Viagra and TMI when dating

When things start to look like heating up on a date does a guy say to his girl, “Well , should I take my Viagra yet”?

To ask or not to ask – this is the question!

I read a story in the Huffington Post recently which discussed this topic really well. As you  may imagine, the woman was less than impressed with her date’s lack of decorum, discretion and delicacy…..let alone his sense of romance!

While this can be a real dilemma for some older guys who need Viagra or other sexual performance drugs to “perform”, younger men are apparently using SPDs to ensure performance on demand after a few drinks and hooking up with a willing candidate for the night.

So, how is this done without losing the romance and sounding tacky??

As Viagra and Cialis take so little time to do their job, does it need to be mentioned at all???? Why spoil the moment?

In the Huffington Post story the guy was concerned about the cost of the drug. He didn’t want to waste $10.00 if he wasn’t on a done deal. His concern about cost simply added to the already compromised romantic position in which he had placed himself.

Here is an excerpt from “The Little Blue Pill” by Marcy Miller in Huffington Post, July 26, 2012.

“Viagra has dramatically altered the entire dating landscape. The sex lives of the young, middle-aged and the old will never be the same.

Take young men. No longer must a young man be worried about his performance or about having a few drinks before “hooking up.” He can pop a little pill at the beginning of the evening and relax, knowing that he is prepared for any conquest that may come his way.

On the other end of the timeline, there are the young women who marry old guys for their money. In order to fulfill their part of the deal, it used to be that the girls did not have much to worry about in the sex department — they just needed to be sweet “arm candy.” Now, with the invention of sexual performance drugs (SPD’s), these women have their work cut out for them.”

Here is the link again to “The Little Blue Pill” .

Your comments would be appreciated – both from guys and gals!

Relationship Counselling by Christine Bennett Caring4Couples

 

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Affairs, Cheating, Infidelity, Unfaithful partner, or Betrayal?

Here is another post on affairs, cheating, infidelity, being unfaithful or whatever other euphemism you may want to call it. All those words amount to the same feeling – usually – betrayal!

Feelings of betrayal are the most likely outcome if there was an agreement – implicit or explicit – of sexual exclusivity. A committed  relationship between two people usually means just that. They agree to be committed to one another and that involves a great deal of trust that a partner will remain faithful and respectful to the relationship and refrain from any activity that may jeopardize this agreement.

The sense of betrayal more often than not leads to a grieving process involving shock, denial, anger, confusion, sadness and a host of other feelings that usually go together with the experience of loss.

Elly Taylor in smh.com.au, July 31 2012, discusses the language that may be used when discussing this topic of cheating in her article “The Language We Use To Discuss Cheating“.

Taylor says, “Some affairs are a ‘cry for help’. They can happen because someone is unhappy with the relationship, but is unable or unwilling to work on the problems or terminate the relationship in a respectful way. Quite often, the cheating party doesn’t necessarily want a relationship with the person they are cheating with. Couples can recover from this type of affair if it becomes apparent where things went wrong and both parties are committed to making things work again.

Other affairs happen because someone wants out of a relationship, and wants to be with the person they are cheating with. In 90% of the cases, it doesn’t work out. At this point the ‘cheater’ may want to reconcile with the original partner but often the original partner has moved on.

Then finally, you have someone who wants to reap all the benefits of being in a committed relationship, but wants to have fun on the side as well.  This type of affair is completely narcissistic and involves premeditated and sustained deception and the straying party is also likely to be psychologically and emotionally abusive to the partner. If someone is a “serial offender” like this and doesn’t really want to change, it would be best for the couple to separate and rebuild their lives separately.”

The full article is well worth a read!

Relationship Counselling by Christine Bennett Caring4Couples


 

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Yet another story of sexual betrayal and public shame

Another story of sexual betrayal and public shame as Andrew Ettingshausen’s marriage misery provides more material for the press.

There is no doubt that sex sells! Stories of sexual betrayal and the intrigue that accompanies the discovery of yet another public figure caught out, sells newspapers and magazines like nothing else! The latest marital mayhem to hit the headlines involves a dude called Andrew Ettingshausen.  Apparently he is a “former Rugby League star” according to The Sydney Morning Herald. I wouldn’t know as I’m an-other-than sports fan and would have no idea who was famous or not. I know, you’re probably thinking I should get a life…..

But!…. I would still like to know, is it that these public figures are delivered and exposed to serve as a reminder to other mere male mortals of the perils of philandering? Or, is it simply that women don’t get caught?

It is interesting that the stories sensationalize mainly men in the public eye who are caught spreading their joy with women other than their wives. Is it because famous women don’t do it or is it that they simply aren’t found out?…..Or aren’t we interested anyway?

I do know that the damage to a relationship is just as great irrespective of who ventures outside the marriage or committed relationship for sex. And there sits a big assumption anyway. Is it REALLY about the sex? I hear often enough from clients that an emotional void in their primary relationship has led them to seek solace elsewhere. Sometimes the criticism and put-downs delivered by a spouse on a regular basis are enough to drive the recipient  out of their bedroom somewhere more accepting and nurturing.

Bettina Arndt in smh.com.au. June 3 2012 has her views on the subject. “With every fresh sex scandal, the experts line up to pontificate on why these successful men, men who have everything, take such risks for the sake of sex. In Ettingshausen’s case, his lapse has been blamed on depression triggered by concern about his financial affairs. It is often suggested well-known men are risk-takers, narcissists who assume they don’t have to play by ordinary rules.

Successful men are used to winning, used to getting away with it. Many of the theories make sense, but the real truth is that many of these are pretty normal men with luscious options jumping into their laps.”

Read full article by Bettina Arndt smh.com.au

Do you have a view on this topic? Please contribute to this post by offering your opinion!

Relationship Counselling by Christine Bennett caring4couples.com.au

 

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Online Dating – Long Distance

Good morning and welcome to my Blog on online dating – by long distance. I was asked to write an article on this topic, so here goes!

Firstly, online dating is a fantastic way for people to meet. I’m using the word “meet” here in the broader context of either in person, face to face or a “virtual meet” online. And there is a big, big difference between meeting someone face to face or virtually.

With online dating, the whole introductory process in conducted online – by its very nature!! This is obvious…..Kisses are sent or other form of interest is shown, then come the emails and then maybe more emails, SMS and phone calls. At this point, it is usual to consider meeting in person if there seems to be enough sparks flying.

Meeting in person to me, is the crucial part of the dating experience. It forces the connection into a reality state rather than a virtual or fantasy state. From my own experience and what I have heard from clients, there is a lot of creative marketing practices happening in the world of online dating. I was even told by one brazen bloke that I was naive to think that profiles would display the real age of a would-be dater. He assured me that most people fudged their age by at least two years if not more.

I have also heard stories where two people have met in person for the first time and one party was unrecognizable because she had posted her daughter’s photo instead of her own. This can lead to feelings of disappointment, anger at having precious time wasted and a cynicism about the online dating experience.

It takes courage, a healthy self esteem and lots of patience to enter the world of online dating. So, it doesn’t help when the person you believe you have a nice connection with turns out to be a fraudulent fantasy.

Now if your intention is to conduct an online relationship to fill a fantasy need with lots of romantic emails, possibly based in fiction, then online dating by long distance will fill that need. Just be really, really careful if the person lives internationally and needs some financial help in coming to meet you. They may even suggest you buy your own ticket to their country and once you arrive, make it difficult for you to leave once you have come face to face with reality.

Nightmare stories of this nature have made headlines.

So my views of online dating – long distance, is that it simply remains a fantasy unless you eventually plan on meeting and then my view becomes – it could be disappointing or even dangerous.

10 Questions I would ask before entering into online dating long distance:

  1. What are my intentions for going online? What sort of relationship am I looking for? Am I looking for a virtual romantic fantasy, pen pal, friendship, long term life partner etc?
  2. What are the intentions of the other person? What does he or she write in their profile that caught your interest?
  3. What do they say about the possibility of meeting or not?
  4. How long will the online dating continue?
  5. What form is it going to take?
  6. Are they suggesting meeting for online virtual sex?
  7. Are you comfortable with that?
  8. Does that sort of “relationship” suit you and what is important to you about that if it is?
  9. If the other person wants to eventually meet, how can you check out that they are legit?
  10. Has any of their communications to you been suspicious or have you had any uneasy feelings during your time online with them?

Please leave your comments below. What are your views on online dating long distance?

Relationship Counselling By Christine Bennett Caring4Couples

 

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When Lifestyle Gets In The Way of Love

Welcome to today’s blog post about lifestyle and love. Lifestyle and love can often be incompatible and lead to a couple separating or conducting a long distance relationship.

There have been enough instances of couples in my counselling room now to talk about how lifestyle preference can get in the way of a couple continuing their relationship together. It is a big enough issue that couples and families have been separated as a result of irreconcilable differences in their way of life.

This is particularly relevant to couples and families moving to Sydney from another country. Often one member of the family is given a promotion or opportunity to work in Australia and they truly believe it, at the time, to be the opportunity of a lifetime.The decision is usually made in consultation with the partner and children and there seems to be agreement that this is will be a fantastic opportunity to live in a different part of the world.

In other cases, individuals who have traveled from other parts of the world to holiday in Australia meet one another and fall in love. They are here on holiday and then decide to make a life here together. This is fine and means permanent residency visas become an issue. Often one party is already sponsored by their employer and it is just a matter of time for residency issues to be sorted. This can take some time with all the formalities involved.

During this long period, if one party finds that living in Australia is not all they had hoped for, things can become tricky. Where is home going to be for the couple? One such couple made the decision to separate when the newly married woman was unable to settle here. She missed her home country, family, friends and lifestyle so much that she decided to return, leaving her new husband behind.

In another situation, an already troubled marriage was under greater pressure with a move to Sydney from the other side of the world. The stress of moving to a completely different climate, lifestyle, hemisphere and so on can be too much. When there is already stress overload on a marriage moving to the other side of the world or deciding to have a baby could be the tipping point of the relationship.

So, is there a way to avoid this happening in your relationship?

Here are ten ideas to consider. Maybe you can think of others to share?

  1. Be really honest with your partner if a situation arises that involves significant change such as moving to the other side of the world. To agree to anything to please your partner while ignoring your own feelings can lead to big trouble later on.
  2. Investigate what the change will involve. Do plenty of research.
  3. What support systems can you imagine putting in place to avoid feelings of isolation, entrapment and overwhelm?
  4. What are the consequences if the change doesn’t work?
  5. What contingency plans can be put in place?
  6. Is there an agreement on a time limit to give the change a real chance to work before bailing out?
  7. Is every family member in agreement? Have you entered into negotiation for a win/win outcome?
  8. How do you manage family relations from the other side of the world with those left behind?
  9. Is the change affordable in terms of time, financial considerations, career advancement and social/family connections?
  10. What sacrifices will you be making and are you making them willingly without resentment?

Do you have any stories to share about lifestyle choices and the impact on relationship? Please share your thoughts and be part of the Caring4Couples community!

By Christine Bennett, Caring4Couples

 

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What is the Secret to a Happy Marriage?

Welcome to today’s Blog. I’m going to be lazy today and refrain from spending too much time at the computer as I have had a tendency in the last month to blow up electrical appliances. To date, I have needed to purchase a new phone, new laptop and figure out why software that once worked on my Windows 7 machine no longer does – necessitating an upgrade that I would have preferred not to make….

Yesterday the circuit breaker tripped that supplies power to all my office equipment including computer, printer, land phone etc….Fortunately that was just the flick of a switch to get things happening again. Then, thinking it was time to get some washing done, I proceeded to laundry to push the appropriate buttons on that machine…….

No….nothing happened. Washing was transported today to be cleansed in my daughter’s machine. Washing machine fix-it man can’t come for another week!! Methinks I could be looking at another new purchase as said machine is now 19 years old. It probably deserves to be retired.

Meanwhile, I was interviewed by Kerrie Davies from Northside Magazine about relationships these days compared to days gone by. The topic of her article is “Did Our Grandparents Know the Secret of a Happy Marriage?”

Please click the link above to access the article. And please! Add your comments below. Do you agree or disagree with the views put forward in the article? Which are the biggest challenges we face these days in intimate relationships?

Author: Christine Bennett Marriage Counselling at caring4couples.com.au

 

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Has Your Interest in Sexual Intimacy with Your Partner Declined Over Time?

The days here in Sydney are becoming shorter, nights colder. I look forward to nestling under the doona into a warm bed at night and cuddling up to my partner. He has thoughtfully pre-warmed the bed by turning the electric blanket on low. Cosy :-).

Not all couples have this experience of looking forward to a snuggle in bed. Sexual intimacy has often gone out the window along with their desire to be together.

I hear all sorts of stories of how some of my clients go to bed deliberately at different times to avoid one another. Some people become so emotionally wounded within their relationship that stonewalling or avoidance become the norm in an attempt to stay safe. The carried hurt puts up an impenetrable wall of defense making a cuddle in bed, let alone sex, a distant memory.

The problem with this is the longer it goes on, the harder it becomes to re-connect. It becomes awkward. It becomes habitual. I often see couples, some in their 20s and 30s who have let months and sometimes years go by without engaging in sexual  intimacy. They have become like house mates, room buddies, rather than a loving couple.

There ARE ways to overcome the hurt.There ARE ways to re-connect if the willingness is there to do the work. There needs to be a commitment to recognizing when the relationship is losing energy and actively DO something to remedy the rift.

Following is an article by Amie M. Gordon from Psychology Today, on The Secret to Maintaining Sexual Desire.

I hope you find it interesting reading. And if your relationship has lost its lustre, what are some strategies you might practice to restore it back to health? Are you willing to take on the challenge?

Please leave your comments below. How do you keep the love alive?

Author: Christine Bennett Marriage Counselling at caring4couples.com.au

 

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Lest We Forget….

Today is ANZAC Day and the TV is tuned to the traditional ANZAC Day march. My partner is watching, I am only hearing. I’m hearing the marching bands play their traditional music, I’m hearing the commentators do what commentators do. And as all this proceeds I remember my father and grandfathers who are no longer here to march.

As children, my sister and I would sit with Mum, glued to the television set, anxiously waiting for a glimpse of Dad as he marched with his mates from  the 5th Australian Survey Battery.

I am reminded again of the passing of time. As the saying goes, the only constant in life is change. This is true of war, family relationships, friendships and intimate relationships. They aren’t supposed to stay the same. However it can take some conscious adjustment to accept that life goes on and people we once loved as an integral part of life, have passed on.

Thank goodness for babies! As much as I miss my Dad, my daughter is busy breeding. So far two delightful boys keep me on my toes and there is a little girl on her way to arrive soon. The flow of life continues as nature intended…..

Intimate relationships also have their natural flow. Starting off at conception with the fire of passion and uncertainty, a healthy relationship will evolve over time into a more stable, mature entity. Like anything worthwhile it needs to be nurtured, given loving attention and above all involve the utmost respect.

“World-renowned researcher on marriage and relationships, Dr. John Gottman, says there are four negative patterns that often sound familiar to fighting couples.”

Gottman refers to the these four negative elements as “the four horsemen of the apocalypse.”

Read full article Four Negative Patterns That Predict Divorce from andersoncooper.com

In summary Gottman’s Four Horsemen are:

  1. Criticism
  2. Contempt
  3. Defensiveness
  4. Stonewalling or the silent treatment

According to Gottman, there are three things you should never say in a fight with your partner.

  1. Your never…
  2. You always
  3. Anything insulting, or acted superior

Are you guilty? What would you need to do in order to protect your relationship form these negative Four Horsmen? Please leave your comments! They are welcome here :-)

Author: Christine Bennett Marriage Counselling at caring4couples.com.au

 

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Would an affair mean the end of your marriage or relationship?

“Do affairs cause bad marriages … or do bad marriages cause affairs?

All affairs can cause bad marriages but not all bad marriages cause affairs. Having an affair, cheating on a spouse, is no way to solve problems in a marriage.

While it certainly can be true that problems in a marriage can lead to loneliness, unhappiness and sadness, making a decision to have an affair is the responsibility of the person who makes the choice to cheat.”

Sally Connolly discusses the different reasons for affairs in her blog article Bad  Marriages and Affairs (April 3 2012). It makes interesting reading and invites the question of what comes first? Does a bad marriage lead to an affair or does an affair bring on the demise of a marriage?

What are your views and /or experience? If your partner had an affair would it mean the end of your relationship for you? Feel free to start a discussion!

Author: Christine Bennett Marriage Counselling at caring4couples.com.au

 

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What is Your Online Dating Experience? Have You Found The One through Online Dating?

Online dating ten years ago was something you only did if you were desperate. Very few people who were members of online dating sites would admit to having a profile posted and when asked by friends how a dating couple had met, then the answer was usually anything other than “online”. There was some embarrassment or even shame attached to answering the question honestly.

These days finding a date and even a life partner through an online dating service is commonplace. The “you must be desperate” stigma is no longer there. It is so “normal” now to find a date online that there is huge competition among the sites all aiming to attract clientele.

A number of sites now use so called “scientific” matching techniques and offer the potential dater suitable profiles to peruse. Some of these sites remove the ability of the user to review profiles themselves. It is all done from completely a psychological profile that is matched with someone compatible behind the scenes.

In an article written by Drake Bennett (Bloomburg Business Week), this practice is questioned. “Writing in the current issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest (PSPI), five psychologists who specialize in the study of human relationships argue that, while increasing the potential matches does increase the odds that a person will find a romantic partner, the rest of what online dating sites offer doesn’t do much at all. And some of the services the websites offer might backfire, causing users to overlook people they might be happy with.”

Follow this link to read Love Under the Algorithms – The Shaky Science of Online Dating.

Would you like to share your experience of online dating? Has it worked for you? Please add you comments!

Author: Christine Bennett Marriage Counselling at caring4couples.com.au

 

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