Do-It-Yourself Dating: Part 1- Pre-Dating

Rhiannon No Comments

Do-It-Yourself Dating: Part 1- Pre-Dating

One of my favorite areas to counsel people is in the area of dating.  It is such a meaningful and exciting time for people, yet very rarely do I think people go into dating with thought, knowledge, and intention.  Dating is one of the MOST important processes in our lives, no matter what the outcome, and yet many people seem to go into dating willy nilly as if it is supposed to just be something we KNOW how to do and as if it NEVER changes over time (and we all know how it DOES change over time).

I always advise my clients to go into dating intentionally and prepared to encounter a variety of issues that will come up before and during the dating process.  And it is important to note, that dating IS a process.  It isn’t a destination but rather a journey.

In this first blog, I’m going to talk about the tasks that I advise my clients to do PRIOR to beginning dating (it will be helpful for anyone in the dating process too, but this is what I might discuss with someone who hasn’t yet dated and is thinking about dating).

Do Your Research

It’s a big ocean out there, and there truly ARE plenty of fish in the sea.  I’m pretty sure none of us would go deep sea diving without the proper training, equipment, experience etc.  While dating is much less dangerous than deep sea diving (most likely you won’t DIE dating) I’d argue that it is way more complicated.  So why would we venture off into the deep sea of dating without knowledge, training, education, and all the other stuff we need to know in order to figure out how to be successful in dating????

So in this step (the pre-dating step- as mentioned above, even if you are already in a dating relationship, these recommendations are still good to follow because they will only HELP you and your relationships), I encourage my clients to do the house cleaning they need to do as well as fill-in-the-blanks that they are missing with the training and education they lack in order to come to the table as complete as they can be.

So a few suggestions:

  1. If you have been meaning to take care of something for a while: manage a bad habit/addiction, accept your body, get your health in check, sell an old car, invest to therapy, sell a property, divorce/break up with someone, improve a sexual issue you have etc. etc., do that BEFORE you start dating.  You want to be the best version of yourself when you are out and about dating, not a work in progress, because you will be more likely to attract a work in progress if you ARE a work in progress.
  2. If you are angry, hold resentments, and/or have some old emotional baggage around exes, your parents, a middle school teacher who was an asshole, or have trauma that you haven’t processed, invest in therapy and work that out, or at least get started.  Dating and being in a relationship requires you to be present and available, and if you are tied up into past haunts and hurts, you might not be able to be there for your partner.  Don’t know a good therapist or don’t have one in your area? That’s where I come in (if you are looking for a dating coach and relationship therapist in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Texas). Feel free to contact me at the information below.
  3. Educate yourself.  The best way I can tell you to do that is go to a relationship therapist or dating coach AND read the following books (just think, if your car wasn’t getting you where you wanted to go, you wouldn’t just read a book and it would magically be fixed- you need a professional mechanic to help you fix it so you can get where you want to go!).  The science of dating, partner selection, attachment, and everything in the world of relationships has changed over the years.  Here’s what I recommend for reading:

Start with Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg

A comedian and sociologist team up to talk about dating, why it sucks and why it rocks, and the historical and scientific perspective on dating, relationships, and romance.  My suggestion is to get the audio book, cause Aziz (Parks and Recreation, Master of None) reads it himself and he is FUNNY.  Most of these books are available in Audiobook, so don’t worry non-readers.

Next in my pre-dating/dating reading list is Wired for Dating by Stan Tatkin

Dr. Tatkin is a marriage and family therapist who uses the science of attachment to construct a pretty digestible theory on partner selection and modern dating.  For example, he talks about introducing your dates to your friends and family EARLY, so if there are any concerns or red flags that you can catch them well before you get attached to the person (the popular romance competition/strategy shows like the Bachelor and the Bachelorette make this mistake, which makes for great TV, because the last episode is usually when the contestant brings his/her choices home to the parents.  WAY TOO LATE, according to Tatkin’s work, because the attachment is already there).

Some of my clients LOVE Wired for Dating.   For those that don’t, I recommend Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller

This book is GREAT on the science of adult attachment- why we attach and don’t attach to people, and how we can attach better and more productive to partners with different attachment styles.  Usually my clients either like Wired for Dating OR Attached (the science minded like Attached, the relationship minded like Wired).  If you are motivated, read both 🙂

My next recommendation comes with a word of caution.  The author of this book IS religious (Christian), misogynistic, and pretty heterosexist.  BUT, the work is so good I have to overlook these sometime major flaws, especially since his ideas and his theory is so simple, even the most emotionally shut off people really, really, really do connect with his five simple love languages.  The book I like for people dating is Five Love Languages: Singles Edition by Gary Chapman although he has several other versions

He also writes a mens version, but any version will do- the premise is the same and is SO helpful to so many people, and especially I find that men really get what he writes about.  It’s simple, easy to understand, and can really teach you a lot about ALL your relationships (kids, friends, pets, neighbors, co-workers, etc.).

Next on my list is taking dating to a deeper level with, Deeper Dating by Ken Page.

I love how this book suggests you read it and do the exercises with a learning buddy.  Like many of these books- they are person growth programs because ultimately, dating is about personal growth.  Learning about yourself is the number one outcome of dating, despite us thinking the opposite.  And trust me, no one has to or should do it alone- friends, dating coaches, matchmakers, therapists, family- you need help.  So make sure you ask for it.

Referencing above with Chapman’s work, I didn’t mean to imply that spirituality in dating wasn’t important in my above recommendations, in fact, it is one of THE most important things in relationships and dating.  Having a strong SPIRITUAL (not necessarily religious) connection to a power greater than oneself is an essential component of deeply pleasure sensuality and sexuality (see my blog on Spirituality and Sexuality and Tantra Sexuality).  I like this book if the Buddha dated: A Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path by Charlotte Kasl.

So once you complete those, if you want more information on partner selection and relationships, I like the (now classic) Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix

Hendrix and his wife write this book on their popular Imago Therapy theory and have helped millions of couples communicate and connect.  Even if you aren’t in a couple, this book is great at figuring out who to pick, how to communicate, and making it work.

My suggestion is treat these books like a self-study.  Do the exercises, keep a journal, analyze and think, write and read, discuss it with a therapist, coach, group, and friend.  A lot of these exercises I recommend to my clients without them ever picking up a book, so you’d be surprised how much you can accomplish just from what we call in the biz bibliotherapy.  You get out of it what you put into it.

Okay, now that you are armed with all the knowledge in the world, you’ll be a total expert right?  Not really, but at least you’ll feel like, on some level, you know what is up!

What is your GOAL of dating? 

The first thing I ask my clients is “What do you want out of dating?”  There are a lot reasons why people date and it is important to know why you are dating so you can target what you are looking for.   Popular reasons people date are as follows:

  1.  To meet people and/or make friends
  2. To practice dating
  3. To have fun
  4. To hook up/be sexual/have sex
  5. To get over an ex*
  6. To find a partner
  7. To get a free meal*
  8. To occupy time
  9. To learn about yourself
  10.  Other reasons??? (Are there other reasons people date- I’m sure, but I think these cover the most common reasons)

You’ll notice I starred two of the items.  I did that because these two reasons (“To get over an ex” and “To get a free meal”) I find particularly abhorrent.  I know, the “rebound” might not be the WORST thing in the world, but dating is hard, and a lot of people are dating to find a partner and I feel its important that if you are going to embark on the process of dating that you are as close to the BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF as possible.  It’s a common belief that often times we attract people who are at the place emotionally that we are at (if on a scale from 1-10 you feel a 4 about yourself, you are likely to attract another 4- do you want a 4?).  If you are going through a break up, this is the time to heal,

and to mend, and to grow, not a time to get caught up in a new relationship that you may not be prepared to emotionally adapt to and handle the challenges.  There isn’t a set time that has to elapse before you can start dating after a break up, but you should have processed the loss of the previous relationship and feel really good about yourself by the time you get back out there and dating.

The second star was about a “free meal”.  I hear and see this a lot in the dating world.  And it is 9.9/10 being said by women.  And it is straight up exploitative.  In our culture, we often explain that “chivalry is dead”, but part of what is killing it is entitled beliefs like the fact that it is acceptable to go out on a date with someone just for the fact that you are hungry and don’t want to pay for your own food.  Men, who are expected to pay, can get resentful really fast if they feel like they are being used for a free meal, and that resentment is a horrible feeling amongst everyone.  Don’t get me wrong, as a woman, I love when a man pays.  It reminds me of my grandfather and how he used to take me out to dinner and make a big production of paying for an expensive meal and made sure I knew I was worth it.  Men paying for me is directly tied to my own self-worth (whether that is a good thing or not, I don’t know).  And I don’t take that for granted.  I am honored to have someone spend their time AND money on me, even if it is just a coffee.  Exploiting someones’ time and money is rude and I don’t approve!

So now that you have read all the books and done all the exercises (I particularly like Tatkin’s Ideal Partner Exercise and an exercise I call Red/Yellow/Green), figured out what your goal of dating is, then you should figure out how you are going to accomplish said goal.  For example, if your goal of dating is to hook up, your strategy might be different than if your goal is to meet a lifelong partner.

That’ll be Part II of the blog… so you’ll just have to stay tuned!  And in the meantime, if you need help, feel free to contact me at the contact information below.  You don’t have to do this alone!

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Rhiannon No Comments

Breaking up is hard to do.  There are wrong ways to do it, better ways to do it, but regardless of what goes down, ending a relationship through breaking up, divorce, or other ways is a process and a transition.  No matter what happens, there will be pain.  Here are just some thoughts about how to break up in the best possible way.

Whether going through a break up, divorce, or ending a job or other type of relationship, I always speak of four characteristics that are essential to any of these types of conversations.  Provided a person acts with all four of the following character assets, no matter what the message, it will be less painful and more productive.

Four Horsepeople of the Disclosure
(a play on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from John and Julie Gottman)


My basic argument is this: no matter what you have to say and who you have to say it to, if you speak your truth with honesty, kindness, respect, and integrity, you did all that you could do to maybe share a painful message in a more productive way.  Telling someone no or no thank you is hard, and likely will be painful for both on some level.  NO ONE LIKES TO BREAK UP.  In fact, so many people don’t like to end a relationship (with a partner, friend, lover, employer) that many would rather stay in the painful relationship than SAY NO or end it.  They choose to suffer over speaking their truth and feeling that pain.  To me, it isn’t worth it.

I believe that if you deliver a message with kindness, honesty, respect, and integrity, you have done all you can do to minimize the hurt caused by a painful message. So just keep repeating these in your head when you have to deliver a tough message:

Am I being kind? (to myself and others)
Am I being honest? (with myself and others)
Am I being respectful? (to myself and others)
Am I acting with integrity?

That last one might not be completely obvious since many people, when asked, don’t know how to define integrity.  What is integrity?  How would you define acting with integrity?

Various definitions exist out there but the one I think I liked the best went something like this: integrity is the concept of CONSISTENCY of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes and the honesty and truthfulness of ones actions.  That word consistency is essential to our next discussion about ending a relationship with a high level of integrity.

Somewhere along the way in my career, I read somewhere that the best way to break up with someone is through continuous reinforcement.  What this looks like reminds me of the early behaviorism experiments with the rats and the lever- Skinner Boxes and Operant Conditioning and schedules of reinforcement.  Basically, there was a rat, in a box.  He presses a lever and gets a pellet.  Every time.  So he learns that the lever gives the pellet.  That is continuous (consistent) reinforcement.  Best way to establish/extinguish a behavior- continuous reinforcement (lever-pellet or lever-no pellet).

Without getting all Bill Nye on everyone, the other schedules of reinforcement are more challenging to establish/extinguish.  So how this all applies is that when you break up with someone, and you end it, and continuously reinforce that ending, it is healthier in the end, than intermittently reinforcing through break up sex, living with each other after the break up, gradually moving out of the break up with intermittent reinforcement of the relationship and the break up (we go to this wedding as a couple, even though we are broken up… confusing) etc. etc.  There are a million of examples of people doing confusing things during a break up that winds up prolonging suffering.  Here are some facts via youtube, our generations encyclopedia AND how-to manual.  Not super relevant but it goes more into the theory.

Now I’m not suggesting a complete shut down and shut off of the other person during a break up.  Break ups are really painful and that wouldn’t be treating that other person with kindness, respect, or integrity.  But its important that the break up is continuously reinforced out of kindness, respect, and HONESTY for the both parties that the relationship is over.

Why Dragging it Out is More Damaging and Painful In The Long Term

Often times, break ups get dragged out for a variety of reasons: finances, living situations, mutual friends, life transitions, pets, kids, family and often because there is a sense of ambivalence or confusion about the decision to break up.  I often see what we call “polarized relationships” where one wants out, and the other does not OR couples where it is Too Good to Leave, Too Bad To Stay.

The problem with ambivalent or polarized couples is that change is inevitable but strongly resisted so the suffering just increases, increases, and increases.  The lack of decision only leads to longer damage and often results in a crisis (affair, blow up, accelerated break up) instead of a more kind, respectful, thoughtful break up.

And with ambivalent relationships, when one or more isn’t sure if they want to go or not, it is important that there is the option to COME BACK if both parties choose to.  And by not making decisions often leaves this option NOT an option because so much damage occurs during this period the couple passes the point of no return.  If you want to preserve the relationship, it is better to work with a therapist on a planned or controlled separation (Should I Stay or Should I Go: How Controlled Separation Can Save Your Marriage) or go through a course of discernment counseling (a short-term model of counseling that aims at three paths- status quo, divorce/separation, or a six month commitment to couples therapy).

Not acting and having it blow up could leave more wreckage that might not be able to be salvaged if the two (or more) of you decide to reconcile down the road.  If you aren’t sure, its better to get the help to decide rather than let things stay the same.

Reasons to Break Up
The decision to break up and end a relationship is a deeply personal one and shouldn’t be made lightly.  I reference Dr. Stan Tatkin’s books Wired for Dating and its marriage/relationship counterpart Wired for Love
a lot in my work with relationships.  In Tatkin’s (2016) book Wired for Dating , he discusses 18 questions to consider when deciding if you should say goodbye.  They are posted below:

  1. Do you or this partner have one foot in and one foot out of the relationship?
  2. Is it hard for you or this partner to feel relaxed and comfortable around each other?
  3. Is it hard for you or this partner to feel safe and secure around the other?
  4. Has any abuse or violence occurred in this relationship?
  5. Do you or this partner resist having sex with the other?
  6. Are you or this partner strongly an island or wave? [text will explain this further]
  7. Do you find it hard to tell how this partner is feeling?
  8. Does this partner show little or no interest in your feelings?
  9. Do you or this partner find it hard to calm or soothe the other?
  10. Do you or this partner ever let thirds (such as people or tasks) take precedence over the relationship? (Note: This could include cheating or betrayal, but it doesn’t have to get that far.)
  11. If you or this partner feels hurt or injury, does the other fail to repair it right away?
  12. Have you and this partner tried to talk over your differences, but failed?
  13. Do you and this partner fight frequently, nastily, or without resolution? (Note: This question is not whether you fight at all).
  14. Have you or this partner already tried on one or more occasions to break up?
  15. Do you and this partner keep secrets from each other?
  16. Do you have no sense of future with this partner?
  17. Did vetting with either your or this partners family and friends yield negative results?
  18. Would you say a couple bubble has not even begun to form for you and this partner? (179-180)

In my podcast,, we recently had an episode that discussed breaking up and moving forward.  We talk a lot about how breaking up is a life transition and a journey, and often times necessary for growth, learning, and development, albeit painful.  Take a listen to episode 1:10 our Season Finale, and where an on-air break up actually occurs!


Going through a break up or thinking about breaking up with your partner?  Reach out to me- I specialize in working with individuals as they decide to stay or go and can offer referrals for the relationship.

Dealing with Jealousy

Rhiannon No Comments

Jealousy can be so painful and fiery and dealing with jealousy can be even harder than experiencing it.  And jealousy is SO prevalent.  At the recent 50th Annual 2017 American Association for Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) in Las Vegas, NV, there was a presentation entitled “Coping with Jealousy: Tools for Individuals and Relationships” presented by Erica Marchand, PhD and it was SO popular it had to be held in the main ballroom and had nearly 500 people attend.  And it was just a break out session!  There seemed to be more people than the keynote and plenary sessions!

Why was this presentation so popular?  Because jealousy is one of the most intense and powerful and common emotions in intimate relationships.  And we’ve all felt it, and we are all afraid of it.

Most of this information was reference from the presentation by Dr. Erica Marchand and is credited to her presentation.

So what is jealousy?

Jealousy is an emotional state aroused by a perceived thereat to a valued relationship or position, involving feelings of hurt, anger, anxiety and/or betrayal, which often motivates behavior aimed at countering the threat. Jealousy is different from envy, where jealousy is a fear of losing what you have, while envy is desiring what someone else has.

Theories of Jealousy
There are a variety of theories psychologically on why jealousy occurs and why it occurs is important because it informs us as clinicians on how to treat it.  In the therapy room at SexTherapy- Online, we approach jealousy from an integrated model of all these perspectives.

From a psychodynamic and attachment perspective, jealousy is caused by painful childhood experiences, such as loss of love, loss of parent, or threat thereof and poor attachment with primary caregivers.

From a systems perspective, jealousy arises from relationship dynamics and serves a purpose in the relationship.

From a cognitive-behavioral perspective, jealousy is a learned response that can be unlearned and people can be retrained.  From a social perspective, jealousy is shaped and defined by culture and social norms.

evolution photoFrom an evolutionary perspective, jealousy functions to guard against losing mate and/or associated resources.

Gender Differences
Men experience more jealousy in response to sexual aspects of infidelity, while women experience more jealousy about emotional aspects of infidelity.  Sometimes this is credited to evolutionary psychological factors, but its a little more complicated than that.  When working with clients, Marchand says that the evolutionary explanation washes over a lot of other relevant information and factors.  Sexual and emotional infidelity are overlapping concepts and research on gender differences and infidelity has not been replicated consistently. Jealousy and infidelity overlap a lot, but in this blog, we are really just talking about jealousy, and not aspects of infidelity.

Jealousy has been been reported at higher levers among people who have experienced infidelity, people who have been unfaithful, and person(s) with less power/status in the relationship.

Same Sex Relationships
lesbian photoIn same sex relationships, Marchand says there is not a lot of research out there but a few items to note: gay men in monogamous relationships experience more jealousy than in non-monogamous relationships and that intimate partner violence in same sex couples is more prevalent if jealousy is present.

Consequences of Jealousy

There are significant outcomes and consequences of jealousy.  In individuals, when one or both partners are jealous, individuals experience lower self-esteem, anxiety, anger, betrayal, and hurt. Attempting to address jealousy often threatens the relationship and the person can be prone to seeking reassurance, provoking conflict, exerting control, and investing more time and energy into the relationship in efforts to increase their value in the relationship.

If that doesn’t sound EXHAUSTING, I don’t know what does!

In relationships, jealousy can often lead to hostile, aggressive or abusive behavior.  Jealousy can also mask as a perception of love, caring, and investment in the relationship (this is the argument that if one didn’t love someone, they wouldn’t be jealous).  When jealousy occurs, the partner’s reassurance as a response to jealousy is associated with greater relationship stability (I don’t see this happening ALL that often, but it does occur!)

So if you are struggling with jealousy, and need help getting out of its clutches, I can help.  Feel free to contact me at the form below or check out the Schedule An Appointment page for more information.

But here are some of the things we would be working on.  If jealousy is bothering you as an individual, we would focus on the following:

  • Accepting /tolerating distress
  • Increase self-esteem and perception of value
  • Increase self-awareness about beliefs and experiences that are contributing to jealousy
  • Increase ability to self-soothe
  • Create response flexibility

I also see couples, poly-relationships, and Non-Monogamous relationships which can particularly prone to jealousy.  If you came to therapy for your relationship(s) and coping with jealousy, we’d be working on:

  • Developing a critical awareness of relationship patterns
  • Changing relationship dynamics
  • Improving and Adjusting Communication
  • Reconciliation and healing

Some questions you can get started with for homework on helping you better understand your jealousy:

For the Individual
How do you respond to jealousy?
What are your feelings, thoughts, beliefs?
What did you learn from past experiences?
– About other people and relationships?
– About acceptable or desirable responses to jealous feelings?
What do you fear losing
What do you gut-level want to do?  What do you frontal lobe level want to do?
How can you treat yourself like a valuable person?
Make a list of qualities that make you valuable.
List five affirmations a day of your value and worth.
Make a list of ways to be kind/nice/awesome to yourself
Imagine if…
What do you need to do to take care of yourself?

For the Relationship
– Create space for talking about jealousy
– Take responsibility for own feelings/validate others feelings
Make an inventory of partners relationship experiences and expectations
List how to build trust/express affection/reassurance
– Things your partner can do or say to reassure you when you feel afraid, anxious, jealous (do it for self and other person)

If there is infidelity, you will want to focus on rebuilding relationship security, ethos, self-esteem
– Create space to talk about emotions related to affair- including jealousy
– Complete above lists
– Set new boundaries/agreements
– Hurt partner rebuilding
– Atone/Atune/Attach

[The majority of this blogs content was taken from “Coping with Jealousy: Tools for Individuals and Relationships” presented by Erica Marchand, PhD at the 50th Annual 2017 AASECT Conference in Las Vegas, NV]

Still need help with dealing with jealousy, give me a call.  You don’ have to suffer alone!

Things to Consider When Dating Someone With Children

Rhiannon No Comments

There are a lot of things to consider when dating someone who has children.  Your individual and relationship decisions don’t just affect you and your partner anymore, they affect you, the children, the children’s parents, grandparents, etc. and when children are involved the relationship becomes more under a microscope.  It’s important to consider the following things prior to engaging in a relationship with someone who has children or if you are in it already, it is never to late to consider the followings.

As a little note, I write this article mostly for the folks that is dating someone who has children when you don’t have children. If you’re dating someone with children and you have children, the issues to be considered may be the same or may be different, but will be a nice follow-up article.

1. Take Your Time
Take your time with everything. Take your time with getting to know the person that you’re dating, take your time with talking about their children, take your time with making the decision if you’re ready to date someone with children, take your time when meeting the children in building a that relationship with the children, and overall just TAKE YOUR TIME.  If this is truly the right relationship for you, you have a lifetime to build a strong foundation with your partners children. If you are unsure if this relationship is the right relationship for you, take your time with including the children in the relationship. It’s a lot easier to build a strong foundation with a child, then repair a rocky, cracked, and broken foundation due to past mistakes.

2. Figure Your Own Stuff Out First
Figure your own emotional stuff out first, otherwise you may project some of your own unresolved issues onto your partner’s children, the way your partner raises the children, and how you feel about it.   It’s very easy to take it personally if your partner repeats some patterns with the children that your own parents did with you.   This can be very activating and confusing and can be disguised as an issue within the relationship. But ultimately it is your responsibility to come to the relationship as whole and as healed as you possibly can. Your partners children do not need to take on your emotional baggage.

3.   Communicate
If your dating relationship progresses into a committed relationship, communicate with your partner about when you will meet the children, how frequently you will be involved with the children, and eventually what role you will take with the children as you’re dating their parent.  This includes what parenting role you may have, what disciplinarian role one might have, who is responsible for what, and the financial obligations of each partner in regards to the children.

4.  Communicate Some More
Have an open and honest talk with your partner about whether they want to have more children. If they are done making children and you haven’t even started, this can be a major source of conflict as the relationship progresses.   It’s okay if you’re unsure on whether you want children or not, but just be aware that this may be a hurdle the two of you would have to navigate in the future.

5. Communicate with Yourself
Have an open and honest talk with yourself about whether you are okay being in a parental role to children that are not biologically yours and whether you are okay with being with someone that already has children.  If you have doubts, remember, TAKE YOUR TIME.

6.   You Do NOT Live on a Deserted Island with Just You, Your Partner, and the Children
Understand that in almost all cases another parent and/or another family will be involved in your partner’s life, and potentially yours, forever. This is not for the weak or faint of heart. The best predictor of a child’s success post divorce is the relationship between their parents. And that will eventually include you.  Consider the relationship between your partner and the other parent.  Can you deal with that?

7.  For the Parent:
Avoid rushing, forcing, or pressuring a relationship between your new partner and your children. While it may be very difficult to be a single parent, don’t put a lot of parental responsibility on your new partner.   Remember, you had at least nine months to get used to the fact that you had a child;  Your partner didn’t have that. The attachment bond between your partner and your children will take time to build. Putting on a boatload of responsibility and pressure without the rewards of a relationship can lead to resentment and anger.  Don’t project your emotions onto your child when interacting with your new partner.  If your new partner hesitates with your children, avoid taking it personally.

8.  Date, Date, and More Dates
Remember, YOU ARE DATING.  Don’t lose sight of what an exciting time it is to be in a new relationship!  Go on dates, have alone time, explore each other.  Make the time, get babysitters, and develop your relationship.

Remember, kids CAN be fun and can completely enrich your life for the better.  Take the risk, you may learn something, share love, and be a positive energy in the life of a child.  What is better than that?

10.   If you are unsure about any of these things, go back to number 1 and 2: TAKE YOUR TIME and FIGURE YOUR OWN STUFF OUT FIRST.

Are you currently dating someone with children and struggling with these factors?  Do you and your partner need relationship or sexual help?  Is your sex life affected by the fact that your partner has children?  Contact Rhiannon at or 603.770.5099 or 512.765.4741 for more information about receiving therapy for these concerns.  Or just fill out the form below and Rhiannon will contact you directly.