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A Conversation with Dr. Shefali Tsabary on Conscious Relationships

I first came across Dr. Shefali Tsabary, best known for her provocative appearances on Oprah, on several favorite podcasts including The School of Greatness and Impact Theory. But it wasn’t until I saw her live at the 2018 Summit of Greatness that I was blown away and completely hooked! In my opinion, she’s one of the most paradigm-shifting voices on self-awareness and human behavior I’ve encountered.

Dr. Shefali at the 2018 Summit of Greatness

Starting March 6th, 2019, Dr. Shefali is offering a new course on conscious relationships called Free To Be. Shefali believes that our relationships are mirrors to our inner selves. We attract just the right people into our lives to ignite self-work and evolution. But because we often look to relationships for social status, for validation, and to make us feel whole/complete, when the relationship inevitably ends we feel empty.  The solution?  Dr. Shefali’s paradigm-shifting approach that doesn’t look to the outer or to the other to meet our needs but rather to the self. 

Have you ever wondered what it is that makes us feel romantic love with someone or feel loved? Dr. Shefali says it’s the re-creation of old patterns from our childhoods. Specifically, the other person evokes a familiar template from our childhood experiences and in that moment, we either use the relationship to awaken to the pattern, decode it, and heal ourselves or we numb out with alcohol, distractions, or avoidance— whatever’s our drug of choice so that we don’t have to expose our wounds. Yet in doing so, we stay blind to who it is we are. Our relationships, she says, are calls for us to wake up to who we truly are. Dr. Shefali and I cover these topics and everything from co-creative responsibility in infidelity and how our childhood experiences shape our adult choices/reactions to the constructs of marriage, and (most provocative) why no one can truly betray you in our February 2019 interview, below.

Click HERE to watch the interview.

Interview Highlights

*(6:45) Why pain alone can lead to our awakening 

*(6:55) Where the masks we wear (the perfectionist, the athlete, the victim, the over-achiever) originate from and why we bolt or sabotage when we feel truly seen in relationships

*(9:53) The reason we stay stuck in our lives, repeating patterns, and feeling victimized and wounded by them

*(10:50) The difference between owning our part versus letting the other person off the hook

*(12:05) Why betrayal is a blessing 

*(12:45) Why Shefali believes the construct of marriage is flawed and how to design more conscious unions

*(17:10) Shefali’s advice to singles about dating

*(18:35) The real purpose of relationships

*(18:45) Why so many people don’t show up authentically in their relationships 

*(21:00) Why no one can betray you 

*(23:25) Why we stay so long in relationships and situations that aren’t serving us

*(24:55) Why so many people choose to cheat or enter into an affair rather than having a conversation with their partner first

*(25:35) Dr. Shefali’s new course starting March 6th on Conscious Relationships

Want more? Here’s the link to learn more about Dr. Shefali’s 20-week Free To Be online relationship course starting March 6th! ❤️

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#InfidelityStories

February 1, 2019

Day 1 of #InfidelityStories is about forgiveness:

I could forgive the sexual betrayal. I am not able to forgive how he tried to put the blame for his affair on me.  It was the betrayal of being with someone for 15 years and them making you feel that the failure of the marriage was all your fault. That betrayal is the one I couldn’t forgive.~Caterina, Age 44

February 2, 2019

Day 2 of #InfidelityStories is about honesty:

“The biggest aspect of the betrayal wasn’t the sex or the emotional infidelity, it was the discrepancy between her words and her actions- what she said she wanted and what she was doing. She would say she wanted to work on our marriage and that she didn’t want to stay with her lover, yet all of her attention was focused on them. It would have been easier for me to hear the conflicting truth: “I want to stay married AND I want to be with my lover.” Then we would have had an honest to foundation to build from. But it’s hard to move forward when someone isn’t being honest with themselves.” ~Peter, Age 41

February 3, 2019

Day 3 of #InfidelityStories is about the end:

“I often get asked when I knew it was over. Because he had multiple affairs, people are curious what my breaking point was. The last affair was one when I realized his apology wasn’t for what he had done but rather, he was sorry that I was hurting. I turned to him and said that I didn’t need him to apologize for my feelings, I needed him to apologize for what he had done to cause me to feel that way. He responded that he was not responsible for my feelings and that all of this could be avoided if I would just let it go. For him, the issue was that I wasn’t properly managing my feelings. He saw no need to take responsibility for or alter his behavior. That’s when I knew that my feelings would never really matter to him and that it was over.” ~Jennifer, 41

February 4, 2019

Day 4 of #InfidelityStories is about growth:

“I think the affair happened when it did because we were caught up in a classic conflict of attachment styles. I was the more needy one, she the distancer. This led to sex problems. I assume her infidelity was a natural outgrowth of her distancing.

Did I discover anything new about myself or my partner as a result of the affair? It was a very delayed reaction almost 30 years later but I believe it led to my current attitude that if my now wife wanted to be sexual with another man and didn’t try to hide it, she would have my blessing. Part of this is perhaps a feeling that with this arrangement, the infidelity could be defanged– I could escape the devastation that I experienced originally.” ~David, Age 74

February 5, 2019

Day 5 of #InfidelityStories is about healing:

“I’ve been surprised to learn how common infidelity is, and that it can actually be a good thing for a relationship. Don’t beat yourself up for how long it takes to heal. Don’t feel pressured by your partner to “get over it” before you’re ready to. Do I think the affair will hang over the relationship forever? To some degree, yes. There will always be a small part of me that wonders if he’ll do it again, I don’t think that will ever be completely erased. I hope to some day talk about it more publicly with family and friends as something we went through rather than something that defines us.” ~Chelsea, Age 33

February 6, 2019

Day 6 of #InfidelityStories is about hindsight:

“My husband’s affair broke us all. My children and I were passengers in the drama he brought to our family. It’s now been 3 years since our separation, after I stayed for 5 years following the affair and tried to work it out. I’m more content now than I’ve been since I discovered it. With this hindsight, I wish I had made him leave the day I found out. But I allowed him to stay because of my fears about the loss of our family, the loss of our lifestyle and loss of our future. I regret not listening to my gut. Had we split immediately, I would have had time to think and regroup; we might still be together today. I believe that the first time I discovered his affair, it broke him as much as it did me, and he vowed it was over. Each time after that he was discovered in new affairs, it was less painful for him and it mattered less that he’d lied and hurt us again. It became a cycle and in the end, I realized I had the power to break it, but it took a long time. I wish I’d ended it on Day 1. My husband’s affair made me question my sanity. We were happy, we loved being together, and we had so much fun. We had what so many people didn’t, so why the affair?  Have I been deluding myself?  Esther Perel’s book, The State of Affairs, freed me from the torture in my head. I learned that happy people do have affairs.”   ~Tracey, Age 51 

February 7, 2019

Day 7 of #InfidelityStories is about perception:

“When people look at us, they see the ‘perfect couple.’ It’s laughable because we’ve been to hell and back. What they don’t realize is that it takes consistent effort every single day, and raw and sometimes painful communication to get the best out of a relationship. I don’t recommend infidelity, but sometimes it can put back together what taking each other for granted broke.” ~Gina, Age 43

February 8, 2019

Day 8 of #InfidelityStories is about when a child results from the affair:

“There isn’t much spoken about a child resulting from an affair and how that significantly complicates the situation. My feelings towards it all are very confusing. I still struggle with whether or not to stay. Dealing with the other woman is something I never want to do, yet my boyfriend hates what he did and has been devoted to me and fixing our relationship since. More needs to be talked about how the betrayed partner is supposed to regain their self esteem and how they’re supposed to move on, if ever, from it.  This is something I still have significant daily struggles with- what to do and how I feel.” ~Desiree, 32

February 9, 2019

Day 9 of #InfidelityStories is about evolution:

“I have years of love letters that he wrote to me during our courtship, and correspondence between his lover and me after his death. Letters that I wrote to myself, letters I wrote to my former self, to him, and to my daughter while I was recovering. I have all of this written documentation of what happened and what I learned. One thing that stands out is the opportunity his affair gave me to connect with the woman he betrayed me with. To forgive, to empathize, and to eventually respect and love her as part of our journey, in a way that I never could have imagined.” ~CJX, Age 44

February 10, 2019

Day 10 of #InfidelityStories is about finding the gifts in our grief:

“His affair and our divorce was the most painful and difficult thing I’ve ever had to overcome. There was a long time during which I wondered if I’d ever get past the anger and the grief. I’ve finally reached a space where we can talk without tension or awkwardness and I sincerely wish him happiness. I’m certain that I will have a more fulfilling relationship now than I could have ever dreamed of before. I found my voice during the affair and our divorce. It truly was a gift.” ~Paula, Age 50

February 11, 2019

Day 11 of #InfidelityStories is about responsibility:

“The affair wasn’t a result of any lack in my relationship.  In hindsight, I can point to problems, issues, and concerns that undermined my ability to be vulnerable in my relationship, to take risks, to face uncertainty, and to be emotionally transparent. However, none of those problems were at the root of the physical act of betrayal. I cheated specifically with the woman I chose out of avoidance, pride, and opportunity.” ~Sean, Age 50

February 12, 2019

Day 12 of #InfidelityStories is about fault:

“I want my partner to know that my cheating was never about anything she did or said. It was never about how I felt about her or our life together. It was never about her. The physical act was simply a selfish act. I want her to know that the secret-keeping and escalating series of lies was not to continue the behavior but to hide it. I wanted to hide it out of shame, guilt, and a prideful desire to remain her hero and her partner.  I want her to know she was the one. She was always the one.” ~Sean, Age 50  

February 13, 2019

Day 13 of #InfidelityStories is about secrets & loss:

“I hate that my lover called my partner and told her about the affair but I am eternally grateful that the secret and lies came out. The shame and humiliation were killing me. The moment the secret came out I was able to take my first full breath in years. I am a more complete man and I know that that is only because of my losses. I lost the things that were no longer serving me and my life. I am a better man than I ever was before. And I discovered a deeper and more meaningful way to love someone.” ~Sean, Age 50

February 14, 2019

Day 14 of #InfidelityStories is about trust:

Q: In a relationship where trust has been betrayed, how/when do you decide to leave or stay?
EP: “If you think that ‘trust’ is knowing ‘it will never happen again and until I know that, I can’t trust you,’ you will never trust again. Trust is an active engagement with the unknown. The most important thing when you have been hurt is that the person acknowledges they have hurt you. Nothing is more important to healing than that they recognize it and that they acknowledge the remorse they feel for having done it. Even if they thought they had good reasons to do it, even if they don’t feel bad about what they did, they must feel bad for what they did to you. That duality and acknowledgement is essential.” ~Esther Perel

February 15, 2019
Day 15 of #InfidelityStories is about personal ownership:

“I was betrayed in my marriage.  His affair was both emotional and sexual.  I thought at the time that the sexual side was going to be the deal-breaker but I realize now that the betrayal and his lies were a bigger deal for me.  I think it happened when it did because of the pressures he felt from finances and work. I can now see the role I had in the relationship dynamic that led to the affair: I knew how much he loved me and at times, I took it for granted. I didn’t realize how insecure he felt in the relationship. And while I thought the affair would hang over our relationship forever, but I now know it won’t.” ~Moisy, Age 55

February 16, 2019
Day 16 of #InfidelityStories is about affair contradictions:

“I felt a range of contradictory emotions all at once regarding the affair and my partner: vengeful, ashamed, humiliated, sad, hurt, angry, and scared.  I also felt a range of conflicting feelings: leave but don’t go, love me and I hate you, touch me and get your hands off of me, stay and go away.  I felt moral superiority, which I held over him. I was curious if my partner still thought about the other person, and I even felt a renewed sense of sexual desire prompted by the fear of loss.  Yet, the affair did not change my views on monogamy. For me, faithfulness is still necessary in a relationship.” ~Moisy, Age 55

February 17, 2019
Day 17 of #InfidelityStories is about reinvention:

“My husband’s affair was very public in our community, almost like a soap opera. Friends responded by offering advice: “Take off your ring.”  “Are you going to let him stay?”  “How do you know he won’t do it again?”  “How will you ever trust him again?” “Call a lawyer.”  It was overwhelming.  Why do I think the affair happened when it did? We have young children and they became my priority. He stopped growing in the relationship and at times, I felt like the only adult. It was lonely for me and I’m sure he felt that loneliness too. He yearned for outside attention and someone was willing to give it to him to escape her own failing marriage. The affair meant we needed to recreate our marriage because our previous one was dead.” ~Anonymous, Age 37

ABOUT #INFIDELITYSTORIES

#InfidelityStories is a creative project of the Esther Perel Discussion Group on Facebook to bring more infidelity stories into the light for greater healing, understanding, and growth. Our goal is to challenge the stigmas around infidelity and the associated silence and shame. Infidelity is universally forbidden, universally practiced, yet it is still very much hidden, a source of shame, and deeply painful for many. Our goal is to change that. ❤️

#InfidelityStories shares the inner experiences of the individuals from across the globe who have been impacted by an affair, focusing not on the facts of the affair but rather the stories behind the statistics, the aftermath, and the process of repair.  

During the month of February 2019, we’ll be posting a quote from a group member’s infidelity story to the hashtag #InfidelityStories.  Join the conversation at #InfidelityStories on Facebook, @LeapCast on Twitter, & @msleahmarshall on Instagram.


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TREADcast with Austin Head: Your Holiday Workout Rx

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” ~Jim Rohn

This is why I spend as much time as I can with my trainer, mentor, and good friend, Austin Head. Austin’s hard to capture in words- I’ve never met anyone who could be so damn motivating while simultaneously making you sweat buckets. His jokes are 10% bad, 90% hilarious.  He has the highest standards for himself as a coach, and he demands just as much from us.  He packs out his classes til they’re standing room only and you need to get there 30 mins in advance to even get a spot!  He’s super passionate about building community among his students, which he does expertly. He gets everyone jazzed about 6am charity rides and races, fundraisers and service projects, holiday themed classes and friendly competitions.  He even coached me through a 5 min burpee battle against Jesse Itzler!

Several months ago, Austin approached me with his goal of starting a Tread podcast and asked if I’d help.  Tread (speed and incline intervals on a treadmill) is one of my hardest workouts but for Austin, it’s ride or die.

If you’re just starting out as a runner, working towards larger race or endurance goals, or just trying to up your fitness game, you’ll love this!

What you can expect from the Treadcast:
1. Explicit directions for interval and speed training
2. Verbal cues about running form
3. Nonstop motivation, pushing, and encouragement

DOWNLOAD TREADCAST EPISODE #2 FEAT. LEAH & GIA

Take 40 mins and let me know how much you sweat.  PS- I’m a quote fanatic… below are the ones I apparently shared during the workout, all 3 by David Goggins, a retired Navy SEAL known as, “the toughest man alive!”

“I don’t stop when I’m tired, I stop when I’m done”    

“When your brain says you’re done, you’re only at 40%.”  

“If it sucks, we’re doing it.”


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How To Mine the Gold in Our Break-Ups

G4G_Logo_Delia_1400x1400_JPG-1“There’s nothing like returning to a place you’ve been before and seeing how much you’ve changed.” ~Nelson Mandela   

Big thanks to Delia Perry, host of the Girls 4 Greatness podcast, for giving me an opportunity to do this recently. We chatted about a super painful dating experience I had last year (which I first shared about at a storytelling event: https://youtu.be/gF6JI271tdo), how it shaped me, and how much I’ve grown as a result of the heartache. We also covered:

  • How to mine the gold in our break-ups
  • How to forgive the other person (and ourselves)
  • Why we often miss the greatest lessons in our lives.

I got super vulnerable and real… and had an absolute blast! 😊 This is for anyone wrestling with heartache, a break-up, navigating dating, or a big life transition- enjoy!

Listen in at: http://girls4greatness.com/episode19/ 💞


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Ghosted Stories: Episode #71 with Leah Marshall

Owning our story and loving ourself through the process is the bravest thing we will ever do.” ~Brene Brown

Last month, Chelsea White, a producer at MTV’s Girl Code, and Erin Leafe, a New York-based writer, invited me to join them as a guest on their Ghosted Stories podcast.  The show, voted “Best NYC Comedy Podcast” by Time Out NY, gives people who’ve been ghosted an opportunity to share their story, how the experience shaped them, and the lessons they learned along the way.  On this episode, I share my adventures with a man I dated over several months last summer, who then suddenly disappeared.  And then reappeared.  

I talk not only about the heartache I felt but more importantly, how the experience motivated me to become a stronger version of myself, a better partner for my next relationship, and elevate the standards I have for the people in my life.  I also describe the exact steps I took to bounce back and the wisdom I extracted from my favorite teachers throughout the process.  

Click here to listen in and if you like the content, we’d love for you to share it with a friend or on social. Sample Tweet below!

Loved this @GhostedStories episode w/ @LeapCast “Sometimes it takes a #heartache to realize you’re worth more than you were settling for. And when you know how much you’re worth, you stop giving people discounts.” Listen in at https://goo.gl/Vp223S @thechelseawhite @erinleafe

See below for links to the authors, books, and resources I reference during the show:

ESTHER PEREL

BOOKS

LEAH ON DATING 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Leah leads influencer marketing for a national marketing association.  Outside of work, she’s a human dynamics junkie who’s authored advice on dating for media outlets including YourTango, Daily Urbanista, ManTalks, Mend, and more. You can connect with her on Twitter at @LeapCast and on Instagram at msleahmarshall.


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The Vault: Lessons From My Favorite Dating Experts  

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Dating.  It’s tricky. 😐  Earlier this month, I was asked to lead a talk on modern dating featuring advice from my favorite experts including Esther Perel, Jayson Gaddis, Tom and Lisa Bilyeu, Christine Hassler, Mark Groves, & Natalie Lue.  Below are the topics we covered and a link to listen in to the full conversation

1. Dating Apps: Why People Join Them, Who to Like (and More Importantly, Who Not To!), & How to Move From Match to Meeting

2. Approaching People You’re Attracted to in the Real World: Super Simple Conversation Starters

3. The One Thing You MUST Do Before All First Dates 

4. Conversation: What Questions Build Attraction & What to Avoid

5. Games: Why Playing Hard to Get Doesn’t Work & What To Do Instead

6. The Greatest Lessons I’ve Learned From 20+ Years of Dating 👫 (See links below)

      *Ghosted Stories Podcast: Episode #71 with Leah Marshall (Audio)

      *GHOSTED: A Dating Horror Story  (Video)

      *10 Lessons That Made the Heartache Worth It (Blog)

      *F*ck Closure: How to Cope After You’ve Been Ghosted (Blog)

If you found this helpful, feel free to share it with someone who might benefit and tweet your biggest takeaways to @LeapCast.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

By day, Leah leads the influencer marketing division of a national marketing association.  In her spare time, she’s a danceaholic and a relationship dynamics junkie who’s authored advice on dating and human connection for media outlets including YourTango, Mend, ManTalks, Daily Urbanista, and more. You can connect with her on Twitter at @LeapCast, on Instagram at @msleahmarshall, and through her blog at https://leapcastlife.wordpress.com/.  


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10 Lessons From My Last Love That Made The Heartache Worth It

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Ben was one of the best conversationalists I’d ever met. He was also an incredible storyteller, an even better listener, and he could make me laugh like no one else. We met at a grocery store. Technically, we first connected on a dating app, but hours before our initial date, Ben and I literally bumped into each other at the Whole Foods in our neighborhood. He was there buying deodorant for our date. I had just finished dance class and was running in for a drink. He spotted me, recognizing me from my photos, and we started chatting, then parted ways to get ready for the evening. Shortly after I left, I get a text from him, “You’re just as beautiful as your photos.”

We continued to see each other for two months and had the most fun adventures — from us going to the driving range and taking bets on who’d hit the caddy cart first, to a day trip to the Indiana dunes, a salmon cook-off (his smoked versus my raspberry chipotle roasted salmon), badminton on the beach (we weirdly both played in high school), leisurely bike rides, romantic boat rides, lazy brunches, strolls through Chicago neighborhoods, homemade tortilla and ceviche-making (#seduction), movies in the park, ping pong matches, and parties with friends. There was also incredible romance, affection, and chemistry.

I was at an event last month with an tremendously talented poet named Najwa Zebian. She shared, “When you feel truly seen by someone, you let your guard down and you’re vulnerable. We get attached to that feeling of authenticity with someone, often more than our feelings for the person themself.” The French novelist Marcel Proust offered a similar variation over a century earlier: “It is our imagination that is responsible for love, not the other person.” With Ben, I unleashed my inhibitions and my imagination, sharing parts of myself that I hadn’t with anyone else. I remember one of the times we cooked dinner together — we were at his dining room table and I love to be rubbed so he was massaging my thighs and there I was with this incredible guy and he had just cooked me dinner and was rubbing me and I was gazing into his gorgeous blue eyes when all of a sudden I blurted out, “Ben, I need to tell you something.” I looked at him and confessed, “All I want is for you to eat that corn salad off my body right now.” Matter-of-factly, without skipping a beat — true Ben style, he replied, “Oh, you’re into sploshing.” I didn’t even know what sploshing was until he mentioned it. I just thought I fantasized about my body being treated like a platter and getting food eaten off of it. And I say this jokingly but the truth is, I was totally myself with Ben. I didn’t realize until Najwa spoke those words that most of us go through life hiding aspects of ourselves much of the time. And Ben was no exception.

About a month into our dating, I learned that Ben was just out of a two-year relationship and “not looking for anything serious.” I asked him if he needed time, space, or both. “Time,” Ben replied. My ego was a little bruised but I figured I’d continue to date other men and move him down a peg on my priority list. The truth was though, none of the guys I was seeing made me feel even a fraction of what I felt with Ben.

For me, one of the ultimate aphrodisiacs is incredible conversation and it came effortlessly with Ben. He was always telling me about something fascinating he’d just read or would respond to a question in a way that pushed my thinking. One evening, after we’d spent the day together on a boat, I asked him what he loved so much about being on the water. He told me about how in Catch-22, one of the main characters does things that are boring as a way to prolong life by seemingly slowing time. “There’s a luxurious feeling to spending a day on a boat with nothing to do,” Ben replied. I loved his thoughtful explanations, his unexpected answers, and the creative, quirky way that he viewed the world. Towards the end of our dating, the texts came a little less frequently and usually would start with a, “Sorry for the late reply.” One of my responses was, “All good- some guys just have a longer refractory period.” Ben replied at lightening speed, “But when I finally do respond to a text, I’m incredibly passionate it.”

Our last date together started with a walk hand in hand, then cocktails & delicious conversation overlooking the city and sparks in the bedroom. And in the kitchen. Nothing unusual or out of the ordinary happened that night, but after it, Ben disappeared, he ghosted.

I had forgotten how much it hurt — missing his touch, the way his texts put the biggest smile on my face, the tantalizing anticipation of our time together, knowing how much I turned him on, and the intoxicating feeling of being turned on too. In that moment and in the days that followed, I felt this horrible mix of embarrassment, sadness, and loss. It’s easy to blame yourself and beat yourself up when someone you’re dating rejects you and instantly erases you from their life, especially when it happens without a conversation or closure. While I still have moments of missing Ben, more than anything I’m grateful for the motivation the experience gave me to reflect, grow, binge-listen to Beyoncé, and become a stronger version of myself. Below are the top 10 lessons I learned from my experience with Ben that made the heartache worth it.

1. A person’s incredible qualities and the attraction you feel is never reason enough to continue dating someone. Most important is how they treat you and that they choose you.

2. Let people into your life gradually. Our time is the most precious thing we have. No matter how much we think we like someone early on, at every step of dating the other person needs to earn our time along with our trust.

3. In dating and in life, scarcity leads to settling. The best thing you can do, even if you’re developing strong feelings for someone in the early stages of dating, is to continue to date other poeple. Abundance and options always help you to uphold your standards.

4. You’ll never be good enough for a person who isn’t ready or right for you. Don’t waste your time trying to figure out why someone isn’t interested. Don’t spend your energy trying to convince someone of your value. Ignore what you can’t control because so much of who we are gets filtered through the lens of someone’s past and their current blueprint. Focus on the parts of yourself you can improve, spend your time and energy meeting new people, and bring your best to the people who matter.

5. Self-awareness is knowing what you need in a relationship. Self-respect is valuing yourself enough to communicate what you need and not settling for anything less. People value us only as much as we value ourselves. Never compromise your standards just because you like someone in order to make something that’s not working work

6. Go into experiences without expectations. Enjoy them for what they are, not for their potential.

7. Consider: Would I regret spending this time together, expressing this emotion, or investing at this level if things were to end tomorrow? If the answer is yes, as it was for me in moments with Ben, you’re probably moving too fast and making someone a priority who hasn’t earned that role yet in your life.

8. You never need someone to give you closure. No contact is closure. Disinterest is closure. Closure comes from within.

9. No dating experience is ever a waste of time. Even relationships that don’t work can be amazing teachers. They teach us about others but most importantly, they teach us about ourselves — our strengths, our blind spots, the areas that we can grow, and the standards that we have for the people in our lives. Responding to a break-up by reflecting, learning, and growing is always the answer.

10. Sometimes it takes a heartache to realize you’re worth more than you were settling for, and when you know how much you’re worth, you stop giving people discounts.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leah 2018 Headshot.jpgBy day, Leah leads the influencer marketing division of a national marketing association. In her spare time, she’s a relationship dynamics junkie who’s authored advice on love and dating for media outlets including YourTango, Daily Urbanista, ManTalks, and more. Outside of work, Leah loves dance classes, boxing, podcasts, fro yo, The Mentalist, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and rocking out to her favs — Beyonce and Bruno Mars. You can connect with her on Twitter at @LeapCast.