Helen and Mack: Innocent Man and Money Trouble

Background: Helen and Mack dated for 18 months prior to becoming engaged.  When Helen came to me with her crisis, their wedding was in 2 months and plans were well underway for a sumptuous wedding with 300 people expected to attend.  Helen was accustomed to the finer things in life and her family was considered wealthy by most people’s standards. Helen’s father recently died and her mother was head of the family, but she was not a hands on administrator and had been quickly taken advantage of by her financial managers.  The families fortune had been significantly diminished as a result, as Helen had just found this out. The wedding will be the last extravagance Helen will receive from her family.

Mack is from humble circumstances and, though he does care for Helen and sincerely wishes to marry her, he is also expecting financial benefits from Helen’s family to flow his way after the marriage.  Mack is a good man and Helen’s family liked him; he made a good living as a respectable professional, but not nearly enough to maintain Helen in the manner to which she had been accustomed all her life. Helen was expecting considerable financial support from her family because she knew they knew Mack could not provide at the level the family’s social circle required, and her father had always assured her of such help when she married.  Her father expected to likely have to provide such support for Helen as her dating pool was limited due to their unusually high level economic and social status (and the fact that Helen was not a pretty woman).



Problem: Helen was not sure Mack would still want to marry her if she would not be receiving significant funds from her family after their wedding. This is because she felt Mack would feel pressured to provide at a level he could not and would be afraid to enter into the marriage. Helen also was concerned that she would have a difficult time adjusting to more modest circumstances and might come to resent Mack’s inability to provide her the luxuries she prefers.  She was overwhelmed by the wedding plans, was still grieving the loss of her father, and the reality of the misfortune her family has suffered – in addition to her fears about Mack and her future with – or without – him. She felt, under the circumstances, she could not think straight and asked what she should do to be fair to both herself and to Mack?

Dr. Vaune’s Advice:  Helen might not be ‘a looker’ but she is self aware enough to recognize when she needs help and wise enough to ask for help when she needs it. So, at our first session, I explained to Helen that she needed to understand that her grief, for both losses, would take time to mellow and come to terms with; meanwhile she should allow herself time to feel it and process it on a daily basis.

Second, Helen was reminded that planning a wedding is, of course, stressful and demanding, especially as the big day nears. This stress, too, needed to be recognized and managed throughout each day. I gave her some simple techniques for managing both her grief and stress which she can put into practice under almost any circumstance, to allow the energy to flow out and away from her, while giving it all the respect it is due.  

Third, I reminded her that she must first get clear within herself about what she truly needs from Mack and whether or not he can reliably supply that to her.

Fourth, I asked her, if she had met Mack and she had had no expectation of family, or even his financial support, would she still want to be his life partner and wife? That was the priority question, so I suggested she give that some serious consideration. She later replied she would still want Mack, even if money were not an issue.

So, the next hurdle involved getting her and Mack to discuss the new reality of circumstance and sort out how much, if at all, they would let it impact their relationship.  Mack would need to reflect on his ability to provide and whether or not he could manage his ego and insecurity, if any, about Helen feeling short changed. Helen would need to reflect on her materialism expectations and decide whether or not she could maturely embrace the required changes life was thrusting upon her. To facilitate their discussion I suggested they use the book, The Life Mate Questions, by Cathleen Carr, to make sure they talked about the various topics, with specific questions, that their new circumstances demanded.

No matter what, Helen’s lifestyle was going to change and require her to accept that reality and adjust her expectations.  It would be up to her to accept this challenge with grace and gratefulness for all she has had – or not. Mack was being given the opportunity to determine if he really wanted Helen, with or without her family’s deep pockets and social connections that would probably disintegrate over time.  Both of these issues would be profoundly important for both these individuals to have sorted within themselves and between one another, prior to saying, “I do.”

They did the self reflection and the questioning of one another even while the wedding plans continued to unfold.  Now, they are living together happily as husband and wife.

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*Disclaimer: These are real problems, but fake names.

What are your thoughts on this matter?



20 Best Dating Questions

After this brief but important introduction, I will quickly go over the list, without much embellishment, then afterwards, I will go over best practices for using the list.  I plan to do a video presentation of this material so check the Metaphysics Today YouTube channel for the video of this list which will include a little more explanatory content. 

Let me open by saying this content if for quality people looking for quality relationships.  This dating advice can apply to straight or gay folks.  It also applies to people who are dating over 40 as well as people who have previously been married. It is not about how you like to do it or with which gender you are attracted to for love or how old or ‘around the block’ you are.  These are about the heart and mind, and enduring, potentially deeply fulfilling, quality romantic, life mate level relationships.

If you are the type (or are experimenting with being the type) of person who just desires lusty, crusty couplings, then this  message is not for you. However, If you are even the slightest bit interested in marrying someday, especially to start a family, you would be wise to take your dating time seriously.  Why? Because people can be upset and damaged by bad non committed relationships arguably just as deeply as by committed relationships gone sour. Why let unworthy people mess you up even before you meet your life mate?  

With the prevalence of incurable venereal diseases, curable but damaging venereal diseases, and seemingly more and more crazy people – what with all the prescribed and non-prescribed medications people take these days – roaming the earth, and the high cost of dating and living- why expose yourself to so much *hit when there is only a limited amount of shinola out there for you?

Here I will teach you how to quickly screen and move on from obvious from the gate,  ‘go nowhere’ potential couplings, so you can save your heart, mind, and body from the life grinding sludge heap of junk you will otherwise expose yourself to – and get gunked up by – for no good reason.

So, let’s get started…


One of the most powerful indicators of whether you are dating someone worth your time is how they choose to respond to even being asked these types of questions I present here.  If someone responds with something like, ‘hey’ i’m just interested in keeping it light’ or ‘I’m not comfortable with talking about these types of personal questions’ or ‘ hey, lets just have some fun and see what happens’, know you are wasting your time with someone who does not share your goals and who probably sleeps around.  Why pick up all their collected physical and spiritual heebeegeebies? Why do you deserve that? Even if this used to be you, why go backwards to these kinds of shallow people? You’d just be setting yourself back, no doubt for nothing that will be worth it in the end.

This is not an anti sex talk.  Sex is great. However, the proof is out there that too much casual sex is harmful in many ways to both men and women.  Scoff if you wish, but deep down you know it’s true. Freedom to enjoy casual sex goes well beyond birth control. There is still the emotional, spiritual, social, and physical ramifications of sleeping around, just because your horny, or trying to prove to yourself or others that you are ‘free’ and can do what you like. That just does not add up to a healthy and wise outcome.  

Now, let’s go over the 20 questions to ask a new man or woman during the first few dates:

  1. How do you spend your down time?
  2. What makes you laugh?
  3. What are your long term goals?
  4. What is something on your bucket list?
  5. What is your relationship like with your parents?
  6. Are you hoping for a relationship or just fun?
  7. What do you value most in a relationship?
  8. What quality is most attractive to you in a partner?
  9. Name three things you would like to have in common with your partner?
  10. For what in life do you feel most grateful?
  11. Do you like animals / plants as part of your home environment?
  12. What do you believe is your worst quality?
  13. What is one thing you will not tolerate in a relationship?
  14. Are you family oriented?
  15. What is your biggest strength?
  16. What is your biggest weakness?
  17. Are you a grudge holder?
  18. Are you spiteful or vengeful?
  19. What is the longest relationship you have been in and how did it end?
  20. How do you nurture your own spirituality?

These are not the only important questions to ask prior to engagement or marriage, these are just the questions to ask to filter out people you do not need to ever take seriously for purposes of becoming a life mate.  For hundreds more questions and dozens of topics which need to be asked prior to marriage get a copy of this book, THE LIFE MATE QUESTIONS: 600 Questions and Topics to Consider and Ask for Happily Ever After, by Cathleen Vaune Carr available on Amazon.com 

Okay, back to these 20 Dating Questions…

These 20 questions have been carefully curated to not be construed by an otherwise well intentioned, quality person, as being too intrusive.  A quality person will immediately understand your reason for inquiry without you even having to explain yourself. If they are open to the same outcome as you they will be grateful to have the subjects broached, so they too, do not have to waste their valuable time.  This is a fair approach because it gives both parties 20 chances up front to determine if more time, money, and energy need be invested.

Let’s be clear, you do not need to ask all these questions on the first date. That would be ridiculous and accurately perceived as desperate. Pace yourself and learn more about the strategy for doing so later in this message.

Understand, I have not put these 20 questions into any particular order, mostly because I know each of you has our own priorities and must follow how our own mind works.  So, you can put them in to whatever order makes the most sense to you, then when the conversation feels right, ask one question only, then LISTEN carefully to the answer.

If you do not understand what the verb ‘to listen’ truly means, immediately read a few articles, posts or books on the subject.  Next meditate on HOW TO LISTEN, until you can actually LISTEN to another person while they are speaking to you.  

After your date has finished speaking, and you have taken a moment to consider what they have said, then ask clarifying questions if you did not understand them completely. Also, and this is important,… pause and wait to see if they ask you the same or similar question. This step is important because it will reveal whether this person is self centered and/ or perhaps not interested enough in you to care. Does not it stand to reason that if they are interested in you, or at least interested in not wasting their own time, they would want to know about your answers to these same questions?

Then and only then, move on to question #2 on your list, if it feels right to do so.  Otherwise, leave the next question for another time. Chances are, there is absolutely no need to rush.  The last thing you want is for someone to feel he or she is being interrogated because you cannot stop asking questions. Breathe and relax yourself if you find yourself becoming anxious. Its okay to feel excited, but do not let your excitement ruin your chances of being positively perceived. At this stage of the proceedings, (notice I did not say ‘game’, games are for players – and you are more respectable than that, right?) it will be hard to come back from a show of bad form if you let anxiety or poorly managed excitement get the best of you.  

Another good method of approaching these questions at a reasonable pace is to  allow yourself no more than a few questions per date.  That gives you at least several more dates with this person and a fair chance of getting a real feel for them, and them for you, while you are doing your ‘homework’. Keep your pants on and only go to places where you can talk that do not cost lots of money and do not have a strong romantic vibe until you are satisfied that this person is worth more substantial investment.  This applies equally to the other person regarding you.

Now, the reason I mention money, is that many people feel ‘owed’ or ‘pressured’ when the expenditure of money becomes too excessive  (dependent on the respective parties means) early on in a dating environment. So rather than get into ‘value’ judgment issues, just keep money out of it in the first place.  Frankly, if a person is only going to go out with you if you are going to spend lots of money, well there’s a big hint right there that they are not smitten with you, but rather with what you can provide to him or her.  I’ll leave it up to you to figure out how that makes you feel. I’m not judging you, just warning you.

Next, after you and your date have gotten past the 20 questions, you have two sensible options you can avail yourselves of  to help you resolve the next set of most important questions; those being whether you and / or your date are wired for commitment and marriage. Trust me, not every one is.  That does not mean they are not a nice person or even a great friend and lover.  It means they do not do well in confining relationships or relationships that require a lot of focused devotion on another person.  this could be for many reasons.  I can help you easily sort this issue out with a Commitment / Marriage Ability Consultation. Also, if after your happily  past the early dating stage, and later have run into problems, I can still help you with my 1 Question email consult.  Both of these services- and others -are explained in detail here on the MetaphysicsLessons.com website.

So there you have it. So here you get the goods and how to use them in one place.  It is wise of you to be smart about your heart!  Remember, these are 20 questions that can save you time, money, and heartache while you are on one of the most important journeys of your life – the hunt for a life mate. Happy hunting!

Wishing you all the best!

Dr. Vaune

WORTH A WATCH! My Conscious Valentine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D02Bvo7I-44

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Relationship: Trisha and Ebert – Broken Sacred Rules and Love Baby

Background: Trisha and Ebert both come from conservative, traditional, strict religious families.  Trisha and Ebert are both non-practicing people, but are fairly active members of their orthodox religious community, mostly to keep their parents happy and for business connections.  Trisha and Ebert have been together for over a year and have a modern romantic relationship,ie., premarital sexual relations, but no one in their families knows this about them. This fact would be catastrophic for both of them, especially Trisha. Trisha and Ebert both have financially lucrative jobs, yet both still live with their parents. They love each other, but for whatever reason, do not wish to marry each other.  

Problem: Trisha is 4 months pregnant, starting to show, and wants to keep the baby and raise it by herself, without benefit of marriage.  Ebert is willing to marry Trisha, but admits he is only open to the idea of marrying Trisha because of the baby on the horizon. He wants the baby to carry his last name in any event.  They both desire for Ebert to be involved in parenting, but only as a ‘lives elsewhere’ dad. There is nothing about this scenario that will sit well with The Parents and In Laws, nor their orthodox religious community.

Question:  How can Trisha and Ebert move on with their modern lives without alienating their family and religious community?

Dr. Vaune’s Advice:  This one is easy. They can’t. Trisha and Ebert have to put on some very big boy and big girl pants and realize that there will be a *hit storm when the word gets out – and it will, and likely very soon.  Next, Trisha needs to get her own home asap, in anticipation of being kicked out of her parents. Ebert might as well do the same. They would be wise to consider living near one another for mutual support and parenting facility. Short of changing jobs, moving out of town, and never introducing the baby to its grand-parents, there is no point is trying to conceal the pregnancy or baby after it is born, too many people are likely to find out and talk, since both Trisha and Ebert work in the community. Also, these days it is hella difficult to pull off that kind of secret.  If both of them leave town tongues will wag anyway. That kind of tongue wagging often makes stories much more ’interesting’ than they already are, so who needs that nonsense?

Both Trisha and Ebert could benefit from counseling if only to clarify why they are both commitment wary.  If they come by it naturally, then at least they are being true to themselves. If it is a result to some subconscious issue or real experience, then they might benefit from working that stuff out and then reconsidering whether to tie the knot.

Their parents will need time to make their peace with the situation, and will likely love the child after getting over the shock and embarrassment they will experience.  The community will either take a hard line to enforce their rules and exclude Trisha and Ebert (and ergo, baby) or open their hearts and minds with love and forgiveness and welcome a new member into the community.  Typically though, rules and punishment are favored and implemented over love and forgiveness in these types of organizations. After all, if they let Trisha and Ebert get away with breaking the rules how will they be able to keep all the others in line?  Only time will tell. But, time heals all wounds eventually, right?

*Disclaimer: These are real problems, but fake names.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

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Marriage: Mindy and Mark-Is One Enough?

Background: Mindy and Mark dated for two years and have been married for 4 years. They both are happy with the marriage and are committed to keeping it intact. Before they were married Mark still allowed himself sexual experiences with other women while also having sex with Mindy.  Mindy was aware of his sexual behavior while they dated. Since marriage Mark has been faithful to his wife. They have sex everyday, and even after 4 years, often have sex 2 or 3 (or more) times per day. Mark has always had a very strong sexual appetite and has more than once asked Mindy if they could have a three-some or go to orgys.

 So far, Mark is adamant that he has not had sexual relations with anyone outside of their marriage. He also claims that he just likes the physicality of sex and does not want to impose excessively on his wife, whom her loves and respects and is aware is reaching her limits. He has no interest in developing an emotional relationship with anyone else and does not want to hurt his wife.  Mark has tried porn sites so he can masturbate, but finds this does not deeply satisfy him, nor give the range of physical experience he desires.

Problem: Mindy knows Mark has a sexual appetite that is much stronger than hers.  She is afraid she cannot satisfy him on her own but is not the least bit interested in having a three-some of any kind or participating in a orgy.  She believes Mark loves her and is not interested in developing another relationship. However, she is growing resentful of his sexual demands and finds that the amount of sex they have is ruining the experience of it for her. For Mindy it is just too much sex already. Mindy wants Mark to be satisfied sexually but is conflicted about letting him have sex outside of their marriage.  They both are concerned about the others needs and understand that those needs conflict.

Questions:  Whose needs are more important? How can both these people get what they need and stay happily married?  

Dr. Vaune’s Advice:  The first question is the easy one.  Both of their needs are important with neither being more important.  They are simply both important. It makes no sense to get into issues about emotional vs. physical needs and I do not stand with the crowd that always puts the man’s needs first.  That only works for the man, and only so far even for him. Once his mate becomes depressed, or resentful, or angry, he won’t be happy anyway. So a larger and more equitable view is necessary for a reasonably fair solution that takes into account both partners needs.  Mark is showing good form by restraining himself out of respect and consideration for his wife. Mindy is showing good faith by recognizing her limits, yet wanting her husband to be fulfilled beyond her reasonable capacity to accommodate.

  • Can you commit?  Can he/she commit? Find out & save heartache and money. Get a Commitment and Marriage Ability Consult now

The second question is trickier.  This couple needs to discuss options.  If Mindy is confident Mark is immune to developing emotional connections with another woman with whom he has sexual relations, then perhaps they can reach an agreement about parameters and boundaries that would allow Mark to ‘work out’ his physical needs.

They should also discuss whether or not Mindy needs to know when Mark is going on a sexual adventure, how that should be handled between them – the protocol, so everything is on the up and up. If Mindy becomes concerned at any time about Marks escapades, Mark must stop and find some other way to ‘work out’…like wrestling, martial arts, mixed martial arts, or at the gym, etc. until Mindy’s concern passes.

Also, Mark needs to be held accountable to not have repeat experiences with the same person, therefore limiting the odds he might get attached, and must  always practice safe sex, and perhaps limit himself to times when his wife says she has had enough for now. I must say, this subject is covered at length in The Life Mate Questions book.  This is a critical topic that this couple would have been wiser to have had open conversation about prior to marriage.  But, hey,  better late than never, no?

*Disclaimer: These are real problems, but fake names.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

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Will this impasse end their relationship? Kal and Beverly: All or Nothing?

Background:  Kal and Beverly dated for almost 3 years prior to moving in together; they have been happily living together for 2 years in an comfortable apartment in the city where they met while in grad school. Neither has been married before and neither has children.  They are the same age, and at the time of this inquiry they are 29 years old. Both are working and intend to continue working even after they start their family. Both are able to telecommute for their jobs and work from home. Both intend to equally share in raising the children.  They have been discussing marriage and both are keen on the idea except…

Image result for rural vs city living

The problem: Kal is from a rural area where he happily grew up and would like to return, buy a big plot of land, and start and raise his family in the fresh open air, with lots of space, a big garden and some farm animals, just as he was raised.  Beverly grew up in a suburb of a huge mega-city. She prefers city life with all the variety of people, cultures, shopping and activities a big city offers, and wants to raise her children in such an environment. Though Kal and Beverly love each other and do not currently have other major divergences, they each are adamant about where they would be willing to live and raise children.  This conflict has put their hopes of marrying each other in jeopardy.

Question: How can this impasse be resolved so that both Kal and Beverly can contentedly live with the decision?

Dr. Vaune’s Relationship Advice:  There are several possible solutions to this problem:

  1. They can flip a coin and the loser promises to give it a go without resentment and with a joyous and cooperative attitude; after all, maybe something new and different will be good for him/her.
  2. They can live in the country while the children are, let’s say, under 9 years of age and Kal can get his gentleman’s farm going. At that time, funds allowing, they can take an apartment in the city where the kids can spend weekends spreading their cultural wings.
  3. They can choose to live somewhere in between the urban cultural center and rural lands, get a house with enough land for Kal to express his essential farming tendencies, yet Beverly can easily drive into the heart of the city whenever she likes.
  4. They can live in the city and spend their weekends at a smaller place in the country.  This would preclude having animals, unless someone else cares for them, but at least Kal could get his country fix on a regular basis.

It is important for any couple to keep in mind that raising the children will be only a portion of their married life together.  In this instance, sure, with proper parenting the kids can benefit from either scenario and be well equipped citizens of the world. Since neither of them is tied to a particular work location, and they both feel very strongly about their lifestyle values, why not take advantage of both.  Not everything in life has to be all or nothing. The children will likely benefit from an especially rich set of childhood memories if they are able to experience both environments; both Kal and Beverly get to provide what they value most to their children—and they get to keep each other.

What are your thoughts on this matter?  Please share in the comments.


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