You’re Going to Want to Read This…

You’re Going to Want to Read This…

“I have no idea what to write about for tomorrow’s blog post.” That’s what I told Matt yesterday when he got home from work. But little did I know something big was about to happen….. YUP. OUR ENGAGEMENT! AH! SURPRISE!

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Our Engagement What is Perfection Blog

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Last night Matt proposed to me. And I said yes. And we are over the moon happy.

If you’ve read any of our past stories on the blog, you know that Matt is amazing. I don’t  have to convince you. He has always been such a big supporter of What is Perfection and my career ventures. And he goes above and beyond to  show that support 24/7. He’s written posts for the website about what men think of women’s bodies. (My idea, his words.) He’s actively participated in my experiments for readers, like the languages of love. (He’s so patient.)  And he doesn’t bat an eyelash when I get open an honest about our relationship on the website (how much cooler can he get?) Seriously, I am such a lucky girl.

Yesterday I was feeling stuck on my posts with no idea what to write about for today. So my awesome guy took his support to a whole new level: TIME FOR AN ENGAGEMENT.

Okay, okay, that’s not WHY he did it. Don’t worry. We aren’t that crazy.

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Our Engagement

I am elated and ecstatic. No joke. I am on cloud nine over this engagement. And while I am so excited to share the news that we are now engaged, there isn’t any fancy sensational story to tag along with it. He proposed. I cried. We said yes.  There was no magical over the top dramatic expression of love. There was no audience or random strangers taking photographs. It was just us.  Quiet. Intimate. Beautiful. And PERFECT. Just what I wanted it to be.

“Things feel the same,” I told him after the big moment. “I think that’s because we always knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. When you know, you just know,” he said.

Can’t get more romantic than that.

Matt and I have been dating for nearly three years now. We met on Match.com (a story you can read about here.) The truth is, I wasn’t exactly ready to fall in love when we met for the first time. I was divorced for more than two years, but my heart wasn’t fully healed from that unhealthy relationship. I was still heart broken, hurt, and damaged. Even if I didn’t know it back then.

But our life timeline is so unpredictable sometimes. I met Matt. We fell in love. And I haven’t looked back since.

Finding someone who not only completes you, but who also enhances your life is the most wonderful thing you can ever do. And I am so grateful he gets to be that person for me.

Our Engagement What is Perfection

 

So here’s the deal.  Usually when I write a post on What is Perfection, I know exactly what my point is – and I know exactly who I am writing to.

But sharing this story of our engagement, I feel like I am all over the place. So I’ll address everyone, and put it all out there.

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To My Family and Friends – The Details of the Engagement

The engagement was such a beautiful special moment. Weve been shopping for our first home this past year, and this past weekend we may or may not have found our dream home (more on that later in the week.)  So last night, while we were dreaming up our future, he decided it was the right time to pop the question.

“There is no one I would rather spend the rest of my life with in that house but you. So Lauren, will you marry me?”

I was 100 percent surprised and 100 percent in capable of processing what was going on.

“Wait… is this for real? Are you really doing this right now?” ….yup.

He was.

I teared up, said yes, and then kissed him like.. a million times.

We are so happy and so excited. But we aren’t planning anything yet. Getting our dream home and settling in is our top priority right now.

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To All the Ladies Who Have Been Hurt Before

I used to be you. I used to be sad, confused, hurt, and fearful of the future. Leaving a painful relationship can also leave you jaded and unsure if love is even a real thing. If you are hurting, and have little faith in finding true love… please… hold onto it. Have faith. Even when it feels impossible. Because I would have never found the man of my dreams, if I settled for being alone with a broken heart. Time heals all wounds. And eventually, you will find that person who treats you the way you deserve to be treated. You just need to heal yourself first.

To Anyone Out There Anxiously Waiting For a Proposal.

Practice patience. The universe has a bigger plan for you than you can map out in your head. Six months ago Matt and I started talking about marriage. It was something I never thought I would want to do again. And for a while was on my “not happening list.” But the minute I realized I was so truly in love with Matt that I actually did want to get married, I suddenly felt this strong desire to have that engagement. I was anxious, eager, and constantly waiting for him to just hurry the F up and pop the question. You can read about the “waiting game” in this post.

But if you’re that girl who’s eager for her man to take that step towards commitment, slow things down. Step on the breaks a bit, and let him catch up to you. Finding patience and waiting is the best thing you can do for your relationship. If I pressured Matt, our engagement wouldn’t have been as special as it was. It would have felt forced. But because we took things slow and I let him make the decision about when to pop the question, it was beautiful, special and a total surprise. That’s something every girl deserves.

To My Darling Boyfriend Turned “Fiancé.”

You, Matt, are the love of my life. I am so truly grateful for having you by my side in all of life’s adventures. Thank you for being my rock and my support. I am so in love with you. Now…  “We Buy House.”
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Questions to Ask Before You Breakup [FREE QUIZ!]

Questions to Ask Before You Breakup [FREE QUIZ!]

Ready for an awesome breakup quiz? — I know, I know… how can a breakup be awesome right? I mean – the words breakup and awesome don’t exactly go together.

But they do here.

Because I am about to give you the simple questions you need to ask before breaking up. So that when you actually do, you feel your bad ass confident self is making the right choice.

Okay. Here we go. But first things first

The Relationship Breakup Quiz from What is Perfection

It’s really easy to get wrapped up in everything our relationship used to offer us. After all, we didn’t exactly fall in love with our partner for the same reasons we are falling out of love right? If you feel ready to call it quits though, check this post for the steps on exactly how to move on after a breakup. If not, keep reading.

A lot of us sit in limbo trying to figure out if this walking away is the right decision for  us because we just aren’t sure what to do. We feel stuck. Sometimes we are afraid of being alone. So we hold onto our unhealthy relationship. Other times, we just feel scared we are making the wrong decision.

But whatever the reasons are for contemplating walking away, the first thing I tell all my clients to do is to start asking the RIGHT questions.

And today I am going to share some of those with you.

 

The Questions Before The Breakup Quiz

Does this person make me feel whole or make me feel less than?

Nine times out of ten, my clients tell me that their relationships make them feel less than they know they deserve to feel. After all, I coach women who are completely at their breaking point. They are pretty certain their partners are preventing their happiness when they come to me for guidance. But not all of us have reached that “rock bottom” moment just yet. Asking yourself how this person makes you feel on a regular basis is important. Because it’s easy to get wrapped up in all the things you wish you could change. And so sometimes we forget how to see things for what they really are in their current state. Forget how your relationship used to be. How is your relationship right now?

Does my relationship fill me with happiness and security or does it leave me feeling empty and full of doubt

Relationships are full of all different kinds of emotions. Even in the healthiest of relationships we can experience frustration, anger and doubt. But asking yourself how your relationship feels to you on the WHOLE (meaning weekly or monthly) is good way of evaluating your experience. Your relationship should never take your self worth away. It should never fill your heart with sadness or doubt more than it is a source of comfort and safety.

Do I rely on this relationship to provide me all of my happiness? Or are my expectations for this relationship realistic?

This is a big important one guys. So so many of us are not complete whole and happy individuals ourselves. I see this so often in my coaching program. Women come to me feeling like their relationships are not providing them the emotions they wish they had in their lives. Which is a good thing to recognize. But when you are relying on your love life to be your only source of salvation and happiness -you have a problem. We cannot place demands on our partner asking them for things that we don’t provide for ourselves first and foremost.

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The Breakup Quiz

Did you get all of those questions out of the way? Good. I hope so. Still feel stuck? Don’t worry. Grab this free printable guide to take a little breakup quiz for yourself. This Question form will help you uncover the strongest sources of emotion in your relationship to help you figure out whether or not you should stay or go. If the light bulb goes off and you realize it’s time to walk away but you’re still shaking in your lady boots don’t worry. Check out the Perfection Program to start making your dramatic life transformation and healing your heart step by step.

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How to Move on After a Break Up

How to Move on After a Break Up

Get on those sexy heals and walk your gorgeous ass out of that unhealthy relationship girl! Okay, sure, it’s easier said than done sometimes right? Because learning how to move on after a break up can be a really hard thing to do. And it’s especially difficult when we are walking away from a relationship that we have been in for really long time right? I mean – it seems like the longer we are in it, the harder it is to find the courage to break away and move on.

Years ago, before I built my confidence and self love, I found myself single for the first time and struggling to feel good about it. Okay, “struggling” is a kind choice of words. I was emotional wreck! I was on my own for the first time in five years. The relationship I walked away from was unhealthy, abusive and emotional destructive. So here I was feeling lost and alone. “How the heck can I feel good about being by myself?” I needed to learn how to move on after a break up and rebuild my life. And no joke, it wasn’t easy.

But it was one of the most important lessons I could learn. So Let’s talk about it. So you can learn it too.

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Taking the First Step and Calling it Quits

Majority of women stay in relationships way longer than they know is good for them. So many women I coach stay in their unhappy romances because they try to “make it work” or “fix the relationship.” They know they aren’t getting what they need from their partner, but they are hoping that if they work hard enough at the relationship then maybe they will.

If you’re one of these women, don’t be ashamed. Trust me. You aren’t the only one out there guilty of this.

This is how things usually play out:

First, you start feeling unhappy. It’s almost like something is missing in your life that you really want but don’t know how to find. So you start trying to fix the relationship and alter it so you can finally get what you need. You want the person you fell in love with long ago to be the one person that provides you everything you need. So you try to make it work. but then at some point you realize you can’t get what you want and you never will. So what do you do? Do you call it quits right then and there? Some women do.. but most ladies out there don’t.

Majority of women will think about the decision for a while before they actually make the choice to walk away. They start weighing the pros and cons of being single again to make sure it is the right decision.  We start asking ourselves questions like, “Should I do this?” and “Is this the right choice for me?”

Toying with the idea of becoming a single woman again is much like shopping for a new pair of shoes.

Before we retire our old worn out converse for a pair of sexy stilettos, we want to be sure we are making the right choice.

And so what do we do? We try them on first!

We start imagining what our routine would be like if we didn’t have our partner.

“What will my evenings be like?”

“Who will I call to tell about my day?”

“What will I do and who will I share my experiences with?”

And the scariest question of all – “Can I actually do this?”

You shop around the idea of being single in your head, and you imagine what walking around as single woman would feel like for you. Is it comfortable? Does it make me feel good? Do I want to make this investment?

And then you have a choice – you can either put those sexy single girl stilettos back on the shelf, or you can be brave and take that first step towards independence. And if you have taken that first step and are reading this post – you know first hand that it’s an uphill climb: Learning how to move on after a break up.

Steps for Learning How to Move On After a Break Up

Okay.. So you buy the shoes. You are a single woman again. Amazing! But it hurts right? I mean, just continuing with this shoe analogy for a second here, sexy stilettos aren’t exactly comfortable. Especially if you haven’t worn them in a while. It takes time to get used to a new life walking in new shoes. And sometimes we need help learning how to move on after a breakup. We need to heal, recover, forgive ourselves and strengthen those sexy single girl calf muscles! So here’s how you do it. Here are some simple steps for learning how to move on after a breakup.

Replace your negative thoughts.

How many of you out there have ended a long term relationship and think that you can’t find someone else? Are you blaming yourself for why the relationship didn’t work? Do you feel like a failed human? It’s normal to think that way. But you need to do your best to replace those negative thoughts. Make a list of all the things that you are scared of. Get clear about what negative thoughts are holding you back from actually moving forward.

You need to replace that insecure mindset with positive beliefs. Walking away from an unhealthy relationship is the best thing you can do for yourself, but you will never learn how to move on after a break up if you are constantly feeling unworthy of a better life. Get clear about what you believe and start to replace all your negative thoughts with positive ones. “I deserve better” or “I can find true love again,” are mantras you should be reciting every day.

Start believing in your new positive mindset.

It’s one thing to just repeat crazy chants of positivity, but it’s way more inspiring when you start to believe it. Find a positive thought about why being single was a good decision. Make a list of all the wonderful opportunities you will now have as a single woman. If you want to start believing that you actually deserve better than your unhealthy relationship, you need to come up with reasons why you are worthy. Ask yourself, “Why do I deserve better?” What is so wonderful about you that makes you worthy (and capable) of having something better in your life. Getting clear about those reasons will only help you in the process of learning how to move on after a break up.

Find support and encouragement.

This is a really important vital component of moving forward in your life. When you aren’t used to being alone, you will definitely feel lonely in the beginning. It’s only natural. Find people in your life who are supportive of your decision and hold on to them tightly. Spend a few months embracing those people who are supportive of your decision to end your relationship. And do your best to rely on your healthy support system for learning how to move on after a break up. If there isn’t anyone in your life that you feel comfortable relying on, you can always join my community support group. It’s a free group where I provide women the resources and tools they need to recover from their unhealthy relationships.

Start setting goals and making plans

In the beginning, you are going to need to keep busy. It is only natural that you will feel some empty-ness in your life once you become a single woman. Fill it with things that bring you joy! Start setting goals for yourself and your new life as a single woman. Did you always want to join a gym but felt like you had no time to workout? Well guess what – you are single, go do it girl. Start focusing on your own personal development. Learning how to move on after a break up is really about learning how to “be you” again. Find the things you enjoy, and surround yourself with them constantly. You can even make a single girl bucket list! You can check out this post about it and get the free E-guide for your single girl goals!

Re-Establish your worth.

It’s really easy for women to define their worth based on how much other’s value them. And when our relationships go sour, we start to lose our sense of self confidence. So when you start learning how to move on after a break up, you will slowly need to rebuild your self worth. Start growing your confidence and focusing on rebuilding your identity. And don’t just do it by keeping busy and setting goals.

Practice self-esteem building exercises. Start journaling more often. Take a good hard look at yourself and start figuring out what makes you wonderful again. Now I know this is a really challenging complicated step for most women learning how to move on after a break up. So if you feel like you are in need of guidance and want to completely transform your life, you should check out the Perfection Program. This is a custom designed self confidence course for completely transforming your life and growing your worth. Go take a look.

I hope these tips help! If you are still searching, try these other posts:

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And if you need some more guidance, check out that sexy E-guide for making a single girl bucket list!

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Life Lessons About Weddings

Life Lessons About Weddings

I was married once before. It didn’t work out. Blame it on the pain in my heart for failing my own relationship, but the wedding after my divorce was actually really hard for me. I was hurting a great deal. Struggling with my own issues, I had a really hard time being present in the moment and celebrating with everyone else. But this time around, things were different. I was different. Life was different. And the love the two people getting married shared felt pretty different to me too.

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I’ve known Lauren my whole life. She’s like a sister to me. But even though I am the older one, she’s the one always teaching me big important life lessons that I didn’t think even existed. And her wedding was no different. This past weekend Lauren and Kyle tied the knot. I officiated the ceremony, was in the bridal party and was so super full of love the whole entire weekend.

 

The Truth About Weddings

Weddings are whatever you want them to be. They can be a time to mope and feel bad about the life you want and don’t have, or they can be a time to celebrate something truly special for someone you love. This time around I was so clear headed and balanced in my own life, that taking time to celebrate and join in on the weekend fun was easy for me. It came natural. I didn’t even have to think about it. And because I was so open and appreciative of the special moment I was sharing with my friend, I learned some pretty kick ass lessons.

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Lesson number one: If you spend your time worrying about what other people feel and think, you won’t enjoy your life. The same goes for your own wedding. My friend Lauren was a total rockstar when it came to enjoying her special day. She didn’t worry about whether the food was good for other people, or if her guests were having an awesome time. Sure  those are things she took into consideration when she planned the day, but on the actual day of, she was focused on herself and enjoying everything she worked hard for. And rightfully so! When you are constantly wrapped up in the worry of whether other people are getting what they need on your special day, it is so hard to really take in the special celebration that is truly all about you! And the same goes for life. If you are always worried about other people, finding true happiness isn’t really a possibility.

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Lesson number two: Failing once does not mean that you will never get what you want in life. Lauren and I are similar in that we have bot had serious relationship in our pasts that didn’t end well. The wedding I went to soon after my divorce was hard for me. It was like I was in a full blown nightmare reminder of everything I thought I could never have: happiness, true love, pretty things, smiles etc. I was jaded to say the least. Feeling happy and celebrating true love when you don’t have it is a really hard thing. But seeing Lauren and Kyle on their special day I was reminded of something: True love exists.. and sometimes you have to go down a weird unexpected road to find it. Just because you have a past failed relationship doesn’t mean you are forever branded as an unhappy unmarried incapable of love individual. That’s just not the case. This goes for anything in life really.. you have to believe that just because you don’t get what you are searching for on the first try, doesn’t mean you stop trying entirely.

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Lesson Number Three: Life and Love Are Adventures. This was a common theme in Lauren and Kyle’s wedding and something I truly never ever want to forget. Love is not some sort of achievement. It isn’t something you just check off your list of accomplishments in life. It is a continual endless adventure full of possibilities. When you look at love and marriage as something you need to “complete” or “finalize” or “get to the top of,” you don’t appreciate the hike or the journey along the way that you took to get there. I used to be so serious about wanting to get married and rushing for that proposal on the rise, but I realized something so wonderful at Lauren and Kyle’s wedding: From the moment you fall in love, you are on a journey. And it isn’t about the destination.. it’s about all the wonderful adventurous moments worth celebrating on the way there.

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Wedding Lesson Number Four: The Gift of Giving is A Beautiful Thing When You Expect Nothing in Return. For Lauren’s wedding I planned a lot of little special things for my best friend. I wanted to do as much as I could to make her day memorable for her. It was the first time in a while that I reminded myself ahead of time to give and show love without expecting anything back. That is what love is. And when you love someone, gift or no  gift, you should show that love without expecting anything back. Lauren and Kyle are so kind and caring towards one another it just reminded me that it is okay to be vulnerable in love and in life. It is okay to show affection, to be warm and kind and to do it just because that is who you are and what you feel. Sharing my special gifts with Lauren on her wedding day warmed my heart.. and I didn’t need to get anything back to feel that love.

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And Lesson Number Five: Being Yourself is The Key to Happiness. This was a special weekend for me. I was surrounded by people who I love so dearly, but who I also haven’t seen in such a long time. I was worried about so many things the days before the trip: Will my boyfriend have a good time? Will I be a good officiate? Will I look okay in my dress? Will I say and do the right things and not embarrass myself? But once I got there, I just decided to be myself. I decided I was going to relax, have a good time and not worry about what other people think. This goes back to my first lesson on the list, just tying everything in here.. but the truth is … when you are truly being yourself and not caring about what other people think… Life is full of fun beautiful memories that just mean SO much more than any fake memory could.

So Live life, be you, and be full of love.

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And yes… our bridesmaid’s dresses were rocked with converse sneakers. Because my best friend is a total badass who doesn’t give a shit about heals.

 

The Wedding Look

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What My Parents Taught Me About Being An Adult This Year.

What My Parents Taught Me About Being An Adult This Year.

Mother knows best. At least that’s what she taught me right? I remember when I was growing up and wanting to be an adult,  I always felt this overwhelming pressure to do right by my mom and dad. I’m sure many of you did. Not saying I always did what mom knows to be best, in fact, I almost never abided by the rules growing up. – I was far from the perfect child. But even when I made those “bad decisions,”  I was always asking myself, “How would mom and dad feel about this?” Even if it was something as simple as sneaking an extra cookie before dinner time. Or not so simple – like the time I decided to pierce my ears a second time in my bedroom.  No matter what I was always thinking about how my actions would be perceived by my parents: whether they would be proud or disappointed in my choices and if my choices would ultimately have some sort of consequences. Usually they were disappointed.. and usually there were consequences.

To my parents, I was the kid who grew up making all the wrong choices. And when I got older, I tried my best to break the habit and start adding more to my “Good daughter” Resume. But trying to fulfill my parents expectations as an adult was a way different experience than when I was a kid. There were times in the last few years that I made choices and decisions because I was so afraid of trusting my gut. And still afraid of disappointing my parents. Yes, even as an adult I was thinking these things. If it meant doing something that my parents wouldn’t do or didn’t approve of, did that mean that I still shouldn’t do it? Even if it felt right to me and for my own life?

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The Big Adult-hood Ah-Ha Moment

I’ve been an adult for a few years now… I mean, I am 27 after all, and I have made some pretty adult decisions since I’ve passed through my teenage years. I do my taxes by myself. I built a substantial 401k in my time at CBS, and I make sure to pay all of my bills on time. I make my own decisions about what I do from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed and I do my chores regularly (not because someone is nagging me to, but because it makes me feel good to have a clean home.) There was no “ah-ha moment” when I became an adult. It wasn’t like suddenly I woke up one morning and the world awarded me some adult-hood certification or diploma or anything. It was something that just happened with time over time. And just like anything, you get good at it with practice and more experience.

But there was a lightbulb “ah-ha” moment for me that was more significant and life changing than actually becoming an adult.  It was the moment I realized that what my parents had taught me about being an adult was totally and completely wrong.  And it didn’t happen the moment I turned 21 or the year I reached 25. It happened this year, out of the blue, and in the most unexpected way.

Being a Kid and Having Perfect Parents

My parents did everything they could to teach me how to make the best decisions in life. Unfortunately, the way they taught me left me with this long term overwhelming feeling that their way of being a grown up was “the only way to be a grown up,” and if I wasn’t doing it their way, I was failing. I am sure many of you have felt like that in your life. There are moments where even as an adult we are left feeling like we are that little kid trying to make mom and dad proud. And sometimes that isn’t such a good thing: It keeps us from actually being ourselves and living our own life the way we truly want to. My parents are wonderful people, but for years they instilled this crazy perfectionism mindset in me that had me believing they were two perfect human beings… and because of that I lived much of my life trying to fill their shoes.

My parents never admitted to making mistakes when I was growing up. They never told me about the times they screwed up or the times they failed in life. Maybe that’s because they never wanted me to feel like their bad decisions were acceptable, or maybe that’s because they wanted to keep me sheltered from the idea that life can be hard or tough at times. But whatever the reason, it didn’t translate with me. All that translated was that my parents had terribly high expectations for me and I had to try to be the best I could be for them.

Letting Go of My Parent’s Expectations

This year was the year of my big ah-ha moment breakthrough. The details of this moment are still being kept private out of respect of my parents. But in that ah-ha moment, my mom and dad sat my sisters and me down to have a serious talk about something going on in their lives and how it would effect our family dynamic.

This has never in my life happened before. Never have we had a “family meeting” of sorts. It was a strange and totally out of the ordinary thing to take place in my house – partly because we all live away from home now, but mostly because my parents never opened up to us publicly about anything going on in their relationship as our parents. This was the moment where they got real honest with us for the first time. The moment that completely changed what it meant to be an adult for me. It was the moment I saw my parents as normal  people and not two unattainably-perfect adults.

If your parents have never been vulnerable and open with you about the times they have failed or the times they have made bad decisions – it isn’t because they are being cold or closed off to you. It isn’t because they are perfect. And it isn’t because they don’t love you. It is just  because they don’t know better. Seeing my parents let down their guard and share something difficult about their own “adult life” was one of the most loving experiences I have ever seen.  And I wish it happened sooner. It showed me that all these years I was trying to make decisions to please two people who were probably trying just as hard to make good decisions in their own lives too.

 

My Parents and Perfection

In that moment, I suddenly realized that the decisions I make as an adult are my own. They are no one else’s, and I have no one to answer to. If someone doesn’t approve or support a choice I make for my life, it isn’t my problem. Being an adult doesn’t mean having it together every minute of every day. Being vulnerable is part of life, and it is an opportunity just to feel more love.

My parents are not perfect people. And knowing that, and seeing that, made it clear to me that I don’t ever have to try to be either. I no longer need to live my life pleasing others. I no longer need to seek out approval from adults who taught me how to be an adult. Thank you for teaching me as best you could, but I’ll take the reigns from here and continue to keep learning. Love and Approval are two totally different things, and when we get older, we need to learn how to separate the two, more so than when we are younger. Being so focused on getting our parents approval only means we are insecure with the love they have for us. Because the truth is no matter what, my parents will love me no matter what decisions I make in my life. And I don’t need their approval to feel that love.

So…. Being an Adult

Being an adult is hard. It is never perfect. It is certainly full of unexpected twists and turns and opportunities to push yourself to be better than you were yesterday. But it’s more than just about paying your taxes on time and washing your laundry properly. It’s about being free to uniquely design the life you love and the life that suits you best. Not the life that suits your mom or dad, the life that suits you.

 

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What is Perfection is the Self Improvement blog for the imperfect girl everywhere. Learn to find happiness, feel beautiful, and be confident in who you are. We all deserve to be happy, and we all deserve to be the best version of us. And we all are truly capable of getting there. Because Perfection Is Impossible. Happiness isn’t. See The Self Improvement E-Guide Collection For Your Life Coaching Guides to Change Your Life Today!

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The Waiting Game: When A Proposal Is On The Rise

The Waiting Game: When A Proposal Is On The Rise

I’m about to get real honest and real with you guys about my current relationship sitch. Matt and I have been talking about getting married. Not to say that this is a new conversation or anything… it’s been a lingering topic for quite some time. We are shopping for a home, looking to settle down together, and marriage just seems to be one of those important parts of the equation. But right in this exact moment, it isn’t a vital part. I don’t have a ring on my finger yet. There was no grand beautiful proposal (yet.) For now, I am just twiddling my thumbs waiting for the opportunity to arise when Matt decides to sweep me off my feet and propose.

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The Perfect Picture Moment

When you see engagement posts on Facebook, it is really easy to get wrapped up in the perfect picture. I wrote about it in my post about how Facebook can compromise our happiness.. But when it comes to engagements and romantic moments, it is especially true.  The dramatic down on one knee moment where the girl looks so shocked and surprised that this special moment she has been waiting for forever is finally happening. But what we forget and tend to ignore is what happened before that beautiful perfect picture moment: The private conversations between two adults who openly discuss the possibility that they are destined to be together forever.

Everyone has those conversations differently. For some, it is a very clear passionate romantic form of expression, “I love you, and you love me… let’s spend the rest of our lives together.” For others, it is a casual “We should get married,” talk. Sometimes it is a conversation that happens more than once, just so that we can be sure this thing we are so happy about is “for real.”

But either way, I’m pretty certain that there is always some sort of conversation that comes before that grand big proposal. Because let’s face it: Guys are logical human beings. And to think a guy goes out and invests thousands of dollars in a ring without at least hinting towards the possibility with his girl first is pretty silly.

What Happens Next? The Girl Goes Crazy.

So after that conversation, here’s what happens: The girl starts imagining her life as a newly wed. She starts getting excited about all the amazing wonderful memories she is about to make: The proposal, the wedding, the celebration. All of it. And in the process of getting excited, it is really easy for some girls (me included) to start freaking out over the possibility that this thing you suddenly want so badly could take months, or years. When the heck is it going to happen? and How Long do I have to wait? It’s the waiting game… to the extreme.

Feeling Out of Control.

I guess those feeling all circle back to an important issue most girls have: and that is the ability to feel comfortable with being out of control of our destiny. The truth is it’s mostly up to the guy right? Sure we can pressure and push and trying to hint that this is something we are just really really wanting to happen, but ultimately it is the guy’s decision to make the move and pop that question. And so we wait… some of us patiently, but most of us, let’s face it, completely stress out the whole time. “When is it going to happen already!?” and “How Long do I have to wait?” And then some of us go to this even more deeper place, and start worrying that maybe that conversation we had was just a “hypothetical” …. or even worse: What if the guy changed his mind about us and doesn’t want it  anymore? What if he is getting cold feet? — Waiting game turned what if = disaster.

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For a While That Was Me.

I’ll admit… it’s been months since Matt and I had our initial conversation about getting married, and I honestly have no idea when it is going to happen. In the beginning, in the early months after our first talk, I freaked out and started to believe every single moment was the potential for a proposal. Literally.. it was ridiculous. Matt would leave the bedroom to go brush his teeth at night and I’d be convinced he was going to get the engagement ring he is hiding… He would call me outside to see something cute the dogies were doing and I’d run downstairs with my “surprised” face hoping he would be down on one knee when I got there. It was like this big ball of anticipation was consuming me, and for a long time, it was a hard thing to shake. And it definitely weighed on our relationship. He knew I was in waiting. And because I was constantly expecting something bigger, it was hard for me to appreciate the little happy moments that came in our relationship during that time.

The Game Changer

There was a pivotal moment for me when all of that anticipation seemed to disappear… it was the moment I started asking myself “Why Do I want to Marry Matt?” I was so obsessed with all the reasons that I thought he would want to marry me (and sometimes obsessed in fear over the reasons he wouldn’t want to) that I stopped asking myself what it was that I wanted. And what I wanted and still want is to be happy with a man I love – a man who I truly feel completes me, and makes me more of the person I am truly meant to be. He is the most wonderful kind man I’ve ever met. Why wouldn’t I want to be happy with him forever? But the reality is, I don’t need a ring on my finger to do that. I don’t need a proposal to happen in order to feel that way. I can just feel that way right here and right now. Looking at our relationship from that small change in perception helped me realize that what mattered most wasn’t the moment with the fancy proposal that I was once so desperately waiting for. What mattered most was the love we shared and the memories we could create before the proposal just as much as afterwards.

 The Lesson

No matter where you are in your relationship, always remember that things grow and evolve naturally. When you force situations or try to make things happen more quickly than their natural time line, you get a jaded and less fulfilling experience no matter what it is: proposal or not. And no matter what, remember the emotions behind what it is you are longing for in your life are most important. It doesn’t make sense to spend months being unhappy because you are waiting for a proposal to make you feel good again.

I know now that no matter what happens along our relationship journey, that being in the moment and celebrating what we have right here and now is the best way to treat my relationship the way it deserves. And if a proposal never happens, I know that we still had a lovely amazing wonderful relationship because we were both present in the NOW of it all. And what happens after the proposal? Well… Happily ever after of course.

But for now, I’ll have to admit… it’s pretty happy too.

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