Dec 31, 2009

"Don't become a guy's practice run"...

... I told my friend, after she called me last night upset, confused and deeply hurt by a guy she felt she was still in love with.

What is it? Well, its a bit like being in the 'friends zone' except in the past you've been more than that, but ultimately its worse, because you know what you are missing once its over because you got a taste, a teaser of what it could be like 'if only'.... like Christmas presents and weekends away, meeting a few of his selected friends and feeling occasionally like you're part of his life, like full blown dates and that soft fuzzy closeness later on... essentially you're the girl he dates before he meets the one, you're the training wheels, you're the practice run.

And it hurts once it hits home that he'll never love you the way you love him. You're comfortable and you're reliable, and always there... but wake up! you'll always be second best. He is looking for someone else while he uses you to fill the gaps in his life. Men get lonely too and dating is hard. And how nice it is that theres someone there to soften the frustration of it all.

I wish i could tell you that its easy to spot and that you'll see it a mile away, but it isn't. This type of denial only becomes apparent when, even though you're just friends now, he just keeps on hurting you. I used to think that if a girl wasn't sleeping with the guy then that defined the relationship as 'just friends' and made it ok. But truth is, there are many aspects of a relationship that a guy can use you for that go beyond a physical one. A few friends of mine have this type of dependency on each other, despite him being gay and her being straight. It works because sex isn't everything needed to 'make' a relationship. There's also an emotional connection (you make each other laugh and have fun), an intellectual connection (a mutual respect and appreciation of qualities) and a deeper connection (you have feelings or care for each other).

Writing this, i know how it feels, and it sucks... truly. You have a mutal dependency because humans need connections to thrive and feel happy, but without comittment its just a ghost of a real relationship. It doesnt move forward because one or both fear the change, and the only person who can break the mutual dependency is the one getting hurt the most. Reasons why not vary.... but usually you convince yourself you're strong enough, or that cutting down on the amount of the other person in your life will hurt too much.

So let me put things into perspective... when he meets the girl who is the one he wants to marry and starts having children with her... that will hurt even more. And i wouldnt wish that kinda pain on anyone, not after having to go through it before. Don't be willing to wait around for things to come. He'll never want you as he would have made you his by now, and especially not if you're always there for him.

So go out and date, put yourself first and live your life as though he's not in it. Be email friends or something to that effect if you wish, just make sure he's no longer in your inner circle. Shift his ass to the furthest orbit if you can, or if you're feeling brave cut him out of it all together. And i know in as little as 6 weeks you'll be back on track and his memory will be ashes in the wind.

New years resolution anyone? :)

Dec 17, 2009

Why women who have it all are hard to please... otherwise called 'denial'

I realised this morning, after waking abruptly from a disturbing dream, that i have quite a large chunk of denial still hanging over me. The dream, or rather nightmare, dragged up all those old feelings of dissatisfaction in my life, especially love. In my dream my ex wanted me back. Dream Lisa much to my dismay took him back, falling straight into old patterns of stepford wife versus ungrateful bastard. Still dream Lisa was happy because she got what she wanted... or did she?

You see theres never been a guy good enough for me. I know now that at one point, possibly very early on in the relationship but still, the 'long-term ex' was essentially a good guy. It was my being so very difficult to please that pushed him into behaving the way i expected making matters worse and confirming my worst fears. In fact, looking back throughout all of my relationships i'm never happy. I mean he can give me the moon and i still pick away at his faults.

This is my denial.

You know, 'denial' the story we tell ourselves (and others) to avoid the pain of the truth about our own shortcomings - like feeling jealous when others succeed, acting critical when we should offer love, selfish when we should be giving - these little faults we are so ashamed of that we even lie to ourselves that the exist? After all its so easy to build up reasons in our minds why we act harshly towards others, like they deserve it, or to teach them a lesson.... sound familiar?

The hardest thing to accept is the darker side of ourselves, the side that isn't so pretty. I should know, pretty is very important to me. But sub-consciously we all have this side, even saints. The key is to remember that when the ugly truth is brought to light - say a loved one pushes the right buttons, winds you up, makes you angry/upset or react in a negative way... they are just bringing to the surface a part of yourself you could never confront on your own. And this feeling was there way before this person even came into your life and triggered it.

Its up to you to recognise that this person should not be blamed for parts that need work (in fact you should thank them for making you aware), and take responsibility instead. Yes, own it., before it owns you. Until we start to own these bad feelings and accept that they are ours, they will simply continue to control our lives, the dramas will repeat themselves over and over, people will keep coming into our lives who are better and better at triggering and we will still remain the victim. Never happy.

In my case, i'd blame the guy i was with because he wasn't doing enough of the things i thought he should to make me feel loved, secure, smug, satisfied, complete... etc Each time he fell short of my expectations i would experience a whole array of disappointment, frustration, and loneliness, that i was misunderstood and ultimately unloved. I blamed the men in my life for feeling this way and in the end all that did was push them away.

Other times, when guys i've dated have had the integrity to shower me with affection, and done too much, ive gone the other way. My insecurities at not being enough and essentially failing him, or my fear of being manipulated combined with lack of trust that surfaced when pushed to 'give up', as i felt my 'supposed' personal freedom.... made me aloof, distant and overly critical. Like before, i would sabotage the relationship before it could develop deeper and lose out on sharing my life with someone who really did care.

In both i was replaying pattern i'd picked up from my parents and old flames, when at times their restrictions and expectations either brought about a need in me for unwavering love and support or a desire in me to exist beyond their manipulations and control.

Funny today of all days i can clearly understand the lesson in the powerful demonstration of just "pointing a finger" at someone. I mean if you look carefully three times as many fingers are pointing back at yourself right?

Dec 2, 2009

The power of the small things (like little kisses xx)

Finally i feel like i can breathe!

I moved in to my new flat a month ago and between the reels of xmas fairly lights and endless trips to consumer-hell that is ikea, its only just coming together. If fact its almost perfect ;)

Still according to Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs i've been slumming along at the bottom of the pyramid for quite some time now and as a direct result... everything else has suffered, especially the little projects i've been nurturing to fruition all these months (including this blog!).

But now im all settled and cosy i can at last take a look at introducing some damage limitation, such as reconnecting with clients, chasing up those loose ends, planning, writing and creating... I feel creative again. Its like i can't stop smiling and everyone keeps asking me why i'm so happy. Its just because i'm settled, safe and secure. You see while i was homeless nothing else seemed important. I needed a roof over my head, and not knowing the details put a lot of things into perspective. In fact i realise how much i took the small things for granted, like knowing where everything i own was and being able to get to it easily, and going home to the privacy of "my room", cooking in my kitchen instead of eating out... those sorts of things.

And as always its also the small things that men do that make a difference, well to me anyway... like he remembered what i said in passing 2 weeks ago, he cuts the tomatoes exactly how i like them, he called me when he landed at the airport just so i wouldn't worry, etc.

But the smallest has to be the "xxxx's" at the end of his messages. Take this new ad from blackberry for example:

Do What You Love, Love What You Do

We watch while the couple argue because he is late, she storms off likely to never speak to him again, but then changes her mind and comes back to him... but only AFTER he messages her.

I'm that girl. Put me in front of a guy trying to say sorry and its embarrassing and confrontational. For me communication is not always better in person, especially if feelings are involved. The hardest for me often saying sorry (i hate to admit i'm wrong). The words stick in my throat, i get teary, i avoid eye contact... its not pretty.

Lucky for me messaging has given us a "get out of jail free card". We can dress the words in any way we want and make it sweeter and funnier just by adding a cute wink or a couple of xx's in such a way to assist communications rather than limit it. Whatever has happened... say your bf forgot to call you back or is busy, those little x's tend to soften the blow to the extent that the words are meaningless.

The funniest thing is that my guy has realised just how golden a few xx's are with me. I'm a sucker for sweet talk and if there is any disappointment, suddenly all IMs are littered with a kiss or two at the end of every sentence. I don't know why they work but they do, even though most of us use them for friendships all the time. They should be meaningless.... i mean its just one little letter for goodness sake, but they aren't - to most girls a small "x" means hes affectionate, sorry and sincere all at the same time.

Now i'm wondering if there are magic letters for men that could 'say' as much? Other than *ahem* a "b" and a "j" of course :$

Probably not...

Oct 26, 2009

A girl's perspective on... "Breakthrough Comfort"

In the male dominated community based on female psychology for dating and relationships, Breakthrough Comfort is the term to describe the fundamentals behind creating a deep and lasting emotional connection with a girl.... in other words 'how to make her fall in love with you'.

In my view successful dating requires a mix of two - attraction (desire for control) and comfort (intense feel-good emotions). Combined you should have in most cases an interesting cocktail for flirty fun with almost anyone you choose. This being that you know what you are doing...

In my experience 'attraction' is the easier of the two to create, And also get over. I've never cried at night over a losing the attention of a rich guy or a man who had all the girls. But comfort is a nasty bitch waiting to happen. On its own its creepy and clingy and all the 'too-nice-guys' have it in spades... but combine it with a healthy dose of 'attraction', and the push-pull effect comes into play on a larger scale than just plain-jane 'hot & cold'.

Why? Well lets look at what a girl really wants. Simply to quote Julia Roberts 'We want the fairytale'... a strong white knight (attraction: power & status) coming to rescue us (comfort: big strong guy saves the fragile princess) on a white horse (comfort: awww, he likes animals too *simper*) from a very tall tower (attraction: dangerous & risky, he must be brave) who will whisk us away into the sunset to live happily ever after (comfort: he sees that we're special, no one else). In other words.... we want the cool guy to fall in love with us.

Breakthrough Comfort suggests techniques that convince a girl the guy in question is 'falling' for her. Women spend a lot of time dissecting a guy's behaviour. We have 'sweet' actions (this proves he loves me) and 'indifferent' actions (he doesn't care about me). Now for comfort to work there has to be both types of actions, because 'sweet' actions mean more at the end of the day if they are few and far between... but there has to be just enough to keep the girl from thinking the guy is callus bastard.

Ok so guys i bet you're thinking 'wow this sounds great'... but seriously i can vouch for the pain caused if they are not meant for something long-lasting and real:

While i adore the effect and feeling of 'deep-comfort' when its directed toward me (what girl wouldn't want a guy she is attracted to kiss her forehead affectionately, or stare into her eyes like he's lost in them)... they don't belong in a fling or other casual dalliances. Us girls convince ourselves that when a guy acts this way there can be no other reason other than he 'feels' a deep connection (translation: he is in love) and we see these few and far between actions as proof he is just in denial or afraid (translation: he needs reassurance before he can commit). We then relax and open our hearts and start to 'trust', because after the big-bad world has abused us its nice to know there is one big strong guy out there who will make it better. The only drawback is women don't close off their emotions very easily once the floodgates have opened, like men do. We take a long time warming up, but the cool-off can be forest fire. (a word of warning: some women are not emotional stable to handle rejection after this = bunny boiler time)

Breakthrough Comfort may be the the 'key' to getting her to fall in love with you, but i know honesty, attraction and light-hearted flirting work better at maintaining long term flings. Women these days are able to enjoy casual sex if we know the score all the way through the game. We like being able to detach and have fun without engaging our emotions too. Guys, please don't pull the wool over our eyes and let your deep-down insecurities (wanting everyone to like you/love you and needing emotional approval) create a situation you can't handle further down the line.

But if you want to break hearts then go for it, but i believe karma is a bitch who doesn't forget being scorned.

Oct 17, 2009

Rules of the game: understanding women of the digital age... because some men still don't

You know one thing that strikes me as a 'no-brainer' is what women want, but thats probably because i'm in a very good position to know... i am one. Sure there are a lot of ebooks and material to share on the subject of female psychology. I know. I've read a lot! But its seriously lacking and i'll tell you why.

Women don't know what they want.

So how can a guy who has had luck sleeping with a ballpark of women know anything more about female desires than the women themselves? Truth is he can't... all he knows is how to score by making her feel like she knows what she wants at that time - him. Its manipulation of feelings and thoughts that drive a girl to 'want' a guy. Don't get me wrong, i'm not saying its bad... in fact every close and personal situation we encounter is a manipulation of sorts. Today i made a guy behind the food counter feel good about himself by being friendly and chatty. I gave him positive emotions which caused him to 'want' to serve me well. He did and we both walked away happy. Emotions are contagious and breed more of the same, and you can bring more of the same about just by allowing their very existence in your life. Even negative...

But such emotional exchanges, for want of a better label, need to have balance. A mutual acceptance of terms. Kinda like agreeing to 'play a game' by the rules dictated (unspoken) at the start. So for in order for the situation with the food counter guy to go smoothly, i had to give him something... i had to give him a good feeling and my attention. That took effort and energy on my part, so as not to appear false. He then agreed without needing to verbalise it to serve me in a pleasant and efficient manner.

It seems we enter all sorts of 'games' or unspoken contracts in life (Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships by Eric Berne)... with our parents, with our managers, various games with different types of friends, and quite heavily with our lovers.

Usually the games are played out fairly with everyone taking their role and giving back as much as they get. However problems and broken contracts arise when the rules get twisted and negative outcomes occur. This happens when the 'manipulations' become more selfish. One person seeking to gain more or 'win' by force rather than allow the other to give freely, or just not giving or playing by the rules anymore. And this is why even if you 'know' what you must do to maintain balance within the relationship... your ego (whether it be a needy or overbearing one) can get in the way and mess things up.

Your limbic brain, also known as "lizard" or "reptilian" brain is the part of your mind that works beyond judgment and logic. It makes snap decisions needed in times of stress (fight or flight) and these are always very selfish because they exist only for survival. They are always negative and self-serving actions that don't take others into consideration. They can't, you have to protect you and you only so once this system engages... you will not be understanding to the needs and feelings of anyone else (bar maybe your offspring).

In times of extreme emotion or stress the limbic brain is often the part of you that takes over. Its the part of you that says those nasty retorts, gets hysterical and teary or runs away from the hurt (most women) or gets defensive and cold, shuts your emotional system down and cuts off all communication (most men). I've found myself doing some or all of these things when pushed into a corner, and only afterwards i've calmed down and gone "oh why the hell did i go off the rail like that?". It also seems the more familiar and comfortable the relationship, the lower the barrier you have shielding your limbic brain from the rest of your body... i'm not sure why this is. Maybe closer relationships have the ability to engage deeper more stressful conditions? Or maybe the hurt is so unexpected from someone so dear to you that the shock brings forward your most instinctive, most protective reaction?

So how do you keep a well deserving balance and not let your lizard brain do the talking? Well i've found that taking a break from the situation helps or bringing in a third perspective. The major problem i've found with both these scenarios is that this relies on the women to 'see' sense first and be the one with more understanding. Women are more likely to want to deal with the 'drama' straight away because their emotions are closer to the surface. Men on the other hand close off and deal with it later. So commonly women are required to ignore their natural instincts when in a stressful situation. This doesn't mean that men are reacting the right way, because more than likely they are avoiding the issue more than going away and thinking things through. But more often than not women are expected to comply with adapting to a man's world because men don't waste energy unnecessarily. But what if i was to say that it is necessary to make a women feel 'safe' about taking a time-out. We're so scared men will make us forget there was a bad feeling in the first place. Men are good at that. Thats why we cling on so tenaciously. We need that security. We need to know we can talk about it later and have our voice heard. Why don't men know this already?

All i get told is that women are irrational and dramatic and need to "just be cool" about things. I know us girls get 'over-emotional' and 'needy' and should calm down sometimes... but surely its a two way process? Why can't they men "understand women more" and realise we try so hard to be so tough and independent so much, all day long... that sometimes all we want is reassurance and guy's shoulder to cry on. I mean we're happy to live in an age where women are equal and all that shit.

We can cope with getting our own bookcases and building them, we can move house on our own and don't need any guy to drive the van or life heavy stuff, we never ask for their presence walking home in the dark every night, we fix our own cars, we manage our own finances, we buy our own homes and live in them, we nurture high-flying careers, we ignore our biological clock in case we scare off potential suitors, we do everything women weren't doing 50 years ago and we still do everything they always did - give birth, cook & clean, raise the children, look stunning but not slutty, act coy and demure but bold and daring, try not to encourage other guy's attentions (even when were supposed to want sex just as much as men?!) but be a raving sexual minx in the bedroom and be ready for it anytime of the day.... you know i could go on, but my point is in this day and age women are expected to be everything and more.

Men just don't seem to allow for the kind of strain this can put us into. They don't understand our emotions are just underneath the surface and rise up to engulf us at any given moment. Its not something they have to deal with so why should they? And yet us girls are constantly told how we must be to impress men and keep a guy interested, how we must think more like guys so that they understand and respect us more, yet keep our feminine charms. And you know what... i can do that, limbic brain or not i can be all and everything a guy desires in a woman. I enjoy making men want me and making men happy. All i ask is the same in return and a little support and understanding every now and again when the perfect mask slips. Just open your eyes and look around and see why i'm upset. Listen to the words i use. Try to understand, especially if i'm understanding you. Dont get defensive! Women don't always blame men for things, we're just upset and needy because we think emotionally (not having a go!) and think you can make it better even if you didn't make the hurt. We want to let you know what turmoil is going on inside, we want you to know the situation upsets us because you are so important to us (not because its your fault and you have to fix it!), yes you with your big buff body (that u spend hours in the gym moulding) we want you to just listen and feel glad we are upset over you because u mean so much and just hold us and be there and make us feel safe. Thats all...

Ok end of rant. My limbic brain obviously had a direct connection the keyboard just then! ;)

Oct 15, 2009

Losing a friend... sometimes its for the best

When i was a kid i used to own a cute spotted pony called 'Polka'. He was my first pony so you can imagine the bond i developed with him. I loved the bones of that pony so much. He helped me through crap times at school and losing family members. I remember he was always scared of everything, so much that he'd shy away in the middle of me jumping or cantering and then i'd be off... but he'd always come back to get me and wait for me to get back on again.

I remember he was always ill with colic (sort of bad tummy for horses) which can be fatal because of the delicate set up of their internal systems. And one day my dad picked me up from school and told me Polka had colic again. At the time all i could think of was the expense of vet bills i hardly gave any thought to losing him.... i was so blase about it all that when i walked into his stable i was too upset and shocked to speak.

Polka was lying in the straw, to ill and weak to even lift his head to whicker a friendly hello. Sweat marks stained his pretty coat and he looked so skinny and withdrawn. The pain must have been intense. My friend cradled his head in her lap and tears stained her face as she looked up at me. I knew then that this was not the same as last time... my heart felt like it had fallen out of my chest, i couldn't swallow for the lump in my throat. My dad hugged me and then helped me get Polka to stand. It was best if he walked to maybe dislodge the blockage, but the poor thing was so exhausted it took three of us girls and my dad to hold up this heavy pony. He fell over three times on the cobbles even so.

The vet came and diagnosed a twisted gut. Basically the blood supply to the stomach was cut off and he needed surgery to twist it back. The operation cost almost £2000...more than my friend was worth. My dad looked at my sad face and nodded to the vet. We loaded my Polka into a borrowed trailer and took him to the surgery. All the way there my friends told me stories of what we would do when Polka was better, where we would go riding, camping taking the ponies with us, the competitions we would enter and win.... i almost felt positive and happy all would be ok.

He died later on the operating table after the vet did all they could. I kept a lock of his mane and his horseshoe...and i wrote everything down i could remember so i wouldn't forget. Ironically, when i look back, the way i actually got over him was to force myself not to think of him at all and just forget. I let his memory fade until all i can see now in my mind's eye is a pretty white spotted pony in the snow, just like the picture above. I seem to have dissociated all emotion from the memory. It means nothing.

I'm not sure if it helped or not that i chose to let Polka go. His illness was so far advanced that he would get colic every 6 months if the vet hadn't put him to sleep, and every time he would be in pain and every time i would get hurt. It was the hardest decision i ever made as a child and even now i look back... it was for the best.

Oct 13, 2009

What would you do if you weren't afraid... sign-up to a bootcamp?

In about the time it takes for my tea to simmer from hot to tender & warm, i was able to skim through a well known book titled "who moved my cheese". Its been sitting on my book shelf for months now. A friend bought it for me knowing my love of inspiring reads. She even sprinkled the pages with glittery stars to spice up my enjoyment...

I liked the story and the repeating question "what would you do if you weren't afraid?". Sometimes fear keeps us trapped in many situations because we're afraid to leave our comfort zone. Anger and resentment makes us unhappy but still we don't change, all because of the fear of failing. And even though i know the lessons already, sometimes i need to hear it again, to remember it.

So what would i do if i wasn't afraid?

I'd open my heart again and stop pretending a set of rules can keep me safe from getting hurt

I'd trust those closest to me to do what they say they will and not find fault if they can't. I'd trust them to care about me so much that there is no reason they would hurt me on purpose

I'd let all my frustration and disappointment go over things not going how i planned, and just have faith that the world i've created is moving in the right direction for me to be the happiest i could ever be

I'd realise that i am exactly where i need to be, not behind or too far ahead, in exactly the right spot to learn and be who i desire to be. Happiness is here. I shouldn't ignore it or try to control the situation, I should just be.

I'd let go once i knew that there is nothing left to stay for and stop allowing possessions (material or otherwise) to become more important than my own pursuit of happiness.

I'd take control more and fight for what i wanted

I'd see myself as amazing as i am and stop looking or searching for the cracks

I'd make it happen

Funny thing is writing this out makes me laugh because although i 'know' this stuff inside out, suddenly all this makes sense again! I love who i am and you know i love most of all the fact that i see all of this and that i'm aware of my potential. Crazy, kooky love-hippy-chic with a spiritual soft-centre? Maybe but who gives a fuck if it makes me feel good right?

Anyway i'll leave you guys (boys only i'm afraid) with something to consider... a change to embrace if you fancy it:

A friend of mine, 5.0 is taking charge of his first official bootcamp with Sheriff in London. What is a bootcamp you may ask? Well its run by lovesystems a well known school that teaches 'the' methodology of how to talk, approach and date women successfully in any situation. I've been to a few of the seminars and talks and this stuff is eye-opening to say the least and i'm a girl! I've also been approach by 5.0 himself (yes that was how we met) and i must admit i was well and truly smitten for a while ;) And here i am promoting his shit so i must think he's cool still?!

Anyway there are a few seats left so if you want to go drop him an email Just tell him i sent you ;) and he'll be extra nice cos you're my friend.

Laters xoxo

Oct 9, 2009

I want a fiat 500. Ok then!

New Adventure & Me-Time Plan

Project Mission: To get some alone time to finish writing, see something new and get away from London for the day this weekend since i have nothing booked!

Requirement: A Fiat 500, because i want one. Plan is to hire one which i can for £30 a day.

Destination: Anywhere south. Brighton?

Why: Because i can

Musings: Be nice to get away from the city and chill and meet new people and take some cool pictures with my Nikon that currently gathering dust, and make progress with my book.

And: I promise to blog about my adventure...

Sometimes i forget to focus on "what i really want"...

Know what you want, focus on it, and gradually make it happen...

I know it works because i've studied it and lived it for the last two years....

Only i've been quite negative recently, focusing heavily on what i 'don't' want and this is perpetuating a current 'shit-storm' that keeps raining heavily on my life.

I'm not sure how this happened, but the immediate effects are apparent. I've started to worry and get 'down' a lot about my situation. You see i'm homeless, or will be very soon. Come the end of the month i have no where to go! I've also had to deal with some heartache, and even though i know how to mend it, i still have to go through the motions of working through it. Bad emotions are a bitch... really, but they all come from the after-glow of self-pitying, whinny, negative thought patterns.

So i'm going to give my ego a kick and a re-start this weekend. I'm going to ban those little stray instances of 'poor me' and not just get on with it... i don't want to be a martyr. In fact i have more than a lot to be grateful for. I just need to get off my sorry ass and enjoy it!

So hence the 'Bad-Thought-Diet':

At least once a day i'm going to tweet about something amazing that happened to me or something cool about myself, anything as long as it positive.

I'm going to start reading material that opens up my awareness again, and allow the teachings of other people to influence my day and my perception of it

I'm also going to re-start my creative journal. I stopped writing in it because i didn't need it anymore. The good-feeling intentions generated in my mind were enough to sustain me. But slowly i've let things slide... i couldn't even motivate a cheerleader at a pep rally at this rate. So i'm going write in my journal everything i 'do' want in my life and focus on that.

Its time for a change... but like everything, the change needs to happen within first, and to be honest i'm tired of listening to myself moaning!

Sep 29, 2009

Northern girls - a hard act to follow

Liverpool girls are fashionable, brazen, sharp-edged and hard to the core. I should know, I used to be one. Then i moved south and softened a little.

This difference struck me as quite apparent the other day when i called my mum for a girly catchup session. She's a tough chick through and through and i wonder sometimes where she gets her strength from, but i also wonder at her lack of compassion, You see i'm getting over this guy and i was quite upset, and all i wanted or needed was a little empathy and a few hugs.

So she listens to me blub on about how he hurt me and how hurt i was feeling for about ten minutes, not saying a word. Then when i've finished sobbing my heart out, she tuts loudly and says "I wish i'd have been there. I would have slapped some sense into you. Crying over a boy. I'm ashamed to call you my daughter!"

Ok. Major switch of gears on my part. I tactfully stifle my tears until they are barely glistening on my cheek and brush off the impact of this guy on my poor heart, and my mother's last retort with a bit of indifference. I should know by now not to drown my sorrows with her as my companion. She just doesn't give an inch with that kind of emotion. Its like she doesn't know how to get upset unless its unresolved anger - the sort that causes family feuds and wars with the neighbours. My mother doesn't cry easily. Shes the type of person who won't allow herself to waste tears on anyone... god forbid a man.

My friend, also from Liverpool, was quick to paint her mother with the same brush. Its like up north, because its colder or something, the women are less forgiving and not so full of mush. They are proud of being brassier and bolder. They won't hesitate to make crass comments or reduce a man to tears. Its a scary place for a guy i can imagine... thats why they all marry so young.

And so where does that leave me? I was born there and was every bit a northen bird until i moved south almost ten years ago. South. Where all the women are sweeter and softer, and the mothers collect china dolls and knit doilies. Deep down i still have that desire to be a touch cookie. When i get pushed to the edge i start to sharpen my tongue and click my heels with impatience. But its like i've taken a few sugar pills. I'm more understanding and tolerant. I'm more giggly and weepy. Only i can't decide which part (hard or soft) is the outer shell or the centre, and which part is the real me.

The funny thing is, when i start to talk in my native scouse accent... i feel like i'm hard as nails, and no-one, especially a guy, should mess with me.

May you live in interesting times...

Every year or so i decide to massively overhaul my life... either by changing where i live, changing my job or who i'm seeing, or all three. It usually happens after my birthday, coming into the winter months. A kinda fall clearout of useless emotions, ties and goals. This year is no exception. I feel like i've gone all out. I'm currently torn into little pieces and scattered all over the shop. Its relentless, its unforgiving... but its who i am. I like to evolve or should i say force myself to evolve.

The worst thing is knowing that you did this to yourself. Thats the hardest pill to swallow... that the turmoil going through your life is a result of your own restlessness. I can't sit still at the best of times, so give me a long stretch of the 'same old' and get itchy feet.

I've been trying to understand why i spread myself so thin, because ultimately it ends with a fall from grace of some kind. Either i over-promise or i sell myself short.... or i end up confused and not knowing if i'm doing the right thing.

I'm still not really inside my own head, but its starting to ease off. I had a few positives come my way that really opened my eyes to my situation. I'm in control. As always, and my perception is half the feeling and half the battle. Seeing all of this chaos as something that needs to be done, to shake things up a little, challenge me, and define who i am.

I have to go through this, so that one day i can look back and smile. Just like i do now.

Someone very cool and who i miss chatting to told me "happy people are happy on purpose." Thanks J. I'm going to keep that in mind.

Sep 27, 2009

House hunting is like dating... well sort of

I've been searching high and low for the past couple of months looking for the perfect flat in the perfect location that doesn't cost the earth. And i'm still looking...

It struck me that while this search is certainly stressful, its almost like dating: at first you're so excited about the prospect of looking around for something new, taking your own sweet time about it, enjoying the ride. Later you start to lose hope that you'll ever find anything you could see a future with, theres always one thing missing, or something just not quite right, or all the good ones are already taken. And finally you start to compromise on your expectations, taking them down a notch or two or giving up on a few essentials and settling for a place that is more comfortable than dazzling. At the end of the day you have to live there for a pretty long time, so as long as your basic needs are met, you'll probably still be happy? right?

I'm not sure, as i say i still haven't found anywhere! And as for dating, i'm learning an important lesson in the art of 'letting go', as the worst part of committing even a tiny bit towards something that has the potential to be great, is realising it will never be exactly how you want. When this happens, you just have to take a deep breath and get on with your life.

I've always believed that better things are always around the corner, and life proves me right time and time again. Every flat i've seen so far is better than the last. I'm actually getting good at sizing up the property just from the online ad. In seconds i know if its worth seeing or not. I even know what questions to ask and what is a show stopper for me. Funny that i have to go back to dating, i wonder if i'm still astute enough to 'know' if a guy is worth a couple of hours of my time or will i just want to climb out the bathroom window in the restaurant after a few hours like i have done in the past?

Here are a few of my showstoppers i've gathered over the years, and any guy that retains these lovely qualities automatically gets rejection:

- He gets smutty or rude straight away before i've even kissed him (automatic turn off!)
- He smokes or does drugs (i've dated both but its not something i want to do ever again)
- He assumes i will sleep with him and makes an issue of it (yes these guys still exist)
- He has little or no confidence in himself and i have to lead all the time (I want a white knight, not a wet blanket)
- He puts me down or teases in a negative way in order to make himself feel superior and in control
- He has no drive or ambition

Looking at these you may think, but surely they go without saying? However i think it takes a while for these kind of traits to filter through as an automatic 'no' to a girl. I've been guilty of knowing these guy are bad news, but i would still entertain them by allowing them to harass me. I used to call it 'being nice' but really its all about your ego enjoying the 'unwanted' attention. You don't have to reply to every text message or email you get or answer if he calls. Any little encouragement, even just being polite, is a red flag to a bull. Maybe its not nice to ignore a guy but for my own sanity i've had to become ruthless - and even if he seems cool, i take his number just in case i change my mind, otherwise like with house hunting..... i'd spend all my time filtering the rejects, and not enough time on the things/people that truly matter.

Sep 9, 2009

Be Strong and they become weak - or getting over One-itis

In every girl there is a weakness and I'm sure in every guy there is one too...

... i'm talking about that 'one' person who at this moment holds the key to your leash. They are your achilles heel.

Symptoms? Well you think about them often, and things jump out and remind you of them. You find little ways (excuses) to communicate with them, see them, talk to them, get involved in their life. You stalk them on facebook & have an rss to their twitter feed. You notice every detail about what they like and don't like. You check your phone constantly and if that message isn't from them you get annoyed. In fact it feels like you carry rejection everywhere you go...

Sound familiar? In some circles they call this 'one-itis'. Its an addiction to how this 'one' person makes you feel... nothing more. When around you feel happy, confident, comfortable, attractive, secure, etc. A dangerous state to associate with a particular person, because when they leave or are not around, guess who feels the impact in equal but negative measure? Yes, you do.

So how to combat this almost debilitating situation?

Simply find your strength. When you become the 'stronger' opponent, you are instantly in control. And they are not. This leaves them a choice of either admitting defeat and walking away or accepting the 'weaker' position (in which they can develop a stronger attraction towards you) that you previously occupied. And of course i'll explain how:

Create a little distance
In any addiction you need to wean yourself off the source. The hardest but most rewarding thing to do is create a little space between you. I call it back-leading. Don't see it as retreating, see it as soldier would see a military perfidy tactic - falsify surrender and lose a little interest in the action for a while. I don't mean give the silent treatment or become cold and aloof.... I mean get out of town for a while or find ways to become busy enough you don't have time. You could even change the dynamics of the relationship to less one level of commitment for a brief period than the status quo (e.g. from living together to living apart, from seeing each other every other day to once/twice a week, from drinking as mates every friday to missing a few in a row) This has the effect of giving you some perspective on the matter and allowing them to 'breathe' and hopefully 'miss' you. This works better if on the surface at least, the reason for down-grading is not at all to do with them.

Do the "unexpected"
If you are predictable, you can be controlled. Maybe they know you well enough to know how you will act or maybe they don't... but the fact of the matter is anyone can be predictable if the situation is such. I know if a guy is 'into' me and i text him, he will text back straight away. I know its such a chore to play games, so i'm not saying you have to sit and wait a few hours before you text back as that is predictable too if you 'always' make them wait (which has happened to me and i actually stopped bothering to text because i didn't want to wait for his reply) I'm actually saying get a life where you don't have time to sit glued to your phone. If its in your pocket and you get a text then cool reply straight away. If you're in the supermarket buying drinks for your house party and u have an hour to get ready don't waste time trying to text back, at least wait until you get home and you have a free hand. This way your response is unpredictable because your life is. It could be immediate or it could be delayed... but always you can and will as soon as you are able.

Stick to your guns
Its one thing to decide what your boundaries are but its another to act on them and not make allowances. And you may just do that if this person is on a pedestal. Treat them the same as anyone else and they will respect you all the more. Letting them get away with treating you badly will only make them less attracted to you. They may also feel obliged to see just how far they can push you. Like pets and children, don't let them walk all over you. Be firm and resolute, but nice enough with it that you aren't a spoil sport for any fun and games. Make it part of the game (again like with pets and children) so there is an edge enough that they might just get their way. We all like the taste of possible victory... it makes life more interesting. One way i have to measure my 're-actions' or their behaviour for acceptability is to consider if i would allow a proper friend to do that to me or would i treat a friend that way. If the answer is yes then its usually safe to go with it.

Don't try with willpower alone
In nutrition terms i would never advise a smoker or sugar/caffeine/alcohol abuser to give up their habit with willpower alone. I plan them a course involving tons of supplements and substances that will give the body what it needs naturally, and offer support and help to the addict overcome their cravings. Willpower alone never works. And how does this relate to 'one-itis'? Well lets take for example drunk texting/calling. Its a bad, bad habit. And worse when its directed at the one you really, really like. One or twice in a month is flattering, but all the time and up to 15 times a night is irksome. Another example is facebook stalking. Do you really need to look at their profile again and again just to upset yourself when you see a picture of them with someone who is not you? No you don't. Deal with issues like this in ways that make sense. 1) avoid temptation by turning your phone off or hiding their news feeds. 2) seek help and support from a friend who can remove you phone from your possession. 3) have an alternative you can call or fb stalk like a f*ckbuddy or a best mate. 4) realise if you do slip up that they should be very flattered you even bothered as you don't give that much attention to anyone else ;)

Create abundance
Of course the best medicine for one-itis is to go cold turkey on them and consume other 'less' desirables. In otherwords, widen the net and seek other pleasures.... either by dating others or by filling your life with so many distractions you 'forget' about your addiction. You soon realise there is more to life that this one person and that the same feelings you found in them can be created elsewhere. The more you spread your attention, the less you depend on just one source for satisfying the insecurities of your ego (though i'll always advice that you try subdue the cravings of the ego instead of feed it, but thats quite a task and another article). This will breakdown some or maybe all of the addiction until you're in control again.

Alright, i hope this helps anyone who's even done the crazy things i've done and felt like so foolish over (yes i've called a guy 15 times in one night when i was drunk!). Even if it was a long, long time ago i'll never be able to repair my behaviour with them. First impressions count and also long standing crazy ones.... so keep the crazy between you and your diary/best friend and show them only your good side for at least 80% of the time (statistically the lowest percentage of 'good feelings' time needed to cement a long lasting attraction), and go have fun ;)

Sep 8, 2009

"All girls want a boyfriend" ... er no, not in my world

I've just been listening to Lilly's new single 22. And despite the depressing lyrics.... i actually like it.

But you know. I have to disagree with it. After all i'm nearly 30 and my life is definitely not over.

Going back to basics... your life is what you make it. 'Society' may dictate that by now i should be married with kids, but i love my life the way it is and one day those things may or may not come, but they do not define how happy or complete i am.

There is this myth still in circulation that all girls want boyfriends.

I think it must be a throwback from the era when women were defined by their marriage -they weren't able to vote or have rights and they definitely did not have careers. In this day and age, where women are meant to be equals, we still aren't. A girl that sleeps around is a whore and a woman that reaches the age of 30 and isn't married is an old spinster, yes, even in major cities like London.

Typically women are programmed to want to find the love of their lives and want to start a family. Its in the movies, the romance novels and even in the hearts of the women themselves. You ask any girl and her biggest dream would probably to be to fall in love, second usually to getting married and having kids. No wonder guys think all girls just want a boyfriend...

And you know what? I actually don't. Not right now.

It hit me while i was cramming two business meetings, flat hunting and a friendly lunch into a tight schedule - i don't have time to be in love. Not right now. Even if it turned up on my doorstep i'm a little reluctant to accept it. You see i've been bitten by that bug that seems to affect men quite a lot. Now i'm not sure if its because i've working hard on myself to banish a lot of my female insecurities and needs, developing my career and social life, filling my world with ambition and independence, or if its because have created a world of abundance when it comes to men and pretty much have no trouble finding a date, playmate or a boyfriend should i really want one... or all of the above ;)

Right now? i just want to focus on my career. If any guy came along who wanted some kind of commitment from me... i'm not sure i would have the time to oblige.

You see i'm selfish and i like my me time. I also like spending time with my friends and going places with 'guy' friends as well as girls. I also love not having to answer to anyone. I mean i have plenty of time to get married and be a mother. Now is the time to have my freedom, while i'm young enough to enjoy it!

But... and theres always a 'but' ;) I love doing those things that couples do. I love going on dates with someone i know well that i don't have to 'make' conversation. I only like sleeping with the same guy who knows my body and i know his. I love waking up with someone next to me and cuddling before work. I love going on holidays, cooking him meals, doing those little things like buying him presents and sending him things i know will make him laugh. I love making that one person i care about happy...

But I just don't want the hassle of having to change my life to fit someone else into it. I've had to do it time and time again before and maybe i will be able to compromise in the future.... but right now its not for me. I don't have time or the motivation to be that girlfriend - the one that chooses to stay in because three nights in a row is a bit much, who cuts out her 'guy' friends because he gets jealous, who saves for the house not herself, who has to play nice with his annoying work friends, who runs errands and does the monthly shop, who goes to bed alone waiting for him to come home, who does the washing and the ironing because he is crap at it, who shifts her goals and ambitions to fit in with his dreams, who adapts her clothes and the way she does her hair to appease him, who is suddenly aiming for less than she is able and doesn't even see it... all because she loves her boyfriend very, very much.

No i'm not ready to be that person... and i'm not sure if i ever will. I like my life and any guy who wants me will seriously have to make me fall very, very hard to change that, especially if he wants me to iron his shirts... well maybe on his birthday ;)

Sep 4, 2009

Focus on you ... for a change

A friend of mine was telling me a story about her weekend. In that story were many crazy moments but scattered between the memories were words used to justify her 'selfless' actions... words like 'i couldn't let him do that for me', 'i'm not worthy of such attention', 'he didn't really want to, i don't think'...

Another friend explained her lack of communication with her boyfriend with words like 'he'll think i'm needy', 'i don't want to bother him, 'he doesn't want me there'....

And i have been guilty of similar 'selfless' thoughts such as 'i want to make her feel comfortable/happy', 'i want this person to like me', 'i should give/spend more time'...

In retrospect, this is selfishness coming through the backdoor.

I read once that 'tending only your own garden' is the most selfless act you can choose to do. Meaning?... well look after yourself and your desires first. It may sound like a contradiction. To be self absorbed is not what I was taught at school. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense. But the more i study philosophy, psychology, science, spirituality and even art...

...the more i understand the concept of truly being selfless - its minding your own business.

To connect with everything you have to start with yourself first. Call it 'self-love' or call it 'inner-game'... doesn't matter what the hell you call it. The results are the same. Everyone gains. And I'll explain how.

*Only you know what you want*
You will never know what anyone else is thinking or feeling, so how can you know what they really want? Don't waste your time. Trying will cost energy and generate useless negative emotion, especially if you get it wrong. Its also a really selfish thing to do, putting thoughts and words to other people's lips. It's truly arrogant thinking you know them better than themselves and then change your behaviour without consulting them first. Take at face value what others say out loud - that they mean what they say - it helps those around you to strengthen their boundaries if they don't, and be honest with themselves and you. Your friends will understand nothing if you anticipate their needs with your own good intentions. And neither will you.

*Inspiration is a great teacher*
Focus on yourself and who you want to be. I can guarantee it will inspire others to evolve as you do. The challenge you set your friends will be to climb the same mountains, or maybe find a different path. Whatever the outcome, its the only way to progress. Constantly turning back to observe others on their ability to climb will only hinder you both. Assist if you can, but not at your expense.

*You are better equipped to help*
I was told that you should only write about what you know, because being there is only way to understand the true perspective of any experience. And if you help yourself climb that mountain first... then you'll know exactly where the pitfalls and potential dangers lie. Only by helping yourself can you then begin to help others, and most importantly relate.

*If you are happy, others are too*
Focusing on you and what makes you happy has a strange way of becoming infectious to those around you. They become happy by default (If they care, and i'm assuming you only want people around you that care). Your life - career, family, friends, home, interests, studies, projects, teachings, travels... the things that give more definition to just an 'existence' - is what makes you 'you'. It is the reason why the people around you love you and find you 'attractive'. Continue to dazzle them if you can. I know it will brighten up their day.

So if you want my advice, based on what i've been through myself, then do everyone a favour - go focus on you ... for a change ;)

Aug 22, 2009

"The Way We Were..." and how to get it back (your 5 a day to relationship health)

One thing that strikes me about the relationships people confide in me about is their tendency to fade from that passionate "can't keep our hands off each other" stage to a lesser "yeah its ok i suppose" mundane sort of existence. And what makes me further curious is the fact that there are two groups of thought:

The Realists believe is that is normal. There is no permanent happy ever after. The honeymoon period always ends at some point in the relationship and after that its simply time to work at staying together. They accept their lot in life through 'fear' or 'laziness' and don't try for anything more.

The Idealists believe that this means the relationship is over as 'love' should be easy not hard so this person is obviously not the 'One' for them. They seek perfection.... either in a 'romantic-i must find my soulmate' sense or a 'practical-i can do better' kinda way.

Like i say i'm curious about the people behind these views but i'm not one of them. I'm not sure of the label i would have but if i had to call myself anything i would say i'm a 'Creator'. I won't tolerate the mundane and i won't seek happiness elsewhere. Someone once told me that 'happiness' is already right where you standing. Not in another country, career or person. If you have to go looking, then you will never find it or have it for long.

Anyway digress ;) So what does a 'Creator' do?

Well i believe we focus on maintaining the passion,
excitement and all that 'feel-good' emotion. We keep the relationship alive so that neither of us want to leave it. In other words.... maintaining the attraction.

And how is this done? Well attraction is a very complex yet simple concept. I could either write pages and pages in detail on what attracts men to women and what attracts women to men. I could breakdown physical, emotional and mental ways to create and build up attraction, but to be honest it only really boils down to 5 things once you are in a relationship. (Meeting or Dating? Well thats a different story!)

So those 5 things?

The 'Feel-Good' Factor:
It stands to reason that both men and women want to feel good about their lives. And feeling great about love is a big part of that. Many couples start to feel bad about the relationship when one or both is not longer fun to be around. Any negative emotion (anger, sadness, neediness etc) directed towards the relationship can cause these bad vibes and if its more that say 20% of your time spent with each other.... then you're messing with the foundations of your future happiness together. If one of you is constantly freaking out or angry about something the other is doing or saying then they have turned into a person that is not inducing 'happy' emotions in their partner.

If someone doesn't feel good around you (say if you are one causing the bad vibes) then its more difficult for your sweetie to want to invest more time and energy into you and the relationship. The easy road is often the road out of the firing line. And then you're one your own.

In the most basic sense.... whatever emotion you feel, your lover will feel too by way of your actions when you are close to them. Remember feelings are guided by thoughts and you can control what you think. Ditch the negative re-occurring insecure rant and adopt a relationship pep-talk instead. Focus on the good and the rest will follow ;)

Emotional Maturity & Understanding:
The way you act with each other from day one when 'bumps' in the road appear is more important than the actual 'bump' itself. So for example how you act when your partner makes a mistake or does something that upsets you and doesn't realise (triggering your insecurities by jealousy, lateness, distance etc). If your girl/guy genuinely cares they won't be doing anything maliciously to upset you. It will be without realising. Emotional experience should bring about an open and understanding response.... not an over emotional or negative one. The person who has messed up will feel bad enough and putting them in a situation where they can't 'make it right' or 'give reassurance' will only trap them into thinking "I can't make this person happy" and/or "If this is what they are like now, how will things get any better in the future the longer we are together?". After a short period they will feel like they have to walk on eggshells just to keep the peace (and trust me they will do anything to keep it, even leave).

Make changes in your 're-actions' and break negative patterns by putting yourself in their shoes and arguing their point of view in your head for 5 minutes. Don't compare their behaviour with others or your own (men are just as different from other men as men are from women and vice versa). Each person will have personal baggage and reasons for who they are and how they behave. As long as they can understand the depth of your hurt just once it is unlikely they will fail to try to avoid the error in the future, especially if they care. And if you're the reason for all the drama... don't do what doesn't work (defend yourself & your actions repeatedly). Understand why they are upset and make it up to your lover in a way they can forgive.

Connection & Attraction:
One thing couples, especially women, do too much of is talking. Having a serious 'talk' with your babe will not inspire feeling of connection or attraction if it comes to more than 2% of your relationship time together. Keep it short, sweet and direct to the point and follow it up with 'fun' after (never go to bed on an argument, unless bed doesn't include sleeping...).

The rest of the time KISS. And i mean keep it simple ;) I say always try treat your girl/guy like its your first few dates. So flirt, kiss, laugh and tease, touch their arm, hold hands and talk about light-hearted rubbish that means nothing. Keep your expectations of what they can/will do for you at early stages of dating level and you will never be disappointed (i'm not saying they won't do more, but your attitude to what they do for you should be to never expect too much. With pressure off, acts of service towards you will be a pleasure not a pain). The more you act like the first stages/flush of love... the more it will be, and any issue or problems that arise will be easier to tackle and it will be more worthwhile solving them between u both.

Actions speak louder than words. So 'do' stuff together that creates a bond between you and shared memories and experiences. Again this links in with the feel-good factor i mentioned earlier. People who feel good when together are likely to develop strong emotional attractions for each other. Emotional attraction is not dependant on physical, intellectual or social attractions. All of these are powerful when meeting and dating, but the latter three are short-lived in actual relationships and can only be re-kindled/maintained (not usually created otherwise we'd all start fancying our friends!) long-term with a strong emotional attraction.

'Icing' on the cake. Not the 'main' ingredient:
Every couple should be better and happier together. That goes without saying. Cake tastes sweeter with icing than without. However cake by itself is just dandy and satisfying. In fact you can live quite happily without any icing your whole life. You aren't bothered if you don't have it and can quite easily get some if you fancy it. A guy or girl in your life should be exactly like that - an additional (quite exciting/sexy) character to a fantastic, fun-filled adventure story that is your life. People want others around to bring something better, not to fill a void or complete someone else. This neediness shows when the girl/guy is less likely to hang out with friends, develop or maintain interests outside the relationship and is controlled by their partner through fear of losing them. When a girl or guy doesn't have much going on in their life besides the relationship its like an unconscious signal to the their partner that they are 'needed' rather than 'desired'. And that too much focus is on the relationship as their source of happiness. Once again there is a pressure (not pleasure) to perform. And no one wants or can cope with that kind of responsibility.

So make sure your life is complete and you have interests outside your love-life. I know its a well known fact but its because its true. One way of looking at it is "if my lover left me today... what do i have?". If all you have is your job and your family then its time to make some positive additions to your life that removes your dependency your partner for their time and attention. Go make them miss you.

No one needs to be rescued:
Nobody likes to be nagged or asked to change. Your partner should love you for who you are, not try and 'fix' you. And vice versa. People will change when they want to for their own reasons and nothing else. If they do it will be short-lived and without much effort. Also people are selfish and will do things for themselves first and foremost. Nothing motivates change like your own misery or happiness (punishment or reward). It then stands to reason that if a guy or girl has behaviour you don't like its easier to manage if they are benefiting from changing their ways not just to make you happy. Couples stay in relationships because their flaws are handled in a way that is indirect rather than head on.

Take time to praise or indicate in passing or better still reward good behavior. Point out what actions you liked or didn't care for in 'other' relationships. Call out their bad behaviour immediately and why it makes you feel bad. Do it once, allow them to make it up to you, then let it go. The more you go on about something they did (or didn't do) the less it makes an impact. If you can't forgive yet and you still feel angry or upset then take yourself away without being 'cold' or giving the silent treatment. The key is to no longer be actively interested... only passively interested. Your lack of activity in the relationship will make more of an impact than any negative emotion you can throw at them. And they will be less likely to associate you with feeling bad (cos you're not there). And if you're the one being asked to change but your lover is going about it the wrong way, call it out as you would any other bad behaviour. You need to know how far you can push against their boundaries if you are to have any respect for them in the future.

Ok so thats the big 5 a day. Go and indulge ;)

As usual
i'm free to chat on msn or by email about relationship stuff so don't be shy. I get quite a few emails a week and girls (mostly) call me or ping on msn so if i can't get back to you right away that why. I do answer everyone though so please be patient!

Until next time... xoxo

Aug 12, 2009

How to forget a guy in seven days....

A very dear friend of mine called yesterday (well actually she pinged me on BB messenger) but the result was the same. The guy she once said those three little words to and meant it, was no longer wanting to hear them. They were breaking up, and it broke my heart to hear the pain she felt in losing him. It was not in her nature to be tenacious, yet here she was looking for every reason to pursue him still.

I think one thing women need to work on is not being a victim when it comes to the end of road. As the 'fairer' sex i know we love to play the damsel. We are conditioned to let the guy make choices for us and then weep inconsolably at the outcome. But that doesn't mean we have to be the one drawing the short straw. Oh no..... accepting it is almost half of the battle. Its gaining his respect in one hand, keeping your dignity intact, and its a step in the direction of getting over the loss.

We have all been there. The darkest hour? You know the one. When you're just packing away the groceries and a piece of paper falls to the floor, which turns out to be an old love letter from 'him'. Suddenly the panic and pain hits you in the chest, and the tears you buried surface bringing with them all the heart-wrenching emotions, blazing full colour right there in your kitchen next to the fridge. It totally sucks. He's gone and you feel like you will never, never get through it alone... not without him.

Maybe you're going through this right now? But i can tell you... there is a choice. Even if the 'break-up' is not what you wanted, there is a way to get through it that doesn't have to entertain such drama. As i've experienced my share of heartache, i've realised a few things.... drama begets drama, and usually the thing that hurts most of all is your ego, and fear of loss. If you'll listen here are a few thoughts that have carried me through to see the light at the end of the tunnel. And you can do it, however long you were with him, and however close u were together. The only thing holding you back is limit of the perception you have of yourself and your self worth.

Day 1. You broke up. Maybe he ended things with you or maybe it was mutual but you feel like it was less your choice than his. You'll probably be feeling the ache of loss right now inside. That loss is just a hole where he used to make u feel 'loved' and 'accepted'. Remember that is the ego demanding that you fill that void either by chasing him or by crying, feeling sorry for yourself and generally just moping. Do yourself a favour and realise that this loss just means you have lost your connection to yourself, the person that matters most. How to reconnect with you? Treat yourself like you want the world to treat you... you matter most. Cook yourself an amazing meal, dress up and do your make up, go out with a good book and sit in the sun or in a bar with a glass of wine. Date yourself. Leave room for no one else. You deserve it.

Day 2. You spent the whole night awake and in tears. You don't want to do anything but stay in bed, cry and hug your pillow... well don't, you are not a victim anymore, so don't act like one. The things he has done to hurt you (and breaking up with you is hurting you) can't be repeated now that he is not allowed to be close to you. He is no longer allowed to make you feel as small as you felt when he left you. He lost that right so don't keep giving it to him. The only way to be the victim is if you let your mind decide you are one. And don't pay any attention to the mind and the shallow thoughts it has about how 'weak' you are. You wouldn't let a friend tell you such things, so don't allow you.

Day 3. You woke up and he wasn't there and body ached to feel him next to you. The body is the most treacherous of all. It wants physical contact and your memory of what it was like is causing you real pain because you know its will never be with him again. Ok cut the crap. Firstly if you've been crying all night you will now look terrible and thats no way to abuse yourself for the sake of a guy. And secondly, how do you know you will not feel an embrace that good with someone else. It happened before it will happen again. Take a deep breath, get up and put on some loud, summer tunes that make you feel like dancing and be bold. If you do happen to recall memories of you together picture them small and at a distance, devoid of colour and grainy.... like an old movie. Put on some sexy underwear and blow kisses at yourself. Imagine that some new guy is going to get very lucky one day because u are now free to flaunt it elsewhere after being taken for granted for so long.

Day 4. Burn it or get rid of. I'm not talking material things here. I'm talking about your emotions that lend a sad tear of regret to the relationship. The worst thing that holds people back is thinking that they could have avoided this outcome or that they still can avoid it. I've got news for you.... its happened and by treating it like whats done is done is the only way to get through it faster and smarter AND with his respect. Don't ask him for answers to ask him to consider a second chance. Where you are now will teach you how to avoid mistakes in the future, but with someone else. Because you can only apply these lessons at the time to reap the benefits, not now and not later. Write out a list of things that you won't accept from any guy full stop, and see where he failed you. Take note that he did fail you and how you let him. Promise yourself that you won't let anyone else treat you as badly... and that if he wants a second chance he would have to earn your trust. He is the one being rejected.

Day 5. No contact... for a while. You don't have to cut him out of your life forever. Just for now will do while you sort out yourself and your life. If he is worth it you guys will be friends again. Don't worry too much that you will never see him or speak to him again. Thats being a tad over the top. It may feel like you can never be friends but you don't know the future and feelings fade. If you're finding that you need to call him then just remember that contacting him for anything other than 'polite conversation' makes you look weak and sets you back to day one every single time. No emotional stuff ok? It drains both you and him. He will find reasons to avoid you to keep from 'hurting' you (yes men are idiots). Just keep it light, short and sweet. You want to be his 'cool' ex... not his freaky, stalker, still hung up on him bunny boiler ex.

Day 6. Either have options or none at all. Us girls aren't like men and sometimes we need to close ourselves off to other guys. While this is ok for a while, realise that men operate on the 'options' side of things and so he'll have a head start in the 'seeing someone else' game. If you're ok with that then by all means become a nun and become best friends with your rabbit. However dating can be good for the soul. Just dinner and drinks and mild flirting make the ego happy. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that the first guy you meet is the standard you're stuck with for the rest if your life and this is what has become of you. Imagine you've just be given your first unlimited store card and you're trying it out whatever seems to take your fancy. Just have fun. Later you'll get more discerning at what you want and you'll know in as little as a few minutes if a guy is worth dating, and if he's worth your time/effort or not.

Day 7. Think of where you want to go in your life. Write a list of all the things you want to have, or things that you want to do. Then go and live/get that list. Do something nice for yourself to look forward to or get involved in something satisfying and worthwhile that doesn't involve a guy. Going away is always good or even better start studying (think julia roberts in pretty woman) or even throw yourself into a business or get creative. Notice i didn't say work? You need to add more round edges to yourself to fill the void in your ego and build confidence in yourself and spend more time with you, not work yourself into the ground! Many girls say that they don't know what to do now. Well use this opportunity to do something you could never have done when you with that guy or with anyone. Go out and just have fun with life. You never know where it will take you and who you will meet ;)

So there we have it. I'm not saying it will only take seven days but i see no reason why it shouldn't. Time is just a concept created in our minds. A minute can feel like a day, and a week can fly by in the blink of an eye.

This post is dedicated to my best and closest friend ,who i can't be there for this week, but i am thinking of her lots! xoxo

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