Thanksgiving 2015 – We are so blessed!

Thanksgiving is coming and what are most people thinking about? Food and eating, being with family and friends, a day off, and shopping. In America, Thanksgiving commemorates the pilgrims’ gratitude for receiving help from the Native Americans and giving thanks to God for a bountiful harvest. In my 55 Thanksgivings so far, I don’t recall discussion of the meaning of the holiday and never any mention of God. I know many American families do some sort of blessing. In my religion, Judaism, every day is actually thanksgiving, especially the Sabbath and holy days. The small percentage of religious families give heartfelt thanks for abundant blessings. The more observant the household, the more fervent the thanksgiving prayers. For food and for everything, every day! All my grandparents were born over a hundred years ago, across the Atlantic Ocean, on the other side of the world, in Russia, a place that was not safe for Jews. In the old country, Jews had to hide to stay alive. They were grabbed up and tortured and killed. Nothing has changed for Jews and other peoples in many parts of the world. My grandparents traveled to America in the steerage section of dirty, crowded, infested ships, an arduous, scary journey that took weeks. Not a luxury cruise! With God’s help, they settled in St. Louis, struggling to learn English and become US citizens eke out a living, working long hours six or seven days a week, in hot, difficult conditions. There was no air conditioning. No hot showers~no showers at all. No indoor plumbing. No antibiotics to cure diseases. No tv. No microwaves, no refrigerators, no computers, no smart phones… no phones at all! They could never have imagined mobile devices, email, and Facebook. So much has happened in these hundred years. For us in America, that is! Almost everyone reading this article lives in America or in a location where we have clean water to drink, hot showers, flushing toilets, warm homes and beds, electricity, clothes and shoes, plentiful food. We also have freedom and security. A lot of the world does not have these things. We can do pretty much whatever we want, and we mostly think about eating, especially on Thanksgiving. Our grandparents’ generation was not always free to go to synagogue, nor even go outside their little houses. Finally in America, they were free and safe to be Jewish. They aspired to raise all of us to be good people, good Americans, and good Jews. Let us think about our abundant blessings. If you are always aware of how fortunate you are and all that you have, you’ll be in a better position to attract a mate into your life. I don’t mean the mistaken arrogant attitude of how wonderful you are and how much you deserve and how much better you are compared to those who have less or aren’t as successful or don’t look as good as you. I am referring to a sense of humility and a greater appreciation of where our bounty comes from! Yes, from your own hard work and sacrifice, but it goes much deeper than that. It is our obligation to take responsibility for ourselves and to repair the world which God created for us, and to always have in mind where our...

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No Big Deal? Or Big Ordeal

Are you making a big ordeal out of things that are really not a big deal? “I called and left her a message and she didn’t call me back!” “He hasn’t called me yet.  I’m not interested . . . “ “He didn’t ask me one question about myself.” “She didn’t ask me one question about myself.” I agree that these things demonstrate lack of social graces, but they are not indicative of a bad person, and not even of a bad match.  They are not even a predictor of future relationship success.  So many things in life are not a big deal but we turn them into a big ordeal. “But he didn’t walk me to my car!”  “He didn’t open the door for me.” “He didn’t offer to buy me a drink!” Of the people who do and say all the right things at the beginning of the relationship, about half end in divorce, adultery, or abuse.  If you were to get a divorce, would it be your fault, or would it be your partner’s fault?  Or would it just be a bad match?  Or would it be due to your spouse’s poor social skills? Try to move beyond the superficial and investigate to find out what a person is really like inside.  People who make the best impression are not necessarily the best llife-long partners.  Not saying or doing exactly the right thing is not a big deal.  A divorce is a big ordeal.  Look deeper and make a commitment to finding a good person~a really good deal!  Helping someone who is a little rough around the edges become a great person~the best...

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Don’t Talk About It

I already told you this,Time and time again, All the personal stuff you’re telling your date You should share only with your therapist or your friend. First, be sure to ask her some thoughtful questions~Convey what is good about you~I’m sure you can think of some thingsIf you ponder, you’ll come up with a few.Everyone has problemsActs that we regret from the pastNow is not the time to revealIf you intend to make this relationship last. The first meeting is to see if you like each other Putting your best foot forward. Looking for fun activities to do together A deep and lasting bond to forge Getting to know one another Is like playing a game of ping-pong. Discovering what makes each of you tick, Your goal is to make the relationship...

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For Men Only: Let’s NOT Talk About Sex, Baby!

I don’t know who wrote that song, but it was probably a man.  How many times do I have to remind you guys?  Another woman lamented that she just met an attractive man but he started talking about sex.  That’s almost as big a turnoff to a woman as forcing yourself on her in any manner before she is ready.  It is also happening by phone, email, or text before people even meet.  The men are either talking about it or trying to do it.  His sex banter turned her off to ever getting to know him.  How unfortunate and unnecessary. If you meet a woman you like, court her for a while.  If you really like her, wine and dine her with no expectation of what you’re going to get in return.  Try to impress her with your REAL kindness (if you have it), your APPROPRIATE sense of humor (if you have it), and your neatness and cleanliness.  Ask her non-sexual questions about her life and interests.  Really listen to what she says.  Think of mutually dynamic activities you can experience together on the hopefully next date(s).  Allow her to get to know you and feel comfortable with you and discover what a fine person you really are. An essential major difference between men and women is that a man usually determines within a few seconds if he wants to pursue a relationship with a woman but it could take a woman from a few seconds to a few dates, a few weeks, or months, or longer.  And you need to be more certain than you think before you even broach the “S” subject. Women almost always worry about how awkward the end of the date will be.  Make sure this doesn’t happen to you!  Women are interested in a physical relationship, too, just not usually on the first date, or two, or more!  And maybe not with you! You don’t need to spend a lot of money on your dates (although it doesn’t hurt!) but you do need to spend a little.  You need to plan your dates well. With some creative effort, you can make an opportunity for yourself and slowly and carefully develop a mutually deep and satisfying...

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A First Date is an Interview – Not Therapy

Your date is not your therapist.  Period.  So why are you telling him or her your problems???  In therapy, you have to let it all hang out in order to get better.  But if you tell all to your date, you probably won’t have a second date. A first encounter is the time to put your best foot forward.  You have only a few seconds to make your best impression.  It’s a lot like a job interview. Each party is checking each other out.  And, much like a job interview, there may be a little tension while you both strive to determine whether you’ll be a good match and whether to strike up a relationship. In your personal and professional life, practice makes perfect. The more job interviews you go on, the more proficient you’ll become and the more suitable position you’ll likely find. You’ll learn to ask more relevant questions to discover if it’s a good fit for you.  Same goes for dating. Making a good relationship happen involves a set of skills such as adjusting your schedule to allow another person into your life, maintaining good eye contact, asking appropriate questions – and being a great listener.  Enlist anyone who can help you hone your skills. You’ll be glad you did. You must also improve or at least maintain a positive, upbeat attitude on each and every date.  Most people must go out with many prospects before meeting “the one.”  If you have a negative aura about you, you’ll repel even the right match.  Keep the date brief to help you maintain that upbeat attitude. After all, if you really don’t care for your prospect… it’s only an hour of torture.  Of course, I’m being  a little facetious here.  But meeting new people is supposed to be enjoyable, not a dreaded chore. Practice, practice. Smooth out your dating skills until they come naturally.  Conversation will flow more smoothly and you will be able to relax a little and enjoy getting to know your date.  If you and your date can put each other at ease and share a laugh or two, it makes the whole darned situation easier on everyone. Go on as many dates as you can and at some glorious moment, you and another person will click.  Both of you will resonate together.  It will make the entire drawn out process worthwhile. You’ll finally be in a situation that you love, with benefits.  It might even be cozy and comfortable, like a therapy session! So remember, if you hope to see positive results, exude your most positive self. And don’t be boring!  But that’s another column . . ....

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Here’s My Number, So Call Me Maybe?

Do you ever hand out your business card as a networking tool?  Your mobile # and email address are relatively safe, whether it’s a stranger or someone you’ve met through a friend or at work or at a professional event. If you have given out your number and you get rejected, the only thing that will be hurt is your pride.  But if something works out, you could hit the relationship jackpot! A few years ago, I met a very nice guy at a singles party where he was handing out business cards to people he was talking with.  I called him the next day to say hi, that is was nice to meet him.  Actually, I left him a voice message on his work number after hours so in case he was not interested in me, he could have disregarded my message.  He called me back and invited me to dinner, which was very appropriate because he had already met me and had seen what I looked like. He and I went out for almost a year, and I decided ultimately that he wasn’t for me, but he was a kind, caring person whom I enjoyed getting to know.  If it hadn’t been for him handing out his card, he probably would have been too shy to just ask a woman out, although we were both almost age forty! Women, be sure to meet a man in a public location for the first date or more, until you feel comfortable having him pick you up at your home, if the relationship progresses. If the target recipient of your number doesn’t call, you may never know if they purposely did not call, or if they lost your number, unfortunately an extremely common occurrence.  Oh well, c’est la vie, but here’s my number, so call me...

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