By Debbie Ceresa

You know the feeling. It’s that unsettling doubt that surfaces when the best of days turns into the worst of moments. It’s like the time Taylor Swift was awarded the 2009 MTV Best Female Video Award only to watch helplessly as the self-proclaimed ‘expert’ on artistry, Kanye West, took the microphone to express his differing opinion. Thankfully, most of us aren’t confronted with these instances on national television, yet our reactions to these experiences are just as emotionally charged. As a relationship expert, I know these moments happen in relationships and love all the time. During these occasions, you’re faced with a choice. How you handle that decision can make all of the difference in the outcome.

Love Advice On Rolling With The Punches

Several years ago, I was asked to present several awards during an annual high school honors ceremony. This year, one of the awards would be presented to my team of ambassadors and I couldn’t wait. I caught the smiles from the audience and was ready to begin my accolades of the young people on the team. However, before I could say another word, a loud ringing phone rudely interrupted this high point. I could have tried continuing over the interruption. Or, I could have gotten angry and flustered. But, I didn’t. The ringing eventually stopped and the audience sat silently. Looking over the crowd, I smiled and jokingly said, “I guess another student wants to apply.” The laughter was overwhelming and so was the applause.

Related Link: Relationship Advice: 4 Reasons To Leave The Past In The Past

I learned a lot from that incident. Often in our lives, many unexpected events happen. What we do with the unexpected is what matters. My love advice: Instead of living in fear of being knocked off course, here are four strategies to navigate the surprise bumps and keep you on the straight and narrow for success in your love life.

1. Change your course and navigate the unexpected life bumps. You know the unexpected is going to happen when you least expect the disruption. Why not channel your adventuresome side? Use the detour as an opportunity to find a new discovery.  Many of us hide our longing for adventure by turning cautious and reserved. Remember your curiosity when you were a child? Some of your inquisitive adventures were great learning experiences; others earned you a time-out. Either way, it didn’t take long to learn from one of your escapades. As adults in your love life, not all of your challenges bring about immediate positive outcomes.  Nevertheless, accept this love advice, your “time-out” experience, and learn from it.

2. Learn to laugh. By keeping an open mind, you’ll find yourself laughing and enjoying some of the unexpected. It’s easy to focus on the familiar and never look beyond the narrow comfort zone you created. Often times, the comfort zone is only in our mind, prohibiting us from seeing so much more. Life is constantly changing; why not enjoy the unforeseen? My expert dating advice: Laugh, join the party, and live in the moment.

3. Don’t listen to the criticism. Many people rely on the emotional destruction of others to boost their own place in life. Just like Taylor Swift in 2009, and the 2015 Grammy awarding artist Beck for Album of the Year (whom Kanye West also tried to upstage), sometimes this happens when you least expect it. In those seemingly powerless instances, the outcome is entirely up to you. Your strength lies in your ability to rise above the negativity and be an example of grace, maturity and professionalism. Both Swift and Beck displayed immense diplomacy and both gained enormous respect as a result.

4. Accept and share compliment. How do you feel when someone hands you a compliment? I don’t know about you, but I feel good when that positive gesture comes my way. Focusing on what’s good in our lives and taking note of our good fortune in every aspect helps us operate on a higher level. It encourages us to rise above the pettiness and negativity and remain focused on what is everlasting and important. Accept and be grateful for that positive vibe that comes to you. Think about the many ways you can spread your own thankfulness. I guarantee the positive energy will make your day.

Related Link: Dating Advice: Create The Person You Want To Be

We can’t eliminate the unanticipated twists that happen in our lives, but we can decide today how we plan to navigate them. By remaining flexible in the need to change, using humor to buoy our decisions, turning away from negative people, and focusing on our contributions to the world and being grateful for the goodness that comes our way in return, we can handle the unexpected. In this way, the one thing we CAN expect is much success and happiness in our near future.

Debbie is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist® and the author to the #1 bestselling memoir A Beautiful View, available on Amazon.com. A Beautiful View documents her journey through her husband’s battle with cancer, which ultimately ended with his death. She has experienced grief firsthand and is well equipped to aid others in the recovery process, whether with death or divorce. For more information about Debbie and how to recover from your loss, please visit debbieceresa.com.

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