I Finally Figured it Out
When I posted my first dating profile online fifteen years ago, one of a handful of qualities I was looking for in my future partner was that I wanted him to be “a man in a man’s body.” I finally figured it out, but it wasn’t easy to find him. Most of my previous partners looked like men on the outside, but they were just boys on the inside. This time I wanted to attract a man who looked and acted like a grownup.
Don’t get me wrong. Most of my exes would have said the same thing about me. I’m sure they felt I had some growing up to do, too… and they would have been right. When it comes to relationships, we attract people who are at our same level of consciousness. So, I knew that if I was going to attract the kind of man I wanted, I needed to stop behaving like a needy, controlling, insecure girl and become a level-headed, self-assured, grown-ass woman.
Change is not a dirty word
I know. We all want to be loved and accepted just the way we are. Yet, it stands to reason that if the men you want to attract don’t find you attractive, then you have to ask yourself what you need to change in order to be attractive to them.
Had I met my current husband two years earlier, when I first started dating, I know he wouldn’t have been attracted to me. But by going out on dates with almost 100 different men, I was able to gain a better understanding of how the opposite sex thinks and I grew into the woman I am today—strong and capable, but also kind, caring, appreciative, compassionate, passionate, forgiving, and playful. I also attracted the “man in a man’s body” of my dreams.
How I emasculated men
Through dating I discovered that much of my behavior with men was counterproductive. A real turning point for me was when I finally realized that if I wanted a man to take the lead, I had to let him. When I was younger, I would encourage a man to take charge and then tell him how he did it wrong. Wasn’t that nice of me? Or, I would get frustrated when I didn’t think he was doing something right and take things into my own hands. I can only begin to imagine how emasculating this would have felt to a man who was trying to get close to me.
Many of my female clients tell me that they would love to find a “take charge” kind of guy, an alpha male who just knows how to assume the lead. The problem is that many women are so busy trying to run the show that, even if some man wanted to take charge with them, he wouldn’t be able to. Like me, they say they want a man who knows how to lead, but they won’t relinquish control. And here’s the real issue: when a man has feelings for a woman, he tries to make her happy. If a woman seems frustrated and displeased when he does something to try and impress her, he will give up control and let her take over, thinking that’s what she wants. It’s a catch-22, ladies.
I didn’t figure all this out until I was 40 years old. This was sad because I longed to find a man who was safe and would take the lead. I never realized that, until I let go and let a man take the lead, this wasn’t possible. My need to control situations and have it my way made it impossible for the men around me to take charge.
Appreciation is everything
So how did I fix this? I shifted my perspective. I decided that I wanted to empower the men around me and treat them with respect. So, I went on my dates and began to look for what I liked about each of them. I started to value men and appreciate their efforts. I stopped expecting them to treat me a certain way and started to see everything they did for me as a gift. Even if it wasn’t right for me, I appreciated the efforts they made. One man took me to dinner at Marie Calendar’s. That’s so not my style, but he bought me dinner and I thought it was kind for him to do that. The younger me would have felt insulted. Just because I began to look for the good and be thankful for what a man did for me, it didn’t mean that I was willing to go for any guy who bought me dinner. I was still looking for my guy, for the one who bought me dinner at a place where I felt comfortable. Still, the more appreciation I showed, the more inspired men were to take the lead and treat me well. It was a win-win for everyone.
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Why Rushing Into Relationships Rarely Works
So, you finally connected with someone you actually like online and you can barely contain your enthusiasm. Even if you wanted to stop yourself from getting sucked into a vortex, you can’t. All you can do is obsess over him and wonder if he’s The One. He’s totally your type—tall and dark with those slanty, puppy dog eyes you love so much. Besides, you’re already LOL-ing at his every text. At this point, you wouldn’t even consider dating anyone else. You have to see where it goes. And anyway, you’re not the type who can date more than one person at a time. So what if a week ago you didn’t even know each other? For the past six days you’ve been leaping out of bed in the morning, grabbing for your phone like some junkie desperate for a fix, then breathing a sigh of relief at the sight of his texts: “Hey Babe! Off to work. Just checkin in. Wassup tonight? Wanna catch a movie?” Knowing that you were the first person he was thinking of each morning makes you tingle from head to toe. He’s your new best friend and the two of you haven’t even met yet. This happens all the time in the dating world.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how the rest of this story ends… but I will. More often than not our heroine—that would be you—crashes and burns. Either she goes out and sleeps with him right away, and he disappears or she tells him she’s not that kind of girl and that she is looking for a committed relationship, and he disappears. Next comes the fatal morning when she wakes up, checks her phone, and just like that there’s no cute text waiting from him. No matter how much she tells herself that she shouldn’t take it personally, she can’t help but think she must have done something wrong.
I was that woman once. I didn’t have the first clue about how to look for a life partner. Like a lot of the women I coach, I got sucked into the instant relationship vortex all the time. I just figured that, if a guy was paying attention to me, it must mean that he thought I was special. I wanted a relationship so badly that I never stopped to think this might not be the case. It took me a long time to figure out that I was making a lot of assumptions about the way men think that were just plain wrong.
I am not telling you that these things never work out. All I am saying is that you might save yourself a lot of time and heartache by slowing down and entering into your next relationship in a more conscious way.
So, let’s break this scenario down and look at some of the mistakes you might be making:
Mistake #1: Assuming that when a man pursues you it means he wants to have a relationship with you.
We hear it all the time: men love “the chase.” Supposedly, it’s how they’re wired. It has something to do with stalking and hunting behaviors from bygone days. In truth, most women love being pursued by men, too, because it triggers our need to feel desired. But just because a man shows interest, you can’t assume that he wants to have a relationship with you. By and large, women are seeking committed relationships while most men are actively looking for sexual conquests. If a man happens to meet someone special and he is ready for a commitment, he might go for it, but this isn’t his main agenda. You have to be aware that even good guys will sleep with you if they think you’re hot and you’re willing to put out. So, if you’re serious about finding a life partner, you need to slow down and find out if the guy you’re falling for is really interested in getting to know you or if he’s just interested in sleeping with you. If he’s only interested in sex, it isn’t going to go anywhere, no matter how excited he seems in the beginning. You can be sure that, when the conquest is over, your love story will abruptly and tragically come to an end.
Mistake #2: Assuming that just because a man is texting you all day everyday, he’s interested in getting to know you.
Texting might be one the very best things that ever happened to men. They can seduce women and ask them out on dates without ever having to actually speak to them. In fact, just by texting a woman at frequent intervals, a man can hook her into thinking he’s interested in her. Be careful. Don’t make these texts mean more than they do. You can’t assume that just because a man is texting you, it means he’s interested in really getting to know you. How do you know that some guy you just met isn’t sending the same morning text to five other women? I’m not telling you this to make you more suspicious of men. I am telling you this because you need to take care of yourself and start to enter into relationships with both eyes and ears open and both feet on the ground.
Mistake #3: Assuming that just because a guy is crazy about you he’s right for you.
Even if he is pushing hard, moving fast, and showing you a lot of interest, you cannot assume that he’s your soul mate. In fact, many men intentionally try to sweep us off our feet. The faster they move, the less time we have to think about whether or not they’re really a good fit for us. Many men will come at you hard and fast and try to sweep you off your feet because it reduces the risk of rejection for them. Given enough time, you would probably decide that a cute starving artist isn’t really worth the time and trouble. Especially after you go to dinner a couple of times and he starts forgetting his wallet.
Assuming that just because you’re ready for an instant relationship he is, too.
Just because someone shows interest in you, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re the only person he’s interested in dating. There’s a huge leap between finding a person attractive and wanting to be in a relationship with that person. Even if someone does want to explore a relationship with you right away, you need to slow it down. Two people shouldn’t be exclusive right out of the starting gate. They should pace themselves and space out their dates to one or two a week for the first few weeks. It boggles my mind to see how people are so quick to create what I refer to as instant relationships, to go from not knowing someone at all to texting each other morning, noon, and night—all within in a matter of days. I know you want to get off the dating scene and start building a future with someone, but you need to be careful about who you let into your life. Take the time to get to know someone and rush into a relationship with anyone.
Staying grounded when some totally hot guy is showing a lot of interest in you can be hard, but recovering from the disappointment of your failed expectations can be even harder. Many guys out there know how to play into our romantic fantasies and sweep us off our feet. Hey, who doesn’t love a hot romance, but finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with probably won’t result from some instant relationship. It’s up to you to keep your wits about you and resist the urge to fall into that vortex. Slow down and find a great man who is on the same page as you are. This way you’ll have someone who wants to write a storybook romance with you!
If you get anxious and rush into relationships too fast, book a consultation with me to learn how to manage your anxiety so you can find a relationship that will last!
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.
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Following Bad Dating Advice Won’t Attract the Man You Really Want
Recently, I’ve been receiving calls from several highly intelligent, attractive, and independent women who had been following some bad dating advice they’d been reading online and in some popular dating books. They told me they were afraid to initiate contact online, return texts or calls from men, or ask a guy if he wants a relationship. They’d read that such behaviors would be perceived as aggressive and chase men away. These women had been advised to “let the man be the man” and trust that he would pursue them if he was interested. (As a funny aside: I was once putting away the many bags of groceries we had gotten from Whole Foods, my husband call out from the other room: “Babe, I’d help you put the groceries away, but I’m letting you be the woman!”)
Following bad dating advice will make you feel worse!
I could see that this bad dating advice was causing these women to suppress their true emotions and making them feel more anxious and insecure. In fact, they seemed so inhibited and confused that it would be very difficult for them to relax on a date. I can’t imagine the kind of emotionally available men they want to attract being emotionally attracted to them in the state they’re in. What I find troubling is that these women had really bought into this bad dating advice and it wasn’t easy for me to convince them that it wasn’t true.
Are women being encouraged to go backwards?
So, here’s the deal: not only is much of this information antiquated, it is also wrong. The last thing women need is to be told that we should revert to acting helpless to get a man’s attention. It is ludicrous to wait for a man to call or ask us out online. If you want to contact a man, contact him. You have every right to reach out once or twice to let someone know you’re interested. If he doesn’t respond, you need to let it go and move on. No one likes to feel rejected, but men have to deal with it all the time.
Another piece of really bad dating advice is the idea that, if a woman asks a man what he’s looking for in a relationship, he will think she’s being pushy and it will scare him off. Sure, if he’s the wrong guy, he’s only after sex, or the timing is bad, it might scare him away. But if he is a mature man and he’s genuinely interested in getting to know you, he will be open to having a conversation about your relationship so he can get closer to you.
You need to let a man know you’re interested
I never applied any of this bad dating advice when I met my husband. It never even occurred to me that it would chase him away if I showed interest. In fact, after our first date, he went home and took his online dating profile down. He’s told me that that, if I had been following this kind of bad dating advice, he would have be turned off. The truth is that, if a man wants to get to know you, he will be grateful if you meet him halfway. A man wants a woman who is receptive, responsive, and appreciative of what he has to offer. This is the kind of woman a man will marry.
If you listen to bad dating advice and you play hard to get, it will make you seem like you’re unavailable and you’ll actually attract the wrong kind of men; men who are attracted to unavailable women are also unavailable—players, relationship avoidants, commitmentphobes—call them what you will… they will chase you, but they won’t want you when they get you because they really don’t want a relationship. The minute you show interest in having a relationship, they will run for the hills. Been there?
A real man knows what he wants. If he is attracted to you and wants to date you, he will want you to be available and he won’t get scared if you ask to spend more time with him. If you turn him on, he will be excited to spend more time with you. But if you play hard to get and you sit around and wait for a guy to call, he might think you aren’t interested and he will give up.
The Bad Dating Epidemic: A Cautionary Tale
I once met a happily married couple that told me that, because of some bad dating advice, their relationship almost didn’t get off the ground. She had been told not to return a man’s calls. So, when her husband originally left a message asking her out, she never phoned back. Believe it or not, this happens all the time. Months later, they ran into each other at a party. She joked with him about not getting together, and he told her that he thought she wasn’t interested because she never returned his call.
She suddenly became serious, and said, “But I didn’t want you to think I was too aggressive.”
“Huh?” he asked, looking at her like she was speaking a strange foreign language. “You thought I would think you were too aggressive because you returned my call?”
“Well, yeah. I mean men like a chase, right?” she said.
“But you would have been returning my call,” he replied, looking even more confused.
At that moment, this woman realized she had been suffering from a serious case of bad dating advice. Luckily, she got a another chance to set the record straight. Not everyone does. So watch out, bad dating advice is becoming something of an epidemic, and it could kill your chances at a relationship if you’re not careful.
If you want to attract a man who is honest and upfront, you need to be honest and upfront. If you want to date the kind of men you’re attracted to, you need to start initiating contact. If you want to find a man who communicates and isn’t afraid of emotional intimacy, you need to start having emotionally intimate conversations with men.
I am sure many of you cringed when you read that last paragraph, but I will say it again: If you want to find your guy, you need to stop following all this bad dating advice and start going for what you want. A man is either interested in getting to know you or he isn’t. Playing games will only chase the right men away!
Naked Dating and learn how to attract the love of your life!
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Words of Wisdom and Encouragement From the Dating Trenches & Beyond
When I first met Jessica, I really didn’t think we would be a good fit for coaching. I liked her, but she had this businesslike air about her that I am not familiar or especially comfortable with. I mean, I sign off on all my professional correspondence with words like “hugs” or “warmest regards.” We laugh about it now, but when I hugged her at the end of our first session—I’m a big hugger—she embraced me stiffly and patted me a couple of times on the back as if she was trying to console me.
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Flash forward two years and I am happy to say that Jessica continued coaching with me, and the results have been amazing. The experience of working together has been as rewarding for me as it has been for her. She holds a huge place in my heart and I have tremendous respect for her. Jessica took everything we talking about in our sessions and pushed herself as much as any client I’ve ever worked with. I am so impressed at how far she’s come and how deep her transformation has been. As you read this interview, pay particular attention to what Jessica says about how she used the dating process to let go of control and learn how to become more vulnerable. She is the true embodiment of what I call Naked Dating®.
So, I know you met someone you really like! I’m thrilled for you. How’s it going so far?
Well, I recently went home to Hawaii and Mike joined me for four of the ten days I was there. Lisa, it was his idea to come! While we were there, we had an intense talk about where we want to be in two years. I told him, “I would like for us to be married with kids.” We’ve only been dating four months, but we needed to have this conversation because it’s what I want and I don’t want to waste time with someone who isn’t on the same page as me. It was really hard for me to be this honest with him. When we first met, we talked about wanting kids and a family in a couple of years, but we’d never talked about doing it together.
The next day was very uncomfortable. After having a conversation this intense, I think two people need time to think things over. But because we were in Hawaii together, we didn’t have the space to breathe and digest what we’d talked about.
The good news is that the trip to Hawaii definitely brought us closer. Despite how dysfunctional my family is, I realized they’re pretty great. Mike was able to meet my parents and see where I came from.
I truly don’t know what the future holds, but I’ve surrendered control over my life and my desire to be a mother. If that is what’s meant to be, then it will be. I struggle sometimes with not knowing how this relationship will play out, but I know that all I can do is enjoy it and let it unfold.
Wow, that’s quite a transition from where you were when you first came to see me for coaching. Do you remember what your first session was like?
Oh my god! I was so closed off, tensed up and defensive, but I knew I needed help. I remember that I wasn’t receptive to what you had to say, but I also knew that I needed to stay open to hearing it. I made myself come back and listen to you. It was hard, but it’s always hard to take a good look at oneself.
What was the biggest change you feel you made through coaching?
I learned that I didn’t have to push people away to spare myself any pain. You showed me how to take down my walls and become softer and more vulnerable. I didn’t know how to speak to men in a way that was inviting and would draw them to me. You taught me a whole new language. I was always afraid to get emotionally naked because I was afraid that other people would think I was weak, but when you showed me how to get emotionally naked, it changed everything. Everyone found me more attractive, not just men—people at work, my friends and my family.
I remember you telling me that your boss noticed a change in you and gave you a raise.
My boss is older than I am and very walled off. When I stopped taking things personally and stopped competing with her, she noticed a change and became warm and tender towards me. Then one day, out of the blue, she called me into her office and gave me a big raise. It was like the universe telling me that I was doing something right.
Wow! So, Naked Dating® works on bosses, too! But it isn’t just that you’re able to show vulnerability, I notice that your voice is actually softer.
It’s funny you should say that. When I was home, I noticed how shrill my mom’s voice is. I told her that she needed to pay attention to her tone of voice because it puts people on edge around her. You once told me that my voice sounded anxious and that I needed to slow down because the anxiety in my voice would set men on edge. Right after our session, I went on a date. It felt deliberate, but I focused on slowing down. It worked, but more than anything, what really made my voice slower and kinder is that my ego has diminished. I’m not as controlling as I used to be. Coaching with you helped me change from the inside.
I know that we had one very difficult session where we talked about losing some weight. Can you talk a little bit about that?
You put it in a very nice way, but it was still very hard to hear. I had been going on dates, working on myself, and meeting a lot of nice men, but none of the ones I liked were asking me out on a second date. You said, “Jessica, if you knew that your weight was the one thing that was still preventing you from attracting the kind of partner you want, would you do everything in your power to change it?” As much as I didn’t like hearing this, you were right. It was getting in my way, and I had to face it. My mom is petite and, when I was growing up, she gave me a very hard time about my weight. I guess I just wanted to believe that if a man really loved me he would accept me the way I am. The sad thing is that if I lived anywhere but LA I would have been considered thin, but in this town 20 pounds makes a huge difference.
Ironically, when I had that fling with the young guy, it made me so anxious that I wound up losing 10 pounds. But the biggest change was when I decided to deal with my drinking. Learning how to get emotionally naked with others also meant getting naked with myself, and I began to see that I had a drinking problem. I went see an addiction counselor, stopped drinking, and I lost another 10 pounds. After I lost the weight, guys stated reaching out to me on Facebook, and some of the guys at work started calling me “Skinny.” Who wouldn’t love all that validation? Mike is very physically attracted to me! He even tells me that he fantasizes about when I’m not around J
One of the incredible things about coaching with you is that you were willing to do whatever it took to find love. Not everyone is that courageous. I know that it’s a big deal to transition from being single to being in a relationship. What was that journey like for you?
In 2013 there are a lot of modern women who celebrate being single. I was one of them. It was hard for me to stop putting so much importance on my career and let go of my independence. I was very self-absorbed and, even though I said I wanted a relationship, I really didn’t know how to create space in my life for a man.
One thing you helped me see is that even though I looked and dressed like a girl, I was emasculating men. I wanted them to feel empowered around me, but without even knowing it, I was doing everything I could to upstage and outdo them. You said that men don’t want to compete with women, especially when it comes to their careers. No wonder they weren’t lining up to marry me! What I loved about working with you is that you showed me I could be strong and independent and still be soft and feminine. I used to think that I needed a man who was stronger than me but now I know how to make a man feel strong around me.
One of the hardest things for women is giving up control. I know that you made a great deal of progress in this area. Can you share your experience?
I was afraid to put myself out there. I mean what if I really tried and I didn’t meet anyone? I was anxious and overthinking everything. You gave me a different way to think about dating. Instead of focusing on meeting “The One” you explained how I could use the dating process to learn about men and what they want and need from a woman. Once I understood how I could use my experiences to grow, I was able to enjoy the process. All that control created so much anxiety for me. The minute I truly and honestly let go—it was on May 1st—I knew I was in a great place! I truly felt that I loved myself. I stopped trying to control my dating life and I started trusting that it would happen. You won’t believe this but my first date with Mike was on May 14th, just two weeks later!
Wow! That really is amazing!
I know! You kept telling me that finding love is all about letting go of control and believing in your heart that it will happen. I got it intellectually, but doing it is another thing entirely. It’s hard to say just how I got there, but one day I got it and I just decided to stop trying to control everything… and I mean EVERYTHING.
I know I can’t control Mike. It’s his choice to love and care for me, or not. I want this to work more than anything, but I’m can’t control him. I know when he needs space and distance, and I give it to him. In one of our sessions, you explained me him that men need their space and independence, and I am fine giving him that. I was hanging onto everything for dear life, but when people’s needs are met, their reaction towards you is amazing. He gets what he wants and I get what I want. It’s all so simple, once you get it!
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You really did a 180. It’s like talking to a different person.
I am a different person. I used to think that traditional male/female roles were demeaning to women, but now I see how empowering it is to be a woman and to be vulnerable. I so appreciate how you were able to walk me through that process. I was telling my friend Jen that, as I became more vulnerable, I opened up to what I really want in a partner, not the superficial crap I thought I wanted before like a fancy car and a big house. Mike has the money for all those things, but he doesn’t care about them. He’s not flashy and he doesn’t care how other people see him. He’s sincere and nerdy, which is ultimately what I wanted. In the end, when I got naked, I attracted someone with the qualities I wanted. I’d like to think that those are the qualities I exuded, as well… like attracting like. That’s made me happiest.
What would you tell people who are considering hiring a dating coach?
Just be open to one session. You have nothing to lose. My first step was being open to seeing Lisa. I knew deep inside that there were things I needed to change, and I was willing to do anything. Sometimes it sucked. It’s never easy to take an honest look at yourself, but it’s worth it in the end.
I don’t know what the future holds. All I know is that I’m in a really wonderful relationship with a wonderful man. We’ll see how things go. We are both contenders for marriage. I really want it, but I know I have no control over my destiny.
I just wish everyone the best. I know that there are times when this journey will feel like a terrible struggle and you will feel like you’re in a desolate place. That’s when you need to keep your heart open and trust the universe. As long as you keep working on yourself, it will happen. Hope is great, but it won’t happen without the self work. You have to be willing to change yourself. You have to be willing to admit fault. No one wants to think that they might have to change themselves, because you have to admit that you’re wrong. It’s too scary for a lot of people to go there, but you have to if you truly want it.
You can make an appointment with Lisa Shield by clicking here
In my last blog, I talked about how, despite the fact that Internet dating is fraught with challenges, you have a choice in what you get from the experience. You can go out on one boring date after another and become increasingly hopeless about ever finding The One, or you can see every email, phone conversation and date as an chance to learn more about yourself and the opposite sex. Many of the skills that will make you a successful dater—being kind, compassionate, open-minded, open-hearted, non-reactive, interested in what others have to share and open to sharing about yourself—will also make you a better life partner.
When most clients first come to me for coaching, they think that they’re ready for a relationship, but they’re not. They might be ready to start dating and learning how to open their hearts to let another person in, but they are not ready to be in the kind of passionate, playful, unconditionally loving relationships they say they want. Remember, having a successful life partnership means that you no longer get to have it your way all the time. When you are a couple, you must make room in your life and in your heart for another person. This usually isn’t an easy transition for most singles to make.
I love online dating because it’s where you’ll get the most dates and have the most opportunities to stretch and grow. While you’re out there, you want to practice developing the skills that will make you a better dater and partner. In my last blog, I talked about becoming a positive spin-doctor so you can stay optimistic in the face of all those Internet dating challenges. Let’s look at some other skills you can hone while navigating the wacky world of cyber dating.
- Becoming a “quality” person. Choose a quality in yourself that you would like to develop such as: playfulness, compassion, kindness, trust, sensuality, generosity, vulnerability, etc. Now, set an intention to use it in everything you do. If you chose playfulness, write emails that are short and silly. Add some funny, offbeat lines to your profile. When someone you like stops emailing, send a quirky message asking if he or she was kidnapped by wild pygmies and offer an escape plan. When I was dating, I wanted to become more playful, so I wrote a nonsensical profile that began: “My niece thinks I’m funny, my nephew things I’m pretty, and Milo the puppy doesn’t have an opinion because he’s too young and he can’t talk yet.” I don’t know what it meant, but it caught the attention of the right guy who wrote in his profile that he was looking for a woman with a “twisted sense of humor.”
- Becoming true to your goal. One of the most difficult things to do in dating—and in life—is to learn how to stop pushing for what you want. There is a saying that rejection is protection. If someone rejects you it’s because he or she isn’t right for you. If the other person isn’t responding in the way you want, you need to let go and move on. Learn to let go with love and respect. You want to learn how to do this without anger or blame. No one owes you anything. It is up to you to keep dating and moving towards your goals and dreams. Learn to trust the universe and keep reminding yourself that there is someone out there for you. It took me two years and nearly 100 first dates before I met my husband! In the end, you need to find someone who is ready for a relationship here and now, not next week or a year from now. Right now.
- Becoming the real deal. A lot of people misrepresent themselves online. They lie about their age, height or body type. It’s a shame that we feel we aren’t good enough. Every time you distort the truth to get what you want, you actually push it away. Try to be as real as you can be and see what happens. You will get more responses from people who are actually viable candidates for you. Have the guts to stand in your own truth and see what happens. I now it’s hard when other people are lying about these things, but I urge you to have the guts to stand in your truth and see what happens.
If you are serious about finding a partner, online dating is one of the best ways to prepare yourself for being in a relationship. Be open, be honest, and move on gracefully when you need to. Don’t let yourself get dragged down. You are in control of your experience- make it fun! It’s great practice for when the real deal comes along.
Make the first step to finding the one, schedule an appointment with Lisa Shield today
It’s no secret: online dating can be a drag. Some people start communicating and stop without explanation, some ask for your phone number and then never call, some even suggest a date and don’t follow through. There are myths that all the men online are commitmentphobes looking for sex and all the women are foreigners looking for husbands. And have you heard of the “New Math?” Add three inches and deduct 5 years, because everyone knows that many online daters lie about their weight, height, and age, amongst other things.
It’s hard not to get discouraged when so many things can and sometimes do go wrong, but don’t let yourself get dragged down! I encourage you to look at Internet dating in a whole new way. “How would I do that?” you might ask. Well, I developed a strategy called Naked Dating®. Naked Daters figure that as long as they have to go out on all these dates, they might as well use them to their advantage and work on their relationship goals while they’re out there!
Of course, Naked Daters didn’t always think this way. When most of my clients first came to me for coaching, they weren’t all that happy when I suggested that, just because they wanted to be in a relationship, it didn’t mean that they were ready for one. At least not the deeply committed, wildly passionate, emotionally naked relationships they were describing to me.
Going from single to a relationship is an adjustment. When you’re single, you don’t have to ask anyone if you can buy that new TV, or move to a new city for that great job opportunity. You can do as you please! But things change radically when you’re in a relationship. Having a successful partnership, requires you to make your partner’s needs, wants, and desires as important to you as your own. This isn’t an easy shift to make after being single.
Here is where Internet dating proves useful. As a Naked Dater, I encourage you to see every email exchange, every phone call, and every date as an opportunity to practice getting emotionally naked and opening up your heart. This way when the right person does appear, you will be ready to step into the relationship of your dreams.
There are many different skills you can hone while dating online. In my next blog post I will talk about a variety of different ways you can use the online dating process to challenge yourself, but for now I don’t want to bore you to tears. So, today we will focus on one very important skill: How to become a positive spin-doctor.
If you are going to stay online long enough to find the right partner, it helps to learn how to put a positive spin on your experiences. To do this, you need to stop listening to your inner “Frenemy”—the voice of judgment and fear—and start listening to your Naked Dater—the voice of compassion and love. You could also say that the Frenemy is your inner critic and the Naked Dater your Higher Self. Let me show you the difference between listening to The Frenemy and listening to the Naked Dater.
Let’s say it’s a Friday night and you are waiting for your hot date to show up—but he never comes. The Frenemy might say, “You are not good enough. There isn’t anyone out there for you. Who are you kidding? This will never work.” The Naked Dater would think, “This person’s behavior shows that he isn’t ready for a relationship. His profile says he is looking for a life partner, but his behavior is saying something else. You showed up and did the best you could. It’s best to move on.”
The wonderful thing about mastering the art of being a positive spin-doctor is that this skill will come in very handy once you’re in a relationship. My husband is often so tired at the end of a day that he will close his eyes right in the middle of a conversation with me. I will be talking and he will close his eyes, even if I am saying something deeply important! If I wasn’t well versed in being a positive spin-doctor, if I hadn’t learned this lesson from Internet dating, I might become upset and feel that he was being rude. But I know better.
They way I feel in every moment depends on the stories I make up about what’s happening to me and around me. I can tell myself that what I was saying was stupid (and feel sorry for myself), or I can put a positive spin on it by telling myself my husband works hard and that he’s just tired (and feel better about what happened). You get to spin your dating stories any way you want to, so why not practice making them positive? Mastering this skill while you date is guaranteed to radically improve your online dating experience, but most of all, it will help you sustain the romance you are working so hard to find. When you are able to see the positive in every moment, you will stop being so reactive to every silly thing your partner says and does. Ultimately, isn’t this what we’re looking for?
For more helpful skills to practice while Online Dating, stay tuned….
Make the first step to finding the one, schedule an appointment with Lisa Shield today
Tagsdating dating 101 dating 2013 dating advice dating coach dating expert dating ideas dating in the new year dating tips finding a soul mate finding love finding mr. right first date how to be happy how to date how to find a husband how to find the one how to get asked out how to get married ideas for dates knowing what you need knowing yourself loving yourself meeting other singles saving yourself ture love walking down the aisle
When people come to me for dating advice, what they really want to know is how to get married. A couple weeks ago, I attended the wedding of one of my funniest, feistiest, and most opinionated clients. I remember that we butted heads many times during in our six months of coaching. I don’t know if she ever fully embraced the concept of Naked Dating, but I hope something sank in.
Naked Dating is my approach to attracting true love. It shows how to use dating as the catalyst to bring up any blocks or behaviors that are in the way of finding a partner and then gives you the tools to work through them. The theory is that if you keep going on dates but you don’t make changes, nothing is going to change. I am not so certain this client ever agreed with much of what I said, but she stayed in touch long after she quit coaching, so I can only assume that I did something right.
When I received an email from her saying that she’d met someone and that they were engaged, I was stunned. It appeared that she’d finally met the man of her dreams READ MORE
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Lisa Shield, MA, CPCC
Transformational Dating and Relationship Coach
Tagsdating 101 dating 2013 dating advice dating coach dating expert dating ideas dating in the new year dating tips how to date how to get asked out how to meet people ideas for dates meeting other singles singles events los angeles Where to meet people
Do you ever sit around on your couch and wonder why the universe hasn’t delivered you a date in ages? You think, “How come my dating life isn’t going anywhere?” Well, maybe, just maybe you need to get up, get out, and give the universe a bit of help. I am willing to bet that if you got off your cute little butt and put some effort into meeting other singles, the universe would reciprocate by giving you some dates. It’s just a hunch, but it’s a good one. Seeing as it’s nearly January 1st, you might even want to make a commitment to going out and meeting more singles one of your New Years resolutions.
Get out your calendar and schedule in at least three activities or events a month. To insure the greatest chance of getting actual dates, choose at least two events that are specifically geared towards singles. Many people make the mistake of attending a group only once, but you want to frequent the same group over and over again so that people begin to recognize you. Finally, go alone so that you will have to get out of your shell and meet more people.
Here are some suggested places to meet people:
1. Go to a bar or pub. One of the easiest places to meet people is at a neighborhood bar or pub. Do not have more than one drink. In fact, it would be better to sip a club soda so that you are totally present. Witness your fears and inhibitions as they arise. Do you go for the person you are most attracted to or shy away? Do you wait to be noticed by others or do you send out signals that you are interested? Are you judging people and looking for their flaws? What if you looked around the room and focused on what was attractive about each person?
2. Join a dance class. Salsa and ballroom dancing classes are an especially good way to meet people. When you get moving, you naturally are in a better mood. Dancing is also a great way connect with your body and your sensuality. As a metaphor for relationships, dancing teaches men how to take the lead and it helps women feel more comfortable letting a man take the lead. Dancing will also get you out of your head and help you flow with the moment, skills that come in handy when you’re on an actual date.
3. Go for a hike. You can join a group like Sierra Club Singles or go alone and see if you can engage other people on the trail. Hiking is a great way to combine exercising with meeting other people. For some people, parties and Meetup groups can feel too sterile. Doing an activity can create an environment where meeting people feels more natural. Start by just smiling and saying hello to people. Eventually, you might say, “Mind if I walk with you awhile?” If you like someone, you might ask if they would like to meet again for another hike.
4. Go to a networking meeting. Networking meetings give you a built in excuse to walk up to someone attractive in the room and strike up a conversation. Check Meetup.com for singles-related networking groups. Wear something that stands out—a piece of jewelry, a colorful scarf, or a striking pair of glasses—or notice something someone else is wearing that you can comment on. “I love those retro eyeglasses you’re wearing…” Ask what kinds of clients they are looking for so you can refer to them. If you’re bold, suggest getting together for lunch or a drink to discuss how you can help each other.
5. Sit in a coffee shop. Grab a cup of coffee and a chair by the door. Don’t read a book or the paper. Instead, smile at people as they walk in. See if you can get someone to stop and talk to you. Maybe comment on something someone is wearing or on the weather, anything to strike up a conversation.
6. Go to a supermarket. Go at the busiest time of the day and see if you can engage people at the vegetable department or in deli section. Be playful and flirtatious. Try challenging yourself to talk to the cutest person you can find. Ask for help getting something off the top shelf or inquire if that person has ever tried a certain product. Get comfortable talking to everyone, especially people you find attractive.
7. Go to a park or a dog park. Nothing attracts attention like a dog. A friend of mine was having a terrible time getting dates. Then, she got a dog. The dog got her to get out and about and, lo and behold, she met a guy. A REALLY cute guy. Now she has a dog and a boyfriend. Talk about a happy camper. If you meet another dog owner you like, suggest a “doggie” play date.
Lisa Shield, MA, CPCC
Transformational Dating and Relationship Coach