“Now you know and knowing is half the battle.”-G.I. Joe
When I was in college one of my boyfriends would always quote G. I. Joe to me. I would find a way to work, “Well now I know,” into the conversation and he would chime in with Joe’s famous line “and knowing is half the battle.” I was always thought it was cute because he was cute and it was one of “our things.” Give me a break, I was smitten. Really smitten.
Now that I am a little older, I realize there was a little genius in that 80′s cartoon. Even though Joe was talking about skateboarding safety and talking to strangers, the same rule can apply to dating. As a dating coach, it my job to help my clients figure out the crap that is holding them back from a healthy and happy relationship. Many times, as they start to realize “the crap” they can become really overwhelmed by the idea of changing it. Their “crap” is the behavior that is holding them back and is a comfort zone or defense mechanism that they have been doing for years. Sabotaging themselves from love, usually not even realizing it. Whether it is severe sarcasm that gets guys scratching their heads, an uncontrollable neediness that comes out of nowhere and gets them running or a ticket to the crazy train that starts you drunken texting at 2 a.m. After awhile, we end up in our pajamas, drinking wine, playing cheeky bingo ’til all hours of the night, not wanting to leave our place because it easier than putting ourselves out there. Because these behaviors are what you know and changing it is not going to happen overnight. It is a process of relearning a behavior that you picked up along the way to protect yourself. I will be the first to say that it ain’t easy.
When a client says to me, “How do I even do that?” I start by asking them to channel their inner G.I. Joe because “knowing really is half the battle.” Once you know what you are doing that isn’t working, you can use that awareness to slowly, but surely, make changes. You can watch for the self-defeating behavior and change it on the spot. After time, it will become your new learned behavior. No, it is not an easy process, but I think a happy and healthy relationship is worth it, don’t you?
If you are in place where you find yourself again and again saying, “Why did he do that?” it may be time to step back and take a long, hard look at what you are doing. What pitfalls do you keep falling into? How do you hold yourself around people? Are you setting yourself (and your future Mr. Fantastic) up for success? Creating a better awareness of what is and isn’t working in your dating life is the first step.
Channeling your inner G.I. Joe can help you get there. Remember, if you need a little help…that is why I am here.