Living a healthy love life begins with uncovering childhood patterns in a very direct and practical way.
When do you expect too much of yourself? Do you ever expect too little? I have no experience expecting too little of myself, but would be curious about others’ experiences with that. (How about a comment after you read this?) How do your expectations play out? What childhood lessons contributed to that? If you had no expectations from others, did that lead to having few for yourself?
What was truly intriguing about Michelle Obama's DNC address last night was her vulnerability, her realness, in front of such a huge national audience: She admitted that she wasn't too down with Barack running for president at first because of the time constraints it would put on their family.
Unlike many lucky people, your childhood was anything but idyllic. And what's worse is that past issues are stopping you from trusting others now, and being happy in your post-adolescent life. You want to put your past behind you and lead a new life. But how can you, when everything that's happened to you has made you a mistrusting, wary adult?
Sure, it's tough for some parents to race child one to soccer practice while still dropping child two off at piano lessons on time, but families find time to do it; mostly with minimal complaints. Sure, it's heartbreaking when a boyfriend breaks up with you — but at some point you move on, hopefully gaining strength through the experience. But some people have bigger problems.
I was people-watching at a posh restaurant while waiting for my friend to join me. People with money, power, expensive clothes, cars, and dates arrived. I began wondering what I was doing; was the great food going to somehow make this display of affluence okay? I was underdressed and evaluating that in my mind, when all of a sudden I heard someone laugh. It wasn't the laugh that caught my attention, but rather the lack of laughter from most of the guests there. In fact, prior to her laugh, people had the right clothes and accessories, but none of them looked very happy. These people were what Sidney Sheldon would call social skeletons.
If you thought your mom was hard on you, consider what it was like to be raised by Martha Stewart. "I grew up with a glue gun pointed at my head," writes Alexis Stewart, the craft queen's 46-year-old daughter in her new book Whateverland: Learning to Live Here, co-authored with Jennifer Koppleman Hutt. In the memoir-dappled lifestyle handbook, out Oct. 16, Stewart offers a window into what it was like growing up under the rule of the ultimate perfectionist. At times, she makes Joan Crawford seem like Mrs. Brady.
I’m guessing that The Girl Who Let Me had been looking at the mountains, waiting for a boy, any boy, to come along. I wish I could remember her name. I said hello, and she said hello, and I said I lived up the road—not mentioning that I was one of the weird missionaries, though later she told me she knew who I was because her uncle disapproved of us Schaeffers and said so. Anyway, that first day she didn’t ask awkward questions. I asked her where she was from, and she answered Paris, and then, with a sudden flash of inspiration, I asked her if she’d like to go for a walk because the crocuses were still blooming only a fifteen-minute hike up the steep path. She said yes!
There are countless studies out there on couples' fighting styles, but new research is finally focusing in on how pairs recover from arguments. As it turns out, how well you patch things up in your current romantic relationship has to do with the quality of attachment in your very first relationship—the one you had with your caregiver as an infant.
A Child's First Love Do you remember your first pet? How old were you? I was three or four years old when my favorite aunt invited me to peer into a box of squirming kittens. They were brand new, grey tabbies whose eyes were still shut tight. Their plaintive mews filled the air with a sense of sadness for me. How I longed to make them feel safe and loved. When my aunt told me I could take one of these little fur balls home, my heart leaped for joy.
Over the weekend, Psychological Science published a study saying that people are happier when they spend more time discussing meaningful topics than engaging in small talk. Seventy-nine college students had their conversations recorded and analyzed by researchers, who distinguished between chit-chat about the food or the weather from discussions about philosophy, education, or religion. Subjects who reported the greatest amount of satisfaction spent only 10 percent of their conversation on small talk, while the unhappiest subjects kept 28.3 of their talking time in the shallow end.
Below, check out this roundup of childhood sexual misconceptions, helpfully ranked on a scale of Sexual Confusion. And thank your lucky stars for public school and HBO, because if we hadn't eventually learned about sex, we'd all be pregnant, in prison, or incredibly frustrated by the search for the elusive navel G-spot.