Savoring 101

girl texting accidentWhen I commuted to work whether just on a subway from the Upper West Side of Manhattan or the grueling, hellish commute from Orange County New York to Manhattan, I read a lot of magazines. I remember that one that caught my eye that was about the secret to happiness.

It had, as you might have guessed, something about being IN THE MOMENT. This is a drum I beat ALL THE TIME and people say, “Yes I know…” but it’s half hearted. The article said that both scientific research and clichés had it right. Those who take time to savor the moment, no matter what they are doing, are the happiest people. I already know this, having practiced having my head where my feet are, for 25 years. It is not just when things are good, but that is the BEST time to do it, but even when things are not going so well…you sit and listen to yourself, to your thoughts, you feel your feelings even when sad or angry…that is how you recover. If you are always trying to get out of how you feel…you can’t go through the process…you NEED to go through it…the only way OUT is through.

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Bumps in the Dating Road When Getting Back Out There

rejectionby Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.

Part 1: Readiness and rejection

Getting Back Out There: Secrets to Successful Dating and Finding Real Love After The Big Breakup discusses the 5 R’s – Readiness, Rejection, Recycling, Rebounding and Retreating.

They are commonly experienced bumps along the dating road when you go back out after healing from a big breakup.

But LONG before you’re ready to date, you have to deal with the idea of rejection and reject the notion that it has ANYTHING to do with your self-worth.  So even if you’re NOWHERE NEAR READY to date, please read the REJECTION part of this and the book. It is VERY important.

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On-line Dating: Bathroom lady wall photo

datingBlog readers  might remember this gem:

I did a dating video on YouTube when I was writing Getting Back Out There. To check out the sewage on various sites (I needed profiles to read the forums), I actually put profiles up so that I could read and write in the forums.

This is my actual photo that I put up on all the sites. I took it from a graphics site that suggested it for the photo on the Ladies Room.

One of my profiles had very general likes and dislikes and on another,  the goofiest stuff in it that would you ever say (my idea of a romantic evening is you holding the yarn while I crochet you some nice earmuffs.  I also like Campbells Cream of Mushroom soup, singing Christmas carols all year long, and shopping for odd socks at the Salvation Army.)
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Beginning Anew

Your ultimate goal in life is to become your best self. Your immediate goal is to get on the path that will put you there.
David Viscott

Today is Monday.

Monday seems to be everyone’s “do over” day.  It’s the day to “begin” whatever new resolution you have, whatever new way of being you’re going to be.

How many times have you said, “TODAY things are going to be DIFFERENT“?  And then they’re not?  And then that defeat just keeps you tied into a defeatist mindset (I can’t do anything right!) and that keeps us from moving ahead.

Everyone is going to start everything on Monday (diet, exercise, doing things differently) or on January 1st. But a resolution stated once and soon forgotten about amounts to nothing more than a wish.   That is why, by Wednesday, the new way of being is gone and you are vowing, ONCE AGAIN, to start over on MONDAY.Resolve has to happen EVERYDAY, whether it’s Monday or Tuesdayor Thursday or July 15th.  It has to happen every day of every year.To change permanently, there has to be a commitment in place.  A commitment renewed every single day. Continue reading

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Great Expectations and Narcissists


When someone shows you who they are, believe them. ~ Maya Angelo

by Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.

Copyright 2006-2018 All Rights Reserved

Some of you may remember this post from the Mail. We Get Mail series.

Last year I received a note from someone who was coming out of a 3 year relationship. Before that relationship they had been friends. During that friendship she saw him date other women and be dishonest and commitmentphobic with them. So when they dated, she was SURPRISED by his dishonesty and commitmentphobia. Why?
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When The Person You Love Doesn’t Love You

It Doesn’t Matter, It Doesn’t Matter, It Doesn’t Matter Because It’s Time to Reject the Rejecter

by Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed. Copyright 2006-2018

Author, “Getting Past Your Breakup: How To Turn A Devastating Loss Into The Best Thing That Ever Happened To You” (Da Capo 2009)

Author, “Getting Back Out There: Tips for Successful Dating and Finding Real Love After the Big Breakup” (Da Capo 2015)

Author, “Getting Past Your Past: The Definitive Workbook for Healing, Health and Happiness” (La Bella Vita Publishing 2013)

(to see the video of this post go HERE)

(to join our CLOSED Facebook breakup group go HERE)

This post is the most popular on the blog and has been for over 10 years. Every now and again I move it up so new people can find it although it’s been ripped off by others many times over the years.  This was originally written in 2006 as one of the very first posts on the original blog.

It’s hard but it happens.

And it hurts.

You love someone who may have loved you once upon a time.


You love someone who acted like there was a possibility of love in return,

but now there’s not.


You love someone who simply doesn’t feel the same way

and isn’t going to feel the same way.



You loved someone deeply who loved you deeply and then this person just switched off and hurt you in ways that were unimaginable at the height of your mutual love.


This person loved you and you loved them but then someone new came along and they left. Friends tell you that you are better than this new person in every way.

But your ex is still with Mr. or Ms. New Thing.

Whatever the situation, you’re left with excruciating pain.
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You Are So Not Who I Thought You Were


Who Are You?

by Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.

Rerun based on a post from the FB group.

After my first few post-divorce breakups, I started to tell people that “anyone is capable of anything at any time.” It’s not that anyone will DO anything at any time, but they are certainly capable of it. It takes the surprise out of the equation when loving person X suddenly turns into Lastest-In-A-Long-Series-of-Mistakes X.

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The Wha Wha Wha FFS WTF Meltdown

Angry GirlNote: there are several GPYB “Wha Wha Meltdown” posts. There is the Wha Wha Wha Working Too Hard Meltdown….the Wha Wha Wha Why Me Meltdown…etc….they all have the same theme….we’re working hard while the world is off having fun and one day we just don’t WANT TO DO IT ANYMORE!!!  it’s OKAY, it’s NORMAL!

This is one of them:

Getting better is not a contest with our oblivious ex who is just going on as if nothing happened. It’s not a contest with our friend who left bananahead A and is now engaged to someone she considers the most wonderful person in the world. It’s not a contest with those who have what we want and why did they get it and we didn’t?

Getting better is our own deal. We compare our growth to our own…and we stop comparing our insides to others’ outsides. Here’s the “wha wha” post that I’ve written a few times. The “wha wha meltdown” is an inevitable place we all come to at some point:
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Trust the Process

trustby Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.

Working through unresolved grief can only work to make you stronger. As Stephen Levine said, people who work through their grief are the lightest and happiest of beings. It shows in their life, in their affect, in their ability to be “with” the world instead of looking on.

At some point in the grief process we feel “dead” and like we’re never going to be normal again. At another point we feel as if we are not making any progress despite how hard we are working. This is also part of the process. Things still seem surreal. We can’t imagine that we’re ever going to love again or trust again. We’re out of the deep, dark feelings but we’re not yet into the light. We’re in limbo somehow.

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Mail. We Get Mail on Recovery Tools as Weapons

by Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.

I received this letter in 2006 and reran it in 2013.  It’s time for another re-run.

Please help me. I was involved with a guy with a severe drinking problem. We broke up and he went to AA and NA. He had a drug problem I didn’t know about. I gave him a second chance but he does whatever he wants and tells me that AA says it’s a selfish program (no further discussion). He also ws spending time with his ex girlfriend and told me he was doing his “9th step” and making amends. Sometimes I wish the old drinking guy was back. I feel guilty when I get mad at this guy who is trying to turn his life around. PLEASE Help

First of all, it sounds like your boyfriend is using the tools of the program as weapons. Continue reading

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No Contact: Searching and the Rules of Disengagement


No contact is hard, but so important to healing

by Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.

Pining is the subjective and emotional component of urge to search for the lost object. ~ Colin Murray Parkes.

Colin Murray Parkes was a grief expert who studied the phases of grief and the behavior in those who are grieving. Searching behavior often explains why people try to connect with those whom they have just lost to death…but when the person is still out there, still “reachable,” it makes it difficult to suspend contact and simply let the searching compulsion pass without doing anything about it.  Hard, but necessary.

Parkes was one of the first to analogize human searching behaviors to that of animal species that mate for life.

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Fear and Resilience

fearby Susan J. Elliott, J.D.M.Ed.

Copyright 1999-2018

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt

When we live our lives afraid, when we keep saying “I can’t”, we give our fears power over us and keep ourselves nestled in our old comfort zones. Continue reading

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Men As Stalking Victims, Part 2: 10 Things To Know For Safety’s Sake

stalkingWould Travis Alexander and/or Ryan Poston be alive today if everyone was duly informed about men as stalking victims?

by Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.


There is a fine line between serendipity and stalking. ~ David Coleman

What Is Stalking

The reason the David Coleman quote above resonates with me is that a woman who appeared to be stalking a man called it serendipitous when she wound up in a club a half mile from his home, where he was known to frequent, on the same night he did.  She said to me, “It’s serendipity!” and I said, “No, it’s stalking.”  I don’t know when the quote above was made by its source, but I had this conversation 14 years ago.  Another quote that came to mind, is “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”  She kept thinking that their “accidental” run-ins meant they were destined to be together.  It didn’t and they weren’t.  Thankfully she moved on, and no one died.

Stalkers Who Turn Into Murderers

It has long been known that female stalking victims have been killed by their stalker. Laws to protect people have been put into effect after stalking turns to murder. Rebecca Shaefer’s murder in 1989 led to stronger laws in California to hide addresses of public figures. It’s not a small thing and it’s not unusual. What is unusual is the small amount of attention paid to female stalkers as murderers and their victims. While we may pay attention to the murder trials, we have done little to educate everyone about how men can protect themselves if they have a stalking ex-girlfriend or obsessive girlfriend they can’t seem to get to go away.

The Murders of Travis Alexander and Ryan Poston

I examined Alexander’s killer, Jodi Arias, and her stalking behavior in Part 1 of this series.  I have drafts about Poston’s killer, Shayna Hubers, but as she is getting a new trial, I’ve kept most in drafts.  I have written my own harrowing accounts with real live stalkers (Local), internet stalkers, being harassed, being a DV victim and being an advocate for victims of domestic violence victims.  I have counseled people for over 25 years and know about obsessive love both as a victim and as a counselor of many.  I hope to write more on this subject of male stalking victims.  If you have questions or comments, email me and I will answer in upcoming articles or videos.  To subscribe to our mailing list go HERE.  

This is to help anyone who thinks they are being stalked or a friend or family member of someone being stalked and that person is a man.

No one who was friends with Alexander or Poston should feel guilty that they didn’t urge either person to take stronger precautions.  This information is simply not known by most.  But now that there are at least two men – in the prime of their lives – murdered by their stalker – this issue should become better known.

Yes, there are others and there are even other high visibility cases.  For now, this is to draw parallels between these two murder victims and any man who may be in danger and not know it.
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On Revealing Yourself to Others

Sometimes you tell someone something, and sometimes you just keep your mouth shut.

by Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.

All the world is a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and entrances;
Each man in his time plays many parts.

~ William Shakespeare

It is important to reveal ourselves slowly when we first meet people. As I’ve said before, when we meet people, it is not appropriate to dump our entire lives on them in the first meeting, the first date, the first week, the first month. Getting to know someone, even a potential mate, is a slow process and SHOULD be a slow process.

Also there is no rule that says you have to tell everyone absolutely everything. Continue reading

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Courage, Hope and Change

sunriseby Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.

Courage, it would seem, is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow. ~ Dorothy Thompson

Tough times befall most of us; some, it seems, more than others. While there is some level of self-pity in our struggle for wholeness, there cannot be too much. Self-pity will de-motivate you. No one loves me will de-motivate you and to change and grow and have a happy life, (yes HAPPY!), you have to be motivated to charge toward that life.

To overcome what has happened to us takes courage and that courage is the power to continue to believe that we are good, life is good and there is always tomorrow which will be better than today.

Trudging onward takes a lot of work sometimes and we get tired and sometimes falter. Continue reading

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