How to Survive A Relationship Breakup and Make It Through the Change…

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When a woman breaks up with a man, or vice versa, a rebirth takes place within her.  She is never the same after that moment, and she is changed forever.

She learns through the change.  She grows and learns life lessons that change her forever.  And in most cases, she comes out wiser, smarter, and stronger than ever before.


But before she is born again, into this new woman and into the new life that is waiting for her, she first dies.

First, before she is reborn, she experiences all of the pain and the hurt that the breakup has caused her, and she mourns over everything she has lost.


It then occurs to her, that she is not only grieving over one man and one relationship.  It occurs to her, that she is grieving over the many different companions that she had in that one partner.

Like the friend that she had in that man, and the lover that leaves her.

And most times, the hardest thing for her to mourn over is the ‘happily ever after’ that she thought she was this close to having, but is once again swept up from under her patent leather high heels.

That perhaps, is the hardest thing for her to bounce back from – the fact that she must once again, dust herself off, and start over.

And though that brokenhearted woman may get a chance to experience a love greater than the one she lost in the future, to her it seems like love will never return.


If you are that woman, that has had her heart broken to the point of semmingly no return, I am here to tell you that you will make it through this.

Life will return to normalcy again – even if it doesn’t seem like it now.

The key, however, is to be grateful for the experience of that person and that relationship.  The key is to learn from all of the life lessons that that person and that relationship has came to teach you.


Sometimes, we women try to control the relationships that we have with people.  We tend to get disappointed when a certain relationship does not lead to the particular result that we wanted – like a marriage.

But the truth of the matter is that, not all relationships were meant to last a lifetime.  Some were meant to teach us life lessons that we need in order to learn, develop, and mature into great wives for the man that is meant to be our husband.


I, as a woman, can honestly say that I am so thankful for my previous relationships before I got married.  Because even though I failed, I really won –  because I learned from my past.

From those relationships, I learned how to love, I grew, I matured into the woman and the wife that I am now, and I learned how to forgive.


When you leave a relationship in your life, be thankful for all that it has taught you.  Learn from the lessons that that person has taught you.  Take all of those moments of joy that you had with that person, and seal them in a time capsule where you can always remember that even though the two of you didn’t make it, it was still love.

Remember that even though the two of you are no longer together, that it was still significant, and it will always be a part of your journey.


Just because your relationship with a certain person dies and runs its course, does not mean that it was pointless or a complete waste of your time.  It just means that it wasn’t meant to last a lifetime.  That relationship taught you lessons about how to give love, how to receive it, and how to sustain it.

You always learn twice as more through failure, than you ever do with winning.

Be thankful for the time you shared with that person.  Be thankful that you even had the opportunity to meet someone and experience that kind of love with them – even if it didn’t last.

There are people that pray for the love you experienced – even if it was only for a couple of weeks, or months, or even days.  Be thankful for that love, and always take the lessons that relationship taught you with you every day of your life.

It may seem like to you, that you will never be happy again.  Or like you will never smile at the things that once made you happy.  Or like you will never laugh at the jokes that used be so funny – but trust me, you will.  It may be hard to imagine a future for yourself without that person, but it’s there.


You can move on.

You have the strength inside of you.

You will make it through.

And once you make it through, you will be stronger, wiser, smarter, more equipped and better prepared for the next relationship in the next chapter of your life.

In order to survive the change.. learn, grow, forgive, and give thanks.


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Is Being Overly Religious Keeping You MANLess?

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I’m going to share with you some of my feelings and ideas about overly religious woman and dating.  This blog post may be all over the place, but it is something that women of faith need to hear.


I remember when I was dating my husband in the beginning.  And because we met in a church, some people thought that we spent hours on the phone talking about God, Jesus, the Holy Bible…lol no.  While those may have been aspects of our conversation, the great deal of what we talked about was spent on getting to know each other as a person.  We talked about music, books, and life.

We both knew that if we were going to entertain being together for a really long time, we would have to make sure that we were compatible and had more in common than just our faith.

I want to introduce a theory to you – one that I think will help you to better understand how hiding behind your faith can be detrimental to your dating life.

If in dating, the two people inside the dating experience were a Shirt, the label on the shirt would be what the two people stand for, and the shirt itself would be who those people really are.

Many women of faith today, lead with the label of their shirt in dating, instead of allowing a man to get to know the real them so that they can see if their shirt, as in who they really are as a woman, is a good fit for that man.  And because these women are so afraid to share their truth and their authenticity – or for some, they don’t even know who they are, they end up manless and alone.

When I think about faith and people, I think about Shirts and Labels.  The Label is what you stand for, and the Shirt is who you are.

When me and my husband first started dating, the label only told us what we stood for, what we believed, and our stance on different socioeconomic issues.  However, if we were really going to get to know each other, we had to try on the shirt.

My husband had to get to know as much about me (the Shirt) as possible.

He came to me seeing my label and what I stood for –  that I loved God and people, and that I tried my best to do right by them.  But he also went beyond the label of getting to know me as a person, and found out that I was a huge movie buff that he could veg out with until 2am over $30 dollars of Taco Bell.  (This is only one of my many talents).

My husband didn’t just look at the label of what I stood for.  He tried on the shirt.  He saw that it was comfy.  He saw that it felt snug.  He saw that aside from my spiritual practice and beliefs, that I had my own likes, dislikes, preferences, and opinions as a woman.  He saw that my Shirt was comfortable for him and made of cotton – and that the fit was just right.  He didn’t just look at the label and say, “It’s Gucci – I’ll buy it”.  He got to know the shirt.


Leading with your label in dating will leave you single.  How is a man ever supposed to purchase you (the shirt), if he never knows the real you and how you fit?

I understand that it can be difficult to balance your faith and your authenticity as a woman and a believer.

So many times when you are a woman of faith, people either want to put you into one of two categories..a Holy Roller or a Jezebel, and this way of thinking is what strips you from your ability to be your true and authentic self in the dating process so that you can see if the relationship and the man is a good fit for you.

I went through this in the beginning of my dating process as a Single as well.  Be politically and spiritually correct they say…but what if being politically, socially, and spiritually correct means living a lie, and putting on a face in the morning that isn’t you or anything that looks like you?

So, when it comes to Crystal, do you want to know what I say? ..And feel free to adopt this if it resonates with who you really are and your spirit…


I say, Yes I love God.  But I am also a woman.

Yes I am grounded in morality, ethics, and work hard to remain in alignment with my true nature, all that is good, and positivity as a whole.  Yes I thank God when I wake up in the morning, and yes I look at my children and know that they couldn’t have come from any place lower than heaven.

But I am also a woman.  I think my husband is fine.  Idris Elba is my TV Star husband if anything ever happened to my husband, and don’t you dare bother telling him I said that, because he already knows.  We’ve already had this conversation.  (lol, he does seriously know though).

Yes, I love to laugh with my girlfriends over an inside joke and a glass of Pink Moscato.  I feel that I am being more truer to my God, myself, and the people around me when I take off the mask that everyone else deems is appropriate, and decide to live my truth out loud.

And do you want to know what the crazy thing is?  I don’t even think that my God is mad or upset about it!  I think God is looking at me like..finally!  It’s about time, girl.  Now you can breathe.  Now I can use you to be real and ignite real and irrevocable change in woman and their relationships!


My point to you is this: When you date, there is nothing wrong with saying that you are God’s, but make sure that the man you are dating knows the woman behind the faith.  Do not hide behind your faith, or that man will never get to know the real you.


If you think that you are doing this – leading with your Label on dates instead of with your Shirt, I am here to tell you that hiding who you are will not help you – and not knowing who you are will not help you either.

Real men that want to live a true and honest marriage, will want to try on the shirt.

A real man looking for a real marriage,  will want a woman of substance beyond the label.

But if the label is all you lead with, then he will never purchase you.


This is why so many times women with no faith seem to attract men that want real and long lasting relationships and end up getting married quicker than women in the faith – because often times, they are more real.  They give men the functionality and convenience of having a real life partner instead of just a label.  Essentially, they are a whole and functional Shirt that a man can really wear and spend his life with.

How would you like a life size cut out of a man that only said I love Jesus all day, but you could never relate to?  Yeah, I don’t think that idea would be too appetizing.


You want a husband.  Someone that you can relate to and talk your day over with.  Someone that can love God, but understand that you are both living in the real world with a real marriage and a real life dealing with real issues.

As a woman of faith, you have to learn how to balance what you stand for with who you are – and you cannot allow either one to take over.

Do you wanna know why?  Because both are important.  If you were supposed to be all faith, then you wouldn’t be here on this planet.  And if you were supposed to be all woman, then you wouldn’t have God in your heart.  So your job is to maintain a perfect balance between the two so that you can operate on this planet and be effective.  You need God to shine, and God needs you so that others can see the light.


If you are going to attract a good man, you are going to have to stop hiding behind the mask of your faith and understand that your faith is just the label – as in, a statement of what you stand for and what you believe, but it is not who you are.

In dating, it is important to share with your man the special things about you – like the fact that you love Comedies, you love the smell of scented candles burning in your house, or that you have a thing for Action movies.  In dating, it is important to reveal the true You.


Men don’t marry labels.  At least, not the ones that want to get married for the right reasons anyway.  The only men that marry labels, are the ones that want to use women for ‘show’ and validation.  Meaning, he only wants to flaunt the fact that he purchased the Label: Gucci, Prada, or Louis Vuitton, but he may not really be all that into the Shirt itself.  Get it?  Never forget that.


When you, as a woman, lead with a label, you attract a man that only wants to look the part, and not truly be it.

Take off the mask.  There is a difference between what you stand for and who you are.  Embrace both.  Show the world both.  Be her.

Every real good man wants a real good woman.


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How to Tell When A Guy Likes You, Even If He Won’t Admit It

So, anybody who knows me knows that I am the Queen of not reading into the signs and signals that a man sends you when ya’ll are talking on the phone, chillin’, courting, getting to know one another or already in a relationship.  I believe that men are simple – and that they literally mean everything that they do and say.  However, (insert pinky finger to corner of lips now) there are exceptions to this.  These exceptions are few and far between, but they do exist.

You:  So, What are these exceptions, Girl?  Me:  I’m so glad you asked

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Well, first let me say that reading signs and signals do not pertain to men that you already involved with.  Because the only time that a man may hesitate to approach you or insinuate moving to the next level would be because of fear.  And trust a man that has already slept with you or dated you for five years is not afraid to ask you to be his girlfriend – or his wife – or his Baby Momma.  So you can just ‘X’ that idea that a man hasn’t asked you to marry him or be his one and only because he’s afraid of commitment out of your mind.  Because if a man really wants you, he’s coming to get you.  And that’s just the way it is.  So when I talk about reading signs and signals I’m talking about a man that is on the brink of starting something new with you.  For example, maybe he talks to you all the time in your college class – he smiles and engages in conversation with you but he hasn’t asked you for your number yet.  Or maybe he cracks jokes and flirts with you in meetings, but he has yet to ask you out to lunch.  In these such scenarios, you just might have a guy that does indeed like you, but is really afraid to admit it.

Sometimes, when men are really intimidated by a woman – when a man’s fear of rejection outweighs his desire for you, he won’t formally pursue you.  He won’t ask you out on a date, and he won’t ask you for your number because he’d rather stay comfortable in the space that you two have now – the place where his ego is perfectly in tact – than ruin it by asking you out and having you say no.  He could be thinking about the awkwardness that would come after the letdown or the rejection.  He could be thinking about the fact that ya’ll are too good of friends to screw it up by starting a relationship with you.  He could just be really bad at dating and flirting.  Who knows?  In any case, it’s really not your job to find out.  Don’t stress yourself out, girl.  But here are some signs to let you know if he’s really feeling you but a little too afraid, uncomfortable or hard headed to admit it.

Me:  I’m bout’ to spill the tea  You:blackwomanlistens 

 

  1. He’s always around you – When I first met my husband, he would lurk around me.  Like clockwork – after every class and every church service, he would make his way over to me to spark up some kind of conversation.  Now at first I thought it was sweet.  But the more that he kept doing this without asking me for a call to action as in: my phone number, a date, or something where we could take our relationship out of the four walls of the church and into the real world, I became frustrated.  When I ask him about this now and why he waited so long to ask me out, he said that it was because he didn’t know if I liked him or not and that he was trying to feel me out first.  So, I got frustrated, put him on the spot and told him that if he wasn’t going to ask me out then he needed to stop taking up so much of my time. (I know I was wrong. Don’t do what I did).  If you have a ‘lurker’ (that’s what I call them) then your best bet is to just go on with your life as if he is just an associate that talks to you from time to time at your church, your workplace, in your neighborhood or wherever the two of you have your small talk – because that is exactly what he is – an associate.  Nothing more and nothing less.  It is not healthy or fair to you to just stop all of your other potential dates or love interests because he can’t overcome his fears.  As you go on with your life, and make it painfully clear that you are not waiting on him to get it together, he’ll get the hint and he will either stay in his fears and keep silent, or step up to the plate and finally ask you out.
  2.   He’s Nervous Around You –  Most men get nervous when they’re talking to someone they like.  When my husband would ‘lurk’ around me, he would immediately start saying random things – like he’d be talking about a football game and then switch the conversation to a rubber duck in the same sentence.  I thought it was hilarious.  This is what made me like him.  Til’ this day, he still does this when he’s nervous – whether it be for a job interview or in any other nervous situation.  If a man is nervous around you he’ll have his own special way of showing it.  It could be him playing with his hands, random speech like my husband did, or maybe awkward moments, but whatever they are – you’ll be able to tell.  It will be obvious.
  3.  His Friends Know You – Contrary to popular belief, men do talk just as much to their guy friends as we, women, talk to our girlfriends.  Just like you’re spilling the tea to your girls, best believe he’s letting his friends know about you if he’s really feeling you like that.  Or perhaps, his friends have figured it out on their own.  So, if this man has talked to his friends about you, you’ll be able to tell by the way they act when you and your potential boo thang are together.  It will probably look something like his friends hurdling up together, snickering like children to see what’s going to happen between the two of you.  They’ll be watching you and your crush like a movie.  Why?  Because that man has been driving them crazy talking about you.  So, open up your eyes and pay attention to how his friends are acting when you come around.
  4. Teasing – This is actually pretty common.  It’s human nature to tease people that we feel comfortable around.  Think of all of the people you tease:  your best friend, your siblings… We tease these people because there is a comfort level there.  These people provide a sense of comfort for us and a special place where we can be ourselves.  So if this man is teasing you in a cute manner that means that he likes you enough and feels comfortable enough to be himself around you and let you in on his personal style of humor.  That’s a good thing.  Just make sure it isn’t full blown teasing.  The teasing should be light and fun, and it should strengthen the bond between you and this man – not take away from it.  If it does all that, there’s a pretty good chance he’s feeling you.

Even with all of these signs and signals, there’s nothing like the real thing.  So still – do not assume anything, and do not put your life or love life on hold for a signal.  If that man really likes you, he’ll let you know.  But until then, pay attention to the signs.

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The Day My Marriage Changed Forever

I remember a conversation that me and my husband had on the telephone after we had only been married for a little over a month.  He had gone back home to D.C. for work, and I was still in Alaska serving in the military.  We had just had our first official argument, and to be honest, I was caught off guard about it.  I mean, in my mind he was this perfect person that I had married who had no flaws, no imperfections and was amazing in every way.  So to see that the reality was that he was just a man just like I was just a woman was a new concept to me.944324_788735751258209_7041927161923673020_n

I remember telling him these exact words when we made up over the telephone.  I remember saying, “I just had you up on this pedestal in my mind.  Because in my mind, I wasn’t expecting for you to disappoint me.  In my mind you are this superman that can do no wrong that is standing on this rooftop.”  And with the most convicted voice – my husband responded, “Well please Crystal…take me off of that rooftop.  I’m just a person just like you.  I’m not perfect.  I’m going to disappoint you.  I will try my best to make you happy, but sometimes I’ll fail because I’m just a person.”

At that moment, the biggest ‘Aha’ moment went off in my head, and if I’m honest, I have been getting more and more comfortable with that ‘aha’ moment throughout the duration of our marriage.

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Since that day, I have learned that my husband is not perfect just like I’m not.  And instead of asking him to be – or expecting him to be – I make sure that everyday I work toward leaving room for grace in our marriage.  I make sure that I let him know verbally and non verbally that he has a home and a space here with our children where even if he fails he is welcome and loved and celebrated.

To me that’s what love is –  and family is.  And while I believe that it is both of our responsibilities to strive to please the other while working together as a team to evolve to the highest versions of ourselves, I always make room for us both to be human.

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I am so thankful that my husband taught me that gift.  I am so grateful that my husband taught me how to love.  To me, that is the most beautiful thing about marriage – that if you let it, it will be the best teacher that you can have in life.  I thank my husband for teaching me, and I thank my children for teaching me – that love is a choice – and that love is grace.  Love is freedom – and love is making room.  It is knowing that your partner knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that even when they are unpleasant, or inferior, lost, or 50 shades of wrong, annoying, appalling, a sinner, or imperfect, or human that I will still love them.

And I may show that love in my honesty, my forgiveness, or by challenging them to be greater better and wiser – or with kindness and grace, but it will always be with love nonetheless.  It is my job to let my husband know that he is safe with me – to be him – and Troy Michael Little Sr., you are.  Happy Anniversary from your boo thang ❤

 

P.S. I will always choose to love you.

Is it Impossible to find LOVE in the ATL? Plus 5 Ways to Stand Out from the Crowd of 80,000 Single Women

Atlanta.  Georgia.  Home of the fried chicken, catfish and the Atlanta Braves.  Did you know that there are 80,000 times more women than men in Atlanta?  And did you also know that Atlanta is known as the official “home of the thick girl”?  Now with these stats, it is no wonder why it is practically impossible to find a good man who is looking for love and a serious relationship in the same way that you are.  But even with all of the odds stacked up against you, I have found some tips to help you stand out among the unfavorable odds.  I got you girl. (wink*)black-couple-on-date

So, here are the top 5 ways that you can stand out in the dating ring in Atlanta:

  1.  Stand Out! – Now when I say stand out in Atlanta, what I really mean is reel it back in.  Huh?  You’re confused?  Okay, let me break it down for you.  Most women in Atlanta look almost the same.  Because Atlanta is the weave capital of the world, you can find your average woman between the ages of 26-45 sporting a fierce bundle weave piece on her head with flawless makeup, her edges laid and a Michael Kors bag on her arm.  Cmon\.  You know it’s true.  But when I say reel it in, the truth is that most men who are attracted to that kind of woman is a man that is looking for a trophy.  Someone who just looks good but he’ll never take home.  You have to remember that whatever energy you put out in your intentions is what kind of man you will attract.  So if you put out there material assets – then you will get a man looking for a material girl, and not a woman that he can love for her heart.  So trust me when I say that less is more.  Dim down the flash and turn up your unique beauty and the real you.  Because that’s what the quality men are looking for.
  2. Don’t be afraid to venture away from the crowd – So what everybody in the ‘A’ likes Gucci Mane!  You think he sucks, own it!  Men respect women who have their own thoughts, likes and dislikes.  And honestly speaking the realness and allowing your individuality to show is a breath of fresh air to most.  And most importantly, your true self is a breath of fresh air to the right guy.  But if you keep hiding behind those perfect brows and those lashes, that real guy will never know who you really are.  So venture off.  Do something wild, and explore who you are at the core of you.
  3. Don’t tolerate the BS – I know that this can be tempting considering that the majority of men in Atlanta show minimal effort on dates because they have their pick of the litter – but seriously, speak up.  You don’t have to take that.  If you’re out on a date and he’s being rude to the waiter, speak up.  If he fails to open up a door, wait until he comes to his senses and opens it for you.  If he has an ounce of morality he will step up his game to please you once he sees that his antics aren’t working.  And also, you will stand out from the millions of other women that tolerate his foul BS because they are so afraid that they’ll lose the one man that they were able to catch in the big city.  That may be them, but that’s not you.  Because you are not afraid of not getting his approval.  You approve of yourself – or at least you should.  And to add on to that, intolerance of BS shows that you respect yourself, and in turn communicates the idea that he should too.  And before you know it he’ll be thinking about you because you won’t be like “every other girl” – which is exactly what you’re going for.
  4. No Netflix and Chill – No no no no no!  Sometimes women get this wrong.  They often figure that when the competition is fierce that they must compete by increasing their quantity.  But it’s about quality when it comes to love and relationships.  Men only value quality women.  Don’t believe me?  Think of the women they worship – their Mommas, their sisters, their granny.  And I bet you that none of their edges have been laid 100% of the time.  So when it comes to dates, don’t let him off so easy.  Make him respect you.  If he offers Netflix for a date, tell him that’s not a date.  And if he can’t catch the hint, then deny his invitation altogether.  Dating is not about how many prospective partners you can rack up.  It is about weeding out the real from the fake and keeping the quality that’s left over.
  5. Be kind – Notice I didn’t say nice.  The average woman in Atlanta is nice.  Meaning – they overcompensate and kiss the ground men walk on because they are so few and far between to come by.  However, kindness comes from the heart.  It is when you meet men with an honesty and a genuine nature about you that doesn’t put them up on a pedestal but doesn’t demean them either.  When men see a kind and beautiful woman they are stopped in their tracks.  They can’t believe it!  It is like finding a 100 dollar bill on the ground and nobody’s around to claim it.  So if you’re kind, you can best believe you’re getting claimed.  It is such a rarity to come by.

Hope these tips helped.  If so, share it out to a girlfriend who could use this.  Now get out there and get your Boo…Boo!