Tap Into Authenticity for Romantic Bliss

How To Have Romantic BlissHave you ever been happy and miserable at the same time?

I was talking to a client the other day. From outward appearances, she’s got it made. She has an amazing job, she’s in good shape, and the guy she’s dating is a real catch. She looks happy practically all the time.

But sometimes it’s an act.

As we dug into things, we realized that a lot of her occasional dissatisfaction has to do with her relationship.

Her man takes her on amazing dates. They have all kinds of fun. She really likes him. But she doesn’t feel like it’s okay to show him the not-happy side of herself.

“Just the other day we had dinner,” she told me. “We were at this romantic little café. The food was great. But work was hard that day and I wanted to vent. I just . . . didn’t feel like it would be okay. I don’t want to be all negative around him. So I stuffed it down and smiled.

“Then I went home and cried.”

I don’t think she’s alone in that experience.

Students of my relationship courses know that men like women with positive energy. But that doesn’t mean you have to be upbeat every waking minute. That wouldn’t be very authentic at all, and men like authenticity a lot, too.

Not only are men NOT looking for someone who’s giddy all the time, but acting like you’re constantly bursting with joy can leave you drained and miserable.

That’s because happiness is linked to authenticity. We’re happiest when we’re true to ourselves—even if that means sometimes being upset, angry or sad.

Here’s what that means for your relationship. You’ll feel the highest levels of intimacy and romantic satisfaction when you feel free to share how you really feel.

Being lovey-dovey all the time won’t make you feel good. Being REAL is the key.

If you’re interested in authenticity in your relationship, keep reading. I’ve got three powerful tips for incorporating genuine, transparent communication into dating.

Follow these suggestions and you’ll definitely feel more happiness when you’re around your guy. Continue reading

The Art of Avoiding Creeps & Encouraging Good Guys

The Art of Avoiding Creeps & Encouraging Good GuysMia had a unique problem.

“The only guys who talk to me are the creepy ones,” she told me. “I try to end it pretty quick, but it’s getting frustrating. What am I, a creep magnet?”

“What’s a creep, exactly?” I asked her.

She gave me a look. “You know. A weirdo. Someone who approaches me somewhere completely inappropriate, like a convenience store, and then won’t leave me alone even when I brush him off.”

I nodded.

“The first thing you need to know is that it’s not you. You’re not sending any subliminal signals that only creeps can decode.”

“Seriously?” Mia sighed in relief.

“Seriously.”

I’m often struck by how easy it is to take other people’s behavior personally. You might think that you did something to make someone act a certain way, when really it had nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.

Here’s an example. A man sees a woman sitting alone at a café table, reading. She’s pretty, she’s not wearing a ring, and she seems sad. He gathers up his courage and walks past her table. “Looks like an interesting book there,” he remarks.

She snaps the book shut. “Not interested,” she says curtly as she gathers up her things. She’s out the door before he’s had the chance to blink.

What happened?

In his mind, he just failed. There must be something so wrong with him that a normal, otherwise friendly woman would reject him out of hand.

But maybe how she responded had more to do with her than him. Maybe she’d just lost her job. Maybe she’d already been approached by two other guys that morning and she’d had enough. Maybe she was in no mood for company. Who knows?

What we do know is that men and women don’t always know what’s going through each other’s minds. They make assumptions. And sometimes, those assumptions are wrong.

“The next thing you need to know,” I told Mia, “is something about what it’s like to be a man.”

Although men and women are equals in most areas of life, gender roles are alive and kicking in dating. Men are still supposed to make the first move. That’s their job.

It’s tough. Guys who put themselves out there must get used to rejection. It comes with the territory. Some men do better than others. They can read a woman’s signals and sense whether she’s open to being approached.

But not all men can.

Some men can’t read women at all. Because they’re not sure why some women say yes and other women say no, they approach every woman they can. They treat it as a numbers game.

Think of these guys as spammers. They strike up conversations anywhere, anytime, in the hope they’ll get a bite. They don’t just target women like Mia. As long as a woman is female, she’s fair game.

So what do you do when you get targeted by a spammer?

And how do you distinguish between him and a genuinely good guy hoping to make a connection?

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The Negativity Bias That Brings Down Relationships

Why Relationships Go BadHe says you look beautiful tonight…

But all you can remember is the last time you wore this outfit and the rude comment he made.

He says he’s never loved you more than he does right now…

But all you can remember is that time you argued and he said he regretted ever meeting you.

It’s hard to forget hurtful words.

You start to wonder what’s really true. Was he telling the truth when he said you looked beautiful … or when he made that awful comment? Was he telling the truth when he said he loved you … or when he said he regretted ever meeting you?

Does he ever tell you the truth, you wonder, or does he just say what you want to hear?

That line of thinking can drive you crazy.

But it’s not just you. We ALL do it.

Human brains latch onto negative experiences. Our brains assign much greater importance to one cruel comment than a dozen compliments. This “negativity bias” is part of our programming.

And it can sabotage relationships unless you’re onto it.

In a minute, I’m going to show you a technique that will help you break free, but first try this exercise to see whether the negativity bias is at work in your love life.

Take a moment to select a relationship from your past. Now, try to think of as many special, beautiful moments from that relationship as you can.

Next, try to recall a few awful, terrible moments from that relationship.

Which did you find easier:

Coming up with good memories or bad memories?

If you’re like most people, the bad memories were easier to remember by far.

There’s a reason for that, and it dates back to the dawn of human history.

Our ancestors needed to remember which tribes were hostile, which regions were dangerous, and which plants made them sick. It was more important not to get killed than to have a good time. Those who kept their attention firmly focused on avoiding bad things were rewarded with survival.

That strategy works. You use it all the time without realizing it.

Maybe you keep your purse close to your body because you once had it stolen. Maybe you obsessively check the fluid levels in your car because you once wrecked your engine. And of course you refuse to date anyone who reminds you of THAT ex-boyfriend.

Your negativity bias helps keep you safe.

But it isn’t really your friend. It’s more like a buggy software program.

Sometimes it works to protect you from harm, which is great.

But other times it malfunctions. It tells you to remember every rude comment or small disappointment. It tells you that even one rejection is too many; you should just give up dating and spare yourself the pain.

Soon, your life becomes a series of one hurtful experience after another. There’s always something to be upset about. Someone is always cutting you down. You don’t notice the good stuff, because you’re paying so much attention to the bad stuff.

Who wants to live that way?

You can’t turn off the negativity bias, but you can outsmart it.  Continue reading

When You’re Tired of Waiting on His Promises

When You’re Tired of Waiting on His PromisesHas this ever happened to you?

He swears he’s in love with you. He wants you to have a future together. He makes a promise to you.

But…

He’ll delays telling his friends you’re his girlfriend, promising to do so when the timing is better.

He’ll find a place for the two of you to live together as soon as his lease runs out. He’ll propose as soon as he has the money for a ring.

So many promises. So much hope.

Weeks pass. You mention his promises. He swears to you that he’s onto it. You just have to be patient.

Months pass. You mention his promises. He tells you to stop nagging him. You need to trust him.

A year passes. You stop mentioning his promises. Somewhere deep inside, you know the truth. He never intended to live up to his word.

When you’re in that situation, it’s hard to know what to do. You want to believe him so much. This is the man you want a future with, after all.

But you can’t deny the evidence. You can see that he’s done nothing.

Living in limbo is painful. You want to move forward, but he’s holding back. You don’t know why, and you’re not sure if you want to know why. You may learn something you wish you’d never learned.

When a man’s words don’t match his actions, you have a few options:

  1. You can give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he’s being honest with you about the timing not being right, or not having the money. You can be the better person. You can be patient.
  2. You can push a little harder. Maybe he’s procrastinating. Maybe he’s forgotten about the promise he made. Surely he’ll appreciate a little reminder. Or two. Or three.
  3. You can apply a little leverage. You can give him some space and see if that lights a fire under him. Or you can issue an ultimatum: either he lives up to his promises or he loses you.
  4. You can put the truth on the line. You don’t know why he’s not taking action on what he promised you. So ask him. Tell him your fears. Tell him you’re worried that he made that promise just to make you happy. Watch his face closely. Ask your gut what it thinks.

Here’s what I think of each of those options. I’ll finish by telling you what I’d recommend, and why it will bring you closer than ever.

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