Direct from my desk – week 13

If you don’t believe me when it comes to how guys think, maybe you’ll believe it from a guy.  I’d suggest:

  • He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys by Greg Behrendt
  • Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment by Steve Harvey

Neither of these books will make you a mind-reader or cover every situation you may encounter with men.  They will, however, give you some insight into how men think about relationships and how you should respond accordingly.  You might want to read them with a chick flick chaser just even out the hormone level.

Passing it out like Halloween candy

On the topic of sex – yes, you’re a liberated woman.  You can do whomever you choose whenever you choose and nothing should be said about it.  I agree however there is always a difference between can and should.  You should not be passing it out like Halloween candy.  This is not an anachronism.  It’s not prudish nor is it moralizing.

It isn’t about what the guy is going to think about you or what society-at-large is going to think about you, it’s about what you’re going to think about yourself.  It’s  rare the woman who has not regretted sleeping with someone.  Whether you did it because you felt pressured or obligated, you did it to cement a relationship, you had too much to drink – the reason doesn’t matter.

Promise yourself that you’ll only engage in sexual activities with someone when you honestly want to and it’s a good decision.  If it enters into your head for one moment that it’s not a good decision, it isn’t and you should gracefully excuse yourself.

Put your exes on ice

Not literally of course – that’s still illegal.  Simply put – stop talking about your exes.  You’ve analyzed them to death with your friends.  You’ve bored your besties with random updates on your ex’s life.  You’ve sunk a first date by bringing them up.

The more you talk about someone, the more you keep them in your life.  In the meanwhile, you’re pushing away your friends and potential new exes with your behavior.  Honestly, if your ex was so fabulous, wouldn’t you have held onto them?  Maybe he done did you wrong, forgive him – not for his sake but for yours.  You can’t move forward if you’re hanging onto the past.

Resolve to stop talking about them.  If you find yourself bringing them up, stop immediately, apologize and refuse to continue.  If you get pressed, simply state that you’re no longer talking about them.  If your friends bring up your ex, explain to them that you no longer wish to speak about it.  If someone blindsides you with an unwanted update on your ex, thank them and change the topic of conversation.

Practice now so that when you’re dating you don’t inadvertently bring an ex into the conversation (guys don’t like it – really).  If your date asks about your exes, smile and tell him that there are far more interesting topics to discuss.

Commit to not speaking about your exes.  Do it now.

Stalking, it’s not just corn anymore

We’ve all done it.  We’ve Googled an ex.  We’ve looked up his Facebook status.  We’ve gone beyond a simple, “gosh, I wonder how so-and-so is doing.”  I’m here to tell you to stop.  Not out of some moral quandary (although it is when you think about it) but because you will never be able to move forward if you’re always looking backward.

Doing it even once is going to send you into a spiral.  You’ll be looking him up on a regular basis.  You’ll be looking up your seventh-grade boyfriend.  You’ll even be looking up guys that you didn’t like.  You’re just going to have to stop and to stop immediately.

It will be hard to stop.  You’ll tell yourself that it isn’t that bad.  Temptation will spring out of the blue.  But you’re going to have to quit cold turkey.  Snap a rubber band around your wrist.  Put a dollar in a jar.  Take a walk instead.  Remember – nothing that your ex is doing is worth your time.  Even if he is a cancer researcher in line for a Nobel prize, it’s not worth your time.

Focus on your hobbies, go out with your friends, get involved with your life and your ex’s life will pale by comparison.  Stay engaged in your life rather than lolling in a fool’s paradise of what-ifs.

Isn’t that cute?

OooooOOohhhh, you still have the stuffed animal that your ex won for you at the street carnival.  Isn’t that cute?  No, it’s not.  Keeping the stuff from your ex isn’t sentimental, it’s stopping you from moving forward.  If you surround yourself with items that remind you of your ex, how can you completely give yourself to someone else?

Start by gathering the stuff in one area.  Remove it from your bedroom.  Take if off your bookshelves.  Banish it from your life.  Once together, sort it into three piles:

  • Trash – like the “princess” bumper-sticker that he gave you even though you’ve promised your dad that you’d never put a bumper-sticker on your vehicle.
  • Charity – those stuffed animals that had taken up residence on your bed, wash them and send them to a children’s charity that accepts plush animals or to a charity shop.
  • Sell/Pawn – engagement rings, Louis Vuitton bags, Jimmy Choos.

Get these things out of your house as soon as possible.  Do not look back or you’ll turn into a pillar of salt.

Unfriend your ex

It’s time.  He’s been hanging out on your friend list but why?  Do you think he’s really interested in your status updates?  Are you really interested in his?  Truthfully, he probably has his security set so that you only see a fraction of what he’s really saying and doing.

Are you keeping him on your list to stroke your ego?  Girl, don’t be stupid.

Consider your definition of friendship.  Does your ex really live up to that definition?  If not, it’s time to give him the old heave-ho.  Cut all ties.  Take no prisoners.  It’s okay, it will take him a while to notice that you’re gone.

Afraid of offending him?  Send him a little note stating that you’re making some changes to your profile, that you cherish the time you spent together but it’s probably best left in the past.  Then delete him.  If he’s the type to pull on your heart strings, consider blocking him.

I recommend blocking all of them.  Be ruthless.  Give yourself a fresh start.

You expect me to do what again?!!?

Here’s a little secret that guys won’t tell you.  If you engage in sexual activities with them, they will assume that they can do the same thing with you at any point regardless of what you say.  Horrible, isn’t it?

Two things you should keep in mind:

  1. Don’t fool around with guys that you’re not involved with because these guys will come back, again and again.  You don’t want to have to deal with chuckleheads simply because you made a mistake in judgment.  Just don’t do it.
  2. It is exceedingly rare to become authentic friends with your ex.  More than likely, he keeps you on his friend list in case he ever needs a booty call.

Direct from my desk – week 12

We’ve spent a lot of time this week talking about your past because, as the saying goes, past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior.  Some people are content to make the same mistakes over and over again just to sit and complain about it.  You have to be motivated to change.

Change is never easy.  You’ve probably experienced this at some point in the past.  A boyfriend who didn’t want you to lose weight.  A best friend who became insecure when you did something independent of her.  You can not control someone else’s fear of change, you can only control your reaction to it.  Under no circumstances should you allow another person’s fear to dictate the outcome of your commitments.

Looking at your past relationships and your exes, do you want to change?  Are you ready to change?

My mailbox is open:

Ghosts of boyfriends past

Oh yay – ex-boyfriends.  We all have them in our not-so-distant past, some in our present.  So let’s talk about them, better yet, let’s write about them.

Like the relationship analysis, do this on paper with two columns: one good, one bad.  Then start filling the columns in with your exes good points and bad points.  Include all details – looks, personality, characteristics, etc.  Take your time, take a few days if you need to.  When you’re done start looking for similarities in each column.

This can also be done in Excel (it’s probably easier in Excel).  You can have one master “good” and one master “bad” column then assign each ex a different color.  When you’re done you can sort each column to find the similarities.

From the similarities you can see what type of guy you are attracted to.  It may or may not be similar to your “ideal” guy in your head.  Look at what you can learn from this.  Match this information up with your relationship analysis.  Do you go for bad boys only to have them cheat on you?  Do you look for nice guys you can walk all over then break up with them because they don’t stand up to you?

The information in these two exercises is your history – it’s up to you if you want to repeat it.

Take responsibility for what you can control

While it may feel sometimes that the world is out to get you, that simply isn’t true.  You need to take responsibility for what you can control.  Not only the things directly within your control but also things indirectly in your control.

Take control of your life, your emotions and your reactions.  You are 100% responsible for your health and happiness.  You are responsible for getting back up and dusting yourself off.  You are responsible for holding onto all those bad memories.

You are also responsible for making a Plan B.  It would be lunacy to assume that life will be all sunshine and roses.  Plan for that traffic on a Monday morning.  Plan how you intend to handle your ex who calls you in the middle of the night (yeah, you know what he wants).  Plan what to say to your frenemy when she asks what happened to the cute guy you were dating (when she knows that he cheated on you).

What you can control is really in your hands.