Thursday, July 29, 2010

I’m sick of Bad Relationships

Dear Ma Donna,

I’ve had it with relationships. It seems like every relationship I have ends the same way, usually traumatically. I thought my last relationship was going well, and then out of the blue my boyfriend told me that when he looked into the future he didn’t see me in it. It was just like that. There was no explanation or anything. So I’m done. My friends are telling me that I’m being too cynical, and that the right person is out there for me. I wish I could believe that but I just can’t see it. What do you think?

Bitter Bitch

Dear Bitter Bitch,

Oh my darling Bitter Bitch… You can’t be old enough to be this bitter. Take it from Momma who’s been around so long her birth certificate is in Roman numerals. Don’t get me wrong though, I love bitter. Especially bitter beer buttered beets in béarnaise sauce with Boston baked beans and a side of broccoli. If they could bottle that natural gas, Momma would be a tycoon. Stand back everybody, Momma’s heatin’ up.

The first thing we should natter about is patterns. Patterns are powerful factors in how the Universe interacts with itself. Seasons are patterns. The orbit of the Earth around the sun, and the moon around the Earth, these are all patterns. Having to suck your gut in so that you can’t breathe because you insist on wearing a dress-size twelve when it’s obvious that boat has sailed… that’s a pattern. Patterns are influential teachers when it comes to helping us understand why things keep repeating themselves in our lives.

In this world, men are going to come and go (in Momma’s case, they go faster than they come) but the one constant will always be you. In every relationship, wherever you go, there you are. So let’s talk about you (Momma loves gossip).

Patterns affect everything about us, from how we behave in a relationship to who we choose to date in the first place. So you want to look back at each of your relationships and see if you can’t notice any patterns. This might involve writing down what most of your fights were over, or how each of your exes left, or how long each relationship lasted in the first place. One of Momma’s girlfriends discovered that each of her relationships always fell apart about seven or eight months into them. That’s a pattern.

Your friends will often recognize your patterns way before you do. If one person says something about you, such as, “you’re so scatterbrained,” then it’s one person’s observation, but if you hear it over and over again, you might want to take a look at it (people say that to Momma more than you think—especially when she threw her car keys down the garbage shoot with her garbage—Momma blames the hair-bleach). So pay attention to what your friends are saying about your relationships too. Don’t ask them to identify your patterns, just notice if the same comment of phrase keeps coming up again and again when you talk to them.

Another irony about relationships is that most people don’t even know what they want in the first place. If you don’t know what you want, how are you going to know when you get it? If it’s just a guy to take home and cuddle for the evening, I imagine you could easily get that any time you wanted. (Maybe Momma could have your leftovers?) However, if you want more, you’ve got to identify what that is.

The Universe seems perfectly willing to give us what we ask for. It’s bringing lots of men your direction, the question is, have you told it (and yourself) what type of man you want?

So the second thing Momma wants you to do is take out a piece of paper and write down everything you want in a boyfriend. Get crystal clear. Create a list of all the attributes you want. An example of what you’re looking for might be: loyal, loves to laugh, loves to cuddle, intelligent, hate’s rap music, has a steady job…” it’s your list, make it what you need.

Momma’s list is pretty short. He’s got to be blind, and gullible.

Once you have that list, take a look at it and ask yourself if you really believe that you can that. If you don’t, for whatever reason, then look seriously at the words that trip you up. For example, if the word “loyal” trips you up, remove it from the list and put it on another list. Do this with all the words that trip you.

Now you’ve got two lists. The first list is the list of attributes you believe you can have in a man, and the second list is a list of all the things you want, but for one reason or another you don’t believe you can have them. Maybe you don’t believe you deserve them, or maybe you don’t believe that men like that exist in the first place.

Now, put the second list behind the first one and keep that list someplace where you can always see it. Look at it, notice how you feel when you look at it. The first list is what you believe you can have, and the second list is what you’re going to grow into. You’re going to allow yourself to entertain the idea that there are men out there who are loyal.

Now I want you to write down everything you want in a relationship. “But wait,” you might ask, “didn’t I just do that?” You just defined the guy you want to have a relationship with. Now you’re going to define what you want that relationship to look like. You asked for loyalty in your partner, how does that play out in your relationship? Does that mean he never looks at another guy, or he never goes anywhere without consulting you?

I want you to go through the same procedure with this list that you did with your attributes list.

Now you may be saying to yourself, “Momma, this is a lot of work.” Sweetie; if you think that’s a lot of work, try convincing your family and friends that you’re still a virgin. Still, it’s not that much work. Making these lists usually only takes a few minutes, and it’s only a few minutes per day to go over them and update them as you feel the need. Trust me, when you get to be Momma’s age (and let’s just say that I knew Moses on a first-name basis), you’ll be glad you did. It’s a lot more awesome to look back on a wonderful relationship than it is to look back on regret. What you’re doing is building awareness, and that awareness is going to be your guide. It will help you find the man you’re looking for.

I would venture to say that at least eighty percent of the reasons we don’t have what we want in life is because we don’t know what we want. Your awareness will guide you in all stages of your relationship.

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