Why Why Why???

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Why do we like who we like?  Why do we do what we do?  Why are we the way we are?  As it relates to dating, love, and relationships, how do we enact the process?  Are we like animals in the wild instinctively mating during various cycles and times of the month?  Or Do we rationally choose who we date and why?
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First let’s address why we like who we like.  When we first meet someone there is obviously some sort of physical attraction; depending on the type of dater you are.  For me, there is usually a physical feature or something in the guys’ appearance that is attractive.  It could be his face, hair, accent, height, demeanor, or the way he carries himself.  Typically, these characteristics represent physical attraction, and everyone has a particular preference or type of person they are drawn to for reasons that we can’t always explain.  This phenomenon is similar to simply being attracted to certain colors or other things we like; like clothing, cars, etc.  I believe that what we like or buy somehow represents us and our personality. That would be the major explanation for why we like what we like initially.  It could be from our upbringing or how we were bred.  Some people may have been born with a silver spoon and have already been pre-exposed to knowing about the “finer” things in life.  However, if a person has never had any materialistic type of things, expensive cars, clothes, etc, he or she may seek those things out.  There is nothing wrong with exploring a different side of life.  Contrastingly, you have people who are just the opposite.  Their personality is more in line with the simple things in life.  They may even be an environmentalist type of person.  What does all of this have to do with dating?  In choosing a mate, once we move passed our animal instinct of “ooo look at the nice looking man or woman, come on let’s mate” (be fruitful and multiply) without thinking, we realize that we attract who we are.  Or is it that opposites attract?  We just like who we like; this person represents some aspect of ourselves or the self we would like to be or become.  (The two become one).
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So how do we choose our mate? Or why do we choose who we choose?  I’ve always said that it’s easier for men than women; but the men argue that it’s not.  So once we move beyond the physical attraction of the person, what’s next?  There has to be something about the person during the getting to know you process that keeps you attracted. The relationship can’t all be physical right? Not in choosing a Mate or life-long partner.  I hope that we are looking for some substance in this process.  Maybe some are not but this post is not intended for that type of casual dater; we’ve all been there before, and this is how some choose to date.  “Willy Nilly”…you hear people say all the time that they’re not looking for anything.  Is it because they are not the settling down type?  Then you hear people say, well, I wasn’t looking for a partner when I met my Husband or Wife or Girlfriend or Boyfriend…is it because they were busy with the business of life?  It is a thin line between the two.  We must keep ourselves busy with life; however we have to make time to date if our goal is to meet our potential Husband or Wife.  On the other hand, we should not live obsessing over our Future Mate, and how we are having such a difficult time; and how we keep dating or finding losers!  Yes, I’ve been there before too.

So what is it about the potential or the men or women that you are dating that keeps you holding on and hoping that he or she is Mr. or Ms. Right?  Is it their looks? (How shallow). Is it their money, educational level, the way they treat you?  What is it?  It is a combination of things.  Does this person have a plan for their life?  Does this person want to or plan to get married one day?  How does this person really feel about you?  Are they good with money and investments?  If they have children (we’re in the 30s), are they a good parent?  How do they treat their parents or other family members?  These are important questions to ask yourself, your potential, and also to observe through this process.  Have you clearly defined what you are looking for in a Mate?  We all think we know what we want; I hope.  But still sometimes we often wind up settling…we settle into what’s comfortable at the time.  The downside of staying in a comfortable situation is that you run the risk of not really getting the type of relationship that you desire.
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For example, when you first meet a person, they are all about impressing you.  For the ladies, the guy will take you out; show you off to some of his friends; spend lots of time with you, the getting to know you phase (in the beginning).  Then he becomes more comfortable with you and his true colors come out; now all of a sudden he says that he doesn’t have the money to go out or that he doesn’t really like to go out.  What do you do?  Is this the type of person you want to spend the rest of your life with knowing that you are the type of person who enjoys nights on the town with your Man?  I’m just saying; I know that’s not what relationships are all about, but how do you deal with someone who has portrayed such extremes in your relationship?  Do we stay in that situation for supposed love or just keep it moving?  You decide…

It seems that dating takes too much work…it should be fun right?  I remember when I was in college a guy friend said that dating is expensive.  I can definitely see how that could be true from a man’s perspective.  If he’s a gentleman, then he’s all about paying for the dinner, movie, and/or lunch, the outing.  I’ve always said that daters should become more creative.  There are lots of free ways to date which happen to be more romantic than spending lots of money on food that’s not always that good anyway.  Dating, choosing, and finding our mate takes time and balance.  If you live a balanced life, then you can attract a balanced Mate.  Unfortunately, life will throw plenty of challenges at us everyday.  In our effort to stay sane, life will affect the way we interact with our potential mates.  Do you date more than one person at a time?  It all depends on if you have the time to right; and again it can get expensive.  Maybe the first or second date could be a trip to the gym or a nice walk in the park; or maybe to church.  What’s most important in dating is finding common ground.  You have to have some things in common.  No, it doesn’t have to be everything in common; that could be quite boring.  You have to be able to talk to and communicate with your ideal Mate; and you will find early on if you mesh well with or are compatible with this person.
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I always say…just be you!  Your potential will love you even more if you know who you are; what you’re willing to accept; and what you stand for!  Good luck in love and dating! And please have fun!  Stay focused; stay purposed; and Be True to You!  I love you all!
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 –Dr. Rae ❤

In Transition…

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Happy 2013! We are officially well into the New Year; it’s almost March!  It seems I’ve been hiding…hiding from you all and hiding from myself.  You ever just feel so scatter-brained? We pray for change with the New Year making resolutions and such.  This year I didn’t make resolutions but a New Year’s Wish List.  I haven’t quite seen these wishes come true, but the good news is that I feel them on the horizon.  A new friend of mine asked me, when I told him about my wish list plan, did I write out how I would accomplish them.  Now there’s a thought.  No, I didn’t plan it out; I just had to write out what I want to happen in 2013.  Write the vision down; know what it is that you want from life.  In reality, I don’t feel as though I’ve been true to or working hard enough to see these dreams come into manifestation.  It’s easy just to coast along, but let us remember that we must take action with the energy of the New Year instead of letting it get away from us.  Sometimes we can be in such a rush for change that we will try too hard.  On the other hand, if we don’t keep referring to what we want, like actually looking at our list of goals and desires, we lose sight of them and get caught up in the everyday pressures of living life.  Pressures, meaning whatever life can unexpectedly throw at you such as illness, financial woes, lost love life or loved ones, etc.  We must learn to navigate through the hardships while attempting to enjoy life and focus on what makes us happy in life such as pursuing our goals.
set goalsNow this brings me to our love topic of the day.  I plan to go live again soon on my YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/drraelovecoach for a 2013 message.  Where are we in our love lives today?  Here goes… the love life is just as scattered as the brain.  Everything is connected here.  Let me explain.  For example, after a 20 minute conversation with the 2012 Boo-Thang on December 30th, and evaluating where I am on this day in February, somehow it all makes sense.  I thought I’d found the one…one of the ones…you know you get that feeling sometimes.  I spent countless energy attempting to pursue this relationship with said Boo-Thang who continued to mention his emotional unavailability due to a break-up that occurred earlier in the year.  We had some great times in 2012, but I was unable to obtain that sought after solid relationship with a title that I’ve been searching for/desiring.  Which brings us to the present day 2013…transition.
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The transition is a strange but excellent place to be in.  Like everything it has its pros and cons.  Essentially, this is what the 2012 Boo-Thang was trying to express.  Long story short, he felt as if we needed to focus on getting our lives together instead of being in a relationship.  As the holidays have come and gone, Christmas, New Years, and Valentine’s Day, I found myself alone.  Not even a Boo-Thang to share them with…this reality check at age 32 has hit me in the face…and heart…but now I’m back and ready to pursue my purpose and passions.  I’m ready to get my life in order and together.  So you’re thinking “haven’t you been doing this for awhile now”…why yes.  I spent the last six years pursuing a Doctorate degree that I was unable to complete.  How long will this transition last and what exactly is it?  This is no longer the finding myself transition.  Someone asked me that the other day.  “He said you didn’t have a Valentine because you’re finding you”…uh No… I had a Valentine last year and where is he today?  He ran away…because he was in transition when I met him…I’ve always thought that I was ready to settle down.  I still am…but we all must go through the transition.  It is similar to finding yourself…only it goes deeper than that.  It doesn’t matter your age when you go through this process.  I’m thinking that if we don’t complete this transition at a given time, we’ll have to pick it back up again.  What am I talking about?  Really pursuing what you are passionate about!

I want security…the kind that doesn’t come from a 9-5; the type of jobs I’ve been trying to obtain for almost two years now.  It’s bewildering because it shouldn’t take so much to get a job these days.  Is it because the Universe, God, is pushing me to a different calling? Something outside of the norm?  A few weeks ago, my mom said that I act as if my book, my baby, doesn’t exist.  That’s a mortifying thought.  I have allowed the pressures of life to get in the way of what I believe in.  Have I lost love for my baby?  My creativity…the thing that makes me unique?  Let us not lose sight of our gifts and talents because at the end of the day we are worth more than any 9-5 can provide for us.  We don’t knock the hustle or the so called stability of it…but what do we really want?
mybook2012  Some may say, I want my Husband and kids…me too…but when he comes along will I be ready?  Will I put my passions to the side for him and to start a family or will I be ready to roll!  I’ll have something in place that looks like I’m ready.  Here’s what I’ve done and accomplished…for now…I’m just in transition.  So when the next stranger, old, young, married…whatever, whoever tries to make you feel insecure for being over 30 and single just say…”I’m in transition”…God is still preparing me for who and what He has for me.  I have a BIG dream to accomplish!

If they can’t respect that, then you definitely don’t have time for the distraction. Keep it moving!

I didn’t say don’t date…but don’t settle or allow anyone to make you feel like something is wrong with you…God has someone for you because you believe.  We attract that which we are…as we get more settled from the transition, the right person will appear. By this time we will be more confident in ourselves for working toward the dream we believe in.
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Miss Positivity

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Happy New Year’s Eve Everyone!  The last day of 2012!  We have made it through another year filled with ups, downs, life and love lessons.  It’s time for us to move on into 2013 with a sense of peace and purpose.  For the entire month of December I devoted myself to a 31-day challenge of keeping a positive mindset.  I tried my best to monitor my thoughts, actions, and behaviors; what I read; what I watched and listened to; and who I hung out with.  Although this past month and my endeavor of staying positive was met with some challenges, which are sure to come to us in our life, I can say that my efforts paid off.  I actually feel that I’m getting back to my true self; who has always been a “glass half full” type of person. 

 glasshalffullI’m looking forward to keeping the positive lifestyle for 2013.  This is the only way we will accomplish and manifest the life and love life that we truly desire.  We want to experience all that God has for us; God’s best!  If not, then what is the purpose of living?  In reality, we aren’t promised to have only good days; but we can have awesome days everyday if we alter our perceptions of what’s really going on around us and in us.  Change is inevitable.  Without it, we are not growing.  When I was little, my granny would ask me everyday or whenever I saw her at least once or twice a week, “whatcha know”?  I always wondered why Granny would ask me that all the time.  I would always reply “nothing”; sort of dry-like and confused especially once I was in my teenage years.  Now as I reflect on that simple question, “what do you know”, I realize its importance, and why Granny felt the need to constantly pose it.

The more we know, or the more we are seeking out new experiences; knowledge; insights; the more we are growing.  That’s the purpose or meaning of life.  The acquisition of knowledge, or knowingness, and the ability to share what we are learning with others.  I’m sure Granny hoped that one day I’d give her a new answer; and I’m sure she knew that I knew more than “nothing”.  New information is constantly presenting itself to us everyday; especially now in this instant information age in which we live.  You literally have to be living under a rock or in a cave to miss out on the happenings of the world.  Sometimes it’s an information overload, and for me taking in all the new can become tiresome because some of it is meaningless and unworthy of spending good energy entertaining.  That’s why we must watch what we watch and listen to; too much negativity is exhausting, and we must combat it with positive energy, music, and thoughts. 

 Books-06Today is a great day for making resolutions for the New Year.  We always feel positive about the changes we want to make, but we don’t always stick to them.  Let’s seek to make our goals realistic and attainable enough to become a way of life.  Just like I promised myself 31-days of positivity, which may have become annoying to some of my Twitter followers, let’s promise ourselves to commit to making changes for the New Year that will impact us for the rest of our lives.  Becoming a better person; detoxing from negativity; obtaining a job or entrepreneurial idea; weight loss; seeking a healthy love relationship; whatever the goal or dream is not instantaneous.  Everything we are seeking to accomplish involves a process that begins within and will not manifest until just the right time.  The more positive we are about seeing the result; and the more we believe in its inevitability; and the more work and effort we put toward seeing it come into reality, the easier the process becomes.  Before we know it, we will have all that we desire.  Sometimes it will show up nothing like we expected, but the outcome will be good!

So what is it that you desire for 2013?  Write it down and start working on making your dream a reality.  In 31 days, I didn’t obtain the goals, dreams, or desires that I had written down, but I can truly say that my rewards are intrinsic.  I started the process of constant belief.  I decided to stick to something; staying positive about my life and the direction in which it is going despite its external conditions.  Just because you don’t see your dream right away, it doesn’t mean you give up; it means you keep going and keep pushing because there is a lot of work being done behind the scenes.  God knows; the Universe is working on your behalf because you believe.  I am believing with you.  The time is now!

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Holiday Love

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Well the holidays have finally arrived!  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Our holidays wouldn’t be complete without love in our lives right?  Of course not!  This time of the year is meant to be cherished and spent with family, friends, and loved ones.  This is the time of the year where you are excused for being a kid again.  You can enjoy and create your own holiday magic.  For some, this time of the year can be difficult because some of our loved ones are no longer with us.  They would want us to be happy and enjoy the memories we have of them.  Also, for some of us this time of the year is difficult because we are somewhat conflicted about our single status and/or job status.  I am in a better state of mind this year than I was last year.  I remember being very depressed last Christmas as I dwelled upon everything that I didn’t have in my life; I was unemployed, man-less and without a vehicle.  My loving parents continued to remind me of everything I had in my life; such as them.  Some people don’t have family or friends to spend these happy days with.  Just when you think your situation is bad, it really could always be worse.  It sounds very cliché but it is in fact true.  We don’t wish bad on anyone, but we also must not judge someone’s situation.  You don’t know how or why some people are less fortunate than you.

Good love; is that good fortune?  Why yes, however, you shouldn’t let your single status affect your holiday mood.  Needless to say, it can.  I am blessed to have my family, my friends, and my “love friend”.  The key here is releasing our expectations of people.  I am working on my emotional state of being and counting my blessings.  I am under-employed which is better than being unemployed.  I still don’t have a vehicle, but so what.  I have accepted where I am right now, but I am also increasing my expectations.  Not my expectations of the people in my life or pressuring my “love friend” to take our relationship to the next level; but I am increasing my expectations of my overall life!  I believe that I deserve more from life, and I expect to receive those blessings in the right timing!  Positive energy and expectation creates the atmosphere to receive the blessings. 

 In my mind, I’d love to have a house, and cook, and entertain family and friends; those are some of the blessings of this time of year.  I’d love to have a romantic holiday too.  I’m a dreamer; and there is nothing wrong with that.  The scenario that I’ve just created isn’t the only aspect that makes the holiday.  Being with your family; engaging in self-love practices; eating, relaxing, hanging out with friends; that’s what makes the holiday.  For some, it may be volunteering at the local shelter or at church; doing something to help the less fortunate or just helping out with the children in your life.  God has blessed me to be an Aunt and a Godmother; there really is enough love to go around in my life for me not to be depressed about what I don’t have.

As we focus on what we do have in our lives and all the love, then more will be given to us.  It is a Universal Law.  This time of the year will be filled with happy surprises because we expect them!  The goals that we have been working toward all year regarding our careers, our life purpose, and our love life will manifest because of our hard work on them and our expectations.  The key now is to enjoy the moments!  Enjoy the people and the Holiday Magic in your life!  Create great holiday memories and live to tell about them! 

  

“First Date”

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I finally gathered enough energy to go out on a “real date” with someone new!  Yay!  Go Me!  For the past couple of weeks, well for the past month or so, I had been feeling the urge to anyway; considering the inaction and non-actions of the “Boo-Thang” (love interest).  Last time I checked in with you all I told you how “I didn’t get the memo” that he had been seeing/dating other women; and how he is not ready to be in a committed relationship with me.  I was tired of selling myself short; just waiting around for him to decide whether or not I am “the one” for him.  Consequently, my date with the new guy was great!
Do you think that sometimes in dating we just take off too fast?  I do.  We are ready to plan out the whole relationship, marriage, and babies upon first meeting someone we really like.  That’s really not normal!  In fact, what is normal these days in love and relationships?  I told my hottie of a date last night that people come into our lives when we need them to.  We both agreed that honesty works best; even though sometimes giving away too much information can be a turn off, everyone deserves the right to know who or what type of situation they are possibly getting themselves into.  My date was just about as authentic as me, and I really appreciated that about him.  Everything was movie/picture perfect for a “First Date” situation; even our waitress was *blushing*. 

I have to say that this something/someone new who I encountered last night created a fresh energy for me.  Don’t we want all of our relationships/friendships to give us that feeling?  How do we lose that sense along the way with some of our love interests?  Some dating situations turn stale and sour.  Maybe it’s because one person wants more from the other, like a commitment; or wanting to change that person.  The only one you can change is you; and if you don’t like the way a dating situation is working out then you should explore other options because trying to force someone into something or force them to change will make you miserable.  You wind up losing yourself and sight of your purpose. 

 Well, me and my date plan to see each other again.  How exciting!  I mean we had things in common and talked about everything under the sun.  New friendships/relationships are always fun in the beginning, and we hope to be able to maintain authenticity with people.  It feels good to be around people who allow you to be yourself!  He wondered what I am planning to do with my “Boo-Thang” now.  A couple of weeks ago I released a YouTube video on Boo-Thangs, and how we deserve to be more than just a “homieloverfriend”.  Of course I still have feelings for the dude (we are approaching 9 months), but I’ve decided that I can’t just sit around and wait for him; and I really don’t think at this point in his life that he’s expecting me to.  Maybe he’ll come to his senses or maybe he too will continue to date other women or whatever it is that he does when he’s not with me.  Whatever happens, I know that things will work out for the good for everyone because I believe in God and that the Universe is always working to bring me only good; and that’s what I expect for my life! 

 So, no, I’m not going to plan anything…I still desire a relationship/a commitment but this doesn’t usual happen overnight.  Not that it can’t…but our actions must show God that we are open to receiving only the best by removing or letting go of situations or people that block us from receiving what we desire deep inside!

The holidays are approaching!  Good luck cuddling up with your “Boo-Thangs” or your New Thangs!  I love you all!  And I’ll keep you posted!

 

–Dr. Rae  

STL Author’s New Book Takes a Unique Journey Through Love

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STL Author’s New Book Takes a Unique Journey Through Love
by Raegan Johnson

Like many women, Raechel Rivers, 32, grew up with dreams of meeting prince charming, having a few kids and living happily ever after.  But, roughly 42 percent of African American women have never been married—and Rivers is one of them.

“When I reached my late twenties, I began to wonder when is it going to happen?” she says. “I watched friends get married, fall in love, and I wondered why my time hadn’t come. Then I realized I was on a journey toward love, but it didn’t involve anyone else.”

Rivers’ new book, Journey to Self; Journey to Love, is a collection of personal poems, thoughts, and blog entries from her journey through love.

“This book portrays a young woman crossing over from the confusion of adolescence to the responsibility of womanhood–with a sense of self-knowledge,” she says. “In my search for love, I’ve continued to make a full circle back to myself and my Creator. Some of the stories are sad and some funny, but all are worth sharing.”

Journey to Self; Journey to Love is available for $13.99 on Authorhouse.com or $14.99 at Barnes & Noble and on Amazon.com.

“When blogging first became popular, I would post my reflections and thoughts about love and dating,” she says.  “I received a lot of positive feedback. People were inspired and could relate. They suggested that I document what I was posting.  So I did, and it became my book; sort of like a journal.”

Rivers says writing the book was liberating as she faced inner struggles and learning to love herself.

“Through the book, I was able to move forward without dwelling on failed relationships and develop new, healthy relationships. This book is geared more toward single women; but it is also for anyone who wants to discover or re-discover how to love their own person, love God and love others.”

With so many love and relationship books on the market, Rivers says authenticity makes her book stand out.

“I keep it real!” she said.  “I do not sugarcoat how it feels to be single. I do not sugarcoat what single women go through in finding ourselves and navigating through dating and relationships.  I’m not afraid of the truth; it is what sets me free.”

For Rivers, Journey to Self; Journey to Love is just the beginning.

“I’m working on the Self-Love Handbook as a follow-up book,” she said.  “It is more of a guidebook than a tell-all. I am also working on a possible fiction book and a screenplay.”

Follow Rivers’ blog on https://drrae.wordpress.com, www.twitter.com/raeluvs2write, www.youtube.com/drraelovecoach.

I Didn’t Get the Memo…

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Seven months…that’s how long I’ve known my “love interest”, newly titled “love friend”.  We have surpassed the 90 day mark; see previous post regarding the probationary period, and we are now in the grace period of said “no title phase”.  What is the memo that I didn’t receive you ask?  While I thought we were getting closer to the serious phase, meanwhile boo’s mind is far from thinking about an exclusive relationship with me.  Contrastingly, it has been discussed that he doesn’t want to necessarily hear about my relationships/dates with other guys, which have become non-existent circa a month and a half ago; but feels that he couldn’t object to those relationships since we are not together.  So I was definitely in agreement with that about a month ago when I still had other candidates on the brain, but up until about a month ago, I was in “diss” mode toward other men; where I subconsciously created a serious relationship in my own mind (I have a boyfriend, do I??).  In the midst of what boo was saying; I didn’t hear what he wasn’t saying that like him basically I can’t get upset if he is still seeing other people; but somewhere in there I thought we had a conversation where he said that he wasn’t really seeing anyone else.  My how the tide changes within weeks I’m assuming…we are all entitled to change our minds due to life or whatever contingencies.  He’s a guy, I shouldn’t have expected him to say that if some other young lady or circumstance came along that out of convenience or whatever hormones that he wouldn’t satisfy the urge to indulge himself in said new female.  We are not together remember?
Where did I go wrong initially, I didn’t believe him 7 months ago when he said he wasn’t looking for a relationship?  Did I think I could change him?  Did I think I was the one to help him forget about the last woman who hurt him?  I am not God…clearly I’m not…not trying to be either.  Did I not think that I would begin to have feelings for him?  Honestly, we were both in vulnerable states emotionally when we met.  So now what?  Where do we go from here?  We are not on the same page.  I’m looking for growth in a relationship that has become stagnant.  I can say that I want to be in a committed relationship, with him or just in a relationship?  Both.  Well, the him I’ve created in my head; not necessarily the him who in reality; no longer has time or makes time for, love, lunch, texting, talking or me.  Let’s just face it; I’m no longer the best thing since sliced bread or that new toy on Christmas Day.  Who am I and who have I become to him?  A friend?  The verdict is out on that one.  We have a friendship, yes…this is called the gray zone.  Regardless of what it is, the memo involves seeing and spending time with other people; and now I have to figure out how to mainstream myself back into the society of dating…

 I bought a book “The Breakup Book: A Girl’s Guide to Putting the Pieces Back Together”.  I know what you’re thinking, what?!  How is it that you’re broken up with someone you weren’t even with?  And aren’t you supposed to be the “Love Doctor”?  Yes, I am here to help you and give advice; seldom do I take my own advice.  This valley with my love friend feels like a breakup, and I decided to seek out some help on re-charging the blow to my ego.  The author, Diane Mastromarino., is giving me basically the same info that I give you, but sometimes I need to hear someone else say it.  Same message different messenger.  Besides, the book is funny and a short read only 47 pages with some great quotes.

I have to do whatever works, and what I had been doing between now and last month was unhealthy and could possibly ruin the gray zone of this potential relationship.  This is why it’s important not to put a time cap on love.  We have all kinds of baggage to sort through.  Women and men both come with bags in the post-30 dating world; and this is the reality of the situation.  We are not always going to be on the same page at the same time.  You can love someone and not like them…is this making any sense?  It’s helping me; because I’ve been giving this guy a hard time so I need to share my woes with a whole blog society rather than continue to send him texts about how I don’t understand why he wants to see other women; or whatever he’s doing that’s keeping him from being in a serious relationship with me.  He made a good point that being with me and cheating on me would be an option…wow! So true and we are too old for that! 

In all truth, I’m blessed to call him friend and grateful for his honesty.  This memo has been well received…
Will I see him again you ask, even without a commitment?  Is this worth riding out just a little bit longer?  Stay tuned…