Even with your besties (and Cosmo.ph *wink*) around to help you get through heartaches and bumps on the road, did you ever feel like you badly need the advice of an expert? We totally get you, CGs, which is why we enlisted the help of Aileen Santos, relationship coach and romance author. We asked her our most burning (but often embarrassing) questions about love.
1. I’m in my mid-20s/30s and have never had a boyfriend/girlfriend. Is something wrong with me?
First of all, do not think something is wrong with you. Second, I have to ask the girls who are asking this question: Do you want to be in a relationship? If yes, what are you doing about it? If you’re looking for a job, for example, what are the things you need to do to get it? You can’t just expect a job to fall from the heavens and onto your lap. The same goes with relationships and other areas of your life. Ask yourself first, “What effort am I putting into it?” If you want a relationship, put yourself out there and socialize.
But before that, get to know yourself first. Basically, a relationship is about getting to know someone. If someone becomes interested in you but you’re still unsure about yourself and who you are as a person, then that could be a problem.
There’s this thing I call “new girlfriend syndrome,” where the girl’s idea of love is finishing each other’s sentences and being the clone of the guy.
What happens is: The guy falls in love with a girl for her personality. And then all of a sudden, she becomes his clone, someone who has no life of her own but just focuses on his life, his interests, and his friends. The guy thinks, “Where’s the girl I fell in love with? How am I getting to know her when everything that I like, she likes?” That’s something you need to remember. You have to be your own person.
2. Will the right person complete me?
A relationship is made up of two whole people. I do not subscribe to the ideal that one person has a half of a heart, and then the other person is holding another half of a heart, and when they get together, they complete each other. You complete yourself. Two complete people make the best foundation for a powerful relationship. You don’t need to depend on someone to complete or fix you.
3. Is it true that I should just “wait patiently” for the right person to come along?
If you’re in high school or college, that’s fine. But if you’re already working and you have your own career and money, no. The fairytale notion where you just wait in a tower by yourself in the middle of a forest and someone is going to come along is BS. When I say BS, it’s a belief system that’s totally wrong! Remember that metaphor I mentioned earlier? If you want your dream job, will it come to you without any effort?
The most important things in life require effort. If you want a great job, companies need to know that you’re out there, that you’re available. I’m not saying that you should desperately run after men. Your target market should know that you are available. It’s like marketing. If they see that you’re interesting, they will be attracted. They will want to get to know you more and start pursuing.
4. But I don’t want to seem desperate.
Of course. Don’t just get the first random guy that comes along. Do not just sit there twiddling your thumbs, either. You really have to put in the effort in order for the right kind of people to know that you exist. Being hard to get is okay. What’s not okay is being hard to get to know, hard to like, and hard to fall in love with.
5. I’m not married like most of my friends in my age group. Should I be worried?
Refer to my reply to question #1. If you don’t want to be married, there’s nothing to worry about. But if you want to be married, then what are you doing about it? It’s as simple as that.
6. How can I tell if I’m secretly the love interest of a person or I’m just being friend-zoned?
If someone is secretly attracted to you but isn’t making any move, then that shouldn’t be your problem. If they’re not doing anything about it, then you don’t have to stress yourself over it. Let’s say someone is secretly attracted to you, knows you’re single, but is not making the move… and then what?
You don’t have to make a decision about it because they’re not making a move. What you should concern yourself with are the guys who are actually doing something about their attraction. Just be your fabulous amazing self, whether someone is attracted or not.
7. Is it okay to make the first move, especially if I feel that he might be interested?
Yes, but you have to be open to the possibility that you being the first to ask him out could set the tone and pattern for the potential relationship. Based on the heterosexual women I’ve counseled in the Philippines, those who made the first move started out okay. The guy was flattered and of course said yes. But as the relationship progressed, the girls noticed that they were most often the one initiating everything. The guys got used to their female partners being the responsible one and taking charge of everything, down to initiating the marriage proposal. In the end, most of these relationships failed because the girl realized that she could not squeeze any initiative from the guy.
When it comes to relationships, you need to sustain what I call “the dance of polarities,” also know as the dance of attraction.
It’s okay for us women to initiate the flirtation, but when it comes to being invited to the first date, the first person to ask initiates the pattern and tone of the potential relationship. If you’re looking for a take-charge man with leadership qualities, it’s best for him to ask you out first.
Stay tuned for part 2, where we talk about cheating, where to meet quality guys, and if it’s possible to get out of the friendzone.
Visit coach Aileen at aileensantos.com and subscribe to “Fall In Love Fridays,” her Facebook live videos where she dishes out free love advice every Friday at 5 p.m. Sign up for her life coaching workshops at balikalindogprogram.com.