“True love cannot be found where it truly doesn’t exist, nor can it be hidden where it truly does.”
~Francois de La Rochefoucauld
Jaime’s version of how the couple met: In late 2014, I moved from Istanbul, Turkey where I had been living for seven years. I landed in California at my mom’s house as a sort of temporary base to get my head together. I had plans to just focus on my business, English Success Academy and the online training programs I was running for ESL teachers. I had more than enough projects to keep me occupied and I figured that I could spare zero time, energy or attention to find love.
How wrong I was… That was probably why, when Steve and I started talking on Skype in early January, 2015, I laid all the cards on the table right away. I knew I wanted to co-create a life with a partner and I wasn’t going to be coy or wait for “the right time” to talk about “us.”
This is all or nothing. High-stakes. Take it or leave it.
Turns out I wasn’t the only one fed up with games. We were having hours-long conversations every day on Skype. Needless to say, I was more than a little flattered when he planned a trip to San Diego.
(San Diego… Valentine’s Day 2015. Is this a recipe for love? Absolutely!)
We hadn’t even finished that trip before we started planning the next one. And then the one after that.
Anyone who has hung out with Steve knows that it’s nearly impossible to stop having fun.
That little thing previously known as “Jaime’s Workaholism”? Gone… Shocking, right? But seriously, it turns out when there’s something else worth spending time on, I do.
I do. Every pun intended.
So the wedding planning began.
As 2015 progressed, it grew clearer and clearer to us that we wanted to be together. Steve’s 6 year-old daughter Lilly is in Essex with her mum, so we knew we wanted to be live nearby and create a family environment.
The obvious choice was for Jaime to immigrate. So… Next, get married. Because of Steve’s parental duties, the only time we would be able to see each other was for a random conference that was being held in Las Vegas. Our only time together, Jaime booked flights to meet up with Steve in Las Vegas from November 7th to November 14th. Ok, flights booked.
Are you glazing over yet? Ah mes amis, we have only just begun…
The most relevant detail: we had already booked flights for Las Vegas from November 7th through 14th for a conference where people who primarily exist on the internet get together and experience things like daylight.
“Here’s the thing though,” continued Mr Experience, “You could even do a wedding in Las Vegas,” he laughed.
“Las Vegas? We do actually already have tickets booked to Vegas.”
The New, New Plan – Vegas Wedding!!!
When we talked about getting married in Las Vegas in November, it did seem a bit bizarre at first.
Here we had been stumbling down what seemed like a painfully long path, and it turned out that all along, we were much closer than we could have guessed. Almost like the Donner Party—except going towards Las Vegas.
The more we talked about our options, the starker the contrast got: Jump through hoops for the next year, OR accelerate everything, switch to Plan C and have the life together that we want?
It took us less than 15 minutes to make the choice.
Life is short. Carpe diem.
But the story does not end here…
There has been a three month wait after the wedding for the two love birds to be together. Jaime has been in the USA (wearing her wedding ring but away from her sweetheart). Steve has been growing his business and anxiously awaiting the time for the two to be together.
And that time? One year after they met in person, on Valentine’s Day 2016. Jaime took the long flight to be with her love. Steve is the happiest man in the world!
Love to the amazing Mr. and Mrs. Woods!!!
See the infographic version on Steve’s website: https://onlinemastery.co.uk/valentines/
Only three in ten couples remain in healthy, happy marriages, as noted in the book "The Science of Happily Ever After."
Was there some common toxic issue found in the miserable marriages?
Emily Esfahani interviewed author and psychologist Ty Tashiro who shared the scientific studies conducted at the University of Washington in 1986 by John Gottman and Robert Levenson. With a team of researchers, they had couples attached to electrodes to track their physiology.
The couples spoke about their relationship, such as how they met, a major conflict they were facing together, and a positive memory. As they spoke, the electrodes measured the subjects’ blood flow, heart rates, and how much they sweat they produced. Then the researchers sent the couple’s back home and followed up with them six (6) years later to see if they were still together.
From the data they gathered, Gottman separated the couples into two major groups: the masters and the disasters. The masters were still happily together after six years. The disasters had either broken up or were chronically unhappy in their marriages.
The body tells a story that words do not. The disaster couples looked calm during the interviews, but their physiology, measured by the electrodes, told a different story. Their heart rates were quick, their sweat glands were active, and their blood flow was fast. Following thousands of couples over time, it was found that the more physiologically active the couples were in the lab, the quicker their relationships deteriorated over time.
The master couples, showed low physiological arousal, the opposite of the disasters. They felt calm and connected together, which translated into warm and affectionate behavior, even when they fought. The masters had created a climate of trust and intimacy that made both of them more emotionally and thus physically comfortable.
John Gottman elaborated: “Disasters will say things differently in a fight. Disasters will say ‘You’re late. What’s wrong with you? You’re just like your mom.’ Masters will say ‘I feel bad for picking on you about your lateness, and I know it’s not your fault, but it’s really annoying that you’re late again.’”
In a follow-up study in 1990, he designed a lab on the University of Washington campus to look like a beautiful bed and breakfast retreat.
He invited 130 newlywed couples to spend the day at this retreat and watched them as they did what couples normally do on vacation: cook, clean, listen to music, eat, chat, and hang out. What was discovered was the key “bid” to why some relationships thrive while others languish.
Throughout the day, partners would make requests for connection, aka “bids.” For example, say that the husband is a bird enthusiast and notices a robin outside the window. He may exclaim, “Look at that beautiful bird outside!” He’s not just commenting on the bird here: he’s requesting (a bid) a response from his wife — a sign of interest or support — hoping they’ll connect, however momentarily, over the robin.
Every relationship has interactions that are often conversations. The wife can respond by either “turning toward” or “turning away” from her husband. Though the bird-bid might seem minor, it can actually reveal a lot about the health of the relationship. The husband thought the bird was important enough to bring it up in conversation and the question is whether his wife recognizes and respects his interest.
By turning toward your partners to engage the bidder, shows interest and support in the bid. Those who didn’t — those who turned away — would not respond or respond minimally and continue doing whatever they were doing, like watching TV or reading the paper. Sometimes they would respond with overt hostility, saying something like, “Stop interrupting me, I’m reading.”
These bidding interactions had profound effects on marital well-being. The couples who were still together after six years had “turn-toward bids” 87 percent of the time. Nine times out of ten, they were meeting their partner’s emotional needs.
Couples who had divorced after a six-year follow up had “turn-toward bids” 33 percent of the time. Only three in ten of their bids for emotional connection were met with intimacy.
So the first scientific trait is attention; whether there is a “turning toward” or “turning away” reaction. This is how you respond and give attention to your partner. The active construction response is the type of attention that fosters a greater connection.
According to Shelly Gable, associate professor of psychology at the University of California-Santa Barbara, an important key to understanding a relationship’s strength is how it works in good times, not just whether it withstands the bad. Partners’ reactions to each other’s good news can better predict the quality of a relationship (and whether it will endure) than can a partners’ reactions to bad news.
The 3 wrong ways and 1 right way: Gable has found that out of four possible ways to respond to a partner’s positive news, only one the "active-constructive response" is good. Couples whose partners react in any of three less positive ways are at greater risk of separating.
Consider the following example Gable gives to illustrate: Your significant other comes home, beaming, and announces that he/she just got a great promotion at work. You could react with:
1. Active-constructive response. "That’s great, you’ve earned it, I’m so proud of you!" followed by questions. Conveys enthusiasm, support, and interest.
2. Passive-constructive response. "Great job, honey!" then shifting to the next topic. Like dinner.
3. Active-destructive response (what Gable dubs "finding the cloud in a silver lining response"). "Wow! Does this mean you’ll be working later hours? Are they going to be paying you more? I can’t believe they picked you out of all the candidates." Generally deflating.
4. Passive-destructive response. Can take either of two forms: "Wow! Wait until I tell you what happened to me today," which is very self-focused, or, "What’s for dinner?"—Ignoring the event altogether.
Positive reactions also magnify the uplifting effects of the good news for the partner who’s doing the sharing, Gable notes. A negative or semi-positive response to a partner’s good news, however, can undercut all the benefits derived from disclosing in the first place, such as fostering trust, intimacy, and satisfaction with the relationship.
Does your partner bring kindness and generosity; or contempt, criticism, and hostility? Contempt is the number one factor that tears couples apart. People who are focused on criticizing their partners miss a whopping 50 percent of positive things their partners are doing and they see negativity when it’s not there.
Kindness makes each partner feel cared for, understood, and validated—feel loved. Kindness is a bond that leads to upward spirals of love and generosity in a relationship. In some people, the “kindness muscle” is naturally stronger than in others, but it can grow stronger in everyone with exercise.
Kindness is the second basic trait to whether a couple has a lasting relationship.
The hardest time to practice kindness is, of course, during a fight—but this is also the most important time to be kind. Letting contempt and aggression spiral out of control during a conflict can inflict irrevocable damage on a relationship.
If you want to have a stable, healthy relationship, exercise kindness early and often. Kindness can also be built into the very backbone of a relationship through the way partners interact with each other on a day-to-day basis.
Another powerful kindness strategy revolves around shared joy or good news. Is there excitement or disdain? How someone responds to a partner’s good news can have dramatic consequences for the relationship.
There are many reasons why relationships fail, but if you look at what drives the deterioration of many relationships, it’s often a breakdown of kindness.
Among couples who not only endure, but live happily together for years and years, the spirit of kindness and generosity guides them forward.
After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her shopping trips to Walmart. (note: This would fall under both the DO WITH Ring of Desire and the Lifestyle Ring of Desire of The Love Bucket® )
Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunate, my wife is like most women – she loves to browse.
My dear wife received the following letter from the local Walmart:
Dear Mrs. Woolf,
Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband, Mr. Woolf, are listed below and are "documented by our video surveillance cameras":
1. June 15: He took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people’s carts when they weren’t looking.
2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at 5-minute intervals.
3. July 7: He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women’s restroom.
4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, ‘Code 3 in Housewares. Get on it right away’. This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her Supervisor that in turn resulted in management getting involved causing management to lose time and costing the company money.
5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to reserve a bag of chips.
6. August 14: Moved a ‘CAUTION – WET FLOOR’ sign to a carpeted area.
7. August 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the children shoppers they could come in if they would bring pillows and blankets from the bedding department – to which twenty children obliged.
8. August 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he began crying and screamed, ‘Why can’t you people just leave me alone?’ Emergency Medics were called.
9. September 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it as a mirror while he picked his nose.
10. September 10: While handling guns in the Sports department, he asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.
11. October 3: Darted around the Store suspiciously while loudly humming the ‘ Mission Impossible’ theme.
12. October 6: In the auto department, he practiced his ‘Madonna look’ by using different sizes of funnels.
13. October 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed through, yelled ‘PICK ME! PICK ME!’
14. October 22: When an announcement came over the loud speaker, he assumed the fetal position and screamed ‘OH NO! IT’S THOSE VOICES AGAIN!
15. Took a box of condoms to the checkout clerk and asked where the fitting room was.
And last, but not least:
16. October 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited awhile, and then yelled very loudly, ‘Hey! There’s no toilet paper in here.’ One of the Staff passed out.
This one has been circulating for awhile now, Husband Causes Mischief email, or with Mr. and Mrs. Fenton as the prime suspects, but since this is shopping season, it was worth the share. Enjoy the laughs!
Dating and Filling HER love bucket
From her point of view, she wonders: Is He Really “Too Busy” (or not that into you)? So, this friend of mine, Matt – a hunky, divorced dad – is seeing this great girl, Jessica. Matt is terrific, but he’s going through some stuff. His mom is dying of Alzheimer’s (stressing him out emotionally), and his new career is really taking off. So his free time is limited.
Jessica is a no-nonsense, divorced mom with two kids. She’s been dating long enough and is ready to settle down again. She sees what a great guy Matt is, but she’s frustrated by his lack of attention and availability. Even though she understands he’s going through serious life-changing events, she’s not getting any younger.
When they see each other, they really connect, make each other laugh, and have great sex—which is why Jessica hasn’t broken it off. She’s waiting for Matt’s life to calm down.
So you wouldn’t say Jessica was in an “unrequited love” situation… or would you?
It may surprise you, but if you’ve ever been in a similar situation…
… or have been in a relationship with any of the guys below…
… you, like Jessica, have been a victim of unrequited love.
• The guy who’s only interested in you when you’re dating someone else.
• The guy you dated for a few weeks before he "realized" he wasn’t ready for a relationship… right now.
• The guy who likes to string you along, giving you just enough attention and love to keep you on the hook. (Isn’t that really Matt and Jessica?)
• Your ex who you now realize is perfect for you–only now he’s loving single life.
• Your guy friend whom you’ve always been in love with, but one or both of you are afraid of ruining the friendship.
• The guy you’ve had a crush on forever, but he’s always dating other women and doesn’t seem to realize you have any feelings for him at all.
Even though Matt is a nice guy and means well, who’s to say he will ever give Jessica the kind of relationship she’s looking for? Kind of weird, right?
A lot of smart, successful women are victims of unrequited love. It’s something of an epidemic. The worst part is, it keeps you from finding the right man, will make you think you "aren’t good at dating," and stops you from moving on after a break up.
Basically, it’s love quicksand.
Think you might be stuck in an unrequited love rut?
An unrequited love rut looks like this: you’re holding onto the hope that one day you and this guy will be together. This belief is preventing you from really getting over him and finding a real relationship with someone who loves you back.
When you do go on dates with other men, you’re really just comparing them to him, waiting for him to come around, or trying to make him jealous by showing him how desirable you are.
The secret to getting out of this unrequited love rut is to determine whether this guy whom you can’t stop thinking about really is "The One." If he is, there are steps you can take to get him to love you back and create a REAL relationship with him.
For ladies, Marni Bartisa is sharing a FREE Class: Click to register >> Get Him to Love You Back (And if That’s Not Possible, Get Him Out of Your Head for Good) <<
It happens on Sat., Dec. 5 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. This free call is about helping you feel better right now and over the holidays!
Can asking questions make you fall in love with someone and fill The Love Bucket? Apparently, YES! But they have to be the right questions.
These 36 questions are based on a study of interpersonal closeness by the psychologist Arthur Aron and others to explore whether intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by having them ask each other a specific series of personal questions.
The idea is that mutual vulnerability fosters closeness. To quote from the study, “One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure.” Allowing oneself to be vulnerable with another person can be exceedingly difficult, so this exercise forces the issue.
The 36 questions takes about 45 minutes to discuss. The study that was conducted in 1997 is broken up into three sets of questions, with each set intended to be more probing than the previous one.
In addition to the 36 questions, the experience of “eye-gazing” can be disarming and create a bond. It you try this for four minutes — staring into each other’s eyes consistently — this will bring up emotions including fear and vulnerability but as you pass the two minute mark the connection grows. Try this after you’ve gone through the 36 questions to deepen your tie.
Take turns answering each question. The term partner is used in the question set and this can be done with dating couples, married couples, and new romantic interests.
Set I Questions that make couples fall deeply in love
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
Set II Questions that make couples fall deeply in love
13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
16. What do you value most in a friendship?
17. What is your most treasured memory?
18. What is your most terrible memory?
19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
20. What does friendship mean to you?
21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
Set III Questions that make couples fall deeply in love
25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “
26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “
27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.
These questions have gone viral numerous times. This year it began early and again around Valentine’s Day when love is on everyone’s mind. The psychologist Arthur Aron succeeded in making two strangers fall in love in his laboratory more than 20 years ago at SUNY University at Stony Brook and this study is still getting play today.