An online diary of someone who tends to forget easily.

Worst Relationship Mindsets..

Robert Leahy's article in

The 12 Worst Relationship Mindsets: Which Are YOU Guilty Of?

In cognitive therapy we focus on the way that you think about things. When we are distressed, we have automatic thoughts -- that is, thoughts that come to us spontaneously, seem true and generally go unexamined. Sometimes your thoughts are accurate; sometimes they are biased. But the first thing to do is to identify what you are thinking. Look at the list of typical thoughts that distressed couples have and ask yourself if any of these are true for you. You can also consider alternative ways to view what is going on -- as I suggest below. Sometimes we get stuck in the way we think and then withdraw, attack or give up. The first question to ask is, "Is there a different way to think about this?"


You attribute a negative personality trait to your partner, leading you to believe that he or she can never change: "He's passive-aggressive"; "She's neurotic." As an alternative, rather than label your partner, you can look for "variability" in his behavior. "Sometimes he withdraws and sometimes he interacts with me. Let me ask him what might lead him to withdraw."


You forecast the future and predict that things will never get better, leaving you feeling helpless and hopeless: "He'll never change"; "I'll always be unhappy in my marriage." An alternative to this is to focus on specific things that you can say or do now -- such as the exercises described in this piece. Another good option is to look back at positive experiences that you have to challenge your idea that nothing will improve. You can also play a little game called "Catch Your Partner Being Good." Just list every positive every day and then share it with each other. You might be surprised what you are doing that is working already -- if you only noticed.


You interpret your partner's motivations as hostile or selfish on the basis of very little evidence: "You don't care how I feel"; "You're saying that because you're trying to get back at me." Rather than engaging in mind-reading, you can ask your partner what he meant or how she is feeling. Sometimes it's beneficial to give your partner the benefit of the doubt: "She's simply taking a little time to unwind" is a better interpretation than "He doesn't find me interesting."

Catastrophic Thinking

You treat conflict or problems as if they indicate that the world has ended or that your marriage is a disaster: "I can't stand her nagging"; "It's awful that we haven't had sex recently." A better way of looking at this is that all couples face problems -- some of them quite upsetting. Rather than look at an obstacle or a problem as "terrible," you might validate that it is difficult for both of you but that it is also an opportunity to learn new skills in communicating and interacting. Problems can be learning experiences and can provide some new ways to grow.

Emotional Reasoning

You feel depressed and anxious, and you conclude that your emotions indicate that your marriage is a failure. "We must have a terrible marriage because I'm unhappy"; "I don't have the same feelings toward him that I used to; therefore, we're no longer in love." A better way of looking at your emotions is that your feelings may go up and down, depending on what you and your partner are doing. Emotions are changeable and don't always tell you about how good things can be. It's also important to ask yourself, "What are we doing when we feel better together?" Then do more of those positives.

Negative Filter

You focus on the few negative experiences in your relationship and fail to recognize or recall the positives. You probably bring up past history in a series of complaints that sounds like you're putting your partner on trial: "You were rude to me last week"; "You talked to that other person and ignored me entirely." This is where "Catch Your Partner Doing Good" is so helpful -- it allows you to look at things without the dark lens on. You can also keep a list of positives about your partner to remind you to put the "negatives" in perspective. We all do dumb things at times, but it's useful to take off the negative filter and remind ourselves of the positives.

All-or-Nothing Thinking

You describe your interactions as being all good or all bad without examining the possibility that some experiences with your partner are positive: "You're never kind toward me"; "You never show affection"; "You're always negative." Whenever you use the words "always" and "never," try assuming that you are wrong. For example, when Phyllis began looking for positives from Ralph, she realized that he was affectionate at times and that he was rewarding to her as well. The best way to test out your distorted and biased negative thinking is to look at the facts. Maybe the facts aren't as terrible as they seem to be.

Discounting the Positive

You may recognize the positive things in your relationship but disregard them: "That's what a wife or husband should do"; "Well, so what that he did that? It means nothing?"; "These are trivial things that you're talking about." Every positive should be counted -- it's the only way to build up good will. In fact, if you start counting the positives rather than discounting them, they will no longer seem trivial to both of you. Vinnie was happy to learn that the very little things that he was doing, like complimenting Cynthia, made a big difference to her. This in turn made him less critical. And Vinnie began keeping track of Cynthia's positives, which helped him recognize that an occasional negative -- which was probably due to depression -- was outweighed by the many good things in their relationship.


You have a list of "commandments" about your relationship and condemn yourself (when you're depressed) or your partner (when you're angry) for not living up to your "should." There is no end to these nagging negative thoughts. Here are a few typical examples.

"My partner should always know what I want without my asking."

"If my partner doesn't do what I want her to do, I should punish her."

"I shouldn't ever be unhappy (bored, angry, etc.) with my partner."

"I shouldn't have to work at a relationship; it should come naturally."

"I shouldn't have to wait for change; it should come immediately."

"My partner should change first."

"It's all his fault, so why should I change?"

"If I don't get my way, I should complain (pout, withdraw, give up, etc.)."

"Our sex life should always be fantastic."

"If I'm attracted to other people, it means that I shouldn't stay in this marriage."

"I should try to win in all our conflicts."

"My partner should accept me just the way I am."

"If we're having problems it means we have an awful relationship."

Now, be honest with yourself. Are these "shoulds" helping or hurting you and your relationship? I guarantee that if you have a lot of them, you are pretty unhappy. Rather than talk about the way things "should" be, you might consider how you can make things better. Replace your shoulds with "how to" and "let's try." Rather than "We should have a better sex life," you might try action statements such as "We can give each other a massage" or "We can set up a time to be affectionate." You won't make progress by "shoulding" on each other. But you can make progress by acting differently and communicating in a caring way.


You attribute your partner's moods and behavior to something about yourself, or you take all the blame for the problems: "He's in a bad mood because of me"; "If it weren't for me, we wouldn't have any of these problems." It's almost never all about one person; it takes two to tango and two to be miserable. Phyllis was doing a lot of personalizing, thinking that Ralph wanted to be alone because he found her boring. But really Ralph was so burned out at the end of the day that he needed a little while to cool down. It wasn't about Phyllis; it was about Ralph's day.


You hold up a standard for a relationship that is unrealistically high and then measure your relationship by this standard. "It's not like it was in the first year, so it's not worth it"; "We have problems, so our relationship can't work out." The problem with perfectionism is that it is bound to make you miserable. You may think that you are holding up your ideals, but you are really putting you and your partner down. No relationship is perfect -- and no relationship needs to be perfect. Once Vinnie and Cynthia recognized how futile and depressing perfectionism was, they were able to work constructively on their relationship. "I realized that we would never have exactly what we wanted from each other, but we could still get a lot our needs met," Vinnie finally said. It was a breakthrough to give up on having to be perfect and demanding the same from Cynthia.


You believe that all the problems in the relationship are caused by your partner: "If it weren't for her, we wouldn't have these problems"; "He argues with me; that's why we can't get along." Again, there is a grain of truth in almost any negative thought, but blaming your partner will make you feel helpless and trapped. A better way of approaching this is to take a "Let's fix it together" approach. You can validate each other, share responsibility for the problems, plan to catch each other being good, reward each other, plan positives together, and accept some differences. It sure beats blaming each other and becoming victims.

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What you should avoid when he/she is upset..

Another article worth reading by Robert Leahy, Ph.D.
Director, American Institute for Cognitive Therapy in New York City

What Not to Say When Your Loved One Is Upset

Imagine that the person that you love is upset about something -- her job, his health, her feelings about the relationship. Let's say she is worried about her health, worried that she might have some terrible illness -- and that even if you think she is going to be OK, you want to comfort her, make her feel better. What are the worst ways and best ways of talking? What should you say, and what should you avoid saying?

Let me give you a hint. The most important thing in talking to someone who is upset is to communicate that 1) you understand they are upset, 2) you care about how they feel, and 3) you respect their right to have their feelings.

What Not To Say

Let's start with the biggest mistakes in talking with your partner. For convenience, I've broken them down into six problematic styles:

Minimizing. This is the style where you treat your partner's concerns as trivial: "It's nothing. Why are you making a big deal out of it?" You are trying to tell them that their feelings are not related to anything real or important. So, the message they get is, "My feelings don't matter to you."

Rationalizing. You treat your partner's concerns as evidence of their irrational and distorted thinking. You try to argue away their concerns. This is a specific kind of minimization, and it sends the same negative message: "Your feelings are based on nothing real. Get over it."

Competitive complaining. In this little game you don't want your partner to "win" by being the one with the biggest complaints. So you start bringing up your own: "You think that's bad? I think I might lose my job!" Again, your partner feels there is no room for her feelings. You matter more.

Fixing. If your partner has unpleasant feelings, you jump in to try to solve all the problems. Laying out your well-thought-out plan, you get frustrated when she doesn't buy into your solutions. This makes her feel less understood and she thinks, at times, that you are patronizing.

Defending. In this scenario you treat your partner's emotions as a personal attack on you. If he is upset, you feel that you are to blame, so you turn it into a trial and start defending yourself. This goes nowhere; you get more angry and dismiss his feelings.

Stonewalling. In this case, you just withdraw. Feeling frustrated listening to her feelings, you withdraw, become silent and sullen and may leave the room. Now she is all alone, feeling abandoned.

What To Say

So, what should you say?

Hint: Your partner wants to feel that 1) you understand that they are upset, 2) you care about how they feel, and 3) you respect their right to have their feelings.

Consider some of the following. Would you like to hear any of this when you are upset?

"I know it must be hard for you feeling this way."

"I can see that it makes sense that you would feel down, given the way that you are seeing things."

"A lot of times you may feel that people don't understand how hard it is for you."

"You must be thinking that this really down feeling is going to last a long time. It must be hard to feel that way."

"I want you to know that I am always here for you."

"I don't want to sound like I don't want to hear about your feelings. I do. But if there is anything that I can do to help you feel better, please let me know. Your feelings are really important to me."

Here are some simple guidelines (from my recent book, "Beat the Blues Before They Beat You: How to Overcome Depression"):

Help make sense of feelings. Tell your partner how you understand that her emotions make sense given what has happened and how she is thinking. "Others have these feelings." "Your feelings make sense given the way you are looking at things." "You are not alone."

Expand the range of feelings. Help your partner understand that there are many feelings -- not just the current one. Feelings come and go, there are mixed feelings, and feelings vary in intensity. "You have so many different emotions -- some feel positive and some seem negative." "I know you are feeling sad, but are there other feelings that you are having as well?" "Are you having mixed feelings?"

Reduce shame and guilt. Help your partner understand that feelings are not a sign of being weak, but rather a sign of being human. "We all have difficult feelings at times. Your emotions are a sign that you feel things intensely, because things matter to you. You are most human when you have your feelings."

Accept your partner's pain. When you love someone, it's natural that you want to jump in and make that person feel better. Sometimes that can be helpful, but at other times it may convey the message that your partner's pain is too much for you to hear. You can communicate acceptance by saying, "I know that you are having a hard time, and I accept that you will not always feel upbeat." Acceptance and validation go hand and hand.

Link emotions to higher values. Sometimes your emotions can reflect the things you value -- competence, love, belonging or responsibility. You can support your partner emotionally by saying, "I know that these things bother you because you truly value them. Things matter to you."

Your partner needs your love -- but your love is an active verb -- to love her or him in a way that they understand that you care, that you get it and that you are there for them. No one wants to feel that their emotions are a burden, or based on some irrational idea, or that every problem has to be fixed by you. Maybe solving the problem might be helpful -- if they want it solved. But showing you care involves making time for listening, being there to hear, respecting the right to feel bad at times.

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Communication in relationships...

Relationship Communication: How to Talk So That Your Partner Will Listen

Robert Leahy, Ph.D. 02/08/11 08:51 AM ET

Well, my recent post ("Why Men Don't Listen to Women") on HuffPost drew a lot of comments. The article was a follow-up to an earlier posting on "What Not to Say to a Loved One Who is Upset." In the earlier article I suggested some simple guidelines for being supportive -- like not jumping in with problem-solving too quickly, not demanding rationality all the time, validating and respecting feelings, exploring a range of feelings and giving time for your partner to express himself or herself. For some reason, many men jumped all over this and thought that this would make them less manly, "wusses," weaker, doormats, it would reinforce whining and would sacrifice any opportunities to deal with things rationally. My thoughts about "what not to say" apply to both men and women, but some men thought it was going to take away something that the male role holds dear.

Many men thought I was doing a "hit job" on men and blaming men for every problem in a relationship. Actually, I specifically indicated that neither men nor women are to blame -- but sometimes some men may have certain attitudes about communication and emotion that may get in the way. It was interesting to me that a lot of the men who responded did express the very beliefs that I was targeting -- views that women are "too emotional," they just go on and on forever, they can't think rationally, and that they are largely a burden. These misogynist beliefs must make it difficult to have an equal and meaningful relationship with mutual respect -- but, hopefully, some readers will think about things differently. Others will not and will continue to defend their position with sarcasm, name calling and high-fiving each other. Sounds like a lot of fun. Won't get you very far. Certainly, won't appeal to women, guys!!!

The guidelines for being a good listener are not just for men. These guidelines for listening and communication apply to both men and women, straight and gay, and for friendships as well. Good communication and good listening are also part of negotiating in business, as well. And, of course, rationality and problem-solving are also important. (It's ironic that some people might think that I don't care about rationality and problem-solving. After all, I am a "cognitive therapist"!) If you want to get a sense of the irrational way that we can think about our relationships, check out my post, "The 12 Worst Relationship Mindsets." I try to describe a number of common negative patterns of thinking that are ultimately self-defeating and I suggest a few different ways to think about your relationship. You can be more rational about your irrational thinking.

Having made these observations, though, it's also important that when you are communicating to your partner -- and you want him or her to listen -- and respect you, then you should consider how you say what you say. Communication and listening is a two-way street. So how can you communicate better?

10 Secrets to Getting Heard:

Pick the Right Time

Sometimes you think you need to be heard the minute you have a thought or feeling. But your partner might be wrapped up in something else at the moment -- the game, fixing dinner, trying to go to sleep, working on something, or just not in the right mood right now. Use your experience to tell you what is definitely not the right time -- for example, "big process discussions" are seldom helpful right before bed -- or the minute your partner walks in the door. If you start talking -- and he or she isn't listening -- then ask, "Is there a better time to talk?" And, if you are the listener, play fair -- give your partner a reasonable alternative. Don't use sarcasm or stonewalling.

Edit it Down

Many times you start talking and you just get carried away. Your partner is losing interest, drifting off, his third eyeball is rolling into his cortex. Nothing is getting through. OK. Maybe you need to edit what you say. Try to limit your comments to relatively clear and short sentences. Pause, ask for feedback, wait for your partner. Don't get on a soap-box and hold the floor. Make it more give and take. Think about what is essential and try to focus on that. One way of editing it down is to agree with your partner that there might be a reasonable period to spend on the topic -- for example, "Can we spend about 10 minutes talking about this?" That helps you focus on the essentials and gives your listener a reasonable time-frame.

Pause and Ask for Feedback

Sometimes as a speaker you will go on and on, without pausing. Perhaps you think that you need to stay on your topic so that everything is heard -- or you fear that your partner will jump in and take the floor and you won't ever get a chance to speak again. Slow it down, edit it down, and stop and ask for feedback. Make the communication two-way. If you feel your partner hasn't really heard what you are saying, then try asking, "Can you rephrase what I said?" Or, if you want your partner to help you think of things differently, you might say, "I wonder if I'm seeing things the right way here." Or, if you want problem-solving, you might say, "I wonder what I can do to make it work." Pause, reflect, ask for feedback.

Don't Catastrophize

Sometimes we think that the only way to get heard is to make everything sound awful. Sometimes that's a legitimate point of view, but if you make too many things sound awful you will lose your credibility. Try to keep things in perspective, try to stay with the facts, and try to keep things from unraveling. Keep your voice in a calm tone, don't get carried away. Slow it down, quiet it down. You will be heard more clearly with a softer tone. In fact, if you stand back and think it through, some of the things that you are talking about may be unpleasant, inconvenient, or simply a matter of opinion. But "awful" might be a bit extreme. Think it through and decide if it is really as awful as you think and feel it to be.

Don't Attack

Your listener is not likely to be a good audience if your discussion is a series of attacks and criticisms. Labeling your partner ("Idiot," "Moron," "Big Baby") or over-generalizing ("You always do that") is going to be a turn-off. This doesn't mean you can't get your point across and assert yourself. It simply means that you need to communicate in a way that is not as hostile. Making suggestions for change ("It would be helpful if you cleaned up a bit more"), while giving credit for some positives ("I do appreciate your help with the shopping") can get you more attention and cooperation than out-right attacks ("You are the most selfish person I have ever known").

Tell Your Partner if You Want to Solve Problems or If You Want to Share Feelings

My experience is that sometimes we just want to vent our feelings, have a sympathetic ear from our partner. That's OK, but your partner needs to know where you are going with it. For example, it may be that you might want to divide it up -- a few minutes of venting and sharing and then either drop the topic or go on to problem-solving. I've found that a lot of people just want to be heard and cared for. Ironically, I used to jump in with rationality and problem-solving very quickly until I realized that some of my patients (and friends) didn't want that. They just wanted to explore feelings and feel supported. So, like a lot of "men" (or people overly-committed to rationality and problem-solving) I had to learn to give time and space for feelings. I have to confess that I was like a lot of the guys who have commented on previous posts -- thinking that this was a waste of time. I was task-oriented, committed to rationality, and focused on problem-solving. So it required a lot of discipline for me to step back. As I spent a bit more time validating and listening and supporting, I found that the people I was helping were more willing to hear my rationality and problem-solving when we got around to it. And, much to my surprise, some didn't need a problem to be solved. They needed someone to care about the fact they had a problem.

Listening Is Not Agreeing

Sometimes we have the belief that the listener should agree with everything we say and be just as upset as we are. That's the only way to show that he or she is really listening. Wrong. Listening is hearing, understanding, reflecting, and processing information. I can listen to your thoughts and feelings without agreeing with your point of view. You and I are different people. It doesn't mean I don't care for you if I don't agree with you. It means I am hearing you. But sometimes the speaker can attack the listener for not agreeing 100 percent. That seems unrealistic and unfair. We all need to accept the differences that make us unique. In fact, the differences can be opportunities for growth. When you talk to someone who understands you and cares about your feelings -- but doesn't agree with your interpretation of events -- it opens your mind to the fact that there is more than one way to think about things.

Respect Advice

If you are turning to your partner for support and advice you are likely to get feedback -- probably some advice. Now, you might be unfortunate and get sarcasm and contempt -- the predictors of divorce. But let's assume that your partner is trying to do what he or she can to be supportive -- but it's not exactly what you want. Maybe the advice is not helpful, maybe it's irrational. But if you want to be heard, you have to be willing to respect the advice-giver. You don't have to take the advice or like the advice. But if you are playing to an audience that you then attack you won't have an audience the next time around. Think of advice or feedback as information -- take it or leave it. But don't hit the other person over the head with it.

If You Describe a Problem, Describe a Solution

This may not be what you are ready for. As I said, you might just want to vent, share feelings, explore your thoughts. But I think it also makes sense -- some of the time -- to describe potential solutions if you describe potential problems. I actually love to jump to problem-solving (as I "admitted" earlier) but it may be premature with some people. But if you are a speaker you might consider this as an option -- describe a solution if you describe a problem. Your solution doesn't have to be an order to do something. It can be tentative, reasonable, one of several possibilities. In fact, if you begin thinking of the problem as something to solve, you might begin feeling more empowered. But it's your call if you want to go there now -- later -- or never.

Validate the Validator

One of the most helpful things that you can do as a speaker is to support the person who is supporting you. You don't want to be a downer and you don't want to act entitled to every minute of the other person's time. Think about it from their point of view. They are listening to you go on about something that is bothering you. Well, it may not be the most fun for them. But they are with you on this. Why not turn around and thank them for spending the time? Thank them for caring enough to listen and support you. Validate the validator.

A caveat: I'd like you to keep in mind that good advice is gender-neutral. But if sex-typed thinking gets in the way, if sarcasm, contempt, stone-walling, attacking, and ridiculing are your games, you may be playing alone. And, for a long time.

You decide what will work.

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Why men don't listen to women (Reblogged)

An article from HUFFPOST.COM

Why Men Don't Listen to Women

Robert Leahy, Ph.D. 01/27/11

In a recent posting I identified a list of the wrong things to say to someone who is upset. Interestingly, this led to a lot of comments on The Huffington Post, which got me thinking. The first thought I had was, "Why do men find it so hard to validate women?"

Before I get into this, I'd like you to think about the research by psychologist John Gottman. Gottman has been able to predict with 91 percent accuracy which couples will end up getting divorced. He calls these "The Four Horsemen of Apocalypse" -- along with other problematic styles of communication. The Four Horsemen are Criticism ("You are always whining"), Contempt ("You're a basket case"), Defensiveness ("I'm not the problem, you are!") and Stonewalling (withdrawing or becoming silent). Other problematic styles include starting the conversation in a hostile or intense style, giving off body-language that is defensive or cold, flooding your partner with negativity, and bringing up past memories, complaints and injuries. When you can predict divorce with 91 percent accuracy you know you are on to something.

Now I don't want to claim that men are always the problem -- or that they are even more likely to be the problem than women are. No group is innocent, no group is perfect. But I can see that a lot of times men have a great deal of difficulty validating and emotionally supporting the women in their lives. Here are some reasons.

The Seven Reasons Men Don't Listen

It's a Power Struggle. Some men view intimate relationships as a win-lose game. If the woman is venting her feelings, then she is winning and the man is losing. As a result these men may try to dominate and control the woman, telling her that she is illogical, out of control or just a pain to deal with. One man says, "You want us to be doormats."

Sarcasm Many men describe their interactions in terms of "sarcastic" comments -- put-downs, contempt, criticism and condescension. For example, some men respond with, "It must be that time of the month" or "Get me a beer" or other problematic and self-defeating comments. They think that sarcasm will get the woman to either shut up or help her see that she is being ridiculous. She gets the message that he not only doesn't care -- but that he is the last person to ask for support. He thinks he's clever and funny -- and she thinks he just doesn't get it.

Macho Thinking A number of men comment that to validate or to use emotional language to support the woman is unmanly. "You are trying to make us into wusses," a number of men say. They believe that the role of the man is to be strong, above it, domineering. Validating and allowing emotional ventilation is for feminized men, men who have lost their dignity as "real men." The women may think that some of the macho confidence is appealing, until it leads them to feel that the only emotion they can get from him is his anger.

Emotional Dysregulation Some men find it so upsetting, so emotionally arousing to listen to their partners that they feel they have to ventilate their anger or withdraw. In fact, this is supported by the research that shows that their pulse-rates escalate during conflict and they find this unbearable. As a result of their own escalating emotion -- which they can't tolerate -- they either try to get her to shut up -- or they leave the room. She feels controlled, marginalized and abandoned.

Not Wanting to Reinforce Whining This is another reason that men give for not supporting or encouraging expression. They believe that validating and making time and space for their partner's expression will reinforce complaining which, in turn, will go on indefinitely. So they want to stop it immediately by using sarcasm, control or stonewalling. She feels that he won't let her talk, that he is cold, aloof, hostile. So she goes somewhere else to get that support -- another woman friend -- or another man.

Demand for Rationality Some men believe that their partner should always be rational and that irrationality cannot be tolerated. Their response to their partner's apparent irrationality is to point out every error in her thinking, dismiss her, become sarcastic or withdraw. This demand for rationality or "the facts" might sound "mature" but I have yet to hear someone say that they have a great sex life because they have the facts on their side. Communication is often more about soothing, grooming, connecting -- less about simply giving you the information and being logical.

Problems Have to Be Solved These men think that the main reason for communication is to share facts that then can be used for problem-solving. They think that venting and sharing feelings gets you nowhere and that if their partner is not willing to initiate problem-solving then she is being self-indulgent and wasting everyone's time and energy. When he jumps in with problem-solving, she either escalates the emotion which she believes is not heard, or she withdraws.

Well, ask yourself, "Have these responses really worked?" Why is this kind of behavior and thinking so predictive of divorce? If it's not working -- and you and your partner both know it's not -- then maybe it's time to think about making a change. You can change your partner -- break up, get divorced. Or, perhaps it would be easier to change your response to your partner. In a previous posting I listed some possible responses.

Let me go back to a fundamental part of intimate relationships. We want to feel that our partner cares about and respects our feelings. We want to believe that they have time to listen. We want to feel supported, soothed and that we are not a burden. The seven beliefs and styles above -- which many men use -- only alienate the women that they claim they love. If it's not working, why would you continue to act this way?

The answer may be that some men view relationships in terms of power and control. They believe that being real men means never giving up your power. They think that women need to be kept in their place, not "indulged," taught how to think rationally and solve real problems. Of course, rationality and problem-solving are important, but if your partner wants to be heard and respected you better find out first before you jump in and take control. Real men share power, real men are partners, real men know that real women need real respect.

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A part of something written somewhere that I can relate

PAGBABAGO. Sa ibang relasyon, nakakatulong. Pero sa madami pang ibang relasyon, hindi. ‘Yan ang kadalasang problema sa isang relasyon. ‘Yung bang mag-dadrama ang isa at sasabihing “Nagbago ka na.” , “Hindi na ikaw ‘yung dating kilala ko.” at madami pang iba. Maraming dahilan ba’t nagbabago ang isang tao at ang isang relasyon. Pwedeng wala lang, pagod na sa kakaintindi, sawa na sa mga walang kwentang drama o ang malala ay Hindi ka na niya mahal o May mahal na siyang iba. Masakit ‘yun diba? ‘Yung bang dating nagtetext ng mga sweet messages sayo, ngayon nakakalimutan na kahit mag-good morning man lang. ‘Yung dating atat na atat na makasama ka, ngayon hindi man lang nag-eeffort para kahit ilang minuto man lang eh makasama ka. ‘Yung dating nagpapatawa at nagpapangiti sayo, ngayon puro iyak nalang dulot sayo. ‘Yung dating nilalambing ka pag nagtatampo, ngayon siya pa mas nagagalit. ‘Yung dating hindi gagawin ang alam niyang ayaw mo, ngayon go pa rin kahit magalit ka. At kung anu-ano pa. Ilan lang ‘yan sa mga pagbabagong nangyayari sa isang relasyon. 

Mayroon talagang pagkakataon, este, mayroon talang mga pagkakataong dumaraan ang isang relasyon sa ganyang punto. 

Bihira nalang kasi ‘yung mga magka-relasyon na nagtatagal at nagkakatuluyan. Hindi na kasi alam ng marami ang tunay na ibig sabihin ng salitang “love”Oo nga pala, gusto kong ibahagi sainyo ‘yung isang quotation ni St. Marie Eugenie of Jesus na, “Love never says, I have done enough.”  So, good luck sa mga tao dyan. Ayusin ang dapat ayusin. Pag-usapan ang dapat pag-usapan. Wag niyong hayaang umabot kayo sa gantong punto na kulang nalang eh buhusan ko kayo ng isang timba ng tubig sa dry niyo.

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Marriage advice for Men

1) Never stop courting. Never stop dating. NEVER EVER take that woman for granted. When you asked her to marry you, you promised to be that man that would OWN HER HEART and to fiercely protect it. This is the most important and sacred treasure you will ever be entrusted with. SHE CHOSE YOU. Never forget that, and NEVER GET LAZY in your love.
2) PROTECT YOUR OWN HEART. Just as you committed to being the protector of her heart, you must guard your own with the same vigilance. Love yourself fully, love the world openly, but there is a special place in your heart where no one must enter except for your wife. Keep that space always ready to receive her and invite her in, and refuse to let anyone or anything else enter there.
3) FALL IN LOVE OVER and OVER and OVER again. You will constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married, and in five years you will not be the same person you are today. Change will come, and in that you have to re-choose each other everyday. SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO STAY WITH YOU, and if you don’t take care of her heart, she may give that heart to someone else or seal you out completely, and you may never be able to get it back. Always fight to win her love just as you did when you were courting her.
4) ALWAYS SEE THE BEST in her. Focus only on what you love. What you focus on will expand. If you focus on what bugs you, all you will see is reasons to be bugged. If you focus on what you love, you can’t help but be consumed by love. Focus to the point where you can no longer see anything but love, and you know without a doubt that you are the luckiest man on earth to be have this woman as your wife.
5) IT’S NOT YOUR JOB TO CHANGE OR FIX HER… your job is to love her as she is with no expectation of her ever changing. And if she changes, love what she becomes, whether it’s what you wanted or not.

6) TAKE FULL ACCOUNTABILITY for your own emotions: It’s not your wife’s job to make you happy, and she CAN’T make you sad. You are responsible for finding your own happiness, and through that your joy will spill over into your relationship and your love.
7) NEVER BLAME your wife If YOU get frustrated or angry at her, it is only because it is triggering something inside of YOU. They are YOUR emotions, and your responsibility. When you feel those feelings take time to get present and to look within and understand what it is inside of YOU that is asking to be healed. You were attracted to this woman because she was the person best suited to trigger all of your childhood wounds in the most painful way so that you could heal them… when you heal yourself, you will no longer be triggered by her, and you will wonder why you ever were.
Allow your woman to JUST BE. When she’s sad or upset, it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your job to HOLD HER and let her know it’s ok. Let her know that you hear her, and that she’s important and that you are that pillar on which she can always lean. The feminine spirit is about change and emotion and like a storm her emotions will roll in and out, and as you remain strong and unjudging she will trust you and open her soul to you… DON’T RUN-AWAY WHEN SHE’S UPSET. Stand present and strong and let her know you aren’t going anywhere. Listen to what she is really saying behind the words and emotion.
9) BE SILLY… don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Laugh. And make her laugh. Laughter makes everything else easier.
10) FILL HER SOUL EVERYDAY… learn her love languages and the specific ways that she feels important and validated and CHERISHED. Ask her to create a list of 10 THINGS that make her feel loved and memorize those things and make it a priority everyday to make her feel like a queen.
11) BE PRESENT. Give her not only your time, but your focus, your attention and your soul. Do whatever it takes to clear your head so that when you are with her you are fully WITH HER. Treat her as you would your most valuable client. She is.
12) BE WILLING TO TAKE HER SEXUALLY, to carry her away in the power of your masculine presence, to consume her and devour her with your strength, and to penetrate her to the deepest levels of her soul. Let her melt into her feminine softness as she knows she can trust you fully.
13) DON’T BE AN IDIOT…. And don’t be afraid of being one either. You will make mistakes and so will she. Try not to make too big of mistakes, and learn from the ones you do make. You’re not supposed to be perfect, just try to not be too stupid.
14) GIVE HER SPACE… The woman is so good at giving and giving, and sometimes she will need to be reminded to take time to nurture herself. Sometimes she will need to fly from your branches to go and find what feeds her soul, and if you give her that space she will come back with new songs to sing…. (okay, getting a little too poetic here, but you get the point. Tell her to take time for herself, ESPECIALLY after you have kids. She needs that space to renew and get re-centered, and to find herself after she gets lost in serving you, the kids and the world.)
15) BE VULNERABLE… you don’t have to have it all together. Be willing to share your fears and feelings, and quick to acknowledge your mistakes.

16) BE FULLY TRANSPARENT. If you want to have trust you must be willing to share EVERYTHING… Especially those things you don’t want to share. It takes courage to fully love, to fully open your heart and let her in when you don’t know i she will like what she finds… Part of that courage is allowing her to love you completely, your darkness as well as your light. DROP THE MASK… If you feel like you need to wear a mask around her, and show up perfect all the time, you will never experience the full dimension of what love can be.
17) NEVER STOP GROWING TOGETHER… The stagnant pond breeds malaria, the flowing stream is always fresh and cool. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.
18) DON’T WORRY ABOUT MONEY. Money is a game, find ways to work together as a team to win it. It never helps when teammates fight. Figure out ways to leverage both persons strength to win.
19) FORGIVE IMMEDIATELY and focus on the future rather than carrying weight from the past. Don’t let your history hold you hostage. Holding onto past mistakes that either you or she makes, is like a heavy anchor to your marriage and will hold you back. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM. Cut the anchor loose and always choose love.
20) ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. ALWAYS CHOOSE LOVE. In the end, this is the only advice you need. If this is the guiding principle through which all your choices is governed, there is nothing that will threaten the happiness of your marriage. Love will always endure.
In the end MARRIAGE isn’t about Happily ever after. It’s about work. And a commitment to grow together and a willingness to continually invest in creating something that can endure eternity. 
MEN- THIS IS YOUR CHARGE : Commit to being an EPIC LOVER. There is no greater challenge, and no greater prize. Your woman deserves that from you.

Be the type of husband your wife can’t help but brag about.

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Ideal Husband...

While browsing random stuffs I found this interesting article that really caught my attention. I think my fave is no. 8. Women are sucker for affection. This statement is just so true. Here is the complete article.

How to be a Good Husband?
Here are Eleven Qualities of a Good husband.

1) Be Pleasant: Nobody likes an arrogant man. Be pleasant to everyone around you including your wife, friends and family. Be warm, kind, positive, understanding and friendly. It is often heard said that ‘What we give is what we get back.’ Try to arrive home as cheery and lighthearted as you can even if you had a bad day at office or is physically exhausted after driving through the traffic jams. Just because your wife does not go out to work does not mean that her work is less strenuous. She might have been struggling with the children and the housework all day.

2) Respect the Vows: Faithfulness or Loyalty is one of the prime qualities a wife wants in her man. Have a sense of honor and duty.Remember that when you got married you took the sacred vows. The honorable thing is to fulfill the duty to your wife that you took upon yourself the day you got married. It is the duty of a man to provide for his family. Never expect your wife to contribute to the smooth operation of the household. Even in this day and age of women in the workplace, most prefer to have that as an option rather than a necessary part of their lives. Motherhood and caring for a husband and home usually takes priority for her. Never assume that the money you earn is yours to do with as you like. You have a family to think about now and their needs must always come before your own.

3) Reliable, Responsible and Supportive: Every Woman wants her partner to be reliable and be there for her when she needs her. Support your wife in all stages of life. Provide reassurance when she is feeling down. Do not belittle her or hurt her ego. If she is a working woman understand her work pressures and problems. Be proud of her on her accomplishments and do not forget to complement her. Be available for her when she needs a shoulder to cry or when she needs support from you. Let her know that you care for her. When you are not near her at least make a phone call to her even if you talk to her for only a minute or two. When you come back after work or on weekend do things with her or help her in whatever way possible. She would appreciate even if you are not much of help because you are tried to help her. Be a friend to her. When you don’t agree with her views respectfully let know that you don’t agree with reasons.

4) Adaptability and Sensitivity : As years pass on you'll see that glowing woman you fell in love with years ago does not look the same or behave in the same manner. She may be tied up with the pressures at home like needs of children, financial obligations etc. Allow her time to relax by taking some work off her shoulders or take some time out so that you can spend some time together relaxing. Be sensitive to the needs of your wife and looks to meet them. Do not let your feelings toward life's changes affect feelings toward your wife. An Ideal Man needs to be sensitive to the requirements of the partner, treat her as an equal, understand when she needs to stay late at work or help with housework and contribute to the expenses.

5)Show Respect: If you expect respect from others you need to treat others with respect too. Respect can be reflected in the way one talks and behaves. Always speak in a loving manner and refrain from speaking harshly. A good husband never chooses to belittle strike, humiliate or otherwise harm his wife in private or in public. It is better to watch what you say and to think your thoughts through before speaking as it is not possible to take back the words once they have been spoken. Treat her with respect in front of others and at home. Do not look at other ladies in front of her. Take in consideration her opinion when making important decisions of the family. If you are bringing your buddies home let her know in advance.

6) Judgment and Emotional Baggage: Many of us have emotional baggage. But do not bring that emotional baggage into the marriage. Many men praise their previous wives, girlfriends or mother in front of their wives. Avoid judging every action or opinion your wife has and understand that she is different from you. Her experiences and likings may be different from you too. Comparing her or making her feel that she does not measure up only would ruin your marriage.

7) Communication: Communication is the key to a good and solid marriage. Women also expect honesty in men. Honesty is what builds trust in your relationship with your woman. She may even forgive your mistakes but only if you are honest with her and promise not to do it again. Women like their men to be open to them at all times and not keep them in the dark about what is going on in their man’s life. Find time to sit and talk with your wife on a daily basis even if it is during the Dinner time. If you let things bottle up and feel that you cannot share with your wife then your marriage is in trouble. Be a good listener when she talks. Your wife too wants someone to listen to her and empathize with what's going on in her life. Listen avidly to your wife's complaints. Woman cannot resist a man who understands her moods, attitude, feelings, values, likes and dislikes. This would encourage her to open up with you and don’t keep secrets. Good Communication helps in building trust and strengthens your relationship. Make your woman laugh often. Women love men who are witty and have a sense of humor.Fights or problems may happen in between the two but do not let the world know about it rather solve it between yourselves. The fight you had last week over shopping or whatever is over and done with. So move on with it and stop rehashing old stuff and reminding her of her faults. Do not resort to name calling, hitting, spitting, breaking dishes or anything else when you lose your temper.

8). Love and Affection: Show your love and affection to her as often as possible. Every woman is a sucker of affection. If you only give them that stuff to get to bed, your wife is going to notice and think it's insincere. A good husband will appreciate his wife and will notice her, even after twenty or fifty years of marriage. She needs you to notice when she gets that new haircut or dresses up in something sexy for you to come home to. If you fail to notice what she is doing for you too many times, she may just count it as fruitless and quit. Gift your Partner something fancy when she least expects it. Surprise her by planning a trip, preparing a nice dinner, giving a bunch of her favorite flowers or taking her out for shopping. Every Woman likes to be pampered. Women, one way or the other, are nothing but over grown babies who constantly need care. But every woman has their likings, give things what she likes instead of forcing your likes on her and show her that you care and would be always there for her. Never forget the special days in her life. Make an effort to initiate spontaneous affection with your wife. Build the companionship by doing things together whether it is a common interest or hobby. Give her a hug or surprise kiss and tell her how much you love her. Hold hands with her when you’re out together. These small gestures show your wife that you’ve thought of her and help you reinforce your commitment to your wife.

9) Offer Protection: A woman need to feel safe and secured with her man. She needs to feel that when he is with her no one can harm her. You don't need to be a muscle man but at least when you are with her others should not be making a pass at her. She wants her man to behave like a man and treat her like a lady when she is with you.

10) Give her Space: As a Husband you need to understand that your wife has a life other than you also. She has her Parents, friends and colleagues who too are part of her life. She also may have some hobbies or passions he is involved in. Don’t expect her undivided attention. Don’t stop her if he wants to go out and hang out with her friends sometimes or engage in a hobby or want to spend some time with her parents.

11) Keep her happy in Bed: Sexual intimacy is one of the most essential things in any marriage. Good Sex helps tostrengthen your emotional and physical attraction to her. Please your wife in bed and be faithful to her. No woman would tolerate a cheating partner. Good sex plays a vital part when it comes to a satisfying relationship and if you are not skilled in bed that is going to be a major turn off. Never grumble about having to support children you didn't want to have. If you were irresponsible enough to help her get pregnant, then it is your duty to pay for that child. Do not bring porn into a relationship. Porn will only create unrealistic expectations in your mind about your spouse’s libido, body, and comfort level with weird sex positions.

In short, if you don't like how you partner treats you, take a minute to notice how you treat your partner and correct your behavior. If you are an ideal husband, that will help your wife to be an ideal wife. A wife usually responds to the way that she is treated. If she is treated like she is worthless, she will be worthless to you. But, if you treat her well, she will be a jewel in your crown, a pleasure to you and a forever blessing.


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Life in SG: Job Hunt

What I will share in this blog post is about my experience finding and landing a job in Singapore. I can't think of a word to describe it.. what I know is in the end HE did not let me fail. HE is with me from the very start. HE did not disappoint me. HE challenged me big time but when I found a job I knew that HE just did test me. So let me share with you what I've been through.

As soon as we arrive in SG last July of 2012 we started joining job portals, uploading our resumes, updating our profiles, applying for our target IT positions, and many more. In short, we did a full blast job hunting from day one. Luckily for Gyun Wo he was able to land a job in a matter of weeks of staying in SG. As for me, it took months and within those months I've been really challenged.

I forgot the exact date when I was first called and asked to attend for an interview. But I remember being jealous and worried every time Gyun Wo's phone ring and there's just a lot of calls and interview invites that he received. He is really in-demand. Hah! Me? I was like sending over and over again. Resending. Searching. Waiting. Worrying. Praying. Crying. Hoping. Then I was called for an interview for the position of Technical Writer. I was interviewed by two persons. Asked me about my work experiences and personal details. After that I was called again for a second interview. I was excited. I was hoping I have a big chance I'll get the job. I was interviewed by someone who looks like a boss. I was asked to do an essay about any topic I like. After the interview I met Gyun Wo who on that same day got an interview as well when he's still unemployed. Hehe. We were really hoping I'll be hired but unfortunately I wasn't. After days of waiting and making follow-ups I was told I will be called in case that I'm chosen for the position. But there's no call. No email confirmation. Nothing. Which means I did not qualify for the position or they did not like me enough.

After that interview I continued on my daily routine. I'm searching, updating my profile, and submitting CVs from morning til 8pm I guess. I keep on sending my applications. I keep on hoping, praying, though most of the times I'm crying and worrying I might not land a job. I only have limited time to stay in SG as tourist so it really bothered me. 

After a month of no luck, I applied for E-xtend and luckily it was approved so I was given another 30 days of stay here. Then I got another interview and I felt I did well and I have a big chance again especially because they told me they are looking for 4 testers. Actually I was called by an agency and scheduled an interview for me. While I'm on my way to the location and on my way home I keep on telling HIM to let it be it. Hoping this is it. Let HIM give this to me especially if HE think I deserve it. If not, I'll still try until I succeed. I keep on telling - "'Please let this be it. Let this be it. Please. Please. Please." The interview is pretty okay. It's normal. I told the interviewer everything she needs to know. Then it was done after minutes of talking. I went home and again.. waited. Days passed but I did not get confirmation that I was chosen to work there. 

After 2 months of stay and I did not get a job Gyun Wo and I went to Indonesia for vacation. It's a long story but it's more of like that. Vacation. We enjoyed the weekend getaway because of the Balinese massage, buffets, and the great hotel where we stayed. After the vacation we were back to SG and my passport was stamped with 30 days of stay. 30 days. I only have 30 days to do everything I could to get a job.

Then the agent called me again to tell me that she recommended me to another person from the same company and I was sent out for interview. But this time it's like more of discussion of what I'll expect if I get accepted. It's not really a typical interview. The person who talked to me discussed the process and what I should be doing if hired. She looks nice and smart. After that I got a call and email from the agent telling me to send them important documents to process my work permit. At first I was just in a hurry to send them my scanned docs and filled up forms they sent me.I asked Gyun Wo if this means I'm hired and he said probably yes. I was confused because the agent did not directly told me I passed the interview. Well then she processed my work permit. I went somewhere for the medical exam. Then I was advised on when I was expected to start working. After that I began living my dream. I was able to work and live somewhere far from home. I learned a lot of things. I feel so blessed.

So now you see how tough it can be. I know from the moment I decided to leave my job in PH and flew here that it's a big jump. It's risky. It's scary. I know there's a possibility that I won't get a job and I won't have any choice but to go back to PH and work there again. But the thing is, I worked hard. I prayed so hard. I believed in myself. My faith became stronger. I did everything I could to succeed and I did. It wasn't easy. I cried many times. I worried a lot. But that did not stop me from doing the best that I can to go forward and try again. It wasn't easy but it is not impossible. The more that I'm scared that I won't get a job, the more persistent I become to do everything I can to make sure I'll get one. 

It's been a difficult experience but I did not remember myself wanting to give up or considering the option to give up. You know why? Because this is my dream from the very beginning. It's my promise to myself and to my family. A dream that became a promise, then became a goal, a plan, and eventually it turns out to be my life now. I'm living my dream this is what I always say. My dream I couldn't believe that I made it to reality. I was not alone in the journey. There are a lot of people who helped me. Most of all, God did not let me fail my mission when HE saw how I determined I am to succeed no matter how hard it is. 

I guess I only have some advice I want to share with you based on my experience. Dream. Believe in yourself. Work Hard. Have Faith. Do your best. Do not be afraid. Be Thankful no matter what the outcome.. and Do Not Give Up. :)

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Life in SG: First Haircut

In this post I will write about my experience about my first haircut in SG. Well, at first I'm not really rushing into getting it cut because I still love my waves but whenever I look in the mirror I feel sad when I see how dry and damage it looks like even if I've already had a Keratin Hair Treatment in the Philippines last April. It doesn't look healthy. It's color becomes too bright. It's dry. It's ugly. It's long. Then seeing it's condition, I decided to browse great salons here. I want a salon that does not cost much but the quality of service is close to superb. Know what I mean? Hah! Anyway, I started browsing, googling on different haircuts that will look good on me and a cut that will hide my chubby cheeks. Haha! I also checked on different salons here.

Gyun Wo suggested to try Kobayashi salon in Orchard Far East Plaza. He once been there and he is satisfied with the service so he decided that he will always go there for his monthly haircut.I've read great reviews about the salon so I agreed that it's a good choice. Salon - checked.

Next, haircut. Which oooooooooone???! I've downloaded a lot of photos from Google and check them one by one. Haircuts such as bob, layered bob, pixie cut, medium layered cut, medium shaggy, until I saw a photo of my fave actress in The Vampire Diaries TV series. Candice Accola. I checked on her hairstyles and found one that really caught my attention. So, yeah, there, haircut - checked.

August 8. Our monthsary. It's a holiday here in SG. We decided to go out and get our hair cut in Kobayashi salon! I forgot what time we arrived in the salon but I remember waiting for quite some time. As we approached the salon, we were told to wait and served green tea. Stylist for Gyun Wo arrived after few minutes of waiting and he started chopping his hair after GW instructed what hairstyle he wants to have. Then a pretty and tall girl approached me and started talking Chinese! I said Sorry and she's surprised because she thought I'm Chinese. She told me to wait for a while since she needs to blow dry the hair of another customer. I said it's fine and then she left. So.. I waited.. and waited.. and waited. I've checked on the 3 magazines given to me. I've tweeted and checked on the tweets of my friends. I checked on Facebook. I waited for like I don't know the exact time but it was quite longer than I expected.

After the long wait she came to me and talked about some things I can't recall. I showed her the photo of Candice with the hairstyle I want to have. Then after the chitchat we went to the section where I was asked to lie down and then she started washing my hair. We talked about quite a lot of things like me hating hairstyles that emphasize my chubby face, she thought we were tourists, she thought we were Chinese, she said my eye lashes are long, and then she offered me the special Shampoo and Conditioner from Japan especially made for Damaged Hair like mine. I agreed to use it on my hair which will cost an additional $10 on my bill. She washed and massaged my head. It felt good and relaxing. I had fun talking to her though sometimes I don't understand so I just nod and laugh but in my mind I was like ('What??? Oookaaay.. Whatever. You're nice so I'll just laugh.)

When she's done washing my hair and massaging my head, she gave me a poster where she pointed the shampoo and conditioner that she used for my hair. After a while she started cutting my long wet waves. At first she cut it in a not so short length and asked me if I like it, I told her 'shorter' which means cut it shorter. And she did. Then she showed me again and asked if that's fine and I said 'yes' while nodding. So she continued cutting. 

Then after the cutting part she started drying and styling it. When Gyun Wo's done he told me he will go first to walk around the mall and then paid for our bill. So, she continues to style my hair and I noticed that she tried to do the hairstyle of Candice in the photo I showed her. After a few minutes it's done! The result? Mmm.. at first I thought I look older than I actually am! Haha! But I smiled at her, nodded, and thanked her. I went to the reception and asked if my bill is paid to confirm Gyun Wo paid the correct amount since he might not know the additional fee for the shampoo and conditioner. The man confirmed GW paid already and then he gave me his business card and so is the stylist who did my haircut. Haircut for women costs $38, for men it's $28.

After leaving the salonI directly went to the washroom to check how is it. I look at myself, my hair, and I realized I love it. It looks great! I'm happy! Hah! Then I called GW to know where he went while waiting for me. When he saw me he told me the cut looks good on me so that made me even happier. His cut is short too and it made him look younger than me. -_- Hah!

So there, that's my experience for my first haircut in SG. By the way, my stylist is Vivian. She is known to be one of the best stylist in Kobayashi salon in Orchard. She is always being requested by customers and I'm happy she's the one who did my hair. She's friendly, bubbly, and pretty. Oh and she's TALL! Hah! If I'd be asked to rate my experience, salon, and stylist in Kobayashi I'd give it a 5 out of 5. I'd definitely go there again next time. 

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Life in SG: Transportation

In this post I will share about Transportation. I find it very difficult to explain because there's just so many things I want to share about this topic. I mean, I have to admit that I'm not good when it comes to directions so this is really one of the things that I worry when we started living here. In the PH it's easy since I just go to places near our house or office, and sometimes I'm with my friends or family to help me in case I don't know the place right? But here? It's like I have to depend on myself. Gyun Wo is with me but he is not always by my side as he needs to do things for himself, right? So that really scared me. So let's start.

It is often said that getting around Singapore is a breeze. There is no traffic unlike in PH. Almost all of the vehicle owners and drivers are disciplined enough that they follow the traffic rules. If the light turns orange/yellow, then they will slow down, if it's red, they will stop, and if it's green, they will go. It's as simple as that. It's fast, convenient, and safe.

Here in SG when it comes to Transportation you have 3 options - taxi, bus, and train.

1) Taxi - We only take a cab either because we are really late and the bus or train is taking so long to arrive, or because it's too late that we missed the last trip for both. Otherwise, we usually take bus and train. The starting fare is $S2-3. I can't share much about this because we don't usually take cabs unless we have no choice. You can pay by cash or ezlink card or nets. You can Google the terminologies for more information.

2) Bus - My favorite especially if I get to sit in a comfortable spot. There are different types of buses with different numbers that go to different routes. 
Bus Stop - check the bus stop name and number, there are also bulletin boards that are always in each bus stop with the bus numbers and the bus stops that they pass by. For example: Bus Stop Name: Blk 953, Bus Nos. that pass by on the stop: 70, 70M, 103, 854, etc., For each of this bus number the bus stops they pass by are also listed. 

Taking a bus. If you are taking the next bus, it's better to stretch your hand and make sure the driver sees it before he even approach the stop where you are waiting. Drivers are known as bus captains If you know how to call a pedicab or tricycle driver or taxi, it's similar when calling the attention of a bus captain. Once it stopped, get in and tap in using ezlink card. (EZLINK Card - a prepaid card that you need when it comes to taking buses, trains, or even taxis. You can usually buy this on all MRT stations.)

Inside the bus. Most of the buses and trains have these reserved seats for pregnant women, elders, disabled, and those that are with kids. If you see these seats better avoid sitting on them. I usually sit at the back if there's available seats. If you're using Google Maps, well you better use it, so you'll know how many bus stops will it take before you'll reach your destination. Gyun Wo and I used to count the bus stops and sometimes we still do that. Hehe. Or better if you sit near the window where you can easily see the name for each bus stop as you enjoy your ride. 

Getting Off. When it's time to get off, when you're quite near to your target bus stop you will need to press the STOP button that you can see on all poles inside the bus. Or if you see the BUS STOPPING label at the top near the mirror of the bus captain, if the label becomes RED or lit then it means someone already pressed the STOP so you don't need to press again. Tap out using ezlink card. Do not forget to tap in and tap out. If you don't tap in then it means you did not pay your ride. You can't tap out because you did not tap in. But if you did tap in and forget to tap out, well the fare for the last destination of the bus will be charged in your card. By the way, you need to get in the bus on the entrance door which is usually the one near the bus captain, and the exit door is usually located at the back.

3) Train - If you want the fastest way to get somewhere then take the train. Hah! MRT has yellow/circle line, purple line, green line, and red line. You might want to check the latest MRT Map of Singapore if you want to know more about the colored lines I'm talking about. I always have this MRT Map photo on my phone because to be honest until now I don't memorize the whole map. Hah! So yeah, you will really need this to be saved in your phone. 

Entrance/Exit. You will need to ask Google about it. These are usually near bus stops and malls. You just have to be observant to things and places around you. To find your way inside the mrt station you have to read the signs and observe where people are going. Once you found your way in, use your ezlink to tap in and wait for your train. There are a lot of signs and sometimes they might look complicated or confusing but they are not. You just need to relax, read, and think. There are also MRT maps inside the station and staff that you can approach in case you don't know what to do. Hah!

There are usually monitors that shows when will it arrive. Once the train arrived get in and get off in the right stop. Tap out and get out the station in your target exit.

Aside from Google Maps you can also check which can be of big help when you're getting around SG and you're alone. It will tell you which exit to take in order to get to your destination. Google Maps is great when checking if you're walking in the right direction or if you're near or far from your target bus stop as it lists the bus stops that you will pass by as you ride the indicated bus number. On the other hand, will help you which exit to take and its more easy to understand but not so detailed I guess.

By the way, it's also important to make sure that you have at least S$5 in your ezlink card before tapping in when you're taking trains. There are general ticketing machine inside the mrt station where you can 'top up' which means add value to your ezlink card. There are instructions how to do it so you don't need to worry. 

If you're like me who is not so good when it comes to balance, make sure that you hold onto the poles as you ride buses and trains. If you cannot find one then position your feet in a way that you won't stumble as the ride becomes bumpy. Not sure what term to use but there. Hah!

Once you're done with buses and trains and you're on your way to finding the building or mall or place you want to visit, use Google Maps and if it's not helping, it's better to ASK. Sometimes it's also important to analyze the direction being suggested by Google Maps because you can't always rely on it. There's this one time that it suggested to walk around in order to get to our target destination when we can do a shortcut which is better.

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