Now that the drama of Valentine’s Day is behind us, here are some thoughts about moving forward towards a real relationship, which is the goal of all my members.
The first thing I recommend is letting go of past patterns toward a more fluid notion of a potential mate.
Many clients come to this process asking to meet people who are similar to past partners, despite the fact that those relationships ultimately failed. Peter is a good example of this. He’s a 46 year old media consultant who was married to Maggie, a 41 year old “type A” woman he met online 6 years earlier.
When they began dating, they lived in different cities and commuted back and forth, until she decided to move to this area and marry Peter.
At first, Peter was tremendously attracted to her professional accomplishments as a professor/writer, but then discovered that this very drive prevented her from savoring their lives together as a couple. She was constantly traveling to network in her field and became restless and disillusioned in their marriage.
Peter came to see me 2 years after their divorce. Interestingly, he expressed a desire to meet someone with the very same qualities Maggie had.
When I pointed out that perhaps someone less ‘driven’ with a softer side would be a better match, he resisted at first.
Then I showed him a picture of someone I recommended, and because he was so taken with her photo, he agreed to meet her. Today, they’re dating exclusively and consider the relationship to be serious.
Similarly, wanting to recreate the magic of a former relationship down to the details also doesn’t work.
Cynthia is a 53 year old corporate attorney and a partner in a prestigious law firm. She was happily married to another lawyer for 20 years until he died suddenly at age 57. Five years later, she hired me to find her a partner, fully expecting to meet someone much like her late husband.
She rejected several initial prospects because she ‘didn’t feel attracted’ to them from their photos.
With my coaching, she began to realize that she would be better served by keeping an open mind and giving men a chance who looked nothing like her late husband.
While she hasn’t found ‘the one’ yet, she’s been going out regularly, enjoying her dates, and is much more optimistic about her future.
The bottom line is that only when we abandon our preconceived notions of a future love relationship, can we be truly open to new possibilities. My most successful clients have learned to stretch themselves beyond their comfort zones, to meet others who didn’t fit their initial criteria for a partner, but who still had much to offer them.
Many were pleasantly surprised at first and ultimately thrilled to experience a new and different connection, which resulted in significant personal growth and deep emotional fulfillment.
Happiness can come in many different forms. As we age, the tendency to stick to the familiar becomes stronger, and can prevent us from trying new and different paths.
With my support and encouragement, I’ve been able to guide my clients into exciting new relationships culminating in the love they were seeking, but were unable to envision on their own.