How to Deal With Disappointment in a Relationship

unnamedIn this article, I was asked to share my perspective on dealing with disappointment in a relationship. Scroll down to see what I shared, you may be surprised. What are your ideas for coping with that kind of disappointment?
Click here for a variety of strategies along with my comments:

If You Spot it You’ve Got it!

Depositphotos_53962073_s-2015 The fairy in the children’s video flew around gracefully sprinkling her fairy dust and proclaiming in a British accent, “If you sput it, you’ve gut it!” In this video created by the Kabbalah Centre’s Spirituality for Kids, the fairy was pointing out the following to the children: When you notice something that you don’t like about someone else, the reason that you are noticing it may be because you have that same trait somewhere within yourself. So, for example, if the child is yelling at another for not sharing, it might really be about that child himself not wanting to share. Or, if a child makes fun of another for being funny looking, that child himself is probably worried about the way he looks.

This elegantly simple way of explaining the concept to children resonated with me in a powerful way. It occurred to me that this phenomenon is exactly what is getting in the way for so many of my dating coaching clients. During our one to one sessions as well as at my workshops, I hear many singles “sputting” various flaws in potential partners. For example, “I can see that he is really a commitment phobe.” If the woman who is pointing that out really reflects honestly about what is going on for her, it is possible that she is actually feeling quite ambivalent about committing and is uncomfortable dealing with those feelings. So, it is much easier to spot it out in her potential partner and blame it on his “flaw”.

Furthermore, let’s be aware that when we are looking within ourselves for the trait that we spotted in another, it may not be packaged in the identical way that we saw it in someone else. In the example of the “commitment phobe,” another possibility is that the woman is not actually ambivalent about committing to a partner, but she is “phobic” about committing in other aspects of her life such as career, parenting, or finances and that is why she spotted it within him. The trait within ourselves that we are spotting in others may be camouflaged and may require searching to uncover it inside.

The more emotionally reactive we are when we spot the “flaw” in a potential partner, a significant other, or anyone else, the greater indication it is that we might fear having some form of that trait within ourselves. For example, if we find ourselves extremely annoyed by someone who is trying to capture a lot of attention, that strong reaction we are having often relates to the part of us that is craving more attention or is frustrated with the lack of it that we experience. So, a signal to ourselves that we are experiencing the “If You Spot it, You’ve Got it” phenomenon is that  we are not just objectively observing the trait in another person, we are feeling an emotional reaction to what we are noticing.

What if we could use this fairy’s lesson to become more honestly self-reflective? What impact might that have on our love lives or potential love lives? If each time we “sputted” a “flaw” in others, we asked ourselves what aspect of that trait we have within ourselves, and furthermore, what can we do to create positive change and transform our own trait, how much more love and connection would flow between people?

So here’s my challenge for you this week, each time you spot it, ask yourself, “how have I got it?” I’d love to hear what you all discover…I’ll be challenging myself to do the same…

New Year: Emerge from Hiding

Depositphotos_43200805_s-2015What’s been keeping you hiding in your cave this past year? What have you been protecting yourself from? More importantly, how well is this type of hibernation serving you? Many of my coaching clients started out clinging to the safety of their caves and so did I. We also tend to find new caves to hide in as we continue on our respective journeys.

Whether you’re hiding from the hurtful issues in your current relationship, the risk of rejection in a new relationship, or any other fears of disappointment, failure, or shame in the various aspects of your life, there is definitely a way to venture out of your cave. You have choices and options. You have the power to venture into the light. Let’s create a step by step plan that feels doable and let’s implement it in 2018.

Nothing gets built without a dream and a vision. So let’s first ask ourselves what we ideally want that aspect of our lives to look like that we’ve previously been hiding from; whether it’s a current relationship, a future one, or any other area that we have been protecting ourselves from. Let’s give ourselves permission to fully envision that ideal.

Now, keeping that dream and vision in mind, let’s ask ourselves the following question. “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” Let your answer wash over you. Maybe the answer is, “I’d have that first difficult conversation to begin to shift my current relationship closer to my dream and vision.” Perhaps it’s, “I’d begin (or re-start) internet dating and put myself out there to find love.” The possibilities in each area are limitless.

Each answer to “what you would do if you were not afraid” can be broken down into tiny baby steps, with each small success leading to the next one, until you have faced your fear and have left your cave behind in favor of the warm sunshine. Reach out for whatever support you need to make it happen, just venture out of that cave for 2018; fear will only magnify in the darkness. Squint if you must and shield your eyes with your hands, but takes those steps out of your cave, put one foot in front of the other, and begin to create the life that you desire.