Archives

LOVE

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s what I told her:

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

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

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

 

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

Naked Truth: Is Someone You Love Pushing You Away?

Naked Truth: Is Someone You Love Pushing You Away?

Naked Truth: Is Someone You Love Pushing You Away?

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

Thanks,

Rick

 

Hi Rick,

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

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

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

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

Warmly,

Lisa

 

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

Naked Truth: Protect Your Marriage at All Costs

Naked Truth: Protect Your Marriage at All Costs

Naked Truth: Protect Your Marriage at All Costs

Hi Lisa. I am happily married to an incredible woman. Recently, several women from my past decided to walk back into my life after 20 years. How do I get them to back off before they jeopardize my marriage? The ring and paper don’t seem to be enough, and they don’t seem to be respecting traditional boundaries.

-Will

 

Hi Will,

Thanks for reaching out! The single most important person in your life should be your wife, and you need to do everything you can to protect the sacred bond the two of you share. You say these women “walked back into your life,” but I don’t think they just walked in. You had to have let them in. My guess is that you haven’t been clear enough with these women or that you are still trying to be nice and polite so you don’t hurt their feelings. I see this a lot with my male clients. The problem is, if you don’t take care of this, someone else is going to get hurt… and that someone is probably going to be your incredible wife. If these women aren’t respecting your boundaries, I would dispense with any niceties and tell them—in no uncertain terms—that you are flattered they are thinking of you, but that you are happily married and won’t respond to any further attempts on their part to contact you. Hope that helps!

Warmly,

Lisa

Is someone threatening your relationship? Book a consultation with me and see how I can help!

Naked Truth: Protect Your Marriage at All Costs

 

The Male-Female Dynamic

The Male-Female Dynamic

The Male-Female Dynamic:

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

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

Few things can be more frustrating or painful.

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

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

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

 

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

The Male-Female Dynamic

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

What I Learned from Cooking with my Boyfriend

What I Learned from Cooking with my Boyfriend

What I Learned from Cooking with my Boyfriend

My guest blogger this week is my lovely assistant, Tara. In this post, she shares some wisdom from the kitchen! -Lisa

Eight months ago, I took the plunge and moved in with my boyfriend of a year. Robby is the first (and, fingers crossed, last) guy I’ve ever lived with, and he just-so-happens to be a great cook. Admittedly, I have his ex to thank for that. They were together for eight years, and in that time she whipped him into the domestic god he is today so I might reap the benefits… and a few extra pounds. I raise a glass to her with every teeming plate of pasta al limone, miso glazed salmon, and juicy ribeye he puts in front of me.

Suffice to say, my guy knows his way around the kitchen—and, to his credit, ours is not an easy one to get around. Our building dates to the 1930s, and aside from the deep, farmhouse sink, it’s hard to find much charm in the lack of counter space, not to mention total absence of a dishwasher or garbage disposal. Yet Robby manages to excel against all odds. He moves around the kitchen like a pro, with authority and confidence, and sometimes it takes everything in me to refrain from jumping him mid-sauté on our ever-so-unfortunate linoleum floor.

I, on the other hand, don’t fare so well. I overcook pasta, I forget to prep, and most recently, chose the wrong sized pan while attempting jambalaya and stood in the middle of the kitchen, helpless and on the verge of tears, as I watched our supper spew over like molten lava. Robby chops veggies with the ease of a well-oiled machine; it takes me a good ten minutes to julienne a carrot. In fact, before I met Robby, I didn’t even know what it meant to julienne a carrot. 

In my defense, I spent a significant number of my adult years in New York before moving back to L.A., and let’s just say The Big Apple didn’t bode well for my culinary development. Aside from the occasional Thai delivery, all of my meals were consumed outside the apartment— and with good reason. The closest Trader Joe’s was a dozen subway stops away, and I didn’t want to wake the cockroaches.

My (Drunken) Inner Jewish Mother

Regardless of my lack of experience in the kitchen, something about cohabitation struck a domestic chord in me, and almost as soon as I’d unpacked my last box, I found myself overcome by the urge to feed my man. In other words, my Inner Jewish Mother took over. Unfortunately for Robby and me, my Inner Jewish Mother has the culinary skills of a twelve-year-old after guzzling an entire bottle of Manischevtiz. 

Robby was sympathetic to my ineptitude. He found my remedial veggie chopping endearing, especially because I do it as a lefty. But I imagine my clumsiness in the kitchen would challenge anyone’s patience, and Robby’s quickly waned. When I attempted to sauté onions, he’d tinker with the flame on the burner to make sure I wouldn’t char the pan. When he saw me struggling to peel garlic, he’d grab a knife and explain how much easier it is to get the skin off when you crush the cloves first… and then he’d mince it for me.

Most of my early attempts at cooking would end with me stomping out of the kitchen and plopping myself down on the living room sofa, angry and dejected, while he finished preparing the meal. Sometimes shouting would be involved, and I once threw an heirloom tomato at the wall out of frustration. In the end, the food would taste wonderful, but I would feel ashamed of my amateurish skills and resentful of Robby’s having taken over. While I don’t ascribe to the motto “a woman’s place is in the kitchen,” I hated feeling like I didn’t have a place in there at all.

Romanesco and an Epiphany

For awhile, I just stayed out. I watched from the dining room table, some combination of envy and bitterness boiling up inside of me, as Robby peeled and diced and sautéed, our apartment filling with the aroma of onions and garlic… a smell I came to associate with my own inadequacy. At the local Farmers Market, which we frequent together every Sunday, I would lose myself in the rows of fresh produce and imagine a day when we might live as equals in the kitchen, julienning organic carrots side by side. Then, on one of these trips, while staring at a particularly stunning array of romanesco, I had an epiphany: if I wanted to feel like an equal in the relationship, I had to learn to hold my own in the kitchen. 

Food was such a central part of our lives that my culinary woes felt as grave as trust issues or sexual dysfunction. I knew I had to step it up. I couldn’t keep deferring to Robby when I found myself struggling in the kitchen just because I knew he was a better cook. And I couldn’t keep letting him taking over, no matter how desperate my drunken Inner Jewish Mother was for a reprieve. If it took me ten minutes to julienne a carrot, then it took me ten minutes to julienne a carrot, goddamnit!

Sous Chef at Best

And so I made a rule, and I drew a line. When I was cooking, Robby wasn’t allowed anywhere near the kitchen. There would be no exceptions. If I had a question, I’d Google it. And if things got out of hand, there was always a fire extinguisher in the hallway. I managed alright, and slowly but surely, my skills began improving. But with each mediocre dish I made, I had the sneaking suspicion that something wasn’t right. I thought having the kitchen to myself would feel empowering; that all the sweat and toil would payoff when I set that plate of food down in front of the man I loved and felt the satisfaction of knowing I was fulfilling my womanly duties. The trouble is, I wasn’t having any fun. And the feeling I got setting that plate down on the table was never as gratifying as I had hoped. Mostly, I just felt insecure, tense, and exhausted. I was trying to play the role of master chef, but I was a sous at best.

Room for Two

Regardless of its scant dimensions, I knew deep down there was room in the kitchen for both of us. I peeled back the yellow tape, and I let Robby back in. Instead of continuing to let myself be intimidated by his culinary prowess and judging myself for my inferiority, I tried embracing it. I mean, how lucky was I to have a man who could satisfy me in the bedroom and the kitchen? I let Robby take the lead, and I quickly realized that playing sous chef wasn’t as bad as I’d made it out to be.

Since that fateful night, I’ve cooked plenty of meals on my own, but the ones that taste best are always the ones we prepare together. That isn’t to say we don’t bicker and bump elbows along the way, but like any good argument, there’s always something to be gained. Cooking with Robby has taught me the virtues of patience and perseverance, and the beauty of collaboration. With each meal we create together, we’re learning how to maneuver around the kitchen and each other’s idiosyncrasies simultaneously, and we’re getting closer. And as nerve-wracking as it can be sometimes, at the end of the day we subscribe to the adage, “what happens in the kitchen, stays in the kitchen.” Except for the food, of course— we take that with us.

Are you having trouble finding your footing in a relationship? Set up a coaching consultation with Lisa and see how she can help you transform your love life and forge a deeper connection with your partner.

The Rules are for Fools

The Rules are for Fools


Mimi9
The Rules are for Fools

In my grandmother’s era, there were lots of “rules” about dating. Her brother, my Great Uncle Sid, loves to tell the story of the first time a certain gentleman called to ask her out. Uncle Sid said that this man was handsomer than Gregory Peck and equally as charming. All the young women at the Jewish Community Center in St. Louis, MO had their eye on him, but he only had eyes for my granny.

One Thursday evening, the gentleman in question gave my grandmother a call. They chatted easily and effortlessly for a few minutes, but when she hung up the hallway phone, she collapsed in the corner and burst into tears. The family came running to see what happened. “Helen, darling,” my great grandmother said, crouching down to wipe her daughter’s tear-stained face with the hem of her apron. “Tell us what’s wrong!”

“Al Gelfand asked me on a date… b-b-but,” she replied, choking on her words, “I told him No.” My poor grandmother. Prince Charming had just asked her out and she turned him down. But why!?

“What are you talking about, Helen?” my uncle Sid said, questioning his older sister. “All you’ve been doing is blabbering about Al Gelfand for months, and now he calls, asks you on a date, and you say no?” He cocked his head to one side and raised an eyebrow suspiciously.

“You dont understand,” my grandmother lectured. “It’s Thursday and he asked me out for tomorrow night. No self-respecting girl would ever accept such an invitation! He needs to give me some advance notice. Doesn’t he think I have a social life?”

“But this morning you told me you didn’t have any plans tomorrow,” my uncle retorted.

My grandma eyed her little brother curiously. “That’s not the point,” she said, feigning an air of superiority. “Albert Gelfand needs to know that I’m in high demand and that I’m not just sitting here waiting for the likes of him to call.” She managed to remain calm for a few seconds, and then erupted into another crying fit. “Oh no!” she sobbed despairingly. “What have I done? What if he never asks me out again?”

The good news is that Al Gelfand was no slouch. He didn’t give up easily. And being the smart cookie that she was, my grandmother probably gave him a little hint before turning him down, as well. I’m sure she said something like: “I’d love to go out with you, Al, but my weekends do fill up rather quickly.” The dapper Mr. Gelfand took my grandmother’s advice to heart. The next time he called to ask her out, my future grandfather gave my grandmother plenty of notice.

In my grandmother’s day, women really had only one path in life: to become wives and mothers. My grandmother’s entire agenda was to bag a great man and, to do that, she had to use her womanly charms to lure him in. But now it’s 2016! We’ve fought long and hard for equal rights, and we have so many more opportunities available to us than just getting married. Still, when it comes to dating, many women feel the need to follow the same antiquated rules my grandma Helen did all those years ago. From never making the first move to not accepting a date without three-days advance notice, I’m shocked to see how many of my female clients still date like it’s 1936. Many women are still convinced that they have no choice but to continue playing silly games to meet a guy.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. Some of my female clients feel they need to downplay their success or accomplishments for fear of overshadowing a man. How can we have come so far in so many ways, only to feel that we still have to hide who we are? Case in point: a few months ago, my client, Maggy, told me that she was afraid of what would happen when Marco, the guy she was dating, found out that she owns three investment properties. Marco wasn’t doing as well as she was in his career and she was scared he would be intimidated by her success. Maggy is turning something that should be a blessing and make her more viable as a partner into a curse. Ironically, if she keeps downplaying her success, she will continue to attract insecure men. The right man wouldn’t be threatened by her success, he would feel proud to be with her.

Women today are not like my grandmother. We have careers, mortgages, and bank accounts of our own, and most of us don’t need a man to take care of us. It’s time to stop playing games, embrace our accomplishments, and look for men who are our equals. If you’re out in the dating world and you want to attract a good man, don’t play by my grandmother’s rules—in fact, don’t play by anyone’s rules. The real way to win the heart of the right man isn’t by avoiding his calls or downplaying your success; it’s by showing up authentically and opening up your heart so he can see the real you. Your soul mate can’t find you if you’re hiding behind a mask or playing by rules that were created in a different day and time. If my grandma Helen was around today, she wouldn’t kowtow to any man. She would be running the show and she’d have all the men chasing after her!

Do you want to learn how to get “naked” and show up authentically on dates? Book a consultation with me and see how I can help!

The Rules are for Fools

2016 Sexy Life Summit

2016 Sexy Life Summit

2016 Sexy Life Summit

We all have stress in our lives. But when the hard times hit, what’s the first thing that takes a backseat? If you guessed intimacy and sex, you’re right! When we’re stressed out, the best parts of our lives suffer. But what if you could find a way to take the challenges life throws at you and use them to create more passion and more intimacy in your life? How cool would that be?

Tune into the 2016 Sexy Life Summit to hear me and 20 other relationship and self-help experts tell our stories of how we triumphed over trauma and were able to lead sexier and more emotionally intimate lives.

As you know, I love connecting with other cutting edge thinkers in the world of intimacy and sexuality. If you’ve coached with me or read my blog, you might already be familiar with my concept of getting “Naked.” Whether you’re dating or in a committed relationship, getting Naked is about stripping away the protective walls that are keeping you safe and having the guts to expose the real YOU—both in love and in life. And, it’s the subject of my forthcoming book, Naked Dating®.

In my 2016 Sexy Life Summit interview, I share how my life was turned upside down a year ago when my precious husband nearly died from a fleabite! Talk about a horrifying turn of events. Let’s just say that I’ve never felt more naked and vulnerable than when I was facing the real possibility of losing the love of my life.

This 21+ day, free online event is like a “master class” in creating a thriving and sexually connecting life. Here are some of the topics that will be discussed:

  • Dealing with stress and reigniting your desire for intimacy
  • Learning how to enjoy sex again after Menopause or child birth
  • Discovering how to heal from trauma and deal with triggering emotions
  • And much, much more!

If you want start getting Naked and break through the walls that are blocking you from true love and intimacy, you don’t want to miss this.

 

Claim your “seat” by clicking on the link below:

SexyLifeSummit.com/LisaShield

 

XOXO,

 

Lisa

 

A Valentine’s Story

A Valentine's Story

A Valentine’s Story

In light of Valentine’s Day, I thought I would tell you a story about a client who almost blew a chance at having real love.

Jenny Meets Sam

Jenny was a curvy, 37-year-old  blonde, never married, who longed to have children of her own. Her search for the man of her dreams was not going well. The four years she’d spent dating online had felt like an eternity and she’d netted only a couple of short relationships during that time. In our coaching sessions, Jenny regularly complained about hard it is to date in L.A., how there are no good men left, and how Internet dating was an exercise in futility. If you’re dating and seriously searching for a life partner, you can probably relate to how discouraged she felt.

Meeting Sam, an ambitious, outgoing architect, caught Jenny by surprise. At first, she thought he was a great catch. Even though he lived 45 miles away and the commute could take him an hour and a half each way, he insisted on making the drive to see her for their first three dates. She was happy that he never used the distance as an excuse to get her to let him stay over, and despite not knowing the area, she was impressed by the ingenuity he showed in planning their dates.

He Doesn’t Get It!

On the day before Valentine’s Day, Jenny called me for an emergency session. Her voice tightened as she told me how Sam hadn’t asked her out for the 14th.

“Any man should know how important Valentine’s Day is to a woman,” Jenny said, as if she were reciting a universal truth.

“I hear that you’re upset,” I replied, trying to calm her down, “but you have only been on three dates. Do you think you could be expecting a little much too soon?”

Jenny was so hurt she couldn’t hear what I said. “If you’re dating someone and it’s Valentine’s Day, you should ask her out. I want to date the kind of guy who wouldn’t leave me sitting at home alone on a holiday. I’m ending it.”

Two weeks ago, Jenny was sobbing in my chair, telling me there “are no good guys,” and now she was threatening to give a really good guy the ax over what I felt was an unfair expectation on her part. It was hard to watch her sabotage herself like this, but I knew there was nothing I could do. Jenny was convinced she was right. As she left my office, she paused at the door to tell me she was going straight home and breaking it off with Sam. She’d completely forgotten that she’d been single for six long years and that this was the first man she’d  felt really excited about in all that time.

February 14th

The following morning was Valentine’s Day. Jenny had felt exhausted from our session the previous day and never wound up contacting Sam. Now, she sat alone in her office, watching as flowers were delivered to the offices of several of her coworkers. As each colorful bouquet passed her door, Jenny felt her heart sink lower and lower. She couldn’t believe that she had to suffer through another Valentine’s Day alone. No matter how hard she tried to convince herself that it was just another stupid, commercial holiday, Jenny still felt depressed. Finally, she opened her email and started furiously typing her goodbye to Sam.

“Hey, ready for lunch?” her coworker, Rosa, shouted, poking her head into Jenny’s office.

Was it that time already? Snapping her laptop shut, Jenny reached for her sweater and sulked out the door. At lunch, she updated Rosa on how things were going with Sam. Hearing how hurt Jenny was, Rosa urged her to write the email right away and get it off her mind.

As Jenny headed back to her office after lunch, the receptionist called out, “Something came for you. It’s on your desk.” She wasn’t expecting any packages. What could it be? Jenny opened the door to her office and gasped. At that same moment, Jenny’s boss, Emily, rounded the corner and blurted out, “Whoa! Who’s the big spender?” Jenny shrugged as she stared at two-dozen red and white roses.

Emily joked, “I hope they’re not from your ex!” while Jenny searched for the card.

“Don’t even joke about that!” Jenny winced, remembering how she’d nearly had to take out a restraining order on him. When she found the tiny, gold envelope tucked inside the bouquet, she pealed back the flap and read the note silently with Emily by her side.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Beautiful!

Can’t wait to see you again.

-Sam

Jenny’s mind began to race. She couldn’t believe how close she had come to sending that email and ending things. How could she have been so dumb? She’d almost ruined everything!

Happily Ever After

Two years later, Jenny and Sam got married and they now have two precious daughters. I still get a holiday card from them every year. A few months ago, Jenny and I traded emails and I teased her about how stubborn she had been and how different things might have turned out if that email had been sent. Jenny wrote back saying that she could now see that her expectations had been unreasonable and that she’d almost sabotaged the relationship. She also added that, ironically, a friend of hers had been in an almost identical situation. Jenny wrote that she’d thought of me as she was begging her friend not to be hasty and write the guy off.

And the Moral of the Story Is…

You might want a relationship more than anything, but if you’ve been single for a long time, it might also be hard to trust a loving person when you find him. Like Jenny, your fear of becoming even more disappointed could cause you to run at the first sign of disappointment. It’s important not to expect a man to follow too many rules or jump through too many hoops. You ned to stop running away and learn how get emotionally naked and express your feelings instead. It’s okay to tell a man you’re feeling hurt or disappointed. It’s all in the way you say it. If Jenny had written to Sam, the best thing she could have said would have been something like, “I know we haven’t been dating long, but I really like you and it would have so nice to have spent Valentine’s Day with you. Maybe next year?” Asking for what you want is always the best solution. If you want to find out if someone is willing to give you what you want, you need get emotionally naked and ask for it. That’s Naked Dating in a nutshell!

Click here to book a sample session and see how I can help you stop sabotaging your chances at love and find a Valentine of your own!

A Valentine's Story

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you find the love you’re looking for.

XO,

Lisa

Why He Won’t Marry You

Why He Won't Marry You

Why He Won’t Marry You 

Falling in love never felt so good

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

When reality sets in

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

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

What the hell happened?

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

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

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

A vicious cycle

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

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

Getting to “I Do”

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

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

He Lost Me at Marie Calendar's

 

 

 

 

Blogarama - The Blog Directory