R is for Respect: If there isn't mutual respect, you can kiss your personal connection goodbye. When that goes, so goes the love. Piece by piece, the passion is chipped away. A sculptor creates something out of nothing. While we all lose our cool sometime, you don't deserve to live with criticism, verbal abuse or negativity as a steady diet.
An abuser, whether verbal or otherwise, is someone who has low self-esteem or some other psychological issues going on, like an Adult Child of an Alcoholic (ACA), for example. He or she will do the opposite of an artist. We can't know someone's motivation or intention, but we can feel negative consequences.

 A disrespectful person chooses to attempt to make nothing out of something, namely you. Don't buy into his/her poppycock. Like sculptured flakes that fall to the floor, many relationships become shredded, after months or even years of disrespect, leaving battered egos and shattered dreams in its wake.

To gain self-esteem, you must first respect yourself. Like Eleanor Roosevelt once said, and I'm paraphrasing here,
Someone can't insult you unless you give them permission. 

Practice being respectful of other people every day, all day long. If you disagree, politely explain why you think the way you do. Tell a story that reflects your views without name-calling. In a nutshell, to be respectful, follow (4) four guidelines:
  1. Ask questions about your companion's day. Discover his/her thoughts, beliefs, feelings and impressions of life in general or about a specific topic.
  2. Listen to your partner. You don't have to agree with him/her, just understand what the other is saying and accept their point of view. What makes your partner tick? What events in your partner's past make him/her think and act in a certain negative way? 
  3. Express your own needs and desires. Use simple phrases. Be firm without sounding demanding. Be in tune with what makes you tick.
  4. Be emotionally honest. Be done with the mind-games you played in high school. You're grown up now. Yes, there is usually an alpha-dog like half of a partnership. If you become too passive, your partner may step all over you (figuratively speaking). On the other hand, if you're too aggressive, you become an oppressive presence or worse. Neither makes for long-term bonding. Above anything, sustained mutual respect is essential in a healthy relationship.

Another popular version of  all this is:  
Be truthful. Be kind. 

Whether you've been together for years or only been dating for a month and getting along well, be up front and honest about what you desire out of a partnership. 

No more game-playing, please!
 Late one night over a dinner, your boyfriend tilts his head and leans forward: So, what exactly are you looking for in our relationship? You don't want to scare him off this early, so you respond:  My career takes so much time right now. I'm not interested in a serious one. I just wanna have fun. 
     Yeah, me too, he replies.

     A week goes by and you wonder why he hasn't texted much or even called. Among your female friends, you talk freely about the qualities you're looking for in a man, such as a sense of humor, intelligence, kindness, financial stability and more. Finally, you call him and discover he wants to move on. He says that it's just not a good fit. Did you just blow off a potential soulmate? Who knows? 
     Be truthful. What's the big deal about an authentic response? Instead of being coy, tell your date that you're looking for a healthy, R-I-P-E relationship:
                                               R   =   Respectful
                                               I   =    Intimate
                                               P  =    Passionate
                                               E   =   Emotionally Supportive
     Like a fine wine, a healthy relationship can be cultivated. A Cabernet, for instance, takes its sweet time to be ready for consumption. Likewise, true companionship matures over a period of time. Yes, love at first sight may happen occasionally; but a deep love connection doesn't usually happy overnight. More and more, people are trying to discover what they did wrong in their last relationship. They don't want to blow it with their current mate. Get a grip. Be authentic. Be the grown-up. If your date doesn't like what you have to say, move on to someone else who will. Don't waste your precious time chasing a pipe dream (the wrong partner)! 
The minute we stop moving and learning new things, is the minute we stop living fully. To put it another way, our brains start to expire. 
Read all the great research! Tell your brain to regenerate new cells. If you don't try new things or move, your cells lose their ability to repair themselves. 

When you don't exercise either mentally or physically, your cells believe they're getting ready to die. So they give up. Use positive self-talk and move every day. #growbraincells

Grow your brain cells. Alter your life! 

Be Still.Take action.

Get Inspired.

Draw Lines. 

Create Peace.

Invigorate Others. 
Of course, I think of myself as a relatively normal human being. Is that normal? We all can be a hyper-focused on our electronic devices. We also can become a bit lazy, self-absorbed, and set in our ways. I admit to these faults at times. Naturally, we typically create a rationalization for each of them. Human beings--and a few presidents--find a rationale for worse behaviors, believe me. 

Spontaneity leads to an open life; structure gives rise to intolerance. 

To be an open book or a closed private person, that is the question. No worries there. Nobody cares which way we turn so why respond to insignificant obligations or witless commitments? Take a breathe. 

Flexibility is not always an asset. Just like the fatal adaptation of the frog in science class which adjusted to the slowly boiled water so perfectly that he died. Never adapt to evil or foolishness. Don't go down the rabbit hole. And if you ask me, we all go down the slippery slope sometimes.
The trick is to learn from our mistakes. 

I do feel splintered occasionally. I accept that along with my own asininity.My mind flickers and travels in a myriad directions, like confetti floating to the ground after a grand parade. I can hardly stand the confusion. Were I to control the world, I would stop its rotation long enough to catch my breath. To stop the madness. Wanna get off the merry-go-round of life? Let's turn off all electronic devices and think for ourselves. Be still. We must avoid losing control of our thoughts. That's what Orwell's book, 1984, was all about. Whichever way our minds turns, it's important to have clarity, purpose, compassion, joy, and curiosity. Always be curious. 

Recreate yourself every moment. Which moment? Only this one and this one and this one etc. Accept that we don't know what we don't know. Unplug. Listen. Absorb.

 Nobody ever got any smarter listening to themselves talk! 
What's fair is fair. Post a Daily Chore List. This is for couples want to:
a) Avoid confrontation;
b) Support the other;  
c) Promote peaceful cohabitation. 
Both people scratch off items when finished. Nobody needs to sulk, nag, or get upset. And everyone wins!
First, it's never a good practice to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Well, I gotta ask, do you have a written or verbal agreement for dividing up house chores? If not, make one.

Secondly, this is an easy fix for most couples. Don't beat the issue to death. Nobody likes to owe their partner favors all the time. It puts them in a one-down position. Write out a few ideas and discuss how the list changes with the seasons. Who shovels the snow? Who dusts? Does one cook and the other clean up? How about laundry?

Lastly, try the Extra Chore List  method that my parents used. My mother would write down a 2-3 item list for my dad and then post it on the fridge. As a stay-at-home mother of five, she did nearly all of the household duties. My dad respected the fact she couldn't do everything; he simply crossed them out one at a time. If it was urgent, she'd put a star by it.

With both parties working, either person can add a specific chore with a target date.Who is better equipped to handle it. If neither has the muscle or expertise to do it, call an expert. 
If you are asking yourself if your relationship has gotten boring, it has.  The question is, what have you done to expand your own horizon. Learned a new language?  Signed up for a dance class?  Read any stimulating books lately? 

Start with yourself first. Your partner will be motivated to catch up with his/her fascinating partner. Be the inspiration. Do something once a week other than watching TV together. Schedule a new activity bi-monthly. Discover events in your community. Go to a farmers market or an art museum. Listen to a live band. Visit a town nearby that you've never seen before. The list is endless. 

Explore. Be creative. 

On the flip side, couples need to maintain their own hobbies/activities without insisting the other come your event. Smothering behavior is not attractive. If you love live theater and your partner hates it, for instance, go with a mutual friend who enjoys it as much as you do. Obviously, you can indulge your partner once or twice a year. Your significant other might enjoy a single baseball game while you go to a dozen more every season. 

Two independent personalities blend more happily when boundaries are respected. Keep your identity in tact. After all, that's why you fell in love with in the first place!
Almost everybody does!  Mine was Terry O'Toole. I was just 17 and was known as "goodie-two-shoes." Didn't smoke or drink (much). Yes, I was a virgin; but I still wanted to know what to do to drive him crazy and how to be competent at kissing etc. We fell in love. Four years older, Terry never rushed me into anything I wasn't ready for; he never pushed me too far too fast. Such a patient loving teacher! Believe me, 18 months of experimental sex, without intercourse, is the perfect foundation for a great sex life. Can't thank him enough. 

Try to recall what is was like to have that first love. Then bring back the enthusiasm and passion to experiment into your current relationship.                                            bit.ly/KissToday       bit.ly/SpiceSexUp
Sex is like food. Sometimes you want a seven-course meal; sometimes you just crave a hot dog! You're much more likely to get what you want once you learn to express your needs and desires in a constructive way. Learn to be seductive.

Create a romantic setting for heightened pleasure and have some fun to boot! Initiate a scavenger hunt. Start with a simple handwritten note that you strategically place somewhere you know your partner will see it easily. The note might read:  Hi, you handsome hulk. Just want to show you how much I love you. Go to Asparagus Fern for your next message.

Another message is tucked away inside the fern. Write something like, “You make me so happy.” Next, you send him to the refrigerator or anywhere in the house, invariably ending up in the bedroom. Each note expresses your affection. Humans never tire of flattery. The last note says, “Look under your pillow.” Place a small token of your affection or something provocative – like edible underwear or a Hallmark card – before the games begin.

Once in the bedroom, playfully push him onto the bed. Offer a glass of wine that is chilled on the night stand. Start with a kiss. Unbutton his shirt, slowly, and continue with each piece of clothing on yourself as well until you're both naked. Ask him to turn face down. Let some wine spill forth while you kiss his entire back. Kiss behind his knee caps. It's a pleasure point. Turn him face up, kiss his chest slowly and prolong the sexual tension until he can't take it a moment longer.

Seduction is a wonderful gift!

Why do nearly 40% of the U.S. population celebrate St. Patty's day? Is it the green beer or the fun costumes people get to wear? 

Let's get into the spirit: sing a song, dance a jig, swig a beer, and be joyful today. 

Every partnership involves a series of trade-offs! The question is, what degree of compromise can you live with and still be happy?

For instance, do you want kids and he doesn't? Does one partner have to live in the countryside while the other needs city life?

A friend of mine, Dee, was in bed with her last boyfriend, and she asked, "Can we try something different tonight?" He said, "I've been doing this a long time. I know what I'm doing." How self-absorbed can a man get? She was stunned, and responded only in her head: "Well, you don't know my body yet and I'm telling you that I need more variety!" Subsequently, Dee gave him packing orders. She could NOT compromise to that degree and maintain her sanity at the same time.