Ask Austin

Ask Austin

How To Heal Your Broken Heart


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.

All the best to you, my friend.

Ask Austin

How To Blow A Man’s Mind


Hi Austin – I’d like to know… How can I REALLY keep a man’s attention? How DOES a girl do that? Is it her looks? Her job? Her personality? Many of us single gals can’t seem to find a good guy so maybe you could address this question? Thanks! –  Monica
 
What a great question, Monica! How does a single girl do just that? After the great mystery of Why Am I Here?, the other cosmic riddle of the ages for legions of women young and old alike is how to capture and keep the attention of a good and decent man. So in recent weeks, I’ve given this question considerable thought and in doing so have reached far back into my sordid and chaotic past in the hopes of finding a lesson or two to help put this mystery to rest.
 

Just how does a woman blow a man’s mind?

After looking at all my relationships with women and what ultimately caused their demise, I have distilled the answer to this question down into one basic concept. Yes, just one. I’m a big believer that the answers to the questions we seek in life aren’t nearly as complicated as we often make them out to be. This concept, while theoretically simple, is one that often eludes many single women the vast majority of the time.

I call it, Complement not Complicate.

Now, before we go any further, let’s take a look at the finer points of the word, Complement. The words complement and compliment are frequently confused. Although pronounced alike, they have very different meanings. Complement, means ‘to add to something in a way that completes, enhances, or improves it,’ as in Christina’s slingback heels were the perfect complement to her black cocktail dressCompliment, on the other hand, means ‘to admire and praise someone for something,’ as in, Austin felt a stirring in his pants as he complimented Christina on her new pair of Stuart Weitzman slingback heels. For the purposes of this article, we will be referring to the word complement in the context of something that enhances or improves.

Whew! Now that we have that little grammatical unpleasantry out of the way, let’s take a quick look at a couple things that make men tick before I tell you how to blow a man’s mind using Complement not Complicate. This is critical since the better you understand the peculiar nature of the masculine cranial cavity, the better you can work things to your advantage. Thankfully, this isn’t difficult at all with Blood as your guide.

Fact #1: Most men are simple creatures by nature. Contrary to popular belief, what the average guy looks for in a woman isn’t all that complex. If you give him some respect, a little affection, space when he needs it and make sure to polish the one-eyed trouser snake occasionally, you’ll soothe the savage beast ninety-percent of the time.

Fact #2: Understand and internalize the fact that you ultimately can’t control or change a man. This is an irrefutable fact. You might think you can but you’ll only be fooling yourself. This means you can’t make a man love you. You can’t make him commit. You can’t make him spend more time with you and you certainly can’t make him more emotionally sensitive or more attentive to your needs. Hell, you can’t even make him call or text you if he doesn’t want to. In short, you can’t change much, if anything, about him at all. So for your own sanity, do yourself a favor and don’t even try. Now, you can sometimes elicit short-term behavioral changes by manipulating or guilting him; but overall, people just don’t change unless they want to.

Period.

Speaking of manipulation, where most women run into problems is using various forms of antagonistic behavior to try and change a man’s actions when things aren’t going their way. I would imagine most of you ladies know what I’m talking about. I’m referring to all those lovely little sarcastic comments. The guilt trips. Pout parties. Whine productions and bitch fests. Ask any of your male friends and they’ll tell you – there’s no shortage of these boner killers in the average woman’s quiver.

To illustrate my point, check out the following list of common female complaints. Now in the interest of full disclosure, I will freely admit I have been BLASTED with every one of these by a woman with whom I was romantically involved. So in order to reproduce each complaint as it was originally communicated to yours truly, make sure to read the list with as much sarcasm, snark and snot-nosed condescension as you can possibly muster.

Gulp! Ready?

Here we go…

Lisa: “Austin! Ugh! Why can’t you be more like Jessica’s boyfriend? He treats her like a queen.”

Melissa: “Austin, you never ever bring me flowers anymore. You used to be so romantic.”

Kelly: “Austin, you spend more time with your friends than you do with me.”

Angela: “Well, well. If it isn’t the notorious Mr. Blood! Nice to FINALLY hear from you again. I thought you fell off the face of the earth…”

Jeanine: “Austin! I can’t believe you! I just saw the way you were talking to Kimberly. You are so flirty with my girlfriends!”

Wasn’t that fun? While this might not seem like a big deal, taking a sarcastic, whiny or critical approach like these ladies did with me is a guaranteed recipe for disaster when dealing with most men.

Here’s why…..

Criticism can be a tough pill to swallow even when it’s justified and done tactfully. Most people don’t handle condemnation well at all. This is especially true when you’re dealing with the fragile male ego. Men in particular HATE being backed into a corner. There’s little we detest more than being put on the spot in a negative way. Every guy I know, myself included, would rather have his balls hot waxed than get blasted with another round of complaints about his behavior from a woman. So when women come at us with gems like the ones above, guys either instinctively withdraw or go on the offensive ourselves. Either way the results aren’t pretty. And we all know what happens next: things hit the skids faster than a date with Taylor Swift and both parties end up irritated, furious or worse.

Looking back, I feel for these ladies. I really do. Although they had the best of intentions, their approach was way off. Did Angela really think whining about me not calling her was going to make me call her more? Did Melissa truly believe giving me crap about not being romantic was going to make me more romantic? I don’t believe so. In both cases, I’d say the ladies were just frustrated and didn’t know how to voice it without complicating the situation. Assuming they truly wanted me to do things differently, their BIG mistake was using negativity to try and make it happen. Whether it was calling more often, being more romantic or spending more time together, these women were trying to get me to do things their way by changing my behavior. Remember what we said earlier about the low probability for success with this approach when using negativity?

Uh oh.

Sadly, most women use this tactic when things don’t go their way. If this sounds like you, please know this is a surefire recipe for disaster and will only alienate or anger a man further. Since I assume you’d rather blow his mind than be blown off, allow me to offer an alternative to the negative approach so many women take. What I’m suggesting can literally mean the difference between a life of harmony and happiness or a life of strife, conflict and isolation. Just ask the women who have figured it out. If being the woman of a man’s dreams isn’t important to you, then no problem – you can stop reading now. But if you’re truly interested in standing out from the crowd of complicating drama mamas, read on…

Ready?

In order to blow a man’s mind, you must be the one woman in his life who enhances, or complements his days. And the easiest way to complement his days is to not complicate them with this type of behavior.

It’s really that simple.

This point is so critical I’ll say it again:

The easiest way to complement a man’s days is to not complicate them.

Now this might seem overly simple but don’t make the mistake of confusing simplicity with effectiveness. Oftentimes the solutions to life’s biggest challenges are quite simple in nature. This is one of those times.

In order to put Complement not Complicate into practice, I’d like you to ask yourself a few things. Ask the following questions every time you’re getting ready to interact with a guy you would like to keep around for awhile….

  • Am I getting ready to complement or complicate the situation right now?
  • Is my approach here going to make things better or worse?
  • Will the words about to come out of my mouth just piss him off? Cause him to withdraw?

Now I live in the real world so I know this can be a tall order. Especially when you’re angry or hurt. But what’s the alternative? Making an issue over things you can’t control or change anyways? That makes no sense. All you’ll do is frustrate yourself, piss him off and up the odds that you’ll remain single. Unfortunately, many single women NEVER learn this lesson. Instead, they bitch, pout, whine and complicate their way through relationship after failed relationship all the while complaining about how there aren’t any decent guys left. Trust me, Lady. There are PLENTY of decent guys left. They’re just hauling ass in the other direction away from you.

Every day I receive emails from women all over the world asking for my advice on this very topic. While each woman’s situation is unique, the stories themselves are very much the same. They can’t meet a decent guy. They’re a magnet for jerks. They can’t get the guy they’re with to commit. Always the bridesmaid and never the bride. You get my point. If this sounds like you, be honest with yourself and ask why that’s the case. You may not like hearing it, but I would wager there’s a high probability you complicate more than you complement.

Now before we go any further let me make something explicitly clear: This is NOT about women rolling over and letting men rule the roost. Not even close. Nor is this some misguided misogynistic notion whereby women keep quiet for the sake of getting along. You’ll never hear such senseless drivel from me. If you’re even remotely familiar with my work, you know I am first and foremost an advocate for women everywhere. Consequently, I’ll be the first to admit my penis-packin’ brethren and I probably deserve epic beat-downs for some of the stunts we put you ladies through. No doubt about it. Between our trademarked insensitivity, annoying habits and propensity for random bursts of colon-scented air, it’s a wonder you ladies haven’t killed us in our sleep. So believe me when I tell you this is NOT about playing nice for the sake of getting along. This is purely about helping you understand what makes a man tick and then using that knowledge to your advantage.

Here’s how it works…..

Women who complement rather than complicate are the ones who have figured out how to beat men at our own game. Most are relatively confident, secure women who realize they are basically dealing with boys stuck in men’s bodies more than half the time. Hence, they don’t get their panties wadded in a bunch every time a guy says or does the wrong thing. They know that just like children, men will forever say and do the wrong thing. It’s just the way of the world. They also understand attacking or putting a man on the spot in a negative way is the worst thing they can do if they are trying to win or maintain his affection. So they save their battles for the things that matter most. Most importantly, they realize NO amount of sarcasm, complaining, cattiness, nagging, pettiness or other complicating behaviors help them stand out from the crowd. These women are wise enough to know complicating things for a man in this way will only send him running in the opposite direction.

Someone brilliant once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Yet that’s exactly what millions of single women do every day in their interactions with men. Without even realizing it, they bring all sorts of complicating behavior and drama into men’s lives then wonder why they get blown off, sidelined and eventually dumped. This is precisely why I’m addressing this hot button topic. As someone who counsels and advocates for women every day, it saddens me to watch smart and successful ladies repeat entirely avoidable mistakes and then pay for it with broken hearts and failed relationships.

Ladies, being the girl of a man’s dreams doesn’t mean pretending things don’t bother you. Far from it. It is about those things actually NOT bothering you because you are happy and secure with who you are as a woman. Self love is the most powerful force on the planet and once you come to terms with the fact that you’re absolutely amazing just the way you are, an incredible thing happens. You suddenly discover that you’re more beautiful, more appealing, and more confident that you can possibly imagine. You also find that the things that USED to bother you no longer do because you don’t need someone to reassure you.

Least of all a man.

This article only begins to scratch the surface of the ways incorporating Complement not Complicate into a relationship can be beneficial. The great part is there is a massive upside to incorporating even small amounts of this concept into your dealings with people. Even if you only do it part of the time, I can guarantee you will be absolutely amazed at the positive impact it will have on the way you are perceived. Once you learn to pick your battles and minimize negativity in areas you can’t control, your entire aura will change and people will gravitate towards you in ways you can’t even begin to imagine.

Trust me on this one.

While this article focuses on single women in the dating scene or in new relationships, the concept of Complement not Complicate is universally applicable. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman, single or dating, married or divorced. Anytime we minimize negativity over things we can’t control, we substantially elevate the quality of our relationships across the board. For me, learning to roll my eyes and laugh at the absurdity of human behavior has always been cheaper than therapy and a hundred times more effective.

Won’t you join me……?

Austin

Ask Austin

Once A Cheater Always A Cheater?


Hi Austin. I have a question. My husband cheated on me and it only lasted 4 months. He said it was only sex and he never loved her. I want to believe when he tells me it was a mistake and it will never happen again. Can I trust him again? What do you think? – Tanya

Tanya,

The reality is once a partner cheats, there’s a higher-than-average probability they’ll do it again. Especially if that partner packs a penis. Without knowing the specifics of your situation, I obviously can’t say for certain, but the old adage; “Once a cheater always a cheater” holds true in many cases.

Now does that mean your man is definitely going to cheat on you again? Absolutely not! There are plenty of examples of infidelity devastating a relationship and then the couple is able to move beyond the hurt and betrayal to form a stronger and more permanent loving bond. However, that’s the exception rather than the rule.

Unfortunately, there’s so much crap and misinformation out there right now about infidelity. You don’t have to look far to find some half-baked talking head or television show spewing senseless garbage about dealing with a cheating spouse. Just the other day, I was reading an article from a prominent therapist in which he was counseling women on the ways they could get their men not to cheat on them. What a pile of cow dung! It pisses me off when I hear this kind of mindless drivel from these so-called experts. Of course you can strengthen your relationship thereby reducing the chance, but you can’t prevent it entirely.

*UNFILTERED TRUTH ALERT!*

*Women all over the world need to understand if a man wants to cheat on them, he’ll find a way. I don’t care if your whisker biscuit can bake a cake while balancing the checkbook…if a man really wants to pull a fast one, it’s as good as done. You can have the most amazing combination of looks, brains and charm of any woman alive but if a guy wants to sample some other feminine finery, it’s open season.

Don’t think so?

Take a look at Elin Woods, Tiger’s ex. This graceful and elegant Swedish angel is a catch by any standard. But it didn’t matter. Tiger parked his Wood in some second-rate porn princess and it cost him $100M on top of his marriage.

One Hundred Million Dollars??!!

No second-rate vertical smile is worth $100M!!

Tanya, I’m not a therapist, but I would give your husband the benefit of the doubt when he tells you it won’t happen again. And seek out a qualified couples counselor or therapist in your area if you haven’t already.

Ladies, this is one of those times that it breaks my heart to share the cold, hard truth of reality. But my sworn mission is to empower and inform women, and a critical part of this charge is creating awareness of issues with life-altering potential in a woman’s world.

Issues for better or for worse.

Thanks for the note, Tanya.

Austin