Thursday, 06 March 2014 23:09

Dating | 3 Ways to Date Better

Dating // March 9, 2014

This article was originally published on Danielle-Dowling.com.

Our relationships are a direct reflection of our own self-worth.
Who we love is intrinsically tied to our level of self-esteem.

Every day, clients tell me that they’re in a relationship with a person they care about but their needs aren’t being met. And every day, my sweet, smart, lovely clients ask me how they can change to keep that (mediocre, unfulfilling) relationship going.

Stop right there.

The only change they need to make (that any of us needs to make) is to be more authentically ourselves.
Now, that doesn’t mean you’ll never have to make another compromise. But it does mean that you should never abandon yourself to please another.

It’s human nature to fear the unknown and fear being left alone.
But, sweet friend, it’s not your partner’s fault if your needs aren’t being met.
It’s yours.

Responsibility and accountability are yours to wield.
Communicate your needs and choose someone who respects, enjoys + loves you.


We must practice getting comfortable with the unknown and with letting go of toxic relationships.  We must trust that we can co-create and design the life of our dreams -- not as we change to satisfy others, but as we embrace love and delve into deeper integrity.

Want to date better + find someone who’s as amazing as you are?

:: Practice self care + self love
 
You won’t find a calm, centered, happy partner when you, yourself, are frazzled and wound up. You won’t land that confident, loving guy when you’re fraught with self-doubt and anxiety.  Spend some time working on yourself and cleaning up your side of the proverbial street, and you’ll be that much more likely to find someone who is also balanced and self-aware.

Don’t worry about cultivating a six pack or getting an MBA if that’s not really what you’re into, just focus on becoming the best possible version of you and loving who you are.

:: Express your needs
Some people like to text every day.  Some people need a lot of alone time.  Some people want their partner to plan exciting dates.  All of these needs are equally legitimate. But your partner will never know what your needs are if you don’t tell him.  You needn’t open a first date with a checklist, but once things are clicking along, it’s okay to say “I want you to feel loved and appreciated.  How can I do that?”  When you’ve heard his suggestions, you can share yours.  And then when he does that for you?  Lots and lots of acknowledgement and appreciation.

:: Don’t settle – set a higher standard for who you date
Dating can be exhausting and demoralizing.  I know. (I really, really know.)  And I know it can be tempting to date that Really Nice Person Who Likes You. But please, hold out for the person who gives you what you need.

No more dating that hot guy who cancels at the last minute.  Or the sweet girl who hates her job and is buried in credit card debt.  Or that cutie who’s super negative and says snarky things about everything and everyone.

Time and time again, I’ve seen my clients struggle through subpar relationships. Eventually, after heartbreak and hassle, they find their person and – every single time – they say “I didn’t know it could be this good!  I want to shout from the mountain tops!  I wish I could convince my friends that they don’t need to put up with that foolishness – they deserve so much better!”

He’s out there.  He’s waiting for you.
And you’re wasting time with that cutie who isn’t right for you.
(And you know it.)


Of course in any relationship we have to compromise and find a middle ground. But please yourself first and then you will attract someone who is pleased with you.
This means embracing the unknown and being okay with letting go of something or someone that isn’t meeting your needs.

Ask yourself this question: “If I wasn’t afraid, what would I do?”



Published in Dating
Monday, 31 December 2012 05:31

Day 13: Ode to Big Bones

Best of 2012 // December 31, 2012



Ode To Big Bones

I love Me enough for the both of us trust, it's just my Big thing.

In spite of your judgmental nature

and piercing words that define your stature

A Big coping-mechanism of sorts is to blame…

Something to best explain why your face contorts when I stand before you.

B I G

Maybe it's my size that intimidates you

My extreme curves and chocolate thighs

make you look twice and think your thoughts through.

Have you hypothesizing what it’d feel like

to be inside of my Big,

hypnotizing

mind & things ...

seems like you’ve got some Big explaining to do.

I know I’m far different from the image

depicted on the silver screen

A sliver of society’s magazine pin-up wet dream

Seems its proved to be problematic

You write my name with only what your eyes have seen

Automatic-ally

B I G

And even though its not my job to fill all your potholes & shit

I guess you assumed all my excess thick would do the trick…

But Big intellect is not wearable, honey.

Try that on for size.

The irony of a Big girl possessing more swag than you do is unbearable..

I know, it can’t be true.

And when my Big mouth met your open ears,

I know the depth of my Big vocabulary was too much for you to handle.

You play pretend like my Big presence doesn’t make you uncomfortable.

Like this room isn’t big enough for me, you & your chauvinistic ego

Little do you know, relationships they come, they go

But I still remain here…

Proudly

B I G

I despise the way you look at me as if your stare isn’t see-thru,

I know your story so well, I could recite it back to you.

If I had a nickel for every time I ran over a superficial so’n’so like you,

I’d have collected enough dimes to fill up the space occupied by this one-of-a-kind

behind, combined with enough residual to change your cadaverous mind into

appreciating Big beauty… Soak it up.




This post was part of our series "30 Days of Made: Love Yourself." Each day we released updates of videos, poetry, images, and original content, all based on the theme of loving yourself. Click the link to read more!

Published in Current
Tuesday, 14 February 2012 09:47

Day 14: Love Yourself on V-Day

February 14, 2012 

“I love you,” I love you,” I love you.” It's difficult to muster up the words at first, but it gets easier over time. Interestingly, there's always anticipation and discussion surrounding when a significant other will say those three little words. But, how often do we say, "I love myself"? That phrase doesn't even look right to read aloud. Go ahead, try it: I - love - myself. Weird, right? But should it be?

Well, it's Valentine’s Day, the day for lovers! And, I have to be very honest with you, this holiday was a flop for the first 17 years of my life. If I had a crush, I always wondered if they'd ask me to be their Valentine. Well, that was until I turned 14. After that, I accepted that Valentine’s Day way just like any other day. I wouldn't receive candy or flowers (unless they were from my mom). Then on February 14, 2005, it happened. A guy friend gave me a teddy bear accompanied by a hand written card. We wouldn't fall in love forever, but he will always be my first ever Valentine.

I’ve been on both sides of the fence. Nevertheless, after 18 years of being single on February 14, I came to understand that I must love myself first. Several years of being in a relationship reinforced this belief. And you should love yourself, too. So, whether you're single or committed, here are four things that I believe are nice ways to give yourself some love on Valentine’s Day (or any other day).

1. Self affirmations

Ok, this may seem totally cheesy, but I promise it's helpful. Take the time to find three redeeming qualities in yourself. Are you caring, assertive, maybe ambitious? Write them down, say them aloud if you like, but whatever you do, don't forget them. It's important that you're always cognizant of your strengths. You'll be more self-assured, and additionally your partner -- prospective partner or ever perspective employer -- will think better of you. 

2. Take some time for yourself

Even if you have a partner, carve out a sliver of time to treat yourself. Indulge in a nice run, a quite bath or find a moment to do something you love. Doctors say that people are more likely to be happy if they use at least ten minutes of their day to participate in an activity they love. So, indulge yourself a little bit and realize that it is an act of love.


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3. Reassess your desired characteristics for your partner

If you haven't found the right partner, or even if you think you have, sit back and assess what you want in a mate and whether those characteristics are a positive influence in your life. I'm guilty of looking for things in other people that aren't healthy. After being in a long-term relationship, it's easy to forget that you and your needs are constantly changing and evolving. If you want to have or keep a relationship that's healthy for you, keep it real with yourself and keep communicating with your partner.

4. See the cup as full

Whether the cup is half empty or half full, it’s full; one part air and one part water. Today, give yourself a break. There are a million negative thoughts going through our heads everyday and unfortunately, these far exceed the positive thoughts. If even for a moment you feel like you can’t do something, scrap that feeling and decide, “I can.” It’s a wonder how many things you can accomplish if you stop pre-judging yourself. Who knows, your positivity may flow into the other 364 days of the year.

These are things you can do every day -- not just on Valentine’s Day. So try them out and see the results for yourself. Hopefully these exercises will bring you one step closer to being comfortable saying those three little words aloud, "I love myself."


This article was part of our series "30 Days of Made: Love Yourself". Each day we released updates of videos, poetry, images, and original content, all based on the theme of loving yourself. Click the link to read more!

Published in Current
Monday, 13 February 2012 09:34

Day 13: Ode to Big Bones

February 13, 2012



Ode To Big Bones

I love Me enough for the both of us trust, it's just my Big thing.

In spite of your judgmental nature

and piercing words that define your stature

A Big coping-mechanism of sorts is to blame…

Something to best explain why your face contorts when I stand before you.

B I G

Maybe it's my size that intimidates you

My extreme curves and chocolate thighs

make you look twice and think your thoughts through.

Have you hypothesizing what it’d feel like

to be inside of my Big,

hypnotizing

mind & things ...

seems like you’ve got some Big explaining to do.

I know I’m far different from the image

depicted on the silver screen

A sliver of society’s magazine pin-up wet dream

Seems its proved to be problematic

You write my name with only what your eyes have seen

Automatic-ally

B I G

And even though its not my job to fill all your potholes & shit

I guess you assumed all my excess thick would do the trick…

But Big intellect is not wearable, honey.

Try that on for size.

The irony of a Big girl possessing more swag than you do is unbearable..

I know, it can’t be true.

And when my Big mouth met your open ears,

I know the depth of my Big vocabulary was too much for you to handle.

You play pretend like my Big presence doesn’t make you uncomfortable.

Like this room isn’t big enough for me, you & your chauvinistic ego

Little do you know, relationships they come, they go

But I still remain here…

Proudly

B I G

I despise the way you look at me as if your stare isn’t see-thru,

I know your story so well, I could recite it back to you.

If I had a nickel for every time I ran over a superficial so’n’so like you,

I’d have collected enough dimes to fill up the space occupied by this one-of-a-kind

behind, combined with enough residual to change your cadaverous mind into

appreciating Big beauty… Soak it up.




This post was part of our series "30 Days of Made: Love Yourself." Each day we released updates of videos, poetry, images, and original content, all based on the theme of loving yourself. Click the link to read more!

Published in Current