Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘break ups’

Between love and lost

If you’ve been following the Chronicles for the last three weeks you’ll know that I’ve been posting a free chapter a week for four weeks as part of an ongoing promotional campaign for my book  Any Color but Beige.

Over the last year, readership and subscriptions have increased dramatically. And I hope that by giving my new readers a preview of the book I can entice them to buy it, read it, and recommend it to their friends.

The book is closely linked to my career as an international color marketing expert, so I structured the book according to my life’s personal color spectrum. The four colorful sections that make up the book are Primary Colors, Color Blind, True Colors, and Exotic Colors.

Exotic Colors is this week’s section, from which I selected the chapter called Chapter 24 It deals with heartbreak and healing. And it was from this painful experience that my book Any Color but Beige came to be. My editor likes to say the best stories break your heart. And she’s right.

photo: © istockphoto.com/VladLo

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.  ~Winston Churchill

Telling the truth to a stranger is easy. Telling the truth to a lover is much more complicated and delicate. And in the handful of relationships I’ve had over the last few years, I have yet to meet the man who could speak his own truth. I have always had to do it for him.

My brother Mike shakes his head in disbelief at the sorry state of manhood today, one that requires his sister to “man-up” and do all of the work. But on some level he gets it. Breakups aren’t easy and sometimes they can be messy. Still it’s as puzzling to him as it is to me.

In an attempt to get some clarity, I once asked one of these men why he just didn’t tell me he’d had a change of heart.   He said it was because he was afraid I would get too emotional because I got emotional just asking the question.  I will admit to watery eyes but at least my voice was steady.

The shift from boyfriend to let’s be friends happened so quickly I was caught off guard – thus the watery eyes.  Believe me; I’d rather chew broken glass than break down in front of a man. In most cases goodbyes come as no surprise. The signs are everywhere.

From the male point of view, it seems it’s much easier to be the gradually disappearing man, to show me rather than tell me that he has changed his mind.  As the daily phone calls, e-mails, texts evolveto every second, third or fourth day and then a week or two, you can hear him asking himself, “How much longer do I have to keep this up, so I don’t look like a complete jerk, and she gets the message?”

Sadly, his thought process has nothing to do with me and everything to do with his self- image and his ability to look himself in the mirror every morning. It’s the age-old question of: is it better to rip off the Band-aid with one tug, or progressively, painfully peel it back?

I am an advocate for the former method.  Tell me and tell me now! Gradually peeling the Band-aid back allows all sorts of nasty things to get between your skin and that protective covering you called a relationship. It keeps me wondering, waiting and — worst of all — hoping.  I magnify every contact and examine it for hidden meanings.  Didn’t we just have a great conversation?  Didn’t he compliment me over dinner?  He just said “we…” But false hope is nothing but a false friend.  Don’t count on it.

If you allow the connection to linger, your confidence and self-esteem become infected by doubt.  All of a sudden, you’re questioning your looks, career, even your taste in décor.  And you’ll find yourself asking:  What could I have done differently? What do I have change in order to heal the wound?

Sure, ripping off the Band-aid does sting, whether you do it or someone else does it. But when it’s done, it’s done.  Tugging at it a little at a time only opens you up for a prolonged and painful separation.  Either way the outcome is still the same.

Given the fact that, today, there are so many ways to break up — e-mail, voice mail, texting, via your personal assistant (located in India), and the infamous Post-It note — it really begs the question: Is breaking up all that hard to do?

If you have a good/bad break up story, I’d love to hear about it.

*Excerpted from the book

Photo: © iStockphoto.com/jrroman

Read Full Post »

In the last five years of being single, I  have had my fair share of happiness and heartbreak. In the beginning, I had a fairly steep learning curve but luckily I am a quick study. The most important thing I’ve learned is that heart is a muscle; it can be bruised but not broken. So the more you use it the stronger it gets.heartXSmall

Very early on in an effort to “get out there” and see what was happening in the dating world, I signed up on two major dating sites and one matchmaking service. In the last five years I must have met at least 70 men, all but one of whom was “as advertised.” How was it? Well let’s just say I consumed my fair share of coffee. (How do you think I got the name Café Girl anyway?)

All in all, I have to say it was a good experience. In a way, the process reminds me of a job interview and, to some extent, really, that’s what it is. I was at once both interviewer and interviewee. A handfull of relationships made it past the coffee stage to what I call, a “relationship threshold” (approximately 3 months). However, it was at that point, at least for me, that most of the relationships came undone. Either he or I didn’t make the three-month “probation period.”

I have been on both the giving and receiving end of a few exit interviews over the last five years ,and it all boils down to one thing. One of us changes their mind. It has nothing to do with what I did or said said –  mentioning the “c” (commitment) word or asking to meet his friends had little to do with it. I might have thought they were good reasons why things didn’t work out, but they weren’t.

If I over analyze the situation it’s very easy to blame myself. And I end up asking myself, “What could I have done differently?” In the end, it’s a pointless question because I realize that there’s nothing I would have done differently. It’s not a question of rejection – for once popular culture is right – it’s not me – it really is him. Or I can tell him with a clear conscience: it’s not you, it’s me!

Photo: © iStockphoto.com/FotografiaBasica

Read Full Post »

Ideal 017Dancing for me has been a real lifesaver lately.  It’s always been the perfect prescription for a broken heart.  Last year, Salsa could have saved me from feeling sorry for myself  and embarking on a long-term relationship with Ben and Jerry. But it didn’t;  it wasn’t enough to get me through my most  recent  relationship derailment.  Salsa is such a joyful dance but I was too sad to even attempt it.

When it comes to dwelling in sadness, Tango is just the thing.  The music, the lyrics, the longing: it was exactly what I needed.  During my week in BsAs, the sad strains of tango pulled me back from a trail of tears. I channeled all of my regrets and melancholy on to the dance floor.

My friends like to tease me about my passion for dancing. Like everything else in my life (including my love life) it’s an all-or-nothing deal.  “Soon,” they say, “we’ll be seeing you on Dancing with the Stars.”  Ha! If they only knew…

I am not a natural dancer.  I come by lots of other things naturally (languages, diplomacy and falling for the wrong men), but when God was giving out grace and coordination I must have been the last in line.  Whatever little talent dust was leftover in the cosmic gift bag and was sprinkled on me never made it past my neck.

So I have to work for every step.  And work I do.  When it comes to mastering a skill that is just slightly beyond me, the one thing that saves me is my stubbornness.  It’s an “I’ll Show You” attitude that allows me to shrug at my missteps, laugh at myself and try again and again and again.

Take, for example, my morning technique classes.  I practiced walking for five days.  How hard could it be, right?  You would think walking is an easy thing since we do it every day.  But let me tell you, it is not.  Walking in Tango requires deliberation, precision and balance, and I was as wobbly as a newborn colt.  After my first class I felt a bit dejected at not being able to master such a simple task.

Later that day, my first Tango dance lesson was only slightly better.  Since I was in Latin America, I was doing my best to channel that superstar of song, that mistress of movement, that diva of dance Shakira, but to no avail.  She’s right,  “hips don’t lie,” and mine were a dead give away.  Trying to master the contradictory movements of keeping your upper torso still while moving only your hips is nothing short of impossible – at least for me.

I was dreading my first milonga that evening at Nino Bien.  But since I had nowhere to go but up, I surprised both myself and my practice partners on the dance floor.  Every day the steps got a little easier as I became more confident.  By the end of the week and my last  Milonga at Confiteria Ideal (photo), I was dancing steps I never thought possible: the elegant walz, the fast paced milonga and, yes, even a little salsa.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: