Kissing IS Personal

One of my first memories of the tale of my Love and I was our first kiss. Oddly, I don’t tell this detail I’m about to share with you often. In fact, when I tell our story I see this scene in my head but I gloss over the detail, or shorten our first night into a sentence or two. “We had an amazing night, I knew he and I were perfect for each other just Not right now. I left without giving him my number and he didn’t ask.” Then I go into the next headlines.
The truth is that our first night getting to know each other was/is truly special. We talked for hours at Sassafras, a saloon in Hollywood. We actually shared our breakups (both of us just barely 6 months out of serious relationships). Shared our life goals and our Strength Finders results. Ok, so we are also kind of nerdy. My point in telling you this is, before there was even the potential of another encounter we got intimate. Vulnerable. We shared honest details about ourselves.

Then he ASKED if he could kiss me.

I remember it like it was yesterday. We were standing there face to face. Of course I wanted him to. Of course I was hoping. Then he asked!

Now, I’m trying to think back of all the kisses I have had. As you know from my post “First Kiss” that one didn’t. I know my ex didn’t and I’m pretty sure those I kissed during “Duty Dating” didn’t.  Not that they should have or needed to ask. Body language can also imply that one is ready and open to kissing.

However, in this moment he asked me. When my entire insides screamed YES!   I knew this was different. It wasn’t just my physical being but much deeper than that.  I responded with “I was hoping you would.” Not so much a spoiler alert since we are together. But, yes we stood there and kissed and…well our families read this so….

My favorite movie, if I haven’t told you already, is Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. When I say favorite I mean FAVVVVVORITE!!!! I can quote it from the opening to the closing credits. Aside from the great and soon to be blogged about “What’s your Dream? Hey Sista What’s your dream?” or the scene where she walks back on to Rodeo and says “You work on commission right? Big Mistake! Big!  Huge.” Shoves her bags up in the air at the snooty sales women. I am sure I’ll write about that too. Today’s blog is about Getting Personal.  When Richard Gere’s character and her are discussing what she will and will not do for money. She’ll do anything. But she won’t kiss on the lips. Too Personal.

Is Kissing too Personal?

I have written about Your Best Sex and  Sex with Friends. If you haven’t read those. Click the links and do read. It’s important you know that I am not a prude. I am not here to say that you shouldn’t get close, personal, intimate, sexy. Quite the opposite. I want all of that and more for you.

Today, on the phone with my Love I said “I cannot wait until you’re not sick; I miss kissing you.” He has the flu; I teach Pilates so I cannot get sick. He knows that if I get sick, it halts my income. But back to kissing.  He said: “I know two days ago I was thinking if it was possible to have sex without kissing.”

Aside from the weirdness of that remark. Also, how anyone with the flu could possibly perform is a question I do not have the answer to. I proclaimed No Kissing is the best part. Ok, well almost the best part. But it’s one if not THE most important part. It’s like Julia Roberts’ character says: it’s too personal.

Maybe this is TMI, but I love kissing. When I see him at Trader Joe’s waling down the isle toward me, I can be taken up in the moment, and we actually kiss like couples do in a romantic scene in the movies. I guess low cost organic food packages for individuals gets me romantic. Or more likely than not we just enjoy being that personal; that intimate.

Kissing is very important!   Before you do the deed, I think it’s pretty important to enjoy kissing the other person. You can learn a lot about someone by the way they kiss you. If you’re present and aware of what you like and need you will probably be better prepared to make the decision of whether or not you want to take it to the next step. P.S. I am not sure what the next base is anymore. Somewhere in between the generations, first and third, or second base just became a blur of tastes or preferences. But kissing should be first. You should like it and want more of it.

If you’re single, please take the time to get to know someone, enjoy kissing them. Do not rush this step and end up in a relationship that doesn’t have kissing you enjoy.

In a relationship…when’s the last time you truly kissed your partner? I’m not talking about the kisses because it’s part of the routine. I’m talking the kisses where time stands still. The kiss where your surroundings blur, are forgotten, the Trader Joe’s aisles disappear, and it’s just you and your mate. Those don’t have to be special occasion. In fact, I’d argue they shouldn’t be special occasion.

But,  you have to want it. You have to make the point to do it. The next time you kiss, be present. Be intimate. Let yourself enjoy your partner. Even if it’s in the TJs aisle.

So, before you can have Sex with Friends, Your Best Sex or even a third, fourth or future date: get personal. Get kissed!  And if you like it, have seconds!

Xx–LL

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Text-a-Bitch (or how to pause before irrationally texting)

You know that nagging feeling when you want to reach out to someone who you’re starting to feel romantic twinges for but you just don’t know if you should? For instance, you are sitting on your sofa on a Friday night, staring at your television set that randomly doesn’t work, and you open the bag of chips that a guy left at the party you threw two weeks ago… and they’re delicious, and you want to Facebook him to tell him how great they are? (Let’s face it, its kinda because of the yummy chips, but mostly because you want a reason to connect in the hopes for a response.) Yeah. I know it sounds like a good thought to text him… but here’s the thing, its probably not. And if you’re sitting on that fence and know what you should do and what you want to do are two different things: Text-a-Bitch! What I’m trying to say is that some times you need to bounce certain ideas off of friends to see if an idea merits a sent text message. So when you get a “great” idea to reach out to someone in a way that you shouldn’t, send one of your designated’s a text, and ask their opinion, i.e.:

Hey Lesley, should I Facebook this cute guy about his 2 week old chips?

Now, Lesley is living in a rational world outside of my romantic fantasy world (the one where he immediately responds, and not only appreciates that I told him that his chip choice was stellar, but he offers to come over, fix my television, accidentally make out with me, propose, … and well, you can fill in the rest) and she’ll respond with something like:

Don’t eat the whole bag, and don’t you dare tell him you like the chips.  That is something that a needy loser would do. And you’re not a needy loser. Don’t you have some writing to do? Stop thinking about boys and eating chips and go be productive. Or at least read a book. Muah!

So, after reaching out, I’ve achieved two things: One, I’ve fulfilled the need to reach out and two, I’ve gotten feedback (well three, if you count that I’ve also now put down the chips). And whereas the reach out and feedback weren’t to the person I wanted to reach out to, it still lessens the need to reach out. Also, I don’t sit around the rest of the night, eating the rest of the bag of chips and then moving on to the full box of cereal to keep busy, and either spiraling up thinking of my crazy chip-TV-fixing-making-out-marriage-proposal scenario, or spiraling down wondering why he hasn’t responded to my incredibly important Facebook message at 8pm on a Friday night, and convincing myself its because he is out on a date with another woman, and falling into self loathing, finishing the box of cereal, moving on to a bottle of wine and some really old chocolates left over from the holidays which were now three months ago. I know it sounds like I’m spinning a silly scenario, but I can safely say that a ¾ bag of chips is sitting across the room on the counter, wrapped up, and I’m sitting here writing this instead of alternating between wedding dress shopping and looking at every picture on his Facebook to see if any of the women he is in photos with look like they could be a better choice than me. (We’ve all done it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this blog and I wouldn’t be writing it.)

Now that I’ve given you this silly scenario that you’re probably shaking your head at because it’s very silly, and you’ve probably done something similar, let me tell you how Text-a-bitch works.

A quick how to:

–if you want to text about something goofy/weird/quirky that you’re not sure if you should: first, Text-a-Bitch (a designated friend who knows you could reach out for advice at any time)

–have a friend, or many, on call to use as a sounding board

–when you have a moment where you’re unsure, TaB the who and the what you want to say

–WAIT FIVE MINUTES

–if you hear, follow suggestions of your TaB. If you don’t hear, wait 5 more minutes.

–walk away. Do something else. Change your focus, you’re mind won’t be far behind.

–if all else fails, wait a day. If you wake up tomorrow and it still seems like a good idea to send off that text, do. 99% of the time, you’ll be glad you waited to text, because it won’t seem like such a great idea once you’re out of that headspace.

Oh, and just to be clear, you aren’t limited to “texting” with this, but I use it as a general term for contact, because at this moment in time, texting seems to be the prime way to communicate. Feel free to check in with your TaB via social media messaging, a phone call, a question over an already planned meet up, an email or whatever. Just communicate with someone in some way to double check yourself before committing the action. The thing is, these goofy/quirky outreach texts (like the chips) are gateway messages. Once you send one, you’ll want to send another, and another and another and another… and when does it stop? When you’ve texted about every grocery in your apartment, and possibly your shopping list for Trader Joes? NO. Stop the crazy now. I promise it will help, and you will have saved yourself from making something you’ll feel is a mistake later.

I know, that now that you’ve read this, you are wondering if this applies to you, because you’re in a great relationship… well, yes, dear reader, you can use TaB for just about anything in your life. A few scenarios:

Family: Want to rant to your sister about how many freaking pictures of her newborn she’s posting on Facebook? TaB.

Life: You’re tempted to text your ex (who you had an horrific break up with only three months ago) because you just saw someone walking down the street that reminded you of them. You know it wasn’t them, but a doppelganger. TaB.

Work: You want to resign and you’re thinking that texting or emailing your resignation is best because you don’t want to face the boss in the morning. TaB.

Remember the whole point of this is to double check yourself. Its like a math problem that has an emotional component. You need to take a step back from yourself and what you want to send out in the universe. Having a friend double check your thoughts is a great tool to have. Texting a confidante settles the craving and the impulse to connect with someone. I’ve now trained myself to weed the crazy impulse texts out on my own. But sometimes I still use TaB. Lesley, and a few other friends can attest. I’m telling you, strengthen those muscles, and make those messages mean something.  Cut out the excess chatter and find that peace within.

Clare

We would LOVE your comments on this.  Please post below, or try it out and let us know how it worked for you!

Opportunities

There is a huge theme in the dating world:  Meeting the elusive “One” that you’re meant to spend your life with.  Here is the truth I believe in: Everyone gets a shot, a chance, an opportunity to be with anyone they meet. DO NOT ROLL YOUR EYES AT THIS PAGE! Hear me out:

Recently a letter went around Facebook from “Your Future Mate”. If you haven’t read it, here is the link:    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5195511 The letter states why “The One” hasn’t found you yet and sites examples like: They are with the wrong one now; they are still hanging on to what they “think” they want; they are not ready for you yet.

That last one might be my more favorite one. It’s also part of my point. Everyday we meet people. We are set up on dates, we swipe right on Tinder (or maybe it’s left or a double tap? I’ve never used it) or search Facebook and other web pages for a connection. We go on dates and make up excuses as to why it “didn’t work:” “They were great but not what I am looking for.” “Too busy” or “just out of a relationship” and or “Not ready for a relationship.”

Well guess what? If we are not our best selves at the time, if we are not “ready” to be vulnerable and let someone into our world. The connection is missed, at least for now. Maybe even for good.  Sometimes, these connections revisit you later in life. Like my most recent “revisit.”

When I was a freshman in college, I was in lust with a junior. He was the Resident Advisor of my friend’s floor in our dorm, and I just had to have him. I would find any reason to go to my friend’s floor during “visiting hours.” I about died when he showed up at my dorm one night. He had to like me back, right? One night around 2am, I walked past the offices below the dorms. There he was. My crush.  Working on a paper. He saw me, got up and met me at the door to chat. I stood there willing with my mind, talking with my eyes, hoping against hope that he would invite me into that office. I know I am aware that had he invited me in, we just would have had sex and we most likely would not have dated. However, in my 18-year-old mind, sex at that moment would be amazing. We liked each other, but we were in a place where we could be caught (Christian school…so definitely not something looked highly upon). Also happened to be the office of the Resident Director (his boss) and the person who makes RA’s enforce the no sex policy (obviously, that made it more enticing).

Instead, none of that happened. No invite, no kissing, no passionate on-top-of-a-desk in an office of the very person who could have kicked us out of school sex. Life went on, semesters passed, and he married another girl.

Then, last week thanks to the wonders of the internet, he found me. Added me as a friend and then called me. Yes, it was lovely to catch up, reminisce. But, when he eluded to us hanging out, hooking up etc…I sat there and knew in my gut the answer was no. In my heart the answer was: No, too bad we didn’t do it 10 years ago. My head’s answer was: he missed his chance.  Back then, he totally could have had me. But, the opportunity passed us (well mostly him).

So, what does my trip down memory lane mean for you? Simple, really. In order for you to be with your true counter-part three things need to happen: you need to know who you are, what you want, and why you need it. Who you are.  What you want.  Why you need it.  When you do, when the opportunity presents itself 1) you will recognize it 2) you will be your best, loved and respected self.  And that amazing person who is right for you will be excited to be part of your life.  If you don’t know these three things, the opportunity will occur anyway, but you will not be ready.  You may miss this chance to be with someone who is equal to your BEST self.

Stop wondering where the “good” ones are.  Instead, start LOVING yourself.  Figure out who you are.  Make yourself the best version of you that you can be. Stop second-guessing yourself and FIND yourself instead.  Currently you might feel like you are missing opportunities.  You probably are because you are not being you.  If you are yourself, these won’t seem like missed opportunities because you’ll know how to field them. When you know who you are, and are your best self, you could meet your partner in crime tomorrow.  It could be something as simple as loving yourself today and going for a latte leads to meeting the right person.

What would that be like to attract exactly what you want and deserve?  Guess what, it’s not a unicorn. “The One” exists but you have to be ready to strike when the iron is hot—which means making sure you’re in the best place to receive it.  We here at Live ClareLesley are going to continually repeat this until you are so tired of hearing it that you’re putting it in to practice: live your life and be the best version of yourself instead of actively seeking out another person to complete you.  “The One” will be a complimentary entity of you, not complete you (sorry, Jerry Maguire).  So, are you ready?

LL

 

Don’t Want It Now

I don’t know what I want. Well actually, I know what I want, I just don’t want it now. Yep! This week I realized after clearing out all the pots on the stove, any leftovers from the fridge that I’m done with duty dating. But, I’m so not into dating! Yes, I’m saying it out loud. Why? Because I don’t think we admit to ourselves that we know what we want we just don’t want it now. I’ve decided that it’s completely ok. A-Ok to know what you want but not want it now. This doesn’t make myself or you wishy-washy. In fact, I think it puts us back in control. And right now, I don’t want to be in a relationship, I just want to be single.
There are so many pressures when you are single to be in a relationship. Who are you dating? Do you think they’re the one? Are you ready for that? What are you looking for? If you want a family you should start getting serious! Well, guess what?! Today I’m dating no one, tomorrow is a new day and the day after who knows if they’re THE ONE! They’re the one for right NOW. That’s perfect enough for today.

But, back to my point. I have dated my archetypes—all those men that I think I wanted to be in a relationship, or at least try out (check back for a different blog post on archetypes!). I have enjoyed myself entirely. I know my dealmakers, breakers, and am comfortable re-working them. I know what makes me swoon, laugh, get annoyed, feel supported, free, and get rocked. I just don’t want any of it right now. I want to do my thing. Enjoy myself. Live my life my way, by my rules. Not have to check in, share my time, or worry about another person’s feelings. I love having all the “me” time I want!

I discovered this when I had a suitor turned friend over for a great make out sesh. We have both been through the long, deep relationships. We are both barely a year out of our own past relationships. He said he just doesn’t know what he wants. With this conversation, I realized, I do. I know EXACTLY what I want. Lucky me! Even luckier I’m so comfortable not wanting it right now.

If you’re wondering if something is up with you, perhaps you’re in the same boat. Perhaps you too know what you want but just don’t want it now. There is nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is if you let yourself think there is something wrong with you. Asking yourself questions: am I depressed? Did I make the wrong decision? Should I go on another date? Nope! If you’re not into it, you’re just not into it. Enjoy that! Rock that! When your friend asks about your dating life, you should proudly say “not anyone for now and it’s perfect enough for today.”

If more of us start announcing with pride our Single Status then think of how much better the our conversations will be. We can actually talk about other things going on in our lives with our friends instead of whom we are not doing.

LL

Transitions

Recently, I was taking a Pilates class and the instructor emphasized how important the transitions are.  I know Pilates, Transitions…sounds like I’m trying to get you to exercise, but let me explain.  In Pilates, there are several key principles; one of them is “Flow.” Each exercise should shift from one to the next so that the person doing them never actually stops moving.  Often, we throw away the importance of that movement from one exercise to the next: the transitions. When practicing Pilates, instead of lifting both feet at the same time keeping our abdominals on, we can also slide our feet into position or do one at a time. Why? It’s easier. We subconsciously want a break. We just didn’t know we wanted a break from the movement.  Whatever the reason may be for ditching the transition or keeping the principle of flow in mind the out come is the same. We didn’t utilize the transitions from point A to point B to the fullest. For their intended purpose.

Ok, why am I talking to you about Pilates transitions? Simple! In life we go through transitions all the time. There are times between the moments, events and/or goals that we miss. Skip or even complain about. These times we have names for: lulls, ruts, bad days, retrogrades, etc. You with me yet?

As the one year mark has finally arrived, the day that I became single, I thought back to all the transitions I have been through this past year. The transitions I am still going through. Guess what…even though at the time I endured what I had to, I am so thankful for each one of them. Even the ones that made me cry.  In fact, today I am declaring that all life transitions be welcomed and celebrated as much as the peaks in our lives.

In one year I have: moved (4 guest homes and one apartment), furnished a whole apartment (I moved clothes, an antique trunk and my grandma’s china), the studio I taught my clients out of closed (had to find a new home for them), I totaled my car (leaving the Ex’s home thank you universe for making sure I was well aware I needed to stay away from the valley) adopted a dog and sadly, buried her, published a book, won Best of Los Angeles Magazine Pilates Instructor, transferred studio manager locations, won a half marathon and walked in one (never have walked in a race in my life), went to Colorado five times, New York twice, traveled to Florida, Vancouver and San Francisco alone. Of course I did so much more in this past year. I hit goals, I can now do unassisted pull ups. I was selected by my company to teach my workshops in Colorado, San Diego and Los Angeles. I have dated winners, whiners and men who were not for me. I have made friendships I never would have, gone to restaurants that never could have been and enjoyed trials and errors that often make me smile and their ridiculousness. Its been a lot.

Here I sit after all of the good and the bad, happy as a clam, stronger than I ever knew was possible and while I feel like I am constantly in transition these days. I know now that this part of the journey is just as important as the place I will arrive. Which of course makes me wonder—do I ever want to arrive? What does that mean and then where shall I go after I have arrived? But let’s save that rabbit hole for another posting.

Today, I challenge you to enjoy your transitions. Yes, even the ones that make you cry. When you find yourself saying you are in a rut, having a bad day or feeling stagnant observe it. What should you be learning from it? How far have you come from where you were? Instead of jumping from peak to peak, enjoy the hike in between. Take in the views.  When you are feeling like crying, that its been a seven year transition and you’re just wondering WHEN it’ll be over. Lay on the ground, open your palms and get as heavy as you can with mother earth. Literally, get grounded. Eat warm soups, drink hot tea and fill full. Then take a look at your world from a different perspective. What’s rocking and what’s rolling? What makes you smile and what makes you frown?

Without these challenges, how would we know how strong we are? How far we have come? How much can we can handle and bounce back? Thank the Universe for these transitions, I do. I would have no idea what I could survive with out them. Sure, it would have been nice to not total my car and lose my dog.  But, I also negotiated my own car lease and had more friends reach out to comfort me than I probably get to see in a year!

If we take the moment to enjoy the transitions we may just see how lucky we are and how blessed we are to be the high times. I have decided to OWN being in transition.  Recently, when a male suitor was over trying to make dinner in my small kitchen, he mentioned that I didn’t have much in the way of cookware (a strainer, more than one bowl, knives) I am still living without. I declared: I am a Work in Progress, don’t be jealous!

It’s been one heck of a year. I must enjoy, welcome, take in the different transitions the Universe has in store for me. They are gifts. I will continually be transitioning, as will you. Just remember a transition doesn’t last forever and its only the movement from one position to the next.

LL