Posted by: waterbaby87 | November 13, 2009

Learning How to Pivot – Relationships

When I was trying to come up with an idea for my next blog posting, I got requests for relationships. Funny, I mean, we ALL have relationships with everything – our parents, friends, boyfriend/girlfriend, exes, computer, vending machine, professors… That can pretty much mean anything. But of course, I knew it had to be, in a sense, a romantic relationship.I tend to be a magnet for people needing help in romantic relationships, and I notice a variety of romantic issues that can come up. These include:

“He just broke up with me! I don’t know what to do! Help!!”

“She… just cries at the drop of a hat. I don’t know what to say to her anymore.”

“He’s SUCH an a**hole! He cheated on me!”

“She’s such a b*tch, she doesn’t let me do what I want!”

“He hasn’t proposed yet… I don’t think this is going to work out…”

“She keeps pushing for a proposal, and I’m just not ready…”

“He hasn’t called since we slept together… Should I call him again?” (note: after she’s called 5 other times and he still hasn’t answered or returned the call…)

“She wants me to talk to her, and I’m not sure what to say when she does. I need more time.”

“He doesn’t talk to me! Why doesn’t he want to talk to me?”

“She doesn’t let me do what I want!”


Wow. You can see why this topic can take a while, because generally speaking, it depends from person to person, and each case is unique. However… I am going to focus on how you can make the most out of pretty much any “problem” in your relationship situations!

Not getting along?

Situation 4: Dealing with problems in your love life.

As many of you know, I have had to go through some serious issues in my love life. I had to deal with a broken engagement, a few strange break ups… but there’s one thing I’m sure about –

I’m sure if I hadn’t gone through those things, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing to you.

I would still be oblivious about my life, and going through it rather unconsciously like most.

Dr. Randy Pausch said something that still resonates within me:

Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted…. I probably got more from that dream [of playing professional football] and not accomplishing it than I got from any of the ones that I did accomplish.

One of the biggest things I have learned about failures in romantic relationships is that most people go from relationship to relationship without fixing what is broken – something inside of you. They will jump to each new relationship, and you’ll hear these kind of complaints from them:

Relationship 1: “He is such an a** sometimes, he just goes off drinking with his friends and doesn’t think about spending time with me!

Relationship 2: “He is such an a** sometimes, he just goes off drinking with his friends and doesn’t think about spending time with me!

Sounds …. familiar, huh?

That kind of identical complaining sounds to me like it is too coincidental for it to be the other person’s fault. Sometimes, we just need to take responsibility for what happens in our lives. I know this isn’t an easy concept for a lot of people – our society teaches us that when something goes wrong, just try to find someone else to blame. We learn that when we complain to someone about something, they will usually agree with you and try to find someone or something else as the culprit to make you feel better. But many wise people and also self-help gurus will tell you it just isn’t that easy.

Everything that happens around you is simply a reflection of what is going on inside...

Remember how I said everything that happens to you is simply a reflection of what is going on inside? This is huge lesson to remember in romantic relationships. When something is going wrong, you should really reflect on what is going on inside of you first. The cool part is we all have a bit of an intuitive side, so when you change yourself, those around you will change as well because they’re reading you in a new and better light.

Let’s use an example  for today (I will put up other examples during the next few days. Feel free to send me suggestions!)-

Veronica’s ex-boyfriend broke up with her 3 months ago. He hasn’t called or texted since they had a huge blow out fight approximately 2.5 months ago. She called everyday for about 3 weeks after that, and got frustrated and gave up. Her friends would visit every Friday to have a movie night, and they always comforted her with statements such as

“Don’t worry! He was an a**hole for leaving you like that!”

“There are plenty of fish in the sea!”

“It wasn’t your fault, he just had commitment issues!”.

Don't blame the other person...

What I’m not telling you is he broke up with her because he didn’t think he could marry her. She had been pressuring him for the last 6 months of their 3 year relationship, and he just didn’t have things together yet – he was waiting for his promotion so he could buy his home, he wanted to make sure he had his life settled out first. But it seemed to him that Veronica wasn’t getting it, so with added pressure, he decided to just end it because he wasn’t making her happy (oh girls, I have to say, that’s really all men ever want to do is make us happy!).

Veronica has been on her own for the past couple of months, and has been brought to several clubs with her friends to meet new guys. However, due to the fairly recent break up, Veronica’s self esteem isn’t all together. She meets guys, she feels like every guy she meets is a potential boyfriend, so she finds herself sleeping around, none of them call her back… her friends tell her its ok, it isn’t her fault… and it the pattern continues… she finally begins to have a steady relationship with a guy who is going through a similar period in his life like Veronica’s ex did… waiting for his promotion or just trying to make sure he’s got his life together, so Veronica starts pressuring him because she sees all of her friends getting married and he hasn’t budged…. And yet, she still hasn’t fixed what is inside of her… Can anybody guess what is wrong and how she can work on it?

Well, other than long run on sentences, Veronica needs to work on herself first. Her self esteem was low to begin with, but having a guy leave like that only 3 months prior has lowered it even more.

See, when we have high self esteem, we are simply happy with ourselves. Funny, we find ourselves happy to be only with ourselves! We go through life not really looking at how we don’t have a relationship… we just go through it like it’s the best thing that could ever happen – to live! And any person with whom you have a relationship with is a nice addition to your life. A woman with high self esteem is simply wonderful. High self esteem does not mean you are cocky or conceited. It simply means you are happy in your own skin. In romantic relationships, the high self esteem is a relationship saver. Let’s use Veronica’s highly confident alter ego – Victoria – as an example of how that could’ve gone about in a better way.

Victoria has been with her boyfriend for 3 years. She notices her friends around her getting married, so she starts to think “hmm… does that mean I’m next?”. She did tell him about a year into the relationship that she wanted to settle down soon and begin her family. But she realizes her boyfriend, Tom, is still waiting for his promotion. Every day, he comes home excited to see her, but just a tad bit exhausted from working so hard. He simply wants to move up the ranks in his company so he can provide for himself and Victoria. He, too, has noticed his and Victoria’s friends getting married. This can easily intimidate Tom, because he feels like he still isn’t ready to make that commitment, not because he doesn’t love Victoria, but because he thinks he can’t provide for helping with wedding costs, and for a new home and family.

Enjoying your time together can be more important than worrying about the future.

Tom realizes how much Victoria loves her friends’ weddings, but he always sees how patient she is with him. She has been so kind about it, actually. She has been his biggest cheerleader on him getting that big promotion soon, and being cooperative when he is having a late night at work, working on his boss’s project for the next day. He starts to appreciate her patience and love, and vows silently to himself that he will take the big step when everything comes together for him financially and professionally.

It has been about a year and a half since Tom made that silent vow, and he has been promoted for the past 8 months. Victoria is still happily going about her business, and because she is so happy in her own skin, she has nearly forgotten how she wanted to become Tom’s bride. Tom has noticed how she has been, and has realized the past few months that this is most definitely the woman of his dreams. He decides to call her father, ask for his permission, go to the jewelry store and pick out a ring with her best friend and family members, and decides to finally ask for her hand.

Well, you know how this story ends, so I do not need to go on. But see what Victoria did? She was just… happy! She knew that Tom loved her, she just felt it everyday and had faith he would eventually propose. She had told him once that she wanted to get married and settle, and she didn’t need to repeat herself. She was grateful for him, actually, because she ended up practicing something she wasn’t usually good at before – patience.

In Veronica’s story, Veronica had a small problem with impatience and simply thinking about her point of view, not his. Her ex boyfriend, however, also didn’t help communicate this problem. He let his own low self esteem get to him, that he couldn’t make her happy, and gave up. See how it was both of their faults in this situation?

There’s also another point of view to see here – the small blessings in disguise.

Always look for the blessing in disguise in any situation, no matter how terrible it may seem...

1) Veronica can find another man with higher self esteem.

2) Veronica might learn from her trials and errors eventually (I believe we all eventually do, some just need more time than others).

3) Victoria learned how to be patient. Patience is something that should be practiced everyday because the truth is, the best comes to you all the time, you just need to be a little patient. Another quote I still use today (and this is something I used even when I was in high school) is, again, from Randy Pausch’s last lecture:

Find the best in everybody…. Wait long enough, and people will surprise and impress you. It might even take years, but people will show you their good side. Just keep waiting.

4) Tom was able to see his future wife in a much better light than before because of her exercising patience and unconditional love.

Now – I do not say all this to make all women become submissive and for all men to be with the power. On the contrary, you have more power with you stay calm. When I wrote about angry people, I used the example of the Dog Whisperer method a lot. I believe using the calm-assertive position is beneficial in any situation, as well as having lots of patience and faith in the other person that you’re with. But every situation is different. Sure, we can end up in pretty dead beat relationships with commitment phobes, but those are situations we can look into in the next few days. The point of the lesson today is everyone is responsible for a break up or a tough situation in a relationship. What goes on outside and around you is always a reflection of what is going on inside of you. So, in a sense, you can make your life do a 180 degree turn around simply by changing your emotions and values inside of you. How awesome is that?!?! I will use other examples in the next few days where you have to exercise saying what you want clearly, so stay tuned.

And I will leave you with a quote from Dr. Wayne Dyer, and also the video of “The Last Lecture” from Randy Pausch (its kind of long but it is so worth it, so if you can take the hour off and just watch, do it!)

“I only allow that which is good into my life. No one can depress you. No one can make you anxious. No one can hurt your feelings. No one can make you anything other than what you allow.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

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Responses

  1. Great! I can’t say more 🙂
    Mom

  2. Fabulous! Keep it coming 🙂


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