Despite the occasional temporary setback, my life is good, and I'm grateful. It wasn't always that way, however. At 18, just after I left for college, I was essentially orphaned, and have had to go from no education or support to finding a purpose, supporting myself through a PhD, and developing four businesses to do that. I also recovered from an abusive marriage, and now have been happily married for 23 years, and in successful private practice since 1978. Before I could succeed, I needed to learn to support myself emotionally as well as financially. Having come from a difficult time, I appreciate my blessings, and I find that even the problems have become blessings. Today, I am privileged to use my experiences to work with clients every day to help them become more independent, self-actualizing, fulfilled, and successful.
One of the most powerful tools we have in turning the negative to positive is self-talk. We all have a running dialog in our heads, which often is negative or
Blog Posts by Tina Tessina
Despite the occasional temporary setback, my life is good, and I'm grateful. It wasn't always that way, however. At 18, just after I left for college, I was essentially orphaned, and have had to go from no education or support to finding a purpose, supporting myself through a PhD, and developing four businesses to do that. I also recovered from an abusive marriage, and now have been happily married for 23 years, and in successful private practice since 1978. Before I could succeed, I needed to learn to support myself emotionally as well as financially. Having come from a difficult time, I appreciate my blessings, and I find that even the problems have become blessings. Today, I am privileged to use my experiences to work with clients every day to help them become more independent, self-actualizing, fulfilled, and successful.Read More »from Attitude: from Negative to Gratitude
- Tina Tessina | Love + Sex – Thu, Mar 29, 2012 6:29 PM EDT
Dear Dr. Romance:Read More »from Dear Dr. Romance: I Need Something to Break the Ice!
What to say in this situation? Okay, so there's this girl in my art class that I really want to talk to and get to know! Problem is she sits at a different table than me and I just plain don't know what to say to her! I'm a senior and she's a sophomore! What should I say to her to show her I'm interested in her? I haven't talked to her yet so I need something to break the ice!
To break the ice, break something! Break a colored pencil or a crayon or something, and then go ask her if you can borrow hers. Or, just say something nice about her artwork. Caution: Don't say anything at all about her body -- women don't take that as a compliment. Aside from physical characteristics, what interests you most about her? Have you heard something she said that intrigues you? Go ask her about it! If you focus on what's interesting about her (other than her body) you'll have a lot to talk about. Ask her how she's handling the current class assignment, or ask her for
Dear Dr. Romance:Read More »from Dear Dr. Romance: I Had to Pay for Everything
I recently met a divorced Russian woman with her teenage old son while on vacation, we spent a lot of time together. I enjoyed their company very much. We keep seeing each other and I recently spent 4 days at her lavish home in the United States. I was really suprised to see that I had to pay for pretty well everything we did while a guest at her home...groceries, gas for her car, restaurant etc...at one point I went to a kitchen store to get her better cooking ware and saw that when it was time to pay she moved away form the cashier, I called her in to pay for "her" items...she told me later that the fact I did not pay for her cooking ware had upset her very much.She tells me that in Russia men pay for everything for their wives (or woman) and that if I cared for her I would not be asking questions about paying...she is the "queen" and expect a man to be in charge of her and look after her needs at the utmost, nice gifts, business class travel etc...I explained to
- Tina Tessina | Love + Sex – Mon, Mar 19, 2012 9:28 PM EDT
(To see the accompanying video, click here.)Read More »from Dr. Romance Video: Resolving Mother & Sister Fights
Often, the same quirks, reactions and behaviors that create problems between you and the female members of your famiy wouldn't be a problem if they was someone else's family. If your best friend's mom or sister did the same thing, you'd probably let it go, gloss over it and focus on what you like about her. The same techniques will work with your own sisters and mom. Try pretending they're someone else's family and see if that puts things is perspective.
Use the following guidelines to let go of small things that might get in the way of enjoying the day.
To let go of small things:
1. Perspective-put them in perspective-will it be important an hour from now or fifteen minutes from now? Most of them won't be.
2. Self-understanding: If someone or something upsets you, don't exacerbate the problem by getting on your own case for reacting. Reactions are normal -- it's what we do with them that counts.
3. Rise above: If someone frightened you
In my counseling office, I see a lot of damage done because people don't know how to ask for what they want, or don't think it's OK. Not asking for what you want means you'll eventually resent somebody, and that leads to a lot of strife. So today, I thought I'd give some hints about how to ask for what you want. To really be successful, you need to understand the difference between asking and demanding, and how to approach different people.Read More »from Asking for What You Want
The Importance of Wanting
If you don't know what you want, you'll have trouble getting it and experience a life-long feeling of deprivation, disappointment, scarcity, and resentment. When you aren't able to express what you want clearly you'll have difficulty feeling generous about your partner's wants and needs.
In your relationship, asking for what you want in a helpful, non-threatening way helps both you and your partner understand each other. If you don't know what you want, you won't realize if you achieve it. If you don't know what your
- Tina Tessina | At Home – Thu, Mar 15, 2012 2:04 PM EDT
Dear Dr. Romance:Read More »from Dear Dr. Romance: Why Does He Want a Relationship?
I met this guy through a phone call, but he contacted or got my profile through a friend of mine and he is satisfied through that, and he is convinced that he could have a relationship with me, he needs my affection, fear of God, caring, true feeling of sharing, happiness, my ideology, and philosophy , what he desires most is true love, sincerity and serious relationship. he doesn't want a long courtship because he ready to get married to me, but am confused with the little information he has about, have not seen me face to face except the mail picture, but he promise to see me before the month runs out.
A phone call, profile and picture is not enough for him or you to decide a relationship is real. Anyone who says he wants to get married, sight unseen, could be dangerous. Be really careful about this man, and make sure if you do meet him that there are other people around you. This could be anything from a needy guy to a possible kidnapping. Please be
- Tina Tessina | Love + Sex – Mon, Mar 12, 2012 1:12 PM EDT
Dear Dr. Romance:Read More »from Dear Dr. Romance: Is it More Important to Be Balanced or Compatible?
What is more important in a relationship: being balanced or compatible?
Compatibility trumps balance, but balance may be an important component of compatibility. Compatibility means having similar core values, living together well and comfortably, and being able to talk through problems and reach a mutually satisfactory solution. Balance is similar to mutuality.
Differences can be frightening, and make resolving problems and conflicts with our intimate partners tense and difficult. In a relationship intimate enough that we feel a deep bonding or sense of commingled identity, it's easy to experience disagreements as threatening. Disagreeing seems to indicate we are separate individuals who perceive everything differently, and have different needs and wants, and we fear that we'll be rejected or disapproved of if we are different.
With good communication and negotiation skills, any couple can create satisfying, loving intimacy. When you and your
In my clinical experience, I've encountered many clients who are afraid to admit they're wrong. This comes from a culture of blaming and accusing-where one's early family may have picked a "culprit" when something went wrong, and focused on blame, rather than on fixing the problem and healing the hurt. People with such experiences approach every situation as if they're on trial, and they compulsively try to convince everyone they're not guilty. They have no patterns to follow for apology and forgiveness.Read More »from Apology and Forgiveness
Apology and subsequent forgiveness is stress-releasing, and healthy for the relationship, which turns out to be healthy for the participants in the relationship. Relationships which include healthy apology and forgiveness are less stressful, more supportive, and therefore healthier for the individuals within them.
Forgiveness is not easy. When you have truly forgiven, there is no lingering resentment, because the problem is solved. You have learned how to heal the hurt and prevent
- Tina Tessina | Love + Sex – Fri, Mar 9, 2012 7:05 PM EST
Dear Dr. Romance:Read More »from Dear Dr. Romance: How Can I Make My Family Understand I Love Him?
Ok so I am 19 and am kinda falling for a guy who is 20 years old than me. I am not asking your opinion on if it's wrong and nor do I want to hear "that's disgusting" my mother and father were 23 years apart in age. I like older guys cause I can relate to them better than guys my own age. Guys my own age don't really act mature enough or just don't have the personality I like. My problem is that my mother doesn't like the guy most of my family doesn't to be honest. I want to be in a relationship with him but he doesn't want to come between me and my family. I am glad he cares but there is just some things a family will have to get over and I believe this is one of them. I have know the guy for a good 3-4years and this feeling didn't start till i turned 17. He has been the best friend and has been there for me. We recently started secretly seeing each other but we aren't really in a relationship cause he doesn't want to take the step without being open. I just don't
- Tina Tessina | Love + Sex – Mon, Mar 5, 2012 6:00 PM EST
(View video here.)Read More »from Dr. Romance Video: How to Deal with an Annoying Boyfriend
Guys, especially younger ones, are well known for having 'courting behavior' and then relaxing into their old, slobby selves once you're committed. It's not that men are from Mars, women from Venus - it's more like all of us have grown up on different planets. Couples can get caught up in arguing about who's right, rather than focusing on what will work.
All of us have little traits that annoy our partners, and what is easy and fun for one may be intolerable and abhorrent to the other. These personal "quirks" can produce major struggles unless you discuss them and work together to minimize the annoyance factors. When you got together you found each other's traits refreshing and endearing; but they can become irritating when you're living with them on a 24/7 basis.
Quirks such as:
~a laugh or throat-clearing that grates on your nerves, ~differences in messiness or neatness, ~irritating jokes or stories, ~incompatible work schedules, ~different ideas about TV