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Do YOU Sabotage Dates Because You’re NOT Ready for Love?

Sabotage Love?

I have no doubt that my husband, Benjamin, would NOT have been attracted to me when I first started dating 17 years ago. But the dating process helped me open my heart and get a handle on my emotions. Dating SHAPED me into the woman he fell in love with in that magic moment when we met two years and 100 first dates later.

When I started dating again, I approached it as a SPIRITUAL JOURNEY. I decided to see each interaction as an OPPORTUNITY to learn to open my heart wider and become a more loving person.

When I looked at others in the dating world, I watched as their hearts and minds became less open with each disappointing date, and the road ahead of them grew NARROWER.

As I dated, I wanted the road ahead to get WIDER. I wanted to become MORE openhearted, MORE open-minded, and MORE compassionate with each date.

If a man was unkind or disappointed me in some way, rather than get angry or blame him for what happened, I told myself that he didn’t owe me anything. He was doing me a favor by making space for the RIGHT MAN to come into my life.

After a while, I stopped caring why certain men behaved the way they did. It really didn’t matter. I knew how I wanted a man to treat me, I knew he was out there, and I was willing to keep dating until I found him.

None of this was any easier for me than it is for you. I wanted a partner more than I have ever wanted anything in my life. Facing one rejection after another was terribly painful, but the more I was willing to learn from my mistakes and focus on keeping my heart and mind open, the easier it got. I can show you how to do this. Check out my online workshop to learn more.

Today, I’m ABSOLUTELY CLEAR that everything I went through when I dated prepared me for the relationship of my dreams. By using my dating experience to work through my DRAMA, I wound up attracting an AMAZING man and together we have been able to create a relationship that is EVEN BETTER than anything I could have imagined!

I watch so many singles FLOUNDER in the dating world and become increasingly angry, disappointed, and discouraged when things don’t go the way they EXPECT them to.

What this tells me is that they still have WORK to do to prepare for The One. They need to learn how to HUMBLE themselves, SURRENDER to the process, and let each date TEACH them how to open their hearts to love and be loved. Maybe this speaks to you?

There is a BIG difference between thinking you are emotionally available and ready for the relationship of your dreams and truly being ready to meet The One. When you’re REALLY ready, you WILL know.

So, here’s my question for you:

Do you truly believe YOU are emotionally ready for the kind of relationship you want?

If that person walked into your life RIGHT NOW, do you have an OPEN HEART and are your fears of trusting someone or being rejected or abandoned UNDER CONTROL?

Or, would you SABOTAGE IT by reacting and pushing the person away the moment they let you down?

Warm Regards,


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P.S.  Don’t forget to check out my Free Online Workshop!

To All the Strong Women (and Men)

Strong womenI had many TURNING POINTS in my dating. One of the most significant was when I started to look at my STRENGTH.

Like many women today, I PRIDED myself on being a “STRONG AND INDEPENDENT,” too strong for many if not MOST men.

When I was 8 years old, I saw my father CRUSH my mother’s spirit when he left her for another woman.

Five years later, when my mother was DYING of breast cancer, she tried to share as much of her WISDOM with me as possible. The one thing I remember most was when she WARNED ME: “Never let a man do to you what your father did to me.” I was only 13 at the time and I STRUGGLED to put her advice in perspective.

For many years after that, I SWORE I wouldn’t wind up like my mother—left to fend for herself with two small children.

To me, it seemed like MOST women were WEAK and insipid, and I refused to DUMB myself down or PANDER to a man. I told myself anything a man could do I could do.

Since the BIRTH CONTROL PILL had been approved the year before I was born and ABORTION was legalized by the Supreme Court in 1973, I was among the first generation of women who had FULL CONTROL over their own bodies. I felt like I was free to do whatever I wanted without apology or SHAME, including act like a man.

When I set out to date again at 39, I admitted TO MYSELF that something wasn’t working with men and me. They still didn’t find me attractive, even though I had reduced myself from a size 14 to a shapely size 8. I also had done a GREAT DEAL of inner personal work. I liked myself. I had developed a POSITIVE MINDSET. I had wonderful friends and an AWESOME Dog. I thought I was PRETTY COOL… but men weren’t buying it.

At the time, I was part of an amazing SPIRITUAL GROUP spearheaded by Don Miguel Ruiz, author of ‘The Four Agreements.’ One day, Miguel brought me in front of the group and said, “This is a WOMAN OF POWER.” He didn’t say, “This is a powerful woman.” He said, “This is a woman of power.”

Miguel’s words rang in my ear for a long time. He’s a shaman, and he sees people’s TRUE NATURE. At the time, I didn’t know what to make of what he said, but I knew it was IMPORTANT.

On another occasion, he told me privately, “You are a woman of power and you FRIGHTEN MEN.” I was stunned. I didn’t say it aloud, but I thought, “Thanks, Miguel. What I am supposed to do with THAT?”

I could have used his words to feed my ego, but I didn’t because the last thing I wanted to do was frighten men. I wanted them to feel SAFE and be ATTRACTED to me.

Miguel’s words led me to question many of my beliefs about who I was. I realized that being powerful meant nothing if I was allowing that power to WORK AGAINST me and PUSH men away.

I’ve come to realize that we all have SUPERPOWERS. One of mine IS strength. I couldn’t get rid of it if I tried. It’s who I am at my CORE.

But just like all those kids in the Marvel movies, the ones they send to that school run by Patrick Stewart if I didn’t learn how to harness that power and use it wisely and judiciously, I was going to keep BLOWING things up and PUSHING men away.

I knew the time had come for me to ACCEPT the fact that I am, in fact, woman. This was a HUGE SHIFT in my consciousness, it opened up a whole new world of DISCOVERY and POSSIBILITY. I was finally able to see that I wasn’t attracting the kind of man I wanted because THAT MAN would have been attracted to a WOMAN, not a man in a woman’s body.

Ironically, the more I embraced this ESSENTIAL part of myself, the more attractive I became and the more GENUINELY EMPOWERED I felt with men.

I realized that I had never wanted to be HARD on or GUARDED with them. When I was honest with myself, I admitted that all my life I had longed for a man to PROTECT and take care of me. I guess I just hadn’t been ready to let down my guard so a man could do that for me.  I was finally learning to be emotionally naked, and I can show YOU how I started this process in my free online workshop.

Of course, I can do those things for myself, but I can feel that I am most BEAUTIFUL when my GUARD is completely down and I can be that sweet, innocent little girl who never felt SAFE enough to come out and play… until now.

For so much of my life, I’d used my STRENGTH and independence as a way of staying SAFE because I really didn’t understand what it meant to be a woman OR a man.

I now know that EVERY woman and EVERY man has to find his or her NATURAL frequency. If you’re heterosexual, bisexual, transgendered or gay, you have to be willing to EMBRACE who you truly are. You can’t go against your TRUE NATURE.

I AM a woman of power, but it doesn’t serve me to use that power to frighten men.

I still don’t suffer fools lightly. I never have and I never will. Players and misogynists INSTINCTIVELY know to leave me alone. I sometimes wonder if I wear some kind of an invisible sign that reads, “Don’t even bother…”

But now, I can honestly say that I am VERY PROUD to be a woman and I know how to use my STRENGTH in a feminine way to make a man feel SAFE and like he’s my KING. Just ask my husband if you don’t believe me.

XO,

LISA

P.S. For more dating insights, check out my Free Online Workshop!

Asking for What You Want in a Relationship

Asking for What You Want FINAL

If You’re Too Afraid to Ask for What You Want… how will you ever get it?

Have you ever opened your heart to someone who HURT or DISAPPOINTED you but were too afraid to say something? Did you worry you might seem NEEDY or ANGRY and push the other person away? I get it. It gets easier and easier to say nothing and hope the other person senses something is WRONG and brings it up so you don’t have to.

My client, Melanie, found herself in a situation like this. She’d finally gotten the GUTS to end a 5-year relationship where she’d been JERKED AROUND by a man who was INCAPABLE of committing.

She was visiting family in New York and decided to give Bumble a whirl. Before she knew it, she’d booked TWO DATES for the same day!

Dude #1 was so hot she didn’t think there was any way Dude #2 could compare. Boy was she WRONG! As Jack strode across the restaurant in his faded jeans, cowboy boots, and beat-up leather jacket, Melanie COULDN’T BELIEVE her eyes.

She and Jack had the kind of magical, instantaneous connection everyone DREAMS OF. It wasn’t long before he was holding her hand, staring into her eyes and they felt like they were the only TWO PEOPLE in the room. Their second date was even more magical.

Mel flew home, expecting things to fizzle… but they DIDN’T. Jack texted her every day throughout the day. He told her he had spoken about her to several of his friends. They planned a 4-day ISLAND GETAWAY while she was home in January after the holidays. Really. Things could not be going better…

Or could they? Some friends remarked they thought it odd that Jack texts but NEVER CALLS. It doesn’t bother Mel, but still she ‘hinted’ a couple of times that she would love to hear his voice. He hasn’t called, and she’s TICKED OFF because she feels he isn’t listening to her. She said it doesn’t matter, but it MATTERED enough that she brought it up in our session!

This is where her resentment towards Jack began.

The next disappointment wasn’t long after. He forgot her birthday. All day long they texted back and forth, but he NEVER MENTIONED it once. When she posted something about it on Instagram, he texted her immediately. She was hurt. Badly. He had to have known. After all, they’d joked about what a coincidence it was that his mother’s birthday was the day after hers. Mel thanked him for the BIRTHDAY WISHES via text, but said she was exhausted and would reach out the next day. She knew he’d notice that her behavior was uncharacteristic.

Mel never told Jack she felt hurt because he’d forgotten her birthday, and her RESENTMENT DEEPENED.

Then, came the THIRD BLOW, the one that landed her in my office. Mel went on Bumble and saw that Jack was still active on the site. To say that she was devastated is an understatement. But, because they’d never talked about BEING EXCLUSIVE, she didn’t feel she had a right to say something.

I suggested she tell Jack she was on the site and, when she saw that he was ACTIVE, she realized that she felt uncomfortable knowing he was still seeing other people. After all, they were growing closer and she was feeling INCREASINGLY VULNERABLE.

Mel agreed that she needed to say something, but she WASN’T READY to talk about it. She said she preferred to say something when she went home in January, but that wasn’t for another month. I urged her to discuss it now before ANY DAMAGE was done, but she hemmed and hawed at my suggestion.

“Mel, here’s what’s going to happen if you don’t talk about it,” I said. “If you don’t FEEL SAFE, you’ll start to SHUT DOWN and emotionally distance yourself. He won’t know why, but he’ll sense that SOMETHING’S WRONG. Maybe he’ll bring it up, maybe he won’t. But, if you start to get passive-aggressive, you could wind up pushing him away. I’ve seen this happen too many times.”

“You’re right,” she said. “That’s already happening. Intellectually I understand that he’s done NOTHING WRONG, but I still feel hurt and angry and I’m PULLING AWAY.”

When Mel left, she said that she would book an appointment for the following week so I could help her write a text to Jack. I haven’t heard from her since, so I don’t know what happened. I hope she says something to him. At some point, if she is going to have the kind of OPEN, HONEST, loving relationship she’s looking for, she is going to have to learn how to ask for what SHE WANTS.

She just has to learn how to ask in the RIGHT WAY. She can’t LASH OUT in anger or blame. She needs to speak from love and with the intention of bringing them CLOSER TOGETHER, and she needs to make it a request, not an ultimatum. Instead of saying, “You need to STOP SEEING other women.” She needs to say, “Would you be OPEN TO not seeing other women?” It needs to open up a dialogue, instead of being a monologue.

Melanie is a beautiful woman, inside and out, and MY GUESS is that Jack will agree to her request. But if he doesn’t, he’s probably not the RIGHT GUY. And you know what? She already invested 5 YEARS in the last one. So, it would be better to find that out sooner THAN LATER.
XO,
LISA

P.S. For more dating insights, check out my Free Online Workshop!

Attract the Relationship of your Dreams!

I have a little secret. So, lean in close if you want to hear it.

Every single one of you can attract the relationship of your dreams. You heard me right.

EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU CAN ATTRACT THE RELATIONSHIP OF YOUR DREAMS!

For that to happen, there are just three things you must do.

You must:

• Be CRYSTAL CLEAR about what you want in a partner.
• Have 100% CERTAINTY that he or she is out there.
• And, have the ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE to go for it.

FIRST: You have to know EXACTLY what kind of partner you want to attract.

You can’t hold COMPETING INTENTIONS or conflicting beliefs about the partner you’re looking for. If you do, your NEGATIVE BELIEFS will always cancel out the positive ones.

If you say you want a safe, kind, loving partner but you keep CHASING THE THRILL of bad boys or bitches, no matter how badly you say you want someone who treats you lovingly and kindly, you will keep attracting the WRONG ONES.

So, pay attention to your EVERY THOUGHT and make sure they are congruent with what you TRULY WANT, not what you don’t want.

SECOND: You must believe WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT that your person is out there and that you WON’T COMPROMISE until you find him or her.

Even if you’ve never been in love before.
Even if you’ve never met someone who matches all your criteria.
Even if you have never seen a relationship like the one you want.

You have to BELIEVE with every cell in your being that your person EXISTS.

Ever heard of Mel Fisher? Mel is considered the most famous treasure hunters who ever lived. Mel searched for 16 years before discovering a $400 million treasure buried in a ship that sank in the 1600’s.

During that ENTIRE TIME, people thought he was insane, but Mel never gave up HOPE. He believed with all his heart that it was out there. Even when his son and daughter-in-law died while helping him search, Mel NEVER GAVE UP hope… and neither can YOU!

Just like Mel, you are searching for a HIDDEN TREASURE, for what is arguably the most COVETED of all PRIZES: true and lasting love!

THIRD: You must have the CONFIDENCE to go for it when the right person crosses your path.

If you ask most people out in the dating world, they will tell you that they’re ready to meet The One, but they’re not. If that person came into their life RIGHT NOW, their insecurities and lack of confidence would cause them to SABOTAGE it.

In fact, most of you are probably meeting GREAT PROSPECTS all the time, but you are not drawing these people in because you aren’t READY. Not for the kind of relationship you REALLY want.

When I first started dating, I know for A FACT that my current husband would NOT have been attracted to me. I knew that the kind of man I wanted would not want to date me back then. I still had a lot of GROWING UP to do.

So, I used my dating experience to help me LEARN about men, get a grip on my emotions, and become a kinder and more loving woman.

Dating was HARD, but it was hard because I had a lot to learn. I had to work through my own insecurities so I could stop taking things so personally and have the COURAGE to go for the relationship I really wanted.

Many people don’t understand that dating is a PROCESS where you are preparing yourself in every moment for The One. Dating isn’t hard. We make it hard because we get upset when things don’t go our way. Rejection isn’t easy, but when you can learn how to STOP rejecting yourself when things don’t go your way, you will be TRULY READY to open your heart and your world to another person.

I don’t know if others feel this way, but I have the sense that my husband DIDN’T EXIST until the moment I met him. As crazy as that might sound, this thought has occurred to me many times. My imagination, my unwavering faith, and my belief in myself were what created my perfect partner out of NOTHINGNESS. The truth is that, in my reality, he didn’t exist until the moment I met him.

So, DON’T hold back. BELIEVE with all your heart that this possible, that you can DREAM your partner into existence by having clarity, conviction, and confidence.

See every dating challenge as an opportunity to prepare yourself and become even KINDER, more LOVING and more EMOTIONALLY GROUNDED, so that when this person crosses your path you will be ready to step into the relationship of YOUR DREAMS.

XO,
LISA

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my Free Online Workshop!

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.

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