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Can You Trust Your Instincts?

Will You Ever Love Again?

When I was only 25 years old, just days before Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend at the time returned from a 3-week vacation.  During our time apart, (like many women might do) I had spent a long time thinking about our future and where things were headed.  We’d been dating for over a year, and had talked about marriage in the way you do when you’re not yet engaged, but it’s essentially a certainty.  My world was flipped upside down, though, because after he showed up at my door, arms overflowing with gifts from his travels, and showed me his 400 pictures from his trip, he said those fateful words “I’m breaking up with you.”

Time, the patience of my family and friends, and the love of the RIGHT man have shown me what a true blessing that ex-boyfriends departure was.  Had this man instead returned on the exact same day and professed his love and proposed, I would have said yes, and that thought haunts me to this day.  I distinctly remember the feeling in the weeks that followed that I could not – and SHOULD not – love again, because my “instincts” were so wrong that I would surely only be hurt again.

This message of being unable to trust our instincts after a rough breakup is a concern I hear echoed by the large majority of my clients.  Happily, though, I now have a message of great news I can share with them.

Is that voice you are hearing your instincts or your desperation and fear?

What I realized was that my instincts had been with me every step of the way – and they had been right.  They were the nagging feeling I had that he didn’t really love me – even when he said he did; that he didn’t really enjoy being with me as much as I enjoyed his company; that at the first opportunity, he’d be off on his next adventure regardless of whether I was with him.

The voice I had been listening to that told me to stay with him was not the voice of instinct, but the voice of desperation.  I was driven by the fear that I would never find someone else, never find someone better – maybe even by the suspicion that the reason he didn’t love me was that there was something wrong with me.  It wasn’t my instincts that were driving me to stay with him it was fear.  In fact, my instincts were working as hard as they could to get me to head in the opposite direction!

If you’ve ever had concerns about trusting your instincts, it’s time to figure out what voice you’re really listening to as you lie awake at night reflecting on yourself and your relationships.  Are you feeling uncertainty about where you stand or how he or she feels about you?  Are you feeling under-valued and under-appreciated?  Do you constantly check in with your friends to see how they feel about the relationship or your boyfriend or girlfriend?  9 times out of 10, THESE thoughts are your instincts.  So listen to them!  Trust them to tell you when things aren’t right, and act accordingly!

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Women’s Ten Biggest Complaints About Men

Women’s Ten Biggest Dating Complaints About Men: Part Two

Are these dating complaints justified?

A recent article by eHarmony listed ten of women’s “biggest complaints” about men.  The article begins “Guys, we love and adore you, but there are certain things about you that drive us crazy!”  Are we to assume (since it’s eHarmony) that we’re talking about men we’re dating? I’ll operate with that assumption.  In a recent post, we looked at the women’s first five complaints about men to see whether they’re justified, and here we’ll finish it up with the last five complaints:

6. Too Much Boy, Not Enough Man

eHarmony makes a great point that men need to keep in mind: “At some point it’s time to grow up” – so true.   One of the least romantic dynamics that can spring up in relationships is the mommy/child dynamic.  Ugh – it’s awful.  Women don’t feel attracted toward a man they have to feed, clothe, and rock to sleep at night.  The more independent and strong the man, the more he can handle his business, pay his own bills (on time!), and provide her loving, emotional support, the healthier the relationship dynamic will become.  This isn’t to say that men should lose their playful side… just it should be a side and not all that they are.

7. It’s All About You

Have you heard the Toby Keith song, “I Wanna Talk About Me”?  It’s a man’s anthem, of sorts, in which a man isn’t able to get a word in edgewise in his relationship.  Just as it’s important to hear what your man has to say, it’s important that YOU are getting a voice in your relationship too.  In complaint #7, women say that each wants to feel as though her man is taking an interest in her, paying attention to what she likes, and that he wants to know what is going on in her life.  Of course she wants this!  Some men (and some women) are just self-absorbed.  It’s just the way they are, regardless of how into you they are.  We all have our character flaws.  The rest of the time, if a man isn’t taking interest in you or your life, it’s just a great way to realize he’s not interested in you! The good news is there is someone out there who WILL be interested in you.  He won’t be able to get enough of you.  (And if you need help finding him, check out our services page and let us get you started on the path to meeting Your Match!)

8. Mr. Angry/Possessive

Jealousy is truly a monster.  Not only can it destroy relationships, but it can also eat it’s host alive from the inside.  Sadly, extremely jealous men are usually not born – they’re made, often by bad previous experiences in which they were cheated on.  So we can help keep the monsters away by being faithful and true to men we’re in relationships with, Ladies!

If you find yourself face-to-face (i.e. in a relationship) with Mr. Angry/Possessive, tell him how his jealous behavior makes you feel.  Reassure him that you’ve never cheated (if that’s true) and that he has nothing to worry about.  You can even tell him (if you have to) that, worst case scenario, if you ever do have feelings for someone else you’ll just break up with him – that you will NEVER CHEAT!

And men, if you’re feeling the need to constantly check up on your girlfriend, question her friendships with men, or tell her what she can or can’t do, and where she can or can’t go, you need to think realistically about whether you should be in a relationship with her.  The jealously will eventually destroy your relationship, and will drive you made in the meantime.  If you feel you have reason you can’t trust her, it’s time to end the relationship and find someone you CAN trust.  The cliche about the butterfly is actually pretty accurate:  Catch one in your hand, but don’t hold on too tight or you’ll kill it.  Keep a loose grip and if it flies away it will be happy to return.

9. Too Much, Too Soon

Although it seems the commitment-phobe is far more prevalent, you will also occasionally run into the man who will talk about marriage on a first, second or third date.  This isn’t always a bad sign; he may just be testing the waters to see if you’re looking for a committed relationship.  However, if you’re getting the vibe that he’s actually looking to propose in the next week, that’s a different story.  If he’s coming on too strong, do him the favor of letting him know that you’re flattered, but that you’d like to slow the pace a little bit.  These men can often tend to be “demanding and overbearing” say women who have experienced this personality on first dates.

Men, have a little self-awareness of how you’re coming across.  It’s find to eventually suss out whether she’s interested in marriage and kids at some point down the line, but don’t start planning the family vacation to Disneyland on the first date.

10. He’s Way Too Comfortable

eHarmony may think it’s a bad sign (or that women don’t like it) when men get comfortable in a relationship.  Personally, this is one of my favorite points in a relationship.  I love that he knows he can be his absolute self around me and know I love and accept him for who he is.  That said, there is value in keeping some of the mystery alive by, as eHarmony suggests, shutting the door to the bathroom.  But you don’t, in my opinion, have to make every get-together a fancy date night.  Sometimes (way into the relationship, mind you) cuddling on the couch in T-shirts and PJ pants is just the thing!

Women what do you think?  What are YOUR biggest dating complaints about men?

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Women’s Ten Biggest Complaints About Men

Women’s Ten Biggest Dating Complaints About Men: Part One

Are these dating complaints about men justified?

A recent article by eHarmony listed ten of women’s “biggest complaints” about men.  The article begins “Guys, we love and adore you, but there are certain things about you that drive us crazy!”  Are we to assume (since it’s eHarmony) that we’re talking about men we’re dating? I’ll operate with that assumption.  Let’s take a look at the complaints and see whether they’re justified.

1. Men are all talk and no action.

The article claims women take issue with men who say they will do something and have no follow through (e.g. saying you’ll call, and then not calling; telling a woman you’re ready for a relationship when you’re not, etc.).

Truth be told, I have NO problem with this whatsoever.  Men who made promises to me that they couldn’t keep – from “I’ll call you tomorrow” to “I’ll love you forever” – did me the biggest favor you could imagine.  They made it VERY CLEAR that they weren’t the one I was looking for so I was able to dump them and move on.  Even better, they made my fiance stand out like Chuck Norris in a kindergarten class.

When men want something, they are very good at follow through.  Is your boyfriend into football?  When was the last time he missed a Superbowl?  They are not children, they are highly capable adults, and when they want to achieve a goal, they will.  If they’re all talk and no action, take a hint and move on.

2. Men are dishonest about what they want.

I can strongly agree that dishonesty – especially with online dating – is terrible in any form (with the small exception of those polite societal little white lies).  Lying about who you are or what you want in a relationship is extremely destructive.

Most of the time, though, I believe men think they are being honest when they say things (the good guys, at least – we all know the bad boys ALWAYS lie to get what they want).  If a man tells you he is ready for a relationship or that he wants to see where things go, give him a chance.  If you’re not sure where he really stands take things VERY SLOWLY!  If a guy is really interested in you, he’ll understand and respect that.

If it ends up that he still has feelings for his ex, or if he comes up with some other reason why he’s just not that into you, well… you’ve sussed out that he’s not emotionally available.  Be glad that you’re done with him and move on!

3. He’s a Mama’s Boy.

This is a loaded term, pregnant with so many meanings…

Let me start out by saying that one of the BEST signs for me about my fiance was what a fantastic relationship he has with his whole family – including/especially his mother.  His respect for his parents and his love for them showed me that he knows how to love someone in a healthy way.  Sometimes, being a “Mama’s Boy” can be a good thing.

HOWEVER, there are some women out there who have unhealthy relationships with their sons (and yes, it’s a two-way street).  I once dated a “man” whose mother made him tell her she was his “number one girl” whenever she called him and he and I were together.  Just so I would have to hear my boyfriend tell his mom “You’re my number one girl, Mom!”  That’s just sick.

Men, if your mother is doing this to you, it’s time to man up and have a talk with her.  Women, let’s learn from these mothers’ mistakes and NOT REPEAT THEM!

4. The bump on a log.

The article describes this complaint as women taking issue with guys who “are no fun, uptight, dull, take no initiative to plan any dates, or who never have any ideas about where to go for dinner, vacations, activities, etc.”  Um, okay.  So women don’t like men who are boring and have nothing going for them?  Not really a surprise there; just don’t date them.

Note to men, though – it doesn’t take much to get yourself out of this category.  Just plan something – anything!  Plan a trip to a baseball game; plan a simple dinner out; plan a picnic at a local park; plan a time to pick out a birthday present for her nephew together.  Just plan something.  DO SOMETHING.  You don’t have to be the most creative guy out there, just listen to her, see what she likes to do (she’s probably told you 10 times already anyway), and make it happen.

5. The Ogle-Master.

Checking out your options is a perfectly fine thing for single, unattached men to do, provided it is tastefully done, and doesn’t come off as creepy (creepy is always bad; check out this Guide To Avoid Being the Creepy Guy).

However, if a man I was dating ever checked out his options while we were out, I started thinking through mine.  And men, if you really love the woman you’re with, that’s not a place you want her mind to go.  One thing I always kept in mind when I was single was that the man I would someday marry would think I was the hottest thing out there.  So when a date’s head turned for someone else, I started down the path of acknowledging “This guy isn’t My Match – better go find The One who is…”

So if you’re on a date with someone you care about, you better keep that head OFF of swivel!  The more you love her, the easier it should become.

Check back soon for our next installment of MYMO’s interpretation of the last 5 of Women’s Ten Biggest Dating Complaints About Men.

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