His cheating heart

Joey Garcia

The last man I dated was secretly dating one of his co-workers. He positions himself as someone of high integrity and people believe it. It’s not true. Anyway, I went to therapy and I’m over him. My problem is that I’m struggling with dating someone new. I can’t seem to relax. Every time a man I’m dating mentions a female friend, I feel threatened. I want to pull away. Actually, I want to run. How can I open to love again?

Admit you’re not over your ex. Although it feels good to think you have closure, heartbreak persists. That doesn’t mean you did something wrong. It’s not evidence that therapy was a sham. It means that heartbreak is stubborn. Lingering emotional pain can be as devastating as a physical illness. Treat yourself tenderly.

Rejection launches us into “all-or-nothing” thinking. One man cheats and we generalize: “Men can’t be trusted.” Do all men cheat on their partners? No. The man who cheated is the one who betrayed you.

So when you worry that a man you just met or briefly dated is a cheater, confront your unkind thought. You don’t know him yet. He doesn’t know you yet, either. The thought is coming from inside you. When a thought like that arises, slow down and notice. When you do, you can determine whether you’re experiencing a habituated response fueled by fear, or whether your intuition is on patrol, warning you about the future.

Most of us prefer to believe our intuition is on alert because it’s sexier to think we have a special gift. Unfortunately, the majority of negative thoughts are driven by fear, not intuition. But you don’t have to perfect your thinking in order to open your heart. Progress, not perfection teaches us how to love and be loved.

I quit my job last year because I hated it. It was physically grueling and mind-bendingly boring, but paid well. I was certain I would find a similar job, but haven’t found anything comparable salary-wise. I’m running out of savings and really scared. I blew the one interview I did get because I was way too anxious about getting hired right away. How can I get through whatever this is?

Floundering? It’s completely normal. You’re smack in the middle of the struggle that follows a life-determining decision. Make this your mantra: “It’s a phase, not a life sentence. I’m moving forward into the job that’s best for me.”

You may have to reconsider what qualifies as a better employment opportunity. A job that’s easier on the mind, body, and spirit might not pay as well, at least in the beginning. For now, look for a gig that covers your expenses and keeps you out of panic mode. Give yourself a few months to settle in. Then restart your job search. And please forgive yourself for feeling anxious during a job interview. Most interviewers know potential hires are nervous and take it into consideration. So resist the tendency to criticize yourself. Focus on what you did well before, during, and after that interview. Don’t wallow in perceived failure. Build on your success.

Meditation of the week
“Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty,” said Doris Day. Who or what do you complain about?

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