Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Let Both Your Heart AND Head Help You Choose Dates

Recently, a 64-year-old female client called me for advice about a man she'd met who was caring, considerate, affectionate, family-oriented, expressive, and possessing many of the other qualities that were important to her in a partner. The problem? At age 65, he had no retirement savings, lived in a small apartment (which he was evasive about inviting her to see), and admitted he was still suffering with the depression that had plagued him for years.

Though this lady was very attracted to him and had much in common with him, she was hesitating to get involved because she'd been hoping to meet someone more equal to her in terms of lifestyle, financial security, stability, and having a sense of direction in life. And this guy wasn't that someone.

She grappled for weeks with the fact that she felt like she was falling in love with the man because he was treating her so nice, saying sweet things, and wanting to spend lots of times with her. She was loving every minute of it because she was lonely and anxious to meet a man to love. 

My advice was for her to slow down, think things through, listen to her intuition, and look at her "Partner Vision" list to see how many of the qualities she desired were embodied in this man. 
The result was:
1)  Her intuition told her she wasn't comfortable with his living and financial situation because she feared he might become dependent on her.
2) He only had about half the qualities she desired in a life partner, along with a couple of "red flags" she couldn't overlook, such as his depression (which nearly resulted in suicide) and an abusive father in his past.
3) When she thought it through carefully, she realized she was giving him too much benefit of the doubt in terms of his shortcomings.
4) She ultimately decided to end the relationship with him at the 3-month point, even though it broke her heart to do so because she was already emotionally and physically connected to him.

The ultimate lesson for this client was that, when seeking dating partners in later life, our inner wisdom plays a very big role. We really DO know what we want and what's most compatible with us. So, even if someone sweeps us off our feet in terms of sweetness and sex, we will ultimately decide to be practical and smart. 

Over the years, life has taught those of us older than 50 what can go wrong when we make rash, impulsive decisions. We're older and wiser now and not as willing to "settle" for people or things that don't mesh with the life we've spent so much time and energy building. 

This client realized that she was letting her heart talk louder than her head. And I was able to help her remove her rose-colored glasses and be more rational about the situation so she could make a clear-headed decision going forward. 

It's hard for me--a die-hard romantic--to do that because I know how wonderful it feels when you meet someone special who feels like "the one" and tells you everything you've always wanted to hear. But I also know how much pain can result when you get too deeply involved with someone who's totally wrong for you--and how hard it is to go your separate ways when there's been an emotional and physical attachment. 

If you need a "sounding board" or seasoned adviser as you navigate the sometimes-tricky world of dating and relationships, drop me an email or call. I'd love to support you in following BOTH your heart and your head so you can find what you really want and deserve!

gayle@datingsuccesscoaching.com  or  267-245-3023  

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Avoid "Going Too Fast" With Dating

Often, my women clients tell me they think a man is "going too fast" with the dating process after he first meets her. In many cases, this means he's trying to be sexual with her before she's ready. In other cases, he's saying he loves her after only being with her a few times.

In both cases, it can be uncomfortable and confusing for the woman and, most of the time, it's counterproductive to the process of building a serious, long-term relationship. Here's why:

1. There's confusion about having sex versus making love.
Once a woman gets physically intimate with a man, she often justifies her behavior (which she often feels guilty about) by telling herself she has feelings for him or is even falling in love with him--which, of course, isn't true if she's only known him a short time. It's either infatuation or lust. That's all.

The woman may even tell the man she loves him, which gives him mixed signals if just hours or days before she was saying no to sex. A woman who hops into bed before she feels a true emotional connection with a man winds up confused about how to proceed with the getting-to-know you process and usually second-guessing herself--neither of which helps the relationship unfold naturally.

2. Emotional/hormonal reactions replace rational responses.
A woman who lets her hormones make her relationship decisions early on is setting herself up for problems down the road. After a man has been sexual with her, there's no turning back. It's going to be difficult to say no and hold him off on every subsequent date while her emotions catch up. The natural courting and wooing process during dating is derailed. They've skipped the stage (usually a month or two) in which she gradually warms up to him as he earns her trust and helps her feel safe with him. They wind up in bed together on every date from now on because it's hard for her to explain to him why she now wants to go backward and "take things slow." Again, she's giving mixed signals. And, worst of all, she's not making clear-headed, smart decisions about the potential for a partnership because she's blinded by lust.

I know that feeling because I had lust blindness right after my first divorce. It was the classic rebound relationship. I was so starved for affection and physical intimacy after a long "dry spell" at the end of my marriage that I got quickly involved with someone who wasn't even close to a good match for me. The sex was a 10, but our compatibility was about a 2. 

3. Things get complicated too early. 
After things have unfolded as described above, the two people now have to talk about some pretty complicated issues--possibly well before they feel totally at ease opening up with each other. Instead of enjoying the lighthearted, fun dating journey of spending time together laughing and learning about each other's interests, sense of humor, families, upbringing, career, preferences, friends, etc., they need to get serious. They need to talk about sexual history, emotions, values, etc. in order to reach agreement about what comes next. It can be too much too soon--too heavy for a budding new relationship.

When I began dating my current partner 3 years ago, I was attracted to him from the very first meeting. But I'd learned from my past relationships that sex too early distracted me from focusing on learning important things about a guy that helped me decide whether we'd be a good couple over the long term (things such as his stability, personality, values, world view, sense of humor, moods, stresses, the way he treated his children/family of origin/friends, money management skills, and more).

So I vowed to wait 2-3 months before getting physical...and to use that time to let the relationship grow naturally into a sweet emotional and psychological connection. It did. And at the 9-week point, I felt close enough to him and trusting and safe enough with him to be ready for lovemaking (not just having sex). It was a smart move. Our relationship grows stronger every day, and our sex life is wonderful.

How about you? Do you try to let your relationships evolve and strengthen organically? Or do you sometimes go too fast and face problems as a result? I'd love to hear your story and to help if you need it. Drop me a note at
gayle@datingsuccesscoaching.com.

 

Monday, February 19, 2018

What Is "Inappropriate" in an Online Dating Email?

Recently, an attendee at a presentation I gave about success tips for online dating after 50 told a story of the many inappropriate and sexually suggestive emails she received from men first contacting her on an online dating site. She asked if I thought the reason these men offered to "give her a massage" or "bring a bottle of wine" over to her house was because she was 5 feet tall and petite.

I said that was probably part of it, since many men are attracted to small women. But, unfortunately, that's only part of the reason. In truth, some men just don't realize how they come across to women reading their emails.

They don't understand that such suggestions to someone they've never met are inappropriate. They don't realize that they're perceived by the woman not as romantic or sensual but as "creepy" and, ultimately, very unattractive.

In other words, what some men think will impress women definitely doesn't. I don't know one woman who would take a complete stranger up on such a suggestion. Not one.

Sure, after a woman has been dating a man for a few months and has grown to like him, she might be open to having him over for dinner and letting him bring the wine. And, yes, after a woman has shown she's interested in physical intimacy with a guy, she'd be OK with accepting a massage. But doing either of those things before she feels connected to and able to trust the man is highly unlikely.

A man who tells a new woman of his skills as a masseuse is saying, in effect, he can't wait to undress her. And a man who wants to bring a bottle of wine to her home before he's been invited there is perceived by the woman as someone who wants to get her drunk so she lets down her guard with him.

In either case, the "ew" factor is very big, and his chances of success are very small. But this lady at my presentation told me that dozens of men kept using such an approach. And that made her want to get off the dating site as fast as she could.

The moral of the story: men who are too sexual--even just verbally--too soon are a turnoff to most women (except those just looking for a "hookup", which is NOT most women). Singles seeking that should use the dating sites especially designed for casual daters seeking sexual partners--NOT the mainstream sites designed for people seeking long-term relationships.

My advice to any woman who receives such emails is simple: DELETE. Don't reply to these men. Delete their emails and move on. Write your own emails to the men YOU like. And leave the stalkers behind.

How about you? Have you had experiences similar to this? If so, drop me a line. I'd love to hear your story and help in any way I can.

 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

BE YOUR OWN VALENTINE!

If you're single and dreading Valentine's Day, you're not alone. You just want the day celebrating couples and romantic love to be over. 

I get it. I experienced many Valentine's Days without a lover in my life over the years--before marriage, while single after my divorces, and even while in a serious relationship. 

In those cases, yes, my partner was physically in the picture on February 14, but he wasn't "present" with me emotionally or psychologically because of a rough patch in our relationship and/or an erosion of the romantic connection we used to have.

That's the saddest situation of all...sadder than having no partner at all because you don't feel especially romantic about the "special someone" in your life.  As a result, there were times when the day for romance slipped by without much of a celebration.

Other times, my partner and I weren't on the same page about the holiday's importance. Not everyone is the "romantic fool" that I am. Not everyone sees Valentine's Day as special. It took me a while to adjust to that fact. But, once I did, I learned a valuable life lesson: how to be my own Valentine.

Even if my partner and I weren't feeling especially amorous, I learned I could celebrate love anyways. I could focus and take action on loving and cherishing myself...and create a day that made me feel loved.

I learned how to surround myself with people or pets who loved me. I did extra-special things for myself like scheduling a massage or taking the day off work and spending it in nature.

I also learned to have no expectations about Valentine's Day. If my partner didn't mention marking the occasion, I suggested going out to do something I knew I would love. Or, if my partner preferred staying home, I'd request a "Mutual Massage Night" or ask him to bring home my favorite sinful dessert.

Since my top 2 "love languages" (see my earlier blog on that topic from October 14, 2015) are Terms of Endearment and Affectionate Touch, I'd make sure my partner knew how much I appreciate a heartfelt card and time to cuddle. And then I'd have the lovely Valentine's evening I desired.

One of the most self-loving things you can do is express your desires to your partner. So Valentine's Day gave me an opportunity to practice that skill--and experience the pleasure of receiving what I asked for. Those without a partner can practice self-love by planning a fun activity with a dearly loved friend or relative.

How about you? How do you plan to celebrate love and to please yourself this Valentine's Day? Drop me a note to share your thoughts! gayle@datingsuccesscoaching.com 

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

What Turns Women Off in the Dating World?

Here is the follow-up I promised to my earlier blog about what turns men off. Here is what turns women off on a first date:

1. Being rude to wait staff or others
2. Tuning out while she's speaking
3. Talking too much about himself without asking questions about her
4. Bad hygiene (long, dirty fingernails; need for deodorant; dirty, ill-fitting clothes)
5. Insecure personality/lack of confidence
6. Bad shoes
7. Referring to women as "females"
8. Being late
9. Ignoring her jokes
10. Constantly interrupting her
11. Telling her she's "not like other women"
12. Being cocky or arrogrant
13. Being unmannerly
14. Talking over-enthusiastically about a sport or team she doesn't share an interest in
15. Being fidgety
16. Narcissism
17. Looking too often at his phone
18. Being oblivious to her reactions to what he's saying

After reading these 2 lists, it's obvious that many of the same things turn off both men and women -- things such as lateness, bad hygiene, lack of confidence, and looking too often at your phone. You should definitely put attention on those areas when going out for the first time with someone.

A couple more things that both my male and female clients tell me are turn-offs at a first meeting are:
- making any kind of sexual references 
- talking negatively about ex-partners or past relationships

But what the 2 lists also show me is that common courtesy, respect, active listening, and making a sincere effort to show an interest in learning about the other person are really important too.

How about you? Have anything you want to add to either list? I'd love to hear your input! 
gayle@datingsuccesscoaching.com 
 

 

Monday, January 22, 2018

What Turns Men Off in the Dating World?

I saw an article recently that listed 19 things that turn men off on a first date with a new woman. They are:
1. Checking her phone too often
2. Talking too much
3. Checking out her appearance too much
4. Being too sexy (ie, showing too much cleavage)
5. Seeking too much attention
6. Asking too many questions (ie, interrogating him)
7. Being too controlling
8. Telling stories that indicate too much drama in her life
9. Flirting with other guys during the date
10. Talking about her ex
11. Being disingenuous or phony in some way
12. Bad hygiene
13. Arrogance or over-confidence
14. Rudeness or being late for the date
15. Coldness
16. Having no life goals
17. Giving mixed signals
18. Using bad language
19. Acting disinterested or being curt (with 1-word answers to questions)

I'm sure many of these things would be turn-offs for women as well. I'll follow up with the biggest turn-offs for the ladies in my next blog. Stay tuned! 

Monday, January 15, 2018

A Fresh New Attitude About Dating for 2018

If there's one thing I've learned about dating--and LIFE--in my 64 years, it's that ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING. A positive attitude is the #1 factor for success in everything we try to do, including dating.

If you've been struggling to succeed in finding a compatible person to date, now is the time for an attitude shift--which means you need to check in with yourself by asking questions like this:

Do I really believe there is someone out there who's just right for me...and that I'll eventually be successful in finding that person?

Do I feel confident that I'm a "good catch"--somebody with a lot to offer a potential partner? (Or have I let past dating disappointments damage my self-esteem?)

Am I willing to invest a fair amount of time and energy into searching for a partner? (Or is my life too busy and complicated for me to carve out time for this?)

Do I have a positive view of the opposite sex and the dating world in general? (Or are lingering hurts, anger, or trust issues making me feel more negative than positive?)

Be really honest.

If you can't answer "yes" to all 4 questions, you have some prep to do before entering the dating world. And I specialize in helping single, divorced, and widowed people do that prep.

With my support and direction, you can develop a whole new perspective about the dating process and the approaches and strategies that will work best for you.

Every single person is unique. The widow or widower who lost a spouse after a decades-long happy marriage comes to me with a far different attitude than the divorced person who was cheated on. The former wants to find someone as similar to the spouse as possible and is excited about finding love and happiness again, while the latter is cautious and unsure about finding a trustworthy new person and desires someone as different as possible from the spouse.

Usually, the widowed person with the positive attitude will have an easier time in the dating world than the wary divorced person with a less-positive attitude. But that doesn't mean the latter can't change his or her attitude and start seeing things in a new light--generating hope and optimism based on a changed perspective.

This often happens after a couple of pleasurable dating experiences with nice people. And, since I always encourage my clients to be consistently proactive about seeking out places and ways to meet new people, those good dating experiences can begin happening pretty quickly. The more "practice dating" he or she does (without an "agenda" or any sense of urgency), the better.

During the "practice dating" journey going out with several different types of people, clients learn a lot about themselves, the opposite sex, and relationships. And, most importantly, they get more and more clear on their "partner vision," better able to screen out incompatible matches, and more confident in their ability to be a successful dater.

Now, THAT'S a great attitude to have as you start fresh with your dating adventures in the new year! I look forward to supporting you with that!
gayle@datingsuccesscoaching.com