Types of People You Should Never Marry

Considering marriage?  Certain species of human you want to avoid like leprosy because your peace of mind, your future, and your very life may be at high risk of unraveling.

I can’t possibly enlist all the configurations of crazy and instability and irresponsibility that exist.  You can know them when you see them.  But certain people exhibit clusters of traits that may not be in your best interest to pursue.  The following word pictures will exemplify what I am trying to convey:

Peter Pan.  The man or woman child who refuses to grow up.  Being stuck on perpetual childhood as in the proverbial “the best childhood lasts forever.”   Sometimes childhood translates (though it’s not necessary) into irresponsibility, capriciousness, ill decision-making, temper tantrums , or worse, being stuck on stupid.  If you are having to swap diapers for an oversized child whose idea of romance involves playing the let’s-be-babies game with no sign of let up, you need to make an easy choice and vacate their lives before the screams and soiled diapers take a chunk out of your sanity.  These individuals aren’t ready for Prime Time.  Marriage is about two responsible individuals cooperating, not about one individual having to oversee the other in an endless crib of misery.

Douche Bagstan.  Once upon a time there was this person named Douche, from the land of Bagstan who you thought was Prince George-ous  and whose kiss you believed would work wonders but he-she only managed to smear slime on your face.  Douche can be the worse piece of humanity, sometimes quite incorrigible.   Their personality and character traits are worse than merely depraved.  Douche have no regard for you.  They will worship at the altar of self-centeredness and will display an amazing and consistent pattern of insulting your intelligence, your values, and any sense of decency.  Douches are factory made for crudity and vulgarity and not giving a crap about your feelings or well being.  Douche is an expert at drilling holes into your self-esteem.

Frankenstein.  Beware of the Monster, Dr.!  He or she might be your creation.  Really.  Some people are in a relationship with a project, not a person.  You are trying to fix him/her, and/or fashion them into an image you have conjured up in your wicked or otherwise misguided imagination.  People are who they want to be.  However, why are you bent on engineering a disaster instead of seeking out a reliable, trustworthy partner for life?  If you are disordered yourself, most likely you are going to influence whoever you come into contact with in all the wrong ways.  Negativity can be contagious.  Your personal pathologies are fully transferable and it usually does not take long before your beau or Coquettish Ingenue picks up your cues and begins acting accordingly.   High five Doctor!  You are unstable and you are a genius.   The universe could not be more random than that.  It is not conducive of you to mate with your monster unless you are hell-bound to raising freaks of nature.  Please, if you are twisted and mad use your genius to fix yourself instead of running the risk of crafting a freak relationship doomed for ruin.

Dark Vader.  The heartless hate machine.  Neurotic, control freak, border line personality disorder.  Massively over reactive, violent, vengeful, lacking in sympathy.  The one-lane brain devoted to all things chaotic.  Dark Vader personality will think that they must destroy whole planets just to state their case and win the war against you.  Abandon hope.  It will be a long shot to win against such a formidable Force.  Don’t be fooled.  If you are in a relationship where your significant other is always trying to bully you or choking you into submission to their whims and fancies, you are in for the thrill hate ride of your life.  The best you will accomplish is losing a limb or the death of one or the two of you.  Better to go out on whimper than on a bang of pain and suffering.

Pin Head. AKA Hell Raiser. Good people open the gates of heaven for you, the not so good will escort you to the portals of the netherworld.  Welcome to hell!  When you get there you will not miss it because the pins will sting you.  Endless torture awaits you because your mate has zero notion of love and compassion and their rule book has horror and torture as the title.  Hell raiser will make sure hell stays as an ever present reality in your relationship and while at it will keep it hot as a bonus.  Nobody should have to suffer needlesly in a realtionship. If the suffering being perpetrated against you is willful, audacious, and purposeful, you need to make a dash away from it.

Anti-Christ.  The Christ-denier, God demolisher.  If you consider yourself a member of the elect people of God, why are you hanging out with the children of darkness?  You are merely asking for trouble.  Your name might very well end up in the 666 club, a foe of the Master.  Stay out.  Don’t go there.  Refuse any association with an unbeliever who attacks, downplays, or wants to steal you away from Christ and your confession of faith.  You think you can save him or her?  Good luck with that.  Last I knew, satan also wins converts.  You don’t want to be on the wrong side of the battle of good versus evil.

The moment of praxis is now!  Please marry right.

Frankenstein 

It’s not only mad scientists who create monsters.  We all potentially can engineer them out of the unresolved and pathological distortions of our lives.  It’s the Frankenstein effect and it can potentially happen to anyone. Lodged deep in the human persona lie a constellation of malevolent and benevolent forces. These forces are all endowed with possibilities, as ripples impacting space beyond the center.

A phenomenon of modernity is the supremacy of the individual.  As such we exalt in the gospel of personal sovereignty and infinite choices. Yet we can not escape the reality that our actions do affect others for good or ill.  The unintended consequences of our long reaching ignorance, maladies, prejudices, and biases are seen frequently in rogue politicians , dysfunctional children, oppressive  economic systems, and pathological love partners. We like to assign blame to these freaks and I have to admit , plenty of them are blameworthy . Yet somehow we helped create them.

Al-Queda and Isis arose out of the power vacuum created by the massively incompetent and misguided policy of regime change in Iraq.  Misinformed laws have kept petty drug users locked up in prison when they could otherwise benefit from treatment.  The failure to bring addicts back to health has only exacerbated their condition since as branded criminals they will be less likely to rehabilitate and hence will cause more harm and cost more money in the long haul.  By the same token penal institutions become schools of crime where the sole aim is to get tough and throw away the key.  People become worse when all hope for healing and restoration is taken away from them. Public schools churn out petulant and spoiled brats with a  grand sense of entitlement and a thin sense of responsibility and discipline.  Lovers who start out as gentle can and do turn abusive stemming from the negativity and relentless bullying of their partners.  Unstable persons prime others for the same ills they are guilty of.  Abuse begets abuse.  Hopeless and desperate societies have been known to spawn destructive demagogues ( Hitler is the classic example).  Bad parents who neglect and torment their kids are surprised when later in life their kids are a mirror image of themselves.

Hardly a human behavior leaps out of a vacuum . We are social, interconnected beings whose motives and drive to action stem from the deeply ingrained attributes of our forebears (genes) our from social input (learning) .  Before you ready your sword that will slay the monster, please do a bit of soul searching to figure out its origin. Perhaps we elected him (or her) out of insecurity and fear.  You are stuck with a deviant lover. Tough. Ask yourself if in fact you contributed to him or her becoming what they are or he/she is merely a product of your lust and poor judgment.

Please note.  I am not absolving the monsters from personal responsibility.  Insomuch as they posses conscious awareness they are responsible and as such they must be held to account. We made them. We have to deal with them. But  we must understand that our influence on others do play a role on what they turn out to be.  The bitterly cynical and angry teacher more than likely will have a class that reflects who he is, minus due respect.   Withhold love and appreciation and attention and be stunned to discover that your spouse has found it elsewhere to the detriment of your relationship.  If you are single, who you are will most likely determine who you attract rather than who you desire.  If you are a freak, guess who is going to hinge to you?  I’m talking in probability terms here.  Let’s no surrender to fatal inevitability. 

Mad genius isn’t a virtue.  The same brilliance that gave us vaccines and moon travel also created the atomic bomb and designer illicit drugs.  The evil we sow today will rise up its ugly head.  Karma has a long hand and long lasting memory.  Be nice. Be good and prayerful.  You might  never know how your character shapes your surroundings and your future. Are you like the dragon who summons  monsters out of the sea ( Revelation 13), or like the King who overcomes them? ( Revelation 19). Are you a source for goodness and healing in the world, or are you presently brewing the toxic chemicals that will hatch monsters?

 

 

 

Why Playing it Fair May Destroy Your Relationship

You have rooted for a relationship and you made it.  Congratulations! You are swinging high on the romance carousel.  The question now in your mind is this:  How am I going to go about maintaining this precious pearl of love so that neither time nor troll ever demolishes it?

“I am going to play it fair.”  Proposition 50-50.  We slice the cake half-and-half.  You give this much, I’ll give in proportion to your contribution.   Hmmm….. Seems like a deal hard arguing against, except that it might not work.  Insisting on fairness may end up undermining your love.

If we compare the idea of romantic love with a business partnership, then it would be reasonable to expect a return on investment. It is sheer madness not to expect it. Because I am committing to you, I demand to be loved back, to be cherished, and so on.  In this scenario  we treat love as a contract where the parties agree to fulfill their share of stipulations.  When love shifts to marriage the stakes rise higher as our roles acquire new dimensions and responsibilities.

Problem is, romantic love is not a business.  What if my inventory runs out and my resources depleted? Should I bail out and call off the relationship because he or she can’t comply with their part of the deal?   “He is not calling as much.”  “She doesn’t text first, anymore.”  “She forgets my birthdays.”  “He won’t initiate sex.” Let me be fair then: I won’t call as much, I am going to stop texting first, I am going to forget her birthdays.  And forget about me spreading my legs.

Now you are at a standoff.  Anger and resentment grows.  Your stance for fairness has morphed into payback.  Do you see where your little game of tit-for-tat is going?

Give it all or don’t get in. 

Seriously, why are you getting into a relationship in a half-baked attitude and a mediocre disposition?   Sure enough, nothing is ever certain in love and romance.  People enter into relationships in ambivalence all the time, not knowing what to expect.  We don’t have all the answers. No wonder that love is thought to be blind.  But it is only blind if you so designate it.  It doesn’t have to.

The misery in your relationship has to do with the failure to ask  the hard questions at the beginning and face up the difficult conversations that will define your relationship.  If you are married the reason you are not sexing  up regularly might have to do with failing to create the right kinds of intimacy in other areas.  It could be you don’t ask for sex and you don’t dare to initiate it on a regular basis or on special occasions.  You are afraid to talk about sex.  It is possible your notions of sex are totally rotten and distorted:  ” I will only give him sex if he deserves it.”  There you go champ!    Your righteous fairness has turned you into a manipulative hag of sorts and now the chickens are roasted for you to taste on a later date.  You are well on your way to engineering your own demise.

If you are a diligent lover and partner, you may want to set aside this mindset of fairness.  Sorry again, but 50-50 isn’t going to cut it. You might have to render 110 percent !  Genuine Christ ones give it all, as Christ gave his everything for the world.  He held nothing back and you shouldn’t either because the other party fails to deliver.  Geez dude, wouldn’t that invite abuse and turn me into a loser doormat of a man?  First of all, if you are in an abusive, manipulative relationship, how did you get in there in the first place?  If you are starting out on the dating circuit and getting acquainted, resist the urge to advance further if you see red flags of selfishness, malice, stalking behavior, insanity, and commitment phobia.  For your peace of mind and safety’s sake don’t ignore major character flaws in your potential beau.  You should never think of marrying someone detrimental to your well being.  Duck a bullet. Avoid bedding  the Devil with the intention later to convert her into an Angel.  Worst case scenario is that your tryst will hatch another Devil out of you too.   You may degenerate into playing by their rules and vice and thus perpetuate the madness. It is better to have a bitter end that endless bitterness. So cut yourself loose while you have the chance.  It is not worth risking your life or future with someone not worth your dignity and self-respect.

Fair does not work in relationships because we are dealing with flawed human nature.  You are not married to Jesus, for God’s sake.  If that were so he would ensure you obtain your fifty percent of the deal one hundred percent of the time. People get sick.  Mental incapacity sets in.  We are subject to lay offs and unemployment, emotional and intellectual maladies, and general sinfulness and frailty and death.  Humans falter.  People change.  If your spouse gets injured and becomes bed-ridden, are you going to resent him for not being there for you?  Christian duty summons you to love him sacrificially and unconditionally.  And even if he is not incapacitated, you don’t stop being courteous and generous because he on occasions forgets to or is careless. You never stop loving because he or she is falling behind or pulling back.   This side of existence one hundred percent commitment is not going to happen one hundred percent of the time.  It is not a fair proposition, I know.  But Christianity is not about fairness.  It is about grace and mercy to the undeserving.  If you regard these virtues as not palatable, then Christ isn’t for you.   Truth is there will come a time sooner or later where you will need  mercy and grace.  But if you insist on fairness, you may end up receiving neither.

 

 

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.

 

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.  

Dating Smart on Dating Sites

  

Dating  smart means avoiding the potential pitfalls in the online dating market.   I don’t apologize for calling dating a market because it is.  Modern day dating has become a commodity with the best and brightest and most  endowed (and should I add sexiest ) going to the highest bidders.   Online dating isn’t for everybody and if you are old fashioned like me, you probably would rather opt for face-to- face interactions and meetings.  Be that as it may I offer here a few guidelines to help you navigate online dating and perhaps save you from getting burned.  

Online dating services now have endless possibilities, catering to virtually every demographic, whim , and vice.  You read that right. Seriously there are dating sites out there for one night stands , booty calls, gay/bi/transexual kinky sex, orgies, and even for cheating on your spouse , after all , ” you only live once , so cheat now while you have the chance.” Notwithstanding the potential for sin and vice, anecdotal data is abundant of horror stories of dates gone awry and potentially lethal. You only need to google that to help you realize the moral fallout that online dating can bring.

Yeah people are looking for love the world over.   It is human nature. We were created for relationships and intimacy.  Looking for love is as legitimate as looking for your next meal or your next drink.  But let me state that there is a right way and wrong way to go about it.   We who are in Christ are called to be the light and salt of the world.  Date smart.  We’re obliged to follow principles rather than the sway of lust.   If you call yourself a Christ one, a believer , a Gospel person infused with God’s Spirit, what are you doing seeking flowers among the weeds?   Light has no fellowship with darkness and the imperative that we not be unequally bonded with unbelievers isn’t about to be revised for modern sensitivities any time soon.   

Avoid the bad apples.  There’s a solid and inevitable presence of pretentious liars, cheaters, con artists, players, and trolls all over cyberspace. In regards to online dating sites, the virtuous don’t have a monopoly on the dating industry.  Rapists, child molestors, adulterous adventurers and pimps are subscribers of darting services, mind you , but they are not about to reveal that.  The last thing big bad wolf wants to accomplish is disclosing his true intentions to the chickens.  This is acutely so in online dating sites where unscrupulous and malicious “members” prey on the vulnerable and gullible by means of scams, emotional manipulation, and sex games.  Even if a so called member sounds and looks reasonable you might never know what their ulterior motives are.  Nevertheless anyone who asks you for money, prompts you to undress on webcam, wants to meet you in a remote place secretly, etc, isn’t probably looking for your best interest.  You have to employ common sense and avoid suspending seasoned reason and judgment when the rush of hormones in your head suggest otherwise.  If it sounds too good to be true, it isn’t.  Shady characters aren’t limited to people who merely sound incomprehensible ( “wanna chat sometim , travel the world, I wait ya in the corner, don’t bring your phone”), but also include those who seem too desperate, insecure, says he or she has fallen in love with you ( after two days !), and shows unreasonable and suspicious interest in highly private and sensitive areas of your life.   Exercise caution. Practice good dating etiquette by asking questions, never revealing too much, never agreeing to meet privately , and probably letting someone you trust know about your whereabouts with a particular potential date.  One more thing. You probably ought to regard the most trusted online dating sites first before you consider other options.  Trusted sites will have more strict guidelines and ethics that subscribers must adhere to and some even require that you verify your identity as a prerequisite for signing up.   This can save you a lot of headaches should you discover later that your crush was in fact a married person  living a double life or a con artist on the lamb.   

Avoid the complicated tag.   Regarding relationship statuses some people cite “complicated.”  Avoid that like the plague .  Complicated can mean a number things including but not limited to:  “I’m  still in a relationship, but it’s on life support,” ” going through divorce,” ” I just like the sex on the side”!  “currently with someone but keeping my options open,” hmmmmmm.  Really.   Who in his sane skull wants to dip into this cesspool of ambiguity and immorality?  Why would you bath in obvious muddy waters?  One percent sewer, ninety-nine percent water I’m not drinking it.   Complicated tags denote unresolved and possibly salacious life and love stories that will add to your detriment if you aren’t careful.  

Avoid the I-am-up-for-anything profiles.   Sad but true there are people online with zero standards.   You can spot them easily as they usually exhibit an air of pessimism and cynism and sarcasm. You should be able to spot these off the cuff.     Don’t waste your time.   These Dead  Enders would not mind breaking you, showing you contempt and condescension or placing impossible, silly, or unreasonable demands on you ( “I’d like to meet you but don’t expect anything from me,” ” I just want to go along for the ride, should we trade spouses?” “All men are hoes and I’m here to prove it” ” I want to try something kinky with you that no one has attempted before and probably become famous or be arrested for it”).    

Avoid the my-children-are-my-whole-world-and-my-number-one-priority .  It’s a slam dunk people.  If you are dealing with a single parent chances are he or she is telling you the truth.  No one is toying here when they tell you they are irrevocably committed to their children. And that’s a good thing. Except that you my fellow conspirator in dating won’t get to be first place in this person’s life.  You will tag along as an accessory and this person more likely will not assign you a place you at the center but rather you will be lodged on the margins.  If you are single-never-married-no kids your best option is to avoid single parents altogether.  I’m not denigrating single parents at all.  I’m one!  I’m only acknowledging that dating single parents isn’t for everybody.   Not all are suited for the job.  If you are young , fresh out of college, starting a career, you don’t want the added responsibility to parent children not your own.  That might constitute unbearable baggage that will not add to your happiness .   Each case is different and I’m not here offering you blanket advice .   Maybe Christ has called you to love a single parent and his or her kids, as an example of sacrificial, tough love.  So be it if it’s God’s will and you are up to the task.   But that’s not the biblical norm .  Christ wants his people married and then parents, in that order.  Some single parents brought it upon themselves to be in the predicament they are in.  For others it wasn’t their choice at all due to abandonment , divorce ( through no fault of their own)  death, or even rape.   These latter cases maybe more appealing to you rather then the instance where parenthood was attained through drunkness, irresponsibility ( one night stands, group sex) , immaturity (teenage sex) , slutting or whoring around.  

Avoid international dating unless you absolutely can’t find or have given up finding love in your home country and are fully informed about the risks of going for foreign love.  The consequences of international dating can be both mind boggling and catastrophic. Granted some people find their ideal mates outside their home countries all the time, but the experience isn’t as clear cut and hassle free as advertisers promote it.  To begin with there is the issues of money.   International dating demands vast sums of money and that in itself presents a daunting task that is cost prohibitive for most low to median wage earners. You gotta be somewhat rich and have sufficient discretionary income to be able to afford the expensive airline tickets and overseas stays.   That’s not where the greatest risk lies however because of the factors laying with your foreign mate.  Some foreign men and women, particularly citizens of third world countries or countries formerly or currently anatagomist to Christian principles ( think Russia and Communist China , the eastern block like the Ukraine ) are currently in the business of bating suitors of rich countries for money or visas.   This isn’t the stereotypical scam where you get robbed under false pretensions but it’s a more ingenious and cunning device where your so called soulmate goes along with the courtship and marriage but then dumps you once she or he gains entry into your country or lays hold of your bank account.   It’s nearly impossible to verify the genuine intentions of someone overseas who claims to love you.   Is she loving you because of who you are or because she sees you as here ticket to a visa?   You never know and the few times and restricted instances where you can meet and  chat with this person ( mostly through texting, Skype) may not be adequate enough to overcome hidden agendas they are plotting against you.   This sham and scam works both ways as many people of the first world sign up for international dating services with the sole aim of pursuing sex tourism trips in sex paradises like the Philippines, Brazil, and  Thailand.  Know what you are getting yourself into.  With international  dating you can’t afford to remain ignorant.  Do your research well and pray that you will be safeguarded from damaging and debilitating foreign dates.  Know your target potential mates sufficiently to make an informed decision and not suffer regret later and a broken bank account and shattered dreams. 

In sum.  Stay way from the ominous kiss of death.  Skip the poisonous grapes.  Online dating can both be a blessing or a curse. It depends on how smart you are and how eager you are to do your homework.  I should underscore that I’m not endorsing dating sites nor do I advocate that my fellow singletons attend there as their first choice for finding romance and marriage.   Some of you are doing it and more will follow suit.  To them I say , ” welcome to the world of dating as a commodity.”  If you happen to subscribe and get the fuzzy feeling that you are engaged in a competition, you are!   The dating carousel is available to all to peruse ( sometimes for a price) , designate, discriminate, and dump.  Don’t get your feelings hurt and don’t get offended easily because someone blew you off. Remember there’s thousands of customers vying for the best faces and the best profiles. Why should you be Number One for anybody ?   If you can’t answer that question yourself , nobody else will.   This is perhaps a little bit like the Steve Jobs Effect: “people don’t know what they want until you show them.”  Can you show that ? Can you demonstrate that you are a viable candidate for this enterprise called love not because you have the cutest face and the killer job, but because you can deliver on those more enduring qualities that everyone yearns for but can’t articulate like loyalty , trustworthiness, resiliency, spirituality , and courage ?  And by all means , use your online dating experience to witness for Christ .  For many singles, that’s the only true love that they need at the moment. 

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.