Online Dating: Getting Back in the Groove

Online Dating: Getting Back in the Groove

Online Dating: Getting Back Into the Groove

Are you in a slump and need some help getting back into the online dating groove? Here’s the first thing you need to know: after a few months of online dating, it is inevitable to go through a slump and for feelings of futility and frustration to set in. This can feel especially discouraging if you’re doing everything can at your end to meet someone. It’s hard not to feel disheartened when the initial rush of emails you got when you first signed up dies down, your searches for a partner net fewer and fewer prospects, and you start to see the same boring profiles over and over again. But almost everyone goes through this! Even though the novelty of online dating has worn off and you’re no longer the ‘new kid on the block,’ you can’t let it get you down.

Here’s what one client said when her online dating began to slow down: “I really did not know that ‘a slump was inevitable,’ so this is important information. Now that I know this, I can feel more at ease with the process.” She went on to say that, after 25 years away from men, all the attention she got through online dating was intoxicating, and “it was almost a feeling of withdrawal when it all came to a halt!”

The truth is, you might be doing everything right and it’s just be a matter of time—and timing—before you meet someone. It’s entirely possible that, at this very moment, the future love of your life is getting out of a relationship and is planning on posting an online dating profile in the days or weeks to come. You never know. What you need to remember is that, for a romantic connection to happen, two people’s lives have to align. So even if you’re ready to meet your life partner, your future life partner might not be ready to meet you.

It’s also important to remember that, just because it seems like there’s little movement on the online dating front, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing happening. Even if you’re not getting as many emails responses or dates as you’d like, you are always evolving and getting clearer about what you want in a partner and in a relationship.

I have many clients who went on very few dates and still found someone special through online dating. Remember, it only takes one date to change your life forever. If you feel like you should be doing more, I would encourage you to read relationship-related books, work with a coach, or spend time meditating and envisioning the kind of relationship you want. You can also write love letters to your future mate. This isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. The more real you can make this person seem, the more connected you will stay to your online dating journey.

Something I often suggest to my clients is that they practice becoming more comfortable with all members of the opposite sex, even if they aren’t people you would ever date. As crazy as this sounds, spend time connecting at a deeper level with members of the opposite sex in your immediate world. If you’re a guy, spend time with your mother, sister, or aunt. If you’re a woman, spend time with your father, brother, or uncle. It’s also nice to make a few friends of the opposite sex. Learning to flatter them, have playful banter, and understand what lights them up will bring these relationships alive in a whole new way. It will also help you feel more at ease when it comes to online dating.

Something else to consider is that, no matter how open and ready you are to meeting your partner, you may be resisting the process in ways you haven’t considered. It helps to keep reminding yourself to let go and surrender to the online dating process. Pay attention to any resistance you have to what’s happening and listen for any judgments that you might have about yourself, other people, and online dating in general. Here are some things you might be telling yourself that are causing your resistance:

  • I should be getting more dates.
  • Online dating works for other people but not for me.
  • There’s no one I’m interested in dating online.
  • I’m too old to meet someone.
  • I should have started this process much sooner.
  • This is never going to happen.
  • I’m wasting my time.
  • All the good ones are taken.
  • I can’t write flirty emails.
  • The people I’m interested in aren’t contacting me.
  • I’m not attracted to any of the people who contact me.
  • I’m too boring for anyone to date me.
  • I don’t know how to date.
  • _____________________________________________________
  • _____________________________________________________
  • _____________________________________________________

 

The number one way that people hinder the online dating process is by not being open to enough matches. Online dating makes it way too easy to eliminate people for superficial reasons. Many people today say they want a partner, but they aren’t willing to compromise on anything. I have even had female clients who are 5’4” who insist on only dating men who are 6’ or taller and male clients who are of average good looks who would only email the prettiest women. Odds are your ideal match is not going to come in the exact package you would like. When my husband and I met, he was about 3 inches taller than me. The other day, when he walked over to kiss me, I was towering over him. We both burst out laughing. I kicked off my shoes, but I was still quite a bit taller. So, even if you do get what you want in the beginning, you have no idea what’s in store for you. Please, please, PLEASE, give more people a chance. I promise you, people will surprise you if you let them.

The bottom line is that it takes patience and perseverance to find the right partner online. Two people’s lives have to line up for that to happen, and there will be ups and downs along the way. Sometimes you will get a surge of new interest from potential matches, other times it will feel as slow as molasses. The key is to stick in there and do your best to go with the flow. The more you can get out of your own way and not take it personally, the easier—and faster—your online dating journey will seem!

 To book a consultation with Lisa Shield and find out if coaching is for you, click here:

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Being Too Strong Won’t Attract The Right Man

being too strong

Right before my 40th birthday it hit me: being too strong wasn’t attracting the right man. It had been eight years since I divorced my first husband. I’d spent most of this time working on myself. Now it was time to put myself back on the dating circuit. As I started going out on dates, I began to question some of my long held beliefs about men, women, and relationships. Because I was a strong and independent woman, I had always thought that my ideal man would have to be stronger than me so that he would “challenge me” and “take the lead.” Now I began to wonder if there was a flaw in my thinking. Was the fact that I was being too strong and independent inadvertently attracting the wrong men and pushing the right ones away?

It occurred to me that, if I wanted a man to take the lead, I needed to stop being too strong and independent. If I wanted a man to be stronger than me, I needed to stop competing with him. And if I wanted a man to be the man, I needed to start thinking and behaving more like the woman.

But what did it mean to “be the woman?” I honestly didn’t know. When I was nine, my father jilted my mother, leaving her heartbroken and humiliated. One wintery afternoon when I was fifteen, my mother and I were walking around a Midwestern shopping mall when she told me never to rely on men. “Don’t ever let a man do to you what your father did to me,” she said, trying to protect me from men like my father. Then, lifting a line from a seedy Sidney Sheldon novel, she said something I will never forget. “Remember: when they’re hard they’re soft and when they’re soft they’re hard.” Thanks Mom! Words to live by!

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You have to laugh. I mean, who quotes Sidney Sheldon to her 15-year-old daughter? But I was young and impressionable, and I took my mother’s advice to heart. I decided right then and there that I would never need a man for anything, and for many years, I didn’t.

As I got older, I pushed men away to test them and see if they were “man enough” for me. Or, if I felt an immediate attraction, I would pursue them and sleep with them right away. It never occurred to me to question my behavior. I just assumed that one day the right man would come along—one who would “get me” and know how to “handle” me.

It wasn’t until I was almost 40 that I realized there is a word for men who know how to “handle” women: They’re called players! Because I couldn’t push these men around or push them away, I made the mistake of thinking that they were “real men” and that they were interested in getting to know me. Men who were “too available” bored me to tears, but the players I met were tenacious. They knew what they wanted and they went for it. I loved the feeling of being pursued by a man who seemed to know what he wanted—especially when what he wanted was me.

I didn’t understand at the time that players are really only after the thrill of the chase. They aren’t interested in getting to know us at all. They just want sex. To them, it’s all a game. The harder we make them work, the more fun it is for them. Ultimately, if it doesn’t work out with one woman, they’ll just try again with someone else. That’s a comforting thought.

This all makes perfect sense to me now. Think about it: when a man is attracted to a woman and she rejects him, he feels hurt and he figures she isn’t interested. It’s ridiculous to think that he should keep coming back for more rejection. If a man rejected me, I wouldn’t keep pursuing him—would you? There are many unflattering words in the English language for people who keep coming back and don’t get the hint: needy, anxious, clueless, masochistic…

Once I realized how flawed my thinking had been, it changed my entire approach to dating. I began to have more respect for men. I stopped being too strong and independent and I started looking for ways to empower men so that they felt that they could take the lead. I also stopped looking for some immediate chemical rush and started looking for a connection that felt grounded and real. I stopped thinking that relationships should be complicated and challenging and started believing that they could be open, honest, and easy. I stopped finding unavailable men attractive and started opening up to the men who were attracted to me. But most of all, I admitted to myself that I wanted a man in my life, and in order to have that, I had to start trusting them. When I accepted this, I softened and became more open and vulnerable. It wasn’t long before I attracted a real man—one who knows how to take care of a woman and who loves taking care of me.

If you want to discover Naked Dating and learn how to attract the love of your life, feel free to book a free consultation with me, Lisa Shield, by clicking here:

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Life is a Gift–Accept It!

Life is a Gift

For most people, it’s a whole lot easier to get physically naked in a relationship than it is to get emotionally naked. Usually, when we take off our clothes for someone, it’s because we are giving something to another other person—namely, SEX. It’s a whole different story when we get emotionally naked and bare what’s below our skin.

Our fear of rejection makes it hard to let down our guard and reveal ourselves to another person, especially when we want that person to find us attractive. No one can be more critical of us than we are of ourselves. But if we don’t even love and accept ourselves, how can we believe that another person could love us?

Fifteen years ago, I was walking down the beach contemplating this very question. Since my first marriage ended eight years earlier, I had been on what you might call a spiritual journey, actively searching for answers to life’s big questions. During that time I tried everything from traditional therapy to working with a world-renowned Mexican shaman. I had just started dating again and I couldn’t believe that, after all the hard work I’d done, my old feelings of self-doubt were resurfacing again.

I knew this place all too well, and I didn’t want to go back down that road. So, I started searching through my mental knapsack of self-empowerment tools. After all the work I’d done, there had to be something in that brain of mine to pull me out of my funk. As I was feeling good and sorry for myself, a voice inside me piped up. “Life is a gift,” it said, quite matter-of-factly.

I stopped in my tracks. Why was it telling me this now? I had heard this phrase countless times before, but what did it really mean? People say that a gift is something you give without any strings attached. I didn’t know how or why I was alive, but by some force of nature I was here. Someone or something had given me the gift of life, and as with any gift, I could choose to do whatever I wanted with it—no strings attached. If I wanted to sit on a street corner and do nothing, I could. I didn’t have to justify or explain my choice to anyone. I would probably starve to death, but I had been given the gift of life and I could choose to do whatever I wanted with it.

So, what had I been doing with my life? I realized that, mostly, I had been trying to prove my worth and impress other people. My choice of jobs, the way I dressed, and the people I surrounded myself with were mostly based on what I assumed others would think of me.  And who were these people I was seeking approval from, anyway? My parents? My friends? My enemies? It occurred to me that I was trying to live up to their standards instead of my own and that the one person I needed to please was myself.

It was then, for the first time in my life, that I stopped pretending and got real. I admitted to myself that I was angry because I didn’t think I was “the best” at anything. I didn’t think I was special. I wasn’t the prettiest, thinnest, youngest, smartest, richest, most interesting person I knew. When I compared myself to others, someone always seemed to outclass me in just about every area I could think of… and they always would. Every time I compared myself to other people, I felt inadequate. So I asked myself, “Lisa, can you accept that you are not better or worse than anyone else? You are simply a special combination of qualities that makes you unique?” In that moment, I saw that I didn’t need to be better than anyone else. I was able to accept myself for who I am and acknowledge that my life mattered—that I mattered. I stood on the beach that day feeling genuinely at peace and thought about what I enjoyed most about being me. I was surprised when I realized how many things I actually liked about myself!

I had done a lot of work on my character to become the woman I was in that moment. I had let go of a great deal of drama, suffering, and blame to become kinder and more compassionate towards others and myself. I knew how to take responsibility for myself and the life I had created, I knew how to have fun, and I was generous with the people I cared about. I appreciated beautiful things, but I wasn’t materialistic. While I was far from perfect, I wasn’t all that bad, either. I could see that I actually had a lot to offer someone in a relationship.

It was only a matter of months after this insight that I met my future husband. He is so much more than I ever expected in a partner. Had I not accepted myself that day, I don’t know if I would ever have believed that someone could love me as much as he does. Now I know that I deserve to be loved not because I am better than anyone else.  I deserve to be loved because I love who I am.

If you’re struggling to love and accept yourself, I can help! Click here to set up a consultation and see what I can do for you:

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Why Being Happy Is The Best Gift You Can Give Your Partner

happy

You have to be happy with yourself before you can ever be happy with someone else.

When Pharell’s song “Happy” comes on the radio, he wants us all to clap along and feel happy, too. Granted, the tune is catchy, but have you ever listened to the lyrics? “Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof?”  Wow. That’s deep. He also posits “happiness is The Truth.” I wish it were that simple. While happiness has become a big buzzword in psychological circles, what happiness actually looks and feels like in modern society is still not clear. Are our romanticrelationships an accurate barometer for our happiness? If we look at our nation’s divorce rate, it becomes abundantly clear that not everyone is as happy as Pharell would like us to think.

So why does that blissful, perfect, fairy tale happiness we all seek feel like some hollow promise and cheesy pop song cliche? Probably because it doesn’t exist — at least not in the way modern media would lead us to believe. Most people search for someone to love, thinking this will make them happy and solve all of their problems. But the truth is, nobody else can make you happy (or fix you); you have to do it yourself.

Read more on YourTango!

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