Dating Coach & Relationship Expert for Professional Women, Author of, How to Find A Quality Guy, & Host of "Life Check Yourself" Podcast.
This Too Shall Pass
We've all been in that phase of our lives, when we're struggling in our love lives, attracting the wrong kind of people and having our hearts broken into million pieces...
The keyword to remember here is "phase", meaning "this too shall pass" and if you commit to making certain changes in your life, you'll be able to find "your person" or your soulmate, regardless of where you're at in your life right now.
To help others undertake their journey towards inner healing and finding the right partner, I'm sharing an interview with one of my clients, Shoshana, who underwent an incredible journey in only three years.
Disclaimer: This interview is part of Life Check Yourself Podcast and is edited for purposes of publication.
As a dating coach, nothing makes me happier than witnessing and being part of the transformation of my clients from the inside out. So when I recently reconnected with Shoshana, who I first met when she joined The 5 Keys Program in January 2019, I was thrilled to find out about her amazing transformation, from lost and fixated on her ex to being in a fulfilling relationship with the man of her dreams.
Before Getting Help
Marni Battista: So, take us back to 2019. What was going on in your life and how did you end up getting into the program?
Shoshana: Very little in the relationship space in terms of anything deep. I see myself back then as a butterfly flitting around, saying I wanted a relationship but not doing the things in my life that would lead towards that. I wasn't aware that my actions weren't supporting my desire or dream of a relationship. I think the phrase, “the common denominator in all your relationships is you”, was spinning around in my head. The only thing I had control over, at that time, was my ability to learn something new, to change, to ask for help and to grow… I didn't know how I was showing up in the world, when it came to intimate relationships and to dating.
"The common denominator in all your relationships is you"
Marni Battista: I talk to ladies a lot and I hear so many different excuses, like “I think my problem is that there's no great men on the website I’m using”, “I’m very feminine”, or “I'm too intimidating”, so for you, what was it? What was your excuse -rationalization- back then?
Shoshana: I was in my mid-40s when I did the program. I thought that where I live in Los Angeles, there's no relationship oriented men. I was putting it outside of myself a lot. When I look at it now, I see how I was saying I wanted a relationship, while doing all of these things to avoid actually getting deep and intimate with everyone, including myself.
Marni Battista: What kind of avoidance tactics were you doing?
- Not taking dating seriously. I was only dabbling on the free sites, meeting up with people for that instantaneous moment of connection…
- Getting intimate way too quickly with men because I was too love-starved.
- Not expressing any of my needs.
- Not being clear on who I wanted to attract. Anyone who expressed interest in me, I just went along with it.
Wake Up Call
Wasn’t there some guy that you were fixated on when you first came in?
Fixated is a great word, maybe even obsessed. I guess because I saw that he was great on paper... But after four months, he ghosted me. I've been ghosted before but on a smaller scale. When I finally called him to talk, he said that he initially thought that he was ready for a relationship, but he’s come to realize that he's not.
I thought how could I be with someone for four months and not know where they're at. I thought there's something wrong in my communication; I wasn't communicating and I wasn't asking others to communicate for clarity.
I remember my initial call with you. I said everything's messy. My romantic life is just not clear. It's not flowing. Every relationship I was getting turns into a "situation". They were overly complicated. I was always wondering if I've going to hear from the person I'm going out with again... Now having done the program, I understand that with the person that you're building an authentic connection with, you don't worry about when they're going to call or when you're going to see them next.
"With the person that you're building an authentic connection with, you don't worry about when they're going to call or when you're going to see them next."
Marni Battista: Wow, that's amazing…. There's so many people who don't realize that it's addressable. Yes, it’s messy, but it's not so messy that you can't clean it up in a short amount of time. Here you are three years later, in a relationship with the man of your dreams for three years now. There's just so many people who try and put band-aids over their issues and not address them...
So when you were in this 10-week process, what are some of the things that shifted for? How did you change?
Some of the shifts that I've gone through were,
- Asking for help and letting go of any shame I had around doing a relationship program.
- Healing my relationships with my family. Going into the program, I thought that my relationship with my father needed healing, but it turned out that my relationship with my mother was actually the one that needed healing.
- Understanding my needs. I learned that I needed to be in a grounded, secure place myself, before I even went out into the world to seek a partner, because I was attracting partners from “the pain body”, which added more pain to my life. I also realized that I needed a feeling of safety. I was attracting unsafe men and unsafe situations, because I did not realize that I had that need and I did not know how to create safety for myself in the dating world. I didn't even know what made me feel safe.
- Learning to communicate my needs. Now I have the courage to say why I'm not wanting to get intimate too soon. I told my now-bf, "I'm going to get super neurotic and develop a weird attachment, unless I've known you for a long time". My conversations with my bf now come from complete relaxation and playfulness. I found that everything that I said was well received, which makes me wonder about the big number I was doing to myself in the past. I was shutting myself down from communicating with men without even trying to express my truth. I was afraid; afraid they'll leave; they won't like me; they'll think I'm difficult or they won't think I'm the fun, easy relationship type..
- Loving myself. I got to a point in the program where I was waking up in the morning and I would literally hug myself and say, “I love you so much. You’re so beautiful”. I was just pouring it all into me. This helped me find my voice and learn how to speak to men and say what I need. I had a very big problem with going with the flow and being the good girl and doing everything I could to win the man's affection, attention and attraction. So stepping away from all of that and taking a look at the areas in my life where I wasn't giving to myself was a major shift.
- Understanding my values and learning to assess others and connect with them based on their values. I was operating on the level of attraction and I was never a "values-based dater."
- Learning to trust the process. I remember coming into the program with some resistance to online dating. I had this feeling that it wasn't for me. Still, I took the pictures and I wrote the beautiful profile.
Commitment to Change
Marni Battista: So how did you wrap your head around making that sort of commitment to the program?
I really ordered the importance of a relationship in my life to the place that I'm willing to invest time and money in myself.
I think there's so much intrinsic value in the program that even if I hadn't found a relationship by now, I’d gotten so much out of the program.
Happily Ever After
Marni Battista: … So, how did you meet your guy? And how did your deal breakers, or your non-negotiables, come into play? How did you use them?
Shoshana: Well, it happened on the fourth of July 2019, six months after the program. I was with my family on the beach, when I noticed a beach party next door that looked fun and I went over there. That party turned out to be a party thrown by a place that I used to work out of. And I remembered that there's a guy who I write my rent checks to, and we just happened to be standing next to each other…He and I just hit it off on the beach right then. My family went home to put the kids down for a nap and I stayed. He and I connected, and it was a full-on first date at the beach
Marni Battista: So I’m curious about this. Was he around your field and you just had never seen him or noticed him? Or had you been there but at different times?
Shoshana: We had been there at different times... We both also had lived in New York. We were both working on 9 West 57th Street on 9/11, two floors apart.
Marni Battista: That's crazy… I always say that, when you're in that messy place, your frequency is attracting those men and you're interested in those men that aren't the right person for you. Your person could literally be two floors away from you! But because your energetic frequency is tuned into the wrong thing, you're not seeing that person.
Marni Battista: So what's your life look like now that it's been three and a half years since joining The 5 Keys Program?
Shoshana: It's glorious. I'm living with my boyfriend who is French. He’s been in America for 20 years. So this wonderful man comes along, who also happens to have family in Paris and to have a house in Provence. Yearly, we go visit Paris and Provence and places that I've never dreamed about. We both work from home right now, and we've been together longer than most married people. Most importantly, we talk. I can bring up things in a conversation, and there is no resentment or anything blocking us from growing together. We also have plans to get married.
"When you're in that messy place, your frequency is attracting those men and you're interested in those men who aren't the right person for you."
— Marni Battista
Key Points to Remember from Shoshana's Journey
To sum up Shoshana's journey, here's a list of what you can do right now to get the relationship of your dreams:
1. Start your journey by doing some self-exploration
(Grab a pen and paper, laptop, tablet, mobile or anything you can write with and try and identify these key points.)
- Dating Patterns. Ask yourself: What is going on right now in your love life? Are there any discernable patterns in your love life? Is there anything that you keep doing over and over again? e.g. Do you withdraw and shut down from the other person? Do you panic? Do you chase them?
- Rationalization/Excuses. Ask yourself: How am I justifying my situation right now? e.g. Am I convincing myself that I am too sensitive, too picky, too good, etc.? Once you have those answered, try to adopt a different way of thinking about it.
- Other Avoidance Tactics. Ask yourself: What am I doing (consciously or unconsciously) to avoid fixing my problem? What am I doing to sabotage any potential for a relationship to develop? e.g. Am I avoiding to go on dates altogether? Or am I blaming my loneliness on the world, my parents or even my ex?
- Rock bottom. Think about a time when you felt an urgency to change something about yourself, and write down exactly what happened. e.g. This could be after a divorce, a bad breakup, or a date.
- Current relationships. Draw a diagram with everyone else in your life and with you in the middle. Try to identify which relationships are working, which aren't and think about the reasons for each case.
- Needs. Once you finish the diagram, you'll get a clearer idea of your needs and values. P.S. Needs are not wants. Needs in a relationship are things that a relationship can not ensue without. Those could include, stability, appreciation, respect, etc.
- Values. Ask yourself: What makes you tick? e.g. Is it lying, cheating, etc.? What makes you happiest? Is it helping others, achievement, family?
- Communication Patterns. Ask yourself: How do you communicate your ideas, needs, wants and values? Do you shy away from expressing them or are you too aggressive? Think about what is causing you problems when communicating with others.
- Relationship with yourself. Ask yourself: Am I too mean to myself? Do I tell myself negative remarks? Do I treat myself the way I treat others? How would I feel if those remarks were said to someone I love?
2. Once you've identified the problems, implement a roadmap to recovery and healing. This is a path to tread lightly, slowly and with caution, and where professional coaching is much needed. If professional help is not an option in terms of finances, try consulting credible resources (e.g. books, videos or lectures by legitimate experts on the topic) to get both the motivation and information you need to make these changes.
Finding "your person" is not only possible, it's also easier than you imagine. While seeking professional help provides you with much needed insights and support along the way, if you commit to making the necessary changes, you'll definitely start seeing results.
© 2022 Marni Battista