What defines each of us are our unique talents and gifts, not the number of relationships we’ve had.
I recently received an inquiry on my Facebook page from a woman who had a question about her response to a recent break up. Below is her question and my advice.
"I had been dating this guy for the past six months and he decided to drop the bomb in the middle of a dinner date at a fine dining restaurant. I really felt blind-sided and was so upset he didn't deliver the news in a more thoughtful, intimate and sensitive manner. My emotions got the best of me and I landed a stinging slap across his face and walked out. It was in the city so I took a cab home. While I'ms till resentful of how he handled it, I feel like I should do the mature and responsible thing and apologize for the slap. I don't really feel like calling him so would an apology note via email or regular mail be appropriate?" ~Erika P.
Here is my advice: Closure is always good, so sending an email (not a text), is a good idea. With that said, your immediate reaction was understandable, particularly when the news was unexpected and delivered in a public venue and in a very impersonal way. Interestingly enough, guys often think the way to let someone down is over dinner. Perhaps, that seems easiest and best for them, but it's a horrible experience for the receiver. It is, quite frankly, in poor taste. So, I think it is fine for you to write a nice email, explaining that you are truly sorry for your physical reaction to the way in which he chose to announce he was ending your relationship, but that had he been in your situation, he might have acted similarly. Thank him for the good times you have shared over the past six months, wish him well and educate him that for future, when he is wanting to exit a relationship to give the other party the courtesy and respect of doing it in a private place where there can be civil conversation and both persons can part with a better understanding of all of the pros and cons about the relationship, so your next relationships will be better for each of you.
Forgive and move on with three things in mind:
1) Be prepared to go into the next relationship when you feel strong and happy with yourself
2) Watch for red flags early when dating, so they can be addressed.
3) Vet your partner thoroughly for lifestyle similarities, interests, passions and pay close attention to how they treat you and others with whom they come across as your relationship is progressing.
Do you have a question about your relationship? Need some advice?
When Muhammad Ali passed away last week, I discovered this video clip of him answering a question that was asked by a little boy many years ago. The question was, “What will you do when you retire from boxing?” The Greatest of All Time’s answer was undoubtedly unexpected and stunned the crowd. Watch this video and listen closely to this interview for just a few minutes.
The Real Housewives are real human beings with feelings and emotions, regardless of the fact that they may seem totally harsh and callous on television. We shouldn't label and pigeonhole these women based solely on their pasts, but look at who they have become today. Why focus on the stigma of their being multiple marriers? Instead, focus on what they need to do to break that unhealthy relationship cycle.
One of the three key steps I outline in my book, Ring EXchange - Lessons from a Multiple Marrier, is the importance of looking back before going forward. Is there something we can all learn from observing the behaviors and actions of celebrities and how they navigate relationships? For example, let’s consider Drew Barrymore.
Answer “yes” or “no” by each of the questions below to determine if you are at risk of finding yourself in a Sequential Relationship Pattern.
- I am a hopeless romantic and have always dreamed of being swept away by my true love.
- I’m a quick thinker, follow my gut and often make rapid decisions.
- I can’t stand being alone, much less living alone.
- I love to take care of others and make things better for those around me while often ignoring my own needs.
- I often avoid making waves or having difficult discussions with my partner because I don’t like conflict and I’d rather be having fun.
- If a date doesn’t have immediate physical appeal or chemistry, I’m not interested in exploring a relationship.
- I find it easier if my partner makes the big decisions in our relationship.
- I don’t always tell my partner what’s really on my mind, because it is more important to have a harmonious relationship.
- I have often ignored my partner’s negative behaviors and actions toward me because I thought I must have done something to cause them. Also, I often brushed them off as “no big deal.”
- After ending a relationship, have you ever said, “I just didn’t get it right. I picked the wrong partner again. Next time, I’ll do a better job of choosing Mr. or Ms. Right. And maybe I’ll have good luck.”
- I see myself in the role of someone who needs to be rescued from a bad situation.
- If my partner says I'm wrong or selfish or greedy, I think there must be a kernel of truth to it.
- Bonus question: Have you ever said, “I ___need*___ to find a partner because…."
*Try substituting “I desire to find a partner who can add joy to my already happy and fulfilling life.”
Scale: If you answered yes to the following:
High Risk: 8-13 questions
Medium Risk: 4-7 questions
Low Risk: 0-3 questions
So often, individuals who are seeking partners develop a list of criteria that includes such non-negotiables as:
* must earn a certain level of income
* must love international travel
* must enjoy fine dining experiences
* etc., etc., etc.
While it is understandable that you are on the lookout for that special someone who can meet your expectations, and who possesses certain qualities you deem important, it is just as critical to be clear and honest with yourself about your true aspirations. Are you on the hunt for a partner who can provide you with that certain grand lifestyle you have longed for, or believe you deserve? Or are you truly seeking a partner with whom you can share your already contented and active life? If you answer yes to the second question, you’ll want use a telescope with magic powers to zero in on that person with whom you share mutual core values, and a few interests and passions in common.
I’ve observed too many situations, including experiencing one myself, where the allure of a particular lifestyle became the deciding factor when it came to choosing a long-term mate. I was in the early stages of adulthood, somewhat like a” floating cloud in the sky,” with no set direction and no strategy to get to any destination. I believed the status my potential partner offered at the time, along with the material assets that came with the whole package, would decide my life course and bring me happiness. Eventually, that decision turned out to be a big, unwelcome trade-off. I traded his decision about what lifestyle we would lead for the freedom to be ME -- to create, choose and have personal control over my own destiny.
So the next time someone says to you, “Wow! Looks like you’ve found a great catch,” ask yourself, Is that person a great catch because he/she or their family will provide me with a lifestyle of their choosing that I will have to go along with, without comment or complaint, or is he/she a great catch because they are willing to dance alongside me as I traverse life’s sometimes unexpectedly rocky road?
Thanks to Karynne Summars for posting this article! Karynne is a former international corporate finance professional turned author/screenwriter. Her thriller drama romance novels Desperate Pursuit in Venice and Desperate Pursuit in Rio de Janeiro were published in 2013 and 2015.
I often consult with Millennial Men who are seeking gentle advice and practical solutions to their dating and relationship issues. My initial approach during a 1-on-1 or small group session is to practice active and compassionate listening skills, so I can truly hear and understand their male perspectives . I then relate their experiences to my own relationship encounters, allowing me to openly and honestly share the pros and cons of my past behaviors, actions and decisions. By my being bold, courageous and authentic in sharing my vulnerabilities and lessons learned, I am better able to guide my clients to a place of self-awareness. And, voila! Before we know it, they are answering their own questions and resolving their own issues. When this happens, I call myself the “Relationship Whisperer”!
I remind my male subjects, “The world is your oyster. Now, go find that pearl!” But first, I recommend that each guy follow a three-step process that will jumpstart his journey and, ultimately, lead him to his destination…that is, if his goal is to find a long-term partner. I advise, “If you are going to commit, do so by practicing preparedness, patience and prevention! Be wise!”
Three-Step Process to Finding a Genuine Pearl!
Step 1: Are you prepared to seek that Pearl?
Have you taken the time to look back before believing you're really ready to go ahead?
Have you acknowledged the pros and cons of your past relationship?
Do you fully understand your needs and requirements going forward?
Are you willing to change or erase negative behaviors and patterns that may have impacted your past relationship(s)?
Do you have a life strategy, and can you envision how a partner would fit into that future?
Step 2: Do you have the patience to find the Pearl?
Are you committed to enjoy life to the fullest and be happy every day until you find the right partner?
Do you have what it takes to persevere in order to find the right person, rather than quickly settling on someone who is “good enough”?
Are you willing to take the time to do the necessary discovery to deeply know yourself and another person?
Are you willing to work with a potential relationship partner to develop trust?
Step 3: Are you willing to practice prevention methods to avoid choosing the wrong Pearl?
Are you willing to be strong enough to immediately release unhealthy push/pull relationships?
Are you willing to watch for red flags that appear early on, and address them right away?
Are you willing to speak your truth and set boundaries?
Are you willing to say “Next” if the potential partner’s core values, passions and common interests don’t match up with yours?
Finally, you know you are ready to find that Pearl when:
You can be authentic and honest about the person who is truly right for you.
You can take the initiative in describing the kind of life you want to live together.
You know how to balance your head and your heart, and can recognize the difference between “love” and “lust” when making relationship decisions.