Uncommunicated Expectations

Silent Suffering: Uncommunicated Expectations

A few weeks ago, I discussed putting yourself back out there and managing attention seeking behavior. Today, I want to talk about what happens after you’ve met someone. How do you effectively express your needs in a culture of uncommunicated expectations?

Let’s assume you’ve cozied up with a partner who shares similar goals. You’re mutually aligned in your desires, interests and big-picture life plans. This is where a lot of couples fall prey to comfortability. They stop putting in the work. 

Open Communication: Recommended Daily

Just because you’ve found your person, doesn’t mean your work is done and it’s smooth sailing till death do you part. Often the strongest, most compatible couples fall victim to uncommunicated expectations, miscommunication, and false assumptions.

Just as it was important to find someone that shared the same intentions, likes, or interests as you, it is equally important to ensure the expectations within those shared beliefs and ideals are communicated routinely.

It is just as important to address the uncommunicated expectations of your daily routines as it is the big life-altering decisions. Small false assumptions can slowly cripple a couple overtime. 

How often is it the small, every-day things that go wrong resulting in a disproportionately large reaction because you were fed up and just exploded?

An apple a day keeps the Doctor away, but daily dialogue keeps the divorce attorneys at bay. 

Nourish your relationship with a daily check in. Before you go to sleep each night, open a dialogue with your partner. Make this part of your bedtime routine, and never go to bed angry again. Ask each other things like:

He Should Have Known

Your partner can not read your mind. You cannot expect them to know and remember all of your likes, dislikes, preferences, etc. 

For example, I once had a client who was absolutely irate that her match had taken her out on his boat for their third date. When I pushed her for clarification she explained that on their first date she told him, “I’m not a very outdoorsy person.”

She then felt as if he hadn’t listened to her and ultimately disrespected her by taking her to do something she (in her mind) had explicitly told him she would hate.

From the outside looking in, it’s clear this was just a matter of uncommunicated expectations. Don’t assume others will interpret your words correctly. Be specific when you communicate your needs, boundaries, etc.

At the center of all failed partnerships is a breakdown of communication, in part because we tend to assume things rather than talk about them. All too often we take each other and for granted and in that, we make assumptions about one another that we compartmentalize silently.

In fact, the better a couple knows one another, the more likely they are to make assumptions instead of asking the other person directly. And you know what they say about people who assume things...they make an ass out of you and me.

Do not assume, just ask.

No Days Off

People are constantly evolving, as are our relationships. It’s an organic process. That said, expectations of a relationship can change over time.  

Maybe you have to relocate for work and your partner is not moving with you. You never consciously entered into a long-distance relationship, but now here you are.

No matter what the pending distance you will soon face, it will challenge your commitment with a decline in the amount of quality time you will spend together. So, be sure to set and communicate newfound expectations, as it relates to this new facet of your relationship.  

How do you navigate this new normal? Do you now need to talk or FaceTime daily or multiple times a week? Whatever you both decide needs to be discussed before moving day. Without setting and discussing these expectations, especially when there are sudden and unexpected changes, no relationship, long-distance or otherwise, will survive.

When in Doubt Talk it Out

Have you ever heard someone say the cause of their divorce was too much communication? Because I haven’t.

Don’t assume your partner is aware of something if you haven’t discussed it. Conversely, don’t use your partner’s lack of awareness as a weapon. Often, couples will accuse one another of not being present in the relationship if the other was not aware of a particular conflict or issue. 

No one will ever fault you for talking through things to establish and clarify expectations. 

Couples that maintain strong bonds, long-term relationships, and successful marriages put all their cards on the table. They will communicate anything and everything to one another out of mutual respect and love. It is not an annual exercise, it’s a daily process that fortifies even the strongest of relationships.

So don’t let your relationship fall ill to uncommunicated expectations. Think of communication as a necessary part of your relationship’s daily upkeep. So be sure to get your daily dose of dialogue in. You will build a strong, lasting bond with your partner that will be able to withstand whatever changes come your way.


Imbalance in Your Relationship

Imbalance in Your Relationship: Should You Stay or Should You Go?

Nothing in life is even, fair, or balanced. There is always a give and take, credits and debits. But what happens when there’s a significant imbalance in your relationship for a long period of time? When one of you isn’t pulling your weight and the other's love tank is running on fumes?

Relationships are never 50/50, despite couples unfairly using this as the golden rule. Sometimes the split is 60/40 or even a 25/75 ratio. Shifting efforts is common and expected.

When it becomes a problem is when those inequities remain imbalanced long-term. Partnerships don’t run on autopilot. Both parties must take the driver’s seats at times. Great partnerships have two sets of keys and you both need to drive from time to time.

You Get Out What You Put in

My great-grandmother would always give me this advice:

With anything you do, the outcome will always reflect the amount of effort you put into it.

If you’re not expending the energy it takes to keep your relationship going, it will suffer. 

Relationships aren’t passive pleasures. They require continual effort and constant work. When one person stops actively participating, both people feel the effects. One person can only carry the weight for so long before it fails.  

Don't Put Your Effort Into Overdrive

So what happens when there is an imbalance in your relationship and your partner is perfectly content with cruising along in the passenger seat? If your primary Love Language is quality time or acts of service, you probably tend to make life pretty easy for them.

Years ago, I had a boyfriend whose job required him to move every two years. It was a financially sound, yet nomadic life best suited for someone single. When we first met, we were only an hour apart. But soon, visiting him required a flight instead of a tank of gas.

Before every move, we set expectations of how often we needed to talk on the phone and see one another before he moved on to the next new town.

I should note, made a conscious decision to view each of his relocations as a positive thing. Now, we could experience so many new firsts together.

So, taking two planes to see him was an adventure resulting in new shared experiences instead viewing it as a detriment of distance. After years of this, I paused one day and realized how much inequity of effort there really was in my relationship. His life became so easy. He no longer had to get on a plane, or drive to see me because he knew, even expected, me to do all the leg work of travel. He no longer had to try, because he knew I would.

Does the Weight of Your Effort Need to Go on a Diet?

I realized that all of the growth, strength of this long-distance relationship was solely attributed to the heaviness of the sacrifices and effort that I put in.

So, I stopped. I went on an effort diet. I stopped getting on planes. I stopped driving hours through multiple states. I stopped getting a house sitter for my pets. I simply stopped putting that level of effort into us, with the belief that he would jump into the driver’s seat.  

Guess what? We crashed and burned. Connectivity and communication halted. It is not easy to let go of the heaviness of your efforts, but at what point do you demand to fix the imbalance in your relationship? When it was his turn, he dropped the ball. I often would talk to him about it, inviting him to visit or join in on various activities in my city to no avail.  

Could I have continued as I had been? Yes. But, why would anyone opt to stay with someone who consciously chooses to not try? As a result, our relationship faded away, but sometimes break ups are positive things

Divorce Your Effort

If there is an imbalance in your relationship, and things aren’t 50/50 don’t panic. Just like life, relationships consist of constant ebb and flow. If there is no shift in the weight of your effort compared to your partner’s for a significant length of time, that’s when you need to take action.

Relax your level of effort and allow your partner to take the wheel. 

You will quickly see whether they’re a true partner, or your relationship’s success falls solely on your shoulders. If that’s the case, disengage from the imbalance in your relationship and reinvest that effort into yourself.

Self care is healthy for you and for your future relationship. Then, you can focus on finding a partner who wants to invest in you. Never doubt it, you are worth the effort.


Date a Doctor

So You Want to Date a Doctor?

Well, you've come to the right place.

First, on behalf of all of us here at Executive Matchmakers, I would like to say a sincere thank you to all of the health care workers and front line staff for their continued selfless work during the COVID-19 pandemic. We urge you all to please continue to follow all CDC Guidelines to keep everyone safe, especially if you want to date a doctor!

  • Stay home except for necessary outings.
  • When you have to go out, practice social distancing.
  • Wear a mask when you interact with anyone outside of your household.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Do not gather in large groups.

How to Meet Single Doctors

Right now, it’s more difficult than ever to meet new people in a safe way. It can be virtually impossible for a medical professional to carve time out of his busy schedule to sort through pages of dating profiles. That’s why we’re here; we have matched thousands of happy couples.

For our male clients, we do all the hard work of narrowing the overwhelming dating pool down to potential matches that fit into his lifestyle.

Eligible women are encouraged to join our matchmaking database at no cost; it’s safe, confidential, and discreet. Don’t worry, we will never spam you or sell any of your information. Apply online with recent photos and you could be on a date with one of our Bachelors in no time.

Our professional staff will review your application, and if we think you may be a fit for one of our clients, we will contact you to set up an interview with one of our Matchmakers.

What to Expect When You Date a Doctor

Even before the first date you can make some pretty fair assumptions. For instance, the guy finished Med School, so you know he’s smart, driven, and committed. All highly-coveted characteristics in the dating pool. 

When dating a doctor, you can expect additional quarantine and/or sanitation policies and procedures. I wouldn’t advise an anti-masker or anti-vaxxer to date a doctor. Remember the Pandemic is not forever, but there may be times throughout his career that will require additional medical precautions.

His patients come first. There will be many times that you will have to take a bit of a backseat to his work. Put your ego aside and try to put yourself in the patient’s shoes. Are your dinner reservations really that important in the grand scheme of life and death?

Dating a doctor requires you to exercise patience and flexibility. There will be late nights, long hours, and weekends on-call. So, learn to love your alone time. He will have to cancel plans sometimes. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s ghosting you.

Avoid making concrete plans that cannot be altered like tickets to an event or travel arrangements without consulting him first. If something on his schedule prevents him from going, you’re left holding the tickets.

Doctors have often experienced emotional trauma at work. Studies show many health care workers experience similar Post-Traumatic Stress symptoms as combat veterans. It’s important that you can be a safe place for your partner to land after a taxing shift. If he needs to unload, just listen.

Give him a shoulder rub, open his favorite bottle of wine, find a light-hearted show you both love that will help him unwind. Doctors spend all their time giving of themselves to their patients. It’s good for them to have a partner who fills their love tank at the end of a long day

Once again, we would like to express our gratitude and condolences to all of the men and women fighting the Coronavirus, and we urge everyone who reads this to do your part to slow the spread of the virus.

Stay home, stay safe, and date a doctor.


Feeling Lonely

Are You Feeling Lonely or Are You Just Alone?

One can be standing in an arena full of people and still be feeling lonely. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. On the other hand, you’re capable of feeling completely fulfilled even when you’re all by yourself

Today, I want to focus on providing strategies that will help you achieve the latter. 

According to Psychology Today, long-term feelings of loneliness can have the same physical impact on the body as smoking or obesity. Extended social isolation can even lead to PTSD, anxiety, and addiction.

It's Okay if You're Feeling Lonely

As we move through the Holiday Season, I want you to be mindful of your emotional state. Studies show people are more likely to suffer from depression during this time of year. And recently single people are particularly vulnerable to feeling lonely and hopeless.

When you’re used to being one-half of a whole, it can be difficult to learn how to be your own person.

You’re used to having a partner and having help. You used to negotiate chores and manage a household, but now you’re stuck doing everything by yourself.

It’s okay to feel frustrated and inadequate for those few moments, as long as you know that’s not actually true. You have to love yourself first and foremost. 

When you have a moment of weakness, allow yourself to exist in that moment. We often run from uncomfortable feelings, but I encourage you to sit with them for a beat and examine the root. These moments are a natural part of the healing process and necessary for learning how to be by yourself. 

Focus on Being Alone

If you don’t have children in the home, your newfound silence can feel deafening. An empty house can be the loneliest place on earth if you’re not careful.

It’s important that you learn to find security in the silence. Sit with it. Explore it. Whether you call it meditation, prayer, or quiet time, science has proven that dedicating time to silently focusing inward has phenomenal health benefits for the brain and body.

Use this quiet time to learn how to be happy alone. Learn how to be comfortable in your own presence. Fall in love with yourself. Engage in self-care. Finish all those projects you’ve been putting off. Do something that’s good for your soul, like volunteering or donating to a good cause. Try a new hobby. Reach out to an old friend. Start a new healthy habit.

Instead of dwelling on what’s missing in your life, fill your time with positive things.

Getting Back Out There

Whether you’re fresh off a tough break up or you’re dealing with the death of a spouse, or the heartbreak of divorce, putting yourself back out there is scary. 

It can feel like a lonely process full of uncertainty and self-doubt, but you’re not alone. Our team is dedicated to helping you navigate this journey as comfortably as possible. In addition to our proven matchmaking skills, we can provide one-on-one coaching, expectation management, and professional advice.

Reflect on your previous relationships and dating habits. What will you do differently next time? Consider what, if anything, led to the destruction of your relationship? How can you keep that from happening again?

What is it about dating that keeps you up at night? Have these hard conversations with your Matchmaker.

If it has been more than 10 years since you’ve been single, be prepared for some changes to the dating scene. Online dating and dating apps have really affected the culture and attitudes of a lot of daters. Disappearing acts like Ghosting are unfortunately a common occurrence in the digital dating space.

However, people are less likely to engage in poor dating behavior if there is a Matchmaker or other third party involved.


Love Languages in the time of COVID

Love Languages in the Time of COVID

Are you familiar with the Five Love Languages? Today, we're going to take a look at all Five Love Languages in the time of COVID, and how to express each of them in a safe and healthy way.

Gary Chapman developed the theory over 25 years ago. The Five Love Languages states that everyone has a preference on how they like to give and receive love.

The Five Love Languages are: Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service, Quality Time, and Physical Touch.

Throughout 2020, we have had to adapt and learn new ways to exist in a world where our interactions with other people are more limited and restricted than any other period in modern history. 

For single people, this has been particularly challenging. Humans are social animals. Isolation is unnatural and uncomfortable. Lucky for us, we have technology which provides safer alternatives to in-person physical contact. It’s not a perfect system, especially if you’re looking for love.

Words of Affirmation

Let’s start with an easy one, shall we?

It only takes a few seconds of your time to make someone else’s entire day. Compliment the people you care about. Send them a quick text that you’re thinking of them. When they say or do something that makes you happy, tell them so. 

The good news is that a global pandemic doesn’t hinder our ability to speak this love language. Whether it’s a Zoom call or a carrier pigeon, it’s important that you make an effort to express your feelings, especially if Words of Affirmation is one of your partner’s primary Love Languages. 

Gifts

Luckily, we live in an age where you can have pretty much any good or service delivered to your door quickly and safely. We have options, it’s not just orchids or roses anymore, fellas. So, this is another Love Language that hasn’t been hit too terribly hard by COVID-19.

Gifts need not be expensive or extravagant. Of course, they can be, but the point is to fill your partner’s love tank, not shower her with diamonds. In a world where restaurants and bars are closed, use small tokens and gifts to fill the void caused by the Coronavirus. 

Acts of Service

This is where things start to get a little more difficult. Social distancing makes doing the small everyday acts of kindness tougher. This is the best Love Language for creativity and thinking outside the box.

Try to anticipate and alleviate your partner’s pain points to the best of your ability. What is causing her stress at this moment in her life? Is there anything you can do to lessen or eliminate that burden?

Quality Time

I’ve seen a trend online where couples are complaining about having too much Quality Time while they’re on lockdown together. 

So, what I want to do is look at the opposite. Single adults who live alone are experiencing the worst of this, in my very humble opinion. 

If you don’t have children who live at home, there’s a good chance you’ve spent a significant portion of the last 9 months in complete isolation. I know I have.

How can you spend Quality Time with someone when you’re not allowed to be around them?

Find new ways to do and experience things together. Even if you can’t be in one another’s space, there are safe, socially distant, outdoor activities you can do together.

A lot of places like museums and zoos have added features to their websites where you can do virtual tours and watch live feeds. It’s not the same as being there in-person holding hands, but it’s the next best thing.

Keep in mind, the objective is Quality Time, not necessarily quantity. Your goal is to show her spending time with her and learning more about her is important to you even though it’s not easy to do right now. Women want to see you put in an effort especially when there are barriers to overcome. 

FaceTime is your friend. I know the last thing you want to do between back-to-back Zoom meetings is more video calls, but being able to see one another right now is so important. Calls and texts only go so far.

Physical Touch

To all of my Physical Touch people, I know your pain and I wish I could give you all a hug!

My poor dog practically runs and hides when he hears me say the word cuddle these days. We are struggling, but we are surviving!

“Make sure you are taking time to connect physically with your loved ones. Give a shoulder rub. Cozy up as you read a book. Just be mindful to break from the digital routine for some good, old fashioned connection via Physical Touch.”

- Gary Chapman, on Love Languages in the time of COVID

The nation’s top epidemiologists recommend wearing a mask when interacting with anyone outside of your household, this includes during intercourse. So kissing is on hold.

Get creative. One woman built a Hug Glove out of clear plastic with sleeves.

We need to touch and we need to be touched. Depriving oneself of human contact can lead to a decline in both physical and mental health.

It’s important that you really take the time to weigh the pros and cons and do a risk assessment before partaking in physical intimacy with another person during this time.

I encourage you to lean on Words of Affirmation, Gifts, and Acts of Service during this time. If you’re unable to see one another in person safely, make sure you’re filling each other’s love tanks in other ways, lest the spark die out. 

What are your Love Languages in the time of COVID? You can take the quiz here to find out.