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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!

Finally, the Answer to All Your Bad Dates!

Finally, the Answer to all Your Bad Dates!

Finally, the Answer to All Your Bad Dates!

This is everyone’s dating nightmare: You’re sitting across the table from someone and the conversation is as stale as a week old Trader Joe’s baguette. He’s been ranting about his bitchy ex-girlfriend for nearly an hour, and every time you try to change the subject, he somehow manages to bring it back to her. You have visions of “accidentally” spilling your martini in his lap, but you can’t because your drink is the only thing that’s keeping you from completely losing your mind.

We’ve all been there. Bad dates, especially a string of bad ones, can be agonizing. After enough disappointments, it’s easy to feel like throwing in the towel and giving up on love completely.

But before you delete your online dating profile and resign yourself to being single forever, consider this: what if all of those dates—even the disastrous ones—are actually opportunities for you to practice becoming the person you need to be when the love of your life arrives?

Take it from someone who went out on almost 100 first dates in two years before I found my soul mate: If you want to find an incredible partner, you have to first know how to be an incredible partner—and that’s something most people don’t know how to do. Most of us don’t know how create a successful relationship with ourselves, let alone with another person.

Let me back up a minute. When I first started dating, I was a mess. I knew I wasn’t ready for the kind of relationship I really wanted, but I knew that I could use the dating process to help me get there. By going out on lots of dates with many different men, I was able to work through much of the anxiety I had about getting close to a man. I practiced speaking up for myself, I learned how to talk to men and ask for what I needed, and I learned how to face rejection and hear the word “no” without overreacting or taking it personally. I also became more honest, open, vulnerable, and playful. I exercised restraint and stopped having sex without a commitment. In the end, I realized that as long as I was challenging myself to grow and learn, there was no such thing as a bad date. Two years later, when I met my future husband, I was a very different woman than when I first started dating.

We all have some growing to do. So, the next time you’re on a less-than-exciting date, don’t just sit there feeling like you’re wasting your time. Ask yourself: how can I use this experience to become a more loving, openhearted person? How can I be a better listener? Is there more of myself that I need to share? What can I do to be more playful, inquisitive, and engaged?

It might seem like you’re just being faced with one disappointment after another, but the truth is you might not even be ready for the kind of relationship you’re looking for. Dating can offer lessons and challenges that you won’t get anywhere else. Going back to the example of the date with that guy who won’t stop talking about his ex, the challenge there would be to find a diplomatic way to tell him what you’re really thinking. You might say something like, “It doesn’t seem like you’re ready to date. It feels like you’re still working through your last relationship.” If you say something, you’ll walk away feeling good about speaking up, and your date will have gained a little insight into what he’s doing wrong.

In the end, dating is what you make of it. You don’t know how many dates stand between you and the love of your life, so why not use the ones in between to become the best version of yourself you can be? Take it from someone who’s been there: no matter how long the wait—and how rough the dating waters—it will all be worth it in the end.

 

Dating doesn’t have to be a drag. Click here to schedule a free consult and find out how Naked Dating® is a path that can lead to real love.

SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY!

SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY!

 

 

The Rules are for Fools


Mimi9
The Rules are for Fools

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rules are for Fools

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

Listen if you want to be Heard

Listen if You Want to Be Heard

 Listen if you want to be Heard

When I ask couples to tell me three things they want to get out of coaching, finding better ways to communicate is at the top of their list. I understand. It must be devastating for two people who have shared some of the most wonderful, positive feelings they’ve ever had to find themselves devolving into constant arguments over what are often petty matters.. What’s worse it that many of them feel powerless to stop doing it. When the dust settles, they might find themselves making promises to each other, but then they don’t follow through. Without strategies for long-term change, they get stuck in a continuous cycle of blow-ups and makeups that continue to escalate their feelings of helplessness and resentment. If nothing is done to break the pattern, it can permanently damage the relationship.

In my experience, when couples say they want better communication skills, what they really need are better listening skills. The real issue is that they’re not hearing each other. When tensions are running high and one partner is sharing, the other isn’t listening to what’s being said because s/he is too busy preparing a defense. They might have started out having a conversation, but then they devolve into a debate where both partners are just trying to prove that they’re right.

Break it down

If you and your partner came to me for coaching, I would start by showing you how to break your conversation into two distinct parts where one of you is the speaker and one of you is the listener. The speaker will share his or her side of the story in a way that is non-blaming and non-attacking, and the listener would only be allowed to reflect back on what he or she hears. This may sound simple, but it can be extremely challenging for the listener to listen without countering what the speaker is saying. It takes a certain amount of self-control and a willingness to hear your partner’s side in the same way that you want your partner to hear your side. In this exercise you’ll both have the opportunity to play each role—the speaker and the listener. In this first exercise, the goal is not to solve any problems or issues, but to listen in a new way and really hear what your partner has to say.

You can both be right

Stephen Covey says, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” This is because, if you want people to understand where you’re coming from, you have to first be willing to understand where they’re coming from. Keep in mind that just because you understand where they’re coming from, it doesn’t mean you agree with their  point-of-view. It just means that, within the context of who they are, you understand how they could feel a certain way. Contrary to popular belief, there isn’t just one way to look at a given situation. Just because you and your partner have differing opinions, it doesn’t mean that one of you is right and one of you is wrong. You could both be right. The more you let go of your need to be right and open up to hearing your partner, the more compassion you will have and the easier it will be to resolve conflicts in a loving way. Now, lets get started!

 

Mirroring Exercise:

Think of a current issue or conflict in your relationship. With that in mind, choose one partner to be the listener and one to be the speaker.

Directions for the speaker:

Begin by using a soft start up—a gentle, loving approach intended to put your partner at ease. Think of two or three kind statements you can say about your partner. For example, “I love spending time with you,” or “Without question you’re my best friend.”

The second step is to use “and” rather than “but” language. If you use “but,” it will negate all the nice things you just said and your partner will immediately feel defensive.

For example: “I love living with you and sharing a home with you and it would be great if you would help clean the bedroom once in awhile.”

The third step is to present your perspective, using “I” language instead of “You” language. For example, instead of saying “You never listen to me” try “Sometimes I don’t feel heard.”

The last thing is to avoid using the phrase “It makes me feel.” Nobody makes you feel anything. You choose to feel a certain way. So instead of saying, “When you interrupt me all the time it makes me feel angry,” you would say, “When you interrupt me, I feel angry.” “When you do or say __________________, I feel _________________.”

Directions for the listener:

You might want to have a pen and paper on hand to take notes, because it can be difficult to listen and remember the main points when your partner has a lot on his or her mind. As your partner speaks, you want to be aware of your partner’s perspective. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and try your best to see the situation through his or her eyes. Even if you don’t agree with what he or she says, you want to understand why your partner feels that way.

Every so often, when your partner pauses, repeat what he or she just said back. Say, “What I think I heard you say is…” And then, in your own words, tell your partner what you think he or she was trying to say. If your partner doesn’t pause and you want to check in, simply ask, “Can I pause you for a second?” and then repeat what your partner just said. When you do this part of the exercise, be aware of your tone. It’s easy to come across as snarky or judgmental, even if you don’t intend to be.

 Your partner will then reply, “Yes that is what I said,” or “No, you didn’t quite understand me.” Remember, you’re not there to offer solutions or even ask questions at this point. Your only objective is to let your partner know that you truly understand what he or she just said.

Most members of a couple are so intent on getting their own point across that they don’t realize they’re not hearing what their partner has to say. This exercise is designed to get you to slow down and really listen to each other. Many of my clients who did this simple exercise for the first time came back to the next session and said that it was life changing for them. They said that it was a revelation to finally hear what their partner was saying and to be heard in return. I would love for you to give this a try and share your experience.  What new insights did you have into how you can listen better and how it felt to really have someone listen to you?

If you and your partner are having trouble communicating, book a complimentary consultation and see how I can help.  Listen if you want to be Heard

 

 

I Finally Figured it Out

I Finally Figured it Out

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.

 

If you want to stop sabotaging your dating, learn how to get emotionally naked, and find the man of your dreams click here to book a complimentary consult and find out how I can help:

I Finally Figured it Out

28 Things Every Woman Wishes Her Man Knew

28 things every woman wishes her man knew

28 Things Every Woman Wishes Her Man Knew

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

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

 

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

 

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

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