Celeste & Danielle Offer Sex and Relationship Coaching for a Passionate, Connected and Fulfilling Life

Joy is contagious, unfortunately so are anxiety and insecurity. So many people start dates from one extreme or another instead of a place of grounded confidence where they are open to actually enjoying themselves. Romantics may be 20 steps ahead – already so in love with the idea of what could be, while self-described realists may already be bemoaning the fact that they are wasting their time when they could just have a surefire fun night with friends and a pint (of beer, ice-cream, or both). Many folks approach dating as if it is a job interview and are generally caught up on how they will perform. They worry about how the other candidate will measure up or they oscillate and between performance anxiety and competition. We are not saying dating is easy, but there are some ways that a change in approach can really impact the experience, even if the fit is not amazing. Dating with joy is an important skill for people who are in a relationship as well. Many couples have a date night but start to dial it in and make it as much like any other night as possible. This holiday season why don’t we all try these 5 ways to bring a little magic to this artform.

The Pre-Party: Getting ready for a date can be a great way to get grounded and start off with some joy of your own. Do something that is a bit indulgent – take a bubble bath, a longer shower, eat a little something that makes you feel your senses come alive. Listen to your anthem, the one that makes you feel like you can do anything. If you are coupled, think about getting ready on your own. It may feel contrived but it can allow you to look at your partner with fresh eyes if you didn’t just pass them the soap in your getting ready shower. Some people like to take their pre-party a little further, perhaps, all the way. For some a little self-love can be a great way to relieve nerves and get in touch with your desire. Others can get started but might enjoy a date more if they have held out on a big O. Only you can know you body. We encourage you to start dating yourself and remember how fun you are before you even meet up.

A Joyous Plan: Who doesn’t like dinner? For a foodie a surefire joyous plan may be a night at a new food truck park or a great new restaurant. But for those of us that have been on a lot of dates it can feel like a movie montage where the person across from you swaps out but your experience remains the same. As an alternative, try something a bit less stationary and more dynamic. This is a great season for it. Go ice-skating, caroling, go on a hunt for the best-decorated houses in your area. Do a car picnic and watch the sunset or go to indoor mini-golf. See a comedy show and just enjoy yourself (and have a window into their sense of humor without all the pressure). Make a plan that you are excited about.

Stories are Everything: If you are dating someone new take the time to really hear their stories and appreciate how unique they are. Also, when you are telling your own stories, try and be as honest about yourself as possible instead of editing. Be confident that you are fascinating because we all are when we share our unique perspectives. If you are in an LTR try asking your partner to tell you some stories you may not know. Perhaps about a childhood crush or an accomplishment they never got to brag about.

Having Fun Doesn’t Mean You’re Leading Anyone On: Some people feel like they need to be overly “realistic” and make the date an unpleasant one if they feel there will not be a follow-up. We want to give you permission to enjoy yourself without worrying about the future. You might end up surprising yourself, making a new friend, or just having a good story. You can always end by saying, “I had a great time with you, and am not totally feeling the chemistry, but I’m glad we met.”

Strong Finish: Now we don’t necessarily expect the date to end in a night of mind-blowing sex until the morning. If it does, great! You’re welcome ;). But there are many outcomes that can still feel great and leave you with a feeling of hope and joy. This season is a chance to be a little kinder, more open, and share your unique self with the world. Even if your after-party is solo, we are sure you can think of some ways to make it joyous! At the end of date night remember all of the wonderful things you enjoy – about yourself, your date, where you live, what you ate, etc. Gratitude is contagious as well.

As women, we are being told that until we look a particular way, we can’t be proud of our bodies, enjoy them, dress up in any way that we want or enjoy and be playful with our sexuality. One of our role models is Jessica Rabbit – while she is a drawing and there is no way that any woman will ever look like her, we realized that we can’t be Jessica, but we sure can feel like we live in her body.

Imagine being Jessica one day of your life – what would you do differently? What would you say that you don’t dare to say otherwise? What would you think of yourself? Why wait to be Jessica, you can have her attitude in your own beautiful body. Yummmmm – that’s a fun way to live life.

Our third of three posts outlining common issues that women face in dating and the top three mistakes we may make when facing these issues.

Mistake #3 – Making Sex for Him Instead of for You

Last but most definitely not least, women often experience the intensity and passion of the beginnings of sex with their partner but quickly lose interest in sex because they are going along with what their partner wants instead of really finding out for themselves what makes them tick sexually. Women are mostly told by our culture that sex is not for them, and so sex gets put on the back burner.

Women think that the men in their lives are also willing to put sex on the back burner and live without it. Then women feel hurt and surprised or are in denial when their partners turn to porn, paid sex or affairs. We believe this response is rooted in cultural lessons that teach women that sex is extraneous or frivolous as opposed to a core need. While there are also many women who want more sex and better sex in their relationship, there are few who are willing to follow through on finding out what THEY truly desire and then share it with their partners gently and openly. It is true that some men don’t want directions, however, many men are dying for women to tell them what they want so that they can give it to them.

Our second of three posts outlining common issues that women face in dating and the top three mistakes we may make when facing these issues. Day 2 has to do with how we communicate:

Mistake #2 – From No Communication to Unkind Communication

The idea that Mr. Right will just know what you want without you having to ask, causes women who are dating to wait patiently and hope that he will be the man you want him to be — without you having to say anything.

This generally means that women in long term relationships have been holding their tongue and waiting for so long, when the frustration of not getting what they want finally comes out it comes out in blaming, shaming or accusatory ways, making the men in their lives feel useless and hopeless about pleasing them. The focus moves from bolstering a man’s ego and never telling him when you need something different to tearing him down and making him feel horrible.

Communicating your needs and boundaries does not need to be harsh – in fact, you can be clear about your boundaries and needs in a clear, loving, and connected way. When you realize it is impossible for anyone to read your mind or any one person to meet all of your needs, you can begin learning how to ask for, receive and delight in the gifts your partner actually has to offer.

Over the next three days we’ll be publishing some common issues women face in dating and top three mistakes we may make when we face these issues. Day 1 has to do with Mr. Right.

Mistake #1 is Waiting for Mr. Right

Most women have been taught through fairy tales and romance movies that meeting Mr. Right means everything will just click – he will know exactly what you want and give it to you. The idea that there is a “Mr. Right” is misleading and causes women to get very surprised when differences arise or their partner disappoints them in some way. The Mr. Right fantasy can also make women overlook all sorts of red flags if they feel a spark with someone.

In long-term relationships the Mr. Right fantasy can make women very complacent – trying to keep everything the same and stable instead of allowing themselves to grow and change in their needs and desires for fear that they will no longer be compatible with their Mr. Right. They also expect their partner to stay the same and get very angry when he changes. Finally, they let all of the wrongs pile up without confronting them, become resentful and decide that they simply have not found Mr. Right and it is time to start the search again.

Recently, we blogged about testosterone levels in men. We talked about the inaccurate and doubtful testing methods, to how environment, age, rest and exercise effects testosterone levels giving men options on how to can raise testosterone levels naturally. Recently, we came upon this really interesting study for men that shows that breathing in women’s natural scent can be another fantastic way to raise your “T” levels. Take note women, leaving the perfume and the deodorant on the shelf may be the most effective way to attract the right man.

Most people avoid difficult topics when dating, instead trying to market themselves like a product and sharing only information that makes them seem interesting, fun, sexy or sweet. We have worked with so many folks out in the dating world who feel a sense of extreme pressure not to show any of their challenges and a feeling that they are not being fully themselves or honest out in the dating world, making dating less than fun. Some folks, however, don’t have the choice of waiting to share about difficult topics. For example, it is important to share with a partner if you have an STD like herpes or a mental health issue such as depression and you can’t easily hide it if you are dealing with erectile dysfunction. We suggest that you don’t avoid difficult topics when dating. This is not to say that you spend your whole first dinner talking about everything that is wrong with you, we just suggest that, instead of marketing yourself like a product, and hoping you will get chosen, remember that everyone has problems or issues of their own and, by brining yours up, you are increasing your chances for intimacy and a foundation of honesty if you decide to move into a relationship. When thinking about bringing up your own challenges, remember that you are not alone – whoever you are dating has problems and issues of their own, whether or not they are apparent in your first few months of dating. Their problems may be different from yours or similar, but when you bring up your own personal challenges, you invite others more deeply into your world increasing and give them the opportunity to share their own challenges with you. If you find that someone still wants to pretend that they are perfect once you start revealing your feelings and experiences, this, in and of itself can be a red flag, because it is quite difficult to date someone who is unable to admit that they have any of their own fears, hurts or challenges. When sharing about any challenges, we encourage you to share you feelings and experiences instead of just the labels. If we stay with the depression example, instead of saying, “I’m depressed or I’m on anti-depressants,” try sharing what it feels like. For example, you might say, “I am dealing with depression, which means that sometimes I go through cycles where I am sad for a while or I don’t feel like getting out of bed” or “Throughout my life, I’ve had periods of depression, I’m taking anti-depressants now and they help a lot but I still go through times when things effect me more than others.” You might also tell whomever you are with what how you’d like them to respond when your challenge arises and reassure them that you are not going to blame them. In the case of depression, you might say, for example, that you’d like to be able to share your feelings during these times without the person you are seeing feeling like he or she has to do anything about it or fix it. Or, in the case of erectile dysfunction, you might share feelings like, “It is definitely frustrating sometimes, but when I focus on connecting with you I feel much more relaxed and still can get a lot of enjoyment out of it.” You might also let them know that it doesn’t mean that you aren’t attracted to them. In short, we encourage people to allow intimacy to unfold by sharing all the different side of who you are and making room for other’s humanness as well!!!