Take Off Your Love Goggles
If you are nervous about dating, afraid of making mistakes in your love life, or want to know how it could be easier, here's a hint: the guy in the equation isn't the problem.
The truth is, love is blind only if you are.
Before you go out on another date, open your eyes and see the whole relationship process differently. Mr. Right for You could be just around the corner, except you may not recognize him. Discover how to clearly define what you want and how to use that knowledge to date smarter.
Love Is Blind Only if You Are provides real tools to help you make deliberate decisions using your head and your heart to build meaningful relationships for life.
•Understand your strengths; protect yourself from your weaknesses; learn to say yes, no, maybe, and not yet.
•Change your internal settings from default to deliberate.
•Learn to accept your emotions; address fear, cultivate joy, and directly manage your expectations.
Stop being blinded by your search for Mr. Perfect. Dump Mr. Jerk. Never settle for Mr. He'll Do. Instead, learn to choose Mr. Right for You.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.51(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Love is Blind Only if You AreA Woman's Clear-Headed Guide to Deliberate Dating
By Debra Kunz
BALBOA PRESSCopyright © 2012 Debra Kunz
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThat Dating Place – Is he interested? Am I? How do I know?
Time and time again, I get asked this question. "I'm dating again, Deb," she says with an uncertain smile. "And, I met this guy and I've been out with him a few times. How do I know if he's interested?" To which I respond, "Are you interested?"
This is usually followed by silence while she's searching for the right answer to the question. Like it's a test she doesn't want to flunk. Like we women are trying to fit ourselves into the mold of the man in front of us and we're not sure how to do that. Like I'm going to tell her how to become something she isn't to please a man she doesn't even know if she likes. So, usually her answer goes something like, "Well ... maybe." Followed immediately by, "But is he interested in me? How do I know?"
Welcome to that dating place. It's the emotional and mental state where women want to date though they aren't sure how to go about it. Most likely, she hasn't considered what she wants out of the process, nor has she thought about what she needs and what she could give him. Or, more importantly, what she wants to give him.
How You Got Here
Some women are coming from a position of strength ... with real knowledge and a track record from a previous serious relationship. Maybe you chose a divorce and your decision has completely changed the direction of your life. Some women feel fragile because the divorce wasn't your idea, and the circumstances may be fodder for a mini-series. Or, it could be simpler than that – it was a mutual split because the two of you just weren't the right match, or decided you married too young to know any better. Or maybe you're a widow who's endured a loss and aren't sure what to do now. Could be you're a woman in your twenties and want to learn more about dating. Or, you might be any age and wondering why you're still single.
Regardless of how you got to that dating place, welcome. I'm glad you're here to learn, grow and make new choices.
Your Dating Age
Some of you might be thinking, "I should know more about this dating stuff by now. I'm an adult woman. I'm smart. I've raised children (or are raising children.) Ran a household. Ran a business. Have grandchildren. Have a career." Well, let me tell you – your dating age has nothing to do with the year you were born. Nothing. Nada. In fact, a big assumption in dating is your chronological age must equal some sort of dating wisdom ... like you're smarter at this dating stuff given you are now in your thirties, forties, fifties, or sixties. Nothing could be further from the truth. The common themes for women starting to date, whether they are eighteen or eighty, are the same issues, concerns, mistakes and questions.
Perhaps in your business life, you have more relationship maturity. You understand how business "politics" work, and make good choices accordingly. Or, maybe you don't and your relating age is the same in your business and personal life. Relating age means your knowledge, experience and comfort in building and maintaining relationships of any type. Careful. Don't let your uncertainty about romantic relationships impact your professional ones.
Your relating age affects your ability to build relationships of all types though your dating age impacts your love life. Regardless of the context of the relationship, relating to people begins with understanding yourself. Yes, understanding what the other person needs and wants is crucial for long-term success in any relationship, however choosing who gets a chance in your romantic life begins with you, not with him.
The best news about your dating age is you don't have to wait a year to celebrate a birthday. Your growth and experience advances at your own pace, not according to the calendar.
What You Don't Know
We all want to trust people will be who they say they are. And, when they're not, we're hurt and confused. No one wants to get hurt, personally or professionally, by any version of a B.A.T. (Bad Ass Trouble - much more about those men later) nor do we want to make dumb decisions that hurt us. Yet, we do it anyway by repeating patterns and not really valuing ourselves enough to make different choices. Or, we're so clueless and unaware we don't know what we don't know.
We think we know enough about what he should be like, yet haven't taken the time to look at ourselves. We spend a lot of time dissecting his characteristics, strengths, shortcomings and what annoys us, yet haven't examined these things in ourselves yet. This tendency is a glaring issue in all relationships - personal, professional, in your marriage, with your kids, your parents, and your neighbors.
Charging ahead as if the problem lays with everyone else is even a classic issue with business leaders; they decide it's their staff or customers or product that's broken and needs to be fixed when they haven't examined their own contribution to the company's problems. Most likely, the real solution involves a strategy to integrate all of these pieces together and work toward a common direction.
Just like in your love life. Success and creating deliberate change starts with recognizing everything begins with understanding yourself, what you want, what's important to you and the components that need to be in place to create it. We'll go deeper into those topics throughout the book and help you discover what you don't know.
What You've Always Done
Every woman (and man for that matter), who is starting to date has the same questions, feels the same insecurities, and makes the same clueless mistakes, regardless of how old they are. The good news is our dating age makes us all in our twenties! The bad news is many of us aren't. (For those of you who are, thank goodness you're learning early in life and saving yourself some versions of heartache the rest of us have already been through.)
You continue doing what you've always done and wonder why you detest dating, and why you haven't found anyone you want to spend time with. Or, no one you've been out with wants to spend time with you. So you decide it must be you and you're broken. Or, it's all men, and they are the problem. (Has this ever escaped your lips, "All men are jerks!") Am I getting close? In which camp do you find yourself pitching the tent?
I'm guessing one of your answers was, "It depends." You might go on to say, "The last guy was.... Well the one before that was...." Or, "I haven't been out with anyone yet 'cause I'm too scared. Or too new. Or don't know what I'm doing. Or am frustrated. Or I've tried and never get anywhere. Or I haven't dated since I was in my twenties. How does it work anyway?"
If what you've always done isn't taking you where you want to go, it's time to make some changes.
Women in All Decades
Time and time again, women in all decades ask the same questions and have the same worries about how to date, where to find him, and how to keep him. The difference being as you get older the baggage can be bigger, and heavier and usually involves more people. Crazy ex's, multiple ex's, kids from multiple previous marriages (or not marriages), and even pets. There's also geography in the mix if the ex and the kids live in a different state or even another country. There may be joint businesses, retirement accounts, and multiple homes. (Untangling all of that is tricky so I hope your lawyer and financial advisor were really good.)
Yet, even with a deeper degree of complication, your fundamental dating age comes down to your own experience, steering clear of the B.A.T. Signs and Types, learning about yourself, figuring out what you want, and how to recognize it. Oh ya, and what to do when you find it.
Consistently, a common flaw is starting with "how do I date" and "who he should be," before you understand the answers to "who I am," "what do I want," and "why do I want to date."
Advancing your dating age is fundamentally about discovering yourself. To help you explore, jot down a few thoughts in a journal as you read this book. Ask yourself some tough questions and have the courage to answer them honestly. You may not be sure what questions to ask, so I've provided some for you in each chapter. Feel free to expand on my questions with your own.
There are no right answers, and "I don't know" is an honest answer at this point as long as you're open to learning the answer. If you aren't, "I don't know" just becomes a fearful cop out and will keep you stuck exactly where you are. Your journal could be a special notebook, a diary, or a password protected file on your computer. Whatever is most comfortable for you is the one to choose.
Be careful of automatic answers, feeling like it must be an "appropriate" answer, and ignoring that little voice in your head that gave you the real answer. You don't get extra credit for punctuation, spelling or even using complete sentences. Don't edit yourself. Just let the thoughts and emotions come to you.
Your journal provides a private avenue to explore your feelings, beliefs, emotions, values, assumptions and way of thinking as you experience dating and relationships. As you continue to date, come back to the Journal Moment questions and update your answers. Learning about yourself is where success begins, and how it continues.
Date or Relationship
One very important distinction is the difference between a date and a relationship. Going out with someone once is a date, not a relationship or life long commitment. Even going out with him a few times is still dating, not a relationship. Don't view the first few dates as "forever," simply view them as a fun opportunity to see if you'd like to spend time with him again. Be truly present with this man right now, and very careful of assuming he is or isn't like your last man (or husband) and acting as if he'll do or won't do things just like the last guy.
Make the first few dates short, keep it light and have a good time. It's a nice evening, lunch or maybe a drink. (If you choose to drink, be sure to keep your wits about you.) You go home (by yourself) and reflect on if you'd like to see him again. That's the only question you need to answer after a first meeting, or even a second. We'll get to going home with him and having sex in the next chapter.
Yes, you can dream about becoming Mrs. Man I Just Met, though be careful of getting ahead of yourself. Dreaming about him and staring into space with a grin on your face is important, but part of the dating journey is learning some Basic Facts about him, along with experiencing how he lives and runs his life. The butterflies in your stomach when you're around him don't tell you if you can build a life together. Good decisions involve your head and your heart. Much more about those decisions later.
How You'll Know Better This Time
Living on purpose is one of the ways you'll know better this time. Consider your life and relationships – do you Live Deliberately or Live By Default?
Living Deliberately means you know yourself, have learned from your past, stand in your own power and believe in your decisions. Living by Default is an auto-pilot attitude where you've never reflected on your past, defined standards for yourself or the relationships in your life, nor made any changes to improve your situation, whatever that may be.
The next two sections give some common attitudes, approaches to life, and choices in dating or relationships based on Living by Default or Living Deliberately.
Living by Default
* You tend to run on auto-pilot, going in the same direction and doing the same things you've always done before. Maybe complaining how things never change though never choosing to change things.
* You let other people define what you want in your life in general as well as your love life.
* You nit pick about who your man should be, yet haven't explored your own character yet. Seems you are more concerned about him and what's wrong with him than what's right with you.
* You bulldoze forward and focus on how you'll get something without regard for why you want it.
* You choose to date, and maybe even keep, whatever man shows up.
* You've defined some priorities, desires and what's important to you.
* Whether you like change or not, you recognize its part of life and can adapt when necessary.
* You take time to reflect on the outcomes of the decisions you've made in the interest of learning something useful this time.
* You are aware of the factors and emotions impacting your choices.
* You consider why you want something and how it helps you create what you want in your life.
* You choose Mr. Right for You and you know why.
You Don't Know What You Don't Know
Whatever your reaction to the Deliberate or Default description, it's ok. We're at the beginning of creating deliberate change in your love life.
The impact of Living Deliberately or Living By Default centers on the reasons behind the decisions you make. Many times, you don't know what you don't know until you've taken time to reflect on what's already happened and look ahead to what you want your life and relationships to become. Perhaps you'll discover some hidden motivators for your past decisions, and learn something you can use today and in the future to live more deliberately. As I said earlier, good decisions involve the common sense of your head and the emotions of your heart.
It's a Process
Have patience with yourself. Getting divorced, dumped, or starting over for any of a multitude of reasons only means things are going to change and you can take a different road. Choose a different path. Create another life for yourself. This is a process so let yourself evolve through it without expectations of acing the test right now. Fear is a natural emotion in this journey – rejection is very real and will happen. Failure is possible. So is success. Risk seeps into every choice. Believe you deserve love from a good man and have faith in yourself. Yes, change is scary though it can be exciting if you have the courage to let it become an adventure.
What Will You Choose?
* Continue as you have.
* Stay where you're comfy, stuck right where you are.
* Unwilling to see yourself and your life from a new perspective.
* Recognize your learning stage and dating age.
* Make your own choices.
* Be smart and choose to do things differently.
At the end of each chapter you'll find a group of affirming statements. Use them as encouragement when you need it or to celebrate making deliberate decisions that are good for you. Say them to yourself, say them out loud, or write them down in your journal. Whatever is most impactful for you to remember these promises to yourself and the changes you're making this time.
* I accept my dating age, whatever that may be, and vow to begin from here. I can do this.
* I'll have patience with myself as I experience the dating process, make mistakes, learn from them and try again.
Chapter TwoStuff No One Will Tell You 'Cause They Don't Know Either
There are some taboo topics in dating. (And people wonder why they are confused.) The first one is what's inside women's Cinderella Head and how it's used to justify idiotic behavior from a man. Discussing sex, having sex, or not having sex is another taboo topic, especially when it comes to discussing it with the man you are seeing, even though it's on your mind. Friends with Benefits is a particular scenario related to having sex or not and with whom. First we start with women's Cinderella Heads.
Few women escape the programming that starts at the beginning of our lives: be a princess and wait for prince charming to come and rescue us. What we're being rescued from is still a mystery, though I am certainly a product of that belief, and those experiences. When I was in pre-school, I remember a birthday party where my "boyfriend" and I were sitting on the back patio watching all the other "children" play. We were playing house – a game that simulates what we are "supposed" to do as adults. He was sitting in his kid sized lawn chair being the husband, and I was sitting in a kid sized reclining lawn chair being the wife. Nothing wrong with playing house. Nothing wrong with sitting on the back porch with your husband for that matter.
The programming issues surface as they translate into expectations and beliefs that women don't have a life unless we're in a relationship. Like we're not whole unless we can say we have a man which creates tendencies to let just any man in our lives. Especially since the programming continues with an underlying idea that relationships begin with a woman wanting the man, and the man needing to be conquered into a commitment. Mix all that together and we justify idiotic behavior from a man who isn't worthy of our attention.
Excerpted from Love is Blind Only if You Are by Debra Kunz Copyright © 2012 by Debra Kunz. Excerpted by permission of BALBOA PRESS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 That Dating Place – Is he interested? Am I? How do I know?....................1
How You Got Here....................2
Your Dating Age....................2
How You'll Know Better This Time....................7
It's a Process....................9
Chapter 2 Stuff No One Will Tell You 'Cause They Don't Know Either....................11
Sex – To Do It or Not To Do It....................14
What You Want Versus How You Act....................18
Friends with Benefits....................23
Chapter 3 Your Real Friends....................27
The Value of a Real Friend....................28
Signals Your Friends are Worried....................33
Giving Up Friends....................35
Be Smart About Safety....................36
Chapter 4 Drama Queen....................41
Why You Need to Know About Drama....................41
The Drama Source....................42
What's The Alternative?....................49
Chapter 5 The Secret - It Starts with You....................51
The Default Dating Cycle....................54
You're Single, Not Alone....................56
What Does it Take to Keep You?....................66
If He Calls or Not....................75
Chapter 6 B.A.T.s – Signs and Types of Bad Ass Trouble....................81
Signs of the Bad and Idiotic....................82
Once a B.A.T. Always a B.A.T.?....................102
We Allow It....................103
Chapter 7 Choosing Who Gets a Chance....................107
Not Every Man Deserves a Chance....................107
Defining Mr. Right for You....................109
Live Your Standards....................116
The Answer is Obvious....................133
Chapter 8 Danger! Danger! You're About to Settle....................137
The Mr. Good Enough Trap....................138
Does He Like Me?....................142
Where IS he??? The good man who's great in bed?....................152
Chapter 9 Breaking Up....................155
Have an Anthem....................156
I Wish It Were Different....................168
Chapter 10 The Possibilities....................171
There Are Men Everywhere....................172
Taking the Risk....................176
The Heart of the Matter....................183
Contact the Author....................187
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Not just for women, this book has many pearls of wisdom for the male audience as well. Information is power. Author Debra Kunz has crafted a no nonsense guide to dating that arms both sexes with the knowledge needed to make deliberate dating decisions. Navigate the dating minefield at your own peril or read this book and learn how to defuse some common (and repetitive) obstacles along your dating path.
Loved the author's take on so many issues. Her authentic, pragmatic approach to seeking a parternship that really works long term resonated with me. You need to know yourself BEFORE you can know what it is you want in a partner. She has some really helpful exercises to help you gain that insight. Then, once you are clear about what Mr Perfect For You is, you date smarter. You stop settling for relationships that don't work and instead are intentional about finding one that does. There's definitely wisdom here, well worth the read whether you're new to dating for the first time, or again, or whether you're a seasoned pro.