Dev and Rachel need me!

love coach

I thoroughly enjoyed a new series on Netflix called Master of None which focuses on the life and love of Dev, played by Aziz Ansari. His love interest is Rachel. DEV AND RACHEL NEED ME!

Why do Dev and Rachel need a love coach? They, like many dating couples, are building the plane as they are flying it! How might things be different for them – and for you – if you really knew who you are, what you want, if you were able to communicate positive and effectively and if you could manage differences between you and your partner?

What is your vision for love? What do you think is possible in marriage? At one end of the spectrum is unrealistic fantasy of bliss that requires no work… and on the other end is the cynical belief that marriage is an outdated institution that clips one’s wings and that sucks the life out of people.
How can you have a partnership that enhances your life? First you need to know who you are and choose a partner who shares your key values and vision. Get to know him or her over time and determine whether you are both ready to make a commitment. I believe the key here is not to rush. It takes time to get to know someone. As you get to know the other person, you get to know yourself.

I believe that commitment is the key to a successful relationship. In this world of instant gratification and disposable everything, commitment might be a foreign concept to many of us. Think of what you’ve been committed to – whether it’s learning to play an instrument, learning a language or playing video games! Commitment takes dedication and focus. It’s also the key to getting results.

How might things have turned out if Dev and Rachel had me, as a love coach, in their lives? How might things be different for you?

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Authenticity is sexy!

The model for many standard romance novels is that the hero and the heroine play their cards close to their chests.  Neither really knows what is going on for the other.  There are misinterpretations and misunderstandings and then, finally, resolution.  This allows a novelist to create a book with lots of pages… but is this how you want to life your life?

How would things be different for you if you were truly authentic?  To me, it is much less stressful, for starters!  If you’re playing a role – and trying to be who you think the other person wants you to be – eventually it will break down because it’s not sustainable.  What do you have but a relationship based on people wearing masks?  How can that be fulfilling?

Being truly authentic requires courage.  It means showing the world who you really are: what you’re passionate about, what you won’t tolerate, what your views are even on controversial topics.  The beauty of being authentic is that people are then able to connect with you on a deep level.  Not everyone will “get” you.  Not everyone will agree with you, but when you are authentic you attract people who see you and appreciate you even if there are differences.

How is authenticity “sexy”?  I believe it’s because a fulfilling sexual connection requires intimacy, and intimacy isn’t possible without authenticity.

I believe that “the truth will set you free” and being authentic allows you to live your truth.  I invite you to take the brave step of showing the world your beautiful unique light!

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What are you Tolerating in your Relationship

“What are you tolerating in your relationship?” is a very powerful coaching question and one I invite you to ask yourself. I’d like to share an experience I’ve just had which I hope will be helpful to you. I met a man through online dating last October and we immediately felt a connection. It was very powerful and I described it as feeling like my “iron filings” were strongly attracted to his powerful magnet. We spent a couple of hours together and I reveled in the sense of awe, wonder and mutual recognition we shared. We both love Rumi, and spirituality is important to both of us. I kept marveling that I met a man like this on a free dating site! Who knew? What a blessing! (or so I thought at the time!)

As the following week went on, I had a text or two, and looked forward to getting together with him on the weekend, but he was too busy. I won’t go into all the details of this relationship which consisted mainly romantic of texts and vague promises. I won’t talk about the times I was disappointed when I asked for help and he didn’t come through. And I won’t go over the number of times I’d send texts that were simply ignored. I tracked all of this but what kept me going was that when were together it was wonderful. We both thoroughly enjoyed it but, sadly, these times were few and far between because he works 7 days a week.

Why did I stay? I’m a dating coach! Couldn’t I see the red flags within the first week? He was clearly not a good match for me but I was hooked. Now that it’s over I can see those hooks and I’m sharing my story with the hope that this will help you unhook if you’re in a dysfunctional relationship.

Hook#1: We believe what we want to believe even if it goes against our direct experience. I believed that someday we would have lots of quality time together reading Rumi, being deeply present and living The 40 Rules of Love (a wonderful novel by Elif Safak about the love between Rumi and Shams). My actual experience over 7 months was that we saw each other for about 2 hours every 2 or 3 weeks – yet I kept believing things would change. Wishful thinking!

Hook #2: My limiting belief was that this man is the ONLY man around who appreciates Rumi like I do and who really “gets” me. Every time I thought about leaving, my scarcity thinking would be triggered and I told myself that I may not find another spiritual man like this… even though I spent so much time sad, disappointed and feeling unheard. Once I worked through that limiting belief and embraced that there ARE other men out there, I was able to loosen the hook.

Hook #3: Chemistry! I learned a lot about the insidious nature of chemistry from this experience! It’s funny because I tell my middle-aged clients that chemistry isn’t so much about lust now, (not like in our 20’s and 30’s) but that’s just not true! The other thing about chemistry is that it gives you the sense that you have more in common with the other person than you actually do… and those hormones can actually make you think you’re soul mates! Unrecognized chemistry is devious dangerous and it can really mess with your wise judgment! It’s helpful to rely on your friends’ feedback about your partner so you get a reality check. When your brain is in a hormonal fog, this is next to impossible.

Hook #4: Margaret Paul (Inner Bonding) talks about our wounded self can get fiercely bonded to unavailable people because this is so familiar from our family of origin. That wounded part really believes it is possible to turn someone who’s unavailable into being available…. but, sadly, that can’t happen and it just means more pain for that part. There are many ways that someone can be unavailable to you: still married to someone else, unable or unwilling to open up to you; too busy to see you. I needed to comfort that inner wounded part of me so I could gently dash her hopes. The truth is that he would never become available. It was essential before I could move on.

Hook#5: Trying to make it all better by reframing it as spiritual boot camp. I wrote page after page in my journal. I read spiritual books. I did self-awareness and personal growth exercises. I tried to make his bad behavior OK. I blamed my pain on my monkey mind. I blamed my ego for being attached to wanting things a certain way (like being treated with courtesy and respect!) While I think it’s valuable to see things from different perspectives, there was really no way to see his neglectful behavior as acceptable. Treating others with consideration, courtesy, respect, compassion and care is non-negotiable in my view!  This is what I’m holding out for: to be treated with love and respect.  It’s basic!

I always encourage my clients to see the blessings in these sorts of experiences, and to see the lessons. When I recognized all that I had been tolerating, I knew that I had to take a stand and honor myself – and leave the relationship.

I deserve more and so do you.

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Dating as a Spiritual Practice

What is the goal of a spiritual practice?  For me, the goal is wholeness.

How can dating be seen as a spiritual practice?  Is it about finding “the one” so you can be whole?

That’s not how I see it.

In fact, it’s the opposite.  It’s using the trials and tribulations (as well as the triumphs!) of dating toward becoming whole and deepening your relationship with the Divine, God, the Universe or whatever term you choose to use.

Without a spiritual component, dating can be overwhelmingly daunting and frustrating.  If we come from a place of being lonely and desperately seeking someone to complete us or to make us feel good about ourselves, it’s pretty hard.  We often encounter disappointment, rejection and self-doubt…. how can we see the big picture?  How can we put dating into a larger context so the focus is as much on the journey as on the destination (of finding a partner)?

I believe that there are certain key elements.

Be aware of your resistance to being single:  I talk to many singles who are desperate to find someone.  They are terribly unhappy and think that if they could just find the right person, all would be well.  Because of their resistance to what “is”, they suffer.  How would it be to see being single as an opportunity, not as a curse?  How can you take advantage of this time to get to know yourself better and to explore what’s meaningful to you?  You can embrace being single and hold the vision of great love with a partner.

Practise compassion toward yourself and others: When dating it’s easy to be hard on yourself and to listen to your inner critic.  You’re not enough of this; you’re too much of that. etc. etc.  How would it be different if you were actually gentle toward yourself and if you chose to embrace your value?  And how would it be different if you saw other singles with compassion, knowing that they face many of the challenges that you do?

How can you get out of your own way in dating?  We often create obstacles to love with our limiting beliefs and attitudes.  When you hear yourself saying “all men…”  or “you never” or “you always” that’s a sign that there’s a part of you that is making generalizations that probably aren’t true.  Are you caught up in believing that all the good ones are taken?  That if people really knew you they wouldn’t love you?  These limiting beliefs and attitudes often run in the background and negatively impact our choices and how we are in the world.  When we have a spiritual practice we become more aware of these thoughts and we can make a conscious choice not to be led by them.

Gratitude: how can you be grateful for what you have – despite being single?  It’s easy when you’ve been disappointed in dating to focus on what you don’t have, rather than what you do have.  Making regular gratitude lists will help you see the big picture.

Trust: how would dating be different if we had radical trust that we are being supported and that we are given what we need?  I believe that trust gives us peace of mind.  My clients often wonder why it’s taking so long for their soulmate to arrive.  I think it’s about divine timing and true readiness on both people’s parts.  Joyfully anticipating being with our true love, and trusting that all is unfolding as it should, allows us to live happily and gratefully in the present moment… and to become truly ready to be in the relationship we desire.

We have a choice.  We can see dating as a necessary evil to find our beloved partner, or we can choose to see it as a spiritual practice.  What can you learn from the experience of dating?  How can you use dating to become more whole?



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Two Pieces of Non-Advice

As a relationship coach it’s not my job to give advice.  My role is to help my clients discover their own answers by helping them get clarity and by asking them meaningful questions (among other techniques)

Today I was imagining if someone insisted on two pieces of advice from me… what they would be.  It didn’t take me long to come up with these:

1) Know who you are and what you want in life, and

2) SLOW THINGS DOWN when dating

Knowing who you are is so important, and yet so many people have focused on their career, their family, their marriage… and really don’t know who they are.  Do you have a vision of how you want your life to be or are you just “getting by” and putting one foot in front of the other hoping that retirement or some other life change will rescue you from how things are?  When was the last time that you sat down and put your dreams on paper – or have you given up on dreaming?  What is your reason for being on this planet?   How do you want to make a difference in the world?

If you are clear on who you are and what you want, then you can date with awareness.  You can ensure that your potential mate will support you in the direction you want to go rather than hold you back or crush your dreams.

And #2….” slow things down”.  I see so many people rush into committed relationships without knowing the other person.  They project who they WANT that person to be – and are reluctant to see the red flags when they show up.  Rushing into a sexual relationship triggers all kinds of euphoria-inducing and bonding hormones so it’s even harder to extricate yourself when you realize that there may be serious deal breakers.  It’s much easier to walk away when you haven’t invested copious amounts of time, energy and/or money… so take your time.  Enjoy life in the slow lane with your eyes wide open.

Please… if you’re in the dating world take good care of yourself.  Do the work you need to do to be ready for dating and for the relationship you want.  Of course working with a relationship coach who specializes in this area is ideal.  You’re welcome to Email Me so we can set up a time for a consultation.

And when you meet someone and the chemistry is overwhelming this alone does not indicate that this person is “the one!”   Recognize that this is nature’s sneaky strategy for the survival of the species even if you have no intention of making babies!

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My Recent Online Dating Experience: a Cosmic Joke?

online dating experience

Let me relate to you my recent online dating experience. As you may know, I am currently single and looking for a relationship with an extraordinary man.  Because I am dating, I can understand what my single clients go through better than if I’d be happily married for decades!  I thought it was time to join an online dating site so I could meet some new men and find out what it’s like to put myself out there like that.

About two weeks ago I decided to join Match.  The good news is that I had some interest.  The bad news is that things didn’t go very well.  One fellow who was proud to claim that he is trustworthy didn’t call when he said he would and when I expressed my concern about it, I never heard from him again.  Another one actually did call, but at 6am my time.  He missed me, so he emailed me to ask when the best time would be to reach me and I suggested between 8am and 9pm my time.  He called even earlier the next day at 5:30 am!  And another one suggested we spend some time Instant Messaging.  I know that this can be a huge time waster (and he lives in a different part of the country so I don’t know that we’ll ever actually  meet) so I said I’m not into IM-ing but I’d be open to a phone call and if he gave me his number I’d phone him.  His response?  To send me a detailed email about how to sign up for Messenger!

Hello!  Is anybody listening?

So far, my online dating experience hasn’t been very positive and I’ll stick it out until my 3-month subscription is done.  I know people who are now married who met via online dating so it does work for some people.  For me… it’s about being clear on my boundaries (no early phone calls, no IM-ing, no endless emails!) and getting out and doing more local things.  I’m actually hosting “dinner, drinks and dancing” in my neighbourhood tonight for singles.  Do you want to meet more local singles?  Perhaps you can start a Meetup group – or offer to host an event for an existing Meetup.  There is definitely something to be said for meeting face-t0-face in a group doing an activity you enjoy.

Online dating is one strategy for meeting other singles but, for me so far it’s taken up a lot of time and I don’t have much to show for it – except some funny stories!

Ready to get started on your journey to find lasting love?  Click here to apply for a complimentary consultation and/or sign up for my free report so you can avoid common and deadly dating mistakes!

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Your Stages of Life – Are You in Sync?

One of the catalysts for doing personal growth work is the ending of a marriage or a long-term relationship.  This is a wonderful time to find out who you are and what you want.  It may be a time that you want to do some exploring and to date many people without any commitment.

Many men are at this stage.  They may have been in long relationships and want to experience dating different women and putting the focus on themselves.  This is a healthy and valuable stage of moving on.  However, if you are looking for a man to commit to a long-term relationship with you these men are not a good option!

If you’re looking for a future partner be aware of the stage he’s at.  Is he in the exploration stage?  Is he dating for fun and recreation?  If so, he may not be someone you’ll want to invest a lot of time in if you’re looking someone to spend the rest of your life with.

I hear over and over again from women that a man is clear at the beginning that he isn’t ready for a relationship but they ignore what he says.  They invest time and energy hoping that it will turn into a commitment and then are deeply disappointed when reality hits.

If you are at different stages in life he will likely not be available for you in the way you want.

How can you prevent this heartache?  How can you avoid putting your heart and soul into a relationship with a good man who isn’t available?

Pay attention to what he says!  If he says right from the beginning that he isn’t ready for a relationship don’t think you’ll change his mind!  Find men who are at the same stage of life as you are.  Find the ones who have dated lots of women and are clear that they are ready for a long-term commitment.  They are out there!



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Someone Out There is Praying for You to Show Up

Do you ever feel discouraged as a single?  Do you wonder if you’ll ever meet your ideal partner?  Does that inner critical voice nag you about all your perceived shortcomings?

How would things be different if you really believed that someone out there is PRAYING for you to come along?  Someone who celebrates you for who you are.  Someone who really “gets” you and who loves your authentic self.  Take a moment and just sit with that thought: that someone out there is praying for YOU.  How does it feel?

Can you relax and surrender into it?  Can you allow that belief to permeate your consciousness?  Think about all you have to offer: maybe it’s your kind and generous nature, or your skill and knowledge in an area you’re passionate about; maybe it’s how conscientious and responsible you are; or how you can see the silver lining in every cloud.  You do have a lot to offer!

Do you feel the excitement and anticipation of having your ideal partner in your life?  This is what will carry you through the times of doubt and despair.   Get to know yourself, celebrate who you are, and live your best life authentically, and get ready to meet the one whose prayers will be answered when you are in their life!

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Being Single: An Opportunity not a Liability!

How do you feel about being single?  Many singles would much rather be in a relationship and feel like they are putting in time until their ideal partner comes along.  Other singles are relieved to be out of a dysfunctional partnership or an unhappy marriage and are afraid of choosing someone just like their ex.

How can you make the best of being single?

The way I see it is to use this time to learn more about yourself: who you are, what you want, and to acknowledge your part in past breakups.  What would you need to do differently next time?  Maybe it’s being more cautious about who you get involved with. Maybe it’s learning some new relationship skills like being able to communicate calmly instead of yelling.  Perhaps you need to cultivate the skill of seeing someone else’s point of view even it’s not the same as yours.

Over the years have you lost yourself?  I see this very often, in both men and women, because they have focused so much on their partner and kids that they don’t really know who they are.  Who are you?  What are your dreams?  What are your deepest-held values?  What is your vision of the relationship you want?  These are all important questions to answer before getting involved with someone new.  This is how you approach dating “consciously” instead of repeating old patterns or getting swayed by chemistry.

Being single is an opportunity not only to learn more about yourself, but also to appreciate your own company.  When you can enjoy time alone, then you can approach dating from a place of contentment and abundance, rather than desperation.  It is then possible to have a significant other in your life because you want someone, not because you need them to make your lonely and miserable life better!

Need some help in becoming your own best friend?  Seeing a counselor, therapist or relationship coach can be very helpful.   There is no substitute for the soul-to-soul connection and perspective of working with a trained professional.   Is this the next step for you?  I encourage you to see how being single is actually a wonderful opportunity for growth and evolution – and to see the value of reaching out so you can get there!

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Common Red Flags

Last week I talked about why we ignore red flags.  There are many reasons, often due to loneliness and other factors.  Sometimes we think it’s easier to stay with a person because the alternative of going back into the dating pool seems even worse!  When we have the ability to step back and look at the situation, and when we know ourselves, we can move through the temptation to ignore red flags and move on with the goal of finding someone who is more suitable.

What are red flags?  We all know that nobody is perfect.  We all have our shortcomings, so what is the difference between an annoyance and a red flag?

How someone loads the dishwasher, how they put toilet paper on the holder, how they squeeze the toothpaste tube – these are classic examples of annoyances for some people.  Some of us tend to sweat the small stuff more than others do!  We can choose to notice our reactivity and then look at the big picture.  Then we can realize that, in the scheme of things, these are not important differences.

Red flags are another story.  These are behaviors or situations that have the potential to be deal breakers and to undermine the health of a relationship.  Here are some examples: the person sees him/herself as a victim and blames others for their life situation; he/she reacts with blame, rage or extreme anger when frustrated; he/she consistently acts impulsively and/or irresponsibly; he/she is negative or pessimistic about things that matter to you; he/she is unsupportive of your goals and dreams; he/she acts with a lack of integrity; he/she dominates conversations and talks only about him/herself and isn’t interested in you.  The list goes on.  Basically, if you’re noticing these behaviors right at the beginning, they do not bode well for the future.

You may have your own personal red flags that aren’t universal.  For example, you may consider it a red flag if someone isn’t local, where others may be OK with a long distance relationship.  You may consider it a red flag if someone is a smoker, where others won’t care.  Same with drinking: depending on your history you may want someone who doesn’t drink at all, or drinks moderately, where someone else may actually want someone to enjoy a glass of wine or beer with.  Look back at your relationship history and come up with all behaviors that you now see as red flags.

You owe it to yourself to be mindful of any red flags you see in the early stages of dating.  Please pay attention and if there are behaviors that concern you or don’t feel right, move on!

Need help with this?  I have a Dating Red Flags Checklist I’d be happy to email to you.   Go to my Contact page and make your request!   This will be very helpful for you if you’d like to start dating with more awareness.   This is what I want for you: to have fun dating, and for you to find your ideal partner!



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