Monthly Archives: June 2006

Say Goodbye as Soon as You Know

How many people do you know who can not tell someone they are dating that they do not want to see them any more?

How many couples do you know who continue to date, are not making a commitment and one or both of them are miserable being together?

Why do you suppose that intelligent, capable and otherwise successful men and women do not tell the truth when they no longer want to spend time together and build a life with another person?

Men and women from the U.S. and Canada to the U.K. to Australia and New Zealand tell me the very same thing:

  • I can’t tell him that I don’t want to be with him anymore…it sounds so mean

  • I don’t want to hurt her feelings

  • I can’t just reject him, he’s such a nice guy

  • She won’t understand…she’ll be so upset and she’s very sweet

  • People say I’m being too picky…that I am actually very lucky to be dating such a wonderful…

Please remember you are dating. Dating is a process. You are dating to find your ideal match. Recognizing that the men and women you are dating are not a match for you is the point of the process.

It is highly likely that you will date a number of people who will not be your ideal match before you and the love of your life find each other. As soon as you recognize that your date is not your ideal match, stop the dating process.

You will not be the ideal match for the overwhelming majority of people who date you! When men or women you date recognize that you are not a match for them, they will (hopefully) stop the dating process…they will stop dating you.

There is no “rejecting” or “rejection” going on here. No one is being mean or hurting the feelings of others when one stops dating someone who is not the ideal match. Mindful adults are making mindful decisions with volition and intention about the “who” and the “how” of the rest of their lives. It is as simple as that.

Go out, keep dating and don’t settle or accept good enough. Your ideal love is a very special man or woman who will not be interchangeable with anyone else.

Trust that it can be fabulous; that you can have what you want!

Say goodbye as soon as you know what you know, deep in the place where you know it!

Until next time remember…

Only YOU can make it Happen!

Contact Information Etiquette

Have you ever met someone and wanted to see him again? Or talk to her again? When you first meet someone and are interested in connecting with her again, how and where do you try to contact her? How and where would you like him to contact you?

Contact information etiquette is essential if you date once in a while or are actively dating to find your ideal mate.

Consider these things:

  • Do you want someone you just met to have your home phone number? Office phone number? Cell phone number?

  • Do you have an alternate voice mail number you give out to men or women you meet and start dating?

  • Is it okay with you to receive calls at all hours of the day and night?

  • Is it okay with you to receive e-mails at your place of business?

  • Do you have an alternate mailbox or e-mail address for personal/social contacts?

  • Do you have any concerns inviting someone you just met into your home? Home neighborhood? Office? Office neighborhood?

  • Are you welcoming of someone you just met or are getting to know dropping in on you at home? In the office? Calling you anytime the mood strikes?

Think about these things carefully. Talk to your friends and family members about the whole area of contact information etiquette. Are there any behaviors that you want to add to my list for yourself?

Decide what is comfortable or preferable for you. Set the boundaries that match for you and honor your beliefs and values. Don’t worry about how the other person is going to view this. You are the important person in your picture. There are no right or wrong choices. There are just your choices that affirm and honor you!

I am going to offer one word of caution. When setting up the first 5 to 8 meetings, make every conceivable effort to avoid inviting strangers into your home, home neighborhood and into your office. And yes, men and women you meet and start dating are strangers! Please be clear about this. It doesn’t matter who you think they are or who you want them to be. Until you have personal experience with people over time, they are strangers.

Invite them for coffee or lunch or a stroll through an art gallery or museum. Meet them in the coffee house, restaurant or art gallery. Invite a friend to join you and this “new” special person. Park your car down the street, not in the restaurant parking lot. Say goodbye in front of the art gallery. This used to be good advice for women. Today, it is just plain good advice!

Be savvy and be safe. Help people understand what you expect and how to treat you. Take a deep breath, connect to what you know and go for it!

Until next time remember…

Only YOU can make it Happen!

Honor and respect your partner’s feelings as if they are your own

Today I want to focus on an essential relationship behavior that you will want to practice, become good at and use frequently with your Honey:

Honor and respect your partner’s feelings as if they are your own

Our feelings are the barometer of our outside existential lives. Our feelings let us know how things are going for us inside ourselves. Feelings exist because they do, in and of themselves. We cannot choose to change, modify, not feel, or otherwise positively or negatively affect our feelings. The only choices we have are directly related to our behavior.

Feelings are as normal as hunger and fatigue. When we dismiss, diminish, ridicule, criticize, mock, belittle, disparage or demean anyone’s feelings we are acting in the most disrespectful and unloving way.

Next time your Honey (or anyone in your life, for that matter) expresses a feeling, consider hearing the feeling as a sacred offering. Be curious and compassionate.

Remember: It is not your job to fix anything. She or he is not broken. It isn’t necessary to offer insights, suggestions, give answers or otherwise provide brilliant advice or express profound guidance. Don’t get distracted by the content of the event. Stay with the feeling(s). Your Sweetheart is experiencing and expressing normal, natural human emotion.

Here are 3 simple, loving behaviors:

  • Listen with your heart.
  • Tell your partner that he or she matters to you and that their feelings are important to you.
  • Ask if there is anything you can do or say right now that would be helpful.

Believe that your presence and your caring go a long way to soothe hurt and upset hearts. Very often people know what they need or what might be helpful. When they don’t, the 3 simple loving behaviors are enough!!! Try it and let me know how it goes!

Until next time remember…

Only YOU can make it Happen!

Making and Keeping Agreements and Commitments

Making and keeping agreements and commitments is a fundamental ingredient of any relationship. It is one of the cornerstones of a committed love relationship.  It is vital that partners know in the deepest part of their being that they can count on the promises and assurances offered by their beloved.

Not honoring the agreements or commitments you make is a betrayal of your partner and of your relationship. It constitutes a breech of trust.  In a long-term, primary, monogamous love relationship we make agreements and commitments to each other AND to the relationship.

Think of the relationship itself this way: When you and your partner join the many facets of your lives together, you create a third energy, the relationship, that lives and breathes as its own entity; an entity that you are entrusted to guard and protect, nurture and care for.  Making and keeping agreements and commitments is one of the ways couples make that happen.

Here are 5 Simple Steps to making and honoring agreements and commitments:

  1. Make agreements and commitments in good faith and with good intention.
  2. Only make agreements and commitments you believe you are able and willing to honor.
  3. Tell your partner the minute you become aware that you may not be able to honor an agreement or a commitment.  Let him or her know that:  (a) you made the commitment or the agreement in good faith and with every intention to honor it; (b) you have become aware that you are having trouble honoring it; (c) you want to renegotiate the agreement or commitment as soon as possible.
  4. Renegotiate the agreement or commitment WITH your partner.  Invite his or her participation and feedback in this process.  Remember:  You made the agreement or commitment for a reason.  Your partner has legitimate expectations and may be disappointed by having to renegotiate things.  Be patient, compassionate, and listen to everything s/he has to say.  The process of re-negotiating is as important as agreeing or committing to something new.
  5. Be gentle with yourself and your partner.  This is a new skill you are practicing and it will probably feel uncomfortable the first few times.  Find your courage and keep going.

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!


Understanding & Resolving Conflict

Conflict is inevitable and a normal part of life. Healthy conflict can lead to positive changes in personal relationships. Negative conflict can be very destructive and can sap energy from everyone around.

It takes common sense, patience and practice to effectively resolve conflict. If you remember that conflict is normal and cannot be avoided, you can learn to constructively manage it, minimize it and resolve it.

Causes of Conflict
Searching for the causes can be helpful in resolving the conflict. Here are some common causes to be aware of:

  • Misunderstandings
  • Personality clashes
  • Differences in values or goals
  • Unclear responsibilities
  • Needs or wants are not being met
  • Values are being challenged
  • Boundaries are being violated
  • Perceptions are being questioned
  • Assumptions are being made
  • Perceived lack of resources
  • Dissatisfaction or disappointment
  • Change of any kind
  • Awareness or knowledge is minimal
  • Expectations are too high/too low

Conflict Can Be Constructive
While it is true that most of us are not particularly comfortable with conflict, it can be a positive and productive way to achieve desirable outcomes:

  • Clarify important problems and issues
  • Achieve solutions to problems together
  • Resolve mutually important issues
  • Find your authentic voice and tell your personal truth
  • Ease emotions and stress when you experience one of the common causes of conflicts
  • Build cooperation between you and another person when you reveal more about yourself and make it your priority to really hear the other person
  • Increase your awareness about yourself and another person
  • Develop deeper understanding, empathy and communication skills

Don’t be afraid of conflict that may arise in your relationships.  Learn the all-important skills to resolve conflict respectively and constructively.  Create the love relationship, family relationships and business relationships that match your emotional intelligence and maturity.

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Hello. I am Dr. Jackie Black, your Couples in Trouble Expert. Since 1999, I have guided many formerly frustrated and desperately unhappy Couples in Trouble to happiness, closeness and having more fun together than they ever imagined. My years of experience combined with your commitment to your personal growth will enable you to welcome the results you have always wanted and never believed were possible in your marriage.

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