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He says it may be time to leave a relationship when (1) the relationship is going absolutely nowhere—no future in sight; (2) there is continual pain in the relationship; And (3) when the level of love is unbalanced—one person loves or cares for the other too much or way too little.
Today at just 29-years-old JL understands some might hold his youth against his sage advice. He shares with healthyblackmen.org that his expertise is rooted in study and experience having acquired graduate level education, certification as a life coach, and his ongoing study of other relationship experts.
Personally, JL says he never trended toward “playing the field” or having multiple girlfriends in his early 20’s. That type of commitment isn’t the norm for a lot of young people, something he found out when his-then-girlfriend cheated on him. “How could someone who says they love you, cheat on you?” The guy who got his first girlfriend at age 19 recalls it was his very first heartbreak.
“In my first relationship, I was cheated on…I went into it head first. I couldn’t get my head around a person saying they loved me but doing something harmful to me,” he says. For those with a survival badge in infidelity, you can probably relate. So JL took his emotional lumps and turned it into a learning experience. He started to study relationships. As a matter of fact, it’s somewhat amazing and exhausting to consider that JL intentionally dated more than 300 women to learn about the male-female dating dynamic. He says he learned a lot about what women will generally accept and not accept in social behavior. He also learned a lot about himself. One lesson is that relationships take effort and if you are with someone who isn’t willing to work– trouble is ahead.
As a soldier in Iraq, he read books on relationships all the time—almost a new book every other day. But he’s clear his role is not as a counselor, “I don’t counsel. If something is above my head, I refer to a qualified counselor. I don’t even give advice; I help people see answers for themselves. I’m certified as a Life Coach but I have a passion for helping people and I do it from the heart.”
Not only does JL see clients individually and facilitate groups, seminars, but he’s also on the campus lecture circuit.
JL says, “Relationships are not complex but people are complex.” JL recalls his A-ha moment regarding relationships and communication, “When I finally got to the answers, I thought it was helpful to put it into a book.” Now as a two-time author of “I’m a DOG because… the truth about doggish men from their own words” and “Why They Cheat and How They Get Away With It,” JL says his next book is also about relationships. In fact, personally he’s in a good space and working on two graduate degrees currently.
To all of us, JL reminds us that cheating is very personal in that, “People cheat when there is something missing either within themselves, their relationship, or their partner.” In fact, talking with JL, you understand that his appeal is his understanding of human behavior coupled with traditional values of courtship, respect, and love. This brother is insightful and someone to watch. Follow JL on Twitter @AuthorJLFord and look for him online at JLFordonline.com.