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Melania, Ivana, and the importance of boundaries with exes

Exes. You couldn’t live with them. You want to live without them. But – like death and taxes – they’re a part of life.

Under the best of circumstances, you and your ex part on friendly terms, and even remain friends. (Yes, this is possible.) Or maybe you’re not on great terms, but you both have sense enough to realize that it’s better to just move on, and go your own separate ways with no contact. You don’t talk to one another, but you don’t get on each other’s nerves, either.

But then, there are circumstances where exes cannot be avoided. The obvious example is when children are involved. But there are other scenarios, too. Maybe you and your ex work in the same office, or the same field. Maybe you are both still in the same social circles. And don’t forget, if you’re dating, your partner has exes, too.

So how do you face exes effectively? The answer is – drumroll, please – boundaries.

Last week, we saw a high-profile example of a lack of boundaries –  courtesy of President Trump’s first and current wives. It all started when the President’s first wife, Ivana, promoted her new book, Raising Trump. In an interview with ABC, she called herself “first lady.” She said:

“I have the direct number to White House but I don’t really want to call him there because Melania is there and I don’t really want to cause any kind of jealousy or something like that because I’m basically first Trump wife, OK? I’m first lady, OK?”

Understandably, this didn’t sit well with Melania. It can be construed as a disparaging remark from an ex-wife who still considers herself to be more important because she married Trump first. Ivana crossed a boundary, and she did so very publicly.

Unfortunately, Melania’s response didn’t help. Perhaps she and Ivana are not on speaking terms, and that’s fine if they feel that’s what’s best. But Melania could still have found a way to respond privately to Ivana’s remarks. Instead, she, too, crossed a boundary publicly. She had her communications director release a statement that said:

“Mrs. Trump plans to use her title and role to help children, not sell books.  There is clearly no substance to this statement from an ex. This is unfortunately only attention-seeking and self-serving noise.”

Ouch. Clearly, the first Mrs. Trump and the current Mrs. Trump are not exactly pals – and that’s okay. No one is saying that you must like an ex. But here’s the thing: When you cross boundaries with exes, who does this help? Except for one fleeting bit of personal satisfaction, what are the benefits in reacting this way?

The answer is: none. It certainly does not help you deal with your ex, or your partner’s ex. Unfortunately, we live in a world where this kind of public sniping is more and more common. Too often now, couples post nasty things about each other – and their exes — on social media. Again, what good does this really do?

You might think that it helps to publicly “get back” at someone who “wronged” you. In reality, it doesn’t help at all. As matchmakers and relationship coaches, we encourage our clients to adapt a different approach when it comes to break-ups, exes, and boundaries. The goal is to be as understanding with one another as possible – and to set up rules if needed. If an issue needs to be discussed (or argued), do it behind closed doors; not in front of the entire world. (And certainly not in front of children.) If you’re having trouble with your partner’s ex, have your partner speak with her and set up boundaries. Since he had a relationship with her, he knows her better than you do. By the same token, you’re probably better suited to speak with your ex about boundaries, if needed.

No doubt, boundaries can be difficult, especially when it comes to exes. But they are essential for personal growth. Hopefully, Ivana and Melania will learn this. Hopefully, you’ll always remember it.

 

 

Prince Harry found love – and you can, too!

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stroll hand-in-hand. (Photo by Splash News)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stroll hand-in-hand. (Photo by Splash News)

When it comes to relationships, everyone has their challenges. Even Prince Harry. He could well be the world’s most eligible bachelor. After all, he’s royalty, he’s wealthy, he’s charming in ways that remind many of his mother, Princess Diana, and he’s very easy on the eyes. You might think, “how tough could it be for him to find love.”

I would guess that it’s tougher than any of us realize. He’s dated a lot of women, but he has yet to take a bride. That could be about to change, though. He recently went public about his relationship with Meghan Markle, the actress best known for her role on the television series Suits. At last week’s Invictus Games in Toronto (a sporting event for wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans), the Prince and his new leading lady were everywhere, smiling, holding hands, and even kissing. There are already rumors that they’re secretly engaged.

As a professional matchmaker, what strikes me most about these two is how different Meghan is from the type woman many would expect Harry to fall for. She’s an American – a “commoner” in the world of the Royal Family. If Meghan and Harry do get married, Meghan would be the first American to marry into the Royal Family since Wallis Simpson famously wed King Edward VIII more than 80 years ago. Edward gave up the throne so he could marry Wallis – making for one of the all-time great love stories.

While Harry will probably never be King (he’s got four other family members ahead of him in line, and of course, the Queen is still going strong), I’m sure he envisioned marrying a British woman – probably one with royal blood of her own. Instead, he’s with Meghan, a proud native Californian who loves yoga, the beach, and avocados.

This, to me, is a sign that Prince Harry looked beyond what was expected of him, and focused on what was right for him. I talk to many clients who have trouble deviating from the vision of the ideal partner etched in their minds. I often tell them to “adjust their lenses” and be open to potential partners who don’t necessarily fit their pre-conceived expectations. Obviously, Prince Harry doesn’t mind that Meghan is not British. He adjusted his own lens, and now he’s found love as a result.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games. Harry created the games to help ill and injured veterans. Harry and Meghan both share a commitment to philanthropy.

There are other things that strike me as very positive about Meghan and Harry. No doubt, they look like a dream couple. Yet they both go much deeper. According to a wonderful article in this month’s Vanity Fair, one of the strongest bonds they share is their dedication to philanthropy. They are both, in their own ways, committed to making this world a better place. I’m not surprised at all that this is one of the “sparks” that drew them together. Most people I know who have found love also happen to be very generous. They look outside themselves and realize how fortunate they already are.

Meghan and Harry have also been careful about revealing their relationship. They dated quietly for six months before anyone outside their closest confidants knew about it. I’m sure their very public lives factored into this. It must be hard to date when the world is watching!

But this careful approach also benefits singles in general. We’ve all seen those movies where the girl meets the guy, and right away, she screams everlasting love from the rooftops. This makes for an entertaining film, but it rarely works in the real world. Why? Because everyone has opinions. And even if they’re well-meaning, they can often get in the way of a budding relationship. It’s almost always better to go on serval dates, and really get to know one another before “going public” as a couple.

So, even if Prince Harry will soon be “off the market,” fear not. His road to love is a positive lesson for singles. There are also many princes still out there, even if they don’t have royal titles. You just have to stay positive and keep an open mind about finding them.

Love,

Dr. Nancy

Our top 5 tips for dating success

There are few things in life that are as exciting, or as nerve-wracking, as dating – especially when you’re just getting to know someone. So many things go through your mind: Will he find me attractive? Will she think I’m interesting? Can I get through the date without spilling something? All these come into play – as well they should.

As matchmakers, we have the privilege of hearing about many first dates from our clients. One of the things we’ve learned is that it’s sometimes easy to take dating for granted. This causes some people to do things they would never do on, say, a job interview.

So, in our hopes of making you a little less nervous on your next date, here are our 5 tips for basic dating etiquette. They’re gleaned from what our clients tell us, so we speak from experience.

  1. Be on time. – This shows that you’re organized and considerate of other people’s time. On the other hand, very few things can sour a first impression more than being late. Do you like waiting for people with no explanation? Neither does your date. At the very least, call or text with a heads-up if you know you’re running behind – and even then, you should have a solid estimate of when you’ll get there. Nowadays, with so many ways of easy communication, there’s no excuse for not doing this. And speaking of easy communication…
  2. Keep your phone off. – When you’re on a date, focus on your date; not on your work emails, or your calendar, or a jillion other things that easily distract you. Sure, you’re successful and important, and people depend on you. But guess what? Unless you’re a brain surgeon on call for emergencies, chances are your messages can wait.
  3. Talk less, listen more. – Remember, when you’re on a date, you’re very much on a fact-finding mission – and if you talk a lot, you’re not finding anything out about your date. Granted, some people are naturally outgoing, while others are shy. This is where questions become a trusted tool for success. Ask questions, look him in the eye, and listen. This gives him the respect he deserves – and it gives you the information you deserve as you determine whether you are right for one another.
  4. Treat the wait staff with respect. – How you treat wait staff says a lot about your attitude and values. Of course, if the service is bad or they bring the wrong food, you should speak up. But even here, it’s best to be firm and calm. No yelling or name-calling. Show your date that you’re kind, you have a big heart, and that you can handle slip-ups with class.
  5. Go with a positive attitude – and just have fun! It’s a date – not a commitment. You hope it goes well, but even if it doesn’t, what is it but just a few hours out of your life? If you see a boring movie, that, too, is time you won’t get back. But does that mean the date was boring? Of course not! It’s the same with dating. If you have the right frame of mind, you’ll discover that all dates have advantages. If you already feel it’s not a good fit, you may be surprised at other connections or positive outcomes you may have with this person. At the very least, you will meet someone unique and special just like you. Just kick back and enjoy.

With these tips, you drastically improve your chances of a positive date. That’s good, because you’ll continue using them in a new relationship. After all, if you’re positive, calm, thoughtful, respectful, and a good listener, those qualities will certainly help you when you engage in a new relationship.

 

 

 

Rip up your soulmate list and zip open your heart!

When you're dating, let your heart guide you in finding your soulmate.

When you’re dating, let your heart guide you in finding your soulmate.

When it comes to dating and finding your soulmate, you probably have a list of what you’d consider perfection. There’s nothing wrong with this. Just about everyone has visions of that “perfect 10.”

At their best, these lists tell you a lot about yourself and your desires. But at their worst, they can be very limiting. Yes, when it comes to dating, knowing what you want CAN be too much of a good thing. I’ve spoken to many clients who automatically cast someone off if they are not a 100 percent match. Not surprisingly, they are the ones who have the hardest time finding that special someone. Because their wish list is so rigid, very few people can pass. And even then, that someone must feel just as strongly about them. It’s easy to see why the odds of finding lasting love are stacked against them.

That’s why I often tell clients to rip up their lists. That’s right – toss them aside. It’s a bit of tough love, but tough love can be a very good thing. It forces you to open yourself to new discoveries and possibilities. With that in mind, here are some good reasons to rip up those lists when you’re dating:

  1. You begin to understand yourself. Nobody’s perfect — including you. Being less rigid leads to being much more realistic about yourself and the world around you.
  2. You discover the difference between wants and needs. Sure, you’d like a “perfect 10.” Who wouldn’t. But do you really need a perfect 10? What about shared values? Or feeling as comfortable with your partner as you do with your favorite pair of slippers? Or the joy of considering your partner your best friend? While physical attraction is important, don’t be so blinded by it that you lose sight of these much more important things.
  3. You realize that your wants and needs change with age and experience. Hopefully, what you look for in your 20s changes as you age. Maturity allows you to look at life with a new set of lenses – and you’re much more likely to do that by ripping up your list.
  4. You learn to be more open. Picture this. You’re on a date and you’re really clicking with this new person – except you don’t like their hair. Remember, they can change their hairstyle. Or maybe you think they could lose a few pounds. That can happen, too. The point is, these are trivial things. And if you let them get in the way of becoming more serious with this person, you could very well be losing out on the love of your life. When you do away with your list, you soften your eyes and look through your heart. That’s what we mean when we say, “I love you with all my heart.”

Isn’t that what you really want? When you open your heart, it’s much easier to have a positive attitude when you’re on a date. People respond to how they feel when they’re in your company, so you’re much more likely to make a positive connection when you have a positive attitude.

So many couples tell me that their partner was not what they had in mind from the start. Yet, they put aside their list and opened themselves to someone a little different. That’s often the way the heart works. And listening to your heart is almost always a good bet on the road to love.

Love,

Dr. Nancy

 

 

After Hurricane Irma, we remember what’s important

South Florida has been battered by Hurricane Irma, but we will recover, and our community spirit has never been stronger.

As we write this, we know that South Florida is recovering from Hurricane Irma. We sincerely hope that all of you – our dear friends – are all okay, and that your homes, apartments, and offices are up and running again.

Even though we’re dealing with lots of downed trees and power outages, it looks like we “dodged a bullet.” As scary as the storm was, it could have been a lot worse. We are certainly grateful that our community did not take a direct hit, and though nobody wishes for hurricanes, it sometimes takes disasters to remind us of the value of being grateful.

In times like these, when we think about what we could have lost, we are even more appreciative of what we have – like our health, our families, and our friends. In our normal lives, it’s surprisingly easy to take our blessings for granted. When we work with singles, we always stress the many advantages they already have, even if they have yet to find their soulmate. The more we make gratitude a key part of our lives today, the more open we can be moving forward.

One of the things we are grateful for is that we get to call South Florida home. We’ve both lived here for a long time now, and we’ve always been proud to serve this community. We’re already encouraged by all the ways – both large and small – that people are reaching out to one another, and helping those in the greatest need.

Yes, we have been battered by Hurricane Irma, but our community spirit has never been stronger. Together, we will show the world that our generosity shines as bright as the Florida sun.

Love,

Barbara and Nancy

Make yourself at home on our new website!

You know how giddy you get when you’ve just redecorated, and you can’t wait to show off your new place? That’s how excited we are about our new website!

It’s a reflection of us — and of you. We know you’re someone who expects the best out of life. You want to meet someone who matches your goals, values, and desires. Our new site reflects our core philosophy – that dating can be fun, fulfilling, and exciting.

So – like you would in a new living room – get comfortable. Look around! Find out more about us, our process, our brand new coaching service, and what our clients say.

And here’s one of the things we love most. If you’re ready to meet that special someone, we’ve made it easier to get started!

We hope you like what you see – and that you’ll share our site widely among your single friends and family. And please, keep coming back! Our updated blog will regularly feature dating tips, news, and other fun things you won’t want to miss.

After all, we made these changes with you in mind. We want you to feel right at home. Because if you’re serious about meeting your soulmate, you’ve come to the right place. You are home.

 

Love,

Nancy and Barbara

Announcing our new Relationship Coaching Service!

How many times have you heard that you need a plan, or a vision, to succeed at anything meaningful?

It’s common sense. But many times, it’s easier said than done – especially when it comes to relationships. That’s where Elegant Introductions Coaching comes in.

Maybe you’re in a relationship, but you’re not sure where it’s going or what you want out of it. Maybe you’re single, and not necessarily looking for a matchmaker right now, but you could use guidance clarifying your values, interests, and desires. With caring and compassion – not to mention lots of fun – we’ll guide you, motivate you, and renew your inner spark.

We know self-discovery can feel uneasy at first, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. As your coaches, we’ll make it enjoyable and fulfilling. But don’t just take our word for it. See what our clients say.

It’s easy to get started, so why not do it right now? Just click here or call us at 305-615-1900. If you’re ready to get the most out of your relationships and create the life you want, we’re ready to coach you!

Love,
Nancy and Barbara

COUNTING DOWN TO A NEW YEAR… AND NEW LOVE

New Year’s Day. It’s that time when everything is new, and everything seems possible. Each new year brings new opportunities, and that includes new possibilities for love.

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REMEMBERING THE THANKS IN THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving. When you ask people what their favorite holiday is, this day always ranks high on the list.

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Elegant Introductions in the news: our vetting process is a huge benefit of our matchmaking service.

As matchmakers, we often speak with singles who are very concerned about safety in today’s online dating world. At a time when it’s become more acceptable to share information about yourself with people you hardly know — or don’t even know at all — how can you be sure that your information is safe, and that the people you’re communicating with are actually telling the truth about themselves?

At Elegant Introductions, we perform criminal background checks on all our potential clients. We have every client go through a vetting process to make sure that they really are who they say they are. Our clients often tell us that this commitment to their safety is one of the major benefits of our matchmaking service. CBS Channel 12 recently profiled us and one of our clients about our vetting process. Click on the video below to find out how our extensive background checks make singles like Carol much more secure about re-entering the dating world.