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The Man Diet

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Relationships | Posted on 11-12-2011

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I have referred to The Man Diet sev­er­al times in var­i­ous places as some­thing I have done and rec­om­mend. After explain­ing it sev­er­al times, I final­ly wrote it up and put it on my web site. The arti­cle is a bit aged now, so I’m updat­ing it and mov­ing it to the blog.

Miscellany

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Links | Posted on 30-01-2009

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I lost track of who orig­i­nal­ly linked to what, so I can’t cred­it them prop­er­ly. But thank you to who­ev­er they all were, any­way!

Filed under “anoth­er rea­son I’m proud to be a home­school­er”: Cal­i­for­nia court rules that pri­vate school can oust les­bian stu­dents. I do under­stand that it’s a pri­vate reli­gious school, and that their denom­i­na­tion doesn’t approve of homo­sex­u­al­i­ty. On the oth­er hand, the girls’ par­ents chose to send them to that school, not the girls them­selves. And demand­ing that every­body in the school be het­ero­sex­u­al makes every bit as much sense as demand­ing that they all be right-hand­ed! (It also sounds like the school went WAY the hell over­board in inter­pret­ing the “evi­dence.”)

Can I get an “Amen”?! End­ing Weight Bias: The Eas­i­est Way to Tack­le Obe­si­ty in Amer­i­ca

This is news? Read­ers build vivid men­tal sim­u­la­tions of nar­ra­tive sit­u­a­tions, brain scans sug­gest

Not Good News: Mer­cury found in kids’ foods — and in pret­ty much any­thing else that con­tains HFCS. I’m con­fi­dent of my abil­i­ty to kick the soda habit, but total­ly avoid­ing HFCS pret­ty much means avoid­ing all processed foods. GAH!

This is so cool! Implants Tap the Think­ing Brain

No sur­prise to me, at least: Watch out. The Inter­net will cut you

Real­i­ty check: Sor­ry, you don’t have a 200 IQ

Anoth­er no-brain­er: Video Games May Hin­der Rela­tion­ships

What Can All Couples Learn From Same-Sex Marriages?

Posted by Cyn | Posted in News, Relationships | Posted on 11-06-2008

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From
Gay Unions Shed Light on Gen­der in Mar­riage

A grow­ing body of evi­dence shows that same-sex cou­ples have a great deal to teach every­one else about mar­riage and rela­tion­ships. Most stud­ies show sur­pris­ing­ly few dif­fer­ences between com­mit­ted gay cou­ples and com­mit­ted straight cou­ples, but the dif­fer­ences that do emerge have shed light on the kinds of con­flicts that can endan­ger het­ero­sex­u­al rela­tion­ships.

The find­ings offer hope that some of the most vex­ing prob­lems are not nec­es­sar­i­ly entrenched in deep-root­ed bio­log­i­cal dif­fer­ences between men and women. And that, in turn, offers hope that the prob­lems can be solved.

One of the things the arti­cle points out is some­thing I’ve def­i­nite­ly noticed, that how peo­ple han­dle resolve con­flicts is far more impor­tant than how often they expe­ri­ence con­flict.

One well-known study used math­e­mat­i­cal mod­el­ing to deci­pher the inter­ac­tions between com­mit­ted gay cou­ples. The results, pub­lished in two 2003 arti­cles in The Jour­nal of Homo­sex­u­al­i­ty, showed that when same-sex cou­ples argued, they tend­ed to fight more fair­ly than het­ero­sex­u­al cou­ples, mak­ing few­er ver­bal attacks and more of an effort to defuse the con­fronta­tion.

Con­trol­ling and hos­tile emo­tion­al tac­tics, like bel­liger­ence and dom­i­neer­ing, were less com­mon among gay cou­ples.

Interview: Chronic Pain and Sex

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Health, News, Relationships, Sex | Posted on 14-05-2008

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The inter­view we did is up!
Chron­ic Pain and Sex: a Couple’s Gen­tle Bat­tle With Fibromyal­gia

I’m pleased with it. There are very few, most­ly imma­te­r­i­al inac­cu­ra­cies.

The Three Love Systems From Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Reading, Relationships, Sex | Posted on 27-11-2007

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From today’s Delancey Place newslet­ter:

In the ter­rain of the human heart, sci­en­tists tell us, at least three inde­pen­dent but inter­re­lat­ed brain sys­tems are at play, all mov­ing us in their own way. To untan­gle love’s mys­ter­ies, neu­ro­science dis­tin­guish­es between neur­al net­works for attach­ment, for care­giv­ing, and for sex. Each is fueled by a dif­fer­ing set of brain chem­i­cals and hor­mones, and each runs through a dis­parate neu­ronal cir­cuit. Each adds its own chem­i­cal spice to the many vari­eties of love.

Social Intelligence by Daniel GolemanAttach­ment deter­mines who we turn to for suc­cor; these are the peo­ple we miss the most when they are absent. Care­giv­ing gives us the urge to nur­ture the peo­ple for whom we feel most con­cern. When we are attached, we cling; when we are care­giv­ing we pro­vide. And sex is, well, sex. …

The forces of affec­tion that bind us to each oth­er pre­ced­ed the rise of the ratio­nal brain. Love’s rea­sons have always been sub­cor­ti­cal, though love’s
exe­cu­tion may require care­ful plot­ting. … The three major sys­tems for loving—attachment, care­giv­ing, and sexuality—all fol­low their own com­plex rules. At a giv­en moment any one of these three can be ascendant—say, as a cou­ple feels a warm togeth­er­ness, or when they cud­dle their own baby, or while they make love. When all three of these love sys­tems are oper­at­ing, they feed romance at its rich­est: a relaxed, affec­tion­ate, and sen­su­al con­nec­tion where rap­port blos­soms. …

Neu­ro­sci­en­tist Jaak Pansepp…finds a neur­al corol­lary between the dynam­ics of opi­ate addic­tion and the depen­dence on the peo­ple for whom we feel our strongest attach­ments. All pos­i­tive inter­ac­tions with peo­ple, he pro­pos­es, owe [at least] part of their plea­sure to the opi­oid sys­tem, the very cir­cuit­ry that links with hero­in and oth­er addic­tive sub­stances. … Even ani­mals, he finds, pre­fer to spend time with those in whose pres­ence they have secret­ed oxy­tocin and nat­ur­al opi­oids, which induce a relaxed serenity—suggesting that these brain chem­i­cals cement our fam­i­ly ties and friend­ships as well as our love rela­tion­ships.

Daniel Gole­man, Social Intel­li­gence: The New Sci­ence of Human Rela­tion­ships, Ban­tam, © 2006 by Daniel Gole­man, pp. 18

Def­i­nite­ly a book that I intend to read! I found Emo­tion­al Intel­li­gence quite good, but had some­how missed this new­er book.

I strong­ly rec­om­mend the newslet­ter, which brings inter­est­ing excerpts from an incred­i­ble vari­ety of books to your mail­box every day.

What do you think? Is it all about the opi­ates? Do you have, or have you had, a romance in which all three sys­tems were go?

The Challenge and a challenge/​invitation

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Organization, Support | Posted on 02-07-2006

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A few days ago I referred to the Change Your Life Chal­lenge, but I didn’t real­ly explain much, as I was in a bit of a rush at the time. I’ve been so excit­ed about it, too, that some part of me thinks that of course every­body knows what it is!

Not so, sil­ly Cyn.

So let me back up, and explain a lit­tle more about WHY I want to do it, and why I’d think any of you would have any rea­son to plunk down mon­ey to do it, too.

Every morn­ing, no mat­ter what else my email brings, I know there’ll be an uplift­ing mes­sage from Brook Noël. I’m hon­est­ly not a big fan of most gener­ic affir­ma­tions or inspi­ra­tional newslet­ters, but some­how Brook’s dai­ly Good Morn­ings don’t annoy me. They avoid glurge, and I fre­quent­ly add her quotes and affir­ma­tions to my Pop­Up Wis­dom file.

I first “met” Brooke through her book, The Change Your Life Chal­lenge, which I found at a local book­store a few months ago. I learned that the book is actu­al­ly based on a suc­cess­ful online pro­gram, looked it up, and was intrigued. It promis­es to teach:

  • A step-by-step sys­tem for con­quer­ing clut­ter and keep­ing your home clean
  • How to recre­ate the din­ner hour and man­age meal­times
  • How to make time work for you —instead of against you
  • How to dis­cov­er and live by your core val­ues and beliefs
  • How to imple­ment the sim­plest “diet” in the world
  • The “key” to nev­er for­get­ting any­thing
  • How to improve your rela­tion­ships with the “5-Minute Mir­a­cle”
  • How to end pro­cras­ti­na­tion
  • How to imple­ment a bud­get and man­age your mon­ey
  • And much more!

I was wor­ried because of the “70 day” part, though. What busi­ness did I have sign­ing myself up for yet anoth­er cal­en­dar-bound thing that I’d end up hav­ing trou­ble with?

Well, I list­ed to Brooke’s pod­cast last Mon­day, and she hap­pened to say that if she could go back and change any­thing, she would reti­tle the pro­gram as “A 70 STEP Life Makeover Pro­gram” and toss out the idea of tying it to the cal­en­dar. For­ward motion is impor­tant, but mak­ing it fit your life is more impor­tant.

So yes, the Chal­lenge is very much doable for any­one, includ­ing those of us who have chron­ic ill­ness­es. It’ll be even more so in a small group of women who under­stand each other’s issues.

So here’s my chal­lenge: I’m going to begin the 70 Step Chal­lenge on July 15. I’ve set up a pri­vate group for any­one who joins up to do it with me. You’ll have all the nor­mal (exten­sive!) sup­port of the orga­ni­za­tion — there are thou­sands of peo­ple on her lists! — as well as a chance to build friend­ships with­in a small­er group of peo­ple in my group. We’ll do some chats, set up “bud­dies,” and use oth­er tech­niques to help each oth­er suc­ceed. We won’t get tied up in rush­ing through the chal­lenge as much as in work­ing it with a sense of bal­ance.

Won’t you join me? I’d love to get to know you bet­ter, and it’s always good to have more friends and a bet­ter sup­port net­work.

I’m tak­ing the Challenge.….are you?
Take the Change Your Life Chal­lenge:
A  70 Day Life Makeover Pro­gram for Women


If you join through this link, I’ll be informed and will invite you to the pri­vate sup­port group with­in 24 hours. I do hope to hear from you soon!

The ManDiet

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Relationships | Posted on 28-06-2006

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I have referred to The Man Diet sev­er­al times as some­thing I have done and rec­om­mend. After explain­ing it sev­er­al times, I’ve decid­ed to write it up here and just refer peo­ple to the arti­cle.

I call it the Man Diet, but that’s real­ly a mis­nomer. It should be an SO Diet or Rela­tion­ship Diet or some­thing like that. It just doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as well, so just take it as giv­en that I’m refer­ring to women, men or who­ev­er you would nor­mal­ly have romantic/​sexual rela­tion­ships with.

There was a time when I went from one rela­tion­ship to the next. If I didn’t have one or more SOs, I felt incom­plete. I didn’t have incred­i­bly healthy rela­tion­ships, but I was sel­dom alone! I derived much of my self-esteem from being in rela­tion­ships with oth­ers.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, that led to “set­tling” for peo­ple who didn’t real­ly meet the stan­dards I thought I want­ed in sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers, and often to accept­ing treat­ment that ranged from unpleas­ant to down­right abu­sive.

Right now, I do not tru­ly remem­ber what trig­gered the real­iza­tion that I’d nev­er have a tru­ly healthy rela­tion­ship if I felt that I absolute­ly had to have a rela­tion­ship with some­one oth­er than myself — that, in fact, cul­ti­vat­ing a healthy rela­tion­ship with myself, being com­plete in myself, was vital.

I didn’t think all that out so clear­ly at the begin­ning. I was just tired of the crap. I was tired of going from one rela­tion­ship to the next and hav­ing the same crap come up over and over again. I was tired of the mer­ry-go-round. I didn’t hon­est­ly count on hav­ing any more sig­nif­i­cant oth­ers. I just decid­ed that I was done. I swore off men for a year.

At the begin­ning of that peri­od, I felt anx­ious. I felt lone­ly. I felt more than a lit­tle des­per­ate, because hon­est­ly, I have nev­er been alone unless I chose to be that way. I’d spent my life using rela­tion­ships to avoid hav­ing to deal with my own issues in a deep way. If I hadn’t told sev­er­al friends what I was doing and asked them to help keep me hon­est, I don’t think I would have stuck with it.

In the next few months, I seemed to meet poten­tial SOs every time I turned around. It was tru­ly rain­ing men! That was dif­fi­cult. It was real­ly tempt­ing to just make a lit­tle excep­tion, because hey, he was just so nice! Or so smart, or fun­ny, or what­ev­er. But there’s noth­ing like true friends to kick your butt when you need it.

To be hon­est, I’ve nev­er had a prob­lem deal­ing with most prac­ti­cal things — bal­anc­ing check­books, basic home repairs, even sim­ple auto main­te­nance. I didn’t need a man to take care of any of that. No, I looked to SOs to keep me com­pa­ny, to keep me occu­pied, to suck up lots of ener­gy. I felt beau­ti­ful because they said I was, because they want­ed to be with me.

So I found oth­er ways to use my time and my ener­gy. I went out with friends as friends. I devel­oped new friend­ships that were much bet­ter because I wasn’t putting any­thing into won­der­ing whether or not the rela­tion­ship would move into oth­er areas. If nobody else want­ed to go see a par­tic­u­lar music event, I went alone.

I final­ly faced up to some of the issues I was avoid­ing when most of my ener­gy was going into inter­ac­tions with an SO — like why did I need a man around to feel worth­while? Why did I accept treat­ment that I wouldn’t want any of my friends to accept — that I had, in fact, told oth­er peo­ple to walk away from? Why wasn’t I hold­ing out for the kind of per­son I want­ed? Hell, why hadn’t I sim­ply become the per­son I want­ed?

While I was real­ly count­ing the days at first, by the end of that year I didn’t even real­ized it was done. I didn’t think about it until a cou­ple of months lat­er when a friend men­tioned it. Hey, it was over! I real­ized that I didn’t feel an urge to run out and start any­thing new. I was just fine with being me, with­out a man.

I won’t pre­tend that I’m all past all of that stuff. It comes back at times, but not near­ly as strong­ly. It’s much eas­i­er to insist on the kind of treat­ment I deserve from an SO, because I don’t fear being alone. I can be alone, and be hap­py. Not a prob­lem.

I think spend­ing at least a year alone as a tru­ly inde­pen­dent adult is a good idea for absolute­ly any­one. If pos­si­ble, live alone. Be sole­ly respon­si­ble for your­self finan­cial­ly. Devel­op a healthy social life that has noth­ing to do with whether or not you have an SO. Do any­thing you’ve been putting off. Were you wait­ing to take a vaca­tion until you had some­one to go with? Go now. Go back to school. Change jobs. Vol­un­teer. Learn to dance. Just do it, and enjoy it.

Dur­ing that year, prac­tice celiba­cy. That means not only do you not have SOs, but you don’t have “friends with ben­e­fits” or one-night stands. Just be with your­self. Hon­or your­self. Love your­self. Treat your­self as you would some­one you tru­ly trea­sure.

Tell some­body what you’re doing. Tell peo­ple you can trust to help you con­tin­ue on to your goal. If some­one isn’t sup­port­ive, dis­tance your­self from that per­son. I don’t care if that per­son is an imme­di­ate fam­i­ly mem­ber. You need to main­tain bound­aries, and you don’t need any­one tear­ing you down. Seek out new friend­ships with peo­ple who are sup­port­ive.

It may take some peo­ple longer than a year to get past the “ohmigod I’m gonna get old and be ALONE!” pan­ic. That’s fine. Take what­ev­er time you need. I promise that you will be health­i­er and hap­pi­er for it. The world, and all the men and women in it, will still be there when you’re ready.

What I learned from my past relationships

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Relationships | Posted on 09-05-2006

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So I actu­al­ly heard from some­one via Orkut. I can’t remem­ber if that’s ever hap­pened to me before or not.

Any­way, I went to check out this person’s pro­file, and real­ized mine was way out of date. Some­day, I swear, I’m going to repro­duce all the ques­tions all those dif­fer­ent places ask right here on my own site, keep that up to date, and refuse to fill out any oth­er pro­files.

Any­way, one of the fields was “From my past rela­tion­ships I learned…” I found the ques­tion more inter­est­ing that most, so I’m repro­duc­ing my answer here, expand­ed a bit.
from my past rela­tion­ships i learned: Some­thing dif­fer­ent every time 🙂 A few of them:

Hon­esty is the only way to relate that’s worth both­er­ing with.
Love isn’t enough.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion is price­less.

Rela­tion­ships take lots of work from every­one, and some­times they just aren’t sus­tain­able.

Sex is often the canary in the rela­tion­ship mine. Bar­ring health issues that make sex impos­si­ble or unlike­ly, a decrease in sex­u­al inti­ma­cy is usu­al­ly due to a decrease in over­all inti­ma­cy, which is Bad.

There’s no under­stand­ing crazy. Just walk away with as much of your san­i­ty intact as pos­si­ble.

Nobody deserves abuse.

Stay­ing togeth­er is sel­dom “best for the kids.” In fact, I’ve yet to see a sit­u­a­tion in which it was best for any­one.

There’s no way one (sane) per­son in a cou­ple or oth­er group­ing is hap­py if the oth­er is mis­er­able.

If some­one changes in a big way right after you get mar­ried, start try­ing to get an annul­ment. He isn’t the per­son you thought you knew.

While an adult can lie to you eas­i­ly, his kids can’t. Nei­ther can his pets. If either doesn’t behave con­sis­tent­ly with what she says, or she doesn’t treat them the way she says she believes in rais­ing kids or pets or what­ev­er, she’s a liar. Leave before you get any clos­er.

Some things are worth the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a bro­ken heart.

“If you real­ly loved me you’d…” means that the speak­er is an abu­sive ass­hole try­ing to get you to do some­thing that’s unhealthy for you.

Play­ing togeth­er is essen­tial. So is work­ing togeth­er.

Peo­ple are not projects.

Knights are noto­ri­ous for set­ting up new tow­ers with you inside them. The only safe “res­cue” is the DIY ver­sion, where you just walk out of the prison

What are yours?