OK, so my big bold mission is to help you end bad romance!  But what is that exactly?

 What does bad romance look like?

Bad romance can mean still waiting for the phone to ring long after when your date said they would call you and…you’re still waiting…and waiting…and hoping.  Oh God are you hoping you’re wrong but, no matter what you do, no matter how loud you turn up the music or TV, just faintly, in the distance you can hear the sound of your inner alarm bell.

Bad romance is having no life of your own, no thoughts of your own and no views of your own because someone else has told you, you don’t have them or worse, you don’t deserve them! 

Bad romance is feeling small, beholden, undermined, frightened, controlled or even flat.

And bad romance is being put on a pedestal, idolised, idealised, analysed or despised.

Bad romance also makes you cling, beg or watch helplessly as someone you care about pulls away, avoids you then fades out of your life with a half-arsed, thinly disguised excuse.

Bad romance also comes in the form of feeling undervalued at work, unappreciated at home, marginalised in social settings, being bullied (cyber and physical), poor service and faulty products to name but a few.

Bad romance makes you feel angry and ashamed all at the same time. 

And bad romance can look lonely.

OK so let’s  just have a very quick look at romance.  The things I’ve been researching for the past 15 years are behaviour, motivation, neurology and relationships. For the past 5 years I’ve focused on love and romance.  Is there a difference?  I say there is, it’s subtle but see as separate but interwoven. to me:

Romance, is love expressed.

That’s what it boils down to. And you know what…you, we, all of us have the capacity and ability to enjoy more romance every single day.

Romance is everywhere, you just have to know how to SEE it!

So, to put an end bad romance, we have to know what good romance looks, sounds, feels like!   Remember romance, is love expressed.  Love isn’t nasty or controlling, it’s kind and compassionate. 

To end bad romance the first thing you have to do is have a love affair! 

 That’s right, no matter what your relationship status, you have to have a big, BIG love affair with the most important person in your life.

 You!

Because love, as you’ve heard a million times before, starts from within.

 OK, easy to say but, how do you do that?

 How, when you’ve paid more attention to the bullies, moaners, misery-mongers and your inner meanie, how do you DO loving yourself? 

Where do you even start to love you, when you might not even like you?

Darling, you’ve already started because you’re right here, right now.

You, me and…my beautiful, loving, kind and wise Grandma, her name was Elsie.

Elsie

Now Elsie passed away at the amazing age of 92, laughing and joking to the end, she had a ridiculously sweet tooth, didn’t care about your colour, your creed or your religion as long as you were a good person. 

She would laugh at saucy jokes until she cried and couldn’t breathe and loved her family fiercely.

In 2007 I went through the most horrendous family crisis where I was bullied and lied to. 

I live in the UK, my Grandma lived in Canada.  She was thousands of miles away and could do nothing to help. 

I got through the crisis and finally, when everything was settled I told her all about it on the phone.  I had deliberately not told her whilst it was happening because I knew she would worry.

She listened patiently, asked the occasional question here and there and after 45 minutes of me talking she gave me the best advice ever.

 “Stephanie,” she said, “I’m going to tell you something now that you HAVE to do from now on so you don’t experience anything like this again.”

 “OK,” I said, “I’m listening.”

 She continued,

 “Stephanie, you must learn to say ‘f*** you’. 

What did she just say?!

What?

 

“Sometimes” she said, “you’ll need to say it out loud, sometimes you’ll need to say it in your head, but either way, learn to say it!”

What do you say to a wise old lady who tells you something like that apart from “OK, I will”.

 And now I pass Elsie’s wisdom onto you.

The first person to say a big F*** YOU to is that mean, patronising, condescending, bullying, insulting, unkind, immovable and sometimes pathetic inner voice you have in your head that tells you “you can’t” when your soul tells you, you can!

Say it to those negative thoughts that sneak into your hopes, your dreams and your big, bold plans.

Say it to your fears when you want to do something new or different.

And say it (under your breath because we don’t want to incite violence do we) to the arrogant idiot in the flashy BMW who is in the outside filter lane of a busy junction and pushing ahead of you to let him in like it’s his God-given right!  Breathe…!

Having trouble with the ‘F’ word?

Is it just not part of your vocabulary, try something else, how about ‘get lost’ or kick it Irish style and say ‘feck it! If Mrs Brown can get away with it, so can you.

Whatever your turn of phrase, find one and use it, it’s amazingly cathartic, because what you’re doing is giving yourself permission to refuse negative behaviour and to stand your ground.

Even more amazing is you’re standing up for yourself, to yourself.  Wow, that’s powerful. 

 

So, who will you stand up to next?