Exploration

Why Do We Jump to Conclusions?

 

Before you jump…think!

There is no place where hair-trigger decisions are made faster than in the smorgasbord of online dating. Some of it is unavoidable because it’s a bit like condensed milk in there. Everything about us poured into one page? Really? And those photos are either winners or killers because there is truly a scientific reason for attraction, so we can’t blame that on ourselves when we look, then can’t hit “NEXT” fast enough.

 

 

But, let’s look at why we keep jumping to conclusions and some of the things that my clients have told me over the years…

“If he hasn’t been married by now, there’s a big problem.” Hmmm…could be. I have certainly experienced a few men who hadn’t been married and had emotional issues that no wise woman would or should put up with like rage, extreme jealousy, addiction issues.  And then, there are men and women who lived with partners for long periods of time and didn’t drink from the Holy Grail of marriage, but did have great long term relationships that ended amicably.

 

“Looks like she cares more about her dog than the man in her life.”  Boy, Howdy! Those dog photos can send folks into some very strange places. I once dated a man who was bitten in the butt by a woman’s tiny Bichon while they made love. Now, you gotta give that conclusion-drawing to him, right? There are men and women who seem to be able to love and adore their dogs, but lack capacity for intimacy with other humans. But, most of us who love dogs really would rather kiss another human goodnight. 

 

“I don’t want to date anybody with grandchildren. They are always with them.” This is a tricky one, as is when we find someone who is sharing a home with an adult child now (or the adult children never left home). Many things can mean families re-combine in later life. The economics of where you live can mean share a home or leave the area and family and friends. And, there are people, both men and women whose joy comes from parenting and re-parenting grandchildren…and so many others who love their grands, and still want a vital, adventurous life of their own. So, be aware that pictures do not tell you one single thing except the gene pool is still active. 

 

Perhaps the reason we jump to conclusions rests in the fact that finding love is scary. It’s “safer” somehow to look for reasons not to fall in love, or not to take the risk that real love requires. Our old memories are powerful. We associate new people we meet with our past losses and pain. Thinking it probably won’t work can protect us from the inevitable pain of losing love again. And, I’m sure I’ve done it…passed on or pushed someone away that might have made me very happy.

 

Try something new next time you meet someone. Pay attention to those voices that are certainly there each and every time you have a phone conversation or meet for a drink or coffee. If you find yourself attracted to them, look at what about that person makes you happy and comfortable. Then, when you suddenly see something in them that makes you jump out the starting gate, perhaps prematurely, try to stay put and ASK THEM a few questions to check your hunches.  It’s a fatal flaw in new relationships and in long-time partnerships…WE DON”T ASK! Let’s change that with courage and a deep belief that imperfection is what we will always find in ourselves and someone else. Expectations, movie-versions of love, Disney-versions of romance…all set us up to fail. Questions asked with curiosity and an openness to listen will help us navigate this crazy ocean of love.

 

If you’re tired of watching sunsets alone, have room for someone in your life and are ready to do the work it takes to find them…I can show you how.

Call or email me for a Complimentary Session and if we’re a match, I can help you find Love in 90 Days!

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for Grown-ups

Donna’s Big RED Chair

510-817-4242    donna@donnasbigredchair.love

www.donnasbigredchair.love

Certainty

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God how we want certainty in our lives. We think it’s the only way we can rest and finally have peace of mind. A big sigh, a “WHEW” that someone told us would make us happy.

 

For a moment, imagine if you were certain about everything in your life including the time, place and way that you would pass from this world to the next. Really. Take the time to just imagine it. It’s like an episode of the tv series, “Black Mirror”, or to us over 50, Rod Serling welcoming us to the “Twilight Zone”. You see, it was all a lie. Life is in and of itself a constant state of change, unless of course you’ve already found your rocking chair and are just waiting for the Grim Reaper.

 

Lately, I’ve been aware of how much I fight change in my life and it’s sidekick, “Uncertainty”. I want to tie things up in a cute little package and put a bow on it, brush my hands back and forth and declare, “Whew, that’s done!”. I hate not knowing so much that I’ve made it my number one intention to try and make friends with it, maybe even treat it like a vat of homemade ice cream…something I look forward to every day.

 

Right now, one big change in my life is moving out of the sweetest little place I’ve ever lived. I have clung to it when all else was swaying in the breeze or the bottom was falling out of my life. And now, it’s time to imagine what amazing things are going to happen because I’m letting go of that certainty.

 

Relationships can fail or thrive around certainty. When we are seeking love, that list resembling a Deli order sheet can be full of the “qualities” we think we have to have in order to be happy. They are, after all, things that we feel always made us happy…but, have they? Some check marks on our order form reflect the pain we have suffered and are our “never agains”. Rarely do we look at ourselves and how we may have changed over the years. Perhaps in truth, that list doesn’t reflect who we are or what we want NOW.

 

A chapter of love that has a longer history, certainty can be a gift. The familiarity of warts and crazies of the person we love can give us peace of mind. And, we can be blind to aspects that have certainly changed, both in our partners and our sweet selves. Comfort and certainty may be our stuck place, preventing us from risking new things and opening ourselves to fear that sharing our new and different selves might create chaos. Never are we taught that change is juicy and wonderful, only to stay in the land of what we know, or believe we know.

 

As this new year begins, take a really long look at yourself. Be inquisitive. Who are you now and what do you want in this chapter of your life? If you are single and looking for love, be sure and update yourself as you see that now. Perhaps things that mattered earlier have disappeared and I hope you will allow yourself the joy of realizing that what you want now might surprise you. It’s time to let go of the presumptions of “Certainty” and just let yourself fly!

 

Are you limiting your chances for finding a wonderful person with whom to share the next chapter of your amazing life? Need to look at yourself as you are today and then do whatever you need to do to find someone to share your life NOW?

Call me at 510-817-4242 for a Complimentary Session to see just what’s getting in your way and how to invite new love into your life.

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer and Expert in Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”

Donna’s Big Red Chair

www.donnasbigredchair.love

510-817-4242   donna@donnasbigredchair.love

You Got Yours…I Got Mine

 

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“Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete
Could we just be broken together?
If you can bring your shattered dreams and I’ll bring mine
Could healing still be spoken and save us?
The only way we’ll last forever is broken together”

Excerpted from “Broken Together” performed by Casting Crowns

 

Most of my life I thought there was a man out there who was better than the one that was in my life.

Someone with a mother who hadn’t criticized and judged him , a father who loved him just the way he was, a man who still believed in love and who could show up with everything necessary for a healthy and happy relationship. Is it too much to ask??

 

Years passed, my relationships began blissfully and ended sadly and still I believed that Mr. Close to Perfect just hadn’t appeared yet. Maybe he would be in the next round of “Matches for This Week”.

 

It takes as long as it takes to learn something, but thank God I finally got it! Everybody that has lived as long as I have is battered and bruised and comes with an array of gashes, scars and a few gaping holes in their souls. And guess who’s among them?

 

Often people who are single say they are looking for a healthy partner with no baggage. Most want to begin with a clean slate, but it isn’t gonna happen. We are all like famous paintings hanging in the Louvre, each of us with layer upon layer of old “paint”, the product of countless ” failed”attempts. 

 

Successful relationships are possible and well worth the courage it takes. We grow them only when the soil is forgiving and the gardener is compassionate. Before we can expect someone to love us as flawed imperfect people, we MUST learn to love and accept our own imperfection.

 

Don’t get me wrong. There are many people who are unable to create and sustain healthy, functional relationships. And there are people who are toxic and unhealthy for us. No amount of love can change them. A therapist, maybe. It’s the man or woman that has the health and humility to see their part in past relationships that didn’t work, can see the need for changing something in themselves so that they get different results, and most of all a DEEP DESIRE to do the work it takes together with a partner who wants that very same thing….a loving, nurturing relationship with a foundation of trust and the guts to stay when the urge to run feels like a case of poison ivy.

 

Stop looking for perfection in a partner. If you are one of the lucky ones and find a special someone with whom you want to share precious time on this Earth, cultivate compassion and summon the courage to dig deep to make it work.

Does this sound like something you’ve done and maybe are still doing in your search for love? If you’re ready to do the work to get rid of this roadblock so that you can find someone to share the next fabulous chapter of your life…Call me at 510-817-4242 and let’s do a Strategy Session together so that next time this year, you’re happy looking in that mirror!

Donna Bailey, MS

Coach, Speaker, Writer, Expert in Dating and Relationships for “Grown-ups”

Donna’s Big RED Chair

www.donnasbigredchair.love

donna@donnasbigredchair.love   510-817-4242

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