In my book, Find Your Inner Voice, I shared the story of my client Diane, a successful woman with her own business. Diane told me she wanted to have a serious relationship yet continually dated men who readily admitted they did not want any commitment. There were elements of excitement and intensity when she was with them but she always felt let down when did not hear from them again. Diane started to realize that dating these free spirits only provided her with the illusion of romance.
As we explored Diane’s confusion about relationships, I asked her to try a simple technique I had developed over the years. (Actually the technique can be used with any type of relationship, whether it’s friends, business or romance). I asked her what her body craved when she was really hungry and wanted food fast. She instantly said, “Sugar cookies. Nothing seems to taste as good as those cookies when I just can’t wait any longer.” I then asked her how she felt after she ate them. She said, “Really energized, and then I crash and feel like I can’t move.” She acknowledged that depriving herself of food for too long caused her to grab the most convenient food available and that her body paid the price.
I then asked Dianne what her ideal meal was and right away she said, “Homemade lasagna. You know the kind, as it comes out of the oven with the cheese melting on those layers of pasta and tomato sauce?” Diane said when she ate that homemade lasagna, she felt really happy and content. So I encouraged her to consider applying the cookie or lasagna standard, when it came to dating.
Whenever Diane was considering going go out with someone, she was to view her dating choice as if she were choosing her next meal. She was to ask herself whether the man she was going out with was a sugar cookie or a dish of that sumptuous homemade lasagna. In doing so, she would become very conscious about whether she could connect to him emotionally or was he just a delicious sweet treat?
Over the years, other clients have used this technique and shared with me their version of Diane’s food choices. Whatever the food, using this technique helps them quickly decide if the relationship they are contemplating is one that will be beneficial to their well being.
When it comes to relationships, choosing your version of sugar cookies is not about being good or bad. If that’s what you want, go for it. Just pay attention to how you feel along the way. But if you really want something more substantial, those fast food choices will never satisfy you the way a nourishing meal can.
Next time you are contemplating any type of new relationship, consider asking:
Is this new business partnership a quick fix or one that will sustain your vision?
Is this new friendship, filled with neediness and drama, one that will make you feel supported in the long run?
Is this possible new romance one that will emotionally nourish you or leave you wanting more?
Have any thoughts about the cookie vs the real meal technique?