10 Reasons to Pay Your Own Bill when Dating

Where I come from, men pick up the tab.  They get “seemingly” offended if you even try to get the bill yourself.  Offering to split it is out of question as you are immediately labelled as cheap:  either pay it all up or shut up and let it be paid.  My culture, however, is not my reference but the years of working with individuals and couples on relationships is.

I remember talking to a friend from Montreal years ago and her complaining that men from Quebec don’t offer to pay the bill.  This was a turn off for her and she felt that, if they were not going to pay, she wouldn’t give them the time of the day.   I could relate to what she was saying as all throughout college and even graduate school, I really wanted and liked it when men picked up the tab when I went out with them.  The only difference was, I never waited for them to do it, I always offered to pay my part.youblur-close-up-cutlery-370984

Here is what I think some women don’t get:  men are human beings too and in the game of dating, it’s often not so much that they can’t pick up the tab, it’s that when they don’t just go for it, it tells them if the woman who is with them is just along for a free ride or she cares about him more deeply.  Whether or not you pay your part shows that.  And while so many women out there are coaching you on how to get the most out of men, here are 10 solid reasons to pay for your own shit:

  1. When you pick up your part, it shows you wanted to be there, you are willing to invest your time and money to spend the time with person.  While you may split or cover the bill once, doing it the second time is a proof of commitment: putting your money where your mouth is, so to speak
  2. You prove that you can’t be bought, you can order what you wish knowing you are treating yourself fully to this enjoyment.  If you are prepared to pay for it, you will never be disappointed
  3. You release the attachment and the desperation that comes from waiting for someone to pick up your bill or wondering throughout your time together about who will get it at the end
  4. You prove yourself to be feminist, that woman have a voice and can make all decisions the same way men can.  After all, aren’t most of us always trying to prove this to the world
  5. You are energetically invested, when you pay up, there is no guilt or even a remote wonder if you need to do something in return.  Your bills are paid and all is squared, everything that comes after that is a choice
  6. Men are impressed by women who take care of themselves and real men will respect it, even if they insist on paying
  7. You will release all those men who think their money can buy you and your attention, you will not be their player, you will be your own
  8. You will know if you want to do this again, because when it hurts your wallet, you get to be more mindful of how and with whom you spend your time
  9. You will leave the guy with an impression that you are stable, responsible, dependable and he will think much more highly of you
  10. You will never have an experience that you sold out for a glass of wine, or a 10 course dinner; no matter how big or small it is, selling out is selling out.

Hope these reasons make you reconsider waiting for a guy to pick up a tab.  Nobody is born in service of you.  This is such an archaic way of thinking and people who expect it are bound to be disappointed.  The more you expect the less you have ownership over your life and what happens in it.   When you take care of yourself, do your part, everything else is a bonus, it becomes much easier to live in gratitude and that is the energy that attracts men, money and good things your way.  Which one will you choose?

 

A Sure Way to Screw up Any Relationship, Especially with a Man

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I’ve been watching Suits in the past weeks with my husband.  It all started with my being curious to figure out who the new Duchess really was as an actress because I didn’t have a clue.  Naturally now, I have my eyes on her character Rachel.  I must admit, I was “royally” annoyed by her from the get go, but somewhere in a middle of third season, I could find a clear strong why that I can actually blog about.
The relationship between Rachel and Mike Ross in a show is actually fairly complicated from the start.  The whole premise of Mike being a fraud in general is something that is not easy to carry in real life. Namely, there is no freedom when you know you have to hide.  Surely, this is fiction and the character of Mike had such a sad childhood losing both parents that will probably have audience sympathize with him. 
But here is what Rachel does that lots of women do (and men too probably):  she does what she wants and not what works.  Namely, when she cheats on Mike and he asks her for some space to deal with taking that image out of his head, she continually comes to talk to him to apologize, to explain, to convince him to forgive.  This is the opposite of giving someone space.  And by the way, I know what it’s like to be there, to feel so strongly about something that you feel you just simply must unload it to the person you love, but when someone asks us for space, what we need to give them is space.  
You see, when women say NO and a man keeps going at her anyway, we consider that abuse.  Consider that when a man asks you not to call, to give him space or alike, that not doing that is just as bad.  In fact, the more you do it, the more you are actually proving how selfish and undeserving of a second chance you really are.  People say I am sorry and insist on it to make themselves feel good, not because the “I am sorry” actually helps the other person.  Now, saying it is a good start, it shows you regret what you did and that is a good thing, but repeating “I am sorry” doesn’t repair the mistake made.  Time heals it and taking actions that show you are being different now do too.
Many women are driven by wanting a guarantee in relationships: “Oh, if he can just forgive me, then things can be back to normal,” or “if he promises me to be there, then I can just relax and will do better” etc.  This is normal.  Women need to feel safe in relationships and when that is compromised, we feel a little off balance.  Again, I have been there too.  But our being out of balance is still not a reason to not give someone else something they are asking for, in a case of Mike and Rachel, space.
I say this so often I feel like I am boring everyone, but rest assured, I can back it up with more than a decade of study: we don’t “find” people, we attract them.  So if relationship in front of us is not happening, we are the ones who need to change the dial, not them.  We can’t control other people no matter how tempting that may be.  It’s not possible.  The only thing we can shift is who we are and what we do.  If you want someone to give you a chance in life, when they ask you for space, you give them space.  By doing this, you are proving to be easy to be with, you take no effort and people are most likely going to be OK having you around.  If you keep on insisting on reasons why they should change their mind, even if they take you back, they will always know you are a “royal” pain in the butt and they will not like being around you, for the simple reason: you don’t let them be.
Men, I find, are really good in detecting women around them who allow them to be themselves, who make them look like heroes and the ones that make them feel like they are constantly falling short, and making them feel like what they are asking is not ok to ask for, as if they are wrong all the time.  So when a man says he wants something, no matter how you feel about it, let him have it and then go on and forgive yourself the mistake you made instead of running after him for forgiveness and approval.  If you can do that, something in that relationship may be possible.  Otherwise, it’s a matter of time when it will be over and it will definitely be a drag along the way.
It’s been a while since I actually had to sit on my hands when my fiance at the time, now husband, once asked me to give him a bit of time to forgive something I did.  I remember doing it.  It wasn’t easy but it gave him space to forgive me at his own pace and it gave me space to actually forgive myself because regardless of our relationship, that turned out awesome, my relationship to myself always comes first. 
Please share your comments and if you think someone would benefit by reading this, please share it.
PS I don’t endorse the show Suits.  I loved the first season but then it spiraled down in my view.  Watch it at your own risk 🙂

Curiosity or Being Nosy

I would love to hear from you: what are the most offensive questions people ask you? What are the questions that people ask that leave you feeling annoyed? What are the questions that you have a ready answer for because you know people will interrogate?
I truly believe that how we react to others is about us not about them, but I wonder what is driving nosiness that is closeted as curiosity.  I wonder, because when asked the following questions, I don’t really have an experience that people are interested in me, but rather that they are going through the laundry list of questions that borderline offensive.
Did you lose/gain some weight?
Are you going to go for a girl?
How much money can you make with that?
Why is your husband (fill in the blank)?
Is your son….?
Are you still breastfeeding?
How long do you plan on breastfeeding?
When will your book come out?
How long have you been working on it/that?
The one about having a girl is my favorite. I am a happily married woman with 2 beautiful children (precisely what I wanted for myself) and while I wanted to have a girl, shortly after realizing I wasn’t having a girl, I closed that chapter.  I simply realized that no 2 kids are alike and that having 2 children is what I wanted, that gender preference, while I am sure many had it, is an unfair demand to have.  In fact, I think it’s perfect I am a mom of 2 boys because I have studied relationship and men for quite some time before getting married and in some ways, watching the world through my boys’ eyes is completing this research for me.  I am able to understand men in a way I couldn’t until I was able to picture that every one of the men I know was once a little boy.  That gave me perspective I never thought of.
To ask me if I will “chase a girl” as some would tell me is even rude because I just turned 40 and after my second pregnancy, I was recommended not to get pregnant again.  I didn’t have issues, but I could’ve and that was a scary thought.  To think that my ambition to have a girl could in any way jeopardize my health and leave my 2 already existing children without a mother is a narrow minded proposition at best.  Besides, I have friends who have little girls so when I want to play with one, I can, I don’t have to commit to raising her.
I am not sharing this because I am bitter, I am not.  In fact, I am committed to not being triggered by anything that people ask because when I am, I gave them my power.  But I wanted to share this experience to underline that asking a serious of stupid questions like this is not about intimacy or getting closer to someone but more like interrogation that I don’t think most of us appreciate.  You can be curious without being nosy.
Please share with me what are some of the questions people ask of you that sting you?  And please, share this post with a friend so I can hear from them too.
Love,
Marija

Let go and let love

We have all experienced a heart break at least once in our lives.  By the time I was 30, I was an expert in being heartbroken.  And not only that, each failed relationship was feeding into my fear that I was not enough and that true love will never really knock on my door. I think everything I did since I became an adult was geared towards learning how to find and keep a guy.  I knew I was smart enough to succeed in other things, but the matters of heart – that I felt I had no control over. As someone who suffered from an eating disorder for a good chunk of my 20s, I knew what it felt like to be addicted to something.  And the power that had me to stop ED was the power that had me find love.

Now, I don’t believe that we can control when love will happen – that is in the hands of Higher Power, but I do believe that we can, and are responsible, to create a clear and pristine space for it, so that it can show up for us.  In the clear and pristine space, LOVE does show up.

I know some of you have done personal development work.  I applaud that.  And, for what I am about to say, I think that such work can be more of an obstacle than support.  In fact, it is that we keep on thinking that there is something for us to “work on” that has us stuck in the same old pattern of “not enough”.  We can’t be both: complete and in need of more therapy/transformation. As a coach, I make sure my clients never feel inadequate, but rather see our work together as their consistent evolving inside of a committed, clean, powerful, safe and loving space.  I don’t have my clients feel like there is something to fix, something many of the programs, therapies, works out there are based on.  For as long as we think we need to fix our relationship with our parents, for example, we aren’t really focused or present to the prince charming that may be right in front of us – mistake number 1.

The mistake number 2 is that we hold on to our past like it’s real.  Our urge to love and find love has us hold on to people and memories where we at least somewhat felt like our feelings were reciprocated.  And instead of letting go of all past relationships that did’t serve us, we mess up more in order to cope with what’s already messed up.  When I had an ED, I binged to cope with my urge to binge.  Other words, only when I binged did I relieve the anxiety that I was feeling when I felt the urge to binge.  It is only when I realized that the voice telling me to binge was not REAL ME, that I was able to silence the voice and take actions that I wanted to take: anything from being with people, actually answering my phone, making a difference in the world and alike. It is when I observed the voice in my head, without thinking I needed therapy, to journal my emotions, to read more books on the subject and give my power away, that I was able to see that the voice in my head did not have power over my actions.  In fact, more I recognized that voice as NOT ME, more silent the voice became.

So, please ladies, do not cling to the past relationships that don’t serve you, don’t send more emails so that you can get a different response, or send that last text thinking something will change.  Your urge to do these things is coming from the voice that isn’t YOU and the relief from that anxiety to say something is only temporary and making things worse in a long run.  The voice that tells you to do so is not who YOU are.  YOU can hear it and dismiss it and then do what works: move on, go out on a date with a new guy, or go visit a friend.  When you keep falling back into the same pattern, you perpetuate addiction and the space stays cluttered.  Love only comes into the clear and pristine space.  So, let go and let love.

But it’s not my Father’s day

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I am celebrating my amazing husband today, his commitment to our 9 month old baby Adrian and his willingness to work out every bump in a road so we can have an extraordinary life.

As my husband is calling his dad to wish him a Happy Father’s day and I am browsing facebook to wish it to my friends who have become fathers, I am feeling the bitter sweet.

My father is in Croatia and has lived there for the past almost 30 years.  I saw him briefly at the airport in Belgrade 4  years ago.  I was flying back to Montenegro after my green card interview in US Embassy after much stress.  He came with his grown up younger son and I felt so completely awkward.  We had less than 30 minutes together and during that time his son, my half brother, was insisting that his/our dad takes him to see something in the city since they already made the trip.  When I got on a plane, I just wept.  It was the happiest day of my life as I was granted a green card, something I have wanted for over a decade yet, I was filled with deep sadness for the lack of connection with my dad.  That day at Belgrade’s airport was the first time I saw him after 25 something years.  And even though I am his first child, somehow I felt like I no longer had the right to have him in my life.

Maybe this sounds like a sad story.  What I am sharing here is not nearly as sad as the days of my childhood when I was longing and trying to understand why my dad is not more committed to being my father.  It was tough to figure that out: I was a smart kid, talented, pretty, straight A student, ambitious, but his lack of presence had scarred me for life.  Over time, I learned to pretend I don’t love him or miss him because everyone else thought he was a jerk, so it took years of work to undo the feelings I have buried so deep inside because I didn’t think how I felt was accepted in the world.

In 2005, I did transformational work that helped me heal.  It allowed me to find gratitude for my life that wouldn’t be possible without both of my parents not just my mom who was there for me through thick and thin, loving, committed and above all PRESENT and AVAILABLE.  I was able to stop wanting to change the past, the years of lack and missing and focus on what is in front of me.  I stopped blaming myself and thinking that I did something wrong – probably what all children do when their parents divorce.  I realized, just because my dad wasn’t there for me, doesn’t mean I can’t have a man in my life with whom I can create family and future.  So I worked on it, slowly, diligently, step by step.  My amazing marriage is a product of that journey and my commitment to having love in my life.

So today, I celebrate my beautiful husband.  I send love to my dad as I realize how much he missed.  I celebrate my mother for being both mother and father to me… and I celebrate myself for how much I grew despite my circumstances.

Love to all fathers out there!!! Love your children! Love your daughters!

M

It is not “luck”

I woke up this morning to see that my client I coached for 7 months now, has gotten engaged.  It made me smile and it made me happy.  I giggled, because, today is Sunday and our last coaching call was on Monday and that’s when the decision got crystal clear for him.

I looked back at the miracle we created on this path of working together.  Back around New Years, I was living in Montreal and my friend (now also a client) was visiting.  I remember him hiring me because he was clear that the only area that truly worked in his life was the area of finances (and he was being coached on his finances by my husband).  So he hired me (as a performance coach) to specifically deal with other areas of his life that seemed out of balance with how well he was doing in his career.  

Over the period of half a year, he was beginning to date, to learn about women, to begin to find out what it is that makes him happy and what it is that he is actually looking for.  We went back and dealt with some patterns from the past in relationships that didn’t turn out.  And then, there was a space for something new.  He began to date.  And sure, there were bumps on the road, but we worked through them.  It was his willingness to be “coach-able” and his trust in me, and also my continual training in listening and how to provide what people want, that had us have this amazing 100% partnership in him achieving his goals.

Needless to say, prior to this Monday, his engagement was in schedule in his next 6 month milestone.  And, as I had him define his relationship goal, it all got unfolded.  He was clear already and I, as a coach, had to get out of my way to let him create his miracle.  And he did.  He decided to propose this weekend as he was already planning a beautiful surprise for his girlfriend.  She, of course, said yes.

Why am I saying this? Well, on one hand, I am very proud, as a coach and as a friend.  I am very very happy for them.  And, I wanted to share this as I know that many people walk around with an illusion that I once had again, that some of us have beautiful relationships because we are lucky or it just happened to be that way.  And I am here to say, that isn’t so.  IT IS NOT LUCK!!!! It is being willing to want something and do everything you can to have it.

Honoring my friend for being willing to want it and doing everything he needed to do to have this miracle happen in his life.

 

Meeting a perfect match

It amazes me how many of us, women, focus on finding a perfect man for them.  Our energy is completely dispersed outward.  Namely, not only do we keep looking “out there” for the right person, we often take the person in front of us and work on changing that person to fit what we want.

You could hear insanity in this, yet most of us have done it and are guilty of such intentions.

What works and will never fail you is to focus all your energy on YOUrself.  When you think of “the perfect man,” start imagining what his perfect woman would look like and then BE her.

If you want someone who is wealthy, look at your finances.  Are you waiting for someone to be a quick fix for things that you have never been responsible for?  If so, be sure that your relationship will fail or that you will be dominated.

I am not saying you need to be like the guy you want to be with, but don’t think you will interest a guy who is up to something if you are sitting at home and waiting.  You don’t have to be up to the same things, but you need to honor and be great at what matters to you.  Then, you will meet people who are up to something and are great at what matters to them.  When you are both fulfilled, the chances are, the relationship will be fulfilling.

Don’t force a relationship to happen!  Instead, allow it to happen! Don’t try to change men, change yourself to match  who you dream of being… That is your access to having a powerful relationship.