Thursday, October 11, 2007

Failed Relationships = Gifts

"Failed Relationship = Gift"
by Carmin Wharton

No matter how badly or sadly a relationship ended, there is always something you can learn from the experience. Whatever you learned is your gift. Very often a current or past "failure" is what fuels you to the very success that you've always dreamed of. Past relationships give you a clearer picture of what you want and what you don't want in a relationship if you take the time to examine them. That’s the key, “take the time to examine them.” Whatever you do, don’t move to another relationship until you perform this examination. Let me share an analogy to make my point. When you rent an apartment, you are required to pay a refundable deposit fee and you are refunded this deposit if you leave the apartment in good condition. Consider your heart as the apartment and your self-esteem and self-worth as the deposit. If you don’t adequately clean the apartment (your heart), you will not get the deposit back (your self-esteem and self-worth intact). Leasing offices would not dare think of renting an apartment to a new renter with out first cleaning up, cleaning out and refurbishing the apartment. Do the same for your heart; clear away the debris of pain, disappointment, anger, fear, etc. before you invite another guest to inhabit your heart.

Now let’s get back to failed relationships as gifts.

One gift a failed relationship can give you is the power of contrast. If you can muster the strength and courage to let go of an unfulfilling relationship, you will soon see just how much precious time and energy you were wasting on something from which you were not reaping any reward.

Another gift a failed relationship can give you is the power of vision. By finally realizing what you don’t want in a partner, you can focus on building your vision of what you do want in a partner. You can now focus on what points of compatibility you desire in a partner.

For the gift of a failed relationship to really be useful, you must decide to bless the relationship and let it go to make room for the type of partner you desire and also to free your previous partner to find a more appropriate mate. In reality, there are no “failed” relationships. Begin to view past relationships as incredible gifts; some relationships offer more incredible gifts than others but gifts nonetheless. As the saying goes, people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. We may never understand or know why we were in a particular relationship. We may never understand or know why people come into our lives and then leave. What I’ve learned is that if a relationship isn't working, it is not a bad thing or a failure as we have been trained to believe. It is merely that you, and perhaps the other person have learned what it is that you were supposed to learn by being in a relationship with that other person and it's time to move on to other "lessons." The purpose of all relationships is to help us to grow--personally and spiritually. Even the most painful and ugly relationships can be gifts in learning more about ourselves, strengthening of our intuition and learning to accept the truth when we see it. The greatest gift of a past relationship is that you now know what you really want in a mate. So instead of looking at a relationship that didn't work out the way you had hoped as a failure, I suggest you look at it for the gift that it is.

Copyright Carmin Wharton, 2007
Author, Lessons Learned: While Looking for Love in All the Wrong Faces

Saturday, August 18, 2007

3 Important C's in Relationships

One of the first things we learn in the kindergarten classroom is the alphabet. Well, in the classroom of relationships, there is an alphabet system too. However, we aren’t beginning with the letter “A”; we will focus on the letter “C” today.

The 3 important C’s in relationships are:

1. Consistency
2. Compartmentalization
3. Comfort


The June 2007 issue of Essence Magazine, contains an article entitled “Would You Date One of These Guys?” Each of the men featured in the article share their “Nice Guy Creed.” Alex’s creed: “You can count on me. If I say I am going to call, I call.”

One of the greatest indicators of a quality man or woman is consistency. Consistency is a great indicator of a person’s character. Consistency is a great indicator of a person’s integrity. Obvious indicators of consistency are:

  • If a guy says he’s going to call and indeed does call, that’s consistency. By the way ladies, if a guy says he’s going to call and fails to call, do yourself a favor, don’t call him (just had to insert that gold nugget).
  • If a woman’s personality style is open, sincere and kind even during times of stress, that’s consistency.
  • If a person has committed to a healthy eating and exercise regimen and does not deviate from their ritual of healthy habits, that’s consistency.

The aforementioned examples are positive indicators that a person is a good relationship prospect. However, as is true with anything in life, there are positive and negative aspects to everything.

So, following are some examples of negative consistency (notice I did not use the word “inconsistency”):

  • If a guy is consistently late to pick you up for dates or consistently fails to call as promised that’s negative consistency.
  • If a woman is engaging and funny sometimes but you are consistently on edge when in her presence because you don’t know when she may lash out or “go off on you,” that’s negative consistency.

If a person you are dating, especially someone you have been dating for a number of months, has not introduced you to the important people in their life, there is a chance you are being compartmentalized. I crafted this term – compartmentalized – one day as I reflected on a couple of my past relationships while writing my book, Lessons Learned: While Looking for Love in All the Wrong Faces. The important people in your beau’s life could be their parents, family, kids, or friends.

Sometimes geographical location may make it difficult to meet your beau’s family. However, ladies if you have been dating a guy for, let’s say – 6 months and you hear him making plans to attend a Super Bowl party (and this particular type of party is almost always attended by men and women) and you are not invited, you are probably being compartmentalized. Or, guys if you are living in a lady’s hometown and the holidays roll around and you are not invited to the family dinner, party, etc. you are probably being compartmentalized.

People compartmentalize significant others for various reasons. It’s possible that:

  • Your beau may be married or involved with someone else who family and friends have met and are comfortable with.
  • Your beau may not be considering you for a long-term relationship. By not introducing you to the important people in their life means they won’t have to explain your whereabouts when they break up with you.
  • Your beau may not have any friends and their relationship with their family may be strained or non-existent. If you are an outgoing, connected and loving person with healthy family and friend connections, beware – this type of person is the focus of another article .

Are you comfortable – really comfortable – around this person? Can you sit in a room with your beau and be totally at peace and comfortable if neither of you say a word for an extended period of time? Now, this may sound a bit morbid but what I’m about to say is a good measure of your comfort level with someone. Look squarely at your significant other. Then ask yourself this question: “Is this someone I want standing next to me as I stand over the grave of my parent?”

If you are not at your best physically or mentally, are you ok with this person seeing you at your worst – stomach virus, bad hair day, down in the dumps day?

Here’s the final question on comfort. Can you be content grooving with this person in a cardboard box under a bridge?

There you have it – the 3 Important C’s of Relationships.

Please feel free to use this article in your newsletter, e-zine or blog. However, the byline below must be included in its entirety.

Copyright Carmin Wharton, 2007

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Relationship Tips

5 Things to Remember About Relationships:
  1. If it hurts, it isn't love.
  2. You cannot change another person.
  3. Abuse always escalates.
  4. You can recover from a broken heart.
  5. You can love again.
3 Things You Must Do To Move Forward:
  1. Forgive yourself and others for creating relationship drama.
  2. Decide you deserve the best.
  3. Become the person you desire in a mate.
Carmin Wharton, The Relationship Teacher
Author, Lessons Learned: While Looking for Love in All the Wrong Faces

Relationship Expiration Date

Expiration dates. We all heed them. I know I don’t purchase a dairy product at the grocery store without checking the expiration date. Even some bottled water has an expiration date stamped on the label. On a recent Montel Williams show his guest was a psychic named Sylvia. Guests were encouraged to ask Sylvia questions. At first, most of the people in the audience asked questions about loved ones who had died. Then it started. People (they all happened to be women) begin to ask when they would meet the right man. One woman’s mother asked this question for her daughter and the mother stated the daughter had been in one bad relationship after another. The psychic told the woman her daughter would have to wait 6 years for the right man to enter her life. This made the daughter stand up and take the microphone. She emphatically stated that she had not been choosing the wrong men. The psychic assured her she had indeed been choosing the wrong men. The woman continued to insist she had not chosen the wrong men. Then Montel interceded and here is what he said, “You don’t have to sit and wait 6 years. Have fun and date. However, just realize everyone has an expiration date stamped on his (or her) forehead. When the expiration date comes, throw them out and move on.” Whoa Nellie! The woman relinquished the microphone and sat down with this defiant, pissed off look on her face. What she did not realize is that Montel Williams had given her excellent advice applicable to every single relationship in our lives.

When Is the Expiration Date?

The expiration date is when a relationship has outlived its usefulness in your life or, the relationship should not have been in your life in the first place. If the relationship is causing you pain, anxiety or distress and you have done everything in your power to correct whatever, guess what? This relationship needs to be thrown out; just like milk past its expiration date – poured down the drain with the hot tap water turned on after it goes down the drain. This applies to romantic relationships, career relationships – all relationships.

Sometimes, the expiration date is not visible or evident to us. However, sometimes without warning, someone will walk right out of your life. Poof! They are gone leaving you standing there with your mouth hanging open wondering what the heck happened. The person who left saw the expiration date and moved on. In my book, Lessons Learned: While Looking for Love in All the Wrong Faces, I share the fact that when a person’s part in your life story or your part in their life story is over, acknowledge that fact and move on or allow them to move on.

In 2004, an article attributed to Bishop T.D. Jakes entitled “Let It Go in 2004” was widely circulated on the Internet. In the article, Bishop Jakes stated, “If someone can walk away from you, let them walk. Your destiny is not tied to anyone who can walk away from you.”

Do All Relationships Have Expiration Dates?

Yes, all relationships have expiration dates. Some expiration dates are beyond human control and by this I mean, death. We even come with expiration dates. An old-fashioned word for death that is usually used in medical settings is the word “expire.” Sometimes we agree with the expiration date of a relationship but most often, we do not. We hang in there trying to make it work, hoping it will work while every indication is that our relationship is just as dead as any cadaver in the morgue.

Some relationships have the expiration dates stamped on them and some we must stamp ourselves. Not all expiration dates signal an actual end to the relationship but can signal the end to the manner a relationship is handled or your depth of involvement in a relationship. For example, if you are the parent of a wayward child whom you have bailed out of one mess after another, it’s time for you to stamp that relationship with an expiration date. However, the date you are stamping signals the end of your attempt to save this child from himself or your attempt to save him from the lesson he or she needs to learn.

It has been my experience that in male-female relationships, men tend to be able to adhere to or recognize relationship expiration dates better than women. I think this is because by nature, women tend to be of a more nurturing state of mind. Women tend to think they can nurture someone or a situation enough to change the person or situation. Men tend to be more matter-of-fact about things. Men tend to realize early on when something is a waste of their time and energy. It’s not that men don’t feel pain or disappointment but they tend to acknowledge when it’s time to move on faster than women. This is not always the case but if you recall past instances of people moving on, I think you will agree to this general assessment.

Depending on the item, we can still consume some goods (food, medicine, etc.) for up to a week, month or even a year after the posted expiration date. This is commonly referred to as a grace period. The key in relationships is the ability to decipher if you have a grace period. If you are in a domestically violent relationship, you have no grace period; the time to leave is NOW. Depending on your particular relationship, you may have a week, month, or other time frame expiration date. My advice: do not remain in any relationship to the point where your health, self-esteem or self-worth begins to suffer.

As Montel so eloquently put, “Stamp an expiration date on their forehead, throw them out and yell, Next.”

Please feel free to use this article in your newsletter, e-zine or blog. However, the byline below must be included in its entirety.

Copyright Carmin Wharton, 2007

Author, Lessons Learned: While Looking for Love in All the Wrong Faces

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pain is Good

I love pain. No, I'm not a sadist. But I am a realist. I love pain because it is the greatest indicator that something is wrong with our body. Don't believe me? I dare you to let a tooth become infected and develop an access; allow a splinter to remain in your finger for more than a day; stub your toe or hit your elbow's funny bone. Now do you understand why I love pain?

Well, pain in a relationship is also the greatest indicator that something is wrong with our relationship.

Pain forces us (or should force us) to take a good, serious and hard look at a love relationship, job, circumstance or situation in which we find ourselves experiencing the pain. Unfortunately, we can become accustomed to pain.

A little nagging pain in the knees can eventually lead to knee replacement surgery. A little nagging pain in the eyes can lead us to seek corrective lenses. A little nagging pain in our body can lead to successful corrective action for the body. Or, a little nagging pain can lead to serious illness and even death, particularly if it is ignored for long enough.

A little nagging pain reflected as an intuitive urge may be telling you that the reason your husband is working late every night of the week for months on end is not to get ahead in his career. His head may be on another woman's pillow.

A little nagging pain reflected as an intuitive urge may be telling you that the reason your wife is talking incessantly about a male co-worker is because she has developed more than just a co-worker relationship with him.

Severe pain inflicted by a partner's physical or verbal abuse should not be ignored or explained away. No, you do not deserve this treatment. No, there is nothing wrong with you. There is something wrong but it sure isn't with you! Yes, it is normal to expect to be treated with respect. Yes it is normal to expect your husband to come home at night. Yes it is normal to expect your wife to compliment you on a job well done after you've completed a household project. The list of what is normal is endless and often ignored or swept aside.

Regardless of a pain's level of intensity, do not ignore pain.

In my recently published relationship memoir, "Lessons Learned: While Looking for Love in All the Wrong Faces", I share that pain is really a gift and we should view pain as a treasured friend. If it hurts (physically, mentally or emotionally), it is not love. Remember, pain is a sign that something isn't right. Make friends with pain-it will never steer you wrong.

Carmin Wharton, The Relationship Teacher

Friday, June 1, 2007

What Do Men Want

I recently hosted a free teleseminar, "What Makes A Man Commit - What Makes Him Quit Calling." Guess what we ladies who were on the call found out about what men want? They want:

  1. Communication. They are not mind readers and they don't like mind games. Talk to them but get to the point quickly. They only want the key points - no embellishments. Girlfriends are for embellishments.
  2. Space. Give them time to be alone with their thoughts, their hobbies and their friends.
  3. To be hunters. Men want to pursue you. If you are caught too easily or pursue them, the loose interest - fast.
  4. Get over your past ugly, painful relationships. Give them a fair chance to prove they are wonderful, loving, caring and dependable men.
What should you do regarding the 3 points above?

  1. Be open and honest. Talk to your man but do not approach him in a confrontational manner.
  2. Get a life. Develop a hobby. Develop friendships of your own. Start a business, go back to school - something. But get a life.
  3. Chill. If he does not pursue you, he does not want to be with you. This is non-negotiable and does not vary. Men pursue women they want to be with. They will do the majority of the calling. Trust me on this. Don't wait by the phone waiting for the call either. Do not alter your schedule waiting for his call. Let him leave a message but don't play games. If you're near your phone and not busy, answer it.
  4. Make a conscious, deliberate decision to forgive men from your past. Not forgiving someone and hating them is like drinking poison and waiting for someone else to die. In fact, you must may be the person who you need to forgive.
What to do in the meantime:
  1. Be the best you can be. Accept the package you are wrapped in but get in good physical condition (men are visual creatures). Get regular checkups, eat well and drink lots of water.
  2. Get your finances together; make a budget and stick with it or whatever else you need to do to get your credit straight. Refrain from beating up on yourself about past mistakes. Start from this day forward and get in right relationship with money.
  3. Enjoy your family and friends. You are truly blessed if a day goes by and someone misses you and calls or drops by to check on you.
Provoking thought: Remain open. The man of your dreams may be wrapped in a different skin color than you (different race) or may have been born in a different part of the world (different culture).

Finally, ask God to send your man. Then don't just sit back, get whatever is out of whack in your life (if anything) straight, go to events and outings. Get out there and enjoy life. Rest in the Lord.

Carmin Wharton, Author
Lessons Learned: While Looking for Love in All the Wrong Faces

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

More Hate Than?!

Wow, I just heard something that I think I knew but hearing it - wow! I am sitting here looking at The Larry King Show. His featured guests are the Ex-Wives Club cast (Donald Trump's ex, Kevin Federlind's ex and Sylvester Stallone's ex). Larry King said that he was amazed to find out that research has proven that there is more hate and anger directed toward a spouse in an contested divorce, than hate directed toward an accused murderer from the victims family!

See I always said that love and hate are not polar opposites. No, no. They are one and the same because people hate with the same intensity and fervor as they love. In fact I think the fervor of hate is stronger.

The thing to remember is that kind of hate will kill YOU before it kills the person your hate is directed towards.

Here's the first gold nugget: A heart closed to giving love is a heart also closed to receiving love.

Here's the second gold nugget in this arena: Hating someone is like drinking poison and waiting for someone else to die.


Carmin Wharton, Author
Lessons Learned: While Looking for Love in All the Wrong Faces

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Be Mindful of Labels

Labels. We all use them. We label others, ourselves, circumstances - everything. Labels are, of course, useful for prescription containers, food containers, road signs, etc. However labels can be detrimental when one is seeking a mate. Take the 6 foot tall woman who refuses to entertain the thought of dating a man who stands less than 6 feet tall. She has assigned the "he's too short" label. Take the woman who is in a highly professional career; let's say she's an attorney or engineer. She may label the local mechanic as "a really nice guy but he's a mechanic-not a professional." Is he took "young" for you? Is he too "old" for you? Is the fact that he is or is not "Black," "White," "Asian," or "Latino" a label you are letting stand in the way of a potential mate? Remember, the package he's in is not indicative of what's in him.

Carmin Wharton
Author, "Lessons Learned: While Looking for Love in All the Wrong Faces"