Letting Go Of Who You Are To Become What You Might Be
The importance of letting go of people and places that no longer serve you to reach your full potential.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who has been following my work for a year after getting dumped by his ex. About 8 months ago, he met a woman on the Hinge dating app that asked him to be exclusive after only 3 weeks of dating. He politely declined and said it was too soon. However, he noticed several red flags. She is a sloppy drunk and comes from a broken family. Eventually he broke it off, but then took her back a few weeks later, only to break it off again for good.
He still has doubts that he will find someone better, and he still feels guilty about breaking it off. He wonders if he could make it work because she is such a sweet person. My comments are in bold italics like this below in the body of his email.
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If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ve probably heard me say many, many, many times that it’s not your job to fix somebody, or to save them, or to solve their problems. You’ve got to see reality as it is, not better than it is or worse than it is, but as it is. You can’t project your romantic fantasy onto somebody and think you’re going to mold and shape and fix them into what you want them to be. You’ve got to love them as they are.
They may grow and become better, obviously. But, like in this case, if she gets sloppy drunk, and you have conversations about it, and the behavior doesn’t change, you’ve got to set and enforce healthy boundaries, in all your relationships. This includes with your coworkers. You may even be in a situation where you have a boss that’s abusive. And so, you have to set and enforce healthy boundaries with your boss, or your girlfriend, your significant other, or your kids, or your friends. Or, even your neighbors, whatever it happens to be. This is part of what we all have to do, learning to stand up for ourselves.
So, this guy brings up a lot of good points. And any time I get an email like this, I see myself in the email, because I was once in this place. Anybody that’s read 3% Man knows that I got married when I was really young. Not because it felt right, not because it’s what I really wanted to do. But I talked myself into it because I was terrified that if I split up with my then girlfriend that I’d never find anybody better. At that point my life, she was the best thing that had ever happened to me. She was a great woman, a great girl. We had a lot of fun together. And even after we split up, we had a good relationship.
But it’s hard, especially for somebody that’s new to this. There’s a success quote, it’s pretty old, that says, “You can’t steal second base while you keep your foot on first base.” In other words, progress always involves risk. And so, he’s having a hard time with the risk. Because the reality is, you’ll see, when they first met, things were kind of effortless, and that hardly ever happens. Just like, how often do you meet a new friend where it’s just effortless? Like, you just kind of feel like you already know this person and they know you, and it’s just easy to be with them — similar goals, similar values. You have similar experiences. And what really makes life beautiful and worth living is when you have people to share it with.
And so, in this case, he’s got so many things in common with this girl, but she’s got a drinking problem, she comes from a broken family, she’s obviously very insecure. And after eight months of being together, he’s not happy. And he’s given her multiple chances, and she just can’t get her act together.
I hope all is well. I came across your work about a year ago when a girl I was dating broke it off with me, which was the great, because without that I may not have read 3% Man.
Yeah, people don’t come to me when things are going great. They usually come to me when things have gone sideways in their life.
I quickly indulged myself with your work and started having some success and realized what had ruined previous relationships of mine. Simple beta male behavior, of course.
Yeah, if you’re like most of us in the West here, you grow up and you’re immersed in movies and TV, it basically reverses the masculine and the feminine roles. And what’s interesting about my work is it teaches you that it has a negative effect on all relationships — heterosexual relationships, lesbian relationships and gay relationships.
Because in any really deeply loving, passionate and intimate relationship, you’re going to have to have sexual polarity. You have a strong masculine presence and a strong feminine presence. And the more both people share the same kind of vibe and energy, it becomes like roommates, to the point where they’re not even turned on by one another.
So, it’s important to exhibit the behaviors that are consistent with what you feel is your dominant essence. Because if you don’t, it’s just like with heterosexual guys, as soon as the guy acts soft, he acts weak, he acts like a pleaser — he doesn’t stand up for himself, he lets his girl walk all over him, he lets other people walk all over him — she loses respect. And if a woman doesn’t respect a guy, she can’t love him. She wants a man that will stand up to her and put her in her place when she’s out of line.
About 8 months ago, I met a cute girl on Hinge, and after only 2.5–3 weeks, she asked me to be exclusive and said that things felt effortless with me.
It’s so rare when that happens. I mean, I was 24 when I met my wife. And up until that point, she was the best thing that had ever happened to me. All those years of trying to date when I was in high school and trying to figure things out, and then it was just easy and effortless with this particular girlfriend. And so, it’s not easy to let go of that, to take the risk of finding something better. Or, I should say, that internally feels right.
She is a great girl, but had her fair share of red flags, and I wasn’t looking to be exclusive, especially after just gaining my powers, LOL. I simply told her that I think she is great and enjoy spending time with her, but it was too soon for me to commit to her, as we don’t really know each other yet and not to complicate things. She obliged and we continued dating for about 8 weeks. The sex was great, and we were pretty much together all the time, so I figured, why not make her my girlfriend.
Well, I like the fact that he waited. He took the time. He took measured steps. He was in no rush. It takes a lot of self-control to do that.
Things were going very well, and she started saying the “L word.”
In other words, she started saying she loved him or she was in love.
At first, I would not reciprocate, because I did not feel that I was in love with her, but eventually I caved because I truly felt terrible about not saying it back. I know, not cool.
Yeah, you shouldn’t say things to be a pleaser. But when I was young and I didn’t know any better, I did the same shit.
After spending more time together, my feelings definitely grew, but the red flags began to show and my doubts began to increase. She has a pretty broken family with tons of drama and doesn’t know who her dad is, (she was born through a donor), so she never had a strong male figure in her life. I noticed during sex sometimes, she would want me to hold her as I had my way, as if she was being dominated, etc., and this is only one way that showed she really needed that male presence.
Well, extremely feminine women like to be dominated in the bedroom. They’ll even tell you this. There was a video that I did with Caroline, it probably came out six months ago, where she talked about that. She’s a very feminine, extremely girly girl, and she likes strong, masculine men that won’t put up with her crap and will put her in her place. She doesn’t like beta males. She doesn’t respect him and she can walk all over him.
She was also very needy and required my attention a lot throughout the day. In addition, she also had a drinking problem where she would drink too much and get so sloppy to the point where I couldn’t really communicate with her.
Yeah, that’s not a lot of fun. Once or twice here and there, that’s fine. But not if every time you guys are drinking together, she’s blackout drunk, sloppy drunk, becomes obnoxious and is like a Jekyll and Hyde. There’s just some people that when they drink, it’s like they change. Some of them become aggressive and angry. Some of them just become just blackout drunk, start barfing everywhere. And then they think they’re fine to drive, “I’m fine!”
I stopped drinking entirely about 7 years ago, as I never really liked it, so it is definitely a huge turnoff for me when girls get wasted and sloppy.
Yeah. So, from that perspective right there, you have different values, because you’re a non-drinker and she’s a drinker.
I told her that I love spending time with her and don’t mind if she has a couple drinks, but that I did not love when she overdid it, especially when it was just her and I hanging out.
It’s not a lot of fun being this sober one at a party where everybody is drunk. I’ve had periods in my life where I went several years without drinking anything, and even the point where I was like barely eating any sweets or anything because I was so anal about my diet and stuff. But I like to have a good time. It’s just everything in moderation in life.
This became a pattern and happened a number of times during the relationship.
So, right there, you’ve set a boundary. You’re like, “Hey, you’ve got to control your drinking. You just can’t get sloppy drunk. It’s not fun for me.” If a woman is in control of herself, and she loves you and she respects you, she’ll do that. And if she can’t do that or she doesn’t exercise self control, then eventually you’re going to have to enforce a boundary. Because if you don’t enforce it, you’re enabling the behavior. You’re inviting her, “Hey, it’s no problem. Just keep doing it.”
There are other things that turned me off as well and I got to the point where I decided to end things. I told her that I loved her but was no longer “in love” with her, and that it isn’t fair to either of us and that I didn’t want to waste her time or mine.
Well, the reality of the feeling of being “in love,” or the infatuation, the honeymoon period, typically lasts about 6 to 12 months, on average, then it wears off. You still love the person, but those euphoric feelings — like when you just can’t get enough of each other, and you wake up in the morning and you’re thinking about her, and she’s on your mind all day long, even when you go to bed at night, she’s on your mind — you can’t help it. It’s just always there. And you’re excited and you’re elated. Every time you see her, you can’t wait to see her again. But that doesn’t last forever. That’s more of infatuation, if you will. Love is when you really deeply care about the person. You want to continue to be with them, even after that has worn off.
I felt terrible, of course, as she was crying and pleading her case. She kept blowing up my phone every few days after until about 2 weeks after the breakup, she caught me at a weak point because it was her birthday and I still felt bad about leaving her. So, after she texted me, I told her to bring that cute butt over to my place so I could see her.
Yeah. That’s what happens. He walks away, he hasn’t met anybody else, and the doubt and the fear creeps in. Because my wife and I, when we split up, we were living in the same house still. And I think we were split up for about two weeks. Then, we got back together for about a month, and then I finally left for good.
I made the mistake of getting back together with her, but that lasted only a week, as I immediately felt regret and ended things for good the second time. My question is, even though I ended things twice, I can’t help but feel bad and that some part of me wants to try and make things work with her because she is a sweetheart of a girl. I do believe I made the right decision, but as you know it is really hard when your emotions are involved, and the fear of finding someone new is certainly messing with me. Really curious about your thoughts on this one.
Sorry for the long email but keep up the good work, Coach! I certainly need to read Mastering Yourself as well, as that is next on my list.
I totally get exactly what you’re feeling and what you’re thinking. I experienced it, and I wrote about it in “3% Man.” And you’re right, it’s not easy, especially when you’re married. We were only married a year, and then having to tell everybody — you know, your friends, your family — at the time, it was embarrassing. Nobody wants to say, “Oh, yeah, you remember that wedding we had, that great party a year ago?” I was like, “Yeah, we’re getting divorced now.” “Oh! Well, what happened?” Then, you’ve got to go through all of the explanation with everybody, and that’s a drag. That’s not a lot of fun.
Then you run into friends that you haven’t seen in a while, “Hey, where’s your wife?” It’s like, “Oh, we’re not together.” They’re like, “What? You just got married! What happened?” It’s not a lot of fun. Going through a divorce sucks. We didn’t have any kids, and obviously we lived in the free state of Florida, and not one of those blue states where everything is slanted against the guy but in the woman’s favor.
But it was still expensive, and it took three years for us to finally get divorced, and to get rid of the house, and and clean up everything that we had together. So, we were married a year, but it took literally three years to completely finalize the divorce. And that was just so unpleasant. That’s why I’m all for a civil type of marriage, but not one where you involve the government. Because when you involve the government, what a nightmare.
So, at the end of the day, if you’ve laid out all of the things that she would have to change… He didn’t really elaborate on a lot of the other flags, but obviously the drinking thing, when you don’t even drink at all, that’s no fun. She either needs to quit or be moderate about it. But if she’s just going to continually get blackout drunk or sloppy drunk, that’s a conflict in your values, and it doesn’t work.
Plus, she comes from a broken home and doesn’t have a close family. So, again, I don’t know the other things, but he said there were a lot of red flags and a lot of things in her behavior that are in other emails or video newsletters I’ve done. She’s probably got similar issues to what people that come from her background typically do — probably a little needy, probably insecure, smothering. I don’t know anything about dishonesty or if she’s got male orbiters or anything. He didn’t say any of that. But, obviously, she’s got an addiction issue, it sounds like. And despite the fact they were together for eight months, it doesn’t look like that’s going to change.
Plus, he’s just not feeling it. And you’ve got to trust your intuition. It’s hard to do that. But what I found in life, and I wrote about this a lot in my second book, “Mastering Yourself,” which would be the big, thick white encyclopedia which you can also read at UnderstandingRelationships.com for free, just subscribe to the email newsletter — is that when you love someone and you’re passionate about it, you’re passionate about the things that you want to do, you have to experience it.
But there’s always that space from where you start out, from where you are to where you want to be, and you don’t know if it’s going to work out. Just like the Lao Tzu quote, he said, “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” And that’s why the title of this video is, “Letting Go of Who You Are to Become What You Might Be.” That’s kind of where where that that came from.
But you’ve got to trust your intuition, because like I wrote about “Mastering Yourself,” any time I didn’t listen to my intuition, like my intuition with my girlfriend who became my wife, it was like, I didn’t want to get married. I didn’t feel like I wanted to get married. But because I was moving to Orlando, she’s like, “Well, the only way I’ll move up there and live with you is if we’re engaged.” And then I had all these people around me telling me that I should get engaged, I should get married. And even Jennifer, who you guys all know, was one of them.
And I didn’t have anybody in my family that I looked up to or admired. I was like, “Yeah, I want a relationship like, they’ve got.” And so, I was scared. I was full of fear. I didn’t know all the stuff that I know now. I mean, I wish somebody would have had a book like mine back then, because I would have known exactly what to do and I would have never gotten married.
But like I said, it’s understandable. It’s the first time you’re letting go of something that was great in so many ways, but the intuition is going, “Hey, it’s time to move on.” You’re going to get that intuition with jobs you work. That may happen with businesses that you have. You may get to a point after 10, 15 years in a business and you’re like, “I don’t have the same internal enthusiasm that I did. I really want to do something else. I’m just not as into this.”
And so, you’ve got to see where that intuition takes you. Maybe there’s a lateral move that you make in business. You open up another product line, or another division. Or maybe you sell the company and then you start a new one. So, I’ve just found that in my personal life and my professional life, when I trusted my intuition and I listened to it, it was scary, but ultimately, in the end, it always worked out for the best.
But when I went against my intuition, the results sucked and I was not happy with it. My intuition was telling me not to get married, but I did it anyway. And man, I experienced a lot of pain. It’s embarrassing. It’s not fun. It wasn’t fun breaking my wife’s heart when I left her. I felt like the worst person in the world. And you can tell this guy kind of feels that way as well. It sucks, but the last thing you want to do is be in a marriage or have kids with somebody that you’re feeling this way about. Because it’s a lot harder to get out of that, just because of the way the legal system is and involving the state.
So, I would say to the guy, trust your intuition, man, and follow it. As Steve Jobs said, “You’ve got to follow your heart, your curiosity, and your intuition, because they somehow already know what you want to become.”
So, if you’ve got a question or a challenge and you’d like to get my help, go to UnderstandingRelationships.com, click the Products tab at the top of your screen and book a coaching session with yours truly.