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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

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 #1 – Meeting your soul mate could feel very different than you think

Naked Truth #1 – Meeting your soul mate could feel very different than you think

Naked Truth #1 – Meeting your soul mate could feel very different than you think

When I met my husband for the first time, he was a complete surprise—not an unexpected surprise, but a quiet one. I had arrived at the restaurant early. In fact, he had gotten lost and was at least 20 minutes late for our date. I was seated at the bar, and he walked over to me, took my hand in his, and said, “It is so nice to meet you.” The moment I lifted my gaze to meet his, I knew the meaning of the phrase, “The eyes are the windows to the soul.” I was staring into the eyes of the kindest person I had ever met. In that naked moment, he revealed himself to me and I to him. As someone who usually felt anxious on first dates, I was totally at ease.

The feeling I had that night, staring into the eyes of my future husband, took me by surprise. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. There were no fireworks or fanfare. I didn’t feel butterflies in my stomach or light as air. Truth be told, I’d felt those things before… with my ex- husband, and 12 years later, I was asking for a divorce. This was different. It was like I’d come home and I was finally where I belonged.

So many people are stuck on the idea that when they meet the person they’re meant to spend the rest of their lives with, they’ll experience this overwhelming rush of adrenaline and excitement—that weak-in-the-knees feeling they talk about in movies. And when they don’t have that experience on the first couple of dates, they’re ready to write that person off convinced that he or she isn’t “the one.” But if you talk to people who are in loving, committed relationships, they’ll often say meeting their mate didn’t feel overwhelming or like some out-of-body experience—it just felt right. They will also say they didn’t fall for their partner overnight; their feelings came on slowly, and it wasn’t until weeks or months into dating that they realized they’d met someone they could spend the rest of their lives with.

So, if there are no butterflies or fireworks on a first date, how can you possibly know whether a person has the potential to be “the one?” Here are a few suggestions:

First, you need to see if you can find a handful of qualities you really admire about your date. When I first met my husband, I could see that he was kind, accomplished, present, self-aware, and generous, among other things. He was clearly a very special person, but he was also completely different from other men I’d dated. I honestly didn’t have a clue how we would fit together as a couple. I felt like I was in unknown territory. But just because it didn’t feel familiar didn’t mean it wasn’t right… which leads me to my second suggestion:

If someone you’re dating has some admirable qualities and is not like the people you usually date, you need to give him or her a real chance. If you’re like most people, you haven’t chosen the best partners in the past, which is why you’re still dating. To find the right person, you need to get out of your own way and date people who break the mold.

Third, with each date you should feel like you are learning more about each other and growing closer. This can take some time, so pay attention and tune in to subtle shifts in your feelings. Maybe you find that you can’t stop thinking about the cute gap between her teeth or how calls his grandmother every Sunday. It can takes time to develop a real friendship with someone new… and if you really think about it, a partner is actually a best friend that you have sex with.

If you met someone new and he or she hasn’t blown you away just yet, keep in mind that dating is a journey of the heart, but a racing heart isn’t always the best indication of a good match. If you’re out in the dating world, I encourage you to let go of your wild fantasies and expectations, get out of your own way, and give people more of a chance. Who knows? Your soul mate could be hiding in plain sight, and it’s only a matter of time before that person comes into focus.

Are you struggling with dating? Book a coaching consultation and see how I can help!

Naked Truth #1 – Meeting your soul mate could feel very different than you think

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.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Slow and Stead Wins the Race

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

The other day, my client Tracy came in for a session. We had been working together for a few months. She was getting a great response online, going on lots of dates, but she hadn’t met anyone that she was excited about… until Charlie.

“Lisa, we had the most amazing date,” she exclaimed, her eyes practically rolling back in her head as she sunk into the chair. “He isn’t like other men I’ve met. He’s so sweet… and handsome… and successful… and the chemistry is OFF. THE. CHARTS.”

“Oh boy,” I thought to myself, “here we go again.”

There was no denying it: Tracy was drunk on lust, and she certainly wasn’t the first client of mine who’d taken that drink. It killed me to have to be the one to put a damper on her enthusiasm and remind her to slow down, but that’s what she was paying me for: to be the ultimate buzz kill. But seriously, I like to think of myself as the voice of reason.

So, let’s be reasonable. When you go on a first date with someone who makes your body tingle from head to toe and your brain run in endless little circles of excitement, you need to remind yourself to s l o w down, breathe, and proceed with caution. Think about this: It’s a big leap from, “Oh my God, we have so much in common and the chemistry is so intense!” to “Let’s get married, make babies, and spend the rest of our lives together.”

When I was younger, I would completely spin out when I met someone I liked. He would be all I could think about. Fourteen years ago, when I posted my profile and pictures on an online dating site for the first time, I had a little talk with myself. “Lisa,” I said, “you are done rushing into relationships. It doesn’t work. No matter how much chemistry and connection you feel with someone, you cannot truly know a man on a first date or a second date or, even, a third.” At the end of every date with someone I found attractive, I would remind myself, “Lisa’s, he’s a nice guy AND you don’t know him.”

When I met my future husband, I spent two hours staring into the kindest eyes I had ever seen. I could tell that he was someone very special and he seemed to be enamored with me, as well. Still, as I drove the few blocks from the restaurant back home to my apartment, I reminded myself, “That was one of the kindest men you’ve ever met AND you don’t know him.” I had been on dates with men who seemed wonderful in the moment, only to never hear from them again and I’d learned not to get ahead of myself.

It takes time for two people to really get to know each other, to know each other’s hopes, dreams, and fears. Most importantly, it takes time to discover the places where you both clash and draw your lines. Some people say that you don’t really start to know someone until you’ve had your first argument. I agree that the first fight is usually the turning point where most relationships start to get real. I am not a big believer in fireworks and love at first sight. In my 12 years as a dating coach I have seen almost all of these magic encounters burn out as quickly as they started.

Most people want to feel wowed when they meet their soul mate, but there are no shortcuts to creating a real love that will last. Slow and steady wins the race. I know this sounds boring, but take it from a woman who will be celebrating her twelfth wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks. Think about it: if you’re really going to spend the rest of your life with someone, what’s the hurry?

 

Are you having trouble taking your time during the dating process and need some advice? Book a free consultation and see how I can help!

Don’t Fall Victim to These 6 Dating Traps

Don't Fall Victim to these 6 Dating Traps

Don’t Fall Victim to these 6 Dating Traps

A lot of current dating advice seems to encourage women to play games and dumb themselves down in order to attract a man—don’t be too available, don’t initiate, don’t return his calls, don’t be anxious, don’t be too independent… If I had been reading some of this stuff when I dated fifteen years ago, I don’t know if I ever would have gone out on a single date!

When I dated fifteen years ago, I was getting my master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology and I was involved in some other spiritually based programs. So, I saw the dating process as an extension of the spiritual journey I was on. Instead of pondering the differences between men and women, I viewed every date as a chance to become more open and vulnerable with men–even if I never saw the guy again. I practiced being grateful, kind, playful, positive, warm, and diplomatic–all qualities a man would find attractive.

At first glance, some of what I’ve written below might not sound all that different from what you’ve read elsewhere, but read it carefully. Most of what I am saying isn’t about what to do or not do on a date; it has to do with the mindset you have while dating. We create what we focus on. So, it is important to set the right intentions for yourself as you date. If what you’re focusing on is getting a big ring, that’s what you’ll attract. If you focus on finding a passionate, unconditionally loving relationship, that’s what you will attract. I am not saying you can’t have both, but you need to be clear about your intentions. You need to be honest with yourself about what you’re seeking and why you’re seeking it or you just might wind up with a chunk of ice on your finger and a hole in your heart. My suggestion is this: focus on attracting unconditional love and everything else will fall into place!

#1: If you just go out on enough dates, you will eventually meet the right person

If you’ve got issues and baggage that you haven’t dealt with, it’s not going to bring you any closer to the kind of relationship you’re truly looking for. The real goal with dating is to keep evolving; it’s not about repeating the same thing over and over again expecting different results, but coming back from each date and being honest with yourself. I encourage my clients to ask themselves questions after each date, such as “What did I learn about myself?” “What did I learn about dating?” “How can I start opening up with my dates and become more emotionally naked and vulnerable?” Use the dating process as an opportunity to grow and evolve, so that when you do meet the right person you’ll be ready.

#2: A man will lose respect for a woman if she sleeps with him right away

Many men say that, if they’re really into a woman, they don’t care how soon they have sex. The real reason not to sleep together early on is because sex gets in the way of building emotional intimacy, and this is the most important part of any relationship. Most people don’t know how to open up and be vulnerable with someone they are attracted to. They are afraid that, if someone they’re dating sees something he or she doesn’t like, the person will leave. So, they have sex instead. I encourage both men and women to wait to have sex so that they can learn how to get emotionally naked first. Vulnerability is what will lead to deeper intimacy and ultimately keep two people together in the long run. It will also lead to better and more connected sex.

#3: Let the man be the man

Men aren’t from Mars and women aren’t from Venus. We’re both from planet Earth. We actually want the same things; we just go about getting our needs met differently. We both want safety, trust, good communication, compassion (and passion), and empathy. When I was dating, I was never burdened by concerns about whether I was being “feminine enough” or “letting the man be the man.” The question I always asked myself was, “Is my behavior attractive?” Was I being anxious, overbearing, controlling, self absorbed…? These behaviors are unattractive, and they have nothing to do with being a man or a woman. It is important to note that the answers men and women get when they ask the question, “Is this attractive behavior?” will be different. What a man will feel is attractive (or unattractive) behavior for him and what a woman thinks is attractive behavior for her are not the same. As they keep exploring this question, their natural feminine or masculine tendencies will start to emerge.

#4: To attract an alpha male you have to be a passive female

There is an endless stream of information telling women that the way to make men feel feel empowered is to stop being strong and assertive and start being passive and submissive. The problem is that women are no longer stuck in the house raising babies. They are taking over universities and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 40 percent of working wives currently out-earn their husbands. Even if a woman wants to take a more passive role, it’s getting harder and harder to do so. When a woman is in charge of an entire team of people at work, its ludicrous to think that she should have to sit around and wait for a man to make the first move. That’s exactly what Whitney Wolfe thought when she invented Bumble, the first dating APP where single women initiate contact with single men. There is a difference between being a strong and independent woman and being controlling or domineering. A truly confidant man will find a strong, capable woman attractive. He won’t try to clip her wings or hold her back so that he can feel like the dominant one in the relationship. He also won’t mind when the check comes for dinner and she says, “This one’s on me!”

#5: There are rules for dating

There are no rules for dating and there is no one size fits all strategy. Some people are not assertive and they have to learn how to be more so, some people are very aggressive and they need to learn to tone it down. As you embark on this quest to find unconditional love it’s all about finding out what works for you and focusing on the change you need to make to be a better person—and, eventually, a better partner. My advice for one client might be very different than my advice to another. What I’m trying to do is get people in touch with their own personal truths and help them start living authentically from that place so they can attract the kind of partner who is right for them. The truth is that you can’t live by someone else’s rules in life or in dating. You have to learn to trust and follow your own heart.

#6: Dating is about getting someone to commit

The focus of dating should not be on getting a ring or getting someone to commit. Yes, eventually you want to get into a committed relationship, but first you need to get to know someone and see if you’re a good match. People today have instant gratification syndrome. They want everything, NOW! But it doesn’t work that way. There is no fast track when it comes to relationships. Slow is fast. I truly believe dating is an exercise in learning how to let go and not take things so personally. It’s about learning to accept other people, letting go of your judgments, blocks, and barriers, and becoming a more open, loving person. Take it from me—I went on almost 100 first dates before I met the love of my life. Patience truly is a virtue! As you become a more open, loving person, you will attract the love you want. In the meantime, stop focusing on the outcome and start using the dating process as an opportunity to grow.

 

 

Are you struggling with dating and need advice? Book a consultation and see how I can help!

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28 Things Every Woman Wishes Her Man Knew

28 things every woman wishes her man knew

28 Things Every Woman Wishes Her Man Knew

Let’s face it: women are way more confusing than men. We expect you to know the answers to questions we aren’t even sure of. Sometimes, figuring us out can seem as impossible as trying to solve a Rubix Cube blindfolded. This week, we thought we would throw you dirty dogs a bone and give you the Cliffs Notes to understanding women. Here are 28 things every woman wishes her man knew about her. If you think these are tough, you should see the 5,098 other tips we left on the cutting room floor!

  1. We never get to the point. Is there a point?
  1. We’re emotional. Deal with it.
  1. Silence is torture for most of us. The majority of women are talkers.
  1. We never get tired of hearing how good we look.
  1. Beyoncé was channeling the divine truth when she sang the words, “If you want it you better put a ring on it.”
  1. If you want to be guaranteed to get some at the end of the night, you gotta ratchet up the romance.
  1. We drop hints about the things we want you to do for us all the time… and we love a guy who picks up on them.
  1. Sending flowers can only make up for so much… then you need to send those little blue boxes, the kind that say “Tiffany & Co.” on them.
  1. Flowers on anniversaries and birthdays are to be expected, but smart guys send anytime with notes that say, “Just because I love you.” You score extra points if you send them to our office where all our coworkers can see them.
  1. Texting is fine, but if we’re into you, we would love you to pick up the phone so we can hear your voice.
  1. It’s easy to find younger women attractive, but what we really want to hear is how you think women get more beautiful as they get older.
  1. If you lock your phone or put it face down in front of us, it’s just going to make us curious.
  1. Men who can cook are sexy.
  1. We don’t respect a man who will let us walk all over him, and we can sense it from a mile away.
  1. A lot of us still think you should make the first move… and pay for dinner, especially while you’re courting us.
  1. Most of the time, we aren’t looking for answers. We just want you to listen and tell us everything will be okay.
  1. We will never think your burp and fart jokes are funny.
  1. We want to feel protected. We expect you to call us after a fight, even if we started it.
  1. If we’re in a relationship and we try to push you away, we really don’t want you to go. We you want you to fight for us.
  1. We tell you how strong and independent we are, but we really don’t want to be that that way that with you.
  1. I know we make it look easy, but looking this good takes time. Don’t rush us when we have a mascara wand in our hand.
  1. No matter how many clothes are in the closet, we’ll never have anything to wear.
  1. We will never own enough pretty, sparkly things.
  1. If you don’t want us to act like your mother, start acting like a man.
  1. PMS is a real thing, but some of us have been known to use it our advantage.
  1. The “Hallmark” of a great guy is one that knows his way around a greeting card.
  1. Don’t take it personally if you can’t get us off. It’s not as easy for us as it is for you.
  1. Also try not to take it so personally when we turn you down. We might be PMS-ing or we might be feeling fat. Sometimes we just can’t face the one-eyed monster.

 

I’m sure you could tell us a thing or two about what men would like us to know about them… if we would just let you get a word in edgewise! 😉

 

Are you having trouble connecting with the opposite sex? Book a free consultation with me today.

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You Might Need to Shape Up Before You Shack Up

Couple Taking A Break During House Move

You Might Need to Shape Up Before You Shack Up

When two people are totally crazy about each other, the idea of living together can seem wildly romantic. I mean, how could you not want to wake up next to the person you love every morning and fall asleep in his arms every night? But a lot of my couples tell me that they moved in together before really thinking it through—and my assistant, Sara, is no exception. If you’re anything like Sara, you might need to shape up before you shack up!

It seems like yesterday Sara couldn’t stop talking about moving in with her boyfriend. She thought she was ready to make this big move, but she quickly found out she had a lot to learn. The first couple of weeks were amazing. She told me about how they cooked yummy meals together, bought plants for every room, and left sweet notes for one another around the house. It all seemed perfect.

But a couple of weeks later, when she showed up to work, the happy glow was gone… and I mean it had disappeared. Apparently, she and her boyfriend, Luke, had their first big fight the night before—and things had gotten pretty ugly. Luke had become jealous over one of her exes who was in town and wanted to get together with her. Sara couldn’t believe that Luke was making such a big deal over this guy. Their relationship had barely been a blip on her radar and it had happened years ago. Luke was being ridiculous and acting like a baby all week. Sara was sick of tiptoeing around him. One night after they’d had a few drinks, she confronted Luke and he exploded. They wound up arguing late into the night. Sara said that her first instinct was to grab her things and leave, but then she realized that she had nowhere to go. She was already home.

“I feel gutted,” she told me the day after it happened, sounding confused and defeated. “I love him so much, but I wonder if we rushed into things. Neither of us wound up sleeping on the couch that night, but now I’m wondering if we were really prepared to move in together.”

With time—and a few coaching tips from me—Sara and Luke were able to talk through their differences and create an even stronger bond. Sara realized that living in close proximity with someone she loves requires a lot more maturity than she’d originally thought. Here are her four takeaways for those of you who are thinking about shacking up with your significant other:

  1. Step away from the Chardonnay…

“Contrary to popular belief, the best time to talk about an issue or problem is not after you’ve a had a few drinks. I don’t know if you’re like me, but that’s when I tend to want to talk about things the most. My inhibitions are lowered and I’m not afraid to say what’s on my mind… which is the exactly the problem. Looking back on that night, I said some pretty awful things to Luke, things I wished I could have taken back in the light of day. In Luke’s defense, he had asked me to wait until the morning when we were sober and could talk about things more rationally. What I learned from that night is that I need to be smart about conflict—I can’t always avoid it, but I can avoid making matters worse by adding alcohol (or anything else that might impair my judgment) to the mix.” 

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff…

“My boyfriend can’t stand it when I leave little toothpaste globs in the sink. I, on the other hand, feel like murdering him when he leaves his stinky gym shoes smack in the middle of the living room floor—I mean, is he trying to kill me, or what!? Pesky as these habits are, they aren’t deal breakers. If something is truly bothering me, I need to mention it, but I am also learning that, both Luke and I have to accept each other’s foibles. Now, when I see his sneakers lying on the floor, I laugh and chuck them in the closet. I’ve also begun to notice that someone other than me is keeping the sink cleaner. The moral of this story is that, when you move in with your partner, you’re going to see it all: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the just plain annoying—and you are going to have to learn to live with a lot of it.”

  1. It’s not all about you… anymore

“When I was on my own, I didn’t have tell anyone my whereabouts or check in before making plans. I was on my own schedule. If I came home at 3:00 am, it didn’t matter. No one was waiting up for me. If a friend said, “Let’s grab dinner,” I would just go. When I moved in with Luke, I started feeling resentful when he made comments about how much time I spent with friends. At first, I thought he was being controlling, but then I realized he just wanted to be with me. I had never lived with a guy before and I’d never had to consider someone else’s feelings in this way. The truth is that he loves how social I am and that I have close friends. He just wants to be my #1 and that’s what I want, too.”

  1. Curb your inner bitch…

“This wasn’t the first fight Luke and I had, it was just the first one we had as roommates. While recovering from a big fight can take time, it didn’t feel right to keep holding on to my anger and resentment towards Luke. The next day we sat down and talked honestly and calmly about what happened. With clearer heads, we were able to listen to what the other had to say and realize that there was truth to both sides. The sting of the fight didn’t go away immediately, but we both saw that our relationship is more important than our need to be right. I wish that argument hadn’t happened, but I’m proud of the way we worked through the conflict and used it to bring us closer together.”

 

Moving in together is an important step in any relationship, and not one to be taken lightly. As much as you might want to prepare for what lies ahead, there are always going to be surprises. Any two people moving in together have to learn how compromise and make adjustments so both people feel comfortable. As for Sara, she and Luke are still figuring each other out and learning as they go along. It’s equal parts scary and exciting, but that’s the beauty of building intimacy in a relationship… and Sara says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you would like help with any of your dating and relationship issues, book a consultation 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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