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How to Move Your Relationship to the Next Level

Cover of ebook-The Mens Commitment Formula

 

Last week I introduced you to what I call the Keep it Moving mindset. It helps you make the most of your Prime Dating Years by keeping you open to many other promising dating opportunities. But guess what? It can also move your relationship to the next level. Whether you’re a FWB wanting more, a long term girlfriend or even if you have a ring without a wedding date…

The “Keep it Moving” mindset applies at every stage of the Commitment Stairway.

The Commitment Stairway which explains the levels of commitment in romantic relationships.
The Commitment Stairway

 

For example, at the friend stage, I believe 90 days is long enough for a guy to be able to say if he wants to have an exclusive girlfriend/boyfriend relationship. If not, you keep it moving. You explain what you want then stop seeing him if he’s not interested enough to give it a try.

Bonafide girlfriends can adopt the Keep it Moving mindset too. If you’ve been dating forever and there’s no serious talk of marriage, you’re overdue for a relationship talk-if he’s someone you genuinely would be happy living the rest of your life with. If not- you’re the one wasting you’re own time, Sis. Why are you still there?

 

 

You do the Keep it Moving mindset for yourself, but a side effect is that it sometimes sparks the change you want to see!

EXHIBIT A:

In “Dating on Purpose”, I share the story of Manny and Denise:

Keep it Moving…He’ll Come Back If It’s Meant to Be: Denise and Manny’s True Story

Denise and Manny had been dating a couple of years when suddenly his job posted him to another country. This was before the days of cellphones and email. They called each other and sent letters back and forth.

via GIPHY

 

This was okay till six months in when Denise had an epiphany:

Suppose Manny eventually met someone else he liked as much her in his new location? She’d be left high and dry after staying faithful to him for who knows how long. She was in her mid-twenties and had an understanding these were her PDYs. She felt it might be more realistic for them to go their separate ways while he was overseas. She  wrote him a letter explaining her decision and basically set him free.

When Manny received it, he sat on it for a few weeks in a state of shock. Did Denise just break up with him by letter? What had he done wrong? He finally worked up the courage to call her.

She assured him he was guiltless and explained her reasoning. Then Manny blurted out, “You know I’ve never met anyone I’d want to marry more than you. I’ll marry you, if that’s what it takes.” He gave her the commitment level she needed to wait. They made adjustments to their visitation schedule and that’s how their relationship got on to the track to marriage.

Update: Denise and Manny have been happily married over 20 years and currently have a kid in college and two in high school.

EXHIBIT B:

R&B singer Melanie Fiona’s boyfriend Jared Cotter proposed to her on Valentine’s Day in the middle of a staged photo shoot. She had no idea what was coming. Aw, how nice, you say. Wait-here’s the interesting part. Look at his instagram post afterwards:

 

Instagram post of Melanie Fiona and Jared Cotter
He’ll come find you if and when he’s ready

 

 

In this post of an older photo, Jared explains that she broke up with him that night. “She already knew what we were and could be and I was still behind. The best thing I’ve ever done was catch up to her.”

Boom!

Sometimes you have to remove yourself as an option for a man to realize it's you he wants.Click To Tweet

So there you go. Stalled relationships can blossom with the Keep it Moving mindset. Yes, you run the risk of him never coming to find you, and that’s a risk you mentally prepare for before you do it. Feeling the impact of your absence is key to this.

Quote card saying you don't need ultimatums when you understand how to manage your availability

 

Do you think it might be time for you to keep it moving? Download my free ebook, “Give Him a Reason to Commit” which breaks down what you can do to move your relationship to the next level!

 

Till next week,

Ciao,

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Are You Blocking your Market or do you have a Keep it Moving Mindset?

Quote card by TiaTruthteller saying Lay your ex to rest. This is how you make mental space for someone new.

In honor of Valentine’s Day Week, I’m going to share something with you that will help you reach your goal-a committed meaningful relationship-faster and with less heartache.

 No, it’s not a free subscription to eHarmony. It’s something you can use with men you meet online or IRL (in real life).

I call it the Keep it Moving mindset.

The Keep it Moving Mindset is an empowering way of looking at your love life. It’s simply acknowledging that a man’s desire to be in a committed exclusive relationship with you will be backed up by effort in order to be taken seriously. And if not, you move on.
As I explained in The Men’s Commitment Formula, just like we women like our relationships to be heading somewhere, many men are happy to just enjoy it day by day. That’s not usually a problem in the beginning, but the fact is that it falls on us women to decide how many days/months/years we’re okay doing this. Way better than ultimatums. In fact, setting limits on your availability renders ultimatums redundant.

couple discussing relationship future

 

 4 More Reasons to Keep it Moving

1.You can be wife material to one guy, but not the next. It makes it more likely you’ll meet someone who values what you bring to the table, instead of wasting Prime Dating Years attempting to convince Mr. Wrong why you are right!

2.We have fertility windows, and it’s something to take seriously if you want to be married before starting a family.

3. Sometimes cutting things off can even spark change. I’ve explained my story on the blog. If I hadn’t been ready to keep it moving, what would’ve sparked the change?

 4. Timing is really important to men when it comes to settling down. You might be the right person, but at the wrong time. Be thoughtful about how much time you put in if this is the case for you.

Sometimes it’s an ex that stops you from keep it moving

Here was last Sunday’s Instagram post:

Quote card by TiaTruthteller saying Lay your ex to rest. This is how you make mental space for someone new.
Let’s be Instagram friends!

 

It’s hard to be open and available to future partners if we’re consumed we’re consumed with thoughts of someone else…whether you see him all the time or not.

Nigerian street traders already know this concept

In Nigeria, there are open-air street markets where traders sell produce. Buyers are expected to haggle with them to get them down to what we call the “last price.” Once they’ve stated their “last price,” if you’re not intending to buy from them, you’re expected to keep moving along the aisle so you don’t keep others from seeing their wares. They will say, “Please, don’t block my market.” The traders know their wares can’t be bought if they can’t be seen.

African market women selling their wares on the street
Photo by Leonid Tatarinov via Flickr

 

 

 

Don’t let men who can’t give you the commitment you want “block your market” by deterring interested guys or mentally preventing you from giving those guys a fair chance. This includes cuddle buddies, friends with benefits, and exes who might appear to outsiders as being in the present.

Now when I say “ex”, please know I mean anyone you’ve had any non-platonic involvement with, not just bonafide ex-boyfriends. They all count because they occupy space in your brain.

Are any of them cast members of the “Movie in your Head”?

If yes, burn some sage and clear them out!

 

If a man is not in a committed relationship with you, never, ever close off other options, and don’t allow him to scare off others. I can’t stress enough how making yourself unavailable to them will spur change in your life!Click To Tweet

Or in the words of the late Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm:

via GIPHY

 

Next Thursday, I’ll dive deeper into the Keep it Moving Mindset. Subscribe to the blog here so you don’t miss it!

If you’ve dated with the Keep it Moving mindset, we’d love to hear how it’s worked for you in the comments.

Ciao,

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(Video) 10 Reasons Why You Should Talk to More Than One Guy at a Time, Even if You Click with Just One

woman talking to 3 men on different telephone line.

Are you a dater that gives your all if you feel the chemistry is right?

Or are you slow to close off your other options and have no problem stacking multiple dates in a weekend?

Well watch 10 reasons to talk to more than one guy, even if you click with one, and let’s chat in the comments.

 10 Reasons Why You Should Talk to More Than One Guy at a Time, Even if You Click with Just One

  1. It can help slow down the movie in your head
  2. Being out and about with others raises your intrigue level
  3. It gives you stuff to do to keep you from smothering him/contacting him all the time
  4. It can help dilute the thoughts of him in your brainspace and give you other things to think about besides him
  5. It gives you a frame of reference as you discover the qualities you really want in a mate as you naturally compare the different guys you’re talking to
  6. Even if none of them develop into anything, time with them helps you develop your game and can increase your confidence
  7. You expand your social circle
  8. Primitive as it may be, men value women others seem to be interested in
  9. It helps raise your threshold for tolerating nonsense from any one of them
  10. It tempers the disappointment you feel if you discover you and Mr. A aren’t going to work out

Now, let me just say that the key to this is not to rub it in anyone’s face or else it looks like you’re deliberately trying to get people jealous. I understand that this method doesn’t work for everybody, but if you can do this and still feel like you’re being present and fully responsive with whoever you’re with at the time, try it!

xoxo,

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The Awesome Power of the Vision Board Effect

The awesome power of the vision board effect. This woman relaxing on a chaise represented how I was going to do me in my next chapter

The awesome power of the vision board effect. This woman relaxing on a chaise represented how I was going to do me in my next chapter

Do vision boards really work?

Can you really expect magazine clippings to help you get the life you want?

I say yes! I think they are a great way to start the journey.

Vision boards have power.

I discovered firsthand how important it is to have a picture in your head of the life you want, no matter what your ‘today’ looks like. I’ll tell you a true story, something that gave me the kernel for my book.

Many years ago I was in a long term relationship and I wasn’t very happy. I communicated my feelings to my guy and tried to work things out but nothing changed. Reluctantly (because I was in love, you see) I decided that since most of my life was ahead of me, I owed it to my future to break it off and move on by myself. I made plans to leave him, move to another city and start a new life.

Once I started imagining my next chapter, something happened. My mind had something else to occupy it besides sadness as I started looking for a new place, browsing  apartments online.

I tore out a picture of a gorgeous chaise in a magazine and I would daydream about how I’d soon be relaxing on it with my books and tea, healing my soul. My little lounge, my me-space. Decorated exactly how I wanted.

Thoughts of the chaise I would buy to decorate my new space mitigated the sadness I felt about my imminent breakup
Image by Mike Licht. Creative Commons license

I started getting back my joy.

The thoughts of the brighter future ahead of me kept me going when I was in that dark place. They diluted the sadness in my soul. The vision gave me a way to focus on the positive and the courage to see just how ok my life could be on the other side of fear.

Now, it turns out, my leaving was the kick in the pants that my guy needed to start to value my place in his life. He later said it was a wake up call. It was only possible because I had the courage to leave, shared history be damned. The attraction I felt to the new life I was ready to make for myself was stronger than the inertia of staying where I wasn’t valued.

That’s the awesome power of having a vision for yourself!

After the visualization

But that’s just the beginning. The next step is to figure out what you can do to  bring your vision to life.

 

via GIPHY

As I read somewhere, a plan is a dream, chopped into steps.

If a meaningful relationship with potential is the goal, then ladies, you need to be dating with a mindset that attracts and filters for marriage material: intentional dating.

Like anything else it’s easier when you prepare first. Dating can be rough!

What do I mean?

I mean learning to “Woman Up” and build emotional bravery to make relationship power moves. Power moves are where you take a stand and don’t just go with a guy’s flow in cases where his flow doesn’t serve you. It could be ignoring a late night text (which only means one thing). It could be pulling the plug on a title-free situationship because you want more. And then NOT GOING BACK on any other terms.

It means showing up in the Dating Arena as a woman of substance.

Believe in yourself and learn to love yourself well.

Healthy self esteem is necessary so you don’t fall prey to users and abusers. Keep your focus on the good in you and the positive vision for your life and it will steer you like a compass.

That’s the awesome power of the vision board effect.

There’s plenty of tips on how to “Woman Up” and start intentional dating in “Dating on Purpose:An Illustrated Guide to Intentional Dating for Commitment-Conscious Millennials”

Have you ever created a vision board for yourself? What was your experience? Share in the comments!

xoxo,

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5 Lessons Women can Learn from the Aziz Ansari Date

he purpose of this post isn't to lay blame, but to pick out a few teachable moments to empower young women to have more positive dating outcomes. Here are 5 lessons women can learn from the Aziz Ansari date.

he purpose of this post isn't to lay blame, but to pick out a few teachable moments to empower young women to have more positive dating outcomes. Here are 5 lessons women can learn from the Aziz Ansari date.

By now we’ve all heard about the woman who went on a date with comedian Aziz Ansari and how she felt she was sexually assaulted by him. In the wake of the #metoo movement, it spawned great public  conversations about consent, boundaries and agency. The purpose of this post isn’t to lay blame, but to pick out a few teachable moments to empower young women to have more positive dating outcomes. Here are 5 lessons women can learn from the Aziz Ansari date.

( There are also teachable moments for men there, but this post is for women.)

1.Go into the date assuming men will take whatever you make available to them

 

If you believe this, you’ll understand that going back to his place means only one thing to him…an ideal opportunity to try and get some. Know that, and expect your boundaries to be tested.

This default mindset is like a mental seatbelt: you don’t go out praying to be in a wreck, but you’ve got some protection if you do.

This leads into my next point:

 

2. If you’re not interested in hitting third base, please don’t go to his place.

Many women find it hard to stop a man when they’re not in the comfort zone of their own home where they can tell him to leave.

On the flip side, many men heading down that path will keep on trying, especially when they’re on their own turf. That’s because they have found that no’s sometimes turn into yesses. They will keep trying to change your mind. Depending on how drunk/respectful/daft/predatory the guy is, he could be keeping hope alive in his head.

 

via GIPHY

Sure, there’s a new consent app coming on the market, but I wonder how many people actually would stop to use one? What if someone changes their mind later a few minutes later? Oh dear.

First dates should always be at neutral locations.

Yet another reason  Netflix and Chill isn’t ideal for developing meaningful relationships.

 

3. Remove yourself from situations where you’re not being treated with respect

Grace’s sense of violation appeared to stem from the fact that Aziz was rushing her, and not doing more to seduce her gradually. First at the restaurant, then at his apartment. She wanted an interest in her, not just her body. What a letdown. This was a date-come-true with someone she’d admired from afar.

You can’t make someone value you and have tender feelings for you.

But you can-and should- disengage from scenarios where you’re not okay with the treatment you’re receiving. Remember #1 above? He will keep on trying, so don’t depend on him to change. Sometimes, you have to be the one to call it.

 

4. If it’s a choice between disappointing his expectations and looking out for you, choose you.

If you have to choose between disappointing him and looking out for you, look out for you.Click To Tweet

 

The choice to act decisively seems hard for many young women, for a myriad of reasons.

Stop worrying that he won’t like you or that you’ll ruin your chances with him if you do-whatever you’re allowing will then become the new normal, should the relationship continue. You don’t want that!

5. Above all, get comfortable saying, “No”.

 

Under normal circumstances, men can be dense and not latch on to the subtle hints we give. Mixed messages are hard to decipher. She let him undress her and put his fingers in her mouth-repeatedly. The article doesn’t mention her actually lifting a hand to stop any of this, only that “she gave verbal and nonverbal cues”.

He has made it perfectly clear what he wants. What about what she wants? It’s time to be just as clear“I’ve told you, I’m not interested in (whatever it is) and I’m not comfortable here. I’m leaving. Good night.”

We all bear responsibility in dating. Men need to respect a no, and women need to speak it. Firmly and loudly.

Sign saying speak up even if your voice shakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is there a need for consent apps?  Share in the comments.

Be smart, be brave, be safe.

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Infographic-How Sara Haines Manifested her Marriage Vision

infographic page 1 how Sara Haines manifested her vision for her marriage

<a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/19168445/?claim=pfacwgcqjs7″>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a

 

infographic page 1 how Sara Haines manifested her vision for her marriage
click below for full infographic

Hi guys!

Today’s post puts the spotlight on “The View” cohost Sara Haines– married at 37, second baby at 40. Her story is an amazing case study in crushing your marriage vision board, a.k.a. “intentional dating” . Read about how she did it here, my guest post for Helpmefindlove.net!

Helpmefindlove.net is a great resource for relationship advice for love and relationships and I was honored they asked me to write for their readers.

Now back to Sara. When I read a piece about her on Glamour, I couldn’t help but see she had actually used many of the methods I write about! Intentional dating works, y’all. Please read the article or infographic and share your opinions in the comments.

Click here  to see a PDF infographic recap of Sara’s amazing intentional dating methods. Click here for a Pinterest- friendly image.

Till next week, Bravehearts!

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6 Reasons Talking beats Texting in Budding Relationships- Pt 2

6 Reasons talking beats texting in developing relationships

6 Reasons talking beats texting in developing relationships

One reason I think relationships are so elusive these days is that more people try to use texts to get them started. And worse, they actually view them as equivalent to oral communication.

This means if you’ve never met in person, you’re depending on the written word to display your charisma and hoping they fall for your texts, instead of your amazing personality. How fair is that?

This means if you’ve never met in person, you’re depending on the written word to display your charisma and hoping they fall for your texts, instead of your amazing personality. How fair is that?

Here’s the continuation of last week’s list.

6 Reasons Talking beats Texting in Budding Relationships Pt 2

 

3. You can weed out guys who just want a “textationship.”

These are relationships born and nurtured solely through messages and texts over weeks, months, and even years. These texting pals might end up as friends, but they can waste your time, energy, and emotions if a real-life relationship is what you want. They could also be complete and utter catfish.

Plus, the emotional connection developed through these textationships can end up being a fake standard by which you compare the men you come across in real life! No one’s going to be able to compete with your fantasy man.

Fantasy man via GIPHY

 

4. There’s no opportunity to observe him

Nothing beats personal interaction for assessing chemistry and seeing how a guy relates with you and others in various situations. Texting provides an isolated, one dimensional view, cocooned from reality.

5. Texting can divert you from his lack of deeper interest

Texts are the lowest form of communication effort. They aren’t substitutes for the time and effort that truly show how invested a guy is. If that’s primarily how you’re communicating, you’re not going deep. and he may like it that way if he’s not into you enough to base a serious relationship on.

Texting doesn’t tell us the things that really count about someone—except maybe a lack of interest if you’re the one initiating them.

totem pole of relationship effort with texting on the bottom, talking on the phone in the middle and speaking face to face on top

6. Constant texting (textathons) can be a turn off

Beware textathons, especially when you haven’t even met in person. This when you’re shiny, bright and new. Communication saturation can eat away at the sense of novelty that surrounds you. Let him feel the urge to take it offline in order to learn more. Textathons can also repel him if he gets the impression you’re the kind of woman who needs his contact all through the day to feel good.

 

Texting is great, don’t get me wrong, but not in building relationships. As a general rule, save all sensitive, important, or emotional conversations for face-to-face. You’ll get more of the answers you’re looking for through conversation and won’t fall prey to interpreting texts according to the way you feel as opposed to what was intended. Try and save the texts for arranging the logistics of meeting up in real life and for checking in during the workday.

Your turn!

Have you had success starting a real life relationship mainly through texting? Share your experience and tips in the comments!

Ciao,

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