Leona’s Love Quest
Back With a Vengeance!
That’s right – Leona’s Love Quest is back and I’m better than ever! So much has happened to me since I stopped writing in February I hardly know where to begin.
In March, just as I was about to give up on internet dating again, I thought I had finally met someone pretty terrific on OKCupid. Because I was apartment hunting he suggested we take a walk through his neighborhood so I could check out the area. We walked and talked and stopped for dinner and drinks at a fantastic restaurant. I thought that we had really hit it off, but after our second date he told me he just wasn’t feeling any sparks. I had such a good time with him I couldn’t accept or even fathom how that could possibly be true. We agree to keep in touch as friends and with just a few minor adjustments to my approach I managed to work myself out of the “friend zone” by the next evening. Unfortunately, it seemed I had only made it into “prospective girlfriend territory” on a temporary basis. When we spent time face-to-face he was amazingly open, supportive, engaging and fun; our conversations were meaningful, informative and intimate. Oddly enough though, he was rarely complimentary or forthcoming with his feelings towards me. Sometimes he would unexpectedly start arguments over text message about total non-issues—some that even stemmed from me giving him a compliment or honestly agreeing with his point of view. The next day he would apologize, but I came to realize this was his way of keeping me at a distance. I thought I could change his perspective by giving him some space and letting him set the parameters for the relationship, but that approach only perpetuated his mixed messages. We shared some very passionate moments and he often invited me to stay the night, but he did not want to have sex. He’d say he enjoyed spending time with me, but he would never make or accept plans no more than one day in advance. I thought things were looking up once we had planned a week in advance to attend two social events on the same night that would involve introducing each other to some our respective friends and colleagues. Then, just a few hours before the events he cancelled and apologized for his own poor planning. When I attempted to discuss what was really going on with him, he accused me of acting too possessive and told me he was still meeting and seeking relationships with other women. We agreed to go back to being friends, but I found it very difficult to get him off my mind. Soon after that conversation, I started a six-week summer job in Alabama and we eventually stopped communicating altogether. My intuition told me he must have met someone new and he confirmed my suspicions once I returned home to Philadelphia. Although I had seen the writing on the wall, I was still pretty heartbroken.
I was very fortunate that my application to Matthew Hussey’s High Value Woman Retreat in San Diego was accepted in February. By August I was feeling very defeated and inadequate in every way, not just in my love life, but with my entire life. While I always make a point to celebrate my birthday, when I turned 44 in July, I could not help but feel as if nothing in my life ever truly changed. I arrived in San Diego filled with both excitement and trepidation. I was still very skeptical that this retreat could provide me with anything that would really give me hope. After five days of reprogramming my mindset through intense emotional breakdowns and breakthroughs, I left San Diego having had one of the most amazing adventures of my life. When I returned home I had so many plans and felt completely empowered in my ability to achieve my goals. It was a transformation that rivaled Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas morning!
Only time will tell the true value of what I’ve learned this week but I can at least tell you this: If you are a woman who has lost direction or never had one; is plagued by insecurity, fear or indecision; has lost reason to celebrate life on a daily basis; fears a lifetime of misery or mediocrity; who really wants to find a way to embrace life and could use a support group of 100+ women located near and far to help you achieve your goals; YOU SHOULD GO! You don’t even have to be single or looking for a relationship. Hussey’s advice applies to any goal or life change you want to achieve and he doesn’t just change your attitude, he provides you with practical steps to achieve your goals even if you’ve failed to do so many times before (Hello– losing weight, saving money or getting organized.) The only disclaimer I will give you is to start some kind of fitness training early on, because you will be moving A LOT with both daily morning exercises and intermittent, crazy, high-energy dance breaks throughout the entire afternoon. The cost of the retreat may also induce sticker shock and the base fee for the program does not include airfare, accommodations or meals; nevertheless, I feel as though the return investment will be worth every penny. Even if I tried to outline all of the information I absorbed over those five days it would lack the kind of impact achieved by total immersion in the process. I will share with you one of the most significant concepts I came away with, and that was to start treating myself with unconditional love and kindness. While I would never think of telling my best friend I thought she was fat, old, stupid, or unworthy I berate myself with these kinds of messages every day. I started to remember the kinder, happier version of myself that existed before I started carrying the load of my life’s disappointments. If I talked to any of my loved ones the way I did to myself, they would have walked out on me a long time ago. It’s no wonder my confidence had faltered after internalizing so many years of self-abuse.
I also found that making a checklist for a good day increases my daily happiness. Mine looks like this:
All of these activities can be rated, let’s say on a scale from 1-10. For example, I might score eating a really good cupcake (if I’ve exercised and had a nutritious meal) somewhere around a 4 or 5 on my P.S.E. requirement, whereas great sex would score closer to a 9. The higher the rating, the fewer P.S.E.s that I need. Eating a really good cupcake after having great sex would be just about a 10, but I like to leave a little room for absolute complete nirvana.
I also know what does NOT make me happy is holding on to someone who will most likely never be able to provide me with a secure and mutually satisfying relationship. After attending this retreat I can’t imagine why I would ever subject myself to the kinds of romantic entanglements that I have put up with again; and if I do find myself wavering I know I’m equipped with the tools I need to quickly get back on track. I’m looking forward to your continued support on my search for Mr. Right. I think you’ll find the next part of my journey will be twice as good as the first.
If you don’t yet know how amazing Matthew Hussey’s programs are, click here and check it out for yourself!