Bree on The Huffington Post May 2013
Want To Get Married? Don't Sleep With Him On the First Date!
You read it correctly, do not have sex with him. Although this may sound like a throwback to our great-grandmother's generation, the wisdom in this simple philosophy is profound.
You see, male and female brains are very different. Men are "wired" to pursue and conquer in order to spread their seed to procreate the human race. Alternatively, a woman's brain is "wired" to choose one man to love and have a family with.
Of course, as with anything when we are talking about humans, there will always be exceptions. The character of Samantha in Sex in the City is an iconic example. This character, played by Kim Cattrall, had the quintessential male mindset of "how many men can I sleep with and why should I be with just one?" This worked for her because it wasn't her desire to settle down and be with just one man. However, if you want to find a great guy and eventually marry him, not having sex with him, at least until he declares his love and commitment to you, is vital.
You see, when a man pursues a woman and then "wins" her, he feels as if he has attained something very special and will cherish and honor her. On the other hand, when this primal behavioral pattern is short-circuited by having sex too early, he feels that she, and a relationship with her, are not that extraordinary of a prize.
The bottom line is that sleeping with a man on the first date or even the third date is always too soon. You see, all men, even the really nice ones, are initially interested in you for sex. Yes, sex. They are not interested in your intelligence, your wonderful career, or your great personality. They are biologically driven to have sex with you. They will do and say whatever they think will work to get you to have sex with them. If you allow this, (the key word being you) then this innate drive to increase the population is satisfied and he moves onto the next one.
The number of women who find themselves in this circumstance is astounding! What is even more unbelievable is the lack of awareness that having sex with him too soon interrupts the courting and relationship process. Intelligent, strong, confident women everywhere are missing the fact that in order for genuine care, love, and commitment to develop naturally, there must be time to get to know one another. In other words, there must be a sex-free courting.
Many women fear that if they do not sleep with him, he will move onto to someone else who will. They completely overlook the idea that when a woman honors herself and her body, so will a man. The old saying, "if he cares he will wait" is absolutely accurate. If he does not want to wait until something real is developed, he is making it clear that he is not interested in a real relationship that can lead to marriage but instead, in just having sex.
Over the last four decades, a lot of women have lost their way when it comes to honoring themselves and their body. The origin of this occurred during the "sexual revolution" in the sixties. Throughout this time marked by "free love," women were taught to burn their bras and have sex with anyone they pleased, with no strings attached. The "old-fashioned" way was thrown out the window in order to "free" women from the repression of a male dominated world. However, this did anything but liberate women! Instead, it took away the mindset of honoring a woman and her body by both men and women alike.
Allowing a genuine courting process, honoring yourself and your body is not a old fashioned throwback but actually a positive step forward to building a strong foundation for an incredible relationship and marriage.
Bree on The Huffington Post December 2012
Confession Of A Housewife
Maria is a sexy, exotically beautiful middle-aged woman. Wherever she goes, men stare and women fill with jealously. She drives a prestigious car, wears the finest clothes and proudly displays her sizable diamonds. She is smart, funny, and fills a room with her bubbly energy and charisma.
However, behind the curtain of what appears to be a very charmed life is something no woman wants -- a 27-year "happy" marriage to a husband who looks past her, as if she were a pair of old shoes in the back of his closet. He has forgotten why he fell in love with her and how lucky he is to have her by his side. At the top of his career, women throw themselves at him constantly, leaving Maria worried she will be replaced by a younger, more desirable woman.
Her children, now teenagers, have found their independence and no longer need her the way they once did. Gone are the precious days when their little arms would reach up for her love and attention. The days when she was the center of their universe, able to fix their problems, kiss away their tears and fill their days with delight. Instead, she's greeted with rolling eyes, condescending attitudes and hectic schedules that have nothing to do with her any longer.
Last but not least, the dream home she spent years pouring her heart and soul into designing feels empty. It was the perfect home that she hoped would be filled with her children's laughter and husband's love. Strolling through the impeccably appointed rooms, she feels the cruel reminder of how absolutely alone and empty she feels.
Recently, Brad, a handsome and successful man in her social circle, finalized his divorce. At the last charity event, Brad shocked Maria with unexpected flirtation. Not sure how to respond, she gave him a witty response and walked off. As she reassured herself that she misunderstood his words, he slinked up behind her and confessed his desires. Uncertain of how to respond, she excused herself and retreated home.
Maria spent the next few days consumed with swirling thoughts of Brad and how happy, excited and alive she felt. Desperate to forget the whole thing ever happened, she decided to put it behind her. Then she received a text from him asking to meet and talk. Knowing that would be the worst thing she could do, she gave in and agreed.
After the uncomfortable hellos, Brad shared with her that his marriage was over years before the divorce occurred. He told Maria he fell in love with her years ago and begged her to give him a chance. Seeing her apprehension, he reached for her, pulled her close, and kissed her as she had never been kissed before. Maria surrendered to the moment as she felt her entire body tingle.
How do I know all this you ask? After a couple glasses of wine at a dinner party, she confessed it to me!
"Bree what do I do? I love my husband and want to grow old with him but this feels so incredible. Help me!" she pleaded.
I encouraged her to take a step back in order to see the whole picture of what she was about to do. I explained that feeling taken for granted by her husband and her fading role as a mother left her vulnerable to the amazing feelings Brad's desire elicited in her.
I asked her to first imagine how she would feel if her husband were to cheat and then how he would react when he found out that she did. I guided her step-by-step through each reality. However, it was too late. The look in her eyes revealed the whole story. She was already in too deep, the void she was suffering with was now being filled with the exciting temptation of this soon-to-be affair.
Why share this story? For the reason that it happens more often than anyone would imagine.
Men and women fall into the trappings of an affair because something is missing in their relationship or their life. The powerful rush and "high" experienced in the beginning of an affair is too much to resist. So many people find themselves in this position. They stop talking about the real things and start arguing about life stressors. They allow the passion to fade away and forget how special their partner really is. They feel a void and mistakenly think the new person will fill it.
Can your relationship recover from an affair? Yes. I have successfully helped couples heal their relationship after an affair, but please know that it takes work, effort, commitment and a great deal of patience. It is far easier to fix what is really wrong in one's life or relationship rather than clean up the painful mess after the fact.
So, if you're thinking about having an affair, be aware that you can never take it back. I urge you to try real healing first, rather than trying to stop the wound from bleeding with a band-aid.
Bree on The Huffington Post JUNE 2012
What To Do When Your Man Walks Out On You
Your heart was fully in it, you were tied to him emotionally and physically, and now he is gone. If you are like many other women, this may cause you to end up in the fetal position in a pile of despair.
The time immediately following a breakup can be filled with a myriad of uncomfortable and painful feelings from shock to rage and everything in between. However, with the right steps, you can come through the experience a better, wiser, stronger and even more beautiful woman.
The first step to getting through this successfully is to know that living without him is possible. This may seem like a simple cliché but it actually is quite important. This step begins by understanding that the pain you're feeling will eventually pass. Initially, it may seem as if you will never feel happy or love again. In this initial stage, seeing blissful couples and hearing love songs will only exaggerate your heartache. You may even cry for days, weeks or months, but the pain and tears will stop. Knowing this helps you to gracefully move through it instead of getting stuck in it.
The second step is a time of allowing. In this stage, you willingly give yourself permission to grieve. The grieving that needs to occur is over the loss of him, the relationship and the picture you held of your future together. The four stages of the grieving process are denial, bargaining, anger and acceptance. The wonderful thing about this process is that it is naturally occurring. However, if you stop this process by diving into a new relationship, drinking, shopping or working overtime to avoid your feelings, you circumvent your healing from the breakup. Therefore, it is vital that you allow yourself to feel your feelings, process through them and complete the grieving process.
Step three involves what I like to refer to as "going to the truth." In any life or relationship experience, the truth will always lead you to the right path. The truth in this situation is that if he left, he is not your Mr. Right. That deserves repeating for in its simplicity. Freedom from the pain can be found. He is not the man for you because if he was, he would still be in your life. Yes, there are couples who need time apart to heal and grow in order to come back together. Even if this is the case for you, at this moment right now, he is not the right one. Wrapping your mind around this truth will set you emotionally free to grow, heal and move forward.
The fourth step is one of incredible opportunity, for it's a time of self-reflection. To accomplish this stage you must honestly look at yourself, your relationship and any role you may have played in your man leaving. Even if he is afraid of commitment, you now have the chance to discover why you attracted such a partner into your life in the first place. Perhaps he left because he felt he could never please you or that you were too demanding. In either case, there's room here for you to attain positive personal growth. This step takes a great depth of character and courage, as it is never easy to look at ourselves and admit there is work to be done. Most would rather blame the other person and continue on in a state of self-delusion or rationalization. However, the more in-depth and seriously you take this step; the better off you will be in the long run.
As you become aware of what needs healing within you, be sure to do so with love and gentle care. This is not the time to beat yourself up or feel remorse, guilt or shame, as these feelings keep you stuck in a negative cycle. It is, however, a time to get to know yourself on a deeper level and heal those parts of you that are holding you back from having the right partner and relationship.
Finally, as you move through all these healing steps, you come to the place of renewal. This is the time to breathe new life into you and your life. This is an empowered place as you can create the beautiful life that is right for you. You can choose to fill your days and nights with experiences that bring you genuine joy, happiness and peace. Actually, this has a dual positive affect on you and your life. You see, when you create your life the way you want it to be, you are allowing personal fulfillment and happiness to come in. As well, you are naturally opening the door for your real Mr. Right to walk through. Your new open door will reveal a whole, complete, happy and thriving woman, instead of a broken, battered and bruised one. You simple make the choice in this step to empower yourself and become all you are meant to be.
Having a man walk out on you is never easy. However, you have the choice to look at his leaving as a tragedy or a blessing. If you see it as a blessing, you will allow yourself to grow and heal. You take all of the good and leave the rest behind. You forge ahead to a stronger, healthier, and more thriving life. A far better choice to make than staying on the floor crying in the fetal position over a man who is not right for you anyway!
Bree on The Huffington Post May 2012
7 Things Men Look for in a Woman
Believe it or not, men are just as much a mystery to women as women are to men. I'm asked quite frequently by women, "What do men really want?" They react to celebrity splits like Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore's with shock and dismay, stating, "She is so beautiful and successful. What more does he want?" Of course, what they're really asking is, "If she is that gorgeous and famous and still not good enough, how will I ever be?"
The great news is that quality, emotionally stable men do exist, and what they want is not reliant upon their partner being a beauty queen or a Fortune 500 CEO. Over the course of my work counseling men, I've figured out what the seven most common characteristics men look for and hope to find in a woman. Men want a woman who...
1. Is confident in her own skin
There is nothing more attractive and sexy to a man that a strong, confident and secure woman. This type of woman has done her inner work. She feels good about who she is and is comfortable in her own skin. She does not have to be gorgeous, rich and famous, but she does have to live her life from a place of meaning and purpose. That purpose can be anything as long as it means something to her. She is the type of woman that has not waited around for Prince Charming to rescue and build a life for her. Instead she created her own personal kingdom. As Mr. Right comes along, she finds a way to merge their worlds without giving up everything she has created. This means she does not drop her friends, family and life purpose simply to become a part of his world. She knows how to blend the two without losing herself.
2. Knows what she wants
When a woman is clear on what she wants, she does not waste time with situations or people that do not fit into that model. Men are attracted to this because they want to know up front if they are a contender. When a man encounters a wishy-washy woman who is not sure what she wants, it signals to him that she does not know who she is and because of that may end up not wanting him next week, next month or next year.
3. Clearly communicates
In general, men are not natural communicators. Therefore, they want a woman who speaks to them in a concise and straightforward manner when it comes to expressing her needs. They want to avoid navigating through a woman's feelings in order to interpret what she's saying. He likes it when she directly tells him what she wants and how he can best deliver it. His goal is to make her happy and when he has the information on how to accomplish that, he feels more confident that he can do it.
4. Respects and admires him
A man wants to be able to feel like he's the man and that the woman in his life thinks he is the greatest. He wants her to respect him for who he is, not what he does or how much money he makes. The bottom line is that men who are emotionally healthy are not looking to be with a woman who emasculates, bosses or controls them. These men are looking for a woman who will treat them well and with respect and admiration.
5. Does not need him but desires him
Throughout history, men have fought wars and built empires. However, they have done it on their own terms. When a man feels a woman needs him out of desperation, he questions her real interests. However, when a woman does not need a man but desires him, he knows she wants him for who he is rather than what he can do for her.
6. Is drama, manipulation, and pressure-free
Men do not want emotional drama queens who use their feminine wiles to manipulate them out of their time or money. Dealing with emotional outbursts, sneaky ways and pushiness does not go over well in the long run with a man. He wants a woman who is emotionally stable and authentic in both her words and actions. He is not looking for a spoiled little girl who is ill-equipped to handle the ups and downs of life; he is looking for a woman.
7. Likes and wants sex
Yes, it's true! Men want a woman who is comfortable with her sexuality, enjoys sex with him and is not afraid to let him know. A man looks for a woman who will positively respond to his desire for her instead of rejecting him. This is especially true when he is looking for a wife, as men do not want to sign up for a lifetime of bad or dispassionate sex.
Although men and women are different in how we think, communicate and express our emotions, one thing that's true for all of us is that we desire to love and be loved.
Understanding gender differences is vital, but so is knowing that when it comes to finding a partner, the core basics apply to everyone. We are all looking for a mate to be a loving and supportive friend, confidant and lover who will be with us through thick and thin as we walk through life.
Bree on The Huffington Post April 2012
Psst! Hey Guys, Don't Text While Dating
If you are interested in a woman you want to win her over... right? Unfortunately, in today's era of techno-dating, men are unknowingly failing and, in some cases, turning women off completely.
Right from the start, you should know one simple rule about texting and dating: Women prefer that a man calls her rather than texts. This may seem shocking to you because texting seems like a convenient and easy way to communicate. However, women want you to call because it shows them you're interested in making the effort. A woman wants you to ask her how her day was, tell her that you're thinking about her, mention how beautiful she is to you -- all while listening to her voice on the other end of the phone. This is what will sweep her off her feet.
Since there is often a huge gap between what women want and what men know how to do, here are some important guidelines to help you get, and keep, the girl of your dreams.
The First Date
At the end of a great first date, women want you to ask them out again, securing the next time you will see them. Men's magazines and websites will advise against this, but beware of men giving advice to men about women. So, if you're interested and she is too, ask her out for a second date. Later that evening or the next day, send her a confirming text. It could say something like, "I had a great night with you. Thank you!" or "I had a great time. I'm looking forward to seeing you again." Women love this. Remember the goal -- you are trying to charm her!
Post First Date
Until your second date, you will need to keep the connection going. You can do this by using one simple text a day saying something like, "Good morning, I hope you have a wonderful day!" or "Thinking of you and hoping your day is going great!" You do not want to over-text her so early on, as she will become quickly annoyed that you are not calling instead.
The Second Date
Now the rules really change. If you like one another and you think this is going somewhere, there are two things you must do: secure a third date and start calling her. You can still use the once a day text, but add in a phone call every couple of days to keep the connection going and building. The phone calls are an important piece of the getting-to-know-you process. Be sure to ask her questions about her day, career, and interests. Women absolutely love this because it once again tells them how special they are to you.
The Third Date and Beyond
By now, you are well on your way to something good with her! Continue to use the same formula of asking her out at the end of the date, using minimal texting, but now increase your calling to at least once a day. Use the phone time in between your dates to let her know how interested you are in getting to know her better. Ask her about her hopes, dreams, fears, etc., and be sure to let her know how much you are looking forward to seeing her again.
As your dates increase so should your texts and phone calls. At this point, you are working on not only winning her, but also on building a good relationship. A vital piece in making this happen is to establish a consistent pattern of quality intimacy building communication by phone.
It was not that long ago when texting was still an unknown form of communication. The ironic part is that many women wish it still were! If you use texting in the right way, it can help build and add to your dating life. However, making it your main line of communication will leave you alone scratching your head asking "What went wrong?!"
Texting Do's & Don'ts While Dating
- Never text during a date! It is extremely rude and a complete turn off for women.
- Always use texts for playful, flirtatious banter, quick hellos or check-ins.
- Never text long conversations about your day, job, family, issues etc.
- Always keep the texts light and airy and away from any thing that may involve emotionally charged content.
- Never use texting as a habitual way of communicating. It makes a woman see you in a less flattering light and will most likely cause her to look somewhere else.
- Do send sweet and romantic texts but avoid lewd or overly sexual texts, especially when you just start dating.
- Never, under any circumstance, break up with a woman by text or email. Ending a dating or love relationship in this way is a sign of cowardice and disrespect.