Monday, December 9, 2013

Keep Calm & Go on a Date

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and are remaining calm through this last month of 2014.   Holidays can be torture for the Single person. They are LOUD reminders that you, my friend, are alone.  In addition to the "alone" factor, December can be stressful for lots of people. The idea of spending money on gifts for family and co-workers and the seventeenth holiday party you are attending before the holiday is even here, stresses many people out.

I am here to simplify the dilemma & relieve you of the stress that chaos creates.  Your health matters.
Studies show that laughter is good medicine. It relieves stress and hits that happy hormone square in the face.

Make the most of this holiday season... no matter if the date you choose is a romantic interest or not, HAVE FUN!  Your long-time friend Sally may not meet your chemistry requirements, but if you two get along and have fun, then invite her on a friendly date. ENJOY YOURSELVES.  LIFE is too short.

If you are looking for a date to accompany you to ice skate and sip hot cocoa.... well, set your intentions.  We know so little about how that thing will manifest itself into our life.  Yet when we believe its possible.....

Be open to getting to know people.....when we are open to being loved, love finds us.  Its natural.

Here are a few low cost date ideas to do on a friendly date or a romantic date:


1).  Serve the homeless together
2). Go to the Library, pick out a book for one another.
3). Go to an open mic
4). Go Caroling
5). Get hot cocoa and look at the Holiday Lights around your neighborhood
6). Play a board game while sipping hot cocoa
7). Make someone dinner
8). Write each other a poem over dinner

Whatever you do, Keep Calm..... Go on a Date..... and remember LIFE IS A GIFT.

Much love and Aloha
hp

Sunday, October 27, 2013

#HalloweenWeek - Let's talk about Dressing Up

Hmmmm, so we have imaginations for a reason.  Just saying.  Something to consider using in your relationship to have FUN.  FUN alleviates stress.  (stress kills, remember).

Have you wondered why so many adults wait until October 31st (or near there) to get out of their comfort zone and let their "freak" out?  Like we need permission to dress up and have fun, to make a day special.  Obviously, if you are merely dating, this isn't for you, however, its useful information for when you do couple up with your boo thang.  ;)

The author of  How Dressing Up Improves.......your relationship gives seven (7) fun and adventurous tips for you and your mate to spice things up by dressing up.  One example: - Dressing up doesn't have to be a massive effort. Just buy some sexy underwear and replace these with your normal everyday underwear.  

Check the article for ALL the great tips included!! Give costumes and dress-up another purpose throughout the year and relish in your relationship.  You are co-creators of your destiny.  Enjoy the journey and the "treats".

Happy Halloween Season.

much love and aloha ~ hp <3

Feel free to comment on your favorite tip, share your most adventurous costume you've worn for your mate yet, or what you would like to do with your mate.  We learn from one another.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"How to" meet someone (not what you might expect)

I LOVE being single these days.  Mind you its taken a while for me to get here, I was part of a religious organization whose "dating set-up" left me questioning me constantly.  Although no one actually said, "being married is where its at" (actually some people have said that).... it put this invisible pressure to be in a relationship and get married on the forefront of my mind, yet I didn't really know myself.  Fast forward to 2011, when I acknowledged that I can trust myself, even if I fall down and scrape my knees, I would be okay.... I started dating and got clear about what's important to me in the person I partner with on this journey called life.

My journey to know myself also led me to writing this blog, to learning about relationships, understanding men, understanding myself, understanding what happens to us energetically, hormonally, and the like when we connect. I realized that I was far from alone in feeling frustrated with dating.

A friend of mine asked me where should she go to meet men (clearly a heterosexual female - please note that energetically we all flow the same, regardless of our preference).  I LOVE this question because it APPEARS to be simple question beckoning a simple answer like - go to the supermarket on Wednesdays at 11:00pm.   And yes, positioning yourself absolutely matters.  If you want to meet and marry the man of your dreams, sitting at home or hiding in a social setting (like church) will definitely make that difficult.  More important than positioning yourself, is HOW YOU BE.   Yes, you read that right.  HOW YOU BE.

(I am going to use heterosexual male/female examples, please note its all applicable regardless of your preference.  Every human being has both masculine and feminine traits.)

A masculine Man is constantly attracted to a feminine woman.  Period.  A masculine Man does not want to date a masculine woman.  So Ladies, I know....we rock it out in our businesses, our personal training/fitness, careers, etc, yet, rocking it out, usually requires us to wear our masculine energy like our life depends on it.....because we live in a male dominated society that has not fully embraced the beauty and importance of our femininity.  We are raised to compete (masculine trait), we are raised to meet deadlines (masculine trait), we are raised to suck it up and get the job done (masculine trait).  We could  spend a whole week talking and unpacking all of the ways women are asked to be masculine....and now that we have taken that on with a vengeance, what has also happened is we've pushed our men away.  See, God (you may know him/her in another term, this is how I relate to The Most High) created everything in balance, including Men and Women.  We balance each other in our truest forms.  Men need Women, they need the soft body, warm heart, gentle spirit, compassionate eyes, and powerful centered, emotional woman. Yes, you who is hidden behind all these masculine traits because you have had to in order to GET THE JOB DONE.  (you do a great job too! <3 )  You can still do that....just know your man needs your femininity. He wants to save the day, be your superhero, and see you breathe easy and smile.  Yes.  That's why they hold the door open for women.  Its why when he knows you need help, and he does what you've asked him to help you do, his chest puffs up and he stands a little taller.  Gosh, Men are so wonderful!

Tip 1:
Alison Armstrong (PAX Programs) taught me to take ten to fifteen minutes after I stop working, to shake off the masculine energy and get into my feminine zone.  Whatever that is for you...... I like taking a few minutes to breathe deeply and state affirmations "I am womanly. I am sexy. I am beautiful. I am loving. I am kind."

Tip 2:
Pamper yourself.  Yes, the time we set aside to get manicures, pedicures, massages, puts us in a feminine space.  Order a mimosa at brunch.  Pay attention to what makes you feel beautiful and womanly.

Tip 3:
Smile.  Find everything that gives you reason to smile, thank God, be grateful, Sun Salutations, etc.....  A happy woman is a feminine woman who is pleasant to look at.  Ask any man what he thinks about a woman's smile (just listen, really listen).  A happy woman is also easier to approach.  Keep in mind, it takes courage for a man to approach a woman.

Tip 3b: in that same though..... when a man approaches you, honor that.  You may not be interested, however, be kind and be grateful. You never know when another man is watching you in how you treat the man you don't like.

Tip 4:
Love yourself.  Yes....acknowledge those things you don't like about you and shower the dark side of you with the same love as all the things you enjoy about yourself.  Loving me allows my light to shine brightly......  (like a moth to the flame)  ;)    People are attracted to the light (including men).

Tip 5:
FLIRT a little bit.  Yes, including making eye contact. Let him know he is welcome in your space, and its okay for him to come say hello.

Here is a video for you that sums up a lot of what I'm saying.  Redd Velvet 's video on being good to him

As always, I want to hear what you are feeling or fellas, what you are thinking.  Your feedback, comments, suggestions and shares are welcomed!

Feel free to share a tip that's worked for you!

much love and aloha
hp <3

Monday, September 9, 2013

Dating Peter Pan

Peter Pan..... I have watched nearly every version of this film.  I love so much about its message, becoming like little children, believing and not being jaded by the terrors of adulthood.  Yet at the same time, I find the messages are better suited in analogies and inspiration.  Wendy did not MARRY Peter Pan.  A woman is unable to live in Never Never Land for ever.  And from what I remember, it didn't go over so well for Tink either.

You may know him.... Peter Pan in real life.  He is an adult male, generally over the age of 30 years.  He has the appearance of a Man.  He owns his own car, maybe his own house..... and he is A LOT OF FUN.  What woman doesn't want to have fun with her man? I don't know any woman that enjoys being with an uptight fellow. Yet life is about balance, and Peter Pan is unbalanced, misaligned.

I love what The Single Dating Diva said about it in her blog post. I feel like her bullet points are excellent identifiers.  She coins the phrase "Peter Pan Syndrome" (which studies have proven over more than three decades, and I 'm sure much longer than that).  Here is her list:


How do you know you or someone you have met has Peter Pan Syndrome?  Here are some signs:
  • is over 30 and still goes drinking/clubbing/to the pub every weekend
  • says he wants to find a partner but always ends up single because no girl is good enough to meet his standards
  • is looking for a girl to blow his mind or else she’s not good enough
  • is promiscuous
  • is narcissistic
  • is extremely social
  • has a job that feeds his need for attention
  • thinks he is a great catch and makes sure to tells you so
  • thinks that all girls want him, he’s just the choosy one
  • thinks that just because a girl is friendly and nice to him that she’s in love with him
  • hops on a plane at any given moment to go off on some adventure
  • has made an ideal life in his head that he thinks is the one he should have and won’t settle for anything less
  • believes they deserve to have everything they want how they want it
  • easily distracted by shiny objects
(You can find more of her helpful tips and insights at Single Dating Diva )

Someone deemed my most recent relationship a Peter Pan, yet, I'm not sure that's it. He wasn't a playboy, just an out of sorts guy finding his way.  However, the relationship before that.... absolutely a Peter Pan.  T.L. told me he was the coolest dude I'd ever meet (see 5th bullet point and 8th bullet point)  He is over 40 and still goes clubbing/drinking every weekend.  He said he wanted a relationship, but hadn't found anyone suitable enough for him (yes, I found that seriously insulting).  

I fear it is a sad case these days.... because there are a good number of men who refuse to grow up. To put their Man Pants on and own up to life, to make decisions, to commit to something greater than themselves, to exercise loyalty.  Relationships are not easy.  Yet when TWO people are willing to go the distance, relationships become visibly beautiful.  Be ware of Peter Pan..... he, I am sad to say, is not a Man With A Plan.  ( I wrote a piece about that - Funky Sunshine )


As always, I love hearing your stories.  Feel free to share them, your comments, your opinions here.

Much Love & Aloha
hp

Monday, August 26, 2013

Interrupt Your Relationship Routine

Aloha!  I am just getting back into the swing of things after spending an incredible week in Maui on The Daily Love's Maui Yoga Retreat - return to the heart.  Nearly 20 people, most of us strangers to one another, signed up for a trip to Maui. One week into the unknown...almost. We were set up for great success.  Preparations included fasting from sugars, alcohol, caffeine, dairy and gluten.  Oh yeah..... totally different than the normal routine. I visit my local Starbucks about 4 or 5 days a week.  They know my name and what I'm drinking.  I realized that it is my "Cheers" (where everybody knows your name). Physically I did not miss the caffeine.  I was grateful I had fasted from it before getting to Maui and doing Kundalini yoga twice a day.  I hydrated, rested, synced up with my body, aligned my chakras, cleared my heart and my head space, loved and was loved.  Oh, did I mention that we disconnected from our phones and the Internet for that whole entire week? Yeah, me the social media maven unplugged. It felt AMAZING....not to say it wasn't difficult, because it was, yet being with these beautiful souls (including my own) far outweighed the time I missed connecting to the outside world. I needed the time to invest in and care for me.  I learned that to be balanced and healthy, I need to interrupt my routine and invest in me. Not merely vacation, no.  Learning something new, stretching my limits, personal development, contributing to the world, disconnecting from the outside for a few days to connect and align with Spirit.

How does this relate to DATING?  Well.....  humans tend to be creatures of habit.  You know the cliches with relationship - "keep it spicy" "tend to the flame" "love deposits".... all of which imply some effort is made to grow, nurture and satisfy the relationship.  We see it all the time with married folks.... work, home......."now that we've been married two years we hardly ever go out anymore".... then she feels less special and less affectionate and he feels rejected.  We see it with married folks with children.....  they put all the kids activities before investing in their relationship and wonder why the person they fell in love with feels more like a roommate than a lover.

Planning is a great tool to support us in every aspect of our lives.  Yes, even in our relationship.  Plan those interruptions.  Please provide for your families. Please invest in your children. Please finish your degree.  Do those things.  And, interrupt them for the benefit of your relationship.  Relationships are gifts.

  • Plan a weekend getaway - no work, no phones, no Internet.  Be with each other.  
  • Plan time for personal growth where you go together - (Date with Destiny, PSI Seminars, PAX Programs couple workshops, etc)
  • Plan a celebration in the middle of an odd month, just because your love is worth it.  
  • Both of you chose something that scares you (think skydiving).  Support each other in realizing the dream.
  • Plan for time to encourage one another (notes, homemade lunches, sexy text messages, etc.)


How can you interrupt your "relationship routine"?

As always, I love to hear your thoughts and experiences.

Much love and aloha
hp

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Dating via FACEBOOK - first date tips

You can snarl if you want to, however, love finds its way to a person's heart through any means necessary....yes, even through Facebook.  It is not so strange.... consider "pen-pals"!  Much like the various dating sites on-line, facebook, allows people to connect in a familiar way. We are not here to discuss whether its right or wrong, because what's right for you may be wrong for someone else.  #KnowYourself

Here are a few tips for those of you who may choose to go on a date with someone you meet on FB:


1.  Meet in a public place, preferably during the day time.  And let at least one other reliable person know where you will be.

2.  Set a time frame of no more than two (2) hours.  If it goes well and you both agree to continue sharing time together, then do that.  A time frame lets you be cordial, get to know one another and leave without difficulty.

3.  Trust yourself.....listen to your gut feelings, your intuition... it speaks for our good!  If you feel like something is off, then it probably is. Be true to you.

4. Just BE.  Who we BE, and how we BE says so much more than we ever can.  Be love.  Be kind. Be honest. Be grateful. Be.

5.  Be open.  It may not turn into a spectacular relationship, you may gain a great friend.  However, it very well may be.  When human beings are open to one another and all the possibilities before them, anything is possible.  The possibilities are endless.  Have fun!


If you have gone on a date with someone you met through facebook, let us know how it went; what you learned. As always, I love to hear your thoughts and experiences!

Much love & aloha
hp



Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cracked Lenses

If you wear any kind of glasses, whether they be reading glasses, distance glasses, sun glasses, or the like, you understand the difficulty in seeing clearly when the lenses are cracked.  The crack(s) distort the lens, so visibility becomes skewed.  What do you do with those lenses? You replace them with new ones so visibility is clear. 

Our perspective is the same.  We see our reality through a lens. If our lens is cracked, our view is often distorted.  It sounds like this... "all women are gold diggers"  or "all men are liars".... perhaps you can add some more ideas you have heard from friends or expressed yourself.  

How does this happen?  "beliefs" or "programs".....decisions we make about events.  I absolutely encourage every one to explore their belief systems (why are women unsafe to you?  why are men unsafe to you? why do you believe you are unworthy of love).  Despite popular ridicule, therapy and counseling is not ALL bad. In fact, it may be the perfect support for you to work through beliefs you have about women or men, heal wounded parts of your soul, and deal with life now.

Let me give you an example:   I thought men were unsafe. I had good reason. I was physically hurt by a few men. Additionally, I heard from my Dad and other adult males in my life that all men wanted was ....  automatically making men my enemy because I believed them to be "takers" "predators".   Now, there are in fact men who are only out for themselves and don't give a rats arse about anyone else.  Fixing the lens is understanding I am able (YOU are able) to discern and judge for yourself who that man is.  The truth is THERE ARE AN ABUNDANT AMOUNT OF BEAUTIFUL MEN who are givers, who are kind, who are loving, who are loyal, who love their mothers and have great integrity.  

Getting to ^^^^^ this space, came with some work.  I didn't arrive at, oh, I can go out into the world and be safe over night.  YOU have to put in the work, look in the mirror and sort through what is real and what is made up based on an event in your life.  Acknowledge abuse.  It is real. It is harmful. It is hard.  Learning to discern between safe and unsafe is not always easy, yet it is WORTH it.  YOU deserve to live in the NOW of your life.  You deserve to see what is in front of you for what it is, not what you see through those cracked lenses.  You deserve the relationship of your dreams. You deserve to feel safe in a relationship. You deserve to be loved and to love. If your lens is cracked, repair it or replace it with a new lens.  

Cheers to your healing, to a new lens, to love.

As always, I love to hear your thoughts, your stories, your experiences.  Leave a comment.

Much love and aloha,
hp





Sunday, June 30, 2013

1st Dates

I don't know about you or where you are located on the planet, but here in Los Angeles, it is HOT!! I am not a fan of triple digit weather.  I do enjoy the necessity for sundresses though. Summer equals more reasons for pedicures, pretty nail polish, sundresses, shorts and things.  Summer nights are my favorite!  Maybe because I watched the movie GREASE at such a young age.  I loved their summer romance.

I am still reading If The Buddha Dated by Charlotte Kasl, PhD   Chapter 23 covers 1st Dates, which I found encouraging.  I'm going to give you a few bullet points from the chapter (which I highly recommend reading anyway).  The perspective is a spiritual one, which leads the reader directly to the essence of who we are, which is where we really want to be with the one who is our beloved - being our true selves.

1. Remember 1st Dates are just a moment in time - let go of the attachment.  It can be anything, yet it will more than likely be fun when you can BE present to the moment.

2. You are simply meeting to see if there is a possible fit - no pressure... no who you are, what matters to you, pay attention to the conversation.  You are gathering data. Do any of your deal breakers come up?  Are you experiencing any red flags?  Its okay.  That's what the date is for.  You might find that you two are better suited as friends.  You might find that you need to RUN away as fast as you can.  You may find you'd like to go out again.  Its all good.

3. Always meet in a neutral place with lots of people - yes, even if you've known each other forever.  Romance can change the relationship.  Coffee shops, other public places, allows for you both to be yourselves, with less pressure to be someone you are not.  Give yourself an hour or two limit.  If you fit, it will naturally lead to more time.  No hurry.

4. Show who you really are - if you are naturally outrageous and funny, be that way.  If you are naturally quiet and cautious, be that way.  Be yourself - "being yourself is an act of faith and self-love". Great unions come when we show our authentic selves, the being behind the masks, to one another.

5. Trust yourself and your instincts - your intuition is your guide.  If something feels off, now is not the time to ignore that.  Pay attention to the flow you are experiencing.

6. Have fun, and remember, its all a passing show - yes, have FUN.  :)


As always, I love to hear your thoughts, your experiences and your point of view!

Thank you.

Much love and aloha,

hp

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Crawling in Love

The full moon escorting us into summer is marvelous. It energy is magnanimous.  I wish I were nearer the ocean to watch the tides.  Welcome Summer 2013!

I am reading "If the Buddha Dated" by  Charlotte Kasl, Ph.D.  It's my second time reading it through. I am enjoying seeing how I've grown from the first time I read it 3 years ago to now.  Chapter 21 is titled "Crawling In Love: explore the benefits of staying conscious".  

At first glance, the title did not resonate with me, nor did it make much sense.  In fact, the first time I read the book, it flew over my head.  Yet today, it makes so much more sense to me.  The author says something about erring on the side on the turtle.... like go slow.  Let my mind be as involved in the process as much as or more than my body and all its chemicals are.  Yes, because lust at first sight is DECEIVING.  

How many people do you know that RUSHED into a relationship because "they had to be together".... only to find that outside of "the loving" they don't even really like each other?  How many of YOU have found yourself in that space?  I have too.  Its exciting, there's a huge rush, and a bit of fixation on the subject.  Along with the excitement is the down times.  Dr. Kasl suggests that when we "project the image of The Perfect One onto our new love interest, it implies that we are incomplete the way we are".  She also says that "Crawling in love is about staying mindful and aware".  

Crawling in love - an idea I am marinating on... building a relationship with another human being based on shared experiences, without all the distractions or being a hurry.  We owe it to ourselves to build wisely with each other, right?  

As always, leave a comment, share your experience, or let us know what you think. It is always good to hear from you.

much love and aloha,
hp

p.s.

"One of the biggest mistakes many of us make in looking for the right partner is judging that person to hastily.  Sharing your thoughts and feelings with one another may create a strong mental and emotional resonance that will spark sexual resonance.  Gradual attraction may actually be more genuine than "lust at first" sight." Barbara DeAngelis, 'Are You The One For Me'

Friday, June 21, 2013

How About We

Happy Summer Solstice!!!  Summer nights are my favorite part about summer, than and barbeques.  :)



How About We   is another dating site, yet it is not the same set-up as Match.com or Okcupid or e-harmony.  Instead of being "matched" up on suggestion, YOU the dater, get to suggest date ideas; then go on group dates, meet people, and make a connection if it fits.  Sounds like a great way to ease into new situations and find someone whom you enjoy doing things you both like with.  I am a bit skeptical about on-line dating, the variables make me nervous, yet this sounds like a great way to ease into situations, meet new people or bring friends and meet new people, and do things I like to do.

A friend of mine told me an encouraging story about someone she knows that found her love on How About We.  Lady "S" joined How About We apprehensively, not wanting to date forever, or waste a lot of time. She is clear about what she wants - a life partner, companion, marriage.  She created her blurb, which didn't get too much attention.  A few weeks in, she found a gentleman whose blurb caught her eye.  Someone planned a wine/tapas event for a group of people.  She went, met another guy within the outing.  They kept in touch. She decided she wanted to get to know him better, and since they both liked doing the same things, spending time together flowed easily.  The guy asked her to be his exclusively committed monogamous girlfriend.

I don't know about you, but that encourages me. It can be challenging getting to the real person to even know if you want to continue getting to know them or date them.  As I've talked about here on the #Dating101 blog, knowing yourself and being true to yourself is important.  Relationships test that.  Relationships are also supposed to nurture us; being with someone you like to share your time with is huge.  No one is saying do every little thing together, however, if you like road trips along the coast, and he like backpacking in the wilderness, but you aren't able to come to the middle once in a while...well, Houston, we have a problem.  I find that life is amazing. Sharing it with people we care for makes the hard, difficult, challenging times, worth while.  Being with someone whom you want to share your time with, well that's priceless.

Although I haven't given this site a shot yet (I get so nervous), I felt it reasonable and relatable enough to give it a shout out.

As always, let me know what you think. I love hearing from you.

Much love and aloha

hp

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Write Down Your Deal Breakers on Paper

Lists.... everyone has written one at some point in their life.  Many people write a list of the qualities that matter most to them in a mate.  Every list is important to our growth. Yes, our growth.  Relationships are primarily about our growth.  Some people have the great privilege of falling in love with their mate at an early age and get to grow with them until death parts them.  Some people go through a series of relationships.  Some people steer clear of relationships all together.  Every relationship has its purpose, yet the choice to dive in is always ours.

I have found so much understanding in the relationships I've co-created the last few years.  I understand myself, and for that I am grateful.  Each person has taught me something about me, I believe we have been essential mirrors for one another in our journeys.  I have a solid list of qualities (not merely, he has to be fine and a NFL superstar) which are fine if that's true to you.  I am proud of my list.  I covered everything that matters to me: emotionally, spiritually, mentally, financially, and the like.  It's a great list!  All the while, there is another list I had not heard of until a dear friend mentioned it to me when I was ending a relationship.  Ms Sarah Ross (of Sarah Ross Coaching ) asked me what my deal breakers were.  I must have had that Scooby Doo look on my face.  We got together and I wrote that list.  It has helped me honor myself.  The little voice that says, "its okay that he does xyz, its not that bad" gets NO CREDIBILITY because - YO, that's a deal breaker.  Essentially they are boundaries, and every healthy relationship has boundaries.  Boundaries allow for true choice.  Have you written out your list of deal breakers?  If so, awesome. I'd love to hear about them!  If not, here's a few hints on what to put down:

1) be honest and true to yourself

2) no limits... yes, it can be the most ridiculous sounding thing ever (ex: must not live in the backwoods) <--- yes, a real deal breaker for me

3) be specific  (ex: must not be a drug addict or smoke cigarettes)

4) consider your emotional and physical needs (YES, they matter).  (ex: stingy with kisses & stingy with everything) <---- real deal breakers for me

5) go all out, this is YOUR life.


Feel free to comment, I love hearing from you.  Also, you are welcome to ask me more questions about my list (it cracks me up).

If you would like more information on deal breakers or coaching on your relationship, you can reach Ms Sarah Ross at SarahRossCoaching@gmail.com.

Much love & aloha
hp

Saturday, April 27, 2013

'Love Lessons' by Paramjit Kaur

We have the great honor to have guest blogger Paramjit Kaur share her experience and view point on dating with us.  Paramjit Kaur is an esteemed author and brilliant writer in general.  You can connect with her on her blog  Finishing Foreign



Love Lessons
By Paramjit Kaur

“What is the clicking thing, you keep talking about?” The woman said to her daughter then turning to her friend, “I don’t understand, every time we introduce her to a nice boy she spends five minutes with him and then says, ‘we just didn’t click mom’. In our day there was no ‘clicking’ we just got married.”

This could be an excerpt from a Bollywood movie script but it was actually a conversation that took place in a kitchen in London in 2002 when I was visiting family. The girl whose name I have since forgotten was in the process of having an arranged marriage.
Thirty-three and single, no arranged marriage for me, as an Indian woman I have past anyone’s expectation of ever getting married. Never mind my successful career, education and the fact that I have written a novel that will be published; in the Indian world’s eyes I’m a lost cause.

In my eyes, I’m one tough cookie! I haven’t folded under the pressure of culture, family and constant ridicule. Instead I have created my beautiful life and found freedom to find love.
Finding love isn’t easy and can feel nearly impossible when you’re lost between the Indian and American cultures. From all the bumps, bruises and scars I have earned on this journey there are also so many love lessons.

Sometimes you just have to cross the line. After spending most of my life keeping my dating life from the world, keeping my heartbreaks and even my joy to myself  I realized that’s exactly how I behave in my dating life. Half in and half out; never 100% committed to anything except keeping my “good Indian girl” facade up as a shield. Until I realized that I was never fully committed to anything but a meaningless facade (FYI dating doesn’t make you a bad Indian girl) I couldn’t be in a successful relationship. Crossing the line from the safe world I know of tragic relationships to a world of possibility, now that’s exciting enough to make my stomach summersault!

It’s the moments and memories that matter. There is something to be said about all those beautiful moments that I can reference when things don’t look so bright. Laughing that real full laugh in a bar across from the man I loved, a walk at the Berkeley Marina, a first kiss at Coit Tower, the list can go on. Love, like memories, doesn’t fade, it changes shape and takes on new forms. Those memories of love, they matter and those moments make me the woman I am today. They remind me of the times when I was open to the possibility of loving and being loved and therefore know love is possible and that there are more memories to be made.

Trust your intuition. For a long time I ignored that nagging feeling that was telling me “something’s not right.” Trusting myself was probably one of the hardest things for me for a myriad of reasons, and something that I still struggle with today.  Once I started trusting myself is when I finally realized I could trust the people in my life. Knowing what I want in a relationship and trusting that little voice inside that says “this isn’t it” or “RUN” has really put me in control of my (dating) life. I have stayed in disastrous relationships because that nagging feeling wasn’t a “good enough” reason to leave. Today I trust the most important voice, mine.

Dating and the relationships we end up in are colored by our life experiences. I am grateful for all the lessons that have helped me brave the journey to finding the love that is meant for me.

As for the girl in London, I think had I been paying attention she was teaching me these lessons way back then. She had hilarious stories of the men her parents had introduced her to, she trusted her intuition and she for sure was crossing the line every time she said “we just don’t click.” I never did find out if she got married and if so, if they clicked. 





As always, please leave a comment and let us know what you think, or share your experiences with us!   Cheers to your dating!

much love & aloha
hp

Monday, April 22, 2013

What Works & What Doesn't - An Interview with a young, hip, attractive, single Man

I believe everyone's point of view matters; seeking to understand each other, whether we see eye to eye, is pivotal in creating partnership (romantically or platonically, personally or professionally).  I asked folks to share their point of view on dating.  Today you hear from a single, male who is established, available and dating.  I asked him a few questions..... here is what he had to say:


1) What works for you?
        
-To me, there isn't (and never will be) anything sexier than a woman who demonstrates that she's a good nurturer.  I'm a real A type personality and the feminine strength of a good woman is nothing that will ever be anything less than sexy.  I LOVE women who expect to be treated well.  Let me be a man, and I'll treat you like a woman.  Don't expect to pay for dinner, enjoy the doors held open, and appreciate the fact that I think my job is to take care of you...  unless you let me treat you like a woman, I'll never feel like a good man.


2) What doesn't work for you?
        
-There is a line between feminine strength, and acting like a dude.  If I wanted to date a man I would.  I like women, so act like one!  Don't feel like it's awkward if I pay for a meal or do something spontaneous and nice.  I don't expect you to sleep with me just because I paid for a meal, it's just how it makes me think I'm taking care of you.  If you're with me, don't worry about anything.  When you do, it's unattractive.


3) What can a woman do on a first date to set a man up for success (planning, etc)?
        
-Look your best.  Don't over do it, but put your best foot forward.  We want to be proud of the woman we are with, so do your best to present yourself on a first date like you are the arm candy (although you're obviously more than that).  We want our friends to tell us that our girl is hot, when we are on a first date, it's one of the first thing a guy thinks about.  AND don't over analyze everything!  Just enjoy the experience and let yourself be you. That's what we want to see.


4) What has helped you in your journey to get clear on what you're looking for in a relationship?
        
-About a thousand dates that ended in a disaster!  Mostly my fault...  :)
-I dated one girl once who was just in a different place in her life, but nobody has ever let me treat them as well as she did.  Her letting me be a gentleman was such a gift; it gave me a lot of clarity on the kind of woman I want.  She and I are still great friends.


5) What have been 3 of your top 10 dates?
        
-Honestly, I'm real easy.  1) Coffee and a conversation is probably my favorite.  I enjoy conversation and listening to people, learning about their stories, and          finding out what drives them.  Learning about a woman's PASSION in life is what moves me.  With that said, I have had a few coffee conversations I really enjoyed.  2) Walking around Santa Monica with a girl I used to date was awesome, just people watching and what not.  3) A nice dinner with unique food where we both experience something new.


6) Suggestions/Pointers/Tips for the Fellas on dating
        
-Guys have swag; Men have class.  Be a man and take care of your woman.  Respect isn't optional, honor who she is (even if it's not going to go anywhere).


As always, I love to hear your thoughts on the matter.  

Much love & aloha
hp

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Every Relationship Ends





"Is this the person I'll share Happily Ever After with? Could this be The One?" I see many people go into dates and relationships with these thoughts foremost in their minds. Everything their potential partner does is colored with this filter. And it hides a single sobering yet freeing truth.

Every relationship ends. Whether by choice, incompatibility, or old age, no relationship is permanent.
This lets us reevaluate what relationship means. Frequently, the desire to have a partner in perpetuity hides a fear of being alone. When we have an underlying belief that we are not enough to love ourselves, we seek someone who completes us, even though we are the only person who can do that.

If we see ourselves as beautiful people who can enjoy the presence of another without needing it, then recognizing the impermanence of relationships is freeing. It relieves us from the pressure of making something work that just isn't. It allows us to enjoy what is happening with our partner, and make plans for tomorrow, while helping us accept if those plans go awry.

Every relationship has a purpose. In some cases, a relationship will teach us how to see the world a little differently, through our lover's eyes. Or it may teach us about ourselves. Every relationship we have can help us expand what it means to be in a relationship, so that the next relationship is that much richer.

But once that purpose is fulfilled, the relationship ends. We can feel it. The cord snaps that holds us together, and the feeling dies. Once that happens, the relationship changes. There's no longer an attachment. Friendship can come next, or a simple farewell, but if we try to sustain it beyond that point, resentment grows in place of the love that's absent.

This isn't to say that we should simply look for short-term flings. We may end up in a relationship that lasts for the rest of our lives. The key is that the length of the relationship is secondary to its breadth and depth. Each relationship teaches us more about relationships. And, at some point, we might hit a relationship that will last until death does us part. But we won't know that until we are in it. We'll go from relationship to relationship until we hit the one where we say, "Oh. I guess I'm done."

But as long as we are looking for a relationship to last forever, we'll be disappointed regularly. It shows up after we don't need it. And that happens when we're happy with the one relationship we'll always have: the one with ourselves. Until that point, our relationships can only help us learn more about ourselves, helping us reach that point.

So it's alright for relationships to end. They have to, to create room for better relationships.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

3 Steps to Make a Man Love You

I ran across a post on Facebook yesterday that GRABBED my attention. I, of course, clicked the link
(http://capturehim.com) and listened to this intriguing pitch.... it intrigued me because the man speaking is a relationship "expert" whom I've seen on Rachel Ray's talk show and heard about through other mediums in the personal growth field.  He was sharing from his own experience, like owning he was a player and then he described what changed for him.  I feel like I'm on the verge... 2 of the 3 points he made I'm experiencing.... now to get onto number 3.  Check the link, take a listen, let me know what you think (FELLAS, I'd LOVE to hear your feedback).

While you listen, here is what I wrote down while I listened:

1) Step 1 is that you need to make a man know that you don't "need" him.
    - neediness is the opposite of attraction
    - know who you are so there's no anxiety about whether he loves you, because you love you

2) Step 2 is you need to plant a "future seed" in his mind
     - create an overwhelming feeling of calm - (think oasis)

3) Step 3 is you make it his idea to pursue you & commit
     - ultimatums always backfire
     -a man will only commit when he feels it is his choice


He talks rather quickly, without pausing, so this is as good as it got for me.  However, he said more.  I really appreciate the 3 steps in their simplicity... A man's choice matters.  I respect that.  A new point of view may give me another viewpoint.  Best wishes.

As always, please let me know what you think or share your experience.

much love & aloha
hp

Monday, March 25, 2013

There is Wisdom in Silence Ladies

(Thank you to www.InspiredTruthTV.com for the photo)

It's a well known fact....girls, young ladies, older women.... LOVE to talk....
We talk so much we forget to order food at restaurants. It's good for us, we vibe higher when we're connecting. Girl time is essential.

Now when you're with a man (masculine energy, not the guy who is like your girlfriend).... its important to keep in mind a few things:

1) Men are single focused.......which means he does one task at a time.  Answering your question is a task. Instead of sending him a barrage of questions one after the other, ask one question and then WAIT.... give him some time to answer.  The deeper the question, the deeper he has to go.... and with the proper space he will go deep, provided he feels safe to.

2) Men like to be heard.....  it is true.... since I have learned to be quiet when men are talking, no interrupting, etc.... the feedback I get is.... wow Heather.... do you want to say anything, I feel like I've been talking forever.  Sometimes I don't want to talk, and they will continue.... it's awesome!  I learn so much about the men in my life....

3) Listen with a sincere interest, especially if he's sharing a story about something he's done.  Yes.... ooh and awe..... this is an important man in your life (your Dad, your boyfriend, your brother, your son, your HUSBAND).....

If you haven't practiced any of these suggestions before, give it a shot and then let me know how it goes, what you experience etc.

As always, let me know what you think...  I love feedback.  :)

Much love & aloha ~ hp

Monday, March 11, 2013

Independent Woman (Part 2) for the FELLAS

Independent: (according to Webster's Dictionary) c (1) not requiring or relying on others (as for care or livelihood).... 

It seems like she doesn't need you, she's got it all together - so where do you fit in?

How do you love the Independent Woman? I have little to say, because my fellow poet Elliot Axiom says it all in his piece, 'Instructions for Making Love to the Independent Woman" .  https://soundcloud.com/elliot-axiom/1-instructions-for-making-love

Please note this applies to women and men in relationships (married, partners, etc).  It is one of my favorite pieces for 2 reasons, the content/imagery is amazing & satisfying and the spirit of it is giving.  I believe Givers Gain....which is more about the spirit than it is about the action.  Take a listen. Leave a comment. Let me know what you think.  

Much love & aloha 
hp

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Independent Woman

Independent: (according to Webster's Dictionary) c (1) not requiring or relying on others (as for care or livelihood)....

Women's Suffrage, Women's Rights, Women's Liberation Movement....  I respect the plight and the fight.... I am grateful. I vote when I'm called to. I speak my mind, I stand for what I believe in. I appreciate why that's important.

I enjoy being independent, yet the attitude (generally) associated with that state of being for a woman, especially a woman in America, is, hardly feminine and hardly attractive.  In fact, it's offensive, even repulsive.  Why?  in our quest to "be equal" we dismissed that we're different, that we NEED each other, and our differences are valuable.  I may be as smart as my male counterpart, however, he is built stronger than I, which I have found rocks.  He wants to fix things, he feels good when he completes a task and did something good for a woman..... I like that.   She wants to nurture, cook a good meal, or make the house lovely, he needs that space.... together we create balance, partnership.... I vote interdependence over dependence.  So yes girl, get your degree, do your thing, be you fully and be with the man that supports you and admires you. Similarly, be with the man whom you can support and accept for who he is (not who you wish he was).  Create Balance.

Here are a few tips on how do be welcoming to our male counterparts, without losing ourselves:

1) Practice RECEIVING.  Start with small things, like receiving compliments with a smile & a thank you or receiving a man holding a door open for you (romantic interest or a stranger). 

2) Practice RELAXING & PAMPERING you.  Yes, breathing. Full, deep breaths; Bubble baths; yoga; some other activity you enjoy that fills your cup (hiking, horseback riding, getting your nails done, and the like)  Shifting from our masculine energy into our feminine energy becomes so much easier when we're light hearted and relaxed.

3) Practice APPRECIATION.  (Healthy) men are providers, givers, and more often than not generous.... pay attention to the things they do, then show appreciation.... even if its merely acknowledging the effort he put into doing something (example: washing your car, opening the door, giving up his seat, etc.)  Let him (romantic interest or a stranger) know you see what he's doing.  Men need love and appreciation too.  

Let me know what you think, leave a comment, a question, or share your experience, especially after you've practiced a few tips.  

Much love & aloha 
hp


Monday, February 11, 2013

My Funny Valentine

I really wasn't sure what to write about for Valentine's Day. I'm not sure I feel alone, yet I guess I do. I'm not in a committed relationship at this juncture, yet I'd like to be at some point. I'm still enjoying dating, getting to know people and myself, building great friendships and enjoying adventure. I did wonder, "will i get loved up on Thursday? Will so and so be thinking about me?" Although I am not all that hung up (this year) on the "holiday" or all the implications attached to it, like, oh yeah, I'm single, not married, not a mom, etc....I'm ALONE..... all of which has plagued me and MANY women I know (single and married alike <---- the irony in that one)....  Maybe my focus is different because I know who I am.  Maybe its different because I actually trust that ALL is well in my life. Maybe its because I understand the differences between men and women better. Maybe its because I celebrate and honor the men in my life. None of which came easily or without effort.  (workshops help, they really do).  I do have feelings about the holiday, about being loved and giving love and relationships.  

Per usual, I was listening to the radio while driving and heard a song.  I have heard this song many times before, since I was a teenager. It is a lovely song.  To Really Love a Woman
(Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman - Bryan Adams)....   I listened to the song like it was the first time I have ever heard it.... it spoke to my heart; I could breathe.  "you got to breathe her, really taste her....when you can see your unborn children in her eyes... you know you really love a woman"  "when you love a woman, you tell her she's really wanted.... that she's the one."  The lyrics are impeccable... I don't know what every woman wants for Valentine's Day.  Of course I like chocolate and red wine and candlelight. I don't need that to win my heart.  As a matter of fact, what moves my heart is how I feel when I'm with a man... can I breathe? Do I feel safe?  Can he relax and be himself in my company? Can we be unguarded together?  I guess more than Valentine's Day, sweet gifts, romantic getaways, and the like, what speaks to me is being loved, regularly...  like Tamia sings about in one of her latest releases.... Give Me You.  I can easily enjoy a fancy dinner or excursion, don't get it twisted, but I don't need that to be loved...... if all we have is a blanket, a bottle of water, the moon light and the stars and being with each other, I'm golden. I would like to have a valentine to call my own, I cannot lie or pretend otherwise.  I have wishes y'all, I have wishes.  <3

If you feel alone during the holidays, like it reminds you that you're single or has you looking at what you don't have, take some time to go within, because the truth is we are WHOLE and complete within ourselves.  A man or woman doesn't change that.  Yes...the companionship, partnership, love making is wonderful and beautiful...tis also a gift.... the length of time isn't guaranteed on that gift, whether you're single or married.  Ask a widow/er.

If you feel kinda down and depressed at Valentine's.... do something for someone else.  Givers always gain..... we are blessed to give....watch someone else's face light up at a little bit of love you share.  Buy someone coffee at your local coffee shop and wish them a happy valentine's day.  Buy a stranger some chocolate.  Buy an elderly person in your community a flower.  Love is really and truly all around us, when we are willing to take our eyes of ourselves (yes I have this conversation with myself).  Some times it is a time to release and make room for love to come in.  If you are seeking it, trust that it is seeking you too.

I am buying myself a pair of valentine's pumps in hot pink.  :)  I am going to see Pink live in concert with one of my besties and we're staying at a super nice hotel.  I baked cookies for the girl I mentor. Im making cards for people closest to me.  Love is really everywhere.  <3

Happy Valentine's Day.......

Much Love & Aloha
hp


p.s.  if you are interested in the workshop on relationships and understanding me.... go to www.understandmen.com    <----- Great workshops for women as well as for couples and also for men.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Be faithful

I was wondering what to write this week, because Valentine's Day is coming up quick and I want to save that topic of discussion for next week's blog, and I'm not ready to dive into 'If the Buddah Dated', which I will dive into after Valentine's Day.  As it would go, the lyrics to a song inspired an idea and an emotion..... I was driving down the road, bumpin' 2 Pac's  "Keep Ya Head Up"when it hit me.  Be faithful - keep ya head up hp.

A few lyrics sank in while considering a second attempt at a relationship that just won't work (yeah, the square peg in a round hole situation)... I am deliberate and diligent in my attempts to give it my best shot so I can say, at the end of the day, I gave it everything I had.... the bottom line, nothing I can do will make that situation work, because it takes two to Tango. As it were, our dance became a lop-sided, sad display of a dance. On the surface, it may not have appeared to be so, yet often, its in the subtleties... like, let's go to the movies, yet he falls asleep because he's exhausted and his "recreational" (yet "medically approved") smoking - knocked him OUT cold. There I was watching Gangster Squad and Mama (a ghost story that I would not ever have chosen to watch on my own - but actually enjoyed) - pretty much by myself.  At least he paid for it.  We went to eat after, which he paid for - so in that sense I felt cared for, yet overall, I felt like I was by myself the entire night. Presence is important. Dating and relationship is about being with someone, not two people in the same space, yet disconnected.  Unfortunately, he is not in a space to "self-reflect" or "self-examine".... so there is nothing to work with.  I sat in my car (a few days later), contemplating the situation, determining whether or not to continue in madness or to walk away peacefully. I could feel it, my spirit said it, just walk away hp.  A relationship is so much more than going out together, or physical attraction, or the combination.....  it's in the small details of shared moments, reminiscing on movies watched together, sharing inspired thoughts, giving him/her a big hug because you know they had a hard day, celebrating victories, making magic together, losing yourself in the moments shared because really, that's all there is, chasing the moon together.... see its about that one word right there #TOGETHER.  You don't have to like the same sports teams, like the same genre in film, music, or art, like the same food.... yet that one word, coupled with love, honor & respect, is really what its all about. And if you can create that over and over and over again, as you both grow and evolve and become more aware of who you are with every changing season - and still come back to love.... well isn't that what it's about?  Who cares what your title is - married, partner, companion, common-law, etc..  Without love, it's all just a lot of noise and show - for who though?

Be faithful, men and women alike, to the premise that God (LOVE) wants us to be loved.  We may have to journey through poor relationships on our way to a relationship that edifies and encourages us at a soul level, yet we can trust that the journey serves a purpose.  I am grateful for the non-present man.    He showed me what doesn't work for me, he helped me see that forcing something to happen doesn't work, that no matter how hard I look for "what's good", if it isn't meant to be it won't be.  He showed me the importance of presence, as well as reminded me how lonely the absence is.  He reminded me that outward beauty never makes up for lack of character - EVER.

Where's the happy ending? The lessons are valuable indeed, yet it didn't stop there.  God's timing and workmanship are amazing.  Shortly after "walking away" from the square peg in a round hole.... the gentleman who knows and sings the song in my heart contacted me.  Impeccable timing. I closed one door, to walk into another that was the flip side of what I experienced... Full of presence, adventure, friendship, playfullness, togetherness, love, honor and respect.  The stuff love songs come from....and poetry. He is my poem.  I love knowing him. I love that he knows me.  It's not perfect, it has challenges, we're not ready to elope or plan a wedding..... we're not "technically" a "we".... no matter, he reminds me the importance of presence, how beautiful love can be, how magical partnership is, how special friendship is.

So Keep Ya Head Up.... be faithful (patient in perseverance) to the song in your heart.  What you seek also seeks you.  #LOVE #BreatheEasy

As always, I love to hear your experiences, your opinions, your feedback..... let me know what you think/feel.

much love & aloha
hp


Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Man or Woman in the Mirror

I come from a family well-endowed in co-dependency, common for the alcoholic family.  Although my parents aren't alcoholics, the patterns they learned in their life-time continued.  I am grateful for it.  I learned a lot about codependency, how I play into it, how it effects me/my relationships, how it supports the opposite of what I want in my life.  The pattern itself has taught me, much like Jesus, to look at myself before going buck wild putting all the blame on someone else.  It has also taught me to recognize where responsibility lies. I am not responsible for how someone reacts or responds to my truth; I am, however, responsible for sharing my truth.  Both parts are important in dating.  Knowing yourself and knowing the individual you are dating is necessary, as is being willing to look at your self through that person's eyes.  Relationships flourish when we are willing to do this.... to communicate, to share our experience of the other person with them.  No one is perfect.  Maybe something I am doing appears "normal" or "okay" to me, yet to that person, it comes across completely different.  Their perspective matters.  I can learn something in these situations, so the talking, albeit uncomfortable, is a gift. How the conversation is delivered can make a huge difference too!  We all have feelings. We all deserve to be honored, loved & respected.

I find that speaking from the first person perspective when sharing my feelings is helpful, because i want people to hear me without all their defenses going up. I am looking to amend a situation, not burn a bridge. Example: when you hung up the phone without saying good bye, I felt sad and unloved.  I wish you would say good bye, then I would feel loved.  - leave room open for conversation.  He or she may not know how to do whatever it is that feels like love to you.  We can teach each other how to love each other. The humility in looking at myself, allows me to hear someone.. and when I love someone, I want to honor them. I don't want to hurt them.... The truth is, most of us are the same.  Granted, there are people whose minds won't allow them to relate in a relationship; they are unable to have a healthy relationship (example: drug addicts, alcoholics, gamblers, some mentally ill people).  I am not speaking on such things.... Although there are ways to have relationships with people in that station as well.

Humility, is that space of looking at myself in the mirror..... what did I do to create this situation?  How am I being in this relationship that he is defensive?  Is it his life experiences (which it could be - many people build walls after being hurt and not dealing with the wounds)?   Am I being loving here?

I know in dating, it is not always easy to say, let me look at what I'm doing here, or more importantly how I am "BEING" in the relationship.  Am I being defensive?  Am I being disrespectful? What's his, what's mine and how do we come to the middle?

Well, the truth is.... the only one I can work on....is ME.  I can be loving. If baby isn't supposed to be part of my story, it will become apparent. I can be kind, gentle, honest, loving, forgiving, etc.  I can admit my wrongs and make amends, when possible.  I can grow and be different.  All that to say, we can create the relationships of our dreams.  We can also aid the folks that come into our lives in becoming the best version of them possible. It just might be that he or she isn't your future, yet your relationship is the situation GOD sees fit in sharpening him/her for his/her future.  What an honor!!!  Be true to yourself. Honor yourself. Love sincerely.  Pray for one another. Be humble.  Be love.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts, your stories, and the like.

much love & aloha.
hp

Feminine Energy

I went to a workshop two (2) years ago called 'Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women' through PAX Programs. I heard an intro to the workshop prior to that, so I had an idea what I was getting into... this woman, who was the epitome of femininity and goddess(ness)....broke down the differences between masculine and feminine energy and why we don't get each other, why we have so many problems communicating and getting along. We talked about all the relationships we have with them men in our lives, our fathers, our brothers, our co-workers, our business partners, our lovers, our friends, our husbands, our boyfriends. I was in awe... I saw the essence of who I want to be, how I want to love a man. I didn't realize before this just how much I sat in masculine energy...that space where I get **** done... I didn't realize the gift in my femininity.  I always thought competing against boys and men was what we do. I have an older brother, older male cousins, I was inundated early on with the idea that "men only want sex", making men predators versus partners.... only to find, these are but partial truths.  In fact, universally, men and women create a balance.... rather, masculine and feminine energies create balance... the world operates in balance "sunshine/rain, joy/pain, birth/death, love/hate....masculine/feminine"  The balance thereof creates wholeness.  We are whole beings.  All of which is intended to say that what the masculine energy will not supply (vulnerability, grace, eternal time frames, softness and the like) the feminine energy will.  We need each other, for different reasons.  I propose we as women, seek to embrace our femininity, to understand it and then bless the world with it.  We are beautifully created in such a way, that our presence shifts our partners from one station to the next, and that for their benefit.  Thank you.

Funky Sunshine (poetry) <-----  look for the piece title 'Her Love is Intentional'.....   it's that feminine space.

much love & aloha
hp

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cross-Culture and "Inter-racial" Dating

Cross-Culture and "Inter-racial" Dating......appear to be similar, if not the same, yet globally, I am not sure.  When I hear Cross-Culture Dating....I think of my cousin CP (American) and his lovely wife MP (Dutch). He moved abroad for business, they met, fell in-love and voila #CrossCulture dating, that obviously led to marriage.  The Dutch way of life may bear a few similarities, however, the culture is different from that of American culture (yes, we have a culture.).  Culture shock to my cousin who was accustomed to celebrating Thanksgiving, with all the cooking revelry we experience here (for the most part) here in the States.  Yet, that "holiday" or "tradition" is irrelevant to the Dutch historically.  Only when my cousin offers to share his culture with his expanded family does it hold any meaning.  And so it is with Cross-Culture dating.  It happens in the US all the time.  Our customs, traditions, celebrations, meanings may differ, yet when we meet someone who captures our hearts, the differences become less visible (as obstacles), and more beautiful as the unique qualities about the person we are into.  I mention "Inter-racial" Dating merely because it is frequently used here in the U.S. and often comes with stigma....like we're are separate races, one is better than the other, crossing that line is suspect, etc.  As it were, I fall into the category of a "white girl".  If I date a man that is a "non-white" person, then we are "inter-racial". I find the stigma to be negative, creating tension instead of curiosity.  If I were to date a man that was "Italian" or "Spanish".. it would be Cross-Cultural Dating. I don't think anyone would EVER say that's "Inter-racial" Dating, although if race has something to do with national origin or ethnicity (<----that word = questionable)... than, it could be.  No one in my family descends from either country.  I was born and raised in America, this is true, yet my ancestry is so much more than that.  So is yours, whether you know it or not.  On my mother's side of the family, we are dutch, Irish, Scottish, French, Swedish and/or Norwegian, and possibly Ute Indian.  On my father's side of the family, we are German, Scottish, English (that's what I know).  Do you know Scots are different than Brits?  Germans have a special character and charm all their own (yes, imagine beyond Nazi Germany).  Very different cultures.  Although Africa is one continent, the countries and cultures within those countries vary.  Even if a someone from South Africa dated someone from the Congo, it would remain Cross-Culture dating, not inter-racial.  Perhaps the concept and labeling of "inter-racial" is waters I need to dive deeper into.  I suppose that's a bigger topic than I wish to address in one blog posting. I prefer to expand the idea of Cross-Culture dating. Cross-Culture dating focusses on the culture, not race, which leaves so much room to explore and combine, share and appreciate. I find it inspiring, interesting, amazing, challenging and beautiful.  Acknowledging differences and then cherishing them.  Either way, either terminology, whatever the situation... I believe LOVE always wins...  We all have culture. West Coast, East Coast, beach culture, city culture, our home country and the like.  All of which matters, all of which makes up who we are, how we communicate, what we celebrate, what we shy away from... so it makes more sense to seek understanding, find similarities, and all the aspects of that person that we love and appreciate.  Whatever dating situation you find yourself in, love it; love you, love the person, love the moment.

Here is a beautiful article that speaks to what I'm talking about perfectly.....from one of the lovely Ladies at #BeyondBlackAndWhite:  Swirling Marriage - Sola Coats

As always, please share your thoughts, comments and your experiences.

much love & aloha
hp