How comfortable are you in the dating process? How beautiful do you think you are? These are a few of the important questions that our guests wants to ask yourself as you determine…whether you can easily transition from dating to being “In a Relationship”…on this edition of Frank Relationships.
FRANK RELATIONSHIPS: DATING COACH, SUZANNE MULLER
Guests: Suzanne Muller
Date: August 26, 2013
Frank: How comfortable are you in the dating process? How beautiful do you think you are? These are a few of the important questions that our guests want you to ask yourself as you determine whether you can easily transition from dating to being in a relationship on this edition of Frank Relationships.
Welcome to Frank Relationships where we provide a candid fresh and frank look into relationships with goals of acceptance, respect and flexibility. I’m Frank Love and you can find me, my blog and my various social media incarnations at franklove.com.
Once again, I’m joined by my super duper co-host, Dr. Gayl. She’s got a triathlon coming up this Sunday.
Dr. Gayl: Yep. Yep.
Frank: We’re in her corner. Do your thing, doc.
Dr. Gayl: Hey, Frank. Good morning.
Frank: Good morning. Could there be a painful or costly break-up in your future? According to most relationship statistics, the answer is likely, yes. But that doesn’t have to be the case. In my new and now available book, How to Gracefully Exit a Relationship.
Dr. Gayl: Woo whoop.
Frank: Yeah, yeah. I reveal what couples and individuals can do to create a more fulfilling partnership or to end relationships that aren’t working in a friendly manner. Without suffering the emotional, financial and family ruin that major break-ups can cause.
Yep. It’s a lot more than a break-up book. How to Gracefully Exit a Relationship guides you through every stage of your romantic partnership, helping you have the tough and important conversations that most couples avoid.
Whether you’re in the beginning of a world wind romance or seeking to improve your marriage or looking to gracefully separate from your partner or talking to your teenager about relationships, this is the book for you; now available at franklove.com or at Amazon.
And make sure you check out the Frank Love Facebook page to find out who the guests for the week will be. We post that tidbit of information every Monday, about the guests that will host on the fourth coming Thursday. You can go directly to franklove.com and link to it from there.
Leave your questions or comments for me and my guests. We’ll answer them on the air. You can also tweet us at @mrfranklove or you can, of course, call the studio at 202-629-3746 between 8:30 A.M. and 9:30 A.M. every Thursday morning. We record at that time.
Today’s guest has a passion. Her goal in life is to help singles around the world take their journey to discover a happy, healthy and fulfilling relationship and fall in love with a great partner.
She’s embarked on this journey of self-reflection after being engaged twice and never married. The journey involved being a student of men, women, love, dating, healthy relationships and the most important of them all, herself. And it taught her to follow her heart, trust her instincts and honor herself to a path of real happiness, honor and love that made having a fulfilling relationship possible and worthwhile. It’s my pleasure to welcome to the show, dating and life coach, speaker and the author of Lovable: 12 Practices for in Being in a Loving and Fulfilling Relationship. Ms. Suzanne Muller. Thank you for joining us.
Suzanne: Hello, it’s great to be here. Hello, everybody.
Dr. Gayl: Good morning, Suzanne. How are you?
Suzanne: Good morning.
Frank: Were you heartbroken when your engagements didn’t go as planned:
Suzanne: Oh, you bet I was.
Frank: Alright, let’s here some stories. I’m geared up for two good stories.
Dr. Gayl: After two engagements.
Frank: Man bashing, all of that good stuff. Give it to us.
Suzanne: I was engaged twice, never married and I was just picking the wrong partners. I thought. “It’s got to be them, can’t be me.” Right?
Suzanne: “It can’t be me. What am I doing wrong?”
Dr. Gayl: Right.
Suzanne: Whether they broke up with me or I broke up with them, it didn’t matter. It just wasn’t a working relationship. It wasn’t fulfilling for him, it wasn’t fulfilling for me. Heartbroken, tears, crying, disappointment, all the like. And then, I started to date. I was kind of a serial dater for about eight years and I thought, “Somebody could love me. Will you love me? Will you love me?”
Frank: You’re in Switzerland now and you were state-side, I assume, while you were a serial dater. Is that correct?
Suzanne: Absolutely. I lived in Denver, Colorado, which is a beautiful state.
Frank: I hear. And what about the men?
Suzanne: The men were great. I think I dated almost everybody in Denver, Colorado. Or so I thought.
Frank: You and Dr. Gayl might know some of the same people. She–
Dr. Gayl: I’m sorry.
Frank: She tends to date quite a bit herself. You don’t have nothing to say?
Dr. Gayl: I don’t.
Frank: That was a poke.
Dr. Gayl: I know what it was, but sometimes I just let well enough alone.
Suzanne: But that’s how it felt. I thought, “Oh, my God. How many men do I have to date to get this thing right,” which is why I entered into my old self-reflection, my own discovery for myself to figure this thing out–called men, myself, dating. “How does this thing work?” Nobody taught me in school.
Frank: Did you enjoy the dating thing that you did?
Suzanne: Most of the time, I did. I had to learn to be a great date. And once I learned how to be a great date, then it became really enjoyable.
Frank: Now who told you, you were a great date?
Suzanne: The man I dated. Finally, they started calling like they wanted to be around me more than one date or two dates. I was like, “Alright. I must bring something to them, maybe my energy and my fun,” whereas at first I would hold that back and I was waiting for them to give to me or for them to love me, for me to really be myself.
I was just waiting and holding back. All of those walls were built up from probably those broken engagements that I got pretty heartbroken about it.
Frank: And how’d you turn this into a love coach and a dating coach profession?
Suzanne: I really started it more of dating: how to be a great date, how to enjoy dating, how to have fun, because that’s what I knew. And then as I found my own fulfilling relationship and my own tender relationship, I started to transition into, “How do I help people clear up the junk,” the baggage that builds up over the years based on all those ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends and ex-husbands. Things like that. And I started to develop some practices and a methodology to help people enjoy dating. Like how do we shift it from fear to excitement? You know what I mean?
Frank: I do.
Dr. Gayl: Explain to us what that means.
Frank: You mean I’m not the only one listening or involved in this process? I said I do. What else is there to say?
Dr. Gayl: Me.
Frank: Okay, alright.
Dr. Gayl: The listeners.
Frank: Continue, please.
Suzanne: Absolutely. A lot of people are hesitant. They’re timid. They’ve gotten hurt before. They’re burned. Right? Like, “Why in the heck do I want to put my heart out there again? I’m just going to get stomped on.”
Dr. Gayl: Right.
Suzanne: So, what I realized is that in loving and honoring myself and finding ways to be me, be my best self out there, that I realized that there’s no such thing as kind of getting hurt. If they didn’t like me for who I was, then that’s okay. They should be with a partner that most fulfills them. I wanted to find a partner that loves me for the qualities that I bring to the table. For example, one of the–
Frank: Hold. Wait, wait, wait. Let’s pause on that. You sound like you’ve been reading some Frank or something. What? There’s no such thing as getting hurt. You just find a partner that works for you. High five, Suzanne.
Suzanne: It’s that’s easy, right Frank?
Frank: It’s that easy. Alright, you’re on my side.
Dr. Gayl: You should see my face.
Frank: Dr. Gayl, go to the other side of the table. She’s with me.
Suzanne: Dr. Gayl, what are you thinking right now?
Dr. Gayl: Honestly, it’s an evolution. It’s kind of like common sense maybe. You know?
Frank: Oh, come on.
Dr. Gayl: I have a friend.
Frank: Somebody’s got to fight with me.
Dr. Gayl: I have a friend. She’s a clinician and she says that nine times or 99 percent of the time, the people that you date–
Frank: Which is it? Is it 9.9 or nine times?
Dr. Gayl: I was going to say, nine times out of 10, but then I changed it to 99 percent of the time. She says that people–
Frank: You’re a doctor. You’ve got to get your stats together.
Dr. Gayl: You didn’t let me finish. However, I’m not a statistician. She says that 99 percent of the time that people that you date will not be the one. It’s just going to end right there at a date. It won’t go anywhere. You’re not going to get married. And if you continue to date, they’re not going to be the one that you want. You’re just dating, because you want to date someone. So, it obviously does make sense. Unfortunately, Frank, I agree with you.
Suzanne: I’m a big fan of really identifying and I have a practice called, The Fulfillment List. Like really getting clear what fulfills you? I actually don’t believe people need to go out on a first date. You can get a lot of that stuff cleared up before you go out– whether or not you’re a potential fit or not–before you even waste your time or waste your energy or waste your money on coffee or dinner, for that manner.
Frank: But wouldn’t it always be a first date? I mean, even if you take a survey, still, the first time you go out, that’s your first date.
Suzanne: Exactly. No matter where you go, Frank. Exactly.
Frank: So, okay, alright.
Suzanne: They’re still dating. Whether we call it dating or relating– getting to know somebody, hanging out, who cares. You’re trying to figure out whether or not you’re a match with that person and then there are some key criteria that people are really looking for that they shouldn’t be settling and tolerating for things that they’re just going be miserable with.
Frank: But why don’t you just go on out and just dating? I mean, not trying to figure out if you’re a match, you’re just going out to have fun.
Suzanne: Exactly. That’s when-Frank–I met my partner. I was going on vacation, 200 people from around the world. We’re in Cancun. We’re on this great course, vacation, lying on the beach. Our first date for me was the dolphins. We were just having a blast.
He lived in Switzerland. I thought it was a vacation fling and something was like “This feels kind of good. I think we’ll just see how this goes.”
Frank: So you were a little open?
Suzanne: I was very open.
Suzanne: I was very open. Very open.
Dr. Gayl: Very open.
Frank: That vacation thing got you. Okay, so you had to tell yourself a little story. This is a vacation thing and you decided to open up and then you got open and you found someone who you had the chemistry with and you called each other even when you got off your trip.
Dr. Gayl: But the question–
Dr. Gayl: But the question Suzanne, is–
Frank: I didn’t have a question.
Dr. Gayl: My question is, did you determine that prior to the vacation or did you come to all these realizations after you met him and after you were on vacation?
Frank: She wants to know did you get your groove back? That’s why you went on a vacation, to get your groove back with–well, see in black people terminology, there was a movie, “Stella Got Her Groove Back” and so when black people talk often, they say things like, “Did you get your groove back?” Well, see when white people talk, I don’t know exactly what you all–
Dr. Gayl: But that really wasn’t my question. Why are you putting words in my mouth? That was not my question.
Frank: I just said–
Suzanne: I know what you’re asking, Dr. Gayl. I know what you’re asking.
Dr. Gayl: That’s not my question.
Suzanne: I had my groove going on before I went on vacation. I was fulfilled. I was happy. I was loving life and I had no intention really of finding a mate or dating. I was just going to have a blast on this vacation and he showed up the first night, sat right next to me.
It was pretty magical when it happened. Fell in love in four days and we were in a relationship on the fifth day. But I think it was, because I was just happy and approachable and friendly. And he was like, “Who is that?”
Frank: Are you familiar with Dexter?
Frank: You are familiar with Dexter?
Dr. Gayl: How in the world does what she said have to do with–what does that have to do with Dexter?
Frank: See, do you know who Dexter is, Dr. Gayl?
Dr. Gayl: The guy that cuts people up and–
Dr. Gayl: Oh, wrong Dexter. Sorry.
Frank: Suzanne, is that who you thought I was talking about?
Frank: Oh, y’all. Okay. Okay, Jeff. Do you know who Dexter is?
Dr. Gayl: He thought you were talking about Showtime Dexter.
Jeff: Yeah, I did.
Frank: You all.
Jeff: There’s a lot of things that have to do with cutting people up, like in relationships.
Frank: Y’all are all irritating. You got to take it back. Go back to Eddie Murphy “Raw.” Okay and this is the precursor–
Dr. Gayl: Seriously.
Frank: To “Stella Got Her Groove Back,” in black people terminology. Okay, now Dexter was the guy who–okay. This woman who has a man, she goes away to the islands and she’s broken up about this and that with her man.
She goes to the islands and then she runs into this guy who is from the islands and he turns on the charm and then he seduces her and they have a sexual interlude and she’s open–
Dr. Gayl: A sexual interlude.
Frank: And happy with the way things were and now he’s got your–he’s got the guy’s woman. That’s Dexter. That’s too much history to have to tell in order to tell a punch line. God, people, what is the problem? Dr. Gayl–
Dr. Gayl: Crickets.
Dr. Gayl: I’m not as old as you, Frank.
Frank: What am I going to do with you people? I’ve got three people with me right now, who didn’t know what Dexter was. I know all the 40 year old guys, particularly the black guys, who saw Eddie Murphy “Raw,” knew who Dexter was and didn’t think it was the guy off of Showtime’s serial killer show.
Okay, all of that to say is, did you meet Dexter? Is that who you thought you met, even though he wasn’t from the island?
Suzanne: No, I didn’t think I met Dexter. No, huh-uh.
Suzanne: I didn’t know who I met. I was just like, “It feels really good. I’m going with this.”
Dr. Gayl: How long have you all been together?
Suzanne: We’ve been together over a year and a half.
Dr. Gayl: Okay. And how long had you been separated or broken-up from the ex?
Dr. Gayl: Ex’s?
Suzanne: The ex’s were like 12 years ago.
Dr. Gayl: Okay.
Frank: Oh, wow.
Dr. Gayl: Okay.
Frank: Oh, you’ve been doing your thing. You was hanging out.
Suzanne: I was dating for eight years.
Frank: Okay, alright. Now, back to the business side of things. Dr. Gayl, stop forcing me to ask these kinds of questions and act silly. Why do people hire dating and love life coaches?
Suzanne: Oh, that such a great question. And every dating and love life coaches are different, but there are a couple of reasons. And there’s actually some good news, I think, in here you guys. You might agree with this, but people are starting to realize that something isn’t working in their dating life. They’ve been doing the same old thing or trying the same things and it’s not getting the job done. And the other thing is, people get resigned. I call it the resignation mark, monster. Resignation sits in really fast. Like the “Yeah, right. Sure. This is the one. Oh, another date?”
Frank: Another “the one.”
Suzanne: Another date and my job is to help them stay empowered and stay excited, try new things so that they don’t fall back into those past ugly patterns that people fall back into or have been. Let’s face it, you guys, would you agree that most people in their 40’s have been married once, maybe even twice?
Frank: A lot of people. I think everybody in this room: me, Dr. Gayl and Jeff, we’ve all been married. Dr. Gayl and I have been divorced.
Dr. Gayl: Why you always have to throw me in your stuff?
Frank: I mean–
Dr. Gayl: It’s true.
Frank: Now, I don’t know how old you are, but you know, yeah. I could go there with you. I don’t know it, but I know that the people close to me, physically in proximity right now, fit that bill. Okay, moving on.
Suzanne: There’s a bunch of junk that builds up over time and people are learning, “How do I follow my heart? What do I have to do to have a relationship, a fulfilling relationship that I can maintain over time, so it doesn’t fall through my finger tips like grains of sand,” like we’ve all done. I’m raising my hand right now.
The thing people hire a dating coach for is because people are busy. Left to their own demise, they’ll go work to death or they’ll go work out or they’ll go do a bunch of other things besides go date and all that, because the resignation monster will kick in.
Dr. Gayl: Are you–
Suzanne: Those are a couple of things that are–
Dr. Gayl: Are you like the female “Hitch?” That movie with Will Smith and your homeboy from your favorite show you always like to look at.
Frank: Oh, my man Kevin James.
Dr. Gayl: Yeah.
Frank: King of Queens.
Dr. Gayl: Yes.
Frank: I’m impressed that you remembered that. You think about me.
Dr. Gayl: Sometimes.
Suzanne: Dr. Gayl, there’s nothing I would love more than going out on a date with somebody or giving them tips right there live. It would be fantastic, but no I don’t do that.
Dr. Gayl: Okay.
Suzanne: I have coaching calls with them and send them out on the court, so to say.
Dr. Gayl: What’s a coaching call like? What’s the difference between a coaching call and calling up your best girlfriend or a guy friend and being like, “Hey I have this date. What do you think we should do? What do you do differently?”
Frank: She charges them. That’s number one.
Dr. Gayl: Number one.
Suzanne: Number one.
Suzanne: Number two, I don’t get into all the myths and the cliches and the gossip and the “be careful” kind of a thing that your friends can get really protective about. I keep people excited about what’s possible with somebody, about why they’re out dating, which is not to get a relationship. It’s to share your life with someone. Isn’t it?
Frank: No! It’s to have fun, period.
Suzanne: It’s to have fun. Right. To have sex, to go travel with somebody, exactly. Whatever that looks like. That’s right.
Frank: Okay. So, how do you determine what you’re working towards? Do you go through a list of stuff? Do you have a set list or a pattern? Tell me what your intake process is like.
Dr. Gayl: Right.
Suzanne: I ask them questions. I ask them a lot of questions about what their patterns are, what their fears are, what their ultimate goal is. And then, I go through those questions that are in the book to figure out what their pulse is, what their starting points around trusting themselves or trusting men or are you able to even be spoiled or receive from a man?
I like to start there, Dr. Phil and Frank–to figure out where they’re at. Are they great at something? What are they not good at? Are they a great date? Are they boring? Are they terrified of dating? Do they have good communication skills? I don’t know. They’ve got to tell me.
Frank: Can I get a couple of those questions right now? Can I sit on your couch?
Suzanne: Sure, you want to answer one, Frank?
Dr. Gayl: Oh, boy.
Suzanne: Okay. On a scale from one to 10, Frank–
Suzanne: One being low and 10 being high, how comfortable are you in the dating process?
Frank: If I was dating, I’m extremely comfortable. I guess that’s why I’m not dating, because I’m comfortable. I was chilling when I was dating.
Dr. Gayl: What were you like dating? What were you like when you were dating? I want to know
Frank: The women wanted to be down.
Dr. Gayl: I want to know. What is that like? What is a dating Frank like?
Frank: I would do stupid, silly stuff, like a date with me would be going and getting some ice cream.
Dr. Gayl: Oh, gosh.
Frank: Maybe a movie or something like that. That’s just a date with me. I’m not particularly trying to impress with money or that kind of thing. You got a chance to talk to me and I got a chance to talk to you. What I appreciate is good conversation.
Suzanne: Uh-huh. That’s good. A little ice cream, *(inaudible) 21:34 in the oven.
Frank: Dr. Gayl’s sitting here rolling her eyes, acting like, “Uh whatever, you didn’t tell me anything interesting.” What’s a date like with you?
Dr. Gayl: Fun, exciting, adventurous.
Frank: Let’s hear it. That doesn’t tell me anything. What, do they going to the triathlon with you?
Dr. Gayl: Maybe. We might swim in the lake or go bike somewhere or–
Frank: Skinny dipping?
Dr. Gayl: Maybe.
Dr. Gayl: Isn’t that adventurous? Is that adventurous?
Frank: She tried to lie. She tried to ignore it or say–but then she had to give it up, because she knew one of her old boyfriends was listening and they know the truth.
Dr. Gayl: I don’t know about all of that.
Frank: Uh-huh. Okay, tell me about the age groups of your clients.
Suzanne: The age groups of my clients are mostly women, but I do coach some men. And their age ranges are pretty much like late 30’s, through their 60’s.
I even have some ladies that are in their 70’s. I think love is ageless. Everybody’s looking for love. They’ve still got some really great years to spend their life with somebody.
Suzanne: I like to see the hope that people have. It’s really exciting.
Frank: Is there a common trait between people that are able to find what are considered “fulfilling relationships?”
Suzanne: That’s a really, really good question.
Frank: I try to ask a good question every once in a while.
Suzanne: That’s a good question, Frank. I don’t think that there’s a common trait, but I think one of the biggest things that I’m seeing in men and women lately, is that we’re so different and men are trying to figure out women and women are trying to figure out men and trying to figure out “How do I get somebody to love me,” and “If I do this, will he love me kind of a thing,” and just gets really confusing and chaotic. Don’t you think sometimes?
Dr. Gayl: It does. And men always claim that they’re so simple and they’re not too difficult to understand, but what does that mean?
Frank: She didn’t say it. What are you asking her for?
Dr. Gayl: But then I looked at you.
Suzanne: I’m going to have to agree with the men side on that, Gayl. They are pretty simple creatures, I’ve got to tell you, I think women bring some complicatedness sometimes to it. Like we’re a little overanalyzing it and “Does he like me? Does he not like me,” all of this stuff. And men are just like, “Let’s go have some fun.”
Frank: She looked–
Suzanne: And if you think everybody does know when it’s the right click or not.
Dr. Gayl: I agree with that.
Suzanne: And if it’s not for you, great. They should go find the person that they click with. I know that we as women, we want somebody to be with us that adores us, that loves us, that cherishes us. We want that little sparkle in a man’s eyes.
Frank: Don’t we all want that?
Suzanne: We do.
Frank: Men and women?
Suzanne: You want a woman. You want a woman; I’m sure Frank, to look at you like you are so cool. I admire you, I respect you and you can see that little twinkle. Can’t you?
Frank: I happen to have that. Yes, she does think that I–yeah, whatever you just said.
Dr. Gayl: Hyping it up one time.
Frank: Yeah. Tell us why you wrote, Loveable.
Suzanne: I wrote, Loveable, because of my background and my past. Dating for eight years as a serial dater, engaged, never married. I was disappointed and frustrated over and over and over again. My heart was stumped on and I was just done, over, enough, stake in the ground. I really had to learn my lessons the hard way and I wanted to provide these 21 practices for women, so that, one, they don’t have to go through the torture that I had to go through. I could share the lessons that I learned and give them some really good practical advice on how to move and transition from dating to being in a relationship quickly so that they could understand men a little be more. They could understand themselves a little be more and have some real key skills. To have it work over the long-term.
Frank: When I hear you say “serial dater,” and you said it a couple times so far on the show, I hear you not really enjoying that. It sounds like that was–
Dr. Gayl: Like a negative connotation
Frank: Yeah, like it’s a negative connotation. And when you say more like a stable relationship, it’s like the utopia. Do you really think that the serial dating was negative or do you think it was positive? And many women often look at serial dating as a negative thing like I hear you saying. How do you weigh in there?
Suzanne: I think where I weigh in there, is it was kind of negative, for the most part. And the reason why I say it was kind of negative, because it was unhealthy. I was looking for someone to love me and until I figured out how to fully love a man and how to completely receive his love and to love and honor myself, yeah all those dates were just, “Oh my God, maybe this one will love me.” It wasn’t healthy dating. It was trying to get someone to love me.
Frank: Isn’t the unhealthy part, wanting someone to love you. I mean, admittedly, I think we all do that, but the way we do it and the effort that we put into it is what I would think is unhealthy or not. What do you think?
Suzanne: Absolutely, I think that people have got to figure out how to love and honor themselves first and foremost or during the process, which is what I did. It was through the school of hard knocks.
I had to learn as I go and figure out, “How do I do that? How do I love him and love myself? How do I give him what he wants and still get what I want?” To me that’s what I consider a healthy relationship.
Dr. Gayl: I think with a catch-22 is saying to yourself, “I want a relationship. I’m ready for a relationship,” but also being able to date at the same time and not think that every person that you meet has to be the one. You can still date and have fun, even if he isn’t the one.
Suzanne: Exactly. And if you realize he’s not the one, then put him gently back in the water. Good luck to you with a little pad on the butt. I think most people will pat. “See you later. Bye, bye. I’m just not going to call you anymore,” and that’s incredibly rude.
Dr. Gayl: Well, how do you put him back in the water, Suzanne, without being rude? And why do you have to put him back in the water? If you know he’s not the one, but you’re kicking it, you’re having a good time, you enjoy his company. He just happens not to be the one. Men probably do this to women all the time. So what’s wrong with not holding onto him and not putting him back into the water?
Suzanne: I say if you’re upfront and honest with them about that, we can do whatever we want to. But if somebody’s really looking for a partner to have a lifetime relationship with and that’s really, truly what they want, then if you know that, it’s like stringing them along though, if you’re not really upfront with them about it. And by putting them back in the water, it’s like, “Hey, thanks so much. It was fantastic getting to know you. You’re not a right fit, but I hope you find that great partner.”
Suzanne: I think it’s just part of that honesty that people aren’t getting in the dating world these days. They just stop texting or stop calling and people are like, “What the heck”
Dr. Gayl: You know what, either it way kind of hurts. Whether–
Frank: I agree.
Dr. Gayl: Because I’ve been on the receiving end and giving end of both, like you stop texting someone or somebody just stopped texting you out of the blue and you’re like, “Dag what happened? I thought we were cool.” But then, at the same time, I’ve also been a situation where someone has been upfront, like in a matter of words, “This isn’t what I wanted or this isn’t what you want, so let’s just split right here,” and both hurt. Both don’t feel good.
Suzanne: Sure. They sting a little bit.
Frank: What do–
Suzanne: But what would you rather have, Dr. Gayl? What would you rather have? Like if somebody really honors you as a person and as a woman, what feels better or feels right?
Dr. Gayl: As I stated, neither one feels good. Rationally, I think the latter is better. You leave on a good note. “Okay great. He was honest. I was honest, let’s just leave it right there.”
Suzanne: Yeah, “Thanks for the ice cream.”
Dr. Gayl: Or the movie.
Frank: Hey, the ice cream thing is just me. Other guys don’t do that. I’m an original. Thank you. Don’t attribute that to anyone–
Dr. Gayl: Or cheap.
Suzanne: Or the coffee. Thanks for the coffee.
Dr. Gayl: Right. Thanks for this cheap date.
Frank: Okay, I want to add something to what you guys were just saying and that’s many times in relationships, we tend to hold on to that other person and they, us and we find ourselves pregnant or a baby on the way or married just because we’ve invested so much time thus far or it also happens where we feel like our partner has invested so much time in the relationship. We don’t want to let them down and so we’ll just go on and get married and see how it works. It happens like that all the time and I’m not saying that they shouldn’t do that. I’m just simply saying that is one of the by-products to not throwing them back.
Suzanne: You’re exactly right, Frank, absolutely.
Dr. Gayl: Unfortunately, I have to agree.
Suzanne: I completely agree with you. And I can’t tell you how many times women have told me that walking down that isle, “I knew in my heart, my tears were not happiness to get married to this person, but tears of crap. I know I should not be marrying this person.”
Suzanne: It breaks my heart.
Dr. Gayl: And then you wake up the next morning like, “Damn.”
Frank: I’ve got a friend whose now wife was pregnant or she was having a baby and she said, “You’re either going to marry me or I’m moving back to where I’m from.” That was the foundation of them “getting married.”
Dr. Gayl: Are they happy?
Frank: He’s not particularly happy, no. I don’t know if that’s the reason, but–
Dr. Gayl: Now, what does he feel like he would have done?
Frank: I don’t know.
Dr. Gayl: Hindsight?
Frank: I don’t know. I don’t know, because he’s a different kind of guy. But that is just an example of something or other that I was just talking about. I don’t know.
Explain the practice of defining what dating is? Why is that important and what is it to you, Suzanne?
Suzanne: That’s fantastic. I kicked off this practice called the New Destiny Practice, Frank and Dr. Gayl, because a lot of people have a lot of junk in the way that has kind of built up over time. People think small, don’t you think?
Dr. Gayl: Yeah.
Suzanne: Some tend to think a little small, like “This is all I can get.” So, this exercise is dives into “dating is.” And it’s an opportunity for people to tell the truth. Like really, how is it? “Dating is fun, dating is exhausting, dating is scary, dating is awesome, dating is a walk in the park–” whatever that is for them. It’s usually some version of the negative and positive. Then, I have them cross off all the negative stuff that’s in there.
If you’re scared and dating is exhausting, how do you think your dating life is really going to go? How do you think it’s been going?
Frank: That’s pretty shrewd.
Suzanne: Pretty crummy. So, it’s an opportunity for people to think bigger. If you could have anything in your dating life, how do you want it to go?
I had this one client, she created it with exhilarating and adventurous and fun and the next thing you know, she goes out country dancing, because that’s what she loves to do. She meets the love of her life and they’re married in six months.
Suzanne: But she had to shift some stuff that was in the way. It’s like looking for a man or somebody through foggy glasses. Can you really see them, if they really walked by or came up to you?
Frank: That could be that strobe light effect.
Dr. Gayl: Or that drunken effect when you’re at the club at 2:00 A.M.
Suzanne: They look good. And then the next morning you’re like, “Oh–”
Dr. Gayl: The next morning.
Frank: She’s bleeping herself.
Suzanne: Not that I’ve ever done that before.
Frank: Right. None of us have.
Dr. Gayl: Right. None of us.
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You’re listening to Frank Relationships. We’re talking with Suzanne Muller, dating and love life coach, speaking and author of Loveable: 12 Practices for Being in a Loving and Fulfilling Relationship. Please, tell our listeners how they can find out more about you and your work.
Suzanne: Sure. People can connect with me a couple of different ways. I’ve got two Facebook pages: Happy Living Forever – Dating Made Simple, and of course, Loveable.
Loveable is due out on Amazon in early September. We’ll be taking pre-orders then. But if they want a copy now, the pre-publication versions are out and available on my website. And also, Frank, it includes a 45 minute free coaching call with me as well, if they want to take advantage of that. And then, my website is happylivingforever.com.
Frank: Tell me about the process of just loving yourself as you prepare for a fulfilling relationship?
Suzanne: I think it’s essential. I used to go around, like I said, “Will you love me? Will you love me? Will you love me,” and I didn’t even know what that was, Frank. And I started to read a lot of books. I read Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love.
Frank: I don’t know the book, so is that fiction or non-fiction?
Suzanne: It’s like self-help, basically. I just read a lot. I became this hibernated hermit and I figured, “You know what? If so and so can have a relationship, so can I.” I just think loving and honoring ourselves is just really missing today. It’s just a process. It’s just practices and skills that we can develop over time to be in a relationship where–right, how many times have not stood up for ourselves? Like we wanted to say something, but we hesitated, because maybe we didn’t think it mattered or was important. And then, it starts to build up like a big pile of rocks. I’ve done that. Have you?
Dr. Gayl: And also with that, Suzanne, the best thing that I have read and learned is that if you can’t spend time with yourself and enjoy yourself, then why would anybody else want to?
Suzanne: I love that, Dr. Gayl. I’m a huge proponent of that. People are really busy and they get really busy sometimes, because they don’t want to be with themselves. You are exactly right. Their number one company is themselves. I think that gives them good time to think; self-reflection. “What are my thoughts say?” Absolutely. That’s a great point.
Dr. Gayl: And also rather than looking for the person that you want, how about being the person that you want to date? For instance, if you like somebody that’s fit and works out, but you’re a sloth on the couch, does that match? Would that fit person want to be with this couch potato or whatever the case may be?
Suzanne: You’re exactly right. “Or when I need that person, then I’ll start working out,” because you want to look good for them. No, it’s so backwards. So, that’s really great, because I work with people that are like, “How do I help somebody be a healthy partner right now so that they’re already that when they jump into the relationship with somebody,” versus, “When I’m in the relationship then I’m all done and I don’t have to do any self-reflection. I don’t have to do anymore growth and development. I’m good. I found my relationship.” No.
Frank: We’ve all heard stories about people or we’ve all been people whose picker is off. How do you help a person adjust their picker?
Dr. Gayl: My cousin used to say that about me. “Your picker is off.”
Suzanne: My picker was off for years. One of the things I have people look at and evaluate is not like what qualities do you want in somebody. Have you guys ever asked somebody, “What do you want in somebody,” and they list like 50 different things.
Frank: Yeah. I saw a show recently–maybe it was Ricki Lake or something. I don’t know. It was some show.
Dr. Gayl: What the heck were you doing watching Ricki Lake?
Frank: I don’t even know what show it was. It was on.
Dr. Gayl: Especially the new Ricki Lake.
Frank: My wife was home–
Dr. Gayl: Blame it on your wife. Okay.
Frank: She’s home a lot, right now. She just had a baby and all that kind of stuff and so she does the talk show circuit: Wendy Williams and Ricki Lake. I actually do get a kick out of Wendy Williams–and then Dr. Oz. That’s the line-up. Some of that stuff is just on. I don’t even know whose show it was but–why are you picking on me? That was not even the point.
Dr. Gayl: And you completely explained yourself.
Frank: I don’t even know what my question was. What was my question?
Dr. Gayl: I don’t remember.
Suzanne: What was your question?
Frank: What was I talking about?
Dr. Gayl: I love how I can do that.
Frank: This is not how talk show hosts are supposed to conduct themselves.
Dr. Gayl: Stay on target. Stay on target.
Suzanne: I remember.
Frank: Okay. Thank you.
Dr. Gayl: Thanks, Suzanne.
Suzanne: You were talking about the big–you’re welcome–like, “Oh yeah. That’s it. Ding.” You were talking about the big lists that people have as far as the qualities that they want in somebody and they’re really specific.
Dr. Gayl: I’m certain you were about to bash a woman for having a checklist or something. Right?
Frank: Yes, absolutely. It was The Real. That was the show that it was, I think. The lady said she had a list of 85 things. But the women were giving her hell. The women on the show were giving her hell for having a list of 85 things. So, I don’t need to bash.
Suzanne: I would. I would.
Frank: Yes, alright. See, thank you.
Suzanne: I believe a couple of things. First of all, I think there are some key things–like maybe five to eight key things that would have somebody–if you look inside and say, “What would have me, as a person, as Suzanne be fulfilled with a partner for a lifetime? What are those key things that I really want?” And one of the things for me is that I want a partner to travel the world with me and not be one of those stressful partners, but one of those people that will laugh with you if you get lost. That was important to me.
I also knew and have made a really hard decision in my life that I am not going to have kids. I think kids are great, but I wanted to look at the big picture and I wanted a partner *(inaudible) 41:29 and I’m 43 years old and I looked at that. That was a really important area of life for myself.
Dr. Gayl: What age did you come to that conclusion, Suzanne?
Suzanne: About 40 years old. I was about 40 years old. And I really went back and forth on it for quite awhile. And I know that if God, for some reason, blesses me with a child I would be a fantastic mom and it would be fantastic. But those are the real important areas of life that people really need to start looking at. There are maybe just a handful. And of course there’s connection and then the spark. But people get too picky about–“He’s got to be this, this and that.” I think people are going to lose opportunities in a possibility of something really great with somebody.
Frank: I’ve got a theory and I discussed this on a previous show. I don’t think you need a list when dating or selecting a mate–a predetermined list. I think, basically, you can be in the moment and just be clear about how you feel at a given period of time. If somebody does something where you feel uncomfortable or someone does something that you don’t like, you don’t have to check and see if that’s on your list–
Dr. Gayl: Not a list, but qualities that you would desire for your mate to have.
Frank: Okay, so on your list, you determine that you don’t want somebody that picks your nose. Well, that crosses me off the list automatically. But if you’re–
Dr. Gayl: Not frivolous things
Frank: But if you’re sitting there with someone who’s picking their nose and you realize that you don’t even care, it didn’t matter to you that–
Dr. Gayl: No, that’s a list. I’m talking about qualities. Like someone that’s compassionate versus someone who has to be 6’8″ for black people, since you were talking about black people earlier, light-skinned or dark-skinned, curly hair–that type of thing.
Frank: Qualities, a list. Some of it is the same.
Suzanne: But here’s what I find though, Frank. Here’s the problem, though–is that when I ask people and look at their ex-boyfriends or ex-husbands or ex-girlfriends and they have their list that I make with them and there’s like five to eight and I ask them, “Okay, when you look at your past relationships, what percentage of those things did these people have in your past,” like past relationships. “They’ll go 20 percent, 30 percent.” And people wonder why you’re suffering and not happy with them, that’s why.
Dr. Gayl: Because those people didn’t even meet your qualifications. You settled.
Frank: That’s hindsight. That’s not quite a fair–
Dr. Gayl: Well, finally I’ll put myself into it. I’ll self-disclose.
Frank: Oh, okay.
Dr. Gayl: That’s not hindsight. Some of it is hindsight and some of it is in the moment–
Dr. Gayl: Right. You kind of think that maybe you can change some things or maybe things will change over time. And I know a lot of women that feel that way like, “Well, he has this on paper and I can change some other things.” And so that’s how you get caught up as well.
I often think that if you don’t have qualities or things that you want in a mate, then you just walk into anything blind and you can end up settling for anything.
Frank: Or you can be in-tune with what you’re enjoying right then and there and you can be in-tune everyday. If the day ever comes where you no longer enjoy this, then you can role and there’s nothing wrong with that. Chirp, chirp.
Dr. Gayl: That means we disagree with you.
Suzanne: Chirp, chirp. I think that there’s some preparation that people can do so that they can start to select partner for them.
Dr. Gayl: Yes.
Frank: I’m listening.
Suzanne: That’s the point of the Busted Man Picker, because when people keep picking the wrong people for them, something’s off, something’s just wonky and people have–
Suzanne: Just got to do a better job of picking–wonky, I know. How about that?
Frank: Was that a Switzerland thing? Is that a white thing? Is that a Denver thing? Break it down? Help me out. Where did wonky come from?
Suzanne: Where did wonky–I don’t know.
Frank: Jeff’s a white guy. He doesn’t know where wonky came from.
Suzanne: Kind of like off, wacky. Maybe that’s just me. I’m kind of this crazy white girl.
Frank: Alright. Actually it’s pretty cool to make up your own terms, because we’ve got thousands of people listening to this show.
Dr. Gayl: And they’re going to be like, “Where did I get that word from?”
Frank: Nice job, Suzanne.
Suzanne: Think about all of the dating myths and clichés that are out there today. It’s ridiculous. We might as well bring some new cool words into the vocabulary.
Frank: Here, here. So, if you’re going to say “wonky” make sure you follow it with, “Suzanne Muller told me about that. I got that from Suzanne Muller.” Okay, and then it’s going to get back to you and you’re going to be the coolest person. How’s that?
Frank: Alright. In a relationship what does that exactly mean and what do we give up to “be in a relationship,” if we give up anything, which I am probably going to disagree with you about.
Suzanne: I personally don’t think we need to give up anything to be in a relationship. I think that’s why people don’t want to be in a relationship, because they have to sacrifice and feel constrained and they’re in a prison. It’s like, “I don’t want to be in a relationship, if that’s why it feels like that.” That’s why I didn’t want to be in a relationship, to be honest. I would rather be out there just dating and having coffee with people.
What I do believe though is people should be receiving value, right? Shouldn’t a partner add value to your life and make you happier as a person?
Frank: There you go. Jeff is over here. He’s got his chest out. He’s happy. I’m happy. Dr. Gayl’s sucking her teeth. I’m really happy. Alright, yes. Continue, I’m sorry to cut you off. No, I’m not, but go on.
Suzanne: No. I think that’s great. That’s my philosophy. I don’t think we should be giving up anything. I think people that have sacrificed and, “Oh, I’ll compromise this–”
Frank: Oh, yeah.
Dr. Gayl: No, but you do have to compromise because no two people are the same and you do have to compromise things when you’re in a relationship.
Suzanne: Give me an example, Dr. Gayl.
Frank: But it’s not a sacrifice. Yeah, give her an example.
Dr. Gayl: Geez.
Frank: Okay, alright. We’ll let her come back to that.
Dr. Gayl: Yeah, alright, thank you.
Suzanne: Let me give you an example, okay? My boyfriend–I don’t like to do the dishwasher. Okay? I like to do the laundry. So, my boyfriend knows I’m not going to be doing the dishwasher all of the time. So, guess what? He does it. Is that a sacrifice or is that an agreement that we have or something that works between us? We’ve created something that works between us.
Frank: Yeah, I’m with you. And it’s definitely not a sac–I don’t believe in the use of the term sacrifice.
Dr. Gayl: Sacrifice is completely different from compromise. One of my friends that I view that’s happily married, she says all the time, “One you’re with someone that is the one and you love deeply, even if you hate it, you do those things because you love that person.”
Frank: If you want to do it. If you don’t want to do, you don’t do it because you love that person. Now, you might get something out of doing it–because you love that person you might get something out of it, meaning, “Hey, I love her. She likes popcorn. I don’t feel going to get no popcorn tonight, but it’s going to put a smile on her face so I get the benefit of that smile.” So you’re not just doing it because you love them, you’re getting something out of it.
Dr. Gayl: You’re holding about relationships Frank is that it feeds some type of narcissistic–
Frank: What? Okay, go deeper. I’ll leave the floor open.
Dr. Gayl: Everything and how I view you on relationships, everything you do in a relationship is for some type of need that’s being met for you.
Frank: It is. Everything we do–the thing is everything we do period, it’s not just in relationships, every single thing we do, we do because we get something out of it. There’s no exception to that. How do you think relationships are different?
Dr. Gayl: No. There are things that people do for other people because it makes the other person happy, because, “I love this person, so I’m going to do it for them and it gives them gratification.”
Frank: But even when that’s the case, you get something out of them being gratified by you being able to say, “I put a smile on her face,” or you being able to say, “I did something that benefited someone else,” that goes toward our definition of who were are–in many ways it’s affirming. So–
Dr. Gayl: But that’s a selfish point of view.
Frank: It is very selfish, but there’s nothing wrong with it being selfish.
Dr. Gayl: I disagree.
Frank: It’s just most of us are too arrogant to admit we’re being selfish. We want to be able to–selfish is often used as a weapon. So, I want to be able to point at you and tell you something you did was selfish and that I didn’t like it–and really that’s all it was. I didn’t like, but because me saying I didn’t like it isn’t generally a game changer, I need something a little heavier, I need something more. So, instead of saying just the truth, “Which is I didn’t like.” That is the barebones truth. “I didn’t like what you did. However, we need a bigger weapon and a bigger weapon is to call somebody selfish. But the thing is there’s nothing wrong with doing something that’s selfish. That’s why we’re all doing what we’re doing. I don’t care what you’re doing, you are being selfish in doing and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with. You and I are talking too much. Suzanne you’ve got something to say.
Suzanne: This is a great conversation and Dr. Gayl, I can certainly see your point and I can see where you’re coming from too, Frank. I think it’s a shift in context that healthy relationships are coming into, because I think selfish is a negative word. “Oh my God, I can’t be selfish.” However, I think what you’re pointing to Frank, is that if you’re doing something from your heart, because you want to give to that person you get the gratification of a smile on your face because they’re happier and vice versa. I think people do too many things in order to get something like as a strategy and that’s–
Dr. Gayl: That’s the difference. That’s the difference.
Suzanne: Over time. But if somebody gives from their heart and doesn’t expect anything back in return that is truly giving out of love out of a new context, because you want somebody to be happier.
My boyfriend spoils me too death. He gives me so much and then there are times of like, “I want to give to him, but guess what? He’s not giving to me in order for me to give back.” I might say, “Thank you,” and guess what? That is plenty for him. Does that communicate?
Dr. Gayl: That’s just how you guys’ love tanks are filled or your love languages.
Suzanne: Yes. That’s exactly right Dr. Gayl.
Dr. Gayl: Quite frankly, Frank. I wouldn’t want someone to do something for me, because it’s fulfilling for them.
Frank: Why not?
Dr. Gayl: Why would you do that? Again, it’s selfish and selfish is a negative connotation.
Frank: But it’s not negative. The concept around it being negative–I just talked about it. The reason we say it’s negative, because we use it as a weapon when we want to. I promise you, if you didn’t use–
Dr. Gayl: That’s the meaning of the freaking word. It’s a negative connotation.
Frank: I’m telling you–
Dr. Gayl: Yes, it is.
Frank: I’m selfish–
Dr. Gayl: It’s a negative connotation–
Frank: I’m selfish.
Dr. Gayl: And I don’t want to be with if you’re selfish.
Frank: And I do for people all the time,
Dr. Gayl: Because it’s for you–
Dr. Gayl: Not because you’re doing it to help someone else out. That’s crazy. That’s stupid.
Frank: It’s absolutely for me. When your boyfriend does something for you and you say, “Thank you.”
Dr. Gayl: Wait a minute. You talked for a long time. Let me just talk. So, if you’re doing something for someone–
Frank: This is my show–
Dr. Gayl: I don’t care. I’m you’re co-host. If you’re doing something for someone only to fulfill a need for you, that’s selfish.
Frank: I didn’t say only.
Dr. Gayl: Yes, you do.
Frank: No, I did not.
Dr. Gayl: Play the tape back. Yes, you did. You said it because you wanted to fulfill a need for you and–
Frank: That is the primal reason, not the only reason.
Dr. Gayl: What the heck. You’re talking in freaking circles. Listen, if you’re going to do something for me, do it because you want to out of the goodness of your heart and you’re giving this 80 percent right now in the relationship and you want to bring your part to the table and you want this person to be happy. You genuinely want this person to be happy and see a smile on their face and blah, blah, blah and roses and flowers and all that crap. Not because it’s something fulfilling in you and because you’re selfish. That’s just crazy.
Frank: You officially have the last word.
Dr. Gayl: Ding, ding, ding, ding.
Frank: You’re listening to Frank Relationships and we’ve been talking with Suzanne Muller, dating and love life coach, speaker and author of Loveable: 12 Practices for Being in a Loving and Fulfilling Relationship. One more time. Please tell our listeners how they can find out more about you and your work.
Suzanne: People can connect with me in several ways. I’ve got two Facebook Fan Pages: Happy Living Forever: Dating Made Simple and of course Loveable. And then people can also connect with me on my website, which is happylivingforever.com.
Frank: Along today’s journey we’ve discussed the ongoing conversation between Dr. Gayl and I around selfish and selfless conversation. We’ve discussed the different ways that we can transition from dating to being in a relationship and we just had fun.
Dr. Gayl: Did we?
Frank: We did.
Dr. Gayl: Okay.
Frank: I hope you’ve had as much fun as I’ve had learning about how to easily transition from dating to being in a relationship. As always it’s my wish for you to walk away from this conversation with a heaping helping of useful information that’ll help you create a relationship that’s as loving and accepting as possible. Yep, even business relationships. Let us know what you thought of today’s show at: facebook.com/relationshipflove, on Twitter at @mrfranklove or at franklove.com.
On behalf of my producer, Phileta Legette, my assistant producer, Anayza Stewart, and the man on the boards back here Jeff, this is Frank Love. Keep rising.
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