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dating coach for smart, strong, successful women Evan Marc Katz
I am in an amazing relationship with an amazing guy. It’s only been 6 weeks but it’s the best relationship I’ve ever had; he’s totally devoted to me, asked me to be his girlfriend 3 weeks in (before we even slept together) and he tells me daily how lucky he feels to have met me. And yet…I am constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop!! Because of my ex and past heartbreaks, I feel like this can’t possibly be real, and I keep wondering when I’m going to find out that he’s an asshole or a liar or an alcoholic… Yes, I know, that’s a lot of fear. There are moments where I have felt totally convinced that he has lost interest or is lying and then he says or does something amazing that makes me realize what a paranoid weirdo I’m being.

So anyway, yeah, your email really resonated with me. If I consider your question “How would you act if you knew that your relationship was safe and permanent?” I guess the answer is that if I knew the relationship were safe and permanent, I would be able to actually enjoy this thrilling and wonderful phase of falling in love!!

if I knew the relationship were safe and permanent, I would be able to actually enjoy this thrilling and wonderful phase of falling in love!!

My question for you is: I am not a psychic and I have no way of knowing this relationship is safe or permanent. So how do I stop catastrophizing? Just pretend like it is safe and permanent?

Thank you for all that you do!!

My 20’s were rough. Anxiety. Moving from NY to LA. Depression. Friendlessness. Professional failure. Losing my Dad. Dysfunctional relationships. For a guy who had a little too much confidence in college, I pretty much got my ass kicked all over the field until I was in my 30’s. Things finally changed when I wrote my first book, I Can’t Believe I’m Buying This Book — A Commonsense Guide to Successful Internet Dating,” in 2004. The book got a nice review in Time, which led to a feature on USA Today, which led to a feature on CNN, which led me to drop out of UCLA Film School to pursue e-Cyrano Profile Writing full-time.

In retrospect, the major issues causing all of my problems were uncertainty, instability and scarcity. Once I found a career in which I felt like I could control my own destiny, my confidence came back, money started to roll in, and I felt more comfortable raising my standards for dating. Seven years after I wrote my first book, I was married, financially secure, bought a house, and had a daughter.

And then I ran into a friend who I knew from my 20’s, who pretty much knew me as a struggling screenwriter who liked online dating and talking about feelings. When I updated him on my whereabouts for the past few years, a smile broke across his face, which I was able to read instantly as: “Look what happened to you!”

Sure enough, just as you wrote to me about your good fortune in love, I told my friend that I’d had a great run and I was terribly worried that the other shoe was going to drop.

I never forgot what he said to me next:

“Did you ever consider that the first 35 years of your life WAS the other shoe?”

“Did you ever consider that the first 35 years of your life WAS the other shoe?”

It hit me like a smack in the face.

Instead of operating from that place that said things MUST go wrong because they always go wrong, he instantly reframed everything to point out that I’d already paid my dues and this was my time to finally relax and enjoy myself.

Could he have known that, definitively? Of course not.

But instead of waking up every day worrying about whether I’m going to get cancer or what the climate will look like for my children or whether my wife is going to fall in love with another man, I choose not to look past my good fortune.

Sure enough, the more confident you are, the more present you are, the more appreciative you are, the more the world around you rewards you.

So while I can’t guarantee that your wonderful new boyfriend will be your future husband, I think you can’t get much better advice than treating him as if he will be and seeing what happens from there.

Enjoy what you have, and who knows, maybe the other shoe will never drop at all.