• Pam Del Franco aka ASK NANNA

How do you remain the powerful businesswoman that you are when falling in love?

All too easily, we can lose ourselves when we’re attracted to someone.

It’s certainly not our intention, especially since we are so focused at work.

And then there are those damn glasses, you know, the rose-colored ones. (I wore mine before and during a relationship!)

We often go into a relationship with a vision of how we want that relationship to be, and, in the beginning, he seems to fit the bill. He appears emotionally reliable, kind and maybe even dependable. But then it starts to deteriorate with things like subtle comments on how you dress, or offhand (and negative) comments about your girlfriends and staying home more often.

Your automatic response to things not working is to fix them. It’s what got you to where you are in business – seeing a problem and taking the responsibility to work it out.

Slowly, you start suppressing your needs.

“Maybe I don’t really need a date night every week.”

You excuse his comments about your friends (or start to believe they’re true – she IS a bit bossy).

And worst of all, you look in the mirror and think that dress you love, doesn’t look good on you. You feel worse about yourself, and you cling to him even more – after all, he still wants you.

It’s easy to get caught up in avoiding the reality of what’s happening and get stuck in the “if only I could …he would…”.

But…this is a big but…there’s likely a lot more going on here than meets the eye.

It could be that his comment about date night meant that he wanted to stay home and cuddle, but your damaged past interprets it as him being embarrassed to be seen with you.

Maybe his idea about your friend is accurate, she is bossing you around, and he wants to protect you.

And perhaps he’s a little insecure about you wearing such a fabulous dress but doesn’t know how to express that.

How can you tell the difference?

It may be that he is being a jerk, and it’s time to tell him to not let the door hit him on the way out – or you’re unknowingly interpreting through a filter of past hurts.

The same power you have to create an incredible business life is equal (if not greater) to the power you have to heal whatever past event you’ve dragged into this relationship.

When you do that, you can see his intentions more clearly and, based on that, decide what you want from the relationship. (If it turns out he isn’t a jerk, you can get help – for example, couples counselling to learn better communication).

If you carry on without looking at the role you are playing, you will end up suffering (if he’s a jerk) or sabotaging being with a good man. He doesn’t recognize the woman he was attracted to and doesn’t know what to do about it.

Here’s the thing. You can enter a relationship wounded (we all do to a degree). You certainly don’t need to be all sorted out. But unless you’re willing to look at how you are projecting in this relationship when your past hurt encroaches (or comes in like a tornado) things are less likely to change. Over time it could end a potentially good relationship, or worse, you end up living in quiet desperation.