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Paige Parker’s Dating Dish: Help, His Ex is Back

The Ex-Girlfriend, when not properly exorcised from your boyfriend’s life, can cause ALL kinds of problems. So what can you DO to protect your relationship from her?

Cruella De Vil.

The Wicked Witch of the West.

That crazy lady who boiled the bunny rabbit in “Fatal Attraction.”

Of all the female villains out there, there is none who strikes fear in the hearts of all women quite like HER.

She is deceptive…

Conniving…

And she will let NOTHING stop her from getting what she wants.

She is… the EX GIRLFRIEND!

Dating couple

Whether she’s responsible for breaking your boyfriend’s heart in the past, saddling him with enough emotional baggage to fill your walk-in closet…

Or she’s set an IMPOSSIBLE standard for you to live up to, emblazoned in your guy’s memory as “The Perfect Woman”…

Or – worse – SHE WANTS YOUR MAN BACK…

The Ex-Girlfriend, when not properly exorcised from your boyfriend’s life, can cause ALL kinds of problems.

So what can you DO to protect your relationship from the Ex-Girlfriend?

The answer is simple: Nothing.

Well, nothing more than to be the best GIRLFRIEND you can be.

The truth is: begging, pleading, yelling, gossiping, bad-mouthing, crying, nagging and – every man’s favorite – issuing ultimatums – will do nothing but push your man away from you…

Possibly into the arms of THE EX.

The “Drama of the Week” is about this very topic.

In my response, I explain why taking the high road can work to everyone’s advantage.

(Except the Ex’s, that is, since she’ll be left in the dust, with nothing but her own DRAMA to curl up in bed with at night!)

And to illustrate my point, I actually share a VERY personal story about the beginning of my relationship with my husband.

Curious yet?

Read on for THE DISH…

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DRAMA OF THE WEEK: “THE EX IS BACK!”

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Here’s a letter I received the other day from a reader:

“Hi Paige,

I have been seeing a guy for about 3 months and now he has informed me that his ex girlfriend is coming back from overseas and that he doesn’t know how he feels about her and he doesn’t know how he feels about me.

He has just broken all contact with me! Should I wait for him to decide what he wants or walk away?

Laura S. Launceston, Australia”

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DATING DISH TIP: “HOW I EXORCISED ‘THE EX.'”

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My Response:

“Dear Laura,

Well this is an interesting dilemma for me to reply to because I once went through a very similar situation myself!

Years ago, when my husband (we’ll call him Brandon) and I first met, he was coming off a nasty breakup with a woman who practically broke his heart. Still, we started dating and had an amazing 3 months, and all seemed to be going great.

Then one day, the “Evil Ex” ran into a friend of Brandon’s. The friend told the Ex ALL about this “amazing new girl” that Brandon was dating and how happy he was.

I’m sure you can guess what happened… the Evil Ex got JEALOUS and decided that SHE wanted Brandon back.

She contacted him and told him how much she’d missed him, she wanted to work things out, blah, blah, blah…

And that’s when Brandon started to get CONFUSED. And I could feel him starting to PULL AWAY.

At that point, I had three choices:

1) I could freak out on him, beg him to stay with me and not see the ex.

2) I could tell him, “Hey, if you don’t know how you feel about me by now, well, then, forget it. Go back to your ex for all I care. I’m done.”

or

3) Give Brandon the space he needed to figure things out.

Now I opted for #3, but here’s the important point… I DID NOT SIT AROUND WAITING FOR HIM TO MAKE UP HIS MIND.

I simply started dating other people.

Mind you, I was already crazy about Brandon and wasn’t really “into” any of the other guys I was going out with, but the important thing was that I was putting forth the effort to keep my options open.

Rather than sitting by the phone, waiting for Brandon to call me and tell me he’d made up his mind, I was getting out of the house, having fun, and meeting new people.

While Brandon was deciding how he felt about ME, I was taking that time to decide how I really felt about BRANDON!

It felt empowering to be mature enough to support Brandon’s time-out to sort through his feelings. Especially because I refused to wait in the wings, all pathetic-like, just hoping he’d choose me. In fact, he was running the risk of losing me, so he’d better get his act together FAST!

Now there’s a happy ending to my story, because all it took was one meeting over coffee with The Ex before Brandon realized that this woman didn’t have a hold over him anymore.

After just 20 minutes across the table from her in Starbucks, Brandon knew for sure that the feelings he had for ME after 3 months were far more powerful than what he’d felt for The Ex he’d spent a year with. At that point, he could look her straight in the eye and honestly tell her, with no second- guessing, “I’m sorry, but I’ve moved on and found someone else.”

That day Brandon called me and asked me if we could get together to talk. He was so excited to tell me that he had finally closed that chapter in his past and now was fully committed to creating a future with me.

I still remember his exact words: he said, “When I walked out of that coffee shop and turned the corner to walk away from her, I felt like I was literally turning a corner in my life. I know what I want, and I want to have it with you.”

And the rest, as they say, is history.

We were married 3 years later, and we can both honestly say that we’ve never had a doubt about how we feel about each other since.

Now I can’t say for sure how things will work out for you and your boyfriend, but here’s what I hope you’ll take away from my story:

If you really care about this man and are not ready to give up on him just yet, give him whatever time and space he needs to figure out what he wants.

BUT, in the meantime, be sure to take that time and space to figure out what YOU need. If things are meant to work out, they will. And if not, well, you didn’t waste any of your precious time waiting for him.

And who knows… you may end up meeting the person who you REALLY were meant to be with instead.

Good luck, Laura! Please let me know how things work out.”

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Speaking of putting yourself out there and dating other men…

I explain the benefits of keeping your options open (before a relationship gets serious, that is) in my book “Dating Without Drama ” (in the section entitled “Dating Is Like A Job Interview”).

If you’ve ever been inclined to jump right into a serious relationship without allowing yourself to experience the insight and empowerment that comes from dating different people, Chapter 6 is a real eye-opener! (Take it from me – In my dating days, I once was a ‘Serial Monogamist’ too!)

What’s more, “Dating Without Drama” addresses just about every dating concern you could have…

And provides a SIMPLE, STRAIGHTFORWARD, and SANE approach to achieving the drama-free dating life you’ve always wanted!

Have a great day! I’ll write you again soon.

Your friend, Paige

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Copyright 2007 Dating Without Drama Inc. All rights reserved. “Dating Without Drama” and “DWD” are trademarks used by Dating Without Drama Inc. The contents of this article are for entertainment purposes only. You are responsible for your personal decisions and none of the information provided should be considered legal or professional advice.

Stories and questions in “Dating Dish” are not fabricated by Dating Without Drama, Inc. They are submitted by real people just like you. Names may be changed or deleted to protect the contributors. Comments, questions, and quotes may be edited for length and/or clarity. By sending a question or comment, you are agreeing to allow DWD Inc. to use it in future articles, newsletters, writings, and other works at our sole discretion in perpetuity and further represent that your submissions are factual. Please keep this in mind when you send in your e-mails.

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Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dating couple

Too Clingy? Stop Neediness Now

The security we women so desperately seek in our relationships with men can only be found one way: by
building confidence within ourselves. Dating Coach, Paige Parker, shows you how to replace feelings of clinginess, neediness and insecurity with self-reliance, confidence, and positivity.

In Today’s DISH:

* DRAMA OF THE WEEK: “I’m Too Clingy With My Boyfriend – Can I Fix My Mistakes?”

* PAIGE’S DATING DISH TIP: “Stop Feeling Needy and Turn a Troubled Relationship Around *TODAY*”

* SUCCESS STORY! “How I learned to Enjoy Myself Without Clinging to My Boyfriend”

Think about it…

In a perfect world, all girls would be born with the innate ability to understand the opposite sex: what men think, why they think it, and why they do the ridiculous things they do.

We would grow into self-assured women brimming with confidence, possessing all of the knowledge and tools we could ever need to find the man of our dreams and create a healthy, happy, drama-free relationship with him.

UNFORTUNATELY, we’re not living in a perfect world.

Most of us spend the majority of our dating lives wondering what a guy is thinking, guessing at his feelings, hoping he’ll call when he says he will, and trying to analyze his every action.

This confusion and guesswork can leave us feeling unsteady and uncertain of ourselves. Looking for reassurance, we may find ourselves clinging to our man, hoping that he will make us feel secure in the relationship – and in ourselves.

We think that if we just hang around him enough, the uneasiness will subside. (Not to mention the fact that if we always keep an eye on him, there’s no way he could possibly ever cheat!)

This is a big, fat mistake.

The security we women so desperately seek can only be found one way: by building confidence within ourselves. But without knowing any better, so many of us make this very mistake every day.

Luckily, if you are ready to learn how to Date Without Drama , you can replace those feelings of clinginess, neediness and insecurity with self-reliance, confidence, and positivity.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out dating or already IN a long-term relationship, it *IS* possible for the CLINGY BEHAVIOR AND NEEDINESS TO STOP HERE.

Read on for the Drama of the Week, my Dating Dish Tip, and a fabulous Success Story that will show you how!

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DRAMA OF THE WEEK: “I’m Too Clingy With My Boyfriend – Can I Fix My Mistakes?”

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Here’s an email I just received from a reader:

“Dear Paige,

I love your book. But I have been in a relationship a little over a year so I’m wondering where to start putting your advice to use since I have been doing all the bad habits for as long as I can think of.

Tell me how do you start to separate your life when your whole life has been with the other person for over a year?

All I want to do spend all my free time with him. We are going from living with each other to living apart. We are trying the dating thing. We both feel we have rushed into the relationship. I have control issues, so I want to know everything he’s doing and thinking, and who’s he’s with at all times.

HOW DO I GET OVER THIS? I know I’m pushing him away. I don’t have a lot of friends or a lot of time to go out, I have a 3 year old son. PLEASE HELP ME.

Annabelle”

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DATING DISH TIP: Stop Feeling Needy & Turn a Troubled Relationship Around TODAY

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My Response:

“Hi Annabelle,

First of all, let me start out by encouraging you to believe that every day is another chance to start all over again.

I understand how you may be feeling overwhelmed by the fact that you have behaved a certain way or to quote you, repeated ‘bad habits’ over the past year, but if you’re committed to look at the things you don’t like in your life and work on them, you can absolutely start anew… RIGHT NOW.

And remember, you are not changing for a man, you’re improving FOR YOURSELF, so regardless of how you’ve acted toward him in the past, it’s all about how you choose to conduct your life for yourself from this moment forward.

You’ve got a clean slate… so let’s jump in!

Although my approach in ‘Dating Without Drama ‘ does cover the steps to take to get into a healthy relationship from the beginning, the principles behind what makes those steps work can absolutely be applied to a long-term relationship.

For example, when I talk about ‘The Secret to Dating Without Drama’ in Chapter 1 and explain how it’s our instinct as women to react emotionally rather than act rationally, this gets to the very core of one of the most major problems in all male/female relationships.

You said in your email to me that you ‘have control issues’ and you ‘want to know everything he’s doing and thinking and who he’s with at all times.’ If these worries are causing you to call and check up on your boyfriend constantly or nag him about what he’s doing, then you are allowing yourself to be ruled by your emotions.

The ‘Dating Without Drama’ way teaches you instead to pause, breathe through the emotions, and then act from a rational place. When you think rationally you can tell yourself, ‘My boyfriend is committed to me. Unless he decides to give me a good reason NOT to trust him, I WILL trust him. Nothing I say or do can CHANGE his actions anyway, especially nagging.’

Acting rationally means NOT picking up the phone when you want to check up on him and not blurting out ‘where the hell WERE you?!?!’ the instant he walks through the door. Rather than giving into destructive behavior, you focus your energy on constructive ways to build the relationship. By doing this you will spare yourself that awful feeling of being out of control.

Another example of how ‘Dating Without Drama ‘ can help you in your long-term relationship is by working through the confidence-building exercises. In Chapter 2 ‘I Hate to Break it to You Jerry Maguire, But You Don’t Complete Me,’ I discuss how important it is to complete yourself by keeping your life busy and full with the things that you love.

In your email to me you said that you want to spend all of your free time with your boyfriend. Now there are no judgments here, because I’m sure every woman has felt this way about the man she loves (myself included) at one time or another. But ACTING on this can be very unhealthy.

I suspect that you are clinging to your boyfriend in hopes that he will make you feel whole when, in reality, that is an impossible feat to ask of him. You said you are ‘pushing him away,’ and I’d be willing to bet this is the cause.

Annabelle, I am certain that you are a beautiful, smart, funny, talented, exciting, fun woman with so much to offer this man who is lucky enough to have you in his life. If you are feeling insecure, trying to spend every waking moment with him will NOT fix the problem.

In fact, it will only make it worse.

Please don’t fall into the trap of relying 100% on another person’s actions to feel good about yourself as so many women do. It’s a dangerous game; one you’re bound to lose.

As I say in Chapter 2 :

‘The best relationships occur when two whole people come together out of a desire to share their full, happy lives with one another. They are people who feel good about themselves yet desire a partner to walk thorough this world with and experience life together.

These are the relationships that succeed.

You can have that kind of relationship if you’re willing to focus on yourself.

To do this, you must make yourself a priority.

Take care of your health by eating well and exercising. Find your spiritual path. See a therapist to work through unresolved issues, if necessary. Do the things you love – reading, dancing, writing, watching movies, traveling around the world …Connect with friends. Learn all you can. Always be open to growth, be it intellectual, spiritual or emotional. And listen to your heart’s desire, your calling … and honor it.

Always make it a priority to DATE YOURSELF FIRST. Take yourself to museums, check out that hot new restaurant that just got written up in the Times, tackle that rock-climbing wall at the gym that you’ve been equally terrified and fascinated by. There’s no room for desperation when you’ve got a perfectly good date for every occasion …you.

As you focus on your own happiness you will be amazed at the transformation that starts to occur within you. You will feel comfortable in your own skin, and [you won’t approach your] relationship from a place of need, but rather one of strength. [Your boyfriend] will be drawn to your confidence and will do anything just to be able to spend time with you.

And although you may start out with [the perfect relationship] as your ultimate goal, in the end that will be just a happy by-product of a healthier, more content you.’

And I know you mentioned that you have a hard time getting out because you have a young son. You don’t have to hit the town to find things that fulfill you. Read, watch great movies, take an online course in a subject that you love, spend some fun quality time with your son, have your best girlfriend over for some coffee and a great chat. Whatever you’re interested in and whatever brings you joy.

Don’t forget to do the Path to Self-Actualization exercise in Chapter 2 and reflect on your Personal Mantra/Positive Affirmations in Chapter 5 . These will help you focus on the healthiest ways to get your needs met and allow you to recognize – and embrace – your unique, beautiful qualities!

By focusing on your own well-being and self-improvement, you are bound to become healthier, happier and more confident. I’d be willing to bet that your boyfriend will really sit up and take notice of your newfound independence and improved self-image. This could really help renew your relationship.

But even in the worst-case scenario, if things don’t ultimately work out for you and your man, you will be SO much better off. You will feel good about YOURSELF and will have all the tools you need to enjoy your own life with or without a man, and when the time is right, you will be ready for a healthy relationship to come into your life.

Best of luck to you Annabelle! Please keep me posted. Paige”

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And then I heard back from Annabelle with this fabulous SUCCESS STORY:

“Hi Paige,

Thank you for replying to my email. I read your response and took your advice and guess what? You were right! I finally made plans with my girlfriend, and actually kept them. I didn’t cancel like I usually do.

I had a great time, and it was without my boyfriend. I didn’t feel guilty for enjoying myself. The funny thing is I enjoyed the night because of ME, not because I was trying to turn his head. But because I felt like me again, enjoying being myself with my friend.

I thank you again for all your insight. It is making my co-dependence to independence a pretty easy transition.

I also know you’re totally right about playing into my emotions. I think at the time if I just give into them it will make me feel better, when every time a makes me feel worse. You would think I would have learned this my now, but hearing you say it makes sense to me.

Again thank you so much Paige, I will keep you posted.

Annabelle”

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Copyright 2007 Dating Without Drama Inc. All rights reserved. “Dating Without Drama” and “DWD” are trademarks used by Dating Without Drama Inc. The contents of this article are for entertainment purposes only. You are responsible for your personal decisions and none of the information provided should be considered legal or professional advice.

Stories and questions in “Dating Dish” are not fabricated by Dating Without Drama, Inc. They are submitted by real people just like you. Names may be changed or deleted to protect the contributors. Comments, questions, and quotes may be edited for length and/or clarity. By sending a question or comment, you are agreeing to allow DWD Inc. to use it in future articles, newsletters, writings, and other works at our sole discretion in perpetuity and further represent that your submissions are factual. Please keep this in mind when you send in your e-mails.

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