23
Feb


When George W. Bush accepts his party’s nomination tonight, he will stand with the person he believes makes him a better candidate.

Selecting and keeping a partner in love and romance is a little like choosing a political running mate: You want someone who balances the ticket.

Just as VP nominee Dick Cheney, a former defense secretary, makes up for Bush’s observed weakness on international issues, partners in any walk of life ought not be carbon copies.

Differences between you and your mate bring new skills, ideas and talents to your team.

Consider these five pointers on creating a balanced relationship ticket:

  1. Agree on the big stuff.
  2. The Democrats and Republicans may talk about big tent philosophies, but they don’t ignore their party platforms. “Sharing core values provides a foundation of mutual interest for a good relationship,” says Kevin Gogin, a marriage, family and child counselor in San Francisco.

    Core values include everything from religious orientation to views on child-raising and life philosophies.

    Who’s neat or messy has nothing to do with core values, explains Carol Kaplan, a marriage and family counselor in Monterey, Calif. It’s like Felix and Oscar of Odd Couple fame. They get on each other’s nerves, but they agree on underlying politics, morals and ethics.

  3. Discuss issues together.
  4. Specialization in a relationship is terrific. But it only works so long as you include your partner in decision-making.

    You may be an expert on antiques, but your partner has to sit in that old chair every day. Your spouse handles all the finances, but you still ought to know where your retirement money is invested, the name of your mortgage company and the balances of your various accounts. Each has a vested interest in every decision.

  5. Enjoy togetherness and separateness.
  6. Couples with children know about specialization. He does laundry; she watches the kids. But your differences may even affect leisure time. When your spouse has to attend a networking event with business associates on a Friday night resist the temptation to tag along.

  7. Throw guilt and resentment out the window.
  8. Your partner cooks, cleans and does the dishes. You take out the trash. Before you feel guilty, look at the big picture. You also fix things around the house, oversee contractors and run the broken cars to the shop. Are you both happy with this arrangement? Talk about it.

    If there is an imbalance, real or perceived, someone is going to feel resentful. Bring those feelings out in the open.

  9. Don’t try to change your partner.
  10. It’s a mistake, Gogin says, to assume you share values with your partner if they’ve never been expressed. It is also unwise to hold out hope for a miraculous change in your significant other. If he’s a heavy drinker who stays out late, don’t expect his behavior to change after you marry.

    Negotiation is the alternative to change, says Kaplan. Your partner can learn to wash every dish he uses, even if deep down he’d rather let them pile up in the sink. That’s called a concession, not a change.

In the end, you may appreciate those quirky personality differences. The neatnik may need to loosen up, and the slob may need to straighten up. If you form a well-balanced ticket, you will always have something to learn from each other.

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Category : Blog
9
Feb


In the movie City Slickers, the wisecracking lead character says, “Men don’t need a reason to have sex; they just need a place.”

The place? How about an MRI tube, that long, narrow tunnel where medical personnel take pictures of your insides to figure out what’s wrong.

The reason? Let’s try furthering medical science.

The eight couples that helped produce first-ever Magnetic Resonance Imaging pictures of human sexual intercourse proved that the penis bends backwards — like a boomerang — during missionary position coitus.

schwing Dutch Capture Hot Sex on MRI

Admittedly, romance was challenged in the claustrophic space where movement is actually forbidden, but researchers threw up a makeshift curtain for privacy and asked each couple to hold still just long enough to capture their pelvises on the mark and in focus.

All but one couple needed a boost from Viagra.

The Viagra-free couple was, not coincidentally, “a pair of amateur street acrobats who are trained and used to performing under stress,” according to Willibrord Weijmar Schultz, an associate professor of gynecology at the University Hospital Groningen in the Netherlands.

This pair of high-achieving research participants may have been happy to find any suitable place. But Schultz nonetheless praised “their scientific curiosity, knowledge of the body and artistic commitment.”

The researcher regarded his experiment as a true artistic endeavor. After all, didn’t Leonardo da Vinci produce an elegant but now inaccurate anatomical sketch called “The Copulation” some 500 years ago? The MRI art Schultz produced may not be theMona Lisa, but he can say he set the Renaissance master straight about the bend.

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Category : Blog
2
Feb


You won’t find a picture of Rachel Walton on Match.com. Nor will you find the 42-year-old Florida natural-health enthusiast, writer and former nurse describing herself in a newspaper personals ad.

Not that these dating aids are wrong, but “it’s not my style,” says Walton. “I can’t even imagine I could pull that one off.”

In a generation where we — unlike Mom and Dad — have had the freedom to question, to explore inner feelings, to do life and relationships differently, many of us have tried to shed the old-time societal messages.

The ’90s saw a backlash, for example, against the oft-quoted 1986 Newsweekcover story, “The Marriage Crunch,” which said that never-wed, white, college-educated women 40 or older were “more likely to be killed by a terrorist than to find husbands.”

“At times I feel lonely, but my life is not about looking to find a man,” says Walton. “If I find a man, that would be wonderful, but it’s not my goal, and it’s not going to be what makes everything all better.”

What is her goal? “My goal is to find my mission in life — that may or may not include a relationship.

“It’s a subtle difference between having my whole attention on waiting for a relationship, vs. breathing more deeply into who I am and standing in that.”

She came to a new way of being single in her 40s. Before that, the questions cropped up mostly at key events, such as the marriages of her brothers.

“At those times, it was very much, `Why does it work for other people and not for me?’” Walton says. “Then they have one child after the other, and each time, it’s like, `Do I want that, can I have that, should I be wanting that? Is there something wrong with me?’ ”

The biological clock is only one of several thorny issues: What to do with sexual urges and fears of growing old alone are others.

“At times, being single holds a quality of aloneness and solitude that is good and right,” Walton says. “At other times, being single feels full of loneliness which is, at times, unbearable.

“Waking up in the middle of the night, or when I’m first waking in the morning,” she adds. “Those threshold times can feel particularly vulnerable.”

While Walton’s 7-year-old Lab mix Mattie does provide some comfort, she misses having someone to share with day-to-day. On some level, however, she is using this time in her life — over 40 and single — as a path to growth.

“There’s some way that some deep exploration and connection into myself needs to be there,” she says. “That’s the journey, and it’s not easy, and it’s not quick and simple, and it’s not necessarily comfortable.”

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Category : Blog
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