Archive for July 2021

Love, Lust and Laughter - 07.27.21

Getting Back Out There – Part 2

Dr. Ashley Mader (www.ourshine.org) returned to talk with Dr. Diana about how to mentally prepare to return to the dating scene. The trick is to find the right balance of having fun, not coming off too desperate, and being yourself – which is no easy task. So how do singles mentally prepare to date?

 

Be present“I always live in the present. The future I can’t know. The past I no longer have.” – Fernando Pessoa

Be present with friends. Engage in conversations and genuinely listen to understand, not just to respond. Being present helps focus your energy on the things that matter right now.

 

Consider therapy. Dr. Ashley offers a free 20-minute consultation via telehealth. If the potential client wants to continue, it will become a full hour therapy session. Here are some other resources for accessing therapy, either in person or online: Psychology Today directory of therapistsBetterHelp.com, and TalkSpace.com. Getting mental health support is healthy, and can help you work on yourself before or while you’re looking for love.

 

Read a book“Think before you speak. Read before you think.” – Fran Lebowitz

Many self-help books have advice on how to change your love life: for example, by noticing the patterns about your last choices. Also, learning more about your wants and needs is important. A classic book is The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Dr. Gary Chapman. There is a free quiz on www.5LoveLanguages.com. The book helps you to understand how you prefer to give versus receive love – they shouldn’t always be the same.

 

As you find your way back into the dating scene, also check out Dr. Diana’s book Love in the Time of Corona: Advice from a Sex Therapist for Couples in Quarantine. The book’s timeless advice and practical exercises are helpful for couples even beyond this pandemic.

 

Dr. Ashley and Dr. Diana agree: Life choices and self-improvement can open us to the potential bounty of our lives!

 

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Love, Lust and Laughter - 07.07.21

Getting Back Out There

 

Dr. Ashley Mader, sex therapist, educator, and consultant (www.ourshine.org) returned to talk about finding and keeping love in the post-pandemic era. Dr. Diana, author of Love in the Time of Corona, and Dr. Ashley spoke about successful dating at any age. A year of isolation has left many people feeling socially awkward; so, it’s necessary to feel emotionally ready. Part of that process may include getting a new haircut, ditching the sweatpants, and finding a fabulous new outfit. Find your best self … and go for it! But don’t rush into anything, especially if you are an anxious introvert. Online matching may provide an opportunity to practice your interpersonal skills: learning, growing, and modifying your behavior and adjusting your judgment as you go.

 

The secret to successful dating is to have sensible expectations. Dr. Diana suggested to her anxious, introverted client to pull back a bit on his expectations. He decided for the next couple of months to use online matching as a way to motivate him to get out in the world, to see if the dynamic might shift, and discover if his views might open up a bit.

 

Can the dating pool be widened by easing our demands? No, that is not compromising, but it requires some re-framing. A new person may not check off all the boxes you have. For example, he does not share your love of travel and baseball. But this person may actually want to hear about your day and doesn’t judge. Other questions to ask: Do we make each other laugh?  Does he/she truly care about how I feel? Is money an issue between us? Are you judging me for my past? Dr. Ashley has a great litmus test using this question: “If I have sex on the first date, and he doesn’t call back, will I be OK?” If you know you will agonize, don’t have sex on the first date. A slower courtship has proven to be a silver lining for many during the pandemic. Other silver linings? Talk about them! Just enjoy life unfolding again.

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