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How Failed Relationships Lead You To The Right Person

How Failed Relationships Lead You To The Right Person

After being married for over 19 years it was pretty dramatic being back in the dating field. But, hey, you either sink or swim. I have tried every type of dating: online, offline, blind dates, friend hook ups, guys from the church etc. Lessons I have learned from 2006 to the present have definitely been because of failed relationships. These are some of the important lessons I keep in mind:

1. Don’t take anything at face value

I don’t take anything at face value; I research, and question everything. Let them call you a detective, CSI or NCIS. You have to protect your heart. Lesson learned # 1 is people will lie and deceive. I met a presumably nice gentleman at a club. I didn’t see a ring but I still asked “are you married?” He said “no.”… well, you know what? He was married for over 3 or 4 years when the truth finally came out.

2. Are they making room for you in their life?

Lesson # 2: When a person wants you in their life, they make room for you; they accommodate you in time and in their life events. For example, are you included at weddings, family reunions, or work place functions? It’s a lesson learned if you are being treated like a secret. They are not just wanting you all to themselves they are probably hiding something- maybe a dead body! Just kidding!

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For example, I met a guy and we dated at least eight months. He had met my mother, sisters and children, and yet never introduced me to his sister or children, even though they were local. I decided if I had to be a secret he was not for me.

3. Are they controlling?

Failed relationship lesson # 3: if you are too demanding and everything has to be your way, you are SELFISH and controlling. That is not healthy or cute. I had a boyfriend who was always, always calling me, checking on the time I got in from work, shopping, and working out. He would want me to cook for him all the time, and yet never taking me to dinners, plays or movies.

4. Do they support your dreams and hopes for the future?

Failed relationship lesson #4: it’s time to be concerned if they’re not supportive of your dreams or visions of any kind. I was dating a guy and we had been dating for over 2 years; I had become an empty nester by this time and things I had put on hold because of being a single parent and not having a lot of time to pursue certain things I begin to pursue. One of those things was to write a book.

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I wrote my first book and family and friends were excited. I remember going to the mailbox and the hard copy of the book had come from the publisher. I was jumping up extremely excited and I showed the book to my then boyfriend. He picked up my book, looked at it and put it in the box and said “hmm”. No congratulations, No “good job, baby”, just “hmm”. I broke up with him; if you can so easily step on my dreams you are not the man for me.

5. Will the age difference be a factor to consider?

This next one you may agree or disagree with, but here it is: really consider whether you should date someone substantially younger or older than you. I have done both, and truthfully it didn’t work for me. With the younger guy, he had never been married and had never had children. The first question I asked was, “do you want kids one day? Because I have three and my shop is closed.” But people can lie or maybe when they want someone badly they risk being misleading. We dated about a year and half and he said he was not ready to give up the idea of having kids. This was right after I was freshly divorced, so I was crushed. But it taught me to look for bad signs early and to take what people tell you with a grain of salt.

The older gentleman I could write a book about, but my main gripe with him was he was extremely controlling and always talked to me like I was a child. I learned that I needed someone with which I could be on equal footing, in terms of our thoughts, ideals and major goals and beliefs.

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6. Be wary of manipulation

I learned these lessons from the above dating scenarios. Don’t advise your new love interest of all of the stuff you are looking for in a mate, and all the drama you experiences in your other relationships. Why, you ask? Because you want someone to genuinely get to know you, rather than giving them a road map to manipulate you.

I dated a guy who tried to be the opposite of all the things I said above that didn’t work for me, but as my grandmother Mary says “time will tell it all.” By the end of six months, I was not getting the support for my events, I was being ignored for football, and all the other warning signs of a relationship going south.

Now as you can see from the list above I have experienced some true life lessons over 10 years and I can happily report that I learned from them all. I learned what I needed for myself. I must admit I was not ready to date for a long time after my divorce; I really needed time to forgive and heal. I also grew and changed from the young naive lady to a beautiful mature, smart lady with so much to offer the world and a very lucky man.

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I won’t keep you in suspense:, yes, knowing all of the above about my failed relationships led me to a great guy! He is handsome to me (that’s important if I have to see you all the time), but I got to know him as a friend first (which I didn’t do with any of the above). He’s very supportive, we have lots in common and when we don’t have something in common we can respect each other’s opinion. Without these lessons I believe I would still be looking for the right one for me.

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michelle Roberts

Dating Strategist

How Failed Relationships Lead You To The Right Person

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Last Updated on August 19, 2019

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

That’s where we all should be.

So, answer me this:

How are you, really?

And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

It’s taking control.

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2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

Change will happen.

Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

“Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

“If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

What would you do if you felt you were enough?

By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

Final Thoughts

By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

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