Hey, it’s Mike Fiore and today we’re going to be talking about PAIN . . .
Not physical pain (we’d be so lucky) but the horrifying EMOTIONAL pain that only comes from giving your heart to someone and seeing if they take care of it like a precious and cute puppy . . .
Or if they crush it in their giant and dangerous hands like George from “Of Mice and Men.” (Yes, I just made a Steinbeck reference. See, you get LITERATURE in here folks. It’s EDUCATIONAL.)
FIRST though . . .
I put together a QUIZ for you that tells you whether a man loves you or not. It only takes about 2 minutes to take and will finally let you know if you’re wasting your time with a guy or not. You can check it out by going to http://doesheloveyouquiz.com
“Mike, I love your advice so much. I got your ‘Secret Survey’ program and it really opened my eyes to things about men I never understood before. I feel like I’m finally ready to date again after my divorce but every time I think about actually going out with a man I just feel this panic in my chest. I got so badly hurt in my divorce and felt so betrayed by how things ended with my husband and I’m really, really scared of getting hurt again.
But I’m also so lonely. I don’t want to depress you by going into detail but the last few years of my marriage were just so . . . isolating. My husband and I used to be best friends but those last few years I swear we started treating each other like enemies.
I want to feel love again. I want to have a man wrap me in his arms and tell me I’m his one and only. I want to finally experiment sexually in all the ways my husband never would.
But I’m terrified of getting my heart broken. I’m terrified of getting into something with a man only to have things between us go to shit.
I’ve even had a few very nice seeming men ask me out, but I keep making excuses because I get so anxious at the idea of being hurt again.
How do I date again without getting hurt? I just can’t handle more heartbreak.”
Thanks so much for your question and let me tell you your situation isn’t “weird” in any way. In fact, from my vantage point I see literally thousands of women who are in the exact same place you are: craving real love and intimacy (and, yes, mind-blowing sex) but wounded and frightened of getting hurt again.
I could give you some platitudes about how you can harden your heart against pain or ways to absolutely guarantee that a man you give your heart to is going to be “The right” man and that you won’t get hurt.
But I’d be lying.
Because, here’s the thing: You ARE going to get hurt.
Even if you meet a truly amazing man who is loving and giving and completely honest with you about what he wants . . . even if he’s completely emotionally open and faithful and ready to give you EXACTLY what you’ve always craved . . .
You’re still going to get hurt.
You just are.
This Might Sound Weird, But It Helps To Think Of Love Like You Might Think Of Professional Skateboarding . . .
(OK, I know you’re probably not a fan of professional skateboarding and neither am I, but if you go with me the simile actually works. I swear.)
I’ve said many, many times that at a certain point love is a CHOICE. You wake up every day and you make the CHOICE to focus on what you like and LOVE about the person in your life instead of letting the gravitational pull of disappointment and expectations (toxic, toxic expectations – key to a great relationship? REASONABLE expectations that your person will be a human being and therefore be flawed.)
Anyway, what I don’t say nearly as often but probably should is love isn’t just a choice it’s a SKILL.
And it’s a DIFFICULT and inherently DANGEROUS skill.
I don’t have kids but I bet if I did and one of them wanted to get seriously into skateboarding I’d probably freak out a little bit . . .
Because EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THE WORLD WHO HAS EVER SERIOUSLY TRIED TO GET GOOD AT SKATEBOARDING HAS GOTTEN HURT.
Every. Single. One.
I mean, how could you not? A skateboard is literally a plank of wood with wheels on it (and no actual brakes) and the only way to get GOOD at it is to FALL OFF that plank of wood (and directly onto CONCRETE) over and over and over again.
EVERY SINGLE person who you’ve seen on TV doing FREAKISHLY AMAZING skateboard tricks has a long history of scrapes and bruises and broken bones and (if they don’t wear a helmet) concussions. (Also, bad fashion choices. Skater shorts are dumb.)
And here’s the thing: EVERY SINGLE PERSON I THE WORLD who has gotten good at skateboarding or TRIED to get good at skateboarding KNEW they were going to get hurt the very first time they hopped on the board . . .
They looked at the scars all over Tony Hawk’s knees and heard all the stories about horrible falls . . .
And they did it anyway.
Because, to them, the rewards (the adrenaline, the admiration of friends, the cute skater chicks saying “Nice job” while twirling their hair) have been WORTH it.
And LOVE is the same way.
So often in our culture we think that LOVE is something that just happens to us. Or we think that some people are just naturally GOOD at being in love and being in a relationship and others aren’t.
But that’s bullshit.
No matter who you are; no matter how much you prepare; no matter how hard you try to protect yourself there is simply no way to dip your toe into the churning stew that is love without feeling PAIN. The PAIN of rejection, the pain of disappointment, the pain of being VULNERABLE and giving a man or woman POWER to hurt you.
But here’s the thing:
The more you love and get beat up and feel that pain the more you realize you can SURVIVE it. You realize that the pain is temporary, that you are tougher than you think and that, if you let yourself, you can HEAL from just about anything.
So Mary, here’s my advice:
Don’t go into dating “worried” that you’re going to get hurt; go into dating KNOWING you are going to get hurt and ACCEPTING that you are going to get hurt.
I’m not saying you should be foolish and take unnecessary risks. You shouldn’t spend time with men who are emotionally or physically abusive. You shouldn’t give your heart to men who simply aren’t worthy of your love and attention.
But you SHOULD take CALCULATED risks (the same way skateboarders take calculated risks.)
And if you take a calculated risk and it goes badly for you? If you “fall off your skateboard” and break a bone (or a heart) that doesn’t mean you were “stupid” to take that risk at all. Because you knew when you took that risk that you COULD get hurt. So when you “fall” you say to yourself “I knew this could happen. I accepted that this could happen. It hurts and it sucks but this doesn’t mean I was dumb to do this.”
And then you pick yourself up, you clean your wounds and you get back on the damned board.
So what I’m basically saying is: Instead of WORRYING about getting hurt, simply accept that you’re going to.
My wife and I do this, actually. I love this woman more than I ever thought I could love anyone in my entire life. One of the reasons I love her so much is because she understands that love is work and love is sometimes painful and that being in love with someone means being vulnerable and getting hurt.
In fact, one of the cornerstones of our relationship is: “I’m going to hurt you, but I promise I will never hurt you on purpose.”
Which is a hell of a lot more truthful and a lot more useful and powerful than a platitude like “I will never cause you a moment’s pain.”
It’s OK to hurt. It’s OK to be wounded. It’s OK to have a hard time trusting.
But if you want to experience LOVE and companionship and truly AMAZING sex . . .
Well, then you have to get back on the skateboard.