This quote closed one of my favorite TV shows the other night and really got me thinking…
“Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boose.
I took a look back into my past relationships and had a think on how they had shaped my future. Did they have a positive or negative impact on me and how much of the bad energy did I pack up and carry around with me? In some cases there was quite a lot! When we are hurt by someone either physically, mentally or emotionally it’s incredibly hard to play the forgiveness card, let go and move on even though we know we should. We live in a lot of ‘what if’s’, we often carry a lot of anger and sadly as well as finding it difficult to forgive them, we often fail to forgive ourselves.
All we end up doing is perpetuating torment and anguish and that stops us from healing and moving on to enjoy a fabulous life. Forgiveness doesn’t have to mean that you agree with what someone has done and it certainly doesn’t have to give approval to their actions. Forgiveness allows you to let go and until you let go you are stuck in a negative place going round and round just like a hamster on a wheel.
Choosing to forgive someone doesn’t mean you need to accept that person as part of your life again. If you have chosen to remove them from your life then stick with that choice but do it graciously. Work at surrounding yourself with people who enhance your life and whose lives you can enhance in return. All good relationships should have an equal amount of give and take.
William Ward once said, “Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the handcuffs of hate.”
It’s not unusual to sometimes need some help to move yourself from a bad space so you can embrace a better future which is why I have researched The Breakup Cleanse. Letting go of hurt and resentment no matter what kind of relationship it has come from is your key to enlarging your future. Without forgiveness your future will be as closed and insular as your past and you won’t be allowing any room for new and greater experiences.
If you are struggling to let go, forgive and/or just move on why not take a look at The Breakup Cleanse.
This is my special name for something so simple that has been around for ages but helped my healing process no end and went on to help change my perspective on life as I thought I knew it.
It started when I was at an all time low, struggling to get back into my groove after a nasty break up. I’m normally a fairly positive person so this situation had really knocked me around. Any of you who have been there realize how important it is to focus on the positive when you are in this space but also understand how easy it is to dwell in ‘negative city’.
Well, I was there, fully ensconced in ‘negative city’. Gosh it felt like I’d bought an apartment and moved all my stuff in. Maybe it was just a long-term lease but whatever it was I knew I had to get out there and really quick.
If any of you have read “The Secret” you will be familiar with positive affirmations, positive thoughts and vision boards. Since I’m a project type of person the vision board theory seemed like a fun thing to me and if it helped get me out of my slump then I was up for that. For those of you unfamiliar with vision boards let me explain…
A vision board is a board you create with pictures or items relating to places you want to go, things you want to do and what you want for your life. You might prefer to think of it as your goal or aspiration board. Your board can be created on a strong piece of cardboard or a pin board. Creating the board is fun and easy. I waded through magazines and books to find pictures that resonated with me and represented what I wanted to achieve. As time went on I added more to my board and best of all I started ticking things off. That was the biggest buzz.
Your vision board gives you focus. It takes your mind away from your negative situation and helps you look towards better things. When you dwell with your negative thoughts you keep attracting more negative energy into your life and that is why tuning into positive thoughts is so important. It doesn’t mean you don’t hurt and you block everything out it’s just a way of turning a bad situation into a better one.
Here are four points to consider about your board:
Visual. Your subconscious mind works in pictures and images, so make your vision board as visual as possible with as many pictures as you can. You can supplement your pictures with words and phrases to increase the emotional response you get from it.
Emotional. Each picture on your vision board should evoke a positive emotional response from you. The mere sight of your vision board should make you happy and fuel your passion to achieve it every time you look at it.
Strategically-placed. Your vision board should be strategically placed in a location that gives you maximum exposure to it. You need to constantly bath your subconscious mind with it’s energy in order to manifest your desires quicker than you hope.
Personal. Negative feelings, self-doubt, and criticism can damage the delicate energy that your vision board emits. If you fear criticism or justification of your vision board from others, then place it in a private location so it can only be seen by yourself. I chose to keep mine in my bedroom but I shared it with people I knew were on the same journey as I was.
Your vision board is yours and yours alone. It’s about you, about your dreams and aspirations and should not be influenced by anyone else. As it’s your board you are free to add to it, to change it and to create a new one. It’s all about you. Remember too, it’s use is not limited to the times we are low and need to re balance ourselves. It’s a fabulous tool to keep focus on your dreams and aspirations even when life is going well.
I am blown away by how many good things have manifested since I created my vision board. When I look back to the sad, broken person I was I am so pleased I made the effort and gave it a try. I’m onto my second one now to create lots more wonderful experiences, memories and achievements.
For anyone out there struggling through a break up I can also recommend The Breakup Cleanse
Trying to come to terms with life after you have lost someone your were truly invested in is hard at the best of times so Dr. Brit Brogaard and Catherine Behan M.S. have created The Breakup Cleanse to help get you through your hurt and out the other side.
If you feel you are doing most of the work in a relationship and not feeling appreciated or respected, perhaps it’s time to consider he may be taking you for granted. If you want to stop him from taking you for granted however, you may need to take a look at your own behavior and consider that you may be making it easy for him to take you for granted.
I have been talking to women in relationships for years now and the common denominator for women that seem to get taken for granted is often that they over give in a relationship. Women that over give often find themselves in this position in one relationship after the other. There is evidence of this on the forum here as I watch the same women get the same results over and over. You know what they say about that right? If you want something different, you have to do something different. You can’t do the same thing or behave the same way (over give) and expect different results.
I have read so much bad advice about talking to your boyfriend to stop him from taking you for granted. This doesn’t work as a rule. He will stop for a while and a week or so later, you again start to feel like he is taking you for granted. Men learned from their Mothers how to take a tongue lashing when they were boys. They knew their Mother would love the unconditionally regardless of their behavior. I would like to remind you here, you do not want to be his Mother.
If you keep giving to him when he isn’t treating your right, you are actually reinforcing his bad behavior and showing him it is acceptable to you. Let’s say for example you are the one that always makes the plans and initiates the contact for a weekend date. If you are doing this over and over you doing his job for him. You in essence have helped him become lazy by carrying the load. Many women who contact me wanting to know how to stop him from taking you for granted have laid the groundwork for him to do so by over compensating for him.
So now that you know that it is most likely partly your fault, how do you turn this around and stop him from taking you for granted. You stop giving so much when you are getting so little in return. Relationships should be balanced. If he hasn’t made plans by Wednesday, make plans of your own. Take a weekend trip with your girlfriends and get away. This one seems to work wonders. There really is some truth in absence makes the heart grow fonder.
In my family, I do all of the cooking and usually a lot of the cleaning, so if I feel taken for granted, it really is my own fault for picking up their slack. I have found a weekend away shifts the dynamics completely as almost every time I come home to a spotless house. I also often get I miss you texts from my daughter.
It feels good to be appreciated but you have to do your part. A man will respect you about as much as you respect yourself and if you spend most of your time bending over backwards to take care of him, you aren’t spending much time taking care of you. A man will take a woman for granted that doesn’t show herself respect and that includes putting up with his bad behavior. That is not self respect.
You can read more about the self respecting women men adore here.
If you have ever been dating a man and things were going great and all of a sudden he tells you he is afraid of his feelings for you, this article is for you. More times than I can ever count, I get messages and comments from women who are involved with or dating a man that claims he is scared of his feelings or getting hurt or commitment or this or that. This is the second article in a series that I am writing on scared men. You can find the first one here.
Now you may find it flattering that a man feels so strongly for you that it scares him. Most women have that nurturing instinct kicking in when they hear this and they want to reassure him. They find the scared little boy endearing in so many ways. Looking back, I can think of many a man that has told me after a very intense and chemistry filled evening that I scare him. There was a time in my life that I too would have been flattered or rushed to reassure his fears.
In reality there are two types of men that are afraid of their feelings. I will discuss both here. The first one is the majority of men that say this. The ones that really aren’t scared of their feelings. Most guys that use the line “I am scared of my feelings for you” are about to do a disappearing act. It’s a great excuse that plays upon the emotions of women and they way they analyze things in their heads. It ranks right up there with “it’s not you, it’s me”.
So he gets to exit the relationship guilt free. It’s a perfect excuse. Now not only does he have an easy out, he has your sympathy as well. He doesn’t look like the bad guy, poor fellow, he is just scared. He has probably been hurt before, bless his heart. Don’t buy it ladies, just don’t. It’s not that he is scared of his feelings.
If a man walks away from you because he is afraid of his feelings for you, the truth is, he isn’t afraid to lose you at all. That doesn’t sound to me like a man that really has strong feelings for you but a man that realizes he could have been leading you on and now wants to save face.
Now let’s take a brief look at the small majority of men that really are afraid of their feelings. Do you really think this kind of man would make a good long term partner carrying around all those wounds from his past? Do you really think you could thrive in a relationship where you spend most of your time reassuring and shoring up his emotions for him?
A man that really is scared of his feelings is showing you how he deals with conflict. He doesn’t. He runs or hides behind this lame excuse. Do you want a man that can’t handle his own emotions really? How do you think he is going to handle the bumps in the road like this?
So bottom line here, if he is afraid of his feelings, just keep walking.
What does it mean when he says he is afraid to hurt you or he is scared he is going to hurt you? A young woman emailed me this week telling me her boyfriend keeps telling her “I am afraid I am going to hurt you”. Like most women, she is analyzing this to bits and pieces and trying to figure out how to reassure him. She wants to know how she can get through to him.
Oh boy! When a man tells you he is afraid he is going to hurt you, what he is really saying? You are most likely focused on his words scared or afraid and not paying attention to what he is really saying. He is saying he doesn’t feel enough for you to not hurt you. He is saying you are more invested into this relationship than he is and he knows it. He is just attempting to save face and continue to look like the good guy and he is giving you fair warning in advance.
Oh sure you can continue to shore up his voiced fears and reassure him, but down the road, when he does hurt you, he will tell you he tried to tell you and free himself of the blame. A man who is afraid he is going to hurt you most likely doesn’t want a full blown relationship. He has his exit pre-planned. He has told you who he is, but are you listening.
A man that cares for and loves you does not think about hurting you and will do anything in his power to avoid this. Please don’t fall for this line and try to manage his emotions for him. When you find yourself having to reassure a man about hurting you, it’s almost like telling him you are okay with this and he can interpret this as your permission. It may even be what he is hoping for. A man into you emotionally will not be pondering hurting you.
So many fall for the poor broken boy syndrome, the guys that are afraid of this or that, usually commitment, love, hurting you or getting hurt themselves. A man that operates out of a place of fear will always be withholding his gifts and his depth of love from you. You will spend more time managing his emotions than feeling loved or being free to give him love. An afraid man does not make a strong partner and do you really want to play shrink with him as opposed to living in a happy and healthy relationship.
When he says he is afraid to hurt you it’s usually just a smokescreen and he isn’t actually looking for a relationship but is interested in the perks that go along with a relationship. Protect your precious heart and hold out for a man who would not dream of hurting you.
Oh the mistakes women make dating. Hindsight is 20/20. So what man mistake did you make? Do you wish there was a such thing as a man mistake eraser? Were you clingy, needy? Too controlling? Oh I know you didn’t say “I love you” first did you? Did you text him to death. Did you accuse him of something? The list goes on and on for man mistakes that we can make.
Is he backing up and you aren’t sure why? Maybe he wants his space now. Whatever it is, now you want to fix it, but you just don’t know how. Talking about it isn’t going to work, so don’t waste your breath. Men don’t respond to words, it’s distance they respond too.
Regardless though, if you have made a mistake, often the harder you try at redemption, the worse you make it. You are acting out of a place of emotion. Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing until your emotions are under control and your logical thinking is in tact. Understand that your urge to fix it now now now, it from a place of insecurity. Instant satisfaction does not always bring long term gratification.
Often if you sleep on it a few days, depending on the issue, it very well may work itself out and no man mistake eraser is needed. If this is a case of you really did nothing wrong but he is pissed anyway, don’t apologize. Apologies are often weak. Stand your ground. He will respect you more if it was just a once over of him being grumpy or something. If it occurs more than once, please please just do yourself a favor and dump him now.
This Will Make Men Disappear Fast
I was a moderator on a woman’s forum for 2 years and now own a forum for women where they talk about their dating and relationships freely. I have seen many a woman wondering why he disappeared when they thought the relationship was so promising. Most of them have the following in common.
When you are first dating, this is the time to get to know him, take your time and just have fun. Many women can’t seem to do this. They start the date projecting into the future. They are already thinking of where this is going. Men in general don’t do this. It’s usually the woman that is asking at the end of the date, “When will I see you again?”, or asking him when he is going to call. They try to lead the relationship from day one to where they hope it will go.
When you do this, right from the start you aren’t putting trust in him. Men really want to be trusted. Don’t push or try to control the outcome. Trust him to take the next step and initiate the call. It shows him you are confident. Then when he does call, you are happy and you can show this. Be encouraging to men, but don’t try to lead them. It comes across as needy and he will already begin to suspect that he has some responsibility for your happiness.
I know many a woman who brings up where the relationship is headed very early on. It has been said that men look for sex, women look for love. Men often find love along the way of looking for sex, but they can’t be forced. If you start behaving like a girlfriend from the very beginning, before he has decided that he wants you for a girlfriend, you may very well be left wondering why he disappeared.
Acting like a girlfriend includes calling him often, asking him a lot of questions. If you are questioning his where abouts or who he is with or what time he got home, you are not only acting like his girlfriend, but may be reminding him of his mother. Texting him good morning or good night texts before he texts you also is not really a good idea. Sure it’s okay if you are getting the same from him, but don’t go there first.
Another thing that puts up a warning flag that a woman may be moving too fast is when she starts offering to do things for him. It seems she is trying awful hard to get him to like her when she does this. Inside of a relationship it is all about give and take, but I see women giving and giving when he is doing nothing of the sort in return. Over giving ir probably one of the biggest mistakes women make dating.
If men are disappearing on you, consider the above mentioned things. It’s never a good idea to prioritize a man until he begins to prioritize you!
I slept With Him Too Soon
This is one of the biggest mistakes women make dating. They sleep with them before they know where they stand. Worse they often apologize for doing so which just adds to the mistake. When you get upset or apologize this doesn’t make a man feel very good about himself or you for that matter. It kills the fun of it and replaces any good feeling with guilt feeling. Also consider a woman who has little control over herself or doesn’t take responsibility for her actions is not what men consider good partner material.
Many women think because a man had sex with them that he now owes her something. This is a dangerous attitude to have. Or they think that means he is serious about them. This is rarely the case. In the words of Evan Marc Katz, men look for sex and find love, women look for love and find sex.
If you are a woman who is thinking “I slept with him too soon”, don’t panic. It’s not the end of the world and you can fix this mistake. It can’t be done by now cutting him off or talking to him though. That only makes it worse. Too much work for the man too fast.
5 Sure Signs He is Losing Interest
Men do lose interest. It’s a fact. Men can get bored and when they do, they start wondering if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. There are signs that a man is losing interest and if you are seeing these signs, take action now before he decides to mow the lawn of another.
1. His calls and texts are less frequent. If you notice a change in his calling or texting pattern, your boyfriend is losing interests. A man wants to stay in touch with the woman he loves and his patterns will not change. If you feel his calls are out of obligation this is another clue.
2. He starts making plans without you. Maybe a weekend trip with his buddies. If he usually wants to spend most of the weekend with you and now there are other things he wants to fit in, he is working you out of the priority seat slowly but surely this is one of the signs he has lost interest.
3. If when you address any issues or your feelings of him disappearing, he gets defensive or reacts negatively. If a man is thinking of leaving, he will not be comfortable more times than not by offering you reassurance. He will feel guilt which causes one to get defensive. If he defends his change of actions, your boyfriend is losing interest.
4. He says he needs some space. Watch out if you hear this one. The end is near more times than not. If a man say he needs space, he is feeling smothered. Smothered men do not thrive in a relationship ever. The harder you hold on to a man who says he needs space, the further you will push him away.
5. If your boyfriend starts to become distracted with work or some other project, he may be losing interest and this is only an excuse to postpone the inevitable. Men that suddenly become preoccupied with something else often use this as a way to prolong the break up.
If your boyfriend is losing interest and pulling away, the way you respond to this is critical to prevent a break up. If you push him, or put pressure on him, he will see you as needy and less attractive. You can stop a break up or you can insure it happens, it’s all up to you and the steps you take or don’t take. Don’t be one of the many women who wonder why he disappeared.
Have you been feeling like something is off lately or perhaps you are feeling a distance and feeling your boyfriend pulling away? As I have discovered, many women don’t actually recognize it when their boyfriend begins to pull away. The make excuses and justification in their mind about his distance. I have seen it over and over enough to see the writing on the wall long before they do.
It usually starts with less frequency in calling or texting. Perhaps a weekend goes by that he is too busy to see you or he is stressed with work. He begins cancelling dates though he gives you what seems like legitimate reasons. Your gut begins to whisper to you but your head and heart aren’t listening very well.
Signs He Is Pulling Away
- His call and texts become less frequent
- The good morning or good night text stop or slow down
- He is suddenly very busy at work
- He says he has extra stress
- He cancels dates or fails to make them without your prompt
- He is quick to end a phone call or ends dates early
- He seems distracted when you are together
- He stops showing interest in your daily life
When a boyfriend starts pulling away, the natural thing a woman usually does is go into analysis mode. She rehashes the relationship and things of all the things that would suggest that he isn’t pulling away. She may play in her mind recollections of things he has said in the past. Perhaps suggestions of trips or weekend getaways, the times he confessed his love, all the good things about the relationship up until this point. This often keeps her stuck and in a place of denial even though her gut still continues those whispers.
The next step is usually her confrontation in some manner. Perhaps she asks “Is everything okay with us”, to which almost every time his reply will be something along the lines of “yes, I am just busy or stressed” or some other logical reason (excuse). What may actually be going on here is he is stalling.
Why would a man stall? It’s human nature really. I have been guilty of this myself. In a relationship that I wasn’t exactly sure if it was right, but not sure it was wrong either. I cared deeply for someone and hurting them is just not an easy thing to do. I would pull away as an avoidance of that painful conversation or perhaps wasn’t sure I wanted it to be a permanent pull away. Selfish I know, but it is human nature.
If you are wondering is my boyfriend pulling away, stop listening to his words and watch his actions. Is he putting in effort or just giving you lip service? Is he genuinely trying to reassure you or does he just continue to remind you of his stress and how busy he is?
How you react and respond to a boyfriend pulling away is critical. You can push him further away if you handle this poorly or come across as needy. You may give him unknowingly confirmation that he needs to stop pulling away and just pull out completely.
You can read what to do when he pulls away here at What to do if he pulls away.
Do you give men space to step into their masculine energy or do you even know what I am talking about? Learning to create this space for men is something that most men find completely irresistible. I see lots of women stepping into this masculine role. I can certainly understand why. We work, raise kids, and have become very independent as we have evolved. Sometimes so much so that we have forgotten how to just receive.
If you can learn to do this, it can solve many of your dating problems. Allow me to give you an example. Let’s take the top way we seem to communicate now in dating and relating. Texting. Texting alone is a place where many women just stomp all over a man’s masculine energy with their own.
Cindy and Mike have been talking for a few weeks and have been on two dates. Cindy is hoping the relationship will go somewhere and is hoping that Mike will get serious with her. Instead of just leaning back and observing Mikes actions and behavior, she tries to control the outcome. She texts him on Thursdays if he hasn’t made plans and suggest that they see one another. If she hasn’t heard from him by mid morning, she sends him a good morning text message. She texts him goodnight if he doesn’t text her first. She is hoping this will plant herself in his mind, when actually she is taking over his masculine role for him. This doesn’t grow attraction.
If Cindy would just lean back she would know all she needs to know of Mikes intentions. He will step it up or not. This is where a lot of women get stuck. They don’t give a man the space to show her who he is. Instead the project what they want him to be and try to control the outcome. Once you allow a man to show you who he is and actually believe him you will find yourself letting go of many a man that would not make the cut.
This alone can free you up to find the right man as opposed to wasting time on the wrong man. Give men space to step into their masculine energy. Give them the space to pursue. If they don’t take it, you have the wrong man. It’s that simple.
So moral of this story is this. If a man is not stepping it up, don’t do it for him. It won’t help. If he hasn’t asked you out or put effort into getting to know you, let it ride. Don’t rack your brain trying to figure out why or what you can do to get him to step up. Let him step down. He is taking up the space and the right one that will step up into his masculine energy can’t find you.
You can learn why there are some women that men just adore and why here.
When he stops calling you as a woman most likely start that brain into analyze mode. It could have been after one date, a few dates or a few months. Perhaps you haven’t even made it to the date part yet and the guy just stops calling or texting. Radio silence. Oh what to do.
Many want an answer, and explanation. I know many a woman who send that text that says something like “If you don’t want to see me anymore, just tell me”. Or they send a text asking him if he wants to still see her or is he still interested. This is not what to do when he stops calling. This is handing over the terms of the relationship to him and allowing him to dictate your fate.
Remember guys in general do what they want to do. If he is calling you, he wants to. If he is not, well there is your answer. Often even if you ask a guy right out if he is still interested or not he won’t come out and tell you. He tries to spare your feeling so that he can be the nice guy. Most will tell you “sorry, I have just been busy”. They hope you just take the hint. I don’t care how busy a guy is, if he is into you and interested it taking it further, he will make an effort.
The number one reason guys pull away in the first place is often because they feel you becoming invested more than or faster than they have. You can read about why men pull away here. If you start calling them and texting them wanting explanations and clarification you are just reinforcing to them that you are in fact more invested.
So what do you do when he stops calling or texting? Nothing. You do nothing. Give him his space. If he isn’t investing effort into you, why invest it into him. Yes reaching out to find out why or ask him questions or whine or complain is investing. You are investing emotional energy as well. If he can’t bother to call, he certainly isn’t emotionally investing into you. Take back your power and just leave him be for now.
When men stop calling don’t take it personal. They do have a right to change their minds. If you aren’t in a committed relationship with a man, and it’s just been a few dates, accept that this is the way a lot of men deal with loss of interest or lack of feeling it for a woman. They just fade. Consider the fact that you might be better off without such a man. Regardless, you can’t change his feelings and it’s pointless to try.
Save your efforts and energy for a man that doesn’t just disappear and stop calling.