Mar 30, 2009

Approval seeking among friends...

When they have an opinion I try not to listen. Everytime I follow advice other than my own, the outcome is not what I wished for and then I feel resentment for not trusting my own judement. As only I can see what is truly 'real' and only I can give myself advice. And yet despite this I still feel pressured to listen and take my friends' advice... just to have their approval, just in case they are 'right'. I have stopped listening, but I'm still anticipating what they would expect. This is becoming detrimental to my health.

Too many opinions confuse me. I then spend too much time in my head. Men are right. Women think too much. Maybe I should buy an x-box? ;)

Still I'm not completely cut-off from feedback. I have a few friends that I trust enough to absorb and reflect their words of wisdom. The difference? Why would I heed their advice and not others?

Well they are living their life how I would want to live mine.

I respect them.

They inspire me to be more than I am.

Their feedback is positive.

They are living by example and happier for it.

They listen to me.

And they do as I do… they give their honest thoughts and then remind me that only I will truly 'know' what to do and don't make me feel bad if I don't agree for follow what they have to say.

So from now on I'm trying to not be so open with my problems and only seek advice of those who I trust. I'm not going to approval seek from anyone, even myself.

And I might buy an x-box….

Mar 26, 2009

Men think women create unnecessary 'drama'

A throwback from an era when men didn't cry or talk about their emotions has given rise to a generation of guys who think their way of acting is the only sane way to act. Don't expect him to understand 'why' you need a hug right now, to make sense of your need for reassurance or to anticipate your mood swings. Simple fact is he won't...

Our worst behaviours.... crying, sulking, seeking approval/validation, convincing, bartering for affection and giving ultimatums are all unattractive, especially to guys. It isn't the way they act (well most of the time) and so anything different will set you apart as moody, overly sensitive & emotional. Don' t take it personally. He's just obtuse that way ;)

So what's a girl to do?

Remember... its not about who is right, but what works. Swallow your pride ladies and do something you've never considered before. Seek to understand him. And in doing so you will be understood.

A guy's perspective

Put yourself in his shoes, think about what he wants (and don't assume its the same as you), think how your reaction would make him feel and mirror how he would handle the situation instead.

Heres a blast from my past as an example:

Location: Bar in Soho
Time: 12.30
Scenario: My bf is late (again) to meet with me and our friends. He is meant to be bringing my purse. I've been texting/calling for the last four hours and no answer. He's just arrived.

Me: You said you would be here at 7.30pm. Its like midnight? Where the hell have you been?
BF: Sorry babe been at a work drinks. The bar was in the cellar so no reception.

At this point i seem to have forgotten our friends are standing within earshot. Anger seems to be giving way to contempt for this loser and i start to sulk.

Me: You could have called?
BF: I know i just wasn't able to get away. Jane had me meet some clients.
Me: Typical... just give me my purse.
BF: Oh shit babe i forgot. Its in the car still. Look i'll buy your drinks tonight?
Me: *rolls eyes* Oh whats the point.... the night is over already and i'm tired. Can we go?

He gets into defense mode and i get all 'poor me'.

Bf: I just got here....
Me: Well you should have thought of that earlier. I've been waiting since seven!
Bf: I told you i was working!
Me: You're always working. You never make time for me anymore.
Bf: I'm not arguing with you now.
Me: I'm not arguing. I'm making a point. You're so fucking selfish. I asked you one thing... and you couldn't even do that. I've been sitting here waiting for you. The least you could have done was text me to let me know. I would have gone home hours ago!

We argue for another 5 minutes then he switches off. I'm still sulking.

Bf: Look do you want a drink?
Me: No. I just want to go home.
Bf: *sigh*

He turns away to talk to someone else and ignores me. After ten minutes i get upset with his lack of attention/apology.

Me: I'm going home. If' you're staying out can i have some cab money?
Bf: How much do you need? I don't have a lot of cash....

He is totally cold now so i mirror him. I'm pissed off he would rather stay out.

Me: oh don't bother.... i'll get the bus!

And i storm out with all our friends looking on, wanting & expecting him to chase me. He doesn't and i have no way of getting home safe. Great!

Ok so that was how NOT to do it. In that example i used strategies such as 'sulking', 'crying', 'running-off', 'convincing'. I caused a lot of drama in front of an audience. And even though he was late and forgot my purse, i'm the one looking like the bad guy.

Take 2. How i could have handled it better:

Me: You said you would be here at 7.30pm. Its five hours later? Where have you been?
BF: Sorry babe been at a work drinks. The bar was in the cellar so no reception.
Me: Ok. Do you have my purse?
Bf: Oh fuck i forgot it. I left it in the car. Sorry, lemme buy your drinks tonight.
Me: Ok, but only because you were late. And maybe tomorrow you can buy me dinner to make it up to me, especially since you didn't even call?
Bf: Of course. I'm sorry babe. I know i messed up. Jane had me meet some clients. I couldn't get away.
Me: Well i know you would have called if you could. Just try to send a text at least next time. Just so i know whats going on? I worry when you disappear like that.
Bf: I know i'm sorry. I'll text you next time.
Me: ok thanks *smiles* I'm tired. Do you mind we only stay out for a short while?
Bf: Sure. Lets have one then go. *Puts his hand on my waist and draws me closer to him/the bar* What can i get you?
Me: Well you have some catching up to do Mister.... so lets get some tequila shots. And if you can drink yours without making a face... maybe i'll stay for two *wink*
Bf: haha deal!

So in this version i accept his offer of drinks and negotiate dinner in exchange for his crap efforts at communication. He then apologizes properly and gives his reasons. I become understanding and let him know that i realise it wasn't intentional. I then tell him what i expect next time. He agrees. I thank him and then lighten the mood with a drinking challenge.

Now there is a big difference in both outcomes. For the record my ex was always late by hours and hours and sometimes he use to even forget he said he would meet me. And during his absences there was no getting hold of him. After a long time of this happening (mainly because of my bad training) version 1, though a little exaggerated, was my 'normal' reaction. In my defence i was very young and totally insecure. Although he made a habit of going awol for hours on end, getting upset and taking it personally just got his back up, and pushed him away from me emotionally. Now i'm older and more 'sane'? i can see how i should have acted.

What makes version 2 more likely is my ability to put myself in his shoes. He's already late. He's just come from work. The last thing he wants is to feel worse for letting me down. My 'laid-back' reaction was unexpected but much appreciated. He can now afford to apologize properly and even feel bad for being late. Next time he is more likely to remember how 'cool' i was and not be afraid to call me like i asked. In short, the best way to change a guy's perception/behaviour is to first change your own ;)

Mar 22, 2009

Make-up doesn't matter... its all about football!

If you're a stickler for time then i'm your worst enemy. Don't expect me to be prompt. Its a fact I'm always late. If you know me well then at least once i've kept you waiting. You'll be cold, tired and pissed when i arrive, and i'll be flushed from legging it from tube to tube just to get to you 30 minutes after we agreed to meet. I'll be sorry and you'll be annoyed. I'll make it up to you and you'll reluctantly forgive me.... until next time.

So yes i know this about myself and still i'm never early, no matter how much i try, and trust me i try. Like today... rushing for the train that was due to leave @ 14:07 precisely. I knew it could take just under an hour to get to the station at times and still i left with only 40 minutes to spare. With a hangover threatening to break through post late-night-alcohol-abuse, a suitcase that wobbled around corners, no make-up, hair scraped back and Ugg-ly boots... i arrived at Euston to find my train just about to depart. Only... i wasn't allowed on it! Yes the tickets my friend bought for me were not valid as i was not her and couldn't prove otherwise. 

Now i'm not usually a waterworks kinda girl, not these days... but all i wanted was to get on my train, find the quiet carriage and catch some shut-eye until Liverpool loomed on the horizon. Hmmm.. not happening. The train manager was on a power trip. I think he even smiled when he said no. Much to my horror i became that 'girl' crying in the face of adversity. Suffice to say this guy did not buy into my emotional black mail. The bastard shut the door and the train left without me!

I trudged to the ticket office. Tim the guy behind the glass was nice but unrelenting.... until i mentioned why i needed to get home. You see my brother had bought me tickets to see my first football match as a part of my 'Top Ten Things to do in 2009 that i've never done before'. I'm a Liverpool fan by default as i'm from there, and Liverpool are playing Aston Villa on Sunday. I had to get home. Suddenly Tim seemed to understand. This was important. Football was important. He politely shuffled papers and re-aligned fate so i could get home on the next train for a small excess fee. I sniffed, dried my eyes and smiled as he said those magic words... 'don't worry, we'll get you to the match'.

I journeyed back to my house in london to get funds since i was without cash. Yes i do that too sometimes.... crazy but true. I like making life difficult. Anyway walking back to my house i was suddenly stopped by a guy in a striped shirt and a cigarette hanging off his lip. His name was Joshua and he was the cousin of the guy who owned the garage at the end of my road. Now i do get attention from guys a bit, but today i must stress i looked like an orphan. Still he wanted to ask me to a party next week and insisted i take his number. Like death warmed up and close to retching in public, i mumbled the old 'i've got a boyfriend' line at him and retreated up the street. He followed for a bit... and then stopped. I took a different route to the station on my way out again.

Hours later i was about to re-try my luck at boarding the 17:07 train. Three london boys with virgin trains badges eyed me up. Oh come on... seriously? I look like a witch today. The second one was cute though. They asked me my story. I related events that led up to me not getting on my preferred train.

ticket boy2: they wouldn't let you on? thats mean of them
me: yeah they were mean
ticket boy1: thats cos you got your friends name on the ticket. we can't accept it as its non-transferable (yeah i know that now!)
ticketboy2: you tryin ta get home for mothers day?
me: no a match... my first football match. Liverpool vs Aston Villa
ticketboy2: oh no, you aint missed it?
ticketboy1: nah its tomorra. liverpool are playing premier league sunday.
ticketboy2: oh is it? *looks at me with a cheeky smile* so who's your favorite player? Gerrard?
(at this point it is 17:04 and i'm not yet on the train!)
me: *looks pensive* erm... no its Torres (I just want to get on the train. Give me my ticket?)
ticketboy2: Torres.. so you're a real fan then?
me: er yes.. i'm from Liverpool
ticketboy2: *grins and asks more personal questions.... and i reply in robotic fashion while staring at my ticket*
ticketboy3: hey mate... give her er ticket back?
ticketboy2: *hands me my ticket and starts walking with me to the carriage while his mates make 'wahey!' noises to embarrass him and me?*
me: would love to stay and chat but i'm going to miss my train
ticketboy2: nah you won't. Plenty of time *winks and smiles*
me: err i think its about to pull out? bye... *i walk faster trying to lose him*
ticketboy2: *shakes his head and falls back while his mates make the appropriate 'fail' noises*
me: *rush on to train and don't look back* (cute as he was... his attempt was lame and not today, so not today)

As soon as i was safe on the train I collapse into my seat, trying to avoid eye contact with the guy opposite smiling in my direction. Enough. I whip out a paperback and absorb myself in harmless research. 

And when the train finally arrives in Liverpool, cute black guy (with combats! are they still in fashion?) offers to carry my bags. Er yeah, no i'm ok. I see my brother and make my way towards him as fast as my wobbly suitcase will allow.

Hmmmm.... i'm not complaining but sometimes when i'm not trying its for a reason. Still lesson for today? Guys like football. Ok so not all guys....but even if they aren't they can relate to the glory of the game. The struggle of a team to overcome the other one and win the match. Its like war without the bloodshed. It bonds people like nothing i've ever see before. Girls who don't get football hold themselves back from understanding men and how they think. And the more i understand men, the more i like football... and the more men like me for genuinely liking the game. Weird ;)

And as an added incentive, the talent on the pitch isn't half bad either... if i do say so myself lol

Mar 20, 2009

Asks yourself... 'what have you done for me lately?'

Recently i asked myself this. The answer i got back suprised me. Not much.

I tend to give to others first and expect the same of them back. And although this seems an ideal way to live. It isn't. If you can't help yourself first... how can you help others? And expecting back what you give is leaving yourself emotionally wide open to disappointment & insecurity.

It seems to me that too many people live this way.... giving up responsibility for their own happiness to others, focusing only on what others have done for them and working on ways to get others to give more (and take less?). In short a power struggle where our egos are in control, feeding off and seeking constant attention.

If attention is a form of energy, as described in that fabulous book 'The Celestine Prophesy', and 'where attention goes energy flows' then it only stands to reason that any relationship between two people is a sharing of energy with two possible outcomes:

1) Interest/attention is given freely between both of you. You are getting back what you give, which feels great. Attention & energy flows equally both ways and you are in the 'honeymoon' period.

2) One person is giving more to the other, either freely or by manipulation. Arguments (trapped energy) & cold-fronts (withholding energy) can arise and lead to resentment & confrontation in relationships.

In James Redfield's book he goes on to describe 'control dramas', the strategies we use try to get more attention/energy when we are not receiving enough to fulfil our egos or insecurities.

There are 4 main 'control dramas':
  • Acting aloof/distant - the mystery is the driver here. holding back or withdrawing so control is yours. You are no longer giving and so the relationship dynamic shifts. Others end up giving more energy to you because they seek to draw you out.
  • Intimidation - anger/moodiness breeds negative energy. by intimidating the other person it is easy to draw them into a place of fear or confrontation. you actively demand their attention and give nothing back.
  • Interrogators - playing the critic or the nag makes others defensive. If you are hard-to-please it can drain others if they buy into it emotionally and try to live up to your expectations.
  • Poor me - by using guilt or looking for a sympathy vote. energy and attention is manipulated into being given to you willingly by those who are a 'soft touch'.
Of course other people can also use these strategies on us. Recently i've been pulled into a few 'dramas' with people who are close to me. As i'm still learning its easy to slip back into bad habits, though now if i do get sucked in it isn't very long before i become aware and change my behaviour. Gaining enough perspective to see it for what it is helps me take a step back emotionally. And of course leading by example is the best way to bring the other person to your level of emotional intelligence.

Other ways i've developed include....

Build up your own source of energy:
- give to yourself first
- appreciate everything
- focus on the positive
- see the possibilities
- choose your reality

Refuse to let others use a strategy to control you:
- give to yourself first
- understand their actions & why
- don't lay blame or buy into it emotionally
- don't take it personally or feel bad for your actions
- just let it go and move on
- lead by example and bring them up to your level

One thing I can't stress the importance of enough is 'giving to yourself first'. M, who has this ability to take me outside myself and see what i'm really being right now, put it like this.... in a business you pay yourself first, then you pay others and your bills. Energy is a form of currency. Remember to pay yourself first and you'll never be short.... ;)

Mar 16, 2009

Nice guys do finish last... its the needy ones who don't

At my usual lunchtime chat with LT today we crossed into the realm of 'the nice guy'. 

An array of characters spring to mind, e.g. the guy next door, the guy your parents like, the one who brings you flowers, your best friend, the sweetheart, the hard-worker, the man who you should marry. And while this is lovely for some, and I'll admit and after a bout of bad-boy heartbreak someone who tries too hard is a breath of fresh air…. BUT still, for me, even just thinking about a guy who acts like a girl is enough to make my skin crawl.

Sadly, nice guys have a bad rep. No guy wants to be labelled one and no girl wants to date one. And yet, us girls still moan about the 'mean' or 'bad' behaviour of the rest of the men out there who don't seem to have one nice bone in their well-toned to beautifully ripped, can't-get-enough-of, body.

Why? Well in my opinion, and I've been thinking about it a lot, its not the 'niceness' we hate…. It’s the 'neediness'. It just so happens that a lot of 'needy' guys treat women 'too nice' that they get stomped on… a lot. And unfortunately the label has stuck, and every bastard in 100 mile radius thinks its ok to act like an asshole cos that’s the only way to attract a hot girls.

So what is the difference?

I've been with a guy who was so nice and needy it was suffocating. His ego drained the life out of me. He threw tantrums to get his own way. He would sulk or cry if the emotion overwhelmed him. He was too sensitive. He took everything personal and about him. In fact, he needed constant reassurance. So much that he also did everything he could to get the reactions from me that fed his insecure ego. He did this by:

1) Approval seeking - going out of his way to do nice things for me and be nice to me

2) Trading for my attention - by sulking and withdrawing if I wasn't giving him attention or smothering me if I gave him the slightest glance

This guy had major insecurities and nothing I could do except mirror him would make him happy. However if I did give back (which usually in my experience most cases stops the neediness and can restore balance) it was never enough and it just felt false. The more he demanded, the less respect I had for him and more I lost interest and attraction for him. I also got tired, cranky, bitchy and miserable and in the end I just wanted to get away.

It turns out there were three things that just got on my nerves:

1) he put me on a pedestal - no idea why he did this but in my eyes it meant he didn't know me if he thought I was an angel who could do no wrong. I had flaws… why couldn't he see them? And what if one day he did see them then fell out of love with me. His adoration was too idealistic. It made me angry that he was stupidly blind and as a reaction I acted out and played up my faults. The end result? I was a bitch and he found that more attractive…..grrrr

2) he tried to take away my independence - this is important to me. Its the one thing I have that sets me apart from needing anyone ever again. I love being able to live my life my way and do things I want to do. When he tried to do everything for me (and I mean everything) it made me frustrated. He thought he was being considerate and at first it was enjoyable to be pampered… but after a while it wasn't special anymore. And it was as though he didn't see what I valued in myself and didn't want to encourage it. He wanted to make me dependant on him and insecure like he was. He didn't inspire me to be better…. He was bringing me down to his level! Yes again, it made me angry and bitchy….

3) he tried to buy my love - I love getting presents and being taken out and wined and dined. Who doesn't. But when you get them all the time it becomes common-place. It lost its spark and took it for granted. I began to feel like I had to be extra nice to him for all the nice things he was doing for me. I also couldn't match his lavishness…. Mainly because I wasn't earning as much but also because I just didn't feel it anymore. I had lost respect for him and the more energy he put into our relationship the less I felt I needed to.

In the end, he was the relationship. I just had to show up from time to time…. I didn't have to earn anything…. And he paid too much for what he got. Sounds like a business transaction but in a way all interactions are and this one just wasn't fair.

When a guy asks me what it is about him that makes my heart melt and my eyes glaze over in a doe-like expression I almost don't want to say. It isn’t anything grand. No romantic trips away or expensive dinners for me. I'm a sucker for the small stuff…. You know, the tiny but sweet/nice gestures they make when you are bogged-down in the everyday that you almost didn't notice. And only when you think back the next day do you realise how nice that actually was. Yes they are also rare, but they do show that he cares, and so you appreciate him all the more for it….

It’s the closed window when they know you are cold, even though the room is like a sauna.

It’s him eating the crust of the bread because he knows you prefer the middle.

It’s the lowered shower-head when you can't get your hair wet despite him being 6ft

It’s the waiting with your drunk friend while you search for her handbag in a nightclub @ stupid o'clock in the morning

It’s the loan of the coat he gave you when you already have one as its raining and he doesn't mind getting wet

It’s the bigger half of the piece of chocolate he gave you

It’s the warm side of the bed and the fluffier pillow

And many many more….

So yes these days I realise I do want a 'nice guy' but with certain criteria :

- He also has to be emotionally mature enough so that the nice things he does do are not coming from a place of 'approval'. He is doing them because he wants to and he expects nothing back.

- He won't do them all the time because he has a life just like you but when he does, it will be almost without thought rather than anything planned.

- And he won't even notice most of them because he is a 'nice guy' and it comes natural. They think of others before themselves if they can…..

Treating you 'mean' may keep you 'keen' but personally I'm emotionally laid-back enough that after a while I get bored.

Now a guy who is the right mix of cool & confident with a sprinkling of nice in the mix… a guy who attracts me, inspires me, not afraid to show he cares or stand up for himself, has a good heart with a backbone to boot…. Is definitely one who I prefer over a needy-emotional wreak or a cruel-selfish bastard any day!;)

Mar 13, 2009

When you just need a hug...

The text was simple and direct.

"Heya…. How are you? X"

Having a rough day and then facebooking about it means that you're not an island. Others…. friends, family, lovers, well they care. Shamelessly I used my sources to get attention. I needed it. I was feeling close to tears. Rare for me, as I can't remember the last time I cried.

I text him back.

"Fucked off….lol"

M told me to call him but I didn't. Work was too busy and as much as I would have loved to dump on him he couldn't offer what I needed. A hug… a hug and someone to tell me it was going to be alright. And it wouldn't matter that I was being unreasonable, that my mascara ran, that I was hopeless and sad. There would be hot chocolate and a duvet, a joke at the right (or wrong) moment where I would show a reluctant smile… and the hug would make me feel, for just a little while…. Safe.

There was a time I did have that person. The one person I could lean on when life got too much. He was my rock... And of course I was his. I would be lying if I said I didn't miss having that. Just to know there is one person out there that cares enough and loves you enough that no matter what, despite everything you have been through and your differences…. they have your back.

Is this being insecure? Or just being human?

Over dinner last night A revealed to me that the one thing he loved about his long term relationship was just being with someone that cared/loved you enough that nothing was impossible anymore. Is this type of love inspiring then rather than suffocating? Is there something to be gained when we lose most of our freedom and control when we commit?

I think there's a fine line in any relationship and maybe we just have to look at the outcome rather than getting bogged down in the details. If the person you are with makes you happy at least 80% of the time, and you get more out of being together than not…. then you know you have my blessing ;)

And for me now? Well there is no one I feel inclined to rely on in that way just yet. Maybe my independent streak I've developed since will be my downfall as I'm less inclined to let myself fall or follow. Love seems like a chemical reaction, I psycho-analyse every romantic intention, I write notes on dating behaviour and see men only as opponents in an intriguing but very fun-filled game where I always have to win.

Yes I do worry about me sometimes…. ;)

Mar 12, 2009

Abundance Mentality

'Men are a luxury I can afford but I don't need'

She wasn't joking when she said it. N was serious. And she confessed she said this to her husband every three months… just for good measure.

I first met her back in 2006 after I split from my long-term-ex. N was the first person to introduce me to the idea of 'thinking like a guy'. She wouldn't take any steps toward commitment unless the guy pushed for it, e.g. dates, exclusivity, living together and finally marriage. A guy had to earn these things by spending quality time, with words appreciation, by doing/planning nice things and by showing physical affection.

If you are in demand you can afford to risk losing his attention... you can afford to have a choice. It weeds out the time wasters and the players - guys who won't put in the effort or time as they don't value you as prize worth having.

But what if you aren't in-demand? What if this is not your reality….yet? Well here are some pts to consider:

1) 'men are the icing on the cake, not the main ingredient' - I read this somewhere and it helps me frame myself in my 'desired' reality of being complete just as I am. Take em or leave em. In the end your happiness should come from you and not from your relationship. When you are single you are the most secure you'll ever be. You 'know' who you are and you 'know' where you are going. All your energy is yours and you don't have to answer to anyone. The freedom of that is fantastic in itself. Enjoy it because it won't last forever…

2) 'change is inevitable' - I know I keep saying this but its true. I once thought I had found my soulmate and nothing could ever keep us apart. Our attraction was so strong I couldn't see beyond being with him for the rest of my life. Wake up call! We did break up. I got over it and now I see things clearly. Nothing lasts and love can fade. All we have is this moment. Enjoy it or forever be living in the past or waiting for the future.

3) 'it’s a candy store out there' - I laughed when I heard this on an audio for a 'dating' seminar. Still. Its true. There is so much choice, you just have to open your eyes to it. Theres a theory in quantum physics that if you don't believe it or have no experience in it… you won't see it. I mean your eyes may take the vision in, but its your brain that processes and filters out the noise. Your beliefs, judgments and pre-conceptions choose what is noise and what you pay attention to. If you don't think there are men out there… your brain will surely filter them out so you don't see them. Thus confirming your belief. Open your mind to the possibilities girls. I see/meet great guys all the time. And that’s because I'm open to it. Make it true for you too.

4) 'don't be a doormat' - seriously girls, I can't stress enough. don't compromise for anything less that what you deserve. Write a list if you don't know, but make a friend read it. If she agrees then you know yourself well. I must admit this is the one I have trouble with. Sometimes I make excuses for guys, do too much or I let them get away with bad behaviour. The key is not to be afraid to 'risk' losing him if he can't handle it. Face it. If he can't act in a mature manner then he's not ready and no amount of you 'hanging' around and putting up with his flakey/shitty ways will make him respect you or force him to grow up. If you mean that much to him… he'll step up. Otherwise don't look back. This a good way of testing a guy for emotional maturity. If he takes off at the first sign of a backbone from you… then please, just let him go.

Live this way and pretty soon all of this becomes your reality. It’s the only way to find a guy who is worth holding on to. If you haven't found him. Trust me… he'll turn up ;) One thing I do when a relationship or a guy I'm dating isn’t going the way I planned is to just think

'fuck it…. someone better always and will come along so I'm not going to cry over this'

And you know what? they always do…. Always.

Mar 10, 2009

How to develop trust in a relationship...

In any relationship… trust is important. Once it has gone. Its over.

Sure you can try repair over the cracks, but essentially they are still there and the reasons behind them.

You can be the most confident, self-assured & grounded person alive, but without trust it won't be enough to sustain any relationship, even just a physical one (I mean you trust that he will use protection right?).

So how do you go from having 'fun' to developing trust?

Well I believe that most people today innately trust each other from the start. There is no past history to taint your view of this person and so the trust is natural and almost goes without saying. This initial trust can't support anything beyond a 'casual' or 'physical' relationship. Then after you spend more time in each other's company, you will start to develop some emotions/feelings towards the other person. I don't care who you are. It will happen. It’s a human condition to bond with others. It may not be at a very deep level…. But if you enjoy spending time with each other and make an effort to continue to do so, then truth of the matter is you will start to 'care' for them. The initial trust now becomes solid as you build up a reference in your mind for that person in how they act towards you or what is 'normal' behaviour, etc.

So now you are developing trust… how do you maintain it?

Know what you want and communicate it well:
Boundaries now become important - the behaviours that you will or will not accept from the other person. If you do not define your boundaries then there is no trust because your expectations may be different. If you have not talked about what you expect from each other then trust cannot even start to build, so how you expect to trust each other is beyond me. I'm not talking about labels, although labels are a sort of 'pre-defined' boundaries…. All you need to know is where you stand, and that doesn't have to fit into society's definition, as long as you are happy with it.

Ways of setting your boundaries can be as simple as just telling him. However this can lead to confrontation and him getting defensive. If you do start this line of conversation make it light and not about him or your relationship. Focus on what type of person you are and what things you accept from people and what you don't… almost as though you are telling him more about you as a person. Do not try this when he is stressed or when you are drunk (yes we've all done this). If you find that it is getting to heavy just drop the subject as though you were just talking about the weather.

Or tell a story about 'another couple'. Men love giving advice and if it's not about him, then the pressure is off e.g. the guy my friend was seeing recently did this. I don't know how she would tolerate that. If that was me….'.

Another way is to tell him what qualities you like in him or you liked in your ex. This gives him an idea of what behaviour he has that you like or would like him to have and also gives him reason to understand why you like him. Trust me, people show a 'behaviour' more if you tell them you 'like' it.

People treat you how you train them:
Its one thing to have boundaries but another to enforce them.

Make sure you call him out on bad behaviour that crosses your boundary. Do not let it go and do not sulk (he isn't psychic) or throw a strop (you're not 12). Just let him know you aren't happy in a calm, adult manner. Ask him to fix it or make it up to you (and he will if he is into you), then when he has, drop it and forget it. If there is nothing he can do to make it up so that you are 100% happy then you can't be in a relationship with this person.

For behaviour you like… appreciate it and tell him so. Sometimes us girls forget to reward our men when they make an effort to put us first. After a while if he's getting no response he will stop. Don't make the mistake of thinking 'you deserve it anyway'. People do nice things for a reaction… think about… its true.

Be ready to 'walk away':
If he can't accept what you are asking him. Then you have no trust. It important for a girl to just be prepared to walk away. I can't stress enough that the pain of 'trying' to get a guy to be what you want is not worth it. If he is unwilling to at least listen to what you want and to try, then find a guy that will. If you stick to your guns… you will feel happier and in his eyes he will at least see that you 'know' your worth and won't take anything less. Maybe you won't get his love... but at least you'll get his respect.

Mar 9, 2009

How to take your clothes off...

The best fun i've had in ages... seriously, was tonight's lesson in Modern Strip Tease. You strut about in sexy killer heels, lingerie and a man's shirt & tie to Lenny Kravitz. A hint of Demi Moore, a touch of Sharon Stone... and its enough to get any girl feeling like the sexiest siren to ever grace the earth.

If you don't have the time or the courage to invest in lessons the rules are simple ;)

- Dim the lighting... kitchen bright beams can kill a sexy mood. Candles are fine but don't rely on them totally. Lamps or a dimmer switch are more effective because you can control the setting. Also it won't be too dark so that he can't see you!

- Prepare the music before hand. A bit of sexy rnb is ideal though you don't want anything too slushy. Keep it slow and maybe loop 3/4 songs on a cd or in a playlist.

- Tie him to the chair. He can't be touching you throughout or you'll never get anywhere ;)

- Make sure you have on a matching set of lingerie... and everything is *ahem* tidy.

- Wear hold ups rather than stockings as these will peel off easier. Nothing sexy about struggling with a suspender belt or sliding your woolly tights down from your waist.

- When performing the slower the better as this makes your moves sexier. Ideally one piece of clothing per song or so i'm told.

- Try to drop or throw the clothing away from your performing area. Ideally behind him or under the chair.

- Look into his eyes as this will stop you from laughing. Seeing him turned on should be enough to keep your expression looking sultry and siren like.

- And last but not least. Act like you know what you're doing and just have fun... trust me. He sure will ;) 

Mar 6, 2009

Life's little reminder #3... 'say yes more'

Looking for some cool graffiti for a project i found this...

I say yes to the 'opening of an envelope'. It’s a running joke some of my friends make about me. Truth is, i like saying 'yes' and seeing where it could lead. 

There was a time I used to say 'no'. But that was in the past… back in the days of  the long-term-ex, the semi-detached sub-urban picket fence house, the long commute to work by car, the Sunday lunch with his mother, the evening bbq with the couple next door, the housework, the arguments, the early nights, the video rentals, the monthly supermarket shop, …. And just more of the same.

In the winter of 2006. We broke up the first time. He left me. I found 'yes'. The possibilities became endless. I did it for the thrill of change, because I could, to erase the past, to forget myself, to move on, to become someone else, to find hope… 

Yes is easy for me now. It's a part of who I am. It's more than just a word. It’s a state of being…. Of being open to anything, ready for anything, accepting of anything… all I know is I say 'yes' more than 'no' and I consider the 'possibility' rather that worry about the 'logistics'. It makes life interesting.

Despite this… reading 'yesman' by Danny Wallace last month reminded me of the importance of being a 'yesgirl'. I do recommend the book. I laughed so much out loud it would have embarrassed the 'old me'. It outlined many truths but the main one for me was:

'No' can lead to 'nowhere'… but 'yes' can lead to 'anywhere' and this is when the story of your life becomes worth reading.

And now I'll leave you with a list of things I recently said yes to: new job assignments, running@lunchtimes, schoolnight parties, meeting new people, more burlesque, pole-dancing, feather duvets, writing a blog, making money, trips abroad, cooking more, studying more, nlp & life coaching courses, painting, poetry, weekends in the country, playing polo, giving advice, learning, letting go, opening up… oh and moving to another country.

The last one? Oh I would tell you where, what context and if it was actually going to happen… but that’s another story ;)

Life's little reminder?

Say 'yes' more...

Mar 4, 2009

When a guy is REALLY 'just not that into you...'

Ok i wrote this for a reply on forum on the fly and i think it has some important points for walking away if a guy is REALLY 'just not that into you'. I always planned to write this post as a follow up to the last one so 'if its not you... and it is him' then this is how to move on and get over the waste-of-space that he is ;)

So how do you tell if a guy is just using you to fill time? Well again i always look to the actions not the words (for more info see my last post). He can say the nicest/sweetest things to me but if he isn't meeting me at least halfway in effort. I walk.

And how do i deal with the possible feeling of rejection? Well... heres something i wrote earlier lol

1) CREATE AN ABUNDANCE MENTALITY: i read recently this great line 'i don't chase... i replace'. Its just a great line don't you think. I try to live in a world of abundance (especially with men) so that if he isn't into me... there are several cute/hot guys just waiting to take his place. It started out as just a belief and now its a reality for me ;) If its not the case with you yet... try just walking through your life 'knowing that there are plenty of hot guys who are going to meet you soon' and you just can't wait. it can happen anywhere at anytime ;) trust me... if you build a belief it will materialize!

2) FEED YOUR OWN EGO: There have been guys who aren't into me in the past and i just walk away. By doing that you show you don't need their attention to make you feel good as you can get that from yourself and if he isn't into you realise 'why on earth would you try to waste time making him see you as the amazing person you are?' If he can't see it straight away then he's not at your level and i would not bother to try to bring him to that level. as i only have so much energy to give and i need it for myself thank you very much...He should move there of his own free will or not at all ;) Also the reason you feel the way you do is because you are relying on others to feed your ego. Its not sustainable and you open yourself up to feeling the pain of rejection. Try this exercise. Think of how you felt when you didn't care... didn't care about something. easy come easy go... hes not important. it doesn't affect you in the slightest... afterall ur an amazing person. you know it so why would you need anyone else to tell u? Just let it go... feel yourself letting it go. Now shrug your shoulders and/or say 'whatever'. Now you have just anchored (hopefully) a feeling of detachment to that gesture of a shrug and/or the word 'whatever'. So if a situation arises when you feel rejected/frustrated/stressed as your ego is hurt and controlling your mood here and nothing else.... do the gesture. Works a treat ;)

3) BUILD YOUR ATTRACTION/VALUE: There are things you could do, if this guy was interested in to you and you wanted to improve your attraction/value in his eyes... but its not something you should expect an outcome from. You need to not care about the outcome and only then will the control be with you. I'm writing a post on attraction/value right now so will post here if you're interested ;) But essentially if you work on your own value and attraction to guys then you'll prob start to feel like you're out of his league anyway. i act like this with guys all the time and suddenly they want me again, only this time i don't want them cos they aren't good enough. I rate a guy firstly on his attraction to me! because that means if we did have something between us how amazing would it be and plus! he's obviously more mature to deal with the fact he likes me so much that he is confident enough to show me. All those 'i'm too cool/hot for you' guys just turn me off LOL

I haven't edited... just a straight copy & paste. I may tidy it up one day but for now i hope it helps ;)

Mar 3, 2009

When a guy is 'just not that into you...'

On a normal day I get a couple of calls/emails from girls who are having a tough time… most of them are my friends, others I know through a mutual acquaintance. Sunday was an exceptional day. There were a total of five dilemmas thrown my way, most of them relationship related. 

I do my best to relate and give advice that is impartial. I try not to assign blame. I look at both sides and help her see another perspective before she makes a decision. I like to think the reason they come to me is because I'm good at what I do… or at least getting better at it.

LT was one of the five. She reminds me of one of those amazonian princesses - tough, beautiful and poetic. For a girl so young she is very intelligent emotionally as well as mentally. I would say her head is screwed on, despite a few wobbles. Her problem was simple. She didn't want to waste her time with a guy who couldn't say he loved her. 

The question was: should you walk away and end it rather than waste time… when a guy is clearly 'just not that into you'?

Firstly women do one of two things:

1) Do not understand men enough to 'know' if he is into her or not

2) Sabotage a perfectly good working relationship because they need to 'define' where things are at or they need 'label' the stages or the emotions in order to feel secure and fit in with society.

Actions speak louder than words
One of the things I understand is that if a guy is 'into you' his actions not his words will be the indicators of how much he cares. Men are usually unable to open up emotionally and put feelings into words as well as us girls can. They also don't attach themselves emotionally straight away either (we can learn a lot from guys as women form emotional attachments all too easily and then call it 'love'?!). So for a guy to 'know' and then 'admit' he is in love is a big thing. And so that gives his words about his feelings more 'value' right? When he can eventually say 'I love you' it has more meaning. Until then he may 'care' about you way before he can tell you… and the key interpreting this? well just look at how he acts:

Ask yourself... Is he affectionate? Does he consider you in his decisions? Does he jump at the chance to see if he's not busy or otherwise engaged?  Do you hear from him often? How do you feel when you are with him? Comfortable? Happy? Is it easy being with him. Do you enjoy your time spent with him? 

Chances are if its good for you… it will be for him, as people who are close to you easily take on your emotions and moods when around you. 

Why women need to 'label'...
In the beginning both of you give freely because you want to. There is no expectation because you are still getting to know on another. The love you give is almost unconditional. Then, usually but not always there will come a time in a relationship when one of you will begin to not want to openly give anymore because you feel you're not getting enough back. The ego has decided to rear its ugly head and demand some assurance… more quality time, more words of affirmation, more commitment, more displays of affection, more gifts, etc. 

In most cases it’s the girl who becomes the needy one. Typically she is insecure in choice/pressures of her career, her health/weight makes her feel bad, her looks don't match the supermodel in the magazines, and the guy she is seeing has recently become distant and she's unsure if that’s because she slept with him recently. To make matters worse her friends tell her that she should be seeing him more not less, society & culture dictates love is like a fairytale in order to be true and ever lasting, her parents want to meet Mr Right and ask her when the wedding is, and she is fast approaching her early 30s when most women her age are having babies. 

Yeah ok lets not freak out right now… ;) But in this picture the world looks quite bleak. In short it is her own perception of 'time running out' and 'love should be = to movie-endings' that has her feeling this way. This will then filter through into the one channel she can get the most from but is feeling like she isn't. Matching it up to an 'ideal love' or comparing it to where others are is a big mistake. She is bound to want to start questioning their relationship 'where is this going' etc, and she is most surely going to ask him. Suddenly a positive, amazing relationship becomes a power struggle with her fear of loss and his fear of commitment driving it…

Love is not forever… deal with it
Ok not to be harsh… but its true. Living in the past stops you from moving on and learning lessons, living in the future holds you back from enjoying what you have… the only way to be happy in a relationship is to live in the moment. No one knows what is going to happen next month, next season, next year…. feelings and situations and people change, promises made are broken, nothing stays the same… change is inevitable.
Once you grasp that concept, your fear of loss evaporates. Live in the moment and enjoy the relationship for what it is right now, relish in how you make each other feel and enjoy spending time together. Not what it should be, not what it could be… but simply what it is. 

Like that movie 'he's just not that into you' maybe we can learn, like Jen... to realise he is actually 'into you', to appreciate the moment and enjoy just being with him, as sometimes... that can be enough.

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