Seriously, stop doing it. It is so beneath you.

What do I mean? Here is what I mean.

I regularly get to talk to really smart and amazing singles. However, sometimes we start to talk about a past situation they are stuck on or a mediocre situation that is still hanging around in the air like a bad cheese smell and the smart and amazing gets thrown out the window. They all of a sudden get that whiney sound in their voice and say something usually like “I know they are {fill in totally crappy quality}…but I just still like them. I don’t know why!”

At that moment, my inner life coach starts to silently cry in the fetal position in frustration.

So, after too many conversations like this, I wanted to enlighten all of you so hopefully we can stop this ridiculousness right now!

You are not getting over your shit situation because you are making up fairytale stories about the other person or your relationship in your head that aren’t true.

Let that process for a minute, shall we?

Whether you are hanging on to the first couple of months that were bliss and then they just weren’t. Or a couple of really solid conversations that made you feel very connected to them.  Maybe it was some crazy romantic moment where you kissed just like in a movie and you thought to yourself, “This is FINALLY happening just like I thought it would!  I knew it!”  But as you hang on to those brief moments you probably stopped noticing the person who is actually showing up every day.  The person you are really dating.

Hands down the coolest thing about about being a life coach, besides my kick ass clients, is that I get to be friends with other really smart life coaches.  A few weeks ago, I got to catch up and just generally have really smart conversation with my friend Rob Mack.  He wrote a brilliant book called Happiness From The Inside Out and he is my go-to for genius thoughts on joy and happiness.

When we were just riffing about life and love as we tend to do, we got into the subject of stories.  Not the awesome tales from childhood or the thing I ask my clients to get out there and collect, but the stories we create in our heads about what life and love are SUPPOSED TO BE.  Stories we have learned from the media, stories that we tell ourselves when things get tough and stories that we intellectually know don’t make sense but we secretly hope are true.

As we were talking Rob put something that has been swimming around in my head for awhile into a really smart thought.  Here is what he said.

“So much of our time is spent thinking and planning for life, instead of just living it.  When we get caught up in our heads figuring out how things are supposed to be or protect ourselves from failure so much, we miss what is actually happening.  What is working and what isn’t.  We spend so much time thinking about what our lives and relationships should be that we are rarely just present in it.”

This mindset is kicking your ass for many reasons, but I am going to touch on a few that have to do with dating and relationships to tell you why.

1)  No one can live up to the expectations

Have you ever met someone and it is just going really, really well.  Like life-stopping connection of awesomeness?  Then they get up to go to the bathroom or something and you are already thinking about all the “coulds” that can happen?    Oh!  We could go check out that new movie, I bet he would like that.  And when we vacation I can show him that secret little vineyard I loved so much in Tuscany, I bet he would love that.  Omg, Julie and Mark are going to LOVE HIM!!!  I hope our kids get his nose… cute!

See what happened there?

Fast forward:  Real life shows up and so does the real person with baggage, issues, insecurities, complications and fears.  That cute nose is attached to an actual person whose every move is not awesome.  They will have goods, bads and everything in between….just like you.

I love that you think you are a Psychic Sue who can see into the future.  But for the rest of us little people, we have to keep our eyes wide open as we meet people.  We need to see all of them, not just the parts that seem “perfect” right now.  That is unfair to them and you.  If you decide to just pick and choose the stuff you want to see, you are not opening yourself up to real love.  To embracing all parts of someone, just like you want to be loved.  To be loved for all parts of you, not just the good stuff.

2)  You are allowing bad behavior and ultimately enabling someone so they can’t change.

When you start making up pretend stories in your head of what relationships are supposed to be, instead of looking at what is really happening you are not only holding onto something that isn’t there, you are not allowing the other person to fail so that they can change.  I would love to say that most of us change when we notice bad behavior going on.  That we think “Uh-oh, do I do that?  How silly of me.  I should change that now.”  But we don’t.  We change when things get so bad we are forced to, otherwise we wouldn’t be doing it to begin with.  So when you tolerate, allow or enable that behavior, that person is not going to change.  Your fears are buying into theirs.  Nothing good is going to come from that….ever.

 3)  Why do you have to keep hatin’ on failure so much?

I am at a point where I am starting to think that we are sucking at this life thing.  I look around and I see people make choices every day to keep them from ever feeling bad or uncomfortable.  Yes, I get that it doesn’t feel good.  I get that failing makes us question ourselves and who we are.  But guess what?  Failing makes us question ourselves and who we are!  That is how we frickin’ learn people!  That is how we grow and evolve as humans.  That is how we become better versions of ourselves.  That is how we know enough about ourselves to offer a real version of ourselves to be loved.  Pain sucks, but it also is part of life.  You can try to avoid it, but it is always going to show up.  Always.  So why not go after all that you want and embrace it!  Learn from it.  Love the wonderful flawed, imperfect you.  Only with pain can we know true joy.

So who is ready to get real with me?  To stop pretending to be perfect, when we aren’t?  To go after love with wonderfully flawed people just like us?  To leave the fairytales to books and movies, instead of our lives.  What would happen if we just lived and loved fully?


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