Joey Garcia

In high school, I had a long-term relationship with a guy. In college, I had a long-term relationship with a girl. Between those relationships, I’ve dated men and women. My problem is I really like this girl who hangs out in my circle of friends. I think she knows it, too. She’s told me her upbringing was sheltered and her family is closed-minded. I don’t know if our mutual friends have told her about my past relationships. I prefer having personal stuff come out naturally in the course of getting to know someone. I’d like to ask her out but—this is weird—I’ve never been rejected. I think I might be this time. Advice?

Rejection is as normal as learning to fall, then getting back up literally, metaphorically or both. So I think you mean that your romantic overtures have always played out as you hoped. That’s a powerful foundation on which to build the relationship you now seek.

It’s stressful to ask someone out when the mind insists something bad could happen. What else do you know about rejection? Think back to conflicts with roommates, college cohorts or friends. Draw from those experiences to identify emotions your body offers in response to your mind’s thoughts about rejection. Notice attitudes and behaviors that eased you through rejection and those that kept you stuck. Along the way, you’ll grow in self-awareness, resilience and fortitude.

Your crush admits to a sheltered upbringing. Her limited engagement with reality is likely the trigger behind your sudden fear of rejection. You live and love openly, so educate her about your lifestyle. Cultural mythology states that bisexuals are unable to be monogamous in a committed relationship, are indecisive about their sexuality or desire only polyamory. Talk with her about these misconceptions. As you do, it will become clear whether you are right for each other.

I asked my husband whether he would marry again if I died. He said he would! I flipped out. How could he forget me so easily? Why does he think he can have what we have with someone else? I would never marry again. We are soul mates. (We broke up in high school but got back together after college.) Every time I think about him moving on after me I get so angry. Please help!

Oh, sweetie! You’re not a fortuneteller. You have no idea whether you would remarry if your husband died. What you’re feeling is residue from another conflict in which you feared you had been forgotten. It might be the high school breakup. Or anxiety about intimacy (emotional, spiritual, sexual, mental) related to something else. Shed your anger and hurt by confronting your thoughts. Can a person have more than one soul mate? (Of course! Why not?) Is it better to live in a future that your mind has painted dark or in the present with the man you love? Does this argument teach your husband that being open with you leads to landmines? And, if you love him, why wouldn’t you want him to find love again? Take a deep breath. Step out of your fantasy of a future that has only happened in your mind. Stop trying to control your man’s heart. Instead, love him endlessly while you’re still upright on the planet.

Meditation of the week
“The question is this: How do we love someone in a spiritual sense yet resist with every part of ourselves his ideological agenda?” asks Marianne Williamson, author. Have you discovered yet how to love your neighbor?

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