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This post will be short and sweet:

I just wanted to introduce you to my new baby boy!

Our second son, Case Michael, was born on February 5th weighing in at 6 lbs and 11 oz.

He is just the sweetest baby and both myself and him are doing well.

Unlike with my first son, where I tried to steamroll over all of the uncomfortable feelings I was going through, this time I’m just allowing myself to relax and enjoy.

Right now you are most likely to find me in a rocking chair in his nursery breast feeding and reading a book or staring out the window.

When I think about my life just 10 years ago the difference between now and then is astounding.

One isn’t necessarily better than the other…but just…so different.

Ten years ago you would hardly have found me at my apartment at all. If I wasn’t at work I was attending classes, at the gym, on a date, or out for drinks with friends and coworkers.

My life was jam packed.

Today I’ve done what I never thought I’d allow myself to do.

Give myself space. Breathing room. Say no to opportunities that I’d like to say yes to. Be present. Pay attention. Attempt (and sometimes fail) to be the best mother I can be.

Sometimes in life you need to pull back and find your focus.

Focusing on what matters most is hard work, but it’s the best kind of hard work. It’s the work that leaves you often exhausted but grateful, not striving to be perfect but full of grace.

This is just one season of my life. It reminds me of winter.

In the winter we go inward, we build strength, allow for peace and quiet, and get ready to bloom again.

What season are you in right now? If you were to follow your heart and find your focus, what would that be?

XO
Alexis

The post Introducing You To My New Baby Boy appeared first on Alexis Meads | Dating Coach and Dating Expert | Portland Oregon.

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I’ve talked to my clients often about body language, confidence, and flirting with ease. When I looked back on my own dating life, and wondered what came naturally to meet that attracted men, I realized the real secret to flirting and meeting men in the real world.

The truth is that it’s not about looks alone.

In fact, there was a study done by researcher Dr. Monica Moore that actually showed there was NO correlation between physical attractiveness of a woman and how often she was approached by men.

She even proved that “unattractive” women with the right body language were approached more often than attractive women who did not signal correctly.

But if this doesn’t come naturally to you, how do you remember all of that body language?

If you’re out on a date and constantly thinking, “okay now lean forward a bit, make eye contact, wait…not too long with the eye contact…damnit.”

Then you’re not really being present, are you?

And that is what it’s all about with men: your presence.

When I was single I would talk to all sorts of men in the real world and on the dates that I set up through dating sites.

There wasn’t always an instant chemistry, and some of these dates didn’t lead very far.

However, I was extremely good at moving beyond the first date to a man asking me out for date number two.

I’m not the most flirtatious or feminine person in the world.

In fact, I was deeply shy through my teenage years.

And my husband and I still joke about how much I would eat during our dinner dates! He said he thought that I would starve myself all day just to eat a ton of food for him to pay for on our date.

We laugh about it now, but at the time I didn’t even think about it!

I was just being myself and I like food.

So what was this quality that I had to draw men in? To have them want to get to know me more?

This is the real secret to flirting and meeting men in the real world.

It was how I made them feel in my presence about themselves.

I would try to look nice for the dates, have fun, etc. but ultimately it was never about trying to prove myself.

I didn’t have to show them how cool, or fun, or smart, or amazing I was to get them to like me.

I simply showed an interest in them, and then could feel the chemistry building, which became almost an addictive quality for me in dating.

It made me love dating.

I can remember being at a wedding and suddenly being left alone by a mutual friend next to one of the groom’s best men.

We both found ourselves sort of staring forward a little awkwardly, unsure of what to say to one another, and not entirely wanting to be there.

A few hours later we were laughing and dancing.

All I did was begin asking questions about himself.

And then I really listened, as though he was the most interesting person in the world.

If he made a joke, I let myself laugh deeply.

This transforms the way a man views himself, while he’s around you, and that is a very powerful thing.

I don’t want you to do this for the power or the ego potential that it has, as this was a trap that I fell into at one time.

But do it because everyone is interesting at some level.

As Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “everyone has a story when you listen for it.”

Rather than going into a date feeling bored, restless, or disillusioned, you can listen for someone’s story and enjoy their company. You can look at it as an opportunity to get to know a new soul.

And that is truly the real secret to flirting and meeting men in the real world.

I put together a guide for you with my best tips on The Art Of Flirting, and it’s only available for a limited time before I go on maternity leave!

Get your free copy of the guide here and share with friends!

Coming from someone who was very shy in high school and didn’t really date, I know that this is a skill that can be learned.

It’s not about attracting in a ton of men but having the ability to attract in the right one.

XO

Alexis

The post The Real Secret To Flirting And Meeting Men In The Real World appeared first on Alexis Meads | Dating Coach and Dating Expert | Portland Oregon.

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When we go through a particularly difficult breakup, one of the most natural questions we end up asking ourselves is, did my breakup actually happen for a reason?

We want to seek meaning and answers. We want to know why.

And just maybe, maybe, if it happened for some yet unknown but greater reason, a reason that’s unseen for those of us who believe in fate, then we can live with it.

Then we can find the strength to move on one day.

It doesn’t matter if you were the one to initiate the breakup or not, the regret and loss can be very real.

I wrestled with this regret for a long time.

Although I was the one to pull away, many times, from my long-term college boyfriend, in the end it started to feel like I was powerless.

Perhaps it was the youthful feeling that I could somehow control the outcome, and when he started to pull away, I felt helpless.

I had been on both sides of this relationship: the rejector and the rejected.

Even writing that sentence now sounds so juvenile as I realize that that’s not real love.

And yet we did love each other deeply, in the way that first love does. We just weren’t mature enough (well, I should only speak for myself here!) to realize how to evolve that love.

So even though I pulled away and thought that I was ready for a new relationship, why did it take me so long to get over it?

Why did I look back so many times wondering: what if? Did my breakup actually happen for a reason?

I had to find sense in that loss. To know that there was a meaning.

I’d find myself Googling the question: Did my breakup actually happen for a reason?

I’ve wrestled with this question for a long time.

Not just the breakup, but a deep desire to believe that everything happens for a reason.

That there is some connectedness in this Universe we live in.

That things aren’t just random and senseless.

I may never be able to answer this question on a theoretical level. There may be some unknowable purpose to life that makes it worth living.

However, I did realize that I may be asking myself the wrong question.

What if it’s not about if it happened for a reason or not.

The point is that it happened.

And my life is forever changed because of it.

It is up to me to make lemonade when there are lemons. It is up to me to seek meaning within my own life.

I have no idea what would have happened if we were still together, but what I do know would not have happened are:

  • Living in a home I love in Portland Oregon
  • Getting my graduate degree from Harvard University
  • Living in Hawaii for a period of time
  • Marrying my husband who is a true partner in every sense of the word
  • Starting my own business
  • Having the most wonderful son who has taught me what love really is  (and another on the way)

So yeah, when I stopped looking backwards and started counting my blessings instead, the question begins to mean less and less.

Life is always changing. Growing. Expanding. Revealing the purpose of itself through love, joy, newness, loss, grief, and heartache.

If you are going through a painful breakup, I’m not going to tell you to “just get over it”, or to spiritualize the pain of the loss away.

It did happen for a reason, Beautiful. And that reason is yours for the making.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Have you been through a difficult breakup? What meaning did you seek from it?

Remember that hundreds of incredible women visit this blog each week, and your comment may just allow them to have a breakthrough.

All my love,

XO

Alexis

The post Did my breakup actually happen for a reason? appeared first on Alexis Meads | Dating Coach and Dating Expert | Portland Oregon.

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Over the years, prompted by various ‘experts’, I’ve tried every kind of New Year’s practice under the sun including elaborate goal setting to future journaling to creating gratitude lists. In this article, rather than telling you the right method for you, I’m going to give you 7 ways to set up your New Year’s resolution, in order to choose the one that works best for where you are right now.

I posted the question a few days ago on my Instagram: what do you do for the New Year in terms of resolutions, goal setting, or reflection? What is your favorite method?

I was surprised to see how many people said that they don’t have any practice for New Year’s.

I have followed online experts who tell you the best method to practice on New Year’s and have bought expensive planners and 40 page eBooks detailing about a million things to overhaul in your life.

Nowadays, I keep it simple.

Each practice has positives and negatives, depending on your perspective around it and how likely you are to stick to it.

It’s not about picking the BEST practice, it’s about choosing a practice that feels right for you right now.

So in this article, let’s go through 7 ways to set up your New Year’s resolutions.

1. Set specific goals or choose a New Year’s resolution.

The most popular practice on New Year’s is to choose a resolution.

A New Year’s resolution is a tradition, most common in the Western Hemisphere, in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.

Many years, I’ve chosen a set of goals and narrowed them down.

If you’re someone who likes having a very direct target then setting up goals may be the right practice for you.

You’ll want to use SMART goals, which makes them specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time oriented. This could be something like “I am going to lose 10 pounds by July 1, 2019.”

Sounds great, right?

This is where goal-setting typically falls short.

Make sure if you’re going to set up a goal that you have a strong purpose behind the goal and that you make all of the decisions that need to be made ahead of time to achieve that goal.

The purpose may be that by losing 10 pounds it would give you confidence to get out in the world more and meet new people. Then know what needs to be done consistently to achieve this goal.

2. Write a letter to your future self.

This has been my personal favorite for many years and has served me quite well. Last year I wrote an article called “The only thing I do for the New Year” about exactly how I do this practice.

It’s a way of reflecting on your hopes and dreams for the coming year and strengthening the belief that they are possible, even if you have no idea how to make them happen.

You open a journal and date it one year from today as you write a letter to your future self.

If you desperately want a relationship, for example, you may write:

“I can’t believe how awesome this past year has been! Just a few months into the new year I went on a date with this guy  that at first I didn’t think anything would come of it. After so many disappointments I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but Brad continued to pursue me and I fell hard. I mean, hard. It felt nothing like the past times that I fell for a guy too fast. This time it was easy and natural, and can you believe we’re planning on moving in together at the beginning of 2020?!”

Once you’ve written this letter to your future self, you just sort of forget about it. Yup, you surrender.

3. Pick a New Year theme.

This one is probably the most simple practice.

Basically, you want to pick an umbrella theme for the year in which all else will fall under. It may be an area of your life that feels more important than all the rest.

While there are many areas in my life that are important to me, with having a newborn baby, “motherhood” this year will probably be my dominant theme whether I want it to be or not!

It’s not because I want to be the perfect mom or do it right, as I’ve learned there is absolutely no such thing (and don’t let any articles or Instagram photos tell you otherwise). For me, it’s more about being present, being vulnerable and honest in the times that get tough, and just enjoying this short season of my life.

The same might be said if you recently got married, are entering a new relationship, or have gotten a promotion at work.

Examples include:

  • Saying Yes
  • Commitment
  • Adventure/Travel
  • Balance
  • Romance
  • Discipline
  • Joy
  • Faith
4. Reflect on the previous year.

Rather than future projecting, you may decide that the best practice for you is to reflect on the year that just passed.

This can be extremely helpful, as many people breeze through their lives without any reflection.

You may ask yourself or write down the following questions:

  • What would I like to take from this past year and bring more of and less of into the coming year?
  • What were the hardest times in the past year? Why?
  • What were my greatest joys this past year? Why?
  • What were my biggest blessings in this past year?
  • Did I have a default way of being or reacting? Has this served me?
  • How have I evolved in the past year? Who would I like to be this coming year?
5. Light a candle and set an intention.

An intention is sort of like a resolution, but is more about a mental, emotional, or spiritual state rather than something concrete.

Some examples of mindful intentions include:

  • I intend to be kind to myself and others in all situations.
  • I intend to uphold my own words and actions in the integrity I expect from others.
  • I intend to be as present and positive on all the new dates I go on.
  • I intend to make meditation a natural part of my life.
  • I intend to stop letting fear be my only reaction to every situation. Instead, I will ask myself, “If I wasn’t allowed to be afraid, how else may I respond to this?”
  • I intend to stop taking things so personally.
6. Choose a new daily habit.

My husband will be doing an extremely intensive 50 hour challenge this spring called Kokoro camp, run by past Navy Seal Mark Divine who owns the company SealFit.

Mark has a podcast called “Unbeatable Mind” which I occasionally listen to, inspired by my husband’s commitment to this process.

One guest that had a profound effect on me was James Clear who recently appeared on his podcast about the process of getting to your goals. I would highly recommend listening to it if you want to create new habits or goals in your life!

One thing James talks about is not focusing on future goals, but setting up new consistent habits.

I’ve struggled with getting up early for years, and with a toddler it’s become even more important to me so that I can set up my day before he gets up in the morning.

Rather than creating an elaborate morning routine, I started by focusing on what James said by setting the alarm clock for 6 am and having my slippers next to the bed.

I wouldn’t make myself do anything in particular except just turn off my alarm, sit up, and put my slippers on. Some days I would get up and have a great morning, while other days I would stay a little longer in bed and just breathe. The key was that I made showing up the habit, and eventually could add on more to my morning routine.

7. Think of the type of person you’d like to become.

Whatever practice you decide you chose for New Year’s, the most important and beautiful thing is that it’s adding to the person you’d like to become.

At the end of the day a goal is just a goal and would be meaningless without it adding to the person you envision yourself as being.

Your best self, in other words.

Why would you care about losing 10 pounds if you didn’t think it would make you happier, more consistent, more confident, more social, more fashionable, etc.?

You’ll be much more likely to succeed if you think about the type of person you’d like to BE this coming year, and then use that as your North Star.

If you want to be the type of person who has lots of energy and puts 100% into everything they do, what is that kind of person like? What habits do they have?

This method is going to be the one I pick this year! I want to show up into 2019 as the type of person, with the kind of energy, I desire to have.

I know that it won’t be perfect but an evolving process.

However, if I have a strong vision of this type of person, I know that in time it will guide every choice I make easily and joyfully.

Now I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! What practice works best for you?

If you would like help with this, I only have a handful of single session slots available before I go on maternity leave. Book yours now if you want to talk to me personally before February.

xo

Alexis

The post 7 Ways To Set Up Your New Year’s Resolution appeared first on Alexis Meads | Dating Coach and Dating Expert | Portland Oregon.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

I hope you’re enjoying all the good of this season, and taking all the ‘not so good’ with grace and stride.

No matter how old I get, there is still so much magic and beauty about this time of year to me. The traditions, our Christmas tree decorated, listening to music, my mom baking the peanut butter kiss cookies with my three year old that I made with her when I was the same age.

And, there is the dark side of this time of year that is very real for many of us, too.

Tensions between family members, unrealistic and unmet expectations, perhaps fear of getting older or missing out, losses old and new that can feel as fresh as if they happened yesterday.

That’s why when I posted December’s challenge in Dating Cocktail Lounge and with my coaching clients of choosing connection over protection, it was important to me that I followed along as well.

I’ll be honest, it’s been tough for me to bear witness to.

We were born connected to ourselves and to universal love. Over time we experience hurt and pain in our lives from feeling judged, not being seen, family dynamics, loss, and heartbreak.

Slowly these moments will have us creating walls as a way to protect ourselves, leading us away from our own hearts and worthiness.

Instead of leading from our heart like you see young children do, our brain will take over to protect us. It creates fearful thoughts such as:

“I can’t tell him how I feel. I’ll just play it cool and see how it goes…

I don’t think he really likes me. If he did he would reach out more.

What if I put myself out there first and I’m judged?

What if I say or do the wrong thing?

Did I miss out on my best chance at love?

Maybe I should just give up because it’s easier that way.”

And so we get lost in our heads. We analyze. We second guess. We spin down the rabbit hole.

We forget our innate worthiness and our connection to our own hearts and receiving the love around us or recognizing the right person for us.

We have to start letting our hearts lead again and for most of us that can be frightening.

The antidote: Connection. To yourself. Your spirituality. The love already around you. Life.

This holiday season I asked the women in Dating Cocktail Lounge to focus on feeling the joy through connecting with others and your Self.

As you focus on connection you’ll also become more aware of those times where you choose to protect or get stuck in your head. Don’t judge when this happens, just recognizing both states are important.

Examples include…

Placing your hand on your heart with your eyes closed and taking 10 deep breaths.

Calling up a family member or close friend and asking them how they are. Then really listening.

Smiling and saying hello to a stranger.

Going to a party or holiday event you were inclined to say no to and really being present.

As you go about this during the holidays, write notes about the moments of connection that you experienced and how they felt. Also note when your reflex took you back into the protective state instead.

As I’ve done this work over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed how often I shut down, and honestly, it bothers me.

I’ve found it hard to not judge myself for this.

Laughing, giving someone a real hug, listening to another person, or just having fun FEELS good. I feel like myself in these moments.

And yet I still do it, like everyone else, I close a piece of myself off during the very moments when I would be happier if I chose connection instead.

It’s a work in progress. I am a work in progress, right alongside you.

So this holiday season Gladys, whatever it is that you celebrate, whatever stage you currently are in life, or whatever your relationship status might be at this moment, I hope that you feel overwhelming joy, connection, and love.

As my favorite Christmas movie “Love Actually” says….love really is all around.

XO
Alexis

The post Choosing Connection Over Protection This Holiday Season appeared first on Alexis Meads | Dating Coach and Dating Expert | Portland Oregon.

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We’ve all been there.

You talked to him for hours on your first date. There were definite sparks. It didn’t take long for him to lean in for your first kiss.

That’s when you were hooked.

You saw all the potential in him. All the potential for your future life together.

You told yourself not to get too excited in case it didn’t work out. In case you jinx it. But everything seemed to be going so well. He was texting you, setting up dates, clearly into you.

Until suddenly, there was a shift.

It was subtle.

You may even be imagining it, you tell yourself. Perhaps he really is just extra busy with work.

That’s possible, right?

But something in your gut is telling you things aren’t quite right.

He’s not calling or texting as much. He’s out with his buddies more. He seems to be busier than he was when you first started dating.

You notice it seems to be taking a turn, and you do what so many of us do.

You get scared and you hold on tighter.

You think that maybe if you just try to look prettier, or act more fun, or even put out before you’re ready, then he’ll surely see all the potential in you and come around.

Then you’ll get him back.

Every abandonment issue you’ve ever had comes out. Every fear of rejection that you’re just not good enough comes to the surface.

The problem is that when we notice he’s pulling away and we cling more tightly to him, it has the opposite desired effect.

He runs the other direction, and we’re left mopping up the pieces of our broken self-esteem with our well worn bucket.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Why do we hang on so tightly to someone who isn’t giving us what we say we want in a relationship? Who is bringing out the worst in us rather than the best?

Why do we desperately try to keep the relationship alive, hoping that maybe all the excuses we made for him are true, when our intuition is telling us the opposite?

Part of why we get so afraid is because we think that it has everything to do with us and nothing to do with him.

We take it extremely personally, assuming that if he’s pulling away then it must because we did something wrong. Or we said something wrong. Or he found a girl who’s more attractive than we believe ourselves to be.

The second reason we spiral into fear-city is because we think that we’re losing this whole future with him that we may not find again with someone else.

We’ve already put him on a pedestal and created these ideals in our mind – how happy you’ll be together bringing him home for the holidays, what your wedding might be like. But the truth is that they’re just that, ideals, fiction really – that are all coming from you and not from him.

It’s important that we look at the situation for what it truly is: a representation of where he is right now.

It’s not always about us. He’s just showing you what he’s capable of in the present moment of offering you, even if he was amazing in the beginning.

He’s not ready for a serious commitment, or he’s emotionally unavailable, something is going on in his life, or the two of you aren’t the right fit. It can be a gift.

Rejection is protection. Rejection is redirection.

When this happens, rather than holding on tighter, there are a few other things you can do.

If you’re the only one texting him, calling him, or chasing after him, then there is an easy fix. Stop texting, stop calling, and stop chasing. He will either come back to you or the silence on his end will be telling.

While you’re waiting to see what happens if you stop chasing, start to re-focus your energy back on yourself, your friends, your work, and your life.

If you’ve been ignoring any of these things, this is a great opportunity to shift the attention to what makes you happy again.

Try some positive distractions like going out with friends, immersing yourself in a work project, exercising, or anything that is fun to you.

If you don’t hear from him for a couple of weeks and it becomes clear that he isn’t willing to put in the effort, then it is time to move on beautiful.

As hard as it may be, you deserve better than settling for something and someone who can’t give you the full love you desire.  While you may not be able to see it right now, there is a man out there who is just as ready to meet you as you are to meet him.

The other thing you can do is to gather up all of your courage, and I mean ALL of your courage, and talk to him about it.

A client of mine was dating a man she really liked when she noticed that he was pulling away within a few months. I asked her if she had talked to him about what she was noticing, in which she replied “I’m scared to find out. Shouldn’t I just wait to see what he says first?”

It’s normal to feel afraid, I told her, because you don’t know what he is going to say until you ask and I realize that you fear you may lose him if you hear his answer.

She was going into a natural protective mode where waiting and rationalizing felt easier than expressing herself.

But there is a reason why that feels easier, typically rooted in deeper wounds from our past.

She finally talked to the man she was dating and told him how she felt. That she really enjoyed their time together and noticed he seemed to be pulling away. She told him that if something was going on, it was perfectly okay, but she would rather know.

He replied that he also had been really enjoying spending time together but he could sense she wanted more and he wasn’t ready to be in an exclusive relationship yet.

Of course this wasn’t the answer that she wanted, but she felt really proud of herself for facing it and was able to move on more easily with mutual respect for one another.

Trust your gut.

Trust your self.

Trust your strength.

You deserve so much better than settling for the crumbs he’s throwing you.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Have you ever felt a man you were dating pulling away? What was your initial reaction, and what ended up happening?

Hundreds of souls come here each week for inspiration and your comment may be just the thing they need to move forward.

Love,

Alexis

Want to learn more about bringing love into your life?  Join our mailing list below, and I’ll send you my complimentary Finding Love video series!

The post What To Do When You Notice He’s Pulling Away appeared first on Alexis Meads | Dating Coach and Dating Expert | Portland Oregon.

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“I don’t know how you do it,” a client recently said to me during one of our sessions. “If I had to hear myself and other women endlessly talk about an ex-boyfriend, I’d roll my eyes and tell them to just get over it.”

I told her that just getting over it is easier said than done until you’re the person going through it.

I know this because I’ve been through all of the feelings that any of my clients go through after a bad breakup.

For a while I was the girl still pining for a man she loved and lost.

Wondering what might have been if only…

Those two words will kill you if you let them: if only.

I would tell myself to “just get over it”, while still waking sadly from memory-laden dreams.

I believe in fate.

I believe that there is purpose to events, beyond mere coincidence.

It took me a long time to realize what this breakup would come to mean.

Because I didn’t marry my first love, the one who I thought would make me part of that ‘perfect couple’ that others would envy — I am more equipped to help others find true love. I have a beautiful son and another on the way. I have a wonderful marriage with a man who treats me like a princess.

The majority of women who didn’t live their happily ever after with the one they thought they were going to, but who have gone through the mess, the heartache, the highs and lows — it’s in going through these painful events that we are left at our most vulnerable, wondering how we can ever trust a man again.

Wondering how we can ever trust our fragile selves again to get it right.

To trust in love.

To trust in choosing the right person.

So we do what any rational human would do. We clamp both hands over our hearts as if to say, “I can’t let anyone in here.”

We may date now and again, but never let ourselves get too excited, just in case…

The subtle message that we are telling our heart and brain is…protect. Protect.

It is in this protection that we actually do the most damage of all to our fragile self-esteem.

We stop letting joy and love in. We stop letting even the possibility of love in. We stop letting ourselves be excited, one of the most basic and childlike emotions there is.

Therefore, how do we begin to trust again after a bad breakup?

We do the counter-intuitive thing. The thing we’re most afraid of.

We gently take both hands off of our heart.

We say, “I’m willing to trust again, even if I get hurt. Even if I don’t get it right the next time. I am willing to find true love.”

True love doesn’t exist without vulnerability. It just doesn’t.

You begin by first trusting yourself again. Trusting that you are a good judge of character. Trusting that you can make sound decisions.

When has there been another time where you’ve gone through a difficult situation, one you didn’t know if you’d get through, but you stood back up?

Who are other people in your life that you trust who haven’t let you down?

What decisions, big or small, have you made that you feel proud of?

Don’t let the breakup you went through, the one that feels so big right now, be what defines you and your life.

Only a heart like yours would have opened itself to that kind of love in the first place.

It is because of this, the loving heart that you have, that your desire for true love will come to be.

Love,

Alexis

P.S. Let’s hear from you in the comments below! Have you ever felt like you need to move on but really you’re stuck wishing he’ll come back?

Want to learn more about bringing love into your life?  Join our mailing list below, and I’ll send you my complimentary Finding Love video series!

The post How To Trust Again After A Bad Breakup appeared first on Alexis Meads | Dating Coach and Dating Expert | Portland Oregon.

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This month in the Dating Cocktail Lounge, a monthly membership for finding true love, we’ve been discussing the difference between the dating trend called Breezing, vs. what I call Cool Girl Syndrome.

One of the girls in the group commented that she has a hard time being the ‘carefree cool girl’. She’d act like it because she knew that’s what guys liked but wasn’t feeling true to herself.

Eventually her real self would come out, typically when she was really into the guy, and then he would start pulling away from her.

What is the difference between having confidence within yourself with ‘breezing’, and when is it putting on more of an act and not being true to yourself? And more importantly, why?

The idea of Breezing is simple in essence and can come naturally for some people.

It’s a dating trend that focuses on not caring. It’s about being carefree, confident within yourself, and not worrying too much about what you’re supposed to be doing and what he’s thinking.

Breezing is telling you to be who you are, be true to yourself (EVEN if that’s not naturally the most carefree person in the world), and not to be afraid to speak your feelings.

When my clients are dating and they start to feel anxious about questions such as, “Should I text him back right now or wait?”, I ask, “What feels the most light and fun to you?” This keys you in to being true to yourself rather than following a prescriptive set of rules.

It’s easier to act authentically carefree and breezy when you’re dating someone if you’re not sure how much you like them at first, and if they’re not playing games with you.

The problem is that when you really like a guy and get attached too quickly, it can become almost impossible to naturally feel breezy.

That’s where Breezing’s evil stepsister comes in: Cool Girl Syndrome.

Cool Girl Syndrome is acting like, and trying to be, the super accommodating, low key cool girl in order to get a guy to like you.

I have played this role many times in my dating life, and let me tell you, when it’s not authentic it rarely if ever works out.

You may even have pure intentions, thinking, well he may just be a really busy guy and I’d like to be understanding, compassionate, and give him the benefit of the doubt because that is who I am.

Perhaps he has recently gone through a divorce and tells you that it is completely over between him and his wife, but they share young kids. He tells you that he wants to move forward with a new relationship, that he really likes you, while in the meantime he is still extremely intertwined with her and sets no boundaries.

You start to make excuses again for him, wanting to be compassionate for the situation he’s going through, while finding yourself increasingly frustrated and insecure.

If you are ‘t clear within yourself of what you want and what is OK to you, then what happens if you’re all too accommodating all too often, is that it sets the stage for the relationship and creates bitterness within you.

The guy may even say things to his friends like, “She is so easy going! She’s the coolest girl I’ve ever dated!” This SEEMS great, while in the meantime he’s learned that it’s okay to cancel dates last minute if something comes up because you don’t appear to care.

While, inside, you may be stewing and gritting your teeth to tell him that it’s fine, although really it’s not, but it’s too late to create a new precedent for the relationship.

In essence, he learns that he doesn’t have to work for you, and you become more frustrated about it as the relationship moves forward.

You’ve taught him that he can give you crumbs of a relationship, rather than the real thing. And if you really like him, you start to accept these crumbs, feeling like it’s probably better than nothing.

But let me tell you beautiful, it’s not. You don’t deserve crumbs but the whole fucking cake.

And it’s important that you know what that whole cake looks like. Is it chocolate or vanilla? Ice cream or angel food?

You need to know what that fulfilling, loving relationship actually looks like so that you don’t fall head over heels with someone who was never prepared to give you that in the first place. He may even be incapable of giving you that kind of commitment.

Know what you want and don’t settle for less!

Love,

Alexis

How about you? Have you ever tried to be carefree and easygoing in a relationship, only to fall into Cool Girl Syndrome instead? Let us know in the comments below!

Want to learn more about bringing love into your life?  Join our mailing list below, and I’ll send you my complimentary Finding Love video series!

The post Are You Falling Into Cool Girl Syndrome When You Date? appeared first on Alexis Meads | Dating Coach and Dating Expert | Portland Oregon.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about online dating lately as the conversation has come up numerous times with my clients and in The Dating Cocktail Lounge. The thing is that no one really seems to like online dating. It’s almost as if dating online has become something we simply have to tolerate to date in the 21st century. So I came up with 3 of my personal rules for dating online without losing your sanity (or your confidence).

I was reading an article in my husband’s GQ magazine about mental health. Social media came up in the article and the author went so far as to liken it to cigarette smoking, noting that at one time smoking was the norm without much concern for individual or public health, and now it’s rare to see someone smoking in public.

He said that the same thing was currently happening with social media. That the personal wellness effects are only just beginning to be discussed, and what researchers are uncovering is that “it is almost impossible to be happy” in today’s world if much of your time is spent on social media.

That’s a pretty huge statement!

Bingeing on social media can lead to anxiety, depression, feelings of comparison, lack of confidence, and the list went on and on.

This got me thinking if that comparison is much different from online dating apps? Particularly the swipe apps?

We have to remember that there is us on the dating app, there are the people we are swiping on, and then there is this whole other party that’s kinda controlling the whole thing.

And that’s freaky when you think about it!

Not too long ago if you wanted to date online your options were pretty limited, and you’d have sites like Match.com who boasted the most marriages or relationships formed from their site. When I was 25(ish) I dated on Match.com and actually had a wonderful experience meeting wonderful people!

However, when I think about the swipe apps of today, and I ask myself what is the motivation of the companies behind the swipe apps, is it to have people connecting, falling in love, and eventually partnering up as possible?

This is what most of us want, right?

We want romance.

We want true love.

Sure, maybe some of us on the apps just want to pass the time or have a few casual hook ups, but the majority of us yearn for the kind of love we’ve seen in movies, or maybe that our parents had. The kind we know is real and tangible and possible.

The apps are revenue generating companies, and they lose revenue when you stop using their product. In essence, they make money from keeping you on the app.

I’m not saying that they are evil or anything like that. There are some good intentions behind these apps, and that’s what we’re going to talk about today!

But from my perspective as a Dating & Relationship Coach, the majority of what I’ve heard lately about online dating has been negative, and that’s kind of sad.

People ask me all the time, “Do I have to date online if I want to date today?”

The answer is no! You don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to do!

There is always more than one way to get you to your goal.

In a recent podcast by Yoga Girl with Seal, Seal shared that decided not to text anymore. At all.

WOW.

That blows my mind! He just made a decision one day that texting was out of the question. If he needed to speak to someone he would call them, or even better, Facetime them.

Seal went on to say that he believes communication has become broken only for us to fix it again and make it better.

I feel the same way about dating!

Perhaps dating has become a little broken. We could throw up our hands, claim that every guy (or girl) out there is just impossible, and give up on love.

But what if there’s another way? What if it’s up to us to fix it?

And the answer is actually a lot closer to home than we think.

In fact, the answer starts with us and only us.

Here are 3 rules that I came up with for dating online without losing your sanity, dignity, or respect.

1. Set Parameters

One thing about online dating that my clients have complained about is that it becomes boring and mindless. During any empty moment of the day they may find themselves flicking open the app and swiping through what feels like an endless sea of guys (until they start scrolling through the same guys).

This habit usually leads to feeling that there’s no one good out there, that online dating doesn’t work, or worse, to a lack of confidence because you’re not getting enough connections/the right connections/follow through with messages.

I recommend that everyone who wants to do online dating set parameters and boundaries for yourself. It is not a numbers game. It’s really not. You’re not missing out just because you missed a day or an hour of swiping.

Some of the apps have features where they will send you a limited number of matches per day and you can select one to follow through on. I think this is great!

Let yourself know how much time is a reasonable amount of time for you to spend on the app and then stick to that. You could allow yourself 20 minutes on the app once a day, at the same time each day.

2. Be Intentional

Intentions matter. You may have intentions for other areas of your life such as the kind of mother you want to be to your children, or how you want to show up at work.

Why not set an intention for online dating as well?

Maybe it’s to connect with wonderful new people while bringing mindfulness to the practice. Just implementing your parameters (20 minutes a day, every other day, etc.) will help with this a lot!

When you open up the app be really intentional. Take a few nice deep breaths and only do it in private when you have the time and space to do so. Think about what you want to get out of the session. Perhaps it’s that you want to thoughtfully respond to any new messages and that’s it. Maybe you’ve already been talking to someone and you want to set up a date with them.

I literally just came from yoga class where the teacher challenged us to set an intention and show up mindfully on the mat.

It’s not easy!

I find my mind wandering constantly, but being in that quiet space and having that intention always brings me back.

When we get onto our phones or computers we become so easily distracted that all of this goes out the window. So I want to challenge you to be mindful when you show up to online dating.

3. The Golden Rule

One of the first lessons we teach children is The Golden Rule. Remember that one? Treat others the way that you wish to be treated.

I find that almost all of my in-person interactions are filled with The Golden Rule. I treat someone with kindness and it’s reciprocated, leaving both of us feeling nourished and joyful from the interaction.

So much of that seems to go out the window online. The worst in people tends to come out. I don’t think it’s who they actually are, I think it’s a symptom of being online. People comment with rude things on blogs, Google ratings, or Instagram posts. Men (and women) say nasty things behind the safety of a dating app. People ghost one another by literally never picking up their phone or responding to a message ever again because they don’t have to face them in person.

My husband and I were recently talking about ghosting and recalling that during our dating days we never ghosted anyone or had been ghosted.

It wasn’t in our realm of possibility.

After hearing so many of my client’s horror stories I’ve even caught myself thinking “well romance is just dead these days”, or, “maybe there aren’t any chivalrous guys left”, or “dating sucks now”, from time to time.

But I don’t believe this at my core. I really don’t.

I just think the changes need to start closer to home than we think and that starts with the Golden Rule when online dating.

If you don’t want to be so hastily judged on appearances alone, make a point to stop quickly and negatively judging others.

If you don’t want to be ghosted, make sure you always follow through with someone you are talking to or seeing.

If you don’t want to be barely acknowledged in a message, put some thoughtfulness into the messages you send. Even better, set up a phone call or time to meet face-to-face.

True love isn’t gone.

It’s alive and real and lives in the hearts of those of us who believe in it. It’s even been said to be the only true purpose in life, and I believe we all have a natural desire towards it.

I’ll talk more about meeting people in real life in another post, but if you’re going to date online, know that at it’s core it’s about connecting with people who you may have otherwise never had the chance to get to know.

I’ve known many success stories of people who met their match online.

It just takes a little time, intention, and thoughtfulness, and I promise that if you embrace even just one of those three things as you move forward with your online dating journey, you may find that not only are your results different, but the feeling you have inside changes for the better.

In the comments below let me know which one you’re going to try!

Feel free to also write about any experiences (good or bad) you’ve had with online dating.

My private coaching is completely booked as I prepare for maternity leave. The only way to work with me over the next year will be in The Dating Cocktail Lounge. We’re taking new members this month and it’s only $7! Making it literally the most supportive, accessible group for single women out there.

XO

Alexis

The post 3 Rules For Dating Online Without Losing Your Sanity appeared first on Alexis Meads | Dating Coach and Dating Expert | Portland Oregon.

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