Thursday, February 27, 2014

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VALIDATION

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Posted: 27 Feb 2014 05:25 AM PST
Validate Your Way To Gay Relationship BlissOver the years, I’ve had slews of couples come through my office with a variety of presenting issues that range anywhere from communication breakdowns, to sexual dysfunctions, to infidelities, to diminished passion, etc. These only name but a few, but the common denominator that appears pervasive throughout most relationship difficulties is a climate of tension, resentment, and mistrust that results when the partners don’t feel acknowledged or honored by each other. This can erode the foundation that the relationship is built upon and jeopardizes the love, closeness, and attachment the couple had developed. Mayday! Mayday! Relationship rescue is now needed!

The interpersonal skill of validation is one technique that can help enrich any relationship and is a great tool for solidifying emotional bonds and fostering more intimacy between loving partners. This article will explore the concept of validation and offer suggestions for incorporating more of it with your partner to promote more heightened “relationship bliss.”

What Is Validation?  In the initial stages of dating, it’s not too difficult to validate each other. This “honeymoon phase” of relationship development is depicted by high chemistry, thinking about each other all the time and wanting to devote energy to being with one another. You feel excited and boosted by the other’s attraction for you and attention. It requires very little effort and is usually described as a “magical” feeling. Over time, however, this “spark” tends to diminish and is a normal sign of the maturing of the relationship, not necessarily a signal that something is wrong.

Long-term relationships require lots of validation for sustenance and nourishment. Validation is letting your partner know how much you appreciate him. It’s being attentive to his needs and acknowledging him as someone of value to you, regardless of whether you agree or disagree about areas of contention. It’s making him feel important, showing him how much meaning he brings to your life. Validation is the ultimate expression of love for your partner. The key is to be genuine, consistent, and deliver it in the style to which you know your partner likes to be attended.

Validate Your Man!
The greatest way to validate your lover is to use your knowledge and wisdom of his needs, personality, tastes, and preferences and communicate it verbally or through action in ways that will have the most and meaning and impact for him.

In his groundbreaking book, “The Five Love Languages (2004)”, Dr. Gary Chapman, Ed.D exposes how we all express love in different ways; what is meaningful and validating to you may be indifferent to your boyfriend. The key to relationship success, according to Chapman, is to understand each other’s unique needs and learn the correct love language to express so each partner is fulfilled.

 Chapman identifies the five specific love languages as:
1. Words of Affirmation (verbal compliments & appreciations, kind words, encouragement)
2. Quality Time (togetherness, conversation, activities)
3. Receiving Gifts (flowers, surprise gifts)
4. Acts of Service (doing things for your partner that he likes/wants)
5. Physical Touch (affection, holding hands, back rubs, kissing, sex)
By speaking your partner’s primary love language, you are validating him in a way that matters most to him and increases the chances he’ll reciprocate back to meet your needs in ways you prefer.

Validate Yourself!
An important point needs to be made in that it’s critical you learn how to validate yourself too! While giving and receiving validation with your partner is a positive relationship skill to practice, it’s equally vital to empower yourself. You don’t want to create a dependency on your partner to meet all your needs; you are responsible for your own happiness and should avoid placing expectations on your relationship to fulfill your life. Learn how to boost your self-esteem and soothe yourself when life or your relationship gets tenuous. This will help you cope better with disappointments and avoid placing pressure on your partner for something you must take ownership for. As partners, teach each other on how you best like to be treated, but also be proactive in taking charge of your own life and making things happen for your success.

Action Challenges

1. As an exercise, both you and your partner can make separate lists detailing what you imagine your lover doing that would be pleasing to you. Then at a later time, exchange your lists, talk about them, and begin performing the items on the lists. This can be an easy reference for accomplishing tasks that you each know would be validating for the other.

2. Purchase the book “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. While written primarily for a heterosexual audience, the material definitely pertains to gay couples as well and I highly recommend it as a valuable 
resource. What is your primary love language? What is your partner’s? How can you work together as a team to meet each other’s needs in ways that you each appreciate the most in your own unique styles of preference? The book also contains personal assessment tools and exercises to help you integrate the content into your relationship.

Conclusion
While validation won’t solve all your relationship woes, it certainly will go a long way toward creating a climate of support, encouragement, and attentiveness that can inspire more intimacy, trust, and commitment. Make a conscious effort to learn more about your partner’s needs and your own and tailor approaches that will create the most impact for both of you.

With practice, validation will become second nature and “relationship bliss” can be yours for the taking!
Reference: Chapman, Gary (2004). The Five Love Languages: How To Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. Chicago: Northfield Publishing.

© Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, The Gay Love Coach
The suggestions and feedback offered in this column are but one perspective of multiple approaches to dealing with problems or challenges. Information provided in articles and advice columns should not be used as a substitute for coaching or therapy when these services are needed. None of this information should be your only source when making important life decisions. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a particular problem, nor should it take the place of a consultation with a trained professional. It is your responsibility to consult a professional prior to making any life decisions.
Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, contributing author to GAYTWOGETHER, is one of the leading love coaches for the gay community. As a licensed dating and relationship coach, Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, DHS, MSW has over 18 years experience as a psychotherapist and life coach specializing in helping GLBT individuals and couples develop and maintain successful and fulfilling intimate relationships. He holds a doctorate degree in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and a master’s degree in clinical social work from Western Michigan University. He also runs a successful private therapy practice, Personal Victory Counseling, Inc. http://thegaylovecoach.com


Thanks BRIAN and MICHAEL@gaytwogether.com

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

ARIZONA. . . . .MUST BE THE DUST STORMS. . . ..CLOGS THE BRAIN. . . .

The Borowitz Report

FEBRUARY 25, 2014

ARIZONA CONFRONTING AWKWARD REALIZATION THAT GAY PEOPLE HAVE MONEY, BUY STUFF

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PHOENIX (The Borowitz Report)—The state of Arizona found itself in the middle of a conundrum today as it awoke to the awkward realization that gay people have money and buy stuff.
Just days after the Arizona legislature passed a law that would enable businesses to discriminate against gays, it emerged that gays spend billions of dollars in Arizona each year—an unexpected development that seemed to take many legislators by surprise.
Carol Foyler, a Tea Party Republican who supported the anti-gay law, said that the startling bombshell that gays play a role in the state’s economy put her and her fellow lawmakers “in a tight spot.”
“Quite frankly, we were blindsided by this,” she said. “We had no idea that gays had money and bought things just like regular people do.”
Acknowledging that her vote for the anti-gay law might have been calamitous for the state’s economy, Ms. Foyler placed the blame for it squarely on the shoulders of one group: the gays themselves.
“How was I supposed to know what gay people do with their money, etc., when I don’t personally know any gay people?” she asked. “I’m sorry, but it was up to the gays to tell us.”
Above: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Photograph by Bebeto Matthews/AP.

re: "So much to learn. . ."

GP sent me this reply.  I post it here for all to profit.    Thanks. . .. justin


gp has left a new comment on your post "NBCNEWS ~ "Kick 'em in the ass. . . kick 'em in t...": 

Since no-one bothered to answer Gary's question, "So much to learn, JustinO? And when do you think it will end?" I took it upon myself. It ends when you decide that you know everything of importance and don't want to pollute your "beautiful mind"
 http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/images/blpic-barbarabushbeautiful.htm with unnecessary stuff... 


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Hugs

Sunday, February 23, 2014

NBCNEWS ~ "Kick 'em in the ass. . . kick 'em in the other ass. .. " vooopsss, wrong chant/ / /ho ho ho

RICHARD sent this along. . . .

Pizzeria Reserves Right to Ban Lawmakers After Anti-Gay Bill

An Arizona pizzeria that threatened to ban lawmakers who passed a bill allowing shopkeepers to refuse service to gays on religious grounds says customer approval has been "overwhelming."
"One lady called and said she would never eat here again, but that’s been dwarfed by the 500 or so calls in the other direction," said Evan Stevens, manager of Rocco's Little Chicago Pizzeria in Tucson.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican, hasn't said yet whether she will sign the bill, which was passed by the Legislature late Thursday. Supporters of the proposed law say it expands religious freedom; opponents say it legalizes discrimination.
Rocco DiGrazia, the pizzeria owner, waded into the debate with a tweet that said he reserved the "right to eject any State Senators we see fit to kick out."

He followed up with a sign in the window that he said has drawn an almost entirely positive response.

Stevens said the boss decided to take a stand because he has so many gay employers and customers. He said he had not heard of any other business following suit.














Friday, February 21, 2014

Frightfull

Exercise on The Dunes

Risk Muscle. . . part Two

GAYTWOGETHER-070708-tvt

We don’t have to be victimized by the system!
 In actuality, gay men and lesbians can take pride in the fact that we are quite resilient in the face of having to deal with so much stress to achieve the self-acceptance that can be more easily afforded heterosexuals just because their sexual orientation matches the expected mainstream norm. We rock! And that requires self-esteem.

8 Quick Tips for Greater Risk-Taking Efforts

If you find that you struggle with shyness, insecurity, anxiety, or inhibition about going after the things you want in your life, the following suggestions might help you in building more confidence and motivating you toward taking more initiative and being more proactive over making your desires come to fruition. 

1. Taking risks builds self-esteem. The only way out of fear is through it. The more you avoid or run from fear, the stronger it actually gets and will continue to immobilize you until you face it and push through it. 
2 . Consider doing a life review and write about all the consequences you’ve had to suffer as a result of your difficulties with self-esteem or lack of follow-through in moving toward your goals. What losses have you had to endure? Perhaps also look at the kinds of benefits and secondary gains you may receive from failing to take risks to help you identify some of your emotional blocks or barriers you put up that sabotage your goals. 

3.  Taking risks requires that we move out of our comfort zone.
 You have the power of choice in what risks you decide to take. Whenever you experience uncomfortable feelings as you’re stretching out of your comfort zone, realize that those are “growth spurts/growing pains”. Try to avoid succumbing to the panic and learn from these feelings as they are telling you something. What skills do you need to feel more confident pushing forward? Do you need more information? Fill in the gaps and keep facing the anxiety head-on. You’ll find that your comfort zone will begin to enlarge over time, increasing your sense of confidence and mastery. But risk-taking is very individual; everyone must determine for himself what risks he’s willing to take and when. 

4. 
Take an inventory of all the risks you’ve taken in your life that had positive outcomes; use these as evidence to prove that you are capable of surviving a risk.  5. Examine your anxiety. Is it a real or imagined threat? What’s the worst possible thing that could happen and if it did happen, would it really be all that bad? 
6. Build assertiveness. Know who you are and what you stand for by being aware of your values and act upon them. Realize the skills you need that will help you overcome fear. In the case of asking a guy out, determine your strengths and weaknesses as they pertain to your social skills and practice role-playing with a friend, join a Toastmaster’s Club to practice public speaking, practice relaxation/visualization/rehearsal techniques etc.
 
7.Act as if you were confident. The more times you consistently behave in your desired role, your thoughts and feelings will eventually catch up with the more successes you have. 
8. Watch your self-talk. Negative thinking can kill your efforts.
 Become conscious of the things you’re telling yourself and develop positive counter-statements to dispute them. Sounds corny, but develop affirmations to help keep you motivated. Anytime you get a compliment o achieve something positive, write it down on a slip of paper and stick it in a jar. During times of low self-esteem or high anxiety, read the affirmation as a way to calm yourself and keep motivated to maintain your efforts.

Conclusion
You have the power to reach your potential. In what ways do you hold yourself back in your dating life or relationship? What are some small steps you can take this week to begin overcoming those barriers that keep you from having what you want? What will inspire you?

Consider making a collage that creatively represents your ideal life and post it in a place that you’ll see on a daily basis to help keep you centered and accountable for what you’re trying to do.  Begin developing structured goals and tasks to begin the process of making those dreams a reality. Go approach that hottie across the room and introduce yourself.

Tell your partner how much he means to you. With every successive experience where you confront vulnerability and fear head-on, your risk-taker muscles will be throbbing with such strength and resilience that there will be nothing that can stand in the way of you and your goals. You totally can do it!

Risk: You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore
--Author Unknown


Thanks  MICHAEL@gaytwogether.com

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Think about it . . . .

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Risk Taker Muscle . . . . .part One

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Posted: 18 Feb 2014 05:25 AM PST
GAYTWOGETHER-070708-tvtThere is probably no greater topic of importance to gay dating and relationship success than self-esteem. How you feel about yourself definitely translates itself in everything that you think, feel, and do.

Having confidence and a belief that you have value and worth gives you that extra boost you need to take risks that will improve your life. It gives you that little extra sexy appeal and makes you feel positive and attractive to yourself and others. It also helps you in making sound and responsible decisions that will ensure you’re living with 

integrity. Additionally, when you feel good about yourself, you’re more likely to set boundaries with others to avoid being taken advantage of and helps you feel more able to be assertive and to go after what you need and what.
Much of the quality of our life comes from the choices we make. To grow as a person, we must be able to step outside our comfort zone to break free from stagnation and reach for progressively higher goals that lead toward self-actualization. The ability to take risks and “go for it” is correlated with a solid sense of self-esteem. In dating and relationships, being able to take risks is critical to being able to reach the visions you’ve set for yourself as it pertains to your love-life. 
Approaching that cute guy across the bar entails risk. Telling your boyfriend that you love him is another form of risk. Without having the confidence and motivation to conquer our anxieties and inhibitions about being vulnerable, we will never be able to realize and experience our romantic and relationship potentials to the fullest.

What will follow in this 2 part article is a tips list of things you can do to build your self-esteem and risk-taking muscles. The ideas may sound a little text-book and some suggestions may seem a little far-fetched, but I encourage you to pick and choose the points that make sense for you and apply those most relevant for your current life situation.

Self-esteem is such a broad-based concept and once fixed, it can be difficult to challenge. Achieving positive self-esteem and confidence can’t be accomplished from reading a tips sheet; it requires consistent practice and diligence in challenging oneself to think, feel, and behave in ways that are in greater alignment with the type of person you want to be.
If you find that you struggle with low self-esteem or anxiety about making things happen in your life, it’s important to be persistent in your efforts to overcome those things that bring you down and to enlist the services of a coach or therapist who can work with you to personalize your own program for self-esteem enhancement.
Self-Esteem and Growing Up Gay
We are all raised in a heterosexist society where heterosexuality is the norm. As gay men, we grew up being socialized into thinking that any sexual orientation other than “straight” was taboo and wrong. We internalized the negative messages that we were taught that our natural inclinations toward same-sex intimacy were sinful, sick, and perverted. 
This is the basis for internalized homophobia when we begin to experience ourselves as defective and deviant; a profound sense of shame is born and we begin to loathe ourselves and subject ourselves to criticism and judgment. We struggled between our inborn strivings for male affection and bonding and the fear of rejection and harassment from others should our “secret” be discovered. Hence, we were forced into hiding (“the closet”).

We gay men were vulnerable and susceptible to self-esteem deficiencies from the get-go because of our cultural backdrop. It was a set-up for emotional torture and turmoil from the beginning, something we didn’t have control over and had to learn to face and overcome as we grew into adulthood. Discrimination and the threat of potential violence for discovery of our sexual orientation are realities and these fears keep us inhibited and stifled, thwarting our development if we let it. In addition to the ordinary developmental tasks and challenges that all members of our society must tackle as we grow through the life cycle, we gay men must also cope with integrating a sexual identity that is not accepted by the society at large and learning how to function with a sexual minority status. Not easy! 

It’s no wonder that we might find it difficult to be uninhibited and take risks that could improve our lives! Many of us lacked affirmation and encouragement and there definitely was a lack of role models available to emulate. Without any training and legitimacy to support same-sex relating, we’ve had to feel our way through the dating jungle and make it up as we’ve gone along. And without any framework to refer to, much anxiety and insecurity can settle in when it comes to knowing how to pursue and function in a gay relationship. Taking risks, then, can feel extremely overwhelming and immobilizing. 
[ PART TWO TOMORROW ]


© Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, The Gay Love Coach
The suggestions and feedback offered in this column are but one perspective of multiple approaches to dealing with problems or challenges. Information provided in articles and advice columns should not be used as a substitute for coaching or therapy when these services are needed. None of this information should be your only source when making important life decisions. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a particular problem, nor should it take the place of a consultation with a trained professional. It is your responsibility to consult a professional prior to making any life decisions.
Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, contributing author to GAYTWOGETHER, is one of the leading love coaches for the gay community. As a licensed dating and relationship coach, Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, DHS, MSW has over 18 years experience as a psychotherapist and life coach specializing in helping GLBT individuals and couples develop and maintain successful and fulfilling intimate relationships. He holds a doctorate degree in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and a master’s degree in clinical social work from Western Michigan University. He also runs a successful private therapy practice, Personal Victory Counseling, Inc. http://thegaylovecoach.com

THANKS to BRIAN and to MICHAEL@gaytwogether.com

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Catholics Are Selective Sinners and Just Fine With That

The Atlantic Wire 
Catholics Are Selective Sinners and Just Fine With That
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Catholics Are Selective Sinners and Just Fine With That
Catholics pick and choose which of their church's tenets to follow, according to surveys in Germany and Switzerland. Though respondents considered their religion to be important to them, they also thought some of its tenets -- particularly regarding sex before marriage, birth control, homosexuality and divorce -- were "unrealistic" and "virtually never accepted."
The survey was commissioned by Pope Francis and sent to bishops worldwide with the request to share it with as many parishes as possible to get the most accurate sense of how churchgoers feel. While some bishops have chosen not to make results public -- Philadelphia's archdiocese, for example, will not,according to the AP -- Germany and Switzerland readily posted theirs today.
According to the German survey, between 90 and 100 percent of couples live together before marriage, and about a third of marriages end in divorce. While marriage for same sex couples was "largely rejected," civil unions was seen as a "commandment of justice." As for birth control, "prohibition of [artificial means] is rejected by the great majority of Catholics as incomprehensible, and is not adhered to in practice." It is also not seen as sinful.
The Swiss survey results were similar: 90 percent thought marriages between divorced people should be blessed; 75 percent were in favor of pre-marital co-habitation, 70 percent preferred artificial birth control and 60 percent said the church should recognize and bless same sex marriages.
Though the results show that Catholics disagree with some of the church's teachings and live their lives according to what they think is best, it doesn't mean the Pope -- who has said the church focuses too much on some of these issues -- will turn around and change the rules to be more in step with his congregants. The survey will be used to inform an October synod about "the pastoral challenges for the family in the context of evangelization." And based on the survey, it won't matter what the Pope says -- his congregants will make their own interpretations anyway.

Church of England rules out blessings for gay marriages

Reuters 
Members of the London Gay Men's Choir perform in front of the Houses of Parliament in central London
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Members of the London Gay Men's Choir perform in front of the Houses of Parliament in central London …
LONDON (Reuters) - Church of England priests will not be allowed to bless gay and lesbian weddings, or marry someone of the same sex themselves, according to new guidelines issued by the church, which is struggling to heal divides over homosexuality.
Same-sex marriage becomes legal in England next month, posing a dilemma for the Church of England, which is the mother church of the world's 80 million Anglicans and maintains that marriage is between a man and a woman.
England and Wales legalized secular same-sex civil partnerships in 2005. A church working group suggested last year that clergy allow gay and lesbian couples to mark and celebrate marriages held under the new legislation, as well as civil partnerships, in a religious service.
But following meetings last week, the church's bishops released guidelines at the weekend that ruled out any kind of blessing for gay marriages. Instead, they said, clergy could offer an informal prayer at their discretion and at the request of the couple.
"Services of blessing should not be provided. Clergy should respond pastorally and sensitively in other ways," said the guidance from the House of Bishops.
The Anglican Communion, which links Anglicans across and beyond the English-speaking world, has been split for years over gay rights and Biblical authority, especially since its U.S. branch - the Episcopal Church - ordained a gay bishop in 2003.
African traditionalists are strongly opposed to growing acceptance of homosexuality in the Anglican Communion and to a Church of England proposal for "facilitated conversations" on homosexuality.
The House of Bishops - one of three parts of the church's General Synod - also said people in a same-sex marriage should not be ordained as bishops, priests and deacons, nor should those in the ministry enter gay marriage.
"The House is not willing for those who are in a same-sex marriage to be ordained to any of the three orders of ministry," the bishops said. "In addition, it considers that it would not be appropriate conduct for someone in holy orders to enter into a same-sex marriage."
The legislation already forbids the Church of England and its sister Church in Wales from conducting same-sex marriages, although other religious groups can opt in if they want.
The Church of England had announced that it would address the issue of sexuality, saying it was aware it needed to reflect rapid changes in society and to address falling attendance rates and especially a failure to attract young people to the church.
The British parliament passed laws last year to allow gay marriages from 2014 in England and Wales. Scotland followed suit this month, becoming the 17th country to allow same-sex marriages.
Copies of the guidelines were sent to bishops and archbishops in other Anglican churches around the world, accompanied by a letter from the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Archbishop of York John Sentamu.
They acknowledged the divisions in the church on homosexuality but said same-sex marriage was a "new reality" with implications for the Church of England that had to be discussed and addressed.
(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith; editing by David Stamp)
864 Comments
Note. . . .I looked at a few of the comments. . . .there were a plethora of comments from the self-righteous religious bigots and the "no nothing party" who have to spew there ignorance around. . . Regularly I resolve NOT to read any such comments. . . but. . mea culpa, regularly I slip back and read the trash and am no better for it. . . ;-)
. . . . .. justin o'shea