Illustration by Guy Wolek

Renee Medema recently authored a book titled “How to Lose the Wrong Guy… Without Losing You.” The book begins with stories of negative relationships, including her own, and progresses into advice on how to better vet guys, including the importance of having support systems in place, and ends with some very cool stories of relationships from women who have vetted their guys and are in happy relationships today as a result. The collection of stories, advice, experiences, and recommendations in the book highlights elements that are truthful and useful in any dating scenario or long-term relationship. Below is an introduction to the book.

I pick up the phone … “Hey, how are you?”

I hear uncontrollable sobbing and a broken, barely audible voice. “We had a fight again. He stormed out and said it was over for real this time. Why won’t he just answer me? I mean I just want to talk to him to make sure everything is okay.” I hear more sobbing …

I pause and then ask “What did you fight about?”

“I don’t even know. Everything seemed to be good. We were having a relaxing night at home and I mentioned something about a few nights ago when it took him four hours to answer my text. That night I had asked him what took him so long, but he never answered me and it was bothering me. He’s done it before and my gut is telling me that he might be cheating, but I don’t know for sure. I brought it up so I could see if he would give me a solid answer this time and he completely overreacted. He got off the couch and told me if I didn’t trust him, then we couldn’t be together. He told me I never give him any space and I always accuse him of doing something wrong. He said that he felt he couldn’t catch a break and no matter how hard he tried it was never good enough for me. Then he said if he wanted to be with anyone else, he would just leave me. He said ‘I told you I would never cheat on you, but I am tired of trying to prove myself and it might be better if we take a break.’ Then he left.”

I say, “You’ve had fights like this in the past. Just give him a little time to cool down. He’ll come back.”

I can hear in her voice that she’s fighting back the tears … “What if something happened to him?”

I say, “He’s fine. He probably just went for a drive or maybe went to the gym to work out.”

Then I hear the words I was dreading to hear: “I honestly don’t know what I would do without him. Maybe I am too hard on him. I know he’s going through a lot right now, but he is a really good guy. I probably don’t give him enough space. It’s just that I love him so much and want to be with him all the time.”

I wish I had only heard this story once, but I’ve heard it over and over again from too many of my girlfriends. It’s unfortunate that sometimes we allow guys to manipulate us into believing something that isn’t true. It’s also unfortunate that ninety-nine percent of the time in a scenario like this, the guy is cheating.

I’m not a relationship expert, but I have seen enough women settle for less than they deserve and I feel obligated to share what I have learned. I don’t want to pass up an opportunity to impart knowledge and wisdom that may help other women. I’ve made mistakes and enjoyed successes, but I’ve always tried to live life to its fullest and avoid the possibility of looking back at any situation and saying “if only” or “I wish I had.” I encourage you to “carpe diem” and seize this moment in your life to decide that you will no longer settle, you won’t let obstacles stand in your way, and you will live life every day like it’s your last.

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Posted by Renee Medema

Renee Medema, a Chicago native who studied integrated marketing communications at Roosevelt University, is a marketing manager for a law firm and a real estate broker in the city. This year Renee has had the opportunity to serve as a mentor in the Year Up program, sharing career and life advice and learning from her mentee. For the past ten years, Renee has also partnered with Breakthrough Urban Ministries in East Garfield Park, assisting with their efforts to build community and help those in need achieve dignity and opportunity. In her free time, Renee enjoys traveling, dining out at new restaurants, investing in real estate, riding her Can-Am motorcycle, and spending time with family and friends. This is Renee's first book, and she would love to hear directly from her readers.