the relationship you've been searching for

That Long-Term Relationship You Are Seeking… It’s With Yourself

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Okay, so we’re alone again. We. I mean, of course, me and myself. Here we are.

There is no they in this relationship. They didn’t cause our current suffering. They didn’t deal with their own issues, and they are no longer here. Okay, it’s just us, one.

The We of Me

Okay, so what am I looking for in a partner?

  1. Active and vibrant
  2. Has their own enthusiasms and is fearless about pursuit and sharing
  3. Wants to be with you, most of the time
  4. Physically active, and fit (within some semi-healthy metric)
  5. Takes ownership of their own issues and deals with them accordingly

So, how are we doing with this list? Hmm. I’m a catch. It’s official, I’m in a relationship with someone who is really ready, and who is showing all the signs that they are willing to make time to be with me. Okay, what’s next? Asking for what I want. Hmm..

Can You Ask for What You Want?

This has been a problem in some distant relationships. Over the last two relationships, I’ve learned to speak up when things aren’t working out. I’ve learned it is okay to say what you need. It is okay to make requests. It is okay to complain when things keep going in the wrong direction. And, I’ve learned, when I  continue to ask for a modification, and we’re (in a relationship with someone else, in this example) not making any progress, it might be time to move on. When your needs are not being met, when your basic requests wind up in an argument rather than a negotiation, it’s time to go.

In the case of this life-time relationship with myself, what is it that I need to ask for?

Let’s look at our list above and do some digging into what’s working and what needs more attention.

An Active and Vibrant Partner

Yep, I’m doing good on this one. I’ve got my writing and coaching going on. I’m making progress with my life pivot away from digital marketing. And my creative life is overflowing. 100% GOOD.

A Partner With Enthusiastic Projects of Their Own

Yep. See the answer above. 100% GOOD.

A Partner Who Wants to Be with You

This is sort of what this post is about, so… Well, I’m working on some of my own loneliness. I don’t really want to be just a solo WE, I want to be in a partnership that is building an US. But, that’s not what this post is about either. So, okay. 100% GOOD (with a touch of melancholy about my last lost lover.)

A Partner Who is Active and Physically Fit

That “semi-healthy metric” comes into play in this one, as it relates to me. My fitness level is high. My weight is also a bit high. I indulged a bit in the sugar buzz of the holidays, in a house full of holiday candies. It was a choice. I wasn’t forced to eat the candy. But, there was availability over the holidays that I can control in my own solo relationship. I won’t be bringing home cakes, pies, and two-bite brownies. But if there’s a part of my life, that could use a bit more attention it’s my own self-image. 80% GOOD.

Some Days You Love Yourself

I’ve been looking back and cataloging some old photos and I came across a photo of my bathroom scale that was pegged at a dangerously high weight. FK. I didn’t remember being that high since my divorce, but the photo tells the truth. I also have photos of the post-engagement-relationship period when I reached my lightest weight since I passed out of puberty. And, those photos were not that much more flattering. I was too skinny. I was no happy with the way my gaunt face looked. It’s not how I see myself.

Today, when I see myself in the mirror, I’m mostly complementary. I can see the extra weight. I am confident that my discipline around what and how much I eat will take care of the extra pounds. The next-level move is to look and actually love that man in the mirror. That is a harder trick. That must be the awareness that I’m seeking with this post. I don’t love all of me, all of the time. I sometimes, feel like I’m not loveable. I sometimes, imagine that losing 10-pounds would bring my next beautiful girlfriend running from center court to meet me. It’s not true. I might move around center court more vigorously, but those 10-pounds are not going to have a material effect on my dating life.

I’ve got to embrace myself right now. Alone. A bit sad about losing a developing relationship. And… Most importantly, working on it. I’m optimistic. I’m finding that getting back into the dating pool is not all that entertaining, at the moment. But it’s not about my weight. It’s not about my gray hair. It’s not about my fitness, mojo, or enthusiasm. Nope. I’m reframing my immediate moment: I’m pausing again to take the measure of my self-acceptance program. I am pausing to reconfigure my eating habits back towards healthy and simple. And I’m pausing in honor of the loss.

Some Days Will Be Better Than Others

I’ve been wanting to bust out of Austin and visit one of my friends in New York City. It would be so much fun. Such an escape. And tickets are only about $250 for one round-trip ticket. BUT, I didn’t want to go to NYC alone. I wanted to go as a couple. And I couldn’t make it happen. I couldn’t seem to find the fulcrum to push a time-starved relationship into balance. I did my best to make do with the scraps of time that were often warm, fun, and loving. But I was already feeling the lack. I was already finding myself alone and waiting for my partner, too much. Part of my requirement, in the next relationship, is TIME. (See: Time, The Currency of Modern Relationships: Either You Have It To Give)

Over the weekend, I had a couple “not so good” days. I miss my former partner. There is no bridge that’s going to make our relationship work again, so my longing necessarily stayed in my own heart. There is no sense in sharing our desires and hopes when the other person is not available. It only makes it hurt worse. So, I went on a second date. I spent a lot of time alone. I skipped a Super Bowl party to be quiet. That seems to be what my current relationship needs right now. My relationship to myself. Get quiet. Tune into your vibrant life and all that you have to give. Pay attention to the living people around you.

Dear John,

Be open to the universe. Sad, happy, envious, ravenous, aroused, bored, tired, awake.

Enjoy your relationship. It’s the love of a lifetime.


The Universe


John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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