As the year comes to an end, I am reflecting back on what I have experienced both personally and professionally. While I could tell you all about my alternative medicines, gluten-free everything, and adventures and misadventures in business and love, I'll close off 2019 with one piece of relationship advice for you.
If I could only offer you one nugget of wisdom of creating a beautiful, new beginning for your love life for the next year and decade to come, it would be this.....
Make a real, strong effort to do all those things that you know- deep down-that you must do to achieve your desired outcome in the romance department. Do those uncomfortable things that could propel your forward to meet the right potential partners or strengthen the relationship that you already have. Just do them. Stop procrastinating! It is 2020 for God's sake! Do them now.
To get started pondering what needs to change, ask yourself: What do I need to leave behind? Here are my thoughts on the things everyone could benefit from ditching in the new year:
1. Focusing on the negative about your love life: This will bring nothing but more negativity to your dating/ relationship experience.
2. Holding on to anger from the past: Whether you are carrying around negative feelings toward your ex or your current partner, this is self-sabotage.
3. Clinging to the hope of getting back together with an ex: Don’t hold your breath. If they truly wanted to be with you, they would be with you.
4. Watching your ex’s Insta stories: See # 2.
5. Being unrealistic with your match criteria or having too high of expectations in your relationship: This can keep you single or unhappily coupled for a long, long time.
6. Comparing your love life to that of your parents/siblings/friends/co-workers/exes: You are in competition with no one. And all that glitters isn’t gold, so don’t be fooled by those happily-ever-after social media posts.
7. Ignoring someone you are dating/ in a relationship with because it seems easier than telling the truth: You’ll create a much healthier dynamic if you can learn to get comfortable having uncomfortable conversations.
8. Ghosting: Don't be a coward. Whether you had three dates with someone or spent three years of your life, give them the common courtesy of properly ending the relationship.
9. Expecting the other person to read your mind: Communicate what you want to increase the chances of getting it. No one should have to play guessing games.
Out with the old, in with the new, right?
I know it is easier said than done, and that is why I am offering a New Year's Special Strategy Session for anyone who is interested in getting a little support along the way. My Strategy Sessions can be life-changing! And when booked before Jan 20, 2020, they are now twenty-percent off. If you are truly ready to make 2020 YOUR year-and to stop saying that every year-click here to learn more and reserve your spot on my calendar today.
In the meantime, have a safe and happy New Year's Eve, and best wishes for The Roaring 20s!
Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!
A few things that I wanted to share in honor of the holiday:
My “attitude of gratitude”: I find that practicing gratitude is one of the best things that we can do to caterpillar our success in love and life! Writing down three things a day that I am grateful for everyday has truly impacted me in a positive way. It has definitely brought me more things to be grateful for, and I encourage you to try it and unlock the door to deeper gratitude for you!
Today, I’m feeling most grateful for my family, my health & wellness, and the fact that I’m in a sustainable and rewarding career that has been all about helping people find & keep love for fifteen years now! (Sometimes, re: the latter, I’m like: Wow. It really is cool that I’ve got to do this for so long! What an honor to help people like this.)
I want to show my gratitude for YOU! Whether you have been following me for years or following me for a day, I am thankful for you! I’d truly be honored to be a part of your journey to finding and/or keeping love. In that spirit, I’m offering two Thanksgiving Day Specials at Rachel Russo Relationships for you. Read on........
From now through Dec 1rst, you can book a Strategy Session for half the price! That’s one hour of coaching-phone or video call-for just $125. Let’s talk!
Want more support from me? The holidays are the perfect time for Email Coaching. You can try one month at twenty percent off when booked before Dec 1rst. That’s $400 for the opportunity to pick my brain everyday via email. If you have a lot of burning questions and could use someone to keep you on track in your love life, this is an incredible value that can be a total game-changer!
For more details on either special offer, visit the link here or email me at Rachel@RachelRusso.com with questions.
Have a fantastic holiday!😘
I attended my cousin's wedding this week in Northern, NJ; I had a wonderful time with family--including my mother and sister, pictured with me here.
Weddings have a way of causing us to reflect upon our own happily-ever-after- or lack thereof- don't they? Do you ever wonder what the secret is to finding a quality partner and creating a sustainable, fulfilling love life?
While I don't have it all figured out, I have a lot of insight on this "secret". The truth is, there are strategies that can help anyone improve his or her love life--no matter who they are or what their age is.
Let’s face it. Many believe that age makes finding love harder. Being in the second half of life and getting “back out there” can feel daunting. I work with many clients in a matchmaking and dating coaching capacity who have struggled to start over as a single in midlife. Getting over exes and breakups is half the battle.
But, gosh, it seems so hard for many to just find someone appealing who offers basic respect and genuine interest these days. If you fall into this category and have been dealing with these types for too long, check out my thoughts on how to move forward here.
With divorce rates skyrocketing and people feeling more dissatisfied in partnership than ever before, and being in midlife after multiple sucky relationships, I understand why one would think it isn’t possible to have a fulfilling relationship let alone find one so late in life. But this isn't true; it is just a limiting belief.
Click here to read more what I have to say about limiting beliefs at this time.
Would you rather hear me talk about how to have dating success in midlife? You can check out my episode on a recent podcast, Midlife Love Out Loud: Your One Stop Love Shop, hosted by my friend and colleague, Junie Moon, the Love Coach. This podcast could be a great resource for you!
Midlife Love Out Loud offers topics for women-which could also be helpful for men-like:
Every profession has those Frequently Asked Questions. In the dating industry, people sometimes think no topic is off limit! I get asked a lot of the same questions over and over, but, I also get asked really fun, unique questions too.
Like in a recent interview, for instance. I was feeling a little like Carrie Bradshaw yesterday, seeing my quote printed in the November 14th edition of New York Post. You can zoom in above for my thoughts on this “self-partnering” trend. Or, make it, much easier and check out the online version of the story here.
Yes, I think this term is an oxymoron. And, no, just because I help people find and keep love for a living doesn’t mean I think there is anything wrong with any woman-or man- being single!
And I love to talk to singles! In my nearly fifteen years working as a matchmaker and dating & relationship coach, singles have been curious about everything--including my own love life. Well, here are the most popular questions that I am currently asked.
1. How did you become a matchmaker?
Okay, in all fairness, I was always asked this one, so it's not unique to the dating scene in 2019. As you can imagine, I have told this story a lot--you may have even heard of it! Cliff Notes:
2005. Out of college. Psychology Major. Craiglist ad. For a "Unique Social Work Opportunity". NYC Startup. Haven't looked back. Although, of course, my career has evolved to including writing, speaking, coaching, teaching, and my newest project: Couple's Therapy and Workshops.
2. What is the best dating app?
Well, that depends on a few things--including age!
Dating does not necessarily get easier as you get older. For many, it gets harder. But it is not impossible to navigate today's dating scene and find someone date-able off an app. (Confession: Although dating apps are certainly not my favorite way to meet a man, I even once got a relationship out of it myself. Thanks, Bumble.)
One thing is for sure: It can only help to be informed of the options and choose the best app for you. If you'd like to learn more, check out this article that was recently published--using some quotes from singles ladies I sent her way!
3. Can you match me up?
Maybe! If you are a male or female in NYC, CT, NJ, or Boston, I might have a client for you. I invite you to apply to my confidential database to be considered for a complimentary introduction. Please note: I only take a handful of clients on at a time. I offer a boutique service at a high price point, so I may not have someone for you at this time. I can keep you in mind though, as long as you are still single.
If you want to do something more proactive, you can invest in a Strategy Session--whether done in person or virtually. In this session, we brainstorm a ton of opportunities for you. If I don't have a match for you, I may be able to introduce you to one of the hundreds of matchmakers I know (through my work with Matchmaking Institute) who could match you! Alternately, I can show you how to be your own matchmaker--whether on or offline.
So there you have it! Want to ask me another question? Shoot me an email at Rachel@RachelRusso.com
If you spent a day in the life of my matchmaker shoes, one of the first things you would notice is this: A lot of people have a lot of irrational thoughts that are most definitely having a negative impact on their dating and relationships.
Just about everyone has these cognitive distortions at one time or another,but some people are extreme and at risk of self-sabotage. Read on for: 4 Irrational Thoughts That Lead To Self-Sabotage In Relationships:
1. Overgeneralization: This is when you make broad interpretations from limited experience. Don't define yourself as awkward just because you had one painfully awkward date.
2. Catastrophizing: Some think their love life requires everyone to go into a national state of emergency! They truly believe they are the only one who has it this bad. If you are one of those people, I have a pep talk for you.
3. Jumping to conclusions: With this flavor of cognitive distortion, people interpret the meaning of an event with hardly any evidence. For instance, I tell my client that the woman I hoped to introduce him to has declined the invitation to meet. He automatically assumes it is because he's too old, and she prefers to date younger. But the truth is, it has nothing to do with that! Be honest with yourself. Do you do this?
4. Disqualifying the positive: You are seriously getting into dangerous territory if you do this in your relationships. When you focus on the negative about your partner-and conveniently forget all the positive-you have a recipe for bitterness and disaster.
Are you guilty as charged? Work on changing your thoughts to improve your love life, and if you don't know how, shoot me an email at Rachel@RachelRusso.com.
One of my favorite questions to ask potentials clients in my Matchmaking/Dating Coaching consultations is:
Why are you single?
No, really though......
Why is it, that at this moment in time, you are not in the relationship that you wish to be in?
While most sitting in front of me have given this more than their fair share of thought, there are some who truly have no understanding of the reasons behind their single status.
In case you are wondering ......Here are some of the top reasons why you might be single:
You are trying too hard.
Nearly a decade ago I went on ninety-two dates in one year as a part of a social research experiment for a reality dating blog in NYC. I have since never gone on half as many dates again and never will!--yet I continue to be amazed by all of the singles I know who serial date like it's their job! One word: COUNTERPRODUCTIVE! Say "no" to swipe culture and the paradox of choice. Just....pick one! Even if you are living here. Especially if you are living here.
You aren't trying hard enough.
On the other side of the coin, you have to put effort into your love life. If you aren't doing something-whether online or offline-to get exposure to compatible singles, you aren't even in the game. As the saying goes: You have to be in it to win it. And if you are in it and your first dates aren't leading to seconds, you have to take a step back and take a look at the impression you are making. If you aren't being authentic, how will you ever attract your true match?
You are full of yourself, and it is turning people off.
That being said, if your true self is self-absorbed, tends to monopolize the conversation, never asks your date any questions about his/her self. and makes the courtship all about your needs and desires: Don't be yourself. Seek. Help. Immediately. Or die alone. With cats.
You are lacking self- confidence.
Everyone finds self-confidence sexy. But, unfortunately, life gets in the way of how we feel about ourself sometimes. If you beat yourself up because you don't make enough money, because you gained a couple of pounds, because your hair is falling out, stop right now. Make a plan to start feeling good about yourself. Get a side hustle. Hire a trainer. Clean up your diet. Start taking probiotics for your hair. (Life hack: SUCH a connection between hair loss and gut health. Read this if you don't believe me.)
You are too narrow-minded about what you want.
Lose the laundry list! If you have fourteen criteria that must be checked off before you even agree to have a drink with someone, chances are you are making it impossible to find real love. You can't just order a partner like you order everything else on Amazon! Love doesn't work that way. Also, it isn't convenient, so if you won't travel five miles outside your apartment, you are missing out on potential partners.
You have no idea what you want!
If you don't know what you want, you aren't going to manifest it out of thin air! You really must have some understanding of the type of person you'd be compatible with. I am big on singles understanding the core values that they want to share with a match. Often, like attracts like. And, well, you'll have to listen to my recent podcast interview for the juicy deets, but it is not a crime to want to date someone of a similar background! It is, however, a crime to go out into the dating world and waste everyone's time because you haven't the slightest understanding of what your heart desires!
Are you noticing a common theme here? Extremes might work for reality TV, but they don't work in the dating world. If you haven't found your summer love yet, it is likely that you need to find BALANCE.
Not to mention a good matchmaker! :)
Sometimes, it really feels like the modern day dating scene is a battlefield! In order to improve your confidence and chances of getting into (or staying in) a successful relationship-and protect your time, energy, and emotions-it is crucial to identify relationship red flags early.
You might be wondering: What is a relationship red flag anyway? Well, it is a sign or series of signs that indicate someone is not relationship material--or relationship material for you. Since I don’t know you personally, I’ll share common relationship red flags that indicate a male or female isn’t good enough for a relationship with anyone. After avoiding people who show these red flags, you will then be empowered to figure out what else is a red flag for you.
But first let me say: All red flags are not created equal. Some are incredibly toxic and lead to heartbreak. A few that come to mind can indicate serious issues. Talking non-stop about himself/herself on a first date can make for a narcissistic personality. Binge drinking on most dates can indicate addiction to drugs or alcohol. Asking you for money can indicate serious financial problems. Checking out or flirting with others can be a hint of cheating. An angry outburst behind the wheel can be correlated with physical abuse down the road. If you see these type of red flags, my advice is to RUN--fast.
Now for the common red flags…
To begin with, you have to look at how someone treats you in the early stages of dating. There are certain behaviors that show someone (often a guy--sorry to seem stereotypical) is more interested in a hookup--like failing to make plans in advance, texting during late night hours, not contacting you between “dates”, initiating conversation that is focused on sex, harassing you for “sexy pics” and pushing for sex very early on.
One of the easiest ways to determine this is to look at his communication or lack thereof. If he frequently ignores your text messages and never calls, it is a sign that he isn’t looking to commit to a relationship. If he always takes a really long time to reply, that is a bad sign too. Does he only call you from the car and cut the conversation off as soon as he gets home? Does he never take your preferences or schedule into account when planning dates? Does he expect you to constantly accommodate him? Disregard your feelings? Selfish! If your gut says you’re not a priority, you probably aren’t! (Same goes for women, of course....)
The most effective way to determine someone's intentions early on-and throughout the dating experience-is to trust actions more than words. Do not listen to what someone says if his or her actions are not in line with what is coming out of their mouth. If you can’t be objective or lack the confidence in determining whether someone is relationship-ready or really into you, talk to a friend, coach, or therapist. Share screenshots if necessary! Remember other people can see things that you can’t sometimes. You are in it and have blind spots.
As relationships progress, it is even more important to look at those red flags because they will tell a lot about whether things will continue in a good direction or not. At this point, you may be even more “blinded” because you’ll be high off the chemistry and comfortable with that person. But you have to be honest with yourself. Now that you know him/her better, are they ready to commit?
If someone talks about an ex too much, it is a red flag. If someone is holding on to bitterness from the past, it is only a matter of time before they take it out on you! Does he fail to introduce you to friends and family after a considerable time dating? This may be because he does not see you in his future. This is a sign of a commitment-phobic guy.
Other things to consider:
Does he/she make false promises? This is a sign of dishonesty and an indication that you may have difficulty trusting them. Do they withdraw and shut down every time you want to talk about feelings or where the relationship is headed? Again, fear of commitment…
To be honest with you, one thing my career has taught me: If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, please have the confidence to assume: Its a duck! All you need is the confidence to walk away from that duck and trust you can find better!
If you can look out for these common red flags on a regular basis and steer clear, you will save yourself a ton of heartache and be on the right path to finding the perfect match for you.
Need help spotting and avoiding the red flags? Book me for a Strategy Session or sign up for Email Coaching here.
Without a doubt, it all starts with your mother.
If you can't love mom, can you even love anyone?
While some people may beg to differ, I wholeheartedly believe in the importance of having as positive a relationship as possible with the woman who gave you life. Not only is this good for you and your mother, but for your partner--and, of course, your own children, too.
And, ladies, if a man truly hates his mother, please: RUN NOW!
In an effort to spread love instead of hate, here are three of my favorite suggestions for celebrating mom this Mother's Day, May 12th.
Forget those tired gift certificates. Chances are, there are times your mom is pretty exhausted herself, and she'd much rather have some relaxation and pampering. Think manicures, pedicures, facials, massages--just about any spa treatment under the sun. Actually, the sun would be wonderful and therapeutic for a lot of moms. If you can afford to send yours on a little weekend getaway, make it somewhere warm and magical. A trip to the Bahamas-with just mom and I- was one of my most memorable vacations ever! We also love to go to Florida. But let's be honest: When life gets stressful, even the Jersey Shore will do! And although your mom would probably adore a luxurious experience with you just as much as my mom would with me, she's probably okay getting a little solo time in the sun too!
Buy Her a Unique, Personalized Gift
If you would like to get your mom a gift-gift, make it something extra special. They don't say "diamonds are a girl's best friend" for nothing! But you needn't break the bank. Sincerely Silver, a jewelry company I recently discovered has an amazing Mother's Day collection! Check out the Generations Gold Necklaces my mom and I are rocking in the photo above. This is a set of necklaces for three generations of women. I gave my mom the larger heart a little earlier than Mother's Day, as she just had a knee replacement surgery and was needing some extra love. I am wearing the medium heart myself and saving the small heart for my future daughter! If you zoom in, you’ll see they engraved our initials. (And, yes, both my mom and I are RR!) This would be a really unique jewelry gift for mom and/or grandma this Mother’s Day. Have a look at the Gifts for Mom collection today if you want to get your shopping done early.
Bond With Mom
Perhaps, the ultimate, universally appealing way to show mom love is to spend quality time with her. Whether you cook for her or take her out for a fabulous meal, she'd totally enjoy some delicious food and conversation with her son or daughter. It's the simple things, really! If your mom loves arts and entertainment, maybe you can take her to a show, gallery opening, or even a "wine and paint". My mom and I are fans of a little "wine and paint" every now and then. Is she into exercise or sports? Take her to the game, take a yoga class together, or try a new activity. It seems like ax-throwing os all the rage lately! You know your mom best, so just figure out what she'd appreciate, and get it on the calendar.
I'm sure your mom will be feeling the love if you choose any or all of these options. If she is currently single and looking for romantic love, invite her to apply to be in my complimentary database or purchase a strategy session as a gift for her here. Note: Strategy sessions are currently fifty-percent off until April 27th and will go on sale again just a few days before May 12th. More about how I can work with your mom and a link to book services here.
Happy (Early!) Mother's Day!
For most people, getting first dates is easy. Second dates are a different story!
As a matchmaker with over fourteen years of experience, I help singles navigate the dating trenches and do everything in my power to help them get second dates. I am excited to share my secrets for a successful date with you, so that you will have the confidence to make a winning first impression. This isn't rocket science, you know. But looking your best and making the best first impression takes some work. After all, it is a competitive dating scene.
A successful first date starts with arranging the date. After you and your date have agreed to meet, be sure to promptly contact each other to confirm your availability and preferences regarding venue, cuisine, etc. Typically, the couples I introduce meet for dinner--sometimes lunch.
Usually men have the final say on the venue-as even though in today’s day and age, most men still pay in the early stages of dating- but, ladies, it is totally fine to let him know your preferences, location, etc. The jury is still out on whether ordering the most expensive item on the menu is a dating faux pas! My vote is "no" on that lobster. Also, don’t be too picky about venue, as it makes you seem high-maintenance and more interested in getting a free meal than exploring relationship potential. On the day before the scheduled date, either you or your date should confirm the date with a text. The two of you can continue a brief text dialogue to confirm/break the ice or have a quick phone call.
If you choose to do a phone call, please keep in mind that this can get awkward and go downhill quickly. (Trust me: I have seen many dates fail to launch because of a bad phone call and sometimes don’t even allow my clients to talk before a date!) You should not use a call as an opportunity to ask a bunch of first date type questions. You have each other's profile if you met online-or you know something if you met organically or through a friend/matchmaker- so perhaps you can make a little small talk and mention one thing that you are interested to know more about on the date.
Please do NOT stay on the phone for an extended period of time or send more photos. The goal is to get on the date!
As for conversation on the date:
- Keep it light-hearted and fun. Get to know each other and try to avoid negativity and serious topics--politics, religion, past relationships, etc.
-Tell the truth about you and your life. Just (mostly!) the positive truth--you can talk about how much you hate online dating, having anxiety, etc, once you win each other over. :) You do have to sell yourself a little bit showing your date that you have manners, are fun to talk to, and are relationship-oriented. But don't come across as if you are trying to too hard by bragging or talking too much about yourself.
- Ask him or her open-ended questions --things that you'd be genuinely interested in knowing. Try to stay on a topic for a while so it does not feel like an interview. Don't be afraid to have unique conversations, be playful, and flirty. Also a compliment goes a long way. Show your interest and confidence no matter what happens!
My advice specifically for the ladies: Let him walk you to your car/train/home and be open to a hug and/or kiss on the cheek--or kiss on the lips if there was clearly chemistry. If you aren't almost sure that he’d want the latter, do not do it! A lot of men still prefer to initiate a kiss. As a female, your job is typically to lean in and show with your body language, physical touch, eye contact etc. that you want it. I believe men should pursue, but if you have the confidence and want to kiss him, don’t let me stop you. Go ahead!
Both men and women just need to end things on a positive note! When you get home or the next day, you can send a thank you text. Stay positive about the date-even if he or she doesn’t reply right away. Every first date is either an invitation for a second or a learning experience. When you look at it that way, you will only have success.
If you are looking to up your dating game or could use help implementing some of these strategies, please shoot me an email. As there are plenty more secrets where that came from!
In every relationship, there are challenges that people need to work through. If you can learn to laugh at life, things can be a lot easier.
While no one can really predict the ups and downs any given couple will face-or if they will last forever- there are some relationships that seem to have more staying power than others.
How can you tell if your relationship will go the distance?
Step1: You can start by understanding what constitutes a healthy relationship, because healthy relationships typically last longer. If you haven't already, check out last week's blog post, "4 Ways To Know If Your Relationship Will Be Healthy & Happy". If your relationship doesn't seem healthy, what are the changes that you can make to improve the dynamic?
Secondly, you can assess whether or not you and your partner/potential partner are a good match. Chemistry is fantastic, but it is not everything. There needs to be a true element of compatibility for a relationship to work out for the long term. And here's the not-so-secret-secret of a lasting relationship......
You have the same vision for the future. If you don’t have synergy in terms of your vision for the future, that chemistry is a dead end. When you’ve met your true match, you are confident that you are on the same page. If you want kids, he wants kids. If you want to travel the world, she wants to travel the world. If you see yourself as an entrepreneur creating a big business that you work on with your partner, he or she can’t wait to be part of that power couple mission! You may not agree on every little thing, but mostly, you have similar values for the future. You can see the relationship working out, because it isn’t a huge compromise. You are truly well-matched, because you want the same things out of life. Does this sound like you and your partner or the person you'd like to be with?
Want to hear more about what I think makes for a good match?
Check out this episode of The Mountain Top Podcast for Men that I just co-hosted with Dating Coach Extraodinare & Founder, Scot McKay. I reveal all my thoughts on how tell if someone is the right match--as learned in my fourteen-year (and still going strong!) career as a professional matchmaker. Even though this episode is directed toward men, it is still totally relevant for women. Happy Listening!
Single and want to know if I can help you find your match? Taken and wondering if you are well-matched enough? You can book a complimentary consultation or strategy session on my booking site here.