Everyone is looking for the ideal relationship. We are constantly receiving messages about what our love life should look like. We’ve created ideal expectations, and we’re disappointed when we don’t fulfill those expectations.
The reality is unlikely the perfect love stories portrayed in the movies. So you may be asking what you can look for in an intimate relationship; and how to know if your relationship is healthy or not?
It is key to know what to hope for in a relationship so you don’t expect unrealistic things from the beginning. Every healthy relationship must have trust, respect, communication, and honesty.
1. Be clear about what you expect in your intimate relationship
There is a famous quote that says:
“If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.”
This is wrong, especially in your intimate relationship. If you don’t know what you want, how would your partner know how to treat you?
If you are the type of people who has low expectations you could end up in a relationship where you’re treated poorly.
The best way to have good communication is to talk clearly without anger, resentment or confusion.
It is important to show empathy to your partner by listening without judgment, and putting aside your feelings and thoughts to try to understand their point of view.
Finally, it’s Ok not to agree to everything, if the issue is not that important it’s alright to let it go. Learn to negotiate. If you want a long, healthy relationship you need to use develop and implement good conflict resolution skills.
3. Do your part to make your intimate relationship for satisfying
Don’t be afraid to try new things. Get out of the box. Yes, I know you feel safe in your box, but trying new things can bring you closer. Experiment with alternative things without judging, you may like it.
If you are willing to try new things you will open your mind, build stronger bonds with your partner, and increase your overall satisfaction.
Having unrealistic expectations can interfere with your intimate relationship. To improve this you should have to be clear about what you want, communicate in a clear way to avoid any misunderstandings, and finally do your part to make your intimate relationship more satisfying.
Having a healthy relationship is all about how you and your partner connected, versus a number. So don’t compare your loving relationship with others.
The more emotionally connected you are the more you will be able to enjoy a satisfying intimate relationship. Don’t expect that your relationship will always be easy, and free of conflict if you do you will be disappointed.
If you feel that you and your partner need to improve your intimate relationship, schedule a few sessions with me so we can build a stronger more intimate relationship.
In this day and age, dating someone with kids is not that uncommon. We all want to find our perfect match and sometimes that means our perfect match had a life, spouse, and children before meeting us. Many times when clients hire me as a dating coach they have doubts and anxieties about getting involved with someone with kids (even if they have kids of their own!). This blog post will lay out some of the most common areas I address with clients on this subject.
Single parent dating a non-parent
Your free, flexible, mobile and loving life. That’s how many adult professionals who don’t have kids are seen by single parents. As a non-parent, it’s true that you likely don’t have certain demands on your time. Other than work and commitments you choose to dedicate your time to, your time is likely your own. Now if you have a caregiver role or something else that’s a major responsibility in your life, then you understand
Questions to ask when dating someone with kids
Communication is key in any relationship, but especially when there are other major factors that will impact that relationship. In this case, I’m talking about the time commitment of the partner who has kids. When I’m hired as a dating coach, one thing my clients come to understand is the need to get important questions answered early. Some of those questions include:
Who is the custodial parent?
What is the relationship dynamic with the other parent?
How does your child (or children) feel about you dating?
Are you looking for a serious or casual relationship at this point?
Do you have open and honest lines of communication between you and your child (or children)?
How do you plan to effectively manage spending quality time with me when you have important childcare responsibilities?
These questions may seem forward but guess what, asking them early on in dating will allow you to make a better decision about whether to continue dating the person with kids or not. Truth is most single or parents who share custody really don’t think about these things.
Asking these questions will allow them to better understand where you’re coming from and what the expectations are. Face the reality that the welfare of the children will come first. This means a very real possibility of missed dates due to events/illnesses/surprises that may arise with the kids. If this is something that you’re not ready for, then dating someone with kids is probably not for you.
Being in a relationship with a woman who has a child
There is no “one size fits all” answer to this question, especially since in the scenario where a person is dating someone with kids, they will likely be a bit more impacted if the woman is the one who has a child or children. The reason for this is simple. In my experience as a professional life coach, I’ve noticed that women are usually the primary caregiver in single-parent scenarios. If you are a person who likes a woman who has the responsibilities of a child or children, be prepared to have certain limits on time and location for dating. What I mean is there will be times when she is simply not available. Especially if she is the custodial parent. Also, recognize there will probably need to be extensive planning for any quick getaways or romantic vacations. She likely just can’t leave work on Friday and catch a flight somewhere with you. She has responsibilities that are far more important than you and that’s something you need to understand upfront.
Often when clients are trying to find a life coach, they want a person who agrees with what they say. That’s why professional life coaches have Discovery Sessions. The purpose is to clearly lay out what a life coach does as well as ensure the potential client understands that questions will be asked that might challenge their way of thinking. This means if you believe when you’re dating someone with kids that their priorities need to shift, a professional life coach will dig deeper into this area to see what you actually want.
What is the end result that you’re actually seeking in the relationship?
What makes you think that a woman with children should shift her priorities?
How would you feel if those were your kids and your ex was dating and decided to shift her priorities to someone she was dating?
As a professional life coach, I ask that you put the shoe on the other foot and broaden your perspective.
When to introduce kids to boyfriend
If you’re the non-parent in the scenario of dating someone with kids, and the relationship is going very well over several months (at least), you’re going to be faced with meeting the child or children of your sweetie. While dating someone with kids can be awesome, this is something that many of my clients have come to me with tons of anxiety! If the relationship has been going well, you should have a fairly clear idea about some of the following characteristics of your girlfriend’s kid or kids:
any (major) health issues
relationship with their other parent
how they feel about their mom dating
With these key facts in mind, you can have a very open and honest conversation about when and where to meet her kids for the first time. For example, if she has younger children, an amusement park or a ball game where you, your girlfriend and her kids all go out together might be fitting. If she has a teenager who likes a certain genre of music or has a specific hobby, something music-related or geared to their hobby that you, your girlfriend and her child can all do together may work.
Whatever you chose, in my experience as a professional life coach, neutral territory is usually the best. Come in separate cars and leave in separate cars from a location that is not their home with their mom. This isn’t an absolute rule but what I’ve seen is this approach gives the kids some space and comfort as well. After whatever activity you all decided to do together, the kid or kids can talk to their mom on the ride home about their thoughts about you. On the same token, whether the ‘meet and greet’ went good or bad, you riding home in your own car gives you time to process as well before the next time you talk to your girlfriend. Some feelings you want to be very aware of include:
How do you feel about her kid or kids overall?
What was the kid(s) energy and attitude towards you?
What was your energy and attitude toward the kid(s)?
Are there any dynamics between mother and child(ren) that stood out to you?
Would you want to have another outing with your girlfriend and her child(ren)?
Be honest here. The answers to these questions will clearly determine if there is a future in dating this woman.
Is dating a man with a child worth it
Similar to dating a woman who has kids, there is no “one size fits all” answer to this question. When clients contact me to hire a dating coach, their situations can run the gambit of the guy sounds like he is totally worth it to dump his ass yesterday! But seriously, the dynamics of the man and his child (or children) are very important when it comes to the right choice for you. You also must consider how big or small of a role you want to play in the lives of the children if the relationship gets serious. Dating someone with kids is hard but only you can weigh the pros and cons of your particular situation.
For example, if the man that you’re dating seems to be a very attentive father with appropriate boundaries with his ex and you have a positive rapport with the kid(s), then this seems like it would be a relationship that’s worth your time and energy to see where it goes. On the other hand, if you’re dating a great guy who has an ex who causes drama and/or kid(s) with whom you don’t have a good vibe, you may want to really think hard about the personal cost of continuing in the relationship.
This may sound harsh but the reality is the guy you’re dating decided to marry and have kids or just have kids with the person he did. If he calls her “crazy”, that’s a cop-out. She is the same person she has always been, he’s just now willingly seeing the characteristics of her personality that the people around him were probably trying to tell him about far before he had kids with her. So if she’s “crazy” and the kids are a mess, that’s his problem, not yours. Save your time, heart and sanity and get out of any situation like this asap!
Tips for dating someone with kids
I want to recap some of the major takeaways that you need to keep in mind if you decide that dating someone with kids is for you:
Ask critical questions upfront when dating someone with kids
Meet the person you are dating’s kids for the first time in neutral territory
Drive your own car when meeting the person your dating’s kids for the first time
Be honest about your own level of comfort and flexibility in this type of dating situation
Understand the cost of staying in a relationship when dating someone with kids who has drama with their ex or their kids
Limitations on time, availability, and mobility come into play when you’re dating someone with kids — spontaneity is usually not an option at all or very limited
Dating someone with kids can be fabulous or it can be a total waste of time. It all depends on the attitude you go into the relationship with as well as the person (and their situation) you’re dating. Either way, you need to be very honest with yourself before even considering getting involved in this type of dating. Parents have responsibilities and obligations that, if you’re a non-parent, you may not understand.
If you meet a fabulous man or woman and you two have a great connection, and they tell you they have kids, understand what that means in terms of them having romantic relationships. Know what you’re getting into and know that it’s ok if it’s not for you.
Are you currently dating someone with kids? Are you struggling with your feelings in such a relationship but know that this person is for you? Interested in learning more about how to approach and date in this type of situation? Then book a session today!
Break-ups are tough and often they really disrupt your life. Whether you were planning ‘happily ever after’ with your former sweetie or not, getting used to that other person not being around can be hard. I often work with clients who are at the crossroads of letting go and clinging to what once was. This blog post focuses on some of the same steps I focus on during coaching sessions to help clients achieve success after a break-up.
1. Clear out your space
No matter the type of relationship you had, the beginning of rebuilding yourself after a breakup begins with clearing out the clutter. Physical reminders of the other person can be constant torture. Give yourself 4 to 6 weeks to get through this phase.
No, I’m not asking you to clear out your house in a day. But you should also not be dwelling on your ex 6 months from now. 4 to 6 weeks is enough time to slowly but consistently clear out anything left behind from your ex.
Clothes from your ex? Donate them.
Shared furniture that was left behind? Donate it.
Old photos? Burn them! (just kidding…sort of)
On a side note, if you and your ex have things you want to return to one another, be civil about it. Meet in daytime hours only. If you two don’t trust or want to be alone during exchanges of stuff, ask a mutual, trustworthy friend to be there as well. Success after a break-up means handling any required exchanges as quickly and civilly as possible!
♦ Has it been four to six weeks and you’re still having trouble moving on? Then working with a professional life coach will help. Schedule a few sessions with me today so we can move you past your last relationship!
Here are some books that may also be useful in clearing out the clutter from your ex:
This second step should be happening simultaneously with the first. While you are donating those clothes that your ex left, you should also be taking time to reflect on the relationship.
Reflect, don’t dwell.
What reflection means is to take a non-judgemental look back at the relationship. The ups, the downs, the things that totally went sideways, and the things that totally turned out to be awesome. There were good times and bad. Being a success after a break-up means you’ve taken all of those reflections to see what you’ve learned. Keeping a journal at this time is also useful.
At the end of the day, you learned something from that relationship. Get clear about what you’ve learned. What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about the characteristics you want in your next partner? What characteristics did you learn that you don’t want in your next partner? Reflection is a powerful tool that creates future insight. Getting clear will help guide you in your future relationships.
♦ Reflections not working? Do you find yourself dwelling on that past relationship? Don’t fret! Schedule a few coaching sessions with me, a professional life coach, to achieve a very positive outcome from a negative situation.
Here are some books about learning and reflecting after a breakup that some of my clients have found useful are:
Taking care of yourself needs to be a priority. If you haven’t been engaged in routines and rituals that boost, balance, and rejuvenate you, then now is the time to start. Don’t let the term “self-care” scare you. It doesn’t have to be complex.
For example one of my clients was struggling after a recent break-up and the subject of self-care came up. When all was said and done, she decided that taking a long bubble bath on Friday nights would help her relax and ease into the weekend. A weekly bubble bath is what she chose as her first activity in her self-care routine. Now it’s your turn. List 3 to 5 things that you can do on a weekly basis to balance, relax, boost, or rejuvenate yourself. Here are some ideas:
Going to the spa
Taking long baths
Working on a hobby
Spending time in nature
Listening to soothing music at the end of the day
Drinking tea or coffee while watching the sunrise or sunset
♦ Developing a useful self-care routine can be challenging. Working with a professional life coach is useful in helping you to do just that! Book sessions with me today in order to figure out how to develop the self-care routines that’ll work best for you.
If you still need some inspiration, here are some books I think would be useful:
You’ve cleared the clutter. You’ve reflected on your last relationship. You’ve created doable and fun self-care rituals for yourself. What next? Not it’s time for you to get back in the dating game! You’re at a good space mentally and emotionally and it’s time to find a great partner. The way you decide to get back into dating is up to you. Online, mobile, in person, blind dates, hookups through friends, etc .
Whatever ways you choose should be the best for you. Make sure at all times you are being mindful of your emotions and your energy when dating. If anyone drains your energy or takes a toll on your emotions to deal with, delete their number, block them from your phone and move on! You are too important to be spending your time, emotions, and energy on anyone who is not of equal awesomeness to you.
♦ Struggling to get back into the dating game? Then schedule a few sessions with me so we can create a plan for success for your upcoming adventures in dating!
Here are some books to boost your confidence in dating:
You’re angry, frustrated, and don’t know what to say next!
Does this sound like you in your intimate relationships? You’re not alone. I work with many of my coaching clients around their frustration in communication with their partner. Whether you’re dating, married, in a long term relationship, cohabitating, in an open relationship, etc. you must understand that communication is key if you expect that intimate relationship to work!
Below are a few tips that I’ve learned from working with clients around communication in their intimate relationships. Take these tips to heart and understand how you can apply them in your relationship asap.
Communication in Intimate Relationships Tip #1: Let your partner know what’s important to you
If you’re in any kind of serious intimate relationship, then this should be a given. Do you have physical, social, environmental, political, or other general activities that are important to you? Do you have a secret passion that you want to pursue a new activity that you want to try? If your answer is yes to either question then your answer should also be yes to the question around whether your partner knows, understands, and respects these things about you!
Many people don’t take the time to have these discussions when they get into intimate relationships and that is not a good idea. Speak openly and be honest. Aside from the important things, does your partner know the things about you that make you…you?! Such as your favorite color, your favorite teacher from elementary, the first boy you kissed, your major in college. If they don’t know these things, ask yourself how open is the communication in your relationship.
Communication in Intimate Relationships Tip #2: Learn to have fruitful conversations…in love and war
Let’s face it, intimate relationships are hard. They bring out the best and the worst in us all. However, if you want an intimate relationship that actually lasts, you have to know how to effectively communicate in all situations. Based upon working with my clients, here’s what doesn’t work in times of conflict:
screaming and yelling,
sarcasm and insults,
pouting and sulking, and
the silent treatment
If you’ve done any of that stuff in the past, then you know it doesn’t work. If you want to communicate effectively in intimate relationships, that means you’re going to need some new tools. You have to learn how to communicate with fact and not just feeling.
Also, learn how to have discussions around more sensitive (or potentially explosive topics) when you and your partner are both well rested. Talking about touchy subjects when either of you is tired, irritable or stressed about other things is a recipe for disaster. Open communication in intimate relationships is most successful when the well-being of you and your partner is a consideration.
♦ Do you need lessons on mindfulness and how to fight fair in intimate relationships? Then working with a relationship coach can help. Book your sessions today!
Some interesting books around how to communicate well in both love and war (in a relationship) are:
Communication in Intimate Relationships Tip #3: Be open in discussions with your partner about what you do and don’t like in the bedroom
Now on to the touchiest subjects of all when it comes to intimate relationships…physical intimacy. Sex is an important aspect of any intimate relationship. The level of importance varies for each couple. However, it is an important part of bonding, communicating, and reaffirming your connection to your partner. Being that sex is such an important part of an intimate relationship, ask yourself if you’re being open, honest and satisfied in yours.
From working with clients I’ve seen more resentment and anger in relationships being rooted in lack of communication around sex more than anything! If you’re not happy or satisfied, then you need to say something. What you do or don’t discuss with your partner about your sex life will have a direct impact on how good or bad it is! How you say it and what you say is what will make the difference in your partner listening to you or completely shutting down on you.
♦ Are you at a loss about how to start the conversation with your partner about your sex life? Then working with a relationship coach can help you figure out exactly what to say! Book your sessions today!
Some books that may help you talk about sex in your intimate relationship are:
Communication is the key to success in any relationship. This is especially true in an intimate relationship. Is your answer “yes” to the following three statements:
My partner knows the things that are important to me
My partner and I have good communication when things are good or bad
My partner satisfies me sexually
If your answer is no to any of these questions, take note! For a relationship to grow and last communication is important. This means you need to start taking action today to improve communication with your partner asap!
Before I start, let me make it clear that I am not a medical doctor. I can’t diagnose or treat a condition related to any sexual disease or dysfunction. The approach this post takes is from the perspective of a professional life coach. The goal is to explore the topic and help you gain clarity.
Intimacy in relationships in general and sex in a relationship particularly can be a tricky and very emotional topic for coaching clients to bring to sessions. With a lot of care and trust, this topic is addressed. Below are a few areas that I ask you to get clarity around before making the decision to have sex in a relationship
1. Determine how important sex is in a relationship
Your opinion about sex is a combination of what you were taught growing up, personal experiences, and wisdom gained through age. Past intimate relationships play a major role in this opinion. This means that how each person feels about sex in a relationship is a vast and varied as fingerprints.
Just think about your last intimate relationship where sex was involved. What were your feelings around it? How did your partner make you feel? What was the conversation like around sex in that relationship? Answers to these questions will allow you to determine how important sex is in a relationship going forward.
Once you understand this you know how to have the discussion in your next intimate relationship when the conversation comes around. Remember, the decision about the importance of sex in a relationship is a very personal one. You should feel comfortable and supported making that decision in your intimate relationships. If you’re still having trouble determining the importance of sex in a relationship, working with a professional life coach may be useful.
Some books I’ve found insightful about sex in a relationship:
This is the step where I want you to think. Think hard. Do you have a positive sense of self in your intimate relationships? What impact does your sense of self have on your decision around the importance of sex in a relationship? You need to understand where you’re coming from. Insecurities and self-doubts can play a very negative role in your decision about the importance of sex in a relationship if you aren’t aware they exist.
No one is perfect and we all are a little self-conscious about something. That’s normal. What I’m referring to here is when we allow any negative self-perceptions to cloud our judgment. Take time and write out your true feelings about yourself. Also, get clear around what influences your opinion of the importance of sex in a relationship.
Addressing any insecurities or self-doubts prior to getting into an intimate relationship is ideal. However, most of us don’t reflect on ourselves until we’re neck-deep in a new situation. Start now. No matter where you are in terms of relationship status, just start now. The sooner you understand yourself, the clearer you can become about the importance of sex in a relationship.
Some interesting books about understanding yourself:
We all have needs. Beyond the basic human needs, we all have needs within a relationship as well. The importance of sex in a relationship can greatly be impacted by whether you feel your needs are being meant in other areas. As we all know, intimate relationships aren’t all about sex. Here I want you to figure out what your needs are.
Think of your intimate relationships as a whole, then get specific and think about your needs in the context of the importance of sex in your relationship. List at least 5 things. Do you and your partner speak the same love language? What do you like sexually? What would make you feel comfortable to express your needs in intimate relationships?
A little nervous with these questions? Never fear! You don’t have to try and figure this out alone. Working with a professional life coach will give you the structure and security to begin to uncover your needs. Please understand that determining the importance of sex in a relationship can be fluid. It is also only one part of an overall intimate relationship. Think about this. Hopefully, this will allow you to be more honest with yourself.
What are your thoughts about the importance of sex in a relationship? Comment, like, share, and subscribe! If you’re really ready to get to the core of who you are an what you need, book a professional life coaching session with me today!