What It Takes to Be Successful in Love and Relationships
Note 1: I am thinking about taking on personal coaching clients again… and also teaching an interactive group coaching course. If you are interested, please sign up below to get updates and to be the first invited to join when we are ready…
Note 2: In case you missed it, this is a followup to this post which received over 100 comment from people all over the world. I did my best to respond to each comment!
If you can’t watch this video right now, you can read the blog post below.
As you probably know, I wasn’t born knowing all the things I’ve learned over the years about dating and relationships.
I had to learn this the hard way.
Through a lot of trial and error.
But one of the best decisions I made was way back in 2007.
I had re-read a book I picked up years ago called No More Mr. Nice Guy by Dr. Robert Glover.
At the time I was single after a devastating breakup and I was trying to figure out all this dating stuff, without much luck
Anyway, I was reading the book and the thought popped into my head…
“Hey, Dr. Glover works in the Seattle-area. I live in Seattle. Why don’t I look into working with him?”
So, a week or two later, after trading a few emails back and forth with him, I sat in my car in the parking lot of some modest professional building in Bellevue that psychologists and therapists used as offices… including Dr. Glover.
Me in 2007… So young and naive… (Trivia: This was actually my online dating profile picture when I met Mika)
I Was Trying to Work Up the Courage to Actually Go in the Building
He was (and still is) known as an expert on the Nice Guy Syndrome, which perfectly described the person I was back then, by the way.
I felt weird going to see a psychologist, but I told myself that something needed to change if I was going to get control of this part of my life. Somehow I pushed through my anxiety, and went in to talk with Dr. Glover.
And shortly after that, I became part of one of Dr. Glover’s men’s groups for single men.
It was strangely serendipitous. I didn’t know it at the time, but Dr. Glover had recently gone through a divorce and he was single now, trying to figure out the dating world in his own way (He was married when he wrote his book, and made a few passing references to his marriage in his book, so I just assumed that he was still married).
And Dr. Glover seemed to have figured out this dating thing…
Plus, he was an expert at Nice Guy Syndrome, which is exactly what was holding me back (in pretty much every area of life, not just dating and relationships).
The Support I Needed to Turn Things Around
My men’s group wold get together every Thursday. Dr. Glover, me, and seven other guys would talk about what was going on over the past week, both in the realm of dating, but also in regards to other areas of life too. We’d get to know each other. And afterword, we’d sometimes go out and get a beer at a pub down the street called the 520 (how weird, I just looked it up and it’s still there!).
Dr. Glover was also teaching online classes too on dating and relationships, so he would use our group as test subjects for his classes.
It was actually fun to do these classes with a group of other guys.
We could hold each other accountable, support each other, and encourage each other. Sometimes we’d even go out on weekends and do our homework assignments together (approaching women, intentionally getting rejected, etc.)
I Really Loved That Time in My Life
And, it just so happened that that was the period of my life when this whole dating thing finally started to click for me.
I got in the habit of pushing my own comfort zone, leaning into fear, and listening to the voice inside of me that was nudging me to live a life that was meaningful to me.
I started dating some great women that spring and summer. They were nothing like my ex-girlfriend (who wasn’t that great for me because of incompatible personalities). In fact, they were like a breath of fresh air. I didn’t know that dating could actually be so much fun and enjoyable! (novel concept, isn’t it?)
That summer, though, I left the men’s group. As the result of the growth I had with them, I realized I wanted to go to grad school, and so, that summer I moved away to Arizona to attend ASU, where I lived for two years, and eventually met my wife, Mika.
But I still look back fondly on that chapter of my life.
Mika and I in 2016, at a conference in Cancun. I never would have been able to meet, date, or marry a woman like her without the support and growth I received back in 2007.
What Made All the Difference
I’m certain that the reason I was able to make progress in my dating life (and other areas of my life, in general) during that period, was because I had a support system in place.
After all, I had a lot of information that I had read about online or in ebooks, but I wasn’t actually using it.
With this group, I had Dr. Glover, which was, of course, a huge benefit.
But I also had the 7 other guys in my group. They kept me accountable. They pushed me to try new things. They encouraged me. And I did all of that for them as well too.
Is It Possible to Predict If Someone Will Be Successful?
Since I’ve started helping people with relationships and dating, I’ve sometimes wondered what makes a person successful or not.
Is it possible to look at someone, maybe when they first write in, and determine if they’re going to succeed or not?
Well, I can’t say anything with 100% certainty, but there is a connection between the support systems a person has in place and the results they are going to get.
After all, we all have a tendency to just stay in our comfort zone or to stick with what seems familiar.
That’s why so many of us have books at home that we’ve never actually read… or maybe we did read them, but we didn’t put them into action.
- How many of us have given up on diets or fitness plans when they became inconvenient?
- How many of us have tried learning a new skill such as a foreign language, but put it on hold because other areas of life have gotten in the way?
- How many of us just don’t seem to be making progress in one area or another of our lives, despite the fact that we really want change?
Hey, I’ve been there myself. I’ve got a gym membership that I haven’t used in months. I’ve got Japanese and Tagalog books gathering dust at home. I’ve got all sorts of things I’ve wanted to do that I’ve just put on the back burner for now. (I really under estimated how exhausting raising a baby would be…!)
It’s only through extraordinary circumstance that we are able to grow beyond the person that we are and become someone else.
And, I believe that we often drift back into our comfort zone or give up on our goals or ambitions because we don’t have the proper support structures in place.
When it’s just us, alone in the world, with nothing but a guidebook on Tagalog grammar or successful relationships, we’re going to have a really tough time.
But when we surround ourselves with other people who are doing the same things and on the same journey as we are, absolute magic can happen.
Organizing my thoughts on relationships and dating back when I was putting together our current courses and curriculum.
I’ve seen this many, many times
People who take our courses tend to do better than those that just browse around online for free advice (once you pay money, you’re committed because you’ve got something on the line now).
People who are in our Modern Love Association (where they can talk with one another or participate in MQA) tend to do better than people who just take one of our classes alone without the support
And the people who I’ve worked with personally through coaching have done better than those who are just in the Modern Love Association.
Of course, these are just general trends. It’s totally possible to be successful based on free info, for example, but the deck is stacked against you because you don’t have that support and accountability, and it’s easier to just drift back into your comfort zone or your familiar habits.
Me at a temple in Taiwan in 2015. Each one of these things attached to the tree represents a sort of prayer that someone made.
So, Here’s What I’m Thinking of Doing
My wish from all of this is that I want to see you THRIVE when it comes to your love life.
That’s why I want to give you the structured support and help that I’ve seen work in my own life (in my men’s group) and in the lives of my clients.
Based on last week’s blog post, it seems that there is a lot of interest in both private coaching as well as some sort of group coaching / interactive class.
If You Are Interested in Coaching Fill Out This Form
After you sign up, I’ll send you a short survey about all of this, so I can get a better idea of what you’re looking for how I can help you through coaching (either private coaching or group coaching).
IF… enough people sign up, I’ll take that as strong interest in this, and we’ll move forward.
But I don’t even want to think about doing this if no one is interested.
Thanks again for reading all of this. And thank you again for all the encouragement and kind words throughout this whole process.