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In the last installment, I described the flirty, quippy conversation between myself and Robert. I asked as series of questions raised in the conversation. The answers are below:

1. Robert said he wanted “a woman who makes me want to be a better man." What does this mean?


A great relationship is when two people together are greater than the sum of their parts. A healthy person inspires their partner to be better than s/he is on their own. 
 
In a good relationship, you may:

  • Eat healthier & exercise regularly.

  • Laugh, relax and enjoy sex frequently.

  • Make goals and fulfill personal ambitions.

  • Quit addictions and address other long-standing dysfunctional behaviors (i.e. codependency).

  • Practice relational skills like empathy, forgiveness, and conflict and resolution.

 Be wary of any relationship that turns down your wattage, instead of lighting you up.

2. What is the difference between “masculine and feminine” versus “man and woman”? 

All humans embody varying degrees of masculine and feminine energy. “Polarity” is similar to the notion that “opposites attract.” Sexual attraction and chemistry are the result of two people with opposite energy who are naturally drawn to one another.
 
Masculine and feminine energy is not tied to gender. In a gay relationship between two men, one man may have more masculine-energy, while the other embodies more feminine-energy. Similarly, in a relationship between a man and a woman, the woman may have the dominant masculine energy, while the man is the one with more feminine energy.

As you develop higher consciousness, you develop both energies within yourself. As best said by Susan Sontag, "What is the most beautiful in virile men is something feminine; what is most beautiful in feminine women in something masculine."
 
 3. What is emotional regulation? What is empathy? Why do they matter?

Have you ever had a fight with a romantic partner, but later regretted the things you said or did? Or have you been accused of lacking an understanding of your partner's position?

Emotional regulation is the process by which you learn to develop healthy coping strategies to manage and respond to an emotionally-charged experience. Examples of healthy coping mechanisms to manage stress include: asking for a time-out, talking with friends, writing in a journal, exercising, meditating, attending therapy or 12-step groups, and praying. As you develop mindfulness--you're less prone to be reactive.

Similarly, empathy can be developed. Empathy is about seeing with another's eyes, listening with another's ears, and feeling another's heart. As you begin to relate to others on a deeper level, you realize that everyone's needs matter--and can be met with peaceful conflict resolution.

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