Histori Personale

I paid someone $15,000 to help me find boyfriends. What he taught me shook my foundations

I paid someone $15,000 to help me find boyfriends. What he taught me shook my

Can we understand from getting to know someone how long this relationship will last? In the wake of 20 years of being involved with the wrong men, I found myself at 40 with two divorces and a fatalistic outlook on relationships. After failing for so long, I was tempted to stop.

Throughout my career I have been a successful corporate marketing executive, navigating highly complex global organizations while building new departments and enterprise-wide capabilities. I have been a leader and a mentor. I have spoken on important panels.

But as I grew professionally, my personal life was a disaster.

I married my first husband at 29 and didn't understand the danger signals.

The second time was worse.

I realized I was in a hurry, I was always in a hurry. I started to think that I should end the acquaintances.

Then I met Bela. This beautiful, middle-aged woman listened intently to my story. I knew she had counseled many people who tended to fall in love too hard and too soon and I was hoping she could help me.

During our first call in early 2021, she outlined her rules for clients. First, I had to turn off all dating app notifications so I wouldn't let a 'hey star' text interrupt my day. According to Bela, the meeting should be a complement to my already full life. She told me that I should only check the apps for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 in the evening, reply to the promising messages and get on with life. She also said that I should date several men at the same time, without committing to a single one for at least three months.

I had concerns about her rules. Dating multiple men seemed antithetical to the commitment I so desperately wanted.

Before I signed up, she said she wanted me to be clear that she was a dating coach and not a matchmaking agency. She would help me create online profiles, take professional photos, and even log into apps with me to view profiles and respond to potential conversations. Basically, she wouldn't be on the hook for finding me a partner. Instead, she would teach me to look for the right one. When she told me she had a zero percent divorce rate after being in this business for over 12 years, I was amazed. I wondered how many clients she had because that statistic seemed absurd. However, I was hopeful.

Pastaj Bela më tha se duhej ta paguaja 15,000 dollarë në vit për trajnimin. Unë qesha me zë të lartë. Më kishin pushuar nga puna ime prestigjioze e marketingut gjatë Covid dhe kursimet i përdora për t'u ushqyer. Në fillim të vitit 2021, nuk i kisha ato para të gatshme për t'i hedhur te një trajner takimesh – një profesion që as e dija se ekzistonte ditë më parë. Pagesat e mia ndaj saj nuk garantonin se do të përfundoja e dashuruar.

Megjithëse Bela nuk më premtoi se do të gjeja patjetër të duhurin, ajo më siguroi se do të dilja nga përvoja duke e njohur veten mjaft mirë që përfundimisht të isha gati të zgjidhja dikë që do të nxirrte versionin tim më të mirë. Nuk i thashë askujt që po mendoja ta punësoja sepse kisha frikë nga reagimet. Isha e shqetësuar se do të dëgjoja gjithçka, nga keqardhja (oh, e gjora, ke nevojë kaq shumë për ndihmë!) te tmerri (kjo grua po të mashtron!) deri te neveria (nëse ke kaq shumë para, duhet t'i dhurosh në një kauzë të denjë në vend të kësaj). Por, i mblodha paratë sepse, teorikisht, njohja më në fund e vetes dukej si rezultati më i mirë i mundshëm në atë kohë. Sa herë që bëja pagesat e mia, më duhej t'i kujtoja vetes se ky ishte një investim në vetëvlerësimin.

Gjatë seancës sonë të parë me pagesë, Bela më bëri të nënshkruaja një kontratë takimi me veten time, në të cilën unë rashë dakord të ndiqja rregullat e saj. Ajo më bëri ta lexoja me zë të lartë.

Më pas, Bela më goditi me “a-ha!” njohuri që shuan çdo dyshim të vazhdueshëm për punësimin e saj. “Ti i përdore ish-burrat e tu po aq sa ata të përdorën ty”, më tha ajo. Ajo shpjegoi se projeksioni im i asaj që mendoja se jeta duhej të dukej, sabotoi çdo marrëdhënie që nga fillimi. Ajo kishte të drejtë. Sa herë që mendoja se krijova martesën e përsosur, në fakt isha në lumturi injorante.

Dija për 'flamujt e kuq', por shpesh i minimizoja. Bela më mësoi gjithashtu për 'flamujt rozë' - diçka që nuk është aspak e mirë, megjithëse ia vlen t'i kushtohet vëmendje, siç është bixhozi. A merr formën e një loje mujore pokeri me miqtë e tij apo po pret ditën e parë dhe të pesëmbëdhjetë të muajit për të ngarkuar llogarinë e tij në DraftKings? Dhe mësova për 'flamujt bezhë', të cilët janë gjërat e vogla, të bezdisshme që nuk prishin marrëdhëniet, por do të jenë çështjet për të cilat ka të ngjarë të luftoni gjatë rrugës së bashku. Për shembull, ai është i çrregullt dhe ti je tepër e rregullt. Ajo gjithashtu më tha të kërkoja 'flamuj të gjelbër' që tregonin se një burrë kishte cilësi që do të përmirësonin jetën time.

Bela i ndalon klientët e saj të kenë intimitet për të paktën tre muaj. Më lejonte të puthesha në takimet e mia, por nuk mund të shkonim më larg se kaq. Unë isha skeptike ndaj këtij rregulli, por kuptova shpejt se ky rezultoi një mekanizëm i përsosur për të eliminuar marrëdhëniet e padëshiruara. Nëse nuk mund të prisnin, nuk doja të dilja me ta.

The most insightful exercise Bela gave me was to make an exhaustive list of the qualities I wanted in a partner. I came up with 30-40 predictable characteristics, including 'tall', 'smart', 'kind', 'lovable' and 'successful'. Then she asked me to think of three people in my life who make me feel amazing. It was easy: my dad, my niece and one of my best friends. Bela asked me to describe how I feel when I'm with them, and I said, "I feel like I'm the best version of myself, like I can do anything, like I'm such a special person to each of them."

"Throw away your first list," Bela replied. 'This is what everyone says they want, but this second listing, this is now what you're looking for.' I was shocked. It was such a simple concept, but until that moment, it was an approach I had never considered using. What I really wanted was someone who could lift me up, heart and soul.

'Your only job on a first date is to enjoy yourself!' she advised me. “Have an hour and a half of light conversation - nothing serious. All you have to decide after a first date is whether to go on a second one.

The training completely changed my life. I was the perfect test for this dating experiment: a woman willing to make some big changes who was also willing to drop a lot of money on a problem. I was at a point in my life where a high-risk, unconventional solution didn't scare me enough to take the leap of faith, and I'm so glad I did.

However, even though Bela fundamentally changed my view of dating - and myself - this approach is obviously not right for everyone. A lot of people don't have that much money to spend on a dating coach, and a lot of people aren't looking for a long-term monogamous relationship (if you're using apps for short-term fun, go ahead).

Shortly after this training I met Jason. 1 and a half years after we met, we started living together.

Not only does he make me feel like the best version of myself, he's also tall, smart, kind, loving and successful. Jason has none of the red flags I've come across and downplayed before. We're not engaged—we're not on a set timeline—but I do know this: if we get married it will be because we both want to build something together, and not for any other reason.

Beyond the satisfaction I've found with Jason, I also feel a confidence in myself that didn't exist before I met Bela. Working with him helped me realize that investing in myself paid dividends in many parts of my life – not just in my romantic relationship. I applied what I learned and harnessed my empowered energy to create a successful marketing consultancy.