Miss A Columnist

Melissa Curtin covers charity and style related events and loves to cover LA's best in beauty, fashion, and culture. She is an educator who recently returned to the classroom to motivate and inspire third graders at a private school in Pacific Palisades. In 2012, she launched an educational T-shirt line called Wear2learn. When she is not working out, hiking a canyon, or at the beach, she is writing. Her latest dream come true has been travel writing for Johnny Jet.

After teaching in the Maryland public school system for almost a decade, she left the conservative East Coast environment in Washington, DC for West Coast living. Eager for adventure, inner growth, and a new environment, she packed her car and took to the open road on her own landing in her new home - Hollywood, California. As a Connecticut Yankee at heart, she has now lived in Los Angeles for six years surrounded by the stars.

Melissa graduated from Gettysburg College with a double major in psychology and art history. Soon after, she earned a Master's Degree in education. Melissa traveled around the world on Semester at Sea, and earned a Fulbright Scholarship which enabled her to teach in England. A lust for travel and learning has fueled her globe trotting ever since. Some of her favorite destinations are Costa Rica, Thailand, Fiji, Morocco, Vietnam, Belgium, Italy, Sicily, Prague, Egypt, Australia, Greece, and Paris.

Los Angeles has won over her heart. She is constantly taking advantage of what LA LA Land has to offer - new boutiques and restaurants, finding great deals, discovering new hikes and beaches, music, and West Coast fashion.

Review Of The I Factor By Paul N. Weinberg And Dr. Susan A. Dyer

The I Factor Cover 3D Lo

(Photo Credit: Amazon)

Maybe you have found the one. Maybe you haven’t. Maybe you just want to be happy. Relationships are not easy, whether you are married, dating, or single. What we all crave, I believe, is to feel understood and loved. The I Factor is full of wisdom about how to forge meaningful connections in short, easy to read guides. What better book to share with your partner or a friend on Valentine’s Day to help someone maintain a strong bond or move towards a deeper connection?

The I Factor is arranged around certain themes: intimacy fundamentals, intimacy and feelings, intimacy and you, intimacy and communication, intimacy and conflict, and the challenges of intimacy, as well as intimacy over time.  The book shares helpful and hopeful insights on how to create a lasting partnership. Each page includes a quick quote and cartoon with a brief excerpt on intimacy.  Some of my favorite reminders are the following:

Intimacy is about saying what you feel, not what you think. I use this technique in third grade. You should always express your feelings with “I feel ______,” rather than “You are…..”

Intimacy is a balance between connectedness and separateness Accepting and respecting each other’s differences and need for autonomy and attachment without either of you pushing away or chasing after the other is necessary.

Intimacy is a mirror which you see yourself more completely.  Your partner can make you aware of sides of yourself you may not be able to see, either directly or indirectly, and you can trust that there may be some self truth and use it as an opportunity for growth. “The point of intimacy is to allow your partner to see all of you, not just the parts you view as positive, appealing, or acceptable.”

the bliss factor

(Photo Credit: The Bliss Factor)

Your partner is not responsible for fulfilling all of your emotional needs in a relationship.  It is your responsibility to share your needs with your partner and it is your partner’s choice whether or not to fulfill them.  Ultimately, you must decide if enough of your needs are being met to warrant staying in the relationship.

The most surprising part of the book to me is that it is written by a divorced couple after their divorce. Dr. Susan A. Dyer is a licensed psychologist and Paul N. Weinberg, who I met out one night with his new wife, is a serial entrepreneur known for his book The Simple Solution to Rubik’s Cube, which sold over six million copies in 1981.

Strengthen your own personal journey or your partner or friend’s personal relationships by reading The I Factor. This book reinforces what is really important in life. To learn more, visit the website.

The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image.  Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. – Thomas Merton

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