You’ve probably asked yourself at some point, “Could that date have been any worse?” or “Why do I let another bad date get to me?” And of course, you already know the answer: whom you choose to date leads directly to whom you choose to spend your precious life with – which is, without a doubt, the single most important decision you will ever make in your lifetime (every time you make it). To which you rightly respond: “Holy crap, Frank, are you trying to freak me out- cuz I’m frickin’ freakin’ out!”
Well, no, I’m not. I’m trying to bring into the hot glaring light of day the real stuff that may be lurking behind your understandable dating anxiety… the first step to calming all that negative (albeit legitimate) crap down. Yes, it is true, dating will determine your partner who can play a significant role in determining where you live, what you earn, whether you pursue that new career path, what you do in your free time, whether you travel or not, how you feel about yourself, whether you have children, the friends you keep, make or lose, whether you pursue an advanced certificate or degree, and so much more.
To which you rightfully respond, “for the love of god, Frank, so now my life isn’t worth living without Princess Perfect or Captain Wonder Pants?” To which I say “no, don’t buy into the fallacy that you must have a life partner to lead a happy and fulfilled existence – that kind of b.s. is propagated by plenty of people working on their umpteenth divorce preaching all kinds of shit their first, second and third spouse never listened to either.” In fact, I will tell you that the best way to attract an awesome match is to master the art of truly enjoying and thriving on your own first, getting to know your healthy boundaries and strengthening your sense of self – a process we will work together on as we totally revamp your dating approach enabling you to find the right mate who will complement and enhance your already-thriving life.
What I’m trying to get at is that if you seek out a partner that person will impact every major aspect of your life, irrespective of how independent, self-motivated and successful you are. The wrong partner can become an ankle weight in a raging, unpredictable sea, the right partner, a life preserver that gets you through the storm, enabling your next adventure. You want your significant other to positively impact the key phases of your life, not consume them. You don’t have to find your cheerleader necessarily, but you definitely want the person who will support you, believe in you, carry their own weight and catch you when you fall from time to time.
So yes, there’s a lot on the line, but no, my goal is not to make you even more stressed than you were on that awful date with that narcissist who was 15 years older and 40 pounds heavier than his/her massively Facetuned photo on Match.com. My goal is to empower you, despite what’s at stake, to successfully navigate the b.s. of online or speed dating (or even blind dating–god forbid), work through the understandable fatigue and disillusionment that sets in, and finally begin to thrive again, and have some fun for the love of god! You have to strike the right balance between your non-negotiables and your ideals while still opening yourself up to new experiences. You need to remain agile enough to move your fences to incorporate new landscapes – even though the process itself makes you want to electrify your borders and add razor wire. Dating can become so excruciating that we become jaded, closing ourselves off to a nice evening, a good laugh, an unexpected friendship, some good conversation, a networking opportunity or the rewarding long-term relationship that may come from extra effort, sometimes extraordinary effort.
Yes, dating is very difficult, but no matter whether you’re dating for fun, toward marriage, or recovering from a bad breakup, a long-term relationship or divorce, there are ways to build your confidence and attract the right partner for you, considering your current circumstances and your future life goals. Where you’re at right now will dictate the best approach that suits you. Being able to celebrate dating wins that aren’t necessarily relationship-worthy matchups can be crucial. Allowing yourself to have fun on a date with someone who clearly isn’t a life match is a skill and one you must acquire to get you through those lean dating periods before finally breaking through.
The first thing I work on with all my dating clients is bolstering their dating confidence and building a foundational knowledge of the process itself. Dating confidence is certainly related to your overall confidence, but it also factors in a strong grasp of the process: how to spot when a person has revealed themselves to be quite different than the avatar they’re presenting themselves to be in their profile, a text message or a phone call. You’ll also need to know what to put in your own profile (and of equal importance, what to leave out) and what to look for in someone else’s. You’ll want to know which dating site best fits your personality. How to date off-line, without a dating app. How to get the best out of a night of speed dating. How to network and find meetups or events by opening yourself to a more organic form of dating. When and if you should employ a professional matchmaker’s services. And that’s just for starters.
Beyond the strong foundational dating knowledge I will instill is the more crucial emotional resiliency that will get you through the ups and downs in the dating process, and of course by “ups and downs” I’m really referring to getting you through the “down, down, down, up down” process. Dating isn’t easy. You’ve got to celebrate those ups and let the hell go of all those downs, becoming an “agile dater.” Sometimes, the older and wiser we get the more likely we are to outthink our own best interests or over-protect ourselves from even the slightest possibility of rejection. But if you can gamify dating (not to be confused with treating it like some meaningless game) – honing in on the end goal while keeping your sense of self and sense of humor, you will retain your emotional footing and find the enjoyment creeping out between what seems like concrete misery at times. You can become more accepting of yourself so that you can attract a partner that also possesses the self-knowledge necessary to be emotionally present with you.
One of the key skills I help instill in my clients is the ability to rebuild their resilience and retain their sense of self despite the stress, negativity and disillusionment that can consume anyone trying to date. The hard truth is that the more beleaguered you become, the more likely you are to overlook those imperceptible signals that indicate a person’s fundamental character early in the dating process – for good and bad. You may overlook some key character flaw that you just can’t abide or fail to notice some fundamental strengths of someone you didn’t take too seriously initially. With the behavioral exercises and resiliency tools we work on, you’ll be able to consistently summon your true self and convey your natural energy – despite the ups and downs in the process, which will make you far more efficient at spotting a potential match and quickly breezing past those mismatches.
Confidence is very similar to a habit, in fact it could be said that it’s little more than a good habit, and like all habits the way to acquire it is to start with little sticky habits that then turn into key “transformative” habits with repetition, over time. I will give you exercises that help you reevaluate negative self-perceptions, and gradually expand your comfort zones to include what may once have been massively uncomfortable… like the thought of asking that person out.
In addition to addressing the low self-esteem, self-sabotage and related stumbling blocks we can all throw in front of ourselves while putting ourselves out there, I leverage my copywriting expertise to do a forensic analysis of how you’re representing yourself in the online dating community, what type of person your profile is likely to attract in its current state and how I can help you attract the person you actually want to share your precious life and love with. More importantly, I work tirelessly to come up with new and creative solutions and exercises to refresh self-confidence and combat the understandable fatigue and disillusionment that all forms of dating can instill in even the most optimistic and confident among us. Dating online (or otherwise) is a particularly bruising experience requiring a Kevlar-clad constitution, a high tolerance for some bad company and a healthy sense of humor. I’ll help you keep it real, providing upbeat motivation as you progress from swiping left, left, left, left again and again and again damn it, until, with a bit of hard-won positivity, motivation and guidance, you finally get it right.