Skillfully navigate the clusterf*ck of dating & relationships.
AS LONG AS WE’RE GETTING PERSONAL…
The last time I got my heart stomped on, I decided it was going to be just that: the last time.
See, I’d fallen head over heels for a woman I was dating. She was a drop-dead gorgeous, divorced mother of two. She was smart and funny and charming and successful. She owned her own business and volunteered in the community. She liked music and comedy and trying new restaurants. She was everything I ever wanted in a partner. Except that she was a little unstable and treated me like a second-class citizen.
But I didn’t care. I was in love.
I ignored every yellow and red flag, overlooked the lies and broken promises, and tolerated all kinds of disrespectful behavior. I allowed her to unilaterally change the terms of our relationship on what seemed like a weekly basis. I did her favors and bought her things and told her how much she meant to me. In response, she tossed me out of her life like a bag full of dog turds, without a moment’s hesitation or a hint of remorse. And she did it by way of a text message.
I was gutted. Devastated. Completely and utterly heartbroken.
In the past, I’d have worked through my heartbreak by simply telling myself that this woman is a narcissist or a psycho or just a raging bitch. Quite frankly, she might be all three. Or she might not be. Who the hell knows? It doesn’t really matter. Because the fact is: I played a role in it, too. I let her into my life. So, this time, I decided to closely examine my own behavior.
Heartbreak can be a powerful catalyst for change, if you choose to see it that way. I began to look deep within, and asked myself a bunch of questions: Why does this keep happening? Why do I consistently fall for the same type of person? Why did I try so pathetically hard to win this person’s approval? Why did I love someone who couldn’t love me back? Why did I tolerate so much disrespect? Why didn’t I walk away when I knew I should have? Why am I so damn needy? And why am I so heartbroken over someone who wasn’t even nice to me?
I began to find the answers to some of these questions when I immersed myself in books liked Attached, Codependent No More, and The Human Magnet Syndrome. But my mind was truly blown when I read No More Mr. Nice Guy by Dr. Robert Glover. Within the first few pages, I had a number of Holy Shit moments, and realized that I had a pretty bad case of Nice Guy Syndrome, an anxiety and shame-based disorder that affects both men and women all over the world.
Of course, there is nothing inherently wrong with being nice to others. But this isn’t about being nice to others. This is about being nice to yourself. When you fail to stand up for your values, make your own needs a priority, and walk away from bad situations, you’re denying yourself the life you deserve. And you’re not really being nice at all. You’re also venturing down a path towards frustration and heartbreak. More often than not, Nice Guys (and Girls):
- Desperately seek the approval of others
- Try to hide their perceived flaws and mistakes
- Constantly put other people’s needs and wants before their own
- Sacrifice their personal power
- Co-create relationships that are far from satisfying
- Fail to live up to their potential
Admittedly, I was so affected by Dr. Glover’s book and the concept of the Nice Guy Syndrome, that I did the necessary work to become a relationship coach as well as one of Dr. Glover’s certified No More Mr. Nice Guy (NMMNG) coaches.
On my journey to becoming a coach, I discovered a passion for helping men and women overcome their difficulties in relationships. I became an expert in relationship patterns and began to understand why so many of us consistently fall for the wrong people. And now, I’ve made it part of my mission to help others overcome heartbreak, date more mindfully, and find fulfillment in life and in love.
I take pride in creating a safe space for everyone who chooses to work with me. You’ll get ongoing support as you become the best version of yourself. More specifically, I’ll help you:
Relationship coaching has helped me though a great deal of heartbreak. It has helped me understand my own anxiety-driven relationship patterns. It has helped me overcome my toxic shame, my fear of vulnerability, and many of my self-limiting beliefs. It has helped me date more consciously, enjoy better sex, and cultivate more fulfilling relationships.
I believe relationship coaching can do the same for you. If you’d like to learn more, don’t hesitate to schedule a free introductory conversation with me.
Here’s a truth bomb about humans and relationships: We suck at them.
Romantic, monogamous love that lasts a lifetime isn’t exactly in our human DNA. We evolved in tribes, and that’s how we lived for a million and a half years. There’s a reason most relationships don’t work. The whole settle-down-with-one-person-forever thing just isn’t natural.
That said, you can have a loving, fulfilling, long-lasting relationship. You can have a relationship that lightens your load and doesn’t add to your burden. You can find a healthy, supportive partner who positively blesses your life.
By the way, you can also remain single. You can have an endless series of casual flings. Or have friends with benefits. Or be polyamorous. You can have whatever kind of romantic life you desire. After all, you’re an adult. Despite what you may have learned during childhood – from your parents, from society, or from religion – there’s no rulebook for this shit. There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to do relationships.
As long as you act with integrity, you do you.
All that said, here are a few other truth bombs: The way that most of us date provides the worst possible foundation for a healthy, long-term relationship. If approached consciously, however, our most intimate relationships can be powerful personal growth machines. The thing is, though, if you want an incredible relationship with another, you must first have an incredible relationship with yourself.
Ready to dive in? Schedule an introductory call with me.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I have a broken heart. What should I do?
Sit with your feelings. Don’t fight them. Time is perhaps the only tried-and-true remedy. Otherwise, take this opportunity to examine the relationship and your role in it. Be brutally honest with yourself. What kind of relationship was it? Was it healthy and mature, or was it a toxic emotional rollercoaster? How long were you together? How well did you actually know this person? Did you ignore a bunch of red flags? Do you have a pattern? Do you keep attracting the same type of person? What’s your attachment style?
I think my partner (or ex partner) is narcissistic/sociopathic/psychopathic/borderline/crazy. How do I know which one? And how do I know for sure?
These are terms that we tend to hurl around, especially in the throes of heartbreak. And these conditions aren’t easily diagnosed, even with a full psychological workup. You’ll probably never know for sure. And it doesn’t really matter. Don’t go down a rabbit hole trying to figure it out. All you need to ask yourself is: Does/Did this person treat me badly? If the answer is Yes, that’s all you need to know.
Why do you say it’s important to make your own needs a priority? Isn’t a relationship about giving?
Have you ever heard the old saying: I’ll take care of me for you, and you take care of you for me?
The only people put on this earth to meet your needs were you and your parents. And your parents job is done. Another person can’t meet all of your needs. And expecting them to meet all of your needs places a great burden on them. Yes, a relationship is about giving. But fill your own bucket first so you can give to others from the overflow (without expecting anything in return). When you get on an airplane, there’s a reason they tell you to put your own oxygen mask on first.
Are you married?
No. I’m all for loving, committed partnerships, but I think getting married is kind of insane. (No offense if you’re married). Personally, I don’t understand why humans keep getting married. The statistics speak for themselves. And I know far too many people whose lives are in shambles because they married the wrong person. Never say never, I suppose. But as it stands, I find marriage very unappealing.
I have a lot of issues when it comes to sex. Can you help?
Definitely. I’ve had to overcome a lot of my own sexual shame and insecurities. I’ve also been trained to help others do the same. Unfortunately, most of us received conflicting messages about sex during childhood. But sex is a wonderful, healthy, normal part of being human. And I believe the first step to overcoming your issues around sex is to talk about them.
What do you think of dating apps?
I think that dating apps are terrible for the human psyche. And they’ve paved the way for new forms of seriously appalling behavior. We’ve actually had to invent terms to describe these behaviors like: ghosting, catfishing, kittenfishing, cloaking, and roaching. How f*cked up is that? Dating apps can also be a good way to meet people you wouldn’t otherwise meet. So, if you’re going to use dating apps, I recommend you use them sparingly. Accept that you will encounter a lot of unfortunate behavior, no matter who you are or what you look like. Practice letting go of attachment to outcome.
I love you, Tony. I want to work with you. How can I make that happen?
Whoa, slow down. Don’t bust out the ‘L’ word just yet. Let’s have a conversation to see if we’re a good fit. Just schedule an introductory call.