Daily Dish

Smart Woman Knowing Look

Ask. More. Questions.

Relationship epiphany: Ask more questions. If anything is wrong in your relationship with hubby or the kids or the best friend, or you even sense there may be something awry - ask questions. Do. It. Now. None of us can read minds - not our children's, not our spouses, not our boyfriends' or girlfriends' much less the boss or the cranky neighbor. However, I exempt you from the aforementioned list if you are Carnac, or steal your loved one's personal diary. I would be amused by the former and do not recommend the latter. Here's the gist … [Read More...]


Mature Beauty Thinking

If You’re Not Part of the Solution…

It’s an expression with far-reaching applicability. How often we forget.

f Annoyed Middle-Aged Woman

Authority Problems? Nah. But Don’t Tell Me What to Do!

Is it odd to rebel… or only to rebel late?

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Couple Not Speaking

“When I’m Done, I’m Done” (Or Not)

The relationship “do-over” – How does that happen after a break-up?

Man with big smile

Looks Good On Paper (Relationships)

Choosing dates and mates by facts and stats.

Woman With Much on Her Mind

Relationship Problems or Problem Relationship?

Some relationship problems are negotiable or acceptable. Others are out of your hands.

f Never Stop Trying

Knowing When to Quit

Understanding the difference between quitting and stopping.

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Most Recent…

f Woman Thinking on Couch

Love Quiz

It was irresistible. One of those love quizzes - "score the strength of your marriage or relationship" - you know the sort. Testing romance, compatibility, communication. So I took a few minutes and went through the questions. Twice. First I answered from the perspective of my current relationship, now three years old. As for the result: "Great relationship!" The score landed me in the top tier, explaining … [Read More...]

f Who Am I

I Am Not a Brand. Are You?

No longer top of mind. No longer on the mind. Disappearing from the consciousness of your circles - altogether. Does the very thought conjure images of a somewhat dated expression - dying in obscurity? Are millions of us afraid of dying, or just dying in obscurity? Might the latter fear be tied to our pop culture tendency to view ourselves as "brands" rather than people with something to say? I enjoy … [Read More...]

Man Looking Suspiciously at Co-Worker

Knowledge Hiding

I was unfamiliar with the term "knowledge hiding," but very well acquainted with the phenomenon itself: intentionally withholding information from co-workers. Naturally, I recognize the same phenomenon in personal relationships, and the degrees to which it can damage both trust and rapport. Considering this practice in an organizational context, and how it erodes … [Read More...]

Sad Blonde Woman Thinking

Psychological Manipulation: Withholding

Withholding is a very specific sort of psychological manipulation, and a fact of life for some of us. We may indulge in it ourselves, or we may be on the receiving end. This occurs most frequently, or so we think, in long-term relationships and marriage. According to psychologists, withholding is typically motivated by two goals: to punish the other person, or to maintain the upper hand. Like other … [Read More...]

Business Person Gender Uncertain

Gender: The First Thing We Notice

I was watching a movie recently in which two men are interacting online, one certain he is flirting with a woman, while being maliciously pranked by the other. Gender was assumed via language and context. In fact, without those assumptions, the exchange would never have taken place. The same "fill in the blanks" presumptive process plays out when we overhear a conversation and interpret its … [Read More...]

f Beautiful Woman Side View Portrait

“Totally Naked Photo Shoot”

The announcer said: "Next up... a totally naked photo shoot." Naturally, I turned my head to look. Wouldn't you? Yes, I am a product of my culture. I was listening to entertainment news on television. It was evening, and I was editing. By the time the commercial break was over, I was immersed in writing again and missed the segment. Most likely, the line about nakedness was a hook - an effective one … [Read More...]

Personal Chef

Three Cheers for the Personal Chef!

Mmmm. What is that intoxicating aroma? Perhaps I should ask my personal chef, whipping up something in the kitchen... For lunch? For dinner? A decadent little bacon-wrapped filet, is it? Ah, the sauce. Fantastic. Not as heavy as Hollandaise on the asparagus, but butter-based and sinfully seasoned. Oh, right. I don't actually have a personal chef. An occasional cohort-in-cuisine, yes. Does that count? … [Read More...]

Elegant Table Setting Soft Red and Pink

Hostess With the Mostest

Dreaming of hosting elegant dinner parties? You know the sort... the table is set with your prettiest plates, linen napkins, crystal carefully placed just above the good silver. And as the host or hostess, you're graciously presiding over your domain. The menu? The flowers? The most important part - the guests? You have meticulously planned every detail, and you're hoping … [Read More...]

f Kitten in Boots

Le Chat Botté

Slouchy mid-heel boots. Tall, calf-hugging burgundy boots. Supple, silvery, suede stiletto boots... Such a delicious dream. Then one cavalier creature of feline fame found its way into the conversation. "Le chat botté," he says. "What?" "Le chat botté. Puss-in-boots. That's how you say it in French." Funny how my thought process differs from his, as my cohort-in-crime rattles off literary, historical … [Read More...]

Relationship Hangover Saying the Wrong Thing

Relationship Hangover: Making the Wrong People Pay

Sometimes I think I make the wrong people pay for what hasn't worked in past relationships, as if I'm living some sort of relationship hangover. In other words, the current love interest pays for the misdeeds of the former, just as the former paid for the failings of the one before. You know what I mean, don't you? The guy who has never lied to you says something that ignites memories of … [Read More...]

f Emotionally Needy Mother With Teen Daughter

Emotionally Needy Parents

I did not want to become my mother: emotionally needy, intrusive, manipulative and confusing in her back-handed expression of approval. To say that she was an emotionally needy parent is an understatement. It took me many years to understand this lesson: Deeply caring parents help us feel safe, but emotionally needy parents are capable of crippling us. Naturally, there's a difference between … [Read More...]

f Couple in Serious Discussion

How Much Sacrifice Is Normal in a Relationship?

My impression of most relationships: One partner is more likely to sacrifice in order to hold things together. The risk is that he or she will resent what is given up, and resentment will grow toxic. So how do we determine what a normal amount of sacrifice might be - so the relationship stays healthy? In my marriage, it was expected that I bring home a hefty income, that I take … [Read More...]

Family in Bed_Feet

Why Kids Are Hard on Marriage

Let's just say it. Kids are hard on marriage. When I make that statement, are you foaming at the mouth or fidgeting a little? Is it something you know but wouldn't so much as whisper? Why are we so unwilling to acknowledge what most of us have experienced? To say that children put a strain on marriage is to speak the obvious and to feel subversive. To express anything less than glowing sentiments … [Read More...]

Woman with Skeptical Expression

Emotional Availability: Connection Is Not All or Nothing

We talk about emotional availability as if it is a single dimension of a willingness or capacity to emotionally attach. To connect. And we approach that emotional connection as if it is all or nothing. It seems to me that I, like others, too often address this and related topics without being sufficiently specific. This is one of the problems with labels, lists, and a cultural propensity for the quick fix. … [Read More...]

Woman with eyes closed

Think Sleep Can Go? All Systems, Slow

Sleep deprivation... How do I NOT love thee... Oh, let me count the ways! It may be a crisp, sunny morning outside - cause for a good mood - yet all I can say is... If only I were sleeping. Inside, I am witness to the recent storm: remnants of a day that began before dawn and ended after midnight, the 24-hour period that preceded it (only slightly less hectic), the day before that, very much … [Read More...]

Beautiful African American Woman Smiling

The Art of Reading People

It was a series of lessons in the art of reading people, all in the course of routine errands. First, there was a stop at the cosmetics counter of one of my favorite stores, as I quickly engaged in "reading" two women, and one of them was certainly reading me. They were about the same distance from me, and in a flash, I knew which one I would connect with as I was processing her body language and … [Read More...]

Secret to Your Success

The Secret to Your Success

The article had me at its title: "Your Success Isn't Always About You." Hallelujah. A little common sense when it comes to understanding a critical aspect of what makes us successful - any of us - whatever our objectives. The point of the interview that is summarized in The New York Times: Individual success is not only an outgrowth of a smart idea or talent or plenty of hard work, but … [Read More...]