Blindsided

Amy was completely shocked by Lewis' behavior on their date.

Going out on a first date is easy. You can go out on 20 first dates and pretend, “OK, I’m putting myself out there,” and never fully commit to opening yourself up. First date, smirst date. It’s the third and fourth and fifth dates that are most impressive; it takes moxy to show you’re brave enough to find true love. You have to take a risk to put yourself out there, knowing that you may very well get rejected by someone. Otherwise, don’t complain that you’re the serial dater who never gets a meaningful relationship but goes out on a bunch of first dates until you’re 50 and you’ve never been married. There’s nothing that brave about a first date. Talk to me after the third. That’s when things start getting interesting.

Commitment-phobes and control freaks, hear me now. You MUST come to peace with showing a little vulnerability at some point or you WILL NOT find true love. Sorry, folks, there’s no way around it, even if you think you are clever enough to pull it off. Believe me, I’ve tried. I know how uncomfortably terrifying it is to open yourself up to someone and not be in control of whether that person might hurt you. It’s a chance all of us have to take, but my message is clear: we can still accomplish this, without handing over our full hearts and risking our self-esteem to someone we just met. You’ve got to have a strong enough self-esteem before you start dating. From there, it’s all about setting the pace, trusting yourself, and enjoying the possibilities that are in front of you. Then you are in control. So stop trying to control everything else. You can’t, and in the end, who the hell wants to? Is that any fun? So some of you are nodding and probably at the same time baffled as to why I would have been so insecure during my salsa date with Lewis as to bring up his not being in touch with me after our first date. I wasn’t exactly clear-headed, and I needed “Matchmaker Amy” by my side, since this time it was MY heart involved. Regardless, I am pretty proud of myself for being able to recover and move past it with Lewis, which led to a great night. In fact, it led to two great kisses by the end of the date!

When I got home, for the first time I realized that if I want a chance to be happy, I cannot freak out. I have to remain calm, secure, and open to the possibility of something with Lewis in order not to screw it up again. I obviously got a second chance with him, so I was determined to change my attitude and go into our third date looking forward to our finally getting a chance to be ourselves. Instead, I was completely blindsided.

After our kiss goodnight, I thought that things were moving along fine. As soon as I walk into the diner, I noticed that Lewis is being a bit cold, somewhat distant, and acting nervous. He had teased me about being “stiff” the other evening, and how I need to open up and “get out of my comfort zone.” Now here I am, looking forward to a great date and suddenly it’s Lewis who is acting distant and stiff.

My heart was sinking. It became evident in the first five minutes that he was planning on a confrontation, to pick at my faults and criticize everything I had done wrong at salsa. What happened to the guy who walked me to my door, spun me around for one last twirl, and kissed me good night before I walked upstairs? Is this really happening?

The moment I finally mustered up the courage to admit when I’m wrong and open my heart up to this guy is when he decides to completely shut me down? I can’t tell you how painful it was sitting at the table with him. The knots I had in my stomach. Lewis certainly didn’t seem like he was planning to let up. It just felt cruel and not the same guy who had danced the night away with me the date before, who had been so forgivingly sweet for my stupid remark. I don’t know who that person was, but it hurt me in a way I have not felt in a long time. I had to just leave, I couldn’t take sitting there in front of him. I felt belittled, embarrassed, and hurt, and I just didn’t know what else to do at that moment. It was one of the worst nights I’ve had in a long time. I couldn’t have in my wildest dreams guessed my third date with Lewis would end up like this.However, I’m starting to realize the same advice I give clients is exactly how I need to coach myself -- especially in this instance. Somehow I have to be able to transfer what I know to myself, to heed the advice I give to others. It’s unfamiliar territory, looking at my own dating life rather than my clients’. It’s not as easy to maneuver as I had originally expected.

Like hell I’m going to let Lewis or this pain stop me now! I must get back up on my feet, and show my clients I can do the very same thing I would force them to do. I have to dust myself off and somehow get back up -- even though there is a deep pain, and a part of me that wants to say, “Screw this,” go back to working non-stop, and ditch this dating thing all together.

The temptation to do that is terribly strong right now. But I know in my heart, I can’t give up. I’m NOT a quitter. I tell my clients constantly that they deserve true love, but that they’re going to have to work to find it. I’m learning the hard way that the same is true for me.
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Just Say Yes

Emily Morse shares all the lessons she's learned this season.

Let’s sum up eight weeks of good times, shall we? A recap: threesome proposals, first date couples acrobatics, modeling for a kissing workshop, hilarious make out with Menace, hot make out with David, strip clubbing on a first date, and let’s not forget awkward phone sex -- we’ll always have that. Sigh.

Miss Advised brought a lot of dating challenges to the forefront, and I loved hearing from all of you about how you could relate to one or all of us in your own way.

So thanks for hanging out for the first season of Miss Advised. We’ve shared many cringe-worthy, awkward, inspiring, and hopefully relatable moments. So either you’re inspired or cringing, or both. Either way we’re all in this life learning together.

A theme in the premiere episode led me to conclude this: While my mom maintains that “never rely on man to take care of you” was sage advice to share with me at age fourteen, my brother doesn’t think it is the greatest advice. I think they’re both right -- I shouldn’t rely on anyone to take care of me entirely, but it’s okay to have a healthy dependence. That really got me to think.

See, I’ve always been a fiercely independent person, so much so that it’s been a struggle both for myself and others to accept that I haven’t made the most traditional life choices. This doesn’t make life easier by the way. In fact, my mom always says, “Emily, you didn’t choose the easy route.” It’s true.I’ve always put work first before relationships. I was raised and grew up thinking that I need to make it on my own without a man or anyone else taking care of me. Trying to make a living solving the world’s sex and relationship issues, getting my doctorate in Human Sexuality, and hoping to change the world so we’re all in better relationships has been exhilarating, challenging, and, well, sometimes downright difficult. I know this is my path, and I’ve been honored to share part of my journey with you.

Oh, you’re curious about David? Well, he is my childhood crush who was catapulted into my life at the perfect moment. I was actually excited about a guy, something I hadn’t felt in a while. It’s like quenching the best kind of thirst.

Things didn’t work out with David, but the most important thing is always this: what you do with the outcome. Whether you’re with someone for two months, two years, or 20 years, the key is to ask, “What can I learn from this experience?” and more importantly, “What was my part? What does this teach me about what I want in the future?”

The David experience made me realize that I am truly excited to find love. To find someone (or many ones). I’m not sure what my next “relationship” will look like: monogamy or some other new-fangled creation. I do know that whatever relationship I’m in I’ll create it with my own rules as we all should. What I was really trying to demonstrate is that monogamy isn’t the only answer. There are many different types of relationship models out there, and you need to find the one that works for you.

And finally, for the finale, some final points:

1. So you think dating sucks?: It doesn’t have to. Everyone says they live in the worst town in which to date. I promise you this: if you say yes to every offer you get for 30 days, you will increase your chances of meeting someone significantly. If you don’t put yourself out there, you can’t be found. Yes, here I go with my yes message, but it can’t hurt for 30 days. Try it. You’ll thank me.

3. Life is full of life lessons: Are you paying attention? Don’t view a relationship that ends as a failure. They’re golden opportunities to learn more about yourself and what you want in the next partner or don’t want: rinse, don’t repeat.

4. Life is a journey: I didn’t make this up. You’ve heard it before. Here’s the truth: your life is a journey and we’re all on our own path. Make it your life’s work to cultivate confidence and your own individuality. Get to know your own self and what you really and truly want in a relationship and in life. You have to TRULY love yourself before you find your true love.

5. What I’ve learned: Life is about experimenting with new experiences. Take what you like from each situation and leave the rest.

6. Say yes: I will always say yes to everything. OK, maybe not everything. But when I find myself saying no, I have to think why. I truly do say yes to many experiences that help me with my research for the Sex With Emily show and for life. I’ve learned so much this way, and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

My favorite part of the Miss Advised experience was communicating with new fans and welcoming new listeners to my show Sex With Emily, available to listen to for free anywhere you live. I loved tweeting  with you (let’s never stop). I’ve loved, loved, loved hearing from you on Twitter, Facebook and through my website. I read all your emails and enjoy receiving all your sex and relationship questions, which I answer on my Sex With Emily podcast and radio show.

To thank you for all your support, I’ll be giving away five copies of my book Hot Sex to the person who emails me their favorite line or lesson learned from Miss Advised to feedback@sexwithemily.com. Dying to hear your thoughts so please comment below or on my site, www.sexwithemily.com.

What's next for me? Well I’m going to continue on my journey -- pursuing my doctorate, doing my show (which you can listen to from anywhere), creating new apps. Kegel Camp anyone? Experiences make up your life, so get out there and start living. I’m open to finding love, and I know I’ll continue to find it. Love is truly infinite.