Reader Michael¬†wrote a HUGE response to the post,¬†“Your Call ‚Äď Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater?¬†It was a little meandering, and we weren’t sure we were quite down with all of his advice, so we took the liberty of gently editing it a bit with the Em & Lo red pen:
There is NOTHING you can do to ensure you don’t get hurt. NOTHING. Not if you intend on dating and being with someone. There are no guarantees, period. It doesn’t matter if you completely submit, or try to control every aspect of this situation — it has little to no effect on the situation. All you can control is you and your reactions. That’s all.¬†You need to focus on how to deal with your fear, and mistrust of others, and try minimizing it’s grip on you, a little each day….
The best you can do is give your best to someone. If they betray that or force a situation in which you must leave, you have nothing to look back on with regret.¬†I’m not saying to be a doormat, not at all, I’m simply saying that you must forget the idea that you can control this situation. You must come to terms with the idea that you are a great person, worthy of love and trust, and if you are with someone and they want that, they have to act accordingly.¬†[But] hold on too tight, and you surely will not get where you want to be….
So how to start? Stare fear in the face and don’t flinch. Period. Tell him how you feel about him…. Engage him in talk about other women. Allow him to tell you if they are attractive to him, and you do the same, tell him if you think someone is good looking. Create an atmosphere of choice and not ownership. “Yeah, they’re hot…” but you are with the person you want to be with. The purpose of this is bigger than it seems. You not only draw in the other person with your ability to overcome fear, but you also show that it’s ok to be human with you, to think others are attractive, to have emotions and feelings and at the end of it all to be able to choose and make [make each other] feel chosen.
Even if it doesn’t last forever with that person, if you develop this ability you will find future relationships to be more open, understanding, and less scary…. Be the person he never thought he’d meet. Be the person you never thought you could be.¬†Focus on you. It’ll work to your favor in the end…..
We only have this life, enjoy it. The happier you make yourself, the better your relationships will be. If something is not acceptable, then move forward. Not because of fear, because of your standards. But don’t take that fear with you from relationship to relationship…it’s a losing fight.