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Coach Paradise: Changing Expectations to More Interesting Conclusions

Coach Paradise is here to help people make the kind of changes that will allow them to live the lives they only dream of. Recently returned to her own tropical home, she is offering her services so that others can create paradise in their lives wherever they are. No concern is too big or small for her unique coaching approach which comes with compassion, creativity and a heartfelt desire to help others produce extraordinary results. If you have a question for Coach Paradise, please send it confidentially to her at anne@coachparadise.com.
Dear Coach Paradise –
I am writing to get your opinion about a situation I recently experienced. I traveled during the summer to a country where a former lover and friend lived. I had met him in his country before his stay in the U.S. but there was no intimate prior relationship.
Although I was not traveling especially to see him, I expected to do so. Our friendship developed during his stay in this country where he was studying.
So, imagine my surprise when I did not see him once during my three week visit. My trip was very successful and I accomplished a lot during this visit and none of it was dependent on my relationship with him.
However, I do feel hurt. I spoke with him twice during the visit but he never came by as he said he would on one occasion. My friends have said that there were probably extenuating circumstances and that I should leave it alone; our time is over. They say he has moved on and that I should do the same.
I don't necessarily disagree with them but need another way of thinking about this because I am really hurting to lose what I thought was a good friend in this way.
Still Hurting
Dear Still Hurting –
My heart goes out to you, as I know what it is like to have expectations and reality cross paths. I send you a big hug and hope that you have support from the friends who are advising you to move on and let it go. Easier said than done isn't it?
I really have to hand it to you for looking for a different take on this situation other than "I hate men" or "disappointed again," as those stances won't lead you to be open to the kind of relationship it sounds like you really want. I am just guessing here as all I have is your email to go on – but, am I correct in assuming that you would like a relationship with a man who will be your friend and your lover and who will show up when he says he will and be present in your life? If so, this guy was something else – not necessarily a negative – in fact perhaps he was a lot of fun in many ways and helped you to know that you want more of the same but with someone nearer, more dependable and someone who wants what you want. You might want to thank him for this. It is always difficult not to want more of the same, especially when things go well and it is easy to project the good times into the future without taking reality into consideration. What I am suggesting is that by pinning your enjoyment of friendship and love onto this man during your trip – you might have overlooked other people and by letting this disappointment spread into discouragement over relationships with men in general, you may, at this very moment, be overlooking other opportunities or at least not being open to inviting them into your life.
If you continue to gather evidence for the conclusion that: ex. relationships with men are disappointing and use this "no show" as further proof of this sad state of affairs, you will continue to show up in a certain way (you figure out how) and people you meet will show up in relation to you based on how you are showing up (Get it? It's a loop and all traceable back to the conclusion you start with.) My suggestion would be to find a conclusion that is more interesting and more fun, such as "men are full of surprises" (you come up with your own). Gather evidence in support of your new conclusion and see what surprises you start noticing. Make sure your conclusion makes you smile and creates a sense of spaciousness.
As far as this particular relationship, I am sure you will figure out if and how to communicate further. I will be very interested in hearing about what surprises will be occurring in your life. Just thinking about it makes me smile.
Warm wishes,
Coach Paradise

Editor's note: Coach Paradise (aka Anne Nayer), Professional Life Coach, is a member of the International Coaching Federation, an MSW clinical social worker/psychotherapist, and a medical case manager with 30 years experience working with people of all shapes, sizes and challenges.
For further information about her services, call 774-4355.

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