Tag Archives: dating coach

Have More Than a Fling: How to find (and keep) the love of your life

With all the dating apps out there, how are you supposed to pick a partner? There are so many choices nowadays, how do you know he or she could be “The One”?

People date based on attraction and chemistry. You find someone attractive, you feel a spark, and you hope your relationship lasts. Unfortunately this approach doesn’t work in sustaining a healthy and happy relationship.

If you’re ready to find love, you can’t miss this event! In this three-hour workshop, you will learn Anita’s “Date to Find a Mate Method” that will teach you:

• The biggest mistakes singles make (and how to avoid them)
• How to create your “dating blueprint” to find your best match
• The must-haves for dating & relationship success (they’re not what you think)
• Online and offline dating tips & tricks – for both sexes

You will leave the workshop more prepared to create amazing opportunities for love. Finding your mate will be an important – if not the most important – decision in your life. Get it right the first time.

This event is open to women & men. Bring your friends! Limited space is available so be sure to get your ticket early to reserve your spot. Wine will be served.

People date based on attraction and chemistry. You find someone attractive, you feel a spark, and you hope your relationship lasts. Unfortunately this approach doesn’t work in sustaining a healthy and happy relationship.

If you’re ready to find (and keep) love in 2016, you can’t miss this event! In this three-hour workshop, you will learn:

  • The biggest mistakes singles make (and how to avoid them)
  • Why you keep attracting the wrong type
  • How to create your “dating blueprint” to find your best match
  • The must-haves for dating & relationship success (they’re not what you think)
  • Online and offline dating tips & tricks – for both sexes

After you register, you will receive an email from Anita with quizzes to complete. You will leave the workshop more prepared to create amazing opportunities for love. Finding your mate will be an important – if not the most important – decision in your life. Anita wants you to get it right the first time.

This event is open to women & men. Bring your friends! Space is limited so be sure to get your ticket early to reserve your spot. Wine and light snacks will be served.

I know, I know…some of you are rolling your eyes at the title of my blog. Seriously, what can The Bachelor teach us about love? When the first season aired in 2002, I too thought, What are these women thinking? Where’s their self-respect? But when I watched this season’s episodes, I had a different take on the show. It’s not because it’s any different now than 13 years ago, but because I’m different. In 2002 I was still in college. Now, I’m a dating and relationship coach who has spent the last several years specializing in love and researching what makes relationships work. It’s been my job to help my clients figure out why they act like they do when it comes to love. Are people truly crazy and irrational, or can behaviors actually make sense? In the context of love and our need to connect with a person, the bachelorettes’ behaviors seem pretty reasonable. Here are 4 lessons from The Bachelor that can be applied to your love life:

  1. The need to feel special.

During one of his guest appearances, Jimmy Kimmel made a joke about how many times the word “amazing” was uttered this season. But really the key word should’ve been “special.” Every woman on the show wants to feel special. It’s what the rose symbolizes–I choose you, you are different than the others.

Britt, after getting a rose on the stage of a Big & Rich concert, was sure feeling pretty special to Chris. But in the next episode she confronts Chris when Kaitlyn gets the rose over her. Britt wanted to know that she’s his top choice and said she literally asked and begged Chris for validation. She added that she doesn’t want her husband to see her as a second, third or fourth choice. We all want to feel special, to know our date or partner only wants us. We may focus on behaviors that show we’re unique, like how much time we spend together or the compliments and affection we receive. But how did social media spin Britt’s desire for this feeling? That she has a “meltdown” and “breakdown.” Although she could have picked a better time to be vocal, knowing the rules of The Bachelor isn’t enough to stop the heart from wanting what it wants.

  1. The importance of security.

During every episode I love to read the Twitter feed about the show. One word that pops up a lot is “crazy.” In the context of the need of feeling secure, the women’s behavior makes sense. The women do what they can to increase their feelings of security with the Bachelor–they pull him away from other women, sneak time with him, ask him where they stand, wondering if he reciprocates their feelings, etc. There’s nothing crazy about this. We all have the need to feel secure with the object of our desire.

Maybe you’ve had times in your love life when you haven’t been as sure that your date or partner likes and cares for you as much as you do. Maybe you’ve wondered about exclusivity with your partner–wondered about what the next step is, felt anxious about it and the uncertainty of not knowing. All of this is perfectly normal and to be expected. My female clients sometimes tell me that the man they’re dating or in a relationship with calls her “crazy.” Some women worry that they’ll come across as being too needy or desperate if they ask for reassurance about the relationship or seek affirmation of his feelings. But we all have the need to feel secure, and the more we feel this security with our partner, the stronger our relationship.

  1. The need to be vulnerable.

When Chris dismissed some of the bachelorettes, he said that things just hadn’t progressed as far as with the other women. I believe it. The women have mentioned having their guards up and not wanting to be hurt. In the episode when Kaitlyn was let go, she stated that the feeling of profound hurt she was experiencing was exactly what she had wanted to avoid. But being hurt is inevitable–none of us can avoid that. And being vulnerable is scary but a necessity in order to get your date or partner to truly know who you are as a person. Hopes, dreams, fears, the skeletons in our closet–when we share these things and get acceptance and support from our partner, it makes us feel closer. You have to take the risk. Without risk, deep intimacy is harder to come by.

  1. There’s more than one good match.

When there were 3 women remaining, Kaitlyn, Becca and Whitney, the Bachelor told the host Chris Harrison, “I’m down to three really excellent women that I can see myself spending the rest of my life with.” And he probably could make a lifetime work with each of them. The Bachelor has often said that a lot of the women on the show have various qualities that he would like in his future wife. The thing is, for all of us, we have to pick which ones are more important and be able to accept and work with the rest. Looking for “The One” can keep you single. There’s no way you can meet someone who sees eye-to-eye with you on everything. Many people can be a good fit, but you have to believe that in order to make it work with one person.

 

I received a question from a reader:

 

Dear Anita, I’m always single. I read advice online and my friends try to help me. What advice would you give me? I’d like to find love in 2015.

– Single in San Antonio

 

Dear Single,

 

I frequently get asked about my top tips to singles when they go on a date. Here are a few:

 

  1. Do be prepared for the date. Think of open-ended questions to ask your date, and brush up on current events. Although you don’t want to come across as interviewing your date, being prepared can help lessen anxiety and make you feel more at ease, which will help the conversation flow more naturally. Also, try to remember fun facts from their profile, any funny stories or places that they travelled to or any hobbies they have. This will help break the ice and build commonalities between you two.

 

  1. Don’t talk only about yourself. A date is a two-way street. Sure, you want to “sell” yourself, but your date also needs to know about you. Be aware of how often you talk about yourself and how many questions you ask your date. Showing interest can be a turn-on!

 

  1. Don’t dismiss your date too quickly. I’ve heard from many of my clients that they haven’t given someone a second chance because their date seemed “awkward” and “weird.” In reality, they seemed nervous. A first date can be an anxiety-provoking experience – give people a break! Sometimes people aren’t awkward, they’re just shy or socially anxious. It may take them another date to feel more confident and secure. If you’re attracted to them and had some fun, give them another chance.

 

  1. Don’t have a marathon date. Sure, it’s great to be having so much fun and chemistry that you want to have a 9-hour first date. Don’t do it. Leave room for mystery and leave your date wanting more.

 

  1. Don’t ask your date to accompany you to a big event in your life, like a wedding or other family event. This will freak them out! It’s too soon and puts too much pressure on your date. Wait until you’re exclusive for that kind of commitment.

 

  1. Don’t be intrusive. Asking your date how many people they’ve slept with or how much money they make is inappropriate. The first date should be about having fun and getting to know the basics. Keep things light. Feisty and healthy debate can come later in the relationship.

 

  1. Do make your date feel special, if you’re interested. Keep eye contact, smile, don’t check your phone, and don’t talk about exes. Keep your focus on the person in front of you and getting to know them better. Be appreciative and say “Thank you” if they pay for you. Be in the moment with your date.

 

  1. Don’t stalk them before the first date. Your view of your date can definitely be skewed if you “Google-stalk” them beforehand. If you check your date’s LinkedIn and Facebook profiles, and like what you see, it can lead to the belief that your date “is perfect on paper.” You can then ignore or minimize red flags because of a pre-conceived idea of who your date is. Also, I find that people are too picky when it comes to dating. I’m constantly telling my single clients that they have to pick what they can live with, because they won’t get that perfect person. So if you Internet stalk a date beforehand, and find one thing you don’t like, you could be turned off and think, “This would never work.” In reality, what you found is only a small snapshot of your date. And if they were amazing in other important ways but you didn’t give them a chance, you could miss out on an opportunity for love.

 

You finally met someone. You’ve had several email and text exchanges, and maybe you’ve even talked on the phone or had a date or two. You think this person is great, and you wonder if he could be “The One”?

The only problem is, you barely even know the guy.

Have you ever built a guy up in your head before actually meeting him or only after a few dates? I work with many women who get caught up in meeting someone new. They tell me how much they really like him and how they hope things will work out. If it won’t, they’ll be devastated and think they will never find love.

Whoa, let’s pump the brakes here.

When you first meet someone, sure it’s fun to be so excited at this new prospect, but you also have to keep a level head. If you put your date on a pedestal by idealizing them, you create a power imbalance. The possible consequences following this imbalance include you feeling more self-conscious, the need to prove yourself to him, and doing whatever it takes to win him over and get him to like you.

You’re also much more likely to miss red flags because you only see what you want to see – you want things to work so badly that you ignore or dismiss problems. And what if things don’t progress beyond the first few dates? If you’ve fantasized about a future together, you’ll be crushed, and your self-esteem can take a major hit.

One of the most common things I hear as a dating coach is, “What’s wrong with me? Why didn’t that person like me?” I know it can be hard, but don’t base your self-worth on what happens after that first date or first few dates. Your date is still a stranger to you. You don’t know this guy well enough yet to truly know why he stopped seeing you. There are so many variables (like timing, stress at work or an ex coming back into the picture) that affect dating that I encourage you not to take things personally.

And some of my clients are so focused on getting the guy to like them that they forget to ask themselves, “Do I even like him?” I’m not talking about experiencing feelings of infatuation, but can you truly name several qualities or values that you admire about your date? It’s simple to list common interests, but it’s easier on a long-term relationship when a couple shares similar values. It takes time to see how your date lives out his values; it’s not something you can fully know on just a date or two.

It takes time to get to know someone. If you’re dating for a long-term relationship, you want to take your time to determine if your guy is a good fit for you. Fantasizing about a relationship without even knowing him will leave you with more to lose than gain.