IN THIS ISSUE:
Do I Trust Myself to Take Care of My Heart?By: Janet Tingwald
Several years ago, at the end of a date, I had invited the gentleman back to my place. We were on the couch making out (I was very physically attracted to him). As men will do, he was trying to "move the evening along." And, while I was interested, something inside me made me stop and look at him and say, "I don't know if I can trust you." He in turn looked me straight in the eye and said, "Then what am I doing here in your house?"
It wasn't just a light bulb that went on; it was more like the bright, glaring sun after being in a dark room all day, and, metaphorically getting smacked between the eyes by a 2 x 4. All of a sudden it hit me that I had a habit of placing the responsibility of not hurting me on the men I dated! I was making them responsible for protecting my feelings.
I set up and I looked at him and said, "Wow....thank you! I just had a huge ah-ha!”
In that moment, I got that my heart was my responsibility. For some reason, I had thought I could go through life and others would take care of my feelings! Until that moment, I didn't even know I thought that.
What I now know is in order to be able to trust others, you have to be able to trust yourself first.
First, let me explain a little bit what I mean by trust yourself first. I needed to know and trust that I would set appropriate boundaries, and in some respects I needed to know what appropriate boundaries were. I also needed to know that I trusted myself to leave a relationship when I knew it wasn't right for me. Let me put it another way: I needed to know that I would make good decisions and protect my heart as well as my mind and body. (Although, by this time I had pretty much gotten boundaries around my body.)
What happens when you can trust yourself? It frees you up to assume trust first rather than watching and waiting to see what your partner does. It gives you confidence to be yourself.
And, when you meet that right man because you have the confidence to trust yourself, it creates safety for the man in your life, and he relaxes and opens up more emotionally himself.
So the next time you're with a man and find yourself wondering if you can trust him, check in with yourself first and ask this question: Do I trust myself to take care of my heart?
Copyright © 2017 by Janet Tingwald and The Relationship Coaching Institute. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.
Janet Tingwald, CPCC supports single women to gain new information and skills to make breakthroughs in the way they date and relate to men. This increases their confidence in dating and shortcuts their path to love. Janet holds multiple coaching certifications and lives in Des Moines, IA. www.realitybasedromance.com
How can I be in a relationship without losing my identity?
Whenever I start a new relationship I have a habit of "changing" myself to be exactly what my partner wants and needs. I want to please him so much that I feel like I'm losing my own identity, but I can't seem to stop myself. Eventually no one is happy and we end up breaking up. I don't want to keep doing this over and over but at this point I'm not even sure who the "real me" is. How can I find and keep my identity and make a relationship work at the same time?
Gina responds ...
The best way to stop becoming whatever someone else wants is by learning what your wants, needs and requirements are. Once you know what they are, then you are able to move forward in your dating search in a much more empowered way. With this new information in hand you will be able to discern who is right for you without forcing someone to fit or forcing yourself to fit someone else's needs and wants. This would be a great area for you to get some coaching around so you can become crystal clear about who matches you with no need for you to conform.
Gina Daniels | www.goodbyeshyguy.com
Dr. Wendy responds ...
Congratulations for recognizing your chameleon pattern and wanting to change it! You don’t need to twist yourself into a pretzel to be happy in a relationship. As you’ve learned, contorting yourself to fit what you think your partner wants and needs doesn’t work. Your first challenge is to identify and shift the underlying limiting beliefs that contribute to your “change” habit. What fears and doubts might be there for you? Some common beliefs are: “I’m not good enough the way I am. If you knew the real me, you wouldn’t like me. You and your needs are more important than me and my needs. I don’t deserve love and happiness.” Notice how you feel when you read these. It’s time to question any impeding beliefs that are present for you. Here are a few questions to ask yourself: “How certain am I that this is true? Did I ever choose this belief? Do I choose to keep it now? What belief will serve me better?” You may want to reach out for support from an expert here – it can be challenging to transform limiting beliefs on your own.
From a more empowered perspective, you’re ready to regain your identity so you can bring the real, authentic you wherever you go, especially in your relationships! Focus on who you are at your best, what you love to do, what makes you happy, what values matter most to you and what your vision is for the future with your ideal partner. I recommend working with a Conscious Dating relationship coach to help you discover your best self, ask for what you want and create a wonderful relationship with a partner who loves you for you!
Dr. Wendy Lyon | http://www.drwendylyon.com
Leah responds ...
You have asked such an important question, so thank you for being so candid and courageous about your own experience. In response, I have a couple of questions for you to think about, if you want to: First, if you don't know who you are, who was it, exactly, that was having the relationship with your partners? Second, is it that you don't know who you are, or is it that you are afraid to put who you really are out there when you are building an intimate relationship? Being in an intimate relationship means taking risks and making yourself vulnerable in order to be closer to each other. If you are afraid he won't like what he sees in you, that would make it very difficult to make yourself vulnerable, wouldn't it? Is it possible that instead of doubting who you are, you could start working on loving who you are? You mentioned wanting to please him so much. What about him pleasing you? What are you looking for from your relationship?
If you were to work on self esteem, on loving yourself more, on becoming confident, you could enter a relationship from a more powerful position. Then you might know what you really want from a relationship instead of trying to become what he wants.
A relationship coach can help you work on these issues very effectively, and in a relatively short period of time. A final question for you: What are you willing to do to have the kind of relationship you really want?
Leah Cochrane | http://leahcochrane.relationshipcoach.org
The opinions stated are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the staff, members, or leadership of Relationship Coaching Institute.
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