Tag Archives: Advice

Things My Therapist Has Taught Me

7 Nov

bc425f09027fd13912ac10b6728e4ea3I don’t typically write serious subject matter on this blog, but a few months ago I wrote about my desire to seek therapy for a myriad of issues I’ve faced for years. A woman of my word, I began going almost immediately.

I don’t like talking to friends or family members about my problems so the idea of talking to a stranger about my innermost thoughts really put me off. Luckily, I found someone totally aces on the first try, and she has taught me some very valuable things in our time together so far.

How you feel about yourself is not a democracy.

I would never have described myself as a “people pleaser” until I started seeing her. Now I can’t believe I never saw it before. In every facet of my life I am living for someone else: at work, in relationships, with my family, among friends. No wonder I’ve spent half my life asleep at the wheel; trying to be everything to everyone is exhausting. Once, when I was expressing anxiety over Blogger Interactive, she said, “Who cares if people end up disliking you? How you feel about yourself is not a democracy. The only person who gets a vote in that is you.” All this time I’ve been basing my self-esteem on what I assume or know to be others’ judgements of me. I’m trying to see that I am good enough as-is, and if someone doesn’t like me, that doesn’t diminish my worth. Continue reading

5 Dating Mistakes I’ll Never Make Again

15 Oct

Nobody will ever accuse me of being a dating guru. I’m the most indifferent dater of all time, and I can’t think of many things that interest me less than going on a first date. This doesn’t mean my dating pool has been completely dried up; I’ve actually had a few serious relationships.

None of them worked out, but that doesn’t mean they were a complete loss. Each time one fell apart I managed to find wisdom among the pieces I was putting back together. What I’ve learned over time is that love isn’t about dating more, it’s about dating smarter, and that’s why I’ll never make these mistakes again.

Date a guy who is emotionally or otherwise unavailable.

Are you emotionally detached? Married? Hundreds of miles away? Currently serving a prison sentence? Still hung up on your ex? I’m not interested. If I’m going to be with someone I want to be with him. When someone doesn’t have the ability or desire to allow you into every aspect of their lives, you end up being second, third, fourth or even lower on their list of priorities. I’ve found myself feeling like a supporting character in my own relationship, and I deserve to have one of the two starring roles.

Give more than my 50%.

Relationships are like a high stakes game of poker between two people who are required to go all in. If one person doesn’t push their chips to the center of the table, the game cannot proceed. Not only does the game cease to be fun, but nobody is a winner. When someone is unwilling to do their part, what they’re really saying is that the relationship isn’t worth the investment of their energy and time. If it isn’t worth theirs, it isn’t worth mine. Continue reading

All Good Things Must Come To An End

24 Feb

This is a post about a breakup, my breakup. A breakup I’ve rarely discussed save a few long discussions with key people in my life. A breakup which started with love, and ended with love.

“A” and I met during transitional periods in our lives. I had some serious emotional issues I was dealing with, and he was beginning his journey of self-discovery. I was growing healthy while he was growing up. We were (and still are) different in many ways, but we were able to use those differences to help one another during a time when we really needed another we could call home.

A is a wonderful man. He is intelligent, loyal, trustworthy, compassionate, a great listener, understanding, forgiving, funny, attractive, fun, supportive, romantic, and a laundry list of other things you’d want a mate to be. I would look at other people’s partners and think, “What an idiot. I’m lucky to have A.”

We did all the things couple should do if they want to stay together. We communicated our thoughts and feelings. We resolved all of our issues instead of sweeping them under the rug. We hugged and kissed often. We practiced random acts of romance for the other. We always had fun, and believed in living a life of adventure. We never let “being right” become more important than being in love. We’d admit when we were wrong, and apologized when necessary.

As everyone knows, relationships are complicated. There are times when a breakup is the obvious choice, and people hang on by the skin of their teeth as they destroy each other. There are times when a relationship is copacetic, and the people in it find themselves having the “I think it’s over” discussion. There are reasons and seasons for everything, and I’m beginning to understand this more and more as I mature.

There wasn’t one thing that ended our relationship. No big fight, no act of betrayal, no dramatic event. It was a simple conversation we had sitting on the living room floor of our apartment. One of us spoke first, and the other agreed. Our relationship was over. Continue reading

Happy Mirthday!

13 Dec

 

My reaction to turning 30

“How does it feel now that you’re 30?”

I’ve gotten this question a number of times since turning the big 3-0 two weeks ago. I think everyone expected (and some hoped) that I’d have a nervous breakdown over this milestone birthday. Sorry to disappoint, but I care more about what’s happening between Sam and Ronnie on “Jersey Shore” than I do my own age.

It could have something to do with the fact that I’ve never gone beyond the maturity level of a 5th grader. Perhaps it’s because I grew up with a mother who aged very gracefully, and didn’t freak out over each passing year. The most likely cause of my jubilation is that, like a fine wine, I get better with age…and when paired with a kickass cheese.

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How-to: Decipher M4W Personals

21 Sep

Last week I explored the wonderful world of W4M (woman for man) dating ads, and immediately knew that I wanted to write a follow up piece which helped women decipher the M4W (man for woman) personals. I didn’t think this would prove to be nearly as entertaining because, well, the ladies were stretching the truth more than politicians during election season.

I’m woman enough to admit I was wrong. Very, very wrong. It seems that the entire dating world is infected with a disease which makes people incapable of telling the truths about themselves. The men, just like the women, were unable to avoid catching the bug. Continue reading

The Ex Factor

7 Sep

Credit: K. Hamierzarin

My Facebook feed has been reading like a relationship graveyard for the past month. One couple after another is biting the dust, and I’m seeing “[Insert name here] is now single” more than Farmville, Café World and Mafia Wars requests combined. Perhaps it’s because summer’s end is rapidly approaching, or something is in the water. Whatever it is, people just aren’t feeling each other anymore.

I would say that most of us handle a breakup like champions. We cry, go for drinks with friends, discard anything that reminds us of this former part of ourselves, or watch more episodes of “Golden Girls” than we care to admit. All of these are healthy outlets for the sadness and loneliness one feels after a relationship has been severed.

Some are not so dignified in their approach. We all know at least one person who believes a breakup is a reason for a breakdown, and allow themselves to get sucked into a dimension where self-respect doesn’t exist. Most people roll their eyes and patiently wait for the time when their friend returns, but if you’re like me, you can’t wait to put them on blast.

Continue reading

How-to: Not Suck as a Person

24 Aug

Is it just me, or has there been an increase in annoying behavior lately? Everywhere I turn there are people who display behavior which makes me cringe, scratch my head, or tear my hair out. I always wonder if the offenders know they’re committing these small acts of insanity, or if it seems normal in their worlds.

So how do you know if the rest of the world looks at you and thinks, “Wow, you suck!” There are the obvious things: abusive behavior, committing criminal acts, substance abuse. Then there are the things that should be punishable offenses (why isn’t eating Spam illegal yet?) but aren’t heinous enough to make the cut.

I’ve gone to the liberty of putting together a list of 50 guidelines we can all follow (hey, I’m not excluded) which will help bring our collective “suckage quotient” down a few notches.

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