The Conditional Romance

You’re getting ready for your first date with that hot guy you meet the other day. You have to look your best so when he sees you his eyes pop out of his head and he’s literally speechless, leaving you giddy with laughter flipping your hair, awww how we love the validation.  The same goes for him although we act like we don’t know or recognize that men crave validation  (just not as often and in a different way, clearly).

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We start the very beginning phases of dating by looking at how our needs will be met, our needs, not theirs. So the checklist in most women’s mind goes something like this: did he compliment my looks, did he hold my hand, did I want him to hold my hand, did he open the car door, did he choose the right restaurant, can he hold a conversation, was he into me, how about the kiss? Me, me and me. How does this make me feel? Are my conditions being met yet? Is he good looking enough? Does he have a good job? Can I see myself marrying him? It’s the first date but yeah….you’ve pulled out your checklist to see if he is marriage material, yet you know very, very little about him. Sounds confusing.

What’s missing here? Oh how he feels! Do we consider how he feels when we go on a date? Does he consider how you feel? Obviously men have their own conditions, usually plenty of them as well. Is she pretty enough?  Is she funny? Can she hold a conversation? Does she come from a good family? Am I attracted to her? That’s the biggest clearly but it’s not enough. Then what are her flaws? I know she isn’t perfect.  Is she going to go crazy on me like my ex.  Conditions. I’m really picky because I’m fabulous? (Insecure perhaps too) Conditions.  Me, me, me…me. me.

Now, what if we were to date like this. We get ready and instead of thinking about what he or she can give you, maybe we can learn about each other – taking the conditions out so we can get to know each other, authentically. What if we learned to unlearn all the things we think are important and get to the core of what the potential is. To fall in love. Not with the person who matches your checklist, but with the person who warms your heart, holds you hand, makes you laugh, gives you butterflies, tells you their secrets and wants to know yours, who has your back, as you have theirs. It usually takes a while to get here, to this point where we know each other and accept each other. We jump through hurdles to get here, to gain trust that your lovers intentions are pure, leaving you free to be truly vulnerable.

So we’ve got it all wrong. We’re dating and painting a picture of a life we envision. If the picture doesn’t look like the one in our head we make way for a lot of excuses. There are some who overcome those and others that will stay single. Think about that picture…it ruins everything because that picture is supposed to come last, after you’ve fallen in love and built your life, that’s real life. The rest is the condition, the pretty picture that you’re standing in wondering what the fuck you’re doing.  Think about it before your next date.

Written by: Toni Bergquist

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About The Male Mind.

1. The male mind isn’t afraid of commitment  – It’s their associations with it

A lot of women I meet think that guys are inherently terrified of being with one person.

It’s not true. The only reason is because they associate it with losing their freedom, having sexual excitement, being able to pursue whatever they want.

The great news is, that these feelings are entirely within a woman’s control. If you appear needy and desperate to be serious with him, he’ll be terrified of taking the leap. This is just one reason guys run from relationships (if you want to delve more into the male psyche on this issue, read my piece on the 3 Secrets That Reveal Why He Won’t Commit…).

If you make him WANT to be with you long-term and show him that life will only get more fun when he does, committing to you will only excite him more.

2. Looks aren’t enough to keep the male mind attracted

Men aren’t as shallow as women think. Though a man might sleep with a woman for her looks, this by itself will never make him look at that girl as relationship-worthy.

3. Men are just as emotionally needy as women

Men like women want a certain amount of affection from a relationship. If they don’t feel like they’re getting it, they’ll be just as hurt as any woman would.

The difference is that men often express their affection in a more physical way than women.

4. Men are just as nervous about starting conversations as women

Believe us, men find it just as difficult to go and start conversations with people they are attracted to as women do. You can use this information to your advantage as a woman.

If starting up conversation yourself isn’t something you feel comfortable doing at first, your job is to make it as easy as possible for him to approach you.

5. Men’s self-esteem is highly wrapped up in their sexual ability

When men feel sexually rejected, they feel like less of a man.

Even with men in relationships who feel totally loved, if they don’t feel that their woman desires them sexually as much as they desire her, it hurts their pride in a way women can’t imagine.

6. The male mind isn’t good at game-playing

Men are pretty simple.

Women sometimes give them mixed signals and think they are “playing the game” when actually the man often takes it as a sign that she’s not at all interested and simply gives up.

7. The male mind craves VARIETY

Both in your relationships, dating and the bedroom, the male mind is turned on by doing different things.

8. Men are as insecure about rejection as women

The male ego is highly wrapped up in to how he perceives his performance with the opposite sex.

This is why it can take some men a while to pluck up the courage to ask you for a date, even if you think you’ve made it obvious that you want him to ask you out.

9. The male mind appreciates things more when they are earned

This is why men are completely turned off by desperate women. They feel like anyone else could have been in their place.

What they want to feel like is that they earned their place in your life.

That they have proved themselves worthy to having the keys to becoming a part of your already amazing life.

10. The male mind can be programmed with the right language

Men love turning women on. If you want a guy to change his behaviour in a relationship, instead of saying “Honey, I would really appreciate it if you did xxx.” try this instead: “It really turns me on when guys do xxx”.

This might sound trivial, but it’s amazing how much hoovering you can get guys to do once they think it turns you on!

When you get inside the male mind in this way, you’ll never be confused about why men act the way they do again.


10 Reasons Why You Should Always Tell Someone How You Feel About Them


Originally posted on – Author Rania Naim – If the response is what you were looking for — great! If it’s not, it’s still important to let someone know how you feel. Here’s why:

1. It sets you free. Even if the answer is not what you wanted, it sets you free from the questions, from the assumptions, from reading too much into things, from holding on to what ifs, from waiting for that text, or that kiss or that moment. It sets you free from your own expectations.

2. It’s easier to move on. It’s easier to get back to the routine of your single life. You feel better about going out or even dating other people without feeling bad that you might be disrespecting anyone’s feelings. You know now that you are totally available.

3. It prevents you from being strung along. If you were getting attached, it’s always better to say it sooner than later before you get more attached that it becomes harder to move on. You don’t want to be strung along for a long time only to find out that it’s going nowhere.

4. You deserve an answer. You deserve to know what’s going on, you owe it to yourself to know where you stand, and you deserve to ask questions without holding back because you deserve an answer – whatever it may be.

5. They deserve an explanation. They deserve to know too why you were acting weird or distant or why you were holding back and they deserve to know why you might not be the same if the answer is not what you wanted. If you care about them, they deserve to know the truth.

6. Life is too short to leave important words unsaid. You never know what tomorrow may bring or when you will see that person again. It’s liberating to know that you left this person saying everything you wanted to say instead of beating yourself up for letting them go without telling them what they really meant to you.

7. It’s brave. It’s brave to risk getting rejected and it’s brave to tell someone how you feel when you’re unsure of the answer. It’s also brave because you’re not afraid to ask for what you want and you are strong enough to handle the consequences. It shows that you are both strong and mature.

8. It means you love yourself. When you want to understand what’s happening and where things are going, it means you have standards and it means that you respect yourself to walk away instead of getting played or staying in the friend zone when you want more.

9. It feels great. It feels great to get it off your chest and tell someone you like them and you think they’re great, it feels great for them also, to know that they are liked and appreciated. Regardless of how they feel, everyone wants to hear that they are special. Consider it your good deed of the day.

10. You get your own closure. You don’t wait until things fizzle out or until you two slowly drift apart, you get to know while it’s fresh, when it’s happening, instead of wondering what went wrong months down the line.

Maybe you can’t accept Love.

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I can say with great certainty and absolute honesty that I did not know what love was until I knew what love was not. – Unknown.

The sky was starting to fade into a rainbow of pinks, purples and blues, setting the tone for a beautiful sunset. I sat on my yoga mat on the deck outside, I got lost in the beauty for a moment, slowly remembering my intention and how long it took me to get here, to this moment.  I had held on to way too many things that people had told me that bothered me or didn’t feel good to me and I needed to let go…but as I did this something dawned on me, and I sat in a bit of disbelief, and had to really think about this before I could understand.  I’ve never been able to really accept love. I can give love, a lot of love. But somehow I feel safe in the background, although it isn’t safe and it isn’t real.

I thought about this a lot after reading blogger Mark Mansen’s post called ‘Maybe You Don’t Know What Love is’.  It had an impact on me, an eye opening, somewhat sad feeling washed over me…you keep giving the wrong people the love you deserve yourself – my friends kept telling me. I sat silently and said to myself – I am open and able to receive love – I said it a lot that evening, and I still say it today. The more I uncover the layers of who I am, those layers being the walls I’ve built over the past 20 plus years, the more I realize how hard it is for me to accept love and how much I have to give in to an entirely new way of thinking.

It’s somewhat easier to believe the negative and live with those words we tell ourselves when we disregard the heartfelt love and support, and compliments which is what we should be holding on to. Simple reminders that we’re all loved. Maybe that’s the I don’t want to be vulnerable part…believing the lies, so no one can get too close.

I don’t know if it’s self esteem or childhood issues or family or whatever, but I’m currently reviewing how my brain processes information vs. emotional information in order to see the love when it’s standing right in front of me. I’m also pretty sure I’m not alone in how I feel. I don’t think a lot of people know this, that they too maybe can’t accept love.

Let me in the ocean that no one knows. I’ll either drown or learn to swim”  JmStorm

Written by: Toni Bergquist


How do you know it’s Love?

It’s a feeling with a million adjectives to describe emotions we are still learning.  So how do you really know when it’s love?

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Webster’s dictionary defines love as; an intense feeling of deep emotion…okay. While that’s a simple definition I stumbled upon a lot of definitions by some very interesting people.

-A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved. – Kurt Vonnegurt

-Love does not begin and end the way we seem to think it does. Love is a battle, love is a war; love is a growing up. – James Baldwin

-Nothing is mysterious. no human relation. Except love. – Susan Sontag

-Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get – only with what you are expecting to give – which is everything.

-What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love. – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

-Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

-Love is like a fever which comes and goes quite independently of the will…there are no age limits for love.  – Stendhal 1882

-To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. –  C.S. Lewis

-Love can change a person the way a parent can change a baby – awkwardly, and often with a great deal of mess. – Lemony Snicket

-Love is like coming home – Unknown

-Love is the very difficult understanding that something other than yourself is real. – Iris Murdoch

-Love is when your soul lights up just thinking about someone. You see something that reminds you of them and it makes your day. Things go wrong, its true, but when things go right, its majestic. – Unknown

-Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness. –  Bertrand Russell

-Real love is when both people think they are getting the better half of the deal. – Simon Sinek

-It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them. –  Agatha Christie

-Someone you CARE about more than anything

-Sincere loyalty, affection, and care bestowed without obligation

-A neurological bath of pleasure chemicals

-Mutual passion and understanding

There are many many more. But I’ll stop there and wonder what your definition of love it:)

Epic Failures: The Best Worst Dating Stories

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Date #1:  Never Ever Agree to an Overnight Blind Spa Date

Why I agreed to a blind date for an overnight spa date is beyond me, oh yeah, I wanted to go to this particular spa.  But when my blind date arrived I wanted to run back inside, he had gotten fat based on what my friend told me and his supposed cute face was all bloated and red! He was not my type. I don’t know why I ended up going when every part of my being was screaming do not go, any excuse will do!

Needless to say we barely spoke on the drive there which was just over an hour.  I did my best to make small talk here and there but I wanted to jump on a bed of nails. We spent the next 24 hours barely talking – AWKWARD – getting massaged, facials and I did get a really nice bathing suit accompanied by a terrible dinner filled with MORE awkward silence. When we finally got to bed he tried to make out and somehow cuddle with me! I was literally kicking him away. Oh my goodness why are we sleeping in the same bed?!

The next day we can’t drive back fast enough and I overhear him telling his friend on a call it was “game over” oh really, thanks for the heads up. MAJOR FAIL on both parts!

Date #2:  Be careful seducing someone who might be gay.

He and I met through a friend at an independent movie premiere. I adored his East Hollywood James Dean style, and I didn’t really let the fact that he seemed somewhat metro leaning towards gay cloud my already clouded judgment, he was an actor after all. Needless to say we took some ecstasy and fell in love overnight.

His gaggle of bitchy east hollywood girlfriends did not like me being at his place and within a week it was over due to the fact that I had seduced him (YES HE BLAMED ME) and he was confused! Until he came back again, and again until I bolted my front door and changed my phone number! Major If there is Ecstasy and Sex involved Stupid FAIL!


I was dating this guy who was nothing more then a hook-up with a few lunches and dinners tossed in for good measure. But we had amazing chemistry when we made out.

After a few weeks I decided I wanted to have sex with him. So that Friday night – I put on a sexy, tiny black skirt with a little silver chain, a black bra and heels and greeted him at the door. It was hot and heavy…for 3 minutes when he finished, stating how amazing that was! We tried that 2 more times, I mean two completely separate occasions with the same results….until I said NO THANK YOU!

I told him I wouldn’t have sex with him again unless he could last at least 30 minutes.  And about a few nights later he did and maybe a few more times.  EPIC FAIL SOMEWHAT REDEEMED.

Date #4:  Wait a minute, did you just tell me your family history in 3 hours?!?

Yes you did and you think that’s normal! What’s not normal is my ability to sit through what felt like watching paint dry while you told me your life story, not only yours but your aunts and uncles and cousins included in this date turned into your family legacy’s job interview for a wife! Sorry but if I can’t sit through this I might not be considered in the running.  EPIC FAIL: No one wants to hear the details of your family legacy. PS. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU????

Date # 5: When the guy you’re infatuated with is infatuated with someone else and forgets to tell you.

This was such a fun night because I was all dressed up to see this guy I really liked and had been spending a lot of time with.  His band was playing so I got ready and went with a group of friends only to arrive to find him with a date. But not just any date,  they seemed in love. They had just met a couple weeks prior and were over the moon for each other. I was heartbroken but the best part was pretending I was really happy for them while playing hostess to my friends. Can I crawl under a rock now.  EPIC FAIL: Make sure it’s official.