Why I No Longer Date Tire Kickers & Why You Shouldn’t Either

If you have ever worked in a sales job, then you are most likely very familiar with the “Tire Kickers”.  A “tire kicker” is someone who appears to be interested in buying something, asks a lot of questions, uses up a lot of your time, but then does not buy anything.  There are lots of them around and if you try to sell something on the internet, it can be even worse. Sadly, the “Tire Kickers” have expanded from not only wasting people’s time in the world of sales, they are now a force to be reckoned with in the dating world of 2018.

Online dating and dating through social media is full of lots of people who want to have some sort of virtual relationship with you, but they never want to actually meet you in person.  They will message you frequently, possibly every day.  They will show an interest in your life.  They will tell you that you are beautiful, smart, sexy and they will feed your ego, but despite their feigned interest and the accolades they throw your way, they will not meet you in person.

Why won’t they meet you in person?  Your guess is as good as mine.  Maybe their dating profile, or Facebook page really isn’t them so they don’t want to be discovered.  Maybe they look or act nothing like their online persona and don’t want you to know.  Maybe they are married.  Maybe they are afraid you will reject them if you meet in person so they would rather stay within the safety of a cyber pen-pal relationship.  Maybe they are shy or reclusive and afraid to go on an actual real date.  Maybe something else.

At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter why they don’t want to meet you in person.  None of these are good reasons, and none of these are people that you should want to meet or waste time chatting with. Countless times I have come across people on dating sites who want to message for weeks or even months.  They don’t even want to talk on the phone, they just want to write back and forth.  I had one prospective date email me for over a year. Finally, he asked me on a date and I went, out of mere curiosity at this point.  We had a nice dinner, but never contacted each other again by mutual decision.    The moral of the story:  you can’t really get to know someone unless you meet in person.  Emailing, texting, and messaging someone is not really connecting with them.  We all have busy lives, and if you are anything like me, you don’t have time to be a pen-pal.

My approach now is that if someone has not asked me on an actual real life date after a couple of weeks of messaging, then I am no longer interested in meeting them unless there has been a good reason for this such as illness, work or family commitments, or some other reasonable excuse.  We all deserve to be with someone who is excited to meet us and spend time with us.  If someone is regularly showing no interest in meeting in person, or they are constantly making excuses for why they can’t meet you in person, they are not interested enough in you that you should be wasting your time or energy interacting with this person.  We all have busy lives, but we all know how to fit something or someone into our schedule when it is important enough to us.  If someone isn’t doing this, they are sending you a message loud and clear, and it is only the beginning of the relationship.  If this is what the honeymoon period looks like, I don’t think you want to see what follows.

After wasting too much time on endless messaging, I have finally adopted my “No Tire Kickers” dating philosophy.  Maybe I will miss out on my Prince Charming by doing this, or maybe I will have more free time to find my Prince Charming since I am no longer wasting time messaging someone who isn’t interested enough to actually set up a date. Have you come across “Tire Kickers” in your dating life?  If so, how do you deal with them?  Comment below and let me know.

Do People Even Go On Real Dates Anymore?

In this world of “coffee meets”, “hanging out”, and “Netflix and chill”, do people even go on real dates anymore?  As someone who longs for some of the old style courtship, I am starting to think that “real dates” are becoming an endangered species.  While I have certainly met some wonderful gentlemen who know how to properly court a woman and take her out for a wonderful evening, for every man like that, there are dozens who just want to hang out.  I am sure that there are many men finding the same thing about women, so my comments in this blog are aimed at both genders.

Most dates these days start with the “coffee meet”.  It isn’t a date.  It’s a casual meeting at a coffee shop where you evaluate whether the other person is “worthy” of getting to know better.  If you pass the test you may actually progress to what I might consider a “real date”.  A dinner out, a concert, lunch at a bistro….these are all possible venues for the real date.  My advice is to enjoy this date as it may be the last one you have.

From the “real date” it seems that things progress to the “hanging out” and “Netflix and chill” stage and once you are here, you may never get out.  After you have had the one date, it seems that everything is about being casual and comfortable. Why would you want to dress to impress as that requires making an effort?  Comfort is the priority of the day these days and the days of dressing up are becoming more and more obsolete. Why wear a suit when shorts and a t-shirt are more comfortable? Why wear heels, when Crocs are easier on the feet?

It seems to be that a key component of the “hanging out stage” is also being physically intimate.  Notice that I said physically as nowadays daters are much quicker to know each others bodies than they are their minds, life story, opinions, likes, dislikes and other personal details.   Courtship is becoming more a thing of the past and daters rush from the coffee meet, to one date, to sex before they even know the other person’s middle name (and maybe even their last name).

The duration of the “hanging out” phase varies and may depend on two things.  If one of the parties begins to develop feelings for the other and the resulting expectations for exclusivity, the relationship may end.  Alternatively, if one of the parties starts to become negative or express a mood other than happiness, the “good vibes only” aspect of the relationship comes to an end, and now there may be “drama” so the relationship will also end.

Maybe I should have been single in another era.  I long for courtship, real dates, getting to know each other’s minds, bodies and souls. Alternatively, maybe more people feel the way that I do than I realize, and we all just need to speak up, change the way dating is done in 2018, and find a way to adopt the best things about dating from generations ago to the best things about modern dating.  I am willing to try.  Will you join me?

Can You Be Single So Long That You Become Undateable?

A friend of mine gave me a piece of dating advice a few years ago.  She said, “You need to meet a man when he is newly separated because once he has been single for too long, he will enjoy single life and not want to commit.” At the time I thought that this was interesting advice, and I wasn’t sure whether it was true or not.  Now, as I enter yet another year of single life, I am beginning to wonder if this statement is not just true of men, but of women also.  Is it possible that if we are single for too long we start to enjoy the independence, lack of drama and accompanying freedom so much, that with each passing year we become more reluctant to give it up, and thereby become almost undateable?

Over the years of my single life I am finding that I am becoming increasingly selective.  What I tolerated years ago, I will not tolerate now.  When I first started dating after my divorce, I put up with a lot of inconsiderate and bad behaviour.  I can remember driving long distances to meet a date near his home for a coffee and I don’t even like coffee, or coffee shops for that matter.  I can remember agreeing to meet someone who I had no interest in at all, but I kept telling myself that I needed to keep an open mind and do things differently because my past taste in men had been so bad for me.  Now, I generally won’t venture out of the 416 area code, and if I do, it certainly isn’t for just a coffee.  There has to be something more that is worth my time.  I also won’t agree to meet someone out of guilt or because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.

I sometimes wonder though, has my increased selectiveness made me so picky that no man can possibly measure up? I say I want to keep an open mind, but the reality is that I lead a happy life and if I am going to bring someone into it, they are going to have to be someone pretty special.  I enjoy spending my time as I want, seeing friends whose company I enjoy, working long hours building a business that excites me, and devoting my main focus to my children.  For me to compromise on any of this, someone is going to have to really excite me and make my heart go pitter patter.  Ironically, when I was younger, arguably more attractive and definitely had less “baggage” I wasn’t as picky with who I would date.  I was picky about who I would marry, but I was open to dating lots of people who in reality were not bringing a whole lot to the table.  Now that my time is so precious to me, I am extremely choosy about who I am going to spend it with.  Casual dating isn’t particularly appealing to me because I would rather spend a Saturday night with my kids, friends, or even alone at home eating ice cream and watching Netflix in a night of “me time”, then go out and meet a new guy who is just looking for a friend for fun times.

Everyone says you need to heal from your past relationships, work on yourself, find happiness within yourself, and Mr. Wonderful will magically enter your life at that time.  The reality is that I have done a lot of personal growth, healing, and lead a happy life, and the more I do these things, the less a relationship seems to be a priority to me.  Maybe this means that I just haven’t met the one for me, or maybe it means something else.  I genuinely believe that if my version of Prince Charming were to come along, I would be excited and make room for him in my life.  Despite my independence and self-sufficiency, I do believe in fairy tales, so let’s see what the universe has in store for me.  I don’t think being single this long has truly made me undateable.  It has just made me strong enough to know though that I don’t need to settle for someone in order for my life to be complete and happy.

The Problem Is You Found Her, But You Kept Looking

 

I recently posted a meme with the title of this blog on my social media and was very surprised at the response, mostly from men, who seemed to take exception to the content of the meme.  The point of my post wasn’t to attack men, it was to highlight this modern day problem that has arisen amongst both men AND women.  Everyone is so busy searching for “the one”, they overlook the very special person who may be right in front of them.

Modern dating has become a constant chase of that elusive partner who is going to make our world complete.  Daters keep moving onto the next person, while suffering  “FOMO” syndrome (fear of missing out), and feeling like Bono singing, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” With so much choice so readily available, why are so many people having such a hard time finding “the one”?

My guess is that the sense of fulfillment and happiness that people are searching for isn’t going to be found on the dating scene, it comes from within.  Only when we are truly happy with ourselves, can we really enter into a healthy relationship.  Too many people are searching for someone to make them happy or to complete them.  This isn’t the function of a date or a partner.  If you aren’t happy before your met Cinderella or Prince Charming, you aren’t going to be afterwards either.  We need to stop looking for someone else to make us feel better about our own life.

We also need to stop treating everyone as if they are disposable. If you meet someone who is kind and genuinely interested in you, don’t be so quick to dismiss this person. Modern daters are so busy looking to their next date that they don’t value the person right in front of them.  The relationships formed are often so superficial that no one really gets to know someone anyway.

The dating world is currently full of people who want to date 3, 4 or 5 people all at the same time.  Daters are encouraged by friends and our culture to keep their options open, not limit themselves to just one person, and to play the field.  The problem with this approach is that someone absolutely amazing might be right in front of you, but you lose the opportunity to really connect, because you devalue that person by dating others at the same time.  Why would anyone of high quality want to be one of many being dated by the same person after a few dates?

Dating someone new has become like chasing a high.  Endless dating has become like an addiction.  It can never be satisfied. There’s always that hope for the better high.  At the end of the day, all of us daters need to take a long hard look at ourselves.  We need to ask ourselves if we are happy with who we are, and if we aren’t, we need to do the work on ourselves to change this.  Your next date is not going to make you feel like you are enough, only you can do that.

 

 

Can You Truly Be Friends With Someone You Have Never Met In Person?

In our world of social media, insta-stories, snapchat and all of the other mediums available, it is easy to connect with people all over the world.  This means that we can develop relationships with people who we have never met in person.  We can directly message them, follow their lives on social media, and possibly even take it to the next level and talk to them on Skype or FaceTime.  Yet if we never actually meet in person, can we really consider these people our friends?

In my personal experience, I have been fortunate to have developed a group of followers on social media who I interact with regularly.  In some cases I look forward to their posts, they tell me they look forward to mine, we comment on each other’s musings, and we feel like we have some sense of each other’s daily lives.  I feel like I relate to them because of the things they post, and I feel like we have some sort of connection.  Often they inspire me to do better, cheer me up,  and remind me of what truly matters.

On my own social media, I often post about what is going on in my private life which recently included a broken finger. surgery, flooding and a new office location.  My followers congratulated me on the positive, cheered me up over the negative and sometimes even made me laugh.  They reminded me that they cared, even if we have never met in person, and I felt some sense of support reading their empathetic comments.  In contrast, I have friends who I have known for years, who are not on social media, and who I haven’t had much contact with in the last couple of months, who know of none of these significant developments in my life.  They didn’t have an opportunity to offer support or encouragement because they were unaware of the events going on in my life.  Ironically, the latter group are people I definitely consider friends, whereas the former group, I question what category to put them into since I have never met them in person.  Is one group more my friends than the other?

Ultimately what I think it comes down to is how one defines a friend.  For me, a friend is anyone who I feel a connection with who brings something positive to my life, and with whom I enjoy having contact.  The form of contact doesn’t matter.  It can be online, or in person, however, I must confess that I can only feel a really strong connection with someone who I have met in person.  There is something deeper when you can look someone in the eye, feel their energy, observe their body language, hear the tone in their voice and sense their aura.  The only form of contact where this type of connection can be made is in person.

This brings me to one of the dangers of online connections.  In my view they aren’t enough.  If someone isolates themselves from connecting with people offline and only has virtual connections, they will be missing something in their lives. Virtual friendships can compliment real life friendships, but they cannot replace them. So, can you truly be friends with someone you have never met in person?  My answer is yes, but a virtual friendship is different than a friendship in the real world.

 

Love And Money: Are You A Gold-Digger If You Say Money Matters?

As a family lawyer, the two biggest concerns most clients have is whether they will have enough money and whether they will ever find love again.  Love and money are at the core of so much of our lives.  When couples divorce, money is often a major issue.  It is also at the centre of many fights in a marriage.  If money is such an important matter in marriage and divorce, one wonders whether it is also important when couples are only in the dating stage.  My answer to this question, is YES money does matter when you are dating.

In an ideal world money wouldn’t matter at all. If we didn’t need money or there was lots of it to go around, dating, marriage, and divorce would be very different.  Realistically though money is a scarce resource, some people have more, some people want more, and some people will do just about anything to get their hands on it.

Money definitely complicates relationships. In modern dating who pays for the date has become much more complex than it used to be in the old days where the man always paid.  Now who pays is a complicated affair that can result in resentment, bad impressions and the end of a potential romance. I have female friends who still expect the man to always pay, and if he doesn’t it’s a deal breaker.  Conversely, I have male friends who think it should be 50/50, and if the woman feels differently, it is a deal breaker for him.  There are no clear cut rules on this and everyone has an opinion.

Who pays for the first date may not be as big an issue as who pays for multiple dates, activities and potentially holidays as a couple moves into the relationship stage.  If both parties have similar incomes or a similar net worth it may be more straightforward,  If one party earns substantially more than the other or has a much higher net worth, should this person pay more often? Does it matter if this person is male or female? If the party with more money likes to enjoy a higher lifestyle, does he or she have to forego dining at fine restaurants and going on luxurious vacations with the other party unless he or she is willing to pay the full tab?  When you are in your twenties and haven’t accumulated much wealth yet, these questions aren’t as much of an issue.  However, when you are in midlife or older, they can be very real issues which is why I say that money DOES matter in a relationship.

There are some people, though, that place too much emphasis on money.  We are all aware of gold-diggers whose main requirement in a relationship is that their partner has money and will financially take care of him or her.  There are many people out there who are willing to settle into a bad or loveless relationship just because the other person has money.  If someone is wealthy, it is amazing how often they are deemed more attractive despite how they look, act or treat their partner.  As a woman, I loathe to say this, but the reality is that women are more often guilty of doing this than men.  I have been advised countless times to give a wealthy man a chance even if I am not attracted to him.  While I think money is a realistic factor in a relationship, it is definitely not the most important or decisive factor.  I think that men or women who place too much importance on money will inevitably end up in an unhappy relationship.

The rise of the gold-digger has also given rise to marriage and cohabitation agreements. As a family lawyer, I recommend these to clients who have assets to protect, but it certainly can take the romance out of a relationship to be discussing what should happen if the relationship ends.  It can also give rise to resentment and power imbalances. As a society though, we have reached a point where people are more willing to risk their heart being broken than they are willing to risk losing money if a relationship goes bad.

With the importance placed on money and protecting our assets, I can’t help but feel that we are losing out on romance. 

As relationships and marriage take on more of a business-like approach, we are losing some of our connection with our partner by keeping a wall in place to protect ourselves. I know these are strange words coming from a lawyer.  It is a reflection of the modern world which leads me back to the question asked in the title to this blog: are you a gold-digger if you say money matters?  My answer:  NO!

If you would like some legal advice on how to protect yourself financially, contact me at leanne@leannetownsend.ca for a consultation.

Is It Ever Ok To Settle In A Relationship?

We all want to find that person who sweeps us off our feet, makes our heart race, and gives us butterflies in our stomach.  I certainly dream of the fairy tale where I meet my perfect Prince Charming and live happily ever after. But is this realistic when you are in midlife and have been married before?  If you have someone in your life who adores you, and you enjoy his or her company, but he or she is not your Prince or Princess Charming, is it “settling” if you decide to be with him or her for the long term?  Is it ever ok to settle? These are difficult questions in modern day dating and it is worth exploring the answers.

There are a number of definitions of the word “settle”, but this one offered by the Free Dictionary seems the most appropriate in the dating context:  “to accept in spite of incomplete satisfaction.”  As we go on date after date, with a checklist or mental vision of what we are looking for, we would be settling according to this definition if we choose to be with someone who doesn’t completely satisfy us on all levels.  We would be “settling” if we didn’t feel a strong emotional, mental and physical connection to our partner.  Is it realistic to expect this level of connection with someone and can we still be happy with something less?

The modern dating world with the easily accessible and wide range of daters available through online dating and other avenues. makes it difficult to pick just one person without feeling like you are settling.  It gives rise to the grass is always greener syndrome and helps create unrealistic expectations of what we may be able to find.  It becomes easy to approach dating with a glass is half empty philosophy where instead of focusing on the positives of our partner, it is easy to look at their shortcomings and where they don’t meet our ideal, and to believe that “someone better” will come along.

If we have someone in our life who treats us well, loves us, but doesn’t excite us, it is easy to ask the question, “is this as good as it gets?”  The response to that question may be yes or it may be no.  In a world where so many of us have unrealistic expectations about love and relationships, we may be setting ourselves up to always feel like we are settling.  On the other hand, I would be the first person to say, NEVER SETTLE….not in love, in life or anywhere.  The goal is to be a realistic non-settler.  Know what you are looking for and insist on finding it, but make sure it really exists and isn’t some magical unicorn from Neverland.   No partner is perfect, so don’t look for this, but at the same time we all deserve to find that person who puts a smile on our face, makes our hearts race and gives us butterflies in our stomach.   The person who does those things does exist, and whether you are 20 or 50, and whether you have never been married, or you have been married several times, you owe it to yourself to hold out until you find that person.

The key is to understand that happiness is an inside job and not to look to any relationship to make yourself happy.  If you are truly happy with yourself and with your life, when you meet the right person you will know.  You will NOT be left wondering, “is this as good as it gets?”

The Good Vibes Only Relationship

Let’s be honest.  No one likes a Debbie Downer. We all appreciate positivity and good energy.  This is especially true in the dating world.  We want our relationships to be fun and to complement our already stressful lives.  Modern day daters, in particular, seem to only want relationships that are fun, light, easy…..”good vibes only.”  While “good vibes” are definitely important, “good vibes only” should not be what we strive for in a relationship.

We all love to be around positive people.  Positive energy is contagious.  In the dating context, positive energy is attractive, draws others in and makes people want to be around you.  Many modern daters have been hurt or burned by a past ex.  The last thing most people want is to introduce a new Negative Nelly into their life.  This has led to an increased desire for casual, fun relationships with no commitment, obligation or expectations.  It’s what I refer to as the rise of the “good vibes only” relationship world.

We live in a world where people don’t really want to commit to anything….not a relationship, a job, not anything long-term. It is the immediate gratification world.  If something becomes difficult or challenging, we want to quit it and move on to the easy, light, fun, next best thing.

With the creation of online dating, it has become easier and easier for daters to meet new people and be able to block, drop or “ghost” somebody with whom they no longer want contact.  If Sally or Sam is starting to complain or assert needs, it is easy for Ted or Tina to drop them, and find somebody “more fun”.

The problem with light and fun, is that it can also mean superficial.  Deeper connections with others are only formed when we allow ourselves to open up, be vulnerable, and do the thing many modern daters dread…..talk about our feelings.  And because life sucks sometimes, our feelings might occasionally be negative. It isn’t realistic or healthy to force ourselves to feel positive all of the time.  To lead a healthy lifestyle, we need to feel a full range of emotions including the negative ones such as sadness, shame and fear.  If we can’t tell our partner that we are feeling some of these emotions, we can’t ever truly get really close to them.

It is no wonder that there are so many disconnected, lonely people in this world.  When we can only have relationships where we put our best image forward and hide any negative or insecure feelings, how can we possibly feel connected? Having a mantra or relationship criteria like “good vibes only” forces us to suppress our negative feelings and never deal with them.  It also creates a world where everybody thinks that everyone else’s life seems so wonderful. We feel like we are failing when we struggle and can’t share our struggle with anyone for fear of being considered too negative and dropped. We also can’t assert our needs because our “good vibes only” partner will then see us as being too clingy or demanding, and they will quickly move on to someone else.

Of course, when we are in the very early stages of dating “good vibes only” makes sense.  We don’t need to divulge our life story and deepest insecurities to someone we are just getting to know.  It seems though that there are many daters who just bounce from one light, casual relationship to the next with no interest in really connecting and getting to know anyone. While that may be fine as a short-term strategy, I can’t see how anyone can achieve long-term happiness if the extent of their relationships with any partners is a light, non-committed, “good vibes only” meet-up, hook-up or fling.

Approaching relationships on a “good vibes only” basis is cowardly.  It protects you from getting hurt. We need more risk takers…..the ones who are willing to take a chance on opening their heart, being vulnerable, asserting their needs, and discussing feelings, both positive and negative.  Faking positivity all the time for fear of being alone can’t lead to a happy, fulfilling life.

Welcome To The Online Dating Buffet Where You Can Sample An Endless Array Of Dishes

Online dating is changing the world of relationships and dating.  The good news is that if you are all about casual fun, the opportunities are greater than ever to find someone who shares your interest.  The bad news is that if you are looking for an exclusive, committed relationship you will have to work a bit harder to find it.

The online dating world is essentially like a buffet at a restaurant. People go up to the buffet and they sample a variety of dishes, they go back a few times more, trying different things, maybe having seconds of a dish they particularly liked, but never just picking one dish only and sticking with that.  It’s the same with online dating.  Everyone wants to meet different people so why just commit to one person when someone more attractive, more fun, more accomplished, more whatever, may come along tomorrow?

Just like at the buffet table some of the dishes are spicy, some are sweet, some are bland and some are just plain disgusting.  The dishes come in all shapes, colours and sizes.  The variety is endless.

The buffet of potential dates has created a situation where everyone is afraid to settle on one person.  In our instant gratification world, every one wants a fun, light, easy, “good vibes only” relationship. If someone puts expectations on another or voices dissatisfaction with something in the relationship, they are instantly disposable, and easily replaceable at the online buffet.  It’s easy to dispose of someone you never really took the time to get to know.  But isn’t it worth getting to really know someone?

I can’t help but feel that as a society we are losing out bigtime when everyone treats others as if they are disposable and no one takes the time to develop a deeper meaningful connection, a connection that makes you want to be committed to just one person and to work out differences. It is impossible to have a deep connection with someone that you have only met a few times.  Deep connections are necessary for fulfillment and leading a happy life.  If we are creating a society where people aren’t making these types of connections anymore, it is no wonder that depression, anxiety and addiction are prevalent problems.  At the root of these conditions is often a feeling of being disconnected and alone.

The buffet problem has become so prevalent that even people like myself, who are looking for an exclusive relationship, find the pull of a return visit to the buffet table hard to resist.  Tomorrow’s chocolate mousse might be better than today’s crème brulee. The vast array of choices makes it difficult for almost everyone to settle on one person without feeling like they are actually just “settling”.

This poses the question: what do we do?  How do we develop deeper, meaningful connections with a partner without feeling like we settled?  This is where we need to work on ourselves. We need to value deeper connections with those in our life, and let go of the thrill or excitement of meeting someone new, and the constant quest for something better.  We need to feel content from within so that we aren’t seeking validation externally.   We need to stop with the “grass is always greener” mentality, and feel content with what we have.

Through working with my own coach, I have developed a great toolbox for learning self-validation and self-love so that external validation becomes less necessary. If you are interested in learning more, please email me at leanne@leannetownsend.ca for details.

The Perils Of The Modern Day Wonder Woman: Can I Really Be A Hot, Fit, High-Powered, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Lawyer, Wife And Perfect Mother?

Wonder Woman was created in the 1940’s as a comic book heroine who was set for high adventures, excitement and romance. Fast forwarding to 2017, the modern day wonder woman has a high powered career, is a fabulous mother who home cooks healthy, vegan, gluten-free meals grown from her organic garden, keeps a clean house, is extremely fit, practises yoga, is a sexy wife, and looks fabulous. This woman still has to be a fictional character as no woman can manage all of this at once, but yet for many of us, this is the model we aspire to be like. What’s worse is that we beat up on ourselves, and other women, for not being able to attain this standard. This must stop!

As women, how many times a week, or even a day, do we feel like we aren’t measuring up to this unattainable standard? We feel less than, not good enough, and like we are constantly disappointing our family, our friends and ourselves.  Where does this pressure to be perfect come from and how can we stop it? Social media made it even worse as it has become easier to compare ourselves to the other Wonder Women who are posting about their fantastic lives with fantastic photos too.

The reality is that if you are managing to excel in your career, or motherhood, or fitness, or cooking, you are probably doing better than most. It isn’t a competition though and we need to stop competing against each other.  We need to be more supportive of one another.

In some ways it seems to me that younger women have much better boundaries and a better understanding that women shouldn’t be expected to do all of this.  It is often women who are over 45 who I find struggle the most with trying to be all things to all people, and putting their own needs last. Women in this generation grew up with the women’s movement and many sought careers outside the home. It seems though that changes in the division of labour on the home-front didn’t accompany the changes in the work force at the same pace.  Many of these women still perform all the household and childcare tasks of prior generations while balancing a demanding career.

Younger women and younger men seem to have a better understanding that one person can’t do it all.  The modern day man helps around the house, helps with the kids and is expected to do so.  Middle aged women can learn a thing or two from their younger peers on this front.

The best thing we can do to help facilitate change about the expectations of women is to support one another.  We need to recognize that most women are doing the best that they can, and they are usually brutally aware of any areas where there is room for improvement.  We don’t need to judge each other, and more importantly, we need to be willing to be honest and authentic about our own struggles, and stop putting on the perfect Martha Stewart or Gwyneth Paltrow façade that we are juggling everything to perfection.  If we start to get real and honest about the impossibility of being a hot, fit, high-powered lawyer, who is a perfect mother and wife,  who grows her own organic vegetables, and cooks, as well as eats, a healthy, gluten-free, vegan diet , we will then make progress.

If you are having difficulty juggling everything in your life, coaching can really help you establish priorities and boundaries.  Contact me at leanne@leannetownsend.ca for details.  I’d love to help you be your best and create the life you desire.