It’s the month of Christmas and love is in the air. If you’re navigating the holidays as a single person, now is the time to create new dating experiences and meet new people. Andif you’ve just been through a rough relationship, it’s time to look back and reflect. Relationships are complicated, and they can cause some serious emotional trauma depending on how bad they are. That is why you don’t want to miss today’s episode.
Join Whitney Lauritsen as she talks with Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming and Certified Life and Emotional Intelligence Coach Jacqui Pugh. Learn about the impact of relationships on our physical and mental health, especially if you have experienced dealing with red flags, ghosting, and rejection. Discover the difference between self-love and self-value, as well as why you should be listening to yourself and not society’s dating rules. Whitney also shares relationships stories she rarely talks about on this show as she opens up about her own dating experiences.
BURN PROGRAM: https://jacquipugh.com/home/burn-program/burn/
FREEBIE – The Top 7 SECRETS to being SINGLE AF (and Fulfilled) & LOVING LIFE!: https://www.facebook.com/groups/singleaflovinglife
Listen to the podcast here
Recovering From Bad Dating Experiences With Jacqui Pugh
As I was talking to Jacqui before clicking record, she mentioned that her podcast has a theme of getting uncomfortable in a way. Jacqui, I would love to hear that in your own words. What do you say at the end of each podcast episode?
At the end of our podcast, we say, “Thanks for getting comfy with us or uncomfy.” When I saw the title of your show, I was like, “This is my kind of girl.”
I love that. It’s interesting, all the different interpretations of what being comfortable and getting uncomfortable mean. First of all, when I acknowledged the name of your podcast, I’ll have you say it because I feel like there’s always a different energy when someone talks about their show. What’s it called?
It’s called Stop F*cking Settling. We say the shit your friends won’t say.
When I heard that title, I felt excited. It’s similar to how you felt about this show’s title. I feel so intrigued. I need to know. Maybe there is censorship, which is something else you and I had talked about. This show is rated as explicit so people don’t feel like they need to censor themselves. Do you feel like friends censor themselves in terms of talking about relationships and the uncomfortable things that they might want to say but they don’t say to other people?
One thousand percent. Usually, our friends and family will say what they think we want to hear, not what we need to hear. As a certified life coach and my business partner who is also a coach as well, we know the importance of hearing what we need to hear from our coaches and telling our clients. We’re like, “No more beating around the bush. We know what the dating world is like. We know what life is like. This is how it is. Let’s talk about it and keep it lighthearted. Let’s find the humor in it but be truthful.”Friends and family usually say what we want to hear, not what we need to hear. Click To Tweet
I couldn’t agree more. I’ve had a few guests on the show that specializes in dating and have dating podcasts and content online. I was thinking about my friend, Jason Green, whom I met through TikTok. He’s been on the show a couple of times. He’s had massive success with his content. It’s because dating is one of those topics that many of us can’t seem to get enough of.
Even if you’re in a committed relationship, it’s still interesting to hear about the dating world and stay up to date on it because there is so much that changes. For instance, I’ve heard people that are in committed relationships saying, “I’m so glad I’m not single because dating seems so hard. I’m so glad that I don’t need to be on those apps.” I don’t know Jacqui, if you’re single or not, what your status is and how you talk about that in your content.
I’m single. I don’t know your thoughts on this but I talk to my best friends every day about Marco Polo. When I drop my podcast, I thought for sure they’d help us out, subscribe, rate it, review it and that would be it. My one girlfriend, in particular, is in a very serious committed relationship. She’s like, “I cannot wait until Tuesdays until your podcast comes out.” We don’t only talk about dating but we do talk about dating a lot.
Even being somebody who’s in the dating scene myself, there are new terms out called the orbiter and getting zombied. My business partner was doing a write-up for our podcast on one of the things. She’s like, “For those people who are shipped up.” I was like, “That’s got to be a typo. What does that mean?” She was like, “A relationship.” I’m like, “Is that what the Millennials call it? We’re putting in that little effort that they can’t even fully say relationship?” There are always new fun and intriguing things going on in the dating world.
I don’t think it’s necessary things that you should be envious of but there are new things out there, for sure. As we learn these things, we dive in and talk about them. People in relationships also find it intriguing. When you’re in a relationship, it’s important to still be dating. Even though we’re talking about the single life in a sense, you should still be dating your partner whether you’re in a relationship or married. That’s how stuff fizzles out if you don’t. I highly advise everybody to listen to it.
That is such a great point. Certainly, you’ll hear that in terms of relationship advice. It’s also interesting the generational differences too. I feel like I know a lot about what’s going on with younger Millennials, which I’m a Millennial and then Gen Z because I spend so much time on TikTok. I haven’t heard some of these terms so it’s interesting. Even when you feel like you’re in the know, you could still miss out on things, which is okay. I’m curious what is an orbiter? I don’t think I’ve heard that term before.
An orbiter is somebody where maybe something fizzled out between you guys and they’re like, “I’m not into you. I have no interest in you,” and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, they pop up. They start watching all of your Instagram stories or following you on Facebook or TikTok and heart things. They like things. They might even be in a relationship but they don’t ever say anything to you.
I have orbiters that I have been around for five years who are in super committed relationships. I’m like, “You’re still orbiting me. You watch every single thing that I post. You said I was perfect. You chose somebody else but you’re still trying to be in my orbit.” It’s interesting. That is what an orbiter is. When you learn about these terms, it’s funny because normally, you think about the planets. I imagine these little heads of people that I know orbiting me in space.
I love that visual. I’m sitting here thinking I’ve experienced versions of that. There were these certain guys that I was into. There was one, in particular years ago. I met him on a dating app and was so into him. We seemed to have all this chemistry. I thought he was into me but he never wanted to have a committed relationship. Yet, he would continue that orbiting.
Back then, I was much more active on social media. I barely do social media of my own. I’m at least taking a pause to re-evaluate it. I wonder. Can people still orbit you if you’re not posting a lot? In the past, that guy would watch all my stories and comment on them. He was always around. I’d be like, “What are you doing? Are you into me or not?” I’m curious. What do you think about orbiters in general? What does that behavior mean?
We dive into this in the episode on all of that so I’m like, “How can I sum it up?” I can go down the path and keep talking about it because it intrigues me. I would take it for what it is. Take it for face value. If anybody has an orbiter, I know how tempting it can feel to think, “Maybe this person’s into me.” Take it for what it is as somebody who’s not willing to commit or put in the effort. Even if they’re interested, they’re not that interested to reach out to you and make a genuine connection. Take that, put it up on a shelf and leave it there.Take behavior for what it is. Take it for face value. Click To Tweet
That is great advice. I have another situation for you. It is something that has been happening to me. I don’t talk about my relationships publicly anymore. I used to and then decide to set a boundary. This is a little rare but I’ll share one little thing that I’ve been wondering about. I’m like, “Maybe you might have some insight.”
I have this guy that I dated a long time ago. We became friends and have remained in each other’s lives. We’re genuinely friends. I’ve tried to be friends with a number of my exes. Most of the guys that I’ve dated, we’ve at least remained friendly. There are very few of them that I have zero relationships with or something bad happened. I like that feeling because it meant something in my life. Yet, there’s that awkward moment where you have this friendship and they are in another relationship or you’re in another relationship. It is setting those boundaries to make your current partner and their current partners feel safe and not threatened, which a lot of people do about old flames.
In my situation, this guy from very long ago, I felt like there were zero feelings whatsoever on either of our sides. Our friendship has been strong. I even developed a relationship with this person’s partner. All of a sudden, he’s been texting me more often and bringing up all these old jokes. We’ve been having this joking dynamic for a very long time too but it’s happening much more frequently. I’ve been mystified like, “Why is he doing this?” Part of me is thinking, “This feels uncomfortable because I don’t think he’s trying to re-establish a relationship with me. It doesn’t feel that way but it feels a little inappropriate.”
My concern is, “Is something going on with his wife?” I feel uncomfortable asking. I don’t want to be out of nowhere because we don’t normally talk about that where I’m like, “Is everything okay in your relationship? Does she know that you’re texting me all the time, bringing up all these old jokes?” I’m trying to figure out, “How do I set boundaries?” I don’t feel right. If my partner was doing something like that, I would feel uncomfortable with that. I’m curious. Have you come across this? What do you think this means? Also, how do you set boundaries to be mindful of other people too and the feelings of the other partners in these relationships?
You might not like my answer. I know some people don’t agree with me. I don’t think that there’s any right or wrong. From how many relationships I have seen and been a part of in terms of my clients and things like that, honestly, I don’t know if it’s truly possible for a man and a woman to just be friends, especially if they have dated.
What I find is that at least one party secretly wants something else even if it is what you’re talking about, like a possible “innocent” interaction with somebody. You’re joking around. It’s still at an innocent level but he’s seeking something that he’s not getting from his partner. I love that you recognize that and you’re like, “What’s going on at home? He’s connecting with me on a deeper level than we used to.”
I also think it’s interesting that you guys don’t talk about his wife. It’s interesting that you don’t talk about those things. One of the big questions that I always ask my clients, whether it’s a guy or a girl, when they’re in a place of, “We broke up and they want to stay in my life. They want to be friends and I want to be friends with them,” the question I always come back with is, “Would you be okay if that person was dating somebody else?” They’d be like, “No.” I’ll be like, “Would that person be okay hearing about you dating somebody else?” They’re like, “Probably not.” I’m like, “You’re not friends because friends can talk about those types of things.”
With this specific person, it’s complicated. I don’t want to make this whole episode about it so I won’t go deep into it. You make up some great points that I can relate to in other relationships where I knew I was still interested in someone and was trying to play the role of a friend because I wanted to keep them in my life.
To your point, certain people felt impossible to just be friends because I had lingering feelings toward them. I’ve certainly had dynamics where I’ve been close to a guy and I want their partner, whether it’s their girlfriend or whomever their partner is, where there is this dynamic or yearning to make them feel safe. That feels important to me. I don’t want to feel threatened.
It’s interesting to look at this because some of this might not be within our control. Part of the point even going back to what you were saying earlier with the orbiter, we can sit around and try to figure out why people do things but sometimes, we will never understand. We don’t know what it’s like to be them. We don’t know what’s going on in their lives and where the behavior is coming from. We might not have any control over it. No matter how much we can justify it or rationalize it, that’s not going to change anything.
A good rule of thumb is exactly what you said. You were like, “I wouldn’t want my partner doing that with somebody and neither would I.” There’s somebody that I met who is very close to my friend. I’ve known her for thirteen years. I met somebody through her and I was like, “That is one of the love of my life. That’s one of them.” I know that it is but the person is married. They’re not in a place where it’s necessarily a healthy dynamic. Neither of them wants to be in it but he’s married.
For me, I immediately go, “What would I want my husband to do? What type of situation do I want to be involved in?” I’m okay. I can hang out with him and be friends. I got the wall up. I got the sealed door. I locked up the attraction and threw the key away. I’m good. I don’t know his last name, phone number, Instagram handle or any of it.
My girlfriend told me that he sent me a message about my podcast on Instagram. I was like, “I never got it. He’s got to delete it.” I had to have my mom delete it. I was like, “Go in here. You got to go to Requests.” I never got it because it went to the request folder. I’m like, “It has to be deleted.” I don’t want to be tempted to start looking and seeing, “Are they still together? Are they not together?” I don’t want to have any type of intimate one-on-ones. When I say intimate, I don’t mean anything other than friends but we should not be having a one-on-one conversation, in my opinion, when somebody is married. For me, that’s a boundary of mine. I would never want my husband to do that.
I know that there was a mutual attraction and that’s not okay. I had to put up a hardcore wall. I’m like, “You have to tell him I deleted it. He can tell me about it when I see him in real life. I can’t know his handle.” I’m sure maybe you’ve heard of attachment styles. I’m also familiar with my attachment style. I’m a recovering anxious attachment style. I’m more secure but I know that the whole situation is going to activate my anxious side. That’s not healthy for me either. I have a huge wall up with that.
Going back to the beginning of your question about being friends with exes, I’m not friends with any of my exes. We didn’t start as friends. We dated but it didn’t work out and it’s time to cut the cord and move on. I deleted all the pictures from social media. You said you’re a Millennial. I’m an elder Millennial. When I was younger, if somebody broke up with you, the only way that you knew about what was going on in their life is if you physically ran into them on the street or they called you. Seeing your ex on social media, watching them, stalking them and posting because subconsciously, you’re hoping that they’re going to see it, get jealous and call you, all of that is controlling your life. It’s not allowing there to be a clean break.
From an energetic standpoint, it doesn’t leave energetic space, in my opinion, for somebody new to come into your life fully and completely because you have this other tie to somebody else. There is somebody else that you’re cracking those jokes with. There is somebody else that you’re going to for emotional support instead of your partner. Most people aren’t going to feel safe. You’re like, “I want her to feel safe.” Maybe over time, she could feel safe with you.
Most people aren’t like you and me where they’re like, “I want to be friends with this person and I want their significant other to feel safe.” Most people don’t think about that. In your situation, it’s okay to have a conversation with him and say, “I’ve been noticing that these things have been coming up lately. It’s like when we were dating. How are things going on at home? Is there anything you want to talk about?” It’s okay to bring it up because he’s your friend. You guys can talk about that as friends.
That is such helpful advice. I can’t wait to apply it. Part of it with him is we’ve never had that deep of a connection. We didn’t date that long so we’ve never even been in a position to have those types of conversations. I’ve run into that with a few men where there was good chemistry but our communication wasn’t strong.
When I don’t have strong communication with someone, I feel super uncomfortable. I don’t know what to do because generally, I’m very open. I want to get deep and discuss things. When things are more on the surface level with some men that I’ve been with, it’s hard to navigate things. That’s probably the reason it didn’t work out.
You’re bringing up a lot of interesting things. First of all, your boundaries are very impressive to me. They’re something that I’m trying to take into consideration for myself too. It’s interesting to acknowledge the desire to keep someone in your life and the challenge of letting something go. With one of my more long-term relationships, we ended it and resolved it. We’ve had a few back-and-forths but we don’t talk that regularly. That feels good.
I’ve also had serious boyfriends who once they got married, told me, “My wife’s not comfortable with us talking anymore.” I remember at times thinking that was a little strange. I’m like, “What’s their wife’s problem? Why are they so threatened?” In some cases, what you’re alluding to is they might feel unsafe because not everybody is safe. Maybe they don’t trust me because they’ve had bad experiences with other people that didn’t treat them well or with respect.
Maybe that’s a boundary of theirs that their husband is trying to meet. I have found it’s so important to respect those boundaries, not try to push on my agenda or convince somebody that I’m trustworthy. Speaking of control again, it’s not my place to try to control those people or anybody outside of myself.
I agree with that. Everything that you said is spot on. You were talking about how your ex told you, “I’m married and my wife doesn’t feel comfortable with this.” I salute him because I used to have a ton of guy friends. For anybody reading, whether you’re a girl or a guy, it’s hurtful when you have a friend of the opposite sex and then you stop talking to them. You don’t tell them because you got into a relationship and there’s a new boundary. That’s fine. Respect your significant other and let your friend know because that’s ghosting. Going back to the dating terms, don’t ghost them. You were probably somewhat of a significant person in their life for them to not talk to you.
The other thing that’s interesting here is they’re like, “I don’t have any feelings.” I was like, “It’s very clear that the guy does.” I was talking to one of my girlfriends. She’s like, “His girlfriend hates me.” I was like, “Does she hate you?” She knows that the boyfriend has feelings for her. I’m like, “Does she sense that her boyfriend has feelings for you and she can pick up on that so it makes her feel uncomfortable?” She’s like, “She probably knows. She doesn’t hate me.” I’m like, “She doesn’t hate you.”
Energy doesn’t lie. You can’t hide it. I always tell my clients, “A light bulb can’t be like, ‘I’m not going to shine my light today outside of my bulb. I’m going to turn the light on the inside of my bulb and no one’s going to see my light.’ That light’s coming out. We can all see it and feel it.” When you go to parties and you put a smile on your face and you’re feeling like crap, people can feel that. It is maybe not to the extreme or intense as it would be if you were vocal about it but people can feel your energy.Energy doesn't lie. You can't hide your feelings. Click To Tweet
Speaking of communication, I agree. There have been very handsome men that I’ve been so attracted to and they’re like, “Communication makes me feel uncomfortable.” I’m like, “I’m a coach. This isn’t going to work.” There is a boundary. I’m like, “I know this isn’t right for me. I have to put up that boundary because I’m overlooking all the red flags.” That’s a whole other topic with oxytocin and all the things.
Your significant other probably is picking up on your potential body language of yours if you maybe still have a little something for this person. They’re picking up on your energy. A lot of times, we want to call them crazy because we’re not going to do something but they can sense that. That’s why, for me, it’s a fresh, clean slate when we break up. I’m like, “Thank you for the memories. Sometimes, you’ve hurt my feelings in whatever the situation is. It’s time to move on.”
There’s so much in everything that you’re saying. I’m glad you have your podcast because it sounds like you could dive into each of these subject matters. Certainly, we could. We were going to talk about dating during the holidays and the challenges. Maybe we’ll get to it but I feel like there’s so much I want to talk about.
It’s interesting on the ghosting side and the communication side. I’ve certainly ghosted at least one person. It was because I couldn’t find a way to communicate with them while protecting my well-being. The best solution for me at that time for my mental health was to ghost. As much as I tried, I couldn’t figure out a safe form of communication. It was too hurtful and triggering. I still regret it.
In general, I agree with you. The ghosting side of things is something I don’t want to do. I would much rather communicate. Being on that side of things to protect myself and take care of myself, I was making a decision that went against some of my values, which is interesting. There are so many nuances to all of this. There’s no rule book that we can follow for all relationships because each one is going to be different. We’re evolving. What I did a few years ago might not be something I would still do now. Certainly, with a lot of my relationship decisions, I’m like, “That’s interesting. I am a very different person now.”
In that scenario with the ghosting, did you feel physically unsafe with this person?
Not physically unsafe but very emotionally unsafe. That person, I never developed communication with where I could fully express myself and feel heard and seen. The foundation was lacking. Without getting into the details, it got to this point where I spent days writing down and journaling like, “How do I deal with this?” I was crying, mourning and trying to process it. It was a huge experience for me.
Ultimately, after all that processing, I realized that ghosting felt like the most emotionally safe decision for me even though I didn’t want to do it. That’s what the point of a lot that you’re getting to. Sometimes, we are doing things that we don’t want to do but they’re the best choice for us. That’s tough. A lot of relationships are built on that. You can feel something and want something yet know that it’s not the right choice to follow that. It’s so deeply painful. The pain is also something I’d love to hear your perspective on.
Growing up, I would hear all these mentalities. I wonder if you did too. Maybe it’s a generational thing. It’s calculating how long it’s going to take you to get over someone based on how long you dated. Do you remember that? It’s like, “If you dated for 3 months, it should only take you 3 days to get over them.” As an adult, I’m like, “That is absolute bullshit.” None of my relationships have followed any sort of math. There are some men whom I recovered from the breakup quickly.
People love to define things. They’re like, “Since you were dating for this length of time or you had this type of dynamic, then that should equal some pain.” I realized in my life that sometimes, the pain felt so immense for a relationship that didn’t feel that immense at the time. All these rules around like, “Get over it. To get over this person, get under that person,” I’ve tried it all and none of that worked for me.
Honestly, I had severe health issues because I had a breakup that I didn’t deal with. I didn’t realize that I didn’t deal with it. At the time, I had created my signature program, BURN, using your old flame to light your new fire. At the time, it was all about breakups. All of a sudden, I realized that I had this breakup that I hadn’t dealt with. I was like, “I’m such a hypocrite. Who am I to be releasing this out into the world when I have a breakup that I haven’t even dealt with?” I didn’t know that I hadn’t dealt with it so I paused and became my very first client.
At that point in my life, I put myself through the program. I’m like, “I can make sure that it works. It works because I made it but now, I get to see if it does.” At that time, I was needing 3 to 5-hour long naps every single day on top of 9 hours of sleep a night. I would be puppy like this and then within seconds, something would hit me or slap me across the face. I’d be lethargic. I’d have to cancel any plans that I had, even work. I would sleep on the couch. If I had to pee. I had to hold it. I physically couldn’t get up.
I saw countless doctors and did blood tests. They’re all like, “You’re fine. Maybe you’re depressed. You should take a pill.” I was like, “I’m not fine. That’s great that you’re giving me a pill,” but I didn’t take it. I’m like, “I want to know why this is happening. There’s a why to this.” I hired a holistic doctor. She ran all of these other tests on me. At the time, I was 33 or 34. She was like, “Your hormones are that of a postmenopausal woman.”
I’m talking about testosterone as well. That’s not even supposed to be affected by birth control. Everything was almost gone. My adrenals, which is where we get our energy from, were almost depleted. More information goes from our gut to our brain than from our brain to our gut so it’s important for you to have good bacteria in there. Normal is 120 to 180 units. I had twelve. She was like, “Something is off with you and I don’t know what the cause is.” I realized that I had a breakup that I hadn’t dealt with.
For people to understand, we lived together. We were madly in love. Long story short, he broke up with me by not coming home. Talk about getting ghosted. He is still alive. Don’t worry. He is not doing great things with women. I only know because an ex-girlfriend reached out. I was not stalking. I need to make that clear because of my boundaries. I hadn’t dealt with that breakup.
At that moment when that all happened, I needed to be super strong. I was like, “I have to go find my place to live. I’m going to get a cute new little bachelorette pad.” My mom was coming in in two weeks. I’m like, “I’m not going to have her come in early. I need to know I could do this on my own.” I immediately went online and met a new guy. Everything was fine. That guy broke up with me very similarly three months later. He had some stuff at my house. He woke up in the morning, took all the stuff and that was it. That was starting to become a pattern in my life.
I became my very first client and did the BURN program. In the BURN program, I go through this whole emotional detox. There’s a whole process I take my clients through. I did it. It was a Sunday. I didn’t see my doctor until the following Friday. My doctor’s sitting there looking at my results and she’s like, “Things are shutting down in your body. I don’t know why.” I looked at her. I was like, “I have something to tell you. I did this thing on Sunday for seven hours and I haven’t needed a nap since. It’s the first time in three years.”
As I spoke that out to her, this light bulb went off. I was like, “Three years ago was exactly when my ex and I broke up.” She looked at me and was like, “That was all emotional trauma. That was all emotions that you did not release.” When we don’t cry, our organs cry. If you think about energy, energy is like a ball. It’s mass. A lot of times, energy comes through, which is an e-motion. It’s e-motion as energy and motion. It comes through and we experience it. We’re like, “That one’s not cute. I’m going to shove it down.” Society says it’s not brave enough to feel it or you’re not strong if you feel it so we’re like, “I’m going to shove it down but I have this ball inside of my body. I’m walking around in the world.”What you don't cry out, your organs cry out. Click To Tweet
Energy tracks energy. For me, I kept attracting the same types of situations and breakups. I moved to Denver after that for a guy that I didn’t even love because I was so in love with the idea of being in love. He broke up with me over the phone six days later. My stuff was still in shipment. When I hit rock bottom, I got to ask myself, “What is the common denominator here? I can’t wait to figure out the common denominator and all of the unfulfillment in my life, job, finances, friends, family, romance and all of it.”
When I figured out whom to blame, it was so hard. I figured it out and I was like, “It’s me. How can it be me?” I had the whole victim mode for about maybe five minutes but then I realized, “If I’m not waiting for the boss, job or family to change, that means I have the power to change it.” My coach launched his very first group coaching program that day. It was $5,000. I hadn’t worked in two months because I couldn’t get out of bed to go to work. I was so depressed. I found a way out of no way. I spent $5,000, never looked back, created the BURN program and started with the holistic coach.
I’m going to put this here. It’s a side tangent. For anybody reading, when you have things going on health-wise, especially with adrenals and stuff like that, it takes time for your body to replenish. Since my physical symptoms had gone away, I was like, “I’m back to the energizer bunny.” I was working eighteen-hour days building my coaching business. I ultimately burnt myself out. I didn’t know that my body needed to replenish itself. I needed to still rest.
In September 2019, I ended up on bedrest for two months. I couldn’t work. I had a couple of clients and I worked for another coach. I put my whole business everything on pause for a whole year in 2020. I was like, “If there is any time to be on bed rest and quarantine, it’s during 2020 when nobody else is going out.” There’s no FOMO. I was like, “Selfishly, I’m happy that it’s happening now because I’m not missing out on anything.” I’m almost on the mend. 2017 is when I first met with that first doctor. It’s taken my body that long to replenish. I share that because I’m such a cheerleader for feeling the pain.
We don’t want to feel the pain because the pain is not cute. I found out afterward he had a girlfriend for years. He was cheating on me at the very end. Speaking of being friends with your ex, a year after we broke up, he would message me and we would joke around via text. I could tell him everything about my life but I didn’t want to know anything about his life. He would be inappropriate with some things that he would say so I put up a boundary. I was like, “When we’re dating somebody else, this is not going to be okay. We can’t talk like this.” He would push it.
Something popped up on Instagram through a random person that I didn’t even know I was following through him. He had a girlfriend that whole time. For those three years, I put him on this pedestal. I was like, “He’s this great guy. He is going through maybe an early midlife crisis.” There were all the excuses versus being, “Is this how you deserve to be treated? Would you ever trust this person would not do this again? No. It’s time to fully drop it and move on.” I’m a cheerleader. We got to face those things that don’t feel good to feel but we got to feel to heal.
It was so captivating to hear all that. Speaking of lessons in your journey, thank you for sharing that story of how much time it takes. Many of us feel this pressure to rush through pain and heal. That rushing prevents us from healing because we’re adding more things on top of ourselves than we have to eventually sort through.
I’m reading this wonderful book called The Myth of Normal and contemplating some of the statements about how illness can show up in the body, how challenging things are, why we behave the way we do, why we suffer and what we’re struggling with. You mentioned the attachments. That was my friend Jason Green. He came on the show a few times to talk about relationships, attachments and all that. It’s helpful to understand these things so that you might have some clues as to why you’re suffering or struggling.
You also mentioned the physical side of it. I don’t think that that’s mentioned nearly enough. In The Myth of Normal, that’s one of the subject matters of at least one chapter. It was how there is so much connection physically to what’s going on for us emotionally to the trauma we might have from very long ago. These are things we might not even make connections between. For you, that was the date of the breakup. You went three years before you recognized the connection between what you were feeling physically and the trauma of ending that relationship. You mentioned the patterns and understanding.
I wonder, too. Sometimes, it can be the opposite end of the spectrum where we take too much personal responsibility to the point we start feeling so self-critical. We’re self-loathing. Our self-esteem drops. That might prevent people from entering into relationships because they’re so afraid or they feel so bad about themselves. Maybe they do go get into relationships and they are constantly sabotaging them.
Usually, what happens for most people is sabotage. I always dated the guy whom I didn’t know when I met them but they always used to be the MVP of their sports team in high school or college. They were always good-looking. They cared about themselves more than anybody else. I was always an option and never a priority. I would beg and chase these guys like, “Please, do not leave me. Please stay in a relationship with me.”
Once I worked on myself, I realized that it was because I didn’t value myself. I don’t want to necessarily say that I didn’t love myself because I did but I did not know my value. The only time I felt valuable is if I had somebody that was talking to me. As soon as they left, they would take all of my value with them so then, I was left with nothing. If you do find yourself in a situation like that, I agree. It is self-sabotaging. It usually stems from a place of low self-value and one of the attachment styles.Women chase and beg guys not to leave them because they don't value themselves enough. Click To Tweet
I love that you bring in the values too. Many people aren’t even clear. I wasn’t fully clear until I did an exercise with my therapist. He asked me that question about my values. It took me so long to evaluate them. We spent several sessions going over my values. At this moment, there are still some values that I’m unclear about. It’s a lot of work. Maybe it’s because we spend a lot of time looking externally as opposed to internally.
For me, at least, I start to feel very lost. What you’re bringing up with placing our value based on validation came up in The Myth of Normal too. It was one of the most eye-opening sections of the book I was reading. I felt so blown away by the realizations I was having about rejection and how that impacts me. Speaking of rejection, that’s such a common thing when it comes to dating and relationships with how you internalize that type of rejection. It’s interesting when you stop and think about how that feels and what the roots are. Sometimes, it has nothing to do with the person that you’re in a relationship with but they’re triggering it from something that happened long ago or the way that you were raised as a kid.
It has nothing to do with you, even with ghosting. A lot of times, we’re like, “What did I do wrong? Why did they ghost me? What could I have done better?” All it shows us is this person is more than likely more avoidant and they don’t know how to communicate. If something more challenging comes up in the future, they’re going to run away. That’s what it shows in most circumstances. Yours sounds different. I have ghosted a friend before because the person was so negative. It would drain my energy. I knew that if I said anything to her about it, it was going to be a thing. I had to ghost her because that was the only option.
Sometimes, this projection we do of other people is that self-preservation or the last resort. Boundaries are tough to set. Communication is hard too. I remember as a kid or at some point in my youth thinking, “Why do people talk about relationships being so hard? How hard can they be? Can’t you tell somebody how you feel?” I didn’t get that until I started getting into relationships. I was blown away by how challenging communication can be. That’s not just romantic relationships. That’s friendships too. That’s family. It’s so hard.
Even with all the self-work I do constantly as part of my interests and my career, I feel like communication is getting harder. The more I learn about myself and human beings, I’m like, “This is not helping. This is making it harder.” Sometimes, more information does not equal an easier outcome. It doesn’t lead to a solution. Have you found the same to be true?
It was when I first started because I was very emotional with everything I was learning and realizing coming up. I didn’t know how to communicate. It’s not necessarily I didn’t know how to communicate. I was more isolated. I didn’t feel like I fit in anywhere. I almost felt like I was an alien. I had all these friends that I had made when I was going through all that traumatic time in my life. As I worked on myself, I looked around and thought, “I spent four years in Denver networking multiple times a week. I have hundreds of friends but they’re not people that I have anything in common with or what I want to call into my life.”
My coach was like, “When you met these people, you were vibrating here. You’ve worked on yourself and you’re vibrating here. At the time, you attracted and were attracted to people who were vibrating in the same space as you.” It took me a moment to recognize that. That was also a grieving phase. “In a sense, I have to start over with whom I’m choosing to be close with in my life.” That caused me to recluse, retract, isolate and spend time figuring out who I was.
I would leave bars. I wasn’t drinking at the time. I still don’t drink a lot but I would go out with my friends and see these superficial conversations going on. I was so used to being in my self-development programs and we’d get deep. I love talking to you because we love getting deep. We’re like, “Let’s get in there and talk about this thing.” I would see all these superficial conversations that I left the bar one day crying. My friends were there. I was like, “I have to go.” I went in the car and sobbed. I was like, “I feel like I don’t fit in anymore.” I figured out how to have a balance. It was maybe not specifically communication for me but a feeling of not belonging.
That sense of not belonging can be lonely, isolating and tough to navigate because then, you wonder, “How do I form any relationship if I don’t belong?” Some fears can be projected through that. There’s so much here to navigate. As we’re coming up on the end of our time together, I did want to touch upon the holiday impact. This episode comes out around Christmas, which is a big holiday, New Year and all these different holidays at the end of 2022. Not too far away, we have Valentine’s Day. There are celebrations all the time. Even the word holiday isn’t quite right.
There’s a lot of emphasis on relationships during any celebration. They’re like, “Whom are you bringing as a date? Are you seeing anyone?” You’re having conversations with people asking you, “Are you married? Do you have kids? Are you in love?” Many conversations revolve around relationships. Some people start to avoid wanting to do any celebration if they’re struggling with that. Maybe they’re masking. They’re telling people that things are good when they might not be as good. These are a few examples that come to mind for struggles. What are you seeing when it comes to the holidays and other celebrations that people, single or not, are struggling with relationship-wise?
We did a whole podcast on this. I have a freebie called The Seven Secrets to Being Single AF and Loving Life! if anybody wants it. There are different things that you can do. There is so much in that question that we can go into. I’m like, “Which route do we go?” Let’s start with the singles. I want to let you know this. There are some people that I have met in my life who are tough cookies. You cannot break that wall down. They don’t want to connect. They come across as snobby. They’re very rigid. They’re alpha. I have noticed that as soon as I talk about relationships, all of a sudden, they’re like, “This happened,” and they want to tell me all about it.
A relationship is a way where people can connect. I know a lot of times, singles are like, “My family is asking me X, Y and Z.” Maybe some of them are putting pressure on you. I know for many of us, our mind immediately goes to defense. It’s like, “I’m in fight mode. Why are you asking me this? My invitation is a topic that we all know about.” We don’t all know about every single issue going on in the world. We don’t all know about whatever your career is but we all have relationships. It’s usually a way that people are looking to connect, not even realizing the impact that they’re having on you by asking that question. I invite you to think of it as, “This person’s trying to connect with me.”
Second of all, you can say two things. You could say, “I haven’t met my person yet but I’m dating.” End of story. They don’t need an explanation. You’re an adult. You’re not in school. That’s all they need to know. You could also simply say, “I haven’t met my person yet.” This came up on Thanksgiving. Someone in my family, an adult, was talking about somebody else being single and living at home. I was like, “I have a lot of friends that have moved home for multiple different reasons including myself at one point.” We all have our reasons.
As long as you’re taking action in your life, to me, that’s what matters. They were like, “They’re in their 40s and they’re single.” I’m like, “Your daughter is right there. Do you think that she and I, if we wanted to be in a relationship, could go to the store and be like, ‘I’m going to grab that cereal box. I’m going to pick that guy and we’re going to date?’ That’s not how it works.”
As much as you might desire something, there’s still divine timing. You get to remind yourself of that. I know some people want to play the numbers game. Sometimes, the numbers game works. It’s going out on as many dates as possible. At the end of the day, I still believe in divine timing. Maybe you’re supposed to meet your person ten years from now. Who knows? You’re going out on all these dates and getting so exhausted and frustrated. It’s not divine timing. Go out, have fun and enjoy. Take the pressure off there.
Those are the two things that I would say to them. “I’m dating,” or, “I haven’t met my person yet. That’s it. That’s all you need to know.” Maybe you’re the person that does the romantic thing. You’re doing it because you need it. Maybe your partner, when it comes to love languages, they don’t need exactly what you need. Maybe they don’t need a romantic moment but you do. You get to create that.
If you’re single and you’re like, “I want romance,” I have romantic moments with life. Life is energy. Whatever you believe in, there’s energy all around us. You are a miracle. I am a miracle. Think about it. We’re on a ball floating in space. What is even space? It’s a miracle that we’re even here. I’ll go out and be like, “Life, show me what you got. Let’s go out on a date.” If it’s winter, I’ll put on one of my favorite feel-good movies. I’ll be in a fuzzy blanket, cuddle up with my dog, put on my twinkle lights and drink something warm. I look around and I’m like, “It’s so cozy in here. I’m having such a romantic moment with life.” I feel full from that.
I didn’t use to feel that way. I used to cry myself to sleep because I was getting closer to 30. I was like, “All the good ones are going to be taken.” There was all this pressure. I never knew I could feel this way. I’m telling you that it feels amazing. If you work on yourself like Whitney’s talking about and what I’m talking about and you get deep, you’re going to feel fulfilled whether you’re in a relationship or not.
I couldn’t have chosen a better thing to end on. That was so amazing to hear. I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say, “I have romantic moments with life.” That is so cool. It’s perfect timing because I’m going to head out. I started taking a walk every day. I normally avoid it in my neighborhood but it’s a neat time of year because it’s the holiday time. I like looking at the decorations people put up. To me, that’s romantic. My dog and I are going. I don’t need anyone else there. I’m enjoying watching what the people are wearing as they’re walking around. I’m smelling what the air smells like and seeing what the sky looks like on that day.
Through social media, people love to take pictures of things. They go on trips and do these big, grand and expensive things sometimes. Not only can you just appreciate life from a romantic standpoint but you can do it without it being this huge undertaking. It can be as simple as looking out the window. Another thing I love about this time of year that feels romantic to me is the lights. I have my Christmas tree set up and I love looking at it. It makes me feel warm and cozy.
I turned on one of those YouTube videos that are atmosphere videos. They have coffee shops and the sound of the coffee shop where people are chatting, making drinks and jazz music playing. I’ll watch the snow coming down because, in Los Angeles, we don’t get snow. I’m making a romantic moment of something that I don’t have to even leave my home to experience. I can create that all for myself. It’s all these little things. That’s such a great reminder, Jacqui. Thank you for that. It makes me excited to hear about and think about myself.
Sometimes, if I’m noticing that I’m not in a space of gratitude and able to appreciate it, I’ll be like, ‘What if I was an alien and I came down here for the first time and I’ve never seen earth before? I’ve never seen a tree, a house, the sky, the clouds, a bee or a bird. I look like somebody who is not naturally from here.” It’s this whole new experience.
That’s such great practice. I love that. We have celebrations all around the world throughout the year. You can look at a calendar and somebody’s celebrating something. We were talking about Alaska. You were saying the time of fall and how the mountains change. Sometimes, it’s the earth celebrating too. It’s the change in season or the time of day and all of this.
That perspective shift can create so much gratitude. It can boost our self-esteem and confidence and make us feel more alive. That’s often why we want relationships to begin with. We want to feel more alive. We can do that on our own. Thank you, Jacqui. I appreciate that and everything you’ve shared. You have gotten into so many topics. I simultaneously feel like we skimmed the surface because we could talk about these things for hours but you went deep on some things too. I feel very nourished by this conversation.
What a good word. Thank you for having me. You are so fun to talk to and so insightful. I love your energy. Thank you so much.
It is my pleasure. For the reader who wants to check out your podcast and upcoming book, what date does that come out in 2023?
I don’t have the exact date but I’m shooting for February or March 2023. It’s called Sometimes It Takes a Breakup. It will be all the things that I learned from my breakup so that you can ask yourself and don’t make the same mistakes that I did.
That is such a compelling title. I’m always thinking about titles like, “What do I call an episode?” I’m not going to call it that but I’ll sit back and absorb everything that you’ve shared. I’m going to take it all in. You’re coaching. You offer so much to this world. I appreciate you offering that up and being here on the show. Thanks again.
Thank you and so do you. This girl does so much. Go check her out.
Thank you. When you hear someone else share something about yourself, you’re like, “I am doing a lot.”
She’s doing a lot. She’s a one-stop shop. For anything that you need, you can go to Whitney.
That’s so funny to hear. Thank you, Jacqui. For the reader, the one-stop shop she’s mentioning is Wellevatr.com. Go check it out. I’ll be back with another episode. Bye.
- Jacqui Pugh
- Stop F*cking Settling – Spotify
- The Myth of Normal
- The Seven Secrets to Being Single AF and Loving Life! – Facebook
About Jacqui Pugh
Jacqui Pugh, Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming and Certified Life and Emotional Intelligence Coach with an emphasis in singles, helps people all around the world use their old flame to light their new fire. Through humor, knowledge, and experience, she guides her clients through uncovering blocks and ineffective life patterns that have been holding them back, followed by introducing massive action in order to activate major, desired life changes. Coming in 2023, is her book, “Sometimes It Takes a Breakup” – where she shares her story of how heartbreaks of all kinds lead her to her heart’s purpose, along with actionable steps for you to discover how to beneficially utilize yours.
Keep your eye out for her fun and raw podcast on life and relationships releasing this fall called, “Stop F*cking Settling!” This fiery ball of energy will not stop pursuing her efforts to make this world a better place and to help make other people’s lives healthier and happier!Jacqui Pugh, Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming and Certified Life and Emotional Intelligence Coach with an emphasis in singles, helps people all around the world use their old flame to light their new fire. Through humor, knowledge, and experience, she guides her clients through uncovering blocks and ineffective life patterns that have been holding them back, followed by introducing massive action in order to activate major, desired life changes.
Coming in 2023, is her book, “Sometimes It Takes a Breakup” – where she shares her story of how heartbreaks of all kinds lead her to her heart’s purpose, along with actionable steps for you to discover how to beneficially utilize yours. Keep your eye out for her fun and raw podcast on life and relationships releasing this fall called, “Stop F*cking Settling!” This fiery ball of energy will not stop pursuing her efforts to make this world a better place and to help make other people’s lives healthier and happier!
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