During my fantastic training with Animas, I had dozens of conversations with coaches and coaches-in-training about their challenges in the dating department. I also had the privilege of working with an incredible group of Animites who bravely road tested my empowerment programme, 'Your Dating Buddy'.
Whilst recently reflecting on what these clients bravely shared during our time together, some recurring themes and challenges started to appear. In an effort to inspire those lovely single coaches looking for love on here, I have distilled these down and then offered some practical, workable suggestions to take you closer to that wonderful partner you deserve. As with most things in life, take what serves you and leave the rest on the table. If anything resonates deeply with you, positively or negatively, please do get in touch.
So here goes..
They end up 'coaching, fixing and then losing' their partner.
Many of us have done it, armed with our newly found coaching 'superpower', we ask those gloriously open and curious questions that lift lids and expose those dark crevices of our new partner's mind. Now, I'm not saying that these types of conversations don't have their place, they certainly do. But when our role shifts from partner to coach, two things happen. The first is that our vested interest in the outcome taints our ability to coach in the purest sense. This can lead to the second effect which is that we become a stepping stone. The person who facilitates change, and aids in the transformation, then gets left behind once the awakening happens. Emotionally draining and personally baffling, this is one big pit to avoid at all costs.
Coaches aren't prepared to settle!
We're getting to the core of the problem now. As we all know, once you're into this coaching stuff, all facets of our lives come under a different form of scrutiny. Relationships we've 'endured' in the past suddenly seem like complete impossibilities in the 'now'. As we evolve as coaches and individuals, the standards we apply adjust and inevitably rise, including those attached to our closest, most intimate relationships. Our options can appear to narrow and our dating 'pool' can feel like an evaporating desert puddle on a scorching day.
Many coaches are entrepreneurs.
Building a coaching business can be a solitary, all-consuming process, especially when the financial rewards are slim in the development stage. Trying to date in the midst of all of this can feel like a stretch too far...
So what are some possible solutions to all of this..?
Here are a few suggestions..
Define the boundaries.
So applicable to all areas of our lives, but especially dating. A simple statement of "I'm your girlfriend not your coach'' and a referral or sign posting to resources or help outside of your relationship will help to define and protect your connection. Open and vulnerable conversations are one thing, but not with your coaching 'hat' on.
'Be' where the like-minded people are.
This takes a bit of work in terms of defining who you are seeking, and identifying where they hangout, online and in person. Rather than 'growth mindset' try clarifying 5 key traits, behaviours, passions or beliefs they will have, and then work out where they could be living or doing these things. Think laterally, something like yoga encompasses exercise, some degree of spirituality and a bias towards healthy living, so taking up a new activity or interest could create opportunities for making interesting, like-minded connections.
Stop trying so hard.
As with so many things in life, the harder we try to achieve something, the more it can appear it elude us! As coaches we can get very 'caught up' in our brains, we are conditioned to be curious and open in exploring what others feel and why. This in turn can lead us to do the same with our own thoughts, and an internal battle can ensue. Becoming grounded, accepting what is and moving with the flow will bring the calmness that is often needed for a potential partner to appear in your life. Many a client of mine has found the one simply by declaring they are 'off the dating scene', a true indicator that sometimes a break in our thought patterns and behaviours is all that is needed to move towards our goal.
Get a dating coach!
I know. I would say that right. But this doesn't have to be an actual coach, although I would highly recommend that! It could be a book from the library, a wise aunt, a dating blogger with great insights, an ebook or even a retreat. Whatever your budget and time will allow, seek out the resources that will empower you to move forward. I have recently launched "Your Dating Buddy', my twelve week empowerment programme designed to maximise your chances of finding true love online! You can find out more by visiting my website christineramsay.co.uk.