Book Excerpt

Get Married This Year
By Dr. Janet Page


Top Love Blocks to Avoid
By Janet Blair Page, PhD,
Author of Get Married This Year: 365 Days to “I Do”

Love blocks are the stumbling blocks we consciously or quasi-consciously put in our paths that prevent success in love or at least slow down the process — sometimes to glacial speed. By tripping ourselves along the road, momentum is lost and rewards harder to gain. But unlike roadblocks, the love blocks we create are often far less visible. They’re built out of anger, resentment, and negativity, but most often they’re built out of fear. Love blocks can stop a happy relationship dead in its tracks or paralyze one half of a loving couple. The point is that you should avoid putting these blocks up at all, and even if you’ve already erected a few on your path, there are things you can and should do to tear them down. By tripping yourself up along the road, momentum is lost and the reward (a healthy relationship) is harder to gain. To be sure you are in prime shape for the road ahead, it’s important to identify the most common love blocks and do whatever you can to discover them right away.

Wasting Time

The Scarlett O’Hara “tomorrow is another day” school of time management is particularly prominent in the area of love. Tomorrow may be another day, but why waste today with someone who is not right for you? Some people waste months, years, even decades, with the wrong person, and had they been honest with themselves, they probably would have seen the signs from the very beginning.

It’s easy for people to feel like they have all the time in the world when it comes to dating. And while no one actually runs out of time to fall in love and get married, a single woman can become circumstantially depressed when she feels she is out of time. So, please don’t even have another cup of coffee with someone you know deep-down is wrong for you.


You wouldn’t just hope that someone would get a job for you, or take care of your health; if you did, you’d starve or die. Instead, you’d apply for jobs and schedule interviews, or call a doctor and follow directions to get well again. Hoping that a potential date will take all of the initiative and ask you out — or be really nice and just descend from your living room ceiling — is another way of stalling romance and starving your love life.

If you’re interested in a man, make sure that he knows you’re interested by being a fabulous flirt: Smile copiously, tell him how wonderful it is to be with him, slowly stroll by his table (more than once if you need to), approach him and start a conversation, or extend a foot in his path to get him to drop at your feet (trip him if you need to). Just make sure the guy you have your eyes on gets the message.

Don’t let the action stop there either. Be assertive and make the phone call you’ve been sitting around waiting for. Ask your friends or family to push you out of your familiar world and cheer you on when you take risks. And temporarily divorce your dark side “support” group, who want you to bond with their fears and frustrations. You’re not going to find a great guy if you’re spending all your time eating ice cream and bitching with your disillusioned girlfriends about how much you hate men. A good support group helps you feel optimistic, grounded, and deserving.

Retaining Guilt

If you feel guilty when you say no — not just to potential dates, but to anyone — your time is getting eaten up. You have the right to make your own decisions and live your life as you choose. When you say yes to things you don’t want to do or don’t have time to do, you basically tell yourself that the person who asked is more important than you. Have you ever said yes to something, and then felt resentful about it later? Then you need to slow your rate of acceptance. Learn this phrase: “I’m not sure, I’ll have to double-check my schedule.” It gives you time to think, and your schedule could say you have a commitment to spend time on yourself. If you don’t make it clear that your time is valuable, how can you expect anyone else to know it?

Decide to do fewer favors for friends, stop listening to anyone who repeatedly complains about the same unfixed problem, and cut back on overtime at work or an overload of volunteer work. You will need to retrieve some of the hours you now spend elsewhere for not only having dates, but being able to relax and take the time to set the right attitude for them. Your goal is to find and keep your dream mate, not to remain tired, grumpy, and single.

If you’re truly ready to kick guilt to the curb, there are three simple steps that you must undertake:

  1. Turn your “yes” into “I’ll think about that and let you know.”
  2. Do think about what you will sacrifice to put this item on your to-do list. After you’ve had some time to think, you may realize you don’t have the time, or don’t want to do what’s being asked of you. And that’s okay!
  3. Just say no. Then spend that time working on yourself and finding your dream mate.

So forget about guilt. After all, allowing yourself the time and space to make your own decisions will raise your happiness level and allow you to have the emotional room to give your new mate the time and attention he deserves.

Keeping Old Baggage and Emotional Clutter

To be in the best condition possible for this twelve-month plan, you need to eliminate toxic people from your life. You may have friends and family who are energy vampires (people who seem to suck the life right out of you — blamers, controllers, time gobblers). Or there may be someone who can ruin your mood with even the briefest of contact.

While it’s impossible to eliminate everyone (like your boss, for instance) who may be destructive, this is the year to consider either breaking the chain to these toxic people, or taking a sabbatical to give you your best possible shot at reaching your goal. As for your dates or relationships, here is whom you need to leave behind:

  • Anyone who wants to have a phone or e-mail relationship instead of wanting to be with you in person
  • Anyone who is married, in love with themselves, or emotionally or physically unavailable
  • Anyone abusive 
  • Anyone who doesn’t help you feel good about yourself 
  • Anyone you don’t think you can please 
  • Anyone unable to express or hear feelings 
  • Anyone dishonest
  • Anyone with sex, alcohol, gambling, shopping, or drug addictions 
  • Anyone disrespectful of you or your background 
  • Anyone who doesn’t love you back 
  • Anyone who has not gotten more comfortable with intimacy and closer to you in the time you’ve been together

Need some help? Write down or record every bad thing you have to say about each of the romances you need to leave. If it’s on paper, put it in an envelope, and if it’s recorded, burn it to CD. Put a bow (black or pink — your choice) on it and hide it. If you ever get into that time-wasting lull of musing over that person, open your reminder of the reality.

Lack of Self-Awareness

It’s often easier to see the faults in others instead of recognizing your own. In fact, sometimes the things you dislike the most about other people are the things you might not like about yourself. Perhaps it’s time for a wakeup call: If there’s always something wrong with them, then there’s definitely something wrong with you. If you keep dating commitment-phobics, then you are one. If you stay with sexist men, then you believe you deserve their slurs and derision. Work on building your self-esteem (which we’ll do a lot more of in the next chapter), and these ineligible lovers will go out and find other victims. Best of all, as a confident and comfortable person, you are more attractive as a friend, date, and mate.


Nothing dampens a love relationship faster than yelling, meanness, and overall immaturity. After all, it takes a grownup to have a good marriage; in fact, it takes two. Character assassination is not foreplay. Keep in mind that unfiltered communications do not create connection. They only create space between two people who love each other. Be sure you are telling your partner how you feel gently and concisely, don’t tell some mangled version that will make him feel bad and puzzled and you frustrated. Considering your partner in thought, word, and deed is infinitely preferable to saying and doing what you want when you want with low-level consideration and kindness. Not sure about your maturity level? Take the following quiz to see how grown up you really are.



You may wonder . . .  how can Janet help me?  Help us? Let me begin by saying how deeply committed I am to the healing process of therapy – it’s capacity to not only achieve wellness but enhance life. Many of my clients are clinically normal but have not maximized their happiness or productivity levels.

Do you suffer from anxiety, depression or need help setting and accomplishing goals? Do you find that you and/or your mate need help with problem-solving, developing new skill sets, enhancing the communication and increasing the satisfaction within your relationship? Do you need to work on your assertiveness and self-presentation for both professional and personal relationships? Are you having a difficult time with life in general and just don’t know where to start because you’re overwhelmed?

I offer personalized therapy for individuals, couples, and groups.

I have been in practice for 30 years and am licensed to practice in Georgia and New York. I am trained in Gestalt Therapy by co-founder Laura Perls, Rational Emotive Therapy by founder Albert Ellis, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Transactional Analysis and Emotionally Focused Therapy©. My therapeutic focus is on problem-solving coupled with a deeper understanding of cause with the goal of a happier you and preventative mental health in the future.