My research on strong women's relationship problems revealed that over 40% of women liked lots of excitement in their relationships. They were drawn to men who offered a high-energy life style. Typical dates included private jets to the latest event, hobnobbing with the rich and famous and adventure trips to exotic, exclusive and impressive places.Sounds good, you might be thinking. What could be wrong?

Well, guess what else the women in my study reported about these men? If you're thinking that the man became abusive, insensitive or controlling, you guessed right. So, just how does a smart, capable and independent woman fall into this trap? Here is a tip sheet to help you understand how this problem happens--and what to do about it.

1. Don't become a woman who is all work and no play. You leave yourself vulnerable to "borrowing" the life of a man--especially if his lifestyle is filled with the goodies of jets, gifts, weekends on yachts, famous people and high risk activities. Of course, there is nothing wrong with these things, but the secret danger is that as your excitement increases, so do your feelings of attachment. A highly aroused brain is a susceptible state, and it can lead you to confusing the rush from excitement with closeness and love.

The best antidote to this situation is to develop interests outside of work and to build a strong social network of friends.

2. Don't react to heartache with a vow of "no more men." When your heart gets broken in love, it's very tempting to "swear off men" for a while. However, if you go for long periods of not dating and relating to men, you might increase your loneliness to the point that you could be "swept away" by a strong and exciting man. Again, there is nothing wrong with these kinds of men. The danger, however, is that their big personalities and their outsized lifestyles can sweep away your sense of judgment--and sense of self as well. These men often like to run the show. At first, it might be fun to be swept up into this lifestyle--especially if the man is wealthy. Over time, though, you just might find that your requests and needs get left behind. These relationships often require you to give up your priorities in order to be available for the man's whims.

The solution is to do an Emotional Check: Ask yourself: Do I really want to do the particular activity? Do I feel that my preferences are considered? How am I feeling right now at this minute about it? Do I feel as though I am disappearing in the relationship? Do I feel anxious and insecure? Do I have time for me--and us to get to know each other? Do my friends say I've changed--but not in a good way?

3. Don't minimize unacceptable behavior. One of the traps of a high octane lifestyle is how easy it is to sacrifice who you are. Soon, you start over-accepting insensitive actions.

To avoid this pattern, keep a journal of these slights, no matter how small. Activate the Emotional Check mentioned above so that you can become more in tuned to your emotional reactions. Don't brush hurtful behavior under the rug in order to keep this man--and the goodies of this lifestyle. Yes, Santa Claus is hard to pass up--but no man is worth your losing your sense of self-worth or you!

4. Don't stay in a relationship at any cost just to have a man. Most women reported that they hated dating or felt their chance to find a man was running out.

The solution is, yes, remind yourself that life is short--but that doesn't mean to hang in there regardless of how you are being treated. Too many women fool themselves into thinking they can "make the relationship work." They end up spending far too much time trying to fix or over-accept what's wrong rather than thriving in the relationship. Cut your losses and save yourself. Move on, meet others. Life is definitely too short to invite unhappiness.
5. Finally, don't confuse being "chosen" by an exciting man as proof that you are loved. If the hole in your soul is big, you are at increased risk of being used and abused.

The solution includes asking yourself these questions about your man and your relationship with him: Do we respect each other? Do I trust him? Do we get along? Do I feel accepted? And, most importantly, do I like who I am in this relationship?

Best of luck! And look out for yourself!

Author's Bio: 

Please go to my website for more tips about life, love, family and work. If you are a strong, capable woman, please be part of my research for my next book and receive FREE help! On the upper right box on my website, click on Research, and you will be linked to my online survey. At the end of the survey please leave your contact information AND write the words SELFGROWTH so that I know to give you FREE help. Thank you.

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