I honor the place in you
in which the entire universe dwells.
I honor the place in you
which is of love, of truth, of light, and of peace.
I honor the place in you where,
if you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me,
there is only one of us.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Guilty Pleasures #4: All things Jane Austen

English novelist Jane Austen may have lived in a bygone era, but the love lessons she wrote into her books are timeless. What dating rules would her character Emma Woodhouse follow today? How about Anne Elliott? In her book Jane Austen's Guide to Dating, author Lauren Henderson breaks down the do's and don'ts ‑- and offers up some tips on recognizing if you're with the right guy.

Friends Don't Always Give the Best Advice

  • Listen to your own inner voice. If a man looks great on paper, but there's simply something about him that doesn't work for you, don't force yourself against your instincts into dating him. It will never work out.

  • Learn to trust yourself. If a man seems too good to be true, he probably is. Don't be so swayed by compliments or courtship that you deliberately blind yourself to faults of his that may mean the relationship has no future.

  • Keep yourself grounded. What really happens when someone sweeps you off your feet? You lose your balance and he's still standing up. Is that what you want to happen at the start of a relationship? 

  • DON'T
  • Be overpersuaded by your friends. You're the one who has to date him, not them. Of course, your friends will be right if they try to put you off an addict, cheater or axe murderer. But don't be pushed into a relationship you don't feel is right for you just because your friends are keen on the person ‑- and don't break up with someone you like and who treats you well because he doesn't immediately jell with your friends.

  • Be self-destructive. Don't be so desperate for a relationship that you go against the healthy self-protective instincts that we all possess. Learn to listen to and be guided by them.

  • Be fooled by flattery. Be wary of someone who tries to overwhelm you with compliments. How did he get to be so good at that? By doing the same with a lot of other people. You'll end up just another mark on his well notched bedpost. 

  • Spotting a Man Who's Not Looking for Long-Term Love

  • He will keep you off balance by being unreliable ‑- not calling when he says he will, canceling dates without much notice.

  • He won't introduce you to his friends ‑- he doesn't want you to feel the security of being part of his life.

  • He will talk about things you can do together in the future that, however, somehow never materialize ‑- if you bring them up, he will have an excuse as to why they're not possible right now.

  • He will try to rush you into bed with him before you're ready ‑- he may ask to come into your apartment every chance he gets, using an excuse like wanting a cup of coffee or to use your bathroom, hoping that he can seduce you once he gets you alone.

  • He will try to make you feel that you have a special bond with him very quickly, when realistically you know that you haven't dated him long enough for one to have formed.

  • Pick a Guy Who's a Good Influence on You
  • Keep your own values.

  •  If someone doesn't have the same fundamental value system as you ‑- and, worse, if they try to sway you from what you know to be right ‑- you are not in a good relationship.

  • Choose someone who brings out the best in you.

  •  Your boyfriend should help you to strengthen your positive qualities and suppress the negative ones.

  • Support him as much as he supports you.

  •  It's a two-way street. If you're both helping each other to reach your goals in life and be nicer, happier people, you have a much greater chance of maintaining a successful, strong relationship.

  • Try to change your boyfriend in major ways.

  •  Either decide you can put up with his annoying quirks, or leave him. If you start trying to change him, you will turn into a nag, and you will end up hating yourself.

  • Be influenced by his bad behavior.

  •  Don't get sucked into doing things that you feel aren't good for you. Don't stay around someone who wants to drag you down.

  • Put all the blame on him.

  •  You chose him, after all. If he's not good for you, why did you pick him in the first place? Instead of blaming him, spend your time more usefully by figuring out why you made that mistake so you won't repeat it in the future.
    Does He Bring Out the Worst in You? How to Tell
  • You're stuck in a rut of criticizing each other, without the situation ever improving.

  • You feel irritable most of the time you spend with him, without being able to put your finger on exactly why.

  • You change your outfit or your hair five times before going out on a date with him, never sure whether you've picked the image of yourself that will please him.

  • You disagree with a lot of his core values

  • , but you tell yourself that it doesn't matter, because they have nothing to do with your relationship.

  • You find yourself doing things when out with him that you would never normally do ‑- things you don't mention to your friends because you know they would disapprove.

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