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When You're Anxious About First Dates


First dates can be nerve wracking, especially if you’re shy, if you have had some relationships that ended poorly, if you feel like you don’t know how to date, or if you’re anxious about a date working out. 

First dates can also be frustrating if they go poorly. After all, you’d really like to meet a trustworthy, marriage-minded man. 

There are two positive actions you can take that will help when you're anxious about first dates, or if a first date goes badly.

To relieve first date jitters, re-frame your experience.

Rather than think of a first date as a period of time when you will find out if a man is “the one,” think of it as an adventure in learning about another human being. You’re just there to have a good time—and hopefully make a new friend. If it turns into something down the road, great. If not, thankfully, he is not the last man on earth.

Letting go of the need to control the outcome of the date will...

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Why Do Women Fall for the Wrong Guys?


Single women often tell me they’re frustrated and ask, “Why do I keep attracting the same type of guy?” or "Why do I keep falling in love with the wrong kind of men?"

There can be many answers to this question, but one answer is . . .

Love Scripts.

Every woman has multiple Love Scripts that are like silent directors behind the scenes in her love life. They control how she relates to men—and she doesn’t even know it.

Here’s an example from a recent coaching call I had with Tabitha.

While I spoke with her, she said she always attracts men who need something from her. “They’re always in a bad way,” she said. “They’re in financial messes, unemployed, or they’re in some other kind of trouble.”

She said she wants to be in a relationship with a man who shares her faith and values, is responsible, and will care for her. She wants to date a man who is trustworthy and marriage minded.

She wants to commit...

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Why Does He Act Interested, but Then Disappears, Ignores You, or Breaks Up?


I recently received an email from Cindy who said I could share her story with you.

She received a “cryptic” text from her boyfriend that said he’d been doing some soul searching. When she asked if his searching was about her, he wouldn’t respond. Then, he didn’t text for almost a week.

Naturally, she was hurt. My heart went out to her. 

She told me she hoped he wasn’t like her last boyfriend who disappeared without an explanation.

“How long have you been seeing him?” I asked.

“About 4 months” she said.

“How long did you know him before you started exclusively dating?” I asked.

“About two weeks,” she said.

She told me she really liked him and that there wasn’t anyone else she wanted to date.


It’s makes sense a woman would want to become exclusive with a man especially if he gives her all the signs that...

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Should She Be Friends with a Man Who’s Taken?


Miss S., one of the women from the Single Over 30 Community asked,

If you had a crush on someone that you couldn’t have, (whether they didn’t share your romantic feelings, if they were currently seeing someone else or the timing/distance just wasn’t right) how do you push past those emotions?

Do you avoid him? Do you try to remain friends in case circumstances change?

She also said she feels there is some mutual interest between them even though he is seeing someone else.

First of all, let me say to Miss S., that my heart goes out to you. As a single, I wore these same, “I-have-a-crush-shoes” several times. But there are some things a woman can do to navigate a circumstance like this wisely.

My first question would be. . .

What do you mean when you say "try to remain friends?" 

The word “friends” gets pretty muddy sometimes when emotions are involved. Do you mean acquaintances? Do you mean you want to talk to him on the phone? Go where...

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[Quiz] What's Your Love Style?

When I was single, I felt as if something was holding me back from giving my heart away. One afternoon, I had a revelation that I knew I couldn't let myself be loved--and I also felt as if I couldn't truly love. 

I shouldn't have been surprised when this truth hit me, because almost 10 years earlier, when a man I admired had expressed an interest in me, I reached out to a pastor from my church to share my relational fears. 

After a short discussion, he asked me, "Shana, can you let yourself be loved?" He then told me that he sensed I wasn't ready to marry, that something was holding me back.

Now that I am married, my single journey makes a whole lot more sense.

I now know that fears, attitudes, and beliefs held me back from giving my heart away, including the fear of rejection and the fear of abandonment. 

I thought I was ready to love, when in reality, these two fears (along with several other poor dating habits) were dictating many of my responses to men without...

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[Part 5] How Fast is Too Fast? Trust Your Gut

Today, I want to share my last tip on how to make sure you’re not moving too fast in a relationship so you don’t sabotage your love life.

But to do that, I need to start with a story.

My husband and I recently went for a drive in the mountains, and while we meandered down winding roads, we talked about our lives before we married.

Before we said “I do,” I was blessed in many ways. I had a great career speaking and writing. I had several wonderful friends, and I was able to travel often.

But I also wrestled with a broken heart, the disappointment of not having children, and as I entered by forties, I struggled with a growing grief that I would never tie the knot.

I also believed the lie that I was incapable of making good relational choices, so I naturally feared choosing poorly. On the tail end of a bad breakup in my twenties, I stopped trusting myself when it came to romance.

When my husband asked me how that doubt manifested itself in my dating life, I...

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[Part 4] How Fast is Too Fast? Don't Commit While Under the Influence of This

This week, I’ve sent out several emails about Tamra, a woman I coached, who asked me how to know how fast to move in a new relationship.

She said, “I always feel that I end up giving my heart away too soon and then I get hurt when the relationship ends.”

Perhaps you’ve stood in Tamra’s relational shoes.

Today, I’d like to share the 3rd Step you can take to make sure you don’t move too fast in a relationship and sabotage your love life:

Don’t commit while under the influence. 

(You can check out my Introduction (Part 1) and Steps 1 and 2 if you haven't already.)

There can be many reasons a woman gives her heart away too fast to a man who hasn’t earned the right to her affections.

For example, she may ignore red flags, trust too easily, fall for a man’s smooth words (what woman doesn’t want to be romanced?), be afraid of saying no, and she can be under the...

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[Part 3] How Fast is Too Fast? If You Don't Know This, You're Exceeding the Dating Speed Limit

Yesterday I posted and shared about Step #1 of four important steps you can take to make sure you aren’t moving too fast in a relationship so you don’t sabotage your love life: Create a “Go-Slow Boundary” (GSB).

I also said I would share how my husband, Clark, responded to my GSB when we were considering dating exclusively.

Before I tell you more about his response, I need to give you a little backstory.

Clark was not was I expected for a husband when I met him because he had something surprising: five grown children. (Yes, FIVE!)

And this was a problem for me because I had pretty much vowed years earlier that I would never become a part of a blended family.

I was certain that type of arrangement would only bring me deep heartache—and that was not part of the picture-perfect life I planned for myself.

But after dating for over two decades after high school, I was ready for a man with great character, and Clark definitely had that.


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[Part 2] How Fast is Too Fast? How to Create a Go-Slow Boundary

Yesterday, I posted about Tamra, one of the women I recently coached, who asked me a great question about how fast to move in a new relationship.

 She said:

“I don’t know how quickly I should move from just meeting someone to dating exclusively. I always feel that I end up giving my heart away too soon and then I get hurt when the relationship ends. How do I know when to take it further with a guy? I don’t want him to think I’m not interested if I take too long to decide to date him exclusively if he’s expressing interest.

Over the next several days, I’m going to share FOUR important steps you can take to make sure you don’t move too fast in a relationship and sabotage your love life.

Step #1: A “Go Slow Boundary” Is Your Friend

Like many women, Tamra is concerned that if she moves too slow, she’ll lose an opportunity with a good man.

I get it. I was afraid of the same thing a time or two while I...

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[Part 1] How Fast is Too Fast? My Messed Up Dating Life

When I was single, like many women I coach, I prayed—a lot—to meet a suitable mate. But in spite of my prayers, I was still really confused about love.

My confusion showed up in how I conducted myself in relationships.

As I’ve mentioned before, I engaged in “friendlationships” (dead-end relationships that aren’t friendships but aren’t really romantic relationships either).

I spent years in committed dating relationships that weren’t moving toward the wedding altar.

I quickly rejected good men without giving them a chance.

And, I jumped into relationships with men who pursued me without taking the time to really get to know them.

These are some of the many ways that I sabotaged my love life.


Here’s what would usually happen when I jumped into a relationship too quickly.  

I would meet a man. He seemed nice, and perhaps I found him attractive. From our...

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