Yup, that’s right. There have been many days where I have straight up, no holds barred, pulled most of it out of my @ss.
For as cool as people think being a dating coach sounds, it has been a whole bucket of hard.
I was not given a business model to follow. There were no super successful dating coaches I can have as mentors (as it turns out, they are mostly fakin’ it too). No previous college love coaches instructing me from the wings like a pageant mom telling me when to smile or what to say when I am asked a tough question. (I do, however, have pretty big hair.)
There have been many days that I sit in my favorite coffee shop/office nearly hyperventilating as my friend talks me off the ledge and plies me with the 3 “C’s”: coffee, chocolate or champagne.
Since I started my business almost five years ago, I have questioned every fiber of my being and seen every fear that I knew, or didn’t know I had, show up and laugh at me. I have had months where I barely made rent, watched my own dating life come to a complete stop more than a few times (turns out telling guys I am a dating coach is not quite the turn-on I was hoping it would be), worked 12+ hour days pretty regularly, and drank more coffee than I knew could even be consumed by a human.
So, you can probably understand how it makes me laugh really, really hard when people assume this passion has been an easy road that started with me waking up one morning and saying “I am going to be a dating coach!” with it all just falling into place. I learned very quickly to wake up most days and just “fake it until I make it.” I would assess the day and my goals and just start working…. hoping for the best and trying not to lose my mind in the process.
So why did I do it? Why would I put myself through the daily struggle of my business when I had zero idea of what the outcome would be? Why would I forgo the steady paycheck, insurance, safety net, and pretty much sanity of a normal 9-5 job? Because in all of this crazy, it turns out this experience has really made me a better person.
This is part of my journey and I have learned more about myself in this challenge I have taken on than I ever thought was possible. I have taken those fears, looked them in the eye and said “bring it on, sailor.”
The best part? I get to make other people’s journey better, too, and it turns out after all of this hard work and fakin’ it, I am actually really good at this and it is all working out.
So, what is the point of me sitting here and sharing my fears, frustrations and crazies with you and what the hell does it have to do with with dating?
Wait for it…
I see college women coming to me all the time for answers, secrets, tips and tricks, anything to get love all figured out. They want me to get into their latest hottie’s mind and tell me exactly what he is thinking to understand why he is or is not calling, texting, treating her right, or downright leaving her not only on the crazy train, but driving it loud and proud.
They are hoping that if I can make some educated guesses they can fix the situation so it feels good and safe. Thinking that if they know all the rules they can avoid the uncomfortable, the unknowing, the fear, and most of all, the heart break.
But here is the biggest secret I can share with you: there is no secret. There are no actual answers. There are no real rules. Even if you do everything “perfectly” on your part, you still may get hurt. There is no way to guarantee a certain outcome. There is no right way or perfect moments. You are going to have to fake it like the rest of us. And there is nothing more worth faking than the intricate and beautiful art of the personal love relationship.
Love, dating, and relationships are all part of our journey, and college is a great time to really make the most of that journey. You can meet lots of different types and styles of people and take them out for a test drive to see what is a good fit. And on those days when you are beating your head against the wall wondering, “Why bother?” or saying, “I give up,” just remember it is because they make you a better person. Love, relationships, friendships, dating all help you know yourself better and work on vital life skills like communication, self-expression, empathy and just learning how to take care of someone and letting them take care of you. And, you know…. that love thing.
It isn’t always just about the good stuff, it is sometimes about all of the stuff in between that helps us realize how truly strong, powerful and wonderful we are. Isn’t that why we are all here?
Makeover challenge for the day: Let go of the outcome and enjoy the deliciousness of the journey. Stop looking for things to “fit” into your idea of perfect and the way they are supposed to look. Look at how you can change your perspective to see everything as a success instead of a frustration. How can you fake it until you get the hang of it?
Talk to me.
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This post brought to you by BIC 4 Color. All opinions are 100% mine.
We live in an era of abbreviations, short bursts of communication, and fast, fast, fast messages. Why say “Okay” when you can say “k”? Why call someone when you can text? Why take the time to plan a visit when you can feel caught up using FaceTime? It’s impacting our romantic relationships (um…to say the least) and it’s impacting our friendships too. When was the last time you paused what you were doing and took the time to really let someone know how you feel? Whether it’s telling them why you love them, what’s special about them, what you need from them, that you’re here for them during a hard time, it doesn’t matter. Emotions like this don’t quite translate when there are emojis involved.
On the receiving end of things, when was the last time you got snail mail that wasn’t a reminder about a dentist appointment, a bill, or an application for a credit card that you don’t want? My point exactly. We’re all moving a billion miles an hour, so it’s easy to skip over the heartfelt and the time-consuming in favor of the “get the point across and move on.” As a result, it’s easy to feel underappreciated and slightly disconnected from the world as it goes by at lightning speed.
While quick communication is sometimes necessary, I’d like to propose a new initiative as the summer rolls around, classes wrap up, and you have a little more free time. Let’s write more letters. It could be to your best friend, your boyfriend, someone you hope could be your boyfriend, your aunt, or a childhood pal whom you’ve lost touch with and wish you hadn’t. I want to slow it down a little bit and let the special people in our lives know that they really are special.
Sure, you can use Facebook and text to keep up with friends over the summer. But why not write a letter? Send a postcard if you’re going on a trip. Take some time to get your thoughts on paper. Doing long distance because of internships this summer? FaceTime your little hearts out, but up the romance factor with a love note too. There’s something so sweet and wonderful about taking the time to put the thoughts in your brain on paper for someone who means something to you.
Been a while since you wrote a letter? Me too. It’s okay. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
One (1) envelope
One (1) piece of paper or postcard. Maybe more, depending on what you want to say. Make it fun, colorful, or something that shows your personality.
One (1) funky pen. It’s always more enjoyable to write when your utensil isn’t just your standard black or blue deal. My suggestion? The Bic® 4-Color pen™. With 4 Inseparable Colors in 1 Pen you have everything you need. (Need proof of the awesome? Here’s some ridiculous videos)
You can get creative and personalize that note, postcard, or love letter (ooh la la), making it perfect for the person you’re sending it too. Sweet, sentimental, funny, sexy, you can say it all with the same pen. It also makes it easy to stay organized as you write, which is useful if you’re a tad out of practice. Kick it old school with some seventh-grade style doodles for your best friend, add in a few red hearts that special someone, you know what to do. The pen is a fun and colorful way to express yourself and say what you mean, whatever that feeling may be. Getting a hankering? We get it. You can pick one up at Staples or get one on Amazon.
Writing a letter may feel a little weird at first, but it’s also such a relief, especially for those of us (cough cough, yours truly) who spend all day typing on a computer. And if you’re lucky, the person you’re sending that note off to will be so touched that they’ll return the favor, helping to break up your mailbox monotony. Dr. Smith, DDS, won’t be the only one sending you mail anymore (don’t forget your checkup is coming up, by the way).
A few years ago I went on what you might call a kamikaze mission.
I felt like I was having a lot of conversations in my head revolving around my past crushes and relationships, and I was coming up empty. Looking back I spent a lot of my high school and college years in what I like to call the “pseudo relationship.” I would meet someone and without ever really discussing ANYTHING we kind of tripped and fell into a relationship. Not much differently than the time I tripped and fell on that bar dance floor in college after losing a battle to margaritas. Awkward.
These pseudo relationships would last anywhere from 2 weeks to six months and would usually be a roller coaster ride…. And not the fun kind, but the ones where you are sick for over half of it and are pretty sure you are going to throw up your funnel cake. It would start with some flirting, which lead to hanging out, and then at some point kissing would commence. Since I was basically just a ball of nerves, I would never talk about my feelings or what exactly what the heck we were doing (I didn’t want to scare them away, right?) So I just kinda waited around hoping for it to turn into something that I would recognize as a relationship. Usually, somewhere along the way, someone would hurt the other’s feelings and it would either end abruptly or fade away…. into the night.
The end of those pseudo relationships was always terrible since I really didn’t know what happened and it left me with my own thoughts to create reasons why it ended. None of those reasons did me, or my confidence, any favors.
So, one day I woke up and did something about it. I started calling all of these pseudo exes and asking them why we broke up. Starting with some small talk, I moved toward sheepishly asking them the question that had plagued me for years: “So, why exactly did we break up again?” I braced myself for answers that had been running wild in my mind. They usually had to do with them losing attraction to me or that they could see “the crazy” I was feeling since I never really knew where I stood. And do NOT underestimate “the crazy.”
As I awkwardly asked the question, they usually paused for a moment to think and then the big moment happened. The one where I finally found out that I was totally and completely wrong. In every single case.
Turns out, they didn’t wake up one day and find me un-kissable, and most of them knew I was a little crazy (in the good way) when they started dating me. The funny thing is that most of the time it really wasn’t about me at all. It was usually about timing.
Here is what I have figured out, and stay with me here, smart stuff is a’comin’. We are all just moving through the ebb and flow of life and trying to do the best we can. Relationships start and then end for hundreds of reasons, and most of the time when they end it really isn’t about you. We all have millions of experiences that help us decide who we are attracted to, who we want to date, and what we think love and relationships look like. Good or bad. When something happens that registers as similar to a former experience in our/their brains it can either help us move forward towards a relationship and stronger feelings or it can have us stopped in our tracks scratching our heads because it goes against what we know or are okay with.
It’s the reason why someone who has been abused in a relationship usually finds an abuser in future relationships. It is why we find mates similar to one of our parents. Why all of our past boyfriends and crushes may look different and even act different, but probably play a similar role in the relationship. We naturally gravitate towards what we understand and know of love and relationships, but it is also what helps people gravitate towards or move away from us. It is why we “literally” can’t be upset or offended when someone doesn’t choose us. It actually has NOTHING to do with you, but instead what they know and have learned of love.
So, if all of this isn’t about us, what can we do to find love and create a great relationship? Be in charge of what you can control. You and the way you respond to it. Here are a few other things…
*Be yourself, it is going to show up at some point anyway.
*Take a look at who you are gravitating towards and see if it is a good thing or not so good.
*Don’t take it personally if something that has potential doesn’t work out, you just might not be their potential. So what?
*Keep your expectations realistic so that if something doesn’t work out you can be ready to look for a better match instead of spending 3 months recovering from the last possibility.
*When you find yourself in a relationship that doesn’t feel right, step back and ask if you are uncomfortable because someone is treating you badly or because this is a new type love you haven’t experienced before. Ask yourself: is this healthy? If it is, give it a chance.
With this knowledge you can beat the system, learn about how you view love, and gravitate towards the right matches that want to take love to a whole new level with you. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
Have you checked our radio show? Brit and I are ridiculous….it is worth a listen.
I am not perfect. Yeah, I know, none of us is. But I couldn’t even make my deadline for this article this week. And I realized that maybe 98% of the mistakes I make are based on insecurity. We all do dumb things. Why do you do them? Is it because you really weren’t thinking, or because you were insecure and acted out in a possibly inappropriate way? Have you ever tried to kiss someone who did NOT want to be kissed? Yikes! Then you think, “Why did I do that?” Most likely, it’s got nothing to do with the other person. It’s all you. And it’s okay. I’ve been watching a lot of Dr. Phil lately. I give you permission to roll your eyes out of your head. But once in a while he’ll say something that sticks with me like a magnet to a refrigerator. “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge,” he says. So. Freaking. True. So I’m going to acknowledge that I’m not perfect and I screw up. Most of these screw-ups aren’t even big deals, but I magnify them and I punch myself (mentally!) and I want to change what I did. But that’s not the kind of change I need, and it’s not the kind of change you need. Don’t try to change your past, you can’t; try to change your future. What I’m saying is don’t freak out over a guy, don’t freak out over a bad grade, just tell yourself that you’re not perfect and move on. And really mean it. It will be great. Photo found on http://dollhousesweets.tumblr.com/post/7503970827
If you want to do the metaphorical cannon ball into the water, go to an all girls school from 8th to 12th grade, have little to no contact with boys, then go to a co-ed college and go to your first college party.
Hi, my name is Awkwardly Terrified, how are you?
I remember what I wore: a flesh colored, stretchy turtleneck, jade and gold earrings, my hair was pulled back (which I NEVER do) and I probably paired it with a black miniskirt. Very Stacey of The Babysitters’ Club. I went because my friend and I wanted to go to our first “normal party,” unlike the ones we had in high school where we practically had to ship boys in from another continent. (I even remember what I wore to my first middle school party: a pink halter top, hair pulled back – WHY did I do this for parties? Did I think it made me look more grown-up?- strappy wedges…and black pleather pants. Oh yes. Very Spice Girls.
My first college party was almost the same. But this time, there was alcohol and my friend got really sick and I felt uncomfortable with a boy flirting with me, and the boy I thought was cute only talked to me a little bit. Recently I met up with him again, told him I had a huge crush on him in college; he asked for my number, we texted vague plans, then he blew me off. I will never understand boys. Or I will, but not fully.
And I remember having a hard time walking around the party in heels and a miniskirt because some of it was outside… You had to go out through a fire escape and walk down the ladder – apparently this is a cool thing to do – and I hated it. The smell of pot was heavy in the air, everyone was drinking and I had never felt so out of place.
I’ve gotten a little better at parties, but I’m still awkward. I still feel like I’m not one of the cool kids. I feel like I’m trying to be ladylike as I climb out a window in a miniskirt and heels. (This is the norm, I promise.) No one knows really how to act at a party unless you’re Kate Middleton, because let’s be real, she’s perfect.
But we’re allowed to go to college parties and feel awkward. Just remind yourself that it’s supposed to be fun. And if it’s not? Leave. There’s always cheese fries.
Photo found on: http://cocainetrade.tumblr.com/post/173650167/sad-and-true
In case you have been living under a rock and haven’t heard about this amazing movie, ENDLESS LOVE stars Alex Pettyfer (Magic Mike) and Gabriella Wilde (The Three Musketeers) in the story of a privileged girl and a charismatic boy whose instant desire sparks a love affair made only more reckless by parents trying to keep them apart.
Can we say tragic awesomeness? Why yes, yes we can.
Besides our love for Alex Pettyfer (so hot) we live for a good love story. We will definitely be checking it out this weekend and know you will too. But in the meantime, we have a great giveaway and post from our very own Life with Lauren about her own story when she finally grew up.
Haven’t seen the trailer? Check it here and find more info about the movie and giveaway below. -Kira
It’s really, REALLY hard to transition from being a child or teen to being an adult all in one place. You may think you’re doing it and you may have every intention in the world of doing it, but it’s just nearly impossible. It took me a little while to realize this for myself, but when I did I knew that I had to leave my hometown of Syracuse, New York. It was the only place I’d ever lived (even during college), but it was time to see other things. No more running into my old teachers at my favorite restaurant. No more going to the same gym I’d gone to since high school. A little comfort zone expansion never hurt anyone.
For me, that someplace new ended up being Charlotte, North Carolina, and the transition hasn’t always been easy. Instead of knowing every road like the back of my hand, I rely desperately on my GPS to get anywhere. Instead of seeing the same faces I’ve seen since I was in middle school, I have to reach out and make new connections. I have to find a new doctor and learn where things are in a grocery store chain that isn’t familiar to me. I have to deal with getting a North Carolina license plate. Each of these tasks is relatively small on its own, but over time they add up.
But in the midst of these small yet collectively slightly overwhelming tasks has come a huge sense of independence that is worth any moments of frustration or sadness I’ve had to get through. It’s hard to feel like you’re really an adult when you’re still going to the same places you went to on a Saturday when you were in tenth grade. Now I’m in this new place, seeing new sights on my own for the first time. It’s like I shed my adolescent skin and am now a real, live adult.
While I feel like a grown up when I drive around an entirely new city and put myself out there so I can make friends, I’d have to say that my real “aha!” moment about my newfound adulthood happened when I got the flu. I was too cool to get the flu shot and, of course, ended up getting it and puking my guts out for three days. I could barely get out of bed to get water and I just wanted my mom. After calling her hysterical, I realized this was the situation I had to deal with. Sometimes you live somewhere on your own and your mom can’t bring you soup and that’s okay.
It’s important to prove to yourself that you can navigate any situation on your own, whether that means dealing with the flu, killing a cockroach, or figuring out which career move you want to make next. It doesn’t matter how confusing/frustrating/daunting it seems, you’ve got it covered. Successfully getting past challenges without a safety net of family and familiar places makes you more confident in your own abilities than ever before. It reinforces to you that you do have that grit to make it through a tough situation. While there are few things as stressful and life-altering as moving, you also see a really clear picture of who you want to be when you leave behind everything that’s comfortable in favor of things that are challenging and exciting. It’s not always pretty (to say the least) but shaking things up and trying something new almost instantly propels you into adulthood.
When did you lose your innocence? Feel like you grew up? Share your stories with your email below in the comments to win the cool stuff! Who doesn’t want that? It is awesome!!!!
You will win:
I am not expecting text messages as inspired as Charles Dickens novels, but I do have certain textpectations–some of them greater than others. By the time those Thursday text messages float into your inbox – “you around this weekend” and you respond with something like “I am sir.” And hear those three little words: let’s meet up - you (and they) know its on…
Or is it?
Much to my chagrin these premeditated meet ups often turn into more of a cat and mouse game of texting that turns a night out with pals into a one of two distractions
1) Trying to lure your love interest to the bar you are at with your friends…”hey guys, how long we going to be here?”
2) Debating whether you should troll out of your comfort zone to locations uncharted since your freshman year.
A little while back, I was out with a group of friends and after a series of witty and flirtatious ping-pong texts with a romanTECH interest–who I swear has the opposite summer schedule as me–sent me his sans humor, bottom line at approximately 12:40: “really wanna c u. come here.”
Me, flattered by his bold choice ditched my crowd to meet the potential boo. When I got there however, potential boo he was not. Instead he was hypnotized by some pay-per-view fight and gave me a hey along with a high five. No joke: I almost blacked out. Believe me, I wasn’t expecting rose petals a la Coming to America, but a drink on his tab and glad to see you would have gotten him farther then he probably realized. Feeling weird, I did the natural thing, grabbed myself a drink, slugged it and said my good-byes. He, acting unaffected by my “ciao for now,” quickly shot me a series of text messsages ranging in degrees of desperation from “why did you leave” to “where are you” to the simply stated “?”
Maybe it was harsh, but I was let down by the built-up meet-up and even more deflated by the fact that his actions and texts were sending different messages. In some ways I remain traditional in my thinking: actions speak louder than words (even when they are typed).
There is no eloquent way to put it: rejection sucks. Not that eloquence has ever been my top priority when there are still cupcakes to be eaten, reality TV to be watched and an empty chair by the pool.
Not making the cheerleading squad or the debate team are one thing; but relationship rejection is a personal blow. It could be as simple as someone standing you up for a drink or as complex as an affair during a twenty year marriage. Rejection comes in all shapes and sizes, but the one constant is that it always messes with your mind, and will most definitely sabotage your future relationships if you allow it.
After fifteen years of dating, I can promise you that I’ve been on both sides of the rejection fence more times than Simon Cowell has worn a too-tight black t-shirt. I’m going to go over some common responses to rejection and how to work through them. Aren’t you just so excited you could run laps around the house? (Except, I bet you just realized that was only fun when you were five years old, and that level of physical exertion would actually be punishment at this point….)
1. You blame them. You get all of your girlies together and discuss every reason why this person is the scum of the earth and you’d never want him anyway. This is always ironic, considering the week before you were probably in the same room, with the same girls, listing all the reasons why you guys were perfect for each other. Now you’re pride has been wounded, so you have no choice but to believe this guy must be mentally unstable or clueless. Why else would he not want to be with you?
Ever stop and think how insanely cocky that is? I mean, really. You’ve rejected lots of guys before, right? Is there something wrong with your mental capabilities? No. You just weren’t feeling it. Or there was no chemistry, whatever. Last week, I had four different friends, who were cheated on and betrayed — and they were all GUYS! So just remember that you are experiencing the very same emotions that you have caused a guy to feel at some point.
2. You want revenge. Your first reaction might be to tell him just what a stupid decision he made by rejecting you. You want to hurt him back. You want to find the hottest guy in the tri-state area and be seen with him around campus.You want this guy to know exactly how much fun you’re having without him. He needs to see what he’s missing, right?
Okay, tuck the crazy away for a moment. The only thing you can do to make this situation worse is by seeking revenge. He didn’t want you for whatever reason, so seeing you with someone else isn’t going to change that. Nor is you informing him how much he’s going to regret this decision in the long run. It’s just going to make you seem desperate. Why are you wasting your time trying to prove a point to a guy who doesn’t want you? Let’s think about this logically.
3. You blame yourself. I hope by now you’ve read enough articles around here to know that the problem does not lie with you. Nor does it lie with the one who rejected you. Here’s a secret: no one has a problem. It’s called dating. We have to do a lot of it in order to find the one who will make us not want to date anymore. Rejection is just part of the sifting process. You’ll do plenty of it. Start blaming yourself and you might as well throw in the towel because that’s essentially quitting.
4. You allow it to dictate future relationships. The saddest part about rejection is that we let it change who we are. You think, “Well, now I can never trust anyone ever again,” and, “I’m so embarrassed. I’m never asking another guy out after this.” Ahhh! Don’t you see what’s happening here? You are giving this person power over the rest of your life. It’s bad enough that they betrayed you or turned you down, but now you’re going to let them hinder you from being happy? Why? Why would you let them do that? Take back the power. Only you can control your feelings and reactions. Only you can let something affect you — both positively or negatively.
How should you react?
First, be grateful they didn’t just string you along to “be nice” and waste a ton of your time. Raise your hand if you’ve done that, am I right?
Secondly, realize that hindsight is, as they say, 20/20. Has there ever been a guy in your past that you were madly in love with but who didn’t return the sentiment? And have you ever caught yourself saying, “Wow, so glad that never worked out ’cause he is a total loser?” Um, yeah. It might take a few years, but I guarantee you that you will see clear cut reasons as to why it is best that you didn’t end up with that person who rejected you.
Thirdly, don’t be crazy. Don’t seek revenge. Don’t blame yourself — and don’t blame them! They didn’t do anything wrong by being honest, and isn’t honesty what we’re always whining about wanting from everyone?
Time to practice,
I think it was the genius singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne who brought up the ever important question…“Why did you have to go and make things so complicated?”
Man, do we complicate things. Sometimes things are so easy, almost simple and we somehow make things harder than they are. We add feelings where they don’t exist, we think we are in love when we don’t know all of their good and not so good stuff, we have sex way too soon in a relationship (yeah…I said it), we put up a wall, get clingy, project our crap….the list goes on and on. At the end of the day we are all just trying to connect. Build. Share. Learn. Love. That’s it. It is a human need, it is us who complicates it.
Let me give you an example.
I have actually had numerous ladies that have told me a story that ends with “well he says he just not interested in dating right now…what do you think that means?”Hmmmm…..What do I think that means?!?
Well, as someone who has started to speak fluent manspeak, I will translate it for you. It means “he isn’t interested in dating right now.” Yup, that’s it. But ladies will sit with their friends for hours and deliberate the whole entire dating relationship to decipher this cryptic message. They turn into the modern day Nancy Drew looking for clues into what happened. Here is some of the answers I have heard.
“He got scared of getting too close.”
“He was intimidated by your (smarts, looks, sense of humor, etc.)
“He must not be over his ex.”
“He likes you TOO much.”
Here is the truth. I wasn’t in those relationships. so I have absolutely NO idea what happened. But here is what I do know. He isn’t interested. That’s it. That is all you need to know. Somehow all of the stuff that brought him and you to that point just isn’t the right match for him. It isn’t personal. Most likely it has nothing to do with you, it just isn’t right. So why take up your time (and most likely everyone else you know) trying to decipher this cryptic code that isn’t really so cryptic. Why let this kick you in the insecurity and have you question your worth? When really you have all the pieces to the puzzle. He isn’t looking for a relationship with you. So what? I bet someone is.
So really, is it that complicated?
This week, work on uncomplicating things. Let go of the feeling that it is all about you, your expectations and just have fun with it. Get to know someone for the pure pleasure of understanding another person and their differences. Collect stories. Build a connection with the intention of sharing, instead of trying to manipulate it and figure what will happen in the future. It probably won’t happen that way anyhow. Give a hug…because you can.
Once you start to uncomplicate, you can just enjoy the journey. Isn’t that the point?
Aside from the guy who has to put his mouth on a breathalyzer in order to start his car, there are several other itty bitty signs that a guy is not dating material. And unfortunately, they’re often signs that you would probably dismiss at first glance.