partseven“She said, “It grieves me so to see you in such pain.
I wish there was something I could do to make you smile again”…”

Life is a do-it-yourself project, but it’s much easier if you have a helping hand. A true partner can help smooth out rough roads. When your partner is down in the dumps, lift him or her up. Step up and simply “be there.” Smiles will follow. Here are five tips on ways to please your lover through the art of pleasing:

31) Give a gift with no purpose. No strings attached forms the greatest attachment.
32) Unconditional love is just that. When you volunteer to help rather than fulfil a task when asked, the appreciation will be manifold.
33) Never, ever take another person’s problems personally. When your partner has a need and legitimately needs help, the worst thing you can do is unload on that person because you have to sacrifice time or expense to help out. If you truly can’t accommodate a request, explain it in a rational matter.
34) Advice can be avarice if unsolicited. Make sure you aren’t telling someone what to do because you don’t have the time to help them out.
35) Sometimes less words are more. Hugs and a tender touch speaks volumes. People are complex creatures. One reason a person loves his or her pet dog is because the animal has no agenda but love. It can’t speak, give advice, or run errands. It can only love. When your partner is in dire need, be a simple creature of God and provide uncomplicated support. Trust and love are also key foundations in Dating for Life.


part6“Furthermore I hope my meaning won’t be lost or misconstrued…”

Ask many couples that have celebrated their golden anniversary how they kept their marriage vibrant, and the will tell you that they never stopped dating.  Sometimes they will say that they make each other laugh. Respect is a big value too, but I would suggest that the art of communication is the thread holding all of these wonderful attributes together. Here are five tips on ways to please your lover through the art of communication:

26)  Good communication begins with attentive listening. You can never reply accurately to anyone if you didn’t hear them correctly from the start.

27)  Learn to “hear between the lines.” Sometimes it’s not what is being said, but what is not being said. But clarify what you think to be true. Never assume what you are interpreting to be true. Clarify.

28)  Always speak honestly, with no underlying agenda.  Manipulation never works in the end. Neither does “Womanipulation.”

29)  Any good communication is the spoken word because it is interactive. Face-to-face is always best because all reactions can be gauged. SKYPE or FACETIME is a near second. Telephone communication is a poor third, but certainly infinitely better than e-mails, which are one-way communication. Texting is a horrible form of communication except for relaying facts, locations, confirming appointments etc.

30)  After a meaningful exchange, whether happy, sad, pragmatic, romantic etc, it is always good to end a conversation with a wrap up that confirms both party’s understanding and possible follow-up plan. Good communication is the thread that ties together any two people: siblings, parent/child, friends, colleagues or soul mates.  It is also the foundation for  Dating for Life.


part5“It’s really not my habit to intrude…”

The first line, second verse of Paul Simon’s great song sends a message. Strong partners let each other stand on their own. Offer help when asked or it isn’t received as anything but imposing.  Dating for Life is about enjoying each day in the great date with life. Whether you are on a first date or entering your 25th year of marriage, here are some ways to be a partner without imposing. Here are the fifth five of fifty pointers on how you can make things special in your ANY relationship.

21)   Never date someone with the idea that you are eventually going to change him or her. It won’t work. You should think more how you can adapt to make the relationship work, assuming we are talking about harmless quirks and not mean-spirited behavior.

22)  To pry is to exhibit mistrust. You don’t build a bond in any relationship by second-guessing your colleague, date, or life-long partner.

23)  Care from afar. Be there to lend support, but don’t orchestrate someone else’s life.  This also applies to raising children. The child becomes strong with the establishing of core values and guidance, but not through the Tiger Mom syndrome.

24)  The best relationship is when two people have their own lives, but dove-tail continuously throughout the day via mutual interests, i.e. children, hobbies, home management, even work. You can’t ever live someone else’s life and have a life of your own. Be yourself by self-actualizing and you become a strong, better partner.

25)  Movies and television shows portray intruders as home invaders and psychopaths. Ironically, one opposite word to “intrude” is “please.”  Keep this in mind when you pursue a relationship that is Dating for Life.


fiftyways“I’d like to help you in your struggle to be free…”

The third line of Paul Simon’s great song sometimes is telling. How does one help another?  Dating for Life is about enjoying the day, and enjoying the date. Whether you are on a first date or entering your 25th year of marriage, here are some ways to help your partner for the day (and date) be free. Here are the fourth five of fifty pointers on how you can make things special in your ANY relationship.

16)  Being supportive rather than critical.  Most partners want to be heard rather than helped.  Be a good listener and ask what you can do to help rather than first offering help.

17)  How do you start your day with a significant other?  Do you wish your partner a wonderful day and tell them how much you appreciate him or her, or do you just say, “See you later” or even worse, “good-bye.”

18)  How to you communicate with your partner through the day?  Do you send functional e-mails or texts only (or not at all) or do you send some form of correspondence that is uplifting and supportive?

19)  When you first get back together, after a prior date, or after a being apart for just a day, do you express happiness to see the other or do you use your partner to unload about your problems of the day?

20)     When it’s time to say good-night, and this means either at the door of your date’s home, or side-by-side on the pillow, do you express gratitude?  Here’s a hint:  ALWAYS tell your date (and partner) that you had a nice date at the end of the evening. You’ll be amazed how well this works to ending any day on a supportive, positive note.  You’ll find that you definitely help your partner in his or her “struggle to be free.”  Freedom is empowerment. Be supportive!



“The answer is easy if you take it logically…”

The second line of Paul Simon’s great song also paves the way. Think about how you would like to be treated. Would you want a friend to leave you hanging? Of course not! The Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is infallible logic to dating.  Dating for Life is about enjoying the day and enjoying the date. Here are the third five of fifty pointers on how you can make things special in your ANY relationship.

 11. Do your homework.  If this is a first date, there is this incredible thing called “The Internet” and thanks to Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or whatever other sources you have access to, you can learn a great deal about your date and what he/she likes and dislikes in advance.

12. In advance, think of several interesting topics of discussion as it relates to your date, to your event, or mutual connections. Winging it works sometimes, but never run out of things to talk about.

13. Even more important, however, is think about how to be a good interviewer. If you watch the best emcees on TV, they engage with the guests by asking relevant questions and let the guest talk. Poor emcees tend to stop the flow by trying to crack a joke, and often the interview never gets back on track. For example, have you noticed how talk show formats are increasingly using informal couches versus a set design where the interviewer sits behind a desk?  There’s a reason—to make the interviewee feel more comfortable

14. People who ask questions only so that they can answer them are a turn-off. Always ask open-ended questions that allow your date to participate fully.

15. It’s easy to engage in a conversation by using open-ended questions in any type of scenario. “How do you like living in Chicago?” is an open-ended question that will normally yield a more detailed response. “Do you like Chicago?” more than likely solicit a “Yes” or “No” response. Be wary of asking questions like “Give me five reasons why you like Chicago” because it can be awkward for some dates as they may feel that they are being put on the spot. The goal of engaging conversation is engagement, not putting someone under a spotlight.


beatwoman“The problem is all inside your head, she said to me…”

The first line of Paul Simon’s great song sometimes says it all. Human beings are notorious at making mountains out of molehills. It doesn’t matter if your date will be mundane or majestic (and expensive.) You can have a fabulous time walking in the park and a bad time at an expensive opera—it truly depends on where you and your date’s mindsets are. Setting low expectations but high hopes leaves you open to experience something new and rewarding, regardless if your date is a flop, fun, or fantastic.  Dating for Life is about enjoying the day, and enjoying the date. Here are the second five of fifty pointers on how you can make things special in your ANY relationship.

6) Begin by being the good guy. You gain the respect of another by exhibiting chivalry. Courtesy and politeness are vastly underrated.  This doesn’t compromise your “cool.” Just as you can’t make someone love you, neither can you put on your “cool.” Act naturally, but be a good guy. The rest will follow.

7) Focus more on learning about the other. Your life is secondary for the moment. The Golden Rule applies in all aspects of dating:  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you do all the talking, and most of it is about you, ask yourself, would you appreciate this if the other person did that to you?

8) Be a planner.  The worst thing is to “hang out” or invite someone out and the day of the event just “show up” and say “whassup?”  Would you do this for a job interview?  I don’t think so.

9)  Be fun because that’s the way to go through life anyway.  Think about it—every day is a gift.  Enjoy your date with life whomever you are with.

10) Never set yourself up to be passive aggressive.  What do I mean?  Those with deep memories sometimes conjure up the past and screw up the present. Don’t keep tabs on what your date does and doesn’t do right. Be in the moment and ENJOY your day regardless.  You can always review after the fact whether the experience was worth another date, but at least you didn’t screw up the time you spent together.  Trust me—time is prescious.


fiftyways“The problem is all inside your head, she said to me.
The answer is easy if you take it logically.
I’d like to help you in your struggle how to please
There must be fifty ways to please your lover.”

Enough has been written about how to leave your lover. I prefer to write about how to please your lover. Done right, love is an endless highway. Done wrong, it can go careening off the road. Dating for Life isn’t about putting a romance on cruise control, but carefully navigating each and every peak and valley, twist and turn, and even making a smooth ride down a long straightaway pleasurable. Here are the first five of fifty pointers on how you can make things special in your special relationship.

1)    Whether you’ve known your date for forty minutes or forty years, remember that you can enjoy yourselves whether you go for a walk in the park, or go to Park Avenue. The Greek original of the word “Date” is didonal, which means “to give.” When you invite anyone out, it behooves you to make sure you try to show that person a good time.

2)    If you want your date to have a good time, choose an activity of mutual interest. Picking activities that only you like to do assures that you’re not going to like the relationship that evolves.

3)    Be diplomatically honest with your date. Holding back with the truth sets yourself up to be passive aggressive down the road on the same issue. But lack of tact in telling the truth guarantees either an argument or a short-lived relationship.

4)    Set low expectations but high hopes for every date. You’re bound to be pleasantly surprised with the results. Never set a standard for a date or for a partner that is so high that your date can only “break even” against your expectations. You don’t want to lead a life filled with disappointments.

5)    Be open to learn and grow. If you are on a first date, and you chose an activity that you and your date want to do, with low expectations, then enjoy yourself and see what you can learn from the other. God gave you two ears and one mouth, so listen and learn from your date. Lifelong couples will tell you that they never cease to be pleasantly surprised by what they learn from each other.


lovehonorTrite, old-fashioned lines in a wedding ceremony? Don’t bet on it.

Love. Love is love.  There is no other word in the English language that can properly describe it. Authors have written countless similes and metaphors to describe love, but simply put, there is no other word for “love” than LOVE.  But does love conquer all, as the saying goes?  It should and it could, but it doesn’t. Love isn’t a principle; love is an emotion, a state of being. In religions, love can even mean the embodiment of God.  There have even been a “manuals” written for LOVE. Buddhists have their Tripiṭaka; Muslims have the Quran; Jews have the Torah; Christians have the Bible (New Testament teachings of Jesus.)  Yet, the adherence to LOVE in each of these scriptures varies greatly.  Why?  Perhaps because the writings were still written by mortal man.

Honor. There are abundant synonyms to the word HONOR, ranging from deify and glorify to praise, canonize, or exalt. Honor is closely related to honesty and integrity. To establish any kind of relationship, it helps if you love or at least like the person. But it matters more that you give honor. No relationship can be built upon of foundation of mistrust and deceit. Therefore, trust comes from honor.

Cherish.  There are also abundant synonyms to the word CHERISH, ranging from appreciate and treasure, to encourage and nourish. To be a true partner, it is not enough to simply honor another.  Partnerships of any kind require a mutually beneficial support. It is not enough simply care for another person without telling him or her that they matter and be there for them. Thankfulness comes from being cherished.

Forgive.  “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” Alexander Pope, a noted 18th century poet certainly had the insight to understand the mortal condition. Perhaps we are but spirits put onto Earth to understand the human condition, but human we are.  As many scriptures strongly note, we are born into sin. In each individual’s quest to live a more perfect life, simply put, he or she are still bound to “screw up.” That is our nature. The question becomes how to rectify the situation?  Absolution is the only practical solution. It’s not a “get out of jail free” card, but is certainly a way to “reboot” from a grievance and move on.

LOVE, HONOR, CHERISH AND FORGIVE. What matters most in these simple words?  That they are verbs, not nouns.  Put them to use in any relationship you have. You will lead a better life.


fourcommAsk any couple that has been together for a while, and they will tell you that one of the secrets is their ability to communicate.  And for each couple, communications will work in many different ways.  Have you ever seen some couples who seem like they are arguing, but in reality are speaking directly?  There is a huge difference, even though it’s a very fine line.  This type of communication may work well for some personality types, but not for others.

Some couples remain silent when dealing with turmoil.  Although it is true that sometimes it’s better to let the dust settle on a potential argument rather than face the problem when emotions are heated, the reality is that “Silence is NOT Golden” when it comes to conflict resolution.  In fact, the silent treatment can break down a relationship faster than anger, which if used constructively will bring about positive change.

Other couples air their differences out in public.  Not a good idea, as it is not only uncomfortable to others, but often forces people to take sides and the focus of the original disagreement is lost.

Let’s look at origins of the word “Communicate.” The Latin word “Communis” means “Common.” The Ancient Greek term “Com” means “With.” “Communicare” in French means “To Share.”  In other words, when you communicate with anyone, the goal is to be with and share, or to find things in common. The next time you have a disagreement with anyone, remember that what is most important is to openly listen to what the person is trying to say, watch the body language, think about what has not been said, and carefully share your thoughts in a considerate reply.  Sticks and stones will break your bones, but poorly chosen words can elevate a misunderstanding to the point of irrationality too. The goal is to find common ground, not to draw lines in the sand.


loveandpartneringNetworlding is a process originally developed by Melissa Giovagnoli over fourteen years ago.  It enables any two people to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships for transformational opportunities. The Networlding methodology has been utilized by many Fortune 500 companies as a teaching tool to get its own employees to better engage with one another. Melissa is the author and/or co-author of 15 books, five that have been on best-seller lists.

Dating for Life is a process developed by Craig Stuart Wilson only two years ago. It enables any two people to cultivate a sustainable relationship. It wasn’t my primary business, nor my intent to radically change the world.  To my pleasant surprise, however, this process has helped a great many people in my professional and private world.

Both of our books incorporate the Golden Rule, which is one of the cornerstones of mankind.  With the complicated world we live in, people often forget that a relationship isn’t built on technology, data, or speed.  It is hand-crafted with old-fashioned values of trust, kindness, and chivalry. Through these timeless values evolves friendship and love.  Five years ago Melissa Giovagnoli married Craig Stuart Wilson five years ago, on September 5, 2009 and became Melissa G. Wilson. I am here to say that for the past seven years we never stopped Dating for Life, for every night when our heads hit the pillow, I thank her for another wonderful date. And she truly embraces her Networlding methodology, for we indeed have developed a relationship that has been more than mutually beneficial and certainly the transformational opportunity of my life.

Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart.