It''s the New Year and I''m sure most of us have things we''d like to improve upon. Whether it''s losing weight, laughing more, loving more, being a better friend or taking time for ourselves, we all have things we want to change. To keep inline with the previous posts, exploring verbally abusive relationships, I want to talk about this idea of change.

One of you had mentioned that sometimes women look at a man as "some sort of visionary who knows better". If they say, I like your hair long - you grow it. If they''d rather you wear high heels, you buy some. Saying it aloud sounds somewhat crazy, right? But imagine being in love with someone - you think, well, these things really aren’t that big of a deal. And since you want them to be happy, you start to change. The comment also made me think of how many women I know who leave themselves at the door even before it''s opened. They wait to be approached by a man in a bar; they wait for a man to engage them in conversation - they wait.

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There is one thing wrong with the above scenarios, and I''m sure most of you know what it is. When did we as women lose control. When did it suddenly become all about the man and his wants. Why do we think we need to pine after them? Now I''m not saying every man needs to faun over every woman - but what I''m saying is that women need to start thinking differently about where they fit into the dating and relationship equation.

What is this new outlook and how does it manifest? Well first and foremost we come back to the same topic of worth. If you look in the mirror and like what you see, if you think you’re a box of Hot Tomales (smart, beautiful, determined, fun, etc) then you know that you deserve someone who''s going to see you through your own eyes. If you can''t look in the mirror and smile at your inner and outer beauty then something has changed.

Normally we see change as a good thing, a way to enhace who we are. But in some cases, changing actually takes us further away from empowerment and pushes us toward insignificance. In the beginning of some verbally abusive relationships many women can see themselves clearly. They look in the mirror and love themselves; however, as things unfold they start to hate what they see. But the kicker is that their person has not changed - they are still that wonderful woman they were. The only problem is that they can''t see themselves anymore, because all they see is their partner. In a way they become a reflection of who they’re with - so what they see in the mirror is his image. They’ve been tricked into thinking that the man’s wants, desires and needs are worth more than their own.

How can we change this scenario ? By working on how we see ourselves in the situation. In a sense the above isn’t only tied to verbally abusive relationships, even in the everyday dating world women seem to rely on the man for affirmation. There are some women who think they’re all that, but still wait for a man to make the first move - why? What are they waiting for? Or how many times have I been out and a friend finds some guy attractive, but only talks about it. And then the guy leaves the place and she’s upset because she’s lost her chance. Why does he get all the power ? Shouldn’t it go both ways. Where are women in these scenarios ? Silent.

What I’m getting at here is this : Take the power back, by changing your perspective. Think about what you want out of the situation and make it happen. If you want things that your partner can''t give you - then you know you aren''t respecting your needs by staying. And it''s not, can you live with it, but should you have to live with it. Answer, no. Same is true in the dating world - don''t leave it up to a guy to make the first move.

If you see a guy in a bar that you like, keep tabs on him. If he goes to the bathroom by himself or walks up alone to the bar go after him. Stand next to him and make small talk. Good openers : are you having a good night , something about what he''s wearing, anything like that. You’ll know right away if you’re into him and if he’s into you. Then its someones turn to go into the bathroom or time for one of you to walk away from the bar. Now you''ve already met him so it''s easier for you to talk to him again. Walk by him and say something like, hey, it’s been so long or something along those lines. Then talk for a bit and ask if he wants to grab a drink sometime. This tatctic isn’t just fluff, it’s worked many times. The difference here is that you’re taking control of the situation.

New Year = New Perspective
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