Relationship Coaching

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.