Relationship Quiz: Is this the Right Person?
By Fred Lybrand, author of Glaen
Mark your answers from 1 to 10, with 1 being “No Way” and 10 being “I Think So”
1. I can easily picture being with this person 10 years from now.
2. We agree on everything that is really important to me.
3. We finally solve our conflicts, even if it takes a while.
4. If this person stays just the same forever, I’ll be pretty happy.
5. I feel good chemistry with this person at least once a week.
6. Our closest friends have good relationships.
7. I believe growing a soul mate is as right as finding a soul mate.
8. We always give each other the freedom to say “No” without getting in trouble.
9. I’ve read or listened to a talk to help my relating to others within the past year.
10. I am sure I would not be the one to call it quits in this relationship.
Add up you points and consider this common sense scale:
90-100 Fantasy Land (please re-take the Quiz with a little less pretending)
75-90 You are as close to a sure bet as it gets in a world without guarantees
55-75 You have a good relationship that would likely blossom with a little work
40-55 You probably need to find some outside help from some wise friends or mentors
25-40 The relationship needs professional help (pastor, counselor, etc.)
<25 The relationship has almost no chance until you change your mind
The 3 Must Haves for Successful Relationships
Friends who won’t speak. A husband and wife who are ‘done’ with the whole thing. Co-workers who no longer look each other in the eye. These three have far more in common than you might think.
Every year around Valentine’s Day, we all elevate our thinking about love and friendship to the sublime idea of Romantic Love. More than affection, this kind of love makes are hearts skip and keep our minds distracted. Surely all of us experience this kind of fantastic imaginary ideal at least once in our lives, if not again and again from time to time. While romance has been romanticized, it is still the fondness and commitment that makes relationships really feel like what they are—a deep connection between two persons. All of these relationships can run aground in the sea of life. The reason for a shipwreck, however, is that what really works in a relationship is neglected.
It isn’t about love languages, or fresh ideas, or even listening (though all of these are fine). Instead, it is at the heart of Glaen’s message and it can be describe by three simple ideas.
At its core, every successful relationship has three essential elements.
1. The Point
2. The People
3. The Price
The Point simply refers to what a relationship is about at its core. It is not about what you can get, what you can give, or how well two people can change one another. The point of a relationship is relating…which means connecting. We use words like bonding and being on the same wave length. In a romantic context it has as its aim a more intense version of connection called oneness. Honestly, the names don’t matter, but the point does. Relationships that work stay on point and they keep connecting together. Fights are division, coolness is distance, and silence is death. The point of connecting together can only happen in real time (that means, right now). Connecting again and again in real time is what builds strength in the bond; be it friendship, romantic love, or to team members pitching in together at work.
The People are the second essential and refers to the influence those around us wield on our lives. Glaen says, “You’ll never be like the people you don’t hang around.” The truth is that you will drift toward the character and interests (on some level) of the people you are in the greatest connection with. This explains why getting new friends distances you from old ones. It also explains why there is a repetition of connecting with one failure after another (sorry for the bluntness). A failure to recognize this plain fact is a step toward the destruction of the relationships you have or want. Sometimes it is uncomfortable because we really need to change, but in fact, starting with a vision for the kind of person you want to be can lead you to find, keep, and grow the relationships you long to have.
The Price for successful relationships is Truth. Yes, it is telling and living the truth. “But the truth about what?” you might ask. The question itself already says you are in trouble! It is the truth as anything (and everything) comes to the forefront. It is the truth about beliefs, and goals, and faith, and politics. Why does Truth matter? Well, the simple fact is that a successful relationship is an authentic connection with another person you’d like to be like (more or less). For that connection to happen, it is absolutely necessary that you are the ‘real you’ and the other person is the ‘real them’ in the relationship. This truth-based being real means that you and they are connecting and relating and growing together as the real thing. As soon as a mask goes up, the game’s afoot. The best you can hope for without truth is a good relationship with someone you don’t really know…which, of course, isn’t a success by any measure.
For more information about Glaen:
A Novel Message on Romance, Love & Relating, visit www.glaen.com.
Friendships, dating, romance, and marriage—it’s all confusing to college grad-student Annie until the day a white-haired stranger appears in her life. Glaen is an unusual professor and unconventional mentor who guides Annie on a path of discovery that unlocks the secrets of real relationships. Annie discovers the mystifying affect of how learning to tell the truth changes everything in friendship, family, and love. The solutions Dr. Fred Lybrand offers in Glaen book will astound and free you to quit doing the very things that take away your ability to find the love and friendship you want. More importantly, you’ll discover a fresh path to the possibility of greater connections with those you care most about.
Fred R. Lybrand
The Barnabas Agency
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In a Leadership Journal article, John Ortberg describes a powerful ‘experimental group’ of
friends who have followed these rules (see: Higher Stakes Friendship). Here are the basic
rules he mentions:
- We can ask anything, no holds barred.
- if you answer, you must tell the truth, as much as you know it.
- if you don’t answer, you must say why you won’t or can’t answer.
- Everything that is said to each other will be held in absolute confidence.
- We will make absolutely no judgments of each other.
While I see this as helpful, there is still a little “wink-wink” going on because humans
are still humans (for example, they certainly do make judgments, though they may not
share them openly).
And yet, the aim is TRUTH, which as Glaen points out, is the ‘life-blood of relationships’.
Cheers to John Ortberg!
Another way to go is NC (No Control) Relating. This is Glaen’s emphasis on having no
agenda in a conversation. It works like this:
- Set a time frame to meet talk
- Agree to allow conversion about anything (or nothing)
- Allow it go go anywhere (or nowhere)
- Specifically, don’t have something to accomplish
- Stop when the time’s up
Actually, this is why those happenstance conversations travelling are so cool…no agenda,
with nothing on the line!
It’s especially awesome with kids. Go to coffee or icecream and tell them that they can
ask / talk about anything (or nothing). Usually this kind of conversation will blow you away!
The reason? Well, it’s just naturally honest!
Enjoy Valentine’s Day—Avoid the Blues
© Fred R Lybrand, Author of Glaen
Jeremy visited a florist’s shop which showed a large sign that read, “Say It With Flowers.” “Wrap up one rose, please,” Jeremy demanded of the florist’s assistant. “Only one?” she enquired frowning. “Ah yes just the one,” Jeremy replied. “I’m a man of very few words.”
Market researchers deduced from their survey that eight million Americans send Valentine’s Day gifts to themselves.
Valentine’s Day is a day of amazing impact. Almost everyone who plays up the day experiences the “Blues,” you know, feeling sad about a loss or failure. Blues music grew up as a way to cope with the plight of such feelings and literally tries helping the Blues listener to “feel good about feeling bad.” Unfortunately, nothing takes the Valentine’s Blues away except time and the hope that next year will be better.
So, what are the Valentine’s Blues and how can we avoid them? The Valentine’s Blues come because of disappointment in one of two ways.
The first kind of blues comes when you don’t have a Valentine on Valentine’s Day. It starts in early February, building up to the “big day”—hitting rock bottom on February 14.
No matter how you pitch it, it makes you feel left out and unloved on some level if everyone else is getting flowers, going out for the evening, or being treated special. It stinks to feel left out. No wonder eight million Americans send themselves a Valentine’s Day gift. However, it doesn’t seem so bad on February 15th once the stores move on to Easter decorations.
The second kind of blues comes to those who celebrated Valentine’s in a big way, only to start clutching the disappointment the very next day (and the days to come) because it’s back to life as usual. When it comes to love and romance, “usual” is not what we want.
The blues can be worse for the second group because they’re long-term. We’ve all experienced it in some way or another: the excitement of Valentine’s Day, the romance, and the presents, similar to Christmas, but all about romantic love.
We humans like to feel special, and on that special day there is nothing more exciting than the build-up to the event—one incredible evening, just you and that one person. The two of you in love and enraptured with all that special day could offer.
Fast forward to the next day or two. How do you feel? The next day you are smiling for a moment at the memory of a day when his/her attention was only on you. But now, back to work, and a lurking feeling of sadness is peering over the fence at you. Will it be a whole year before you have another night like that?
You try to be logical and sober-minded, telling yourself that it was a good memory to bask in, and yet you know deep down something is amiss. Something is wrong. Finally, you scream inside (and try quickly to forget it), “Why can’t we be in love all year-long?”
The Cure for the Valentine’s Blues
The blues you experience are invented, because the Day itself was invented. It’s marketing, that’s all. Yet, with Valentine’s Day there is something more—it is a day built on romance. Oddly enough, romance often works counter to true love.
Consider what romance is in reality. My friend Robert Fritz observed that, “Romance is the suspension of the norm.” Think about it this way: romance is where we clean up (don’t smell like ourselves), dress up (don’t look like ourselves), and go somewhere special (and don’t act like ourselves)! None of this is bad as long as you realize it is not real, that it is just a game. Okay, it’s a fun game, but it is still just a game. True love happens in the “norm.” It happens in the real world of your daily experiences.
In reality, I don’t believe there is much “real” about romance as it is commonly pitched. In truth, it damages both our dating relationships and our marriages to make romance itself the goal. The romantic standards can get so high that we can’t appreciate the real things right in front of us. Romance can be an equal opportunity destroyer—harmful for both men and women.
I’ve known men whose romantic standards were so high they would never go out on dates, or they wouldn’t ask the woman out again. I’ve also known women who live for the fairy tale wedding, but in time divorce to seek out the wedding-fantasy all over again.
The cure for the Valentine’s Blues is to simply recognize that it is a made up day. If you don’t have a special someone in your life on one particular day, why should it feel different than the day after? If you want to play the romance game, then play it, but remember it really is just a game. Pretending the Day itself proves or influences the love in your life, however, will really suck you into despair most of the time.
If you have a special someone, it is far better to find the love in every day. The day-to-day normal world is with you all the time in terms of work and laundry and colds and tragedies and funny moments. This is where true love grows and binds and matures. If you seek love in the suspension-of-normal world of romance, then you can only experience the diminishing return of, “But what have you done for me lately?” Each experience must top the last one when you fall into a quest to escape from life. True love is not an escape; it is nourishment to see us through the mundane parts that make up our daily lives.
Pause for a moment and notice that a love relationship is about building a life together. Tell the truth, both the good and bad, and work through it together. If you want to play the game, then dress up and go out! Pretend you are rich, or just met, or just got back from being a contestant on Survivor. It doesn’t much matter because you are playing a game that you take for what it is; it’s merely Valentine’s Day. A day brought to you by the card and candy industry…with some hope that you will find a special moment, made better by a special purchase! Make it great, but make it important! You’ll thank me in the morning.
Free Audio on Love & Relationships: www.glaen.com
Author Fred Lybrand takes an in-depth look into relationships and dating, plus offers a little common sense for the real day-to-day world, in his book, Glaen. Lybrand wants others to know the freedom that can be found in relating to others truthfully and without pretense. In his presentation of thought-provoking ideas, Lybrand first uncovers the lies of a secular world-view and then counters those lies with the truth of God’s design for the marriage relationship.
The life-changing principles found in Glaen are the gems Lybrand wants readers to take and experience in their own lives and relationships. The book serves as a great teaching tool for parents to use with their children as well as for church leaders guiding couples who are seeking a more satisfying marriage relationship. The Glaen Small Groups Study Guide is now available as a free download at www.glaen.com.
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Cedric Miller of Living Word Christian Fellowship laid down the law in an effort to help marriages thrive.
Here’s the USA Today article link: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2010/11/pastor-worried-about-infidelity-tells-church-leaders-to-quit-facebook-or-resign/1
When I first saw this I thought, “Jeepers creepers. What will we ban next?”
However, as I pondered a little more I began to appreciate exactly where Pastor Cedric Miller was coming from…and I don’t blame him at all. As a pastor myself for 24 years (I retired from my Northeast Bible Church, Garden Ridge, TX, in January to speak and write more), I know what he is talking about. I, too, have counseled with folks who have reconnected with old flames through Facebook. It makes sense that if they didn’t reconnect there wouldn’t be a problem. Unfortunately, faithfulness in marriage involves a little more than being careful to not make a place for temptation.
The monastic life is the extreme…steal yourself away from the world and being righteous will be easier. Even as I type these words the news of Tony Parker and Eva Longoria getting a divorce is all about the web (apparently Tony cheated…I guess: http://www.hollyscoop.com/eva-longoria/source-tony-parker-begging-eva-for-forgiveness_25783.aspx). I live in San Antonio, so it’s a local heartbreak too!
So, what’s the answer? Commitment for sure. Building a solid relationship, definitely. Staying away from temptation, of course.
Yet, there is a bigger word we need: FREEDOM
This is the heartbeat of what the book Glaen: A Novel Message on Love, Romance, and Relating is all about. Freedom means that we learn to honor one another and completely get off the doomed path of trying to control everyone around us, especially the person we love in a couples-kind-of-love. When we start putting controls on the relationship (any relationship), we are simply engaging in MANIPULATION. All manipulation does is cover up true love.
While the goal is understandable, making it a law is not. ASKING his leaders to volunteer abandoning Facebook is quite different from demanding it. We will never RULE sin out of people, nor will we create enough rules to force someone to love us and be faithful. It’s this crazy GOLDEN RULE (rule = principle here) that will make the difference. Be faithful and grow love because that’s what you’d want! Does that guarantee success? No, nothing guarantees success. But, don’t you want someone to be faithful to you because he WANTS TO? If everyone HAS TO behave, then it isn’t real or authentic.
I know this is an incomplete answer, but we live in an incomplete world (the next one will be perfect!).
If you’d like to hear a free audio message of these wild ideas about true love and authentic relating, then please click here to get it:
Having someone love you because she wants to is awesome. Loving someone because you want to is awesomeX2. Trying to make yourself or the other person ‘behave right’ doesn’t cultivate this kind of love…only FREEDOM does!
Why you don’t have more friends, romance, and popularity (and what to do about it) …free audio
|I learned more about relating to people in the few pages of Glaen than in all the other dating/relationship books I have ever read combined. This is a must read for all who seek to build successful relationships both now and in the future.” -Bryan Sims, Texas A&M (Senior)
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It started back when I began to try to make sense of marriage and relationships as a newly married man myself. You see, I came out of what they call a ‘dysfunctional family’. Now, my family was great and loving…until alcohol, divorce, and old-fashioned bitterness just drove us all to separate cities more than a day’s drive apart.
It has been a slow and steady process, but as a husband for 28 years, a pastor and counselor for 24 years, and a dad for 23 years…it feels like I’ve piled up 75 years of experience!
Like almost everyone I read all the books and tried my best to follow all the advice; but, what I began to discover is that I wasn’t being true to myself. You can only fake it so long.
One day a dear friend helped me discover the most important thing we can learn about relating; at its heart, it isn’t really about the other person.
Most of what we do in all of our relationships is to try to manipulate the ‘other’ person into being who THEY SHOULD be—instead of who God made them to be. In the place of figuring out how to find the kind of person who will celebrate your design, you might have wondered into a person who sees you as a ‘fix me upper’! All is not lost…through a fun trip from confusion to frustration to discovery—Glaen opens your eyes to a world of understanding and wisdom. The real truth about relating…and…reclaiming what has been lost, is just around the corner. Married, not married, just getting started…everyone has a way to relate to Annie as she learns from her WEIRD professor.
Glaen is a very unusual look at love and dating and marriage. It seems to be striking a nerve all across America and in all age groups. Parents especially are giving it to grateful children…who would have thought a piece of fiction could start conversations that were long overdue, and change lives that have been praying for an answer?
|Just wanted to let you know I finished Glaen today. Great information in there–where was this book 25 years ago? Loved the novel-ish approach!Jim Thatcher , Texas (a dad)
The most fun thing for me as a writer is to find out people are reading it…in fact they often read it twice: once for the story and again for the principles.
I loved the book Glaen. Though I have already read the book over a year ago reading it today reminded me of so many things. Many of these lessons I had forgotten and it was great to be reminded of them. Thank you so much for the book.-Myranda Bradley, Texas State (Freshman)
What will Glaen do for you when you read it?
- You’ll know what to talk about on a date (p. 128-129)
- You’ll discover why focusing on romance can actually damage true love (pp. 104, 152-157)
- You’ll know how love works / and doesn’t work
- You’ll learn how to tell if you are getting serious with the wrong person (pp. 99-106)
- You’ll learn the shortcomings of courting and serial dating (p. 20+)
- You’ll know why some people push the ones they want away (pp. 25-36)
- You’ll know the 5 Lies that destroy relationships—and the 5 Truths that help you win (pp. 66-97)
- Parents with dating-age children will finally have a way to have meaningful conversations about relationships
- Children finally have a book they will happily discuss with their parents
- You’ll know why and how being yourself will make you even more attractive
- You’ll know the one thing that makes or breaks every relationship (pp. 10-11, 65)
- You’ll know the two things that you must have—before you fall in love—to create a long-term relationships (pp. 98-99, 104)
- You can finally tell others that you finished a whole book…it’s that hard to put down!
|Just started and finished GLAEN today and got a review up. I wish I would have had this when I was a teen. I’m looking toward courting for my children, hoping I can get my husband to read this one day. Lots of highlighting in my copy.
– Sarah Bailey (http://bit.ly/b5I8TY )
|Glaen was an interesting read. There are definitely some principles within that I need to apply in my own relationships. This modest book, which is under 200 pages, would be perfect for a senior high youth group to study, or even a small group of engaged couples. Many excerpts are worth underlining, highlighting, and reading again. In fact, I wish this fable/instructional text had been available 20 years ago for my generation. Lybrand is to be commended for his discernment and for the creative manner in which he presents these important principles. Glaen will be an answer to prayer and a gift from above for many.-The Calico Critic (http://bit.ly/bNEgNL)
Annie is a college grad-student who is stumped about love. Her mom and dad are in the throes of a divorce, her teenage sister is obsessed with how her boyfriend makes her look, and her closest friend Jennah is on a continual ride of running off every guy she dates. Friendships, dating, romance, and marriage – it’s all confusing to Annie until the day a white-haired stranger appears in her life.
Glaen is an unusual professor with an unusual name. Her white-haired unconventional mentor guides Annie on a path of discovery that unlocks the secrets of real relationships in a world gone phony. By abandoning herself to learn, Annie discovers the mystifying effect of how learning to tell the truth changes everything in friendship, family, and love.
|What a fun book. Not only is it entertaining and a great read, but it is educational and insightful as well. It really helped me to take a better look at romance and dating. Glaen is has been a great tool to start discussions with my teenage daughters and help them to understand romance and dating in a healthier way. Thanks for getting it out there, it’s a fresh approach to an age old discussion… -Christy Quiros
The solutions Dr. Lybrand offers in this book will astound and free you to quit doing the very things that take away your ability to find the love and friendship you want. More importantly, you’ll discover a fresh path to the possibility of greater connections with those you care most about. You’ll want everyone you know to read this book…twice!
|I purchased two copies of GLAEN this morning and am sending one with my mother. I am really enjoying the novel, taking notes on the general relational principles I’m gleaning, and certainly wish I’d been handed a copy of GLAEN during my first year or two of college. Thank you for putting this information out there, for sharing these true principles with your audience. I wish everyone seeking a relationship — no matter what type of relationship — could implement these principles therein.-Kristin McGuinness
ROMANCE vs. TRUE LOVE
Glaen will help you explore the fact that romance is based on the unusual and exciting, while real relationships often involve periods of mundane and difficult things in life. Honestly, don’t you want someone who will be there when the times are challenging? Don’t you want someone cheering for you in the day-to-day, rather than constantly asking “What have you done for me lately?” Romance is great for an evening, but Glaen tells you the secrets of what will last a lifetime.
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Warning: This is a ‘Socratic’ or discussion group…which changes lives. The nature of asking questions is the most powerful approach known to history; Jesus Himself was a master at it!
So, we’ve done it for you. Go to the link below and get your free copy of how to lead a 6 week study that will change lives on relationships:
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By the way — This includes an audio of a talk I gave at a San Antonio Christian school entitled, “Why you don’t have more friend, romance, and popularity (and what to do about it).”
Have fun…and ask me questions here!
So, Jerry Springer has another show called, “Baggage.”
I’ve got to admit, it is actually pretty interesting to see contestants work on a decision to go on a first date as they learn a few secret flaws in one another. I confess I haven’t been much of a fan of Springer in the past, and I don’t know that Baggage will win me over. I’ve always thought we should have a bumper sticker based on Springer’s other show. The sticker would simply say, “Dysfunction is not a Competition.”
Well, in keeping with his game, we have a new form of dysfunction-is-competition from Mr. Springer. But first, on the good side, Jerry always tries to bring some moral lesson to light in terms of tolerance, forgiveness, and remembering we are all flawed humans. I honestly think he believes what he’s saying— but his delivery system for the message is pretty much just entertainment with a generous portion of hype.
The Point is Good
The point of telling the truth and learning the awful secrets we all (supposedly) have is right on. Surely we should all do ‘due diligence’ to find out what kind of person we are moving toward building a life with. Surprises are great when they are good, but awful when they are bad. Getting couples to tell the truth makes sense and seems harmless enough, right?
The Point is Bad
Unfortunately, off the bat most of us can understand that divulging our ‘baggage’ to other people we don’t know on national television is, to say the least, bad form. To do so with an eye on deciding to go on a date is just downright silly. The silliness is multiplied by the artificial nature of of a TV show and a dopamine-driven audience which could just as easily be at
WrestleMania. My apologies to the memory of Andre the Giant.
I make the case in Glaen: A Novel Message on Romance, Love, and Relating, that there are two things that go into a great long-lasting relationship:
Chemistry has to do with whether or not there is any attraction or connection with the other person. Basis has to do with the shared values needed to build a life together. Basis is really about understanding if there are any deal-killers in play. You know, if you don’t want to have any children and your spouse-to-be wants lots of children—well there’s a problem! It really can be anything and it is important to tell the truth. Yet, on a first date and on national television; don’t you have to wonder if it’s a fair shake? People actually grow sometimes and yet, some do not! I watched an episode that had as the ‘baggage’ a final unveiling that our contestant would never move out of his momma’s house because she cooked, cleaned, and could babysit the kids as they grew up. All I could think about is that at least The Waterboy (Adam Sandler) moved out of his momma’s house. Here are a few of the questions I’ve been asked about Springer’s Baggage show:
- How soon is too soon to tell the truth?
- Do you freak out the other person on the first date?
- Is it OK to keep some secrets (even if you end up getting married)?
- How is the best way to discuss “baggage” without overreacting?
- Should some things be “deal-breakers”? How do you know if you honestly want to know?
Well, clearly there isn’t much of a point freaking out the other person on the first date; only a person with issues would like that! Basically, I can’t see the wisdom in continuing to date someone you know for a fact you would never marry. That is just ridiculously unkind unless they get it too and agree. Of course, then it really isn’t quit dating; rather, it’s a couple of folks sharing a rent car for companionship on a drive to getting dropped off at the Match.com national headquarters.
I believe the more truth the better, but I would offer a couple of boundaries:
- The other person honestly wants to know the truth
- It’s private (respectful)
Forcing information on someone who doesn’t want to know the gory details is not actually showing much respect for their freedom. Blabbing it out in front of a crowd does show much respect for the relationship. I get it, Springer’s show is a gag…but people can turn gags into grandiose experiments. Why not just ask if they want to know? They may not, but you are
better for offering.
Glaen is the unfolding story of someone learning what real relating is all about, all the while avoiding the 7 Fatal Mistakes of Dating. It does involve being true to yourself and and truthful to the other person. You’ll never get there without the truth, but Springer’s approach overshoots the runway by two canyons and a bottomless lake.
I’d recommend a careful reading of Glaen, but you can watch Springer for one simple reason; there is a macabre comfort in seeing that your baggage isn’t as bizarre at least one other person. You might also see why the person you’ve got (or may have soon) ain’t so bad!
Remember: Dysfunction is not a competition!