Nobody's Perfect

Lori Zaslow thinks Pele was too hung up on finding a partner with no flaws.

"The love we give away is the only love we keep."
-- Elbert Hubbard

Let me be really clear as I repeat myself:

1. Dating is a game. Love is not.
2. Love is a process. So is our service.
3. To find your soul mate you must be ready to work on YOURSELF. Your flaws are not all loveable, even to your soul mate.
4. A soul mate is also not a PERFECT person. They are someone who brings out your best potential thus leading to a more fulfilling life. Sustaining this relationship for life is typically VERY CHALLENGING.
5. Hence, they do not come wrapped in a little bow on a silver platter ready to personally heal and fulfill all of your unmet needs. You have to GIVE, COMPROMISE, and often SACRIFICE -- happily.
6. Long-lasting love takes hard work and daily maintenance.
7. Everyone has a lot to learn about love.
8. There is more than one someone for everyone.
9. Have the courage and find the strength to GET VULNERABLE for love.
10. When it is real, it's all worth it.

Pele seemed like a ball of charm, wit, and coming from a seed of elite success -- the perfect package. And here we have our first problem. He is critical of others over very little, probably because he thinks the goal in life is to be perfect. Thus he fears getting vulnerable enough to let love reflect back the very thing he needs to learn about to grow and mature -- his imperfections. In this space you just get permanently stuck in a one-sided dead end relationship with yourself and a history of supposedly "not good enough” exes. Shante was exactly what he swore he wanted. What happened to his last "love" so deeply affecting him that she altered his milkshake preferences forever? Horror movies were a hard limit for him? Protective shell -- NO DEPTH. But deep down at the "soul" level, you sense why you are alone and you slowly find it harder to truly love yourself.

Why do we all think we have to be perfect to deserve love? Love is compassion and empathy. It's not only a thing you get, it's also a thing you do -- a verb AND a noun. Remember the Golden Rule?

Brendan's second date with Justine was the perfect example of the "work" paying off. Open, positive, gently self-deprecating, willing to work on his flaws, getting vulnerable, taking a risk, and being more of himself – he showed her what was behind the hilarious and equally protective shell. And the boy becomes a man. According to most women I know, a strong man is someone who can say, "I'm a little nervous," without falling apart or looking like a wuss. Not the smoothest date, but a great match like Justine found him just endearing enough to give him another chance.

Think of the dating game as soul mate training. The rejection, loss, and hurt of the past can heal if you do the work on your path to finding "the one." So, take a deep breath and fall in love. Repeat.

The Friend Zone

Lori Zaslow explains the danger of getting put in the friend category.

“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” - Babe Ruth

OK, hit pause. I know last week I said I'm all about "friendship caught fire," but Brendan is an example of taking this to extremes. The friend zone is a space where nothing catches fire. It is where polite women put guys who are "cute" and "sweet,” a.k.a. "not someone they wish to imagine having sex with."

How does one avoid this? Keep your cool. When you feel your nerves kick in, take a breath, remind yourself you are worthy of love, and then DO NOT try to overcompensate -- particularly by acting like a giddy teenager and throwing yourself into a gong literally OR figuratively. Note to self: Brendan will need a meeting with The Nonverbal Group.Now fast forward to Marc and Jennifer -- a perfect example of a grown up, successful blind date. This is what everyone should come to me open to experiencing. First date or tenth, I will get it right. The more mature and open you are with me in our meetings, the easier it is for me to accomplish this quickly. Hence why I always say, “Work on yourself.” I think premarital therapy should be a requirement to obtain a marriage license.

Two men, burned by women. One defeated by his insecurities before he even starts by masking his hurt in humor (an instant sign of weakness), the other confessing his fears and dreams on camera while still being comfortable with this vulnerability (an instant sign of inner strength). Which one would a woman more likely fall for?

I mean hey, we women have become strong and independent, but we’ll always want our soul mate to be an honest and strong man -- someone who’s ready to catch us when we fall in love.