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Take Off Your Masks

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8 Things to Avoid on a First Date

8 Things to Avoid on a First Date

8 Things to Avoid on a First Date

You finally went on a date with someone you feel excited about. The conversation seemed effortless, the chemistry was undeniable, and you went to bed that night with the innate sense that you would see this person again. But the days have ticked by, and you haven’t heard a word. You’re starting to wonder whether you might have done something to turn your date off… but what?

If you find yourself having trouble getting to a second date—even when you thought things went well—there’s a good chance you’re sabotaging your chances without even realizing it. Here are eight things to avoid doing on a first date… so you can have better odds of making it to the second!

  1. Making it all about you

Let’s face it: there are few things worse than being stuck on dates with people who only talk about themselves. I know because this was my biggest mistake when I was dating. I was so busy trying to entertain my dates and make them like me that I wasn’t even paying attention to whether or not they were enjoying the show. If I could go back and ask all the guys I went out with what I’d done wrong, many of them would say that they thought I was self-absorbed. What I’ve since learned is learned is to pause every now and then when I am talking to check in with the person sitting across from me. I might ask their opinion about something I’ve said or ask if they’ve had a similar experience. Here’s a tip: if you’ve been talking and notice you’ve barely touched your cocktail—but your date looks ready to order a second—you need to hit the pause button and give him/her a chance to join in.

  1. Turning your date into an interrogation

Most of us go into a date knowing there are certain things we simply must have in a partner (for example, you absolutely want children and are looking for a partner who feels the same or you require a certain degree of financial stability) and you don’t want to waste time with someone who isn’t on the same page. Before you know it, you’re firing off a dozen questions and your date feels like he/she is on the witness stand. Talk about a buzzkill. No matter how hard you try, you’re not going to learn everything you need to know on a first date. So save yourself—and your date—the aggravation and don’t try. The object of the first date is to have a good time and to see if there’s enough intrigue and attraction to warrant a second. The more pressure you put on yourself to figure out whether this person is “the one,” the more pressure you’re going to put on the date… and the more pressure you put on the date, the less likely your date is going to want to see you again. Try asking questions that are more subtle or indirect, that don’t sound probing. Instead of asking, “Are you looking for a committed relationship?” ask, “What inspired you to sign up for Bumble?” Also, really listen to what your date is saying. People reveal themselves through the stories they tell and the little comments they make like, “I can be a real bitch sometimes.” I had a client who was dating a man who mentioned he’d been accused of being narcissistic. Guess what? He was!

  1. Drinking Too Much

Sure, it might help you relax, lower your inhibitions, give you confidence and a sharp wit, but hit your limit and disaster can strike. Charm and wit can quickly make way for inappropriate questions, boasting, and first date sex. If you know you’re going to be drinking, eat something before the date and know your limits. I repeat: Know. Your. Limits. If you have a tendency to overindulge, stick to club soda. Also, remember, the rule of thumb is to have one glass of water for every drink.

  1. Trash talking

This one might sound obvious, but talking badly about people you know (you lose even more points for talking badly about an ex—don’t bring them up at all), past dates, the waiter, or the girl’s cheesy outfit at the table across from you is a no-no. The same thing goes for talking badly about yourself—self-deprecation isn’t sexy. There are so many things to talk about on a first date… trash talk is cheap and boring. You know the old adage: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” Make it your mantra!

  1. Showing up late

When it comes to first dates, there’s no such thing as being fashionably late. It won’t make you seem sexy or mysterious—it will just make you look like a jerk. If you’re running late, have the decency to give your date a call or send a text and let him/her know you’re on your way. Then, offer another apology when you arrive. Or, better yet, show up a few minutes early.

  1. Airing your dirty laundry

Life is tough… maybe you think you’re going to lose your job, your roommate is a total psycho, or your meds stopped working. These are things you can talk about during happy hour with your friends or on the phone with your mom, but not on a first date. Your friends and family know you on a deeper level, they’ve invested in the relationship, and they have a reason to care. Your date does not. I don’t care how intense your connection is, there’s nothing sexy about TMI. Trust me. If you wind up dating, it will come back to haunt you!

  1. Appearing overeager

You’ve been on more bad dates than you can count, and finally, you’re sitting across from someone who’s attractive, intelligent, and fun. Within ten minutes you know you want to see this person again. That’s great… but you don’t have to announce it. It’s one thing to compliment your date and let him or her know you’re having a good time, but avoid appearing desperate or overeager. Don’t shower your date with compliments and don’t start planning the second date out loud. Everything in moderation… including enthusiasm.

  1. Bad Manners

Whether it’s talking with your mouth full, texting, picking at your teeth, or cursing like a sailor, there’s nothing like bad manners to kill the chemistry… and your chances of a second date. Learn how to use a knife and fork, save the swear words for the basketball court, and keep your iPhone in your purse (or pocket). In other words, behave like someone your date would take home to his/her parents, and you just might find yourself at Sunday dinner.

 

Are you having trouble getting second dates and not sure why? Book a consultation and see how I can help!

The Hateful 8: Eight Things to Avoid on a First Date

 

Naked Truth #2: It Doesn’t Always Pay to Pull Out all the Stops on a First Date

Naked Truth #2: It Doesn’t Always Pay to Pull Out all the Stops on a First Date

Naked Truth #2: It Doesn’t Always Pay to Pull Out all the Stops on a First Date

Lots of guys think they have to go all out on the first date to impress a woman and get her interested, but the date itself is really only a small part of the equation. When you read my assistant’s story below about her two Tinder dates (and find out which guy she ended up with!) you might consider getting to know someone a little better before you go for broke. -Lisa

Two years ago, fresh out of grad school and single as I’d ever been, I downloaded Tinder. I was tired of hanging around the same guys in the tight-knit L.A. circle I had floated in and out of since college, and I figured I’d give it a shot. In the three months I was on the app, I only ended up going out with two of the guys I matched with… but the dates couldn’t have been more different.

I met the first guy, Robby, for drinks at a dive bar of his choosing in Santa Monica. I didn’t feel some over-the-top attraction at first, but I had a good time. He was handsome and intelligent. We spent about 45 minutes together, enjoyed some interesting conversation about music and art, and parted ways. I didn’t know if I would see him again, but there was a quiet confidence about him that intrigued me, and so I checked the box for “maybe” in my head.

My second Tinder date was, coincidentally, scheduled for the following night. (I wasn’t one to waste any time!) Let’s just say this one was a step up from drinks at a dive bar. Brendan had an “extra” ticket for the sold-out Paul McCartney concert at Dodger Stadium. He lived within walking distance of the show, so I met him at his place before the gig. When I arrived, I saw that he had arranged an elaborate wine and cheese spread on his back patio and had cued the new Sharon Van Etten record we’d been chatting about over text on his sound system. It was pretty adorable. When we got to the venue, I was pleasantly surprised to find our seats were top notch— on the floor, just behind third base. “If this is all for the first date,” I thought to myself, as Sir Paul transitioned into ‘Blackbird,’ “what would he possibly do for our second?”

Well…. we never made it there. Brendan was a total sweetheart, and we had a good time together, but as we were walking back from the concert that night, my mind turned—rather unexpectedly—to Robby. Here I was, on this incredible date with this sweet guy who had clearly put a lot of effort (and $$$) into showing me a good time, and I was thinking about the guy who picked the less-than-impressive dive bar for our first meeting? Let’s just say I was as surprised by my reaction as you probably are, dear reader. But, as Emily Dickinson once wrote, “the heart wants what the heart wants – or else it does not care.”

The next morning, I woke up to a text from Robby asking how the concert was. (I had mentioned I was going, but had conveniently left out the fact that it was with another guy I had met on Tinder.) We texted back and forth for a bit, and he asked me if I’d like to have dinner with him later that week. This time, he stepped up his game and suggested a nice restaurant in Venice Beach.

I have to admit, the date felt a little awkward in the beginning. While it wasn’t our first meeting, we still hadn’t had the time to develop any real rapport. We were both too nervous to eat a big meal, so we ordered a dozen oysters and a bottle of wine. The oysters were delicious and I was flattered that he’d taken me to such a nice place, but it wasn’t until we sunk into a comfy booth at another dive bar afterward that we really warmed up to each other. There was just something about a no-frills, no-nonsense spot that took the pressure off and made it easier for us both to relax and open up. (Come to think of it, that bottle of wine probably didn’t hurt, either!)

It’s been almost two years since that date, and eight months ago, Robby and I moved in together. The moral of the story? Sure, it’s always nice to put some thought into a date and make an effort to show someone a good time, but at the end of the day, a date only lasts an evening, but a real connection can last a lifetime.

While I don’t necessarily advocate taking a woman to a dive for a first meeting (I still give Robby sh*t for that… a nice wine bar is more my speed!), the next time you feel totally stressed about planning that perfect date for a woman you hardly know, remember—the heart wants what the heart wants. If you have a real connection with someone, it’s not going to matter whether you take her out for a cocktail or to a Paul McCartney concert on the first meeting. Grab a drink! Go for a walk! Make a picnic! Take her to your favorite taco stand! If there’s real chemistry—and your date’s not some totally shallow you-know-what—she’s going to have a good time, and you’re going to get a second date.

Are you having trouble meeting someone out in the dating world? Book a consultation with Lisa and see how she can help you turn your dating around!

Naked Truth #2: It doesn’t always pay to pull out all the stops on a first date

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!

 

 

Naked Truth #1 – Meeting your soul mate could feel very different than you think

Naked Truth #1 – Meeting your soul mate could feel very different than you think

Naked Truth #1 – Meeting your soul mate could feel very different than you think

When I met my husband for the first time, he was a complete surprise—not an unexpected surprise, but a quiet one. I had arrived at the restaurant early. In fact, he had gotten lost and was at least 20 minutes late for our date. I was seated at the bar, and he walked over to me, took my hand in his, and said, “It is so nice to meet you.” The moment I lifted my gaze to meet his, I knew the meaning of the phrase, “The eyes are the windows to the soul.” I was staring into the eyes of the kindest person I had ever met. In that naked moment, he revealed himself to me and I to him. As someone who usually felt anxious on first dates, I was totally at ease.

The feeling I had that night, staring into the eyes of my future husband, took me by surprise. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. There were no fireworks or fanfare. I didn’t feel butterflies in my stomach or light as air. Truth be told, I’d felt those things before… with my ex- husband, and 12 years later, I was asking for a divorce. This was different. It was like I’d come home and I was finally where I belonged.

So many people are stuck on the idea that when they meet the person they’re meant to spend the rest of their lives with, they’ll experience this overwhelming rush of adrenaline and excitement—that weak-in-the-knees feeling they talk about in movies. And when they don’t have that experience on the first couple of dates, they’re ready to write that person off convinced that he or she isn’t “the one.” But if you talk to people who are in loving, committed relationships, they’ll often say meeting their mate didn’t feel overwhelming or like some out-of-body experience—it just felt right. They will also say they didn’t fall for their partner overnight; their feelings came on slowly, and it wasn’t until weeks or months into dating that they realized they’d met someone they could spend the rest of their lives with.

So, if there are no butterflies or fireworks on a first date, how can you possibly know whether a person has the potential to be “the one?” Here are a few suggestions:

First, you need to see if you can find a handful of qualities you really admire about your date. When I first met my husband, I could see that he was kind, accomplished, present, self-aware, and generous, among other things. He was clearly a very special person, but he was also completely different from other men I’d dated. I honestly didn’t have a clue how we would fit together as a couple. I felt like I was in unknown territory. But just because it didn’t feel familiar didn’t mean it wasn’t right… which leads me to my second suggestion:

If someone you’re dating has some admirable qualities and is not like the people you usually date, you need to give him or her a real chance. If you’re like most people, you haven’t chosen the best partners in the past, which is why you’re still dating. To find the right person, you need to get out of your own way and date people who break the mold.

Third, with each date you should feel like you are learning more about each other and growing closer. This can take some time, so pay attention and tune in to subtle shifts in your feelings. Maybe you find that you can’t stop thinking about the cute gap between her teeth or how calls his grandmother every Sunday. It can takes time to develop a real friendship with someone new… and if you really think about it, a partner is actually a best friend that you have sex with.

If you met someone new and he or she hasn’t blown you away just yet, keep in mind that dating is a journey of the heart, but a racing heart isn’t always the best indication of a good match. If you’re out in the dating world, I encourage you to let go of your wild fantasies and expectations, get out of your own way, and give people more of a chance. Who knows? Your soul mate could be hiding in plain sight, and it’s only a matter of time before that person comes into focus.

Are you struggling with dating? Book a coaching consultation and see how I can help!

Naked Truth #1 – Meeting your soul mate could feel very different than you think

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

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

“Naked” Dating Tip #3

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

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

So, what do we do?

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

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

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

The Rules are for Fools

The Rules are for Fools


Mimi9
The Rules are for Fools

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rules are for Fools

2016 Sexy Life Summit

2016 Sexy Life Summit

2016 Sexy Life Summit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

SexyLifeSummit.com/LisaShield

 

XOXO,

 

Lisa

 

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

Screw the Chase

Screw the ChaseScrew the Chase:

Why sleeping with a man shouldn’t be about the “hot pursuit”

If you listen to most of the dating advice out there, the answer is yes: a man will lose interest if you don’t play hard to get. But, while it’s true that some guys may lose interest, this shouldn’t be your primary concern when deciding whether you’re ready to sleep with someone.

In my 13 years as a dating coach, I’ve seen it all. I’ve had clients who dated men who had no intention of getting into a relationship and pushed for sex. I’ve also had clients who dated men who wouldn’t sleep with them right away because they said they were interested in pursuing a relationship and wanted to get to know them first. I have male clients who say they don’t lose respect for women who have sex with them right away, and I’ve read countless studies that suggest having sex early on doesn’t necessarily diminish the odds of having a relationship.

In one such study, Dean Busby, of Brigham Young University’s School of Family Life, surveyed 2,035 heterosexual married individuals with an average age of 36. Forty percent of the participants reported sleeping with their spouses within the first two dates… so clearly, many men aren’t just in it for the chase.

So, what should you be thinking about?

At the end of the day, the smartest thing a woman can do is to avoid playing games or following someone else’s rules, and start thinking about what’s in her own best interest. So, maybe it’s time you stop worrying about what a man is going to think of you and start taking yourself into consideration. What makes you feel appreciated, respected, and secure?

This might not apply to you, but most women say they feel more secure in a relationship when they wait to sleep with a man. They feel that if a guy is willing to wait for sex and spend time getting to know them first, it shows a certain level of maturity and she feels valued as a person. In fact, there are many statistics that show that when couples wait to have sex and establish a deep friendship first, they form a stronger emotional bond that can stand the test of time.

Good things come to those who wait!

You may have heard me say this before, but I encourage my clients—men and women alike—to wait between one to three months before having sex.

This isn’t because of what your date will think of you, it’s because you need to take the time to get to know someone before you sleep with him. It’s naïve to think you can know someone in a few hours or a few days. Something else to consider is that having sex too soon can create a false sense of intimacy. Even though pillow talk feels deep, it only seems so because you’re naked… and because you just had sex! Your body is literally flooded with hormones that are designed to make you feel a strong biological connection to the person lying next to you.

In the 13 years I’ve been coaching, every client—male and female—who took my advice and waited to have sex has come back and told me they were glad they did. It changed everything for them. Not one person regretted waiting.

No matter what your body is telling you, I encourage you to take the time to get to know someone before you jump into bed. If you really want a meaningful, lasting relationship, it’s wise to slow down and get emotionally naked first. The sex will be that much better.

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