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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 #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

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

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

“Naked” Dating Tip #3

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

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

So, what do we do?

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

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

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

The Rules are for Fools

Are You Your Own Worst Frenemy?

Are You Your Own Worst Frenemy?

Are you Your Own Worst Frenemy?

Sylvia’s Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maya’s Story

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

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

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

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

Fear of being exposed

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

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

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

Are you a Sylvia or a Maya?

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

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

Are You Your Own Worst Frenemy

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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No More Interviews:

Four Tools to Stop You From Interviewing Your Dates

No More Interviews! “Where’d you grow up? What kind of food do you like? Do you want to get married again? Are you a cat person or a dog person???”

Let’s face it—first dates are nothing if not anxiety provoking. Two perfect strangers walk into a room, each with their own set of nerves, baggage, and expectations, hoping for a connection. Both daters want to have a good time and get to know the person sitting across from them, but before you know it, someone’s firing off a dozen questions and the date feels like a grueling job interview. It’s a total vibe killer.

The other day, my assistant told me a story about a bad date between two friends she had set up that ended up being another unfortunate casualty of the dreaded first date interview. The girl was one of her close friend’s from high school and the guy was one of her boyfriend’s longtime family friends. They were both young, good looking, and had promising careers in the art world. It seemed like a perfect match. When my assistant called her friend to hear about how the date went, she couldn’t believe it when she told her it was one of the worst dates she’d ever been on. “I felt like I was on a job interview,” she said. “He just kept asking me question after question, and I felt really uncomfortable.” Curious to hear the other side of the story, my assistant had her boyfriend get the scoop on the date from his friend. And here’s the rub—he complained about the same thing! They both felt like they had been on an interview and that the other was too guarded and closed off to make a real connection.

Her story got me thinking about my clients and how so many of them struggle with the very same issue on dates. They just don’t know how to relax and open up, and they often go home feeling totally dejected. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Here’s a list of four things you can try on your next date to avoid succumbing to that first date interview and make a real connection with someone:

  1. Ask open-ended questions – rather than jumping from subject to subject, take one topic and explore it. A great way to do this is by asking your date open-ended questions that require more than just a one-word answer. For example, if you’re into film and want to get a feel for your date’s interest in the subject, try asking “what kind of films do you enjoy?” as opposed to “what’s your favorite movie?” The idea is to get your date to open up and share his/her thoughts, feelings, and passions. If you let the conversation flow naturally, you might find the answers to those burning questions will present themselves on their own.
  2. Get comfortable with silence – When it comes to first dates, people often talk about that dreaded “awkward silence.” But why does it have to be awkward? If there’s a lull in the conversation, don’t panic. Use it as an opportunity to get closer to your date and connect on a deeper level. Make eye contact, smile, read his/her body language. I know this can be scary for some people. We’re so accustomed to thinking of silence as uncomfortable or an indication that a date isn’t going well. If your instinct is to break the silence with a series of rapid-fire questions or idle chatter, try taking three deep breaths first. You might find the “awkwardness” will pass on its own and the conversation will resume organically.
  3. Go into each date with a Beginner’s Mind – In Zen Buddhism, there is a concept called Shoshin, or “beginner’s mind.” It encourages an attitude of openness and eagerness when it comes to study, but it can also be applied to first dates! When you’ve been out in the dating world for a while, it’s easy to get discouraged and bring negativity into a date. Just because your last date was a bust, it doesn’t mean your next one will be. I encourage you to practice Shoshin and to approach each date with a fresh perspective, an open heart, and a beginner’s mind.
  4. Practice Naked Dating –Naked Dating® is about tapping into your dates on an emotional level—that’s where a real connection happens. It’s difficult for us to do this because we’re so accustomed to operating on an intellectual level in other parts of our lives. We’re taught that we need to be strong and self-reliant in the workplace, and because of that, we lose some of the softness and vulnerability that makes us attractive. Naked Dating® is about letting down your guard and allowing yourself to be open and vulnerable with your dates. It’s about looking at each date as an opportunity not only to meet a potential match, but to get to know yourself better, learn how to ask for what you want, and open yourself up to new possibilities in life and love.

While I can’t offer you a magic wand that will take away all your first date jitters or guarantee your next date will be a perfect match, I can tell you with confidence that if you start trying these approaches on your dates, that dreaded first date interview will become a thing of the past. You’ll start connecting with your dates on a deeper, more emotional level, and you’ll go home at the end of the night knowing that even if you didn’t meet “the one,” you learned something about yourself and what you’re looking for in the process. You’ll stop interviewing your dates and start dating Naked!

If you’re having trouble connecting with your dates, book a free consultation with me:

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Online Dating: Getting Back in the Groove

Online Dating: Getting Back Into the Groove

Are you in a slump and need some help getting back into the online dating groove? Here’s the first thing you need to know: after a few months of online dating, it is inevitable to go through a slump and for feelings of futility and frustration to set in. This can feel especially discouraging if you’re doing everything can at your end to meet someone. It’s hard not to feel disheartened when the initial rush of emails you got when you first signed up dies down, your searches for a partner net fewer and fewer prospects, and you start to see the same boring profiles over and over again. But almost everyone goes through this! Even though the novelty of online dating has worn off and you’re no longer the ‘new kid on the block,’ you can’t let it get you down.

Here’s what one client said when her online dating began to slow down: “I really did not know that ‘a slump was inevitable,’ so this is important information. Now that I know this, I can feel more at ease with the process.” She went on to say that, after 25 years away from men, all the attention she got through online dating was intoxicating, and “it was almost a feeling of withdrawal when it all came to a halt!”

The truth is, you might be doing everything right and it’s just be a matter of time—and timing—before you meet someone. It’s entirely possible that, at this very moment, the future love of your life is getting out of a relationship and is planning on posting an online dating profile in the days or weeks to come. You never know. What you need to remember is that, for a romantic connection to happen, two people’s lives have to align. So even if you’re ready to meet your life partner, your future life partner might not be ready to meet you.

It’s also important to remember that, just because it seems like there’s little movement on the online dating front, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing happening. Even if you’re not getting as many emails responses or dates as you’d like, you are always evolving and getting clearer about what you want in a partner and in a relationship.

I have many clients who went on very few dates and still found someone special through online dating. Remember, it only takes one date to change your life forever. If you feel like you should be doing more, I would encourage you to read relationship-related books, work with a coach, or spend time meditating and envisioning the kind of relationship you want. You can also write love letters to your future mate. This isn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. The more real you can make this person seem, the more connected you will stay to your online dating journey.

Something I often suggest to my clients is that they practice becoming more comfortable with all members of the opposite sex, even if they aren’t people you would ever date. As crazy as this sounds, spend time connecting at a deeper level with members of the opposite sex in your immediate world. If you’re a guy, spend time with your mother, sister, or aunt. If you’re a woman, spend time with your father, brother, or uncle. It’s also nice to make a few friends of the opposite sex. Learning to flatter them, have playful banter, and understand what lights them up will bring these relationships alive in a whole new way. It will also help you feel more at ease when it comes to online dating.

Something else to consider is that, no matter how open and ready you are to meeting your partner, you may be resisting the process in ways you haven’t considered. It helps to keep reminding yourself to let go and surrender to the online dating process. Pay attention to any resistance you have to what’s happening and listen for any judgments that you might have about yourself, other people, and online dating in general. Here are some things you might be telling yourself that are causing your resistance:

  • I should be getting more dates.
  • Online dating works for other people but not for me.
  • There’s no one I’m interested in dating online.
  • I’m too old to meet someone.
  • I should have started this process much sooner.
  • This is never going to happen.
  • I’m wasting my time.
  • All the good ones are taken.
  • I can’t write flirty emails.
  • The people I’m interested in aren’t contacting me.
  • I’m not attracted to any of the people who contact me.
  • I’m too boring for anyone to date me.
  • I don’t know how to date.
  • _____________________________________________________
  • _____________________________________________________
  • _____________________________________________________

 

The number one way that people hinder the online dating process is by not being open to enough matches. Online dating makes it way too easy to eliminate people for superficial reasons. Many people today say they want a partner, but they aren’t willing to compromise on anything. I have even had female clients who are 5’4” who insist on only dating men who are 6’ or taller and male clients who are of average good looks who would only email the prettiest women. Odds are your ideal match is not going to come in the exact package you would like. When my husband and I met, he was about 3 inches taller than me. The other day, when he walked over to kiss me, I was towering over him. We both burst out laughing. I kicked off my shoes, but I was still quite a bit taller. So, even if you do get what you want in the beginning, you have no idea what’s in store for you. Please, please, PLEASE, give more people a chance. I promise you, people will surprise you if you let them.

The bottom line is that it takes patience and perseverance to find the right partner online. Two people’s lives have to line up for that to happen, and there will be ups and downs along the way. Sometimes you will get a surge of new interest from potential matches, other times it will feel as slow as molasses. The key is to stick in there and do your best to go with the flow. The more you can get out of your own way and not take it personally, the easier—and faster—your online dating journey will seem!

 To book a consultation with Lisa Shield and find out if coaching is for you, click here:

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