The Right Way to Say, “I’m Sorry.”

I am a relationship therapist in San Francisco. I know relationships. And I have something important to tell you about dating, marriage, and relationships:

Conflict Is Inevitable

In relationship it’s inevitable that we’ll step on each other’s toes and have different needs that conflict.  And it’s likely we’ll want or need different things at the same time.  When this happens, the situation is ripe for conflict, hurt and disappointment.

5 Questions That Create Happy Relationships

In case you didn’t get the memo, communication is the thing that makes relationships click.  Well, its one of the things.  Maybe one of the most important things.  Intimacy, vulnerability and expression of care are also huge, but they all rest on the basic skill of communication.

Not everyone is super skilled or comfortable with “real” communication.  But since you’ve decided you like this person so much, why not talk to them?  And why not really talk.  Practice it, grow, stretch a little if these kinds of questions are a stretch.  They’ll feel better, you’ll feel better, and you’ll be investing in your mutual long-term happiness.

5 Ways to Soothe Dating Anxiety

Dating Can Be Crazy-Making!

I recently had a client who was struggling with the all too familiar experience of dating anxiety or what we often call attachment anxiety. We had had a fairly productive session helping her re-regulate her nervous system, but I knew she was still leaving with some angst and discomfort given the unpredictable nature of dating. 

I wanted to be helpful outside of the session by sending her some tools and tips for dealing with anxiety and insecurity. I was looking for a quick blog with some tips that I could send her that could help her in between our sessions, but didn't find something that I liked so I decided to write my own, both for her and for you.

Heal From Your Breakup: How Neuroscience Can Help

Breaking Up Sucks!  Your heart aches, your thoughts spiral, you don’t want to eat, leave your darkened room or do many of the things you need to do just to get through your day and keep from losing your livelihood. 

We all know breaking up sucks just from having been through it, but neuroscience has recently given us a leg-up on recovering from the heart-sickness that comes from losing someone you love and have been attached to.  I’ve written a guest blog-post on Medium with other breakup advice, but keep reading for my latest thoughts.

Social Anxiety and West Coast Culture: How does it relate to my dating life?

Could West Coast culture be affecting my dating life?

I’ve long had a fascination with understanding the differences between East and West Coast culture in the US.  I’m going to take this chance to share some of my thoughts about the Coast Cultures and how it relates to social insecurities and what I’ll call “hiding”, particularly on the West Coast.  The caveat is that these are generalizations and may not apply to everyone. 

Having said that, part of my own personal working hypothesis is that on the West Coast people tend to be more private, tentative and get preoccupied with what others are thinking.  Many of us grew up with the saying,

Can I Have A Great Relationship Even If I Didn't See One Growing Up?

I was sitting at a coffee shop in warm and sunny Walnut Creek, California several weeks ago escaping the June Gloom of San Francisco, which was bleeding deep into July. As I was sipping my tropical tea, letting myself slowly arrive and adjust to working on some writing projects, I noticed a warm grandfatherly gentleman just outside the window in front of me sitting with what must have been his sweet, little blond-headed 4-year-old grandson.

Part III: 3 Tips to Get Them to Swipe Right + Rewire Your Brain for Love

Part III:  3 Tips to Get Them to Swipe Right + Rewire Your Brain to Attract Love

This is Part 3 of a mini-blog on getting more profile perusers to “swipe right” on your profile by rewiring your brain and upping the frequency you’re vibing on.

In Part 1 of this mini-blog we saw how confidence is attractive and how to build that sense of confidence by slowing down, tuning in and focusing on the good that’s already there in you!  You-liking-you is numero uno in enhancing genuine self-confidence.

Part II: 3 Tips to Get Them to Swipe Right + Rewire Your Brain for Love

This is Part II of a blog series on getting more profile perusers to swipe right on your profile by rewiring your brain and upping the vibe you’re sending out.

In Part 1 of this mini-blog we saw how confidence is attractive and how to build that sense of confidence by slowing down, tuning in and focusing on the good that’s already there in you!  You-liking-you is numero uno in enhancing genuine self-confidence

3 Tips to Get Them to Swipe Right + Rewire Your Brain for Love

How do I meet someone so I can get off these damn dating apps?

“I just want to meet someone great, so I can get the ‘EFF’ off this app!”  As a Relationship Therapist specializing in Dating Therapy it’s a complaint I hear often enough.  Some of the habitual swiping going on these days can be mildly entertaining, and slightly more than mildly addictive.  Even so, many who are using the latest dating apps are SRSLY ready to get off of them and get on with living, loving and relating.

Are You Feeling Hopeless About Your Relationship? 3 Ways to Start Feeling Better.

Are You Feeling Hopeless About Your Relationship?  3 Ways to Start Feeling Better.

Does feeling hopeless mean it is, or is there still a way to fix things?

You’re feeling hopeless about your relationship, but does that mean you’re doomed?  Or is there still hope in spite of that sinking feeling?

Well, hopelessness usually comes awhile after the point where your relationship struggles and red flags started showing up.  Hopeless feelings are likely an indication that overwhelm has been taking its toll on you, not just emotionally, but also on your nervous system, physically.   When that happens your body’s ability to regulate which is essential to healthy, sustainable functioning is severely compromised and parts of you start shutting down to regulate and regain your grasp on things. 

Stop Telling Yourself That BS Story About Being Single

Stop Telling Yourself That BS Story About Being Single

Being in a relationship is AMAZING and PERFECT!

Of course it feels good to be in love or in a good relationship…at least it does until you and your new sweetie start arguing about your differences or the shine otherwise starts to wear off of the romance.  But, yeah it feels good. 

Everything about being single SUCKS!

Conversely, it TOTALLY SUCKS to be single and alone.  Or at least that’s what many people tell themselves.

What is the truth about your single life?

Why Am I Still Single?

When Everything’s Clicking

You like their profile pic.  They like you back. 👍 They send a flirtatious message.  You respond. 😊 There’s good banter.  You feel hopeful. 😄 They suggest a meet-up, at one of SoMa’s coolest new bars you’ve been looking forward to trying.  👌 🍸 Everything’s clicking. 💑

What comes next is anyone’s guess. Dating in San Francisco (or the Bay Area...or anywhere nowadays) is a brave new world of marginally controlled chaos and it is so easy to get hurt.  Chemistry could fall flat, you could get ghosted, they could ACTUALLY text you, yet say they’re going to keep looking: any number of flakey or foul things could happen.

Premarital Counseling in San Francisco: Why bother...?

Premarital Counseling in San Francisco:  Why bother...?

You live in San Francisco, one of the toughest dating scenes, this side of say...the Hudson River and Manhattan and...well, you're killing it!  You've met your match and life-partner, you're making an honest living, and living the life!  I'd say you've done pretty darn well!  Just ask one of your single friends who's still living with 3 roommates in the Outer Sunset.  So why bother with premarital counseling when life is so good?  Well, for starters, how about protecting that most precious asset that no bull market or real estate investment could bring back to you--your relationship, and that other lovely person you're in it with.

3 Things You Should Expect from (Good) Couples Therapy

Knowing you want help and need help with your relationship is the easy part.  You’re feeling unseen, unappreciated, repeatedly disappointed and pretty damn unsatisfied with him or her.  Now what?

It’s kind of a daunting question and adventure…looking for a GOOD couples therapist.  What does that mean anyway?  What is a good couples therapist going to do and how is it going to help?  And how do I know if I’ve found someone that will actually help us to feel better and want to be together again?

Do I Need a Dating Coach or a Therapist?

Thousands every day are asking the question, "Do I need a Dating Coach or a Therapist to help me get out of this frustrating pattern of dating, disappointment, and disillusionment?"  Ok, I’m not sure about those numbers, it may be less than thousands every day, but it’s still a big question for singles.  And you’re here so it’s an even better question for me to answer for YOU.

3 Fears Blocking Love From Your Life

You may have seen the clever, insightful diagram (“re-purposed” above) educating us about the discrepancy between what we want or say we want, and what we actually feel comfortable with letting ourselves experience. 

Even if it’s a tiny bit simplistic, I think it’s a helpful description of how we inadvertently get blocked from real love and partnership because of deeply hidden and largely unconscious fears and resistance to love that keep us in a “comfort zone” of aloneness. 

How To Stop Arguing + Get Your Partner To Listen To You!

How To Stop Arguing + Get Your Partner To Listen To You!

You may have heard of The Four Horsemen.  It’s an apocalyptic image and term in our culture.  But did you know that the Four Horsemen are probably actually living in your bedroom?!

Arguing and conflict that includes criticism, defensiveness and other elements of Dr. John Gottman’s 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse predict that a marriage will fail about 5 ½ years after the wedding.  So, whether you’re already married, or imagine yourself moving towards marriage with your love-bug, you can’t afford (emotionally or financially!) to let the arguments and disconnection continue.