Thursday, June 29, 2017


In the previous blog, we talked about what love looks like in contrast to what love feels like.  So in the next two blogs, we will look at what love feels like as well as explore just what feelings are and where they come from.

I think most of us would say, “Well, yeah, I know what love feels like.”  We might even say, “I don’t really feel love or loved very often, but I know that feeling.”  We might even say, “I feel love and loved all the time with my grandkids,” and some of us may even be able to say, “I feel love for or loved by my partner.”  And we might be able to go even further and say “I love God and know that God loves me.”   (And if we can't make any of those statements, hey, we're in good company!  Believe me.)

Each one of these statements is pack full of information, and typically we do not take the time to unravel the information.  We just sit with the assumption that we know what it feels like to love someone and or to be loved by someone.

And what most of us do not stop to grasp is that a feeling, whether we name that feeling love or we name it something else like hate, anger, jealous, hurt, sad, intimidated, happy, joy, sexy, is generated from within our own skin.  Feelings come from the inside and not the outside.

This is a good place to stop and meet Bunny and Bear!

I initially purchased these stuffed animals from Mervyns back in 1987.  They were part of a personal experiment to heal my attachment wounds, and consequently, they soon became very real to me and I named them.  Yes, Bunny and Bear.  And I refer to them all the time as Bunny and Bear.  The names may not sound very original or creative to you, but it is who they are and what I call them and their names make them real to me.  Sometimes, they live in my home and sometimes, they live in my office.

When I first adopted Bunny and Bear, I took them with me EVERYWHERE!  And if I was presenting a class or workshop, I would “invite” (actually force!) the participants to hug both Bunny and Bear.  Then I would ask everyone what it felt like for them when they hugged Bunny and Bear.  Some folks had the courage to say, “I didn’t feel anything.”  That response is grist for an entire blog of its own!  Most of the time, folks would say they felt “warm, cuddly, and soft.”  Some folks went so far to say they felt “loved.”  And yes, that’s grist for a blog all of its own as well!  Then I would ask everyone the big question. "Where do those feelings come from?"  After a moment of that deer-in-the-headlight look, I would say, “Those feelings obviously aren’t coming from Bunny or Bear!"

So when we say “I know she/he loves me, I can feel it,” we typically do not stop to register that that feeling we associate with someone loving us is coming from inside of us.  Yes, inside of US.  And no sooner do we feel loved than we feel dismissed or rejected by that very same person, who is now standing there stunned because he or she has no clue as to what they just did to cause us to go from feeling loved to feeling rejected or dismissed all within record breaking time.  

Have we had these kinds of experiences before?  Do we have them on a regular basis?  Do we go through this roller coaster of emotions every day when we come home from work or every night when we crawl into bed?

Sometimes, we say something like, “I’m really sorry, I just don’t have those kinds of feelings for you,” and there is an implication that there is something missing inside the other person, and we don’t stop to consider that whatever is missing may very well have not been planted in our emotional brain from the very beginning of our conscious existence.  Or if the person is someone we did have those feelings for once, we don’t really get it, that if the feelings were there once, they can be there again.  Whatever got triggered the first time can get triggered again. Again, the feelings come from inside of us.  Our feelings are ultimately ALL about US and tell us very little about the other person.

So some of us may be too tired to go any further with this exploration.  We are convinced that we know what it feels like to love and be loved and that’s all that is necessary.  And maybe we are equally convinced that when someone loves us, they give off a kind of vibe, and we can tell, we can pick it up, we can read their body language.  Of course, in picking up vibes from other people, we also know when they do not love us us and we often grow to hold back with other people, basically mistrust others, because what they give off toward us seems to change ever so quickly.  And we can have all kinds of explanations for that phenomenon.  He or she got up on the wrong side of the’s that time of the month....having a bad hair day....having a bad day period....down in the dumps, preoccupied, overwhelmed, too many pans in the fire.  Or we might be less compassionate and conclude that people in general are just assholes. In either case, we learn to protect ourself, we learn not to wear our emotions on our shirt sleeve.  We learn to keep our heart guarded with emotional armor.  Isn’t it interesting the difference between amor and armor?  One little letter!

The other piece we often miss or just are not aware of is that many of the feelings we experience on a minute-to-minute basis, particularly in relationships, are OLD feelings and have more to do with our emotional history and often almost nothing to do with our current experience or our current experience of the other person.  Not sure what we are talking about here?  Well, think about the last time we said something like, “She’s/he’s just like my ex....just like my Dad...just like my old boss....  Sometimes those folks are not anything at all like our ex, our Dad, or our old boss, but it feels like they are.  Those are OLD feelings getting triggered.  Or if those folks are just like our ex, our Dad, or our old boss, then we want to ask ourself why we keep picking those kind of people!  Laugh!  Or Cry!

So what’s going on here?  Well, this is what we want to explore and get a good grasp of so when we feel what we name “love,” we can know for sure if that is, in fact, what we are experiencing and know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this feeling is coming from inside of us.  And perhaps, more importantly we want to grow to a place where we can literally choose to love another person whether we feel like it or not, and we can choose to be loved by another person whether we feel like it or not because ultimately we are lovable and so is he or she.  Wow!  What a concept!

So we will stop here for the moment and pick up this exploration in the following blog.  Don’t want to wear out our brains, our interest and curiosity by going on and on and on here!  There is much more to explore. 

Thank you so much for reading and leaving your comments, Be sure to talk about your thoughts and feelings about this post with your special someone.

Find out more about the book on the website or order directly from Amazon.  The book is easy and fun to read and will support us growing up in our relationship.

And thank you for investing in your relationship.  

If you have a question about relationships, please leave the question in the comment section, and I will answer the question here on this blog.  Or you can email me a question at

Our feelings are our very own fireworks and they're on the INSIDE!

Saturday, May 6, 2017


It is easy to ask what love FEELS like, and it is a legitimate question.  But our feelings can be intertwined with parts of our past to which we have no conscious access, and we just assume the feelings are about what’s happening now and often they are not.

So it can actually happen that we are in a loving relationship with a loving partner, but have feelings of abandonment or rejection. Again feelings that are triggered from outside our consciousness from something in our past, and often we have no explicit memory of the past event or events.  And so, based upon those feelings, we may erroneously conclude that our partner does not love us.  Again, we are looking at our feelings and not what our partner actually does for us.  Yes, an interesting phenomenon worth our exploration, and we will do just that in the next blog because feelings are very important, just not our ultimate or sole source of information for making relationship decisions or judgments.

For today, we will focus on what love looks like.  Can we recognize it when we see it regardless of what we might be feeling?

*So our feelings suggest that our partner is moving away from us or getting ready to abandon ship, yet he or she offers to make us breakfast.

*We spend our day at work replaying the morning argument and feeling misunderstood, unloved, and unappreciated. And then we come home to find our favorite drink and appetizer on the coffee table.

Or we may find ourself engaging in heated and opinionated "discussions," over politics and the like and left with feelings that suggest our partner is hell-bent on proving us wrong all the time.  One of my clients told me that when this happens for him, without realizing it, he is unconsciously engaging with his Dad who never seemed to appreciate his "brilliant" insights into life.  And unwittingly and again unconsciously, he thinks that maybe the person he loves will give him what he always wanted from Dad.  "How crazy is that!" he said to me. He went on to say that his partner suggested that he simply grieve what he thinks he never got from Dad, and then he might be able to stop chasing it in the relationship.  "Is that love or what?" he said to me.   
I will always remember a particular "conversation" with Roberta where I was complaining about the infrequency of our love-making.  She looked at me and said, “I make love to you every time I pick up your dirty socks and underwear.”  I sat there stunned. What could I say?  For a split second, I wanted to lash back and remind her of what her side of the bed looked like, but I realized I was missing her point and just being defensive and playing tit for tat rather than really listening.  She had asked me a zillion times to put my dirty socks and underwear in the hamper, and yes, I heard her alright, but somewhere in my male brain I thought, “What is the big deal where I put my dirty socks and underwear?  The floor is as good a place as the hamper.”  I know, I can be a jerk sometimes! But on that day, I got it.  And it was my first real lesson in seeing what love looks like in contrast to what it feels like.

So share with each other, what does love look like in our relationship?  No debating, no commenting, no judging, no arguing!  There is no right or wrong here.  Just share and really listen.

Perhaps as a starter, we can read out loud together St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 13, verse 4.  New International Version (NIV)

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

When I checked out the original Greek, this English translation is quite accurate.  That is not always the case in Scripture.  

It is worthwhile noting that the Greek word for love in this passage is agape.

The website, says that this Greek word agape is not used to describe romantic or sexual love nor even friendship or brotherly love.  It has the connotation of “faithfulness, commitment, and an act of the will....agape is used to describe the love that is of and from God.... ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8).  Agape is also used to describe our love for God (Luke 10:27)...."

So what does love LOOK like for us in our relationship?  Not what does it feel like, but look like?

If you have a question about relationships, please leave the question in the comment section, and I will answer the question here on this blog.  Or you can email me a question at

If you're interested in finding out more about the book, check out the website or order directly from Amazon.

Thank you so much for reading and leaving your comments, and thank you for investing in your relationship.  The book is easy and fun to read and will support you growing up in your relationship.

Friday, April 28, 2017


Available now

I'm happy to announce that the revised edition is now here and available.  There are two major changes which you will enjoy.  The editorial tone has changed from "I" speaking to you the reader to "we" speaking with each other.  And there is one additional chapter entitled "Know There Is A God."

This new chapter is not about religion but about the impasses in our relationship where we experience ourselves as just plain stuck and seemingly unable and definitely unwilling to move.  The chapter invites us to see the impasses as opportunities to move beyond ourselves as two ego's and acknowledge a God of our own understanding, our Source, if you will, Who is ALWAYS there for us, and who will provide the path beyond our impasses if we only let go.

Yes, the chapter encourages us to let go or "surrender," the same way we let go or surrender to water so we can float and swim.  This chapter concludes with simple prayers for both believers and non-believers!  What a deal!

As we often do in our relationships, I have neglected this blogsite, and I look forward to hanging out here more frequently.

If this is your first time here, please note the wonderful articles from previous years, a total of fifty to date.  Browse through them. Easy reads on topics pertinent to all of our relationships.

Thanks for reading.  Come back again and again.