As a single girl and a writer, I’ve talked to countless dating coaches. They all specialize in different things and while their dating advice for singles is often warranted, researched and tested — it also sounds a lot like what everyone always tells you. After so many years of ‘not trying too hard’ but ‘putting myself out there’ and getting online, but making an effort to be present when I’m offline…
...I’m a little more than burned out of the whole thing.
So, I decided to try a different approach: life coaches. Unlike dating coaches, life coaches look at your experience holistically and consider the varying elements that may need to change to help you find happiness, as opposed to finding love (which, sure could be the same thing). I don’t discount the value an expert adds to any conversation, regardless if they focus on love or life, but I will say that talking about modern dating with life coaches was incredibly refreshing, simply because their perspective is so different from traditional matchmakers.
From really getting in touch with your inner dialogue to changing your perspective straight out of the gate, here are 14 ridiculously helpful pieces of advice from 15 life coaches who know how to shake things up:
1. Change The Question From ‘Do I Like Them?’ to ‘What Can I Learn From Them?’
"The dating world can be exhausting, especially if you’re a bit of a serial dater and not really connecting with anyone. To help keep yourself present and motivated to keep dating, ask yourself what you can learn from this person. You may not feel any sparks from the moment your eyes meet, but instead of watching the clock and ducking out ASAP see what interesting little nuggets you pick up from this person. We can always learn from each other and who knows, it could lead to a whole new life adventure!" - Sharon Stokes, breakup and life fulfillment coach
2. Let Your Friends Be the Judge
“When dating someone you think might be the one, introduce them to the people you hold near and dear. These are the friends that will have your best interest at heart and along the journey if this is the right person these will be the people your new love interest has to come to love. They will be here long after they are gone if it doesn't workout.” - June Archer, author, motivational teacher and life coach
3. Get Out the Second You Can’t Be Yourself
“Before you start dating to find a lifetime partner it’s important that you love everything about yourself. You are amazing just the way you are and if you ever feel that you cannot be yourself with a prospective life partner, decide to end the relationship as soon as possible so that you don’t waste any of your time.” - Carmen Parks, self-belief coach and trainer
4. Analyze The Things You Aren’t Saying, But Thinking
“When you think about dating, what thoughts come up? How many of them are negative? Write them down, then turn each of them around into a more positive thought or question you can adopt. For example: ‘Dating is hard work’ becomes ‘How can I make dating more playful and fun?’ Shifting to more positive thoughts will significantly improve your dating experience.” - Pam Bauer, life coach
5. Stop Complaining About Your Love Life
“Use positivity to attract your partner. That negative energy just attracts more negative energy. If you truly want to bring love into your life, say loving things in regards to your love life. Be excited, be hopeful, be love.” - Alionka Polanco, NYU certified personal life coach
6. Think About Dating As Reading A Book
“Just as a novel can bring you to a new place, a new time, new ideas and circumstances, so can a date. You get a peek into a different version of life through the eyes of another person. You visit with a fresh personality whose life journey is rich with a variety of unique experiences. And, just as with a novel, if you are captivated by the story, you can seek the sequel. Amazingly, this approach can dissolve the angst of over-thinking before, during, and after the date.” - Karen L. Garvey, MBA, author, speaker, intuitive and happiness coach
7. Understand You Have to Accept Someone As They Are
“Don't think to yourself, he'll change when we get more serious, when we ________. If he's one way while you're dating, he won't magically change as the relationship progresses. He might - people change all the time... if they want to. I hear from clients all the time that the signs of who the person was were there while they were dating, but they figured/hoped it would change, or they chose to ignore it. Relationships can bring the most amazing joy, love, energy, motivation, and hope for a great future together. Why not choose a person who you can experience that with?” - Rebecca "Kiki" Weingarten, M.Sc.Ed, MFA, executive, corporate, career and life Coach; co-founder of ATypical Coaching
8. Ask Your Friends to Set You Up
“Ask for referrals (um, dates!). If your friends are dating or have significant others, remind them that you're open to being set up or would love to go out with them the next time there's a fun event. I believe putting yourself out there is crucial. If you're doing online dating, consider how connections are made. Every source is a potential person for a love match. Keep a full life and make yourself the best version of yourself so you attract like-minded people.” -Nina Rubin, Gestalt life coach
9. Put Your Lizard Away
“Too often we focus on what is wrong with ourselves and think this person is not going to like me because I am ‘too fat, too boring, too quiet, too loud.’ These are deep seeded stories we have been telling ourselves for years. All they do is make us feel insecure and less than. Tell your lizard that it is staying home for the night. Make her a nice snack and that you will see her when you return.” -Joda Coolidge M.Ed., CPCC, CPPC, CHHC, director of life coaching, NAVA Health and Vitality Centers.
10. Stop Taking First Dates So Damn Seriously
“First dates are like a job interview, but don't take it too seriously. In an interview, you want to find out what kind of fit the environment is for you, not just prove that you have what it takes to do the job. Be curious. Listen to your body. Notice what happens for you and for the other person. Are you feeling distracted? Does he seem to be? Is either of you pushy or demanding? What's your level of comfort?” - Jennifer Coleman, life coach
11. Don’t Discount The Importance Of Manifesting
“Once your intention is set, it takes time to manifest into your reality. It’s important to not be so emotionally attached to the outcome and when it shows up. But, look at every experience as part of the process to obtain your desire. With this new lens, every experience becomes something that you can learn from. Eventually you fall in love with the process, and before you know it, your ideal match shows up.” -David Brown Jr., author and transformation coach
12. Be Enthusiastic!
“When dating, always put forth your full energy and effort. Being enthusiastic means more passionate relationships and a deeper intimacy with our significant other. You will never have to wonder ‘what if i tried a little harder’. Put it all out there; go for for it!” -Joshua Evans, CEO/Founder at Enthusiastic You!
13. Assess The Data And Create A Plan
“Now that you have the relationship history cataloged. Do some evaluation about your choices. Take stock of the themes surrounding your dating history (and take responsibility where needed) by asking yourself:
- What is similar about the men or women that you have dated? (i.e. I am attracting men that are commitment adverse.) What ideas are you illustrating about yourself in relationships? (i.e. I struggle to share what I feel and avoid speaking my truth).” -Elaine Beth Cohen, Life & Wellness Coach
“A good listener is always considered a great conversationalist. Instead of talking about yourself, ask questions and get your date talking. He'll remember what a great conversation he had with you.” -Melanie Young, life coach
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