Monday, July 6, 2015

Why Being Average Can Cost You!


You give yourself kudos for going out on one date….and when the date doesn’t work out….you’re done with dating for life!

I’ll admit this article does not contain any gimmicky titles, complicated jargon or imaginative stories-just a little inspiration to help you get through the rest of the year.  Sometimes all you really need is a little push in the right direction to get back to this journey we call life.  The challenges in life come at us with full speed so we all could use a cheerleader in our corner to let us know everything we pray for and dream about is going to show up in our lives.

If most of us are really honest with ourselves, we write down our goals at the start of the year, get really pumped about what we are going to do to accomplish our goals and somewhere between March and June, we somehow find other things that take priority over what we said we wanted at the beginning of the year.  For example, do you really want a husband or wife?  Do you really want a promotion at your job or the clients you say you want?  Is your health really that important to you?  I could go on and on but I’m sure you get the point.  We write our goals down with fervor and passion and then abandon them as soon as the going gets rough and we figure out how hard it is to achieve what we originally set out to do.

Okay, so maybe you did go out on one date.  You remember the one back in February and as soon as it didn’t work out, you were done with dating!  “See, all men (or women) are like that!”  If that’s the case, then you may want to take a look in the mirror and ask yourself, if it’s really “them” or “me” attracting those qualities out of “them” on to “me”.  I know that sounds harsh but I just want to give you a wake-up call because if no one else pushes and irritates you, you’ll be in this same spot-same time next year!  I care about you and want you to have those things you desire whether it be marriage, long term partnership, happy life, etc.

But let me get to my real point.  Most of us go out on one date and we’re done.  We post our online dating profile and it collects dust.  We update our wardrobe one time per year and we’re done.  We smile at the opposite sex one time and we’re done.  We go to one event to look for desirable mates and we’re done.  In other words, we don’t put the work in to get the results we really want in life.  Life doesn’t reward “average” people.  Life rewards people that are loyal to their goals, committed to the task of achieving the goal and won’t take “no” (or closed doors) for an answer.

And by the way, being average or living a mediocre existence can actually cost you more in the long run.  For example, just think about the money you spend online or the time it takes just to prepare for a date and then multiply that by the number of years it’s going to take for you to find someone close to what you’re looking for when you’re only putting in the minimum amount of effort.  It’s like a bill that incurs interest!  It all adds up!

You see, we don’t put half as much work in towards our goals and wonder why it feels like we’re not going anywhere.  Successful people know that it takes more than wishful thinking to get whatever it is you want out of life.  For example, happily married couples don’t have it as easy as many would think.  They work hard to maintain a happy household and happy spouses who make up the foundation of their family structure.  As my parents would say, “you have to go above and beyond” to even come close to the things you want and desire.

So yeah…you may have to go out on more dates….go to more speed dating events…continuously update your online dating profile…read more self-help books…constantly update your wardrobe to ensure you are projecting the right image…go the gym often…etc…etc.  But this is what it takes to go where you want to go.  As the old saying goes, “no pain-no gain”.

Listen, I care about all of you.  I have already seen many of my clients date and get married because I had to push them out of their comfort zones.  And they all say, I didn’t like being pushed that hard but I needed that tough love and I’m glad you were there to provide it.  So if you don’t get nothing else from this article, just know that your dreams and goals are entirely achievable if you only put the work in to achieve them.  Stay committed to the end and believe in yourself!  Talk to others who are where you want to be.  And then enjoy the success you will have!

Good luck!

Thanks for reading!

Please connect with us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/liveloveaspiredatecoach

Please contact us at info@liveloveaspire.com for more information on our services and for a free 15 minute consultation.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

What I’ve Learned as an Entrepreneur That Could Help You in Dating


Find out why dating and entrepreneurship go hand and hand!

Over the years in business, I’ve had to endure a lot of challenges to get to the point where I’m at today.  From missed opportunities to a lack of awareness of my own gifts and talents, I’ve had to take inventory of myself and my progress towards meeting my goals.  But through this journey, I’ve learned a lot about business that I believe can easily be applied to the dating world as well.  It may seem like dating and entrepreneurship have nothing in common but you would be surprised at how much they often do run parallel to each other.

Below are 5 things I’ve learned that I hope can help you in dating:

Know Your Worth! – As an entrepreneur, it is a must that I know my value.  In other words, what is it that I bring to the table?  It’s the same in dating.  What do you bring to the table?  Do you have your own place to stay?  Do you have your own car?  Are you a college graduate?  These could be your most prized accomplishments.  And not just material gains, your accomplishments could also be that you’re a spiritually self-aware person making a difference in the world.  When you partner with someone else, you create synergy between the things you bring to the table and what they’re able to bring to the table as well.  I meet a lot of women who have so much going for themselves, dating a guy who hasn’t even got started as of yet!  Why settle for less than you’re worth?

Rejection is NOT an option! – In fact, it’s guaranteed!  Every successful entrepreneur knows that rejection comes with the territory.  This is the one thing that stops many people from becoming entrepreneurs too!  And the same goes for dating.  Once a person gets rejected by someone they really like, the show is over.  They’re ready to take a break!  If I had a nickel for every rejection I’ve ever had, I would be rich!  Listen, rejection is a part of life.  Some people may not like you because your hair is red and you like the color blue!  That should not stop you from pursuing your goal!  Every rejection gets you closer to your desires.  Rome wasn’t built in one night so please don’t give up the towel until you find someone who likes what you have to offer!

Every Lead Is NOT a guaranteed sale! – I get a LOT of leads or potential clients per day.  But leads don’t always translate to sales.  Sales doesn’t happen until contracts are signed and money has exchanged parties.  This theory should apply in dating too!  I see a lot of people place all of their eggs in one basket or one person, hoping and praying the relationship will lead to marriage, and when it doesn’t become devastated.  Listen, I’m all for concentrating on one person to see if the relationship works but just be aware that a “lead” or a date doesn’t always guarantee a “sale” or marriage.  You may want to think about your options.

Find the source of your leads! – One of the things I’ve had to learn in gaining clients is what resources I’m using to attract them to me.  For instance, some entrepreneurs are great at attracting clients at networking events while others are great at attracting clients doing online marketing activities.  So if you’re looking to find someone, ask yourself where do you spend the majority of your time?  This could be the place in which you may need to focus to find that special someone.  In your past, where were you able to attract your long term partners?  For example, if you do more things online than you do offline, than online dating may be the best place for you to find him or her.  Maybe you spend most of your time at work.  Why not try to do more activities after work that may help you get to know the people in your surroundings in order to attract a mate there.  Either way, you need to find out where your odds are greater at finding a mate. 

Stay in your lane! – So many of us are trying to do jobs and activities that are totally outside of our gifts and talents.  Some of the top entrepreneurs will tell you that you need to focus on what you do best in order to become successful.  The same thing can apply to dating.  What are your true gifts and talents in relationships?  Are you more of a nurturer?  Do you play a great supporting role?  Maybe you’re a great cook, best repair man in the house or you know how to keep the money flowing to keep the family stable.  Whatever the case, find the thing that you do best and build on it.  It’s not necessary to “market” it to potential suitors but you can make them aware of your gifts and talents so they’ll be more intrigued with you.  This could be the one thing that helps you attract a plethora of quality mates and suitors into your life. 

In short, as you can see, there are many similarities between dating and entrepreneurship.  I often apply many of these principles to other parts of my life as well.  From knowing your worth as a person and what gifts and talents you bring to the table to recognizing and understanding that rejection gets you closer to the people who will like and accept what you have to offer.  From knowing where to find the right suitor and then understanding that just because you score a date does not guarantee marriage.  Hopefully, I’ve mentioned a few points that you can apply to your own dating life to make the dating journey that much easier.   

Thanks for reading!

Please connect with us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/liveloveaspiredatecoach

Please contact us at info@liveloveaspire.com for more information on our services and for a free 15 minute consultation.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Why Some Older Men Give Me The Creeps!


So I know I’m cute and all….but can a sistah get a break from your creepy stare!

When you’re a relatively attractive girl, you’re bound to be harassed by some dude who thinks he is entitled to be with you.  I usually laugh this off with my girlfriends about the creepy older dude at the bar who is well past his prime staring at women barely his age.  But it gets rather disturbing when you start thinking what he was doing when you were born!  So I write this blog for all those girls out there who are continuously harassed by those creepy older men who won’t take NO for an answer and those older men who are genuinely interested in learning to respect women.

I’ve finally come to the conclusion that as the spokesperson for the “cute girl association” there is no stopping these creepy guys from harassing you either with their creepy stares or obsessive conversation with you.  Of course, if you are a nice girl, you try the nice tactic first hoping he will get the hint and go away and then when that doesn’t work, you proceed to warning him of the men in your family who like to protect their baby girl from creeps like him!  I suppose if you’re young or youthful looking, cute and keep a polished look, then be prepared to be subjected to this harassment. 

Now before we get too carried away with this topic, let me preface this by saying it’s definitely not all men!  But I think older men can appear creepier because most of us believe they should be married by now at their age and doing things older men do or at the very minimum have learned to respect women in their maturity.  When I see older men harassing younger women, I think it is truly a sad scenario that he has to go to such great lengths to get a woman to like him.  Having such a vast amount of experiences with their age, you would think they would know better!

But when did older men become so creepy?  You know I believe it’s happened somewhere between divorce, kids, job loss and perhaps playing the field with no intention on settling down.  Now they realize it’s time to settle with someone but yet those same women who were once there for him, are all married now or no longer have an interest.  And yet, the same approach they used when they were younger isn’t working anymore so they’re left helpless to find an approach that works at their age.

What about all the George Clooney’s and Denzel Washington’s of this world?  Well, some guys just seem to have that thing we call “swag”.  They don’t have to harass a woman yet show her that he truly cares for her and wants to get to know her.  Those type of guys have a lot going on for themselves and therefore get lots of women so there’s no need for those guys to go around and harass them.  They’re also much more of a challenge making the dating scene much more exciting.  Whereas with creepy older men, the chase always seems to be with the older man chasing the younger woman despairingly.

So what’s an older guy to do to win over a woman without harassing her?  Well, I’m glad you asked this question.  I’ll be happy to share with you a few tips to get you started in the right direction.

1.       Have a great approach – Acknowledge your intentions for her.  Ensure you have the right intentions because if you just want to get in her pants, she’ll figure it out immediately.  Remember, you are not a “spring chicken” anymore so your intentions are laid out for the whole world to see.  In other words, as you get older you can’t get away with what you may have when you were younger.  Try a light hearted approach with her and see if she responds and if she doesn’t….proceed to step #2

2.       You can flirt but you still may be rejected – Fellas, you can flirt all you want but she still may not like you.  You have to learn to walk away if she doesn’t accept your invitation.  Have some respect for yourself.  I’ve seen some men get embarrassed from their lack of awareness that the girl he wants doesn’t want him.  It’s nothing personal.  She just chose someone else over you.  The more you can walk away, the more respect you’ll have…and your dignity!

3.       Stop staring – Fellas, I know you like her a lot but please don’t do the creepy stare!  Not only is it totally disgusting but also perverted to have a guy the age of your father look at you this way.  You can flirt with her without staring, but if she doesn’t respond, you’ll need to move on!

4.       Look the part – This is particularly true of older men.  Somehow, when the swag goes away so do the clothes.  I’ve seen older men wear clothes from the year they were born.  If you want to attract a younger woman, wearing clothes from 1964 is not the answer!  Hire an image consultant or go to a men’s department store to update your clothing attire so at least she’ll know you got style.  You may be older but you’re not dead!

5.       Get to know her – Dating and mating takes time.  I think the older people get, the more they stop taking their time to get to know someone.  But the more you rush this process, the creepier you’ll come across to her.  Besides, if you take your time, you can tell if she is the one for you.  I mean…you waited this long for someone…what’s a little more time going to cost you?

Well, I hope this blog was a bit helpful to all my cute girls who are continuously harassed by creepy older men or older men who are genuinely interested in learning to respect women in which they would like to date.  As I said, it certainly isn’t all older men who are creepy so apologies to all the men who know how to talk to a woman.  I figure someone needs to address this problem so it might as well be me!  So ladies, the next time you’re out on the street or at the bar and some creepy older dude starts harassing you, just give him these tips and send him on his way!

Thanks for reading

Please visit my website at www.liveloveaspire.com for more information on our services and for a free 15 minute consultation.

Please also connect with us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/liveloveaspiredatecoach

Saturday, April 25, 2015

7 Points to Consider When Dating An Entrepreneur!


So you want to date an entrepreneur, huh?….then consider these 7 points first!

Ever since the hit show “Shark Tank” came on air, a TV show featuring aspiring entrepreneurs, people have begun to pursue their passion to become an entrepreneur.  Both young and old, rich and poor have set out to achieve the American dream.  Entrepreneurs are highly driven, super ambitious and very passionate about what they do and how they contribute to society.  To the average person, loving them can be very challenging, especially when you don’t understand their way of life.  To help guide you in this process, I will share with you a few insights into this world and how you may improve your chances of unlocking the key to their hearts.

Ever since I started my own business, dating has been challenging.  It’s become easier as I’ve grown in my craft but when I first started my business, dating took a back seat to everything else in my life.  My social life was non-existent, my friends barely saw me, and my family thought I was a foreigner.  But the vision for my life was clear and the only way I could accomplish my goals was to isolate myself from the world while I pursue my passion.

Becoming an entrepreneur is no doubt one of the toughest things a person will ever do in life.  There are no real vacations until you’re financially solid, you work 24/7 sometimes at the sacrifice of your family and everyone you meet becomes a potential client.  In other words, there are no “off” days.  When everyone is at home enjoying the holidays with their family, an entrepreneur may be taking emergency calls from their clients.

I share this with you because I want you to have a better understanding of the life of an entrepreneur.  You see, everyone wants to be an entrepreneur but doesn’t want to make the sacrifice to become one.  In other words, people want the freedom of entrepreneurship without all the work necessary to achieve that level of freedom.  Only the strong survive in this arena.  Successful entrepreneurs know how hard it takes to become successful and are willing to go that extra mile to achieve that success.  And if you want to date one, you had better be willing to go that extra mile too!

 From my observations of many entrepreneurs, I have come up with a list of 7 points to consider in your desire to date an entrepreneur or an aspiring one!

·         Quality Time (or lack thereof) – As an entrepreneur, you’re essentially on call 24/7 because your business is your baby.  You have to nurture it, care for it and maintain it.  When an entrepreneur is a little bit more seasoned, they’re able to devote more time to other things but in the beginning, it is a huge sacrifice of their personal time.  As someone who is inspired to date one, you have to be able to understand their drive and determination.  In general, I’ve seen fellow entrepreneurs end up with people who are also independent which allows them the space to pursue their dreams.  So you may want to consider either “having a life” yourself outside of dating the entrepreneur or explore options with someone who has more time to spend with you.

·         Financial Resources (or lack thereof) – In the entrepreneur’s world, we have a favorite saying, “closed mouths don’t get fed”.  Nowhere is that more true than in business ownership.  “Money talks…people listen”.  It’s quite different than a regular “9 to 5” job where you have stable pay on a weekly or monthly basis.  In the entrepreneur’s world, they must continue to make sales in order to have a thriving, profitable business.  So when you date an entrepreneur, you may experience a roller coaster ride when it comes to their income making it harder for them to date you consistently.  You know, one week they are living luxuriously and spending lots of money on you in 5 star restaurants and the next week, they are eating at McDonald’s or cooking low budget meals at home.

·         Being Highly Ambitious (the good…the bad…the ugly!) – Ambition is a key asset every entrepreneur must have in their repertoire.  You need to be able to believe the business can succeed.  You need to be a go-getter!  Most women love this quality in men, by the way!  But in my observations, this same asset can turn into a liability quickly when the entrepreneur starts to become unrealistic or a perfectionist.  And while this may be a key advantage in business, it may not be so great for the people they love.  Everyone they date has to measure up to their high standards and ideals.  No one is ever perfect in their eyes!  For someone who wants to date an entrepreneur, you may be judged according to their philosophy too!  

·         Dealing with endless rejection – Every successful entrepreneur knows rejection is just a part of the job.  Most of the offers you make, will not necessarily render a sale.  Seasoned entrepreneurs know this and accept it.  However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t’ still sting!  Over a period of time, rejection can get to you and damage your pride making you feel depressed.  When you’re dating an entrepreneur, you need to be fully supportive of them so that you can help them minimize this impact and help them focus on their goals and aspirations.

·         The Issue Of Depression – No one likes to talk about this but I’ve seen many entrepreneurs get depressed because of either a hostile client, they’re lacking the necessary financial resources or them not achieving the success that they had hoped.  There is no other time for the need of family and friends to support them than at this moment.  Just think about it.  An entrepreneur’s business is the result of “blood, sweat and tears”.  They give the business their all and expect it to prosper.  When it doesn’t, they feel like giving up and this is the time they need you.  In most entrepreneur’s eyes, going back to a “9 to 5” job is not an option which raises the stakes enormously and increases their chances of feeling depressed.  You are the one person who can give them hope and snap them out of their funk.  If you can do this while dating this person, you’re sure to be rewarded in the end.

·         Jealous of the other woman (the business!) – He or she isn’t devoting enough time to you because they’re always working.  They’re always on call.  They had to cancel the date with you because their client’s appointment ran over the time allotted.  It’s easy to get jealous when you don’t understand the lifestyle, the hustle and the grind upon which they have to endure to achieve success.  Listen, I’m not saying they shouldn’t make you a priority but you do need to be a little more flexible because they’re probably working hard to provide for their family (or future one with you!).  But don’t forget you have options too!  You have to decide if the person is really worth the wait and/or the sacrifice in time or whether you need to explore other alternatives.  I’m all about people making their dating lives a priority but when dating an entrepreneur, you have to realize that dating may not be their top priority at this time in their lives.

·         Fame, fortune and popularity – This is the result of all the hard work and sacrifice the entrepreneur has put into their business.  But to someone who is dating such a person, this can seem overwhelming and leave you with feelings of inferiority.  Just realize this is the culmination of all their dreams coming true.  Try to be happy for them at this moment in their lives.  Allow your mate to enjoy their newfound success but be careful of them making you an “afterthought”.  You know, some people let fame and fortune go to their head, get a big ego and forget who helped them rise to the top.  If you feel like is happening to you, then you may want to have a discussion with your partner while also re-evaluating whether this relationship is still the one for you.  On the other hand, if the relationship was a good one, your partner will certainly recognize your efforts in helping them and be happy to share the spotlight with you.

To summarize, dating an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart.  It takes a strong person to endure the effort it takes to date one.  Whether it’s the quality of time spent together, the financial roller coaster ride, rejection, perfectionism, depression and even jealously of how much time they spend in their business.  The spouse of an entrepreneur needs to be independent, yet supportive and flexible in the relationship.  Not everyone is capable of having this type of relationship.  Yet, if you do decide to go this route, you won’t be sorry.  When you find entrepreneurs who are passionate about what they do, this often translates to every area of their lives, including the people in which they love and that could include you!

Thanks for reading

Please visit my website at www.liveloveaspire.com for more information on our relationship coaching services and for a free 15 minute consultation.

Please also connect with us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/liveloveaspiredatecoach

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Balancing Acts: When The Choice Between Career vs Family Is In Conflict


Is getting to the top really worth the sacrifice?

I find it to be a weird consequence that the people I meet around my age all have this same conflict.  They’re all wildly successful people in their respective careers yet all struggle to maintain decent relationships.  We seem to all want and desire the same things out of life including having a nice family and good income but yet seem so challenged when it comes to the work it takes to balance both sides of life.  So I wanted to take some time to explore what may be going on here.

This trend seems to be with men and women my own age, usually around their mid to late 30’s and 40’s.  We’re all products of the “divorce” generation or the time when divorce became popular, late 60’s to 70’s, so we’re keenly aware that if a marriage doesn’t work out, it’s time to hit the road Jack!  Yet, we also have a yearning to make the relationship work despite its misfortunes.

Interestingly enough, we’re all hopeless romantics hoping to meet the one (or the next one) who will sweep us off our feet and take us away to some unknown destination of blissful happiness.  We all seem to dream of having the house with the “white picket fence” along with 2 kids, a dog and a great career.  We still have images of our parents, on their good days, working together to raise a family while having to put food on the table.  In fact, most of us have all but practically buried any bad images of our parent’s relationship that may have been more than what we could handle at the time when we were growing up.

Yet, in the back of our mind, we still do remember the day dad decided he couldn’t take any more of raising a family and either left the house or turned to drugs or alcohol to escape the mundane routine.  And how mom, who either stayed at home to care for us or was forced to work a low wage job, had to somehow try to keep the family together as best she could without the help of her partner.  Even she might have turned to chemical substances from time to time to keep her sanity.  We were all too young and immature to understand why our parent’s marriages may not have seemed very happy or why at certain points in our young lives, we had to move back into grandma’s house, who we loved dearly, but made us have to adjust to a totally different lifestyle.

It’s the reason we work so hard to achieve our dreams and obtain the success we want in life.  Those images growing up of seeing mom and dad fighting makes us question whether marriage and family is truly worth the risk.  And then having seen mom sacrifice her dreams of getting an education to be a stay at home mom only to be left with a broken marriage, and then consequently having to start all over again to feed her kids, drives us to the compulsion to keep working even when it means sacrificing our own family values.  We still have the painful memories of what can happen when there is not enough money in the household so we bury our heads in our career hoping people will acknowledge us for the efforts we’ve put into it.

On the positive side, we’re also very aware that we have more of an opportunity to shatter the “glass ceiling” in our careers than our parents could have ever dreamed.  We want to build a legacy in our family so that our kids will never go hungry and always have something to work for and dream of in their lives.  We know there’s something more for us out there and we want to go and get it!

Yet, our families suffer because of it.  Our kids don’t understand having to work to pay bills and keep food on the table.  They only know the love we show them.  Our husbands and wives only know that at the end of the day, we’re not there for them and that hurts!  They may understand our hard fought work ethic but also know the emotional void they have in their hearts for us.

I follow many of the top leaders in my industry and most of them have been refreshingly honest about what it takes to get to the top.  They’ve all alluded to the fact that they may have had to sacrifice spending quality time in their marriage and with their kids to achieve their success.  Some of them have been divorced and others had forgone marriage life altogether.  They understand the sacrifice and are actually fine with it.  It’s what they want and choose for their lives.  Interestingly enough, we stigmatize those people who choose their career over having a family yet as a society we seem to reap and enjoy the benefits they’ve created through the sacrifices they’ve made for us. 

That’s why this is such a balancing act.  My generation knows the struggle it takes to get to the top and even make the world a better place and yet is torn apart by the sacrifice that has to be made to get there.  We’ve questioned it at least a dozen times.  What are we to do to be the kids our parents knew would succeed but also be the role models our own family needs to see at home?

Well, as a dating coach and a product of this generation, I can only offer you a few tips I’ve learned along the way.

·         You CAN have it all, just in moderation – I’ve read so many articles of women not being able to have it all but in my opinion, this is simply not true.  First, you have to define what it means to “have it all”.  For instance, everyone’s definition of having it all varies by individual.  My definition of having it all may be to have a simple job and go home to my family.  Her definition may be to be the CEO and send her kids to boarding school.  Secondly, having a promotion to VP or CEO is not for everyone, especially if family comes first for you.  Maybe a better aspiration would be to become head of your department first to see if you can take that level of responsibility and go from there.  Having it all can take on a number of different paths.  You’ll need to find the right one for you which can dictate how you will be able to achieve balance in other areas of your life.

·         Do make family time a priority – listen, your business and career will be here long after you’re dead and gone.  The people at your job will replace you – your family can not.  Your boss and co-workers may be at your funeral out of respect but may find it frivolous to be at your burial.

·         Find more ways to be flexible in your career – in today’s world, there are a plethora of “work from home” opportunities, entrepreneurial pursuits, shift work at your job, etc.  Most work places these days are more accepting of employees who want more of a “work life balance”.  You’ll just need to be brave enough to ask for and pursue those opportunities.  This is your life we’re talking about here!

·         Make time for yourself – In other words, have a life!  You’re not going to be any good to your family, work, etc if you’re constantly burned out from working 80 hours a week.  You can’t pour into other people when you don’t have anything left of yourself to pour!  Find time between your work and your family life to relax and meditate so you can be refreshed and ready to tackle the next challenge.

To sum up, I don’t think there are any easy answers to the balance between having a career and having a family.  If there were any easy answers, we would have done that and moved on!  But as a relationship coach having observed how other people have managed to balance their lives and been successful at it, I will say that moderating the way we “have it all”, making family time a priority, finding flexibility in your career and making time for yourself seems to be the best approach to achieve such a balance. 

And to my fellow peers who constantly struggle to get this thing right, just know that this is our opportunity to make the world a better place for the next generation.  And while this balancing act may seem challenging at times, it’s certainly not impossible. 

Thanks for reading

Please visit my website at www.liveloveaspire.com for more information on our relationship coaching services and for a free 15 minute consultation.

Please also connect with us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/liveloveaspiredatecoach

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Are Dating Rules And Rituals Really Worth It?


Maybe it’s time we go back to the basics…

I must admit I get sentimental just thinking about the “good ole days” of dating and courtship.  I remember when I was growing up a guy would ask a woman out on a date without any other expectation other than enjoying her company for the evening.  Women, on the other hand, wouldn’t dare invite a man in her house on the first date, especially if she lived alone, not even for a cup of coffee.  Nowadays, it seems those dating rituals have changed but unfortunately haven’t made dating any better or easier for innocent young lovers.

So why has dating changed so much over the years?  Well, it’s complicated!  But let’s start with a little history lesson.  In the book by Stephanie Coontz, “Marriage, A History”, the author surmises that in ancient civilizations upper class families were much more involved in the “dating” lives (I’m using the term dating loosely here) of their children because family resources were at stake and could jeopardize the wealth and inheritance the family had accumulated.  “Commoners” or lower class families as they were known at the time “dated” and married for practical reasons.  Raising a family and running a household placed serious demands on men and women.  For instance, men were involved in farming and field work while women had to bear children who would eventually be responsible for performing certain duties taking some of the burden off of their parents.  So, as you can see, men and women needed each other to ensure their own survival.

Fast forward to a time when I believe the term “dating” actually began, Coontz states that “for a period of time, it was inconceivable that people would choose their mates on the basis of something as fragile and irrational as love…it was a serious threat to social order”.  But by the late 17th and 18th century, there was a shift that occurred introducing this new concept of looking for love or finding your soulmate as opposed to earlier generations when the practical demands and societal pressures were the basis for your search.  The author asserts that critics of this new age idea warned that society could be opening “Pandora’s box” with such “free choice and egalitarianism”. For example, how then would young people, particularly women, choose the right type of mate without help from parents or wise elders in the community?  And as time went on, the “free love” movement began to produce many “out of wedlock” births from young men and women as accurately predicted by critics of this movement.   

But if we’re to be honest with ourselves, we all want to date and eventually marry for love, right?  Besides, who wants to be with someone who makes them unhappy?  We wouldn’t want to have it any other way!  However, as you can see from our history, there are many other factors to consider besides love.  You’re also evaluating this person to determine if they would be a good fit for you long term.  For example, if you’re a woman dating someone who can’t even pay for a simple date night out, you may want to re-evaluate your options as that person may not be financially stable or fit for you at this time.  If you’re a man and you desire to have kids but the woman you’re dating isn’t even caring or nurturing to the kids in her own family, you may have a problem.

With the rise of feminism and the Women’s Liberation Movement, dating became even more complicated because although women gained more rights outside of the home, women still wanted the same preferential treatment by men as they did in the previous generations, particularly in the courting process.  Men, on the other hand, no longer saw the need to be as chivalrous since women could now pay for their own meal and essentially take care of themselves.  The 1960’s and 1970’s created a time of great social change and unrest that we are still trying to figure out in the world today.

In the book, “Manning Up”, Hymowitz writes that social groups have always been involved in providing scripts for young people to follow in dating for marriage.  She states “there was always a good deal of adult supervision in the form of chaperones, church dances, community socials and curfews”.  As opposed to the dating rituals of today which are virtually non-existent.  The question we have to ask ourselves is how this has helped us as a society have better relationships.  Maybe having a few dating rules and rituals in our personal repertoire isn’t such a bad idea after all.

But were society’s rules and rituals for dating really worth it?  Listen, I know dating is complicated and I don’t profess to have all the answers but I do think there were some dating scripts that were worth their weight in gold.  As a woman, you need to evaluate a man not based solely on your feelings for him (which can result from lust and changing hormones in the beginning) but how he respects you as a person and can ultimately can provide for a household.  That’s why rules were formed.  They knew when young lover’s hearts and emotions are involved, they’re not thinking too clearly and miss the key things about a person that ordinarily would raise “red flags” that the person they’re dating may not have their best interests at heart.

You see, in the beginning of the courtship, dating should be fun and frivolous but you’re also in the process of choosing the right person.  You’re allowed to date as many people as possible to determine the right fit.  And contrary to popular belief, there is really no such thing as “exclusivity” when you’re not married to someone, particularly in the courtship.  I believe this dating trend came about as a result of couples wanting to be sexually active with their partner and consequently wanting to control their partner’s sexual activities outside of the relationship.  Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee your partner is going to be “sexually exclusive” to you even when they’ve made that promise.  At least when you’re at the point of engagement, you and your mate have made an official commitment to each other as evidenced by a ring and probably won’t want to screw it up. 

Engagement then, was really meant for exclusivity as viewed by earlier generations and was thought to culminate in marriage.  Once a couple decided upon engagement, all previous lovers would be eliminated from their search.  The couple could now focus on each other without distraction.  Oppositely, in modern times, engagement is thought to be solely for the purposes of wedding planning.  In fact, most of the engagement process is riddled with wedding planning rather than focusing on the deeper aspects of the person to be clear if this is the person you can see yourself with for the rest of your life.  Maybe it’s time we revisit these dating rituals rather than throwing out the “baby with the bath water”.

To sum this up, dating has changed tremendously over the years.  From the practical demands of finding someone to run a household to today’s ideals of finding someone in which to cherish and love.  But with these changing times, we’ll need to change how we date as well.  The courtship process can still be a fun and exciting way to find the one you love but we’ll need to use some of those dating rules and rituals our elders taught us to ensure we meet and mate with the right person.  Sadly, there are no more wise elders in our community watching over us, but you do have a wide resource of books and literature written directly to help you in this process.  And with a few of these techniques and our own moral compass, we’ll be able to make long lasting changes to the dating process for generations to come!

Thanks for reading

Please visit my website at www.liveloveaspire.com for more information on our relationship coaching services and for a free 15 minute consultation.

Please also connect with us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/liveloveaspiredatecoach

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Best Dating Tips For Singles Over 40


Just Because You’ve Grown Older Doesn’t Mean You Should Lose Your Sexy!

I was just a young girl barely old enough to have a job when I met and encountered one of the most beautiful women over 40 I would ever meet in my life.  I met her during my early years of interning for the city government.  I mean when she walked in the room, men knew she was there.  She always had a smile on her face or a chuckle as she laughed.  She was the star of the show and everyone around her knew it.  But she was never arrogant, just confident and it always showed in her demeanor.  Only years later would I learn that this wasn’t always characteristic of women over 40.  And at the time, I was much too young and shy to ask her for her secrets of growing old gracefully.  But over the years as I’ve explored this terrain as a dating coach and professional matchmaker extensively, I’ve listed the key traits below I believe are essential to be successful in this journey.

Having Confidence – This trait may be key to all singles but it’s especially key for singles over 40 because by this time, you should know who you are and what you want out of life.  And this should be evident to the people you meet in your travels.  When you walk into a room, people should automatically know that you have a purpose for being there and they should want to meet you.  You’re not bossy or conceited, just sure of what you’re about and that’s what makes you attractive.

Knowing Your Worth – No matter who you meet, they should be aware of what you bring to the table.  At this point in your life, you should probably bring financial stability and independence to any individual lucky enough to get your attention.  So if they can’t bring such value to the table as well, then you need to reconsider whether this person is right for you.  And this is really not about the amount of income your potential mate may have but rather how much stability they can bring and add to your life.  This is particularly true if you have children from a past relationship who may be adversely affected by your choice of suitors.

Now other than financial stability, you should also be able to bring kindness, warmth and companionship to the table.  You’re able to provide support to them when they need help and encouragement to them in their darkest hour.  You are their rock.  That’s worth more than its weight in gold!  In turn, they should be able to provide you with the same value as well.  If they can’t, it’s time to look for other options!

Keeping Up With Your Looks – As a professional matchmaker who has observed many of my clients in their 40s looking for love, I can tell you that looks are the first thing that goes at that stage in life.  I really wish this wasn’t true but over and over I see singles over 40 give up on their looks.  Let’s face it.  We get tired from working on the job, let our kids run us down and let our past relationships get the best of us.  There’s just nothing left to give to anyone new who may enter our lives.  I get it.  But let’s also face reality.  You’re now back in the dating market with other beautiful singles.  And while I don’t believe in competition in dating, I do believe we may not be making the best impression on any potential suitors we meet.

Now without sounding too superficial, I must tell you that keeping up with your looks is almost the single most important thing you can do when you’re dating over 40.  Keeping a fresh, youthful appearance tells the world you’re happy with who you are and anyone who comes into your life will share in that happiness.  People tend to feel good around people who keep themselves together.  This is particularly true with women where the odds of meeting men in your age range may not be the best.  You aren’t trying to be 25 again nor would you want to be that age again.  You’re just expressing your own unique sense of style in a way that is still attractive to the opposite sex.

Staying In Shape – Now this is another area I’ve seen older singles regress on in their later years of life.  Interestingly enough, this is really the time you should be more actively engaged in physical activity because your metabolism slows down as you age.  Even our bones start to degenerate if we’re not lifting enough weights or getting a daily dosage of movement into our daily lives. 

And other than all the other health benefits associated with staying in shape, we still want to be in a relatively healthy shape to enjoy our partners.  Do you really want to have a series of health conditions when you’re just starting your life over with someone new?  Of course not!  Then this is why it’s essential to continue to find ways to implement physical activities into your life so you can continue to maintain a nice healthy shape and thus have lots of energy for your spouse.  You don’t have to go mountain climbing like the 20 something’s but maybe a taking a beginner’s Zumba class or a cycling class may just be the thing to get your adrenaline pumping in the right direction!

Maintaining Your Boundaries – We have to be careful that at this stage in our lives, we do not lower our standards for anyone not worthy to be with us.  It’s easy to be with someone because we haven’t been in a relationship in a long time.  As a matter of fact, your potential mate will sense this and act against your best interests accordingly.  To a con-artist aka “player”, there’s nothing better than finding someone who is vulnerable and so willing to be in a relationship that they will risk it all!  And it’s even better for them when they know you’re over 40 because they know you now have more financial assets to bring to the table and that they can con out of you.

You’re boundaries at this point should be rock solid.  You’ve been through the games.  You know the deal.  Anyone acting outside of your best interests shouldn’t even be allowed in the door.  You’ve been there…done that!  You’re looking for the type of person that’s ready for a mature commitment.  All others need not apply! 

Being The Total Package – As you have matured, you have become the “total package”.  Your potential spouse is lucky to have someone who is knowledgeable, seasoned and can bring many experiences to the relationship.  You aren’t just another pretty face like you were in your 20’s.  There’s more of an in depth connection about you.  Prioleau states in the book, Seductress:  Women Who Ravished the World and Their Lost Art of Love, “one of our deepest erotic wishes…is to be known and validated for our true selves”.  In other words, your wisdom and ability to understand human nature is now your greatest gift.  You laugh at the mistakes you made when you were young because they made you who you are at this stage in the game.  Any suitor that approaches you knows they need to be on par to be with you. 

In short, as I reminisce on the woman who would forever be my muse of what an older woman should be like in her 40s, I do have hope for all of my friends, clients and associates in this age range.  I want you to know that life doesn’t stop over the age of 40.  As a matter of fact, it’s just the opposite.  You know more about life and have experienced more in life making you much more indispensable to anyone you meet.  And while you may not be the type of “femmes fatale” woman I met during my early years of internship, you should be the type of person whom people just can’t stop staring because they’re so in awe of you!  If you can keep these things in mind in your journey, dating will be a cinch!

Thanks for reading!

Please visit my website at www.liveloveaspire.com for more information on our relationship coaching services and for a free 15 minute consultation.

Please also connect with us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/liveloveaspiredatecoach