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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.

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THOSE PESKY PHONE CALLS

Those Pesky Phone Calls:

Why they’re important and

how to keep ’em short

 

While more and more people are resorting to emails, instant messages, and texts to set up dates, it is a big mistake not to talk to someone on the phone once before you meet.  You might think this is obvious, but it’s not.  You would be shocked at the number of people who simply don’t talk on the phone these days.  Why is a phone call so important?  For one thing, we can’t edit our thoughts as easily on the when we are speaking as we can in an email or text.  You can also learn to tell a lot about a person’s state of mind just from the tone and speed of their voice.  It’s not as easy as we think to hide our fear, negativity, or anxiety when we speak.  In the longrun, you will save yourself time and energy by screening people on the phone prior to meeting for a date, and you won’t burn out on dating as easily.

That said, you want to keep the conversation short.  In fact, you don’t need to sit on the phone chatting for long periods with someone you haven’t met.  A 5-15 minute conversation is sufficient to introduce yourself, exchange a few pleasantries, and set a date.  My husband and I had one short email exchange and a 5-minute phone call before we met.  Use an egg timer if you have a tendency to talk too long.  When the time is up, don’t just cut the other person off and say, “I have to go.”  This can seem abrupt.  Remember, in dating-related situations, people can feel way more sensitive than usual.  Here are a few guidelines for good phone etiquette:

1.  If you need to interrupt someone who is going on and on say:

“May I pause you for a moment?”

2.  Then say:

“Thank you for your time.  Unfortunately, I have to run.”

3.  Whether you are male or female, if you enjoyed the interaction, you can say:

“I really enjoyed talking to you and would love to continue our conversation.  Perhaps we

could do this over coffee or a drink.”  If the other person agrees, set a date on the spot.  Say:  “Would you like to set a date now?”

4.  If you decide you don’t want to go on a date with this person, you can do one of two things:

Option 1:  If you are feeling like a very bold Naked Dater, you could say: “Thanks for your

time.  Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re a match.  I wish you the best in your search.”

Option 2:  If that feels uncomfortable, you can take a gentler route and say: “We might be

able to pick this up at another time.”  (Note the use of the word “might.”)  Then, when you

get off the phone you can send an email and say:  “I enjoyed talking to you but I don’t think we’re a match.  Good luck in your search.”

Thanks for reading!  Go forth and date naked!

How to Tame Your Imaginary Frenemy (IF)

Teenage boy and girl stick out tongues to each otherDo you really want to know what’s wrong with dating?  Imaginary Frenemies (IF).  Yes, that’s right.  Imaginary Frenemies.  They are the culprits.  These nasty little devils are sabotaging your dating and, frankly, they need to stop.  Everyone has an Imaginary Frenemy.  Your IF is the critical voice in your head that’s part friend, part enemy.  It pretends to be concerned about your well being but then says horrible things about nearly everyone you date.

Most likely, it feels like your IF is trying to protect you by keeping you from getting close to the wrong person.  What’s really happening is that it’s keeping you from getting close to the right person.  You see your Frenemy doesn’t discriminate.  It looks for the negative, and usually finds it.  It says things like, “OMG, he’s sooooo boring!  How can I make him stop talking?”  Or, “She’s so bossy, I don’t know how any man could stand her.”  It zeros in on what’s wrong with someone because, let’s face it, we all have more important things to do than waste time getting to know people who clearly have nothing to offer us.  Or do they?  As long as we keep listening to our IF, we might never know.  We’ll keep walking away from one date after another never knowing or even caring to know the person sitting across from us.  Don’t worry.  You’re not evil.  There’s a very good chance the person sitting across from you is doing the same thing.

The other day, my client, Ali, told me a story about her IF that left me feeling sad.    Ali is a relatively attractive, 30-something, brunette, with an impressive career and a trendy group of friends. Samantha, Ali’s roommate, invited her to meet a couple she thought Ali would like.  Ali wrote off the husband at first sight.  He was a total nerd—as boring as a blank sheet of paper.  He had no panache.  Then there was the wife.  Her velour tracksuit and sneakers were so outdated that she would have been a perfect candidate for a reality show makeover.  When two more couples joined the group, Ali quickly found fault with them, as well.

“Lisa,” Ali said, shaking her head and feeling genuinely remorseful.  “I’m a terrible person.  They were all being so nice to me.  They kept trying to ask me questions and include me in the conversation, and all I wanted to do was leave.  I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I couldn’t stop that horrible voice my head.  What am I going to do?”

Stay tuned for part II of How to Tame Your Imaginary Frenemy.  Find out how Ali rises to my coaching challenge and turns her Frenemy into a friend.  Also, discover some easy techniques to get your IF under control. And finally, learn about how I tamed my Frenemy, a.k.a. “The Shrew.”

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