Ask Joey: Ditch the script
I met a man through my job and felt a spark but was not certain he did. Finally, just when I gave up hope, he asked me on a date. We went to dinner and had a wonderful time. The next day, he left the country on business. We used Skype and email to keep in touch. I felt really close to him. He asked me to meet him at the airport when he returned. I did and felt the spark again. He said, “I would love to see you tomorrow, but you probably have plans.” Why would he say that? Why wouldn’t he just say he wanted to see me? Or why didn’t he make plans with me before? When he was overseas, he said he hoped to earn a lot of money so he could bring me to Europe with him on his next trip. I wrote back that it was a little soon for that. We’ve only been on two real dates. I like this guy but can’t figure out if he likes me.
Oh, sweetie! You have a script in your head, and he won’t read his lines correctly, right? Either you need to toss your story of the perfect romance, or you must audition another leading man. Oh, wait! There’s a third option. You can forgo acting altogether and begin now to be real. Here’s how: Stop treating this man like a boyfriend. If a friend said she wants to get together but is concerned that you already have plans, how would you respond? Probably “I would love to see you!” It’s unlikely you would waste mental energy ferreting hidden meanings from her words.
And, speaking of overthinking things, let’s consider the late invitation. It’s true that asking someone out for the next day can signal that little effort went into planning the date. But a late invitation can also be the result of living a busy schedule that includes overseas travel. Or that the man you are dating was hedging the possibility of rejection. By wrapping his invitation in your schedule, he gave you an easy out and shielded his ego.
Every relationship is an opportunity to grow in self-understanding. Use this dating experience to practice your communication skills. Say what you want, but don’t forget to keep the flirtation fire alive. So instead of delivering a smackdown (“It’s too soon to travel to Europe together”), try, “I would love to go to Europe with you, sometime in the future, after we know each other better. I’ll really look forward to that.”
Think back to third grade: He’s a boy who is your friend, but you’re also attracted to him. Interact with him as you might with any true friend, and your dilemma is solved.
I lost my job earlier this year and have an idea for starting a business. I have always wanted to be my own boss, and the time is ripe for my idea, except I don’t have the cash to launch. I don’t qualify for a loan because my credit hit bottom due to trying to live on unemployment benefits. But the idea of letting go of my dream just turns my stomach.
Of course it does! The creative energy in you desires expression. Pay attention to your body’s visceral response to the threat of a dream’s demise. Local dynamo Maryellen Burns leads stimulating, informative and inspiring workshops on crowdfunding, a simple way for entrepreneurs and artists to raise capital through social media. Attend her excellent workshops through MatrixArts or the Sacramento Public Library. Let her words at her blog Funding Your Dream (http://fundingyourdream.blogspot.com) motivate you. And don’t miss her workshop on May 15, at the Valley High Library. Most of all, believe in your ability to birth your dream.