Amy Barraj is a resident of Loudoun County and a self-described Romance Specialist.Amy currently pursues her passion for educating women about romance-enhancing products through in-home Passion Parties that are hugely entertaining. She has a loyal and growing fan-base of women throughout Northern Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia who have benefited from her tips. Amy continues to empower women from the bedroom to the bank!
All opinions from Guru experts are based on available and presented information. The expressed opinions are not a substitute for medical or psychological care and should not be viewed as such.
No spoilers for those of you who haven’t yet read the books. (Are there any of you out there?!) The author is not likely to win any prizes for prose. I’ve heard comparisons to the Twilight Series. The story is salacious and shocking. The plot is preposterous at times, and phrases are repeated so frequently that I found myself rolling my eyes more than the characters themselves. And while some have likened the story of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele to pornography, this book is a literary alternative to visual and exploitive fare. Perhaps one of the reasons for the novel’s popularity is that Anastasia is our narrator, and her character is never reduced to a sexual object.
The main character, Christian Grey, is a bit of a stalker. He’s manipulative and controlling. He suffers from low self esteem, he’s secretive, and there’s little conversation. Still, Ana finds her voice, and, ultimately, takes control. They negotiate their way through this relationship. Protecting, respecting, not completely taking her power away, but instead playing around the edge of taking her control away is how Christian wins Ana over. And since women love erotica more than visual images because we can use our imaginations, the novels continue to fly off the shelves.
Romance Guru: Online dating sites can be daunting, but with a little caution and an armload of honesty, you can truly expect lots of dating opportunities, and possible love connections. Take it from me.........I am a Match.com success story myself!
While it's true that some men do not always portray themselves as they should, it's usually easy to spot the cheater-cheater-pumpkin eaters. The red flags are fairly obvious. Trust your instincts! There are even companies that for a small fee will run background checks for you.
This difference is a byproduct of our evolution. (It's that Mars/Venus thing, honestly!) As "gatherers," our prehistoric female ancestors survived by multitasking — tending to the children, stoking the fire, and developing social bonds with other women all at once. We thrived by being mentally complex. Don't we still do that today? Men, meanwhile, were the "hunters," focused on a single goal — such as driving the bison into the ravine, killing it, and bringing it home. Thinking about anything else could have been a fatal distraction.
●Remember all the hugging, touching, and kissing that used to come eff ortlessly to your relationship? The reality is that we all crave aff ection, no matter how long we’ve been together. Physical contact, without the expectation of sex, is something that we all, particularly women, crave. Aff ectionate touching triggers the release of Oxytocin, the calming, stress fi ghting, and bond-building hormone that’s also released during contact between a mother and her infant. Touch, cuddle, and kiss your partner--oft en! The hormones released help us bond with each other and reduce stress.
●Decide early how much money you want to spend this holiday season. Less to spend? Don’t add the stress of debt to your relationships. Make romantic coupons good for whatever inspires you and your loved one. Write a check for one million kisses. Give your honey a lottery ticket with a note: “I hit the jackpot when IAM Love IDEAS I married you.” On strips of paper, write 100 reasons why you love your partner. Wrap them up in a gift box.
Romance Guru: I can appreciate how you must feel, and although you didn't share with me your own background (do you work outside the home yourself, have children, etc.), there is a disconnect that has you feeling the way you do. I want to, at the very least, validate your feelings.