Why Has He Changed? Will he ever be like he was before?

Dear Jess,
My boyfriend and I have been dating for three months, and it’s been really great. When we first started dating he was very effusive with his feelings. He always complimented me, and told me how he was crazy about me. Recently though, he hasn’t been saying those things as much. We still see each other a lot, and his actions haven’t changed but I’m scared that he’s losing interest based on the fact that he doesn’t tell me how he feels anymore. I’ve freaked out on him a couple times over this, hoping he’ll give me what I need but it hasn’t worked. Do you think I should be worried? How do I get him to be like how he was before?

Thank you!<= Feeling worried in Wisconsin

Dear FWIW,

I know you may be freaked out right now but what you are going through is actually very common. Men are hardly ever as verbose and effusive about their feelings as they are when you just start dating them. The reason is that the first stage of falling in love, otherwise know as infatuation, causes massive amounts of dopamine to be released. This creates a temporary high, so to speak. It’s why we can’t concentrate, why we daydream, and why we get excited at the mere mention of that very special someone. While in this state, men typically become extremely emotional beyond their normal state of being. They can’t stop their mouths from spilling about all the wonderful feelings you give them..but as you settle into the relationship, that overflow of emotion tapers a bit, and you may hate to hear this, but that is normal, and not something that really needs changing. You are just moving into another stage, one that is actually closer to real love. This stage doesn’t have your man chasing you down with flowers, candy, and “I love you’s” but it is bringing you to a place of mutual respect, deep appreciation, and true companionship. Accepting this next stage, and not fighting it may be hard for you, as it is for some women. Let me be honest and say though that the trouble may not be that your man isn’t verbal enough, rather that you need constant reassurance. But asking for a guy to reassure you everyday of his feelings will exhaust him. Eventually he will just move on to someone who is less high maintenance.

If your guy shows you affection, is trust worthy and committed, you really need to ask yourself why is it that you need daily affirmations to be happy and relaxed? The truth may be that your own insecurities are driving you while pushing your boyfriend to his brink. So what should you do from here? To maintain a happy and loving relationship you have to focus on giving your boyfriend what he needs from you, instead of dwelling on your self-rooted fears. Try leading by example, and tell your boyfriend how much you love him and care for him. Say it as much as you wish he would say it to you. Often if we be the change we want, we get the change we need.

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What Every Girl Should Know About Hooking Up….

This blog is an oldie but a goodie! I last posted it in 2009, so for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, enjoy!

Your are out with your friends enjoying a few drinks on a beautiful night. Your phone vibrates. You have one new text message. You pick it up and see that it’s Sam, a guy you met three weeks ago and hooked up with because you were really wasted. He’s a nice guy, but ever since that night, he’s been pseudo-stalking you. You’ve been cordial, answering some of his texts and calls, mostly because you like the attention, but he’s just not the one for you. You tell your friends at the table, “It’s Sam the stalker again. He is out in DC and wants to know where I am.” There’s a round of snickers and laughs. Someone tells you to be nice to the poor guy and tell him where you are. You never know, he might have cute friends, she says. You take a sip of your margarita and say, “Let’s see how the night goes. If we don’t find any cute guys here, I will tell him to come by.”

Two hours and two rounds later, no one at the table has seen anyone cute. You are almost forced by one of your oversexed friends to call Sam and bring his entourage over. By now you have a good buzz going and figure, why not. He’ll buy you your next round and tell you how hot you are. So you text Sam and tell him where you are in Arlington. You laugh to yourself because you don’t even have to extend an invitation. You know very well that he’s going to say by some strange coincidence that he’s at the bar next door and will just swing by. Fifteen minutes later, Sam, his best friend, and his roommate stroll into bar. People are introduced, shots are ordered, and the night officially begins. Sam is all over you and the more you drink, the more you like it. By the end of the night, you and Sam are stumbling back to your place. You guys make out all over your apartment and for some reason it’s really great. Maybe it’s because you’ve been going through a dry spell, but whatever the reason, you are into it. You continue to make out with Sam and the more you kiss him, the more you like him. How could you have disregarded him before? Maybe he’s not as bad as you initially thought.

And then you wake up the next day completely sober and realize you had on major margarita glasses. Sam is lying in your bed, snoring like a sabertooth tiger, drooling on your favorite pillow. You are annoyed like crazy. How long is going to be here, you wonder? He finally wakes up, smiling like a cheshire cat, and pats the space next to him, indicating he wants you to lie back down. You’d rather shoot yourself than cuddle with Sam so you make up an excuse about having to run into work that morning. Disappointed, Sam reluctantly and slowly, gets out of your bed. You throw his pants at him and watch him stumble to get dressed, knocking over your alarm clock and family photo in the process. He apologizes and then asks if you have time to grab some breakfast. Ah, sorry no. You really don’t. Some other time maybe. Sam picks up on your unintentional invitation to do this again, and says, “Ok, when? Do you want to meet up later tonight?” At this point you just want him out of your apartment so you tell him to call you later and you will see about getting together. He finally leaves after you pretend to walk to your car. You get back to your apartment and collapse on the couch. You eventually drift off to sleep but not before labeling Sam’s number DO NOT ANSWER into your cell phone.

I know you can all related to this story. We have all had guys we just aren’t into, chase after us relentlessly. We’ve all caved and been nice to them, even hooked up with them once or twice. We’ve kept them on the back burner in cases of emergency and extreme boredom. But guess what? This story is not what you think. You’ve just entered the Twilight Zone. You were not out with your girlfriends having margaritas last night. You were in DC, hanging out with your best friend and her roommate, hoping to hear from the guy you met three weeks ago and had a hot hook up with. A hook up you have not been able to stop thinking about. That’s right, in this scenario, YOU are Sam. You were the one who texted him to find out where he was. You were elated when he told you he was at the Eventide rooftop in Arlington. You rushed over and played it off as if you at the bar next door. You met up with him and his friends, had some drinks and ended up back at his place, where at some point in the night you fell completely in love. You woke up in his bed filled with excitement. You are certain he likes you now. He wanted to go to breakfast, but a work emergency took priority. Totally understandable. You like him even more because he’s ambitious. He told you to call him later and you guys would meet up again that night.

Maybe you saw this switch-a-roo coming from a mile away. Maybe my Twilight Zone blog was totally predictable. I really don’t know. What I do know is this. There are lots of girls out there that string along men that they aren’t interested in. They hook up with them when it’s convenient, call when they are lonely, and essentially use them when they want to. Those same women often come crying to me when a man does the same thing to them. These girls bounce back and forth between men that like them but have no interest in, and men that they like but can’t pin down. Ironically, these women cannot see the writing on the wall when a man is only with them out of convenience. They make up excuses for sporadic behavior. If he doesn’t call for a week, but then suddenly texts while he’s out on a Friday night, they believe it means he’s suddenly come around! He was just busy all week with his stressful work schedule. The truth is that guys will use you in the same way you use them. In order to find love and happiness you must stop the cycle of use. It’s the most anti-love action possible. How is it fair that you waste that nice boy’s time but then fall to pieces when another guy does it to you? The Universe will absolutely bring you what you deserve and if it knows you are only hanging out with someone because you are lonely, it will not blink at handing you the same scenario. Don’t waste your time on men that are not interested in you and don’t waste someone else’s time either. Getting involved with men who make you chase them can do a terrible number on your self-esteem. Unbalanced and unloving relationships chip away at your heart and by the time you find a guy that really likes you, you don’t know how to act. You don’t know how to really be in a healthy relationship because, thus far, in your past there has only been use. If you don’t like someone, don’t waste their time. And if a guy doesn’t seem crazy about you, do yourself a big favor and just move on to someone who is. What you put out to the world is what you will get back. Be kind and loving to men and they will be kind and loving to you.

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Why Won’t He Call It A Relationship?

Dear Jess,

I just read your book, WAS IT SOMETHING I SAID. I have been dating a man for 5 months. Right away he told me he wasn’t looking for a committed relationship and I told him I wasn’t either. Honestly, I do want that but I just didn’t want to lose him by telling him. Now it’s been several months and he is still hung up on not wanting a commitment even though we act like a couple. We see each other on a regular basis, spend weekends together, and have even vacationed in Hawaii. I know he is not seeing anyone else. Really, we are in a relationship, but he refuses to really acknowledge it. He texts and emails me everyday to say good morning and good night. There is not a day that goes by that we don’t talk. How do I get him to commit exclusively and call this what it is… a relationship!

Thank you!

Confused in Kentucky

Dear Confused,

Here is the good news. You are correct. You are in a relationship. Here is the bad news. It’s not the kind of relationship you want. If this man is verbally telling you that he doesn’t want to commit to you, then it means he wants to have the ability to walk away whenever he feels like it. It does not matter that he spends all his time with you now, because “the now” is not his concern. The concern is “later”, as in next month, next year, or five years from now. He is happy with you at the moment but unsure how he will feel tomorrow, and that is why he won’t commit. Is that because of you, or is it because he’s just that type of guy? The best way to find out the answer is look at the rest of his life outside his relationship with you. Does he have a problem committing to other people, such as his friends or family? Does he back out of plans often or wait to the last minute to make them? Does he agonize over major purchases because buying a house or a car is a long term commitment in itself? If the answer is yes, you are probably just dealing with a commitment phobic guy that needs more than a little nudge from you to tie the knot. Therapy may help, but many commitment-shy guys never really learn to fully settle down…even if they get married!

If, however, you find that he is solid in other areas and doesn’t have trouble committing to anything else, the problem may be specific to you and your relationship. If that is the case, your only recourse is to have a serious heart to heart with him and discuss what you want and need from him. If you continue to see him, and sleep with him, while still holding your tongue, you will only grown more resentful as time goes by. What’s worse is that you are likely going to put all your time, energy, and heart into someone that won’t stick with you when tough times hit. Do yourself a favor and own up to what you want. You should be more afraid of what will happen if you don’t say something, than if you do!
If you have a question to submit to Jess’ blog, email her at coach@jessmccann.com
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How to make a move on him: Advice for successfully approaching a guy first!

If you’ve read most dating books, you know a long-standing cardinal rule is to let the guy approach you first. However, with advances in modern technology have come advances in modern-day dating.

Most men would now prefer a woman to say hello, or at least display some sign of interest in chatting with them.

If you have your eye on a guy and want to strike up a conversation, here a few easy tips on the best way to do so!

1. Give him a sign.

Playing aloof and avoiding a man’s stare stopped working years ago, so if you are still holding on to the old “play hard to get” proverb when it comes to men approaching you, it’s no wonder you’re still single.

Men these days need a sign that you are interested.

In my book, “You Lost Him at Hello: From Dating to ‘I Do,’” I advise women to use a technique called the S.E.E. Factor.

It stands for Smile, Eye Contact, Energy.

You can use it anywhere and with any guy you fancy. Just smile, lock eyes for a full two to three seconds and exude a good, positive energy.

This will send him the message you are not only open to a conversation, but you are available for one (i.e. you aren’t taken by another man!)

Most guys fear rejection, so the S.E.E. Factor will give them the confidence they need to say hello.

 

“Warm yourself up by smiling and

talking to everyone around you.”

 

2. Break the ice.

While it may be hard for you to even imagine initiating a conversation with a guy, it’s actually quite easy and effective. [Continue to full article] Continue reading

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I Ruined My Chances with A Great Guy. Can I Win Him Back?

The blog post below an excerpt from my new Q&A scenario book, “Was it Something I Said?”Was It Something I Said - Should I text him back

Dear Jess, I ruined my chances with a great guy! We dated for three
months, and I did everything wrong. I told him I loved him in the first few weeks, slept with him way too soon, and basically acted too needy throughout the entire relationship. When he broke up with me, he told me he just wasn’t ready to commit, but I know it’s because of all the mistakes I made. I know what I need to do better now, but I need him to give me a chance to prove it. Is there any way to talk him into taking me back?

As they say, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and in your situation this man has already dated you, learned who you are, and decided that you are not compatible. Changing his mind about you now is not going to be easy. However, if you feel strongly about him and want to try, I do have some advice on how to best go about it.

1. Stop all contact.
I know this seems completely opposite from what you are try-ing to accomplish, but, for now, it’s what needs to be done. The “needy, noncompatible you” is still fresh in this man’s head. Any time you reach out to him in an attempt to show him you’re different now won’t do any good. Three months of bad behavior cannot be erased with one pleasant phone call or dinner date. Reconciliation will take time. Get comfortable, because it isn’t going to happen by the weekend. A safe amount of time to wait would be half as long as the duration of your relationship. For example, if you dated for three months, you should not contact him for a month and a half.
2. Disappear.
Much like the song “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away,” your ex can’t miss you, or forget the way you were, if he continues to see you at the gym or bumps into you at the coffee shop in his office lobby. You must put time and distance between you. This means not only cutting contact directly (no texts, e-mails, phone calls), but also indirectly via Facebook, Twitter, or the occasional random run-in. He needs to wonder where you went, and he can- not do that if your status keeps popping up in his news feed.
3. Resurface.
Once you have let the recommended amount of time go by, you can then resurface. However, you should not contact your ex directly if possible. It would be better to casually connect again by running into each other randomly on purpose. The reason is that direct contact implies that you are not over the relationship and you are still attempting to make amends. And although that is the truth, your ex may be on guard if he feels that is the case. You want him to forget the past and see you in a whole new light. The reason he liked you in the first place was because
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Does he think I’m pretty?: The truth about how he sees you

redhead angel

The internet is all a buzz about tonight’s 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. The costumes will undoubtedly be amazing, but will pale in comparison to the legs, abs, and behinds, of models like Miranda Kerr and Alessandria Ambrosio. These girls are on the top of their physical A-game and no man or woman can resist tuning in to watch them strut their stuff. Including me!

But something had me thinking as this annual event neared. Not too long ago, I received an email from a twenty-something girl in California who was depressed because she thought she wasn’t as pretty as her girlfriends. She said she was considering plastic surgery in order to “keep up with them and get noticed by more men.” At first I had a strong reaction. I thought, “Wow, this woman is actually thinking about altering her appearance based on how her friends look?” But then when I gave it a second thought I realized that this is why anyone gets plastic surgery, isn’t it? (Unless you have some disfigurement, of course.) But otherwise, it’s all about keeping up with the Joneses. It’s all about looking as good, or better than the people around you. And as the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show airs, I wondered how many single women would dip to another low seeing a bevy of women far more fit then they are.

For all you girls out there reading this blog I have an interesting nugget of information. This may save you a little time, and a lot of money. On top of that, it may prevent you from seriously damaging your self-esteem down the line.

Now we all know that men like attractive women, and that’s part of the reason girls feel the need to maintain a certain level of physical beauty. But a USA Today article shows that men are not as picky as you may think when it comes to looks. Turns out you don’t have to be the belle of the ball. You don’t even have to be in the top 10. When it comes to being attractive, men don’t necessarily go for the hottest girl in the room. To put it a bit bluntly, if men were to grade women on their level of attraction, it would be more on a Pass-Fail grade than assigning them a A+, B- or C. Peter M. Todd, of the Cognitive Science program at Indiana University conducted a study on how men and women choose their mates. He conducted the research over a speed dating event in which all the men were told to select a follow-up date with however many women they wanted once the first round ended. Out of all the characteristics the men listed as important: Health, status, family, etc… men put physical attractiveness before anything else, ignoring the lack of other traits as long as they found the woman physically attractive. No surprise there ;-) However, here is the interesting part. “Men tended to select (for a follow-up date) nearly every woman above a certain minimum attractiveness threshold.” Indicating that to be asked out again, you didn’t have to be better looking than the other girls. You could be numero uno or numero 100. Either way, you were getting asked out.

So what does this mean? Well, to me it means we can stop making so many visits to Palm Beach tan. We can also hold off on those breast implants. Being the best looking girl out there is not going to get you any closer to a relationship than being the tenth, or being twentieth. If you ever start to think that your friend is hotter than you and thus gets asked out more, that could all be in your head. I guarantee that the girl who emailed me doesn’t need plastic surgery. She just needs an attitude adjustment. When you think everyone else is taller, thinner and therefore prettier, you are creating your own self-fulfilling prophecy. Men will not approach you because you are a Down-in-the-dumps Dolly, not because you aren’t cute enough. The moral here is maybe we should be spending more time on the inside than on the out. Maybe instead of bleaching, waxing, teasing and spraying, we should be doing more constructive things to better ourselves. I’m all for keeping yourself in good shape, don’t get me wrong, but do we really need to put SO much effort into our looks? Especially if there is little return on our investment? Most guys will readily admit that what first attracts them is a womans’ physical appearance, but it’s not what keeps them. So if your level of attractiveness doesn’t really sway men one way or the other, wouldn’t time and money be better spent on something that would make you more of a catch in the long run? What do you think?

For more advice on how to handle men in any situation, check out my newest book, “Was it Something I Said? The answer to all your dating dilemmas.”Learn when and what to text him back, how to have the “relationship talk” and much, much more! You can even view the table of contents and see all the questions asked here!

To read all my advice blogs click here.

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Am I just not good enough?: Why he chose her over you…

Young couple holding glasses with champagne and woman looking at

I think at some point in life all women have asked themselves this question. If you’ve ever been dumped by a guy who claimed he wasn’t ready for a relationship and then practically moved in with the next girl that came along, it is hard not to question if something about you is flawed when your relationship doesn’t work out. You may not even be able to pinpoint what it is about you that seems inferior to other women, you just feel deep in your bones that somehow you are. If you watched this season of The Bachelor on ABC, you may remember that sweet, southern Kacie B. cried the very words, “Why am I not good enough?” after she was sent home rejected following her home-town date. From her point of view, if she were somehow “better” she would have been the one to get the final rose. But as we have seen play out repeatedly in season’s past, the “best” woman does not always win. In fact this season it would seem that the absolute “worst” woman triumphed over all. But Courtney, who landed the Bachelor and that final rose (but was temporarily dumped just weeks after the show aired) has involuntarily taught every woman in the world a very important lesson. And that is this – being “good enough” isn’t what makes a man love you. If that were true, Ben would have picked, Lindzi, who in many people’s opinion, was prettier, smarter, and orders of magnitude nicer. Or earlier cast-off, Emily, who in my opinion was not only more attractive than Courtney, but also a PHD student with a great sense of humor. There were so many women on the show that arguably seemed “better” than Courtney. Yet, Ben picked her. Why? Because something about Courtney resonated with Ben. His personality, his life experiences, and his own feelings about himself all play into why he chose her. Her being the “better” woman was not a factor at play. I’m hoping this is an ounce of comfort to any brokenhearted woman wondering why their man left them for someone else.

A client of mine fell deeply in love two years ago, only to have the man she thought she would marry leave her for someone else. They had had a bumpy relationship from the start but my client always thought that somehow they would work through their differences and end up together. When I first started coaching her she was already obsessed with her ex’s new relationship. Like many women, she stalked her former flame and his new girlfriend via the social network, hoping to find a a shred of understanding as to what this woman had that she, herself, did not. Unfortunately she not only failed to find the answer, she became even more perplexed when she realized the woman was less physically fit, less educated, and more needy (as evident from her many amorous wall posts on Facebook). Several times my client asked me what it meant to be abandoned by your lover for a person of less quality. Did it mean that despite all my clients’ wonderful attributes, that she was just somehow, unexplainably inferior?

Of course not.

What my client failed to consider was (again) her ex’s personality, life experience and his own feelings about himself. Even though he was a good-looking, confident man, he had come from a broken and dysfunctional family. His own mother was an extremely volatile woman who relentlessly picked on him while smothering him at the same time. She was hot and cold with her feelings. Growing up he never fully felt accepted by anyone. Then he met my client. A woman who loved him the way he always wanted to be loved. A good, kind, well-balanced person that would never attack him or his character. And for him, that felt…awkward. He was not comfortable with that kind of love yet. He was not capable of appropriately receiving it. He truly felt more at home with someone who was …”dramatic.” Someone that provided the “ups and downs” he was accustomed to growing up. His mother also Continue reading

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Will you ever find the perfect guy? : The answer is no

I went out last week with a girlfriend who is notorious for complaining about men. She’s been dating a new one for a few weeks now and is still very hung up on the fact that his eyebrows are a bit too bushy. That night she said to me, “Jess, I just don’t know if I can have sex with those eyebrows!” Which sounds funny but is also kind of sad. This is the tenth guy she’s dated this year. Yes, I said tenth! And every single one of them has had some atypical attribute she didn’t like. This time it’s the eyebrows, but last time it was the guy’s phone voice. The time before that, it was his bald spot. And the time before that, it was his hairy back. Basically every time she went out with a guy, she always found a physical flaw that ultimately drove her away.

Now, I am one person that has always advocated the motto, “Don’t settle for less than what you want.” I think you should go after whatever and whoever tickles your fancy. But there is a point where you can abuse the phrase. There is a BIG difference in settling for someone who treats you like dirt, or someone that doesn’t share any of the interests you do, than there is settling for bushy eyebrows — because hello, that can be easily changed with some gentle coaxing at the appropriate moment. I’ve noticed a lot of women that are single because they supposedly want to be, all have one thing in common: they are picky to a fault. I’ll admit I was a picky one too, but at some point you have to ask yourself, are you being impossibly picky? Are you expecting too much? I have a client who is 47 years old, has never married, and is the engineer on the picky train. She finds fault with everyone. And you know what, she always will. That is where the phrase, “no one is perfect” comes from. No one is perfect, so if you are looking for the flawless man with the perfect job, family, clothes and eyebrows, you will never find him. Even if you recant with the typical, “I just want someone who is perfect for me!” phrase, I assure you it still won’t exist. Men are just human, and they all have flaws, quirks, and misshaped eyebrows (or something else weird you won’t like.) And in some respect you also have to look at yourself and say, I’m not perfect either, so how can I expect someone else to be. Are you without flaw? Maybe according to you you don’t, but to someone else you may have many.

Most of the time I’ve noticed that women want something in a man that they themselves do not possess. But who we are, is who we attract. So if you don’t eat right and work out, how can you expect to attract someone who is in good shape? If you are frivolous with your money or always in debt, how can you expect to land a guy who is financially responsible?

I’ve learned over the course of my dating career that there are two things to put a top your priority list. 1) look for men with good character. Ones that have the values and goals you want, and not to spend too much time picking at the little things like eyebrows. And 2) the best way to attract a hard-working, attractive, fun and genuine guy is to be all those things yourself. Wouldn’t you agree?

If you are tired of having the same bad luck when it comes to relationships, DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE IT! Email me at coach@jessmccann.com and get a one-on-one personal consulting session. Together we will figure out what you could be doing wrong, or what you can be doing better so you get the relationship you deserve.

Also check out my book, You Lost Him at Hello and learn the tricks of the trade — Filling your Funnel, Height of Impulse, Mirror Theory — so you can close the deal with any guy you want. Give yourself or a friend the best gift – good advice. New! As of September 27, 2011 – You can follow me on Twitter@iamJessMcCann and check out my new book, Was it Something I Said, hitting stores January 2013.

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Continue to my Advice Blogs here, or chose from some popular posts:

Why Hasn’t He Called?

When You Should NOT Respond.

How to Tell If He Likes You or Just Wants to Hook Up.

Why He Chose Her Over You?

How to Get to Girlfriend Status!

Is He Losing Interest?

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To Leave or Not to Leave : The one person’s advice you should always take on your relationship

Mature woman sitting on the floor day dreaming , husband in bedI had an interesting conversation this weekend with a friend of mine. We were coming home from a wedding shower, and as we were weaving through the city, we began to discuss the topic of, what else, relationships. More specifically, the bad ones. We began to chat about why people get into them, why they won’t get out of them, and how powerless we feel as friends watching the people we love slowly die inside because of them. There have been many times I’ve been confided in about a friends’ relationship, and it’s very difficult to hear how much of a selfish jerk a guy is one day, but such a sweetheart the very next. Recently I’ve refrained from giving my two cents about anything unless asked. It does no good to speak out if the person is not ready to listen. The writing is on the wall and me reading it to them just doesn’t seem to make any impact. Speaking of writing…

As this friend and I sat in traffic, she started telling me an interesting story about her cousin, Amy. Amy apparently fell in love and got married to a real asshole. She was twenty-four years old at the time. He was a charmer, and very good looking, but he had a moody and depressed side that he often took out on her. Whenever he was asked to do something out of his routine, he’d throw a tantrum and completely shut down. He’d retreat into their bedroom, locking the door and ignoring her for days at a time. He blew everything out of proportion and blamed Amy for being insensitive and selfish. Every fight was turned around on her. They of course had their good days, but they couldn’t go a stretch of two months without having a nuclear meltdown.

My friend tried to talk her cousin out of marrying this guy, but once she decided to take the plunge and do it anyway, my friend backed off completely and tried to be supportive. Throughout the years she listened to her cousin rant one minute, but rave the next. All the while keeping to herself, not saying a word, and trying to be optimistic. Finally after five years of marriage, her cousin told her, out of the blue one day at lunch, that she was filing for divorce.

What or who finally convinced her to get out? You may be surprised by the answer. Since she was twelve, Amy had kept a diary. For the last five years she had written in it less frequently than she used to, but tried to keep important thoughts and feelings documented throughout her life. One night after a huge fight with her husband she sat down on her bed to record her feelings. As she finished her final thoughts, she began flipping back through the previous pages. What she read hit her like a ton of bricks. The last one hundred and twenty pages were filled with nothing but sorrow. She read the same words over and over again. How he was mean, how he promised to be better, how she hoped he would be. But sitting on her bed reading this after five years, she finally realized nothing would ever change. He wouldn’t be better next time. He’d be the same as he always was before, and it took her listening to her self for 124 pages to finally get that.

A lot of women have told me that giving birth is an excruciatingly painful experience, and if they didn’t forget what it was like over time, they probably wouldn’t have any more than just one child. I think that we can apply this same theory to bad relationships. After your boyfriend or husband tells you he’s sorry and makes amends with you, you begin to forget how awful he treated you and how hurt you were. The memory of that pain dissipates and you are renewed with hope and possibility. Until the next time…

This story of my friend’s cousin has given me a great idea. Because most people turn a deaf ear to outside advice, what better idea is there than to keep a journal of your own relationship? That way instead of hearing your mom, best friend, or even your dating coach tell you how bad things are, you can now hear it straight from the horses mouth (yes, the horse is you.) We often don’t want to hear that we should leave someone we love, or that things will never change. We want to disregard advice that tells us there is no hope. But it’s different if you see and hear your own words over time and realize that you are in an unending cycle that keeps repeating itself. I now think keeping a diary is not only for nostalgia, but a powerful tool that can help you to make good decisions for yourself throughout your life.

If you are currently in a volatile or unstable relationship (meaning one day everything is great, but the next day the sky is falling) then it may be time to start your own journal. Start to write down your feelings and your thoughts about your significant other. Keep track of the good and bad times. Try to be specific because when you go back and read a year later, you will barely remember the experience. I think this can be a very valuable tool for us women and will prompt us and encourage us to take more action when action is necessary. You may not like hearing your friends tell you he’s not the one for you, but you may just heed a warning coming from yourself.

For more advice on relationships, check out my book You Lost Him at Hello, or Was It Something I Said? or sign up for a personal consulting session. Follow me on Twitter @iamjessmccann Continue reading

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Dating is like Dieting. If you can’t do one, you can’t do the other…

The Biggest Loser was announced last night. Helen, who lost a whopping 140 lbs, became the third female winner, and the person to lose the most weight in Loser history. When asked how she battled the bulge, her trainer, Jillian Michaels stated that she and Helen had a “secret” plan. But if you know anything about reality TV, you know that secrets are not allowed. The “plan” was for Jillian to ride Helen’s ass like Barbaro and push her to do the things she would never do on her own.

And that plan worked.

How many of you have ever tried to lose weight, or know someone who has? It’s damn difficult. It’s a daily grind. I myself have to figure in a workout every day, which sometimes– actually most of the time — is really inconvenient. I can’t imagine on top of that, watching every morsel of food I put in my mouth, counting every carb, and depriving myself of the foods I love most. But that is what it takes to lose weight, right? You have to discipline yourself daily. You can’t just wake up one day and say, “I think I want to be skinny” and expect it to just happen.

The reason I’m making such a fuss over the Biggest Loser today, is because I think there is an important dating lesson in here. Just as you can’t wake up and wish your way thin, you can’t wake up one day wish yourself into a relationship. You have to make good choices daily when it comes to dating. You have to exercise discipline just as you do with dieting. How many times have you done something stupid, like invite a guy you just started seeing to spend the night at your house? Or gotten drunk and sent him a racy text message, even though he hasn’t called you in five days? And how many times have you had sex with a guy and … Continue reading

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