Pilgrim or shopper?

In a conversation about travel this morning, someone commented that she’d heard it said that travelers are either “pilgrims” or “shoppers”. I thought about how that might apply to dating. Are you a pilgrim? Are you a seeker? Are you willing to put your ego aside and be open to new experiences? Or are you a shopper? Do you go through online dating sites seeing men as if they were items in a catalogue?

How could you shift your mindset so you saw looking for love as a pilgrimage rather than as a shopping expedition? How would that make a difference in your life? I’d love to hear your comments!

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Are you looking for a partner or a project?

Sometimes it’s tempting to see the potential in someone and to believe that with the appropriate encouragement, love and nurturing the rough diamond you’re dating will become the man of your dreams! I’ve been there, done that, and let me tell you… it doesn’t serve you and it doesn’t serve him. I have come to realize that what you see is what you get. When you approach dating with a clear list of requirements, needs and wants you can see whether it’s worth investing time and energy into getting to know someone better. Who is he right now? When you focus on the potential rather than the “actual” you are setting yourself up for taking on a project. Is that really what you want in your life? What I believe is that having a partner, not a project, is healthier for both of you!

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Giving up the need to be right

How would you life be different if you were willing to give up your need to be right? In relationships it’s very easy be become attached to your way of seeing things or doing things – but in the long run where does that get you? In Nonviolent Communication we say, “Do you want a case or a connection?” In my own experience, differing opinions or beliefs are often due to a misunderstanding. When potential conflict arises my first step is to ground myself so I’m not reactive Then I become curious and explore the situation with my partner. Very often, it’s just that we have different information. By approaching the situation with openness and curiosity we are able to diffuse any potential conflict. Being able to do this requires that we let go of our need to be right and become open to a dialogue with the other. This is one way to build relationships, not to destroy them.

Do you struggle with needing to be right? What does needing to be right serve you?

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How are you at receiving?

Some of us love to give. Those of us who are aware are careful to look at our motives to see whether our giving has any strings attached. Giving just for the joy of it is a wonderful experience… but how are you at receiving? Sometimes this is where we are blocked. Do we really feel deserving to receive or are we more comfortable being the giver? Receiving requires some vulnerability and we aren’t always comfortable with that. It means letting go of control and sometimes that’s a real challenge for strong and successful women. But in order to have a healthy relationship there must be give and take, or it becomes one-sided and resentment can build.

What are your challenges in receiving? Can you see how receiving is actually a gift to the other person? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Need some tips on online dating?

This Thursday (June 28th) at 7:30pm Eastern I am offering a free Dating Tele-clinic called “Using your Computer to Find your Soulmate”. I will be talking about 5 Pitfalls of Online Dating; 10 key tips to Creating an Online Profile… and more! These online events are informative, interactive and fun! You can still register by emailing me: lovecoachlynn@gmail.com. I hope you’ll join us!

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You load the dishwasher how?!

A few years ago a man who I thought was the love of my life (and who is still a dear friend) moved into my place. I’m the kind of person who loads a dishwasher very carefully with nothing touching. I believed that it was a recipe for disaster to load a dishwasher any other way! This man had a totally different approach. His goal was to load as many dishes as possible which meant a kind of random and haphazard loading (in my opinion!) I was horrified! Here I thought we were going to happily coexist forever… but how could I let go of my “right” way to load a dishwasher? Well, I decided to take the big risk and see what happened when the dishes went through loaded by him. Amazingly, nothing got broken or chipped. My dishes didn’t have to be replaced! And what I learned from that is that it’s actually OK if some of the dishes touch and it doesn’t have to be as “perfect” as I had believed. The bigger picture is that I can now be aware of any anxiety that arises when people do things differently from how I do… but if I just allow it and see what happens I can learn a lot.

How are you at letting go of doing things your way? Where in your life could you relax and be open to someone else’s approach? I’d love to hear your stories and let others learn from them, too!

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Are you looking for love or living love?

As a single person, it’s very easy to get caught in the trap of believing that love is “out there” – and the only way to “get” love is to find the perfect partner. Maybe you’ve have the experience, or know of someone, who tightly guards their love waiting to lavish it on Mr. Right. Living this way is joyless and it’s no wonder they are so focused on finding the one person they believe is worthy of their love. How would life be different if instead of looking for love you actually lived love? What would that look like in your own life? Maybe it’s greeting people on the street with a cheery “good morning”. Maybe it’s volunteering. Maybe it’s spending more time with the elderly. What one step could you take today to share your love with the world? Love is all around, and when you shift your mindset from looking for love to living love, you begin to have a rich life filled with connection. While you may still long for a soulmate, you can live joyfully in the meantime!

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Faith or Fear?

As a single woman over 40, what are the fears that keep playing in your head? Many of my clients have these fears: I’m afraid that I’ll die alone, that there aren’t enough men, that men my age want women 20 years younger, I’m too old to find love, I’m “damaged goods.” It’s really easy to get caught up in these fears especially after disappointments in dating. But you know if you let these fears rule your life that you will suffer and be less likely to attract healthy love. So, how do you get from fear to faith?

I believe that it is about bringing in the Divine and about choosing to trust that all is unfolding as it should. I have been thinking about Divine timing recently and was reminded yesterday morning of what happens when I try to force/hurry things. Have you ever tried to pour tea from a teapot quickly? I wanted to get it done so I could move onto the next thing… and wound up having to clean up the current of tea that ran down the spout onto the counter! It reminded me that we have to work with what is, rather than force things because we are impatient!

One way to invite faith, not fear, into the dating process is to value the journey as well as the destination. What have you learned about yourself through dating? How have you grown? How are you setting healthier boundaries? In Calling in “the One” we talk about savoring the waiting, rather than being so focused on finding our beloved that we are anxious and unhappy because we’re still single. And Eckhart Tolle would question the concept of “waiting” which implies that something in the future is “better” than the present moment .

For me, it’s all about trust and believing that my needs will be met. Then I can let go of the fear and the “what ifs” even when my blessings aren’t exactly what I was asking for!

I’d love to know how you make the transition from fear to faith in your own life. Please leave your comments!

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Joy in unexpected places

My mother is 83. She lives in a care facility and is rather limited in her mobility and in her ability to do things for herself. Her memory isn’t what it used to be. Her life is pretty simple and quite predictable. The other day I went to visit her and she was all excited about a movie they had shown at the care home a few days before. She wracked her brain trying to remember the name of the main character. We did a bit of a guessing game and I asked her if it was Mr. Magoo. No…. Anyway, I wound up asking one of the activity coordinators what the movie was and it turned out to be Shrek! My elderly mom was totally captivated by this movie and by the green, lovable ogre. I saw a side of my mother I hadn’t seen before: the young, playful part of her that was so delighted by this movie and the colourful characters in it. It really brought her a lot of joy and such a sparkle to her eyes!

She could have refused to watch the movie, believing it was for kids. But because she was open to it, she found joy in an unexpected place.

I recently met a man who confessed that he is a Desperate Housewives addict! When he told me that, I felt a surge of joy because 1) he was willing to honest about it and 2) I love Desperate Housewives too! It still makes me smile when I think about it.

These blessings of joy make life a wonderful adventure. Where have you recently found joy in an unexpected place?

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I'm reminded that taking things personally really does cause me to suffer!

I think most of us know that it’s not a good idea to take things personally! I’ve been taking courses, reading books etc. for well over 20 years now, but today I was reminded how easily I can fall back into making meaning when it’s actually not about me! I was due to connect with a friend this morning who wasn’t available as we had planned. This is not the first time and, frankly, I was a little annoyed and hurt. I was telling myself that he doesn’t care about me. A little while ago, I got an email from him apologizing and saying that his dog had died on the walk before our scheduled call. So I was making up all kinds of stories… and it turned out to be a tragic life event that made him unavailable. This was a great reminder for me to step back, notice the meaning I might make of a disappointment… and realize that things are not always the way they seem! How would your life be different if you didn’t take things personally?

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