Relationships to be grateful for? Be thankful

4 Relationships We Should be Thankful For

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Yes, this is the quintessential “Thanksgiving” post.  Nothing too deep, just something to ponder while we are recovering from tryptophan psychosis and cranberry overload.

First up…those we can count on.  Note, that I didn’t say those who love us, because sometimes they are not one in the same.  However, I recently sat in a session with a young man who felt he cannot depend on his fiancee, and that statement has impacted me–hence, this article.  Being someone who people can depend on being able to depend on others is a key to having relationships that are meaningful.  Trustworthiness is often a need of those in our lives, and to fulfill that need, creates a deeper connection between two people.  Sure, these same people may take the last buttered roll, and eat your favorite part of the turkey, but ultimately, you can count on them to be there when the chip are down…so let them eat that turkey leg in peace.

The Business of Dating Expanded Edition– Now includes a section regarding online dating.

Next…those who give without expectations.  I have people in my life who do this, and I am so thankful for their presence.  Usually, these are the older people in your life who provide wisdom, solace, and even a little “spare change,” if they feel so led.  For me, there is nothing that I can do for these people, but they find my presence to be enough.  This is rare, even in relationships with my peers, and I think this rarity is what makes it so very special.

Third…those who are no longer in our lives.  You knew I couldn’t keep up the meaningful, mushy facade for much longer, right?  While, yes, we do miss those who have passed on, that’s not who I’m referring to.  I’m referring to the people who have vacated the premises of your life through break-up or other forms of termination.  We should be thankful for each of these individuals because they cleared the way for others to come into our lives and be phenomenal with us.  Not everyone who left our lives was bad, but in most cases, we just were not good together, and that is why we’re grateful to them–and for the lessons, we thank you!

Lastly…those who know our story, and love us anyway.  Everyone has a story.  I sit in coaching sessions with couples who have collective and individual stories, and we talk about how the stories shift and intertwine.  Sometimes people know our story–where we’ve come from, if you will–and make every attempt to keep us there.  Others know our story, and love us despite what we’ve said, done, or experienced in our past.  This is another place of solace, and we all need that.

So, there you have it…four relationships we should be thankful for.  Oh yea! There’s one more…the relationship I have with you! (Yes, meaningful and mushy sentiments ride again!)

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

3 Reasons Love May Not Be Enough

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Love seems to be the easy part.  People are falling in and out of love every day, and most have no clue why.  But there are others who, despite everything that is wrong with a “loving” relationship, have decided that love alone is the reason to stay–and mind you, some people are being treated really badly.  While the thought of staying committed to the love you have for this person is admirable, and is right up there with enduring a marriage that is failing for the sake of your children…the truth is…love may not be enough, and here are a few reasons why.

Reason One: Love is not synonymous with respect.

If the person that you love doesn’t respect you, then that is a problem.  When your memories of this special person in your life are littered with thoughts of their cheating activities, their lies, and even their bad habits, and the negative effect that they have on you, this is not about whether you love them, this is now a question of whether you love yourself.

Do you?

Reason Two: You may love them, but like them? Eh.

CONFESSION: I spent a long time with a person that I loved, but didn’t like.  While some people will say that love is more important, like is the glue that holds things together.  When I like you, it means that on a basic human level, I think you’re a nice person, a great guy or girl, and that you’re friend material.  Being friend material, and having a friendship within a romantic relationship is optimal.

Reason Three: They do not love you the way you should be loved.

This is usually the problem that most people encounter when they love someone, but the relationship is not quite right.  Just because someone claims to “love you,” that doesn’t mean that they know exactly what that means, or what it means to you.  There are entire programs, like the 5 Love Languages, that try to show people what love language they actually speak.  Some, like me, prioritize quality time, while others gifts or words of affirmation.  If the relationship works, but something is a little off–this may be a place to start. However, if the relationship doesn’t work (this means that you spend more time crying than smiling), then there is a bigger problem.  It’s time to sit down, perhaps use my SWOT Analysis Tool, which is in  The Business of Dating to figure out what is going on. (Click here to get the tool.)  When someone doesn’t love you the way you deserve to be loved–with respect, friendship, honesty, giving (of their time, energy and emotions) and commitment–that is not something that should be ignored, nor is it something that will go away.  It is a serious situation that requires a response.

In conclusion, it just must be said that love is not enough for a relationship to survive and thrive.  Sometimes we have to admit that and move on.  However, whatever you decide, do what’s best for you, and be encouraged by the lessons this situation has taught you.  There’s ALWAYS a lesson.

#CoachStephHasSpoken

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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

Coach Steph Asks: How Long?

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 If the player doesn’t give you what you need…click HERE:

 If it’s been long enough, then it’s time to do something about it.  Stop making excuses and get on the team.

[button link=”http://www.therelationshipfirm.com/contacttherelationshipfirm” color=”#9b0254″ size=”6″ style=”1″ dark=”0″ radius=”auto” target=”blank”]It’s been long enough![/button]

 

Stop the Pain! Here are Four Reasons They Treat you So Bad…

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Recently I encountered a random question on Facebook about being with an inconsiderate person. The question was, “how do you handle this?”

My response was, “that’s not the right question.” (At least that is the first sentence…)

Look at what you are asking. You, considerate person, are asking how to deal with someone who is the opposite. But, based on the question, it is quite clear that you have no affinity for this behavior; however, for the sake of having a relationship…you are inquiring how you should “handle” it.

Reason Number One: You are not putting yourself first. Now, I’m sure this is not a new phrase, people say it all the time. Here’s my take: putting yourself first doesn’t just mean loving yourself and holding yourself in high esteem. It’s also about knowing your boundaries and sticking to your dealbreakers. It’s about observing a person’s behavior, BEFORE you decide that they are worthy of sharing a relationship with you.

Got it?

Reason Number Two: You’re doing ordinary things, and expecting extraordinary results. No matter how good you are, at whatever “kinky” acts you bring to the table. If you haven’t noticed, that doesn’t stop them from treating you badly. Why? Because what you’re doing is no different than the last person. The sex…the catering…whatever you’re giving them, they have had that before. But since you’ve convinced yourself that you are special (and you are, just not because of that thing you do), you’re expecting them to be mesmerized by those acts. Ever considered doing the opposite of what the other or previous person has done. Hmmmm…

Reason Number Three: There are no consequences. People will continue to engage in the behavior that you reward or allow. While I am not a fan of the “make them pay” mentality, I also think that it is ludicrous for someone to hurt you and then you turn around and lavish gifts and affection on them. If nothing else, this person should know how you feel, because you CALMLY and NICELY let them know that you don’t appreciate ___________. Too many people sit in silence and excruciating pain in an attempt to keep their relationship. That’s a price that is too high.

Reason Number Four: YOU LET THEM! You handle the inconsiderate behaviors; you tolerate disrespectful words thrown your way, and as long as you do…this is what you will receive.

If you were at a store and someone kept bringing you items that you did not want, would you just take them, PAY for them, and leave the store? No, and if you did, people would think that was ridiculous.

Now, here’s the big question: You knew all of these things before you read this article. Now that your suspicions have been once again confirmed, what are YOU going to do?  You are worthy of better, you deserve better, and if they cannot do better, then you have options.  I encourage you to be a wise person and choose what is best for you.

Don’t live in the situation that you just read about. Learn more about The Relationship Firm and what we can do to “fix” your relationship.

#CoachStephHasSpoken

Are The Kardashians Ruining Your Love Life?!

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Photo Courtesy of The Daily Beast

They seem to be everywhere! The misguided (or unguided, depending on your perspective) brood of the late power-lawyer Robert Kardashian are perhaps stalking you.  But, what you didn’t know is that Robert, Khloe, Kim, Kourtney, and Kris might be ruining your love life.

Hopefully, you only see these individuals as a source of entertainment; however, if you ever remotely thought about taking them seriously, then here are a few reasons why these “reality stars” could be not only taking up precious real estate on your DVR, but also ruining your love life.

Robert, Jr.:
First of all, Robert is not a bad guy, but I recommend that you set your dating sights beyond a cute face, and a questionable wallet.  Rob, like many men is getting his life together (I hope), and while it may be tempting to be a passenger on his train, since of course, all he needs is encouragement from the right woman *sarcasm*, don’t do it.  And while you might not be pining over our fair Rob, this goes for other men in his situation.  Let a man be a man, and if he’s not being A man, then consider the possibility that he cannot be YOUR man…at least not right now.  It’s important that a man be able to stand on his on own two feet–otherwise you might have to carry him.

Khloe:
Where do I start?  A ten-day courtship and now it’s shocking that this marriage has challenges.  Love at first sight is a myth (unless you have just given birth).  When people want to have a life together, it requires time.  Time allows you to see beyond the newness of your shiny relationship, and into the reality (no pun) of what this person brings to your table.  I don’t doubt that Lamar is a nice guy, but with an interesting dating track record (and I will just leave it at that), Khloe should’ve given this relationship time to grow and mature before saying I do.  So what am I saying?  Take your time.  Rushing to the altar almost guarantees that the honeymoon, and then the marriage, will be over sooner than you think.

Kourtney:
If this young woman was the average girl in an American community, she’d be considered a random, run-of-the-mill “babymomma.”  But because she has fortune and fame, society overlooks the fact that she has two children out of wedlock.  Let me take a minute and warn the men who might read this that women like Kourtney are not the type of women you want to date, nor mate with.  While she’s cute, she is a demanding brat, who acts more like poor Scott’s mother than his lover–YIKES! While, I understand that he has made some dumb decisions, if it’s so catastrophic that you have to mother your man, then it’s not worth it.  Let him go, and for go measure, don’t tether yourself to him forever as the mother of his children. Voila!

And last but not least…

…KIM:
I will probably dedicate a Celebrity Love Note to her, as did for her NOT YET EX-husband, Kris Humphries.  My apologies if you thought that she was divorced…she is not.  The saddest part of her relationship life is not that she and Kanye procreated (while that is very sad), it is that this woman hasn’t stop dating long enough to learn from the failure of her past relationships, nor to even get divorced.  At some point, we all have to take responsibility for the roles that we’ve played in relationships that didn’t work, or are considered our own personal, “epic fails.” But we cannot do that if we continue to date through breakups and separations.  Take time to heal.  The person who said that, “the best way to get over an old man is to get under a new one,” is lying to you.  This is how you become confused, vulnerable and, possibly knocked up.  Kim is a young woman with severe issues.  Fellas…also take heed to this one.  Don’t let the size of her assets persuade you to be with someone who is not ready for a real relationship.  This will not end well.

Well, those are just a few of my thoughts on how The Kardashians are possibly ruining your love life.  If you after reading this feel that it’s beyond time for you to get your life (and love) together, then take a peek at our new low-to-no cost coaching and mentoring programs.  If you’re being a little, “Kardashian” I promise not to let you stay that way. (Smile!)

Until then…

#CoachStephHasSpoken

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.

Are you Doing the Wrong things trying to Get it Right?

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Trusting your intuition about men… why do women ignore the obvious warning signs of a man’s hurtful behavior? Why do women attract, fall in love and commit to men who are wrong for them? Why do women stay with a man who is without question so very bad for them?