Love is one my favorite topics to talk about so I'm usually talking to friends about this. A good friend of mine attended a talk by Alexandra Redcay, Executive Director for IBASHO, and he loved her take on this topic. Here's what he told me he learned from that talk which is referring to the journey of love:
When You Meet Someone:
1. Everything's beautiful and perfect with your new love.
2. You see your first red flags, but you ignore them.
3. Your Friends and Family (F&F) see the red flags and are concerned.
4. You don't want to listen to them so you attack back and get defensive. You say things like "you don't know how sweet he is when we're alone."
5. The culmination of red flags; you can't ignore them anymore. But you say you'll "work on it" and maintain the illusion. "Well, all relationships take work."
6. F&F try to intervene, so you isolate from them.
7. Distance grows from your F&F, isolation, fighting.
8. F&F get angry and separate from you.
9. Then we realize F&F were right
Why do we repeat this cycle? Because of our brains. The part of our brains that controls addiction, also controls our feelings in relationships. We're not wise enough to deal with relationships because our brains control our relationship feelings. Also, genetics, our role models, etc, play their part. We're also drawn to danger. We get with people we know are bad to their exes, but we think they'll be different with us.
How can we fix this? A few steps:
1. Open your heart to real self-assessment. What are we afraid of? Being alone? Are we settling?
2. Get to know yourself. What are you looking for. Don't think, "I hope they like me!" Think, "Do I like them?" James Oppenheim said, "The foolish person seeks happiness in the distance. The wise grows it under his/her feet." Once you know what you're looking for, be more daring in looking.
3. Be stubborn, only with the important stuff. Don't say "I want someone who's NEVER tried drugs, and I won't settle." Say something more like, "I want someone who's honest."
4. #1 rule- Your F&F must meet your prospect within the first 3-5 dates, before the drug takes effect in your brain. After that it's too late. So do it early. Then, listen to your F&F. If they say run, then don't make up excuses, just run. They are wiser than us in that circumstance.
5. Get ongoing advice from mean or more picky friends. If you know they'll find something negative to say, then go ahead and bring them and find out what the negative thing is they'll point out.
6. Listen to red flags, and be brave enough to walk away.
Real love is possible. The relationship you have CAN get better. Believe in your ability to analyze more, and fear less. You're worth it. And most of all, you have to believe that love is possible. So what do you think about this? Share your story in the comments section.
With Love, Dania