Recently, I had the honor and pleasure of speaking with a young woman, let’s call her Helen, who was having difficulty dealing with an apparent lack of commitment from her boyfriend of many years. My role was to let her acknowledge the answers that were within her and that she was resisting. As usual, names, cities and other personal information have been changed.
Helen’s apparent issue had to do with the fact that her present boyfriend, Richard, was unwilling to commit to a long-term relationship, something that Helen longed for. To add drama to the equation, a long-time friend and former boyfriend of Helen, Mike, was still in the picture.
Helen and Mike had known each other since they were 19. They are now in the early and mid-30s. They were best of friends and, for a while, Helen had dated and been in love with Mike. They remained seemingly best of friends following the end of the relationship. So much so in fact that, not long ago, Mike took Helen to France and Italy. During the trip, Mike proposed to Helen. She turned him down explaining that time had passed, she’d moved on, and she no longer was in love with Mike. Moreover, as Mike knew, she was now dating and in love with Richard who is also in his mid-30s. Unfortunately, while Helen wanted a long-term commitment with Richard, he was unwilling to commit but kept her on the hook by telling her that he just needed to work through some issues and it was just a matter of time. To add drama to the equation, Richard had cheated on Helen with his ex-girlfriend … Hmmmm!
In any event, Helen was confused. She loved Richard but wasn’t sure if she should wait. She wasn’t even sure if Richard was the man she should commit to. Knowing that I guide women to understand how men generally think and act, Helen called wanting to know what Richard was thinking and what to do. I asked Helen a few questions: “Are you in love with him?” “What does ‘love’ mean to you?” “How do you know when you’re ‘in love’?” “Why do you love Richard?” and things of that nature to get the full background of the story and to know how Helen thinks. From then it was easy to ask “What would you tell your best girlfriend?” I was not surprised to hear “You need to leave.” Of course, I asked why she would give that advice. She knew, and because she’d known for a while, it was easy for her to give me the reasons.
Helen is a drop-gorgeous woman. She’s intelligent, well-educated, well-read and has traveled widely. She’s open-minded and has no trouble having men ask her out. And while she has no trouble identifying the qualities she seeks in her partner (most of us don’t), she has trouble applying them (most of us do). Like most good-looking women, she lacks a certain level of self-esteem. Like most us who are exposed to the media and believe the message that we are unworthy (unless we buy their products), she fears she will never be loved. But she is an open-hearted, loving and caring woman and in the end, I simply asked: “Don’t you deserve the same?” She, like all of us, had known the answer all along but her fears kept her in the relationship. Once she acknowledged the “answers” that had been within her, she told me she felt the weight lift off her shoulders.
We talked for a while longer about what this relationship had mirrored in her (the subject of another blog post) and the opportunities the end of this relationship provided her for self-growth (the subject of yet another blog post). I also took the time to guide her in ending the relationship “properly” since men and women tend to communicate this in very different ways, as well as dealing with Richard’s likely reaction.
I followed up with Helen a few days later and her voice had a lightness to it. She knew she had made the wise decision for her. She was thankful that I had guided her to take the time to reflect upon what the relationship had mirrored in her. She talked with a new confidence in her self-worth.
I reminded her that the answers and the guidance had been with her the whole time. I was glad to have been the key she had used to open the door to them.
As usual, I welcome all comments and feedback. With love, wishing you much laughter and giggles in your day, Jean-Pierre