Saturday, July 14, 2012

Why Men Obsess Over the Remote Control and Other Observations

Ever wonder why he hogs the remote control and zones out while channel surfing? It's not the he's neglecting you. Watch the video.

Men and women's brains are wired differently, according to Arnie and Michelle Roza of Heart's Desire International -- that was just one of many love and relationships lessons we learned at the Lifelong Romance Retreat in Fort Lauderdale last month.

That may seem like stating the obvious, but there are definite relationship skill sets that work based on these biological differences.

The three-day retreat featured author Laura Doyle, whom I've written about here before at Sex and the Beach. During the weekend, Doyle, who penned The Surrendered Wife and The Surrendered Single, lectured and worked with small groups on relationships coaching.

Gladys Diaz and Brandi Baldwin, also with Heart's Desire, were involved in group coaching along with the Rozas.  All the women leading the retreat were humble while sharing their past mistakes and generous in revealing their best practices.

Topics covered included how to practice gratitude, how to become better listeners, how to communicate our desires clearly without drama, how to be open and receptive without being a doormat, how to enjoy a dating life graciously, why we should be devoted to self-care and so much more, including fun tips such as how men will pay more attention to a woman wearing red lipstick.

A "man panel" of five guys -- single, in relationships or married -- let us probe gently in the mind of the opposite sex.  Their answers were light-hearted but enlightening.

The retreat was also just plain fun. Social activities included happy hour at Blue Martini, lunch aboard a yacht and Mary Kay cosmetics sessions.

I attended with a group of gal pals, all of us in different stages -- moms, divorcées, single, married --  and it helped us create stronger bonds in our friendships.

Of the new women I met, some were incredibly candid and it was eye-opening for me to see how resistant and hardened they had become in their hearts.  One divorcée confessed how she told every man she dated that she'd have friends to recommend for him in case things didn't work out -- this before he even picked her up at the doorstep for the first time. Talk about self-sabotage and not even giving the guy a chance.  Of course, it was all about fear of rejection, despite the combative attitude.

But love is neither a competition nor a battle.  Or at least it shouldn't be, according to the philosophy behind Heart's Desire.  Instead of putting the blame on the man, we have to look inside, too. It may be cliché, but it really takes two to tango.

I see this in so many women -- utter confusion and anxiety when it comes to men, as if they're reaching out in a deep, dark mine for a diamond with no light, no tools and no skills.  It just aint gonna happen if you keep repeating the same negative though patterns within yourself that prevent a shift in behavior.

Ladies, being single isn't easy but the grass doesn't necessarily get greener just because a man puts a ring on your finger.  We go to college for our careers, but we often don't take time to learn relationship skills our mothers never taught us. This wasn't a weekend about finding a husband with hokey promises, but a time to reflect on what is to come and to be prepared for all the love we deserve.

I'm still not inclined to actively seek out dates (Doyle would ask "Why not, Maria?"), but I do feel incredibly enriched by this experience. I realized that because I've taken time to work on myself in the last few years, I've gotten rid of the fear and anxiety I used to have as a younger woman when it comes to love. I'm at peace with myself and have faith.

Every single woman owes it to herself to work on these skills before the man walks in the door.  Just like you go to the gym, get your hair and nails done and shop for clothes, don't neglect the inside. It's your spiritual homework, which once completed, is amply rewarding.

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