Don’t Feel Guilty For Having Standards

A girlfriend and I were having wine and hilarious conversation last week when the subject of standards arose. We were discussing men, more specifically our exes, and how in the hell we wound up in some of the relationships that we did!

I’m sure you have a few of those in your own rolodex. Men or women that you look back at and wonder what part of your brain decided to stop functioning when you met them. Relationships that lasted way past the expiration date. People that did not deserve you and yet you loved them whole heartedly.

I have more than a few. Some make for great stories of passion and lunacy. All make for fantastic lessons in life. My greatest lesson? The one that took me years of relationship nonsense to learn?? It is okay to have standards. It is my right to not only have them but to not feel guilty about sticking to them!!!

Here are some of my standards:

  • You should be completely single when I meet you. Not “coming out of something” not “we’re taking a break to explore ourselves” and definitely not “we’re done but I let her use my phone some times.” (yup he actually said that)
  • You should have a career, not a job. There is a difference. At 33 years old it is my right to want a man who is on a path. He has goals for the trajectory of his career. There is a plan of action for his professional life. He is not simply clocking in at 9 and leaving at 5. The person who simply clocks in and out, with no plan for change, is unhappy about his Monday to Friday and is ultimately not excited about his life.
  • He should be a gentleman! Open car doors. Open restaurant doors and pull out my chair at the table. Walk closest to traffic when we walk down the street together. Yes, I am aware it is 2014 but if you would like to be the King of my life then you need to figure out how a Queen is to be treated.
  • I have dated many men because I saw the potential in them. I saw how great they could be, long before they had begun to do the work to get themselves there. Those days are over. It would be wonderful if “he” appeared in my life fully realized but I at least want “him” to be aware of how great “he” can be and is ACTIVELY taking steps to get himself there. This isn’t Build-A-Bear. I’m not going to create the person I want out of the mess I find.

These are just a few of the standards I have for my dating life! What is amazingly ridiculous is how many times I have sacrificed my own happiness by accepting men that met none of the above. Forget the rest of the list, they didn’t even have the basics. And I did this because I felt guilty.

Think back…we all have lists. I am not talking about your list that demands he be a 6ft 5 NBA player or she be a brain surgeon with double D’s. I mean the lists that have your basics. “He should be drama free.” “She should have an education.”  “He shouldn’t still be club hopping.” Think about when you met someone who was the opposite of this, but they were “so nice” or “so funny” or the biggest downfall of all,  “so hot”. Think about how you began to doubt your standards. You began to feel guilty for not giving this person a chance. I’m sure you created a very viable excuse in your head before giving yourself the green light to date them. And I can assume that this person is now an ex because in the end it was that very standard they didn’t meet that sunk your happy ship.

If you are serious about finding a relationship then you must become serious about what you deserve and what you will not settle for. When you meet someone, give yourself the time to learn about them. Ask the questions that provide the answers that show you who they really are. Figure out if this person fits the standards for your life. And do this BEFORE you sleep with them. Nothing clouds judgement faster than an orgasm. If this person doesn’t fit the life you are designing then you need to let them go. The life you wind up with is based on the choices you make. Make good ones. Let the guilt go. Realize how fabulous you are and how happy you deserve to be!

 

 

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Your Spring Awakening

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Leaving To Stay True To You

Question:

I am 35 years old. I have been dating a man for a year now and he is wonderful. We get along well and he is everything you want a man to be on paper. But he doesn’t want children and I do. I can’t imagine starting over at my age but am I willing to give up my dreams of being a mother for him?? HELP

Answer:

The hardest thing about getting older, and dating, are the reasons we have to walk away from people and relationships. When we were younger, at least for me, it was always something dramatic. Some ridiculous argument fueled by one too many cups of MadDog. (remember that disgusting drink??) Jealousy over a frat party gone wrong. The way he said the word, “sketti” rather than “spaghetti”. (my skin still crawls with that one) Now? The reasons are real and usually hard to explain to others, let alone the person you have to walk away from.

When I was 27 I dated a man whose family was in the mob. He had led a life of things I had only seen in movies. The truth was he treated me like a princess. To this day, I remember him as one of the best men I’ve ever dated. He catered to me and wasn’t shy about how much he loved me or how committed he was. He loved me and I really loved him. But I was a Yoga teacher. I was preaching about peace but laying down with a career criminal at night. I was building a life on teaching people to be kind to themselves and to others but was in love with a man who did things I could’t even let myself think about. It may seem crazy to some of you but walking away from him was one of the toughest relationship choices I’ve had to make. I actually used to wish he would hit me or cheat on me so that I had a concrete reason to leave. At the time, I was too young to realize that wanting to live an authentic life WAS a concrete reason.

At 29 I dated a man who was 13 years my senior. He was wonderful! Intelligent, successful, witty and an overall great time. But he didn’t believe in marriage. He offered to buy me a home, and father my children and set me up in his version of the perfect life. I won’t lie, I thought long and hard about that offer!! My girls and I sat around weighing ALLLLLL the pros and cons. But at the end of the day, I wanted a husband and a family. My dream was not to be someone’s option. I wanted to be a priority.

When I look back, I see the mistakes I made in dating these men in the first place but I also see the lessons learned. We all deserve the life we dream of. We deserve every bell and whistle. YOU deserve to be a mother and to be with a man who wants to spend his life as your equal parenting partner. Is starting over difficult? ABSOLUTELY. But it’s also a chance for you to get it right! It’s you giving your future self the chance to be happy and fulfilled. Ending things with him is going to be difficult. It will hurt both of you. But be proud of yourself for being capable of love. Not just towards him but towards yourself! Be proud that at 35 you are wise enough to know when you deserve more instead of waking up to the misery you’ve created decades later. Have faith that the life you want to live is waiting for you. All you have to do now is continue to take the right steps to get yourself there. You are on your way honey! Have faith.

Don’t forget the magic happens in the comments! What are some of the hard relationship choices you’ve had to make??

My Ex Won’t Let Go

Question: I was dating a guy for a few years and I found out he was cheating. I left him and it’s been about a year since it happened. Since then I’ve dated a few people but I’ve also slept with him a few times. I still love him even though I know I could never date him again! He’s a dog and he doesn’t deserve me. I tell him that all the time but now he’s telling me he better not catch me dating someone else and when he comes over he’s snooping around. What do i do? Why won’t he just leave me alone? I feel like I’m missing out on other men because I’m dealing with this drama.

Answer: Ex sex. It gets the best of us. We hate them but we’re horny and they’re available. Sometimes, like you, we still love them even though we know we shouldn’t.  Being with them is comfortable and a quick fix. Being with them is also the reason why your life will never move forward.

I am BIG believer in actions speak louder than words. You can keep telling him that you think he’s a dog and he doesn’t deserve you, but if you keep giving him the most sacred part of you then you are lying. Every time you lay down with him, you are saying he deserves you. You are telling him he has a chance and that you still care. He looks at every moment you allow, as a step closer to his goal of winning you back. And it makes your grand statements about how “over” it you are, a joke.

As women, we need to stop saying one thing and doing another. You want him to respect your boundaries and your standards? Well start setting some. You want to move forward and meet good, honest men? Well stop cheating on your future with your past. The Universe will always provide what you are ready for. By taking his phone calls, inviting him over and having sex with him you are sending the message that you are fine right where you are. The law of attraction absolutely works! You can not attract stable, trustworthy, secure men when you live a messy, dishonest and insecure life.

You are afraid to let go of him and the drama or else you would have. Many of us are comfortable in our own pain. It’s ours. We know it. We know how to handle it and we know how to manage it. It feels like an old comfortable sweater. What is scarier for most people is walking away and trying something new. It’s the “new” that we fear. It’s the unknown that scares us.

But the choice you are making, each and every time you sleep with him, is one of settling. It’s picking the life where you don’t get treated well or with respect. It’s saying, “even though I can walk away free and clear, I choose to stay and suffer.”

I would stop worrying about why he doesn’t get it and start working on YOU getting it! Work on loving yourself more. Work on trusting that God has a plan for you. Work on believing in yourself and your future. When you begin to value who you are, your actions will match your words and he will disappear. Only then will the right man show up. Clear the space for him to do so.