If it weren’t so fierce, funny and well-observed, Vicky Jones’s work, which scooped the 2013 Verity Bargate Award for best new play, would be unbearable. Read more
Tag Archive for Relationships
Vicky Jones’s The One is an accurate portrayal of the addictive grip of toxic relationships but doesn’t have enough depth
From flexi-sexuals to posh swingers: apparently, we’re all getting more adventurous in the bedroom Read more
Kanye West credits fiancée Kim Kardashian and her family for changing people’s views on interracial relationships
Kanye West has praised the Kardashian family for changing the way America views interracial relationships. Read more
BBC One’s Animal Odd Couples introduced us to a wide range of creatures forming friendships across the animal kingdom. Here are a few of the strangest – and cutest – animal relationships seen on the show. Read more
Fresh Meat series 3, episode 2: Vod gets married and Kingsley struggles to maintain two relationships
For a show that started off relatively slow in series 1, series 3 has begun with a bang. Read more
Jessie J says she would need to do a little spring cleaning in her life before there’s room for a lover. Read more
If there is one thing I hear all the time from women, it is some variation of the theme: “I’m tired of being the one who gives more than I receive.”
The details change depending upon the stage of the friendship, but the implication is always that we are tired of being the initiators, the givers, the schedulers, the inviters and the ones who do the most for the other. We apparently listen the longest, serve most thoughtfully, and show up more consistently. In short, we think of ourselves as the “better friend.”
From all my interactions with women, you’d think the odds are probable that I’d eventually connect with these blessed beneficiaries, these winners in the life lottery of our giving. You’d think that for every woman who gives too much that there would be at least one woman out there who admits getting too much.
Ironically, I haven’t yet met her Read more
From the anal-retentive drones whose PowerPoint presentations seem to last for weeks, to the overbearing braggart who can’t stop telling you how wonderful he is, some people just aren’t very good at communicating. You’ve probably also experienced the awkward silences, stammered replies and mid-sentence brain freezes that can stall a meeting, presentation or date. Some people err on the side of too much talking, while others err on the side of too little.
We tend to think of great communicators as great talkers Read more
Yesterday, two things happened:
I had two separate conversations with new parents about how having a baby can be like a wrecking-ball to a marriage, especially in the first year.
Three different people asked me what tips I’d give parents who want to raise empathetic children.
These conversations are related.
First of all, I want new parents everywhere to know that it is totally normal for that adorable bundle of joy to cause a tailspin in your marital satisfaction. An abundance of research shows that this happens to the vast majority of couples: Statistics vary, but most studies indicate that 70 to 90 percent of couples report being less satisfied with their marriages after a baby is born.
Here’s the thing: Just because it is totally common for us to start feeling, say, hostile, toward our partner when junior comes home from the hospital, it doesn’t mean that those feelings are harmless — to the marriage or to junior.
In fact, hostility between parents can seriously harm a newborn baby’s nervous system. When parents fight, baby doesn’t feel safe, and this is one of the most important things for proper emotional, intellectual and even physical development. Far from being oblivious, pooping blobs, babies are highly attuned to the world around them Read more
Most of us wear a kind of mask — a persona that hides our deepest thoughts and feelings and presents a polished, controlled face to the world.
To be sure, a persona is a good thing to have. For example, meetings at work, holidays with the in-laws and first dates are usually not the best times to spill your guts. Just because you’re selective about what you reveal to the world does not mean you’re insincere. Phoniness is only when we lie about what’s really going on inside Read more
“My husband and I can’t say two words to each other without drawing blood,” a woman cried to her therapist. “The second he walks through the door, we’re at each other’s throats. Deep down, I know the love’s still there, but it seems hopelessly buried.”
Listening intently, the therapist reached into his drawer, pulled out a bottle, and handed it to her. “This is holy water, blessed by a swami from India,” he said Read more
So many of us search all the time for what really helps when things in life get difficult. Last year I had the honor of interviewing Karen Kissel Wegela about “The Courage to Be Present.” Karen has been a core faculty member at Naropa University for more than 29 years, focusing on contemplative psychotherapy — bringing together Buddhism and traditional psychotherapy. She has a private practice in Boulder, Colo. and gives workshops and lectures nationally and internationally Read more
It is an impossibility to be introduced to a friend. It has never happened.
Being Friendly Is Not The Same As Being Friends
Indeed, you can sense when you may have just met someone you’d like to be friends with, but a friendship it is not… yet. We only meet friendly acquaintances that have the potential to be transformed into friendships Read more
My best friend and I had a major falling out 4 years ago shortly after the death of my two-year-old son. At the time I was so deep in grief and my judgment so impaired that I did not apologize for behavior on my part that led to our breakup.
It took me a year to see what I did to contribute to the demise of our friendship. When I did, I wrote a letter apologizing for what I had done, leaving the door open for her response and possibly rebuilding our friendship. She responded but was still very hurt by what had happened Read more
When I first read the play “Fences” by August Wilson, it was 1993 and I had been given a second book contract to write a companion volume to my first book, “I Know What the Red Clay Looks.” The companion volume would be with black men writers, and I gave it the title “Swing Low” — an homage to the Negro spiritual, of course, but also because at that time, I very much thought about black maleness as the missing quantity in my life (I was adopted by a white family at birth, and reunited with my white birthmother when I was 11). When I thought of what that missing quantity might sound like, what I heard was a dark, honeyed hum — a chariot chorus in the distance, coming to carry me home to the black identity I was still then creating.
“Fences,” the title being a central metaphor throughout the play for walls and difficult choices, integrity and conviction, tells the story of a black family in 1950s Pittsburg led by patriarch Troy Maxson, a tragic hero whose life of highs and lows can perhaps best be summed up in this passage, with Troy trying to explain himself to his wife:
It’s an extraordinary passage, a phenomenal piece of writing, but the reason I was so moved by it back then was because at the time, I was involved with a black man about whom I desperately needed to believe was a kind of modern day Troy Maxson — his infidelities and shortcomings assuaged by his raw charm and charisma, his unapologetic black manliness in a cruel world of racial disparity. Coincidentally, right around that same time, I met my birthfather, my sole (then) living black relative, who had been described to me by my birthmother only once and like this: “Basically, he was a dog.”
Sitting across from me at the Au Bon Pain in Cambridge, Mass., not far from the Salvation Army where he was then living, my birthfather did not really send out a “dog” type vibe. His potbelly tested the zipper of his natty red nylon tracksuit, as his forehead gleamed with sweat and his eyes fell swollen and sad Read more
A spate of recent Hollywood films have revisited those fairytales from our childhood with a slightly different take, like new releases “Red Riding Hood” and “Beastly,” starring Vanessa Hudgens. This got me thinking about the stories little girls are brought up on — the notion of a Prince Charming waiting to whisk his beautiful princess onto a horse and live happily ever after, and how this may have coerced women into seeking out the perfect man.
And then I thought, this cant be true anymore. Indeed, as Brienne Walsh wrote recently on The Huffington Post, “Daily, we were told that men were not Prince Charming, that they would not vanquish a dragon to save us, rescue us from a tower or even just fight their way through the subway to come kiss us goodnight.”
And she has a point Read more
There is a famous Buddhist saying: “It is not the appearance that binds you, it’s the attachment to the appearance that binds you.” What does that really mean, and how might it apply to you and me?
If you and I are anything alike, then I know there is a constant hunger in you that longs for something. Just stop and look for a moment, and you will find it. You may be successful, yet still you strive. You may be wealthy, yet still you seek gain Read more
Hi Dr. Levine,
I have read most of your posts about needy friends and overbearing friends and annoying friends. I am in a long-term friendship that is so far gone, I don’ t even know where to begin.
My basic problem is that this friend has no boundaries and no one else in her life so she relies on me for everything. I have accommodated her for so long now that it would be hard to just end the friendship Read more
Sorry to burst your bright pink, heart-shaped bubble, but by now, you should know — especially with the rate of divorce being what it is — that a relationship isn’t always going to be sunny, blue skies, sexy text messages, and romantic surprises. At some point, it’s going to get a little more… challenging.
There was a time when I didn’t completely understand that. You see, when my boyfriend and I hadn’t been together even six months, we were hanging out with a couple who had been together about four years Read more
“Are you seeing anyone?”
My absolute least favorite question and yet often the first one women ask each other whether running into each other during blizzards on Madison Avenue or sweating on bikes at spin classes. In fact, even if it’s not the first question, truthfully it’s the only one women from 40 on up want to ask and it’s a loaded one.
If you’re actually dating someone you get an “oh that’s so nice” response said with a forced smile. And if you’re not dating anyone, you end up in a boiler plate boring conversation about the lack of appropriate middle aged men in New York Read more
You’re in a rut. You’ve been with your partner for many years now. Life now is about routine, chores and schedules. Long gone are the days of butterflies, surprises and spontaneous dates Read more
I am convinced, both by faith and experience, that to maintain one’s self on the earth is not a hardship but a pastime — if we live simply and wisely.
– Henry David Thoreau
We are living in anxious times. Improvements in our economy are inconsistent, and our sense of security in the systems that we have long looked to for stability feels weak and fragile. There are no quick fixes for the long-term issues that have gotten us to this point, and our governmental leaders are as fractured and disconnected as ever. Job security is no longer the norm, and collectively we sleep less than we ever have Read more
Initial chemistry is the spark that fuels a relationship, but that spark doesn’t always ignite for all the right reasons. Attraction is, to many of us, a mystery. How is it that qualities that led us to a person in the first place, can later repel us so strongly and lead to problems down the line? How does that cool confidence that once made us swoon turn into the soul crushing aloofness that distances us from a loved one? How does that first adorable hint of jealousy snowball into full-blown insecurity and dependence?
In my previous blog, “Why You Keep Winding Up in the Same Relationship” I explored this mystery, addressing why we often repeatedly choose similar partners and end up in the same unsatisfying or unsuccessful unions. How are we supposed to know when our attractions should be warning signs? What qualities should we steer away from when we don’t even know a person yet? Here I want to address some of these questions and propose a way out of the patterns that lead us to choose the wrong partners so that we can establish relationships with the right ones Read more