October 13, 2009

Finding the proper balance

When I was young, dumb, and full of you-know-what...  I was in a co-dependent relationship with a woman.  This was a direct result of not possessing the proper social skills and confidence to give me better choices with women.  Have you ever felt like you settled for less than you deserved with a woman?

I first read Stephen Covey's bestseller "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" in 1990, it had a great impact on me.  His book introduced me to the notion of inter-dependence.  I am not regurgitating his work, rather, I will give you my take on the concept.  This is extremely important when you decide to have a relationship.

Picture a continuum between co-dependency on the far left and independence on the far right.

Co-dependent <-------------------------------->Independent

Some sign of co-dependency in your relationship:

Arguments / Poor communication / Lying
Extremely jealously / suspiciousness
Physical or emotional abuse (even if subtle)
Lack of proper boundaries for the management of time and money
Extreme need for approval
Controlling behavior
Fear of losing the relationship

Have you experienced this with a woman?  Does she use her emotions to influence your decisions? Would you like to end the relationship, but you fear hurting her feelings?  Are you isolated from your closest male friends?  Have you become financially dependent on her and cannot leave?

If I struck a nerve, it's only because I have felt these pains myself.  There's no judgment here, only help.

On the other end of the spectrum; you can have total independence from any relationship with a woman.  You are relegated to random sex with a string of women.  This is dangerous for the man who lacks relationships in other areas of his life:  i.e. no close friends, no children,  or no close immediate family members. 

How many close male friends do you have?
Do you often go out alone in search of a hookup?
Have you embraced a persona that would limit your job or business opportunities?
Are there any women you would like to keep in your life?

I strongly believe that many gurus in the pick-up community fall into this category.  A guy can become one-dimensional, emotionally detached, and lonely.  Be careful from becoming "that guy."

The best balance comes in relationships with inter-dependence:

Co-dependent <------- Inter-dependence ------------->Independent

What does a inter-dependent relationship look like?

She contributes nurture, sexual relationship, hospitality, companionship.
You are both content with your current standard of living.
You share a high quality of life for your current means.
You have best male friends, she has best female friends.
You both have a career/responsibilities and hobbies of your own.
You have mutual friends that you interact with as couples.
You can safely share your thoughts, struggles, and concerns with each other.
You both meet each others sexual needs.
You support each other's career goals, hobbies, and need for personal space.

It's a tough thing if you find yourself in a co-dependent relationship.  It takes a lot of courage to face the pain of breaking up an unhealthy relationship.  In the near future, you will be glad you did.  Remain in co-dependency and you will slowly die on the inside.

Brian Tracy asks this question in his seminars,  "What is the greatest waste of time?"

A bad relationship.

If you find yourself detached from others because of your behavior in chasing women, start with reconnecting your familial relationships.  At the same time, work at developing friendships with good male friends.  That is spelled T-I-M-E.  You become like those you hang around.

Don't settle for less than your potential.


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