Well, February is the month of love they say (I prefer to think that every month is the month of love but I guess that doesn’t sell so many flowers, cards and chocolates!)
I was invited by my local TV company to do an interview about lasting love. I didn’t get very long to talk so I decided to record a video and to write a blog about this because I think it’s really important.
I decided to narrow it down to five points although I have a lot to say about this topic! Here are the 5 points:
- make every day romantic whether it’s the time for a prolonged hug at the end of a busy day or taking time at bedtime to exchange an appreciation of one another
- create a vision for your relationship. What is possible? Dream big because you are co-creating what YOU want!
- honor your commitment. I find that many couples don’t bring up the concept of commitment and that it’s just assumed – but this is really important! If you make a strong commitment to one another – and keep it – you are able to express yourself honestly and openly and know that you have created a safe container. This is where true intimacy comes from
- take ownership for your experience and take responsibility for your feelings. Nobody can “make” you feel a certain way. Understand that your issues are your own unmet needs and that you can be triggered by things that wouldn’t faze others. Learn how to communicate so each of you can express yourselves clearly and be a good listener
- make your relationship a priority. We all know it’s true that the more you put into something the more you get out of it! I see a relationship as a garden that needs to be nurtured. It needs to be watered and fertilized so that you both can reap the benefits. Together you can grow and accomplish things that wouldn’t be possible alone.
I hope you have enjoyed my thoughts on what keeps love alive! I love to do couples coaching so if you want a great relationship rather than a “good enough” one, let’s talk!
Have you noticed that some people seem naturally magnetic where others are prickly? What are some of the elements that make some people love magnets? In a recent speaking engagement I pointed out that most babies are love magnets without having to do anything: they are magnetic just by being themselves. What happens over time to interfere with our natural birthright of being love magnets? I think a lot has to do with others telling us we have been bad or wrong – or that we’ve disappointed them. We start to doubt ourselves and question whether or not we’re lovable. How can we shed ourselves of those negative messages and return to loving beings? Here are three ways:
1) Fall madly in love with yourself! Celebrate your triumphs and be compassionate toward yourself when you make mistakes or believe that you have fallen short
2) Be friendly to others and create connections even if it’s just in a supermarket lineup! A friendly smile could be the highlight of someone’s day and it’s going to make you feel good, too!
3) Recognize the value of community. Get out there and participate! Make a difference in the world and shine that light of yours!
How might your life be different if you intentionally gave and received love with an open heart? Why not give it a try?
With Valentine’s Day coming up very soon why wait for someone else to express love to you? When you make a conscious choice to be a more loving person you can treat everyone you meet with kindness and compassion. Many people save themselves and their love for a romantic partner but my belief is that if you don’t use it you lose it so why not practise love every day?
I have a friend who teases me about shining white light at people! Actually when I walk down the street I smile at strangers. Sometimes I get a smile back but often the person averts his or her eyes. I hope someday everyone will feel safe to smile at a stranger. I know it makes me feel good!
As a relationship coach it’s not my job to give advice. My role is to help my clients discover their own answers by helping them get clarity and by asking them meaningful questions (among other techniques)
Today I was imagining if someone insisted on two pieces of advice from me… what they would be. It didn’t take me long to come up with these:
1) Know who you are and what you want in life, and
2) SLOW THINGS DOWN when dating
Knowing who you are is so important, and yet so many people have focused on their career, their family, their marriage… and really don’t know who they are. Do you have a vision of how you want your life to be or are you just “getting by” and putting one foot in front of the other hoping that retirement or some other life change will rescue you from how things are? When was the last time that you sat down and put your dreams on paper – or have you given up on dreaming? What is your reason for being on this planet? How do you want to make a difference in the world?
If you are clear on who you are and what you want, then you can date with awareness. You can ensure that your potential mate will support you in the direction you want to go rather than hold you back or crush your dreams.
And #2….” slow things down”. I see so many people rush into committed relationships without knowing the other person. They project who they WANT that person to be – and are reluctant to see the red flags when they show up. Rushing into a sexual relationship triggers all kinds of euphoria-inducing and bonding hormones so it’s even harder to extricate yourself when you realize that there may be serious deal breakers. It’s much easier to walk away when you haven’t invested copious amounts of time, energy and/or money… so take your time. Enjoy life in the slow lane with your eyes wide open.
Please… if you’re in the dating world take good care of yourself. Do the work you need to do to be ready for dating and for the relationship you want. Of course working with a relationship coach who specializes in this area is ideal. You’re welcome to Email Me so we can set up a time for a consultation.
And when you meet someone and the chemistry is overwhelming this alone does not indicate that this person is “the one!” Recognize that this is nature’s sneaky strategy for the survival of the species even if you have no intention of making babies!
Do you ever feel discouraged as a single? Do you wonder if you’ll ever meet your ideal partner? Does that inner critical voice nag you about all your perceived shortcomings?
How would things be different if you really believed that someone out there is PRAYING for you to come along? Someone who celebrates you for who you are. Someone who really “gets” you and who loves your authentic self. Take a moment and just sit with that thought: that someone out there is praying for YOU. How does it feel?
Can you relax and surrender into it? Can you allow that belief to permeate your consciousness? Think about all you have to offer: maybe it’s your kind and generous nature, or your skill and knowledge in an area you’re passionate about; maybe it’s how conscientious and responsible you are; or how you can see the silver lining in every cloud. You do have a lot to offer!
Do you feel the excitement and anticipation of having your ideal partner in your life? This is what will carry you through the times of doubt and despair. Get to know yourself, celebrate who you are, and live your best life authentically, and get ready to meet the one whose prayers will be answered when you are in their life!
How do you feel about being single? Many singles would much rather be in a relationship and feel like they are putting in time until their ideal partner comes along. Other singles are relieved to be out of a dysfunctional partnership or an unhappy marriage and are afraid of choosing someone just like their ex.
How can you make the best of being single?
The way I see it is to use this time to learn more about yourself: who you are, what you want, and to acknowledge your part in past breakups. What would you need to do differently next time? Maybe it’s being more cautious about who you get involved with. Maybe it’s learning some new relationship skills like being able to communicate calmly instead of yelling. Perhaps you need to cultivate the skill of seeing someone else’s point of view even it’s not the same as yours.
Over the years have you lost yourself? I see this very often, in both men and women, because they have focused so much on their partner and kids that they don’t really know who they are. Who are you? What are your dreams? What are your deepest-held values? What is your vision of the relationship you want? These are all important questions to answer before getting involved with someone new. This is how you approach dating “consciously” instead of repeating old patterns or getting swayed by chemistry.
Being single is an opportunity not only to learn more about yourself, but also to appreciate your own company. When you can enjoy time alone, then you can approach dating from a place of contentment and abundance, rather than desperation. It is then possible to have a significant other in your life because you want someone, not because you need them to make your lonely and miserable life better!
Need some help in becoming your own best friend? Seeing a counselor, therapist or relationship coach can be very helpful. There is no substitute for the soul-to-soul connection and perspective of working with a trained professional. Is this the next step for you? I encourage you to see how being single is actually a wonderful opportunity for growth and evolution – and to see the value of reaching out so you can get there!
I’m passionate about my vision, my mission, my calling – to help people to date more consciously and to have more loving relationships with others and themselves. I’ve done a lot of work behind the scenes. I’ve been keeping journals since I was 16 years old so I have all the ups and downs of my love life documented (and have made a mutual agreement with a close friend to burn our journals upon our passing!). I’ve taken lots of courses, read lots of books, done lots of blogging, helped close friends… but playing it safe and being invisible really wasn’t serving anybody. It wasn’t getting my message out into the world and it wasn’t stretching me. I was happily in my comfort zone, but quite stuck.
Public speaking is a strategy for getting out there: so that people could get great information and get a sense of who I am and where I come from but, frankly, the thought of standing up in front of a group was terrifying for me. I had lots of “but what if’s???” and I imagined feeling so exposed! Yikes! I felt the fear. I honoured the fear. I started getting curious about the fear. What’s the worst thing that could happen? How old was that part of me that was so scared of getting up in front of people? Is it really true that people would be there to judge me – or were they there to learn?
I joined Toastmasters so I could get some experience in front of a group. I could feel my heart pounding before giving even a short toast (about 1 minute!) but I survived! In preparing for my first public presentation last month I had sleepless nights punctuated by feelings of dread and overwhelm.
Interestingly, after I’d prepared my talk and all the handouts (and some small prizes) I wasn’t nervous! Interestingly, after all the dread I had about how badly it might go… I actually enjoyed it! I’m looking forward to the next one! I focus on how I can connect with my audience and how I can be of service. I took the risk and got in touch with a gift I hadn’t realized that I had!
How does this story apply to you and dating? For many people, dating is very nerve-wracking. Feel the dating fear. Where do you notice it in your body? If you are observing safe dating practices like meeting in public, what’s the worst thing that could happen? If you’ve allotted 20-30 minutes for a coffee date it’s not forever and you can always end things sooner if your date is rude or unpleasant. How old is the part of you that is dreading the date? Maybe feeling like a 5 or 6 year old on the first day of school? You’re an adult now and you have a lot more resources and coping mechanisms than you did back then.
You can stay home and be invisible – but how are you going to share your gifts with a beloved partner if you never get out and meet people? Yes, it can feel risky to put yourself out like that, but you never know what magic can happen when you take that first step!
I was speaking to one of the participants in a recent workshop. He told he that he’s not going to get married again (3rd time) because he doesn’t want to be yet another divorce statistic. He thought the answer was not to get married. Well, that’s one strategy… but another far healthier one, in my opinion, is to do the work needed to be able to co-create a lasting relationship!
What are the biggest issues I see with singles? For women, lack of self-esteem is a big one. Another is not really knowing themselves. Many have been married for a decade or more and have focused all their energy on their husband’s or their kids’ needs. Who are they, themselves?
The biggest issue with single men is a lack of confidence in knowing how to ask for a date and how to carry on a conversation. I see some low self-esteem issues but they seem more challenged by the mechanics of dating itself. How can you tell if a woman is interested in you? How can you ask her out without seeming creepy?
The great thing about working with a relationship expert is that you will have these issues, and more, addressed so you actually CAN have a healthy relationship. I have a Relationship Readiness Quiz for singles with ten questions to assess your readiness today for dating. For example, you might be very happy with your career, but do you actually have the time to put into dating? If your career is all-consuming you won’t have the time or the energy to put into meeting people and getting to know them. I think it’s easy to fool ourselves into thinking we are ready to date when we aren’t. If you’d like to take the test, send me an email and I’ll send one to you. I’d be happy to do a follow-up phone call to discuss your results.
In summary, you can bypass being another divorce statistic – not by avoiding marriage but by becoming more conscious in your dating! This is what I can help you with, so please reach out and contact me!
I meet many singles who just want to get out there and date and forget the importance of being prepared before dat. “How do I meet people for dating?” is their primary question. What I’d like to see as being the primary question is “What do I need to do to be prepared to date?”
I came up with an analogy recently. What if you and someone you had just met decided that you wanted to start a garden together. Each of you had done a little gardening in the past but with mixed results. You figure there’s nothing to it: just put some seeds in the soil and in time you have a nice garden!
You may discover that your seeds don’t actually thrive. You needed to prepare the soil first, but you didn’t know that. You’ve planted sun-loving crops in shady areas. You didn’t know that. You just assumed that the other person would take responsibility for watering… but you didn’t discuss it. Your plants aren’t doing so well. And it turns out that your partner can’t stand zucchini but you planted lots of it because everyone else does.
This is what I see in a lot of relationships these days. People dive right in figuring that no preparation is required and if their partner is “the One” then it should all be easy. Many people want the crops without the work, and it doesn’t work that way (unless you buy your produce at the store and I haven’t figured out how that works with long-term relationships!)
The divorce rates are sobering and the percentages of marriages that end in divorce gets higher with second and third marriages. People who don’t get prepared by being clear on who they are and what they want, who don’t recognize their patterns, who don’t learn how to communicate effectively and how to resolve conflict… they don’t have much hope for a healthy, lasting, loving relationship, in my opinion.
What can you do to increase your chances of lasting love? Do the inner work! Get the help you need!
I offer programs that help you to discover who you are and to get ready for dating… before you ask “How can I meet people for dating?” I want you to be successful, and I can help you.
Let’s talk! Here’s how you can contact me: http://www.rekindleyourrelationship.com/contact/
For many women, we focus on what we don’t like about our looks, rather than what we do like. We tend to be hypercritical… and Mama Gena wants to change that!
I’m in a book study group and we are working our way through Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts by Regena Thomashauer. This week we’re on Lesson 6: the Womanly Art of Owning Your Beauty. One of my favorite exercises at the end of the chapter has us tell ourselves out loud several times a day “You are beautiful” and for extra points she suggests that we look in the mirror, say this and then wink! You have to try this! It makes it seem so saucy and sassy to punctuate the affirmation of your beauty with a wink!
I’m really enjoying this book Mama Gena has us tap into pleasure… and desire… and sensuality. We are all Sister Goddesses! If you’d like a fun book that’s a change from tomes on relationship theory, give this book a good read. You’ll be glad you did!
A friend sent a link to a recent article in Maclean’s Magazine about women’s sexuality that I found fascinating: http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/06/22/the-two-year-itch/
Research indicates that our commonly held assumptions about women and monogamy might be off the mark! Is a woman’s low libido due to boredom? Libido often wanes in a committed relationship but is rekindled with a new partner.
What are the implications for committed, monogamous, long-term relationships? Tell me what you think!