The Dating and Relationship Blog

20 LGBT Couples Who Have Been in Love More Than a Decade

When the "First Comes Love" project began in March of 2009, Proposition 8 had just outlawed same-sex marriages in California and the Defense of Marriage Act still barred the federal government from recognizing gay and lesbian marriages. Four years later, that section of DOMA has been declared unconstitutional and Proposition 8 has been defeated — for good.

Still, same-sex marriages are not recognized in 32 states. A deep misunderstanding of LGBT relationships remains. So the "First Comes Love" project captures the stories of real couples who want to help educate those who aren't LGBT, while celebrating those of us who are.

The goal of "First Comes Love" is to provide a glimpse into the “everyday” lives of couples who have been in their relationships for 10, 20, 30, 40, and even 50 years. B. Proud photographed the couples and presents their portraits in a straightforward black and white.

The "First Comes Love" exhibition opens Friday at the William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia. For more information, visit WayGay.org. See more photos from the gallery here, and for more of B. Proud's work, click here.

See photos and stories provided by the project on the following pages:

"I’d say that we’re just like everybody," Juan says. "We're just like our neighbors across the street who have a set of dogs, and they walk to the park everyday just like we do. You know, everybody has their ups and downs. Everybody has a home, responsibility, work, job, life. I guess we just do it together. I don’t think we are any different than anybody else. "

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20 LGBT Couples Who Have Been in Love More Than a Decade – Advocate.com

When the "First Comes Love" project began in March of 2009, Proposition 8 had just outlawed same-sex marriages in California and the Defense of Marriage Act still barred the federal government from recognizing gay and lesbian marriages. Four years later, that section of DOMA has been declared unconstitutional and Proposition 8 has been defeated — for good.

Still, same-sex marriages are not recognized in 32 states. A deep misunderstanding of LGBT relationships remains. So the "First Comes Love" project captures the stories of real couples who want to help educate those who aren't LGBT, while celebrating those of us who are.

The goal of "First Comes Love" is to provide a glimpse into the “everyday” lives of couples who have been in their relationships for 10, 20, 30, 40, and even 50 years. B. Proud photographed the couples and presents their portraits in a straightforward black and white.

The "First Comes Love" exhibition opens Friday at the William Way LGBT Community Center in Philadelphia. For more information, visit WayGay.org. See more photos from the gallery here, and for more of B. Proud's work, click here.

See photos and stories provided by the project on the following pages:

"I’d say that we’re just like everybody," Juan says. "We're just like our neighbors across the street who have a set of dogs, and they walk to the park everyday just like we do. You know, everybody has their ups and downs. Everybody has a home, responsibility, work, job, life. I guess we just do it together. I don’t think we are any different than anybody else. "

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Missouri governor allows same-sex couples to file joint tax returns – Washington Post (blog)

Gov. Jay Nixon (D), speaking Aug. 15, 2013 at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia (Orlin Wagner, Associated Press)

Gov. Jay Nixon (D), speaking Aug. 15, 2013, at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia. (Orlin Wagner/Associated Press)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) said Thursday that he would sign an executive order to allow gay and lesbian couples who were legally married in other states to file joint tax returns with the state Department of Revenue, a move likely to prompt a legislative reaction from the Republican-dominated legislature.

Nixon told reporters Thursday that because the couples will be able to file joint returns with the Internal Revenue Service, the Missouri Department of Revenue should accept those returns as well.

The Treasury Department and the IRS ruled in August that legally married same-sex couples could file joint returns after a Supreme Court decision in June overturned a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Nixon, a conservative Democrat serving his second term, said the move wasn’t about defining marriage. He said because taxpayers have to file federal tax forms with the state Revenue Department, allowing gay couples to file with the state “is the only appropriate course of action.”

“Many Missourians, including myself, are thinking about these issues of equality in new ways and reflecting on what constitutes discrimination. To me, that process has led to the belief that we shouldn’t treat folks differently just because of who they are,” Nixon said Thursday, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I think if folks want to get married, they should be able to get married.”

Missouri’s Constitution defines marriage as between one man and one woman, and Republican officials accused Nixon of acting unilaterally to appease the Democratic base.

“The governor’s job is to defend our state’s constitution — including the constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman that was passed overwhelmingly in this state — not to surrender to the whims of the Obama administration,” state House Speaker Tim Jones (R) said in a statement first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The executive order doesn’t allow gay and lesbian couples with a marriage certificate to take advantage of state tax breaks already available to straight couples.

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‘Betsy gets to see us both equally:’ Denise Van Outen talks relationships on This Morning as she prepares to star in her self-penned one-woman show

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By Sophia Charalambous

PUBLISHED: 10:18 EST, 9 January 2014 | UPDATED: 11:52 EST, 9 January 2014

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Denise Van Outen appeared on This Morning to talk about her self-penned one-woman show, Some Girl I Used To Know.

The Basildon-born singer and actress spoke to Christine Bleakley and Phillip Schofield about what it feels like to perform your own play.

She said: 'It is really scary but after the first five minutes you just have to settle into it, you don't have time to think about anything else because it's just you on stage, there's nobody to cover you if something goes wrong, you just have to think on your feet.'

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One-woman show! Denise Van Outen appeared on This Morning to talk about her new one-woman show, written by herself

One-woman show! Denise Van Outen appeared on This Morning to talk about her new one-woman show, written by herself

Denise looked her usual stunning self in a coral, black and white-stripe shift dress, teamed with a black fur jacket, black tights and black ankle boots.

She accessorised with just a simple black Prada bag, a black ring, a couple of bracelets and funky alternate blue and silver nail varnish.

The 39-year-old kept her long, blonde locks in her signature sleek and straight style, wearing black eyeliner, pink lipgloss, and a touch of face highlighter which gave her a glowing complexion.

 
Looking lovely: Denise looked trendy in a chic fur jacket, and a coral and black shift dress to the studio

Looking lovely: Denise looked trendy in a chic fur jacket, and a coral and black shift dress to the studio

The play is based on a fictional character Stephanie Canworth who appears to have everything, with a husband and a flourishing career when all of a sudden she receives a 'poke' on Facebook from her first love.

The guy then contacts Stephanie whilst she is away on business, and she's proposing to meet up with her because he's in town.

The whole show is about temptation - where she should go down that road because obviously if she goes down that road the marriage is over to her lovely husband Paul, but it is all about whether or not she meets up with him.

It's you! Denise laughs as she points over to the presenter

It's you! Denise laughs as she points over to the presenter

Denise explained: 'When I was younger I watched Shirley Valentine and I loved the way it reached out to a female audience, and it kind of changed a lot of women's lives and just talking to a lot of my girlfriends about situations they're in, relationships they're in, or some of them are single everyone always talks about their first love.

'And we always look at it through rose-tinted spectacles so I kind of wanted to do something based around that.'

The music has been deliberately chosen to be a selection of 80s and 90s hits, to which Denise explained: 'I love music so much and there are so many songs I grew up listening to for example I cover the Sonia song - You'll Never Stop Me Loving You.

Telling her story: Denise even revealed how her daughter Betsy gets to see both her and father Lee Mead equally despite their split

Telling her story: Denise even revealed how her daughter Betsy gets to see both her and father Lee Mead equally despite their split

'We needed those songs just to create the scene and the emotion.'

Phillip then asked the question: 'How much of Stephanie is you?'

She replied: 'I would say the part of Stephanie that's me is the emotional side of it, I'm a very emotional person and in this show she goes on an emotional rollercoaster.

'This character is not based on my life, it's based on experiences that my friends have had, some experiences I've had, like I've had a first love - we all have.

'She's every woman, and that is what I wanted her to be.'

The topic of conversation then turned to her three-year-old daughter Betsy, who has just started nursery.

She's arrived! Denise waves at the cameras as she arrives at the studio (left) and appears in good spirits as she heads into the studio (right)

Denise explained: 'She's only doing two days of nursery a week - she's only three, and then she's going to come and stay with me (whilst on stage tour).'

The star split with her musical theatre husband Lee Mead last July after four years of marriage, but confirmed that they both have equal time with their only child Betsy.

'We just work it between us, Lee's currently doing Casualty so we're very hands on with her and we split it between us and she gets to see us both equally - it's lovely.'

Some Girl I Used To Know starts January 29 in Leeds at the West Yorkshire Playhouse before making its way across the UK and finishing up at Dartford's Orchard Theatre on March 19.

Ready for her closeup: Denise Van Outen was preened to perfection, as per usual, as she prepared to talk about her new play Someone I Used To Know

Ready for her closeup: Denise Van Outen was preened to perfection, as per usual, as she prepared to talk about her new play Someone I Used To Know

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MicroMentor Fuels Business Dreams for Entrepreneurs, Reaching 5,000 Mentor/Mentee Relationships

PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- MicroMentor, Mercy Corps' proprietary online mentoring platform that connects entrepreneurs with experienced professionals to build small businesses, reached a new milestone: generating more than 5,000 relationships for mentors and mentees. To celebrate this achievement, MicroMentor is issuing a national call to create 1,500 more mentor/mentee relationships by National Small Business Week, May 12-16, and accelerate entrepreneurial growth across the U.S.

The movement is already receiving support from other foundations and corporations, including The Sam's Club Giving Program.

"Small business owners are a powerful force for economic growth. Serving millions of small businesses in our clubs every day, we are committed to empowering their growth and dreams, and collaborating with like-minded organizations that save small business owners' time, money and energy," said Catherine Corley, vice president of member services at Sam's Club.

"The Sam's Club Giving Program is excited to support MicroMentor's innovative digital platform that more easily connects small business owners to experienced mentors, which will strengthen small business growth opportunities and build stronger local economies."

MicroMentor provides aspiring entrepreneurs access to a pool of committed professional mentors via a free, easy-to-use platform on micromentor.org. Through a smart design and intelligent matching engine, MicroMentor matches mentors with entrepreneurs based on industry, expertise and location, ensuring that mentors can give direct support around mentees' most pressing issues.  

"MicroMentor is thrilled that so many business mentors are volunteering their time, passion and expertise to fuel the aspirations of promising entrepreneurs," said Samantha Albery, Director of MicroMentor. "We want to increase this momentum by rallying more mentors today through National Small Business Week to help hundreds more entrepreneurs turns their business dreams into realities. This rally call is part of a larger goal," Albery continued, "to reach another 5,000 relationships by January 2015."

Mentoring Drives Small Business Revenue
Entrepreneurs who use MicroMentor reap the benefits of mentoring, growing their businesses every year; in 2012 alone, entrepreneurs who connected with a mentor, averaged 106 percent revenue growth. Businesses mentored through MicroMentor have an 82 percent survival rate, and half create a new job within a year, according to MicroMentor's latest business outcomes survey.*

Thriving entrepreneurs often cite mentoring as a critical component of their success. "Mentoring works! My mentor, Bill, knows my business and my greater vision. I can bounce ideas and strategize with Bill and he keeps me on track," said entrepreneur Teresa Nicola about her MicroMentor experience. "I am so grateful that he is spending time – unpaid – to help me with my business." Nicola's business, Collected Spaces, has seen a 10 percent increase in sales each month since she and her mentor were matched on MicroMentor.

Join the Rally Call
Business mentors, organizations and entrepreneurs are invited to join MicroMentor's rally call at www.micromentor.org.

About MicroMentor   
MicroMentor, Mercy Corps' proprietary online mentoring platform, turns business possibilities into reality. Through relationships with major companies and organizations such as Sam's Club, Hewlett Packard, Entrepreneur Organization and Ashoka Changemakers, MicroMentor helps entrepreneurs work with experienced professionals to build their businesses. MicroMentor helps small businesses grow faster, generate more revenue and employ more people via access to mentoring.  

About Mercy Corps 
Mercy Corps is a leading global humanitarian agency saving and improving lives in the world's toughest places. In more than 40 countries, we partner with local people to put bold ideas into action, helping them conquer adversity, and build stronger communities. Driven by local needs, our programs provide communities in the world's toughest places with the tools and support they need to transform their own lives.

*MicroMentor's business outcomes survey was conducted in June 2013, surveying those matched on MicroMentor between July 2011 and June 2012.

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Utah governor’s freeze on gay marriages leaves couples in limbo – Idaho State Journal

    SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Michael Mathie proposed to his partner Tyler McCraley on Christmas and obtained a marriage license the next day. They made plans for a wedding but couldn’t carry through with it because the Supreme Court put same-sex marriage on hold before they could tie the knot.

Aleksandra Eker and her partner went through with their wedding on Dec. 23 at their local county clerk, but their marriage wasn’t recorded before the Supreme Court’s ruling. Now, they don’t know whether they are legally married after Gov. Gary Herbert instructed state agencies Wednesday to freeze all actions regarding same-sex marriages until a federal appeals court rules.

Confusion is resonating throughout Utah after a two-week rush on gay marriages was brought to a sudden halt this week.

Couples find themselves in various stages of limbo now that everything has been put on pause. Plans to file taxes jointly, get spouses on health insurance or get partners recognized as adoptive parents are on hold.

State and county officials are struggling to understand the shifting legal landscape, too, waiting on guidance from attorneys on sticky situations.

That landscape shifted a bit more Wednesday morning when Herbert’s office told state agencies to hold off on proceeding with any new benefits for the newly-married gay and lesbian couples.

Agencies aren’t supposed to revoke anything already issued, such as a marriage certificate or a driver’s license with a new name, but they are prohibited from approving any new marriages or benefits.

The validity of the marriages will ultimately be decided by the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and maybe in the future, the U.S. Supreme Court, said Derek Miller, the governor’s chief of staff.

“We’re not trying to void them, we’re not trying to nullify them,” Miller said. “We’re just hitting the pause button on everything until the court gives us further direction.”

The governor’s guidance drew rebukes from attorneys representing three same-sex couples who brought the lawsuit that led to the federal judge’s decision and the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah. They believe the marriages are valid, and that the couples should be able to get benefits bestowed upon any married couple.

“Regardless of how the state believes the 10th Circuit will ultimately rule, these couples are legally married and the state should treat them accordingly,” said attorney Peggy Tomsic in a statement.

Miller recognizes there are situations regarding marriages or benefits that won’t be resolved easily and require case-by-case analysis.

One of those is playing out in northern Utah in Weber County. There are about 30 couples who were married before the Supreme Court ruling, but their finalized marriage certificates had not yet been completed due to caseloads, Weber County Clerk Ricky Hatch said.

County attorneys there have told Hatch to set those marriages aside until they consult with other county attorneys around the state. Hatch says it’s the “stickiest” area he’s facing.  

Eker, 26, and her partner are one of these couples and are not happy.

“It’s very disappointing. I understand there’s going to be bumps in the road to get where we want to be,” Eker said. “But we were legally married. To take that away is a travesty.”

The one thing everyone in Utah can agree on is that the last few weeks have been a whirlwind since the surprise Dec. 20 ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby, who said the state’s ban on same-sex marriage violated gay and lesbian couples’ constitutional rights.

“It has been a roller coaster of emotion for us,” said McCraley.

He and his partner are among dozens, maybe hundreds, of couples who missed out on their chance to be legally married because they were waiting to have ceremonies with family or friends present. McCraley said they wanted Mathie’s two children to be involved in the ceremony, which was planned for Saturday.

Couples who did not solemnize the marriage before the Supreme Court ruling won’t be considered legally married, Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen said. A marriage license itself means nothing unless there is a ceremony with an officiator and two witnesses, she said.

“We were totally devastated,” McCraley said. “The biggest push for us to get married is to show the kids we were in this for the long haul. We definitely wanted them to be a part of it.”

County clerks have yet to tabulate how many same-sex couples who obtained licenses failed to make their unions official, but Megan Risbon of the Utah Pride Center estimates there be may a couple hundred people who fall into this category. More than 1,000 gay and lesbian couples took home marriage licenses in the past two weeks.

Her organization and other gay marriage proponents made sure there were plenty of marriage officials at the county clerk offices in the days after the Dec. 20 ruling. Risbon said they were encouraging everyone to finish the process right then and there, in case a court granted the state’s request for a halt.

But, some people needed or wanted more time, she said. Many were waiting to hold ceremonies until out-of-town family and friends could make it in. The family of one lesbian couple was driving from Colorado on Monday for a ceremony this week.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Risbon said. “These couples waited and now they just can’t.”

Utah state officials aren’t happy about how it’s all turned out, either. They say had their first two requests for an emergency halt to the weddings been granted by lower courts, the confusion would have been reigned in.

“This was just the kind of chaos and uncertainly we hoped to avoid,” Miller said. “But, it’s where we’re at now and we need to do the best we can.”

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Why dating sites are desperate to keep you single

Many, many people spend thousands of hours of their lives in pursuit of that special someone. Because we're all after "the one," aren't we? Which is why making a business out of romance has been an age-old pursuit: florists for courtship; jewelers for marriage. It's only sensible, then, that with the scalable economics of the internet, industrial-scale matchmakers would come along. But, while most of these businesses want to cater to happy relationships, a successful matchmaker needs some couples to flourish, for the testimonials, but it also, and more importantly, needs a ready supply of unhappy singles. How do they do it?

HOW IT WORKS… OR DOESN'T

Online dating arrived with the web — in the early nineties — and was an evolution of the commercial matchmaking services of that time: lonely hearts ads, video-dating, and so on. But, unlike its predecessors, which were seen mostly as a service for undesirables, online dating quickly rose out of infamy and into the mainstream. Not quite to the standards of real-life dating, mind you: surveys still report that people who've never visited an online dating site have a mostly negative view of the whole thing. But certainly this type of dating — of communicating with a stranger, vetting them and, potentially, meeting up — has never been more popular. In 2005, 37 percent of single people in the U.S. with access to the internet said they used online dating. The figure is even higher today — though it's difficult to find consistent numbers.

The basics of online dating are pretty straightforward. People create profiles, which they fill with basic physical and personality traits in the hope of getting matched up with someone who is looking for that particular mix, while hoping that they find satisfaction themselves in the person concerned. It's rare for this to be the only thing a website will want its users to do, though. Profiles are usually quite extensive: letting you introduce yourself (anecdotal evidence suggests 90 percent of profiles begin with, "I'm not very good at this sort of thing…" or "I'm not sure why I'm here"), and prompting you to answer essay-type questions about your job, hobbies, and ideal relationship. Most popular websites today, like eHarmony, OkCupid, and Match.com, feature quizzes, which ostensibly help line you up with your soul mate.

This the ubiquitous sales-pitch of online dating: they net you the man, woman, or vampiric lover of your dreams. These sites occasionally make very grand — and sometimes implausible-sounding — claims. The closest you'll find to a sincere sales pitch is at OkCupid, which says: "We don't claim to evaluate you perfectly, but we do claim to find someone who claims to fulfill your claimed requirements." I think that translates as: 'We're just middlemen: finding someone, and making it work, is up to you." So that's what these sites do: they're a go-between.

Everything else is just smoke and mirrors. Claims about "science" and "mathematical algorithms" that will capture your life partner have not been substantiated, and certainly not favorably peer-reviewed. PerfectMatch and eHarmony say they cannot open their studies to scrutiny because they'd be giving away their "secret sauce". In the meantime, they are welcome to toot their "science" liberally while never having to explain what it is they actually do behind the scenes.

FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED

The more basic assumptions of dating, for example, asking people what they like, and that "everyone has a someone", are poorly evidenced. Research decades old has shown that what people say they want, and what they actually go for, are really quite different. That seems to undercut a fairly fundamental assumption of dating websites: that a list of romantic opinions, physical attributes, and financial or professional demands can be as unhelpful and as ultimately useless as a shopping list you've left at home.

A study in 2010 showed that people, far from messaging each other evenly across the range of races, ages, and attractiveness, quite predictably emailed the most attractive, successful, and intelligent people, irrespective of whether those people matched the criteria message-senders had themselves specified. Christian Rudder, one of the founders of OkCupid, described these people as "surrounded." So, while in a bar or similar situation you can tell when a person is popular quite easily, and so might prefer to flirt with someone unattended to, on a dating website that "surrounded" factor is obscured. The dramatic differences in who gets messaged online can leave some users high and dry.

Unlike in real life, dating site users who get a ton of messages, rather than being overjoyed and overactive, usually become disenfranchised and distant.

These structural problems plague an industry which, to be fair, is still quite young. The "science" of love is barely understood at all, and even the most popular researchers in the field publish papers that read more like Cosmo sex quizzes than bleeding-edge neurological research. The research that relates directly to online dating is especially poor, given that key romantic factors — body language, smell, voice, and simply the physical presence of someone — are missing when you meet online.

To compensate, dating sites are updating their research methods, using user data like time spent on profiles, number of messages, and quality of messages. How long before phone numbers are exchanged, for example — which means that yes, these companies are scanning your private messages, wading through the dirty talk with algorithms to discover trends. But this seems to take us further and further from our object: meeting the love of our life. A very subjective version of "science" is deployed in place of efficient matchmaking. Instead of fixing holes in a flawed concept, dating websites are fixing holes in the user's online experience to make them spend longer on the site, so they can be served more advertising.

Improvements in "engagement" with a website don't lead to real-life engagements. But there's no reason that should faze the likes of OkCupid. After all, dating sites are predicated on singledom. And while presumably there is no nefarious conspiracy to keep the world's singles out of wedlock and stuck on the internet, you do have to wonder just how smart it is for a dating site to pair anyone up at all. They certainly do a good job of making singledom look attractive, and, the better a website does this, the less inclined a person is to get or remain partnered up, and the more likely they are to return to the singles experience and the addictiveness of surfing online profiles.

The excitement of receiving a new message, the ability to scan hundreds of eligible profiles, the ease of initiating contact with an attractive single person. Users often revel in the choices they're being given — many describe it as "going shopping for love." And while this might make a nice after-hours hobby, and certainly helps explain why these services have become so popular, it shouldn't be in itself enough to make being single more attractive than a fulfilling relationship. Reducing the business of finding love to a throwaway consumer experience is a bit chilling, when you think about it.

Why is this a problem? Well, it is this exact idea — that of a "fulfilling" relationship — that has come under fire with the advent of online dating. Our understanding of what counts as "enough" is shaped by what choices are available to us. In a famous study about how we react when given a lot of choice, a supermarket arranged two stands: one of 24 pots of jam, and the other of just four. While 50 percent more people looked in on the larger tray, ten times more people bought jam from the smaller counter.

TOO MUCH CHOICE

We do this because too much choice is confusing, and the mental effort required to make a decision too much. When we have too much choice, we are more likely to say no, even if we are giving up having any sort of reward at all. We become spoilt and careless, believing there are quite literally millions of fish in the sea. It's this aspect of human psychology that dating sites, with their targeted advertising and subscription fee-based business models, are counting on.

Viewing hundreds of side-by-side profiles can do several things to you. First of all, it makes us less sensitive to any one person: the more we are exposed to, the less we remember. This makes the experience more generic but, oddly, not less fun: people still report enjoying themselves, regardless of how many profiles they've viewed and how much they can remember of the people they've seen. The same is true for speed-dating. And for both speed-dating, online dating and jam, we are likely to say no unless the product is truly exceptional.

Given all this: can we really say online dating websites are acting in our best interest? Certainly their business models are incentivized against pairing us up, to put it mildly. This isn't to say that it's impossible to find a dating website with success stories. Given the scale they operate at, it would be absurd it they failed to pair anyone up. But from their most basic anecdotal assumptions to the "hard science" they boast about but will not explain, these websites, which more closely resemble the Wizard of Oz behind his curtain of smoke than kind benefactors of love, should be regarded as deeply suspect.

More from The Kernel...

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Infants Display Ability to Make Inferences about Social Relationships

First Posted: Jan 09, 2014 05:45 AM EST

Infants Display ability to Make Inferences about Social Relationships

Infants Display ability to Make Inferences about Social Relationships (Photo : Zoe Liberman/University of Chicago)

A study on infant cognition reveals that babies as old as nine months can make inferences about social relationships by observing the likes and dislikes of people around them.

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Researchers at the University of Chicago claim that babies display an ability to differentiate friends from foe even before they develop their language skills or gain information about social structures. This new finding throws light on human's earliest understanding of the social world surrounding them.

"This is some of the first evidence that young infants are tracking other people's social relationships," said Amanda L. Woodward, the William S. Gray Professor of Psychology and a co-author of the study.

To prove the hypothesis, a study was conducted on 64 nine-month old babies. They were randomly divided into groups. These groups were shown videos in which two adults eat two different kinds of food and react either in a positive or negative manner to the food they eat. In some videos both the adults share the same reaction. In the video with positive interaction, the adults greet each other with smiles and in friendly voices say Hi!. In the negative video, the adults turn away from each other and interact in an unfriendly tone.

"We depicted evaluations of food because food may provide particularly salient social information," said co-author Katherine D. Kinzler, the Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Psychology. "Eating with family and friends is inherently social, and so infants might be particularly inclined to use eating behaviors to make inferences about social relationships."  

They further investigated whether or not the nine-month-old infants associated the reaction of the adults to each food to the social relationships.  The researchers looked at the infants' response to the videos by measuring the time the infant took to focus on a still screen once the video was over. The infants' attention was coded by two sets of trained observers.

Prior to this, researchers had discovered that the duration of the infants' gaze is linked to how common or surprising a situation is to them. If the infant sees something unexpected he/she gazes at it longer.

After decoding the infants' attention, it was seen that infants were surprised when they saw the adults who liked the same food behave in a negative manner and were also surprised to see adults who disliked the food actually behave like friends.

This study suggests that babies at an early age can discern that adults who agree with each other behave in a friendly manner. The infants predicted that adults who shared the same reaction to the two foods were more likely to be friends.

"This study raises questions on how babies think about who gets along and who doesn't," said lead author Zoe Liberman, a UChicago doctoral student in psychology. "Parents will be interested to know that babies are keeping track of what's going on in the world around them and are making inferences about social interactions that we previously were not aware of before this study."

The researchers plan to focus on various cues that assist infants in making such social inferences. The study was published online by Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

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13 Incestuous Pop-Culture Couples With Cringe-Worthy Chemistry – Huffington Post

What with "Spoils of Babylon," "August: Osage County" and the approaching premiere of Lifetime's update on "Flowers in the Attic," it feels like incest is just really in right now. Although, when it comes to entertainment, familial love is nothing new -- Oedipus was already making out with his mother in the fifth century B.C. Now, as you wait for the campy yet terrifying greatness that will surely fill this latest version of "Flowers in the Attic," we bring you 13 incestuous couples in preparation of the onslaught of taboo.

Chris & Cathy, "Flowers in the Attic"
The essential slumber party reading material is infamous for its incest plot line involving the Dollanganger children as they are locked and hidden away in the upstairs of a giant mansion, but wait, there’s more! Not only is there a romance between brother and sister Cathy and Christopher, but it turns out that their mother and father are actually uncle and niece! The original book is dark and terrifying while the 1987 film version is a campy cult classic. The new Lifetime version has a lot to live up to.

flowers

George Michael & Maeby, "Arrested Development"
After she kisses him to make her mother jealous at George Sr.'s retirement party, George Michael's love for Maeby is interrupted only briefly by his bland for egg. By the time he grows interested in upcoming film "Les Cousins Dangereux," their trip to second base in the model home is inevitable. George and Maeby soon find out that they are definitely biologically-related cousins, before later discovering that they are definitely not biologically-related cousins (Maeby is Lindsay and Tobias's biological daughter, but Lindsay is not Lucille and Georges'). Oh, also they accidentally got married in an old folks' home.

arrested

Dexter & Debra Morgan, "Dexter"
Dexter and Deb are not biologically related, but the way they were raised and their closeness as siblings rendered Deb's affection disgusting at a truly visceral level. Initially it appeared that Deb's romantic feelings might have been simply an uncomfortable suggestion by her therapist -- an unsettling aside, perfectly capable of finding its way out of the show's consciousness. Yet, when she pursues her feelings to the extent of confessing her adoration for Dexter, things go from complex to just bad. In the words of Deb herself: "You’re a serial killer and I’m more fucked up than you are.”

deb

Norma & Norman Bates, "Psycho" - "Bates Motel"
Norma and Norman Bates have a very close mother and son relationship. Initially shown in the 1960 film “Psycho” by Alfred Hitchock, the relationship receives the origin treatment in A&E’s new prequel series “Bates Motel.” The series shows how Norma and Norman spooning one another in bed will eventually lead to Norman keeping Norma’s skeleton in the basement and dressing as her while he kills the tenants of his motel. Happy Mother’s Day?

psycho

Margo & Ritchie, "The Royal Tenenbaums"
Margo and Ritchie's taboo love may have been created for the sole purpose of inspiring Halloween costumes. As an adopted daughter, Margo and her fake finger don't biologically count as part of the Tenenbaum clan, but she and her tragic tennis player know their feelings are wrong. The stress of it all culminates on the court, with Ritchie sinking down, while a sportscaster narrates his struggle: "He's taken off his shoes and one of his socks and ... actually, I think he's crying."

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Luke Skywalker & Princess Leia, "Star Wars: Episode IV"
These unwitting siblings really didn't have much chemistry in the first place. Leia only initially kissed Luke to make Haan Solo jealous, which is never a good reason to kiss someone (even if they don't turn out to be your fraternal twin). Eventually, Luke and Leia discover that they are the children of Padmé Amidala and, well, Darth Vadar: "Luke, [she is your sister]."

starwars

[Spoiler] & [Spoiler], "August: Osage County"
We won’t destroy a major plot point in the play/film, but two members of the extended family fall in love only to end up being related even more so than they originally thought. Get ready to gasp along with the rest of the audience when the secret connection is revealed.

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Marty & Lorraine McFly, "Back To The Future"
Don’t blame Lorraine (Lea Thompson), the attraction is purely innocent when she falls for her time-traveling son (Michael J. Fox) instead of her future husband in 1955. Whether she knew it or not, she was hitting on her offspring, but we have to give her credit for comparing kissing Marty to kissing her brother.

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Jaimie & Cersei Lannister, "Game of Thrones"
Brother and sister Cersei and Jaime of the House of Lannister have been carrying on a secret affair since they were children. The sibling lovers have had three children Myrcella, Tommen, and the sociopathological King Joffrey. Similar to Cathy and Christopher from “Flowers in the Attic,” but only if they had evil royal children as a result of their affair. Even in Westeros incest must be kept secret.

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Cynthia & Devon Morehouse, "Spoils of Babylon"
The IFC miniseries from Funny or Die spoofs, the major television events from the ‘80s like “North and South” and “The Thorn Birds,” follows the wealthy Moorhouse family over the span of 50 years. The star-studded miniseries stars Kristen Wiig and Tobey Maguire as star-crossed adoptive siblings. Over the years, war and money tear the two apart, but their love burns eternal. We’ll watch Wiig in anything, even if she is kissing her (adoptive) brother.

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Kathryn Merteuil & Sebastian Valmont, "Cruel Intentions"
Katheryn and Sebastian aren't hopelessly drawn to each other so much as they feed on mutual manipulation in an economy of sex, power and, well, coke. Sarah Michelle Gellar is so flawlessly evil, it's difficult to explain her actions through anything other than sociopathy. No word on whether "Les Liaisons dangereuses" (upon which the movie is based) played any role in inspiring George Michael's obsessed with "Les Cousins Dangereux." (See: George Michael & Maeby, "Arrested Development.")

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Cher & Josh, "Clueless"
Had you asked Cher Horowitz, if she would ever date Josh, her brother from another mother / by marriage, she would have gawked at you, before disappearing into her massive closet: "As if!" Alas, the tides of Jane Austen's "Emma" threaded throughout this parodic teen movie, our endearingly pretentious heroine drew ever closer to making out with her brother. Their eventual coupledom is emotionally satisfying enough to be justified. Hey, they're not really related.

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Greg & Marcia Brady, "A Very Brady Sequel"
When Carol’s first husband moves into the Brady household, Greg is forced to share his “far out pad” with his sister Marcia. It isn’t until their first night in the attic together (what is it with attics?!) that Marcia and Greg realize their attraction toward one another. The spark prompts them to realize that if Carol’s still married to her first husband then they aren’t even technically related. Though they’re not related by blood, thinking of the Brady kids as sexually attracted to one another is just wrong, and we’re glad Marcia and Greg agree on that when they finally kiss at the end of the movie.

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"Flowers In The Attic" premieres Jan. 18 at 8 P.M. E.T. on Lifetime.

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Customer Relationships Key to Recurring Revenue Success, Emphasizes New Aria e-Paper

Aria Systems today released a new e-paper entitled “Why Recurring Revenue Success Is All About Customer Relationships” which outlines how businesses can develop a recurring revenue strategy that drives repeated sales and rapidly expands their markets by looking at the customer experience in a new way.

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) January 09, 2014

The advent of the recurring revenue sales model for 21st century business success is fact, not fad. And the latest e-paper from recurring revenue expert Aria Systems, entitled “Why Recurring Revenue Success Is All About Customer Relationships,” underscores the fact that this new business model is revolutionizing markets and creating new opportunities for businesses large and small. The model is one that puts the customer front and center for all ongoing sales and interactions.

The publication is the latest in a series published by Aria to better inform business management about how to select the right recurring revenue management solutions for financial success in today’s 21st century digital economy.

This just-published paper is a featured resource from Aria and is now available for download free of charge.

“When deploying a recurring revenue solution, management typically focuses on billing and payments. However, our latest e-paper explains how management must also develop a new mindset about the customer to take full advantage of the opportunities for increased sales and profits using this model,” said Jon Gettinger, Senior Vice President for Marketing at Aria Systems. “Satisfying the customer over the life of the relationship is the key principle for success in recurring revenue. Thus, managing each and every customer’s experience should be the most important consideration.”

The e-paper notes that industries that have pioneered the use of the recurring revenue model, such as retail and travel, have become adept at driving repeat sales and rapidly expanding their markets. “Using loyalty programs as well as targeted marketing and discounts, these industries have mastered the art of enticing customers to come back and buy again,” the paper notes.

Creating personal connections with the customer is required to realize the full value of the recurring revenue model, said Gettinger.

“The takeaway from this paper is that the interaction with the customer should no longer be looked at as only a series of transactions. The revenue can flow for a long period of time, years if the relationship is managed correctly,” added Gettinger. “You sell once, but enjoy the revenues and profits from the relationship over a long period of time. We call this concept ‘Repetitive Prospect-to-Cash,’ but with a new mindset to go beyond conducting transactions over and over again.”

The paper outlines the steps to take in setting up a recurring revenue model, which doesn’t have to be a daunting task. It guides the reader through the process of choosing a vendor, and notes the value of selecting one well versed in SaaS and Cloud technology over traditional on-premise systems that are not designed for recurring revenue management. The paper concludes by noting that the best solution is one that provides a balance of function, flexibility, reliability and deployment options required to meet and maintain customer satisfaction.

About Aria Systems
Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers. Learn more about us at http://www.ariasystems.com.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/01/prweb11474688.htm PRWeb logo

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Kellan Lutz Calls Miley Cyrus Dating Rumors 'Comical'

By Lee Hernandez

01/08/2014 at 07:30 PM EST

Kellan Lutz and Miley Cyrus

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

He's set to star in one of the most highly anticipated dramas of 2014 – the big budget The Legend of Hercules – but in real life, Kellan Lutz says he's busy with a comedy: the idea that he's dating Miley Cyrus.

"Why would you assume that someone was dating?" Lutz said to Today hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, when asked about a photo of the two celebs taken at a party in Las Vegas (left).

"It's comical for me,” Lutz, 28, added. "I'm a public figure, she's a public figure. I've been friends with her for six years, and we're in the same circle."

Lutz, who up until now was best known for his role as Emmett Cullen in the Twilight series, says the press has become increasingly interested in his love life.

"When two people are single in the industry, they'll crop out pictures – I just saw one with Michelle Rodriguez and I where, she's on one end of the photo, I'm on the other – they put us together,” he says.

"I'm dating everyone these days. Let's just start that rumor!"

The Legend of Hercules hits theaters Friday.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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Confusion resonates for same-sex Utah couples as legal landscape continues to … – Minneapolis Star Tribune

SALT LAKE CITY — Michael Mathie proposed to his partner Tyler McCraley on Christmas and obtained a marriage license the next day. They made plans for a wedding but couldn't carry through with it because the Supreme Court put same-sex marriage on hold before they could tie the knot.

Aleksandra Eker and her partner went through with their wedding on Dec. 23 at their local county clerk, but their marriage wasn't recorded before the Supreme Court's ruling. Now, they don't know whether they are legally married after Gov. Gary Herbert instructed state agencies Wednesday to freeze all actions regarding same-sex marriages until a federal appeals court rules.

Confusion is resonating throughout Utah after a two-week rush on gay marriages was brought to a sudden halt this week.

Couples find themselves in various stages of limbo now that everything has been put on pause. Plans to file taxes jointly, get spouses on health insurance or get partners recognized as adoptive parents are on hold.

State and county officials are struggling to understand the shifting legal landscape, too, waiting on guidance from attorneys on sticky situations.

That landscape shifted a bit more Wednesday morning when Herbert's office told state agencies to hold off on proceeding with any new benefits for the newly-married gay and lesbian couples.

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Confusion resonates for same-sex Utah couples – Washington Post

SALT LAKE CITY — Michael Mathie proposed to his partner Tyler McCraley on Christmas and obtained a marriage license the next day. They made plans for a wedding but couldn’t carry through with it because the Supreme Court put same-sex marriage on hold before they could tie the knot.

Aleksandra Eker and her partner went through with their wedding on Dec. 23 at their local county clerk, but their marriage wasn’t recorded before the Supreme Court’s ruling. Now, they don’t know whether they are legally married after Gov. Gary Herbert instructed state agencies Wednesday to freeze all actions regarding same-sex marriages until a federal appeals court rules.

Confusion is resonating throughout Utah after a two-week rush on gay marriages was brought to a sudden halt this week.

Couples find themselves in various stages of limbo now that everything has been put on pause. Plans to file taxes jointly, get spouses on health insurance or get partners recognized as adoptive parents are on hold.

State and county officials are struggling to understand the shifting legal landscape, too, waiting on guidance from attorneys on sticky situations.

That landscape shifted a bit more Wednesday morning when Herbert’s office told state agencies to hold off on proceeding with any new benefits for the newly-married gay and lesbian couples.

Agencies aren’t supposed to revoke anything already issued, such as a marriage certificate or a driver’s license with a new name, but they are prohibited from approving any new marriages or benefits.

The validity of the marriages will ultimately be decided by the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and maybe in the future, the U.S. Supreme Court, said Derek Miller, the governor’s chief of staff.

“We’re not trying to void them, we’re not trying to nullify them,” Miller said. “We’re just hitting the pause button on everything until the court gives us further direction.”

The governor’s guidance drew rebukes from attorneys representing three same-sex couples who brought the lawsuit that led to the federal judge’s decision and the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah. They believe the marriages are valid, and that the couples should be able to get benefits bestowed upon any married couple.

“Regardless of how the state believes the 10th Circuit will ultimately rule, these couples are legally married and the state should treat them accordingly,” said attorney Peggy Tomsic in a statement.

Miller recognizes there are situations regarding marriages or benefits that won’t be resolved easily and require case-by-case analysis.

One of those is playing out in northern Utah in Weber County. There are about 30 couples who were married before the Supreme Court ruling, but their finalized marriage certificates had not yet been completed due to caseloads, Weber County Clerk Ricky Hatch said.

County attorneys there have told Hatch to set those marriages aside until they consult with other county attorneys around the state. Hatch says it’s the “stickiest” area he’s facing.

Eker, 26, and her partner are one of these couples and are not happy.

“It’s very disappointing. I understand there’s going to be bumps in the road to get where we want to be,” Eker said. “But we were legally married. To take that away is a travesty.”

The one thing everyone in Utah can agree on is that the last few weeks have been a whirlwind since the surprise Dec. 20 ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby, who said the state’s ban on same-sex marriage violated gay and lesbian couples’ constitutional rights.

“It has been a roller coaster of emotion for us,” said McCraley.

He and his partner are among dozens, maybe hundreds, of couples who missed out on their chance to be legally married because they were waiting to have ceremonies with family or friends present. McCraley said they wanted Mathie’s two children to be involved in the ceremony, which was planned for Saturday.

Couples who did not solemnize the marriage before the Supreme Court ruling won’t be considered legally married, Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen said. A marriage license itself means nothing unless there is a ceremony with an officiator and two witnesses, she said.

“We were totally devastated,” McCraley said. “The biggest push for us to get married is to show the kids we were in this for the long haul. We definitely wanted them to be a part of it.”

County clerks have yet to tabulate how many same-sex couples who obtained licenses failed to make their unions official, but Megan Risbon of the Utah Pride Center estimates there be may a couple hundred people who fall into this category. More than 1,000 gay and lesbian couples took home marriage licenses in the past two weeks.

Her organization and other gay marriage proponents made sure there were plenty of marriage officials at the county clerk offices in the days after the Dec. 20 ruling. Risbon said they were encouraging everyone to finish the process right then and there, in case a court granted the state’s request for a halt.

But, some people needed or wanted more time, she said. Many were waiting to hold ceremonies until out-of-town family and friends could make it in. The family of one lesbian couple was driving from Colorado on Monday for a ceremony this week.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Risbon said. “These couples waited and now they just can’t.”

Utah state officials aren’t happy about how it’s all turned out, either. They say had their first two requests for an emergency halt to the weddings been granted by lower courts, the confusion would have been reigned in.

“This was just the kind of chaos and uncertainly we hoped to avoid,” Miller said. “But, it’s where we’re at now and we need to do the best we can.”

___

Follow Brady McCombs at https://twitter.com/BradyMcCombs

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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How Do Adults With Autism Handle Intimate Relationships?

How do adults with autism handle intimate relationships? According to many adults on the spectrum, trying to work through an intimate relationship with someone is always a challenge. Many high functioning autistic adults do not choose to be in a relat...

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Why Do Guys Isolate Themselves and Suck at Building Relationships? Pastor Explains in ‘Dude’s Guide to Manhood’

January 8, 2014|10:34 pm

One of the seminal moments of Darrin Patrick's life came when he was just three-years-old.

Years after removing himself from being an active presence in Patrick's life, one night his father opened up to his son on why he had checked out.

St. Louis Cardinals Chaplain and pastor Darrin Patrick challenges guys in his new book "A Dude's Guide to Manhood."(Photo: Nelson Books)

St. Louis Cardinals Chaplain and pastor Darrin Patrick challenges guys in his new book "A Dude's Guide to Manhood."

"When you were about three years old we were all at the dinner table and you were playing around with your food. So I told you to knock it off and eat your damn green beans," Patrick recounted his father's words.

"Your mom and your sisters didn't understand that I was trying to help you become a man. Darrin, men eat what is put before them! I wanted you to be a man and quit playing around at dinner. But every time I tried to coach you, your mom and your sisters started yelling at me, saying I was being too hard on you. I should just leave you alone. So I said, 'Fine, I will leave him the hell alone. You raise him.'"

While the father-son relationship did not completely dissolve at the dinner table, as Patrick shares in the beginning of his new book, The Dude's Guide to Manhood: Finding True Manliness in a World of Counterfeits, the fact that his father spent little time showing his son how to grow into new roles and take on increased responsibility, left him ill-equipped to develop into an emotionally mature, relational adult.

Patrick, who currently pastors at The Journey, in St. Louis, Mo., and serves as an MLB chaplain for the St. Louis Cardinals, believes that an unhealthy father-son relationship is the root of many of the inter-personal struggles that plague men today.

"Most guys did not have a healthy relationship with their dad meaning they weren't equipped to be a man who shares his life with other men because that didn't happen with their dad," Patrick told The Christian Post. "And then, life happens…they get married and have kids and it's just like 'I barely have a relationship with my wife and kids, how am I going to have [one with] other men in my life?'"

Once a man is accustomed to the lack of community he will eventually resign himself to it, said Patrick.

"After you go through a few seasons where you aren't being challenged, being encouraged, being known by other men, than it just becomes natural. [You just start thinking,] 'If it's going to be, it's up to me. I'm on my own here," said Patrick. "I don't think it's intentional for most guys. I think it's a byproduct of the time apart from healthy relationships.'"

Although Patrick is a Christian, he wrote his book for the "normal everyday men," "who are trying to live their lives and figure out how to be successful but really don't have a lot of other guides in their life."

Patrick challenges his readers to cultivate discipline and contentment, better understand and handle their emotions, and nurture personal devotion to their spouses, knowing that his audience may not often crack open a book or find themselves in church.

"If you're a young guy—a guy in his 20's, the least likely place for you to be is church," said Patrick, who said that the church plant he started worked to intentionally keep men engaged.

He also pointed to the Cardinals as a model for churches to emulate when investing in men.

"What I have witnessed is that when young guys, rookies come in they are immediately surrounded with coaches and veteran players who help them know 'This is how you handle yourself here. This is how we behave. This is how we practice, This is how we talk to the media," said Patrick. "The Cardinal Way is instilled not just from front office or coaches. It's all throughout the minor leagues and the players know you've got to do it or you're not going to be around that long."

That type of model, Patrick acknowledges is "counter-intuitive" for most churches.

"Most organizations are just looking at talent or 'How can I use people to get the bottom line met? To grow? Be in the pew?' versus 'How can I invest in this young man that God has put in my life?'" said Patrick.

Patrick quoted a phrase he had heard several years ago to summarize his point.

"We don't want to use people to get ministry done; we want to use ministry to get people done," he said.

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Enjoy your relationships

Many a time, we go through our days, interacting with people (known and unknown) in a ritualistic manner. We wake up. We live with them. We work with them. We go to sleep. Then we do it again…day after day. And a good portion of those days, we interact with people that we would are “important” to us, yet our interactions may not make the same statement. In all honesty, our interactions sometimes tell of a lack of enjoyment at times. If the people we interact with the most are indeed important to us, then the enjoyment of our relationships ought to say so.

Though there aren’t any set-in-stone, step-by-step set of guidelines to follow, here are a few tips to help you experience full satisfaction from enjoying your relationships:

  1. Be creative. There won’t ever be any two people that are exactly alike. Likewise, there won’t ever be any two relationships that are exactly alike. So, treat your relationships as such. Don’t treat them as if they are cookie-cutter products of ritualistic practice. Cater to the uniqueness of your relationships. Recognize the specific things within your relationships that you enjoy and give them an individual amount of specific attention. Be creative and enjoy the people in your life for who they are as an individual.
  2. Be genuine. Enjoying your relationships should be an act of the heart, with the sole and primary objective being enjoying your relationships with the specific people involved. There should not be any ulterior motives. Other than gaining enjoyment, there should not be any attempts for personal gain. There should not be any attempts of malice. There should not be any attempts to cause jealousy in other people. Again, your only objective should be showing a specific person what it is that you enjoy about your relationship with them. Ulterior motives will do nothing more than damage your relationships.
  3. Take your time. Other than with people you just met, most of your relationships have been formed and developed over time, so, it is only fitting that you take your time in using your creativity, authenticity, and ingenuity when seeking enjoyment within them. Taking your time is beneficial for two reasons. First, it will relieve any self-imposed pressures of feeling rushed, allowing you to be more effective. Secondly, it will relieve you of feelings of being overwhelmed. Even too much of a good thing can be overwhelming. Taking your time in seeking relational enjoyment will allow you to focus on your relationships in a manageable capacity, rather than attempting to clump them all together in one big process.

Seeking enjoyment from your relationships should be stress-free and fulfilling. Being creative, being genuine, and taking your time are only a few of unlimited ways to maximize the enjoyment within your relationships. Further maximize your enjoyment by acknowledging who you are within your relationships and cater to others by making yourself more enjoyable as well.

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