These days you don't need a relationship in order to start a family or have a fulfilling life. But research shows most of us still prefer to find a committed partnership. We asked a top dating and relationship coach for her tips on finding the right person and building a lasting relationship.
The process of looking for love, unfortunately, isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. According to a Pew Research survey from 2019, most single Americans said they were "dissatisfied" with dating. And that’s even before the coronavirus pandemic added an extra layer of complication to the dating scene.
When you're single and tired of waiting, how can you "take back your power" over the process? What steps can you take that give you more control over your own love life?
"The only difference between the people who get what they want and the people who don't is the people who get what they want just keep trying until they get it."
Alexis Sclamberg, a renowned Dating and Relationship Coach and lecturer, shares some key strategies in an interview hosted on the ELANZA Wellness Community.
1. Get clear: What is it that you actually want?
"Most people treat their love lives very differently than they treat the areas of their lives in which they've had success. So if you think of any area of your life in which you've had success, the way that you've approached that success, I'm guessing, is different than the way you're approaching your love life.
So kind of from a process perspective, the way that I work with people is first just identify what it is you want. Get clear about your intention.
People come to me with laundry lists of what they want in a guy or what they want in a girl. But what I would encourage people to do is think about ultimate intention. What do you actually really want? Do you want to get married and have kids? Do you want committed partnership and children? Do you want to live in separate houses, but raise his kids and raise your whatever...? So, first, what do you actually want if you could get anything that you want?
Most people eclipse down the dream before they even get the dream or get to even think about making the dream. Because they're trying to be realistic or they're using their past as evidence of their future. They say: well, it hasn't happened before, so I'm assuming it's not gonna happen in the future. So first, pie in the sky. You get anything you want. The fairy godmother waves her magic wand and you get it...
What is it that you really want?"
2. Visualize: What does that feel like?
"Think through what the relationship would be like.
So most people, as I said, give me the laundry list of qualities in the other. What I have clients do, and I would encourage all of you to do if you're looking to manifest love in your life, is think through: what is the dynamic of the relationship like? What does the relationship feel like? How does your partner make you feel?
Because these are ways in which you can start showing up so that you're in full alignment with that intention. You're not in full alignment with someone being a certain laundry list of things.
What does that actually look like? What does it feel like to you? This is a heart thing not a head thing."
3. Nix your negative thought patterns
"Look under the hood. What are you thinking? What do you believe to be true about finding love about partnership about how men or women see you, about what's possible for you?
If we look at all those beliefs we'll see that there are some that aren't serving you and there are some that are influencing us. Beliefs influence how we behave but there are some that are influencing you to behave in ways that are out of alignment with what you want.
So when I say take your power back I'm saying what are we doing from a mindset perspective so that we can we can get you fully aligned with what you want? What are we doing from an action perspective to get you fully aligned with what you want?
So for example: “Guys just don't find me attractive” - that's one I hear all the time. Or “They just don't like me.” Or, “I've been in kind of these quasi-relationships but no one wants to commit to me.” Those are beliefs that I hear all the time.
One of the ways in which I work is we identify a lot of those beliefs and then we look at how they're influencing how you're behaving. And then we look at, okay, well if you didn't have that belief how would you be showing up? What would you be doing if you didn't have that thought?
To see what it looks like to just show up equal to the life that you want to live, rather than the life that you think that you're living, or the constraints in which you've put yourself."
4. Act in alignment with what you want
(including when it comes to contacting exes...)
"When you're feeling lonely and you want company, you're feeling lonely and you want company - so I'm not gonna sugarcoat that, right?
That's the reality of the human heart and some people are easier to turn to because we're familiar, we're comfortable, we know them right? So that's the case of exes in all time and particularly COVID.
That said, my feeling is if you know what you want you can get it, and you can only get it when you have space for it. If you're spending all of your time and energy and attention on an ex, particularly one that you feel attached to or very connected to, you don't have the space to call in what it is you want.
And so my recommendation is always to ask yourself is this in alignment with my intentions? And sometimes it's not and you're going to give yourself a pass for it, because it's not in alignment, but it's what I really need right now and so i'm going so I'm just gonna do it.
And sometimes it's like, no - it's really time for me to be in full alignment, because I know what I want."
5. Hit "refresh" on dating apps
"Here's my 30 seconds on online dating and online dating fatigue. I'm just gonna say it: online dating is a bit of a sh*t show. It just is. It's kind of crazy right?
But it is, particularly now, a way to meet people, a safe way to meet people.
If you can see online dating for what it is, which is kind of a circus - 99% of the people on dating apps are not your people. They aren't people you'd be likely to meet at a friend's birthday party. One percent of them, maybe, you would meet at a friend's birthday. Even then, are you attracted to that 1% and are they attracted to you? Not necessarily.
So if you can go into online dating seeing it for what it is, which is just a filtering process, it's an amazing filtering process. It's a platform to give you on a silver platter all of these options. If you look at everyone online and think 'This is what I've got, like, these are my options?' You will feel discouraged and horrible like I did.
But if you go on there thinking: this is like walking down the busiest city street and everyone gets to ask you out even if they're not remotely your people - right. It's okay.
But what we want is for you to see it through the lens of: I'm just filtering and a small percentage of these people are going to be great, and the rest I'm just filtering out.
I think it helps with the fatigue because that gives you a different way to approach the apps."
FINAL THOUGHT: Hold onto the "why"
"The only difference between the people who get what they want and the people who don't is the people who get what they want they just keep trying until they get it.
Start showing up as that person and then you'll start to collect evidence, oh this is working, this can work, I've got this.
I would just put out there, we can feel you, can you don't have to like this process. Like you don't have to like it. It doesn't have to feel easy. It doesn't even have to feel enjoyable. I think you will have some fun in the process because you'll just meet people that are fun, you'll flirt with people, you'll have great dates, you'll have great make-out sessions, whatever, but by and large you don't have to like this whole process.
If you want what you want, you do what it takes to get what you want. If you look at any area of your life that you've had great success I'm guessing you've had the same experience - you have worked hard and done things that you didn't want to do because you just wanted the outcome badly enough that it was worth doing it.
But you do it because you want the outcome and so it makes sense to do it, so yes you may feel tired of it, yes you may feel sick of it, if you can change your kind of thinking around it - that could hopefully refresh and just...we got to stick with the why.
Why? Because then why is the motivating factor right? Like why am I doing this in the first place? I'm doing this because I want great love, I want great partnership, I want a family. That's your why - and so, if your why is big enough, you'll do anything.
You have all of the tools at your disposal to get what you want, you do.
You have to know what those tools are and how to use them, which is where I come in and help people, but you have everything you need to make this happen on your own.
My feeling is like you can feel empowered.
You've got this.”
To watch the 25 minute full video interview with Alexis Sclamberg on Finding Love: Strategies for Taking Control of Your Love Life, join the ELANZA Community now and navigate to the "Relationships" topic.
Alexis Sclamberg is co-founder of Borrowed Wisdom, a company that offers online programs to inspire and empower individuals to manifest a life they love. A former lawyer, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and is an Instructor at Barnard’s Athena Center for Leadership Studies. Alexis contributes personal essays to publications including Cosmopolitan, Forbes, and The Huffington Post, and has been featured on the radio, including NPR.
To book a FREE video consultation with Alexis, fill in this brief form. Quote ELANZA to receive a special discount rate on coaching.