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Too Busy to Date?

One complaint that I hear a lot in Manhattan is that singles feel that they are too busy to date. They all have demanding jobs, an active social life, hobbies and family responsibilities. It takes all of their effort just to keep what they already have, going.

I understand that jobs in the city require substantial time and dedication, especially during this economy. But just like anything that you want to be successful at in life, dating requires time and effort.

So, is it just the realistic constraints of time and money that prevent single workaholics from actively looking for love? Sometimes…but often successful people hide out where they are comfortable. Their work becomes part of their identity and it makes them feel good, since they do it so well. It’s easier to remain where you are successful, receive acclaim and are promoted, than to risk the messiness and rejection of dating.

Sometimes these singles are also repeating a parental pattern of emotional unavailability. This was what they experienced regularly, so it’s natural that this is what they will recreate in their lives, if they do not become conscious of it.

If any of this resonates, here is your opportunity to recognize your defensive pattern and to decide that you want to consciously create more intimate, fulfilling relationships in your life.  You do not have to work all the time like your parents did. You can take responsibility for choosing what kind of a relationship you’d like to create now and then  work on manifesting it. You can apply all your smarts, verve, endurance and dedication to creating the love life you want.

If you go to therapy, you can examine why it is more comfortable for you to be known at work than to be in an intimate relationship with a partner. You can begin to work through any relationship fears and limiting beliefs that stop you from finding one. For example, some people were taught that they should never show vulnerability or depend on another person. So, part of them feels that there is no need to have a mate because they’re so used to doing everything on their own. This feels safer and more expedient.

If any of the above rings true, recognize that there is another way. Once you become aware of your limiting beliefs about love, you can examine how they don’t serve you, begin to challenge them and take down some of your protective walls. The first step in awareness is to admit when something is not working.

I recommend a three step process to start:

  1. Admit that you hide in your work or other areas of your life to avoid dating and intimacy. And level with yourself that you DO care about it.
  1. Identify the fears and limiting beliefs that you have about relationships and dating. Then challenge them and begin to work them through. If you need help with this step you can go to therapy or buy my book, ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ published by Atria Books, which has exercises to help you understand how and why you defend against love.
  1. Begin to take new action. Perhaps this means leaving work at 7PM instead of 11PM. Maybe you can make a Dating Action Plan to go out twice a week to a singles event or party. Just like your actions are consonant with your goals (and results) at work, they should also match when it comes to finding a life mate if you are committed.

When you take a good look at your love life, you can discern if you like what you have manifested. Sure, there are pro’s to being alone and safe… but are you lonely? What might you gain by letting someone really know you and help you? Might your results improve if you put yourself out there? Perhaps it’s time to create a new definition of success that includes wonderful relationships.

Every good leader in business knows that they are only as good as the team with which they surround themselves. Perhaps it’s time to think about who you’d like to add to yours and why.

If you choose to take action in this direction, please share your comments and experiences on this topic.

My Best in Love,

Paulette


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* You may use excerpts from this with the bio below.

Author Bio:

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ She’s been an expert on the CBS Early Show, the Curtis Sliwa show, MSN.com, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek, Lifetime.com, More, Match.com, Foxnews.com, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Complete Woman, Elle Canada, the Huffington Post and the NY Times. Learn more at: www.whenmarswomendate.com!

My Dating Books on Amazon:

Dating From the Inside Out

When Mars Women Date:

A Shared Vision:: 100 Exercises for Couples to Co-Create The Lives of Their Dreams

100 Ways to Treat Your Mate Like Royalty: Under $10

Dr. Sherman offers Mars women one-on-one coaching by phone or face to face in her Manhattan office. If you’re interested in coaching with her, please fill out the Private Counseling form here

She will also be facilitating groups and tele-classes for Mars women as well. If you’re interested in participating, please fill out the contact form here

Date as Your True, Creative Self

Today I was thinking about how daters often attempt to look ‘normal’ and fit in on dates. They strive to be polite and remain on a surface level for awhile, so as not to rock the boat. While this is understandable, the expression of your true self can be the very thing that draws someone in and gives them insight into what is most loveable about you.

The psychologist Winnicott said that we are ‘most alive when we are at play’ and he said that it is then (including forms of creativity) that we are our best, true selves. So how better to experience another person then at that level?

I recalled my first date with my husband. I had already known him from work for awhile and we were both therapists. We went to the amusement park and rode the Cyclone, we walked on the beach and talked for a long time about peace and all our similar interests and then he came up to my house for a short while to look through my books and to hear my Holly Near tapes. I had a guitar there so he played and sang for me. When he did, I felt that I could tell a lot about him. Sure, I still had to get to know him in real time, over time but in that one moment, I did really see him. My (now) husband still writes songs and poetry and it is an ongoing window into his soul and heart.

Other daters have felt this type of connection by expressing themselves creatively in other ways. My sister-in-law wanted a bookshelf to display photos of the people who are important to her so her (now) husband made her one when they were dating. He spent hours creating it in secret and it was a labor of love that still stands and means a lot to her today.

Another man made a treasure chest for his date because she was going through a transition and she wanted to create a vision of her future.   The treasure chest was important because she could cut out pictures and keep them there to incubate until she was ready to create her vision.

A date who loved photography created a beautiful photo collage for his date. It was a montage of their past outings and moments of joy. You could see how much he loved her in the way he put it together.

When I dated my husband, he wrote me songs and sketched my portrait from a picture that he took.

I have known women who are great cooks that created beautiful mouth watering dinners for their dates to express their appreciation, down to finding out and making all the foods that he most loves.

We all probably know more stories and examples of this.

I know that not all of us feel comfortable expressing our creativity and some of you might even believe that you don’t have a gift. Sometimes our creative talent is something we think of as eccentric or useless but that is usually not true. For example, if you are really funny, you can make a cassette of all your favorite jokes (about topics that you think your date would like) and give it to her so that she can laugh when she is having a really bad/sad week.

So think about the creative ways that you express how you feel in the world and show your love.  Don’t hide your light on your dates, presupposing that it’s the best way to maintain interest.  In my experience, the person who is the best fit for you will really ‘get’ who you  are and will fall in love with your essence. Take a risk to create an offering from your heart and see if it connects you to that right person.

 My Best in Love,

Paulette


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* You may use excerpts from this with the bio below.

Author Bio:

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ She’s been an expert on the CBS Early Show, the Curtis Sliwa show, MSN.com, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek, Lifetime.com, More, Match.com, Foxnews.com, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Complete Woman, Elle Canada, the Huffington Post and the NY Times. Learn more at: www.whenmarswomendate.com!

My Dating Books on Amazon:

Dating From the Inside Out

When Mars Women Date:

A Shared Vision:: 100 Exercises for Couples to Co-Create The Lives of Their Dreams

100 Ways to Treat Your Mate Like Royalty: Under $10

Dr. Sherman offers Mars women one-on-one coaching by phone or face to face in her Manhattan office. If you’re interested in coaching with her, please fill out the Private Counseling form here

She will also be facilitating groups and tele-classes for Mars women as well. If you’re interested in participating, please fill out the contact form here

What’s New: “You, Me and Baby Makes 3″ Dating:

I just heard that there’s a new Danish dating website for people who want kids soon.  It’s http://www.babyklar.nu.  I wondered whether something similar would pop up in the US soon.

As a dating coach I see a lot of singles who are ready to have kids soon and tend not to want to bring this up for awhile when dating.  They feel it’s too much pressure to have that conversation early in the relationship but they risk investing time with someone who isn’t on the same page.

This new dating website idea may circumvent this obstacle, making it clear where these singles are and what their context for a relationship will be.

The announcement said that more men than women had joined this new ‘I want a baby soon’ dating site.

British researchers found that men are almost as likely as women to want children, and they feel more isolated, depressed, angry and sad than women if they don’t have them.

The research found that the influences on men and women who wanted to have children varied.

Childless women were more likely to cite personal desire and biological urge as major influences, compared to men. Men were more likely to cite cultural, societal and family pressures than were women.

Robin Hadley, of Keele University, found that 59 per cent of men and 63 per cent of women said they wanted children.  Half experienced isolation because they did not have any children, compared with 27 per cent of women. Thirty-eight per cent of men experienced depression because they did not have any children, compared with only 27 per cent of women. One in four men experienced anger because they did not have children, compared with 18 per cent of women, while 56 per cent of men had experienced sadness because they did not have any children, compared with 43 per cent of women.

However, no men had experienced guilt because they did not have any children although 16 per cent of women had.

In the past, I’ve seen many women in their late 30′s desperate to meet the right person and to start a family before it’s too late.

Interestingly, lately I’ve also seen many more single women on the fence now about whether they want to have kids.  Some could go either way, depending on the relationship and the timing of things.  I’ve had some now who do not want kids and may not even want marriage; they just are seeking a lifetime companion. There are dating websites now that focus on singles who do not want kids too.  For example, check out: www.IdoNOTwantKids.com

Differentiating this at the start when it’s really an issue may save yourself some time and heartbreak!

Happy Dating!

My Best in Love,

Paulette

www.mydatingschool.com

www.drpaulettesherman.com

www.whenmarswomendate.com


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* You may use excerpts from this with the bio below.

Author Bio:

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ She’s been an expert on the CBS Early Show, the Curtis Sliwa show, MSN.com, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek, Lifetime.com, More, Match.com, Foxnews.com, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Complete Woman, Elle Canada, the Huffington Post and the NY Times. Learn more at: www.whenmarswomendate.com!

My Dating Books on Amazon:

Dating From the Inside Out

When Mars Women Date:

A Shared Vision:: 100 Exercises for Couples to Co-Create The Lives of Their Dreams

100 Ways to Treat Your Mate Like Royalty: Under $10

Dr. Sherman offers Mars women one-on-one coaching by phone or face to face in her Manhattan office. If you’re interested in coaching with her, please fill out the Private Counseling form here

She will also be facilitating groups and tele-classes for Mars women as well. If you’re interested in participating, please fill out the contact form here

Why Women Creators Are Cast Out:

Last night I was thinking about the biblical stories of the first women creators: Lilith and Eve.  I am no biblical scholar but I believe Lilith was Adam’s first wife.  Reportedly, she wanted to be on top during sex sometimes, so she was relegated to demon hood.  She dared to have a mind of her own and to suggest a new way to come together as equals.

Later, Adam married Eve, who came from his rib.  Perhaps this birth was meant to keep her aligned with his ideas.  But Eve was also her own Creator. The consensus was that they should not eat from the Tree of Life.  Yet, Eve decided to take a bite and empower her choices with direct consequences in the physical world.  Adam and Eve went from being children (innocent and completely provided for) to learning the consequences of their choices.  And we have inherited Eve’s legacy.

So, women have long been creators and have been blamed for life’s imperfections in our physical world. Yet, they are the doorway through which every life must pass; the doorway through which all new creators come.

Finally, there are more female CEOs, more women graduating college and graduate school than men and more young female executives making more money than their male peers (at least in cities).  It makes me wonder:  What is the next fall from equality and grace?

Will history repeat itself or can we learn from it?  When will we stop blaming our mothers for all that’s gone wrong (a common therapeutic dilemma and refrain) and start owning our past and creating our future?  Can we (like Eve and Lilith) dare to make an unconventional choice in the office, at home, in politics or society?  Will we risk being blamed or disliked for our leadership?

Creativity is risky.  It promotes change and growth unlike the stasis of the hierarchical status quo of most industry and leadership today.

As more women come to power, perhaps the face of industry will change and become more humanized, responsive, responsible and fluid.  Maybe it will become aligned with the Earth’s needs as well.

Masculine and Feminine can finally come together to lead us into the power of love instead of the love of power.

You can begin today.  Decide for yourself: Are you still afraid of Feminine creators or will you embrace them?  Will you lift them up or cast them out?


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* You may use excerpts from this with the bio below.

Author Bio:

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ She’s been an expert on the CBS Early Show, the Curtis Sliwa show, MSN.com, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek, Lifetime.com, More, Match.com, Foxnews.com, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Complete Woman, Elle Canada, the Huffington Post and the NY Times. Learn more at: www.whenmarswomendate.com!

My Dating Books on Amazon:

Dating From the Inside Out

When Mars Women Date:

A Shared Vision:: 100 Exercises for Couples to Co-Create The Lives of Their Dreams

100 Ways to Treat Your Mate Like Royalty: Under $10

Dr. Sherman offers Mars women one-on-one coaching by phone or face to face in her Manhattan office. If you’re interested in coaching with her, please fill out the Private Counseling form here

She will also be facilitating groups and tele-classes for Mars women as well. If you’re interested in participating, please fill out the contact form here

Forgiveness in Our Romantic Relationships:

With Rosh Hashanah fast approaching I thought it would be good to look at the value of forgiveness in our romantic relationships.  Forgiveness is key on this high holiday because we want to purify and start the year with a clean slate.  To achieve this effect some Jews do a mikveh or a ritual called tashlich, where they throw their sins in the water.

Are there ways that we can clean our hearts of relationship baggage to free ourselves and past loves to move on?

I often see clients who have trouble trusting and fully opening their hearts to someone in the present because of old heartbreak.  Sometimes there are important lessons to be learned and remembered regarding their choice of mate going forward and this can be helpful in breaking destructive patterns.  But oftentimes just holding onto pain out of fear and defense can be a huge roadblock to loving that next person.

Buddhists have a meditation called Tonglen, which I am not that familiar with, but it’s a method for overcoming fear of suffering and for dissolving the tightness of our heart and awakening compassion.  It can help you practice breathing in the wish to take away the old pain. Then, as you breathe out, you can imagine sending happiness or love or whatever would relieve that pain for yourself and that other person.  You can spend some time imagining you both happy, loved and free.

Another helpful idea is to try the Sedona Method, which is about letting go.  They have a release process about past relationships that you can purchase on their website and listen to at: http://www.sedona.com/programs/past-relationship.asp

You can also just write a letter forgiving that person for hurting you and tell them that you’re moving on now and you wish them happiness.  Then you can burn your letter with a candle and release that person.  Or, you can pray to ask forgiveness in synagogue with everyone else this year!

Starting the year by cleansing your heart is a wonderful practice because it opens you to love and to the innocence in others again.  We all know that dating can be a disillusioning process at times but we can  do an internal feng shui by constantly emptying out old fear and baggage and making room for more love and peace in our own hearts so that we attract and welcome new great people in.

Happy dating!

Paulette


***************

* You may use excerpts from this with the bio below.

Author Bio:

Dr. Paulette Kouffman Sherman is a psychologist and author of ‘Dating from the Inside Out’ and ‘When Mars Women Date.’ She coaches career women to attract mates who support their dreams too. She’s been an expert on the CBS Early Show, the Curtis Sliwa show, MSN.com, USA Weekend, the NY Post, Newsweek, Lifetime.com, More, Match.com, Foxnews.com, Better Homes & Gardens, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Glamour, Forbes, Woman’s Day, Men’s Health, Seventeen, Complete Woman, Elle Canada, the Huffington Post and the NY Times. Learn more at: www.whenmarswomendate.com!

My Dating Books on Amazon:

Dating From the Inside Out

When Mars Women Date:

A Shared Vision:: 100 Exercises for Couples to Co-Create The Lives of Their Dreams

100 Ways to Treat Your Mate Like Royalty: Under $10

Dr. Sherman offers Mars women one-on-one coaching by phone or face to face in her Manhattan office. If you’re interested in coaching with her, please fill out the Private Counseling form here

She will also be facilitating groups and tele-classes for Mars women as well. If you’re interested in participating, please fill out the contact form here

New Survey: Men & Women Have Similar Views on Sex & Dating!

A few weeks ago a survey came out saying that most men now think a woman should pay on dates.

Today I read about a survey done by Business Insider & Survey Money (see link below) polling single Americans about sex and dating and finding that men and women actually had similar views!

I recently released a book called ‘When Mars Women Date: How Career Women Can Love Themselves into the Relationship of their Dreams.’  (see link below).  It was a feminist and humanist dating book for career women who wanted to find love and create balanced partnerships at work and at home.  When I wrote it I found tons of research supporting the position that views and needs in romantic relationships were changing for men and women yet most of the popular dating experts and books still touted gender stereotypical notions in dating and romantic relationships.  For example, they’d tell women never to offer to pay, not to ask a man out, never to kiss him first, not to share her accomplishments early on, not to initiate sex (even in marriage) and much more.

But recently, even more research continues to surface to the contrary.

So, happily, today I will share some findings from the Business Insider & Survey Money survey:

 

-equal numbers of men and women went in for the kiss on the first date (70%)

-both men and women largely say they lost their virginity between 15-18

-Women feel even more comfortable than men dating multiple partners (43% women, 37% men)

-Both men and women support marriage equality (68% women, 58% men)

 

So my friends, times are a changing!  We need to reconsider our old dating rules and start from the first hello to see each other as equals and to be authentic about our dreams and desires, in work, sex and romantic relationships.  This will allow both men and women to be whole, both as individuals and in their relationships. It will encourage our children to balance roles in themselves and with their partner.

My Best in Love,

Paulette

www.whenmarswomendate.com

 

Relevant Links:

http://www.businessinsider.com/poll-the-major-differences-between-how-single-men-and-women-approach-sex-2013-9#ixzz2eUeA1QKw

http://www.examiner.com/article/new-study-shows-that-dating-etiquette-is-changing

http://www.amazon.com/When-Mars-Women-Date-Relationship/dp/0985246901/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378904411&sr=1-1&keywords=when+mars+women+date   (print book)

http://www.amazon.com/When-Mars-Women-Date-ebook/dp/B008RPBGF8/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=1-1&qid=1378904411 (kindle version)