Dating After 40:
What’s Holding You Back?

Dating can seem daunting at any age. Remember your first date? Talk about awkward, right?

Is dating after 40 sound unappealing or scary to you? Do you ever wonder what is really holding you back?


For most of us, after a certain age, dating doesn’t seem much more appealing now than it did when we were dealing with acne and braces. Whether you’re trying to get on the scene after a divorce or after the end of a long-term relationship, it’s hard—especially just getting out there.

The first battle is simply knowing HOW to get back out there. You can feel ready, but what do you do? Wear a shirt that says ready to date (yikes) or ask a friend to fix you up (maybe the t-shirt idea sounds better after all)…?

You might be interested in dating websites geared toward older adults. Or you might try some of the more popular dating sites, as they cater to all age ranges and many interest groups. For some of us beyond the millennial generation, though, online dating might not be within our comfort zone…yet.

So how do you meet people? Dating in the workplace usually isn’t such a great idea. Maybe your friends are mostly married and in relationships. There are networking events and ways to open up a dialogue, but for those of us not accustomed to putting ourselves out there…it can be a challenge.


Listen: if you’re ready, GO FOR IT! Stop making excuses and jump in!


No, you don’t have to wear a t-shirt or ask your coworker to hook you up, but you will have to be open about the fact that you’re single and looking to mingle. You might want to try to dip in your toe online, or you might feel more comfortable networking face-to-face. Embrace it!

Guess what? It’s fun!

Dating is an opportunity to really play as an adult. It’s a chance to meet people and test what you like and what you don’t like. You can learn more about how you interact with totally different personality types and people you would have never considered 15 or 20 years ago. You don’t have to marry them…or even LIKE them! Just engage and start meeting new people.

The world is before you! If you’re ready, GO FOR IT!

The Advantages of Dating at an Older Age

There are a few things you can do to shift your mentality a little when it comes to dating and opening yourself up to new opportunities and experiences. The first thing to recognize is that, in many ways your age and experience works to your advantage.

You’ve already let go of some of the dating “myths” that plague people in their teens and early adulthood. You know there’s no such thing as “the one” and there’s no Prince Charming (or Princess) riding in to swoop you up on his or her white horse and ride away, right?

For some who’ve been on the dating scene for a little while, you might be laughing a little—fairytale romance DEFINITELY doesn’t exist!

In truth, though, who would want that anyway? Love is beautiful in its own right. Relationships with all their messiness, their awkwardness, their burps and (yes, I’ll say it) farts, and who knows what else… They’re full of messiness. There are great things in the mess though, and you know that. You’re not afraid to get a little messy. You know it’s worth it.

Is it a Love Connection?

One of the keys is to assume good intentions and look beyond the superficial. You don’t have to make a love connection on a date, but try to see the other person for who they are. What are THEY looking for? What are your similarities and what are your differences?

Another great thing about dating in the adult world is you’re able to get down to some of the nitty-gritty pretty quickly. In our 20s, we’re often playing the field—trying to figure out what we want and ourselves. We aren’t always honest and upfront with dates and we might avoid tough conversations altogether.

Now you’re ready to put it out there. If someone doesn’t want teenagers in their life and you have two, well, that might be a deal breaker, so you can get it out of the way right away. If someone knows they love to sit at home and zone out in front of the television and you love to travel, you can quickly cross that off the list. If your likes and lifestyles are different but compatible that’s okay, if they’re different and diametrically opposed, that’s okay too—but maybe you’re not a match. You might be great pals but maybe you’re not right for romance. The important thing is to be honest!

Also, as an adult in your 40s, 50s or even 60s, you’ve come to know what you want and expect. You know yourself, your limits, your strengths and your challenges. There’s a great deal of confidence and self-assuredness that comes naturally with age, even if you don’t feel self-assured or confident in every moment.

As an adult, you aren’t about pretense and putting on a façade when you get to know a new person. You can jump right in and be real. After all, if you’ve got kids or eight cats or stretchmarks or a bald spot, you might as put it out there now. There’s no reason to put on a false front and that in itself can be empowering. You know who you are, and you’re working to get what YOU want out of life. The hope is you’ll meet someone who’s the same!

Experience and Connections

So maybe you won’t find love tomorrow. Or maybe you will! Who knows?

The fun thing about dating is it opens up a world of possibility. You can meet new people, make new connections, and form new friendships. You get to try out different relationships and interactions with new people and think, “Is this someone I could grow with?”

Look for those who are willing to continue to learn and engage with you. Find someone who’s not afraid to explore the messy world of relationships. You might just find that you enjoy yourself.

So if you’re asking, should I bother dating? The answer is YES and don’t hold back! Our lives are fuller and richer with more experiences, more connections and more friendships. Meeting new people can only benefit you and help you get even more out of life!

Jump in and see where things take you!

For more on engaging, getting the most from your experiences, and grabbing life by the horns, visit the Wright Foundation. Go forth, engage, and ignite your world!

 


About the Author

Dr. Judith Wright

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Relationship Myth #1:
If Only I Had a Relationship,
Then I’d Be Happy…

When you’re single, it’s easy to think, “If only I had a relationship, then I’d be happy…”


Does this sound like you…?

  • I’d be happy if I had a boyfriend.
  • I miss my ex-girlfriend. She made me so happy.
  • I need to find someone first, then I’ll get the rest of my life on track.

Sure, it’s perfectly normal to miss some of the good things about your previous relationship, and of course, to miss the connection and closeness. Perhaps you’re spending a lot of time reflecting on the good times, experiencing a sense of nostalgia.

Truth is, relationships are not what makes a person happy. WE are what makes us happy, and we are in charge of finding our own happiness. This is an inside job; it’s something we have to work on with our own feelings, desires, and yearnings.

When we’re looking for another person to affirm us, tell us how we should grow or what we should do, or validate our feelings, we should really be looking within. We must first learn to affirm ourselves. Understanding ourselves and doing our own set of work helps us learn how to generate our own sense of wellbeing and happiness.

Many of us have this idea that there’s some kind of “soulmate” out there for each of us. But really? There are BILLIONS of people in the world we could connect with and work on a relationship with. It’s really about working on who you are and your own self-validated intimacy, and then taking it out into the world and finding someone who will help you continue to bring out your best and grow as a person.

Who is responsible for my happiness?

We all feel a broad spectrum of emotions—hurt, fear, sadness, joy—and these emotions are all true and positive. If we constantly seek only joy and avoid other emotions, it can actually dampen the joy! Joy is beautiful, but it’s not everything.

So often when we’re dating, we run into our date’s parents or friends and hear, “Oh, you make him so happy,” or “I’ve never seen her like this before.” We’ve found that when you hear this statement (especially early on), it just might mean the person you’re dating isn’t such a happy person in general. Maybe they aren’t being true to their emotions.

We all get stuck in a honeymoon period at the beginning of each relationship. We’re euphoric with the idea of the new person and our attraction to them. It’s exciting to connect and anticipate the things to come. It’s a time of joy and exploration.

This is happiness, but it’s a temporary state. Think how happy you would be if you won the lottery. How long do you think your newfound happiness might last? A 1978 study by Brickman, Coates, and Janoff-Bulman measured the happiness of lottery winners vs. a control group. The results? After one year, lottery winners were not happier than controls and took significantly less pleasure from a series of mundane events.

We frequently see this effect in newlyweds and post-partum—once the excitement over the big deal has passed, they go back to the state they were in before the festivities. Positive and happy people are generally drawn toward that state of being, while negative and fearful people are generally drawn to their state as well.

Does that mean you should brush someone off just because you hear you make them happy? No, of course not. However, it’s probably time to examine the validation you receive from that statement, and realize you’re not responsible (or even capable) of “making” someone else happy.

We are each in control and in charge of our own happiness.

Seek a partner who can meet your yearnings and with whom you can be honest and open with. Don’t look for someone who you think you can “mold” into the “perfect” person. (The perfect person doesn’t exist!)

“If I enjoy being single so much, why do I need a relationship?”

So what about the flipside? Well, relationships are congruent for many of our life goals. If we want children and a family someday, then having a relationship with someone who shares the same goals and motivations will get us to our destination.

At the same time, it’s totally okay if you need some time to get to a place where you really want a relationship. Sometimes we’re so focused on our growth and personal development, the thought of worrying about another person, understanding their feelings and yearnings, and working on goals together seems a little overwhelming or even distracting.

If you’re enjoying being single, and the playground and adventure of dating lots of people—then go with it! Be certain you aren’t avoiding relationships simply because you’re afraid of intimacy or being open with other people. Allow yourself to be honest with others about your needs and yearnings and to “own” your feelings.

Dating around is a great opportunity to engage with a lot of people. You can explore your reactions with different people and how you feel in different situations. You can learn from good dates (and even from bad ones) and it doesn’t necessarily need to lead to anything bigger down the road. Maybe you just discover friendship, a business connection, or someone who is interesting.

In a relationship, we seek a secure base from which we can go forth and explore the world around us. When we’re meeting different people, we’re seeing how we are compatible, but also how we comfort each other. Ask: Is this person someone who sees me for who I really am? Are they someone who I can express my desires and frustrations to? Can I be completely open and honest with this person?

Your conflicts and emotions should be embraced and explored as you journey toward bringing out your best, whether it’s your best single self or your best in-a-relationship self. It’s all about you!

If you’d like to learn more about bringing out your best self and getting a deeper understanding of who you are, we urge you to join us for our next More Life Training, coming up this weekend, March 11th-March 13th. Visit www.wrightliving.com to learn more about this opportunity and others. Email us at hello@wrightliving.com if you have a question or if you’d like us to address a specific topic during our Wright Living weekly podcast. Let us know how you’re finding your own happiness!


About the Author

Dr. Judith Wright

Dr Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

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Listen to this episode here on BlogTalkRadio.
Check Out Lifestyle Podcasts at BlogTalkRadio with Wright Living on BlogTalkRadio.

 

Blog post image courtesy: Flickr user 98640399@N08.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

 

 

What Questions Should
I Ask on a First Date?

Don’t you wish there was a script for first dates? A standard set of screening questions? Have you ever seen the article circulating online detailing 36 questions YOU should ask to “find love”?


We’ve all read magazine articles like this before—promising the perfect interaction and happily ever after if we just screen with the right set of questions.

In reality, there’s no tried-and-true questionnaire for screening your dates. In online dating profiles, we do get the answers to some questions. But not all of us meet our dates online. What about the girl you approach at the gym or the guy you meet at a networking event? You can’t exactly ask them to fill out a match.com profile on the spot, just to see if you’re compatible.

It’s easy to make snap judgments when we walk in on a date. We look at how our date is dressed, we evaluate their jewelry and their habits, and we immediately have a reaction. Maybe his glasses remind you of your dad or her perfume reminds you FAR too much of the coworker who drives you nuts.

The truth about first dates: To have a successful first date (and a successful fifty-first date)—it’s all about what you put into it! What does a successful first date look like, anyway? I consider it a good date if I’m enjoying my own company, learning something new from my date, and learning about myself. When you’re fully engaged, expressing your yearnings, and being up front and honest about who you are, you can discover more about yourself and others—even if you don’t feel a romantic connection.

This ISN’T a Great Date

Sometimes “bad dates” can teach us more about ourselves than the great ones. The next time you’re on a date that seems to be going awry, ask yourself what’s really bothering you about your date.

Maybe he’s rude. Maybe she talks incessantly about herself. Maybe she’s condescending. Whatever it is, allow yourself to be fully IN the situation. Let your date know what’s bothering you, and see what you can learn from the interaction. It will tell you a great deal about how you handle being uncomfortable and the ways you shy away from or engage in conflict.

Not every date is a perfect match, but every date is an opportunity. Part of the joy and fun of dating is getting to know different people and getting to know yourself. If something bothers you, explore what’s going on with you!

This IS a Great Date

Many times, first dates might actually be going well, yet we find ourselves holding back. Maybe you don’t ask the hard questions because you’re having fun: you’re attracted to your date and enjoying your time together. Maybe you don’t want to scare them away by bringing up big topics like babies, houses, and marriage. Maybe you don’t want to find out they’re a homebody when you’re an adventurer.

Here’s the truth: a first date is a great time to ask anything! You haven’t fully invested your time, effort, and energy into the relationship yet. It’s a great time to find out if you’re on the same page and working toward the same outcomes so you can continue. Why wait until you’re six or seven dates in, only to be disappointed that you’re not really jiving on some of your biggest yearnings?

Some of us go into our first dates with our tough question ready—guns a-blazin’. We’ll ask anything, engage in conflict, and figure out what page they’re on. THEN, as time goes on and we become more emotionally invested in the relationship, we start holding ourselves back. By then, we’ve put our emotions and heart into the relationship, so we don’t want to be crushed when we get an answer we don’t want.

Relationships Are About Continued Engagement

In The Heart of the Fight, we talk about how you can continue to discuss and bring up your yearnings, engage in conflict, and keep the communication flowing throughout your entire relationship. For the first TEN YEARS or more, you’re trying to find your footing and you’re vying for control and understanding. Face it: if you’re in it for the long haul, you’re going to address these issues. Putting them off is just staving off the inevitable.

Dating is such an amazing opportunity to get to know yourself and someone else. It’s exciting to engage with someone and to learn more about your reactions—what you like, what you don’t like, and how you feel. Allow yourself to go off-script and get down to discussing what really matters to you. You’ll feel better about the relationship if you like who you are being. I want to be someone who takes risks, who tells the truth, and who gets to know myself better with each date.

Let us know how your dating is going! Tune in to our podcast every Wednesday to talk about dating, relationships, and how to bring out your best self. To continue the conversation on engaging with others and to discover ways to bring out your best self, click here to learn more about our next More Life Training.

Listen to this episode here on BlogTalkRadio or here on iTunes.

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About the Author

Rachel Zwell

Rachel is a Coach and Executive Assistant to the CEO at Wright. She specializes in coaching adolescents, helping them navigate young adulthood and grow into their gifts and leadership. Rachel is responsible for leading and facilitating groups during weekend trainings. Currently, Rachel is pursuing her master’s in Transformational Leadership and Coaching from the Wright Graduate University.


Blog image courtesy Flickr user dickuhne.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Should I Bring a Date
Home for the Holidays?

Ah the holidays…feelings of joy, goodwill towards others, and what’s this? Dread?! If you’re just in a relationship, dating someone new or single, the holidays can bring up a whole myriad of concerns.


 

“What if I bring Sara to Christmas dinner and my aunt Susan talks about how much she (and the whole family) loved my ex, Julie?”

Or worse… “What if Sam goes to my cousin’s wedding with me and my sisters start up about when WE’RE going to get married? We’ve literally been dating for two months. Is it too soon to bring him?”

Whatever your situation, facing the litmus test of family, friends and merriment can dredge up all sorts of expectations, yearnings and feelings. If it’s a holiday like Valentine’s Day, Christmas or a birthday, there’s always the issue of whether or not to get gifts for the guy or girl you’re dating. If it’s a romantic event (like a wedding or worse—a destination wedding) or a family-heavy event, there are a lot of uncertainties.

“We Aren’t That Serious!”

When you’re first dating someone, there’s often a heady, euphoric, romantic period. You have control over the way you present yourself. You can engage with your date one-on-one and get to know each other. You may be determining the direction of the relationship, exploring the connection, and deciding how far you want things to continue.

There can be a fear the person you’re dating will “read into” an invitation and assume things are more serious. If this is the case, it might be time to take a look at what’s holding you back. There’s an underlying reason you don’t want them to read into the invitation—and that reason should be explored.

Are you fearful they’ll misread your invitation? Are you afraid of taking the relationship further? Or are you afraid they’re not as serious and you’re avoiding pushing it? Either way, it’s time for some personal work and growth.

On the flipside, what if you’re afraid of showing up single to an event? Are you reaching to the other person to be a shield from engaging with your family? Is that easier than setting appropriate boundaries and letting them know that while you appreciate their concern and feedback, you’re perfectly happy with this stage in your life?

“My Family Is Weird!”

Okay, sometimes it’s not about the person you’re dating at all, but about your own family dynamics…on the surface. We’re all familiar with our own family quirks, be they positive or negative. Sometimes exposing another person to that dynamic can be scary. You’re waiting for them to notice similarities (the dreaded “you’re just like your mother”) or for your family to do something embarrassing or frustrating.

You aren’t a jerk for feeling you’d prefer to spare your significant other the interaction with your family. You also aren’t a jerk to want have your family time all to yourself or to feel your relationship isn’t ready. The point is to own it and express it.

If you’re truly engaging with your significant other in a meaningful, honest way, chances are they aren’t going to see your freaky family and head for the hills. This can be a great opportunity for you to do a little transformational growth work and focus on what it is about your family dynamic that freaks you out.

We’re often our most vulnerable around family members, who have seen us at our best and worst. They may still remember the rough patch you went through in college or the fact you were a bed-wetter in elementary school. What’s worse, you never know what they’re going to “share” with a new person. Maybe your family is loud and overwhelming. Maybe you just miss your family and you don’t want to have to be shadowed by a new boyfriend or girlfriend, worrying about their needs the entire time.

There’s no time like the present to confront some of these issues head-on. When your sister brings up an embarrassing story (again), let her know it’s time you move past it. If your dad’s politics won’t jive with your new girlfriend, give her a heads up before dinner and divert the conversation. If you need your boyfriend to engage with your family, sans hand-holding, let him know ahead of time he’s going to have to hold his own.

As it turns out, these events can actually strengthen your bond, as you develop an “ally” mentality. It can be very reassuring to have your date there to support you and help understand where you’re coming from. Even if you decide it’s not an appropriate time for them to attend an event, it can be wonderful to have a sounding board when you need to vent.

“I Wasn’t Invited…”

It happens. It can bring up all kinds of feelings and yearnings. Did you express to your boyfriend or girlfriend you wanted to go? Did you explain you feel you’re in a place where you feel like you should have been invited?

There’s really no hard and fast rule about how many dates or how old a relationship should be before you go to events or give gifts. If you aren’t sure where you are, it’s time to talk about it. Not only that, but your date might be wondering the same sorts of things, and having the same fears and yearnings.

Admit to yourself (and to your boyfriend or girlfriend) you feel bad you weren’t invited. It’s perfectly okay to have a reaction where you feel hurt or things didn’t turn out in a satisfactory way. Oftentimes the anxiety about how these things will go permeates the interaction and builds up until it turns into an explosive reaction. It’s better to deal with it immediately and handle the conflict ahead of time.

During the holidays and big events, we can get this feeling like we’re supposed to feel something we aren’t—like we are supposed to be happy. Our relationship is supposed to be 100% fulfilling and perfect. We’re supposed to give them the greatest Valentine’s Day gift ever. It’s time to remind yourself, you are okay—work on strengthening your own sense of self-worth, first. You might want to visit your family alone, and that’s okay. You might not give the perfect gift, and that’s okay, too.

Focus on making the experience positive and approaching it with honest and open engagement. Let down the anticipatory anxiety over what you think it’s “supposed” to be and just let it happen organically. You just may find you enjoy the event and learn a thing or two about yourself and your date!

Join us every two weeks on Wednesdays at noon CST for our podcast Bring Out Your Best! where we discuss dating, relationships and being your best self.

If you’re looking for deeper, more meaningful relationships, you can order our new relationships book: The Heart of The Fight, coming out next February.


About the Author

Judith-300x250

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

Listen to this episode here on BlogTalkRadio.
Check Out Lifestyle Podcasts at BlogTalkRadio with Wright Living on BlogTalkRadio.

Blog post image courtesy: Flickr user parttimephotos.

 

How to Handle Blind Dates:
Honest Tips

How many of us have been set up? It used to be almost a cliché or a joke—the “blind date from hell” a friend or well-meaning family member coerced us into.


 

Nowadays, the face of dating has changed. We’re connecting through online dating sites and apps, and we’re meeting through coworkers and at networking events, so in general, almost every date becomes a “blind date” in some respect. Rarely do we know more about our date beforehand than a general idea of his or her looks and location.

The positive side to this new face of dating is it gives us a chance to engage and interact with many different people. We all lead busy lives, yet it’s important we make time to connect with others. How fascinating that we get to meet and get to know others while getting to know ourselves in such an objective manner? Dating is like a social experiment: we can test out our yearnings and different aspects of our personality while seeing how those traits fit with another person (or result in conflict).

On the flipside, what we see in someone’s profile or read online, doesn’t always translate to what we find in person.

“My Dates Always Go Wrong!”

Sometimes we hold back because we fear our dates won’t “go well” or things won’t happen in the way we expect them to. You know what? This is perfectly normal—and a wonderful opportunity to test things out and discover more about our reactions, expectations and desires!

No dating situation is perfect. Even if we plan out every detail or if we strictly adhere to our vision of the ideal date, things will go awry. You can’t control the behavior of other people and this conflict for control can be the very thing preventing us from “clicking”—or at minimum, it can cause little annoyances to pop up.

If your date does something you don’t like or you do something your date is unhappy with, it’s a wonderful chance to look at the deeper story behind it. If you cringe when he answers his cellphone at dinner or you absolutely hate it when she interrupts you in conversation, then it’s time to explore why. More importantly, did you say something when those feelings arose and was it addressed directly? Were you feeling ignored? Was your yearning to be noticed and be a priority overlooked?

Ask yourself how you reacted to these situations and frustrations, and examine how your date reacted as well. It might not be a perfect date, but it’s a perfect time to explore your interaction. Did you speak up, express your feelings, state your yearnings and engage? Did you withdraw, become passive-aggressive or feel hurt?

When It’s Just Not There…

Some people can have great online chemistry and it’s just a fizzle in real life. Even if you’ve had weeks of exciting banter and great conversation, the spark might not be there in person.

Not every date is going to be a love connection or even a like connection. It’s totally okay to let your date know things aren’t going as you’d hoped. If you continue the date as friends, you might still have a chance to make a connection and grow. If you end the date, you know you haven’t held back from being yourself. You’ve been honest—and that’s what’s important.

Sometimes a friend might set us up with someone who leaves us wondering, “WHOA, what was she thinking?!” Rather than being upset by the mismatch, you’ll find a great opportunity to examine your relationship with your friend and you’ll get a glimpse into the ways others might view your personality and your yearnings as you present them. You can see what sort of personality you’re projecting out to the world and to others in your social circle.

Using Dates to Grow

What it really comes down to is: are you being honest and up front with your dates? What are your expectations of the situation? There’s no formula or set of questions you can ask to predict the outcome of any date, blind date or otherwise. Searching for an answer is like asking for a crystal ball. It may even reveal we’re simply having a difficult time accepting the uncertainty of dating.

Unfortunately—and fortunately—the world is an unpredictable place. If we can allow ourselves to let go of the idea we need to be fully in control of the ride, or we need to have all the factors laid out in front of us, we can find ourselves enjoying the journey of dating and the lessons it has to offer.

If you find you’re easily angered on your dates or frustrated, it may be a frustration with the uncertainty and your own inability to express your desires and expectations. Much of our anger and frustrations can be exacerbated by an underlying fear.

Instead, reframe your view of dating as an adventure and an opportunity. Are you sharing meaningful things and are you affirming your feelings and the feelings of your date? Engage in the messiness of dating, jump in, tell the truth and get to know each other. Conflict is ok—when we get it out early we can avoid superficial and meaningless dates and relationships. Stop looking for things to be comfortable and familiar—shake things up and have some fun!

You just may find yourself enjoying blind dates more and more, and looking forward to your next dating adventure!

If you’re looking for deeper, more meaningful relationships, you can pre-order our new relationships book: The Heart of The Fight, coming out next February.


About the Author

Judith-300x250

Dr Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

Listen to this episode here on BlogTalkRadio.
Check Out Lifestyle Podcasts at BlogTalkRadio with Wright Living on BlogTalkRadio.

Blog post image courtesy: Flickr user alville.

 

THE One Secret to
Successful Online Dating

There is quite literally an app for everything today—and dating is no exception. There are so many options: Hinge, Tinder, Carrot, Coffee Meets Bagel…



The list goes on and on. One thing most of these apps have in common is that they offer us a chance to get a snapshot—a quick rundown on the basic stats of a potential date.

What do they really tell us though? Aside from age, location, and looks there’s really not many details. While attraction is important, shouldn’t we be looking for a little more?

Think of dating apps like making eye-contact at a bar. Swiping right is saying, “Yeah, maybe you should come talk to me,” while swiping left says, “Don’t you dare.” In real life, we do the same thing, it just feels a little less obvious sometimes. For those of us who are a little more reserved or have difficultly overcoming shyness, it can be really helpful because you get that awkward “meeting” out of the way. Online dating can be really fun and a great opportunity for growth!

Of course, dating apps aren’t perfect or the solution to everything. Just like so many things, they can become a soft addiction: we become so enthralled with the idea of that rush of excitement we get on a first and second date that we become serial daters. Suddenly we aren’t really taking things to the next emotional level with any of our dates, so we’re stuck with a full calendar and a lonely heart.

So where’s the balance?

Know What You’re Looking For

Like most things in life, knowing the outcome you’re aiming for helps steer you in the right direction. If you’re really looking to connect with someone and take things to a deeper level (i.e. beyond one or two dates, or even into boyfriend/girlfriend territory)—be up front about it. There can be the fear you might turn away the “perfect match” (which we know doesn’t exist, anyway) by sounding too demanding or too choosy, or by laying out your wants and expectations upfront.

Don’t fall into this limiting belief. Instead, pay attention to your yearnings and be real about them. Ask yourself if you’re using dating as a crutch. If you’re failing to put your expectations on the line because you’re too vulnerable—if the relationship goes awry you won’t be able to blame it on the other person, because you were honest about what you wanted.

It can be challenging to be this honest with yourself, but let’s admit it: dating is about gaining experiences and really, it’s about also getting to know ourselves better. It’s about finding out how you interact with people and what strengths they bring out in you. It’s about expressing your yearnings and finding people who can meet those yearnings in a way that is enough for you.

What If I’m Not Looking for Anything Serious?

Maybe you just got out of a relationship or you’re in the middle of your own transformational work, and you’d prefer to keep things casual. You know what? That’s perfectly okay, too. Word your profile and interactions as honestly and genuinely as possible to convey what you want.

Sometimes saying, “I don’t want to get serious right now” can be read as, “All I want to do is have no-strings-attached sex.” Unless that IS quite literally what you’re looking for, you might prefer to say something along the lines of, “Just looking to get to know lots of new friends right now, so I’m not looking to take things to the next level.”

When you’re in a place of growth and learning about yourself, you might find that dating is part of that. You need to understand the ways you interact with different types of people and how they make you feel. It might not be about future long-term plans, but rather just about observing yourself over coffee with new people and understanding your reactions and where they come from.

One thing’s for sure: dating should be fun and interesting. It’s a time to work on your social and emotional growth and get to the nitty-gritty of who you are so you can really know yourself. That’s something anyone can swipe right to!


You’ll be able to read all about these ideas and more in Dr. Bob and Judith’s Wright’s new book The Heart of the Fight: A Couple’s Guide to Fifteen Common Fights, What They Really Mean, and How They Can Bring You Closer. (Available on Amazon now!)

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If you want to know more about how to work on your own social and emotional intelligence and growth, join us for our next More Life Training. Don’t miss our transformative high-value weekend. [Learn more!]

Want to learn more about more satisfying dates and relationships? If you’d like to learn more about what the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential has to offer check out:

Listen to this episode here on BlogTalkRadio or here on iTunes.


About the Author

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Monica is the Admissions Coordinator and Marketing Specialist at the Wright Graduate University. As the admissions coordinator and head of marketing for WGU, Monica oversees recruiting, student admissions, customer services and marketing efforts.


Blog post image courtesy Flickr user freestocks.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

3 Great Ways
to Show Appreciation
for Your Partner

Amidst the “everyday” of our relationships, we sometimes get too caught up in the whirlwind of life to remember to take time to show appreciation for our partners.


Do you show your appreciation for your partner? Have you shown your appreciation lately?

In our latest book, The Heart of the Fight: A Couple’s Guide to Fifteen Common Fights, What They Really Mean, and How They Can Bring You Closer, we talk about establishing the “rules of engagement,” fighting fair, and using conflict to bridge the gaps in your relationships.

If you’re sensing some distance lately, here are the first steps to getting your relationship back on track.

1. Accentuate the Positive

Accentuating the positive is an important component of the rules of engagement. It’s about assuming goodwill on the part of your partner and approaching your partner from a place of love, understanding and positivity. Most of the time your partner isn’t purposefully distant from you or purposefully misunderstanding you. Most of the time our partners have our best interests in mind.

Accentuating the positive isn’t about some happy-go-lucky false positivity you have just because you’re “supposed to.” It’s about creating new connections, building new neuropathways in your mind, and finding constructive ways to engage in conflict.

It’s also very much about understanding where our partner is coming from and expressing that in a meaningful and understood way. In relationships, we often have different expressions of appreciation and affection, and different needs when it comes to our own yearnings.

2. Understand Personality Types

This isn’t about typical romantic, Valentine’s Day fluff. It’s about seeing the truth of the person you love and understanding your partner as a person. Appreciation comes from defining the foundations of your own and your partner’s personalities (whether you/your partner is a Cooperator, Analyzer, Regulator or Energizer) and understanding how these personality types shape the way you interact with each other. Seeing your partner in the reality of who he or she is in the here and now can help you fully express appreciation in a way that meets your partner’s needs while assuring you’re also meeting your own.

When your partner has a triumph, how do you express your congratulations? Energizers might need more than a simple expression of appreciation, whereas Regulators might prefer to see the way things are getting done and move forward. Analyzers may be immune to expressions of appreciation and may just want to know they haven’t made mistakes, whereas Cooperators want to understand how they matter and know that they’re an integral part of the relationship and that they’ve successfully contributed to the success of the win.

Once we understand these personality styles, we have an easier time expressing gratitude to our partners and giving out the form of praise they need to meet their yearnings. There are different balances between any personality types, so we must find middle ground and a spot where the two of you are expressing yourselves with equal give-and-take and working together to bring the relationship forward.

3. About the Struggle for Control…

In the beginning of most partnerships (and sometimes for years), there’s a great struggle for control. As we learn how our partners express their needs and where they can give and take, conflicts can and will arise as you both find your footing. This is a positive time of growth and learning as you start to understand each other and engage more fully.

Sometimes our partners can seem downright hostile because they feel the only way to be heard is by yelling. If we are truly listening and opening ourselves up to an emotional connection—letting the person we love know they’re heard—he or she will soften. Happy people aren’t attacking people (in most cases). Of course, it’s a two-way street and it takes practice.

It’s nearly impossible to flip a switch overnight and suddenly meet all of our partner’s needs, while still being true to our own. Just like any good practice, it takes recognition, realization and understanding—and then application.

You’ll be able to read all about these ideas and more in Dr. Bob and Judith’s Wright’s new book coming out in February 2016: The Heart of the Fight: A Couple’s Guide to Fifteen Common Fights, What They Really Mean, and How They Can Bring You Closer.

Want to learn more about more satisfying dates and relationships? If you’d like to learn more about what the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential has to offer check out:


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Blog post image courtesy: Flickr user ekelly89.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

“But We’re So Different …”

What happens when you’re way into sports and you start dating a sports hater? Or when you find yourself dating an actor, but you don’t even own a television?



Are you a cat person going out with a dog person?

While it’s true sometimes opposites attract, how different is too different? Even Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog broke up. Is it possible to make it work with someone who is your opposite, politically, religiously, or personality-wise?

First of all, in dating we have to figure out what it is we’re really looking for and hoping to get out of it. Are you looking for long-term commitment and a possible future—or are you just looking to be social, engage with others and have a little fun? There’s no right answer and at different times in our lives most of us will probably be in one boat or the other. Being honest with yourself ensures you aren’t seeking out dates on different pages.

Then again, sometimes it’s still okay if you find someone who might not be looking for a “serious” relationship, when you are. You can still go out, engage with them, get to know them a little better and see where life takes you. As long as you’re being true to yourself and honest about your intentions and yearnings, it’s perfectly fine to date someone who’s not sure where things will lead.

What About Personality Differences?

The optimist versus the pessimist or the extrovert versus the introvert—these juxtapositions in the dating world give you an opportunity to really put those traits to the test and under the microscope. You may see them as red flags, but they’re really a chance to examine: are you truly an optimist because that’s the path you’ve chosen and it fits the way you interact with and see the world? Or, are you an optimist because you have anxiety about dealing with problems and you refuse to see them?

If you’re holding to your true personality and approaching differences from learning and engaging perspectives, it’s actually fun to date someone who challenges you and makes you go, “Wow—I never thought of that before.”

Highly energetic and extroverted people may have a hard time down-regulating in arguments or during conflict. For someone more analytical, less emotional or more introverted, this can be a little terrifying. It can also be a chance to grow a little in your emotional responses and to learn how to up-regulate yourself to meet their enthusiasm. You may want to explore what about the personality differences induces anxiety or causes you to be adverse. You’ll learn more about yourself and it just may end up being more exciting and exhilarating than dating someone “just like” you.

One fun thing we do in couples work is a game called “Sunshine/Clouds.” It’s about turning your perception of yourself on its head and viewing things from the other person’s perspective. If you’re struggling to find common ground or little “differences” are driving you crazy, try agreeing to reverse roles for a day. If she’s constantly late and you’re punctual to the second, mix it up. If you have a sunny outlook and she can be a Debbie Downer, try spending an entire date being a bit more of a raincloud. (Believe me—this one’s HARD.) It can actually lead to a little bit of laughter and an interesting perspective on the other person’s point of view.

Finding Common Ground

Don’t get bogged down by superficial “interests.” Yes, it can be nice fodder for conversation if you find you both love the Bears or Spain’s your favorite vacation destination. Things like sports teams, music, hobbies…those are all pastimes and they aren’t vital to connecting with another person. If you find someone you truly engage with and enjoy, then you might find your time is spent doing quality activities together and you don’t need so much “filler.”

Not to suggest, of course, you give up your hobbies or sell your season tickets once you start dating someone. Be true to who you are. Maybe it means you’re going to have to dial up your girlfriends to join you for a concert, or get your buddy to be your running partner. Dating doesn’t mean losing your identity or trying to conform to another person’s interests or preferences.

If you’ve done the work beforehand, you know yourself well enough to understand your deal breakers and non-negotiables. You also know what limiting beliefs might be holding you back from truly connecting with another person. Approach dating as a great social experiment—one where you should never compromise on your deal breakers, but you should allow yourself to grow and learn.

As we all know, there’s no such thing as “the one” and differences make dating explorative and fun. Get out there and learn a little bit about someone else and gain a little deeper understanding about yourself at the same time!

You’ll be able to read all about these ideas and more in Dr. Bob and Judith’s Wright’s new book, out now: The Heart of the Fight: A Couple’s Guide to Fifteen Common Fights, What They Really Mean, and How They Can Bring You Closer. (Available on Amazon now!)

Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates– free!

Want to learn more about more satisfying dates and relationships? If you’d like to learn more about what the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential has to offer check out:

Listen to this episode here on BlogTalkRadio or here on iTunes.


About the Author
table-img-6

Monica is the Admissions Coordinator and Marketing Specialist at the Wright Graduate University. As the admissions coordinator and head of marketing for WGU, Monica oversees recruiting, student admissions, customer services and marketing efforts.


Blog post image courtesy Flickr user familymwr.

The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

How To Reboot
Your Dating Life
by Telling the Truth

Meeting new people and discovering who they are isn’t all there is to dating; we also get to know ourselves in every relationship—whether it’s one date long or a thousand dates long.


Authenticity is one of the hardest things to bring to the table when dating. After all, we’re getting to know perfect strangers, so often times our instinct is to put on a pleasant face and demeanor even when things aren’t going quite right.

But the entire dating experience can really change when you commit to honesty and authenticity. Yes, always being your authentic self can be challenging, but it’s also the best way to learn and grow, and to get the most out of every date.

Honesty on First Dates

Authenticity on a first date can be difficult—but it’s completely worth it. Prior to your date, try telling yourself, “I am going to be fully engaged while I’m there. I will be present enough to know what I like or dislike about this person, and I will be real and honest.” From there, work to be present and go with the flow.

Admittedly, being your true self is sometimes easier when a first date is going well. But what if you like your date’s personality, but you’re just not attracted to them? What if you end up in an uncomfortable conversation that conflicts with your values? What if only one of you is interested in a second date? Yikes!

This is when the going can get tough. Instead of engaging and being honest, many of us either put on a happy face and “smile through anything” or we become distant, just hoping to “get through it.” But that’s no way to live. Let’s think about the big picture: what do you want out of this date? If you’re not getting it, don’t be afraid to say how you’re feeling out loud (without being mean)—trust me, the world around you isn’t going to crumble! Both of you will probably be just fine, and then you can move forward from there.

A Second Date? Or Not?

When dating, consider going out with lots of different people to discover more about what you want in a partner. If you’re honest, authentic and present on every date, you’ll learn so much about yourself and each person you meet.

There’s nothing wrong with going on lots of first dates. Have fun! (And yes, you can tell the truth AND have fun!) Savor your experiences, talk about your loves, your likes, your dislikes…dive in and be there.

So after that first date with a new person, if you don’t feel like it’s going anywhere—say so and move on. While it may be hard to say NO to a second date, think about it this way: you’re not really sparing that person’s feelings. Instead you’re just delaying the inevitable. The other person will think you’re interested and you’ll suffer through a second date, distant and far from engaged. Sounds like a terrible way to spend time, right?

The bottom line: Simply say yes and mean yes or simply say no. You can do it.

Take Notes and Learn More

As a dating failsafe, try taking an inventory after each date: what were your likes and dislikes? Journal your thoughts and feelings about each person. Even when dating consciously, it’s worth reflecting on each date afterwards to get a handle on your overall experience. Writing down everything can help you be with your thoughts for a moment and perhaps even learn a new lesson or discover something new about yourself.

Consider your journal your “dating study guide.” It’ll help you learn more about yourself and exactly what you’re looking for in a partner. Happy dating!


About the Author

Kate Holmquest

Kate Holmquest is a coach, curriculum developer, and campus director for Wright and the Wright Graduate University for the Realization of Human Potential who believes that dating is one of the best possible playgrounds for discovering and transforming yourself! Potential movie titles that describe her quest for satisfaction in single life are “40 First Dates” (a.k.a. dating with velocity), “Ten Things I Hate About You” (a.k.a. telling the truth on dates), and “The Thing About My Folks” (a.k.a. noticing and breaking the relationship rules I learned at home).


Blog post image courtesy Flickr user wtlphotos.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

What To Do When
Everyone You Date Sucks

“I’ve been on six dates in the last month and all of them sucked. Everyone I date sucks. What should I do?”


 

This is a question we hear quite often. First of all, I’d like to point out that the question itself is a little misleading.

Dating can be a lot of things—challenging, exciting, interesting, and a chance to explore your own values and communication skills. Oh yeah, and it’s a chance to really connect with another person who you may eventually explore a more serious relationship with.

Many of us get frustrated in the dating world because we forget that the true excitement and beauty of dating is that you get to connect with so many different people. You get to have fun with someone else and learn a little bit about him or her, and in turn, you can learn quite a bit more about yourself. Dating is exciting and interesting. Keeping this mindset can help you approach dates with an open and positive mindset. This keeps your dating experiences growth-focused and helps you learn to engage with different people in different ways.

Reassess your expectations and move away from the cultural mindset of what dating “should be” or an idealized view of a date. Yes, he may chew with his mouth open or she may talk incessantly about her cat. Try to gain something from the situation anyway. Even if you know in the first five minutes that this isn’t something you wish to pursue, consider what you can gain from this interaction. What can you learn about yourself?

No, Seriously. These People SUCK.

So if you live in a small town or if you have a limited dating pool, you may have to get creative with your exploration. Even if you’re trying avenues like online dating, consider how you’re setting up your expectations and if you’re giving credence to dates that are really not going to be mutually satisfying from the get-go. Be up front about your needs and when you’re viewing a potential date’s profile, carefully consider the buzzwords they use.

Many of us tend to overlook those gut feelings or reactions in the hope of connecting with someone we find attractive or interesting. Attractive and interesting are important, but five or six months in, when you’re ready to hit up a gallery opening and a charity dinner and he’s browsing through Netflix in his snuggie …well, attractive and interesting just won’t be enough.

Look for Commonalities

If you’ve been on a string of bad dates, consider what they have in common. Are you unconsciously seeking out personality traits you actually find off-putting? Do you feel you’re connecting, only to be ghosted at the six-week mark time after time? It’s time to be honest with yourself about what you’re really looking for in someone and if you’re being clear with your expectations. Don’t shy away from the difficult questions and don’t go for someone because on paper you feel they’re what you “should” be seeking.


Reach for what you really want. Articulate it. Explore the common threads.


As you engage with another person, set yourself up for success by keeping the conversations genuine and authentic. It’s easy to fall in the patterns of griping about your day and talking about mundane aspects of work, but you’ll find, down the road, that you’re sitting on a string of “bad dates” with nothing to show. To really connect with another person means to get past the minutia. If your honest thoughts and emotions scare someone away, then you know they weren’t ready for the relationship anyway.

If you really want to figure out if a date is worth going out of your way or taking up an hour of your time, consider screening your dates a little more thoroughly. Ask each date if you could briefly talk on the phone beforehand—and be direct. Use their answers as a barometer for their emotional availability and interest.

Are All the Good Ones Taken?

Avoid the mindset that “all the good ones are gone” or that you’re the last person left without a relationship. This can be especially damaging when you find yourself single later in life, but there’s no reason to let this mindset enter your view.

People can grow and change at any age. For example, there are plenty of 55-year-olds who are running in their first 5K or tackling oil painting for the first time. Growth-oriented people are growth-oriented at any age. Conversely, there are plenty of teens and twenty-somethings who have no interest in personal responsibility, growth or change.

Look at dating as a great way to get to know some people a little better and to brush up on your own interpersonal and communication skills. Be realistic about the process and approach it with an open attitude. You may be surprised to find that your dates stop “sucking” and get a whole lot better.

Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates– free!

Listen to this episode here on BlogTalkRadio or here on iTunes.


About the Author

table-img-6
Monica is the Admissions Coordinator and Marketing Specialist at the Wright Graduate University. As the admissions coordinator and head of marketing for WGU, Monica oversees recruiting, student admissions, customer services and marketing efforts.


The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.