How to ensure you stay focused on being objective and listening to potential lovers talk about how they have treated their exes, the way they look at the world and how they show up in their relationships, so you can avoid ignoring the obvious red flags and warning signs they might not be anything like you think and hope they are.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who completely ignored several glaring red flags and warning signs about his ex-girlfriend when they first started dating. She casually mentioned she had cheated on previous boyfriends, and generally has a hard time remaining loyal when she is away from a man she supposedly cares about. Once she went off to college, within days she was becoming distant, rude, disrespectful and dismissive of him. Only a few weeks before, she had talked about having his children, getting married, said they were soul mates, he was the love of her life, etc.
He went to visit her to see where he stood when things got squirrely. She was wearing another dude’s clothes, texting this other guy in front of him and basically treating him like he was invisible. He is perplexed by the sudden change in her behavior. They broke up and he told her to call him if she ever changed her mind. He believes he was properly following what my book teaches, since things were almost perfect the first six months they dated before she left for college. He asks my opinion. My comments are in (bold parenthesis like this below) in the body of his email.
My name is Bob, I’m 24, and I’m trying to work out what went wrong with my girlfriend, who is 20. We were together for 6 months. In that time, things got pretty damned intense. She would say things like, “you’re my soul mate. I want to spend the rest of my life with you,” “I’ve never loved anyone like I love you,” “If I was to get pregnant knowing it was yours, I might not have an abortion,” “If you move to Australia after university, I’ll come with you,” etc. She would also write things like this on her blog, which she wasn’t aware I knew about, so I think she must have meant it at the time. (At the time, it was what she was feeling in the present moment. However, you need to watch someone’s actions and see what they actually do.) We spent a great deal of time together and with her family, whom I also lived with for a time.
After 6 months, we both headed off to university, promising to try and make it work. However, after a week of sporadic contact, she went quiet, and I only heard from her once every 24 hours or so. Having followed your advice throughout the relationship, I didn’t chase. I stepped back, contacting her once, then waited for her to respond. During one of the few phone conversations we had, I suggested I come to visit. Ideally I would have asked her to come to me, but this seemed unreasonable since she had started university a week later than me and was still in her Fresher’s week, so needed to be meeting people, going to introductory classes, etc. I also wanted to wait for a bit, but realized, with the lack of communication, I was losing her. (You don’t know my book very well, and you think since she’s away from you, now you need to play games. However, you come off as too much of a cold fish. When you turn into an emotionless zombie, you will begin to lose your girl to another guy.)
Just as I was leaving for the long drive, she cancelled, saying she would not be in that evening, but was staying with friends. (Look at her actions. That doesn’t sound like she wants to see you. It looks like loyalty doesn’t mean anything to her.) Annoyed, I reluctantly agreed to go the next day, which was weak, I know, but again, I felt I had to see her to find out what was going on. (The power has shifted. You are pursuing more, and she’s backing away.) I went the next day, only to find her wearing some other guy’s jumper, which she said was from a house party the night before – a lie. She proceeded to ignore me the entire evening, texting, as it turned out, this guy from the night before right in front of me. (Now you’re seeing what kind of a person she really is. She’s sweet to you when she wants something, but now that she found a new toy, you went to the bottom of the toy box.) She even sat there, saying cruel things about how forced the conversation was, etc. (This is rude and unacceptable. She needs to know if she pushes you too far, you will walk and never look back.) I demanded to know what was going on, and she explained she had gone home with him the night before, sleeping in his bed, but insisted nothing had happened. (This is a woman you already know lies.) She asked for a break, but I told her that there was no point in this and to call me if she changed her mind.
I can’t understand what happened. As I said, the relationship was SO intense and she seemed SO into it. Not only was she writing such loving things on her private blog and saying how much she wanted our relationship to work, (At the end of the day, those are just words, and her words and actions are not congruent), she also gave me one of her prize possessions when we left, so she must have meant it all at the time. (This is obviously someone who is narcissistic and dishonest. Loyalty doesn’t mean anything to her.) She also spoke of what we would do at Christmas, about our future lives and our kids, etc. However, she also said worrying things, which suggested to me she never believed the relationship could work long distance and with university. She told me that we would “try” to make it work, although she sounded deeply unsure. (She’s telling you she’s going to half-ass it.) She also said she had “never wanted to go to university with a boyfriend,” but couldn’t end things with me. (She was lying to you and telling you what you wanted to hear. Somebody who lacks empathy and who tends to be narcissistic can say something like that, because she’s thinking she doesn’t want to hurt your feelings and end the relationship yet. She figured it would be more convenient to lie to you.) She also told me she had cheated on her ex when he went on holiday for 2 months without her and was “terrified of messing things up” with me, because she “always self-sabotages the good things in life.” Looking back, it seems like she wanted things to work, but never believed that they would — like she was expecting to cheat. (That’s because she knows herself. Maya Angelou said, “When someone tells you who they are, believe them.” She told you exactly who she was in the beginning. She’s a liar and a cheater, and she’s not capable of loyalty.) What confuses me is how she could be so cold when we split, only a few weeks after we had sat on a Barcelona terrace with her telling me that I was “her world.” (You were her world back then, but now some other dude is becoming her world. Now you’re being discarded, because she found somebody else to use. People act consistent with who they view themselves to be, and she’s acting exactly like the person she told you she was. If you had read my book 10-15 times, you could have avoided this. Never call or text this woman again. She’s not girlfriend material, but you could hook up from time to time.)
I would love to get your advice on this Coach.
Thanks very much,
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Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“Human beings buy products and services and buy into belief systems based upon emotion, and they use logic and reason to justify their choices and decisions. When we allow ourselves to become hijacked by our emotions, because of our interest in someone or something, we lose our ability to remain objective and at choice. Strong emotions can blind us to reality and cause us to willingly ignore the obvious red flags and warning signs we should avoid someone or something altogether. Even though we may be able to delude ourselves and ignore reality temporarily, it is impossible to avoid the consequences of ignoring reality.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne
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