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How I Turned My Hookup Into A Healthy Relationship

It was actually a little awkward.

The night I met my boyfriend there were a few faux pas.  Actually, a lot. Actually, okay, there were a shit ton.

So there was nothing precious or magical about it really.  At all.

For starters, I was a little drunk…and so was he.  By a little I might mean a lottle.

And we went bowling.  Bowling, I say!  (By the way, I super suck at bowling and kind of made an ass out of myself.  He actually fell.  True story.)

Our first kiss was out back behind the bowling alley, near a dumpster.  Confession: This is not even necessarily new for me.  I have dumpster kissed before. 🙂  It was nice but a little sloppy.  It didn’t knock my socks off.  We ended up making out for a bit in my Mom’s car.  Yes, I am 16.

I met him in my hometown of 5000.  I don’t really like my hometown.  I try to avoid most things in my hometown.  Walmart in particular, because can you think of anything less sexy than Wal Mart?

Although I heard from him a little the next day, I then didn’t hear from him for almost a week.  I honestly had written him off.

Even the next time I met him, I was like….ummmm, I think he is really cute, but I am not sure.

None of it was a disaster.  If anything it was a little funny.  But the truth is this: it was all very far from beautifully romantic.

I didn’t think he was “the one.”

There was no love at first sight.

I didn’t know it when I saw it.

My heart did not want shit.

I just thought that D seemed lovely.  Kind.  Smart.  Interesting.  Sweet.

But here is the truth.  I am not a life coach that works with singles just because I find love and relationships fascinating….which I totally fucking do.  I also do this because I am learning as I go along.  I am invested in sharing my own mistakes and takeaways.  Because I’m keenly aware that what holds me back might also be the kind of shit that is getting in your way.

And look, I’m the first to admit that I haven’t always been so great at this whole relationship thingy.  I get nervous.  I get downright scared. I have sabotaged a lot of shit.

But that doesn’t mean that I give up.  

If there is one thing I have learned in my seven years of doing this, it is that everyone can have love and a healthy relationship if they are willing to do some of the really tough work up front. Including me.

So I kept going.  I checked it out, knowing that I would not know in a date or two if I could create a relationship with him.  Doing what I preach to my clients and on this genius site! 🙂

I taught him how to treat me by creating healthy boundaries.  What was acceptable and what wasn’t, so he could always win.  Because if both people aren’t winning, love can’t really grow.

I showed him how I liked to be loved and learned what he likes.  Because knowing how to make the other person feel loved, cared, and good is a huge part of making it work.

I pushed myself out of my comfort zone again and again.  This process has not been “freak-out-free.” The difference is in how I handled it, starting with my own shit. When things felt uncomfortable, I worked out on my own whether it was actually a problem or my own fears.  If it was a problem, I talked to him, with honesty and kindness.  Often, they were my fears and I worked through them myself.  Because love and long-term relationships don’t always feel comfortable for me.

I leaned on my life support team….a lot.   I don’t think that the person I date needs to be everything in my life and they certainly don’t need to hear every crazy fear I have in my head.  My life support team helped listen, clarify, talk me off the ledge and figure out what made sense and what just didn’t.

I separated the truths from stories in my head.   Man, are there a fuckload of stories in my head about my attractiveness right now, the complications in my life and if I am going to fuck this up.  But those are stories not truths and digging deep I was able to  separate the two.

Most importantly, I communicated all the fucking time!  Not obnoxiously, but I shared who I was.  How I work. Where I am imperfect. Where I need a little extra support.  Where I get nervous.

The result?

A beautiful, healthy relationship that is really working.

I can say from the bottom of my heart, I adore this man.  The best part is that all of this is very, very real.  We have gotten in the habit to talk things out the moment they come up.  Our relationship is even stronger after we fight (a place where I used to run away).  I trust him totally and completely. He makes me think, laugh and smile….regularly.

We are perfectly, imperfect together.  He is my partner-in-crime.   Working as a team to better ourselves and create a kick ass future together.

It didn’t matter if our first couple of dates were a bit ridiculous and not very magical.  Unless you think bowling and dumpster kissing is magical.  

It is what you do afterwards that matters.  

And none of this could have happened if I didn’t do the tough stuff that I described above.  Because from the beginning, I opened up my Owner’s Manual, scary as it was to do it, so that he could see inside.

YES, SUGARPANTS, WE ALL HAVE AN OWNER’S MANUAL.  

Just like a car or fancy schmancy smartphone, we all work in different ways.  The way we love.  Fight.  Process.  Communicate.  Each one of us is different and it is our job to know what is inside and then open it up and share it.

If we don’t know what is inside, how can we expect someone else to figure it out?

Don’t worry, I am here to help:)

So I have created a new process and am sharing it with you.  It’s called The Owner’s Manual.  I know, creative.

It is nine steps of totally awesome self-fucking-awareness to help you know what you need to know to create beautiful, healthy relationships. At the end of it, you’ll leave knowing exactly how you work (and `embracing the shit out of it) and even more importantly, you’ll know how to communicate it.

Here is what you are going to learn.

Step One: The beginning (pre-work and the first call)

We’ll start with a self-knowledge inventory to explore your thoughts and beliefs on love, divorce, sex, relationships and life in general.  This will help you understand what a New Relationship looks like and how to actually get it (not just dream about it).  You’ll walk away understanding how to make decisions based on love, not fear.

Step Two: Who the fuck are you?

We are going to dig deep and get to the core of who you really are.  Even the stuff you have forgotten or covered up.  We will understand your natural strengths and weaknesses, your personality profile and more.

Step Three: How did you learn to love?

You learned it from somewhere and it might not be helping you out.  In fact, it might even be leading you to what you are comfortable with instead of actual love.  We will be doing visualizations to uncover what you learned, find out your love language and identify what you are attracted to and why.

Step Four: Stories vs Truths (two weeks)

Is what is going through your head on a daily basis really the truth?  Or just wackadoo thoughts and stories you are making up that aren’t helping you AT ALL.  We are going to dig into what is on repeat in your mind and learn what we need to change it to.  You will learn how to tell your truths from your stories and start doing daily activities to build confidence and happiness.

Step Five: Creating healthy boundaries and trust

It is super hard to create amazing and beautiful relationships if you don’t trust and can’t create boundaries that make you feel good.  We are going to look at any people pleasing (trust me, it is killing you), co-dependence or those big fucking walls (you like to call that picky) you like to put up and pretend they are healthy.  You are going to discover Interdependence.  (Hint: That’s where everyone feels fucking amazing!)

Step Six: How the hell you communicate

How do you fight?  Process information? Have tough conversations? Express love?  We are figuring that shit out here.

Step Seven: Your life support team

Is your life filled with awesome people who support you, listen and make you feel great?  Or not really…Your future partner can’t be the only awesome person in your life.  You need a whole team.  It takes a village, people.

Step Eight:  How you thrive

Relationships rarely break up because of love.  They break up because people have not thought about and discussed the details of the relationship.  How you view money, parenting, sex, intimacy, sleeping situations, etc.  We are going to take all that we have learned and breakdown what feels good for to you. That way you’ll know just what you need to communicate so your partner in crime is on the same fucking page.

Step Nine:  Your Owner’s Manual

Now that we know you, we will talk about sharing it with others.  How to open up your manual and show others in a way that feels good.