“How do I meet someone after divorce?” is a question I get asked almost on a daily basis. It inspires me that even after a bad marriage, men and women still crave happiness in this regard. However, what men and women don’t realize is, meeting someone isn’t dependent on how many dating sites you belong to, or how many blind dates you go on, but rather getting to know yourself, and what you really want and need. In this week’s Love Essentially column, published yesterday in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press, I interview a relationship coach who helps people find Mr. (or Ms.) Right by helping them first discover themselves.
Relationship Coach Says Finding The One Starts With YOU by Jackie Pilossoph
I can’t even count the number of single people who have said things to me like, “It’s so hard to meet someone,” “There are no good guys out there” or “I’m going to be alone forever.” It kind of makes finding Mr. or Ms. Right seem pretty hopeless, doesn’t it?
So when a friend of mine told me she was seeing a “relationship coach,” I was intrigued. I had plenty of questions for my friend. What does a relationship coach do? Help you set up your Match.com profile? Talk about where to meet single people? Tell you what to wear on a first date?
My friend’s answer: none of the above. Her Chicago-based relationship coach, Sue DeSanto, LCSW, offers a 3-month or a 6-month program that helps single, divorced or widowed men and women embrace their gifts and talents, and feel confident in sharing these with the world. In other words, according to DeSanto, being truly fulfilled in a romantic relationship starts with the person seeking rather than the person being sought.
I sat down with DeSanto to learn in more detail how she helps facilitate relationship opportunities. The first thing I found out is that nine years ago, she herself went through the program she now shares with her clients.
“I got divorced 14 years ago with two small children at the time, and found the dating world daunting and scary. I didn’t know how to do it,” said DeSanto, who holds a master’s degree in social work, and who has been a practicing psychotherapist for 20 years.
DeSanto attended the California-based Relationship Coaching Institute founded by relationship guru David Steele. Crediting the program for her success in finding true love and getting remarried a few years later, DeSanto decided she wanted to become a relationship coach herself.
DeSanto said her clients are successful professionals (like my friend) who want to find a partner. She said they feel frustrated and incompetent in their dating world, so they turn away from that part of their life and focus on work and career because that’s where they feel confident and safe.
“They feel invisible and not seen or heard in romantic relationships,” DeSanto said. “They are not able to see their own hidden blocks or barriers to having the life and love they want. I help them feel as confident and clear in their relationship life as they do in their work life.”
With weekly sessions either in person, via remote video chat or phone, along with homework, DeSanto said she helps clients first find their tools and strategies to determine their vision. In other words, figure out what they want, what they need and what their non-negotiables are.