Saturday, May 30, 2009

Is Your Relationship In Trouble?

You may have noticed some changes in your partner lately. Is it something you should be worried about or just ignore? Following are the most common warning signs that may indicate your relationship is headed for trouble if you don't address the issues now.

Your Partner Is Spending Less Time With You

Look for a dramatic decrease in together time. If your partner used to call you every day, if you saw each other on certain days, had your happy little routines, and suddenly things have tapered off or halted completely, this can point to possible trouble.

Don’t jump to conclusions and automatically think he/she is cheating or doesn’t love you anymore, sometimes they may have to work late and at times they truly may be out with friends.

After all, you probably work late at times and visit friends too! If it becomes a pattern though and is combined with any of the following signs, you’ll definitely want to talk with your partner about this and work on bridging the gap between the two of you.

Your Partner Starts Dressing Differently

If your partner used to be perfectly comfortable in sweats and old T-shirts and suddenly starts dressing better before going out, if he seldom shaved and now has a baby-smooth face, if she never wore perfume and now won’t walk out the door without spraying some on, be on alert.

These signs suggest that a boyfriend or girlfriend may be losing interest in the relationship and as a result, they are consciously or subconsciously trying to attract someone else.

Alternately, a partner may be having self-esteem issues and by dressing better it’s giving them the boost they need.

Again, talking to your partner about the changes is the best course of action. Open communication is the key factor in making any relationship work.

There’s Less Intimacy In The Relationship

If he/she seems uninterested in being affectionate and/or if your sex life takes a nosedive, this is another sign that things may be rocky between you.

Remember, there needs to be multiple signs not just this one or that one. At times your partner may be under a great deal of stress or is depressed — these are two other common reasons for a decrease in intimacy.

However, when a person loses interest in their relationship, they usually distance themselves physically and emotionally.

Sparks Fly When You Talk

Maybe you’re just feeling insecure and you blow small things out of proportion, maybe you’re just feeling needy right now. That happens. But if you approach your partner and discuss the fact that you feel they aren’t acting like they used to or you miss how things used to be between you and he/she erupts like a volcano this is a bad sign!

If your partner truly loves you and cares about making the relationship work, why get upset if you mention some changes in personality or actions?

Fixing What May Be Broken

On their own, these problems may be fairly insignificant, but combined they add up to the fact that there are problems in the relationship you can no longer ignore.

You need to take the initiative and try to work things out. Talk with your partner, don’t yell or cry or accuse. Just tell him/her how you’re feeling, that you miss the special times together, and that you want to do whatever it takes to be close again.

Avoid pointing fingers and pointing out faults, nobody is open to changing or trying if they’re automatically put on the defensive. Try to remain open, loving, kind and compassionate.

If you’re partner is willing to open up and work with you on making changes, great! If he/she has no desire to create a safe, stable, and loving relationship with you, then you may want to think about separating and finding someone who is more suitable for you.

Love is everywhere, don’t think you have to settle for one person if you aren’t happy.

The Truth About Soulmates

This is one of the areas that people ask about the most. Who, what and where is their soulmate? And how to find that person?

The truth is you have more than one soulmate. Thank goodness! Who wants to try and track down that ONE elusive person? Here are other frequently asked questions about the mate of your soul...

How will I find a soulmate?

Never worry that you'll never find your soulmate. You WILL come together, and you have a better chance if you are open to it. Being open to this means that you know you deserve a true love and that you aren't so worried about finding him or her that you actually create a block.

How do I know if he/she is my soulmate?

This is easier than you think. People often believe that a soulmate union is pure bliss. Not so! A soulmate union is very deep indeed, but a soulmate will also challenge you, frustrate you, and dig in so deep it feels like a thorn at times. Simply put, it's a person that you can't get out of your system.

So are some soul mate unions actually negative?

Nothing having to do with the soul is negative. Everything we go through here on earth in our human form is presented to us so that our souls can learn, love, and grow.

Should I stay with a soul mate who is making me miserable?

Never! You deserve to be happy and have true love. Just because a soulmate has come into your life and you live in misery doesn't mean you have to stay! You are/were with this person in order to learn something. Believe it or not, many times it's the simple lesson of letting go and raising our self-esteem!

And don't forget, they are going through their own life lessons. If they're stuck in a low place--anger problems, abuse, addictions--they need to learn self-control, love and tolerance, but you shouldn't stick around while they refuse to learn!

Once you move on, your lesson is hopefully learned and you can now find a more positive relationship. Never stay with anyone who abuses you in any way!

How do I attract my soul mate?

Your energy reaches far and wide and your souls will recognize one another and come together at some point. The main problem is some people crave love so badly that they jump into the first relationship that comes along, stay in it and end up miserable, find someone else before they're even out of that relationship, then they attract more of the on and so on.

Your energy is what attracts people to you. If you're in a bad place in your life or feel badly about yourself, you'll attract a person who is attracted to the energy you have at that time. So it's wise to be sure your self-esteem is in a good place and that the influences from your current or previous relationship isn't affecting you.

Everyone can find their soulmate. Don't ever believe you are meant to be alone or settle for someone who makes you unhappy. Be true to yourself, love who you are, release the past and any negative habits, and you'll soon find you attract better people...and your soulmate won't be far behind!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kicking the Jealousy Habit

Are you too jealous? Are you constantly checking up on your partner? Are you calling, texting, and/or emailing several times a day to be sure they’re where they say they are? Has your jealousy ruined relationships in the past? Do you feel insecure, worried, or angry much of the time? If so, it’s time to kick the jealousy habit once and for all!

Realize where your jealousy stems from.

If your partner hasn’t given you any real reason to not trust him/her and you know it’s simply due to your past, be gentle with yourself. Jealousy is simply learned behavior and you can deprogram yourself over time. If you grew up with toxic parents or have been in other dysfunctional relationships, jealousy and other negative emotions probably feel normal to you. As humans we’re creatures of habit and always more comfortable with what we already know, even if it isn’t healthy.

Stop jealousy in its tracks.

Every time the voice of jealousy starts whispering in your ear, telling you everything you fear most, say “stop!” either in your mind or out loud then counter every negative thought with a positive one. Say for example your partner is out with his friends. Jealousy will no doubt pop to the surface insisting that he’s cheating on you. You start feeling worried, scared, and angry. Before you pick up the phone to confront him, take a deep breath and tell yourself that he’s not cheating. Fill your mind with positive things your partner has done in the past to show he/she cares about you.

Be a lovable person.

Jealousy makes us feel insecure, and it will do all it can to be certain you feel as insecure as possible as often as possible. Instead of spending so much time thinking about how or when your partner will cheat on you or leave you, relax and be the best person you can be. Think about it, he/she would be crazy to have an affair or leave such a wonderful person! However, jealousy is pure poison and will eventually kill off any relationship.

Expect good things and get good things.

You attract into your life the type of energy you give out. If you’re constantly sending out negative thoughts, words, and actions, it’s a natural law of the universe that you’ll get that right back! Instead, know that you deserve happiness and start living the life of a happy person. Expect good things to come to you and offer good in return—it will come back in equal portions!

Take control and responsibility.

Jealousy is a red flag letting you and anyone close to you know that you have no control over your emotions and that you expect everyone else to make you feel secure. As of this moment, decide to be the one in charge of your own happiness. You are the one choosing your thoughts and your behavior. Nobody can “make” you feel badly without you allowing it.

Work on yourself—inside and out.

Many times we feel jealous and insecure because we’re focusing so much on the other person when we truly need to work on ourselves. Maybe you have too much time on your hands and need a job, a hobby, or to volunteer. Perhaps you’ve been putting off exercising or eating healthy and have gained weight. The better you feel about yourself, the less you’ll worry about your partner leaving or cheating.

Unlearning jealousy isn’t easy, but it’s important to living a happy life and being in healthy relationships. You can change if you want to, so start now!


For those who dare to love again…and again…

Hemlock and Hemlines is the place to come when you've been burned or spurned, when you've been the dumper or dumpee, when you're tired of losers and want to find—and keep!—true love once and for all.

A Word of Caution

This blog isn’t for the faint hearted or easily offended!

Let's face it, love hurts, love can be dirty and downright mean, love can rip your heart out by its very arteries and laugh while you lay there bleeding. I've been there and so have you.

As a professional life and relationship counselor for the past 10+ years I noticed that people had a lot to say on the messy subjects of love, dating, and relationships, but there was really no official place to vent, rant, wonder, wish, learn, and grow. So although you may find everything on here from “how to know if a guy is really interested” and what we'd do if we got Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt alone in the same room, it's all in good fun. Ultimately, I want this to be a place to help us release those pent-up emotions, learn and grow, so we can move on to a happier place and not cut the brake lines on our ex's car.

Welcome again to Hemlock and Hemlines. I hope you enjoy your visit here and I urge you to send in your experiences!

Yes! Send me your true life stories of love-gone-wrong, those embarrassing moments, or even sickeningly sweet true tales of romance; your articles related to women's wants, needs, wonders, and desires; your questions about love, life, and everything in between! I want to hear from you! Contact me at:


“Love isn't an emotion or an instinct - it's an art.”
Mae West

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