Category Archives: Find a Relationship

Love Like a Super Attacher (Someone with a secure attachment style)

Black Couple SleepingDespite what romantic movies, TV shows, and books tell you, love isn’t something that simply happens. It is a work of art created by you. Really. Finding love is less about meeting the right person and more about acquiring the habits of what I call a super-attacher. People with good relationship skills and healthy attachment behavior, who believe they are lovable, are the ones suddenly finding love, as singles often perceive it.

So how can you begin to learn healthy attachment behaviors and find the relationship you want and deserve? It all starts with understanding what attachment style is and how it affects relationships.

Each of us comes into the world with a biological predisposition to attach to people in a certain way ? some babies require more closeness and care than others. During the crucial first year of life, when our brains triple in size, we start to form a hardwired blue print for love based on how our caregivers respond to our needs. Then, in our adult romantic life, we attempt to replicate that version of love, even if, believe it or not, it was filled with feelings of loss or pain. Trying to replicate that love is what causes millions of singles to seek out help from coupled up friends, speed dating events, dating advice articles, and reviews of dating sites from places like DatingAdvice.com. Once we find our preferred venue for replicating that love, attachment style is the invisible force that prompts us to swipe right on someone we like or say hello to a stranger we find attractive. Attachment style is also the invisible force that determines whether or not we get into roller-coaster relationships with extreme highs and lows or not.

At the top of the mating heap are super-attachers. These people have whats known as a secure attachment style. Secure people tend to have high self-esteem. They are comfortable sharing feelings with friends and lovers. When they are suffering, they seek out social support. They take responsibility for their actions and are known for having a lot of empathy. Best of all, they have trusting, lasting relationships.

If you dont exactly fit the profile of a super-attacher, there are three simple things you can do that should help transform your dating life:

  1. Give Care Without Having Strings Attached

Yes, be an authentic nice guy or nice gal, not one whose kindness comes from fear that someone will bolt or who uses a manipulative tactic to get someone to like them. Instead, be kind, expecting nothing in return except your own sense of high self-esteem. Enjoy the ego boost. Love just for the sake of loving and youll like yourself better.

  1. Receive Care Happily

The next time you are feeling under the weather or under a lot of stress, call in for backup. Reach out to friends and family members. I know this can be very hard for some people, but learning to have interdependent social support is great practice for one-on-one love. Let the people in your life know what you need and allow them to take care of you.

  1. Dont Take Anything Personally

If you often get emotionally hijacked by sudden feelings of abandonment or rejection, I have four words for you:?Its never about you.?There is always another side to every story, and trust me, people are more concerned with their own stuff than yours. So take a deep breath, and use every feeling of rejection as an opportunity to practice self-consoling. Remember, its never personal.

Learning to have healthy attachments is the key to having a long and happy relationship ? and life in general. Because when you love better, you live better. By the way, if you are curious about what kind of attachment style you have, you can?take the quiz here.

LISTEN TO THE DR. WENDY WALSH SHOW ON KFIAM 640 LOS ANGELES. Listen from anywhere on the iHeartRadio app or online at www.KFIAM640.com

Evan Marc Katz: How Men Think About Love

Evan Marc KatzLove Lab LIVE! (April 18th, Santa Monica) is for couples, singles, men and women alike. For the singles in the audience, I have a special treat. Dating Coach Evan Marc Katz will be there. I invited him because of his unique perspective on men’s psychology. He teaches women how men think when it comes to courtship and commitment.

Recently, I interviewed Evan Marc Katz:

DR. WENDY: What is the number one thing that women don’t understand about male psychology?

EVAN: I find that women underestimate how much men want to be appreciated, admired and accepted. Or, the simple fact that men want to please a woman and are frustrated when we’re told we’re failing.

DR. WENDY: I think that certainly applies to both genders. I think a relationship is a home for the heart where one should feel loved and appreciated. Maybe because of all the intense competition that goes on between the sexes in the workplace, woman sometimes forget (or are too insecure) to turn it off at the daring table. Evan, what are the biggest differences between male and female mating strategy?

EVAN: I don’t think they should be all that different, nor that strategic. In my opinion, everyone should strive for a relationship with a 7 chemistry and 10 compatibility, instead of blindly being drawn towards the 10 chemistry, and settling for a 3 compatibility.

DR. WENDY: I agree. Sometimes this so called “chemistry” is actually attachment anxiety. Our early life traumas often lead us back to the scene of the crime in adult life and our sexual “high” or butterflies in our stomach are sometimes an indication that this person is WRONG for us.

EVAN: I see that often in my practice, Dr. Wendy. And I’d like to add to that I believe that both men and women should understand that the best partners have three qualities: lack of neuroticism/insecurity, lack of seeking novelty, and general agreeableness.

DR. WENDY: From a psychological perspective all those things boil down to a lack of self love. I always tell people we can’t expect anyone else to love us unless we love ourself first. Evan, if there is only one thing that you want every woman to know about relationships, it is…..

EVAN: Good relationships are easy. If it’s not easy, it’s not that good.

DR. WENDY: Well said Evan. I’ll see you at Love Lab LIVE! on April 18th. Buy tickets here!

DR. WENDY WALSH IS AVAILABLE FOR TELEPHONE RELATIONSHIP COACHING. TO SCHEDULE, PLEASE CLICK HERE AND COMPLETE THE BOX ON THE LEFT. SHE’LL PERSONALLY RESPOND.

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WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT LOVE AND SEX? GET 50% OF MY ONLINE WORKSHOP “THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HUMAN MATING” USE PROMO CODE “LOVE 50” CLICK HERE

How to Make Someone Love You

frustrated young business manIt’s the email I get at least ten times a week, from a man or a woman or a teen or even an elderly person. It’s written from the place of a broken heart, because the object of their desire isn’t paying attention to them or has severed relations with them all together. And their email always ends the same similar way, “How to I make someone love me?” or “How do I win them back?”

They want me to wave a relationship expert wand and assign a few magical words to bring them perfect love and heal their broken heart. But I never do. Instead I ask the writers of those emails to swallow a bitter pill and trust me. Here is the bitter pill: Someone else’s love is never a replacement for self love.

When you are longing, you have lost a connection with your own deepest wisdom. You’ve probably gotten out of touch with nature, and family, and deep trusted friendships, and instead are wallowing in the fantasy that love from one specific person will solve it all. And it will. Though, not for long.

How do you make someone love you? Easy. Replace the “someone” with YOU. I know. It sounds trite and pop-psyche, this idea of self love, but it really is the most important love you will ever attain. When you are filled up with confidence, and self-respect, and self-acceptance, your behaviors toward every living thing will become increasingly positive and loving. You will be able to release anger toward those who have wronged you, and forgive them. You will look into the eyes of a neighbor and ask his first name. You will become active in your community, all for good. You will be calmer in a traffic jam. You will stop more often to hear birds singing and the wind filtering through leaves. You will find peace.

And then love will find you. It may not come from the source or soul where you once hung your anxious hat. It may not even come from a romantic relationship. But if you are truly, deeply, honest and calm and in love with the imperfection that is your own humanity, love will find you. I promise.

DR. WENDY WALSH IS AVAILABLE FOR TELEPHONE RELATIONSHIP COACHING. TO SCHEDULE, PLEASE CLICK HERE AND COMPLETE THE BOX ON THE LEFT. SHE’LL PERSONALLY RESPOND.

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WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT LOVE AND SEX? GET 50% OF MY ONLINE WORKSHOP “THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HUMAN MATING” USE PROMO CODE “LOVE 50” CLICK HERE

WATCH MY VIDEO: HOW TO FORGIVE SOMEONE

 

Your Mind Can Fix Your Relationship Problems

Unhappy young couple having an argumentIt’s kind of funny that when people have relationship problems, they tend to spend a lot of time blaming. Blaming their partner. Blaming their parents for divorcing and leaving no roadmap for conflict. Blaming the internet for enticing a cheater. Even blaming themselves for “falling” for a non-compassionate  partner. Blaming. Blaming. Blaming.

But, what if I told you that no one is to blame? Ever. What of I told you that relationships are really the mind’s jungle gym, a work out for your awareness, and that no one can fail at a work out.

I will tell you this: Every relationship that you’ve ever been involved in, your mind chose. On some conscious or unconscious level you chose a partner to grow with, and more importantly, you chose to believe the script that the two of you lived out. And, in plenty of cases you chose your worse fear, just to see if you could survive that. The mind is a funny thing.

So you entered your mind’s gym — your relationship — you suited up (maybe even in a bridal gown or tuxedo) and you dove in deep. Except the gym’s instruction manual was a tad tattered. You tried your friends advice, you tried your parents’ way, you even tried some of Dr. Wendy’s “tips.” But still you couldn’t get that partner to behave in the way that matches your relationship schema. You had relationship problems. And, it sure didn’t feel the way you had envisioned your perfect relationship would feel. Okay, so that’s normal. But let me ask you one thing?

Did you grow?

Your workout in the mind’s gym isn’t designed to bring you bliss. There’s no pain without gain. Relationships aren’t a spa! They are a character stretcher that can build a stronger sense of awareness, beef up your compassion, and create rock hard intuition. Do you know yourself better now? Maybe you caught a glimpse at how you trigger those very behaviors you abhor in your partner. Maybe you realized that you fell in love with superficial things that don’t nurture your soul.

But what you didn’t do is only imagine the best. You probably didn’t reward yourself with the idea that a good enough partner in a good enough relationship can bring joy, contentment, and feelings of security.  You also may have spent way too much time judging them and trying to get her him or her to behave in a certain way, instead of loving the best parts of your partner. Or, you simply learned that you will choose different next time. Oh, then you’ll enter a whole new gym. Enjoy the work out.

DR. WENDY WALSH IS AVAILABLE FOR TELEPHONE RELATIONSHIP COACHING. TO SCHEDULE, PLEASE CLICK HERE AND COMPLETE THE BOX ON THE LEFT. SHE’LL PERSONALLY RESPOND.

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WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT LOVE AND SEX? GET 50% OF MY ONLINE WORKSHOP “THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HUMAN MATING” USE PROMO CODE “LOVE 50” CLICK HERE

Five Sexual Myths That Keep Women Single

Women gossipingFor my book The 30-Day Love Detox, I interviewed some of the brightest minds in the country who focus on sexuality, mating strategies, and attachment. Even I had to take a deep breath and let go of some of my cherished arguments for sexual equality when I saw how solid the research ran contrary to my beliefs. Sigh. These are the sexual myths that will keep you single if you continue to believe them.

1. The Sexual Myth of The Hook Up Culture

As I mentioned earlier, the hook-up culture is more urban legend than reality. A recent National Survey of Family Growth study with over thirteen-thousand participants showed that fully one quarter of college students are virgins.

Yet, most people assume that college campuses are a hotbed of non-committed sex. And they believe this uncommitted sex happens earlier than it does. In fact, young adults who do not attend college have more sexual partners.

But, since the perceptions exist, many women feel subtly pressured to have sex before they are ready. One study showed that the vast majority of college students talked about hook-ups yet reported very few actual sexual scores. But the talk was the damaging part for women. It has the effect of “normalizing” the practice and creating more approval for hook-ups. That new false norm causes many women to engage in risky sexual behavior.4

The truth is there are two, distinct dating markets. One sells bulk sex at a low price, perhaps the price of one drink, and the other sells a select variety to a narrow market. Women who want a healthy relationship “charge” a high price for sex: attention, love, care, commitment, and social status. In today’s times, social status may not mean marriage if you don’t need it, but it can certainly mean that he changes his Facebook status to indicate he’s in a relationship with you.

2. The Myth that Sexual Chemistry Helps Relationships

Many women believe that jumping into bed in the early stages of a relationship is a way to test sexual compatibility, a way to audition a man, if you will. Someone – probably a man – created the myth that “sexual chemistry” is necessary before couples can move to a committed relationship.  If this theory were true then people who do not test out sexual chemistry before commitment should have shorter, more unhappy, relationships. But psychology professor Dean Busby and his colleagues at Brigham Young University were unable to make this connection is a study of more than 2,000 couples. People with good sexual chemistry early on did not stay together longer. He explained his results to me this way. “The mechanics of good sex are not particularly difficult or beyond the reach of most couples, but the emotions, the vulnerability, the meaning of sex and whether it brings couples closer together are much more complicated to figure out.” (Dean Busby, personal communication, 2012).

“Sexual chemistry isn’t made by some effortless match, as if the couple won a lottery,” says University of Texas sociology professor Mark Regnerus and author of Pre-Marital Sex in America. “I think sexual chemistry is the title we give to the erotic novelty often found in early sexual relationships: if they’re “hot,” then chemistry must exist. But all relationships settle down into more sustainable patterns of romance, and THAT is when sexual chemistry is fashioned.”


3. The Myth That People Have Sexual “Needs”

Sex researchers have long known that women have different kinds of sexual “needs” than men. Women’s sexuality tends to be responsive, meaning that we respond to sexual opportunity, rather than seek it out to fulfill some kind of necessary quota.

When women meet someone they are attracted to, their sexual responses turn on. When they break up from a sexual relationship, they aren’t as likely as men to replace that relationship with daily masturbation or pornography. When single women feel “horny” it is often an extension of their emotional need for companionship. Some researchers have found that women often desire to be desired.

That’s a whole lot different than a biological desire for sex, any sex, with almost anyone. Men are more like that. This model of female sexuality is supported by the fact that drug companies can’t come up with a drug that enhances female libido. Women’s sexuality is a complicated mix of psychology, social conditioning and biology. Men’s sexuality is closer to basic plumbing.

But in this high-supply sexual economy where women have adopted everything male, I often hear women say, “But what about my sexual needs? I have to put my needs aside?”

I believe the bodies of those women could be responding to our highly sexualized culture, including provocative advertising, half-naked men on Facebook and sexual invitations at every turn, making women believe that sex is urgent. Rather than having a sexual response to a single suitor whom they are attracted to, women could be having a sexual response to our crazy sexualized environment. Or, they could simply be parroting men. Worse, they could be giving in to the power wielded by the shrinking supply of good men, and bowing to their requests out of fear.

These women believe the myth that sex is, in fact a human need. Granted, psychologist Abraham Maslow’s famous hierarchy of human needs puts sex at the base of the pyramid right alongside pooping, but he isn’t referring to sex as a commodity.

He was referring to sexual competition as a motivating factor for people’s behaviors. And I think it’s clear that we have enough sexual competition these days.

Can both genders control their sexuality? Of course we can! Sex is no more a need than a trip to Saks Fifth Avenue. For our human survival we need, air, food, water, shelter and companionship. Ask any priest, nun, military person stationed abroad, prisoner, or elderly widow. Is sex necessary for their survival? Nope. But it’s a nice perk that comes with freedom, prosperity and good health.

I think the important question women need to ask themselves is this: Does more sex make a woman feel liberated or trapped? I vote for trapped. By adopting a male model of sexuality we have imprisoned ourselves in a hook-up culture that trained a generation of men to avoid marriage and parental responsibilities. Is this getting our “needs” met?


4. The Sexual Myth That Sex Leads to Love

While slightly more than half of college women believe that a sexual hook-up can be a stepping-stone to a relationship, the research points to a more ominous outcome. According to the author of Pre-Marital Sex In America, “It’s a race to the bottom. By having sex early in a relationship  — or worse, before it even starts — is a guaranteed failure. It’s just a matter of time. Men won’t sacrifice for someone who’s easy. They don’t work that way.”

Or, how about this little jewel of research? Renowned evolutionary psychology professor David Buss at the University of Texas at Austin and Martie G. Haselton at the University of California, Los Angeles found that the more previous sexual partners a man has, the more likely he is to quickly perceive diminished attractiveness in a woman after first intercourse.

Diminished attractiveness. Sex doesn’t lead to love for men. If the guy is a player, sex more often leads to distain for you.

My Facebook page, like yours, is crammed with visually wired men who click on any cute photo that might mean a sexual opportunity, thus the majority of my Facebook “friends” are men. When I posted the Buss & Haselton study on my Facebook page, one guy summed it up perfectly. “Sure…. It’s a test. We see how quick we can get you in bed. The quicker you are, the less wifey material you are.” Sigh. Feminism has yet to reprogram men’s brains in the area of sexuality.

5. The Myth that Promiscuity Can be Turned Off

Plenty of people believe that sex is a behavior that is very malleable, that sexuality can be turned on and off, like a light switch. Many of the women I spoke with told me that they are hooking up as a way to audition mates, but they are quite sure they can be faithful when they decide to be. But research doesn’t support this. More likely is the scenario that these women are training their body to be a future cheater. We can train ourselves for most anything. And the only way to train for monogamy is to either abstain or to be monogamous.

“Many will say, ‘when I get ready to settle down I’m going to take things more slowly,” says Dean Busby, Ph.D., whose work studying thousands of singles and couples has produced relevant and timely data.  “Unfortunately, some of our more recent research seems to suggest that the patterns that develop in young adulthood, and their relational consequences, can’t just be turned off or avoided once a person decides it is time to marry.  Every relationship we have, however brief and insignificant, influences every other relationship we have, and the patterns that we repeat across relationships become very difficult to change.”

Exiting the High-Supply Sexual Marketplace

I hope by now you’ve gotten the message that you have mating control but you are in a race against your fertility clock and an ever-increasing competition for a narrowing market of good mates. I hope that those fears will out weigh any fears you may have of dealing with the after shock of pulling yourself off the high supply sexual market. Think of it this way. Even in a tomato bumper crop year, when high supply forces the price of tomatoes down to a nickel a head, there will still be a market for an artisan grown, organic, heirloom tomato that sells for a dollar a head. So which are you? A mass market, low “priced” date? Or, a woman who sets the price of intimacy with her? And the price should be love, care, commitment and financial partnership if you plan to become a mother. It’s time to purge low-criteria relationships.

DR. WENDY WALSH IS AVAILABLE FOR TELEPHONE RELATIONSHIP COACHING. TO SCHEDULE, PLEASE CLICK HERE AND COMPLETE THE BOX ON THE LEFT. SHE’LL PERSONALLY RESPOND.

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WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT LOVE AND SEX? GET 50% OF MY ONLINE WORKSHOP “THE PSYCHOLOGY OF HUMAN MATING” USE PROMO CODE “LOVE 50” CLICK HERE

MORE ABOUT SEXUALITY: WATCH MY VIDEO: IS THE SEXUAL DOUBLE STANDARD GONE?