Relationship goals vary from couple to couple but one thing every grouping shares is that they want their relationship to work. Some people want their relationship goal to be drama free, while others would like more adventure. Yet, if I were to ask you if you’ve discussed these “relationship goals” with your partner in detail…many of you would look me straight in the eye and say, “Are you crazy?” Why would I discuss that with them?
Accidental Shih Tzu
I believe some of the best things in life happen by accident. A happy encounter with a friend when strolling around the city, an unexpected feeling of thinness when you’re getting dressed, and discovering you just took a photo of your dog in such a seductive way that you are 100% sure if they were online dating — this would be their sexy Tinder profile pic!
You are the designer of your own catastrophe — especially when it comes to love. You have reasons why you can’t find “the one” or you’re just too busy or ain’t nobody got time for dat! Those aren’t reasons, those are excuses.
When we use excuses to rationalize our failures, especially when dating, it really is a reflection of you and your flaws. And guess what? Everyone has flaws. You’re not alone. But here’s the difference, they are willing to still put themselves in a vulnerable place.
Can you say the same?
If you look around, no one is in a perfect relationship, they don’t exist. What does exist though? The possibility of finding and creating a relationship that brings joy, love, and vulnerability into your life. Yes, vulnerability. I know what you’re thinking, “But that makes me a target for getting hurt!” Guess what? You’re already hurting. You’re just doing it alone.
What thoughts are keeping you from truly finding joy when it comes to dating?
- He’s not moving fast enough? Who made you the pace keeper?
- She’s not the total package? Have you seen the wrapping paper you come in?
- I need someone who understands me 100%. Mind readers are at the circus find one, pay them $.25, and keep it moving.
Or are your designs more destructive because they highlight what’s wrong with you?
Have you been designing a
- 10-year sculpture of “I’m not good enough”
- An oil canvas of “I’m really not worthy” that’s almost done
- Maybe an intricate installment made of self-hate pieces with specs of shame
Would you be proud to display them? Because you already are. Check your last 10 Facebook status updates. They tell more about you than you ever thought.
If the current life design is not working in your life — start a new one.
Change mediums, change formats, throw away your old tools and start fresh–the old stuff (the past) is contaminated.
Identify + write down 5 of your best qualities and splash, stroke, weave, bend, glue, weld–start a new beautiful design you’re proud to have on display.
The universe and love is waiting with anticipation.
Today is my 2-yr anniversary with German. Some of you followed our courtship from day one (Under his Umbrella)–where, for legal purposes, (I didn’t want him to press charges if we didn’t make it to date #2 and read that I wrote about him) I referred to him as Santiago. This won’t be a love is all we need post or how I have cultivated the perfect relationship because truth be told, we have had a roller-coaster of a ride, as do all the other real couples.
But still, to date, German remains one of my favorite people to be around. I can be 100% myself and when he’s at his goofiest, I know he’s operating from authenticity. And I often think, “Had I not given up my “deal-breaker” list, I may not have ever given him a chance.” Here were some of the things on that deal-breaker list: (don’t judge)
1. Must be in a creative profession
2. Must live alone–no roommates
3. Must be “out” to his entire family
In these two years, German has started his freelance photography career–and just last night was adding new buttons to his website. Not only has he gotten creative, he’s learned coding like a hot nerd! We’re now living together so no roommates in the mix (and it’s f*ucked up that my deal breaker list mentioned roommates because I had one at the time). How many of you have something on your list that you yourself are doing? And it was at the airport in Odessa, TX, both waiting for our return flight back from my dad’s funeral in June of 2011, that German called his parents in Mexico and came out. (I have the video footage) It’s juicy yet endearing.
Looking back at that list–my top three deal breakers seemed real and important at the time. Just as real as your own dating deal-breaker list seems to be as you wave it around saying, “Mine is real Nando, yours was a stupid hot mess!” And I “get it”. Because of my past experiences with certain guys that had those aspects, I didn’t want a “repeat” of my past.
Each guy with their own issue caused me much heartache (not being out: I had to hide when his family came over unexpected or spending my holidays alone because I wasn’t allowed to come along) or confusion (not being creative: they never understood my passion for writing and entertaining and it cause chaos and misunderstandings in the relationships which eventually ended because they were threatened I’d meet someone creative “like me” and leave them–when in reality, their insecurities caused them to cheat…and the end result was me leaving anyways).
When we create our dating deal-breaker list, we’re dragging our past into our future–remember, some-if not all-of our deal breakers are based on past experiences–and that will never function in a relationship. Instead, become a better person and realize thats it’s about creating a new possibility for yourself and allowing the person you’re about to meet to be themselves and allowing them to shine. And maybe, just maybe–those things that once bothered you or felt would keep you from entering a mature and loving relationship might disappear/change/transform on their own, but not because you made demands on your partner, but because your partner just might have thrown away their own deal-breaker list when meeting you causing them to become a better person too.
I love you German and thanks for being present on my continuous journey of transformation.
Recently, I’ve been getting phone calls from women asking for dating tips/relationship advice. Everyday for the last 2 weeks, it’s a clever question disguised as a conundrum but my response to them all is the same, which is, “What does it mean to you?” And then we get to the real issue. A few weeks ago I received a message from an old high school friend who had been married for over 20 years. Yeah, that’s not a typo, that’s the number 20. As my friend Claire nervously asked her question, this was the exchange.
Claire: I’m sorry for calling and bothering you, but I just had to ask you a question.
Nando: No bother, what’s going on?
Claire: I’ve been married for 20 years and my husband doesn’t really pay attention to me, know what I mean?
Claire: And when we talk, I feel like he’s not listening to me, know what I mean?
Claire: I feel like I’m invisible and not sure how to make myself visible again, know what I mean?
Claire: My kids are getting older and they’re off doing their thing and I’m left alone, know what I mean?
By this time, I wanted Claire to see what I saw. So I let her keep talking.
Claire: Is this making sense? I don’t want to be a nag or anything but I need help, know what I mean?
Nando: No, I don’t know what you mean.
Nando: Yeah, what did that just do for you?
Claire: I felt like you weren’t listening.
Nando: I was listening, I just didn’t validate you.
Claire: I’m lost.
Nando: Do you realize you’ve asked me over five times, “Do you know what I mean?” Why do you need so much validation? You say what you say and that’s all. You don’t need anyone’s permission or validation when you speak. The world only happens in language, and it’s the most powerful way of communication if it’s done right, but you’re too busy making sure everyone “gets you” that you lose your message and effectiveness.
There was a pause. Then I heard a muted cry. Then the waterworks came. Then it all broke down. Which made me happy because only when we break down, can we have a break through.
Nando: What’s going on in your head?
Claire: I’m upset.
Claire: Because I have been like this all my life, know what….(she stopped herself) I’m mad at myself because I’ve been like this all my life.
Nando: Why did you stop yourself from another, “Know what I mean?”
Claire: Because I realize that I no longer need validation for my feelings. And I feel a relief.
Claire: Yes! That’s is! Why is that?
Nando: Because you just discovered a blindspot.
In our lives we have mastered many things for our personal development, careers, etc. and that makes up about 5% of what we know. Another 10% is made up of things we know we don’t know, you know? I don’t know how to make a a pie from scratch, but that means I need to know enough about how to make a pie to know that I don’t know how to make one. Think about it. First I need to know what a pie is, then I have to know what goes into a pie (filling — which I don’t know how to make) and I know there’s a crust involve (but also know enough to know I don’t know how to make one). Clear?
But the bigger portion of our lives is made up of stuff we don’t know we don’t know. We call these things, blindspots. Claire’s blindspot was seeking validation in life as noted in her conversation. Now, this is not going to fix everything in Claire’s life/marriage, but it’s a major start. When we look outside ourselves and into another person for validation/permission for thinking what we’re thinking, feeling what we’re feeling, or simply existing–that’s not the best place to find ourselves because we won’t always be granted validation. And it’s not fair to the person we’re married to, dating or in a relationship with. That’s not what they signed up for. Instead, we need to take a step back and realize we are creative beings who were made in “creation” therefore we create–and there is power to that but you can’t allow anything outside of you to power you up, only you can do it. The conversation in your head needs to stop being, “You know what I mean?” to “This is how it’s going to be.”
Nando: Claire, you’ve always had a radiant smile, and when you smiled, your light was so bright that people wanted to be around you. Try to find at least 3 reasons to smile each day and give the world your smile–let us enjoy it. And trust in yourself enough to know that you are your own power source. And just as the sun doesn’t need permission to shine, it just shines….so do you.
Do you seek constant validation in life? Where is that getting you? What are the conversations in your head?