Blog Posts by Tina Tessina

  • Surviving Loss and Thriving Again

    None of us wants to think about it, but the standard definition of a totally successful relationship is the old, traditional "til death do us part." Any time we love, whether it's a life partner, a dear friend, a child, a sibling, a parent or even a beloved pet, we are risking the loss of that love.

    When you're happy with someone, you often don't think about your happiness or even fully realize it. You may take your contentment for granted. You watch couples around you struggle, or even go through your own struggles, and realize you're lucky to have a successful partnership, but you don't dwell on it.

    Then comes the tragic event, and the world turns upside-down. If it's a long illness, the support system your partner used to be is gone, and you are required to be the support system. All the little things you took for granted become crystal clear in their absence. If the death is sudden (i.e. auto accident, brain aneurism) you go into shock at first, and go through the necessary

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  • Emotional Hygiene

    Recently, I had a minor but difficult surgical procedure to lance an abscess on my leg. It was very painful, and while I recovered physically pretty quickly, I had some Post -traumatic stress reactions-bad dreams, flashbacks, and upset-after my recovery. I had to acknowledge my upset and feelings, and let them out before the stress reactions subsided. I often help my clients do this, too, not only with PTSD from shocking or painful experiences, but also with grief and old memories.

    Life is not easy, and we often encounter problems and difficulties that require us to pay attention to our own feelings. Relationships, too, whether with family, spouses and partners, friends or even colleagues, can create emotional fallout that we need to take care of.

    In addition, if we want to maintain emotional health and balance; create as much happiness as possible in life; and maintain what the twelve-step programs call serenity, or inner peace; our emotions require care. I call this ongoing,

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  • Don’t Panic!

    There is always something in the news or on TV to scare us. Hysterical articles in the media sell papers, and attract eyeballs to websites, but are usually exaggerating the facts. If you listen without evaluating what you're being told, it's easy to become frightened. There's a reason why I don't usually waste time and energy on panic and drama.

    In my office, I see the negative results of panic every day. People get upset, they're afraid of emotional consequences, and they overreact, which can actually create the consequences they fear. Panic is an overreaction to a real (or even imagined) problem. Frightening yourself beyond the real need to deal with a problem puts your body into "fight or flight" mode-as though your life were immediately threatened. Emotional panic can create a shutdown of feelings-so you're in a state of shock. In this state , you cannot think clearly, or make good responses, choices and decisions. In panic, we do not retain information, absorb what we hear, or

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  • Detox Your Life

    Many of my clients come in with complaints about personal habits that feel toxic in their lives. Just as you can detox your body when you're feeling sluggish, it's also possible to detox your emotional life. Here are some of the most common ways your life can back up on you, and how to handle it.

    1. Frequently late

    The cure to lateness is twofold: learn to estimate time better, and get more organized, so you are not delayed by looking for last minute items. Perhaps the most important reason to cure yourself of lateness is that it is rude to others, and costs you their good opinion. If your partner is late, stop waiting! Set a reasonable grace period (eg:15 minutes) and then leave without the other person, leaving a note about how to meet you wherever you're going. That way, you are not forced to operate on the other person's time schedule. You'll be surprised at how quickly he or she will learn to be on time.

    2. Often angry or irritated

    Being easily angered or irritated is a great

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  • User Post: Dating Guidelines for Single Parents

    As a single parent, you probably have so little free time that dating seems an impossible task. Yet, single parents are dating in unprecedented numbers, so if you're looking for another "head of household" to date, you'll find one.

    As a responsible parent, you'll want to be very cautious about whom you date and eventually bring home for the safety and well-being of your child(ren). You may feel guilty or unsure about whether dating is OK. Of course it is, as long as you do it responsibly, and your children are not disrupted by your dating.

    Single parent dating involves finding a quality person you like, who likes you, and who is comfortable with your children. These extra dynamics can be frustrating, but should not be ignored or overlooked. Pressuring your children to like your date and going too fast for them to get comfortable with the situation, will create unnecessary trouble. This article presents some guidelines to help you, your children and your new date be more comfortable,

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  • Dear Dr. Romance: How Do I Flirt to Grab a Guy's Attention?

    Dear Dr. Romance:

    I'd like to learn something flirty and funny that will grab a guys attention!?

    I am going bowling with my crush and a group of friends (I never talk to my crush so this is huge!) and I am trying to think of some cute flirty things to say! Any suggestions? Examples please :) -Like let's say I make a mistake and get a gutterball or fall or something what is something flirty and cute I can say? - Or lets say he is pretty good at bowling- whats a good cute comment?! Stuff like that :)

    Dear Reader:

    Guys like to feel competent, so congratulationg him on his bowling skill is great. Don't try too hard to be flirty and funny -- you could easily come off silly. Instead, make eye contact, respond to what he's saying or doing, and ask him for help with your bowling. You don't need to create a false personality to attract him. You want him attracted to you, as you are. Just look good (but not slutty) and be alert to whatever he's saying and doing. "Turn on Your Charm" has more

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  • Dr. Romance Video: Repairing a Dysfunctional Mother/Daughter Relationship

    (Watch the video here.)

    When you hit your teens you and your mom had a bad time, and you still are. Maybe she's not the mother you always wanted, but she's yours. How do you bury the hatchet and repair your connection? This will also be helpful for moms trying to repair relationships with daughters. You may never be best friends, but you can learn to appreciate each other and get along.

    As the daughter of a mom who was seriously depressed (which I only understood when I grew up) I know it can be difficult to get along. Some moms are easy to be around, and others are more difficult. It's not that your mom's a bad person, others may get along with her fine, but you may have to work a little bit more to understand what she means, to not take what she says the wrong way,or use a little more patience around her, because your mom's personality or style is quite different from yours. It's worth the work, because your differences will stretch you a bit, and enrich your life and understanding

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  • Creating Unconditional Love

    Love, commitment and relationships seem to be in disfavor these days. I'm seeing a lot of articles and TV shows saying love doesn't last, so why bother. But, I believe that all of us want to be loved, and I know from experience that a relationship can work, and that a great partnership is a joy not to be missed. A lot of people come into my office searching for love, especially unconditional love.

    I tell them "be careful what you want." Unconditional love can be interpreted to mean "You can be abusive to me, you can cheat on me, and I still have to love you." If you want really unconditional love, you might want to invest in a puppy or give your mom a call. But, if unconditional love is interpreted as "uncritical love" or "accepting love" it is attainable. What we really long for is the security of knowing that we'll be loved in spite of our shortcomings and mistakes. When a couple builds a successful working partnership in which each person feels supported and respected by the other

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  • Dr. Romance Says: Lighten Up: Cures for Marital Boredom

    Dr. Romance writes:

    The old folk songs say it:

    Oh, love is handsome, love is fine
    Love is a jewel when it is new;

    But when love's old, it waxes cold

    And fades away, like morning dew.

    Folk wisdom says it: If newlyweds put a penny in a jar for every time they make love in the first year, and take one out for every time after that, the jar will never be empty.

    Although most of us hope for our love to last forever, studies show that many couples who have been married for several years actually feel quite hopeless about keeping love alive, or at best resigned to boredom.

    The majority expectation is that sexual excitement will fade, and the best we can hope for is fondness and affection, and it is this belief that often underlies cheating, affairs and even leaving a spouse for a new, often younger version.

    When couples know how to:

    ~enjoy sex with each other rather than be tempted by others,
    ~be open and honest with each other about sexual dissatisfactions, attractions, and other

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  • Dear Dr. Romance: What is Wrong with Me?

    Dear Dr. Romance:

    What is wrong with me? Angry, sad, blah? It's 5 am and I'm still awake. I'm 29, single (I don't mind), I go to school, an ok job, pets. I'm not starving, as long at there's a roof over my head i'm good to go. So many things I really want to do. I get into it then I don't feel like it and do nothing. I sometimes feel a little bit of despair or sadness or anger not too often but enough. Then I go back to being 'ok' and all gung-ho about the future. Gosh, I have so much to write and it never comes out right. I'm comfy in my body so it's not a weight issue. I don't feel like praying or doing homework. I want so many things. I've mentioned a little bit to a family member and it was embarrassing. I don't want their answers either. I don't know why, I just don't. Stranger still is deep down inside the answer or remedy scares me. I don't want an answer. I feel embarrassed just typing all of this. What the hell is wrong with me? I can't be depressed, I don't feel I have

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