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Career, love, sex and other matters of this kind

Olena signed up for the coaching session because she wanted to change her job.  The company she works for has a lot to offer, but there are also many things she doesn’t like. She hesitated whether to quit and this uncertainty lasted for quite some time.

As we talk, Olena’s motive to keep the job becomes clearer. And that’s neither career perspectives nor good atmosphere in the company. This is relationship that doesn’t exist.

Yes, you got it right.

Olena’s job is not draining and the company is prestigious. There is also one colleague whom she likes a lot. He is head of sales, able to convince the most sceptical customer. Handsome, confident, charming … well, no wonder that she is charmed. Vadim is flirting with Olena remorselessly and uses his charm relentlessly to solve urgent work issues.

They work a lot and often stay in the office after 6 p.m. spending a lot of of time together. Olena hopes that since they are a great team, they could be a great couple, too. Vadim (who has a fiancee, by the way) uses his charm both with the customers and with Olena. She gladly accepts this “signs of attention”. Staying longer to finalise the agreement with the contractor? No problem. Listening to Vadim, cheering him up and inspiring when things go wrong?Surely! Waiting for the courier during the lunch time (well, these documents are so important, you know)? Gladly! Anything goes to further keep the illusion „we both feel so good together” Olena’s reality.

So, our conversation started with a career-related question and then we clarified something really important. Olena receives a lot of emotional „bonuses” from communication with Vadim. She feels fulfilled because she helps him, because he needs her. And she hopes that one fine day… well, you got it.

Illusions illusions, illusions. They are her first and utmost motive to keep current job.

It’s clear that she is not in any real relationship – she says she doesn’t have time. No wonder. Indeed, when? It’s also clear that she doesn’t have enough energy for it.

During the first coaching session Olena is not ready to face the truth. Gradually she realises that Vadim is not her Mr. Right. He flirts with Olena because he gets a lot of profits from doing so. She is his source of energy, and she gives it away on her own free will. (It was a real temptation for Vadim not to use it, don’t you think so?)

It’s not easy to admit what is happening, but awareness of the situation heals Olena. We feel it is a good result and Olena is grateful to herself for the work. As for me, I don’t need to ask the provocative question “How long are you ready to be in these illusionary – elusive – non existing “relations”?” any more. Cause the answer is “Not a single minute”.

Here is an extract from our dialogue:

– Why id this «relationship» so valuable for you?
– Well, that’s obvious – we are such a great team of professionals. I feel that I am needed and it’s a great feeling.
– Is Vadim the only person who can give you such a feeling of yourself?
– No.

I am asking Olena one more question:

– What do you want?
– To wake up next to the man I love, to have family and kids.
– Can this man give you what you want?
– No.
– Does he want to do it?
– No. I understand it, rationally, but I am attracted to him, don’t you understand?

Of course, I do!:) What’s a strong argument «I am attracted»! (yes, I am being sarcastic here:) Living in illusions is indeed quite „sweet”, until a certain time. Until it becomes sickeningly sweet.

This story made me think of the answer to the following question: „Why is it so difficult for us to part with illusions?”

Surely, it is quite tough to be colleagues with the man you like while he is not that much into you. But it is possible. If you have self-respect and the will to do it. The pleasure from professional growth and working together as a team could be just that, no more (again, it will most probably be very tough at the beginning). Why should Olena continue receiving surrogate attention from Vadim when she can have it all – and by this I mean real relations with a real man who appreciates her and chooses to be with her, not with another woman? Why is the deceptive sweetness of these non-existing relations so enticing?

In reality this is not sweetness at all.

Take strawberry, for example. You have the first one from the greenhouse and the real one from the kitchen garden – and you will never confuse how it tastes and smells. The first one tastes average, but we seem to enjoy it. But deep in our hearts we know that the most delicious one is the one from the kitchen garden:)

I also used to «specialise» in relationship that didn’t exist. Maybe their deceptive sweetness is something you are familiar with, too. But isn’t it worth waiting and going for something real?

And don’t ask me «Wha’t if I won’t meet a man like him»?

There is a certain order in this world, you know. First – strawberries from the greedhouse, then – strawberries from the field:)

P.S. Here is the next task of our ”100 days with the LifeStylist” marathon:

Revise which of your relationship is real, and which is “relationship that doesn’t exist”.

Analyse what is their value for you, and whether they are the sole source of tenderness, inspiration, feeling accomplished, desired etc. Do you grow as a person in this relationship, do they help you approach your goal, is there any exchange in them?

If the honest answer is no, you know what to do.

Share your results in comments below!

Have a nice day,

Olga Maksymenko

E-mail me at olga@lifestylist.com.ua or call +38 095 197 11 22 (Viber or What’s up) to sign up for the coaching session!

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