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Naked Truth: Do Both Partners Have to Work on the Relationship Together?

Naked Truth: Do Both Partners Have to Work on the Relationship Together?

Naked Truth: Do Both Partners Have to Work on the Relationship Together?

I recently started coaching a couple I’ll call Jake and Ashley. Jake can sometimes be a bit aggressive in the way he gives Ashley feedback. When he does this, Ashley gets reactive because she feels she’s being attacked and blamed for something she did wrong. On numerous occasions in our sessions Jake has sworn this isn’t the case. He isn’t “mad” at her. It’s just that he often doesn’t always have the wherewithal to approach her in a gentle way. He’s working on it, but he admits that he can come across somewhat anxious and abrasive at times.

Recently, Ashley came to see me for a private session. She had a list of incidents where Jake had “attacked” her and set her off. She was also hurt because she felt that this was Jake’s issue. He was the one who was abrasive. So, why did she have to be the one to stop reacting? Shouldn’t he be coming to coaching to work on himself?

Here’s what I told her:

  1. This isn’t an either or situation. Jake should work on his delivery just as much as she needs to work on her reactivity. Both are true.
  2. Usually in a couple, there is one person with a higher level of emotional intelligence. Often that person is the woman. Women are more naturally inclined to focus on their personal and emotional growth. This doesn’t mean the other partner should get a hall pass and not have to work on himself, it just means that one partner is able to grasp issues in the relationship faster and that partner is more likely to be the one to make the changes that are needed to balance out the emotional dynamics in the couple. In this case, Ashley is that person.
  3. It’s not true that two people have to work on a relationship together. When one partner makes changes, the other partner is also forced to change. So, just because one partner doesn’t like going to coaching, it doesn’t mean that the relationship is doomed. Each partner in a relationship has different strengths. You want to leverage those strengths. If one person is the primary breadwinner, the other person can focus more on maintaining the emotional stability in the relationship. Susan Page, one of my favorite authors, wrote a book on this very subject: How One of You Can Bring the Two of You Together.
  4. Finally, I offered Ashley this solution drawn from my own rather peaceful marriage. Whenever my husband is giving me feedback and I start to feel defensive, I calm myself by reminding myself of the following:

He chose me out of all the women in the world to be his partner, he loves me dearly, and I need to trust that his intentions are good and that any feedback he’s giving me is for the betterment of us and our relationship.

One of the many things I admire most about Ashley is how open and coachable she is. She agreed that she has more of bandwidth for personal growth than Jake. She was also willing to let go of the idea that they both had to be working on the relationship. They still come in for joint sessions, but she is also coming in once a week to do some additional work on her own. In our last joint sessions, when I filled Jake in on what Ashley and I had talked about, he said, “I really liked that part about what you said say to yourself when you start to feel defensive with your husband. When Ashley starts to get upset with me, I am going to remind myself that she loves me, that she chose me out of all the men in the world to be her partner, and that she means well.” When I looked over at Ashley, she was beaming.

 

Is your relationship struggling? Book a consultation and see how I can help!

Naked Truth: Is Someone You Love Pushing You Away?

Naked Truth: Is Someone You Love Pushing You Away?

Naked Truth: Is Someone You Love Pushing You Away?

Hi Lisa. I just lost a great woman I’ve been dating for the past year. It was going really well, but then she started nitpicking about things about me that never seemed to bother her before—my dog, where I live—and said she needed space to find herself again. I’m happy to give her that, but it’s been almost three weeks now and I haven’t heard from her. Her family says she’s confused and hurting. It’s painful knowing she’s suffering and there’s nothing I can do to help. I love her and her six-year-old daughter, and I was ready to ask for her hand in marriage… but I can’t wait forever. My question is, do I give her space and see what happens or just let her go?

Thanks,

Rick

 

Hi Rick,

I am so sorry you’re going through this. I can tell you really care about this woman. From everything you wrote, it sounds like she has an “avoidant” intimacy style that is causing her to push you away. She’s afraid of getting close and needing someone. The closer the two of you become, the more uncomfortable it gets for her. This fear is so powerful that it causes her to nitpick and push you away. What’s tricky is that she doesn’t know that her fear is what’s causing her to feel uncomfortable. She thinks the reason she starts to feel uncomfortable around you is because you’re not the right person for her.

There are some excellent relationship books that could help you understand attachment styles better. I would start with one called “Attached.” Ninety-nine out of a 100 of my clients who read it say they love it! Two other excellent books about adult attachment theory are “Hold Me Tight” and “Wired for Love.” Another option to consider—if she’s willing—is to see a therapist with her. If she is, in fact, avoidant, she will need the help of a therapist understand where her urge to run away is really coming from and how to stop it. You might also want to take a quick compatibility quiz on the “Attached” website. Here’s the link: www.attachedthebook.com/compatibility-quiz You can see what both of your attachment styles are. This information can be crucial to understand what’s happening. From what you’ve written, you seem to have a secure attachment style. When a secure person is in a relationship with someone who is avoidant, it can cause the secure person to become anxious.

My last word of advice: don’t get defensive and block her. I know she broke up with you and it’s really painful, but women are funny. Sometimes, we push men away when we really want them to come back. If you truly adore her like you say you do, I suggest you read these books (or listen to them on audio) and then give her copies. It will be a revelation for both of you. I would love to know how it goes. If you see a therapist, try to find someone who”s done some trainings with John and Julie Gotman or Sue Johnson.

I wish you the very best. I hope this helps, Rick. You sound like a good man.

Warmly,

Lisa

 

Are you struggling in a relationship or trying to figure out how to move forward? Book a consultation with me and see how I can help!

Men, Want More Hanky Panky & a Happier Partner?

Men, Want More Hanky Panky & a Happier Partner?

Men, Want More Hanky Panky & a Happier Partner?

Read On!

According to John Gottman, renowned psychologist and relationship expert, women have two major complaints about men:

  1. He’s never there for me
  2. There isn’t enough intimacy and connection in the relationship

I’ve heard the same thing from many of my female clients struggling in their own relationships. It’s hard to have a naked relationship when they don’t feel like their male counterparts are truly there for them. It isn’t simply that they aren’t around enough or that they’re cheating, it’s that they aren’t there for them emotionally. They don’t feel like their men hear or understand them. Left unchecked, these disappointments can be the downfall of a relationship. When I talk about a having naked relationship, I am talking about one that’s emotionally open, but in this case, I am also talking about getting physically naked, too. If a woman doesn’t feel emotionally connected to her partner, odds are she isn’t going to want to have sex with him.

When my husband and I got married, one of his vows was that he would be a guardian of my soul. He promised to be there for me in every way—to listen to me, care for me, and safeguard my heart. For the 14 years we’ve been married, he’s stayed true to his word.

I’ll admit, he’s a rare breed, but one of the things that keeps our relationship so strong is our willingness to practice a simple skill everyday that Gottman refers to as attunement. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but when cultivated over time, it can truly transform a relationship.

Attunement essentially means you’re listening to your partner without judgment or pretense.

A – Awareness

T – Turning Toward

T – Tolerance

U – Understanding

N – Non-defensive Responding

E – Empathy

“When men ‘attune’ to their women,” Gottman explains, “there is less fighting, more frequent (and better) sex, and both men and women no longer feel so alone. The fights of many couples result from men dismissing women’s emotions instead of attuning to them. You dismiss woman’s emotions every time you try to fix them, distract her from them, minimize them, mock them, or ignore them altogether.”

Here are 10 ways to start attuning to your partner and strengthening your relationship today!

  1. Give your undivided attention when your partner is sharing with you. Put away your iPhone, turn off the TV.
  2. Make eye contact.
  3. Show genuine interest in trying to understand why she’s talking about a particular issue.
  4. Ask open-ended questions. For example, rather than simply asking “are you upset?” you might say, “You seem upset, is anything going on?”
  5. Listen without giving advice or immediately trying to fix the problem.
  6. Try to feel how she is feeling whether or not you agree.
  7. Validate how she’s feeling. “The emotional part of the brain calms down when it feels connected to another person and not alone. Show empathy,” Gottman suggests. How cool is that?
  8. Create opportunities for connection in small ways every day. For example, set aside 10 minutes every evening to share your day with no interruptions, or take turns giving each other a short massage.
  9. Identify shared goals. For example, maybe you both want to exercise more or plan a dream vacation together in the next 12 months.
  10. When you experience conflict, genuinely ask yourself: “Am I turning toward my partner, or am I turning away?”

When you’re in a long-term relationship, it can be easy to slip into bad habits and start to disregard your partner’s feelings. Sue Johnson, the creator of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) talks about how many couples today are so isolated that they become each other’s sole emotional support system. So, if you’re not tuning into your partner’s needs, she can start to feel incredibly alone and alienated from the person she loves most.

It only takes a few small steps to reignite the connection between the two of you and bring back the spark that attracted you to each other in the first place. And remember, when she gets more of she wants from the relationship, you’ll get more of what you want—a happy partner and more sex!

If you are having trouble attuning to your partner book a consult with me to see how I can help.

Men, Want More Hanky Panky & a Happier Partner?

 

The Male-Female Dynamic

The Male-Female Dynamic

The Male-Female Dynamic:

Discover how to ignite more passion, intimacy & connection in your relationship

It’s crushing, right? You set out to be in an amazing relationship and the two of you just can’t seem to make it work! You know deep in your gut that you two are just perfect for each other, but emotional baggage and unhealthy patterns keep sabotaging your relationship.

Few things can be more frustrating or painful.

But, what if I were to tell you that you could transform your relationship into one that will make you the envy of all your friends?

A fellow relationship coach, Eli Deutsch, has asked me to participate in his brand new online video telesummit: “The Male-Female Dynamic: Discover How to Ignite More Passion, Intimacy & Connection in Your Relationship.” In this interview, I share my pearls of wisdom about how to get emotionally naked so you can move past the issues that are blocking the communication and connection in your relationship.

This free event features me along with 19 other experts, partnering up to help you to have the authentic, deep, connected relationship you long for. To watch my interview, click here: http://themalefemaledynamic.com/xiu9

 

Are you struggling in your relationship? Book a coaching consultation and see how I can help!

The Male-Female Dynamic

Why He Won’t Marry You

Why He Won't Marry You

Why He Won’t Marry You 

Falling in love never felt so good

If you’re a woman who dreams of getting married, and especially if you want children, there’s nothing more devastating than hearing the love of your life suddenly start to question if he’s really the marrying kind. You distinctly remember that he was one who mentioned marriage in the first place. It was a couple of months after you’d started dating. You were at Trader Joe’s laughing and shopping together. You couldn’t believe that two people could have so much fun doing something so ordinary. Just as you were reaching for an avocado, you felt his arm around your waist. He spun you around, looked deep in your eyes and said, “I think I could get used to this. I might even marry you one day.” Your heart exploded. These were the words you’d been waiting your whole life to hear.

When reality sets in

Fast-forward two years later, and everything’s changed. The man who claimed he wanted to spend the rest of his life with you is having second thoughts. The more he applies the brakes, the more hurt and anxious you feel… and with good reason. You’re almost 35. You want kids now more than ever, and your biological clock is t-i-c-k-i-n-g! Any man in his right mind knows you don’t mention marriage to a woman unless you mean it. Did he mean it? And if he did, what made him change his mind?

In the early throes of passion, it’s easy for two people to make big promises to each other: marriage… children… a chocolate lab and a white picket fence. When a relationship is shiny and new and there are no issues or problems getting in the way, a man might really feel like the woman he’s with is The One and imagine spending the rest of his life with her. Sometimes, it’s even the man who sets the wheels in motion and brings the issue of marriage and children up first. But then, months or years down the line, things change. One day he’s talking about diamond rings and babies, the next day everything comes to a screeching halt. The man who claimed he wanted to spend the rest of his life with you is starting to rethink everything.

What the hell happened?

He led you to believe that you were on the same page, that one day you would get married and start a family together, so you invested precious years of your life in the relationship. Now, it feels like your whole life is unraveling. What the hell happened?

As a relationship coach, one of the biggest reasons I hear men give for questioning marriage is that the dynamics of the relationship have changed. A partnership that once felt easy and harmonious is now rife with anger and fighting, and the man doesn’t know how to deal with it.

When clients discuss this issue during their sessions, the women often claim the fighting and anxiety is a result of their partner’s hesitation to propose. Or, they’ve proposed, but they’re evasive when it comes to discussing the wedding. The women are convinced that all their troubles will be resolved once they walk down the aisle. But the men are afraid the fighting will carry over into the marriage. The men say that they believe there’s something about the way the women are pressuring and pushing to get their way that isn’t going to stop just because they’re married.

A vicious cycle

The more anxious and angry a woman gets, the more a man will dig in his heels. Men don’t want to be mothered or told what to do. They don’t want to be given ultimatums or deadlines and made to feel like they’re being pushed into doing something before they’re ready. Women, on the other hand, face very real deadlines, and the thought of missing out on marriage and a family can be traumatizing, not to mention anxiety provoking. It’s a vicious cycle.

Of course, there may be other factors at play as well: marriage, children, and a home all cost money. Though times have changed and many women are out-earning men, many men still feel it’s their duty to be financially responsible for their partner. There’s also tremendous pressure when it comes to taking on debt to finance a lavish wedding, not to mention the financial burden of children. Women also need to consider other, deeper issues that may be driving their partner’s fear, like coming from a broken family, having a father who cheated or a mother who was alcoholic. These difficult early life experiences can cause many men to feel avoidant and harbor a real fear of commitment, which is a serious issue that can be hard to discern in the midst of all the drama and fighting.

Getting to “I Do”

The very best thing a couple in this situation can do for themselves is to seek the help of a therapist or coach. I put my clients through some very structured listening exercises so that they can really start to hear each other’s perspectives and gain a deeper understanding of what’s happening on both sides. I encourage my clients to recognize that, in this situation, there are two people who are hurt and scared, and help them learn to come from a place of love rather than anger and desperation. Until both members of the couple understand where the other is coming from, it will be very difficult to move forward.

It is heartbreaking to find yourself in a position where the person you want to spend the rest of your life with won’t commit. With a ticking clock and your whole future hanging in the balance, it’s understandable that you would feel anxious and hurt. If you’ve found yourself in this situation and don’t know where to turn, I encourage you to set up a consultation and see how I can help.

He Lost Me at Marie Calendar's

 

 

 

 

Listen if you want to be Heard

Listen if You Want to Be Heard

 Listen if you want to be Heard

When I ask couples to tell me three things they want to get out of coaching, finding better ways to communicate is at the top of their list. I understand. It must be devastating for two people who have shared some of the most wonderful, positive feelings they’ve ever had to find themselves devolving into constant arguments over what are often petty matters.. What’s worse it that many of them feel powerless to stop doing it. When the dust settles, they might find themselves making promises to each other, but then they don’t follow through. Without strategies for long-term change, they get stuck in a continuous cycle of blow-ups and makeups that continue to escalate their feelings of helplessness and resentment. If nothing is done to break the pattern, it can permanently damage the relationship.

In my experience, when couples say they want better communication skills, what they really need are better listening skills. The real issue is that they’re not hearing each other. When tensions are running high and one partner is sharing, the other isn’t listening to what’s being said because s/he is too busy preparing a defense. They might have started out having a conversation, but then they devolve into a debate where both partners are just trying to prove that they’re right.

Break it down

If you and your partner came to me for coaching, I would start by showing you how to break your conversation into two distinct parts where one of you is the speaker and one of you is the listener. The speaker will share his or her side of the story in a way that is non-blaming and non-attacking, and the listener would only be allowed to reflect back on what he or she hears. This may sound simple, but it can be extremely challenging for the listener to listen without countering what the speaker is saying. It takes a certain amount of self-control and a willingness to hear your partner’s side in the same way that you want your partner to hear your side. In this exercise you’ll both have the opportunity to play each role—the speaker and the listener. In this first exercise, the goal is not to solve any problems or issues, but to listen in a new way and really hear what your partner has to say.

You can both be right

Stephen Covey says, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” This is because, if you want people to understand where you’re coming from, you have to first be willing to understand where they’re coming from. Keep in mind that just because you understand where they’re coming from, it doesn’t mean you agree with their  point-of-view. It just means that, within the context of who they are, you understand how they could feel a certain way. Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t just one way to look at a given situation. Just because you and your partner have differing opinions, it doesn’t mean that one of you is right and one of you is wrong. You could both be right. The more you let go of your need to be right and open up to hearing your partner, the more compassion you will have and the easier it will be to resolve conflicts in a loving way. Now, lets get started!

 

Mirroring Exercise:

Think of a current issue or conflict in your relationship. With that in mind, choose one partner to be the listener and one to be the speaker.

Directions for the speaker:

Begin by using a soft start up—a gentle, loving approach intended to put your partner at ease. Think of two or three kind statements you can say about your partner. For example, “I love spending time with you,” or “Without question you’re my best friend.”

The second step is to use “and” rather than “but” language. If you use “but,” it will negate all the nice things you just said and your partner will immediately feel defensive.

For example: “I love living with you and sharing a home with you and it would be great if you would help clean the bedroom once in awhile.”

The third step is to present your perspective, using “I” language instead of “You” language. For example, instead of saying “You never listen to me” try “Sometimes I don’t feel heard.”

The last thing is to avoid using the phrase “It makes me feel.” Nobody makes you feel anything. You choose to feel a certain way. So instead of saying, “When you interrupt me all the time it makes me feel angry,” you would say, “When you interrupt me, I feel angry.” “When you do or say __________________, I feel _________________.”

Directions for the listener:

You might want to have a pen and paper on hand to take notes, because it can be difficult to listen and remember the main points when your partner has a lot on his or her mind. As your partner speaks, you want to be aware of your partner’s perspective. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and try your best to see the situation through his or her eyes. Even if you don’t agree with what he or she says, you want to understand why your partner feels that way.

Every so often, when your partner pauses, repeat what he or she just said back. Say, “What I think I heard you say is…” And then, in your own words, tell your partner what you think he or she was trying to say. If your partner doesn’t pause and you want to check in, simply ask, “Can I pause you for a second?” and then repeat what your partner just said. When you do this part of the exercise, be aware of your tone. It’s easy to come across as snarky or judgmental, even if you don’t intend to be.

 Your partner will then reply, “Yes that is what I said,” or “No, you didn’t quite understand me.” Remember, you’re not there to offer solutions or even ask questions at this point. Your only objective is to let your partner know that you truly understand what he or she just said.

Most members of a couple are so intent on getting their own point across that they don’t realize they’re not hearing what their partner has to say. This exercise is designed to get you to slow down and really listen to each other. Many of my clients who did this simple exercise for the first time came back to the next session and said that it was life changing for them. They said that it was a revelation to finally hear what their partner was saying and to be heard in return. I would love for you to give this a try and share your experience.  What new insights did you have into how you can listen better and how it felt to really have someone listen to you?

If you and your partner are having trouble communicating, book a complimentary consultation and see how I can help.  Listen if you want to be Heard

 

 

Five Things You Should Know About Couples Coaching

Five Things You Should Know About Couples Coaching

Five Things You Should Know About Couples Coaching

As a relationship coach, I know all too well the pain and heartache that can come when two people who were once so deeply in love are struggling to connect. It saddens me to think that so many couples suffer through their problems alone, only to call it quits because they don’t have the tools they need to break through bad patterns and emotional blocks. I’ve made it my life’s work to help struggling couples revitalize their relationships. More couples are seeing me now than ever before, but I’ve realized that most people entering into or considering couples coaching don’t know what to expect from the process, and many are hesitant to give it a try. Here are five things you should know about couples coaching:

  1. Coaching Isn’t Just for Couples in Crisis

I’ve met couples that have suffered through months or even years of hurt but avoided coaching because they weren’t married or thought their problems just weren’t serious enough for them to seek help. Couples coaching is a little like taking care of a house. You wouldn’t wait until your roof was on the verge of collapse before you made the necessary repairs, so why treat your relationship any differently? I coach many couples who have experienced major setbacks and are struggling to “save” their relationships, but I see an equal number who seek out coaching because they want to prevent certain issues from becoming more serious. These couples are crazy about each other, but they’re also human. They hit a bump in the road every so often and want to learn how to stop a negative pattern before it spirals out of control. According to John Gottman, author of “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,” the majority of couples wait until six years after they admit they need help to actually seek it. By then, it’s often too late. You don’t need to wait until you’re on the brink of catastrophe to seek the help of a coach. If you recognize bad patterns or communication blocks in your relationship, do something about it today.

  1. Miracles Happen, but They Take Time

You can’t undo years of negative patterns or stunted communication in one or two coaching sessions. I wish it were that easy. The key to success in coaching is consistency. Make a commitment to yourself and your partner to see a coach at least five times if you want to reap lasting benefits. Food for thought: if half of all marriages end in divorce and the majority of couples seeking therapy quit before they reach the five session mark, maybe it’s a sign that people are giving up a little too soon. I suggest couples commit to seeing me a minimum of three times a month for three months. Most couples see some changes after the first couple of sessions, but they don’t see lasting change until around the three-month mark.

  1. A Good Coach Takes the Side of the Relationship

A good coach isn’t going to side with either member of a couple; she’s going to side with the relationship. At times it may seem like everyone’s against you—when your ego feels threatened or your coach won’t allow you to throw in that little jab at your partner you so badly want to get out—but at the end of the day, your relationship will usually win. Remember that, and learn to be okay with it. 

  1. At First, Things May Seem like They’re Getting Worse

I had a client email me recently in a panic. She and her husband had seen me for a couple sessions and she told me she felt like things were getting worse. She didn’t know what to do. This may sound surprising, but her reaction isn’t uncommon. Coaching brings a lot of stuff to the surface… stuff you haven’t been talking about and would probably rather not look at. Your partner may bring up a disagreement you thought was ancient history, or you may discover some new truths about yourself or your partner. A coach’s job is to listen to each member of the partnership, recognize patterns that might be contributing to problems in the relationship, and help facilitate discussion. It can be painful to rehash past arguments and disappointments in the moment—and even more difficult to take responsibility, but the long-term results can be transformative.

  1. Things will Get Better

Couples coaching is about building trust—trust in your partner and trust in the coaching process. As you delve deeper into the process and start understanding the patterns that drive your behavior, you will start to feel more in tune with your partner and with the relationship itself. You’ll learn how to effectively communicate your wants and needs, support your partner with love and compassion, and start seeing your relationship as a vehicle for your own growth and learning. Instead of feeling like you need to pull away from your partner when things get tough, you’ll start leaning in, and as you get closer, love and romance flourish.

The Right Fight

Many years ago, I realized that if I could just figure out how to have a peaceful, loving relationship then everything else in my life would fall into place. I was right. I’ve been with my husband for 13 years now and I believe more than ever that having a secure, committed, harmonious relationship is the foundation for a happy life. When I realized how many other people were struggling in their relationships I was compelled to help. In the 13 years I’ve been coaching I have seen how transformative these sessions can be. Couples who were ready to write off their relationships for good are often amazed when they realize how effective the coaching process can be. Don’t get me wrong; for some couples, the first few sessions can get a little dicey. But hang in there. Commit to the process and let go of the idea of instant gratification. It may take time, but I promise you it’s worth it. There is nothing more beautiful than sharing your life with the person you love; if you’re going to fight for anything, don’t fight with your partner—fight for your relationship!

If you and your partner are struggling to connect, set up a coaching consult today!

 

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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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The Lost Love Language

SILENCE

Men and women have so much to learn from each other about love & relationships.

 

All this time we’ve been thinking that there are only five love languages. I mean, isn’t that what Gary Chapman writes in his book, The Five Love Languages? According to Chapman, the five love languages are: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. I don’t like to be the one to differ with Mr. Chapman, but I think I might have discovered a missing language. The other day, I was talking about his book with my husband. I told him that I thought his own love language was acts of service. (As I often say, “Benjamin just about has an orgasm when I clean the closet or make him a bowl of egg salad.”)

 

“Oh my God! Oh my God! You cleaned the closet! You are the best wife!” he exclaims. It really doesn’t take much to get him excited. Without question, my love language is quality time. Nothing makes me feel more loved than when Benjamin spends time with me. Benjamin could be watching me fold laundry, as long as we’re doing it together.

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To book a sample session with Naked Dating and Relationship Coach Lisa Shield, click here.

Digital Deal Breakers: Avoiding Date Drama w/ Tech-Savvy Singles

It’s a fact: We live in a digital world.

digital dealbreakers

While many of us have at least some sort of social networking presence—whether on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or a personal blog—most of us stay connected through our cell phones. While the miracles of technology are many (for one, it allows us to stay in touch with our friends and families long-distance), our phones and Facebook profiles can cause some serious dating drama. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a “Why was she writing that flirty comment on your wall?” or a “Who is that guy who keeps liking all of your pictures?” interrogation, you know this to be true. Our ability to stay constantly connected can be a double-edged sword, and a sharp one at that. We have to ask ourselves: How much of a good thing is too much? When can constant connectivity get you in trouble, and what do singles look for when they scope out potential partners?

For starters, lose the passcode.
According to Match.com’s third annual study on the single population, 77% of women and 53% of men wouldn’t date someone who is secretive about their texts. In fact, women get pretty serious when it comes to digital transparency. 74% of women say they read more

Make the first step to finding the one, schedule an appointment with Dating & Relationship Expert, Lisa Shield.  pricing & scheduling

Lisa Shield, MA, CPCC
Transformational Dating and Relationship Coach
(323) 939-1770
www.LisaShield.com

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