7 Scary Relationships

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There are all kinds of relationships…but here are six that I find a little, and one that I  find really “scary.”

We don’t really know anything about each other.
Consider the fact that most people send their representative out on at least the first 5 dates, and add to that the reality that the majority of people who date don’t want to ask hard questions about the other person, and the possibility of not really knowing anything about each other becomes very real.

But it doesn’t have to stay this way.  Both parties can ask meaningful questions so that they do get to know each other.  Questions such as:

  • What are your expectations for someone you’re in a relationship with?
  • Have you ever cheated? Why did you (if you did)?
  • What are your life and career goals?

help you come to an understand about who the person you call your “signif” (significant other).

I don’t like you, despite saying I love you.
Admittedly, I spent a decade in a relationship with someone I loved, but didn’t like.  But, liking the person you’re in a relationship with supersedes loving them–believe it or not.  The friendship element of your relationship helps sustain the rest of your relationship.  Out of friendship is born respect, trust, honesty, communication, common ground.  Friendship is the foundation of an amazing love story.

We don’t share anything/our communication sucks.
Sometimes we find ourselves in relationships with people who don’t let us into their lives.  If this is you, consider sharing some thing that is special, but doesn’t make you uncomfortable.  If you’re person who feels a bit jilted about what you’re not being told, then perhaps its time to look at the root of this situation.

Of course, you could always schedule an intervention or mediation, and we can talk through the things that are not being talked about.

I can’t trust you.
While this is a warning for both guys and gals, guys need to be aware that the gals in their lives need stability.  Stability doesn’t stop with trusting you to take care of things and being financially secure.  Trust and stability starts with keeping your word, calling/coming/doing when you say you will.  Every promise needs to be kept, or admitted that it can’t be kept.  It’s scares people (no pun) to be connected to someone that doesn’t keep their word, or fails to admit when they can’t.

In the end, everyone needs to be able to believe in the person they are with. Your word is your bond.

It’s just sex…REALLY!
You cannot build a relationship that lasts on sex.  You can build a sexual relationship, but to attempt to turn that into something meaningful is usually futile.  If it’s just sex, then that’s a decision that you BOTH should make, along with setting boundaries, getting tested, and agreeing that being physically intimate does not imply or guarantee an exclusive, long-term, or loving relationship.

If you want an exclusive, long-term relationship, you may want to consider exploring sex-free relationships so you can get to know each other and spend quality time without the burden of STDs, pregnancy scares, or late night texts asking, “what are
you doing?”

Lastly, you hurt me.
This is not just about emotional pain, but physical pain as well.  Without going through all the signs of an abusive relationship, the one thing that you have to know is that if you don’t feel safe…you probably aren’t safe.  Not only is today Halloween, but it’s the last day of Domestic Violence Awareness month.  If you’re in an abusive relationship–emotional, physical, financial, etc, perhaps it’s time to make this “last time,” be the LAST TIME.  Get  CONFIDENTIAL help now…

In conclusion, there are definitely some other scary relationships, and if you see your relationship in one of the seven above…there is something you can do about it.  There is no reason to settle for an average relationship when you can have an amazing relationship using the same time, energy and emotions.  Learn more…

He’s (or She’s) Not Relationship Material

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He’s sweet, kind and even super nice when the opportunity presents itself.  You find yourself wondering if he could be the guy that you’ve been hoping for, despite the fact that he’s never made an advance nor seemed all that interested.  Nice, but not really “interested.”

But he could be the one…right? Or, at least the one for right now,  yes?

Well…Sadly, no.

Take the fact that he’s never made an advance to heart.  It’s not that he’s not interested, it’s that he is not, I repeat, not relationship material.  This is not a cliché, this is a reality.

So, what does it mean, he’s not “relationship material?” Great question.  Not being relationship material means that this person is not ready nor willing to invest the effort necessary to initiate or to maintain a mutually beneficial romantic relationship.  Yes, this does apply to people in friendships, but people are more apt to put more effort into making someone romantic relationship material–so that’s the angle I am coming from.

Now, most people believe that this is a fact that can be changed.  Many people believe that if they make enough of the effort for the person, that they will eventually pick up the slack because all they need is someone to care for them.

Again, no.

This person has made a decision to avoid relationships.  This is why he, or she, is nice but not pursuing you.  Don’t delude yourself into believing that you can change their mind.  For whatever reason, they are deeply committed to themselves, and that’s their priority.  If you choose to make the effort to change their mind, you are only setting yourself up to be disappointed, aggravated and often frustrated with the fruits of your labor.

Consider the possibility that perhaps they’ve recently been hurt–deeply hurt–by someone who they trusted.  This hurt created such pain within them that they decided that they needed to take a break…to heal. Or, perhaps they just realized that all their relationships are ending badly.  They’ve decided to get to the bottom of this cycle, and to do so means stepping away from starting a new romance–at least for now.

Now, you are in their life, hoping and wondering that this may become “something.” Honestly, it might…but not right now.

The best thing that you can do is to respect this person’s decision to take time to heal.  That is the best thing you can do.

  • Not try to convince them how awesome you are.
  • Not attempt to care and love them into being obligated to start a relationship with you.
  • Not lecture them about what they’re missing out on (this means you) because they are guarded or cautious.

Just respect the decision, and be the friend, confidant or best buddy that they need now…if you can handle that.  If you can’t, then care about them from a distant.  There is another option: you can wait them out.  But, seriously, do you have that kind of time?

Really?

You will avoid many, many moments of sheer confusion if you accept the fact that he, or she, is just not relationship material.  If you choose to do anything else but accept it, then let me know how that works out for you.  I am willing to be wrong–but I don’t think that I am.

Bottom line: Accept it…it’s ok.

#CoachStephHasSpoken

♥ Avoid bad relationships when you get FIRM. www.TheRelationshipFirm.com

askcoachsteph: what about your friends?

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Steph,
I need your help! I started seeing a girl and she’s amazing! We’re moving at a pretty good pace, not too fast or slow…it works for us. Of course, we’ve have a few issues, and I told my a buddy of mine, and it was no big deal. Now, it seems that everyone else has something to say (I guess one buddy told another and so on), and I am tired of it! They keep reminding me about my ex, and she was crazy, I know, but this girl is not like that.

How can make them stop bothering me?  I appreciate that they care, but I think I am doing a good job of handling the situation on my own.

PLEASE HELP!

-BFM

[warning] Use the advice below at your own discretion.  WhatTheLove/Coach Steph promise no outcomes, but provide the following response for entertainment and educational purposes ONLY. (The Legal Department has spoken.) [/warning]

Dear BFM,
Wouldn’t you know that I just finished screaming that I wish everyone would leave me alone about a certain situation? (Which is why I had to answer you this week. LOL!)

Our friends usually mean well, but sometimes it is too much to deal with. While you didn’t state the “issue,” I am going to assume that it wasn’t major enough to warrant termination of the relationship, nor is it a “Book of Bye” type of situation. As such is the case, telling your “buddy” your concerns is fine, but for everyone to have an opinion, that’s just too much.

So here are your options:
Tell everyone to get off your back!  While this sounds drastic, there is a way to CALMLY and NICELY let your friends know that you do appreciate their concerns, but that they also must not bring the Ex into the Next.  Whatever happened before, is not happening now, and even if there was an issue, as long as you can return to a healthy relationship, then everyone should just chill out.

Put up with this nonsense in silence! Now this may seem easier, but it’s not.  As you suffer in silence, your frustrations will find an outlet–which may be your relationship.  There’s really no reason to put up with the intrusion of others’ opinions and advice, unless you want to do…which if you wanted to, you wouldn’t have reached out to moi, right?

Take their feedback as gospel, and run the risk of ruining your new relationship.  This is different from suffering in silence, because it means that you are silently agreeing with them.  Sure, our friends have seen us through a fair share of relationships; however, that doesn’t give them carte blanche to remind us of our mistakes at every turn.  If you begin to believe whatever they are telling you, you will surely begin to sabotage this new relationship, just because it seems easier than being wrong.

I don’t know what you’ll choose, but I’d like to offer you a little help with my Be a Rockstar video (and here’s the link, because I like you :D). The Be a ROCKSTAR program talks about boundaries and who to let into your VIP area. Get the idea?  So, if there are at least 3 people who are getting on your last nerve…then this is the program for you.

Ok, so now you’re equipped to make some choices…choose wisely.

Xoxo,

Coach Steph :-X

AskCoachSteph: I Said I Didn’t Care…But I Do.

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Coach Steph,
I was dating this guy for 6 months, and everything was going great. But, we never said that we were exclusive, so, I started seeing someone else.

Anyway, now I am confused.  I still like the first guy more, but he found out that I was seeing someone and we had a big fight.  I told him that I didn’t care what he thought about me seeing the other guy…but I lied.  I really wanted him to say that he wanted to be with me, but I was too scared to say that, because I didn’t want to say it out  loud.

HELP!  I don’t know what to do know.

I Care…da** it!

-D.P.R.

[warning][/warning] Use the advice below at your own discretion.  WhatTheLove/Coach Steph promise no outcomes, but provide the following response for entertainment and educational purposes ONLY. (The Legal Department has spoken.)

Dear DPR,

As someone who has tested many, many men, the truth is that you know EXACTLY what to do…you just have to muster up the courage to do two things:

  1. Decide that you are okay with WHATEVER the outcome is, when you go back to Guy #1 and tell him that you want to be with him.
  2. Decide to go back and tell him–not text him, not email him, but call him up, and make time to tell him what you feel face to face.

When we like someone, we all seem to goto mush.  We seek having the upper hand, in a situation where there are no winners or losers.  Admit it, the real reason that you started seeing the other guy was because you wanted a reaction from Guy #1.  You got a reaction when he got upset (make a note of that), but you remain confused because he didn’t say what you want him to say in the heat of that moment.

Too many RomComs….I know…

It’s okay I’ve been there.

The best solution here is what I call the Communication Situation.  It requires you to do 3 three things:

Thing One: Be humble

Thing Two: Be HONEST

Thing Three: Get the whole story

Be humble because you have to eat little crow.  You know you went out and flashed your “I am a big, bad single chic badge” and made a bit of a stir.  But it’s okay.  When you call, be quick to apologize, and ask (not demand or require) that they schedule some time to speak with you.  Remember, you have to be okay with the outcome (see my earlier statement), so if he doesn’t want to meet with you, then don’t press the issue.  Just reiterate that you are sorry, and leave it there.  Call it woman’s intuition, but I do believe that he’ll want to speak with you…keep me posted.

Be HONEST.  This is NOT the time to be coy or cute about what happened, or about what you want.  Honesty is the best policy.  So, once you set this date, show up, explain briefly, and then be honest about what you want from this guy.  It’s that simple.  All he can say is that he wants the same thing…or not.  Either way, you will cease being confused about how this situation will work out for you.

Get the whole story.  If you are not cute or coy about the situation, then this may not be a problem.  However, I will say this: If you want to know if Guy #1 wants to be with you exclusively, then ask that EXACT question.  Do not ask him trite or trivial questions, such as, “do you miss me?” “have you thought about me?” and other things that truly don’t matter in this moment.  All that matters in this moment is that you get a complete answer to the question that you have.  If his response leaves you wondering, then clarify…again GET THE WHOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLE STORY!

In conclusion, don’t beat yourself up.  As women, we live (especially our love lives) as double agents.  Strong on the outside, but ooey and gooey on the inside.  As such is the case, sometimes we say and do things in an effort to preserve our strength and to avoid being vulnerable.  As I told you in “Why Don’t You Act Like a Man…” we are emotional creatures…it’s okay.  The man that loves you will embrace that part of you.

Now, all that’s left to do is to pick up the phone…are…you…ready?

Keep me posted…it’s Snuggleville or bust!

Xoxo,

Coach Steph 😉

Ready for a (Relationship) Revolution?

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Me and Charles had a blast! Join in “the revolution!”

Dating is like interviewing for a job: You keep your best foot forward, make the best possible impression and hope they don’t see any of the flaws that make you YOU. So does that mean dating is like business? As a wrap-up to Charles’s month-long Online Dating Intensive, Charles discusses the business aspects of relationships with Stephanie D. McKenzie (aka “Coach Steph“), certified life coach and author of The Business of Dating: Traditional Business Principles for your Modern Dating Life! Get to know how you are presenting yourself, establish early boundaries, and read early red flags. Don’t miss this episode!

Listen here.

Some Advice for Good Sex!

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So…I had the privilege of hanging out with my new 20-something year old buddies for a Relationship Roundtable on Saturday.  Of course as with any discussion about relationships, the topic of sex comes up.

You think?

Well, you know my stance on pre-marital sex (and if you don’t, it’s don’t do it); however, for those of you screaming, “screw you Coach Steph! I’m getting me some sex,” then here’s a few things that I would like you to consider.

Calm down, it’s just 4 little things, you can handle it.

Realize that sex is serious.  It’s not anything that you do to show your power, or how well you can do it.  Even if you have the best sex in the world (and references to support this claim), you are a fool to give it to just anyone to prove a point.  Not only is it serious, it’s spiritual.  Now, even if you don’t have a god or believe in God…two people becoming one should sound pretty powerful to you, and in that moment, you should realize that you are both at your most vulnerable.  So, if you don’t mind taking on someone else’s spirit, mind and body for at least 20 minutes, and you’re okay if that it may not mean anything to them when the act is over, then you might be making a good decision.

Insist on protection.  Beyond getting pregnant by someone you may not like in the next 24-48 hours, there are still diseases that can change your life forever.  We’ve all had unprotected sex, but if you’ve been blessed enough to come through it disease free and HIV-negative…then protect your status and protect yourself.  If someone wants to do it without protection, and by protection, I mean something between your flesh and theirs, then consider it an insult to your self-worth.  You are definitely worth a condom (male or female version), some dental dam, something…aren’t you?

Never give your body with expectations.  This is how you get into problems.  You think that if you do it, he will commit, or he will know how you feel.  If you want to have sex with someone, be prepared to accept the fact that they may not call the next day—or ever, and they still see other people, or breakup with you.  If you can accept that without feeling used or cheated, then you’re really strong.

Get over them before you get under a new person.  Sometimes when we lose someone, we’re so upset that we want to take drastic actions.  And by drastic, I mean finding the nearest most available person to bump uglies with. You’re hoping to reclaim your broken heart and show just how fast you can get over your defunct relationship.  WRONG! You’re about to set yourself up for a huge failure (a possibly EPIC fail, if you will).  The feelings you have for your ex are still present, and if you aren’t careful, they will transfer over to the person that you’re smushing.  So…when the deed is done, you’re going to feel even worse.  Now if you can handle that…then you made the right decision.

Now, for those you who are really paying attention…the first letter of the first word in each of the considerations actually spell the word “RING.”  So, yet and still I hope you get the message.

For those of you who think that sex is about power and empowerment, you are setting yourselves up for failure.  While this article is written with a female spin on it, please note that the considerations apply to guys also.

End the end…you will do what’s best for you…I just hope that if it’s right for you now, that it will be right for you later!

3 Reasons Why you are not Getting Dates

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So, you’re wondering what is really going on? You’re attractive, you’re smart and you’re even open-minded.  But yet and still you find yourself, week after week, dateless.

What the love is going on? (Did you like that shameless plug?)

Well, here’s what you need to know.  For the most part, you expect too much.  You expect to go out looking your best and that someone will notice.  Yea, that worked about a decade ago.  Now, it’s a matter of being in the right place at the right time AND with the right people.  So, just to make it clear, here are the THREE  reasons why your are, in fact, dateless.

Reason One: Looking for love in all the wrong SPACES.
I’ve said it before, but I will repeat myself just for you.  There are three types of spaces that I have identified.  They are: Carnal, Communal, and Committal.  These terms define both spaces and people.  But, here’s the deal.  Most of time, you are in carnal space, looking for communal or committal people.  Carnal people are in carnal spaces.  They are interested in the flesh–your flesh.  The ultimate goal is to have sex with you, not converse with you or get to know you (as things happen in communal space) and not to get into a relationship with you (committal space).  Now, unless you are walking around looking carnal (aka the TnA show), then you will be unsuccessful in carnal spaces.  If you are approached in a carnal space, then know that the goal is simple–I just told you, and if that’s not what you are looking for, then bid them a fond farewell.

You get it?

Reason Two: The predator knows its prey; and you aren’t edible.
If you remotely look like you have things together in your life, then that is yet another reason why you are not being asked out.  Now, I fervently believe that there are good men out there.  However, for every good guy, there are about 20 that are poised and ready, on the prowl for their next “meal.”  Unfortunately, it is easier for you to encounter these predators than it is for you to get to the good guy (but he is out there).  So, you just have to be okay with the fact that you are in a waiting and holding pattern for the good guy.  In the meanwhile, you can also roll your eyes at the unworthy idiot who is attempting to get your number.

Just so you know, this goes for guys too, but it would take to long to re-word it, so just use your imagination.

Reason Three: You need to bring sexy back.
Now I am putting this all on you.  While, I don’t advise presenting your assets as they do in CARNAL-Ville, I do recommend showing off your best assets by way of clothes, makeup, a well-fitted suit…do you get the idea?  For example, if you have great legs, then show them off, don’t hide them.  You don’t need a skirt up to your cookie to show them off, but a well tailored pencil skirt will do the trick and still be professional.  If you’ve been in the gym, then please, sir, make sure that those oxfords and suit jackets are cut just right.   Now, you can leave the “smedium” baby T’s where they are, but just make sure that we can see that awesome form.

Coming out of your house looking like a potato sack, or a dull-dressed man, isn’t serving you any purpose.  Even the great guy or girl has eyes in their head, and they will see you before they talk to you.  So, an awesome personality is a plus, but don’t forsake a pair of jeans with a great fit, or a shirt that picks up the blue in your eyes.

Ok…I think I have made my point.  Now, if you are doing all these things (or not doing) and not getting dates, at least now you have a reason.  So, in the meanwhile, work on your hobbies, take up yoga, and read a good book–like mine.

How to Upgrade “Them”

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So…instead of writing yet another article…I am just going to let this lovely chapter from my book, “The Book of Bye!” do the talking.

from Thing Three: “Lemme Upgrade Ya!”

Confession: I am not a fan of this artist.

While the song featuring the same lyrics as this chapter is cute; believing that you are the person ordained to either be the upgrade for or to deliver the upgrades to this new person in your life is cooking up a recipe for DI-SAS-TER!

 That’s disaster, for those of you who didn’t quite catch that.

Why is it a recipe for disaster?

 Let me ask you a question: How would you feel if someone chose you to be their fixer-upper?

 Exactly!

Dana is a really sweet girl.  Not wanting to discriminate, Dana decided that she could go out with Corey despite the fact that she thought he was “too big.”  Her sweet self just thought that he would be a great workout partner, and that would be a great way for them to spend time together.  Well, they didn’t work out together, but you already knew that, and in fact, he never worked out at all!

Now, this is one girl’s story, so some of you won’t be so offended, but imagine if the roles were reversed and Corey tried to slenderize Dana.  There would be a public outcry, and Corey’s head would be requested on a platter.  It would be unconscionable that some man would do this do a woman.

I know. You’re disgusted just thinking about it.  Calm down, and let’s move on to the big thing.

The big thing…

The great thing about a healthy relationship is that we make each other better.  When one member of the relationship believes that he or she is on their A-Game and they further believe that they have chosen a strong C or D-Game individual to fix, this almost never turns out well. Attempts to change someone can lead to a situation riddled with resentment, especially if you take this “upgrade” thing too far and cause the other person to feel inadequate, insecure or self-conscious.  Even if the other person is open to your attempts to change them, the truth is they’ll always be who they are, which may be an overweight guy who likes turtle cheesecake and fried chicken.

 Therefore, we have to accept that the person in front of us is just that person.  They are not the person who would be great, if…or who would be perfect, if.

Dana is really sweet, but the truth is, she should’ve let Corey be exactly who he was…without her.

 

Now, let’s mend it or end it.

 

Mend it, if:

  • The upgrade is cosmetic and minimal.

Translation: If you’re just suggesting a few new items to their wardrobe (emphasis on a “FEW”), or you genuinely love who they are inside and the upgrade is based on bringing them out of their shell, or to encourage them to show-off their best assets.

End it, if…

Well of course I left you hangin’…you need to get the entire book, and check out “things” 1-12.  The Book of Bye! is available at Amazon.com, and you need to get yours before the price changes, AND before my Bye Club Book Club event on December 18th.