New From @godsbutterflykw: Relationship VIP

Twitter is all a buzz. Entertainment news shows are reporting. Magazine after magazine is covered with the same headline. Who cheated on whom? Who’s dating whom? Breakup shocker! Are Rihanna and Chris Brown really back together? Jaws dropped at the news of Danny DeVito and Rhea Pearlman’s split up. And every week we rush to the nearest information source for the latest on Rob Pattison and Kristen Stewart. Why are we so obsessed with the love lives of these people we don’t know? We learn about their lives in sound bites and the scroll of the ticker tape. Surely there is something or another relationship perhaps, we can be concerned with.

It’s been suggested that we get so caught up in the entertainment love news as an escape from our own ‘stuff’. I wonder how much we’d really care if we were busy taking care of ourselves. Oh, I don’t know turning the tube off and spending that time learning more about ourselves; rather than dissecting who and why of which celeb should be with whom. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy star gazing as much as the next person. What if we took the time to love ourselves as much as we spend the time worrying about their love lives maybe we wouldn’t have time to do so? Make sense?

That got me to thinking. What do we, can we do to work on the most important relationship we have – our relationship with our selves. I am the VIP of my life after all! Aren’t you? ABSOLUTELY! No? Let’s look at some ways to o ascend in our personal VIP (PVIP) status.

  1. Window Cleaner. The first step to reaching optimal PVIP status is to get clear about who you ARE and who you are not. One of my favorite lines from the movie, The Color Purple, is “…Harpo who dis woman?”  While the question was being asked of a male, the point is to get in your own face and really look at the person staring back at you. There was a time when I didn’t/couldn’t see myself. I couldn’t see all the wonderful things others were saying about me. The time came to sit with who I thought I was and who I thought I was not. Where did those ideals come from? Were the inherited or self-imposed. Once I got clear about the woman in the mirror (feel free to jam your Michael Jackson in the background), I could move on to the next step.
  2. Permission Granted. Give yourself permission to choose you. Put yourself back at the top of your (never-ending) to-do list. That’s not selfish. It’s necessary. This will be new for some and a reminder to others. You’ve heard the parallel of the in air safety review, that instructs you to put your oxygen mask on first. It truly is just that basic. You can’t be your best in any relationship capacity (personal, romantic or professional), if your mental, physical, emotional, spiritual oxygen level is low. It’s like running a computer that needs more bandwidth – it just doesn’t function at its best. So, how do you add more energetic bandwidth to your life?                 Think things that will simultaneously a) benefit you directly, b) give you peace within and c) cultivate your body, mind, and spirit. Do things that say I LOVE YOU – to you!  Think of it as courting yourself.
  3. Un-Cuffed. All too often we are bound by I should, I have to, and Yeah but. Saying no to what we feel obligated to or pressured by is not a bad thing. No is actually a beautiful word. It only has two letters and rolls smoothly over the tongue. The thing is sometimes we get so used to saying no, we look up years later and realize somewhere along the way we started saying no to ourselves; in addition to saying those things that feel heavy and don’t feed our spirit. You probably won’t come out of the gate shaking your Yay Me! pom poms. It’s a journey. And you may have to remind yourself. That is perfectly okay. Feel free to repeat as needed.
  4. Add Three Cups of Joy and Stir. What makes you happy? What brings you child-like giggle joy? When is the last time you did something that added joy to your life?  If it helps, think back to what you enjoyed as a child. I remember coloring, gold fish and playing in the water. I still love being in water to this day. Every chance I get, I play in the water. Recently I went to the local pet store to learn about fish. I’ll be adding a small fish tank to my office (a tad different from the single gold fish I had as a kid). Every now and then I still color. Yes, in a coloring book! Don’t judge me –lol. Seriously, what things make you smile from the inside out? It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Keep it simple. Don’t overthink it.

Becoming your PVIP is a learned way of life, not taught to everyone. Some of us need a refresher course. Wherever you are on your PVIP journey, you are not alone. There are others on the same journey and luckily for you, you have me (smile) to help you on the way!

Have questions or just want to share part of your journey? I’m an email away at chiefheartwranglerr@whatthelove.org.

Remember, if you don’t define you, someone else will. And that’s too important a job to leave to just anyone.

X’s and O’s

AskCoachSteph: What About Your Friends?

Steph,
I need your help! I started seeing a girl and she’s amazing! We’re moving at a pretty good pace, not too fast or slow…it works for us. Of course, we’ve have a few issues, and I told my a buddy of mine, and it was no big deal. Now, it seems that everyone else has something to say (I guess one buddy told another and so on), and I am tired of it! They keep reminding me about my ex, and she was crazy, I know, but this girl is not like that.

How can make them stop bothering me?  I appreciate that they care, but I think I am doing a good job of handling the situation on my own.

PLEASE HELP!

-BFM

[warning] Use the advice below at your own discretion.  WhatTheLove/Coach Steph promise no outcomes, but provide the following response for entertainment and educational purposes ONLY. (The Legal Department has spoken.) [/warning]

Dear BFM,
Wouldn’t you know that I just finished screaming that I wish everyone would leave me alone about a certain situation? (Which is why I had to answer you this week. LOL!)

Our friends usually mean well, but sometimes it is too much to deal with. While you didn’t state the “issue,” I am going to assume that it wasn’t major enough to warrant termination of the relationship, nor is it a “Book of Bye” type of situation. As such is the case, telling your “buddy” your concerns is fine, but for everyone to have an opinion, that’s just too much.

So here are your options:
Tell everyone to get off your back!  While this sounds drastic, there is a way to CALMLY and NICELY let your friends know that you do appreciate their concerns, but that they also must not bring the Ex into the Next.  Whatever happened before, is not happening now, and even if there was an issue, as long as you can return to a healthy relationship, then everyone should just chill out.

Put up with this nonsense in silence! Now this may seem easier, but it’s not.  As you suffer in silence, your frustrations will find an outlet–which may be your relationship.  There’s really no reason to put up with the intrusion of others’ opinions and advice, unless you want to do…which if you wanted to, you wouldn’t have reached out to moi, right?

Take their feedback as gospel, and run the risk of ruining your new relationship.  This is different from suffering in silence, because it means that you are silently agreeing with them.  Sure, our friends have seen us through a fair share of relationships; however, that doesn’t give them carte blanche to remind us of our mistakes at every turn.  If you begin to believe whatever they are telling you, you will surely begin to sabotage this new relationship, just because it seems easier than being wrong.

I don’t know what you’ll choose, but I’d like to offer you a little help with my Be a Rockstar video (and here’s the link, because I like you :D). The Be a ROCKSTAR program talks about boundaries and who to let into your VIP area. Get the idea?  So, if there are at least 3 people who are getting on your last nerve…then this is the program for you.

Ok, so now you’re equipped to make some choices…choose wisely.

Xoxo,

Coach Steph :-X

Ready for a (Relationship) Revolution?

Me and Charles had a blast! Join in “the revolution!”

Dating is like interviewing for a job: You keep your best foot forward, make the best possible impression and hope they don’t see any of the flaws that make you YOU. So does that mean dating is like business? As a wrap-up to Charles’s month-long Online Dating Intensive, Charles discusses the business aspects of relationships with Stephanie D. McKenzie (aka “Coach Steph“), certified life coach and author of The Business of Dating: Traditional Business Principles for your Modern Dating Life! Get to know how you are presenting yourself, establish early boundaries, and read early red flags. Don’t miss this episode!

Listen here.

How to KNOW if they like you?

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It’s an age-old question, asked by daters young and old. Driven by a desire to be with someone who genuinely cares for us, we find ourselves asking, “does he/she like me?”

Well, they might. (Wasn’t that profound?)

What you have to keep in mind, is that he or she may be asking the same questions about you. So, if in the event that you are too chcken to ask (it happens), here’s a few signs that might help you draw a conclusion. However, these signs are not foolproof, and at the end of the day, I highly recommend asking the individual. It may be a tad awkward to ask such a question, but rather you be a little uncomfortable now, then two months from now.

So, without further ado, here’s a few things to consider…and I hope this helps.

Considerations when you first meet them…

  • Are they attentive when you’re speaking?
  • Guys….did she give you her number when you asked?
  • Girls…did he ask for your number…and call?
  • Do they ask you questions about you?
    This is pretty much all you need to know. If someone likes or is interested in you, then they want to get to know you. Guys always seem to miss this cue. If a woman is not asking questions about you, she’s not trying to get to know you. She may be polite enough to listen to you talk, but if she fails to inquire about you beyond your name, age, and occupation (vital stats, if you will), then that’s a sign. Take.
  • Do they seem comfortable* around you?
    Squeemish could be nervousness, yes. But down right discomfort probably comes from looking for an exit door that is either not close enough or far enough that you’d notice. Especially for a woman, comfort is key to being with anyone.
  • Has the word date been mentioned?
    And, if so, did they respond enthusiastically to the suggestion, or was it like winning a dollar from playing the lottery?

*Creating a comfortable environment may include: 1) Excluding your dirty jokes 2) Not discussing politics, religion, or any other possibly controversial topic. 3) Excluding numerous comments about their looks, beauty, body, job, income, SEX or anything else that would could be considered an questionable (this means you look like a stalker-in-training).

Considerations for the date…

  • Again, are they attentive?
  •  Do they ask questions about you?
  •  Do they seem comfortable?
  • AND one more…When you mention going out again, do they say yes?
    While I realize that this may go without saying, there’s a little more to it. I legitimately mean, do they say without hesitation or any pause whatsoever, “YES!” After the yes, should come the plan. If she says yes, but there is no plan to meet you in an intimate setting–just the two of you–consider this case closed. If there’s a yes, and then she commits to a date, or to giving you a date, then you might have a shot.

While I realize that this article, may seem a bit cliche’ I also know that sometimes we need to be reminded of how dating works, and we need to understand that it’s not that serious (for the most part). We will like and dislike numerous people in our single lives, and the truth is, if they don’t like you, then keep moing forward until you cross the path of someone who does.

#bearockstar
#Love100

Why Don’t YOU Act Like a Man, So That I Don’t Have to Think Like One? (Part I)

This weekend, millions will flock (like single sheep) to see the new Steve Harvey-based flick, “Think Like a Man.”  (Which is why there will have to be a part two, and maybe even part three, to this article.)

Why I find this concerning, is that we are once again, throwing females under the proverbial dating bus, and asking them to lead, and to step outside of who they are.  I’ve explored this concept with a few of my colleagues in the love game, including, Keli V. Crane, Editor of BoisSuq.com (prounounced “boys suck”) and Jai Stone, Founder of BlackLoveForum.com.  And, we all agree, that it’s unfair to continue to ask single woman everywhere to contort and transform themselves to get, keep or revive a relationship.

So…why do we keep seeing this?

While this movie is tauted to Urban audiences, I feel that all walks of life and cultures, have seen this rhetoric.  Women are constantly told that they have to do this, say this, read this in order to get a man.  While, society fails to bring such an “education” to men.  So, while Sally is reading every article, book, newsletter and doing every dating exercise under the sun, Jack is going along, doing as he pleases, more than likely enjoying Sally’s due diligence, but failing to show any of his own.

Again, it’s not fair.

So, I ask the question, “why don’t you act like a man, so that I don’t have to think like one?” Because it seems that this is the problem.  Some men (many men) have taken the female role in relationship.  Sorry, it’s true.  It is the man who desires to be pursued, it is the man who seeks to be wooed.  If no one has told you (all of you), that’s not how this is supposed to work.  Women desire to be, and should be pursued, women desire to be, and should be wooed. So, if you, man, are not wearing the pants in the relationship, so to speak, then what we can expect is sheer confusion.

Personally, I am tired of seeing this role reversal that even many of my relationship coaching colleagues tend to support through their own newsletters, and dating tips.  Don’t you think that it’s time we set things straight?  Or, do you think that this is working?

Well, here are my 3 reasons, why we need traditional roles in dating…see if you agree.

Reason One: Whatever happens in the beginning of the relationship, sets a precedent.  So if you, woman, are in fact, thinking like a man, then you will set the precedent of doing so in the relationship.  This means that you will effectively kiss your desired pursuit and “wooing” goodbye, because you’re in charge.  How do you let a man be a man, if you’re the brains of the operation.  Answer: You don’t.

Reason Two: Without traditional roles, we jeopardize creating strong foundations for lasting relationships.  If you’ve ever seen a “hen-pecked” man, then you know that it doesn’t quite work out when women start leading.  I know, I know…we are the smarter sex, ladies, but we also are the weaker sex (I didn’t say it–stop making that face).  As such is the case, there is nothing like experiencing the stability and security of being with a man who is trustworthy, reliable, and honest; however, if you’re doing the thinking, and he is on the receiving end of that “strategy,” he may not feel compelled to do anything.  He may not work to create stability for you–mostly because, you’re walking around thinking like a man.  Now, I hate to goto the good Lawd on this, but, there’s this little passage that reads, “as a man(kind) thinketh, so is he.” Using this as a foundation, it seems that you become just what you think you are.  See the problem?

Reason Three:  This is  a bit insulting, if you really dig into it, because a woman should be a woman…period.  While I realize that the complete title is “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” what it says, is that my thought processes as a member of the female species are sabotaging my ability to get or to keep a relationship.  Really?  That can’t be true.  A real man (emphasis on real) will appreciate the feminine side of a woman.  He will embrace her emotional side, and react to her vulnerable side…he may even tell her “loud side” to shut the (bleep) up! But you get the picture.

At the end of the day, I believe that a real man, will want, love and commit to a real woman.  Real women are strong, courageous, emotional, vulnerable, and loveable.

What are you saying, Coach Steph?

I am saying that it’s time to put down the book, and continue being the woman that you are–thoughts and all!

Enjoy the movie!