Monthly Archives: April 2015

The Art of Connecting – YOU3™

Throughout our lives we have experiences in three distinctly different types of love and relationships, which I call YOU3:

  • Relationship with Ourselves
  • Relationship with Others (family, friends, and co-workers)
  • Relationship with Our Love Partner

ACT on Love™

The relatioIMG_0561nship with ourselves is the most sacred, serving as the foundation for how well we treat ourselves and others. If we are critical towards ourselves, we are also judgmental and harsh with others, especially those closest to us. The concept of ACT on Love™ encourages us to act now to show love to ourselves and others. By accepting and loving ourselves first, we enhance all other relationships and build immediate and lasting connections.

As a former psychologist, individual and couples therapist, and now as a love, relationship, and performance expert, I have worked with many of you who wanted to feel more secure about yourself and be more comfortable and enjoy deeper relationships with others, as well as knowing the skills to retain the passion and bliss of fresh loving relationships. By starting with yourself first to become your best version, you actually become irresistible in attracting individuals to you romantically, socially, professionally, and personally. Yes, we find ourselves being attracted to those whom we view as happy, confident, fun, warm, thoughtful, a good listener, able to sense and understand what we’re feeling and experiencing. These desirable qualities stem from feeling good about you, which is reflected in everything you do and say. Self-confidence equates to self-love, that warm, acceptance and nurturing you practice on yourself, leading you to heightened performance in your careers, in building relationships with others, and in the ways you show up in your roles and behaviors as an inspiring lover, partner, and parent.

Be the First

If you want someone to listen and understand your feelings, be the first one to listen, ask questions, and demonstrate that you hear the other’s emotions and the reasons behind them. If you want more love, be the first to show love in different ways such as compliments and recognition, by physical touching with hugs, holding hands, snuggling together, or massaging the back or feet. You create memorable experiences and a closer bonding when you use Conscious lovingin your words and actions.

Discover Others…

A friend of mine, Larry Benet, is known as the “Connector.” He encourages us to really tap into what a person is about-not just finding out one’s occupation, but what that person does for fun, and how he can help with another’s passions or success with current projects. Larry, like others, has learned the concept “give to get,” meaning whatever we want, give it to another first, and that gift of what we desire comes back to us.

One way to quickly connect is to have laughter and fun. Think of the best times you have experienced? What were you doing then? Many times it is engaging in fun, zany, lighthearted physical activities or it could be moments when you felt most loved and connected… and even thinking about those situations where you felt the most love will often bring a smile as you remember the closeness, affection, words and gestures. You can create these special moments now with anyone.

Many people have come to me because they wanted to have a smoother, closer relationship with a co-worker, teammate, friend, family, and of course a significant love partner. Even though the other party didn’t participate in coaching, relationships dramatically changed for the better, because the individual who became the best version of himself or herself, impacted all others and how others responded to them. When you are in a place of love where you fully accept and love yourself, you have the power to be a magnet for positive people and experiences.

Dr. Mamiko Odegard, a premier life coach and founder of ACT On Love is the author of Daily Affirmations for Love: 365 Days of Love in Thought and Action. She will quickly show you how to make changes in your life and your relationships through her customized 1:1 Individual and Couples Coaching, VIP Intensive Retreats and Concierge Programs. Start better connections now with all the people in your life, by calling 480-391-1184 for your personal consultation with Mamiko.

YOU3™: The Secret to Success in Love, Life, and Career

Team winning at bowlingDo you ever wish you had the formula for:

  • Attracting and maintaining deep relationships?
  • Being loved and cherished with a partner who is in love with you, adores you, remains passionate through the years with you and you likewise, are crazy in love with your lover?
  • Rising to the top of your career in business, in athletics, or in any area for your pursuit of happiness?

It’s easier than you think when you recognize and develop YOU3™. You actually have three types of relationships. Each one affects the other and you must maintain a balance, a synergy, if you will. When one part becomes misaligned, you experience a loss of focus in your performance and passion. Instead you are filled with self-doubt, insecurities, anxiety, sadness, mistrust, criticalness, jealousy, obsessions, impatience, judgment, and self-destructive behaviors.

So what exactly is YOU3™?

  • YOU1: The relationship with yourself. This relation is the core of esteem and success. This is the part of you that you can directly control through the choices you make in your beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and actions. Thus, the first YOU is the most sacred. When you honor your thoughts and feelings and act in the highest good, your byproduct is greater success in all areas of your life that is important to you. In order for you to practice “conscious loving™” you must develop your highest and best self. This means that you learn and consistently practice accepting, loving, and nurturing yourself. How many of you are really taught that in your home? Most grow up in families where the parents did the best they could, but your own parents often didn’t know how to love themselves or to show you love. You might have ended up feeling unimportant, unworthy, and not living up to their standards…and now you’ve inherited their legacy.Imagine what it would be like that no matter your experiences and where you started from, you could have a fresh nurturing and loving relationship with yourself. No more criticizing and second-guessing yourself about how you feel, what you did, or what you said to someone else. Instead you are filled with compassion for yourself to allow you to treat yourself tenderly and foster amazing results in the ways you show up in every area of your life.
  • YOU2: The relationship with others. This includes family, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and teammates. The quality of the relationships you have with these people in your circle of influence can impact you on a daily basis. If you are not secure within yourself, then you can easily feel threatened, jealous, mistrusting, and sabotage yours and others’ successes. For instance, have you ever known someone who seemed to be brilliant and talented that innately skills and decisions seemed to come so easily, efficiently, and produced astounding results? You might then become secretive, withholding valuable information so this star performer wouldn’t look so shiny. If you were the supervisor for this person, you might feel so threatened that you would be afraid this person would take over your position. Therefore, you criticize unnecessarily and assign this person the junk tasks. Even worse, do you take credit when your subordinate is the one that actually made you look good? The whole organization or team suffers because you are not mentoring and not utilizing the greatest skills and resources. The final performance, the outcome gets “dumbed down,” leading to your brightest stars to leave.Wouldn’t you like to know exactly how you’d change your thoughts, feelings, and responses to others? Do you want to reveal and clarify your hidden beliefs and stumbling blocks that prevent you for achieving what you dream of? It’s not just about you and your relationship with yourself! It’s about the ways you relate effectively with others in loving, respectful, deeper communication and actions.
  • YOU3: The relationship with a special loving partner. Again, most don’t have role models of a truly deep, loving, and intimate relationship. This is not about sex. Instead it is about trusting your partner and feeling so comfortable that not only can you give and receive affection, but you can be yourself. It’s about letting your partner see into the deepest parts of you such as thoughts and feelings when you might be stressed or afraid, or even being angry with your mate. Conversely, it is about being vulnerable enough to proclaim and openly display how close and in love you are with another.Have you ever fantasized what life would be like with your perfect soul mate? You can feel your energies rising and feeling hopeful when you think about meeting “the one” or what life was like for you when you were dating, starting to fall in love, or even when you said “I do.” Even if your relationship has gone stale with little affection, lackluster superficial verbal and physical interactions, you can quickly turn your relationships around in a matter of days and weeks when you know the secrets of YOU3™.If you’re single, looking for a quality partner or you find yourself “settling” for mates that keep you unbalanced with lack of emotional and physical commitment and distance. If you find your partner seems to bring our the worst in you, the power of YOU3™ can help not only strengthen your core of self confidence, worthiness, and love, but teach you actual skills to bring the best in your relationship with specific tools to reboot your relationship to a fresh new beginning in letting go of anger, resentment, hurt, and keys to forgiving and turning on massive passion, love, and intimacy.

You’ve heard the saying “behind every good man is a woman.” Success does start at home! Success begins when you recognize, claim, and embrace your greatness. This doesn’t mean you have to be perfect…that completely unreachable. Instead it means that you learn to accept the totality of who you are with your flaws and weaknesses as well as your uniqueness and stress. There is a warrior inside all, regardless of male or female that wants to take control and feel powerful over your own life. You can do it when you accept your worthiness, your greatness. Indeed you are EXTRAordinary! No one in this world is exactly like you; not even identical twins. You each have your own personalities, differences in the way you handle situations, the way you communicate, and the differences in the ways you relate to yourself and others in your life. No matter your skill set, no matter your background, it’s not where you started or came from. Rather it is where you are right now and your capacity to grow and become your own MVP, to yourself, others, and to your special intimate loved one.

ACT on Love now™ and let’s start your journey to greatness.

Call me at (480) 391-1184 to schedule a complimentary discovery consultation or email me at Success@drmamiko.com with your PHONE NUMBER and best times to reach you.

5 STEPS TO KEEP UP ROMANCE 365 DAYS A YEAR

want-more-love-dr-mamikoSpring brings a renewed focus on love and marriage. You can become more frustrated, irritated, and sad if you’re single without a significant partner. If you’re single, do you find yourself longing for a partner to “make your dreams come true?” For those of you who are coupled, you can boost your love, intimacy, and passion to experience exhilarating love 365 days a year.

Here are 5 strategies to help you jump-start your love today and every day to enjoy your ultimate relationship with yourself and that special romantic person.

1. Celebrate the EXTRAordinary™ you!

First acknowledge and show yourself love by romancing yourself. Do you indulge on that long awaited gift or a day at the spa? Do you ever write a love note to yourself? Perhaps, you just need that long luxurious nap to recharge or a massage to feed your skin’s need for touch. Today take the time to:

  • Put yourself first, knowing how important you are in meeting your own needs and wants.
  • List the qualities you like and admire about yourself to remind you how loved you are to yourself and others.
  • Afterwards, write a love letter to yourself that you are cherished.
  • Take out the “love note” anytime you want to feel more uniquely loved.

When you feel this way and ACT on Love™, you automatically raise your energy and level of attraction. Not only that, you find yourself happier as you are taking charge of meeting your own needs rather than demanding or wishing that from a partner.

2. Tell and show whomever you love, how special he or she is.

Love is a verb and can be shown in action through words and gestures. Each day let the people around you know how are important they are to you through recognition, compliments, appreciation of their unique qualities and efforts, giving simple gifts that can be made or bought, touching through hugs, kisses, or a shoulder rub, spending time to laugh, talk, and connect through activities, and spontaneously doing thoughtful tasks that eases the day for the lucky recipient. Don’t just save these loving gestures for special occasions, demonstrate these acts of love multiple times daily in various ways.

3. Take charge of your life – Give your partner what you desire!

Think of being in a relationship and how you would want to be treated by your lover. Whatever it is that you desire, practice the law of reciprocity with the idea of being the first to give. If you want your partner to be romantic, then don’t let him or her guess what that will look like and feel like for you. Instead create the romantic day or evening exactly the way you would like to experience it. If you want more physical contact, then touch your partner in various ways both sexual and nonsexual. If you want more compliments and acknowledgements, be direct and express your needs and be the model of what you’d like to receive. Whining, nagging and pressuring don’t work. Remember you are manifesting being irresistible!

4. Make a list of why this special person in your life is so cherished by you.
Keep warm feelings in your heart each and every day.
Keep this list handy to affirm how treasured your partner is to you and read this as a reminder of the many qualities you appreciate, love, and admire about this individual. Keep warm feelings in your heart each and every day. On those days when irritation and impatience get in the way of your loving your partner, the qualities you love about your beloved can help you to get back into conscious loving™ to get you back to a calmer state to view his actions or statements with a “loving eye,” to give him the benefit of doubt.

5. Start a list of gratitude and write 5 things that you are grateful for each day.
This practice brings your awareness to all the good in your life. Your gratitude might be about the beautiful sunrise that greeted you upon awakening, being able run or walk faster or longer, feeling the embrace of loved ones, hearing words of appreciation of how valued you are at work, school, or home, the sense of satisfaction and fulfillment of a completed task, or even the unconditional love that you might receive from your furry pet. As you begin to look for blessings in your day, you become happier with a greater sense of well being which radiates to all those around you…Shining your magnetic love to make you even more attractive to the universe, and especially to those fortunate enough to closely share your space.

I’d love to hear your success stories and personal strategies for upping your love with your special partner and others who are important in your life. Yes, you can take control of your life to ensure 365 days of love in thought and action!

Written by Dr. Mamiko and originally published at smartfem.com

AWAKENING AND KEEPING EXTRAORDINARY LOVE

photo-Heart Shaped CloudDo you wish you had a magic wand in which you can awaken the love inside your partner and keep your love alive and vibrant? Your wish is my command and these following easy steps can quickly reinvigorate your love and passion. It starts with YOU, creating your best self by loving yourself and in giving to others what you want.

  1. Love yourself. When you love yourself, you become irresistible to both men and women. Take conscious steps to accept and affirm YOU and avoid criticism and judgment. When you can be tender to yourself, you can be gentle and more loving with others.
  1. Remember how you met and what attracted you to each other. Tell your partner the special qualities that piqued your interest to want to know him more or her.
  1. Think back and discuss when you each knew that you were meant for each other. What was it about your partner that was so endearing that you wanted to marry or have a deeper committed relationship together? Think about the special endearing terms you used to call and describe your sweetheart and use them now.
  1. Create your own wedding vows: Vow to tell each other a compliment, acknowledgment, or gratitude each day. Start each day with some variation of “I love you.”
  1. Write down what you like, respect, admire, and love about each other. Keep this in a special place so that you and your partner can admire and be reminded of your affection for each other.
  1. When you have disagreements, promise to discuss and work out a mutually agreeable outcome. Compromise and strive to create win-win scenarios for each of you.
  1. Hug, kiss, snuggle, and touch each other physically each day. Act like a puppy that is at long last reunited with his owner at the end of he day; that’s

exactly how you want to act and feel.

  1. Give a gift of love. This can be something that is made or bought. A note of love, a poem, a bouquet of flowers, homemade cookies are all considered gifts of love.
  1. Spontaneously perform acts of love and kindness that help your partner. Taking out the garbage, helping to care for the home and yard, and taking a favorite beverage to your partner are all ACTions that help make life and everyday functions easier.
  1. Add a romantic twist. When in search of new ideas to get your juices and mojo going, go to the library or bookstore and check out books suggesting ways to enliven romance, create intrigue, and seduce your partner.
  1. Have fun…Plan an event or ACTivity to look forward to daily. Laugh and smile together daily. These can be simple activities ranging from reading together, relaxing on the patio after dinner, watching a sunrise or sunset and making out, playing board games, and exercising or taking a class together. The more you can smile and laugh, the more it stimulates fun and love.
  1. Remember LOVE IS A VERB! The more you can ACT on Love, the more love grows and deepens creating that circle of affection and passion.

These twelve proven strategies for growing and keeping love have been personally tested by my husband and me in our over 40 years of marriage plus my work with couples throughout my career as a coach, psychologist, and individual and couples therapist. When you feel EXTRAordinary and you show your partner that he or she is EXTRAordinary, you’ll find amazing and ultimate love. I’d love to know your strategies for creating and keeping forever love.

Personal Inventory of Unhealthy Relationships

SeparationAnswer “YES” or “NO” to the following questions and reconnect with life’s lessons on having healthy, loving and committed relationships.

  1. Do you find yourself being attracted to partners who can’t seem to commit to you?
  1. Do you want the relationship more than your partner?
  1. Do you find that you put more effort into pleasing your partner?
  1. Is it hard for you to get thoughts of your partner out of your head?
  1. Are you finding it hard to trust your partner?
  1. Do you find you’re “checking up” on your partner?
  1. Do you try to manipulate or control your partner or does your partner do this to you?
  1. Do you or your partner get back at the other through “disguised anger” in which neither of you talks about real feelings of hurt, anger, and disappointment”
  1. Do you or your partner often hold in your feelings, only to explode over minor incidents?
  2. Do you or your partner disregard or minimize the other’s feelings and wishes?
  1. Are you or you partner becoming easily irritated and you fueling more arguments?
  1. Do your arguments center on not being prioritized?
  1. Do you look to your partner for self worth and identity?
  1. Do you focus on the past?
  1. Do you worry about your future with your partner?
  2. Are you overcritical of yourself, your partner and others around you?
  3. Do you or your partner blame each other for actions or undesirable results?
  1. You don’t feel your partner “has your back,” or isn’t there to support you.
  1. Are only a small number of your needs met?
  1. Do your close friends and family warn you about your partner?
  1. Have you become bored with your partner and have a lifeless relationship?
  1. You know you’re “settling.”
  1. Do you feel trapped?
  1. Are you finding it harder to trust your feelings?
  1. Do you or your partner press to eliminate or minimize the time away from friends and family?
  1. Are you afraid of your partner?
  1. Has you partner physically or emotionally abused you?
  1. Do you or your partner find yourselves raging when angry (yelling, losing emotional control)?
  1. Have your arguments resulted in physical violence?
  1. Do you or your partner follow rigid guidelines of what is the right behavior?
  1. You experience little physical affection.
  1. You experience little emotional closeness.
  1. Do you feel that you can’t be yourself around your partner?
  1. Your partner shows little respect for your thoughts and feelings.
  1. Do you have too much or too little sex.
  1. Do you or your partner lack “physical boundaries” where there is violation of personal space of getting too close, being unaware or discarding your own or your partner’s physical needs, rules, or guidelines such as allowing a stranger to get too close physically, inappropriate sexual touch rather than warm embrace or handshake?
  1. Do you or your partner lack “emotional boundaries” in which neither of you are able to establish and stick to healthy guidelines or rules of behaviors such as inability to say “no” or vacillate back and forth about how you think, feel, or act?
  1. Do you have difficulty knowing or separating your feelings from your partner?
  1. Do you take responsibility for your partner’s feelings or actions?
  1. Do you undertake action that goes against your moral or spiritual compass?

I hope you found these questions thought provoking, and while your mind is focused on how these red flags might apply to you, as a special gift, I would like to invite you to join me in an Introductory Discovery Consultation where you can ask me anything you like. We can also zero in on your goals and the ways you can achieve them.

Please call me at 480-391-1184 or email me with your PHONE number and best times for your Complimentary Appointment. I look forward to getting to know YOU and helping you have the life you dream of.

Wishing you love, happiness, and success,

Unhealthy Relationship Patterns That Raise Red Flags

Man.Do you ever feel like you totally missed the class where life was teaching you everything you need to know about making relationships work? Does that also leave you feeling stuck in some unhealthy relationship patterns? The default strategies with which you learn to arm yourself often kick in without you even being aware you developed them… starting with the moment you feel that “crush” where feelings take hold, yet inevitably, time after time, crash and burn and leave you unable to move on with life.

Ironically, the behaviors you counted on to move you into a healthy, loving, and committed relationship wind up taking you in the opposite direction – left not with love but tremendous pain and fear that you are forever destined to be alone. I encourage you to look back upon the wreckage of your relationships, and agree it is time cleanse yourself of the old destructive patterns that have brought you here today; overwhelmed by insecurities and fear of relationships. Worst yet, you don’t even trust yourself, and you’re losing that dream of finding “the one.”

The following indicators of potentially unhealthy relationship patterns are intended to develop your awareness – how to recognize them and begin to let them go. Imagine breaking through these red flags, and stopping once and for all unhealthy love relationships. Yes, there’s change for you to have a love that is mutually trusting, committed, and EXTRAordinary!

Answer “YES” or “NO” to the following questions and reconnect with life’s lessons on having healthy, loving and committed relationships.

  1. Do you find yourself being attracted to partners who can’t seem to commit to you?
  1. Do you want the relationship more than your partner?
  1. Do you find that you put more effort into pleasing your partner?
  1. Is it hard for you to get thoughts of your partner out of your head?
  1. Are you finding it hard to trust your partner?
  1. Do you find you’re “checking up” on your partner?
  1. Do you try to manipulate or control your partner or does your partner do this to you?
  1. Do you or your partner get back at the other through “disguised anger” in which neither of you talks about real feelings of hurt, anger, and disappointment”
  1. Do you or your partner often hold in your feelings, only to explode over minor incidents?
  2. Do you or your partner disregard or minimize the other’s feelings and wishes?
  1. Are you or you partner becoming easily irritated and you fueling more arguments?
  1. Do your arguments center on not being prioritized?
  1. Do you look to your partner for self worth and identity?
  1. Do you focus on the past?
  1. Do you worry about your future with your partner?
  2. Are you overcritical of yourself, your partner and others around you?
  3. Do you or your partner blame each other for actions or undesirable results?
  1. You don’t feel your partner “has your back,” or isn’t there to support you.
  1. Are only a small number of your needs met?
  1. Do your close friends and family warn you about your partner?
  1. Have you become bored with your partner and have a lifeless relationship?
  1. You know you’re “settling.”
  1. Do you feel trapped?
  1. Are you finding it harder to trust your feelings?
  1. Do you or your partner press to eliminate or minimize the time away from friends and family?
  1. Are you afraid of your partner?
  1. Has you partner physically or emotionally abused you?
  1. Do you or your partner find yourselves raging when angry (yelling, losing emotional control)?
  1. Have your arguments resulted in physical violence?
  1. Do you or your partner follow rigid guidelines of what is the right behavior?
  1. You experience little physical affection.
  1. You experience little emotional closeness.
  1. Do you feel that you can’t be yourself around your partner?
  1. Your partner shows little respect for your thoughts and feelings.
  1. You have too much or too little sex.

I hope you found these thought provoking – and while your mind is focused on how these red flags might apply to you, as a special gift, I would like to invite you to join me in an Introductory Complimentary Consultation where you can ask me anything you like. We can also zero in on your goals and the ways you can achieve them.

Please call me at 480-391-1184 or email me your best times and dates so we can set up your complimentary appointment. I look forward to getting to know YOU!

Wishing you love, happiness, and success,

Mamiko

Should I Leave or Stay?

Tears of a woman“When love hurts” is often the focus when I work with clients in my coaching practice. I hear so many times, “I love her but I’m not in love with her.” Some lose hope that their affection for each other can ever be regained. The passion, the romance, the fun, the excitement are gone. At some point, however, a decision must be made; the following questions may assist you in answering the question, “Should I leave or stay?”

Do you still love each other?

If there is affection and caring for each other, hope remains. Many couples that I have worked with find themselves being intimate with each other for the first time and finding an even deeper level of love and passion.

Do you want to work on your relationship?

This means looking at yourself and taking personal responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, and actions– rather than just looking for your partner to change.

How have you contributed to the dissatisfaction and conflict in your relationship?

The solution is not to leave and get another partner, because there is a tendency to re-experience the same conflicts – just with different partners. The solution is to truthfully examine your own actions and the “dance” you have created with your partner so you each can grow and make the best decision for yourselves.

What needs and wants are not being met by your partner?

This is a time for you and your partner to start over to allow both of you to have your needs met. It’s about creating win-win solutions. Are you both capable of wanting to fulfill the other’s wants and wishes?

Are you still physically or sexually attracted to your partner?

Appearances change, but you can begin to be more attracted once again as your feelings of affection re-emerge. For some who place a premium on appearance and attraction, this could be a deal breaker, because physical and sexual attraction may be strongly associated with love.

Do you still have common interests?

Many couples discover they have drifted apart over the years with little interests in common. They each seem to be pursuing their own interests and becoming more disengaged. If mutual interests can be revived, you can feel more connected together.

Do you have the capacity to have fun together?

So often when couples come for counseling or coaching, they spend much time talking about issues in their relationships. It’s critical to just enjoy, relax, and have fun trying out new activities, old ones, and appreciate and savor the simple daily beauty and pleasures of life such as watching a sunset together, biking together, or walking hand in hand while sharing feelings about the events of the day.

Will you have a sense of peace if you leave?

If you decide to leave your relationship without exploring and participating in all your options for reconciliation and rebuilding of your relationship, will you question and torture yourself with uncertainty of your decision? If you stay and explore how you really feel towards your partner and the actions that you jointly have contributed to the current situation, and you still decide to leave, you will have a significantly greater sense of peace and comfort that you earnestly gave your best effort in reconciling and rebuilding the marriage.

You may be interested to know that the majority of couples that come to me, because they are undecided about whether to continue their marriage, have recommitted to each other and found even more love, understanding, support, closeness, tenderness, respect, and companionship than they ever experienced before. If you need help whether to stay or leave, I’m a phone call away. Call now for your private consultation to see if a VIP Retreat, 48 Hour Love Makeover or Concierge Program can help you to quickly decide and to gain peace of mind.

Act on Love towards yourself and those around you.

TAKING YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE NEXT LEVEL – LOVE OR DARE?

Joined Together As Man And WifeWhen you have been dating someone for an extended period, or perhaps even living together, there comes a time to step up your relationship.  Do you initiate the discussion? Or do you stand by, waiting for your love interest to take the reins of your life together?

First you begin to build up resentment about your relationship.

In the ideal world, this is a topic that mutually comes to the forefront of your minds as the synergy of your relationship evolves.  However, this rarely happens, making it crucial that you be the one to initiate.  “Why me?” you ask.  If you don’t initiate, you begin to act and respond in several ways.  First you begin to build up resentment about your relationship.   When this happens, you begin to become more critical of your partner and begin to withdraw emotionally and physically.

Secondly, you might be experiencing anxiety about “another one who doesn’t commit and will probably leave you.”  When anxiety hits, it’s easy to feel insecure about yourself, jealous, and suspicious.  You might then go on an even more uncomfortable, suspicious path trying to check emails, voicemails, or where your partner has been…or you become the doormat, the “people-pleaser,” trying to guess at what will make your loved one happy and fall in love with you.  You then become co-dependent making his life your life, and become obsessed about what he’s thinking, feeling, and doing.

Here are some ways to figure out if he’s the one for you and if you should step up your commitment:

  • Are you really falling for this guy?
  • Be truthful about your real feelings and motives.  Are you really falling for this guy? Or are you feeling so unworthy and desperate that you must cling to anyone who pays attention to you or stays with you?  Do you truly like, love,  and respect your partner?
  • Do you have mutual interests and are you compatible? Do you find yourselves excited to see each other, and that your conversations are intimate so that you are able to be your true self? Or do you find yourself lonely and feeling unimportant, often left out while he gathers with his friends or prioritizes work too much?
  • Does he bring out the best in you and ,make you feel precious? Does he make you laugh and feel playful? Are you a great listener and supporter, spontaneously showing verbal and physical affection, and feeling comfortable pursuing your own activities, privately or with others?

If you answered yes to the above, then it’s time for a heart-to-heart talk where you can share your feelings and desire.

  • Start with a message that lets him know the qualities you find attractive in him and why he’s so special to you.  Then let him know you want to have a deeper level of commitment (dating each other exclusively, moving in together, engagement, or marriage) and what that looks like and feels like for you.  Don’t do this after making love,  talking in the bedroom, or your lover’s home.  Otherwise, you might be confusing your feelings about having sex rather than the person that you want to possibly spend your life with.  Instead pick a neutral public territory such as a restaurant, park, beach, or even sitting in the car admiring a scenic view or sunset.
  • Give him time to respond.  He may need to think it over, because he may enjoy keeping the relationship as is. By allowing your partner the chance to explore his feelings and to come up with how he is feeling towards you and envision going forward, you are allowing him freedom and letting go of control.  He will respect you and have even deeper feelings for you.
  • Once you have the discussion, then back off talking about commitment.  Nothing turns someone off quicker than repeatedly discussing a topic without any clear resolution. Your partner begins to be less enthusiastic about getting together or deepening your relationship.  Instead focus on having fun and making your time together so special that he can’t get enough of you and wants you in his life!
  • This creates a win-win scenario
  • When you both are on the same page and mutually wanting to experience a deeper level of relationship commitment and intimacy, you can then discuss ways that serve both of your needs.  This creates a win-win scenario in which you both are working together to bring out your love.

If you partner is truly noncommittal, it might be time to move on.  This way you can make way for a new partner who is possibly more appreciative and loving towards you to emerge. It’s better to be in no relationship than a bad relationship. After all, you don’t need to settle – you deserve the best!

This was originally in Smartfem  Sept 8, 2014.

Should I Stay or Leave? The Ultimate Relationship Conflict

Tender touchSo often during my over 30-year career as a therapist and coach, I am asked the question, “Should I leave or stay?” Individuals and couples are conflicted because:

  • They still care about the other but there is no real love or passion;

  • Feel guilty;

  • Are worried about the effects of separation and divorce on their children,

  • Don’t want to repeat the patterns they experienced growing up with divorced parents;

  • Are anxious about what others might think of them and feel ashamed to be divorced;

  • Are apprehensive about what would happen financially and whether they could be self-supporting;

  • Are reluctant to pay for the high emotional and financial costs of divorce;

  • Wrestle with the effects of infidelity and whether he or she can ever trust and forgive the partner;

  • Are confused and uncertain whether the partner can remain faithful; or

  • Are fearful that they will never find another person to love and marry them.

To stay in a loveless relationship or to be abused in any way emotionally or physically is not healthy for any individual. The key factors in deciding to stay really have to do with the constellation of patterns that have existed for some time. For instance, have your emotional needs been absent for a long time? Do you long for someone who is affectionate with you verbally and physically? Yet, this is not nor ever has been your mate…he or she is not overly affectionate. Does your partner have the capacity to love you in the ways you desire? You may have thought by staying in a relationship in which you are the model of love; sharing freely and openly your thoughts and feelings, being demonstrative by saying and showing you love him or her, doing thoughtful gestures that meet the others wants and needs – that he or she would eventually change. You may have believed that ultimately your partner could change to show love in the ways that you desire if you could love that person enough (or for some, complain enough).

The reality remains if your needs are unmet and your partner is not willing to do all he or she can to fulfill them or lacks the desire to change; you are probably wasting your time. What you see while dating or prior to a committed relationship is, unfortunately, what you get later. Resentment, criticalness, and dissatisfaction with your mate build over time, exacerbating, even more, your sense of hurt, feeling unprioritized and unimportant, sad, and angry. These feeling are even more poignant and consuming if there have been incidents of infidelity.

However, on the other hand, if your partner does desire to and is willing to work on your relationship, anything is possible. Even if passion has been absent for some time, as long as there is some amount of love or caring, there is hope. Relationships can be revitalized and a greater sense of closeness can be achieved through:

  • Determining and attaining the level of commitment that each partner has to be open, honest, and giving his or her best effort to change oneself (too often couples erroneous believe that if the other partner changes, everything will be alright);

  • Exploration and clarification of the needs of each partner;

  • Learning how to communicate on an authentic and deeper level of their thoughts, feelings, needs, and wants;

  • Increasing awareness and skills to provide emotional and physical support;

  • Letting go of anger, hurt, sadness, betrayal, and disappointment;

  • Forgiveness of self and mate;

  • Sexual and physical connection;

  • Having fun and enjoying common activities; and

  • Ability to have gratitude for your partner and your life.

Yes, as long as you mutually want to work on your relationship, your relationship can be stronger, more loving, and happier than ever. If you or your partner are unwilling to do everything possible, to be honest, committed, and tender with each other, then either you are probably doomed to a life of being unfulfilled, becoming more sad and bitter and/or becoming unfaithful or being cheated upon by your mate. Your decision to leave can be a celebration of your honoring, loving, and valuing yourself and your commitment to creating your own happiness rather than settling for what is safe. The choice is up to you…Either decision can create the life that you deserve and dream of!

Mamiko Odegard, Ph.D. is the founder of ACT ON LOVE, a life coach, author of Daily Affirmations for Love, and married for over 40 years to the love of her life. Dr. Mamiko has helped thousand of individuals and couples in her over 30 years as a psychologist and individual and marriage therapist. She can help you dramatically and quickly change your life and relationships through her empowered coaching, VIP Intensive Retreats including her revolutionary 48 Hour Love Makeover Program and Concierge Program.