Friday, July 27, 2007

Timing and Desperation

I know a lot of you are going, "Oh, my God, what does she think, I can wait for ever to be out there finding the right person". I understand that there is a lot of press given to how difficult it is too find a relationship as we get older, and biological clocks do tick, whether we like it or not.

What I know is that you can do the work now, and be ready in time to find and love a nice guy. Or, you can not do the work, and still be one, two, or ten years older and still making the same mistakes and be alone. When I used to worry about this, I had a good friend who loved to tell the story of her Aunt Irene who went to Hawaii at the age of 80, met a man on the plane, fell in love, and they lived happily with the time they had. Now I am not suggesting that you have to wait till your are 80!!! But the fact is, there is no deadline for love, there is no point where we run out of time to have the life we want, and the universe is out there for those who are willing to find it.

Now let's talk desperation. Have you read the book, "He's Just Not That Into You", by Greg Behrendt. I think Greg is right on about many things. He talks about men being able to sense desperation, and then they run from it like the plague. I can't count the women who I have met, who believe there is a timetable, and they have to be married and have children by a certain point in their lives, or they have failed miserably. Don't get me wrong, it is perfectly okay to want marriage and family. But when our time frame is getting short, and we are desperately trying to find and marry, and mate with a person on our agenda, men do sense it, and they do run like crazy.

Desperation is a turn off. I didn't like it when I met men with similar agendas. I believe if we take the time to get clear on what we want in our lives, build the life we want as a single person first, we can then attract into our lives the kind of people who are right for us. The one thing we can't control is the timetable. To find the relationship that works for you, you have to feel like you are a whole person, who would have a good life, with or with out a partner.

Timing is not everything. Being authentic to you is. Be willing to give yourself the gift of time.


Friday, July 20, 2007

How do I love myself first?

This is the question that bothered me the most while I was trying to be a whole human being. There was part of me that figured I deserved to be loved and taken care of by somebody else. I grew up in the 60's and 70's and still had a fairy tale belief in some wonderful person coming along, and loving me without reservations. I dreamed of a Cinderella story with a happy ever after in my future. What never occurred to me was that to find my prince charming, I needed to know what I wanted in my life, and be grounded in the reality that I was a whole person first.

This required me to know how to take care of myself in a healthy way in all areas of my life!! This was something that I had never done. I had always been in a relationship or trying to find a relationship, or in the middle of leaving a relationship. Looking back now, I can't believe how long I held on to the myth of "If I just meet the right person, it will work out". It never dawned on me that the right person was me.

I have to tell you, that I didn't choose to be alone, so that I could love myself, and become the person I am today. What happened was I had been deeply in love with someone who I believed was the one for me. Unfortunately, after a couple years, this one small flaw in his character appeared, and a latent gambling addiction became completely out of control, and soon both he and I were all wrapped up in trying to control his addiction. This led me to counseling, where I learned to let go of the addiction, and eventually the relationship. I was so devastated after this relationship, that for the first time in my life, I could not conceive of wanting to be in another one. I decided I was terminally in love with someone I couldn't be with, and decided I would probably spend my life that way.

Dramatic, huh? Well at the time it felt that way. But what happened was that I spent the next two years, getting to really know me, without the presence of a relationship. What I found was that being alone was wonderful!!! I would come home and my house was clean, I could eat the food I liked, there was no fight over the remote, and I could go out dancing, or to the movies, or to retreats, and never worry about what some man wanted or needed. I also learned a few great tips for making myself feel better when I was lonely or needed support.

1. I learned to develop some wonderful non-romantic relationships with others. I have a group of friends today that regularly goes to self care retreats, and has great adventures together.

2. I learned that I loved to hike, golf, whitewater raft, travel, dance, and that all of these did not require a man in my life.

3. Whenever I felt low, I would buy myself a low cost bunch of flowers at the grocery store, light a candle, and read, or make myself something delicious to eat, and pamper myself for the evening.

4. I learned that even as an adult, it is okay to have a Teddy Bear, and to snuggle up with it when I was lonely.

5. I learned that sex was too intimate for me personally to have with someone casually, and found I could truly love myself first!!

6. I learned who I was, by trying anything that truly felt authentic to who I was.

7. I learned that having gratitude in my life, for all I have been given, helps be to want what I have right now. Writing a daily gratitude journal, a suggestion I heard from Oprah, got me started, and keeps me grateful today.
Each person is different. So what will work for you will be unique to your essential self. My suggestion is that you spend enough time learning about yourself, and learning to really love your life and who you are, that it continues when you are ready to dive into a relationship.
Until next time,

Friday, July 13, 2007

Broken Pickers

So, what is the first step to finding not only the right person, but having a relationship that lasts?

Well, for me, it was dealing with my "broken picker"! Most of you are wondering if I am talking about harvesting fruit or finding men. I am talking about the men I picked. I think it was in a support group meeting where I first heard the term "broken picker", and someone was telling me that I had one. I thought they were nuts!! I knew that I went into every relationship expecting the best, and thought each one would work out. The person clarified the fact for me, that I was the person who picked, not necessarily in correct order, men who were unavailable, who were not going to commit, who were not always faithful, sometimes had addictions, and rarely had jobs that would support themselves, let alone a family. Subsequently the determination, that my picker was broken.

Now, up until this point in my life, my belief was that the problem lay with the men, and that somehow I had nothing to do with these relationships not working out. What a shock to find that it was about me after all. And why, you ask, did I pick people who were destined to break my heart, leave, or more commonly drive me to leave them? Well, a lot of it was because of a guy, Martha Beck, PhD, the well known life coach, (and my personal Coach Trainer) would call, my Inner Lizard. All of us have a part of our brain that goes back to the days when we were still crawling around in the primordial soup, and today scientists still call it our Reptilian Brain.

This is the part of the brain that tells us when to run if we are in danger, or stand and fight if running isn't an option. It is also the part of our brain that learns to recognize certain people, who we feel a strong emotional response to. This often begins with our parents or other caregivers who raised us. When I've had a strong emotional response to people in the past, I often thought it was charisma or intense attraction, what I didn't realize was that my Inner Lizard was responding to them, and not necessarily in a good way. It took me a lot of work with counseling and coaching to realize, that I was intensely attracted to men, who my Inner Lizard recognized as having some of the traits of my father (eeeuuuu!), and that my brain wanted somehow to heal our relationship through my relationships with men.

Now not everyone out there has a broken picker. And some people have them in varying degrees. What my picker did, was lead me to believe that I was intensely attracted to the wrong men, and that I wasn't that attracted to the right men. I did meet some very wonderful men along the way, but I would usually not stick around. So having a broken picker was a problem, but it didn't stop me from meeting decent people. Once I recognized this fact, I could learn to fix the problem.

So the first assignment along the path of finding and loving a nice guy, is learning to make peace with your Inner Lizard. This is accomplished first through committing to being single, while you work on your relationship issues. Now, don't run, it sounds really difficult, but the first key to having a keeping a relationship with a whole, healthy, human being is being one yourself. So, ask yourself a few questions:

1. Do I have a lot of turmoil in my relationships, whether they are with family, friends, co-workers, or romantic in nature?

2. Am I still working through childhood issues with my parents?

3. Am I often angry, tearful, moody, or depressed?

4. Do I use any substance to the extreme?

5. Am I truly available to be in relationships, or am I still in one that isn't working, grieving one that has recently broken up, in the middle of a divorce or separation, still in love with someone from the past?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, the first step is to work with a life coach, a counselor, or other program to deal with these specific issues. Martha Beck says, "you've got to live it, to give it". That means that to be in a relationship with a healthy person, you need to be a healthy person. For myself, I spent a couple of years working on building the life I wanted, and learning to be great alone, before I was ready to love a nice guy.

I would be happy to work with you to do the same. This may take some time, but not as much time as it will take if you do nothing. So start today, with me or someone else, because he is out there waiting, and wondering when he will find a nice girl.


Saturday, July 7, 2007

In The Beginning

I don't know about you, but I spent a lot of my life involved with the wrong men, and wondering if I would ever find Mr. Right. I would meet men, and if I found them attractive, and they were interested, I would date them. Sometimes this would evolve into a relationship that would last a while. But what would happen, was that inevitably I would get tired of the behavior of my partner, or get tired of waiting for a commitment that wouldn't come, and I would leave.

What was constant about these relationships was that I would pick men that I found exciting, adventurous, and often a little on the wild side. They were a lot of fun, but not often that dependable. They would sometimes be self supporting through their own contributions, but not always. In every instance, I found myself trying to make something secure and lasting with someone who wasn't really into secure and lasting!

When I would meet someone who I considered a "Nice" guy, I usually found them boring, and wouldn't stick around. Fast forward to the present, and I can tell you that I am married to a really "Nice" guy, who is funny, hard working, dependable, and we are really happy.

Most of you are probably going, "now wait a minute, how did you get to him, considering your track record." I can understand your doubt. What happened in between was a lot of looking inward, a lot of finding out who I was, and what I really wanted, and then figuring out how to get it. I am willing to share my expertise and help others find the man of their dreams, but it will probably take more than this blog. I will share parts of what I did here, and I will be happy to answer specific questions that are put forward.

I am a life coach with a program that works to help people find love. And by people, I am focusing on women, because that is who I am. I am glad to help men also, but feel more capable on the female side of things. Check out my website: for the info on my coaching services. Stay tuned to this blog for the the next post which will include the first step towards getting the relationship you want!!