Category Archives: Love, Friends, and Everything in Between

Your Inner Child Awaits

Man walking at sunset

Today is my first snowfall after 2 years of living in the sunny Caribbean, best cialis medicine and as I look out the hospital clinic window, viagra sales treatment I’m nostalgic of all the fun childhood memories of playing in the snow – building snow forts, endless snowball fights.  Oh what I would give to turn back time and experience those carefree moments again :) There’s nothing like a cold, snowy winter day to get the brain thinking…

Children have a unique way of fostering the most important relationship they’ll ever have – a relationship with themselves.  First they learn imaginary, solitary play, developing their likes/dislikes and communication skills and then graduate to playing with others.  They spend most of their years trying to assert their independence, discovering the world, and making their mark wherever they go.  This natural process helps establish a “self-relationship”; a bond that should seemingly never be broken, but unfortunately, that happens sometimes.

Venturing into adulthood isn’t an easy process.  We navigate through unchartered territories of emotions and experiences that may force us to push aside what we want and who we are.  In this process that bond with ourselves weakens.  Without realizing, we sacrifice our relationship with ourself to satisfy the needs and wants of others.  Ironically, however, that “self-relationship” is quintessential to establishing any relationship with someone.  I need to understand and accept myself before I can understand and accept another.  Adding a friendship or lover to my life should be a wonderful addition, not a necessity to feel whole.  Continually nourishing that bond with yourself is key to sustaining any other relationship in the future.

Let’s go back to the uninhibited time of childhood and rekindle our once forgotten relationship.  How will you start anew?

As for me, I shall make a snow angel after work :)

I would love to hear your thoughts. Happy reading :)

Check Please!

first dateLadies and gentleman, best viagra diagnosis I have an age old question to ask: Who should pay on the first date?  

Personally, buy viagra rx I am a bit old school in the romance department.  I think the guy should pay for the initial few dates and then we can alternate if the relationship becomes more exclusive.  A little chivalry and romance goes a long way ;)

I would love to hear your thoughts. :)

Guys, You better pay on the first date

A True Friend is Hard to Find

friendship1We spend a lot of time discussing the ins and outs of romantic relationships, discount viagra site but what happens when a friendship ends?  Does it have the same affect?  My answer is YES, health especially if this is someone you considered a close friend.

Last night, a very close friend of mine decided to end our friendship for reasons that completely baffle me.  The reasons he gave were honestly quite stupid in my book; he chose to highlight only 2 points in our timeline as reasons to end our relationship, completely neglecting the years of communication and support we’ve given each other.  I know he’s going through some personal issues right now that affected his rash decision, but nonetheless, the breakup is still painful.  Right now he feels scared and alone; he’s forgetting that people do care about him.  I am quite saddened by this and had myself a good little cry, but I do not blame him.  I will give him the space he wants.  In the end I told him I’ll miss him and that I’ll be here if and when he wants to return.

friendship3All relationships require two people to start and continue.  All relationships require communication and support; they are not measured by convenience.  All relationships should be non-judgmental and empowering.  All relationships should offer compassion and insight.  True friendships should espouse all these characteristics as well.

Losing a true friend is just as hard as losing a lover – true friends carve a place in your heart that’s irreplaceable.  They are an extension of your family that helps form your inner circle to provide emotional support and stability.  Friendships can also be toxic just like romantic relationships, so still keep your eyes and ears open, but for the most part, true friends are hard to find.  When you do find a lasting friendship, put the time and dedication in.  The best thing you can offer is unconditional support, courage, love, and advice.  Treat your friends as you want to be treated.

To my friend that I lost:  When you’re ready, I’m here. :)

I would love to know your thoughts. Happy reading :)

 

Why We Need To Keep Chivalry Alive

Wonderful article by James Michael Sama on the importance of keeping chivalry alive. I’m a huge proponent of chilvary in a man, viagra buy tadalafil and yes, best cialis I am a feminist ;). Being chivalrous and a gentleman has become a lost art to the younger generations nowadays; often seen as unnecessary. I am a 28 year-old woman and I find nothing sexier than a man who knows how to be a gentleman.  It’s not centered around demeaning women or making them appear as weak; chivalry is about showing respect and romance towards your lady love.  Ladies, why wouldn’t we want respect and courtesy from men; after all, wouldn’t they want the same from us?  Chivalry is not only reserved for women, but demonstrates a man’s ability to show universal respect to men and women alike. It displays the depth of a man’s character.  Sometimes, a bit of the old fashioned is a good thing ;) :)

I would love to hear your thoughts. Happy reading :)

Use Your Words, Not Your Fists

domestic violence 5 October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, viagra buy viagra sale and with recent reports in the news about such cases, cialis generic this topic weighs heavily on my heart.  I finally found the words to express my thoughts.  In America, we inherently have a “victim blaming” mentality when it comes to accusations about domestic violence.  We don’t shout at them and say they did anything wrong, but we “blame” them for staying.  We look at them as weak for “not standing up for themselves” or taking the initiative to start a new life.  Men, women, and children are all potential victims to this fate and are entitled to the support and love they heavily need.  I’ll admit – I was part of that “blaming” culture because I never wanted to see any man, woman, or child in this position, but after my own incident, I realized why it’s hard to leave.

Let me tell you a story…

About 4.5 years ago I began dating a fellow classmate who seemed to fit my “type” (anyone who knows me, knows that I like my ‘cool nerds’).  He was highly intelligent, witty, charismatic, made me laugh immensely, romantic, came from a good family and appeared to be an overall “good guy”.  The first 3 months of our relationship was a typical honeymoon phase, but afterwards, he seemed different.  It started out small, like constantly harboring on the little things about me, making everything seem like it was my fault, and being downright verbally abusive at times.  I know at this point anyone would say to me, “Danielle, you should’ve left right then”, and you’re probably right, I should’ve but when you constantly hear such negativity and ridiculousness, unfortunately you start believing it – no matter how strong you are.  domestic violence 4This is how the abuse cycle starts…and then it gets bigger.  I remember the first time he got physical with me: we were coming back to my apartment after class and I said something loudly that he apparently didn’t like.  When we got into the elevator, he shoved me so hard that my back slammed into the bar and then repeatedly did it in the apartment. My fight-flight instincts kicked in to defend myself and I shoved him back. I was in complete, utter shock that a man would ever lay his hands on me.  A few weeks later he came home drunk from a party and because I didn’t want to have drunken sex he pulled a knife on me – luckily I grabbed it from him.  The last time he placed his hands on me was after an argument.  He punched my chest with the heel of his hand over both breasts – I took pictures that night to keep as evidence. What did I do to deserve such treatment?

I should have left, you’re right, but I was afraid.  I was afraid he would enact on his promises to hurt me.  I was far away from my family and didn’t know what to do.  I felt alone – but I wasn’t.  I’m very fortunate to have a perceptive mother who knows that when I go abnormally silent, something is wrong, and something was indeed very wrong.  I may not say it enough, but I am thankful for the family that I have.  Without their undying support at that time, I would not be where I am now :)   My mother flew to where I was to help me and after I got home, I slowly started to heal.  I blamed myself for awhile, thinking that I was smarter than that for being in that sort of relationship and not leaving.  I actively sought a domestic violence counselor and learned about how this pattern manifests. It’s all about control and ego; the feeling that they can mentally, emotionally, and physically dominate someone. I realized it wasn’t me, it was him. I was stronger than I thought.

domestic abuse1My story is minute compared to those who have endured domestic violence their whole lives, but I would like to say to them: You are stronger than you realize. You may feel helpless or think it’s “love”, but you’re worth a million times more than what you’re receiving.

Sometimes my friends ask me how we should stop domestic violence.  I don’t believe there is a clear answer to that question because there’s many factors to it, but here are some of my ideas:

Education – Education is power.  Part of the reason we blame victims is because we do not understand the psychology of abuse and nor do we believe that it’s entirely real.  It is very real.  It causes immense emotional, psychological, and physical damage to anyone it touches.

Cultural attitude – First, statistics show that minorities have a higher percentage of domestic violence.  There seems to be an ambivalence to it because “that’s just how we do things”, which isn’t necessarily correct.  Secondly, we assume the victim is usually a child or woman, but men are also victimized. They deserve the same support as any victim of domestic violence.

Support and compassion – We all have an inner circle that we rely on for emotional support. It’s extremely, extremely important for those that are abused to have a security network. Unfortunately being in a violent relationship is isolating; the abuser wants you to feel alone and places you in that position.  Family and friends: show them you’re there to give endless support, love, and advice. I understand if you may get frustrated with them for not leaving, but eventually they will, they will.  Never give up on them.

domestic violence 3Communication – This goes out to those currently facing domestic violence. I am naturally a private person myself, especially when it comes to my relationships. I like trying to resolve the issue myself before asking for advice, but sometimes this isn’t always the correct method. I know this is easier said than done, but try communicating with loved ones about what you’re experiencing. They won’t know unless you tell them.

The cycle of abuse often starts slow and unassuming, but it quickly progresses. It stops with you, with us. Let’s start today so no man, woman, or child has to face this alone.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Happy reading :)

My Hearts Other Half

soulmate3It all started with a generic introduction: “Hi there. I’m (insert name)”.  Something so simple and unannounced, viagra sale and yet you’re drawn to respond.  Why?  Hesitancy and skepticism take over for an instant, hospital but as the conversation continues, you share the same thoughts, values, and life perspective.  Is this person for real?  How did we share so much in such little time?  An unspoken attraction pulls you closer towards each other as the communication is endless and time seems to stand still.  It’s like you’re 2 pieces cut from the same cloth – you’ve met you’re soulmate.

To many of us, myself included, finding our soulmate is the pinnacle of romantic relationships.  We want to experience that “instant connection”, the feeling that we’ve known someone for years when we’ve only just briefly met.  Unfortunately, some of us may never experience that type of partnership because our life path has taken us in a different direction or we chose to settle down with life partners prior to finding our soulmate.  There is no correct path for our relationships to take; fore every encounter we make and situation we journey into has a lesson we must learn.

soulmate4I’ve been fortunate in my love life to have found my soulmate, and all I can say is that it’s truly amazing and beautiful to be a part of that duo.  There’s an intense, indescribale energy that surrounds the two of you.  No words can accurately describe this feeling, but I equate it to literally being “blown away” or “speechless” when near your partner.  That instant connection felt between you runs deep mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.  Your backgrounds, races, or religions may be different but there’s a shared perspective on life, love, and the world.  In my own experience, the aspect I found most wonderful was the sense of complete acceptance by my partner.  He knew my flaws, my ugly moments, my insecurities, and he still looked at me and said “you’re gorgeous in every way”.  I felt secure knowing that I could completely be Danielle and know that he would forever support my endeavors, as I will with him.  We’re each other’s precious gifts to be treasured always.

soulmates 1What the universe has in store for us, no one completely knows, but I do know one thing: the universe never ceases to amaze me.  It brings people into our lives when we least expect it; sometimes to experience pain and other times to witness the beauty of love.  I believe that we should never take any encounter lightly, we all have something to learn from those experiences.  To love and to be loved are just some of the precious gifts that we must hold dear.  So, here’s to finding our destiny, our soul mates – once you find them, never let them go.  May we all find and truly experience the power of love.

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Happy reading <3

 

 

The Silence is Deafening

Rumi-On-SilenceHello again my dear readers! My medical board exams are finally over, cialis generic generic so La Vida Dolce is back in action! :) Let’s celebrate by talking about my biggest pet peeve in relationships: the silent treatment.  I’m sure we’ve all experienced the following scenario with our partners: 1) an argument starts, best viagra decease 2) the issue goes unresolved, sickness and 3) you or your partner responds with a cold shoulder for days.  It’s understandable if this may happen occasionally, but what happens if this continuously repeats during every argument?

Before we delve into the peculiarities of the silent treatment, I would like to differentiate between the “cooling off period” and the “silent treatment”.

Cooling off period: This is the minutes-hours immediately following an argument.  You and your partner just had an emotionally charged tete-a-tete and need time to regroup/recharge mentally and emotionally.  I consider this a normal evolution of an argument because it allows the issue to be resolved after both parties are calmer.

Silent treatment: This is the hours-days-weeks following an argument.  There’s no basic communication between you and your partner.  Its the type of tension that can be cut with a butter knife.  Issues are clearly unresolved and resentment brews.  This is an emotionally unhealthy relationship.

SilentTreatment1-tnThe silent treatment and emotionally ostracizing your partner is destructive to any personal relationship.  It’s a passive-aggressive way to control the emotions and dealings of the relationship.  In fact, many psychologists and therapists would consider this behavior as emotionally abusive, and I whole-heartedly agree with  that classification.  Couples who engage in this sort of conflict management demonstrate decreased relationship satisfaction, lower sexual intimacy, and poor communication.  Additionally, the victim repeatedly feels abandoned, ignored, and unworthy – who should feel like that in their relationship?  Gradually resentment brews between partners – they attribute blame to each other rather than dealing directly with the issues at hand.  Nothing good comes out of the silent treatment; I personally feel it’s manipulative, disrespectful, and overall, not productive to any relationship.

I decided to write about this topic because it reminds me of my most recent relationship.  Whenever we had an argument, or at random times, he would go completely silent.  The silence was accompanied by no eye contact, personal acknowledgement when we’re in each others presence, and complete withdrawal of verbal and physical affection.  I was left emotionally depleted, thinking “what did i do wrong? why do i deserve such treatment?” I realized that it wasn’t me with the problem; it was his way of controlling our relationship.  It created an emotional struggle between us, and eventually, we parted ways.

silent3Conflict is inevitable in any relationship, but how we deal with it is extremely important.  I try to subscribe to the saying, “do what you say, say what you mean” in my relationships.  Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but be open with your partner when you need time to cool off after an argument; it’ll save your relationship from unnecessary struggles.  Here are some tips below to start breaking the silent treatment cycle:

 

1) Mutually agree to “cool off” when the cycle begins

2) Avoid character assassination

3) Sincerely apologize when the time arises

4) Refrain from ping-ponging the silent treatment between each other

5) Do not appear upset nor coax your partner into conversing with you

These suggestions will take time to initiate and you may falter momentarily, but all is not lost. :) Everyone is entitled to respect, love, and happiness in their relationship.  Try to rise above the silent treatment and be responsible for your own happiness.  (**Note: If you feel your partner becomes verbally and/or physically abuse, please seek advice from a professional**)

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Happy reading :)

 

 

Time to Say Good-bye

good-bye-heartAt some point in time, tadalafil sovaldi all relationships hit a cross-roads: continue the journey or say good-bye.  I was talking with a dear girlfriend recently, and like most conversations with women my age, we started talking about the men in our lives.  She was crying and confided that she thinks her boyfriend does not love her anymore, so she was soliciting my advice and I shall ask you, my dear readers, as well.

Here’s the scenario she presented:

They’ve been together a little over 2 years and recently started having a long distance relationship which started in March.  Everyone knows that long-distance relationships can be difficult.  They require open, honest, communication from both partners.  She considers them having a “good relationship”, but whenever they had a disagreement, somehow, it was always turned that she was to blame and he would give her the silent treatment.  Like many lovers, they would kiss, make-up, and life move on.  They last saw each other in early June and according to her, the reunion was just fine, they seemed like themselves, but after parting, it seemed different: he stopped communicating with her.

hello-goodbyeWhenever they’ve been apart in the past, they would frequently text or call when they could, but this time, it was only HER initiating the conversation.  He only replied to texts and when on the phone, he gave one word responses and made her feel like a nuisance.  If she didn’t text or call for some time, she wouldn’t hear from him.  She tried asking if everything was ok, but he dismissed and ignored her question.  She’s been patient because both their lives have been a little hectic lately, but her woman’s intuition tells her otherwise.  She loves her boyfriend, but feels like she’s had enough of the silent treatment and she knows this will be twisted as her wrong-doing, when it hasn’t been.

After listening to the pain in my friend’s voice, I simply told her that she should move on.  The continual cycle of silence and blame, without confronting the issue is not healthy and only places her in a vulnerable position.  However, if she decided to stay, I  would continually be there as support and a shoulder to lean on.

Did I give her the appropriate advice?  What to your thoughts?