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Takin’ it to the Streets

Takin' it to the Streets

Takin’ it to the Streets:

5 Roads to Finding Love in the Real World

If you’re like a lot of the people I talk to, you’ve had enough of online dating and you want to find a way to meet someone in the real world. But before I share my thoughts on how you can take it to the streets, I need to let you know that I am a bit biased. I am one of those people who thinks dating websites and apps are God’s gift to modern dating. Still, you can meet someone in the real world if that’s your kind of thing :-) Even though the love of my life and I met online fourteen years ago, I have to admit that possibilities exist beyond cyberspace.

To meet someone in the real world, you need to keep in mind that offline dating is no easier than online dating. You can’t bank on someone falling out of the sky and conveniently landing in your path. To work, both online and offline dating require an investment time, energy, and a willingness to get into your discomfort zone. So, if you’re ready to put yourself out there, let people know you’re looking, and take some risks; you can meet someone in the big bad world! Here are five avenues for meeting someone in everyday life.

  1.  Tell everyone from your manicurist to your mother that you’re dating and ask if they know anyone they can fix you up with. I have a client who happened to mention to her manicurist that she was looking for love. The manicurist said, “I think I have someone for you!” Two years later, my client and her manicurist’s friend were married. Another very determined clients sent out a mass email to her family and friends offering a cash bonus to anyone who could fix her up with someone she wound up dating. You never know who—your hairstylist, Great Aunt, next door neighbor, or yoga instructor—might might know someone who would be perfect for you!
  2.  You’re at your best when you’re doing things you enjoy, so sign up for clubs and take some classes. It’s a great way to meet people and learn to do something new. You can volunteer, join a sports team, or get involved in neighborhood or local politics. One of my clients met her current partner in a photography class. Now they’re both retired and travel all over taking photography classes and shooting photos, and are even developing their passion into a business.
  3. Say “yes” to more invites! As we get older and are exhausted from work and other responsibilities, we start turning down more and more social invitations. I don’t care if you’re in your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s or 60’s. You aren’t going to meet someone sitting at home watching reruns of Golden Girls. Get out there! Go to happy hours with friends. Say yes to being fixed up on double dates. Go to karaoke night even if you just sit there and laugh at your friends. You never know who’s going to be there
  4. Start going where members of the opposite sex are most likely to goIf you’re a woman, you might hang out at sports bars or cool neighborhood bars, golf ranges, steakhouses, If you’re a man, you might meet women at yoga classes, cocktail bars, brunches, cooking classes, dance classes, fitness or yoga classes, spiritual workshops, church (more women than men!), and even nail salons (so many men go to nail salons—it’s shocking!), etc.
  5. Finally, you need to attend singles events. I know. I know. I can hear your inner dialogue as I’m typing this: “But I hate those things. Everyone there seems like a loser. Even I feel like a loser when I’m there…” Blah, blah, blah. Meetup.com offers all kinds of singles events—game nights, singles hiking groups, speed dating, wine tastings, and yoga classes, to name a few. If you’re really committed to doing this, you will find something you’re into. I know these events can seem boring, but you can make them fun for yourself. If nothing else, go and practice flirting and “getting emotionally naked.” Many people are good at talking to members of the opposite sex when it comes to business, but that doesn’t mean they know how to flirt and make the kind of deep emotional connection that would make someone want to ask them on a date. So, get out and start learning how to connect.

Sometimes we forget the simplest strategies work best of all: be sure to smile and make eye contact with members of the opposite sex and don’t be afraid to initiate a conversation! Recently, a client of mine had a casual conversation with a man she met while buying popcorn at the movies. She just assumed that the woman he was with was his date. It turned out the two were good friends and the man—a handsome attorney—tracked my client down based on something she said to him and asked her out. On the date, he confessed to her that women never speak to him first and that he was impressed with how fun and outgoing she seemed. So, get out and talk to everyone. You’ve got nothing to lose!

If you’re having a hard time putting yourself out there and want more personalized advice, call me to set up a coaching session. There might be something deeper blocking you from meeting someone. In the last 12 years I have helped hundreds of singles find true love. I can help you too!

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Takin' it to the Streets

Take Off Your Masks

Take Off Your Masks

8 Things to Avoid on a First Date

8 Things to Avoid on a First Date

8 Things to Avoid on a First Date

You finally went on a date with someone you feel excited about. The conversation seemed effortless, the chemistry was undeniable, and you went to bed that night with the innate sense that you would see this person again. But the days have ticked by, and you haven’t heard a word. You’re starting to wonder whether you might have done something to turn your date off… but what?

If you find yourself having trouble getting to a second date—even when you thought things went well—there’s a good chance you’re sabotaging your chances without even realizing it. Here are eight things to avoid doing on a first date… so you can have better odds of making it to the second!

  1. Making it all about you

Let’s face it: there are few things worse than being stuck on dates with people who only talk about themselves. I know because this was my biggest mistake when I was dating. I was so busy trying to entertain my dates and make them like me that I wasn’t even paying attention to whether or not they were enjoying the show. If I could go back and ask all the guys I went out with what I’d done wrong, many of them would say that they thought I was self-absorbed. What I’ve since learned is learned is to pause every now and then when I am talking to check in with the person sitting across from me. I might ask their opinion about something I’ve said or ask if they’ve had a similar experience. Here’s a tip: if you’ve been talking and notice you’ve barely touched your cocktail—but your date looks ready to order a second—you need to hit the pause button and give him/her a chance to join in.

  1. Turning your date into an interrogation

Most of us go into a date knowing there are certain things we simply must have in a partner (for example, you absolutely want children and are looking for a partner who feels the same or you require a certain degree of financial stability) and you don’t want to waste time with someone who isn’t on the same page. Before you know it, you’re firing off a dozen questions and your date feels like he/she is on the witness stand. Talk about a buzzkill. No matter how hard you try, you’re not going to learn everything you need to know on a first date. So save yourself—and your date—the aggravation and don’t try. The object of the first date is to have a good time and to see if there’s enough intrigue and attraction to warrant a second. The more pressure you put on yourself to figure out whether this person is “the one,” the more pressure you’re going to put on the date… and the more pressure you put on the date, the less likely your date is going to want to see you again. Try asking questions that are more subtle or indirect, that don’t sound probing. Instead of asking, “Are you looking for a committed relationship?” ask, “What inspired you to sign up for Bumble?” Also, really listen to what your date is saying. People reveal themselves through the stories they tell and the little comments they make like, “I can be a real bitch sometimes.” I had a client who was dating a man who mentioned he’d been accused of being narcissistic. Guess what? He was!

  1. Drinking Too Much

Sure, it might help you relax, lower your inhibitions, give you confidence and a sharp wit, but hit your limit and disaster can strike. Charm and wit can quickly make way for inappropriate questions, boasting, and first date sex. If you know you’re going to be drinking, eat something before the date and know your limits. I repeat: Know. Your. Limits. If you have a tendency to overindulge, stick to club soda. Also, remember, the rule of thumb is to have one glass of water for every drink.

  1. Trash talking

This one might sound obvious, but talking badly about people you know (you lose even more points for talking badly about an ex—don’t bring them up at all), past dates, the waiter, or the girl’s cheesy outfit at the table across from you is a no-no. The same thing goes for talking badly about yourself—self-deprecation isn’t sexy. There are so many things to talk about on a first date… trash talk is cheap and boring. You know the old adage: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” Make it your mantra!

  1. Showing up late

When it comes to first dates, there’s no such thing as being fashionably late. It won’t make you seem sexy or mysterious—it will just make you look like a jerk. If you’re running late, have the decency to give your date a call or send a text and let him/her know you’re on your way. Then, offer another apology when you arrive. Or, better yet, show up a few minutes early.

  1. Airing your dirty laundry

Life is tough… maybe you think you’re going to lose your job, your roommate is a total psycho, or your meds stopped working. These are things you can talk about during happy hour with your friends or on the phone with your mom, but not on a first date. Your friends and family know you on a deeper level, they’ve invested in the relationship, and they have a reason to care. Your date does not. I don’t care how intense your connection is, there’s nothing sexy about TMI. Trust me. If you wind up dating, it will come back to haunt you!

  1. Appearing overeager

You’ve been on more bad dates than you can count, and finally, you’re sitting across from someone who’s attractive, intelligent, and fun. Within ten minutes you know you want to see this person again. That’s great… but you don’t have to announce it. It’s one thing to compliment your date and let him or her know you’re having a good time, but avoid appearing desperate or overeager. Don’t shower your date with compliments and don’t start planning the second date out loud. Everything in moderation… including enthusiasm.

  1. Bad Manners

Whether it’s talking with your mouth full, texting, picking at your teeth, or cursing like a sailor, there’s nothing like bad manners to kill the chemistry… and your chances of a second date. Learn how to use a knife and fork, save the swear words for the basketball court, and keep your iPhone in your purse (or pocket). In other words, behave like someone your date would take home to his/her parents, and you just might find yourself at Sunday dinner.

 

Are you having trouble getting second dates and not sure why? Book a consultation and see how I can help!

The Hateful 8: Eight Things to Avoid on a First Date

 

Naked Truth #2: It Doesn’t Always Pay to Pull Out all the Stops on a First Date

Naked Truth #2: It Doesn’t Always Pay to Pull Out all the Stops on a First Date

Naked Truth #2: It Doesn’t Always Pay to Pull Out all the Stops on a First Date

Lots of guys think they have to go all out on the first date to impress a woman and get her interested, but the date itself is really only a small part of the equation. When you read my assistant’s story below about her two Tinder dates (and find out which guy she ended up with!) you might consider getting to know someone a little better before you go for broke. -Lisa

Two years ago, fresh out of grad school and single as I’d ever been, I downloaded Tinder. I was tired of hanging around the same guys in the tight-knit L.A. circle I had floated in and out of since college, and I figured I’d give it a shot. In the three months I was on the app, I only ended up going out with two of the guys I matched with… but the dates couldn’t have been more different.

I met the first guy, Robby, for drinks at a dive bar of his choosing in Santa Monica. I didn’t feel some over-the-top attraction at first, but I had a good time. He was handsome and intelligent. We spent about 45 minutes together, enjoyed some interesting conversation about music and art, and parted ways. I didn’t know if I would see him again, but there was a quiet confidence about him that intrigued me, and so I checked the box for “maybe” in my head.

My second Tinder date was, coincidentally, scheduled for the following night. (I wasn’t one to waste any time!) Let’s just say this one was a step up from drinks at a dive bar. Brendan had an “extra” ticket for the sold-out Paul McCartney concert at Dodger Stadium. He lived within walking distance of the show, so I met him at his place before the gig. When I arrived, I saw that he had arranged an elaborate wine and cheese spread on his back patio and had cued the new Sharon Van Etten record we’d been chatting about over text on his sound system. It was pretty adorable. When we got to the venue, I was pleasantly surprised to find our seats were top notch— on the floor, just behind third base. “If this is all for the first date,” I thought to myself, as Sir Paul transitioned into ‘Blackbird,’ “what would he possibly do for our second?”

Well…. we never made it there. Brendan was a total sweetheart, and we had a good time together, but as we were walking back from the concert that night, my mind turned—rather unexpectedly—to Robby. Here I was, on this incredible date with this sweet guy who had clearly put a lot of effort (and $$$) into showing me a good time, and I was thinking about the guy who picked the less-than-impressive dive bar for our first meeting? Let’s just say I was as surprised by my reaction as you probably are, dear reader. But, as Emily Dickinson once wrote, “the heart wants what the heart wants – or else it does not care.”

The next morning, I woke up to a text from Robby asking how the concert was. (I had mentioned I was going, but had conveniently left out the fact that it was with another guy I had met on Tinder.) We texted back and forth for a bit, and he asked me if I’d like to have dinner with him later that week. This time, he stepped up his game and suggested a nice restaurant in Venice Beach.

I have to admit, the date felt a little awkward in the beginning. While it wasn’t our first meeting, we still hadn’t had the time to develop any real rapport. We were both too nervous to eat a big meal, so we ordered a dozen oysters and a bottle of wine. The oysters were delicious and I was flattered that he’d taken me to such a nice place, but it wasn’t until we sunk into a comfy booth at another dive bar afterward that we really warmed up to each other. There was just something about a no-frills, no-nonsense spot that took the pressure off and made it easier for us both to relax and open up. (Come to think of it, that bottle of wine probably didn’t hurt, either!)

It’s been almost two years since that date, and eight months ago, Robby and I moved in together. The moral of the story? Sure, it’s always nice to put some thought into a date and make an effort to show someone a good time, but at the end of the day, a date only lasts an evening, but a real connection can last a lifetime.

While I don’t necessarily advocate taking a woman to a dive for a first meeting (I still give Robby sh*t for that… a nice wine bar is more my speed!), the next time you feel totally stressed about planning that perfect date for a woman you hardly know, remember—the heart wants what the heart wants. If you have a real connection with someone, it’s not going to matter whether you take her out for a cocktail or to a Paul McCartney concert on the first meeting. Grab a drink! Go for a walk! Make a picnic! Take her to your favorite taco stand! If there’s real chemistry—and your date’s not some totally shallow you-know-what—she’s going to have a good time, and you’re going to get a second date.

Are you having trouble meeting someone out in the dating world? Book a consultation with Lisa and see how she can help you turn your dating around!

Naked Truth #2: It doesn’t always pay to pull out all the stops on a first date

Finally, the Answer to All Your Bad Dates!

Finally, the Answer to all Your Bad Dates!

Finally, the Answer to All Your Bad Dates!

This is everyone’s dating nightmare: You’re sitting across the table from someone and the conversation is as stale as a week old Trader Joe’s baguette. He’s been ranting about his bitchy ex-girlfriend for nearly an hour, and every time you try to change the subject, he somehow manages to bring it back to her. You have visions of “accidentally” spilling your martini in his lap, but you can’t because your drink is the only thing that’s keeping you from completely losing your mind.

We’ve all been there. Bad dates, especially a string of bad ones, can be agonizing. After enough disappointments, it’s easy to feel like throwing in the towel and giving up on love completely.

But before you delete your online dating profile and resign yourself to being single forever, consider this: what if all of those dates—even the disastrous ones—are actually opportunities for you to practice becoming the person you need to be when the love of your life arrives?

Take it from someone who went out on almost 100 first dates in two years before I found my soul mate: If you want to find an incredible partner, you have to first know how to be an incredible partner—and that’s something most people don’t know how to do. Most of us don’t know how create a successful relationship with ourselves, let alone with another person.

Let me back up a minute. When I first started dating, I was a mess. I knew I wasn’t ready for the kind of relationship I really wanted, but I knew that I could use the dating process to help me get there. By going out on lots of dates with many different men, I was able to work through much of the anxiety I had about getting close to a man. I practiced speaking up for myself, I learned how to talk to men and ask for what I needed, and I learned how to face rejection and hear the word “no” without overreacting or taking it personally. I also became more honest, open, vulnerable, and playful. I exercised restraint and stopped having sex without a commitment. In the end, I realized that as long as I was challenging myself to grow and learn, there was no such thing as a bad date. Two years later, when I met my future husband, I was a very different woman than when I first started dating.

We all have some growing to do. So, the next time you’re on a less-than-exciting date, don’t just sit there feeling like you’re wasting your time. Ask yourself: how can I use this experience to become a more loving, openhearted person? How can I be a better listener? Is there more of myself that I need to share? What can I do to be more playful, inquisitive, and engaged?

It might seem like you’re just being faced with one disappointment after another, but the truth is you might not even be ready for the kind of relationship you’re looking for. Dating can offer lessons and challenges that you won’t get anywhere else. Going back to the example of the date with that guy who won’t stop talking about his ex, the challenge there would be to find a diplomatic way to tell him what you’re really thinking. You might say something like, “It doesn’t seem like you’re ready to date. It feels like you’re still working through your last relationship.” If you say something, you’ll walk away feeling good about speaking up, and your date will have gained a little insight into what he’s doing wrong.

In the end, dating is what you make of it. You don’t know how many dates stand between you and the love of your life, so why not use the ones in between to become the best version of yourself you can be? Take it from someone who’s been there: no matter how long the wait—and how rough the dating waters—it will all be worth it in the end.

 

Dating doesn’t have to be a drag. Click here to schedule a free consult and find out how Naked Dating® is a path that can lead to real love.

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The guy I’m seeing told me he doesn’t have strong feelings for me, but I really like him. Should I back off or just quit seeing him altogether?


The guy I'm seeing told me he doesn't have strong feelings for me. Should I put some distance between us of just stop seeing him altogether?

The guy I’m seeing told me he doesn’t have strong feelings for me, but I really like him. Should I back off or just quit seeing him altogether?

Hey Lisa,

I need some advice. I’ve been seeing this guy for about a month and a half and things are going well. We’ve gone on three dinner dates, have been to trivia and dinner several times and even won trivia twice. He made me dinner and we spend time together watching shows we like. I even helped him find a new puppy. BUT…he is in the navy and will be gone for a few months in a few weeks and then when he gets back he is moving in November.  Also, he was married before and told me he knew he would marry his ex wife the week he met her and married her 4 months later. When I asked him how he feels about me he said he likes me, and thinks we are compatible but doesn’t have strong feelings like that for me. I really like him, but ever since he told me that my self worth has been ruined. What should I do? Quit seeing him? Back off? I don’t know what to do and need your help.

Tamara

Hi Tamara,

First, I want to commend you for having the courage to get emotionally naked and ask your navy man how he really feels about you. Many women would have gone along in the relationship without finding out the truth. I am sure it was really hard to hear that he doesn’t have strong feelings for you, but I think it was pretty thoughtless of him to compare his feelings for you to the way he felt about his ex-wife. You even wrote that your self-esteem has been ruined because of what he said. It might help you keep things in perspective to know that, for all of his enthusiasm and certainty about his former wife, she’s his ex. So much for knowing he was going to marry her after the first week. I’m wondering how long it took him to realize he’d made a mistake and that e was headed for a divorce!

Considering he’s leaving and he told you he doesn’t have strong feelings for you, I don’t think the relationship is going to turn into something long term. While you might not want to hear this, you need to know that many men stay in a relationship with a woman they have no intention of committing to because she is sweet and she’s meeting their sexual needs.

You asked if you should take a step back or end it altogether. My question for you is: do you want to wait until he leaves or finds someone new, or do you want to act from a place of power and be the one to break it off?  If you the initiative to end it, you  might just get some of your self-esteem back. And more importantly, you deserve to be with a man who adores you and feels lucky to be with you.

On another note: why did he get a puppy if he’s planning on leaving?

Much love,

Lisa

 

If you or anyone you know is having trouble dating or finding the right relationship, hiring a coach might be the answer you need. Click here to book a sample consult to find out how I can help:

The guy I'm dating told me he doesn't have strong feelings for me...

 

“Naked” Dating Tip #3: The best way to get a guy to ask for your number online

"Naked" Dating Tip #3: The best way to get a guy to ask for your number online

“Naked” Dating Tip #3

This guy and I have been messaging back and forth for several days. Why hasnt he asked for my number and how do I get him to!?!

With the growing popularity of online dating websites and apps like Tinder and Bumble, I’m hearing this question more and more often from my female clients. They complain that too many of the men they’re communicating with online never get around to asking for their phone number or asking them out on a date. This can be extremely frustrating because we want a man to be strong and assertive, and we don’t feel like we should have to take the lead.

So, what do we do?

We can start by having a little compassion for the dudes. With online dating it’s really hard for men to gauge if a woman is ready to pass along her digits. That being said, your initial messages aren’t supposed to be used as a way of getting to know everything about each other. You can do that once you meet and you see if there’s an attraction. There are so many people using apps and online dating sites today that you need to separate yourself from the crowd by creating enough interest and excitement to get someone to want to meet you in person.

The way to do that is by being playful and a little mysterious. Sending your number and asking a guy to call you isn’t very original or challenging. Instead, try writing something like, “I bet if you asked for my number, I’d give it to you!” If you want to be even more playful, you could say, “If you think I’m this fun over email, imagine how much fun I would be on the phone :)” And if you’re feeling really bold, you could say, “The suspense is killing me! Ask for my number already :)” Trust me: as long as you phrase it as a challenge and you make your message sound provocative and inviting, any guy in his right mind will take the bait!

If you’re struggling with how to be playful on or offline and you need some guidance, book a consult with me to see how I can help you find the exciting, fun-loving man of your dreams!

The Rules are for Fools

Are You Your Own Worst Frenemy?

Are You Your Own Worst Frenemy?

Are you Your Own Worst Frenemy?

Sylvia’s Story

Six months ago, I was in a coaching session with my client, Sylvia. A guy she had been emailing on Match and hadn’t heard from in a few weeks had popped up out of the blue. “Hey,” he wrote. “What happened to you?” 

“Did you email him back???” I asked. I was excited to see someone she’d been communicating with was trying to reconnect with her.  Sylvia had been having a hard time getting dates from guys she liked. 

“No. I’m not emailing him back,” Sylvia declared, looking at me like I was out of my mind. “I wrote him last and then he stopped communicating with me. He’s got a lot of nerve implying I was the one who dropped the ball.”

Really? I replied, “What’s the difference? He reached out. Can’t you just play along? You have a long email history with the guy. It seems like you were into him at some point.”

I went on to suggest that she write him something playful like:

“Actually, you never answered my last email and I was wondering what happened to you! So, where do we go from here? Ill give you a little hint: if you ask me for my number, I just might give it to you ☺”

Yeah, I dont think so, she insisted. Why should I make it easy for him? I want a guy whos excited about me and pursues me.

My female clients say this all the time; they want men to chase them, but what they really do is make them jump through too many hoops. If a guy makes one misstep—it can be something as simple as dropping the thread of communication for a couple of days or failing to ask them a question about themselves in an email exchange—these women will write the man off, claiming he didn’t seem like he was interested.

Sylvia was missing the point. This guy had reached out to her. Maybe he didn’t use the best approach, but he was trying to get the communication flowing again. When it comes to online dating and two people haven’t even met, it doesn’t matter who wrote the last email. People have busy lives and they get distracted. What’s more, most people are communicating with several different people at the same time and it’s easy to lose track of who you’re writing to. You need to take it all with a grain of salt.

The bottom line is that Sylvia is not dating naked. She’s taking things personally and putting up walls, walls that no man in his right mind is going to work that hard to get through, especially if he hasn’t even met her yet! As long as her Frenemy (read Inner Bitch) is calling the shots and she’s being defensive and closed off, no one will pursue her. I tried everything I could to convince her to write this guy back, even just for practice, but she wouldn’t budge.

Maya’s Story

Interestingly enough, the day after my session with Sylvia, I coached another client, Maya, on the same issue. Maya had also been emailing with a guy who’d stopped writing and then resurfaced a few weeks later. Even though they’d only exchanged a handful of emails, Maya was worried she might have said something to turn him off. By the time we met, Maya was feeling rejected and her Frenemy had put up a wall to protect her. Like Sylvia, she felt that if a man was excited and wanted to pursue her, he wouldn’t have let the communication drop.

Maya’s Frenemy had convinced her that she shouldn’t respond to the email, so she was shocked to hear what I had to say. Before she made any rash decisions, I encouraged her to write him a playful message asking where he’d disappeared to. After all, what did she have to lose?

Maya hesitated, but then she took my advice. “I really hear what you’re saying,” she told me. “You’re telling me to keep an open mind and give people the benefit of the doubt. I need to be more playful and ease up on men; I can be so hard on them. I guess I’m just afraid of getting hurt again, so I push them away before they can reject me. Even if this isn’t the perfect guy for me, I really do need to practice opening up and asking for what I want.”

That evening I got an email from Maya saying that she had not only written to the man we’d talked about, but she’d also sent a playful email to another man who she had stopped writing. Both guys wrote her back immediately, and an hour later she had not one but two dates lined up for the weekend. It’s been a few weeks now and she’s already been out with the first guy five times. Imagine what Maya would have missed out on if she had followed her initial knee jerk reaction and written him off for not making a move?

Fear of being exposed

So, back to Sylvia. Want to know what happened with her? When she had first started coaching with me, she told me about all the self-help books she’d read and how hard she’d worked to get to a place where she liked herself. After our session, she wrote me a long, defensive email reminding me about all the work she’d already done on herself and saying that she didn’t feel she needed to change. Then she went on to reiterate why she was right in not emailing back the guy. To me it was clear that she was guarded. She didn’t really want to put herself out there. Dating can be risky: what if she got rejected and found out that she was going to have to do more work on herself before she would be ready to get into a relationship?

At this point, there was nothing left for me to say. She had come to me for coaching because some part of her knew she was getting in her own way. Unfortunately, she was still terrified of rejection, and rather than risk getting hurt, her Frenemy was putting up an even bigger wall. So, in the end, I could see that her sense of self wasn’t nearly as solid as she wanted to believe. 

In Zen Buddhism, there’s a concept called beginner’s mind; it’s the idea that you approach every situation from a place of openness and curiosity, and with a willingness to learn something new. A quote relating to that concept kept running through my head as I read Sylvia’s email: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” Sylvias inner Frenemy was the consummate expert and it wasnt going to budge at least not on my watch.

Are you a Sylvia or a Maya?

When you find yourself getting reactive and your Frenemy is telling you to cut off communication with someone you’ve been talking to online, see if you can let go a little, stop jumping to conclusions, and look at the situation with a beginner’s mind. There’s nothing to be lost by giving someone the benefit of the doubt. If you want things to change, you are going to have to stop listening to your Frenemy, take some risks, and be willing to give more people a chance. Ask yourself: do you want to date like Sylvia or like Maya? I promise you, Maya is getting a lot more dates, she’s having a lot more fun, and she’s going to meet someone… or, maybe she already has!

Are you having trouble opening up and giving people a chance? Book a free consultation with me and see how I can help you take down your walls and start dating with a beginner’s mind!

Are You Your Own Worst Frenemy

Screw the Chase

Screw the ChaseScrew the Chase:

Why sleeping with a man shouldn’t be about the “hot pursuit”

If you listen to most of the dating advice out there, the answer is yes: a man will lose interest if you don’t play hard to get. But, while it’s true that some guys may lose interest, this shouldn’t be your primary concern when deciding whether you’re ready to sleep with someone.

In my 13 years as a dating coach, I’ve seen it all. I’ve had clients who dated men who had no intention of getting into a relationship and pushed for sex. I’ve also had clients who dated men who wouldn’t sleep with them right away because they said they were interested in pursuing a relationship and wanted to get to know them first. I have male clients who say they don’t lose respect for women who have sex with them right away, and I’ve read countless studies that suggest having sex early on doesn’t necessarily diminish the odds of having a relationship.

In one such study, Dean Busby, of Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life, surveyed 2,035 heterosexual married individuals with an average age of 36. Forty percent of the participants reported sleeping with their spouses within the first two dates… so clearly, many men aren’t just in it for the chase.

So, what should you be thinking about?

At the end of the day, the smartest thing a woman can do is to avoid playing games or following someone else’s rules, and start thinking about what’s in her own best interest. So, maybe it’s time you stop worrying about what a man is going to think of you and start taking yourself into consideration. What makes you feel appreciated, respected, and secure?

This might not apply to you, but most women say they feel more secure in a relationship when they wait to sleep with a man. They feel that if a guy is willing to wait for sex and spend time getting to know them first, it shows a certain level of maturity and she feels valued as a person. In fact, there are many statistics that show that when couples wait to have sex and establish a deep friendship first, they form a stronger emotional bond that can stand the test of time.

Good things come to those who wait!

You may have heard me say this before, but I encourage my clients—men and women alike—to wait between one to three months before having sex.

This isn’t because of what your date will think of you, it’s because you need to take the time to get to know someone before you sleep with him. It’s naïve to think you can know someone in a few hours or a few days. Something else to consider is that having sex too soon can create a false sense of intimacy. Even though pillow talk feels deep, it only seems so because you’re naked… and because you just had sex! Your body is literally flooded with hormones that are designed to make you feel a strong biological connection to the person lying next to you.

In the 13 years I’ve been coaching, every client—male and female—who took my advice and waited to have sex has come back and told me they were glad they did. It changed everything for them. Not one person regretted waiting.

No matter what your body is telling you, I encourage you to take the time to get to know someone before you jump into bed. If you really want a meaningful, lasting relationship, it’s wise to slow down and get emotionally naked first. The sex will be that much better.

There’s a Big Difference Between Being too Picky and Having High Standards

There's a big difference between being too picky and having high standards

There’s a Big Difference Between Being too Picky and Having High Standards

 

He Lost Me at Marie Calendar’s

I once had a guy take me to Marie Calendar’s on a first date. It could have been a Sizzler or Chili’s or The Olive Garden. For some people this wouldn’t be a big deal, but they’re just not the kind of places I hang. It wasn’t about money; it was about originality. A cute ramen noodle shop or a hip hamburger joint would have been fine by me. Some people would think I was being shallow for rejecting a man on this one criterion alone, but there’s a big difference between being too picky and having high standards. I knew for certain that Mr. Marie Calendar’s wasn’t my guy. I’m not a chicken potpie kind of girl and I never will be!

When I told this story to a client yesterday who is dating and struggling to figure out if her own standards are too high, she was shocked. “You didn’t want to see him again just because he took you to Marie Calendar’s?” she inquired.

“Yep,” I replied, confidently.

“But don’t you think you were being too picky?” she asked. “What if he had all the other qualities you were looking for? Wasn’t it superficial to write him off just because of his choice of restaurants? I mean shouldn’t you have given him another chance?”

“No. He was a sweet guy, but it was obvious to me that our taste was very different and I knew it wouldn’t work. I feel that, on a first date, someone is trying to make a good impression and his choice of restaurants says a lot about his preferences. It shows his taste and style. The evening was pleasant and I was appreciative that he treated me to dinner, but I knew we weren’t a match.”

When you’re dating, it’s important to trust your gut, draw your lines, and stick to them. It would have been the same situation if my date had told me his idea of a great vacation was going on a Princess Cruise. I went on one once and it’s not something I ever want to do again. There are plenty of people out there who enjoy Princess Cruises: just not me.

Narrowing the field

You need to look for a partner whose values align with yours. For that to happen, you need to know what’s important to you and take a stand for it. Asking for what you want doesn’t mean you’re being too demanding, but keep in mine that each time you add another criteria to your list, it will narrow your dating field a little (or—in some cases—a lot) more.

Recently, while attending an eHarmony luncheon, Grant Langston, Vice President and head of Brand Marketing, addressed this issue. He gave the example that, if you want to date someone who doesn’t drink alcohol, it will cut your dating pool by 75%. This might seem like a lot, but if you don’t drink alcohol and you don’t want to be around it, then you need to draw that line. If you aren’t attracted to men who are bald or stocky or actors or high school grads, you don’t have to date them. Just know that each non-negotiable on your list will cut away another chunk of the pie, and you might only be left with a sliver.

It’s important to set your standards as high as you feel necessary, but if you find fault with everyone you date, then your friends are rightyou’re being “too picky.” When I was dating, I didn’t find fault with everyone. There were plenty of people I liked very much and that I was willing to date. Those relationships didn’t work out for a variety of reasons, but not because my standards were too high.

When no one is good enough

If your standards are impossibly high and no one can reach them, it might be because you’re afraid of the very thing you claim to be looking for: a serious relationship.

You might actually be looking for shortcomings and flaws in your dates as a means of protecting yourself from disappointment or rejection. If no one meets your standards, then you’ll never have to enter into a serious relationship. If you never enter into a serious relationship, you’ll never get hurt. It’s self-sabotage at its best.

There is a difference between having high standards and being too picky, and only you can answer that question for yourself. You have to gauge if you’re being discerning or if you’re being fearful. At the end of the day, you get to set the bar wherever you see fit. Just remember that you need to be true to yourself and your values and know that it might take time and patience to find the love of your life. If you have the courage to stand for what you want and keep dating, you might not just find someone who meets your expectations, but who exceeds them. I did.

Are you afraid you’ll never meet someone who meets your standards? Book a consultation and see how I can help you work through your blocks and find love.

He Lost Me at Marie Calendar's

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