Hey Austin – Got any advice on how to let go of a relationship? The love of my life and I broke up about nine months ago and I feel stuck. I can’t seem to move on with my life. I spend much of my time living in the past, wondering what I could’ve done differently and accepting the fact that I might always be alone. And if I do find someone else, I will just be settling because there is no comparison to him. To top it off, he has completely moved on and is engaged now. It feels like a dagger in my my heart. Why is it so difficult for me to move on without him? – Jessica
Thanks for the note, Jessica. And I’m sorry to hear what you’re going through. Few things in life can take us down quite like having our heart ripped out of our chest by someone who was supposed to love us forever. It feels like a bomb has gone off in your life and obliterated any sense of peace or happiness you once had. There are days you can barely breathe and sometimes the weight of the darkness pressing down is more than you can bear. I think we’ve all been there…right?
I know I have.
Jessica, the first thing to understand here is that what you’re going through is far more than just emotional trauma. It’s also physiological. There are chemical processes taking place in your body that are making it difficult for you detach from this man. When you’re in love, your body secretes high levels of oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine, all of which are hormones that bond you with the man who curls your toes and rocks your world. When that love is taken away, your body responds in the exact same way an addict’s body does when you take away their booze or drugs….
It FREAKS out!
Few people know this, but recovering from a break-up is like kicking an addiction to a drug. In fact, a recent study conducted at Rutgers University found that when broken-hearted test subjects were shown a picture of their ex, the parts of their brain that lit up were the same parts associated with cocaine and nicotine addiction.
As if that weren’t enough, the area of the brain that processes romantic love lies right next to the area that orchestrates hunger and thirst. So romantic love, like hunger and thirst, is an innate biological need. We NEED it. It’s one of things that drives us to mate. Without this drive, our species wouldn’t survive. So when we lose that love, it’s devastating not only from an emotional perspective, but from an evolutionary one as well. Our brain thinks we are missing out on life’s greatest biological prize…a mating partner.
That’s why you feel so devastated.
Now I’m not comparing you to a meth head, but it is important to understand that what you’re experiencing is a CHEMICAL reaction to your loss. It’s real, it’s raw, and it fu**ing HURTS…right? So….you’re NOT crazy and you’re NOT losing your mind. Even if it feels like you are.
So how do you regain your sanity?
Well, the first thing you MUST do is treat this loss as you would any addiction. And how do you treat an addiction? You first cut off the supply. This means you absolutely MUST cut all ties with this man if you haven’t already.
AND I DO MEAN ALL TIES!
I’m talking complete radio silence. Now I know this is easier said than done, but the FASTEST way for you to get over this man is to cut him out of your life entirely. Again, remember that you’re chemically addicted to him. This is scientific fact, not conjecture. If you were trying to kick a cocaine habit, you wouldn’t hang out with someone who candies up their nose with the finest booger sugar, would you? Of course not. You would steer clear of any temptation that could lead you to using again. Same thing if you’re an alcoholic. You might THINK it’s ok to have that one weekend cocktail, but the next thing you know, one drink has turned into ten and before you know it you’re off the wagon and face down in the dirt.
I think you get my point.
The bottom line is that this dude is your poison and must be removed from your life at all costs. So put as much distance between Mr. Morphine and yourself as possible. The relationship is over. It ended for a reason and nothing good is coming from you holding on. Trying to figure out what went wrong or what you could have done differently is just going to drive you batshit crazy.
Right now it doesn’t matter.
The only things that matters NOW is your peace of mind. There will be plenty of time for self reflection later. I can’t emphasize enough how critical it is that you cut the cord completely and walk away with your head held high.
And when I say COMPLETELY, I mean it!
That means no social media…no texting…no phone calls…and ESPECIALLY no booty calls!!
If you do this, you can take solace in knowing that your wounds WILL heal sooner than later. In fact, the notion that time heals a broken heart is born out by the research study I mentioned earlier. The researchers found that after the break-up, the more time that passes by without contact, the less activity there is in the brain region associated with both attachment and addiction. So the lesson here is that you need to cut the cord for your own sanity as well as for your own well-being.
And believe me, it WILL free your soul.
Jessica, it’s important to realize that getting over a heartbreak takes time. So it’s ok to cry and mourn the loss. But don’t dwell in that negative space for too long. Yes, you’re grieving. Yes, you’re miserable. And yes, you’re barely surviving but YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS! So put one foot in front of the other and know that every step forward propels you further down the healing road.
Also, if you haven’t gotten the closure you need, now is the time to speak up. Sometimes you can’t get over the hurt until you know you’ve been heard. So give yourself permission to express your feelings to him. It doesn’t matter how you do it. A well-written email or letter is always good because it gives you time to collect and compose your thoughts.
Another option is to vent all your frustrations IN PERSON and get them off your chest. There’s nothing worse than regret, so say what you need to say and then wash your hands of it.
Above all, remember that it’s not how you communicate it that’s important, what matters is cleansing yourself of the toxic energy that’s eating you up inside. And don’t be surprised if he doesn’t respond to your letter or email. In fact, it’s better if he doesn’t. And if you unload on him in person, don’t be shocked if he has a smirk on his face or tells you you’re crazy. That’s just his way of saving face. His response (or lack of one) doesn’t matter anyways…you’ve said your piece and that was your intention all along.
Lastly, I want you to take back control of your life by making it all about YOU. Don’t let a bad experience keep you down or prevent you from believing in love. NOW is the time to rediscover the things that bring you joy. Go dancing! Read erotica books! Take some girlfriends to Vegas for a weekend of unholy debauchery! Whatever floats your boat. It’s time to fall in love with yourself all over again and become comfortable just being YOU…without a man by your side. Believe me, learning to make yourself a priority is the best investment you’ll ever make.
Jessica, you can either go through life angry or jaded or you can live a life full of love and laughter. I would much rather see you do the latter. Laughing and loving is the only way to go.
There’s nothing like a boatload of bullshit to make the world go ‘round. And we’re all guilty of it. ALL of us. Whether it’s a little white lie to save our ass or a full-blown web of deceit to hide that dirty little secret, most of us excel at shoveling prodigious piles of truth-deficient poo on a regular basis.
One of the top complaints I hear from women is that men are ALWAYS trying to pull the wool over their eyes.
To hear these ladies tell it, men lie about damn near everything under the sun. We lie about our past. We lie about our future. We lie about what we’re doing, where we’ve been, what we’re thinking, what happened an hour ago, what happened thirty seconds ago, and so on.
In addition to the actual dishonesty, what REALLY drives these ladies to drink is that men seem to lie about stuff they shouldn’t lie about at all. Dumb stuff. Stupid stuff. Matters that don’t amount to a hill of beans in the big scheme of things. So that’s what we’re going to talk about here….the little lies.
If you’re a woman, how many times has a man tried to pull the wool over your eyes? How many times has he told you that he’ll be home in ten minutes and then shows up an hour later? Or that his phone died and he didn’t get your message? Or that he did something around the house when he didn’t?
More times than you can count, I’m sure.
So why exactly do so many guys play fast and loose with the truth? If men were more straightforward and honest, wouldn’t life be easier for everyone?
In a word?
At least not for him.
The truth is that there are really only THREE reasons a man will lie to you:
1. When he doesn’t want to argue with you.
2. When he doesn’t want to see you upset.
3. When he doesn’t want to incur your wrath.
There are other reasons, of course, but these are the main ones.
So let’s start by taking a look at the wrath department, shall we?
I hate stating the obvious, but far too many women make an art form out of nagging, whining, bitching, pouting and complaining to the man in their life. And it’s no secret that men hate this shit. They detest it. Every guy I know would rather have his balls tarred and feathered than get blasted by a woman for his delinquent behavior. So if you’re a guy and a woman is about to cloud up and rain on you, your first instinct is to save your ass.
And the best way to save your ass is by covering it.
That usually entails telling her what she wants to hear. And when it comes to covering his ass, a man will do whatever is necessary to appease you. His rationale is simple…
Keep the peace at all costs.
A lie is his way of avoiding an argument, criticism or disappointing you at that moment in time. If he gets caught, he can deal with the fallout later. And we usually DO get caught, don’t we?
You ladies are like human polygraph machines. The second we pull a fast one, those finely-tuned female fiction sensors of yours sniff out the lie like a fart in a car. Speaking of lies gone awry, check out this falsehood fiasco from my days as a married man.
The Blood Household, 7:00 pm.
Mrs B: “Austin, will you please brush the little monkey’s teeth and put her to bed? I have to finish this report for work.”
Me: “Sure, Baby. No problem.”
(One hour later)
Mrs B: “Hey! She really needs to get in bed. Did you brush her teeth yet?”
Me: “Crap! I totally forgot about her teeth. I’ll do it right now and then I’ll get her in bed…ok?”
(Another hour later)
Mrs B: “Hey!!!!! I can’t believe she’s STILL up! #@%!! Get her in bed, please! Did you brush her teeth yet?”
Me: “Cool yer jets! Of course I brushed her teeth! You already asked me twice, didn’t you?”
But had I even been within spitting distance of a Dora the Explorer toothbrush that evening?
Not even close.
So why would I float this truth-deficient turd out into the universe?
Two Words: Self Preservation.
My long-suffering wife had already asked me to brush my daughter’s teeth. Twice. I obviously hadn’t, so if I fessed up and told her the truth, not only would I disappoint her, but I’d be on the receiving end of a few rations of grief for failure to comply. Never mind the fact they were well-deserved rations, I just didn’t want to hear about it.
So I told her what she wanted to hear.
Plus, I reasoned…
‘The kid’s only a toddler, right? Aren’t her teeth gonna fall out soon anyways? What’s the big rush? I can’t think of a single good reason why I should pull myself away from this Breaking Bad re-run marathon just to sanitize a few juvenile chompers the Tooth Fairy has already marked for death. Anyways, I can always brush them in the morning. Her teeth will still be attached after breakfast and I’ll definitely have finished watching Season 3 by then…’
Such was my tortured logic.
Welcome to the twisted rationale of the primal male mind.
Scenarios like the Dora toothbrush fiasco are replayed millions of times a day all across the globe. There’s no end to the number of creative things a man will do or say to keep his backside out of hot water.
One night my buddy Jake even rubbed his bare hands on the tires of his pickup truck after coming home to his wife three hours late. He knew she would lose her shit if she found out he was drinking with the boys, so to stay out of the doghouse, he rubbed his palms all over his filthy tires right before pulling up in his driveway. And just as he was about to get annihilated by his angry spouse, Jake played his hand.
All it took was a show of HIS blackened hands and a bullshit story about a tire blowout and his role as a Good Samaritan and Jake went from zero to hero in one second flat.
Good ol’ Jake.
Now…do these hare-brained male antics make any sense at all?
Are they remotely logical?
Not even close.
Could all this hassle be avoided by doing the right thing in the first place?
But when have men EVER done things the easy way?
Now in a perfect world, men would man up and dispense with the deceit entirely, but unfortunately too many men (and women) don’t live in that world. So the lies continue, trust breaks down and it spirals from there.
It’s just the way of our imperfect world.
The silver lining to this madness is that you don’t have to put up with dishonesty of any sort if you don’t want to. And while men in general may be notorious for their ability to con you with silver-tongued oratory, there are also legions of good and decent men out there who place a premium on truth and fidelity. These gentlemen understand that trust and mutual respect is the bedrock upon which ALL healthy relationships are built.
It was just after midnight and Leah and I been working each other over into a sweaty mess of tangled limbs and tousled hair for the better part of an hour. Our hotel room was thrashed. The repeated slamming of the headboard had knocked both lamps on the floor and the king-size mattress was hanging halfway off the bed frame. Both of us were dripping with sweat and my heart was about to thump out of my chest. All in all, it had been a damn fine evening.
Life was good.
As I inhaled the scent of sex and drank in the sight of Leah’s sensual curves, I felt that old familiar rush. Once again, I was under a woman’s spell. From the moment she barked her carnal command, I was all hers. She had all the power. If the world was mine, I would have turned it over to her in that instant.
No questions asked.
A woman’s beauty and sensuality does strange things to a man. Ask any guy and he’ll tell you…the feeling he gets when you’re lying naked in front of him in all your splendor is intoxicating beyond words. It doesn’t matter what you look like naked. As men, we’re thrilled just to be in your presence. And if you could see yourself through a man’s eyes while he’s looking at you in the throes of ecstasy, you’d see a sensuality that defies description and beauty a thousand times more powerful than you ever imagined.
As a woman, your sexuality is your trump card.
It’s your ace in the hole.
Your home court advantage.
Said another way, your feminine charms are pure unadulterated, high-grade, VVS1 Kryptonite and we are but lowly and vulnerable Supermen.
And so shall it forever be.
That being said, sex isn’t as powerful as some people would have you believe. So it’s high time to slay one of the most persistent myths about the power of sex by answering the age-old question of how long you should wait to jump into the sack with a man.
Now I get this question ALL the time.
As one of the top mentors to women in the country, I’d say it’s easily one of the most common inquiries flooding my email inbox on a regular basis. There’s no shortage of women who want to know how long they should wait to “give it up” after meeting a man they like.
And it’s a legitimate question, right?
You don’t want to blow your chances with a good guy by doing the wrong thing so being smart about how you leverage one of your greatest assets is just smart business.
So that begs the question…
How long SHOULD you wait to play hide the pickle with a man worthy of your time and attention?
Now before I give you my answer, make sure you’re sitting down because what I’m about to say usually shocks the shit out of most women.
So are you sitting down?
Are you sure?
The answer to the question of how long you should wait to sleep with a man is…
IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER!
Yes, you heard me correctly.
How long you wait to seal the deal with Tom, Dick and Harry doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in the big scheme of things. Now I know this flies in the face of conventional wisdom and everything you’ve ever heard but it’s absolute fact. Whether you give it up on the first date or make the dude wait until his balls turn cobalt blue makes little difference in the long run.
Unfortunately you won’t hear this truth from anybody else but me.
In fact, you’ll hear the exact opposite.
And my guess is you already have.
There’s a whole movement right now of therapists, counselors and public figures dispensing what is quite possibly the most moronic slice of dating advice ever thrust upon womankind…namely that a woman should make a man wait for sex if she wants to be taken seriously and seen as a potential long-term partner. I call the well-intentioned but misguided puritans peddling this pile of excrement, “the waiting crowd”.
Or, Waiters, for short.
At the forefront of the Waiter movement is author and comedian, Steve Harvey. In his bestselling book, Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, ol’ Steve devotes an entire chapter to what he calls “The 90-Day Rule.” The 90-Day Rule essentially advises women to wait a minimum of 90 days before having sex with a man. Steve Harvey makes the argument that women who give it up too soon essentially cheapen themselves and thus sabotage their chances with good men right out of the gate.
Banging before the 90 day mark, Steve says, sends a man the message that you’re basically his “plaything”… something to be used and discarded. That a man will seriously question whether you’re marriage or long-term material if you open the gates to your kitty’s kingdom too soon. So Steve recommends implementing a 90 day rule…a sort of probationary period which he claims will elevate your stature in a man’s eyes as well as give you the opportunity to assess a man’s true intentions.
Now, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Steve Harvey. I really do. He’s a first class gentleman who’s helped lot of women over the course of his long and distinguished career. But on this topic he and the other Waiters are dead wrong. On the surface, their argument appears to have merit but when you take a closer look it just doesn’t hold water in the real world.
Here’s the problem with their logic…
Sex just isn’t THAT powerful. It really isn’t. I don’t care if your whisker biscuit can bake a cake while calculating trigonometry on the fly, sex BY ITSELF won’t make or break your budding relationship. Sure, it’s important but it’s merely ONE component of many in the delicate courtship dance. In order to be taken seriously as someone with long-term potential, who you are OUTSIDE the bedroom is far more important than what you do INSIDE the bedroom. In other words, if you’re not a great catch before your panties hit the floor, it’s a nonstarter anyways.
Know what I mean?
Making a man wait for sex won’t miraculously transform you into a woman he can’t live without!
It doesn’t work that way.
Again, sex by itself isn’t THAT powerful so holding out on a guy isn’t going to make him respect you if you don’t command his respect already. By the same measure, if you’re a great catch, rocking a man’s world right out of the gate isn’t going to make him lose respect for you. Yet that’s exactly what Steve Harvey and the waiting crowd want you to believe.
But think about it logically for a second…
What does a man want from you more than anything else at the start?
And you give him great sex, right?
Of course you do.
With rare exception, any sex is good sex for a man. It’s like Disneyland for a kid. When was the last time Junior had a lousy day at Mickey’s place?
So…if you’re an awesome chick AND you rock his world in the sack, you’re the perfect woman as far as he’s concerned. So why would he lose interest in you UNLESS SOMETHING ELSE about you wasn’t to his liking?
The answer is he wouldn’t.
Look, no sane man is going to drop off the face of the earth or tell you to hit the road SOLELY because he sampled your feminine finery early in the game. That would make ZERO sense. Men are selfish. We’re drawn to people who give us what we want. And since sex is pretty much at the top of every man’s shopping list, a woman who rocks our world is a woman we want to see again.
So if a man loses interest in you it’s NOT because he pinned your ankles behind your ears on day 21. If a man decides to cut and run, it’s ALWAYS for reasons other than sex. Maybe the woman was needy. Maybe she was a bitch. Maybe she lacked confidence or was a drama queen. Perhaps the chemistry wasn’t there or he decided another woman was a better match. It could a million different things. The point is, whenever I pulled the plug on a woman it was always because SOMETHING ELSE wasn’t working for me.
I NEVER lost interest because she slept with me to soon.
Now the other side of the waiter argument is that you should make a man wait for sex because doing so will weed out the suckers. In other words, if sex is all a man wants from you, then putting yourself on lockdown will cause him to take a hike thus exposing himself as the wolf in sheep’s clothing he really is.
Sounds logical, right?
Again, while this might sound good in theory it just doesn’t hold water in the real world.
Putting your vertical smile under lock and key may weed out a player or two but in the end it really only tests a man’s resolve to wait for sex. In other words, if the ONLY thing he wants from you is sex then you can bet your sweet ass he’ll wait as long as it takes. No arbitrary waiting period is going to deter him. Oh sure, he’ll probably sample some other women while he bides his time – after all, he needs to keep his skills sharp for you – but he’ll be there when you’re ready. Waiting in the wings like the knight-in-shining armor he is.
So don’t be fooled, girl.
If all a man wants from you is sex, you holding out will ONLY test his resolve to wait for that sex. Then, once he gets it he’ll either disappear or continue using you until the thrill is gone.
So here’s the bottom line…
Don’t believe the hype.
Steve Harvey’s 90-Day rule and the rest of the waiting crowd’s arguments aren’t the worth the paper they’re printed on. Using sex as leverage or a weapon is a fool’s errand and doesn’t work anyways. Making a man wait for sex WILL NOT make you more desirable in his eyes. Nor will him giving you a pearl necklace three weeks into your courtship cause him to question your value or make him lose respect for you. That will only happen if something else about you isn’t working for him. As I said earlier, sex by itself isn’t going to make or break your budding relationship. I don’t care what your pastor, BFF or therapist says.
So you want my advice?
Here it is….
Bang your heart out, Girl!
Yes, I’m serious.
THIS BE YOUR LICENSE TO BANG!
IF you want to have sex, rock his world until he’s nothing but a quivering shivering mass of pummeled masculinity lying on the bedroom floor. Pull out ALL the stops. Swing from the chandelier, knock over a lamp or two and make that boy beg for buttermilk! As far as I’m concerned, the only walls that should exist in your relationship are the ones he slams you up against while making your toes curl in a rush of orgasmic bliss!!
And it doesn’t matter if you’ve known him 4 days, 4 weeks or 4 months, as long as you’re a great catch OUTSIDE the bedroom, having sex with a man early in the game is NEVER a liability. After all, this isn’t the 1950s anymore. The idea that a man isn’t going to find you desirable unless you’re some kind of prim and proper princess is absurd. Talk about an old school mentality. Steve Harvey and the rest of the waiting crowd must be stuck in a time warp. “Hey Steve??!! Did I miss something because I’m pretty sure women today are more sexually liberated than at any point in history!”
Which leads me to my final point.
Why is the waiting crowd only talking about the MAN’S desire for sex?
What about YOUR desire?
What if YOU are the one who doesn’t want to wait?
Women love sex too so shouldn’t you be able to enjoy it without being made to feel like you’re a second-class citizen? Or being told you’re less desirable because you want to rip his clothes off too?
The double standard drives me nuts.
Few things are more exciting for a guy than when you have the hots for him and YOU want to seal the deal. So don’t listen to the fuddy-duddies who tell you to censor your sensuality. Embrace your inner goddess and let your freak flag fly!
Oh, and if you’re someone who chooses to abstain from sex on the basis of religious or other personal beliefs, that’s cool too. Far be it for me or anybody else to tell you how to live your life.
But for the rest of us, it’s time to get naked and party!
Now before you drop your dress, please understand I’m not telling you to spread your kitty around like rice at a wedding. It goes without saying you ALWAYS want to be selective, smart and safe about who you allow into your holy of holies. But assuming the guy meets your standards and you’ve taken proper precautions, you can be absolutely certain that expressing yourself sexually DOES NOT make you a plaything. It doesn’t mean you’re desperate, a sinner, easily manipulated or any other number of idiotic labels the waiting crowd would LOOOOVE to pin on your forehead. Your worth as a woman is defined by far more than some arbitrary timeline designed to govern how often you should spread your legs.
Can I tell you a secret?
Remember that little bang-fest I detailed for you at the beginning of this chapter?
The one with Leah?
That was our second date.
And you know what?
We dated for well over a year until we amicably agreed to go our separate ways. Leah was and still is one of the most remarkable women I’ve ever known in my life. I will forever cherish our time together and I have the utmost respect for her in every regard. As of this writing, she’s engaged and there’s no question in my mind her fiancé is one of the luckiest bastards on the face of the planet.
So I ask you…..
Did the fact Leah slept with me on our second date prove to be a liability for her?
Did I duck her calls, use her, abuse her, play her, lie to her, or go AWOL because she dropped her panties after spending only a few hours with me?
HELL TO THE NO!
As I said before, from the moment she barked her carnal command, I was all hers. And because she was such a damn fine catch OUTSIDE the bedroom, she continued to hold my interest on every level.
The same can be said for my longtime partner, Danielle. She’ll probably pluck my pubes while I’m asleep for telling you this, but she gave it up on the second date as well.
And guess what?
We’ve been together almost ten years and are still going strong. I can’t wait for the next ten. Thinking about another decade with that incredible woman by my side puts a goofy grin on my face every time I think about it. I never lost interest in Danielle or questioned her value because she rocked my world the second time I saw her. To the contrary, making me forget my name was just one more feather in her cap of feminine awesomeness.
So don’t believe the hype, my beautiful friend.
It’s easy to assign blame when something doesn’t go our way or work out the way we’d hoped and that’s what a lot of women do with sex in the dating game. Because of well-intentioned but misguided folks like Steve Harvey, many women automatically assume sleeping with a guy early causes him to think twice about a future with them. But as we’ve just shown, that’s not the case at all.
So to hell with the 90-Day rule!
Bang away if you’re so inclined and know that expressing yourself sexually isn’t a liability of any sort. As long as you don’t confuse sex with love or allow that pesky oxytocin get the best of you, all will be right in your world.
So for the sake of all mankind, don’t keep your erotic awesomeness under lock and key. Share it with your fellow man…or men. 😉 If you want to scream at the top of your lungs as you’re being driven into the headboard on Day 21, then knock yourself out. There’s no need to censor yourself or miss out on the spicier side of life because you think strutting your sexual stuff might come back to haunt you. As long as you blow a man’s mind outside the bedroom, you can do whatever the hell you want inside the bedroom.