Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It's an Inner Job

I spoke with a single friend today who made the comment "It's an Inner Job," and I couldn't agree more. And, I like the way she phrased it.

What did she mean?

We were talking about the challenges of dating. She is single and has had a steady string of failed relationships. She is now 50, and looks back on her choices and realizes she wasted a lot of time with men who weren't truly suitable for her.

Her most recent relationship lasted about 8 years, and it was never totally smooth-sailing. I'm not saying that any relationship is without flaws or bumps along the way. But, it should enhance your life and not feel like constant work.

Since that break-up, she has done a lot of thinking....reading....and self-introspection. And, she has emerged with greater clarity.

As she thinks back, she is able to admit that she, herself, wasn't in the best place. If she had truly felt good about herself inside, she would have more readily seen how this relationship was not an empowering one for her. But, she was wounded and coming from a place of need...not one of strength.

We need to take a care of our bodies and souls. Going to the gym or maintaining some level of fitness and good health is essential for self care. And, it shows. But, what doesn't immediately show is how your feel inside. It's so easy to walk around with demons, insecurities, etc., and no one would know it. We all have them, but to different degrees. But, it can lead you to seek out others like yourself, and that isn't necessarily the best match.

So, step back. Get quiet. Slow down. Get a good night's sleep. Try meditation or yoga. And, see what comes up for you. Talk to others. Share what you feel. And, work on your inner being. Time can be very healing. And, for the sake of your future relationships, you want to come from as positive a place as possible.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Ready or Not?

Are you truly ready for a relationship, or do you just think you are? You may not know the difference.

Recently I coached a single guy in his 40s who is divorced and has two children. He was looking for a fix-up, ideally, and I was able to introduce him to a friend of a friend (though I am not a matchmaker). I had not met the woman, but it sounded like it was worth pursuing.

They had one date, and it didn't go all that smoothly. Conversation flowed, according to him, but it got awkward when he made a comment about her wedding band. The woman is widowed, and though it's been some time, she wears her wedding band. Albeit on her right hand, but it's there.

He didn't know what to make of it, so it became a part of their discussion. She felt defensive, and he reached the conclusion that she isn't truly open to a new relationship as yet. While this may or may not be true, it is how he felt. The wedding band spoke volumes to him, and not in a positive way. He respected the love she had for her husband, but was seeking assurance that her heart was truly open for someone new, and he wasn't convinced.

Whether you know it or not, we all give off vibes. If you are on a date with someone, or trying to mingle at a social event, your actions, even if unspoken, speak volumes. Put yourself in the other person's shoes, and consider how it might come across to them. This is especially true if someone is socially insecure and you don't know it. If they're not a confident dater, it's easy for them to question your intentions, putting a damper on your get together. And, if it's a blind date, this is all the truer, because they tend to be somewhat awkard initially to begin with.

So, think about what it is that you really want and how that can be best communicated. And, don't discount things that might signal disinterest to a potential suitor.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Once a Mensch....Always a Mensch?

Once a Mensch....always a mensch? BIG question.

I received an email from a single gal who was recently given a copy of HOW TO MARRY A MENSCH. She raised a really interesting point, and one that I'd like to discuss with you. She thanked me for inspiring singles to seek out a quality person, and shared her story.

She had dated a guy she met in college for a couple of years who she considered a mensch. They broke up, and have since gotten back together. During the time they were apart, she was aware that his behavior had been less than mensch-like, in her opinion. She didn't relate specifics, but wanted to know if someone can be a reformed mensch? Could he return to his original menschlike ways, or was he not really a mensch to begin with?

What is your feeling on that? I welcome your feedback.

My take on it is that a person can change for the better, if they really want to. But, you need to examine what led to their stray from menschhood begin with. Was there something from their background that has yet to be resolved? Are they willing to work on it? Is he or she acting like a mensch with you but not with others? How do they speak of and treat their parents? All this can be telling. I'm not suggesting you psychoanalyze them, but these are critical points to consider. Can you speak with them openly about it?

You don't want to wind up with someone who you have to make major allowances for. No one is perfect, but you should feel good about the type of person they are. Trust your gut. If you are questioning their basic character, there must be a reason that a red flag is being raised. Don't ignore it. Sweeping your concerns under the carpet can lead to future heartache.

Even a true mensch can have good and bad days, but that's very different than someone with behavior you consider immoral. It's not your job to change someone. In this case, since he knew what it was like to be a mensch, he clearly had the capability of rising to the occasion. It remains to be seen what happens with their relationship this time around.

Thought you might like to note this upcoming occasion....
LOVE A MENSCH WEEK - February 11 -17, 2008
Mensches are decent, responsible men or women. During this week, singles look to meet a mensch as well as take time to appreciate how mensches enhance our lives.