As far as relationship and dating advice goes, we have all been there with this one – in more ways than one.
We know it happens not just with relationships, but dream job interviews, looking at a great house for rent or sale, a wonderful vacation package to Heaven on Earth, hotel deals that can’t be missed, that must-have item of the moment and the two for one offer that just couldn’t be passed up…
We are full of anticipation, excitement, a feeling of abundance and happiness. There we are, floating on a boat, out to a shimmering sea of great expectations and a beautiful view that has us smiling from ear to ear…
Or so it seemed…
SPOILER ALERT: This doesn’t turn out how you thought it would.
Remember that time you met a wonderful someone who seemed to tick all the boxes? That person who was refreshingly half full and not half empty. That person who was so happy to have you float into their sphere. You also felt the same way. A great match.
Life was indeed cruising along, full steam ahead, flags fluttering in the breeze…
Speaking of which, the breeze does seem to have turned rather icy just now. And what color were those flags that caught your eye?
What is that in front of us? Oh my, iceberg ahead?? But this is not the Titanic!
Yes, history can repeat. Your boat is not floating anymore and just so you know, those flags you saw were RED!
How many times has this happened to you? Why does it happen? And how can you get to the fine print sooner than later, to either change course, jump ship or not bother boarding at all?
I think this dilemma is an interesting, multi-faceted one. Everyone, by human nature, wants to project their BEST self to a new love interest. We all do it. It’s part of early romance and getting to know someone new.
Students also do the same thing in the classroom, exhibiting their best behavior at the start of the year, because what anyone is really trying to do is to put their best foot forward. We do it as adults when we start a new job. Make a good first impression and you qualify yourself as a person of quality who is also worthy.
Sometimes this behavior is really sweet. For example, the guy I worked with who asked for a recipe, so he could cook his new girlfriend dinner one night. She was so impressed. It only came out months later about how he pulled it off (cooking lessons at my house), but it was a really sweet tribute to her and said a lot about how he was willing to try new things and wanted to win her over and put effort in to please her. They are married now.
A little different is the guy who tries to win you over by sending you links to love songs, suggesting he “loves the shape of you” and then mixes signals and disappears for three weeks with no explanation…Um, no one got married.
So! Here we go. As far as dating advice…
Since we can’t get a movie style preview of how someone will be three months down the road, we will instead, look at the varying reasons why something that looked so good on paper, can actually turn out to be a dead set case of “NEXT!”
It’s important to remember that we are not looking for perfection in others. We are all flawed. We are all imperfect. That’s the thing, real love, is able to embrace someone and all their flaws, and love them anyway. That is the healthy and grown up thing.
Pretending to be someone you are not, deceptive behavior, living a lie, creating false ‘truths’ and double lives are what we are talking about here.
First, you need to know we are all chemically in love at the start.
Dating advice 101:
LOVE is blind. Yes, it really can lead you up the proverbial garden path.
This is the element we are dealing within the first three to six months where we have raging levels of feel good endorphins charging through us. Nothing looked or felt this good and we are feeling so loved up. After a time, this feeling of love becomes a more settled kind, less of a tidal wave and more like a flowing river.
To make this transition though, you both must be on the same wavelength, wanting the same things and both equally committed.
Expectations: what are yours? What are theirs? This can cause changes to occur early on. If things aren’t matching, then we reconsider. This is okay though. This is less about someone misrepresenting themselves and more about things just not being a good fit. It’s usually pretty harmless and easy to move on from.
However, if any gaping holes emerge in this stage of the relationship, you will fall through them. After some time you will begin to notice and rethink.
The problem with an endorphin overload is that you often can’t see the truth even when it’s right in front of you.
Sometimes, even when the evidence is right in front of us (AKA the brick wall), we fail to see it because when we are in love; we sometimes just don’t want to see it.
We are still in love with the image that was projected.
This can be harmless, if you are just not matched as a couple, however, if you are dealing with (as Natasha says, toxic people, empathetic bankruptcy), predators and people who love mind games, you will quickly learn things haven’t gently turned into a flowing river, but more of a murky swamp.
I’m talking about the sociopaths/narcissists of the world we learn to deal with, although when you realize how they operate, you can detect one of these early on. The thing here is, these are the people who pretend to care for you, but in reality, don’t. These kinds of people have no empathy. This is a HUGE red flag and one that will stand out quickly. If someone can’t relate to you emotionally, unless it is through sex (which still isn’t an emotional connection for them anyway), you will need to step back a bit and put the focus on their behavior, not your feelings. Watch out for manipulation.
I am someone who needs mantras and words in my life, and when I see quotes I love, hear words I think are powerful, I write them up and put them up on the wall. True! Here is one I think is beautiful and I like to think of it as the…
Honesty: Speaking the truth.
Integrity: Doing what one says they will do. Being consistent.
Transparency: This is related to honesty, but it is where people can see your intentions and heart and know it to be true. No hidden agendas. Think of authenticity.
These are beautiful qualities. They aren’t a given though and can bite extra hard with online dating. These are the hallmark qualities that you should be looking for. Make sure you are exhibiting these qualities too. Like attracts like. Keep your standards high. You deserve love, not crumbs.
If this trifecta isn’t present, manipulation of you will happen, so they can get what they want. You won’t be taken care of though in the process. This can take a while to notice at times but remember…
Actions must always match words.
If you are often paying the emotional bill, catering to another’s needs and unsure of where you stand with them, then at least one of these three is missing.
Triangles need three things. Remember this! Learn these words and think of them when your intuition speaks. Ask yourself, “Which one of these is missing right now?” You will cut through a lot of unnecessary pain if you can make this part of your daily way of thinking.
These qualities ensure you are in a healthy, functional relationship, where there is room for intimacy and loyalty to grow. This brings us back to what I said earlier: Actions TELL you the truth. Not the words that someone says.
Often, words are used to manipulate, deceive, and paint fantasies for you to live in and believe.
I promise you this, if you weigh their words against what is actually happening, you will see the truth. They MUST match. Once you realize this, it becomes simple.
You will waste less time and energy on people when you start to notice what is going on. Dysfunctionality also activates your emotional GPS so you will have no need to doubt yourself. Stop doing that. Your innate intelligence will always be honest with you.
Some examples of mismatched words/actions:
- Saying “I love you”… Then going missing for days without caring you are upset by this and returning like nothing happened. Someone who loves you won’t do this because they would never risk losing you. When we love someone we don’t treat them like crap.
- “You’re so beautiful.”Easy to say. Great to hear. But what do they do that makes you feel beautiful and that they value and treasure you? Words can be very cheap. Don’t sell yourself short on words. If they are just saying things to use and manipulate you, but they aren’t consistent or there when you need them, that isn’t beautiful.
- Canceling on plans at the last minute with questionable excuses. If you get a text telling you: “Sorry I can’t make it. The next-door neighbors’ grandmother’s cat is coughing up fur balls,” then know you are being brushed off. This is not the real reason. People who care WILL FIND THE TIME. They won’t cancel/be hit with amnesia/let you down/be unavailable unless they are seriously ill or something tragic has happened. Watch out for lameness. It tells a story all its own. Don’t be part of that story.
- Being distant/unavailable around holidays and other special times, like your birthday. Or not wanting to celebrate your happiness and achievements. You are worth someone’s time. You are worthy of being acknowledged when special days come around. These are opportunities to show love to you. If they aren’t beside you to share these times, they don’t care about you.
- Failing to tell you about certain parts of their lives, going to events without you/not introducing you to their friends/not including you in social things. This is not good. It does carry a message though – you are not a priority.
- Love bombing. You have probably heard this one, but it’s when you are receiving constant praise, flattery, and compliments at the beginning of the relationship. You believe them, it makes you feel good and you are convinced this relationship is the one because it’s like no other. This doesn’t last though, and once you are hooked on them, they back off, become totally inconsistent, are hurtful and cause emotional turmoil. This behavior is incredibly deceptive, because they often call, text, and want to see you A LOT. Remember this: Balance is key. If they are moving fast, that’s your cue to watch carefully and know where the exit signs are because moving fast is a big clue. Message: They are trying to sell you something that doesn’t actually exist. Bad deal.
- Excuses. Excuses are NOT reasons (closely related to the furball story above). Watch and listen. If things seem shady, aren’t adding up, are inconsistent, or this person can be randomly hurtful towards you, then things won’t get better. This is not what loving, emotionally available people do to those they care about.
People reveal themselves over time: If you meet someone amazing and they unexpectedly start treating you badly, they are just revealing themselves. The message: Same ship, different route, same crappy service. (They were like this before you, they will be the same with the next person too).
Dating advice: look for mind games. These are easy ones to spot, but incredibly, so often overlooked!
- Hot/cold. Push/pull. Yes/no.
- “It’s not you, it’s me…” ‘I need space’ (for three months…).
- Silent treatments for days/weeks.
- Refusal to acknowledge your feelings.
- Poor or intermittent communication.
- Devaluing/valuing you.
- Promises to never repeat hurtful behaviors again (but of course, it continues).
- Refusal to apologize for hurtful or neglectful things said or done.
None of the above indicates a healthy, functional relationship. If these behaviors start occurring out of the blue, that’s your red flag flying. Notice it. If you don’t, this behavior will not only continue, but get worse and you will suffer in spades.
Still unsure? Try this litmus test: What are they actually doing for you/with you?
Always go back to this one! If it is nothing much, then you need to ask yourself, “Is this good enough for me?” Ask yourself, “does this person deserve me?” You deserve to be loved and treated like you matter. If you matter to them, then you will know. Not being sure of where you stand with someone is an answer. It means you aren’t a priority. If you are getting nothing – NEXT!
Occasionally someone wonderful in your life turns out to be a person who looks at you and sees something that can benefit them (what they perceive you can DO for or GIVE them). Specifically, how you give them an advantage, through either your status, money, talent, skill or social connections. People who want something from you can be very subtle in their deceptiveness.
Despite any attributes you may have, THEY DO NOT DEFINE YOU! They are gifts you have or things you do, these are not part of your essence. You are a human being, not an advantage/opportunity for another. Remember this.
No matter how clever you are, how much money you have, how good looking you are or how many people know you, these things are not part of your essence. Fame, fortune, and image don’t feed your soul or love you, for YOU.
So, if someone wants you in their sphere because of the light you shine, remember that your inner light is what shines the most. Don’t ever forget this. You need people in your life who love YOU, not just because of what you can do for them. Your talents are a bonus, but they are never going to be the reason someone will deeply love you.
I often think of people I have met who are extraordinary in some way. They seem to have it all. I often look at them and think about how effortlessly they seem to deal with life. How they are so seamless and in control. But then I also think, how much of what people say to them carries real weight? People can be shallow and self-serving. Sometimes people say things that make us feel good. They seem to be invested in us, to care for us and we believe we matter to them. However, sometimes they are only around us/with us because of an ulterior motive. You will learn this over time, because your transactions with someone like this will lack depth. You will feel it. They will lack integrity and honesty.
Things to remember:
- Endorphin highs are hard to argue with. When you feel good, you believe the connection is good for you. You will see what you want to see and make excuses for behavior that isn’t loving or doesn’t add up. BE BRAVE and stop doing this. Healthy connections with loving people will NOT put you through this.
- Trust: we all want to believe the best in others. You can still do that, but you need to temper it with gut instincts. They tell a different story than your heart does. Trust also takes time to develop. You need to watch and wait for a while before you fully trust a person. Take your time. Open up slowly, you don’t need to share everything about yourself in the first flush of love. Watch for what they are telling you too. If it is very little, or too much. Pace yourself. Flowers don’t bloom overnight. They start out as tiny, green buds, then slowly and finally open. Bloom when you are ready. You need to feel comfortable. If things are moving too fast or too slow, you will feel
You need to trust yourself before you can trust others. Back to what I said earlier about people who want you because of what you can do for them – Be careful about who you invite into your personal space. You can share yourself over time. No rush. Beware of those who like what you have to offer them in material ways. You are not a commodity. You are a human being. That is priceless. No sale!
- Again: Gut instincts don’t lie. Intuition doesn’t break. Hearts break. When you feel your emotional GPS kick in, you need to stop and listen. Your face isn’t going to feel or look good if you keep hitting brick walls. You will also drown on sinking ships that don’t have lifeboats.
Tips for moving on when the fine print reveals a different story:
Firstly, don’t blame yourself for things not being as they seemed on paper. When another person reveals themselves to you, and it doesn’t match the initial image, that’s a gift. It means you don’t have to invest any more time or energy into this person. You have a “get out of jail” card for free. Bless!
Remember these words: If it is what YOU are saying and doing, that is YOUR stuff. If it is what THEY are saying and doing, it is THEIR stuff.
Don’t confuse the two. You are not responsible for how someone else behaves. Even if they try and tell you that, know it is not the case.
Learn to gauge your feelings: Your emotions are your barometer. If you are feeling hurt, confused, uneasy or angry in response to things said or done, then you need to reassess. If you feel unimportant, overlooked and not like a priority to this person, then you aren’t.
When someone cares for us, it matters to them that we are happy and feeling good. Think of how you treat someone you care for. You want them to be happy and know you appreciate them.
Let your emotions guide you. If you aren’t feeling good, then don’t make excuses for this person based on the package they appeared to be when you first met them. Appearances truly can be deceiving.
Self-love is the most important love of all. It actually sets the standard for how others treat you. Never skimp or compromise on this one.
If you are getting over a breakup, try treating yourself like you treated your ex. Lots of love. Spoil yourself. Watch a DVD wrapped up in a warm blanket. Eat well, exercise (you will get another endorphin high out of this and unlike the other, it will always feel good!). Buy something new to wear, have a facial, buy a gym membership, go to a new restaurant, buy yourself flowers, go watch a live game, clean your house top to bottom, call a friend… So many things will help you feel better. Be with people who make you feel good. Just be kind to yourself.
Part of what makes someone who is not good for us so attractive is the fact they often treat us badly and then flood us again with promises, endorphin rushes, happy times, great sex and soothing, beautiful words.
The high you get from this can be confused with love because you have been on a diet of nothing but crumbs. STOP. This isn’t love and intimacy. This is just intensity. Intense pain when they hurt you. Intense pleasure when they come back and start dosing you up again, until the next time they throw an emotional punch at your heart. Stop living for highs that come after deep, dark, depressing lows.
Celebrate yourself! Kudos to you for noticing the signs and reading them. Paying attention to the red flags and deciding to opt-out. Smile to yourself. You were onto them! You trusted yourself. You’re a white horse warrior. Ride on.
Know that love isn’t meant to be hard work. And you are not hard to love. When you feel like things are always up and down, hot and cold, filled with drama, that you aren’t good enough, that you must be doing something wrong to upset them or cause them to go silent for days/weeks… there is a message in that for you: Wrong ship. Get off.
Even if it looks good on paper and your heart is all aflutter, when your gut doesn’t want to sign on the dotted line, then it’s not good for you. The final word and dating advice here: when it looks good on paper, but turns out to be fraudulent, or at least not worth your time, then you are free. The knowledge you have gained is powerful. You are safe. You can move forward.
The world is full of men and women. But there is only one you. And you know your worth.
You know that you don’t just look good on paper, you know you are who you say you are. You row your own boat. You understand and live by the golden trifecta. Remember it.
Honesty. Trust your truth. Uphold your truth. It’s powerful and beautiful. It also helps create your boundaries. You need strong boundaries. Never give up your personal truth.
Integrity. Be YOU. Actions always matching words. Not everyone can do this. You can!
Transparency. Live your truth with authenticity. A clear conscience. Show who you are through the way you live. On the daily.
The golden trifecta that rules all. This. Is. Your. Standard.
Don’t drop it.
This post was written by Natasha Adamo Team Member, Lorelle.
+ If you need further and more personalized help with your relationship, please look into working with me here.
Great Post Lorene! Definitely spoke to me with what I am going through right now.
Hello there A!
Thank you …I have a happy heart reading your words. I’m glad this post connected with you, I really hope it helps. Whatever you’re going through right now, know it’s only temporary. It WILL pass. Keep having your own back and stay on your white horse. You got this. ?
Just what I needed. My boyfriend and I broke up a few days ago and some of the things you said hit home. I’m going to keep re-reading this until I start giving myself more respect. Thank you ?
I also wanted to add – Wednesday he told me he didn’t want to lose me while I was holding him, and Thursday he broke up with me
Yeah, that’s awful and says A LOT. I think one of the hardest parts with all of this is the mixed signals. You want to believe what they are telling you, but then it never comes to fruition. I think it is often the confusion that keeps us stuck in the situation because we want to figure out what is going on. After a while, we just realize that it is a waste of time. Emotionally unavailable people never give you what you need. What I have also figured out is if we are attracting emotionally unavailable people, very often we are emotionally unavailable ourselves and need to look into that.
Love your words, Katie. You’re spot on and there’s a lot of articles here that Natasha has written about emotional unavailability – both in ourselves and people we come across in life. You’ll love reading those – very insightful and straight to the point (Natasha is good at that, which is great as no second guessing!)
So kind too That you replied to Samantha. I love that – it’s just beautiful when we support each other. Thanks for sharing your wisdom here. ? x
Thank you for your reply. I think you are right. He is emotionally unavailable, and I am starting to think that I am too. I have always been that person who wants a relationship with someone, but maybe the only person I need to be in a relationship with is me.
Hi Katie, hi all,
Yes, I couldn’t agree more about the confusion part. It really is, most of the times, confusion which keeps us led on. And when that comes hand in hand with the though and memory of “how things were at the beginning” or “how he/she used to be back in time”, that’s a sure recipe for disaster. I, myself, spent so much painful time living the same type of confusion. I simply could not understand how a person who used to be so nice to me, interested, trying to get in touch with me, trying to see me etc etc etc could change so much. It’s been excruciating, it still hurts but mostly because I’m trying to figure out how I put up with all of that. The confusion, the question marks, the doubts and, probably the most heartbreaking of all, the trust which starts to go away. It just goes away and it makes you feel so powerless and basically being in a constant battle between what you feel, what you think and what your intuition says.
The thing is I’ve reached a point where I cannot even blame the other party anymore. Maybe the train hit me but I didn’t take precaution either.
What I’ve learned from my own experience is that it really doesn’t matter how many times people around us tell us the truth ( that, most probably we already know in our gut), it is not until we feel it that we start to move on. In some cases it’s when we hit rock bottom and feel humiliated by the other party, in other cases maybe something tragic happens (physical abuse or any other kind of abuse)… doesn’t matter, we have to feel it then draw the line and move on. I still find myself hurting not because they are missing but because I allowed them to treat me that way, that I allowed them to show me so clearly that I could matter so little to a person I loved and cherished so much. A lot of guilt and shame. Day by day, I try to recover and allow myself to breathe again and feel ok, be ok. I try to accept my mistakes, try to remember and learn while not dwelling in remorse and hatred.
I would also like to share with all who will read this comment the title of a book I read recently and which makes a lot of sense. It comes from attachment theory, “Attached. The new science of adult attachment and how it can help you find and keep love”. It describes (from a scientific yet not boring and dry perspective) the patterns of attachment in adults. It helped me better understand myself and others, what to look for in others (red flags), what to avoid etc. It applies not only to romantic partners but also to friends, family.
I would also like to thank the authors of these brilliant and heartfelt yet perfectly lucid articles for their wonderful work. Your work truly matters to people like us, your audience who comes back here for support, for a space where we can share our experiences without the fear of being judged. Your work is meaningful. Thank you.
Erin, never feel guilt and shame for loving another. That’s a beautiful thing. You had pure intentions. You trusted. You were honest.
Not getting those things back, doesn’t detract from who you are.
They know you were true. They just weren’t the same quality person as you.
If it’s what someone else is doing and saying, it is their stuff. Don’t let that overshadow YOUR light.
You’re strong. Your intuition told you that things weren’t right. Now, practise self love. Your heart might be broken, but it’s still beating. ?? Your heart will heal and you will love again. Next time, you’ll play on a different field and the rules will be solid as your boundaries will alert you to foul play.
You have lost nothing, only gained. Yes, it hurts to be rejected. But now you are free to find a love who will love you back as you deserve. You are worthy ! No guilt. No shame. Remember that. ???
Hi Samantha; I’m really happy you are here at PMS reading because you will gain so much perspective and feel self empowered. There’s a lot of support here for each other too….and I’m also really sorry you are going through this heartache right now.
The scenario of your ex saying he didn’t want to lose you and the next day breaking up is typical of many stories here. When it happens you are in so much disbelief it doesn’t seem real. It’s very fresh for you still. Keep reading here – you’ll find it helps much. You might not realise it but you show lots of strength in your words. That’s your boundaries kicking in – because you know you deserve better treatment.
Mixed signals are hard because we end up living for the good times – but I have come to the conclusion that mixed messages actually are a huge message in themselves, this being – move on !
You’ll find so much support and solace here, as Katie has already proven.
Big hug to you Samantha. Stay on your white horse. So pleased to meet you here!
Hi Lorelle, thank you for replying to me as well. Your words are kind and helpful.
Thank you for saying that you see that my boundaries are kicking in. I have had many chats with Natasha and that is something that she has said to me many times. I have read many of the blogs on here and they are so helpful. It has been awhile since I have read so I am going to get back into them.. I love them! I am hoping to take the time now to work on myself and be happy with who I am, but sometimes I feel that I just can’t. I am in a very lost state right now.
Thank you again and to Katie for taking the time to reply, especially when in need. I am glad that I have found more sisters that are just as supportive as Natasha! Looking forward to reading more from you 🙂
Hi again Samantha. That feeling of being lost is hard. It can make you feel so alone. It’s awful too when it’s the result of heartbreak and rejection.
We can doubt ourselves, feel so low and depleted emotionally.
On those days try and remember the lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.
I have felt abandoned and unlovable in the past. I have felt lost.
So sad I couldn’t even cry. It was just sadness blocked up inside and the only time I was happy at that point was when I could go to bed. Sleep was the only relief. I was lonely and felt like no one would even notice if I entered the room.
So please know this: you can only go up from that place. And you can come to PMS anytime and people will message.
Try doing little things to help you feel better. Be ultra kind to yourself. Buy a new lipstick or something you want to wear and feel good doing that for yourself.
Go for a walk, get a pet or cuddle up in bed with a good book (or website!)…burn a scented candle. Do anything that you love – paint your nails, call a friend.
Your heart will heal – and those boundaries will grow because you realise your worth now. That’s partly why you feel lost. You’re in a new space and there’s room to grow. Loneliness can turn into solitude when you feel empowered. You are safe when you are alone because you aren’t a sitting duck for further pain and unloving manipulation.
Stand tall Samantha because you’re in a good place. You’re moving ahead – and you know you’re on the right path. I do feel for you as I know those hard days can feel endless…But you’re not alone.
Big hugs xxx ??
Love you Sam xxx
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!..You have no idea how much I needed this Lorelle!…I have been going through a similar pain, seeing the man who love bombed me and then discarded me ruthlessly after friend zoning me start dating someone new…He is currently going away with her this memorial day weekend…So I have been on pins and needles this whole weekend…Never mind that he is still very active on the dating app and is on every night (Yes I still stalk, I know pathetic)…But yes, thinking of them going out and spending all that time together while they are still in their honeymoon stage still hurts (and I have gone through this cycle multiple times with every girl he has dated after me)…I keep wondering if this is it, the unicorn he was looking for that was worthy enough for him to settle down with…So yes your post especially today definitely showed me that he will never change and I need to start focusing on myself and on moving on, something that I am still struggling with….Thank you so much!!!
Happy that you loved this as much as I do 🙂 xo
*I meant memorial day next weekend…And yes he just texted me to “see how I was doing”…while still being online on the dating app, while I wonder where the sweet, awkward and funny single dad that I first met disappeared…I miss him, oh well!…But thank you again!!
Hi Tanya, awww I do feel your pain. I think you’re incredibly brave to feel your pain and still be gaining fresh perspective at the same time.
Don’t apologize for stalking – that will stop one day soon because you’ll end up moving on much faster than you think it’s going to happen.
Ignore his messages – he’s made his choice to be with someone else, that means he loses the privilege of YOU. So he dumped you, has someone new and is still on a dating app…what a catch !
I’m pretty certain he will be with a completely different person next year on Memorial Day – as he’s not someone to be taking seriously.
It’s a shame you have been hurt by him – but you have got the ‘get out of jail card’ I mentioned. So has Samantha who I replied to above.
Your heart will heal. Promise! And deep down despite the pain, you know he doesn’t deserve you. Don’t feel like he’s met someone better okay because he hasn’t. You’re just too good for that guy. It’s okay to miss him for awhile – because you’ll remember the good things about him. Read the previous post Natasha wrote about getting over your ex. It will help you feel better too. ?
Please don’t reply to him. He made his bed and he can go lie in it xxx ? stay strong, Tanya.
Thank you Lorelle for your words of encouragement and for taking the time to reply to me. Reading yours and Natasha’s (and her mom’s) posts have been really helpful to me these past few months and I feel stronger now because of you and the other girls visiting this site. I know for sure that I am not alone. I will have to take a printout of this post in particular and pin it to my fridge so I can read your words over and over again like a mantra! 🙂
You’re so welcome, Tanya! And mantras are gooooood! They keep you focused.
Yes Natasha and her Mom are awesome and PMS is an amazing platform to share with others. Keep reading!
Lorelle, this is such a great post, thank you! I’m going to re read and enjoy again. I found Natasha’s blog on May 1st this year. It has been such a life saver, the man who apparently loved me on March 1st didn’t by March 5th and is now getting married in June. I don’t look at the social media posts anymore since the wedding announcement, no more self torture! But I do understand what he and his new girl are experiencing because that was us 2 years ago. I totally get how they are feeling. He wanted to marry me ASAP too. I was more cautious and knew we had to wait for the honeymoon phase to calm down. Which it did, but by then I was addicted to the highs. I didn’t know this until I read Natasha’s blog because I couldn’t understand why I didn’t just feel relief that he was out of my life. At this point I have a dull flat ache when I think of him and almost a sense of relief that he’s not my problem anymore. Yes, problem, that says it all. Thanks again to you, Natasha & the whole team. Love being vibed your way ???
Tara, loved reading your comment. What a white horse warrior you are- perceptive too! I’m speechless about the June wedding. Your GPS was right on it about waiting – I can only feel sorrow for this new girl as the heartache for her is yet to come. There is no need to rush into marriage – and I’m so glad you didn’t.
Too good for him – too smart for him. I loved what you wrote about waiting til the honeymoon was over.
That’s when we see reality. It’s still painful for you I know. Please keep coming here and reading. It’s soul food and you’ll always get support on those hard days. Natasha has built the most amazing place to share, here at PMS.
I’m so happy you’re part of this tribe. You’re also strong. And you have a real heart that deserves to be loved back.
Good work to stay off social media about the wedding. It won’t be a class act emotionally. You’re safe from any more hurt, Tara. Ride on. ? much love to you. Xx ?
Hi Tara! Thank YOU for being a part of this tribe 🙂 All my love to you sister.
I loved this post too! xoxo
Great job Lorelle!
I’ve learned this the very hard way – that when someone is hot and cold, just take the cold. End it, walk away… I mean RUN away and never look back!
No ” shoulda, woulda, coulda” – trust me everyone – it will always be a hot and cold and mind f*cking experience. It will go nowhere until the day you are finally discarded.. The second time he was hot and cold to me, I should have recognized the pattern for what it was, and realized who I was dealing with. Save yourself! Your time is valuable. So is your heart!
Thank you Christine!
I totally agree with all you wrote. Couldn’t have said it better. It’s so true and there’s nothing to be gained with people who behave like this. As you said, it’s going nowhere and our hearts are way too valuable, like our time.
Katy Perry sings a song about this hot and cold crap so it’s definitely a thing. Just not our thing here at PMS.
Because we know our worth. ?? Yes. We. Do. ?? Xx hugs. X
AGREED 🙂 XO
Hi Natasha and Lorelei,
I’ve also learned to let my emotions be my gps. If I start seeing someone and I’m all sailing high and can’t even see an iceberg ahead of me much less red flags eventually comes a time where something happens to change my mood. In the recent case it was he didn’t message for 4 days even though I told him I want to at least get one message each day. I broke up with him but he sent a message how he was with his nephew and made me feel kinda guilty. I’m in my late thirties and he’s older and sometimes I wonder if it has something to do with being more distant and guarded. Idk if it was a mistake or not but I’d rather be single than with someone who makes me feel neglected. I wonder though if 4 days was enough to break it up..
I’ve read your words a few times, and here’s what I think: although you can measure it by an amount of four days, I think your intuition was on to something. Being with his nephew was great, but seriously- you weren’t worth contacting at all?
I have been in your shoes, and accepted this multiple times. Over and over. And over. And over.
Every single time , there was a lameness to the excuse. Every time. I love the words you used ‘I’d rather be single than with someone who makes me feel neglected’’. That’s beautiful, strong and being true to yourself! Really, he had no reason not to contact you. four days is quite a space of time, and I’m guessing you messaged him somewhere in that time and got no reply. I know I have written about using our intuition but there have been times in the past when I ignored mine (true story). The outcome was always the same. I should have followed my gut! I’m so proud you did, you are worth someone’s time. Even if they are busy.
Love xxx ?
Honestly, you did the right thing. These mind games always start out small. 4 days was just the beginning. You can’t spend 30 seconds typing out the words “hey, how are you?” Don’t feel an ounce of guilt! I’m proud of you for getting off the roller coaster ride quickly, you saved yourself a lot of
tears and frustration.
Thanks Christine. I have no doubts now but when I wrote the comment it was the next day after it happened. He didn’t text to make a point (not getting too close too fast ..) I only met him a few times and we didn’t have time to form that bond yet which I’m grateful because it was easy. He made his point I made mine. I continue. I find it so hard to find someone romantic and caring and at the same time be attracted to him but who knows maybe chicken grow teeth.
Lorelle, you speak the language of empowerment. Sometimes you cannot help who you attract, but you can decide if you want to remain in the circus, or let the clowns in the door. When you reach that level of awareness it is empowering, and freeing.
The manipulative do know that actions speak louder than words that is why the lovebombing is so deadly, it is action driven. They go out of their way to do things for you: cook, drive you to work, fix things around the house etc. In reality they see it as an investment towards their agenda. They know the moment you are hooked , then they feel comfortable to treat you the way they feel about you.
My confusion was the end product. I didn’t know what was real, from what was projection and fantasy. Every time I found a devaluing action I countered it with ,”but he also did this sweet thing”. It took months to get my head right again. But thanks to this blog and books I’m a new woman!
Hello there Tevamac!
Thanks for your eloquent comment…I love the ‘now I’m a new woman’ part at the end! Self empowerment indeed!
Yes, it’s such a dilemma when we find ourselves living for the good times. Always pinning our hopes on the person that first seemed to be there, but who has changed into another. I love your circus analogy – I think I had a sign outside my circus tent sometimes that said ‘Half price admission’ ? when I reflect back to some of the people who turned up. We should ever sell ourselves short, romantically or with our friends.
You are a wise woman who is reflective, Tevamac. Now, that is powerful. So glad you’re in that place.
Like the words in that song from The Greatsest Showman “I am brave, I am bruised, I am who I’m meant to be – this is ME”. Such a powerful place when we know who we are.
Xx hugs ?
Lovebombing is a scam and only look at it that way. don’t let yourself even think it was something else. It exists with money and same thing is with love – be strong and except that reality. I’ve been a victim and nothing felt better but realize it wasn’t real.
Daniella you are 10000% correct. It is scam and con job.
Daniella and Tevamac – yep yep! Probably the cruelest thing out there in the dating world – and deception at its finest.
Once bitten by it though – very unlikely to be fooled ever again.
Wow. I am speechless. This post is amazing and truly spoke to me. It is everything I needed to hear.
Thank you, Lorelle.
Hello Chrissy….reading your comment made me smile…I’m really so happy you found this helpful and it resonated with you. I’ve read things Natasha has written and felt the same way. So, thank you, I’m really honoured to have been able to connect in a positive way. But that’s how it works around here – a connected and supportive place. Xx ? happiness to you ?
So good! 🙂
You had some great quotes in there that I am going to steal. For a while I thought Natasha wrote this! It was really insightful. My favorite part was the last 13 paragraphs (some of them were just one sentence) but they perfectly described the relationship that I just recovered (am still kind of recovering) from. I mean, it’s like you’ve been watching through hidden cameras or something, it was JUST like that. I love your short, easy-to-read sentences and enthusiasm as well. Thank you for a great post Lorelle!
Hey V! Ohhhhh! I love that you thought Natasha wrote this… that’s a special compliment…?? I’m also glad you found some good quotes in it, because I’m always someone who looks for quotes that I find empowering or positive in some way.
Just so you know, there were no hidden cameras involved in the writing of this – but certainly enough life f***sperience (I just invented a word !) to appreciate the mind games and heartache so many of us struggle with when we have been f***ed over.
A lot of this is because when we come across people who are emotionally unavailable, manipulative and shady, they all behave in the same way. And we all get hurt in the same way. Once you work out their game plan, you can see it coming a mile off. That’s why I have learnt self love, boundaries and using our intuition is a short cut in helping to avoid these types.
For some of us, the journey is longer, rougher and linked to past hurts that we have yet to deal with. But when we deal with them, we gain so much insight and strength. It also teaches us compassion for others and empathy – something manipulative people will never feel or understand.
I’m really happy you moved on from someone who clearly did not deserve you, V.
That’s self love in action when you walk away from someone like that… ?? xx
I’m so glad that you loved this as much as I do! Thanks V! xo
Absolutely powerful Lorelle, this is one of my top two pieces of writing on this blog – thank you so much for your insight, it has helped me a lot.
I was ghosted 8months into my last relationship which ended just under 2 years ago. We were both early 40s, divorced, we had met each others families including both of our kids and he had told me numerous times he loved me. He seemed like a really decent guy, lots of friends, came from a good family, treated everyone with respect (apart from me in the end…) and spoke to me early on about how he was emotionally available and had a high EQ. I wouldn’t have ever considered him narcissistic though… maybe he just wasn’t that into me.
Almost every day since I was ghosted I have gone over what happened in my head and come up with so many different scenarios, because I never got that closure. I have never heard from him since. Your writing has made me see all those red flags along the way as signs that I didn’t want to see or believe. I have definitely learnt a few lessons from that relationship and your message will keep me going strong in realising that he was not worthy of me.
Thank you for your brilliant post, i could relate to almost every sentence! xx
Wow Georgi, what lovely words to say! And I’m so proud of you because you’re so right, he was totally NOT worthy of you. He’s done you a (painful) favour, because without him in your way, playing mind games, you have a clean path ahead, where you have the wisdom to choose only what honours you.
The fact he told you he was emotionally available is interesting – that would have been something you would have felt. Who was he actually trying to convince I wonder – as for the high EQ – self praise is no recommendation!
Ghosting is not the behaviour of an emotionally intelligent or emotionally available person. I wonder if that has actually crossed his mind. Integrity – where was it?
I’m glad you can see the red flags now, because you’ll see them whenever they fly in the future. If it makes you feel better, I’ve ignored them in the past, because I wanted to believe i was good enough to love, and things would change.
I did learn I was lovable – and that the way to find love was to watch and listen, and not accept things that involved poor treatment. Self love is the ultimate boundary. Keep that one strong, Georgi! Thank you for your comment xx ??
Great post, Lorelle! So empowering. Thank you for sharing with us! Trusting ourselves is such a big piece of building healthy relationships and letting go of unhealthy ones. I know that is the biggest lesson i came away with after the last f*cktard. I knew early on, but i wanted to believe him because “chemistry”. But i have learned and will always choose me from now on. RIDE ON indeed. 🙂 Thanks again and much to all of you! <3
Hi Lori, yes trust is the foundation piece of all. It’s hard to trust though when you have been hurt, so we need to look at the facts and start assessing if someone deserves our love and trust. But you are onto it – and once we notice what’s not working or feeling right, the decisions are easy to make about someone’s worthiness in our lives.
Good chemistry can really warp our sense of direction though …our compass doesn’t seem to know east from west. Keep your bearings right by focusing on how you feel, it will show up anything shady. Just ride on … like you say. Choose YOU – because it shows you value yourself, not empty words.
Love xxx ?
Thank you! This was an awesome post – there is so much wisdom in all you wrote. Your post made me think this: the words that toxic partners speak appeal to our projected images of who we want them to be, frequently propping up our unrealistic idealizations. Whereas the actions of toxic people provide objective information about the truth to our senses. Words introduce bias into our evaluation of what’s going on in our world, which makes it critical that someone’s actions match their words; because without that synchronicity, we’ll wind up with an inaccurate and unbalanced view of what’s really happening.
My own experience with out-of-sync words and actions involved a toxic ex I lived with who repeatedly asked me why we weren’t engaged despite hitting me, verbally abusing me, placing a GPS tracking device on my car, cheating on me, withholding sex and engaging in frequent use of the silent treatment. She justified these actions by saying it was my fault because we didn’t have a “real relationship” because we weren’t engaged/committed. The absurd part of all that was that I indicated I believed her by staying with her through all that one-step-from-the-nuthouse behavior. All it did was waste my time and delay my growth.
Hence, I think what you wrote is tremendously important. We should pay attention to what we see our partners do, and less to what we hear them say; and we should fold when what they say is inconsistent with what they do. Finally, we cannot forget that we’re not responsible for the behavior of others. I fell into that trap and all it did was prolong an unhealthy, toxic environment that hurt me. Thanks for writing about this!
This is so strange, but it’s almost as if you are describing my sister in law – the same kind of toxic behavior, physical abuse, and emotional (and sexual manipulation). Fortunately it seems as if you didn’t marry her and she is already your ex. Good for you! My brother unfortunately got married to this woman and he has been suffering the last 5 years because of it. She treats him and us as well as her own family like crap, and uses her childhood sexual abuse as an excuse. I am not minimizing her abuse, and understand that she has some issues which she needs to sort out with a therapist. But having to deal with her constant meltdowns, attacks, physical abuse and interference in even my personal life is wearing down on us, and we are so done with her. My brother keeps rationalizing her behavior towards him and us, as a cry for help and expects us to understand and “be the bigger person”. He often feels guilty for wanting to leave her and be done with the marriage once and for all but can’t “because of the kids”. They have a son and daughter together and he feels that it would be selfish. He sometimes blames himself for “provoking her” and that she “was never this way before”.
He doesn’t understand that people don’t change, they simply reveal their true selves over time as Natasha and Lorelle have emphasized, so, so many times. Don’t blame yourself and try not to dwell on the past. What she was in the beginning was simply an illusion, a projection of what you wanted to see. What she revealed herself to be is what you should be focusing on and using to propel yourself into moving on. Also, I am sorry to hijack your thread (haha, I’ve been doing that a lot on this site these days) , but your post touched a nerve and triggered me to share my (or rather my brother’s) experience to show you that you are not alone.
Thanks for chiming in and sharing your experience! I am sorry that your brother and your family are wrestling with such a difficult situation. I definitely relate to your brother’s predicament. It sounds like he is walking on eggshells around her, just as I was in my relationship. I wrote a comment to one of Natasha’s posts a few weeks ago about the first time my ex hit me. My thought was “I can take this because she can’t actually hurt me; I’m strong enough to deal with it.” Both men and women regularly fall into that self-defeating logic. Having a high pain tolerance is a strength, but it can quickly devolve into a situation where one almost becomes addicted to the mistreatment. What Natasha and Lorelle have been prescribing (self-love) is the only antidote, because that’s the only thing that prompts us to set boundaries when confronted with bad behavior.
If your sister-in-law is currently seeing a therapist, that also may increase the dissonance for your brother. My ex saw a therapist for about 2/3 of our 4 year relationship. So when she had a dysregulation episode, she’d promise to go “work on things” with her therapist, and things would be okay for awhile, and then the cycle would start again. My therapist thought my ex was bipolar, she seemed borderline-y to me…and her sister had some childhood sexual abuse as well that always made me wonder whether my ex had suffered similar abuse too. But the cause of her behavior was irrelevant – my mistake is that I too often felt responsible for her behavior, which was not the case as Lorelle points out. Feeling that way was my issue that I needed to fix, and it really wasn’t until I moved out of our house and started going to 12-step meetings for codependency that I began to understand how much I had enabled her abuse.
Thanks for the encouragement and sharing your story!
<3 I love seeing this kind of love and support! xo
I’m beyond happy you are out of that horrid situation! As sad as you are now, I KNOW you will be this much happier and blessed down the road. What awaits you will be amazing. I 100% know it. ?
Hi Brandon. I just wanted to say that I think it s very helpful to share your story. I’m so sorry you went through so much. I once had someone similar to your situation. Thankfully I got out. I appreciate your comments as it is helpful to hear some experiences from a male perspective. I’m sure it was difficult and scary but I comm nd you on the progress you have made.
Keep on your path and stay strong and do not settle for anyone who cannot appreciate your gifts.
Be well and I wish you much happiness.
Thanks Christine! Thanks Linda! I’m grateful for the support and happy to be part of this tribe.
I’ve re read your post a few times. I think it’s important for women to realise men suffer too – and it’s often the same stuff, but just wrapped up differently.
Firstly, the world needs good men like you. And I’m so pleased you didn’t fall for any of your exes tricks. I cannot imagine married life would have morphed into a happy ending. Just a bigger hell. You’re strong to have weathered that storm, and even more so for knowing you’re worth more.
It’s really so true that we aren’t responsible for others actions. But manipulators will weave a web of deception that tries to pull you into that thinking. Your story is inspiring – that’s a lot of toxic behaviour you have dealt with, and here you are – able to see it for what it was and walk away. Without bitterness.
It’s great you relate to this post and I love the connectedness we all have here. A male perspective provides balance and we need good men in our sphere. We need them as partners, husbands, fathers and brothers. Boys need good male role models and I learnt a long time ago, that a man with integrity is a man worth knowing. Not everyone has that quality.
Your words about walking on eggshells – it’s not living or loving when we have to do that. You’re perceptive and sensitive – and I love that you’re here with us, sharing too.
I don’t know what else to say, except I’m glad that trap you were in is now a closed chapter of your life. There’s so much more in store for you, and 100% – you deserve it! Never settle. You won’t now though – been there and done that. Thanks for commenting Brandon and sorry for the delay in replying but I’m in Australia and so sleep and work in a different time zone.
As I said, the world needs good men…? thank you for being one of them .
Thank you for the kind words Lorelle! And for sharing your wisdom in this post – so many powerful, reinforcing lessons here!
Thank you so much for sharing. This post really served me and I’m glad that it did the same for you. All my love to you always.
Thank you for being a part of this tribe. You give male readers the courage to share. Thank you endlessly.
Thanks Natasha! I feel the same way about reading PMS that I do about brushing my teeth – I do it daily and it makes my life better. Grateful for all that you do to help others.
I hope one day I can give you a big hug in person ? Thanks Brandon!
Hi Lorelle. This is a great post. I’m embarrassed to see that a all of this applies to me. Every relationship I have had has either a great deal of what you speak. In my last relationship there were flags, great big RED ones. The first one is when he said that “this will not have a fairy tale ending.” How stupid I was. However, he kept pursuing me. I know why and it was not because he was seeking “real love” that you described. He even said I was a “distraction” . Another red flag.
Love is blind and for me it was stupid. I did just want to see what was not there. I kind of still keep him up on a pedestal for some weird reason.
I agree with all that you said so thank you for your wisdom, I think it’s fantastic that you wrote this. Thank you for helping. It is painful but helpful and necessary to help us stay on our horses and also to heal. I am still healing. His birthday is in two days but he will not hear from me.
You are wise and amazing. Thank you again and I hope you are happy and healthy. ????
Damn right he won’t Linda! You’re too busy that day being your awesome self to even notice! ??
Wonderful post, Lorelle ?? So many words of wisdom, thank you for sharing yourself and your gift. xx
Thanks Amy ?. I appreciate that. I trying to be busy. That’s a job in of itself.
I hope you are well. ???
Hi Amy and thank you! It’s great to see you here, and I love your words of support to Linda. Tribal love – white horse warriors unite! ?. Hope you’re well – love to you xx ?
YA YA YAAA! <3
Hindsight is 20/20. Even when you see the red flags a flying it is still hard to walk away, because you so know it could be something amazing “ if only..”
Almost a year later I’ve sadly realized the only emotions were from me. Maybe, like me, you still have him propped up on a pedestal because you feel he took something from you. Trust, faith, not sure really. I’ve been used by guys before, but the fact I thought more of him and us is what makes it hard. The disappointment! The disbelief he saw nothing in me worth keeping.
I agree with Amy, you’ll be WAY too busy in 2 days to even bother wishing him any good wishes. Stay strong my friend ?
Christine, that’s so true about the ‘if only’…and it really is what a lot of us hang in for. The image of who we thought they were. That’s what hurts. The loss of that. The reality of who they actually are it what allows us to severe the tie. Still hurts when we move on though.
Love your words! X
Hello my friend Christine.
Yes hindsight is 20/20. I do feel like he took from me what I gave him. He knew deep down he would not be able to continue but kept going anyway.and that hurts. That is where he lacked authenticity. He just went about his life as if nothing happened. I am not one of those people who say “oh I hope he is happy” I do not believe that anyone should be happy due to the unhappiness of others. It will be a year for me too as we are both on the same path. I am still in shock as to who he turned out to be and not what he presented himself as. A very big lesson for me.
I want the life I dreamed of with him STILL after all this crap he put me through. I am trying to correct that. Taking him off the pedestal is hard. Not there yet. I am trying to stay strong. I hope you are too. Thanks Christine and be good to yourself. ????
Hi Linda, long time no see!
First, please don’t feel embarrassed about anything – I write about things that I’ve learnt from so we are the both same…I’ve stood under waving red flags and tried to say the breeze feels good. Lol justifying and minimising.
After awhile though, you start to really get over it. You wake up and realise the words aren’t matching what’s going on and things never change. Ever. It becomes predictably crappy and even the good times are no longer that rosy.
Feel proud of yourself for noticing the discrepancies, and soul searching enough to stop listening to the promises and paying attention to the unloving reality. That’s something to be proud of, Linda. He was right about one thing though – there will never be a fairy tale ending for him because he’s not a prince ?
There’s no integrity in his actions. He has nothing to offer you. And on his birthday, go and buy yourself flowers, a big colourful bunch, and either catch up with a good friend or take a long bubble bath and remind yourself of how lovable you are. Treat yourself. Please buy the flowers on that day. And smile when you arrange them in your house because you deserve happinesss and good things.
You are not some guys distraction. You’re worth being his priority. What kind of person even says that? I think he has a lot to learn, and he can learn it without you by his side.
Hehe I’m being cheeky now, but maybe it’s good he’s having a birthday, me thinks he needs to grow up ?
I’m so happy to see you here, Linda! Celebrate YOU on that day …flowers. ?
Yes I’m happy and healthy, and thanks for asking – that’s really sweet. It’s almost winter over here and I got up to walk at 5:30 am. Not sure if that’s insane or a sign of high motivation lol
Love to you Linda! Xx ??
Hello Lorelle ?
Than you s much. I’m half laughing and crying a little. You are good at making me see things in a different light.
He also said I was not on th same intellectual level as he was. I am educated so that was a hard thing to hear. You are correct in that a he will not have me around and I know I could have taught him a lot. Now I am my own teacher and just focusing on my life. It will be the first time in 30 years I have not said happy birthday to him. I will buy those flowers ?
Thank you for helping to lift my spirits and to change my thought pattern. You are a great writer and very insightful.
It’s almost summer here so I am happy about that. ?? Stay warm and thanks again. Talk soon.
Hi Linda, just dropping in to say hellooooo ! I am hoping you bought those flowers! ?
This weekend belongs to you. ??
I love you Linda. Don’t ever be embarrassed – we have all been there and are HERE for you and each other. Miss you xoxo
Hello Natasha! I’m so happy to read your comment. I appreciate your support. I know I am not alone. I am awoke in progress. I am learning all the time and especially here in this space thanks to you??. I miss you lots! Love you?
This made me cry a little! And smile a lot. 🙂 Thank you for writing this. You have no idea how hard this hits home xo
Thanks for your comment and you have no idea of how happy reading these words make me feel. I’m just like everyone else here, I’ve made misjudgements and tried hard to believe in things that didn’t exist. When I write about things I have learned, and it connects with others, I really hope it helps heal a broken heart or two and provides some comfort. Perspective can be hard to find when we are hurting, and I think the world needs all the love it can get. PMS is full of it. Hope to see you again…
I’m smiling too. Thank you! Xx ???
Ditto! 🙂 xo
Good Morning All!
I do love these “AH-HA” moments after I’ve read a post! Floods my face with a big smile and my soul with a warm rush of clarity. Hell, I had been trying so hard to keep myself in physical shape (damn you Instagram models for screwing with my brain) that I forgot how much more empowering and strong it can feel to do the emotional heavy lifting. That’s a strength that makes me feel I can actually move mountains.
I think at the root of a lot of these issues (for me anyways) is simply a lack of self-love and confidence. I’ve found myself chasing after men in an attempt for them to validate my own worth. I got HOOKED on people/guys based on the “potential resume” rather than their character and ended up in the most inauthentic and disheartening SITUATIONSH*TS. Seriously, every time you talk about RED FLAGS I just think of all the ones I’ve seen and run past… Anyone remember the old school computer game called Minesweeper?? If you clicked on the square and found red flags all around it meant you were likely super close to a BOMB! You were supposed to check off the box where there was a potential mine and NOT CLICK ON IT TO BLOW UP. Now I just keep my eyes peeled for all these flags, and throw down a white one when I see too many fluttering around me. Not gonna lie though, I still put on blinders sometimes and try to ignore them in the hopes that they aren’t real..
For example – ‘He’s so badass and cool because he rides a motorcyle/does his own house renos/volunteers with dogs/goes on all these cool vacations and takes awesome photos/has really interesting hobbies/important sounding career or job title… NAME IT’. I started to pedestal them almost immediately (even if our first date or two wasn’t leaving me feeling like I could really, authentically connect with this person. I finally realized it was all because I didn’t think ENOUGH of myself. I started to want to take on their hobbies, their interests, and suddenly my awesome accomplishments paled in comparison and I needed them to want to WANT me. I lily-padded my way through this for months and months until that hollow as f*ck feeling crept in and really hit me in the face like a sledgehammer. I wasn’t being authentically cared about, and that triangle you talked about.. well.. it was just a series of dots on a board like some sort of sh*tty graph and here I was trying to frantically connect dots that actually would never EVER resemble a triangle.
I forced myself to take a step back (or 20) and sat down one night to write out a list of things I loved about myself and what I was proud of. It started with the basics – my finances, my “good hair” and my “body and looks”.. and then I realized those were not my essence, like you speak of. Instead, I scratched it out and started over. I was proud of my degrees hanging on my wall, proud of the intellect and wit I possess, proud of my unwavering love and support for my friends and family, proud of my kindness to animals and strangers, proud of the skills I honed.. I am a multi-faceted, intelligent, strong-willed woman and I can damn well do anything I put my mind to. I’ve learned to do science research, reno a bathroom, build furniture from scratch, cook delicious meals and operate heavy machinery … If I could do these things, then certainly I could turn that inwards and start to learn to love myself and build a shelf for that standards bar WAY UP HIGH and give my shins a damn break. Instead of thinking these “awesome” men were better than me, I needed to let it be and wait to find someone who seamlessly, authentically, and whole-heartedly matched up with me and appreciated these things I like about myself. We would be EQUALS, and work to build each other up and support each other, rather than me pedestalling them and HOPING, PRAYING AND WISHING they would FINALLY see how awesome I was and CHOOSE me. UGH-vomit!
I turn 31 in a couple weeks and if I had to openly acknowledge it, I think my fear of growing older and being single again (again, damn you social media for making me feel like I NEED to be married with 2 kids and a picket fence or else I’ll never be enough or have that) overpowered my emotional GPS. Hell, I set the standards bar so low it was hitting me in the shins.
Side note: Natasha (and Lorelle) – maybe a next post could be something along the lines of online dating and how it is likely NOT the place to find authentic love? I went down that rabbit hole and aside from a few funny stories, it left me feeling SO.MUCH.WORSE off. It was a whole new low of validation-seeking.
Anyways, just know that PMS is a big part of my journey. Like a great friend, I reach out to it when I’m feeling like I’ve wandered off track or when those thoughts of “not enough” come creeping in. With all your help, I’ll keep working to beat away those negative thoughts and remind myself that it’s all a journey, and that those nagging thoughts of knowing there’s a real happiness to be embraced along the way is fuel to my fire. This little engine that could is going all the way…
Nicole! Can we please go to lunch? This was/YOU ARE incredible.
And omg YES I remember Minesweeper lol. Thank you for sharing, for shining that beautiful light of yours here and for being a part of this tribe. I’m happy that you love this post as much as I do. You go girl. 🙂 xoxo
Anytime lady, I think there might be a few drinks on a sunny patio somewhere with our names on them! Should you find yourself in Toronto, or when I visit my family in LA, I’d say a few great stories could be exchanged :).
The BEST part of this community is the ability to un-apologetically , unabashedly, and wholeheartedly opening up our hearts to help each other find the way. No room for shame in this world of mine! I try to live life with my eyes focused in my own lane (i.e. try not to get sidetracked on social media to fall off the cliff), and while my petite shoulders don’t have much room, they are always open for anyone to lean on should they need it.
lots of love from Canada xo
AHHH I can’t wait for that day 🙂
Thanks sister <3 I can't tell you just how much you and your love mean to me. xx
OMG I LOVED this! Resonates on SO many levels with me. Thanks for sharing Nicole! ????
You sound very evolved in this- truly! So never doubt yourself and who you are. Your essence is awesome!
There’s a real sense of gratitude in what you write. For the lessons you’ve learned and the wonderful qualities you have, the loved ones in your life. You’re surrounded by self awareness and that is a very powerful place to be. I loved, loved reading this – made me smile. Your little fire is fueled up for sure. Watch out world – Nicole is a meteor! ???
THIS is/YOU are incredible. Thank you so much for another thought-provoking, healing, and amazing post. Your writing is an emotional hug, a shoulder that welcomes leaning on, and the friend I never thought existed.
Thank you for finding me, for shining your light here, and for being such an incredible girlfriend and soul sister to me.
We all can’t wait for your next post 🙂 Love you. x
Good morning lovely,
I love you too, Natasha. Big hugs. Xx. Thank you for you words of love and encouragement. I see those things in you too. I always think of how the PMS tribe continues to thrive and grow. Family is important, but in our modern world, not all are full of love and support.
You have given those things to the tribe though. A safe place to be vulnerable and heal. I have written a mere two posts, you have written hundreds. People trust you, and come here because they are accepted and treated with respect I know that because that’s what I felt when I started reading here.
In my life, I have had my heart broken and been rejected just like everyone here. In real, I don’t talk openly about any of this. I’m a very private person. I’m one of those people who can be dying inside, but will go to work and no one would guess. I used to think this was my super power lol. Until one day, I got home and realised that it was the biggest relief to close that door behind me. Kind of like wearing a mask. And I realised I didn’t confide in people because I didn’t trust easily. I found solace in solitude. Just me and me thoughts. Long walks and time alone. I was a very closed book.
Sometime later, when I found PMS I read what people wrote here, and I would feel their pain. That’s why I began to comment on not just what you, but readers wrote. I realised that when we heal, we become stronger and wiser. And I learnt my views were changed from past experiences, and that in a way, the answers are always residing in us. We just need to find them. Sometimes that happens through pain.
So, writing here is an honour for me. It’s like there was some real purpose in my heartbreak, because of the lessons I learned, I can now share that with others. That’s a really beautiful thing to have the opportunity to do. Everyone here is full of gratitude and kindness. I find that simply amazing in our modern world where people have often forgotten how to show love to others. PMS readers are brave, trusting and emotionally connected. It doesn’t get better than that.
Xx Lorelle ??
Beautifully said . It is amazing what we learn when the scales are removed from our eyes.
Thank u for this enlightening post. It makes so much sense what u said about giving us intense highs after intense blows and lows…crumbs throwing and we just forget everything and as Natasha says all the time “we start ovulating”.
I am presently in a situation where my gut instinct keeps kicking n telling me it’s not good…but I just keeps giving excuses for all his mixed feelings, his cowardice, his disappearance when I am upset and coming back later as if nothing happened and expecting me to do the same.
Sometimes he would go quiet and distant for days and when I turned cold and distant in return he would just come back saying – I love you, do you still love me?
And everything would be forgotten and forgiven…
But yesterday he just broke my heart again…busy partying while I am in bed sick…and called on the next day as if nothing happened…i wanted to blow a fuse and tell him how selfish n self centered he was but then would it b worth it? Why get upset and show him my feelings when obviously they didn’t matter. And sitting alone and reading this post…i realize he had never been there for me…missed by best and happy moments…would excuse himself later and I would let go again and again…I would readily forget that he would not even celebrate my birthday or buy me anything and special occasions were just for him where I would pamper him and make him feel so special because I took it on me to give him what he never got in his childhood. Like Natasha aptly says – I decided to become his momma and change his emotional diaper!
I am lucid right now. I can see it’s the wrong ship. I know this is not a good relationship for me. I want to let go. But I also know I turn weak every time.
I hope that I can stay strong. I would read this post again and again till it seaps in.
Good evening all.. Lots of love ?.
I btoke up with my boyfriend exactly one week ago. We stayed together for four months. During that period, he showed all signs of emotional unavailability.. i was aware of it and wanted to help him change. But nothing seem to work. He is so self absorbed and selfish it hurts !
I love him truly but I had to walk away because I was so unhappy .
I started feeling better until I saw him today . Im feeling very low right now ..
Please don’t feel low. It’s hard not to, but you don’t need someone in your life’s who treats you like that. Being mistreated makes us feel low. Remove those people from your life, and things do get better.
Healing takes time, but we gain wisdom, strength and self love from it.
We grow boundaries when we recognise someone has trampled on us and we decide we will no longer allow that.
Good on you for walking away. You know your worth.
Love to you. Xx ?
Very informative article. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for taking the time to comment Abigail ??