Just Dating—Holiday Do’s and Don’ts

The holidays can be a confusing time for those who are “just” dating. There are so many considerations and questions that arise. I believe that some issues in our lives come up over and over and that helpful reminders are timeless.

Gifts:

  • Should I buy him a gift?
  • Should I simply send her a card?
  • Am I cheap or selfish if I don’t want to buy a gift at this point in our relationship?
  • How will I look to him if I don’t?
  • Am I creating some kind of pressure for her if I do?
  • If I do, how much money should I spend?
  • How personal a gift should I/can I buy?
  • Is it okay to buy a gift that is simply a token of my enjoying his or her company?

Celebrations with Family and Friends:

  • Should I invite him to my family’s home for traditional family holiday celebrations?
  • Should I include him in the traditional gift exchange? Is it okay to ask him to pay for a gift?
  • Should I invite her to accompany me to my office party or to the homes of friends and family for holiday parties?
  • What message will it send if I do or if I don’t?
  • Is it rude to not include him or her?

Then there are even more quandaries and sticky situations you could find yourself in if you and your new honey are of different faiths, or spiritual inclinations. And what if she or he has children or elderly parents living with her or him? Continue reading

Stop Fooling Around! Start Making Contributions to Your Life That Matter

The idea of creating a life purpose statement isn’t new. People throughout recorded history have created statements of belief, intention, personal creeds and other similar statements. Only when we connect with our unique purpose and live through the values that support our purpose can we experience deep and profound personal satisfaction.

The benefit of developing and writing down your life purpose statement is to inspire you. Your life purpose statement is the expression of what you want to be and what you want to do in your life; your unique capacity to contribute in the mental, spiritual, physical and social areas of your life.

Ask yourself these questions. Listen with your ears, heart, mind and your whole body to the answers:

  • Why are you here?
  • What are you meant to do?
  • What do you deeply enjoy doing?
  • What have been your happiest moments in life?
  • Why were they happy?
  • Where would you like to spend most of your time?
  • What is innate and inherent to you?
  • If you had unlimited time and resources and you could do anything without restrictions, what would it be?
  • Do you have a dream or a deep desire that you keep putting on the back burner? What talents do you have that others don’t know about?
  • What can you do best that would be of worth to others?
  • Who are you to other people?
  • What would two or three people in your life say about you?
  • What purpose do they see you fulfilling in their lives?
  • What is it that so many people rely on you for?
  • Who have you been for people?

Continue reading

Gratitude Is Deliberate and Intentional

There is no limit to what you don’t have, and if that is where you put your focus, then your life will inevitably be filled with endless dissatisfaction.

Most people focus so heavily on the deficiencies in their lives that they barely perceive the good that counterbalances them.

Getting into the habit of showing appreciation and being grateful affirms you. The things you are lacking are still there, but all of a sudden you will recognize the multitude of goodies you didn’t realize were there as well!

Expressing gratitude can, indeed, change your way of seeing yourself and the world.

We know from tracking personal stories of people who keep gratitude journals on a weekly basis that they exercise more regularly, report fewer physical symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and are more optimistic about the upcoming week compared to those who record hassles or neutral life events.

Grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, life satisfaction, vitality, optimism and lower levels of depression and stress.

The disposition toward gratitude appears to enhance pleasant feeling states more than it diminishes unpleasant emotions. Grateful people do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life; they are more likely to acknowledge a belief in the interconnectedness of all life and a commitment to and responsibility to others.

People who practice the principles of gratitude have the capacity to be empathetic and to take the perspective of others. They are rated, by their peers and people in their social networks, as more generous and are more likely to help someone with a personal problem or offer emotional support to another.

Continue reading

Take Charge of Your Life or Stop Complaining!

“Taking charge” is code for the conscious knowing that we are at choice every minute! “Taking charge” is actually our willingness and ability to honor our legitimate needs; to say our real “yes” and our real “no”; to set and maintain our boundaries; and to act on our own behalf. We create our life and our love life through our beliefs, intentions, and the actions we take in the world.

Every one of us has an inner guidance system that drives us and guides our choice making whether we are aware of it or not. Our system includes:

  • Vision
  • Life-purpose
  • Mission
  • Needs/Values

Our life is most fulfilling and satisfying when we are in alignment with our vision and life-purpose; driven by values; on a mission. When we live from our being, we live a life in alignment with our vision, life purpose, needs/values.

What so many people forget is that lasting happiness, peace of mind, deep and joyful love, abundance, physical and emotional health are created primarily through who you are being rather than what you are doing or having.

Let’s look at each of these separate yet inter-related parts of the four corners of our inner life:  Continue reading

You’ve Got One Shot at Love

What if you have one shot at creating the best relationship ever…

The fact of the matter is that everyone would be much better off if we actually believed that we only had one shot to build the relationship of our dreams.

Too many smart, articulate and successful adults around the world go into relationships without deliberate intention, and with the belief that if it doesn’t work they can break up or get divorced.

That one concept is poison to the entire relationship-building process!

  • Decide that divorce is NOT an option.
  • Figure out who you are in the deepest recesses of your being.
  • Stop acting from fear.
  • Stop settling for anything in your relationship just being good enough!

Continue reading

Dr Jackie Black Newsletter


Hello. I am Dr. Jackie Black, your Couples in Trouble Expert. Since 1999, I have guided many formerly frustrated and desperately unhappy Couples in Trouble to happiness, closeness and having more fun together than they ever imagined. My years of experience combined with your commitment to your personal growth will enable you to welcome the results you have always wanted and never believed were possible in your marriage.

Learn more at DrJackieBlack.com