Seeking Lasting Love? How to Use Cuffing Season in Your Favor

You’ve pulled your favorite sweaters out from the back of your closet, bought yourself a pumpkin spice latte, baked a batch of your favorite spicy treat, cranked up the heat and sat under a velvety throw blanket as you watch your favorite show, but something (or someone) is still missing in that lovely single life of yours.

If you’re feeling an extra pull to do what it takes to put yourself out there this season so you’ll be a little warmer and have a cute date to bring to Thanksgiving dinner, then you’re certainly not alone.

Welcome to Cuffing Season.

The Urban Dictionary definds Cuffing Season as:

During the Fall and Winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be "Cuffed" or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.

If you follow me here, it’s probably not your goal to find a short-term hookup or casual relationship, but there is a real biological drive (testosterone goes up in the fall) and social influence (to not be alone at the holidays) that motivates people, more than other times of the year, to partner up.

So what if you could take advantage of this trend to help you in your search for lasting love, the same way a fisherman makes his way to the river when he knows the salmon are running?

Cuffing Season creates opportunities because more people start to look to partner up in October/November. They will stay partnered until the season culminates around the peak of winter, often melting off by spring where a lot of people will break it off.

However, if you are looking for something long-term, I want to share with you three reasons why using this season to your advantage, could help you reach your goals.

  1. YOUR biology is Motivating you Towards your Goals - If I’m honest with you, a large part of my single life, I lost motivation to find a relationship. Things became comfortable for me to choose my own place to live, get lost in a passion project, to not have anyone to consider in my spending or to be able to drop everything and travel when I wanted. Yet, it was so easy to slip into this comfortable mode of living and as a result push out dating by saying things like:

    “I still needed to heal.”

    “I don’t have any good options.”

    “I’d date when I get my X, Y, Z together.”

    “I don’t have money/time etc. to spend on online dating.”

    However, if you can relate and find this season is motivating you towards companionship —-then gosh by golly——Go with it!!!

  2. More Options are Open - You may not be the only one who is waiting until they get that project done at work or end their tax season or finish up their round of travel for the year, before they start investing in their social life. So that cute guy you see at your gym every week that you’d love to share more than small talk with may be more open than before to connection. Flowers blossom in a specific season. So you putting yourself out there while people are “blooming” opens up more options for you.

  3. Filter Out the Casual for Great Options - While many people may be open to relationships in this season because they aren’t expecting them to last, our biology and social influences can equally inspire long-term relationship minded people to pursue something new. Only be careful when you are meeting people online or in person. Ask them what they are looking for early on. Hold off on any physical intimacy that doesn’t align with your values so that you can discern their true motives and character. Set the pacing of the relationship at a pace that is comfortable for you in getting to know a new person. Avoid diving into deep emotional intimacy from the beginning that is unsustainable with the amount of trust that has been built. If you use discernment of character and good communication to weed out casual minded folks, you could find yourself a great catch.

While you might not fit the exact description of someone involved in Cuffing Season, I believe nature often inspires us to behave in certain ways that are ultimately good motivators towards the goals we already have for ourselves.

If you’ve been feeling like you’re in a rut in your dating life—-let this season inspire you to take action. Because when the time is right, you just might love the extra company under that throw blanket for years to come.

If you’d like support to change some of your normal patterns and get out of a rut, when it comes to dating and finding a relationship, I’d be happy to offer you a coaching conversation. Find a time here.

Won't Our Soulmate Just Find Us?

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From the time we’re able to understand a bedtime story, we learn that one day “our prince will come”. He will find us and climb mountains to reach us and rescue us from all that might harm us. While this story is called a fairy tale for a reason, I believe there is something deep inside the female psyche that longs for love to find her.

Not only with Fairy Tales, but also, if you’re a spiritual woman who believes the Creator of the universe brings partners together, then it can be easy to settle into the mentality that my soulmate will just find me because it’s “meant to be”.

All the while in the year 2019, we woman are discovering and being challenged to go out and make things happen like never before!

So when it comes to our dating lives - which is better? - to take massive action to find and get a man or to recline in our modern castle tower waiting for our prince to make his ascent?

Well, let’s talk more about these ideas.

If we let our fairy tale mentality bleed into our dating lives, it can start to look like a lack of taking risks. We can play it safe and surround ourselves with good women friends, watch chick flicks, babysit our nieces, do our jobs well, meanwhile giving ourselves that one slim opportunity that the Amazon delivery guy is “Mr. HeavenSent”.

We may pride ourselves on how patient we’ve been in waiting for the right man to come, but blame the lack of results on the fact that there aren’t any good men out there. With this mentality we can have the subconscious belief that we’re somehow adding to the cinematic climax of our love story by not taking much action, so that the grand ending will be that much more amazing when our prince comes to save us. This mentality however, can actually be a subtle cover up for the real fear that lies underneath our inaction - often fears that prevent us from opening ourselves up to love and be loved by a man.

On the other hand, if we use the same approach as what’s led us to be successful women at work and take focused action to make a relationship happen, then the results can start to feel shaky. We may find ourselves acting out of insecurity, jealousies, or uncertainties. We can start to take on manipulative strategies. We may start to be more concerned with an outcome, like getting a ring on it, rather than feeling truly cherished and feeling respect for the man we are choosing. Doubt may start to creep in about whether a man truly loves us if we’re making all the moves and securing all the plans and he is just going along for the ride because we’re an easy catch.

I’m talking about both of these mentalities as extremes, but is there a healthy balance in the middle?

There is a fine balance, between taking action in our dating lives and trusting in an element of mystery when it comes to success in romance. What does it look like to trust in a divine process that’s actively working in our favor and all the while not give ourselves over to living passively comfortable lives?

To approach this process with balance, let’s consider for a moment the common dating advice you’ve probably heard before from your married, well-intended friends:

“The moment you stop looking for your husband, he will appear.”

While it may not feel like the most helpful advice, because the moment I ask you to stop thinking about the color orange, right now the color orange is flooding your conscious. However, there is evidence to support why people share this advice. I have seen this concept play out over and over again in my own friend’s and client’s lives. It does commonly happen, that when a woman decides to go travel the world or foster her own children or wait until she’s 50 to get married, that a good man for her shows up proposing she let him join her.

If we stop focusing on finding a relationship, then we may stop taking certain dating actions to make things happen. Or maybe we date, solely for the enjoyment of meeting new people and having fun experiences. Either way, in letting go of outcomes for a relationship, we feel freer to actively create fulfilling lives.

I believe that when we start to focus on our own pursuits, it releases all kinds of pressures and expectations—So that any man who shows up feels that sense of freedom to choose us because he wants to add to the fullness of life a woman’s already experiencing.

We find balance because we are actively making things happen in our own lives—practicing risk, vulnerability and self-love—all the while we are better prepared when love shows up, even if it looks nothing like what we expected. Surprisingly that “boy next door” type who was always nothing more than a friend suddenly becomes hotter than you ever thought. His interest in you is more consistent, sacrificial, and cherishing than you’ve ever experienced before.

So how can we be more active in making our lives better and open to being surprised by love?

  1. Actively Pursue Dreams - Not for the purposes of attracting a man, but for the purposes of living your best life. If you take some time to get really quiet this week and give yourself permission to tune inside to that one thing you’ve been avoiding doing because it’s too scary—-listen and then take one small step to start towards that dream!

  2. Clear Out Any Blocks - Explore if there could be past hurts, fears and feelings of unworthiness in your life. Do you lack of confidence, have a tendency to hide who you are and not open up, or keep a hard exterior because you’ve been hurt before? For your own mental and physical health, find a safe person or group to explore these blocks so you can create better connection in all of your relationships.

  3. Hang Out an “Open Sign” - Are you open to people you are meeting in the world? Not just for small talk, but do you regularly open up in appropriately vulnerable ways? The key to being open is trusting yourself to create connections with people who are good for you and being able to walk away from those who aren’t. You are honoring your desire for connection without letting it rule you. Actively work through emotions or habits that cause you to show up as “closed” so instead you can start to display your “Open Sign”.

Attracting a partner is by no means a hard science. There is a je ne sais quoi element to every romance story that no one can give us the step by step directions for. Whether we are stuck in our own excessive waiting mindset or we are using all hands on deck to carry out “operation relationship”, I encourage you to take action to create your best life—whether that means doing personal growth work, opening a school for orphans in Africa or cleaning out that bedroom to make an office. Then stay open to various social connections, resting fully in your own womanly worthiness, knowing that mysteriously your action will prepare you to attract a surprisingly good relationship.

If you’d like support to explore how to create your best life or open yourself up in places where you know you’ve closed down. Schedule a time for us to talk here.

Are You Chasing Him or Just Being Friendly?

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You had a great time on the date. You’re still laughing thinking about that one really funny thing he said that had you belly laughing. And there was the way he really engaged with you when you were talking. And you liked the way his shirt fit him around his chest. You’d say the date went really well!

It’s been 29 hours (but who’s counting?) since you said goodbye and there’s been no sign of contact from him. A sinking anxiety slowly settles into your gut.

You knew he was going to be spending the next couple of days taking his grandma on a road trip to California. So you think, maybe I’ll just text him a quick, “Hope you’re having an amazing trip with your grandma, safe travels!”

You debate back and forth. The feeling of anxiety is increasing in your gut. You are so curious to know what he’s thinking. Even a response back from him saying his trip is going well, would confirm to you that such a good date was not just a figment of your imagination.

You send the text.

You don’t hear back for another 5 hours, even though the message is marked “read”. He writes, “Thanks, the trip is going great!”

It feels flat to you and you feel bad for even having texted.

Ever been there before?

Is there anything wrong with sending a friendly text to a man while dating or is it what many would call “chasing” a man and advise against?

I am a believer that men are obvious with their actions if they are interested in a woman and that they value what they have to take risks for.

So I think a better question is—-what is his lack of communication/clarity bringing up for you? If some time has passed and he hasn’t contacted you after a date, what feelings start to come up for you?

AND

How are those feelings driving your actions?

Where is your motivation coming from— Does your desire to reach out with a friendly text (or stop by his work or make him cookies) come from feelings of anxiety, insecurity, or a compulsion to have a certain outcome?

OR is it coming from a place of wanting to express, connect, compliment, thank, etc. A place of generosity where you feel confident in who you are and are unattached to the outcome?

If it’s one of the more difficult feelings, identify if there is a story underneath that feeling and if it is saying something like:

  • If he doesn’t want me, that confirms that I’m not good enough for him.

  • Or I’m not pretty enough.

  • Or if I’m not in control of making this relationship happen then it won’t because I’m not worthy of being loved without earning it.

    Is there a story that could be driving a chase?

I like to define “chasing” as having the energetic quality that feels like desperation—like a person is trying to get something, usually validation, from the other person instead of wanting to know that person in order to build a loving connection.

Because men can smell desperation energy a mile away. When he feels this it speaks loudly to a healthy man that a woman isn’t prepared to value herself in a relationship and that this could lead to more problems and drama later on.

So what’s wrong with a woman chasing (calling, texting, giving gifts etc.) to a man? Well I’d say none of those things are wrong in themselves. But check yourself before you do—am I setting out to make a loving connection with this man or I am coming from a place where I am needing some kind of validation?

If it’s the latter - just hold off.

And go find something you love to do that feels much better!

If you find yourself in that place where your interactions with men come more from a place of needing validation and you’d want to explore more why that is happening for you, let’s have a conversation. Schedule a time to talk here.

Love You, and He'll Follow Suit

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Years ago I made a commitment to myself to buy as much Organic food as possible. Even though I felt the pain as I looked at my grocery bill, I considered it a long-term investment in health. My housemate watches me eat Organic food day after day, so the other day when I asked her to grab me a spice from the store, she comes back with the top of the line Organic version.

At first I thought how nice of her not to skimp and come back with the cheapest one. Then it occurred to me that since she sees me buying Organic food all the time, she just followed suit and got the kind she assumed I’d buy for myself.

I thought about how this concept works when it comes to dating and relationships too.

The truth is we are informing people all the time about how to treat us, by the way we treat ourselves. And this is never more obvious than in the process of dating.

Let’s say you’re out with a guy and it’s getting late. You have to get up early the next day for a work meeting. You told him that you need to be in bed at 11pm. It’s 10:30pm, he asks you if you’d be up for catching a last drink at a great place just down the block.

How do you handle this? - Do you stick to your own curfew knowing that you’ll feel much better the next day? Or do you notice how excited he is to show you this other place and cave into his energy, telling yourself that you’ll just let your curfew slide this time?

The thing is, that if you already mentioned earlier in the date that you want to be in bed by 11pm, it can feel like he’s rude because he’s inviting you to something after the time you said you needed to go home. But the fact is many times men will test a woman early on in the dating process, whether consciously or subconsciously.

He’s testing her to see how she sticks to her own boundaries. He’s finding out what she will allow him to get away with and what she won’t. He’s watching you to inform him how to treat you.

So I wanted to share a few key areas that you can focus on practically loving yourself during (or in preparation for) the dating process:

  1. Share your honest Preferences - You may want to be an easy “go with the flow” kind of woman and there are times that is a valuable trait. But if he’s inviting you to go 4 wheeling in a mud field and it seems like something that would give you a panic attack, by all means, tell him that and communicate that you’d love to spend time with him, but that you’d feel better with X, Y, Z kind of activity. He will learn to consider what you enjoy and want to make you happy.

  2. Speak Up About Your Feelings - Did he shut down something you said in front of your friends that made you feel hurt? If it’s bothering you and getting in the way of relating with him, you should speak up! At an appropriate time, share how what he did impacted you and how you felt. Sometimes people in our lives unintentionally hurt us and they get to know how they can love us by sharing how their actions impact us. He will learn to respect and care for your feelings.

  3. Don’t Give All of Your Time and Energy Away Too Soon - Let him earn a place in your life. It can be tempting when you find someone that you are very attracted to or could talk with all night, to want to spend hours and days with them right away. But the fact is you give trust to every other person in your life over time. Make it no different with a guy you just met. He will learn to honor your time and value your sharing from your heart.

  4. Guard Time for Yourself - Often the activities you love are part of what draws a man to you. Whether it’s an afternoon coloring with a warm cup of tea or traveling to the beach with your best friend each year. Don’t let the whirl of emotions in getting to know a new man keep you from the things you love. He will learn to cherish your differences and encourage you in what makes you shine.

Making choices like these to love yourself—-even minor choices like honoring your own bedtime—will challenge him to step up to treat you well. Also, when you treat yourself well certain men you date will not be up for the task (because they’re operating as self-centered/low-value/disinterested) and they’ll quickly show themselves the exit when they realize you won’t tolerate bad treatment. And that’s one less man you need to filter out yourself!

If you find it challenging to honor yourself in certain areas of the dating process and would like another person in your court, I’m glad to set up a time for a conversation here.

Advantages to Slowing Dating Down

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“Jeff just liked you. Send him a note.”

I open this email and look at his picture. I like the color of his olive skin. It stirs my interest to read his profile. “Kayaking, coffee shops, days out with his daughter, hiking, looking for something serious. Love to travel and would like to have you with me?” I see a picture of him and his daughter, she is cute and he looks tender. He reports to share my faith and likes drama movies too. So I click the pink heart.

He asks me how I’m doing.

I tell him.

He wonders if I’d like to have coffee.

We have a good conversation, he leans in for a kiss after walking me to my car.

I’ve just opened my time, energy, heart and lips to a complete stranger and after we say goodbye there is a 50/50 chance that I’ll see him again. And this, my friends, has become a common experience in modern dating.

With many people using online dating to find a relationship, it can be a lot of pressure to figure out if someone is for you from a profile and a 60-90 minute visit. If you were to meet someone in the workplace or at an acting class every week, you’d have the chance to observe how a person interacts with his cube mate or how they express their creativity, without necessarily sizing them up for romantic potential right away. Maybe you’d have a few conversations with them over time and sense romantic tension building. The question of whether or not you’d go out with them may be a slow build towards that moment when he nervously asks you at the water fountain if you’d like to continue talking over dinner Friday evening.

I think online dating can be a great tool for finding a relationship, but the nature of it tends to speed things up. So if your goal is to create a lasting relationship, built on a good foundation, then one tip I’d give is to find ways that you can “slow things down” and mimic some of the real life dynamics that have been happening for centuries in offline dating.

Here are five ideas for how this could look:

1. Avoid Stream of Conscious Texting - If you met online and exchanged numbers, it can sometimes be easy to start an ongoing chain of texting with this person throughout the day. So you can end up giving a large chunk of your concentration and energy to someone who hasn’t yet proved to you they’re worthy of your time. You can always get back to him later. Let them wait for an answer. Or tell them you only like texting to firm up plans. Everyone has their texting style, but consider avoiding on-going texting.

2. Spread out Your Dates (especially at the beginning) If you have a full life, this one will probably happen naturally. But if your weekend happens to be wide open on the Friday you meet, consider waiting a while to meet again. Give yourself sometime to feel into how you felt with the person. Give them space to contact you again, so that you can really gauge what their interest level is when you’re not around.

3. Do Different Kinds of Dates and Sometimes Include Others As you know it’s good to get to know a person in a variety of settings; out kayaking together, watching them give a presentation, going out with their friend group, visiting your grandma, a walk on the beach. etc. Mix it up and see if the the way they interact with you is consistent with how they treat others. Anyone can put on an act to treat you well if the two of you are always alone watching Netflix.

4. Choose a Person Who Has Their Own Life Too If you or the guy you’re dating is always available because they are still looking for a job or they have very few outside interests, it can be hard to slow things down. This happens because if nothing else in your life is making you “light up!” then it can be very easy at the beginning of a relationship to want to be around this person all the time, because the attraction to them makes you feel alive. Be filling your life with things that light you up and find a person who does that in their own life too.

5. Communicate Your Boundaries When you know what will or won’t work for you in the dating process, especially early on, it can grow attraction with the right person and it can filter out those who aren’t for you. As you communicate what time you are available until, how much you will or won’t talk about your Ex, or what your physical boundaries are—that person is getting to know the real you and you are setting a precedent for your own value in the relationship.

The reason I believe there are advantages to slowing down the dating process, is that I’ve seen many relationships go South when they started fast and furious. In the heat of physical attractions our brains tend to go offline. In not communicating our boundaries in an effort to be easy to be with, people take advantage. Those who are seeking a relationship, right NOW!, are often coming from a more desperate place—-maybe struggling with co-dependency, trying to forget an ex, or wrestling with addictions. So with a slower build towards something serious and lasting, you are more likely to rule out those who won’t respect you and vet those who are able to sustain a relationship for the long haul.

If you’re at the beginning stages of dating right now—consider taking a few actions to slow things down—and meanwhile keep focusing on your own life. Let me know how it goes!

If you struggle to slow things down or would like support navigating any stage of your relationship journey, reach out here for a complimentary session where I’m happy to support you with an outside perspective and new insights for the process.

Accessing Feminine Energy To Turn Your Dating Experience Around

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I went to college at one of the top hippie schools in the country. It was the 90’s and most of my female classmates and I were wearing a combination of baggy jeans and flannel shirts, with our hair rarely washed, arm pits sometimes shaven and we barely knew what to do with makeup.

One good friend in particular wore baggy overalls, an earth toned t-shirt, black Doc Martens and a rain coat every single day. She slicked back her straight, brown hair into a hair tie in the same position, no matter what the event or occasion.

If someone would have asked me at the time who of our group was the most feminine, I’d have turned my head back and forth down our row of friends hard-pressed to land on any of us. We didn’t wear pink or lace or bows or even “do” our hair. So while my overall-ed friend didn’t present herself in a culturally classic feminine style, looking back I realize that she actually operated quite easefully in her feminine energy.

One day we were hanging out in the back seat of a 1980 Chevy Celebrity with this friend and two others, listening to her as she poured out her heart about her struggles, with emotions and tears. I remember being partly judgmental for her being so vulnerable and partly impressed that she wasn’t afraid of being too emotional with us, while gladly receiving our help. She was much more in tune with her feelings than I was and didn’t overthink what she had to say. I see now that she was operating in her feminine energy and this made her a magnet to the good man that fell head over heels for her later that year and who has been adoring her for over 20 years since.

Feminine energy (not necessarily the bows or lace femininity we think of) is very attractive to a man who’s primarily masculine at his core. Tony Robbins says, “If you are feminine in your core, then you will find commonality with another feminine energy, but you will find passion with masculine energy.” It’s the polarity that creates passion and sustains a romantic partnership.

If you are struggling to attract the right man for you—whether you find yourself in the friend zone often, or attractions fade quickly or you feel like you can’t hold a man’s attention over time—I want to highlight 5 of these feminine energy qualities that can turn around your dating experience so that the right one will fall hard for you too.

  1. Comfortable in Your Emotions - Sometimes if you’ve shut down your feminine energy for various reasons, you may struggle to identify what your emotions are, let alone feel comfortable to express them. When we are in our feminine energy we are tuned into how we feel and we welcome those feelings within ourselves. Owning and expressing your feelings can cause a man to feel good because he feels safe with you.

  2. Valuing Connection vs. Accomplishment - When you are more motivated to make connections with people - your partner, your kids or clients etc.- you feel a sense of re-charging through connecting with people. You could be going shopping with a friend, but you are valuing the connection more than the task of finding that exact pair of jeans you want. Masculine men value “the break” of experiencing this kind of connecting energy with women while living often in a task driven world.

  3. Enjoying Your Sensuality - Appreciating your sensuality encompasses a much wider spectrum of experiences than our sexuality. While that’s part of it, we can enjoy our sensuality by savoring the texture of our favorite piece of cake, stopping to feel the texture of leaves on a hike or breathing deeply into a cup of tea. While on a date this can be a great way to shift into your feminine energy by enjoying what’s around you through your senses.

  4. Connected to Your Body - Are you in touch with your body? Do you know the kind of sensations that come on when you feel excited or hurt or stressed? Do you listen to the signals that your body is giving you or do you disconnect from your body by living mostly in your head? Men are drawn in by a woman who embodies love for herself—she’s comfortable to move in her own body.

  5. In Tune with Your Intuition - Women often have a strong gift of intuition and we can be more in tune with our intuition by giving it space to speak to us. Whether we like to take a walk outside, disconnect from social media for a time, spend time journaling, take a pause to be silent before making a decision or we simply tune into the response our body is giving us when we meet a new person, then we can honor our intuition, we are in integrity with ourselves and this makes a man feel more drawn into your presence.

If you’re seeking a partnership with a masculine man and you find that you don’t spend much time in these modes of feminine energy, it’s a good place to look to improve your results in dating. We often disconnect from our feminine energy when somewhere in our life we don’t feel safe, seen or understood. When we experience current or past hurts in these areas it can make it hard to really open up and naturally be in our feminine energy.

If this speaks to you and you feel ready to work with someone, I can help you to close the gaps in this area of your life. Reach out here to see if we could be a fit to work together.

Make the Most of Singleness So You'll Have the Best Relationship

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Human beings love to peek through the rails of our neighbor’s fence, assured that their grass is most definitely softer, lusher, greener than ours. As single women it’s easy to gaze longingly at your best friend’s life while she kisses her husband and proceeds to snuggle with her baby.

While we long for a good partnership to be ours, it can be easy to forget to take advantage of the moments we have now. In fact when we live in the certainty that the partnership we want is only just a matter of time, we are more likely to prepare ourselves for the best love possible.

But how can we prepare?

Here are five powerful ways that single women can prepare right now to draw in a great partnership. (and often it draws a man in more quickly!)

  1. Invest in building and deepening your current social network. Do you have friends that you really enjoy, but haven’t seen for a while? Do you have a conflict that you’ve been putting off addressing with someone? Are there invites that you are turning down because you’re just “too tired”? Sometimes we’ve gotten lazy in the amount of effort that we’re investing in our current relationships and as a result we may feel more isolated and out of touch. Often the strength of the relationship we attract in a partner can be similar to the quality of the relationships we have now. So if you’re not happy in your friendships or family/community connections—start making those relationships better now. They will be the people who will support you too as you are dating and prevent you from jumping into a relationship that isn’t good for you or encourage you when there is a good opportunity to continue with a good prospect.

  2. Take advantage of the time you have now (that you’re not spending with a partner) to invest in your personal growth. While relationships can bring up our issues in a way not many other things can, we can do more self-reflective work on ourselves by way of counseling, reading growth oriented books, attending support groups or seeking out coaching. These kinds of outside perspectives can help you gain insight into tendencies or patterns of behavior that could be shifted in order for you to attract and create a good partnership. The less baggage we carry into a partnership, the more energy we’ll have to love and receive love from a good man.

  3. Start dating and see it as a means of gaining experiences. Dating is a great opportunity to gain so much experience in relating to people. Though it may be tempting to want to just jump into a relationship and skip getting to know different people, we can learn so much while navigating our preferences about what we like in a person, knowing what our boundaries are and practicing communicating them, as well as practicing enjoying the moments with a new person without clinging too tightly to a specific outcome. All of those kinds of skills will play out over and over again in a long-term relationship, so why not start practicing now.

  4. Seek out experiences that you couldn’t do as easily if you had a partner/family to be responsible for. Did your friend invite you to go spontaneously to Egypt next week? You’re excited about it, so why not go because you can! Take sky diving classes, learn to dance, pursue that dream of what you feel called to do while you have less strings attached. Doing these kinds of things will make your life richer and you will give off that “Happy” scent that men love. (it really can’t be bought in a bottle=)

  5. Seek out ways that you can serve others that is meaningful to you. As singles, it’s easy to slide into a somewhat self-centered lifestyle. Entering a partnership means not only having the love you want, but also learning to give in ways that serve the other person. So you can start now and build those muscles. What area of the world stirs your heart where you’d like to help make a difference? Who in your circles could use some help this week? What church, club, group, class might benefit from you stepping up to offer your gifts? Stretch yourself and you will see how you’ll gain more than you give.

Putting these five things into practice will prepare you to be the person who creates an amazing partnership. And it will give you more confidence to show up as a sexier you —so go get ready girl!

Down on Dating? - Make It Fun Again

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As a woman whose had lots of dating experience, I know dating can be a lot of things—draining, a roller coaster of emotions, scary, a gamble, and it can actually be——FUN!

What’s that? Fun hasn’t been your experience lately?

Well then, allow me to share with you three tips I’ve picked up along the way that have made it more enjoyable for me. (and I’ll be sharing 3 more on a Facebook Live this Friday at 12:30pm, come chime in and ask questions!)

We can’t change anything about our date, but here’s a few things you can do to create more fun in the dating process.

  1. Honor Your Gut - Dating and especially online dating can be a major sorting process. You may be reading hundreds of profiles and trying to filter down which ones catch your eye and match your values and interests. When deciding who you’re going to go on a date with, be sure to listen to your gut. You know when that sense of curiosity and intrigue kicks in—go with that! It’s tempting to agree to the tall and wealthy handsome guy without tuning inward to ask yourself if who he is catches your attention.

Following your inner intuition and intrigue about a person is an amazing guide towards choosing a date who you’ll enjoy more and are more likely to create a good connection with. It sounds obvious, but you’ll be surprised how often we women can give little credit to one of our best assets by choosing a man who checks all the boxes instead of honoring our intuition.

2. Be a “Yes Woman” - As we age it’s a natural tendency to be more pragmatic about what we will and won’t do. “I don’t go on boat rides.” “I don’t stay out after 10pm.” “I don’t go on muddy hikes.” But I want to invite you to lean into your “Yes woman” side. Just like being a girl again whose neighbor friend comes and asks if you want to skateboard down a big hill, as kids we just said “Yes!” We didn’t ask how high it was or what the wheels were like or where we would end up. We went with the flow in the moment and trusted things would be fun. Say yes more on your dates and you may be surprised!

3. Change Your State Before the Date - When getting ready for your dates, I’ve found it makes a big difference on how you go into the date. You may be coming home from a long day at work, tired or have jittery nerves from a stressful day. If you want to bring playful energy into the date, it can be helpful to shift into a more relaxed, higher energy or silly state. What state do you want to be in to show up as your best self?

Maybe you come alive doing a comedy act in the mirror as you get ready. Maybe you need to calm down your nervous system, so you first relax into a bath to feel grounded. Maybe you need to put on your favorite song and dance around. If you can change your state you will show up on the date more ready to engage and bring fun energy.

Have you experienced these or more ideas? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. Or show up tomorrow on FB live at 12:30pm. I hope to see you there!

Confusing Our Catch

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At a business networking meeting I took my turn to give a one liner introduction. “I’m a Dating and Relationship coach that helps women over 30 to uncover their blocks and become authentically themselves so they can attract a good man.” Everyone in the group nodded at me. I felt self-conscious for 30 seconds wondering if anyone there even fit that demographic.

After the meeting I introduced myself to the man next to me with salt and pepper hair and kind eyes set in a face that told me he had a few years of life experience under his belt. After chit chatting, he seemed comfortable enough to ask, “So when you mentioned that you help women to be ready to attract a man, I’m wondering if you can help me to know what are the signs that a woman is ready?” I gave him a few ideas and then he said, “Yes, I know those things are encouraging to me when I see women doing them. But I’m interested to start dating and the problem is that I don’t find many noticeably available women doing those things.”

Boom. I felt like in that moment he was speaking for many men. Here was a man actively looking for an “open net” so he could swim up for “the catch”, but there weren’t any open nets in his view.

I asked him more about what he saw.

He talked about women looking busy, on their phones, body language closed down, not necessarily wearing rings to know if they are taken.

I appreciated his viewpoint, because I think this gave me some insight as to why I so often hear single women say things like, “There aren’t any good men that I’d want to date approaching me.” “I often attract the unavailable men.” “I don’t know where to find the good single men in my town.”

I know that a lot of my single friends and the women I work with—-if you asked them—would say of course they want to be in a good relationship! However, I believe some women are sending out signals that don’t match what they want.

We are confusing the man we want to catch.

Some women argue though, “Well shouldn’t the man be the one with the balls to overcome any obstacle to take the risk to approach us?” (Rom Coms have taught us well)

Yes, men do well by taking a risk.

But the thing is,

Good men who want to respect you, look for an opening.

So how are we sending confusing signals? Well here are a few that seem so commonplace it’s almost funny to mention them.

  1. We are very busy with little time for anyone. - We race from one activity to another with very little breathing space for conversation in our day.

  2. We can do it ourselves. - We like to feel independent that we can do it all, but this leaves little opportunity for a man to lend a hand to open a conversation.

  3. We say no, when we mean yes - whether it’s our body language or a literal no, we can take the safe route to not go out with a guy because we distrust who he is

  4. We love our phones - I’ll say no more.

  5. We smile less - Especially in a big city we are less likely to connect in general to the people around us and instead we mind our own business, missing out on the simple pleasures of acknowledging someone, especially someone cute, with a smile.

So how can you start welcoming in better catches? Well, maybe it’s time to start sending clearer signals. By smiling more, making eye contact, opening body posture, putting down your phone for a few minutes, it may feel a little counter cultural these days. But you will see that those good men looking for an open net, find you noticeably standing out far above the rest!

If you’d like more support and feedback in this specific area, join my FB group here. This month we’re doing fun exercises together to get us to send clear signals of availability in public. Also, my upcoming group course will be a great way to really take the time to explore how you can authentically captivate a good man.

Do You Believe in Signs?

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“He loves me….he loves me not.” This game started centuries ago, played in hundreds of childhoods, in an attempt to get an outside confirmation of a sign about a guy’s interest.

It seems natural that women would invent such a game because when we catch feelings for a guy, it can bring on a roller coaster of uneasy and intense feelings. While we are being tossed around by the emotions, it feels normal to want to seek out some kind of grounding assurance - we want to know, metaphorically speaking, that if I throw my heart out of a 20 story window, can I risk that it will be caught safely by this man and not break?

Because the potential loss for opening our hearts can seem to have that high of stakes.

I believe that’s why we can start to wane more spiritual when we catch feelings for a guy. I mean instead of taking the greater risk to outright ask and risk immediate rejection, it makes sense to seek out an answer in the form of signs sent from an All Knowing Being to guide you.

Looking for signs made perfect sense to me as I dated men in the past. I’d come home after a date with butterflies in my stomach until I remembered how he said that one thing that showed me our major values didn’t line up. I then felt such inner conflict between my desires and sense of logic, that I’d start to look for signs to confirm that it was a good idea to continue, in spite of my best sensibilities.

It went something like this:

“It must be a sign that right after I journaled about wanting to date someone this summer, we just happened to show up at the same time at that coffee shop today. The bumper sticker on his car is the exact one that I saw when I was dreaming about my next boyfriend on a trip to Hawaii. It just seems like I keep getting signs that he’s meant for me.”

Don’t get me wrong, I am a spiritual person and rely on God regularly for guidance. I think that’s a great thing. But in cases of uncertainty about a relationship, I’ve become highly suspicious about signs.

I say that because especially in matters of the heart, when our chemistry kicks in and our heart wants what it wants - it can be so easy to look for signs that confirm why seeking momentary pleasure in a relationship (that shows warning signs for long-term disaster) is a still a good idea.

When I was the most unhealthy in my relationships, I tended to rely on signs the most to “make decisions for me”. It was a way of abdicating responsibility in my own life, thinking on some level that if I was just following the signs from God, then I wouldn’t be held responsible for the consequences.

Since then I’ve come to believe that the best guidance when deciding about a relationship is practical and earthy.

I mean it could be so boringly down to earth as you both have the exact timeline on your calendar for wanting kids.

So the next time you find yourself wondering about what to do about a certain man in your life, I’d say forget the signs, keep the flowers and instead ask yourself these questions:

  1. How do I feel in this man’s presence? Do I feel safe, like myself, uninhibited, inspired, or energized? Or do I feel anxious, worried, conflicted, hurt, or confused?

  2. What are his actions telling me about his level of interest?

  3. Do my values and his line up in the areas that I am not willing to compromise on?

  4. Do key people in my life feel good about me being with him or not?

  5. Do we share a common vision/life direction in the areas that are important to us? Kids, living situation, mission, goals

If you find that these things line up in your process towards finding a long-term mate - then I’d say those are pretty good signs! (the earthy kind=)