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January, 2012

I HAVE A CRUSH ON LILLIAN RUBIN

I Have a Crush on Lillian Rubin

I am always looking for role models, but they’re not always so easy to find.  Without a doubt, my greatest role model and teacher is my husband.  To me, he is endlessly inspiring and entertaining.  I also look up to my great aunt, Ruth.  I admire her unique combination of honesty –she’s a real straight shooter—and her genuine vulnerability.  She’s one those women who knows how to make men fall in love with her at any age.  (FYI, Aunt Ruth is 83-years young!)  There are others, but this is not the time or place to list them.  Right now, I just want to talk about my latest and greatest hero, Lillian Rubin.

Lillian and I have never met.  I discovered her a couple months ago while doing research for my book, Naked Dating.  Her book, “Intimate Strangers,” blew me away.  It is the best book I’ve ever read on men and women our the struggle to create intimacy.  As a dating and relationship coach, I’ve read many books on the subject, but never one that was as insightful and easy to understand.  I highly recommend it.

Remarkably, Rubin started her career as a psychologist and sociologist when she was fifty.  Over the past 35-years, she has written 12 books.  Rubin’s most recent book, “60 on up: The Truth About Aging in America,” looks at the issue of aging in the US of A.  Below is a fabulous interview with Rubin.  If this is what 84 looks and sounds like…sign me up!  Lillian, you are a true inspiration!

FORA.tv – Lillian Rubin: The Truth About Aging

When Your Son Asks You Why He Has to Study…

I found this on facebook and it made me laugh.

Does Online Dating Work?

Does Online Dating Work?

According to an article that ran In Discovery News, it definitely does!

“In fact, the Internet has become one of the most popular places for people to meet, according to the 2010 large-scale survey How Couples Meet and Stay Together.  (Online dating) definitely works,” said Reuben J. Thomas, an assistant professor of sociology at the City University of New York, who collaborated on the survey. “We estimate that 23 percent of the couples in the U.S. who met in the two years from 2007 to 2009 met online. More people meet online now than meet through school, work, church, bars, parties, et cetera.”

“Online dating sites are all about bringing people together, and sometimes it forms this illusion that with a few clicks of the mouse you can find your soul mate,” Rutgers communications assistant professor Jennifer Gibbs said. “But really, that’s just the first step, and to get to know the person there’s a process of developing a relationship.”

Click here to read the entire article:  Does Online Dating Work

Online dating isn’t the answer to all our dating problems.  It only gets the ball rolling by helping you connect with a wider range of other available singles.  You get to email, IM, and flirt with people all from the comfort  of your own home.  No more need to scour single’s parties, gyms, or bars to meet people.

Internet dating can seem dry and impersonal to some of you, but it is here to stay.  I wouldn’t knock it.  Almost every client I’ve had has complained about Internet dating, only to eventually meet someone online.  It takes time and energy like anything else you do in life.  Don’t expect miracles.  Don’t expect  to put your profile up and get slammed with emails, especially if you are over 45.  Unless you post overtly sexual photos, you might won’t get many emails.  This happens with a lot of my clients.  But these are the clients who eventually meet someone.

Don’t give up.  Slow and steady wins the race.  But while you are out there, don’t keep doing the same things over and over again, expecting different results.  Keep trying new things.  If you aren’t getting hits, hire a professional photographer.  If you are struggling to write your profile, hire a professional writer or have a friend come over and help you write it.  Also, practice making your emails funny and playful.  Humor is very attractive.  You don’t have to be haha funny; try being witty or silly.  What you put out is what you will attract.  If you want a someone to play and laugh with, you need to use the right bait.

As the article says, getting a date is just the beginning.  Once you meet someone, you have to know how to turn that initial connection into a relationship.  This is where the real work begins.  Many people are getting dates online but they don’t know how to create a connection on a date.  If you are struggling to get to the next level, hire a professional coach to help you.  When many of my clients come to me, they can’t get past a first date.  I show my clients all kinds of ways to connect in an emotionally intimate way with their dates and create a connection that can, and often does, turn into a lasting relationship.  I teach my clients Naked Dating.  They learn how to open their hearts and share in a vulnerable and emotionally intimate way.  Almost every single client who works with me comes back and says that the coaching isn’t just helping them with dating, it helps them improve every relationship in their lives.

If you are single and struggling to meet someone, call me today for a sample session and see what Naked Dating can do for you!  And look for my upcoming book:  Naked Dating: Finding True Love with Nothing to Hide

Click here to read the entire article:  Does Online Dating Work

THOSE PESKY PHONE CALLS

Those Pesky Phone Calls:

Why they’re important and

how to keep ’em short

 

While more and more people are resorting to emails, instant messages, and texts to set up dates, it is a big mistake not to talk to someone on the phone once before you meet.  You might think this is obvious, but it’s not.  You would be shocked at the number of people who simply don’t talk on the phone these days.  Why is a phone call so important?  For one thing, we can’t edit our thoughts as easily on the when we are speaking as we can in an email or text.  You can also learn to tell a lot about a person’s state of mind just from the tone and speed of their voice.  It’s not as easy as we think to hide our fear, negativity, or anxiety when we speak.  In the longrun, you will save yourself time and energy by screening people on the phone prior to meeting for a date, and you won’t burn out on dating as easily.

That said, you want to keep the conversation short.  In fact, you don’t need to sit on the phone chatting for long periods with someone you haven’t met.  A 5-15 minute conversation is sufficient to introduce yourself, exchange a few pleasantries, and set a date.  My husband and I had one short email exchange and a 5-minute phone call before we met.  Use an egg timer if you have a tendency to talk too long.  When the time is up, don’t just cut the other person off and say, “I have to go.”  This can seem abrupt.  Remember, in dating-related situations, people can feel way more sensitive than usual.  Here are a few guidelines for good phone etiquette:

1.  If you need to interrupt someone who is going on and on say:

“May I pause you for a moment?”

2.  Then say:

“Thank you for your time.  Unfortunately, I have to run.”

3.  Whether you are male or female, if you enjoyed the interaction, you can say:

“I really enjoyed talking to you and would love to continue our conversation.  Perhaps we

could do this over coffee or a drink.”  If the other person agrees, set a date on the spot.  Say:  “Would you like to set a date now?”

4.  If you decide you don’t want to go on a date with this person, you can do one of two things:

Option 1:  If you are feeling like a very bold Naked Dater, you could say: “Thanks for your

time.  Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re a match.  I wish you the best in your search.”

Option 2:  If that feels uncomfortable, you can take a gentler route and say: “We might be

able to pick this up at another time.”  (Note the use of the word “might.”)  Then, when you

get off the phone you can send an email and say:  “I enjoyed talking to you but I don’t think we’re a match.  Good luck in your search.”

Thanks for reading!  Go forth and date naked!

31 EXCELLENT REASONS TO DATE

31 EXCELLENT REASONS TO DATE

  1. To find a life partner.
  2. To learn how to be vulnerable.
  3. To expand your capacity to give and receive love.
  4. To have fun.
  5. To meet new people.
  6. To get out and explore your city.
  7. To practice being more forgiving.
  8. To find the best possible partner.
  9. To learn how to speak up for yourself.
  10. To practice setting and maintaining healthy boundaries.
  11. To stop listening Imaginary Frenemy and all the other critical voices.
  12. To face your fears.
  13. To practice speaking your truth without making the other person wrong.
  14. To practice being playful and at ease with people you find attractive.
  15. To decide what you do and do not want in a partner.
  16. To get to know yourself better.
  17. To learn to take responsibility for your actions and choices.
  18. To become more attractive.
  19. To practice being in the moment.
  20. To better trust others and yourself.
  21. To practice letting go of control.
  22. To practice letting go of judgments.
  23. To practice being kind and loving, no matter how others behave.
  24. To practice trusting your own instincts.
  25. To learn how to reject others and be rejected.
  26. To learn how and when to walk away.
  27. To learn how to be disappointed and still keep going toward your dream.
  28. To practice being more spontaneous and open to change.
  29. To practice listening to understand rather than to be understood.
  30. To heal old wounds and let go of habitual patterns.
  31. To learn to love and be loved.

GRATITUDE LISTS

GRATITUDE LISTS

In her last coaching session with me, my client, Alexis, asked me if I knew which of the exercises I had given her to do over the years had made the biggest difference in her life.  I could think of many assignments I had given her, but none stood out.  “It was when you told me to start writing gratitude lists,” she said.  “I realized that I had a horrible habit of complaining and saying that nothing was ever good enough for me.  When I started writing those lists, it helped me see how many little and big things I take for granted in life.  I realized how fortunate I am and started to become more positive and grateful.  My fiancé actually told me the other day that two of the qualities he finds most attractive about me are that I have such a positive outlook on life and am always appreciative of the things he does for me.”

One of the simplest ways to begin to appreciate who you are and what you have to offer a partner is to start making gratitude lists.  Each day for the next 30 days write a list of 30 different things you’re grateful for.  You cannot repeat anything on the lists.  You can say, “My friend, Tiffany” on one day and “Going shopping with Tiffany” another.  You can include something as deep as “I have loving parents” or as simple as “I love the new color of my toenail polish.”  If you cannot come up with 30 things each day, write as many as you can.

My Gratitude List for Today

I am grateful for/that…

  1. My husband, Benjamin, who is the finest man I have ever known
  2. My two adorable dogs, Cosmo and Milo
  3. My dear friend, Peggy, who agreed on a sort of a whim, to help me finish my book, Naked Dating, and opened up her heart and her life to me
  4. Ted, Peggy’s husband, who has been so wonderful in allowing me and Naked Dating to invade his life
  5. The acupuncture is working and Cosmo can walk again
  6. I work in a career I love
  7. The little cabin I have rented in Guerneville and the time I have spent there writing my book, Naked Dating
  8. All my clients
  9. My beautiful home
  10. My wedding ring and the diamond “love” pendant my husband gave to me
  11. The 13 in. MacBook Air that fits in my purse
  12. Second chances
  13. My friends
  14. Having found true love
  15. Turning my life around
  16. Colors
  17. All the trips I took with my grandmother to Mexico as a kid
  18. My Aunt Ruth and Uncle Sid who are the mother and father I never had
  19. Mechanical pencils
  20. All the teachers I’ve had along the way
  21. The Shins
  22.  Sitting in the hot tub in Guerneville staring up at the towering redwood trees
  23. My beautiful office in my home where I spend most of my time
  24. Fall
  25. Who I am today
  26. Anthropologie
  27. Online shopping
  28. The Internet and my website
  29. Creating my dream
  30. Popcorn with real butter

 

NAKED GARDENING

NAKED GARDENING:  The moment a relationship becomes even a little bit complicated, many of my people run for the nearest exit.  This can happen within the first date or so.  They might have had a few nice email and telephone exchanges leading up to the date and then one incident happens, it can be something relatively insignificant, a simple misunderstanding or an small social indiscretion—and they end the relationship before it has hardly begun.

Chloe came to me because she was having trouble getting to a second date.  I just assumed that it was the men who weren’t asking her out again.  She was an attractive blonde in her mid-thirties, slim with big, bright green eyes and an inviting smile.  I could see why men would find her attractive.  She was currently communicating through an Internet dating site with a tall, dark-haired accountant from Great Britain named Ian.  After their first date, we talked about how it went.  From what I could gather, she liked Ian very much and had a very good time on the date.  She had even practiced several of the Naked Dating skills I’d given her in previous sessions while they were at dinner.  “Does he want to see you again?”

“Yes.  I’m almost certain he does,” she said.

“That’s great.  So, you’re going to go out with him, right?”

“No, I don’t think so,” she said.

I felt very confused.  “Aren’t you attracted to him?” I asked.

“No, he’s really cute,” she answered.

“Then, what’s the problem?”  If they had fun and he wanted to have a second date, why she didn’t want to see him again?  Maybe they had sex.  “You can tell what happened.  I’m not going to judge you.”

Chloe took in a long, slow breath, and her big green eyes growing even bigger.  “I know this sounds ridiculous, but he did something that really annoyed me.  He had this terrible habit of correcting my English.  It happened several times on the calls and, then, again on the date.  It made me feel stupid and self-conscious.”

“I can see how that would have been awkward.  Did you tell him how you felt?”

“Oh my God!  No!  I couldn’t do that!” she cried, suddenly straightening in her chair.

“But why not?  This is exactly the sort of thing you need to learn to talk about with a man.”

“But we’ve only been on one date,” she said.  “If I said something, he would have thought I was…”

There it was.  The thing we are all so afraid of.  Chloe was afraid to get emotionally naked and vulnerable for fear of  sounding needy, desperate, or insecure.  It was easier to walk away and not say anything, then to stay and tell him how she felt.  But if she didn’t learn how to tell a man she was hurt, she would keep running and she would never get to a second date or, for that matter, a relationship.

The truth was that Ian’s behavior had upset her.  Whether they had been on one date or one hundred dates was beside the point.  She needed to learn how to stand up for herself and tell Ian or any man how she felt.

I coached Chloe on exactly what to say to Ian, giving her a very simple, graceful approach that she could use to have these kinds of sensitive conversations with a date or anyone else, for that matter.  Here is what I told her:

The Naked Garden

When you are trying to grow a relationship and need to have a difficult conversation, one where you need to tell someone that he or she hurt or disappointed you, you might think of that conversation like planting a garden.    When planting a garden, you can’t just take the seeds (of change) and shove them into the hard, dry soil.  You must prepare and fertilize the soil so that it can receive them.   You also need to plant the seeds a certain distance apart.  If you try to plant too many seeds or ideas all at once, they won’t have room and space to grow.  Once the seeds have been planted, you need to care for the garden, watering and weeding it regularly.  Finally, you need to have patience and give the seeds time to sprout and grow.

Step 1.  Preparing the soil:  Before you can present your side of things, you want to open up the heart and mind of the person you are speaking with so that he will feel receptive to what you have to say.  You do this by letting him know that you understand that he didn’t intentionally do anything wrong or mean to hurt you. As much as you can, you want to let him know that you understand his perspective and are not blaming him for how you feel.  You want to make it very clear that what you’re feeling is not his “fault.”  You say, “I know that things happen.  You probably were very busy this weekend and needed to get things done. I know you haven’t had a lot of free time lately.”

Step 2.  Fertilizing the soil:  Now you use the word  “AND,” not “BUT.”  If you use the word but, it will negate everything you just said.  His defenses will come up and he will no longer be receptive to what you are about to say.  If you say, “I know you didn’t mean to hurt me BUT I feel hurt,” you’ve just undone everything you did in step one.  If you say, “I know you didn’t mean to hurt me AND I feel hurt,” the other person won’t feel defensive.

Step 3.  Planting the seeds:  Without pointing fingers or blaming him, you say how you felt about what happened.  “When you did _______, I felt __________, and I told myself ______________.”  ” And, when you didn’t make time to see me this weekend, I felt sad and angry, and I told myself that you really don’t care about me or this relationship.”

Step 4:  Tending the garden:  Do not push for an answer.  That would be like over-watering you garden.  You will drown the other person.  It can take time for someone to absorb critical or emotional feedback.  You need to give a few days or even a week before you revisit the subject.

Step 5.  Harvesting:  When you check on the garden, say, “Have you give any thought to what we talked about?”  Again, do not push.  Just listen to what he says.  Most people cannot be forced into coming around to your way of thinking.  The harder you push they more they will resist.  You need to let them come around in their own way.  If you never get a satisfactory answer and this happens over and over again, you need to explore whether or not his is the right person for you.

Example:  Here is what Chloe said to Ian:

  1. Preparing the soil:  “There is something I wanted to share with you.  Several times when we spoke and on the date, you corrected my English.  I don’t know if you even realize it was happening, and I am sure you didn’t do it to hurt me.”
  2. Fertilizing the soil:  AND
  3. Planting the seeds:  “When this happened I felt put-down and self-conscious, and I told myself I might not be smart enough for you.
  4. Tending the Garden:  At this point, Ian started laughing, not a Chloe but at himself.  “I didn’t even realize I was doing that ,”  he said.  “That’s horrible.  I’m so sorry!  I’m so glad you said something.”   In Chloe’s case, she didn’t need to wait for an answer.  She tended her garden by acknowledging and thanking Ian for being so open and receptive.
  5. Harvesting:  Chloe sat back and observed Ian’s behavior.  It did happen once more, but this time she was able to remind Ian of their conversation.  From that point forth, it didn’t happen again.

As Chloe told me the conversation, I could see that her attitude towards Ian had  changed considerably.  She said that it was adorable how apologetic he became, and that she the conversation had helped her feel closer and more trusting of him.  Instead of running, Chloe stopped, planted some seeds, and she started to grow a relationship.   Last I heard, Chloe and Ian’s relationship continues to blossom.

 

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