My client, Julie (not her real name,) is a stunner. Men zero in on her the minute she enters a room. She’s got tons of charisma and knows how to flirt like a pro. She never has a shortage of dates. But Julie cannot hold down a boyfriend from more than three months. Three months and the guy moves on to someone else. When she decided to sign up for date consulting, she was 31 years old and void of all hope that she would ever marry.
“I don’t know why I am so unlucky in love,” she told me. “Nothing ever works out for me. I meet guys all the time. You would think at least one would turn into something, but it never does.” Julie was baffled. Her friends told her she was cursed. Her mom told her she was too pretty and intimidating. Her Dad said she was picking the wrong guys.
The truth is, Julie’s big problem was actually fear. Deep down, she was terrified she would end up alone. Whenever she started dating someone, she immediately began treating them as if they were her boyfriend. She would assume “this is it” with every guy she met. She assumed they were in love with her because they had asked for her phone number. She assumed they wanted to spend all their time with her, without really even knowing her. And she assumed whenever they didn’t do exactly what she wanted, they would leave her – and she would immediately get angry and frustrated with them.
Julie had no idea that she was unconsciously sabotaging her relationships. Once we pinpointed the problem, Julie’s work was just beginning. Today, she has to constantly work at keeping her fear at bay. It’s not easy to do, but she has a plan in place and is working on it. Without identifying this problem and working at the solution daily, Julie would keep dating the way she always had, and getting the results she always got.
I just took on a new client earlier this month. She is my oldest client, well into her sixties, however, she also happens to be my smartest client. Not because she has an impressive career track, although she does. And not because she has more years of experience. When this client came to see me, she said something that no other client has ever said to me. Something that surprised me, and had me wishing for ten more just like her.
The first question I ask all new clients is, “How is your current dating situation?” To which the reply never falls far from, “It’s terrible!” Why it is terrible runs the gamut: He only calls once a week, he ignores me in public, he can’t say “I love you.” You name it, I’ve heard it. But this time was different. When I asked my fledgling client to describe her current dating situation to me she did not break out her basket of woes. She grinned from ear to ear and said, “It’s good! And I’m here to make sure it stays that way.”
It was a shock and a relief to hear. I can’t tell you how many women come to me for damage control. After they have been dumped, stood-up or cheated on, they come seeking my help. Which is fine. That’s what I am here for. However, the chances of really salvaging their current relationship are much lower. The damage is done and if it’s really bad, there isn’t much you can do with the wreckage except send it to the dumpster and move on. This woman had a different story. She had started dating a man a few weeks ago and knew she was going to fall for him. Instead of trying to land him herself, falling flat on her face and then running to me crying, she sought me out immediately stating she wanted to do things right. She wanted guidance so she did not repeat the mistakes of her past and the mistakes she sees so many other women make. We started coaching and within two days I was sent an email filled with elation. She told me I was a “miracle worker” and that her new man was suddenly expressing himself in ways he never was before. He told her he missed her and had been thinking about her non stop. After a week of coaching, his calls went from once a week to every other day, even when he was traveling on business.
Now of course, I feel wonderful that her situation has gone from good to great. However I really did not write this blog to pat myself on the back, or as a sales pitch to hire me as your dating coach. My point is this. Be proactive. Do not wait for the sky to fall before seeking help. By then, it’s much, much harder, and sometimes just too late to undue the disaster. If you find a guy you like, find help to guide you as well. Read books! Ask a friend! Just make sure it’s a friend with a documented track record of dating success. No blind leading the blind. Don’t start something hoping for the best and then hit the self-help aisle when you’ve made a big mess of things. Follow my new clients lead. I f things are going well, great! You have a good foundation to build on. Now, go get some help to ensure that this new relationship takes off without a hitch! Don’t get cocky and prideful thinking you can do it on your own this time, even though you’ve fallen on your face all the others. If you know that you have a rocky relationship past, suck it up and ask for help.
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