datingquestionpicLast week I attended a neighborhood party. Having just moved to the area with my family, I was eager to get to know the people on our street. I geared myself up for the usual get-to-know you chitchat and hoped to make a few friendly connections. As I moved around the room introducing myself, a very friendly young woman suddenly interrupted me.
“Don’t I know you?” She asked. “Didn’t you write a book or something?”
Soon several other guests joined our conversation, which became very centered around my work. It shocked many of them to know that with two books out and a third on the way, writing was not my primary job, and that I spend most of my day coaching men and women on their relationships.
“So are you a dating or relationship coach?” One asked. “What’s the difference?” “What kind of services do you provide?”
I’m used to telling people that I’m a coach, but I never really go into detail about what that exactly means. I always assumed that the title spoke for itself. After that party I realized that people infer different things about what coaches do and the truth is, I’m not only a coach, I’m also a counselor. Coaches don’t typically offer expertise. Their primary function is to help the client figure out what they want to do, and how they should go about doing it. While that is a part of my job, I also help clients break harmful patterns, become more self-aware, and avoid relationship and dating pitfalls. That makes my job a little more unique, and I thought it might be a good idea to lay out in more detail how I go about helping people, no matter what their relationship status, as well as answer some of the most frequently asked questions from the party last night.
Are You A Dating or Relationship Coach?
I am both. I usually start as someone’s dating coach because they are single, or just getting out of a relationship, and they need to mentally and physically heal and then move on and try to meet someone else. Once they do meet that someone and become exclusively involved with him or her, I become their relationship coach.
What Specific Services Do You Provide For Your Single Clients?
As a dating coach and counselor, it’s my job to help clients find love. And although it may not seem like it, there is a lot that goes into that. First, I assess if someone is emotionally ready to start dating, especially if they are just coming off a bad break-up. Then, I have to find the right venues both on and offline for that person to make new romantic connections. Together we may select one or two dating sites, create a profile, take some photos, and begin the process of sorting through and answering messages from prospective dates. Once the dates start happening, it’s my job to help deifier who is a good match, and more importantly, who is a real candidate for a relationship, and who is not. There is also a good bit of strategy involved in dating. Now a day, almost every interaction is done through text or email, which means easy and instantaneous access to everyone. So, if you text too much, too soon, or reply to fast and frequently, you can kill the mystery and pursuit so often needed in the early stages of getting to know someone. So dating strategically has never been more important that it is right now.
What Help Do You Provide Once Someone is in a Relationship?
Many of the clients I work with have developed habits that frequently sabotage their relationships. We start working on understanding and correcting those habits before they even get into one, but when they eventually do, my job is to make sure they don’t unconsciously backslide. It’s easy to react out of habit and everyone has certain relationship triggers. That is why the more involved my clients become with someone, the closer and more in contact we need to be so that they don’t unintentionally ruin their chances for love.
I also assist in the big milestones that all relationships hit: when and how to have the relationship talk, when to stop dating other people, when to have sex, how to have important conversations (For example, I have an STD, or I want to remain a Virgin until marriage) and of course, when and how to move from “committed” to engaged.
What Is The Most Common Problem You Encounter With Single Women Today?
There are a number of common problems. People are not that different, so I tend to see the same five or six problems over and over again. A woman might complain that she is rarely attracted to anyone and therefore doesn’t go on many online dates. I hear this a lot. The problem, however, is that most females who say this are judging whether or not they are attracted to a man based solely on a one dimensional snapshot of him. When you are unable to factor in characteristics like humor, confidence, charm, personality, wit, and integrity, then you are left with only judging a guy on his photo. And if that’s all you are basing attraction on, then you will only be attracted to roughly 5% of the men you see. The bottom line is that you do need to be attracted to someone, but the best way to glean if you are, is to meet in person and then decide. In person you can factor in all the wonderful qualities that make a man who he is, and what you end up loving about him. Women tend to forget that physical appearance is only a part of what makes you attracted to someone.
If you want more information on coaching with me, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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A few months ago, a new client asked me a very important question. “Why do some of your clients get married and others do not?” It got me thinking. What do my successful clients have in common, and what separates them from my clients that have not enjoyed the same kind of success?
I have thought about this before. Such a question, of course, always has many answers. People are different. They take advice differently. They listen and act differently. But what separates ultimate success from further frustration, failure and loneliness? Was it my clients’ willingness to self-improve that led them to love? Their perspective on relationships? Their resilience in time of disappointment? Actually, I have come to the conclusion that it isn’t any of those things. The answer, I think, is much simpler than that.
You see, the people who reach out to me have many problems in common. They have had difficulty finding love, and they usually see a negative pattern in all their relationships. They don’t know why the pattern keeps happening, which means they also do not know how to fix it. Most of the time I am able discern a lot of what is causing so much distress in just a few phone calls. But, just figuring the “why” behind their problem or pattern isn’t enough. As I am sure you all are aware, there are many, many pitfalls on the road to love, any one of which can end a relationship in a heartbeat. So, the real work comes after my diagnosis. Some people try to correct past mistakes and travel the road alone, only seeking more coaching when they stray or a big problem arises. Others, however, keep in close contact with me and have me walk them through the entire process- from how to meet someone, date appropriately, secure a commitment, and finally, get married. I have concluded that, right there, is the answer to the question of who is successful and who is not.
Since I have come to this conclusion, I have decided to change my coaching structure so that I can better and more effectively serve my clients, and they in turn can get better, and faster results. I am not a miracle worker (although a lot of my clients have disagreed when I say that) but I’m very certain that a longer term coaching program will work much better for any client desiring a healthy, happy relationship. Much like a trainer helping someone get in shape, it takes a time commitment on both sides, meeting regularly in order to stay on the right track and see results. Therefore, as of January 2018, I will stop doing single or package calls and emails, and I will be changing my business model to a six month coaching program for clients who are ready to make big changes in their love life. I do hope you will be one of them.
Whether you are single, actively dating, in a relationship, or even engaged or married, allow me to help you get the relationship you’ve always hoped for but have not yet achieved.
Here are the details of the 2018 Coaching Program:
Each month includes:
Two 50 minute coaching sessions via phone, Facetime, or in-person
Up to 10 emails for questions, updates, and advice
Emergency texting for time-sensitive situations
A full online dating profile make-over
One initial photo shoot with professional grade camera for profile (and you keep all the photos!)*
Relationship or couples counseling, as one or both of your sessions, if you are in a relationship (or when you get into one.)
Cost: (Currently offered only through Paypal) Please email me at email@example.com for the monthly subscription fee.
This new structure does mean that I can only take on a finite number of clients. Of course, I wish I could take on every woman (or man) in distress but being just one person, I have only so much time in a day. I will work on a first come, first served basis, and will go to a wait list for overflow. If you are interested and want to see if I have availability for you to join the program, please email me. And of course, if you have questions about the program, please do not hesitate to ask.
I hope you are as excited as I am with this new approach. I truly believe that it will be very beneficial for my clients, producing better and longer lasting results. I look forward to working with many of you and making 2018 the best year yet!
He’s a sweet guy. He always asks you about your day. When you needed a ride to the airport he didn’t hesitate to volunteer, and when you go out to eat he always let’s you pick the appetizer. It’s only been a few months, but everything is going so well, and that, in itself, may be your biggest reservation. When life is on cruise control and there aren’t many complications, how can you see what a man is really made of? It’s so easy to be agreeable and easy going when you aren’t in the midst of stress or disappointment, but that’s when you usually see someone’s true character.
I’ve got a theory, and although it’s not been scientifically tested, I think it’s pretty accurate most of the time. If you want to know who a guy is, and what he’s like in a relationship (especially in times of stress or disagreement), all you need to do is check out the way he drives.
The road is the only place where we all have to coexist with each other in completely neutral territory. How a guy treats his fellow drivers tells you a lot about how he views himself, other people, and life in general. For example, does he put the pedal to the metal, speeding down streets, cutting people off in attempt to get where he’s going fast? If that’s his typical behind-the-wheel behavior then you are dealing with someone who thinks he owns the road. How does that translate in a relationship? Typically, this kind of guy always thinks he’s in the right, and has little regard for other people’s feelings. You’ll find out quickly that when it comes to you, his motto is, “My way or the highway.”
Or maybe he’s not the kind of guy to disobey traffic laws, and he’s generally a pretty safe driver, but heaven forbid if someone else doesn’t use their turn signal! Or worse, they change lanes unexpectedly and cut him off. If you are in a relationship with someone that explodes into road rage when other people don’t drive to his liking you are dealing with a perfectionist. This is the kind of guy that is happy when things are going his way, but when he has to deal with opposition or imperfection, his mood sinks. This can be hard in a relationship because life isn’t perfect and you can’t control everything, so having a partner who is easily aggravated by that fact can be a big source of stress. Perfectionists have big mood swings both on and off the road.
Then there is the overly cautious driver. The one who won’t pull out into traffic if he sees a car coming two miles away. He’s likely to coast under the speed limit, and never passes on an opportunity to wave another driver ahead of him. He’s not the most confident guy, and most definitely a people-pleaser, but there is nothing wrong with that. You just have to accept that you are coupling up with a man who takes his time, and for some women, that can be frustrating. He’s likely to put your feelings first in your relationship, which is good, but he can also put other people (your friends, your neighbor, your neighbor’s dog) before your relationship, as well.
These are just a few of the road habits that can give you insight about a guy. It’s a secret strategy that has served me (and my clients) well when assessing the opposite sex. It’s better than fishing for information through friends or family because they will always be somewhat biased. That’s the great thing about the road. Everyone uses it, so everyone has a relationship with it, but the road itself is never partial. It’s a mirror, bringing out the true colors in anyone who’s on it. That’s why if you want to know who someone is, just ask the road. It never lies.
If you are having trouble assessing someone you are dating, or if you are in a relationship or marriage with someone you don’t know how to deal with, please contact me about coaching at www.jessmccann.com/contact
It was my freshman year at college. My first day on campus, as I wandered around aimlessly with my roommate looking for the dining hall, I walked by a guy who completely took my breath away. It was the first time I had been struck with the “love at first sight” feeling. He nodded his head in acknowledgement and barely cocked a smile, but my heart raced. I had to know who he was. Was he a freshman, too? Where was he living? I had to meet him somehow….
As the months passed I learned the answers to all my questions. No, he wasn’t a freshman. He was a Sophmore, and living quite close to my dorm. We would cross paths on Thursdays while I was on my way to Spanish. Sometimes I mustered a hello, sometimes just a smile. I knew he was in a Fraternity, and at any chance I got, I attended their parties but only to swoon from afar. I just never got up the courage to introduce myself.
Then, one day, one of my friends grew tired of hearing how much I like this guy and while we were out at a local dive bar, she grabbed his arm and pulled him over. “This is Jessica.” she said. “Jessica, this is hot-guy-you-have-been-pining-over-for-almost-a-year.” No, she didn’t really say that. She said his name, which I’ll keep confidential. Hot guy smiled at me, shook my hand, and said, “You wanna dance?”
The rest of the night was a happy blur of events. I was on cloud nine. Hot guy never left my side, ran to fill my beverage, sat with his arm around me, and then walked me to my car and asked to exchange numbers. I couldn’t believe it. I was officially going to date hot guy and this was the beginning of what would be a beautiful relationship….or so I thought.
A week passed after that night and nothing but crickets. I didn’t leave my dorm for fear I would miss his call and my answering machine would fail me (yes, cell phones were for rich people at this point in time.) On the way to Thursdays Spanish class I saw him standing outside Thompson Hall smoking a cigarette with some friends. He saw me and waved. That was it.
That night, I sat around with some girls that lived on my hall and retold the story of the wonderful night I had the weekend before and how crushed I was that I had not heard from hot guy. Then, one of their boyfriend’s who was sitting nearby eavesdropping came over and gave me what would become known as the worst piece of advice I’ve ever gotten. “Call him,” he said. “He’s probably scared to make a move.” Now, I had been told by my mother repeatedly not to chase boys, so this counsel was met with resistance at first, but the boyfriend continued making his case for why calling hot guy would be a good idea.
“He was drinking and he probably isn’t sure that you’re interested. If he was drunk, he probably lost your number. It’s 1996 and girls call guys now and we like it! It takes the pressure off. You’re in control.” And then he finally added, “It can’t hurt.” So, after 10 minutes of convincing, I picked up the phone and called hot guy.
It did not go well.
His roommate picked up the phone and told me to hold. “Hot guy!” he yelled. “Jessica is on the phone for you!” To which hot guy replied, “Who??” The next two minutes were cringe-worthy. Hot guy got on the phone and we struggled through 120 seconds of conversation. Then he told me his roommate needed to use the phone and he would call me back. He never did.
Even though I was crushed by this incident, and no relationship ever materialized between us, hot guy did me a favor that night by not calling me back. He wasn’t interested in me and although it took a while to get over that fact, at least he didn’t feign attraction or take advantage of my infatuation. My dorm-mates boyfriend convinced me that calling hot guy couldn’t hurt, but if he had taken my call, asked me to come over, hooked up with me and never talked to me again, that would have definitely caused me pain.
I might have been spared, but many single girls today fall into “go-nowhere” relationships with guys and the most of the time, it is due in large part to initiating contact first just as I did. They are under the impression that initiating a simple text to someone they like can’t hurt, but truly, it is this small misstep in the “hanging out” phase that can lead to a girl wasting her time with a guy who’s only moderately interested. It can segue into an unbalanced relationship, and the possibility of being used by someone for a mere steady hook-up.
Reaching out over the phone, email, text, instant messenger, or via some social media site when you are just starting to talk to a guy, not only sends the message that you are chasing him, it also robs you of the opportunity to assess if he is truly interested in pursing a relationship with you. I always tell my coaching clients that they need to read a guy’s buying signs, and those signs will tell you most everything you need to know about his interest. One of the biggest signs is, does he text you first after you’ve seen him? If he does, then he’s likely very interested. If he doesn’t, then he isn’t.
It’s easy to accidentally sabotage a potential relationship by doing something you normally would not do if not for cell phones or the Internet. After my epic fail with hot guy, I never called another boy again. And I’m happy to say, that strategy served me very well for all the years I dated. But most girls today don’t get the clear cut “not interested” sign like I did. Relationship have become more ambiguous and knowing when and what to text someone can be as complicated as a Game of Thrones plotline.
If you need help even on the smallest scale with someone you are hanging out with or dating, you don’t need to hire an expensive dating coach and spend an hour on the phone trying to decode a text and craft one back. I offer quick, inexpensive email advice for these small but critical situations. You can write me up to 800 words, allowing you to give me ample backstory, and within 24 hours, you’ll have a response from me about what you should or should not do. Best of all, you’ll have the peace of mind that you didn’t make an impulsive decision that cost you a chance with your own hot guy.
When Jenny met Matt she thought it was true love. Finally, she had found a guy that did everything right. He would text her every day, pick her up at her house, pay for all their dinners, make plans in advance, and lavish her with compliments. He was perfect and after just three weeks, he was already saying those three little words.
So imagine Jenny’s surprise when after six weeks of dating, things started to change. The daily texts stopped first, and she began reaching out to him instead. Then the planning in advance came to a halt and it was all last minute, or late night get- togethers to “watch Netflix and Chill”. And finally, the amorous professions of love ended, and Jenny was left wondering where they stood.
“I feel like I need to have the DTR talk,” Jenny said to me one day. (That’s slang for Determine the Relationship.)
“I don’t think so,” I told her. “I think you know where your relationship stands. The question is, are you okay with it?”
“I was okay with it when he was paying more attention to me. Now I feel like I’m just there. How do I get him to be like he was before?” She asked me.
“Jenny, you’ve been “Love Bombed.” And the only thing you can do now is either accept the relationship for where it is now, or don’t accept it and move on.”
What Is Love Bombing?
Love bombing is when a guy attempts to win you over with over-the-top displays of attention and affection, but then, after a matter of weeks that all stops. Love Bombing happens frequently in today’s culture because technology makes it so easy to “bomb” someone with words of affection and future promises without having to do anything more than lift a finger (or more accurately; two thumbs.) Some love bombing is normal. When a guy first meets a girl, and is attracted to her, he will naturally want to impress her by going above and beyond her expectations. As the relationship settles down a bit, and the two become a couple, however, the avid pursuit to “win” her over wanes, but should be replaced by a happy, contented relationship. The problem with Love Bombing happens when either the girl doesn’t know how to be in a relationship, and demands the constant attention and reassurance that Love Bombing provides, or the guy is using “LB” as a technique to sleep with a girl or get her attached to him for his own selfish purposes.
How To Spot A Serial Love Bomber
Jenny eventually learned that Matt was a serial Love Bomber, and routinely came on strong with all his other girlfriends. He wasn’t a bad guy, he just had a habit of coming being overly effusive when he wasn’t yet in a relationship. But not all guys are like Matt, and some will Love Bomb you just to get what they want, and then leave you confused, disappointed, and still very single.
It’s important to be able to know when you are being “Love Bombed” and to remain skeptical if you see any of the following signs within the first few weeks:
– He texts you “Good Morning, Beautiful” every morning and “Good Night, Beautiful” every night, even though you just met (or haven’t met in person.)
– He talks about future plans, vacations, and even marriage and you’ve only been on a handful of dates.
– He comments or likes all your posts the minute you post them.
– In almost every communication with you, he flatters you.
– He professes his feelings right from the start and tells you he’s “never felt this way about anyone” and “can’t believe he met someone (you) that is so beautiful, special, smart, etc” and “knows already that he wants to spend the rest of his life with you.”
Be wary of Love Bombers because they can reel you in, sleep with you, and move on without hesitation. If you think you are perpetual victim of Love Bombing and need professional help, please email me about coaching at firstname.lastname@example.org. Love Bombers are notoriously looking for “soft targets” – women with low self-esteem that they can bomb and manipulate. Don’t let yourself be a victim again.
Darcy is a fashion consultant in NYC. Like most people in the fashion industry, she not only works in it, she lives for it. Darcy goes to great lengths to make sure her image is perfect. Every extra penny in her paycheck goes to enhancing her wardrobe or maintaining her appearance. She’s a petite blond with a very outgoing personality; so finding a boyfriend would seemingly be easy for her. But Darcy has been on dozens of first dates in the last two years and none of them have resulted in a second. She is active online and is approached when she is out, but over the last few years a pattern has emerged and the initial attraction she gets from guys never lasts long.
One day Darcy called me in a frenzy.
“It happened again!” She cried hysterically.
“What did?” I asked.
“The guy I went out with last night hasn’t texted me. We had a great time. He was so funny and cute. He even said we should go out again. I don’t understand it. This happens every time I go out with someone! What am I going to do? Everyone around me is getting married and here I am without even a boyfriend. My friend Jackie isn’t even that attractive and she is dating this unbelievable guy! I’m getting older with each passing day and my eggs are going to shrivel up and die soon!”
I reassured Darcy that at twenty-six her eggs were not in jeopardy just yet. I knew that lacking in initial attraction was not her problem, because she was asked out quite often. However, Darcy was losing the interest she did get in a very short amount of time. Something she was doing or saying on the first date was turning guys off so much, they didn’t want to sit through round two and get to know her better.
Darcy was a nice girl with a very attractive exterior. She wasn’t mean spirited or lacking in confidence. But she did have a habit of constantly talk about herself and her life. She also spent a great deal of time comparing herself to everyone around her. This had a big impact on her socially and romantically. She was jealous of her friends who so easily met their significant others. It seemed so unfair that she struggle with love while other people found it so easily. It wasn’t uncommon for her to skip bridal showers or engagement parties. It was difficult for her to act happy for others when she was so miserable herself. Even just seeing a couple holding hands on the street was enough to send her into a tailspin.
Darcy didn’t see her habit to compare herself as a problem. She assumed her lacking love life was due to the fact that she was inexperienced in the relationship department. She had only had two boyfriends in her lifetime, the last of whom cheated on her repeatedly, and the one before disappeared without warning. In her opinion, her inexperience was a strike against her marketability. She was sure that all the guys she went out with wanted someone just a little bit sexier, thinner, and a lot more seasoned.
Before she went on dates, Darcy prepped herself for hours. She spent half the day doing her hair and make-up. Quite often she would texts pictures of herself to her friends asking how she looked before she left the house. When she arrived on her dates, Darcy was excited but also consumed with nervous energy. While she tried to be engaging and personable, she didn’t realize that most of the time she was rambling on about herself. Whenever she did stop and let her date get a word in, her mind churned in analysis of what she said. She wondered how she had come off to him. Did he still think she was attractive? Did she wear the right dress? Who else was he going out with, and was she as pretty? Instead of being present and working to get to know her date, she was on a continuous search for clues that he liked her enough to go out with her again.
Darcy would do a little Internet searching before, after, and sometimes even during, her dates. She would click through the guy’s pictures on Instagram or Facebook looking for any signs of him hanging out with other girls. If he did have pictures with females, Darcy would compare herself to all of them and stress about not being as beautiful. After hours of comparing and analyzing, she always was quite sure her date was not going to call her. And although he never did, it wasn’t for the reason she thought.
“The Curse” of The Contestant (An excerpt from my newest book: This is one of five “Curses”)
The Contestant “Curse” is the easiest to spot. The reason I call them Contestants is because they act as if their entire life is a competition. They spend a lot of time comparing themselves to others, and feel as if they always have something to prove, whether it is to other people or just to themselves. They also thrive on attention from other people. In all of their relationships they view themselves as the “leading role” and anyone else is either supporting or an audience member.
Contestants often vacillate between feeling really good about themselves and extremely bad. If she is having a good day, and believes she is measuring up to her preset standard, a Contestant will have very positive self-focused thoughts about herself. But on days when she goes too long without reassurance or approval, her “Curse” begins to turn those positive self-focused thoughts into negative ones. When that happens, she will frantically begin searching for a way to get attention and give herself a boost. She might post a selfie online hoping to get flattering comments, or text someone she has little interest in, but who she knows will lavish her with compliments. It’s not unusual for a Contestant to collect male followers, or have several virtual relationships going at the same time. The more guys that are interested in her, the better she feels about herself. Most Contestants use men to maintain a happy, confident feeling. This is one of the reasons why they have trouble deeply connecting with one person, and why they are the most unfaithful of all Curses. If something goes wrong with their relationship, they have little problem turning to someone else who will make them feel better. Some Contestants may even keep a side relationship going for no reason other than their thirst for attention is more than what one man can provide.
Guys who date this type of woman find her to be high maintenance, attention-needy, narcissistic, and dramatic. Men who are in a relationship with her find her to be exhausting, moody, and selfish.
Living to Win
Because life is viewed as a competition, Contestants feel happiest when they are seemingly “winning”. At times they might just seek a personal “win”, for instance, getting a certain amount of likes on a post, but often their need to win attracts them to romantic situations where their can be winners and losers. Their Curse confuses love with winning, so it unconsciously seeks out situations where it can put it’s worth to the test.
Darcy, for instance, held on to her last boyfriend for two years, despite the fact that he cheated on her twice, and they broke up every few months. When I asked her why she persisted in trying to work things out with him, she admitted that if he finally decided to be faithful to her she would feel like it would validate her worth because she would be considered “good enough to change him”. She wanted to be “the girl” who was so special he reformed. A Cursed motivation if I ever heard one! She felt if she let him go without accomplishing that, however, it meant she was just the loser who was not good enough to commit to, and the next girl he got involved with would ultimately be dubbed the winner.
Of course, the truth was that Darcy’s boyfriend was a selfish man, who was Cursed himself. He believed he was Superior to women and because of that, he thought he was above fidelity. Committing to one woman was lame and no fun because it didn’t fulfill his insatiable need to always feel like he was dominating something. Because Darcy was Cursed too, however, she couldn’t see this. Instead she spent most of their relationships trying to make herself worthy of her boyfriend’s love. This is one of the Curse’s cruelest tricks. It makes you hold on to the false hope that one day you’ll be enough to change someone, as if your worth has anything to do with them committing.
If you are a Contestant, you might be attracted to people who need fixing because correcting them feels like an achievement. You don’t realize that your motivation to change someone is more for your benefit than theirs. Darcy wasn’t looking to make her relationship work because she loved her boyfriend. No, she was looking to make it work so she could feel like a winner. Is a woman using a man to heighten her feelings of worthiness any better than a guy cheating on her? In Darcy’s eyes, she didn’t see it that way but the reality is she did not love her boyfriend any more than he loved her.
Normal, healthy relationships don’t provide a struggle, and so if you are a Contestant, you might also naturally gravitate to men that are currently in a relationship, or even married. Triumphing over another woman and winning the “prize” of a man’s love is exactly what this Curse wants. Even if you are kept on the side for years, you will have trouble letting go and moving on because you will feel like you “lost” the guy to someone else. Of course, if you do get the guy, and there is no competition going on, you might get bored and restless. This is why Contestants are often in drama-filled relationships. Anyone who is emotionally available and genuinely wants to love you, isn’t challenging. If someone you are dating turns out to be a nice, normal guy, you may find yourself picking him apart, asking him for space, and causing drama to create a win/lose situation for yourself. The guy will have no idea where your hot and cold behavior stems from and might assume you are just afraid of commitment. He may at first play your little back-and-forth game, but if he’s a decent person, your behavior may push him to anger, resentment, and finally, disinterest.
If you seem to always gravitate towards “challenging” guys or situations, you may very well be a Contestant who is just searching for opportunities to win in order to feel good about yourself. Holding on to an unhealthy and unpredictable relationship provides the opportunity for you to have daily wins. If things go well one day, you feel you’ve succeeded in the game. It’s important to recognize the attraction you have to someone may not be anything more than a Curse tendency or preference. It’s very likely is not your real self being genuinely drawn to someone.
Their habit to self-obsess has Contestants tanking in the dating department. Whether it’s getting a guy interested or keeping him that way, The Contestant often sabotages her chances. This Curse has one goal in mind when it sits down in front of a man and that is to “wow” him and gain his approval. If the Contestant feels she has done a good job of impressing, she will deem the date a success. However, she doesn’t realize that while she’s busy thinking of new ways to dazzle her date and gain more interest, she’s oblivious to how the date is actually going.
This was the biggest reason Darcy had difficulty getting second dates. When she sat down with men, she not only talked too much, but she talked about things that were so centered on her own interests and so motivated by her own attention seeking nature that men quickly became bored with the conversation. Darcy repeatedly suffered from the most frequent effect of the Contestant Curse -when you spend most of your time thinking about yourself, you automatically spend most of your time talking about yourself.
If you asked her, Darcy would deny monopolizing any conversations. She knew to ask her dates questions and felt she did a good job inquiring about their lives. What she didn’t realize was as soon as the guy started talking, her Cursed mind immediately related whatever he was saying to her own experiences and opinions. “I have something to say about that!” she thought. Or, “I can impress him with this story!” Before her date could even finish completing a sentence, Darcy would jump in with her thoughts, leaving the guy feeling like she really didn’t care what he had to say. Even though she was going through the right motions, because her intention was coming from a self-absorbed place, she was never fully engaged as a listener, and therefore, never really engaged with any man she went out with. Paying attention to someone else, even someone she liked, was short and fleeting because her mind would always subconsciously wonder back to, “How can I show him I’m interesting”, or, “How do I get him to really fall for me?”
There are Contestants, however, have mastered dating and having guys pursue them. They have figured out how to play “the game” so guys initially fall hard for them. They are good at flirting, don’t answer texts too soon, and they know how to play a little hard to get. But just because they can skillfully maneuver the “getting him interested” phase, doesn’t mean they sail effortlessly into a serious relationship. They don’t. Many find it quite difficult, in fact, because they are only confident in the beginning stages of dating when the guy is in pursuit of them. If the chase slows, even for a brief second, they begin to question themselves as well as the guy’s feelings.
Betsy had a history of 2-3 month relationships. When she reached out to me for the first time it was because she had recently met someone she liked and was worried that his interest was starting to fade. When I asked her what signs she was getting that indicated a loss of interest, she said it was mostly a feeling that she was losing the upper hand. After two months of dating, she felt that her boyfriend wasn’t trying as hard to win her over as he did in the beginning. Even though he was still contacting her and asking to see her on a regular basis, she felt that he wasn’t paying as much attention to her anymore.
Normally when Betsy began feeling this way, her self-focused thoughts and emotions would take over. She would often start playing harder to get in order to provoke attention. In previous relationships, she would cancel plans to incite a fear of loss, or purposely flirt with someone else in order to make the guy jealous. She wanted to know what to do this time in order to make her boyfriend want her more and focus more attention on her.
What Betsy did not realize was that she was fighting the normal progression of any relationship. At some point, the chase must end so the real relationship can begin and true love can develop. I told her she needed to recognize that her focus in her relationships was concentrated on how much attention and reassurance she was getting from the guy and her attempts to incite jealousy or worry was all in order to feed this self-absorbed craving. It’s only natural that men will relax a little and be more themselves the longer you date them and that is a good thing. If you expect them to bring you flowers every week, plan lavish dates your whole life, or focus 100% attention on you everyday, you are not only signing up for major disappointment, you are going to drain your partner of all his energy and love for you. The truth was that the men Betsy dated were not truly losing interest like she assumed, she just didn’t understand the transition period from dating to a relationship. She didn’t know that eventually she had to stop making the man chase her and start giving back. Because she was Cursed, she perceived relaxed behavior on the guy’s part as disinterest and tried to stir up his emotions. She would spontaneously get mad at little things, or give him the cold shoulder so he would chase her again. Most guys interpreted these attention-getting attempts on her part as drama and backed away. In the end, it was simply Betsy’s hunger for attention that eventually caused men to lose interest and nothing else.
In the beginning, men don’t mind that the relationship is one-sided and they are expected to do all the heavy lifting, but as the relationship progresses over the course of a few weeks or months, they expect the relationship to balance out. After all, a relationship, and especially marriage, is a partnership and men are looking for potentially partners – someone who they can love but who will also genuinely love them back. They want someone who they can rely on and receive support from. Someone who will think about them. The Contestant is not a good candidate because she needs too much from him, and by comparison, gives very little in return.
Things aren’t good. In fact, they are really, really bad between you two. The love and companionship you once had seems like a thing of the past and now your days are filled with arguments, tears, and misunderstandings. Maybe you’ve tried for so long that you are almost ready to give up, or perhaps you are afraid that the one you love might give up on you. What I know is that most couples who want to stay together make a consorted effort to do so, however, the things they try are usually ineffective.
Since communication is key to any healthy, happy relationship, most end up failing not due to lack of love but lack of understanding, empathy, and appreciation. And it’s not necessarily because we don’t possess those things, but because we don’t effectively communicate them to each other.
I’ve compiled a list of the 5 most important phrases that can turn around even the most broken of relationships.
1. How Can I Help?
When is the last time you said these words to your partner? Maybe you’ve been so caught up in having him or her do things for you that you haven’t thought about what you can do for them. This phrase is especially helpful if you use it at the very time you feel yourself about to get into yet another argument because your boy/girlfriend is in a bad mood and taking it out on you. Imagine that he comes home from a long day, doesn’t greet you with open arms, and immediately jumps down your throat for something trivial because he’s just had it with crappy job, shitty boss, or anything that is unrelated to you. You could get your panties in a bunch, defend yourself and retort with some snide come back, or you can recognize that his bad attitude is actually a cry for help.
2. What Would You Like Me To Do or Say?
Said honestly and not sarcastically, this statement can save you a ton of time and frustration. Most of the time we think we are hearing people accurately (when we are not) and then we decide on what action to take based on that inaccurate assessment (which ends up doing nothing for them.) To get to the point, and start making positive changes right away, just ask your partner what they need from you instead of guessing.
3. You’re Right.
I find this phrase is more effective than the ever-popular “I’m Sorry.” It may be because “I’m sorry” is over-used, or sometimes said half-heartedly, but “You’re Right” hardly ever goes wrong. The key with these two words is, again, in timing. When your partner is telling you how they feel, citing places where you could improve, don’t jump to point your finger back at them and start listing examples of where they, too, could improve. Instead just sit there, listen, and say, “Your Right.” This is usually so disarming that it stuns the other person into softening up immediately. Then, you can have your turn to vent your frustrations.
4. I appreciate that you…
This one speaks for itself. It’s been said by numerous experts that the number one reason people leave relationships or cheat on their spouses is lack of appreciation, not lack of love. So how important do you think it is to actually say the words, “I appreciate”? Yeah, pretty important. It doesn’t matter what it is that you appreciate either… emptying the dishwasher, sending a sweet text, remembering an important date, whatever it is, just tell the one you love that you appreciate their efforts.
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First let me say to Kim and Kanye, I’m sorry to use you as an example for other people. No one wants to be the model for what not to do in a marriage. At their core, I do believe that they are both good, decent human beings as most of us are. The problem is simply this: when you receive an astronomical amount of attention everyday from millions of people, many of them worshiping and adoring you for doing basically nothing for them (I mean, has Kim or Kanye ever called to see how your day was? Dropped off some take out when you weren’t feeling well? Asked if you needed help on moving day?) you begin to believe that just by being you, you deserve love. When you get 150,000 “likes” just from posting a photo of your backside, it can easily convince you that your mere existence is a gift to others. You no longer think you have to give love in order to get it. In fact, your daily agenda quickly becomes finding ways to illicit more love and attention for yourself, and you develop a “taker” mentality. When you have two people in a marriage who both are focused on “taking love” instead of giving it, the relationship quickly and conclusively, crumbles.
Celebrities, often become Cursed when it comes to relationships. The reason, mainly, is that they expect their partner to act as their biggest fan. While it’s necessary, for example, for Kim to support Kanye in his music career, travel to see him, celebrate his triumphs and comfort him in disappointment, unlike a fan, she expects and deserves reciprocity from him. A marriage can only survive when each person puts the other one first. Love can only thrive when two people are more interested in the others well being above and beyond their own. With a power couple like Kimye, where each person is a brand and each day must be lived to keep that brand alive, the focus is simply going to be more on “me” than on “you, or even “we”.
Where did they go wrong?
In the beginning of their relationship, I’m sure everything was fine. In fact, due to money being no object, I’ll bet Kim and Kanye were just perfect. So what happened? It’s been reported that Kanye was in love with Kim at first site and spent years pining after her. So why did that change? Why couldn’t that love sustain during marriage? As many relationships go, Kim and Kanye were on their best behavior in the beginning, but as they grew comfortable in their marriage and began going through different hardships (her robbery, his hospitalization), their default personalities took over, and they ended up interacting with each other not with heart, but with ego. Let’s look at Kanye for example. Kanye saw Kim as a prize to be won. He had it all, except for her. She was the one thing that he wanted but couldn’t get. Then, he finally got her and what a boost to his manhood! It made him feel good about himself to have her as his own. But after that ego high wears off, there is a person, a partner, and a marriage that has to be tended to. He cannot go back to being the old Kanye because now he is someone’s husband and father. He has to think of THEM, instead of himself. However, the ego cannot do that. The ego is only interested in “self.” So if Kim is expecting him to be thoughtful, giving, and caring towards her, (as we all would hope our spouse would be), she’s going to be disappointed. Kanye’s main focus is going to Kanye. He will be completely self-involved as he always has been, and she really can’t fault him for it because he was that way when they met.
Kim on the other hand, wants to love and be loved, as we’ve all heard her proclaim. But again, you have to be more focused on the other person to make love grow. With two kids and an empire built around her name, face, body, and backside, how can she really have time for anyone else? It’s just not even possible. And it’s especially impossible when you are married to someone who commands just as much attention as you do.
The only way to save their marriage would be for one of them to give up their career to fully support and help grow the others’. And with two people like Kim and Kanye, that is just not likely to happen.
It’s not unusual for Jess McCann to receive a frantic late night call from one of her clients, asking for advice while out on a date. And every single girl knows the frustration of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time and wishing she could take it back and say something better. Well, now you can get it right the first time around with McCann’s indispensable dating survival guide.
Was It Something I Said? tackles some of the most tricky and troublesome scenarios in today’s complicated dating world. McCann uses real life situational questions that frequently come up in her date coaching practice and gives play-by-play instructions for how best to handle and respond to them. So if you’re not sure how to get him to stop texting and start calling, whether or not to “friend” him on Facebook, or if you should tell him you’re dating other guys, this book has the answers. It will empower you to handle love’s little challenges the right way–it’s like having your own personal dating coach! Continue reading
I read your book “You Lost Him At Hello” three years ago, when I was a sophomore in college, and it was eye opening for me. I have definitely fixed a lot of my mistakes, but the main problem I would say that I am still having is keeping guys interested and making them excited about me. I don’t think the problem is that I am too clingy because I definitely mirror their texting patterns. I feel like I have a lot to offer, but they are not seeing this or feeling like they “have” to be with me. I guess I would say that I am not good at “selling myself.” I sometimes find myself pointing out my flaws, downplaying my accomplishments, or being self deprecating because I am worried I will intimidate them. I don’t think I always used to do this and I’m not sure when it started.
Also, I thought that once I graduated college, people would be over the “hook up culture” (which has never been my thing) but that appears to not be the case. That being said, another problem I have is getting guys to ask me on dates instead of just asking me where I’m going out on a Friday night. There is one guy in particular who I think is interested in me, but I don’t know what I can do to pave the way for him to ask me on a date instead of how this usually goes. What can I do to make it very clear that I am interested, but also turn down “those” kinds of offers in the hopes of a date?
Thanks for your question and for reading my book. I’m so glad it helped. I think your recent situation with the guy who won’t “officially” ask you out also points to your overall problem of not getting guys overly excited to be with you. I have good and bad news for you. First, the bad…due to social media, texting, and everything in between that keeps people so easily and instantly connected at all times, the dating culture has drastically changed, and men have changed right along with it. In the past, it took real work to see a girl and get her to meet up with you. You had to get her number, call her on the phone, and actually make plans to do something together. But now, a guy can incorporate you into his already laid plans…and this is to his benefit for two reasons; one, he risks no sort of rejection by just seeing what you are up to and where you might be on a friday night, and two, he can up his odds of getting some sort of female interaction by asking multiple girls what they are doing on the same night. Depending on how many girls respond, and who is at the top of his list, he can then cancel (or just not follow through, most likely) with the others. This is what’s happening everywhere and to every female under the age of 30 (and some who are over.) There is little you can do about the way things have changed in respect to dating, but you do have control over how you respond to guys and that can make a big difference with the good ones (the bad ones will just move on to someone who’s easier).
Here is what you can do. There is absolutely nothing wrong with meeting a guy out with his friends when you first start talking with him. Whether you’ve met him in person, know him from school, or have only interacted online, you can accept an invitation to meet up with him and his buddies. Standing firm that he has to ask you out in a traditional sense in order to see you is risking him either not getting the hint, or losing out because he just doesn’t have the nerve or motivation (yet). What you should do is meet up, have fun, dance, laugh, flirt, and then LEAVE. If you have read my book, you know all about the height of impulse and that is a very powerful move that will help you in this situation. When you are leaving, and the guy is asking you to go back to his place, or trying to kiss you, you have the opportunity to say in a cute, flirty way, “Sorry, I haven’t even been on a date with you yet. I just don’t go around making out with guys at bars. But you have my number, so if you’re interested in going out, text me.” Give him your best “you-know-you-want-to” smile, and walk away. As I said, the good guys will respect the fact that you respect yourself. The bad ones will be annoyed that they aren’t getting laid that night. How your guy responds to this will tell you which category he falls in.
As for the problem of not selling yourself well…you definitely don’t want to point out your real flaws to a guy you just started having a thing with. You can downplay what you know is not a true flaw, though. Think Ariana Grande telling a guy, “I’m just kind of an average singer.” You don’t want to brag to a guy, of course, but you also don’t want to pick yourself apart in front of him. Neither is attractive. And here is some final good news for you. If you and all your friends decide not to allow guys to “get” you without any real work, you will actually help them learn how to be true gentleman. If all women require a proper date, all men will comply. So when you tell the guy at the bar, “You gotta date me” you aren’t only helping yourself, you’re helping other women, and the entire male population.
For more answers to questions like this, check out my Q&A book, “Was It Something I Said? The answer to all your dating dilemmas.”