The MAJOR mistake most people make when dating

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Dear Megan,

(Like the previous girl who wrote in), I too, was cheated on with escorts. I didn’t talk to him for a couple of months, but he never stopped texting, emailing, sending flowers, etc… When I saw him again he had lost, like, 30 pounds, and looked completely devastated.

In an effort to regain my trust, he gave me a clone phone, put cameras in his house, started going to meetings, therapists, church, he now wants to convert to my religious beliefs, (even though I never asked him to), and he even proposed.

I do believe he is truly remorseful for all the pain he caused, and I even started trusting him a little. Then I caught him LYING about porn and it all went down the toilet.

Am I just wasting my time here? Can people REALLY change that much?

Sincerely,

-Fool Me Once…

 


Dear “Fool Me Once…”

Goodness, me! What the heck are you doing over there to turn “sinners” into “saints” like THAT?! Lol… (Inquiring priests wanna know, haha…)

But in all seriousness, I love this question. It not only allows me to expound upon my last answer, but it gives me a chance to address the MAJOR mistake I see most people make when dating. So, let’s get to it.

Picking up where I left off last time, let’s say you’ve done the work. You got clear on how you want to feel in a relationship, stayed focused on your vision, and, as a result, you attracted a man who was compatible with that vision.

Now, the guy who seemingly was a match is “cutting up,” and instead of getting the man of your dreams you feel like all you’re getting are trust issues.

However! [*Index finger raised*] You remember that no one is perfect, and reflect back on what I shared with you in “The Secret to a Wonderful Relationship.

You also remember Harville Hendrix’ assertion within that article that “the best one can hope for, (in someone they have chemistry with), is to find someone who is aware of his or her problems and willing to do, with you, the hard work necessary to heal.” (Keeping the Love You Find, pg. 131)

BUT! [*You argue again*] there’s a BIG difference between someone’s willingness and desire to change, and their capacity to change… And now that’s got you wondering if all of your boyfriend’s/fiancé’s efforts to show you that he truly is “your guy” are Real Deal Holyfield changes, of if you’re just wasting your time.

Well, I’ve got good news and bad news.

The “bad news” is that an individual’s capacity to change can only be revealed in time. The “good news” is that – (God-willing) – you’ve got time! (Knock on wood).

And this brings me to the MAJOR mistake I see most people make when dating: They make a commitment BEFORE they have a great relationship.

Happy and healthy relationships require time to (1) allow you to see what you’re consistently getting, (2) grow in trust, and (3) get to a place where you both feel completely safe and secure enough to go “all in.”

And outside of marriage, there’s absolutely NO obligation to enter, or stay, in a relationship you’re not pleased with.

So, feel free to take a step back from committing, (or recommitting), to a relationship you’re unsure of, regain your focus on your vision for the relationship that you desire, (as described in my last answer), and allow time to tell you if a person is someone you truly should commit, (or recommit), to.

When you approach a relationship in this low-pressure, let’s-see-if-we’re-truly-compatible-first way, you not only create the opportunity to lay the strong, friendship-first foundation necessary for a great relationship; but you don’t have to worry about wasting your time because you’re still free to live your best life while discovering if the other person is a match to your deepest desires, (opposed to someone you just want to be).

So, “Fool Me Once,” if this relationship has any long-term romantic potential return to the basics. Focus on creating a great (friendship-based) relationship FIRST, while you let your other friend, Father Time, show you if this guy really can be the consistent and trustworthy man of your dreams. It will go a long way in letting you know if you should, in fact, eventually “say yes to the dress.” Best of luck.

-Megan 🙂

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

“Dear Megan” Home Page

Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.

 

 

My boyfriend keeps texting escort agencies ‘for his colleagues…’ Help!

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Dear Megan,

I have been with my boyfriend for over 2 years, and we’re planning to get married in a year.

Throughout this relationship, things have been great. He has been really nice, caring and accommodating towards me. He doesn’t look at other women in front of me, we have a great sex life, and he always lets me know his whereabouts.

Things turned downhill, however, when I checked his messages on our 2-year anniversary trip. In them I found a message inquiring about services with an escort. I confronted him immediately and he told me he was not aware of that message, and that his friend had sent it using his phone.

I couldn’t find any reason for him to look for a prostitute, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt, and I let it slide.

A month later I used another number and pretended to be from an escort agency to test him, and he actually replied asking for more details. Then he quit replying.

I eventually confronted him about his replies, and he got mad at me for using such ways to test him. Yes, I do agree that it was unethical to test him in that way, but I just wanted to know the truth.

He then admitted that those messages were sent by him, but he said that he has never cheated on me. He even asked me to call those numbers to see if he engaged any of the girls. He told me it’s to show his colleagues – (his colleagues do visit prostitutes) – about the girls and services. He explained that he lied to me because I wouldn’t have believed him if he told me the truth.

Just yesterday I looked through his messages, and there was a message from an unknown number replying “Ok :)” in the middle of the night. I looked the number up online only to find out that it’s from a prostitute. The next day when I looked through the messages after he was awake it was deleted.

I really want to know what’s that “Ok :)” was supposed to mean. I really need some help. On one hand, he acted so normal, planning for our future, yet messages like these keep appearing. What should I do?

Sincerely,

Confused AF

 


Dear “Confused AF,”

Remember that sitcom episode where the parents find drugs in their son’s backpack and he says that they’re not his, they’re his friend’s?… Well… #Same. Lol…

Girl. What a sucky situation… Your boyfriend has literally dragged you into an unfun version of the game “two truths and a lie.”  Here, he tells you some things that are true, some things that are false, and leaves it up to you to decipher what’s bullshit and what isn’t. Oy-the f*ckin-vey. Lol.

There’s good news, however. And that’s that YOU DON’T HAVE TO PLAY HIS SILLY GAME AT ALL.

I can get bogged down in the not-as-important-as-they-seem details with you, but the truth of the matter is that, when it comes to your situation, all you have to do is decide what type of relationship you want, and whether or not you believe that this relationship can satisfy those desires.

Since you say you desire the truth, (hence your Catfish-like tactics and snooping, haha), and your boyfriend admittedly lies to you, (causing you much distress), you’ve obviously lost faith in your ability to have the relationship of your dreams.

But remember, just as you once wanted someone who had a lot of the traits you admire in your current boyfriend, and allowed that person to manifest in your life, you can reclaim your creative power and manifest a relationship – with, or without him – that incorporates your new desires based on your new life experiences.

To do that you need to focus solely on what you now want, not on what you’re getting, because focusing on what you’re getting will only get you more of the same.

Energy flows where your attention goes.

So, shut out all outside noise. Get still and listen to your inner voice. Journal. And reconnect with how you want your relationship to feel, not what you want your boyfriend to do, because once you reconnect emotionally to the vision of your dream relationship your instructions action-wise will flow from there.

(Insert after-school special speech here: And if you continue to stay in a potentially non-monogamous relationship while you sort things out, I recommend that you “wrap it up.” Non-self-protection in such cases is akin to self-mutilation. So, continue to take care of yourself, which includes not letting a temporary problem become a permanent one.)

And finally, near to the end of your question you say that on your way to the alter “messages like these keep appearing.” So please do stop and listen to those “messages.” They only keep reappearing because you are loved, and “Life” has something to tell you.

Best of luck.

-Megan 🙂

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

“Dear Megan” Home Page

Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.

What if there’s nothing wrong with you?

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What’s up, you sexy guys and dolls!

Ya’ll know I’m busy enjoying my #HotGirlSummer, but the rebel in “muah” has inspired “muah” to give you guys some anti-advice this week, so I’m just gonna leave this right here:

 

 

If the link ends up broken before I can update it, just type “What if there’s nothing wrong with you by Susan Henkels TEDx Talk” into YouTube.

And if you’re curious to learn more about rethinking “what’s wrong with you,” I recommend “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance, and Dreams” by Debbie Ford.

Twerk on!

-Megan 🙂

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

“Dear Megan” Home Page

Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.

To chase or not to chase, that is the question.

 

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If it wasn’t a good look for Jim Carrey, it’s probably not a good look for you, lol.

Hi, Megan!

I was just wondering if you could pass along some advice to me.

Me and this guy I’ve talked to for six months finally met for the first time last month, (I bought us dinner). We met again last week for dinner and then went to a show.

On the way to the show he asked what I was looking for, (we both had a mutual understanding that I wanted something long-term, beforehand), and I said a boyfriend.

He stated that he was into this guy that lives 3 1/2 hours away, it hasn’t gone anywhere, and he is frustrated because he wants it to go somewhere but it hasn’t. He said he just needs to get over his feelings for that guy, and I understand that, but that can take time.

I am just very disappointed. He had also said that we could still hangout, (he said that these weren’t even dates, just hanging out); but I told him that I want to know what to expect though.  I told him at the end of the “hangout” that I thought we’d make a cute couple. He said, “I think we would too, and I didn’t realize that until tonight.”

Overall, I just want your thoughts, please. I want to be with him, but I know that I cannot control another’s emotions/nor chase someone. I think I’m just going to let him be and have him get a hold of me. I just hope that he does because I really, really, really like him!

Thank you!

-Not Straight, and *Definitely* No Chaser

 


Dear “Not Straight, and Definitely No Chaser,”

And an enthusiastic “Hi!” back to you! Lol…  It’s not everyday I come across someone as put together as you, (whispers in ear: between you and me, everyone else who comes here is pretty much cRaZy…)  Lol. Just kidding, you guys.  You know I love ya’ll…

Anyway, on to your “situationship” and my two cents… What I see here is a good ‘ol classic, “I really (really, really) like him BUT,” scenario that will feel a whole lot better when you turn it into an “I really (really, really) like him AND” one.  And by that I mean it’s about high time you shifted your focus from the (perceived) downsides of this encounter to its upsides.

You see, when you’ve come across someone who’s got a lot of the qualities that you want in a mate, but not all of them, resist the urge to get butt hurt thinking about all the things that aren’t harmonious with your desires – (e.g. “I really, really, really, like him BUT he’s trying to put me in the friendzone and keep me as a back-up option”) – and instead focus on all the things you’ve gained from the situation – (like confirmation that someone with qualities that you do want in a mate is out there AND that they’re drawn to you…  Score!)

From that newfound perspective you can simply add the things that this guy lacks – (things like a desire to be with you that’s so strong that wild horses couldn’t keep you two apart) – to the clearer and ever more vivid vision of your ideal mate that’s steadily emerging from crush to crush. (e.g. “I really, really, really like him AND I like it when I’m a ‘must-have’ for another and not just an option.”)

Focusing on your vision, and not every close-but-no-cigar Tom, Dick, and Harry that shows up in front of you, (no matter how yummy), will not only give you the energy you need to stay positive in the face of disappointment, but it’s a necessary step in getting on the same wavelength/becoming compatible with the things that you want in life. 

And note that while this guy may still end up becoming the perfect match you’re waiting for, you’re right to not try to control another’s feelings or chase after him.  After all, that will just keep you focused on what you don’t want – (someone you have to work to get to love you) – in the process, which is what keeps things you don’t want present in your life.

Chillin’…  Daydreaming…  Noticing and appreciating where the qualities that you desire in a mate show up in some of your other relationships, (including the one you have with yourself), and becoming all that you desire in another is what will allow that like-minded, dream-boat you’re fantasizing about to show up in your life.

So stay open.  Celebrate your newfound hope and clarity.  And, as you said, allow him, or someone else who’s just as or more delicious than him, to get ahold of you when ready, (and not one second sooner ;)).  Best of luck!

-Megan 🙂

 

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

“Dear Megan” Home Page

Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.

How do you deal with a flaky friend?

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Fluffing pillows with your head is but one way to keep busy while waiting on a flaky friend

Dear Megan,

So, I have a flaky friend.  It makes me feel insignificant and unimportant that she asks me to do stuff, or we arrange things, then she either shows up super late or doesn’t show up at all.

I know it’s not a reflection on me but of her, but it still really hurts.  And I know I need to cut her out, but I like her and we have a lot in common. I just can’t go around feeling like rubbish anymore.

Please help!

-With Friends Like These…

 


 

Dear “With Friends Like These…,”

Amen, sister… In a world full of ghosters, headache-inducing family members, and plain ‘ol annoying associates, you would think that the one safe place to find respect and upliftment among others would be the “friend-zone,” right?  Well, wrong…  Or as the French would say, “au contraire, mon frère.”

When it comes to any type of quality relationship, you can only extract from it what you bring to it. So, I hate to say it, mi amiga, but if you don’t like how the soup tastes, we gotta look at what you’re putting into the pot. (Some of ya’ll already knew I would get right into it, huh, lol.)

When it comes to your situation, “With Friends Like These…,” if you want to get treated in a manner that shows respect for you and your time, you yourself have to bring to the relationship a sense of respect for you and your time.

You teach people how to treat you. 

And while you’re right that how she behaves is a reflection of her not you, how you allow her to behave in YOUR life, on the other hand, is a reflection of you and how you feel about yourself, not her.   

Alright, breathe

Okay, ready to do the work?  Here we go…

In order to get the treatment you want from your relationships, you have to: (a) first know what you value, (b) know that you’re worthy of receiving what you value, and (c) create boundaries that support your values and sense of worthiness.

The good news is that Step A – knowing what you value – is super easy as it’s achieved through pure ‘ol life experience.  Observing what feels good vs. what feels shitty is the crux here, so all you have to do is note what feels good and store it under the “values” column.  (In this case, her late or no-show behavior has either taught you, or reinforced, that you value punctuality and behavior that shows consideration for another’s time.)

When it comes to Step B, on the other hand – knowing that you’re worthy of receiving what makes you feel good – things can get a bit trickier as it requires a nurtured self-esteem; which, if not there, involves a great deal of conscious effort…  Argh.

Fortunately, I’ve discussed nurturing your self-esteem in this article, as well as this one, where I even bring in the “big guns” via this Marissa Peer video. So with those resources, you’ll be well on the path to a healthy self-esteem in no time :).

Finally, once you know your values and have embraced the fact that you deserve good treatment, you’ll be able to perform Step C.  In this step you’ll create boundaries that will not only repel those who don’t respect you and your values/time, but you’ll attract those who do, (you’re welcome ;)).

Now, if it’s a new relationship where you’re still in the courting stage, (yes, this stage even exists in platonic friendships), all you have to do boundary-wise is observe the other’s behavior and see if it’s compatible with your values.

Remember Maya Angelou’s words, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time,” and if who they are is a match to what you value, congrats!  You just found yourself a new friend!…  If not…  Well, it’s time to have a quick “it’s not you, it’s me, girlfriend” talk.

If, however, this is a long-term, established friendship, where you both are already emotionally invested in each other, (like the one you’re talking about), you may be able to save the friendship by establishing new boundaries.  After all, you’re now bringing a new-found sense of self, (thanks to your higher self-esteem), to the relationship, so you’ll have to redefine how you both operate within the friendship. 

Let your friend know that when she does “x” it makes you feel “y,” and for the relationship to work you’re going to need her to start doing “z.” And mean it.

E.g. If you need her to show up when she says she’s going to show up, or call/text ahead of time when she’s running late or needs to cancel, tell her.  You can give her a warning for one goof-up if you like, but let her know that you’ll have to let her go if she does it again.

When talking, make sure to focus on the request you’re making, and not your criticism of her behavior.  That way you’ll keep the conversation focused on what you hope to get out it – which is a different behavior – opposed to a conversation full of blame on your part, and defensiveness and excuses on hers.  (And for more advice on having hard conversations, I highly recommend this article by Iyanla Vanzant.)

If she decides to stay and respect your new boundaries, (and therefore the healthier you), great! She may be a good friendship fit for you after all. If not, she may either disappear and come back later when she’s changed, or she may never come back at all.  But, rest assured, that in the space that she leaves in your life, someone who’s a better fit for the new and improved you will come in and fill that space perfectly.  Works every time.

Best of luck!

Megan 🙂

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

“Dear Megan” Home Page

Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.

 

Argh! My boyfriend got black-out drunk and ‘may’ have cheated… Help!

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Because sometimes only YOU can help you.

Dear Megan,

This morning my boyfriend of a little bit over a year confessed that he believes he had sex with a stripper in a foreign country. He is in the military and is currently deployed.

He said he went out drinking with some friends and that they went to a strip club. He said he was drinking so much that he blacked out and thinks that he might have cheated.

He keeps saying how incredibly sorry he is, how much he loves me, and that he will do anything to make this right. He is supposed to come home soon, leave the military, and move to where I am.

We have talked about getting married. He even popped the question on more than one occasion. I was fully convinced that he is the one. I planned our life together.

I feel so dead inside, and I have no idea what to do. Please help.

Sincerely,

-Hopeless

 


Dear “Hopeless,”

Oy, if your boyfriend is telling you he might’ve cheated on you, he’s probably got some receipts – whether they’re sore genitals, Vietnam war-esc flashbacks, or friends high-fiving him and saying, “I can’t believe you hooked up with that stripper!” – that he did, in fact, go all the way.

But enough about him, let’s talk about you, and this “Hopeless” alias you gave yourself.

To begin with, you’re the first person to give themselves an alias, (thanks for saving me the trouble of having to think of one, btw), and interestingly enough the first part of the solution to your problem can be found in your self-description: Hopeless.

Although his “potential” act of cheating may have triggered some pain in you, (pain caused by you experiencing the exact opposite of what you want), the prolonged suffering you now feel is a result of you thinking that when it comes to love and relationships you are hopeless and helpless in the creation of what you want.

But just as you dreamt up a beautiful man that would be honest with you, even when he didn’t have to, the creation of the loving relationship you want doesn’t have to stop there.

In the game of love and life, don’t take score too soon.

Instead of using his “potential” act of infidelity to mean that you’re hopeless and helpless when it comes to matters of the heart, remember that relationships are vehicles for growth, and reclaim your creative power in manifesting the lover of your dreams.

Disappointments happen.  Especially when you ask people to do something they’re incapable of doing, which is to consistently put your wants and needs ahead of their own.  But once you allow yourself to feel the pain of that disappointment, (as you are growing and being stretched beyond your comfort zone during it), it’s time to ask the question, “What am I to get out of this experience,” and re-embrace your creative power.

To do so, first realize that you don’t have to make a decision right this second, or anytime soon for that matter, no matter what plans you two have made.  If this guy is serious about doing whatever it takes to make things work with you, he’ll wait for you to take however much time you need to make the decision that’s best for you.

Then you’ll want to do, well, everything I told this girl to do in this article on cheating.  (Hey, I’m not lazy, I’m just on energy saving mode.  Anybody with me! High five! Lol…)

Once you’re fully tuned into the updated, new relationship this incident has caused you to dream up, (which could take days, weeks, or months, depending on how open you are to receiving it), you’ll find that your current boyfriend is either a match to it, or a mismatch. 

When you see or talk to him, you’ll either want to welcome him with open arms, believing that you can still have your new dream with him; or you’ll want to say, “Thanks for the lessons, but I’ve decided to move on and wish you nothing but the best.”

Any indecisiveness means that you still haven’t embraced the new dream and vision of what you want, which is fine as it takes time to catch up to who you’ve evolved into.  However, if you want to navigate this time in your life with as little drama as possible I suggest you don’t take any action before you’re clear, open, and available to receive the new relationship that this incident has put in your heart.

So best of luck, and keep on dreamin’ on.

-Megan 🙂

For my story check out “The Care and Feeding of Sex Symbols” here

To submit your question to “Dear Megan” click here!

“Dear Megan” Home Page

Note: As this column is designed to be a judgement-free zone, only those who have been, (or know someone who has been), in a similar situation are invited to comment; especially if the question is unorthodox or hard for one to relate to.  And for even more relevant insight, those seeking answers are always encouraged to go within.