The 5 relationships that matter in life

The 5 relationships that matter in life


To live life as an Empowered Single, we all need to be satisfied in certain areas of our lives, such as health and finances to name a few, and we all need to attend to our attitudes and beliefs surrounding those areas. By now we can all agree that what’s crucial in our lives is relationships yet most singles get stuck solely on the romantic kind. What they don’t realize is that relationships come in various forms and all contribute to our sense of well-being as well as influence how satisfied we can be in romantic ones.

Without proper relationships, people can’t ever reach their real potential.

To be clear, a relationship is defined as a connection, association, or involvement. Depending on our relationships, we can either create or destroy anything that we want.

In my eyes, there are only five relationships that matter the most:  Your relationship with objects/things, others, family, self, and spirit.

If you don’t work on improving any of these relationships, and getting to a healthy place, you will suffer because of ignorance.

Here’s the truth behind these types of relationships. I’ve put them in order, starting with the least important to the most important.

  1. Relationship with Objects/Things

objectsHave you ever heard people say, “Just whack that computer and it will work”? That’s a pure sign of ignorance about objects. If you think that slapping a computer to make it work will do the trick, you’ll continue to be deluded.

Conversely, if you think your material goods have value, then you will treat them with respect. For example, consider a person who litters relentlessly in public versus one who doesn’t. The person who dumps trash everywhere will never be at peace (and won’t know why). The person who goes the extra mile to drop litter into the trash will have a peace of mind that will allow him or her to do more in his life.

Or maybe you are overly rough with items you own, such as your car. You don’t drive it gently, you don’t take care of your oil changes, your brakes are worn out etc. You take the object for granted. And these objects don’t even need to be expensive ones.

Now I’m not talking about being enchanted with material things and needing to have more. What I’m saying is that if you respect everything around you and take care of your belongings, if you don’t subscribe to a throw-away or disposable mind set, you’ll find that you’re less likely to struggle. Things will last longer and you’ll find that you may even need less. (Can you see how this translates into the romantic relationship realm?)

  1. Relationship with Others

The ways you think, feel, and act toward others are determining factors to your success. If you harbor emotions of envy, revenge, anger, greed, or hate, you’ll never have fulfilling relationships. You’ll always be looking for ways to hurt your fellow human beings.

friendshipHowever, emotions of joy, faith, hope, and love can dynamically shift your results in your life. The most reliable and confident people in the world always find ways to encourage others and spread their love, even in the most minimal ways.

The level of your love (or hate) can be felt by others. When you walk into a room, most people know what you’re about. They can feel your energy and immediately know how to respond, whether it is consciously or unconsciously.

  1. Relationships with Family

You might be asking why I separated the relationship with “others” and “family” or even why I’ve ranked “family” more important than others. It’s simple. If you don’t have a good relationship with your family, you won’t have it with others.

familyNow I know that there are some families where it’s impossible to have a loving connection. There are some family situations that have seriously and negatively impacted people’s lives. You don’t have to like all of your family members, yet you will need to let go of any hatred or resentment toward them. You don’t even have to deal with them directly, but you must be determined to send understanding their way and avoid blaming them. (This is a hard one, I know, which is why it becomes important to get support.)

When we focus on releasing resentment and practicing patience with family members, we can easily apply these relationship skills to other relationships.

  1. Relationship with Self

You can only respect family, others, or things if you can enhance your relationship with yourself. If you can believe in yourself, you’ll find that everyone else will believe in you. You are your best friend and your worst enemy.

Every day, there is a constant battle within us which urges us to make many choices. If our positive choices outweigh our negative choices, our chances for success increase. In short, you are the sum total of all the choices you’ve made up until this point.

You are your choices. You can choose this day to be successful or you can choose to fail. Your attitude and beliefs will dictate where you will be directed. No one can control this, except you. The person who takes the most responsibility of their choices will create an extraordinary life.

  1. Relationship with Spirit

Whether you believe in God or universal laws which govern the heavens and earth or Nature herself, your relationship with the Spirit allows you to do far more than what you are capable of. In fact, the more you let the Spirit be in relationship with you, the more you can be leveraged by the universe.

Many people do not realize that they are spiritual bodies. They fail to achieve success in their lives because they only cater to their physical world. For example, if they get emotionally hurt, they resort to overeating or drugs instead of addressing the real problem (i.e. guilt, regret, shame, resentment, etc).

Spirituality encourages people to be positive, which may be expressed through generosity and optimism. Spiritual people tend to flourish more than non-spiritual people because they strive toward a better life and consider personal growth and fulfillment as a central goal. Spirituality requires people to focus on their internal values and work on becoming a better person.

Everything we do in the spiritual world has consequences. If you want to have a spiritual experience, you don’t have to try that hard as long as you have an open mind. You must be willing to let go of trying to control everything.

No matter who you are or what you do, these five relationships will make you or break you. When you focus on developing them every day, you will become an unstoppable force for the rest of your life.


What women find most attractive in men

What women find most attractive in men

Fulfillment Relationships

Most single peeps I talk with about dating and relationships seem to think that most people use physical attractiveness as their number one screening tool. Next is sense of humor.

But if you’re a guy, it turns out that women don’t actually use looks as their number one “must have”. What will really get a woman’s attention is how generous you are, according to a new study in Evolutionary Psychology.

Researchers from the University of Worcester in the UK showed more than 200 women pictures of the same two men—one more attractive, one less—in different scenarios. In total there were 12 scenarios, 8 of which displayed altruistic conditions and 4 of which were neutral.

The study confirmed that women found men who behaved altruistically more desirable then those who did not, regardless of how good looking they were. To put it another way, ladies opt for a less attractive fellow if he is generous over a hot-but-selfish guy.

The researchers also found – no surprise here – that the preference for altruistic men was also further influenced by their physical attractiveness…meaning that attractive men became significantly more so when they were altruistic.

“Possibly most interestingly, we found that if a women could choose only one of these traits for a long term partner, then it would be more likely that he was altruistic than physically attractive,” said study author Daniel Farrelly, Ph.D., senior lecturer in Psychology at the University of Worcester.

What’s all the hubbub?

Researchers posit that this is a biological motivation – altruistic men will be better partners and better fathers. In his article, Farrally explained: “One thing that is important in mate selection are signals that a long-term partner has the necessary psychological characteristics to indicate that he will be a good father, including kindness, generosity, and an altruistic nature.”

Interestingly, the opposite was actually true for short term relationships —women found generous guys specifically less attractive. Now this is a topic for another day.

To be sure, being generous has other benefits. Scientists at the Interdisciplinary Program for Empathy and Altruism Research theorize that volunteering and being generous is good for one’s health and well-being because it means getting off the couch and out of the house, so it makes us stronger and more physically fit. More physically fit people tend to deal with stress better, which can help them live longer lives. Being generous and volunteering also create social connections. We are hard-wired for face-to-face contact that includes lots of touch, eye contact, and smiles. Such interactions release a hormone called oxytocin, which helps us to bond and care for others, and also helps us to handle stress better. Volunteering is a good way to meet others, make friends, and bond over common beliefs and goals. (And we all know by now how important it is to develop a good social network.) Lastly, being generous and volunteering just feels good. Volunteering can give us a deep sense of happiness, which is also associated with longer and healthier lives.

helpfulSo are you screwed if you don’t volunteer at a soup kitchen? Not really. You can show your charitable side with anything where there is clearly a cost involved whether in time or finances, Farrally said. You have a few options:

  • Financial philanthropy, like giving a dollar to a homeless person or adopting an endangered animal in the local zoo.
  • Giving your time, like volunteering or helping out in a local charity shop.
  • Enduring physical costs, like donating blood or bone marrow.
  • Any heroic act (not so much throwing yourself in front of a bus … more like rescuing a stranded kitten from up a tree).
  • Displaying compassion and kindness.

altruism soup kitchen

Your Epic Life: How to become your dreams

Your Epic Life: How to become your dreams

Dreams Goals Planning Resolutions Solutions

The one thing that I see many people do is create goals for themselves and then store all of that in their heads. They may state their goals out loud but don’t go as far as writing them down. So what happens? Time slips by. Day after day goes by without them making a conscious effort to work toward them until 6 months elapse and they still haven’t achieved what they wanted to achieve.

Conversely I also see people overcommit (as we discussed in Steps 1 and 2). The problem with overcommitting is that it leads to under-delivering. Everything we do takes up physical time in our lives. Without putting things on the calendar, it’s easy to plan way too much. Too much that leads to overwhelm which leads to the opposite of progress.

Step 8

Put in on your calendar

Take a look at the goals and the habits that you’ve committed to over the past few steps. Begin to place each into various months. While doing so, be conscious of your life. For example, if you know you’ll be traveling all of June, then don’t expect huge results that month. If some of your goals will take the whole year to complete, then fill in your minor tasks in the months where you will take the action.

Goals, habits and outcomes by month

calendar for goals

Step 9

Create accountability structures

We tend to keep our word much better with others than with ourselves. Pick at least four people close to you to tell about your goals. They become your accountability allies. Walk them through this process. Explain why it’s so incredibly important to you and even give them a copy of your goals and plans. Ask for their help. If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know how important it is to have a support network. Most singles do not have enough people in their lives to lean on, thinking that their romantic relationship needs to meet all of their social needs. This is an excellent opportunity for you to practice leaning on friends and family members.

Accountability ally:                                                                                                                             
How they will keep you accountable (ex.: weekly check ups, whip cracking, etc.):              

Step 10

Routinely review your progress

To see massive progress, you must keep your plans front of mind. Create a routine that allows you to review the above at least on a weekly basis. Anything more in frequent than weekly makes it too easy to keep the ideas and dreams just that – ideas and dreams. They only become reality when we consistently address them and make small, gradual progress. In one year, that can become enormous.

Write down when you will review your goals on a routine basis.

Day of week:                                                                                                                                                  
Time of day:                                                                                                                                                   

Next, do something now – no matter how small.

Never leave a planning session without taking some action to get you closer to victory. It could be the tiniest thing in the world. Maybe send a short email or make a quick list. Pick something that only takes 5 minutes or less. And then do it. Let the momentum build.

Pick 1 small task for your top few goals that you can do right now to get you closer.


You can become your dreams — just add consistency

Congratulations! The fact that you have finished this process means you are nearly guaranteed to experience your dreams. As long as you do one thing… work!

Dreams, aspirations, andgoals don’t become reality merely by dreaming. That is the very first and simplest step. The magic happens when a consistent process of dedicated and inspired action is applied to the things that matter most in your life. Make no mistake – massive hard work is required.

When you are committed on such a level, the sky is literally the limit. That is what turns the impossible into the possible and is what makes the difference between an epic life and an ordinary one.

Every life can be epic in its own way.

All we have to do is want it badly enough. That part is up to you. So here’s to a year of life on your terms. I’ll see you out there!

floral border

Is one of your goals to create or improve your ideal career, or to create a strong support network, or to find the love of your life? I think I can help.

It turns out that 80% of singles over 40 don’t enjoy their lives. You’re not alone – and yet it doesn’t have to be that way. The good news is that last July, I created a self-study course called Create a Life You Love to help with those exact goals.   It contains six easy to follow modules with exercises to complete to ensure your success and there are also workbooks, 2 complimentary coaching sessions and weekly action plans that comes with it.

Since it’s the new year in this topic mean so much to me, I’m offering a 20% off discount code for the first two weeks of February for those who have completed this blog post series. To get your discount code, simply email me your notes from this process. But remember it’s only good until February 14th, 2016.

Here’s to a new year of finding passion and creating an epic life!

Click here to learn all about the Create a Life You Love eCourse.


Your Epic Life:  What’s your WHY?

Your Epic Life:  What’s your WHY?

Dreams Fulfillment Goals Planning Solutions

In this post, we’re going to explore how to give yourself leverage in terms of achieving your dreams – meaning, finding a compelling and emotional reason why you want to do what you want to do. When I coach my clients, one of the first few questions I ask them, when they state what they want to achieve, is “What’s important to you about that? What do you care about here?” Knowing your why can often mean the difference between achieving the goal or not, since a compelling and powerful why usually springs from a very deep need and is often influenced by our values.

This kind of emotional leverage can come from one of two places. You can focus on the wonderful things you’ll experience if you complete your goal – i.e., happiness, personal freedom, finding love. Or you can focus on the awful things that might happen if you don’t – i.e., loneliness, a heart attack, or the death of a loved one. Positive or negative, discover what will make it an absolute must to accomplish your goal. One success guru I follow likens leverage with the father who couldn’t quit smoking until his 6 year old daughter walked into his home office one morning and said daddy, “I don’t want you to die before I’m 10.” He never smoked again. Now that’s emotional leverage.

Need to catch up? Please check out the following blog posts, in order:
Make Your New Year Epic
Create Better Habits
Think Big and Get Specific

Step 6

What massive reason can you find for making your goal and must? It could be fitting into your wedding dress or being sure you’re alive to teach your grandson math. It’s your call. Just be sure there is a need your emotional reason behind it.

List one why for each goal.

your why chart

Step 7

Creating baby steps

Thinking of a long term goal as a single item to accomplish can be massively overwhelming. Yet every goal has all kinds of 5 minutes or 1 hour task leading up to it.

In this step, we’re going to take each core goal and divided into 3 to 5 minor steps. This is called chunking down. Chunking is a way of breaking down larger goals into more realistically achievable steps. The process helps you to understand all the smaller tasks that are involved in achieving a bigger aim, and create a timeline to get them done. By creating a series of realistic mini goals along the way, you can also feel a constant and building sense of achievement, spurring you on to work even harder.

From there we will create 3 to 5 baby steps for each minor step. You may need more or fewer steps, depending on the size of your goal. Feel it out.


chunking down goals

So… how excited are you getting, now that you’ve come this far to clearly and definitively articulate what you want to achieve, why it’s important to you, and then to start breaking it all down into small steps? We are nearly done with this exercise … so stay tuned for Steps 8, 9 and 10.


Your Epic Life: How to think big and get specific

Your Epic Life: How to think big and get specific

Dreams Fulfillment Goals Resolutions Solutions

Before we move on to Steps 4 and 5, let’s look back at the areas of attention you defined in Step 2 because you will need them here. Remember that it’s easier to focus on less than 8 areas. By being judicious, you’ll prevent burnout and a sense of overwhelm.

Now it’s time to start thinking big. I don’t mean you have to think massively, although that certainly makes this process a little bit more fun. The work we’re doing in Steps 4 and 5 primarily has to be meaningful to you.

It’s also not necessary to pick something for every single category or area of attention, yet I encourage you to do so. I want to make sure that you are creating joy in all the areas of your life that matter.

Always remember, however, that balance is key.

List one to three goals per area of attention.

Area 1:                                      Goals:

Area 2:                                      Goals:                                                                                                            

Area 3:                                      Goals:                                                                                                            

Area 4:                                      Goals:                                                                                                            

Area 5:                                      Goals:                                                                                                            

Area 6:                                      Goals:                                                                                                            

Area 7:                                      Goals:                                                                                                            

Area 8:                                      Goals:                                                                                                            


Step 5 – Getting Specific

This is where we’re going to define what you really want for yourself. It’s not enough to say, I want to be healthier, or I want to find someone special, or I want to make more money. You need to create goals that are quantifiable and measurable. And you need to be in control of whether they happen – meaning they need to be attainable. You can’t control whether you find the love of your life yet you can control how often you get off your couch to participate in life and how often you practice better communication skills. You can’t control whether you actually lose 10 pounds yet you can control what you eat and how often you exercise, which is what really leads to losing the weight.

So take a moment now to define what you want exactly. If you want to write a book, for example, then how many words a day can you commit to?

List the quantifiable outcomes and the specifics of each goal below.

goals table

So that is it for today. You’ve built a great foundation to creating an epic new year. Come back in a few days for Steps Six and Seven through which you’re going to create compelling reasons why you want to achieve these goals and then you’re going to create baby steps toward achieving them. Meanwhile, have an amazing day!

anything-is-possible (2)

Your Epic Life: how to create better habits

Your Epic Life: how to create better habits

Dreams Goals Planning Resolutions Solutions

Welcome back! Hopefully by now you’ve had some time to write answers to the questions in this blog post (here). Today, in Step 2, we are going to define your areas of attention. This is where you’re going to list the core areas of your life where you want to get results. Examples of core areas include: your health, continued learning, helping others, marriage or relationships, career, finances. The more creative you get with your naming in this area, the more committed you will be. For example, you could use the phrase “Expand the mind” instead of continue learning. Anything goes.

If you have any trouble identifying these areas, refer back to your answers in Step One.

Helpful Hint:  Don’t list any more than eight. In truth, it’s even better if you identify fewer than that. The point here is to know the areas in your life that matter the most and have fun with them.

Areas of attention










Step 3

Define resolutions and habits

Before we start thinking through massive goals, it is a good idea to start with general themes of improvement or change that you want to work on. Regard them as habits or resolutions. Habits differ from goals in the sense that goals are things you eventually accomplish or check off your list. Habits are things you want to adopt as a part of your life going forward. They are actions or behavior patterns that are regular, repetitive and unconscious – they are so ingrained that they are automatic. Some examples of habits include being early, scheduling less, slowing down, spending less time on email, simplifying or decluttering, getting more sleep, eating more healthfully.

The thing is, fully 95% of everything we do or say is determined by our habits, whether good or bad. Successful people have good habits that lead them to engage in constructive, fruitful behaviors throughout their lives. Unsuccessful people have inadvertently developed bad habits that cause them to act, or fail to act, in ways that lead to disappointment and frustration. Now we’re not just talking about career or financial success here – this applies to all areas of your life, including your health, friendships, and romantic relationships.

The thought of changing habits can be daunting for many, yet there is a really effective and simple approach to changing habits that I’ve adopted — it’s best to focus on one new habit or resolution at a time. Ideally you should focus on no more than one a month. If we do that one thing for a month straight, it will likely become a part of our routine. The good news is that for the super ambitious, this still allows for 12 new habits a year! However, I’d recommend fewer.

If you’d like to learn how to create better habits in 21 days or less, log on to my website
and order my free ebook called 21 days to Love, Joy and Prosperity.

So go ahead and list up to 12 habits you’d like to focus on for the New Year.

Habits and resolutions













So those are Steps 2 & 3! Tune back in in a few days for Steps 4 & 5. You are on the verge of creating core goals in each area that you’d like to improve in your life, as well as getting specific in defining what it is that you really want.

do epic things

How to make the New Year epic in 10 easy steps

How to make the New Year epic in 10 easy steps

Dreams Goals Planning Success

There’s nothing like New Year’s Day to make us take stock of our lives – to see what we’ve accomplished and what we’ve failed to accomplish. Most people I know use this holiday to beat themselves up over their failures while simultaneously making vague “resolutions” to achieve more.

Usually this approach brings the same results.

As a life coach, I enjoy helping my clients move toward the realization of their dreams – to help them create a life they love – so there’s nothing that pains me more than seeing people not get results, give up on their dreams, to give in to inertia, to not live up to their potential.

Let’s make sure that you are among the few who DO get results.

In that spirit, I wanted to give you some exercises to help you get crystal clear on your new goals and the actions required to make them happen. The key is to keep all of this simple, actionable yet at the same time exciting. Life should never be boring.

So here goes.


Clear your calendar and get out your journal – be prepared to put pen to paper. Then make sure you’re somewhere where you can remain undisturbed for a period. Allow yourself to think in terms of “awesomeness”.

Step One

Reflect and Review:

What made last year awesome and not so awesome? What have you accomplished and what are you proud of? List these out on a sheet of paper. What about the low points of the year – what don’t you want to repeat? List these out on a sheet of paper, too.

If you were a journalist writing about your year, in an objective way, what would your headline say?

What are you most proud of in the last year? What new dream for yourself did you achieve?

What unfinished business did you want to resolve before the end of the year? When will you do it?

When were you most excited about life this past year? What are you doing? Who were you with? What was boring to you this past year that you want to change for the New Year? What made it boring?

Looking back at the previous year, what would you have done differently? Where did you let fear hold you back from a goal you had? When did you have the courage to try something different?

Take some time to write out your answers to these questions. This foundational exercise was meant to get you started – we’ll build upon what you’ve written down here.

Then, tune in over the next few days for Step 2 where we define your areas of attention as well as Step 3 through which we define your resolutions and new habits. From there, in Steps Four and Five, we will create a core goal in each area you want to improve and then we’ll get specific about what you really want. In Step 6, we’ll figure out a compelling reason why you want to make these changes — from there, in Steps 7 and 8, we’ll create baby steps to get you moving forward as well as get all of the steps on a calendar. Then finally in Steps 9 and 10, we will create accountability structures and how we can routinely review your progress.

So stay tuned!

New Year resolutions

Ask the Coach: My partner needs to earn the same salary

Ask the Coach: My partner needs to earn the same salary

Ask the Coach Dating Requirements
OR – The Truth Behind Your Requirements

Dear Coach Linda:

I posted a question to a singles forum the other day and they all seem to disagree with me on something- I said I do not want to date a man who makes less than me and expects me to pay for ALL the dates. They seem to think love is more important and they would date someone who had no or very little money for love. Am I off on this one? I do have personal experience that gives me bias. Thanks! ~ Carrie

money love scales

Hey Carrie,

Here’s my two-cents, as someone who helps singles create lives they love.

Your requirement that your partner earn as much as you do is a valid one as long as it doesn’t restrict you in ways that eliminate possibilities. The argument you’ve been hearing, that it should all be about love, is a romantic sentiment which could potentially only last a few years and then cause trouble.

Here’s what I mean.

Your desire for equal salary more than likely points to some deep needs that you have for a relationship to work. While you’d be the one to know for sure, my guess is that you need your partner to be responsible, hard-working, motivated and maybe even independent. You may also want to avoid anyone who has dependency problems … you might want to avoid being in a “care taker” role. I’m only guessing here. To be sure, ask yourself: “What’s important about this requirement? What does this mean to me?” Think about your top 5 most-strongly-held values and how this requirement relates to them.

Once you’ve identified what it means on that level, then ask yourself: “Are there ways for a partner to exhibit these traits without earning as much as I do? Are there other ways for my relationship requirements to be met?

The reason these questions become important is that you could potentially meet someone who reflects all that you value the most, someone who you are attracted to and have fun with, who isn’t looking for a care-taker, yet for some reason has not been able to earn as much as you do. Would you be ok with dismissing this person based on your salary requirements? By doing this deeper reflection on what salary truly means to you, you’ll be in a better position to clearly and consciously evaluate the partnership.

As an aside, these questions are applicable anytime someone identifies something on the outer level or externally as a relationship requirement — for example, saying that a potential partner has to be athletic or sporty … or must have certain physical attributes. Requirements are really all about what you must experience in a relationship.

All of this is raises another important point: Money issues is the number one contributor of relationship failure. Most people, before making a commitment, do *not* talk to one another about their beliefs, attitudes and behaviors surrounding money. To gain clarity and agreement on this topic is the difference between a conscious relationship (and one that has a better chance of long term success) and an unconscious one (which will ultimately result in failure).

Naturally this is the kind of topic that needs to be discussed when you’ve gotten to know him and feel there is great potential in the relationship … that a relationship with him would meet all of your other requirements. Yet, if you’ve clearly defined what this all means, you’ll know pretty early on if this has potential or not.

I hope this helps!!

Let me know if you have any questions or have some feedback to share.  If you want to explore your relationship requirements further, please contact me to set up a 1:1 coaching session. Articulating and understanding relationship requirements can mean the difference between joy and frustration.

Sending love!

~ Linda

click here

How to be more attractive…?

How to be more attractive…?

Self Esteem Self-Acceptance

As a life coach, my aim is to help people step into their own power and unlock their inner resourcefulness and resiliency, which ultimately rachets up self-confidence to achieve goals (such as co-creating an extraordinary relationship).

I tend to cringe when I see sensational articles on “how to be more attractive” to members of the opposite sex. Anything that smacks of manipulation ruffles me.

The thing is, we are human animals and as such we are influenced by our more primitive impulses, like procreation. This is why when we are young, we are profoundly influenced by our hormones, which then affects our ability to make wise dating choices.

So much of this biological imperative stuff has been studied this way and that, up and down, backwards and forwards … so much so that I feel that we all should keep some of this in the back of our minds when we’re out there dating. (For the record, however, I suggest that we throw away things over which we have no control…the last thing I want to see people doing is beating themselves up over something that can’t be changed or judging themselves as being ‘less than’.)

Check it out:

How Men Can Be More Attractive to Women

A more indepth video here:

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What I love about this video is how it shows that there are biological reasons why a man with muscles is more attractive. It also can be a sign of self-care, which to me is an extremely attractive trait.

How Women Can Be More Attractive to Men

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What I love about this video is that it shows that men actually prefer women who wear less makeup than more. Bravo for the natural look! The rest of it (i.e. wide hips, high voices etc.) I’m going to throw right out the window.


Now — again — some of this stuff we can’t necessarily control so it becomes important to embrace ourselves (which is different than being resigned to something we can’t change). And I do not EVER want to advocate that people need to go to extreme lengths to meet these tips. Instead, I hope you use some of this as inspiration to practice some self-care while, as a side benefit, remaining attractive and immensely datable.

In the meantime…

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Am I the proverbial “dating red flag”?

Am I the proverbial “dating red flag”?

Ask the Coach

Dear Coach Linda,

I met someone the other day who referred to me as a dating red flag — that I wasn’t someone women should date because I’m in my mid-forties and have never married. She said that I would be a “better risk” if I was “at least” divorced. I couldn’t believe it.

I’ve spent a lot of time working, traveling, and building my company. I’m currently single and have had girlfriends here and there. I just haven’t met anyone yet who seems to fit who I’m looking for. Do you think a man who has never married and is in his forties is a “red flag”? Any advice on handling comments like this? This is the second time I’ve been told something along these lines. What do you think?


Dear Jeff,

I can certainly understand why you might feel a little incensed over that kind of comment. It seems to be based on a very outmoded stereotype that the older bachelor is self-centered or afraid of commitment or damaged goods.

The thing is, I’ve come across many well-adjusted, commitment-minded, relationship-ready singles, both male and female, who are over 40 and never married. In fact, I Am One of Them!!

There are many reasons this occurs. Most are circumstantial and have nothing to do with avoidance or fear.

It’s not due to lack of commitment, fear of marriage, or having a wish list so long that even Santa Claus could not fulfill their expectations (although I was like that when I was younger).

In many cases, those of us who are over 40 and unmarried have chosen to focus on our careers and other areas of life. There is nothing wrong with making the choice to focus on these other areas first. I know over the past few years, I have been completely wrapped up in my career, moving to a new state, dealing with a serious health issue etc. It was important for me to pull myself together first.

My professional opinion is that anyone who solidifies his or her financial position and becomes more self-actualized before he or she concentrates on finding a soul mate is going to reduce a good deal of relational stress that would otherwise plague the partnership. What’s more, recent studies show that mature bachelors are independent personalities, able to meet their own functional needs. Maybe – just maybe – this is a good thing, given how high the divorce rate has risen over the past decade or so.

And, most often, those of us who are single over the age of 40 are so because we are confident in ourselves, know what we want, and are not willing to settle for something less just for the sake of being in a relationship.

Anyone who considers you a “risk” due to the fact that you’ve never been married fails to see the big picture. So I have to ask, Is it really better to divorce to get out of a bad marriage, or is it better to make a choice to remain single rather than marry someone who is not right for you?

Don’t allow others to pressure you into making relationship choices or defending yourself for remaining single. Take your time!

Take a moment to think about who you are attracting

That being said, you mentioned that this is the second time you’ve heard this … which makes me think that you might not be attracting the right kind of women into your life.

Perhaps now is a good time to write down “exactly” what you are looking for in a relationship, why those things are important to you, and what difference it would make in your life to be with a person who wants the same things in a relationship. Analyze your list against the women you have been attracting.

I am willing to bet there is a gap in alignment between what you want and what you get. Just like your success in building your company, planning out your relationship success will be fruitful for you.

And of course, now might be a really good time to get some coaching on this topic, to not only get clarity on what you want for yourself in your life, but to also make sure that you are truly ready for a long-term relationship.

Good luck!

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