Saying No to love is one of the hardest things we have to do, but when necessary, powerful beyond belief. Your NO is a big fat YES to yourself. In this episode Aleah discusses a very important phase in Love Addiction Recovery – the NO THANK YOU phase. Why it is so important and what the consequences are if you skip that phase is something you NEED TO KNOW about, if you are serious about finding REAL, HEALTHY & LASTING love.
Listen to the podcast here:
Saying No To Love Will Get You Closer To Real Love
First of all, I just wanted to say that I know that you had to wait quite a while for a new episode and I am sorry for that! The point is that my coaching practice has increased in demand quite amazingly and I was very focused on providing one on one support for couples and individuals who wanted to work on their issues with a more personal approach. So naturally other things needed to wait for a little bit and I am learning how to juggle even more things at the same time.
First and foremost, however, my goal is to always provide you with the best most authentic content I can create and that means quality over quantity for me. So forgive me if I need time to give birth to new episodes.
So many of you shared with me how my own process of recovery, the authenticity and vulnerability of my sharings is what helps you to open up as well. For this reason, I am trying to design my episodes based on my or my clients real life experiences because I believe that this will allow me to add most value for you.
Now I also want to say a special thank you to all of you who have been emailing me with your words of appreciation or questions. It is simply wonderful to know that my podcast provides you not only with insight but also comfort as I know that that is what we often need when we are going through rough times. So please reach out if ever you have a question or simply want to share how the podcast is helping you. If you have any idea about what I could be talking about, I want to know. If you have a question, ask me now!
A Crucial Phase In Love Addiction Recovery
Now today I want to talk about a very important phase you will enter, after you realized that the way you used to relate is something you no longer want to invite into your life. It’s after you clearly declared what it is that you will no longer accept when meeting someone new. It’s after the moment you decided to step up your self-love game where you will stick to the promises you made to yourself. It’s after promising yourself that the next time, you will not go for the breadcrumbs but instead wait for the tasty, freshly baked still warm chocolate-croissant that will be so worth the wait. By the way I hope you stick around to the end of this episode as I will be sharing a couple of questions I’d like to inspire you with when you are seeing someone new that can help you determine if this is going somewhere good.
For me that meant that whenever I meet someone new, I will be super alert to not miss the moments when red flags present themselves. I also won’t stick around if I start to feel the same miserable feelings combined with endless and hopeless discussions that lead nowhere. Especially when any of that presents itself in the beginning, let’s say the first 3 months of dating when you are only getting to know someone. Where you are still trying to understand whether you and that person really could be a great fit.
This phase is called the NO THANK YOU phase and that phase will likely last for a little while. As recovering love addicts or people who used to engage in unhealthy relationship patterns, we have said YES way too many times disregarding the fact that we said YES even if it did not really align with how we truly felt. We said yes because we were not ready to lose the thing we were saying yes to. This, however, puts us into trouble for quite a bit as saying YES out of fear never does anything good.Saying NO Is A Mandatory Skill For Finding Real Love! Click To Tweet
So now it is time to practice saying NO. This phase is the universe’s invitation to practice your NO THANK YOU muscle. You need that muscle to be strong because saying NO is one of the most important things in life. If we do not own our NO, we are constantly crossing our boundaries, we are inviting things into our life that does not make us feel good and it keeps us IN the fear that makes us say YES in the first place.
Let me share my recent experience with you to illustrate it a little better. At this point in my life, I am very aware that if I was to enter into a new relationship again, it would have to be with someone really great.
A new relationship should feel safe, without major drama where deep intimacy and openness can carry me and my partner through the tough times. I also know that the beginning of meeting someone new is the most important phase. It’s where I either a) will be screwing up and invite myself on another journey of many lost years in a relationship with someone I am in for the wrong reasons OR, b) I am truly listening to my gut and my heart and I lay the foundation for something great. The beginning is where you are setting yourself up for failure or for success.
So the past 8 weeks I have been dating a guy whom I felt wonderful with at the very beginning. I did realize quickly though that I do not wish to be in a relationship with him, and I said this to him straight away, but I also said to him that it is wonderful to spend time with him and if that was something he enjoyed as well, we could keep seeing each other for a while to maybe give each other some things that would feel good for the both of us. In a sense it is a practice to open the heart without attaching to an idea of a relationship. I think there is value in this practice where you let someone in without having to go much further, attach any labels or engage into the fantasy of hopefully getting together at some point.There is value in the practice of opening our heart and let someone in without attaching any labels to it! Click To Tweet
When Drama comes back
For the past couple of weeks however, I could see how drama presented itself again and how I started to see some red flags pretty quickly. The first one I ignored but the second one, I took pretty seriously. The emotional drama, the ups and downs and the way too many unfruitful discussions started to take too much energy from both my body and my mind. So, after 8 weeks I told him that I no longer want to continue to relate with him in the way we did.
It was hard. It was hard because aside from the drama and the feeling of “this is not going anywhere, stop losing time” he had the biggest heart. This guy had the sweetest love to give. He felt safe, he was attractive, attentive, he always called back, never played games and was super sweet, loving and caring. And that to me was just fascinating. I no longer attracted an avoidant one. That was a first! You know what’s so interesting about that? My last date was still an avoidant one and I said no to him too pretty quickly and then the next guy I meet is no longer an avoidant one? Do you see what my NO did bring me? That was a very good sign for me. I actually attracted one who felt safe after years and years of avoidant men. Do you get that? Do you get that once you have to courage to say no to what you no longer want, you might be tested one more time but if you stick with your NO, you will be rewarded. This is so powerful.
I so enjoyed his beautiful heart. His kisses, his hugs, his love making and he honestly filled up my empty batteries for quite a bit and I am so grateful for that. Unfortunately, next to his sweetest love, some other things went bad pretty soon. When we started arguing so early, my red flags went off like big alarm bells. And this time I listened. Again. And I said NO again remembering what I truly want. There is just no way that I would ever ignore my own instincts again. No matter how sweet the taste. No matter how delicious the touches, the kisses and making-love feels.
Your No Is A BIG FAT YES TO YOURSELF
Because your NO is powerful beyond belief. I know it is challenging not only to truly know want we want but then to unapologetically ask for that without lowering our standards or fall victim to tempting fantasies is where real strength comes in.
Your NO’s in the times after waking up is your BIG FAT YES TO YOURSELF.
This is not an easy phase because as a recovering love addict we crave and have been void of real love and attention for years. Especially after realizing how much we actually are in the need of real healthy mature love – and yet we have to wait for it even longer.
That can give you a sensation of starvation. Emotional starvation. I felt like that many times. And yet, this is the most important moment there is. What you do in the beginning of meeting someone new will determine your future happiness like nothing else. And you will be tested. You made a declaration of self-love and respect to yourself and in this YOU WILL BE TESTED. Probably more than once. Even if you love parts about a new person, even if the feelings you are experiencing are beautiful, even if you are spending nights awake making love with each other and you enjoy the touches, kisses and cuddles but you know deep down that something is off, that similar dynamics start to play – GET AWAY FROM THE SITUATION AND MOVE ON. It’s time to say NO THANK YOU, NEXT.Every NO will have consequences - even if you chose it. Be prepared! Click To Tweet
But I want to also tell you what is so hard about saying NO and what will happen after you do say no so you are prepared. Unfortunately, every NO, no matter how true that NO is, also has consequences for you. Just because you say NO to someone does not mean that you wont miss the person or what you had together. You will miss the good moments and feelings. When two people melt and that melting ends, there will be a void and that void needs to be felt and integrated. So it’s not only hard to speak your NO but then to deal with the consequences of your NO can be just as challenging. After all you will be alone again, without the opportunity that comes with meeting a new person where everything is still open and possible. So be ready for the consequences of your NO, keep feeling it. No need to act on it, just feel the void, the hopelessness, the emptiness, the starvation and find a friend with whom you can share how starved you feel, how hopeless you feel and ask them to hold you. Ask them to hold you so you can cry in their arms.
Don’t rob yourself and the people around you of their chance to grow and heal
Here is what happens if you do not say NO to something you actually should be saying NO to: You are taking away a chance for growth and healing not just from yourself, but also from the person you are depriving of your NO. Because if you speak your truth and you say NO to someone, it will inevitably have a powerful impact on themselves because the truth works wonders. When I said no to him, he went into rebellion for a little while and it took him a bit of time to accept my NO and not fight it. However, I kept strong in it, even if he acted out due to not wanting to feel the hurt. I stayed strong in my truth and after a little while, he could land in his heart and feel the hurt but also feel the beauty of my truth because my truth had a message for him as well. And that message will be enlightening for the person you are saying NO to. I can guarantee you that. You are creating imprints that are of tremendous values for yourself and that person. Truth is a miracle worker, always.
Another important aspect is that maybe you will manage to say NO but you might get weak depending on what happens after your NO. Maybe it is hard to deal with the consequences of your no or the other person for selfish reasons will try to test how strong your NO really is. Here is what I want you to be aware of, if you do not stick to your NO, it loses its power. The power of transformation. It will taint the truth and a tainted truth will never work miracles. So be mindful about the strength of your NO.Not sticking to your NO will make it lose its power of transformation. Click To Tweet
And the last difficult thing about saying NO is to actually do it. I hear so many people tell me *I want to but I just never seem to really be able in the moment* I hear you! That’s mostly when there is too much at risk, when there is even a possible threat. The threat of losing something for example. Then we either cope with fight, flight or freeze. That happens in the brainstem and when the brainstem is involved it is involuntary, because your brain will do everything to protect you. So there you find yourself, feeling the no in your body but the words are not coming out of your mouth. And then that feeling of *I did not align with my truth today* will stick with you.
Correct The Action!
What can you do then? That’s when I advise to *correct the action*. Just because you did not speak your truth in a moment does not mean you cannot speak your truth later. Meaning, when you missed the chance, there is another chance but the important thing is, that you do it in the next possible moment. So you can go back to that person and even prepare yourself to do it. You can write down what you have to say and then say it later. I cannot stress how important that is. By correcting the action you train your truth-muscle consciously and when you do that over and over again, it will build and more and more you will be able to become aware in the very situation and stop, breathe, think and speak. Trust me that really works. Over time you will have access to your words right away.
Before I end the episode I’ll tell you one last reason, why your NO is gold: You are planting a seed in someone else too. How important are firm but loving NO’s in life? Not just in relationships, in life, to a boss, to a friend, to a family member? Practicing saying NO in any area of life is again – a big fat YES to yourself and will bring you closer to your truth step by step. And truth and being who we truly are is what we all want right?
What to ask yourself if your are dating someone new!
As promised I want to end this episode with a couple of questions I’d like to inspire you with when you are seeing someone new that can help you determine if this is going somewhere good. Ask yourself after you have been with that person:
- Are you able to not lose yourself in daydreaming about this person and can you keep following your flow of life such as focused working hours, meeting with your friends, not keeping your schedule open for his or her eventual calls, etc.?
- When you are together, are you thoroughly enjoying the time and is there only little drama and discussions that if present lead to something fruitful?
- Is this person valuing your time and presence and do they show investment in the relationship such as being the one who calls and messages asking for a new date?
- Are they respecting who you are without suggesting changes in subtle ways?
- Is he or she honest and engages in communication openly without being secretive about themselves?
- Where is your emotional home with this person? Are you feeling uplifted, inspired and happy after you met with them?
- Are there too many push and pull dynamics happening or does it feel safe and equal regarding how you both show up in the relationship?
- Are there games at play where you have to calculate your next move? Or is there natural flow and you perceive them as reliable?
- Do you stay realistic in your view about them or do you catch yourself idolizing them and only see the good stuff?
- Are you having the important conversations that help you determine if you actually like the person for who they are instead of simply passing time avoiding all of the hard staff to not risk the wonderful feelings you are getting from this relationship?
My list could go on and on but in the end you only have to ask yourself one thing: Am I feeling good? Am I feeling safe? Am I feeling validated and seen? Am I feeling cared for and loved and accepted for who I am?
If these answers are a resounding yes, then by all means, keep dating them. However, if you feel that something is going off-track, take a deep breath and speak your truth. What you do now will matter in 5 years down the road and saying NO now will enable you to not lose precious time of your precious life. Don’t give into the instant gratification knowing that it won’t quite feel like that anymore in a couple of months. Be brave and courageous. You’ve got this!