How to change your thinking to change your love life

by Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries on September 4, 2005

in Dating, Marriage, Relationships, Singles

More and more lately I have been thinking about and looking at the power of thought in how I live life, and in helping my clients with their relationship woes.

A week ago I lost my purse. It’s kind of silly and incomprehensible the way it happened. I was at my doctor’s office. I must have put it down to fill out paper work and forgot to bring it with me into the exam room. When I went to leave, I realized I didn’t have it. The staff and I searched the office up and down. It was gone.

In the past I would have been racked with guilt and shame about such a thing. Then I would have been stressed out. Then freaked out.

But I didn’t do any of that. Instead I simply stayed calm, really I did. This ability to stay calm amazed me. But all I did to stay calm was to tell myself that I would be taken care of and that all would be well. I have been working on this for months to the point where it evidently now works in situations where I would normally get very stressed.

And you know what? I was in fact taken care of and all did turn out well. I didn’t get my purse back. But I walked into my bank and was recognized by a teller, who helped me make my bank accounts safe. I called a couple of places to close credit cards, and the people were more than helpful. It took me a few hours to make sure we were well protected. And then it was over.

Let’s bring this back to relationships.

What if you were in a marriage that wasn’t working, and instead of being stressed and depressed you told yourself, and made yourself believe, that you would be taken care of and it would all turn out well? Perhaps you would stay calm through the crisis and get clarity about what you need to do in order to make the situation work in a way that makes you happy.

Or what if you were single, and instead of having a negative reaction every time you date someone who is not for you, you told yourself that you would be taken care of and it would all turn out well? Perhaps you would just move on, unfazed, and keep meeting new people until you met the right one.

The key is to know that you are in charge of what you think and, because of that, how you feel. Then you actually have to become in charge of what you think.

How can you be in charge of what you think?

Examine your thinking, your reactions and your judgments for validity. Question your assumptions, beliefs, reactions. You may find that you are mostly interpreting situations, instead of making factual judgments. Any interpretation can be just as valid as any other interpretation, so your interpretations can be unreliable guides.

Let me give you an example of a client I am currently coaching. He came to me because he wanted to get back together with a woman he loved. The problem was, every time he interacted with her, he felt rejected more, which gave him no way to try to make his way back to into the relationship.

The reality was that she was not rejecting him most of the time, and was actually keeping the door open for him, but he could not see it because he kept thinking she was rejecting him.

Now, after two months of working with me, he is no longer reacting to rejection. Now he can see what’s really going on in his relationship with the woman – some closeness and some distance. This allows him a range of response options, which in turn leads to a much better outcome – he gets closer to the woman he loves.

My client has gained a powerful tool for relationship and living success – the ability to question what he thinks. He will succeed because he got help and coaching to get in control of what he thinks and how he reacts.

Try to examine your own thinking, reactions and judgments about love-life situations that bother you and see if you can take control of what you think. See if guiding your thinking makes a difference in how you feel and experience love and life.

If you are puzzled but intrigued, set up a time to talk to me and I will explain how this works and how it can help in your love life. In a fairly short time I can help you learn how to change the way you think, so that your life becomes more of what you want.

Your Love Coach
Rinatta Paries


Love Coach Rinatta Paries June 9, 2006 at 7:55 pm

it seems that your head is saying no, and even your heart is saying no, but the curiosity or the pull of the relationship is very strong. Listen to your head and your heart and maybe go find excitement somewhere else.

December June 9, 2006 at 5:51 am

As with the example of the man fearing rejection, sometimes it is hard to know how to proceed, even when think we are on top of reality. I am involved in a new May/December relationship with a friend recently divorced. We became intimate too quickly, and this seemed to freak us out (fear); he wasn’t ready, and I fear abandonment/being used in that he is so much younger. We finally talked and are now still wanting to see eachother but keep it platonic and see how it goes, plus stay open to dating other people. I think this may be best, but-of course-fear I will lose my heart along the way. Somehow keeping a positive attitude and slowing down this relationship does seem to represent a “thinking” approach. What do you think?

CW February 26, 2006 at 7:27 am

I have read, heard and felt, from everyone, something that only comes with time…wisdom. It comes from a place of truth. It is, finally, ones own acceptance of one’s self. It’s a struggle, and a journey to get there, and all along it is as simple as that. We all want to play by the rules, because we want to be accepted. If we step out of the box and dare to be unique, that would mean that we are different, and is different bad, and would it be acceptable? It would make other people uncomfortable…maybe. Making choices for one’s self is very scary. It’s safe to do something the way it’s always been done because at least it has been tried, thus, it must be true. After all, people have been burned alive because they didn’t follow the rules and dared to be different; to be moved and inspired to activate and release their own power to choose. And my point is…are you willing to check with yourself to feel validated by your own approval? Is it good enough to provide the gratification and assurance that you long for? If everybody else is happy will they really love you for making them happy? Are they really happy? Is love confined to “happy”. Who is happy? What is happy? Is love only present if everybody, or only you, feels happy? I have finally learned that there is no mystical, secret that reveals or rewards the misinterpretation that eludes mankind. What is love? If you’re looking for and waiting on that answer to come from some source of authenticity…from somewhere else, stop now. Love is not a “what”, because it’s too many things to be confined as a “what”. The only “what” is have you taken the time to see, feel, trust for yourself to learn and know what it feels like to you. What, if anything, do you love? So what if I love strawberry, and you love chocolate. When you know, for yourself, what you love, only then, will it occur to you to inquire about what someone else may love, or inspire them to investigate it about it. If any of us would be willing to find and do and be what we love then we’d know, at last, that’s what love is. It is not a reward for being “acceptable”, nor does it define whether or not you are “good” or “worthy”. AND, it doesn’t make anybody else happy if you’re not. People don’t treat us the way they do because of the way they are, but because of the way we are. Self respect begets respect. Love is so awesome that it cannot be defined, nor contained. It is…and always will be limitless, gentle, flexible, and free. It is not disguised or dispensed as a gift or a reward for good behavior. Love is not a rule. It is whatever it makes us feel. I know I love strawberry, therefore it makes sense to me that you love chocolate. Now that I know what I love, I know that I have no clue about what all there is to learn to love, or all that love can be, however I now know what love in NOT. If I had never asked MYSELF what is it that I love, I would not and could not give love. If you know love, you can give love, and only then, and always, you will recieve love. So, next time you look in the mirror look that person eye to eye. If it means so much to me to have validation a.k.a approval from outside sources, then why can’t I include myself as reliable a source. I’m only guilty unless and until I prove myself innocent. I said all that to just say this…start with yourself. Choose for yourself. Approve of yourself. If you’re not doing anything that hurts anybody else, then, you’re not doing anything wrong. So what if it’s different…that doesn’t make it wrong. Once you decide that you can investigate what you love. It doesn’t matter if anybody else loves it, or doesn’t love you because that’s what you love. That is not what love is. Love is not a “what”, and it is…and it always will be free. You couldn’t pay for it if you had all the wealth there ever was, and ever could be. It’s NOT for sale. It’s FREE. You don’t earn it [and you do], you give it, and guess what, it comes right…straight…back to you. It’s as simple as that. But if you don’t find out what you love, then you’ll die assuming, and eluded by the “what”. If you don’t know what it is you’re giving, then you’ll never know what you’re getting. This I now know, IT IS a many splendored thing. Do not be confused by the times you may give it, and don’t get it back. Move on. Take it like you find it, and/or leave it like it is. It’s always for free, but sometimes it’s not for sure. It comes with a guarantee…you get to choose, which is why YOU have to feel it first for yourself. Whether you believe in a Higher Power or not, do not deny yourself the experience, or experiment of allowing your own unique Power to take you Higher. Whatever we truly love will make us happy, and whatever we really don’t….won’t.
This is my story, and I’m sticking to it. I love to write, however, I don’t as much as I like to. I learned that I love [that I chose] that I chose that it was okay to tell you, [that it is important to me] to stretch myself and participate in this forum. I did so because I revere each of you for sharing your wisdom. I read and do acknowledge that each participent responsed cautiously and responsibly, and that each recieved validation with intelligence, sensitivity, respect and nonjudgement.
I know these things: That there is a LOT that I don’t know. That I do know that nobody really knows…they just say “what ‘they’ said'”, so you need to check it out for yourself. I do now know that I get to choose…and if that doesn’t work, I get to choose again. Heaven is within me and not some far off place in the sky, and hell is a state of being…it’s whatever you think…it is. And you’re really better off not dwelling on it. Oh, and yes, SIN is: Staying Ignorant and Negative or Stagnant, Inactive and Nonexistent. I have not yet witnessed that it has anything to do with wearing red lipstik, or achieving a healthy orgasm (all within and under the appropriate circumstances, of course). Stop! Look! Listen to your heart…hear what it’s saying.

Ashley Mitchell January 16, 2006 at 6:16 am

I first learned the concept of the power of self-thought and self-talk when I was 18 and a part of an anonymous self-help group. My own experience proves to me it is a powerful concept,as well as the readings I’ve done in various psychology classes I’ve taken since then. I’m 22 now, and the situation I find myself in is that I’m in a relatively new relationship (3 months) and it’s becoming clearer to me each day that my partner really does not have control over his thoughts. I fear this is deeply engrained in him, partly because of his upbringing. We seem to go in circles working through our problems,
which honestly are all having to do with his hang-ups about my past before I entered into our relationship. He feels he is condemned to be ‘haunted’ by images of unpleasant things involving me and people I dated before I first met him..despite my best efforts to help him deal and not torment himself,to gain more control over his thoughts;I feel maybe it is because he is so out of control of what goes on in his head(he says this is stronger some times than others) that he can’t get the nature of this concept for that very reason.. how do you reach someone who seems to be an external (external locus of control,opposite of someone who feels they are a master of their own destiny); I’m worried he’s caught in a vicious cycle of negative’s hard for me to put myself in his shoes because I have been familiar with these concepts and using them for so long. I’m a patient girl,I will try to hold on and give him a chance to absorb these new ideas I’ve been throwing at him..and I plan on renting ‘What the *$$&# Do We Know’ for us to watch together after reading the previous comment mentioning it above. Any other suggestions?

Ms. Shirlee December 8, 2005 at 9:06 pm

Dear Mr. Confused:

Maybe there is no way to end a meaningful relationship without hurting someone. After all both of you have put your hearts and souls into it. However, if you really must move on, you should tell the other person and stick to your guns. Of course be very sure this is what you want before you start this process. A truthful and staight forward talk is better than living a lie and making it much harder to break up in the future. Good luck. PS
It also doen’t hurt to have a professional to talk to in the process.

mr. confused October 23, 2005 at 6:33 pm

Thanks for allowing me to read your article. To tell you the truth, I have issues on my love life as well. I have been contemplating on ending a very meaningful relationship. Right now, I don’t have any ideas how to do it without hurting other people.

Ms. Jordan October 15, 2005 at 3:53 pm

I have a rather similar problem. I need someone about 10 years younger. I am 46, childless, never married. I honestly look about 37. I have tried dating men my age and older (50 is as high as I will go), but their lifestyles, their outlooks (and often their looks, as they look much older than me), and their attitudes either bore or frustrate me. It seems the younger men are best for me.
If you are younger looking, young at heart, and most importantly, willing to keep looking for her, I bet you do find someone in the age range you desire. And you’ve got it easier — it’s more socially acceptable for the man to be the older person in a couple. If I’m not giving up, don’t you, either!

Ms. Moore September 5, 2005 at 11:30 pm

This is great advice! It seems as if we are our own worst enemy at times… We can imagine situations in our heads to be worse than they really are. What L. Fowler experienced is similar to the GAS model (Generalized Anxiety Syndrome) I learned about in a Psychology class: You get hit with blow after blow until you feel so beat down you can’t get up. Finally, with the help of friends, family and hopefully God, you realize that not all hope is gone and you will survive and move on to prosper. You know the phrase “You are what you eat?” Well, I think the same can be said with thinking as in “You are what you think”. For instance, if you think you are destined to be single, you probably will. If you think you are a failure, results will probably prove you to be so. We should give ourselves a chance- especially if other people as well as God do! God Bless all

Ann September 5, 2005 at 8:50 pm

L.Fowler, I’m sorry for your loss. Thats a lot you’ve had to deal with. The grieving process is very important and plays a crucial role in healing. I don’t think Rinatta in any way recommends supressing grief. Whats important though, is not to stay stuck there. You draw the line when you start looking for reasons and blaming yourself for the things that went wrong. If a relationship has ended, its fine to grieve over it, but if you start beating yourself up for it, its counter productive.

Sandi September 5, 2005 at 11:08 am

To Edward:

Not everybody over 50 shows the signs of age you must be talking about. So, just because they may say in their editorial page that their age is over 50, don’t turn aways, give them a look see first before you make that decision. I am always told I look at least 10 years younger than I am and, I find that my body looks better than a lot of 30 year olds and younger.

Over 50

Kiara September 5, 2005 at 10:45 am

I agree with both Rinatta and L. Fowler. It’s important not to suppress emotions. Feelings are a critical part of our make-up and glossing over them can lead to somatic symptoms in our bodies (mine are usually migraines). What I’ve found helpful is to acknowledge the emotion…”oh, fear” THEN move on to determine whether there is anything I can do to care for myself, which may include the cognitive behavioral techniques that Rinatta recommends. It’s a subtle, but important distinction because in the case where we have lost someone very close to us, ultimately the thing that will allow us to feel better is to go through the grief…to allow the memories and the sadness of not having them near and the anger and the shock. And in the example of being cheated on and left, there are important lessons in our emotions. Perhaps there were some red flags that we didn’t give weight to and might notice in our next relationship. At the same time, everyone can benefit from reminding ourselves that in the big picture, we will be cared for…it helps us to create that in our lives. If you haven’t seen the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know?”…see it! It’s all about the way we create our reality with our thoughts.

L. Fowler September 5, 2005 at 2:36 am

I had always thought this was true, that I could control how I felt about a situation. Until about 6 years ago when my brother committed suicide, then 6 months later my Mom died of cancer and 2 months after her, my father committed suicide. At this time I could NOT help I felt. At first, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t take my thoughts away from it, not even for a few minutes.

Then a year ago I found out my partner of 15 years was cheating on me and he moved out. After being abandoned by almost everyone I had ever loved, there was no way I could change how I felt. I am doing much better now, but I think sometimes you just have to let your negative feelings be felt, especially greif. I have read and been told that to suppress negative feelings, in situations like this, can cause emotional problems later in life. Don’t know if it’s true, but it seems to make sense.

Edward September 5, 2005 at 12:23 am

Right on! This has been told to me over and over through many books that I have read. Only the other day I felt that I had given a cashier a $50 bill and got change for a $20. She insisted that I gave her only a $20. Lacking a certain amount of surety and gumption too, I did not contest her by asking for the manager. Afterwards, I would normally have obsessed over the “loss” for a long time, but decided now, that in this instance, the case was closed. I simply decided there was nothing else to be done and no use in rolling in misery. After all, the most I lost was about 40.00. I will just try to make it up by not eating at that establishment for four weeks!
Now, I still am not sure if this would apply to my non-dating situation. I either cannot or will not accept that at my age I am too old for beautiful woman in their 30s and 40s. (I am almost double that age). I don’t meet older women who appeal to me, at all. Sometimes some older women sound good on the Personals Web Sites, but then when I meet them, it is not the case. Mostly, however, I just rule out any woman on a Web site who is over 50 or so, even if she says she likes my ad. Yes, I will correspond and maybe talk on the phone, but no longer will even go on a date. In this case I think my mind is telling the truth, but is it? Should I be more assertive with younger women or be less judgemental with the older ones who show the the wear and tear of aging much more than I do?

kathy September 4, 2005 at 12:18 pm

Rinatta- Congrats to an excellent article! For years now, I have been giving people (who are in emotional distress) the advice that they “choose how they feel”! I learned about this quite awhile back and it was one of the best attitude adjustments I have ever learned.

You choose how you feel! Such a short phrase and yet such a powerful message!

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