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Featured Real Relationships

Finding the one


The Non-Negotiable List

Choosing one significant intimate partner who fufils your needs and then having good friends who fulfil other needs is a wise option. This does not mean you should be playing the field, it is about placing less unrealistic expectations on your partner to fulfil ALL your needs. As the saying goes, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. Placing unrealistic expectations on your partner will result in both heartache and chaos.

Will Smith openly shared his decision to ‘resign from making Jada happy’. It was his way of affirming Jada’s ability to make herself happy. He did not resign because he loved her less, it came from a place where he loved her enough to understand that she has what she needs within herself.

There are many activities one can do to bring a relationship into being. When this exercise is completed, the success rate of finding an intimate partner will happen within a period of two days to two months.


The Focused Partner Seeking Exercise

It’s time to reveal what you are looking for in your future partner…

Make a list of all the attributes or ‘wants’ you are looking for in a partner. Make sure you get specific. Here are some ideas or common attributes that people often think of:

  • Physical appearance – height, build, colour of eyes and hair
  • Career – working in a trade, self-employed or a professional
  • Hobbies – type, commonality, and level of involvement
  • Family – relationships with immediate family and extended family
  • Religion
  • Financial status
  • Children
  • Sexual preferences
  • Social habits
  • Characteristic Traits

Be as creative as you like. The list can be as long as you like.

Start making the list and give yourself time to complete the exercise.  Once the first version of your list is ready, take some time out and walk away from the task. Allow the energy and intention to settle in.

It may be a couple of hours or days before you go back to your list and make any changes that might have come to mind whilst you were away.

Once you have completed the final version of your list; choose five items on your list that are non-negotiables. Non-negotiables are the ‘must haves’ in an intimate partner. Choose only five non-negotiables! Write these five items down in a column labelled “Non-Negotiable”.

Next, add up the number of remaining items on your list. Divide this number by four (rounding off to the nearest whole number where necessary). The divided number then identifies how many items on the list will need to be added to each of the remaining four columns that are still to be created. For example, if your list added up to 39 items. Divide 39 by 4 = 10,10,10 & 9.

Your columns will have the following headings:

  • Non-Negotiable – 5 ‘must haves’ only.
  • Somewhat negotiable
  • Negotiable
  • Easily negotiable
  • Non-essential 

Now scan your list and start moving each ‘want’ into one of the header columns. Keep rearranging the ‘wants’ until you have spread them evenly amongst the columns.

You now have a view of what you are looking for in a partner. It is a focused view that is specific to your own lense.

Next time you are on a date, mentally check if they tick the five non-negotiables. If they do not, then move on. Your non-negotiables are just that… non-negotiable! I strongly recommend going on no less than three dates with the same person before you decide to either move on or give it a shot.

Think of these dates as ‘trials’, which gives you the license and flexibility to find out more about the person. As with all trials you will be collecting data and assessing whether they have what you are looking for.

Should they tick all the items on your non-negotiable list, carry on checking off all the other items in the remaining four columns as you continue to see this person more often.

Anytime you start dating someone and you know they do not tick all the non-negotiables, you are settling for something less than what you want and desire. It will ultimately turn pear-shaped. However, if you have found someone who fulfils your Non-Negotiable list, you will be ready to do what it takes to have a fulfilling relationship. If they do not fulfil your non-negotiables, you will be unconsciously trying to change them.

My blog area is dedicated to assisting people in providing real-world perspective on life matters. Not everything I write about is easy to digest… However, you’ll begin to see that when you are more critical of your expectations and start to focus your intentions, then you will set yourself on life journeys that are better aligned to who you are. This is especially true when looking for intimate partners.

Now go out there and get that special person who will fulfil your Non-Negotiable List 😊

AG Signing out!

Featured Wellbeing

Break the circle of resentment with Pay Forward & Pay backward



Pay Forward & Pay backward

Pay Forward is a known concept, where the recipient of a favour passes a favour to others going forward. The aim is to give time, aid, ideas, and support to other people.

Paying forward provides you with a sense of contribution. This act becomes an essential part of building healthier relationships with others. It enhances your own well-being. The contribution has a ripple effect spreading through the community. It adds another dimension to giving. This dimension is both fun and has a depth of appreciation that is both tangible and intangible.

I know what you are thinking, you already feel that you give a lot to others. Your self talk may go something like this, “I seem to always be giving.”  “I know I am supposed to help others but I am so tired.”  Resentment builds and then your self talk jumps in with.  “No one thinks about me!” Or “No one cares about me.”  You are then driven to give under duress, or from obligation, rather than a sense of willingness to help others. You are now in the Circle of Resentment.

Let us break the Circle of Resentment, by looking at it’s close relative, Pay Backwards. Pay Backwards is the fair exchange for a service you have already given. Know that when you give to someone, in the future you will receive time, aid, ideas or support from others in return. Let us run a scenario. You help someone move house, taking up approximately 5 hours of your day. Over the next month, two people help you. One gave you 3hrs of time and the other 2hrs. So in the future you received an exchange for the time you helped a friend move house. This is Pay Backwards. The favour has been returned to you, and the Cycle of Resentment breaks.

The most awesome thing about Pay Backward is the cycle which follows. You assist someone today and in the future others pay you back. This then is the Cycle of Appreciation. You stand to grow and gain so much more in your life by adopting this way of thinking and behaving.

When it comes to Pay Backwards, keep a record of what you have given to others and what others give to you. This process will assist you in working with the cycle’s energy. Resentment then falls away and you have a sense of satisfaction when giving. Whilst knowing that fair exchange is already heading your way.

You do not have to keep a record of all you do, after all that will be time consuming and annoying! You choose what you want to document. The record keeping includes date, and the given service. Include whether it was time, labour, money or knowledge.

Currently we keep a mental note of the things we do for others. During arguments, this type of recall tends to get exaggerated, or the exaggeration of recall leads to the Cycle of Resentment. So, let us circumvent the mental note and add depth to our giving.

In December, I spent 4hrs assisting my sister. She was painting the interior of her pre-school. Due to my novice painting skills, the sanding tool became mine to manage.

This is what it looked like in my Pay it Backwards journal:


Giving – Pay Forward

Date: December 2017

To Whom: Sister

Service Type: Preparing interior walls (sanding). Labour & 4hrs of time.


This is the giving component. Now let us document the future receiving.


Received – Pay Backward

Date: January 2018

From Whom: Son

Service Type: Moved my data to the new phone. Knowledge/Labour


You assign what you received against what you gave, until it balances. You can then tick paid in full, how satisfying is that! The fun part comes about with the speed of return. It is rapid, but do not take my word for it, instead load up the template below and give it a go yourself.

Some say how wrong it is to give and expect something back. I say how cool it is to be a person who both gives and receives. Let us all do both.

I invite you to download the Excel Template, pop it on a device and give Pay Forward & Pay backward a go.


Download the Pay Forward & Pay Backward Template – Click Here

Featured Real Relationships

What is happening when you enjoy a cuddle?

Setting the scene.

You sigh when you think about a cuddle, nuzzle, snug, or just a good old-fashioned curl up with your special person. Evening embraces after a long day at work. Afternoon delight as you rest your head in the crook of your partner’s arm. Morning snuggles as you delay the inevitable start to the day.

A cuddle evokes a sense of connecting with your loved one. Or does it?

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Featured Wellbeing

Gluten intolerance – is there another choice?

gluten eating

Avoidance of Gluten – is it your only choice?

The gluten debate continues with varying opinions regarding the classification of symptoms of gluten intolerance.  Treatments for gluten intolerance all point to the avoidance of gluten. Avoidance works. Yet gluten is still ruling your digestive tract. This infiltrates to other parts of your life. Have you been in the position where you and your friend are choosing a café and one of you is gluten intolerant?

The symbol (gf) becomes your focus when reviewing a menu.

So rather than avoid gluten, face gluten and what you can learn from the intolerance.

Gluten is a protein that provides elasticity.  It binds or holds together.  Looking at the mind body relationship we will use the metaphor bind or holds together as our guide.  Let us see what we can learn from gluten.  What follows is a sequence of questions that may provide some relief from your gluten sensitivity symptoms.  

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Featured Grief

My Father Died – The 4 Day Journey – Day 3

If you missed Day One & Day Two

Day 3

We are ready for those waiting to say goodbye to Dad. His visitors include work colleagues, old school friends, friends of the family, and relatives.  Stories, of Dad’s antics usually comedic has us smiling.  We ask questions of the visitors.  Their answers reveal more parts of Dad’s life. As part of our tradition the visitors move through to refreshments. Here, general conversation flows and somehow normality pierces the veil of unreality. Then the prevailing sadness enters your mind and the veil goes up.

Extended family members  answer our unspoken need.  They  provide gazebo’s, gas heaters, tables, chairs, and a continuous supply of food. This contingency of relatives gives time for the immediate family to just ‘be’. You hear the term of allowing you to ‘be’ and this is what the extended family members did for us.

Discussions about the funeral service start and then stop.   There is some gentle nudging from extended family members.  Until the outline of the funeral service has been somewhat decided upon. The visitors have left and the evening service can begin.

The last night for the departed is a time of sharing.  We call it Poroporo arki (por raw por raw  ah key) this is where family members gather for the last time. Sharing a story or memory of the departed one.  Mum sits next to Dad, the gathering consists of;  9 siblings, and partners. 27 grandchildren and one great grandchild. As well as extended family members.  Children share their stories of their Granddad. Some breakdown as the grief washes over them.  We wait, we wait for them to breath and we wait for them to finish their story.  There is no rush as this is the last night for us to be in the same room as our Dad. I stand up and share the memories of the home that Dad designed.  He designed it with children in mind.  In the 1970’s  door handles were out of the reach of children.  In the house that Dad built, door handles were low enough for use by both child and adult.  He introduced a pulley system for the main doors. This pulley system would close the door when opened.  This solved the problem of warm air escaping due to children leaving doors open.   I too am swept away by  emotion as my voice breaks midway through my story. I swallow and breath and describe  the memory of Dad sitting in the front row at one of my public talks.  He has tears rolling down his face as I speak, he is smiling at me through those tears, his eyes fixed on me. It was one of the most challenging and treasured moments in my public speaking career.

A song is composed, using the written words on Dad’s coffin. The tune is one which Dad would whistle.  It has a haunting melody and the words describe a journey of love.  It is to be our Family Song, a song we will sing at Dad’s funeral service. It is our last night with Dad.  A restless night for us as time ticks away towards Day 4.

Click link to hear  The tune Dad whistled.