Marriage is hard work.
Probably the most challenging and at the same time the most fulfilling human institution as well.
For the record, the seemingly increased failure doesn’t obscure the beauty and grand design of marriage rather it challenges us to question all assumptions, prepare adequately and work harder.
This new book is an ideal resource for those considering this noble institution, designed as a quick read, a ‘go-to’ browse-on-the-go resource on questions for singles, engaged and newly married couples.
The questions in the book cover critical components to consider before marriage such as the past, sex, communication, culture and money matters to mention a few.
Through personal experience and research on marital bliss, the author, Flo Falayi highlights the questions to ask during courtship and well into marriage. These questions help eliminate assumptions, address potential compatibility issues, reduce marital tensions, disappointments and eradicate regrets.
Many people will not self identify as RACIST but when you consider the increasing hateful and inciting sentiments that are made public via the different media outlets it simply makes one wonder why there is so much racism, ethnic based discrimination, xenophobia etc. in our society.
If only we can just appreciate that there is only one #Human Race! Anyway, I digress…
In relationships it is imperative to understand your innate tendencies and ensure the future couple (both of you) are on the same page (wave length).
So ask #Questions but please don’t ask leading questions such as “Are you racist rather ask about each other’s perceptions (viewpoints) about the different nationalities, tribes, and ethnic groups. The dialogue that follows will be extremely revealing. Trust me!
Discover more questions in my new book, “127 Questions Singles Must Ask Their Future Spouse”.
There is a tension between settling and settling down!
“…some women in their twenties leave good relationships based on an elusive feeling that they could find something more with someone else, and they regret it down the road when their choices dwindle. It’s not that women aren’t willing to settle; it’s that many refuse to recognize that their vision of the perfect man doesn’t match reality.”
– Kristine Huntley’s review on Lori Gottlieb’s book, “Marry Him, The Case for Settling For Mr. Good Enough”.
Every single ought to know these truths:
There is a difference between settling and settling down.
There are no perfect human beings, hence no perfect relationships, spouses, marriages (don’t let the social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram rile you up.
All successful relationships embrace to some degree the notion of settling within settling down.
And, yes…there is a real struggle to be won between “SETTLING” and “SETTLING DOWN”.
Natural Inclination – FEAR OF SETTLING: We are so afraid of settling!
Yet, most of us will eventually have to settle to settle down at some point, so we must apply great care to ensure the concept of settling down is not destroyed because we all settle.
I am concerned by people blinded by this fear who continue to block and prevent great relationships from developing and in some cases have inadvertently destroyed ‘wonderful’ opportunities.
I am concerned by some’s inability to separate fantasy from reality.
I am concerned that the pragmatic approach needed in some relationships have been renamed.
I am concerned by the heartaches, loneliness, disappointments, regrets and failed relationships.
I don’t want you living in fear of settling.
I want to let you know that ALL relationships start and thrive by the delicate balance between the pragmatic desire of “SETTLING DOWN” with the notion of “SETTLING”. In order words, most great relationships and marriages go through the process of ‘SETTLING’ to arrive at “SETTLING DOWN”.
Isn’t it time to carefully appropriate these hugely popular quotes and clichés as some of them especially on “SETTLING” need to be understood and applied within the right context(s). Consider this popular quote:
REALLY? NEVER SETTLE?? I disagree!
I do however agree with the next two images (message) though:
What is important is ensuring that when we settle, we do so correctly and for the right reasons. As a side note, I am reminded that when one falls in love with someone, accepting their shortcomings does not feel like settling. Isn’t that the truth?
So are you settling when you settle down? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
I want to hear from you, let know your thoughts, do you agree or disagree?
Author: ‘Flo Falayi, Ph.D.(c) is the founder of RelationshipMatters & HybridLeaders. He is married with kids and passionate about Leadership, Singles, Relationships and helping people maximize their life & relationships. Flo hosts and speaks at conferences, seminars and events locally and internationally.
Follow Flo On Twitter; @holyflo Subscribe to the Leadership & Relationship Newsletter, click HERE
Communication is the ability to successfully convey or share ideas, thoughts and feelings. When one communicates it is essential that one is heard and understood. Note that the art of communication extends beyond the transfer of intent, idea or thoughts and obtaining an right response or action is what confirms one is indeed communicating. If only it is so easy…(lol)
So we know that communication could be complicated and for many of us especially men, words are limiting. So here’s a tip, add to your repertoire and learn how to speak with flowers…now this assumes that whoever you are communicating with appreciates flowers. (Hint: The first rule of communication is to know the ‘audience’ tailor accordingly).
Class is in session – take notes!
Listen – “After women, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world.” – Christian Dior
Do not forget that – “The earth laughs in flowers.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
No better time than NOW: “Don’t send me flowers when I’m dead. If you like me, send them while I’m alive.” – Brian Clough
Everything matters especially the little things – “Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes – every form of animate or inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon the soul of man.” – Orison Swett Marden
Before you purchase or present your next bouquet, you should know what that means –
Ambrosia symbolizes: Love returned
Amethyst symbolizes: Admiration
Azalea symbolizes: Romance
Camellia symbolizes: Steadfast love
Pink carnations mean: “I’ll never forget you”
Cherry blossom symbolizes: Spiritual beauty
Daisies symbolizes: Innocence
Gardenia mean: “You’re lovely”
Geraniums mean: “A secret rendezvous”
Hazel symbolizes: Reconciliation
Iris symbolizes: A flame of passion
Lilac symbolizes: New love and innocence
Lily symbolizes: Sweetness
Orchids mean: “You are beautiful”
Peach means: “You are unique”
Rosemary symbolizes: Remembrance
Tulips (red) mean: “My perfect lover”
Tulips mean: “You mean everything”
Violets mean: Faithfulness
Author: ‘Flo Falayi, Ph.D.(c) is the founder of RelationshipMatters & HybridLeaders.org. He is married with kids and passionate about maximizing life, leadership & relationships. Flo hosts and speaks at conferences, seminars and events locally and internationally.
Follow Flo On Twitter; @holyflo Subscribe to the Leadership & Relationship Newsletter, click HERE
Can we be honest? Everyone’s looking for a perfect relationship yet no one is willing to work hard for it.
A vibrant loving relationship is indeed challenging mentally and physically but the feedback from those who put in the hard work and pay the price is encouraging, because they all confirmed the great success that follows the efforts. In their words, the rewards are well worth it! So don’t ‘cop’ out, put in the work necessary.
In the same spirit of being honest, there is no doubt that we all struggle with romance but personally I am finding that the key is in initiating, taking small steps, being consistent and never becoming complacent or insensitive. Some of the insights (tips) I hold dear till date came from David & Anne Frahm’s book, titled “How To Make Love With Your Clothes On” below:
The firm foundations of a romantic relationship are built upon the delights of surprise
Little things mean the world to women”
Catching a woman off guard ‘now and then adds drama to a marriage, that most women crave.
Listed below are 10 ways to make love with your clothes on and I want to dare you to try them out, the results will surprise you.
Leave a ‘provocative’ message for your spouse on the answering machine
Open the car door for her, both getting in and getting out
Call her during the day just to tell her you love her and that you’ve been thinking about her
At an unsuspecting moment, sweep her into your arms and tell her that she’s your best friend
Ask her opinion on an important decision you’ve got to make
Pray with her over her concerns
Compliment her on her appearance
Tape a note to the bathroom scale that says “Just Right”
Surprise her with flowers because it’s true that “Flowers like women, bring beauty into the world and they belong together”
Make time to talk and listen
I will love to hear from you the ones that worked for you as well as others you are trying out or have tried or heard of. In addition, do you need help in your relationship(s), marriage or life? Remember, you are not alone, help is available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: ‘Flo Falayi, Ph.D.(c) is a preacher, speaker and author. A husband and father with a passion for reviving and empowering the next generation. Flo hosts and speaks at conferences, seminars and events nationally on Leadership and Relationship Mattters.
Follow Flo On Twitter; @holyflo Subscribe to the Leadership & Relationship Newsletter, click HERE
There is a lot to say and yes a lot has been said already…but decided to add my opinion as well after I read on CNN, that someone gave 5 middle school kids (watchCNN) typically between the ages of 11 – 13, a 50 Shades of Grey themed puzzle that’s when I knew I could no longer be silent. I wasn’t necessarily surprised by the acclaimed book’s success and it’s continued buzz towards the movie’s release…the more a fantasy is fed and nurtured the more it demands. My opinion: “Don’t indulge your ‘fantasy’ by watching this movie…”
For the record, this post isn’t about debating the pros and cons but rather it is about highlighting some facts to the ‘undecided’ or the silent ones who would rather remain ‘unknown’ or unperturbed by movies and how critical they are in shifting mindsets. I know some could refute my comments based on their self-will and how movies are simply petty amusements to be consumed in moderation. This post is really for those still open minded enough to listen to the dialogue about the potential dangers of a ‘boundary less’ life or relationship. I hope you read this and decide to take a stand even if privately and to at the least become a fierce defender of your heart because the ‘issues of life’ reside inside the heart. In the words of Peter Marshall, “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” So guard your heart and your eyes (your inlet points) and consider the other options listed below as well.
I have a strong conviction that by taking a position, “The future generations (including our children) will thank us.”
The new movie, Fifty Shades of Grey is more than a romantic, silly Valentine’s day entertainment and I am certain it will significantly alter our cultural landscape further especially as it pertains to ‘SEX’.
For those that do not even know what “Fifty Shades of Grey” means, here’s a brief summary – The movie titled Fifty Shades of Grey hits theaters in a few days, just in time for Valentine’s Day and while it is being promoted as a romantic story of a rich handsome man who charms a young innocent lady with lavish gifts and bold declarations of desire.” SOURCE It is actually more about a sexually explicit relationship between a college student and a businessman filled with fantasies, bondage sex, dominance, submissive sex and much more. In fact, according to Washington Post, the novel was a massive hit with an estimated 100 million readers — mostly women“.
According to CNN: there are two common themes of sadomasochism and bondage in the movie/book –CNN
When it comes to this movie, there are three positions/camps:
The “No Harm- so do nothing”: It’s entertainment don’t get riled up and you should only watch the movie if you want and have fun.
The “Harmful – Do Something (Don’t watch, Support Charities etc)”: This position is more articulate about the dangers of sexual deviancy, pornography, addiction etc and has begun series of actions to sensitized people to the prevailing dangers to the society.
Finally, The Undecided: Uncertain, perhaps even unaware that such a movie exists and probably do not care for it.
This unrelenting movement designed to poison souls, damage innocent souls and destroy every thing good especially sex isn’t simply entertainment. It’s time to WAKE UP!
“Hollywood is advertising the Fifty Shades story as an erotic love affair, but it is really about sexual abuse and violence against women,” said Dawn Hawkins, executive director of National Center on Sexual Exploitation. “Read More here” Eventually, it will spill across the globe…we’ve seen this before.
Leilani Haywood’s post (in the Charisma Magazine) on Fifty Shades of Grey is probably the position that best captures my sentiment about the movie. So let me just be upfront here…”I am not interested in watching a movie that glorifies sexual violence towards women period and will tell my readers, subscribers and anyone who cares to listen that this movie does more harm than good. Isn’t it so ironical that our society’s desire to reduce domestic violence publicly is met with another blockbuster movie (slant) that glorifies bondage, perverted sex and violence. What a contradiction!
Heads up: If you have kids, get ready to talk about this movie at some point considering Target and other stores now have toys e.g. teddy bears with handcuffs available for purchase, more here: marketing opportunities and demands.
Forest Benedict’s article on addiction, pornography is important here, here’s an excerpt – “A study published in the Journal of Women’s Health in 2013 examined themes in Fifty Shades of Grey, with the help of abuse and sexual practice experts. The results revealed that the book has extensive instances of emotional abuse, sexual violence, and reactions by the victim that are typical of abused women. The conclusion of the study was this:
“Our analysis identified patterns in Fifty Shades that reflect pervasive intimate partner violence—one of the biggest problems of our time.
Further, our analysis adds to a growing body of literature noting dangerous violence standards being perpetuated in popular culture.”
I cannot in good conscience support any establishment that spreads messages such as this through the showing of Fifty Shades of Grey or movies like it. Pervasive pornography already has a stranglehold on our society and I believe this movie perpetuates messages that hurt all of us, especially the most vulnerable, our children.”
Addiction, Pornography and Sexual bondage is not funny and many souls are trapped and bound to their ‘private’ pleasures. This is a pervasive stronghold on many marriages, relationships today and there is HELP AVAILABLE. Get ONLINE help with this great filtering software for your spouse and children’s devices from Covenant Eyes: CHECK IT OUT
“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” – Ann Landers
“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.” – Henry Van Dyke #RelationshipMatters
“Love is a game that two can play and both win.” – Eva Gabor #RelationshipMatters
Hello All: Happy New Week!
Here’s an interesting post on the difference(s) between the sexes (male and female). The difference(s) is often subtle but if left unchecked, can gradually become extremely complicated and challenging in relationships. Isn’t this true though?
Here’s the question … “Should or Can I be friends with my OLD FLAME (single, married, divorced, widowed) on social media”?
My first answer is ask your spouse or fiancée.
My second is NO….even if I don’t have all the facts about the specifics, context and background.
My third, even when I have more information is still remain NO.
Here’s why- social media’s dark side…harbors inappropriate behavior which could lead to lust and eventually sin.
A wise king in the bible admonished us to never arouse love, passion prematurely in the book of Ecclesiastes and it’s safe to apply this same principle to a past lover, relationship or marriage.
Psychologists report an increase in stressed relationships due in part to increased online, casual relationships. For many, it starts as a casual discussion, a business transaction, a search for a confidant, a ‘let me say hi’ intention and such noble intentions but what invariably develops threatens the ‘real’ and established relationships, I have observed marriages destroyed and engagements called off due to such discreet affairs.
However, a good rule of the thumb to observe is setting boundaries, drawing a line.
Here are pointers to help you identify if you have crossed the line –
You share intimate secrets about your relationship, marriage with the other party.
You seek intimate counsel from each other.
You introduce a third or forth character into your marital bed.
You make subtle comparisons between your ‘social friend’ and your spouse.
You spend excessive hours online alone and away from your spouse.
And here are additional tips by Ms Marjie Killeen Wilmette (author and contributor to the online group makeitbetter.net), these signs she wrote are definitely signs one’s online relationship has crossed the line:
You think about the ‘social friend’ all the time, and constantly await emails, likes, RTs and texts.
You fantasize about your ex, and find ways to bring him or her up in your conversations.
You start seeing your marriage differently; feel it’s lacking, begin to find fault with your SPOUSE.
You wonder if you and your old flame were really meant to be together again.
You keep your social interaction/relationship a secret from your spouse.
You make plans to meet your ex in person.
So what do you think? Be honest!
It’s your choice, will you make your relationship (marriage, dating, engagement etc) healthy? If yes, then don’t cross these lines…because #Relationships really Do Matter.
Abstinence sounds like an impossibility today, but I dare say you’ve got to think again because it’s possible. Here’s a teenager taking a stand to be different. Below are some excerpts from his article-
“Once you have sex with someone, you’re connected to them emotionally and physically,”Phin wrote.
“If you tear that bond the rip leaves open scars where the glue once was. That’s why ‘casual sex’ never works in the long term – it just doesn’t.”
On his parents’ efforts –
“My parents always talked to me about the value of waiting,” he says.
Many parents, in his view, are too keen to ignore what’s happening once their kids start having sex. “They just don’t want to know. Say a guy brings a girl over to the house … they just look the other way. It’s easier.”
On Sex Education
Sex education has also hindered rather than helped, in Phin’s view.
“I don’t know whether it’s being done properly at all. I learned how to put a condom on a dildo when I was 13, but really it should be much more about what you’re taking on emotionally, what sex is going to mean. The problem with the way it’s taught in school is it’s all about the physical stuff, and I think that’s why young people think sex is just sex, whereas it really isn’t … the mechanical stuff has been overplayed, and that’s made people think it’s just about a physical thing.”
Encouraging news: Survey shows that 27% of young men aged 15 to 24 have never had any form of sexual contact; and that’s up from 2002 when the figure was 22%.” As he says in his article: “I guess I’m not the only crazy guy around after all.” Click below for the full story…its a great read.