G.O. For Change

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Posts Tagged ‘relationships

Dating 301: Categories

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Behold, the final installment of the dating advice I have laid out to you! Hopefully, we have survived the  gambit which was winter, and now spring should be peering around the corner. With the birds chirping, and the flowers in bloom, most people will start dating again. Before you take that leap and jump back in the dating pool, please make sure you are caught up on “Relationship 101” , “Dating 102“, and “The 3 C’s“. Trust me, after reading those, you will ensure you don’t waste your time!


According to weather.com, there are 5 categories of hurricanes, ranging from category 1 (minimal) (74 – 95 mph winds, damage primarily restricted to shrubbery, trees, and unanchored mobile homes; no substantial damage to other structures) to category 5 (CATASTROPHIC!) (winds  greater than 155 mph, complete failure on many roofs of residences and industrial buildings; extensive shattering of glass in windows and doors; complete buildings destroyed; small building overturned or blown away; mobile homes demolished).


Now, I know you are wondering what hurricanes have to do with dating. The reason they are placed in categories,, is to inform you of what you may  experience, and how you should treat them. In dating/relationships, it is also vital to place people in their proper categories,  that way, you can know what to expect, and act accordingly. There have been too many instances where people have NOT properly categorized their relationship with an individual, and disaster has occurred. Imagine if your local weatherperson told you that there was a category 1 hurricane, coming tomorrow, when really, it was a category 5! Imagine the chaos!  So, to help you avoid catastrophes in your life, below is a list of categories for you to review.  I challenge to place the people in your life in the correct categories, or problems may occur!


Acquaintances: here are a group of people who you may know superficially. They may be someone you just met, a colleague at work, or even a social event. Bottom line, YOU DO NOT KNOW this person. You could get to know this person, which could lead to-


Dating: (a form of courtship, consisting of social activities done by two people with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship, or as a spouse.) In this stage, you may share common interests, be attracted to each other, and are looking to see where going out may lead you. In this stage, you should be going out more, and spending more time with each other. This person may be more than an acquaintance, but at this point they are less than a friend because–


Friends: Friends are defined as “a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection”. “Friends” has been a title tossed around too easily. Not everyone you meet is your friend. Just because you work at the same place, see them at a nightclub, praise the same deity, or even liked a similar post on social media, you are not friends. You may have a lot of “friends” on social media, but in the event of an emergency, could you call on all of them? Carefully choose whom you refer to as friend.

In reference to dating, if you are going out, and engaging in social activities with someone, for all intents and purposes, you are not friends, you are just dating. Hopefully it leads to something more serious, like being–


Exclusive: (defined as:restricted or limited to the person, group, or area concerned”) As a former gamer (I am married, with 2 kids, I couldn’t find the time even if I wanted), there would be one game that is partnered with one console, and only one console- which means, that a game like “God of War” would only be available for PlayStation 3—if you owned an Xbox, or another gaming console, you wouldn’t be able to play the game, outside of purchasing the PlayStation 3. When you are exclusive, there are no other game systems you can be played on. It is just you, and that person. While this is the blossoming stage of a relationship, I would highly suggest that you define what “exclusive” means between the 2 of you, and what that entails.


Relationship: (an emotional or other connection between people) In reference to dating, this is where you want to be. This is the last stage, before the ultimate level (marriage). Sometimes, people may confuse being in a relationship with dating. You may have feelings with someone while you are dating them, but being in a relationship with this person is more than just casually going out, it is a strong connection about that person that can bloom into a long-lasting relationship.

You should have no doubt that you are in a relationship, based upon your discussions. Do NOT assume when it comes to dating and relationships.  You may think that you are on the same page, but you may find, you are not even in the same book, get it?


When you add someone to a category, naturally you associate feelings and actions within that category. It is critical to place them in the correct category based upon their actions and statements. Often, people incorrectly categorize individuals; if a person you meet is just an acquaintance, it would not be fair to you, or that person to put them in any other category. A person’s placement in a category should be based upon their actions, not just statements, or the category in which you WANT them to be.

These categories are here to protect your time, effort, and feelings. They are too valuable to be wasted…right? If you are creating your own list of categories, please share.


As always, thanks for reading.



P.S. There was one category that I left out- the ole’ “Friends with benefits” category. Friends with benefits, or FWB, are commonly associated with people being sexually involved, with no attachments. Look-we are all adults, and if FWB is for you, than what consenting adults do is their business. I would highly suggest that you let your intentions known. It may be for that person, it may not—bottom line, tell them immediately, so they can decide if that is the category they want to be in. There is nothing worse than a person being robbed of making their own decisions.


How to Deal with Issues (and Shoveling Snow!)

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Here in Maryland, we just got trampled by a snowstorm. I just got finished shoveling my sidewalk and surrounding area, and it looks awesome! (If I do say so myself) As I am finishing my hot chocolate and relish at the awesomeness which is a completed sidewalk (if I do say so myself), I wanted to share my thoughts of shoveling and in true Life Coach fashion, how they relate to dealing with issues.

  1.  Be prepared! SHOVELING.IS.WAR! It is man versus Mother Nature! When it is time to shovel, it is best to have your equipment ready—salt, shovels, cups of hot chocolate- make sure that when you are ready to work, you are ready to work.
  2. Map it out! Sometimes, mapping out what you need to do can be pretty easy; for instance, I started with the porch and the steps, down the walkway, and removed the snow off of the cars. Other things, however, may require a little more patience and planning. Remember the adage, “poor planning leads to poor performance”? It is true.
  3. Deal with issues, before they deal with you! Today, there was a lot of snow, and later tonight, it will be more snow, this time, it will be mixed with rain, causing a slush and ice mixture. If I had waited until tomorrow to deal with the snow that was outside now, I would have had a worse time trying to deal with not only heavy snow, but ice.It is better to deal with issues that are emerging now, then to wait and it proves to be more difficult to deal with.
  4. Get some help! It was great to see neighborhood kids capitalizing on the snow, offering to shovel sidewalks, and get cars out of their wintery prison. If you need help with completing goals, utilize your resources! Get friends, or professional help. You don’t have to tackle issue alone. 
  5. Heal! Right now, I don’t feel any pain, and I am feeling pretty good. I may feel some aches and pains tomorrow. Make sure that when you deal with your issue, you take some time to heal. Taking the time for you charges those proverbial batteries that we rely on.
  6. Reflect! It felt good to finish shoveling. Even as I was shoveling, I still took time to have a little fun and throw snowballs at my son. When you deal with an issue, take time and give yourself credit for the hard work you put in. You deserve it!

As always, thank you for reading.


P.S. If you are in an area where there is snow, throw a snowball, do a snow angel, grab a sleigh, and smile.

The Three C’s

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Hopefully you have you already read “Relationships 101” and “2 Questions”, in reference to dating. As a Life Coach, I often am asked, “how do I know if the person I am dating is “into me?” If you are in the early stages of dating a person, allow me to share with you, what I refer to as the “Three C’s”.

1. Communication: Communication is the key to any successful relationship- whether it is business, personal, or even if you ordered a burger with no pickles at your favorite fast food restaurant, communication needs to be there. I know that there is stigma attached to the communication levels of a man versus a woman, but regardless of their level, they should be communicating with you, at the least on HIS/HER level. If you find that you are the only one calling, or texting, or engaging them, they may NOT be into you.

2. Commitment: It’s one thing to talk about how you feel about someone; it’s another thing to SHOW how you feel. There has to be some level of commitment if they are into you. Do you have date nights? Are you spending time together, outside of romantic interludes? Does he/she cancel outings at the last minute? What physical evidence is present that supports the idea that he/she is into you? If you don’t have any evidence, they may NOT be into you.

3. Caring: In reference to the first 2 paragraphs, a person could really forget to call because of their schedule, or they could have financial/time obligations that prevent them from spending time with you on a consistent basis- those things can happen. However, when they talk with you, are they discussing their situations, and resolutions, or do they appear to have a cavalier attitude about the situation? If they don’t seem to have any emotion about disappointing you, they may NOT be into you.

If someone doesn’t make a valiant effort to demonstrate that they want to be with you, then… CIAO! (perhaps I should have made this the 4th C).

As always, thanks for reading,


Relationships 101

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Relationships Title Slide

Happy Spring everyone! Ah, spring- the time of year where the weather gets warmer, the days gets longer, and the flowers are in full bloom! And just like those awesome flowers, dating kicks up as well (technically, dating season officially starts during the late weeks of February).

While dating has changed over the years (typically people are speeding up the “romantic” stage, and lessening the “getting to know each other” stage), the core concept of dating is still the same: finding someone that you share similar interests, and hopefully, have a loving, lasting relationship with.

If you are starting to date, please allow your friendly neighborhood Life Coach to offer you some suggestions, as you wade through the sea of potential suitors:

1.Get YOURSELF Right!: Before venturing out into the dating world, you should do a self-assessment, so you will be the best YOU when meeting someone. Are you just getting out of a relationship, and haven’t had time to process? Do you have anger issues, or other potentially “relationship-killing” issues that need to be resolved? Please resolve them prior to starting any new relationship.

2. Identify what you want: We all have our preferences, and that’s great! Make a clear determination of what you want, which, coincidentally informs you of what you DON’T want. Identify deal breakers (i.e. chronic bad breath), and things that you might be able to work around (i.e. opposing political views). If you want someone who is looking for a long-term relationship, or looking to (or not looking to) have children, or be financially stable, have certain assets, then by all means, jot it down. I would however, point out 1 thing- your preferences may lower your dating candidates, but don’t give up, and don’t settle! He/She is out there!

3. Communicate your expectations: Exactly, what are you looking for? Are you looking for a serious relationship, resulting in marriage, are you just looking for friendship/companionship, or something else? Communication is the key to any successful relationship- whether it is business or personal. Think about any job you have ever had; did they tell you 3 months into the position of their wants, or did they tell you right away what they required? If you are getting to know someone, and they inform you that they aren’t looking for a “serious relationship”, and you want to get married within the next 2 years, wouldn’t it better to release yourself from that commitment early, than waste your time?

4. Don’t ignore the red flags: I love the quote by Maya Angelou- “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”(PLEASE reread that!) If you are out on a date, and your spidey senses are tingling, don’t ignore the red flags! Here are some “red flags” to look out for:

  • Being rude: If someone is rude to others in front of you, and they barely know you, how do you think they will treat you later?
  • People who want a relationship too quickly: Look, I know (yes, you!) are awesome, but if you are on a date, and they are already naming your future kids…run!
  • Liars: If someone is omitting information- children, a spouse, or other information that you inquire about, this should definitely be a red flag. As I tell my friends who are dating, lying to someone robs them of making their own decisions.
  • Drama: If they seem to have constant drama following them, why entertain them? (you can also direct them to #1 of this list)

As you are going on dates, remember: you have the RIGHT to be selfish initially- if someone doesn’t have what you want, MOVE ON! Don’t settle with someone, just because they seem interested, and you haven’t found that special person, or your biological clock is ticking, or you feel that you “should be married by now”. Be patient. Good things come to those who wait…right?

As always, thanks for reading,


p.s. Make sure that YOU can bring good qualities to the table as well! You can’t have a laundry list of things you want in a mate, and YOUR list of attributes is pretty bare. Just an FYI.


The MUTUAL in Mutual Funds: Investing in your Relationships

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Over the weekend, my family and I had a bad dining experience. My lovely wife is a huge fan of diner-style restaurants- whether they are pretty well known (perhaps they were on “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” on the Food Network), or  small places that only certain people know about, she scours city magazines for places to visit. She informed me of this restaurant that was recently on the aforementioned television show. She was excited about its history, and looked forward to going. We went, and while the food was great (really great, even though my steak was “well done”, when a food connoisseur like myself only orders “medium”), the service has horrible-the waitress was not attentive; she didn’t check on us, refill our drinks, and when it was obvious that another waitress took our order sitting on the counter, and gave it to someone else, she didn’t even apologize to us, but rather act as though she didn’t understand what just happened.

While waiter/waitress issues aren’t uncommon, I do rely on the managers/owners to alleviate any issues I have. This doesn’t mean simply taking money off of my bill, but actually making me feel as if you are apologetic about the situation.  This was the critical failure in this situation. When I spoke to the manager, he made me feel this wasn’t that big of a deal. Unfortunately these issues ruined our dining experience, and we will not return.

As I drove home, I thought of the entire situation. I really was upset at the care this popular diner felt was acceptable. While I am in no means in the top 1%, I do spend a significant amount of money on food. I really was baffled at the lack attention that our server gave us, considering our tips fund her salary, and at the manager’s response, given that word of mouth communication can make or break a business. I wondered how many others received sub-par service, but because of the good food, came back. The lack of investment on this particular diner’s part, has led me not to invest time and money on my part.

So how can we better invest in relationships (both professionally & business)? Glad you asked! As a business owner, and a person who values relationships, here are a couple of my components that I hold dear:

1. Communication: Communication is the KEY TO ANY SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIP!  Whether it’s between friends or business associates, or you and a fast food restaurant, say what you mean to say, articulate appropriately, and be prepared to answer questions. Too many people leave the communication up to text messages, emails, and twitter posts. For example: a friend of mine stated that a guy informed her that he was interested in her, but only communicated through a text message, never calling her. Some of us even call out sick from work via text! I have spent years perfecting my “sick voice” when I am calling out, and it will be a cold day in hell before I give that up! Back in the diner, I informed the manager that my order arrived much later than I expected it to. His response: “your steak was cooked longer because it was bigger (as it should be), and it took more time to cook than other steak meals.” While I understood that, don’t you think my server should have communicated the message, rather than from the manager, BEFORE I was upset?

2. Honoring expectations: I own an entertainment company. While I deal with a lot of clients, I make sure that I am meeting their expectations (and   exceeding them). Unfortunately, perhaps this diner has become cocky after receiving a lot of attention from the television shows and magazine articles, and has forgotten that the customer is number one. In relationships, make sure expectations aren’t misconstrued. When a client hires me, we sit down, go over questions, what they need, and at the end of our conversation, they sign a contract. The contract isn’t a huge, but it spells out what my responsibilities are, as well as what the client’s responsibilities. This way, there are not any problems. If you are dating, or exclusive with someone, you should ABSOLUTELY inform the person (or persons) of your expectations prior to engaging in any activity; this allows all parties involved to know what they are getting into, and decide whether to, or not continue. If you want to wait 90 days before having sex, (via “Think Like a Man”) great, but inform the person  of your decision, and be prepared to have them walk away if they aren’t willing to come to terms, which brings me to my next point:

  3. Holding on to your expectations: To be honest, because of the good food (even though the food was overcooked), I STILL wanted to return and try again. My wife immediately stated that we were never going to return, because there is good food elsewhere. She was ABSOLUTELY correct! The reason? If I returned, I am, in a way, condoning the behavior to continue. Its one thing to return for a second chance if you feel that the behavior will be corrected, however if it compromises your expectations, you should not. As my wife put it, returning back just because of the good food, but the service is horrible, is the equivalent of “remaining in an abusive relationship because the sex is good” (reread that). She was right, and you know what would happen, if I returned, and we received the same crappy service? I would be angry; not at the diner, but MYSELF.

4.Honoring your relationships: Look, being married has led me know certain things, and one being- it’s not the BIG things you do, but it’s the small things that really matter. Of course your significant other expects gifts on his/her birthday, and other holidays, but what about a gift just because it is a Saturday? On Facebook, I have made it a point to recognize other business owners, and promote them. Do I need to? Not really, but because they do great work, and they are great business owners, why WOULDN’T These business owners are professional, courteous, and do great work, AND they promote me, which honors our relationship. In the diner situation, the server could have been better, as well as the owner could have been better, but they weren’t. Hopefully the next diner will. As always thanks for reading.


Ps. Always order your steak cooked “medium”, it makes the chef have to work on it.

P.P.S. I took my family out to dinner yesterday, and the waitress was AWESOME; she made sure my family was taken care of, was courteous, professional, and kind. In addition to giving her a nice tip, I spoke with her manager, and informed her of the great service I experienced.  Perhaps the other restaurant should take notes.

P.P.P.S Check out Troy Speights, www.precisecutlawnservice.com for all your lawn care needs, and Lisa Fleet @ www.glamorousdivas.com for all your photograph needs). We have worked together for a while, and they are awesome in what they do!

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