Love at first sight?

I confess I’m an incurable romantic. I love the notion of a man sweeping me off my feet and we fall madly in love. However I also have my feet on the ground and know that love is a verb and takes commitment from both parties.

I went out with someone a few times and at the end of the first date he said he thought there was ‘chemistry ‘ between us. I wasn’t sure but I knew I liked him as a person.

On the second date we were kissing and he said he hoped we could one day spend the night together and still be friends. I said no, I’m 53 and want a serious relationship so not until we have that. He was a great kisser but I was determined I wasn’t going to get carried away!

On the 3rd date we were having lunch and I noticed how blue his eyes were and his lovely smile. That evening I realised I was starting to fall for him. I haven’t seen him since.

He had said I had made an impression on him the first time we met in 1993. Which I guess is why he then pursued me 23 years later. I certainly remembered him and liked him but I didn’t fancy him. Besides we were both married to other people at the time so it wouldn’t have crossed my mind.

I wonder if he had built up this fantasy version of me and then he discovered I wasn’t perfect and a bit insecure. I’m not passing judgement – I’ve done it many a time myself. I’ve also fallen into the trap of falling for someone’s potential in the past.

So while there can be strong attraction at first sight love takes time to grow. I’m holding out for a man who is prepared to give it time too.

Knowing your (my) self worth

I had a bit of a light bulb moment last night. In the last year and a half I have been learning to love myself and recover from my abusive marriage. However I realised how easy it is to slip back into our old patterns. My journey to loving myself started when I took responsibility for my part in my previous relationships. Yes, men hadn’t treated me very well but that was because I had allowed them to because I didn’t think I deserved any better. I have been accused of being ‘too nice’ in the past.

Now I do. I know I do deserve the love of a caring, committed man.  And yes I am nice – I wouldn’t want to be anything else. But I need to be nice to myself too and I have to let go of the fear that I won’t find love. Of course I will, it is only that fear that is holding me back.

So here’s to loving ourselves first and foremost and knowing we are worth it.

 

A tale of two crabs

Once upon a time there were two crabs who lived on the same beach. There was Crafty the male one and Cheeky the female one. Because they were crabs they used their shells to protect their sensitive insides. They were both getting on in years now. When they were younger they had different mates and used to sometimes play together. They then went their separate ways. Later Crafty’s mate swam away and Cheeky’s found another and then died.

Unbeknown to Cheeky though, Crafty had still been watching her from his end of the beach. One day when Cheeky thought it might be time to start looking for a new mate, she noticed Crafty was looking her way and they both came out of their shells for a little while and had some fun together. Of course, being crabs, they would both still hide in their shells from time to time because they sometimes found it hard to be vulnerable.

Then Crafty decided to start digging a big hole in the sand. Cheeky, as her name suggests, was a little more audacious and from time to time she would go and tap on Crafty’s shell. Although she often went back into her shell she was now older and wiser and realised it was quite lonely in there. But he was very busy digging and also retreated further and further into his shell. He still liked Cheeky but told her he did not have time to come out to play because he needed to finish his hole.

After a while Cheeky got a little bored waiting for him to come out. By now the tide was coming in. She decided to ride on the waves and have fun on her own. As the tide went out again she swam with it and started to have some exciting adventures. Crafty was so deep in his hole though the tide didn’t catch him so he was left behind on the beach. At low tide he came out again and saw that Cheeky was gone.

So how does the story end? Well that really depends on Crafty. He knows Cheeky likes him but she can’t wait for him forever. He could carry on digging his hole or he could take a break and swim out to meet Cheeky and have some amazing adventures together…

Too busy for a relationship?

This is adapted from an article I originally wrote for teachers on Staffrm.io. Of course this applies to many other professions too and the pressures of the modern world.

Recently there was an article in TES (The Times Education Supplement) about how many teachers felt, because of the stresses of their job, they did not have time for a relationship.

I find that very sad. If you are not happy in one area of your life it will impact on the others such as work and friendships. As a coach I help people find balance in their life and what works for them. That includes work as well as personal life.

I have been single for many years. I was in an abusive marriage for over 15 years which ended in 2002. My abuser died in 2014. This brought up the pain from my marriage which I had suppressed so I had no alternative but to face it. I realised that it was a major factor in stopping me from forming another relationship and a healthy one.

So it might be worth looking at what is really holding you back. Often it is not what you think. I thought I had recovered so it was a big shock when he died what I felt.

In April I decided to commit to finding my soulmate by the end of this year. Things have definitely shifted since I made that intention.

Things I found that were stopping me included:

– I didn’t think I deserved to be happy

– all the good men were already taken

– I was happy being single (nothing wrong with that and I was) but I was tricking myself into thinking it was ok when I would really love to be in a relationship

– I am too old. And as each year passed there was more tension around this one!

– admitting I would love a relationship is a sign of weakness

– I am too busy. I have a full life, how on earth would I find time for a man?

– and the biggie – I am afraid of getting hurt again

If, like me, you have suffered trauma in the past it would be well worth looking at some sort of support or counselling. There are several domestic abuse charities out there that can help. There is the national charity Womens Aid but check out for local ones in your area too.

If you are still feeling stuck why not consider coaching? As a coach myself I can help you find out what is really going on for you. It’s hard to do it on our own sometimes and it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. Rather it’s a sign of strength and vulnerability.

On this blog I share my journey and I hope to inspire others too as I write my own fairytale happy ending. I have always been a hopeful romantic!

Sending love to you all. Remember it starts with loving yourself and knowing your own self-worth. Easier said than done but never give up! I haven’t.

Getting clear on what I want

A few years ago I had a chat with a friend who is a relationship coach and asked her how she worked. She told me that it was important to be clear on what you want in a partner and a relationship. I had never really thought about it before because a belief I formed in childhood was that what I wanted didn’t matter. It was also selfish, or so I thought. She explained that it wasn’t selfish and that if you didn’t know what you wanted how would you ever get it?

I spent probably the best part of the first 40+ years of my life putting my needs last. When I got married I moved away from the place where I grew up and all my friends. I had said I didn’t want to live there but it was implied that as my fiancé had a job in that area I had no choice but to go where he wanted. I was 22 going on 23! I had serious doubts before my marriage but thought it was pre-wedding nerves. I couldn’t go upsetting people now could I? Especially after all the plans we’d made and the money that had been spent.

I knew how I wanted my wedding to be from a very young age (as many little girls do) – and it was pretty much that. I hadn’t thought about the type of man though or what would happen afterwards. Neither did anyone ask me. My mother was married very young (and my parents are still together after more than 56 years) so I assumed that was what you did.

Since my divorce I was certain at first what I didn’t want! I dated a couple of men and one said to me, sounding frustrated, ‘But I don’t know what you want Helen.’ And neither did I. I couldn’t answer him.

I then decided I needed to take time out and learn to be happy on my own. I was getting clearer all the time, based on past experiences, what had worked and what hadn’t. It is still evolving but at present looks pretty much like this:

  • He has his own business and has an entrepreneurial mindset.
  • He has been married and has grown up children. (I’ve done parenting, he understands my children are important and is ready for commitment.) Grandchildren is a bonus as I don’t have any of my own yet!
  • He has his own interests but puts our relationship as a priority and sticks to our plans unless it’s an absolute emergency. He is in regular contact even when we are busy.
  • He is adventurous and enjoys travel.
  • He is spiritual.
  • He is tall.
  • There is a connection with the past. At my age I want a friendship as a foundation to build on.
  • He makes me laugh.
  • I can talk to him about anything and he values my opinions even if he doesn’t agree with me.
  • He is solvent with an abundant mindset. I am perfectly capable of supporting myself as I have done so for the past 15 years. It is more to do with his beliefs around money. I have dated men who had a terrible lack mentality.
  • He has been single for at least a year. (He has moved on from his ex completely.)
  • He is my best friend.

Phew, that seems like a rather tall order! Only kidding, by being clear can I attract the right man. I have done that in the past trying to convince myself it doesn’t matter if one or two are missing. Believe me, it does. It also saves a lot of time. It is also important to put the statements in positive form and in the present tense. We are also putting the intention into our subconscious mind. Often the qualities we want to attract are a reflection of the qualities we like in ourselves.

What you focus on magnifies. When you buy a new car, for example, you then start to notice more cars of the same make because it has been brought into your awareness. I have noticed over the last couple of years any men who have sparked my interest have come closer to what I want each time. They have also become closer in physical location. This has helped me become more confident and open.

So then all I had to do was put the intention out into the universe and wait…

The Adam Sandler Effect

 

I received this e-mail today and thought I would like to share it:

One of the most frequently asked questions we receive from soulmate seekers in our community is “how important is chemistry in finding your perfect match”?

You’ve probably had the experience of going out on a date and not feeling that magic “spark.” Is it a sign that they’re not “the one” or should you pursue the connection anyway?

Studies show that a stunning 9 times out of 10 your first impression of potential partner is just plain WRONG. Which means, you may be deleting your Soulmate’s messages from your inbox because you don’t connect with their online profile picture or dismissing them after one date because they didn’t look how you had imagined your beloved to be made manifest in physical form.

During the Summit, in her Soulmate Seminar “Getting in Sync with the Opposite Sex: The Secrets Men and Women Need to Know About Each Other to Create Deep, Lasting Love,”Alison Armstrong shared a profound insight about how chemistry can actually develop in the process of getting to know someone who’s the right person on all other levels – she calls it “The Adam Sandler Effect.”

Here’s what she shared:

“So what we encourage is for women to take advantage of something that we call the Adam Sandler effect. I named it the Adam Sandler effect, because when I first saw him in a movie I thought, “Who was the idiot who cast this as a leading man?” And then, about a half hour later I’m thinking, “He’s kind of cute.” And then, about a half hour after that I’m like, “Oh, kiss him, kiss him, not the other guy, just kiss him!”

You know that way that they grow on us? So, I call it the Adam Sandler effect, the way that a man grows on us and becomes attractive. And so if a woman sorts her men by who is she herself around, who makes her feel beautiful instead of awkward, who makes her feel smart and funny, and who is she naturally being herself with, they’re never going to be men that she has a strong chemistry for, they are all going to be the men that she is not attracted to physically.

If she looks at who these men are and then goes, “Okay, so who should I give a chance to?” and instead of paying attention to all them she finds unattractive, start paying attention to what she does. Like, “Wow, he really does have a strong nose, that’s actually kind of sexy, his nose.” She can cause the Adam Sandler effect and develop chemistry, which is of course exciting, but at a much lower, safer level that won’t turn her into a complete idiot.

We call it a “minni-ninni.” The Adam Sandler effect turns you into a “minni-ninni,” but by the time it takes place you’ve already established the foundation of honesty and authenticity that when you get weird, he’ll go, “Why are you being so weird?”

You can say, “Well, I just got really physically attracted to you.” And he’ll be like, “Oh, cool.  Now quit acting so stupid.”

 

Break ups

‘Relationships are both built up and torn down in the subtlest of ways.’ Jeff Olson from ‘The Slight Edge’

I’m talking about business relationships here but have just discovered for myself they can be just as painful – if not more so – than personal relationship break ups. To be let down by a business associate after you have helped them rebuild their business is far more hurtful than being let down by a lover, at least in that instance you can just walk away. There are constant reminders and as a result I have lost 2 other friends too.

The hurt I feel about the way I have been treated is agonising to say the least but once I acknowledge the way I feel it does ease. That is one of the first things that I learned in my meditation group to notice the way you feel but not to get attached to it. We can beat ourselves up that we have let someone get to us or accept that that is how we feel. Acceptance enables us to move on and learn from the experience.

I discussed this with Lisa Turner of Psychademy about this. Lisa specialises in Energy Transmutation and using your psychic powers. She reassured me that because I felt like this I was actually doing it right!

Gratitude

Every day I express gratitude for everything I have in my life and have been doing that for a long time now.  Today I was really pleased because I even found a reason to feel gratitude towards my ex-husband. If you read the post I wrote a couple of months ago you will know that I was in an abusive marriage for more than 15 years so that has taken a long time to do!

I was draught-proofing my back door earlier and felt a few pangs of loneliness as is only natural occasionally. Then I thought that being in that relationship for nearly 20 years in total has made me a lot stronger and if I came through that alive anything else is a piece of cake. So I found a way to be grateful for the abuse that I suffered – maybe that sounds weird but it feels a whole lot better than being resentful.

The Shiny Object Syndrome

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Following my relationship revelation last week not surprisingly I’ve been doing a lot of thinking! As I wrote in a previous post I had a chat with Susanne Jorgensen of The Singles Gym about what I wanted out of a relationship.  This afternoon I was listening to a recording of a webinar she did last week and a lot of things fell into place.

As I said at the end of my last post I am extremely grateful to Bill for putting up that photo as it reminded me what it felt like to love and be loved.  It has helped me move forward and given me more clarity about what I want out of a relationship.  Susanne talked in her webinar about getting your own life the way you want it when you are single and then you can attract someone who will fit in with that.

I was only 17 when I met Richard, the attraction was instant.  As we got to know each other we were very similar in terms of our interests and our backgrounds.  When I met my ex-husband it was definitely a case of the ‘shiny object syndrome’ as well as being on the rebound.  He had appeared to live a glamorous life with lots of travel and I wanted some of that. I was only 19 and back then it was still mainly the husband that was the breadwinner so I never thought about going after it for myself! What I also wanted was a dependable, loving husband who was there for me.  The reality was very different – he was working away or long shifts a lot which put a strain on an already difficult relationship.  He wanted a wife who was a career type and I wanted to be a stay-at-home mum and he always resented the fact that I wasn’t bringing in much money when the kids were little.  Looking back a recipe for disaster; we both wanted completely different things.  I knew a few months before our wedding that I shouldn’t marry him but I was only 22 and not really in tune with my intuition back then.  Well not that I wasn’t in tune with it I hadn’t learnt to trust it.  His career always came before me and the family, he is an engineer and very good at his job but on the autistic spectrum when it comes to inter-personal relationships!  So sad really that he didn’t know the difference between sex and affection.

I am so grateful that I can now learn from my experience and move forward with clarity.