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How to Create a Flawless Love Plan

From the Show: HER
Summary: What are three steps to ensure a healthy and happy relationship?
Air Date: 3/19/15
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Pamela Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Robert Weiss, LCSW
Robert Weiss Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S, is a therapist, author and clinical educator who has been writing about and treating sexual addiction for 25 years, and whose work specializes in the link between digital technology and personal relationship management.

Today he is Senior Vice President of Clinical Development for Elements Behavioral Health, now the largest provider of residential addiction treatment in the nation. A UCLA MSW graduate and early trainee of Dr. Patrick Carnes, Robert is the founding director of The Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles (opened in 1995). He is also author of Cruise Control, Sex Addiction 101 and co-author with Dr. Jennifer Schneider of Closer Together, Further Apart and most recently, Always Turned On.

He has appeared as a commentator on CNN, The Oprah Winfrey Network and The Today Show while his work has been featured in the NY Times and Wall St. Journal.

Robert has also been invited to provide clinical training and program development by the National Institutes of Health, United States Armed Forces, and behavioral health treatment centers worldwide.
How to Create a Flawless Love Plan
Whether you've been out of the dating scene for some time, or if you've been set up multiple times but it has always ended in failure, it could feel like you'll never find anyone compatible for you.

If you've been single for a long time, you may also have some attached emotions to your past, leaving you with an unrealistic view of what a healthy relationship is. This can set you up for failure for any future potential relationships you may have.

However, instead of throwing your love life away, you may want to consider creating a love plan. This will help underline what it is you're actually looking for in a partner without feeling like you're wasting your time.

So, how do you create a flawless love plan?
  • Decide what you want (emotionally, intellectually, physically, sexually, spiritually etc.)
  • Trust, let go and never give up
  • Think about any lessons received
Robert Weiss, LCSW, shares how you can create a flawless love plan and be in that healthy relationship you've always wanted.
Transcription:

RadioMD Presents:HER Radio | Original Air Date: March 19, 2015
Host: Michelle King Robson & Pam Peeke, MD

It's all about her. Her body. Her mind. Her wellness. Her sex. Her relationships. Her aging. Her beauty. It's HER Radio starring acclaimed entrepreneur and women's advocate, Michelle King Robson and leading women's health expert, the doc who walks the talk, Dr. Pam Peeke.

PAM: So, have you ever heard about a love plan, Michelle? Do you know what a love plan is?

MICHELLE: Well, I thought I had my own love plan, but, clearly they haven't worked. So.

PAM: Well, that...Well, that, my love. That's because you have what we call a "flawed love plan". Or, you don't have a plan at all.

MICHELLE: Oh, that's what it is. Yes.

PAM: Oh, that's what it's all about.

MICHELLE: Maybe I'm the one who's flawed.

PAM: It's all about you, Michelle.

MICHELLE: Exactly.

PAM: So, we're looking at the three steps to a flawless love plan and we go to our "go to" person, Robert Weiss, who's a therapist, author and clinical educator, nationally renowned in all things intimate relationship, sexual addiction and all kinds of addiction, for that matter, as it relates to relationships. He has so many books, I don't even know where to start. But, the one we're going to be referring to today is Always Turned On: Sex Addiction in the Digital Age.

MICHELLE: Ew.

PAM: Just fascinating. Oh, yeah, man. Stop laughing, Michelle. Because you're saying to yourself, "Oh, that's me. That's me."

MICHELLE: I can't wait to...Just bring Rob on, will you?

PAM: Rob, come on. Just come on down and help us understand. All of us. Our wonderful listeners on HER Radio. What the heck is a love plan?

WEISS: I don't know. I think you two need a lot more help than I can offer.

PAM: Okay, that was like oversharing.

MICHELLE: TMI. TMI. Okay, Rob. What's a love plan? I need to know.

WEISS: So, you know, here's the deal. I think most women I've worked with and know have a very good idea of what a healthy relationship is and what a healthy partner is for them. It's just, then, they get involved with people and they start having these feelings and they sort of forget about the things that they thought were important. And lo, and behold, there they are, later on, thinking, "Why did the hell did I marry, or move in with, or get involved with this schmuck?" So, we're going to talk about how to override those chemicals and make better decisions.

MICHELLE: Okay. So, "schmuck" being the key word.

PAM: Schmuckola.

MICHELLE: Why is having a love plan so important? I'm serious. Why is it so important?
WEISS: Well, here's the bottom line. Hopefully, everybody knows what it's like to have those mushy, gushy, "Oh, my gosh. He's the most wonderful person in the room. We've just started dating and I can't stop talking about him" feelings. Those are the feelings that promote bonding. They promote close relationships. Those are good feelings. They help us really attach to someone. The problem is, when we start feeling those feelings of attachment with someone who's the wrong person, that's the problem. So, how do you make sure that you don't end up getting lost in a relationship that isn't good for you and/or how do you clarify a relationship that isn't working for you? You've got to do it on paper.

PAM: Oh, how interesting. On paper.

MICHELLE: On paper.

PAM: How do you create this love plan on paper? What are the steps?

WEISS: So, you know, I would ask someone to think about it like a traffic light. You know, when you've got a red light, you want to stop. So, it's very simple. I would put a column on a piece of paper that says "red light" and those are all the things or people that I'm involved with that simply don't work for me. So, if someone is, I don't know, for me, it might be if they smoked or if they didn't call me back when I called them.

Or, if I found out they were just ending another relationship and maybe hadn't quite moved out yet. You know, if maybe they were still in another relationship. These are red lights to me. I'm not going to date that person. I don't care how cute they are. Then, you might have a yellow light section—another column on your page. It would be like, you know, they don't laugh at my jokes and maybe they talk a little too much or maybe they have bad breath or maybe it's something that's kind of like, "Mmm. Not sure I can live with this, but let me give it a look." Then, green lights, which is another column on your page, are all those things that you know you want in a person. Whatever that is for you. That they have similar interest or they have a successful career or they love kids. Whatever that is.

But, here's the trick. You write it down with your heart in mind. What makes me happy and what makes me miserable. You go over it with a really good girlfriend or therapist or somebody you trust. They agree. That's who you are and that's who you want. Then, you wait and you date and when you start having those mushy, gushy feelings towards someone, you take a look at that paper and you say, "Hmm. Are there any red lights here that I'm not looking at because I'm having all these loving feelings toward this new person?" Then, if they do show up, you rule them out. Sounds kind of cold, huh?

MICHELLE: So, there's just like this pro and con whole thing going on, right? That is really interesting. So, you have to decide what the pros are and what the cons are. You really brought this to the forefront. You're really creating a love plan. So, what are the exact steps?
WEISS: Well, again. I would take a piece of paper and I would say, "These are my red lights in a relationship. If the person I'm going out with or getting to know, doesn't like kids or if they smoke or if they're an active drug user," or, you know, just things like, "they live with their mom" or whatever. Your bottom line.

MICHELLE: Or, they're a cheater. They're a cheater?

WEISS: Pardon? Yes. Or, they have a history of being unfaithful. Or, the person tells you their entire life on the first date. That may be someone you think is really attractive and you have nice feelings about them, but I'm not going to go see them again. Then, you write down your yellow lights. The things that kind of bothered you about relationships that you've noticed. This isn't about a specific person. You do this when you're not dating. When you're single. Or, you do it when you're in your relationship and you step back from your relationship and you say, "What do I really want here? What do I not?" Then, you look at the relationship and say, "What is it giving me? What is it not?" I'll tell you, if you run into a lot of red lights, there are probably relationship problems. Or, if you're single, you're looking at the wrong person.

MICHELLE: Got it.

PAM: Well, you know, when you say, "You're looking at the wrong person," Rob, I've always wondered, in your expertise, what about those women who always go for the bad boys? You know?

MICHELLE: Me.

PAM: Okay. See, I'm bringing this up for Michelle, but I was trying to be covert, but now that you've just gone ahead and revealed yourself. But, you know, it's like the bad boys. The leather jackets, you know, the motorcycle sitting outside revving up and, you know, they're just edgy, maybe fringy and the same things, I suppose, with women or whomever or just people with partners, they're always going for people that you know there's going to be trouble. What is going on there?

WEISS: Well, I think there's a little genetic stuff going on there because in order to spread the gene pool that in a way that promotes having children that are really vigorous and hardy, you know, you may want that person that's a little more narcissistic. You may want to mate with a person who is a little more about themselves because maybe they're more successful.

MICHELLE: Yes.

WEISS: Or, maybe they are better able to take on having a big family. Or, maybe they're a big picture thinker. First of all, what bothers some people, may not bother someone else. So, this is an individual plan. I don't get to decide who's a red light for you. I know what's a red light for me. But, the other thing I really think that is important to think about is that we lose our objectivity when we start to fall. I've heard many, many women and men say to me, "You know, why do I always pick the wrong person? It starts out like they're exactly what I think I know I want and later on, it turns out that they have all this other stuff." Well, you haven't been following your plan. You've been letting your feelings get away from you. You haven't been sitting down with a friend and saying, "Remember my plan? Remember who I'm dating? These things aren't matching up. What's the problem?" Here's what I hear a lot of women say, "I don't think it's me. I think I have a bad picker. I pick the wrong ones."

MICHELLE: A bad picker.

WEISS: This is a way to define a right one.

MICHELLE: Exactly. It's so true, though. You do have these bad pickers and I attract the wrong men so much of the time. I don't even know how I do it. It just automatically happens. But, this has been so great for me—so helpful. I would never have thought to take a piece of paper and to the red, yellow and green lights. So, thank you.

PAM: I think it's brilliant.

WEISS: And then, talk about it with a friend.

PAM: Oh, yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

MICHELLE: And then what?

WEISS: And then, talk about it with a friend. Don't be alone with it. Run it by someone because sometimes you have unreasonable expectations and then, you never get to date anybody. Or, maybe sometimes your expectations are so wide that you still end up with all the wrong people, so you kind of want to have somebody to run it by.

PAM: Right. Right.

WEISS: Someone you trust who says, "You know, it might be. I don't think you really want to date somebody who's this."

MICHELLE: Like Pam.

PAM: Yes. Yes. I mean, Michelle uses me and I sit there and I say, "No. Just trash this dude. Okay? He's a schmuckola." Just like Rob said.

Alright, everyone. You've been listening to the one; the only, Rob Weiss--our "go to" guy on all things relationship and intimacy. To understand the three steps to flawless love plan, go to his website, RobertWeissMSW.com. Also, ElementsBehaviorHealth.com. He's one of my pals at Elements. Love it. Love it.
Thank you.I'm Dr. Pam Peeke with Michelle King Robson.
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