In online dating, I don’t typically tell men that I am a relationship coach, partially because once you know my first name and that little fact, you can find out A LOT about me, but also because I dread the annoying assumptions it prompts;

“You’re a relationship coach and you don’t have a relationship? What’s up with THAT?”

Yes, I am a Relationship Coach, and no, I am not currently in a significant relationship. If you know the work I do, you know that the two are completely unrelated – it’s not a matter of not being able to follow my own “advice”; I work with new parents and individuals on things like intimacy, communication and conflict, NOT finding a partner. I still struggle and sometimes fall with my own communication, but I think all that learning actually goes into serving my clients as they do the same.

So a few months ago, I came across Nicole Haley – she talks about owning your “S.A.A.V.Y.” (Strong, Authentic, Valued, Vavoom, You!)  and through some collaboration of our work together, I started to fall for her work and have asked her to help me with not only my dating, uh, Prowess, but also my general attracting-people ability. Despite my public persona, I am an entrepreneur who works alone a lot, prefers to be alone a lot, is quite shy, leans to the ridiculous over-sharer in situations when I am uncomfortable, and generally like to keep to myself.   

She actually ‘gets’ men and is happy to offer Man Insight (I think she should totally call this “Mansight”.) She knows what they really mean when they say “I’m not ready” and how to make the perfect first date happen. She can look under our patterns to see what we’re doing and how we’re showing up and guide us, as a coach, but also as a sort of “Wingwoman.”

We have had a few conversations over the past few weeks and WHOA. I will share some of my biggest learnings so far:

Stay present. I have a nasty habit of being on a date and mentally checking off some sort of wish list. I don’t like to think I have a laundry list of what I’m looking for, but I probably do. I listen for the guy to have space for me in his life, to see if he likes doing things that I do (with a limited amount of social time in my schedule, I like to be able to hike and camp and kayak with my partner so I don’t have to sacrifice either of them), and generally size the dude up for how well he fits with me. What I didn’t really know, was that this is taking me out of being present and actually being the fun, awesome woman I am on a date. I had a first date with a guy I had been chatting with for several weeks a few weeks ago, and she told me that he would be showing up to see if there was lightness and fun, that he would NOT be thinking about the future (except on some sort of subconscious mating-type level, I suppose, to ascertain if I was of “good breeding stock”…), and if he had a good time, he would associate that good time with me. The best little nugget: Grip your chair and stay THERE.

I have applied this everywhere, and it has made me want to just meet and connect with people, rather than meet them and immediately file them in to Business Contact, Possible Mate, Person to Avoid Ever Seeing Again etc. Now they just all get to be people who may or may not cross my path again and may or may not become someone really important to me.

Let the cream rise to the top. I am dating more than one person at a time. I am honest about this with all of them; I am simply not ready to jump in and be exclusive, so I show up and have a good time, stay present, and allow things to flow organically. It means I find that I don’t want to continue with some, and that I make time for what I really want as I get to know these people. Nicole says that dating is a dance, so I am enjoying learning to waltz and two-step and to have more than one lovely man text me to tell me he misses me and can’t wait to see me again.

Be in my feminine as much as I can. I run my life. I have a for a long time. I run a business, a home, the health and safety of the animals who live with me, and of course I am responsible for my own well-being. It means I spend a lot of time in a lot of masculine energy. Nicole told me that women, in their full feminine (think flirty, feeling beautiful – whatever that looks like for you – and emanating softness and light), are the gateway for men to be more fully expressed and that men know this on an unconscious level.

This opened so much for me that will be in a second blog post, but suffice it to say, this was not a difficult shift for me to make, and it’s already made a big difference.

We all have relationship values. Mine are (BIG surprise) around communication, having a partner who can meet my drive, spirit and ambition, who is as confident as I am, and is able to go after and pursue what he wants (hopefully me). I also have a big desire to be cherished and met with as big of a heart as I have. I made a list of positives and negatives for a handful of men from my past, and by combing through those layers with Nicole, we found some interesting patterns about how I show up and why I seem to keep landing with the same sorts of relationships. Again, more on this later.

When I first started all this self-actualizing stuff about 15 years ago, diving into Danielle LaPorte’s work and loving that she said “Self-Actualization ROCKS,” I found that I am a fascinating creature to discover, and I am loving these new dark corners and new places to look.

I am ridiculously happy to recommend working with Nicole, and I know that she has set aside some time in her calendar for anyone I wish to send along for a bit of a free assessment and some “Mansights” for you, so if you would like a warm introduction, simply let me know via email: tara AT taracaffelle DOT com.

And stay tuned for more of my Love Learning!

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