Amie the Dating Coach - Dating Blog, Relationship Tips and Articles
Find great tools and articles on dating, relationships, dating tips, and love. Amie Leadingham is a Master Certified Relationship Coach - Dating Coach in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. She was trained at the Relationship Coaching Institute and is a Certified Relationship Coach for singles based on the Conscious Dating Program.
We’ve all been hurt in love before. There’s nothing pleasant about it and ever after enough time has passed for us to be able to move on it doesn’t always mean we’re ready to.
Often because we are not ready to trust potential partners again or because we just don’t trust our ability to protect ourselves.
The problem is trust is a cornerstone of any relationship and as long as you don’t have the ability to trust, you don’t have the ability to truly love and be happy.
So how do you get that trust back when you can’t seem to find it anywhere? Here are five tips for you to trust again.
1) Seeing is Believing
When trusting others alludes you there’s a simple way to slowly build some trust back up again… by paying attention to, not what potential partners say, rather what they do (consistently).
So many daters get duped in love because they get ensnared with things like their partner’s gift for gab or the indescribable chemistry you seem to have when together.
When you pay attention to things like the way someone treats you, or other people in their life, like friends and family for that matter, you get a real good understanding who and what they are all about.
And when that happens, you also learn if this is the type of person who deserves your trust or not.
2) Slow Things Down To Speed Things Up!
When trust is given to someone too quickly it is more often than not going to end badly.
Real trust takes time to develop because even the best and the brightest of possible suitors can’t show you everything there is to know about them in just a few days/weeks or months for that matter.
Unless you are with someone 24/7/365 you just can’t know all the important things there is to know.
Great relationships are built on trust and to get it you have to know as much as you possibly can about someone. The good, the bad, and the ugly before you go ALL IN. And to do that, it just takes time.
3) Communicate/Express Yourself Effectively
People are not mind readers, so unless you actually tell them what’s going on inside that head of yours they can only guess.
If you are having trust issues, then by all means you should let the people around you know that. Nobody worth their salt is going to stop seeing you because you are honest and say that you want to slow things down and take your time to get to know them since you’ve been hurt before.
In fact, the right person for you will take that as a sign that you are vulnerable (a great trait) and self-reflective. When you know and understand yourself, and at the same time, are able to express this fact to others you are establishing a rock solid foundation for building trust.
4) Know Your Future is Different than Your Past
I know it’s hard to stop thinking about the past events that led to all that pain, but at the same time it’s important to remember to take time to look forward too.
The future is not written in stone and despite your recent past, you are not doomed to a life of misery and discontent. You have a bright future ahead of you and trust is there to guide you on your path.
Take time to look back for sure, but also take some time to imagine the type of person you want to be with and the type of relationship you want for your life.
By taking the steps to plan for your future in love, you will not only have a better understanding of who you are, but also trust the person you are becoming.
5) Know Your Non-negotiables
My Conscious Dating Programs were created to give singles relationship skills and tools for finding the real connection and true commitment they desire.
One of the most powerful tools in its arsenal are the Non-negotiables (aka deal-breakers). These Non-negotiables are not superficial traits like: “They are taller than 6’0” or “Has a great job”, rather they are core values that you must have in a relationship for it to succeed.
Things like: “They treat me like a priority” or “My partner has drive and ambition”. The great thing about Non-negotiables is that when you know them, you have just found the relationship building blocks for being able to trust you always wanted.
The reason is simple, if you’re dating someone and you see they don’t have one or more of your Non-negotiables (most people have about 10-15), then there’s no need to enter into a trusted committed relationship because eventually there would be so much conflict that the relationship would end.
By screening against your Non-negotiables, you learn to balance your heart with your head and make more conscious dating choices. They are there to guide you. Non-negotiables will change you and your dating life like nothing else will. Trust me!
If you’re tired of the same hurtful relationships and you’re ready for the real commitment you desire, I can help! Schedule a Free Relationship Readiness Review with me here.
Studies have shown that relationships generally end within 3 to 5 months from the day they begin. I can honestly say that before I met my husband most of my relationships ended in, and around, this window too.
Back then I wondered, “Is there something wrong with me?” Then I did the work and got a better understanding about myself and dating in general. I have now been happily married for years.
The fact of the matter is, although relationships end for all kinds of reasons and can end at any time, statistics like this average dating window just can’t be ignored.
In this “Amie’s Top Five List” below, I spell out my top reasons why these relationships may just be doomed from the start.
1. It Might Be Just LUST
When you first start dating someone, do you ever get that excited/tingling feeling throughout your body?
Inside my Conscious Dating Programs, I share studies from Biological Anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, who is an expert on human behavior and how love affects our brain.
She says this is not an emotion at all, rather, it’s“a motivation system, it’s a drive, it’s part of the reward system of the brain.”
And because of this, our bodies have actually evolved three core brain systems.
The stages are Lust, Attraction, and Attachment. Lust, sometimes called sex drive or libido, is often the first of these three stages (they can occur in any order) and is characterized by a craving of sexual gratification where the hormones testosterone and estrogen are released.
It’s these hormones that cause the excited “lustful” feelings you may have. For many, by the 5-month point the Lust Stage has gone away and they are not able to move on to any of the other stages of love, so that physical feeling of wanting to be with that person goes away too.
When that happens a bad relationship is much more apparent, prompting you to leave the relationship.
2. Not Knowing Your Dating “Non-Negotiables”
One of the biggest things I teach my clients is to know your dating Non-Negotiables with a capital N. These are also known as the “deal-breakers” in a relationship.
Things like, “I want him to treat me like a priority” or “I want him to be generous.”
They are not traits like height, body type, or even financial status. They are the most non-negotiable elements for the success of your relationship and if you don’t have them the relationship will NOT work.
The bottom line is so few people out there actually know their Non-Negotiables, so they make a lot of poor dating choices when it comes to choosing a quality mate, thus end up in a lot of short-term relationships.(Article Continued below).
3. Daters Are Just Less Patient Today
The first time I ever saw a six second Vine Video on the Internet, I knew that our society was forever changed.
No longer was a normal two-minute online video good enough, a video only 6 seconds long will do just fine. Like these videos, I believe our society’s overall dating attention spans are getting shorter and shorter each day.
I feel two things could be working here to make this happen. First, the desire to quickly ‘win’ the hand of a guy or girl supersedes the entire idea of building the foundation of a relationship.
Second, once they are in a relationship and things are not going so well, the need for instant gratification prompts them to quit the relationship. In both cases it keeps people from ever getting past those first few months of dating.
4. Too Many Dating Options
With the endless array of online dating sites and digital apps out there, we have so many more ways to actually locate and meet prospective mates.
On the one hand, I feel this is a good thing because it gives you a larger dating pool to choose from, but it can also distract you from the relationship that could be, or is, in front of you.
I think that this idea that “The grass is always greener” or “There might be a better option out there,” helps to create an itchy trigger finger when it comes to long-term dating.
5. Unrealistic Expectations
Many of my clients have spent decades creating the “perfect” partner in their minds. Some of them get so specific on surface criteria (height, weight, eye color, car they drive, income level, what kind of music they like, etc.) that I know they have a slim chance of meeting this person unless they actually build them in a factory.
At the same time I always instill in my clients that they must not settle for anything less than a quality partner.
I have them refocus energy on being specific about the important things that lead to a long lasting relationship, for example a potential partner’s core values, making sure their deal-breakers are met, and paying attention to how this potential partner is treating them through the dating and relationship process.
These partners come in many forms; for example, they might not have the height criteria they were looking for, but is still an amazing person and possibly partner.
Unrealistic expectations in a partner can prompt, quick, and often unfair, dating decisions that can end quality relationships before they have a chance to blossom.
The bottom line is if singles refocus from surface criteria to being more specific deep values of what they require in a partner, bad short-term relationships will rarely begin and quality long-term relationships will have a very high chance of blossoming!
If your finding yourself in a circle of short term relationships, we need to talk. I can help. Schedule a Free Relationship Readiness Review with me here.
According to Professor Scott M. Stanley, a research professor and co-director of the Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver, “A young couple marrying for the first time today has a lifetime divorce risk of 40 percent, unless current trends change significantly.”
For me, the key word in this statement is the term “Trend”. A divorce rate of 4 out of 10 is just unnecessarily high and we, as a society need to figure out ways to lower it. As a relationship coach, I want to use my Conscious Dating Programs to help create a “Trend” to make people better daters and do just that.
At the heart of almost all poor relationships (especially the ones that lead to divorce) is the fact that too many people ignore the relationship’s “red flags”.
The things that are clearly wrong with the partner or the relationship itself. These Red Flags are generally easy to spot if you know what you are looking for, but it’s the not accepting them part that leads to removing yourself from the relationship that is the real skill.
Below is a list of my top 10 Red Flags that you should look out for, and if possible avoid, in all of your relationships.
1) Lack of Communication
The foundation of a quality relationship is the ability for you and your partner to have an open dialogue when it comes to letting each other know each others thoughts as a way to problem solve most relationship issues.
If your partner fails to have basic communication skills, then conflicts rarely are resolved and your wants and needs in the relationship are unlikely to ever be met.
2) Lack of Trust
Few relationships can recover from this red flag, as it is the cornerstone of almost any committed relationship. Trust can be lost because of things like cheating, lies, or abuse, and once it’s gone it’s nearly impossible to get it back.
3) Actions Don’t Match Their Words
This is one red flag that I find few people pay attention to. As the titles indicate, this happens when your partner says they will do something (or won’t do something) and the preceding action does NOT correspond with those words.
These might be simple things, like saying they will call you back shortly and never do, or something larger like saying they won’t talk to an ex any more, yet continue to do so.
The important thing is to pay attention to the words/action correlation and if patterns of mismatch occur you’re entering the flag raising territory.
4) Significant Family & Friends Don’t Like Your Partner
I know some of you reading this may shrug this one off, reasoning this is your life not theirs, isn’t it? The fact remains that when significant others in your life don’t like your partner for whatever reason, they generally have your best interest at heart.
I agree, you don’t have to take unwanted dating advice, but when it comes to red flags, if you see family and friends pointing into some blowing in the wind, you should turn and pay attention.
5) Controlling, Manipulating, Abusive Behavior
This may be the easiest red flag of the bunch to actually see since you yourself are on the other end of the abhorrent behavior. My best advice to those who see even small signs of this kind of behavior early on in a relationship is to NOT accept and quickly move on. (Article Continued below).
6) Existing Drama from Past Relationships
Real behavioral changes for any person takes lots of work, so if your partner (or even date) has tumultuous relationships with numerous exes, and/or has lots of conflicts with people around them, then it’s fair to assume they have conflict-resolution issues.
And without self-help work in this area conflict will invariably seep its way in any future relationship with them.
7) You are Not a Priority
Being treated as a priority by a partner (and my husband does!) has always been something I personally must have.
It’s true early dating excitement can skew the levels as they tend to be higher early in relationships, but simple signs like significant changes in the amount or types of thoughtful acts (i.e. gift giving) or the volume of quality time you spend with them really says a lot.
8) Awareness of Different Life / Relationship Goals
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard about a budding relationship where one person says they wantkids and the other says they do not, but the couple stays together for years anyway (and usually break up over the issue).
In my Conscious Dating Programs this kind of goal is part of what I call your Life Vision. And when the major ones like Family Vision (as in above) or Financial Vision or Lifestyle Vision are not in alignment with your partners, you can almost certainly see what color the flag should be.
9) Lack of Physical Contact (Sex / Intimacy)
I realize that lack of physical contact has a fairly broad spectrum for a red flag, since when it comes things like sex and intimacy, they can ebb and flow for a relationship and also (understandably) changes over time.
The fact is that if you and your partner are not in agreement about the amount and/or kinds of physical contact you require, eventually someone is going to get the deficit somewhere else.
As human beings we generally crave (if not require) human touch from a partner in some form. From simple hand holding to a morning kiss, to hot, sweaty sex, you must get what you require to be happy, because when you don’t red flag meter must wonder why!
10) No Accountability for Mistakes
When you have a partner that never takes responsibility for his mistakes, but instead constantly points his finger at everyone else.
That is a huge red flag! Why? Because if there is not problem, then there is nothing to fix. Often, this results in one partner feeling like they’re not being heard and the relationship feels as if it’s stuck.
This is not a productive and responsible member of the relationship team and it might be a sign that you are dating a Narcissist.
If you find yourself in a cycle of red flags in your past or current relationship, I can help change your results, schedule a Relationship Readiness Review with me here.
In this topsy-turvy dating world so many of us have been duped into thinking we are in love, when the fact of the matter is we are really just in lust.
The fog between lust and love can be tough to see through mainly because our body actually can play tricks on us without us even knowing. There is a total of 14 Dating Traps in my Conscious Dating Programs but I like to call this the “Sex Dating Trap”.
Did you know that during those first few months of a hot and heavy sexual relationship, our brains can release the same pleasure chemicals that cocaine does?
That’s right, the feeling we get from lust can be powerful like a drug.
And it doesn’t only happen to those few dates either, since it can take a year or more before our bodies stop producing chemicals that draw us towards this person.
So how are you able to decipher if you are in deep “love” with someone or just in a temporary ‘”lust” phase.
It all starts with being intentional in your dating life, by paying attention date to how you feel and act around the people you date. So here are the top five ways to tell if you are in “love” or in “lust”…
Does He Bring Out the Best in You?
When you are in love with the person across from you, he should for the most part bring out the best in you. That means you like who you are and the choices you make when you are around them.
If you find that you are with someone who has that magnetic hold on you, but when you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see then you know what kind of relationship you are dealing with?
Are There Major Red Flags You’re Ignoring?
Great sex and chemistry can be wonderful in a relationship, but it by no means will be the cornerstone of a strong, long term relationship.
This requires that all your Non-negotiables (aka deal breakers) are met and that the person you are dating is not a work-in-progress with all the potential in the world, rather they currently have all the things you want and need to create that forever relationship. (Article continued below).
Do You See Yourself With Him in 5 Years?
When you are in lust your present can be filled with intense joy and happiness. The question the smart dater still asks is whether they see this happiness continuing in 5 years or 10?
Looking into the future is important because when you do and you don’t like what you see there is definitely something wrong.
Is Your Connection Just as Strong After the Sweat Dries?
Steamy, passionate sex can be intoxicating to be sure, but what happens to your relationship moments after?
Do you have great conversations and build connections or is there silence and/or awkward moments of conversation.
Good communication is key to any long-term relationship and that goes for those moments after the passion dies down as well.
What Does Your Gut Say?
Far too often the singles I work with talk about past failed relationships and point out how they could have eliminated months or years of dating anguish if they just had of listened to their gut.
All of us have that little voice in our head that tells us when something is right or whether something is wrong.
When you are in lust often times you know it because that little voice tells you so, that’s why it’s so important to listen and act accordingly.
If you’re constantly in self-doubt about whether your relationships fall under lust or love, I can help you have clarity, schedule a Free Relationship Readiness Review with me here.
With the new year upon us, many of you may have made the resolution to make dating and finding your forever relationship a priority in your life. Of course, that means putting yourself out there and going on dates.
And since every committed relationship must start with a “First Date”, I wanted to put together a list of some important first date tips and tricks to help find dating success this year.
Keep Your Expectations Low
It’s important to have a positive attitude when dating, but as important is to keep your expectation level in check.
By Conscious Dating with a more lighthearted and curious attitude, it will not only allow you to avoid disappointment when things don’t work out as you had hoped, but also allow you to have more fun in the process.
Keep the Fun Factor High
Studies show that as the excitement level in a date goes up, so do the chances for making a real connection. This means that the standard dinner and a movie date may not be your best bet for finding love.
When in the planning stages for a date, see if you can steer the venue to somewhere you enjoy that may add to the date’s excitement level like a cooking class or a bike ride.
Be the Chooser
Far too many daters feel that it’s the other person who must choose them, rather than the other way around.
It’s so important to the dating process to know that you not only deserve someone special, but you have the right to choose that person.
Have the confidence to assert your boundaries, control the speed of the relationship, rather than letting your date steer the way. When you go on your first dates remember, you are there to choose them, not the other way around.
Dating today is so much different than dating 20 years go or even 5 for that matter. With the advent of online dating and dating apps, people are taking less time to meet and even less time still to share important parts of their life.
So make sure you initiate safe dating practices into your dating life like doing some research on your date (i.e. Googling or asking mutual friends about them), and/or not sharing where you live by meeting them at a neutral location.
Don’t Talk About the Exes (Unless Asked)
There’s a great balance between being transparent and oversharing about your past relationships on a first date. Dumping about your ex is just a no-no for many reasons, keep it about the lessons you learned rather than play the blame game.
Mainly because it can lead you into a place where you are being too emotional or too negative. The goal on first dates is to be positive and have a good time, so unless your last break up ended with rainbows and sunshine, save those kind of talks for a later date. (Article continued below).
Listening More than You Speak
It’s such a shame that listening to others talk is such a lost art. Talking about yourself is fine as long as you balance it out with plenty of questions with attentive listening that follows.
Be on time
Fashionably late may be something that is cute in the movies, but don’t underestimate how showing up late can cause you to lose a chance at a quality partner.
Tardiness immediately starts the date off on the wrong foot by telling your date that your time is more valuable than theirs and when that happens even the most forgiving people may decide it’s over before it’s even gotten started.
Don’t fall into the SEX trap
If you’re like me and get emotionally involved the minute you have sex with someone. Then I say No sex…avoid it till you feel emotionally ready to make that leap.
Be your Authentic Self
Much of dating advice out there consists of the old adage or “always be yourself”. I prefer to say it’s much better to be your authentic self.
Authenticity means that you don’t just show the person the best parts of you, but you show them who you are, flaws and all (and show full acceptance of yourself).
Far too many daters try to hide the parts of them that may not show them in the best light, but if you’re going to find a committed, joyful relationship, it’s those parts that are going to need to be front and center anyway so why hide them.
You don’t have to reveal everything in the first date, but as you do reveal… pay attention to how your date reacts. Based on that, you’ll know if you “choose” to continue dating him or not. It’s a great way to screen people that belong in your life or need to move on!
Know your Non-negotiables
Non-negotiables are an extremely important part of my Conscious Dating Programsand when learned are game-changers for almost any single.
Non-negotiables are your 10-15 deal-breakers that you must have in a relationship for it to work. If even one of them is not met by the person across from you then, the relationship will fail every time.
They are not superficial not things like ‘tall’ or ‘drives an expensive car’, rather core values like ‘treats me like a priority’ or ‘financial stable’. So know your Non-negotiables and when on that first date plan to screen one or more of them against your date to see if a second date is even worth your time.
If you find yourself struggling with one or more of these, then I can help. Schedule a Free Relationship Readiness Review with me here.
The New Year is upon us so you know what that means. Time to make that New Year’s Resolution. And if you are single and yours involves making finding love a priority then I am here to help.
As a Master Certified Relationship Coach who has helped so many singles not only become better daters, but also marry their soulmate, I am here to tell you that you have what it takes to find it too.
But there are some steps you need to implement to find dating success. So here are the Top 5 ways to make your New Year’s Dating Resolution come true.
#1 – Set Realistic Goals
Did you know that approximately 80% of all New Year’s Resolutions are given up by the second week in February.
The high failure rate is pretty easy to understand, the resolution-er sets a goal, takes some steps to try to achieve it (or doesn’t try at all), gets discouraged, and gives up in less than 5 weeks.
Whether the resolution is losing weight or looking for a new career, without setting realistic goals, you are likely setting yourself up for disappointment and failure.
Dating New Year’s resolutions are no different. If you want to make this year your year to find that forever relationship, then you want to start the year off right by setting realistic dating goals.
Whether it is going on at least one date a month or trying a new single’s group every other month, keep your goals achievable for you and the life you live.
#2 – Starting Saying, “Yes”!
Many studies have shown that one of the biggest factors in getting people to like you (both in dating and outside of dating) is having a positive attitude.
Think about it, have you ever been on a date or with a friend and all they did was complain or make things more difficult than it had to be? That is because they did not say “Yes” enough.
They brought a negative attitude into your world. By coming into 2018 with a mindset that you are going to start saying “Yes” and bring a positive attitude to your dating life you will not only have a better chance of attracting that special someone, but almost certainly you will have more fun doing it.
#3 – At Least Once a Month, Step Into the ‘Discomfort Zone’
It’s so easy to get into a dating rut and because of that sometimes you must do things that you might not ordinarily want to do. But if you want to change your love life sometimes you have entered a place I like to call the ‘discomfort zone’.
This is a place where you feel a bit uneasy or nervous, but by being there it has the ability to make you grow as a dater and a person. It could be going on that first speed dating event or taking the unusual step of asking someone out you hit it off with it at a party.
It also could mean dating people whom you might otherwise not consider as part of your dating pool.
For example, you may say you want someone taller that 6’0″ so drop your limit to 5’9″ or you only want to date someone who is your age, so now consider someone who is 7-10 years older.
The bottom line is if you’re looking at your love life and not liking the results then it’s time to change things up to get the results you want and deserve.
#4- Learn to Become a Better Dater
In school they teach us English, they teach us math, even ultra-specific vocations like woodshop, but rarely, if ever, do we learn how to date and connect with other human beings.
The good news is there has never been a better time to get out there and learn how to become an expert dater. There are books, online programs and in person seminars right at your fingertips and knowledge is power here.
Being a good dater means you have a self-awareness and a skill set that matches those in of a great athlete or a chef in their disciplines.
#5 – Find an Accountability Partner
A big mistake many of us make when starting a New Year’s resolution is we go at it alone. Finding someone who is rooting for you and supporting you on your resolution’s journey makes it so much harder for you to give up when things get tough.
This person can be a fellow single who has the same dating goal as you, or a close friend or family member, or even a relationship coach like myself. If you’d like my help, schedule a Free Relationship Readiness Review with me here.
So it’s up to you to build your 2018’s resolution a support team with a simple goal of winning the dating championship by finding that person you want and deserve.