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What to look for in a guy…or girl

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It’s very interesting to me what people generally look for in a significant other. When I look back at my young self I am amazed at how little I expected. I thought some of my expectations would just be there because that’s how good people are.

Let me explain. I am blessed to have an awesome dad. Not perfect, of course, but because he was so consistently awesome I assumed all men were like that. Oh boy did I get burned with that assumption. You know what they say about assuming! It turned out to be true! LOL

As I get older, as I have been through more hard things in life, as I listen to the hard things my clients and friends go through my list of expectations changes and grows pretty long.

Some may say that if you have too high of expectations you will never find someone. I’ve lived long enough to know it is FAR better to be alone and happy and healthy than to be with someone who makes your life miserable. And alone is very relative. Some really great friends have helped me know we are never alone.

I have lived in misery in the spirit of staying together, in the spirit of keeping my expectations ‘reasonable’ by our cultures’ standards and all it’s done is cause me a whole lot of heartache.

I am a naturally joyful, energetic, positive person. I love feeling that way, so if you consistently mess with that then I have some decisions to make. Those decisions have a massive ripple effect that spans from my kids to my ability to reach you guys.

I take that seriously and I hope you do too. Your life is your own. You can’t get the time back you spend with someone who hampers your ability to really be powerful and influential.

When I encourage you to have high expectations what I mean is to focus on really solid, consistent character. Sure, you need to be attracted to this person, but if that’s all you got then you are in for a world of hurt. That person you thought was so cute is going to get ugly real quick! LOL

In addition to this video I have a long list you can read and ponder. Be strong and brave enough to say no to the good so you can say yes to the best!


List of great character traits

Have you ever wondered if you could know that the person you’re with would never be abusive? There are not absolutes in life, but there are some signs that would indicate whether or not you’re on the right track. Hope this helps!

Some of list is from Dr. John Townsend with a lot of additions from me. If you have an emotionally safe person, chances are very good this person would never be physically unsafe for you. I’m sure this list could go on and on, but you’ll get the idea. I’ll refer to this person with great character traits as a “safe” person.


  • Safe people want and invite you to open your heart to them and are willing to open theirs to you.
  • They do not look at you as something to further their purposes.
  • When you open up to a safe person they move closer to you emotionally and physically with eye contact, connection, and genuine interest. They know how to actually have a real conversation!
  • Safe people are nonjudgemental and are therefore okay with the bad stuff in your life because they know everyone has some garbage.
  • Safe people go out on a limb for you…they stick up for you…they don’t leave you behind.
  • Safe people also do not gossip…about anyone. Remember, if they gossip about anyone to you, they most certainly are gossiping about YOU to someone else.
  • Safe people do not call you names. Oh, don’t you just loooovvveee the people who call you ‘fatty’ or ‘stupid’ and then say, “Oh, JK.”  Yeah, whatever. Friends don’t call friends names….ever.
  • Safe people make time for you, especially when your life falls apart.
  • Safe people have pure motives. The best way to look for this is to listen to how they talk about other people. Do they assume the worst? Do they think positively or negatively about others when they don’t have all the information?
  • Safe people are not jealous of you
  • Safe people tell you the truth…with kindness and permission
  • Safe people are your biggest fans
  • Safe people are happy to see you…they text you back…they don’t ignore you….they are reliable
  • Safe people are introspective…they have good self-reflection. They can say to themselves, “I shouldn’t act that way.”
  • Safe people apologize
  • Safe people aren’t doormats. Doormats are the people who stuff their feelings, pretending all is well only to blow up later.
  • Safe people have solid limits and boundaries allowing them to be the most compassionate of all people because they know how to say, “Yes, that’s good for me and no, that is not good for me, so I won’t be doing that.” (That comes from Brene Brown)
  • They are extremely loyal to you!

Things we would be smart to do while we are in search of safe people:

  • We really would be smart to create a healthy environment of some great friends
  • The second important thing to do is develop a consulting group. Basically, this is a group of trusted
  • friends you have given permission to speak into your life.In the case of dating, the purpose of this consulting group is to be watching out for you with the understanding that you will seriously take into consideration what they think.The idea is, to be honest with these trusted friends and expose them to this guy, so they can be your ‘seeing eye dog.’ The big key in this is to surround yourself with people who are older and wiser than you.If you are a teenager you should have some trusted adults because they’ve lived longer, had more experiences than you…you get the idea. If you fill this group with only your friends who have never walked these roads, you are not going to get helpful advice simply because wisdom comes from walking that road. If you haven’t ‘been there’ then you can’t really give good advice.

    It’s not that you all aren’t freaky smart because you are, but wisdom and intelligence are two different things, right? If there is any hesitation with anyone in your consulting group, the guy’s gotta go.

Remember, there are only two teachers in life: Wisdom and consequences. Wisdom is learning from the mistakes of others and consequences are….you guessed it….learning from your own mistakes. Much more expensive that way my friends.

How can I get along with my parents better: Part 2

If you have parents that are pretty good, then this video will be helpful. If they are abusive then maybe it will help. I’m not sure.

There are certainly parents who cannot be pleased no matter what you do. It’s not your fault. It’s not yours to fix. It is 100% about them. Hurting people hurt others. It’s up to them to get the help they need. You are not here to rescue them.

You are responsible for you and your actions. My hope for you is that you will get the help you need if you need it. This video may help. Since I don’t know what kind of parents you have it’s tough for me to say. Go ahead and watch to see what you think.

How can I get along with my parents better: Part 1

Have you ever had a parent that was just so hard for you to get along with? No matter what you do you just can’t see eye to eye?

I was just like any teenager when I was young. I had a hard time with one of my parents too. Looking back there were some things I could’ve done better to make things more peaceful.

One of the great things about being a parent myself is being able to see both sides of the issue. Sometimes parents are the ones that need to grow up. Sometimes they need to have a broader scope with their kids.

Sometimes kids think they can treat people how they want and do whatever they want without repercussions. That’s not even common sense.

I once had a discussion with one of my clients that went something like this. I was doing her hair and her dad came in to pay for it. He asked her a couple questions about what her plans were for the rest of the day and wow, was she rude. Snotty.

He didn’t really respond. I really felt bad for him. I could tell he was embarrassed. When he left she went off about all the things he does that drive her crazy and how they just can’t get along.

I asked if there interaction a few minutes ago was the usual. She said yes. I was silent. She knew me well enough to know I’m not silent very often. LOL She said, “what?” I said, “what do you mean what? He comes in here and pays for your $200 color and cut and you treat him like that? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why you don’t get along. How would you like to be on the receiving end of you?”

As you can see, I’m pretty blunt with those who have given me permission to speak into their lives. Now it was her turn to be silent. She began to explain that he bugs her. As she was listing off all the ways he bugged her, she stopped. She asked why I wasn’t saying anything.

I pointed out that all the things she listed off that bug her about her dad were things every loving parent does. He was doing all those things with her best interest in mind.

She was silent again. The gravity of her meanness to her dad began to set in. She asked, “now what do I do?” I asked, “what do you think you should do?”

She said, “stop being mean.” I said, “that’s a start. Going to your dad and deeply apologizing, fully accepting responsibility for your words and actions would be step 1 in repairing this. It will mean a lot to your dad. Not doing it again will mean even more.”

I’m happy to report she took me seriously and did just that. They are quite the daddy daughter duo having all sorts of fun together. When college came around they both took it hard. They talk every day and see each other as often as they can.

Guys, I guess what I’m saying is if you want to be treated with respect then it needs to start with you. We treat people with respect because of who WE are, not because of what they’ve done or didn’t do. Create a culture of respect and you’ll be amazed.

This excludes situations with abusive parents. Yes, do your best to be respectful, but abusers can never be pleased. It’s not your fault. It never will be. This is 100% about them. You just be the best YOU, you can be in spite of it.

You got this! And here’s Part 2 🙂

How can I get along with my parents better: Part 2

What if my friend wants to hurt themselves?

In all seriousness, there’s nothing like the possibility of someone we care about hurting themselves to get our blood pressure up. Panic switch is probably more like it.

This is a very serious topic and one that deserves more attention from professionals. I am not a mental health professional, so I encourage you to not stop at this video. Keep looking for the help you think will work.

Either way, you NEED to tell someone you think will jump up and help right now.

I also want you to really get this: Studies have shown that it takes just ONE important relationship in someone’s life to keep them from taking their own. Be that somebody for that person in question.

I’m not saying you have to give everything until you run dry. In fact, please don’t! Give what you can of yourself and let that person know how important they are to you.

Say things like, “I’m so glad I got to see you today,” or “I SO needed some -fill in their name here- time.” I have a good friend named Fran. She is very settling for me, so I often text her and say, “I would really love some Fran time 🙂 Do you have time for a walk this weekend?”

Would you love to get a text like that? I would! Be that person for them when you can see them struggling. Don’t hide how you feel, how worried you are, and how crushed you’d be without them.

I hope this video helps and hang in there!

How do I know if someone is cool (safe)?

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When guys meet girls they often worry about pretty superficial things. Women, on the other hand worry about safety things.

One of my friends met this guy online. They spent a few months getting to know each other talking on the phone when they decided to meet at a coffee shop on a Sunday around 11am.

When they met, she thought things were fine. They talked for about an hour when he suddenly needed to go. They walked out together and as they walked around the corner he slammed her against the brick wall and began to choke her! What a wacko!

Some older lady came around the corner and beat him off with her purse and he took off. The cops were called and they told her she deserved it for meeting him online! Can you believe that?

She did all the things she could to be safe by meeting in a busy public place in the middle of the day. She never thought this could happen to her.

She told me while he was choking her he was calling her names referring to her weight. She things he thought she misrepresented herself because her face that is naturally very thin in the online pictures did not reflect her weight problem.

She had had gastric bypass and looked quite wonderful. He, however, did not agree so he flipped out. Crazy!

I have a black belt in a mixed martial art so I taught her a few things so she could protect herself better. I would highly recommend you guys take some self-protection classes. If you can’t, at least watch some videos on YouTube. There is no substitution for physically practicing, but it’s better than nothing.

When I asked my friend if she was completely peaceful about this guy BEFORE they walked out together. She thought about it for a minute.

She said no. She felt nervous. She thought it was just because she was meeting someone new, but admitted she didn’t slow down to really tune into why she was feeling what she was feeling.

Talk about having to learn the hard way! Poor girl!

There a quite a few signs to look for, but the ‘ol gut feeling is what you should be listening to!

The Gift of Fear is a must read when it comes to keeping yourself safe and it reads kind of like a thriller! Gavin deBecker tells stories and then goes back through them to share with us what was missed.

Gavin is touted as the nation’s leading expert in predicting violent behavior. He as a firm that helps people from all walks of life with very dangerous situations.

I have begged and begged my high school and college age women clients to read this book. Here is the link 🙂

The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence

And here’s a link if you prefer audiobooks.

The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence