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To go, or Not To Go Alone. That is the question!

This blog post was written by guest blogger, Bobbe White. Bobbe White is a nationally recognized expert speaker and author on humor and laughter therapy. She has been featured in the New York Times, Family Circle, First Magazine, and Newsweek Japan, on “Laughter as a current trend in the workplace.” White is author of two books, Life in the Laugh Lane and If Stress is Garbage, I’ve ‘Bin’ There, Recycle That! She is co-author of Chicken Soup for the Wine Lovers SoulThe Ultimate Garden and Fantastic Customer Service. Her work in progress is titled, I’m So Tired, My eyePods Are Puffy!  Bobbe is president and founder of Try Laughter! Inc., a speaking and training group. Bobbe resides in Quincy, IL, with her husband, Jeff, and Lily White, the black Lab, and occasional appearances of their college kids, Korey and Nick. She is a Certified Laughter Leader with the World Laughter Tour, Inc. (Seriously!) Visit her website at: www.trylaughter.com.

Please note that the opinions presented in the article are that of the author and not necessarily the opinions of RHN. RHN chooses to publish articles and share individual sites to evoke discussion and show all options, ideas and beliefs.

Oddly enough, in a world where jokes are plentiful on the topic, the BEST advice I’ve ever received came from my mother-in-law. My husband’s family members have very strong personalities. All 6 siblings, plus parents, can make for a formidable situation. They are strong, both physically, with determination that would make a bloodhound on a scent, quiver. Add me to the mix, a passive, non-confrontational species, who made a great doormat in the early years of our relationship. Most memorable are the times when I wanted to go somewhere that Jeff did not. Can you say, “Beg, plead, whine, and finally pity and pout”?

But, of course, you need an example. In college, my favorite rock band, Jethro Tull, was coming to our campus. I wanted to go soooooooo badly. Jeff did not. End of conversation. Or so I thought. On the day before the concert, a buddy, at Bingo’s bar happy hour, just happened to have an extra ticket. Guess who ended up going? Bingo! I was mad for 17 years. Maybe longer. Then I got the best words of wisdom ever, from Jeff’s mom.   “If you don’t do something just because he doesn’t want to, you’re going to miss a lot in life.”  That statement was life changing for me. It took a while to implement thought to action, but with practice, I became quite adept at the idea.

In our relationship, I first weigh the importance of the situation, before making the decision to go alone or go at all.  Once in a while, I demand (!) a command performance by Jeff. This would be something of great importance to me and to the others involved. This is not often, however. When you think hard about it, there are more optional outings in our lives than required ones. Who ever said that a relationship requires us to do everything together was not married to this man of mine! We are more interesting to each other if we sometimes have separate adventures. And did I mention the feeling of independence I developed? Talk about improved self-confidence! Off the charts. Depending on my schedule, there are times where I find certain activities preferable to do solo. Sometimes it’s travel, or a movie, or a play, or a party. It is now much easier for me to walk in a room alone and not feel embarrassed.  This idea of doing what you want, even if it means alone (and the situation is safe, of course) is not just for marriage. It can be for any relationship.  And for the record, I finally got to see Jethro Tull in concert. Twenty-seven (27!) years later. Now, get going…or you might miss the show!

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