Love and Intimacy

January 7, 2017 6:08 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

In your relationship or with dating partners:

Who wants more connection in the relationship?

Who likes more hugging or sex?

Who needs more space and independence?

We each have a different comfort level for connection and intimacy. This is our ability to stay connected before we need space or when the level of closeness with a partner activates fear.

The difference in our comfort zones come from each person’s childhood experiences, past relationships, traumas, and support that they have had or not have in their lives.

For some people, it’s 3 seconds of eye contact or a short hug. For others, it can be a longer period of affection, eye contact or time spent together.

When partners have the same ability or desire to connect, then the relationship can be one of ease. There is a natural ebb and ––– a natural “contact” and then “withdrawal.”

However, with many couples or dating partners there is an imbalance. One partner wants more intimacy or needs more ‘space.’  If each person doesn’t understand the needs of the other, this can lead to tension, yearning or frustration.

Connection and Feeling Overwhelmed

Marianne is a single woman in her 40’s. She met an attractive guy at a party and they immediately connected. They talked for hours and she was having a fabulous time!

However, she also had a stressful day at work and several drinks at the party.  Suddenly, Marianne felt exhausted. Not having recognized the signs of the connection overwhelm, it took her by surprise.

She liked the guy but needed to sleep and didn’t’t know how to break away. All she knew was that she need to “leave now.”

In her overwhelmed state she couldn’t think clearly. Marianne got up abruptly, broke their connection and said, “I need to go home now.”  She forgot to give the guy her number or ask for his. She only knew his first name, and was upset that never saw him again.

In our work together I helped Marianne to recognize her signs of “connection overwhelm” and to express her need for a break before reaching her ‘point of no return.’

Connection and Time Alone

Sue and Jason have been married for ten years. She wanted to spend most of her free time with him and do all their activities together. She didn’t understand when he needed time alone. She felt hurt, rejected and then acted angry toward him. They were in vicious cycle; both withdrawing and then not talking for days.

In our coaching together, we explored Sue’s feelings of hurt and rejection which came from deeper issues. We came up with different responses that she could have when Jason needed time alone. I also taught her a compassionate communication method so she could tell Jason how to help her to feel more secure in their relationship.

As a result, she was able to also understand Jason’s needs. Sue then reconnected with friends and found activities that she really enjoys instead of “waiting around” for him to spend time with her. Their relationship has changed dramatically for the better and she is enjoying a fuller life.

ink clearly. Marianne got up abruptly, broke their connection and said, “I need to go home now.”  She forgot to give the guy her number or ask for his. She only knew his first name, and was upset that never saw him again.

In our work together I helped Marianne to recognize her signs of “connection overwhelm” and to express her need for a break before reaching her ‘point of no return.’

Connection and Touch

Vanessa grew up in a house where there was very little touch. Her parents didn’t hug each other, nor did they hug Vanessa and her brother.

Her boyfriend Carl’s family is very expressive. They hug every time they say hello and goodbye.

When Vanessa and Carl watched TV, he put her arm around her or placed his hand on her leg. Before understanding their differences for intimacy and touch, she though he was just “needy.” She didn’t have a reference point for pure physical affection.

Now that she realizes it’s about connection, she reaches out and touches him more. As a result they have become closer and feel more bonded.

If you are dating:

 If you’re dating or in between relationships, then it’s the perfect time to access your own needs and values. This way you can look for a partner whose ‘comfort zone’ for intimacy is similar to yours.  Ask yourself:

Do l need a lot of hugging, cuddling, affection?

Do I want a partner to call, see and text me often?

Do I like to have a lot of independence and space in my relationships?

When you refine your own needs up front, you can circumvent longing or discontent in the long run.

If you are married or in a relationship and want to expand your own ‘comfort zone’ to create more intimacy, here are 7 steps to follow:

 ~~ Be willing to have more intimacy and connection with your partner. 

~~ Be open to exploring your own fears related to intimacy or becoming too close with a partner.

~~ Understand the differences in each other’s ‘comfort zones.’

~~ Have love and compassion for yourself and your partner.

~~Create more safety in the relationship so that more intimacy can develop.

~~ Decide what you need from your partner.

~~ Learn a compassionate communication method so that you can discuss your needs and requests without blame or judgment. Then come up with small steps that you each can take.

Note: With Vanessa, our coaching was individual and she brought the changes back into their relationship.  With some clients, it’s working with the couple together.

If you expand your comfort zone with the help of these steps you can enjoy a greater level of intimacy with your partner.

Have you signed up for “3 Keys to Lasting Love.” If not, simply click on the link on the right hand side and you will have immediate access to the “3 Keys for Lasting Love.”

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This post was written by Cheryl Lazarus

Get Connected For Love

December 11, 2016 5:41 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

With technology at our fingertips,  Facebook connections whom we don’t even know, quick texts that don’t convey our real emotions, and dating apps that offer great photos with little depth – we are losing the personal touch. In my practice, clients are yearning to be connected.

Online dating clients say, “Two or three exchanges is enough. Then we need to meet in person.”

Dating and newly partnered clients, “I want him/her to make time for me.  I’m tired of I’m tired of texting!”

For couples who are in long term relationships or married, it’s a different situation. Many partners and spouses are losing priority. I hear, “ Between work and the kids, I’m exhausted at the end of the day. We are losing our connection.”

Or,  “We’re on automatic.”

Or, “We avoid each other to keep the peace. It’s easier this way.”

As human beings we are wired for touch and personal connection, so what can we do? Studies have shown that people are happier when in a positive intimate relationship.

Here are 3 easy ways to “get connected,” plus a bonus.

  1. Full Presence

When you are with a person that you care about; dating partner, spouse, friend, or your child – be fully present during that time. Ten minutes of full presence is worth more than three hours on distracted and non-attentive time.

This means putting the cell phone away, listening with full attention, and looking directly at the person with whom you are talking.

When you hug, hold hands, or place your hand on their arm – be fully present in the hug or touch. Feel their essence, connect on a deeper level. Be in the moment with your mind and heart fully there.

I shared this idea with a couple whom I coach. They have been married for over 15 years and the kids will be out of the house soon. They would like to create more intimacy and connection with each other and realize that this upcoming time period gives them a great opportunity to enhance their relationship.

When I talked about full presence and touch, the wife said, “I love this! Even though I hug my husband or touch him, I’m on automatic. My mind is often somewhere else.”

I lead them through some practices and they could both feel a stronger connection and energy exchange. It was very exciting and they look forward to practicing at home!

Extra tip: It’ may be challenging to be fully present in a hug or touch at first. Therefore, just do it for 5 to 30 seconds. Notice how you both feel. When you do it often the connection builds. Small steps equal large gains.

  1. Your voice

Very simply, instead of texting, emailing or sending messages through Facebook, pick up the phone and talk!  Whether it’s three minutes or twenty, the good feelings that can be generated are bonding.

There is an energy exchange through voice that we cannot achieve through messaging. Plus, nuances and meaning can be lost through technology.  The immediate response of a phone or Skype call has a different rhythm and connection.

Extra tip: Choose someone who you enjoy talking with!  Keep the conversation short if it’s someone who drains you whom you need to speak with from time to time.

  1. Calendar Time

You have heard this before, but read on because I have additional spins on it.

Make a date with each other. For busy couples, this is truly a necessity and not a luxury! It’s imperative for keeping the connection alive. You change environments and can remember the fun that you can have together!

You may even need to schedule sex. After several years together, oxytocin levels drop and sexuality may change. Since this in an important bonding aspect of a relationship, many busy couples do need to schedule in sex, otherwise, it loses priority.

In the divorce part of my coaching, I hear many regrets of time for time not spent together and how a spouse was placed on the back burner. Excessive work creates material benefits, yet the relationship can suffer if not attended to as well.

Not getting a babysitter for an evening, keeps you both in parent mode rather than being in couple mode. Sometimes kids are a buffer in a relationship, however, if you keep your “couple-ness” and well as your parenting, then you won’t turn around during empty nest time and say, “Who are we without the kids.”

Suggestions for couples: 

  1. Make a date at least once or twice a month
  2. Mark it is on the calendar and treat it as “gold” because it is. If you need reschedule due to an unforeseen situation, reschedule immediately. This tells you both that you are making a commitment to the relationship and to each other.
  3. Plan the date together. Do something you both enjoy. This is part of the bonding process.
  4. Go on the date with an attitude of sharing and having fun. Leave criticism, to do lists, work, kids, complaints and other responsibilities at home. Make a conscious effort to do this. This is your time to remember who are are together.
  5. Schedule sex if you need to and treat it as “gold.”

Suggestions for singles who are dating.

Several of my clients have experienced their partners pulling back after a certain time period together. If the person that you are dating, has pulled back or is not setting aside “in person” time with you, then it’s time to find out why.

Instead of waiting weeks or months, being afraid that you are pushy or don’t have the right to speak up, consider doing it now.

I teach clients a fabulous communication method that is compassionate, non-blaming and respectful. Have a conversation with your dating partner to understand why they are not spending the time with you and to express you needs for more “in person time.”

If weeks go by and there isn’t enough of a change, then it may be time to let the person go. If they are not treating you as a priority now, then they won’t later. Patterns show up early and it’s important to pay attention to them.

Some of my long term relationship or married clients are upset about their lack of priority by the partner. I ask, “How long has this been going on?  Often, I hear “years.”

Your time is too valuable to wait for someone to pay attention to you. If you want personal touch, then be with someone who values it, too!

BONUS TIP FOR PRACTICING FULL PRESENCE

Here is an easy way to practice full presence. I created it because I wanted to expand my own ability to focus and be present with a partner.

You will need a cat or dog or a friend who has one. Animals are great to practice with being they give unconditional love, are non threatening and we don’t have any baggage with them!

So here is how it goes:

For one minute, stroke/pet your cat or dog. Place your full attention on the feel of its fur under your fingers, rubbing its chin or behind it’s ears. Be fully present and aware of how your pet responds and how you feel during the experience.

I have two cats and do this with each of them. When I am fully present with my cat, the connection between us is palpable. He may purr, nuzzle his head into my hand, or roll unto his back for me to stroke his tummy.  He is truly loving it and so am I.

Often, when my mind wanders my cat gets up, turns around and show me his butt.  Or he jumps off the couch and walks away.  Talk about immediate feedback! What a teacher of presence he is!

Extra Tip:  Quickly read through these ideas and choose one that you will apply now!   Notice how it shifts your connection.
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This post was written by Cheryl Lazarus

Online Dating

October 15, 2016 5:46 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Whether you are a seasoned online dater or entering back into the dating world after a breakup/divorce, online dating can be exciting, intimidating and everything in between!

In this workshop, we’ll explore how to become more comfortable with yourself so that you can be more comfortable in the dating experience. Plus, we’ll learn tips for creating a better online profile, how to discern dating partners up front, how to navigate the different dating apps and sites and much more!

The group will be led by Cheryl Lazarus, a Certified Relationship, Divorce and Dating Coach. She helps women and men to attract new love and to create positive fulfilling relationships.

She also helps separated and divorced women and men to heal and become emotionally available again for love.

Even if you are not ready to date yet, please join us to learn new ideas, share your helpful experiences and make new friends!

When:  February 8, 2016
Time: 7 to 9 pm
Where: Midtown NYC
Investment: $17 payable at the door in cash

RSVP: Fill out the contact form, and I will send you all the details!

Cheryl Lazarus is a Professional Speaker, Author,  Certified Relationship Coach, Divorce and Dating Coach and Energy Healer. She helps women and men to attract new love and to create positive fulfilling relationships.

zengalove.com

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What Behaviors Are You Accepting? by Cheryl Lazarus

August 11, 2016 12:09 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Years ago, my husband and I split up after a very long marriage. I spent time healing and then dated casually. Eventually I was ready for a relationship and met Steven, an attractive California guy. We began an exciting long distance relationship. I was in love and in lust!

One time out of three, Steven didn’t call when he said that he would or called an hour late without letting me know. As we were long distance, I considered our calls important and looked forward to them.

I didn’t discuss it with him because we only saw each other every 6 weeks and I didn’t want to make a ‘big deal’ out of it, at least that’s what I told myself at the time.

The ‘real truth’ is that I didn’t talk about it with him because I was afraid he’d leave or continue to do it anyway. I also felt like “I didn’t have a ‘right’ to say anything. My rocky marriage and our split up had taken it’s toll and my self worth had taken a ‘hit.’

After 7 months I got tired of this behavior and broke up with him. When I told him that one of the reasons is that he didn’t call when he said that he would, or called an hour late without notice he replied, “You never said anything so I figured I could get away with it.”

I sure learned some lessons there! I immediately trained in positive communication methods as well as did the inner work to shore up my self worth and confidence.

So, listen up: we train our partners on how to treat us by what we accept and what we expect!

If you don’t like how you are being treated, then you can learn how to speak up and place more value on yourself. I’d be happy to show you how!

Cheryl Lazarus, CRC, CLC is a Love Coach and Relationship Expert. Be sure to sign up for your complementary coaching strategy session and explore your next steps in your love and relationship journey. Simply fill your name and email in the Strategy Session box on the right side and we will get started.

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This post was written by Cheryl Lazarus

Checklist for Special Connection with the One You Love by Cheryl Lazarus

June 10, 2016 3:11 am Published by Leave your thoughts

With our busy lives, we can take our partners for granted. Here’s are 7 ideas to let her or him know that you love and appreciate them.

1. Gift your Beloved with what they would like to receive, not what you would like to receive.

2.  Plan a special day or evening and be sure you’re both agree on how to celebrate.

3.  Surprise your partner with a hand written love note and place it where he or she will see it but not in an obvious spot.

4. Do something your partner has been asking you to do that you have been procrastinating doing. 

5. Tell them something that you appreciate about them or acknowledge something they have done for you.

6.  Send an unexpected “I love you” or “I miss you” text

7. Make love without distractions, being as absolutely present as you can be.

Cheryl Lazarus, CRC, CLC is a Love Coach and Relationship Expert. Be sure to sign up for your complementary guide, “3 Essential Keys to Lasting Love.”

 

 

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5 Conversation Tips for Any Situation, by Cheryl Lazarus

April 9, 2016 3:31 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Do you every feel self conscious or watch every word because you’re afraid of how others will perceive you?

Do you get tongue-tied around certain people or during difficult conversation?

How about when your on a date or connecting with your lover or the  significant people in your life?

“All people feel uncomfortable some of the time ,” says Relationship expert, Cheryl Lazarus, “and yet, there are some who seem ‘know how to do it.’ They’re charismatic and words just flow out of their mouths effortlessly.”

Think about it? Are there some people in your life that you love to be with?  They listen, care and know how to connect?  Do you ever wonder how you could do that more…be the “go to”person, feel more comfortable if you’re  dating or when connecting in your relationships?

Here are 5 important tips to create better connections and to have more fun while your doing it.

* Stay present 

Many people worry about how they will be perceived, what he or she will think about them or what they said.  When this happens, you are in internal dialogue, absorbed  in your own thoughts, rather than being present to the actual conversation. You may feel even worse when you realize that you broke the connection and may not even know what the person has been saying!

* Keep the attention on the other person, rather than on yourself

If encouraged, people love to share about themselves. So provide a space for that and ask questions. Be sure they are “open ended.” so that you can take the conversation deeper. After they answer you can say ” Tell me more about that.”

* Pause – take a breath

Give the other person an opportunity to speak.. When people are nervous, they tend to chatter or talk fast.. Or a person can be absorbed with themselves and forget to include the other person. Pausing allows someone else to jump in and carry the ball for awhile.

* Listen more

Listen more, talk less. You may even learn something new!

* Get off your own agenda

If you’re  thinking about what to say next or can’t wait until the person finishes so that you can have your turn, then you are not in the conversation. Conversation flows best if you leave your own agenda at the door, and concentrate on the actual conversation that you are in. You can be more spontaneous that way, too.

If you follow even one of these tips it can change your conversation and create the connections that you desire.  Try it and let me know what happens!

I’d love to here your comments, thoughts or questions and I’ll reply right back!

Click here to  sign up for ZengaLove Relationships Tips and Updates?  Never miss a chance for a relationship tip that can change your life!

To your relationship success!
Love, Cheryl

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Fears of Intimacy & Are You Sabotaging Your Relationships Part 2 by Cheryl Lazarus

December 10, 2015 1:29 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Many of us have fears of intimacy  as a result of  events in our childhood or issues within our family.  We then create behaviors that sabotage the very thing that we want which is love. . With awareness you have the opportunity to do something differently!

Janet is a woman in her 30’s,  whose  father  left the family when she was 9. He had an affair, started a new family and was not as involved with her or her brother.  This caused a lot of pain as she had been closer with her dad than with her mom.

In her current relationship with Jim, she’s afraid of become too vulnerable or  close. Her deep seated belief is  “He will leave.” So  she does become too intimate, Janet gets scared. She withdraws, looks for something to criticize or provokes a fight.   Jim then retreats, moves away. His own fears of intimacy are now setting in.

First, I helped her to heal the pain that is still left from childhood. Then we explored her behaviors and I  provided her with new options for when she becomes scared.  Janet is now able to choose. She can choose to provoke or she can choose the healthier options that she now has available.

Listen to this video to understand more about the roots of our fears of intimacy and how it shows up in our relationships.

If you would like to uncover your sabotaging behaviors so that you can create healthier ones, then sign up for your  free 1/2 strategy phone session now!   Click here

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Are You Sabotaging Your Relationships – Part 1 by Cheryl Lazarus

September 10, 2015 1:08 am Published by Leave your thoughts

We often sabotage relationships without knowing it. We do this by unconscious behaviors that can cause distance or breaks in intimacy. Unfortunately, this can lead to a breakup or divorce and there are many reasons why we may sabotage.

We may do this out of fears of intimacy, feeling too vulnerable or needing more space but not knowing how to ask for it.  Listen to the VIDEO and find out what may cause sabotage in your relationship so that you can create fulfilling relationships instead!

Would you like to uncover your sabotaging behaviors so that you can create healthier ones? Sign up for your  free 1/2 strategy phone session now! Click here

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How can I trust again? by Cheryl Lazarus

April 17, 2015 7:10 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

“How can I trust anyone again after what happened? I can’t even trust myself!” Have you ever said those words? I know that I have and so have my clients.

When there has been broken trust or you have been hurt, felt betrayed or abandoned; it’s easy to blame yourself, blame others, or simply lose faith in trust and in love.

Trust is intrinsic to a relationship, both with others and with ourselves. It’s the ground upon which all else is built, yet so many of us have been hurt through mixed messages or misplaced trust.

How can you trust yourself more and then trust someone else? You already know what I’m going to share, but are you actually doing it!!! Watch the video and find out. And then up  for our ZengaLove Relationships Tips and Updates.

How can you apply this to your life?

If you follow this simple tip, how can your life be different? I’d love to here your comments, thoughts or questions and I’ll reply right back!

Click here to  sign up for ZengaLove Relationships Tips and Updates?  Never miss a chance for a relationship tip that can change your life!

To your relationship success!
Love, Cheryl

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What is your “Saturation Point” for intimacy? by Cheryl Lazarus

holdhands January 4, 2015 7:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

“We all have a ‘saturation point” for intimacy,” says Cheryl Lazarus, Relationship Expert.   This means your ability to stay connected before needing to break away or becoming fearful of too much intimacy. We connect  – we move apart.  We come back together – we move apart again.

Each person has a different level to which they can  stay connected or be intimate. This is based on their family history, relationship history, prior experiences, traumas, and support that they have had or not had in their lives. In Gestalt Therapy we refer to this as the “contact and withdrawal” cycle.

For some people, it’s 3 seconds of eye contact or a short hug. For others, it can be a longer period of affection, eye contact or time spent together.

In an ideal relationship world, there is a natural flow … a rhythm. However, in many relationships, this concept is not understood and when one partner needs to withdraw and have time alone, it can become a source of confusion, hurt, feelings of rejection or anger for the other.

Needing Time Alone

For example:  One of my clients, Janet is in a long term relationship with Bill. She’s into togetherness, and wants to spend most of her time with Bill. She prefers that they do all their activities together and feels hurt and upset when Bill wants time by himself.

On the weekends they’re together Friday night, all day Saturday and on Saturday night.  On Sunday he like to spend time by himself.  She laments,  “Why doesn’t he want to be with me on Sunday?  He has the whole day off and we can be together. Instead he just wants to be alone!”

This sets off her rejection barometer and she then acts angry toward Bill. This causes a rift and then they are both withdrawing, except not in a healthy loving way.

Out of the Blue

Another example of what can happen when one partner needs a break and cannot express it, is that they may start an argument or withdraw into themselves. It can seem to come “out of the blue, with no warning.”  One minute everything seems fine and then … it’s not.  The other partner is left feeling confused, hurt or angry.

This happened a lot in my previous marriage, as I hadn’t discovered this concept all those years ago. When my ex and I needed “space ‘or felt vulnerable from too much contact, one of us would do something that “triggered” the other. For example, he’d start criticizing  me or blaming me unnecessarily and that set off a reaction in me.

The result…..we both became  angry and upset. He could then rationalize puling away and that unconsciously created the space that he needed.

How much better  it would have been had we understood that one of  us was at our “Saturation Point” for intimacy and been able to express that.

Feeling Overwhelmed – I need to get out of here now!

Meredith is an attractive single gal in her 30’s who met a really cool guy at a  party.  She and the guy immediately connected. They talked for hours and she was having a fabulous time!

She had also worked that day and had several drinks at the party.  All of a sudden she felt exhausted. Not having recognized the signs of the oncoming overwhelm, it seemed to take her by surprise.

She liked the guy, needed to sleep badly and didn’t know how to break away. All she knew was that she need to “get out of there now.”

In her overwhelmed stated she couldn’t think clearly. So she got up expectedly and said, “I need to go home now.” She forgot to give the guy her number or ask for his. She only knew his first name, and was upset that never saw him again.

Understanding differences in your “Saturation Points” 

When you’re with a dating partner or your long term relationship partner there may be differences in your saturation point.  If you understand this than you can have compassion when you or your partner needs a “connection break” rather than feeling rejected when they need their space, pull away or want time alone. If you can recognize the signs in yourself or them, you can then suggest a break before getting to the “point of no return.”

3 – Step “Intimacy Saturation Reliever”

1. Be open to changing your intimacy patterns so that you can create more intimacy.

2. Recognize the signs of “Saturation Overload”

a. Tune into your body

Are you getting tired?
Does your brain feel overloaded. Have you listened to “too much information?”
Is your heart racing?

b. Connect with your emotions

Are you feeling overwhelmed?
Do you feel like you’re “losing” yourself?
Are you getting anxious, nervous or scared?

c. Check in with your energy

Are you feeling drained?
Do you feel scattered, antsy or uncentered?

d. Listen to your “inner voice”

Ask yourself, “Do I need time alone right now?”

These are all signs that you need to take a connection break.

3. Express it to your partner

The ideal situation is that you explain these concepts, or even show them this blog post. Then you’re both on the same page and can understand what each other is talking about.

Here are some examples of how you can express it to your partner. You can use this as a model and/or create any variation that seems right to you and expresses the way you naturally talk.

“I’m having a great time and realize that I’m getting tired. I love you and need some alone time. How about if we reconnect in 3 hours”

Note: When you give a time frame then it will help your partner to feel cared about and can lessen an “abandonment trigger.

“I’m really enjoying being with you and I’m realizing that I’ve reached my “Saturation Point” for connection. I really need to take a break right now and would like to reconnect at 7. Would that work for you?”

I’ve enjoyed talking with you and want to spend some time reading before I go to sleep. How about if we talk on the phone again tomorrow?

Creating deeper intimacy

By following these strategies you can create the space that you need while still staying connected with your dating partner or loved one.  You’ll understand each other better, appreciate your “Saturation Point” for intimacy and create a deeper intimacy in the process!

I’d love to here your comments, thoughts or questions and I’ll reply right back!

Click here to  sign up for ZengaLove Relationships Tips and Updates?  Never miss a chance for a relationship tip that can change your life!

To your relationship success!
Love, Cheryl

 

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