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Should She Be Friends with a Man Who’s Taken?

 

Miss S., one of the women from the Single Over 30 Community asked,

If you had a crush on someone that you couldn’t have, (whether they didn’t share your romantic feelings, if they were currently seeing someone else or the timing/distance just wasn’t right) how do you push past those emotions?

Do you avoid him? Do you try to remain friends in case circumstances change?

She also said she feels there is some mutual interest between them even though he is seeing someone else.

First of all, let me say to Miss S., that my heart goes out to you. As a single, I wore these same, “I-have-a-crush-shoes” several times. But there are some things a woman can do to navigate a circumstance like this wisely.

My first question would be. . .

What do you mean when you say "try to remain friends?" 

The word “friends” gets pretty muddy sometimes when emotions are involved. Do you mean acquaintances? Do you mean you want to talk to him on the phone? Go where...

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[Quiz] What's Your Love Style?

When I was single, I felt as if something was holding me back from giving my heart away. One afternoon, I had a revelation that I knew I couldn't let myself be loved--and I also felt as if I couldn't truly love. 

I shouldn't have been surprised when this truth hit me, because almost 10 years earlier, when a man I admired had expressed an interest in me, I reached out to a pastor from my church to share my relational fears. 

After a short discussion, he asked me, "Shana, can you let yourself be loved?" He then told me that he sensed I wasn't ready to marry, that something was holding me back.

Now that I am married, my single journey makes a whole lot more sense.

I now know that fears, attitudes, and beliefs held me back from giving my heart away, including the fear of rejection and the fear of abandonment. 

I thought I was ready to love, when in reality, these two fears (along with several other poor dating habits) were dictating many of my responses to men without...

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[Part 5] How Fast is Too Fast? Trust Your Gut

Today, I want to share my last tip on how to make sure you’re not moving too fast in a relationship so you don’t sabotage your love life.

But to do that, I need to start with a story.

My husband and I recently went for a drive in the mountains, and while we meandered down winding roads, we talked about our lives before we married.

Before we said “I do,” I was blessed in many ways. I had a great career speaking and writing. I had several wonderful friends, and I was able to travel often.

But I also wrestled with a broken heart, the disappointment of not having children, and as I entered by forties, I struggled with a growing grief that I would never tie the knot.

I also believed the lie that I was incapable of making good relational choices, so I naturally feared choosing poorly. On the tail end of a bad breakup in my twenties, I stopped trusting myself when it came to romance.

When my husband asked me how that doubt manifested itself in my dating life, I...

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[Part 4] How Fast is Too Fast? Don't Commit While Under the Influence of This

This week, I’ve sent out several emails about Tamra, a woman I coached, who asked me how to know how fast to move in a new relationship.

She said, “I always feel that I end up giving my heart away too soon and then I get hurt when the relationship ends.”

Perhaps you’ve stood in Tamra’s relational shoes.

Today, I’d like to share the 3rd Step you can take to make sure you don’t move too fast in a relationship and sabotage your love life:

Don’t commit while under the influence. 

(You can check out my Introduction (Part 1) and Steps 1 and 2 if you haven't already.)

There can be many reasons a woman gives her heart away too fast to a man who hasn’t earned the right to her affections.

For example, she may ignore red flags, trust too easily, fall for a man’s smooth words (what woman doesn’t want to be romanced?), be afraid of saying no, and she can be under the...

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[Part 3] How Fast is Too Fast? If You Don't Know This, You're Exceeding the Dating Speed Limit

Yesterday I posted and shared about Step #1 of four important steps you can take to make sure you aren’t moving too fast in a relationship so you don’t sabotage your love life: Create a “Go-Slow Boundary” (GSB).

I also said I would share how my husband, Clark, responded to my GSB when we were considering dating exclusively.

Before I tell you more about his response, I need to give you a little backstory.

Clark was not was I expected for a husband when I met him because he had something surprising: five grown children. (Yes, FIVE!)

And this was a problem for me because I had pretty much vowed years earlier that I would never become a part of a blended family.

I was certain that type of arrangement would only bring me deep heartache—and that was not part of the picture-perfect life I planned for myself.

But after dating for over two decades after high school, I was ready for a man with great character, and Clark definitely had that.

...

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[Part 2] How Fast is Too Fast? How to Create a Go-Slow Boundary

Yesterday, I posted about Tamra, one of the women I recently coached, who asked me a great question about how fast to move in a new relationship.

 She said:

“I don’t know how quickly I should move from just meeting someone to dating exclusively. I always feel that I end up giving my heart away too soon and then I get hurt when the relationship ends. How do I know when to take it further with a guy? I don’t want him to think I’m not interested if I take too long to decide to date him exclusively if he’s expressing interest.

Over the next several days, I’m going to share FOUR important steps you can take to make sure you don’t move too fast in a relationship and sabotage your love life.

Step #1: A “Go Slow Boundary” Is Your Friend

Like many women, Tamra is concerned that if she moves too slow, she’ll lose an opportunity with a good man.

I get it. I was afraid of the same thing a time or two while I...

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[Part 1] How Fast is Too Fast? My Messed Up Dating Life

When I was single, like many women I coach, I prayed—a lot—to meet a suitable mate. But in spite of my prayers, I was still really confused about love.

My confusion showed up in how I conducted myself in relationships.

As I’ve mentioned before, I engaged in “friendlationships” (dead-end relationships that aren’t friendships but aren’t really romantic relationships either).

I spent years in committed dating relationships that weren’t moving toward the wedding altar.

I quickly rejected good men without giving them a chance.

And, I jumped into relationships with men who pursued me without taking the time to really get to know them.

These are some of the many ways that I sabotaged my love life.

GET MY FREE DOWNLOAD TO HELP YOU FIGURE OUT IF YOU COMMIT TOO QUICKLY.

Here’s what would usually happen when I jumped into a relationship too quickly.  

I would meet a man. He seemed nice, and perhaps I found him attractive. From our...

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My Relationship with "It's-Going-Nowhere" Dave

 

His name was Dave. He was 23; I was 24. He was handsome, fun, and a good guy, but we were just friends. There didn’t seem to be any other men around I would be interested in, even though I lived in a mid-sized city.

So, Dave and I hung out—a lot. Like every day. And some evenings, too.

I went to church with Dave, and to the store with Dave, and we talked on the phone all the time. Not to mention that we lived in the same apartment building and he sometimes borrowed my garage.

Anyone who didn’t know us would have thought we were a couple. But we weren’t. We were just hanging out.

But there was a big problem with this arrangement.

I wanted to get married—but if I was honest, not to Dave. We clearly weren’t right for each other. But following a bad breakup, I went through years of not trusting myself to make a good relational choice, so I just kind of floated along without intention in my dating life.

I said I wanted to marry, but my words...

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Does Love--or the Thought of Love--Make You Panic?

I don’t know much about cars, but I do know that when a blinking light comes on on the dashboard, it’s a sign that something is wrong under the hood.

Panicking while in a relationship, or at the thought of a relationship—or even when a man tries to get close to you is like one of those dashboard lights.

It’s alerting you that something is wrong “under the hood” in your heart and that perhaps some healing needs to happen so you can experience the relationship you desire.

If you can relate, don’t beat yourself up. 

When I was single, following a relationship that deeply wounded me, I started overreacting. 

When a man wanted to get close to me, I would panic.

When a relationship started to get serious or had been going on for a while, I would feel terrified.

When I started to feel emotionally vulnerable or if I really liked a guy, I would get scared. 

Panic—and fear—are important things to pay attention to because...

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My Husband and I Answer Dating and Relationship Questions

 

In this Facebook Live from earlier this year, my husband and I answered the following questions from members of Single Over 30. I hope you find this special coaching session helpful. 

Here are the questions we answered: 

How can I know that the man I am talking to isn’t cat-phishing me?

What kind of questions can you ask someone to get to know someone when you’re long-distance dating? 

What to do when the guys you like are not interested and what to do when the guys you are not interested in more than friends are interested? 

How do you guard your heart and how do you know when to let yourself fall in love? 

How can I look more approachable, especially when a job title, such as dentist, lawyer, MD intimidates a man, or does he need to work out his insecurities by himself?

Will a woman accept that I have to travel for work?

Can you address the stigma of online dating in the church? 

What does it mean to guard your heart? 

Can you address...

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