Beliefnet
The Celebrity Therapist

luv adFor many people, the Royal Family offers a glimpse into a world that is both traditional as well as fascinating. This is true for people in the United States as well as around the world. It seems as if royal relationships are particularly interesting, which does put an incredible amount of pressure on both the royal as well as those they chose to date.

Recently, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced their engagement, which seems like a picture-perfect relationship in every sense of the word. This is made somewhat more controversial, at least for the Royal Family, due to Meghan’s past marriage and divorce.

The Importance of Waiting

A very important part of having a successful relationship, particularly in high-profile and always under the scrutiny press situation, is to be comfortable with dating and having friendships that are not escalated prematurely or to satisfy the need for the individual to be seen as “in a serious relationship.”

With Prince Harry, as well as with Meghan Markle, who is famous in her own right as an actress and humanitarian, both had past relationships and were comfortable with being in the spotlight. They are both clearly aware of what they were looking for in a prospective partner, and they took their time in building the relationship while also pursuing their own individual commitments and passions.

In many ways, these passions dovetailed, with both very focused on humanitarian issues as well as getting to know more about each other. While Prince Harry reports he knew Meghan was the one from their first date, he stressed the importance to get to know each other away from the scrutiny of the public eye before determining just how far the relationship would go.

The Result

The result of building a relationship while still maintaining an individual perspective is critical for everyone, and not just those that are famous. In my new book, “The Marriage Junkie: Kick Your Obsession with Relationships and Learn to Love Living with Yourself,” the importance and the result of being true to oneself and not becoming consumed by the relationship become clear.

Learning, like Prince Harry, to wait for the right one and be happy with your life results in finding a person to commit to who will be a positive and empowering match.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW is a Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of the award winning book The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse. You can take her quiz to find out if you are co-dependent or sign up for a 30 minute strategy session with Sherry. Check out Sherry’s new book The Marriage and Relationship Junkie: Kicking Your Obsession.

Attractionintimacy is mysterious. Just why do we become attracted to “certain” people? Part of the answer lies in our history. We are attracted to our first love which is usually the parent of the opposite sex. We are also attracted to people who remind us of others (real people, movie stars, magazine models, etc.) who stimulated us while we were growing up. But this is all we know about attraction, so we call it “chemistry” because the attraction stimulates certain chemicals that make us “high.” But let’s not allow the mystery of all this to worry us.

The most important thing we need to know about attraction is that it can be both a wonderful thing and a trap. If you are attracted to people capable of a healthy, fulfilling relationship then attraction is a good thing which leads to better things. If you are attracted to, say, people who have anger issues or is controlling, then attraction is not a good thing. I know I was always attracted to controlling men because my father, although amazing in so many ways, could be controlling. This was not good. It got me into a lot of trouble. So if you are attracted to the wrong personality type (for whatever reason) what do you do about it? Well you understand what is happening to you and then you avoid the people that get you into trouble.

Does this mean you have to give up attraction? No! You just need to train yourself to be attracted to the right type, like training yourself to eat right. You buy the right food and you eat it. You find a wonderful, healthy person and you let him or her grow on you. It is a little known fact that chemistry is not always instantaneous. It can happen at any time. This does not mean you must hang in there with someone who bores you to death, it just means you might give the right people a little more time. Then is there is no chemistry you move on. But you never go backwards. Once you identify the “wrong type” you never try to make it happen with that type of person. This is our insistent inner child trying to win back some lost love who was never available.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW is a Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of the award winning book The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse. You can take her quiz to find out if you are co-dependent or sign up for a 30 minute strategy session with Sherry. Check out Sherry’s new book The Marriage and Relationship Junkie: Kicking Your Obsession.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW is a Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of the award winning book The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse. You can take her quiz to find out if you are co-dependent or sign up for a 30 minute strategy session with Sherry. Check out Sherry’s new book The Marriage and Relationship Junkie: Kicking Your Obsession.

ambivWe want love, but we are afraid of it. We seek out a relationship and then sabotage it the first chance we get. We want space and when we get it we are lonely. We can’t live without a relationship and we can’t live with it. What is going on here? It is simple. We are ambivalent.

Ambivalence is the number one problem in relationships today. We are no longer bound by a social order that dictates we marry and have children. We are no longer bound by a division of labor where the man has his duties [bread winner] and we have ours [domestic bliss]. We have choices and now we are confused.

I sometimes think that this is the lost generation and that in many respects my generation had it easy. I was told to stroke a man’s ego. I was told to let him make all the decisions. I was told that I should have children. Unfortunately, I was not meant to be a housewife and mother. I was born to write which is what I am doing now. So everyone around me suffered, especially my children, as I tried to find myself. I have thus concluded that even if this generation is confused and unhappy, so was mine.

I recently wrote an article about knowing yourself and it took me a long time to discover my true identify. So my heart goes out to young people today who have so many choices they don’t know what to choose. The media tells they can have it all and they believe this. So they run themselves ragged trying to take all that life has to offer. Then they reach middle age and are unhappy with life and the choices they made. They dream about starting over again and they can’t. They take control the situation, which has always served them in the past, and try to fix everything right now.

Ambivalence is a double-edged sword. It can give you time to think things out before you make a commitment. Love addicts, who fall in love so quickly, would love ambivalence. But in the hands of a commitment phobic or a confused person it can be a nightmare.

There are no easy answers to this dilemma. One can sort through their childhood for the origins of their ambivalence. Were their parental role models ambivalent? Do the chaotic relationships in their family of origin give them an uneasy feeling when the fall in love and fall into a relationship? Do they idealize relationships because their family was so dysfunctional? Do they look for the perfect partner because their family was so imperfect?  At least one of these thing is at work. Perhaps all.

To solve this dilemma, I suggest that you research healthy relationships, get into a recovery program for love addiction and love avoidance, find someone who can love you and cherish you and then stay committed even when you think you are being smothered even when you are not.

This worked for me. I stopped idealizing unavailable men like my father. I found someone who I was attracted to but not obsessed with. I gave the relationship a chance and after a while fell in love. Today I am happily married to someone I would never have chosen for myself twenty years ago. We are a work in progress.

Sherry Gaba, LCSW, Radio Host, Certified Transformation Coach and author of the award winning book, The Law of Sobriety: Attracting Positive Energy for a Powerful Recovery and Ecourse http://trainings.wakeuprecovery.com/www.sherrygaba.com sherry@sgabatherapy.com.  Find out if you are #codependent. Take my quiz: http://sherrygaba.com/co-dependency-quiz/ 30 minute strategy session with Sherry http://sherrygaba.com/product/30-minute-strategy-session-sherry-gaba/ . Check out Sherry’s new book, The Marriage and Relationship Junkie: Kicking your Obsession.    http://amzn.to/2ymfM1p

image summit recovery today 2 image470x394 copy-3 copyJoin the 5th Annual  Recovery Today Series www.recoverytodayseries.com online conference sponsored by Soba Recovery Center.  Sherry Gaba, Editor of Recovery Today Magazine will be interviewing  20 of the greatest transformational leaders and addiction experts of our time.  Addiction does not just mean substance abuse but can mean codependency, love and sex addiction, debting, internet addiction, procrastionation and/or workaholism.  Join Sherry Gaba, LCSW and twenty transformational leaders and addiction experts  for this FREE event.  www.recoverytodayseries.com.