The next level of #LOVE advice comes from online articles from magazines like Glamour or Men's Health, and yes, even The Huffington Post has something to say. A person seeking love advice online may be sure that no matter what link you click, EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION. Even me.
Who am I? Why, I'm a #LOVE doctor. Well, I'm a Ph. D. and the author of multiple books and articles all about #LOVE. I've also lived a little. Well, a lot. And in that time, let's just say I learned one or two things about #LOVE. One of those things is to ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCTS, NOTHING and NO ONE ELSE.
Whether you broke off a relationship or someone else did, every article ever written about the subject recommends one thing: NO CONTACT. That's a very one-size-fits-all answer. And unless you came from the same cookie cutter as the other 7.2-billion people on the planet, chances are good that the "no contact" advice may not apply.
When does it apply? Good question! If you are the person who ended things because your ex is psychotic and you are afraid of being harassed or some other form of mental, emotional or physical harm--no contact is for you. NO CONTACT means cutting that person COMPLETELY out of your life. Blocking them on Facebook, Twitter, removing them from your contact list on your cell phone, ignoring texts, emails, letters, post cards, and any unwanted gifts. No contact also means no sex. At all. Again, if your ex is crazy, not having sex is something you undoubtedly agree with.
But what if your ex is actually a reasonable guy or gal, not a potential stalker? Do you still have to go NO CONTACT??? Absolutely not. Depending on your relationship, you may even need to stay in touch. You may be business partners, share custody of kids or pets or both, and it's very likely you share at least a few friends.
The other issue with NO CONTACT is that, sometimes, your relationship ends because one or the other person sees roadblocks--NOT because the two individuals involved aren't compatible. You may have gotten along really well. You thought the same way about the same things. You were well-matched sexually. You found each other attractive. So what went wrong? Road blocks. Usually, those encumberments are provided, not by the couple, but by well-meaning friends and/or family.
What kind of road blocks? Here are a few that come up more often than not:
1) When one person in the relationship has a health issue, there will always be a friend or relative to plant the seeds of doubt about the viability of being with someone who is "sick." First of all, everyone is human, so everyone is vulnerable to illness. Even you. Let's say you meet and marry a "healthy" person. Ten years down the road, that person is diagnosed with cancer, or maybe gets in a car accident and loses a limb. Or perhaps is diagnosed with a debilitating disease, like MS. Or, you are. Does cancer or disability or some other health issue make you unlovable? Should you cloister yourself in some Abbey, never expecting human contact again??? That's absurd. And so is denying the chance for #LOVE with someone you really like because of it. The bottom line: A person's health is not a reason to break up, or even be concerned. If you like that person, have found common ground, and are sexually attracted to them, GO FOR IT. Fuck everyone else. Not literally...um, well, you know what I mean....
2) The person you really like, and who really likes you, is still in a relationship. That one gives most of us pause. And I'm not saying go out and break up marriages. But I am saying that if you meet a person who is attached, and the individual is still open to a relationship with you, GO FOR IT. Fuck the "bro code" or whatever other EXCUSE you'd like to use. Karma will not come back and haunt you for pursuing #LOVE with someone really great. Especially if things evolve organically, meaning, it wasn't expected or deliberate. Your friends will tell you there are other fish in the sea. But again, #LOVE is never a coincidence. When you really click with someone, feel like YOU NOT ONLY WANT THAT PERSON BUT NEED HER (or him) and THAT PERSON FEELS THE SAME WAY ABOUT YOU, go for it. Never look back. If the potential love of your life is in a relationship already but is open to you, it's because the old relationship is ending. Not because of you either. Our society tends to think linearly, or in long, straight lines. But #LOVE doesn't work that way. Neither should you.
3) AGE. This one is usually a problem only if the woman in the relationship is older than her male companion. But it's actually NOT A PROBLEM. Society makes it that way though. Older men can have at it with younger gals--you see it all the time. And it's not frowned upon at all. But if a 25-year old guy is interested in a 38-year old woman, the social feedback sounds something like this, "Hey man, what if you fall in love...can she even have kids anymore? I wouldn't go down that road." Or, my personal favorite: "She's a total MILF but still, dude, a cougar? You can do better than that. She'll be like, 53, when you're 40." Older women are great for younger men for lots of reasons, not the least of which is that, much of the time, older gals are accomplished professionals with their own monies, home, etc. A younger guy does not need to worry about supporting her. She's also very comfortable with her body. Translation: GREAT SEX. Kids? Lots of women can have them well into their 40's these days. And the age-thing? Women who take care of themselves can look 10-20 years younger today thanks to good nutrition, better skin care options, and exercise. Especially women over 35. Because they can afford all of those things and more.
4) The gal that makes your heart absolutely sing (and a few other parts, too...) lives a three-hour car ride away. Even if it were a six-hour car ride away, when there is a #LOVE connection, don't break it because you're lazy. Two years ago, my cousin, a native New Yorker, married a man who lives in central Florida. Both had jobs that could not be transferred. Guess what? The two commute. Yes, commute. Between New York and Florida. Not everyday, of course, but every other weekend. So each spends two weekends a month traveling. And both work remotely for one week a month. That's 20/30 days a month where the two are completely together. I think they might spend more time as a couple than couples who live in the same house! It's not ideal, but #LOVE is worth the effort. And if you're lucky enough to have a possible #LOVE connection with someone who is only a two- or three-hour car ride away (versus plane ride), you'd better GO FOR IT. Because, in terms of hurdles, that's not really a big one to jump. Anyone who says different is jealous, or in love with you, or both.
5) The guy or girl you're into has a child. This is another Homer Simpson moment: D'oh! Who cares???!!! Kids are great; they're fun. Think of all the cool things you can do as couple that you wouldn't normally do if you were both single, like go apple picking, pumpkin picking, get your picture taken with Santa, go to the Science Museum, playgrounds, ice cream runs, animated movies, baseball games...there are more pros than cons when it comes to kids and dating. So don't let it intimidate you. You can also see it as an opportunity to try out your own parenting skills. But there's always going to be someone ready to throw the wet blanket over your party, making comments like, "I wouldn't want to get involved with that," or "Do you want to raise someone else's kid?" Guess what? There are lots of step-fathers and mothers out there who absolutely #LOVE their step-kids. Lots of adopted parents, too.
So, if you've recently broken off a potential #LOVE connection for any of the above reasons, NO CONTACT IS A NO-GO. Get back in touch, pronto! Don't let #LOVE pass you by, settling for someone else just because it's easier or more convenient. That will DEFINITELY come back to haunt you later. #LOVE is worth the effort. Believe me. When people talk about regrets at the end of their lives, it's usually about not pursuing a #LOVE connection. No matter the reason, and regardless of marrying someone else and living a long life, the one that got away doesn't always have to slip through your fingers. And usually, you know it.
Think it's too late? Might be. But you won't know if it is sitting here, reading this blog. MAKE CONTACT! The worst that can happen is that the other person says no. If you're already broken up, then nothing changes. And if the answer is, "Yes, I'd love to meet you for drinks some Friday," then your life is made. You at least owe it to yourself to see that potential #LOVE connection through. If you meet for that drink, and the something you had seems lost--no harm, no foul. But in my books, #LOVE always wins. And I'd like to help people achieve that in real life, too.
DON'T THROW AWAY A REAL CONNECTION. BECAUSE TRUE CONNECTIONS ARE RARE. AND SO ARE THE PEOPLE WE HAVE THEM WITH....