If there's one thing we are in agreement on in the U.S. right now, it's that 2020 has been a challenging year. Between a crippling pandemic, the painful exposure of racism, and a contentious presidential election... we all can use some serious self-care. For some of us, that means a little added TLC in the relationship arena.
A life coach recently asked me to be a guest on her Facebook Live show and talk about how to Reinvent, Reinvigorate, Renew, and Revolutionize Our Love Lives! That's a lot of lofty R's -- and a mouthful of multi-syllable words!! (hahaha) Was I up for the task? You betcha... Here we go... Take the Reins for a Dating & Relationship Transformation...
... in 5 Simple Steps! ;)
1. Be willing to start over. No matter your age or life stage. I’ve worked with singles in their 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s who have had the courage to work with a matchmaker and be open to dating for varied reasons. It’s hard to be a silver single; it’s hard to change relationships in retirement. But new beginnings are possible even if you’re a mature single. Don’t let our ageist culture tell you otherwise.
In fact, I’m looking for a dapper man who enjoys travel, live music, and dancing for a great lady (64). If this is YOU or someone you know, reach out to me… a "silver single" fella who's retired but not TIRED would be lucky to get to meet this vivacious woman! AND I'm looking for a kind-hearted, down to earth, Christian woman for a nice guy (72) who would be so loyal and faithful. But I digress...
2. Be willing to make other people uncomfortable… and by other people, I mean mainly YOU. Be willing to make yourself a little bit uncomfortable because that’s the only way to push past obstacles.
For some of my singles, being uncomfortable means learning the technology of digital dating … for others, it means rethinking a long-held belief about men or women or love or how people "should" be.
When you're coached by The Date Maven team, we prep you for the uncomfortable and we walk you through it. Whether it’s how to break the ice with strangers (awkward!), how to make yourself more approachable while still protecting your boundaries (confusing!), how to flirt (does anyone DO that anymore?!?) and open yourself up to being flirted with… we prep you for the realities of dating online (it's not as bad as you think... IF you stick to our process!), we prep you for more real life dates than you thought you had time for, and we prep you for courtship!
If you’ve never done one of these things before or haven’t done them recently or successfully enough to feel awesome and confident in any of those areas, don’t let yourself off the hook or flee to the safety of soft, sweet, shiny, Netflix and ice cream! (Though, I get the temptation...) Step up!
As we face fears, we dissolve brain b*llsh*t and psychic sludge, and we get to do some mental/emotional housecleaning. Sometimes it’s baby steps, and sometimes it’s giant leaps. Then – boom! -- we knock heads with a limiting belief or behavior. But on the other side of the ouch! is everything you’ve ever wanted. And that’s where they keep the happy-happy joy-joy juice!
3. Be willing to invest in yourself. This week, the investment might be, I’ll buy this book. Next week, it might be, I’ll register for this webinar. The week after that, it might be, I’ll sign up for this online program. By the end of the month, it’s ah – lightbulb moment! -- I would go even faster and get even farther with a wing-man! If you value yourself and care about quality of life, you will invest in your health and happiness.
Nothing – not even long-term LOVING relationships – is free or easy; because at minimum they take work and a little bit of sacrifice. You can invest in a coach now or a therapist later, it’s your call. But later, you’re already worn out from fighting and crying and grinding your teeth and trying to figure out why you love each other so bloody much and you’re driving each other crazy! Be willing to put in what you want to get out and that means effort and that means time and that means money.
4. Know WHY you want someone or something the way you want it. “It just feels right,” may be a sufficient answer. Or maybe not. Especially if your picker has been off or your intuition a little wonky in the past!
At the beginning and end of our programs, our clients should be able to answer the all-important “Who am I?” and “What do I want?” questions. Those are what I call compass calibrating questions. Ask them as you look in the mirror before and after every date. Maybe ask them before you open your dating app! Ask them often so you don’t accidentally betray yourself or give in to the temptation to be inauthentic. Look, this happens in dating situations sometimes -- we’re crushing on the other person and trying to get them to like us, so we start to say and do things that are a little weird. A little bit "not me." Hey, if you’re like most singles who are casting the net in new and sometimes murky waters, you’ll undoubtedly have moments of self-doubt or feel impulses that are suspect. It’s normal, it’s human. So ask yourself, Who am I trying to please? and Who am I trying to impress? What qualities is this person likely to elicit in me?) Lol. Set your compass to the answers to those questions, and you’ll rarely get lost.
5. Be aware of how dating and relationship decisions feel in your body. This person is flirting with me…. This person is ignoring me or giving me the cold shoulder…. Our responses to this feedback usually creates some kind of physical element. It can be hard to remember to check in (especially if you're not in the habit of looking to your own body for feedback about what's going on), but you can actually train yourself to become more present and more adaptive in dating situations when you slow things down, stay grounded, and stay really attuned to your psycho-physiological response.
Compromising interactions, boundary violations and disrespect typically make you feel constricted or contracted, heavy or weighty, and either very hot or very cold. Loving, liberating decisions usually make you feel lighter, warmer, freer, and more expansive. Notice where your breath is at, notice your heart rate as well.
Your sympathetic nervous system and para-sympathetic nervous system are always giving clues! But sometimes we have to train ourselves how to read the cues – again, especially if you have any childhood trauma or past relationship trauma that could be getting in the way of interpretation.
As someone with past trauma who became a total grand master at fleeing my body, I actually have had to learn how to stay present in myself and be present in super uncomfortable situations where there’s conflict and hurt feelings and all the Icky stuff. So, I'm merely the gal with the flashlight a step or two ahead on this part of the path.
That's it; that's our list! 1-2-3-4-5. Boom! If you’re looking for more concrete ways to change your luck in love, it’s time to work with a professional. When you join forces with The Date Maven, you get a male and female perspective, complete renovation of the dating experience, and just-in-time text coaching to save your date/text/mind/whatever when you need it! We are also the ONLY locally-owned and operated Matchmaking firm in Wichita, KS, providing introductions to local singles unparalleled by any other!
Don't be shy; email firstname.lastname@example.org and introduce yourself!