Yes, I finally made a list for my next girlfriend!

The dreaded pro-con list of relationships. Setting the bar and creating boundaries in what you will and won’t accept in a potential partner can be daunting, and, it can also be liberating. I get it! This is my raw and real feelings on setting up relationships that work, drawn from years of failures and surveying others…yes, this gets messy so hold on tight!

If clarity is the mother of all beginnings and intention is the rocket fuel that carries us through, then establishing guidelines is the best we can do to keep a relationship on track when passion runs high and we pull back our barbed-wire defenses for intimacy to peep it’s scared face from the shadows of shame and past regrets.

Exhausted after a recent tryst with a potential girlfriend lasting only two weeks that left me mentally, spiritually and emotionally drained, I confided in a trusted mentor and with curiosity asked, “do you think I’m a good man?”

Sensing my need for validation from my latest dealings with this energy vampire, this mentor stated, “It doesn’t matter what I think Robin, it matters what YOU think.” Bam! Before I could even reply, she then asked, “Have you made a list of qualities you desire in a girlfriend?” I was blank faced, I had nowhere to go…she had called me out, or really…called me forward to own this situation and BE the man that amazing women would kill for.

Our natural cravings for love cause us to do just about anything for affection and to be looked upon as special. In those moments, reminded once again, sometimes even regretfully, that we haven’t been giving those very things to ourselves and must return to self-love first. Damn, time to call the sponsor and get back into the recovery circles!

What was I thinking! I had developed my spiritual consciousness to a PHD level over 10 years of deep soul-work and here I am making decisions at a 4th grade level by not establishing clear boundaries and giving my heart away to quickly. “Slow down, Robin! What is your hurry anyway?”, I would say to myself, frustrated why I am so drawn to people, yet as soon as romance sparks, I get weird.

A few deep breathing exercises, a yoga session and a few calls to the coach later, I finally settle in, to go within.  No, women aren’t bitches, they’re not fucked up, or greedy, or just users of men. Labeling crap outside myself is the easy victim way out and I was going to boldly stand in front of life’s mirror and demand a clear reflection.

Then it hit me. The words of the wise King Solomon’s words my mother use to repeat to me as a boy, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)

Sigh and Surrender.  I had been careless with my heart, letting ones in to the emotional vulnerability of my soul that were unqualified to handle me. This toxic track has been run dozens of times before when the starting-pistol fired in the race of love, naively thinking that chemistry was all that was needed to make a relationship work.

Wrong! It was time to make a list!

Out came the pen and paper. I sat and looked at the blank page, the words, “My Next Girlfriend” written boldly at the top, double 1478262859-7360-a-list-of-sexy-woman-traitsunderlined with exclamation point. A couple glasses of Cabernet later, still nothing. An hour crept slowly by as Elton John hummed quietly in the background hoping nostalgia would kick-in and fuel something really creative, still nothing. I pondered on past relationships, what worked, what didn’t, what I hoped to recreate and hoped to avoid…still nothing.

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