No, I'm not referring to that super-hot sky blue jumpsuit that I was rocking the other day, which is, by the way, the type that makes men forget how to speak......
What I'm really talking about is the explanation and solution to anything and everything anyone and everyone wants to know about their relationship dilemmas.
It all goes back to something that is taught in just about every introduction to psychology class around the world: Attachment theory.
Now, before you get your panties in a bunch thinking that this right here is going to turn into psychobabble and a stressful summary of scientific studies done with primates, I'll just break it down in laymen's terms for you. You're welcome!
To put it simply, attachment theory is a psychology model that explains the dynamics of our long term relationships. There are just a few types of attachment that we have as adults which fall into the categories of secure attachment (the most ideal), anxious attachment (the one that makes love painful), and avoidant attachment (just kill me now).
Like many things in life, for most people, it is what it is when it comes to attachment style. But you can absolutely change your attachment style. If it is anything less than secure, you may really want to consider working with a dating & relationship coach like myself or seeing a good ol' fashioned shrink to get that all worked out.
Now, let's get to the real point that I want to make. The one that is everything. The one that calls for a drum roll, please.......
And that is this:
Whenever you have a difficult time connecting or staying sane with someone you are romantically involved with, it is because of the fact that your attachment styles are in conflict. Sometimes-like if you have an anxious attachment and are in a relationship with an avoidant who displays many of these top ten traits-your attachment styles are polar opposites!
While I am not declaring that your "match" is hopeless and you and your partner are destined for a life of misery, I am suggesting that it is going to take a lot of work to make it work. To really make it work, one or both of you may have to change your attachment styles.
As you'd probably agree, change is hard. After all, things that got started from the moment you came out of the womb are not the easiest to change.
We are all a work in progress. Whether your attachment style matches your partner's style or not, you'd totally benefit from giving this attachment stuff a look. We can all use more insight to help us improve our self and relationships.
Because trust me when I say it: This is everything!
I got frustrated the other day--like really-annoyed, I-need-to-get-on-a-treadmill-and-blast-angry-music-for-sixty-minutes-kind of frustrated.
I was not only frustrated at the person who was frustrating me-yes, this involves a guy-but I was annoyed at the response I got when I confided in a friend about the whole situation.
In that moment, I was reminded of what I had previously experienced and have warned others about for years: Sometimes, no matter how well-meaning your friends and family are, they will have something to say that inevitably frustrates you to no end.
Sometimes, the people who care about you most just can't help you in the way you need to be helped. Their own biases and motivations and experiences with love and life get in the way. They just can't be objective. They weren't trained that way. And even if they were, they have a relationship with you that makes them less than neutral. They have thoughts, feelings, and emotions that impact anything and everything they tell you.
In some cases, the more people you ask and the more opinions you get, the harder it can be to find your truth. Its the paradox of choice. Its the analysis paralysis. Its the thing that wants to make you want to scream your lungs out. Because all your buttons have been pushed, and you are now more confused than when you started asking people for advice.
Being a Dating & Relationship Coach, I know the true benefit of receiving coaching from an objective, trained professional. Not only have I seen my clients experience all the joys that coaching brings into their life, but I have experienced them personally.
Recently, I traded a month-long dating coaching program for a month-long life coaching program with Chicago-based Life Coach, Ryan Mendenhall. I had such awesome breakthroughs with Ryan, that I decided to write a testimonial about it! Without a doubt, I believe both life and dating/relationship coaching can lead you to that one thing that can make your life much better.
That one thing: Finding your relationship truth. Or in other words, the relationship style that works best for you.
Why relationships? Because those are the things that make us happiest in life. When we are on our deathbeds, love, romance, friendship, and family are the things that will cross our mind. Really.....we all just want to be loved. But we have to figure out the way that we want to be loved.
Why all this figuring out? Because relationships are not one-size-fits-all.
There's no better example that comes to mind of someone who has searched for his best relationship fit than the one-and-only-Neil Strauss, who I had the pleasure of meeting last week at his book signing for, The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships,
I must say: This book about monogamy, non-monogamy, and all sorts of variations has been blowing my mind; I recommend it wholeheartedly!
But mostly, I recommend you finding your relationship truth! Whether through coaching,
living vicariously through sex addicts on communes, or just good old-fashioned courtship, your truth will set you free.
Look, we've all experienced the final straw.
Its' that one last annoyance following a series of other annoyances that make us want to throw in the towel and say:
"This is it."
No, for real this time.
"I'm done. "
"It is over."
The amount of annoyances we are able to deal with in the first place are really only a reflection of three things:
1. Our level of tolerance for unsatisfying relationship dynamics
2. Our self-esteem (When we think we won't do better/deserve this)
3. Our ability to love that person who is annoying us
When you look back at a relationship you have stayed in and analyze why you've stayed, you may find that it was often due to a combination of these three things.
Yup, I've been there too.
Do you know what your final straw is? Your deal breaker of all deal breakers? I'd love to hear about it, so feel free to shoot me an email at Rachel@RachelRusso.com.
In the meantime, allow me to share mine.
Its the "C" word.
Cheating--in any way, shape, or form.
Even when the act hasn't occurred, but I see a guy I am dating acting on a desire for the act with another woman-in even the smallest way- I am extremely turned off.
Of course, I know and accept that men are allowed to find other women besides me beautiful and even think about what it would be like to have sex with them. However, I can not be in a relationship with a guy and see him acting on that desire in any way.
If I am dating someone who shows too much interest in another female-even in the form of repetitive likes on her Instagram page- I am bouncing.
Because, if we are in a relationship, I am the only woman whose social media feed you should be stalking. (So, stalk, stalk me here.)
I can put up with a lot when I really care about someone, but I'm just not the girl to turn her head and look the other way on infidelity.
But I am the type who will find out--anything and everything. I know.
Indeed, there are things that I wouldn't want to know if I was with someone who cheated. Like I advised this-woman-with-a-cheating-husband, the details of a husband's affair are none of his wife's business.
The only thing I really need to know when considering being in a serious relationship with a guy: Is he the type who will stray?
Cause if he is........
Yeah. Cool. Byyyye.
Have you found your final straw? If so, I hope you've ended the relationship and are ready to start getting over your ex-ideally Italian American Style-today!
It all started out on the platform as I was waiting to catch the R train from Brooklyn to Manhattan.
I was a little late this one morning, as I've been extra busy. I recently shot a pilot for truTv and an interview for an ABC News/Hula documentary re: my thoughts on the world of online/mobile dating.
Exciting stuff, indeed, but it is time-consuming and sometimes has a girl running around like a chicken without a head. Last week-on my birthday-between meetings with clients and my social life, I don't even have time to get a manicure. (I know. I know. #ThirdWorldProblems).
So there I was, attempting to discreetly file my nails on the platform. All of a sudden, a tall, dark, and handsome, twenty-something in a Yankees jersey, approaches me, confidently winks and says "That's what a nail salon is for, babe. "
Ummm excuse me? LOL! I could only muster up a laugh and a smile for him and his cocky attitude that caught me completely off guard.
But then, as I got another glimpse of him waiting for the train and later a good look at him as he sat near me on the train with a girl that he appeared to be in a relationship with, I couldn't help but think about him.
Who does he think he is? He issss cute. I wonder what he'd be like in a relationship. Alpha male or is it all a front?
Now, this isn't a story of me exchanging numbers and then living happily ever after with the guy from the R train who is too young and inappropriate for me. I mean...do I look like Mrs. Robinson!?
Instead is a story that contains a lesson that I've learned, re-learned, and shared again and again. To put it simply, confidence is everything when it comes to creating and maintaining romantic interest.
Whether you are single or in a relationship, if you want to keep someone hooked on you, it is essential that you consistently present yourself as a partner of high value.
You have to be one of those people who knows what they bring to the table. Like..."Boy I brought this table."
If you are not happy with your love life, I can almost guarantee that it has do with a low level of self-esteem.
Whether you are dating down because you think that is what you deserve, failing to teach your partner how to treat you in a way that respects and honors your true self, or staying stuck in a relationship that eats away at your soul a little more every day, it can be traced back to a lack of confidence.
If you are shaking your head nodding "yes, yes yes"......
The real question is not: Where did this lack of confidence come from, but:
What can you do to change it?
Do you want me to help you figure it out?
In honor of my birthday, I am offering you a special gift. (Yes, I like to give on the day that I was born!)
I am offering a free fifteen minute consultation to help you recognize the ways you can be more confident in your love life! This call will strictly about you and you will hang up with some solid strategies for making over your love life.
Want more? Sign up for any one of my seven coaching packages at the newly, re-designed, www.RachelRusso.com, by November, 1, 2015 and receive a fifteen percent discount.
Oh & about that manicure? Eff it! Confidence is the sexiest thing you and I both can wear......
Your love life.
Before the big reveal as to why your love life or lack thereof is anywhere from less than amazing to the reason you cry yourself to sleep every night to a cause for true madness, let me share another truth.
No two relationships are exactly alike. The way they start. The way they end. The way things happen in between. The way two exes come back together and realize those same annoying deal breakers are inevitably annoying them again. Its all different.
That being said, there is a common denominator among everyone who is unhappy in dating and relationships.
It applies to all of us. Whether we are dating casually, exclusively, or have been married for decades, we all just want to be loved. Whether a relationship makes us feel frustrated, jealous, sad, angry, or ready to give up on relationships completely, it is because the person we want to love us is not loving us the way we want to be loved.
We all have a never-ending need to be with treated with kindness, love, and respect. We all want to feel special.
What it all boils down to is this: When we aren't thrilled with our love lives, it is because we don't feel special. The reason we don't feel special is because we are involved with someone who isn't treating us like we are special. It is often that we unconsciously attracted this person because we don't feel special within ourselves.
We don't have that strong sense of self worth. That unshakable confidence. That value for ourselves that would prompt us to walk away, burn a bridge, and get over our ex like, you know, Badda Bing, Badda Boom.
If we aren't thrilled with our love life we have to, we got to, we must find a way to change it all. And once we fully embrace the truth of it all, we can....