My many years of working with people to improve their sex life and relationships has given me plenty of experience as a singles coach. Singles coaching helps you to gain insight into why it is you are still single, enables you to uncover the emotional blocks and barriers you may be unaware of and brings you the confidence and optimism to start meeting new people.
Together we look at patterns within previous relationships (how they ended, the sort of people you are attracted to Ė and whom you attract) the wishes and hopes you have, your fears and worries about dating and rejection and we develop actions that take you closer to meeting someone and actions that also bring you closer to yourself. Over time I have realised that successful singles coaching requires that we take a good look at your own life for explanations and guidance. What opportunities and energy could you be wasting waiting for Mr/Ms Right? As you start to put energy into treating yourself well and doing things that you enjoy, you become more attractive and your desire to start a relationship becomes less urgent and consequently more likely to succeed.
IS SINGLES COACHING RIGHT FOR YOU?
DO THESE STATEMENTS SOUND FAMILIAR?
WHY AM I STILL SINGLE?
Many of my clients are popular, attractive people with successful professional and social lives. They tell me they just do not know why they canít meet somebody. I work with you to look at your life and past history for possible explanations. Usually we uncover a range of issues that are shared by many single people:
Iím too used to being single to have a relationship. I define this form of reasoning as an example of an emotional barrier that you create to avoid relationships, usually out of fear. Many people who worry about this fear losing their independence and being subsumed within a claustrophobic model of relentless coupledom. However, the key question is who is in control of the sort of relationship you can have? You are. You always have a choice about how to run a partnership with another person and it is possible, if not desirable, to be able to preserve independence and time alone in an intimate relationship. People who have been single for a long time have often developed a range of emotional barriers to justify why they must stay where they are, why being with someone else may be too risky and to justify why the security of being in a familiar, even if unwanted, situation is preferable to taking a courageous step to be open to a new relationship. Other examples of emotional barriers are; most relationships fail, so what is the point? Iíll never meet anybody I like, so why should I bother? What if I meet someone who lives a long way away, and then what will I do? In fact most of the statements in bold that follow are examples of emotional barriers; beliefs that seem reasonable but are actually based on fear, unwarranted assumptions and lack of confidence in your own power to influence, define and create a relationship that suits you and your partner.
Iím too busy/stressed to meet someone. If you really are too busy for a relationship, who is responsible for that? How much do you want to be in a relationship anyway? If you are too stressed to be with someone, arenít you too stressed to even enjoy yourself? Sometimes we need to set up actions to delegate, set more boundaries around working hours. Other times, you may accept that you are making excuses and if you really want a relationship you can find the time and you can allow that being in a relationship can reduce stress, not add to it. It is common to feel some ambivalence about being in a relationship and these feelings and the set of beliefs you have around this would be addressed during coaching.
I attract or am only attracted to people who end up being bad for me. Clients come to me with this belief and they do not see a way out. I will help you to identify warning signs and strong boundaries around the sort of people that you may want to avoid. In every previous bad relationship, my clients have found it relatively easy to tell me that there were warning signs and what those warning signs were. We use these as a template to compare potential new partners with. We also need to look at what you are really attracted to and ask some difficult questions. What or who tells you that you do not deserve someone who will treat you well? How do attraction and respect and being valued come to feel so far apart for you? What connection do you feel Ėor not feel Ė between sex and intimacy? Between feeling desired and being respected? Together we can help to start making good choices now and ensure that you are confident to actively pursue those people to whom you are attracted.
I never end up with the people I am attracted to. At the other extreme are clients who feel that they have always settled for second best and have deprived themselves of abandoning themselves to the risk of genuine attraction because they are too afraid to approach the people to whom they are attracted. A fundamental principle of my singles coaching work is that at some point you must become the chooser. This is not as scary as you might think! I will help you to be confident enough to approach people who you are interested in, rather than waiting to be asked.
Iíve never been in a relationship Thatís OK, neither have plenty of other people. I have worked with many people who have never been in an intimate relationship. Whether you have or have not had a sexual experience before, this is not going to define your entire worth and value as a person. We look at why they have chosen not to and consider what are the next best moves for them to begin feeling confident and entitled to deserve a relationship. Looking at what you have to offer to a new relationship can be an eye-opening experience. Most of us never actually take time to reflect on what we Ė uniquely Ė have to bring to someone elseís life.
I donít know who I am as boyfriend/girlfriend/partner. Some of my clients started coaching so confused by their belief in the unspoken Ďrulesí of dating and the expectations and Ďshouldsí of how to behave that they felt they had no identity as part of a couple. Some had been single for so long that they felt they had no sense of who they are as a sexual person. Again, the key principle here is your own ability to control situations and make choices that are right for you. You set the boundaries around the right ways to behave. You are free to break other peopleís rules if they donít feel good to you!
I am afraid of intimacy This is another common worry. People who have been let down and hurt in the past understandably resist making themselves vulnerable again. I can help you to be excited and energised again by the thought of being with somebody, knowing that embracing risk is necessary to live joyfully and fearlessly. We look at what will happen if you cling on to your fears and anxieties compared to what you have to gain by being able to open yourself up to a new love. I have found that what helps many people is realising that intimacy sounds very scary in the abstract, when you do not have a person to attach it to. Be aware that you will be choosing intimacy in the context of having met someone who attracts you and whom you like. When you have the exciting feelings of meeting someone who attracts you, the choice to be intimate becomes easier to make. Being intimate will happen over time and you will be in control of pacing your decisions to self-disclosure and revealing more of the real you.
I relate too much as a friend. How can I be seen as a potential lover? I have helped many clients work through this scenario. We need to look closely at your reasons and evidence for believing this and then we generate little Ďtestsí and small steps for you to take to start relating differently if we feel this is appropriate. This belief is often revealed as just another excuse that reflects your lack of action. There is nothing wrong per se with being a friend/friendly when you first meet someone. It is better than adopting a persona engaged in inauthentic attempts at flirting. People do want to feel that they are connecting with someone who is genuine and being themselves.
Iím scared of dating. Not surprisingly, many people view the dating scene with horror and dread. My clients tell me that it all feels inauthentic, competitive and demoralising. It need not if you hold on to your own sense of being true to yourself, refuse to create a fragile bravado to present a false impression and allow yourself to meet without expectation and with the intention to connect with who interests you. Many clients have met and clicked with someone who may not be sexually attractive to them but they have been open to forming a friendship and have since begun a relationship with a friend of this person.
I am scared of rejection. Who isnít? The question is can you work through this fear? Can you develop the confidence and self-esteem to know that nobody is attractive to everyone? To realise that because one person may not be attracted to you, this does not mean that you are not attractive.
I just donít meet anyone new. And do you go anywhere to meet new people? Erm, no! Related to the previous question, you do need to be prepared to take action to meet new people. The most successful ways are to do something that you enjoy anyway but maybe youíve not done for a while. Some clients have enjoyed specialised singles events. Is there anyone in your life in whom you are interested? Do your friends know you are interested in meeting someone?
I feel bored with my life and hope meeting someone will make me happier. If you rely on someone else to make you happy you set yourself up for disaster and panic. The relationship will bear too much of a burden if you are using it to make your life more interesting. We can do that together, before you even have a new relationship. Trust me.
Most importantly, I would urge to to be open to everything that feels interesting and good for you. Do not make everything about attraction and sex. Making friendships is a great by-product of singles coaching. We want to maximise your chance of meeting someone but at the same time give you the strength and awareness that taking a while to begin a new relationship is not going to break you.
My clientsí journeys through singles coaching take them from being timid, scared and not being trust their own ability to make good decisions, to being confident and optimistic and able to stand up for what it important, to set boundaries about what is/is not acceptable. They become free to be happy with someone because their lives are full and they know that they could also be happy without them.
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