The Anti-Valentine

For those who are terrible lovers, regret loving, fail to love, can’t love, were crushed in the process, or simply hate the idea thereof.  A few sobering thoughts……….

DISCLAIMER: No I am not being cynical about Valentine.  Go ahead an celebrate to the fullest.  Pass the wine cup, revel in the flowers.  Inch up on your belly with the next row of chocolate.  Love is beautiful full circle.  I believe in love.  We were made for it, not merely as benefactors, but as givers, love givers, as God is.

Been there, done that.  That is, I’ve experienced the rollercoaster ride of love. I’ve also crashed and burned and for the mercy of me, I wasn’t able to recover the million stray pieces.  It is over.  Don’t misunderstand.  I didn’t give up on the idea of love, but I did decide this particular love wasn’t for me.  I am not claiming victimhood.  I am no saint. I did my share of transgressions and follies.  I acknowledge my role in the breakup, the divorce proceedings, and the ensuing chaos.  What is left of me?  My life.  I have this life left to live for all that is worth.  And when there is life there is hope.

Sometimes love has to end. It’s necessary.  Perhaps to save your sanity, your safety, your peace of mind, your life.  No I am not suggesting for anyone to proceed and bid adieu to your beau at a whim only because he or she is less than the ideal mate.  Maybe your relationship barely started and needs sharpening a little bit.  Maybe one or the two of you can be rehabilitated.  Perhaps the demons that torment you can be exercised.   Go ahead. Sign up for counseling.  Enter rehab. Sign up for couple’s anger management.  Do something and stop being a selfish fatalist prick who expects to sink with the ship.

Only you can draw the line. How much have you put up with?  What have you been tolerating and how much further can you go?  Somewhere, somehow the line will be drawn. Circumstances will force you to.  If you regard yourself as a self-respecting individual worthy of dignity and respect, only because you are a human being, then you are going to want to take charge of your love life.  Merely being a conformist and sailing with the flow of things might mean you have died!  There is nothing left of you.  Will your relationship survive the abuse, the affairs, the indifference, the sheer stupidity and immaturity?  I don’t know.  Is it possible? Is it probable?  It depends.  Are you both willing and able to make it work?  Can you compromise, heal, forgive, and forget?

If your answer above is either “I won’t” or “I can’t,” sorry to break it to you, but you are not suited for this.  You have become the Anti-Valentine.  Your rather wallow in self-pity anger, and bitterness.  You refuse to change.  Give it up.  Grant yourself and your mate some deserved space and peace of mind.  Resist the hormonal urges to go and grab another piece of skin.  Why, you are a high risk rebound.  Quit.  Split. File for divorce if it is appropriate.  Why continue to dig each other’s graves?  Why the persistence in filling the role of the next man or lady-killer?   No one wins the battles of the heart.  Correction. Actually somebody does and it is the attorneys crafting your divorcee decree at lucrative rates.  It is the lesser of two evil, really.  The relentless path towards madness ends at destruction.  There is no worse enemy to a relationship than the willful refusal to make it wholesome, safe, and constructive for all concerned.   If this is not where you stand, then realize my friend you picked the wrong vocation.  Sign up for singleness.  Classes are still open and many seats available.  A candidate has yet to be rejected for a singles’ profession.

 

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If Only God Hand Picked a Mate For Me

  
If God hand picked a mate for you you might not be pleased with the outcome.  

Hosea 1:2-3

“Go and take for you and adulterous wife and children of unfaithfulness because the land is guilty of adultery in the vilest form.”

No. That’s not a typo.  It’s not a misprint.   God did tell one guy one time to marry a hooker.  Weird , whacky, and wild , uh!  This story constitutes one of the most salacious dramas in the whole Bible, involving the respectable Man of God and his vice bride.  Think of it.  Hosea is single and well qualified, possessing a distinguished and impeccable prophetic resume.  But the air is about to be sucked out of his guts :  he is commanded to hinge with a virtual prostitute (Hosea 3:3).  How’s that as a an option to enhance his career and life ?  Can you picture the expression in his peers’ and parents ‘ face?

Wanna reconsider the single life again? 

I’m adamant about my stance that God refuses to micromanage anybody’s life.  But poor Hosea disproves my point , right , because God told him exactly who to marry.  Well in life there’s this thing called exemptions.  Not all is black or white out there.   Fifty shades of grey is more than a fictional novel .  God does draw outside the lines sometimes and unless we are dealing with the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule, many things are simply not set in stone .  Even the six hundreds plus commandments of the Torah don’t cover every single aspect of living . We are supposed to fill in the blanks. We must employ our inner moral compass based on that which carries a proven track record for maximizing and enhancing life and happiness:

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praise worthy, think about such things” (Philippians 4:8). 

I take it that God expects us to avail ourselves of informed and sanctified common sense when making critical life choices such as whom to marry.  The rules are not loose and open for negotiation , however.  The parameters are firm and not in flux:

“Don’t be unequally joked with unbelievers ” ( 2 Corinthians 6:14).

Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons” 

Deuteronomy 7:3).  

Simple enough. If that guy or gal doesn’t love Christ and his Word, ditch them.  Fill in the rest.  God isn’t going to finish your homework.   If you are waiting on God to show you by happenstance, vision, dream, or prophetic oracle about the identity of the One, you might as well plan for perpetual bachelorhood .   Take initiative .  Quit being indecisive.  Go out and meet people where people gather.  No not the bar. Not the whore house.  Stay out of the Devil’s Den.   Butterflies don’t hang out in swamps and bat infested dark caves.  They will suck out your blood.  Try the flower fields.   Not all churches are necessarily virtue clubs, but if you find singles there , chances are they aren’t there to be cured of a hangover or needing exorcism.  So I suggest you try the church house and strike out the Penthouse or Big House.  

Desist in having God as your personal life coach.  If God were to give you everything you asked, at your whims and preferences, who would be God?   The difference between God and us is that God doesn’t think he is us.    Give it up .  Get a life.  Make some tough choices.  Take a risk for love. If romance isn’t for you get a puppy , a hobby , a job and go on a quest to conquer the world .  The world is in need of fighters , not wimps and consumers.   

If God has a larger , more strategic purpose for your life, then he might well ask you to marry a shady character, an ex con, a single parent or whatever .  But that isn’t going to happen unless your ears are tuned in and adjusted to hear from God.   You and God have got to be aligned on the same wavelength so that you can discover his will.   And although the Hosea saga may be a one of a kind event , never -to-be-repeated occurrence,  you never will understand what the Lord in his wisdom has laid out for you unless you care to follow orders and be faithful .  

It’s not as complicated as it seems.  

Why doesn’t God do anything about my predicament ?  You gotta be kidding me .  Why don’t you?   You have two healthy legs, start walking !    Ten fingers can accomplish a lot , have you tried them lately?   The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.   Try work . Rumor has it it leads to results. God won’t assume responsibility for all all your choices.   Are you prepared if he pulled a Hosea out his sleeve?  I’m using faulty logic here ( and who uses logic anymore?).   It doesn’t follow that because you surrender will power that God is going to assume control .   No. You are in control .   You are simply misguided.   You are at the wheel.  But not without a reliable guide .   The plan is already published .  Don’t be doing the lame thing of conjuring up your own plan and expecting God to endorse it.   You get aligned with what God is doing.   The path isn’t farther than those 1400 pages of holy Writ.  That’s a good place to start.  

Why Having a Puppy is the Best Next Thing Should You Remain Single for a While or Remain Single Permanently

My late Puppy, Esmal-e, February, 2014. Miss you friend.

My late Puppy, Esmal-e, February, 2014. Miss you friend.

Tired of breakups, disillusionment, exhaustion, cynicism, and pessimism at the dating and relationship rat race?  Are you yearning for people to stopt disliking you, disrespecting you, and despising you? Then consider getting yourself some dog company.  In the millennia long process of human progress and evolution, the dog-man parity has yet to be improved, not because of a lack of genius , but because dogs unlike Homo sapiens, seem endowed with the natural affinity for avoiding screwing up relationships. 

  • Human relationships are sometimes very one sided.  Not like a Tango, but like a Mango whose sole purpose is to serve someone’s hunger and pleasure .  Mango gets nothing.  Has anybody ever had to contend with a dog with a sense of entitlement who gave nothing back?
  • Human relationships tend to degrade.  Couples therapy. Who ever  heard of man-dog counseling !  Given the right ( or wrong!) parameters people in human relationships may end up killed, maimed, or insane. 
  • Breakups and divorce are an ever present possibility.  It’s a toss for many.  
  • Puppy love is the most unconditional type of love.  There are no sanctification requirements.
  • Puppies will never try to change you.  
  • Puppies can tolerate a hefty amount of s—t, literal and metaphorical. I mean , they can both flash a wry grin and stand besides you while you are busy at your toilet . 
  • Puppies will always greet you, sniff you , lick your crotch, and get excited for the simple reason that it is you!  No need for a big house , designer clothes, BMW’s, or a fat 401K.
  • People often get hinged with undefined or rather ambiguous goals and expectations.  With a puppy at your side all the guesswork and hassle will be taken out.  You WILL know exactly what you are getting. 
  • Puppies communicate , like 101% of the time.  
  • Have an ugly , unruly puppy?Try obedience school to remedy the situation.  The costs are lower and the recidivism less likely than for sending your crush to psyachtry, rehab, or behavior modification at the next State Penitentiary. 
  • Puppies love simply.
  • You will never know a better , purer form of loyalty until you try puppy love. 

My All- Time Breakup Tunes

 

Beauty up 8000 feet, July 2015, mountain hiking trip. Stumbled uppn this beautiful specimen on a hiking trip. I realized later I never owned the flower since I had lost it the moment I cut it. 😦


Dissolution is a cold hard reality common to the human experience across time and space.  Not all relationships are supposed to work.   Losing that special person is worth crying about, but also singing about if you can muster the courage to let go.   The following songs have helped me realized where I’ve been and have also empower me to find solace and resignation.   

It’s Too Late.   A few things hurt more than knowing the clock has marked the love o’clock doomsday.  http://youtu.be/q8b8Nz31jZw

Careless Whisper.   Comapring lost love to the unwinding of a beautiful dance.    http://youtu.be/gpqmoBYkQfc

Someone Like You.   That person who departed lives on , but I’m afraid that he or she only exists as an idealized illusion whom we wish to reincarnate  and project on someone else.  http://youtu.be/hLQl3WQQoQ0

Where Did Our Love Go.  Death is irretrievably, so is a love long gone.  When the dazzling glory leaves, what is there to replace it.  http://youtu.be/jlfQeN1MHao

In Dreams.  The melancholic but phenomenal Orbison !  The talk of clowns tipping around your bedtime is the stuff of nightmares , but so is waking up to an empty bed and pillow of a bygone love. http://youtu.be/xplKpL59sPg

It Will Rain.  I delight in rain. It soothes my skin and my breathing.  Yet for some sensitive folks it is hard to escape the feeling of doom and gloom when cognizant of the approaching thunderous and black wet storm. Bruno has endowed the expression “rain on my parade ” with a sad new nuance.                          http://youtu.be/W-w3WfgpcGg

When I Was Your Man. Another Bruno hit, but this one offers a higher level of soul searching: the what ifs, where-did-I-go-wrong, the mistakes and missteps of failed love.  I cry with this one.    http://youtu.be/ekzHIouo8Q4

If I Can’t Have You.  The fantasies over a lover seem more keen before we have them, and particularly acute after they leave.  Having them gone will play tricks on our minds to the extent that we can’t conceive of the possibility of ever finding a suitable replacement.  http://youtu.be/yI2yTWUFquI

I Want You Back. The Jackson’s Five at their romantic best.  Love is beautiful and stubborn.  We long for and we beckon that which is good, true, and beautiful, even after it has marched into the vortex of no  return. We wish to clinch to them, refusing to let go, believing that love may still harbor a possibility, even if remote. In my young love life as a middle schooler I would have never hesitated to sing this one to one delightful cutie pie of a girl I once wanted back. http://youtu.be/s3Q80mk7bxE

Since I Don’t Have You.  An oldie but quite the goodie still. The sensation of having lost everything because we are no longer together is terrifying enough to rattle even the most non-chalant of us.  The feeling of nothingness and emptiness due to break up can be relentlessly haunting and long lasting . http://youtu.be/ngZh6ZSRoYg

In Lust We Trust: Jerking Off To Porn And The Quest To Call It Quits

You can not blame masturbation on porn. When I was younger I used to masturbate to Gilligand Island.

— Ron Jeremy

Known as the Tom Cruise of porn, Mr. Jeremy is all too keen in the fine of art of spinning provocative, sensational rhetoric in order to score public relations points, or merely to advance his personal image and that of the almighty porn industry, which at this historical juncture generates more dollars than all professional sports combined.  Granted, masturbation is as old as time and people have been exploring their genitalia long before Columbus set sail into the New World.  The sex industry did not invent masturbation anymore than Coca Cola invented thirst. Jeremy’s witty apologetic, however, doesn’t not address the complex interplay of sex as entertainment and the range of psychological phenomenon that inflicts on consumers.  I suspect that porn in its current manifestation does have something to do with masturbation. I would venture to say that porn as entertainment is designed to condition us to do something about it.  Its ever growing quest and ambition is the selling of lustful thrill and fantasy. And if it gets you to masturbate, then all the better because in all likelihood you’ll  be coming back for more.

Sex sits at the core of our identity.  The very question of who am I entails something of our sexuality: either I am a homo sapiens with a penis, or one with a vagina.  Genital self-discovery and exploration is an integral part of psycho-sexual development (think Freud).  Good and dandy. It is called human nature.  Before we have sex we fantasize about it, we masturbate, we talk and poke fun and manage to be embarrassed about this odd, reproductive thing.  Most of us are here because of sex and that likely is not going to change for a while.  People turn to porn out curiosity or because of the need to satisfy biological urges.  Single guys and gals understand this impulse all too well and only the most courageous will admit that dipping into porn had a way of relieving sexual tension, loneliness, and boredom.  Nothing wrong with sexual desire.  We were created to desire sex.  Human existence has persisted because of it, get over it.

But porn is another picnic table. It comes as intrusion into our consciousness. Sex is a biological function, but porn is a human construct, a form of art, a way of expressing who we are, even when it leaves nothing to the imagination.  Porn is also a drug. It works on the same principle. You have to use it to get you to a high, so to speak. The purveyors of porn are well aware of this, which explains why porn has exploded exponentially as a business enterprise.  The risk inherent in this type of recreation, like drugs, is that sooner or later the brain (the most influential sex organ) demands new thresholds of visual stimulation  to reach a high. The dynamics of addictions are such that you can’t never really settle to a comfortable level. You are not likely to say, “enough porn for today.” The more the use and abuse, the greater the tolerance  and hence the demand. You are hooked.  Your very existence has been altered and fragmented on a sexual grid.

Because it is designed to provoke and advance the cause of lust, porn facilitates masturbation. People find it exciting coming to orgasm by voyeuring  into strangers having sex on the screen.  Viewers find porn alluring because it strokes an inner need: the need to merge with and belong to another human being.  Yet  I can’t help but see porn as reductionistic of what sex is meant to be.  In porn, the sex is highly mechanical, impersonal, and detached.  Performers are paid to have sex and they may in fact be complete strangers to each other.  Porn radically shifts our perception of  manhood and womanhood, making it easier to regard them as sex objects and trophies.

Another problem I see with porn is it rattles your sexual appetite to a rude awakening, overriding the natural libido fluctuations that occur day in and out.  Unless you are suffering from some form of sexual dysfunction, you normally won’t have the constant longing for sex. You are not always thinking about it.  You have a job, you have bills to pay, family to attend to, friends with whom to bond, an exercise routine, and the like.  But using porn challenges all of that.  It forces your body into sexual action whether your hormonal state is ready or not.  Because your libido is intertwined with testosterone, masturbating to orgasm tends to deplete it, unless of course you are having sex, in which case testosterone logs a boost. If  you half-paid attention to your biology and health and wellness courses in college, you will understand that testosterone is linked to having energy and vitality and a functional libido.   Lacking testosterone makes you fatigued, demotivated, and sleepy.  If your hand is constantly reaching down the belt, you mostly likely at a point where self-pleasuring become a matter of routine, perhaps evolving to an anatomical ritual. But wait. Because you are used to masturbating to porn, you can’t just get physical anywhere and everywhere. You got to find a safe, private place in order to carry out the deed.  It all seems pretty innocent. But what if you have a spouse and kids?   What if she walked into you doing it?  What if your boss, best friends, and even mom catches you red handed? Is the embarrassment worth it and what is going to be the likeliest of explanations?

You are doing yourself a disfavor. Masturbating to porn is most detrimental in that you will begin to sense an insidious force inside out of your control, compelling you to play with yourself compulsively and obsessively while disrupting and distorting  important aspects of your personal and social life. There is no lack of people complaining of their spouses or significant others blatant and persistent use of porn. There is something malevolent in missing work, skipping a date, lying to your mom, your friends, and wasting money because there is a string inside pulling you into isolation so that you can continue consuming and masturbating to porn without inconvenience. The anecdotal data is abundant out there that some people who masturbate to porn will often spiral out into deviancy, engage in self-deception and retreat into isolation all while sacrificing and substituting marital intimacy for self-seeking lust.  If you have kept your habit as a secret to your spouse, and you both begin to experience sexual dysfunction (because you can’t hump into action unless you are viewing porn), ask yourself if your behavior enhances the quality of life for all parties concerned. People do experience sexual dysfunction,  and it is not in your best interest that your particular dysfunction is self-induced due to repeated masturbation to porn. I am not invoking the fires of hell should you fail to repent or whatever. This is no Puritan anti-sex manifesto. But good sexual ethics in your person and relationships is a matter of personal and social justice. It is part and parcel of a strong, mature, and healthy mind and solid relationships that sex be kept clean and honorable. You owe it to yourself, and if married, to your spouse to have integrity in matters pertaining to sex. Substituting marital intimacy for the ever alluring prize of self-pleasuring will put you and others at risk, earning you contempt, shame, guilt, jail, divorce court, or all of the above.

Masturbation to porn is a sign of insecurity, of the inability and unwillingness to be transparent, to let your partner know about your sexual needs. While viewing porn, do you feel that your spouse is no match for the sexual exploits and acrobatics of the Ron Jeremys and his peers of sexual athletes? Porn actors are paid to perform. Their particular talents are noticed and awarded, but for some of them, it is at the expense of self-abasement prompted by a greedy porn industry more than willing to push porn actors to the limits in order to maximize fat wallets.  Injuries, psychological and emotional pain, and damaged reputations  keep good company with sexual performers.

If you are having to compel your partner into doing sex in ways he or she feels debased and ashamed it is high time for some serious soul searching. At the risk of sounding alarmist, let me underscore that you being an avid consumer of porn will tend to devalue yourself, your partner, and how you see the opposite sex. Sex is more than eating peanuts. It is not true, as Jeremy underscores sarcastically, that “sex is simple and love is painful.”  Mister Jeremy better understand that he is oversimplifying a complex issue. But as things roll in the entertainment sphere, the name of the game is promoting whatever earns money, even when the savvy pick-up lines and slogans are proven to be shallow at the core of the reality they are attempting to describe. I would caution anymore venturing to the alluring land of porn that self-pleasuring to porn WILL make your love painful. Masturbating to porn is bad sex plain and simple because it is self-focused. You are thinking of you and catering to your own pleasure. Many things damage love. Don’t let your solitary sexual activity be one of them.

Love and Time

See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.  The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.”   Song of Songs 2:11-13

We are wired for love.  It is written in our DNA.  Apart from love, humanity would not be what it is. To be human means pondering the unending quest to finding true love. The notion that we fall in love, in one giant swap, skin and bones and all is an illusion perpetrated all too well by Hollywood fantasy writers.  True love takes time to grow, like a plant.  Haste  the process, kiss the life goodbye.  Indeed, good plant life, or animal life, or human life for that matter needs the right conditions to flourish, to bring forth fruit, to excel at being life.  The romantic love you envision, the one that spurs butterflies in your stomach, yeah, the love you want to invest in that special someone, can only thrive along several parameters. Mere feelings won’t roll the ball. Pure excitement can’t sustain a life anchored to loving others, but an iron-willed determination to make it work, to stay committed and connected, to self-sacrifice for the sake of the other.

Love is a skill. It is driven by the will.  Our lack of skillful, conscientious loving is kin to the litany of heartaches and heartbreaks that turn humans into despots and haters. But learning how to love isn’t taught in K-12.  We know everything from genetic engineering to laser beams, but we haven’t quite figure out how fall in love wisely, to engage one another mindfully in the fine art of love. I can not churn out a love recipe here for you. Every loving experience will be unique to each. One thing though, that I can underscore, is that worthwhile love takes time. Take time to be a skillful lover.  Vesting it all in a dash of frenzy runs the risk of spoiling the plot and burning you out.  Save your sanity. Don’t fall head over heels for someone when first getting acquainted.  Do you get the strange sensation she is the one and only, that the stars are aligned because you met this or that particular cute creature?  Hmmmm. There are millions of people in God’s blue world, how certain are you he or she is the One and Only, the last water bottle in the desert?  Keep on breathing! Don’t suspend judgment. Give it time. Romance isn’t the place where emotions should trump reason. If you think you have fallen for the one, question yourself: Do you think that what you are experiencing at the moment is the real thing, the embodiment of your romantic longings?  You don’t know that. No one knows.  Give yourself a challenge by staying cool headed and objective. Placate those butterflies in your stomach. If you are reckless and launch yourself like a fool, without limitations and reservations, without questioning your motives and your goals for the relationship, then your romantic prospect might think there is no longer anything to prove to you.  Offer ample space for your prospect to discover you, to dig deep into your soul, to unpack your heart and mind.  Do likewise, but go at it cautiously, being mindful that this person in whom you have set your sights needs to be understood in all the ways that count.  A main flaw with modern dating and marriage is that we latch on to virtual strangers.  People are all too eager to take shortcuts.  But let me underscore that there is no such thing as falling in love at first sight.  With all due respect, we must look twice, or thrice.  Forget instant love.  You can’t cook a lasting relationship in the manner of microwave popcorn. Rather, approach romance like a long, slow savory stew.

If you go on declaring your love all too prematurely and carelessly, in a trivial way, then you are giving away the fight all too easily.  Let your prospect fight for you. Engage in a little hide and seek.  Give people space and be patient.  Don’t over compliment, over-do favors, calls, gifts, texts, visits, etc. People do get smothered for a lack of air!  Remember the tiny plant?  It needs water, oxygen, and warmth, but not to the extent that it will drown or burn.  Human kind being what it is, we tend to lean on complacency, self-satisfaction, and entitlement.   We take things for granted.  Never, never, never allow yourself to be taken for granted by a romantic prospect, and don’t dare going that route either.  This person might be the best treasure yet, treat it as such.  The problem with complacent lovers is that after a while they no longer feel the urge to pitch in to the relationship, believing that, well, since you have been all too eager to be a puppy in your loving, you are in the purse!  They got you.  Unless you have exchanged marital vows, don’t let anybody conclude that you are captive under the belt, wrapped over their little finger.  Unless you have committed each other in love, you belong to no one, really. If someone says “I got you!” it’s probably the police. It doesn’t follow however that you are to enlist as a full time member of the player club.  The problem with players is that they only play games. And games end shortly, before moving on to a new one.  Don’t fall victim. Avoid becoming another casualty, and please stay away from the ploy of playboys and playgirls, users and abusers, those devoted to seduce and destroy all in the name of lust masquerading as love.

If dating and contemplating a serious prospect, back away a little. Be missed. Skip a text and a phone call here and there.  Don’t always be available. Be scarce. Remain a challenge to your prospect and hence you will increase your value.  Your prospect should think they could lose you, any time.  Don’t become a trophy too early on or risk cheapening yourself.  People value those things the most that cost them dearly.  Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.  Over revealing yourself too soon may place you in the dispensable bin, because frankly, we get bored with what is familiar and ordinary. No one can’t treat you as ordinary if the intention all along is recruiting that person who will help you write your greatest love story.  If neither of you are mutually special and extraordinary, then what are you doing? Give it up and move on.  Love is not a trivial, dispensable thing.  Love is God’s greatest invention and as such it should forever awe us into giving our best.

Keep the mystery and suspense rolling.  Stay cool, calm and collected. Refuse the temptation to cast yourself as a savior, romance god, or the fountain of seduction.  People can see through pretensions, pick up artists, and scammers.  Be yourself because there’s only one of you. But be conscientious in your approach. What is it that you want? Do you really want him or her, or simply something about them?  Ask the questions, but also keep some quiet. People should be allowed to reveal who they are instead of you nagging and prompting them to. Again, allow for dignity and respect by letting people be who they truly are, instead of imposing an agenda of your imagination.  All said, let the waters of your passion run, not like a flood, but like a small spring, slow but steady. At the proper time, you can discover for yourself if this relationship is safe for love, and thus, to let it run like a flood. In the meanwhile, save your best wine for last. Don’t gulp it all like tequila shots.  You don’t want to be drip either, else your prospect will get the unsettling message that you don’t care. And not caring isn’t an option, ever, in the pursuit and attainment of true, lasting love.