Breakup

Will This Last? Part 4 of 6

If you haven’t read parts 1 through 3 of this series, take a moment to read them here –

1. Goal and ambitions – do you share similar life goals and ambitions?

2. Getting along with others – how your partner interacts with your circle of family, friends, strangers, etc.

3. Time and money – how you manage your time as a couple, how to handle money matters

Here in part 4, we explore a simple topic that has many layers – whether your significant other (SO) has a focus on you, including what’s important to you. And no, this isn’t about your SO watching every move you make and wanting to be joined at the hip. But you do enter their sense of curiosity some of the time? Do they ever curtail their personal interests to engage with you because you are now one of their personal interests? Or, are all your discussions about the children, work and the bills?

How do you know your partner is thinking about you? Below are some easy questions you can use to determine whether they have a focus on you.

1. Do you have a title?

Out of nowhere they have a title for you that they use around others. You have become ‘My man,’ ‘My woman,’ ‘My boo,’ ‘My bae.’ And remember; it’s not enough for them to have a name for you when you’re all alone. Do they use that same name when they’re around people they care about? It’s okay to be their ‘Boo’ when you’re alone. But it’s another thing all together when they call you ‘Boo’ in front of their best friends and family members. Have you gotten a title yet?

2. Does your partner make an effort to understand you?

Understanding comes by study. You want to be in a relationship with someone who cares enough about you to study you. The person that has a focus on you actually takes the time to contemplate everything about you. They really think about what’s important to you and then use that information to engage with you. Does your SO try to exist with you in an understanding way?

3. Does your SO find ways to make you happy?

You’ll start to experience little surprises. She got you something in your favorite color or made plans and tried to surprise you. He recalls something you said in conversation and asks you more about it. These little surprises don’t have to cost a thing – a thoughtful gesture, a handwritten note or cozy night for just the two of you. Is your SO trying to see that smile on your face?

It really is the ‘little things’ that help relationships endure. Now that you have read and answered questions for 1/2 of this series, how would you rate your relationship thus far?

I would love to hear from you! Comment below or email me directly at hiddenruleshq@gmail.com

Will This Last? Part 2 of 6

If you haven’t read part 1 of this 6-part Will This Last series, take a moment to read it here. In part 1, we explored questions about your partner’s goals and ambitions. When you and your partner have similar goals and ambitions from the start, you’re more likely to remain strong and committed when that initial “lust phase” wears off. That’s because your relationship is built on a bond that’s deeper than physical attraction and butterflies.

In part 2, we will review a series of questions about your partner’s interactions with others, specifically how he or she gets along with others. Your partner’s ability to get along with others is a clear indication of how they’ll get along with you long-term. If he struggles with his family relationships, he’ll likely have a hard time getting along with yours. If she is rude to your friends, how do you plan to blend your lives for social gatherings and fun?

So, just like in part 1, let’s explore questions to help you assess how well your partner gets along with others. This section is short and sweet with only 3 questions to consider.

1. Does your partner get along with members of his or her own family?

Have you ever dated that one member of the family that didn’t seem to get along well with anyone else in the family? Of course, the family could be “off,” but what if the real problem was your significant other? One of my former clients had been in a committed relationship for several years with a man who had a difficult time controlling his temper. Then came his family reunion.

There was no real blowup at the family reunion, but she did notice that other family members seemed to enjoy each other’s company while keeping their distance from him. Also, when he wasn’t around her, she got along well with his family members and everyone seemed to feel more at ease. It put her in a tough position because he got along great when it was just the two of them, but with this family, there was a clear challenge. She asked whether I thought the two of them would last. Here’s the thing, if your partner doesn’t get along well with biological family members, that might be a major indicator of their ability to get along with you for the long haul.

2. Does he or she get along with your friends and family?

In the movie Hitch, “Date Doctor,” Will Smith gave the best advice about getting along with your partner’s friends. He said, “This first date is about how you get along with her friends, not about how you get along with her.” Your friends are people you’ve known for years and you trust them. However, they have no skin in the game when it comes to your dating life because they’re not as emotionally attached to your partner as you are. That means you can get fairly unbiased feedback from your friends and you can watch the interactions of your partner and your friends.

Does your partner try to actively participate in conversations with your family and friends? Does she ask you things about your friends in order to get to know them better? Does he try to find things in common with your family members? Can your partner be him or herself around your friends and family?

3. How well does he or she get along with people…in general?

I’m safely assuming you’re dating someone friendly but you may be surprised to see, the more time you spend together, how they really treat people in general. I’m not referring to whether she’s an introvert or whether he’s the life of the party but more about common decency. Things like saying, “please,” and, “thank you” to wait staff, being kind to those in the service industry, holding doors for strangers whenever possible and not speaking ill of people for fun. This is about common decency and showing respect to people outside their immediate circle...and to you, long-term.  

If you are able to honestly answer, ‘Yes’ or affirm all of these, then congratulations, you may be in a relationship that will stand the test of time. Don’t worry if your answer to some of these questions was, “No,” or, “I don’t know…” but do keep these questions in mind as you move forward in your relationship. Uncertainty isn’t a reason to quit now but it is a great reason to pause and review where you are right now. In the next article, we’ll discuss time and money.

5 Signs You Might Be Getting Played

During a very recent conversation, I had a young woman tell me that on a first date, the guy told her, “I can see myself married to you.” Mind you…this was a first date! I asked her what she thought of the comment and it was obvious that she was already drinking the Kool-Aid. On a first date, he has already started to consider marriage. Hopefully if you’re reading this, you understand that this is just a game that was being played. One of my favorite quotes, from a woman that I hold in great esteem is,

“Guys play at love in order to get sex; And girls play at sex in order to get love.”

thr-getting-played2.jpg

Believe it or not, this can be very effective provided both sides understand the point - that it takes time to truly get to know someone. We should not always take what someone says at face value, dating prospects included. I asked the young lady a few questions about her date. Her own answers made it plain to her that the young man was willing to say anything to get what he wanted. The same questions that I asked this woman are questions you can ask yourself.

  1. What does he know about you that would make him decide that he wants to spend the rest of his life with you?

  2. What does he think is your favorite color?

  3. What is it about your current life that he wants to be a part of?

  4. What does he think about your behavior when you’re in a bad mood? (Remember, he’s only seen you when you’re “on”).

  5. How does he feel about the future you’ve imagined for yourself?


It didn’t take her long to admit that she was probably being played. She wasn’t getting played because she was dumb or stupid or even inexperienced. She was getting played because she really, really, really wanted what he said to be true. He knew what she wanted to hear and he fed it to her.

  1. You Might Be Getting Played If …
    They’re saying things like “I can see myself married to you.”
     
  2. You Might Be Getting Played If…
    Things started off really strong and then cooled off really fast.
     
  3. You Might Be Getting Played If…
    He/she just got out of a committed relationship last Friday and they want to start a committed relationship with you on Wednesday.
     
  4. You Might Be Getting Played If…
    There is always time for sex, but little time for meeting their friends or family.
     
  5. And the biggest one…You Might Be Getting Played If…
    Things are moving really fast. You’ve only been out to coffee and they want to be exclusive now!

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Breakups: A Holiday Survival Kit

The holidays bring on a pile of emotions. From sensory overload and buying gifts to cooking and reconnecting with old friends, there’s laughter and “meeting the parents,” but for so many people, the holidays can be be sad and lonely. This is especially true for those working through the pain of a recent breakup. Happy couples are everywhere! Unless you live off-the-grid, you can’t escape them. Do you keep your normal pre-relationship holiday routine or do you hide out and take care of yourself?

Post-Breakup Holiday Ideas

  1. Volunteer - Give back to the less fortunate and surround yourself with people who appreciate your help. It is easy to get lost in our problems. Sometimes a reality check that others have problems too can help us re-focus our own energy. Staying busy is one of the best ways to get your mind off your sorrows, even if it’s only for a few hours. Volunteering is something we should do year-round regardless of the feel-good benefits we gain, but it’s perfect timing when your heart is aching.
     
  2. Prioritize self-care - Relationships take compromise and sometimes that means skimping on self-care routines. Uninterrupted bubble baths, sleeping in late (alone, horizontally across the bed!), spending money on yourself, spa days, the works! The good thing about self-care is that it can be free. You can do any of the things listed above or simply start the day with an affirmation, do a series of stretches before lunch or write in your journal. Use positive self-talk and remind yourself that you’re worthy of love and that this lost love isn’t your last chance.
     
  3. Ask for support and lean in to your family and friends - This means keeping your plans even though you just want to hide under the covers and cry. It can be therapeutic to see your family and be distracted by their crazy stories, the noise, and the food for a while. It’s a good in-your-face reminder that there is a house full of people who love you. 
     
  4. Clean house - Staying home to wallow among all his stuff isn’t going to help you move past the heartache. Sitting and looking at pictures of her won’t make the days pass by any faster. A clean sweep is necessary and most times it’s going to hurt. Enlist a friend or family member to help you clean out old memories and prepare for a new year, finishing out the rest of this year in better spirits. You might do this close to new year’s eve as a way of getting “out with the old and in with the new.”
     
  5. Don’t ditch your mutual friends - This can be tricky depending on who was friends with whom first, but you can still spend time with mutual friends without your S.O. If you know that your ex will be in attendance, skip those parties! Your true friends, even if they were mutual, can be a support for you and welcome you, especially in your time of need. But be aware that you may get asked a lot about “what happened” and anyone going through heartbreak knows it’s never just one thing. Have a response prepared that is positive but gets the point across that it’s not a topic you want to discuss at length. Do your best to present both of you in the best light and if you don’t want to keep having the same conversations over and over. Reach out to people ahead of time to let them know.

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No break-up is ever fun, though holiday break-ups can suck the life out of the season. Try to be present and feel all the feelings you need to feel so they don't come rushing back next year. Remember that people love and care about you, so share some holiday cheer!

Need to speak with a professional about your sorting your feelings or holiday plans? Call At for a FREE 20-minute consult.