. Make opportunities to be together, and your relationship will grow.

What About Dating and Guys? Sometimes helping your daughter through the transition of puberty into adolescence can be a single dad's greatest emotional challenge. Successful dads suggest being up front and honest about these issues. Help her understand why you are little nervous about her developing relationships with guys or about helping her understand what is happening to her body, emotions and hormones. And recognize that some things will just be awkward. Relying on your trusted female mentor for some of these issues will be helpful. Most young men and young women who have healthy group relationships with both genders tend to be more prepared for the time when the guys and girl will begin pairing off, so create some of those group opportunities along the way.

How About Support Groups? Sometimes, single dads appreciate the support of others in the same boat. several online sources like the fatherhood forum can help you connect electronically with other fathers with similar challenges.

Single dads, I know it can be overwhelming to raise a daughter. But it can be done. And if you are sensitive to your daughters and invest the time into your relationship, you'll find great satisfaction in raising a great daughter.