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August, 2011

On Turning 50, Asking for What you Want, and Getting It

IMG_0546_3When my husband and I fell in love and realized that we would spend the rest of our lives together, I had only one request.  “I don’t need gifts on any other day.”  I told him.  “I truly don’t care if you send flowers on Valentine’s Day or if you forget our anniversary.  No matter what happens, I’ll be fine.” I meant every word of it.   “The only day I need you to be there for me, the only day I need to know that I won’t be alone and that I will be taken care of from the minute I wake up to the minute I go to sleep, is on my birthday.”

Throughout my childhood, my mother had yelled at me and put me down.  On my birthdays her treatment seemed especially cruel.  Each year I would find myself sobbing alone in my room, thinking, “Isn’t there one day that could be mine, one day where she would think about someone besides herself?”

“I can do that,” my husband said, sweetly.  And he has.  For the past 8 years, from the minute I wake up to the minute I go to sleep, my husband treats me like a queen on my birthday.  What’s even sweeter is that he starts months ahead of time planning the day.  I think he gets more excited about it than I do.  He loves knowing how happy he’s making me.

In the past, I probably hinted that I dreaded my birthdays, hoping my partners would do something special for me.  It never occurred that I could just ask them to plan something, that it would be this simple.  It also never occurred to me that they might actually enjoy being there for me.

I am sure that, right about now, some of you are thinking, “But if asked, my guy would mess it up and I’d be even more disappointed.”  I get that.  Just because you ask, doesn’t mean someone will still do something that will make you happy.  But, the truth is that it doesn’t matter what he does, what matters is that he tries.  And if you want him to try, you have to make them feel good about his choices.

I genuinely don’t care what my husband and I do on my birthday.  It doesn’t have to be original or extravagant.  The point is that we are together.  One year he forgot and agreed to teach a class abroad on the weekend of my birthday.  Just the fact that he felt terrible was enough for me.  We celebrated early and laughed about it.

In a few days I will turn 50.  My mom died of breast cancer when she was 39 and I was 15.  Looking back, I never thought I would live to 50 or that I would look forward to my birthdays.  And I certainly never thought I would have met an angel on JDate.com, let alone married him.  All I can say is that good things come to those who learn to date naked.

WELCOME TO NAKED DATING®

Hi.  I’m Lisa Shield.  Welcome to my Naked Dating® Blog where I will show you how to get everything you want in a relationship and more by keeping your clothes on and taking your emotional armor off.

Most people think that true love is a matter of chance, but I’ve seen over and over again that we can have anything we want in a relationship by learning to become vulnerable and open our hearts to let the right person in.  I did it, my clients have done it, and you can, too!

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I have successfully coached hundreds of singles through this process.  And, it wasn’t long ago that I was dating.  Trust me.  I know how hopeless it feels to go out on an endless stream of dead end dates wondering, “Why am I doing this to myself?”  And asking, “Is this really going to work?”

Dating doesn’t come easily to most of my clients and it certainly wasn’t a cake walk for me.  I am no man magnet.  In fact, I used to be painfully shy around men.  What’s worse, I live in Los Angeles, CA where the competition is fierce.  There are more beautiful, perfect people per square inch here than anywhere else on the planet.

Despite how hard it is to date in LA, I know now that the real reason I was single was because I had a closed heart.  I was teased as a child and, as a result, I had become defensive and didn’t know how to trust others.  Afraid that I might wind up alone, I married the first man who paid attention to me.  Then I spent most of our marriage trying to hide my fears and insecurities.  I was so afraid that he would leave me that I didn’t realize he was a pathological liar.

Eventually, it became clear that neither one of us had clue about how to have a real relationship.  When the marriage ended, I was left with a lot of questions.  Why did I attract this man?  What was I supposed to learn from our relationship?  What is real love?  Does it exist?  Can two people love each other forever?  Is this something I could have?  If so, how would I go about getting it?  These are just some of the many questions about dating, relationships, and love that I will explore in this blog.

Figuring out how to get through my insecurities and blocks to let a good man into my heart was one of the most challenging things I have ever done.  It took me two years and nearly 100 first dates but I finally met the love of my life.  Maybe you’ve dated more, maybe you’ve dated less, or maybe you haven’t dated at all.  It doesn’t matter.  You haven’t dated naked.  I will show you how.  Stay tuned because I hope to revolutionize the way you look at dating and relationships.  Together we will explore what it takes to create a deep, soul-satisfying, romantic connection that can last a lifetime.  This is Naked Dating®.

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