DATING

I’m writing this in a room looking out at soaring mountain peaks at the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise ski resort in Canada. My husband surprised me by booking this ”skiboarding” trip—a term he created to describe what we love to do together—both racers, he skis and I snowboard.

Sharing a common passion for something is clearly a sure way to feel happy and connected to each other. But another person isn’t required to make you feel good about yourself and your life. And neither are other things that you might think you can’t live without.

Reflecting back, I remember one winter evening earlier this year, when I was drinking red wine at my home with one of my girlfriends. As we finished a bottle of Pinot Noir, I declared that I wouldn’t drink any alcohol for a month, to detox. The clean, light feeling I experienced during my “detox” was so good, I haven’t wanted a drink since.

It’s interesting how drinking wine, which I perceived to be a source of joy, fun and pleasure, is now completely gone from my life. And yet I feel way MORE joy, fun and pleasure now.

I still go to regular dinner, club and birthday parties with my girlfriends. And at least once a week, my husband and I go on romantic dates. My social life hasn’t changed much. If anything, my weight decreased and so did the restaurant bills! 🙂

But what has changed is my ability to be “high on life.” It’s the feeling of being present, in the moment and really taking in all the ordinary and yet amazing experiences—like taking a shower, eating breakfast, listening to music…

Do you wonder how you can get “high on life” and also make a man addicted to you like a drug? Well, there are three keys:

1. Feeling it. You hear dating experts talk about feminine, sensual and irresistible women. But if I can sum it up in one takeaway, it would be “feeling it.”

Let’s say you love raspberries, like I do. You’re shopping at Whole Foods and munching on raspberries as you shop, while talking to your girlfriend on the phone. By the time you get to the cashier, the box of raspberries is empty.

Now imagine that you bought a box of raspberries, and when you got home, you gently washed them and served them on a beautiful plate. You took one in your hands, looked at its beautiful color and shape and admired its fragrance ( that smell always brings me back to my childhood, when I picked raspberries at my grandparents’ garden in Russia) and slowly ate it, savoring the texture and taste.

If you practice those feelings enough on ordinary activities like taking a shower ( luxuriating in the warm water caressing your body), making tea (taking in its aroma and warmth) and walking down the street (feeling your hips moving like a model moves on a fashion runway), by the time you go on a date, you’ll show up as a sensual and irresistible woman. You’re going to be present, in the moment, feeling way more joy and pleasure.

Getting a date (and being asked out again) isn’t the goal here, though. It’s just a nice side-effect of doing something for yourself that makes you exude a magnetic vibe men can’t resist.

2. Appreciate it. When I was single and dating in New York City, I didn’t realize how negative I was at times. Men would disappear without any explanation. It wasn’t until I uncovered my personal blind spots (with the help of a professional coach, of course) that I see how judgmental, critical and narrow-minded I was. For instance, I remember once that a very smart but shy guy took me out for dinner and a Broadway show. I’d think to myself, “The show was great, but the restaurant he picked was a disaster. Can’t believe he took me there.” Trust me, men sense that negative thinking, and it’s a major turn-off.

Now, I make a conscious effort to appreciate my husband for what he does (and he does a lot!). What I notice over time is, the more I appreciate my husband, the more he initiates and does for me—both big and small.

If you start looking for things to appreciate, I promise you that you’ll keep finding more and more. As you do, you’ll experience more joy, fun and pleasure in your life.

When it comes to dating or being in a relationship with someone, it’s the absolute essential ingredient that can make or break you as a couple. So, next time you go out on a date, notice small efforts—he picked a cute place, he wore a nice tie, he tried to make you laugh, he paid for dinner, and so on.

3. Expressing it. When you’re feeling terrific about something, it would be a missed opportunity not to express that. Here’s your chance to turn boring-annoying texting like “how r u?” into an exciting-playful connection between you and him. If you just had a burger for lunch, share the “feeling it” part with your guy. This could be as short and simple as “I just had the juiciest, sexiest burger ever…” Make him think about you in those terms, e.g., “juicy and sexy,” and inspire him to be clever, funny and playful in his response. What to text comes easy when you’re really present and enjoying whatever it’s you’re experiencing on all levels.

In the same vein, when you’re appreciating something—again, it doesn’t have to be extraordinary—you’re creating a pattern. For instance, my husband calls me to say hello in the afternoon almost every day when he’s at work. He’s been doing it for about eight years now. Trust me, when he calls, I don’t take it for granted as in, “Of course, you should call me. You’ve been calling me every day.” It’s more like, “Babe, I am so happy you called. How’s your day going so far?” So, next time you go on a date, make it a point to appreciate him by noticing and remarking about things you genuinely appreciate about him. Just keep in mind that men have a “fake detector” that enables them to sense when something is off—they won’t overthink it, they’ll just disappear.

So, it comes full circle—feeling it, appreciating it and expressing it. These are my secret keys to be “high on life” by celebrating life every day—and, without having to drink.

I would love to hear your thoughts on these three keys. Click here and share with me how you practice them in your daily life and how they impact your dating experiences.