Saturday, December 27, 2008

Standing in the Space of Positive Possibilities!

Hi Dr. Jenn,

So, I met the new guy, Terry, at a coffee shop and he is very kind and sweet too, like Danny. They even look a bit alike!

Terry and I laughed through the whole meeting, sharing similar childhood memories. I gave him a nice hug at the end of our meeting and he said he was hoping for that, so I think I will be seeing him again.

He called a couple of days later and we did a LOT of laughing on the phone. He seems to bring out the funny bone in me. And we scheduled a second date.

So, I guess I am officially "juggling." I have to keep reminding myself that I don't need to choose between these two just yet and that I can even add others to the mix, if that happens.

And it doesn't matter to me if they are juggling me too. Even if they tell me they are not, I am not allowing that to cause me to feel guilty.

Of course if it comes up, I will be honest and explain my dating plan. As I see it, until I decide to be exclusive with any guy, it doesn't matter what they decide. And there won't be any notion of becoming intimate until we DO both decide to be exclusive.

And right now, I have no clue who that could be with, but when it happens it will be with a guy I have taken the time to get to know.

I think I could learn to like this juggling stage : )

BTW, I am still a little baffled about how soon to share how much with a guy. Danny has offered several times to come over and help me to unpack, but I have explained to him that that would be too intimate at this stage of relationship for me and I know better than to invite a man over for any extended period too soon, especially to help me rummage through my things.

Besides, he would see the stack of printed out profiles sitting next to my computer! lol




That’s a great feeling isn’t it? Having two wonderful prospects- imagine all the positive possibilities!

All of that laughter with Terry is a very good sign indeed. Getting each other’s sense of humor so early on is always a good sign of compatibility. After all, eventually, you want your life together to be filled with fun!

And sure, in the “getting to know you, friendly stage” there is never any need to choose. Choosing happens gradually over time as you get to know people and it becomes clear who your feelings are growing for, who you want to spend more time with, above anyone else.

Usually, it happens naturally, and the choice makes itself clear!

And as you mention, it’s important that the choice for exclusivity is mutual. If it’s not mutual, then neither of you should go down that path alone, at least for very long!

I can tell you are getting clearer and clearer about how you want the process of dating to work for you. You are getting to the point of standing in your truth- even if others do not always agree!

Life needs to be about what is for your Highest Good, first, rather than changing it based on what every new person thinks or wants. That is an empowering place to be! Yea!

I also like that you’ve resisted the urge to get some manly help unpacking! That is pretty intimate for after 1 or 2 dates.

You want your new home to be a haven, so inviting someone in so soon, before you’ve created your sacred space, could spell trouble.

You want that space to be all yours, rather than creating memories of it that include someone else. Memories that stick around a long time after you figure out that the someone isn’t right for you!

Inching forward, date by date, embracing with curiosity, the natural unfolding of budding attraction. It’s an adventure!

Dr. Jenn

Friday, December 26, 2008

Entering the 'Go Slow Zone'

Dr. Jenn,

I had my second date with Danny. We met (my idea) at a small upscale mall to eat and walk around and enjoy the lights and atmosphere. We ended up at the Barnes and Noble and that proved to be a WONDERFUL place to spend another hour.

He bought two books that I said I thought were very good: IF THE BUDDHA WERE IN RELATIONSHIP by Charlotte Kasl and LOVING WHAT IS by Byron Katie.......and he bought another about understanding women.

When we peeked at THE SECRET, he said it was that book that brought me into his life. I just smiled.

It was a very nice and loving evening indeed. He sure is doing and saying everything right, and I notice how we both become more relaxed when we are together. Yep, very nice indeed.

Thankfully, Danny was very receptive to taking things slow and forming a friendship and we talked quite a bit about that.

He wanted to know how many times I thought it would be good to get together if we were dating. I said I thought about 1-2 times a week would be good at first, and he agreed.

I DID tell him that I intend to meet a couple of the guys I have been talking to, and he seemed fine with that. I will be happy to answer truthfully any questions he may have about it, if he does.

I remember one guy who I met a few years ago. He was juggling and planned to meet about ten women, and then make a decision. I liked him a lot and was hoping to be the chosen one. I felt a bit hurt when I was not but I really respected him for being honest with me. And I think that I was second in line, and that is not so bad out of ten!

We had some nice things in common, but he WAS a little old for me being about 9 years older so I figure it was all meant to be just as it happened

More juggling to do, I’ve got a date with another new guy coming up soon, Terry. Plus, I have two more guys online who are also interesting and interested in getting together soon.

I realized that I have done plenty of juggling BEFORE meeting in person. But I always just figured upon meeting that I had to make a YES/NO decision about each one. Now, I sure do like the notion of being able to take my time to get to know each one a bit better, if some chemistry is there. Yep, life is good!! This is working for me so far and I thank you for your wisdom!!



So glad to hear the second date went swell and that he seems to be willing to “get with the program” by slowing down a bit!

I think you can tell a ton about a person by the kind of books they read- in fact, spending time at a book store early on is a fantastic date for that very reason!

So from Danny’s 3 selections, I’m very impressed!! Interested in self-growth, spirituality, and relationships- doesn’t get much better than that! All green lights so far!

I’m glad you are feeling more relaxed about juggling and the process of getting to know people on a more friendly level- there is no rush and no need to figure things out. Time always tells! Usually sooner than we would like it to anyway!

Glad you gave Danny the idea of 1-2x a week in the beginning! That’s right on target. There are several aspects to consider when you plan on going slow, so I’m including them below for your consideration.

5 Go Slow Zone Strategies

In the beginning (typically the first month or so), it helps to follow some general guidelines.

1. DO: A date once a week
DON’T: Spend all weekend together

2. DO: A couple of emails a week
DON’T: Email several times daily

3. DO: A phone call during the week to make plans or touch base
DON’T: Talk on the phone every day

4. DO: Keep up with your hobbies and interests
DON’T: Immediately invite them to become a constant companion in all of your favorite pursuits (If it doesn’t work out, your favorite activity will now be a painful reminder of them!)

5. DO: Keep seeing your friends, separately from your new love interest
DON’T: Start spending less time with your friends- your friends are forever, this person only has “potential”

All of these strategies are designed to invite someone into your life, gradually.

By doing it slowly but surely, you lessen the risk of becoming overly emotionally dependent on someone you don’t even know yet!

Think of it as both of you earning the right to step further into each others’ hearts, to further explore the territory of You.

Let me know how it goes in the Slow Zone!

Dr. Jenn

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I Finally Get It!: My New Dating Game Plan

Dr. Jenn,

So, I’ve been thinking about everything, and I think I just figured out the best dating steps to take.

1. First, find someone where there is mutual interest in each other. And mutual interests that might be shared. And common values. And ultimately looking for the same sort of relationship.

2. Then meet for coffee or dinner, to see if there is any in-person chemistry.And then most people go from here to physical intimacy.

This is where I have been failing, I think!

3. The next step would be to see if you can develop a true friendship with this person, complete with a bit of flirting of course to keep that chemistry alive, but at bay.

A friendship filled with MANY assorted shared activities. And once you have found many activities (OTHER than sex) that you enjoy doing together...and you STILL really thoroughly enjoy each other's company...

4. THEN, and only then, will you be ready to become more intimate. And to begin sharing quiet nights together at home in front of the TV watching a movie or whatever. Those things that tend to lead to romantic involvement.


And I think that I can continue to "juggle" up to step 4. Or, maybe sometime during step 3, we would decide to become mutually exclusive.




So great for you! So nice when it finally all comes together and makes sense to you.
I am in total and complete agreement. I think you hit the nail on the head- that a viable, long-term romance is truly sustained by friendship!

Since most people zoom into bed, they never discover if they can be good friends, till after they tumble out of bed into the real world.

By postponing the more intimate parts of getting to know each other, you are actually giving yourselves time to truly bond on what matters- WHO you are- NOT how great in bed you might be.

Then, when you finally choose to become sexually involved, you really have built up a lovely anticipation, a greater desire, and a chemistry that’s based on more than the superficial aspects.

All of that translates into some seriously hot sparks in the bedroom.

The bonus of all of that:

It will be so much more than sweaty bodies- it will be about giving the gift of WHO you are to each other- something you can never do when you jump into bed too soon.

At that point- it’s so much more meaningful, making it so much more memorable! And usually, so much more pleasurable!

I’m glad this piece of the puzzle finally fits just right for you. I’m looking forward to seeing how this new game plan pans out for you!

Dr. Jenn

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thank You!

Dr. Jenn,



I will re-read this as many times as I need to over the next few weeks. And now, back to juggling : )


I can do this. YES I CAN!! And what fun it can be!




I always love your enthusiasm! That's what makes you so much fun to work with!

That, and you actually take all of the information, think about it, and apply it to your life, making dating a grand adventure.

I'm so glad we are taking this exciting journey together!

I can't wait to see what happens next!

Seems like you will at least have a date for New Year's!

Dr. Jenn

Should I Let Him Come Over on the Second Date?

Dr. Jenn,

Talked with Danny on the phone and we determined the day for our next date BUT...He is suggesting that he come over here.

What do I say to him? Do I just say that I am not ready for that yet? Do I say I would prefer to have a certain number of dates first, without going to each other's homes? And how many would that be, to give us a chance to get to know each other?

I think that I can learn a lot about a person by seeing where he lives. Would it be okay for me to suggest that I stop by his house on our way to dinner? And drive separately? This would only be our second date.

I really think I need to keep things cool and slow ESPECIALLY since he seems to be wanting to rush things along. I think I will compose some sort of careful "boundaries" email to him tomorrow.

Yes, I need to set some boundaries, and keep them clear, and stick to them. Yes, I really want to stay focused in what is real, and not what either of us may be fantasizing. And THANKS for your suggestion to "watch what I am thinking too".

There is one other guy who I have been talking to, who I find quite interesting as well, and in the name of "juggling" I would really like to meet him too. Now Danny is pretty sure that he ONLY wants to see me, and no one else, so how do I let him know that I am still interested in meeting this other guy, or do I actually need to do that.

Could I just make plans to meet the other guy and just not be available to see Danny that night? What am I obligated to tell Danny at this point in a relationship?

I am still well aware that there might be some big deal breaker that shows up, and I DO want to be careful not to move things along too quickly.



Hi Lisa-

Yes, some boundaries would be good!

I don’t think I’d do that via email though. Consider this instead: Sometimes you don't have to spell them out in bold language- especially right in the beginning like that it could be off putting- YOU just have to maintain the boundaries from your end!

So, going to either of your houses on a second date is not wise- especially if he is rushing. You can just suggest a different place to meet (“I have a great idea, why don't we...”) and if he asks- you can just say you "like to save that for later."

Sure, I agree- you can learn about him by checking out his place- but I'd wait another couple of dates, even on that. Why put that pressure on yourself? No rush.

When to go to his place, really depends on your own abilities to maintain the physical boundaries with all that chemistry! If you know you tend to be weak-willed and too easily give in to desire, then you wait longer- and keep meeting in public places!!!

I do like your idea of starting that process by just popping in and out of his house, or just picking each other up- not staying- that means less chance of ending up in a horizontal position!

Now- another thing to consider: how on earth can Danny KNOW he only wants to see you when he's only met you once!!! What does that tell you about him???

At this point in your acquaintance- and that's all it really is- you don't have any obligation to tell him anything really.

You've already broached the topic of juggling with him, right? He knows where you stand on it.

Until you've gone out at least 4-5 times or more, it's not even a relevant concern. I mean, at this point- you aren't yet "friends"!

You don't have to tell him anything more- in fact, if he's uncomfortable with it, I just wouldn't say anything more- right now. You just go about your business like normal, making dates, living your own life.

While I encourage transparent dating- think about it this way:

Your life is NOT AN OPEN BOOK for him , yet.

Right now, he is just getting introduced to a chapter at a time- not whole chucks of it! He has no right to read through the entire thing on the first sitting. He has to prove he is worthy of getting to the juicy parts!

Be like a fine novel, enjoyed a chapter at a time.

Let me know how it goes!

Dr. Jenn

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Great First Date: Is Lisa About to Make the Most Common Dating Mistake?

Hi Dr. Jenn,

I met Danny for the first time and IT WAS WONDERFUL!!!

He has taken himself off the online dating sites. I will probably do the same too, soon. It was by far the best first meeting with a man in a VERY, VERY, VERY long time for me.

And we did quite a bit of email exchanging before meeting so we know that we have a lot in common and are looking for the same things from relationship.

He has been divorced for two years and has dated very briefly, two other women. He has a 15 year old daughter still living at home, so that could be interesting but he claims she is encouraging him to date.

Yep, I guess it pays to just KNOW the right person will show up soon. I am VERY excited about Danny but remembering all that you have said and playing it cool, except for a bit of friendly teasing. I plan to wait for a few more dates before inviting him here. There is no rush and this is such a fun time to be "growing" the desire and anticipation, right?

Please tell me more about why it is so important to take things slowly, and not rush into the physical, even when there is a LOT of physical chemistry. Lisa



So glad to hear that your date went as well as hoped! I know nothing is more exciting than meeting someone you think has potential, especially after a dry spell.

But as you know, the only safe way to date is to go SLOW!

Going too fast, falling head over heels, before you even KNOW who you are falling for, is dangerous.

In fact, I’d say Moving Too Fast is the number one mistake singles make!

Hearts get broken every day because we get ahead of ourselves, fantasizing about the ideal image of a man, when we hardly know any of the reality of that man.

We see that a couple things line up, get excited, then plug the rest of what we want to be true into our growing fantasy about who he COULD be.

That’s why it’s important to go slow- 9 out of 10 times we get to 1 month, 3 months, and we are surprised to find that this person isn’t at all what we were hoping for. Then with another aching heart we go back to the drawing table.

Your heart doesn’t have to ache so much if you don’t get overly emotionally invested in someone before they’ve proven they are worth giving your heart and mind to.

And leaping prematurely into bed in response to that chemical attraction is the worst possible way to rashly heighten that emotional connection- before you even know if you actually LIKE him all that much!

Getting physical and having sex too soon is a super bad idea for woman because oxytocin gets released.

Known as the “cuddle hormone,” it actually makes you feel more bonded and attached to this guy- so you better make sure as heck that he’s a guy you actually want to feel bonded to- otherwise, it’ll make it tough to walk away from a situation that needs to be walked away from.

Bottom line: Sex increases your expectations, heightens your emotional involvement, and seriously reduces your ability to be objective about who this person really is!

None of these things are helpful in the beginning of a budding attraction. It leads to all sorts of foolish decision making that you most often regret later!

So yes- hold your horses- both the physical and mental ones.

You want to go slow physically, but also be aware of what you are saying even in your head! What you say to yourself, the picture you are building up in your mind- is even more important than what you say and do with the other person!!

Try not to build up anything in your mind.

As you said- now is the time to simply relax, sit back, and enjoy the delicious process of watching a new attraction unfold. And especially, don’t jump to any conclusions about him being the perfect soulmate after one date!

PS- Don't take your profile down any time soon!

Dr. Jenn

Friday, December 19, 2008

Should You Juggle?

Dr. Jenn-

So, I got back online and I have many guys interested just now. I’m definitely in the "juggling" phase!

Some guys are not so sure about me wanting to still see others. And I need to make it clear that if and when I feel a strong enough connection with them, that then, and only then, will I consider becoming exclusive.

This guy Danny who I have been talking with online and on phone with now for a week thinks we are a match made in heaven. And he is ready to take his profile off of Match.


What do I say to HIM?
How do I explain that I want to "juggle" and what that is??

It sounds so noble when a guy says he only dates one person at a time. And I somehow feel devious to want to be meeting several just now, even though I am very open with everyone about it.



Hey Lisa!

Glad to hear that things are moving ahead and there are some exciting prospects!

It’s interesting that the double standard seems alive and well: if a man only wants to date one person, we think he’s noble- but we EXPECT the woman to only date one person!!!

I think we can throw that baby out with the bathwater- because it just isn’t helpful.

As long as you are being forthright with your intentions- which you are- there is absolutely no reason to feel devious!!

So give yourself renewed permission to “juggle”. It is absolutely the ONLY way to date online.

Readers: If you are new to Dr. Jenn-speak, juggling is when you are getting to know more than one person at a time. Essentially, it’s dating more than one person until such a time that you decide you’d like to be exclusive with someone.

It’s the most effective and efficient way to date online because people you are interested in just up and disappear all the time, at all stages of the process online.

If you’re really serious about finding a great partner, it just doesn’t make sense to put all of your eggs in one very shaky basket!

So, yes, just reassure this new beau with something like this:
“The Juggling Talk”

“I like to have everything out on the table, so just so you know, I’m meeting lots of different folks from online these days. I’m really looking for that special person who sets my heart afire. And when I find him, I’ll be totally ready to see only him. But in the meantime, I think it makes sense to take it slow and get to know each other, and see how everything goes.”

That’s what I call Transparent Dating- making your clear intentions so that everyone knows what page you are on. That is also the best way to date!

About him wanting to take his profile offline before you have even met- well, let me say I’m glad you put that in bold- because I can tell you know that’s crazy talk!!!!

What he is saying is that he IS willing to put all of his eggs in a basket he hasn’t even met. Now, that’s just not prudent, right?!

Because as we all know, chemistry has a very common way of evaporating right in front of your eyes the moment you meet in person! Even if, you’ve totally delighted each other via email and the phone!

So, taking your profile done now is premature, and well, it would be foolish!

Of course you don’t have to tell HIM that- he has the right to do what he wants.

But that certainly does not mean you should feel pressured to do the same!

Instead, try a little something like this, always deliver news like this in a Sandwich fashion (positive-negative-positive):

“I’m really flattered that you like me enough to consider taking down your profile. I’m really enjoying you too. (positives)

“Of course, feel free to do what feels right to you, but I only take down my profile when a guy and I have decided to date each other exclusively. You know, when things are going really well and we’re ready to take the next step.” (negative)

“It would be great if that happens for us. I’m really looking forward to getting to know you some more and seeing how it goes!” (positive)

With these two types of statements on the tip of your tongue, you’ll get great at negotiating some of the tougher terrain of online dating, with grace!

Good luck taking them for a spin and let me know how it goes!

Dr. Jenn

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Testing the Waters- Again!

Dr. Jenn-

Yesterday was my birthday so and I thought I would invite Mr. Architect out to have company and just test the waters there again.

And I came away with the same conclusion....that although he is sweet and kind and I admire him greatly, he is NOT the guy for me.

I am not sure exactly why. It is mostly a "knowing.” And learning again that he is not the "one" for me. It did serve to get me back on the dating sites.




Well, it seems like you are in good company! So many people go back to test the water out- to be sure!

And 95% of them come back with the same answer you found: It’s not right!

And all this up and down, back and forth, hope fired up then extinguished, can be uncomfortable for both people!

That’s why I recommend that people make up their mind once and make a clean break.

Before you go, test out any remaining hypotheses that this could be The One. Whatever things concern you, try to gather more data so you can say firmly, “I know this isn’t right for me.” That helps keep you from needing to go back!

That way there is one break up, not several!

Even if they are not technically real, big breakups!

So, I liked that you listened to your gut here. Sometimes, everything looks so good on paper- but your gut will tell you if it’s wise to proceed. And you’ve been listening.

The more you listen, the more accurate and more quick, those gut assessments become!

So- as you know- when we close one door to open another, it is our custom to stop and ponder: What were the gifts and lessons we offered each other? What did I learn that will make me a better person next time around?

Would love for you to share some thoughts!

PS- Happy Birthday!!!

Dr. Jenn

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Back in the Online Dating Saddle- Rearing to Go!

Hi Dr. Jenn,

After the move and one week at my new job, I am finally feeling my energy return. And finally feeling like once again putting myself out there to date.

I posted my profile on THREE different online dating sites today…and actually subscribed to

Chemistry seems like the more "serious daters" division of By that I mean it seems to focus on people who are seriously looking for real committed long term relationships........unlike what seems to be the case on either or yahoo personals.

I have already been winked at by a couple of guys on MATCH........but it usually takes a few days to get the profiles approved and noticed.

So, with renewed enthusiasm and excitement...and all of your advice planted in my head, I officially enter into the "juggling" phase of dating. (that is if I can find more than one guy to "juggle" : )

I just KNOW that this is the year (2009) that it is going to "happen" for me. Horoscope concurs. Away we go!!!!!!




Welcome back! I’m glad you are rested and ready to go. And with such enthusiasm!

Stoking the fires of optimism, enthusiasm, and positive expectation- that “I just KNOW”- is the type of vibe that will best serve you.

In fact, dear readers, it is the secret key to attraction: When you expect love, and keep the doors wide open to love, love has a way of sauntering right on in!

I like that you hopped right back in the game by getting on 3 different online dating sites.

Diversification of interests works in the financial world- and it’s smart in dating too. With a finger in a few pots- you don’t get as impatient waiting for one to boil.

Smart move!

It’s also wise to match up your goal, here, a long term relationship, with what the site’s specialty is.

In this case, Chemistry is a wise choice, because, yes, it’s members should be more serious than regular Match members!

So, onward and upward!

If you have online dating questions, let me know as you go!

Dr. Jenn