I read a lot of emails, comments, posting on the forum etc and one of the things that becomes clear is that until we ‘get’ it, we’re excuses driven people, prone to self-blame, dramatisation, and lamenting why things haven’t gone our way. When we have our own personal epiphany and connect the dots about our mentality, with what we say, and then what we do, we ‘get’ it, and start seeing the excuses, blame, drama, and lamenting for what they are:

denial

reasons/excuses to avoid change

The problem is that you’ll stay stuck instead of adapting your position to generate different results.

We are human and creatures of habit. I know some people who feel like their world is breaking down by giving up their habit of buying a coffee first thing in the morning – breaking love habits as you can imagine is much harder. It feels damn scary choosing a different route because particularly when it comes to relationships, we prefer the familiar uncomfortable to the unfamiliar comfortable of the unknown that we would have to navigate if we decided to take charge and make changes.

I gave up smoking nearly nine years ago. It was an uncomfortable admission to make at the time, but I wasn’t really even enjoying smoking the last couple of years that I smoked. Unsurprisingly, that aspect of doing things out of habit and not acknowledging how I felt about things filtered its way through other areas. Staying in relationships even though I didn’t even like the guy any longer (or never really had). Continuing to date someone even though I really wasn’t enjoying it as it was the familiar uncomfortable so I sort of knew what came next. Doing a couple of jobs that made my stomach churn and the list goes on.

One of the things that can be difficult, especially when you have a dubious relationship pattern, is owning how you feel.

Some of you may not be used to being allowed to express how you feel, and others may only know how to express how they feel in extremes – this will mean you’ll feel really uncomfortable when there isn’t any drama going on and life feels ‘normal’.

For some of you, you’ve spent so long pretending to be something that you’re not in the hope that you will be loved, liked, and accepted, that you may not know who you are or what you feel – sometimes you’ll draw a blank or you’ll think that what you feel is something that it’s not, possibly because you know no different. Just as much as you’ll be afraid to admit that you’re angry or hurt, you may equally be unwilling to acknowledge that you are sometimes doing things that stand in the way of you actually getting somewhere. When you think about taking charge and being and doing different, you come up with lots of ifs, buts, and maybes, and excuses why it’s easier to stay as you are.

It takes a lot more energy to fight something than it does to acknowledge and deal with it. Equally it takes a lot more energy to pretend on an ongoing basis than it does to be yourself.

This is not about saying, ‘OK, I feel miserable so I will be miserable forever and ever’ but it is about saying ‘You know what? I’m p*ssed off but I’m going to deal with it because I don’t want to keep returning to this feeling’ and when you’re ready, getting up and bit by bit, taking charge of your life and doing whatever it takes to change the record.

It’s challenging what you think about your efforts and differentiating between something genuine and uncontrollable that throws a monkey wrench in the works, and something that seems easier to blame and cling to that is actually controllable.

It’s hard, but you have ask yourself ‘Am I doing whatever it takes?

If I really want that relationship, what am I doing to make it happen?

Am I chasing the same guy(s) and expecting different results?

Am I still acting with a lack of self-love and covering it up with bravado and pretence?

Have my fundamental beliefs about myself, love, and relationships actually adjusted to reflect the fact that I really do want love and a relationship? If they haven’t, what am I going to do to address these?’

They say ‘I think, therefore I am’. Actually that’s true. You can talk a good game but if your mentality says that life is a load of sh*t where you’re not good enough, love’s not going to happen for you, people let you down, abandon you, don’t value you etc, you will often unknowingly reflect this in your actions.

A reader emailed me recently. After planning an overhaul of her very routine life where she wasn’t meeting anyone and insisting that she’d had enough, there were more excuses than you can shake a stick at. The bar staff were a bit weird, she didn’t like the location of another restaurant, she was in pain after the gym, and she felt uncomfortable at the class she attended and there were no ‘hot guys’. The date she went on, the guy was too boring and on another, she didn’t like his choice of drink. She insisted on trying online dating, but was only interested in the most unsuitable candidates. It sounded like she had given up and she seemed very accepting of this apparent ‘defeat’ when really, the only defeats were her own mentality. I suggested that she was afraid of actually putting herself out there and was finding a litany of faults to make it easier to slip back into her old pattern. At first she was indignant and then she admitted that she was.

‘You’ve given up after barely a month but you’ve spent the best part of twenty five years doing the same thing chasing assclowns and Mr Unavailable’s. Is it fair to say that you haven’t really given this a shot?’

She’s not being honest for my benefit; she’s being honest for her own. At least when you’re honest, you can be aware of any inadvertent sabotaging behaviour and any limitations to your potential relationship success…that you’re imposing.

Just like when another reader professed her exasperation about a guy that wouldn’t ‘let’ her go that was ruining her life – trust me, the guy’s a using assclown, but she knows this and willingly goes back, so she’s actually ruining her own life. Tough to hear but true.

He can’t take advantage of something that isn’t on offer.

For those of you who truly want love, ask yourself:

Recently, what have I truly done to help bring love into my life?

For instance, let’s say that you have a routine, a relationship pattern, ask yourself:

What have I changed about my life routine and my relationship pattern to help me be in a position to find a partner?

If you’ve done the usual thing of going to work, hanging out online, the gym, groceries, and spent some mental energy wondering what’s going on with your ex or whoever or whatever is taking your mental space, what is so different that you expect to generate a different result?

If you literally do the same thing day in day out, week in, week out, aren’t you leaving it all a bit to chance? Like POOF, a man will fall out the sky and be waiting on the dairy aisle at the supermarket.

If your life is fairly routine and even dare I say it, predictable, what new things have you done?

Think about the past month, how much of that time have you spent thinking about:

a) how you’re never going to find love or any other negative thoughts you have about yourself, love, and relationships; or

b) an ex or an elusive object of your affections?

If you have gone and put yourself ‘out there’ but found yourself with same guy, different package, have you asked yourself what is it about your love habits that has you gravitate to the same guy?

Sometimes we find that because we’re not being honest with ourselves we don’t realise how we may be replicating behaviour but just in another way that we don’t recognise – e.g. chasing illusions online with guys and then switching to chasing illusions in the ‘real’ world and thinking it’s different.

How much of your activity has revolved around catering to a dysfunctional dynamic with an ex or an object of your affections?

Your life will not move on whilst you’re nurturing a dysfunctional dynamic from your past.

Which old habits and relationship pattern have you engaged in recently?

For instance, if you have a habit of meeting dodgy men online, have you continued to try and pursue men online instead of going into the real world?

Whilst there is something to be said for faking it till you feel it, are you spending a lot of time pretending? If you are pretending, what are you pretending about?

If you pretend, illusions gather at a fast pace.

Are you being realistic about your expectations? For instance, are you expecting instant results? Are you hypercritical about potential partners writing them off because they don’t like reading the same books as you, when you’ve held onto men who don’t like being in the same relationship as you?

It’s not about giving yourself a hard time in a negative way – it’s about saying that sometimes, we can’t see the potential reward from adapting our habits; we see obstacles, what seems like too much effort on our part, and an easiness to slip back into the familiar. But remember, just like when we can become trapped by our feelings, we can be trapped by our own negative messaging which means it’s important to work on changing the script and take ownership and control.

Your thoughts?

My new ebook The No Contact Rule is now available to buy and provides a dedicated guide to getting over someone by cutting contact and injecting some boundaries into your life so that you can move on to a happier you. For a no holds barred guide to emotionally unavailable men and the women that love them, you can also get Mr Unavailable & The Fallback Girl. For personal advice or analysis of your relationship/situation, check out my consultation service

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26 Responses to Getting Out of Stuck: What are you doing to help bring love into your life?

  1. Cheekie says:

    Nail on head, as usual NML.
    I found myself, as we all do, dealing with this issue of negative thought patterns, and repeat behaviours.
    Then one day I thought to myself ‘if this keeps happening to me, then I must be doing something to make it happen’. Not every person was out to get me, not every relationship was doomed, not every job sucked.
    I had gotten myself caught up in a very negative cycle.

    So, I then decided that my next relationship, I would do the things that felt the best to me, the truest to me, the gut instinct I had ignored for years wouldn’t be ignored anymore. I would basically do the opposite to my fear reaction. If he didn’t call (for example), I didn’t panic, I just let it go. It took a long time of trial and error to find what self talk worked best for me, but it has paid off big time.

    With my current BF, I come from a place of true honesty – to myself. I am not afraid to say when I don’t like something, how I feel, what I need. Sometimes he agrees, sometimes he doesn’t. But that’s ok.
    I have boundaries set, and he respects and loves me for them. I’m not afraid like I used to be. And that’s important, moreso than any relationship. I have to live with me forever.

    It isn’t a matter of the ‘perfect’ man, or ‘perfect’ relationship – cause that doesn’t exist. You have to make up your own mind about what you want from any relationship -realistically, honestly – and you will see the rewards. Maybe not the first, or second try. But never give up. It will happen. It is hard to face yourself and acknowledge your fears and weaknesses. But we all have them.

    x

  2. Troya says:

    Thanks NML
    I recently received your individual counselling report and it brought home a few truths that I hadn’t really thought about. By not setting boundaries, I wasn’t being me and noone can be happy if they can’t be themselves.

    I broke up with my mr Unavailable about four months ago and find myself comparing every new prospect to him. I don’t know why since he wasn’t very nice to me and the longer I am out of the rleationship, the more I start to realise that he wasn’t nice full stop.

    I chose someone because we liked the smae books! but yes, he didn’t really like being in the relationship!
    Thanks

  3. Anusha says:

    “With my current BF, I come from a place of true honesty – to myself. I am not afraid to say when I don’t like something, how I feel, what I need. Sometimes he agrees, sometimes he doesn’t. But that’s ok.
    I have boundaries set, and he respects and loves me for them. I’m not afraid like I used to be. And that’s important, moreso than any relationship. I have to live with me forever.”

    Can realy relate with that.I know how hard it is to speak your mind and face the fear of disaproval.To stop being a “people pleaser”.Im fighting against it now and I can say I have noticed a few changes already.Im not afraid to say what I realy think(even if I know that others might not like it) anymore and I stand for myself,even if that means confrotation.I dont panick anymore when I notice someones disaproval like I used to.I still have a long way to go but I can see Im geting there and I might say it does fell good. Nice post and so timely to me btw Natalie,it describes exactaly where Im now.

  4. Vanna says:

    It wouldn’t be fair to say that I never gave it a shot. I just don’t have any desire to let anyone in to my life that way right now.
    ON the flip side, I notice I have been attracting unavailable women lately. One of them attends college with me, the other four, I met from other people. Since psychological and other aspects of unavailability was the case, things did not go any further than the women expressing how they feel.
    Like I said earlier, I don’t have any conscious desire to let a new woman in to my life, but that’s not to say that I don’t have any factors that make it difficult for me to get myself in to a new relationship. I’m not going to get in to what those factors are, but I will say that it wouldn’t be fair to the next girl if I were to transfer those factors on to her. that’s not to say that I shouldn’t be careful.

  5. Aurora says:

    Okay, the answer to the first 5 questions is:
    No
    Nothing
    Yes
    Yes
    No… and not sure.

    I AM SO BUSTED. I’ll have the ego to think this post was written directly to smack me over the head and pull me out of my self-pity party.
    Every word you said was true.
    I expected instant results – poof-oh-presto, I knew my ex was an EUM assclown and that I had cooperated every step of the way.
    That meant now Mr. Nice Guy would show up and all my hard work in facing what I’d done for years would have a blissful result.

    I have done NOTHING to bring love in my life that was different than what I used to do. In fact, I made excuses, gained weight, stayed on the computer instead of being ‘out in real life’ and claimed going on vacation and to the gym and out to dinner by myself was enough.

    I am quite adept at whining. Then I beat myself up for whining.
    But as far as really changing my self-talk and actions ? Not by more than maybe 25% – and that isn’t enough to make a difference.

    I think my expectations are realistic – based on every romance novel I’ve ever read, and lifetime tv movie I see (rolls eyes and laughs)

    Truth is, I need a lot more work to do on becoming happy and self-nurturing and balance.
    And to do things differently if I want a different result.
    You are correct.
    .-= Aurora´s last blog ..Clouds =-.

  6. MaryC says:

    Why am I still so sad after 4 months of NC because that’s all I’ve done is have NC. I haven’t dealt with the pain and the anger because its too painful and I’m too angry. I won’t ever be ok till I deal with all those feelings but I’m not sure how to.

    • RES says:

      Mary,
      Remember that there is no “set time” to grieve a relationship. You are coming to terms with pain, disappointment, and it HURTS. It is supposed to hurt. But the hurt doesn’t kill you, and this is where NC is absolutely crucial! You will never gain any type of perspective on what it is that you really want (not to mention those issues that are driving your unhealthy relationship patterns) if you are still dealing with someone who has had the power to derail you from achieving the things I just mentioned. It’s like taking one step forward then two steps back. It is NC that enables one to “step back” from an emotionally charged situation to look at things more realistically (and with a bit more detachment). It’s a frightening situation, I sooooo know. Give it time and patience. The fact that you’ve been able to maintain NC is an indicator that you are beginning to put your own happiness FIRST. No one said that it wasn’t going to hurt….but pain DOESN’T DESTROY YOU (trust yourself)!! :-)

  7. Monica says:

    Awesome article and just what I need to read. I’ve been long broken up with my EUM, but by being honest with myself, I’ve realized that I have a lot of negative viewpoints on love. I’ve been working on this lately and have realized that my having a negative attitude (“i’ll never find love,” “He was as good as it got” “relationships fail, anyway”) is only going to cause me to repeat the past. I had those negative feelings before and thought that my ex was the way to make me happy. Boy, was I wrong! Thanks so much for this site, Natalie. Your articles really get me to see the light, even when I’m having one of those bad days.

  8. RES says:

    This is by far one of Natalie’s best posts EVER. This is soooo true. One needs to be HONEST with yourself (expectations, dysfunctional behavior/relationship patterns). After spending 7 years in miserable relationships, I found myself in my early 40′s realizing that I got NOTHING reciprocated to me with the two men (5 years with an AC & 2 with a Mr.Un) that I professed to love. I sat at my desk at work, and I said to myself “I’m doing something wrong.” Those were 7 years that I wouldn’t get back..I took myself of the market and spent over a year dealing with ME. One of the first things that I did was to list (on a Word document no less :-)) all of the assumptions that I made about myself and relationships. I came to terms with the childhood issues that fed those assumptions, and then I decided it was time to change the relationship paradigm (Natalie’s quote “Positive women, positive relationships” became my mantra !!!!!! I no longer looked for a “feeling” when I was with a person (chemistry is NOT love). I examined who I was, and more importantly what it was that I wanted out of life (no more MORPHING). I learned that the sun doesn’t rise or set on “a man’s arse” :-)) and got happy on my own. I made excuses for why I didn’t have to “put myself out there.” When I finally decided to try to test all of the knowledge (that came with my taking time off to gain perspective) I met a guy (not someone that I would normally be attracted to- no “weak -in-the-knees” feeling. We got to know each other, SLOWLY! I kept looking for “red-flags” – and I just couldn’t find any…….We are getting married this summer! My fiance is no reward, and he’s no dream man. But this is real life, and in real life I have love, care, respect, and trust. It doesn’t get any better, and I wouldn’t trade my relationship with my guy for anything! And do know what?? I’m proud of myself. Taking the time to really find out who you are, what you want, and stop making excuses was undoubtedly the most SELFISH thing that I’d ever done. I put MY happiness first. NML is right; what are you honestly doing to bring positive changes in your life? I wasted so many years, but better late than never……..
    Thanks Natalie, you’re the BEST

    • Happy Soul says:

      Res, thank you for your inspiring comment to the brilliant Natalie’s post.
      I have to agree we need to love ourselves first, and we have to put boundaries, it is very hard;-( when you used to rollercoaster and drama!

  9. Anusha says:

    What Im strugling most about that is the faith.How can I know that I will find something better? What if I dont? I havent until now (that was my 5th failed love interest) so how can I trust that it will be diferent from now on? I dont mean to be negative but those are some thoughts that pops on my mind sometimes.

    • lindsay bluth says:

      “What Im strugling most about that is the faith.How can I know that I will find something better? What if I dont? I havent until now (that was my 5th failed love interest) so how can I trust that it will be diferent from now on? I dont mean to be negative but those are some thoughts that pops on my mind sometimes.”

      Anusha, I feel exactly the same way. The standard mantra in the self help blogosphere (not so much at all on NML’s blog…as hers is much more reality driven) is let the man who’s not into you go so you can find someone who appreciates you better. However, that doesn’t always pan out as evidenced by the ever growing legion of women who end up alone for life. Through reading this blog (a psychological life saver) I’m growing comfortable with that possible outcome, as it’s better to be alone and live authentically with self-respect and self-love than to writhe in a “relationship” in which you have none of those things.

      As far as trust in it being different when you are with someone, the difference starts with you because now that you’re equipped with the knowledge learned from the lessons on this blog, you’ll cut your losses well earlier in the game as opposed to loitering and throwing your energy in a red flag situation to see if this time it will out differently this time. Trust that it won’t.

      • Rosie says:

        Thought provoking. Why do I know so many women in their thirties who yearn for children and are afraid they’ll miss out? Who aren’t asked out on dates and are turned down when they ask men out on dates? Who are played, used and conned by men on online dating websites? Who are approached by younger men for sex? Who know all the red flags, and give anyone without them a go, but who still go home alone every night? And have given up? After thirty it becomes a whole other ball game: men have the power, not women. I don’t see anyone talking about this, unless they’re selling products based on some ‘Sex and the City’ myth.

        • T says:

          While I don’t have the answers to the above questions, I will say this: Men only have the power if we give our own power away. I think sometimes it feels like men have the power, but in reality, both men and women (of any age) have equal decision-making power when it comes to choosing someone with whom to have a relationship. Just because the person you choose does not choose you back (or vice versa), does not mean that you did not have the power to make the choice. My question would be Why do so many women in their 30s (or beyond) decide that they no longer get to choose what is good for them, and that they must now wait to be chosen?

  10. Kay says:

    Great post,thanks Natalie.RES’ story is an inspiration because it is the proof that honest self evaluation and commitment to change can reap rich rewards. However I think we need a little luck along the way too.You do make your own luck but a tiny grain of gambler’s luck can tip the balance for or against as we go out there and try to do things differently. It is difficult to change the habits of a lifetime and sometimes all we can take is baby steps forward and persist. So I would be proud of a 25% change.Bit by bit it can become 40%,50% etc and we must support and encourage ourselves every step of the way.We must not beat ourselves up.It’s tough enough without getting on our own cases.

    When NML writes: “others may only know how to express how they feel in extremes – this will mean you’ll feel really uncomfortable when there isn’t any drama going on and life feels ‘normal’”, she could have written that for me because all my life I thrived on drama. But these days I’m working on enjoying normality,simple things like hooking up with friends for coffee,getting out of the house and mixing a bit and I’m getting more comfortable with a life sans drama. I have joined a new club and last week went off for a day with a bunch of strangers.Scary and no “hot guys” at all but I’m proud of myself as I’m pushing through my own barriers and taking my own baby steps at coming “unstuck”. Who knows, I might even get a grain of gambler’s luck along the way and find love! But it’s no longer a matter of life and death if I don’t.

    • RES says:

      I totally agree with kay regarding “luck.” It is luck that you meet someone with whom you click, HOWEVER, if that person remains a part of your life it should be because their words of love, affection, etc. are reflected in their behavior. Whether a person remains in your life is totally your choice. I do not present myself as an example, or inspiration. The years that I spent in self-reflection were some of the hardest in my life, and there were many tears shed. But…it made me stronger, and you have to believe that the steps you take to bring positive change in your life will make you stronger. One must TRUST themselves and never doubt their value. I wrote NML to thank her for all of her advice, after I became engaged. I told her that I felt that I’d somehow lost that ability to “fall in love,” or to “lose myself” in a person. However, loving without regard for how you are treated isn’t healthy, and “losing” yourself in a person is completely dysfunctional. There are no “perfect” men, and love isn’t like it is in the movies. Realizing that you are being led by unrealistic expectations is really, really hard to accept. But what I found in my fiance was so impressive to me, and how I felt so loved, and was completely authentic, far surpasses anything I’d see in film. Realize that this process takes time, and that every small success leads to more successes (and it’s OK to slip too….we’re all human). It’s easy to hear that you need to love yourself, it’s much harder to figure out how to do that. I would suggest to anyone to read NML’s post on what it means to “love yourself.” Also, self-honesty will mean sometimes that you will feel pain. Acceptance of hurt, disappointment, grieving, is supposed too. Know that pain doesn’t kill you, TRUST YOURSELF, that you or anyone else WILL NOT CRUMBLE. Pain is a part of life, it is part of the journey.

      • Kay says:

        I know you’re not presenting yourself as an inspiration,Res but nonetheless your story is very heartening and it is wonderful to see that a happy ending is possible.Heartiest congratulations to you on your engagement and upcoming wedding,I hope you’ll be very happy.

  11. Tara says:

    This really hits home. I’ve essentially been single for three years and wondering what the problem is. The painful truth is that I am the common denominator. Maybe this will help me push my boundaries a little bit–Maybe I need to get a little more uncomfortable in what I do in order to find a guy that I’m comfortable with. Thanks, NML!
    .-= Tara´s last blog ..Mr. Unavailable #28.5: Forgot About This One =-.

  12. Stacey the ever grateful says:

    ~”Am I still acting with a lack of self-love and covering it up with bravado and pretence?”~ busted! This is exactly what I’ve been doing. I thought I could do the whole ‘fake it ’til I make it’-thing, but I ended up stuck in the ‘fake-it’ phase. Most times I feel like a walking mud pie w/ a fluffy, sugar-cream frosting (light, nice and sweet on the outside…heavy with grief, bitter and grimey on the inside). I’m pretty sure I stayed stuck in the ‘fake-it’ phase because it seemed easier than facing some hard truths and/or changing some patterns. Who was I trying to fool? :O! Faking it IS EXHAUSTING!!! Thank you, NML! Time for me to move on to phase 2 in operation Life. ;) hehehee. <3 to you all!

  13. Anusha says:

    RES-Your story is a inspiration to us.Can you tell me what exactaly you did to work on yourself and develop your self esteem? I could realy use that.Thanks and congratulations for had changed your patterns :)

  14. katty says:

    I spent only a few months dating the AC, yet, the time to recover from such a frustrating, damaging experience is taking almost a year and still going. I need to take this post into my heart for real and get Unstuck!! Thank you NML for these tools!

    • NML says:

      @Cheekie It’s great to hear that you’re happy, both within and with someone else. I know exactly what you mean because I felt much the same way when I met the boyf No lofty pedestals, crazy expectations, or fear of ‘conflict’. I’m a firm believer that sometimes we have to say and hear stuff that doesn’t suit us – that’s life. If we want honesty, we must behave that way. I don’t like living on a knifes edge where I’m scared of speaking my mind. Hugs x
      @Troya Good to hear from you. I’m glad you found it useful as I know it must have been difficult to hear but I hated the thought of you opening yourself up to even more pain by not knowing. I’m glad you realise that he’s not very nice…because he isn’t. Sod the books! Hugs x
      @Anusha I ask you to continue to be patient. It doesn’t take a long time, but it does take some time to get comfortable with our new boundaries because they invite disapproval from those who are comfortable with the old you that let them get away with stuff ;-) Well done x
      @Vanna You attract unavailable women because they know you’re not available so you fulfil their self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s great to see that you have enough self-awareness to know that you should spare someone from being involved with you if they are likely to expect more than you can give. Stay cool :-)
      @Aurora You’re too funny. Loved this comment! It was written for many people but I did hope you would be ‘inspired’.
      “I think my expectations are realistic – based on every romance novel I’ve ever read, and lifetime tv movie I see (rolls eyes and laughs)” I actually howled with laughter. A-fricking-men! I wish more would be honest like you!
      Be patient with yourself. By that I mean, OK, so it’s 25% and it’s not what you thought it would be, but it’s a start and at least you know now that you mustn’t delude yourself. At least if you’re real, you’ll expect in line with it. Maybe do 50% next month and build up. There is no fire! If you feel there is a fire, then crank up the energy meter and bust out of your comfort zone. Hugs x
      @MaryC You have a right to be angry – own how you feel. It’s a natural part of the grieving process. You’re contending with several things at once and lord knows, your guy really pulled some slippery moves. Writing is very therapeutic – sit down and write an unsent letter and imagine writing to him and saying what you’re angry about and why, own up to your own contribution, and also say what you’re wiser about now but get all the feelings out so you can get some perspective. I suspect the reason why you are angry is that in spite of the fact that he has done wrong, he’s prancing around in a new relationship, sliding into a new life whilst you’re left to pick up the pieces. He may not get his now, but he will in time. Work through your anger and shed your tears and start to move on, even in baby steps. Hugs x
      @Monica Thank you. That whole ‘good as it gets thing’ is a classic type of belief held by many women. The trouble is you’ll write yourself off and settle for bad behaviour because you believe you can’t do better, until you realise that if this is as good as it gets, you’ll wither away in emotional pain.
      @RES When readers approach me for coaching through their relationship problems, I always ask about the beliefs about themselves, love, and relationships. It’s incredibly revealing as you’ve discovered – mindset is behaviour and all of these things sabotage our efforts. I’m so, so, so pleased with everything that you have done – you have worked HARD. I know from the email you sent me that you have put in some serious time and you are reaping the rewards – not just in being engaged, which is great, but also being personally happy and honest and at peace with yourself. Ladies, take heed – it takes work. Res – can I share your email with readers? xx
      @Anusha Trust is about having faith in what you will and won’t do and the same in others. If you don’t have faith, you don’t trust yourself, which means you are setting yourself up to slide down a slippery slope. “How can I know that I will find something better?” Better than what? Take the last man you were with – I’m not saying that you should spend your dating life comparing to your ex, but seriously, are you saying that you cannot do better than a man who is unavailable and who acts without love, care, trust, and respect? Do *you* believe that you can give these things to yourself? If you do, you’ll believe that they’ll be reciprocated and you won’t make getting a man your vocation. Anusha, I had a lot more than five failed love interests. I’ll spare you my counting them! Life doesn’t work on ‘date 5 crap guys and then get rewarded with a good 1). Not every relationship is supposed to be the one. There are some women who have three, four, five, or more times what you had – should they consign themselves to the scrap heap? The way to trust it will be different is to *be* different to what you were in those relationships. I know from reading your many posts, you had little or no boundaries – I’m assuming you won’t be doing that going forward?
      @Lindsay I understand your frustrations and they are very real. What I will say is that when you are authentic, with healthy attitudes about relationships and seeking more substance in partners combined with creating your own life with meaning where you are getting out there, the odds are increasingly in your favour. The cutting your losses earlier gives you confidence and fine tunes your bullsh*tometer ;-)
      @Kay I’m soooo impressed with you because I know what a major leap it is for you to be doing some of these things! Peeps, take note! Get out of your comfort zones – it’s freeing and opens you up to new opportunities.
      Actually, you are right about the element of luck but it’s more about taking a leap of faith which is a gamble in itself. It’s choosing, safe in the knowledge of your boundaries, gut, instinct etc that new relationships require a leap of faith – there are no guarantees. Hugs xx
      @Tara I was reading your blog the other day – great read. It will help you make sense of your relationship pattern. That’s why blogging/writing can be so therapeutic. Keep pushing. The common denominator thing is unavoidable and yet freeing because at least you can take control of the situation and address your own contribution. x
      @Stacey the ever grateful Yes, please don’t be stuck in the faking phase! Be real – let out your good and bad feelings. Faking it till you feel it only works if you catch up to the happiness. But happy outside, miserable inside is a bad combo – acting happier than you feel. Roll on phase 2! Good luck! xx
      @RES Very inspiring again! Thank you!
      @Rosie I think that what you’re talking about definitely happens although I suspect you’re also speaking from personal experience. I’ve received thousands of emails and comments in the years I’ve been writing this blog from women and that chain of events is one rarely complained about. There are some aspects of your comment I find confusing – These women you refer to aren’t asked out on dates but the rest of your comment suggests something different which reverts to something that sounds like they’re not asked out by the type of men that they think they should be asked out by and the type of men that they like when they meet them online (dating websites are chock full of deceptive people) turn out to con men, which suggests that they don’t know all of the red flags. I think in certain areas, men do think they have too much power, and in many other instances, we give them too much.
      @Katty – Get unstuck – you can do it! xxx

      • LolaD says:

        Hi all,

        I am fairly new to this wonderful site, but it has been so helpful to me. I was wondering (and NML may already have a post for this that I have not seen) but how do you learn to forgive yourself for being so enmeshed in a bad relationship with a Mr. Unavailable (maybe AC)? I feel like I have been humiliated, but I let myself be humiliated, over and over again. It doesn’t help that I was with a guy who tended to take no responsibility and put it all on me, but I feel like I cannot seem to let go of guilt for things I did or for letting things get so bad, for not having boundaries and for not respecting them. That seems to be where I am stuck. I know I can only learn and move on, but saying that and actually doing that seem to be very difficult for me to do.

        I know a lot of this means I need to have more self-love and self-respect, and I’m working on that. I just feel like I’ve been working on it all for awhile (break up was in June ’09 but no contact has never really happened [oops, I know that has something to do with it...:)]). Anyone have any thoughts?

      • Vanna says:

        Well, the unavailable women I’ve been attracting have too many problems (not including their kids, the ones that have any) for me to be putting any energy in to. they range fomr problems with their boyfriends to just because they do illicit drugs which I used to do myself. Hahaha! Man, I just can’t be messing with women on that level! Good thing is I’ve already set my boundary for not messing with women who do, do illlicit drugs.

  15. Anusha says:

    NML-Thanks for your coment and you are right I had very litle boundaries with my ex.I basicaly let him get away with every kind of bad behaviour.I would complain yes but never would actualy do anything about it.I also think I fall for every guy that shows interest on me without seeing if he is suitable first,what is another problem that I need to work on.I just want to have a good relationship.I have been searching for one since I was 15 or so and that realy never happened.From my 12 years old to my almost 18 I had a series of “falling for guys that werent interested on me” and from my 18 until I was 25/26 it came my EUM.Wich was a horrible relationship where I was unhappy most of the time.So I never had a good relationship so far.I keep looking at others that have found it and keep thinking to myself “Why I cant have that?”.I would like so much to at least once fell truely loved by a guy.Anyway I guess is like you said,to have diferent I need to be diferent first.I will work on that.

  16. MaryC says:

    NML…thanks for your words of encouragement.

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!

My Book - Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl

Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!