Today I have the honor of introducing a very special guest post written by Lorelle, who has written for PMS before. This topic is something I’ve struggled with my whole life: When things look devastatingly good on paper but in real life, you’re surrounded by red and pink flags. Lorelle, take it away…

We. Have. All. Been. There.

We know it happens not just with relationships, but dream job interviews, looking at a great house for rent or sale, a wonderful vacation package to Heaven on Earth, hotel deals that can’t be missed, that ‘must have’ item of the moment and the two for one offer that just couldn’t be passed up…

We are full of anticipation, excitement, a feeling of abundance and happiness. There we are, floating on a boat, out to a shimmering sea of great expectations and a beautiful view that has us smiling from ear to ear…

Or so it seemed…

SPOILER ALERT: This doesn’t turn out how you thought it would.

Remember that time you met a wonderful someone who seemed to tick all the boxes? That person who was refreshingly half full and not half empty. That person who was so happy to have you float into their sphere. You also felt the same way. A great match.

Life was indeed cruising along, full steam ahead, flags fluttering in the breeze…

Speaking of which, the breeze does seem to have turned rather icy just now. And what color were those flags that caught your eye?

What is that in front of us?  Oh my, iceberg ahead??  But this is not the Titanic!

Yes, history can repeat. Your boat is not floating anymore and just so you know, those flags you saw were RED!

How many times has this happened to you? Why does it happen? And how can you get to the fine print sooner than later, to either change course, jump ship or not bother boarding at all?

READ ON:

I think this dilemma is an interesting, multi-faceted one. Everyone, by human nature, wants to project their BEST self to a new love interest. We all do it. It’s part of early romance and getting to know someone new.

Students also do the same thing in the classroom, exhibiting their best behavior at the start of the year, because what anyone is really trying to do is to put their best foot forward. We do it as adults when we start a new job.  Make a good first impression and you qualify yourself as a person of quality who is also worthy.

Sometimes this behavior is really sweet. For example, the guy I worked with who asked for a recipe, so he could cook his new girlfriend dinner one night. She was so impressed. It only came out months later about how he pulled it off (cooking lessons at my house), but it was a really sweet tribute to her and said a lot about how he was willing to try new things and wanted to win her over and put effort in to please her. They are married now.

A little different, is the guy who tries to win you over by sending you links to love songs, suggesting he ‘loves the shape of you’ and then mixes signals and disappears for three weeks with no explanation…Um, no one got married.

So! Here we go… Since we can’t get a movie style preview of how someone will be three months down the road, we will instead look at the varying reasons something that looked so good on paper, can actually turn out to be a dead set case of “NEXT!”

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“Trying to figure out how to forget about your ex,” should be the definition of all-sh*t-lost insanity.

Whenever I was going through a painful breakup, I would Google “how to forget about your ex,” and besides “stop stalking” (yeah right), “get a hobby,” “remember who you are,” “volunteer,” “travel,” there was really nothing. No way could I have done any of these things. I was too emotionally fixated and frantic. You can’t invest or bank on anything when all of your emotional currency is already being invested with a non-existent return. All of the suggestions just seemed to affirm my aloneness and make me miss my ex even more. For really a long time, I was convinced that the only way I could move on with my life and forget about him was if I experienced some kind of brain damage.

Your thoughts, actions, level of control, and life are no longer yours. Friends and family start to get annoyed and avoid. You’re exhausted. All you want at this point is relief via magic eraser.

It is impossible to completely forget someone. This post is not an amnesia initiator.

It’s about forgetting all of the toxicity that’s weighing you down so that you can REMEMBER how to swim back up to land.

For this post, I’m going to focus on how to forget about a toxic ex – this is someone who at any point dishonored, devalued, deceived you, and made you feel like loving you was hard. Even though it may seem easier to forget and move on from mistreatment, these can be the hardest types of exes to forget.

Although empathetic and connected people are extremely hard to forget, they always leave with respectful transparency. The breakup is still very painful but it’s clear-cut. There is no confusion, ambiguity or bs with these people. 15 times out of 10, they speak with dignified action and stay on their white horse. Losing someone like this is excruciating, but at least there’s no unknown due to clear actions that follow clear communication.

Toxic exes are especially hard to forget due to their capacity to mix signals, two-time, lie, contradict, disrespect, be insensitive, and passively yank your chain through technological showmanship. It’s bullsh*t artistry at its finest.

I’ve tried everything to forget toxic exes – hypnosis, mantras, meditation, law of attraction, yoga, facial tapping techniques, acupuncture, Ayurvedic enemas, rebound relationships, going out with friends, dancing the night away, being set up on dates, random make outs, blocking/unblocking, following/unfollowing, tagging/un-tagging, new hairstyles, “ridding-my-life-of-toxicity” quote posting… you name it. Nothing worked.

In the end, I just hated myself more as I watched my emotional and financial wallets drain.

This left me no choice but to inflate, pedestal, and romanticize someone whose absence I was more fearful of accepting than the empathetic bankruptcy, relational ineptness, emotional disconnection, narcissism, and f*cktardery I was afraid of acknowledging.  

Acknowledgment is scary because it goes hand-in-hand with acceptance. And once you accept who someone has revealed themselves to be, you then have to bring the focus back to yourself and identify your own dysfunction that got you to this point.

How To Forget About Your Ex

I think about those exes now that I worked so hard to forget and honestly, I’m glad that I didn’t find a way to impose selective amnesia.

Without the memory, I wouldn’t have PMS.

I wouldn’t have the empathy that I have, the obsession with helping everyone I can out of pain and suffering that I know all too well, and an appreciation for the people in my life who consistently show me that a memory is the last thing they ever want us to be.

I actually BLAME my inability to forget exes on most of my relational, professional, and emotional success. This isn’t about obsessing over the past. It’s about psychologically positioning yourself to forget what you need to so that you can redirect your focus and reclaim your life.

Memory is like gasoline – if you drink it, it’ll make you sick but if you allow the fuel to go into your emotional gas tank, IT WILL give you the energy, belief, and confidence to drive yourself out of the wreckage.

Even though it’s impossible to completely forget someone, it IS possible to unplug them from your power source. It IS possible to ALLOW the memory that can’t get erased, as painful as it is, to propel you out of powerlessness and back into shot-calling control.

Want to know how to forget about your ex?

Here are 3 simple rules that are better than amnesia.

Remember – amnesia renders you powerless, action renders you EMPOWERED.

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“How long does it take to get over a breakup?” is one of those questions I’ve asked Google so many times, I can type it at warp speed without even looking at my keyboard once.

I talk to men and women every day who have gone through a painful breakup. Many of them are still struggling to get over their breakup while dating a new person, who although seems to check every box, does nothing but highlight the absence of their ex.

And we all know the more you look for an eraser, the more highlighters you will find.

I’ve gone through breakups where I felt suicidal. I was convinced that I’d never love again and that life as I knew it was over.

And in a way, it was. 

The only thing that I based all of my worth and happiness on was gone.

I don’t want to sugarcoat it and give this cliche answer that life wasn’t really over and I soon reclaimed my power, lived Happily Ever After, The End.

I didn’t. Life as I knew it was definitely over.

And just like with the death of a loved one, the death of each relationship took something out of me that to this day, hasn’t ever grown back quite the same as it was before the storm.

I don’t think that there’s any set time for getting over a breakup. I’ve been in long-term relationships that were easier to get over than relationships I was in for a few months and… a YEAR later, I would still be doing my best to put one foot in front of the other, all from a 6-month relationship.

How do you forget someone who’s seen your soul?

Is there a way to undo the undoable?

How are you supposed to authentically go about living your life in total contradiction to the reality of your heartbreak?

Today, as removed and moved on as I am from past relationships and friendships that ended in a painful break, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t still haunted at times by the most random things. You never know when the ghost from friendsh*ts and relationsh*ts past is going to pay you a visit.

As time goes by though, you realize these hauntings are really just that – aftershock waves from an emotional earthquake that fractured the foundation your emotional house was built on. 

These waves can be easily weathered, ridden, and taken so much less seriously once the knowingness is secured that they won’t ever take your house down again.

So, how do you secure that knowingness while mourning a relational death in the eye of an Armageddon storm?

How do you rise up from your own emotional death?

How long does it take to get over a breakup?

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Figuring out how to deal with haters is really tough. No matter how hard you try to bend, accommodate, please, and mind your own, there will always be people who don’t like you. Always.

Some may tell you to your face. Others will show you through their actions –  They use the level to which they can manipulate and control your emotional weather as a temporary bandage for the cancer of their own insecurities, fears, failures, and misery.

You could be dedicating your life to the most worthy, selfless cause and there will still be people who undermine, hate, make fun of, gossip about you, backstab, and attempt to tear you down you.

These people will steal from and copy you WHILE they criticize/”critique” what you do. They will stop at nothing to passively destroy you and your reputation no matter how well you know them, don’t know them, or how good you’ve been to them.

Other times, hate will come in the form of a joke:

“Oh, I was just joking!”

“Whoa. Natasha. You CLEARLY can’t take a joke.”

Of course you were joking. As long as you’re “joking,” you can be a complete piece of sh*t while wearing the cloak of “comedian-that-no-one-thinks-is-funny-besides-the-people-who-are-afraid-of-being-the-next-cheap-punchline.” You can be as as*holic, brutal, and below-the-belt immature as you want to be because you guessed it… it’s just a joke. Right? You were joking. And if I, for some insanely illogical reason don’t think you’re funny, I’m the overly sensitive moron who can’t take a joke.

If you leave yourself open at all on social media or online in general, people who you can’t even see and who you don’t even know will throw shade and spew hate at you. They’ll act like they know more about you, your life and your loved ones than you do.

Every day, I see people being their authentic selves online (which is really nice to come by in an arena where you have the most control as far as manipulating your image goes).

These people are interesting – they have opinions, are honest, vulnerable, and agenda-less with the exception of servitude.

And that’s about all it takes for haters to show up.

It’s hard to know how to deal with haters.

A hater doesn’t have to be some anonymous person in the woods of cyberspace or someone who you don’t personally know. A hater can be anyone – a family member, friend, co-worker, boss, teacher… even the person you’re dating (or their family, friends, ex, etc). These people can also be very passive, competitive, and mixed signal-ly in their hate. 

You could have a long history with this person. You could have been good to, generous with, and trusting of them.

And then one day… they turn.

We’ve all experienced this at one point or another.

I’ve lost love, encouragement, and support from family, friends, and colleagues over things that I’ve written. When it comes to helping people who are in pain, I will stop at nothing to get through to someone. And if getting through to them means creating my own psychological terms, not being consumed by or overly cautious of political correctness, and sharing my own experiences with feeling jealous, being hateful, vengeful, FAILING; experiencing rejection, and abandonment… so be it.

What I’ve learned from it all is that no matter what you do, there will always be people who have an allergic reaction to you and your accomplishments. They’ll then blame you for somehow creating that allergy.

And you HAVE TO know how to deal with these people or it will rob you BIG time. Just like it robbed me – of my health, time and energy that I’m still working toward rebuilding. I also try to forgive myself for the times that I’ve acted on my own emotional allergies ignited by the fear that other people’s accomplishments, beauty, life, being, etc., triggered in me.

Knowing how to deal with haters is one thing. Actually APPLYING this is something that I still have to work on each and every day. It’s hard. Sometimes I can’t apply any of it. Most of the time I don’t want to. Little by little though, I do it and in the process, I build self-respect. I then start to see results in my life because I’m no longer a paranoid emotional accountant – I’m an unbothered, unf*ckwithable person who is more anxious to get to the light at the end of the tunnel than cry/claim blind from the temporary shade thrown by any hater in the tunnel.

Here’s everything you need to know about how to deal with haters, jealousy & toxicity…

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