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Posts Tagged ‘Valentine’s Day’

10 Gifts NOT to Give on Valentine’s Day


Vending machineBecause some things are just bad ideas…

1) A pig’s heart with a nail through it. This actually happened to Neil Forrester on MTV’s The Real World: London in 1995. It was so disturbing 14 years ago, that I haven’t forgotten it. General rule of thumb for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah, baptism, or anniversary gifts: No barnyard animal sacrifices.

2) Anything that can be purchased at a gas station or a men’s room. Nothing quite says, “I love you and think about you constantly” then a pack of Dentyne, Trojans, and a gallon of windshield wiper fluid. If you care enough to make an effort, the least you can do is get yourself to a Walgreen’s before closing. Even low-maintenance women don’t go this low.

3) Office supplies. Unless, of course, it’s a full-service photocopying machine. That would actually be handy to have at home. Throw in a year’s supply of toner and you have a winning combo.

4) His and hers adjoining burial plots. Because I love you so much that I want to spend eternity lying next to you. While this may seem romantic in theory, trust me, in reality it’s not a good idea, especially if you just started dating (stalker alert). An exception might be if you and your beloved are past retirement age. But even then, there’s probably a better time than Valentine’s Day to give this gift.

5) A mix tape. Or, if you’re a geek, a hard drive with 10,000 hours of mp3s. Although, a boyfriend once gave me a hard drive as a gift and I liked it. I realized it’s the techie’s version of a mix tape and found him all the more adorable, but I’m an odd duck. Many women would look at the hard drive and USB cables with a, “What do you expect me to do with this thing?” expression. It’s a judgment call.

6) Anything that requires assembly. It’s not a present if you have to break a sweat or use tools in order to enjoy it.

7) A membership to Jenny Craig or NutriSystem. Even if she or he needs it, you’re basically saying, “I won’t love you if you’re fat.” There are better days and gentler ways to discuss your sweetheart’s weight problem.

8) Randomly purchased scented lotions and shower gels. No one needs more Vanilla Amber Freesia Mist bath products. No one.

9) Body fluids or clippings. Before Brangelina, Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie wore vials filled with each other’s blood. Unless the object of your affection is a Goth, Vampire, or medical student, it’s probably best to skip gifts you harvest from your own body.

10) Feminine hygiene products. This is no joke. I found this image on flickr today. Eeeew. I threw up a little in my mouth when I saw it. I considered posting the image here, but I just can’t do it. Check out the link.

Counseling, Consulting and Coaching with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries or send an email to shrink4men@gmail.com.

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Vending machine by Nuevo Anden on flickr.

2 Reasons Why Valentine’s Day Gifts Cause Relationship Problems


3250938683_94b1dee1fe1Are you sweating what to buy your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day this year? Are you feeling a lot of pressure to buy the “perfect gift?”

Valentine’s Day gifts have been the death knell of many a burgeoning and faltering relationship.  Men and women, mostly women, oftentimes attach over importance on the holiday trinket and not the relationship itself.

If a Valentine’s Day gift makes or breaks a relationship, odds are it was already on shaky ground. There are various reasons why people give gifts: etiquette (it’s expected), buying another person’s love and affection, manipulation, guilt, or as a simple token of affection.

For some, giving and receiving gifts is a huge deal; for others, it’s not so important. If you’re in a secure and healthy relationship, holidays, birthdays and other gift giving occasions are days that remind you how lucky you are to have found each other and be together. If you’re not in a happy and healthy relationship, gifts are a source of conflict, sense of failure, guilt trips, and anger. There are two main reasons why gift giving can cause relationship problems:

1) If You Could Read My Mind, Love. There are many women who believe that when men fall in love they develop special psychic powers. He is supposed to magically know her every need and desire. If he can’t guess or doesn’t know what she wants or needs, then he doesn’t really love her. While being in love adds many wonderful dimensions to a person’s life, ESP isn’t one of them.

Every one of us is responsible for getting our own needs met. If we put this on someone else–a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a spouse, a child, a friend–it will only lead to disappointment, hurt, and resentment. If there’s something specific that you want or need as a gift or in your relationship, ASK FOR IT. Passively sitting back and waiting for people to please you is NOT a recipe for relationship success.

If you communicate your needs you’re more likely to have them met. Alternately, if your partner cannot or will not meet your needs after you’ve communicated them or your needs are incompatible, perhaps it’s time to move on.

2) Money Matters. Many women think the cost of the gift correlates to the level of feelings and emotional investment of her partner. Sometimes this is true; sometimes it isn’t. Carat size isn’t necessarily indicative of the quality of a relationship.

I have a friend who gave his girlfriend a tennis bracelet last year for V-Day. She opened the box, tossed the bracelet in the air, let it land in her palm and said, “It feels a little light.” My response to him when he told me the story was, “And you’re still dating her WHY?”

The true measure of a relationship is mutual kindness, caring, support, warmth and commitment. Unreasonable gift expectations can be a sign that your values are out of sync or that perhaps one of you wants more of a commitment than the other.

The best gift of all is when you give of yourself, not your Amex card, well, on second thought, I guess it all depends upon whom you’re involved with.

Counseling, Consulting and Coaching with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries or send an email to shrink4men@gmail.com.

Want to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.

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Cupid by Voodoolady on flickr.

More Funny Valentine’s Day Cards


Since you all seemed to enjoy the Funny, But Honest Valentine’s Day Card I posted yesterday (at least by the amount of traffic it received), I thought I’d share a few more that tickled my warped funny bone.

These two are from meish.org:

wee1

youlldo

This one is from amuse-biatch:

twopbettyilanThis one is from throughtheillusion:

i-burn-for-youThis one is from an unknown source. If you know it please post the link as a comment–thanks:

blackboard-o-loveDitto:

valentines-heartCall me sentimental, but I love sock monkeys. Unfortunately, I don’t know the source:

sock-monkeyEnjoy.

Counseling, Consulting and Coaching with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries or send an email to shrink4men@gmail.com.

Want to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.

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6 Signs Not to Propose to your Girlfriend on Valentine’s Day


bridezillaDo you and your girlfriend fight like cats and dogs? Are you always the one who initiates sex? Does it seem like you’re in a state of constant conflict? Does she put a lot of undue pressure on you? Does she expect you to make her happy? Are you considering proposing to her on Valentine’s Day?

This time of year can put a lot of pressure on men to “pop the question.” If the above questions ring true for you, then you probably shouldn’t buy that ring she’s been hinting, nagging and/or threatening you about.

Here are some signs you shouldn’t marry the woman you’re dating, no matter how much pressure she’s applying. In fact, if the following scenarios apply to your relationship, the two of you probably shouldn’t even be dating.

1) You have incompatible sex drives. SEX IS IMPORTANT. It’s just as important to a relationship as mutual respect, kindness, and emotional support. Too many people minimize the importance of having compatible sexual attitudes and sex drives.

If your girlfriend just isn’t that into sex or you have to beg for it or you have buy her presents or behave in specific ways to be “rewarded” with sex or she’s not open to talking about and exploring what’s mutually enjoyable, you’re probably not going to be happy with this woman no matter how wonderful her other qualities may be. A grown man who’s in a healthy, loving relationship shouldn’t have to beg for a blow-job.

2) You’re a case of opposites attract. This old cliche is a myth. Opposites may initially attract, but once the novelty wears off, research (Buston and Emlen, 2003) indicates they don’t stand the test of time. Familiarity in the way we communicate and express love and affection is comforting and a strong foundation for a lasting and loving relationship.

3) You have to constantly work at the relationship. Yes, you need to put some effort into relationship maintenance, but it shouldn’t be a constant, uphill struggle. If you’re stressed out and exhausted from the daily grind of your relationship, you’re probably not in the right relationship for you. You just can’t fix some problems. It’s ok to admit this and end it.

4) You just don’t have anything in common. You don’t have to like all the same things, people, places, foods, and music, but you should have some shared basic interests. Additionally, shared values are more important than common interests. It’s great that you both enjoy skiing and watching football, but do you want the same things in life? Do you have complementary temperaments and styles of relating? Do you have compatible views on child rearing?

5) You have constant conflict. Conflict is a natural part of relationships. However, there’s healthy conflict that results from minor disagreements and misunderstandings and there’s toxic, never ending, irresolvable conflict that results from unbridgeable individual differences and/or individual pathology. Signs that you’re dealing with the latter include:

  • Having the same argument over and over again.
  • Getting stuck in a cycle of mutual blame and resentment.
  • Bringing up hurts or arguments from the past in the present.
  • Name calling.
  • Not being able to move past the conflict once the fighting subsides.

6) You feel responsible for her happiness. If her happiness depends on things you say or do, it’s not a good sign. It’s a set-up for mutually assured unhappiness. If you’re responsible for making her happy, you’ll also be the person that gets blamed for her unhappiness, frustration, and the rest of life’s petite traumata. True happiness, satisfaction, and contentment come from within. It’s not dependent upon what you do or don’t do for her.

It can be difficult not getting worn down when some women begin the big push toward the altar. It’s natural to have some doubts and feel resistance to marriage. However, there’s a difference between simply having a case of cold feet and having legitimate concerns because of the issues cited above.

Counseling, Consulting and Coaching with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries or send an email to shrink4men@gmail.com.

Want to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.

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Photo credits:

Bridezilla on Poor Richard’s Printshop.

A Funny, But Honest Valentine’s Day Card


This is quite possibly the most honest Valentine’s Day card I’ve ever seen. I’m usually not one for greeting cards, but I’d definitely give this to someone special in my life. The original source is xkcd.com. Smart and funny stuff!

valentine1

Counseling, Consulting and Coaching with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries or send an email to shrink4men@gmail.com.

Want to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.

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Also check out:

5 Women to Avoid on Valentine’s Day: Don’t Be This Lady


Crazy valentineWomen and Valentine’s Day. It’s like putting a slab of raw meat in front of a hungry tiger. This Hallmark holiday elicits either the worst or the best in most women. There’s rarely an in between.

Valentine’s Day is to romance as drinking is to New Year’s Eve. It brings out the amateurs and often results in relationship fatalities. Many women have incredibly high and extremely unrealistic expectations of how the day should be celebrated. This is usually a set up for failure–no wonder men feel like deer caught in headlights at this time of year. No sudden movements.

Ladies fall into certain Valentine’s Day categories. It’s in your best interest to figure out exactly who you’re dealing with as the 14th approaches. Gentlemen, beware of the following V-Day sweethearts. Ladies, if you recognize yourself in these descriptions, well, there’s always psychopharm.

1) Snow White on Crystal Meth. She’s the uber hearts and flowers, terminally perky, girly-girl. These women make me feel like the bird in Shrek that explodes as Princess Fiona sings to it in a sugary sweet, falsetto pitch of romantic hopefulness. If you don’t show up at this woman’s door with a teddy bear, you better make Build-a-Bear Workshop the first stop on your passionate, grown-up evening out.

2) Love for Sale. If you’re taking this woman out for big heart day, you’d better limber up your wrist for frequent credit card action (and to take care of yourself after the date is over–this woman rarely puts out no matter how much you spend). This woman expects, nay, demands to be taken to the most expensive restaurant, show, or club. Just for good measure, you’d better show up with a gift that’s a token of your bank account and not your affection. Think Dating a Banker Anonymous women.

turn-back3)The Conscientious Objector. She’s either spent too many Valentine’s Days alone or with guys who were such colossal disappointments that she becomes bitter and angry at the mere mention of V-Day. Word to wise, if she has more than one cat, I’d turn back if I were you. Fancy Feast for six, Lean Cuisine for one.

4) The Sleeper. These are the women who make a big deal about not making a big deal about Valentine’s Day. This is a trap, so don’t fall for it, fellas. These are the same women who tell you they don’t want anything for Christmas or Hanukkah or their birthdays. If you don’t want to be treated like you just drove a bus full of pre-schoolers off the side of a cliff, you’d better show up with a gift and it had better be a good one.

Because this woman doesn’t just want a gift. Oh no, she wants you to magically read her mind and guess the perfect gift for her. This is just a glimpse at what life with this woman will be like. You’d better sharpen your psychic abilities in order to intuit her every need–especially when she doesn’t know what they are.

5) Any Warm Body Will Do. Valentine’s Day isn’t about spending a romantic evening with you. It’s about not spending Valentine’s Day alone. She may not even like you very much, but at least she can tell herself and her friends that she had a date. If all her girlfriends have dates and she doesn’t have a date, well, that’s just unacceptable. This woman will allow you to pay for dinner, etc., all the while thinking about the guy she really wanted to spend the evening with, but he’s “just not that into her.” This woman has made you the equivalent of an awards show seat filler, all because her fragile self-esteem hinges on having a Valentine’s Day date. Moving on.

If you’re with a woman who really cares about you, who enjoys your company no matter what you do, then how you celebrate Valentine’s Day is never an issue. You could go out for an extravagant night on the town or kick back on the sofa and watch A Fistful of Dollars–now that’s love!

Counseling, Consulting and Coaching with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries or send an email to shrink4men@gmail.com.

Want to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.

Donations

If you find the information I provide free of charge helpful and valuable here on Shrink4Men, please consider making a donation via PayPal to help me maintain the site.

Photo credits:

Crazy valentine by LVHRD:NYC on flickr .

I’d turn back if I were you by twm1340 on flickr.

5 Men to Avoid on Valentine’s Day: Don’t Be This Guy


cupidThere are certain days of the year that throw relatively well-grounded grown men and women into a tailspin: Valentine’s Day is one of these days. Is it silly? Yes. Is it stupid? Yes. Valentine’s Day sends many men running for the hills and causes others to morph into events coordinators.

Many women have experienced the Valentine’s Day vanishing act when in the early stages of dating. It’d be funny if it weren’t so… sad. There are certain patterns and techniques some men use to avoid spending time with a new woman at this time of year. My advice: Don’t be this guy.

1) Mr. Drag-It-Out. All of a sudden, the CPA you met on February 2nd, has an Obama-like schedule and it’s not even tax season. Just to prove he’s not threatened by the prospect of unreasonable female Valentine’s Day expectations, he contacts you well before V-Day and “casually” mentions how busy his week is and suggests a “coffee date” at least 5 days after the 14th; just so you won’t spot the connection–pretty slick. Hey fellas, you’re not fooling anybody. This ploy is as easy to see through as a sheet of Saran Wrap. Don’t do it. Just don’t.

cowardly-lion2) I’m “whelming.” Some guys unashamedly tell women that Valentine’s Day is “too overwhelming” for them and they can’t possibly get together until the day has safely passed. On the one hand, you get points for being honest. On the other hand, lighten up and realize that if a certain woman is applying too much Valentine’s Day pressure, she’s probably not the right woman.

When men tell me V-Day is “too much pressure,” I bite my tongue and don’t ask, “Why? Did you lose a great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great uncle in the massacre of 1349?” There’s no greater turn-off than the moment when I realize that I have more testicles than my date–especially since, technically, I don’t have any testicles.

3) El Disappearo Grande. This guy simply vanishes into thin air until hearts and flowers day has come and gone. He’s a variation of Mr. Overwhelmed above.

4) Mr. Nonchalant. This guy asks you out on or around Valentine’s Day, but makes no mention of the holiday. This guy is ok. I’d rather hang out with someone who acts as if V-Day isn’t a big deal because, in actuality, it isn’t a big deal, than someone who engages in complex machinations in avoidance or goes “ostrich.” Although, straightforward and reasonable expectations are always the best.

5) Mr. Romance. This guy is as bad as the first three, if not the very worst among them. He goes overboard and tries way too hard. There are few things more awkward than when a guy you barely know shows up with flowers and a Valentine’s date that’s as over-choreographed as a Baz Lurhmann dance sequence. It accomplishes the opposite of its desired effect: You immediately begin to search for the well lit emergency exits.

When you’ve just met someone, slow and steady wins the race. Granted, there are many, many women who make a giant to-do about Valentine’s Day. You have my sympathy and GOOD LUCK. I wouldn’t want to deal with those creatures either. In fact, that’s why it’s important to give men a lot of leeway in tolerating the above behaviors. They’ve developed a sort of Post-Traumatic Stress response to some women’s over-demanding, whiny, needy expectations of Valentine’s Days past.

Just think: It’s a whole 364 days before we’re confronted with this “holiday” again. Take a sigh of relief and enjoy the day… if you can.

Counseling, Consulting and Coaching with Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD

Dr. Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD helps individuals work through their relationship and codependency issues via telephone or Skype. She specializes in helping men and women trying to break free of an abusive relationship, cope with the stress of an abusive relationship or heal from an abusive relationship. She combines practical advice, emotional support and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Schedule a Session page for professional inquiries or send an email to shrink4men@gmail.com.

Want to Say Goodbye to Crazy? Buy it HERE.

Donations

If you find the information I provide free of charge helpful and valuable here on Shrink4Men, please consider making a donation via PayPal to help me maintain the site.

Photo credits:

Sources unknown.