Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I recently started reading a new book called Loving Him without Losing You. I feel like this book was written for me, which is weird because I just stumbled upon it while looking for a friend's birthday gift. In it, the author (Beverly Engel) describes what she calls the Disappearing Woman syndrome, which is when a woman completely loses herself in a relationship. Engel explains that this syndrome is actually on a continuum with women at each extreme as well as in the middle. Personally, based on the description of the continuum, I feel like I'm in the middle somewhere. In one of the earlier chapters of the book, it asked me to list all the ways I feel like I "disappear" in relationships. It wasn't hard to do. I won't go into detail but I was able to list 10 ways I disappear. These were things that I had noticed before but a) didn't want to admit because, come on, I'm a feminist for goodness sakes b) didn't think it was the phenomenon it appears to be and c) had no idea what to do to go about changing it. Engel lists 7 strategies (or "commitments", as she calls them - commitments to YOURSELF) for maintaining a healthy, solid sense of self while in a relationship:
  1. Learn to go slowly.
  2. Be yourself and tell the truth about yourself.
  3. Maintain a separate life.
  4. Stay in the present and in reality.
  5. Don't go changing to try to please him.
  6. Cultivate equal relationships.
  7. Speak your mind.
I definitely recommend getting this book, even if you don't think you lose yourself in relationships. According to Engel, and I agree, almost all women disappear to some extent - thanks to culture (society!), psychology, and biology. I'm taking some of my time as a single (and, sadly, unemployed) woman to strengthen my own sense of self and, hopefully, be much more confident in who I am the next time I choose to get into a relationship...whenever that may be ;).

A few weeks ago, I made a post-breakup CD (it's what I do) and, as a few of my friends and acquaintances are also experiencing the end of a relationship, I thought I would share the songs.

  1. King of Anything - Sara Bareilles
  2. Firework - Katy Perry
  3. Forget You - Cee Lo Green
  4. What the Hell - Avril Lavigne
  5. A Little Bit Stronger - Sara Evans
  6. Ridin' Solo - Jason Derulo
  7. Stronger - Glee Cast (you may prefer the Britney version but I'm a Gleek!)
  8. Magic - B.o.B. w/ Rivers Cuomo (really has nothing to do with breaking up - just makes me feel good!)
  9. Defying Gravity - Glee Cast
  10. Single Ladies - Beyonce (duh)
  11. Believe - Cher (don't hate)
  12. Red High Heels - Kellie Pickler
  13. Just Fine - Mary J. Blige
  14. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper

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