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LOVE MUSINGS by Erica

fun, healthy, interesting, informative, funny,

 or sexy stories & articles

[love blog]

Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

  • Singles Meet Market [singles/dating]

  • Engaging Dates [engaged/committed couples

  • Date Your Sole Mate [married couples]

  • Conscious Un-Coupling [breakup/divorce]

  • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

Taking the Gloves Off: How to Fight Fairly

Love Musings By Erica 

Tampa Love Muse

August 2023

All relationships, whether romantic or not, have their fair share of disagreement and conflict. But it's especially true of familial relationships. It's challenging to resolve the disagreement and effectively relieve the associated tension. However, resolving conflict is critical to the health of any relationship.  How successful have you been at coming to a mutual agreement when there's been disagreement?


Try the following ideas the next time conflict arises:

1. Adopt an attitude of seeking a solution - not trying to win. It's important to keep the goal in mind, and the goal is not to prove that you're 'right.' The goal is to understand the other's point of view, communicate your own, and then search for a solution that meets both of your needs.

  • If the goal is to win, the relationship suffers. In a great relationship, both of you should feel safe expressing your discontent and trust that resolving the issue will make the relationship better.

2. Speak up before something becomes a major issue. If he's driving you crazy by not replacing the cap on the toothpaste, bring up before it's happened for the 50th time and you're on the verge of screaming. We all wish others could read our minds at times, but to date, no one has been proven to have that ability.

  • Avoid saving all of your hurts as ammunition to be fired during the next fight. Doing so only makes it more challenging to find middle ground. Bring up the issues as they occur.

3. Be clear about what's bothering you. Be specific and address the behavior. Saying, "I get upset when you leave your dirty clothes all over the floor. I would be happier if you put them in the hamper." will go over better than, "Why can't you pick up your clothes?"

  • What's the real issue? Exaggerations, generalizations, and half-truths simply create more issues. For example, if your spouse claims to be upset about your traveling for work, maybe they're really upset about the stagnant status of their own career.

4. Listen to the response. Often times, the person that's upset isn't in the mood to listen. If you want to solve your dilemma, you must listen to make progress. Remind the other person to address the behavior and not let it become personal.


5. Now it's time to seek a solution. After you've both had a chance to present your perspective, brainstorm a solution together. Be willing to compromise, but that doesn't mean you have to give in. Giving in just postpones the fight to another day. Be ready to forgive and move on when a solution is reached.

  • Avoid involving others that aren't part of the disagreement. It really doesn't matter what your mother thinks or her best friend believes. It's between the two of you. Strive to keep it that way.

Fighting fair isn't just the loving thing to do. It's also the best way to reach an agreement and diffuse the situation. You'll know that that a good solution has been reached when both parties are satisfied and the issue doesn't come up again in the future. Make an effort to fight fair and you'll enjoy stronger, more loving relationships.

Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

  • Singles Meet Market [singles/dating]

  • Engaging Dates [engaged/committed couples

  • Date Your Sole Mate [married couples]

  • Conscious Un-Coupling [breakup/divorce]

  • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

Newly Single? Top 10 Ways to Help Yourself Move On

Love Musings By Erica 

Tampa Love Muse

July 2023

Failed relationships can be painful and challenging to overcome. While the most common solution is to rebound into another relationship, these relationships rarely survive beyond a few months. Take advantage of your new relationship status by learning from the past and recreating your life. A breakup or divorce can ultimately be a positive experience.


Learn from a failed relationship and prepare for your future partner:

1. Learn from it. Every failed relationship provides at least one significant lesson. What was it? Relationships typically fail either due to errors in choosing a partner or errors in behavior. Determine where you made a mistake and decide to do something better next time. If you never repeated any of your relationship errors, you'd be guaranteed to find the right person!

  • Use the first few weeks to examine the relationship and consider what changes you can make in the future.

2. Let go. Unless there are children involved, consider ceasing all contact. Resist the tendency to "accidently" run into them at your favorite hangout, send a late-night text message, or stalk them on Facebook. Take anything that reminds you of them, box it up, and put it in the garage.


3. Forgive. It's an easy word to say, but challenging to do. There's no closure without forgiveness. For those talented at forgiveness, it can happen quickly. For the rest of us, it can take some time.


4. Take care of yourself. It can be tempting to skimp on your hygiene, sit in front of the TV in your sweats, and avoid the gym. However, it's important to continue taking care of yourself. Get a shower, spend time with friends, and maintain your normal routine.


5. Get your life in order. This is a good time to shore up the deficiencies in your life. Find a job you like. Ensure your finances are in order. Get in shape. Feel good about your life and yourself before dating again.

  • You want to have a great life to share with someone else, rather than find someone to fill in all the gaps and solve all the challenges in your life. Fix your life first. You'll be a much more attractive partner, too.


6. Remodel. Create a new environment at home. Move the furniture around. Buy a gallon of paint and redo the dining room. Give yourself a fresh start.



7. Find a new hobby. There's something you've always been dying to do. Now is the perfect time to do it. Take a pottery class or buy a violin. Join the bowling league. Add something new and fun to your life.


8. Enjoy being single. There are disadvantages to being in a relationship. Avoid starting a new relationship at first. Enjoy your freedom. Spend more time with your friends and family.


9. Make a list of what you'd like in a potential partner. Decide what you're looking for. Think about your past relationship experiences and put together a description of what you'd like in a new partner. Begin looking, but avoid straying too far from your list of requirements. Avoid falling into old patterns.


10. Take it slow. When you find a potential match, enjoy it. There's no rush.


Moving on after a failed relationship can be especially challenging. Rely on friends and family to see you through. A breakup or divorce is an ideal time for self-examination and making positive changes in your life. There's no reason to be in a hurry to find a new partner. Move on from the past before jumping into a new relationship.

Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

  • Singles Meet Market [singles/dating]

  • Engaging Dates [engaged/committed couples

  • Date Your Sole Mate [married couples]

  • Conscious Un-Coupling [breakup/divorce]

  • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

Fundamental Rules for Dating After Divorce

Love Musings By Erica 

Tampa Love Muse

June 2023

Dating after divorce can be challenging, but there are actions that make the process easier. If you're divorced, then these tips will help you reenter the dating world.  Dating can help you move past the divorce and is the first step to finding a new love.


Try these strategies:

1. Stay connected. Your friends and family can help you find someone new. They can also help you navigate dating and answer questions. Customs may have changed since the last time you had dinner at a fancy restaurant on a date.


2. Avoid desperate hunting. If you're tired of being alone, then it may be difficult to wait for someone. However, you don't want to desperately hunt for love or pursue those who aren't interested.

  • It's more effective to have a calm approach to dating and view it as a process. It may take time to find a new love, but the process is worth it.


3. Forget the excuses. It's easy to come up with excuses to avoid dating: You're tired, you're not ready, you're worried about your ex's feelings, or you're scared about the children's reaction. You also worry about how others will react to you after spending years being married.

  • Once you put the excuses aside, you'll see that they're stopping you from finding love again.


4. Make the first move to start dating again. Once you just get started, you'll see your life transform for the better. This can range from signing up for a dance class to accepting a friend's invitation to a party.

  • If you want to find new love, then it's crucial to go to places where you might find other single people.

  • By paying attention to the world around you, you'll notice dating opportunities in new places. Experts compare dating to exercise because both require a commitment but can produce great results.


5. Consider online dating. If the last time you went on a date was decades ago, you may want to explore new options.

  • There are multiple online dating websites, and some of them cater to niche hobbies or jobs. It's important to explore all of the choices before you sign up because of fees. You'll discover that the options range from the eccentric to the normal.

  • Your online dating profile is how you'll connect to others, so keep it accurate and avoid posting information you don't want the entire world to know.


6. Keep your children out of your dating life. Although it may be tempting to involve them and ask their opinions, your children don't need to be a part of it right away. It can be traumatizing for children to watch a parent parade new partners every week or month.

  • Only serious and long-term relationships deserve to have your children involved. If you're certain you've found the one, then consider introducing this person to your children and making them aware of the future.

  • You'll have to discuss the new and serious love in your life with your children before they meet this person. This is the perfect opportunity to answer questions and let them share their concerns or fears about the relationship.


Dating after divorce isn't an easy process, but you can make it work with the right strategies. By staying positive and avoiding the excuses, you can find love again.

Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

  • Singles Meet Market [singles/dating]

  • Engaging Dates [engaged/committed couples

  • Date Your Sole Mate [married couples]

  • Conscious Un-Coupling [breakup/divorce]

  • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

8 Tips for a Successful First Date

Love Musings By Erica 

Tampa Love Muse

May 2023

Do you feel a bit uneasy when it comes to going out on a date with someone for the first time? If you do, rest assured that many others feel the same way.  Luckily, there are proven strategies you can use to relieve the stress before you go out with someone on that dreaded first date!


Consider these suggestions before your next first date:

1. Be honest with yourself. Before you agree to the date, give yourself time to consider if you truly want to go. Sometimes, you might just be going on a date just because a friend or family member wants you to.

  • Use your own judgment when it comes to dating. Determine whether you want to go depending on what's best for you at that particular time.


2. Plan ahead for the date. If you have a choice in the matter, think about where you want to go. What will you wear? A few days before, pick out the clothing and shoes you'll wear on your date.

  • Is everything laundered and ironed? Are your shoes in good shape and shined? Do you need a haircut?

  • The more you do ahead of time, the less you have to be nervous about that day.


3. Be self-assured about your hygiene. When you have great personal hygiene, you feel better about yourself. Groomed and freshly washed hair, brushed teeth, and an invigorating shower can help you feel great about yourself and give you confidence on your first date.

  • You'll feel more relaxed on your date if you know you're looking good.


4. Before the date, think about conversation starters. You're likely comfortable talking about yourself and so are others. Consider asking questions like, "What kind of work do you do?" "Where are you originally from?" and "How long have you lived in the area?" These types of questions usually help others relax and get them talking.



5. Know yourself. Be cognizant of your strong points and what you can offer in a relationship.

  • For example, use some positive self-talk and say something like, "I have a great sense of humor, know a lot about my community, and have an interesting job."


6. Show genuine interest. Comment when you find something interesting about your date or ask them follow-up questions. Making eye contact and nodding as they speak shows that you're striving to make a connection and want to learn more about them.


7. Consider interesting topics to discuss. For example, think about what's happening in the community, such as new museums, parks, or restaurants that you could talk about. What's been in the national news lately?

  • Think about anything interesting you've read lately or places you've visited. Great conversation fascinates others and draws them to you.

  • Avoid discussing politics or religion.


8. Smile. Smiling helps you feel more relaxed. Also, use your sense of humor to make others smile. Keep in mind that the other person may also be dealing with feelings of discomfort and anxiety about your first date.


Therefore, a pleasant disposition and a smile will benefit both of you.  First dates can be relaxing, enlightening, and enjoyable once you get past the nerves. Apply these strategies the next time you go on a first date. If you approach dating with an open mind and good intentions, you'll be surprised at how much fun you can have.

Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

  • Singles Meet Market [singles/dating]

  • Engaging Dates [engaged/committed couples

  • Date Your Sole Mate [married couples]

  • Conscious Un-Coupling [breakup/divorce]

  • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

Don't Let Your Anxiety Damage Your Relationship! 

These Strategies Can Help

Love Musings By Erica 

Tampa Love Muse

April 2023

If you struggle with anxiety, you understand how terrible it can make you feel. As you work on coping with your symptoms, it's good to know that anxiety doesn't have to hurt your relationship. You can learn to recognize and manage it so it doesn't come between you and your partner.



Try these strategies to help keep your relationship strong, despite anxiety:


1. Share your feelings. If you suffer from anxiety, stress, or worry, you may be tempted to hide your feelings from your partner. But hiding your feelings can lead to confusion and frustration in your relationship.

  • Your partner may sense something is wrong, but your decision to hide the anxiety and stress will prevent them from helping you.

  • By hiding your emotions, you risk pushing your partner away. Your partner can feel hurt because they may think you don't have enough trust in them or your relationship to share your thoughts.


2. Avoid guessing about your partner's feelings. Anxiety can increase if you play guessing games and try to predict what your partner is feeling. Instead of guessing, communicate with your partner and ask sincere questions about their feelings.

  • Guessing or assuming what your partner is thinking is dangerous because you might guess incorrectly and end up making decisions based on totally erroneous information. Open communication is the key to healthy relationships and reducing worry.


3. Work on resolutions together. Instead of letting fear and worry take over, confront your anxiety and work on resolutions. It's not easy to face your fears, but the alternative can lead to a damaged relationship. Discuss the issues you're concerned about with your partner.


4. Be mindful and live in the present. Anxiety can shift your focus from the present to worrying about the future. When you suffer from anxiety, it's easy to think about the worst case scenarios and make inaccurate predictions about the future. This can hurt your relationship.

  • Instead of getting lost in your worries, spend some time planning a bright future together.


5. Deal with your thoughts. Learn to manage your negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. Negative thoughts can create more anxiety and fear.

  • If you manage your thoughts, you can reduce the anxiety. This will help you focus on the positive aspects of your relationship.


6. Learn to accept help. Although you may be able to deal with your anxiety on your own, a trained professional may be able to guide you to quicker resolutions. It's not a sign of weakness if you decide to pursue therapy or medications to help you.

  • By opening up about your issues, you can seek the help you need.

  • Your partner, friends, family, and coworkers may be able to help you, too. Accept help from multiple sources as it becomes available. Avoid limiting your opportunities to alleviate the fear and worry.

  • If you decide to pursue therapy or medical treatment, it's important to stay on course. Avoid giving up after one session. You may need multiple sessions to eliminate the anxiety. You may also need to try more than one medication to see results.


Anxiety doesn't have to control your life or relationships. You can recognize anxiety and make changes before it affects your relationships. Use these strategies and enjoy a positive difference in your relationship.

Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

  • Singles Meet Market [singles/dating]

  • Engaging Dates [engaged/committed couples

  • Date Your Sole Mate [married couples]

  • Conscious Un-Coupling [breakup/divorce]

  • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

7 Actions That Strengthen the Emotional Bonds of Your Relationship

Love Musings By Erica 

Tampa Love Muse

March 2023

You can make your relationships emotionally deeper and stronger with simple actions. If you want your relationships to last, then it's crucial to invest time and effort into them.


Try these strategies:

1. Spend the entire day with the person. One of the easiest ways to build an emotionally stronger relationship and create memories is to spend an entire day with your loved one.

  • Your day can start with going out for breakfast and activities that you both enjoy. On the other hand, you can simply hang out at home together and relax. The most important point is to spend time together and enjoy it.


2. Create a special memory. Do you both love art or scrapbooking? Do you enjoy traveling to explore and experience new locations? A special memory can involve creating an object or an event together.

  • Deeper relationships are created by sharing experiences with each other.

  • You can create a painting together, put together a photo album, or paint the kitchen. You can also travel together and build new memories.


3. Share your secrets. Vulnerability in a relationship can make it stronger and healthier.

  • Trust is an essential part of a healthy relationship, so it's important to feel comfortable sharing your secrets. You should be able to have confidence that the other person will keep the secret and not share it with anyone else.


4. Share your future plans. Share your ideas about the future and the goals you want to achieve. Listen to your partner's goals for the future too. Together, you can support each other on the path to success and fulfillment.


5. Share your favorite books and articles. One of the easiest ways to create a stronger relationship is to share your favorite books and articles. This allows the other person to learn more about your interests and get a deeper understanding of you.

  • Your favorite books and articles can reveal more than just your interests. They can be mirrors into your soul and reveal your thoughts, expectations, and beliefs.

  • You should feel comfortable sharing your reading material. Avoid worrying about judgment or arguments that could appear after your loved one reads these items.


6. Discuss your past. Have you opened up about your past? Conversations about the past can help you bond by sharing details of your history. The other person can learn more about you and your personality.

  • You may want to share the stories that are hidden from others and discuss past mistakes or other issues.


7. Use technology to stay in touch. If you can't see each other on a daily basis, use technology to communicate as often as possible. Your phones, tablets, and other devices can help you stay connected.

  • Ongoing communication is a key part of emotionally strong relationships.

  • You can use the traditional phone calls to stay in touch or turn to Skype, video chats, texts, emails, or social media.

  • Choose the devices and methods that work best for both of you.


Relationships can wither and stagnate if you don't take action to keep them fresh, alive, and exciting. Make the effort to strengthen your emotional bonds. Your rewards will be well worth it.

Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

  • Singles Meet Market [singles/dating]

  • Engaging Dates [engaged/committed couples

  • Date Your Sole Mate [married couples]

  • Conscious Un-Coupling [breakup/divorce]

  • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

Discover the Most Common Relationship Secrets

Love Musings By Erica 

Tampa Love Muse

February 2023

Couples routinely keep secrets from each other despite the damage this does to their relationships. These secrets can range from innocent mistakes to more serious lies.  Relationships secrets can vary, but there are some common trends among them.  If you suspect your loved one isn't being upfront about everything, one of these secrets might be the culprit:


1. Money secrets. One of the most common secrets in relationships is money and tends to be focused on spending.

  • Most couples don't hide their salaries from each other. However, they often hide how much they spend. From an innocent fib about finding something on sale instead of paying full price to more serious lies about thousands in credit card debt, the secrets can differ.

  • Both men and women try to hide their spending habits.


2. Food secrets. This secret isn't always easy to keep in a relationship since you usually share a kitchen. It's not hard to spot the candy wrappers in the trash can or notice the extra bottles of soda in the fridge.

  • Couples still manage to keep food secrets from each other. However, they're usually related to eating out instead of what they eat at home.

  • Couples sometimes try to hide what they had at a fast food place or a restaurant by sneaking them in the car or at work.

  • Most of the food secrets happen when one or both partners are supposed to be on a diet. It's tempting to cheat, and it's easy to pick up food as you do errands or return from work.


3. Cheating secrets. Infidelity is a serious issue for many relationships.

  • Your partner will probably try to hide that he or she is cheating on you. It's rare for them to blatantly parade another person in front of you or to discuss their affairs while you're still in a relationship.

  • Cheating secrets are some of the most damaging to the security and long-term success of a relationship.


4. Exercise secrets. Some couples will hide how little they exercise, and some will try to hide how much they exercise.

  • Although it's more common to keep secrets about not working out, there are cases of people lying about working out more. Some of these are related to eating disorders, and your partner may be keeping the high workouts a secret because they want to burn off too many calories.


5. Television secrets. This secret may seem unusual, but it's more common than you think.

  • Some couples keep their television habits and favorites a secret from each other at home.

  • In many cases, they have an agreement to watch a show together, but one of them will cheat and watch it alone. Then, they try to keep it a secret and pretend they haven't seen the latest episode.

  • In other cases, partners are embarrassed to watch trashy shows or bad comedies. They may keep their TV habits a secret because of shame or guilt.



6. Secrets about their "ex." Often, couples will keep meetings or phone calls from a former partner a secret.

  • Most couples worry about their loved one finding out an ex is back in their lives. They don't want to sabotage the new relationship, so they hide it.



Secrets can hurt both people in a relationship, and the damage can extend to other members of their families.

Although you know you should be honest with your partner, it's not always easy, and secrets are sometimes hard to avoid. In most cases, though, honesty is the best policy. Honesty naturally builds trust and strengthens your relationship.

Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

  • Singles Meet Market [singles/dating]

  • Engaging Dates [engaged/committed couples

  • Date Your Sole Mate [married couples]

  • Conscious Un-Coupling [breakup/divorce]

  • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

Don't Let "Couple Envy" Destroy Your Relationship!

Love Musings By Erica 

Tampa Love Muse

January 2023

Do you feel jealous of other couples and their relationships? Couple envy is a common concern. It's important to remember that things are not always as they seem! Those other couples may or may not have the relationship you perceive. And even if they do, it doesn't mean that their relationship is "better" than yours.

Your relationship might not be perfect in every way, but there is joy in working things out and strengthening your bond.


If you're trying to deal with couple envy, consider these tips:

1. Understanding couple envy. Couple envy refers to the feelings of jealousy you have after seeing another relationship.

  • The envy can stem from seeing a couple that has better communication or more wealth. Envy can also come from seeing couples who have children while you struggle with infertility. It's also a frequent concern if you see couples that seem to never fight or have issues.

  • Jealousy can arise any time that you compare your relationship to another relationship.


2. Reality versus fiction. Although other couples may seem to have perfect relationships, psychologists note that they're often hiding their issues.

  • Couples who claim they never fight or never spend time away from each other may not be sharing the truth. Psychologists mention that it's difficult for others to judge the real nature of a relationship from a distance.

  • Even close friends and family members may not be aware of the true nature of the couple's relationship. It's easy to hide faults and issues from the public's eye. It's also easy to create the illusion of perfection by deliberately discussing positive aspects and ignoring the negative ones.

  • It's important to remember that relationships differ, so you can't expect to have the same one as another couple.


3. Understanding the source of envy. Psychologists mention that, at the heart of many cases of envy, is a missing element in your own relationship. Are you jealous of other couples who spend time together because you rarely see your partner?

  • If you see something in another couple's relationship that is missing in your relationship, then envy can take over.

  • Instead of allowing jealousy to take control, use this as a learning experience. What can you do differently to change the missing elements of your relationship?

  • By identifying the source of your envy, you can work on eliminating it.


4. Envy can't be ignored. Researchers have found that trying to ignore envy doesn't work. It's not possible to simply wish away the feelings of jealousy. But you can turn your focus toward learning more about yourselves and your own relationship instead.

  • Use the envy as a learning tool to explore your own emotions. It can also help you reassess your past. Envy can also help you figure out why you're dissatisfied with your relationship.


5. Interacting with other couples. It's important not to let your jealousy affect your ability to interact with other couples. Envy isn't always easy to hide, and it can hurt others. If you're jealous of another couple, then it's crucial to monitor your words and actions. You don't want to hurt your friendship because of envy.


6. Awareness of your situation. You can reduce or eliminate your feelings of envy by focusing on the positive aspects of your own relationship. Do you have a partner who helps with housework, makes you coffee every day, and listens to your boring work stories?

  • You may not realize that other couples may be jealous of your relationship!


Couple envy doesn't have to consume your life. Use these strategies to identify it, move past it, and let the blessings of your own relationship be your focus - not someone else's.

Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

  • Singles Meet Market [singles/dating]

  • Engaging Dates [engaged/committed couples

  • Date Your Sole Mate [married couples]

  • Conscious Un-Coupling [breakup/divorce]

  • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

11 Secrets from Seniors on Finding Lasting Love

Love Musings By Erica 

Tampa Love Muse

December 2022

Seniors can offer a unique perspective on marriage and lasting love. Their decades of experience can help you find love that lasts.


These are their secrets:

1. Listen to your family. Couples can benefit from listening to advice from family members.

--->Family members can offer a different viewpoint on the relationship. Their approval may not be necessary for you to find happiness, but seniors state that listening to family matters.


2. Listen to your friends. Your friends can also offer an interesting perspective on the relationship.

--->Friends who care about your relationship can give advice.


3. Watch your partner during a game. Seniors recommend playing a board game together and watching your partner's reaction.


--->Games can reveal your love's competitive side. They can also show you how they handle stress and rivalry. Watching their reactions and noting patterns will reveal important clues about your compatibility and future. Lasting love is built with care and concern for each other, so watch for clues.


4. Seek forgiveness. All relationships have issues, but it's important to seek forgiveness.

--->Instead of keeping score on who should ask for forgiveness first, you can make the smart choice and establish a conversation.

--->Seniors state that forgiveness is essential in a relationship, and it must be meaningful.

--->Dwelling on the issue can make it a bigger challenge. Instead, figure out a way to deal with it as a couple and listen to each other. A mutual decision to avoid resentment can help.


5. Continue dating each other. Create a date night once a month or more frequently. It can be added to both of your schedules, and you can plan in advance. Dating gives romance new energy, so you can build a stronger relationship.


6. Watch for common interests. Sharing common interests helps to maintain a relationship.

--->Do you enjoy the same type of movies? Do you like to spend your weekends hiking or exploring new parts of a city? If you share common interests, it's easier to keep up conversations and find activities you can do together.


7. Set aside a weekend morning or afternoon to talk. Couples can easily become distracted by work, children, and other activities. However, talking to each other can help you bond.

--->Discussions about your past, present, and future are at the heart of strong relationships. A lasting marriage relies on both partners to communicate frequently and effectively. By setting aside a specific time in your schedule to talk, you'll rediscover the joy in your connection.


8. Create a reasonable amount of space. Couples need to do activities together, but they also benefit from having a reasonable amount of alone time.


9. Make an effort in your appearance. Seniors explain that making an effort to look presentable and beautiful for your partner matters.

--->It's easy to get distracted and feel tired. Staying in your favorite sweatpants or pajamas may be more comfortable, but it's not helping the romance aspect of your relationship. Seniors suggest that both men and women dress up frequently for each other.


10. Give each other cute pet names. Nicknames can help you bond, and they can help you discover what your partner thinks of you.


11. Make an effort to support each other. You can find ways to help each other at work and at home. You can attend important events to show others you care about your partner's job. You can also manage chores by sharing them at home.


Seniors have years of experience in maintaining their relationships. Their advice can help you find true love that lasts forever.

Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

  • Singles Meet Market [singles/dating]

  • Engaging Dates [engaged/committed couples

  • Date Your Sole Mate [married couples]

  • Conscious Un-Coupling [breakup/divorce]

  • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

Keeping Healthy Boundaries in Relationships

Love Musings By Erica 

Tampa's Love Muse

November 2022

It's important to implement and maintain healthy boundaries in your relationships. Think of boundaries as invisible lines you draw around your feelings, wants, and needs in a relationship. Those limits delineate where your feelings and emotions end and your friend's or partner's feelings begin.


Healthy boundaries ensure that each of you are equally entitled to experience and express your own feelings in the relationship. When good boundaries exist, there's no fear of reprisal in openly and honestly expressing genuine feelings to the other. Regardless of the nature of the relationship - friendship or love - keeping healthy boundaries can only deepen the connection between people.


Case Scenario: An Illustration of How Boundaries Develop in a New Relationship

Tina is newly single and had a date last week with Chris. She enjoyed his company. Chris said he'd call Tina in a week. The week went by with no call.  A few days later, there's a knock at Tina's door. It's Chris. He wants to come in. Tina detects a light odor of alcohol, which only multiplies the discomfort she feels about his surprise visit.  Tina doesn't know Chris very well and would prefer he not come in. What does Tina do? What would you do?

                  A.She lets him in.

                  B.She hesitates at first, but he convinces her to let him come in.

                  C.Tina tells him a "story" about how her parents are expecting her any minute and she has to leave now. Therefore, he can't come in, so he leaves abruptly.

                 D.She informs him that she's uncomfortable with his unannounced visit and isn't going to let him in. Tina uses a non-threatening tone and tells him she hopes he understands. He's disappointed but agrees to leave and says he'll call Tina tomorrow.


Choice Discussion

Choice A doesn't demonstrate healthy boundaries. Why? Because Tina felt uncomfortable and her preference was that Chris not come in. However, Tina ignored her feelings and accepted what Chris wanted instead.


Choice B also illustrates less-than-healthy boundaries. With B, Tina's in about the same situation as A. In essence, Tina noticed her own feelings (represented by her brief hesitance). Ultimately, she didn't make her decision based on them. Instead, she allowed another person - Chris - to "step on" her boundary and convince her to behave as he wanted.


Choosing C shows Tina was at least able to respect her own feelings of not wanting Chris to enter her home. Tina's boundaries could be stronger but at least, she ultimately didn't let him in.


Choice D demonstrates firm and healthy boundaries. Tina was open and honest about how she felt and confident about her feelings and decision not to invite Chris inside.


Case Analysis

This example illustrates what can happen at the beginning of a relationship if poor boundaries exist. Choices A or B early on set an unclear boundary and thus adversely affect the life of the relationship if not addressed. In essence, how you demonstrate (or don't demonstrate) your emotional boundaries will determine if and how a relationship progresses.


On the other hand, responding with Choices C or D shows healthier boundaries. Those choices show you acknowledge and act on your own feelings, even though doing so could make the other person a little uncomfortable or even angry. When you validate your own feelings and the other's as well, you can experience an honest, respectful relationship.


Examine Boundaries in Your Relationships

Take a moment to think about boundaries you have in your relationships. Do you tend to ignore your own feelings and go along with whatever the other person wants? Can you speak up about your feelings? Do you appropriately state when something will not "work" for you? Do you ask for what you need in a relationship and obey your own internal limits?


Keeping healthy boundaries in relationships is a positive step toward discovering the fulfilling relationships you want. Focus on making choices in relationships based on your genuine feelings. Doing so will bring you the passionate, sharing and caring relationships you seek.                                             

Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

  • Singles Meet Market [singles/dating]

  • Engaging Dates [engaged/committed couples

  • Date Your Sole Mate [married couples]

  • Conscious Un-Coupling [breakup/divorce]

  • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

Five Tips for a Healthier Emotional Future After Divorce

Love Musings By Erica 

Tampa Love Muse

October 2022

If you've been through a divorce, you may feel emotionally damaged and vulnerable. That's understandable and perfectly normal, but you don't have to remain that way. If you were abused, you may be better off on your own. Even if you wanted to stay together, you now have a unique opportunity to change your life for the better.

While your past is out of your control, you can control what happens in your future. Make a conscious effort to let go of the thoughts of blame and guilt. Instead, focus on the life you want to create for yourself moving forward.


Emotions Can Be Overwhelming

It's normal to feel overwhelmed for a while. This is especially true if you have children or if you now need to get a job after staying home. Take deep breaths and try to relax. You can come out of this healthier emotionally than you were before, as long as you stay positive.


There are many things you'll need to consider. Some of the decisions you make in the heat of the moment can come back to haunt you later. Rather than let that happen, consider:

1. Sleeping on any big decision, instead of making it right away.

2. Asking friends and family for support to help you get through a tough time.

3. Focusing on what you still have, like your children or your job.

4. Selling the house and moving if there are too many memories attached.

5. Relocating to be closer to family and friends who can help you make it through to better times.


You can also join support groups to meet others who are experiencing similar circumstances. Just be aware that rebound relationships often happen this way and many of these can be unhealthy. Strive to get through the grieving process before getting involved with anyone else.


Divorce Can Be a New Beginning

While it's true that divorce is the end of a relationship as you knew it, it can also be the start of a new, positive direction. Many experiences await you. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones and remind yourself that you'll certainly be happy again. Choose to think productively about your situation by learning from it and quickly heading in the direction of positive change.


Focus on what matters most to you: your family, friends, children, job, hobby, or anything that means a great deal to you. When you spend time focused on others, or on something that you value, you have far less time to feel bad about other areas of your life. You have much to look forward to in this new beginning.


As you focus your thoughts in a direction that supports your emotional health, you'll feel better and be more interested in life. You'll also be able to see how far you've come, which will make you emotionally stronger. Your divorce can lead you to other opportunities, if you choose to steer your thoughts in a positive direction. If you do, you just might experience the happiness you deserve.

Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

  • Singles Meet Market [singles/dating]

  • Engaging Dates [engaged/committed couples

  • Date Your Sole Mate [married couples]

  • Conscious Un-Coupling [breakup/divorce]

  • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

How to Reach Your Relationship Goals Faster

Love Musings By Erica 

Tampa Love Muse

September 2022

Everyone has goals that they would like to achieve. Your goals help to keep you moving forward, even when you're uncertain or down about something. Focusing on your goals gives you purpose and enjoyment in life.


With that in mind, it's valuable to remember that not all goals have to be about work or money. There are plenty of goals that have to do with hobbies, travel, relationships, and other areas of life. The truth is, relationships are an often-overlooked key ingredient to an overall life of joy.


What Kind of Relationship Goals Do You Have?

Relationship goals are sometimes less specific in nature than goals for money or certain accomplishments. For example, setting a goal to get married by a certain date puts pressure on you and may cause you to settle for the wrong guy or gal.


Try these strategies to help yourself achieve your relationship goals sooner:

1. Know yourself. Take the time to understand and get to know yourself, so you know what you have to offer in a relationship. Take good care of yourself both mentally and physically, as that will make you much more attractive to the opposite sex.


2. Stabilize your financial life. Most people prefer someone who is financially stable. Money worries can affect a relationship in a very negative way, sometimes before it even gets started.


3. Be open to new experiences. Get off the couch and into the game. Get out there and meet new people. Attend church functions, community events, and other gatherings where you can meet people with similar interests.



Family and Friends Matter, Too

Even if romance is far from your radar, you probably still have relationship goals in mind. Would you like to be emotionally closer to extended family? Perhaps you're interested in making amends with an elderly parent before it's too late. Make your relationships a priority by envisioning how you want them to be. Those desires are your relationship goals.



Work steadily to advance your goals, so you can see them come to pass more quickly. Consistent, positive action is the key. You can improve your relationships in many ways. For example:

  • Be the first one to reach out. You'll repair or advance relationships with action.

  • Find out what other people need from you, so you can meet those needs if possible.

  • Be honest about your feelings. Tell people what you want and need from them.


Above all, be willing to open your heart to those that matter the most to you. You might be surprised to find a willing recipient on the other end that has been waiting for you all along. When you're willing to leave your comfort zone and pursue meaningful relationship goals, you'll experience a richer and more fulfilling life than you ever dreamed was possible.


If you're ready to get started, grab a pen and paper. Close the door so you won't be interrupted for about 30 minutes. Write the name of someone who's important to you at the top of the page.  Now write a description of your ideal relationship with this person. Repeat this process for each of the important relationships in your life. Review these descriptions often and begin to take steps to move those relationships in that direction. When you do, you'll experience the happiness you were created to experience!

Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

  • Singles Meet Market [singles/dating]

  • Engaging Dates [engaged/committed couples

  • Date Your Sole Mate [married couples]

  • Conscious Un-Coupling [breakup/divorce]

  • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

How to Avoid Relationships that Sap Your Soul

Love Musings By Erica 

Tampa Love Muse

August 2022

It's easy to get drawn into a negative relationship. It may have started out seemingly perfect, but things seemed to change overnight. It may be time to decide whether or not the positive attributes outweigh the negative ones when it comes to your relationship choices.  If you're unhappy and emotionally drained after a break up, you might not be feeling too optimistic about throwing yourself back out there. However, opening yourself up to new opportunities is the only way you're going to reach the happiness you seek.  The best thing you can do is to educate yourself well enough to know what to look for and what to avoid. It's not a fail-proof plan, but by following certain strategies, you can increase your chances of a lasting relationship.


Try taking these actions to avoid negative relationships:

1. Avoid falling back on the wrong person. If you're feeling particularly lonely, you may feel the urge to fall back on someone that's not right for you. Deep down you know that this person is not "the one" and yet you come crawling back anyway trying to convince yourself that maybe the person can change. Chances are, they won't.


2. Spend time getting to know your partner. Focus on getting to know your partner first before getting too serious in the relationship. Try to have some of the heavy conversations near the beginning of the relationship. This way if you hit major snags you can either decide to work through it or move on quickly.


3. Learn your partner's history. Are there disturbing events in his or her past? It's clearly best to avoid people who have a history of violence or intense addiction. If they do and you choose to proceed with the relationship, be extra cautious and set the ground rules from the beginning.


4. Avoid manipulative people. You might not realize it at first, but if you find that you're being manipulated often, it can prove to be a serious drain on your relationship. If your partner is controlling and always has a selfish motive for their actions, it isn't the best relationship to be in. Recognize these red flags when you see them and get out before you get too attached.


5. Make a checklist. Take some time to make a list of the qualities you'd like to see in a partner. Include qualities you like as well as qualities that you dislike. This checklist will help you determine whether the relationship is right for you. Here's a tip: avoid writing down superficial characteristics such as looks. First and foremost, you must be attracted to his or her personality because the superficial things can and will change as you age.


Relationships can be difficult; it's just a reality of human nature. The fact that many relationships end shouldn't have any impact on your hope for the future. There are plenty of people out there that will be a good match, so it's okay to avoid relationships that sap your soul.  Remember: you do have a choice! Focus on finding the right partner for you and then take action to make it the positive relationship you've always dreamed of!

Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

  • Singles Meet Market [singles/dating]
  • Engaging Dates [engaged/committed couples
  • Date Your Sole Mate [married couples]
  • Conscious Un-Coupling [breakup/divorce]
  • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

    Improve Your Relationship With Premarital Counseling

    Love Musings By Erica 

    Tampa Love Muse

    July 2022

    Premarital counseling can be the most important wedding gift a couple can receive. With premarital counseling, you can make instant improvements in your relationship and build a foundation for a long and happy marriage.  In fact, according to some studies, premarital counseling can improve your chances of staying together by 30% or more!!!   These are some of the major benefits of premarital counseling along with suggestions for how to get the most out of your sessions.


    Major Benefits of Premarital Counseling

    1. Decide if you're ready to get married. Go into counseling with an open mind. Even if you discover that you and your partner may need to delay the wedding while you work on some issues, it's much better to move ahead strategically than to stick to an arbitrary schedule.


    2. Set realistic expectations. It's easy to get caught up in Hollywood notions of romance and fairy tale endings. An in-depth discussion with your partner with input from a trained and objective expert can do a world of good in helping you to separate fact from fantasy. It helps you prepare for the daily realities of sharing your lives.


    3. Communicate better. Skillful communication keeps a promising relationship on track. By understanding the basic principles, you'll avoid common pitfalls. With practice, you'll discover how to give each other the support and validation you seek from one another.


    4. Learn constructive conflict resolution skills. Disagreements are bound to arise as you manage the pressures of balancing careers, kids, and in-laws. By focusing on win-win solutions rather than getting your own way, you'll grow closer instead of drifting apart.


    5. Understand the stages of marriage. Between the honeymoon and sharing your golden years, most marriages move through predictable stages. The rocky times will be easier to endure if you know that many couples work through temporary disillusionments and setbacks.


    6. Become a better role model for your kids. When you feel stable and resilient, you give your children an environment where they feel loved and secure. Your children are likely to imitate your good habits as they grow up and find their own life partners.


    How to Make the Most of Premarital Counseling

    1. Examine your attitude about therapy. Society has come a long way in recent decades but there's still some stigma attached to psychological counseling. Try looking at premarital preparation the same way you need to take a driving test before you can get a license.


    2. Find the right counselor for you. Many people receive premarital counseling as part of the preparations offered by their religious tradition. Whether you prefer a religious or secular approach, you can ask family and friends for referrals. The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy may also be a starting point for finding a therapist you feel compatible with.


    3. Get an early start. Studies show that the year before your wedding is a prime time to start working on your relationship - while you're still highly motivated and before bad habits set in. The first six months of marriage are also a productive window of opportunity.


    4. Take an inventory. Most therapists will start out by asking you to take an inventory. This will give you a road map to identify your areas of strength and weakness and see where you need to focus your efforts.


    5. Supplement with marriage education classes. Targeted classes and workshops can be helpful on their own or as a complement to counseling. You'll learn the fundamental ingredients for a healthy marriage and how to develop key skills.


    6. Practice what you learn. For counseling to make a lasting difference, you need to apply what you learn. You and your spouse can write out your goals and monitor your progress together.


    According to some studies, premarital counseling can improve your chances of staying together by 30% or more. Enjoy many years of wedded bliss by getting your marriage off to a healthy start!

    Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

    • Singles Meet Market [singles/dating]

    • Engaging Dates [engaged/committed couples

    • Date Your Sole Mate [married couples]

    • Conscious Un-Coupling [breakup/divorce]

    • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

    What Will You Do When Your Partner Says They Need Space?

    Love Musings By Erica 

    Tampa Love Muse

    June 2022

    Maintaining space in a relationship is a delicate balancing act. Too little privacy can make you feel smothered, while too much can make you forget what your significant other looks like. On the one hand, you probably realize that personal space is a reasonable request, but that may not stop you from feeling threatened if your partner asks for it.  If you're pondering what to do when your partner says they need their space, take a look at these suggestions. They'll help you develop a relationship that's close and comfortable.


    What to Do After Your Partner Says They Need Space:

    Maybe you hit it off on your first date and you forgot to pace yourself. If you're already having that conversation, you may be able to end your relationship gracefully or take it to another level.


    1. Stay calm. It's natural for relationship troubles to trigger doubts and fears. Remember that you've handled conflicts in the past, and you can figure out how to respond to this one.


    2. Listen closely. Show your partner you care by giving them your full attention. Focus on what they're saying instead of thinking about your next response. Reserve judgment, and try to take in verbal and nonverbal messages.


    3. Clarify the situation. Space can be a vague concept until you translate it into specific terms. Does your partner want to move out or just spend an occasional weekend apart?


    4. Play fair. Once you've negotiated your mutual boundaries, honor your agreement. Resist the temptation to check in with each other if you're giving up texting or calling for a week.


    5. Don't take anything personally. You learn more about your partner by LISTENING to what they say without taking anything personally.  Listen with an open heart and open mind.  


    6. Accept responsibility. Your feelings and expectations matter too. Decide whether this is an opportunity to renew your commitment or part amicably. If you're still on the same track, working together to resolve your differences could help your relationship grow.


    How to Avoid Having Your Partner Say They Need Space:

    Successful couples tend to know how much "me-time" they require...and this self-autonomy is necessary for a healthy relationship with oneself and with others. In fact, having enough space in a relationship is almost twice as important to a couple's happiness as having a good sex life, according to researchers at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research.


    1. Make your own friends. It's important to have relationships outside your relationship. Have fun hanging out with friends, and stay in touch with your family. It's fun and helps you to take some pressure off of each other.


    2. Pursue your interests. You can be compatible without sharing a passion for orchid shows or go-cart racing. Encourage each other to do what you love.


    3. Look inward. Solitary hours are an opportunity for reflection and spiritual practice. Allow each other to enjoy some silence.


    4. Build trust. Your sense of security increases when you know you can count on each other even when you're out of sight. It's wonderful to know that your significant other has confidence in you.


    5. Own your decision. Enjoy those Friday nights or Tuesday afternoons that you go off on your own. Come back with an interesting story instead of wasting time feeling guilty.


    6. Nurture your connection. Of course, your life as a couple requires some effort too. Let your time apart remind me you why you want to be together. Create rituals that show you care, like leaving each other love notes or emptying the dishwasher when it's not your turn.


    7. Consider counseling. If you worry about becoming dependent or being abandoned, childhood issues could be involved. Talking with a therapist can help you heal and move on.


    The bottom line is that space doesn't have to be scary. Strengthening your identity as an individual enriches your life as a couple.

    Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

    • Singles Meet Market [singles]

    • Engaging Dates [engaged/committed couples

    • Date Your Sole Mate [married couples]

    • Conscious Un-Coupling [breakup/divorce]

    • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

    How to Feel More Comfortable on a First Date

    Love Musings By Erica 

    Tampa Love Muse

    May 2022

    With the right attitude, you can enjoy yourself in any situation, especially a first date! After all, dating is meant to be fun and exciting!  Here are some practical steps to take before, during, and after your date to increase your comfort level.


    Steps to take before your first date:

    1. Keep yourself healthy. Everything is less stressful if you take good care of your health. You know the drill: Ensure that you regularly get adequate sleep and rest, eat a healthy diet, and make exercise part of your daily routine.


    2. Let go of unrealistic expectations. Not every encounter has to be a love connection. Celebrate your willingness to take risks and enjoy getting to know someone new. You may make a new friend or just practice your dating skills.


    3. Plan some low-key activities. No matter where you live, there are lots of options for a first date that will encourage you to have a good time.

    • Make it a daytime date. For a first meeting, you may want to get together for lunch or a cup of coffee. This way, you can keep it brief. You can always make plans for your second date if you discover that you want to spend more time together.

    • Share in a fun activity. Rent a paddleboat or go rock climbing. Visit a museum or stroll through a public garden.


    4. Wear something comfortable. You'll feel more relaxed if you wear an outfit that you know is flattering. Knits or stylish jeans can make you feel comfortable and look polished.


    5.  Keep yourself SAFE. Stay in public and let someone know the DETAILS about your date: who, what, why, when, where.


    Steps to take during your first date:

    1. Prepare some small talk. Ensure that the conversation will flow smoothly by preparing some topics in advance. Check the news for interesting stories or relate an interesting experience from your own life. Sharing an activity on a date provides a natural topic of conversation.


    2. Focus on the other person. Switching your attention to another person is always a great way to make you feel more positive. Ask open-ended questions that make it easy for your date to talk about their background and aspirations.


    3. Offer to share expenses. It's always courteous to offer to share expenses. If the other person asked you out and now wants to pay for everything, accept graciously. You can always return the favor by treating them the next time you go out or by getting them a small gift.


    4. Plan your departure. It's natural to feel awkward about how to say goodbye. If you don't want to kiss or hug, put out your hand to shake. Decide if you want to get together again so you'll be ready to encourage or deflect making future plans.


    Steps to take after your first date:

    1. Treat yourself to something enjoyable. Give yourself something to look forward to after your date.

    • If you love to talk things over, plan to review the experience with a friend. A quick chat can help you clarify your impressions and get another perspective on how things went.

    • Reward yourself with something you love. It can be as simple as a bubble bath or watching a favorite movie. Dating can be challenging so keep your spirits up by giving yourself the encouragement you deserve.


    2. Avoid over-analyzing the date. Stay positive by avoiding any tendency to exaggerate the importance of trivial details. Be sensitive to the other person's wishes, but express your interest in continuing to see each other if that is what you want.


    A first date doesn't have to cause anxiety if you take a proactive approach to making things comfortable for yourself and others. Let go of your worries and enjoy yourself!

    Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

    • Singles Meet Market [singles]

    • Engaging Dates [engaged/committed couples

    • Date Your Sole Mate [married couples]

    • Conscious Un-Coupling [breakup/divorce]

    • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

    Life After a Breakup - 

    Searching Within for the Strength to Move Forward

    Love Musings By Erica 

    Tampa Love Muse

    April 2022

    It's perfectly understandable if your recent break up is really taking an emotional toll on you. So much negative energy takes center stage in our lives after a break up and it can be very difficult to overcome it.

    However, the good news is there are ways to use your inner strength to help in the healing process so you can move on. Of course, it sounds much easier than it is, but what's important is taking the healing process in stages and only move on to the next stage when you're absolutely ready.



    Try these helpful strategies to reconnect with your inner self and identify the path that will lead you to full recovery and closure:

    1. Find a spiritual connection. One of the most effective ways to develop the strength to heal after a break up is to develop your spirituality. Being spiritual involves becoming in tune with the true desires and needs of your soul. Once you've made that connection, you'll likely realize that the relationship was hurting you instead of helping you.

    • Turn to your church to help you find the true meaning of your existence.

    • Read books that help you get in touch with your inner self.

    • Spend time meditating on what's really important to you.


    2. Get motivated. A really bad break up can make anybody feel down in the dumps, and that's probably how you feel right now. However, you must do what you can to motivate yourself to move on. What really motivates you?

    • Do you feel motivated when you achieve goals that are important to you?

    • Will successful completions of projects at work or school get your enthusiasm going?

    • Are you inspired by the success of those closest to you?


    3. Don't compromise your happiness. If any aspects of your past relationship compromised your happiness, then it wasn't the right relationship for you. Remember that you're a beautiful creation and you're supposed to be happy. Strive for relationships that fill you with joy.


    4. Accept support from your friends and family. Relying on those who are most important to you is a great way to gain the strength to heal. They can bring you words and deeds of comfort and kind reassurance. And that reassurance will help to convince you that you deserve the chance to move on from this break up and find happiness.


    5. Review what went wrong. Often times, both parties in a relationship are just not compatible. If you spend some time reviewing what went wrong in your relationship, such insights may help you in future relationships. Plus, identifying the flaws will definitely motivate you to move on to something and someone better!

    Searching within yourself for the strength to move on after a break up essentially means identifying what you stand for and what makes you truly happy. It also means getting to know yourself better so nobody else can tell you who to be.


    Admittedly, break ups are very hard to deal with, but coming to terms with the fact that the relationship is over is the first hurdle to clear. After that, gathering your inner strength and reflecting on your true desires can make it possible to confidently take the next step of moving on.

    Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

    • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

    Brain [neuroscience] VS  the Mind [psychology] 

    Love Musings By Erica 

    Tampa Love Muse

    March 2022

    ♥ In our upcoming workshops, we explore how the brain [neuroscience] and the mind [psychology] work in your LOVE life!   I designed this INFINITY symbol with the two main things we learn about in The Love Relationshop.  It is fascinating and a lot of the world makes sense.  MORE TO COME...I just had to share my creation. ♥

    Video Killed the Radio Star

    Love Musings By Erica 

    Tampa Love Muse

    September 2022

    Ok folks.  I'm ALL IN!  I've been building this business from scratch for months now ...from a mere idea that's been brewing and building in my mind for YEARS...and I have AVOIDED doing any an all video and audio.  Until now.  GULP.  


    I'm nervous ..or CRAZY ... because I'm the person who has to re-record my outgoing voicemail 100 times before being ""happy enough" to accept it.  Truthfully, by the time I finally accepted an outgoing VM message, I'm not sure if I'm happy with the results or just exhausted.  And that is after I typed it all up so all I have to do is READ it. [laughing at myself here...oh my goodness.  What have I done? lol ]


    THIS is SO FAR out of my comfort zone.  


    But I will live.  As my good friend Kristi Leeper says, "I can risk because I can recover."  


    What is all my babbling about?  This month, I started my very first podcast, Patreon, and YouTube Channel that is meant for the PUBLIC.  [GULPING AGAIN!!]  Ok, ok, so nothing is OUT THERE yet.  It's been a WHOLE thing just getting the right programs [FREE] and then LEARNING them.  Then figuring out what I'm going to SAY.  Oh, wait. I need AN INTRO and a summary about my channel. And about me.  I need to encourage people to LIKE and  SUBSCRIBE!  Then I have to figure out my hair [man, I gotta get in to the beauty shop] and my clothes and my background.  Oh. and camera, microphone, and lighting!  I wrote my first article.  Made it into a slide presentation.  Practiced 25 times. Well, it was SUPPOSED to be the real thing but I messed up so I had to start over again. 25 times and counting. Yeesh.  


    Well, I did all that. YAY. I know the first couple times are the hardest with almost everything. It's a process. 


    All I keep singing in my head is that song from the 80s, "Video Killed the Radio Star'. 


    Well, here I go anyway!!!   Wish me luck.

    xoxo, Erica 

    Tampa's Love Muse

    September 2022

    Top 10 Critical Communication Skills for Couples

    Love Musings By Erica 

    Tampa Love Muse

    February 2022


    My mom and me... before working on our relationship [above, 2014] and getting to the relationship I always wanted with my mom [below, 2016].  She passed away just a month after this was taken. 

    Key Topics in this Article Are Good For:

    • EROS in Love Workshops [everyone/anyone]

    Identify & Start Showing Up as "Your True Authentic Self"

    Love Musings By Erica 

    Tampa Love Muse

    January 2022

    Identifying your "true authentic self" means that you find out what YOU WANT in life and WHO YOU WANT TO BE regardless of your social, cultural, religious, family and self expectations. It means you toss out the shame, guilt, and fear. You get rid of negative self talk.


    Instead of obligations [where you feel negative emotions of HAVING TO DO something], you plan YOUR LIFE with THINGS YOU WANT TO DO because of WHO YOU ARE and WHO YOU WANT TO BECOME which feels like a choice and so it feels GOOD. [AKA ...HOW do you want to show up in life?] You could very well have the same things on your "WANT TO DO LIST" as what's on your "OBLIGATIONS LIST" but it just FEELS sooooo different!!


    Byron Katie talks about this [and I'll paraphrase here because it's been so long since I heard/read it]. She gave the example of wanting a clean house. ME wanting a clean house but then expecting everyone else to keep the house clean is an entirely different expectation. In this case, I am putting MY WANT/desire [of a clean house] and turning it into an OBLIGATION for yourself AND EVERYONE ELSE IN THE HOUSEHOLD without their permission. It usually turns into a power struggle...sometimes really ugly struggle. 


    DO THIS MIND SHIFT INSTEAD: If having a clean house is something, YOU want, then go forward with joy in your heart and do it for YOURSELF without putting guilt and shame on others. Or hire someone to do it. The point is in WHERE the feelings originate from [forced obligations VS love and acceptance]...and what the feelings then lead to [anger, guilt, shame, fear VS joy]. 


    Here's a very personal example in my life :

    I moved 1700 miles to take care of my mom who was dying from pancreatic cancer. I left Seattle [where I absolutely loved living] and went back to cold Minnesota [where I never wanted to live again because I'm a complete freeze baby]. I would feel bitter when these thoughts popped into my head: "I am doing this for her and she's not even helping me!" and "I am giving up a life I absolutely love in Seattle for HER. Why am I the only one giving anything up?