Displaying items by tag: Love Made Woman Magazine is an online magazine and networking platform for women. We discuss style, love + dating, business, news, entertainment and health. Dare to be MADE. http://madewomanmag.com Fri, 19 Dec 2014 15:05:57 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Dating | Stop Trying To Change The People You Date! http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/dating/item/959-stop-trying-to-change-the-people-you-date http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/dating/item/959-stop-trying-to-change-the-people-you-date Dating | Stop Trying To Change The People You Date!

Dating // December 1, 2014 

“Why doesn’t he ever follow through with his plans? He’s SO FLAKY. He has so much potential that he’s not using. I could help him if he’d let me.” 

“I wish she was ready to settle down. She knows I want a family but she’s so sure about backpacking through Europe. Maybe if I helped her get a better job she’d want to stick around … and get married.”

“Why is he always flirting with the wait staff? And why is he still listed as ‘single’ on Facebook? I don’t care if it’s just ‘innocent attention’ – if he loved me, he’d change.”

Sound familiar? (I can see you nodding from over here.) We’ve all been there – making a mental laundry list of the ways someone could ‘improve,’ an ongoing litany of their tiny flaws and all the ways we can polish and shine them to perfection.

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But I’m afraid I’m captaining the good ship Reality Check today, friends. Trying to change someone is exhausting, disrespectful and (most importantly) 100% futile.  

The upside of this? There is a truly life-changing sense of joy + liberation that comes with letting go of our need to control another. It’s when we let go that we finally feel loved and satisfied.

Pro-actively choosing to let go is different than clinging to something only to have it snatched from your clutches. Of course, actively choosing to let go of control – to let go of your need to change/improve another human adult – can be tough. But it’s also liberating and steeped in relief. 

Borrow the courage to let go before heavy takes root.

When you proactively choose to let go you make delicious space for what you really want to show up.

When you let go, you allow the acceptance of “what is” to begin healing you.

You stop fighting a fruitless battle + bow to the perfect limitations of your situation. 

With a heart ripped wide open you graciously, clearly understand;

:: This is all they have to offer + it’s not enough.

:: It’s time to move on. From this job, this town, this home. It’s been good but you must continue to grow–somewhere else.

Don’t wait until you’re “ready.”

The waiting is wrought with angst.

You have carried it and crouched under its weight long enough.

It isn’t until you give up on wanting them to change that you will find peace. 

A few years ago, I was dating a much younger man who, for a plethora of reasons, I shouldn’t have been dating. I felt insecure about my age and finding someone who would love me as-is. My boyfriend was young and careless, partied entirely too much and eventually cheated on me. 

After a lot (a lot) of meditation, journaling, and crying to my girlfriends, I realized that I could be at peace by accepting who he was and his choices, I could finally accept my responsibility for our relationship and for bringing him into my life. I decided to accept him for where he was in his life, and most importantly, to love myself. I let go of the weight of trying to fix him or wait for him to reach his potential and I felt hugely, immensely liberated. 

When I began to love myself more + be more honest with myself, I made better choices. Since I knew I couldn’t change him and he couldn’t give me what I needed, with love and self-respect, I left.

If you too, would like to let go of your need to change your partner or to cling to things that aren’t working, here are five steps to get you closer to self-love and self-awareness.

1. Accept that the situation didn’t “just happen to you.”

This person you’re dating? They probably didn’t bang on your front door, insisting that you begin a romantic relationship with them. It is doubtful that you are being held against your will in this relationship. At some point, you chose to date someone who, for whatever reason, isn’t meeting your needs. You were actively involved in the decision to be in this relationship.

2. Accept the person for who they are and where they are.

My 23-year-old self is (thankfully!) very, very different from my 37-year-old self. In fact, I imagine my former boyfriends would be quite surprised at how I turned out. The same goes for everyone. Who we are, what we want, the type of love we’re capable of – these things change as we move through life. It’s not fair to expect a 25-year-old to approach relationships the way a 40-year-old divorcee does. Yes, that woman might make an amazing partner once she gets over her ex – but it’s not fair to either of you to sit around, waiting for that to happen.

3. Know on deep level that the only person you can change is yourself.

You’ve probably heard this a million times and maybe you’ve recited it over coffee to a few friends. But saying it and really down-to-the-marrow-of-your-bones knowing it are different. You can’t change the fact that she’s not ready to settle down, that he has a lot of growing up to do, or that she’s constantly running late. You can, however, change how you react to those things and whether those people are allowed into your life.

4. Celebrate your desires + truth.

Focus on your inner world, what you love about yourself, what is true for you, and where you want your path to lead. Instead of worrying about his financial stability, think about how you’re going to earn enough money to buy a little cottage in the woods. Stop focusing on what she does (or doesn’t) love about you and focus on what YOU love about you.

5. Take action in the direction of what you want most.

Building the life you want (filled with the right people) is a daily practice of step after tiny, unglamorous step. Big things start with small actions and those action always involve us and very rarely involve people who can’t meet our needs.

With love and respect, say goodbye to the people who aren’t right for you right now, and turn your attention to something worthwhile – creating a life that thrills you.

Dating Mon, 01 Dec 2014 07:12:08 +0000
Relationships | Should You Go To Couples Therapy? http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/relationships/item/889-relationships-|-should-you-go-to-couples-therapy? http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/relationships/item/889-relationships-|-should-you-go-to-couples-therapy? Relationships | Should You Go To Couples Therapy?

Relationships // July 7, 2014

This article was originally posted on Baucemag.com.

Whether he’s happy or not, the mention of couple’s therapy is enough to send any guy running. The idea of airing out his dirty laundry in front of a stranger isn’t exactly what he’d consider a day well spent. But if your long-term relationship is in trouble, and you want to fix it, couples therapy may be just what you and your partner need. With that being said, knowing when couples therapy is a viable option is important. It obviously isn’t for everyone and every situation. Read on to see if couples therapy could end up being the solution you’ve been looking for.

Couples Therapy Could Save Your Relationship If …

  • You have a specific problem to resolve. Go into therapy with a specific set of issues you and your partner would like to see resolved. Don’t waste your time and money by going into therapy without a clear set of goals.
  • You fail to understand why you keep having the same fight. Every individual has triggers – specific things that bother them that wouldn’t necessarily bother others. Triggers often leave the other partner at a loss for what the issue is or why it’s even an issue at all. A therapist can effectively facilitate a discussion on these triggers and help couples understand the basis for these reactions without the name-calling or finger-pointing.
  • You want an honest outlook on your relationship. Therapists won’t endorse a relationship if he or she thinks you’re better off apart, and won’t sabotage a relationship that’s worth working on. You’ll have access to an unbiased view that you can’t necessarily get from family or friends. However, your therapist won’t push you in one direction or the other. Whether you stay together or not is a decision only you and your partner are able to make.
  • You’re ready to put it all out there. Therapy is all about full disclosure. It’s essential. Throughout therapy, your therapist will ask you about your relationship as a whole, not just what you feel needs to be worked on, as well as your respective relationship histories. Your answers will help the therapist identify your communication styles and your past relationships will make it easier to identify recurring patterns. Be fully prepared to participate in the process, or neither of you will benefit.

Couples Therapy Is Not For You If…

  • You’re looking for someone to take your side. Therapy isn’t one-sided. Both partners need to acknowledge that changes need to be made – in both his behavior and yours. Basically, keep an open mind and be prepared to hear good and bad about yourself, not just your partner.
  • You haven’t been in your relationship for a long time. If you’re heading to therapy before the one-year mark, it may be time to reassess your relationship: Are you truly compatible? What are the chances of a long-term relationship blossoming?
  • If you’re trying to sort out trivial matters, such as laundry or dish duty. Unless there is a true inability to communicate, therapy is best for dealing with issues that the two of you aren’t capable of sorting out on your own – like infidelity.
  • You want to dominate the session. You must prepare to listen and stay silent when your partner speaks or is giving their point of view. Growth can’t happen if you continuously interject when someone else has the floor.

Whether your relationship works out or not – and I hope it does – therapy is a chance and an opportunity to learn more about yourself and the way you interact with the people in your life. This could never be a bad thing. Good luck!

Relationships Sun, 06 Jul 2014 16:19:32 +0000
Love + Dating | Ask Made Woman: Mixed Messages http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/dating/item/873-love-%20-dating-|-ask-made-woman-mixed-messages http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/dating/item/873-love-%20-dating-|-ask-made-woman-mixed-messages Love + Dating | Ask Made Woman: Mixed Messages

Love + Dating // June 2, 2014

Dear Made Woman,

I met this amazing guy on a dating site, he was very sweet, funny, charming, cute, smart and great to talk to. We didn’t live in the same city but every day he would text me and/or call me first, and even send me cute little good morning texts. Two weeks later, we decided to meet up and we finally did, five days ago.

We had a lot of fun on that day, by the end of the night, he was worrying about the distance and how the relationship would work.  I believe I saw him crying.

Then, he decided we should just be friends, but he did say when the opportunity comes, we can try again. He also said that he would text me later that night. So two days went by and I haven’t heard from him. I feel so awful and used.  I decided to step up my game and send him a picture of the day we hung out and he still hasn’t responded. I feel horrible and stupid. Is he trying to tell me it’s officially over? Please help me.

Thank you,

Lost in Love


Hey love,

A truly amazing guy will be very sweet, funny, charming, cute, smart and great to talk to. Every day, he will text you and/or call you first as well as send cute little good morning texts AND continue to do so without disappearing off the face of the earth or crying about a measly 40 minute drive to you. I’m sorry, but he sounds unavailable and (I know this is disappointing) his behavior (especially the crying?) sounds unstable.

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I don’t want to leave the impression he is a bad guy, not at all, I just think he is not 100% ready, for the commitment you seem to be you are looking for. My boyfriend of two years, lived one hour from me up until October, when we moved in together. He would drive to me and I would drive to him. It wasn’t difficult at all.  Sometimes frustrating... but our time together was totally worth it to me and vice versa. He would stay over at least one night during the week and we would spend Friday-Sunday nights together.  It worked well!

This guy’s behavior, no matter how sweet he might be, sounds erratic.

Really hot one day and really cold the other, and that’s a red flag.

On another note, be wary of how much you communicate with your date before you meet them in person. A few short conversations are fine but be careful to not overly invest your heart and energy before seeing them… because you can end up in a situation like this. You grew closer to him in your conversations before hand and it makes distancing yourself from his unstable behavior now more difficult because of the over investment. You deserve and should be looking for a man that is consistent and reliable in his behavior in both words and actions alike.

Otherwise you’ll spend a lifetime beside yourself in confusion + mystery. In dating, I encourage you to observe impersonally rather than taking it personally as much as possible. Be mindful to not attach too much value to anyone until they prove themselves worthy.

Collect these experiences, put them in your tool belt of knowledge, extract the lesson, and throw away the rest.  Most importantly, know when to walk away. And learn to recognize when they are giving you all they have and it is STILL not enough.

Made Woman Magazine

This article was originally published on Danielle-Dowling.com.

Dating Fri, 30 May 2014 00:27:15 +0000
Love | What She Really Wants For Valentine's Day http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/item/784-what-she-really-wants-for-valentines-day http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/item/784-what-she-really-wants-for-valentines-day Love | What She Really Wants For Valentine's Day

Love + Dating // February 10, 2014

Yes, Valentine’s Day is all about the romance, but there are some practical gifts that every lady secretly desires on this day of love. Just say no to the giant stuffed teddy bears. Give your honey one of these items and watch her eyes light up with joy -- since she won’t have to sneak back to the mall to return your gift for what she really wants. Ouch.

Brook, 27, Single

You know what every girl (or guy) needs? A get out of jail free card. If your partner has any unpaid parking tickets, surprise them with a clean slate. Who needs chocolate when you can be citation free?

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Jessica Dumont, 29, Married

My husband and I aren't big on the Valentine's Day gift exchange. Instead, we splurge every year to go to dinner at a nice restaurant we wouldn't normally go to. We always pick a place we've both wanted to try for months, get all dressed up and indulge ourselves in good food and cocktails. It's much more fun for us than trying to pick out a gift!

Christina Chen, 21, Single

This is the perfect gift because it’s TIMELESS. Any girl would love a rose gold Marc by Marc Jacobs watch to match her everyday outfits. Not only is it lovely under the sun, it looks beautiful at night as well! On top of that, it would go with her outfit for that Valentine’s Day date tonight! It also comes in classic gold and silver.

Available online or at Nordstrom, $225.00

Jasmin Martin, 24, Long Distance Relationship

The Love Is Art kit is a DIY paint kit that supports you getting down with the get down all in the name of art. For $60, the intimate paint kit encourages lovers to paint their bodies with paint or to just throw the paint on the canvas and uh, well...er..."make a masterpiece". What's left after your wild time, is a custom piece of abstract art created by you and your partner that is a physical representation of the love you shared. When it comes to making your one-of-a-kind artwork, the messier the process the better, but when you're tired of being a bedroom Picasso, rest assured that the clean up won't be a mess. The kit comes with a painter's tarp, disposable slippers, non toxic body paint and a body scrubber to get the paint out of those unspeakable places.

I love this idea as a VDay gift because my beau and I are always looking for new and interesting things to do, since our time together is always limited. Making this piece of art is a unique way to not only spend time together, but to create something that we can look back on and remember how much fun we had making it.

Ava Puckett, 22, Long Distance Relationship

Well, I know what all of us girls really want for Valentines Day: a seat at this ultra chic and exclusive Beyoncé themed V day dinner at Brucie in NYC. Unfortunately, I live almost 3,000 miles away and it’s already sold out. Darn! But, if I were to think up some more great Valentines Day gift ideas I would pick the book Love Poems by Pablo Neruda ($11.95 at Anthropologie).

Jillian, 20, Single

While everyone loves a great gift, it’s the experiences that matter most. This Valentine’s Day, why not go on a road trip to a place where you both have never visited? This way you don’t have to hyperventilate while he/she opens their gift, and you’ll have stories to tell when you get back.

Beth, 29, In a relationship

Shoes are like jewelry for the feet. I've been eying these Ginny Gem Point shoes for a while. They are $95 on the Miss Selfridge site.

Mia Xuan, 21, Single

Look at that packaging!! YSL’s line of Rouge Volupte Shine lipsticks are known for being long-lasting and moisturizing even after hours of wear. This shade called ‘Nude In Private’ is a breathtaking, natural shade and works well in any situation. It applies flawlessly and has a gorgeous finish.

Available online or at Sephora, $45.00

Patricia Orr, 29, In a relationship

My boyfriend hogs the TV for months during football season. I don’t mind, but I think for V-day it’d be nice to get control of the remote all day long. If I want to watch The Notebook for the millionth time he can just pass me chocolates. All’s fair in love.

Have any more great gift ideas for Valentine’s Day? Come on, let’s help out everyone doing some last minute shopping for their significant others! Leave a comment below!

Love + Dating Mon, 10 Feb 2014 05:31:08 +0000
Dating | Do You Have Daddy Issues? http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/dating/item/766-dating-|-do-you-have-daddy-issues http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/dating/item/766-dating-|-do-you-have-daddy-issues Dating | Do You Have Daddy Issues?

Dating // January 9, 2014

Daddy issues. Do we even know what that means? Usually we hear it tossed around to describe a woman who we perceive to be “damaged” in some way. Or we use it to slut-shame her. (You know, where society jumps all over a woman because she is sexually liberated or behaves in a way that one considers to be “too much like a man…” God forbid she doesn’t play by society’s prescribed rules).

The truth is, the term “daddy issues” should not be taken lightly. Rooted in ideas of psychotherapy, the term "daddy issues" implies that a woman’s problems in her romantic relationships are at least in some way connected to a dysfunctional relationship (or lack thereof) with her father. But these relationships do not always have to scream dysfunction. Sometimes the things a woman learns or experiences in the relationship with her father (or other male figure in her life), can subtly affect her romantic relationships. You would be surprised at how even the smallest things about your upbringing can have a huge impact. So, that begs the question: How do I know if I have daddy issues?

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Sorry to break it to you Made Woman, but there is no cut and dry response here. We all have issues, circumstances and events that cause us pain and affect our behavior. Including you guys out there. (Hello!) The key to identifying daddy issues is to make it a goal to achieve some insight about yourself and your patterns in love. Think about the relationship you had with your father or other paternal figure when you were a little girl. What examples did this person set for you? How did he shape your idea of what a man is? How did he contribute to your idea of what a healthy relationship looks like? If you did not have such a person in your life, where did you get your ideas about love and men from?

After you explore the answers to some of these questions, identify maladaptive or non-productive patterns in your relationships: Are you drawn to men who do not value you as much as you would like to be valued? Are you lenient with disrespect and “second chances”? Make some connections and where you see the issues…work on correcting them. Write them down. Think about them. You would be surprised how many women keep dating the same type of man (that is inherently terrible for them) over and over again. And these women don’t know why they are doing it! Be aware of your deficits and weak points.

And what happens if someone snickers at you one day and accuses you of having daddy issues? Laugh it off. At the end of the day, all women are shaped by their father figures and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. You are figuring it out. And you shouldn’t let anyone make you ashamed of it.
Self-exploration and getting at the root of “daddy issues” will not be fun, but in the end you will be a self–assured woman, and less likely to be taken advantage of in an unhealthy relationship.

Dating Thu, 09 Jan 2014 19:22:32 +0000
Dating | Finding Love During Football Season http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/dating/item/694-dating-|-finding-love-during-football-season http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/dating/item/694-dating-|-finding-love-during-football-season Dating | Finding Love During Football Season

Dating // October 7, 2013

Whoever coined the quote, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” was wrong.  For many men, the way into his heart is through big hits, touchdowns and highlights.  Women may hate how obsessed guys are about football.  And they may hate that they have to work even harder during football season to pull guys away from the sports bar TV screen; but that’s the wrong approach. The savvy women that find love during football season are the ones who have figured out how to use guys’ love for football to their advantage.  

So here are a few strategies for turning happy hour into a love connection. Master them and you’ll have guys inviting you out every Monday night.
Know the Teams that are Playing

So, you’ve decided to go to hang out with the guys while they watch the game. That’s a great first step! But not knowing which teams are playing is a sure way to get ignored for the rest of the night. Show him that you’re a genuine girl by displaying a genuine interest in what’s going on in the football world. Check game day listings on ESPN, FOX Sports or any other sports outlet.
Know the Rules and Understand the Situations

While many guys don’t expect you to know the difference between defensive holding and pass interference, they will expect you to know that there are no “home runs” in football.  So re-read this article on understanding the basics of football before you embarrass yourself by cheering Adrian Peterson for pitching a slam dunk.

Wear His/Your Favorite Team’s Jersey

If you have a favorite team, a great way to make an impression on him would be to wear a football jersey during the big game. It shows where your allegiance lies, but it also shows off your fun sense of style.  Feel free to channel your inner fashion designer and create your own look. Tie or cut your shirt in the right places to make your look feminine, while still honoring the gridiron. You’ll get compliments that will make all of the other girls jealous.

Give High Fives

When your (or his) favorite team scores, join the celebration by giving the guys a couple of high fives.  It may seem trivial, but it shows that you’re a team player and that you share excitement in something he’s excited about. No need to do too much, but if he’s doing a touchdown celebration dance in the middle of the bar, give him a high five to show him that you’re right there with him.

Feed the Beast

You may feel a little out of your league by being in a loud bar full of guys.  But a good way to win over the crowd is by chipping in for a pitcher of beer or a basket of wings. This simple gesture shows that you’re selfless, generous, and down to earth.

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Know a Few Stats

You don’t have to know who had the most rushing yards in last year’s Super Bowl, but knowing that the team you’re watching is in first place in the division will earn you some cool points.  Knowing a few relevant stats shows that you’re good with numbers...and possibly money and credit…

And if you really want to wow the guys...

Talk Fantasy Football

For the advanced-level ladies who understand football enough to be a part of their office’s fantasy football league, letting the bar know that you’re, “10 points away from winning your matchup this week,” will show that you’re really smart and you know your stuff.  This is a surefire way to become the coolest girl in the room.

Be There From Kickoff to the Final Whistle

A guy wants nothing more than a girl that will support him and stick it out ‘til the end.  One way to show your commitment is to stay for the whole game. You may think hanging out at a loud restaurant for three hours is a big waste of time -- and you might be right. But coming late and leaving early communicates that you honestly didn’t want to be there.  Show him that you’re into the game (and into him) for the long haul.

Give Him a Hug after a Loss

In the event that his team comes out on the losing end of the game and he’s taking it hard, console him with a big hug.  A loss is a great opportunity to show him that you’re nurturing and can take care of his broken heart. That’s the type of woman he wants to bring home to mom.

In short, football may seem like a bunch of dumb guys running around bashing their heads together, but the game is very close to our hearts.  As a kid, every guy had dreams of being a great player.  Today, we might not have those same dreams anymore, but we’re still looking for our #1 fan.  With the tips mentioned earlier, show him that you want to be on his team.  If you do a good job, you might walk away with a win and a man.

Dating Mon, 07 Oct 2013 06:59:50 +0000
Destination Coupledom: Travel for Lovers http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/relationships/item/693-destination-coupledom-travel-for-lovers http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/relationships/item/693-destination-coupledom-travel-for-lovers Destination Coupledom: Travel for Lovers

January 30, 2012

In a relationship there are many milestones to cherish: the first kiss, meeting the parents, saying “I love you” … and of course that first vacation together. Here are some tips and destination suggestions to help you plan a fun holiday in Blissville.

For Travel Newbies: San Diego

For those of us who live in and around L.A., a trip to this beach city is a toned-down home away from home. You can stay on the beach or in the Gaslamp District; go shopping at Fashion Valley or go to a baseball or football game. From Coronado Island to Balboa Park, there’s more than enough sights to see, museums to tour, and cool eateries to try out. This day trip is ideal for couples who are sports fanatics, those who want to get away without emptying a savings account, or those who don’t want to do too much traveling.

Blame It On the Alcohol: Wine Country

Think Napa, Temecula, or maybe even Bordeaux. These locales are frequented by people who love the sensuality of the senses. Wine tasting is a skill and activity you two can indulge in together. Think about it: most other romantic getaways include cocktail hours and snazzy dinners, so why not learn something in the process? These wine regions are secluded and country-like which means you can stay at a bed and breakfast, and enjoy activities like horseback riding or golfing. Plus, when it comes to wine, pairing is everything, so this getaway ensures lots of romantic meals (think swanky restaurants and cozy picnics). Not to mention, you have a chance to score primo souvenirs…That’s right, more bottles of wine! Who knows, you two may become such connoisseurs you end up joining a wine club or taking classes back at home. Wine tasting will provide you with a new way to enjoy each other’s company at the table, become a more knowledgeable dinner party hosts, and be that cool couple who all your friends look to for recommendations on a good Merlot.

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Bathing Suits Only: Hawaii

My parents went to Hawaii on their honeymoon, and while it is a bit cliché, there’s a reason for it. Hawaii and its many islands are a romantic paradise right in our own backyard. If you are a history buff, you may want to travel to Oahu; if you love hiking you may want to journey to Kauai; if you love cruises and beaching it, you may want to consider a cruise around all of the islands. With romantic sunsets, breathtaking scenery, and mai tais galore, Hawaii is as relaxing as it gets.

The On the Go Couple: San Francisco

If you’re a Made (City) Woman like me, gazing at a beautiful skyline is the epitome of a fabulous vacation. A cityscape is an especially appealing vacation if your home is in suburbia or in the country.  San Fran would also be a good stepping stone getaway for those who want to get out of town, but aren’t ready to ditch civilization yet. San Francisco is full of history, shopping, and many landmarks. It’s also extremely populated, and that means lots of socializing.  If you’re a pair of social butterflies, this city could suit you perfectly. If you’re an active couple, maybe a run across the Golden Gate Bridge is in store. Do you both love to shop? Then treat yourself to the stores at Union Square. Next, take in tourist attractions with a visit to Coit Tower, Fisherman’s Wharf, or Alcatraz. You can walk around the city for exercise, take BART, or drive down Lombard Street (if you dare). Get in touch with 60’s San Fran at Haight-Ashbury, or simply enjoy the night life of this contemporary city that has so much to offer. From Little Italy to Ghirardelli Square, there’s something for everyone.

Lovers Abroad: Italy

This destination has always been a bit of a fantasy getaway for me. I just don’t think you can go wrong with a trip to Europe, and to one of its most romantic countries no less. Take in food, art, wine, and culture. You can backpack across the country and stay in hostels if you both are adventurous (read: low on funds). Or you can stay at fancy hotels and shop in exclusive boutiques, the choice is yours. Askmen.com rated the top 10 couple’s destinations, and Italy was on the list twice (Tuscany and Venice). This proves men want to go to Italy too!

No matter the destination, a good relationship is made better by agreeing on and planning a trip. The best advice I could give you is that you make sure the timing is right for a vacation together. Believe me, I’ve gone away on trips with boyfriends who I had problems with, and it never turned out well. Take your carry-on with you, not your emotional baggage. Time alone can give you a chance to get to know each other better, learn from one another, and allow you to make memories and decisions together. Strengthen your relationship and see the world? Sign me up!  

Relationships Mon, 07 Oct 2013 04:22:22 +0000
Love | Should You Work With Your Significant Other? http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/item/675-love-|-should-you-work-with-your-significant-other? http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/item/675-love-|-should-you-work-with-your-significant-other? Love | Should You Work With Your Significant Other?

Love // September 9, 2013

While relationships at work can be complicated, sometimes they just happen. Maybe you met your latest squeeze at the office, or recently started a business with your significant other. Perhaps your current company has THE perfect job opening for him. Whatever the scenario, at some point, you may face the challenge of working with your man.

But is it a good idea? Some couples make a great professional team. My parents have been in business together for more than 30 years, and it’s been successful since day one. My husband and I, however, choose not to work together even though we are in a similar field.  We are completely supportive of each other’s careers, but we like to have our professional space and keep our life together outside the office.

Before you embark on that big journey of working alongside the man you also sleep next to, ask yourself (and him) a few questions.

Are you competitive with one another?
Depending on the couple, this can be bad or good. Some couples may find that competition with each other fuels them to do better, while others will feel that competition – especially from a significant other – is mean-spirited, and may lead to conflicts in the relationship. If one or both of you is at all threatened by the other’s presence in the boardroom, you’re better off not working together.

Can you accept professional criticism from each other? Whether it’s positive feedback or trying-to-be-helpful critiques, if you work closely with someone you’re involved with, you face the fact that they may give professional feedback from time-to-time. Your work self may be different from your after-work self. Do you want to hear a “good job!” from him, or will it feel forced? Will he want to hear a critique coming from you, or will it come across the wrong way? This stuff matters, so talk it out and be honest about whether you want (or can handle) that level of professional closeness.  

Will you be able to put aside personal issues at work?
The office is not a time for you two to solve issues from home or plan your weekend schedule. It’s also not a time to hold a grudge from this morning’s fight or make lovey-dovey faces at each other if you had a romantic evening the night before. If you can’t keep it professional when you’re side-by-side, becoming co-workers may not be for you.

Do you need your own space to succeed professionally?
This is your career. It is the one thing that is solely yours, and sometimes a woman just wants to keep it that way. If you prefer to remain independent and have a career to call your own, more power to you. Some couples don’t see it that way. They thrive off of each other’s mutual success in the same environment. If you can be that couple, then seize the opportunity. Additionally, having a significant other see all your ups, downs, triumphs and mistakes at work is daunting. It may be a professional environment, but your work is likely personal to you because it’s such a big part of who you are. You have to decide if you want to reveal that much of your life to him, and he to you.

Bottom line? Some couples can reach “power couple” status within the walls of the same office, while others need to maintain a separate professional identity to keep the relationship thriving. There is no right or wrong way to do it, but make sure to have a detailed discussion about whether or not it’s a good idea should the occasion present itself.

Love + Dating Mon, 09 Sep 2013 05:27:39 +0000
Love + Dating | Making Time for Your Boo http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/relationships/item/665-making-time-for-your-boo-when-you-are-both-busy http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/relationships/item/665-making-time-for-your-boo-when-you-are-both-busy Love + Dating | Making Time for Your Boo

Love + Dating // August 26, 2013

I spend most of my days volunteering in the greater Atlanta community and running a local non-profit program, while my fiancé is a busy graduate student earnestly working toward his PhD. My days as filled with youth outreach, giving presentations, Bible Study, and sometimes girl’s night. Add family obligations and daily chores into the mix and planning date night goes from candlelit dinners to “do you want to meet me at the grocery store?” Learning to set realistic expectations, plan ahead, be flexible and enjoy the simple moments of daily life can help you make the most of your time with your beloved.

  • Prioritize: Work together with your significant other to determine priorities for both of you. You might have to reschedule yoga class, or skip happy hour with your office mates to make time for each other. Similarly, there might be times when you have to forgo a lazy afternoon of cuddling in front of the TV in order to meet work deadlines. The point is that you work together on a weekly basis to schedule time with each other while respecting the practical demands of daily life.
  • Communicate:  Communication is the best way to make the most of your time with your boo, especially if you both have busy schedules. Discuss your schedules and call ahead if you have to cancel plans. Also, make time to focus on one another and talk about the day’s events, even if it’s just 10-15 minutes before bed each evening.  These heart-to-hearts are even better in person, so find time to talk face-to-face whenever possible.
  • Plan Date Nights:  Since face time is so important to healthy communication, planning a regular date night is a great way to ensure that you spend some quality one on one time with your significant other. Date night does not have to involve the expense of dinner and a movie. With help from resources like The Nest and a little imagination you can also plan some great dates at home and on a budget. 
  • Stay Present: Ambitious people can get lost in the workflow and forget to come up for air. Yes, things may be hectic but don’t check out on your relationship completely. It takes two to make it work. If you’ve been buried at work for long stretches, take a night off to get some quality time with your partner. You probably need the rest anyway.

Whether you are dating, engaged or happily married, busy couples have to work to keep their romantic relationships healthy. Finding time to be with one another is hard  and it doesn’t get any easier as you progress. The extra effort will go a long way towards making sure your relationship is just as successful as your career.

Relationships Wed, 21 Aug 2013 15:36:22 +0000
Relationships | The 5 Love Languages http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/item/618-love-languages http://madewomanmag.com/love-dating/item/618-love-languages Relationships | The 5 Love Languages

Dating // July 1, 2013

We’ve all heard the saying, “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.".  Love, sex and romance are usually interpreted differently between the sexes and it affects every part of our relationships. Maybe you are good to your partner, but don’t feel appreciated. Maybe when you argue with your partner they always say, “I don’t feel like you really love me.” The problem is, we express love to our partner the way WE want to receive it, not the way they want it. One way to get on the same page is to start speaking our partner’s love language and showing them love the way they want to receive it, and encouraging them to do the same!

I have been with my man for 15 plus years now. Our relationship is not only surviving, but THRIVING, because we search for ways to communicate our feelings in ways that the other appreciates.  Recently, we read a great book, The Five Love Languages,” by Gary Chapman. As the title suggests, the book explains the five primary ways people communicate love to each other. It is a great tool to use in your relationship to identify the best ways to convey your emotions to your partner.  Here’s a breakdown of the Love Languages, see which one is yours and ask your partner which fits them:


Love Language #1: Words of Affirmation

Verbal compliments, encouraging words, kind words and humble words. Only positive words, no negatives.

Love Language #2: Quality Time

Time spent together giving undivided attention. This includes quality conversation and quality activities.

Love Language #3: Receiving Gifts

It is not about the cost of the gift; it is the intention behind the gift. Gifts can be purchased, made, or can be as simple as the gift of physical presence when your partner needs you.

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Love Language #4: Acts of Service

Doing something you know your partner wants you to do for them. This can include any daily task that requires thought, planning, time and energy.

Love Language #5: Physical Touch

This is any form of physical affection, including holding hands, massaging, kissing, hugging and sex.

My love language is “Quality Time” and my honey’s is “Receiving Gifts.” Who knew? Since gifts are not important to me, I never thought they were to him. Now, I make sure once a week to give him a small token of my love to fill him up!

Make use of this cheat sheet and have some fun figuring out which love language you both are. Or, if you are having trouble figuring out which category either of you falls into, take the test here and read the book by Gary Chapman. Then take your relationship to an even better place by giving and receiving love the way you both appreciate it!

Love + Dating Sat, 29 Jun 2013 01:11:00 +0000