Wednesday, December 16, 2015


At this holiday time of year, many faiths and cultures focus on peace, joy, and love--three of the most precious gifts we all seek in our lives--and all wonderful attributes to aspire to cultivate all year round.

For those of us who are single, it is especially important to strive for inner peace and to bring more joy into our lives as we endeavor to grow in self-love...because loving yourself fully is a prerequisite for finding a partner who loves you too. 

As the "Law of Attraction" says, WE NEED TO BE WHO WE WANT TO ATTRACT.
And there's nothing more attractive than a person who's coming from a place of love every day. 

A perfect holiday goal is to do your best to spread love everywhere you go--to be as generous, kind, and compassionate as you can in your dealings with all the people you encounter. Not just family and friends but also neighbors, coworkers, folks at the gym or grocery store, strangers you pass on the street...even those sometimes-exasperating drivers on the road. 

When you give love, you feel more loving. You emanate kindness vibes. And others can feel those vibrations and will gravitate to you as a result. You're a joy to be around.

So...if you're looking for love for the new year, start now to be more loving. Smile more. Seek out ways to help others. Volunteer. Be more patient and supportive with people at work and home. Look for opportunities to motivate and inspire those who are discouraged or despondent. 

It's true that the gift of yourself always comes back to you tenfold. You'll be uplifted, joyous, and inspired to give even more. And the circle of love will expand.

So much so that it could very well draw in that wonderful partner you've been wishing for!

May your holidays be filled with peace, joy, and LOVE!!  

Friday, November 20, 2015

Creating Happy Holidays as a Single

Clients tell me, and I remember from the days when I was divorced or between relationships, that it's hard to be alone at the holidays. For some reason, it seems like the world is full of couples having fun, celebrating together, and you're by yourself. 

If you're divorced with kids, it's especially difficult because the kids have to split their time between two homes, and it's sad when they go to the other parent and leave you on your own to figure out how to fill the rest of your day. I remember many Christmas afternoons after my kids went to their Dad's house when I had nobody to share Christmas dinner with.

Yes, it's easy to get down in the dumps as a single at the holidays. But, ironically, it's that very attitude/mind-set that needs to change if you're to create happier holidays for yourself.

Your goal should be to look at the holidays as a time of giving as well as sharing joy, peace, and love with all the special people in your life (not just a date or partner). That includes your kids, parents/siblings, best friends, neighbors, and others you care about--everyone whose company you enjoy and who you have meaningful connections with. And, of course, don't forget about giving to yourself whatever you love most about the holidays!

If you're not invited somewhere for the holiday meal, invite people to your house. If no one mentions checking out those special holiday activities, plan an outing yourself. Do what brings you joy, whether it's going out to a new movie (tons of which open in December!), checking out a holiday light display, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or just curling up with your pet to watch a holiday cartoon from your youth or a classic film like "It's a Wonderful Life."

Happiness is a choice. It's not based on what happens but in how you react to what happens. Rather than succumbing to sadness, you can choose to look at the holidays as an opportunity for fun and joyfulness--to create some great new traditions with friends, to go to a holiday activity you never tried before,or to host a holiday gathering unlike any other. I especially enjoyed inviting to my house other singles who had no place to go. It was comforting just to be together with others in the "same boat".

However you're feeling about the upcoming holidays, know this: you can change your mind and shift your thinking from negative to positive at any time. You have the power. All you need now is the intention and commitment.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Count your blessings...and already the holidays will seem brighter!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

What's Your "Love Language"?

Have you heard of Gary Chapman's 1992 book The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate? It's based on research showing that discovering which of 5 behaviors make your partner feel most loved and doing that for him/her is the key to relationship success. Sounds simple.

Unfortunately, many of us fail to ask those we're dating (or our spouses or partners) about their "love language" and then assume, often incorrectly, that theirs is the same as ours. So, instead of doing what makes them feel loved, we're doing what makes US feel loved. This, of course, has mixed results unless their love language is identical to ours.

For example, your partner might feel most loved when you give gifts and say endearing things, but you don't know those are the things he values. Instead, you give him what you'd like to get from him--acts of service and affectionate touch. As a result, there's a disconnect and lack of closeness (maybe even feelings of abandonment or resentment), and neither of you can explain why.

This book really opened my eyes as to why some of my past dating relationships hadn't worked out...AND helped me more carefully choose compatible people to date, including the wonderful man I'm with today. The success formula is simple--ask the other person which of these makes him/her feel most loved and then provide that on a regular basis:

1. Quality time together
2. Affectionate touch
3. Terms of endearment
4. Acts of service
5. Gifts

Luckily, my current partner's top 2 love languages are exactly the same as mine. We both highly value carving out special time for each other as well as showing affection through touching on a regular basis. And we each show these behaviors to the other, so we both feel equally loved.

It's amazing how easily things flow for us because of our shared loved languages...and how much closer I feel to him than I've felt with other men I've had long-term relationships with, including my 2 husbands. Knowing that he prioritizes and appreciates togetherness and affectionate touch as much as I do makes me feel understood, seen, and heard, which naturally fosters emotional and physical intimacy. It feels like he really "gets" me.

So...what are your top 2 love languages? Take a minute to write those down.

Next, consider how this list could help you in the dating world. Once you know which behaviors make you feel most cared about, you can share that information with people you date and then watch to see if they do those things for you. If so, they truly care about you. And, of course, once you find out what makes the other person feel loved, you can make a point of providing those things to show you really care too.

Ultimately, as you continue to date and grow closer, by making a point of loving your partner in the "language" he or she prefers (and then getting what you want and need in return), you'll create a deep bond that sustains and nurtures your relationship for years to come. Enjoy the journey!

P.S. There's an updated version of Chapman's book that came out this year: The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts (Check it out on Amazon:

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Lasting Loving Relationship Has to Include Friendship

When you think back on your romantic relationships, can you honestly say the two of you were friends as well as lovers? Would you have chosen that person as a friend even if you weren't attracted to him/her as a sexual partner...just because you so enjoyed his/her company and got along so well that it was a joy hanging out together?

Research shows that it's not a lack of love that makes relationships unhappy--it's a lack of friendship. The two people don't have the strong foundation of friendship necessary to create a happy partnership that lasts.

Haven't you experienced a breakup with at least one person you still loved? Yet, could you say you still had a friendship with that person? To answer that, let's look at the definition of friendship. 

Webster's says it is being in a state in which you show "kindly interest, goodwill, cheerfulness, and comfort" toward another person. A friend is someone to whom you are "attached by affection and esteem"--an amicable, peaceful connection free of antagonism. Does that describe how you felt about the last person you broke up with? If not, you weren't "still friends" -- or perhaps you never really were friends at all.

The cliches about friends being "birds of a feather" who are there for each other "through thick and thin" captures some of the meaning of friendship: a friend is someone with whom you feel a kinship and comfort level, someone you care about enough to support during challenging times. 

In my opinion, a true friend is someone who is sincerely interested in your happiness and success and supportive of your dreams--someone who sees, admires, and brings out the best in you but also sees and acknowledges your weaknesses...but then sticks with you in spite of or even because of those things.   

Often in a marriage or committed partnership, however, friendly feelings are overshadowed or even lost in the midst of the souring romance because both people are focusing instead on their incompatibilities and the needs and desires that aren't being met.

The truth is: if you really felt friendship for the other person, you'd be concerned about his/her needs and desires too. You'd want to show him/her the kindness, goodwill, cheerfulness, and comfort mentioned above because you felt affectionate and amicable toward him/her. Couples who do have such friendly feelings can navigate breakups and divorce with much more ease and lots less drama--agreeing to disagree and then mutually deciding to part ways peacefully, without anger.

Singles who come to me for dating advice and support (especially the women) often tell me they're looking to be "friends first" with any new partner. This is generally a wise strategy, since a foundation of trust, admiration, affection, and friendship is good to have before you get physically and romantically entwined. However, it's difficult to remain platonic for very long with someone you're attracted to...and many can't wait the 2-3 months it takes to build that foundation before they jump into bed.

I can personally vouch for the wisdom of waiting, though. It's so much more fulfilling to "make love" with a man who's connected to me as both a friend and a lover than it is to "have sex" with someone I'm not very connected to and who doesn't love and cherish me. Plus...the friendship we established in those early months only gets stronger as we become more intimate both emotionally and physically.

Friendship is the bond that will keep you connected for years and decades to come, even when you aren't as sexually agile as before. They say it's best to marry a person you can really talk to because that's the glue that will hold you together into old age. I agree. After all, there's never a lack of conversation when you're with a real friend, right?

If you need moral support as you seek out and/or develop a romantic relationship anchored by friendship, get in touch. I'd be happy to help!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Is There Room in Your Life for a Partner?

Ladies, is your life too busy for dating? Consider this...

I read an article the other day by a 55-year-old widower saying the big difference between dating now and when he was in his 20s was that there's now more competition than ever. Not from other men...but from all the other people and activities in the lives of the divorced and widowed women he was meeting.

I've often heard this from my male clients as well: women over 50 have so much going on with work, kids, grandkids, friends, committees, classes, hobbies, aging parents, etc. that a man wonders how he'll fit into the mix. How important will he be in her life? Will she be able to carve out quality time for him as they're dating, building a relationship...and possibly being together long term?

This is a legitimate concern. A man wants your family and friends to accept him so that he can be included in the outings and activities you share with them. If you don't invite him to be part of the many aspects of your life, a man won't get his need for companionship met or be able to envision a long-term partnership with you. And he won't feel he can be of service and enhance your life in some way, which are core male needs in a relationship. 

So, when you're writing an online dating profile or chatting for the first time with a new man you met, it's best not to ramble on about how busy you are with a million and one things. Sure, men are attracted to active, interesting women. But they also want to know you have time for them.

The second thing you need to do is make it clear you value private, one-on-one time with a partner. Again, your online dating profile and first conversation with a guy out in the singles world should emphasize the fact you make alone time with a partner a priority. This means you're willing to put "date nights" with him on your calendar...and to make sure your schedule is flexible enough to accommodate a spontaneous casual get-together, time with his friends and family, or even a weekend getaway.

Lastly, you need to show a man you're able to be "present" with him and you care about him, your relationship, and what's important to him. I've heard several men I know lament the fact that the women in their past relationships were disengaged, overly independent, or preoccupied with things outside their relationship. As a result, the men felt disconnected and less emotionally invested in the partnership. 

If you want a prospective date to warm up to you at first and feel deeply connected to you later, you need to be in the moment with him. You need to listen and show you care. You need to make time to see each other often--to facilitate the getting-to-know-you process. And you need to tell him what you like/admire about him and how he can help you with day-to-day things, so he feels like your "knight in shining armor."

If doing all this means you have to simplify your life and even clear some  things off your schedule to make time to search for and then date the right man for you, do it! Is there anything more important than having a loving partner to share your life? 

I didn't think so. :-)


Monday, August 24, 2015

Your True Love Won't Just Appear at Your Door

Thinking it'd be nice if you didn't have to actually "date" in order to find love? Unfortunately, you'll have to think again.

Many of my clients complain about the effort and time it takes to search for dating prospects--both online and in person. And I have to gently remind them that a partner isn't likely to show up on their doorstep. They'll have to carve out the time and muster up the energy to do what it takes to cross paths with that person.

They'll have to make a commitment to the process and keep at it until they succeed. There are no shortcuts.

When I tell them it took me 8 years of dating after my first divorce to find my second husband and nearly 3 years after my second divorce to find the amazing man I'm with now, they often sigh deeply. It sounds like something they don't have the patience for. It sounds like too much work.

But isn't something you desire worth putting some time and effort into? Of course, it is. And so is dating. It's a necessary part of the journey to your compatible partner...and, like every other important dream in your life, it involves making a plan and taking action.

In the end, though, when you're with the love of your life, it's totally worth it.

Making a plan for your love means:
 - getting clear on the character, values, temperament, interests etc. of a compatible partner
 - getting your "ducks in a row" so your life has physical and emotional room in it for him/her
 - getting over your past and rebuilding your self-esteem and confidence if necessary

Taking action to meet your love means:
 - joining singles organizations, online dating sites, and hobby groups to meet new folks
 - promising yourself you'll be open to available people who are fairly close matches
 - letting down your guard and being honest in the getting-to-know-you process
 - staying open to the "experience" of dating--the fun parts and the not-so-fun parts

I would never have met the great guy I'm seeing now if I hadn't had a plan. That meant taking the time to heal from a breakup last summer, to rebuild my self-confidence, and to clarify what a better match for me would be as I prepared to write an online dating profile that could attract that man.

And, of course, I never would have met him if I hadn't taken action--to create that profile, post it, and then reach out by writing him that first email. 

What are you waiting for? You know what you need to do to find your true love. Are you ready to make your plan and act on it? I'm here to help if you need some extra courage or strategy ideas!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Being in Love Changes You for the Better

Remember that "Wow, the world sure is a beautiful place!" feeling you have when you first fall in love? You're giddy, excited, and filled with child-like joy. Everything around you looks brighter. You feel positive, content, and hopeful. And the one you love is "amazing," "wonderful," and incredibly special. I know I'm experiencing all of these feelings right now as I'm about to celebrate the 6th month of a relationship that's been the easiest, most romantic, and most compatible of my life.

The coolest part is: I catch myself every so often seeing myself through my partner's eyes, and that causes me to love myself even more than I did before. Love begets love. It's a beautiful, magical thing!

Recently, on her TV program "Super Soul Sunday," Oprah interviewed a Franciscan priest named Richard Rohr, and he offered some fascinating insights about love. Father Rohr first distinguished between the "False Self" (your ego, including such things as your body, personality, racial/ethnic heritage, socioeconomic status, job title, life roles, etc.) and the "True Self" (your soul & spirit--the essence and core of your Divine being). He then said that, when you fall in love, you kill the "False Self" so you can become more of your "True Self." 

In other words, you're willing to change yourself for your partner by letting go of who you thought you were before you loved him. I know that, since saying "I love you" to my partner, I have definitely left behind the old image I had of myself. And I've actually felt like a different, kinder, more empathetic person in life in general.

When you open up your heart to your partner, you're able to become more your "True Self" -- the loving, compassionate, giving part of you. You reveal your true beauty within. I can attest to this too: the more I give and receive love, the more I want to give.

Sharing love with your partner wakes up your spirit. It reveals the most beautiful parts of you (and not just in those early months when you're "on your best behavior"). According to Father Rohr, as you and your partner grow and evolve together in co-creating a deeper, more emotionally intimate, and more spiritual partnership, you blossom into the best possible you (what other spiritual teachers often call "Your Highest Self").

Father Rohr says a spiritual partnership is one between equals who come together for the purpose of facilitating each other's personal/spiritual growth. As he puts it, "Love has to grow and expand as the two people grow or it won't last." This, sadly, is one of the common reasons couples break up--think about all those you know who divorced because they "grew apart" instead of together.

On the other hand, though, think about how great it feels to be in a mature, healthy relationship that supports each person's goals/growth/ aspirations and brings out the best in both of you! That "best" is your True Self--who you are deep in your heart and soul--not at all about the trappings of your external life. And the "soulful" connection you feel with a loving, compatible partner is fulfilling beyond words!

If you want that type of connection, BELIEVE it can happen for you. Be patient and trusting. BE the loving person you want to attract. Be open and proactive when searching for your love. And then get ready to experience how love can truly change YOU for the better!!



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dating "Consciously" Attracts Healthier Partners

Are you intentional and focused when you're out there searching for dates? In other words, do you know exactly what type of person you want to meet... and are you putting attention and effort into finding that person? 

Being "conscious" about dating is important if you want to waste less time with the wrong ones and have more success in finding the right one.

David Steele, Founder of the Relationship Institute and author of Conscious Dating: Finding the love of your life and the life that you love, describes "10 Principles of Conscious Dating" that are definitely worth implementing in your dating life. Fortunately for me, I've found a man interested in following these principles with me as we now build a "Conscious Relationship"--which makes me very happy!

Here are the principles you should follow when seeking a life partner for yourself. I did all 10 of these things and believe that's what made it easier for me to attract a super-compatible guy:
1) Know who you are and what you want. Make sure you have a detailed "partner vision." And don't over-compromise or settle for less than you know is right for you.
2) Learn how to get what you want. Assess the dating information, tools, and skills you'll need and acquire them. Develop creative strategies and action plans for your partner search.
3) Be the "Chooser." Take initiative and responsibility for your outcomes. Don't just wait around and then react to who chooses you. Reach out to those YOU feel are your best matches.
4) Balance your head with your heart. Don't operate solely from inside a "romantic bubble." Be realistic. Listen for red flags with new people so you can make your relationship choices consciously and rationally. 
5) Be ready and available for commitment. Live your life and bring your dating strategy into alignment with how ready you really are for a committed relationship. 
6) Use the "Law of Attraction." Be the partner you are seeking. Develop yourself and live the life you want in order to attract the best person for you. The more alike you and your partner are, the easier your dating life will flow.
7)  Gain relationship knowledge and skills. Prepare for the love of your life by learning about relationships, improving your relationship skills, and deepening your relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. Date for fun and practice. Take more emotional risks. Read books and article about relationship success strategies. Get dating and/or relationship coaching. Take relationship classes and workshops.
8) Create a support community. Make sure to surround yourself with positive people who support your dating goals. Those who are isolated as singles can become lonely in their relationships because they expect a partner to meet all their social and emotional needs.
9) Practice assertiveness. To get what you really want, you need to say "No" to what you don't want. Set boundaries, have clear parameters, and stick to them.
10) Be a "successful single." Don't put your life on hold while waiting for a relationship. Live your life vision and purpose while you're single. The best way to find your life partner is to be a happy single person living the life you really want. Then, a partner will just be the "cherry on top" of your wonderful life--the one special person to share that life with you! 

To date consciously, you need to remind yourself of these principles every day. How many of them are you already following? Make note of the ones you're still working on and focus your attention on improving in those areas. If you need some moral support or someone to hold you accountable for doing that, let me know. I'm here to help.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

5 Fascinating Facts About Online Dating

As celebrates its 20th anniversary, online dating has been in the news recently. One piece I found particularly interesting discusses 5 interesting findings from a 2014 Pew Research Center study and report on "How American Couples Use Technology." 

A lot sure has changed since 1995, when only 14% of American adults used the Internet and online dating options were few. Now, about 90% of Americans are online, and dating on the Web has grown in both popularity and acceptance.

Here is what the Pew study found:
1) Most Americans say online dating is a good way to meet people. 
It has lost its stigma, and almost half of the public knows someone who uses online dating or met a spouse or long-term partner that way.
2) About 20% of adults 25-34 have used online dating, but it's also popular with older singles. In fact, 17% of adults 35-44, 8% of those 45-54, 6% of those 55-64, and 3% of adults 65+ have used online dating sites or apps. (Speaking of apps, Tinder--the app that lets you swipe to say yes or no to prospects by showing the faces of singles in your neighborhood, creates 2 billion swipes and 12 million matches a day.)
3) 66% of people who've used online dating have gone on a date with someone they met on these sites.
That figure is up from 43% in 2005.
 4) 20% of online daters have asked someone else to help with their profile.
Many, especially women, enlist their friends to help. In fact, 30% of women vs. 16% of men have sought assistance writing or reviewing their profile.
5) 5% of Americans who are married or in a committed relationship say they met their significant other online.
Of those who've been with their partner for 5 years or less, 88% say they met offline--with meeting through friends as the most likely way couples connect.

Other research, as noted in Aziz Ansari's new book Modern Romance, shows that:
- 38% of "single and looking" Americans of all ages have used online dating
- women get 4 times as many emails on dating sites as men do

What I conclude after reading all these statistics is:
1) Women should feel free to initiate contact on Internet dating sites, since men don't get much email and would welcome the attention from someone who is truly interested.
2) Online dating is definitely worth trying. Most folks know someone who met a partner that way, and 2/3 wind up getting a date via the dating sites.
3) It is still smart to do BOTH online dating and socializing with friends, groups, and activities, since such a large percentage of couples meet offline. I met about half the men I dated over the years online and the other half offline, so I know both methods work. 

How about you? Are you part of the 1/3 of online daters still waiting to get that first coffee date set up? If so, I'd love to help by offering you a coaching session. Or, you can read my online dating how-to book "How I Met My Second Husband Online at Age 50," available on this website. Happy Dating!!


Friday, June 5, 2015


At a recent seminar I presented on the topic of having the courage to take risks as a way to transform your life, several single women participants (ages 40s to 60s) mentioned that fear of rejection was the single biggest reason they either didn't like or hadn't yet tried online dating.

Unfortunately, that's a self-sabotaging fear that could prevent them from meeting the love of their life.

Sure, we're all a bit nervous when meeting someone new in a high-pressure situation like a "blind date" which is what that first get-together for coffee or tea can feel like. You've only seen a photo of the person you're meeting and have no idea what he really looks like or whether you'll feel any attraction to him.

But keep this in mind: he's nervous too! He's wondering if you'll look like your photo...whether he'll be attracted to you...and whether you'll be interested in him. And--let's be honest--you're both nervous about making a good first impression and not saying something that will scare the person off before you've gotten to know each other.

My advice (learned after dozens of initial meetings) is to RELAX. Be yourself. Don't worry about the impression you're making or about editing what you say. Let the conversation flow naturally. And, most important of all, show a sincere interest in listening to what the other person has to say.

Approach the coffee date with a sense of adventure. This is a chance to enter the world of someone new--and to possibly learn fascinating information about hobbies, careers, or travel destinations you don't know much about. I certainly had fun soaking up fun facts about a myriad of topics in the 60+ coffee dates I had over the years.

And then, one day, the conversation just flowed so well with a certain guy, and the comfort level and warmth were so obvious between us that I knew we'd be seeing each other again...and again...and again.

This can happen for you too...if you leave that fear of rejection at the door and enter with the intention of real connection. If you need moral support before you start, let me know. I'd love to help!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Yes! Women CAN initiate the online dating process!

"Is it OK for me to be the initiator in online dating?" a woman client asked me recently. My response: "Absolutely! That's what I always recommend." And here's why.

I never would have met any of the men I've been with over the last 11 years (including the wonderful man I'm dating now) if I hadn't started the conversation on an Internet dating website. Sure, I had hundreds of men of various types express an interest in me online, but the only way I dated guys who were MY type was to find them myself and make their acquaintance by dropping them a note. 

A majority of the men who emailed me didn't feel compatible enough. So, it seemed that the smarter approach would be choose matches myself, reach out, and then see if any of the guys I liked also liked me. In the end, that approach worked!

There are 3 main reasons why it's fine for a woman to "make the first move" in the cyberdating world:
1)  Sending an initial email is just like making eye contact with/smiling at a man you're interested in at a singles event in "the real world." It's simply a way of "flirting" to show him it's OK to take the next step and come over and talk to you. After that, he'll pick up the ball and ask you out if he's interested. The woman may have gotten things rolling in the online world, but from there it becomes like traditional dating with the man making the next overtures. 

So if you're afraid men will think you're aggressive or "pursuing" them, fear not! Your flirty email online is just a tool to make a first contact. It doesn't change the age-old "man pursuing woman" dynamic.

2) Men love it when you show an interest in them. They're very flattered to get your complimentary note because it's not very common for women to approach them first, and it feels good to know someone is impressed by them. It takes away both the pressure of always being the initiator as well as the fear of rejection men have had to deal with all their lives. Having a woman approach them first is refreshing and ego boosting.

3) The rules of dating have changed. In 2015, the dating world is a LOT different than it was before was founded 20 years ago. With dating websites offering us millions of single people to choose from, both men and women are now used to having the opportunity to, in effect, "shop" for dates and then contact them "virtually." Men post their pictures and profiles to attract women's attention, so why shouldn't women respond by telling them they succeeded in attracting them?

I haven't had a single male client who didn't enjoy getting an initial email from a woman who was interested in learning more about him. So go ahead, through those profiles and find some guys who excite you. Then, write a short note telling them what grabbed you most and what the two of you have in common. 

By doing that, you're not crossing some invisible dating etiquette line. You've just broken the ice and hopefully paved the way for a getting-to-know-you phone call and meeting for coffee. Then, who knows?! He may click with you enough to ask you out on a real date...and the two of you can take it from there! Happy Dating!! :-)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

If You Have a High EQ, Relationships Will Be Easier

In 1995--20 years ago already--Daniel Goldman's book Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ was published. It's a fascinating look at how being aware of and able to manage our emotions (while also being sensitive to others' emotions) can help us in life and relationships (both professional and personal).

I've been re-reading the book recently and find that it makes a lot of points that are helpful for people in the dating world:
 - People with a high EQ are more satisfied, better with people & more optimistic
 - Those with a high EQ are cool, confident & see themselves as worthy
 - High-EQ people are self-reliant & dependable as well as happier & healthier than others

Imagine how much easier a relationship with a partner who has qualities like these would be!

Research also shows that someone with a high EQ is better able to resolve conflict because he/she:
 - is good at handling & defusing negative emotions
 - is able to control his/her anger & so remains calm & tries to reason with the other person
 - takes the time to understand what he/she is feeling & works with it
 - is less likely to freeze, go to pieces, or regress under stress/doesn't crack under pressure
 - takes full responsibility for his/her feelings & doesn't blame the other person for them
 - embraces challenges & acts fast to solve problems
 - is very empathetic & able to see things through others' eyes

Imagine too how skills like these would make it easier to discuss and overcome relationship problems more quickly and with less drama!

I know that, in my relationships over the years, dating/relating with someone who was in touch with and able to express his emotions and also validate/empathize with mine helped us communicate better, fostering the understanding and compassion that helped us reduce or even prevent arguments...making things flow much more smoothly. But, sadly, finding people with a high EQ isn't easy (which is why I feel blessed to be dating someone now who does have this very desirable quality!)

If you want to be in such a relationship, there's good news: a person CAN raise his/her EQ! Here are 3 ways to do it, according to psychologists:
1) Increase your self-awareness of both your strengths & your weaknesses. Limitations aren't viewed as shortcomings for someone with high emotional intelligence, so he/she strives to gain knowledge & insight into these and to see them as opportunities for self-growth and reaching outside his/her comfort zone to become a better person. I know that both I and the man I'm dating have done a lot of personal growth work over the years, which is a huge help for increasing self-awareness.
2) Practice acknowledging & managing your emotions. Rather than being reactive, try to be proactive about monitoring what you feel and keeping negative emotions in check. You can do this by listening to and recognizing others' feelings, even when you disagree with them. Step back to process whatever comes up in an appropriate way. This doesn't mean denying you have anger, fear, shame or other negative feelings; it just means learning how and when to express them in a nonvolatile, nonjudgmental manner.
3) Demonstrate an authentic & genuine interest in other people. Make it a point to learn about what's important to the other person, so you can understand and care about what he/she cares about. True caring, of course, facilitates authentic feelings of friendship, trust, and respect that make it easier to talk things through...and which can, in time, lead to romance and long-term commitment.

Curious about your own EQ? Take this short quiz:
  • Can you clearly express your feelings with the 3-word sentence "I feel..."?
  • Can you differentiate various feelings?
  • Can you identify why you feel the way you do?
  • Do you respect and accept yourself the way you are?
  • Do others know you have a good sense of yourself?
  • Are you living up to your potential?
  • Do you feel satisfied with your accomplishments?
  • Are you able to let go of regrets and grudges?
  • Do you feel in control and consistent in the way you act?
  • Are you emotionally independent from others?
Emotionally smart people will answer "yes" to 8 to 10 of these questions. How did you do?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Are You Being REAL in the Dating World?

I'm reading a book now called The Velveteen Principles: A Guide to Becoming Real (Hidden wisdom from a children's classic) and it's based on the story of the toy Velveteen Rabbit who became real, with human emotions, when he gave love to and received love from a little boy. This book discusses the difference between superficial outer beauty and the inner beauty we all possess as unique human beings.

The Velveteen Principles guides us to rise above society's "Object culture" (based on what we own and accomplish) and to focus instead on the inner qualities that make us unique, happy, and lovable (our character, kindness, honesty, integrity, and empathy), which deepen our connections with others and make more joy and love possible in our lives.

This has gotten me thinking about what happens when we show up as our "Real" selves in dating and relationships...and, concurrently, when we're able to look beneath the surface of a dating prospect's looks, job, wealth, status, etc. to see their Real true self inside. In other words, what happens when we take the time to look into a person's heart and soul rather than making snap judgments based on what we see on the outside?

In my view, showing our "Real" selves means being authentic, open, present, engaged, and even vulnerable as others get to know us. It means letting our good qualities (generosity, empathy, kindness, and gratitude) as well as our not-so-good qualities (fear, envy, anger, sadness, shame) be seen by others. It requires frankness and transparency in getting-to-know-you conversations about our lives and our inner workings. And, when both people let these qualities be seen, they've laid the foundation for true emotional intimacy.

When we let our own Real qualities show, we're more likely to feel comfortable with and attracted to other people who are "Real". Then, watch the sparks fly, because there's no better feeling than the depth of connection (spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and physical) that is possible when both people are being Real and sharing their thoughts and feelings honestly.

It takes courage to share the deeper parts of ourselves, and it takes acceptance without judgment to listen when others share these parts with us. But the result when we each do that is amazing. We become kindred spirits, fellow travelers on the journey to a richer sense of self and a deeper type of happiness.

The Velveteen Principles says that going along with the "objectification" of our object-obsessed culture destroys empathy for ourselves and what is Real in others. When we stop trying to conform/be like everyone else but instead let go of the fear of being different and just be ourselves, we become "Real" instead of generic. We have more fulfilling relationships, less fear of failure, and a chance of breaking through to new heart-opening relationship experiences.

How willing are you to be "Real" when you meet new people? Do you fear that others, if they saw inside you, wouldn't want to be with you? The truth is that we all have flaws, so seeing those in others can endear you to them by bonding you through your common humanity. When we hide them, however, we're relating on only a superficial level and thus reducing the chance we'll experience the deep partner bond we crave.

What do you say? Isn't it about time we all agreed to try to "get Real"? Just imagine how our relationships and our world will benefit!! 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How do I know if I can trust a person I just met?

This is the question I received recently at a dating seminar I was presenting. And it's a very good question. The woman who asked it was referring specifically to online dating prospects...since she'd heard and been frightened by stories about people who lie about themselves online.

Whether you meet a new person through the Internet or in person, the same general rule of thumb about assessing someone's trustworthiness applies: listen to your gut instincts. If something feels suspicious or someone is evasive, be cautious. If your intuition tells you someone is hiding information, ask more questions and gather more facts before believing what he says. Your intuition will never steer you wrong.

In addition: make note of his or her body language. There are several micro-expressions and body movements that tell you someone is being evasive or dishonest. More info is here:

As we all know, trust in any kind of relationship--personal or professional--takes time to build. People earn your trust little by little by proving true to their doing what they say they're going to being open and honest and willing to talk about anything that comes up during the getting-to-know-you process.

The woman who asked the question about trusting new men was hesitant because she'd been betrayed by a man in the past. She now found it difficult to imagine opening her heart enough to give others the benefit of the doubt--to see them as "innocent until proven guilty." This, of course, can be a huge obstacle in the dating world. When people feel you don't trust them, it is hard to form a connection that might lead to a friendship, romance, and/or love.

Here are some ways to tell if someone is trustworthy early in the dating process:
1. He or she shows up to your first meeting or date on time.
2. He or she calls on the promised day and time.
3. He or she prefers to communicate with you face to face rather than through email, texting, or phone calls. (Body language, of course, is a huge help in reading a person's intentions and sincerity, so anyone afraid of being caught in a lie would rather not spend much time in person with you.)
4. He or she will offer to do things for you and will follow through, so you'll learn that you can count on him or her being reliable.
5. He or she will keep any promises made. Small actions matter toward helping to build a strong foundation of trust.
6. He or she will keep private things you've shared completely confidential.
7. When you share personal information and your history, he or she will be comfortable offering to share similar information. 
8. He or she will offer a sincere, from-the-heart apology if he or she disappoints you or makes a mistake. He or she will take full responsibility for his or her action and reassure you that he or she understands how those actions impacted you.
9. Your friends or relatives who've met your new date will give you positive feedback about him or her. Often, the first blush of a new relationship blinds us to negative things that other objective observers can clearly see. Pay attention to their reactions!
10. He or she will be open to new experiences that you suggest. This builds a bond between you, and trust will follow. 

Armed with this information, it will be easier for you to venture forth into the dating world feeling more comfortable AND sending out more open, positive vibrations that draw nice people to you. Being overly cautious can definitely be a turnoff, but being reckless or gullible is unwise.

I'd love to hear your opinions and/or stories about trust. Drop me a note! 

Monday, April 27, 2015

"Healing Partnerships" as Stepping-stones to Healthy Relationships

Ever found yourself in a relationship where one or both of you still needed to heal something from the past? Where you were drawn to someone with a wound similar to yours? I've certainly been there and done that.

At first, you feel strongly attracted emotionally and physically and think this person could potentially be your long-term partner. You are on the same wavelength in SO many ways. Friendship, trust, admiration, empathy, and caring develop and grow. Everything seems to flow so nicely. You fall in love.

Then, one day, you have your first major conflict or disagreement. You see a completely different side of the other person when he or she triggers one of your "hot buttons" from the past--touching a nerve related to something you thought you had healed but now realize you haven't. It could be your abandonment wound, your fear of being smothered by a partner, your unresolved anger about a past partner's disloyalty, your mistrust or resentment about the opposite sex because of a childhood incident with a parent...or any number of other issues.

During the conversation to resolve the conflict by getting to the core reason for it, your "stuff" is revealed, your unhealed wound reopened. Each of you talks about how to deal with this woundedness. You try to be compassionate about the other person's wound, but you struggle to stretch far enough in his/her direction to foster understanding and peace. Finally, though, after talking it out, you feel better.

Until it happens again. And then, a few weeks later, again. Where you once felt so similar, you now feel so different. And disconnected.

It could be that you've attracted into your life a healing partnership--a relationship in which the two people come together primarily for the reason of helping each other heal. Except they don't know that's the reason. 

If, instead, they could see the big picture and the "opportunity" for growth that God/the Universe is giving them, they would understand that "this is all happening for a reason"--and that reason is so they can evolve into a healthier partner for another person down the road. 

Sadly, their healing partnership will be temporary. It will last only as long as it takes them to grow sufficiently beyond it. It will run its course, and the two people will part ways after the lessons they were brought together to learn are learned and each of them has experienced substantial healing.

From my experience in two healing partnerships during my late 40s, I now know that the heart and psyche will attract such partners into our lives, and we will try desperately to hold onto them because we feel safe and understood. Inevitably, though, one or both people will begin to feel uncomfortable and start pulling away at some point--usually within 6 months after the initial connection.

Breaking up with a healing partner isn't easy, but it's necessary. Only by closing that door and moving forward, armed with the lessons learned, will you be able to attract a healthier partner and then get the chance to implement what you learned as you build a happier, healthier relationship with someone new--someone who has also integrated lessons from the past to become a healthier partner.

The wonderful thing is that the healing and growing you've done prepares you for showing up in your next relationship as your new improved self--an emotionally healthy individual now ready to attract a similarly healthy partner and then to forge the strongest, healthiest bond imaginable! 

I can attest that being in such a relationship is AMAZING! You feel more alive, happy, and connected than ever before...and you're on your way to the deepest, most fulfilling relationship of your life. Enjoy the journey!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Your Best Match Brings Out the Best in You

How do you know when you've met "The One"--that very special person who is just exactly right for you?

In the thousands of articles and hundreds of books I've read on this topic over the last 20 years, one particular "must" seems to appear on every list: that person helps you become a better person--he or she brings out the very best in you and supports and inspires you to grow into the best version of yourself (and always wants the best FOR you), while totally accepting you without judgement, no matter what aspects of you are revealed.

I am experiencing this now in my current relationship. The man I'm with is the perfect foil, the most complementary partner to help me feel:
 - more feminine, beautiful, and sexy than I've ever felt before
 - more calm and patient than I ever thought I could be
 - more alive and happy than I ever believed possible
 - more open and vulnerable than I am with most people
 - more easily able to be fully myself than I could have dreamed
 - more motivated to give affection and love, with no agenda and no unhealthy neediness

Wow! It sure feels good to be with someone who helps me experience all those things AND who enables me to see that all the personal growth work I did over the years to become a healthy partner was worth the time and effort. With him, it is easy for me to show up as the best possible me...but also at times to reveal the parts that I'm not so proud of, without shame. Things just flow in a beautiful, mutually supportive and caring way.

Words can't describe how wonderful it is to be with a man who is a catalyst for this type of healthy, loving connection with myself and, in turn, with him. They say you'll "just know" when you meet the right one. I can honestly say this is true. The warmth, comfort level, and attraction was palpable within the first 5 minutes of sitting down at our initial coffee date after connecting online. And those feelings continued to grow sweetly and steadily with each successive date.

If you have yet to experience this kind of connection, don't lose hope. It can happen when you least expect it. While I had I put the effort into continuing to write new prospects online, I had no expectations about this particular guy. He was nice on email and the phone, but, truth be told, I was more excited initially about another guy I was to meet the same weekend. As it turned out, there was absolutely no "click" with the 2nd man but a really nice connection with the first. I was taken aback and very pleasantly surprised.

You can be too. Never stop trying. Keep on looking. Go out into the dating world with a positive attitude about the chances of magical things happening for you. That was always my approach, and it has led to wonderful experiences and connections. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you need help fostering that positive, hopeful attitude. I'm happy to assist!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Laughter Is Vital in Relationships

Ever wonder why romantic comedies are one of the most-popular types of movies? I'm guessing there are 2 main reasons:
1) We enjoy watching current or potential partners doing or saying things (or getting into situations) that make them--or us--laugh
2) Laughter is a key ingredient in every successful, healthy relationship, so audience members can relate to couples who laugh together

Experts say that laughter is important to relationship success for 3 primary reasons:
1) It's a tool in the attraction, dating and relating stages of the partnership
2) It creates a positive bond of intimacy & shared experience
3) It helps couples diffuse anger & overcome conflicts & disagreements

But did you also know that laughing reduces blood pressure, relieves stress, prevents depression, releases inhibitions/sexual blocks, improves mood, increases oxygen flow to the brain, reduces physical pain & strengthens the immune system? Wow! How many more reasons do you need for putting more fun & laughter into your life & relationships?!

Which brings me to my main point: if you & your date and/or partner aren't laughing together, your chances for long-term relationship success are severely reduced. You don't have to laugh at all the same stuff, but you do have to be able to lighten up, relax & be playful when necessary...especially when too much conflict or drama threatens to push you apart or cause you to disengage from each other.

It also helps if you can make each other laugh. After all, everyone using online dating mentions "sense of humor" as one of the top traits they're seeking, right? And they're right--it is crucial. I can't tell you how many happy couples have told me they've considered divorce but stayed because the other person knew how to make them laugh. Laughter is a very powerful way to create & maintain a tight bond with someone.

In fact, research on laughter in relationships by neuroscientist Dr. Robert Provine, as reported in his book Laughter: A Scientific Investigation, showed some surprising findings:
1) Women laugh much more than men--126% more!
2) Men are more often the laugh-getters.
3) Men like women who laugh heartily in their presence.
4) The laughter of the female is the critical index of a healthy relationship.
5) Laughter in relationships declines dramatically as we age.
6) Like yawning, laughter is contagious; the laughter of others is irresistible.

So, there you have it. Lighten up & find something to laugh about. It'll improve both your health & your relationships. I'd love to hear your stories about the part humor plays in your relationships. Send me a note!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Change Is Good in Your Dating Life!

Remember the Sheryl Crow song "A Change Would Do You Good"? One of my favorites. Of course, I'm the unusual person who loves change. Most people I meet and coach have some fear of it. Rather than change itself, I think what they really fear is the unknown (i.e., they're not quite sure what'll happen after they make a change).

Fear of the unknown aside, I invite you to consider this: a change really will do you good in many ways in your dating life. Here are a few simple examples:
1) Changing your photo on your online dating profile will attract attention from brand new people who may not have noticed or liked your old photo on the site, giving you more potential dating opportunities
2) Changing up the venues where you go to socialize can help you cross paths with folks you haven't met before--one of whom could be your new boyfriend/girlfriend
3) Changing your attitude about dating (from skeptical to hopeful or from negative to positive) can help you attract more prospects because others like upbeat people

This all makes sense, right? Then, why are so many people afraid of change? Haven't they heard that "when you do the same thing you always did, you get the same results you always got"? Wouldn't it be worth taking a chance on changing things up a bit--even just as an experiment--to see if you get different (and BETTER) results? I think so!!

The April issue of Oprah Magazine has the theme "Are You Ready for a Change?" and includes a great article about starting over again after unexpected change. It tells readers that "When sudden, scary, unwieldy change starts blowing down the doors, you can grieve what's ended and then--however impossible it may seem--embrace what's been set in motion. You can choose to see change as a catalyst, lighting the fuse that propels you into a place that's entirely, stunningly new." 

I love that phrase "stunningly new"!! Isn't it exciting to imagine and envision how stunning the next experience will be--now that you're free to venture forward into new adventures?

The article goes on to say that, when nothing changes in your life, "you have no opportunity to grow, to expand your humanity and the capacity of your heart. You miss out on the essential point of being alive, which is to experience experiences and feel feelings."

I totally agree. This concept applies especially well for those in the dating world who've experienced the unexpected change of a breakup or loss of a partner--as well as for those all-too-common situations when feelings of rejection or frustration set in after a string of dating disappointments. Yes, one door has to close so another one can open. Sometimes, someone has to exit your life to make way for the next, better partner. 

Often, it's only through that drastic change that you got the chance for personal growth that made you a more-evolved "attractor" for healthier relationships. That certainly happened to me after both my marriages ended. And now I've attracted the healthiest partner I've ever been with.

Change is inevitable.It's a waste of energy to try to keep it at bay or to resist it when it comes. Why not just change your mind about the way you'll handle it? It could definitely do you good!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Simplify Your Partner "Requirements" & You'll Date More

More than a decade ago, a female friend and I were theorizing about why we weren't meeting our type of men in the dating world and wondered if maybe our lists of  "must-have" traits might be too long. So, instead, we each came up with 2- to 3-word lists to describe our best match. Mine was "funny, happy, sexy"; and hers was "interesting and interested."

Though I still like and use my short list, I like hers a lot too. Here's what it means to me:

 - A man is interesting if he has a fun life, likes to do a variety of things, has some notable talents, has been to some cool places and wants to travel more, can converse intelligently about a variety of topics (such as psychology, history, the arts and/or current events), is curious about the world, is passionate about at least 1 or 2 things, has aspirations and dreams for the future, and enjoys learning new things.

 - I know a man is interested when he asks questions about my kids, my work, and my experiences...when he probes deeper about stories I tell...when he makes good eye contact while I'm speaking...when he remembers stuff I said last time we were together...when he starts doing nice things for me in the first few weeks of dating...when he introduces me to his family in the first couple months and asks to meet my kids too...when he regularly gives me sincere compliments...when he keeps in good touch between dates...and when he asks me for the next date before the current one is over.

Fortunately, the man I'm dating now is both interesting and interested. And that feels really good--especially since, sadly, I've gone out with several men in the past who weren't that interesting and definitely weren't really interested.

Why, then, you might ask, would I continue to date them? For the same 4 reasons a lot of other women would do the same thing:

1) giving him the benefit of the doubt hoping things would improve

2) doubting whether I'd be able to find anyone better

3) lacking the confidence to break it off for fear of hurting his feelings

4) not feeling deserving of getting what I really want

Now I know that none of these are good reasons to continue dating someone who doesn't have just the 2 or 3 traits that are most important to me in a partner. If he's not interesting enough to keep me mentally stimulated and interested enough to pursue me, I'm wasting my time and his by staying rather than moving on.

I now understand that, before I met the man I'm seeing now, I had simplified my "list" enough that it'd be likely a decent number of men would meet the parameters... meaning the chances were good I'd be able to date a lot more and, ultimately, meet a really close match. By zeroing in on a few key requirements, I made sure I didn't "screen out" a lot of good prospects but also that I didn't settle for guys who weren't close enough to what I desire.

How about you? Have you found it hard to narrow down your list to a few core traits? If so, let me know. I'd be happy to help you do that. If not, I'd love to hear what's on your list. Please post a comment to share that with me and your fellow daters. Thanks!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Be Your True Self to Attract Your Best Match

When I was in my early 40s, newly divorced and dating, I made a lot of mistakes. I tried to "earn love" by doing things for the man all the time, disrespected myself by having sex too soon, and didn't speak up about my needs and desires. But the biggest mistake of all was becoming a "chameleon"--trying to be what I thought the man wanted rather than who I really was.

In other words, I was inauthentic and not true to myself. Not surprising then that I lost my identity in a few relationships and/or experienced little emotional intimacy in others. Those men had fallen in love with a facsimile of me, not the real me. I was afraid to show them that self, with all my flaws, quirks, and idiosyncrasies. I didn't think they'd like me if they knew those things about me.

Now--nearly 20 years later--I know better.

Finally, I've grown enough in self-love, self-respect, and self-acceptance to present myself warts and all. In the 9 months I've been dating since ending my last relationship, I've gotten a lot more comfortable showing men my many facets--positive and negative, admirable and embarrassing, mainstream and offbeat...sometimes even what others might call "strange."

For example, I've noticed that, often on the first meeting with an online dating prospect, I talk about my many "metaphysical" experiences, before I even know if the guy is open to the possibility of such things. I launch into stories from my life about my encounters with ghosts, energy healers, mediums, psychics, and past life regressionists. I have such a passion for and excitement about the emotional and psychological healing such encounters have brought me...I just can't stop talking about them. Plus, I'm fascinated by the idea of other realms and levels of consciousness beyond what we experience on earth (ie, the spiritual plane).

If the man is intrigued by my stories and seems to want to know more, I feel an instant connection with him--like a kindred spirit. And, of course, if he doesn't run in the other direction and actually asks to see me again, I figure he's willing to accept me the way I am. There could even be a chance for us to develop a relationship.

When I tell those stories, I'm me being authentically me. And it feels good to do that, without editing myself or biting my tongue for fear the other person will judge me as weird. It's also an entree into talking about spirituality, grieving losses, and other deeper topics that help us learn lots more about each other in the getting-to-know-you stage of dating.

Though I haven't consciously decided to tell my stories as a way of feeling someone out early on, I've recently realized this IS sort of a screening tool that I may be unconsciously guided to use. A man who's open to talking about Reiki, communicating with loved ones on "the other side," and how past lives affect this lifetime is "more spiritual than religious" (as the dating sites say) and more my type. Even though I was raised Catholic and then left that church, I'm fine dating a churchgoing man with good values who is also open to learning about other faiths and spiritual traditions/practices--because that's how I am.

How about you? Are you able to be authentically yourself when you first meet a dating prospect? Or do you carefully avoid topics--like religion, politics, or your own quirks--that might reveal things about you that you fear others will judge and/or reject you for? I say let them reject you. They weren't your type anyways. By being completely true to yourself and showing up as the real you, you'll ultimately attract someone who IS your type!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Negativity Is Poison in the Dating World

In my coaching practice, with single friends, and on singles Facebook sites, I've noticed an uptick lately in negative attitudes and comments, especially about online dating. And it's starting to get to me. These folks don't realize that what they're saying about cyberdating is:
1. Counterproductive (i.e., not likely to attract a partner to them) and
2. Not true overall (but rather isolated incidents from their personal experience)

Badmouthing something never improves it. And complaining about experiences online does nothing to attract better dating prospects. Both behaviors just label the person who does them as negative and critical (not someone a positive, kind, respectful, emotionally available man or woman would be interested in dating).

Sure, we all want to vent sometimes to release our frustration. Unfortunately, these jaded, pessimistic, victim-type people don't understand the two main principles of the Law of Attraction:
                                WHAT YOU FOCUS ON EXPANDS. 
                                         LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE.

So, when they focus on or talk a lot about the bad experiences or less-than-ideal people they've met through the Internet, they're setting the stage to attract more bad experiences and people. And, when they're negative about dating, they attract others who are negative. And, of course, two negatives don't make a positive. 

What shocks me most is how mean some people are. They say nasty things about the opposite sex and seem to have no compassion for others' struggles in life and in the dating world. Classic examples are men labeling women as "head cases" and women labeling men as "cold and unemotional". As we all know, these are gross over-generalizations.

Yes, we've all had "dates from hell" with total mismatches or people lacking social skills. But that's no reason to get down on the entire other gender or on the larger online dating arena.

I have a completely different view, and here's why:

Online dating has worked very well for me: I met my 2nd husband, the man I dated for 2 years in 2012-2013, and the wonderful man I'm seeing now on different dating sites. And, over the years, I met a bunch of other very nice guys on those sites too. Sure, there were a few odd people and disappointing experiences along the way, but that wouldn't cause me to dismiss online dating as a waste of time or to label the majority of online prospects as "losers" (a term I hear a lot from disgruntled online daters). 

On the contrary: I truly believe it's the easiest, most efficient, most effective tool for meeting singles over 50. And I believe that the folks who haven't had any luck with it either aren't using it correctly or are coming to it with attitudes that undermine their chances for success.

I've had relationships with online dates that lasted from a month to 7 years. And I truly believe I'm close to finding the relationship that will last the rest of my life. You can too--IF you stay positive and nonjudgmental--and accept that online dating is just a tool to cross paths with people. And the lion's share of those on the sites are caring, interesting singles looking for and deserving of love--just like you.

Somebody that one negative person calls a "loser" could be a winner in someone else's eyes. It's all about attitude. There's power in positivity!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Stop Seeing "Mr. Wrong" to Meet "Mr. Right"

Another common dating mistake I see ALL the time is this: A woman is dating someone she knows is wrong for her but doesn't understand how that's hindering her from meeting someone better. She'd rather stay with the "devil she knows" than venture out into the dating world of the unknown.

To her, it's logical: she doesn't know if and when she'll ever meet "Mr. Right", so she might as well stay with "Mr. Wrong". She drifts aimlessly and mindlessly along in the relationship (even if she's bored, unhappy, or even mistreated) because she's afraid and/or unmotivated to make the effort to change her life and fulfill her desires. She may not be having any fun with or getting her needs met by this guy, but at least she has someone to do things with on Saturday night.

To me, this is not only illogical but also self-sabotaging and counterproductive. My dating experiences and those of my clients have shown me that you're wasting precious time and energy when you stay stuck with the wrong one instead of seeking the right one. You're also telling the Universe "I'm OK with second best. Don't worry about me." Is that really the message you want to send?

Also, from a practical point of view, if you spend every weekend with a "ho-hum" mismatched partner, you simply won't have the time to seek new prospects by going out to activities or searching online. In fact, this is what many women tell me. Well, duh! Of course, you won't have the time if you don't make the time! They'd rather just moan about and blame the man they're with for their discontent--when, actually, they are the ones to blame.

When I suggest that a client stop seeing his/her current "girlfriend" or "boyfriend" to free up time to cross paths with new people, they often resist. They can't imagine being without someone, so they ignore my suggestion. And, of course, they just continue on--unhappily settling for 2nd best--because they're not willing or don't understand how crucial it is to close one door so a new one can open.

Or maybe they just don't feel worthy or capable of attracting the best. (This too is a common problem in the dating world.)

In any event, none of the above behaviors will help you attract the love of your life. Here's what will: saying goodbye to the person who's not right and then focusing your energy on seeking someone who is.

I have a recent personal example to motivate you: I had 4 dates with someone (let's call him Man #1) in January who then dropped the ball and stopped asking me out. By the time he did ask again 3 weeks later, I'd already been using a different dating site for 2 weeks and had met a great new guy (Man #2)...and had decided I liked him a lot more. I was more attracted to Man #2, and he seemed much more interested in getting to know me than Man #1. We're now happily dating and excited about fun activities we've planned for March and April. I have absolutely no regrets about ending things with Man #1...because otherwise I would never have met the guy who's a much better match for me!

How about you? Are you ready to say no to what you don't want in order to have a clean slate and a clear path to what you DO want? If so, let me know. I'd be happy to moral support and guide you!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Biggest Mistake in Online Dating

Not being ready for in-person dating!

Though I've written plenty of articles about common online dating mistakes, I can now narrow that long list down to the one mistake I notice more often than any other: People put themselves on an online dating site before they're actually ready to date.

They think they're ready, but as soon as someone writes to them or asks them to chat on the phone or meet for coffee, they either hesitate and disappear or take Step 1 but can't move to Step 2. Here are 3 examples:

1) I had a great first meeting (3 hours of nonstop, lively conversation) and then 3 very nice dates with a guy who really seemed to like me. Then, when he asked me for date 4 on a Friday night and I had other plans, he told me Saturday and Sunday, though good for me, weren't possible for him but didn't suggest another time. In fact, when he called about it, we barely talked for 2 minutes before he had to run, saying that, even though "he really enjoyed hanging out with me," his life was super-busy with some "personal issues."

2) I had a nice phone call from another online guy who sounded anxious to meet me and asked me to breakfast the next morning. The conversation was going well until, 3/4 of the way through the meal, he told me he'd broken off a 14-year relationship 6 months earlier but was still missing his ex-girlfriend.

3) I had another good phone conversation with a man who followed up with an email telling me how much he enjoyed chatting and how attractive I was in my photo and then asking me if I could get together for a movie and drinks the following weekend (5 days later). When I said I'd prefer something other than a film so we could talk and get to know each other, he didn't write back. 

Confusing--to say the least. Why did men who seemed so interested at the outset suddenly  back off? Because, I believe, in all 3 cases, they realized, after looking at the reality of actually dating someone, that they weren't ready:

In case #1, he had too much to juggle in his life to make time for dating.
In case #2, he hadn't gotten over his ex-girlfriend before entering the dating world.
In case #3, something about talking to a woman instead of just seeing a film with her made him change his mind. I really don't understand that one at all. 

It just seems evident in all 3 cases that they just weren't ready to pick up the ball and go forward into actual dating.

The moral of the story: Before posting an online profile, make sure you've got your "ducks in a row" and have healed from your you're ready, willing, and able to spend time with people in the real world, not just the cyber-world. Otherwise, not only are you wasting your time writing a profile and send/replying to emails, but you're misleading well-meaning, sincere people who really ARE ready for dating. 

Sound familiar? What do you all think? Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!